Good fortune flees Sylvain Fairmont's early life. Blackmail forces her family to sell their Louisiana plantation, Riverbend, and its rumored pirate's buried gold. Somewhat older, Sylvain is engaged to aristocratic, handsome Randolph Baxter, who has a change of heart when he discovers she is the illegitimate daughter of notorious pirate Jean Lafitte. Incensed, Randolph challenges the man Sylvain has always known to be her father to a duel and kills him.
A destitute outcast, Sylvain finds work, acceptance and, to her surprise, passion at the waterfront. Hilton Courteen, a blue-blood, overlooks Sylvain's shame and finds her desirable. In fact, Hilton rescues her from life-threatening peril. In a dramatically spellbinding ending, Sylvain finds comfort and happiness she had never imagined.