Sophy Wackles is a 20-year-old who lives with her widowed mother and two sisters. The Wackles family runs a school for girls. Dick Swiveller falls in love with Sophy. But Dick's friend Fred would like Dick to marry Fred's sister -- so that both Dick and Fred can benefit from Fred's sister's coming inheritance.
To break it off with Sophy and open himself up to a marriage with Fred's sister, Dick decides to start a fake argument with Sophy at a social event. At the event, Sophy tries to make Dick jealous with the presence of another man, Mr. Cheggs, a market gardener. Sophy later marries Cheggs.