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Orphans Ethel, Blanche, Harry, and Nannette Eldon come to Philadelphia from England to be placed in the care of the Cootes, a miserly minister and his wife. Ethel takes charge of her brother and sisters and learns needlework, which she hopes will earn enough to make a home for them all. Mary Keith and her family befriend the children, helping them to reunite with their uncles and escape the harsh life with the Cootes. During the Civil War, Ethel is able to provide a home for her brother and sisters. With the help of friends and family, she survives a serious illness and retains her business. The Eldons visit and become friends with the Keith family, including Percy Keith and Stuart Ormsby, who wed Ethel and Blanche in a lovely double ceremony. After visiting Aunt Wealthy in Lansdale, the newlyweds arrive in Pleasant Plains, where they join Mildred and Charlie Landreths and the Ormsbys.