A German-American father, loyal to his new U.S. home, finds himself on opposite sides with his son in the wartime conflict between Germany and America. The son becomes involved with German agents plotting against U.S., and the father must decide between his son and his adopted homeland.
A young orphan girl, courted by an unpleasant older suitor who has a hold over her adoptive mother, falls in love with Fairfax, a young stranger at a party. A group of bootleggers try to get away with the loot stashed previously within Fairfax's mansion; Mysterious faces peer into the windows and shadowy figures stalk the hall. One of the bootleggers is killed and the young stranger becomes the prime suspect.
A wealthy young Southern aristocrat, Joseph, graduates from a seminary and, before he takes charge of his assigned parish, decides to go out and see what "the real world" is all about. He winds up in New Orleans and finds himself attracted to a poor, unsophisticated orphan girl, Bessie. One thing leads to another, and before long Bessie finds that she is pregnant with Joseph's child.
A religious zealot and his nephew are thrown together on a South Seas Island with an alcoholic beach comber and a native dancer. A battle to see who will "civilize" whom ensues.
Rosie Nell, a woman of disreputable dance halls in early lawless California, is wrongly charged with the murder of one of her fellow entertainers. Because her daughter, who knows nothing of her mother's station in life, is to return the next day from her school in the east, Rosie is granted three days of grace to be spent in company with her daughter at a nearby cabin. The three days begin happily enough, thanks to the serenades of heroic bandit Alvarez and the poetry of romantic Randolph. But Bagley, the dance hall manager, has seen the daughter and has determined to make her his own.
A group of youngsters grow up and love in a peaceful French village. But war intrudes and peace is shattered. The German army invades and occupies village, bringing both destruction and torture. The young people of the village resist, some successfully, others tragically, until French troops retake the town.
The story of a poor young woman, separated by prejudice from her husband and baby, is interwoven with tales of intolerance from throughout history.