While Ben Ragan and a search party are combing the outskirts of the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia for two lost trappers, Ben's hound dog, Trouble, runs away. When Ben does not find Trouble at home, he decides to return to the swamp, despite the protests of his stern father Thursday. Ben bids farewell to his sweetheart, Mabel McKenzie, then enters the dangerous swamp. After he makes camp that night, he is struck unconscious by an unseen assailant. Upon awakening in the morning, Ben discovers that he is being held prisoner by Tom Keefer, a local man who escaped from prison five years previously after being convicted of murdering a deputy sheriff. Tom tells Ben that he is innocent but refuses to let the young man go for fear that he will find his way out of the swamp and reveal Tom's hiding place. Ben convinces Tom of his sincerity, however, by helping him tend to a snake bite, and the pair decide to become partners. Ben agrees to give Tom's half of their trapping proceeds to his daughter Julie, who is being reared by general store owner Marty McCord and his wife, and after two weeks, Ben returns to town. Ben sells the furs then goes home, where he quarrels with Thursday, whose anger overcomes his relief at his son's homecoming. Tired of Thursday's domination, Ben moves into a shack on McCord's land, where he becomes better acquainted with Julie. Ben tells her that her father is safe, and that he wants her to use the money to go away to school. While Ben continues his trapping and courts Mabel, who grows suspicious of his absences, Thursday's beloved second wife Hannah is pestered by a cowardly former suitor, Jesse Wick. Believing Jesse's intimation that he can get bullies Tim and Bud Dorson to harm Thursday, Hannah does not reveal Jesse's identity to Thursday when he almost catches Jesse during one of his secretive visits. Thursday grows cold to Hannah, who he believes is being unfaithful, and Ben also is upset when Mabel refuses to go to a dance with him. Ben instead attends with Julie, whose unkempt appearance has been transformed by a new dress. Ben realizes that he is attracted to Julie, and after getting her consent to court her, sees the Dorson brothers stealing McCord's pigs. The next day, Ben accuses them of the theft, but when Mabel reveals her suspicions that Ben is trapping with Tom, the townsfolk believe that Tom is the thief and that Ben is protecting him. The Dorsons nearly drown Ben while questioning him, but Ben is rescued by Thursday, who finally reconciles with him. When Hannah tells Ben about her trouble with Thursday, Ben guesses that Jesse is her tormentor and confronts him. Ben also concludes that Jesse perjured himself at Tom's trial to cover up for the Dorsons, and forces him to confess to the sheriff that the Dorsons are the real killers of the deputy. After telling Julie that he will return with her father, Ben goes to find Tom, but is followed by the Dorsons. At first, Tom believes that Ben is leading him into an ambush, but when the Dorsons try to shoot Ben, Tom leads them into quicksand, which claims Bud. Tom lets Tim go, however, telling him to survive in the swamp as he was forced to do. Fearing that he could not adjust to living among people again, Tom hesitates about returning with Ben, but Julie appears and takes him home. Soon after, at another dance, Hannah and Thursday have reconciled, and Tom watches approvingly as Ben dances with Julie.