Professor John Sylvestus Applegate has been dismissed from his college teaching position for objecting too loudly to the predominant part that football and other sports play in the curriculum, and soon finds himself dead broke when publishers show no interest in the dry material he brings to them. He meets a young boy, Laury and his mother, Sharon in the park and is quite taken with them. He gets a job-prospect letter, as a private tutor, and applies at once. His employer is Mr. Morley, a surly, sour, mean-tempered old man who informs John he is to act as a tutor for his grandson, who turns out to be Laury. Sharon, Morleys daughter had eloped against her father's wishes and was abandoned by her husband after Laury's birth.