The four Hooper brothers are orphaned when their parents are killed in a wagon accident. Hale hopes to find someone to take the boys in, but the only person on the wagon train who is willing to take all four brothers together is spinster Ada Meyers. Charlie, who, we learn, was also orphaned as a child and permanently separated from his own brothers and sisters, is determined that this not be the fate of the four boys whom he has come to care for, so he proposes to Ada himself. But when Ada tells him that she should not accept a proposal unless the man loves her just as much as the boys, he determines to find a husband for her. A crusty Irish seaman comes into the camp and intrigues the boys with his tales, but Charlie doesn't think he's the right man.