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Siblings inherit useless land from their Quixotic father, but they scheme to make it their fortune with shady wall street loans, an act of congress and a little luck.
This is an adaptation of the Mark Twain novel.
The Southern-raised children of Si Hawkins are used to the poverty that inevitably follows the speculations of their father, but when, on his deathbed, he bequeaths them thousands of acres of worthless land, they suddenly see their fortunes change. The real estate speculation and postwar government spending of the late 1860s propel the nation into a bubble of wealth into which the young steam age heroes are thrust. Along with new Yankee friends, they see their potential wealth balloon to astronomical heights. However, it isn't long before scandals involving bribery, sex and murder threaten to destroy both their newfound wealth and their lives.
Washington Hawkins invests in harebrained scheme after scheme with the charming but useless Colonel Sellers hoping his good luck will earn him the right to marry his sweetheart. Laura looks to congress for cash but finds herself derailed in her desire for revenge upon a former lover. In the end, Laura is overcome by the notoriety she finds after being acquitted in the death of her lover and she dies tragically. Washington learns to rely on hard work rather than get rich schemes thanks to his friend Philip. The land is abandoned to the government for taxes.