The story is located on Roaring Camp, an old gold-mining camp where an extraordinary event is taking place. It opens with about hundred man standing outside of Cherokee Sal’s hut, waiting until she gives birth. Cherokee Sal ‘a coarse...and very sinful woman’ is the only female in the camp, and her baby will be the first child born in the camp. Unfortunately, Cherokee Sal dies in child-birth, and her child is left parentless. However, the men in the village do not abandon the baby, on the contrary, they take care of it.
Many of the superstitious inhabitants start to believe that the child brought positive change to the village, and thus they name him Tommy Luck. Tommy Luck is raised by Stumpy, a local man who tried to help his mother during childbirth, and a female ass. As time goes by, the miners feel content and they even think about building a hotel to attract some more respectable families, in Tommy’s interest. These plans are crushed with the arrival of massive floods and Tommy Luck’s death.