A Hebrew clothing dealer is experiencing hard time, counts his money, looks over his books and calls in his wife, who weeps with him in his calamity. They look through the safe, count the little money left, and finally come upon the fire insurance policy. Here is an opportunity to replenish the empty purse. The shades are drawn down, the merchant enters with a bundle of shavings, which he scatters around the store, pours oil over them and goes out. Outside a sneak thief is seen prowling around. He succeeds in prying open the window, enters the store to find nothing but empty boxes. The safe is also depleted, and all around is the evidence that a plan to burn the building has been made. Hearing footsteps, the burglar dodges behind a case and Levi enters with a lighted candle. The thief confronts the Hebrew and demands hush money, which is reluctantly given him. After taking all the money the poor Jew has, the burglar goes out through the window, leaving the would-be fire-bug in a state of utter collapse. As the thief reaches the sidewalk, he spies a fire-alarm box, counts his money again, and determines to teach the clothing dealer a lesson. He turns in the alarm and runs away. The Hebrew, now that his scheme has failed, starts to clean up the shavings, but is interrupted by the sudden and unexpected appearance of the firemen, who turn on the hose and take all the fire out of the merchant.