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As winter disappears in Carvel, usually serious-minded Judge James K. Hardy finds himself gazing out his courtroom window and thinking of spring. After court is recessed, the judge is visited by chemist Mark Hansen and promoter James Willis, who inform him that some gravelly land previously thought worthless and set aside for an acqueduct that was never built, is actually rich in bauxite, a mineral needed to make aluminum. Though the men want to start to work reclaiming the bauxite right away, the judge decides to get a sample of the soil himself and have it independently analyzed. That same day, the judge's teenage son Andy is snubbed by his girl friend, Polly Benedict, who has a crush on Ensign Charles Copley, who is working in Carvel. Andy's hurt feelings are soon alleviated by Rose Meredith, a new, young drama teacher at Carvel High, on whom Andy develops a tremendous crush. Soon the judge's chemical report comes back revealing that the soil sample is what Hansen and Willis claimed it was. He then excitedly decides to invest his own money and urge friends to capitalize on the venture as well. Soon Marian Hardy, the judge's daughter, who wants to become a career woman, gets a job as Hansen and Willis' secretary. As the weeks pass, while the judge and his friends anticipate great profits from the bauxite and Marian works at the office, Andy works hard to impress Miss Meredith in rehearsals for the school play. One day, Marian comes home from the office and informs her father that Willis and Hansen have secretly left town with all of the money earmarked for the project. Knowing that he has been duped and feeling guilty that he urged friends to join him in the venture, the judge decides to call a meeting of the share holders to confess everything. Just before the meeting, however, he learns that the city is anxious to buy the gravel on the land for a new highway. Although he still blames himself for the near financial disaster, his friends hold themselves equally responsible and are happy to learn that the gravel sale will enable them to break even on their investments. Later that day, Andy announces that he plans to quit school and marry Miss Meredith, to whom he has just proposed. Though his father gently tries to warn him about the problems he will encounter, Andy is convinced that his situation will work out. Miss Meredith, who was touched by Andy's proposal, tells him that she will give him an answer after the school play. During the intermission, however, when Andy sees her kiss her fiancé, who has just come to visit her, he realizes that she will not marry him. Though hurt, Andy continues in the play. Finally, after the play is greeted with applause by the audience, Polly goes to Andy to make up and the entire Hardy family happily return home.