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After being granted her fourth divorce, socialite Diane Carter decides to leave Chicago and return to her hometown of Hillsboro, Illinois. She soon sets her sights on her childhood boyfriend, Bob Phillips, despite the fact that he has been happily married to his wife Martha for ten years and has two young sons, Bobby and Michael. Her arrival in Hillsboro coincides with Bob and Martha's wedding anniversary, and though Bob does not recognize her at first, Diane quickly acquires the recently returned veteran's total attention. Diane then decides to settle in Hillsboro, and retains Bob's services as a real estate agent to find her an apartment. In order insinuate herself further into Bob's household, Diane asks Martha to help furnish her new apartment. Later, Bob and Diane form a highly successful partnership in real estate development and speculation. While their good friends, Jim Driscoll and Liz Smith, finally announce their long-awaited engagement, Martha begins to realize that she is losing her husband to Diane. Later, Bob and Diane take his two sons on a picnic, and, while his father's attention is on Diane, Bobby is hit by a car as he rides his new bicycle. Afterward, Martha forces Bob to admit his feelings for Diane, so she announces her intentions to seek a divorce. Though her friends try to convince her to change her mind, Martha proceeds with the divorce. Bob is granted only a single Saturday each month to visit with his sons, but he spends the first one in Chicago, gambling with Diane. The two are caught in a police raid, however, and the resulting local scandal jeopardizes their real estate development. In the meantime, Martha rejects Bob's alimony checks, taking instead a job as a clerk in a Hillsboro department store. With the real estate deal going sour, Diane arranges her own financing for the project, over Bob's objections. Bob's investors are then forced to sell out to Diane's people, and despite their significant profits, they voice their disapproval. Bob and Diane make plans to leave Hillsboro, but when he fails to return to her on time from his visitation with Bobby and Michael, Diane rushes to the Phillips home, where she overhears Bob being "court-martialed" by his sons for "desertion." Realizing that she has lost Bob to his family, Diane tells Martha that she is leaving town on the next train. On the way back to Chicago, Diane finally comes to realize the unpleasant type of person she has become.