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Despite having a premonition that he will forever be on the run for murdering a man, Nick Robey agrees on a plan to make some easy money with his disreputable pal, Al Molin. The two men rob a man for a company payroll at the local train yard warehouse, but before they can make their getaway, Al is killed by a policeman and Nick is forced to shoot the policeman in order to flee. Once on the street, Nick ducks into a public swimming pool to avoid the police and bumps into Peg Dobbs, a nervous beginning swimmer. Fearful that he will look conspicuous alone, Nick tries to act calm and asks to take her home. Peg naively agrees, flattered by the young man's interest, and he escorts her to her family's tenement apartment, where she introduces him to her father, mother and younger brother Tommy, who are on their way to see a movie. Now alone in the apartment, Nick is uneasy and brusquely dances with Peg to music on the radio. Peg urges him to relax but Nick breaks down, saying he is in big trouble. Later when her parents return home, Nick, suspicious that they already know his real identity, holds Peg at gunpoint and admits to being the killer. However, Mr. Dobbs, a newspaper press operator, says that the newspaper only identified Molin in the article. Though he does not want to hurt anyone, Nick decides he must spend the night to collect his thoughts before his next move. In the morning Mr. Dobbs tries to hide the paper that prominently features a picture of Nick, but Nick spies it and, thinking he has caught the family in a conspiracy against him, decides he must stay. He allows the family to continue their daily routine, but tensions rise as he keeps one family member with him at all times as a hostage. Later, while on lunch break from her bakery job, Peg returns to the apartment to plead with Nick to leave, reminding him that he liked her at the pool, but Nick snaps that his predicament was the only reason he took interest in her. Peg returns to the bakery, where her father demands that she hide out at a girl friend's house. On the assembly line Peg's co-worker suggests that Peg shed her shyness and that, with some primping, Peg could get a man to do anything for her. Back at home Peg is late and Mrs. Dobbs explains to Nick that she trusts her daughter. An argument begins after Nick tells her that Peg thinks fondly of him, but when Mrs. Dobbs becomes distracted, has a sewing accident and faints, Nick, in a moment of kindness, carries her to the couch. Mr. Dobbs returns home to find Tommy afraid to go in the apartment because Nick is now in command of the household. They enter the apartment and the family gathers for a feast provided by Nick, but Mr. Dobbs refuses to allow his family to eat the food. Challenged, Nick fires his gun, forcing Mr. Dobbs to back down. His banquet spoiled, Nick rebukes the family for not willingly giving him temporary shelter, "something you would give an alley cat." Much later in the night, Peg returns home in an evening gown and her womanly figure catches Nick's eye. He kisses her and, asking for her support, Peg replies "all the way." Later while the others sleep, Mr. Dobbs inspects the living room, finds Peg's gown draped across the chair and assumes the worst. The next morning Nick, confused by the loyalty of their family, asks what Mr. Dobbs wants out of life. Mr. Dobbs turns the question around on him and Nick answers "money." He then tells Mr. Dobbs that Peg is out buying a car for him and a fight ensues between the men, but is quickly broken up when Peg returns and announces that the car will be delivered later that evening. Meanwhile Mrs. Dobbs and Tommy report to the police that Nick is hiding at their family residence. At the apartment Nick, now paranoid, demands to know the kind of car Peg has bought and to see the receipt. Peg describes a yellow convertible, but when she cannot produce the receipt, Nick drags her at gunpoint down the stairs, hysterically accusing her of double-crossing him. Once they reach the bottom floor, Mr. Dobbs, who is waiting outside, fires a shot into the foyer. Nick drops his gun near Peg, leaps for cover to the other side of the foyer, then orders Peg to pick up the gun. She does, but Nick lurches forward to take it from her and she shoots him. Fatally wounded, Nick stumbles outside, finding the convertible waiting at the curb. Staring into its headlights, Nick falls over dead as Mr. Dobbs hugs his traumatized daughter to his side.