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Before secretary Martha Daniels leaves to visit her son Dinky at his military academy, her boss, Gerald Standish, asks her to sign some checks. At the Academy, Martha listens proudly as her popular son tells her he will soon be made a sergeant. While they talk, she is called to the colonel's office, where two men arrest her because the bond certificates that she signed for Standish were fraudulent. Standish is now missing and even though Martha protests that as the secretary, she knew nothing about the bonds, she is tried and found guilty. Not wanting Dinky to know that she is going to prison, she arranges with her sympathetic lawyer, Tom Marsden, to forward her letters from a false Chicago address. Despite their efforts, Dinky sees a newspaper article about Martha and runs away from school. Marsden finds him and reassures him about his mother's innocence, but Dinky refuses to return to the Academy to face the cruelty of the other cadets. Instead, Dinky attends school at the neighboring orphanage and writes to his mother on Academy stationery so that she will think he is still there. At the orphanage, he helps the other children earn money to buy new football uniforms for the coming match with the academy. Dinky is the team's best player, but his mother's absence upsets him so much that he continually makes mistakes. Suddenly, he sees his mother, whose innocence was proven after Standish was found in Mexico. Inspired by her presence in the stands, Dinky makes a touchdown and the winning kick. After having won the game for the orphans, Dinky returns to the Academy, where he earns his sergeant's stripes after all.