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Helen Brandt and her mother have moved from their small town of Ellsworth Falls to New York City, where Helen is employed as a perfume clerk at a department store and Mrs. Brandt works for the war relief effort. Jerry, a home town boy who has just returned from serving in France, is trying to woo Helen, but she only thinks of him as a "pal." While eating at a café one day, Jerry meets his college buddy, Lieutenant Hank Travers, a pilot in the Air Force, and begins to rhapsodize about Helen. Hank, a cynical philanderer, is intrigued by Jerry's description and insists upon accompanying him on his date with Helen that night. To monopolize Helen's time, Hank invites Mrs. Brandt to join them dancing and she accepts. At the club, Mrs. Brandt begins crying when the band plays the song "Those Endearing Young Charms," and Helen realizes that her mother is crying for her long-lost love, Jerry's father. After taking Helen and Mrs. Brandt home that night, Hank waits for Mrs. Brandt to retire, then tries to romance Helen. Although she is attracted to Hank, Helen realizes that he is not serious about her and asks him to leave. The next day at work, however, Helen is distracted by thoughts of Hank, and when he leaves a message for her to phone him later that night, she eagerly returns his call. When Mrs. Brandt warns her daughter that Hank is dishonorable, Helen reminds her that she lost Jerry's father because she was afraid to pursue him. The next day, Hank convinces Helen's supervisor to give her the day off and drives Helen to the army airfield. There, Hank learns that he has a two-day reprieve before leaving for the front, but to put pressure on Helen, he tells her that he is leaving right away and bids her farewell. That night, Helen returns home distraught and tells her mother that she is in love with Hank. Soon after, Hank calls to inform Helen that his mission has been fogged in, and Helen agrees to meet him at the club. From the club, Hank drives Helen to the seashore, where her loving endearments force him to admit that he lied about leaving in order to manipulate her into falling in love with him. Dejected, Helen returns home and Hank goes back to his hotel room, where he learns that his leave has been canceled. Realizing that he is in love with Helen, Hank rushes to her apartment to beg her forgiveness, but Helen orders him to leave. Recognizing Hank's sincerity, Mrs. Brandt urges Helen to go after him, and as they embrace on the airstrip, minutes before Hank is to take off, Helen promises to wait for him.