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Ace Acello takes over the numbers racket from black gangsters Harlem, then finds himself working for bigger gangster Martin Werther. Acello tries to intimaidate small grocer Michael Devlin and his daughter Ann into selling more numbers, but Mike refuses because he knows how poor his customers are. Acello then warns Mike that he must cooperate, and tells him not to deal with rival mobster Steve Comos. Ann, who has been impressed with an article in The Chronicle written by hard-hitting crime reporter Tim Higgins, decides to ask him to investigate the numbers racket. When Ann goes to see Tim, however, she speaks to him just after he has been reprimanded by his boss, James Witherspoon, Sr., for getting them into trouble over his latest story and Tim says he is out of the crusading business. That night, Comos visits Mike, who reluctantly agrees to sell the store. Later, however, instead of meeting Mike with the money, Comos is found dead. Ann then calls Tim, who leaves his understanding wife and children and goes to the store, happy to have an exclusive for the paper. Knowing that the real story will be very important, Tim convinces Witherspoon to let him and Ann work on the story and to use his influence to have a special prosecutor hired to investigate the rackets. Later, at a night club, Tim and Ann run into Dick Barton, a society lawyer, who is goaded into accepting the job, despite the misgivings of his fiancée, Tess Graham, who senses an attraction between Dick and Ann. A short time later, Mike is given a generous offer for the store by a paint manufacturer who asks Mike to accompany a shipment of paint to Cuba for him. Before the ship embarks, Ann sees Acello coming out of the ship's hole and is worried, but Tim convinces her it is nothing. On the way back from Cuba, however, the ship catches fire and disaster reports are heard on the radio in New York. Tim is given the assignment to fly to the burning ship and, because all of the cameramen are out on assignment, Dick, who is an amateur photographer, agrees to go with him. At the disaster site, Dick jumps from the plane to help, discovers that Mike is trapped and risks his life to save him. Back in New York, Mike, who feels responsible for the loss of lives, determines to tell Dick everything he knows, but on the way to Dick's office, he is shot and killed. After Mike's death, Ann is upset when she learns that Dick's bodyguard had to detonate a bomb intended for Dick. Dick then gets a call saying that Tess has been kidnapped and will be killed if he does not give up the investigation within five days. Though at first ready to give up, Ann convinces him to use each of the five days to continue his work. Meanwhile, Tess is told by her captors that Dick and Ann are seeing each other. A few days later, Ann learns that Acello has taken a drug overdose and is in the hospital. When Acello comes out of his stupor, Dick and Ann take him to Dick's apartment and convince him that he is sitting next to a bomb and if he doesn't tell everything he knows, it will be detonated and the police will think that he was trying to kill Dick. Acello then tells them where Tess is. When she is freed, Tess finally tells Dick that Ann would be better for him and Dick and Ann look forward to a future together.