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Richard Emerson and Mary Ashby undertake a marriage of convenience: she marries him for his wealth, and he marries her both for her social standing and to quash rumors of an affair with his brilliant secretary, Eleanor Lathrop. After the ceremony, the couple separates. Mary returns to their elegant country home, while Emerson, accompanied by Eleanor, travels West to work in his railroad construction camp. Time passes and Mary, despite her luxuries, discovers that only her husband can make her happy, while Emerson realizes that his opportunism has only brought him loneliness. Successful beyond his wildest expectations, Emerson returns to New York with Eleanor on the eve of his third anniversary. Visiting Mary, he discovers an anniversary dinner awaiting him, and a reconciliation seems possible. However, later that evening, Eleanor arrives and confesses her love for Emerson. The two women duel for his possession, with Mary emerging victorious.