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Realtor George F. Babbitt lives with his wife Myra and his two children, Verona and Ted, in the fast growing Midwestern town of Zenith. Popular and successful, Babbitt has just been elected the new Grand Ringmaster of his lodge, the Zebras. All is not as pleasant as it appears on the surface, however. Babbitt is troubled by his unhappy friend, Paul Reisling, whose nagging wife Zilla makes his life miserable. He is also involved in a land deal that Myra and Ted have warned him doesn't seem honest. When Paul, finally driven too far by Zilla's nagging, shoots her, Babbitt is the only one to stand by him. Myra takes Zilla's side, and when Zilla leaves the hospital to convalesce, Myra goes with her. Left on his own, Babbitt starts spending time with Tanis Judique, a young widow who rented an apartment from his company. Tanis wheedles the details of Babbitt's crooked land deal from him and uses the information to try to blackmail Commissioner Gurnee and banker Luke Ethorne. When she is unsuccessful, she then asks Babbitt to pay her to keep quiet. All of Babbitt's money is in his wife's name, however, and when he doesn't pay, Tanis tells her story to the newspapers. Scandalized, the Zebras ask Babbitt to resign. Finally, he confesses his problems to Myra, without mentioning Tanis' name, and she figures out a way to make him look like a hero instead of a villain. His troubles over, Babbitt allows Ted to study electrical engineering rather than business, and the Zebras ask Babbitt to come back as their Grand Ringmaster.