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Columnist Ed Sullivan relates the sad story of the Daley family and how Phil Daley disgraced his proud but poor Irish parents and girlfriend Susan Warren when he decided to escape the squalor of the tenements through a life of crime. With his sidekick Sid Travis, Phil battles his way to the top of the crime world, becoming a leader of one of the racketeering gangs. Determined to insure that his younger brother Danny will lead an unblemished life, Phil offers to pay his college tuition, but Danny is so blinded by the glamour of his brother's life of crime that he quits school to join the racketeers. Becoming overly ambitious, Danny bullies young prize fighter Chuck Hardy into throwing a bout in which he is the odds on favorite. Danny's actions spark a gang war when Phil's rival, Mike Luger, who has bet heavily on Hardy, learns that the fight has been fixed and orders his gunmen to kill Phil. In the ensuing gunfight, Danny is killed and a shaken Phil turns to his parents and Susan for help. When Luger and his men follow him, Phil flees the city, leaving Sid in charge of the gang. Deciding to double cross Phil, Sid lures him into a trap where Luger and his gang await. Enraged, Phil blasts his way out, killing Luger in the process. Sentenced to die in the electric chair for Luger's murder, Phil confides to Sullivan that he has realized, too late, that crime does not pay.