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Private detective Duke Martindel tells his wife Phyllis, an attorney, that petty criminal Joe Link has just solicited his help for Leila Bostwick, a young woman who has been framed for murder. Meanwhile, Leila is visited in prison by reporter Helen White, and forces her to hand over her press pass, hat and coat, then breaks out. Back at the Martindels' apartment, Phyllis recalls that Leila was convicted of murdering Judge Harding, but Duke says that Joe had a cellmate named Dickey Muller, who witnessed the crime while burglarizing the judge's home and can identify the real killer. Later that night, Joe comes to the Martindels' and after revealing his fears that someone overheard his conversation with Muller in jail, collapses and dies of a gunshot wound. The couple then receives a visit from Sgt. Brent, Duke's nemesis from his days on the police force, who suspects Duke of shooting Joe. The Martindels are brought to police headquarters for questioning, arriving just as Muller, who was found hanging in his cell, is pronounced dead by prison physician Dr. Grayson. While Duke is being questioned, Phyllis snoops around in the captain's files, and copies the address of a woman named Hester Engel. She then goes to the Hotel Cortez and calls on the proprietor, Guy Kisling, who tells her that Leila, who had been his partner, sued him over a failed business deal, and that Harding found in her favor. Meanwhile, at police headquarters, Duke reads an affidavit giving Leila's account of the night of the murder: Leila goes to the judge's home, but his secretary, Hester Engel, refuses to let her see him. As Muller watches from behind the curtains, Leila defiantly starts up the stairs, but trips and is knocked out in a fall. Duke says that according to Hester's affidavit, she called the judge, then went to fetch a doctor. Meanwhile, Phyllis takes a cab to Hester's apartment, but an unseen man announces that Hester is too sick to see anyone. Suspicious, Phyllis hides in her cab and watches as two men leave, and Duke approaches the building. Duke goes to Hester's apartment, ducking out of sight as the door opens and Leila emerges. Phyllis watches Leila come outside, and when Duke gets behind the wheel of another cab, she orders the driver to follow him. Duke offers Leila a ride, but the police pull them over, and Leila slips away while they are arresting Duke for stealing the cab. After Phyllis convinces Brent not to press charges, Duke goes to Guy's suite at the Cortez, and when he demands to see Leila, Dr. Grayson steps into the room holding a gun. Meanwhile, Phyllis goes to Hester's apartment and finds her badly injured. After calling for help, she goes to Guy's suite and declares that she now knows what happened the night of the murder: When Guy learns from Hester that he is about to lose his case, he goes to Harding's home, where he finds the judge with the unconscious Leila. When Harding refuses to discuss his case, Guy takes the gun from Leila's purse and shoots him. Phyllis then accuses Guy of having Joe and Muller killed, with Grayson's help, and says that Hester has died. Guy and Grayson prepare to kill the Martindels, but Duke and Phyllis fight them off until Brent and his men arrive. Leila, who was tied up in the next room, is cleared of the murder charge, and the Martindels embrace.