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Banker Ernest Headley, who lives in the small town of Archdale, California, is married to Louisa, a social climber who yearns to advance their position in town. Trying to impress her new neighbor, Mrs. Clara Brown, whom Ernest has recently said opened a large account at his bank, Louisa boasts that Ernest is a good friend of Van Wyck Schuyler, the famous New York financeer called "The Big Bad Wolf of Wall Street," who is planning to visit Archdale. Though Ernest and Schuyler graduated from the same class at Yale, they barely know each other. Unfortunately, because Louisa's vivid imagination has embellished the relationship over the years so that even she thinks that Ernest and Schuyler are close friends, she doesn't hesitate to tell Mrs. Brown that they will be hosting a party for Schuyler. Meanwhile, Louisa and Ernest's older daughter Pamela, who is a society writer for the town newspaper, wants to help her boyfriend, Bide Murphy, get an exclusive interview with Schuyler, so she invites him to the party. The planned evening is a shock to Ernest, who doesn't want to upset his wife, but tells Pamela the truth. Hoping to help her father out and not hurt her mother's feelings, Pamela decides on a plan with Bide whereby another recent visiter to town, an actor named "Smooth" Adair, will pose as Schuyler at the party. At the party, disaster almost strikes when Mrs. Brown tells Ernest that Smooth is not Schuyler, and Ernest realizes that Smooth is actually the thief who had robbed the bank earlier that day. Everything is soon settled happily, however, when Alicia, the Headley's youngest daughter, finds Smooth's bag of loot and gives it to her father, and Mrs. Brown is revealed to be Schuyler's estranged wife, and the reason why the financeer came to town. With disaster now averted, Enrest tells his wife to stop pretending and be satisfied with their life the way it is.