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Notorious racketeer Joe Albany kills James Flowers when he discovers he is embezzling from the club they own. Joe escapes through a window and hails a taxi, but when he gets nervous at the sound of sirens, he jumps out. Hardware salesman Peter Harris accidentally hits Joe with his car, and unharmed, Joe seizes this opportunity to hide in Peter's car. Peter is so drunk that Joe is able to con him into believing that he is Charles Edwards, a fellow hardware man who was with him at a convention, and in the guise of friendship, accompanies Peter to his suburban home. The next morning, Joe gets antsy and wants to leave, but Peter's family, his wife Mary, young son Robert and daughter Jane all entreat him to stay. Later his lawyer, Morton Rice, advises him that the Harris home is the safest hideout, so Joe reveals his true identity to Peter and Mary, and becomes their unwelcome guest. While Peter and Mary are nervous wrecks because of Joe's presence, Robert and Jane have become fond of "Charles." To Robert, Joe is a role model, especially after Joe buys him a toy G-man outfit. Robert swears Joe into his secret G-man club, but the oath that Joe takes makes him uncomfortable, as he has to swear never to raise his hand against the law. After encouraging a friendship with Jane, whose innocence and imagination are unlike any woman he has ever encountered, he rejects her confession of love, knowing that he is saving her from future unhappiness. Finally, a photograph that Robert unwittingly took of Joe leads the police to the Harris home. The police arrest Joe's thugs, who have taken up residence across the street, and then order Joe to come out, or they will come in shooting. At first, Joe takes the family and their friends hostage, but Robert's disappointment upon discovering Joe's identity causes Joe to have a change of heart and hand his gun to Peter and give himself up. Joe walks out of the house, but when he refuses to raise his arms for the police and reaches into his coatpocket, they gun him down. As he dies, Joe recalls some of Jane and Robert's words of innocent wisdom.