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Soldier Dick Lawrence returns home to Hortonville and is welcomed at the station by his mother and stepfather, John and Thelma Van Brunt, and his girl friend, Janie Conway. A short time later, Dick and Janie become engaged. The day of the wedding, Van Brunt has a candid talk with Dick, during which he compares marriage to being in a boxcar with a wild horse. This so disturbs Dick that he insists on meeting immediately with Janie, who hands him a marriage contract, which is to be renewed monthly. Despite their ensuing quarrel, Dick and Janie are married. Unknown to Dick, Janie has persuaded her father to create a job for him on his newspaper, and the Van Brunts are paying half the rent on their house. As the first marriage contract option date approaches, Janie's younger, tomboy sister Elsbeth stops by the house on her way to school and threatens to tell Dick about Janie's machinations unless Janie gives her money to buy some new sports equipment. Later that day, Spud, a WAC who knew Dick during the war, surprises him at the office, and they go out for a drink at the Coral Room. Meanwhile, at home, Janie has problems with her maid, Mrs. Angles. When Scooper, her high school boyfriend, stops by with a story idea for Dick, Janie suggests they meet Dick and his "buddy." She is surprised to discover that Spud is an attractive woman and becomes jealous when Spud and Dick reminisce. Before Janie can object, Dick invites Spud to stay with them while she is in town. The next morning, Janie is disturbed by the way Spud makes herself at home. She then must decide how to handle the fact that both her mother and Thelma have bought drapes for the house. When the Van Brunts stop by, Janie asks Van Brunt, who is her uncle as well as Dick's stepfather, what to do about Spud. Van Brunt advises her to show interest in another man and make Dick jealous. When Scooper telephones for Spud, in whom he is interested, Janie suggests that they both go by the paper, but there, she learns that Dick is out with Spud. She then tries to convince Scooper to take her dancing, but after giving her a big kiss for old times' sake, he refuses. The kiss is seen by Mr. Stowers, a prospective buyer of the newspaper and a firm believer in small town values, who immediately assumes that Scooper is Janie's husband. When Lucile suggests that Janie give a dinner party for Stowers, she is faced with two problems: She must somehow explain to Stowers why she was kissing a man to whom she is not married and must explain to her parents and in-laws why she has two sets of drapes. That night, Dick and Spud return very late, and Janie and Dick quarrel bitterly. Later, Spud explains to Janie that there is nothing romantic between them, and that they were working on a story idea. The next day, Dick learns that Janie has been meddling on his behalf and, determined to succeed on his own, quits his job. Then Janie's friend Bernadine asks Janie to put up her G.I. boyfriend Dead Pan for the night. Even though it is almost time for the dinner party to start, Dick has not arrived, but Stowers, on the other hand, is early. Then a drunken Dick arrives with Spud and four former Army buddies. Finally, after much confusion, a huge family fight breaks out. Dead Pan, the Army buddies and Stowers leave the house in disgust. Believing that she has botched the sale of the paper and threatened her marriage, Janie apologizes to Dick. Elsbeth returns with Stowers, however, and he agrees to buy the paper after all. He then reveals that he found Dick's story notes and offers him a job as the head of a department. When the rest of the family sits down to dinner, Elsbeth reveals to Dick and Janie that she told Stowers that they were expecting a baby and suggests that they do not make a liar out of her.