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Penny Hale is delighted when her father Jeff summons her home from the private school she attends, although his reasons are not explained. After arriving at their home, the exclusive Riverview Hotel, Penny rushes to their penthouse, but there she encounters Milton Ramsby. Milton informs her that the penthouse is now occupied by himself, his sister Lola, his mother Julia, and his uncle, Samuel G. Henshaw. While Penny and Milton quarrel, Julia and Mr. Waters, the building manager, enter, and Waters sends Penny to the basement, where she and her father now live. Jeff, who has become the hotel electrician, explains to her that he cannot find work as an architect since the bank foreclosed on his building, the East Gate Project. As the days pass, Penny happily looks after her father and plays with the hotel employees, but one afternoon, Waters becomes vexed when she distracts them from their work. When Jeff returns home, Waters warns him that he and Penny will be evicted if she misbehaves again. Jeff chastises Penny, but just then, he is summoned to the penthouse by Lola, who is his sweetheart, so that he can plead with Henshaw, the banker in charge of East Gate. Henshaw crushes Jeff's hopes, however, after which Jeff and Lola argue and terminate their relationship. The next day, Penny rescues Milton from some tough neighborhood kids, and as thanks, he takes her to the hotel playroom. Unfortunately, the other children and Waters do not take kindly to her presence, and the humiliated Penny leaves. Later, Jeff cheers her up by telling her that their situation will improve when "Uncle Sam" recovers from the Depression and can help business again. Because Henshaw resembles the "Uncle Sam" cartoon that Jeff shows her, Penny confuses the two, and she helps Henshaw that afternoon when he is beseiged by reporters. The old man is confused but pleased by her actions, and admits that he wishes Milton was more like her. Soon after, Penny trims Milton's curls and arranges for him to trade clothes with Mugsy, a neighborhood boy with whom Milton fights, and Henshaw is delighted by the change in his nephew. Later that evening, Milton and Penny reunite Lola and Jeff, but the lovers are interrupted by Julia and Henshaw, who forbids Lola to see Jeff. She asks Henshaw to help Jeff, but Henshaw instead arranges for him to get a job in Borneo, which necessitates his leaving Penny and Lola behind. Two days before Jeff is to leave, Penny organizes a benefit show for "Uncle Sam" Henshaw so that he will be able to help business. Some reporters find out and soon Henshaw, who is in financial trouble, reads a ridiculing article about the benefit. Outraged, he sends two henchmen to get whoever is responsible. They grab Penny within sight of Jeff, who follows as they take her to Henshaw's office, where she explains her peculiar logic. Jeff and Henshaw, touched by her gesture, return her to the benefit, where she and the gang are a success. While they perform, Waters, who had been dumped in a laundry shoot, escapes and summons the riot squad, who are thrown out by Henshaw. They arrest Waters on their way out, and Henshaw tells reporters that he is resuming work on East Gate. Jeff is put in charge of the project and celebrates with a kiss from Lola.