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Ann Jason runs away from home to New York City and is befriended by Dorothy Benson of the Traveler's Aid Society, which helps runaway girls find work and a place to live. Dorothy's fiancé, Jimmie Dugan, a reporter for The News , has been writing a series on the thousands of missing girls who flood the city each year, and the dangers they face. Dorothy's father, Senator Benson, is trying to pass a bill that would legalize gambling and make the profit it generates taxable. Racketeer Dan Collins is trying to stop Benson's efforts, while gangster Ben Davis, who earlier took a murder rap for Collins, is trying to frame Collins in another murder. Shorty Zippo, one of Jimmie's informants, warns the reporter that the district attorney is trying to stop The News from printing the "missing girls" series. Jimmie then is subpoenaed for the Grand Jury so that the district attorney can discover his sources. In court, Jimmie admits that he lived with "hoodlums" for two weeks and visited a penthouse where twenty-four girls were forced to "pay tribute" to a man described as "Husky Brown." When Jimmie cites the confidentiality of press sources and refuses to name his sources, he lands in jail. Davis, meanwhile, shoots Senator Benson in his home, believing Collins will be suspected because Benson's gambling legislation was threatening Collins' business. Dorothy and Ann, home at the time, chase the murderer in their car and disappear. Benson's bill passes, and Collins' alibi, a Mrs. Bliss, is found and he is released. While in prison, Jimmie befriends many of his cellmates, including Zig and Nick, two murderers who want to collect the reward money for Benson's murderer so they can secure a good lawyer. Zig tells Jimmie that Davis, who had asked Zig for help in killing Benson, is probably holding the girls hostage at fugitive Ma Bolton's farmhouse in Centerville. Jimmie, who is really a G-man, contacts his friend Ralph Gilmartin of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to help him find the girls. Davis plans to leave the girls stranded in Miami after he leaves the country, but Jimmie, disguised as a hobo, locates the hideout, and he and the federal agents draw Davis and Wilson out with teargas. Bolton is killed in the scuttle. Jimmie calls in the story of the missing girls and kisses Dorothy.