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New York newspaper reporter Johnny Forbes witnesses the murder of a jockey at a racetrack. Though he tells the police and his managing editor, Brandon, that he did not recognize the killer, he actually knows that it was Chet Mathews, a gangster once associated with late mobster boss Jim Hadley. Later, Johnny tells Brandon the truth, and the editor assigns him to the story. First, Johnny visits Hadley's ex-girl friend, showgirl La Verne. She sends him up to Albany, but while following Mathews' path, Johnny and henpecked taxi driver Milton Davis soon find themselves in Brooklyn, Mississippi. There, Johnny checks into a hotel and meets plantation owner Francis Carvel. Although the reporter, who has a photographic memory for faces, is sure he knows Carvel from another place, he cannot remember where. Johnny then continues his search for Mathews, and winds up on a gambling barge. Carvel, who is actually the head of an undercover gambling ring, also goes to the barge and warns the hiding Mathews that Johnny is on his tail. Meanwhile, Johnny meets and immediately falls in love with singer Beth Cornell. She tries to warn him to stay away from the deadly Mathews, but the reporter refuses to listen. Later, while pretending to be a taxi driver, Johnny is nearly killed by Mathews as he waits on a darkened pier. Because of his failure to kill the reporter, Mathews is himself murdered on orders from Carvel, who is afraid that the hood has endangered his entire operation. After Mathews' death, Johnny comes to realize that Carvel is actually Jim Hadley, and that the gangster faked his own death, then had plastic surgery on his face to make him almost unrecognizable. Johnny has La Verne come down to Mississippi to identify her old boyfriend, but she is unable to recognize him. The reporter then has his editor bring Hadley's old dog to Brooklyn, and the animal immediately recognizes its former master. After Carvel is captured, a series of murders are revealed and solved. With his assignment finished, Johnny and Beth are united, and the two head back to New York in Milton's taxi.