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Realizing that he is about to lose his case against Lee Leander, a beautiful shoplifter, assistant district attorney John Sargent foils long-winded defense attorney Francis X. O'Leary's argument to have the case decided quickly so that everyone can go Christmas shopping. Knowing that convictions, especially against a woman, are almost impossible during the holidays, he moves to adjourn the case until after the beginning of the year. Soon after, his conscience begins to bother him at the thought of Lee spending Christmas in jail, and he posts her bail. Lee is broke and has nowhere to go, though, and when Jack discovers that she is from Indiana, where he is about to drive to visit his mother for the holidays, he offers to drop her off at home. Enroute, they get disoriented on a country road and get arrested as trespassers, but Lee saves them from jail by starting a fire in the local Justice of the Peace's waste basket. When they finally make it to Lee's mother's farm, the hateful woman turns her own daughter away, hurting Lee who never could live up to her mother's moralistic code. Feeling sorry for Lee, Jack brings her home to his mother and Aunt Emma. Jack secretly tells his mother about Lee and she sympathizes with the girl, whom she recognizes as a victim of a loveless childhood. Aunt Emma, who doesn't know about Lee's background, enocurages a romance between her and Jack, and they soon fall in love. On New Year's Eve, before they are to return to New York City, Jack's mother, fearful that a relationship with Lee would destroy her son's career, pleads with her to give him up and Lee agrees. On the drive home, Jack offers to leave Lee in Canada so that she can avoid prosecution, but, mindful of his mother's plea, Lee insists upon returning to New York. The trial resumes and the judge, who has seen Jack and Lee together on the evening they left for Indiana, suspects that Jack might try to throw the case. Hoping to win sympathy for Lee, Jack begins to brow beat her in front of the jury, but Lee, realizing his motives, pleads guilty and is remanded to jail. As she is lead away, Jack proposes to her and she promises that if he still feels that way after she has paid her debt to society, she will marry him.