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Immediately after the closing number of Chad Denby's shipboard "Transatlantic Merry-Go-Round" revue, a man is shot and killed on board the S. S. Progress . Key events of the previous forty-eight hours are then revealed: At the dock in New York City, confidence man Jimmy Brett and his cohort Shorty, who is posing as a steward, confer about their next scheme, while the vacationing Inspector McKinney eyes fellow passenger Joe Saunders, a recently released convict. Anya Rosson says goodbye to her husband Herbert, unaware that he has plans to sneak aboard after her, and is spied by crook Lee Lother, her lover. After posing for publicity shots, Sally Marsh, the star of Chad's show, accidentally kisses Jimmy, who falls instantly in love with her. Once at sea, Jimmy pursues Sally, while Anya pursues Lee, who has been jilted recently by Sally. Lee and his partner, Jack Summers, suspect that Jimmy is a rich dupe and invite him to play poker. After losing $1,600 to Jimmy, Lee, who is blackmailing Sally's brother Ned over his gambling debts, tricks Sally into coming to his cabin and professes his love for her. Sally firmly rejects Lee but is disturbed by his presence and confesses her fears to Chad. Shortly before a performance of Chad's revue, which features a mock radio parody of the movie Grand Hotel , Shorty and Jimmy steal a diamond bracelet belonging to Anya. Later that night, Jimmy proposes to Sally, who tries to discourage him by hinting at her sordid past with Lee. As Shorty moves the stolen bracelet from spot to spot on the boat, Jimmy is threatened by Lee and Jack and is questioned by a suspicious McKinney. Desperate to protect her brother, Sally begs Lee to clear Ned's debts and reluctantly agrees to meet Lee for a post-show dinner. Back in the present, Sally runs from Lee's cabin, where her nemesis has been shot. Both Ned and Sally "confess" to the crime in front of McKinney, who actually suspects Saunders. When Anya boldly declares her love for the dead man, however, her husband shoots her through a window and implicates himself in Lee's death. McKinney, having solved the murder, then steals Anya's bracelet from Jimmy's pocket and, confident that Jimmy's love for Sally has reformed him, announces that he will recommend probation for the thief.