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After slipping a letter addressed to Edmund Dantes into a mailbox, a man is viciously struck over the head and then searched by his assailant. Meanwhile, at the San Francisco waterfront, Ed, a second mate whose boat has just docked, hurries to visit the Torecellis, the Italian family who reared him after the death of his mother. While walking along a deserted street, Ed hears a woman scream and comes to her defense, driving away her attackers. After hopping on a trolley car, the two proceed to a café, where the woman introduces herself as heiress Jean Turner and explains that her assailants were two guards from the asylum to which her guardian had committed her in order to insure that she would never collect her inheritance. Jean continues that she will inherit her late father's fortune after she marries or turns twenty-five, and that her guardian plans to eliminate her before she can do either. Ed offers to walk Jean back to her hotel, and when they approach the door to her room, the lights inside switch off, indicating an intruder inside. After fleeing to a nearby bus station, Jean begs Ed to marry her for a period of three months until she can collect her inheritance. Ed, who harbors romantic notions about love and marriage, is reluctant at first, but soon changes his mind, and the two then board a bus to Reno where they are promptly married. The next morning, Jean tearfully regrets her hasty marriage and Ed tries to comfort her. After the phone rings, Jean sends Ed to the lobby to buy her a package of cigarettes and gives him a gun to carry for protection. Upon returning to the room, Ed finds Jean missing and a message with the address of the sanitarium scrawled in lipstick across the mirror. Hurrying back to San Francisco, Ed immediately proceeds to the address, climbs up a column to the second story and slips in through a window. After Ed clumsily knocks over a lamp, a man enters the room and is shot by an unseen assassin. Hastily climbing back down to the street, Ed is accosted by two policemen and arrested. At the Homicide Bureau, Lt. Michael Perry is skeptical of Ed's story that he was trying to rescue his wife from a sanitarium, and points out to Ed that the building is actually a boardinghouse. Perry also informs Ed that the assassin's bullet was the same caliber as those in the gun he was carrying. When the police produce the real Jean Turner, Ed realizes that she is not the woman he married and that he has been framed. Soon after, the police locate the woman Ed did marry, a stenographer also named Jean Turner, who denies Ed's story of danger and kidnapping and claims that she foolishly married Ed in Reno because she was drunk. Jailed on a charge of murder, Ed is represented by attorney Earl Jackson. When Jean comes to visit Ed, Jackson cautions him that Jean is his adversary and advises him not to see her. Upon returning home, Jean is met by an enraged Jackson, who slaps her and orders her to stay away from Ed. Jackson's incompetent defense and refusal to put Jean on the witness stand results in Ed being found guilty and sentenced to die in the gas chamber. As he awaits transfer to San Quentin, Ed receives a letter from Henry Mason, written on the back of a warehouse receipt made out to Ed's late father. The contents, some worthless building materials, had been shipped thirty years before from Marseilles, France. In the letter, Mason writes that it is vitally important for Ed to get in contact with him. Knowing little about his family, Ed questions Papa Torecelli and his sons Tony and Carlo, who recall that after Ed's father was killed during World War I, his mother brought her son to the United States and died shortly thereafter of influenza. Ed then shows the Torecellis Mason's letter and asks them to investigate. Soon after, the Torecellis inform Ed that the warehouse is loaded with junk and that Mason was struck down and paralyzed on the day that the letter was postmarked. When Ed discovers that Mason's office is in the same building as Jackson's, he begins to suspect that Jackson was involved in framing him and outlines a plan for the Torecellis to free him when the sheriff's car transports him to San Quentin. As the car nears the Golden Gate Bridge, Tony and Carlo shoot out its tires, and when the guards stop, Ed escapes to meet the Torecellis' waiting car. Donning a business suit, Ed instructs Carlo and Tony to follow Jean while he hides out at the Fairmont Hotel under an alias. Later, Ed encounters Jean in the café they visited when they first met, and questions her. Declaring that she has fallen in love with him, Jean explains that Jackson, her employer, had been blackmailing her for a minor crime that she committed and forced her to join him in his scheme to defraud heirs of their inheritances. After discovering that Ed was the beneficiary of a large fortune, Jackson arranged for him to meet and marry Jean and then framed him for the murder of Benson, the man who originally possessed the warehouse receipt. Jean then hands Ed the key to Jackson's office and volunteers to go the police. Deciding to visit Mason at the hospital, Ed learns from the paralyzed man's eye signals that Jackson attacked him and that there is something of value in the warehouse. After Ed leaves the hospital, Jackson learns that he had been to visit Mason. True to her word, Jean tells her story to the police, prompting the district attorney to reopen the case. As Jean leaves the police station, Jackson's stooge Tyson forces her into Jackson's car. After Ed hears a report over the radio about Jean's disappearance and Mason's murder, he sneaks into Jackson's office and discovers a clipping in the lawyer's files describing the jewels of Monte Cristo and discovers that he is a descendant of that illustrious family. Ed hears Jackson at the office door, and takes cover. Sensing Ed's presence, Jackson sets a trap for him by mentioning to Tyson that Jean is being held hostage at the Apex warehouse. After following Ed to the warehouse, Jackson takes him prisoner just as the police, who have been trailing Jean, burst in. Ed escapes Jackson's clutches, and in the ensuing shootout with Lt. Perry, Jackson is killed. Exonerated, Ed examines his possessions in the warehouse and discovers a treasure in jewels concealed in the chandeliers. Papa Torecelli then invites everyone to a joyous celebration at his house.