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The inmates at Huntleigh Prison enjoy a pleasant life: milk and newspapers are delivered each morning at 7, the cells resemble luxurious bed-sitting rooms, and classes are held on subjects ranging from basketweaving to safecracking. Cellmates Dodger Lane, Jelly Knight, and Lennie Price are visited by Soapy Stevens, an old cronie who, posing as a clergyman, has a plan for stealing a large number of jewels from a visiting maharajah scheduled to match his weight in diamonds on his natal day. The men agree that it should be relatively easy for them to break out, pull off the job, and sneak back into prison with the gems. Just as their plans are being made final, however, the easygoing warder is replaced by the vicious, ever-suspicious Sidney Court. In spite of the setback, Soapy sneaks them out in a paddy wagon, and aided by Dodger's girl friend Ethel and Lennie's mother, they successfully execute the robbery. The diamonds are brought into prison in a dust cart and are hidden in the governor's safe. The next day the men are officially released, and they brazenly walk out with the diamonds, but Dodger's fumbling causes them to lose the jewels on a train, and Soapy is recognized by Crout and arrested. Though disheartened, they are not defeated, and with hope gleaming in their eyes, they attend the maharajah's "weighing" ceremony.