Cast & Crew
John Francis Dillon
In Washington D.C., a city of diplomacy and intrigue, a disaffected former government agent named Stephen Morrow runs an illicit gambling casino in his spacious home, much to the consternation of his valet, Hilton. One night, following a violent argument between Stephen and an unhappy patron, which results in a brief fistfight, Hilton suggests that Stephen close down the tables for good. Hilton later speaks to Bob Ashley, Stephen's best friend and former co-worker at the Justice Department, about getting his employer out the gambling racket, and tries to convince Bob to use his influence to change Stephen's mind. When Bob suggests that Stephen find a nice girl and get married, Stephen promptly rejects the idea and reminds Bob that he has been unable to love since his ill-fated romance with a woman in Budapest. At an Embassy ball, Stephen is stunned when he sees Helena, his sweetheart from Budapest, and learns that she is Bob's fiancée. Helena soon informs Bob that she cannot go through with the wedding now that she has found her estranged lover. Stephen considers leaving town to prevent any hostilities between him and Bob, but instead decides to go back to work for the Justice Department's Bureau of Investigation, where he is put under Bob's supervision. Bob soon assigns Stephen to the Al Bordoni counterfeiting case, a dangerous mission involving the capture of a killer who is known to "shoot at the slightest provocation." Stephen finds Bordoni aboard an ocean liner and succeeds in infiltrating his gang until Bordoni receives a tip that Stephen is a federal agent. Bordoni attempts to shoot Stephen, but Stephen fires first and arrests Bordoni. Meanwhile, Countess Anna Vonesse, Helena's sister, learns that her first husband, Ivan Boris, a notorious spy whom she thought was dead, is living in Washington. Knowing that Anna is fearful of having her marriage to Boris exposed, Count Vonesse blackmails her and forces her to steal an important treaty from the ambassador's safe. To protect her sister, Helena shoots and kills Boris, then hides the evidence. Bob and Stephen investigate the murder, and Bob, who noticed blood on Helena's shoes following the shooting, sends Stephen to question her. After Helena confesses to the crime, Stephen realizes that Bob will show her no mercy and decides to take the blame for the murder himself. While retrieving the murder weapon, Stephen is shot by the police and injured, and later confesses to Boris' murder. Upon hearing that Stephen's prognosis for recovery is not good and that he wants to die, Bob has a change of heart and gives Stephen the will to live by telling him that it will be easier to prosecute Helena if he dies. Bob then assures Helena that her fiancé now has a reason to live, and destroys the murder evidence.