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Reporter James Larrabie's hard-hitting exposé of corrupt politician Moett earns him a job offer from the Chicago Sun and the enmity of Moett and his partner George Winston, the stepfather of Jim's fiancée Barbara. Fearing the breakup of their power if Jim writes more articles, Moett and Winston arrange for his arrest. Barbara hires Mr. Dudley to defend Jim and his friend, Bob Gordon, who was arrested with him. She doesn't know that Dudley is conspiring with Winston and Moett to send Jim and Bob to prison. Sentenced to five years in a prison camp, the two men are beaten and tortured and eventually Bob collapses under the strain. After Bob is killed during a desperate escape, Jim writes an article exposing prison conditions and tries unsuccessfully to smuggle it out through Barbara. He is sent to the prison mines as punishment for his attempt. When she is forbidden to visit the prison again, Barbara flies to Chicago and asks Shields, Jim's managing editor, for help in freeing him. Shields takes her to the attorney general and together they demand Jim's release. When the warden tries to have Jim killed rather than release him, the men riot. Jim escapes through another mine and the warden is forced to turn over the prison records. Jim is pardoned as a result, and Moett is destroyed.