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When Louie Ricarno, a handsome, dapper young Chicago gang leader, is called in for questioning by Captain Pat O'Grady, he denies having anything to do with a gangland murder but refuses to take Pat's advice to quit the rackets before he is killed. Louie soon becomes the underworld boss of an entire city, dividing the territory into zones confined to the rackets of separate mobs that pay him for protection. Sometime later, Louie falls in love with Doris, unaware that she and Louie's second-in-command, Steve Mileaway, are in love. When Doris agrees to marry Louie, he decides to quit the rackets and retire to Florida, where he plans to write his autobiography. On the way to their new home, Louie introduces Doris to his beloved younger brother Jackie, who is attending a military school under the assumed family name of Locarno. In Florida, while Louie happily learns to play golf and finishes his memoirs, Doris becomes bored and yearns for a return to the excitement of Chicago. Meanwhile, squabblings by various factions of Chicago's underworld turn into a gang war which Mileaway is helpless to stop. After Louie turns down Mileaway's urgent plea to return to Chicago to take matters in hand, gangsters Midget and Rocco arrange to have Jackie kidnapped to force Louie to return. When Jackie is approached by two henchmen, he senses that something is wrong and runs away, but is hit by an oncoming truck and dies. Shattered by the loss of his brother, Louie returns to Chicago to seek revenge against those responsible, while Doris secretly rekindles her affair with Mileaway. With the help of two of Jackie's friends, who identify the attempted kidnappers, O'Grady learns who planned the kidnapping and warns Louie not to get involved, but Louie has Midget and Rocco killed. After O'Grady arrests Louie, he brings Mileaway in for questioning. Telling Mileaway that he knows about his affair with Doris, O'Grady coerces Mileaway into confessing to killing Midget in self-defense in exchange for Louie's release and keeping the affair secret. Unknown to Mileaway, however, Louie has been charged with another murder. Louie escapes from the city jail and, with the help of his chauffeur Tommy, eludes both the police and rival gangsters. Sometime later, Louie has become restless and lonely in his shabby boardinghouse hideout and asks the local paperboy to buy a sandwich for him. After the boy delivers the sandwich, O'Grady comes to see Louie and warns him that he should give up or be killed by his rivals, who certainly will have deduced where he is hiding. After O'Grady leaves, a waiter delivers an unordered tray of food. Knowing that his rivals now are waiting outside, Louie glances at a picture of Napoleon Bonaparte, with whom he has always identified, puts on his hat and coat and walks outside with his head held high.