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While at a college football game, unemployed private detective Henry "Hank" Hyer flirts with Greta Barry, wife of a mathematics professor and former showgirl. His reporter friend Sim Perkins, an alcoholic, warns him against associating with Greta because her husband Tom is involved in running a numbers racket with notorious racketeer Strike Belno. Hank persists in her acquaintance, however, and follows her to the Ringside Cafe, owned by her lover Strike. Strike leaves the cafe, and after Greta has an obligatory dance with Hank, she follows Strike. Hank and Sim follow them to the college, where after hearing a shot fired, they see Strike run away. Inside the college, Tom has been killed and the most obvious suspect is Strike. Hank interviews all the college professors, one of whom is involved with Nora, Tom's sister, and another, Paul Broderick, who is in love with Greta. Hank does not suspect Strike, and agrees to work for the gangster for $12,000. He makes a similar deal with the college, promising them that he will prove the killer is not from the college, thereby saving them from a scandal. Despite being followed by two unshakeable police detectives, Hank and Sim gather evidence. Finally, the murder weapon is found in the trash bin at the college, and Hank gathers all the suspects. He proves that Greta, who hated her husband, framed Strike by taking his gun from the club to the college, where Broderick, who wanted to take over the numbers racket, shot her husband. The police, who have been listening from the next room, arrest Greta and Broderick, and Strike for running a numbers racket, leaving Hank unpaid for all his work. His only consolation is that the beautiful Nora asks him to escort her home, choosing his company over Sim's.