A woman's desire to rise above her drab lower middle-class life take her down the road to destruction in this gripping crime melodrama. The story opens as she cowers insider her old home, fearing the inevitable arrival of the murderous gangsters pursuing her. Her tragic tale unfolds via flashback. It all began when she became frustrated by her humble life in a squalid factory town. She was married to a laborer and lived with her parents. Soon after her child accidentally dies, the distraught woman abandons her old life to take a job where she meets an exceptional, but dull as dishwater accountant. He is a bit spineless and so allows the woman to convince him to get involved with a powerful gangster. Though she had promised to marry the accountant, she reneges and becomes the illicit moll of the married gangster. Wanting her to be a bit more elegant so he can pass her off as a Texas heiress to his west-coast rival, the gangster hires an impoverished socialite to teach her social graces. Soon she appears as an elegant, cultured woman. Still, despite her sophisticated exterior, she is conniving and ruthless inside and tries to double-cross both her new lover and his rival. Eventually the two crime lords meet in a bloody confrontation that leaves one mobster dead. Her lover is about to shoot her but the accountant (who still loves her) intervenes and she escapes back to her home town. She waits there through the night and the next morning goes outside and finds her gangster lover waiting to get his revenge.