Based on James P. Judge's play, two ex-convicts are suspected of a robbery, but little Shirley comes up with the missing necklace.
On a train to Sing Sing Welch (Alan Dinehart) warns Kay (Claire Trevor) not to marry Eddie. Coming out of prison, Eddie Ellison (James Dunn) gets angry at Welch for sending him up; but in order to protect him Larry Scott (Ray Walker) slugs Welch as he begins his sentence. Kay takes Eddie to Niagara Falls, and they plan their home.
Six years later chauffeur Eddie thanks Mr. Carson for a factory job and gets Larry the chauffeur position. Welch wants to harass Eddie and Larry, but the police discourage him. Shirley Ellison (Shirley Temple) has fun playing with her father and mother. Larry is engaged to Jane. Trigger Stone (Ralf Harolde) asks Eddie and Larry to sell goods he stole, but they refuse. Welch investigates the Carson robbery for the insurance company and gets Carson to fire Eddie and Larry, because they never told him they had been in prison. At her birthday party Shirley sings "On Account of I Love You" and dances with her father. Then Eddie and Larry tell Kay and Jane they lost their jobs.
Stone gives the pearl necklace to Shirley to play with at home. She puts it in her father's pocket. Welch comes in for a leisurely search. Eddie finds the necklace, puts it in the coffee pot and the carpet sweeper, which a neighbor borrows and empties into the trash. Welch tells Kay the Carsons won't prosecute if they get the necklace back. Stone comes in Eddie's window with a gun for the pearls. Eddie fights him and ties him up, going out for help. Shirley finds the "beads" in the trash; but Stone gets her to cut him loose and takes the pearls from her. As Eddie returns with Larry, Stone takes Shirley on the fire escape to the roof. Stone shoots Eddie in the arm, but later Eddie knocks out Stone from behind as the police arrive. Welch wants to arrest them, but policeman Flannigan says Welch won't bother them anymore. Shirley is to get the $5,000 reward.
Shirley Temple's first starring role won the hearts of many with her bright personality and talent. The story explores the difficulty those with prison records can have getting employment and how easily they may be suspected of other crimes. Eddie and Larry stay straight, and the overly zealous Welch is foiled.