David Aldrich aspires to be an author. The publishers reject most of his manuscripts because they seem to lack realism. David struggles on, however, determined to succeed and kept happy by his love for Helen Chambers and for his bosom friend Morton, who is a young minister working among the people on the East Side. Unknown to David and the world at large, the Rev. Phillip Morton, idol of the East Side, is systematically being blackmailed by Lillian Drew, a woman with whom the young minister had had an affair when a college student and who is now a woman of the town. In desperation, Morton appropriates funds from a charity organization of which he is the head, and dies of heart failure when he realizes that the stock certificates, with which he hoped to make up the deficit, are worthless. David, heartbroken by the loss of his friend, discovers to his horror the secret that brought on Morton's sudden death. The Committee of the Charity Society discovers the shortage and suspicion falls ...
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