Professional safecracker Fancy Charlie breaks into the apartment of G.B. Lawson, a criminologist, and mistakenly believes that he has robbed a fellow safecracker. Out of "professional courtesy" he informs Lawson of what he has done. Instead of calling the police, Lawson--who believes in the philosophy of "honor among thieves"--makes a deal with Charlie: to show Charlie that it's actually more profitable to be a legitimate businessman then a crook, he'll give Charlie some money if Charlie will use it to establish a legitimate business in the small town of Plumfield, and at the end of a year they will divide up whatever profits Charlie is able to make honestly. Charlie agrees, but soon discovers that things aren't going to be quite as easy as he thought.