Ray Gardner is deep in debt and can't find work due to his ruthless ex-boss. Desperate and angry, he kills his boss and steals some money. His loyal wife Mary stands by him and the two make plans to flee New York. They spend a day filled with paranoia before leaving on the train without being noticed.
Everyone's in a tizzy over the arsenic poisoner who's still at large; police think the murder might be a woman. In the Thomas household, doting old George acts surprised to find his weed poison (with arsenic) under the kitchen sink. His wife, a delicate woman with bad nerves, defends their cook, a woman they hired who came with no references. George becomes suspicious of their employee and has the hot cocoa she left for him analyzed. When the results come back positive, he races home to save his wife before it's too late.
Three merchant sailors and their enigmatic leader hide out at a British inn. They've been followed from India after stealing the priceless ruby eye from a holy statue. The grimy sailors ambush and kill the men who've come to retrieve the gem, unaware of how badly the statue wants its eye back. It arrives at the inn and, one by one, makes the thieves pay for their offense.
Ernest Bowers suffers an attack of catalepsy while crossing the street, lapsing into a coma that resembles death. Believing he was killed by a passing car, his body is sent to the city morgue. His coat, with a note in the pocket describing his medical condition, is swiped by a owner of a second-hand clothing store and quickly sold. The couple who purchase the jacket finds the note and begins a race to save Ernest from a premature embalming.
Following the sudden death of her husband, Josie marries Doc Archer, the man named beneficiary of her husband's life insurance policy. Investigator Westcott is suspicious after learning the doctor has a history of collecting such payouts. Westcott informs Josie that she is in danger of becoming her husband's next heavily insured "accident." She doesn't believe him--until she's almost killed when Doc "accidentally" knocks a sunlamp into the tub while she's bathing.
Elderly Agatha Leighton returns from a trip to find her apartment on the thirteenth floor has been robbed. As she attempts to call the police, someone grabs her. Sally, who lives down the hall, attempts to visit the old lady as she'd promised, but finds she's been locked in her apartment and the phone is dead. Through the door's peephole, she sees the building's desk clerk leaving Agatha's apartment. Sally realizes something bad has happened to the old lady.
In 1897 London, mysterious Mr. Bronson gives boarding to an attractive young woman from the streets. Hettie's purpose is to do housework and distract attention from his odd medical work. Bronson has two demands: she must not go out alone and must stay out of his laboratory. Restlessshe strikes up a romance with Tom, a handsome young mission worker. Suddenly, the cold Bronson turns jealous.
An elderly man who's barely getting by looks for employment to continue giving his daughter the institutional help she requires. He receives an offer from a "Mr. X" that turns things around for him. That is, until he finds out that he must kill "Mr. X"'s wife's first husband who is blackmailing them.