The film begins on Mother’s Day, 1938 when 14-year-old Ziggy Brennan (Mona Freeman buys a gardenia for her mother. Ziggy’s youthful exuberance disappears when she enters their apartment and finds her mother, Natalie (June Duprez), drinking with a strange man. Natalie introduces Ziggy as her “sister” and quietly cautions Ziggy against calling her “mother.” Later, dispensing some motherly-advice, Natalie tells Ziggy that if she learns all the tricks, she’ll never have to work for a living. Ziggy goes right out and applies parts of this advice by stealing a valuable lapel pin from a fellow high-school student, and is promptly expelled from school. About five years later, Ziggy has made progress and meets Denny Reagan (James Dunn), who persuades her to go into his racket. Ziggy’s role is to telephone people who are planning to move and make arrangements to provide a truck to move the furniture. The departing truck is the last that the owners see of their furniture as it is taken.