Adapted from a novel by Kathleen Norris, a chauffeur marries and struggles in poverty but is helped by his wife's cousin, causing him to leave his family.
Katherine (Kay Johnson) tells her cousin Dulce Morado (Kay Francis) she is in love. Katherine's father fires his chauffeur Dan Wallace (Charles Bickford) for going out with Katherine. She decides to leave with Dan, and at the home of Dulce and Tony Morado (Lewis Stone) they are married. Dulce and Tony offer them a farm, but Dan declines. Katherine and Dan rent a flat from Mrs. Harney (Zasu Pitts) for $20. Katherine cooks for Dan, who gets a job as a stevedore.
Five years later Katherine has two children, and Dulce visits. Dan is assistant foreman but loses his job. Dulce invites Dan to her farm; but he asks her to stay away, and she leaves. Dan tells Katherine he needs a job, and he decides to move to the farm. Dulce gives Tommy Wallace (Dickie Moore) a dog. Dulce gets permission from Tony to ask Dan to survey a road. Dan complains to Mrs. Harney about the hanging laundry. Dulce talks with Dan and invites him to dine. Tony tells Dulce to give up Dan because of Katherine. Dulce refuses and tells Dan that she loves him. Katherine asks Dan why he goes out every night. Katherine gets a call her father is ill and goes to use Dulce's car. Dan tells Dulce he won't break up his home and leave Katherine. Dulce says she understands, and Dan kisses her. Katherine arrives, and Dan offers to drive her. Katherine tells Dulce that she saw them. Dulce says she couldn't help it. In the car Katherine asks Dan why he lied. Dan says he won't leave her; but she says he already did.
Katherine puts Tommy to bed and writes to Dan, enclosing a photo of their children. At a party in London Dan wants guests to leave and gets the letter asking him to come back. Dan tells Dulce they are going home. Dulce learns that Tony died and tells Dan they can marry. At his office Dulce tells Dan that she saw Katherine, who will divorce him if he asks her. Dan goes and embraces his children. Katherine still loves him but agrees to the divorce. Dulce comes in and says Katherine lied to her. Katherine says that Dan loves her but feels he owes Dulce. Dan wonders why he left his children. Dulce tells Dan it is over and leaves him. Dan tells Tommy that he is not going away again.
This dramatic triangle is complicated by the economic disparity between Dulce and her cousin Katherine. Dan wants to be independent, but circumstances lead to his accepting much from Dulce. Yet after a fling he comes to realize that his loyal wife and children are for him. The story implies that the working poor find more fulfillment than the idle rich.