Nugget Saunders comes to the White Palace gambling parlor in search of his older brother, Clint, who works there. He meets Tacey Cromwell, Clint's girlfriend, and falls asleep in her room. Clint is late and the owner, Mac, threatens to fire him. When Clint finally arrives, he excitedly tells Tacey about a new opportunity. He is moving to Ransberg, Colorado, to take advantage of a recent silver strike. But his plans may have to be put on hold because of Nugget. The boy ran away from the abusive uncle who was caring for him. Clint cannot take care of him and considers finding a family to take him in.
Tacey urges him to keep Nugget and offers to go with them to Ransberg. She will look after Nugget until they are settled. Clint is wary of the idea but Tacey insists. She is tired of working at the gambling parlor and wants to lead a respectable life. Clint finally agrees but warns Tacey that he can't make her any promises about the future.
They travel to Ransberg, where Clint makes the acquaintance of Judith Watrous, daughter of the state senator. The instant attraction between them doesn't go unnoticed by Tacey. After a few days at the hotel, Tacey finds a house to rent. Clint would have preferred an apartment. He is startled when Tacey informs him that Nugget will live with her but he must stay on at the hotel. She is determined to start her new life as a respectable woman.
Clint soon realizes he made a mistake by hoping to profit from the silver strike. A hundred other men had the same idea. He gets a job at the local bank. Meanwhile, Tacey has made the acquaintance of an elderly widow, Mrs. O'Dell, who lives next door. Nugget meets another neighbor, teenage Seeley Dowder, who is wild and uncontrollable. Her father works at the mine. She breaks Mrs. O'Dell's window but tries to pin the blame on Nugget. Tacey gently confronts her since she saw who broke the window. But Seeley runs off.
Clint keeps running into Judith, which upsets Tacey. He swears there is nothing between them. But Judith is determined to have him.
Seeley's father is killed in a mine explosion and Tacey takes her in, providing the love and care lacking in the girl's life. Clint attends church with Tacey, Nugget, and Seeley; after which they are going on a picnic. But Judith waylays him and he is hours late. He tells Tacey that it was a matter of business. Senator Watrous was entertaining several important men and Judith wanted Clint to meet them. Like Tacey, Clint wants to become respectable. Tacey knows he is pulling away from her and it breaks her heart because she loves him so much.
Judith hires a private detective to investigate Tacey's background. After reading his report, Judith gets her father to invite Clint on a trip to St. Louis. While they are gone, she makes an anonymous report to the court regarding Tacey's fitness to take care of the children. When Clint returns, the children are at the Watrous house and Tacey is gone. He tries to find her, but although she has returned to the White Palace, she makes Mac promise not to tell Clint she is there. Senator Watrous gets the bill from the detective agency and realizes what Judith has done. He tells her that he hopes she never has to pay for her part in running Tacey out of town.
After six months, Tacey receives a letter from Seeley. She saw Tacey's address on a letter at Mrs. O'Dell's house. They hate living with Judith and miss Tacey very much. Seeley wants to visit her, but Tacey writes back firmly forbidding her to come. Some time later, Tacey sees Clint and Judith's marriage announcement in the newspaper.
Senator Watrous dies but not before asking to see Clint alone. He tells Clint not to blame Judith too much because he has made her what she is. Over time, the marriage proves to be unhappy. Even though Clint finally has the life he dreamed of, he still loves Tacey. He has no idea that Judith is the one who ran her out of town.
Seeley, now a young lady, shows up at the White Palace. She has run away from home and is on her way to Omaha to meet a man. He cannot marry her because he has wife problems. Tacey sharply tells Seeley that her own life went wrong many years ago when she met a man who also had a wife. Ultimately Seeley decides to return to Ransberg. Tacey insists on going with her. After dropping Seeley off at the Watrous house, Tacey goes on to Mrs. O'Dell's for the night. But she was seen and Judith comes to confront her. She warns Tacey that she ran her off once and can do it again. Tacey realizes it was Judith who had her investigated. Very angry, Tacey decides to stay in Ransberg and open a gambling parlor called the Pink Palace. Mrs. O'Dell warns her that revenge is not the answer.
The Pink Palace is located across the street from Clint and Judith. It is set to open on New Year's Day. The Saunders are giving a big party on New Year's Eve. It is a cold and windy night. Judith catches Cliint looking out the window at the Pink Palace, where Tacey and Mrs. O'Dell are having champagne. She furiously reminds him to attend to their guests. But when she is dancing, Clint takes a bottle of champagne and goes to see Tacey. They embrace and he realizes it is her he has loved all along. One of the servants comes to remind Clint that the guests are leaving and his wife wants him home.
In their bedroom, Clint and Judith exchange bitter words. He says their marriage was a mistake. But Judith who has had too much champagne, warns him that she will never divorce him. She screams and throws things at him. He leaves the house to go sleep at his club. One of the objects Judith has thrown knocks over a kerosene lamp and a fire starts. Judith, who has flung herself on the bed, doesn't notice at first. But the flames are visible from the street. Clint sees them and runs back. He gets the servants and children outside and runs back for Judith. But the fire is out of control and he cannot reach the bedroom. A fireman puts a ladder up to Judith's window and climbs up but it is too late.
Tacey is among the crowd on the street. She is so thankful that Clint is alive that she doesn't realize the wind has blown sparks to the roof of the PInk Palace. The firemen are unable to save it.
At dawn, Clint goes to Mrs. O'Dell's house where Tacey and the children are waiting. The movie ends with them standing on the porch embracing.