Duke Fergus falls for Ann \'Flaxen\' Tarry in the Barbary Coast in turn-of-the-century San Francisco. He loses money to crooked gambler Boss Tito Morell, goes home, learns to gamble, and returns. After he makes a fortune, he opens his own place with Flaxen as the entertainer; but the 1906 quake destroys his place.
Gerry and Tom Jeffers are finding married life hard. Tom is an inventor/ architect and there is little money for them to live on. They are about to be thrown out of their apartment when Gerry meets rich businessman being shown around as a prospective tenant. He gives Gerry $700 to start life afresh but Tom refuses to believe her story and they quarrel. Gerry decides the marriage is over and heads to Palm Beach for a quick divorce but Tom has plans to stop her.
Successful movie director John L. Sullivan, convinced he won\'t be able to film his ambitious masterpiece until he has suffered, dons a hobo disguise and sets off on a journey, aiming to \"know trouble\" first-hand. When all he finds is a train ride back to Hollywood and a beautiful blonde companion, he redoubles his efforts, managing to land himself in more trouble than he bargained for when he loses his memory and ends up a prisoner on a chain gang.