Racketeer Gat Dalton owns Harlem’s Cellar Cabaret, and his chief lieutenant, Nick Crowder, is feared by all. With the help of his henchmen, Gloomy and Gopher, Gat runs the “Harlem Benevolent Protective Insurance League,” which provides protection to merchants who pay him tribute money. Soon after storekeeper Sam Bowers tells Gloomy and Gopher that he refuses to pay tribute, his store is bombed and he is killed. Detective Captain Owens investigates the murder and rounds up a group of suspects, including Gat, but because the witnesses are afraid to testify against Gat, he is released. Later, when Gat proposes marriage to Laura, a former nurse and a singer at the Cellar, she refuses him.