Joe Friday works the Homacide detail, when he is tasked with investigating a couple of marines. The Marines had just come back from Korea, and spent their time back in the states blowing their built up payroll, but
now they have been absent without leave for two weeks, and a murder is in their wake. The cops interview a buddy of the missing Marines to learn some of their story. A character named Stubby is pointed out, a man claiming to be a former Marine, and one who paid for the night of heavy drinking. The story makes you wonder if Stubby is a friend or foe.
Joe Friday goes in search of Stubby to see what can be learn. A barmaid tells what she knows about John Rogers, and his brags about being a war hero in the Marines, but when the cops are close to catching up to him, a body is found instead. Friday learns some true facts about Rogers military service that aren’t so honorable. Rogers is finally nabbed, but will his story hold water?