An early morning phone call has Johnny on an important job. The freelance insurance investigator reports in to learn about the case that needs his immediate attention. Barton Drake is missing, and has been for nearly seven years. He disappeared at a time near the beginning of World War 2, and was a hardware store owner who had some shady doings in the world of organized crime. There’s reason to think he is still alive, and spotted in New York at a prize fight. If he remains missing on the official record for just a few more days, the insurance company will have to pay out on a claim from the aledged widow.
Johnny is off to the man’s last known whereabouts, and visits the oldd mansion. Drake’s wife lives in the lap of luxury in the huge house, and is surrounded by house servants. The wife is less than thrilled to learn that her long lost hubby may still be alive. Johnny folows the woman, suspecting her crocodile tears are just a lot of drama. The trail leads Johnny through town, but offers some clues to get Johnny started in laying his trap.
He fakes a phone call to the number he was able to learn from following the widow. Posing as a radio DJ offering a prize. Delivering the goods of the aledged contest, he finds a little old lady. Will she be forthcoming with any information? Will Johnny be found out? Why does the little old grannie have on a pair of brass knuckles? After Johnny wakens from the thump on the head, he gets ansers, but will he be able to do anything with the info that he learns?
As Johnny feigns unconsciousness he listens to Drake, and as he argues with his wife, the story comes out. Johnny keeps playing as though he’s knocked out as he is taken for a boat ride. Left for dead, Johnny manages to get back to land. Well at least an island, but if he doesn’t act fast he’ll be stuck there past his deadline.
By the time Johnny makes his way back to the gangster’s stomping grounds, he finds the wife, but there’s no sign of Drake. Using the threat of insurance fraud, Johnny lerns from the wife where hubby went. Will his phone call to the train station be enough to intercept the disguised gangster? It seems to, but Johnny’s rash behavior with the aledged little old lady in the wheel chair gets him nabbed by the police and station authorities. Will they understand what his actions are all about? As Johnny puts the finishing touches on his expense report, he ties up all the loose ends, and describes the aftermath of his adventure.