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Big Steve Andrews muscles his way into a job at the Aurora Steel Co., and almost immediately enters into a rivalry with Bill Morgan, who smugly considers himself the toughest man at the mill. Big lives at Blossom Finney's boardinghouse. Although ten-year-old Pete Finney worships Morgan, his affection turns to Big after he turns out a record amount of tonnage at the steel mill during contest month and bests Morgan at his own game: wrist-wrestling. Morgan also loses his girl friend, Della Lane, to Big, which does not please Blossom, who has been developing strong feelings for the kindhearted brute. In the meantime, Blossom tries to curtail Pete's interest in working at the steel mill and turn his interest toward his studies, so that he will not "die in a chunk of steel with his name on it," as her husband did. One night, Big disappoints Blossom and Pete by moving out to be closer to the steel mill and Della. That same night, at a carnival, Big collects $400 to give to a steel mill widow, Mrs. Howard, who was married to his assistant. Morgan and Della convince Big to fight against a champion wrestler, so he gives Della his jacket and asks her to bet on him. Morgan, however, coerces Della into giving him the $400, and he bets on the opposition and wins. Because of the blows to his head and the humiliation of losing, Big does not remember giving the money to Della, and is accused of stealing when he is unable to come up with the money for the widow. In the meantime, Morgan is trying to convince Della, who dumped Big for his failure in the ring, to leave her job at the candy shop and live the high life with his winnings. Thoroughly demoralized, Big takes to drink, but when Blossom finds out the truth from Della's boss, Sweets, she sends Pete to tell Big at the mill. Big rescues Pete from near death when he falls into an empty vat, but when Big leaves, an angry mob and a policeman are waiting to arrest him for theft. Blossom gives him $400 from her own savings to give to Mrs. Howard. Cleared of suspicion, Big goes on a rampage to Della's apartment and beats a confession and the money out of Morgan, then sends him packing. His reputation restored, Big marries Blossom, and Pete is sent to school.