Gordon D. Harrington, Jr., son of the owner of the great Transcontinental Railroad, complains to his father that he does nothing in the company but rubber-stamp decisions made by others. After a fierce argument, Gordon quits and leaves Chicago. Meanwhile, in the mountain town of Sleepy Car, Colorado, a geologist reports to Edward Rebstock, an agent for an undisclosed party, that there is an unlimited quantity of tungsten at Roberts Heights, which belongs to Nan Roberts and her mother. Rebstock plans to purchase the property and the Blake Railroad line, which runs by it, so that his client can transport the ore. After traveling in a freight car with hoboes, Gordon gets out at Sleepy Car and, learning that the Blake line runs only a distance of thirty-five miles, sees an opportunity to learn the railroad business from the bottom up. When he goes to get a job, he is surprised to find that Nan is the general manager. Although she at first refuses him, Gordon, calling himself Don Smith, persists, and Nan, to humble him, hires him as superintendent of maintenance, or trackwalker. J. Wesley Hunt, a local lawyer, wants to marry Nan, but she puts him off saying that she will not quit her job until she can repay the debts of her deceased father, who used to be Blake's general manager. Nan is quite pleased when Hunt reports Rebstock's offer of $15,000 for the land, but Blake stubbornly refuses Rebstock's offer of $40,000 for the railroad and demands $60,000. Rebstock's client turns out to be Gordon's father, who refuses to go up in price and threatens to come himself if Rebstock fails. After Gordon learns that Hunt is negotiating both deals, his suspicions are aroused. At a dinner dance, Gordon flirts with Nan, who is attracted to him, but provokes her ire by questioning the reason anyone would pay $15,000 for her property. After Gordon finds the geologist's glasses at Roberts Heights and learns that Rebstock plans to leave on the eight o'clock train after transacting the deal, Gordon apologizes to Nan and offers to take her home on his gas scooter. After he purposely runs out of gas so that she will miss the meeting with Rebstock, Nan fires him. The next day, Gordon brings a chunk of ore that he found on Nan's property to town, but learns that Nan and Hunt just left by train to meet Rebstock and his client in Denver. After Gordon purchases an option on the railroad from Blake and learns that Rebstock is acting for Transcontinental, he convinces Blake's engineers to steal a Transcontinental locomotive and speed to Denver. There Gordon learns that the ore is tungsten, and he reaches Rebstock's hotel in time to stop Nan from selling. He then offers his father the Blake line for $60,000, 50% of the profits and the management of the line, and urges Nan not to sell but to offer his father the tungsten for royalties. Gordon's father, impressed by his son, offers him a position in Chicago, and Nan agrees to go with him.