At the local prison, the warden comes to see prisoner Willie Conway and tells him that it's time to go. Willie nervously gets up and pleads to stay, but the warden says that he has no choice. The guards lead Willie away and his fellow prisoners say goodbye to him. Finally Willie collapses and the guards are forced to drag him along... to the exit. The warden tells him to be a man and sends him out, and Willie cowers against the door in fear at the sight of the outside world.
Later, Willie comes out to the Fortuna
to meet with his friend, Lucky. Willie insists that his six years in prison were wonderful. When they sit down for breakfast, Willie admits that he's not used to good food anymore and can't eat it. After gagging down the coffee, Willie asks the cook for lumpy oatmeal. He then asks Lucky for a favor: he wants to get back into prison. Andamo doesn't understand, and Willie explains that he wants to go back to the only home he's ever known. However, he wants to make sure that he goes back to the same federal prison. To go back, he has to be convicted of a federal crime, but Willie admits that he isn't capable of committing a federal crime. He only got in the first time by taking the rap for two guys who robbed the post office. Also, Willie wants to go back so he can be with the prison nurse, Mary Koskiusko. He doesn't want to ruin things between them by marrying her and getting a job. Lucky agrees to help his friend.
That night, Lucky prepares for the night and tells Willie to follow his plan. If he does, he should get at least ten years in prison. However, when they try to leave the cabin, Lucky discovers that Andamo has locked them in. Andamo is on the other side and insists that he's saving Lucky from himself. Lucky explains that he's going to let Willie steal his post office box, and Andamo reluctantly unlocks the door. Willie agrees to be at the post office box with the "stolen" key at 10 the next morning, and Lucky promises he'll have the police waiting.
Later, a mobster, Warren, goes to the backroom of a bar and makes a copy of Lucky's key. He then goes out front where Willie is drinking with a friend, Warren's partner Rock Canari, and is trying to find his missing key. Warren "finds" it and gives it to Willie, and the two hoodlums drink to Willie's success.
The next day at 10, Willie goes to the post office and opens Lucky's box. Two federal agents arrest him and Willie is soon back in prison. However, he soon gets a rude surprise when he discovers that he's getting a different cell and that Mary quit when she found out that Willie was gone.
Later, Lucky and Andamo check their mail and discover that some of their checks worth $15,000 have been stolen. They go to see Willie in jail and he insists that the box was empty when he robbed it. Willie tells them about how he lost the key and told Warren and Rock about his plan. However, Andamo warns Lucky that they can't go to the police without incriminating themselves. Willie asks Lucky to get him out because Mary has left.
Lucky and Andamo confirm where the checks were cashed and go to the bank, where they claim that the police are letting them handle it. The bank president says that he can identify the men that cashed the checks and goes with them to the police station. He identifies Rock and Lucky has Willie confirm Rock was one of the two men. Lucky figures that they should go to the bar and see if they can get a line on Rock.
At the bar, Rock figures that it's time to leave town immediately, but Warren wants to wait an extra day. Lucky and Andamo come in and Lucky addresses Rock by name and says that he knows about the PO box robbery. Playing fellow thieves, Lucky shows them a box-opening tool and a bunch of government checks, and says that he needs Rock and Warren's help to pass the checks. Warren tells Rock to explain how they cash the checks. Lucky then tells them that they stole his $15,000 and that Willie and the bank presidents can identify them. Rock and Warren shove the table over and make a break for it. Lucky tackles them and he and Andamo soon take the two thugs out.
Next, Lucky and Andamo go to see the judge and plead Willie's case, explaining that he plans to marry Mary. The judge is reluctant to reverse the conviction but says that he'll speak to the DA and the postal authorities since they captured the real thieves. However, he insists on a favor in return: he wants to perform Willie's marriage ceremony. Once Willie is released, he and Mary are soon before the judge. Husband and wife kiss and Willie vows to get a job and face up to his responsibilities.
Later, Lucky is overseeing the casino when he gets a panicked call from Willie. He and Andamo come over and find Mary packing to leave. She's unhappy that Willie can't be comfortable and keeps picking fights, and figures that Willie needs to be in prison. Mary shows Lucky and Andamo how he's put in bunk beds and put up a calendar to cross off days. Willie finally lets her leave and admits to Lucky that all he knows how to do is wash dishes in prison. He asks Lucky for help again getting him back in, and they run off rather than get involved again.