Roger Hilton is an ambitious young man, and he hates to lose. Having proved himself in the Army, he comes home to marry his first love. But a boyfriend he didn't even know about came back home also, and Rachel gives him his ring back. This first loss stings him so, he moves away.
Politics has been his ambition since a young child, and the move gives him an opportunity. Swearing off women, he plunges into making his life over. Then Nell Scott comes into view. Their attraction is mutual, but there's a problem. His mentor in political life tells him to choose: Nell or election.
For thirty-nine years, Roger and Nell are married. Then possibility and calamity arrive almost simultaneously. Roger again is called on to choose: Nell or national politics. Literally, her life is on the line.