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Just as Lamont Cranston, the mild-mannered businessman who dons the mask of "The Shadow" to fight crime, promises his fiancée, Margo Lane, to give up sleuthing, a detective from the Burbank Agency asks him to observe the proceedings at Forest Park Cemetery where a man named Yomans is unearthing a pouch of jewels from a coffin. Meanwhile, J. R. Weston, the police commissioner and Lamont's uncle, is notified about the jewels and sends Inspector Cardona to investigate. When Yomans mysteriously disappears after securing the pouch, Cardona and Lamont go to the house of Michael Hasdon, the owner of the jewels. Also awaiting Yomans at Hasdon's is a syndicate formed to buy the jewels. Cardona interrogates the group: Charles Frobay, an importer-exporter; William Monk, an ex-racketeer; showgirl Lenore Jessup; a man named Breck; and Hasdon's butler, John Adams. Donning the mask of The Shadow, Lamont insists on speaking to Hasdon, but Hasdon falls to his death from a balcony before he can answer. That night, after leaving the house with Cardona, Lamont returns as The Shadow and eavesdrops on the group as they plan to eliminate Frobay from their syndicate. Puzzled, Lamont and Margo drive to Frobay's warehouse with Shevvie, their chauffeur. After observing Adams sneak in through a back door, they follow him and are stopped by a guard, who ushers them to Frobay's office. While Frobay's back is turned, Lamont rifles through his desk drawer and extracts a gemstone and a small notebook. Upon returning to their car, Lamont finds a dead body in the back seat, which he then delivers to police headquarters. Back at his apartment at the Broadmoor Arms, Lamont examines the gem and discovers that it is not a precious jewel. As Lamont leafs through the notebook, which contains formulas, Burbank calls to inform him that there was no duty levied on Hasdon's gems, thus confirming that they were not precious stones. Upon reconvening the group at Hasdon's that evening, Lamont, disguised as The Shadow, attends and knocks Adams unconscious. Dressed as Lamont, he then enters the room and suggests that Cardona question Adams. As Cardona approaches Adams, however, the butler plunges over the balcony to certain death. When Cardona blames The Shadow for the murders, Weston surmises that the victims were killed because they could expose the jewel thief. Once again disguised as The Shadow, Lamont and Shevvie drive back to the warehouse. As Lamont interrogates Frobay, Frobay falls down the dumbwaiter to his death. Lamont and Shevvie then sneak out before Cardona arrives and blames them for Frobay's murder. When the corpse found in Lamont's car is identified as Yomans, Lamont realizes that someone posed as Yomans to obtain the jewels and returns to investigate Forbay's warehouse with Margo. Finding a hidden laboratory behind a secret door, Lamont spies a wall safe. After extracting the jewels from the safe, Lamont discovers that each one contains part of a formula for manufacturing a super strength plastic. Worth millions, the formula provides the motive for murder. After reassembling the police and suspects at Hasdon's house, Lamont plants the formula in Weston's pocket and then suggests that one of the many bullwhips that adorn the walls was used by the killer to drag the victims to their death. His modus operandi exposed, Breck, who was impersonating Yomans, tries to flee and is apprehended by the police.