Mary McGuire (Mae Murray) is a working-class young girl who lives in a New York tenement and supports her mother and her shiftless father and uncle.
Two items in the March 27, 1919 edition of The New York Star catch her attention. The first is a news item about the famous dancer Gloria du Moine going into hiding over a scandal involving her relationship with the Duke de Sauterne. (This was Murray in a thinly disguised portrayal obviously mimicking fellow real life dancer/star Gaby Deslys who had an affair with the King of Portugal before World War I). The second is a classified ad for the Peach Tree Inn, a nightspot that aims to be the "snappiest roadhouse this side of Monte Carlo." The Peach Tree's ad seeks a female hostess and dancer: "A Good Future For A Girl With A Past."
Mary applies for the job. To help cinch the deal, Mary tells Peach Tree manager Larry McKean (William V. Mong) that she's really Gloria du Moine. Larry asks her why she's dressed so shabbily. Mary replies that her servant absconded with all of her clothing, leaving her to wear the servant's clothes.
Mary—or rather, Gloria—gets the job, and the Peach Tree Inn promotes its grand opening night, featuring Gloria du Moine. In the audience for Gloria du Moine's Peach Tree opening night is Jimmy Calhoun (Rudolph Valentino), scion of the millionaire contractor Michael Calhoun (Edward Jobson). The young Calhoun meets Gloria and finds her enchanting. He tells his father he'd like to propose to her. Michael Calhoun arranges a small, private dinner party at the Peach Tree Inn in honor of Gloria. The elder Calhoun hopes that Gloria will make some sort of faux pas that will discourage his son from seeking her hand in marriage.