Although Chicago is not mentioned in the book as the scene of action, the Chamber of Commerce of that city is the point round which the action centers. The Bear and the Banker are chums. The Bull is financed by the Banker in the endeavor to run the "corner" in lard, and the story derives its title from the necessity found by the Bear for the ruin of his chum the Banker, in order to upset the financial schemes of the Bull. A stirring love story threads its way through the financial excitement of the book.
Donald Brown, a forceful young preacher, had given up his life of luxury in St. Timothy's parish to come and live in the "Brown Study" among the people of need. He had left, too, a woman he loved and who begged him to come back to the old life. But Donald kept on ministering to the poor and at last the girl came to him confessing she would have been disappointed if he had answered her call.