Andrew Thurgood works at Maynard's jewelry store, and is extremely proud both of the company and its name. One morning, he is summoned into the office of Mr. Maynard, the presiding executive, and a man half his age. Thurgood is kindly but firmly asked to retire, due to his age. Thurgood is hurt, but determined to go out with a bang. He finishes out his last five days with numerous appointments and sales. On his last day, a woman approaches him about a diamond necklace - the most expensive piece in the entire store. Claiming to be the wife of a psychiatrist who can't be bothered with shopping himself, she asks Thurgood to come to his office to show him the diamond necklace, which he will buy for their anniversary. While she is trying on the necklace in a back room, the psychiatrist emerges. He is shocked at Thurgood's explanation of how much the necklace costs, and goes to fetch his wife. The woman who emerges from the back room is not the same one that Mr. Thurgood showed the necklace.
Back at Maynard's, Mr. Maynard downplays the robbery and insists that the company's insurance will take care of everything. Later, Andrew returns home and sees his daughter, Thelma. It was Thelma who stole the necklace, and the two rejoice in their clever foil and the $175,000 spoil of diamonds. Thurgood recounts proudly to Thelma how every generation of Thurgoods has stolen one item of jewelry from the Maynards, but only one, unlike "common thieves." Since she is a female and there are no more men to be employed at Maynards, the tradition must end with him.
Moments later, there is a knock at the door. It is Mr. Maynard. His demeanor and opening remark make Thurgood think he knows what happened. Then Maynard grins and says that Thurgood left his bonus and wallet at the office, like any loyal, upstanding employee. As Thurgood introduces Thelma to him, Maynard says that it's time to end a tradition of all-male employees, and asks Thelma to report to work that Monday.