When Ned Holden learned that Frederika Lang was, in reality, Frances Holden, the mother who had abandoned him when he was young, he bitterly wrote her off. Shaken to the core, Ned sought solace with a showgirl, from San Francisco, named Torchy Reynolds and impulsively married her. Torchy soon realized that Ned still loved Mary Ruthledge, and she generously granted him a divorce, so that he could wed Mary.
Approximately a year later, Torchy befriended the enigmatic and cynical artist, Ellis Smith, who had been blinded earlier in a fire at his art studio. Torchy was as equally worldly wise, but more optimistic than Ellis, who had become estranged from his adult daughter, Nancy Stewart. Meanwhile, Ellis also became involved with a woman named Iris Marsh. Iris shared Ellis's tastes and his persistent cynicism about humanity.Torchy became extremely jealous of Iris and briefly dated Martin Kane, with whom she organized a campaign to train seeing-eye dogs to help blind war veterans. Eventually, Ellis and Torchy ended up together, Ellis's blindness was cured by surgery and he reconciled with his daughter, Nancy.