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At French Colonial Army headquarters in Tesket, Morocco, Col. Pascal briefs Capt. Paul Gerard on the convoy that Gerard has been assigned to lead the following morning to the Moroccan settlement of Bel-Rashad. Pascal comments that Cara, the beautiful daughter of the emir of Bel-Rashad, usually spends half the year in France, but this year, her unexpected return has led them to believe that the emir may be planning an attack on the French's nearby mountain outpost. Pascal then tells Gerard that his mission is twofold: he is to escort Cara to Bel-Rashad and investigate the possibility of an impending attack. By the time the convoy arrives at Bel-Rashad, Cara and Gerard have fallen in love. At the outpost, as Gerard is being introduced to Lt. Glysko, one of the sentries is shot by an unseen assailant. After they determine that the bullet was fired from a newly purchased rifle, Gerard decides to enter Bel-Rashad disguised as a Moroccan, as Frenchmen are forbidden to enter the settlement. When a sentry at the gate notices his pale face, Gerard quickly grabs his rifle and climbs onto the roof of the emir's palace. Gerard climbs through Cara's bedroom window, and while sentries pound fiercely on the door, he and Cara kiss. With Cara's help, Gerard escapes from Bel-Rashad and returns to headquarters with the rifle, which is determined to be identical to the one that fired the bullet recovered from the sentry's body. Later, the emir and his troops attack the outpost, kill or wound everyone and retreat. Glysko and his men then go to Bel-Rashad planning to raid the arsenal, but find it empty. They take Cara hostage and return to the outpost, after which the emir uses dynamite to alter the course of the stream that feeds the outpost well. When the well runs dry, Gerard and Glysko take the horses up to the stream for water and are ambushed by the emir's men. Later, the cavalrymen decide to free their horses rather than see them die of dehydration. Gerard does not believe that the emir would sacrifice his daughter in order to win against them and decides to wait him out. He rations the remaining water, but when there is only one day's worth left, Gerard realizes that the emir would indeed allow Cara to die and releases her. Hours after her departure, rain begins to fall on the outpost, and the soldiers rejoice and refresh themselves. Later, Gerard and his men surround the outpost with dynamite and retreat to the hills adjacent to the outpost. While the emir and his men march on the outpost, Gerard prepares to detonate it. Suddenly, entering with the men, Gerard sees Cara, who has come to beg her father to stop the attack. For a moment, Gerard hesitates, but then gives the order to blow up the outpost, killing everyone inside. Later, in a moment of private mourning, Gerard weeps for his lost love.