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Returning by boat to the British community in tropical Khota, where he has become notorious for breaking up a marriage, Hugh Dawltrey meets and pursues attractive Philippa. Because she is engaged to Dr. George March, Philippa avoids Hugh by remaining in her stateroom, but once the boat docks, he tricks her into accepting a ride with him. Instead of delivering her to March's bungalow, Hugh brings her to his, but once again she manages to avoid his advances. Marriage to George proves so dull, however, that she invites Hugh to a birthday party for George's sister Rene, choosing to ignore the scandalized response of the rest of the community. Rene is excited by the stories about Hugh and waits for him in his bungalow the next day. Because he has no interest in her, Hugh scares her off, thereby protecting her reputation. George is taking no chances, however, and worried about Rene's interest in Hugh, insists that she accompany him on a trip to Colombo with one of his patients. Believing that George is out of town, Philippa agrees to have dinner with Hugh. To the sound of native drums they admit their love for one another. In the meantime, George's patient dies, and he and Rene return to the house to find Philippa gone. Rene discovers Hugh's note and is forced to show it to George, who heads for Hugh's house with a gun in his pocket. When George arrives, Hugh tries to keep Philippa's presence secret, but she faces her husband and tells him how unhappy she has been in the marriage. Philippa then announces her departure on the next boat to Singapore. George tries to shoot Hugh when he leaves to follow Philippa but, in the end, cannot take the other man's life.