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In 18th century France, French princess Marie de Namours de la Bonfain, an orphan who lives with her uncle, Prince de la Bonfain, refuses to marry Spanish grandee Don Carlos de Braganza. Although the marriage has been sanctioned by King Louis XV, Marie tells her confidant, Herr Schuman, that she prefers to marry a man who will be "tall and strong in the wind." She calls Don Carlos, who has come from Madrid to take her to Spain with him, an "odious" man. Marie disregards her uncle's warning about the dire consequences that will befall her if she refuses to obey the king's wishes, and decides to escape from France when she learns that her maid, Marietta Franini, is departing for Louisiana. After Marietta tells Marie that she is leaving for the colonies because she is too poor to stay in Paris and marry her sweetheart Giovanni, Marie offers her money in exchange for permission to take her place aboard the ship. Marietta accepts the offer, and Marie, disguised as Marietta, boards the ship in her stead. Soon after the princess' departure, a public notice is posted proclaiming that she is a fugitive, and a reward of 550 Louis D'ors is offered for information on her whereabouts. On the ship, the princess takes her place among the many casquette girls, who are sailing to Louisiana to fulfill their contract with the king and marry colonists in New Orleans, and tells Julie, one of the girls, that she will not do what is expected of her upon their arrival. Following an attack on the ship by pirates, and the massacre of its sailors, the ship is commandeered and taken ashore somewhere in the colonies. As soon as the casquette girls disembark from the ship, a bloody battle between the pirates and Yankee Scouts ensues. Once the pirates are defeated, the handsome leader of the Scouts, Richard Warrington, becomes enamoured of the princess. The girls are then taken to New Orleans, where they are greeted by the Governor and a lively group of prospective husbands. While the girls are being led to the convent, the princess tries to disqualify herself from marriage by telling the Governor that she is an immoral woman. As a result, Marie is assigned to work at a nearby marionette show, where Richard, who is still in love with her, finds her. No sooner are the two reunited than Richard hears the news about a reward for a missing French princess and, realizing his sweetheart is a fugitive, attempts to hide her. The princess, however, is soon captured and is arrested at the Governor's orders. When Julie visits the princess, she tells her that the Governor has banished Richard and will force her to return to France with Don Carlos and her uncle, who have come to fetch her. While Marie's uncle advises her to mend her relationship with Don Carlos by telling him that she left him on a whim only to intrigue him, Julie finds Richard and informs him that the Governor intends to harm him if Marie refuses to comply with France's orders. Before their departure, Marie, her uncle and the others attend the Governor's farewell ball, where Richard shows up unexpectedly. Marie reaffirms her love for him in a song, and he persuades her to elope with him into the wilderness, where he promises her that they will never again be disturbed by her family or the French government.