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Circus performers Chuck Reardon and Hubert "Fearless" Frazier flee an African town when their human cannonball act accidentally causes the circus to burn down. After diamond mine owner Charles Kimble saves them from arrest in another town, Chuck, always on the lookout for instant wealth, purchases a diamond mine from him. Chuck and Fearless realize that they have been duped when they learn that Kimble is an eccentric whose signature on any document is worthless. Fearless, who has been Chuck's "human cannonball" for longer than he likes, is furious that Chuck has spent the $5,000 that took them five years to save on a worthless mine deed and sells the paper to a shady character named Lebec. When Lebec and his thug come after them for directions to the mine, Fearless and Chuck take a boat and escape with the money. In an unfamiliar town, they are conned into buying beautiful Donna Latour out of apparent slavery by her partner, Julia Quimby, who is working with the slaver to split the proceeds. Donna then suckers Chuck into a safari with a sob story about finding her ailing father in the jungle. In reality, she just needs help crossing Africa to reunite with her wealthy fiancé. Fearless is suspicious of the women, but he and Chuck nonetheless pay for the safari. Along the way, Donna flirts with both men and plays them against each other, but sincerely falls in love with Chuck. Chuck and Fearless finally find out they have been duped and leave the women to continue on the safari, but then get lost themselves without their African guides. Chuck and Fearless are trapped by cannibals when they stumble on a sacred cave. When the cannibals pit Fearless against a gorilla in a wrestling match to determine if Fearless is a god, Fearless loses the match, and the two men are fattened up for days in preparation for dinner. Just as they are about to be dunked into a giant kettle, Fearless and Chuck outwit the cannibals with a game of "pattycake" and flee. In an African town, Chuck promises to buy steamer tickets for home but instead returns to the apartment with Donna, whose fiancé rejected her, and Julia. Chuck and Donna reunite and the four friends form a new carnival act.