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During a storm-battered flight from Peru to Panama City, a man carrying a briefcase is suddenly pushed from the airplane by his fellow passenger, Charles Hasso. In Panama, Hasso, who tells the pilot that the man jumped, is questioned by police lieutenant Rues, but is not arrested. With the man's briefcase in hand, Hasso then goes to see Dan Hammer, a tough but resourceful American, and hires him as a temporary bodyguard. While the well-connected Dan is discussing the job with Hasso, he receives a telephone call from Walter F. Gredson, who offers him work. As Dan is readying to leave to meet Gredson, Hasso surreptiously pins a map to his office bulletin board. Gredson, the vice-president of an American oil company, and his associate, Domingues, confide in Dan that they have invested their company's money in some unregistered Peruvian oil wells and that the map showing the wells has been stolen. After revealing that they suspect a man named Charles Hasso of stealing the map, Gredson and Domigues offer Dan money to find Hasso. Without disclosing his previous meeting with Hasso, Dan happily accepts the assignment for $5,000. Later, at a nightclub, Dan meets attractive singer Maxine Manning, who goes out of her way to introduce herself and flirts openly with him. Dan also meets Eric Molinar, a visiting artist looking for a back street tour of Panama City. Dan refers Molinar to a friend, then goes to Hasso's hotel, but finds Hasso dead in his overflowing bathtub. Soon after, Dan is questioned by Rues, but reveals nothing about the map. Back at his office, which has been torn apart, Dan discovers an unconscious Maxine. When she recovers, Maxine declares Dan "dangerous company" and leaves. Maxine then goes to see Gredson, who turns out to be her boyfriend, and hides when Dan unexpectedly shows up demanding explanations. Gredson, who had enlisted Maxine to spy on Dan, insists he knows nothing about Hasso's murder and tells Dan he must find the map to collect his payment. On his way back to his office, Dan joins the departing Maxine in a taxi driven by Pop, his friend and protector, and gives her his special city tour. Later, Dan is visited by Molinar, who reveals that he, too, is looking for the map. When Dan deduces that the portly Molinar was responsible for the attack on his office, Molinar quickly offers to give him a percentage of the map's profits, but Dan beats him up and notifies the police. Because Dan has no proof, however, Rues is forced to let Molinar go, and Molinar soon returns to Dan's office with two thugs. On Molinar's orders, the thugs begin pummeling Dan, hoping he will reveal the map's whereabouts. By the next morning, Molinar gives up on the battered Dan, who is then comforted by a concerned Maxine. Furious, Dan confronts Gredson again, but once again Gredson denies any knowledge of Molinar. While Dan is at Gredson's, he notices a photograph of Maxine and goes to see her. Before Dan can question her, however, a scared Maxine confesses her relationship with Gredson, but says that she is leaving Panama to get away from him. Convinced of Maxine's affection, Dan plots with her to test Gredson by telling him that he has found the map. Gredson, meanwhile, is being intimidated by Molinar and agrees to join forces with him. When Molinar hears that Dan has the map, however, he has his thugs kill Gredson and then heads for Dan's office. There Molinar and his gun-wielding thugs confront Dan and Maxine, and during the ensuing mêlée, Maxine and Molinar both notice the map on the bulletin board and struggle to grab it. Molinar escapes with the map, but unwittingly jumps into Pop's cab and, while Dan follows on foot, is driven to the police station. After Rues arrests Molinar, Dan receives his $5,000 check and a kiss from Maxine.