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Leo, the last in the line of a deposed European monarchy, returns to London for the first time in many years. Traveling with him are his mistress, Margaret, who wants to marry him for his money, and Laszlo, the leader of a band of exiles who are still plotting to restore Leo to the throne. Although the area around his family's mansion has become a Negro ghetto, Leo is at first oblivious to everything but his hobby, ornithology. His bird-watching habits lead him to notice the plight of the poor around him. At first, Leo observes with detachment the problems of one of his black neighbors whose beautiful daughter Salambo is continually harassed by the men of the neighborhood. When a Polish shopkeeper tries to rape Salambo, her boyfriend Roscoe beats him up and is sent to jail. Salambo is then left unprotected, and Jasper, a local pimp, tries to lead her into prostitution. Leo realizes that he must protect the young girl; he becomes involved in the problems of the ghetto; and in a gesture of solidarity with the poor, he sets fire to his mansion.