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In London the archvillain Fu Manchu and his evil daughter, Lin Tang, kidnap Professor Muller, a German biochemist who has distilled a new, highly lethal gas from the seeds of a Tibetan poppy. In a radio broadcast, Fu Manchu announces that he intends to use the poison gas to gain world domination. The professor's daughter, Maria, informs Scotland Yard's Nayland Smith of her father's abduction, thus confirming Smith's suspicion that Fu Manchu masterminded the kidnaping, although Smith witnessed Fu Manchu's execution in China several years before. Fu Manchu kidnaps Maria to force Muller to produce more gas, whereupon Muller insists that to do so he needs some papers located in the British Museum in the possession of Professor Gaskell. Carl Jansen, Professor Muller's assistant who has also been kidnaped, escapes from his captors and warns Nayland Smith that Fu Manchu's men intend to break into the British Museum; but the papers are not found, and Fu Manchu, informed by Lin Tang that Gaskell may have the papers in his home, hypnotizes Gaskell, abducts him, and forces him to work with Muller. To show the effect of the poison gas, Fu Manchu destroys the entire village of Fleetwick with only a small quantity, but Nayland Smith stops Fu Manchu before he wreaks more destruction; he floods Fu Manchu's hideout (a tunnel under the Thames) and rescues Maria, only to learn that Fu Manchu has escaped and taken Muller hostage. Guessing that the archvillain is bound for Tibet to collect more poppyseeds, Nayland Smith lays a trap for Fu Manchu. Muller is rescued, and Fu Manchu, Lin Tang, and the rest of the gang presumably perish in an explosion.