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Jim, a young British merchant seaman who has just completed his apprenticeship to become a first officer, is recuperating from a broken leg at a port in the Orient. He signs aboard the dilapidated Patna , but in a storm he abandons ship, leaving the passengers to drown. Patna survives the storm, however, and Jim is dismissed from service after an inquiry. He seeks anonymity and personal redemption in the Orient, moving to a new location each time he is recognized. When Jim extinguishes a fire on a cargo boat, the owner, Stein, becomes interested in him and sends him on an arms-delivering mission to the village of Patusan, whose natives are enslaved by a warlord whom they call "The General." Jim manages to hide the arms before being captured and tortured by the warlord. A native girl helps him escape, and he organizes a revolt, thus becoming a hero to the natives. Cornelius, The General's partner, and Schomberg, a saloon keeper, enlist the help of Gentleman Brown, a pirate. Jim and Brown meet, and Jim offers the pirate a chance to retreat; but Brown is intent on stealing the Patusan treasure. During the ensuing fight, Jim defeats his enemies, but his friend Waris, son of the native chief, is killed; Jim then sacrifices his own life to appease the chief.