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Tanya, a Russian refugee, is hiding in Rangoon, Burma under the protection of her lover, Tony Evans, a gunrunner working for a weathly underworld leader named Nick. Nick wants to add Tanya to his stable of women in a decadent Rangoon club and intimidates Tony into turning her over to settle a debt. At first the abandoned Tanya refuses to cooperate with Nick, but eventually decides to beat him at his own game and uses sex to gain power. She becomes notorious for her affairs, is re-named "Spot White," and by blackmailing a British officer, gets passage money out of Rangoon. On the boat to Mandalay, she meets formerly prestigious surgeon Gergory Burton who is now exiled in Burma because of his alcoholism, and they fall in love. Unfortunately, Tony has followed her, and in an attempt to escape the authorities, he frames her for what appears to be his murder. She is arrested, but before the boat docks, Tony comes to Tanya's cabin and proposes that they open a club like Nick's, with Tanya as "hostess." Tanya, desperate to sever her past, poisons Tony, who falls overboard to his death. When they dock in Mandalay, the captain reports that stowaways saw Tony in the hold and it is presumed he escaped in a small boat. Tanya is freed, she confesses her crime to Gregory, and they pledge to start a new life together.