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Dennis Carson has lived in Indochina all his life, only leaving his rubber plantation for an occasional fling in Saigon. His new surveyor, Gary Willis, and his wife Barbara arrive just as Vantine, a prostitute who has been lying low at the plantation is leaving. Vantine is in love with Dennis, whom she calls "Fred," but he only thinks of her as a pleasant diversion. Dennis is annoyed that Gary has brought his wife. Barbara is shocked and contemptuous of Dennis until he nurses Gary back to health after an attack of malaria. Soon Vantine returns to the plantation because her boat has been damaged, and Dennis, who is now in love with Barbara, tries to protect her from what he regards as Vantine's unsavory character. One day, after they have been caught in the rain, Dennis and Barbara become lovers. Vantine knows, as does everyone except Gary, who is sent "down river" by Dennis to survey the plantation. Barbara and Dennis want to marry, but Dennis realizes he must tell Gary. He travels to the survey site to do so, but when he realizes how much Gary loves and depends on Barbara, Dennis cannot break up their marriage. He rides all night to get home and starts drinking with Vantine when he arrives. When Barbara interrupts them, Dennis pretends to be a cad and she shoots him. Just then Gary arrives, worried about Barbara and Dennis after hearing some gossip about them from one of the men. Barbara is too upset to talk, but Vantine convinces him that Barbara was merely defending her honor against Dennis. Vantine nurses Dennis back to health, and when she reads an item in the newspaper to him about the Willis' return to America, he has recovered sufficiently to appreciate her charms.