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In 1850 Lieutenant Case, a halfcaste officer in the Bengal Lancers, is falsely accused of having abandoned a colleague, Captain Connelley, to the Gilzhai, a rebel band the Lancers are trying to suppress, allegedly because Case loves Connelley's wife, Elsa. Discharged by Colonel Drewe, Case, enraged both by this injustice and by Elsa's belief that he is guilty, escapes from prison and joins the Gilzhai. He finds the captured Connelley, who has been tortured by Eli Khan, the leader of the Gilzhais, and shoots him out of mercy. Elsa and a London journalist, Marriott, who have been captured by the rebels, accuse him of murder. Case kills Khan for torturing Connelley, frees Elsa and Marriott, and, with Khan's sister, Ratina, leads the Gilzhai against the British. His forces are routed, and he and Ratina are killed, but not before he has killed Colonel Drewe. Marriott, who now understands that Case was a victim of racial prejudice, goes to London to tell Case's story.