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The infamous 18th century pirate The Hook, so named for the iron claw he wears in place of his missing hand, buries his treasure, hides the only map to the site, and prepares to abduct Princess Margaret, who is running away from her father in order to marry a commoner. On board the princess' ship, meanwhile, Margaret visits the man next door, a ham actor who calls himself The Great Sylvester, to insist that he stop making so much noise while rehearsing. Later, Sylvester, not realizing who Margaret is, tries to impress her with his press clippings but instead repels her with his cowardice when The Hook attacks their ship. After disguising himself as a gypsy woman, Sylvester is brought aboard the pirate ship as a prisoner, along with Margaret. There, he is saved from murder by the deranged ship's tattooer, Featherhead, who wants the gyspy "woman" as his love slave. When Sylvester reveals his sex, Featherhead decides to double-cross The Hook by stealing the treasure map and forcing Sylvester to smuggle it to his cousin on a nearby island. Before disembarking the pirate ship, Sylvester stops to rescue Margaret, thus winning her approval, but does not believe her when she tells him who she is. After days of sailing on the dinghy Featherhead prepared for them, they reach the sinister island on which Featherhead's cousin lives, but upon discovering he is away for two weeks, are forced to rent a room. Acts of murder and vice occur all around them, and when Sylvester attempts to launch a cabaret act to earn money, only Margaret's lovely figure saves them from death. One audience member, however, the corrupt governor, La Roche, recognizes her and abducts her to his palace. Unaware of La Roche's involvement, Sylvester appeals to him for help, but La Roche assumes Sylvester is the man Margaret has run away to marry and kidnaps him, as well, for ransom. In the palace, the couple is treated well but kept under watch when Margaret attempts a hunger strike. One morning, as Sylvester dines with La Roche, The Hook, La Roche's secret partner, arrives to discuss his plans to find and kill the person who stole the treasure map. When Sylvester rushes to his room to destroy the map, Featherhead leaps out from under the bed, knocks him out and tattoos the map to Sylvester's chest while he is still unconscious. That night, Sylvester discovers the tattoo as he prepares to swim with the governor, and fails to hide it from La Roche and The Hook. During the ensuing chase, he knocks out The Hook, steals his clothes and boards the pirate ship disguised as the pirate. Soon, however, The Hook awakens, boards, and places Sylvester and Margaret in the dungeon. Just as Margaret is about to shoot Sylvester out of mercy, her father's troops board the ship and rescue them. Margaret discusses her beloved, and although Sylvester thinks he will be the lucky man, she instead rushes into the arms of a soldier.