Two European countries send teams out to the uncivilized African kingdom of M'tela, each of them determined to be the first to arrive. One group is headed by John Culbertson (House Peters), the other by an apparently nameless woman known only as Madame, or the Leopard Woman (Louise Glaum). When the two parties meet in the desert, Madame is forced to seek aid from Culbertson. Her government has given her orders to kill Culbertson but she finds herself falling for him. When he spurns her after making love to her, however, she sends a man to do him in. He fails at his mission, and it's just as well since Madame had decided she really loves him after all. Culbertson becomes blinded by the sun, creating yet another quandary for Madame: Should she choose duty or love? Naturally she chooses love, and Culbertson's country reaches M'tela first. But it's all worth it to Madame, because once his sight is restored, Culbertson declares his love for her.