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Harry Faversham, a British regimental officer, fears the consequences of war. When his regiment is sent to active duty in the Sudan, he leaves the military service to marry Ethne Eustace. His companions, Durrance, Trench, and Castleton, learn he has actually resigned out of cowardice, and each sends him a white feather, symbolizing a disgrace that causes his father's death. Determined to redeem himself, he leaves England and becomes an African wanderer. Learning that Trench is imprisoned in a native fortress, he goes there but is himself captured; they are sold to a slave trader, but Harry kills him and they are pursued by tribesmen; a jungle fire and a herd of hippopotami prevent their escape across the Nile, but they are rescued by British soldiers in the Sudan, where Harry returns feathers to Durrance and Trench. The outpost is besieged by fuzzy-wuzzies, but a relief column under Castleton saves the British and Harry proves his bravery by killing the native chieftain.Later, the last feather is redeemed to Ethne, and the four comrades are decorated in England.