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At an army cantonment in the U.S. in 1917, Sergeant Robert Gray, upon hearing reveille, blows a whistle to awaken the other sergeants before falling back asleep himself. At the home of General Markley, the general's daughter Peggy, who returned from school two days earlier, brings home a new car, which the general tells his subordinate Tommy, who is in love with Peggy, to return. After Bob is reprimanded for oversleeping, he offers his fellow officers, who have stolen all his wheat cakes, which they call "pattycakes," two-to-one odds that he will eat pattycakes at breakfast with the general within one month. Because of his reputation for winning outrageous bets, no one takes him on. Just after Bob decides that he should marry Mabel, a neighbor with whom he grew up, before shipping out overseas, he receives a wire that she got married to someone else. Although he is desolate, Bob does not mention the news to the others. After the men are granted twenty-three and a half hours' leave before they are to go overseas, the general receives a report that enemy agents in the vicinity have been obtaining information regarding troop embarkments. When Peggy offers Bob, who does not realize her identity, a ride into town, he brags that he is very close with the general. He picks up a tailor-made uniform to wear for a photograph to send to his mother and makes a date with Peggy the next morning, at the start of his leave, to take him to the photographer's. The next day, when the others razz Bob about Mabel's marriage, he starts a food fight, and a tomato thrown by Bob hits the general. After Bob is reprimanded, the others accept his bet about eating pattycakes with the general. When Bob's room is inspected, the captain confiscates his tailor-made uniform, which is against regulations. Tubbs, a dim-witted sergeant, is sent with all the food-stained uniforms to get new issues, but he loses the written order for them, and he is then arrested for walking around in his underwear. Bob escapes through a window and arrives at Peggy's car wearing a slicker over his underwear. He tells her that he is wearing the slicker to hide his tailor-made uniform. The photographer and his assistant, having deduced the soldiers' sailing date from the great demand for pictures, send a message to their spy headquarters. After Bob gets his picture taken, he meets Peggy in a cafe, where the other officers, also dressed in slickers over underwear, demand that he step outside. In an alley, they take his slicker. Bob sneaks into the photographer's office, and when they find him hiding, they pull a gun. Bob subdues them, but he is himself arrested. The next day, when the general learns that two enemy agents have been apprehended, he goes with Peggy to the jail and congratulates Bob. He invites Bob to breakfast and, having heard about Bob's bet, orders pattycakes. Upon their return to the base, the general relates the breakfast to the soldiers, who are dismayed at losing once more to Bob. After Peggy promises to write Bob every day, she drives off. Although Bob is arrested for being out of uniform and A.W.O.L, he happily offers to lay five-to-one odds that the general will come to his wedding.