A scout leader romances a beautiful duchess on a ship but learns the card sharp is a murderer.
In Paris a man who won $20,000 at cards is strangled by C. J. Dabney (Roland Young). Higgins (Jim Backus) tells the police he is looking for the killer. Foresters leader Freddie Hunter (Bob Hope) and his troop board a ship. Freddie meets Dabney and runs into Duchess Alexandria (Rhonda Fleming). Freddie hides a cigarette from the scouts and sets his coat on fire. Freddie promises not to smoke or drink. Dabney gives Freddie $100 to change, and Freddie asks Jack Benny.
Dabney and Freddie join Alexandria and her father, the Grand Duke Maximillian (Roland Culver), and they drink champagne. Freddie dances with Alexandria. Her dress rips, and they go to her cabin for a needle. She caresses him while he sews. She sings "A Thousand Violins." Freddie hears taps and rushes back to the troop's room. They get up at 5:30 for calisthenics.
Card sharp Dabney plays poker with Freddie and Maximillian. Freddie loses $1600, and Dabney advances it for him to Maximillian. Alexandria kisses Freddie. Stanley (Richard Lyon) and the troop accuse Freddie of vices. Freddie is pretending he is rich, but Tommy O'Connor (Gary Gray) advises him not to lie. Alexandria admits to Freddie that she is poor, and he confesses he is broke. They sing "Lucky Us."
In Dabney's cabin Freddie is winning, and Maximillian is losing. Maximillian gives Freddie an IOU. Freddie realizes that Dabney cheats. Dabney is about to strangle him; but Higgins comes in, and Freddie leaves. Higgins tells Freddie they have to catch the murderer Dabney.
Dabney has killed Higgins and makes Maximillian suspect Freddie. Alexandria slaps Freddie for cheating and gives him jewelry for the debt. Dabney and officers discover Higgins is dead while Freddie is hiding. Freddie escapes under a sheet.
The troop thinks Freddie jumped overboard, but Dabney suspects he is hiding. Freddie in a doghouse asks O'Connor for food. Freddie tells Alexandria that Dabney is a murderer. Stanley and the troop follow O'Connor and search for Freddie. Alexandria searches Dabney's room, and he comes in. Freddie holds on to a rope overboard. Dabney strangles Alexandria, but Freddie comes in the window and stops him. Dabney has a gun and shoots in the dark, but officers come in and arrest him.
Freddie gives Maximillian his IOU and says goodbye to Alexandria, but she suggests they have kids.
This Hope comedy satirizes the puritanical and militaristic
boy scouts while using murder-thriller and romantic comedy formats
to move along the plot and fulfill fantasies of male virility.