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While on a business trip to the Middle Eastern country of Bukistan, American salesman Clemson Reade is invited to the home of the Khan of Bukistan. There he meets the Khan's beautiful daughter, the princess Tarji, who performs a seductive dance for him. During the dance, the Khan tells Clemson that Tarji has been "trained" to devote her life to pleasing the man she marries. Clemson is fascinated by prospect of an utterly devoted wife, but he leaves Bukistan the following week to marry his American fiancée, Priscilla "Effie" Effington.
Back in New York, Clemson visits Effie at the State Department, where she works, only to be brushed aside by her attention to an oil crisis. Later that night, Effie spoils a romantic evening planned by Clemson when she tells him that the wedding must be postponed until after the oil deal is signed. When Effie's partner, Walter McBride, drops by to discuss the oil contract, Clemson realizes that his desire for a "full-time wife" cannot be reconciled with Effie's demand for a "part-time husband," and he calls off the engagement. The following day, while meeting with his male colleagues and bemoaning the progress made by women seeking their independence, Clemson hits upon the idea of marrying Tarji, the one woman he knows who was "trained from that day she was born to be a dream wife." Clemson cables a marriage proposal to Tarji, and in three weeks the princess' acceptance arrives with a delivery of goats as her dowry.
Meanwhile, at the State Department, McBride, worried that a misstep by Clemson in the courting of Tarji will result in a collapse of the oil deal, assigns Effie to chaperone the two and ensure that their courtship goes smoothly. Soon after Tarji arrives in New York, Clemson becomes frustrated when he learns that Eastern custom forbids any physical contact with his new fiancée until after their marriage. To make matters worse, Clemson is told that the wedding date has been set by the Khan and that it will not be for another three months. Under Effie's tutelage, Tarji soon learns how to speak English, and appreciate the emancipated life that Western women enjoy. One day, while walking in the city, Tarji meets a number of young men, and innocently leads them to believe that she is available for dates.
Later that night, confusion abounds when the men that Tarji met on the street arrive at her hotel room expecting to spend time with the princess. A fistfight ensues, and Tarji is jailed as a result. Angered by news of the scandal, the Khan rushes to America and announces the end of his daughter's romance with Clemson.
With the oil contract in peril, Effie uses her charm to win the friendship of the Khan, and persuades him to let Tarji marry Clemson. The day before he and Tarji are to marry, however, Clemson rediscovers his love for Effie and decides to break off his engagement. Tarji breaks the engagement first, though, and tells him that she prefers to marry someone that she chooses herself. After extracting a promise from the Khan to sign the oil agreement, Effie turns her attention to Clemson, and the two embrace in a kiss.