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Rita Heriot, a famous French opera singer, becomes engaged to American millionaire Harry Winslow, but with the outbreak of World War I, she volunteers her services as a village telegraph operator and is captured by the Germans. Sentenced to be shot, Rita somehow escapes and makes her way to Paris, where she hopes to find her sweetheart, who unknown to her, has joined the French army to avenge her alleged death. When Baron von Bergen, a German diplomat who desires Rita for himself, tells her that Harry has been lost in the Battle of the Marne, she goes to New York, disconsolate, to appear on the stage. Rita later informs the baron that she is planning to sail to London, but he begs her to remain in New York, knowing that her ship, the Lusitania , will never reach England. The ship is torpedoed and sunk, but Rita survives, only to be attacked by von Bergen, who wishes to mask his connection with the Lusitania affair. She strangles him with a cord, however, and then travels to Paris, where in an army hospital, she is reunited with Harry.