Just before his regiment sails off to war in the Sudan, British officer Harry Feversham quits the military. He is immediately given four white feathers as symbols of cowardice, one by each of his three best friends and one by his fiancee. To disprove this grave dishonor, Harry dons an Arabian disguise and leaves for the Sudan, where he anonymously comes to the aid of his three friends, saving each of their lives. Having proven his bravery, Harry returns to England, hoping to regain the love and respect of his fiancee. This suspenseful tale movingly depicts a distinctive code of honor that was deeply valued and strongly promoted by the British during the height of their imperial power.