The wealthy Mrs. Teasdale insists on appointing Rufus T. Firefly as the head of the small bankrupt state of Freedonia
before she will continue to provide the financial support it needs. Meanwhile, the neighbouring state of Sylvania is
attempting to take over Freedonia. The Sylvanian Ambassador Trentino, seeking to foment a revolution, woos Mrs.
Teasdale and hires a couple of spies to dig up some dirt on Firefly. They fail to find anything of importance but
opportunity knocks when Firefly appoints Chicolini (one of the two spies) as Secretary of War, enabling him to infiltrate
the government. Firefly's assistant warns him about Trentino and convinces Firefly to insult him in public so that he will
react inappropriately and they will be able to force him to leave. Instead it is Firefly who slaps his rival. As a result the two
countries almost end up at war. In addition there is the complication that Firefly is wooing Mrs.Teasdale, hoping to get his
hands on the money left by her late husband. After Trentino learns that the war plans are in the hands of Mrs. Teasdale,
he sends his spies to steal them. Chicolini is captured and prosecuted but mayhem breaks out in the courtroom before
the sentence is passed. Trentino ends up getting pelted with fruit and finally gives in just as Mrs. Teasdale shows off her
skills as a soprano – ensuring that she becomes the target of the rotten fruit.