Count Brecht of Korvania is reading a letter from his son Eric saying that he is going to the country that he loves, the U.S., to make a life for himself. At the country's U.S. embassy, U.S. agent Keogh tells Brecht that he's sure that Eric will come home on h is own. Brecht insists that there must be no publicity. There's a militaristic faction in Korvania that would take advantage of Eric's absence.
Eric arrives in the West and visits a herd that has just arrived. The drove leader, Tex McCloud, says hello to Eric and notices that he's carrying a picnic basket. Eric speaks in the royal we and says that they're contemplating a journey, and offers Tex some of his caviar. The drover says that he's from Texas, and Eric asks for directions. Tex directs him to a nearby railway depot and hitch a ride on a boxcar.
The train soon arrives in Kansas and Eric orders the guard, Dixon, to make sure the train doesn't leave without him. He arrives at the circus and Corky greets him and offers him some food, assuming Eric is a runaway. One of the riders, April, comes into the mess tent and asks if Corky has seen Pete because her horse Diablos is acting up. Eric stares at her admiringly and recited poetry after she leaves. Corky gives April's name and Eric says that he must see her again.
Tim is dealing with Diablo when Eric and Corky come out. Diablo is high-strung and they haven't been able to calm him down. Eric goes over and easily calms the horse down, and Tim has him take Diablo to the corral. Corky claims that Eric is his "old buddy", and April says that Eric is wonderful. Tim thanks Eric for his help and offers him a job with the circus. Eric glances over at April and accepts.
That night, April and her parents are riding in the big top. Eric goes off with April afterward, and her father figures that Eric is too young and a drifter. He tells his wife Reva to talk with April. Outside, Eric says that her father reminds him of his father, and refuses to talk about his family. He insists that there's nothing worth knowing, but April doesn't believe him... but figures that it'll do for now.
Keogh arrives in town with Brecht and takes him to meet Dixon. Dixon identifies Eric from his description and shows them the coat that Eric left behind. They figure Eric is in town, and Keogh and Brecht go to the hotel. Brecht tells Keogh that the king is gravely ill and without Eric's return, the king's brother Karl will take the throne and he's a weakling and eager for conquest.
Eric tells Corky and Joey that April's parents don't approve of him, and he's a vagabond. Joey asks him what he wants to be, and Corky suggests that Eric be a clown. Eric tells them that it's not for him, and Joey asks what Eric did before he joined the circus. The boy says that he studied and is an excellent rider. His grandfather died and his father made him stop the lessons, and Joey confirms that it's riding that Eric could use Diablo for.
Joey and Corky soon convince Joey to audition Eric. Eric has the horse dance to a waltz and everyone applauds. He then does some trick riding, and even April's parents are impressed. When Tim says that he wants to publicize Eric, Eric hesitates but finally agrees.
The circus arrives in Marysville and Keogh visits. He sees the poster for Eric and then goes back to Brecht and tells him that he's found the boy. They go to the circus and Brecht calls to Eric. Eric rides away, and Brecht and Keogh meet with Tim. Tim wants his horse back, and they can't tell him why they're there. Brecht finally goes with Keogh, and April asks Tim who they were. She breaks into tears and Tim assures her that Eric will come back.
The next day as the circus packs to leave, Eric comes back and enters Tim's office. He tells Tim that he's returned Diablo and wanted to say goodbye. Tim asks who Brecht is, and Eric refuses to answer his question. Al he can say is that he didn't commit a crime, and Tim assures him that the entire circus is with him. He advises Eric to see April and as they go over, Brecht and Keogh return. Tim sends Eric to hide in Joey's wagon, and Brecht and Keogh talk to Tim in his office. Keogh has been authorized to offer Tim a substantial reward--as much as he wants--if he can tell them where Eric is. Tim tells them that no one in the circus is for sale, and Brecht apologizes for misjudging him. He then tells Tim the truth.
Later, Tim goes to Joey's wagon and addresses him as "Highness." Eric refuses to go home, and Tim says that Eric's father is dying. The boy agrees to go back and then sees April to tell her goodbye. He tells her that some day soon they will be together again. April accepts and watches with her parents as Eric says goodbye to the circus people. He tells Tim that he would give up everything he has for star billing with the circus, and Tim jokingly "fires" him. Eric gets into the carriage with Brecht and departs.
Written by Gadfly on Jul 7, 2017