Phryne is on a date with Bobby Ferguson at the carnival. Bobby is in a fowl mood and has complained all night. Bobby realises that he still has his mothers pearl bracelet in his pocket that he meant to have fixed and worries about the number of thieves at the carnival. Phryne advises him to keep his voice down and move it to a different pocket.
Phryne rides the carousel picking a black stallion to ride and then goes in a tent to see the 'missing link. She then heads to the next tent which is the princess of the amazon. Here she meets Doreen 'the princess' and her snake Cleopatra and a mechanic at the carnival Allan Lee. Phryne promises to get rid of her date Bobby and return to the carnival on another night.
She catches up to Bobby who states he has been robbed of the pearl bracelet and shows her the empty jewellery box. He says he realised it was missing when he went to get his money out to pay for a turn on the shooting range. Phryne quiets him down but all Bobby's shouting has attracted the attention of a police officer who starts asking for details Phryne introduces herself as a detective and a friend of D.I Jack Robinson. Allan Lee tells Phryne that Samson the strongman normally sees off thieves.
Phryne realises that Bobby has staged the theft as no thief would steal a bracelet and leave the box. Phryne looks at the shooting range and notices the bracelet hanging among the prizes. Allan Lee tells Phryne that Anna the lady on the shooting range is no thief and Phryne tells him to distract the policeman and she will get the bracelet back. Phryne tells them to go and get the 'Wild Man' and Cleopatra the snake as she knows Bobby hates snakes. Allan and the Wild Man cause a fuss and while Bobby and the policeman are distracted Phryne grabs the bracelet.
Bobby corners Anna while the policeman is distracted and says that she has to either go with him or he will get the police. Anna tells him to get the police. Bobby states he has the pearls and Anna stole them but when they are investigated they are cheap imitations being offered as prizes. Phryne comes forward with the real pearls and tells the policeman Bobby dropped them near the carousel then he tells Bobby to tell the policeman what he has been up to but Allan Lee stops her and tells her they don't want trouble at the carnival so Samson just throws Bobby out.
Phryne spends the evening getting to know the carnival people and spends the night with Allan Lee.