A man named Lucullus Polk is described as a promoter or broker who profits from the visiting potentates that come to America.
The story begins with Lucullus encountering a man named Solly, who recently came into a large sum of money. Lucullus convinces Solly to let him be his guide and show him a good time in various cities. However, Lucullus struggles to find activities that Solly enjoys. They visit San Antonio, St. Louis, and Chicago, but Solly is unimpressed.
‘The Gaekwar of Baroda rides in an elephant in a howdah! And there’s old Bikram Shamsher Jang scorching up and down the pig-paths of Khatmandu on a motor-cycle. Wouldn’t that maharajah you? And the Shah of Persia, that ought to have been Muley-on-the-spot for at least three, he’s got the palanquin habit. And that funny-hat prince from Korea—wouldn’t you think he could afford to amble around on a milk-white palfrey once in a dynasty or two? Nothing doing! His idea of a Balaklava charge is to tuck his skirts under him and do his mile in six days over the hog-wallows of Seoul in a bull-cart. That’s the kind of visiting potentates that come to this country now. It’s a hard deal, friend.’
Finally, they arrive in New York, where Lucullus arranges for Solly to meet a chorus girl named Lolabelle. However, Solly ends up marrying a different woman named Miss Skinner. Solly's new wife takes control of his money and refuses to pay Lucullus his agreed-upon fee. In the end, Solly sends Lucullus six expensive saddles as payment. Lucullus hopes to sell one of the saddles to the Imam of Muskat, who is rumored to be visiting the United States.
‘I’ve got ’em all on the list. I know every tan royal dub and smoked princerino from Mindanao to the Caspian Sea.’
Lucullus believes that his best saddle will be sold to His Highness Seyyid Feysal bin Turkee, the progressive and enlightened ruler of Muskat.