Loosely based on a cult of assassins in early 19th-century India known as "thaga" (pronounced "tahg"), the villains in this routine, part-horror, part suspense story are causing problems in the East India Company and throughout Bombay. It seems that someone is stealing cargo from the company, and many people are unaccountably disappearing. But as usual, the colonial attitude prevails and one officer in the company is too focused on his goal of playing polo in England to see clearly, while the others are equally opaque. So it takes awhile before these Brits realize that the "thaga" cult is strangling the population and inducting new people into its rituals every day. As the assassins wreak havoc in Bombay, one of the company's officers is captured and slated for execution. The cult became so notorious and well-known in its day that the word "thug" entered into common English usage.