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The Jackal is first seen in a market where he comes upon a British teenager and her servant Geoffry and their guide. He attempts to buy her off from her guide but is refused. The male protagonist, David witnesses one of the Jackal's auctions and tries to put a jacket on a girl with torn clothes and is nearly beaten by the Jackal before David's missionary parents and their guide stop him. When David's family meet with Sarah's guide, and join their caravan from Baghdad to Damascus, the Jackal hires a guide of his own to follow the caravan.
When the caravan stops to make camp on the first night of travel, the Jackal and his men suddenly attack, killing several people and raping some of the surviving women. David, Sarah and Geoffry manage to escape. In the aftermath, the Jackal abducts the surviving women to sell later on, and argues with his guide by a well. The Jackal refuses to pay him as they didn't get Sarah, but his guide says they've captured a fair number of women to sell, but the Jackal says he wanted Sarah for himself. The Jackal drinks from the well saying the water is dull, then slits his guide's throat and pushes him in the well, remarking that it could be an improvement.
David, Sarah and Geoffry stop at a nearby cave, and David spots an encampment, not knowing it's the Jackal's. Geoffry investigates and is captured and killed. David and Sarah flee to an oasis where they fall and love and discover their natural sexuality. They also befriend a male chimpanzee they name Doc and later a female chimp they name Eve. The Jackal catches up to them and manages to capture Sarah, but she is rescued by David, with Doc and Eve's help.
They flee to another oasis where Doc and Eve have a baby. Sarah also discovers she is pregnant with David's child. It isn't long before the Jackal find them again. The Jackal chases them alone to personally capture and kill Sarah and David respectively. David decides it time to face the Jackal once and for all. While they flee through the desert, the Jackal catches up to them on horseback, and David fires arrows at him. An arrow manages to hit the Jackal, causing his horse to collapse, killing the Jackal. At the end of the film, David and Sarah find civilization in the city of Damascus.