After the end of the Second World War an American soldier Tipkins steals in Vienna museum a rare watch, which once belonged to the Emperor Rudolph II. Archivist Kraus informs the director about it, he even knows which soldier it was. The director therefore contacts Lieutenant Hopkins. He promises to help and on his orders Tipkins reluctantly gives the antiquity to the lieutenant. After some time the director asks for the result an American colonel. He learns that the lieutenant meanwhile swapped the watch for butter and bought for it a wagon of salt, which he intends to deliver to Berlin. Colonel orders the lieutenant to cancel the exchange and to return the watch. Museum director is visited by colonel's batman Probs along with Tipkins. They make it clear to him that he has to buy the watch back, which the unhappy director finally does. While the director pours his visitors a glass of spirit, Tipkins steals unnoticed a rare ring.