The Chieftain, with libretto by Francis Cowley Burnand and music by Sullivan, is a revison of the two men's earlier work The Contrabandista of 1867. The Chieftain ran at the Savoy Theatre from 12 December 1894 to 16 March 1895, achieving 97 performances.
The Ladrones, a band of Spanish brigands, have been without their chieftain Ferdinand for
a year. Their law declares that the next person who enters their domain shall be named
chieftain and wear the ancient sacred hat. Unfortunately, that person
terms out to be a mild-mannered British tourist named Peter Adolphus Grigg.
His disappearance in the Spanish hills prompts his wife Dolly to come looking for him.
Unknown to them, her escort is Ferdinand himself, disguised as a Polish courier.