Feature Drama | 1910 | Silent | B/W
A melodrama, from around 1910 about a gang of white slavers working along the Thames, with rags to riches story line thrown in!
Three young women tied up, in chairs, one trying to escape. Two men and a woman sat at a table by the river. The woman goes off downstairs. She appears in the room where the woman are tied up. She drags one from the floor back onto a chair. Threatens the other two, puts her hands round their throats. Intertitle: "If I have to
come in to you again, I'll use the whip!" The room again, the girl who tried to escape appears to have collapsed. The two men sitting at a table upstairs. The woman rejoins them, laughing. Intertitle: "Courtney receives a note from the lady he saved".
Boatman sat by river with pipe and dog, another man standing up, face out of view.
A man in a white coat comes through the gate to join them, hands the boatman a note. Text of note appears on screen, in longhand:
" I want to thank you for your kindness of yesterday. Please come back with my chauffeur, and give me the opportunity of expressing my gratitude,
The three men by the river, heads out of the picture again. All three go off through the
gate. Two ladies taking tea outside, a maid putting something on the table. The boatman and the chauffeur appear round the corner of the house. The boatman is
introduced to the maid, she walks him over to the table, he shakes hands with the young lady and bows to the older one. The young lady tries to give him a cheque, or
banknote, which he refuses. He shakes hands and bows again, then heads off across the lawn, maid in attendance. Older man sitting by the river. Young woman in long apron brings him a jug of something. Intertitle: "Where's Jack?" Old man and
young woman talking, intertitle: "He's gone to see another girl."
Young woman throws tantrum, gets into a boat, the old man(her father?) tries to stop
her but she pulls off. He wags his finger at her, she sticks her tongue out. She moors the boat by two trees. Intertitle: "Ruth's jealous passion". She sits by the trees then falls forward on the ground, head on arm.
Intertitle: "The Vampire". Man with bow tie & hat, smoking in a boat. The boat pulls up by the two trees, he sees the girl on the ground. A bearded sailor appears and steadies the boat while he addresses the girl. He helps her to her feet.
The old man talking to the boatman(Jack?) by the river, points which way the girl went. Jack leaves in a boat. Intertitle: "Tactics of the tempter. 'Your lover is false. He goes tonight to see your rival. Meet me at the landing stage at nine o'clock and I will
prove my words'." Man in Bow tie tries to get Ruth into his boat. Intertitle;
"Jack disturbs the schemers plans" Jack paddles a canoe down river, arriving at the two trees. He addresses "Bow tie man". Jack gets Ruth into a boat, though she is reluctant. Ruth and Jack arrive back at the landing, she gets out of the boat first, shouts at him. He follows her to the house but she shuts the door in his face.
The man with the bow tie arrives at another spot by the river. Jack stands by the door, then picks up oars and leaves. "Bow tie man gets into his boat, a small steamboat, heads upriver with bearded sailor.
Ruth sitting on doorstep peeling potatoes "Bow tie man" arrives, she smiles. He points at something makes a suggestion, she refuses, then seems to agree. Jack
appears, bowtie man leaves, Ruth looks doubtful, finger in mouth. Jack asks her
something she goes inside, closing the door. He leaves carrying oars again.
Intertitle:"That evening". Ruth and her father sitting inside the cottage, Jack standing up. Jack goes over to the window, asks Ruth something, father dozes.
Intertitle ; "Memories". Jack leans on the gate, smoking his pipe. Scene inside stately home, a footman, Jack in upper-class clothes arguing with an older man in evening dress. The older man, presumably his father, strikes him. Jack back at the gate in boatman's clothes again. He relights his pipe, goes through the gate, looks angry.
Bow tie man gets out of his boat. Ruth, inside the cottage, leaves her father sleeping. She comes out of the front door, in hat and coat, waves to someone.
She gets aboard the steamboat with the man in the bowtie and the sailor. It heads
upriver just as Jack arrives. Intertitle : "I am going to see this through" Jack jumps
into the river and hangs onto the back of the steamboat, concealing himself. He hangs on as the boat goes upriver.
Bowtie man inside the boat with Ruth, points at something. Two other men inside the boat, one hands bowtie man a cloth sprinkled with some thing. He puts it over Ruth's mouth. Intertitle ; " The houseboat prison. Another fly in the web". The small steamboat comes alongside the houseboat, Ruth unconscious. Man in bows uses a boathook to hang onto the houseboat. Bowtie man carries Ruth on board the houseboat, still unconscious. Man in front also goes aboard, bearded sailor goes off in the steamboat. Jack appears, in the river, hangs onto the side of the houseboat.
He feels his way round the front of the boat.
The three girls still tied up, the older woman with them. Bowtie man and the other man bring Ruth in, the older woman brings out a fourth chair. They tie Ruth to it , she wakes up. Jack climbs on board the houseboat. He crawls along the deck, moves
stealthily up the stairs. The room with the girls tied up again, getting crowded now.
Jack comes onto the upper deck, bottles on the table, he knocks one off.
Intertitle ; "An unfortunate bungle"
Bowtie man covers Ruth's mouth. Hands a gun to moustachioed man. Jack hears
something coming, dives off into the river. Surfaces amongst reeds. Moustache man
prowls round, gun in hand, goes up the stairs. He looks around the upper deck. Jack
in the reeds again. Man with the gun can't see anyone, goes back downstairs. Inside
tied up girls room, bowtie man takes his jacket off. Moustache man comes in.
Intertitle ; "I couldn't see anyone, but I think the sooner we pack up and get out of here ,the better". Bowtie man considers what to do. He leaves the room ,with moustache man and older woman, leaving the four girls tied up. Jack still in the reeds. Older woman back in the room, packing suitcases, moustache man carries them out. Older woman produces cloak.
Jack climbs up side of boat, opens shutter. Goes back into the river, swims to a verandah. Moustache man and bowtie man on veranda, Jack out of sight below, in the river. Bowtie man disappears.
Intertitle: "The river police". Three uniformed men in a boat. Intertitle: "Quick! There's
a man in the river!" They row on. Jack hangs onto a post in the river. They row to him, get him on board.
Bowtie man packing a suitcase on upper deck, moustache man comes upstairs with another suitcase. Intertitle: "The raid" Jack and the river police pull up alongside verandah(which is part of the houseboat). Jack tells them to be quiet and leads the way. They go upstairs and a fight starts with the two baddies. Bowtie man dives into the river, pursued by Jack, as the police collar moustache man. In the tied up girls room, the older woman hears the noise, leaves. She appears upstairs, one of the
policeman grabs her. Two policemen go downstairs. Jack and bowtie man fighting in the water, two policemen come alongside in a boat. They tie bowtie man to the side of the boat. He is standing up in the boat having handcuffs put on, then he is in the water again, shots seem to be mixed up. They pull him on board, Jack climbs in, they row off. Policeman appears through entrance to "veranda", with older woman,
and bowtie man and moustache man, handcuffed together. They are loaded into a small boat which pulls off. Jack and a policeman enter tied up girls room and they are finally untied. They all leave the room , leaving four empty chairs.
Intertitle: " The Next day". Ruth and her father sitting on the doorstep, Ruth cuddling a dog. Father shows her something in a newspaper. Jack appears. He looks at the
newspaper, print then appears on screen:
DEATH OF LORD COURTNEY
We regret to announce the sudden death of Lord Courtney, which took place last night. His son, the honourable Jack Courtney, succeeds to the title and the estate.
King Edward's stick sold.
Jack takes off his hat. Intertitle; "You are right about the name, Lord Courtney was my father ". Jack hugs Ruth and shakes hands with her father.
Intertitle: "Lord and Lady Courtney at home". Jack and Ruth appear, dressed up.
Jack takes off Ruth's coat and hands it to a resplendent footman. They sit down, he Kisses her. Old man appears out of thin air behind them, holding a book over his face. The footman returns, the old man points upwards. Jack kisses Ruth again.
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