Jack Pickford, brother of Mary, does a surprisingly fine job in this action-packed comedy. He is the title character, Barney Cook by name, who has been fired from his messenger job for spending all his time reading detective novels. He walks into a detective bureau and lands a position -- they need someone to help break a kidnapping case and believe that Barney can help do the trick. Barney is disguised as the deaf and dumb son of a wealthy man so that he can be kidnapped himself. In spite of his inexperience (or perhaps because of it) Barney outwits the crooks, escapes with the abducted child, and brings the kid's estranged parents (Edwin Stanley and Helen Green) back together.
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