Actor/director William Duncan was known for his rugged characterizations, but here -- for at least part of this complicated melodrama -- he plays a city dweller. John Manning (Duncan) secretly marries Ethel Austin (Edith Johnson) and then heads West to make his fortune. But he becomes a fugitive when his partner, Milton Hulst (Henry Herbert), kills a man and pins the crime on him. Ethel believes her husband is dead and to please her mother (Mathilda Brundage), she marries Frederick Apthorpe, an up-and-coming district attorney (Jack Richardson). Hulst, who knows of her first marriage and isn't done with his dirty work, tries to blackmail her. Manning returns from the West to find Hulst attacking Ethel and in the ensuing fight, a revolver discharges, killing Hulst. Although it was completely accidental, Manning protects Ethel by taking responsibility for the crime. He is sentenced to die, but at the ninth hour, Ethel goes to Apthorpe -- now governor of the state -- and threatens to reveal the truth about what happened and then shoot herself unless Manning is pardoned. Apthorpe obliges and the audience is left with the assumption that he will annul his marriage so that Ethel and Manning can be together.
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