The films produced by the Kalem company fluctuated dramatically in quality, so it was with some amazement that the trade magazine Variety gave thumbs up to the single-reel Kalem effort Pay Car. It all begins when a train engineer dismisses his drunken fireman. Swearing vengeance, the fireman hires a bunch of thugs and conspires to wreck and rob a payroll car. They are caught in the act by the engineer's wife, who tries to warn her husband, only to be kidnapped for her troubles. Stumbling upon his wife's abandoned shawl, the engineer puts two and two together and organizes a posse to capture the fireman and his flunkies. By film's end, the engineer has not only averted the destruction of the pay car, but also vanquished the villain and rescued the heroine.
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