Three reels was just long enough for the cliché-ridden melodrama The Crimson Clue. Hoping to obtain enough money to get married, a young inventor hits up his wealthy uncle for a loan, only to be turned down flat. At the same time, the inventor's brother, an unethical doctor, decides to kill the uncle so as to inherit the old guy's dough. When the inventor pops up with a suspicious cut on his hand, it is assumed that he was responsible for his uncle's murder. But the doctor and the audience know that the real culprit is a hired torpedo named Jimmy the Chink, who has a similar cut on his hand. A police lab test reveals that the blood stain near the scene of the crime was infected with yellow fever germs. An undercover cop discovers that Jimmy the Chink has recently recovered from yellow fever, at which point the inventor's innocence is proven and the doctor's complicity in the crime exposed.
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