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The Phantom Mine (1917)

The Phantom Mine (1917)

Short | Drama

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Jake Barstow returns to the west after a spree in New York and Chicago. He meets Chuck Peters and Piute Charley, two of his old cronies, and boastingly shows them clippings that relate the stories of his exploits in the metropolitan centers. Tapping his pocketbook significantly, Barstow says it's time to get some more of the easy money to be had thereabouts. On the day following his return, Barstow visits the San Remo ranch and endeavors to interest Roger King, its millionaire owner, in his Greenback mine. King instructs his youthful superintendent, Larry Kerwin, to visit the mine, and if it proves to be the bonanza that Barstow says it is, to pay him $10,000 for a half interest. Barstow figures that Larry will draw the money and carry it on his person. Shortly before the two are to meet, Larry is held up by two masked men in his hotel room. They get nothing; the money is held in trust by the local bank, and instructions have been given not to pay it to Barstow except upon Larry's written order. Barstow and Larry start for the mine back in the hills. At a point where the trail divides, Larry takes out his knife, and, unobserved by Barstow, slits the oats sack carried by their pack burro. Proceeding to the secret mine, Barstow trusses Larry up and compels him to sign an order for the $10,000. Meanwhile King and his daughter, Madge, alarmed for Larry's safety, have secured a guide in the town and follow as fast as their horses can travel. The guide is Chuck, and he has had orders to prevent the Kings from reaching the mine. If necessary Piute Charley is to resort to extreme measures in assisting Chuck to carry out Barstow's orders. At the fork in the trail, Madge discovers the oats strewn along the ground in the opposite direction from that taken by their guide. Following up this clue they reach the entrance to the mine, and are fired upon by Chuck and Piute Charley. Barstow also takes a hand in the game. After King has done for his confederates, Madge gets the drop on Barstow and disarms him. Barstow then boasts that they will never see Larry alive, because he has lighted a fuse leading to a box of explosives back in the mine. Madge rescues Larry not more than ten seconds before the whole country rocks with the force of the explosion.
James W. Horne
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