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The Bargain (1914) - Plot Summary Poster

(1914)

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  • After the bandit Jim Stokes robs the stage he is wounded fleeing. Recuperating at a ranch, he falls in love with and marries the daughter. Now wishing to go straight he tries to return the money but is recognized and captured. When the Sheriff then loses the recovered money at a crooked roulette table, he and Stokes strike a bargain.

  • In the first scene, the country is alarmed by advice that Jim Stokes, the "Two-Gun Man" is in the neighborhood headed for the border, and warning is given to place a double guard around the stage on its trip through the canyon. The warning is timely, for Jim is planning to hold up the stage and obtain a package of gold on it consigned to the express company. The stage is seen traversing a winding roadway through the marvelous scenery of the Grand Canyon, and at an opportune bend in the route Jim cleverly holds up and robs the stage, extra guard and all. Jim has the lead in his attempt to escape, but his pursuers are close on his trail. He is wounded and his horse killed from under him. However, he manages to lose himself in the Bad Lands, and painfully makes his way to a spring, where he falls unconscious. From this situation Jim is rescued by Nell Brent's father, who takes him to their home, where Nell nurses him back to health. He falls in love with his pretty nurse, and without revealing his identity is married to her. Conscience-stricken, he determines to return the stolen money to the express company, and riding to the nearest station for that purpose, is horrified to find a poster announcing a thousand dollars reward for his capture. He is seen and recognized, almost immediately, and the sheriff organizes a party for that purpose even while Jim's horse is hitched at the railing of the store. He learns the intent, however, and again makes a daring escape with his pursuers crowding close behind. He rides his horse into a pool of water, to lose the trail, puts a note under the saddle for his waiting bride, and sends his horse home. Again he starts on foot, but is finally captured in a typical western hotel combining saloon, gambling rooms and dance hall. While waiting with his prisoner until train time, the sheriff is attracted by the revelry of the rooms below, and going downstairs, gets into the game and loses all of the stolen money he had just recovered from Jim. Returning then to his prisoner whom he had left in handcuffs the sheriff said, "I'm a bigger thief than you are, Jim Stokes. I've lost the money you stole from the express company." Seeing the sheriff's predicament, and wishing himself to be free, Jim proposes the bargain that if the sheriff will let him go, he will recover the money. This is agreed upon, and Jim's handcuffs are removed. He then arms himself, and going out through the window, enters the gambling room, and holds up the cashier. He gets the money, rushes out in the wildest excitement, mounts a horse, and is again pursued. The flight this time takes him to the edge of a great precipice with the posse at his heels. Without hesitation he chooses the plunge to capture and horse and rider are seen rolling over and over down the steep cliffside. Jim again escapes, covers his trail and reaches the hotel just in advance of the searching party. He enters the room in a semi-fainting condition, turns over the money to the waiting sheriff, is handcuffed, and hastily tumbles into bed just as the party comes to the door and gaining admittance, explains that the game had been held up and they thought in some way Jim might have escaped and "turned the trick." The next day the sheriff starts with his prisoner, but safely away from the town, he looses the handcuffs, gives Jim two hours' start to get his bride, and wishes him good luck, thus fulfilling his part of the bargain. Jim returns to Nell, is forgiven, and together they go across the border to another state.


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