The Conspiracy (1914) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Winthrop Clavering a mystery writer, is continually ridiculed for the fiction of the crimes he depicts, so he decides to solve a case himself. To that end, he determines to find the slayer of Pedro Alvarez, who whispered before dying that his assailant was a woman. At the City Refuge for Homeless Girls, Clavering obtains the assistance of Margaret Holt, the sister of Victor Holt, the district attorney. Margaret, it is revealed, was abducted by Juanita, a member of a gang of white slavers led by Alvarez. After escaping from a brothel, Margaret became Alvarez' stenographer, hoping to gather secret information on his gang. While searching for evidence, Margaret was surprised by Alvarez, whom she killed. Finally, Clavering captures the gang, clears Margaret, and encourages her romance with cub reporter Jack Howell.

  • Though famous for his clever mystery stories, Winthrop Clavering's literary triumphs are embittered by the scoffing of certain rival writers and reporters, who jeer at his reputation for discernment, and claim that some discoveries of his pertaining to real crimes, were due to luck rather than to skill. So when a murder is committed by an unknown person, under peculiar circumstances that baffle police and reporters, Clavering throws himself eagerly into a solution of the mystery, and begins a new story, which is to deal with the present case in hand, and in which he expects to prove that the person half-suspected by the police is not the true murderer. The murder was that of a Spaniard, Pedro Alvarez, in his rooms at the Beaumont Hotel. Just before dying, the victim had the strength to gasp over the telephone that his murderer was a woman, but nothing more had been learned, save that a veiled woman had visited him that afternoon, of whom all trace had been lost. Even his stenographer, a young girl, was strangely missing. Clavering, needing the assistance of a stenographer himself, visits the City Refuge for Homeless Girls, as they make a business to furnish stenographers, typewriters and secretaries. Clavering tells the manager he wants a girl with no foolishness or followers, and that she must be willing to forego all society and stay at his house constantly while at work on the wonderful new story. He engages the services of a young girl who, just come to the Refuge, frightened and nervous, is only too glad to get a position that enables her to stay closely in the house. A young reporter recognizes her as a girl he had rescued from a band of crooks, and before she leaves with Clavering gets her confidence and her story. Her real name is Margaret Holt, and she is the sister of the assistant to the District Attorney. She was at one time the captive of a band of white slavers, known as the Scarlet Band, and had escaped from the place during a fire. Ever since this terrible experience the girl and her brother had hounded the Scarlet Band, in whose existence Clavering was the only other believer, though he had known nothing of Margaret and her story. The young reporter promises to help Margaret, who had killed the Spaniard to save her brother, who was in danger from the miscreants, for she is the much-wanted murderess herself. Thanking him she goes with Clavering and to her horror discovers it is the story of the murder she herself committed that she is to work on. Clavering's astute discovery of this fact, his forcing her to take the dictation of his solution of the murder, which is the true one and how he finally ranges himself on the girl's side, spares her, captures the famous Scarlet Band, refuting the sneers of his incredulous enemies, and helps along the romance of his young stenographer and the cub reporter, is amusingly and excitingly told in one of the most stirring of film dramas.


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