The Criminal Code (1914)
- Summaries (1)
Betty, an orphan girl of sixteen, is abused at an orphanage, and one evening after an unusually trying episode, she escapes. She rides a freight car to a distant city. There she wanders cold and hungry, and at last falls fainting in a park. Francis Seeman, a Raffles, driving by in his limousine, rescues her. He adopts and educates Betty. At the school she meets Gladys, the daughter of a wealthy man, and the girls become very good chums. At the end of the four years Betty returns to Seeman, and then he discloses his purpose in adopting her. She is horror-stricken, but forced by threats to follow instructions. He and Betty go to another city to begin their operations. Seeman forges a letter of introduction to one of the wealthiest men of the town, and thereby gains social recognition. He and Betty are invited to a fashionable function, Betty posing as Seeman's daughter. There she meets Gladys, her school chum and a niece of the hostess. Seeman forces Betty to steal the latter's diamond necklace. A few days later Gladys calls on Betty, and incidentally shows her a beautiful rope of pearls. Just as she is showing them to Betty, Seeman enters. After Gladys has gone, Seeman commands Betty to get the pearls. Betty refuses, and Seeman, enraged, tries to choke her. Betty, frightened, seizes a hat pin and stabs Seeman with it. He falls to the floor. She then goes to the safe and takes some money, and finds Mrs. Mills' necklace. Deliberately she takes the jewels and strews them across Seeman's body, so the public may know who stole them. Betty retires to the country, posing as a widow, and takes a little cottage, as it happens next to the young clergyman, Roger Neville. She and Roger become very good friends, but the villagers disapprove. One day a little boy comes for Roger to go to the bedside of a dying woman. Betty goes along. The woman they find already dead, leaving a boy of four. Roger suggests one of the villagers adopt the orphan, but all the women answer that they already have too many mouths of their own to feed, and to send the child to the orphanage. The picture of what she had suffered at the orphanage rises before Betty, and she begs to take the boy. The villagers sniff and turn up their noses, declaring Betty did this only to make an impression. In the meantime Seeman is taken to the hospital. He lies between life and death, held for the robberies. Seeman at last is on the road to recovery, and determined not to go to prison alone, he tells the detectives Betty is his accomplice, and gives them a picture of her. They begin their search. One day when the papers are delivered to the villagers, they see a picture of Betty on the front page, telling why she is wanted. The minister receives the paper, and reads the article. Upon his persuasion, Betty tells her story. In the meantime the detectives arrive, and the village people are only too eager to show them where Betty is. At the trial Betty tells her story to the judge and jury, and it wins her case, the judge giving Seeman a long term in the penitentiary. Gladys is at the trial, and shows her loyalty toward Betty.
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