A Fight for Freedom; Or, Exiled to Siberia (1914) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Slowly and painfully a long line of suffering political prisoners were being brutally driven through the blinding snow to the barren wastes of Siberia, where they were destined to spend the balance of their lives in toil and sorrow. At the rear of the line patiently trudged a feeble old man, who in spite of his advanced years had brought the cruel vengeance of Russia down upon his head by daring to speak his mind in the interests of freedom. In the distance could be seen a small sleigh driven by an aged woman at whose side sat a strikingly beautiful girl. They were the wife and daughter of the exile, who were sharing his sad lot. In the camp of the prisoners they were allowed to live in a small hut, where they tried in vain to make the father comfortable, and soon realized that unless he could be taken back to civilization he would surely die. They sawed a hole in the floor of their hut and placed a trunk with a movable bottom over it. Then placing the old man beneath the floor they put some of his clothes and a note telling of his suicide on the riverbank and waited. For weeks they fed and cared for him secretly while the officials thought him dead. Finally they were given passports and told to return to Russia. The trunk was searched and found to contain clothes, but it was no sooner locked than the exile dropped the clothes into the cellar, and taking their place, was safely on his way across the border. In Russia, General Romanoff had ordered a massacre and his son had been stripped of his uniform for refusing to carry out the general's orders to slay the innocent. Sadly he left his father's house resolved never to return. On the road he met the exile, whose sleigh had been overturned and while helping him, fell under the spell of the large serious eyes of his beautiful daughter. Together they joined a revolutionary society, and when lots were drawn to destroy General Romanoff, the girl found herself called upon to do the dangerous work. Not knowing that the general was the father of her gallant lover, and embittered by her own father's death she consented. A bronze statue was presented to the general, who received it as a token of appreciation of his work, little dreaming that it contained the girl who was bent upon his destruction. But her lover had decided to save his father and the girl at all costs, and the deed was prevented at the very last moment with the general still innocent of his near approach to death. Mourning his son, the general wrote him a letter of forgiveness, but tore it to bits when he learned of his application to the revolutionists. Likewise the son wrote his father begging forgiveness, but destroyed the letter when the general ordered a new massacre. A terrific battle was fought in the streets, the father leading his troops in person against the forces of his sun. In the thick of the fight the general, seriously wounded, experienced a strange realization of the equality of man as he gave his last drink of water to a common revolutionary soldier and clasped his hand in brotherly love ere his soul had fled. So the general's son and the exile's daughter found the two old soldiers peacefully sleeping in each other's arms and their grief was tempered by the mute evidence of the general's change of heart as they smiled tenderly through their tears.


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