Selecting His Heiress (1911)
Comedy | Short
Uncle Doughbags, a rich old bachelor, has so much money it is a question of some concern to him. He has three nieces, next of kin. In order to become better acquainted with them and learn their fitness for handling such a large inheritance, he pays them a visit. When the girls bear that he is coming, the two younger nieces, who are two overgrown twin "boobies," decide to win their uncle's favor by being very attentive to him, and naturally suppose that he will be very much impressed by their sensitiveness and sympathetic natures. On the other hand, their older sister is of a very literary, chilly temperament, and is too much absorbed in her own interests to show any special interest in her uncle or his affairs. She does not seem to care. Uncle Doughbags is received with much "gush" and demonstration by the two "kid" sisters, while the elder sister receives him in a very matter-of-fact way. The over demonstrative manner in which the two younger girls force their attentions upon him and their readiness to cry over anything that displeases him, gets on their uncle's nerves, and the quiet indifference of the elder sister makes him feel very much disconcerted, so, between them all, he is entirely undecided as to who is the most deserving of his wealth. He consults a lawyer, and is told the only way he can decide is to die. Uncle Doughbags makes up his mind to do this and makes all arrangements for a respectable demise. The effusive twins give one outburst of grief and then get busy, asking about their uncle's will and speculating on the good times they will have with the money he has left them. The uncle takes all this in and makes a mental note of it. The elder sister respectfully evidences her grief by subdued tears and a sincere sorrow for the loss of her generous and kind uncle, whom she speaks of in endearing terms, mentioning his many good traits. She makes preparations for his funeral with decency and propriety, showing no interest as to how he has willed his fortune, in fact, caring little and knowing less about it. Uncle Doughbags "is wise," and it does not take him very long to make up his mind as to whom he shall bequeath his possessions. He suddenly comes to life, explains his pretended death, and declares his heiress to be the elder sister.