Gold Is Not All (1913)
Short | Drama
The great opera singer, against the advice of her physician, insists on singing at one more performance, to earn enough to complete the trust fund she is desirous of setting aside for her child. The effort is too much, and she dies upon the stage. Her brother, who has been left guardian of the child, is crazed by the immense sum of money in his hands, and hides himself with the child and the money in a tenement, where the child is kept a virtual prisoner. The miser spends his days in gloating over the stolen money. After twelve years, three Bohemian friends rent the studio immediately above, and the imprisoned heiress, through the ministrations of the tenement slavey, meets Karl, the pianist. The miser about this time falls asleep after counting his treasure, and leaves a lighted candle, which sets fire to the room. Trying to reach the concealed fortune, he is burned to death. Karl seeing the smoke, gallantly rescues the girl who, alone in the world by the death of her uncle, is adopted by the three friends. Later, Karl discovers that the girl has a wonderful voice, and sets himself to develop it, his influence gaining the hearing of a rich man, who in turn brings the great impresario who personally coaches her until she is ready for her debut. On the evening of her first appearance, she insists on making the supper for the boys, and in an alcohol lamp explosion Karl, rescuing her from danger, burns his hand so badly that he can never play the piano again. After her triumph at a studio gathering, the rich man, intoxicated, forces his attention on the girl, and she, running to her own room for safety, is followed by Karl, who saves her once more, and in the struggle the hidden treasure is brought to light. The rich man is paid back for his expenditures, and Karl and the girl are placed beyond the reach of want.