The Deerslayer (1913) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Wah-Ta-Wah, or Hist, the lady-love of Chingachgook, a Delaware chief, has been captured by the warlike Hurons. Chingachgook asks the aid of Deerslayer, a white man brought up among the Indians, in rescuing her, and. the two men arrange to meet at Lake Otsego, then called Glimmerglass. Deerslayer sets out for the meeting place, accompanied by Hurry Harry March, a trapper, who acts as his guide. Hurry takes him to meet Hotter, another hunter, who has established a permanent home on the lake. With his two daughters, Judith and Hetty, Hutter lives in a peculiar fortress, called the Castle, set on piles in the middle of the lake, and also spends much of the time on a strange vessel called The Ark, similar to the Castle, but built on a scow. It is on this vessel, fishing up a small stream, that they are found by Deerslayer and Hurry Harry. The two men receive a hearty welcome from Judith, who is betrothed to Harry and who at once greatly admires the evident strength of Deerslayer. News arrives that the Hurons are on the warpath, and all hasten to get the Ark out of the stream and out into the lake. That night, Hurry Harry, Hutter and Deerslayer take the canoe and land on shore. The others wish to go on a scalping expedition to the now unprotected Indian encampment, but Deerslayer will not accompany them. When the camp is attacked, both men are captured and Deerslayer is obliged to return without them, Hatter having charged him with the care of his daughters in case harm should have befallen him. The next day, Deerslayer goes to the foot of the lake, where he meets his friend, Chingachgook, and brings him to the Ark. Hetty, the simple-minded daughter of Hutter, secretly takes the canoe and goes off to shore to plead for her father and Harry whom she loves greatly. She is treated kindly by the Indians, who always revere the simple-minded and given the freedom of the camp. While there, Hetty meets Hist, and having told her that Chingachgook is at the Ark, she is given a message for him. She is brought back the nest day to the Ark by one of the Indians, who is given a present for his chief by Deerslayer, who offers a ransom for his friends. Harry and Hatter are exchanged for a pair of ivory chessmen, castles mounted on elephants, and are soon back again with Deerslayer and the anxious girls. Hist had sent a message saying that she would be awaiting her lover at sunset, and accordingly Chingachgook and Deerslayer set off to fetch her. By heading off the Indians in another direction, Deerslayer makes good the escape of Hist and Chingachgook, but is himself captured. Rivenoak, the Huron chief, promises Deerslayer his life if he will join the tribe and marry Samac, wife of a brave he had killed in the struggle, but he will not accept the offer. Hutter has not been near the Castle for some days and goes there with Hurry Harry, notwithstanding the warning they receive from Chingachgook. They are ambushed by the Hurons, who scalp Hutter. Harry gets away and brings the dreadful news to his daughters at the Ark. He proposes that Judith, long betrothed to him, now marry him, that he may have the right to protect her and her sister. She refuses because of the secret love she had conceived for Deerslayer from the moment she first saw him. Hurry then leaves the two girls in the care of Chingachgook and Hist and goes to the British fort, where he tells of the death of Hutter and the capture of Deerslayer, and asks for aid. While he is gone, Judith, who would give her life for the man she loves, goes to the camp, masquerading as a queen, seeking the release of Deerslayer. The Indians, who have never seen her before, are at first taken in, but her identity is unwittingly betrayed by Hetty to Chief Rivenoak. The chief tells Judith that at sunset the brave Deerslayer must die. Meanwhile, Hurry Harry March is bringing the soldiers towards the Indian camp. They arrive just in time to prevent the death of Deerslayer and rout the Indians after a short but sharp skirmish. When all fighting is over and examination made of the wounded, it is found that Hetty has been hit by a stray bullet and is dying. In her last words she confesses her love for Hurry Harry, and, asking a kiss from him, dies in his arms, Judith, now deprived of father and sister both, is offered a home by the captain of the soldiers, who will take her back with him to his wife and sisters at the fort. She will not at once answer him, however, but asks time to consider what she shall do. She goes with Deerslayer a little apart from the camp and there confesses her love for him, telling him that if he returns her love, she will understand by his silence. Deerslayer listens to her gravely and with all respect, but answers not a word. -- Moving Picture World synopsis

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