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Storyline

The plot of this picture is laid in the early reign of King George III, at Portsmouth, England, and the surrounding country. John Southwell, a gentleman of limited means, is sitting on his porch reading a newspaper as a servant enters and hands him a letter. Opening it he reads: "Your debts to me for money loaned fall due in a month. I am willing to take your daughter Phoebe in marriage and cancel them. If not, I shall have yon arrested for debt. I shall come tonight for my answer. (Signed! JOHN HARBOLD." Southwell seems disturbed and calls his daughter and shows her the letter. Phoebe reads it, shakes her head, evidently refusing the offer. She endeavors to comfort her father. He kisses her affectionately and goes slowly into the house, while Phoebe falls into a chair despondently. Squire Harbold, a coarse, middle-aged man, enters, advances to the girl and bows. He immediately makes known his errand, and as Phoebe shakes her head his manner becomes threatening. Then, altering his ...

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