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The Sheriff's Captive (1911) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • Dan Hawkins, a rancher of Skull Valley, Arizona, going to the post-office for his mail, recognizes a man standing near, pulls his gun, shoots the man down and rides hastily away. The loitering cowpunchers hasten with news of the tragedy to the home of Fred Weller, the sheriff, who bidding his mother good-bye, saddles his broncho, and is off on the trail of the assassin. Nell, Hawkins' daughter, awaits her father's return, and greets him joyfully. He is much depressed, and thrusting a note into her hand, bids her good-bye and rides away. Nell reads the note: "My Dear Daughter--Fifteen years ago your mother ran away with another man. Today I killed him. I have made provision for your future. I am leaving this country. Good-bye. Your Father." The sheriff reaches Hawkins' cabin and encounters Nell, who denies knowledge of the whereabouts of her father. Weller, however, discovers the hoof-prints of Hawkins' horse, and starts on the trail. The next evening, by aid of his field glasses, he discovers Hawkins asleep, his horse unsaddled standing near. He stealthily steals upon the sleeping man, secures his gun and takes him prisoner. Hawkins pleads to be permitted to see his daughter. Arriving at the cabin, Nell and her father go inside, while Weller, exhausted from many hours in the saddle, drops upon a bench and is soon fast asleep. Nell comes from the cabin, purloins from the sheriff the key to the handcuffs, releases her father who rides away, she placing the handcuffs upon her own wrists. Weller awakens and is astounded. The girl tells him what she has done, and demands that she be taken in her father's stead. The cowpunchers, meanwhile, have set out in search of the sheriff, and meet him and Nell on the trail, Weller explaining, "My prisoner escaped, but I captured his daughter." He takes Nell to his home, and explains to his mother, who gives the girl a warm welcome. The new love grows apace, and in the end we find Nell handcuffing herself to Weller, promising to be "His prisoner for life."

    - Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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