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Plot Summary

  • Governor Walter Garland, a conscientious executive, receives a complaint from a committee of reformers that the convicts in the state prison are subjected to inhuman treatment. The governor decides to investigate, and accordingly goes to his friend, Judge Howe, requesting the latter to have him arrested under a fictitious name, and sentenced to five years' imprisonment, then, after thirty days have passed, release him on a writ of habeas corpus, thus permitting the governor to investigate the prisons without the officials being aware of his presence. The governor's last executive act is the pardoning of Pete Brown, a lifer, whose attorney, James McDonald, is the governor's personal friend. The plan works well, no one knowing of the arrangement except the judge and the governor himself. Within a short time, the absence of Governor Garland creates a sensation. No one knows his whereabouts and the papers feature the fact that the twenty-fifth of June is the date set for Governor Garland's wedding with Miss King, who is also ignorant of her lover's whereabouts. After the thirty days have elapsed, Judge Howe prepares to issue a writ that will free the governor, but a sudden stroke of apoplexy paralyzes his heart and he dies almost instantly. The governor, in his cell, cannot understand the judge's silence after the thirty days have elapsed. Brown, the ex-convict, visits Albany to thank the governor for pardoning him. His facial characteristics are such that he is immediately shown into the governor's chamber and asked to explain his disappearance. Brown is mystified, but soon decides that if people believe him to be the governor, he will not tell them the truth. Be satisfactorily explains his absence and the papers are again full of news of the Garland-King wedding. On the eve of the wedding, Garland, in his cell, is almost frantic when he receives a newspaper that informs him of Judge Howe's death. He tells the warden that he is the governor. The warden smiles and orders him back to work with the gang. Desperate, Garland breaks for the open. He compels a passing chauffeur to hurry him to the city and storms into the church in his convict garb, where, with a wild "I forbid," he halts the ceremony. When Garland tells his story, the best man, who is Attorney McDonald for the first time recognizes his client, Pete Brown, and the bride, with the two men before her, quickly decides which man is her lover.

    - Written by Moving Picture World synopsis

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