An Alpine Echo (1909)
- Summaries (2)
Antoine, a Swiss peasant boy, lives with his grandfather, his parents being dead, and is learning the wood carving that seems to be an inherited talent with the Alpine Swiss. They are startled while at their work by the roar of the avalanche and rush to the window in time to witness the destruction of the cottage of their nearest neighbor by the majestic rush of snow and rocks. It is with scant hope that they hurry to the scene of the disaster, but little Lena has lain preserved by the massing of the heavy timbers of the roof above her frail body and she is taken out, senseless through fright but without bodily hurt. Her parents have been killed and the good old man makes Lena a member of his household. She is a merry playfellow for Antoine and a splendid housekeeper, but with the passage of the years a deeper sentiment develops between the two and it seems the most natural thing in the world that they should love each other. Antoine, a sturdy young fellow, acts as a guide in the tourist season, and while he is escorting a party up the mountains he becomes enamored of a pretty American girl, who jokingly encourages his dumb worship. She pretends to have sprained her ankle that she may have an excuse to leave the party, and Antoine carries her back to the hotel in his strong arms. Later he declares his passion, the scene being accidentally overlooked by Lena, and is promised his answer that night, for the heartless little coquette knows that her party is leaving and sends him a letter saying that she is returning to America and hopes that if he ever crosses the Atlantic he will come and see her. The invitation is merely a thoughtless effort to make the refusal seem less unkind, for the girl never dreams that he will follow her across the seas and she has forgotten even the note when it is brought her in her American home some months later. Her memory refreshed, she vigorously denounces Antoine for his presumption and orders him out of the house. The dying grandfather urges Lena to go to America to find her foster brother, and when she fails in her search and her money is all gone she decides to sell the music box with its exquisite carvings that is her sole remaining treasure. She takes it to the shop of a dealer in carvings where Antoine is employed. At the sound of the song he knows so well Antoine sees visions of his Alpine home with which the melody is so intimately associated. He rushes into the shop from the workroom to learn the source of the melody and in another moment Lena is in his arms. The kindly proprietor, who has paid handsomely for the music box, presents it to them as his wedding gift and makes their happiness complete. The subject is a well-balanced production in which the stage director, scenic artists and players unite in the presentation of a story of absorbing interest. The Alpine views are notably good and the avalanche is a new departure in picture making.
Childhood sweethearts who grew up in Switzerland meet again in America many years later.
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