The Trapper's Five Dollar Bill (1911) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Just because Hank Bilbro, who lives in the backwoods of the Cumberland range, sold two fox skins for a crisp, new five-dollar bill, and wouldn't buy his wife, Aurelia, a new pair of shoes, she started a quarrel, which ended in yoking the oxen to the old cart and driving to the nearest Justice of the Peace in quest of a divorce. Thaddeus Widdup, the Justice of the Peace, after hearing the case, decides to grant them a separation. Hank has but five dollars, which the judge pockets and conveniently makes that amount the regular price of a divorce. Aurelia then puts in a claim for five dollars alimony, to enable her to buy a much-needed pair of shoes. The judge decides in her favor and orders Hank to produce the amount within twenty-four hours. That night the judge is held up and relieved of that crisp, new five-dollar bill at the point of a double-barreled shotgun, the robber compelling him to roll up the five-dollar bill and stick it into the muzzle of the gun. The next day Hank is promptly on hand and in the presence of the judge, pays Aurelia the alimony, with a new five-dollar bill, that has an inclination to curl up as though it had been inserted into the end of a gun barrel. The judge eyes it but makes no comment, giving each a peculiarly worded document which, after reading, causes them to regret taking such a hasty step. Then and there they become reconciled and are about to go back to their log cabin, when the judge reminds them that they are no longer man and wife, but stands prepared to perform the solemn ceremony of marriage, the fee in this particular case to be five dollars. Aurelia quickly pays the price and the curling five-dollar bill once more finds its way into the judge's pocket and Hank and Aurelia climb into the old cart and go home happy.


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