The Gamble

Release Date:   1/10/1916
Distributor:   Mutual
Reels:   2
Brand:   Flying A
Genre:   Drama
Director:   Thomas Ricketts
Confirmed Cast:   Harold Lockwood, May Allison, William Stowell
Story Summary:

John Gordon, owner of vast wheat fields, finds his labors awarded by a bumper crop, and decides to increase the scope of his activities. He visits James Hastings, a Chicago broker, and from Hastings buys an area of land adjoining his own. While on his business mission in Chicago, Gordon meets with Jean, who is Hastings’ daughter, and at once is struck with her beauty and demure sweetness of the girl. Gordon returns to the West, where he finds Philip Leland, an English ne’er do well, son of wealthy parents, who has drifted from bad to worse. He gives Leland employment in his wheat fields.

James Hastings, Jean’s father, plunges heavily in wheat hoping to execute a coupe. He loses all and in depths of despair, he ends his life with a bullet. Jean is left alone on the world, and Gordon, learning of her father’s untimely end, hastens to Chicago to comfort the girl. The two become friends. At length Gordon proposes, and Jean accepts. She returns with Gordon to a lonely life of the wheat fields.

The months wear on. Leland, whom Gordon has befriended, falls deeply in love with his employer’s bride. Gordon, intent on the work he has to do, unconsciously neglects his bride, and Leland with persistent effort is finding a way into Jean’s heart. Gordon comes upon them one day riding together in the fields, and for the first time he realizes that Jean is finding a life apart from him. Jealousy shakes Gordon and he goes to Leland with the intention of killing him. Leland, however, flaunts in his face the declaration that he (Leland) has won the love that Gordon never possessed. Thunderstruck, Gordon declares that Jean herself shall choose between the two. The two confront her, and tearfully she throws herself into the arms of her husband. Leland is astonished. Then comes an Indian squaw carrying a papoose. She is Leland’s lawful wife. Leland flees, and the burdened squaw follows him.

From then on fortune smiles on Gordon. Gordon is financially able to give Jean her heart’s desire, but her heart’s desire has changed, and finds its fulfillment in his arms, and in the fields of waving wheat she has learned to love. Leland, the ne’er do well, returns to the lotus eating life of the squawman, a life which he had left when Gordon had first crossed his path.

—Moving Picture World, January 8, 1916, p. 294.

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