The Blindness

Release Date:   5/19/1916
Distributor:   Mutual
Reels:   2
Brand:   Mustang
Genre:   Drama
Director:   Carl LeViness
Confirmed Cast:   William Stowell, J. Stewart, Rhea Mitchell, Warren Ellsworth
Story Summary:

Joe and Jim are partners in a mining claim. With the opening of the school session, Joe, who is a widower, takes his little daughter, Sal to the schoolhouse, where he meets Anna, the new teacher. He falls in love with her; and later proposing to her, is adopted. Jim has also become infatuated with Anna, but conceals his feelings when he learns of her engagement to Joe.

The mine is paying little, and Jim suggests a trip across the desert, in search of a lost mine, the finding of which would mean a fortune. Joe agrees to the proposition, and a few days later find them in the desert. A sand storm blows up, and the two men become separated. With the morning Jim finds Joe. He sees that he is sand blind, and he realizes that he could never live to find his way out of the desert alone. He leaves him, returns back to Anna, and informs her that Joe became lost in the storm, and that when he found him he was dead. But some Mexicans find Joe, and take him to their sheds on the edge of the desert. There after weeks of fever, he recovers to such an extent that he begs the Mexicans to take him to his home. They consent, but one of them informs him that he will never be able to regain his sight.

Meantime, Jim has been pleading with Anna to marry him. Joe arrives at the cabin and overhears their conversation. He listens as Anna tells Jim that some day she may marry him. Silently Joe leaves, concluding that it would be the best thing for Anna never to know of his return. Aimlessly wandering about, he comes to an edge of a cliff and is almost about to step over it when he is rescued by a doctor who has been summoned from a nearby ranch. The doctor hears his story, and after having examined his eyes, tells him that he is only sand blind and that he can fix him up in a few hours. Joe then consents to accompany the doctor to his office.

That night Jim learns from the Mexican that he has brought Joe back. He hurries to Anna’s cabin, and is perplexed when he finds that Joe has not yet arrived there. He increases his attentions to Anna, finally telling her that she must leave with him that night. Terrified, Anna manages to write a message for help on little Sal’s white dress, and then sends the child to the neighbors. She pretends to consent to accompany Jim, and begins to pack up her belongings. Jim becomes suspicious when he misses Sal, and insists that she come at once. Joe, his sight restored, enters the cabin. He sees the packed valise and will not listen to Anna’s attempts to explain. Joe tells Jim that only one of them can have Anna, and the two men fight. Sal arrives at the neighbors and Sal arrive. He still believes that Anna intended going with Sal’s dress, he becomes convinced and begs for forgiveness.

- Moving Picture World, May 27, 1916

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