Silent Selby

Release Date:   4/13/1916
Distributor:   Mutual
Reels:   3
Brand:   Mustang
Genre:   Western Drama
Director:   Thomas Chatterton
Writer:   Kenneth Clarke
Confirmed Cast:   Thomas Chatterton, Anna Little, Jack Richardson, Dick La Reno
Story Summary:

Silent Selby is a cowboy on the Whitney ranch and has aroused the interest and admiration of Helen, the daughter of Ward Whitney, owner of the ranch. Selby has incurred the enmity of Cliff Merton, the foreman.

One day Cliff discovers Selby and Helen is a confidential attitude. His evil nature crops out that evening when he takes an undue liberty with Helen by seizing her by the wrist. Selby, who witnesses the indignity, releases and fells Cliff by a blow. The foreman discharges Selby. Cliff intercepts Felipe, a ranch hand, returning after delivering a note from Selby to Helen in which Selby asks Helen to meet him that evening. In the presence of all the cowboys, Felipe vows vengeance on Cliff, and fondles his knife in a menacing way.

Later, drinking heavily in his shack, the thought dawns on Cliff that the note sent by Selby to Helen may have been to arrange for a meeting that evening. He goes to the ranch house and watches until Helen appears. He then trails her to the trysting place. He watches her meet Selby, talk with him, and then depart, leaving Selby sitting under the tree. Cliff waits until Helen reaches a lonely spot where he seizes her and bears her off to his shack. At dawn she escapes and rushes home to her father. Later Cliff is found strangled in his shack. Felipe, the Mexican ranch hand, is first suspected and arrested. Later Selby is suspected because of his altercation with the Cliff the evening before, and of his subsequent discharge by Cliff. Prior to this, Selby while alone in the shack picks up an object near the body and secretly places it in his pocket.

When placed under arrest, Selby begs to see Helen's father privately. When alone with Whitney, Selby produces the object picked upon the floor which proves to be Whitney's cuff button. Whitney calls in the sheriff and acknowledges that he committed the crime, detailing the indignities suffered by his daughter Helen as the reason. Although the sheriff is a brother of Cliff, the murdered man, he immediately sees the justment of the punishment and drops the case.

- Moving Picture World, April 15, 1916


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