A Life in the Balance (1913)
10min · Comedy, Short · 14 April 1913
The landlord of poor tenements rents rooms to three Italians. Not being impressed with their looks he spies upon them and discovers that they are making bombs. Securing a pistol he rushes into the room and chases them out. He then runs to the police station, but is kicked out by the cops who resent leaving their game of pinochle interfered with. The revengeful Italians enter the landlord's home while his wife has gone to the store and place their baby in a basket, which they attach to the end of a long spring, taken from an exerciser, and fasten the other end of the spring under the window so that when the window is raised it will permit the basket to fall four stories. The landlord is waylaid and tied to a fence, his gloating captors telling him of what they have done. He is in agony and tugs at his bonds, and manages to get the rope in his mouth, which he vainly tries to chew in two. His wife returns home and missing the baby, thinks he has taken it out. Alternate flashes are shown of the woman In the house and the baby dangling at the end of the spring, and the audience is kept in an expectant frame by the wife going to the window to open it and having her attention distracted by various incidents in time to prevent her from raising the window. A boy finally releases the frantic landlord, who rushes home just in time to save his child.
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