Lorna Dugal, the little daughter of an English nobleman, is carried off by her father's enemies, the Doones, when she is five years old. Sire Ensor Doone had been banished from court, and he and his family had established themselves in a well-protected valley, becoming outlaws and highwaymen. To this den of robbers little Lorna is carried, partly for revenge, and partly in the hope that when she grew to womanhood, she could be forced into marriage with one of the Doones, who would thus secure her fortune. John Ridd, then a little boy, returning from school saw the helpless child being carried off by the Doones, and at once became interested in her. Lorna is told she is a Doone and believes it. While on a fishing trip, young John, soon after, accidentally finds a hitherto unknown entrance into Doone valley. Here he meets little Lorna, and the children become fast friends. They arrange to meet often, unknown to the Doones, and through many years their friendship continues. Finally, when Lorna has reached the age of sixteen, John wins her consent to become his wife. In a heroic fight he rescues his love from the hands of the outlaws and brings her to his mother's home. Here as their wedding is being celebrated they are attacked by the leader of the Doones, who fires at them through the window of their home, and wounds Lorna. The enraged bridegroom rushes from the altar in pursuit of the coward. They engage in mortal combat on the heath at the edge of a quagmire. Here providence intervenes. The Doone leader in the struggle steps from solid ground, and is swallowed up in the quicksand, leaving John to return to the arms of his bride, now sage from further persecution.
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