The District Attorney's Conscience (1913)
Drama, Short · 21 May 1913
Tony Gazeco, one of the workers in the factory, is an anarchist and agitator. Being of excitable nature he is looked upon by the other men as a leader and during the lunch hour makes impassionate speeches. Will and May Mason passing in an auto are witnesses to one of the tirades and going to the office of Fred Jackson, the owner, tell him of the probable strike. The two men become friendly and Jackson is invited to dine with the Mason's that evening. As the auto drives off Jackson goes to meet his man, an altercation ensues and Gazeco is discharged. Gazeco's wife with her child in her arms goes to Jackson and begs that her husband be reinstated. Jackson tells her to send Tony to call at the office. The Italian, three parts drunk, goes and another altercation takes place in which Tony pulls a revolver, which is taken from him by the factory owner. The Italian is kicked out and Jackson puts the gun in his pocket. He then proceeds to keep his dinner engagement with the Masons. He is cordially received, but at the same time Mason, who is the district attorney receives a 'phone from his assistant, requesting his presence at the office quick. Mason orders his auto and kisses his wife good-bye. Telling Fred to make himself at home, he drives to the depot: Jackson, being left alone with the wife, proceeds to infatuate her and she appears to be interested. Then Jackson tells May of his encounter with the Italian during which he takes out the gun and carelessly lays it on a desk. May appears horrified and Jackson asks her if it would have made any difference to her if he had been killed. Her affirmative answer gives him encouragement. The Italian appears at the window and takes in the scene. By this time Jackson has thoroughly fascinated the woman and she allows herself to be taken in his arms. Mason having missed the train returns to the house and enters just as Jackson is about to kiss his wife. His first impression is to kill Jackson, then feeling that his wife was equally to blame he retires to his room. Presently it dawns on May that she is allowing too much, and she turns on Jackson and strikes him in the face. Mason who is upstairs hears a shot fired and rushing down finds his wife standing over the dead body of Jackson. Tony is seen rushing from the grounds and is caught by the chauffeur. The police are sent for and Mason, seeing a way to clear his wife, accuses the Italian. Gazeco is arrested and tried; he is prosecuted by the district attorney and sentenced to the chair. The morning that Mason reads of the execution he is in agony at the thought that he has permitted an innocent man to be executed, for a crime that he believes to have been done by his wife. A messenger arrives with a note written by the Italian, which reads: "Dear Lady, Forgive me, I coward. I did not want Rosa know me bad man, so said you bad. When you fight him by window I shoot. My Rosa not know please, Tony". Frantic with joy Mason falls at his wife's feet and sobs out his plea for forgiveness.
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