The Ranch Girl (1911)
Short, Western · 10 August 1911
Jack, the foreman of Bar Z Ranch, meets Alice, the new owner of the ranch, and she is welcomed by the boys. Alice and Jack have a growing regard for each other when the clash comes. Jack refuses the boys a leave of absence when they ask for it, on account of pressing work. Mike, a tough character, and one of the boys, leads the others to ask for the holiday from Alice. She grants it and the boys ride away in open derision of Jack. Jack complains to Alice that she should not have interfered, as it is a poor showing of discipline, and she coldly informs him that it is her ranch and she will run it to suit herself. Under these conditions, Jack sees nothing left for him to do but leave her employ, which he does. He seeks work on a neighboring ranch and Alice selects Mike for her new foreman. His first official act is to discharge all the cowboys who are friendly toward Jack and replaces them with cronies of his own. The discharged boys find work under Jack and inform him how matters stand at the Bar Z. Jack rides over to expostulate with Alice, but she informs him that she is capable of taking care of herself and her own affairs, and shows him her gun. Jack, as a warning to the toughs, arranges a shooting exhibition where Alice shows remarkable skill. But when she becomes aware of Jack's purpose, she resents it and returns to the house. Mike threatens to show Jack up for his interference, but Jack calls his bluff. Some days later, Alice goes to town and, during her absence, Mike and his cronies plan to loot the house. Jack rides over and while Mike engages him in conversation, one of the plotters fells him with a blow, leaving him unconscious. They tie his hands and feet and hurry to the house, where they take everything of any value and make their escape from the ranch. When Jack recovers consciousness, he tries in vain to free himself, but the desperadoes have done their work well. His horse is wandering about the ranch yard and he calls to her. The intelligent animal comes over to him and, taking the rope that ties his hands in her teeth, soon releases him. Jack hastily tears a leaf from his notebook and writes: "Boys, I'm on the Alpine Trail. Come quickly and well armed. Jack." Fastening the note to the saddle-pocket, where it will be seen, he sends the horse to the ranch and starts in pursuit of the desperadoes. The horse goes directly to the ranch where Jack is employed and, when the boys find the note, they mount and hurry to Jack's assistance, taking his horse along. When they arrive on the Trail, Jack has already located the gang and, after a sharp conflict, they are captured and Alice's valuables recovered. Alice, returning to her ranch, finds everything in disorder and the culprits gone. Woman-like, she sits down and cries. Jack comes to restore her property and finds her thus. Although Alice has been headstrong she knows also when she has had enough and she is very glad to have Jack assume charge again, this time not only of the ranch, but of herself as well.
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