The Fatal Legacy (1913) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • On his wedding eve Henry Halleck opens a sealed envelope which has been handed down to each generation, and learns that the family is cursed with a lust for drink. He signs the pledge which bears the signatures of his fathers. Two years later he is a widower, with a son, Jack. Jack grows to manhood and not possessing the strength of his father, falls into evil ways. Jack pays the penalty for his weakness and Halleck takes the grandson, Harry, into his home. Many years later Harry becomes engaged to Anna, a charming girl of the neighborhood, and on his wedding eve he, too signs the pledge. But Harry has inherited his father's weakness and the old man's heart is broken. Forbes, a young man of the north, visits the old home and falls in love with Anna. Harry succeeds in discrediting his rival in a most cowardly manner and marries the girl. After the ceremony, Harry, made bold by liquor, jokingly confesses to Anna how he has deceived her and she locks herself in her room. The fox hunt is to take place next day. At the Hunt Breakfast Harry, unable to overcome his weakness, drinks heavily and insists upon riding a spirited horse. In the chase he tries to make a fence and is thrown to the ground. He is carried back to the breakfast room where old Halleck is left alone with his dead. Later Forbes gains from Anna a promise for the days to come.


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