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The Trail of Graft (1917)

Short | Mystery, Short

Tom Grant, police reporter on the Chronicle, finishes a story and lays it before Mansfield, the city editor. It explains how Boss Kelly, a city politician, has grafted $350,000. Mansfield asks Grant if he has the proofs. Grant promises to ...See moreTom Grant, police reporter on the Chronicle, finishes a story and lays it before Mansfield, the city editor. It explains how Boss Kelly, a city politician, has grafted $350,000. Mansfield asks Grant if he has the proofs. Grant promises to have them before the day is over. Grant arrives at the building where Kelly has his suite of offices. From a window across the court he attracts the attention of Nell, Kelly's stenographer. She raps out a message in the Morse code on her typewriter, which explains that she has the checkbook stubs and other incriminating documents that will convict Kelly, and asks that Grant meet her at Field's restaurant at 5:30. As Grant and Nell are about to leave the restaurant, Stacey rushes in and tells him Mansfield wants to see him at the office on important business. Stacey, a linotype operator on The Chronicle, has a taxi waiting. Grant will take Nell to her home on the way. Nell gets in the taxi. Grant is sandbagged and thrown in. The crooks leap in and the taxi speeds away. Kelly follows in his auto. The taxi and auto stop in front of a shabby house and Grant and Nell are taken in and up to a room on the fifth floor rear. Grant is searched by the men while Nell is searched by the woman of the house. The crooks find nothing on either. Grant and Nell are tied up. At Kelly's direction, the old woman builds a fire in an iron pot reposing in the fireplace of the adjoining room. The smoke pours into the next room through a flue hole high up near the ceiling. Grant throws himself and the chair he is tied to, on the floor and, with his teeth, loosens Nell's bonds. Grant smashes the window glass to allow the smoke to escape, then wrenches off several iron bars. He and Nell crawl out on the window sill. Grant sees a fire escape balcony on their building some distance away. There is none where they stand at the window. Grant ties the end of the rope used to bind him up to the iron bars, grasps the other end and leaps down. His momentum swings him over to the fire escape. He hooks on with his feet, secures the end of the rope tightly and crawls back on the taut rope hand over hand to the window. Nell climbs on his back and Grant makes the return trip to the fire escape over the rope. They land safely. An hour later Grant reports to Mansfield. From his shoe he takes out the checkbook stubs and incriminating letters. Mansfield congratulates his plucky reporter. Written by Moving Picture World synopsis See less
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Status
Edit Released
Updated Jan 12, 1917

Release date
Jan 12, 1917 (United States)

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Cast

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6 cast members
Name STARmeter Known for
George Larkin
Tom Grant - Police Reporter Tom Grant - Police Reporter   See fewer
Members only
Ollie Kirby
Nell - Kelly's Stenographer (as Ollie Kirkby) Nell - Kelly's Stenographer (as Ollie Kirkby)   See fewer
Members only
Harry Gordon
Boss Kelly Boss Kelly   See fewer
Members only
Robert Ellis
Thompson - Kelly's Secretary Thompson - Kelly's Secretary   See fewer
Members only
Bert Tracy
Stacey Stacey   See fewer
Members only
William McKey
City Editor Mansfield City Editor Mansfield   See fewer
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