One Wonderful Night (1914) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Eight hours is not a very long time, yet it completely changed the lives of a girl and a man. A man's life was fanned out by fate, criminals were caught and punished, and a battle of wits took place, while the mystery baffled New York City. The Earl of Valletort insisted that his daughter, Lady Hermione, marry a Hungarian Count. The Count saw a clear path to the throne of his country. Money was necessary; he must have wealth; thus his choice of Lady Hermione. The Earl himself had no money. When his wife passed away she left every dollar, and a big estate it was, to her daughter. The Count promises to do wonders for the girl if the latter would arrange to have his daughter marry him. The Earl tries to force his daughter to marry the Count, but he was not the man of her heart, so she escaped to America. She considered the marriage vile, and would avoid it at any cost. She took with her a plotting Frenchman, who was known to her father. She was not aware of this at the time, so when she arrived in America, she decided to marry him. (He agreed to protect her with his name, nothing more.) She had arranged to marry Jean de Courtois to escape the Hungarian nobleman, disappear suddenly and later secure a divorce. De Courtois tries every method imaginable and every excuse ever invented to delay the wedding. He finally meets a newspaper reporter, whom he had met in America before, and gives him the whole story, but not his permission to use it. De Courtois promises he will give his consent in a day or so, and keeps the scribe waiting so long that he becomes disgusted. A few days later the scheming Hungarian gets in touch with a few questionable characters, who make their headquarters on the East Side in New York. He instructs them to watch de Courtois. Henry Hunter, the newspaper reporter in mention, insisted that de Courtois allow the wedding to take place immediately, but the latter complained of having lost the license. The Count's men have learned of this through their leader, Antoine. They also were aware of the fact that Hunter was to get another. John Delancey Curtis, with his friend, Howard Devar, arriving from China, register at the Central Hotel, and, unknowingly, secures a room quite near that occupied by de Courtois. That night the Count is overpowered by the Hungarian's paid men, bound and gagged to await the arrival of the newspaper reporter. Hunter arrives and just as he steps from the taxicab, is killed. Curtis is the only eyewitness. The police demand that he hold himself ready for the inquest in the morning. Late that night, while strolling up Broadway, Curtis discovers that he is wearing the coat of the murdered man. In the pocket he discovers a marriage license, made out to Lady Hermione and Jean de Courtois. This thrills Curtis, and he decides to see Lady Hermione and find out just what the license means. He arrives at her quarters and is informed that the man to whom she was to be married was nothing to her, except as a protector from the Hungarian. Curtis believed that de Courtois had been killed. He was not aware of the fad that the newspaper reporter had been sent for the license, and now Lady Hermione believes what Curtis had told her. Curtis offers himself as a bodyguard, and she accepts him, marrying him a few minute later. The Earl arrives in New York, is informed of the whereabouts of his daughter, and rushes to the minister's home, only to discover that Lady Hermione is married. They try to interfere with Curtis, but the young American, filled with spirit and enthusiasm, punches the Count in the eye, scaring the Earl almost out of his wits. Curtis and his bride catch a taxicab and leave the infuriated nobleman bewildered. They secure a suite at the Hotel Plaza. When the American returns to his room at the Central Hotel he is met by the Earl and the Count, who furiously reprimand him. Steingall, chief of detectives, links Curtis with the murder of de Courtois. De Courtois is later discovered in the room almost exhausted. He refuses to talk. Steingall found telegrams from the Earl, asking to delay the ceremony until his arrival, and that he, de Courtois, would be paid well. Curtis manages to convince the detective that he is guiltless and later discovers the car in which the murderers had escaped. He follows the machine. With the aid of the detectives. Curtis and Devar capture the East Side assassins. The Earl endeavors to have Curtis arrested on the charge of abduction, but when Steingall makes it plain to the Count and Earl that they must leave this country immediately, or he will arrest them in connection with the murder of the reporter, they are glad to leave. The adventure brought about an undying friendship between Steingall. Curtis and Devar, and it is said by those who know that Curtis and Lady Hermione lived happily ever after. In fact, she did not remember that she had married him for a bodyguard, for she loved him with her whole heart and soul, and he worshiped the ground she walked on.


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