The Squaw Man (1914) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • A chivalrous British officer takes the blame for his cousin's embezzlement and journeys to the American West to start a new life on a cattle ranch.

  • Captain Wynnegate leaves England, accepting the blame for embezzling charity funds though knowing that his cousin Sir Henry is guilty. Out West he and the Indian girl Nat-U-Rich save each other from the evil cattle rustler Cash Hawkins and marry. Lady Diana shows up to announce Sir Henry's death. After Nat-U-Rich's suicide Wynnegate takes his half-breed son and Lady Diana back to England as the new Earl of Kerhill.

  • Sir Henry, a British earl, is jealous of the platonic affection between his wife Diana and Captain James Wynngate, a British officer and his cousin, and they have a falling out. Sir Henry, who is also a compulsive gambler, embezzles funds from the regiment's widow and orphan's fund to pay for his losses at the racetrack. For Lady Diana's sake, the chivalrous Wynngate takes the blame and after avoiding arrest departs for America. He survives a ship fire and is rescued at sea, eventually making his way to the New York, where he helps a stranger who is being robbed. Big Bill, Jim's new friend, encourages him to go west and begin a new life. After he establishes himself as a rancher, his life is saved twice by Nat-U-Rich, a Ute princess, who kills the evil Cash Hawkins when he is about to shoot Jim in the back and later rescues him again when he is overcome by noxious sulfur fumes in Yellowstone. They marry and have a son. Back in Europe, Sir Henry dies in a fall while mountain climbing, and a note exonerating Jim is found on his body. Although the family wants Jim to return as the new Earl of Kerhill, he declines, but allows them to take his son back to the advantages of an aristocratic life. Nat-U-Rich, distraught over the impending loss of her son and pursued by the sheriff in the death of Cash Hawkins, tragically takes her own life.

  • James Wynnegate, an English army officer, is made the guardian of a trust fund raised by the members of his regiment for the relief of the widows of those who die in battle. The Earl of Kerhill, a member of Wynnegate's regiment, by means of a forged check, embezzles the fund. To save the honor of the family, Wynnegate agrees with the Earl's mother to disappear and let it be understood that he is the embezzler. He leaves England in a trading schooner. The schooner, in mid-ocean, catches afire, and bums to the water's edge, the crew being saved in the lifeboats. The boat containing Wynnegate and others is rescued by a steamer bound for America, and in the garb of an English tourist, he is seen next on the Great White Way. Wynnegate changes his name to Jim Carston and is instrumental in saving a Westerner from a confidence game. He and the Westerner become friends and at the latter's suggestion, they go west, where Carston buys a ranch. His general good fellowship, manliness and upright dealings incurs for him the jealousy and hatred of a noted bad man, "Cash" Hawkins. Hawkins makes several attempts on Carston which, however, are unsuccessful. Hawkins on the third attempt nearly succeeds, but is shot down from behind by a beautiful Indian girl, who secretly loves Carston. The Indian girl. Nat-U-Rich, later saves Carston from death in the mountains and again from an attack of mountain wolves. Out of gratitude, Carston marries Nat-U-Rich and a little boy blesses the union. In the meantime the Earl of Kerhill's mother is advised to seek another climate and locates in the vicinity of Carston's ranch and they meet, after two years. Carston is now known as the Squaw Man, a successful ranchero. The Earl of Kerhill, injured unto death during a polo game, signs a confession, exonerating Carston. Carston's friends and relatives in England then endeavor to prevail upon him to return, but realizing that his squaw wife would not endure in English society, remains on his ranch at Green River. He decides, however, to let his little boy return to be educated for his station in life, for the child eventually will be rich and bear the title of Earl. Nat-U-Rich, the mother, learns her son is to be taken from her and misconstruing the intent, suicides. The widow of the Earl of Kerhill is at the ranch with English friends and as the picture slowly fades away, the Squaw Man turns to her, his first love.


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