Devil's Prayer-Book (1916)

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The protagonist of The Devil's Prayer Book, played by Arthur Hoops, runs a gambling emporium in his lavish apartment. When it appears as though he has killed a disgruntled customer, Hoops goes on the lam, leaving his wife Alma Hanlon and baby behind. Broke and desperate, Hanlon agrees to "rent out" her baby to the wife of a crook so that the other woman can use the kid as a sympathy plea in front of a jury. When Hanlon dies suddenly, the crook and his wife have no choice but to unofficially adopt the baby. Years pass: Hoops, living pseudonymously in another town, is now a respectable business executive and family man (he has, of course, remarried in the interim). Meanwhile, his abandoned daughter, also played by Alma Hanlon, has become an adroit female criminal. It is inevitable, then, that the paths of Hoops and his daughter will disastrously intersect. The Devil's Prayer Book was written for the screen by Max Marcin, a specialist in heavily plotted stage melodramas.