Hoarded Assets (1918)

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Although Jerry Rufus (Harry Morey) is a river pirate, he is not an evil character. He is in love with Claire Dawson (Betty Blythe), but Claire has a number of other suitors, many of them rich, so he figures she's after the big money. Some other river pirates are planning a heist that will net a million dollars, presently hidden in 20 kegs. He undermines their plan by replacing the money kegs with kegs of sand and taking the cash himself. Then he returns to Claire only to find that she loved him for himself all along. So they marry and are happy until the day detective Ryan (Robert Gaillard) comes around. Spurred on by James Barr, a rejected suitor of Claire's (George Majeroni), Ryan approaches her and convinces her that her husband is dishonest. To test him, Claire pretends to be dissatisfied with her lot, so Jerry digs up one of the kegs he has had hidden. Just then the detective appears to bear witness. Undaunted, Jerry continues to open the keg...which contains only sand.