Menace of the Mute (1915)

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Beginning in 1915, Arnold Daly both directed and starred in a series of pictures featuring the exploits of a fictional detective named Ashton Kirk. This five-reeler is the second one. Kirk is called in by Edith Vale to investigate the mysterious murder of David Hume. Hume had stolen some submarine plans belonging to an inventor, Morris (Sheldon Lewis). Edith's fiancé is Morris' son Allen, who has been acting strangely. Through his work, Kirk uncovers Allen's innocence. He examines a scrap of paper cut with a conductor's hole punch and traces the killer, who is a mute. Since the mute communicates by writing notes, he leaves a paper trail that leads Kirk to Hume's home. He waits for the mute to arrive with his associate, Sagon, and captures them. He also recovers the plans, which he hands over to Allen. Edith and Allen are finally able to marry and get on with their lives.