Quest of the Sacred Gem (1914)

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Even in 1914, plots involving a sacred and cursed Indian gem were awfully cliché, but nevertheless, this four-reeler was well-made. While traveling through Barrnipore, soldier of fortune David Harding (Charles Arling) decides to sneak into a religious festival. There he sees a stone god with a huge diamond in its forehead. He decides to steal it and, realizing he's in danger, heads back to America immediately. He doesn't know he's being followed by an angry Hindu priest and several of his assistants. One of them catches up with him on a railroad car and stabs him to death through a window. But the killer is knocked to the ground by a telephone pole and the jewel is not retrieved. The jewel, along with all of Harding's other possessions, are willed to his niece, May Rowland (Edna Mayo). She throws a party to announce her engagement to Joe Marsden (William Roswell), but the Hindus are just outside her home. They hypnotize Marsden and get him to sneak into May's room and take the gem. But as he is leaving it falls from his grasp and another man picks it up. May, however, saw Marsden take the diamond and this causes a rift between them. Since the jewel never reappears a detective is called in, and with the help of his clever office boy (Ernest Truex), he locates the gem, which he sends back to India with its rightful owners. May and Marsden make up and the curse that has been hanging over everyone is lifted.