Lovely Mary (1916)

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The last descendants of the Lanes are Mary (Mary Miles Minter) and her dissolute cousin, Clairborne. Two land scouts from the North come south to buy their holdings. One of them, Roland Manning (Thomas Carrigan) falls in love with Mary and wants to see her get the best price possible. The other, Wade Dempster, tempts Clairborne with drink. One of the other townsfolk discovers Dempster's machinations and attempts to stop it. For his intervention, he is shot by Dempster, who throws the blame for the murder onto Manning. Manning is charged with the crime and found guilty. He receives a life prison sentence, but Mary saves him with an obscure law stating that any citizen can lease a convict from the state by putting up bond. So she leases Manning, and while he works in her garden, he plots out a way of exposing Dempster and saving the Lane lands. Dempster is pegged by a witness as the murderer, and Manning is free to be with Mary.