Morals of Hilda (1916)

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August (Frank Whitson) and Hilda (Gretchen Lederer) travel from Europe to America to make money and get married. They find work, but never get around to legalizing their union. This causes problems when Hilda gets pregnant. Her employers, Harris and Esther Grail, are not happy with this situation and tell her to leave. Because they don't understand puritanical Americans and are frightened of the potential repercussions, August and Hilda separate. He sets off for Europe and is lost at sea, while she has her baby and leaves it in a basket by the shore. It is found and raised by Esther Grail, who only later discovers that its mother is Hilda. The boy is named Steven and grows up to run for governor. He has a sweetheart, Marion (Lois Wilson), but when he finds out about his uncertain parentage, he is reluctant to propose marriage. Steven wins the election, and Hilda is in the crowd for the inauguration. A would-be assassin points a gun at Steven, but Hilda interferes and takes the bullet herself. As she is dying, Steven meets his mother for the first time. Marion finds out about Steven's background and tells him it doesn't matter to her, so they wed.