Mortgaged Wife (1918)

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Although bank president Harris (Albert Roscoe) has always been in love with heroine Gloria (Dorothy Phillips), she chooses to marry bank clerk Carter (William Stowell). Her decision proves to be improvident when Carter embezzles $50,000. Harris agrees to drop all charges if Carter will leave town to recoup the money, leaving Gloria behind as "security." A natural-born cad, Carter willingly deserts his loving spouse and begins leading the high life with a succession of cheap floozies. Meanwhile, Gloria is ensconced in Harris' seacoast mansion, with the banker honorably keeping his distance while she awaits her husband's return. Late one evening, Gloria spots someone signalling from the shore. She immediately jumps to the conclusion that Harris is a German spy, but the actual culprit is his turncoat secretary Myer. The subsequent damage perpetrated by German U-boats causes Harris to lose a great deal of money in the stock market. By now in love with Harris, Gloria helps him rebuild his fortune and finally marries him when word comes that Carter has been conveniently bumped off out West. If there was any "popular" plot element left out of The Mortgaged Wife, we don't know what it was.