Out of the Wreck (1917)

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James Aldrich (William Conklin) is one of those rarities -- an honest politician. His rival, Tom Ryan (Dan Bailey), offers a reward if anyone can find some speck of dirt on Aldrich's name. Since it apparently can't be done, newspaper editor Howard Duncan (W.W. Jefferson) and his star reporter, Ruby Sheldon (Stella Razeto) focus in on the wife, Agnes Aldrich (Kathlyn Williams). Sure enough, they discover that she was charged with murdering her former husband. Duncan and Sheldon go to Aldrich and tell him he must quit the race or this information will be revealed. But Agnes overhears them and tells them the whole story: Steve O'Brien, the man she married (William Clifford) was an incurable drunk who tried to force her to work the streets to pay for his expenses. Yes, she shot him, and yes, she was tried for the crime, but the jury found the homicide justifiable. After her acquittal she went into mission work, where she met her present husband. Duncan and Sheldon are compelled to go to Ryan and say there's nothing to pin on the Aldrich's, while Aldrich -- who never knew Agnes's story before -- gains a new admiration for his wife.