Seven Keys to Baldpate (1917 film)

Seven Keys to Baldpate  (1917) 
by George Michael Cohan
An American silent mystery/thriller film based on Cohan's 1913 play of the same name, which is itself based on the 1913 novel of the same name by Earl Derr Biggers
Key (info)
In scene




It all began with a "best seller" entitled "The Scarlet Satchel"----


Mary Norton,
of the "Reuton News," reviews Magee's latest success.

Anna Q. Nilsson.

Hall Bentley,
who believes that the owner of a summer resort should be well-posted on popular fiction.

Frank Losee.

[...] best book of the season from a financial point of view. We regret that its author, George Washington Magee, again confines himself to sensational melodrama and prostitutes a gift which might be used to produce a book of real merit. Mr. Magee has been resting [...]

The man of the hour----George Washington Magee

--George M. Cohan

"What do you think of my latest 'Best Seller'?"

"Same old melodrama---kind they sell in department stores by the pound. Why don't you write something worth while---life the way it really is?"

"Anybody can write the stuff this critic means. Mine is the work of genius---real blood curdling situations---plot and counterplot---hair raisers!"

"I could write one of those HIGH-BROW books in twenty-four hours."

"You couldn't write ANY book in twenty-four hours."

"I couldn't?--I'd like to lay you a little wager on that."

"Will you cover a bet of $5,000?"

"Now to find a quiet spot---solitude---a place to think---seriously."

"My place---Baldpate Inn---closed tighter than a drum and the lonesomest spot on earth. The season won't open for a month."

"I'll catch the first train---start work at 12 o'clock sharp and finish the book to-morrow at midnight---or lose the $5,000."

"You'll find your 'real people' more exciting than my melodrama. Truth is always stranger than fiction."

"Remember----to-morrow at midnight!"

The arrival at Asquewan Falls.



"You are Mr. G.W. Magee, aren't you? I came from Reuton to interview you about your wager to write a book in twenty-four hours."

"Sorry I can't stop now. I'll give you all the time you want when I finish to-morrow at midnight."

The road to Baldpate Inn.

"The hermit's hut--his wife ran away with a traveling man and it made him a woman hater."

"He often plays ghost to frighten us natives hereabouts."

"Well, this is 'Old Man Seclusion' himself."

"You won't be disturbed here---this is the only key in existence to Baldpate Inn."

"You're right about the Inn---got anything that Jack London ever wrote about, or Dr. Cook lied about, beaten to death."

"I suppose you're up here of your own free will---But I can't make out if you're a smart man or if it's the act of a damn fool."

"I've been stalled between those two opinions of myself for years."

"You understand, you are to return at 12 o'clock to-morrow night and see the finished manuscript."

"287 West, and hurry it along, sister."

"Hello, is that you, Mayor Cargan?"

"Yes, Mayor--got the $200,000 bribe money right here--in my pocket."

"I'll put it in the safe--you can get it in the morning as arranged."


"Get me Police Headquarters---quick!"

"Perhaps, Mrs. Rhodes, you had better wait here until I explain to him."

"Please don't ask me where I got it–I mustn't tell."

"I was so anxious not to miss the story of your book."

"Oh---I left a friend waiting outside. She chaperoned me here."

"Has she a key, also?"

"May I tell him why you came?"

"He put $200,000 in that safe---bribe money for a Mayor Cargan. There's a good story for your paper."

"Mrs. Rhodes is engaged to marry Mayor Cargan."

"May we not stay here to-night---so Mrs. Rhodes can meet Mayor Cargan---and save him?"

"Do you believe in love at first sight?"

"I've written about it a great many times, but never believed it before–Isn't it wonderful!"

"That's not a regular ghost–it's the hermit–Quimby told me all about him."

"There are more keys to this blooming flat than in a Steinway piano."

"I don't blame your wife for running away---even with a travelling man."

"If you ladies will go into the parlor I'll either kill it or cure it."

"I was just going to ask who you are?"

"Where did you get your key?"

"Don't ask me---I can't tell you."

"My husband, Mr. Hayden, is president of the Traction Company. He sent that money here to bribe Mayor Cargan for a franchise for his road. You must help me get that money and save my husband from disgrace."

"You must help me get that money."

"That woman lies–she is not Hayden's wife! Someone is playing a desperate game here."

"Yes---and it's costing me a cold $5,000."

"There are others in the Inn with Myra---her accomplices---thought I'd lay for them here and shoot as they came out."

"Mr. Hayden, an excited person, named Bland, insists upon seeing you, sir."

"---then he locked me in a room and I'm afraid he'll get the money."

"If you'll get that money for me to use as evidence–I'll publish a story that will wipe out the Traction crooks and prevent Mrs. Rhodes from marrying a thief."

"I'll get that money for you or die in the attempt!"

"Don't forget that I'm in on that---and I'll take my share now."

"If you ever try your dirty tricks on me–I'll kill you."

Magee surprises the new arrivals---

"Get to Reuton with the money as soon as you can. When you get there phone me---I'll hold these bandits until then!"

"I won't ask where you got this–I know, you promised not to tell."

"Never mind my book. So far as the bet is concerned I can lose that and still be repaid a million times over---I've met you---Now go!"

"We're going to sit right here until that phone rings---though it's all night to-night and all day to-morrow."

"Confound it, sir, I'm president of the Reuton-Asquewah Railway Company."

"I wouldn't care if you were president of the National League---sit down!"

"Say, president, meet your wife–Mrs. Hayden who came here to save you!"

"You tried to double-cross me-I'll kill you for this!"

"Cut out the rough-house and act like ladies and gentlemen. Sit down!"

"There's no law against killing ghosts---so sit down and be a good little hermit."

"Get me a taxi---anything---I must get to Reuton at once!"

Phone call
Baldpate Inn
no answer.

"Put this package in the safe–I'll be back for it later."

"I fell asleep, too."

"You don't like this bunch any better than I do---watch them while I get this message. Kill the first one that makes a move!"

"I just heard a shot and a woman's scream at Baldpate."

"You're a damned good shot, Max---she's dead!"

Magee created such a noise in the basement, the crooks let him out to keep him quiet.

"This is murder---you're all guilty---I heard every word and will swear to it on the witness stand."

"You killed her all right---better plead insanity, old man."

"I'm sorry for you, young fellow. I tried to knock the gun from your hand but I wasn't quick enough."

"No--no--gentlemen--you can't get away with it. It's good melodrama, but old stuff. I've written it by the yard, myself."

"Bad business---this carrying guns. Who was the woman---your wife?"

"I heard a shot and a woman scream. What has happened up here?"

"I charge these men with murder–it's your duty to arrest everybody here – including myself!"

"He shot a woman a few minutes ago---been raving ever since and accusing the rest of committing the crime."

"The body is upstairs in Room Eight."

"I heard them accuse you so I hid the body in the cellar."

"What are you trying to do-trap me in the cellar."

"Search the cellar for a woman's body."

"I've lost the money!"

"She has $200,000, that belongs to me, Chief, and---"

"I don't know how I lost it–We went to the Commercial House–I fell asleep and---"

"Yes, Chief, two women were here–one left a package with me."

"There's a package on its way up here that may clear things up a bit."

"I stole the money from this girl, but it was to save you, Jim Cargan, from disgrace!"

"No body in the cellar, Chief."

"Did you search thoroughly?"

"Say, if this turns out to be a bunch of cigar coupons you're all going to jail."

"Hello, Betty, someone has just handed me $200,000–Pack up and catch the first train for Canada–I'll join you there."

With so many greedy eyes on the $200,000, it was surprising nobody noticed the old hermit snatch the money and throw it into the fire!!

"This suit of chain mail caused the bullet to glance and saved my life."

"They don't suspect a thing---now is the time to strike."

"My name is Langdon---of the U.S. Secret Service. I've been after Kennedy and these crooked officials for some time---sorry to have interrupted your writing, Mr. Magee, but this is government business."

"Why, this is just the material I've been looking for. I might have written it myself."

"No---Miss Barclay is one of my cleverest assistants. She had to work hard to land such a slick article as you."

"This is my world---just the people I write about---all true---even 'love at first sight'."

"I must hurry back to the office. This will be the biggest scoop The News has had in years."

"You wrote all that in twenty-four hours?"

"Didn't hear a sound since you left me last night."

"Yes---just finished---no---same wild, terrible, horrible melodrama as usual---just what the public wants---going to sell over a million copies."

"I'll stay here for the rest of the night. Send me up something to eat---I'm starving!"

The End

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1926.

The author died in 1942, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 75 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.