An Accursed Inheritance

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Morin, an honest workingman, is addicted to liquor. Truly, his wife is the one who suffers. The latter has brought up their son Marcel, who very soon becomes an able engineer. His employer takes an interest in him, and gradually he advances himself to a responsible position in the manufacturing plant where he is employed. While testing out a new machine, Marcel Morin is congratulated by all the engineers and Suzanne, the employer’s daughter, heartily congratulates him. Suzanne is fond of the young man, but her father does not favor a possible alliance between the two. To end their love affair, he decides to send the young man away. After a touching farewell between the young lovers. Marcel leaves for Chile, his father and mother accompanying him to the railroad station. On their way home, both very depressed, the elder Morin does not hesitate to drown his sorrows at the bar, while his good wife waits without. In an altercation over a game of cards, he is again seized by one of his fits and is sent to his home in an ambulance, where he slowly recovers after careful nursing. But gradually the old workingman falls back into his bad habits. In the meantime, the younger Morin has completed his task in Chile, and returns home after a lapse of three years, Marcel finally induces Suzanne’s father to consent to their marriage. The very night of the nuptials, the old Morin is struck with an attack of apoplexy and is taken home. Owing to the good care given him, the wretched creature is saved from death, but is left a helpless paralytic. Nothing has yet intervened to mar the happiness of Marcel and his bride. But, alas, the terrible hereditary influence commences its work of destruction in the mind of Marcel. He is frequently seized with sudden attacks of anger without any treason. In his hallucinations he sees his young wife in the arms of another and is seized with jealous foreboding. One day, while a prey to these thoughts, he hurries home and finds his wife conversing quite innocently with his close friend. An insane desire to kill takes possession of him and, without hesitation, he takes out his revolver and shoots Suzanne, who lingers for weeks at the very door of death while Marcel languishes in prison until the day of his trial. Meanwhile Marcel’s mother has engaged an attorney to defend her boy. The day of the trial arrives. Suzanne now recovered, goes to court to implore the pardon of her unfortunate husband whom she still loves. Seated in the prisoner’s box, the accused is grief-stricken and sobs aloud while his lawyer points out the sins of the father, and pleads for the liberty of his unfortunate client. The jury retires for a debate. Acquittal seems certain, but the strain has been too much for the weakened Marcel who, crushed by his anguish, and between the arms of his despairing wife and heartbroken mother, dies an innocent victim to the fatal passion of his father who stupidly looks on and grins.

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