The Talisman (1911) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • John Gent wears the hungry, discouraged look of the unsuccessful. John takes a canvas and goes forth to dispose of it. The miserly old dealer in the art shop hesitates about accepting John's picture, but after a promise of a 50 per cent commission, he sticks it away in an obscure corner. He calls on his sweetheart to seek consolation, but that young lady, struggling for existence on the seven dollars she receives each week at the ribbon counter, is practical, and she shows her artistic lover how absurd it would be for them to marry without sufficient means for support. The ever-present cruel landlord demands rent or room. John determines to end the struggle. He writes a farewell note to his sweetheart, and goes forth to die. His artistic taste leads him to the beautiful Lincoln Park, where he meets Winchell Jones. He is attracted by the strange actions of John. Realizing that something unusual is astir, he follows the young artist up the steps of the bridge. As he mounts the rail, Winchell reaches him and pulls him back to the bridge. Winchell soothes him with a slap on the back and an encouraging word. Winchell hands him his card and asks him to call the next morning. At the appointed time John arrives, and Winchell hands him a small sealed box with a note of instructions: 'This talisman will bring you luck for one year, etc., etc.' John is superstitious enough to take the talisman seriously, and he goes away overflowing with gratitude. He enters the art shop and demands his picture. The old dealer demurs, but John is so emphatic that the picture is handed over. John carries it away. He mounts the steps of the mansion of Andrew Craig. Mr. Craig is somewhat flabbergasted until John displays his canvas, and the lover of art is won. He offers John a handsome price. John accepts it and promises to bring more of his work for inspection. After a month John and his young wife are happily located in their pretty little flat. John's new studio is in connection with the flat and orders for pictures are coming in faster than he can handle them. The year is over. The happy young artist is a father, and prosperity is smiling all around him. He takes the talisman and, kissing his family goodbye, goes out to solve the mystery of his fortune. The seal is broken, the box opened, and eagerly the young artist removes the contents. It is a small card, and on it is written: 'Grit and perseverance always win, Discouragement is the coward's cloak.'


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