|~A Strange Transgressor~
|ARTICLE FROM PHOTOPLAY
MAGAZINE, SEPTEMBER 1917
It is a sorrow that most women
cannot be understood by most
people. It is a calamity that most
women cannot understand
themselves. And it is by reason of this
calamity that those fortunate few
who have the unusual gift of being
thoroughly acquainted with their
own natures, without allowing others
to really know them, are in a position
of great advantage over the vast
majority of the feminine sex. Lola
Montrose was one of these fortunate
But Lola was unusual in more ways than this. Her beauty was unusual and her figure was unusual ann
both were extremely useful to her in her unusual profession in life, which consisted of living as
luxuriously and comfortably as money could provide for - at the expense of others. She was exceptional,
also, because she was of a higher mental order than nine-tenths of the gentler sex. Lola mixed her
liaisons with her brains.
She was a strange combination of a woman of the world and a mother. Upon her former she depended
for her living, her excitement, and the satisfaction of her almost abnormal desire for the unconventional.
Upon the latter she relied for her joy in true love. Her little son, David, meant more to her than life itself,
with all its pleasures, and she sought, through kindness and care, to recompense for the great shadow
that hung over the child's life - the dark shadow of namelessness.
Lola Montrose had more victims to her past than she had ever dared or cared to count. They fluttered
about in her memory as dead autumn leaves are blown in the swirling breeze. She neither remembered
nor thought much of them, once they were gone, but bent all her attentions constantly toward the latest
acquisition of her wiles. At the present moment he was a surgeon of national renown, almost as unusual
in his own masculine greatness and character as herself. His name was Doctor John Hampton, a man of
much reserve, endowed with a personality of undoubted strength, and blessed or cursed with a power of
will that made him always demand and never ask. He neither accepted nor desired the world's moral
code. He had no illusions about Lola; she contributed what the animal side of his nature desired, and she
was worthy of her hire. On the other hand, Lola's feelings toward the other men who previously came
into her life. She was far from believing she loved him - she knew much better than even to think such a
thing - but his reserve surrounded him with just enough mystery to make him interesting, and, because
he was the biggest man she had ever met, Lola could not help placing certain value upon him.
But even Hampton, in all his greatness and all she counted upon him for, was second in her estimation to
little David. To her son she was a perfect mother; she shielded him, loved him, and would have sacrificed
everything she had and prized for his happiness. Very often when David clung affectionately to her she
repented and regretted her shattered life and her unworthiness. If she had ever known his father's name
she had forgotten it. He was unimportant. He was a merry little lad in his quaint way; a lad of odd
conceits and whimsical ways, and, to keep him from the slightest contact with her own irregular mode of
existence, she had placed him in a religious institution where he boarded on the outskirts of New York.
Each week, on visitor's day, she went there and experienced with him the one hour of pure happiness
she enjoyed in all the week.
Doctor John Hampton also had a son, Irwin by name, who, despite his sophisticated character and state
of mind, was a perfect son to the great surgeon. Irwin had inherited most of his father's faults, but none
of his father's faults, but none of his redeeming traits. He had a love of the gay life and no sense of the
value of money, and lacked utterly the strength of character that made his father the big man that he
Irwin had become engaged to Mary Chester, a blossoming flower in the garden of society, and the
daughter of Hart Chester, one of the doctor's stanches friends. Mary was a fluffy, dainty, domesticated
person, worthy of the best husband the world could offer. She, because of her engagement, took a
natural interest in the conduct of her fiancé.
When, one day, she learned of an
especially wild debauch in which Irwin
was a prominent figure, and which had
found its way into the public prints,
her heart was broken, and she sadly
sought the counsel of her father. That
dignitary, however, had already heard
and read of the affair, and had decided
upon the action which he would take.
"Mary," he said, "I am very sorry that
this has happened, especially sorry
since the son of one of my best friends
and your fiancé is the one to break our
hopes, but I thank Heaven that it
happened so soon.
I have already telephoned to the doctor, and asked that he and Irwin come over as soon as they can. I
think they both understand the gravity of the situation.
Mary said nothing. She left the room in tears.
Early that afternoon the maid announced at the Chester home the arrival of Doctor Hampton and his
son. Irwin, dressed conservatively, and appearing to be anything but the wild youth that his reputation
branded him, walked before his fiancée and her father with his head slightly bowed. Doctor Hampton
followed, and the four sat down to a serious talk. Preliminary discussion and explanations were
unnecessary. Every one understood. Doctor Hampton was the first to speak.
"Irwin and I," he said seriously, "have already talked this whole matter over, and he has promised me to
follow a different path in the future. I believe that he can. I think that he has the makings of a real man in
him if he will develop them. And, sir, he has promised - and remember, he is my son."
"He has broken my daughter's heart," replied Chester, "and no man could do that. Irwin" - he looked
squarely at the younger Hampton - "may make a man, but he is not one now." He paused a moment, but
no one spoke. His tone bore conviction and truth. Chester continued: "There is but one thing that can be
done, and that is what will be done. Mary is overcome by circumstances. She says that she cannot marry
Irwin as matters stand. She says also that she cannot bear to give him up. She loves Irwin, and it is up to
him to prove himself worthy of her. I have decided to send Mary to Europe for one year. That will be
plenty of time for Irwin to effect his reformation, and if at that time she returns he has established
himself as deserving of being her husband, I shall make no protest. It will be up to Mary to decide. Now,
however, the engagement will have to be broken, for the present, at least."
There was nothing further that could be said. Chester's proposition was fair enough, and a good
decision. It was the best that could be made, and after some talk the solution was accepted, and it was
decided to make immediate arrangements for Mary to leave for Europe.
Doctor Hampton and Irwin left for home in their car, after the latter and Mary had bade each other a
tearful farewell for a year.
But, as the Hampton car traveled slowly toward home through the traffic-congested streets, and as the
father was lecturing reformation to his son, he was brought to a sudden realization of the example
which his own character might be setting to his son and the insincerity of the arguments which he was
offering at that moment.
This realization came as Hampton looked up, and, in another car which was going in the opposite
direction from theirs and which was almost abreast, his eyes met those of the bewitching Lola Montrose.
Irwin saw the glance, and followed it. He smiled a little, and Lola nodded graciously to the doctor.
Hampton suddenly became aware of his son's presence, and deliberately turned his head away without
returning or acknowledging the courtesy. To Lola, who was just returning from the chastening influence
of a meeting with her little son, Hampton's spurn stung like a slap in the face. The cars passed, and Irwin,
glancing back over his shoulder, remarked:
"My, dad, but that was a stunning woman! Did you see her, in the other car? She nodded to us."
"You'd better keep your mind off the stunning things in life, son, and revert to the wholesome. It is
usually the worst medicines which are coated the tastiest."
Doctor Hampton's statement was curt and full of meaning, and he was mentally applying it to himself as
well as his son. Irwin, in the penitent frame of mind in which he was, took it deeply.
"I don't mean to go wrong, dad," he said half apologetically, "but it does get dull at home. We miss the
feminine element there. There ought to be a woman around - at least I think so - and I don't see why
you don't feel the need. I never said anything, dad, but I always had a feeling that some time you and
Paula Leigh might become attracted with each other. But perhaps I shouldn't have said anything."
Irwin, now that he had spoken, wondered if he had done the wrong thing. Paula Leigh, the woman
whom he had mentioned, was a young woman of good family but reduced circumstances, a distant
relative of Chester's, who had accepted the position of companion to Mary, and lived in their home as
one of the family. She was a woman of intelligence, refined and gentle, and there had always existed a
genuine friendship between her and Doctor Hampton. That very morning, during their visit to the
Chesters', the surgeon had reflected, as he looked upon Mary, that the influence of such a woman in his
own house might do much toward the uplift of his son. He had been dwelling upon this thought when
Irwin, as though reading his mind, had made hint of his father's wedding Paula.
"Wouldn't you like it? Hampton asked casually, though in a tone that denoted seriousness. The reply was
enthusiastic and characteristic both of Hampton the man and Hampton the father, who thought the
world of Irwin, he made up his mind. By the time they entered the library, the doctor, in his mind, had
the wedding already consummated, never, in his conceit, doubting Paula's consent.
His thoughts were interrupted by the ringing of
the telephone, and he went to answer it. It was
Lola's indignant voice that greeted him through
the receiver. She wanted to see and speak to
him, and demanded an explanation. Hampton
agreed to her request, though she could not
have missed the cold terseness of his tone, and
must have wondered what it boded. She was
not to remain long in doubt, for Hampton, no
sooner than he had hung up the receiver, went
out again to his car and drove immediately to
Hampton was a man of quick determination
and quicker action. So, with the decision to
bring Paula into his home as his wife, he
realized that his affair with Lola would have to be brought to a sudden and permanent termination. The
incident of but a short time previous, when he had ignored her, he deemed unfortunate, for it had
opened the way toward settling the affair between them. His visit, therefore, with Lola Montrose was a
short and decisive one.
When he arrived at her apartments, all that remained was to make a satisfactory settlement with her.
The sooner this disagreeable task was over, the better. So, in as few words as possible, he made known
the situation to her. Lola was determined. But Hampton was determined, and, after listening to her
vituperative denunciations, he laid on the table a goodly amount of money and took his departure,
leaving her alone with her grief and bitterness. But a woman scorned is a dangerous thing to leave
behind, as Hampton was yet to learn.
For an hour after Hampton left, Lola, despondent, despairing,
and with a soul swelled with wrath, thought and schemed. And,
with every passing minute she grew more and more determined
to seek revenge for having been cast so roughly aside. As time
went by her shattered mind slowly began to grasp again the
affairs that had transpired. Her plans for retribution worked
themselves gradually into more tangible form. And then Lola
made her decision.
She knew that the surest and deepest way to wound Hampton
was through his son. She knew, also, that this should be a
comparatively easy task to accomplish, because of the latter's
reputation as an indolent, pleasure-loving youth, in whom the
fires of desire for youth, in whom the fires for desire for the wild life of midnight revels were flaming at
their height. Lola resolved to use her wiles to ensnare the unsuspecting Irwin, and to use him as a tool
to bring the elder Hampton to grief. She forgot her troubles, except for the one great one, forgot her
financial needs, and, if there were any remnants of a conscience in her make-up, she forgot those also.
There was but one human sentiment in her mind, and that was a fierce, burning craving for revenge.
Lola's opportunity arrived much sooner than she had expected. It came that very night. Ensconced in a
booth on the balcony of one of the gayest cafés in the city, Lola was sipping her liqueur, that served as
fuel to her flaming wrath and indignation. As she surveyed the motley assemblage below her over the
brim of her glass, she was suddenly startled by a figure that entered the door. It was Irwin Hampton,
come, probably, for a final fling among the gaiety that had simulated his past character and troubles.
Lola rose, apparently casually, but really for the purpose that she might throw herself into prominence,
and Irwin saw her. Instantly he recognized her as the woman whom he had passed that afternoon in his
father's car. He nodded slightly toward the balcony, whispering something as he did so. The other
returned the nod, and, in another moment, the Hampton party was walking across the ballroom floor
toward the balcony stairway.
Lola Montross had played her game carefully, and with the skill of an artist. She had accomplished her
purpose without allowing the slightest suspicion to arise that she had had any such purpose whatever.
It was but a matter of minutes before Hampton's companion had effected an introduction with the
crafty woman of the world, and in almost as short a time she was gloriously succeeding in infatuating
Irwin with herself. Aided by the intoxicating influence of the artificial surroundings, as well as by the
sparkling wine in his glass, young Hampton was soon obvious of his earlier experiences of the day, and
was lost in admiration of the wily creature before him. His greatest weakness was his own weakness -
his main fault was the lack of strength of character which had cast him down and kept him there. Lola
knew this and benefited by her knowledge.
As has been pointed out, Lola Montrose was at a great advantage over the majority of her sex, because
she was capable of keeping others, especially men, in a state of quandary about herself - never
understanding her quite completely - while she herself knew and understood her every action. She was
exceedingly clever, and, with all this cleverness, she undertook to capture the heart of Irwin, only that
she might hurl it with a sneer of conquest at his father. The beginning of her contemptible work was
proving remarkably successful.
During the next several days Doctor Hampton was absorbed in the arrangements for his marriage to
Paula. He had spoken to her, and she had consented. So, immediately after the sailing of Hart Chester
and Mary, according to their first part of the agreement, the wedding took place, and Paula was
installed as mistress of the home Lola had once dreamed she might occupy as wife to its master. If the
gentle Paula felt slighted by the matter-of-fact manner in which she was received, she did not show it,
but took up her duties as wife and mother with the same tender and cheerful spirit which she had
manifested all her life in everything she undertook. From without, an air of apparent calmness and
happiness surrounded the home, particularly in connection with the younger man of the house; but
within trouble was surging.
Lola read of the wedding in the newspapers, and, incited by newly aroused rage, she redoubled her
efforts with Irwin. By this time he had become her driven slave, soliciting her caresses and attending
her every whim. It was a sharp contrast - and a gratifying one to Lola - to her affair with the surgeon.
Irwin's father, iron of will, had ever been the master of circumstances, while Irwin, with his character
of putty, was ruled entirely and pitifully by events, governed by the merciless hand of a siren, heartless
in her determination for revenge.
Finally, one evening when Lola had succeeded in getting Irwin in a condition where he was drunk with
the desire for her and almost as drunk with wine, she decided upon a desperate plan - a plan that would
bring things to a sudden and cruel end - though to a happy and favorable one for her. She expressed a
desire to go home, and Irwin, ever obedient to her requests, summoned a car and drove to her
When they were seated on the lounge there, their glasses again filled, by foresight of Lola, she threw
her head back on the luxurious cushions, and sighed:
"Irwin, dear, are we ever to be married?"
The effect on young Hampton's drugged senses was tremendous, though not jolting. Not for a moment
did he reflect on Mary. She had been driven forcibly from his mind by the events of the last few weeks.
Without a moment's hesitation he answered:
"Of course we are, Lola. Any time you say. I have been afraid to mention the subject. I thought perhaps
you wanted some one bigger, stronger than I---"
"Nonsense!" Lola broke in. "I Cannot wait. I want you Irwin, I want you! I want to marry you now -
"It's a go!" he shouted drunkenly. "Call a minister and we'll have him wed us here - now."
Lola lost no time. The hour of her triumph had come, and she hurried to the telephone. It was but a
short time later that the disciple of God arrived. Lola made him enter, and Irwin mumbled a request
that he marry them immediately. A glance revealed to the minister that the man was in no condition to
take part in the sacrament, and sternly refused to perform it. Lola argued, while Irwin fell back in a
stupor on the lounge. But the discussion was to no avail, and the minister, with a curt "good night,"
turned and left the apartments. Lola, dismayed as she saw her hopes vanishing, walked toward the
couch where Irwin lay. He had been aroused somewhat by the sound of the slamming door, and, as she
approached, he rose to a sitting posture.
"Lola," he whispered, throwing his arms about her, "you're my wife now, my own little wife, and I'm
going to stand by you."
She was startled at the statement. Could it be possible that he was under the impression that they were
married, or was he merely jesting? He seemed in deepest earnest. She decided to find out.
"Irwin," she asked, half afraid of what the answer would be, "will you take me to your home and tell
your father we are married? Will you do it now?"
"Of course I will," he replied.
Lola's hope revived. She began to see her triumph, her conquest over the man who had shunned her, as
she mentally pictured Doctor Hampton's feelings when Irwin announced that they were married.
Hurriedly summoning a taxicab, and pushing Irwin in it, with the assistance of the chauffeur, Lola
started on the final lap of her revenge, toward the climax - to the home of John Hampton.
When Lola Montrose and Irwin entered the Hampton library, the latter considerably sobered as a result
of his ride in the cool night air. But, even in his normal state of mind he still believed that the wedding
had transpired but a few minutes before. Doctor Hampton, despite the lateness of the hour, was
standing before the library table, completely dressed. He had just returned from a surgical operation
that had sapped much of his vitality, and was waiting for Paula to bring him a drink of stimulant. As he
heard the front door close, he wheeled. Lola and Irwin stood on the threshold before him. At first he
was so astounded that he could scarcely believe his eyes. But it did not take him long to realize the
truth. A heavy frown clouded his countenance as he addressed his son.
"What do you mean, sir, by bringing that woman here? What right has she in this house? He glared first
at Irwin and then at Lola, who stood motionless, a faint, sneering smile on her face, as though she were
enjoying the situation.
"I mean, dad," Irwin answered, "that she has a perfect right in this house. She is my wife." Hampton
almost collapsed. He had suspected grave things, but nothing so serious as this. The revelation
overcame him, and he was about to give vent to his feelings when Lola, meaning to deal her retribution
to the fullest measure, spoke.
"Yes, Mr. Hampton," she said, looking squarely at the doctor, and with a sarcastic sweetness to her
voice, "I am his wife. We have just been married. Aren't you going to congratulate us?"
This was too much for John Hampton to stand. His patience had reached its end, and he flew into a blind
rage. With his fist clenched, and his nerves fluttering, he advanced a step toward Lola, mumbling a
threat. Irwin saw the move and blocked him.
"You - you young fool!" Hampton cried. "Do you know what you have done? Do you know whom you
have married? This woman, this beast, to whom you have given your name, was - my paramour!"
Irwin recoiled. He did not believe the confession which his father, thoughtless in his rage, had made.
"She's not!" he cried. "She is - "
Lola herself, laughing almost hysterically, interrupted.
"It's not a lie," she said to Irwin: then turning to his father: "It's not a lie, is it? It's the bold truth - just as
it's the truth too, that he is my husband. And you, John Hampton, who spurned me, are the one who
The curtains to the rear of the library parted, and a ghastly white face appeared. It was the face of a
woman - Paula - the surgeon's wife. In her hand was a glass containing the drink she had gone to get
her husband when Irwin and Lola had entered. From behind the portieres she had heard from the
whole proceeding, and had been shocked by Hampton's confession.
Just as Paula was about to enter the telephone rang. Every one was startled. Who could be calling at
this hour? they wondered. Paula answered. It was for Lola - from the school where her son David was
living. She rushed to the phone and answered. When she turned back and faced the little, puzzled group
in the library, she was a changed woman. She was Lola, the mother, with sympathy in her every feature,
and anxiety driving all else from her mind.
"Little David," she sobbed "has been hurt. He was seriously injured this afternoon. The thought it was
not so serious, and did not inform me until now, when his condition is critical. My maid told them I was
here. I have to go."
Her expression, her voice, her whole attitude were changed. Her only thought now was for her boy.
Revenge and every other feeling had vanished, and, without another word, she left, unceremoniously
slamming the door as she went. Irwin, staggering after her, collapsed at the foot of the stairway, and fell
to the floor. Paula, running to him, tenderly lifted him to his feet, while Hampton sat in the library
buried in thought, and helped him up the stairway toward his room. A tear rolled down her cheek.
Lola's revenge had struck another than its intended victim.
It was early morning when Lola Montrose rode up to the school in an automobile. She rushed in to the
office as soon as the car drew to a near stop at the entrance. The doctor and several assistants were
conferring when she entered and inquired frantically about her son.
"It is very serious," she was told by the head physician. "A very delicate operation upon the child's skull
is necessary without loss of time in order to save his life. There are only two men we know of who have
successfully performed this operation in the past. One is in the West, but fortunately the other is within
easy reach. His name is John Hampton, the famous surgeon."
Lola gasped. John Hampton, she reflected. Would he forget and forgive and save her in her sorrow? She
doubted, but resolved to make the effort. She went into the private office and called the number on the
When the phone rang in the Hampton library the doctor was still sitting the opposite side of the room
Paula was sitting. She had not said a word since she had returned from assisting Irwin to his room. Her
silence had cut Hampton more than if she had spoken. He could deal with most people in an argument,
but in silence he was helpless. As he sat there he had wondered what Paula was thinking - how she was
accusing him in her muteness. As the telephone bell rang, Paula rose and answered. She listened for
several minutes, speaking only occasionally. Lola, at the other end, was pleading with her, begging her
and playing upon her tenderness to induce her husband to help her and save her son. She turned to
Hampton and spoke the first word that she had uttered in hours:
"Miss Montrose is in grave circumstances. Her son is dying. She is told that only you can save him, by a
delicate cerebral operation. She is weeping and pleading. She begs forgiveness." Paula's tone was calm
but stern. "Go; get your things and perform the operation - for my sake."
As Hampton walked from the room to procure his instruments and wraps, Paula spoke again to Lola
and told her that the doctor was on his way. Then turning from the telephone, she ordered his car.
When Doctor Hampton entered the school he did not see Lola. She was not in the room with her child
when he went there. He did not ask for her, but went straightway to work on his nerve-racking task.
Two hours later he descended the stairs. The operation had been a success, and he had remained with
the boy long enough to ascertain that the crisis had passed. Then he asked for Lola. He was led to the
altar, her eyes raised to the God she had always denied, was Lola - praying? She rose when Hampton
approached, and went out to him, but she could not speak. He laid his hand on her shoulder, and said:
"There is no more danger, David will live. I shall see him regularly,
and administer to him."
Lola was weeping. She begged for forgiveness, and vowed, in a voice
that proved her sincerity and her transformation, that her life, from
that moment on, would be changed; that she would forsake forever
her past existence, and would live only for the love of her son. And
John Hampton, like a big man that he was, forgave. As he turned to
leave, she gasped his hand and whispered:
"John, I lied to you. Irwin and I were not married. There was no
ceremony. He was drunk, and when the minister refused to marry
us, he thought that we were wed. Go back and tell him that it is all a
nightmare, and that he must make good."
"He will make good," the doctor replied, "for the sake of another girl
who is waiting. He has the makings of a man, and this night's events
will bring them out. And Paula, dear Paula, will help." He pressed
her hand between both of his and left her alone.
"Thank God!" she murmured. "Thank God for a man like that!"
|Directed by: Reginald Barker
J.G. Hawks - scenario
John Lynch - story
Louise Glaum ... Lola Montrose
J. Barney Sherry ... John Hampton
Colin Chase ... Irwin Hampton
Dorcas Matthews ... Paula Chester
Mae Giraci ... David
J. Frank Burke ... Brother Eulofian
Will H. Bray ... Hart Chester
Production Company: Triangle Film Corporation
Distribution Company: Triangle Distributing
Presenter: Thomas H. Ince
Length: 5 Reels
Runtime: 50 Minutes
Released: July 8, 1917