Sunday, October 5, 2014

Silent Sundays: The Perils of Pauline: The Serpent in the Flowers (1914)


“I can tell your fortune by the lines in your hands.”

            This episode of The Perils of Pauline has our heroine on two dangerous and thrilling adventures.
            Koerner still up to no good trying to get rid of Pauline Marvin (Pearl White) his young ward. He enlists the help of some local gypsies. The chief gypsy is happy to help. He has Koerner bring Pauline down to his camp to read her fortune. The chief reads her fortune himself and tells her that she will be going on a long trip. As he relays his fortune men come out of the woods behind him and Pauline and throw a blanket over her head. The men take her to their camp. A gypsy woman who is in love with the chief has heard about the woman and becomes jealous.
            Pauline tries to escape the camp but is immediately caught and brought back.
            Harry, Pauline’s fiancé is concerned that she has been gone for so long and begins to search for her. The gypsy woman flags him down and shows him where Pauline is being kept. Harry has a fight with the chief ending with the chief being badly hurt. The gypsy woman’s love for chief is strong and she is angry with Harry. She finds a snake in the woods, puts in a basket with some flowers over it, and brings it to Pauline’s house.
            As Pauline looks at the flowers in the basket, Harry notices something moving in it. He throws the basket on the floor and out slithers the snake. He manages to kill the snake before it can cause any damage.
            Unfazed by the snake Pauline is ready for another adventure. She hears about a steeple chase race and wants to buy a horse so she can enter. Koerner sees this as an excellent opportunity to try to have Pauline killed. He finds someone to poke the horse with a needle to make it go wild. Pauline is thrown off her horse during the race. She is hurt but she will recover.
            The Serpent in the Flowers was good. I liked the idea of there being two adventures but the second part with the horse race really did not make any sense. I read that some of the episodes of the American and French versions of The Perils of Pauline were once spliced together and I have a feeling that is what happened with this episode.

            Stay tuned for next week’s concluding episode of The Perils of Pauline.