The Greatest Question

1
             THE
           GREATEST
           QUESTION

COPYRIGHT 1919 BY D. W. GRIFFITH

2
    A Story of The
Strange Meandering River
       of Life.

3
 Story by
WILLIAM HALE

Photographed by
G. W. BITZER

4
  CAST OF CHARACTERS
Nellie Jarvis, "Little Miss Yes'm" - -
       - - - - - Miss Lillian Gish
Jimmie Hilton - - - Robert Harron
Mrs. Hilton, the mother-Eugenie Besserer
Mr. Hilton, the father - George Fawcett
John Hilton - - - - Ralph Graves
Zeke - - - - - - Tom Wilson
Martin Cain - - - - George Nicholls
His wife - - - - Jospehine Crowell

  Note--Anyone advertising a picture as
  a Griffith production without the name
  "Griffith" and trademark "DG" on each
  film is guilty of fraudulent advertising.

5
However light or frivolous
we may be, all of us rebel
at the thought that our
high dreams, hopes and
loves shall only end in
the bitter dust of death.

6
If only one that we have
known, who has gone be-
fore could return to give
a word of hope! For be-
hind the strongest faith,
there is a Great Question. 

7
       From the church,
        it is two miles
to the little valley of
Silver Waters.

8
The peddler's family.

9
Nellie Jarvis, the
 peddler's child.

10
"Yes'm."

11
"Yes'm, I'll go in."

12
In the shadows of the 
dark woods - a friend-
less immigrant girl who
  trusted too well.

13
Under Passion's
lowering clouds -
the terrible deed.

14
The child returns.

15
The parents quiet
the child's fears.

16
       Ten years later.
The home of the Hiltons
in the same neighborhood.

17
   The falterer.

The paralytic father
 rebellious against 
   hard fortune.

18
Jimmie Hilton.

19
Zeke, an old
family retainer,
troubled with
rheumatism.

20
    The Mother -
a quiet, but strongly
sweet soldier in the
battle betwixt Good
     and Evil.

21
After the passing of the
father, Nellie Jarvis,
now grown, and her
mother travel alone
over the old paths.

22
The sick woman
complains of the
jolting of the
     wagon.

23
The mother tells 
her daughter to be 
polite and never for-
get to say "Yes'm".

24
"Yes'm."

25
    A life flowing
out to mysterious,
uncharted seas.

26
"Mother, talk to me!
      Mother!"

27
Though in dire
poverty ------
gifts to the sick.

28
"My mother - I can't
 wake her up! Get
  a doctor, quick!"

29
When the doctor came.

30
"She will never
 waken, dearie."

31
A pitiful, faltering
good-bye to the
family that has
helped her through 
   her tragedy.

32
They decide they can
find room for the deso-
late "Little Miss Yes'm",
as they lovingly nick-
      name her.

33
"Oh, Oh! Yes'm, I'd just
     love to stay."

34
Idyllic days for her.

35
As long as there is 
gravy in the bacon 
pan, tomorrow does 
not worry Uncle
     Zeke.

36
"When I get a
 million of these, 
 I'm going to get
      married."

37
John, the Mother's
beloved son, her con-
solation and trust.

38
Summer lanes.

39
"I'll tell on you!"

40
"If you do, I'll do 
     it again!"

41
And when she was 
gone, it was thus 
that he always re-
  membered her.

42
An innocent frolic -

43
- except to a hidden
   lascivious eye.

44
Martin Cain, a neigh-
bor, who little dreams
what this same child
   saw years ago.

45
The father com-
plains bitterly of
their poverty and
    hard lot.

46
"Let them know it!
 When we're in the
 poorhouse they'll
   all know it."

47
"Missy, I'll hire
 out. I mustn't
 be a burden on
 you any longer."

48
"No, no - you stay 
    right here."

49
Their last reliance
taken away ---- war
calls John, the chief
support of the family.

50
"I feel I will never
   see you again."

51
"Don't, Mother,
 Don't! There is
 something between
 us NO BULLET
  can kill!"

52
Despite their pro-
test, she goes in
search of work.

53
The House of Shadows.

54
"No, you won't!
 I know too much
   about you!"

55
Bound together.

56
"Missy, I heard you
 wanted a hired girl."

57
"Yes'm."

58
"He cut his face
 with a razor -
   poor dear!"

59
"Well, we'll see about it."

60
"I'll come just as soon as 
      I can, Missy."

  Note--Is it the House of
  Shadows, or some vague
  memory that strangely
        stirs her?

61
Sent to a neigh-
bor's to borrow
flour - he takes
    company.

62
"You haven't paid
 back what you
 borrowed before."

63
"We'll get it!"

64
"Oh, let 'em have a little!"

65
"No, siree! They can't
       have it!"

66
The Ghost Story.

67
A fugitive seeks
lodgings made
safe by supersti-
  tious fears.

68
"Keep close, chillun!
 We's comin' to dat
     graveyard!"

69
John now on the 
 great blockade.

70
       "Verily, I say
        unto you if a
man keep my saying he
shall never see death."
              John 8-51

71
  The emergency.
An enemy destroyer
coming out of the fog
bank, compels the sub-
marine suddenly to dive.

72
Too late.

73
"John was here, Father."

74
After a period of
anxious waiting.

75
"It's my Boy! When
    did he go?"

76
"How did you know, 
     Mother?"

77
"Hush, he is nearer to
 us than ever before!"

78
Despite forebod-
ings, Nellie feels
it her duty to
accept the place.

79
Again the vague
memory whispers.

80
"You don't care for
   this, do you?"

81
"Flow on, cold rivulet, to the sea,
   Thy tribute waves deliver,
 But not by thee, my steps shall be;
   Forever and forever."

82
Into the Citadel of
 the Evil Legions

83
A shrine to the 
Boy, in the garden
of those who have
  found peace.

84
Started on a road of
peril between the
cruelty of the woman
and the base passions 
    of the man.

85
"When I tell you to
 do something, do it!"

86
"Shut up!"

87
"Yes'm."

88
"Yes'm."

89
"I might have to
 use this whip."

90
"Not on me, Missy, I'll
 be an awful good girl!"

91
Saturday afternoon -

92
- Jimmie might come.

93
But he was hard
    at work.

94
That Evening.

95
A lonely little 
girl, and a doll
named Jimmie.

96
Of all the unholy
passions that sear
the human heart
jealousy is the
most cruel and
 unreasoning.

97
Again urged by that
obscure fear, the girl
seeks the cause of those
stealthy footsteps along
    the corridor.

98
Sunday.

99
A sharper, interested
   in the new oil
     excitement.

100
He works while the 
  family is away.

101
Afterwards.

102
The Mother's 
premonition 
that Nellie is
 troubled.

103
"Did you break
   a plate?"

104
The pitiful, tremulous lie.

105
"Premonition nothing!
 You get the cow in
- Zeke can't go with
    rheumatism."

106
      Nearer the vague 
memories - and clearer.

107
She has sent them 
Ten Dollars she
  slaved for.

108
The little heart of 
love, seeing their joy
over the pittance she 
has sent them, goes
   back to duty.

109
The return.

110
"Missy, I won't lie
     any more."

111
"Get to work then!"

112
The last straw - the
Father driven into
selling the place.

113
The father scoffs at a
Providence that fails to
provide for his daily 
needs - ignorant that
the ground beneath his 
feet is bursting with
       wealth.

114
Again the sharper.

115
"Bring your papers 
 tomorrow and the
 place is yours."

116
"What about me?
 Ain't no nigger
   po' house!"

117
"The Lord will pro-
 vide for you - like
   he did for us."

118
Assailed by sorrows
and doubts, the
Mother gropes for the
      light.

119
The girl's innocence
and beauty arouse
the woman's enmity
and she decides to 
   destroy her.

120
"Lord, I believe!
 Help Thou my
   unbelief!"

121
"My Boy -- My Boy!
 Hear! In our sorrow
 - Come - prove to us!"

122
"He isn't there -
 he is here - here,
   in the dust!"

123
"Into the infinite
 night I cry to
 Thee! Answer
 me! Answer!"

124
"Why, Why has
 Thou forsaken me?"

125
"Farewell, until
 our tomorrow."

126
"Nothing matters now,
 Mother. Mine eyes
    have seen."

127
  The morning.
Rebellion stilled 
in their hearts -

128
-- beneath their 
feet where it has
always lain, earthly,
material matter -

129
"That sticky stuff
 - makes me sick -
 all over the place!"

130
"Why, it's oil!"

131
The Demon's
Rushing Wings.

132
"I've known pros-
 pects worse than
 this to be worth
   a million!"

133
"I'm going to tell Nellie."

134
"Both of you - I'll ----!"

135
"I know you NOW!"

136
"She MUST NOT GO!
  She'll tell!"

137
"Oil! It's everywhere!"

138
And then -

139
"We don't know enough 
   to get married."

140
"We can wait."

141
At the big hotel.

142
Conscience.

143
"Help, oh help, those
 who still grope in 
     darkness!"

144
"Forgive, Oh Forgive!"

145
"Be not deceived; God
 is not mocked, for
 whatsoever a man
 soweth, that shall he
 also reap."



THE END


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