The Timber Queen:
Episode 12 - The Abyss
Series: Ruth Roland serial Distribution: Roland/Pathé  Director: Fred Jackman  Cinematography: ?
Production: R-2 Type: Silent short Producer: Hal Roach  Editor: ?
Released: 01 October 1922 Length: 1-reel Story: Carl Krusada Scenario: Bertram Millhauser


Ruth Reading (Ruth Roland) stands upon a tree stump in a forest that she owns when she sees her boyfriend Don Mackay (Bruce Gordon), wearing a lumberjack shirt and leaning against a tree but when he sees her, he walks off, bashfully. Ruth's cousin, James Cluxton (Val Paul) receives a letter informing him that if Ruth does not marry by the time of her 21st birthday then the ownership of the forest will be his. Cluxton's confidant, Bull Joyce (Leo Willis) tells him that Ruth is spending a lot of time with Don and if it was to continue Cluxton can say goodbye to inheriting the forest. Vance (Frank Lackteen) overhears the conversation and rides off to warn Don. Back at the sawmill, Vance watches Cluxton and Joyce - who sees Ruth seated atop a box car and gets the idea to do away with her. He 'accidentally' throws a piece of lumber onto a rail track which releases the box car into an uncontrollable descent down the hillside with Ruth helplessly on top of it.
Don comes riding on his horse to rescue Ruth and saves her in the nick of time, swinging a la Tarzan from a rope attached to a tree and grabbing her as the boxcar dives off the track and into a creek. Thanking him for saving her life, they talk of their future together oblivious they are standing in the path of an oncoming train! The train stops; they laugh and jump on to the front of it... "from out of the abyss and into a bright future". The end.

Favourite bit
The beautiful scenery! The forest, the train, everything just looks so "outdoors"! Great cinematography.

Production R-2 - Ruth Roland serial.
Copyrighted October 4, 1922.
For a small fee, this episode can be viewed or downloaded from here.
If you take out the credits and intertitle cards, there is about 5 minutes of actual film footage in the entire episode.
Filming dates
October 3, 1921 - February 27, 1922 (serial filming dates).
This was the twelfth of fifteen episodes in the serial.
What the experts say
"Short and sweet, a bit too short in fact! Great outdoors photography, exciting mounted camera footage and a happy ending. I liked it." ~ Lord Heath.

Ruth Roland
Ruth Reading
Bruce Gordon
Don Mackay
Val Paul
James Cluxton
Leo Willis
Bull Joyce
Frank Lackteen



Harpodeon (making the film available for purchase on-line)

This page was last updated on: 26 April 2017