Hart was down on his luck, hungry and penniless, when Pietro Ravelli befriended him. The well-to-do Italian gave him a full meal and then conducted him through devious alley ways to an old ramshackle house, which at that late hour of the evening was swarming with Ravelli's fellow countrymen. Hart scented one of those Italian secret societies which exist in defiance of the law. Urged to cast in his lot with theirs, however, a spirit of recklessness, born of the misfortunes of many bitter weeks, goaded him into accepting these desperadoes' confidences. He learned that the mano nera preyed upon people of wealth whom it blackmailed into paying large sums for their personal safety. About a fortnight later, Hart was instructed by Ravelli to secure a position in the household of Judge Durand, a retired justice who had previously imprisoned several members of the mano nera. Ignorant of Ravelli's motives, Hart applied to the Judge and was soon made his private secretary. He fell in love with ...
Moving Picture World synopsis