Emilio García Riera en el tomo 2 de su obra México visto por el cine extranjero nos da una breve síntesis y una ficha filmográfica (p. 32):
1300/1. The Mexican Spy. P: EU, (Lubin) 1913. Dirección: Wilbert Melville. Argumento: E. C. Hall. Intérpretes: Edna Payne (Mary Lee), Earl Metcalfe (Tom Loring), Edwin Carewe (Luis Rivera). 3 rollos / Western.
En un fuerte militar de la frontera con México, Mary, hija del pagador del regimiento, ama al disipado Tom, hijo del coronel. Para pagar una deuda de juego al mexicano Rivera, falso rico y espía, Tom roba 5 mil dólares. Rivera amenaza a Tom con denunciarlo si no le da los planos de unos fuertes del suroeste. Mary oye todo y vende sus joyas para ayudar a Tom. Dispuesto a regenerarse, Tom se enlista. Enviado a la frontera, debe conducir un carro de la Cruz Roja con Mary como enfermera. Atacan los mexicanos de Rivera y sólo quedan vivos Tom y Mary. Mientras él resiste, Mary huye y procura el auxilio de la caballería norteamericana. Herido, Tom se recupera en el hospital gracias a Mary y es ascendido a teniente.
Por su parte Margarita de Orellana en su libro La mirada circular editado por Cuadernos de Joaquín Mortiz nos proporciona la siguiente información (p. 186):
The Mexican Spy (El espía mexicano). Producción: Lubin. Realizador: Wilbert Melville. Guión: E. C. Hall. Actores: Edna Payne, Earl Metcalf, Edwin Carewe. Bobinas: 3. Fuente: The Moving Picture World, Vol. XV, Ene-Mar 1913, núm. 2, enero 11, 1913, p. 184.
Sinopsis: Tom, el hijo del coronel Loring, es un joven disipado. Mary Lee, la hija del pagador del regimiento, ama a Tom y hace esfuerzos por reformarlo. El señor Luis Rivera, un apuesto mexicano, en realidad un espía, se hace amigo de Tom y le gana 5 000 dólares apostando. Tom roba esa cantidad de la caja del pagador pero Rivera lo amenaza con denunciarlo a menos que robe los planos de los fuertes del suroeste norteamericano y él le regresará el dinero para que lo vuelva a colocar en la caja. Tom extrae los planos, pero antes de entregarlos Mary Lee, que se ha dado cuenta de todo, vende sus joyas y logra obtener 5 000 dólares. Entonces obliga a Tom a desafiar a Rivera a que regrese los planos a su lugar. Nadie sospecha de Tom, pero él se siente culpable. Rivera desaparece. Tom decide alistarse en el ejército. Envía una carta a Mary Lee, en la que promete redimirse. Al regimiento de Tom es enviado a la frontera. Mary Lee entra a la Cruz Roja y es enviada también a la frontera. Un día el cirujano envía a Mary a misión y se lleva una gran sorpresa al encontrar a Tom como conductor de su carreta. Rivera se entera de este viaje y se dispone a perseguir a la misión. Se inicia una lucha terrible y sólo quedan vivos Tom y Mary. Tom sube a Mary a una mula y la manda por refuerzos, mientras él resiste solo. Mary regresa con una tropa y encuentra a Tom herido. Gracias a los cuidados de Mary, Tom sana. Más tarde es ascendido a teniente y se casa con Mary.
Motography del 4 de enero de 1913 (Vol. IX, No. 1, p. 2); The Moving Picture World de enero 18 de 1913 (Vol. XV, No. 3, pp. 280-281) y The Motion Picture Story Magazine de febrero de 1913 (Vol. V, No. 1, p. 167):
THE MEXICAN SPY
Jan. 17, 1913. LUBIN. 2 Reels
Tom Loring, a handsome but dissipated youth, loves Mary Lee, daughter of the regiment’s paymaster. In order to pay his gambling debts to the Mexican, Señor Rivera, supposedly rich but in reality a spy, Tom steals $5,000 from the paymaster’s safe. The Mexican threatens exposure unless Tom secures the plans of certain forts in the Southwest, but Mary hears of the situation and pawns her jewels to replace the stolen money. Realizing the sorrow he has caused his father and sweetheart, Tom disappears, leaving a note that he will not return until he has redeemed himself. He enlists under an assumed name, and his regiment is ordered to the Mexican frontier. Mary becomes a Red Cross nurse and is also ordered to the Mexican border. Tom’s bravery and strategy during a desperate encounter with the Mexicans under Rivera wins him promotion to Lieutenant, but he is seriously wounded, and Mary is greatly surprised to find among her patients, her lover. Her careful nursing restores him to health, and having redeemed his former misdeeds by his faithful and heroic service to his country, he claims Mary for his wife.
Motography del 4 de enero de 1913 (Vol. IX, No. 1, pp. 21-22):
A Live Lubin Two-Reel
One of the January Specials
Another of those live Lubin two-reels is on the books for early release—January 17, to be exact. It is to be handled through the General Film Company as a special feature.
The title is «The Mexican Spy.» It was written by Emmett Campbell Hall and produced by Wilbert Melville. The cast is as follows: Earle Metcalf (Tom Loring); L. C. Phillips (Colonel Loring); Edwin Carewe (Señor Luis Rivera); Edna Payne (Mary Lee); William Wells (Paymaster Lee).
As the story runs, Tom, son of Colonel Loring, is a handsome but dissipated youth, easily influenced to moral transgressions. Mary Lee, the paymaster’s daughter, loves Tom despite his failings, and tries desperately, though vainly, to reform him. Senor Luis Rivera, polished and apparently wealthy (but in reality a spy), becomes intimate with Tom, who, to keep up his end and pay his gambling losses to Rivera, steals $5,000 from the paymaster’s safe. Rivera threatens to expose Tom’s theft unless he steals for him the plans of forts in the Southwest, proposing to give back the money, which Tom may replace in the safe, if he does so. Tom cannot resist the temptation and secures the plans from his father’s office; but before he has delivered the drawings to Rivera, Mary learns of the situation, and by pawning her jewels and using a little legacy, raises enough money to replace that stolen. She then forces Tom to defy Rivera, and replaces the plans.
No one suspects Tom, but he realizes that he is breaking the hearts of his father and the girl, and swears that he will prove worthy of their love. Rivera has gone away. Tom disappears, and under another name enlists in the army, leaving a note for Mary in which he tells her that she will not see him again until he has redeemed his shameful past. Shortly afterward the regiment to which Tom has become attached is ordered to the southwestern border on account of difficulty arising with the Republic of Mexico.
In the meantime Mary has applied for and received an appointment as a Red Cross nurse, and is herself sent to the border. One day after her arrival she is sent by the surgeon in charge to a point some distance away from the hospital, and is greatly surprised to find the soldier assigned to drive the wagon furnished for her transportation none other than Tom. The two young folks are overjoyed to see one another again. Tom takes his seat with Mary and the escort inside and the journey starts.
Rivera with his troop learns of the trip and seizes an opportunity to secure revenge and the same time deal a blow at the hated Americans. He starts in pursuit of the little party. A running fight follows; and as a result Mary and Tom are the only ones left alive on the wagon. Tom stops the wagon, and hastily mounting Mary on one of the mules, sends her in search of aid while he undertakes to hold back the attacking Mexicans. Upon Mary’s return with a troop of cavalry, they find Tom lying wounded. Tom is taken to the hospital and with Mary’s careful nursing is restored to health. Later Tom is made lieutenant and secures Mary’s hand.
Motography del 4 de enero de 1913 (Vol. IX, No. 1, p. 7):
The Mexican Spy is a two-reel special to be released by the Lubin Company, January 17th. It is a dramatic story typical of the army life of Mexico and the United States. The scenes are laid on the border and constitute a powerful lesson against gambling, which is only too common among the officers. The picture is made with every attention to the local and military atmosphere of the two republics.
Mary Lee, the daughter of the paymaster, is in love with Colonel Loring’s son, Tom, he is a reckless chap given to gambling and other bad habits. Marv endeavors to reform him, but unsuccessfully. At last Tom steals $5,000 from the paymaster’s safe to pay a gambling debt to Senor Luis Rivera, who is a Mexican spy. Rivera offers to return the money if Tom will steal the plans of the fortifications from the office of the Colonel. The deal is made and Tom secures the plans. Mary discovers the treason and by pledging her jewels gives her lover the money, and forces him to return the papers. Tom later joins the army on the border and Mary receives an appointment as a Red Cross nurse. One day she is sent to a distant point and when the wagon pulls up for the trip she finds that Tom is the driver. The wagon is attacked by Mexicans with Rivera in command. A battle ensues in which Tom is badly wounded, but Mary nurses him back to life. For bravery he is made a lieutenant, and for love wins his old sweetheart.
The Moving Picture World, Vol. XV, No. 5, Feb. 1, 1913, p. 464:
THE MEXICAN SPY (Lubin), Jan. 17-—A two-part story of the recent war with the Republic of Mexico, which we didn’t have. E. C. Hall wrote the scenario which Wilbert Melville produced seemingly at some army post in the West. It is a fair story, but somewhat conventional with a few added novelties which give it an apparent freshness. It is charitable not to say too much about the acting; but there is much to interest in a good many scenes where no acting was required, such as the fight between the Mexicans and the United States troops that come to the rescue of the hero who has been a thief and almost a traitor, but now bravely rehabilitates himself. Some of the backgrounds also are very acceptable.
Variety del 28 de febrero de 1913 (Vol. XXIX, No. 13, p. 15):
Siege of Mexico Film
It looks like the movies were in for a deluge of Mexican films both dramatic and otherwise according to the plans of some of the film manufacturers. Several uptown houses have been playing up Mexican dramas for several weeks. The Lubin Co. releases “The Mexican Spy” in two reels March 9.
With the dailies running columns about the Mexican revolution the pictures will get all the publicity the managers want.