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Tansy (1921)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Shepherd George Firle tends his flocks. Clem Fordough, a farm labourer, works on a traction engine and threshing machine at the local farm. George works with his daughter Tansy herding the sheep.

Tansy wanders along lanes and tracks and meets up with Clem. As the couple walk back to Clem's work he asks her to visit for supper, she agrees. At the Wilverley household at Fair Mile farm the two brothers, Will and Joad, along with their father eat supper. Will is dominated by his older brother who is embittered by the loss of his wife. Meanwhile George Firle visits the local public house giving Tansy an opportunity to slip away and visit Clem.

The vicar, while fishing, hears the church bells and rushes to the service. George leaves the public house and discovers Tansy gone. He sets off for Clem's caravan and prevents him from forcing his attentions upon Tansy. George and Tansy are shamed. They are both seen herding the sheep. However, the farmer has heard of the incident and accuses Tansy of being immoral and orders her and her father off the farm.

George and Tansy with their meagre belongings and the sheep dog leave their cottage and set off for Marshminster. At the town they meet up with Joad who offers them a lift. George refuses and they continue on their way. As Joad returns home he comes across the couple again. However, George has collapsed and Tansy readily accepts Joad's help. Once at the farm they discover that George is dead.

Later, Tansy overhears the brothers discussing the need for a shepherd and bemoaning the fact that George has died. Tansy offers her services and the brothers laugh but she takes them outside and shows them her skills by rounding up a herd of sheep. Will and Joad fall for Tansy. The farm enjoys its best lambing season.

Joad talks to his father and tells him that he wishes to marry Tansy. On May Day George Baston a local farm worker calls on Tansy, he too is taken with her and offers to take her to the village. However, Joad arrives with his pony and trap and offers to take Tansy to the village, she accepts. After their day out Joad leaves Tansy at her home.

Tansy goes for a walk and meets up with Will, they embrace and kiss. At the sheep dipping by a river, Tansy helps with the dipping of the sheep as they are herded into a pen and forced into the water; the two brothers realise they are rivals. Tansy then leads the flock up a country track home.

The two brothers become jealous of each other and Joad buys Tansy gifts. Angered by the gift, Will offers to marry Tansy and goes to tell Joad. However, Clem calls at the house and again tries to force his attentions upon Tansy, she escapes. Will tells Joad his plans for marriage and the two argue, they then fight and Joad nearly kills his brother.

Full of remorse, he sends for Tansy who rushes in escaping from Clem. Joad orders her to leave, Will is unable to prevent him. Tansy pleads with Will but he is unwilling to help her, therefore she leaves the farm. However, Robert the butler tells Joad that Tansy has always loved Will and he must send Will after her. Joad relents and agrees to Will's marriage. However, Clem has caught up with Tansy and accosts her. Will arrives on the scene and rescues her. The lovers embrace.

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