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Jim Lester (Tom Tyler) hides an escaped convict from a posse, only to
later learn he is exactly the man is Cortez (Frank Lanning), the very man
accused of the murder of his parents. But by the time he learns this,
Cortez is long gone, but he leaves behind a note, stating his innocence
but claiming he is going to look for the real killer of Jim's parents, who
is one of 7 honourable citizens in a nearby town.
To find the killer of his parents - be it Cortez or anybody else - Jim
goes to that town himself, to see the whole town and especially the 7
honourable citizens terrorized by the mysterious Phantom and
his gang of masked riders, and really, the 7 honourable citizens
start to die like flies. Suspects of being the Phantom are Cortez (of
course)or Mary (Dorothy Gulliver), who seems to be around everytime
the Phantom kills someone or throws a dart with a message and who is
really Cortez' daughter, unbeknowest to everyone.
At one time, Jim is even suspected to be the Phantom himself by our
honourable citizens, but ultimately they hire him to track down the
Phantom, which is not such a good idea because at least one of them is
dealing a crooked hand ...
In the end, after massive horseriding, fistfuights and shoot-outs, 2 of
our honourable citizens, Blair (William Desmond) and Macklin (Philo
McCullough) are revealed as gangsters and prime suspects in the murder of
Foster's father, with Blair being revealed to be the killer in the end. On
the other hand, 2 of those killed by the Phantom, Hollister (James
Carlyle) and Johnson (W.J.Holmes) turn up alive and blame their almost-deaths on Blair as well. And to everybody's surprise, the Phantom
is revealed to be the stuttering, klutzy, cowardly comedy relief Oscar
(Tom Dugan), who is actually the half brother of Blair wanting to cut in
on his wealth.
And the Phantom's ghostriders ?
Actually there were two such gangs, none of them linked to the Phantom:
one was the Sheriff (Frank Hagney) and his men trying to lure the Phantom
out into the open, the other was Blair's men trying to fool everybody,
including the Phantom ...
An early talkie serial, which is quite obvious at times, with many of
the actors still acting as if in silents and being not too easy with the
microphone. Furthermore, the whole thing is a bit too constructed to
remain believable, and the solution of the mystery in the end is nothing
short of silly. But then again, the serial features enough action (a Mascot
trademark), a masked killer, an engaging mystery story and plenty of ever-popular
pulp trappings to make one forget its shortcomings. Quite simply put, it's