In the Days of Buffalo Bill (1922)

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Universal starred the company's newest cowboy ace, Art Acord, as Art Taylor, a Pony Express rider coming to the aid of a beleaguered rancher, Calvert Carter (George A. Williams). Carter and his daughter Alice (Dorothy Woods) are residing on land necessary for the building of a proposed Union Pacific Railroad junction. Lambert Ashley (Jay Morley), an Eastern capitalist in league with a certain foreign power, offers Carter 25,000 dollars for the land but the rancher refuses on the advice of Taylor. The following 17 chapters depict how the Carters and Art are forced to battle not only Ashley and foreign agent Gaspard (Pat Harmon) but also a Sioux uprising and a gang of vigilantes. Screenwriter Robert Dillon added to the mix such historical personages as Quantrell (Jim Corey), Allan Pinkerton (Burton C. Law), Ulysses S. Grant (Lafe McKee), Sitting Bull (Chief Lightheart), and, of course, Buffalo Bill Cody (Duke R. Lee). The latter's inclusion, incidentally, got Universal in hot water with the W.F. Cody Historical Pictures Corp., who claimed exclusive rights to the great showman's likeness. Executive producer Carl Laemmle, however, proved in court that the name Buffalo Bill "had been so widely used that a Universal picture could not possibly be confused with those of the Historical Pictures Corporation, and that there could be no unfair competition." Universal followed this serial with the 15-chapter In the Days of Daniel Boone.