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When Don Diego Vega returns to Old California from school in Spain, he discovers the tyrannical governor Alvarado in power. Assuming the persona of an effeminate fop while secretly masquerading as Zorro, a masked bandit who robs the wealthy and gives to the poor, Diego attempts to restore justice. His true identity known only to his faithful servant Bernardo, Zorro outwits his enemies, wins over the soldiers to his case, forces the governor to abdicate and wins the affections of Lolita, a lovely aristocrat who is delighted to discover that her foppish fiancé Diego, whom she scorns, is actually a dashing hero.