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The new rage in newspaper comic strips from coast to coast is "The Adventures of Outlaw--King of Stallions," drawn by cowboy Monte Hale. Monte bases his strip on the exploits of a real black stallion who leads and protects a herd of wild horses on the edge of his Rainbow Valley Ranch. One day Monte and his little sister Ginny spot a new foal among the herd, and Monte writes the colt into the strip, proclaiming Outlaw a father. Ginny takes care of the colt until it is old enough to run with the herd. Meanwhile, during the Calvada Dude Ranch bronco tryouts, Kay North hopes for a good ride to impress Nate Greeley, who is hiring for his rodeo show. Kay's horse, however, is unresponsive and Greeley only offers her a riding instructor job, which she refuses. Kay's uncle, Colonel Ted Winthrop, feels guilty about Kay's failure and promises to help her. Later that day, one of the local ranch hands, old Locoweed Larson, talks about the exploits of Outlaw, which interests Kay until the other hands tell her the horse is only a cartoon figure. Loco, however, insists Outlaw is real and tells Kay about Rainbow Valley. Kay and Uncle Ted plan to find and capture Outlaw to use him for bronco riding, hoping that the stallion will give Kay another shot at the rodeo. At Rainbow Valley Ranch, Kay and one of Uncle Ted's men, Tracy, ride in search of the wild herd. When Tracy is spotted chasing the herd by Monte and Ginny, Kay distracts them by pretending to be a novice rider on a runaway horse. Monte comes to Kay's rescue and offers to put her up at the ranch when she feigns a sprained ankle. Kay tells Monte and Ginny she is a reporter working on a story about Outlaw, and over the next few days gets information on him. After Ginny shows Kay the colt, whom she has named Shadow, Kay finds herself putting off her capture of Outlaw as she has grown fond of Monte and Ginny. Meanwhile, Uncle Ted has become concerned about Kay's long absence and comes to the ranch himself to bring her--and Outlaw--home. Kay has second thoughts about taking Outlaw, especially when Monte offers her a beautiful white stallion. Uncle Ted, however, gets an idea when Ginny reads him the next panel of the "Outlaw" strip in which rustlers lure Outlaw by capturing Shadow. Tracy and his men trap Outlaw using Shadow as bait and take him back to their ranch. Monte and Ginny decide to try to find Outlaw through the comic strip, alerting all of Outlaw's fans to his abduction. When they see the strip, Uncle Ted and Tracy disguise Outlaw by painting his legs white, placing a white streak down his face, and renaming him Thunderbolt for the bronco circuit. As Thunderbolt, Outlaw develops a reputation as the circuit's wildest horse, whom no one can ride. At one of the rodeo shows, Loco grows suspicious of "Thunderbolt" and later in his stall discovers the white paint and a telltale scar identifying him as Outlaw. Loco tells Monte, who comes to the dude ranch and recognizes Tracy and, to his disappointment, Kay. When Monte discovers Uncle Ted has a weakness for gambling, he tricks him into wagering "Thunderbolt" on a bet that Monte can stay on him in the bronco competition. Before the contest, however, Ginny arrives and tells Kay that Outlaw must be returned to the herd, as without his protection, several mares have been attacked and killed by wildcats. Kay agrees to help but Tracy is determined to keep Outlaw and attacks Monte. Moments before the competition, Monte is found and revived by Ginny and Kay and wins the bronco contest. After Outlaw is returned to Rainbow Valley, Kay and Monte happily reconcile.