powered by AFI
The Three Mesquiteers, Stony Brooke, Tucson Smith and Lullaby Joslin, help Sheriff Miller capture Joe Harvey, Buck and their helpers as they attempt to steal wild horses from a refuge. Miller takes them into town to their boss, Rance McGowan, who uses his real estate company as a front for illegally selling the wild horses. McGowan asserts that the men were looking for his lost strays, and Miller lets them go with a warning that he will prosecute next time. McGowan tells Harvey that he has received an order for a thousand horses and instructs him to get Miller and the Mesquiteers out of the way. Meanwhile, Stony visits his girl friend Rita, a saloon entertainer who is after Stony's money. Tucson and Lullaby resent Rita's influence over Stony and try to set their pal straight about her, but he refuses to listen. They then get in a fight with the gang when Harvey accosts Rita, who used to be his girl. The Mesquiteers make short work of the gang, after which Harvey returns to McGowan's ranch and paints Volcano, a stallion trained to kill on command, to resemble the pinto leader of the wild herd. Volcano leads McGowan's horses on wild rampages, destroying land and injuring people. While Miller and the Mesquiteers search for the pinto, Buck orders Volcano to attack Miller, and Lullaby observes from a distance as Miller is trampled to death. Tucson is appointed sheriff, and the ranchers petition the state to revoke the laws protecting wild horses. Tucson and Lullaby then get Stony to help them capture the pinto, despite Stony's insistence that he is not a killer. After they bring him to town, Stony points out that while there were horseshoe marks on Miller's body, the pinto does not wear shoes. Stony also proves that the horse is actually gentle, but Tucson bends to the will of the people and orders that he be shot the next morning. After Stony and Tucson fall out over the horse and Stony's imminent wedding to Rita, Lullaby tells Rita that Tucson has the power of attorney over Stony's money. Upset by this revelation, Rita readily accepts Tucson's offer of $1,500 and a train ticket to New York in exchange for dumping Stony. After Rita breaks up with him, Stony accuses Tucson of interfering, and the two have another quarrel. Stony storms out of the saloon and steals the pinto, but is captured by McGowan's men. Tim Miller, the dead sheriff's son, alerts Tucson and Lullaby, and they ride to the rescue. Stony has figured out Harvey's deception and is about to be trampled by Volcano when the pinto breaks free and fights him off. Tucson and Lullaby arrive, and Stony fills them in on the details. While they are shooting it out with the gang, Lullaby pretends to be hit in order to restore Tucson and Stony's friendship. The gang is rounded up except for McGowan, who tries to escape on Volcano. Stony gives the secret whistle that instructs Volcano to kill, and McGowan is thrown and trampled to death. Soon after, the wild horses run free, and the Mesquiteers share a laugh when Lullaby's hog call summons a skunk.