Joe Sunday rides into Porter and the townspeople stare at him in surprise. They talk about how he killed six men in six seconds, and watch as he rides past the saloon. Cindy is inside and sees him, and runs out the back. Tenner notices but she brushes past him. Joe tells Tenner that Cindy saw someone out the window, and Tenner looks out in time to see Joe ride past to the sheriff's office. The gambler recognizes him and says that the man is the devil.
Henrietta is tending to Cindy's daughter when Cindy runs in and tells Henrietta that Joe is in town. She vows that she'll never let Joe have her baby and runs out.
Joe meets with Hoby and says that he just wants his child. He doesn't think that Cindy is a fit mother, and says that it's Hoby's problem. Joe hands over a court order and tells Hoby to bring his daughter to him at the hotel. Once Joe leaves, Hoby calls Ralph in and says that he'll be gone for a little while.
Hoby goes to the newspaper office and tells Henrietta that he saw Cindy bring the baby in an hour ago. Henrietta refuses to help him, and says that the baby is with her mother where she belongs. Hoby points out that Cindy works in a saloon for a gambler, and Henrietta insists that all Cindy does is play the piano. She wonders how Hoby can turn the baby over to a killer like Joe. Hoby walks out and Henrietta promises to never speak to him again or mention him kindly in print.
At the Buckhorn, Tenner tells Cindy to keep the baby out of sight and say nothing. Joe warns him that Hoby is coming, and Tenner escorts Cindy to the back alley. Henrietta is waiting and takes the baby. Meanwhile, Tenner offers Hoby coffee and claims that Cindy isn't in yet. The gambler says that he'd hate to see anything happen to the baby, just as Cindy comes out. Hoby tells her that Joe is in town, and Cindy says that she doesn't want to speak with him. She refuses to hand over the baby, and Hoby warns that Joe has a court order. He points out that Cindy left Joe, and warns that the law is on Joe's side. Hoby asks Cindy to bring the baby to his office by 1. When Cindy refuses, Tenner figures that Hoby has winked at bad laws before. Unimpressed, Hoby tells Cindy to bring the baby and leaves. Tenner tells Cindy that the whole town is on her side.
At 1:20, Cindy still hasn't arrived. Furious, Hoby goes to Joe's hotel room and explains that he's meeting with some resistance. Joe quotes the Bible to him, talking about charity, and asks what they're saying about him. Hoby tells him the rumor and Joe admits that he's killed two men in self-defense. He insists that his reputation is just reputation, not truth. Hoby points out that Joe claiming that Cindy is an unfit mother isn't charitable, and Joe says that if Hoby doesn't deliver the baby by 6 then he'll go out and earn his reputation.
Hoby checks houses trying to find the baby but gets no help. Meanwhile, Joe goes the Buckhorn where Cindy is playing the piano. He says that he doesn't want trouble but he'll have his child. As Tenner comes out, Joe says that he doesn't want any trouble with the town. He insists that he hasn't drunk or gambled in three months and doesn't carry a gun, and tells Cindy that he loves her. Joe wants her to come back to him, and Tenner orders Joe out. Cindy runs off and when Joe goes after him, Tenner punches him. Joe asks if Tenner still wants her, and figures that he already has her. The gambler throws another punch at him and Joe knocks him down. Hoby comes in and Tenner demands that he arrest Joe for disturbing the peace. The Ranger says that there's still an hour and a half, and Tenner warns that he'll kill Joe if he comes out of the hotel with a gun. Hoby promises that he'll shoot Tenner if he tries anything, and Joe says that he's learning that a man can't outrun his reputation.
The town gossips continue spreading stories about Joe. Everyone finally closes up shop and hides inside. Hoby rides up and Henrietta gestures him over to her office. It's 15 minutes until 6, and Henrietta demands that Hoby arrest Joe. Hoby insists that everyone wants their own law, and Henrietta refuses to turn over the baby. He asks if Henrietta would change her mind if she learned the truth about Joe, and a disgusted Henrietta says that he's a man and wouldn't understand.
Hoby goes to the hotel, and Cindy and Tenner watch him from the Buckhorn. Inside, Hoby knocks at Joe's door and gets no answer. He goes in and discovers that Joe is gone.
Henrietta goes to the sheriff's office and calls to Ralph.
Hoby goes to the sheriff's office and realizes that it's 6.
Cindy asks Tenner if she's doing the right thing. He assures her that it's not the time to doubt it.
As Hoby loads a shotgun, he hears the baby crying in the back. He goes in and finds Ralph and Henrietta with the baby. Henrietta begs Hoby to leave the baby there with him.
Tenner tells Cindy to wait in his office, just as Joe comes out. He refuses to leave without his daughter, and asks Cindy to come with them if she wants. Cindy says that she doesn't know what to do, and Tenner tells Joe that he won't get the child. Joe tells him to stay out of his way, and blames Joe. He goes for his gun and Cindy leaps at him. Tenner draws and he and Joe shoot each other. Hoby hears the shots and comes in, and Henrietta follows with the baby. Cindy hugs Joe, and Tenner says that he knows what they mean when they say the truth hurts.
Later at the sheriff's office, Ralph figures that Hoby doesn't want him working there after he helped Henrietta. Hoby asks when Ralph is leaving, and Ralph says that he kind of likes the town and working there. As he turns to go, Hoby tells him to clean up the place and Ralph cheerfully goes to work. Hoby asks if he was really going to leave, and Ralph just smiles.
Written by Gadfly on Mar 1, 2017