Paladin is riding along when he comes to a woman, Kathy Rousseau, digging a grave. He offers his assistance but she says that the dead man was good to her and she means to see his grave well-dug. Paladin persists and gives Kathy his card, and she figures that she'll get justice one way or another. He says that justice is acquired with hard work and offers to help because Kathy doesn't have anyone else. Kathy says that Leander Johnson and the townspeople in Johnsonville killed the man, Terrence O'Hara, and they're not likely to help. She breaks into tears and Paladin finishes the grave.
Once Paladin is done, Kathy asks if he'll kill the man responsible. She asks if Paladin will kill the man who killed Paladin. He refuses but says that he'll help her get justice. Kathy agrees to go back and Paladin gets her onto her wagon.
When Paladin and Kathy arrive in Johnsonville, the townspeople get their leader, Hex and they go over to Kathy. Hex says that the watching the funeral procession and laughing, and Kathy dismisses them as sheep. Paladin suggests that they move on since Kathy just buried a man, and Hex says that Terrence was no man. When Hex pulls her down, Paladin knocks him down and punches another townsman when he interferes.
Paladin then escorts Kathy to the hotel, and she suggests that the two of them just beat it. Paladin refuses and asks for two rooms. The manager claims that they're booked up, and Paladin grabs his lapels and repeats his request. Once the manager finds them two rooms, he takes the bags up. A woman in the lobby tsks and watches Kathy go, and Paladin asks her who Leander is. She says that Leander is an upstanding man, and Paladin asks if the coroner found Terrence's shooting accident. The woman admits that the marshal accepted the coroner's claim, and it's only Kathy's word against Leander's. Paladin pushes her out onto the street and tells the manager that he's going into his kitchen and prepare lunch for himself and Kathy.
When Kathy comes back down, Paladin escorts her to the table, pours wine, and serves the food. Kathy explains that she and Terrence were going to be married. He was a drifter and an Irish picker on the move, but he liked Kathy and invited her to settle down with him. The townspeople gather outside and Paladin draws the drapes closed. Kathy says that Terrence knew how to find the fun in living... until Leander killed him.
Kathy excuses herself and goes to the lobby. Paladin hears a gunshot and runs to find Kathy aiming to fire again at Leander. Sobbing, she says that she missed him, and Leander is surprised that Kathy came back. Paladin says that he's Kathy's friend, just as Leander's mother runs up and looks at Kathy in disgust. Mrs. Johnson says that they'll let the marshal handle things, but Leander says that he can do it. He asks if Kathy brought Paladin to kill him, and Mrs. Johnson leads her son away. Once they're alone, Paladin asks Kathy why Leander shot Terrence. She explains that when Leander found out that Terrence cared for her, he shot the man. The marshal didn't do anything because he's crooked, but Paladin says that they'll talk to him.
At the marshal's office, the marshal claims that he doesn't know who Terrence is. He says that they take care of their own, and Paladin figures that he'll have no objection when Kathy takes care of herself and Terrence. Paladin suggests that the marshal arrest Leander, but the marshal says that there's no evidence and points out that the Johnsons pay him. The gunfighter tells Kathy to stay put and leaves. Once Paladin goes to the Johnson house, Kathy sees Leander walking down the street and goes out over the marshal's objections.
Paladin finds Mrs. Johnson tending her flowers and asks why Leander killed Terrence. She insists that her son killed no one, but if he does then it will be with good cause. Paladin asks if jealousy is a good cause, and Mrs. Johnson says that Leander went to take care of something he left undone... and he has a gun.
When he returns to the marshal's office, Paladin discovers that Kathy is gone. He and the marshal go to the hotel and the townspeople trail along. Leander has left a man on guard, and Paladin tosses him over the rail and goes inside. Kathy and Leander are sharing drinks at the bar, and Kathy is flirting with the man. Mrs. Johnson arrives and comes into the lobby, and Leander tells them all to get out. Kathy taunts Leander's mother, asking who Leander really belongs to. Leander draws his gun and says that he'll shoot Paladin in front of everyone if he doesn't leave.
Advancing, Paladin points out that the marshal is there and will hang Leander, and asks if he warned Terrence before he shot him. Leander admits that he shot Terrence when he warned him off and the drifter didn't go. Paladin slaps the gun out of his hand and turns him over to the marshal. Once the marshal takes Leander away, Paladin tells Kathy that she can go now that Terrence is properly avenged. He wonders where she'll go, and Kathy tells him that she'll go where the wind blows until she finds someone whose loneliness matches her's.
Written by Gadfly on Feb 19, 2017