At the Carlton, Paladin returns from a night on the town and Hey Boy has a note for him. Paladin reads it and motions at Hey Boy to get his gear read. Soon, Paladin is riding through the mountains to his next job. A riderless horse comes up and Paladin pulls it over. There are woman's shoes on the saddle horn, and fresh blood on the saddle. Curious, Paladin rides along the horse's back trail, going past a boy--Whitney Tyler--hiding in the rocks. He looks at his rifle and Paladin, and sighs in relief.
Paladin finds a body on the ground and goes over to check it. A woman, Sarah Jane Darrow, is sitting nearby training her shotgun on Paladin. She's wearing moccasins and Paladin figures the shoes were for her. Sarah Jane asks if Paladin killed the man. Paladin says that he didn't, and explains that he followed the horse. Sarah Jane wonders why he cares, and says that the dead man, James Darrow is her father. She says that she knows a Tyler killed him, and now she's going to kill any Tyler she finds. Paladin insists on burying the body as common courtesy.
Once he buries the man, Paladin says a few words. Sarah Jane would rather quote from the Bible, and recites verses of vengeance. Paladin tries to redirect her to more loving passages without success, and Sarah Jane tells her father that she'll get a Tyler and then he can rest in peace. She tells Paladin that she doesn't need anyone with her, and Paladin shows her his card and says that everyone needs someone. Sarah Jane insists that she has to kill a Tyler, any Tyler, and Paladin warns that she's likely to get herself killed. Paladin says that he cares about justice and the law, and Sarah Jane tells him that the Darrows don't have any truck with the law.
Whitney is crossing a river on his horse when the horse stumbles on a rock and throws him. He gets his rifle and tells his horse that he's going to hole up in the rocks and make his stand, and sends the horse home to fetch Clem and the others.
Paladin and Sarah Jane soon come to the river and Whitney aims at them. Sarah Jane sees the marks and figures that a Tyler made it. She doesn't care which Tyler it is and doesn't know any of them. Paladin tells her to hand over the gun, and she aims it at him. He has no choice but to toss his revolver away, but then pulls his derringer on her and says that he's realized he has to protect the world from her. He tosses away the shotgun shells and Sarah Jane kicks him, and Whitney opens fire.
Sarah Jane and Paladin take cover and Whitney fires, keeping Paladin from reaching his revolver. He sneaks around and gets the drop on Whitney, and calls Sarah Jane over. Whitney identifies himself as a Tyler and Sarah Jane is eager to kill him. He says that he killed Darrell but didn't kill Frank. Sarah Jane demands that Paladin kill Whitney, and is disgusted when Paladin tells Whitney that her shotgun isn't loaded. She swings at Paladin and hits Whitney, and she attacks him. Paladin laughs as he watches the two of them fight, and Whitney manages to hold her off long enough to ask Paladin what he's going to do with her. Paladin tells him to use his own judgment, and Whitney punches Sarah Jane unconscious. She wakes up and glares at him, and he threatens to hit her but then holds back. Paladin comes over and says that they'll camp there, and ride into town the next day to talk to the authorities.
That night, it starts snowing and Sarah Jane makes cornpone. Sarah Jane examines the shoes, but tells Paladin that she isn't going to put them on until she earns them. Paladin asks for their word that Whitney won't try to run away and Sarah Jane won't try to kill him. They refuse and Paladin has no choice but to tie them up. Once he does, he asks about the feud. Sarah Jane talks about Frank and how he fancied "purties," and he moved his family out West. The last person before Frank who died was Whitney's father, who says that he could make up songs. They talk about all of their relatives that have killed each other, and Paladin realizes that they don't know how the feud started. Whitney admits that the shoes are pretty. Whitney starts playing his harmonica and Sarah Jane admits that his playing is pretty. The boy explains that it's the last song his father made.
After Sarah Jane and Whitney doze off, Paladin stands guard until someone shoots at them. When he wakes up, Whitney says that it's his brother Clem. He warns Paladin that Clem isn't alone, and Paladin asks Whitney what he's going to do and how the feud will keep going unless Whitney stops it. Whitney tells Clem to stop shooting, claiming there are no Darrows there. Paladin asks Sarah Jane if she wants him to take Whitney in, promising he'll do everything he can to get Frank justice. Sarah Jane figures that there's been too much killing and doesn't want Paladin to take Whitney in. Whitney thanks her and she says the same.
Whitney asks Paladin to loan him his horse, promising that he'll get it back to him. Paladin agrees and unties him, and Whitney rides off. The gunfighter tells Sarah Jane that she's earned her purties and unties her, and she holds the shoes to her face.
Written by Gadfly on Mar 1, 2017