The three Turley sons come into Porter and their mother, Maude Turley, is sitting in their wagon. Hoby goes over to greet them and Maude's son Matt says that they want to camp somewhere nearby. Henrietta and Maude recognize each other, and Henrietta is surprised that Maude has come back after years away. Maude says that she's come back to die and made her sons bring her back so she could be buried next to her husband. She tells Hoby that the courts ran her off 17 years ago and they won't keep her from being buried there. Hoby keeps silent and the Turleys move on. When Ralph wonders what's going on, Henrietta says that it's trouble.
Henrietta takes Hoby to the cemetery to show her the grave belonging to Maude's husband Phil. She explains that the Turleys were fighting with the Corbetts over three yards of dress goods. Phil Corbett sold one of the Turley women three yards of calico, and she claimed it was sun-faded. She asked for her money back, said that Phil insulted her, and her husband shot Phil. For three days the families feuded and almost wiped each other out. Verg Corbett and his wife Nellie are all that are left of the Corbetts. Verg arrives and says that there's nothing Hoby can do about the past. Hoby says that there's nothing much he can do, and Verg figures that the Turkeys will kill him. He figures Hoby is taking their side, and Hoby says that he'll trust them until they give them reason not to. Verg says that it cost his arm the last time he trusted them and walks off.
At the Turley camp, Maude tells her son Luke that she's as comfortable there as anyone. She tells them not to waste any money on getting her a doctor, and asks Luke to sit with her. The third son, Mark, wants to go into town to get him a Corbett. He then claims that he's joking, but Matt tells him that he's is on his own until Maude dies. As Mark tosses down his gun belt, his gun goes off and he apologies.
Verg goes home and tells his wife Nellie that Maude and her three sons are there. He tells her that Hoby doesn't plan to do anything, and suggests that she go out of town. However, Verg refuses to run and Nellie insists on staying with him. She suggests that they get Charlie Grant and his sons to stand with them, but Verg doesn't want to involve anyone else unless he has to. However, he takes out a shotgun "just in case."
That night, Matt tells Maude that Mark and Luke are down at the creek bed getting water. Nellie walks up and asks Maude to take her boys and leave Porter. Maude says that she came home to die and they'll leave when she's buried. Nellie begs her to leave for the sake of both their men, and explains that she lost her baby the night Verg was shot and can't have any more children. She wonders why they're starting the hurts all over again, saying that Verg hasn't fired a gun in 17 years, but Maude refuses to back down. Matt says that they don't want any fighting, and Nellie asks him not to let Maude do it to him and his brothers. Furious, Maude tells Matt to get Nellie out.
Hoby arrives and says that the whole town is bothered but isn't blaming the Turleys. He suggests that they turn their guns over to him, but Maude refuses. Matt agrees with Hoby, but Maude asks why her sons should do it if Verg doesn't. As Hoby offers to go to Verg, shots ring out. Hoby and Matt go to investigate and find Mark shooting at someone in the hills. Luke is on the ground, dead, and Matt figures that Nellie kept them busy while Verg killed Luke.
Back at the Turley camp, Hoby questions Mark about what happened. He says that there were three shots and Verg was hiding behind the rocks and he couldn't get a clear shot. Hoby points out that they have no evidence that it was Verg, but all of the Turleys insist it was him. He asks them to stay in their camp for an hour while he checks on Verg, and he'll arrest him. Maude tells Mark not to do it, but Matt agrees. Once Hoby leaves, Maude is angry that Mark disobeyed him. He says that they should let the law handle it.
Hoby checks the rifleman's position and then goes to see Verg. Nellie lets him in and calls Verg, and he says that he was alone doing work when Luke was killed. Hoby explains what happened and says that Maude blames Verg and is trying to get her sons to come after him. He offers to arrest Verg for his own protection and Verg agrees. Nellie gets a shotgun and holds Hoby at gunpoint. She tells Verg to get the Grants, and locks the door behind him.
When Hoby doesn't return after an hour, Matt says that he's going into town but not to get Verg... yet. He tells Mark not to let anyone sneak up on him and leaves. Maude says that there's something wrong with Mark, and Mark says that they should leave. She refuses to go until they bury her and kill the man who killed Luke.
At the sheriff' office, Ralph tells Henrietta that Hoby hasn't come back. He goes to check on the Turleys and Henrietta goes with him. Matt sees them go and confirms that Hoby isn't in the office, and sees Verg and the Grants ride by.
At the Corbett house, there's a knock at the door. Nellie goes over to answer it and Henrietta asks her what she's doing. Ralph draws his gun on Nellie and she says that it doesn't matter because Verg has had time to get help. Hoby takes off for the Turley camp... without his gun.
Matt returns to his mother and she makes him promise to kill Luke's killer and then dies. Mark asks Matt what he's going to do, and Mark says that he's going to kill Luke's killer and Mark can stay behind if he wants.
In Porter, Verg says that he's going to finish off the Turleys.
As Mark goes after Matt, Hoby arrives and tells Matt to wait. Verg and his two men arrive, and Verg orders Hoby to get out of the way. He denies killing Luke, and Hoby tells Mark to tell Matt the truth. The Ranger explains that there were no signs that anyone was up on the cliff. Hoby points out that Verg couldn't have fired three shots with a rifle in a few seconds, like Matt claimed. Mark asks Matt if he did it, and Matt finally admits that it was an accident. His older brother is furious that Matt would have tricked him into killing an innocent man, slaps Matt to the ground, and hands his gun over to Hoby. Mark apologies to Verg and both sides walk off. Matt toss his gun down in front of Hoby and the hair trigger goes off again. He says that he wishes it had been him instead of Luke.
Written by Gadfly on Apr 2, 2017