Paladin is having dinner with a beautiful woman when Hey Boy comes over and calls Paladin to a table where a government official is waiting. He says that it's urgent and explains that he's with the State Department. He's there about Gavin O'Shea, a member of the Dublin Underground. Gavin is in the U.S. raising money for the Feman Brotherhood. He wants Paladin to find Gavin and tell him not to invade Canada. Paladin has Hey Boy take the official to a room, and then tells his date that it can't be that night.
Later, Gavin is giving a speech to a group of townspeople, talking about the rights of the Irish people to decide their destiny. Paladin is at the back of the crowd, listening, as Gavin tries to raise money for his cause. He finishes his speech and everyone cheers. Michael Mahoney and his brother Danny are watching, and Michael asks Danny if he's willing to go through with it. Danny says that he'd die for Gavin, and they approach the Irishman. Michael approaches Gavin and says that he and Danny want to join up with Gavin. Gavin says that he's only asking for guns and ammunition, but Michael insists and asks Gavin to wait.
As Michael and Danny ride off, Paladin comes over and concedes that Gavin has a silver tongue. He presents his card and points out that Gavin is sending youngsters off to their deaths. Gavin says that it's not Paladin's affair, but Paladin insists that it is. However, he agrees to talk with Paladin, and Paladin shows him a map of New York and how the government expects Gavin to attack Canada. He warns Gavin that the U.S. and Canada won't help Ireland against England, Gavin points out that the U.S. hasn't helped Ireland yet because of England's support during the Revolutionary War, and says that the political parties are competing for the Irish vote. Gavin's people have assembled 18,000 men of the Feman Brotherhood, including many Civil War veterans, and they're sure to take Canada. Then they'll trade it back to England for Ireland's freedom. Paladin warns him that it won't work and notes that the U.S. government has compounded all of the Brotherhood's arms and arrested its leaders.
Gavin insists that he will fight as he chooses, and describes how his parents were killed when famine struck against Ireland. Paladin objects to boys and men dying in a battle that can't be run. As they argue, Michael rides up and says that he's ready. Paladin advises Gavin to send the Mahoneys back, and Michael says that there are volunteers waiting with arms and money. Gavin tells him that they only have one chance in a million of winning and Michael will probably die, but Michael doesn't care. The Irishman says that he'll follow him, glares at Paladin, and rides after Michael with a final "God save Ireland!
As Paladin goes to his horse, Danny rides up and the sheriff man guns him off the horse. When Paladin comes over, the wounded Danny insists that he had to do it. Paladin easily takes his gun, and the sheriff says that Danny and Michael robbed a bank. He warns Danny that he'll probably hang and take him to jail.
Paladin goes to the sheriff's office and treats Danny's wounds. The sheriff tells him to hurry up because he has to go after Michael since he has the money. He explains that it's the third holdup that year and Paladin says that he'll get his money. The sheriff tells Paladin to tell him where he's going if he knows where the money is, but Paladin insists that he'll do it on his own. Danny insists on dying rather than helping, and Paladin warns him that they may all die before the day is over.
Later, Paladin arrives at the cabin where Gavin is meeting with his men. He calls through the door, saying who he is and that he's alone, and Michael lets him in. He asks what happened to Danny, and Paladin tells him that they'll hang Danny if they don't get their money back. Gavin lowers his gun and reminds Michael that the money they stole will go to the Irish cause. He tells Michael that he faces his moment of truth, and Gavin says that he has to decide if the life of one boy will stand in the path of everything that he was born to do. Paladin tells him that it's not his decision to make, and Gavin tosses the saddlebag with the money to Gavin.
Michael promises that once he gets Danny out, he'll ride to Niagara with Danny to join the cause. Gavin tells him that he's never understood the cause and leaves. Michael tells Paladin that Gavin is a saint, and Paladin tells him to look in the bags before walking out. Inside the bag is nothing but newspaper.
Paladin follows Gavin into a nearby ghost town and sees the Irishman's horse tied up outside of a grocery horse. Michael rides up and says that he's there to help. Paladin refuses to let him help, and Gavin walks out with a bag. He throws the money and ducks out of sight, and Paladin tells him that if he hands over the money then he can go on his way. Gavin insists that he won't risk many men's lives for Danny's, and Paladin tells him that they're serving through free will. Paladin points out that innocent Canadians will be killed in Gavin's war, and Gavin insists that they don't have to fight his men. Paladin tells him that he's a fanatic and can't win, and says that they'll both wait because he won't let Gavin condemn a boy to death. Michael wonders why Gavin doesn't give up the money, and Paladin tells him that Gavin wants to see his dream realized in his own lifetime, no matter how hopeless it is.
Michael runs over, tosses down his gun, and begs Gavin to give him the money so that he can free Danny. He talks about the ballads that his father sung of Gavin, and Gavin grabs him to use as a shield against Paladin. He concedes that he's a fanatic, and gives his word that when he reaches his destination he'll turn Michael loose. Paladin tosses his gun away and Michael breaks away. When Gavin turns toward him, Paladin shoots him with his derringer. With his dying breath, Gavin says "Ireland forever."
Written by Gadfly on Jun 18, 2017