Paladin is chatting with a Carlton maid, Maggie, who points out that a hundred of his cards are over. She says that she was helping and leads him to a nearby room where her fiancé, Big John Donovan, is waiting. Paladin figures that Big John went into the printing business, and Big John shows Paladin a mockup for a new card with an Irish clover on it. Wisely, Paladin just walks away
Paladin goes to his print shop and has the clerk make an order of his cards. The clerk suggests that he change his icon but Paladin tells him to do it as-is. A man comes in and orders a hundred cards. The man sees one of Paladin's cards and says that he needs his services. He introduces himself as Bob Wire and asks Paladin to step outside. Bob then presents his card, explaining that he's a salesman. Bob needs an escort to take him and his wagon to the town of Anderson. Paladin tells him his $1,000 fee, and once Bob confirms that it's payable on delivery, he agrees. The gunfighter checks the wagon and discovers that it's barbed wire.
Soon Bob and Paladin head to Anderson with the wire. They arrive and Paladin wonders why the load is worth $1,000. Three men and a woman ride out and demand to know why they're there. When Bob flatters the woman, Anna, she tells him to mind his tongue. The leader, Dane, demands to know what's on the wagon. He says that it's cattle town and there are farmers talking about cutting up the ranger with barb wire. Paladin glares at Bob, who shrugs sheepishly, and Dane tells Paladin that Mr. Anderson hired him to look after his interests. He goes to check the wagon, and Paladin, knocks him out, takes his gun, and collects the others' guns. Once he and Bob ride on, Dane gets up and Anna tells him that Bob is quite a man with his fancy words.
As they ride on, Paladin points out that bringing barb wire into a range war is a dangerous thing. Bob figures that he can get premium prices, and is well aware that Paladin won't back out. They arrive at a church where men are going in, and Bob goes in figuring that they're farmers. He interrupts the meeting and says that he has arrived with barb wire for them. Paladin comes in and apologizes for Bob, and points out that they're ranchers, not farmers. The leader, Anderson, introduces himself. Anna and Dane come in and Dane tells them about the barbed wire. Bob claims sanctuary in the church, and Dane says that the farmers are meeting at the general store. Paladin says that he doesn't plan to spark a range war, particular with Anna present. Anderson notices that his daughter is simpering at Bob, and tells her to stop. Dane offers to take care of Paladin, but Anderson tells him to shut up and points out that Paladin has his gun. Anderson agrees to talk to Paladin alone outside.
Outside, Anderson says that he's a peaceful man. Bob goes with them and Paladin shoves him onto the wagon and tells him not to interrupt. The gunfighter then says that Bob plans to get $5,000 for the wire, and he'll sell it to anyone for $4,000. Anderson agrees and goes inside to tell the others, and Paladin discovers that Bob has gone to the grocery store.
When Paladin comes over, he discovers that Bob has finalized a deal for $5,000 with the farmers' leader, Tagg. He tells Paladin that he sold it for $3,000 and Paladin explains that he sold to Anderson for $4,000. Dane and the others come out and Dane figures that it's a truck. The two sides run for cover and open fire, and Paladin drags Bob to cover. Bob wakes up and Paladin explains that he fainted. Paladin asks where Bob learned his name from, and Bob tells him that a beautiful woman in Sacramento gave him Paladin's name. Paladin remembers the woman and says that she always was trouble.
The two sides continue firing until Paladin calls to Tagg and Anderson, saying that they should parley. They agree and the three men meet in the street. Paladin points out that eventually someone will die, and tells Anderson to let Tagg string his wire. Anderson can string smooth wire and then both sides will win.
Dane brings Anna over at gunpoint and says that he has a score to settle with Paladin. Paladin agrees and Dane tells him to remove his holster. Once Paladin does so, he has Anderson take out all but two bullets from Paladin's revolver and then give it back to Paladin. Dane backs away while the others clear out, and then he lets Anna go and takes cover. Paladin runs over and Dane fully reloads his revolver.
Bob runs over, while Dane fires a shot at Paladin and then runs away. The salesman covers Anna with his body, while Paladin leaps aboard a horse and uses it to get to the saloon. Tagg figures that Dane is out of bullets when he fires his second shot, and Paladin tells Dana to ride out. Dane tries to fire, and Paladin wings him and tells the townsmen to get Dane to a doctor to get his arm fixed up and then out of town.
Anderson points out that that he doesn't have smooth wire. Bob tries to get them to bid on the barbed wire, but Paladin stops the bidding at $2,000. He says that he knows where he can get the smooth wire and takes Bob to the wagon and has him cut off the barbs while Anna looks on and gets him water. Anderson comes over and pays Paladin his $1,000, and Bob kisses Anna. The rancher offers Paladin another sum to take Bob with him, but Paladin wisely refuses and rides off.
Written by Gadfly on Sep 3, 2017