Paladin is having dinner with an Armenian girl and she's providing him lessons in Armenian. He flirts with her but she refuses to let him kiss her, and finally realizes that he already knows Armenian. As the girl offers to dance for him, and Hey Boy comes in to tell Paladin that a lady is waiting for him with a job. The elderly Mrs. Randolph Quincy of Nob Hill is waiting for him and explains that she wants her granddaughter. She has an article announcing the betrothal of Amos Powers' daughter Prudence to Hector Mackenby. Amos has worked the Jehovah Mine for the past twelve years. Mrs. Quincy is sure that Prudence is her granddaughter, and explains that Prudence disappeared eighteen years ago during the Gold Rush days. She says that she and Randolph had an only daughter, Consuelo, and she had married a wild Irishman that took her to the gold field. The daughter had a baby, wrote to Mrs. Quincy, and then died of a fever while her husband died in a mine explosion. Mrs. Quincy gives Paladin her files on Prudence and a check for his services, and explains that Randolph died two weeks ago with Paladin's card in his hand
Paladin rides to Jehovah and Prudence comes out and tells Paladin to ride on. He asks for water and she finally gives in. Paladin tells her who she is, and Prudence explains that Amos found her in mining company. He asks if she's marrying someone who loves her, and asks her to open the top button on her blouse. When Prudence objects, Paladin picks her up and explains that the granddaughter has a small scar on her neck from a burning incident.
The text beneath the betrothal announcement talks about irrigation projects and has nothing to do with a marriage. Crying, Prudence insists that she isn't Consuelo and runs into the Powers cabin. She soon finds her father Amos, who demands to know what Paladin has been telling "his" daughter. Amos' son Daniel takes offense at Paladin's tone, and Amos tells him to shut up. The older man then orders Paladin to ride off and goes inside. Prudence looks back at Paladin for a moment and then follows her father inside.
Paladin sits outside, and Amos reads from his Bible while glaring at Paladin. When he realizes that Paladin isn't leaving, Amos tells Prudence to invite Paladin in... just to eat. He tells Paladin to go when he's finished, and Prudence and Daniel watch Paladin. Paladin explains about Mrs. Quincy's quest to find Consuelo, and Amos wonders why he came there making trouble. Prudence tries to remember what happened when she was 6 and the fire swept through her house. Daniel asks what would happen if Prudence were Consuelo, and Paladin says that wonderful things would happen for her. Amos orders Paladin out and insists that Prudence is his. Paladin asks what Prudence was called when they took her in, and Daniel says that her name was Ellie. Prudence starts to remember and describes the room where the fire took place. She breaks into tears at the memory as she remembers that she dropped her doll into the fireplace and tried to get it. "Ellie" is the diminutive of "Consuelo",
Amos insists that he treated prudence right, although he treated her like a work horse since he bought her. Daniel assures Paladin that he never thought of her as a purchased servant, and Amos says that he had to find someone who could take care of them after his wife died. Shocked, Paladin runs out and Daniel starts to go after her. Amos points out that he doesn't know anything about Prudence or her parents, but he ignores his father and runs out after her.
Paladin goes out after them just as Hector Mackenby rides up. Prudence goes into the barn and Daniel blocks his way. Paladin goes over and both of them tell Paladin to stay out of it. When Daniel tries to shove by Daniel, insisting that Prudence is his property, Daniel wrestles with him. Paladin looks on and Prudence finally comes out and yells at both of them to stop. She asks Paladin to tell hector that she's nobody's property and that she will go with Paladin to San Francisco.
Soon, Prudence is packed and ready to leave. Hector objects and she tells him that he wanted a servant, not a wife. Paladin realizes that Hector bought Prudence from Amos. Daniel shows Prudence a pincushion that he gave her for her birthday, and asks if she wants to take it She accepts it and asks Paladin what it will be like in San Francisco. Paladin describes how she'll be able to see the bay from her veranda and will ride in a carriage.
As Paladin says that she will wear the finest clothing, Daniel takes offense at his flirting tone and tells him to take her hands off of Prudence. He charges Paladin, who easily punches him. Surprised, Daniel says that they wrestle, not punch, and Paladin proceeds to put him in a choke hold. Daniel insists that Prudence is no serving goal, and finally admits that he loves her. He point out that he can't tell her with Paladin having him in a choke hold. Paladin releases him and Daniel goes to Prudence. She nods to him in agreement but he can't say anything, and Daniel charges Paladin. Paladin subdues him again and Daniel says that he can't tell a lady that he loves her.
Paladin tells Daniel that ladies like to be told and releases Daniel, and he asks Prudence if she wants to marry. She agrees and he complains that she's been taking him for granted. They embrace and then Prudence tells Paladin that she's lived in Jehovah all her life and it's her home. She wonders if it will upset her grandmother, and Paladin tells her that Mrs. Quincy will want her to make up her own mind. However, she'd like to see both of them, and Paladin asks if they'd consider a wedding trip to San Francisco. Paladin gives them his fee, and offers his services as best man. Prudence accepts, and Paladin tells Amos and Hector that this time they'll both be giving Prudence away. Amos goes inside, disgusted, and Paladin rides off.
Written by Gadfly on Sep 3, 2017