Paladin is traveling to Los Angeles to meet with an attractive French woman, Francine, that he met a year ago when he rescued her from a runaway carriage. He comes across two saddle trumps, Lou and Blake, on horseback pursuing a Yosemite Indian maiden, Taymanee. Paladin rides after them as the two men bring Taymanee down. He jumps in, knocks them down, and draws his gun. Blake says that Taymanee stole the house out of their camp, and claims that they were just going to scare her. Taymanee says that Blake's knife is hers, and Paladin points out that the horse is an Indian pony. The two men quickly leave and Taymanee insists that she's going to ride with him. She says that she belongs to him now because he saved his life. Paladin points out that it is her custom, not his, and she's disobeying her own people's ways by disobeying him.
Continuing on his way, Paladin finds Taymanee ahead of him waiting for her. He tells her to stop annoying him, but she smugly ignores him and suggests that the make camp. Paladin agrees and tells Taymanee that her people are saying prayers for her as if she was one of the dead. When she threatens to kill herself rather than let Paladin tie her to a horse and send her back, he gives in. Taymanee finds a perfumed letter from Francine in Paladin's pack, and he says that he is going there without Taymanee. Paladin tells her that she's a disgrace to womanhood, and Taymanee agrees but still refuses to go. Exasperated, Paladin tells her to go to sleep.
The next morning, Paladin tries to slip away without waking Taymanee. She wakes up anyway and follows him to where he's setting up a picnic lunch. Paladin tries to appeal to her womanhood, but she refuses to leave them alone. He starts to carry her into the nearby bushes, just as Francine arrives in her carriage. Paladin drops Taymanee and goes to greet Francine, who wonders who Taymanee is. He says that he was just getting rid of her, and Francine tells him to go ahead. Paladin carries Taymanee off into the bushes and Francine waits... and waits.
Francine eventually goes to where Paladin is telling Taymanee to ride back to her people. Francine says that it must be exactly as it was before, and Paladin goes back to his horse. Francine pretends that her carriage horse is out of control, and Paladin "rescues" her. As they kiss, Francine says that she thought he had forgotten her, and jokingly says that now she's a hussy. They go to the picnic site where it was a year ago, and as they kiss Taymanee comes over and watches. Paladin tells Francine that Taymanee thinks that she belongs to him, and she thinks that something is going on between him and Taymanee. She tells Paladin to tell Taymanee to go away. When he does so, Taymanee sits down and Paladin takes Francine to a place a few yards away.
Lou and Blake drive off Francine's carriage and ride on to find Paladin.
Paladin and Francine are kissing and Taymanee runs up to tell them that the saddle tramps drove off the carriage. Francine thinks that Taymanee is deliberately trying to interfere in their relationship. She punches the Indian maiden, who attacks her. Paladin watches, chuckling, as the two women wrestle and fall into a nearby creek. When Francine calls Taymanee a "savage", Paladin stops them and points out that she lost her French accent. Francine admits that it was a fake like her, and explains that she's tired of touring companies and second-rate romances.
Lou and Blake open fire, and Paladin and the women take cover. Paladin tells the women to stay there while he circles around behind them. Francine panics, demanding that Paladin stay there, but he tells there to stay there with Taymanee and be quiet. He puts her in Taymanee's care and circles around. Francine tries to run, and Taymanee holds her down and says that it will endanger Paladin. When Francine asks if Taymanee loves Paladin, and Taymanee says that what she feels doesn't matter.
As Paladin moves into position, Francine finally snaps and runs. Blake fires at her, and Taymanee drags Francine back to cover. Lou is worried about facing Paladin, but Blake figures that if they grab the women they can use them as hostages. They easily capture the two women, and Blake figures that Paladin fled. Taymanee doesn't believe him, and Paladin steps out behind them, gun drawn. Lou says that it wasn't his idea and Paladin lets him go. Paladin tells Blake to make up his mind, and Blake tells him that he made a mistake and is admitting it. He tries to go for his gun, but Paladin is waiting and Blake walks off.
Francine collapses to her knees and tells Paladin that Taymanee tried to save her and she didn't even try to help her. Taymanee and Paladin both say that fear can live in the hearts of even the mightiest. Francine admits that she tried to trade her life for Paladin's, but Paladin says that she admitted it. She wonders if she could change, and Paladin tells her that she could if she wants to. Francine says that she does and kisses him, and then starts to walk off. She then asks Taymanee to come back to Los Angeles with her. Paladin points out that according to Yosemite tradition, Francine's life is now Taymanee's to protect. Taymanee agrees, but says that once Francine is safe she'll find Paladin again no matter where he is. He wishes her happy hunting and leaves.
Written by Gadfly on Oct 15, 2017