At the Hotel Carlton, hey Boy comes out and gets a packet of newspaper. He takes it inside and opens the packet as Paladin comes down with a woman. Once she leaves, Paladin comes over and looks at the newspapers. Later, Hey Boy comes over as Paladin reads an article about rancher Jason Reed invaded Perdido, Mexico, when his daughter ran off there with wanted killer Dave Enderby. Reed and his men were repelled at the cost of 21 of their lives, and Paladin sends his card offering his help.
Later, Paladin arrives at the Reed ranch and tells Jesse that he got his wire. Jesse tells him to go back to San Francisco because he didn't send Paladin a wire. He tells his man Gotch to see Paladin to the door, and Gotch says that he sent the wire. Jesse is furious and demands answers, and wonders how Paladin can bring Dave back alone. The rancher figures that Paladin needs action and wants money, and Paladin dictates his fee of $1,000. Jesse asks for Paladin's gun, and he readily hands it over. The cattleman figures that Paladin is a sucker and turns the revolver on him. Paladin draws his hidden derringer and puts it to Jesse's head, and takes his revolver back. The gunman describes how he had the gun hand-specified and asks if Jesse wants a demonstration.
Paladin heads to Perdido and a guard sounds the alarm. Continuing on, Paladin arrives in the town past more armed guards, He tips a peon for information on Dave, claiming that Dave is his friend. The peon points out the local cantina and warns that it isn't permitted to quarrel in Perdido, and Paladin gives him his gun. Paladin goes inside and finds Dave playing at throwing knives with another man. Dave wins and his opponent takes his knife. Paladin refuses to get involved, and Dave grabs the youth that he's playing against. The bartender runs over and reminds them that there's no fighting in Perdido. Dave apologizes then takes his knife away from the youth, who walks off.
Dave asks Paladin if he's looking for something, and Paladin says that he's there to take Dave back. He takes out his derringer and sets it aside, and explains that he's working for Jesse. Amused, Dave offers to take Paladin to Nancy and Paladin accepts. They go outside and Mayor O'Brien is waiting. Dave explains why Paladin is there and chuckles, and O'Brien gives Paladin his revolver back. The mayor explains that they offer hospitality as long as their guests' money hold out, and says that when they're alarm bell rings, the person leaving is always met by the guards as he leaves. O'Brien bids Paladin goodbye, hoping that the bell doesn't ring for him.
At Dave's home, Nancy serves supper and says that she has a right to follow her husband. She tells Paladin that Dave was always forced into fighting. Nancy warns that she isn't going back, and Dave reminds her that Jesse said he doesn't want to see her again. He says that he told his boys not to shoot Jesse, and Paladin says that Jesse claimed Dave bushwhacked him. Nancy believes Dave over her father, and warns Dave that Paladin is trying to rile him into fighting. Dave tells her to go into the house and get some wine, and Paladin tells Dave that he'll have to fight to come with him. He calls Dave a coward and figures that Dave couldn't kill Paladin or the boy at the cantina because they were facing him. Dave throws a knife, and Paladin blocks it with a chair and punches him unconscious and then takes his gun. Nancy comes back out and Paladin tells her that he's taking her home. When she refuses, Paladin threatens to kill Dave unless she agrees. Nancy agrees and they ride off.
The guards let Paladin and Nancy pass since she's going willingly. O'Brien is waiting and Paladin tells him that Dave is still there. Nancy agrees and says that she's going to ride with Paladin. As they ride, the bell sounds and a guard opens fire. Paladin shoots him and Nancy rides on. Paladin follows her and when they stop, Paladin figures that Dave is on the way. As they head for the border, Paladin notices that Nancy is leaving pieces of cloth behind to mark their trail.
The next day, Paladin says that they'll take a rest. He points out that the two of them have been leaving a trail for Dave. Nancy wonders if Dave really shot Jesse, and Paladin says that he shot him in the back. Dave arrives and opens fire from ambush, and Paladin gets Nancy to cover. She figures that Dave believes she betrayed him and goes to explain, but Dave fires at her and Paladin gets her to cover just in time.
Paladin goes after Dave and gets the drop on him. Dave quickly surrenders and Paladin takes him and Nancy across the border to the Reed ranch. Jesse is ready to kill Dave on the spot, but Paladin points out that there's a warrant for him and is going to take him in. He tells Jesse that Nancy is waiting outside and Jesse goes to her. He limps over and insists that he can take re of himself, and tells her to go in and get washed up. After seeing father and daughter reunited, Paladin tells Dave that it's time for them to travel.
Later back at the Carlton, Hey Boy greets Paladin. Paladin says that his trip was pleasurable, and notices a cheating man heading up to a poker table. He decides to sit in, whispers to a passing woman, and she laughs.
Written by Gadfly on Oct 28, 2017