Paladin is riding through the wilderness and comes to elderly Pappy French. Pappy's horse throws him and breaks his leg, and when Paladin catches up to him Pappy tells him to just bring him a straight stick to make a splint. Once Paladin does so, Pappy refuses to go to a doctor and talks Paladin through it. Afterward, he says that he's taking Paladin's horse and looks at Paladin's gun. Paladin jokingly holds it up and then presents his card. Pappy offers to hire him to take him where he's going, and says that he has a satchel with $50,000 in it. Paladin wants to know who the money belongs to, and says that he's trying to recover some stolen money: $50,000. Pappy laughs at the "coincidence" and agrees to take Paladin to the money.
Once Paladin gets Pappy on his horse, Pappy takes him off and Paladin warns that there might be someone looking for Pappy. Pappy says that they'd better keep going. They continue on and reach a waterhole. After Pappy drinks his fill, he admits that he's not the man he used to be. He talks about how two law men came after him looking for a horse thief with an election coming. The people tarred-and-feathered him and Pappy has been an outlaw ever since. Pappy laments that he only has $42 for his efforts, and broke his leg when he was coming to get his $50,000. Paladin points out that Pappy abandoned his partners in the bank robbery, and Pappy says that it's their lookout. He then explains that two men, Morley and Bull Swanson, escaped and are looking for the money and Pappy. Pappy says that the deputies were after him so he hid the money, and Paladin says that they'd better get going before the other two robbers arrive.
Morley and Swanson are watching Paladin and Pappy, and Swanson is ready to shoot Paladin. His partner stops him and says to wait, and that he wants Pappy for himself.
That night, Paladin and Pappy make camp. Pappy offers Paladin half the money, but Paladin refuses. His prisoner invites Paladin to take him in so at least he can get his rest, and promises that they'll never find the $50,000. Paladin prepares to ride into town to get a decent night's rest in a hotel, and he'll send someone for Pappy. Pappy gives in and says that he'll take Paladin to the money he stole. Paladin sits back down, and Pappy warns that Morley can track like an Indian. The gunfighter figures that they won't bother him, and gives him a gun to stand watch with.
Pappy wonders why he shouldn't shoot Paladin in the back, and realizes that Paladin gave him an unloaded gun. Morley and Swanson move in the dark and Pappy hears them, and Paladin reaches for his gun as Pappy says that he'll shoot. Swanson figures that they've rattled them. Paladin comes over and says that they have to get moving, and fires some shorts into the darkness. Morley figures that the two men will be too tired to fighting in the morning and goes to sleep.
The next day, Paladin and Pappy keep riding. Pappy asks if Paladin would let him keep $10,000 and give him a start for the border, but paladin refuses. They continue on and Pappy takes Paladin to where he hid the money under a rock. Paladin gets the money while Pappy loads the empty gun with some cartridges from his satchel. He then aims at Paladin and says that he'll still give Paladin his 10%. He figures that he can split the remaining money with Swanson and Morley, and says that he'll buy Paladin's horse for $500. Paladin tells him that he doesn't plan on selling, and Pappy calls to Morley and says that it's time for payday. Morley shoots him in the shoulder and Paladin tells him to stay down. Pappy figures that they plan on killing him rather than split the money, and Paladin returns fire. He figures that they have to move because there's not enough cover, and Pappy points out that Paladin has a chance without him. Pappy is surprised when Paladin says that he isn't going to abandon him, and agrees to cover Paladin as he flanks the robbers.
As Pappy provides cover fire, Paladin moves into position. Pappy runs out of position and moves up, telling Morley to shoot him. Paladin motions for Pappy to move back down, but Pappy refuses and Morley shoots him. As Morley moves in, Paladin kills him and then goes to Pappy. The dying outlaw says that he's getting too old and it's time to rest, and asks Paladin to say a few words over him. As Pappy dies, Paladin recites from Ecclesiastes.
Written by Gadfly on Mar 18, 2018