At the Carleton, Arnold Oaklin tells Hey Boy to send his wire to the telegraph office have his things taken out. Paladin looks on, and once Arnold leaves, Paladin reads a newspaper about how Ben Trask is up for election as mayor and has been accused of being Arnold's figurehead. Rival candidate John Kellaway has threatened to expose Arnold's involvement. Hey Boy sees that Arnold's wire says to "Stop Kell", and Paladin offers to take it to the telegraph office and tells Hey Boy that he might have a candidate.
Later, Paladin rides into Colton. Arnold and Trask watch as he goes into Kellaway's grocery story and discovers that there was an explosion inside. Clay and Harriet Morrow pull up in a buckboard with Lucy wearing widow's black, and Lucy tells Harriet that she'll be all right and has things to tend to. Clay offers to see Lucy in, and she agrees. They go in and Paladin says that he's looking for John. Lucy says that she buried her husband that morning, and someone "accidentally" threw dynamite into the window. Paladin explains that John hired him to protect him, and apologizes for not getting there soon. Lucy tells Paladin that he's a liar, and John would never hire a man like him. She orders Paladin out, and he says that she would ask for husband like her husband did if she lived in Colton. Lucy tells him that she isn't staying in Colton, and Paladin leaves.
Outside, Paladin asks Clay what John knew that he was going to announce about Arnold and Trask. Clay explains that Arnold has his hand in every shady deal in town. He figures that they're nothing they can do because Arnold owns the mayor and the sheriff. Paladin says that he wants to meet Arnold, and insists that Clay introduce him.
Clay takes Paladin to Arnold's harness shop where Arnold, Trask and the sheriff are. Arnold says that Colton is a peaceful town and Paladin should leave, and Paladin tells him that John paid him in advance and he's not leaving Colton until the job is done to his satisfaction. Trask and the sheriff beat Paladin, take his gun, and Arnold advises Paladin to go before he gets into trouble. Clay looks on and says that Paladin made him, and quickly takes Paladin out.
Back in Clay's office, Paladin cleans up and says that everyone in town deserves what they're getting. Clay admits that he's afraid and Paladin suggests that he run for mayor. Paladin goes to the general store and shows Lucy the telegram that John sent him. He figures that the townspeople are getting what they deserve, but John hired Paladin for a specific job and he'd like Lucy to run for mayor. Paladin can't run for office because he's not a residence. Despite the fact that the state has suffrage, Lucy finds the idea absurd and dismisses politics as a game. Paladin says that Arnold wasn't playing a game when he killed John, and Lucy agrees and asks Paladin what she should do.
The day before election, Paladin rides a wagon with a billboard into town and announces that Lucy is running for mayor. a crowd gathers and when Clay objects, Paladin invites him to take Lucy's place. Clay runs off, and Paladin tells the townspeople to come to the meeting hall and hear Lucy say what John was going to say. Arnold and Trask watch, and Arnold says that they'll take care of Paladin and Lucy if need be.
At the meeting that night, Arnold's men convince the townspeople to come to the saloon. Lucy comes out and Clay tells her that no one would listen to a woman. He takes her home, and Paladin watches. Arnold and Trask come over and laugh, and Paladin follows Lucy into the store. Lucy says that it's no use, and Paladin tells her that she isn't doing anything about the men who killed her husband. She doesn't care about defeating Trask and breaks into tears. Paladin tells her to get a good night's sleep because in the morning they're going to do a lot of traveling.
The next day after the polls open, Clay watches as men emerge from the polls. Paladin and Lucy come over, and Clay says that Arnold has been buying votes with whiskey. Wagons with women pull up and Lucy tells Clay that they've been out all morning convincing them to vote. Arnold and Trask realize what's going on, and watch as the women line up to vote.
Once the polls close, everyone gathers to hear the results. The pollster announces that they have a lady mayor, and Paladin draws his gun on Arnold and takes him into the store. Lucy and Clay are there, and Paladin makes Arnold congratulate Lucy. He reluctantly does so, and Lucy ignores him. Paladin says that Trask is coming, and Arnold tells him that Trask told him that he's leaving town. Someone moves past the door, and Paladin tells Clay to barricade the door and then orders Arnold to sit down. Arnold grabs an axe and attacks Paladin, who easily knocks him down. The man outside lights up dynamite, and Arnold yells a warning to Trask. Paladin shoots Trask through the door and gets Clay and Lucy to cover. The dynamite explodes, killing Trask, and Paladin shoves Arnold out.
The next day, Lucy packs to leave and Paladin helps her. Clay comes into the store, and Lucy tells him to sell the store. He says that she's going to be sworn in as mayor the next day, and Lucy says that she owed a debt to her husband. The town didn't help her bring Arnold to justice, and she only ran for mayor to tear down the people who killed John. Lucy tells Clay that she can't do anymore, and suggests that Clay take over as mayor. Paladin wishes him luck and leaves with Lucy.
Written by Gadfly on May 6, 2018