Paladin is traveling back through the rough country when he hears a gunshot. He rides over to investigate and finds two miners shooting at a group of men. The leader of the men, Dirks, says that they know that there's gold in the mine even though the Father insists that there isn't. The Father asks his son, Gino, what they're going to do. Gino complains that Father was wrong as usual, and thought that the mine, Lucifer's Pi, would be a bonanza. Father yells that they found the mine and it belongs to them, but Dirks says that they have the miners trapped and there's no way out but past them. Gino suggests that they call it quits, but Father insists that the mine belongs to Lucifer and he'll bring them luck, selling their souls to Satan before they give up.
Arriving in a puff of gunsmoke, Paladin walks over to the father and son and says that he came around the site. He gives his card to Father, and warns that there's a stiff price on his help. Father agrees to pay any price, and insists that the men can't take away his mine. When Paladin says that he smells brimstone, Father agrees and calls on Paladin to rain down brimstone on their enemies. The old man figures that Paladin is Satan, and says that He heard and he came. He tells Gino to obey him, and Gino asks Paladin to tell Father that he's not Satan. Amused, Paladin wonders why he should.
One of the men, Rudy, tells Dirks that he saw another man arrive. Dirks figures that they can hold out because they have the food and water, and is willing to wait.
Father dozes off, and Gino points out that he's sick. He says that Father has been sick for years, and tells Paladin that Father is a superstitious man chasing his pot of gold. Gino has stayed with him because he doesn't have the nerve to leave him, and hates Father and himself for it. Paladin goes to take a look at the mine, pockets a nugget, and examines the rafters. He comes out and says that they didn't dig the mine. Father wakes up and admits that they found it but it's there's now. Paladin tells Gino to gather blasting powder, and Father to move their horses if they want to file their claim.
Once Gino returns with the keg of blasting powder, Paladin lays a trail of the powder out of the mine as a fuse. He explains that he's going to close the mine entrance so they can go into town to file the claim. Gino thinks that it's nonsense, but Father tells him to obey. Paladin tells them that they'll have to leave on foot and abandon their horses to get the thirty miles to the country seat. Gino warns that father can't make the trip, but Paladin says that they have to get going before the claim jumpers realize that they haven't filed a claim. Paladin lights the fuse and tells the other two men to run.
The jumpers run up just as the blasting powder explodes, sealing the mine. Paladin leads Father and Gino off, while the other jumpers tend to Dirks, who was injured by the blast.
Paladin puts Father on Paladin's horse, but the old man soon passes out. Gino figures that they have to get water for him, and Father insists that they found mine. Disgusted, Paladin tells him to find water.
The jumpers follow Paladin and the two men, and they stop for water. Dirks figures that the trio are on foot, and the others worry that they're going to dump the gold. The leader figures that Gino will hold onto the gold no matter what.
Gino finds a dried-up water hole, and Paladin tells him not to bother. Paladin lies Father down to sleep, while Gino finds a little bit of water seeping up. It's alkaline, and Paladin tells him that they're going to make their stand there. He figures that they can take water from the jumpers, and starts a smoke fire to lure the jumpers in. Paladin fills a blanket with mud from the water hole and explains in Shakespearean terms that he's setting a trap.
The jumpers soon spot smoke and see two figures around the fire. The figures walk off, and Dirks tells one jumper, Loy, to keep an eye on Paladin's horse so that their victims can't escape. Loy thinks that he sees something moving in the brush, unaware that Paladin and Gino have disguised themselves as tumbleweeds and are sneaking toward them.
Dirks finally orders his men to move in, and Father staggers out, calling to Gino. The leader shoots him dead, and Paladin and Gino open fire. The other three jumpers are knocked out, and Dirks rides off with the gold. The wounded Father calls to Gino, and Paladin gets him into the water. Father tells Paladin that he can only have his soul, not Gino's. Gino says that it's nonsense, but Paladin merely gets everyone into the jumpers' wagon and rides into town after Dirks.
Paladin whips the horses, telling Gino that they have to go faster to get Father to a doctor and stop Dirks from filing a claim on Lucifer's Pit. When they get to the small mining town, Paladin hands the jumpers over to the sheriff and confirms that Dirks filed a claim on Lucifer's Pit an hour ago. He has Gino take Father to the doctor, and finds Dirks celebrating at the makeshift bar. Paladin offers to buy drinks, and buys a bottle of Diablo Tequila. He chats with Dirks, and says that he heard he beat three men into town to file his claim. Paladin says that he's the third man, and shows him the nugget he pocketed earlier. Dirks is surprised to discover what it really is, and Paladin kicks him in the foot and tells him to sign it over. Once Dirks does so, Paladin punches him unconscious and tells the bartender to summon he sheriff. He looks at the bottle, which has a picture of Lucifer on it... who looks a bit like Paladin.
Later, Paladin, Father, and Gino go back to the mine. Paladin explains that he had the deed signed over to him. He agrees to sign it over to them for his price: the small bag of gold that they got from the mine worth $2,000. Paladin lights a cigar and tosses the match into the mine. It gives off a burst of Brimstone, and Paladin explains that sulphur gas often forces gold to the surface. He shows them the nugget and says that they found a salted mine and the gold they found was milled. Paladin points out that no one would abandon a mine filled with gold. He then informs them that they're now the owners of a rich sulphur mine, and in five years it will pay off handsomely. As Paladin mounts up, he says that it's up to them if they want to continue chasing their luck or become sulphur miners. He's happy that he's made a profit, and rides off.
Written by Gadfly on Jul 22, 2018