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Fragile Recap

Paladin is eating dinner and asks Hey Boy why it's improved. Hey boy takes Paladin over to a dining chef, Etienne Ledoux, who is with his wife Claire. Etienne explains that he tampered with Paladin's dinner to get his attention, and explains that he wants Paladin to escort a pane of expensive glass to Panamint where they own a restaurant. Claire, a local woman, dismisses the restaurant as a "hash house" until Etienne challenges her. He insists that there must be a touch of civilization and that requires the only plate glass window in California. Paladin refuses to help Etienne, who explains that three times the window he tried to bring in was broken. He refuses to surrender and offers Paladin $1,000 and the greatest meal that Paladin has ever eaten, and Paladin accepts.

Paladin and Etienne go to the glazier and get the glass. They load it on a wagon and Etienne insists on carrying one end of the glass himself. When Etienne insults one of the workmen, the workman punches Etienne and Paladin punches the workman while Etienne clings to the glass. They head to Panamint, and Claire tells Paladin to go faster so that the glass breaks and they can be done with the whole matter. Paladin pulls over, saying that Claire is clearly exhausted by the ride. Etienne tells her that she can rest when they return.

Indians ride up and Etienne steps in front of the glass until Paladin yanks him out of the way. Etienne insists on holding a chest up to protect the glass, and blocks each of the Indians' shots. The Indians ride off, yelling about having captured the sun. Paladin and Etienne realize that they were referring to the sun's reflection in the glass and laugh.

The trio makes camp for the night, and Claire sneaks over to the glass once Etienne dozes off. Paladin notices and goes over, and stops her from breaking the glass with a rifle butt. Etienne wakes up and Etienne grabs a rifle, figuring that Claire and Paladin were involved. He tells Paladin to keep his eye on the job, and an irritable Paladin tells him that he'll do his best.

The next day, the wagon comes to a bridge. A rancher and his hand stop them, and the rancher says that he's built a house and needs glass for the windows. He offers a fair price for the glass, but Etienne refuses and the rancher insists that he'll buy the glass in one piece of a thousand but he will buy the glass. Etienne figures that the rancher is bluffing and refuses to sell, and the rancher tells his hand Ben to break it. When Ben rides over, Paladin kicks him into the river below. The disgruntled rancher rides off, and Paladin drives the wagon back to San Francisco.

Written by Gadfly on Aug 12, 2018

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