At the Carlton, Ben Harvey approaches Hey Boy and demands that he take him to Paladin's suite. Hey Boy takes Ben to the suite, and Paladin recognizes Ben on sight from his photo. Paladin is being fit for a suit, and tells Ben to tip Hey Boy for his "service". Once Ben does so and Hey Boy leaves, Ben shows Paladin a card of Paladin's that he picked up in prison. Paladin says that he doesn't work for criminals, but agrees to listen to Ben. Ben says that he did his time and paid the price for killing a man, and he made a deal to give the marshals in his town a Harvey so his son could go to a town where he could make a life for himself. He admits that he led a civilian gang during the War, and they were northerners in a southern town, Bardstown. Now Ben has a wagonload of goods that he wants to take to his hometown of Gila, and he wants to hire Paladin to protect him. He refuses to wear a gun for fear that he might shoot someone.
Paladin accepts the job and the two men drive the wagon to Gila. Ben wonders if he wasted his $1,000 on Paladin's fee because they haven't been attacked. As they ride on, three men ride up after seeing Ben.
The wagon arrives in Gila and they go to Ben's store. Women are inside attending an auction. When Paladin interrupts, the auctioneer Carew says that if Ben wants the Harveys then he should join the posse. Carew says that there are two dead men in the streets, and they had five years of agony and grief out of the Harveys and a trial found them guilty. Furious, Ben orders everyone out and Paladin says who Ben is. The women quickly leave, and Carew tells Ben that the posse will soon be back.
Once they're alone, Ben complains that it's just like Bardstown and admits that he didn't tell Paladin the truth about the Harvey reputation in Gila. He figures that the running and killing has to end and Gila is as good a place to make a stand as any. He asks Paladin to stay in town for an extra day for the $1,000 that Ben is paying him.
Carew fires a shot and calls Paladin out. The women and old men of the town have gathered outside and Carew says that Ben is a dead man and they'll give Paladin a half hour to leave. Ben refuses to go, and Paladin tells Carew to get the townspeople off of the street before they get hurt. Carew refuses, and Paladin finds a woman outside the backdoor aiming a rifle. Laughing, Paladin goes back inside and Ben tells him to save himself. Paladin refuses and tells Carew that he's coming out, and then goes out on the street.
When Paladin walks out on the street, Carew takes him to a wagon holding the two dead men. He explains that the men were his partners, and Jack and Curt shot them down like dogs. Paladin points out that the Harveys weren't there to defend themselves and the sheriff was out hunting them down, and asks who held the trial. Carew says that he did, and Paladin points out that he's the only witness, the judge, the jury, and the sole beneficiary. Two armed men come up and say that the two dead men aren't the only ones that the Harveys killed. Carew insists that Ben is just as guilty as his brothers, and Paladin tells them that they have no right to murder a man who is innocent of anything his family has done. He also plans to keep Ben alive so that Ben can pay him, and promises that he will defend Ben.
Paladin goes back to the store and tells Carew to get the townspeople off the street. They quickly leave when he reminds them that he's a professional gunfighter. Carew yells that Jack Harvey is a professional killer and swore to murder him on sight. Unimpressed, Paladin goes in and tells Ben what happened.
The three men--Curt, Clay, and Jack Harvey--ride into Gila. In the sore, Ben tells Paladin to get out while he has the chance. Paladin offers Ben a rifle, but Ben figures that it'll just put him back where he was before he went to prison. He thanks Paladin for standing by him.
The Harveys ride up to Carew's assay office and call him out. As Paladin and Ben watch, Carew nervously emerges and Jack says that Carew is a robber and steals from people legally. The assayer says that Ben is there and trying to reform, and warns Jack against Paladin. Jack draws his gun and kills Carew. Paladin comes over and confirms that Carew is dead, and then turns to Jack and says that he was unarmed. Jack doesn't care, and Paladin says that Ben hired him to protect him while he proved Jack's innocence. Ben angrily says that they can't shoot their way out of trouble, and Curt says that Carew sold them out.
Jack says that Carew was supposed to pay them for killing the two men, but he formed a posse to kill them rather than pay. When Ben objects, Jack kicks him down and says that there not storekeepers. Curt and Clay side with Jack, and Jack says that the posse won't catch them. Paladin refuses to draw, and the brothers ride off. Ben figures that his brothers are murderers, and says that he'll get a gun to help Paladin take his brothers on.
Ben gets his rifle and fires a warning shot, and his brothers take cover and shoot back. Ben yells that it's Jack that he wants, but Clay and Curt defend their brother. Curt sneaks around the back while Jack and Clay draw Ben's fire. Paladin realizes that Curt isn't there, and goes into the store, and kills Curt as he comes in the back.
Paladin goes around the back and flanks the remaining brothers. Jack spots him and fires, and Paladin kills him. Clay shoots Ben, winging him, and says that it wasn't his idea. Ben tells Paladin that it's between him and his brother, and orders Clay to give himself up. Clay asks if Ben would shoot him, and Ben says that he would. The younger Harvey walks across the street holding his gun, and Ben begs him to stop. When Clay gets closer, Ben has no choice but to kill him. Paladin tells him that it's not his fault and they learned to like killing on their own. Ben says that the Harveys are dead and gives Paladin his rifle.
Later, Ben figures that no one will buy his goods and promises Paladin that he'll get his $1,000. Paladin points out that the goods are worth more than $1,000, and Ben gives it to him. Once he checks the goods, Paladin calls the townspeople over and sells them the goods for expensive prices. Ben objects, saying that it's worth more, and Paladin tells them that they'll have to talk to the owner. Everyone is glad to buy from Ben for the "bargain" that he's giving them.
Written by Gadfly on Sep 10, 2018