At the Carlton, Adam Marakian enters the lobby and asks the clerk where he can find Paladin. A woman, Beth, comes over and mistakes Adam for his twin brother Sam. When Adam explains that she's made a mistake, the woman starts hitting him over the head with her parasol. Witnessing the incident, Hey Boy goes to get Paladin, who is enjoying dessert with a lady. Adam and the young lady come into the restaurant, and the woman leaves in disgust.
Adam tells Paladin that the woman mistook him for Sam. The man dismisses Paladin as a dandy, and explains that his brother Sam is his identical twin. They go up to Paladin's suite and Adam explains that their mother was the only who could tell them apart. Sam always got into trouble and Adam took the blame, but Adam enjoyed it because he never had the nerve to do them himself. Adam doesn't want to hang, and Sam shot a man. The sheriff came looking for Sam and thought Adam was his brother. Paladin advises him to give himself up and will protect him until he can find his mother. When Adam asks if Paladin needs any more proof of his innocence, Paladin draws a derringer on him and warns him that he doesn’t like being misused. As Adam goes, he advises Paladin to finish the job the next time that he draws on him.
Paladin takes Adam to the sheriff and explains that Adam has a twin brother. The sheriff says that he can tell them apart even though he has nothing to base his conclusion on. Paladin presents his card and says that Adam's wife Beth can tell the difference. The sheriff doesn't care which twin hangs as long as one of them hangs, and locks Adam up. Once Paladin leaves, Adam takes a derringer out of his shoulder holster.
Riding through the hills, Paladin comes to the Marakian cabin. He introduces himself to Beth and she says that Adam was with her when the shooting took place. Beth tells Paladin that she doesn't know where Sam is and after a moment, agrees to go with Paladin to see her husband. As they go, Paladin notes photos of Adam and Sam, and Beth says that a girl can tell things apart.
At the jail, Adam and Beth kiss. Beth then draws back and says that "Adam" isn't her husband. She leaves and Adam tells Paladin that Beth is lying. Adam tells Paladin to find Sam or he'll get out and find Sam and kill him. He points out that he did what Paladin asked so Paladin owes him that much, and Paladin would find the answer to the mystery puzzling.
Paladin goes out and Beth says that Adam is up in the hills and she didn't tell Paladin because she thought he was a bounty hunter. Paladin wonders why she had to kiss the man in the cell if her husband was up in the hills above the cabin, and Beth says that she was confused to see "Adam" in jail. The gunfighter asks to meet her husband and Beth agrees.
In his cell, Adam calls for the sheriff and claims that there's a rat in his cell. He draws the derringer on sheriff and admits that it doesn't look good but it's keeping him from being hung for Sam's crime. Adam shoves the sheriff in the cell, pistol-whips him unconscious, locks the door, and leaves.
Paladin and Beth ride up into the hills and Paladin wonders why Sam would have taken such a chance. Beth says that Adam didn't have the nerve to try it, and that she's sorry that Sam has to hang. Adam fires a warning shot and Beth calls to him, saying that Paladin is with him and Sam is in jail. Adam calls them up and Beth kisses him and says that everything's going to be all right. Paladin says that he's curious to know if he can tell Sam and Adam apart.
Sam--the brother who escaped from jail--opens fire on them and they take cover. Adam provides cover while Paladin moves around and gets behind Sam. He calls out and when Sam tries to shoot him, Paladin shoots him. Sam asks Paladin if Beth is up with Adam, and tells Paladin that's another reason why he wanted to be like his brother. Paladin calls up that "Sam" is dead, and "Adam " opens fire. As Paladin takes cover, Sam tells Beth that they'll claim that Adam shot Paladin dead.
Paladin promises Adam's corpse that before the day is over, Sam will be like Adam. The gunfighter runs up the hill and Sam kills him. Sam and Beth collect Adam's body and ride into town. Meanwhile, the vultures circle over Paladin and he finally wakes up. Wounded and dazed, he heads into town.
Sam and Beth meet with the sheriff and claim that "Sam" ambushed them and he killed Paladin. Beth says that Sam is Adam and the sheriff accepts her word. Paladin steps out and calls to Sam by name. Sam shoves Beth aside and goes for his gun, and Paladin kills him. Beth runs back and cradles Sam's body in his arms. Paladin tells the sheriff that he killed Sam and Adam, and hopes that Beth can live with her choice. He says that he'll mourn whichever twin that Beth doesn't mourn and walks away.
Written by Gadfly on Nov 18, 2018