At the Carlton, Paladin comes down to the lobby with a woman on his arm. Hey Girl comes over with a wire, and Paladin excuses himself. The porter analyzes the handwriting, and Paladin discovers that it's from Marion Sutter, asking Paladin to come to see her at Patchwork Juncture on a desperate matter. Marion has included a diamond brooch as a down payment, and both Paladin and Hey Girl recognize that it's paste. Despite that, Paladin goes to meet with Marion.
In Patchwork Juncture, Logan Adcock confronts John Sutter, Marion's husband. Logan, a Northerner, is arguing with John about how he's keeping his Indian worker as a slave. Logan dismisses the Indian, Bent Nose, telling him that he's anticipated. Paladin rides into town and a local, Andy Miggs, greets him. Andy says that the town is ripe for a break out. Meanwhile, Logan tells John to give in since now only he and his wife are working the property. He calls John a Grey Belly and insists that he fought for freedom. Logan threatens to shoot John's horse, and Paladin tells him that he's objecting. Paladin tells Logan that he won't be the first person who tried to draw on him, and Logan holsters his gun.
John rides out to his cotton farm, and Andy tells Paladin that someone left an unsigned letter for him. It's from Marion, asking him to meet her at Gilby's Pond at 3. Paladin rides to the pond and meets Marion. She says that she didn't sign the letter because she wasn't sure if she wanted to see it through. Paladin tells her that the brooch is fake, and Marion figures that Paladin is trying to cheat her. He points out that he could have stayed in San Francisco if he wanted to cheat her, and Marion offers him her rings. Paladin refuses to take them and deceive John, and Marion says that her husband is the one who misrepresented the brooch to her.
Marion explains that John went to the bank for a loan and it was refused. Logan was responsible for the refusal, and their hired help quit that afternoon. Now no one will work for them. John calls Marion over to the ranch and shows her that someone has written the name "Atzerodt" on the barn. Marion tells Paladin that someone wrote a different name a few days ago. Paladin says that he's applying for a job, and John figures that Marion convinced Paladin to stay. He sarcastically tells Marion that it will be nice to have a man around the house again and walks off.
Later, John, Marion, and Paladin go into town and Andy greets them. John tells the owner that he came to pick up parts for his gin, and the owner, Farley Dyson, demands the money for the COD. Paladin offers him the money and points out that if John doesn't sell the gin parts then Farley will take a loss. Farley says that it's not the point, and Paladin tells him to tell Logan that he "emancipated" the merchandise. As John gets the case, a local bully trips him. Paladin tells John to let the bully pick it up. John says that he doesn't want any trouble and goes to his wagon. Paladin "accidentally" knocks the bully over and leaves.
Back at the farm, the name "Herold" is laid out in stones on the front yard. John runs into the house, and Paladin asks Marion what the name means. Paladin confirms that Andy mentioned Paladin's name, and tells her to go to John. Marion says that may not be reason enough and goes inside.
Paladin puts together the gin and Marion explains that John told her the brooch was a fake because he sold the real one to raise money for taxes. She says that she no longer respects John, and Paladin says that it took strength to build the farm and make a life for him and his wife. Unimpressed, Marion comes onto Paladin who tells her that she's overpaying him. Marion walks off, and Logan and his men arrive and get the drop on Paladin. They take his gun and report to Logan that John isn't in the house. Logan tells them to burn the field and drive John out, and reads a list of names, including the names written out. They were the conspirators in Lincoln's assassination. Among them is Mary Surrat, and John is her son.
Paladin says that the government released Surrat, but Logan isn't impressed and says that Surrat is a traitor. The gunfighter realizes that Andy told Paladin who John was, and Logan has his men put Paladin and Marion in the barn.
John crawls through the burning cotton field, and Andy finds him. He gives John a gun and tells him that he can attach some significance to his dying. John takes the gun and crawls away.
In the barn, Paladin draws his derringer on the guard and has Marion take the man's rifle. She aims the gun at Paladin, saying that she wants John dead. The guard grabs the rifle from her, and Paladin knocks him out.
John kills one of Logan's men, and then shoots Logan and his other man. He runs into the barn and aims Andy's gun at Paladin. John says that he wants to kill Paladin because Marion looked at him the way she never looked at him. Paladin says that John wants to die and he doesn't, and shoots him dead. Andy arrives and tells Paladin to give him his gun. Paladin demands an explanation, and Andy says that he just wanted to stir up some trouble for the excitement. The gunfighter tells him to get a shovel and dig a deep grave for John. Paladin then tells Marion that in peace as well as war, sometimes the wrong men die. With that, he gives her the gun and leaves.
Written by Gadfly on Feb 17, 2019