At the Hotel Carlton in San Francisco, the Chinese servant Hey Boy brings in the newspaper and Paladin picks up the most recent issue. After going through all the papers, he comes across an article about Jesse Reade, a rancher in New Mexico invading Perdido, Mexico. Reade is trying to recover his daughter, Nancy, who ran off with outlaw David Enderby. Perdido is an outlaw refuge and it's believed Enderby fled there. Reade and twenty-six of his men were repelled and only six of them came back. Paladin sends his card to Reade...Read the full recap
Jesse Reade: If I couldn't bring him back here with twenty-six men, just how do you think you can bring him back here alone?
Paladin: The Greek phalanx was developed out of a specific need. They fought shoulder-to-shoulder on small battlefields, and they were considered invincible. Then the Macedonians hit them with cavalry, and that was the end of the phalanx. There are all kinds of tactics, Mr. Reade.
Jesse Reade: Ex-Army officer, huh?
Paladin: Among other things.
Paladin: I don't think you got a very good look at this gun while you had it. The balance is perfect. This trigger responds to a pressure of one ounce. If you look carefully in the barrel, you'll see the lines of rifling. It's a rarity in a hand weapon. This gun was handcrafted to my specifications and I rarely draw it unless I mean to use it. Would you care for a demonstration?
Dave Enderby: If I did half the things folks say I did, I'd be dancing at rope's end long ago.
Paladin: There's still time.
(as Nancy leaves bits of her dress behind for a trail)
Nancy Reade: Aren't we ever going to rest?
Paladin: I guess we can now. He'll be catching up to us about now. Between the two of us, we left a clear enough trail for him to follow.
Nancy Reade: Between the two...?
Paladin: If the trail was any longer, you'd have a real problem in modesty.
Paladin: I didn't agree to become an accessory to murder. There's a warrant out for this bushwhacker, and you're going to let the law take him.
Jesse Reade: I'm paying for him and he's mine!
Paladin: Only as a son-in-law. And the hangman will arrange a quick divorce.
Paladin: Well, Dave, the marshal's waiting for you. Let's travel. it's the Golden Gate for me, and I wonder what kind for you.