At the Carlton, Paladin is in the lobby reading an article about six citizens being arrested in the town of Three Winds, Wyoming Territory. The man responsible is the newly-elected sheriff, Owen Deaver. According to the article, Owen has implemented ordinances similar to those in Philadelphia, and arrested the men for firing their guns into the air. Paladin discovers that Owen is the son of Barry Deaver, the former sheriff, who died of consumption a month earlier. He then takes out his card and calls over Hey Boy, and asks the porter to cancel his date with a red-haired opera singer because he has to make sure the son of an old friend doesn't die...Read the full recap
Paladin: Hey Boy... will you go back to the opera house, please, and tell the lovely lady with the red hair that I won't be able to see her this evening? I've been called out of town on business.
Hey Boy: But opera company leave tomorrow. You not see her again, maybe never.
Paladin: I know, Hey Boy. But I've just read in this paper that an old friend of mine died in bed, and his son is apt to die on his feet unless somebody does something.
Paladin: Don't you know what you did when you advertised that Three Winds is being run by the laws of an Eastern city? You waved a red flag in the face of every man in the West who thinks he's bigger than the law. Now, this one, and his friend--get up!--they're just the first two to take you up on the dare.
Owen Deaver: And you're another.
Owen Deaver: You get out of this town right now!
Paladin: No, I'll stay.
Owen Deaver: If you do, it's going to be in my jail.
Paladin: I'll accept that as an invitation, not graciously tended, but graciously accepted, and later on I'll expect your apology, since you're going to be needing me, Sheriff. Sheriff, you're going to be needing me badly.
Paladin: Well, he's young, Ma. And like most men his age, he's intolerant of the human failings of others. We have to keep him alive until wisdom sets in.
Paladin: There's a basic, unwritten law of jurisprudence. You can't enforce a law that goes against the will of the majority. For those who try, there's a name; they're called "tyrants."