Paladin gets up in the morning before sunrise to check his camp. After dousing the fire, he checks on his prisoner, Blandings. Paladin offers him coffee and unties his hands, and Blandings asks if he's in such a hurry to get him back to Mr. Handler and collect the reward. The gunfighter explains that he wants to get across the Strada River before noon. As Blandings contemplates the coffee, he talks about how he was living the high life in San Luis using his stolen money. Unimpressed, Paladin tells his prisoner to roll up the bedroll and walks off...Read the full recap
Blandings: Do you know, in San Luis, before you caught up to me of course, I used to sleep every day 'til noon. And then two servant girls would come in with silver breakfast trays. The Plaza, a fresh shirt, music. Shade. Cool drink. And then the nights. You want your money, and Handler & Co. want its pound of flesh. But for a little while, I lived where an emperor once slept.
Paladin: I'm sure you did, Blandings.
Paladin: Well, now, Devereaux, I have found your soft spot, haven't I? It has to play off your way, doesn't it? But you won't turn the wheel unless it's fixed. How many alleys you waited in, Devereaux? How many men you shot in the back? Now this time you may be miscalculating.
Paladin: No river is shallow to a man who can't swim.