Paladin: Look at that. Fused silica, lime. Treated with mercury, polished, and in it a man can see what he is... and what he was.
Paladin: Ten years ago, Mr. Jefferson, in this hotel I was playing cards with a man named Norge. Norge was a man who hated people. Hated them because they were young, because they had decent features, because they were healthy. Or just because they were there.
Jefferson: Well, I said gamble. Tonight my bad luck became catastrophic; I, signed I.O.U's for ten thousand dollars, which, I knew I couldn't make good. I was desperate.
Paladin: So you were offered the choice of jail, disgrace to you and your family... or, performing this... little favor. (Pause) I've met you, Mr. Jefferson.
Jefferson: I don't believe so.
Paladin: About ten years ago. One morning, in a mirror. At that time I was receiving a small monthly remittance not to go home. Oh, I had tried the high life, I tried it often. But young as I was, I finally came to enjoy none of it.
Jefferson: Look, why drag this out? Call the police, let's have done with it!
Paladin: Mr. Jefferson, I am trying to tell you something, and you would do well to listen. Sit down.
(Young Paladin comes to inside Smoke's enclosure)
Smoke: Well, Norge sent a gentleman this time, didn't he? What do you call yourself?
Paladin: Now that is none of your concern. I'm here for one purpose only: I challenge you to a duel! (Smoke starts to laugh, which turns into a painful cough) Now that's no ordinary cough you've got there.
Smoke: No, it isn't. And it will probably be the death of me, since the likes of you will not.
Paladin: Now, you have accepted my challenge. Let's settle it here and now!
Smoke: This place, my dear Paladin, like life itself, is at once a prison and freedom. Freedom for me, and for you...well, that is a thousand foot drop behind you. And you'll find this wall somewhat difficult to climb, but you try it, if you must. You try it.
Smoke: It'ud be just like killing a small child. (Paladin turns to face him) Draw your gun, Paladin.
Paladin: You know my gun is empty!
Smoke: It's only that that keeps you alive, my noble Paladin. Now draw your gun and show me the speed you think will match mine. Your life depends on it, now draw your gun! (Paladin fumbles with the covered holster and drags the gun out) Paladin. If you want it to be a contest...think on it. Practice on it. And don't be so anxious to die.
Paladin: Smoke, I will kill you.
Smoke: Here. (Tosses a knife to Paladin) Cut away half that holster. Get as much of that gun out in the open as you can. Soft leather drags on a gun. Get that leather wet, let it dry stiff.
Paladin: Throw me one bullet. Throw me one bullet, and face me now!
Smoke: Paladin, your armor is shiny indeed. Now make your lance and your arm worthy to fight the dragon.
Smoke: I've been watching you all day, boy. You do have a ken of weapons. Who knows, in time, you might even rank with the best.
Paladin: How long'll you make me wait, old man?
Smoke: Too quick to action; too slow to thought. That's the sin of youth, and penance of old men, my Paladin.
Paladin: Old men who are afraid to die? Smoke, are you afraid? Do you know why you're going to have to face me, sooner or later? Eye to eye?
Smoke: You tell me, Paladin.
Paladin: Because there's another death, that hunts for you in the dark of the moon; even I can hear it coughing through the canyon in the night! Now, have I waiting long enough?
Smoke: I don't even know if you could hit the sky, presuming you could get that gun out of the holster. (Turns and balances a bullet on the edge of a branch, before tossing down a bullet and stepping out of sight) So you're not distracted by a plethora of targets. Now shoot it out of there, like the fair lad you are. (Paladin shoots and hits the target) At daybreak then, noble Paladin?
Smoke: The one decent thing I ever did in my life was chain him away from these people. Who's gonna stop Norge now? You? Oh, your armor does shine brightly, and your arm is strong enough, but where is righteousness, noble Paladin? Where is your cause? You remember...there's always a dragon loose...somewhere.
(Paladin offerson Jefferson a drink)
Paladin: To Delta Valley.
Jefferson: Did, uh, Norge ever go back?
Paladin: Only once. Mr. Jefferson, if men have a common factor, it seems to me it's their ability to err. If a man's mistakes determine what he was, then what he does about those mistakes, should determine what he is.
Paladin: I would like to collect the price of that mirror from whoever sent you.
Jefferson: I'll give you his name and where you can find him. (Paladin hands him his card; Jefferson begins writing on it) Or maybe I could take you there?
Paladin: No. I may do some negotiating on your behalf. If you'd care to wait?
Jefferson: I'd like that very much; it'll give me a chance to start polishing on some rusty armor. (Paladin hands back Jefferson's gun) Mr. Paladin? I wouldn't give a gun to a man I didn't trust.
Paladin: Mr. Jefferson, neither would I.
Smoke: (After Paladin shot him) Now....now you think you've slain the dragon...... Know what you've done? You've turned the dragon loose.
(We learn how Paladin got his name)
Smoke: In the books there's a name for a man like you... a Paladin... a Paladin. That's a gentleman knight in shiny armor and all armed with a cause and righteousness and a fine pointed lance... and yet a mercenary...
Richard Boone plays three roles: an old gunfighter named Smoke, and the younger and current Paladin.