After an unsuccessful attempt on his life by young Roderick Jefferson, Paladin is prompted into remembering a similar incident from his past. Once, as a youth, he agreed to pay off a gambling debt by shooting it out with a professional gunfighter.
Paladin convinced a man called Bartlett to give himself up to the law, promising him a fair trial. Unfortunately, he did not get one. Eight years later, Bartlett is being released from prison. The same man who influenced his trial has arranged for five men to come after Bartlett and kill him. Paladin has promised Bartlett's wife to get him safely home.moreless
Dr. Aaron Moody once loved a woman, who married a sheriff instead. She has since died, and now the sheriff has been killed. Dr. Moody asks Paladin to look after the couple's son, who is going after the man who killed his father.
Arriving in a small town on Christmas Eve, Paladin finds that there is no lodging available, and settles for sitting in the noisy saloon. A young cowboy and his pregnant wife happen by, the birth imminent. Paladin manages to get them a room in the back of the saloon, then tries to get some assistance from the roomful of drunken, uncaring revelers.moreless
Paladin comes to a small town in response to a request by Colonel Draco, concerning an "insurrection" over water rights. He finds a megalomaniac, crippled eight months previously after being shot by Brock March. Draco wants the death of everyone who defies him, and plans to make Paladin his private executioner.moreless
When a Chinese man is killed in a Tong war, Paladin comes to pay his respects to the man's mother, Jin Ho. Jin Ho asks Paladin to meet a ship bound for China and see that her granddaughter Kim Sing is brought safely aboard, to return to the homeland and assume her royal duties.moreless