Dr. Phyllis Thackeray diagnoses the cook at the Barton Ranch with smallpox. All the cowhands may be infected and need to be vaccinated. Dr. Thackeray sends for the one man she thinks can help.
Dr. Phyllis Thackeray
We learn that Paladin spends $2000 a year...just on cigars.
Laird: I'll give you $1,000 now if you promise to accept this job. $1,000 later when you complete it.
Paladin: I spent $2,000 a year on cigars, Mr. Laird.
Paladin: All right, I want to see Dr. Thackeray and I want to see her right now. If there's anything, wrong, if she's been harmed or impeded in any way, you two men can toss coins to see which one I take apart first!
Sam Barton: ...If he wasn't such a weakling.
Paladin: Is he such a weakling?
Sam Barton: You've seen him. He'll take it from anybody. He's always been that way and always will be. He gets it from his mother, rest her soul.
Paladin: No, I'd say he gets it from you. You're a loud-mouthed bully. Yes, you are. It's all talk. Vicious, cutting kind of talk that probably held that boy down. Gave him the idea that he never could win, so he never tried.
Sam Barton: All I ever tried to do was make a man out of him.
Paladin: No, you're scared to death he might really become a man. Then you'd become the little man around here.
Sam Barton: That's enough! I don't have to explain to you how I feel about my son.
Paladin: Oh, am I mistaken? Would you really like that boy to kick your teeth in?
Sam Barton: I'd crack his skull if he did. And I'd love him if he tried.
Cooley: Uh, you, uh, you work here, Mr.--?
Paladin: Paladin. I'm just helping a friend.
Cooley: Got a specialty?
Paladin: I use a little of everything.
Cooley: (Looking at Paladin's holster) But in the end, it comes down to that.
Paladin: If there are no alternatives.
Phyllis: Talk to me, keep me awake.
Paladin: Talk to you? Just like that? It's not that easy.
Phyllis: Well, you've never had any trouble finding the right words.
Paladin: Oh, it's easy enough to talk. To find the "right" words, the common words that men exchange with women. But you and I have grown too close for that.
Phyllis: That's a frightening thought.
Paladin: It is. Because we're the kind of people we are. We're neither of us ready for marriage, are we?
Phyllis: Well, you're certainly keeping me awake.
Paladin: You have to go on with your work, it's important to you. And it's important to the people who need you.
Phyllis: And you have to go on with your work, because, you're the kind of a man you are.
Paladin: I did hear a rumor once that people can change.
Phyllis: You believe that?
Paladin: Yes, if they're ready to change. And we're not ready to change.
Phyllis: I'm confused. Have you been proposing to me?
Paladin: No. No, I've been explaining why I haven't proposed.
Johnny Western was fascinated with the character of Paladin, and thrilled to get a role in this episode as a hot-headed young gunslinger. When inspiration struck for the song, he wrote it down, and quickly arranged for a cheap recording of it. He gave copies to Richard Boone and Sam Rolfe as a way of saying "Thank you". He was stunned to find a couple days later that they wanted to use it as the theme song.
Richard Boone suggested that he skip the slow, "narrative" melody at the beginning and just use the catchy, "hoofbeats" rhythm all the way through. Sam Rolfe changed one of the lines. His fast gun for hire hears the call of the wind became Heeds the calling wind. This not only scanned better, but "heeds" was an old-fashioned term, reminiscent of Shakespeare, which was in keeping with Paladin's character. Johnny Western made sure that Boone and Rolfe both got co-credit for the song.
Richard Boone also used his considerable clout to ensure that Johnny Western sang the official version--there had been an idea to have the singer Jerry Vale do the song, partly as a means of revitalizing his career.
We find out what sort of woman Paladin considers potential wife material for himself.
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