When you're beaten, abused, and shot at after you arrive in a strange town, you can safely assume you're not welcome. That's exactly what happens to Paladin, who has unknowingly stepped into the middle of a blood feud between two families whose Patriarchs fought on opposite sides in the Civil War.
What's a man to do when he wakes up finding he's minus both his horse AND his custom-made, first-generation .45 Colt Single Action Cavalry Model revolver (with the two-ounce trigger pull)? Why, hop (literally) on the next stagecoach heading out of town, and seek "replacements"!
But the Stagecoach is occupied already by a feisty young lady also determined to make a getaway. She claims to be 18 years old but Paladin, knowing women as he does, suspects (rightly) that she's added a year to the tally. Her name is Juliet Harper, and she has had all she can take of the vengeful Jeremiah Pike and his murderous clan and hopes to escape them all by joining her brother in Hawaii.
Paladin and Juliet are forced to jump for their lives and take brief refuge in an farmhouse that formerly belonged to Juliet's Uncle -- one of Jeremiah Pike's last victims. The Pikes have now taken over, even installing Jeremiah's Confederate coat and sword over the mantelpiece. It isn't long before the Pike boys and their Father arrive, and Paladin must come up with a plan to get himself and Juliet out of harm's way and en route to San Francisco. Complicating the situation is the fact that by now young Juliet has fallen completely in love with him. How should a Gentleman Gunfighter respond?
With some brilliant diversionary strategy, and truly masterful tact. Both work superbly. And Juliet's parting promise "to never look at another man" lasts as long as a dewdrop on a newly-unfolding rose.
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