A prairie town refuses to allow an abandoned mother and child suspected of having typhoid to enter for medical treatment. Paladin seeks to somehow overcome their resistance.
The moral dilemma here is a sticky one. The town's people are acting on a utilitarian version of right and wrongbetter to lose two people than twenty. On the other hand, Paladin's acting on an egalitarian versiontreat everyone equally in a moral situationso don't sacrifice the mother and child. Of course, the situation is complicated by the absence of a definite diagnosis. Nonetheless, it's the clash between the two theories of right and wrong that drives the plot, despite the obvious bad guy (Mulrooney) coming down on the utilitarian side.
The episode is helped by the desolate prairie location that lends a strongly realistic setting to the drama. However, reviewer zsenorsock is correctactor Withers fails to provide the religious huckster Mulrooney with the kind of charisma that's needed, robbing Paladin of the strong adversary the drama needs. Note too the feminist message is laid on none too subtly through June Lockhart's Dr. Thackery. It seems the entry packs perhaps too much into the brief 30-minute time frame. Still, viewers can wonder what they would do in Paladin's place.
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