Paladin, en route to help rancher Hugh Evans, comes across Harleigh Preston whose dreams of bagging Bighorn Sheep were rudely derailed when his guide got him drunk, robbed him, and fled. The first part was easy -- Preston was packing his very own liquor store.
Paladin, reluctant to abandon an troubled, inexperienced man to the wilderness, disposes of Preston's remaining booze and drags him along in the direction of Evans' ranch. Preston, mired in self- disgust, doesn't care for this "intervention" at all!
Paladin and Preston get a thinly-veiled warning from self-proclaimed landowner Martin Wheeler and the two gunmen now on his payroll. At the creekside camp occupied by Evans and his daughter Elaine, whom Wheeler has burned out of house and home, Paladin learns that Evans' Land Title has vanished.
Next morning Paladin and Evans go searching for any record of the Title. Preston looks on as Elaine is restrained by Wheeler's men so they can set another fire, and when Elaine tries to beat out the flames Preston grabs the chance to sneak himself a drink.
Paladin and Evans return from the Courthouse just in time to extinguish the fire. But Wheeler, fearing that Land Agents might start an investigation, now simply wants Evans dead. He and his gunmen attack Evans' camp. Paladin's "counterstrike" gets some welcome, if rather belated, support -- and once again, Paladin collects a well-earned fee.
And the quote that closes the episode? Anachronistic, but a better selection might be the fourth (and final) verse of Amelia Earhart's poem, which states what happens: "each time we make a choice"!