"Never draw in anger, Mr. McNally, it slows the hand."
Racism is the topic in this episode of "Have Gun-Will Travel" as Paladin (at first looking like a riverboat gambler when getting off his stage out of interest in a brawl he notices in the little town of Bridesville) offers his services to a Cherokee, hated and "quarantined" by the nearby town and its citizenry, warned to move his "diseased" cattle out the territory or else. Joseph Whitehorse is "an educated Indian", rejected by his own kind and treated worse by the whites, Paladin perhaps the only humane white man who has come in contact with him in quite some time, for the exception of a chemist (who considers the attitudes and beliefs of the town as backwards and uneducated). While Paladin puts on a poker face, confusing Mr. Whitehorse (Anthony Caruso) and his fiery, opinionated wife, Martha (Carol Thurston) into thinking he has sided with bitter racist (and ranch owner, as well as, the central voice of Bridesville), Clyde McNally (Leo Gordon, his performance charged with an open detest and revulsion of anyone remotely "Injun") over the loss of their land to him. But Paladin, after having tested the land's soil of Whitehorse thanks to the town chemist, knows a secretthe ace in his hand, so to speakand needs to conceal it from Whitehorse in order for the land trade to go through. The result of all this has Paladin having to draw his gun as a heated, very steamed McNally instigates a showdown within the cabin of Whitehorse. This episode, "Winchester Quarantine", takes a sympathetic view of the mistreated Indian, in this case the Cherokee just trying to carve out a meager existence with his mission wife through toil and sweat on his own little piece of land, with the obstacles of intolerance, living in the past, and blinded pride standing in the way of such desires. Here Boone is more intense, with a face and tone that successfully contradicts his usual character, important if Paladin is to complete a transaction, earn his own fee, and help a good, honest couple receive better than they have at the present. Fascinating is how it appears as if Paladin's motives are based purely on greed and pleasant living, the reasons he's motivated to "take Whitehorse's land from him." I think that only makes the end result far more satisfying.
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