A famous bullfighter, Nino Ybarra, comes out of retirement to fight one more bull. However, Paladin is his real target.
On his way to an assignation with a lovely French lady in Los Angelos, Paladin encounters a Yosemite Indian maiden being attacked by two saddle tramps.
Paladin comes to a small town in response to a request by Colonel Draco, concerning an "insurrection" over water rights. He finds a megalomaniac, crippled eight months previously after being shot by Brock March.
Drugged in a bar on the Barbary Coast, Paladin awakens to find himself manacled in an abandoned warehouse. Two other people are prisoners with him - a former wagon master and a woman alcoholic.
An Indian Rajah and most of his family have been killed in an uprising. The surviving Rani and her subjects must now travel to Makasi, a settlement in America that is located one hundred and fifty miles in the desert.
Paladin's friend, Sheriff Ernie Backwater, invites him to visit for some trout fishing and deer hunting. When Paladin arrives, he finds that Backwater really wants his assistance in tracking a dangerous killer.
Paladin, sick with a fever and fleeing from a band of thieves, unwittingly gets involved in an unpleasant domestic situation.
Mrs. Quincy, of the Nob Hill district of San Francisco, hires Paladin to go in search of her missing granddaughter. Information leads him to the mining town of Jehovah, California.
A barbed-wire salesman, with the clever name of "Bob Wire", hires Paladin to safely deliver a load of his wares to the town of Anderson. Paladin soon learns that the delivery will likely cause a range war.
Paladin finds a strange advertisement in the newspaper: "The sheriff of Latigo has offered $200 reward to anybody who brings me in. I hereby offer $500 to anybody who brings me the sheriff.
Jess Harden went to prison for robbing the War Lance bank of $80,000, although the money was never found. War Lance has since become a ghost town.
Arriving in a small town on Christmas Eve, Paladin finds that there is no lodging available, and settles for sitting in the noisy saloon. A young cowboy and his pregnant wife happen by, the birth imminent.
Virge Beech has a habit of forcing men into gunfights with him, after which he claims self-defence. One of the men so killed was the brother of Adams, Tablerock's district prosecutor.
Sweetwater was a wild town before Thomas Carey, a retired Army scout and old friend of Paladin, became marshal. But Carey has taken over complete control and turned into a killer.
Having hired three gunmen to clean up their town, Hogtooth City finds the tables turned when the gunmen take over and prove worse than the original troublemakers. Paladin is called in to clean up the cleaners.
After a long seach, Paladin has caught up to accused murderer John Tyree, but they are in the desert and dangerously low on water. Trying to find their way, they come upon a murdered man.