Pale Rider (1985)
A mysterious preacher (Clint Eastwood) protects a humble prospector village from a greedy mining company trying to encroach on their land.
A gold mining camp in the California foothills is besieged by a neighboring landowner intent on stealing their claims. A preacher (Clint Eastwood) rides into camp and uses all of his powers of persuasion to convince the landowner to give up his attacks on the miners.
Clint Eastwood is a mysterious preacher who comes to a gold mining camp near a small town in the mountains. The miners are in grave danger as a ruthless landowner decides to take their land, with the support of Sheriff Stockburn (John Russell). The only one who seems brave enough to save them is this preacher who came from nowhere and nobody knows his past or his real name. Why is the Sheriff afraid of him? Why is he such a good shooter? Is he really a preacher?
- Somewhere in California, at the end of the Gold Rush, several horsemen come riding down from the nearby mountains. They ride as if on urgent business.
At a mining camp by a creek, prospectors calmly pan for gold and inspect their sluice boxes. A woman hangs up laundry. The riders approach the camp, crossing through the creek and through the local woods. Suddenly the dogs start barking furiously, and people stop what they're doing to look. A girl looks for her dog, Lindsay. The horsemen emerge from the woods, shooting guns as they enter the camp. They knock down shacks and tents, and kick people as they ride by. Megan's mother (Carrie Snodgress) shouts for Megan (Sydney Penny) as she runs after her dog Lindsay. Prospectors fight back feebly, but are no match for the horsemen. The horsemen shoot cattle and Megan's dog, and then chase donkeys as they leave. The people come out from hiding and assess the damage; the town is devastated. Megan is bent over her dead dog when her mother catches up to her. A man spits and calls the horsemen "sow-wallowing monkeys". Megan picks up her dog, crying. She takes the dog into the woods.
Still crying, Megan buries her dog in the woods, and then recites the 23rd Psalm, interjecting her comments. Calm music plays, and local scenery is interspersed while she prays: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. "But I do want." He leadeth me beside still waters. He restoreth my soul. "But they killed my dog." Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil. "But I am afraid." Thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. "We need a miracle." Thy loving kindness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. "If you exist." And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. "But I'd like to get more of this life first. If you don't help us, were all gonna die. Please. Just one miracle. Amen." As she prays the last few lines, an image of a man (Clint Eastwood) riding a white horse mottled with black is superimposed on the screen, along with foreboding music. The man on the white horse continues riding through the snow-covered ground into the woods.
Mr. Barret (Michael Moriarty) rides out of camp in his wagon and Eddie (Chuck Lafont) asks if he's quitting. He says no, that he's going into town. Eddie asks him if that's dumb, because of what happened to him last time. Barret doesn't answer. Barret passes Teddy (Jeffrey Weissman), who asks him the same question, again with no response.
Hull Barret arrives in the town of LaHood, and people look through their windows. After Barret ties up his wagon, he walks into the Blankenship mining supply store as four men stare. Hull greets Mr. and Mrs. Blankenship (Richard Hamilton and Fran Ryan). Mr. Blankenship calls Hull a "damn fool", and asks him if he couldn't wait until the smoke cleared away. Hull says that they needed some supplies. Mr. Blankenship tells Hull he has "sand but no sense". Hull says that they didn't have any choice because of the damage the men did to their shacks. Mr. Blankenship expects payment in gold. Hull says that as soon as he gets a couple of ounces, he'll bring them in. Mr. Blankenship says it will take more than that. Some thugs are now gathering by the supply store and looking in. Mr. Blankenship tells Hull that the last payment he made was 8 months ago, when Old Lindquist brought his dust in, and says that all the gold is gone from Carbon Canyon. Hull replies that if there were none left there, why is LaHood driving them out? Mr. Blankenship says to tell Spider and everyone else no more credit. Hull thanks Mr. Blankenship. Mr. Blankenship says that he's not doing it for him; he's the only merchant in town that LaHood doesn't own. Hull promises that one day they'll strike it big and he will pay them back with interest, and leaves the store.
Hull walks outside, passing the men waiting there. After he loads up his wagon, they pick up some pick handles and confront Hull, saying that he forgot to say hello when they rode through the canyon. They also say that they told him to stay out of town. They joke that when they kicked him it made him forget, and they need to kick his head again to jar his memory. They also make crude remarks about his "Wheeler women". One of them pauses when he sees the man on the white horse at the edge of town. They ask Hull why he won't fight. Hull says he didn't come here to fight. One of them says that he shouldn't have come here at all, and then he looks at the edge of town and the horseman is gone. Another calls him a "Tin Pan", saying that he made a big mistake. They look inside his wagon and grab his goods. When he tries to stop them, they pull him down and beat him with the wooden handles. Hull crawls under the wagon, but they pull him back out. One of the men lights a match to burn Hull's goods he just bought. The stranger from the white horse throws a bucket of water on him, putting out the match. He says, "You shouldn't play with matches," and then grabs the last handle and walks towards them. They attack the stranger, but he counters every swing easily, knocking away their handles and knocking them down. He breaks the last man's handle in two and knocks him down too. Hull thanks the stranger but he just walks away. The bullies lie on the ground, badly injured and groaning. The stranger rides away towards Carbon Canyon, and Hull follows him in the wagon, as Mr. and Mrs. Blankenship still look out, worried.
Hull catches up to the stranger and introduces himself. Hull warns him not to stay in Carbon Canyon after what he did. He offers the stranger to stay at his cabin because it has two rooms. The stranger says he doesn't want to be a burden on them. Hull says that it's a pleasure not a burden.
The stranger follows Hull into Carbon Canyon. Ulrik (Herman Poppe) rides past them on his horse and pulling his mule as they enter camp and tells Hull goodbye. He says he's going away because he can't fight anymore. He says he's not the only one, and wishes Hull good luck, that he would quit too if he were smart. Hull and the stranger continue into camp.
Inside their cabin, as her mother prepares dinner, Megan reads from the Bible, Revelation: The power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the Earth, and that they should kill one another. And there was given unto him a great sword. And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. Megan's mother says, "Very good. Fetch me some butter and some syrup." As Megan does she continues reading: And I beheld, and lo, a black horse, and he that sat on him, had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say A measure of wheat for a penny. Megan's mother looks out the window, and then mysterious music plays as Megan continues: And three measure of barley for a penny, and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. Hull and the stranger approach the house. Megan continues: And I looked. And behold, a pale horse, and his name that sat on him was death. Megan stops and looks out the window too, seeing the stranger stopped there. She finishes: And Hell followed with him. They watch as he rides past.
The stranger took his shirt off and is washing his face. Hull sees scars that look like bullet wounds on his back. He tells the stranger that dinner will be ready soon, and leaves.
Hull describes the fight between the stranger and McGill and his men. Megan's mother, Sarah says he sounds no different from McGill, Tyson, or any of LaHood's roughnecks. Hull says that at least the stranger wasn't afraid of them, and that's what they need up here. He tells them that Lindquist left. Sarah says that the colony is beaten, that Hull is the only one who doesn't know it. Megan says that shes not leaving until LaHood's men are whipped. Sarah reprimands Hull, telling him that Megan talks more like his daughter than hers. She wants him to tell Megan this business about fighting is nonsense. Sarah asks if the stranger is a gunman. Hull says he hopes so, and would he pay for protection. Sarah threatens to leave with Megan unless Hull gets rid of the stranger. He says that he will, but he saved his life. They continue to argue and then the stranger enters. They stop and stare at him, seeing his white preacher collar. He hopes he's not the cause of this excitement. They suddenly become very polite towards him. Sarah Wheeler thanks him for helping Hull, and then introduces herself and Megan. Megan smiles at the preacher.
At a large mining camp, high-pressure water from pipes blasts the hillsides, the massive water runoff running into sluices. The thugs arrive, cut and bandaged. Their boss, Josh (Chris Penn) tells them that they're late for work. McGill (Charles Hallahan) apologizes to him, saying that they were at the doctor. Tyson (Allen Keller) says that they tangled with Barret. Josh is surprised that a "Tin Pan" beat them up. Jagou (Marvin J. McIntyre) says that a stranger helped him, a big guy. McGill says he left with Barret. Josh orders the men to their duties and then walks to a tent and calls Club. Club (Richard Kiel) steps out, over 7 feet tall.
Hull is outside, telling the preacher that they've had a feud with Coy LaHood and his son, and that LaHood is a powerful man. LaHood came there in '54 or '55, and was the first man to strike it rich. He would use money from his mines to continue staking new claims. During the last couple of years, he has used the big hydraulic monitors and blasted all the hillsides. Megan says that although LaHood is more powerful than ever, Carbon Canyon is the only place his crew hasn't ruined yet. She adds that he's greedy for it, too. The preacher asks if he has any lawful rights to their canyon. Hull says no, all their claims are filed in Sacramento; the only way LaHood could take the land legally is if they leave it. The preacher says that LaHood is persuasive. Megan says that even if they all leave, she's staying there; they killed her dog and her grandpa. The stranger asks about the law, someone they could take their case to. Hull says if there were, LaHood would own them, just like he owns everything else. Hull says that a lawman couldn't do anything because LaHood hasn't killed anyone yet; Megan's grandpa's heart gave out on him. Hull has been taking of Sarah and Megan ever since. Hull says quietly that they're not living in sin, that he does want to marry her. A few years back her husband, Megan's father, walked out on them; it's been hard to get them to trust a man. He asks the preacher if he would marry Hull and Sarah when they do get married. The preacher tells Hull that if he's waiting for a woman to make up her mind, he may have a long wait. The preacher asks to be put to work, holding a sledgehammer. Hull declines at first and then agrees.
Hull points out a boulder in the stream, saying that he wants to split it, that the gravel underneath it could have gold.; every morning for two years, he's been pounding it. He thought of drilling it and blasting it, but it would wreck the stream. The preacher swings away at the boulder, as Megan watches up on a hill. Hull gets another sledgehammer and they take turns hitting it. Megan gets closer and sits down to watch. Sarah comes out and sees them, and then so does everyone else as they chip away. Sarah and Megan both smile. Josh and Club rides up slowly, and Megan sees them, getting up. She calls Hull and Preacher. They stop swinging, and everyone looks at Josh and Club. Hull tells Preacher that he recognizes LaHood's son Josh, but not the other man. Hull tells Josh that he's their new preacher and Preacher nods yes. Josh says that Preacher messed up some of his men. Preacher says it wasn't anything personal. Josh replies that it's not personal when he's telling him to get out of Carbon Canyon. Preacher says there is lot of sinners around, that he can't leave before he finishes his work. Club dismounts his horse and walks into the stream. Everyone is apprehensive. He rolls down his sleeves, and quickly grabs Hull's sledgehammer with one hand and strikes the boulder once, screaming, splitting it and smiling. Josh asks Preacher if his work is done now. He replies that part of it is. Josh motions at Club, but before he can swing at Preacher, Preacher hits him instead with his sledgehammer. Club drops down holding his crotch, and Preacher helps him back up onto his horse. Josh and Club ride away. Preacher strikes the boulder and it splits again. The other men come over with sledgehammers and join in pounding the remaining pieces of the boulder.
A train pulls into the station from Sacramento while Josh and McGill wait. Josh's father Coy LaHood (Richard Dysart) exits the train, and then he goes with Josh and McGill. Josh and McGill report the conditions of their various locations and Coy asks about Carbon Canyon. Josh tells Coy that a stranger pulled them together. Coy asks if they explained to him who they are, that once they explain things to him, he'll decide to move on. Josh says that he's a preacher, and Coy gets upset that they let a preacher into Carbon Canyon. Josh says that they didn't invite him, that he went with Hull. Coy said that when he left for Sacramento, "those Tin Pans" had given up, but a preacher could give them faith; with faith, they'll never leave. He tells them to bring the preacher to him and then changes his mind, saying that he doesn't want to make him a martyr. Coy says that Sacramento is useless because they didn't sign the writ; also, some politicians want to end hydraulic mining. Coy says that they have to move on Carbon Canon quickly because they may be out of business in a couple of years. He also tells them that he'll deal with the preacher.
Megan asks her mother if her grandma and grandpa were happy when she got married. Sarah says they didn't have any choice. Megan asks if they were surprised. Sarah replies that they were more than surprised. Megan asks if it was because they thought she wasn't old enough. Sarah replies that Megan's grandma was 15 when she got married; they got upset because of who she married. Megan asks Sarah if she'll be happy married to Hull. Sarah asks Megan, who said that she will marry him? Megan says that Hull is nice enough. Sarah agrees that he's nice. Megan asks if preachers get married. Sarah replies she doesn't see why not and then tells her that she's the prettiest daughter she could ever have.
Preacher and Hull are working in the stream when Hull finds a large nugget. He yells excitedly and then runs off and shows the nugget to Sarah and Megan. Others talk are excited too, except Spider (Doug McGrath), who is angry. Hull says it came from underneath the boulder, that he was right. Hull wants to celebrate, and Megan wants to go into town. Sarah thinks that's not a good idea. Preacher says that it would help clear Hull's credit. All four of them go to town in the wagon.
When they arrive in town, Hull tells them to wait while he clears things up with Mr. Blankenship. Josh comes out of the LaHood residence, next to their business, and then walks toward the wagon. He greets Sarah and Megan, and then tells Preacher that his father wants to see him. Sarah says that it's a trick. Preacher says that it's all right and goes with Josh inside.
More of LaHood's men are inside. Coy LaHood introduces himself and gives Preacher a drink. LaHood says that when he heard a parson had come to town, he "had an image of a pale, scrawny, bible-thumping easterner, with a linen handkerchief and bad lungs." He says, "It must be difficult for a man of faith to carry the message on an empty stomach, so to speak, so he would invite him to preach in town. The town could be his parish. He could build that preacher a new church." Preacher realizes that LaHood is trying to bribe him and plays along, suggesting that he would need new clothes and would appreciate the generous collections. Preacher finally tells LaHood, "That's why it wouldn't work. Can't serve God and mammon both, mammon being money." LaHood gets upset and shows Preacher a writ that supposedly gives him mineral rights to Carbon Canyon. Preacher replies that if he had those rights he would have exercised them; those people have legal rights, and he can't mine that canyon until they leave. LaHood then gives Preacher 24 hours to pack up and leave, or his men will "ride through that canyon and run them out." He says that if any blood gets spilled will be on Preacher's hands, and then calls him a troublemaker. Preacher starts walking out. LaHood tells Preacher as he leaves that he tried reasoning with him. He says that the marshal, Stockburn, won't be as patient as he is. Preacher asks LaHood if he would pay cash for the claims of the people at Carbon Canyon. LaHood says he would do anything to prevent bloodshed, and offers $100 each. Preacher asks for $1000. LaHood laughs, and so do all his men. LaHood offers $125. Preacher tells LaHood that Stockburn and his deputies will cost him a lot more than that. LaHood angrily settles for $1000 per claim, but says that he wants them out in 24 hours.
Hull comes back to the wagon; he paid off his debt and had money left over to pay off Spider's debt too. Preacher comes out, followed by Jagou, McGill, and another one of LaHood's men. Hull grabs a hickory handle. He asks Preacher what he was doing in there, and Preacher replies that LaHood was buying him a drink.
Nighttime around the campfire, the Carbon Canyon men vote on whether or not to accept LaHood's offer. Spider is the only one who doesn't want to accept the offer. He says LaHood is greedy, but not a fool, and that if he's willing to pay $1000 per claim, he knows it's worth 5 times that. Another man counters that the way LaHood works it's worth that much. Preacher walks up and Spider asks for his opinion. He tells them that it's their hard labor and its up to them; they should sleep on it, and then decide in the morning. Spider asks what if they can't agree? Preacher replies that LaHood would take that as no and then call in the marshal, Stockburn. He tells them that he's not an ordinary marshal. He travels with 6 deputies, and they uphold whatever law pays them the most. Killing is a way of life for them. Spider asks Preacher if he knows Stockburn. Preacher replies that he's heard of him. Hull tells the others that they all know how to pull a trigger; its still 20 against 7. Ev Gossage (Graham Paul) wants to take his money and start over somewhere else. Hull says that starting fresh sounds good when you're in trouble, but before they pack up and leave, they should ask themselves why they're here. He reminds them what Spider said about one of them finding $1000 worth of nuggets, that he wouldn't quit. He says that he came here to raise a family; it's his home. He says they all buried members of their families here; would they take $1000 and leave their graves unattended? Hull says that if they sell out now, what price do they put on their dignity next time? The men vote to stay and not take LaHood's offer, and then they all leave.
Preacher leaves the campfire. Megan meets him and shows him where she buried her dog. She says that she said a prayer for her dog after the raid, and prayed for a miracle. Preacher replies that someday she might get that miracle. She says that it was the day he arrived. She tells Preacher that she loves him, and then asks him if they could ever get married and make love. Preacher replies that there's not anything wrong with love or making love, but politely tells her that some day she'll find the right man for her. He also tells her that her mother is probably looking for her. Megan looks at him suspiciously and gets the wrong message, and thinks that Preacher loves Sarah. She goes on a tirade about him, and then angrily storms off.
The next day Preacher goes to LaHood's camp and stops to observe as they blast the hillsides. He rides past Josh and tells him, "Tell your father they turned him down," and then rides away.
A train pulls up to the train station. The telegraph officer notices Preacher waiting on his horse on the other side of the tracks before the train stops. McGill comes over to the office and the telegram officer tells him he's just in time for the mail. McGill doesn't worry about the mail, but gives him a telegram from his boss that he wants sent right now. McGill leaves and the officer keys the telegram. When the train departs, the officer looks up and notices that Preacher is gone, and then continues keying the telegram.
In Yuba City, the telegraph officer receives the telegram McGill sent and then walks immediately to the marshal's office.
Hull goes to Preacher's room and finds out that he left. Hull tells Sarah and Megan that he doesn't know why Preacher left. Sarah says that he must have gone to tell LaHood about the vote last night, but Hull says that he took his bedroll and coat. Hull thinks they will survive. Sarah tells Hull that he got the others to vote his way. They argue, bringing Megan nearly to tears. Sarah says that the preacher was holding them together and they were counting on him to beat LaHood himself.
There is an explosion and they all go outside. Hull sees a cloud of smoke, and then he runs down to look at the stream. The water has slowed to a trickle. Hull tells Sarah and Megan that LaHood dammed up the creek. Sarah tells him that if he had accepted LaHood's offer, this never would have happened.
At Wells Fargo and Co's. Express, Preacher retrieves the contents of his safety deposit box: a Remington 1858 New Army in a holster and a Remington Pocket. He removes his collar and puts it into the box, revealing a blood spot from a bullet wound.
Back at Carbon Canyon, the men are gathered around a campfire again, discussing what they will do now. They seem to have given up, that they have no choice except to leave. Spider asks Hull if he has any ideas. He shakes his head no. Spider asks where the preacher is; hell know what to do. Hull replies that hes not there. Ev stands up, unable to believe that Preacher left. Hull says that Preacher went to tell LaHood that they turned him down. And then lying, he continues, "But before he left... he said that if anything happened, that he hoped that we'd do like he'd do... if he was here." Ev looks down sadly, and says that they could dry pan for a couple of days. Hull says that he'd hate to see them quit. Another man says they could try for a couple of days, because they don't have anything to lose. The men sadly agree, resigning themselves to their situation. They agree to try two more days then laugh and leave. When Spider gets up, he tells Barret that he's "got sand" but can't lie well and suggests that he leave with Sarah and Megan; Spider walks away. Hull turns around and sees Megan sitting on the porch, poking a stick in the ground as she watches. She throws the stick on the ground and walks the other direction.
The marshal and his six deputies ride quickly down from the mountains.
Megan comes over to the stream and asks Hull if he's angry with her. He says no. She asks to borrow the mare and he lets her.
Spider finds a large golden rock in a puddle. He stands up and shouts that he's rich, and jumps around. He shows it to Gossage and Henderson (Terrence Evans). Everyone close by comes over except Hull, who just sits there. Spider tells his sons Eddie and Teddy to get the horses because they're going to town.
Hull apologizes to Sarah. He says that it looks like Spider's payday came. She replies that maybe it's just his turn. Hull tells her that when they pack up, there's room in the wagon for whatever she wants to take. She wonders if he's asking them to leave with him. He assumes that they're all going. He tells her that when her father died, he did the best he could to help her and Megan, without any conditions attached, and asks if there is a chance for them to be together. She looks at him sadly and says, "You are the decentest man I ever met, Hull Barret. The answer is yes." She apologizes for being so high-strung lately, but has been confused. Hull says that they can start over somewhere else and find another preacher, and she agrees.
Trying to find Preacher, Megan arrives at the LaHood mining camp and stops to look around. Josh asks her if her mother knows where she is. She says that she's 15, doesn't tell her mother everything, and can do what she wants. He explains what they're doing: how diverting Cobalt Creek into a large pipe, and then downhill into smaller pipes, makes the water pick up speed and pressure. Megan says it hurts her ears. He says that the water has enough pressure to blast gravel off the cliff, into the riverbed, and then into the sluice. Megan says that it looks like hell. Josh asks what she really came for. She replies that she's just riding, taking a look around. Josh says he wants to take a look too, at her real close. He pulls her off the horse. She screams as he carries her downhill. The men stop work and he shows Megan to them, still struggling. He puts her down and walks towards her as she backs up. More men come out of the tents and shacks to look, and then surround her. Josh grabs her hair and kisses her. They both fall to the ground. The men cheer him on while Megan begs him to stop. Club walks towards the crowd, saying, "No." He pushes men aside, and then a gunshot sounds out. Josh gets up and everyone turns around. Preacher, on his horse, is up on the hill holding his gun, smoke coming out. His gun is trained on Josh. Megan sees him and smiles, relieved. The men back away from Josh and Megan. Josh pulls out his gun and tries to shoot, but Preacher shoots it away. Josh falls to the ground. He reaches for his gun, but Preacher shoots his hand and then shoots the gun again. Preacher rides down, helps Megan up onto his horse, and they ride away.
In town, Spider Conway walks into the street drunk, holding a bottle of liquor and his golden rock. He shouts for LaHood to come out. Inside, LaHood tells Stockburn (John Russell) that for a while "he had them buffaloed", but the preacher gave them sass. LaHood tells Stockburn to take care of him and the rest, and tells him that the preacher beat up four of his men. Stockburn asks what the preacher looks like. LaHood replies, "Tall. Lean. His eyes... his eyes. Something strange about em. That mean something to you?" Stockburn says that it sounds like a man he knew, but that man is dead. Outside, Spider is still ranting and then falls to the ground. Stockburn and his six deputies, all armed, walk outside and stop on the porch in front of Spider. Spider insists that he wants to talk to LaHood, not them. Stockburn tells Spider that LaHood doesn't want to talk to him, but might like to watch him dance. Spider's sons come out, and Spider tells them to stay there. Stockburn and his deputies shoot at Spider's feet, and he hops around. Stockburn signals for them to stop. He shoots the bottle Spider's holding and then the rock. Spider pulls his gun out, yelling, and all the deputies shoot Spider, emptying their guns. LaHood watches through the window as they kill Spider, Stockburn finishing him off with one final bullet through the head. Spider's sons run to him as the deputies go inside. Stockburn tells Spider's sons to take him back to Carbon Canyon and tell the preacher to meet Stockburn here tomorrow morning.
Preacher rides into Carbon Canyon with Megan. Ev Gossage excitedly tells Preacher that LaHood dammed up the stream and other news, including how Megan's horse returned without her. Gossage stops talking when he sees Megan on the horse with Preacher as they ride by.
Preacher puts Megan in bed. Sarah is crying. He tells Sarah that Megan got caught up at LaHood's place but is fine. He tells Megan that she's home now, that her mama's here. Megan gets up and hugs him. Sarah sees his gun. Hull calls out for Preacher and he goes outside. All the people are gathered around a wagon holding the deceased Spider. His son Teddy is finishing his story that Stockburn and his men shot him. He then tells Preacher that Stockburn wants him to come in the morning. Preacher tells them that Spider made a mistake and went into town alone. He tells them to bury Spider and then walks away.
Preacher is checking his guns inside his room when Sarah comes in. She tells him that Megan is sleeping, and thanks him. Preacher says that he's just glad he came by. She says that Megan told her what he did with Josh LaHood; who but a gunfighter could have done that. She asks him not to go into town to face the marshal. He replies that it's an old score; it's time to settle it. She says that when he left that day, it reminded her of when someone else left her. She tells him that she needs a man who would never leave her, and then says it's best for her to marry Hull. Preacher agrees that Hull is a good man. She kisses him, saying that it's so she won't wonder for the rest of her life. Outside, a voice calls for Preacher in the distance. Preacher tells her that it's a voice from the past and tells her to close the door. She asks who he really is. He says that it doesn't really matter, and she goes to him.
The next day Preacher gets on his horse and greets Hull, who is waiting outside. Hull insists on going with him so Preacher agrees. They go to the LaHood camp and blow up their pipes, sluices, tents, and the barracks with dynamite. After fooling Hull to dismount, Preacher scares away his horse. He then tells Hull to take care of Sarah and Megan, and rides into town.
At their cabin, Sarah tells Megan that Preacher is gone. Megan asks Sarah if she loved him. Sarah replies that he knows they both love him. Megan tells her that she didn't say goodbye to him and runs out.
Preacher rides into town. LaHood watches through a window and tells Stockburn that he's the preacher. Stockburn can't see his face yet. Outside, LaHood's men stop working and walk towards Preacher as he rides by, and watch as he walks into the cafe. Mrs. Blankenship serves him some coffee and he sends them both out. The men all draw their guns and storm the store, emptying their guns everywhere. LaHood tells Stockburn that he won't have to bother with the preacher. As the men reload, Preacher comes from the side and asks if they are through. Two men run away, but the others continue to reload. Preacher waits with his gun drawn. They draw their guns on Preacher but he shoots them all.
LaHood and Stockburn watch as Preacher comes out. He walks to the edge of town, turns around, and replaces the cylinder of his Remington New Army, like a speedloader. Stockburn goes outside with his deputies. Only Preacher's hat is left where he was standing, so Stockburn tells his deputies to spread out and find him. Stockburn waits there. Preacher shoots the first deputy as he enters a store. Another deputy goes to investigate and Preacher shoots him too. Preacher hides behind some crates and shoots two more deputies. Another deputy sees the open door of the outhouse and stops by a water trough to shoot at it, but Preacher was hiding on the ground behind the trough and shoots him. The remaining deputy walks into the livery stable. A noose grabs his neck and his gun goes off wildly. A shadowy figure hooks the rope to a horse's saddle and the horse runs out, dragging the deputy as he screams. Stockburn watches the man get dragged out of town. The shadowy figure, Preacher, returns to the spot where he left his hat, puts it on his head and then turns to look at Stockburn. With his Remington Pocket in his belt, Preacher walks towards Stockburn while reloading his Remington New Army again, and then puts it back in its holster. He stops a few feet from Stockburn, his hat still shading his eyes. When he raises his head, Stockburn recognizes him. Stockburn says, "You!" and reaches for his gun, but Preacher draws his New Army first and unloads it into him. Mortally wounded, Stockburn collapses to his knees and looks up at Preacher, who shoots him in the forehead with his Remington Pocket, killing him. LaHood tries to shoot Preacher from inside his residence, but Hull bursts in, shooting and killing him instead. Hull goes outside to look for Preacher, who emerges riding from the livery. Preacher tells Hull, "Long walk." and then rides away. Megan comes into town with the wagon. She asks Hull where Preacher is and he replies that he's gone. She jumps in the wagon in order to chase after Preacher but Mrs. Blankenship tells her that the horses are exhausted and she would kill them. Megan runs to the end of town and shouts out thank you to Preacher, that they love him, that she loves him. Her cries echo through the mountains, but it is uncertain whether the Preacher hears them as he rides though the snow. Hull and Megan drive the wagon back towards camp.
The final shot of the movie shows Preacher riding through the snow in the mountains.
Synopsis written by Mu_Ve_Watchr_89.