group of men employed by powerful strip-miner Coy LaHood (Richard Dysart)
rides into a small mining encampment and begins shooting up the place.
One of the terrorists kills the dog of young Megan Wheeler's (Sydney Penny).
As Megan buries her pet, she says a prayer, begging the Lord to send someone
to defend them. Later Megan sits with her widowed mother (Carrie Snodgress)
and reads from the Bible: "And I saw, and behold, a pale horse, and its
rider's name was death, and hell followed him."
Then a lone horseman (Clint Eastwood),
dressed as preacher, rides into camp to help the struggling miners fight
off LaHood. The supernatural elements of the story are incidenta and handled
in a restrained, subtle manner that does not distract from the story but
enhances it, bringing another dimension to the oft-told tale. Eastwood,
as director delivered a thought-provoking, well-crafted western.