The lawman, John Marston, stands in a shallow valley. At his back are his allies: the Marshall and his men. At his front, hands bound, is the hostage, the man he will exchange for his friend's life. The lightest of winds stirs the air with handfuls of dust, a buzzard flaps lazily overhead, a tumbleweed rolls slowly by. It's quiet – too quiet. Marston moves forward slowly, his six-gun raised and pointed to the small of the hostage's back.