Jeb Ralston: Relucant Gun Fighter

Jeb Ralston was a gunfighter much to be feared who possessed an uncanny knack for yanking his guns out of their holsters and, in the same lightning motion, fire with uncanny, deadly, accuracy. However, Jeb never sought a fight and had never killed an adversary, although many an adversary had bounced off the ground incapacitated by Jeb’s gunshot wounds right through a hip, shoulder or seared scalp, and ear. One day, as is sure to happen when one had a reputation of being good with guns, a character came to town seeking out Jeb Ralston to prove he was better than Ralston. The only problem was, the character came to town along with a wife and children intending to have them inhibit and distract Ralston. He wanted to make a name for himself, kill Ralston, and settle in that same community to ply upon his newly-won reputation to become rich and famous. He called Ralston out right in the middle of the town square! But this time, Ralston shot him dead. The man’s wife ran screaming across the ground right at Jeb and began beating him on his chest with both fists. Her fury was unlike any fury Jeb had ever experienced. As he tried to protect himself from her relentless attacks, Jeb could see her children just a bit off to her right. At that moment, something changed in Jeb. It was as if all his strength had left him. As the woman, exhausted by her fury, stumbled to the ground, her children ran to her, tears streaming down their dirty faces, looking up at Jeb who turned forced his legs to walk, the woman’s screams hammering the sides of his head worse as a throbbing headache.

One who had witnessed the encounter followed after Jeb and asked, “Jeb, where you going?”

“To hell for what I’ve done,” answered Jeb without turning his head, fetched his few belongings from the room he’d rented, mounted his horse Blackie, and left.

Jeb Relston, reluctant gunfighter, was just that: reluctant, tired of life, bereft of hope, depressed. In this story, Jeb slowly experiences many people and events which, bit by bit, begin to bring healing to his soul. He would meet a red-haired woman, become a surrogate father to an eleven-year-old orphan boy, be forced to battle one of the worst villains ever to live—Jack Pardee—and lose. A second encounter with Pardee would result in a return of Ralston’s self-confidence.

The story will have a happy ending with a changed Jeb Ralston set to experience a new life with perhaps even a wife and son or even a job as the town’s sheriff.

God works in mysterious ways as will be revealed in Jeb Ralston’s life without him even knowing it. As little by little, people and events heal and renew the Jeb Ralston of old even without the use of his guns.


--Thomas Slothower