Forced to flee his home in Texas after a gunfight that leaves a brutal State Policeman dead, Jason Evers sets off on an odyssey that takes him from one end of the frontier to the other. But wherever he goes, from racing horses to working as a troubleshooter for the railroad to courting the beautiful daughter of a wealthy rancher, trouble seems to follow Jason...trouble that can only be resolved with the Colt .44 he wields with swift, deadly accuracy.
Packed with action, tragedy, and dark humor, this classic tale is told in a compelling narrative voice by Frank Roderus, one of the master storytellers of the Old West. The Western Fictioneers Library is proud to make JASON EVERS: HIS OWN STORY available again.
FRANK RODERUS wrote his first story, a western, at age five, and says he quite literally has never wanted to do anything else. He has been writing fiction full-time since 1980, and was a newspaper reporter before that. As a journalist, he won the Colorado Press Association's highest honor, the Sweepstakes Award, for the Best News Story of 1980. His novel Leaving Kansas (Doubleday, 1983) won the Western Writers of America's Spur Award for Best Western Novel as did Potter's Fields. A life member of the American Quarter Horse Association, he is married and currently resides in Florida.
The other day some sonuvabitch from an Eastern newspaper—I do not remember which one, but then they are all alike anyway—offered me fifty dollars for my life story. A mere fifty dollars, if you can imagine that. I should have thrown him out on the spot, but I was in a reasonably good humor at the time and was already seated with some of the boys from the town, reminiscing with them, and did not see any harm in the newspaperman sitting quiet on the edge of the conversation with his ears open, and that is exactly what I told him he could do.
What the pipsqueak little son did instead was to begin correcting me when I began talking about the shoot-up with McComb and his crowd of hired assassins down on the Arkansas near what is left of old Bent's Fort. You have heard about that one, I know. Everyone has. The thing is, he had heard about it too, and he set in to telling me what happened that day, me who was the target of those would-be murderers and who was the one who stood alone to face them. What a bunch of bull he had been told. Not only that, but he insisted he was right about it all.
Naturally I became angry—which does happen at times, I must confess—and I became quite adamant about insisting that he leave, which he did hurriedly and in some discomfort. The other boys seemed to get something of a kick out of his departure, and I gave them the fifty dollars this reporter had left behind. With it we set ourselves up to a carry-in feast of roasted prairie hen and half a dozen bottles of a flavorful burgundy, all of which we enjoyed to the fullest.
As I have indicated, it was an amusing incident for those who observed it and one with a pleasant aftermath, but after the departure of my guests I began to reflect on what the pipsqueak had said. And I must believe that he fully accepted the supposed truth of what he had to say about the McComb shoot-up and no doubt about other false tales as well. I do not believe that a puny, chinless, round-hatted ninny like that would intentionally vex Jason Evers. And that knowledge has come to bother me.
I therefore have resolved to set down the whole and complete truth about that and other matters personally observed by me during my lifetime.
Such a record would be without value if I permitted myself to be less than bluntly, ruthlessly honest in everyevery detail. I intend therefore to pull no punches whatsoever. I shall name names and where necessary shall expose even those in high office to full, public knowledge of their misdemeanors and felonies. As did Caesar, they cast their own die. Let them now live under the weight of Truth.
James Reasoner recently reviewed Jason Evers: His Own Story here.
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