In a genre where there are some very excellent writers, Jonas Ward is my favorite. His hero, Tom Buchanan, tries to be a peaceable man, but circumstances seem to steer trouble his way. His horse comes up lame so he stops in a town called Salvation in order to find a vet to cure it. Salvation turns out to be a town owned by the combination preacher and sheriff named Sidney Hallett. Along with his three hired deputies (guns) Hallett controls the town, yet keeps the local bordello in operation by kidnapping new workers.
Buchanan immediately gets involved, defending a young Mexican girl who is being forced into prostitution. Shortly after this, he also finds himself protecting a young woman whose husband is in prison for embezzlement. His battles lead to a few new bullet wounds, yet he always manages to keep his sense of humor and wit about him. At the end, he overcomes the wickedness of Hallett and has an opportunity to settle down and marry the young woman. However, being the free spirited hero that he is, he rides off to the next adventure.
What sets Buchanan apart from the other western heroes is his constant good humor and approach to his setbacks. While he sometimes seems to have a death wish, it is his noble decency that leads him into battles that common sense would dictates that he avoid at all cost. He is a true hero of the kind that we saw in "High Noon" and every week in "Gunsmoke."