Chapter 14

"A lotta things to consider when sizing up a gunfight. Most just focus on steely eyes and steady nerves, and those have value—but the best of 'slingers weigh so much more.

"The light in the sky or lack thereof. The temp and the breeze—how cool, how warm, which direction is the wind hitting and how hard? Further still: the ground beneath your boots. Is it solid or soft? Shifting or slick? All elements that speak to the moment of truth.

"The wear of the holster. The feel of the grip.

"But first and foremost, the best 'slinger will say never pick a fight with unfamiliar tools—unless the situation dictates an unavoidable outcome or in those instances when honor comes a-callin'."

—Excerpt from C.C. LaGrange's translations of "Writings and Observations from the Tangled Shore: A Fallen Text"