Here comes that quote-totin' gentleman's gunman, Paladin, who can snap out a couplet from Coleridge faster than you can say Phi Beta Kappa. Paladin, his viewers know, has some of the satanic expertise and indestructibility of James Bond; he's a fancy gamblin' man in pearl gray one minute, in his deathblack worksuit the next. This tells how Paladin got his name and its engraved accessory, the HAVE-GUN WILL TRAVEL card with chess-knight emblem. In Frisco, a man named Smith is hired to assassinate the killer, Smoke. Smith meets Smoke, who is quite his equal with proverb and even faster on the draw. Smoke is so fast that he teaches Smith how to beat him-Smoke, you see, has consumption and wants to die. He dubs Smith Paladin- ""a knight in shining armor, armed with a righteous cause and a lance"". And Paladin gives Smoke the caseful death he seeks-Smoke dies with Dante on his lips.... A novelized western which moves with humor, although the quotes may sometimes clog your attention. Still- it elevates the genre.