There's a story people round here used to tell. People don't talk about it so much now. They act like they've forgotten, afraid of the truth in it. The only story no one ever tells, the only taboo in a city of sinners and scoundrels, burglars and bastards. Shame too, since it's a good one.
It's begins where all stories do, in the land of the lawless. Gangs cropped up all over like weeds and for a long time that was the only thing that could hope to grow in the wastes. It flourished. There were two places to be in this world. Either you held iron in your hand or you had it shot between the eyes. And you can be surprised how compromised a man's morals can become when you hold a six-shooter long enough.
In the midst of all this was a town you'd have think sat on the edge of Hell. All manner of debauchery took place there. One day, a rich city girl by the name of Miss Emiko was unlucky enough to wander into town. She was kidnapped almost immediately by a particularly ruthless gang of bank robbers to be held ransom. The sheriff of the town, a corrupt soul possessed by the demon drink, did nothing to stop it after the gang's leader slipped him some coin.
Nobody did nothing. This gang was about forty large and weren't exactly the kind of people one'd want to tussel with. People went about their business.
Not long after, a white-haired man on a pale horse rode into town. He heard tell of what was going on, but said nothing. Silence was the man's only language. Once he heard the situation, he rode out to the cave the gang operated out of.
The entire gang was armed to the teeth with rifles, shotguns, six-shooters, and enough dynamite to blow a hole in God. Miss Emiko was all tied up like a lady out of the picture shows. The white rider strode in like he owned the place. Every gun was on him in an instant. He told them to let the girl go. The gang laughed like they were at a vaudeville show. They were laughing so hard they didn't see him move for his gun.
Six of them dropped in an instant. Miss Emiko, ever the opportunist, managed to get to her feet and moved for the exit. The white rider had just enough time to cut her bonds and point to his horse outside before bullets started flying.
The white rider didn't duck for cover, he didn't even run. Not a single bullet hit him before he drew his gun and pointed it towards the dynamite in the back of the hideout.
In that instant, I'm sure everyone in the gang believed he was bluffing. The whole hideout was lined with the stuff. Nobody would have been crazy enough to set off all that dynamite.
The explosion could be seen from two counties over. Only one man walked away from it, his arm blown off, his eye bloodied, and his clothes tattered. He looked like he'd been through hell, but damn if he didn't manage to walk away from it all.
Folks talk about the man, the man who had taken on forty men and won, and wonder how he survived. Some say he didn't, not really. Some say he spat in the Reaper's eye and walked away. Others say he made a deal, sold his soul and his arm for an iron forged from the devil's pitchfork. Others say he was just damn lucky.
Me? I believe it's something more simple. I believe some folks are just too stubborn to die.
Shortly thereafter, some people in that town noticed subtle changes in the sheriff in town. Some say that overnight, he'd somehow gotten taller. Thinner. More white haired. And had a different name. Nobody said anything and just went about their business. The town was still a town of sin, but it began to resemble civilized society a bit, thanks in no small part to the man with the white hair, the man who Death couldn't catch, the man who one time fired one bullet and lit up the sky.