"Slade" is a 5,200-word short story originally published in eight parts in The Maine Campus from June to August of 1970.


The story concerns gunslinger Jack Slade, who arrives in Dead Steer Springs at the request of Sandra Dawson. Dawson's farm is threatened by the outlaw Sam Columbine, who wants to sell the land to the railroad. But the request is, in fact, a sham: Sandra is, in actually, Slade's ex-girlfriend, whom he believes to be dead, and who has conspired with Columbine to kill Slade. Neither, however, took into consideration that Slade is prone to wearing bullet-proof blue underwear, and Slade, after playing possum after a duel, shoots both conspirators. After a joint, the gunslinger sets out for future adventures.