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First off, I believe theres more than one, and depending on the day, you could choose any of them as the predominant hero in the novel. Woody James struggles throughout the book to do good and heroic deeds, but is not accepted because of who his father was. Sylvia Jane Landsford is the only member of the community who has enough backbone to put Jesse in his place, and she fights like a badger for her son; theres a measure of heroism in those deeds, even if she does it from a bordellos balcony. Audrey May Nater, the Mayors daughter, ... its hard not to include her in that description either.
Nobody in Freeborn, South Dakota likes the illegitimate son of notorious outlaw Jesse James despite the fact that he is nothing like his pop, until Woody proves, one and for all, that he is a true western hero.
Freeborn, a Tale of the Wild Wests Most Unlikely Hero, is a novel that combines the comedy and western with rare aplomb. With the ribald humor of Blazing Saddles added to the whimsy and spirit of the Princess Bride, Jeff Peterman has loosened the grip of the old west with a fictional fable of raucous nights that would make Deadwood proud, the grasp of family heritage on the next generation, and the power of love to change a prairie landscape, or at least the non-bandit portion of the wild west. Freeborn, ... Deadwood and Tombstone, but with a sense of humor.