The term "THE WAY THE CARDS FALL" is not a tutorial on playing poker, but a philosophy for life. In this book a Tennessee farm boy, who comes from a family of superior marksmen, survives the Civil War, and the reconstruction period, with the assistance of a beautiful Creole women who helps him evolve into manhood. She convinces him that, although he is intelligent, he could only utilize that intelligence by increasing his education. Then, for reasons known only to her, she forces Jason to leave. He decides to go west to seek his fortune. While passing through Fort Smith, Arkansas, his talent with firearms brings him into contact with Al, a friend of his army Sergeant. Al puts Jason into training to be a gunsmith and together they build a successful business around a pistol that Al has modified from "cap and ball" to a cartridge fed weapon.
Jason's capacity to be a friend, gains him the love and help of many, in his quest to build his life, including some of the prominent men of the day such as Confederate General P.T.G. Beauregard and others.
While in Fort Smith Jason meets a young girl with a past. He becomes very fond of her but he cannot forget the beautiful Creole woman. He has the misfortune to love two women. The girl's past brings Jason to the brink of disaster as he plays the cards the way they have been dealt to him, in the best way he can.
The book contains twelve illustrations by the author.