He is the constable of Little Tall in Maine. He also has a supermarket in town and is married to Molly Anderson and has a son called Ralph. He is also the man with the greatest integrity there.
He arrests Linoge after he murders Martha Clarendon, something Linoge wants him to do, but neither he nor the others in town can control him and he easily escapes later. He helplessly has to watch the atrocities he later commits. He is the only one who Linoge respects and who stands up to Linoge, when he demands a child in exchange for their lives, till the bitter end. He fails and loses his son in the following drawing that is done to determine what child Linoge should have.
After that he leaves town in the following summer, divorces his wife and never returns. He returns to his studies and becomes a federal agent in San Francisco and nine years later he casually finds his son again. He has become like Linoge and rejects him. It strengthens his resolve never to return.