Ah, Harlan Ellison. One of the most tormented writers ever to whack at a manual typewriter. If you have never read the Dangerous Visions anthologies or his collections, drop this and go do it. And better yet, you can have this little gem for free. Paladin of the Lost Hour is a story of friendship, utterly pure. Two men meet in a cemetary, and one guards a special artifact. He is responsible for it. The artifact is important, but not more important than that responsibility. Gaspar, the current Paladin, could be any of us.
Billy, the other man, is a cutout--no friends, no family, night manager at a 7-Eleven. The perfect man for Gaspar's situation. And he proves himself worthy. Handoff stories are pretty common in SF, but they are not done like this. Read it and have a better day. 4 stars