Have Gun Will Travel debuted on November 23, 1958. The show followed the adventures of Paladin, a gentleman-turned-gunfighter played by John Dehner on radio, who preferred to settle problems without violence, yet, when forced to fight, excelled. Paladin lived in the Carlton Hotel in San Francisco, where he dressed in semi-formal wear, ate gourmet food, and attended opera. In fact, many who initially met him mistook him for a dandy from the East. When working, he dressed in black, used calling cards and wore a holster which carried characteristic chess knight emblems, and carried a derringer under his belt. The knight symbol is of course in reference to his name — possibly a nickname or working name — and his occupation as a champion-for-hire (see paladin).