Eldred Jonas is a fictional character from the novel Wizard and Glass, created by Stephen King.
Jonas is a failed gunslinger
and walks with a limp after his leg was broken by Cort's father in his failed test of manhood. His failure is largely attributed to a lack of focus on studies and an extreme change in demeanor after being pierced in the foot by a shard of Maerlyn's Mirror. He was subsequently sent West to live in shame and exile. During the intermediate years between his exile and his appearance in Wizard and Glass
, Jonas is suggested to have traveled through portal doors to other worlds much like Roland has.
Eldred Jonas is also featured inside Roland's mind when he enters the evil pink crystal ball in the first issue of the first issue of the popular graphic novel series, The Dark Tower: The Long Road Home.
Beyond the aforementioned limp, Jonas's most striking physical quality is his shoulder-length white hair, often described as being soft and wavy like a woman's hair. He has a reedy voice that quavers like a boy going through puberty. He wears a scraggly mustache that hangs down to his chin, a "sham gunslinger's" mustache. He is deeply tanned except on his neck which is sunburnt and wattled. He has sad-looking, red-rimmed, watery eyes. He wears a black revolver hung low on his hip, gunslinger style.
Big Coffin Hunters
Jonas is the leader of the "Big Coffin Hunters," a gang consisting of himself, Roy Depape, and Clay Reynolds. They all have identical blue coffins tattooed on the webbing between thumb and index finger. It is suggested in the text that the Big Coffin Hunters might actually be a much larger criminal group, and mentions of new incarnations of the Hunters are made in The Dark Tower
. They also inadvertently spawn a copycat group in Mejis, comprised entirely of juveniles, who call themselves the "Big Coffin Hunters" also. Roland and his ka-tet are referred to as the "Little Coffin Hunters" by some of the citizens of Hambry.
In Wizard and Glass
they are stationed in Mejis by John Farson
to assure the shipment of several tankers of oil for Farson's fighting machines, and also with looking after a Wizard's Glass
, left with Rhea of the Cöos
for safe keeping. Their operations are covert in nature, with the most powerful men in Mejis aware of their true purpose. The ranchers, landholders, dignitaries and law enforcers of Mejis work in collusion with Jonas' men (and ultimately John Farson) in exchange for peace with Farson after his inevitable (in the opinion of the leaders of Mejis) victory over Steven Deschain and the Inner Baronies.
Steven Deschain has, though, sent his son Roland (under the alias "Will Dearborn") to hide out in Mejis for safety reasons (being such a young and prominent gunslinger, it is feared that Marten Broadcloak has taken a particular interest in destroying Roland). Roland and his ka-tet of Alain Johns and Cuthbert Allgood (also using aliases) use a cover-story that they are in Mejis on an accounting mission for the Inner Baronies. This cover is quickly seen through by Jonas, and is confirmed as such during an altercation in the local tavern of Mejis, the Traveller's Rest. The nature of the altercation involved Sheemie Ruiz, the tavern's servant-boy, spilling the contents of a slop bucket on Roy Depape's boots, and Roy's immediate threatening of Sheemie's life at gunpoint. Coincidence has it that Cuthbert and Alain were passing by the tavern just at that moment, and soon a Mexican standoff of sorts quickly forms. Jonas, and finally Roland, arrive on the scene, and during the showdown Jonas witnesses the prowess of the three young men of Roland's party and surmises they are indeed princes of the Inner Baronies and gunslingers-in-training (that Roland is already a gunslinger is a fact Jonas won't allow himself to concede to).
After the incidence in the Traveller's Rest, the rivalry between Jonas's and Roland's men escalates, with both parties setting traps and attempting to dig up information on their opponents. In the end, though, Roland is ultimately victorious, and Jonas was killed by Roland's gun.