Professor Paul Parsons had an invention that would revolutionize aviation, but not what modern people, even in 1940, would call aviation. He'd come up with a new gas for balloon travel. Paul was testing it on a cross-country trip, with his wife and Roger along for the ride, when rival Brand Braddock, looking to profit from Paul's invention, shot the balloon down over a rugged patch of country near the town of Prairie Gulch. When Braddock arrived to make sure they were all dead, he figured Roger would be no threat, as the boy was being dragged off by a mountain lion. But a prospector named Nugget Ned saved Roger and, hearing of Braddock's intentions, kept Roger's continued existence a secret.
Roger grew up healthy and strong — extraordinarily so, in fact, and well skilled in all kinds of athletic endeavors an action hero would find handy, in particular his specialty, archery. He coated his arrowheads with gold leaf, made from Ned's stash, which Ned didn't seem particularly interested in converting into money. Ned bit the dust just as Roger was reaching adulthood, and it was from Ned's dying statement that the young man learned of his origins. Roger dealt with Braddock, using his characteristic weapon as a name (since he'd been raised in secret and was therefore unknown to the townspeople — he never did use his birth name). Then he and his horse, White Wind, embarked on a heroic career of righting wrongs. When he ran out of golden arrows he got gold for new ones from a secret mine.