By: Travis Naughton
Before he could do anything to avenge the causes of his unrelenting heartache, the haggard gambler folks called Blackjack had to do something about his excruciating headache. Taking a blow to the temple from his namesake blackjack (a small but heavy hand-held weapon made of lead or sand wrapped in a leather sheath) would kill most people, but our Blackjack, a widower who had lost his will to live years ago, would not be put out of his misery that easily. He’d learned the hard way that he was not an easy man to kill.

Blackjack, born Alan Keller, had been living with unimaginable pain ever since his family was brutally murdered in their home in Kansas City on July 4, 1876. When his wife Olivia and eight-year-old daughter Sarah died at the hands of a drifter who had followed the family home from the river town’s Independence Day reveries, the man known as Alan Keller ceased to exist. A broken man consumed by grief and a thirst for alcohol and revenge took his place.

Read full chapter in this week’s Journal…