By: Travis Naughton

After reaching a truce of sorts with his adversary Jane McCourt, Blackjack settled into a deep slumber beside the dwindling campfire. When he awakened the next morning, he was surprised to see bright orange flames flickering where there should have been nothing more than a pile of ash. “Something smells good,” he said as he wiped the sleep from his eyes.

“Bacon’s ready, sleepyhead,” Jane said to her captor and one-time victim. “Made a fresh pot of coffee, too.”

Blackjack quickly wolfed down four thick slices of bacon and greedily mopped up the grease with a corner of last night’s cornbread. He was enjoying his second cup of coffee when he noticed that the rope that had been tethered between his wrist and Jane’s was now carefully coiled and hanging from his horse’s saddle.

“Before you go getting yourself all worked up, just remember that I didn’t murder you in your sleep or try to escape,” Jane said with a wry smile.

“Fair enough. I don’t suppose I could be upset with anyone who keeps me full of pork and caffeine,” Blackjack said.

Read full chapter in this week’s Journal…