By: Travis Naughton

Having heard Blackjack’s heartbreaking account of losing his family, Jane McCourt surrendered the photograph of Olivia and Sarah Keller that she had stolen from him back in Alexandria, Kansas.
“You had this with you all along?” Blackjack asked. “I don’t understand. Why didn’t you give it to me in the hotel?”

“You were so angry,” Jane said. “I knew you would turn me in for the reward money as soon as you got what you wanted. I just wanted to buy myself some time to—”
“Some time to what? To figure out a way to escape?” Blackjack correctly guessed.
“Yes. You and I both know they’ll hang me for what I did to all those men, even though I never killed anybody.”

“You beat some of those poor souls nearly to death, Ms. McCourt. Attempted murder is a hanging offense I’m afraid, as is horse theft.”
“Those bastards deserved what they got. Cheaters. Liars. Scoundrels. All of them rotten to the core,” Jane defiantly pleaded her case.
“Just like I deserved it?” Blackjack pressed. “Do you still think I’m rotten to the core?”
“No. I don’t suppose I do. I see now that I was wrong in your case,” Jane admitted.
“Do you think there’s a chance you might have been wrong in any of those other cases? Blackjack asked.

“I… I don’t know. I don’t think so.” For the first time since she became known as the Heartbreak Bandit, Jane McCourt felt a hint of remorse for her actions. “I hope not.”

Read full chapter in this week’s Journal…