By: Travis Naughton

“What time is it?” a sleepy Jane asked.
“Half past ten,” Blackjack said, reading the time on his father’s pocket watch, the very same one that Jane had stolen from Blackjack two weeks earlier. “I grabbed us some coffee, but I’m afraid yours is probably cold by now.”

“Thank you, Alan. That was thoughtful of you,” Jane said. “I don’t mind if it’s cold.”

“Your little friend here woke me up—early,” Blackjack said as he handed the drink to Jane. “I took him outside to do his business, thinking he might seize the opportunity to run back home, but he stayed with me all morning while I tended to the horses and rounded up provisions for the road. When we got back to the room, he jumped into your bed and fell asleep straight away. Just look at that dog. I don’t reckon I’ve ever seen a more contented creature.”

“Goodness knows how long the poor thing has been on his own. Can we keep him, Alan? Please?” Jane pleaded.
Blackjack sat beside Jane on her bed. “How could I say no? After what you two went through yesterday, it wouldn’t be right to split you up,” he said.

“Oh, thank you!” an elated Jane squealed. “You won’t regret it. You won’t have to lift a finger when it comes to this little fella, I promise.” Blackjack could feel his hardened heart softening.

Read full chapter in this week’s Journal…