As Jack sat there going through the night’s events in his head for what felt like the millionth time, he decided that he would not be hanged in this small town; he would not be the man who put this town on the map. Before the Sheriff, an ambitious young man dressed in a plaid shirt and leather chaps, left for the night Jack had managed to coax some small-talk out of him. From their short chat he learned that the Sheriff’s name was Larry, he had a wife and two kids, and went down to Harvey’s, the local saloon, each night for a few shots of whiskey before turning in. He seemed like a nice man to Jack and the longer he talked to him the more apparent it became that though Larry liked his drink as much as the next man, he was not a drunken fool and in fact was actually pretty clever. At least he was clever enough to shut his mouth and leave after accidentally letting slip that a traveling judge and the would be coming to town in six days if you included that night.
As Jack assessed his situation he was thoroughly depressed. He had only six days before he would be judged by a man who did not even know him, sold out by a man overcome with greed for only $10,000, judged for crimes were almost legendary. As he lay down in the pile of straw that had been provided as bedding, preparing to enter the world of slumber he thought of all of the shady jobs that he had completed, of his first job at an Austin cattle ranch where he had had to herd swarthy Texas Longhorns to afford top feed himself, how his days were numbered, and how he would have to die so prematurely. As the reality of his situation sank in he decided that his life would not end in six days, he would escape this prison or die in the attempt. And with that somewhat comforting thought in his head, he drifted off into a fitful sleep.