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A Time to Speak

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Sitting in her living room with Elizabeth, Abigail struggles to come to grips with the knowledge that Frank Hogan could be the wanted criminal Matt Landry. Elizabeth does her best to calm her friend, when Jack arrives with news from the Mounties. Jack learned that Matt Landry was on the Mounties’ wanted list 4 years ago in connection with a bank robbery. Matt was arrested and sent to prison. After serving his time Matt Landry seemingly vanished and neither he nor Frank Hogan have any warrants for their arrest. The news is welcomed but just as Abigail breathes a sigh of relief, Frank walks in the door.

Frank tells Abigail he’s decided to come clean about his past. Matt Landry was a criminal who, after serving time in prison, decided he wanted a new name and a new life, one devoted to doing God’s work. Now living as Frank Hogan, he suspects Jesse and the Garrison gang want him to join them in a robbery. With this information Jack heads off to alert the Mounties and, sensing that Abigail and Frank need to talk in private, he offers to escort Elizabeth to school. Left alone with Abigail, Frank asks if he can still lean on her for support. With the reality of Frank’s past laid bare in front of her, Abigail is unsure if she can still stand by his side. She needs to think about it.

Meanwhile, in the saloon, Ms. Ramsey sits across the table from Mr. Logan, a representative with her late husband’s insurance company. The two discuss the terms of Mr. Ramsey’s life insurance policy, all of which seem to be in order. As Mr. Logan packs up his leather valise, he informs Ms. Ramsey that she can expect a benefit check within 6-8 months, barring any complications. The news is a terrible shock to Ms. Ramsey, who is in desperate need of the money. Mr. Logan then tells her that he can offer her a lesser settlement in cash. The amount she would receive is 1/5 the total and, while insulting, Ms. Ramsey is in a difficult financial situation. While tempted, she pulls back, and tells Mr. Logan that she has to think about it.

Outside the saloon Jack and Bill prepare to go out on patrol. Only now does Jack tell Bill that Frank was a member of the Garrison Gang. A friend of Bill’s was killed by the gang 10 years before and he has been looking to bring the gang to justice ever since. Now, with a member of the gang in his sights, Bill is more determined than ever to bring the Garrison gang to justice. He asks Jack to do him a favor and find Mary Benson, the widow of his murdered friend. As Bill runs off to talk with Frank, Jack stops to remind him that Frank wasn’t in the gang when his friend was killed and he isn’t in the gang now.

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Inside the café Abigail and Clara sit and talk about the recent turn of events. Clara had taken a shine to Jesse, but she’s left stunned at the news that he’s a criminal. What’s more, Jesse didn’t show up for work and Jack has been unable to find him. Abigail does her best to console Clara, who like Abigail, has lost a husband and now finds herself with feelings for a liar and a criminal.

Outside, as Frank Hogan makes his way through town, he is greeted with scornful eyes and cold-shoulders. As he walks, Bill approaches and begins asking about Frank’s time with the gang and about the murder of his friend. Frank explains that he only did a few jobs for the gang before getting caught and sent to prison. Jack then asks if Jesse could have been involved in the gang’s attack on Mayor Ramsey. Despite all the trouble he’s caused, Frank vouches for Jesse being in Hope Valley at the time of the murder.

Nearby, Rosemary is filled with worry about Lee’s financial situation. His account at the mercantile is overdue and Rosemary inadvertently stumbled on a loan application in Lee’s name. She presses Hickam for more information about Lee’s financials, but he either doesn’t know or won’t tell her. He does venture to guess that Lee may need the loan to cover the cost of the theatre. The information gives Rosemary a new idea. Later, while Lee is hard at work, Rosemary proposes that she help Lee economize his operation to improve his bottom line. Lee is uncertain at first, but he hands Rosemary his spending records anyway.

In a clearing outside of town, 3 members of the Garrison gang sit by a fire. The sound of a twig snapping stirs the gang and they all leap to their feet with their guns drawn. Just then, a bird-like whistle echoes through the trees and Jesse appears on horseback. He tells the men that Matt’s secret has been revealed to the town. With their plan going accordingly, it should only be a matter of before Matt is forced out of Hope Valley. Jesse is not so sure and suspects that Matt won’t turn back to a life of crime. And, since Matt already taught Jesse everything he knows about blowing up a safe, Jesse suggests that he can take Matt’s place. The gang is unconvinced and warns Jesse that if he doesn’t bring his friend Matt back, they will kill him.

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At the schoolhouse, Jack arrives with some troubling news. Before the events surrounding Frank, the pastor had planned the boys’ camping trip. Now that parents have found out about Frank’s past, many of them do not want their children to go on the trip. Fortunately Jack has graciously volunteered to fill in and take the boys camping. But, as Jack makes the announcement in front of Elizabeth’s students, another problem surfaces. The trip is only for the boys and many of the girls don’t see why they can’t go. Jack casually explains that maybe they can go next time but his response doesn’t sit well with Elizabeth of the girls.

The next day, as the boys arrive at their campsite, they find they are not alone. Unmoved by Jack’s dismissal of the girl’s camping trip, Elizabeth took the initiative and organized a girls’ campout. Unfortunately for Jack and the boys, Elizabeth’s troop arrived first and set up camp in a prime clearing.

Back in town Abigail enters the church and finds Frank packing his belongings. Stone faced, she asks where he will go. He tells her that he’s boarding a boat for place where no one knows Frank Hogan or Matt Landry. The answer is unacceptable and Abigail forcefully tells him that he is meant to be Hope Valley’s pastor. Frank rebuffs her and says that not a soul in town wants him to stay. But he’s wrong. Abigail wants him to stay and after thinking about it, she’s again sure that she will stand by his side. She begs Frank to stay and fight to convince the townsfolk that he or anyone is deserving of a second chance. She tells him that she will stand with him before handing him a Bible and telling him to pray for guidance.

As night falls across Hope Valley, Mr. Logan, the insurance representative handling Ms. Ramsey’s claim, bursts into the jail in search of the constable. With Jack out camping with the boys, Bill sits and eagerly listens as Mr. Logan gives a description of his stolen briefcase. As Mr. Logan talks, Bill pulls the briefcase from behind the desk and then describes the interesting reading material he found inside. The papers detail Mr. Logan’s scheme where beneficiaries sign “release forms” that transfer their benefits to Mr. Logan. He would then pay a small cash amount to the widow and keep the lump sum for himself. Since Bill isn’t a Mountie he can’t send Mr. Logan to prison but, as Bill explains, “there's a lot of worse places he can send him.” Bill then instructs Mr. Logan to write Dottie Ramsey a check for her full benefit and to then go back to all the other victims of his scheme and return every cent he stole. He then reveals a pad with all the names of Mr. Logan’s victims written down and tells him, “I'll know if you don't.”

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Across town, Abigail enters the saloon to speak with Florence about Pastor Hogan. When Abigail mentions Frank’s name the other women immediately look away. Florence explains that Pastor Hogan was fired after Mayor Gowen called a secret meeting of the Pastoral Committee. Incensed, Abigail storms across the bar to confront Mayor Gowen. Abigail demands that the actions against Frank be undone, but Gowen is unmoved. Abigail runs to the church to speak with Frank but he’s packed his belongings and left. The next night Abigail finds Frank at a small camp in the woods outside Hope Valley. She compels Frank to go back and tell his story to the townsfolk

The next day, in front of a packed congregation, Frank stands at the pulpit to deliver his apology and farewell. In his speech Frank explains how his shortcomings as Matt Landry led the man before them to become pastor Frank Hogan. After speaking, Frank prepares to leave again but, before he can, Abigail demands that the community vote on whether to keep Frank as their pastor or to fire him. One by one, Dottie Ramsey, Mayor Gowen and the other members of the Pastoral Committee rise and give Frank their vote of confidence.

After voting, the congregation leaves the church to continue about their day. At the side of the church Frank and Abigail discuss the new beginning for themselves and the town. Unbeknownst to them, off in the woods, a group of men is watching the gathering with great interest. Based on what the can see, Matt Landry won’t be returning to the Garrison gang. The news is especially bad for Jesse, who promised on his life that he could deliver Matt Landry.

Across town, Lee walks into his office to find Rosemary looking over documents. Despite a series of belt tightening ideas, she is still concerned that Lee’s business is failing. With the budget cuts not helping, Rosemary has no choice but to confront Lee about his situation. It turns out that the loan application is for an expansion of the sawmill and the overdue account at the mercantile was a simple oversight. The misunderstanding reveals to Rosemary that she was being selfish in demanding Lee build her a new theatre. But more importantly, her selfless actions showed Lee just how much Rosemary cares for him. Looking into her eyes Lee tells Rosemary that she’s the most important thing in his life, and then he kisses her tenderly.