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1716

Heart of a Hero

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In the days since Pastor Hogan revealed his criminal past, life in Hope Valley has almost returned to normal. Elizabeth spends her free time working on a book, chronicling her adventures on the frontier, while Abigail has begun to spend more time getting to know the real Frank Hogan.

Just outside of town, school is in session and the students listen with excitement as Elizabeth announces that the class will be taking part in a spelling competition. The news sets the class aflutter and they all begin planning their own winning strategies. Anna, one of Cody’s classmates, says she’s going to get her mom to help her study. Cody plan is to get Ms. Abigail to help him, but when he tells Anna, she snidely tells him “it’s not the same.” She then points out that Ms. Abigail isn’t his real family and doesn’t love him the way her mother loves her. Anna’s words cut through Cody, leaving him numb and stunned.

In a clearing in woods a more nefarious group is making their own set of plans. Despite the gang’s smear campaign, the residents of Hope Valley still refuse to shun Frank Hogan. Without a powder man to blow the safe, the gang has few options to pull of the gold heist. Jesse suggests the gang move on and all go their separate ways. Jake responds by threatening Jesse’s life and reminding him that he’s not going anywhere until Jake says so.

Back at the saloon, an upstairs room is being turned into a makeshift hospital. Lee lies in the bed as Jack wraps bandages around his foot. A cable broke loose at the mill, slashing Lee’s foot and bringing production to a halt. Jack does his best to apply first aid, but the injury is more severe than he can handle and he insists they summon the doctor from Union City. In the meantime, Lee’s new foreman Wade Barrett will oversee the mill and, fortunately for Lee, Rosemary arrives just in time to take charge of Lee’s convalescence.

While Jack keeps up the patrols in town, Bill heads out to the Benson homestead to find the family of his murdered friend. When he finally arrives, Bill finds Lucy Benson, the only child of the Benson family, taking laundry down from the clothesline. Bill introduces himself and asks if the girl’s mother is home. Lucy stammers before telling Bill that her mother died shortly after her father’s murder. Seeing he’s had a long journey, Lucy invites Jack into her home where Jack informs her that he’s got a lead on Jake Garrison, the man who murdered Lucy’s father. While desperate for justice, Lucy quickly realizes that the only witness to the murder, her mother, died years ago. Jack grabs her hand and personally promises that one way or another, he will see Jake Garrison pay for his crimes.

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Later that night at the café, Abigail prepares for an evening out with Frank Hogan. With Elizabeth’s help, she searches for the right dress and for a way to calm her nerves. Frank’s past still ways heavily on her conscious and, to make matters worse, Cody is starting to act out again. Looking to Abigail as a mother figure is also making Cody resentful of the time she spends with Frank. Elizabeth does her best to intercede, but it does little to quell Cody’s growing attachment to Abigail.

Nearby Jack makes his way to the stagecoach depot to await the arrival of Dr. Burns. However, when the coach carrying Dr. Burns arrives, it’s not the doctor who Jack sees, but a surprisingly familiar face. Faith Carter treated Jack’s brother after the car accident in Hamilton. Faith now works for Dr. Burns in Union City and, since the doctor was unavailable to travel, he sent Faith in his place. As Jack escorts Faith to her quarters she reveals that she’s now engaged to a banker and living in Union City. She eagerly asks about Jack’s relationship with Elizabeth and is thrilled to learn that they returned to Hope Valley together.

Upstairs in the saloon, Rosemary is doing her best to aid in Lee’s recovery. The effort, while appreciated, is not doing anyone any good. When Jack arrives with Faith, Rosemary mood decidedly changes from eager to jealous. Faith goes about her duties and tends to Lee’s wounds all the while doing her best to appease Rosemary’s overbearing personality. She ultimately has to send Rosemary out of the room in order to see to Lee’s injured foot.

Later in the day, while picking up supplies at the mercantile, Faith has her first encounter with Elizabeth. While both women know of each other through Jack, this is the first time they’ve met face to face. Seeing the pretty young nurse in Hope Valley immediately gives Elizabeth pause, but once she hears that Faith is treating Lee and that she has a fiancé in Union City, her fears immediately evaporate.

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At the saloon Frank and Abigail take in a friendly game of darts. Before making her first attempt, Frank gives Abigail a few pointers on making a good throw. Her first try lands slightly off to the side, but is still respectable. Her second throw lands directly in the center of the bullseye. Frank’s eyes widen as he remarks, “That’s what I call beginner’s luck.” When her third throw hits the bullseye, Abigail coyly tells Frank, “I never said I was a beginner.” With date jitters now gone, the two proceed to enjoy the remainder of their evening. As Frank escorts Abigail home they both remark on how much fun they both had. Then, starring into each other’s eyes, Frank leans forward and kisses Abigail. They both then smile at each other with a look of joy and relief. Abigail says good night and walks into the cafe.

As she enters the cafe, Abigail wears a schoolgirl smile. But, as she turns, a voice says, “You’re back late.” She turns to see Bill Avery sitting at one of her café tables. Abigail responds, telling Bill “I didn’t know I had a curfew.” Bill then tells Abigail that he has concerns about Abigail’s relationship with Frank. Unmoved, Abigail defends her decision to date Frank and insists, even with the Garrison gang after him, that she and the town need to stand by him. As the two argue a loud crash erupts from behind Abigail. She turns to see a window smashed and a large rock with the name “Matt Landry” scrawled across it. Bill runs outside but the gangsters have fled into the night.

The next day in the saloon, Jack, Bill, and Mayor Gowen rally the townsmen to discuss what their next move should be. While the mayor and some of the men want to grab their guns and overwhelm the gang, Jack appeals to calmer heads and orders the men to leave the criminals to the experts. For now, the men decide to double the patrols and report any suspicious activity to Jack and Bill. As the men fall out Bill approaches Frank and demands that he keep away from Abigail. Frank is hesitant at first but in the interest of keeping Abigail safe, he agrees to keep his distance.

Later that night, as Clara makes her way through town, a voice calls out to her from the shadows. It’s Jesse and he has an urgent warning. The gang is coming for Frank and they will kill him if he doesn’t go with them. Clara tells him to pass the information along to Jack, but Jesse plans on running. Angered, Clara tells him that he has to stand up and fight, otherwise he will be running from the law and the Garrisons for the rest of his life. She then tells him that she believes in him and that he can make a better life for himself in Hope Valley.