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Troubled Hearts

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Walking arm in arm, Elizabeth giggles as she leads Jack toward her big surprise.
Half humoring her, Jack hardly notices when they stop in front of Abigail’s old house. Just as he realizes where they are, Elizabeth announces that she’s considering renting the home. With Clara and Cody now both living with Abigail, the apartment above the café is starting to become crowded. And, now in her third year in Hope Valley, Elizabeth is ready to begin putting down roots. The news puts a wry smile on Jack’s face. He gives Elizabeth a peck on the cheek and they both look toward the home with a sense of hope for what this move means for both of their futures.

Later that night, Elizabeth sits working at the table in Abigail’s apartment. As she does, Clara barges in and nervously asks for fashion advice. Immediately behind her comes Cody, bounding down the stairs in search of his baseball glove. And right on his heels is Abigail, who rummages through papers before hurriedly hustling Cody and Clara out of the room. Not a moment after Elizabeth gets back to her work, in walks Rosemary looking for her help with her column. As Rosemary rambles on, Jack arrives and tells her that Elizabeth has plans. Unsure about the plans, Elizabeth takes the hint, grabs her coat and leaves with Jack.

In desperate need of some privacy, Jack escorts Elizabeth to the one place they can be alone: the jail. Jack had already laid out a romantic meal for two but just as they begin to eat, the door swings open and Bill Avery walks in. He apologizes for interrupting and asks Jack if he can borrow some shoe polish. Bill, who is still on leave from the Mounties, has a meeting with the Pinkertons about a possible position. He grabs the polish and prepares to leave, but not before noticing the plate of fresh dinner rolls sitting between Jack and Elizabeth. Not wanting to be rude, he grabs all but two rolls and promptly leaves.

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At the café the next morning, Molly and Florence are just hearing the terrible news that Hope Valley’s former mayor, Silas Ramsey, was killed in a robbery near Cave Junction. It’s believed that a gang, led by the infamous Jake Garrison, is responsible. As they discuss the news, Jesse emerges from the back of the café to talk with Abigail about repairing the leaky sink. He also takes the opportunity to compliment Clara on her dress and pass her a coy smile. Just then, Mr. Gowen and another man, Alan Humphries, enter the café. Upon entering, Mr. Humphries remarks, “I expected more customers.” He then asks for a menu before turning up his nose at the smell of Abigail’s buttermilk biscuits. His disagreeable tone continues as he begins walking through and inspecting the café. It’s then Mr. Gowen reveals that Mr. Humphries is the man who will be purchasing his stake in the café, making him Abigail’s new business partner.

Nearby, Frank runs into Abigail on her way to the café. Noticing her eagerness to get back to work, Frank casually suggests that she take some time off and offers to take her for a walk around the pond later that evening. Abigail agrees and heads back to the café. Unbeknownst to both of them, Jesse has been sitting on a perch, eavesdropping on their conversation.

On the surface, Jesse’s good looks and charm have convinced everyone that he is an upstanding young man. Now, alone with Frank, he drops the act and reveals his true nature. With a nefarious grin, he tells Frank that the gang is together again and that they need him back. Frank angrily declines the offer but Jesse persists, promising his old friend they will make enough money for him to abandon his phony life in Hope Valley. Frank insists that that he’s out of that life, but Jesse is having none of it and reminds Frank that he wouldn’t want to disappoint Jake Garrison. Frank asks if that was supposed to be a threat, to which Jesse replies, “People get hurt sometimes. “

Unaware of the meeting transpiring in front of them, Elizabeth and Jack walk by, joking about the many interruptions during their last date. As they laugh about their lack of privacy, Elizabeth pulls a key from her pocket and reveals that she’s now officially renting Abigail’s old home. The two immediately head to the house and begin taking stock of the home. While the house is showing the ravages of time, Jack is certain that they can turn it into a fine home…eventually.

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Back at the café, Mr. Humphries finishes his inspection. Before leaving he hands Abigail a list of improvements for which Abigail will be responsible for half the cost. Abigail is galled at the demands and immediately begins to quarrel with Mr. Humphries. At an impasse with her new business partner, Abigail approaches Mr. Gowen and attempts to make a counteroffer. Unfortunately Mr. Gowen is not in a giving mood and tells Abigail that despite her offer, she and the café are not acceptable risks.

Back in town Jesse and Clara enjoy a walk around the pond together. As they walk along the pond’s shoreline, they are unaware that they are being observed. Just above the tree line a shady figure watches the two with great interest. Later, after dropping Clara at home, Jesse returns to his room in the saloon. He opens the door to find Sonny, the shady character that had been watching him earlier. Next to Sonny is Jake Garrison, the notorious criminal and gang leader. The men, along with Jesse, are planning a to rob a train filled with gold and are in need of the best powder man around. And the powder man they have in mind is now living in Hope Valley.

The next morning, Abigail walks into the café to find Bill Avery clumsily cooking in her kitchen. When Abigail asks why he’s using her eggs and her pans to make his breakfast, Bill informs her that they are now “our eggs and our pans.” Bill learned of the difficulties Abigail was having with Mr. Humphries and decided to make an offer to Mr. Gowen. Mr. Gowen accepted the offer and sold his share in the café to Bill. But, as Bill points out, he can’t even light the stove and has every intention of being a silent partner. Given her options, Bill is clearly the most agreeable partner she could have asked for. She agrees and shakes Bill’s hand to seal the deal.

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The next day Abigail and Cody join Elizabeth and Jack for a painting party at Elizabeth’s new house. While the adults paint, Cody tosses a baseball. He tosses the ball to Jack and accidentally smashes the glass vase Jack had given Elizabeth as a housewarming gift. Abigail tells him to get a broom and clean up the mess, but Cody refuses and tells her he doesn’t have to listen to her. Jack tries to step in, but it only makes things worse and Cody runs from the house.

Since coming to Hope Valley, Cody hasn’t made friends and is having a hard time adjusting to school and to life without his sister. He’s lashed out at other kids, gotten into fights, and done none of his homework. Jack knows all too well what Cody’s going through and hopes that he may be able to help get through to him. As Cody dashes from Elizabeth’s house, Jack runs after him, grabbing Cody as he sprints towards the road. As Cody attempts to wriggle free, Jack tells him that he too lost his father and that he understands his pain. He then explains to Cody that his family is always with him in his heart. The heart to heart gets through to Cody and he leaps into Jack’s arms, hugging him tightly.

With Cody reaching a turning point and Elizabeth on her way to getting settled in her new home, hope again surrounds Elizabeth and Abigail. As the two women walk down Main Street something unusual catches Elizabeth’s eye. On the door of the café is a wanted poster. The $500 dollar is for the capture of Matt Landry, better known to Hope Valley as Pastor Frank Hogan.