Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Emily Dickinson



This is a series of short tags for the Season 2 episode, Shadow of A Dead Man.

In this episode, Johnny is sent to sell off land that the Lancers own, about 250 miles away from the Lancer ranch. He finds a woman and her child in illegal possession. She claims to be Mrs Lancer and holds Johnny off with a shotgun.

8 or 9 years previously Jessamie had been raped by the son of a powerful family somewhere near Laramie. She killed the rapist, but was left pregnant and with the man's family vowing to have her killed in revenge. She's been hiding on this remote farm ever since with her son, Grady. Johnny doesn't tell her he's Johnny Lancer, but reverts to his Madrid persona. Meanwhile a bounty hunter arrives and sweet-talks his way into Jessamie's confidence, persuading her that Johnny's the one trying to kill her. It ends up with Johnny and Jessamie trapped in her cabin while the bounty hunter holds Grady hostage. Johnny manages to kill the bounty hunter and formally sells the land to Jessamie for $1 and some home-made biscuits.

I always liked Jessamie and thought that of all the series' 'Love Interest of the week', she was the one who'd suit him best. So when I got dared, double dared and then triple dog dared to write it... well, here you are.

Feathers One
  Candle in the Sun
Feathers Two
  The Day's Most Quiet Need
Feathers Three
  Hope Sings