AUTHOR'S NOTES - Q&A
DON'T SCROLL PAST HERE IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE BOOK. THERE ARE TONS OF SPOILERS BELOW!
Welcome to the Reader's Corner!
This is under construction. More material will be added weekly!
It's why you're really here, right? Check out the exclusive scenes that were cut or hidden from the book.
Also check out an alternative scenes from a much earlier version of the book I started ten years ago!
DELETED SCENES AND BONUS CONTENT
Check out Bonus Scenes like:
When Jesse Met Annie
Meeting Cecilia - Alternate Scene
More to be added!
Haven't read the book yet? Well, what are you waiting for?
Unfortunately, there's not a lot you can see that won't give away some plot point (come back for the real content below when you're done reading!)
Anyway, here are a couple things that are safe to check out before you read the book:
Yes, that was a real event that happened on January 24, 1884 in Crested Butte, Colorado. Accounts vary, saying that 59, or 69 miners were killed in the explosion. It was one of the worst mining disasters in the state’s history. The mine never reopened.
Find out more at:
Did the Jokerville Mine disaster that killed Jesse’s father really happen?
Though rare, there have been several instances of people who survived short-drop and suspension hangings and made a complete recovery. Long-drop hangings, like those from the gallows, were done with the intention of breaking the neck (though not all succeeded in doing so). Long-drop hangings were less survivable for this reason, yet unfortunately, there were several accounts of individuals whose necks were not broken who strangled to death instead.
Though even more rare, there are at least four reliable cases of people who revived and recovered after supposedly ‘normal executions.’ These were all individuals who shockingly recovered fully after being declared dead, and after having hanged for between fifteen minutes to an hour.
Brain cells do start to starve and die in four to six minutes without oxygen, with complete brain death starting around ten minutes. Temperature does have an effect as well—cold patients have more revival time, and there are numerous stories of patients who have been revived forty minutes or more after what would have been their clinical time of death (after their heart stopped).
So, the short answer is yes, although unlikely, people have survived much worse cases and much longer times than Jesse's. In the story, he blacked out in less than a minute (though it felt like much longer to him). Tracker got him off the rope in less than six minutes or so after the hanging.
I am not including links here since many are medical cases which contain very graphic images.
Could Jesse really have survived being hanged?
Yes, The Brown Palace hotel in Denver opened in 1892, and it hasn’t closed its doors since. It is the second oldest hotel in Denver today. Built by Henry Brown, for whom its namesake rests, the hotel opened with 400 rooms that rented for between $3-$5 for a night. It was designed by architect Frank Edbrooke in the Italian Renaissance style. The building has a distinctive triangular shape since it was built on a triangle-shaped lot. The atrium in the lobby was one of the first of its kind in a hotel.
It is said that Brown decided to built the hotel when the Windsor Hotel, a very elegant hotel in Denver at the time, shooed him away when he tried to enter their hotel wearing cowboy attire. He decided to ‘outdo’ the Windsor and build an even more elegant hotel.
When it opened, the lobby had a grand fireplace which has since been removed and the entrance was located off Broadway, though the main entrance has since changed location.
The hotel from early in the book where Jesse stayed in Denver seems pretty nice for the time. Did it actually exist?
Comments and Questions - see what other readers are saying!
THE INSIDE INFO
Yes, at that time, bounties and rewards for wanted men were meant to incentivize lawmen to seek out the wanted felons. Lawmaking offered very little pay, so collecting bounties on wanted men were one of the ways one could hope to make any money. Many had to take second jobs, just as it was mentioned once that Jesse and Tracker did, taking on jobs as ranch hands.
Would Jesse, a deputy of the law, really have been allowed to collect bounties on the Kelley Gang?
Yes, and it still exists today as one of the best-preserved ghost towns in Colorado. Officially founded in 1880, it had a population high of around 2,000 people. The DSP&P rail line ran through St. Elmo before continuing on through the historic Aspen Tunnel, en route to Gunnison. During its high time, it had a telegraph office, school, hotels, a town hall, five or so saloons, and dance halls.
I did take a few creative liberties with the town in how it’s laid out, and in the names of businesses. Mama Flo’s never existed, of course. Nor did the Fat Bandit Saloon or the Speckled Pony. One source has it that the jail was actually located in the town hall. This story is a fiction after all. Its location in reference to other towns, nearby mountain ranges and mountain passes nearby, are all true.
Did St. Elmo really exist?
OTHER AUTHOR'S NOTES
This was a narrow gauge rail line that connected mining towns in the middle of Colorado to the larger cities of Denver, Leadville, and the like. Unfortunately, the DSP&P went bankrupt in 1889, and the Denver, Leadville and Gunnison railway purchased the railway in foreclosure proceedings. The nearby engineering marvel to St. Elmo, the Aspen Tunnel, started to close during the harsh winters of 1890-1894.
Some of the history on the portion of the line around the Aspen Tunnel (which lay on the route between St. Elmo and Gunnison) is a bit muddled. One account says the tunnel was closed for a few years during the early to mid-1890's. One account says that it only closed during particularly harsh winters during this time. Nonetheless, I decided to retain the original name of the DSP&P, especially since people are prone to referring to things by the original names they knew them by—I figured it would be likely many people might still errantly refer to it as the DSP&P for a while, it’s easier to say than the “Denver, Leadville, and Gunnison.”