Bridget Jordan's Testimony by Marilyn

Mr. Griffith continued to address the crowd. “And now we will hear from a young lady who would like to tell you about her encounter with Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry. Miss Jordan . . . .”

A pretty young girl started toward the front of the room wearing what would be described as her “Sunday Best.” Her long hair was softly curled with parts neatly tucked up under her hat in an attempt to make her look older than her 16 years. The eyes of the audience were on her as she approached the podium; no doubt they were wondering how such a young girl would have come into contact with the well-known outlaws. Miss Jordan glanced nervously into a crowd of unfamiliar faces and, sensing their uncertainty, looked to the back of the room. Her eyes met her mother's. Mrs. Jordan gave her daughter a reassuring nod, which the young lady then returned. Miss Jordan then looked out into her audience, a little less nervous now, and began her story.

“Good afternoon. My name is Bridget Jordan and I’m not very good at talking in front of people, but when Sheriff Trevors asked our family to speak for Mr. Heyes and Mr. Curry, I, I wanted to tell my story of how they helped us, and Ma said I could.

“About two summers ago when my Ma was on her way home from town, she met up with Mr. Heyes and Mr. Curry. They said they lost their horses in the desert, so Mom brought them home. They only stayed with us a short time, but that time changed our lives.

“We were living on a worn-down ranch. Pa wanted us to move to Denver, but had a hard time selling the ranch, then he broke his leg, so things started falling apart. Besides, my little sister Beth and me really liked the ranch. We would make up great adventures and go swampin’. Joshua … I mean Mr. Heyes and . . . Mr. Curry fixed some broken fences and did other chores around the place. When they weren’t working, they would play games with Beth and me and we even went on a picnic. Mr. Heyes told me how nice Denver was and made me feel better about Pa wanting us to move there. I remember one evening when Joshua . . . er . . . Mr. Heyes picked up Pa’s old guitar and started playing. He taught Beth and me a song and we sung it to Ma and Pa and it really made them smile. I still remember it and sometimes sing it when I’m alone. It helps me remember the time when they stayed with us.

“After a few days, a sheriff and posse showed up and said they were looking for Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry. I didn’t want to believe that Joshua and Thaddeus were the outlaws that we all heard about, but when Ma asked them if they were Heyes and Curry, they said that they were. Joshua talked Ma and Pa into turning them in for the reward money instead of letting the posse have it. Watching the sheriff take them away was really hard for me and Beth and we didn’t want to see them go to jail, so we decided to help them get away. Turned out that the sheriff thought that it was Ma’s idea, and we all got arrested.

“After a while, Mr. Heyes and Mr. Curry came back to see if we were in any trouble. When they heard that we got arrested, Mr. Heyes volunteered to go to the sheriff and tell him that Ma didn’t plan the escape, but Ma and Pa wouldn’t let him because they didn’t want them to get arrested again. At the trial the judge sentenced Ma to three years in a prison. Beth and me were really scared she would have to go to jail especially since it was our fault. "We didn’t know that Mr. Curry was sitting in the back of the courtroom. When he heard the sentence, he got up and told the judge that Ma knew nothing about what Beth and me were gonna do. We were really glad the judge believed him and let Ma go free. When we got home, we found a note on the table. They left us money so that we could move . . . and they didn’t steal the money either. Beth and me really didn’t want to leave the ranch, but it turned out to be best for all of us.

“Pa got a job teaching at the university in Denver. Me and Beth got to go to school again and we made some good friends, and Ma is real happy and likes helping out at the hospital and going to concerts.

“You know, we weren’t afraid when we found out that Joshua and Thaddeus were really outlaws. I guess they could’ve taken us hostage when the sheriff showed up and gotten away, but I don’t think they ever even thought about doing that. They also could have just disappeared and let Ma go to jail, but they didn’t. I don’t want to think about what would have happened to us if they wouldn’t have helped us. I need my Ma and so does my Pa and Beth, and Mr. Heyes thought up a way to keep us together. And they didn’t have to leave us the money to get a start in Denver, either.

"I just wanted to let you all know that Mr. Heyes and Mr. Curry were really good to us and that they would never hurt anyone. I think they should be given an . . . amnesty and be allowed to go wherever they want to. I hope they come to Denver someday and visit us. I’d even bake another pie for them, maybe blueberry this time. Thank you for letting me tell my story.”

Bridget gave a warm smile as she ended her testimony, quite pleased that she was able to finish her story and hopeful that her testimony would help the two men who meant so much to her—-two men that she thought of as family.

Alice Banion's Testimony