“John,” her words were laden with supplication, “they killed my brother. They go from town to town, terrorizing, destroying. It has to stop. And I can stop them. They’re on this idiotic search of theirs, they’re distracted. I can make sure they won’t harm another soul. Please, let me go.” She begged, staring at him in earnest, but his expression was unreadable. Finally, after several long seconds, Straw walked to his desk to pick up a ring of keys, then approached Bella’s cell and opened the door.
“Go on.” He sighed. “Get out.”
Flooded with relief, Bella smiled broadly. Instead of leaving, she embraced Straw in thanks. He hesitantly put his arms around her.
“Your wrong you know.” He said into her shoulder. “He does miss you.”
Bella pulled back, looking shame-faced for once, knowing to whom Straw was referring.
“Talk to him before you go. You owe him that much.”
She nodded, then turned to leave.
“And, Bella?”
“I know, John. Anymore trouble and you’ll hang me up in town.”
She winked, tipped her hat, and exited.

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