People do not give it credence that a fourteen-year-old girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her father's blood...

The same folk, upon learning such a story is truth and upon making a short study of such girl, do not give credence to the thought that she possessed a woman's heart beating within her breast. I am here to tell you, Reader, that such proposition is gospel truth.

On my first account of my, albeit unlikely, great adventures with the Marshal Cogburn and the Ranger LeBoeuf I quickly surmised I had no contact with either man since. I am sorry to admit this was a bald faced lie, a sin which has grieved me since and in more ways than one. Yes, Mattie Ross is a sinner like all others and more so than many as you will see, should you be bold enough to learn the truth of my life.

I am an old woman now, soon to be crossing over that Great Divide. It has come to my attention that when you grow old, your pride loosens its grip somewhat and your previous life is revealed to you in new light. What I was ashamed to admit before no longer do I view in disgrace – only joy, love and great sorrow are brought to mind.

My life after returning home to Yell County was as passionate and tumultuous as those saccharine heroines in the dime novels I hid under my mattress as a girl.

Verily I say to you - you did not truly believe Mattie Ross was ordained to live out her days in amity and content? I lived as passionately as Solomon in my own right, as you will see.