Kitty, Iris and Davy had settled into the small apartment. The weeks dragged by as Iris sank deeper and deeper into depression. Kitty had been in New Orleans helping Iris for over 3 months, but sometimes it felt like an eternity.

Kitty spent her days tending to Davy, trying to get Iris to engage in life and meeting with people who Carl owed money to. Her business experience came in handy. After paying the most dangerous and unstable looking men she had a good sense of how to negotiate with some of the others.

Kitty walked wearily back to the apartment building after meeting with a man named Rene Du Boise.

Mr. Du Boise was fancily dressed and carried a walking stick. He looked at Kitty with a creepy smile and said, "A woman as good looking as you could pay off a debt with something other than money, if you know what I mean." He reached out and caressed her cheek. Kitty's skin crawled, she slapped him and stormed away.

When she got to the building, an angry Mrs. Prince was standing outside, "Your cousin is upstairs making quite a racket. Shut her up."

Kitty quickly went up to the apartment finding a very scared Davy standing by Iris's bed and with Iris in heavy labor. Iris saw Kitty, "Help me Kitty. The baby is coming, and it feels all wrong!"

Kitty ran down to Mrs. Prince, shoved some money into her hand and demanded "Get a doctor here now."

Mrs. Prince looked at the money, hesitated slightly and went out, returning with a doctor in a matter of minutes.

Iris's labor was long and hard, and the baby was still born.

Kitty did her best to comfort Iris who finally fell into an exhausted sleep.

In the weeks that followed Iris was barely responsive and hardly even looked at Davy. She blamed herself for the death of her baby. Kitty tried to get Iris to focus on Davy and the life she could build for herself. She tried to convince Iris that after the seemingly endless string debts were paid off, she and Davy could have a new life. They could come to Dodge with Kitty or stay here. Kitty tried to assure Iris that there were ways she could support herself and Davy. Iris alternated between being totally listless and sobbing endlessly.

2 months after the baby was born dead Kitty and Davy returned to the apartment after buying groceries and found a note from Iris.

Dear Kitty,

Thank you for your help. I realize that I'm no good for anyone. I drove Carl away, I can't take care of Davy, and I even managed to kill my own baby. Please take care of Davy for me. I'll send money as soon as I can.

Your Cousin,

Iris

The Next Day

Kitty, with Davy on her lap, was in the police station reporting a missing person. The officer was obviously disinterested, but was dutifully taking notes as Kitty spoke. He nodded without looking up and told Kitty that if they needed more information they would contact her. Kitty was shaking her head and walking out of the station when a Police Captain stopped her.

"Excuse me, I'm Police Captain Blake, did I hear you say that your name was Kitty Russell?"

"Yes, Captain."

"Miss Russell, please come with me, I'd like to look over the report that you just gave to the officer. I will take the case over personally, and assign officers accordingly."

"Captain thank you but I don't understand."

"Well Miss Russell, I'm sorry to say that in this city a missing person's case is not unusual, so our Police Department cannot devote resources to all of them. I will give this case priority. You see, I received a telegram from Marshall Matt Dillon, requesting that I make sure that any police reports filed by a person named Kitty Russell be taken very seriously. I won't go into details Miss Russell, but I owe Marshal Dillon a tremendous debt. Let me just say that several beloved family members of mine moved into the Kansas territory a few years ago and ran into some serious trouble. Marshal Dillon, saved their lives and property at great risk to his own life. In fact I believe he was wounded. When I receive his wire, I sent word back that I would be honored to comply with his request. I am a man of my word."

Kitty sent a silent thank you to Matt and went home with Davy with hope in her heart.

Dodge City

It had taken weeks for Matt to get a response to his letter of resignation from the War Department. Now he looked at the response and just shook his head. He went up to Doc's office to talk.

Recognizing Matt's footsteps, Doc opened the door before Matt knocked.

"Hi Doc, got a minute? I want to talk to you about something."

"Sure Matt, just don't tell me that you've changed your mind about going to New Orleans to make sure Kitty is alright."

"I haven't changed my mind Doc, but I'll have to go to New Orleans from Topeka. I have to go there right away on business. As soon as that's taken care of, I'll go to New Orleans."

"Matt, are you sure you can't go to New Orleans first? Kitty might be in trouble, have you thought about that?"

Matt responded slowly. "Doc, Of course I've thought about it, but Kitty hasn't sent word to me that there is any emergency, and I really want to have something settled before I see her."

Doc look up a little guiltily, "I'm sorry Matt. I know how you feel about Kitty and how much you've been missing her. Can you at least tell me what is in Topeka that can't wait?"

"Well Doc, I didn't want to tell you this until it was all settled but I guess it's best to lay it out. You see, I sent the War Department my resignation effective next September 21. That will complete 20 years, provided I survive until then."

Doc interjected, "You'll survive, I'll make sure of that, but go on."

Matt smiled knowing that what Doc said was probably true, "Funny Doc, after 20 years I get a pension. If I do survive I'll be the first Marshall to make it long enough to get that pension. That's not why I resigned though. I just feel that it's time to build a different life with Kitty. Times are changing, Dodge City and the territories are changing and it's time for a change in my life. Anyway, the Attorney General responded by saying that he would only accept my resignation in person. That's why I'm going to Topeka. I have to meet with the Attorney General, his assistant and the Governor of Kansas. After the meeting I'll go to New Orleans. I need this retirement business to be settled before I see Kitty."

Doc nodded and squeezed Matt's shoulders saying, "Just bring her back." Matt nodded, "That's my intention. And Doc, thanks. I don't think I've ever thanked you enough for being the friend you are. You've kept me alive in more ways than one." Matt turned and left. He'd be on the morning stage to Topeka.