Nebraska July, 1885
Nettie Franklin had decided that the best place to carry on her temperance campaign was at the saloon. Saloon customers and the saloon owner did not share her opinions and took offense at her abuse of their freedoms. It just happened that the saloon owner was none other than Judge Albert Balsh. When Nettie interuppted one of his customers and poured out his drink, the judge had had enough. When she would not pay for the drink she had poured out, she was arrested. While in jail she met a man named Riley O'Connor. The judge had warned him not to come back drunk to his town or he'd land in jail. Riley had changed and did not drink anymore. He came to Mesquite to thank Abe Wilkins for patching him up and putting his life on the right path. Unfortunately, his head got in the way of an iron skillet when a couple was fighting. Judge Balsh saw him staggering and threw him in jail. Riley insisted that he was not drunk but the judge would not believe him. He was mad at both Riley and Nettie and wanted to let them rot in jail. His wife was Nettie's best friend and she tried to help Nettie. Her suggestion: Nettie could marry and the judge would let her out. And then after several days they could have the marriage annulled. Maybe Riley would consent to be Nettie's temporary husband. But the plan would only work if the judge cooperated. But would he?