This Prologue sets the book's theme of conflict between the mythology of the James family & their factual reality.


When I first laid out the ancestral map of his family for Judge James R. Ross, Jesse James' great grandson joked, "Now  I know where this awful nose comes from." But I had to correct him. Pictures of his historical Cole family confirm the nose Judge Ross disliked is a genetic inheritance from his Cole ancestry of Jesse James' mother, Zerelda Elizabeth Cole.