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 May 2019 - Safe

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Calico

Calico

Posts : 651
Join date : 2012-04-22
Age : 54
Location : Birmingham

May 2019 - Safe  Empty
PostSubject: May 2019 - Safe    May 2019 - Safe  Icon_minitimeWed May 01, 2019 11:25 am

Hello again one and all,

Are we all enjoying the spring? We are? Good good.

Now, a fairly easy one for you this month.

A bit too easy really for you clever gals... but, lots of ways to interpret


SAFE safe
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Nightwalker



Posts : 65
Join date : 2018-04-16
Age : 48
Location : Germany

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PostSubject: Re: May 2019 - Safe    May 2019 - Safe  Icon_minitimeTue May 14, 2019 7:12 am

It was dark when she woke up, probably still the middle of the night. She propped herself up, blinked twice to focus her eyes. The clock on the nightstand proved her right - 3:33 in the morning, far too early to get up. She moaned and sagged back onto the ruffled sheets.

But she couldn’t go back to sleep again. Something was wrong. A second time she opened her eyes. The room was a pattern of shadows and shades of grey. It was her bedroom, unmistakably, but something felt odd. The dream she had had still ghosted through her mind; reality and dream seemed to overlap.

No, that wasn’t the point, there was ... she rubbed her eyes, but the image wouldn’t disappear. There was a cowboy standing at the side of her bed - dark hat and shirt, light pants, his slender figure surrounded by a scent of horse, sweat and leather. It was the scent that made her suspicious. She never had an olfactory dream before.

The presence of a strange man in her bedroom was supposed to frighten her, yet she felt safe. Maybe she was still dreaming after all?

“Am I dreaming?” she asked the stranger, just to be sure.

“How would I know?” he answered in a soft, low voice.

“I mean, are you really here?”

“I guess, I am.”

“Is this cowboy times?”

“Nope, it doesn’t look like that to me,” he said, panning the room. “It’s mighty fancy round here, miss.”

“So, why are you here?”

“I just wish I knew,” he said, taking off his hat and running his long fingers through his thick, dark hair. “Have you seen my partner?”

“Partner? There’s more than one of you?” she asked, pulling the blanket a little higher up her chest.

“Well, I sure hope so. If he’s got lost anywhere else then we’re in big trouble,” he answered with a brief smile that revealed a dimple in his left cheek, but he sobered again instantly. “Bad things happen when we separate.”

She rubbed the palms of her hands over her face, trying to clear her mind. “So, what are you doing here? Besides looking for your partner, that is.”

He pushed the hat back on his head and shrugged. “I don’t know. One moment I’m trailing my partner out the back door of Miss Purdy’s B ... uhm ... out of a house of entertainment and the next moment I’m standing here. I guess he's around here too, as we took the same door and I was close behind him.”

It was only now that she noticed his clothes appeared somewhat disarranged and his shirt tail was hanging over his pants, both telling tales of a hasty departure from ... a sudden blush flushed her face.

His dark eyes followed her look. Immediately, he tucked his shirt back where it belonged and smoothed his clothes. “I’m sorry, miss, we left in a kind of hurry.”

When he had finished his task, his dark eyes panned the small room again, wandering over bookshelves, a desk - not overly tidy – and walls decorated with posters in bright colors, noticeable even in the faint light of the moon. His sharp and wary eyes took in every detail. The strange surroundings obviously confused him, but didn’t scare him, rather he appeared curious.

Studying his remarkable profile, she squinted her eyes. “Hey, wait a minute ... I know you! You are Hannibal Heyes!”

The dark-haired man twirled around, drew a step back and shook his head. “Oh, no, miss, you are mistaken. The name’s Smith, Joshua Smith.”

“Yeah, that’s what you always say...” she replied, popping up and combing her hair with her fingers. Heavens! Why do dreams come true in the middle of the night when you’re all messed up, and never when you are perfectly styled and well-dressed. A thought struck her and she froze. “Your partner...? You mean, Kid Curry is somewhere round here, too?” Her voice rose a full octave. Frantically she increased her efforts to make herself more presentable.

“No, he’s not. I mean, my partner. My partner’s name’s Jones, Thaddeus Jones and...” the cowboy replied, but she cut him off.

“Yes, yes, and he’s tall and strong and handsome and has the bluest eyes ever seen in a man’s face. He’s the fastest gun in the West, but he never killed anyone! He’s gentle and kind and always nice to the ladies.”

Her visitor, who’s name ostensibly wasn’t Heyes and definitely wasn’t Smith, rolled his eyes and threw his hands in the air. “I can’t believe it! I don’t even know where we are – when we are - and his reputation was here even before us?”

Swiftly he spun around, noticed the door to the hallway and stopped his turn. His hand on the doorknob he hesitated just a moment before he opened it.

A blink later she was alone again, her room a pattern of shadows and shades of grey.

She stared at the door, unsure what had happened. Had anything happened at all? Should she just lay down again and try to sleep? Maybe she was still sleeping safe and sound but just not knowing it?

But one thing she knew for sure: if she wouldn’t try to find out and follow him, she would regret it for eternity.

- to be continued? -

Author's note: This little silliness was inspired by a cartoon someone shared in one of the ASJ Facebook groups.

May 2019 - Safe  59785110

It was clear, it would turn out otherwise if it was Heyes or Curry standing there ;-)
More likely the instructions would read like this:

STEP ONE: Check to see if you have traveled back to cowboy times. This can easily be done by asking: “Is this cowboy times?”

STEP TWO: If they say, “yes, it is cowboy times,” then try to hide your excitement. Proceed with step four.

STEP THREE: If it is not cowboy times, then don’t show your disappointment. Proceed with step four.

STEP FOUR: Take a close look at the cowboy. Do you recognize him as Kid Curry or Hannibal Heyes?

STEP FIVE: If they are, make sure it is no mistake. You can do that by asking: “Is it really you, [Kid/Heyes]?”

STEP SIX: If they say, “yes, ma’am,” then hide your smile and proceed with step eight.

STEP SEVEN: If they say, “no, name’s [Thaddeus Jones/Joshua Smith], ma’am,” then answer with, “that’s fine to me, too,” and proceed with step eight.

STEP EIGHT: Grab him and never let him go again.

STEP NINE: If it is otherwise, just turn around and go back to sleep. Probably time will solve the problem for you.

I don't know if there will be more to it, but the prompts of the months might start a continuation.

_________________
"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."
-Dr. Seuss
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MoulinP

MoulinP

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Join date : 2015-10-15

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PostSubject: Re: May 2019 - Safe    May 2019 - Safe  Icon_minitimeWed May 22, 2019 4:08 am

Just a little silliness


Missing scene: Jailbreak at Junction City


“WheeAU!”


In the hotel room, a reforming outlaw shot up in bed. Moonlight reflecting off his white Henley, revealed a dark tousled head. Leaning back on his elbows, he panted, as his heart beat wildly. The bed’s other occupant startled awake, immediately retrieved his gun from its holster hung on the bedpost.


“Heyes?” he gasped, looking round for danger. “What’s the matter?”


“Nothing.”


Heyes lay back down still breathing heavily. “Sorry I woke you, Kid. Just go back to sleep.”


“Ya had a bad dream?”


“Ye-ah.”


The Kid released the hammer and returned his gun, satisfied that there was no immediate danger.


“It’s alright Heyes. Wanna talk about it?”


“Nope.”


The Kid settled again and waited.


“I was being chased,” came the hesitant explanation.


“Posse?”


“Nope something far worse.”


The Kid was intrigued now and turned over. “What can be worse than a posse? Y’know given our current wanted status.”


Heyes licked his lips. “It don’t matter, Kid. You’ll only laugh.”


“No I won’t. If some thing’s bothering ya then I need to know. C’mon.”


Heyes took a deep breath. He knew he was going to regret this.


“I was running downhill. No matter how fast I ran, I couldn’t get away. It was nearly catching me up.”


“Just to be clear. IT being this thing that isn’t a posse?”


“Yes.”


“Which is?”


Heyes sighed again. “If I tell, promise you won’t laugh?”


“I promise.” The Kid held up his hands in surrender.


Heyes licked his lips and sighed in resignation. “I was being chased by a giant boiled egg,” he said, softly. “It was about to run me over when I woke up.”


The Kid made a valiant attempt to keep a straight face. First, he bit his lip. Then he pressed them together. He could feel himself going red in the face. He tried choking back the giggles but all to no avail. Once the chortle started, there was no stopping it.


Heyes rolled his eyes at the ceiling. He hadn’t really expected anything different but turned away in a huff anyway.


“You promised not to laugh,” he grumped.


“I know but … .” The Kid swallowed another wave of hysteria. “Sorry Heyes but that’s jus’ … . You were chased by a giant BOILED EGG!”


“I coulda been killed y’know! It woulda flattened me if it ran me over!”


“By a boiled egg?”


“It was six feet tall and still had it’s shell on!” If Heyes thought that might convey how serious the situation had seemed, he was sadly mistaken. Another wave of chortling ensued. “Go to sleep!” He punched his pillow.

The shaking of the bed from the Kid’s laughter slowly subsided.


“Sorry Heyes. I’ve heard it all now.” He lay on his back grinning, feeling the waves of hurt coming at him from his partner’s back. “You’d best not do that egg trick again if ya gonna dream about eggs afterwards. But don’t worry you’re safe. I’ll save you from killer boiled eggs.”


A grunt from the other side of the bed.


“’Course if ya are gonna dream ‘bout eggs, can ya make ‘em giant fried ones?”


Heyes frowned. Then curious he raised his head and looked round. “Why?”


“’Cos I’m gonna dream about giant slices of bacon to go with ‘em,” the Kid grinned, preparing to turn over so they
were back to back.


“Aaagh!” Heyes punched the pillow again and rested his head. “Go to sleep. I know you’re eternally hungry but dreaming about food will only make it worse. We’re on trail rations tomorrow don’t forget.”


“How’re ya gonna stop me?”


“By making MY boiled egg run YOU over. See how you like it,” Heyes grinned, smugly and settled his head for sleep.


From the other side of the bed came a disgruntled snort.
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Penski
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Penski

Posts : 1407
Join date : 2012-04-22
Age : 58
Location : Northern California

May 2019 - Safe  Empty
PostSubject: Re: May 2019 - Safe    May 2019 - Safe  Icon_minitimeMon May 27, 2019 2:37 pm

Keeping the Safe...Safe

“Sheriff Trevors!  Sheriff Trevors!  The young lad ran down the street behind the lawman doing his rounds in Porterville.

He turned.  “Well, hello, Jimmy.  What can I do for you?”

Jimmy panted as he caught up.  He had a piece of paper in his hand extended out.  “You got a telegram.  Pa asked me to deliver it to you.”

The sheriff took the paper and quickly read it.  “Do you know when this came in?”

The boy nodded.  “Uh huh, just a few minutes ago.  Pa was helpin’ me with my homework when it came in.”

“Thanks, Jimmy.  I need to reply back.”

Lom quickly walked to the Western Union with Jimmy trotting behind to keep up.  He entered the office and held the door open for the boy.  “Good afternoon, John.”

“Howdy, Sheriff.  Jimmy gave you the note?”

“He did.”  Trevors ruffled the boy’s hair and smiled down at him.  “You got a good messenger here.  Heard the message just came in?”

“Yep, not even ten minutes ago.  Need to reply?”

“I do.  Smith-stop.  Meet me at Nolan-stop.  Urgent-stop.”


~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The bartender took the dime and handed Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry their glasses of beer.  “You get an egg with a glass of beer.  They’re down there on the other side of the counter.”

“Thanks!” the two former outlaws said in unison as they sipped their beer.

“Ahh…” the Kid exclaimed.  “That cut the trail dust.  You want one?”  He gestured to the bowl of eggs.

Heyes smiled.  “As long as you’re getting one, sure.”

They were eating their eggs when a clerk walked into the saloon.  “Mr. Smith?”

Heyes held up a hand.  “Right here.”

“Telegram… sounded important.”

Heyes took it and replied while reading, “Thanks.”

Kid Curry glanced over his shoulder.  “What’s it say?”

“Lom wants to meet us at Nolan’s ranch and says it’s urgent.”

The Kid shrugged.  “Probably another job for the governor.”

“Or maybe our amnesty,” Heyes said quietly.  He finished his beer.  “Let’s go.”

Kid Curry gulped down the rest of his beer and popped the rest of the egg in his mouth.


~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Heyes and Curry cautiously approached the dilapidated cabin.  A horse was tied by the door.

“Looks like Lom got here first,” Curry commented.

The door opened and Trevors walked out.  “You’re finally here.”

“Came as soon as we got your reply, Lom,” Heyes said.  “What’s this about?  News on our amnesty?”

“Just another job for the governor, right?”  The Kid dismounted from his horse.

Lom Trevors frowned.  “Well, you could say that.”

“Told you so.”

Heyes sighed.  “What kind of job now?”

“There’s an important shipment going from Denver to Sheridan.  The governor wants to make sure it arrives safely.”

“He wants us to deliver it?”

“No, it’ll be in a safe.  You get to travel by train.”

Heyes thought a moment.  “On the Central Wyoming line?”

“Yep.”

“The line that gets robbed often?”

“That’s the one.”

“So, we have to make sure it don’t get robbed?” Curry asked, exasperated.  “We gotta make sure the safe is… safe.”

“That’s right.”

“Isn’t the governor kinda having the foxes guarding the hen house?”  Heyes shook his head.

“You could look at it that way, I think, but who better?  You two will know best how to protect it.”

“And how can we stop a robbery, Lom?”

“Talk them outta it?  I’m sure you’ll figure out how… since your amnesty depends on it.”

“Of course, it does.”  Kid Curry slammed his hand into the wall.  “And if we are successful, do we get it?”

“Well, I’m sure the governors of Colorado and Wyoming will be mighty grateful to have the shipment reach Sheridan.”

“How grateful, Lom?” Heyes asked frustrated.


~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Kid Curry polished his gun as he sat in the corner of the railcar with his legs stretched out and crossed at the ankles.  He opened the chamber and spun it, verifying all six chambers were full.  

“Do you know that’s the fifth time you’ve checked your gun?” Heyes sounded annoyed.

“Yeah, well I’m worried.  Have you decided how we’re gonna talk a gang outta not robbin’ this safe?”

“Guess it depends who’s doing the robbing, Kid.”  

“I can think of several gangs that might try in this area.  Thank goodness it’s just a freight train so we don’t have to worry about passengers bein’ hurt.

“I’m glad Lom insisted on no passenger cars.”  Heyes looked longingly at the Brooker 404.

Curry sighed.  “Just go open it and see what’s so dang important that we’re puttin’ our lives on the line for it.”

“I couldn’t open it when I tried with Miss Porter.”

“Well, you have nothin’ but time now and no distractions.  It’ll keep you busy and quiet for the trip.”

Heyes scowled for a moment but walked up to the safe and lovingly rubbed it.  “It is a thing of beauty.”

“Sure, it is, Heyes.”

“And it would be good to know what we’re guarding.”

“That’s right.  Just open it, will you?”

“Don’t need to get proddy, Kid.”  Heyes removed his hat and sat cross legged in front of the safe.  He sighed as he leaned into it and began moving the dial.

Curry set his gun to the side within reach and began to whittle a piece of wood.


~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Two hours later, Kid Curry stood and stretched.  He walked over to the safe and his partner.  “How’s it goin’?

“I got the first two numbers.”

“Glad to see you haven’t lost your touch, but you sure are slower than you used to be.”

“It’s because of all the noise and how quiet they’ve made this safe.  Remember that piece of rubber Dr. Chauncey had to hear your heart?”

Curry nodded.  “That’d be helpful to open that safe, huh?”

“It sure would be.  Wonder where I can get one.”

“Heyes, need I remind you that we’re outta that business and you don’t need any?”

Heyes pouted and leaned back towards the safe door.


~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Kid Curry looked at his watch and sighed.  “We should be in outlaw territory now.”

“Uh huh…” Heyes said absent-mindedly.  He moved the dial to the right slowly and a grin appeared on his face.

“Did you get it?”

“I think so.”  He pulled down the handle and opened the safe.

“You did it!”  Curry exclaimed as he went over there.  “What’s inside?”

Heyes moved the contents around.  “There’s…”

Heyes and the Kid tumbled as the brakes were applied hard on train.

“Dang!”  Kid Curry quickly recovered and grabbed his gun.  

Heyes regained his balance and shut the safe, spinning the dial and moving away from it.  He pulled out his gun and motioned to the Kid to go to one side of the door while he went to the other side.

The train came to a stop.  Minutes ticked by.  Heyes and Kid Curry heard hooves and men talking before the door slid open.

“There it is, men, just like I said!”  One of the outlaws pointed to the safe.  “Kyle…”

Heyes step out into view.

“What the…  What are you doin’ in there, Heyes?”  Wheat Carlson fumbled with his gun; his mouth wide open.

“Not getting robbed.”

“You’re guardin’ the safe?” Wheat asked, incredulous.

“I sure am.”

“And who’s gonna stop us?”

“Me!”  Kid Curry stepped into view.

“Howdy, Heyes and Kid!”  Kyle smiled.

“What’re you two guardin’ this safe for?” Wheat asked.

“Because we’re getting paid.  We took a job to get it to Sheridan without being robbed.”

“Well, I’ll be.  Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry guardin’ a safe.  Why, that’s like two foxes…”

“Guardin’ the henhouse.  Yeah, we know.”  The Kid brandished his gun.

“So, what’s in the safe?

“Now how would we know?

“You didn’t open it, Heyes?”  Kyle’s eyes were wide.

“I’m getting paid to guard it, not open it!”

“Huh, I would’ve thought you’d have opened it.  Unless you can’t get it open, just like that last robbery with the $50,000 that went into the lake.”  Wheat looked questioningly.

“Now wait a minute, I…”

“You’re right.”  Kid Curry gave his partner a look.  “He tried and couldn’t get it opened.”

“Lost your touch, huh, Heyes?”

Heyes sighed.  “I haven’t been practicing now that I’m outta the business.”

“Well, Kyle’ll get it opened.  Just needs a few sticks of dynamite.”

Kyle jumped up into the car.  “I brought the good stuff!”

Curry aimed his gun.  “We can’t let you do that, Kyle.”

“Huh?”

“Told you we’re guardin’ this safe.”

“How much you two gettin’ paid?” Wheat asked.

“It’s not how much we’re getting paid.  It’s for the governor and we’re hoping he’ll look favorable towards us,” Heyes explained.

“You two still goin’ after that amnesty, huh?”  Wheat chuckled.  “Governor’s got you to stop robbin’ by danglin’ that carrot in front of you.  That’s all it is.”

“Now Wheat…”

“No offensive, Kid, but why’s he need to give it to you now that you’ve stopped robbin’?”  Wheat gestured to Kyle.  “Let’s see what’s in there worth Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry guardin’.”

“Wait?  Okay, Wheat, I admit it.”  Heyes looked sheepishly.  “I did open the safe.”

“And…”

“And there’s nothing more than a lot of paper in there – legal looking paper.”

“That’s all?”

“That’s all.  Definitely not worth using the good stuff for.  Sorry, Kyle.”  Heyes put his arm around the smaller man’s shoulder.

“I’m the leader now and I’ll tell Kyle whether to blow up a safe or not!”  Wheat hitched up his pants.

Kid Curry had been leaning against the side of the railcar with his gun in hand.  “Well?”

Wheat glanced at the menacing-looking gun man.  “We can save the good stuff for a safe with a payroll, Kyle.”

Kyle sighed and put his head down.  “I sure was lookin’ forward to blowin’ it up.”

“Maybe next time.”  Kid Curry holstered his gun now that the decision was made.

Lobo came to the railcar door, his gun on a man.  “Hey, Wheat, look who we found in the caboose!”

Heyes, Curry, Wheat, and Kyle all turned to see.

“Lom, what are you doing on this train?” Heyes asked, his eyes dark with anger.

“Just making sure it arrives in Sheridan safely,” Trevors replied.  “Good thing, too.  See it’s the Devil’s Hole Gang.”

“That’s right, Trevors.”  Wheat puffed out his chest.  “Put we decided there’s nothin’ worth robbin’ on this train.”

“Now how do you know there’s nothing worth robbing, Wheat?” Lom Trevors asked.

“Heyes said it’s nothin’ in the safe but a bunch of papers – legal lookin’ papers.”

“And how do you know, Heyes?  Tell me you didn’t open the safe.”

Heyes shrugged.  “I was bored and wanted to see if I had lost my touch.  Not like I took anything.”

Trevors rolled his eyes.  “I should’ve known.”

Wheat jumped down from the car.  “Guess we’ll be goin’ now.  Sure do hate to go empty-handed.”

“There’s chickens in one of the cars.”  Hank pointed down towards the caboose.  “Would make a few good meals.”

“Now there’s a good idea.  Everyone grab a couple of chickens.  If you can keep a few alive, all the better.”  Wheat started walking away with the rest of the gang.

“Where do you think you’re going?”  Trevors called after them.  “You robbed the train and by right I should be bringing you in.”

Heyes jumped down and faced Lom.  “Let them go.  They’re not taking much and it’ll save face if they go away with something.”

Chickens clucked a few cars down.

“Well, I suppose.”

Heyes put his hands on his hips.  “Besides, I can’t believe you’re here.  Don’t trust us, Lom?”

“Sure, I do, but a lot is riding on this delivery, including a promotion for me.”  Trevors stood tall.  “Besides, you can’t liking take the contents of the safe to the bank in Sheridan, now can you?”

“Okay, but when it comes to gangs robbing this train and keeping the stuff in the safe secure, me and the Kid are gonna call the shots.  Understand?  It’ll keep you and the crew safer.  And take off that badge.  Any other gang would’ve shot you without asking a question.”

“Okay,” Sheriff Trevors agreed as he removed his badge and put it in a pocket.  “You got a point that you and the Kid know how to deal with gangs more than me.”

“The gang is about to leave.  You can tell the engineer he can go in a few minutes.”  Heyes climbed back into the car.

Wheat and the gang rode past the car, a few chickens were flapping their wings while others were dead and tied down.  “Take it easy, boys.  Mark my words what I said about amnesty.”

Heyes and Curry waved after the gang.

“Bye, Heyes and Kid!” Kyle called out.

“Bye, Kyle,” the former leaders said in unison.

Kid Curry shut the door as the train whistle blew and smoke began to rise again.  “So, Heyes, what’s really in that safe?  Just legal papers?”

Heyes grinned.  “Money is legal paper, isn’t it?”




Thinking about finishing this in a VS episode with another gang trying for the safe.  What do you think?    huh

_________________
h
"Do you ever get the feeling that nothing right is ever going to happen to us again?" - Kid Curry
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InsideOutlaw

InsideOutlaw

Posts : 852
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May 2019 - Safe  Empty
PostSubject: Re: May 2019 - Safe    May 2019 - Safe  Icon_minitimeTue May 28, 2019 1:05 pm

A Day Early, A Dollar Short - Chapter 9

“Ple…ee…ase, c…can’t we slow down a little?”  Dr. Minner had a death grip around Kid Curry’s waist.  His eyes were clenched shut.  He couldn’t bear watching as the horse dodged one tree after another, shifting his direction before his hooves hit the ground at a speed that was shocking.  He knew if he fell off he’d be trampled by the second horse they were leading behind them.  His hold tightened even more.  He had no desire to go to his eternal resting place as a pulverized corpse.  His stomach roiled with fear and he swore repeatedly that he’d never sit a horse again as long as he lived; if he lived through this ride.

“Sorry, Doc, ain’t gonna happen.  Think you could ease up on the squeezin’?  It’s gettin’ kinda hard to breathe.”  A moment later, the Kid felt the arms bending his ribs through his chest loosen a tiny bit.  “Thanks.”  He was following his own tracks from this morning and it was taking all his concentration to make sure they didn’t get lost.  Fortunately, the dry, trampled grasses hadn’t recovered from his passing this morning and there was a faint trail stretching ahead of them.  “Won’t be much longer.”

XXX

Mac had reached for Heyes forgetting his legs were handcuffed around the post.  An abrupt jerk reminded him all too quickly how futile his actions were and he fell back gasping as a hot dagger of pain shot through his injured foot.  The hateful outlaw was watching him but he wasn’t about to give the grinning jackass the satisfaction of witnessing his weakness.   He got his breath under control and sat back against the table.  “You have no right to judge me, Heyes.  I ain’t breakin’  the law.”

A dimpled smirk cut into Heyes’ cheek.  “That depends whose law we’re talking about, don’t it?  You say you’re a god-fearing man, what do you think God will say come Judgment Day about how you go about doing your job?”

“You worried about my immortal soul?”

“I’ve just always wondered how people like you can thump their bibles and claim to be God’s chosen right before they do the most horrific things.  Gives truly good church-going folks a bad name.”  

“The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance; he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked,” said Mac with a triumphant smile.  “Psalm 58:10.”


“Sees the vengeance doesn’t mean the same as taking vengeance.”  Heyes shook his head.  “Romans 12:17-21.  Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’  To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Mac’s mouth fell open at Heyes’ lengthy, detailed recitation.

Dancing brown eyes mocked him as Heyes added, “I kinda get the feeling that God wants you to leave the revenging to him, don’t you?”

XXX

Kid Curry slowed his horse as the trees began to thin and he spotted the old cabin nestled in the meadow.  He felt Minner behind him leaning to one side for a better view.

“Are we there?” asked the doctor hopefully.

“Yeah.”  Everything looked ominously quiet.  The Kid drew his gun.  He couldn’t hear any sounds except the rustling of the browned meadow grasses rippling in a slight breeze.  That worried him.  It was past dusk and the light was fading away.  He squinted towards the cabin looking for movement of any kind.  There was none.

“Why did you draw your weapon?”

“’Cause I’m a naturally cautious man, Doc.”  Curry sent his horse into a walk but kept his Colt trained on the cabin.

“Surely your friend won’t shoot us.”

“He won’t, but the fella with him wouldn’t hesitate.”

“He’s not alone?”

“Nope.  The man who shot him is in there, too.”

“You left him alone with him?!”  Minner couldn’t keep the surprise out of his voice.

“Had to; Joshua needed a doctor.  Mac’s tied up.  At least he was when I left.  I’m just makin’ sure things haven’t changed.”

The doctor shrank back behind the Kid, closed his eyes, and held his breath as they neared the shack.   The horse halted again and he felt Curry begin to dismount.  “Wait!”  The Kid froze.  “Just in case…what’s your name?”

“Jones.  Thaddeus Jones.  My friend is the dark-haired fellow.  Joshua Smith.  Cyrus Lamford’s the other guy.  Goes by Mac.  Watch out for him.  He’s mean as a rattler.”  The Kid slipped out of the saddle and handed the reins to Minner.  “Stay here ‘til you see me wave.  If all hell breaks loose, get outta here.  Contact Sheriff Lom Trevors in Porterville and let him know what happened.”

The doctor’s eyes widened.  “You work for a sheriff?”

“No.  He’s a good friend.”

Greatly relieved to realize this fearful man was not some random outlaw, Minner smiled down at the blond.  “Be careful.”

The Kid nodded, “Always am,” and started towards the cabin using the scant trees for cover, zigzagging between them, his eyes on the front of the building.

XXX

Mac was still staring at Heyes with undisguised hatred when Kid Curry appeared in the doorway.

“Nice to see you two makin’ friends.”

Heyes beamed at his partner.  “Haha, I wouldn’t go that far.  Did you bring a doc?”

“Yep.  Hold on a sec and I’ll let him know it’s safe to come in.”  The Kid leaned out of the door and waved vigorously to Minner.  He chuckled as the doctor tried to persuade his horse to obey him then turned back to Heyes.  “He’ll be here in a minute.  You look better.”

“I think I am.  Mac, however, seems to have sprung a leak.”

Curry’s eyes shifted to the other man.  He noted the handcuffs around the ankles and the bloody rag wrapped around Mac’s foot.  “Nice shot.”

Heyes grinned.  “I’ve been practicing.”  

An alarmed cry followed by a muffled thud announced that the doctor had arrived.  Minner came through the door straightening his jacket with one hand and clutching his bag with the other.  His legs were rubbery from the ride and gave him the general appearance of a drunken sailor on shore leave.  His eyes met Heyes’.  “Yes, there, well, um, Mr. Smith, I’m Dr. Minner.”  

“Joshua,” nodded Heyes, “and that’s Mac Lamford.  He’s in need of your services, too.”

Minner acknowledged Mac and then turned back to Heyes as the Kid leaned over and whispered very softly to Mac.  “One word about us and you’re a dead man.”

Minner set his bag down on the bed and gently began to unwrap the rags from Heyes’ foot.  He whistled softly as he saw the ugly purple wound.  When he poked it slightly it oozed pus and some other substance. “What on earth did you put on this wound?”  He asked as he turned to look at the Kid.

“Pine tar.  It was all we had,” said Curry, sheepishly.

“Yes, well, there’s a nasty infection brewing in there and these rags didn’t help.  I’ll scrub it with some iodine and cut away the bad tissue but I’m afraid I’ll need to apply Bromine.  Let me have a look at Mr. Lamford first.”

“He’ll keep,” said the Kid, firmly.

“Nonsense,” replied Minner.  He walked over the bound man and knelt down.  “Mr. Lamford, may I have a look at your wound?”

“Well, since you asked so nicely…”  Mac gestured for him to proceed and watched as the doctor examined his foot.

“Fortunately, your wound appears clean, sir.  I’ll re-clean it with some iodine and we’ll have to keep an eye on it for a few days but I think you’ll be fine.”  Minner stood up and look at the Kid.  “I’ll need clean water.” He nodded towards the bucket.  “Can you start a fire?  Boil that for at least ten minutes.”

“It’s already been boiled.”

“You’ll need to do it again, I’m afraid.”  Minner watched the Kid pick up the bucket and go through the door before he turned back to Heyes.  “Mr. Smith, I’m afraid this will be quite painful.  May I give you some laudanum to ease your suffering?”

“Let’s hold off until Thaddeus returns,” answered Heyes.  “As friendly as he looks, Mac’s a dangerous man; shot me for no good reason.”

Mac seethed.  “He’s lying.  He’s Hannibal Heyes and his partner is Kid Curry.  I was taking him in to collect the reward.  I shot him so he wouldn’t try getting away.”

Minner looked at the sheer ugliness on Mac’s face.  He could easily believe the man would shoot someone for his own convenience.  Jones had already warned him about this man, too.  “I don’t care who he is, he’s my patient.  Now, Mr. Smith, lay back and try to relax.”

“I’ll relax when Thaddeus is back.  Meanwhile, I’d like to keep my wits about me.”  Heyes’ hand rested on his gun tucked by his side.

Seeing the weapon, Minner nodded.  “Yes, well, perhaps prudence is best.  In the meantime, I will light the lantern and get my instruments out.”

When the Kid returned with the steaming water, Dr. Minner prepared a heavy dose of laudanum for Heyes.  Heyes drank the bitter liquid.   All watched as the drug took effect and his eyes closed and his breathing slowed.  

“Mr. Jones, I’ll need your assistance.  This procedure will be quite painful and Mr. Smith must be adequately restrained.  If you could please position yourself by his hips, I’ll have you hold down his legs as I work on his foot.”

With practiced ease, Dr. Minner cleaned and debrided the entry and exit wounds.  Heyes twisted fitfully from time to time but the Kid’s grip held his foot firmly in place.  Once the task was completed, Minner lifted a portion of bromine-soaked lint from a small porcelain bowl with a pair of forceps and paused.  “You’ll need to hold tight, Mr. Jones.  This will burn.”  He waited until the Kid was ready then quickly plunged the lint into the open entry wound.  The effect was immediate.  Heyes screamed and sat up struggling with all his strength.  His hands beat at the Kid’s back and he yelled obscenities before finally weakening, falling back, and sobbingly begging them to stop.  Curry’s arms shook with the strain of holding his partner down but he didn’t let go.  His eyes were glued to Heyes’ face and the relief he felt when Heyes passed out was palpable.  

Dr. Minner quickly applied another wad of soaked lint to the exit wound for good measure and secured the lint in place with clean bandaging.  When he finished, he gave the Kid a kind smile and noted the grayish pallor of his assistant.  “Very well done, Mr. Jones, I know that was difficult for you.  Now, let’s see to Mr. Lamford.”

“You ain’t touchin’ me,” said Mac menacingly.

“No need to worry, Mr. Lamford.  Your wound will not require such extreme treatment.  I assure you it will be only be a little painful.  However, we must remove those handcuffs, they are cutting off the circulation.”

“That ain’t safe, Doc,” began the Kid.

“Well, it’s not safe for Mr. Lamford to leave them on and I’m afraid it’s not up for discussion.  The cuffs must come off.”

“It’s a real bad idea, Doc.”

“I would’ve thought you would agree that crippling a man for your own convenience was objectionable,” countered Minner thereby ending the argument.

Mac was careful to keep a neutral expression on his face as the Kid begrudgingly removed the cuffs but his mind was working overtime on the possibilities that had just opened up for him.

“Mr. Jones, may I request your services again?”  Minner handed Mac a small dose cup of laudanum.  “Drink up, sir.”

“I ain’t drinkin’ that.  Curry, keep your paws off me, I’ll handle it.”   Mac crossed his arms defiantly.

“Sir…”

“Do what you have to do,” snapped Mac.

“You heard him, Doc.”  The Kid was looking forward to delivering some pain of his own to Mac.

True to his word, Minner tried his best to avoid unnecessary discomfort and was soon wrapping Mac’s foot in clean bandages.  “There.  You were quite brave, Mr. Lamford.”  He put the foot down gently and turned away to wash up.

A surly grunt was all Mac could offer as a reply.  Beads of sweat were dotting his forehead but he had kept his teeth clenched throughout the treatment with only a small whine or two escaping through his lips.  

The Kid had been disappointed.

“Well, I’m famished.”  Minner rummaged around in his doctor’s bag and came up holding a sack.  “The wife prepared me a rather generous meal.  Would you and Mr. Lamford care to share? ”

“You go ahead, Doc.  I’ve lost my appetite,” replied Curry.  He went over and sat down on the edge of Heyes’ bed, tucking the covers securely around his partner and patting his shoulder protectively.

Minner watched him thoughtfully.  The fearsome man who had kidnapped was long gone and in his place was a kind and caring person.  Jones’ affection for his partner was heartwarming.

Mac smiled meanly.  “I’ll have some.  Listenin’ to Heyes scream has made me hungry.”

Minner frowned.  It was plain to him that Mr. Jones was not the frightening man he’d thought he was.  No, the only frightening man around here was Mr. Lamford.

_________________
*****************

"You can only be young once. But you can always be immature." —Dave Barry
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