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 How Long Do You Wait for Amnesty?

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Penski
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PostSubject: How Long Do You Wait for Amnesty?   Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:24 pm

A challenge got me wondering...   scratch



  • Do you think the governor is serious about giving amnesty or just holding out a proverbial carrot so Heyes and Curry would quit outlawing?



  • How long do you imagine before they were granted amnesty, if ever?



  • If amnesty took too long, what do you imagine Heyes and the Kid doing - running forever or going to South America/Australia or something else?  How long do you think they would wait for amnesty before giving up?

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PostSubject: Re: How Long Do You Wait for Amnesty?   Thu Sep 06, 2012 1:43 pm

Yeah I was also thinking about that.

Given that amnesty offers were real (and were even offered to Butch Cassidy) -- I think such an offer would have been real (assuming this were real life of course).

How long? I would suspect it would depend some on the exact year we're talking about and the political situation. Realistically I can't see it being more than a year or two -- but for story purposes I'd expect it to be more like 4 years. Politically you have two things playing off each other -- the big money interests would resist granting them amnesty but the populace and the "little people" would have supported it (according to the premise at the beginning -- "made them very popular with everyone but the banks and the railroads"), so it depends on whether the governor is a populist or not at that point.

I don't see anyone "waiting forever" for it. For one thing, the longer they go without committing a crime, the less incentive there is for the banks/railroads to offer such an enormous reward for their capture -- in time the reward would decrease or go away and the pressure to catch them would decrease. Since they didn't shoot anyone, and they are very popular -- very soon there would be little incentive for the reward or the "dead or alive" language. I don't really see that they would necessarily have to go to S. America or out of the country -- there are a lot of criminals who lived as normal citizens in the west in reality -- there're no pictures of them, the west was pretty unpopulated, and really not that many folks would know what they looked like. So in a real world I would think they could find a quiet place to settle down and no one would care.
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InsideOutlaw

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PostSubject: Re: How Long Do You Wait for Amnesty?   Thu Sep 06, 2012 2:57 pm


I've wondered about this one. Like Riders said, the amnesty offer is realistic, but the staying out of trouble for one year seemed a little too good to be true. Heyes and Curry are supposed to be the most successful outlaws in the West, I really don't see anyone giving them an amnesty after only a year;I would think at least four or five years.

I do think the concept of amnesty would've been fairly widely supported for these two as the amnesty deal would stop them from bleeding the banks and the railroads dry.

I don't see the offer as being an effective dangling carrot. These two are too smart and too amoral to let it go on forever. I think after a few years, they'd slip back to their old ways. I do agree again with Riders assessment that it would be possible to live in the US if they retired and I don't really see Heyes leaving for South America. At least a couple of episodes alluded to his desire to stay and in SSAAS he flat out said he was a man of the West.

Good subject, Penski!




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PostSubject: Re: How Long Do You Wait for Amnesty?   Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:55 pm

Definitely a good subject, Penski!

I've wondered about this, too. I like to think the governor is doing a little bit of both, being serious about it, and also thinking about how putting those two out of business would look on his record. If I was the Governor, I'd wonder - do those two really mean it? Or are they playing some sort of con game here? I am a pretty cynical person, so I probably lean to the "it's never gonna happen" side. On the other hand, some standards of behavior were different in the 19th century. Giving your word meant something. Whether it meant something to the governor is another question altogether.

As to how long they'd believe in the possibility of amnesty -- I am guessing, it would be until there is a change in the governor's office. They'd have to petition all over again (I believe) with a new governor, who may have a very different philosophy. In my personal worldview, I think that Lom Trevors would try desperately to keep Heyes and Curry on the straight and narrow. But I imagine that they would believe Lom is honest, but misguided.

Again, being the evil and cynical person I am, I believe Heyes and Curry would be very comfortable returning to the criminal lifestyle. But they'd become con men, or find some other way of earning a dishonest buck that was a little less life-threatening than holding up a train. And, I also think they'd be a lot more comfortable without a gang.

I'm very much looking forward to what other people have to say on this subject!

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PostSubject: Re: How Long Do You Wait for Amnesty?   Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:35 am

I think I've already answered this in a thread on the old board, and my view hasn't really changed. I think keeping out of trouble for only a year would be too short for criminals as high profile as Heyes and Curry; I think the period would have to be much longer to give whoever granted it any credibility - say about five years, but if a year was suggested, I'd say it probably wasn't offered in good faith and may never be granted for fear of the political backlash.

I'm not sure that they'd return to a criminal career, but would be more likely to pull off one big job to fund their ambitions to live quietly somewhere. That would be all the more attractive if they could embarrass the governor in the process, making it clear that they had been driven to it by his failure to keep his word.

If they did return to a criminal career, instead of a spectacular one-off , I agree with RosieAnnie that they'd be more likely to do something a bit more sedate like becoming confidence tricksters.
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PostSubject: Re: How Long Do You Wait for Amnesty?   Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:36 am

I think the amnesty offer could well have been made in good faith at the outset, but, as Riders says, the longer they went without commiting a crime, the less incentive there would be to grant it since the "problem" would have been more or less erradicated by the very offer itself, providing those it was offered to complied with it's terms, thereby creating a reluctance, by the authorities, to keep their end of the deal. I too don't think a year would realistically have been long enough for the authorities to assume that any notorious criminals had truly changed their ways, but I think, if it was several years, those criminals would have become disillusioned, thinking they had been led up the garden path, and would perhaps have reverted back to their criminal ways. But of course, they would then be back to square one, hunted all over again, so I guess it would depend on how much they valued their lives/wanted to be 'legal citizens' once more as to whether they did that. They could of course, as Riders says, have assumed new identities/appearances and settled somewhere and lived normal lives, as many no doubt did. If, as rumour suggests, Butch Cassidy didn't die in Bolivia and lived well into the 1920's, then he must have done something along those lines.

As for what Heyes and Curry might have done had they given up on/been refused amnesty, I don't see them heading to South America either. They seemed to have a lot of criminal friends who were living what appeared, on the surface, to be 'respectable' lives - such as Silky and Soapy - while still indulging in shady dealings on the quiet, so perhaps the boys might have taken advice from some of them and gone down a similar path. But they could just as easily have settled down somewhere, under different names, and taken up legitimate careers. With Heyes' intelligence and knowledge of the law I could see him being involved in a job connected to the legal profession or perhaps banking/accountancy. Curry, to me anyway, comes over as more practical, someone who would enjoy building/making things, or working outside on the land or with animals, so maybe could have started a horse ranch or something.

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PostSubject: Re: How Long Do You Wait for Amnesty?   Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:50 am

From what I recall reading, when the amnesty offer was crafted for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid the catch was that they would be required to work for the railroads, banks and law enforcement providing security and recommendations on improving security. I suspect that any amnesty offer for high profile outlaws would include something similar. Just as an accused in court doesn't receive immunity without offering information the prosecution requires, I can't see a genuine offer of amnesty to the likes of Heyes and Curry without the government and law enforcement receiving something in return.

As for how long they wait? My gut reaction is five years. But I think they might have settled down a bit before that time had passed--disappeared into obscurity. As time passed with no new crimes, I suspect the railroads and banks would have withdrawn the rewards and others villains would have captured the lime light. It's sad for me to think of them as forgotten, but that would probably be best for the characters.
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PostSubject: Re: How Long Do You Wait for Amnesty?   Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:39 am

With a newer gang, I thought I'd ask again a few of the older bantering questions.  If you answered before, you many have changed some of your thoughts.  So...

A challenge got me wondering...   scratch



  • Do you think the governor is serious about giving amnesty or just holding out a proverbial carrot so Heyes and Curry would quit outlawing?



  • How long do you imagine before they were granted amnesty, if ever?



  • If amnesty took too long, what do you imagine Heyes and the Kid doing - running forever or going to South America/Australia or something else?  How long do you think they would wait for amnesty before giving up?

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PostSubject: Re: How Long Do You Wait for Amnesty?   Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:10 pm

I agree with what everyone's posted, especially this: "I'm not sure that they'd return to a criminal career, but would be more likely to pull off one big job to fund their ambitions to live quietly somewhere. That would be all the more attractive if they could embarrass the governor in the process, making it clear that they had been driven to it by his failure to keep his word."

They are always successful in their safe-cracking - they get the safes open (except for the Pilot) and don't get caught, so it seems they could do it a few more times, just the two of them, and be done with it. And in reality, their jobs wouldn't always fall apart due to bad guys or being recognized. They really could run the saloon in some place similar to Wickenburg or something. There's no reason for them to ALWAYS be broke. And like the posters wrote, after a few years, people would lose interest/recognition and the rewards would change. I don't know what the point of granting amnesty would be for the gov at that point, but sure, there's the whole "honor" thing.

Getting into it a bit, I can envision Heyes writing the railroads/banks, perhaps even in a public newspaper if it's dragged on a few years, and explaining the gov's offer and pointing out how there have been no robberies by H&C in that time. Would the banks/railroads prefer for them to return to a life of crime, or would they prefer to put pressure on the gov to make good on his word? Alternatively, the banks/RR could drop the rewards altogether since they've quit robbing them. H&C would still have to deal with the law if a sheriff caught them, but at least the bounty hunters would not have a motivation, and the people would likely support H&C even more since they've been "done wrong."
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PostSubject: Re: How Long Do You Wait for Amnesty?   Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:12 am

We all know how long the boys actually waited, and how it all worked out, and what they did afterwards! Just look at the story by last month's story challenge winner!
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PostSubject: Amnesty   Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:25 pm

I think if we assume Heyes is roughly cut from the same cloth as Butch Cassidy... then if the amnesty deal was held up for too long ...Heyes would not be able to resist reprisals. He wouldn't just fade ... he would have to plan one last job ... to show them he can't be played with... in the same lines as the bank job he pulls in the pilot... to show Lom he should have stuck around to do his job.

I don't think a notorious gunslinger like Kid Curry would even be offered amnesty on his own. Without Heyes' agile brain, obviously responsible for the "Never killed anyone" reputation they brag about often, I don't think anyone would believe someone of Curry's reputation wasn't a murderer. So its Heyes who is the key to amnesty for The Kid. He could probably have had a much quicker deal without insisting on including Kid in the deal.

Do I think they got it... yes. But not without Heyes coming up with a way to make it politically expedient for a Governor to pardon them... probably a dangerous way for it to happen too, as a final reward for a brave act.

When... Three to five years... any more than that and they would have reverted to type... and probably died in a storm of bullets, like Butch and Sundance.

I sometimes wonder if one would get it and the other not... would they separate?
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