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 September 2014 Flashback

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Maz

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Posts : 406
Join date : 2012-04-22
Age : 56
Location : London, England

PostSubject: September 2014 Flashback   Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:50 am

Hi anxious challengers

Calico has left me in charge so once again the power is going straight to my head!! sm
Muhaha.

What shall the title be?
Maz and Kid...the romance?
Maz and Kid..live happily ever after? congrats

Wait...that dang cat has left me a title to use?
Sheesh.

Okay with heavy sigh here it is....

Flashback

Of course that does not mean we cannot flashback to happy times with Maz and Kid right??
I said right??

Sheesh.
Okay get scribbling fine challengers.

_________________
Obstacles are put in our way to see if we really want something or only thought we did: Edison
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ty pender

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Join date : 2014-07-17

PostSubject: Sunday Morning at the Saddle Creek Community Church’   Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:42 am

Author’ Note: This story is a continuation of ‘Freedom of the Press’ which appeared in the 2014 Virtual Season.


Heyes moved his index finger along the inside of his white starched collar and pulled at the sides.  The summer heat had graced his neck with beads of sweat.  He rearranged his black Windsor tie and tucked it back under his black wool jacket.  Anne Mayfield and Marjory Speilman leaned forward in the pew beside him and smiled approvingly from behind their fans.  He smiled back and tried to concentrate on the morning sermon ‘The Excellences of Virtue’.

He looked over at Curry.  The Kid’s eyes were glazed over and his head nodded slightly back and forth with the pastor’s sing-song delivery.  The Kid heard the orphanage bell swinging in the church tower, ‘clang-clang, clang-clang.’

“Hey Kid, hear the bell?” Heyes asked.

“Yea, I hear a bell.”

“We’re missing chapel.”

“That ain’t the chapel bell Heyes, that’s just a cow coming in to eat.” Both boys laughed as they walked down to the creek with their fishing poles.  The Kid felt good. He felt the warm ground under his bare feet and the warm summer air that rustled the trees.  Soon he would be dipping his feet in the creek. “I hate those Sunday duds,” he said to himself, “’specially on a summer day like this.”

The pastor paused and lowered his voice.  “Brother and sisters, we cannot let the events of yesterday pass without remark.  By God’s grace, our guests today, Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones, were brought to our little town…,” he began, adding a tremble to his voice for emphasis.

Curry could feel his head move back and forth as he watched the cork on the fishing line bob in the water.  He tried to keep his eyes focused on the worm and hook that dangled just below the cork.  

Heyes reached over and jammed Curry in his side.  Curry felt the headmaster’s stick in his side.  “Aw Sir, this is a great fishin’ hole, we’re goin’ to bring some big trout up to the cook, isn’t that right Heyes?”

“That’s right Sir, wait til you see the trout in this hole.”

Heyes reached over and jammed Curry in his side again.  Curry’s head straightened, but his eyes remained glazed.

“These two men, strangers to our town,” the pastor continued with his tremor, “stepped forward, offering their services, indeed their very lives, without compensation. Their virtuous actions are a stark, remarkable contrast to the false pretense of the villain they apprehended, and brought bound to jail.”

“Amens” were offered from various corners of the congregation.  The Kid’s eyes brightened and his back straightened against the back of the wood pew.

The pastor raised his voice and widened his tremolo. “That villain who stole money from our sister Anne Mayfield and threatened Lloyd Grady with blackmail; that villain who came to steal, cloaked in falsehood; was apprehended by these two men who come with no pretense, and risked their lives without compensation!  A remarkable contrast indeed!”

More “Amens” were heard from the congregants. The Kid eyes were beaming now.  Heyes’ eyes however, darted around the small church house looking for possible escape routes.

Suddenly the pastor raised his arm, and his voice. “A remarkable contrast indeed, and a lesson for all of us,” he added with a flourish.

Everyone in the congregation turned and looked at the boys approvingly.  The Kid acknowledged each congregant’s eyes with self-satisfied pleasure.  Heyes jammed him in the side again.

The pastor lowered his voice and continued his sermon. “Brothers and sisters, God is the author of all things visible and invisible.  In the visible things we see God’s goodness – the beauty of nature, the potential for acts of love by His creatures.  

“So what is revealed in the invisible things of God? When the invisible things of God are revealed, we see ever more beauty and grace.  And so also it is with His saints.  Behind every act of a saint is revealed the purest of motives.

“But what of the treacherous man?”  The pastor paused, and looked out.  Slowly, murmurs went through the congregation.

The pastor raised his voice and continued.  “What of the treacherous man?  What of the liar? What of the man who hides his evil plans?  What is revealed when the drape of pretense is removed from his chicanery?”

This brought more murmurs from the congregation.  Heyes’ and Curry’s eyes were glued to the pastor. They sat straight as boards, as if locked in the pew.  

The pastor raised his voice even higher, and he began to wave his arms for emphasis.  “We see pride, greed, a miserable creature!” The pastor’s arm lowered and his hand pointed straight at Heyes and Curry.

The boys’ eyes locked on the finger pointing straight at them. “But these men, as I said, show us a remarkable contrast. They sit here today honored guests.  Yesterday they were strangers; today they wear the laurel wreath of honor as crowns on their heads.  The man they apprehended tried to build his house on sand, and was swept away in disgrace to jail, and will always be remembered with loathing.  But these men built their house on a rock of principle; they have secured a place in our hearts, and will always be remembered with special thanks.”

The boys’ eyes tracked the pastor’s arm as he raised it and pointed to the ceiling.  He raised his voice and modulated it into a wider tremolo.  “That man is under lock and key, he sits languishing in jail.” The boys tracked his arm as it lowered and pointed at them, “But these two men are free!”

Scattered “Amens” filtered from the congregation.

The pastor raised his arm, the boys’ heads moved with it. “That man is sunk in vile ignominy,” the arm and heads came down “but these men sit in honor among the saints; and have a reward in heaven. Our master will greet them there with ‘well done, thy good and faithful servants!’”

The pastor lowered his voice, but continued his modulated tremble. “I insist upon this point, brothers and sisters, I urge you to it.  I press it, I demand it.  By virtue we secure our happiness.  By false pretense we secure our downfall.  By virtue we grow ever stronger in honesty and good deeds.  By false pretense we encourage evil to grow ever stronger in our hearts, until at last we are ruined.”

“Amens” echoed through the congregation.  The boys’ eyes were still locked on the pastor.  The Kid felt his jaw loosen. “Uh, Amen,” escaped his open mouth.

The pastor paused his delivery and waited until no more ‘Amens’ were heard. He then returned to his normal voice and lowered his head.  “Let our actions be marked with this unbending resolution; by virtue we secure our happiness. Amen.”  

The congregation repeated his final Amen.

The pastor stepped out from behind the pulpit and the congregation rose. The boys shook their heads as they came out of their trance.   There was a crush to get back to where the boys were seated, with Anne and Marjory.  

Hands came forward.  “Thank you Mr. Smith,” an elderly man extended his hand to Heyes “you are such a blessing!” Heyes took his hand, “Thank you sir, we were just doing what we thought every law-abiding citizen should do.”

A young woman with three children planted herself in front of the Kid and fixed her eyes on his. “Thank you Mr. Jones, you are so brave!” Curry straightened, returned her gaze, and took a cursory glance at her three children. “Thank you Ma’m, we just want folks to be safe.”

The boys were finally able to move into the aisle.  An elderly woman was waiting for her moment. “Thank you Mr. Smith, welcome to Saddle Creek, you’ll always have a special place in our hearts.”

Slowly the boys were moved along with the crowd toward the back door where the pastor and Sheriff Brainard stood shaking hands.  They were followed by Marjory and Anne.

Heyes took the pastor’s hand. “That was mighty fine preaching sir – you really struck a chord.”  The Kid took the preacher’s hand, briefly, “That was, uh, inspirin’ pastor, sir,” he blurted.

The pastor drew his head back with a wide smile and looked the two men over with relish.  “Well thank you Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones. You have been a great inspiration to Saddle Creek. I believe your actions yesterday spoke more eloquently than I ever could.  Please consider joining our little church.  We need honorable, godlike young men like you in this community.”

As the boys turned to shake Sheriff Brainard’s hand, Marjory took the pastor’s hand. “Thank you pastor for your message.  I must say that although your church is small, and not as fancy as we have in the east, the service and the congregants certainly gripped my heart.”

“Thank you young lady,” the pastor began. “I would imagine that…” He was interrupted by Anne Mayfield. She lifted her chin, looked straight into his eyes, and finished his sentence, “life is more direct here in the far west than in the east, and we frontier people are not accustomed to hiding our emotions, be they good or bad.”

The pastor was somewhat taken aback. “Yes, thank you Sister Anne.  I couldn’t have expressed it better myself.  That is just the way it is out here on the frontier.”

The pastor continued speaking to the young lady.  “Now, I understand that you will be leaving tomorrow for Porterville?”
“Yes,” Marjory answered.  “Anne invited me to join her this morning, and I never miss an opportunity for divine worship. Sheriffs Trevors and Brainard, as well, felt it was necessary to complete their interrogation of Mr. Bartholomew A. DeVore before we depart.”

Sheriff Brainard turned to the pastor.  “We wanted to make sure that everything is covered here in Saddle Creek before we left.”

“Yes, of course,” the pastor added.

Heyes and Curry turned to go.  They were joined by Marjory, Anne and the sheriff.  Anne spoke up. “John, I’ve made special arrangements with Jack Andrews to open up the general store for Marjory today. She needs some trail clothes. She can’t be tromping around Wyoming in fashion heels and a bustle.”

“Ah, that’s a good idea Anne,” the sheriff began, “I think …”  Anne interrupted, “Jack wanted you to know that he is keen on getting that watch back DeVore lifted, so he wants you to get over there for the inventory list.”

“Ah, right Anne,” he tried to continue, “thanks for that, I’ll..” Anne interrupted again. “Now you three men come over to my house for Sunday dinner, Lloyd’s place should be closed today.  Marjory and I will be fixing a nice dinner for the pastor and his wife.  They want to meet our two new deputies.”  She came up closer and said in a loud whisper, “the church is considering you two for deacons.”

The Kid drew back. “Well thank you ma’m for the offer,” he looked over at Heyes.

“Thank you ma’am,” Heyes replied, “we have to resupply our guns. We’ll join you at the general store but after that we have to check in with sheriff Trevors.”

“Men,” the sheriff said with a wink, “you are deputies now. Just go over to the office and get whatever you need.”  The boys turned to each other and smiled.  

The sheriff continued. “After I’m done at the general store, and with lunch at Anne’s, I’ll join you and Sheriff Trevors. He’s interrogating DeVore and I have to see what’s turned up.”  He gave the boys another wink.

The boys stepped off the church steps and started down the street.  The Kid turned to Heyes, “Mighty nice of the sheriff to get us out of that one. Wonder why he did that.”

Heyes nodded, “I don’t know, but I’ve had enough of these Sunday duds; let’s head over to Lloyd’s and get a drink.”

The Kid laughed.  “I wonder what Anne will do when she finds out half the men in this town eat Sunday dinner at Lloyd’s.”


Last edited by ty pender on Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:47 am; edited 2 times in total
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Maz

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Age : 56
Location : London, England

PostSubject: Re: September 2014 Flashback   Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:03 pm

Flashback
By Maz McCoy
  Edited with permission.

“All I’m sayin’ is why not hit the train outside of Cloverville?” Kid asked as he and Heyes stepped out of the cabin and into the sunlight.
“It’s too open there,” Heyes explained as he adjusted his hat. “There’s nowhere to lie in wait.”
“And nowhere for any posse to spring from either.” Kid positioned the brim of his own hat so that it shaded his eyes.
“There won’t be any posse waiting for us.”
“Heyes, you do the plannin’ and let me worry about the security side of things.” Kid placed a friendly hand on Heyes’ shoulder.
Heyes’ retort was cut off by the sound of an explosion. The partners exchanged a glance.
“Kyle?” Heyes enquired as a cloud of smoke rose from behind the trees.
“Kyle,” Kid confirmed. He removed his gun from the holster and opened the chamber. “I need to get more bullets next time we’re in town.”
“Add them to the list,” Heyes said as they followed the pall of smoke into a clearing.

Kyle and Wheat were crouched over something on the ground muttering in hushed tones. Suddenly Kyle yelled, “Go!” and they both ran away from a small object lying in the dirt.
Heyes held up a hand. “Whoa fellas, what’s…?”
BOOM! The object exploded.
“What the hell was that, Kyle?” Kid asked as he watched bits of twig and paper floating back towards Earth.
“Heyes. Kid. Not bad, huh?” The small man smiled as he headed towards them. “They’re percussion caps. Got ‘em from a railway shack.” He held up a small metallic device. “They let you know a train’s comin’.”
“By doin’ what? Blowin’ the thing up?” Kid brushed a falling leaf from his shoulder.
“No, Kid. You place ‘em on the rail and they go bang when a train passes over ‘em.” Kyle turned to Heyes. “I put some together. I reckon we can use ‘em to blow a safe. What d’ya think, Heyes?”
Heyes took one of the caps and studied it. “You could be onto something here.”
“Heyes, you sure about that?” Kid looked back at the smouldering pile of rubble the explosion had left behind. “That didn’t look like a controlled explosion.”
“We could use that old safe to try it out,” Wheat suggested as he pointed to a rusting hunk of metal lying on its side in a nearby bush.
Heyes’ eyes narrowed in thought and Kid rolled his eyes. “Heyes…”
“It’s all right, Kid, I think Kyle might be onto something here.” He studied the device in his hand. “These will be easier to carry and easier to conceal.” Lost in thought he headed off towards the metal box. Wheat followed no doubt to give him the benefit of his advice.
Kid studied one of the percussion caps. “How old are these?”
“I don’t know.” Kyle spat a gloop of tobacco in the dirt.
“How many d’you find?”
“We didn’t find ‘em, we stole ‘em.”
“So how many d’you steal?”
“I reckon we got about…” Kyle appeared to do some complicated arithmetic in his head. “We got a lot.”
“You sure these things are safe?”
“Sure, Kid.”
FLASH! BANG!
“Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!”
Hannibal Heyes staggered backwards his hands over his face.
“Heyes?” Kid ran over to his friend.
Heyes’ eyes were squeezed shut. “My eyes! Ah.”
“What? What?” Kid didn’t know how to help his friend. He spotted the black powder around Heyes’ eyes. “Wheat, get water. Now!” Carlson headed to the water trough and Kid grabbed Heyes by the shoulders. “Heyes, sit down.”
“I can’t open my eyes.” Heyes sat on a rock Kid guided him to. “Ah, it stings. Ah!”
Kid shot a glare at Kyle. “What the hell was in those things?”
“Just gunpowder, I guess.”
“You guess?”
“Well, what else would be in them?”
“I don’t know!”
“Could we focus on my eyes?” Heyes asked his face contorted in pain. “I can’t open them. I can’t see.”
Wheat returned with a bucket of water.
Kid pulled off his bandana and soaked it in the water. “Heyes, let me clean your eyes.” His friend squirmed as Kid wiped the cloth across his eyes. There were small burn marks all over Heyes’ face.
“I saw a bright flash and…” Heyes grimaced as Kid worked. “I don’t know what happened. They just exploded.”
“I’m gonna have to flush out your eyes with water,” Kid said solemnly. “You’re gonna hafta open ‘em, Heyes.”
“I can’t.”
“You pry ‘em open, I’ll pour the water in,” Wheat suggested, as he reached for the bucket.
“Nobody’s prying my eyes open!” Heyes stood up, caught his foot on a tree stump and fell forward. He would have hit the ground if Kid hadn’t grabbed him.
“Sit down!” the blond man commanded.
“Trust you to get bossy!” Heyes retorted.
“Shut up, Heyes. Now stop squirmin’ and hold still.” Kid gently pulled the lids of Heyes’ right eye apart and Wheat poured water into them. Heyes complained and shifted but Kid hung on. “SIT STILL, DAMMIT!”
When the eye was well flushed out, Kid let Heyes close it. “Anyone ever tell you you’re damn proddy?” Heyes grumbled.
“Yeah, you.” Kid turned to Wheat. “Let’s do the other one.” Kid and Wheat repeated the process on Heyes’ left eye.
“Will you stop pouring, you’re drowning me!” Heyes complained.
“Keep pouring!” Kid instructed.
When the bucket was empty Kid, Wheat and Kyle stood back and looked at Heyes. The leader of the Devil’s Hole Gang was drenched. His dark hair was plastered to his head. His face blackened by the explosion of the percussion cap. His eyes still shut tight. He was obviously in pain.
“Heyes?” Kid queried. “Any better?”
Slowly, Hannibal Heyes opened his eyes. He wiped away the excess water clinging to his eyelashes. He blinked and tried to focus on the men standing before him.
“You all right, Heyes?” Kyle asked, tentatively.
“No. No I’m not.”
Kid stepped forward. “How bad is it?”
“They sting but…I…” Heyes looked up at his friend. “I can’t see you Kid. I can’t see.”


“Watch your step,” Kid advised as he guided Heyes towards the cabin door.
“If I could watch anything I wouldn’t need your help, would I?” his friend snapped.
“I’m gonna remind myself that you’re proddy because you can’t see,” Kid said calmly. “And not because you’re just a regular pain in the …”
“What happened, Heyes?” Preacher asked as he strolled towards them.
“I got blinded by a damn explosion. You got anything could help me?”
“You flush out his eyes?” Preacher asked Kid.
“Yeah. Not enough to shut him up though.”
“Let me get some linen and see what I can do.” Preacher headed back to the other cabin and Kid opened the door to the one he shared with Heyes.
“You need help finding the door?” Kid asked with exaggerated patience.
“Yes,” Heyes admitted reluctantly and Kid took hold of his sleeve and steered him in the right direction. Heyes’ tone softened. “Thanks, Kid.”
“You’re welcome.” The blond man shut the door behind them and guided Heyes to a chair by the fire.
Heyes dropped down heavily onto the seat and voiced his darkest fear. “What if this is permanent?”
“It won’t be.”
“How do you know that? You don’t know that!”
“All right, I don’t know that but I’m trying to keep positive here, Heyes.”
“What’s to be positive about? I can’t see. What good am I if I can’t see?”
“Let’s give Preacher a chance to have a look at ya and worry about that after.”
An uneasy silence filled the air. Heyes squeezed his eyes tight shut as if trying to force them back to health. Kid leaned back against a cabinet and watched his friend. What if Heyes couldn’t see again? He had no answer to that.

***

“Any better?” Preacher asked. Stepping back he studied Heyes’ face. The skin around his eyes was still black and as Heyes blinked the whites of his eyes were decidedly reddened.
“All I see is a blur.” Heyes looked around the room trying to find something he could focus on.
“Try getting some sleep,” Preacher advised as he cleared away his make-shift medical kit. “Hopefully the rest will help.”
“Thanks, Preacher.” Heyes listened as the man let himself out of the cabin and the door closed. He leaned forward in the chair resting his elbows on his knees.
“You okay?” Arms across his chest, Kid leaned back against the cabinet. He seemed to have taken up a permanent position there since Preacher arrived.
“I don’t know.” Heyes placed his hands on the arms of the chair and raised himself to his feet. Kid took a step forward. “I’m okay,” Heyes informed him, sensing his friend’s movement. “I reckon I can find the bed by myself.”
“I’ll make sure Kyle gets rid of those caps,” Kid stated.
“Good.”
“I should’ve known you were makin’ a mistake when you said Kyle might be onto somethin’.”
“Expensive mistake on my part.”
“Heyes, I didn’t mean…”
“I know, Kid, I know.” Heyes turned away from his friend and entered his room. He shut the door without another word. Kid stared at the closed door knowing there was nothing else he could do to help his friend.

***

Kid Curry sat in a chair outside the leader’s cabin. With one foot on the porch post he pushed the chair back on two legs and gently rocked back and forth, back and forth. Blue eyes, shaded by the brim of his hat, followed Lobo as he walked from the main cabin to the corral. Lobo gave Kid a casual wave and Kid responded with an almost imperceptible nod. He continued to rock.
The cabin door opened again and Kyle Murtry stepped outside. He pulled up his pants and stuffed his shirt into the waistband. With two hands he scratched his head turning his already dishevelled hair into something resembling tumbleweed. He headed towards the outhouse but stopped in his tracks when he saw Kid. The gunman’s gaze met Kyle’s. The hairs on the back of Kyle’s neck stood up.
“Mornin’, Kid,” he said hesitantly. There was no reply. “I blew them caps up like you said. Ain’t gonna hurt no one else.” Still the other man gave no response. Kyle swallowed. “How’s Heyes?”
The chair legs hit the floor and Kyle took a step backwards as Kid stood up.
“He’s sleepin’. You better hope he can see when he wakes up, Kyle.”
Murtry did the only thing he could think of. At a run he headed for the outhouse.
“Stop scaring Kyle.”
At the sound of Heyes’ voice Kid spun on his heels to face his friend. Heyes stood barefoot and jean-clad in the open doorway. His dark blue shirt was open to the waist, hair tousled from the pillow. He rested a hand on either side of the entrance.
“How are you?” Kid didn’t bother to hide the anxiety in his voice as he studied his friend’s eyes.
Those brown eyes fixed on Kid. “Well enough to know you need a shave.”
Kid Curry smiled.

_________________
Obstacles are put in our way to see if we really want something or only thought we did: Edison


Last edited by Maz on Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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InsideOutlaw

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PostSubject: Re: September 2014 Flashback   Sat Sep 13, 2014 3:17 pm

This is a continuation from my August challenge:

Heyes watched listlessly as the hind end of Lobo’s horse disappeared into the forest.  His gaze shifted to his partner who was leading his horse and the Preacher’s gelding up from where the horses had been high-lined last night.  Preacher had offered his horse and gear to Heyes, had made no smart remarks, or jokes about the circumstances, and Heyes had gratefully accepted.  His somewhat pious friend had cheerfully doubled up with Hank for the long ride back to the Hole.  


“You ready?”  Kid Curry tightened the cinches on the horses as he waited for an answer.


“As I’ll ever be,” said Heyes, rising to his feet and knocking the dust off his woolen pants.  He reached down and picked up the light tan Stetson Wheat had left him.  It was a generous loan; almost as much as the horse.  Riding bareheaded could be damned uncomfortable.  For all his gruffness and insubordination, Wheat could always be relied on to step up and help out when the chips were down.  Heyes figured that’s why he kept him around.


Putting the hat on his aching head, Heyes instantly felt better with the shade it provided.  He’d done some real damage to himself last night and in the light of day he’d felt sheepish for losing his self-control.  Not that his men would hold it against him; every last one of them had done the same at one time or another.  It was just that, being leader, he liked to hold himself to a higher standard.  He’d let those standards slip because of his temper and he was paying the price.  
Shuffling over to the horses, he slowly and carefully mounted the sturdy roan gelding.
 

Curry jumped into his saddle.  “Which way do you think they went?” he asked with a smile.


“They were headed north along that cut over Robson’s Ridge.”  


Without a further word, the Kid nudged his horse and ambled in the direction of the ridge.  Unless the thieves had stopped early for the night, there wasn’t much chance of catching up to them today.  That was just as well.  He hated to think what Heyes would do to them in the midst of a vicious hangover.  


By mid-morning, they’d crested the ridge and had seen only the day-old tracks of the three robbers.  The valley that stretched before them was blanketed in meadow grass, bisected with a small creek, and dotted with Gambel oaks and Mountain Mahogany.   The horses quietly followed the trail of trampled grass winding through the shrubs and nibbled at the taller weeds tickling their noses.  


The Kid glanced at his partner who hadn’t said a word all morning.  If that wasn’t an indication of how Heyes was feeling, he didn’t know what was.  The normally loquacious man was still pale-faced and grim.  Another hour passed and Curry started getting bored with the silence.  He began softly humming ‘Sweet Betsy From Pike’ and it wasn’t long before he was belting out the words:

Did you ever hear tell of Sweet Betsy from Pike,
Who crossed the wide mountains with her lover Ike,
Two yoke of cattle, a large yeller dog,
A tall Shanghai rooster, and a one-spotted hog.
Singing too-ra-li-oo-ra-li-oo-ra-li-ay.



“You ain’t planning on singing all fourteen stanzas, are you?” Heyes finally grumbled when the Kid paused to draw another deep breath.


“Why not?  You ain’t much company today.”  Curry grinned at his partner’s frown, inhaled, and continued to sing:

They swam the wide rivers and crossed the tall peaks,
And camped on the prairie for weeks upon weeks.
Starvation and cholera, hard work and slaughter--
They reached California 'spite of hell and high water.



“Kid, you’re killing me here,” whined Heyes.


“Nope, you did that all on your own.”

One evening quite early they camped on the Platte,
Twas near by the road on a green shady flat.
Betsy, sore-footed, lay down to repose--
With wonder Ike gazed on that Pike County rose.



“What do I have to do to make you stop?”  Heyes asked with no real bite to his words.  He was grateful for his partner’s support.  It was going to take some doing to catch Will and his men, but he was bound and determined to do it.  There was no way he could ride back into the Hole until he did.


Curry smiled at him.  “I can’t believe I’m sayin’ this, Heyes, but you ridin’ along all quiet-like is unnervin’.  How ‘bout you try joinin’ in and fillin’ the gaps?”

The Injuns came down in a thundering horde,
And Betsy was scared they would scalp her adored.
So under the wagon-bed Betsy did crawl
And she fought off the Injuns with musket and ball.



Despite his pounding headache, Heyes began softly humming along.  Strangely enough, he began to feel better and, by the seventh stanza, his baritone was blending in nicely.  He felt his spirits lifting along with his voice.


With Heyes singing along, the Kid figured the worst was behind them and he urged his horse to pick up the pace.  He wanted to close the gap with their quarry as quick as he could and molly-coddling Heyes wasn’t going to do that.  


By mid-afternoon, the greenheads were out and pestering both horse and rider.  Both men swatted at the biting flies and the horses swished their tails and tossed their heads.  The mood soured quickly and, as an effort to resurrect it, the Kid tried some conversation.  “I wonder where they’re headed.”


“Could be Fort Steele or Medicine Bow; ain’t much else out this way.  We’ll know when we get to the fork.”


“Damn these flies!” said Curry, frowning.  “I sure hope it ain’t Fort Steele.  All those soldiers give me the creeps.”


Heyes smacked his own neck.  “Yeah, me too, but the gambling’s awful good with all those bluecoats milling around looking for fun.”  


“You’ve got a point, but I don’t fancy runnin’ into the law in Medicine Bow.  Last time, we barely got outta town.”  The Kid rubbed a welt that was rising on his gun hand.  


“Don’t worry about it.  I ain’t planning on letting them get close enough to a poker tables to lose my money.  We’ll catch up with them before dark.”  Heyes slapped his leg.  The cursed flies were biting right through the fabric.


“I sure hope so.  I want to be done with this,” mumbled Curry, scratching at an itching bite on his back.


A breeze came up and the insects disappeared.  After being tormented, their absence made Heyes feel better, and he chattered along about everything and nothing.  The Kid let his partner’s word pour over him and enjoyed not having to contribute to the one-sided conversation.  Instead, he chewed on some jerky and kept his eye on the churned up trail.  When they reached the fork in the trail, he followed the hoof prints that turned to the left.  Fort Steele it was unless they managed to catch them before nightfall.  He pulled his gun from his holster, checked the chambers, sighted down it, and returned it to rest on his hip.  Heyes had given him a rundown on the three men and the Kid didn’t think they’d have much trouble ambushing them.  Will sounded like the brains of the operation; the other two would probably give up easily enough if they could catch him out.


Cresting a rise, they saw that the ground leveled out and opened into a broad valley.  As they worked their way down the trail, they saw a flash of light mid-way up the next hillside.  Something metal had caught the sunlight and reflected it.  Both outlaws kept their eyes trained in the direction where they had seen the flash and it wasn’t long before they saw it again further up the peak.  The Kid pulled up and retrieved a pair of binoculars from his saddlebags.  He focused them carefully and three riders appeared in his field of vision.  They were winding their way up a steep trail, single-file.  


“Got ‘em,” said the Kid, happily.


Heyes urged his horse into a rolling, ground-covering lope and Curry trailed behind him keeping sight of the bandits.  They lost them as the three men dropped down the other side, but they knew they were gaining on them.  The Kid slowed his horse to a jog and started up the winding trail.  Midway up, the horses began to walk, picking their way across an open scree field that cascaded across the trail.  It was slow, tough going for both man and beast, and all four pairs of eyes were glued to the shifting, hard-to-follow path.


None of them saw the rifle barrel that peeked out from behind a cluster of rocks at the top of the hill until the sharp report thundered past them taking Wheat’s hat clear off Heyes’ head and sending both men diving for the rocky ground.  Heyes landed on his hands and knees, quickly clearing his holster and returning fire.  The Kid slid several feet down the hillside trying to get purchase on the small, sharp stones.  By the time he managed to draw, the shooting had stopped and Heyes on his feet, holstering his gun.


“They’re gone.”  Heyes picked at his raw, bleeding hands.


“Are you sure?”  The Kid was still flat on his stomach, his gun trained on where he’d seen the shot originate.


“Of course, I’m sure,” snapped Heyes.  “I’m standing here in the open.  They’d still be shooting at me if they were still there.”


The Kid sat up and holstered his own gun.  


Picking up Wheat’s hat, Heyes poked a finger through the new hole in it.  He heard his partner start to laugh and he looked up sharply.  “You think getting shot at is funny?”


“Nope, but that was.”


“Are you nuts?”


“If they’d wanted to kill us, they would’ve,” said the Kid, getting to his feet.  “I really thought they were going to.  There was a second there when my life flashed before my eyes.  You know what I saw?”


Heyes looked at him as if he’d grown a second head.  “I can’t believe you had time to think of anything.”


“I thought about that time we scared those two cowboys down Wichita way by tossing those firecrackers in the barrel; taught them not to hassle a couple of kids.”  The Kid walked towards his horse.


Heyes smiled at the memory and started to chuckle.  “I guess we might’ve looked something like them just now.”  He walked over to his own horse and picked up its rein, stroking the frightened, quivering animal.  If it weren’t for the slippery slope, he was sure the animals would have taken off.


“We sure did, Heyes, only we didn’t have an audience to laugh at us like they did.”  The Kid remounted and waited for his partner to swing into his saddle.  “Remember how pissed they were?  Those two chased us clear to Dodge City before we shook them.”


Heyes stepped up onto the roan.  “I ain’t letting these three shake us.”


The smile slipped from Curry’s face.  “Nope.  Me neither.  It was one thing when they made a fool of you, but making a fool outta me is gettin’ personal.”


“Always good to know you’ve got my best interests at heart, partner.”


Upon cautiously reaching the top, they saw that the riders had all but vanished again.  Only an occasional hoof print was visible on the rocky trail winding down off the ridge.  They rode on in a tense silence knowing that the three men could be waiting for them around the next bend.  The path wound downhill for another mile or so, crossing several open spaces, but there was no further gunfire.  The two partners began to relax.  


They rode on as quickly as they could, but they’d lost a lot of time.  There were few stretches of good footing and they loped and jogged where they could, but failed to catch sight of the men again.  The sun was starting to dip down in the sky and the shadows were growing longer and paler against the ground.   The Kid could feel his muscles stiffening up and he rolled his shoulders.  It wouldn’t do to be too sore to draw.  


Heyes’ headache had returned with a vengeance and he was feeling more irritated by the second.  Old Will had a lot to answer for.  He let his imagination run wild with all sorts of ways of evening up the score with those three lowlifes.


It was getting late in the day when he pulled ahead of the Kid as they dropped down into some boggy bottomland.  The trail got muddier and narrower, the vegetation got taller.  Soon they were ducking whip-like branches every step or two and leaning over the sides of their saddles.  The Kid looped his reins around his horn, trusting his gelding to follow the path, and began using both his hands to fend off the stinging lashes of the willows as they snapped back from Heyes’ passage.


The third time his face was struck with a stinging blow, he snapped, “What the hell did they come through here for?”  At that exact moment, Heyes’ horse stumbled over something in the trail.  A rush of sound foretold the heavy branch, now unleashed from the knot that had held it, as it swung around and swept the dark-haired partner from his saddle.  Curry’s horse reared, fearful of an unexpected predator, and dumped him in the muck.  The two thoroughly spooked horses retreated up the trail at a gallop.  The Kid swilled around in the mud until he could sit up and wipe it from his eyes.  Heyes was slowly getting to his feet but he was bent over and gasping for air.


“Heyes, are you all right?”


“I’m…fine…I think.”  He was still dazed by his fall.


The Kid got up slowly and took a few steps towards Heyes and fell heavily to the ground again.  He flailed around in the mud, grabbing huge handfuls of the oozing soil and cursing loudly, “%#$!!, they booby-trapped the trail!”


Heyes started laughing at the filthy, indignant look on his partner’s face, but the Kid failed to see the humor and glared at him.  “Kid, the look on your face,” more guffaws and gasps followed, “you should see…”


“It ain’t funny, Heyes,” warned Curry, getting to his feet again.


“Yes, it is.”


“Oh yeah?  Is it as funny as the great Hannibal Heyes gettin’ near stripped nekkid by a bunch of saddle tramps?”


Heyes stopped laughing and struggled out of the dirt.  “Ain’t no call to get proddy, Kid.”


“Oh, I think there is,” said Curry.  “You know, I’m beginnin’ to look forward to meetin' up with this Will character.”


“You and me both, partner.”


It took a good long while to backtrack and round up the horses, but they finally began to make some forward progress.   By the time night fell, Curry could tell by the tracks that they were getting nearer to the three men who had so humiliated them both.  They pulled up for the night alongside an escarpment and settled the horses in a cluster of cottonwoods.  Since morning, they’d dropped down a few thousand feet in elevation and it wouldn’t be long before they neared civilization.


Heyes built a small fire and they ate a dinner of beans warmed in the can.  The heat of the flames hardened their caked clothes and before they bedded down early for the night they tried to knock the worst of it off each other.  It was a lost cause.  Sore, stiff-clothed and dirty, they crawled into their bedrolls.


Curry spoke into the darkness.   “We better catch up with them real quick, Heyes.  I can’t take another day like this one.”

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PostSubject: Re: September 2014 Flashback   Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:59 am

“Wait up, Heyes!” Hannibal Heyes looked back over his shoulder and slowed his horse to a walk. Curry put his heels to his mare’s sides, urging her to put forth one last bit of energy.

“What’s your hurry?” Curry asked, as he pulled up next to Heyes. “Ain’t we worn out these animals enough for one day?” He stroked the mare’s sweaty neck with one hand, trying to soothe her. She was still breathing hard.

Heyes looked at his partner disbelievingly. “Don’t you want to leave that town behind as bad as me?”

“That town, those people, and this whole day. Just not enough to kill the horses. In case you forgot, we ain’t got money to buy fresh horses. We need to keep these beasts alive and well a while longer.”

“I ain’t forgot.”

“We ain’t got money enough for a poker stake either. We ain’t got money for a hotel room. We ain’t got money for dinner. We ain’t got money for – “

“I know, I know,” Heyes said, irritated. “You think I don’t know that? I was there with you, remember?”

“Yeah, I remember. And I remember all the rest of today, too, but I’m gonna try real hard to forget that.”

Heyes snorted. “Yeah, well, good luck with that. Me, I want to remember every little last bit. That way, I’ll know better next time.”

It was Curry’s turn to snort in derision. “You think so? Tell me, Heyes, how many times we found ourselves in this very same spot? No money, no job, no place to sleep ‘cept the ground, and riding two sorry horses half to death? Even since we started tryin’ for amnesty, it’s been the same thing. I’m beginnin’ to think we’re too stupid to learn anything new.”

“No,” Heyes disagreed. “No, that’s not it. There’s another way. There’s got to be. Today was necessary, Kid. We needed this.”

“Now you’re talkin’ crazy, Heyes. I don’t think this was day was necessary, not at all. Unless it’s to show us how this whole amnesty idea was crazy from the start.”

Heyes only looked sideways at Curry, squinting one eye closed, before turning his attention back to the dusty trail before them.

“Heyes,” Curry began slowly, “Is that what you been thinking, too? About the amnesty?”

“Let’s find us a campsite, Kid. You’re right; these horses are plumb wore out, and tell you the truth, I’m about ready to drop, too.”

“You didn’t answer my question, Heyes.”

“I know, Kid. Let’s get ourselves settled someplace where we can’t be seen, and then we can talk.”

Curry knew he wasn’t going to get an answer for a while. If he was honest with himself, he wasn’t real sure he wanted to hear what Heyes had to say on this particular question. He figured they both already knew.

00000

“At least we got some Arbuckle’s and whiskey to wash the dust out of our mouths and settle our stomachs,” Curry said. He poked the burning logs of their campfire with a branch. Sparks rose into the air briefly before winking out and floating slowly back down into the ash.

“That and a stream full of trout,” agreed Heyes.

“That don’t hurt none either.” The liquid in Curry’s tin cup was too hot to drink. He blew cool air on it. Satisfied, he took a careful sip. It did taste real good. He took a long drink of the whiskey-laced coffee, letting it warn his insides all the way down to his stomach. A loud burp escaped. Across from him, Heyes hid a smile behind his cup.

“Oh yeah, like you never belch.”

Heyes wore his innocent look. “Did I say anything?”

“You didn’t have to say it. I heard you thinkin’ it.”

“Oh now you can hear me thinkin’. Guess I don’t have to bother actually sayin’ words then.”

“I should be so lucky,” Curry muttered.

“What was that, Kid?”

“Nothin’.”

Heyes put his cup close to the fire, where he hoped his coffee would keep warm. The night clouds were moving in, bringing cooler temperatures.

“You know what, Kid? I envy you. I truly do.”

Curry looked at Heyes, not sure if Heyes was teasing him.

“You do?” Heyes nodded. “How come?”

“Because right now, in this moment, in this place, you look happy.”

“Huh.” That wasn’t what Curry expected to hear. He wasn’t sure how to respond.

“So, are you?”

“Am I what?”

“Happy. Are you happy right now?”

Curry thought about it for a moment.

“Yeah, sort of. Maybe.” He took a long drink, draining his tin cup. “I mean, why not? We got food and drink. If we got to sleep rough, this is a pretty place, and the weather’s nice. We’re far enough off the trail that we can have a fire without anybody seein’ us. Yeah, I guess I’m happy enough for now.”

Heyes reached for his coffee cup and held it in his gloved hands. The warmth felt good.

“That’s why I envy you, Kid. You take pleasure in the simple things. You can be in the moment, and if the moment’s good, then you’re good. Me, I look over at you, sittin’ so content, and I wish I was more like you. Really, I do. But I’m me, and I can’t help thinkin’ about that other time we were fishin’ and campin’ in the mountains, out in the middle of nowhere like we are now. You remember? We were talking about when we were kids and everything that happened back then. And right in the middle of that good time we was havin’, Matt Tabscott jumped out of the bushes with his shotgun pointed at us, and we got took. Came real close to endin’ up in prison for twenty years. Remember that?”

Curry leaned forward, elbows on knees. He did remember that day. That had been a nice time, with him and Heyes relaxed and easy, trying to figure out how they’d made such bad choices with their lives.

“Yeah, Heyes, I do.” He remembered sitting in that jail cell, too, sure that all their luck had finally run out. It wasn’t a good memory. “But,” he said, brightening, “it all worked out for everybody in the end, didn’t it?”

“That it did. But think about it. Matt, he was a nobody. Just a busted prospector, and he took us. What if there’s six professional lawmen and bounty hunters out in the woods right now, watching us? It’d be over for us, and there’d be nothin’ we could do about it. Nothin’ at all.”

Curry turned from side to side, anxiously searching the shadows.

“Did you see something?”

“No, Kid. Calm down, will you?” Curry sat back again, uneasy.

“I’m wonderin’ if maybe we been goin’ about this amnesty thing the wrong way, from the beginnin’, and if it’s time to make some real changes.”

“Okay,” Curry said, cautiously. It was best to go along with Heyes when he got excited about some plan, and from the way he looked, his eyes real bright and big in the pale light cast by the dying campfire, he had a doozy. “What kind of changes you talkin’ about?”

“Look at what happened today. What’s that tell you?”

Curry thought back to the events of earlier that day. They’d ridden into that small town as they had so many others, slow and careful, looking around for familiar faces and names, especially at the sheriff’s office. Every face, every name, was strange to them. Reassured, they’d tied up their mounts outside the saloon and gone in for lunch and gossip. By the time they’d finished their second beer, Heyes had become convinced that the bartender was looking at them funny.

“What’s the matter?” Curry asked.

“That barkeep,” Heyes whispered. “He’s starin’ at us.”

“So what? We’re strangers. He’s curious, that’s all.”

“That ain’t curiosity, not the way he’s lookin’ at us,” Heyes insisted. “I think he recognizes us.”

“Can’t you relax for even one minute? You’re imaginin’ trouble we ain’t got.”

Heyes looked stunned. “How could I imagine more trouble than we’ve had the last couple years? I’m tellin’ you, he knows us. Lookit how he’s lookin’ at us.” Curry started to turn around to get a better look, but Heyes grabbed his arm. “Look but don’t look! Don’t look suspicious.”

“How’m I supposed to do that? I am suspicious!”

Curry glanced casually in the bartender’s direction. Sure enough, he caught the bartender looking intently at them.

“See what I mean?” hissed Heyes. “He’s watching us. He knows who we are.”

“We can’t just up and leave now,” Curry argued. “We just ordered lunch. Drifters that look like us don’t run out on a meal they already paid for. That really would look suspicious.”

“If we don’t go now, you can look forward to plenty of free meals in prison.”Both men rose simultaneously and ambled slowly to where their horses were tied up outside, casting nervous glances over their shoulders. Half an hour’s ride out of town, they saw a small dust cloud behind them.

“I told you he recognized us,” Heyes shouted, as they spurred their horses into a gallop. Curry bit back what he wanted to say. Heyes had been right again.

Finally, Curry shook his head.

“I don’t see anything new or different about today. We got chased out of another town, that’s all. I’ve lost count how many times that’s happened.”

“That’s just it. It’s the same old story. And we did the same thing we always do – we headed for the hills, hell bent for leather, and our pockets are just as empty as they was this mornin’.”

“More empty than they were this mornin’,” Curry grunted. “We paid for a lunch we never got to eat.” Heyes acknowledged the truth of that with a smile.

“So what do you think we shoulda done different?” Curry asked. “Stay in that town and find out if the bartender really knew us?”

“Nooo,” Heyes said, drawing out that small word almost into three syllables. “Not that. No, I mean maybe it’s time to start usin’ our skills again. We’re the two most successful thieves the West’s ever known. Let’s do what we’re good at it.”

“Are you saying you want to rob banks and trains again? Aside from the fact that we promised Lom and the Governor we wouldn’t, you” – and Curry pointed an index finger for emphasis – “and me decided the glory days of thievin’ were over.”

“More important,” Curry went on, “you and me decided we weren’t gonna hurt people like our folks by stealin’ their life savings. Maybe you’ve changed your mind, Heyes, but I haven’t. That ain’t the kind of person I want to be anymore. I thought you didn’t want to be that person either.”

Heyes was shaking his head. “I don’t, Kid, any more than I want you to be. No, I’m not talking about taking money from the folks who can’t afford to lose it,” he went on, “But what about the folks that who afford to lose it?” He looked at Curry expectantly. When Curry only stared at him, Heyes sighed.

“I been thinkin’ – no, really, Kid, hear me out – I been thinkin’, what if we got ahold of some money and just laid low for a while? Enough to rent a house, put food on the table, without havin’ to scrub for any job we can find. Maybe go somewhere on the ocean, like Oregon or Washington, where our faces aren’t so well-known, and just stay put. If we pulled two or three quiet burglaries, we’d be set until the amnesty came through. We wouldn’t have to be going town to town like we been, taking the worst kind of jobs from people who use us harder than they use their horses or dogs.”

Curry sounded doubtful. “I don’t know, Heyes. After all the time we spent tryin’ to get an amnesty, I ain’t ready to throw all that away by goin’ back on our word.” Heyes drew a deep breath, ready to argue, but paused when Curry held up one hand.

“You told Lom, our word was good, and I like to think it is. We gave our word, Heyes. It means somethin’ to me that no matter what we did, people knew our word was good. I don’t think I ever want to give that up.”

“We wouldn’t be givin’ that up, Kid. We promised we wouldn’t rob any banks or trains. But we didn’t say anythin’ about hittin’ back at all those rich men who steal worse’n we ever did, like Winford Fletcher or Big Mac. They’re more crooked than just about anyone we know, but they get away with it. Someone like that, they wouldn’t hardly miss $5,000 or $10,000. We’d take just enough to keep us goin’ for a while while we lay low and wait for the amnesty to come through.”

“Lom still wouldn’t like it,” Curry objected.

“Only if Lom knew about it,” Heyes argued. “Like I said, we won’t clean anyone out. Look at Big Mac. He spent $10,000 on that stupid statue of Caesar. It was chicken scratch to him. But it’d mean the world to us.”

“What about Smith and Jones?”

Heyes frowned. “What does that have to do with anything?”

“Could we leave them two behind?”

Heyes grinned. “We could and should. Those names are almost more trouble than Heyes and Curry. I don’t know what Lom was thinkin’ when he decided we had to stick with those names.”

“Heyes, the thought of leavin’ those names behind is almost enough to convince me. That and your silver tongue.”

Curry looked at their campfire dying out. The heavy logs had burned through. All that was left of them was glowing little chunks. He picked up the branch again and poked at a chunk, breaking it into smaller parts that sprung into flame for a brief moment and then collapsed into white-hot ash. He could barely see Heyes sitting across from him in the deepening gloom. He reached across and rested one hand lightly on Heyes’ arm.

“I ain’t sayin’ no, Heyes, but I ain’t sayin’ yes right now either. I’m just as tired as you are of beggin’ for scraps and livin’ hand-to-mouth. The more we do live this way, the more I want to settle down someplace quiet and peaceful.Let’s do some thinkin’ and plannin’, and not just jump into this like we been livin’ our lives lately.”

“Goes without sayin’, Kid.” Heyes grinned. He was getting excited. That’s what always happened when he had an idea. All he needed now was a plan. Well, time enough for that tomorrow. Kid was yawning and stretching.

“Think I’m gonna give it up for today, Heyes.” Curry crawled carefully into his bedroll, settling his hat and gun within easy reach. Satisfied, he pulled the blanket around him and closed his eyes. Only a moment later, his eyelids snapped open again.

“Ain’t you gonna sleep, Heyes?”

“Not just yet. I want to do some thinkin’.”

“Huh. Well, don’t overheat that brain of yours. We might be needin’ it tomorrow.”

“I won’t. Good night, Kid.” He watched Curry relax. Only a minute later, soft snores emerged from the bedroll.

Heyes got his own blanket and wrapped it around himself, still sitting up next to the remains of their campfire. Thinking through this new idea would probably keep him up for a couple more hours. He had a lot of planning to do.

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PostSubject: Re: September 2014 Flashback   Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:38 pm

Floorplan to the Bank in Fort Worth

Kid Curry expertly loaded six cartridges into the rifle’s breach and cocked the weapon.  He set aside the rifle and drew his six-gun.  He checked each chamber, spun the cylinder and holstered the weapon with a flourish.  

Heyes leaned against a tree and drew a deep breath, revealing the last vestiges of patience with his partner.

The Kid picked up the rifle again and noticed Heyes’ slight mocking stare.  “You just keep right on smilin’, Heyes.  These boys are goin’ to be ready.”

“For what?  Tracks are two days old,” Heyes commented matter of factly.

“Two hours fresh,” the Kid informed him as he moved off into the woods while looking at the ground cautiously.

“Two day old,” Heyes argued as he started after Curry.  “You may know a lot about shooting, but you don’t know the first thing about tracking.”

The Kid continued to following the tracks.

“We could walk for six months and not see a sign of him.”

Curry turned towards Heyes and glared.  “You keep shoutin’, I suspect you’re right.”  He turned back to the trail.

Heyes lowered his voice.  “You may find it hard to believe, but I was the champeen tracker in all of Southern Utah.”

“That is hard to believe.  Now, will you stop talkin’ and do a little lookin’?” the Kid asked, exasperated.

“Nothing to look at.  Tracks are two days old.”

“Two hours fresh.”

Heyes argued back, “Two day…”

A large mountain lion’s growl interrupted Heyes from on top of a pillar of rocks.  It howled and screamed as it dove down towards the two men.

“Look out!” Curry shouted.

The cat landed on Heyes, taking him off his feet.

The Kid quickly aimed and shot the cat with his rifle, falling the cat.

“Thank you.”   Heyes’ voice trembled from the near call with death.

“How bad is it?” asked a concerned Curry.

Heyes glanced from the dead cat to his torn jacket.  “Smartest cat I ever saw.”  

The Kid looked at him quizzically.

“Going around leaving old tracks.”

“He was tricky all right,” the Kid confirmed.  “You want to keep on lookin’ or call it a day?”

“Kid, five hundred dollars a cat sounded pretty good two days ago.  But there was a moment there when that cat was right on top of me…”

“Your whole life flashed before your eyes?”

“No, as a matter of fact, it was the floor plan to the Bank of Fort Worth,” Heyes admitted.  “You know, maybe we oughta reconsider this law-abiding life.  A fella could get himself killed!”


~ * ~ * ~ * ~


Fort Worth – February 1879

The raucous Silver Dollar in Fort Worth’s Hell’s Half Acre could be heard throughout the district.  Inside the gaudy saloon were colorful ladies soliciting themselves, high stakes poker games, gambling of all sorts, loud piano playing, and a stage with gals dancing and singing.  Hannibal Heyes sat at a poker table while his partner kept an eye on him from the bar with a gal on each arm.

A crowd began gathering around the table as the stakes grew.  Finally only a dapper gentleman and Heyes were finishing the poker hand.  The large pot in the middle of the table had thousands of dollars.  Curry shook off the gals and joined the crowd to watch the last hands.

Heyes pushed the rest of his chips in front of him into the pot.  “I’ll call.”  He laid his hand out on the table for all to see.  “Four queens!”  He grinned and was about to pull the pile towards him when the gambler shook his head and laid a hand on Heyes’ arm.

“Not so fast, my friend.”  He splayed his hand on the table – four kings.  “I think this is mine.”  He raked the mound of money and chips towards himself.

Heyes dropped his head and sighed.  “Well, you cleaned me out.”  He threw back the rest of his drink, stood up, put on his hat and walked out the door.


~ * ~ * ~ * ~


Kid Curry thrust open their luxurious hotel room door and slammed his hat down on a table.  “Tell me you didn’t just lose ALL of our money, Heyes!”

Heyes quietly shut the door and took off his gun, hanging it on the bed post.

“Heyes!”

“What, Kid?  You told me not to tell you.”

“All of it?”

Heyes nodded and hung his head.

Curry hung his gun on the side of his bed.  “What were you thinkin’ bettin’ it all?”

“I was thinking I had four queens and was gonna win.”

“Unless the other fella has four kings!” the Kid said disgusted as he sat to remove his boots.

Heyes paced the hotel suite.  “He had to have been cheating, but I can’t figure out how.”

“It don’t matter – it’s gone.  Now what are we gonna do?”

“Well,” Heyes started as he began to undress.  “You have money, don’t you?”

“Only…”  Curry counted his bills and coins.  “$49.67.  That won’t last long.  We’ll barely have enough to get back to the Hole.  May as well plan on this bein’ our last night of livin’ high off the hog.”

Heyes crawled into bed.  “I’ll think of something, Kid.”

“You better,” Curry mumbled as he rolled over in his bed.


~ * ~ * ~ * ~


A light growing bright in the darkened room woke Kid Curry with a start.  He quickly grabbed his gun and pointed it in the general direction.  His eyes focused on his partner grinning.  “Heyes, what are you doin’?  It’s in the middle of the night!”

“You know I do my best thinking then,” Heyes said as he leaned back against the bed’s headboard.

“Well, did you come up with anything?”   Curry yawned and sat up in bed.

“Yep!  I don’t know why it didn’t come to me sooner.”

The Kid stifled another yawn.  “Let’s hear it.”

“We’re bank robbers.  We’ll just rob a bank down here.”

“Rob a bank in Fort Worth?” the Kid asked incredulously.

“Why not?”

“I’ll tell you why not!  It’s bad enough we’re wanted in Wyoming and have a price on our heads.  We don’t need to be wanted down here and have Texas Rangers after us, too.”

Heyes frowned.  “Well, it was a thought.”

“And a bad one, too.”

“Unless… what if they don’t know we did it?”

“Huh?”

“What if we robbed a bank that was easy enough to break into that no one would think it was us?”

“If you open the safe listenin’ to the tumblers, they’ll know it was you, Heyes.  And if we do it in the middle of the day and make them open it for us, they’ll know it was us.”  Curry’s voice raised a little in volume with each scenario.  “And if we use dynamite to open the safe, we’ll be leavin’ with a posse behind us.”

Heyes pondered a moment.  “What if we weren’t all that greedy and just took a few thousand.  Heck, they might think it was an inside job and not know we robbed them.”

Now Curry thought for a few minutes and began to grin.  “That just might work, Heyes.”

“Tomorrow we’ll case out the banks in town and figure out which one can afford to lose some money.”

“And which one we can break into and you open the safe without them knowin’ we were there.”


~ * ~ * ~ * ~


Heyes and Kid Curry shaved and dressed in clean clothes the next morning for their tour, or casing, of the Fort Worth banks.


~ * ~ * ~ * ~


That evening the outlaws looked over their notes in their hotel room.

“Well, the First National Bank wouldn’t miss a couple of thousand dollars,” Heyes commented as he poured over his notes.

Curry poured drinks from a bottle of whiskey.  “Yeah, but did you see all the bars around the windows?  It would be harder to get in there.”

“You have a point.  How about Tidball, VanZandt and Company?”

The Kid shook his head.  “It’d be easy to rob, but it’s a small one that’d miss even a couple of hundred dollars.”

Heyes took a sip.  “Then there’s the Fort Worth National Bank, but they have a Pierce & Hamilton ’78 safe.  I’d love to figure out how to open one of those someday…”

“But now isn’t the time.”  Curry sighed and glanced out the window.  “That leaves The Continental National Bank.”

Heyes scanned his notes.  “I think that the one, Kid.  Big enough, but the security isn’t the best.”

“There’s a back door with bars, but you should be able to open that with no problem.”

“And the safe’s a Brooker 303…”

“One you’ve opened before.”  Curry sat down in a chair.  “And the safe is in a back room so we won’t be seen from the street.”

Heyes stretched and grinned.  “I think we have our next job.”


~ * ~ * ~ * ~


The following evening, Heyes and the Kid slipped out the back of their hotel and walked through the alleys to The Continental National Bank.  Heyes pulled out his lock pick from his boot and worked on the metal gate.

Curry, his gun drawn and back to the building, watched for trouble.  “This better work, Heyes.  We’re gonna run out of the forty dollars I have soon.”

“Shhh…” Heyes hissed.  “It will.”

Heyes had the gate open a minute later and shortly had the door unlocked.  He slowly opened the door and peered inside.  “Clear.”

The Kid nodded and followed his partner into the bank, making sure to latch the gate and close the door behind them.

Heyes lit a small lantern he brought and smiled when he saw the safe in the back area.  “So what treasures do you have for us tonight, little Brooker?”  He placed his hat on a desk and caressed the safe as he knelt before it.  Placing an ear to the door, he began to slowly turn the dial.

Curry, meanwhile, made sure the blinds were pulled all the way down.  He stood by a front window and held the shade back just far enough to watch the street.

Thirty minutes went by.

“Heyes, how are you doin’?” the Kid whispered as he glanced back to his partner.

“Listening for the last number.”

“Hurry up, the deputy… Dang, he’s comin’ down the street.”  Curry dropped the shade back into place and leaned against the wall.

Heyes blew out the lantern and they waited.

Heavy footsteps came closer to the front door.  The door knob was tried and found locked.  The footsteps went around the back of the building and the gate rattled.

Curry crept to a side window and barely pulled back the shade.  “He’s walkin’ away towards Hell’s Half Acre.”

Heyes sighed, lit the lantern again and went back to work on the safe.  “Right 24… left 32… and right…”  A few minutes later he chuckled.  “28.” He pulled down the lever, swung open the door and let out a soft whistle.  “Kid, I think you should see this.”

“What?”  The Kid made his way to the back area.  “Isn’t there money… Heyes, it’s plumb full!  Don’t think we’ve ever seen that much money in one safe before.”

“Well, they certainly won’t miss a few thousand, will they?”  Heyes grabbed a few stacks of one hundred bills and put them in his pockets.  He gulped and looked beseechingly at his partner.  “I know we talked about just taking what we need, but, Kid, we may never have an opportunity like this again.  There could be over a half a million in this here little safe.”

Kid Curry hesitantly shook his head.  “Heyes, if we took that we would always have to be watching behind us.  The Texas Rangers wouldn’t let it go and would hunt us down.  No, as tempting as that looks, we need to stick with the original plan and take just enough to replace what you lost.  That way they'd think they miscounted or it was an inside job."

“They might think it was an inside job if we took it all!  How would they know it was us?”

“Heyes, they’d figure it out with the gate and door opened like that and the safe not dynamited.  As much as it’ll hurt to close the safe door and leave it behind, we gotta do just that.”

Heyes lovingly stroked the piles of money.  “We could go to South America…”

“We don’t speak South American.”

“Or maybe Australia – they speak English there.”

“The Texas Rangers or Pinkertons would follow us to the ends of the earth for as big of a reward that would be.”

“You’re right,” Heyes said dejectedly.  He sighed as he arranged the bundles so the few missing would not be noticeable.  “Are you sure?”

Curry half-heartedly nodded.

Heyes shut the safe and spun the dial.  “Okay, let’s get outta here before the deputy makes his way back.”  He grabbed his hat and lantern, sweeping the room with his eyes to make sure everything was in its place.

They opened the door and made sure it locked behind them.  Heyes pulled out his pick lock and had the gate opened a minute later.  They hurried out and made sure it was locked again before becoming shadows in the alley as they escaped.


~ * ~ * ~ * ~


On a balmy March day, Heyes and Curry rode north towards Wyoming and Devil’s Hole.

“I hate to admit this, but it’ll be nice seein’ the boys again,” the Kid commented.  He glanced behind at his reticent partner.  “What’s been gettin’ to you, Heyes?  You haven’t hardly said a word.”

Heyes shrugged his shoulders.

“Are you still thinkin’ about all that money we left behind?”

Heyes subtly nodded.  “I’m gonna regret that we didn’t take it someday, Kid, when we’re doing a job that we don’t wanna do or a job when we don’t make much money.”  Heyes slowly let out a breath.  “Yep, I’m gonna regret it someday.”

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PostSubject: Re: September 2014 Flashback   Wed Oct 01, 2014 12:41 am

An Agonizing Tale
Or
The Finger Too

Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry were not looking.

Heyes was busy stoking the fire, a pan of pork beside him on the ground, while the Kid was opening a can of tomatoes.

"Ow," The Kid shook his right hand in pain.

Heyes looked anxiously at him. "What's the matter with you?" he asked his voice betrayed him by going up an octave.

"That damn can. I've cut my trigger finger."

"Kid, I'm gonna get some whisky and clean it with that. You'll be OK while I'm gone?"

"Sure Heyes," answered the Kid even though he wasn’t.

Heyes went to his saddlebags to retrieve the bottle of whisky. He returned and dumped a whole lot on Kid’s finger.

"Well, it's not bleeding any longer, Kid. Maybe I should wrap it anyway, just in case."

They both studied the finger but the wound was closing already, and was barely visible.

Heyes pondered momentarily. “Hmm, the handkerchief's too large so I'll cut it a bit smaller."

The Kid almost stopped him. He didn't want Heyes to sacrifice his handkerchief for him, but he figured he'd better let Heyes do it. It would make him feel better, less guilty.

After the cut was dressed, Heyes propped the Kid on some blankets against a tree.

"Shut up and eat."

After breakfast Heyes had the Kid lie down to rest.  Soon he was breathing peacefully.

Heyes watched him. It was his fault. He should have been the one to open that can. He felt guilty so he had a flash back.

Heyes' Flashback
Three Days Earlier
Red Rock

The Kid couldn’t resist so he bought the chocolate bunny. He put the wrapped chocolate carefully in his jacket pocket.

Heyes stole it later and ate it. The Kid was really angry, and Heyes felt really guilty, hence the flashback at a later date.

End of Flashback



The Kid twitched and woke up.

"How ya feel, Kid?"

"Better. My finger don't hurt no more. Boy, am I hungry."

"Kid I'm sorry about everything. I shouldn't have eaten that chocolate bunny." He paused in thought. “But, I thought it over and the finger is your fault.”

“Heyes it’s your fault. It always is ‘cause you’re the older fella and that makes you responsible for me.”

“Oh. OK.”

The End

joannb: That was almost an interesting story, BeeJay! Congratulations! I have one, very small quibble with it. It seems familiar, even the words used. Perhaps you should alter it a little and make it more your own story.

sistergrace: I agree with Joann. I have the nagging feeling at the back of my head that I’ve read this story before. You wouldn’t want anyone to think you were using their story idea and language. Good try on this one!

ty pender: What type of chocolate did the Kid purchase? Was it 70% Argentinian? I prefer 90% Columbian blended with 95% Brazilian.
Cheers!

Version 2


Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry were not looking.

Heyes was busy stoking the fire, a pan of pork beside him on the ground, while the Kid was opening a can of tomatoes.

"Ow," The Kid shook his right hand in pain.

Heyes looked anxiously at him. "What's the matter with you?" he asked his voice betrayed him by going up an octave.

"That damn can. I've cut my trigger finger."

"Kid, I'm gonna get some whisky and clean it with that. You'll be OK while I'm gone?"

"Sure Heyes," answered the Kid even though he wasn’t.

Heyes went to his saddlebags to retrieve the bottle of whisky. He returned and dumped a whole lot on Kid’s finger.

"Well, it's not bleeding any longer, Kid. Maybe I should wrap it anyway, just in case."

They both studied the finger but the wound was closing already, and was barely visible.

Heyes pondered momentarily. “Hmm, the handkerchief's too large so I'll cut it a bit smaller."

The Kid almost stopped him. He didn't want Heyes to sacrifice his handkerchief for him, but he figured he'd better let Heyes do it. It would make him feel better, less guilty.

After the cut was dressed, Heyes propped the Kid on some blankets against a tree.

"Shut up and eat."

After breakfast Heyes had the Kid lie down to rest.  Soon he was breathing peacefully.

Heyes watched him. It was his fault. He should have been the one to open that can. He felt guilty so he had a flash back.

Heyes' New Flashback


The boys hated The Valypoopoo Home for Waywards. Bad enough it was in Kansas. But it was in the worst part of Kansas-the heavily forested plains of Kansas. That made it hot and dark. Also, the teachers were boring.

The Kid fell and hurt himself.

It was Heyes’ fault as it always was. If it hadn’t been for him they wouldn’t have been there.

End of Flashback

The Kid twitched and woke up.

"How ya feel, Kid?"

"Better. My finger don't hurt no more. Boy, am I hungry."

"Kid I'm sorry about everything. I shouldn't have eaten that chocolate bunny." He paused in thought. “But, I thought it over and the finger is your fault.”

“Heyes it’s your fault. It always is ‘cause you’re the older fella and that makes you responsible for me.”

“Oh. OK.”

The End


WichitaRed: BeeJay, a most unusual draft of a story. I have one suggestion. The plains of Kansas aren’t heavily forested. In fact, none of Kansas is heavily forested.You might want to change that.

Ghislaine Emrys: Truly unique, BeeJay. I also have one suggestion. I have read that it is helpful for novice writers to write what they know. I think if you consider this, and apply it to your story it will probably help you to improve it. It couldn’t hurt!

InsideOutlaw: There are other states with woods, BeeJay. I think Ghislaine has a good idea; you should write what you know. Keep working at it; it’ll come together!

RosieAnnie: My suggestion has nothing to do with woods, BeeJay. I think that it may work better if the Kid suffered more than a cut finger!

Version 3

Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry were not looking.

Heyes was busy stoking the fire, a pan of pork beside him on the ground, while the Kid was opening a can of tomatoes.

"Ow," The Kid shook his right hand in pain.

Heyes looked anxiously at him. "What's the matter with you?" he asked his voice betrayed him by going up an octave.

"That damn can. I've cut my trigger finger."

"Kid, I'm gonna get some whisky and clean it with that. You'll be OK while I'm gone?"

"Sure Heyes," answered the Kid even though he wasn’t.

Heyes went to his saddlebags to retrieve the bottle of whisky. He returned and dumped a whole lot on Kid’s finger.

"Well, it's not bleeding any longer, Kid. Maybe I should wrap it anyway, just in case."

They both studied the finger but the wound was closing already, and was barely visible.

Heyes pondered momentarily. “Hmm, the handkerchief's too large so I'll cut it a bit smaller."

The Kid almost stopped him. He didn't want Heyes to sacrifice his handkerchief for him, but he figured he'd better let Heyes do it. It would make him feel better, less guilty.

After the cut was dressed, Heyes propped the Kid on some blankets against a tree.

"Shut up and eat."

But the Kid didn’t respond. He couldn’t respond. He was now DEAF AND DUMB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After breakfast Heyes had the Kid lie down to rest.  Soon he was breathing peacefully.

Heyes watched him. It was his fault. He should have been the one to open that can. But he wasn’t and now the Kid couldn’t hear and couldn’t speak. The not hearing part was terrible, but the not speaking part wasn’t so bad, Heyes figured. Even so, he felt guilty and had a flash back.

Heyes' New Flashback


The boys hated The Van Nuys Home for Waywards. Bad enough it was in California. But it was in the worst part of California-the heavily asphalted plains of California. That made it hot and not dark. Also, the teachers were boring.

The Kid fell and knocked out tooth number 9 on the hot asphalt.

He put the tooth in his mouth for safe-keeping and ran to Grandpa Curry. Grandpa would know what to do.

“Good thin’ you put that tooth in your mouth, Jed. Most folks would put it in a cup of milk which would kill it. And you got to me before an hour was up which gives the tooth a better chance of livin’ through the ordeal. If you waited over an hour it wouldn’t have had a snowball’s chance in hell.”

He gave the Kid a pat on the head and shoved the tooth back into the socket. ‘Course he didn’t do such a great job as he put it back in crooked, and it overlapped the tooth next to it. But when the Kid had stolen enough money he could get porcelain fused to gold crowns placed* which would make his teeth look straight.

The later on between series he could get braces and really straighten his teeth.

It was Heyes’ fault as it always was. If it hadn’t been for him they wouldn’t have been there.

End of Flashback

The Kid twitched and woke up.

"How ya feel, Kid?"

"Better. My finger don't hurt no more. Boy, am I hungry."

"Kid I'm sorry about everything. I shouldn't have eaten that chocolate bunny." He paused in thought. “But, I thought it over and the finger is your fault.”

“Heyes it’s your fault. It always is ‘cause you’re the older fella and that makes you responsible for me.”

“Oh. OK.”

The End
*Dentists were sort of experimenting with porcelain crowns at this time. Actually full jacket porcelain crowns, but I didn’t think any dentist out west could do one of these, especially as they were just starting to experiment with them on the East coast, so I substituted porcelain fused to gold crowns which are easier even though they weren’t made until the 1900s, but it seemed close enough.


Remuda: The boys are in California? I don’t think they were in California when they were young. I also wonder about Grandpa Curry in the story—isn’t he dead by the time they are at the school for waywards? One thing you could consider, Beejay, is to use a literary reference. I find literary references useful to help an idea to coalesce. Maybe that would clarify the intent of your story, and help you work out some of the details.

Penski: I agree isn’t canon, but it is a challenge story so it doesn’t have to be canon. And, after all, it is an idea of a sort, (isn’t it?).

Maz: Kid’s hurt? Oh goody. Send him to me and I’ll gaol nurse him. Seriously, he does get better, doesn’t he?

Calico: So what if that blond one is hurt, Maz? The focus of the story is still Heyes, as it should be. I would think, BeeJay, that you should consider adding some descriptive language to enhance the story – and Heyes. Perhaps some witty flowery language about Heyes would improve what you have written. It would for me.

Kid4ever: Where are the smilies?

An Agonizing Tale or
The Finger Too


“What - me worry?”
confused
Alfred E. Neuman

Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry were not looking. And, as you will see in the following narrative, it is imperative to focus on the task at hand, even if you have luxurious brown hair, chiseled cheekbones, dimples, and denuded M‘nMs for eyes. Oh, and even if you have blue eyes instead.

Heyes was busy stoking the fire, the flames climbing devilishly to match his smile, a pan of pork beside him on the ground, while the Kid was opening a can of tomatoes.

"Ow," The Kid shook his right hand in pain.  Sad

Heyes looked anxiously, brown eyes blurrily building tears, at his clumsy partner. scratch "What's the matter with you?" he asked, his usually husky voice betraying his concern by going up the scale an octave.

"That damn can. I've cut my trigger finger." The Kid held out the digit. Sure enough, it had a red ribbon of blood, well a very narrow red ribbon of blood, on it. A droplet, red as a fairly decent Merlot, languidly lisped to the ground.

"Kid, I'm gonna get some whisky and clean it with that. huh You'll be OK while I'm gone?"

"Sure Heyes," answered the Kid even though he wasn’t.

Heyes went to his saddlebags to retrieve a bottle of whisky. bottle His grandiosely spindly fingers dug through the bags sort of like the ground squirrels in my yard digging for their buried treasure.  He returned victoriously with the hooch and dumped a whole lot on Kid’s finger.

"Well, it's not bleeding any longer, Kid. Maybe I should wrap it anyway, just in case."

They both studied the finger but the wound was closing already, and was barely visible.

Heyes pondered studiously momentarily, and then looking downward, studied his, blue with white designs of some sort, bandana. “Hmm, the bandana's too large so I'll cut it a bit into a more diminutive piece."

The Kid almost stopped him. He didn't want Heyes to sacrifice his bandana for him, but he figured he'd better let Heyes do it. It would make him feel better, less guilty.

Skillfully, Heyes adeptly wrapped the miniature bandana bandage around the microscopic wound. After the cut was dressed, Heyes gently and delightfully propped the Kid on some blankets against a tree.

He stood back, scratched his back after all that exertion, and admired the profundity of his work. And his skill, he admired that too. applause

He returned to the now burnt pork, and delicately dumped it on a tin plate. He poured some of his world-renown coffee in a tin cup and laboriously carried the two tins over to the Kid. coffee

The Kid looked at the ornate offerings, obviously offended. Officiously he orated, “You call this breakfast?”

"I call this blackened pork, Louisiana style, and Hannibal Heyes’ coffee - finest in America. Shut up and eat."

Heyes poured himself a cup coffee of the thick black brew, downed some, and promptly gagged. “You know what, Kid? You might want to skip the coffee.”

But the Kid didn’t respond. He couldn’t respond. He was now DEAF AND DUMB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shocked

After breakfast Heyes had the Kid lie down to rest.  Soon he was breathing peacefully.

Heyes watched him. It was his fault. He should have been the one to open that can. But he hadn’t and now the Kid couldn’t hear and couldn’t speak. The not hearing part was terrible, but the not speaking part wasn’t so bad, Heyes figured. Even so, he felt guilty and had a flash back. sorrykitty

Heyes' New Flashback

The boys hated The Van Nuys Home for Waywards. Bad enough it was in California. But it was in the worst part of California-the heavily asphalted plains of California. That made it hot, dry, arid, deserty, :hotness: :beach2: sunny :hotsmiley: desert cactus and not dark. Also, the teachers were boring.

The Kid fell and knocked out tooth number 9 on the hot, dry, arid cactus desert sunny :hotsmiley: :hotness: :beach2: and deserty asphalt.

He put the tooth in his mouth for safe-keeping and ran to Headmaster Klink. Headmaster Klink would know what to do.

“It vas a Goot tink you put zie tooth in your mouth, young Master Jed. Most volks vould put it in zie cup of zie milk vhich vould kill it dead - like ziss.” He stopped to swat an annoying fly that was fluterly flying around him. “Und you gott to me before an hour vas up vhich gives zie tooth a better chance of living through zis horrific ordeal vich it has undervent. If you vaited over an hour it vouldn’t haf had more chance zen zie troops unter Napoleon vhen zay fought zie great Prussian Austrian army or whoever zay vere fightink at zie battle uf Vaterloo.”   blimey

He gave the Kid a pat on the head and shoved the tooth back into the socket. ‘Course he didn’t do such a great job as he put it back in crooked, and it overlapped the tooth next to it. But when the Kid had stolen enough money he could get porcelain fused to gold crowns placed* which would make his teeth look straight.

Then, later on between series, he could get braces and really straighten his teeth. cool

Anyway, it was Heyes’ fault as it always was. If it hadn’t been for him they wouldn’t have been there. You see, I forgot to mention earlier that they were sent to Van Nuys from Valypoopoo as part of a juvenile delinquent exchange program after Heyes smartly but shiftily received a score of 130 out of 100 possible on an exam. The headmaster in Kansas decided he was balefully brilliant, but was most likely branded for a career that would rapidly result in a return on the ropes. He figured a distance of a few thousand miles from this spectacularly splendid student and himself wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

End of Flashback

The Kid twitched and woke up.

"How ya feel, Kid?"

"Better,” the Kid responded, his hearing and speech magically restored like a suit in a saddlebag. My finger don't hurt no more. Boy, am I hungry." eat eat eat eat

"Kid I'm sorry about everything. I shouldn't have eaten that chocolate bunny." Heyes paused in thought. “But, I thought it over and the finger is your fault.”

“Heyes, it’s your fault. It always is in these stories, ‘cause you’re the older fella and that makes you responsible for me. And for everything else that has ever happened to us or that will happen to us.”
“Kid, how bad does your trigger finger hurt? You can still shoot, can’t you?” 

The Kid nodded.

“Good. Think you could aim for that gal on the other side of the screen?”


The End

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PostSubject: Re: September 2014 Flashback   Wed Oct 01, 2014 2:27 am

The Flashback Prompt
(or, How Not to Write Anything Appearing Incohesive, Incoherent, or Just Plain Not Making Sense, or, Oh Yeah, Having Any Kind of a Plot, or Just Being Plain Old Boring)


Our story to this point:

The Devil's Hole gang rode to a train and attempted to rob it. The dynamite, allegedly the good stuff, fizzled out before a spark even got started. Kyle was not sure what happened, although he presumed the explosives got wet (perhaps from his own sweaty hands).

Hannibal Heyes, the leader of the Devil's Hole gang, tried opening the safe by the sound of the tumblers. Pressing his ear to the door, he turned the dial but was ultimately unsuccessful because there was too much noise for him to concentrate. Raising both hands in defeat, he gave up.

However, the safe was not to be abandoned. Knowing the imminence of a posse's arrival, Heyes directed the men to tie the safe on a rope lead to a pommel horn, and off they rode. However, the trail they left would lead a posse to them, easily.

Unlike their future unsuccessful endeavor at Columbine, this time found the boys in a cave, their tracks (and those of the safe) vanishing after a major sweep with tree branches. Kid Curry, Heyes' partner and other leader of the gang, ensured the gang members were safe from harm. In the well-stocked cave was everything a group of men and their mounts could subsist on for a week. Heyes was a good planner, except when it came to making sure the dynamite was okay (but that, after all, was Kyle's job).

The men eagerly awaited Heyes' next decision.


We now resume our story ...

After several days had passed and the gang was sure the posse had passed, or given up and gone home, the men set the safe outside the cave. Led by Kid Curry (assisted by Kyle), they tied the last stick of dynamite to the handle of the safe. Kid lit a match to the long fuse, and all ran to cover.

Nothing.

The men came out of hiding -- well, Kid did. Kyle emerged, too. So did Heyes. And, oh yeah, Hank and Lobo also.

Wheat trailed them, smirking. "Ha! What makes you smart alecks think one measly little stick of dynamite is gonna do the job that a whole bunch couldn't?"

Kid rolled his eyes. "Enough, Wheat!"

The men moved closer.

Suddenly, a flash arose. The men backed off.


To be continued ...

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PostSubject: Re: September 2014 Flashback   Thu Oct 09, 2014 4:47 pm

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