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Penski
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PostSubject: Back to Being an Outlaw?   Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:58 am


Would Heyes and Curry ever go back to being outlaws? For any reason? Will they stay on the path towards amnesty and being good citizens forever, even if things keep going roughly for them, or could something happen that would push them back over the edge into their old lifestyle?

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#1
sistergrace


Instead of giving my answer right here, right now, I'll just tell you that your question has planted a tiny plot bunny inside my head, so, I'll wait until this story gets written to post my answer.

Great question though, Allie! And thanks, Penski, for re-posting it here!

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#2
RosieAnnie


Oh sure they would. I think they'd have to be in tough circumstances, but if that were the case, absolutely. I don't think it'd be casual, such as, what do you want do to today? Oh let's steal some money. But yeah, it's a definite possibility. That's human nature for you. It's really, really hard to break old habits.

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#3
skykomish


Thanks to both Allie and Penski. This is a great subject.

I agree with RosieAnnie. If stealing was seen as a way out of a bad situation before, I think it would be an option again. There's nothing in the series to indicate that they were terribly remorseful about what they had done in the past. It seemed to be more a matter of pragmatism. Stealing was getting harder, and the consequences were becoming unacceptable, so they stopped.

However, they do seem very committed to going straight. There are several episodes where they could have walked away with a fortune, but decided to play it honest, even when taking the money would have been easy and being honest was hard. I think it is in the episode "The Root of it All" where Heyes asks the Kid, "Do you ever get the feeling that it's being law-abiding that doesn't pay?" (I'm not sure if I got the quote quite right, but the meaning is there.)

If they felt that what they gained from being law-abiding was far less than the rewards of being a thief, I think they would go back to their outlaw ways.

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#4
silverkelpie


There seems to be a general consensus that they would go back to their old ways under the right circumstances and I agree with them, but only with the proviso that it wouldn't be a complete reversion to form. I think it would take a different form and would be driven by a very specific need.

It wasn't honesty or remorse that turned them straight, it was a realistic appraisal of what they were doing with their lives and where they were likely to end up. I agree with Skykomish that they responded to changing times.


In my view they just don't see that rules apply to them in the way that they do to everyone else and that stealing was no big thing, whereas hurting people is. Going straight was a strategy that took the long view that then turned into a challenge.... and they could never resist a challenge.


If they found out that they were never going to get amnesty or if the governor had only just been playing with them to prevent crime and had no intention of ever granting it, all bets would be off.


I could see them pulling off a huge job to give them the future security they had hoped for in going straight especially if it had an edge of revenge on the governor about it.

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#5
skykomish


Good analysis SilverKelpie! I think that you are very right about going straight being a strategy for the long haul that turned into a challenge. Very well stated.

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#6
nm131


Silverkelpie stated what I was thinking: "It wasn't honesty or remorse that turned them straight, it was a realistic appraisal of what they were doing with their lives and where they were likely to end up. I agree with Skykomish that they responded to changing times.

In my view they just don't see that rules apply to them in the way that they do to everyone else and that stealing was no big thing, whereas hurting people is. Going straight was a strategy that took the long view that then turned into a challenge.... and they could never resist a challenge. "

They weren't adverse to using their outlaw skills or illegal means even during thier quest for amnesty, albeit for "honorable reasons" i.e. robbing Powers bank for real in "Red Gap", although they didn't keep the money.

If awarded amnesty, they would have to be extremely desparate and there would need to be specific circumstances to backslide into criminal behaivor (Frankie wrote a excellent scenario where Kid contemplated robbing a bank after he was a" free" man during her "The Outlaws Who Never Quit" serial. ) Never say never but going back to being outlaws after amnesty, I can't see that the BAR (Benefits, Alternatives and Risks) would support that choice and neither man is stupid.

However, I agree if the amnesty offer was withdrawn or if the Governor attempted to have them arrested, I do think that the desire for revenge and the challenge of pulling off a major job (perhaps where the governors' own bank account was held) would not be beyond them. After all when they thought Lom was betraying them, they didn't hesitate to rob the Porterville Bank. (And yes I know that this was before the quest and therefore they didn't have years of experience of living mostly honestly). It wouldn't be an easy choice or their first choice but they could feel driven into it. Heyes certainly would be able to rationalize a reason for one last job. Once a sucessful job was completed they might live more judiciously (invest $, save $) and not the wasteful ways of the past - go live quietly and try to disappear (i.e. like Plummer) I don't know how sucessful they would be since it didn't work during the amnesty run but then again they didn't have a large amount of cash reserves either.

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#7
HutchyNStarsk


Thanks for reposting this!!!

I enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts!

Can someone point me towards "The Outlaws Who Never Quit" bank robbing link?

I've been asking because I'm curious about this, and because sometimes it seems that they show superhuman resistance to just taking the money and running. (Such as in the episode where they're accidentally give a bag of jewels by a banker. I think even non-criminal types would've been really tempted to keep that!)

I've been wondering if there was anything that would make them revert to their old ways. I find everyone's thoughts enlightening and interesting to think about. I'm still not absolutely sure what I think. I'd like to see scenarios written about it, either way, though--a good look at what makes 'em tick.

The revenge against the governor idea is particularly interesting idea, I think!! (I have a few paragraphs of a fic titled "We'll Show the Governor" on my desktop. The plot was heading in a different direction before I got stuck, but now I'm wondering if it wouldn't work for this idea...)

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#8
sistergrace


Reply to HutchyNStarsk -
Can someone point me towards "The Outlaws Who Never Quit" bank robbing link?


HutchyNStarsk,

"The Outlaws that Wouldn't Quit" is a series of challenge stories, written by Lana Coombe month after month, for several challenges in a row, or maybe a whole year.

Here is the link and if I'm not mistaken, Lana has posted all her challenge stories making up this series all at this one link.

http://asjfanfiction.wetpaint.com/page/The+Outlaws+that+wouldn't+Quit

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#9
Ghislaine Emrys


All these analyses are great! I think Heyes and Curry would have to be really desperate or be feeling like all hope is lost at getting amnesty in order for them to revert to their old ways. They are honorable in their own way and, once they committed themselves to achieving amnesty, I think they'd try extremely hard to earn it--as can be seen in the lengths they go to in various episodes to clear their names of crimes allegedly committed by Heyes and Curry.

That said, I find it interesting that people have different ideas about who wants the amnesty more: Heyes or Curry. Myself, I can't decide! But--Curry is the one who seems more intrigued by the idea in the Pilot, after Heyes explains what it means; Curry seems to dismiss the idea but I think it festers in his mind and I bet he kept talking to Heyes about it. After all, they do end up in Porterville to talk to Lom about it and it's Curry who asks why they should be penalized for excellence. And, once Curry gets an idea in his head, he has a hard time letting it go.

Yet, Heyes does like a challenge, as others have already said. And later in the Pilot, he's the one who says now they have a chance at something they ain't never had before--a normal life. I think it took him longer to decide that the advantages of going straight outweighed the benefits of a life of crime but once he was persuaded that giving up stealing offered him (and his partner) a chance at a better life than what they'd had so far, he was willing to do whatever he could to make it happen. Once he rationally decided that going straight would be a good thing, he balanced out Curry's impulsive desire to achieve the goal.

There's a really good story called One More Last Chance that shows what might happen if one partner got amnesty but the other didn't. It's not online, unfortunately, but can be purchased through Neon Rainbow Press. (I didn't write it.)

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#10
silverkelpie


Oooh! Who wants the amnesty more? That's a whole other question.... Heyes has the kind of mind that could survive in the world of high finance and business, even under an alter ego, but the Kid would possibly find that more of a challenge. There are various times where they push each other but my gut feeling is that the Kid NEEDS it more and Heyes supports that.

I'm sure that there are many conflicting views to be enjoyed though!

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#11
nm131


This is a quick reply not a reasoned response so forgive the somewhat hasty thinking.

I'm intrigued by Silverkelpies line "There are various times where they push each other but my gut feeling is that the Kid NEEDS it more and Heyes supports that. " I agee that there are various times that they each push each other and prop the other up when doubts surface, but I'm wondering what you mean by Kid needs it more?

I think that KC wants amnesty first, as others said, he brought the inquiry up and is loath to give up an idea he fixes on. At first it may be an impulsive choice but the desire had to have been there all along, perhaps buried but the flyer lit a spark. Heyes is slower and takes a more analytical approach before he makes up his mind. Once the choice is made, HH is more single-minded in his quest. KC first and foremost follows his inner moral compass, if what he thinks is right and amnesty might be compromised - so be it, whereas Heyes has a moral code but it is more fluid than the Kid's. HH thinks, needs reasons, even if he has to reach and make them up. KC acts.

Someone, I think it was Penski, once said that being an outlaw was a choice of Heyes, he likes the challenge and "easy money" but for KC outlawing was a job, a vocation not the occupation it was for Heyes. I'm not sure if even if everything had gone right in their lives that Heyes would not have illegal leanings (He does have a mind for high finance but maybe he would be the slightly crooked business man who justifies illegal means to obtain his ends, as long as he does not see any of the little people who are affected.) I could see him, in different circumstances and without Kid, as a robber baron; he has a ruthless streak that runs deeper than Kid's deadly dangerous reactions (All the Heyesians, please don't send out a lynching party) but I can't see Kid as a professional thief without Heyes.

In my mind, KC does not seem as enamoured of the nomadic lifestyle and with his strong tendencies to protect and help every damsel in distress, actually they don't have to be female to need help, it appears that perhaps the ideal of a settled life that amnesty affords is a powerful lure (home with wife, kids and pets) more so than Heyes who seems to accept the limitations better. Heyes does adjust to his circumstance chameleon-like but the inner man is pretty committed to his few core absolutes.

Either way both HH and KC can plainly see the advantage of not being wanted and they need each other to achieve that goal by keeping each others spirits up when one flags, by reminding the other of the carrot when one loses the faith, and by supporting and balancing each others strenghts and weaknesses.

I expect I'll have different view next week but as on now that's what's in my mind

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#12
Remuda


I have not yet read all the replies posted here, but answered this question this morning on another board, and am copying it here as well, slightly modified, to add to the discussion. Apologies for the cross-posting or if similar views have already been put forth.

This response is based on several answers I had read seeming to opine in the direction of Heyes' wanting amnesty more than Kid. I respectfully disagreed. I see both of them wanting it equally, and if it came down to one more than the other, I'd say Kid.

As well, Kid is the more "feeling" of the two -- the one who will act on his emotions more often and champion the underdog in a particular situation ("damsels in distress," the odd bounty hunter's needing rescuing, etc.) -- while Heyes would want to let it go and walk away.

We do see them, regularly, returning to the "outlaw" life, in terms of using their old ways to make a "bad" situation (one against them) "right" (for them mostly, but also benefiting others). These petty crimes here and there would throw anyone without their experienced cunning into jail, and that same slyness gets them back out on the street, whereas the general population would remain there.

That said, they're far from model citizens, but obviously trying awfully hard to stay straight. Kid's emotions do sometimes get in the way, yes, but Heyes does go along willingly. It's that very heart that sways me to Kid's side a little in an otherwise very equal equation.

Ultimately, I think they're both very committed to staying straight. The amnesty is now the carrot -- instead of the past safe full of loot -- and our boys like a good challenge. It's that challenge that will keep them on the straight and narrow until the goal -- amnesty -- is achieved.

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#13
Keays


I think that they would go back to outlawing temperarily if the amnisty went bad. One last job to set them up in Mexico or maybe even (gasp) Canada. I always got the feeling that Kid wanted a family and knows that it would be out of his reach if they stayed on the run. Heyes would have a hard time settling down, he needs the challange of pushing his intellect, but I think he would be able to find an "honest" way to fullfill that need. I felt that if the amnisty did come through, they would end up working for Pinkerson's or something like that, putting their expertise to good use.

It's an interesting question and has certainly drawn alot of discussion here. I'm looking forward to some stories on this topic!

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#14
FrankieASJ


Thought it was time for me to add my penny worth and it might be slightly controversial!! In reality, television world apart, I'm afraid I think once a thief, always a thief. They got into robbing 'cos it was easy money and basically they don't like hard work they always want a job that's 'easy on the back' Perhaps they were made to work really hard at the home for waywards and vowed they'd never be told what to do by anyone again!

If time rolled on and the governor didn't come through with the amnesty then I'm sure they'd say '**** it! 'They might have to change the way they rob but I'm sure Heyes would be up for the challenge. I have to admit I can see Kid being the more reluctant of the two but desperate times make people do desperate things and I'm sure Heyes could convince him of 'just one more job to see us straight'.

They did dally with the thought of 'flim flamming' for a living at the end of Dreadful sorry Clementine so perhaps they'd go more in that direction, perhaps in a bigger city like San Francisco pull some big cons and then hide out in the wilds of the west! They'd be Grifters rather than drifters!

Getting carried away here but you did ask!!

Thanks to Grace for posting the link to my Outlaws story - it seems such a long time ago I wrote that - kinda miss that little extra monthly challenge!!!!!

================================


#15
silverkelpie


NM131 asked what I meant by 'the Kid needs it more', so I thought I'd clarify. I see him as an extremely talented gunman, but without that talent it's more likely that he would have ended up as a cowboy or in employment somewhere than a member of the Devil's Hole gang, especially if he hadn't known Heyes.

I hate to provoke the Heyesians, but I do think that he was a bad influence on the Kid.

The Kid needed it more because his core skills were less adaptable to the world of employment and the areas that might give him an honest future were likely to be stable and less suitable to a man on the run unless he was to do menial work all his life. There also seems to be a part of him that wants to have the future he lost when their homes were attacked and that really means settling down.

Heyes is adaptable, tractable and entrepreneurial and could do much better living life on the run.

Together they compliment one another's talents and their partnership means that they will support the others needs and aspirations.

Frankie's view of 'once a thief always a thief' certainly rings true but there are occasionally people who reform usually because they fell into crime by circumstance and nurture a talent which give them a fresh start. I agree about the recidivistic nature of the criminal but if Heyes' entrepreneurial abilities can be harnessed to make honest money they might stand a chance. Statistics are against it though. Inexperienced criminals, caught early in their career for less serious crimes normally have the best chance for reform. The odds are actually against the boys living an honest life but whether or not they'd get caught is an other thing entirely.


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PostSubject: Re: Back to Being an Outlaw?   Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:50 am

bump   Bumping up this thread...

Would Heyes and Curry ever go back to being outlaws? For any reason? Will they stay on the path towards amnesty and being good citizens forever, even if things keep going roughly for them, or could something happen that would push them back over the edge into their old lifestyle?

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PostSubject: Re: Back to Being an Outlaw?   Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:12 pm

It's a very good question, Penski,and the answer could lead to serious tragedy. I think at lot would depend upon their relationships. If they were married and had children, I think it would some terrible pressure to turn them back to the criminal life. If they were still on their own, it would be much easier and more likely. As has already been pointed out, during the series they did turn to criminal means to achieve at least partially honest ends. I think that a continuing problem for the boys for quite some time after turning honest would be their definition of honest. It would take them a while to figure out what honest really meant to other people. In the series they never seem to mind a bit of jail break, despite the fact that it is very far over the line. Far into the future in my own cycle I have Heyes casually excuse their jailbreaks after supposedly going straight, saying "Nobody's perfect." When you find out to whom he says it, I think you'll get a laugh out of it. But it could also get him into a lot of trouble if other people found out! Heyes just still doesn't quite get what honesty is.
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PostSubject: Re: Back to Being an Outlaw?   Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:24 pm

Great question!

I, too, think that it would depend on the circumstances. If the amnesty kept being put off and they finally got fed up with waiting for it, then, yes, I could easily see them going back to outlawing. I think either Frankie or Friscogal wrote a story about them going on a crime spree to force the governor to give them amnesty. I found that completely within their characters and have to wonder why they'd wait years to do it.

If they received their amnesties, I think that Heyes is too much of a pragmatist to risk losing what they worked so hard for, knowing that the outlaw life was getting rougher and more dangerous for them. Most of all, by that time, it would be common knowledge they went straight and I seriously doubt they'd be able to slip back into that life without running into trouble with other outlaws. I don't see either of them as ever being truly honest men. It's just not their nature. Like Helen pointed out, they haven't been shy about using their "gifts".

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PostSubject: Re: Back to Being an Outlaw?   Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:40 pm

Good grief, I didn't respond last time.

I think they would get tired of trying and not getting it after years. Tired of the posses and looking over their shoulders and the $10,000 rewards and...

I can see, out of frustration, them pulling one more BIG job and leaving the country to South America or Australia.

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PostSubject: Re: Back to Being an Outlaw?   Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:29 pm

You know, I didn't answer it either!

I suppose that if they had been honest a long time, they would have two choices. A big haul, and emigration, or remaining in the country under assumed names in a region where they are not known. While it sounds like a big risk, criminals have disappeared that way.

Depends which risk they want to take. They show leanings both ways in the series, I think with their personalities, and the discussions they have. They don't have a good choice, either way.

I don't think they would revert to crime if they got their amnesty.

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PostSubject: Re: Back to Being an Outlaw?   Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:06 pm

It really is a great question. I feel that this sort of question is where fan fic people can explore their own directions with the characters most effectively. We are all likely to come up with different answers depending upon the time period and the situation. My own versions of the characters have made their own decision, which they just explained very clearly in my most recent chapter. But other people's versions could, after their own evolution through various plots, wind up in completely different places and make completely different decisions. There is no definitive right or wrong answer, for sure.
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PostSubject: Back to being an outlaw   Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:34 am

Talk about a question that leads itself into a story. WOW!
I don't feel they would return if they actually ever got amnesty. They worked to hard for it to return to the outlaw life which they kind of walked into as teens not really thinking it through.

However if the amnesty never came through...it would be a possibility. They are in so much more danger moving about as they are then they are with a gang and a hole to hide in. There just might be a time when they would get sick to death of all that is going on and just want a place to bed down at again and not have to worry about looking over their shoulders every moment. That is the security of having a gang...others around you and basically a home to return too.

I also think if one of them was killed the other would return to outlawing, for some reason I can really see this from Heyes he seems like a person who would go for a large scale revenge -- really big heist until he got himself killed. I say killed because I could see him pushing the barrier further and further till he bit it. Curry, I think because although he is smart and his own man, I feel he would be lost without his cousin and just naturally list make to people he knows which would mean falling back into outlawing. Although, i don't think he would be the type of person I would want to know...somehow I think losing his cousin would change his personality in ways which not be favorable at all.

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PostSubject: Re: Back to Being an Outlaw?   Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:24 pm

Funny coincidence that you revived this topic, Wichita Red. I was just sitting here, thinking on stories, and I wondered, why hasn't anybody done a story/stories about them changing their mind about the amnesty?

I know, in the series, they were pretty focused on getting the amnesty, but we've all taken creative leaps, using canon as nothing more than a springboard. I can think of several reasons why the amnesty didn't happen, mostly from the governor's viewpoint. But why not figure that Heyes and Curry just get so worn down, worn out, especially with a revolving door of Wyoming governors, that they decide to return to a life of larceny? Certainly it wouldn't have to be bank robbery or train robbery, though it could be. Could be running con games. And why would they have to stay in the west? I know Heyes says they like the West, but what's to stop them from going back east for a year or two? Or to Europe?

There are a whole range of story possibilities based on the boys returning to a life of crime. I hope some folks will decide to explore that idea.

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PostSubject: Re: Back to Being an Outlaw?   Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:17 pm

This question came to mind again as I wrote my Running Late challenge. Even though Butch didn't wait when the railroad men didn't arrive on time, I think Heyes and Curry wouldn't have acted so rash. They may have waited longer than a day or asked why the no meeting.

And would they have robbed the train like Butch? I dunno. I can't see them going back to outlawing full time but maybe one last BIG job and they vanish forever.

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PostSubject: Re: Back to Being an Outlaw?   Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:32 pm

Hm. Doesn't that sound familiar? One last big plan - that's the same thing Heyes worked so hard to talk Big Jim out of. Did he not learn his own lesson, or does being farther from amnesty make that much difference?
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PostSubject: Re: Back to Being an Outlaw?   Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:36 pm

There is a qualitative difference between Big Jim and Heyes in the context being discussed.

Big Jim was fresh out of prison with no charges pending against him. He was in the clear with the law. Heyes makes a very big point of telling Jim that he is being an idiot to throw away his condition as a free man with no warrants against him.

Heyes is still wanted. I think that fact makes a difference in how he would judge the risks of doing one last big job.
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PostSubject: Re: Back to Being an Outlaw?   Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:48 pm

You may well be right. But I wonder - he might say it would be only one job. I wonder if they would be able to give up the risks and excitement, and fresh money, that easily. But relationships might make a difference there. If one or both partners wanted to settle down with someone, that could change the whole thing. It might scare them off of crime, or motivate them to want more money. It just depends on more specifics. There are lots of western stories in which men steal for women.
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