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 March 16 Seeing is Believing

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Calico

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Join date : 2012-04-22
Age : 52
Location : Birmingham

PostSubject: March 16 Seeing is Believing   Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:18 am

Hello one, hello all from your delinquent challenge setter... sorrykitty sorrykitty

Do not be letting the polling delays inhibit your creative juices.

I want them flowing no matter what the inadequate nature of the supporting bureaucracy.

Flow juices flow!!

This month we are having a nice, standard challenge off THE LIST

Yes, indeed THE LIST still exists - and suggestions for THE LIST still welcome.


So, set your polished fingers and synapses to work on:



Seeing is Believing


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Cal

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Age : 58
Location : Wales UK

PostSubject: Seeing is believing   Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:10 am

No...I didn't write this overnight...I know I'm a bit keen...but not that much! No this title is a gift...it fits the opening scene of my tale Den of Thieves so well that I couldn't resist posting it ...Also, it means I get to sit back and enjoy the other challenge stories as they come in all smug and I done mine...hahahahah.
Calx
BTW this is unedited...so if you like you can carry on and read the rest at your leisure...be warned though...its a bit wordy...ran to two parts.


Den of Thieves
By Cal

Hannibal Heyes was nearly asleep in the saddle.  His head nodded, chin tucked into his winter coat, hat pulled low on his brow.  Curry had seen the signs; his cousin hadn’t slept properly for days.  Didn’t mean he was worrying about anything in particular; it was just Heyes’ way, to go days without proper sleep, then, rocked in a saddle in the fresh air, he’d drift off.  He’d even hit dirt a few times.  They’d been travelling most of the night, their trail lit by a big moon high in the sky. There were signs of dawn all around them, the sky pregnant with Sun.

Curry was out ahead; he’d have to go back and see Heyes stayed in his saddle.  Heyes was already feeling proddy about Kid choosing to use this high pass over the mountain instead of the easier trail along the valley bottom.  Kid didn’t want to risk giving Heyes another reason to be mad at him, by allowing him fall off his horse.

A distant gunshot from the plane on the other side of the ridge pushed all other thoughts out of his head.  He urged the big black gelding up the final thirty or forty feet to the top of the ridge; jumped out of the saddle removing his hat, and letting just his head break the skyline, looked down on the unfolding drama below.  

The long shadow of the ridge reached out across the plain but in the warm first light of day towards the middle, Curry’s sharp eyes found a dust cloud that quickly resolved into a group of riders as it came on.

At least six riders were galloping across the plane heading away from the town of Tunnel Junction.  The town was a barely visible grey smudge, away off in the distance to his right. The riders were being pursued by a larger dust cloud, out of which wild rifle fire could be heard.

Kid turned to summon Heyes.  He watched, mouth ajar, as his cousin’s slumped form rolled forward out of the saddle and hit dirt with a sickening whomp.

‘Ooh… that’s gotta hurt’ winced Curry, screwing up his face.  

Heyes, now wide awake was swearing up a storm, loud enough to outdo the gunfire from the plane below, quickly rolled up in to a sitting position shaking dust out of his hair and searching for his beloved hat.  His chestnut mare was unfazed, she just stood quietly and watched the show, reins dangling.  

Kid bit back a smirk as Heyes looked up at him with grit ground into his nose and his face looking pretty beat up.  

“Heyes get up here, something’s happening down there” he shouted all business as though he hadn’t witnessed the tumble.  There would be repercussions, this would be his fault, but not yet, if he could get Heyes distracted.

“There’s a gang riding up a storm out of Tunnel Junction, and a posse real close on their heels!”

Heyes rubbed at his face. That hurt.  He wanted to wallow a spell in ‘hard done by’, have a good moan at the Kid, but his curiosity got the better of him and he quickly scrambled up the last stretch of trail to the rise.  

Heyes fell to the ground beside Kid, he rubbed the grit out of his nose with a gloved hand and squinted up his eyes.  Using the same hand to cup over his eyes he got a good view of the play below.  

“That posse’s real close.  They haven’t given themselves enough time.”  Kid pursed his lips and shook his head in the way only an ex-outlaw and expert posse evader can criticise the current crop.

“They gotta split up…. Split up.... Come on… Split up!” Heyes shouted.  He couldn’t deal with others inability to see the blindingly obvious. It was like watching one of their past exploits from an eagle’s eye view.

“Come on! A blind monkey could see you gotta split up!”

As if hearing Heyes’ words the riders fanned out across the plain and lit out in all different directions accompanied by ‘whoops’ and ‘Yeahs!’ from Heyes and Kid above.

“Now that’s more like it…Don’t look back …Get outta there!” ordered the ex-leader of the Devils Hole Gang.

One of the riders was arcing round to the left, on the flank of the approaching posse.  This near suicidal dash toward the near impenetrable cliffs to the right had Heyes and Curry baffled.

“What’s this idiot doing now?” Heyes sounded like a disappointed mentor.  

“He’s got no chance,” Kid opined, “Well…I guess at least he’s drawing most of that posse his way.” He looked at Heyes shaking his head for the incompetence of their successors.  “Is he being noble do you think, or just stupid?”

“Stupid” Heyes confirmed nodding and waving to the bottom of the cliffs to his right. “He’s got nowhere to go…” Heyes turned to holler into the plain, “Nothing but rocks that way…that’s just real stupid.”

Kid nodded his agreement.  In his expert opinion, the gang below were found wanting.  You don’t sacrifice one of your own for the getaway.  Wouldn’t have happened in their day.  

They were both lost in thoughts of how they would be leading this escape when their attention was drawn by the lone desperado who’d now reached the base of a very steep rocky incline.  Incredibly, urged on by its rider, the flashy paint pony was starting to climb.  Dust churning from its back legs as it leapt from place to place like a mountain goat, changing directions every few strides.

“Sheesh…I’m seeing it, but I don’t believe it” whistled Curry. “That’s one clever pony.”

Heyes ran to his mare to get the opera glasses from his saddlebag.  He quickly returned and focussed on the reckless rider below.  

“That’s Haff! That must have been Wheat and the boys down there!”

“Well they should know better than to use Haff to throw a posse.”  Curry’s face was grim.

Heyes kept the glasses trained on the small Indian urging his paint higher and higher towards the ridge.

“At least that posse can’t follow…No...” Curry sounded exasperated.

“What?” Heyes asked without losing sight of Haff in the glasses.

“They’re gonna….”

A loud volley of rifle fire exploded from the bottom of the climb.  Heyes saw a bullet find Haff’s side just as he disappeared over the ridge and out of sight.  

“He’s been hit!” Heyes’ eyes closed for just a second.  

He swung the glasses to focus on the posse.  There were ten of them at the base of the climb. A sheriff, an Indian scout, six cowboys and a couple of suits.  One of the cowboys was whooping to the others.  

‘Must have seen his bullet hit home’ thought Heyes with distaste.

Curry was staring out over the plain, looking at the receding dust trails of the other gang members. Now he knew who they were, he felt he could take a pretty good guess at which trail was Wheat, Kyle, Preacher, Lobo and the rest. None were pursued.  Incredibly, the posse hadn’t split.  They’d all wheeled round after Haff.  

‘Why would they do that?’ thought the fastest gun in the West. ‘That don’t make sense.’

Heyes, still with the glasses pointed at the posse, was shocked to see one of the suits turn and look straight up into his lens.  The man was pointing straight to their vantage point.   Heyes dropped the glasses to stare down at the near indistinguishable men of the posse below and realised with relief that none of them could possibly actually see him and Kid up here.  There wasn’t really much likelihood of the Sun throwing up reflections on the glass as the Sun was behind him.  No, that posse was coming to join them because this pass was the only one to take, if they intended to continue their pursuit of the Indian.

“That posse’s headed our way Kid.”
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Alias Alice



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Location : Yorkshire, UK

PostSubject: Seeing is Believing   Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:18 am

“I love you,” said the Kid, desperately. “I love you, Rosa. You know I do.  But I can't marry you.  I can't ask you to share a life of running and hiding - ”

“- I don't care!” cried the young woman clasped in his arms, tears starting into her eyes.  “I don't care if you're an outlaw.  I don't care if I have to hide and run - ”

“But I care! I can't let you!  You don't know what it would be like.  And if you didn't come with me, you might just hear I'd got caught and locked away for twenty years.  I could be shot.  It happens.”

Rosa was silent.

“Wait til I've got the amnesty.  Then we can marry!”

“The amnesty!” cried Rosa, angrily.   “I'm tired of hearing about the amnesty!  When will you get it?  Why don't you marry me now?  You would if you really loved me!”

“I do really love you,” said the Kid, his own eyes suspiciously shiny. “That's why I can't marry you yet!  And I might get the amnesty any time."

“You don't love me!  You don't!” said Rosa, passionately, the tears spilling over.  She flung herself out of his arms.  Catching up her jacket, she rushed to the door and ran out.  It slammed behind her.

The Kid was left gazing at the closed door.


* * *


“What's the matter?” said Heyes, taking one look at his partner's face. Kid had just arrived back at their hotel-room.  “No, don't bother to tell me.  I can guess.  It's Rosa again, isn't it?”

“Yes.”

Curry suddenly sat down and drew the back of his hand across his eyes.

Heyes looked at him.

“It's must be very hard, the way things have worked out,” he said.

“It's finished, Heyes,” Kid said.  His voice sounded shaken. " I can't stand it any longer.  I've discussed everything with her again and again, and she won't understand.  She won't wait for me, and I'm NOT taking her outlawing.  It's over.  I just want to leave this place.  Let's go.  Let's go tomorrow.”

“All right.  We'll leave in the morning, if that's what you really want.  We'll forget about this job.”

“Thanks, Heyes.  It isn't what I want.  But it's what I've got to do.   There isn't any other answer.”


* * *


Two days later,  Rosa was walking slowly along the town's Main Street.  She was so lost in thought that she nearly collided with a small, thin woman who was coming out of the mercantile.

They both drew back.  Then the woman said hesitantly.  “Oh hello, Rosa.  It is Rosa, isn't it?  You've grown up a bit.”

“Yes, it's Rosa,” said Rosa, smiling.

She looked at the woman, trying to work out who she was.  She didn't look familiar.  Rosa did not know that  tired, care-worn face.  No, wait a minute – wasn't there something familiar about the hazel eyes?

“You're Amy Adams!”

The woman gave a slight smile.  “I was Amy Adams.  I've been Amy Thomas for a long time now.”

“Amy Adams, that's right,” thought Rosa beginning to remember.  She had caused a great sensation about ten years before, when Rosa had been thirteen.  She had eloped to marry the handsome Ritchie Thomas.  He'd been living briefly in the town, and he'd had all the bad boy glamour of being an outlaw.  But how could this woman, thin to the point of gauntness, with the pale, lined face, be Amy?  She couldn't be much more than thirty or so.  Amy Adams had been such a fun-loving girl, distractingly pretty and popular.  And where was all that glorious auburn hair?  This woman's hair was reddish certainly, but rapidly turning to grey and pulled severely back from her face.  The old black dress didn't help.  Wait – Ritchie had been shot down by a Sheriff in Lawson City, hadn't he?  That explained a lot.  Poor Amy.

“How are you?” asked Rosa.  “You've decided to come back here to live?”

“Yes.  I need the work.  I'll be able to take in washing.  We should be all right.  Ritchie never did manage to give up the outlaw business, you know.  He said he just had to provide for all of us somehow.”

“All of you?”

Rosa half-turned to look where Amy was indicating.  On a bench outside the mercantile sat five thin, silent children, one of them, aged about two, sitting in the lap of the oldest girl.  He was beginning to wriggle and cry, realising that it was nearly time for his next meal.

“Time to go, I think,” said Amy.

“Let me carry that package for you,” said Rosa, indicating a large package that Amy had been holding while they talked.

"The boys will carry it, thanks.  Ritchie, Edward, take this parcel for me, will you?  We'll have something to eat when we get home.”

The boys moved forward to take the package.  Amy took the baby from his sister, settled him on her arm and with her other hand took the hand of the smallest girl.

“I'll see you later, Amy,”said Rosa.  “Nice meeting you again.”

“You, too,” said Amy, moving away.  Rosa walked past the mercantile.

“Oh, Kid,” Rosa was thinking.  “You wanted to protect me til the time was right.  I see it now.  And I believe you were right.  Of course you were right.  I knew it all along.  But I wouldn't let myself see it, I wouldn't let myself believe it.  Well, I do now.”

She gazed along the track that led out of town, along which the Kid, heart-broken, had ridden two days before.

“But you're gone.  I'm willing to wait now.  Will you ever come back?”
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MoulinP

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PostSubject: Re: March 16 Seeing is Believing   Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:40 am

Seeing is believing

 

“Listen up gentlemen I’m gonna explain the plan for our next campaign,” Heyes said, smiling smugly. He had recently read a book about his namesake, the great African general, and imagined that was how he would have started a briefing to his Army.

Heyes still had on his oversized grey/blue jacket with the brown corduroy detail and his famous black hat. It was only a short cold walk from the leader’s cabin and he didn’t plan to be in the bunkhouse long.

The Devil’s Hole Gang were sprawled on chairs arranged in lines facing the front. Heyes stood next to an easel and blackboard, covered by a cloth.

“’Bout time,” grumbled Wheat. “We’re just about broke. We’ll be boiling up our shoes to eat come next Thursday.”

“Can ya do that?” Kyle asked wide-eyed.

“Sure ya can,” Wheat told him firmly.

“Would we leave the shoe laces in? Then it would be like that Italian stuff spag…” Kyle frowned as he fought for the word.

“Hetti!” Lobo offered, sitting next to him.

“That’s it!” Kyle cried. “Spag-hetti. Have you tried that Lobo? It’s tricky stuff. It don’t stay on the fork.” Kyle said to his neighbour.

“You’re supposed to twirl it round the fork and eat it that way,” Hank put in.

At the front Heyes cleared his throat. He stood hands clasped in front of him waiting.

“Course if we were gonna do it we’d need some nice winter vegetables to go with it, maybe some potatoes and a bit of seasoning,” Preacher added.

The boys nodded in agreement.

“Boys!”

The call came from the Kid. He was amused by the gang’s conversation but the expression on Heyes’ face told him that HE wasn’t.

“I wouldn’t leave the soles on,” Wheat sniffed, shaking his head. “Not knowing what some of yous hav’ stepped in.”

That prompted further discussion.

Up front, Heyes had now taken out his gun and was looking at it thoughtfully, licking his lips.

“Boys!” the Kid tried again. “Can we give a little attention to Heyes? He’s trying to tell us summat.”

“Sure Kid, we’s listenin’,” Wheat assured him but leant forward to get in on the conversation about what type of vegetables would go best.

At the front Heyes was checking the chambers of his gun with real intention.

The Kid realised he’d better do something quick before a murder warrant was added to Heyes’ rap sheet. This time he got up.

“BOYS! Enough now with the culinary discussion!” When he had their attention, he made a calming down motion with his hands and then flicked a thumb over his shoulder at Heyes.

There was a general shuffling back into line. However, the conversation continued on pondering whether to add carrots, celery or both.

What Heyes did next surprised everyone. Before even the Kid could react, Heyes had fired his gun at the ceiling. Debris crashed down onto the assembly. Hands went to guns in alarm. There was cries of protest, mutterings and sneezes. Hats were taken off and dusted, shoulders were brushed.

Heyes stood gun pointing upwards, gritting his teeth.

“RIGHT! Now that I’ve FINALLY got your attention. Listen up!”

Heyes’ patience had run out. The Kid grinned ruefully. Trust Heyes to find an extreme way to bring the meeting to order.

Heyes took a deep breath and holstered his gun. “As I was saying I’ve got the plan here for our next job.” He removed the cloth with a flourish. On the blackboard was a plan of the town where the next job would be. He tapped the board. “Study it men and remember it.”

Kyle stared open-mouthed. “Whoo Hee Heyes. You sure are good at drawing.”

The full force of Heyes’ glare fell upon him and Kyle blanched. He swallowed hard. Heyes was in no mood for anything other than being serious.

“In silence!” Heyes said through gritted teeth.

He gave them a few minutes to digest what they were seeing.

“Okay.” He seemed calmer now. “As you can see the town of Lakeville sits by the side of a large lake.”

“Guess that’s why they call it Lakeville,” Kyle grinned then sobered quickly at his leader’s murderous stare.

“The bank is here, sheriff’s office there.” Heyes indicated where although he had already drawn them in. Some of the gang struggled with reading so best to be sure. “The Kid and me will get there the day ‘afore and pipe the bank. Checkout security, make and model of the vault. That sorta thing.”

“There’s two big ranches outtaways and they’re hiring right now for round up. Rest of ya will go in as two groups. Act like you’re looking for employment. They’ll be lots of extra folks in town, population will almost double. So you won’t look outta place.”

Heyes surveyed the motley collection of individuals in front of him. With a sniff of distaste he added, “Some of ya had better smarten up if ya wanna be taken seriously,” he murmured. At that point, he glanced at the Kid, who rolled his eyes. Was Heyes expecting a miracle? “Normal protocol men. You …”

“What’s protocol mean?” Kyle asked.

Heyes looked skyward. He could see the sky through the little hole he had just created. “The usual routine Kyle. Jus’ the usual routine.”

“Why didna ya say so then?” Kyle mumbled to himself and then he saw his leader’s face. “Okay Heyes. Whatever you say.” He grinned broadly.

“The Kid and me will ride back here wiv the money. You lot will provide the distraction.” Now Heyes grinned widely. This was his best plan yet and he was proud of it.

“What ya got in mind Heyes?” It was the Kid who asked. He could see the gleam in Heyes’ eyes and he wasn’t sure he liked the look of it. Heyes looked far too smug.

“Boats,” Heyes said, tapping the plan.

“Yeah?” The Kid liked it even less and he didn’t know what it was yet.

“Boats?” Wheat queried.

“Yeah. Boats. What’s this fellas?” Heyes circled the word LAKE on the plan with chalk.

Grumbles, sarcastic mutterings and grunts. “Don’t YOU know what that is?”

Heyes narrowed his eyes but he couldn’t make out who had said that.

“Okay Heyes. I’ll bite,” grinned Preacher. “It’s a LAKE!”

Cue mischievous laughter.

“Yeah.” Heyes now adopted his best patient-father-talking-to-young-child mode. “And what goes on lakes?”

More muttering.

“Make it easy for ya shall I?” He paused. “Boats perhaps?”

“Yeah?” Even more muttering, this time with added confused looks.

Heyes seemed to glaze over for a moment. Then barely keeping his temper in check he thrust out his chin, tapping the board, impatiently.

“While the Kid and me ride off? Distraction? You create?” He was met with silence. “STILL no takers?” he growled. “Nothing?”

Heyes stood hands on hips and looked at his audience. Then with a why-do-I bother gesture he turned away, shaking his head. Not for the first time did he wonder if he and the Kid would be better off striking out on their own.

“Heyes! You’re not serious?” The Kid had now realised what Heyes was getting at.

Heyes looked round and spread his arms.

“Why not?” Heyes grinned. “Make a distraction won’t it? These in a boat?” He nodded eagerly.

Wheat tutted. “We’re outlaws! Not pirates!” He spat the last word. If he was leader, he thought, we wouldn’t be doing no sailing.

“I ain’t getting in no boat!” Kyle shook his head furiously.

“Why not?” Heyes folded his arms and waited for a serious objection to his plans. “Strikes me that it’s the perfect distraction.” He smiled. “Can any of ya row a boat?”

Hank tentatively put up a hand. “Used to lark about in a boat when I was a kid.”

“Then there’s your skipper,” Heyes said enthusiastically.

“I ain’t getting in no boat!” Kyle protested again.

“Well why the hell not?” Heyes thrust his chin out at him, one hand on his hip. He demanded an answer. This would have to be good to disrupt his plans. “You can swim can’t ya?”

Kyle shook his head, conscious that the rest of the boys were now hooting at him.

“Ha! Ha! Kyle can’t swim!”

“My Ma didn’t hold with it,” Kyle said, in justification.

Heyes now had his arms wrapped round himself, his chin rested on one hand. He puffed and blinked in disbelief.

“An’ just why was that Kyle?” he asked, ominously quietly.

Kyle looked embarrassed. Wheat gave him a prod.

“If you don’t tell him I will.”

“Hush up, Wheat. I told ya in secret.”

“Told him what, Kyle?” Heyes asked. “Summat ya wanna share with us?”

Kyle looked mortified. Wheat prodded him again and then he grinned.

“His Ma done tell him that the reason he shouldn’t go swimming was that the sea was full of dead pirates.”

That was it. The whole bunkhouse fell about with laughter. Kyle slapped Wheat repeatedly with his hat. Wheat easily fended him off, grinning at his little partner. The Kid turned away to hide his amusement. Heyes stood hands on hips, staring at the little hole in the ceiling and muttering under his breath.

The laughter went on for several minutes. Hank fell off his chair and the laughter renewed, this time at his expense. It took Heyes to tap on the board before the mirth ended.

“Kyle, this ain’t the sea. It’s a lake,” he said, firmly but gently. Kyle may not be the brightest gang member but he had the least harm in him. He was also the most willing to please. As the leader, Heyes knew that Kyle’s reservations were not a deliberate attempt to upset his plans. “There are no …” His tongue explored his teeth at the thought of what he was going to say next. “… dead pirates here.” Kyle looked at him doubtfully. “Trust me!”

“I dunno Heyes. Ma was …”

“There are NO dead pirates in here,” Heyes was insistent. “There are no dead pirates, ANYWHERE.” Heyes leant in Kyle’s direction and looked menacing.

Kyle slumped in his chair.  


 


Heyes stuck his head round the corner of the bank. Then he nodded behind to the Kid. The coast was clear. Between them they carried over thirty thousand dollars.

The job had gone smoothly, surprisingly no hitches. Just how he had planned it. Just how he knew it should be. Now for the last piece of the plan. If he was truthful, he had doubts about this part.

Heyes took out his pocket watch and looked at the time.

“If ole Wheat can tell the time, just ‘bout … now.”

Wheat could tell the time. Around the opposite corner ran the rest of the gang. They hurried away giving a good impression that they had robbed the bank.

Heyes waited for a few minutes until the Gang had a head start and then he ran into the street. He let out a shout.

“Hey! The bank’s been robbed!”

The townsfolk took up the cry.

Heyes grinned at the Kid and together they strolled casually in the direction of their horses. All around them was panic. Saddling up they rode slowly out of town.

Meanwhile the gang had reached the waterfront. Hank untied a rowboat and held the rope as the others got in. Kyle was the last and held back looking worried.

“Come on Kyle,” Wheat urged.

Kyle still hesitated. Hank pushed him from behind. Kyle had no choice but to get in. He sat down nervously. Before long, the unlikely shipmates propelled their unsteady craft out onto the lake. They really should have practised rowing before this.  When they were about fifty yards out,  somebody on shore spotted them.

“Hey! It’s them! Them’s the fellas that robbed the bank. Get after ‘em!”

On board the Good Ship Outlaw, Wheat urged the oarsmen to put their backs into it.

“I don’t like this,” Kyle was muttering. “I really don’t like this.”

“Hush up now Kyle. We’ve gotta row. Come on boys!” Then to himself. “How’d I ever let Heyes talk me inta this?”

Wheat looked behind. He could see men with badges getting into other boats and preparing to give chase.

“Kyle change places with Preacher so he can row,” Wheat ordered.

“What? Hell no!” Kyle was wide-eyed.

“Come on Kyle. Stand up and I’ll slide across.” Preacher prepared to do just that.

“I ain’t gonna do it.”

“I gotta row. Now come on.”

“I ain’t gonna do it. I’ll fall in.”

“I’ll throw you in if’n ya don’t move!” Wheat roared.

Kyle stood up, causing the little craft to rock alarmingly.

“Hey!” Hank and Lobo protested in unison. They were doing the main rowing and it was difficult enough as it was.

Kyle shuffled passed Preacher as that man slide over. The boat rocked even more. Kyle lost his footing, stumbling over Preacher’s foot. Preacher put out a hand to steady him but in doing so knocked Kyle who was already out of balance. Kyle went head first over the side with a wild yell.

“KYLE!” the men in the boat yelled.

Kyle was right, he couldn’t swim. He bobbed up, splashing wildly.

“I’M DROWNING! GET ME OUTTA HERE!”

Three pairs of hands made a grab for him, causing the boat to list precariously.

“Jus’ one of you’s get him or we’ll all go in,” Wheat yelled.

As a result, nobody did and Kyle went down for the second time. He didn’t come up. They waited.

“KYLE!” Wheat yelled, getting worried. The others all yelled. A raggedy hat appeared.

“Hell!” Wheat scooped it up. There was no head underneath. “KYLE!” The cry was full of anguish. Kyle was his partner.

“Sheriff’s getting awful close, Wheat,” Lobo pointed out.

Wheat throw a look over his shoulder.

“Shoot.”

At that moment, Kyle reared up out of the water. “DEAD PIRATES! THEY TOUCHED ME!”

Again, three pairs of hands reached for him.

“YEOW!” Nearly. Two of the gang leant back to right the boat. Preacher had grabbed one of Kyle’s arms.

“I go him.”

“GET ME OUTTA HERE.”

Before Preacher could pull Kyle any further, a shirt appeared beside him. Then more shirts and pants and waistcoats and bandannas. Kyle was soon in a miasma of clothes.

And hats, tricorn hats that looked like they were being worn by …

“YEOW! DEAD PIRATES! DEAD PIRATES!” the boat yelled.

“GET ME IN. GET ME IN.”

Preacher, fuelled by adrenalin, pulled Kyle roughly into the boat. The others, including Wheat, took up the oars again. With Kyle’s feet waving in the air, the boat accelerated forward in a sprint worthy of a regatta final.

Behind the sheriff and men from the town, who were used to boats, could only watch in astonishment as the outlaw’s boat flew across the surface of the lake. They had no hope of catching up.


 


 

On shore, Heyes and the Kid were watching the watery proceedings. They looked at each other and shrugged.

“What d’you suppose is happening out there?” the Kid asked, seeing the splashing by the side of the boat.

“Looks like somebody fell in.”

“Think it’s Kyle.”

“Good.”

“Good?”

“His annual bath is about a month overdue I reckon. The boys’ll be pleased at any rate,” Heyes said, tongue in cheek.

Heyes mounted up and waited. When the Kid was up, he turned to his partner and said, “Say Heyes is it still a posse if the sheriff does the pursuing in a boat?”

“Yeah ‘course.”

“So it’s a water posse then?”

“Must be.” Heyes chuckled.

Both men watched open-mouthed as the outlaw’s boat suddenly shot forward. Heyes rolled his eyes. “This’ll be an interesting tale when we gets back. Well just in case they’ve still got the regular kind of posse HERE let’s get riding huh?” Heyes suggested. With a final look and roll of his eyes, he turned his horse.


 


 

Heyes sat down beside Kyle and smiled. He put a hand on the smaller man’s shoulder.

“How ya doing, Kyle?”

“Okay I guess.”

Kyle had a blanket round his shoulders, his feet were in a steaming bowl of water and he clasped a mug of coffee in both hands.

“What happened Kyle?”

“I told ya Heyes. Dead pirates. I saw ‘em. So did the boys they’ll tell ya. I ain’t never going in water again.”

Heyes had already spoken to the others. That was indeed what they had said. Heyes nodded his lips tight.

“Hmmm.” He turned to Kyle. “See the thing is Kyle, the Kid and me asked around a bit last night.” He cleared his throat and licked his lips. “That town is famous for taking tourists out onto the lake. To look at the wildlife an’ that kinda thing.” He nodded and cleared his throat again. “A few months ago one of them boats capsized … .” He rolled his eyes knowing he had to explain that word. “Sank Kyle. Oh! Oh! Nobody was drowned.” He patted Kyle’s shoulder reassuringly. “Jus’ that there was a music hall company on board. Lost all their stage gear. Never found it. That is …” He looked at Kyle waiting for him to catch on. He waited. And he waited. “You musta touched it when ya went down and it … floated up to the surface.”

Realisation was slow to dawn on Kyle’s face but dawn it did.

“So … you’re saying Heyes that there weren’t … any dead pirates?”

Heyes smiled. “That’s exactly what I’m saying. There were no dead pirates.”

Kyle grinned broadly. “Jeez Heyes. I sure was lucky.”

“Yeah Kyle you were lucky.” Heyes patted his shoulder again. “Okay?”

Kyle nodded and Heyes got up. He was about to walk away when Kyle said.

“Guess the dead pirates musta been in a different part of the lake huh?”

Heyes looked at him open mouthed for a moment.

“Yeah,” he forced out. He false smiled and nodded. He walked away with a twitch of his head and wince of pain.
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PostSubject: Re: March 16 Seeing is Believing   Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:09 pm



An ASJ Bedtime Story

Chapter III
Seeing Is Believing

The baby goat ran and ran and ran. He could hear people laughing and applauding. Some were cheering, "Go goat, go."



He thought that he might like being a rodeo clown goat. It would be a way to get out in the great world, but not have to miss a meal or a snuggly place to sleep at night.

Would you be happy if you were a baby goat and you could get out in the great world as a rodeo clown? Would you be happy to be away from an owner named Briggs?

The baby goat remembered his friend Haze, who had helped him, and brought him back safely  to his pen.  

The baby goat remembered that his friend Haze had encourage him to try being a rodeo clown goat. He smiled when he remembered his friend Haze, and he ran even faster.

Are you happy when your friends encourage you to try new things?

The baby goat ran on and thought about this. He thought about his new friend, and about his pen back home.

Suddenly, he felt a noose around his neck. "Hey you little goat," Farmer Briggs yelled, "running away again? Farmer Briggs laughed."

The baby goat felt a noose around his neck. He tried to get away, but the noose was tight. Farmer Briggs had caught him.  



When the baby goat felt the noose around his neck, he felt very alone. He felt like a poor orphan baby goat, and flopped down on the ground.

The men standing with Farmer Briggs laughed and laughed when they saw the goat flop on the ground.  "Hey Briggs," one of them said, "I thought you were crazy when you said you were going to enter a rodeo clown goat.  But seeing is believing. You've got a winner!"

Briggs put his foot on the rope holding the goat. "I told this goat 'I've got the perfect job for you," said Farmer Briggs. "You're going to be a clown goat at the County Fair rodeo.  You'll get to run and run and run," he laughed.

Farmer Briggs yanked the baby goat to his feet and led the goat back to his pen.  

"This is your rodeo pen," said Farmer Briggs.  "You can't get out of this. It's even got a sign on it 'Goat Brigg'" he laughed. "Tomorrow you're going back into the County Fair and make me more money." Then he shoved the baby goat into his pen and locked the gate.  

Farmer Briggs returned to his friends and showed them his earnings. They all congratulated him on his clever rodeo goat.




The baby goat ate some dinner, and settled into his pen for the night. It felt good to eat, and have a safe place to sleep.



But he wondered about what Farmer Briggs said.  He thought he might not like being a clown goat.  The more he thought about it the angrier he got.

A voice came out of the fog that surrounded him. "How're you doing Kid?" It was Haze.

"I don't like being locked in this pen" said the baby goat to the fog that surrounded him.  "And I don't want to be a clown goat at the county fair rodeo. That makes me very angry."

"Why does that make you angry?" asked Haze. "It will only be for one more day."

"You don't know how I feel because you don't have to do it," said the baby goat.

"It will only be for one more day," said Haze, "and then Briggs will take you home and leave you alone. You have a safe pen there, and all the food you want."

The baby goat thought for a while. "Well, maybe you're right. But just this once."

"I knew you could do it," Haze said.  "You go out there tomorrow and show them how proud a clown goat can be."

"OK Haze, but will you come tomorrow night and talk to me?  You will make me feel better, especially if I'm angry and embarrassed."

"No problem Kid." said the fog. "I know you're in a haze and can't see me.  But I'll be around; just yell if you need me."

"Thanks Haze, I guess I can always count on you."

The next day Farmer Briggs led the baby goat out to the rodeo grounds.  "You're going to run, run, run and run - and you're going to love it, you goat," Farmer Briggs laughed.

Sure enough, when the Kid started running, he ran and ran and ran. As he ran he liked being a clown goat.


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PostSubject: Re: March 16 Seeing is Believing   Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:15 pm

Seeing Is Believing


Hannibal Heyes walked into the little café in Jamestown after the breakfast crowd had left to open their businesses and start the day.  Only a few elderly men still lingered, sipping coffee and talking about the town’s affairs.  

Heyes nodded to the table of men as he made his way over to a clean table by the window.

“Can I start you off with coffee?” a young woman asked as she refilled the men’s cups.  She reached over to a side table and grabbed a clean mug.

“Please!”  Heyes gave her a warm smile and took the proffered cup.

“What else can I get you?” she asked.  “My ma makes the fluffiest pancakes and there’s ham this morning.”

“Sounds really good.”  

A few minutes later, the server brought out a large plate of food.  “Hope you enjoy.”

“I’m sure I will.”  Heyes began eating as he watched her clear a table nearby.  “Mind if I look at that paper?”

She handed the newspaper to him.  “Here you go.”

Heyes took a sip of coffee and unfolded the paper.  The headlines screamed at him…

Kid Curry Dead

Putting the coffee down, he quickly scanned the article, forgetting to breathe.  Pulling a few coins out of his pockets, he threw them on the table, folded the paper, and quickly left the café.

The elderly men watched him rush out.

“That young man sure was in a hurry!  Wonder what got him so rattled?”

“Must’ve been somethin’ he read in the paper.”

“Or maybe he saw something outside.”  One of the men craned his neck to look out the window.

“Left a perfectly good breakfast and paid for it.  Shouldn’t let it go to waste.  Shall we share it?”



~ * ~ * ~ * ~


Heyes sighed as he leaned against the tree.  He rode his horse long and hard throughout the day, stopping only because he knew the mare had to rest.  Pulling out the newspaper, he silently reread the article.

Kid Curry was killed Monday in the town of El Dorado as he played faro in the Lucky Strike Saloon…

“What was Kid doing in El Dorado?  He should have been on his way to Jamestown.  And faro?”  Heyes thought as he continued to read.

According to Sheriff Jackson, an alert citizen recognized the notorious gunslinger and notified him.  The sheriff shot the outlaw in the back, rather than risk being killed while trying to arrest him.

“Sheriff Jackson… Do we know a Sheriff Jackson?  Shot in the back.”  Heyes shook his head in disbelief.

Kid Curry is one of the leaders of the Devil’s Hole Gang, along with Hannibal Heyes.  He was alone at the time of his demise.  He was wanted, dead or alive, for $10,000.

“Used to be one of the leaders of the Devil’s Hole Gang.  I should have been there to watch his back!  We shouldn’t have split up!”  Heyes sighed.  “I can’t believe you’re gone… I won’t believe it until I see it!”



~ * ~ * ~ * ~


A few days later, Heyes pulled his hat low over his eyes as he cautiously rode into El Dorado.  He brought his mare to a stop in front of the Lucky Strike saloon, dismounted and tied the reins around the hitching post.

“What’ll you have?” asked the bartender as Heyes leaned against the bar.

“A beer.”  He took a nickel out of his pocket and laid it on the counter.

The bartender poured a beer and exchanged it for the coin, eyeing him.  “Just passing through?”

“Yep.”

“Sheriff Jackson said we have to be wary of strangers, especially ones with their gun tied down.”  

He patted his holster.  “Just do this for protection while on the trail alone.  I’m on my way to Porterville to meet a friend – a sheriff friend.”  Heyes turned his back to the bar to survey the room.  Several poker and faro games were being played.  “Does anything interesting goes on here?  Any high stake games?”

“No real high stake games and you’re about a week too late for all the excitement.”

“Oh really?”  Heyes turned back towards the barkeep.  “What was all the excitement?”

“Kid Curry was killed right here!”  The bartender beamed proudly.

“Right here – in this saloon?” Heyes asked, incredulously.

“Yes, sir!  He was sitting at that table over there playing faro.  Winning, too.”  He pointed to a table towards the back of the room near an exit to the alley.  “You can still faintly see the blood that stained the floor boards.  You can go see it, if you want.”

Heyes shook his head.  “Oh, that’s okay.  Who finally killed him and how?”

“Our Sheriff Jackson did it.  Ben, he’s the town’s blacksmith, recognized the Kid from a train robbery and got the sheriff.  Jackson was smart and came in that side door and shot him dead, right in the back.  Curry was wanted dead or alive and it would’ve been plain suicide to try and arrest him.”

“That’s some excitement!”  Heyes gave a lopsided, forced grin.  “Did you see it happen?”

“I sure did!”

“Boy, I sure would’ve love to have seen that!”  He swallowed hard.   “What’d he look like?”

The bartender rubbed his chin and furrowed his brow.  “Young looking, curly light hair, about your height.  He was polite as can be.  I couldn’t believe it when the sheriff told me who he was.  Didn’t look like an outlaw or act like one.  Say, there’s a picture of him in the morgue’s window if you wanna see what he looked like!  We took a picture of him in the pine box before burying him.  Even had him on display for folks to see for a day.”

Heyes bit back his tongue and held his anger in check.  He downed the rest of his beer.

“Sheriff said we have to be on the lookout for Hannibal Heyes and the rest of the Devil’s Hole Gang.  They may come into town looking for revenge.  That’s why I was so leery of you at first.”

“Well, I better get a few supplies and get back on the trail.  Thanks for the story.”

“Any time!”  The bartender wiped the glass dry and placed it with the other clean glassware.

Heyes left the bar and walked down the street towards the general store, making a point to pass the morgue.  He stopped and stared at the picture in the window.    The picture was slightly blurry, but the dead man had lighter, curly hair and young looking face.  Could it be the Kid?

Heyes picked up a few items from the store and walked back to his horse.  After putting the merchandise in his saddle bags, he mounted and headed towards the end of town, to the cemetery.

The El Dorado cemetery was fenced in and nicely manicured.  Several large trees shaded the wooden crosses and stone monuments.  Heyes entered the gate and noted the fresh grave in the far corner.  Removing his hat, he slowly made his way over to it.  “Kid Curry,” he whispered as he read the wooden cross. He stared at it for several minutes, picturing the last time he saw his partner, remembering him full of life and the way he would twirl his gun before holstering it.  And now he was gone.  Heyes knelt and picked up a handful of dirt, watching it sieve through his fingers.

“Heyes…”

Heyes swallowed hard.  A hand touched his shoulder and he turned.

“Kid?  But…”  Heyes stood up and faced his partner.  He put both hands on his shoulders before giving him a bear hug.  “You’re alive!”

Kid Curry grinned.  “I saw the newspaper and knew I’d find you here.”

“But who?”

“I don’t know.  Someone who unfortunately looked enough like me.”

Heyes took a deep breath.  “I really believed you might be… Not at first, but hearing the description and seeing the picture of the body.”

Curry shuddered.  “I hate those pictures.  Don’t see why they do that.”

“Me either!”

“Say, how about we get outta here before someone really does recognize us.”

“Good idea.”  Heyes led the way back to the horses.  “We probably should go visit Lom and let him know what happened here.”

They mounted their horses and began heading down the trail.

“Kid?”

“Yeah?”

“I sure am glad you’re not dead.”

“Me, too, Heyes.  Me, too!”

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