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 Mar 17 - The Wrong Envelope...

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Calico

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PostSubject: Mar 17 - The Wrong Envelope...   Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:44 am

Hello here ... once again I am on the wheel and delinquent polling.

But, cannot leave you with no topic.

Plucked from the headlines is:

The Wrong Envelope


Enjoy

Don't get the boys' names wrong Laughing



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cac



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PostSubject: Re: Mar 17 - The Wrong Envelope...   Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:43 pm

Heyes frowned at the cards. Black king, red queen, let’s see…I’ll put the jack of clubs on because I have a black nine waiting over there….

“Heyes, will you stop? I want to play blackjack. I want to play poker. I want to play SOMETHING.”

Heyes turned over three cards at one time. Two of diamonds. Three more. Five of clubs. Three more. Six of hearts. Bingo. He moved it to cover the seven of spades, thereby also being able to move the five of spades over. He flipped the card underneath. Jack of spades. Damn. He’d already used that spot. A rookie mistake, taking that chance. Well, not really. But he was getting desperate.

“Heyes, I’m telling you. Solitaire means ONE PERSON. And there are TWO PEOPLE here in this cell. I’m bored.”

Heyes flipped three more cards. Three more. Three more. He played the ace of hearts, finally starting a foundation pile. Three more.  The two of hearts. And then he was back to the two of diamonds. He knew he hadn’t seen the three of hearts, either red four, or any other helpful card. Damn. He was stuck.

He looked up. “Kid, I told you. I’m only winning every 10th game or so. I don’t know why. It’s driving me crazy.”

“You’re driving me crazy. It’s Solitaire! I only win every 10th game or so!”

“Exactly.” Heyes grinned.

The Denver sheriff chortled. “Heyes, that’s a good one! Exactly! Hey…oh, that’s funny! Hey-Heyes! ... Did you hear the one about the man who told his ma that he had two holes in his trousers? Hehe, that’s where he puts his feet through!”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Heyes, I still can’t believe it,” Kid said quietly later that night.

“I know. I can’t either. I mean, Clem…Clem was our friend. Even when she needed money to spring her father, she turned to us for help, not turned us in. And then, to not even claim the reward? Just mailed that photo anonymously with our names to the newspaper? It doesn’t make any sense.”

Kid sighed. Heyes sighed. He said, “Well, at least she’s still at Belmont with Diamond Jim, so she hasn’t had a chance to formally identify us yet.”

Meanwhile, one state away, Lom Trevors opened his mail to discover an official form announcing the engagement of Clementine Hale to James Guffey [Dear reader, why not? Charming, pretty girl and charming, rich guy. I don’t like Clem and am happy to see her married off.]. It was clearly set to be a newspaper announcement, not a letter to an old acquaintance. He’d been surprised by her betrayal of Heyes and Curry, having known them all when he was an outlaw himself. In fact, he’d even been a part of that little photography session. They’d all been drinking quite a bit…although he didn’t know whatever happened with those photos.  Ah-ha. That’s what happened. Clem had at least that photo, and she mixed up the envelopes, with the newspaper announcement going to him and the photo going to the newspaper. But why would she have intended to send him the photo?

Lom went over to the telegraph office and sent her a message, having handy her current address as given in the newspaper announcement.

Two hours later, he received the following response:

Lom Trevors. Yes envelope mix-up. Sent photo as thank-you gift to boys since they introduced me to my dear Jim. Need help to fix situation.

He sent back:
Clementine Hale. How can I help?

She sent back:
Lom Trevors. Do you know that sheriff?

He sent back:
Clementine Hale. Yes. Annoying fool of a man.

She sent back:
Lom Trevors. April Fools Day is in 1 week. I will send you the photo of you with the boys. Show it to the sheriff from you a sheriff, tell him great joke that his dear old Great-Aunt Georgette [Dear reader, I don’t like her much either] set him up for April Fools.

Lom was horrified. Lie to another sheriff, however much of a fool? He didn’t respond.

The next day, another telegram arrived for him.

Lom Trevors. I know you are being considered for other positions. Need I send this photograph elsewhere?

No, he did not want a photo of him with Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry being sent elsewhere, such as to the press or the governor. Everyone knew he was a former outlaw, but most people currently thought of him simply as a good sheriff. That would change since Heyes and Curry had just been arrested, and then for a photo to appear with him happily posing with them! It would wreck his chances for that position he’d been working toward. And since there had been no positive identification yet, the sheriff had no real proof they were Heyes and Curry. It had been a shame that he’d stunned them into admitting their names with that photo, but perhaps it could work to their advantage.

He sent back:
Clementine Hale. Fine. I will do it.

~~~~~~~~~~

One week later, Lom walked into the sheriff’s office in Denver.

“Well, Lombard Trevors! Look at you! I haven’t seen you since, oh, that fancy dinner where we sat next to each other and told jokes all night. Hehe, you sure had a lot to drink!”

Lom sighed. “Yes, it’s good to see you too, sheriff. Say, um, remember your Great-Aunt Georgette? The one with the black hair who was always joking around? Had some crazy story about diamonds?”

The sheriff looked puzzled. “My Great-Aunt who?”

Lom smiled. “Yes, that’s the one! Real young, even though she was your great-aunt? Always playing jokes? Well, haha, do you know what today is? It’s April Fools Day! And I have a photograph to show you!”

He glanced over at Heyes and the Kid, who were looking at him in careful amazement.

He gave the photo of himself with Heyes and Curry to the sheriff, pointing to the handwritten names of “Lom Trevors, Joshua Smith, and Thaddeus Jones, 1878” written on it. “See, sheriff, she really wanted to trick you this year. And boy did she do a doozy! Haha! She paid these two drifters to pretend to be Heyes and Curry, hiding out in your little town, and then sent that photo to the newspaper, knowing a smart sheriff like you would immediately arrest them. But as you can see, their names are really Smith and Jones. I’ve known them for years, had my picture taken with them one Christmas. Do you really think I’d be friends with Heyes and Curry? Do you really think the lovely Ms. Hale, about to marry the famous Diamond Jim Guffey, would be friends with the real Heyes and Curry, those scoundrels? She’d be happy to testify that’s not them, I’m sure! Here’s Great-Aunt George’s card to you too.”

The sheriff opened the envelope and slowly read, “Dear nephew, Happy April Fools Day! I love your jokes so much, and this was such a fun joke to play on you. I hope you enjoyed it! Love, Great-Aunt Georgette.”

The sheriff looked a bit confused as Lom went to the wall with the key hanging on it. Heyes and Kid were ready at the cell door. Heyes said, “Hey, sheriff, did you hear this one? A man said to a preacher, "That was an excellent sermon, but it was not original." The preacher was horrified. The man said he had a book at home containing every word the preacher used. The next day the man brought the preacher a dictionary.”

The sheriff continued to look a bit confused as Lom opened the cell and the boys retrieved their gun belts. Heyes explained, “See, sheriff, every word from the sermon is in the dictionary, but the preacher still wrote the sermon. He just used words that are in the dictionary. Haha!!”

The sheriff’s face lit up. “Haha!! That’s a good one, hey, Heyes!”

Heyes shook his finger at him, smiling. “Now, sheriff, now you know the truth. I’m Joshua Smith! And it’s been great to “josh” with ya! Happy April Fool’s Day!” All three former outlaws scooted out the door, Lom having snatched the photo with him on his way out.

~~~~~~~~~~~

“Lom, that was brilliant! How did you think of that?”

Lom grumbled, “Oh, Kid, you know Clementine. I realized that she’d mixed up the envelopes, and then she threatened me with that photo if I didn’t trick the sheriff and fix her mistake. I can’t afford to remind anyone that I was an outlaw at this point, so…anyway, I was happy to do it. And at least I have that photo back, so I’ll never have to worry about THAT again.”
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Cal

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PostSubject: The wrong Envelope   Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:19 am

I apologise.... a lot ...they put me up to it... rifle  poker draw



To the tune of Home on the range….

In the bunk house one night, to stave off a fight
Wheat Carlson was once heard to say
I got me a plan, from a railroad man
It’s a train job, and we’ll make good pay.
Down, down in the hole
Where the outlaws of Devils Hole play (Poker that is)
Where never is heard, an encouraging word
And the guys can drink whiskey all day.


It’s money for old rope, it’s in this here envelope
I done wrote down, the times, an’ the loads
If it’s right, what I’m told, they’re plannin’ to ship GOLD
Coz of outlaws, they won’t risk the roads. (hehehehhehhe!)
Down, down in the hole
Where the outlaws of Devils Hole sway (it’s all the whiskey)
Where never is heard, an encou’(HIC UP)agin’ word
And the guys can drink whiskey all day.


I think that’s a good ideee, smiled Kyle with glee
I’ll bring me the good dynamite
Preacher said, tell me my friend, when does yonder train wend
I may have to sober up …. A might
DAUOWN, dauown in the hole
Where the outlaws of Devils Hole sway (even MORE whiskey)
Where never is heard, an eshhplutterinin’ word
And the guys can drink whiskey all dayyyyyyy aaaayyyyyyyyy. Hic up!


It’s…it’s written down here, I wrote it quite clear
Said Wheat, trying to focus his eyes
It got passed round the table but none of them was able
T’read it, no matter how they tried.
DAUOWN, dauown in the ‘ole
Where the outlaws of Devils Hole play (if they could see the cards)
Where never is heard, an en blah blah blah word
And the guys drink whiskey all dayyyyyyy all daaaayyyyyyyyy. Hahahaha!


Then Lobo came in, and hearing the din
Saw the envelope being passed about
He took out the note, and saw what was wrote
I LOVE A PARTY! He said with a shout.
DAUOWN, dauown in the ‘ole
Where the outlaws of Devils Hole pl…. sw… play (who cares!)
Where never is heard, an en blah blah blah word
And we drink whiskey all dayyyyyyy yeahhhh!…Hahahaha!


This notes from a girl, to her old aunty Merle
Tellin’ her she’s about to be wed
Ohhhh…what a pain, no gold and no train
But we can go to the party ….INSTEAD! Horrrraaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy!
DAUOooWN, dauoooooown in th ‘ole
Where the o’tlaws of Devvvvils ‘ole pl…. sw… play (aaaaayyyyy!)
Where n’ver is he’rd, an en lah lah lah….. word!
And we get t’ drink w’iskey ALLLLL DAAAAAAYAAAAAH!


(Someone fix me a drink….. grief!)
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PostSubject: Wrong Evelope   Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:14 pm

I have loped into Chapter Seven of Destiny's Cylce with the topic point of Wrong Envelope. Thanks for sticking with me on this one gals.

The light in the room was turning gray. Heyes set his book down, his angled face tight and pale from the endless weeks of healing. Rolling from the bed, he lit the lamps and stared for a time out the window at the nightly carnival of decadence, kicking up on the streets of Delano. The aching throb in his chest felt like it was never going to leave him and trying to ignore it he returned to bed. ‘Wonder when Kid will return,” he thought, and picking up his book, he disappeared back into it. Sometime later, a part of him heard the key in the lock. It was the key that kept him from reacting. He knew only one person had the key and knowing this he kept reading.

Curry entered with a sandwich wrapped in butcher paper and a large, speckled blue metal cup of coffee; striding across the room wearing a jubilant smile, he asked “you ready to travel?”

Heyes barely glanced up, but the arched eyebrow spoke volumes to anyone who knew him.

“I ain’t ribbing you, Heyes.”

Curry received an expression like he had fallen off his bar stool and cracked his head, his dark eyes flicking back to the pages before him, Heyes dryly asked, “Why did you come into a windfall of currency? Or, maybe you robbed one of the four banks while you were out.”

Curry’s irritation could be seen simmering just behind his blue eyes. “No,” he responded, setting the coffee and sandwich on the table by Heyes. “Swear every time I read that book’s name my stomach clenches. Why would you read such a thing?”

Marking his page and turning the book so he could read the cover, Crime and Punishment, he shrugged, setting it aside, saying, “It would be interesting to know what men are most afraid of.”

“And, I would find it more interesting if you’d break off quoting that book to me.”

The large dimple grin appeared. “So tell me, how have you determined we are escaping Wichita? Don’t think I’m feeling stout enough to add horse thief to my punishment list.”

Curry glanced at the thick book lying on the calico bedspread and rolled his eyes. However, his smile returned. A full, boyish smile that was contagious enough Heyes could not help but return it. Then, with showmanship flare, Curry removed an envelope from the interior pocket of his vest. “We are fixing to make Wichita a part of our past,” he stated, tossing the envelope to Heyes. “I got paid for the loading Chisholm’s mule train. The head driver had a pair of train tickets to Denver he traded me for my work.”

Hannibal Heyes’ largest smile appeared along with a hoot of joy and he all but tore the envelope open. Except when he did, a deep crease appeared between his brows.

Curry did not see his reaction as he was bent over pulling off his boots.

Heyes’ dark eyes narrowed, scanning the fine penmanship of the letter he was holding, his nose wrinkled and he looked back in the envelope.

Curry having removed his shirt was pouring water into the basin to wash up.

With a cough, Heyes dropped into a smooth orator’s voice: My dearest, I am not sure if this will ever reach you. I have sent several letters to the address you gave me, but have yet to receive a reply. Still, I shall endeavor. I miss you so much. I know we were together for only a short time, but in those heady, few days, you carved your way deep into my heart. Your tenderness, your gentle ways, despite all you have seen and endured continues to astound me. How can you be so resilient? So kind? You will think me foolish, but I still have the lock of hair you allowed me to cut. I keep it pressed in the pages of a book, so no one will see it… except me. I wish I could gaze once more into your blue eyes. Just once, it would last me a lifetime. Please write, if you can. Even a roughly, torn, scrap of paper with your name on it would mean the world to me. I remain yours, forever….

Kid Curry turned from the bowl scrubbing at his wet curls with the towel, “didn’t get the idea that book you’re reading was a love story.” An oily grin emerged, “wait ‘till I tell the boys, what it is you like reading.” He tossed the towel across the footboard of his bed, “Humpf, learn something new every day.”

“Why yes, you do.” Heyes tilted his head, quirking a lopsided grin. “Did you ever send her a scrap of paper with your dear name on it?”

“What?” Curry grunted, now bent over untying his holster skid from his thigh.

“When and where was this short…” Heyes glanced at the paper in his hand, “oh yes, heady time?”

Straightening and unbuckling the belt, Curry asked, “What are you going on about?” Looking back over his shoulder, he scrunched his face at his partner before taking the few steps needed to lay his holster on the table.

“This my dearest…” Heyes shook the letter at Curry. “Sure don’t look like train tickets.”

What was happening finally struck home and Curry leapt across the room, snatching the envelope up, to look inside, just as Heyes had already done, earlier. “This ain’t right?!”

“You can sure say that again, you’re supposed to be sooo kind, and here you’re yanking’ me about with the temptations of leaving, and you’ve also gone and broken this poor gal’s heart.”

Curry seized the letter, his eyes scrolling over it.

In a tone, dripping with acid sarcasm, Heyes stated, “What, you think I skipped reading any part of it to you?”

“This ain’t my letter.”

“Sure, blue eyes.”

“It’s not!!”

Snorting, Heyes took up the sandwich, unwrapping it, “one thing I can tell you...” he took a bite, and around the mouthful said, “... it isn’t train tickets.”

“He gave me the wrong envelope.”

“That’s the excuse you’re going with.” Heyes rolled his eyes, taking another bite of the roast beef sandwich.

“I’m telling you, it’s the wrong envelope!”

“Like I’m supposed to believe you Don Juan.”

“What?”

Swallowing down his bite, Heyes eyes sparkled, his mouth quirking to the side, “He was a great seducer of women, left ‘em longing for him and broken-hearted.” Then with a dismissive wave at his cousin, he took another bite.

“Heyes, it was supposed to be tickets to Denver… not a letter.” Curry crossed his arms across his bare chest, his eyes bunching tighter together and stating each word strong and clear, he growled, “It is the wrong envelope.”

Swallowing the last of the sandwich, Heyes ran his tongue across his teeth and hand across his mouth, “Are you telling me, you didn’t look in the envelope?”

Curry became sheepish, “didn’t see a reason to.”

“Oh, I don’t know, Kid, to see if it contained what you had labored for.”

“I trusted him.”

“You rob banks and trains for a living and you trusted him.”

“Well, not everyone is as larcenous as you, Heyes.” Curry snapped, plopping into the armchair.

He is a man of intelligence, but to act sensibly, intelligence is not enough.”

“There you go with that book again.” Curry snarled, a scowl darkening his friendly, good looks.

Heyes’ mouth twisted, pinching tight, the bridge of his nose developing definite wrinkles and breath by breath, his face was turning hard and cold as a winter gravestone.

Curry closed his eyes and opening them, exhaled out, “I’m sorry, all right.”

Dropping his face into his hand, Heyes rubbed at it with a growl.

“What do you want me to say, Heyes?”

Looking up, Heyes revealed an evil grin, “How about you go into the details on how your tender, gentle ways carved your way into her heart.”

“It was the WRONG ENVELOPE… it is not my letter!!!”

The wicked grin expanded into a double dimpled smile that became laughter, “how much have we got?”

Curry exhaled, “Six dollars and thirty-two cents.”

“That include your rainy day stash?”

Corner of Curry’s mouth raised, “Nine dollars and thirty-two cents.”

“And, you spent the twenty in my hat?” Heyes said, ticking it off the list with an arch of his brow, already knowing Curry would reply yes.

Curry rubbed at his face, peeking at his partner through his fingers, “I forgot you kept funds there.”

“Ah... but to act sensibly.”

“You keep quoting that book and I’m gonna shoot you myself.”

Pointing to his empty holster rolled up, on top of the dresser, “Not like I could defend myself.” Heyes responded and went on saying, “If you had used the twenty, you wouldn’t have needed to sell my revolver.”

This time Curry looked twice as sheepish.

Taking up the, now, mostly cold cup of coffee, Heyes downed it in a few gulps and swung his legs off the bed. “We got twenty-nine dollars and thirty-two cents, get dressed.”

“What?”

“Stop saying that.” Heyes grunted out while pullin on his boots.

“Why am I getting re-dressed?”

“We are going shopping for a game.”

“Not sure about that.”

“Well, I am. When reason fails, the devil helps. Besides, ain’t enough bad happened to us in Wichita for a lifetime?”

Out in the hurly burly night, the first point Heyes noticed was the lack of scantily clad women on the sporting house porches. Yet it was not surprising, for with the setting of the sun, the fall night had become crisp enough to have their breaths puffing out in clouds, as they walked.

For the next hour, they ducked in and out of gambling establishments, purchasing short beers and drinking them slow, as Heyes studied the tables. Until he turned to Curry, “that’s the one; them gents over near the stairs. Their attire says they have an abundance of banknotes and their lack of skill says I will be transferring their funds to our pockets.”

“You think you can play it close enough that we’ll be able to buy tickets.”

“I think I can play it close enough that we’ll be buying tickets and a whole lot more. But, I haven’t got an iron…” Heyes patted the shiny spot on his pant leg where his holster skid normally rode, “… to back myself up. So I’m laying it all on you, tonight, partner.”

“You expect trouble?” Curry looked to the table, noting the fancy shooting rigs on two of the players.

“To not expect it, would be foolish.” Heyes slugged back the remainder of his beer. “Especially the way I’m planning on skinning them.”


Also, I want to recognize the grand of assistance I received from the one and only Maz for writing me a love lorn letter. sparkleshoe Her terrific words, gave me some fabulous comebacks for Ol' Heyes.  THANKS MAZ!

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Wichita Red, "I'm not really a rebel, but I take chances. I have a good time, and I live life the way I want to live it."  
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PostSubject: Re: Mar 17 - The Wrong Envelope...   Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:57 pm

Hannibal Heyes was stunned.

He passed the telegram to his partner.  “Kid, read this and tell me if you think it says what I think it says.”

Kid Curry took the piece of paper and read.  “To Joshua Smith and Thaddeus Jones.  Come to Cheyenne immediately.  What you have waited for is finally here.  Should be for real this time.  Sheriff Lom Trevors.”

Curry stared at the paper and then back at his cousin.  “Do ya think he’s right, Heyes?”

Hannibal Heyes stared off to the western horizon.  “I dunno, Kid.  He looked at his partner and friend of many years.  “I want to believe so much.  We’ve tried so long and hard; it almost has got to be.”

The Kid scoffed.  “We thought that last time.”

“I know.  I know…”  Heyes put a big smile on his face, turned towards Curry and put his hands on his cousin’s shoulders.  “Kid, I can’t believe he’d send for us again, if he didn’t think we really had it this time.”

Curry looked guardedly at Heyes.  “So we’re gonna do this?”

Heyes squared his shoulders and said, “Yes, Kid.  We just gotta have faith.”

*****
Two days later, Sheriff Lom Trevors was standing in the shadows outside of the governor’s office in Cheyenne, Wyoming, waiting for his two good friends to arrive.  Slowly a couple of the shadows separated themselves from the general gloom of the night, and resolved into a dark haired genius and his silent blonde partner.

“Boys,” Lom greeted his friends, shaking their hands.  

“Lom.”  Heyes returned the greeting, but Curry just silently shook his hand.

Trevors could sense their nervousness.  “It’s okay, boys.  I’ve talked to the governor twice this week and he’s really determined to do this.  No more conditions; no more favors.”

Both Heyes and Curry still looked skeptical.

“Forgive us, Lom, if we have a hard time believing you.”  Heyes eyed his friend the sheriff, and sighed.  “It’s been a long five years.  Every time we thought we were close, something new came up and it never happened.”

The Kid gave Lom a wary look.  “We was even talking about going back to robbing banks.”

Lom looked startled.  “But you didn’t.  Did you boys?”

Heyes shook his head vehemently.  “No, Lom.  Like the Kid said, we had just talked about it.”  A crooked smile came to Heyes’ face.  “We’re so used to being honest, we probably couldn’t pull off a job if we tried.”  He looked off down the street and then back at Lom, raising his hands in the air and shrugging.  “But what other option did we have?  It didn’t look like that amnesty was ever coming.  We were tired of running, and our luck can’t last much longer.  Sooner or later someone’s gonna get us.”

He gave Lom a hard stare.  “We don’t wanna end up in Laramie.  Or on the end of a rope.”

Lom smiled.  “Well, tonight boys, I think your luck is gonna change.”

The Kid put his hands on his hips and just stared.  He was in a place beyond words, tired and unbelieving.

“Come on, boys,” Lom enthused.  “We don’t want to keep the governor waiting.  Don’t want to give him any reason to change his mind.”

“Like we haven’t heard that before,” Curry muttered under his breath, so just Heyes could hear.

Heyes looked again at Lom.  “Didn’t you just tell us that wasn’t gonna happen?”

“Boys, boys,” Lom cajoled, herding them towards the governor’s office.  “Let’s get going so we don’t have to find out.”

*****
The governor’s office was as plush as they remembered, as awe inspiring, and as daunting.  It did not hold good memories for them.  Heyes was nervous, which make Curry nervous.  As they waited, Heyes couldn’t sit still.  His hat went from hand to hand.  His fingers drummed on it.  Curry turned and stared at Heyes, making him scowl, and try to stay still.  That worked for a couple minutes.  Curry’s hat sat still on his lap.  He stared out the windows onto the street.  He cleared his mind, as he did before a gun fight.  He would be ready for whatever came next.

The governor’s private secretary approached, and smiled unctuously.  “Please follow me.”  He paused.  “Gentlemen.”  He turned sharply and let down the hall.

Lom motioned Curry and Heyes to proceed him.  They entered a dark paneled room.  

There at a massive desk sat the governor of Wyoming.  A myriad of thoughts crossed Heyes’ mind.  Curry’s only thought was that this man held their fate in his hands.  He wanted this done and over, whatever it would be.
“Welcome boys!  My, don’t you look sharp.  If all outlaws looked as good as you do, we’d never catch any!”  He stood and came around the desk to shake their hands.  It was then that he noticed their nervousness.

“Boys, boys.  No need to be nervous.  This is a night for celebration.  Pendleton, pour us some drinks.”  He motioned for his secretary to get the decanter on a table in the back of the room, and came to sit on the front of his desk.

Pendleton passed around the whiskey.  When everyone had a glass, the governor raised his in a toast.  “To Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry!  May you live a long – and peaceful and law abiding – life!”  Glasses were raised and drained.

“Sit boys, sit,” the governor indicated as he walked back behind his desk.  “Now to business.  Pendleton, please bring the envelopes.”

The secretary shuffled among the papers on his small side desk, and retrieved two large envelopes.  He handed them to the governor, who in turn handed one to Hannibal Heyes and one to Kid Curry.

“Please open them!”

Heyes opened his slowly, his nerves getting the better of him.  He wasn’t certain he wanted to see what was in the envelope.  A thousand things swirled in his brain.

Curry simply slit the envelope open with his finger, sincerely just wanting this night to be over.  He pulled out the paper, and almost dropped it.  His eyes went to a flint steel blue, and his gun was in his hand before anyone could react.  His eyes bored into the governor’s, and that man learned what it was like for Kid Curry to turn his icy gaze upon him.

“What’s the meaning of this?” Curry’s voice was clipped, as he tossed the paper on the governor’s desk.

Heyes had finally pulled the paper from his envelope, and he turned pale and still, as the blood drained from his face.  He also turned a rock hard stare towards the governor, one not seen since his Devil’s Hole days.  The governor suddenly understood how these two men became the most successful, and feared, outlaws in the West.

Heyes tossed his copy on the governor’s desk too.  “So this time you aren’t even pretending to consider our amnesty?  These are transportation papers for the Wyoming Territorial Prison.”

He looked around, angry, but confused.  He didn’t see the armed men he was expecting, if they were to be arrested.

The governor picked up the papers that had been tossed on his desk, quickly read them.  He appeared as shocked as the boys.

“Pendleton!” the governor shouted.

The secretary looked up from his desk, startled.  “Sir?”

“These are not the correct papers!”  The governor shoved them at his secretary as he came around the desk.  Pendleton looked at the papers, and shook his head.

“Sir, I thought…”

“Well, you obviously thought wrong!”

“But the last meeting I was at, I thought it was agreed…”

“Pendleton, I told you we had another private meeting, and the outcome changed.”  The governor looked critically at his secretary.  “Give me the other envelopes, and please go out into the hall.  Wait there until we are finished.  Have Baker come in.”

The governor waited until all this was accomplished.  Baker came in and was startled to see Kid Curry still pointing a gun at the governor, but wisely said nothing.  He took the envelopes from Pendleton as he left the room, and gave them to the governor, giving Heyes and Curry a wide berth.  

The governor put his hand over his face, not something most men would have the courage to do with Kid Curry aiming a gun at them.  He sighed, rubbed his eyes, and looked again at the boys.

“Mr. Curry, I would appreciate it if you holstered your firearm.  Please.”

Curry looked around, still seeing only the five of them in the room.  He glanced at Heyes, who looked at the governor, and then back at his cousin, and shrugged.  The Kid holstered his gun, knowing how fast it could be out again if needed.

Heyes locked eyes with the governor, the full force of his personality coming through.  He smiled a sharp smile, as the governor didn’t flinch, but stared back with just as much confidence as Heyes himself.  The governor handed a second set of envelopes to the most notorious outlaws in the history of the West.

“Care to explain?”  Heyes looked at the still unopened envelope in his hand.

The governor sighed.  “Political office and the demands it requires are not something easily understood by those who have not held it.”

Heyes’ half smirk and laugh came to the fore.  “You might be surprised, but I think running an outlaw gang probably is somewhat similar.”

The governor returned the laugh, and relaxed, just a bit.  “Yes, Mr. Heyes, it might be very similar at that.”

He reclined into his chair and said, “I’ve been having a series of meetings with some of my biggest supporters – and donors.  Bankers, railroad men, you know the like.”  He looked to Heyes who nodded slightly.

“Well, some of them had gotten together a hair brained plan to capture the two of you.  That’s why the transportation orders for Laramie had been drawn up.  That’s the meeting Pendleton had attended.”  Curry shifted, like he might draw his gun again, and the governor quickly continued, “Don’t worry, it never would have worked.  I think everyone was just frustrated with the status quo.  Most of them were happy that you two appeared to be in retirement, but were worried that would change.  I had a later meeting with those supporters, and explained the provisional amnesty deal.

“Some of them thought it was brilliant.  Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry had voluntarily retired, so there were no more bank or train robberies.  A few of them though were smart enough to know that something had to change.  They knew sooner or later, you two would get tired of waiting, and were worried what would happen then.

“I told them we needed to follow through and give you amnesty.  Lom had assured me that you boys had held up your part of the deal and more.  I convinced them it was time.  Some were still leery, saying you’d just go back to thieving.”

The governor looked at both of the boys, and said, “I convinced them, boys, that wouldn’t happen.  Or if it did, we’d hunt your down until you were no longer a problem.”  He gave them a serious look.  “Do you understand?”

Heyes returned a wan smile, and a determined look, to the governor.  “Yes, sir, we surely do understand.”

The governor returned a genuine smile, and gestured to the envelopes.  “Well, boys, I think it’s more than time for you to open these envelopes.”

The Kid looked at Heyes, who quickly slit this one open and pulled out the sheet inside.  He started reading.

“Let it be known to all, that on this 19th Day of March, in the year of our Lord…”

Curry had opened his envelope too, and looking at his paper, exclaimed, “Amnesty!”  He jumped up and grabbed Heyes in a big bear hug.  “Heyes, we have our amnesty!”

*****

A couple of days later, after some necessary celebrating, a pair of drifters rode through the Laramie Plains.  They stopped a crest of hill leading up to the Medicine Bow mountains.

One pushed his floppy brown hat off his head, used his hand to unmat his blonde curls, and looked around.  The other took off his battered black hat, ran his hand through his long hair, to pull it off his face, and set his hat firmly back on his head.

“We’ll need to camp somewhere for the night soon, Heyes.”

“Yeah, Kid, I’m thinking a bit further up into the hills off of this plain would be better.  Maybe find a stream.”

With a shared look they started up the incline.  They rode for a while in silence.

“Heyes.”

“What, Kid?”

The blonde one was silent still for a while, visibly thinking.

“We have our amnesty.  What we’ve wanted for so long.”

The scruffy black hat turned, and Heyes looked at his cousin.

“Yeah, Kid.  And?”

“So what now?”

“Whadda mean, what now?”

Curry took a deep breath, looked at his friend and said, “What now?  That’s what I mean.  What do we do now?”

“I think we make camp.”

That reply received a scowling look.

“Heyes, has anything really changed?”

“Sure, Kid, we have our amnesty!”

“But what has changed?  Aren’t we still traveling?  Aren’t we still sleeping rough?  Living on your coffee, and jerky?  Without a soft bed or good food?  Without enough money to change that?”

“And, what, Kid?

“That’s what I’m asking, Heyes.  What now?”

They rode in silence for a while again.

“Heyes?”

The one under the black had became agitated.  “What now, Kid?  Heck, I don’t know what now.  Give me some time to think, will yah?”

“Sure, Heyes.  That is what I depend on you for.”  The blonde one smiled.  “However, I just wanted to point out that nice stream running over there.  Might make a nice camp site.”

After leaving the trail, the boys set up camp for the night.  Once the coffee had brewed, and some of their supplies were consumed for supper, they were relaxing by the fire, in companionable silence.

“Kid?”

“Umm…Yeah?”  Curry had started to doze off.

“You know, we’ve been so busy just trying to stay alive, one step ahead of all the posses and bounty hunters, and keep on the right side of the law, I never found the time to figure out what we’d do if we ever actually got amnesty.”  Heyes looked over at his cousin.  “Honestly, I never thought we had much of a chance.  Just didna see any other choice.”  His chin was down on his chest, with his hat pulled low, low as his spirits at the moment.

The Kid looked over at his cousin.  “I’m sure you’ll figger out something soon.  Don’t have to avoid those posses any more.  You’ll come up with something.”

Heyes looked up at his cousin. “You sure now?”

Kid Curry smiled at Hannibal Heyes.  “Yes, Heyes, you just gotta have faith.”  He pulled his hat down over his face, and fell asleep in the peace of the warm fire.

Heyes smiled.
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nm131

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PostSubject: Envelopes- Rightly or Wrongly Given?   Sat Mar 18, 2017 3:26 pm

Envelopes - Rightly or Wrongly Given?

Five couples pulled back from the large dining table, having just finished a lavish four-course dinner expertly prepared by the talented McCreedy cook. The women retired to the parlor to partake in polite social conversation shared with sherry. The men adjourned to their host’s study for fine aged cognac, expensive hand-rolled cigars, and a discussion of local and national events. In the middle of a heated debate on the feasibility of finding oil in the west, especially in Texas, after the proven success of oil wells in the Appalachian Basin, east of the Mississippi River, Big McCreedy staggered back and fell heavily into an overstuffed arm chair. Beads of perspiration formed on his suddenly pasty face as he gasped for breath and grabbed at his chest and left arm. Dr. Holwitt hastily thrust his glass of brandy into the banker Peterson’s hand as he took charge in the crisis.

Some hours later, the initial chaos had settled down and the guests had left. It was well into the middle of the night when up in the large master bedroom Big Mac lay propped by numerous pillows to ease his labored breathing. Dr. Holwitt had retired to a nearby guest bedroom, remaining quickly accessible to his patient, who was also a friend. A still dressed, plump, formidable woman sat dozing lightly in a chair placed at the bedside, her hand resting on the covers next to her husband’s, a beautifully carved set of ivory rosary beads entangled her fingers. Carlotta McCreedy startled when Big Mac reached out and weakly squeezed his wife’s hand while struggling to speak. The deeply worried woman leaned in closer as tears formed on dark lashes.

“Carlotta, love, …have someone…fetch my lawyer now…it’s important.”

Calotta studied the pale blue eyes of her husband, found late in life, and realized the truth. She reluctantly rose from her chair and exited the room. Returning quickly, Carlotta resumed her bedside vigil as Patrick McCreedy whispered words of love he never expected to feel, much less express to a woman he was grateful to have in his life and he knew who he had to thank.

~~~~~*~~~~~

Four months later

Two still-retired, amnesty-seeking outlaws, Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry, hesitated in the late afternoon shadows outside the Porterville Sheriff’s office, slipping to the side of the window and spying on the interior before deciding to enter.

“Well?”

“Lom sitting at his desk. One man, in a suit with a portfolio, must be the lawyer. Cells look empty. No deputy.” Curry leaned back and gave his report to his partner. They quietly retreated to the corner of the building.

Heyes tilted his hat back and rubbed his chin partially obscuring his mouth as he ruefully admitted, “I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m sure going to miss Big Mac. The challenges and the money. Too bad he died so sudden-like.”

“What’s Big Mac’s lawyer want with us? You don’t think…”, Curry pondered while he reflexively scanned the area, looking for anything untoward.

“Nah, Kid, Uncle Mac’s had a soft spot for his nephew Thaddeus,” Heyes reassured the worrier, half seriously. “Besides, I really don’t think he’d turn us in on his deathbed. Carlotta Armendariz McCreedy sure don’t need the reward money and it would be a Marshall visiting Lom not a lawyer. Anyway, if Lom was gonna set us up, it wouldn’t be like this. He’s not that imaginative. He’s more a straight shooter.”

“Well, there’s only one way to find out. After you, partner.” Kid gestured at the front door with a raised eyebrow and a strained smile.

“Howdy Lom”, Heyes greeted his old friend, striding confidently into the Porterville Sheriff’s Office, his semi-reluctant partner trailing close behind.

The no nonsense sheriff rose, his eyes narrowed for an instant before muttering to himself, “I just lost that bet.”

Heyes raised an inquiring eyebrow and Curry shrugged in response.

Lom caught the exchange, “Well boys, you don’t usually come in the same way, especially if you’re not sure why you’re here. It’s a shame, too, since I just replaced the lock on that side door.”

“Mr. Rutowski, may I introduce Joshua Smith and Thaddeus Jones. Mr. Rutowski is Mr. McCreedy’s attorney, who came all the way from Texas to meet with you two.”

The men shook hands all around then found seats and settled down to business. Mr. Rutowski placed his portfolio on the sheriff’s desk, opened it and withdrew 2 large manila envelopes. He gave a little nervous cough and glanced at Lom for reassurance.

“I am here to execute the last will and testament of Patrick McCreedy. You, sirs, are the last of the bequest beneficiaries.  Before we start, I need to confirm your true identities. Am I speaking with Hannibal Heyes and Jedediah Curry? Do you have any proof of who you are?”

Heyes, intrigued, leaned back in his chair, “Lom, do you have our wanted posters in one of those drawers? We don’t exactly carry around any documents attesting to our real names right at the moment.”

“Mr. Rutowski, I’ll attest that you have before you the one and only Jedediah Curry and Hannibal Heyes.”

“Uhm, Yes, I guess you would know. Excuse me Mr. Curry, Mr. Heyes, but you don’t look like infamous outlaws to me. I had despaired of ever contacting you as you have managed to evade the law for many years. You see, Mr. McCreedy specifically names you by your real names in his will. It wasn’t until Mrs. McCreedy remembered who Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones really were and that Pat reached you through Sheriff Trevors, here that I had any hope of concluding the probate, which in itself caused quite a stir. I must tell you I did not appreciate the visits by various interested U.S. Marshals…”

Curry abruptly stood, silently drew his colt and rapidly performed a surveillance round by peering out every window and door in the building. Lom watched, quietly amused. Heyes steadily studied the attorney whose face reddened as he became flustered under such intense scrutiny.

Lom sought to ease the sudden tension, “Now boys, Mr. Rutowski was as anxious to circumvent the law’s interest in the will’s probate as you and I are. We put together a plan, that even you would appreciate Heyes, to avoid anyone tracing him here. Relax, and sit back down, Kid.”

The lawyer retrieved a handkerchief from the inside pocket of his suit and wiped his sweaty forehead while keeping a wary eye on Kid Curry. He still couldn’t believe Patrick McCreedy had insisted on making a deathbed request amendment to his will. And he was shocked to his core to when he found out that Thaddeus Jones was really Kid Curry and Jones’ friend Smith was Hannibal Heyes. He moved his chair a little closer to the cluttered desk and further from the dangerous men, friends and mysterious non-relatives of Big Mac or not.

Heyes spoke up, using his most genial tones, “What’s this about Big Mac naming us in his will?”

Rutowski handed each of the partners one of manila envelopes and started to search his case for additional documents.
The partners examined what they were given and unobtrusively compared each other’s, the one in Heyes’ hand was somewhat thicker than the one Curry was holding.  Heyes and Kid hid their confusion and eagerness well and strove for nonchalance when they simultaneously ripped open their respective envelopes.

Rutowksi removed a sheaf of papers from his portfolio, thumbed through the pages until he located the one he wanted and started to read, “I, Patrick McCreedy, hereby give, devise and bequeath my shares totaling fifty percent, of ownership in the Red Rock Savings and Loan Bank to Hannibal Heyes, for his general use and purpose. May he enjoy having his own personal bank safe and vault and may he remember it is only the safe and vault, the money is the depositors.”

The lawyer looked up and noticed Heyes leafing through a thick stack of stock certificates half out of the envelope. He cleared his throat and hesitantly grabbed the papers out of Heyes hand and thrust them at Curry while his other hand was exchanging the Kid’s envelope with the one he had removed from Heyes’ hands.

“Sorry, wrong bequests.”

Heyes dimples were in full force and his laughing brown eyes crinkled with glee when he caught the incredulous blues of his startled partner. “Oh Kid, if you think my envelope was something just wait to you see what Big Mac left you. I don’t believe it but if it’s true, it can’t get any more perfect!”

Lom and the attorney both nodded, one a little more enthusiastically then the other. Kid looked down at the half-revealed certificates and a grin slowly widened into a full force Curry smile.

“I, Patrick McCreedy, hereby give, devise and bequeath all my railroad stock certificates in the Midwest Railroad, the Galveston, Harrisburg, and San Antonio Railroad, the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad, the Texas and Pacific Railroad, and the Atchison, Topeka, and Sant Fe Railroad Company to the ownership of Jedediah Curry, for his general use and purpose. Jedediah Curry is now a man no longer in need of a wealthy uncle and whom I wanted to have claimed for a nephew.”

Kid’s mouth hung open in frank disbelief at the magnitude of Big Mac’s generosity. He could hardly begin to process what Heyes and he had meant to the Texas rancher to warrant any notice in his last will and testament, much less a bequest, which turned bank and train robbers into bank and train wealthy owners. He clutched the thick stack of certificates in his right hand and waved it in the attorney’s face. “What in the world? Why would…”

Rutowski handed Kid Curry one more envelope then started preparing to leave. Kid slid his finger along the flap and withdrew a sheet of paper with one word printed on it in a faint, large, shaky letters – LEVERAGE. He passed it to Heyes.

Heyes who had moved past the surprise and into complete acceptance was already working out the ramifications, complications, and options.

“Mr. Rutowski, this is legal? These bequests won’t be challenged in court? Will the law take them away from us since we’re wanted?” Heyes called out to the lawyer who already had one hand on the door knob.

Rutowski turned to face Heyes and Curry and hurriedly explained, “I’m sorry, I should have explained but I’m in a bit of rush to catch the train. No, the law can’t take the property away from you. It is all properly legal, if very unorthodox. But to those who knew Mr. McCreedy, it’s not entirely unbelievable. None of the other parties named in the will wished to contest the will in probate court. Mrs. McCreedy is well taken care of and I should have extended her invitation to stay with her when you next come to Texas. Mr. Peterson, your new banking partner Mr. Heyes, laughed outright during the reading of the will. It turns out that he had a suspicion who Smith and Jones really were and if you want to sell your shares Peterson is prepared to buy you out.  He is fine with things either way. And as far as you go, Mr. Curry, Big Mac spoke of you convincingly enough as his long-lost nephew that most of us had no reason to doubt his genuine fondness for Thaddeus Jones. No, the bank shares and railroad stock are all yours. Although, Mr. Curry, I would strongly caution you to find yourselves a good attorney to act as your agent if you decide to sell and leave the country. Your whereabouts would be protected by attorney-client privilege. I can't see you retaining the stock as I suspect that if you showed up to the railroad shareholders meetings that Mr. J. Gould, Mr. E.H. Harriman, Mr. W. Strong, and Mr. Harlingen, among others, wouldn’t hesitate to have you arrested and throw away the key.”

The door closed, leaving the three friends, each with huge smiles, sitting around the sheriff’s desk, closely examining the various documents and shaking their heads in wonderment.

Kid didn’t know whether to laugh at the sudden totally unexpected wealth or cry since he wasn’t free to enjoy it. Heyes and he definitely needed to not squander the opportunity that was handed to them and to make the bequest work towards a future.

Heyes got lost for a few moments fantasizing about his very own personal bank vault and safe. He could have Kid or Peterson change the combinations and time him cracking it whenever he had the urge.  A blissful sigh escaped before the supposedly retired safecracker regained his senses. Heyes’ brown eyes focused on the paper with the one word, leverage, written on it and knew what the partners had to do. He picked the paper up and held it up as an exhibit for Kid and Lom.

“Big Mac is right. We’ve joined the enemy, so to speak, and what’s more we are now members of the political donor class. You know, the people who usually finance political campaigns for mayors, senators, and especially governors of Wyoming. All those elective officials gotta keep the bank and railroad owners happy. And amnesty is the way to keep two particular new bank and railroad owners feeling charitable to the ambitions of political men.” Heyes waved the paper to emphasize his words.

“Yeah, but Heyes how are we gonna leverage our windfall? We have no way to use it, acknowledge it, or even sell the shares without getting caught.” Curry’s smile faded as reality intruded into his pleasant day dreams.

Lom leaned forward in his chair as he slowly gave voice to his musings, “You boys need someone to act as your agent, do your talkin’ for you like I do with the governor. And boy, is he going to be surprised at our next talk regarding your progress.”

Heyes rose and started to pace, getting genuinely excited as he talked, “That’s it, Lom, you’re right! And I know just the guy. Kid, we have a lawyer. We go see Brubaker, he can act on our behalf, go to the bank association and railroad shareholder’s meetings, vote the way we want, persuade people, and use our bank and railroad holdings as leverage.” The dark-haired ex-outlaw stopped pacing, put his hands on his slim hips and regarded his blond partner. “Yes, this can work. Big Mac’s a genius, and as much as it pains me to say it, Kid, I think you got under Mac’s skin somehow. Me, he liked, respected and used. You led to this.”

Lom couldn’t stop smiling as he looked from one friend to the other. His eyes widened as a vision of Heyes sitting at a bank officers desk, rubbing his hands in glee while contemplating the bank vault flashed before his eyes. The sheriff rapidly shook his head and got to his feet, coming around to the front of the desk.

“Come on boys, let me buy us all steak dinners to celebrate your changing fortunes.”

Kid Curry nodded in agreement, and standing slipped his hat back on his curls. Kid started for the door, and added over his shoulder, “We’ll drink a toast to Mac, who is surely cheating the devil, to Peterson who’s a good sport, and to Carlotta, may her grief be lessened by her good memories.” Curry got half way out the door with Heyes on his heels when he added as an afterthought, “Oh, and Lom, if this all works out and Heyes and Brubaker leverage the bequests into an amnesty, you’ll receive a lifetime pass on the railroad courtesy of Kid Curry, Railroad Robber Baron. Can you just see it, Heyes, Harlingen’s face when we can sit down across from him in some fancy boardroom?”

Hearty laughter with a hysterical edge rang loudly out into the Porterville night.

 safe  train  gold coins


Last edited by nm131 on Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Mar 17 - The Wrong Envelope...   Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:01 am

I've been writing an epic called Settling Wheat. I have posted it here https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12420624/1/Settling-Wheat

I had got stuck but this prompt provided me with inspiration to get a little further - still not finished.

This is a little scene to the side of the main story.


The Wrong Envelope

 

“Dammit man, this is the wrong envelope! This is the letter to Mr Jeremiah Curry. Who the heck is Jedidiah Curry?”

The harassed clerk gulped.

Nathan Bloodstone, Laramie County agent for the Department of Land Management was a difficult man to work for. He was exacting, a stickler for detail and often gave conflicting orders. The office of three clerks often found themselves struggling to keep up with his demands. He took great delight in yelling and degrading them in the open office. It was only because the jobs were well paid that they all stayed and put up with his treatment of them.

To avoid the possibility of their use for personal correspondence, Bloodstone kept the supply of stamps in his office and doled them out when required.  As if any of the clerks would dare! Every letter that went out Bloodstone checked himself, the sealed the envelopes himself and placed the stamps on himself.

“Just sort it out!”

Bloodstone thrust the whole stack of tonight’s letters back at Mike, who fled the inner office and returned to his own desk. Mike sat down with a sign. Some way down the pile, he found the correct envelope addressed to Mr Jeremiah Curry. Well Jeremiah and Jedidiah were easily confused. All he had to do was swop the letter for Mr Jeremiah with the one for Mr Jedidiah. Er …. The blood drained from Mike’s face. Both letters were addressed to a Mr Curry! Mike put his head in his hands and looked at both letters. He had no idea which letter was for which Mr Curry. Perhaps if he read them. Five minutes later, he still had no clue. Both letters were virtually identical. The only difference, one mentioned a piece of land called Pine Lake, the other a piece of land called Grassy Flatts.

Mike glanced back at the office. Bloodstone was barking something down the telephone. He was quite red in the face. No, he wasn’t going to put himself in the line of fire again. He would have to figure this out for himself. He looked back. Okay the envelope addressed to Mr Jeremiah had the letter for Mr Jedidiah with it. No wait. The envelope addressed to Mr Jedidiah had the letter for Mr Jeremiah with it. Er but which letter was that now? Mike groaned and held his head in his hands again.

“Mike, have you got a moment please?” one of his colleagues asked. Mike was the senior clerk and so had to help the junior clerks with queries.

“Er, yes,” Mike said, distractedly and got up. He was still looking at the letters as if the answer would suddenly present itself. Shaking his head, he walked over to help.

It was fifteen minutes before Mike returned to his desk. He had just sat down when Bloodstone came out of his office pulling on his coat. He stopped by Mike’s desk and slapped a sheaf of stamps down.

“Get those letters in the mail tonight. Here are the stamps,” he said briskly. “And I know how many there are!”

“Yes sir.” When Bloodstone was gone, Mike checked the time and saw he had ten minutes to get the letters to the Post Office before it shut.

“Lend a hand here will you,” he asked the other clerks. “Better hurry, boys.”

The three of them quickly stuffed letters into envelopes, and then sealed and stamped them. Sending the junior clerk to run to the Post Office with a bundle of mail with seconds to spare. It was only then that Mike remembered the Curry mix up.

“Oh my God!”

That evening, very out of character, Mike went to the saloon and got falling down drunk.
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PostSubject: Re: Mar 17 - The Wrong Envelope...   Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:59 pm

It had been six months to the day since she had passed on. They had come back to town for the reading of her last will and testament. It had been Kid who questioned going to the funeral, remembering long buried memories of the day his and Heyes' folks and siblings had been laid to rest in the Lawrence cemetery.

Now Heyes was questioning if they should really be present for the reading of the will since there was no reason to doubt that they would be named by their given names rather than their aliases.

Martha Edwards. She had been about thirty years old when they had ran away from Valparaiso and she had taken them in for a few weeks. She felt sorry for them, seeing them thin and underfed as they were. She had written a letter to the orphanage after they had left her care in hopes of being able to adopt them to get the run-away status off of their heads. However her attempts were shot down since she was a spinster lady.

When Lom had telegraphed them about her death and the up coming reading of the will, they were kind of surprised she had even remembered them, let alone cared enough about them to remember them in her last will.

<>~<>~<>~<>~<>

They arrived in Abilene, Kansas a few days later, having sold their horses for train tickets. Luckily they had arrived a few days early, giving Heyes some time to build up their meager funds at the poker tables.

"You know, I'd nearly forgotten about Miss Martha," Heyes said later that night in their hotel room.

"So did I," the Kid replied. "I don’t mean to sound ghoulish, but I'm kinda curious as to see what she may have left us."

"Me too, Kid, but I'm also wondering if we will be able to keep it since we are wanted outlaws, especially if she's left us anything of value like money or land. And if I remember right the only land she had was that little house she lived in on the edge of town, and that couldn't be worth more than maybe a few hundred dollars at the most."

"The will's gonna be read at the courthouse on Thursday, right? Today is Tuesday, so we have two days to worry about what we're gonna do. Might be a good idea to send Lom a line and see if he can hire a lawyer and get here early Thursday."

"This is real short notice, Kid; I wish I would have replied to that telegram he sent us while we were in Sundance. One of us better do it tonight to be sure he gets the message before Thursday.”

<>~<>~<>~<>~<>

On Thursday all persons named in the will gathered in the jury room of the court house. Ms. Martha's lawyer sat down behind the small table.

“Is everyone present?” he asked as the door opened and two men walked in. The lawyer noticed them coming in. “Uh…gentlemen, this is a private affair between the beneficiaries of Ms. Martha Edwards and the executer of her will, beings she had no children of her own, she left the responsibility to me.”

Lom nods. “We are simply here to represent a Mister H. Heyes and a Mister J. Curry, both of which are here, lurking in the back. I am here with their lawyer to make sure the items willed to them are legally theirs to keep with their current legal status.” He replied motioning to the man beside him.

“Yes, I believe that is in order then. Now we can get started.” He nodded, taking his seat behind the table.

<>~<>~<>~<>~<>

Heyes and Kid's names were last on the list.

“Now, you four gentlemen, well technically two gentlemen, are the last to be named as beneficiaries of Ms. Edwards' estate.” He hands Heyes And Kid each a manila envelope. “In side you will find letters addressed to each of you, stocks at she bought in your names, a few hundred dollars, and a new watch. I think she would want you both to know that she wished she could have done better by you two.”

Heyes nodded as he turned over his envelope and looked at the name. “Uh…Kid, I think he handed me yours by mistake.”

Kid looked at his then to Heyes. “Yeah, I think you’re right, here.”

A small discreet swap took place. Each man read the last written words of one of only two mother figures they had. Both had tears in their eyes after.

The lawyer that arrived with Lom, then asked the late Martha Edwards lawyer for a word out in the hall. After a few minutes they came back into the room.

“Mister Heyes, Mister Curry, please excuse me for not introducing myself earlier; I’m Thomson Wilde and have just started practicing law in Porterville within the last month. When Lom approached me and told me about your case and inheritance I felt compelled to make you clients.” He paused a moment so the ex-outlaws could take in what he said. “The stocks you have been willed are legally yours to keep. However, you can’t very well attend shareholder meetings with your current legal status. That is where I will come in, and who knows, it may even help you out in a certain aspect of your case.”

Two broad smiles break out on two faces. It seemed things were about to start going right for once.

_________________
"The only thing in life you have to earn is love, everything else you can steal." ~Hannibal Heyes
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PostSubject: Re: Mar 17 - The Wrong Envelope...   Thu Mar 30, 2017 5:57 pm

Wanted posters… for Hannibal Heyes… Kid Curry…. Why would my new husband have wanted posters for them? They are outlaws. Terrible people who robbed railroads and banks, then disappeared. My husband was never a detective. Was he? I really don’t know a lot about his past. Wait, here is his journal. Ok, first page marked 10 years ago. I SHOULD NOT look in here, he does not like to talk about his past. Every time I bring it up he ALWAYS changes the subject. But why would he have old wanted posters?

“Thaddeus, today I was looking through a chest you have in the attic. I was looking in an envelope for that card my aunt gave me, but I opened the wrong envelope, so I found wanted posters for Heyes and Curry instead, you know the outlaws who just disappeared all of the sudden? I found an old journal of yours.”
“Did you read it?’’ Thaddeus said before he ate the next bite.
“Did you want me to?”
“Definitely no, but you do need to know eventually.”
“So you do want me to read it?’
“Yes.”

~Later that night~

This is the first entry:
The McCreedy Bust
So there is this fella who is giving us a job. He wants us to steal a bust from this guy named Armandirez. This fella, McCreedy, says that Armandirez stole the bust from him in the first place.
I personally think that being wanted is not so bad when you have a gang of outlaws to back you. Being wanted and not having a gang to back you is pretty hard. Especially when you are Kid Curry…


WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
No…no this is NOT true. He is a good, truthful man. He is very tough, but kind. Tonight I am going to ask him straightforwardly, and I really hope that he tells me what I already know.

       ~Even Later That Night~

“Thaddeus, are you Kid Curry?’’
“Yes.”
‘‘THADDEUS HOW COULD YOU!!!!!!’’ I never get mad at my husband, but I can’t believe this!!
“I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT YOU WOULD NOT TELL ME THAT YOU ARE KID CURRY!!!!”
“My sweet, loving, darling wife-“
“DON’T YOU DARE SWEET-TALK ME! I BET YOU SWEET-TALKED A LOT OF PEOPLE INTO DEATH BY YOUR GUN!!!”
“Love, I ONLY killed one person with my gun; the rest I just threatened.”
“WELL, YOU ARE SUCH A BIG SAINT, AREN’T YOU!"

I am walking away. I’ll go to our room and I know that he will not follow me. I can’t believe that he would do this to me. I mean, I trusted him. I feel like there is going to be a wall between us, but I don’t want there to be.

      ~The Next Day~

I guess I still have to be a good wife. I am making scrambled eggs…for both of us.
Here he comes. The outlaw of the west. I am curious as to where he slept. He never came up to our room. I guess this means that if I want to find out, I am going to have to talk to him. I do kind of want to.
“Kid, where did you sleep?
“I’m happy that you like my name. I went over to Joshua’s.”
“Oh my goodness, Joshua is Heyes.”
I dropped the pan full of scrambled eggs before I could get it to the plates, and Kid starts laughing.
I think his nickname is really funny. I wonder how that started. After he helps me clean up the spilled eggs, I ask him if he is still an outlaw. I lived the last two years of my life in the Northeast before I met him, so I am not sure.
“Are you still an outlaw?’’
“We got a pardon from the government because we went straight for a year. So are we good?”
“Only if I can call you Kid.”
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PostSubject: Re: Mar 17 - The Wrong Envelope...   Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:23 pm

The Wrong Envelope


Kid Curry cinched the saddle with a tight jerk making his gelding turn to nip him.  “Sorry!”  He loosened the belt a tad.

Hannibal Heyes walked into the darkened livery.  “Here’s the envelope from the Colonel.  Now it has to be delivered to Rich Baker in Yuba City by Tuesday.  He’s the only lawyer in town so it should be easy to find him.  That should take you three days there and three days back so I’ll see you in a week.  Any questions?”

“Yeah, why aren’t you goin’?” the Kid grumbled.

“We’ve already gone through this,” Heyes explained for what seemed the third time.  
“Because it don’t take two of us to deliver an envelope and I can be here making us more money at the poker tables.”

“Why do I have to go?  I’m not too bad at poker.”

“True, but you’re not as good as me.”

“You’ll be careful?” the Kid asked resigned to his fate.

Heyes smiled.  “I’ll be okay.  I’ll make sure to lose just enough and avoid any gamblers.  The townsfolks have proven to be friendly and good losers.”

“Okay.”  Kid Curry opened a side bag and tucked the letter inside.  He hopped up and into the saddle.

“You be careful, too.  Send me a quick telegraph when you arrive telling me when you’re leaving.  Keep an eye out for anyone following you.”

“I will.  Good luck at the tables.”

“Good luck with the weather.  Now don’t get in any trouble.”

“Me?  Trouble?”  Kid Curry frowned.

Heyes put a hand on his partner’s leg.  “Santa Marta.”

Curry shivered.  “Okay, I’ll stay outta trouble.”  He reined his horse to the right and out of the livery.



~ * ~ * ~ * ~


“Straight flush.”  Heyes laid down his cards.  “Looks like I won.”  He raked in the pot of money.

“Mr. Smith.  Mr. Smith,” a young lad shouted from the saloon door.  “I have a message for a Mr. Joshua Smith.”

Heyes looked towards the lad.  “I’m Joshua Smith.”

“The Colonel needs to see you right away!  Gave me a nickel to come get you.”

“Well, gentlemen, I guess I’ll be folding for a few games.”  Heyes stood and put his chips and money in his pockets.

“You’re comin’ back so we can win our money back, aren’t you?” asked one of the local ranchers.

“I’m planning on it.”  Heyes pulled out a few bills and put them down before leaving.  “Drinks for the table, bartender.”



~ * ~ * ~ * ~


“You wanted to see me, Colonel?” Heyes entered the den with his hat in his hands.

“Good, you didn’t leave yet,” the large elderly man behind the desk sounded relieved.

“Leave yet?” Heyes questioned.

“To deliver the envelope to Baker in Yuba City.  I gave you the wrong envelope.”

Heyes sighed.  “My partner already left for Yuba City.  He said only one of us was needed to go make the delivery so I stayed behind.”

“How long ago did he leave?”

“About four hours ago, I’d say.”

“Think you can catch up to him and stop him to switch envelopes?  Here’s the correct one.”  The Colonel handed him a larger one.

“I’ll do my best.”  Heyes took the envelope.  “What about the one he has?”

“You can deliver that to James Clark in the next town of Marysville.  God speed!”



~ * ~ * ~ * ~


Kid Curry looked behind him as he rode.  Instinct told him he was being followed, but he hadn’t seen or heard anyone.  Dusk was settling in and he needed to find a place to camp for the night.  There’d be no fire or hot coffee with someone possibly out there.



~ * ~ * ~ * ~


The next day Curry rode with one eye facing forward and another watching his back.  “Sure wish you were here, Heyes,” he muttered.  “Could be just another drifter on the same path or a bounty hunter.”

He zigged and he zagged to confuse anyone behind him.  He found a creek and prodded his horse to walk in it for a few hundred feet before continuing.  The Kid took a branch and wiped the horse’s prints.  He found an area of rocky ground and encouraged his gelding forward.  At one point, he saw a lone rider, but couldn’t make out any details from the far distance.  By late afternoon, the feeling was not gone.  

“We’re never gonna get to Yuba City on time if I’m dodgin’ someone followin’ us.”  Curry patted his horse’s neck.  “And I’m not goin’ another night on water and jerky.”  His mind made up, the Kid turned around to find out who was following him.



~ * ~ * ~ * ~


Kid Curry tied his horse in the midst of a copse of trees.  He unsnapped the safety of the gun and cautiously walked to the edge of the woods.  In the distance by a creek was a fire.  He pulled his gun out of the holster and continued towards the flame.  He sniffed the air and his stomach growled at the aroma of food.

Silently, the Kid made his way closer to the camp and peered his head around a large tree.  A familiar hat band reflected the light.

“YOU?!”  Kid Curry walked into the camp.  “You’re the one followin’ me?”

Heyes turned and smiled.  “Hungry?  I figured you wouldn’t have a hot meal knowing someone was following you.”

“I sure am!”  The Kid sat down near the fire as Heyes filled a plate and handed it to him.  “Bacon and beans never smelled so good!”  He took a large bite.  “Why are you out here and not back in town playin’ poker?”

Heyes poured two mugs of coffee.  “The Colonel gave you the wrong envelope and sent me to catch up with you and exchange it for the right one.”  He handed a cup over to Curry and took a sip.  “He was rather insistent that I catch up with you.”

“You had me worried.”

“I could tell you knew you were being followed.  That was some pretty good eluding you were doing there with the creek, rocks, and wiping the trail.”

“Obviously not good enough if you’re still behind me.”  The Kid took another bite of food.

“Well, I am the champeen tracker in southern Utah, you know.”

Curry smiled.  “Sure you are, Heyes.”  He sipped his coffee.  “I suppose you’ll be headin’ back to town to play poker in the mornin’.”

“Nah, I figured since I’m already here, I’ll just join you for the rest of the ride.  Someone’s got watch your back.”

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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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PostSubject: Re: Mar 17 - The Wrong Envelope...   Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:01 pm

“Han! Are you sure we should be doing this?”

Hannibal Heyes didn’t look back.

“We’re breaking and entering. And stealing, if we’re lucky. Of course we shouldn’t be doing this.”

“We’re gonna get in an awful lot of trouble if we get caught.”

“We’re not gonna get caught, so long as you keep a close watch on the door.”

“I am!”

“Not if you’re leaning over my shoulder like you been.”

“I ain’t leaning over your shoulder.” Heyes flicked a quick glance back. Jed’s face was inches from his own.

“Alright, I’m going.”

“Stand by the stairwell. You can see the lobby and the front door from there.”

“Okay, Han.” Heyes felt rather than heard Jed move away. He turned his attention back to the locked door. Opening it was proving to be harder than he expected.

“Han.” Jed’s whisper echoed down the hall.

“What?” he hissed.

“Are you almost done?”

“Yes, I’m almost done.”

“Good. Because it’s late, and I’m tired.”

Heyes reached for another home-made lock pick. Maybe the first one was too big. He took a deep breath and reminded himself that the administration building was empty at this time of night. Even the janitor had gone to his bed hours ago.

“Han.”

“Now what?”

“You got it yet?”

Heyes’ eyes widened in surprise. He held his breath while he gingerly tested the doorknob. It turned smoothly, and the door squealed open.

“Yeah. I got it.”

A moment later, Jed was standing over his shoulder again. “You did it!”

“You bet I did. Come on.” They slipped inside the office, taking care to shut the door quietly. A massive roll-top desk dominated the room. Jed reached for the oil lamp that hung on the wall above the desk.

“Not yet. Make sure all the shades are down and the curtains are closed. If anybody reports seeing a light in the headmaster’s office, we will get caught. And we don’t want that.”

“No, sure don’t.” Jed inspected both windows. “Tight as a drum.”

“Good. Just stay there and keep watch while I get this desk opened.”

“Ain’t you going to light the lamp?”

“Not yet. Safer if I don’t. Besides, I don’t need to see what I’m doing so much as feel it.”

Jed settled into a chair next to the window and prepared to wait. Heyes inserted a lock pick into the brass keyhole on the roll-top and slowly, carefully, moved it back and forth a few times, jiggling it till he felt release. He put both hands on the roll top and pushed it up and open. Jed stepped over to stand next to him.

“You want some light now?”

“Yeah. I think it’s safe if we keep the light low.” Jed stuck a match to the wick and adjusted the flame down to a soft glow that illuminated the desktop.

“There’s an awful lot of envelopes there. How you gonna know the right one?”

“I can read, can’t I? Don’t ask dumb questions.”

“Sorry, Han.”

“Sorry, Jed. I shouldn’t’ve said that. Sometimes my mouth works before my brain does.”

“That’s for sure.”

Heyes decided to let that remark pass.

“It’s got to be a thick one. Let’s see . . . “ he picked up several envelopes and rejected each one, putting them carefully back.

“Can’t you do that faster?”

“No. Got to put them back exactly the way I found them, or Mr. Duncan’s gonna know something’s wrong.”

“We ain’t got that much time, you know. Somebody’s gonna notice we’re gone.”

“Relax, will you? These things take time.”

“How do you know that?” Jed demanded. “How many times you done this before?”

Heyes slapped the envelopes down on the desk. “Lots of times, alright?” Jed looked disbelieving. “I don’t tell you everything, Jed. Just most things.”

“You mean you broke into this here office before?”

“Sure,” Heyes said, turning to look up at Jed’s skeptical expression. “Got to watch out for our interests, Jed. We can’t stay here forever, you know. We’re going to need money, real money, or we’ll be sleeping rough and missing meals once we leave here, and you don’t want that, do you?”

“Sure don’t. Except. . . how are you going to make sure you don’t get the wrong envelope?”

Heyes flashed a quick grin at his friend. “If there’s money in the envelope, it can’t be wrong, can it?”

Jed grinned in return. “Guess not.”

Riffling through the stack of envelopes slowly, Heyes stopped when he felt one that was thicker and heavier than the others.

“Ah. . . “ he breathed. “You see the letter opener?”

“Here it is.” Heyes carefully slit the envelope open and withdrew the contents. Unfolding the paper, he found several bank notes within.

“Are those real?”

“Sure look like it.”

“How much?”

“Looks like . . . $50!”

“$50! We’re rich!”

“Not yet.” He put the money and paper back into the envelope carefully, then held up the envelope into the dim light.

“What’re you looking for now?”

“I just want to see the return address.”

“What’s that matter?”

“I want to know where that old skinflint is getting his money.”

“Why?”

“Because next time, we can save some time and look for any mail that came from . . . “ Heyes squinted in the dim light cast by the shaded oil lamp. “From . . . a Mr. Babcock in Austin, Texas. Huh.” He started to pull the letter back out of the envelope, but was stopped by Jed’s hand on his arm.

“You can read it later, Han.”

“Yeah, guess you’re right.” He slid the envelope inside his boot. “Let’s get out of here.”

Jed frowned at Heyes as he put the envelopes away neatly and pulled the rolltop down again.

“What about all them other envelopes?”

“What about them?”

“Ain’t you going to check them out, too? There might be more money.”

Heyes stood up straight and turned down the wick on the oil lamp, until the room was shrouded in darkness again.

“Nope. We can't get greedy. Whoever took delivery of the mail might’ve noticed the one envelope, but if it’s not there when they look again in the morning, they might forget it was ever there. Even if they remember seeing something came from Austin, Texas, they’re going to doubt their own memory. Besides, if we take more than one, then somebody might get suspicious.”

Jed nodded slowly. “Makes sense. It’s just. . . “

“What?” Heyes used his lock pick to make sure the rolltop was locked.

“I don’t feel good about this.”

Heyes paused with his hand on the door handle. “About what?”

“Stealing. It ain’t right, you know.”

Heyes pushed the door shut again.

“Listen to me, Jed. We ain’t doing this for the rest of our lives; we’re just doing this long enough to get us a stake. If we ain’t got horses and guns and money for food and places to sleep, we’re just two more orphans that nobody cares about. Ain’t you heard, the towns back east got so many orphans, they’re sending them out west on trains. Anything to get rid of them. There’s just too many of us.”

“Maybe somebody’d take us in.”

“Yeah, and maybe Duncan’ll start spending money on the boys who live here, instead of using it on whiskey and women. Come on, Jed! All we need is a stake, and then we can get away from here. It ain’t really stealing if it’s for a good cause.”

Jed only frowned. Heyes’ voice hardened.

“Maybe you forgot, but we’re on our own, and we’re always going to be on our own. There ain’t nobody to help us. All we got is each other.” His voice had gone from angry to almost pleading. “Don’t you see that?”

Jed put one hand on his friend’s shoulder. “Okay, Han. I don’t like it, but you’re right. We’ll get us a stake, and then we’ll light out from here and find us some jobs. Just, no more stealing.” Heyes started to answer, but Jed interrupted him. “And we get out of Kansas. I’m done with Kansas.”

Heyes’ exhaled in relief. “You got a deal. Can’t say I’m too fond of Kansas either. I hear Wyoming territory is real pretty.”

Jed was shaking his head. “Don’t get ahead of yourself. Let’s get back to bed before somebody notices we’re missing.”

The two boys tiptoed past the office door. Heyes took out his lock pick and jiggled it in the keyhole until he heard the lock click into place. Jed moved silently to the stairwell, watching and listening intently. After a moment, Heyes joined him, and they went downstairs.

Before they slipped out the window where they’d entered the building earlier, Jed held up his hand, indicating Heyes should stop.

“What’s wrong? Did you see someone?”

“No. But I got one question for you.”

“Now?”

“Yeah. Now. Where nobody can hear us.”

Heyes sighed. He was anxious to get going, but he knew Jed’s stubbornness.
“What is it?”

“Han, you said before you’d broken in here before.” Heyes didn’t answer, but he could feel his face starting to get hot. Good thing Jed couldn’t see him blush in the dark.

“Tell me the truth. You never did this before, did you?”

“Nope. Couldn’t do it without you, Jed. We’re partners, after all.” He wiped his warm face with one hand. “Sorry I lied to you. I won’t do it again.”

“I hope not. Because partners got to trust each other. Like you said, we ain’t got anybody else.”

The boys shook hands solemnly.

“And.”

Heyes looked at Jed with barely concealed impatience.

“What?”

“Only enough stealing to get us a stake. And that’s it.”

“Deal. After we get out of here, we’ll never steal again. Unless we have to.”

Jed looked like he was ready to argue, but Han made a shushing sound.

“We can talk about it later, Jed. We been here too long already.”

They closed the door behind them, and Han kneeled down to make sure the lock was set. They slipped out of the building as they had entered, through a back window on the first floor. Before fifteen minutes passed, they were back in their beds, staring at the dark ceiling above them. Jed fell asleep quickly, exhausted by the strain of the evening’s adventures. Across the room, Heyes lay awake on his back, hands folded on his chest. His heart was racing. He was too excited to sleep. He pushed himself up on his elbows, peering through the darkness to see if Jed was still awake, but he discerned no movement there. Settling on his back again, he smiled in the darkness. Tonight was the most fun he’d had in a long time. He couldn’t wait till he could do it again. He was sure he could talk Jed into going along with him. There were partners, after all.


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