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 June 17 - Canada

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Calico

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Location : Birmingham

PostSubject: June 17 - Canada   Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:55 am

Hello there to you all

A little personal touch this month with the Challenge...

I invite you - and possibly the boys - to

CANADA

- land of mounties and mountains - and possibly safety from Sherriffs, who knows?

Because, in a fortnight I will be there hiking in the Canadian Rockies Wheeeeeeeeee wolf wolf wolf


I will, of course, wave to you over the border.
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cac



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PostSubject: Re: June 17 - Canada   Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:40 pm

If anyone needs a bunny hop to get going.... I was watching a Roger episode, "The Clementine Ingredient," with my daughter "gunslinger" this afternoon. At the end Heyes tells Kid that they should rob the Denver bank to get the photo back from Clem, and Kid refuses and says that he'll be in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

So there you go! Canada! I had no idea Canada figured in ANY of the episodes! Wiki has an interesting article on it-it was settled in 1882, on a railroad, so it fits.

Edit: I thought about putting this in the "dead bunnies" section, but since it's specific to Canada, I thought here might be better. But admin, move if you wish!
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Calico

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PostSubject: Re: June 17 - Canada   Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:42 am

That is a great thought Cac...

I am loving the name Moose Jaw
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cac



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PostSubject: Re: June 17 - Canada   Thu Jun 08, 2017 9:09 am

Yeah, and the people who live there are called "Moose Javians" !!!
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cac



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PostSubject: Re: June 17 - Canada   Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:10 pm

A memory fragment, something to muse on during long rides....

He stood by the window, stretching his arms behind him, flexing his muscles as he stretched in the morning’s light. He grinned to himself, knowing she was watching appreciatively, feeling that surge of pleasure and energy that accompanied his charisma and competence. Reminded him a bit of his fast-draw. What’s funny is that Heyes is the one who would grin outwardly while he, internally just as confident, also had to weigh the consequences, and thus did not feel the pleasure at the draw but only at the ease.

Her name was Canada, and it was one of the things he liked about her.

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PostSubject: Re: June 17 - Canada   Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:37 am

Destiny keeps turning for the guys...as I move into month ten. I will say this one is a bit different and I hope it has that ramped up edgy feel you can get from some various authors.




“This really isn’t necessary.”

Looking over, Howard MacKeefe unveiled a toothy smile and snapped the shackle closed, “As I stated, I am keeping you right close ‘till you pay off.”

“Didn’t think you meant... I got to be your bedroll pal each night.” Heyes grumped, edging as far from Howard as the chain connecting them would allow.

“If I did otherwise, the pair of you would take off north, so fast…well, you might overshoot Wyoming and not pull up ‘till you was standing in Canada.”

Tucking an arm under his head, Heyes’ dark eyes went to Curry, who was once more being roped to a tree and forced to sleep upright. His expression vividly detailing how wearisome, he was of such arrangements.

Like past mornings, dawn arrived bright and clear, and when Heyes sat up, he swept a hand across the brittle, dry ground. His gaze shifting to the orange ball rising from the tall grass, he thought, ‘no dew, it’s fixing to be one hellishly hot day.’

Climbing aboard their horses; he and Curry caught one another’s eyes and the look they passed, reaffirmed, as it did every day, ‘whatever move you make, I will back you.’

They were traveling the same route Kid Curry had planned for them, although the shaded trails along the Arkansas River had faded away to the windswept, stoic beauty of the plains. Not that they had been noticing any of it, the only thoughts in their minds were schemes for escape.

Difficulty was each morning their hands were tied behind their backs and their horses ponied to another mount. Furthermore, they were not even allowed to ride alongside one another. No, Howard had them well in hand and thusly, they had not been able to share more than a few words, this past week, and none of those private.

The summer heat rose with the sun and the group plodded on in silence. Howard’s gang was tired of each other’s company and Heyes, simply was not allowed to talk; a full day’s cycle wearing a gag had convinced him of the seriousness of this maxim.

It was not even noon yet, and the horses were sweating as wetly as the men upon them. When they topped a long rise from the basin, they had been riding across, there was a jewel blue band blanketing the far horizon.

“What you think, Boss?” Barton asked, his eyes traveling across the darkening, stripe.

“Do not be worrying any; it is a good ways off.” Howard replied with strong certainty.

Having been born to the plains, Heyes and Curry both knew, the storm was not as far off as Howard wanted the others to believe. They looked left and right, doing so in perfect unison and other than the rolling, waving grass there was nothing man or nature made in sight.

Frowning, Heyes noticed Curry, up ahead of him, shift in his saddle, and drive his boots tighter in his stirrups and agreeing with him, he did the same.

The seven of them rode on, the deep band had changed for now there were patches of brilliant turquoise green, and the top looked like the foaming waves on a moonlit sea.

Walter coughed, it sounded loud as a train whistle in the silence, clearing his throat, he declared, “That storm starts movin’ this here way, I ain’t stayin’ in my saddle to be fried by lightning.”  

Howard MacKeefe’s head turned like a snake to his pock-faced gang member, “You will do as you are told or you will forfeit your share.”

Walter twisted his reins, grumbled under his breath, and hipped his speckled mare into a trot, taking them both away from MacKeefe’s fierce glare. His mare happened to be the one ponying Heyes’ sorrel and Walter’s dodge of his leader, brought him up alongside Curry. Even from the corner of his eye, Heyes could read the tension in his partner. They had faced a fair share of severe storms over the years, yet, nowhere did one compare to the unfettered ferocity of a plains blowup.

The horses were huffing in the heat, their hooves slipping here and there on the tall, buffalo grass and as the slope became steeper, the men leaned forward in their saddles, shifting their weight to help their mounts. Cresting the top, a rush of icy, wind hit them, splaying out the horses manes and whipping the grass like it might uproot it.

Gooseflesh spread across Heyes’ body and checking Curry, he saw his face was fixed like stone. Where others might think, he was being stoic about it all; Heyes knew better. He knew his partner had the same all-overish feeling crawling along his sweat soaked skin, too.

The rolling moonlight sea of clouds was building, boiling, rising, becoming a towering formation, massive enough for the Gods of this land to take note. Sensing the impending wrath in the dark blackness ahead of them, the horses whickered, their ears flicking back and forth, as they twitched and hopped beneath their saddles.

Another gust spun Howard’s fancy bowler from his head. Heyes watched it jump and flip from sight, but then he noted how the grass it skittered away on was completely flat. Shifting to see all around, he confirmed he was right. The grass about them was being smashed down and tilting his head to peer up at the heavens, he swallowed hard at the spinning clouds above them, an “Oh, hell!” bursting from him like a pent up breath.

Curry too was taking in their situation, but much darker curses were slipping from him.

As they did this, the sky exploded, blinding forks of light branched out in great arcs and the clouds began to churn faster. Then a bolt struck, so big and loud, it was like a finger of God blinding and shaking the group down to their bones.  

The horses came unglued and taking a death grip of his saddle’s cantle, Heyes slammed his heels down. His muscled sorrel took out, ripping free of Walter’s twisting, snorting mare. The smell of charred flesh swept past Heyes and the thunder rolled, but he was running and free.

Seeing him so, Curry encouraged his bay to follow. The wound-up gelding needed little encouragement, he was scared, and his trailmate was leaving him. In a bunched leap, he bolted, dragging the smaller bay he was tied to, until the rope snapped.

Another blast of lightning struck and Heyes yelped, shrinking tight to his horse. Yet, when Curry’s bay nosed up, so their horses were running neck and neck, a smile burst free. Chancing a look over, wanting to share this brief joy, he found his cousin’s face painted with utter and absolute terror. Not bothering to look, he pounded his heels mercilessly against his gelding’s sides.

The clouds had moved beyond churning, having succeeded in spinning out a fully formed funnel. It howled like the darkest, nightmare beast, pulling, sucking, devouring all it could reach.

When that first bolt blasted Howard from his saddle, a jolt of fear had raced through Heyes; fear that one of them might be next. But this twister behind them, it was teaching him fear of the likes he did not know existed. For the very blood pumping in his veins had become imbued with burning, numbing fear.  

Curry’s blue eyes caught sight of his cousin’s waxy pale face. His cousin, who got them out of difficulties, his cousin who had protected him since they were young, and all he could see, was cold sweat terror. He recognized the look because he felt the same way…it was wrapped tight about his heart. Then some corner of his mind, recalled the prayers his Mother would say over him each night, her words of protection and devotion. He could not recall the last time he had said them himself, and wondered if that might have been a mistake on his behalf…on both their behalfs.

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Nebraska Wildfire

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PostSubject: Re: June 17 - Canada   Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:05 pm

 
Canada
   
   
The sun beat down on the backs of the two riders skirting the edge of the mesa.  There were sandstone arches and pillars in the distance, but no shade.  It was still early in the day, but the temperature was already rising to unpleasant levels.   Even the wind was hot.

Their hats were pulled low over their eyes, to lessen the reflection of the sun.  Even this early, it was intense.

“Heyes, tell me again why we are out here in this heat?”

“Kid, it’s gonna get a lot warmer before the day’s over.”

“My point exactly.  Isn’t it still almost ten miles to Coyote Gulch, where we’re supposed to meet up with Wheat and Kyle?”

“Yeah, and we’re late already, what with tryin’ to lose that posse.”

“So we’re ridin’ during this heat just to keep Wheat and Kyle from waitin’?”

“No, Kid.  We’re ridin’ during the day because the posse won’t be.”

“You certain about that?”

There was silence for a moment, just the sound of the dust swirling around the rocks, and whistling among the sandstone canyons off in the distance.

The Kid looked over at his partner of many years.  “Heyes?”

“No, Kid, I’m not certain, but it’s the best plan I have at the moment.”  Heyes sighed.  “That miscalculation at the bank has thrown everything off.”

The dust swirled around the horses’ hooves, but they were also tired, so it didn’t spook them.

“Okay, Heyes.”  The Kid looked across the mesa, judging how far it was until they reached the canyons and some shade.  “If that’s the best you got, it’ll have to do.”

A smile spread across the face under the black hat.

“Just promise me the next bank robbery you plan in August is gonna be in Canada.”

“Sure Kid, just for you.”

*****

“Heyes, when I asked you to plan a bank robbery anywhere near Canada, I was asking for August, not November!”  Kid Curry had his sheepskin coat fastened tightly around his body, and his hat pulled low, with the stampede strings fastened close to keep the wintery wind from blowing it off his head.  He glared at his clever cousin, who was also shivering in his heavy gray coat.

“Well, that’s not when they planned this payroll shipment, was it?”  Heyes blew on his cold hands, rubbing them, as he tried to peer though the rapidly increasing snowfall, as they waited outside of German Gulch, Montana, for the payroll train to leave the bank.

“Wheat and Kyle better still have the rest of the boys at the other end of this canyon, or we will have been freezing ourselves for nuthin’.”

“Have faith, Kid.”  Heyes eyes glittered through the snowflakes sticking to his eyelashes.  “This is a brilliant plan.  They’ll never expect it, especially with the storm.”

“You certain about that, Heyes?” The Kid asked with a sly smile.

“How was I supposed to know that posse in Arizona was as crazy as we are?”  Heyes took umbrage.   “We did lose them in the arroyo.  And came out of it with all the money.”

“The boys would have skinned you alive once we were back at the Hole, if we hadn’t.”

“Well now, we didn’t have to deal with that situation, did we, because I figured out a way to come out on top.”

“Yeah, Heyes.  You did.”  The Kid brushed off the snow that had accumulated on his hat.  “Let’s hope our luck doesn’t run out today.  He looked down into the town.  “Here they come.”

*****

Not everything had gone according to plan, but thanks to the blizzard they did manage to get a jump on the posse and make off with a considerable sum of money that would keep them very well until the spring thaw.  

As the gang came upon a split in the trail, Heyes pulled up, and called for Wheat.

"What we stoppin' for, Heyes?"  The rough outlaw gave the gang leader an annoyed look.  "I'm already freezing my ... well, freezing sumthin’ off soon.  Was that part of your great plan?"

Surprisingly to Curry, Heyes ignored Wheat's jibbing.  He dismounted and had pulled some of the haul out of his saddlebags, handing it up to Wheat.

"You know the way back to Devil's Hole from here, don't’cha , Wheat?"  Heyes looked blandly up at him.

"Course I do, Heyes.  What you take me for?"  Wheat bristled.  "An idiot?"

Kyle pulled up at that moment.  "The boys are getting anxious, Heyes."  He glanced back and spit off to the side of the trail.  "And cold.  That posse ain't that fur behind us."

The bundle Heyes had handed to Wheat looked to be a significant portion of the haul.  That worried the Kid, as Heyes seldom entrusted that much money to any of the gang members, even Wheat, definitely not Kyle.

"Even with this snow, that posse is closer than I like."  Heyes looked down at the covered ground and then back up at Wheat.  "You take the boys on back to Devil's Hole.  The Kid and I will make certain they follow us up into the hills."

"That's your plan?"  Wheat scoffed.  "You'll get caught, the way this snow is coming down.  Or stuck somewhere up there."

"Well, that posse is getting closer the longer we sit here jawing."  Heyes walked back to his horse and turned him to head up the trail that led into the mountains.  He exchanged a look with the Kid.  "Get going.  We'll see you at the Hole in a week or two."

Wheat snorted, but started down the other trail leading back into the valley.

"And make certain you don't spend all that money hurrahing once you get back to Clear Creek.  Start getting the winter supplies first."

Wheat stopped in the trail, and glared back at Heyes.  "Shoot, Heyes, I know them hills by Devil's Hole better'n you do.  We'll be lucky to get back in time to get in supplies for winter.  Twern't my idea to pull this job so late in the season."

They all knew the fall had not gone the best for the Devil's Hole gang and they had needed this job to provision for winter.

"Best get goin' Wheat," the Kid said quietly.  "Posse'll be on us soon and Heyes and me gotta get the false trails laid."

"Come on Kyle."  Wheat gave Heyes and Curry a final piercing gaze, and then turned to lead off the rest of the group.

Heyes gave a long look as they headed off, but then turned uphill, making sure to stir up the snow on that part of the trail.

"Come on Kid.  Let's get going."

Curry followed Heyes.

*****

Heyes and the Kid had headed further into the mountains and had lost any pursuit quickly enough.  It was Blackfeet territory, but at that moment, Heyes was less worried about them then the posse.

The snow was deep, but the wind had died down.  It was still in the mountains.  Too still for the Kid.

“We’re being followed, Heyes,” Curry said quietly.

“Nah, Kid, we lost that posse long ago.  Can’t track in the snow.”

“I ain’t talking about the posse.”

"Ain't no Apaches in these hills, Kid."  Heyes smiled grimly at his own slight joke.

"No, but there are Blackfeet."  The Kid nodded towards figures on the crest of the next hill.

Heyes pulled his horse to a stop, and the Kid drew up next to him.   They held their reins loosely in their hands, which they kept visible.

The band of Blackfeet made their way slowly and cautiously down closer to Heyes and Curry.  They had rifles ready.

"Was this part of your plan, Heyes?" the Kid said softly.

Heyes watched carefully as the men approached.  One pulled ahead of the others, and stopped.  He was dressed like the others in a buffalo robe, with well-worn leggings showing beneath, and a cluster of feathers sticking up from the side of his head.  He spoke.  Heyes shook his head slowly, and the man stopped, smiling wryly, and shaking his head too.

"Kid, look at them."  Heyes spoke quietly and slowly nodded towards the native band.  "They look thin.  And ragged beneath those robes.  It's only the beginning of the cold season."

The leader's head snapped up, and gave Heyes a piercing gaze.

Heyes returned his look, with his strong, confident stance.

"We have money to pay for safe passage through these hills."  Heyes remained still, waiting.  The Kid echoed him, watching the posture of the others in the group, and where their rifles were pointed.

The leader looked over Heyes and Curry again.  He took in their hardened look.  He pointed towards the rifles.

"You can have them."  Heyes offered.  He waited and the leader pointed again.  Heyes slowly drew his out of the sheath, offering it with the barrel pointed down.  The man kneed his horse closer and took the offered rifle.  He looked over it and smiled up at Heyes.  He gave an order to one of the other men who came forward.  The leader pointed towards the Kid's rifle.  Curry moved slowly and handed it to the other man, who grinned with delight.

The leader with the feather cluster looked down to where Heyes' pistol was tied to his thigh, and then over to the Kid's.

"Heyes, I ain't giving up my Colt."

"Kid ... " Heyes started to caution.

A strange look came over the Blackfeet man's face.  He smiled fiercely, then turned with his back to the still armed men and started up a path through the hills.  The man with the Kid's rifle pointed it at them and then at his leader, indicating they should follow.

It was a quiet journey through the foothills.  The Blackfeet said little, Curry watched everywhere, and Heyes was silent.  Eventually they came to a hill overlooking the settlement of St. Mary's where Heyes could see a train track leading southeast.  

He turned towards their escort, and then indicated his saddlebags.  The leader with the feathers nodded.  Heyes pulled out one of the bags and handed it over.  The man looked into it.  He shook his head and started to hand it back to Heyes.

Heyes held up his hands and met the man's eyes.  "Payment.  I keep my word."  

The Blackfeet held up his new rifle and indicated his companion's.  Heyes shook his head.

The man's feathers blew in the wind.  He opened the bag and took out a generous handful of the gold coins.  He handed them over to his friend, where they disappeared under his robe.  The bag then was handed back to Heyes, who nodded and secured it back in his saddle bag.

Heyes met they eyes of the Blackfeet leader.  He held his arm out to shake hands.  It was awkward for the other man, but he grasped Heyes’ hand.

"Good hunting, my friend."  Heyes backed his horse and then turned his back on the Blackfeet.  Curry followed, but not without his steel blue gaze first meeting the gaze of the other men.

"Good hunting, Mr. Heyes, Mr. Curry."  The Blackfeet leader grinned widely as the Kid and Heyes stopped and looked back at them.  Heyes smiled back, shook his head slightly, and continued down the hillside with his cousin.    
   
   
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Cornelia May

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PostSubject: Re: June 17 - Canada   Thu Jun 22, 2017 6:40 pm

Heyes nodded as Knight left the room. "Kid fill the wash basin and bring it over with a wash cloth."

The Kid did as asked and brought the items over to his cousin. He watched as Heyes gently mopped the girl's forehead, cheeks, neck, and hands in an attempt to bring her raging fever down. He noted how fatherly Heyes seemed to be. "What are we going to do?" He asked. "Chances are she's an orphan and will have to be sent back east to that Indian school in southern Pennsylvania."

"That's not going to happen."

"Heyes, we can't in good conscious keep her."

"We could move to Canada." Even to Heyes it sounded rediculous, but he was willing to try anything to keep this little girl from loosing all sense of her culture.

"One problem with that, we don't speak Canadian."

"They speak two languages in Canada, English and French. I'd say British Columbia is where English is more readily spoken." Heyes sounded as if he were also trying to convince himself. He sighed and want back to bathing the girl's fever flushed face, taking note of how gaunt she looked.

Kid too sighed as he sat down in the chair. He watched his cousin for a long time, noting how worried the dark haired man was. Had their captivity, short as it was, with that band of Apaches made Heyes and him more sympathetic to the plights of the Indians? Perhaps, but he wasn't exactly up for all this.

Heyes stopped momentarily and sighed in frustration. "She's going down hill fast." Another sigh. "Gonna have to force it down. Kid can you go see if you can get a bucket of ice somewhere?"

Kid looked at him slack-jawed for a moment. "Ice? Heyes its the middle of June. Ice stores are probably already used up."

"Just go try to get some; poor girl will be dead in the next few hours if we can't get this fever under control...be my luck she's got something catching."

"Ha, your luck? More like our luck."

"Go get that ice, Kid."

The Kid grumbled something as he got up and went out the door. Thirty minutes later he returned with not one, but two buckets of ice.

Heyes looked up wearily from his task, just glad he was able to lower the girl's temperature a little with just lukewarm water. On seeing the ice he pointed to the washstand. "Wrap some of that ice up in a hand towel and hand it here; her fever's starting to spike."

Again the Kid did as he was told. He sighed as he sat back down in the chair. "How long do you think Knight will be gone?" The question had been on his mind since the agent left.

"Day or two maybe. Don't know why he's still willing to pay me just to nurse this poor girl. I think the Doc knows what she has, but ain't telling us. Bad case of...something, been too hot for everything we've ever had."

Another question came to Kid's mind. "What if Knight don't come back?"

"Told you, Kid, Canada. It's either that or take her to that tribe that shares the watering hole with the gang."

"They're Shoshone, ain't they?"

"All I know is they're Indians and they're peaceable." Heyes resumed mopping the girl's face with the towel of ice. After a while he heard a faint sigh escape the girl's lips. He allowed himself to sigh in relief. The fever was finally starting to break.

The girl opened her eyes after a few minutes. They were still glassy from the fever, but she could see clearly. The dark orbs took in her unfamiliar surroundings until they fell on the dark haired man sitting on the edge of the bed.

"Hello, sweetheart," Heyes said when he saw the girl was awake. He wasn't sure if she understood his words, but she seemed to relax a little after he spoke. "Try and get some rest, I'll send Mister Jones," he pointed to Kid, "down to the café to get some broth for you."

Though she didn't understand many of his words, she nodded, understanding the gesture to the other man in the room and the mention of broth. As the Kid left the room without Heyes telling him, she falls back into a restful sleep.

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nm131

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PostSubject: Canada   Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:32 am

Didn't think I'd have anything to offer, not a thought in my head or a word typed on the keyboard. I'm also having writer's block with the two stories I'm working on all month so last night, in a desperate attempt to work through it, I went with the obvious use of the prompt and a tired plot but at least it got me writing.

Canada

“Mr. Heyes and Sheriff Trevors, the Governor will see you now.”

The hopefully soon to be ex-outlaw took a step forward as he inquired, “What about my partner?”

“Mr. Curry can wait here, he will be taken care of shortly.”

Heyes’ eyes traveled from the man gesturing in the doorway to his partner standing beside him. Kid Curry read the nervousness behind the confident exterior and offered an encouraging smile. When Heyes hesitated to move, Curry propelled him forward with a settling pat on the back and watched him enter the inner sanctum of the politician who held their fates in his hands. A beaming Trevors trailed behind.

Kid crossed his arms, leaned against the reception area wall, and tried to shake off the sudden tingle of trepidation running down his spine. Already exceedingly wary by virtue of his location alone, Curry was hyper aware of the surrounding sounds and movement. Blue eyes focused on an approaching suit clad man, as he exited an office across the hall and walked towards Curry. The plainly nervous bureaucrat looked up quickly, met an impassive expression and his curious gaze dropped to the floor.

“Mr. Jedediah Curry?”

“Yes, I’m Jed Curry.”

“Please follow me. The Wyoming Attorney General will see you now.”

Kid couldn’t help the involuntary glance back at the door denied him, and he wondered why.

The Attorney General’s office door opened, Curry stepped in and immediately froze as the cold steel barrel of a revolver made contact with his temple. Four Territorial Marshall stars winked in the lamplight of the office on the solid chests of the men surrounding him.

“Put your hands on the wall, and spread your legs,” ordered the marshal holding the gun.

“What’s going on? I’m unarmed,” Kid asked, looking over his shoulder, as he complied with the directive. He stood still and endured a thorough and uncomfortable search.

“He’s clean.”

“Good thing I took a bath before coming here with how personal you men just got.” In spite of knowing better, Kid couldn’t keep the annoyance out of voice. “I told you, I’m unarmed. Sherriff Trevors warned us that we would be searched upon entering the Capital building and all weapons would be confiscated. I may have broken laws but I’d be stupid to think I would be allowed anywhere close to the Governor with my .45.”

“No Mr. Curry, you’re definitely not stupid or you wouldn’t still be at large, standing here.  Come sit down so that we can talk.” The middle-aged corpulent attorney general rose from behind his substantial dark wood desk and gestured to the leather chairs in front of the desk.

Kid took a seat. The ranking territorial marshal sat in the chair beside the ex-outlaw while the remaining three marshals took standing positions at the door, behind Kid Curry, and slightly behind and aside of the Attorney General.

~~~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~

“Gentlemen, a cigar,” offered the Governor as everyone seated themselves around the impressive desk.

“Mr. Heyes, my predecessors and I have received favorable reports from Sheriff Trevors and the Marshal Service.  It is time to end the provisional deal and deliver a more permanent decision. Congratulations, I am awarding you the long-awaited amnesty.”

Heyes sat back in his chair and took a long calming draw on the aromatic expensive cigar. He involuntarily glanced to the side, suppressed the sudden sense of regret of not having Kid beside him when they received the good news then leaned forward to better see the papers the Governor was laying out on the desk.

~~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~

“The provisional amnesty deal is being ended today. The Railroad Stockowners, the Banker’s Association, and the Wyoming Stockgrower’s Association were adamant that Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry suffer the full penalty under the law for their numerous crimes. However, a compromise has finally been reached. It has been decided that you, Mr. Curry, with your reputation as a dangerous gunman and former co-leader of the Devil’s Hole Gang, are no longer eligible for amnesty.”

“My partner?” Kid urgently interrupted.

The Attorney General leaned back and regarded the well-presented ex-outlaw with dispassionate curiosity. “Mr. Heyes, at this moment, is receiving his amnesty from Governor Warren. I am tasked with explaining your portion of the deal.”

Kid was grateful that he long ago learned to suppress any expression of emotion at need. He was acutely aware of being surrounded by lawmen. With the sudden trickling of a cold sweat down his back under the crisp white shirt and gray suit jacket he prepared himself to be handcuffed and marched to the Cheyenne Jail to await trial. He tried to get his mind to focus on how he would keep Heyes from doing anything to jeopardize his own promising future.

Kid Curry’s attention was yanked back to the Attorney General.

“Hannibal Heyes is also being notified that any fraternization with known criminals will result in his prosecution for aiding and abetting a fugitive, harboring a fugitive and any other applicable new crimes. You, of course qualify as a known criminal. Since Sheriff Trevors was unaware that only one of you would be getting amnesty, you will not be arrested immediately, unless of course you decide to surrender.”

Not likely.

“Curry, you have until 9:00 am tomorrow to leave the vicinity. Cheyenne lawmen will not pursue you or make an arrest from now until then. At nine the Marshal Service will begin distributing your new wanted poster to all law enforcement offices, nationwide.”

A brand new wanted poster was laid before him by the marshal standing behind the attorney general with a smug grin. Kid glanced down, read the works and forced himself not to react.

“That’s your copy. Congratulations, Mr. Curry, you are now one of the most wanted men not only in the West but the country. Do you have any questions before we conclude this interview?”

Kid couldn’t think of a single question at the moment.

~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~

Heyes and Lom were waiting in the hall when Kid exited the office and met him with huge smiles and much backslapping.

“We did it Kid! We finally earned our amnesty. I told you to keep the faith. I wish they gave us the news together but what matters is we have amnesty. Thanks, Lom for believing in us.”

The bastards, they didn’t tell him. They left it to me, rub more salt in the wound. Kid plastered the best fake smile he could manage, grabbed Heyes by the arm and started to drag him down the corridor.

“Not now, not here. We can talk and celebrate back in the hotel.”

~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~

The three seemingly exuberant men entered the partners’ room. Kid threw his suit jacket on a chair, parted the curtains and instinctively drew back upon spotting a deputy marshal watching the hotel from across the street. Lom strode over to the table under the window, removed the bottle from the ice bucket and announced “Have some champagne. I ordered the finest the hotel had to offer. You deserve it.” The cork was popped, the bubbly poured, and glasses distributed. Lom raised his glass, “Congratulations on your amnesty and may you both have successful long futures.”

Heyes beamed and added, “To us” as he clinked his glass with Lom’s then turned to his cousin, best friend, and partner.

Curry, his stomach in knots, his mind numb, and his heart being squeezed couldn’t maintain the charade any longer, “To Heyes. Congratulations on your amnesty.”

“To Heyes? What do you mean on your amnesty? Not us?” Heyes abruptly dropped his arm. Lom sputtered on his champagne and both men stared blankly at Kid.

The blond still outlaw deliberately placed his untouched glass of the traditional celebratory libation on the dresser. He turned towards the bureau, fingered his saddle bags laying on the top, and raised his eyes to the mirror. Curry couldn’t look his partner or his good friend in the eye, couldn’t bear to witness the devastation that he knew would be reflected as he informed them of his deal. It was bad enough that his voice shook as the strong emotions he’d been holding in threatened to overwhelm him.

“No, not us. There is no amnesty for the Fastest Gun in the West. There will never be amnesty for Kid Curry. I’m still wanted and always will be.”

“Kid, no…no…that can’t be…” Heyes murmured then spun to pin Lom Trevors with a penetrating stare.

Lom held up both hands, palms outward and sincerely stated, “I swear I had no idea. That wasn’t what I was told. I…”

“I know Lom. It was the reason they gave me for why I wasn’t arrested on the spot. I have until 9 in the morning to get as far away from Cheyenne as possible. Of course, I’m fair game for anyone else who recognizes me.” Kid turned to finally face Heyes and quietly stated with bitterness apparent, “I’ve said all along that you would make it but I would not. That maybe it would be better if we split up. Well now there’s no maybe about it, partner. It’s time to stand alone and follow our different trails.”

Lom glanced from one partner to the other. He had no words, nothing to offer, and a profound sadness settled in the room. The sheriff sighed, “I’ll let you two have time in private. I’ll be in my room. Kid don’t leave without giving me a chance to say good bye. I’m sorry, it isn’t fair and it isn’t right.” Lom left the room, closing the door softly behind him.

Curry sprang into action, better to keep busy, keep his mind off what was happening, of what losing his only kin, his best friend, his biggest supporter, and the only person he truly trusted meant. He stripped off his good clothes, leaving them in a heap by the side of the dresser. He donned his familiar trail attire and proceeded to stuff his remaining belongings in his saddle bags. Kid dodged his agitatedly pacing partner to retrieve his gun belt from the bedpost.

“What will you do? Where will you go? How will I know how to reach you? Through Lom? When can we see…”

“Heyes stop. You are going to live your life. You’re going to show everyone that you deserved this second chance and make me proud. You are not going to constantly worry about me. I want you to remember the good times. Know that I will always remember you and wish you nothing but the very best. There is no more Heyes and Curry. I know you can’t associate with outlaws. And frankly every bounty hunter and lawman is going to be watching you to lead them to me. Neither one of us can afford to have anything to do with the other anymore. That’s reality.”

“I can’t just turn off a lifetime of relying on you. Kid, I need you.”

“Not anymore. You don’t need a fast gun that is if you keep fully aware of people you play poker against.”

“You’re more than that and you know it.”

“It doesn’t matter ‘cause that’s all that everyone sees or cares about.” Kid shoved his coat on, slammed his hat down on his curls, gathered the saddle bags, and started for the door. He was going to need every minute to the start of the run of his life.

“So, where will you go? What will you do?” Heyes blocked the door. He was getting answers before Curry left the room. There must be some way around this impossible situation, which he could honestly say he never seriously considered.

“Heyes, I’m going to use an alias you’ve never heard of before. You’re not to follow me. You’re not to help me if I’m captured. You will not find me and you are not to look. I’m not going to put anyone I know in jeopardy so I won’t be visiting anyone we both know. I’ll not put Lom into a position of choosing between his doing his job and being a friend so when I say good bye, it’s good bye forever.”

“Kid, please just sit with me a minute or two. This is all so sudden.” Heyes pleaded.

Kid sank to the bed and sat. He gave a heavy sigh, studied his scuffed boots and thought the longer I stay the harder it is to leave. He knew if he stayed Heyes would talk him into something risky for Heyes. He needed to get out as much as he needed to stay.

The younger man struggled to keep his voice steady and matter-of-fact. “I’m going to do what we’ve always done on the run. Move around a lot. Do odd jobs. Try to blend in. Keep my gun in my holster like you tell me to do. Not help the needy since you won’t be there to rescue me when things go wrong. I ‘m not going back to Devil’s Hole that life isn’t for me anymore. I know we always said we should go to Mexico or South America. But I only speak a few phrases of Spanish and I don’t blend in really well south of the border, kinda easily identified as the gringo. Plus, every lawman will be watching for me along the border and the bounty hunters will be combing Mexico once it’s know you’re a free man and I’m wanted without a partner watching my back. You be careful too, we’ve made enough enemies along the way, watch your back for a good long while.”

Heyes sat beside his partner and bumped shoulders. His eyes were becoming dangerously damp. He pulled all the money from his pockets, only keeping his emergency stash in his boot, and shoved the cash into Kid’s hands insisting, “Take it. It will be easier for me to earn more.”

Brown eyes met blue and held for a very long moment.

“Thanks. This will help me go north. I thought Canada. It’s not very populated. They have ranches up there and they speak English.” Kid rose from the bed, stood squarely in front of Heyes, gave him a quick hug before sticking his hand out for the ritual handshake when they split up. Neither man could utter a word through choked throats, nor did they need to; all that was left to be said could be discerned through their eyes.

~~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~

Lom knocked and entered Heyes’ room to find Heyes picking up and holding Curry’s suit jacket. A piece of paper fluttered to the floor.

“What’s that, Heyes?”

The officially ex-outlaw bent and picked up the folder paper, remarking to Lom as he unfolded it, “I don’t know. Musta fell out of Kid’s pocket.” Brown eyes scanned the paper and turned hard with cold dangerous anger and horror.

Lom perceived the sudden change in mood, swiped the paper from Heyes’ hand and started reading aloud, “Wanted. Dead or Alive. Twenty thousand dollar reward for Kid Curry. Age 29 years, 5’11” tall, 165 pounds, medium to dark blond curly hair, blue eyes, small scar under chin, youthful features, medium build. Kid Curry is widely believed to be the Fastest Gun in the West. He is an accurate and deadly marksman, proficient with all firearms. Curry is to be considered armed and dangerous. Notify the nearest law officer. Only approach with extreme caution. Kid Curry is wanted for armed robbery and multiple related crimes. Reward payable upon capture or positive proof of his death. Oh my God! They raised the reward and made a new poster on him.”

“That’s not a wanted poster, Lom. That’s a death warrant.”

~~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~

Eighteen months later

Hannibal Heyes and Lom Trevors loitered in the morning sunshine on the train platform.

“Good to finally see you Heyes, glad you stopped by after hearing about you showing up in Denver, winning that poker tournament in New Orleans, and being spotted in Texas.”

“Well as you said before, I did owe you an apology and explanation for suddenly disappearing the minute you turned your back the night of the amnesty. Especially since I said I wouldn’t.”

“Yeah, I was mighty annoyed and even more worried. It’s good to know you stayed straight and out of trouble.”

“Running the wilderness fishing and hunting camp was keeping me busy. And now the poker winnings will provide the last of the funds to buy it and leave enough to make the improvements I want and put the down payment of the town's small general store. It’s a good quiet life, Lom. I’m happy and settled.”

The train pulled into the station and the two old friends moved out of the way of the departing passengers.

“You never did tell me in what wilderness this camp was in.”

“Nope, I didn’t. Is it important?”

“No, it’s not. Just stay straight, stay happy, and stay safe.”

Heyes brown eyes twinkled.  He shook hands with Lom and boarded the train out of Wyoming and turned on the train step to add a last comment. “I’ll see you again, not sure when, after all, Porterville is a long way from Canada.”

“Canada, eh Heyes. Give my regards to the Kid.” Lom muttered to himself.

Heyes heard but said nothing but an enigmatic smile spread slowly across his face as train pulled way and he waved good-bye.
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Cal

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PostSubject: Re: June 17 - Canada   Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:32 am

Missing scenes…. Smiler with a gun : Canada

---oooOOOooo---

“I don’t care how much your head hurts …You gotta drink as much as you can … And you gotta keep it down.”

“Hurrrr … I’m never drinking again … Not like that … That smiling snake... He must have…”

“Less talking …more drinking …Thaddeus… You too Seth…”

“Boys… I don’t think I should be going with you… I got plenty of water right here… and I ain’t exactly on the skinny side… I could hold out … fer maybe… a week… even two… You boys will have a much better chance of crossing that dessert… without me… I’ll slow you down……. Yer know I’m right.“

“No.”

“No.”

“No?”

“No … Seth…we’ve already discussed it… You’d starve… just like it was planned… There’s no choice fer any of us… We all gotta go… and that’s all there is to it... Now drink your fill … and fill that jar… “

---oooOOOooo---

Somewhere in a hot desert

“Canada?”

“Yeah… Canada…  When I’ve killed Bilson …and you got your amnesty… I figure … I’m going to Canada.”

“Canada? ……. Kid? …. Do you know how cold it is … in Canada?”

“Yep ...real cold… freezing … just how I like it!”

“You near died… in Clarence’s cabin … of pneumoni’… Remember?... And you want to go to Canada?”

“Yep … Do you remember …. Long Quin?”

“Yeah … I remember Long Quin… Mad Indian fella… used to run around at the Hole stripped to the waist in Winter …telling us… how it was like summer back where he come from… when it was cold enough t’ freeze spit!“

“Well … He told me about this one time… a ‘Wegian came to the tribe … and got ‘em all lined up …out on the ice … set ‘em to cutting blocks…. You know like fishing holes.”

“Blocks of ice?”

“Yeah ice … Great big freezing blocks of it … hauled it up onto wagons with hooks.”

“Well … What did this ‘Wegian… ? … Is that like a Glaswegian? … like Mac?”

“No … Norwegian… I think … Well …it was one of them ‘Wegian countries… where they got a lot of ice… He got the whole tribe out on the ice… cutting big cold blocks… and wrapping it up in skins … and shipping it back East…. Imagine that… A whole wagon train of ice.”

“What did they want ...with it ...back East?”

“Well … Long Quin said …they used it … in the theatres… to keep the ladies cool…. On hot days.”

“Big blocks of ice… huh…. In Theatres… fer hot ladies?  Long Quin said that…huh?”

“He did… he did…. Cold wet ice… that would do it… that would cool you down.”

“Sure would Kid… We better wake Seth… I’m feeling cooler already…”

“Yeah… Come on…”

---oooOOOooo---

The next night after a very hot day

“Kid? …. Kid?  ...”

“Yeah … what?   ….   ”

“I don’t want the amnesty ...  I don’ wan’ it.”

“Huh? … Y’ gotta Heyes… coz … I’m gonna kill...”

“I know… I know … I’m gonna help … I’m gonna help … kill Bilson… Canada’s looking real good to me now… col’… ‘n’ ice… ‘n’ …snow…”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah… I like the sound … of the ice best… Did Long Quin tell you …anythin’ else …you know …we should know… ‘fore we go to Canada?”

“Erm…. Well… …. Yeah … yeah… He said it was real white… snow everywhere… …. …. …and you can use … frozen rivers… as roads… you just keep walking …”

“Ice roads? … I … I … like the sound of that… ice roads …”

“Yeah …. … …And when you're thirsty … just put snow in your mouth…. Haaa..”

“Seth? … Seth?… time to move again … come on… get …your… skates on… hehe…”

“Awwww… Heh..  Heh… Heyes… pass the warm water …will yer…”

“Nearly all gone…. It ain’t gonna last much longer…”

“Mmmmm … Will he... d’ yer think?”

---oooOOOooo----
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sistergrace

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PostSubject: Re: June 17 - Canada   Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:03 am

A salute to Canada, with acknowledgements and apologies to Wikipedia for my slightly over-simplified use of their facts.  

Grateful Kudos to the talented writers on this forum who are the unrivaled ACES of writing only in dialog. May this humble attempt at imitation be considered my sincerest form of appreciation.



“Canada.  Says here, ‘pronounced kanada.’”

“Ya think?  No offense, Heyes, but that story you’re readin’ is seriously lackin’ in plot.  How much you pay for that old book, anyways?”

“Not a dime, Kid.  Swiped it from a dresser drawer in that hotel back in Calgary.  But it’s not a story.  It’s the historical record of Canada’s Territories leading up to the Canadian Confederation.”

“Fascinating.”

“That’s when the British Colonies - Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick were united into one Dominion of Canada.”

“Do tell.”

“Hey, did you know that Canada's border with the United States is the world's longest binational land border?”

“That’s nice.”

“And that the majority of the country has a cold or severely cold winter climate, but southerly areas are warm in summer!”

“Again, YA THINK?!  Let me see that thing.”

“Sheesh! You didn’t need to grab it out of my hands.  If you wanted to read you could have asked me nicely and I would have…”

“Ha!  Finally, a shred of useful information!”

“For your ‘information’ I find every word written there riveting.”

“Uh-huh…well, today is June 30, which makes tomorrow, July 1st!”

“I been reading calendars for quite some time now, Kid.  What’s your point?”

“Your book says this Canadian Confederation thing happened on July 1, 1867!”

“Well I'll be.  So Canada will be a whole twenty years old tomorrow.”

“Right, and you know what that means.  And here, you can have this thing back.”

“Thanks.  But no, I don’t know what that means.  Hey!  Why are you turning around?”

“It means we’re headin’ back to Calgary!  Tomorrow bein’ July 1st and all, you know the townfolk will be plannin’ a celebration.  And you KNOW what a good old-fashioned Canadian celebration means.”

“No, but I’m sure you’re about to tell me.”

“Saskatoon Pie!”

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Penski
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PostSubject: Re: June 17 - Canada   Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:16 pm

July 2017 - Canada


Kid Curry pulled his hat down further and his sheepskin collar up higher.  “Sure is cold for early June.”

Heyes shivered.  “I don’t doubt we’re in Canada.  That posse sure was persistent.”

“You got that right.  Who says folks from Montana are friendly?”

“Twenty thousand dollars can make even the friendliest folks our enemies, Kid.”

The partners rode side by side on the trail east of the Rocky Mountains.

“So how far north are we goin’?”

Heyes rubbed his chin.  “I’m thinking we should stay up here for a few weeks until things cool off for us back in the States.”

“Well, it’s cool enough for us now.”  A shiver seemed to punctuate the Kid’s words.

“It’s gettin’ close to sunset.  We should find a place to camp for the night.”

Curry looked around.  “Over there’s some trees.  Looks like as good of a place as any.”

“Let’s go check it out.”  Heyes encouraged his horse into a lope and Curry followed.


~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Heyes and the Kid were finishing dinner and sipping coffee when Curry sat up alert and removed the safety, freeing his gun.  “Someone’s headin’ this way.”

“Where?” Heyes asked as he looked around, his hand near his holster.

The Kid nodded towards the creek.

“Hello!” came a voice from afar.  “Don’t mean to startle you boys.  Just wonderin’ if you had a drink for a fellow man.”

The partners looked at each other and nodded.

“Sure, come on in.” Heyes invited.  “We have a few spoonfuls of beans left over, too.”

A large older man wearing a cape made of grizzly skin with the head of the bear as a hat came forward into the light of the fire.  “I thank you for the offer.  Folks call me Grizzly George.”

“I’m Joshua Smith.”  Heyes shook hands with the man.

“Thaddeus Jones.”  Curry held out a hand and shook, too.

“Smith and Jones, huh?”

“There’s plenty of folks named Smith and Jones and we just happen to be two of them,” Heyes said curt.

“Sorry, didn’t mean to offend you.  Heck, I wouldn’t care if you were Jesse and Frank James or Heyes and Curry, as long as you’re willin’ to share your food.”

Heyes and the Kid quickly shared a look while one dished up the rest of the beans and the other poured some coffee.

George took the proffered food and drink before sitting down.  “So, what brings you boys up here?”

The Kid glanced at Heyes.  “We’re heading up to Moose Jaw.”

“Well, you better be heading more east than up if you’re goin’ to Moose Jaw.”

“Are you from this area?” Heyes asked.

“Me?  No, I roam all over the Rockies, usually stayin’ up north of Montana.  I’m headin’ into Fort Whoop Up… I mean Fort Hamilton to trade some furs.”

“Fort Whoop Up?”

Grizzly George smiled.  “It was a whiskey tradin’ post that traded buffalo skins.  My, were those the days!  The Mounties took it over in late ’74 and stopped the whiskey and rifle tradin’.  They changed the name to Fort Hamilton and ruined all the fun.”  George stopped to spoon some beans in his mouth.  “What do you two do?”

“Oh, a little of this…”

“And a little of that,” Heyes finished the sentence.  “Jobs are tough to come by since the war.”

“That’s what I hear.  I like it up here, far away from people.  Came up here when the war was startin’ to get away from it.  Just me.  Like it that way.”

“Don’t you miss havin’ someone around?”

“Nah, I’m my own best company.  Why, I talk to myself and have great discussions.  Read a lot, too.”

“I know somebody like that.”  The Kid smiled when he got a look from Heyes.

“No family, George?” Heyes asked, turning the subject back to the mountain man.

“Nope.”

“How did you get that grizzly cape?”  The Kid poured everyone more coffee.

“Well now, that’s a story.”

“I thought it might be.  Go on.”  Curry pulled out a bottle of whiskey and laced each coffee a little.

George took a sip.  “Ahh… Now that’s what I call good coffee.  Well, it wasn’t too far from here.  Lots of grizzlies in the area, by the way, so be careful.  Your horses will let you know if one’s near.  I was catchin’ some fish when the bear decided he wanted my catch.  You let him have it, by the way.  Anyway, he decided he wanted more than my fish so I pulled out my rifle.  Took a few slugs to stop him.  I knew there were some Blackfeet in the area so told them about the bear meat.  I just wanted the skins to stay warm.”  The mountain man laughed.  “I’ve been Grizzly George since.”  He stood up and stretched.  “Well, it’s gettin’ late and I should get goin’.  I thank you for sharin’ your food and drink.”

“Are you sure you don’t want to stay and share our fire tonight?” the Kid asked.

“Nah.  I snore loud to keep the bear away.  It’d just keep you two boys up.”

“If you’re sure…”  Heyes stood up.

“Yeah, I talked your ear off long enough.  Now head east tomorrow and just a tad north to get to Moose Jaw.  Watch for bears and the Mounties.  Both are lookin’ for men.”

“Thanks for the warning.”

“Remember, horses will let you know if there’s a bear in the area.”  Grizzly George started walking away.  “Bye now.”

“Bye.”  Heyes and Curry chorused in unison.

“Now that was a friendly man,” Heyes stated as he sat again.

“Yep, I never thought I’d meet someone who talked more than you, Heyes.”  Curry chuckled.


~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The next morning Heyes and Kid Curry started down the trail again.

“Are we goin’ to Moose Jaw?” the Kid asked.

“Well, you did tell Grizzly George we were so I guess we should.”  Heyes looked over to his partner.  “How did you hear about Moose Jaw?”

“I saw it as a destination at a train depot and liked the name.  Who’d name their town Moose Jaw?”

The horses became restless and snorted.

“Whoa, boy!”  The Kid pulled his reins to control his gelding.

Heyes patted his mare’s neck.  “It’s okay.”

“You don’t think it’s a bear, do you?”

“That’s what Grizzly George said and he should know.”

Both men pulled their rifles out of their sheaths.

Heyes cocked his head.  “Did you hear that?”

“Yeah, it sounded like someone’s hurt.”  Curry looked around.  “This way.”

The two former outlaws cautiously went towards the faint cry they heard.  They rounded a bend and saw a man in the bushes.

“Grizzly George!”  Heyes jumped down from his horse and hurried to his side.

“Is he…”  Curry came up beside Heyes and winced.  “Looks like a grizzly got him.”

“It sure does,” Heyes agreed.

“Whiskey?” George whispered.

“Sure!  I’ll get it.”  The Kid turned and went back to the horses.

Heyes sat on his haunches near the mangled mountain man.  “Thaddeus is getting it, George.”

“Big… da… grizz…”

“Here you go.”  Curry handed the bottle to Heyes.

Heyes shook his head.  “He’s gone.”  He opened the bottle and took a swig before handling to back.

Curry took a swallow before corking the bottle.  “Heck of a way to go.”

“Yeah.”

Heyes and Curry dug a shallow grave, rapped the mountain man in his grizzly cape, and buried him.

“Feel like we should tell someone.”  Curry wiped his brow.

“Who?  He said he didn’t have anyone.”  Heyes stared straight ahead.

“No one would have even known if we hadn’t heard him.”

“Nope.”

“What a lonely life.”

“Yep, but he liked it that way.”

“Heyes.”

“Hmm…”

“I’m glad I have a partner – someone to watch my back and care if I die.”

Heyes looked over to the Kid.  “Me, too.”


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