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 Aug 17 - Up on the Roof

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Calico

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PostSubject: Aug 17 - Up on the Roof   Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:31 am

Hello ladies all,

Not exactly late yet... though skirting the edge.

I currently have the mesters in doing work - I have no tiles on roof at moment, just tarpaulin.

SO

Put either your metaphorical hats on ... or, if you are feeling literal, hand the boys a hammer and re-watch 'Last Exit...' as you ponder:


Up On The Roof cattail





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WichitaRed
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PostSubject: Re: Aug 17 - Up on the Roof   Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:55 pm

Destiny's Cycle #12...saw the challenge and "bam" this one hit me like falling off a roof.

It was a tired, dirt covered pair of outlaws that signaled the Devil’s Hole Pass as they entered. Yet, when they neared look out rock, a lanky man in a stained, deerskin, fringe shirt brandishing a Sharps rifle, barked, “What is your business here, outsiders are frowned on?”

Whoaing their horses, the pair of outlaw leaders turned their heads in unison, both brows furrowed over narrow eyes. Several sharp replies came to Hannibal Heyes’ mind, but before he could choose one, Kid Curry said, “Ledford, what are you doing here?”

The man must have been Ledford, because he stepped closer to the edge, and squinted at them, with an unsure look.
Shaking his head, Curry asked, “How can they have you on look out, when you can’t make out anything that is more than a few rods from you?”

A frown creased Ledford’s face, accenting how underfed he was, “Who the hell are you?”

“Exactly my point.” Curry replied, pushing his hat, so it fell down his back, to dangle on its stampede strings. “Kid Curry.”

“Oh!” came the sharp, surprised exclamation, the frown disappearing. “Well, hello, Kid, long time no see. Suppose that ‘d be Heyes with you?”

“It is on both accounts.” Curry looked to his partner and under his breath, said, “Sam Ledford, met him when we were riding on our own.”

Heyes nodded, looking up at the man, “You really as blind as Kid says?”

“See right fine, up close and face to face.”

“So, who put you on look out?”

“Wheat, he says, we is all to have our turn out here on the rock.”

Heyes’ mouth quirked, the dimple appearing, and throwing the scornful look his partner’s way, he growled, “and, you said he’d be fine to leave in charge.” Kicking his horse, he tugged the three extra ponies after him.

“Good to see you and I expect there will be a replacement for you, out here, right soon.” Curry called to the look out guard, gigging his horse after his partner.

Coming up the hill and around the bend, the Devil’s Hole came into sight, despite his anger, Heyes smiled, ‘feels good to be home.’

First member of his gang, he came across was Kyle, “Howdee Heyes! Mighty good to see you. Is…” the scruffy, small built man, leaned out looking behind his leader, “yup, there is, Kid.”

“Good to see you, too, Kyle,” Heyes replied, undallying the horses from his saddle horn. “Would you see to this line?”

“Whoo wee, that sure is a pretty lil’ speckled gray.”

“You can have her, she and I are not on the best of terms.”

“Why’s that?”

“Another time.” Heyes grunted, taking off his hat and shaking his bangs back, returning the battered, black hat to his head, and when he looked to Kyle, his eyes held fierceness, “Where’s Wheat?”

Shifting, Kyle watched the dust he stirred up, “Wheat in trouble?”

Through gritted teeth, Heyes growled, “Where is he?”

Kyle gulped and then quickly spit a stream of tobacco juice, “Ya only just got back.”

“I comprehend that Kyle, now where is Wheat!?”

Turning toward the hideout, the smallest member of the gang, pointed to the bunkhouse, “He, Hank, and Lobo is repairin’ shingles.”

Flicking his reins across his bay’s rump, the horse took off with a snort, galloping straight to the end of the bunkhouse, Heyes kicked the ladder leaning there to the ground.

Hearing the clatter, Wheat’s head snapped up, “Hank, go see what’s happenin’?”

“I’d rather speak to you, Wheat Carlson.” Heyes hollered, pulling his Schofield and releasing a shot in the air, that cracked and echoed off the surrounding valley. “Really, I’d like to see all your shining faces.”

Curry pulled up, a little back from his partner and with a sigh, removed his right glove, situating himself easy and ready in the saddle.

Preacher, Merkle, Kane, and Harper came up from the garden patch Preacher kept. Red and Olly emerged from the stable, Kyle meandered closer, Carl and Hardcase walked in from the creek, while a paunchy, dark haired, older man appeared in the bunkhouse door holding a broom with Hoyle just behind him. And, of course, Wheat, Lobo, and Hank peered down from where they stood up on the roof.

Curry’s eyes moved across the men, keeping count, “Where is Shields and Monahan?”

Pushing past the new, unknown gang member, Hoyle said, “They went to town.”

“What’s this all about, Heyes?” Wheat demanded,going to hook his thumbs on his holster and when he missed, he frowned; his eyes flicking to the broken tree limb his, Hank, and Lobo’s holsters were hooked on, by the corner of the roof.

“I left you in charge, ‘cause you’re always bragging on how smart you are.”

Wheat’s chest started to expand like a Banty rooster, but with a twitch of his mustache it deflated, “I’m takin’ you ain’t complimenting me.”

“No, I ain’t! What kind of addle brain leaves a blind man on guard?”

Wheat looked to Lobo, who shrugged and looked to Hank, who stammered, “Ledford’s blind?”

Coming closer, Kyle put in, “I ain’t seen ‘em run into nuthin’, he sure does well for a blind man.”

“Kyle, don’t help!” Heyes snapped. “He can’t see distance.”

Wheat replied, “he saw well enough to let you and Kid in.”

Scrunching his shoulders, Heyes moved to jerk off his hat, and feeling the weight of his revolver still in his hand, he raised it toward Wheat.

The three men’s faces, up on the roof, blanched, Hank and Lobo edging further from Wheat as he yelped, “Here now, Heyes, we ain’t ARMED!”

“I realize that and I wouldn’t shoot you, Wheat… well, maybe...no, I wouldn’t shoot you. But, if you weren’t up there, I swear, I sure as hell would use the butt of this Schofield to flatten you.”

Wheat swallowed hard, his Adams’ apple, visibly moving, “Why you so upset?”

“Explain it to him, Kid?” Heyes replied, shoving the Schofield in his holster and swinging down from the bay.

“Think you’re doing fine, partner.”

“Thanks, Kid.”

In a clipped, cheerful tone, Curry responded, “you’re welcome.” Both the tone and the wide smile were not lost on his partner, each of them doing their job of rankling Heyes a bit more.

“Wheat the prime task of a leader…” Heyes spread out his hands, gesturing to the men around them, “is to watch over his men, to guard them from harm and you…you assigned a man who can’t see distance to look out. How in
Hades is he to do this, when he can’t tell a posse from deer passing through…if he can even see that much?”

Wheat ran a hand down his sweaty, shirt front, “I see the problem now.”

Heyes snapped, “You do?!” Spreading his legs, he planted his hands on his hips, “Do you really?!?!”

“Yes.”

“What I see, is that I made a poor choice leaving you in charge during my absence.” Heyes muttered, snagging his horse’s reins and turning toward the stable yard. “Olly, go relieve Ledford.”

“Uhm, Heyes, the ladder.”

Flinging a look back, Heyes snarled,  “use your so called smarts to get you down.” His dark eyes scanned across the men on the ground, “and, that don’t include any of you assisting.” His smile appeared, a bit sinister as it grew larger, “A leader ought to be able to get himself out of a difficulty.” His gaze settling on Wheat, he coldly stated, “Let’s see you lead Hank and Lobo down.”

With a shake of his head, Curry swung his horse after Heyes, and when he got close, hopped down, “how you going to be sure, he doesn’t get…” Curry peeked toward Kyle staring up at Wheat, “….or any of the others to help him.”

The muscles around Heyes’ eyes tightened, “I don’t, that is why you’re going to watch them.”

“Me?”

Heyes nodded, walking on to the stables.

Pacing him, Curry leaned in asking, “Why me?”

“Because your head of security.”

Curry’s teeth ran quick across his lower lip, “you aren’t still holding that river crossing against me?”

“If I recall, I did say, we could cross further up and avoid the water.”

“I was right, it wasn’t that deep.”

Heyes eyes slid snakelike to his cousin, “you best keep that laughter I see on your face… inside.”

“That water didn’t hurt you none.”

“Says the man who crossed without a problem.” Heyes answered and with a snort, glanced toward the gray mare standing with one leg hitched up, relaxed. “Damn mare twisted round faster than one of them Wichita Can Can dancers and before I could snag her up, she was down, and rolling in the water like a fat pig.”

A snorting laugh burst past Curry’s lips, but seeing the look on this cousin’s face, he swallowed it, “think you might be, in a worse mood than before I suggested we take some time off.”

“Can’t imagine why.” Heyes started walking again, “Had myself a swell time in Kansas.” Flipping his reins around a paddock fence pole, he set to unsaddling his horse. “And, you can also speak with Ledford and that other new one….figure out if they are worth keeping or not.” Throwing his saddle on the fence, he removed his saddle bags, turning toward the leader’s cabin.

“While I am doing all this, what are you going to do?”

“Find myself some peace and quiet.

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Cal

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PostSubject: Up on the roof   Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:23 am

Of all the Towns

Challenge... Up on the Roof

Heyes’ mare danced in front of the way marker.  He had trouble keeping her there, obscuring the sign, as he only had use of his left hand.

His right arm was strapped heavily across his chest, under his blue grey winter coat, immobile and thankfully no longer giving him too much trouble.  Kid had pulled the shoulder back into some sort of order, but they both knew Heyes needed to see a doctor, and quick. What were the chances a tree would drop a limb like that, just as they were passing underneath it.  Luckily for Heyes, his younger cousin had a way of staying calm and dealing with stuff, even when having obscenities hurled at him by a less than grateful partner.

‘Geez, it had hurt.’

Heyes had passed out for a while and woke to the breath-constricting hug of heavy bandaging and the insistent nag from Kid to try wriggle his fingers.  All fingers wriggled on command, and now the arm and shoulder felt comfortably numb. Still, they needed to find a town and a doctor before nightfall, and he’d been so pleased to see the way marker up ahead, he’d pushed on to read it.

“Five miles… that way.  Lesbastion? Never heard of it… quite small… Hopefully too small for a jailhouse… I need a drink …and a bed… Need to get this arm looked at…”

Heyes didn’t leave any gaps for comment, he pointed the way and encouraged Kid to pass him and take the lead.

Kid slowed, giving his partner a long cool look, from the mud-spattered boot heels to the battered black hat pushed right to the back of Heyes’ head.  He said nothing, not even slowing as he passed the dancing mare, and walked his big black gelding on down the road.

He could read his partner like a book.  He didn’t have to look back to see the devilish grin he knew would be on his cousin’s face.  

Heyes jogged alongside and managed to tone down the grin to a warm smile.

“Lesbastion… sounds like a real peaceable town” he said, quickening his mare’s pace a little.

“Think I’ll take me a look at that sign” said Kid suddenly, flashing his horse around on a dime, and jogging back to the way marker.

Heyes’ shoulders dropped, and the smile slid off his face into the dirt.

“HEYES!”

Heyes’ eyes shut, he didn’t turn.  He already knew what the sign said, but he really did have need of a doctor and a bed for the night; a real one, not just a bed roll on hard ground.  Now he’d stopped to think about his arm, it was starting to trouble him again.

“HEYES? DID YOU SEE WHAT IT SAYS HERE?”

Heyes rolled his eyes skywards lip syncing the words of the sign as Kid read aloud.

“BY TOWN ORDA…NANCE, SUBJECT TO THE MAYOR’S WISHES, ALL ARM…OUR…MENTS MUST BE SUR…RENDED AT THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE ON ENTERING THE TOWN AND MAY BE RE…DEEMED UPON LEAVING.  WE ARE PROUD TO DECLARE LES…BAS…TION A NO GUN TOWN.”

Kid’s head shook from side to side, his mouth hanging open in wonder.

“A NO GUN town?  Is that even …a THING? Can you believe that?  …. HEYES?.... Can you believe THAT????”

Heyes sat his mare, quietly studying his hand as it rested on the saddle horn in front of him. A dull ache was setting into his strapped arm, and he could have sworn someone was trying to take a bullet out of his shoulder with a rusty can opener.

He breathed slowly.  There really wasn’t anything he could say to Kid, that the Kid would listen to.

Kid came back along the road to join him.  A predictable rant issued forth mostly about needing to move on to the next town.  Heyes must have been doing a much better job of hiding his discomfort up until now, than even he thought, because when Kid got up close enough to look Heyes in the face, he stopped abruptly, mid rant.

Heyes saw the blue eyes dart around and close slightly.  He watched Kid pull his slicker out of his pack and start unbuckling his rig.

“What you doing now?” he asked quietly.

Of course, he already knew the answer.

“You gotta get yourself to a doctor… now Heyes… So, take off your rig… I’ll hang back … come in to town after dark… I’ll get our guns hid real good… up on the Hotel roof like last time…”

Heyes almost laughed but shook his head. Kid had a good memory.  

They had tried that, a long time ago now, in Utah, in a no drinking, no cussing, no shooting town called Ecclesiastes.  Kid’s memory wasn’t that good perhaps.  It didn’t end well.  It’s hard to go get your guns when you have to leave town in an awful hurry, if you have to scale a three-storey building just to do it.

‘Guess them guns are still up there.’  Heyes chuckled to himself.

“No… no Kid… This time we’re gonna ride right into town… just like the law abiding, honest citizens we are… and ride right on up to the Sheriff’s office and hand in our hardware … Like a pair of Texas rangers!…”

He raised his good hand to stop the tirade, promising to burst from Kid, in its tracks.

“… AND… we’re gonna smile while we’re doing it… just like ...no outlaws ever would… then… we’ll get us a room… and you can go get me a doctor…”

He winced, cupping his sore shoulder.

Kid’s face was stony.  If he had any arguments, they died on his tongue with that wince, just as Heyes’ had known they would.  

Heyes watched as Kid’s lips moved in silent cussing.  The gun belt was re-buckled and tied, the slicker stowed, and the gelding pushed to a slow canter towards Lesbastion without another word.

Heyes followed, slowly, holding his arm tight against every bump in the trail.

---oooOOOooo---

I think this is going to be a longer story... in my head I've already met the sheriff and the Mayor... and Kid's had a nekkid rant... you know what I mean.... AND Heyes has a cunning plan.... guess I need to write some notes....quick!
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