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 April 18 The Bonnet

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Join date : 2012-04-22
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Location : Birmingham

PostSubject: April 18 The Bonnet   Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:23 am

Sorry sorry sorry

I thought the first was on Monday not on Sunday...
Of course I found out yesterday I was out a day, but I was hostessing all day... (Breakfast out, board games, very nice lamb casserole and hot cross bun bread and butter pudding... BBC Agatha Christie in evening. Basically Boxing Day three months on :)

With a tangential Easter connection ... and in hono(u)r of various parades both sides of the herring pond.

Please spruce up your favourite Mary Sue and put her into:

The Bonnet.

(Whaddya mean - difficult? Get typing!)

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Location : Devil's Hole

PostSubject: Re: April 18 The Bonnet   Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:10 am

“What are you doing?”  Hannibal Heyes stepped into the cabin at Devil’s Hole and hung his hat on a rack near the door.  

At the kitchen table sat Kyle Murtry, deep in concentration.  “I’m busy.”

“I can see that.”  Heyes pulled up a chair next to his best dynamite man.  “Busy with what?”

“Fixin’ this thing we picked up on our last train job.”  Kyle kept his eyes on his work as he spoke.  He sifted through a bowl of round metal pegs, each labeled with a letter, and from time to time he paused to affix one of them to an empty place on the contraption in front of him.

“How come you took the keys off?”

Kyle met his boss’s eyes.  “I took ‘em off to fix this here…what-cha-call-it.”


“Yup.  That.”

“What was wrong with it?”

“The letters was all mixed up.  Somebody put the Q way up top, ‘stead of the A.  And the Z is on the bottom, but way to the wrong side.  And every letter in between A and Z is a jumble.  Sheesh!  Whoever did this must’ve been a real ignoramus!”

Heyes looked at the typewriter’s newly configured keyboard.  “Uh-huh.”  He rolled his eyes.  “What are you planning to do with the typewriter once you get it ‘fixed’?”

“Gonna print up your bank-robbin’ plans just like they do for Army schedules.”

Heyes rubbed his chin, surprised that Murtry’s idea had merit, even though the current state of its execution left something to be desired.  “You know, Kyle, crazy as it may sound, the letters on a typewriter don’t belong in alphabetical order.  They go like this—Q W E R T Y…”  Heyes continued work side-by-side with Kyle, un-rearranging the keys, until the job was complete.  

“Now..." Heyes loaded of a piece of paper into the typewriter’s roller.  “I’ll tell you the teams for next week’s job and you type out what I say.”

“Sure thing, Heyes!”  Kyle beamed from ear to ear and situated himself in front of the machine.

“Team One – Lookout,” Heyes said.

“Team one lookouy…Oops,” Kyle muttered.  “Hit the Y ‘stead of the T.  You got another piece of paper?”


Some time later, Kid Curry entered the room and stood behind Kyle, reading as Kyle pecked away.  “Heyes,” he said quietly, interrupting Heyes’ dictation.  “Before you get much further, you might wanna take a look at this.”

Heyes stopped short, quit his pacing, and crossed the room to stand beside Curry.  “What is this?  teamonelookouy… Kyle, why didn’t you space between the words?”  He read further.  “And capitalize the first letters of folks’ names?”  

Kyle spoke up in his own defense.  “I know to capitalize the first letter of folks’ names when I’m writin’, but I got no clue how to capitalize ‘em on this here rig.”

“Typewriter,” corrected the Kid.

“That’s what Heyes said,” Kyle admitted.  “The letters on the pegs all look like capitals, but they ain’t comin’ out that way when I push on ‘em.  And far as spacin’ betwixt words, I got no idee how to do that neither.”

“What is this?” Heyes huffed, pointing to a line in the center of the page.

“You said you wanted the new kid right next to you and the Kid this job, so’s you two could keep a close eye on him.  I printed it just like you said, Heyes, see?”  Kyle pointed to the line in question – “heyesthenewkidbillythekid.”

“Billy the Kid?” Curry asked, dubiously.  

“Not Billy the Kid,” Kyle said, shaking his head.  “Billy, the new kid.  The Kid is you.”

“I know I’m the Kid,” said the Kid, his frustration beginning to show.  “Kyle, if you didn’t know how to type, how come you didn’t say somethin’ to Heyes?”

Kyle swallowed.  “’Cause Heyes never asked if I knew HOW to type, just told me to do it.”  He raised his eyes to meet Curry’s.  “An’ you’re the one always sayin’ we need to do whatever Heyes tells us.”

Heyes sighed and ran his hand through his hair.  “How about if we start over?”

Kyle settled down at the typewriter again, with Heyes at his side this time.  

“This here is the space bar.”  Heyes demonstrated.  “And you hold down this key, or this one, in order to capitalize a letter,” Heyes continued.  “And when you’re making a list, you separate each name with a comma.  Oh, one more thing, Kyle.”

“What’s that?” Kyle asked.

“How about if we just call the new kid by his rightful name?”

“You got it, Heyes.”  Kyle typed on – Heyes, the Kid, William H. Bonnet.  “Dang!  Ya know, they put the T and the Y are way too close together on this thing, Heyes.”

Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.
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PostSubject: The Bonnet   Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:41 pm

The Well Revisited

The early rays of the sun had just crested the distant mountains.  The woman standing on the porch sighed softly.  She enjoyed this time of the day.  It was quiet and cool.  She knew there would be much activity and heat before her day would again end this way.

She had shooed the last of the cowboys out of the cantina not long before dawn.  It had been a Saturday night, as well as payday.  She knew she should not complain, as she was certain the saloon had ended up with a good portion of most of the cowboys’ monthly pay.  If not, her hotel, café, or livery had.

The only business she had sold off, when she had bought them all from Ed, was the brothel.  She had spent too many years as a working girl to want to be a madam.  Maisy, who now ran the local place down the street, told her she we missing a good source of income, but Rosie just smiled, and let her corner the market on those services.  Rosie had thought to buy the mercantile, with her profits from her other businesses, but too many of the locals remembered the days she worked for Ed, so she let that one go to a man named Bohl who had moved in from Indiana.

With the stage coach coming through regularly, and rumors of the train coming this way, she made more than enough money, with the hotel and café, than she and Alice would ever need.  She stretched and smiled.  Alice was the light of her life.  She would be up soon to share breakfast with Rosie, before they both went off to church.  She laughed silently as she walked down the steps and over to the old well.  The old biddies in town, and the young prissies who’ve since moved here, might turn up their noses at her, with her background, but they were ever kind to Alice.  Rosie hoped by the time Alice was grown, few would remember that she had once worked in the cantina, rather than owning it.

She had convinced the town to lay a sewer system, so she now had running water in her businesses, and no longer needed to come to the well each day, as she did years ago.  Still, she made the walk nearly every day at dawn and dusk, to clear her mind, and stir fond memories with a smile.

The Devil’s Hole gang had not been frequent visitors to her town, but they had stopped by, when they were down this way.  Back in those days, when the town was not so settled, everyone was happy for the money that flowed during those visits.  In a perverse way, they also accomplished a goal of the few back then who had wanted the town more settled.  When it became known that the Devil’s Hole gang occasionally stopped by, a few of the rougher gangs were encouraged to find somewhere else to hurrah.  Heyes and Curry and their boys enjoyed a good time but did not put up with stupidity.  Ed complained about losing money, until Rosie reminded him how much the Devil’s Hole gang would spend, compared to some of the less successful gangs.  Ed decided to be happy with the money that did come to him.

It was a cool day the next time the boys from the Hole rode in.  It was getting on towards winter, and the blistering heat was gone.  Rosie shivered in the morning cold.  She had come out in a woolen shawl rather than one her usual silk creations.  Her ears were cold as the desert wind swirled around the town square.  She sometimes wished for a bonnet, as some of the more respectable women in town wore, but just shook her head.  She would not use it much, so she just pulled the shawl over her head as she arrived at the well.

She had just pulled up a bucketful of water, when she heard the thunder of approaching hooves.  She glanced up as she poured the water in her jar.  It sounded like a large number of horses.  Rosie was still deciding whether it would be wiser to run back to the cantina, or just hold her ground.  Lily had been attacked by the Dorset gang, as they had stopped by the well on their way into town.  Rosie had never seen Ed so mad.  He said, it was one thing if one of the girls was roughed up while doing her job at the cantina and getting paid.  It was another thing if she was attacked by an entire gang.

As the riders came out of the rising sun, Rosie let out her breath and relaxed.  This group of men was led by Hannibal Heyes, with the Kid bringing up the rear.  Heyes paused to stop by the well, when he saw Rosie, but waved the rest of the group onto the cantina, exchanging glances with Curry.  The Kid touched the brim of his hat, smiling at Rosie, as he rode by.

“Whatcha doin’ out here in the cold?” Heyes asked as he came down off his horse.  He rubbed his hands up and down his arms, looking cold himself.

Rosie started to hoist the jug up, but Heyes handed her his horse’s reins, and carried the jug instead.

“Needing a lot of water today?” he grunted as they started back towards the cantina.

“One of the girls is, uh, not feelin’ well, so I’m bringin’ it for her.”  Rosie chanced a glance at Heyes, and his dimpled smile answered.

“Well, that’s right nice.”  He huffed as they climbed the stairs to the saloon.  “Should be enough here for both of you.”  He looked sideways at Rosie.  “You can carry this?”

Her smile broke out then.  “Yes.  I do have to rest a couple times.”

Heyes nodded to the Kid as he started up the stairs, and also to a curious Ed.  Rosie waved off Ed, who was just as happy to ignore whatever would be happening upstairs.  He was busy pouring the good whiskey for very thirsty Devil’s Hole gang members.

Rosie stopped before a door two down from her room.  “You can leave it here,” she said quietly.  “Lily is probably asleep.”

Heyes answered just as softly, “I know how to be quiet, Rosie.”  He held onto the jug.  “Kind of needed at times in my line of work.”

There was something dark and sad in Rosie’s eyes, as she looked at Heyes, before she turned to open the door.  Heyes paused before he followed her into the darkened room.  Rosie indicated for him to set it down, by a dresser with a pretty, flowered bowl and pitcher.  As he did so, the thin, blonde woman in the bed woke and turned towards them.

“Rosie, that you?” she asked in a querulous voice.

“Yes, sweetheart,” Rosie answered softly, approaching the bed, putting herself between Heyes and Lily.  She sat on the bed and brushed the fair hair out of Lily’s face.  Dark bruises were visible on her cheeks and her arms as she grasped Rosie’s hand.

A hard look came over Heyes’ face.  He started to quietly back out of the room, but Lily noticed the motion and her eyes grew large.

“Who is that?” Her voice raised in pitch and she tried to hide behind Rosie, who just enveloped her with her arms.

“Just a friend, Lily.”  Rosie met Heyes’ still gaze, and he stopped.  “He helped me bring you some water for washing.”

Rosie met Lily’s eyes, and smiled.  “He’s a good one.”

Lily glanced over towards Heyes, but did not meet his eyes.  “You certain, Rosie?”

“Yes, sweetie.”

“I’ll let you ladies be,” Heyes touched the brim of his hat.  He slowly backed out of the room then, his every moved tracked by Lily’s eyes.  “Just let me know if you need anything else.”

Later that day, as the Devil’s Hole gang was settling into the cantina, Rosie walked back to the bar after serving a full tray of drinks, to those playing poker and those just relaxing.  Heyes and Curry looked comfortable, leaning against the carved wooden length, but as Rosie met his dark eyes, she could tell Heyes had questions for her.  

She smiled at the boys.  “Enjoying yourselves?”

“Always,” Heyes answered, but his eyes remained dark.  “Heard about the Dorset gang, from Bob here.”  He nodded towards the bartender.  “And Lily.”

Rosie met his eyes, but did not offer a reply.

“Sorry we weren’t here to help,” the Kid offered.

Rosie shrugged.  “It happens.”

Heyes’ eyes were still dark.  “The girls ever tell you our boys do anything, you let us know.”

Rosie smiled, a bit sadly.  “Nah, your boys are good.  The girls like having you all around.”

“Let us know if that ever changes,” the Kid said.  “Sometimes we have new men.”

Rosie nodded, and continued.  “Never known you to bring in anyone like the Dorsets.  Your men are always generous.”

Heyes nodded.  “Hopin’ to keep it that way.”  He put his arm around Rosie’s waist.  “Looks like you are doin’ okay.”  He smiled.  “Gettin’ rounder.  Softer?”  A wolfish grin covered his face.

“Never softer, Mr. Heyes,” Rosie smiled back with just a fierce of a grin.  “Wouldn’t do me any good.”

“How about those fancy shawls you make?”

“Now those are still soft.”

Heyes put down her tray, and started to lead her toward the stairs, but then turned towards Curry, meeting his eyes.  “Kid, you watch out for the boys for a while?”

The Kid smiled back, but nodded.  “Always, Heyes.”

It was about two months later that the tale made its way back to Ed’s cantina.  The Hurley gang brought it with them when they stopped by.   They had been passing through Tucson and had run into a couple former members of the Dorset gang.  They were looking for some new fellahs to join up with, and had approached Tom Hurley.

“’Twas kinda sad really,” Tom recounted as he swilled his beer, and hung onto Maisy.  “They said Horace and Silas Dorset had hightailed it to old Mexico, but these other boys hadn’t wanted to go south.  Seems the Dorsets had run into the Devil’s Hole gang outside of Red Rock.”  He downed the rest of his beer, and shook his head.  “For all that them boys ain’t never shot or killed anyone on all the jobs they pulled, it ain’t a good idea to get on their bad side.  Seems that they made it very clear to Horace and Silas that they weren’t welcome to come back here to Ed’s any more.  Marty, one of them that wanted to join up with us, said that Horace and Silas were beat up pretty bad.  Heyes and Curry had told them they needed to know what it was like.  The other boys from the Hole, it seems, kept the rest of the Dorsets from interfering, but the message was clear to them all.”

“That Marty here with you?” Bob the bartender asked Tom Hurley.  Bob was big, dark, and generally smiling, except when needed to keep the peace in the saloon.  He had personally hauled at least a couple of the Dorsets out of town after Lily.

“Nah, figured we didn't want any problems with the boys from the Hole.”  Tom shoved his glass forward for a refill, while holding onto Maisy.

Rosie had listened to the entire tale.  It did not really sound like Curry and Heyes, but then she shrugged and continued to wash glasses.  Never knew with these outlaws.

“What you doing back there helping Bob?” Clancy Hurley asked her.  He was half drunk already, and probably would fall asleep before he ever made it upstairs with any of the girls.  “You’re one of my favorites, don’t’cha know?”

“Oh, Clancy,” Rosie just smiled, as she wiped out another glass.  “You ain’t in any shape to make it up the stairs, let alone do anything further.”  She turned to set the glasses under the bar and her rounded silhouette showed under the serviceable blue dress she wore.  She was not corseted and primped as usual.

“Looks like you been upstairs once too many times, Rosie, sweetie,” Tom Hurley stated.

“Now you boys leave Rosie to work,” Bob glowered.  “Ed won’t be happy if it ain’t clean in here when he comes in.”  He glanced at Rosie, as Tom and Clancy squirmed.  They did not want to be thrown out of town by Bob.

She just laughed.  “It’s alright, Bob.”  She smiled at the boys.  “Give them a beer on me.”  She shook her head.  “Just a hazard of the trade, boys.”

“Best keep your money for, well, other things, Rosie,” Tom commented.

“Nah, I’m good.  No problems there.”  She smiled again, and went to pour a beer for some cowboys down at the other end of the bar.

Tom eyed Bob for a minute before saying, “Nice to know someone’s doin’ right by her.  She’s a sweetheart.”

Bob just nodded, and poured them another beer.

“She say who it is?”  Tom glanced around, and lowered his voice.  “It wouldn’t be …”

“Best keep those thoughts to yourself,” Bob glowered.  “Thought you didn’t want any trouble.”

Tom looked thoughtful.  “No, definitely not with them.”

It was a year later, and Rosie was again at the well at sunset.  She did not get much sleep these days, what with keeping up with Alice, and bartending for Ed.  Bob had moved on to a new silver strike, and Ed complained these days so of the gout.  Little Russell now hauled water for all the girls, since she had hired him to do so for a few coins a day.  The saloon was doing well, so Rosie had convinced Ed that it was worth the expense.

This was one of the few times a day where she could get a breath of air, and a moment of peace.  Oh, she loved Alice more than her life itself, but she still relished the peace of the desert at sunset.

Then she heard the not uncommon sound of a group of horses approaching.  She shaded her eyes.  It was them.  They had not been back down this way for a while.  The law had stopped in the cantina a time or two, hunting, but they had not had any luck.

The boys all tipped their hats at her, but continued to ride on by.  They looked hot and thirsty.  Heyes and Curry brought up the rear this time.  The Kid pulled up his horse as he approached the well.  

“Lookin’ good, Rosie,” he smiled down at her, removing his hat to wipe his brow.

“Wish I could say the same, Kid, but you’re looking hot and dusty.”

“And thirsty.”  He gave a look to Heyes, who nodded back, as he dismounted.  The Kid touched his hat to Rosie, and continued onto the cantina.

Heyes looked just as dusty and dirty, as he leaned against the well.

“Thirsty?” she asked.  

He nodded.  “But also hungry,” his bright smile shimmered through the dirt, as he took off his gloves and reached out for her.

It had been a few years now since they had seen the boys.  Rosie often wondered if they had finally gotten together enough money to head to Mexico, or South America.  The last time they had been through, they had not stayed long.  They had looked a bit harried, as it had taken them more effort to lose the posse than they wanted.  Heyes figured they would eventually track them there, since it had come to be known they frequented the town.  The gang stopped only long enough to have a drink, eat, and rest their horses.  They were gone in the morning.

She shook her head as she looked away from the risen sun in the east.  It was probably for the best.  With the way the town was settling, a lot of folks would not be so pleased to have an outlaw gang in town.  These days Rosie made most of her money off of ranchers, travelers, and the railroad scouts.

She was just turning back towards the cantina, to wake Alice for breakfast, when she spotted two riders coming into town from the west.  He eyes were not the best after watching the sun rise.  She squinted and put her hand to her forehead.  Her breath caught.  It must be because she was thinking of old memories, but she could swear she knew the way one of the men sat his horse, and the set of the other’s shoulders.  It could not be anyone else with that floppy brown hat, riding with someone with such a disreputable, beat up, black hat, could it?

She stood by the well, waiting.  They finally noticed her.  Heyes paused, but the Kid broke out in a smile and continued on to her.

“Rosie?” he questioned her and dismounted as Heyes approached.

“Rosie, what a sight for sore eyes!”  He hugged her tightly, and she returned the gesture.  They then both turned to Heyes, as he approached.

“Rosie.”  He smiled that dimpled smile and she melted in to his arms.

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PostSubject: Re: April 18 The Bonnet   Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:55 pm

A little piece of fluff for April. Heyes gets a bee in his bonnet.

“Come here, handsome.” Sally took out the pins holding her upswept hair, letting rich chestnut waves tumble down around her bare shoulders. Some tendrils swept tantalizingly across her ample chest. Her breath was getting deeper; he saw her breasts straining against the low cut of her bodice. She hooked her fingers into his belt and pulled him close. He bent lower to kiss her, but he pulled back when he saw her frown.

“What is that noise?” she said.

“What noise?” He was so close, he could smell the rose water she wore.

“That tapping noise. What is it?”

Now he frowned, too. What was that sound? It sure was annoying.

Jed Curry sat up suddenly. What the hell was that crash? Where did Sally go? Where was he? He pushed himself into a sitting position, and the quilts covering him fell to his waist. The room was cold, and he was alone. He was in his bedroom in the leader’s cabin at Devil’s Hole. Light filtered under the bedroom door, along with that tapping sound. Curry jumped out of bed and opened the door.

In the main room, Hannibal Heyes was pacing, back and forth, back and forth. He was fully dressed, down to his boots. He held a book, and he was thwacking it against his thigh as he walked. The table held pen, inkwell, and paper strewn across it. Scraps of torn paper littered the floor.

“Hi, Kid. What’re you doing up at this hour?”

“What’m I doing up? What’re you doing up? It’s got to be past midnight.”

Heyes glanced at the clock on the mantel. “More like two a.m.”

“Oh. Good. That makes me feel better.”

“Why aren’t you asleep? That’s your favorite activity, isn’t it?”

Curry’s face settled into hard lines. “This ain’t the time to push me. I heard something crash.”

Heyes looked apologetic. “Sorry, Kid. I stood up too fast, and the chair fell down on the floor.” He paused, turning to focus on his sleep-deprived partner. “Did I wake you?”

“Yeah, you woke me! I was dreaming about Sally.”

“Sally from Rawlins?” He smiled fondly. “She does inspire dreams, doesn’t she?”

Curry ran a hand through his tangled hair. “Why aren’t you in bed, having some nice dreams of your own?”

“Too much on my mind. You know I do all my best thinking at night.”

Curry pulled a chair out from the table and sat down. “You know I do all my best sleeping at night. Unless you’re doing your damnedest to keep me awake.”

“I said I was sorry.”

“Yeah, you did. You want to tell me what’s on your mind? That way, maybe we both can get some sleep.”

“Have you seen this?”  He handed the book to Curry, who read the title out loud.

‘“Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry and the Posse That Wouldn’t Quit.’ No, I ain’t seen this one before, but I seen some other ones like it. What about it?”

“You know what that is?”

“Well, it’s kind of hard for me to focus my eyes when I’m this tired, but I think it’s a dime novel.”

“Of course, it is, but that’s not all it is.”

Heyes stood with his hands on his hips, looking like he was ready for a fight. The signs were clear; Heyes had a bee in his bonnet about something, and Curry would never get any sleep until he figured out what that bee was.

“Alright, I’ll bite, even though I know I’ll be sorry I asked. What is it besides what it is?”

“It’s exploitation, that’s what it is. And fraud. It’s fraud, too. We’re being used, Kid. All of us here, not just you and me. You and me get the worst of it because we’re famous.”

“And how are we being exploited so bad that we both are awake at 2:00am?”

“Because the people who wrote and published this book are using our names to make money for themselves! And we ain’t getting one red cent of it!”

“Is that it? That’s why I’m not dreaming of Sally anymore?”

“Yeah! We’re being used by the rich all over again, to make money for them and not for us. It’s not right.”

“I don’t see what we can do about it, Heyes. We can’t exactly go to a court of law and sue them. We’re wanted criminals, remember? Besides, we make our living doing things that aren’t right.”

Heyes slammed his fist onto the table. Curry grabbed the ink bottle to keep it from spilling. Several sheets of paper floated gently onto the wooden floor.

“Damnation! Settle down, will you? It ain’t that important!”

“You’re wrong, Kid. It’s important to me, and it ought to be to you. Anyway, I got a plan, and all this is part of it.” Heyes waved his arms at the table. Curry looked blearily at the mess.

“First things first. I need something to help me concentrate. Any of that Kentucky bourbon left?”

“Yeah, I think so.”

“How about you pour us a couple drinks? Then you can sit down and tell me what you got in mind. I can see I ain’t going to get any rest until you do.”

Moments later, Curry and a calmer Heyes sat together at the table, each man holding a shot glass filled with bourbon.

“Here’s my plan. Instead of some idiot easterner making up lies about us, and him making money off us, I’m going to write my own books, and I’ll tell the truth. I’ll beat them at their own game, and all the money will go to us, like it should do by rights.”

Impressed, Curry raised a glass to his partner. “I like it, Heyes. After all, you know what really happened. That’d make better stories because you don’t have to make stuff up.” The men touched their glasses together in a toast and drank.

“Except . . .” Heyes paused. “Except it’s turning out to be harder than I thought. I don’t seem to be getting very far. I write a few lines, then I look at them, and I think, this ain’t going nowhere, or, no, I don’t like the way this sounds. Then I get frustrated and tear everything up and start over.”

“That’s what all these torn papers on the floor are?”

Heyes nodded vigorously. “Exactly. I’ve had to scrap one story idea after another.” He took a drink of the bourbon before continuing. “This writing thing’s harder’n it looks.”

“Uh huh.” Curry looked thoughtful. “Maybe you’re going about this the wrong way.”

“Wrong how?”

“Well,” Curry said, folding his hands on the tabletop. “You been trying to write one story after another, right? You get started, you don’t like what you wrote, you get frustrated, and you start again, doing the same thing all over again, the same thing that didn’t work the first time or the second or the third. Maybe you should plan your book like you plan a bank job. You work backwards.”

“Backwards?” Heyes sounded doubtful. “That don’t make sense.”

“Sure, it does,” Curry insisted. “See, you start with knowing how it ends. For instance, think about the First National Bank of Denver. There’s a payroll due on, say, the 15th, so we want to break in that night. We work backwards from that point. We need to be in Denver on the 15th. How long will it take to get there, five days? So on the 10th, we got to go. What and who do we need to take with us? It’s all got to be ready on the 10th, so we have to start organizing on the 5th. You see?”

Heyes leaned back in his chair, looking at the ceiling. Curry recognized the signs of serious thought. He reached for his glass for another drink, but it was empty. He took Heyes’ glass and drained it.

“I get it.” He looked at his partner with appreciation. “Kid, you’re a genius.”

“Damn straight. A thirsty genius. Fill these glasses, barkeep.”

“Alright. I know how the story ends. Instead of starting at the beginning, I start at the end, and backtrack.”

“And you don’t have to do it all at once, or even do it in order,” Curry suggested. “Write bits and pieces, and then put them in order and all together later. It’ll be like a plan you make for a job, where you come up with an idea, then you review it and refine it and make changes. Maybe even a lot of changes before it’s finished. Take the time you need to do it right. After all, you ain’t on a schedule when you’re writing a book. It’s done when you say it’s done.”

Heyes tapped the dime novel on the desk with one finger. “This fool thing reads like somebody wrote it all in one night and never looked at it again. And somehow, it sells.”

“Yours will sell better because you won’t write it all in one night. You’ll take the time to make it perfect, same as you do with every job we go on.”

“I like the way you think.” He glanced at the torn-up scraps of paper on the floor. “I’m going to need more paper. A lot more. And ink.”

“I’m making a list of supplies for our next trip to town. I’ll put ink and paper at the top.”

“Wonder what old Wheat’s going to say when he sees that on the list?”

“If you feel you need to explain yourself, tell him you’re drawing out floor plans for our next job. Remember, he don’t need to know the reason for everything we do. He just needs to do what he’s told.”

“Another good point.” Heyes stood up, putting both hands on the table. “I don’t know about you, Kid, but I’m a little tired. I’m going to hit the hay.”

“That’s the best idea you’ve had yet. Think I’ll do the same. Oh, and partner? Promise me one thing. When you get an idea for your book, tell me about it after I’ve slept and had my coffee and breakfast. Not at 2:00a.m. Deal?”


"If it's worth doing, it's worth doing badly."

"The failure in doing something is stopping too soon."
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