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 August 2021 - A Comedy of Errors

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Calico

Calico

Posts : 756
Join date : 2012-04-22
Age : 56
Location : Birmingham

August 2021 - A Comedy of Errors Empty
PostSubject: August 2021 - A Comedy of Errors   August 2021 - A Comedy of Errors Icon_minitimeSun Aug 01, 2021 2:19 am

Happy first of August to you all!!

I had a treat yesterday!
I was back at a live theater (open air - with distancing) for the first time since February 2020. Huzzah.

Nice early supper afterwards. Bliss. purr

Anyhow...

This month's challenge will give you a huge clue as to what I went to see.

"A Comedy of Errors"


enjoy
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Penski
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Penski

Posts : 1615
Join date : 2012-04-22
Age : 60
Location : Northern California

August 2021 - A Comedy of Errors Empty
PostSubject: Re: August 2021 - A Comedy of Errors   August 2021 - A Comedy of Errors Icon_minitimeTue Aug 31, 2021 7:42 am

A Comedy of Errors


Hannibal Heyes, dressed in his pants and a Henley, sat outside the leaders’ cabin with the chair tilted on the back two legs and his own leg up on a rail. He was relaxing after a late night of planning the next bank robbery, sipping his coffee.

Two gunshots in the distance echoed into the Devil’s Hole.

A minute later, Kid Curry came outside running his fingers through unruly hair. His ever-present gunbelt hung on his waist. “Who are we expectin’?”

“Kyle. He lost the coin toss and had to go into town for more whiskey.” Heyes stood up. “I’m getting more coffee. You want some?”

“Yeah,” Curry said absently. “But that was two shots – meanin’ two are comin’ in. Anyone go with him?”

“Not that I know,” Heyes answered from inside the cabin.

The Kid pulled out his gun and double-checked his cylinder – five bullets.

Heyes came out and waited until the weapon was holstered before handing the Kid his coffee. “Really? You think there could be trouble?”

“Never know, Heyes, and it don’t hurt to be ready for anything.” Curry took his coffee and sipped it.

Soon two horses rode into the compound – Kyle and a stranger – and headed to the corral.

“Kyle!”

“Yeah, Kid?”

“Come by after you take care of the horses to introduce your friend.” Curry’s voice was low and menacing.

“Sure thing.” Kyle gulped. “This way, Wilbur.”

After taking care of the horses, Kyle and Wilbur slowly made their way to the leaders’ cabin.

“Now let me do all the talkin’, Wilbur,” Kyle said in a hushed tone. “The Kid’s okay. He ain’t never killed one of us before for breakin’ a rule.”

Wilbur's eyes widen and his steps faltered.

Heyes and Curry put down their coffee mugs and stood.

Heyes put his hands on his hips. “Kyle, aren’t you gonna introduce us?”

“Yeah, this here’s my cousin, Wilbur. Can you imagine, he was in Second Chance when I went to get more liquor.”

“Wilbur have a last name?” Curry asked.

The man removed his hat and fingered it nervously. “Murphy, sir. Wilbur Murphy.”

“What were you doin’ in Second Chance?” Heyes asked.

“I… I was hopin’ to see my cousin, Mr. Curry.”

“I’m Heyes.” He pointed to himself and then his partner. “He’s Curry.”

“S-s-sorry.”

“He’s okay. Really.” Kyle spit some chew. “Wilbur wanted to tell me Aunt Erna died. I’m his only family now. Can he stay? He’s real good with horses – choosin’ good ones and workin’ with them. He don’t even mind cleanin’ out stalls, huh, Wilbur?”

“No, sirree,” Wilbur agreed.

Heyes and Curry glanced at each other.

“Okay, he can stay for one month and we’ll see how it goes.” Heyes extended his hand. “Welcome to the gang, Wilbur.”

“Thank you, sir. You won’t regret it.” Wilbur profusely shook his hand.

“It’s just Heyes and the Kid.”

“Wilbur.” Curry shook hands, too. “What’s in your holster?”

“A Schofield 1875 cavalry model revolver, Mr… Kid.”

Curry smiled. “Looks clean.”

Wilbur nodded. “Clean it every night.”

“Good. Maybe you’ll rub off on Kyle.”

“Why don’t we all go to the bunkhouse. It smells like breakfast is about done.” Heyes stepped down from the porch and the rest followed.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Heyes stood in the bunkhouse with the gang sitting at the table and Kid Curry leaning against the wall near the door with his arms crossed. “Okay, does everyone know what they’re supposed to do?”

All heads nodded.

“Wheat?”

“Right outside the bank making sure you and the Kid have an exit.”

“Kyle?”

“I’m in the bank with you and the Kid in case dynamite is needed.”

“Wilbur?”

“Watchin’ the horses behind the bank. Gotta keep ‘em quiet and outta sight.”

“Hank?”

“Keepin’ an eye on the south route outta town.”

“Lobo?”

“I’m with Hank.”

“Stretch?”

“Stayin’ at the Hole and protectin’ it.”

“Hal?”

“At the Hole, too.”

“Buck?”

“I’m with Wilbur watchin’ horses and havin’ them ready to go.”

“Kid?”

Curry glared at his partner.

“Kid?” Heyes persisted.

“Watchin’ your back, as usual,” he growled.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The Devil’s Hole Gang quietly entered the town of Elk Antler and took their assigned positions. Heyes used a pick to unlock an alley window and slipped inside. Kyle climbed in and then Kid Curry, gun out and alert, followed behind.

A deputy walked slowly through the town doing his rounds. The curtain to the bank’s window barely moved as Kid Curry noted his movement. “Heyes,” he hissed. “About done?”

“One more number.”

“Deputy’s makin’ rounds.”

Heyes heard a click and grinned like a Cheshire cat as he pulled the safe lever down. “Got it!”

Kyle sighed.

“Sorry, Kyle.” Heyes began filling a carpet bag with stacks of money.”

“Done?” Curry asked.

“Yep. We can go.”

The three made their way to the window and slid it open. Wheat nodded and walked towards the back as the three men crawled out of the bank.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The sheriff left the saloon and walked towards his office. He glanced down an alley. “Deputy Murphy, is that you?”

“Huh?”

“Murphy, get over here!”

“Um… Okay.”

Wilbur dropped the horses’ rein and began walking out of the alley. He tripped and fell, hitting his head on a hitching post.

“You okay?” The sheriff turned him on his back.

“Yeah. I think so,” he answered, rubbing the large bump forming on his forehead.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Willard Murphy thought he heard a noise. He quietly walked down an alley and saw a man with horses. Soon another man joined him and they mounted. More came from the alley.

“Wilbur, what in the heck are you doin’?” Curry whispered. “Hurry up and get over here!”

“Wilbur? But I’m…”

“I said get on your horse!” The Kid pushed the newest gang member towards his mount. When the man hesitated and opened his mouth to speak, Curry grabbed him impatiently by the jacket and boosted him up. Then he slapped the animal's rump, making the horse jump and follow after the other horses hurrying out of town.

Kid Curry looked around, mounted his gelding and spurred his horse on.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

“What the…” the sheriff exclaimed with the sound of horses galloping out of town. “Murphy, the bank!”

The sheriff ran to the bank with the deputy reluctantly following behind him. He checked the door and sighed with relief that it was still locked. He went down the alley and saw the open window. “Dang it all! Deputy, ring the bell! We need a posse!”

“Bell? What bell?” Deputy Murphy quietly asked.

“What bell!?” the sheriff bellowed. “The one in front of the mercantile!”

“Oh, that one.” Murphy ran out of the alley and turned to the right.

“To the left!” shouted the sheriff.

“Oops!” The deputy did a U-turn.

“I need me a new deputy!” exclaimed the sheriff.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Willard Murphy hung on as his horse galloped from Elk Antler with the gang. He cautiously held both reins with his left hand and removed a badge with his right. He stuffed the silver star deep down inside a pocket, hiding it beneath a pouch of tobacco

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The gang slowed to a lope and then galloped for several hours until they were far enough away from town to feel safe.

“We did it!” Heyes exclaimed. “I bet there was over $5,000 in that safe!”

“Hee haw!” one of the gang members shouted.

Kid Curry rode near Kyle. “You, me and Wilbur are gonna have a talk when we get back to the Hole.”

“Okay, Kid.” Kyle gulped.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The Devil’s Hole Gang got back to their hideout the following afternoon.

“Stretch, Buck, Hal, and Lobo, take care of our horse, includin’ Kyle’s and Wilbur’s,” Curry ordered. He turned to Kyle and his cousin. “You two come with us.”

Heyes led the way inside the leaders' cabin.

“You wanna explain why you weren’t holdin’ the horses, Wilbur?” Heyes demanded.

“Wilbur? I ain’t Wilbur. I’m Willard,” the newest gang member nervously stuttered.

“Willard?” Curry questioned with a scowl.

Kyle squinted. “Willard?”

“That you, Kyle?”

“Yeah… That really you, Willard?”

“Who’s Willard,” Heyes asked, irritated.

“Willard’s my cousin…”

“Willard? You said Wilbur’s your cousin.” Curry crossed his arms in front of his body.

“He is – I mean they are! Willard and Wilbur are twins!”

“You better sit down and explain what’s happening.” Heyes grabbed a bottle and poured four glasses of whiskey.

Willard hesitantly sat down beside Kyle, nervously facing Kid Curry.

“You see,” Kyle began, “my ma’s sister, Aunt Erna, had twin boys, Willard and Wilbur. When they were about six?” Kyle looked at Willard for confirmation.

“Yeah, we were about six,” Willard replied.

“Uncle Horace died. Aunt Erna couldn’t care for both boys, so Uncle Horace’s brother raised Willard, here. Aunt Erna came with Wilbur and lived with us for a while.”

“You’re twins - but separated.” Heyes took a drink. “You never got back together?”

“No, sir. My pa, actually he was my Uncle Herbert, moved and we lost contact with my ma,” Willard explained.

“So, let me see if I got this right. We just left Wilbur in Elk Antler and brought Willard back with us into Devil's Hole?” Curry shook his head. “I think I need another drink.”

“I’m afraid so,” Willard shrugged. “I was out doin' my rounds, saw horses and went to see what was goin’ on. Then you grabbed me and put me on a horse.”

Kid Curry winced. “You’re the deputy!”

“The what?!” Heyes’ eyes widened.

“I am – probably was, by now – the deputy of Elk Antler,” Willard confessed. “Sheriff was always gettin’ mad at me for one reason or another. Wilbur don’t know anything I do or where anything's at. If he thinks Wilbur is me, well, I’m sure he’ll be fit to be tied.”

“There's only one thing to do; Kyle’ll have to go back for Wilbur,” Heyes declared.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

“Doc, I want you to check out Deputy Murphy. He fell and hit his head on a hitching post the night of the robbery. He can’t remember a dang thing! He can’t even remember his own name. Must’ve gotten that am-nee-sha thing.”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

“Pssttt… Wilbur!” Kyle whisper-shouted from the window.

“Huh?” Wilbur glanced around.

“Over here!”

Wilbur looked at the window and grinned. “Kyle!”

“Shhh… Not so loud! Come back to the alley.”

Wilbur nodded. He left his boarding house room, made sure no one was around, and hurried into the alley. “Boy, Kyle, am I glad to see you! The sheriff…”

“We don’t have no time. I got you a horse. Let’s go!”

Wilbur smiled and happily rode away with Kyle.

“How come you left me behind?” Wilbur asked. “I thought you said the Devil’s Hole Gang don’t leave nobody behind.”

“We don't; jus' wait ‘til you see who’s at the Hole.” Kyle kicked his horse into a gallop.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

“Willard?”

“Wilbur!”

The twins hugged.

“I didn’t know if you were even alive.” Wilbur quickly wiped his eyes.

“I didn’t know where to find you or if you were alive, either.” Willard patted his brother’s back. “It's so good to see you after all these years.”

“I still can’t believe…” Wilbur sniffed. “But why are you here?”

“That’s quite the story,” Heyes said, glancing at his cousin.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Wilbur and Willard sat on a log and talked all night. In the morning, they woke up Kyle and talked some more.

“Heyes’ll think of something, don’t you worry none!” Kyle exclaimed.

The three walked over to the leader’s cabin. Kyle knocked. “Heyes? Kid?”

Heyes came to the door. “Come on in. Have a seat. I just made some fresh coffee.”

The five sat at the table and sipped coffee.

“Well?” Heyes asked to open the discussion.

“Me and Wilbur have been talkin’ and, no offense, we don’t think we wanna be outlaws, if it’s okay by you,” Willard stammered out.

“No offense taken,” the Kid assured them.

“Do you know what you want to do?” Heyes asked.

“I told ‘em you’d come up with something they could do, Heyes.” Kyle looked expectantly to his leader.

“Me?”

Kyle nodded.

“Well, I know Wilbur is good with horses. What about you, Willard?”

“I like horses just fine. Me and my pa used to go to auctions and I picked out the best horses, he said.” Willard smiled.

Heyes turned to the Kid. “Didn’t ol’ man Jeffries retire from the Second Chance livery?”

“I believe he did,” Curry confirmed.

“Run a livery? The two of us?” Wilbur asked.

“I don’t know why not.” Heyes grinned.

Willard’s face fell. “But we don’t have no money to buy a livery.”

Curry glanced at Heyes this time. “Don’t Wilbur have a cut from the robbery? I’d be willin’ to invest, if you are. Sounds like we could get some mighty fine horses.”

“Sounds like a plan to me!” Heyes replied.

“You’d be willin’ to do that for us?” Willard and Wilbur asked together.

Heyes nodded. “Sure, as long as you give us a good deal when we need fast horses. We do a lot of trading in Second Chance.”

“Second Chance? My cousins will be livin’ nearby in Second Chance? Whoo wee!” Kyle exclaimed. “I’m always volunteerin’ to go get supplies.”



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

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