Alias Smith and Jones Writers
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March 2014 - A Man Has To Do...
Posts : 760
Join date : 2012-04-22
Age : 56
Location : Birmingham
|Subject: March 2014 - A Man Has To Do... Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:05 am|| |
Welcome one, welcome all!!
For a change I am going to give you a nice, proper western style prompt!!
You should all eat this one up with a spoon.
Though, strange are the ways of the challenge - one never knows.
Anyhow, as the first buds of spring pop with new life, allow the season of rebirth to seep into the knuckles of your typing fingers and the synapses of your plotting brai...
Will the lady heckling 'Geddone with it!' please desist! Sheesh!
Your challenge for March is:A man has to do what a man has to do
What's that? FAR too many ideas. Well pop in an online purchased tribute hat and pick one.
Off you all go.
Hey, we have new raccoon icons. Sweet!
Posts : 522
Join date : 2012-12-07
Location : Wichita
|Subject: Black Night: answer to March 2014 Challenge Sat Mar 08, 2014 2:57 pm|| |
“Please, let go of me!” the woman cried, jerking back, and finding him too strong to pull free of. Furious at her own weakness, she screamed directly into his face. “Just let me go.”
“No,” the man growled, pulling her further away from the celebratory crowd, and backhanding her across the face.
Weeping, fear rising in her, she looked back wishing just one person would notice so she could petition them for aid. The band was playing the Seneca Square Dance; they were in full swing too, the music soaring out to her jubilantly. Every person she saw was either dancing or actively engaged near the bonfire. “Please, Emmet,” she whimpered, dragging her feet, clawing at his hand, and, at her wits end, she struck out, kicking the man dragging her in the back of his leg.
Stumbling to one knee, Emmet leapt up, his grip never faltering; he spun preparing to strike her again.
“Why, Emmet? Why will you not let me go? I do not want to be with you.” She cried at his upraised hand. He struck her twice, hard, and the fight fell from her.
“You will do what I say, Virginia, that is the agreement you signed.”
She hung in his grasp, sobbing quite literally for all she was worth.
“One day, you will know your place.” He jerked her roughly after him. “Why do you make me punish you?”
“Please, Emmet, please let me go.”
“What is going on here?”
Startled the woman spun, as much as she could in her captor’s grasp, “Oh, please.”
“Good evening, Ma’am, may I be of assistance?”
“Sir, this does not concern you.” Emmet answered for her.
Shifting his dark eyes from the rising bruise and blood on her face, Hannibal Heyes felt a surge of disgust roll through him. “Doesn’t appear, the lady wishes to leave with you,” he answered, his tone smooth as velvet but edged in steel.
Looking into eyes darker than the night surrounding them, Emmet swallowed hard, “My apologies, Sir, but where I come from, we are a bit more conventional than you might be used to. It is not her choice to make.” He offered his free hand to Heyes. “Although I do thank you for your concern.” When he saw the man before him did not intend to take his hand in a supportive handshake, he turned to Virginia, “You will apologize for creating a disturbance and alarming this man, and then we shall proceed on home.”
Virginia looked deeply into Emmet’s face, “I want to go home.”
“Exactly where I intend to take you, my dear.”
“No,” she turned to Heyes, whose face was impassive as a marble bust of Caesar, “I want to go home to my family in Connecticut. I should have never answered this beast’s advertisement for a wife.”
Heyes tipped his hat back. “I’m of the opinion you should let the lady go,” he stated, extending a hand to Virginia. “Right about now, would be the smart move, I’d say.”
Emmet’s face twisted in revulsion then he viciously shoved Virginia from him. Heyes caught her, passing her back to where he knew Kyle must be, since they had been returning to the festivities together before this interruption.
Emmet’s eyes darted to Kyle who he had not realized was there until now, and back to Heyes. His eyes narrowed, surveying Heyes, his arrogance and his tied-down gun. “I presume you are both a part of that ruffian element from the hills this pitiful town upholds as heroes.”
“Might be,” Heyes, replied coolly, crossing his arms.
“Take the trollop! She deserves nothing more than a low-life such as the likes of you.”
Hannibal Heyes’ jaw pulsated in time with his clenching fists as he imposed an iron-will on his rising temper.
A sneer as maniacal as any storybook villain appeared on Emmet Thompson’s face. “You have proven yourself ill-bred and ignorant, time and again, Virginia. You deserve to have trash such as this have its way with you. Perhaps, my dear, when they are through you will regret your actions and understand what a good man truly is.”
She shuddered, covering her pale face with her hands.
“You hear me, Virginia, you leave here with them, and I will see your good-name is dragged through the mud. Everyone from here to Hartford will know what kind of crib-cage whore you are.”
“Emmet, please, no. . .”
“Mister Thompson, isn’t it?” Heyes said spacing his words out evenly, “I suggest you walk away and let this matter drop. Things will look different in the sunlight.”
Emmet Thompson squared up like a dog preparing to fight and, stroking his auburn Van Dyke beard, said, “Screw you! The moment I laid eyes on you, I knew you were nothing more than belly-crawling, yellow, outlaw scum. I will not listen to you; my only regret is I did not sum up that bitch as easily, before allowing her into my home.”
Not a sound escaped Heyes, but with the speed of a diamondback, his right fist struck Emmet’s jaw with such force the man flipped off his feet, landing with a thud. Attempting to recover himself, Emmet scrambled backwards but his efforts were useless for Heyes was on him like he had gone rabid. His fists pummeling the man’s face until spewing arcs of ruby, red blood covered them both.
Desperate to escape, Emmet jackrabbit punched Heyes in the ribs knocking some steam from him, allowing an opening for him to wiggle free.
Each of them clambered to their feet, Emmet landing the first blow, sending an explosion of blood flying from Heyes’ mouth.
Roaring like a feral animal, Heyes rammed into him, driving a blow into his solar plexus, Emmet doubled over, his face turning green. Seizing him about the neck, Heyes dragged the pompous man to his knees.
Gurgling for air, Emmet clawed at Heyes’ hands and arms. A wicked cynical smile came to Heyes’ face and, flicking his head back, he threw his long bangs from his eyes, bearing down harder.
When the eerie, familiar click of cocking guns carried over the sound of the two fighting men, Virginia screamed as did several other ladies. The boom of a shotgun silenced everything.
“That is sufficient,” Mr. Barnett who ran the mercantile announced.
“Heyes! You let him go!” The dignified old man stood tall and, straight, almost regal, with the smoking shotgun held casually across his arm. “Every one of you boys, holster your weapons. I will not have you spilling blood. Look about at all the innocents on hand.”
Thompson’s men and members of the Devil’s Hole alike, glanced about seeing the many women and children who had been celebrating at the harvest bonfire barbeque and doing so, ashamedly slipped their firearms back into their holsters.
“Let ‘em go before you strangle the bastard dead,” Preacher said in Hannibal Heyes’ ear, pulling at the man who not just his leader but also a good friend.
Heyes shook his head, the cuts on his face spraying droplets of blood which glinted briefly in the flickering light.
“Come on now, he ain’t worth the grief,” Preacher pleaded, prying at Heyes’ snapping turtle grip hoping to break it before Heyes broke the rancher’s windpipe. “Damn it Heyes,” Preacher pleaded, looking around for Kid. Giving up, he slammed into Heyes physically plowing him free of Emmet Thompson, and using the momentum, continued shoving at him until he had him on his feet and aimed for the stables.
Looking about bewilderedly from where he stood with Virginia, Kyle, spied Mrs. Rutledge. Leading the girl over to her, he asked, “Will ya look after her, Ma’am?”
“Of course, I will,” she wrapped a comforting arm around the crying fair-haired, woman. “Let’s get you cleaned up.” She shook her head at the blackening swelling around Virginia’s right eye.
Kyle loped away after Heyes, Preacher, Wheat, Jenkins, and Lobo, wondering all the while, where was Kid? He thought if Kid had been here this would have all been handled differently. Then it struck him, the lady said she wanted to go home, Back East. Digging into his pockets, Kyle pulled out what he knew had to be at least five-hundred-dollars. It was a good deal of his share from the last job. Rushing back, he pushed it into Virginia’s hand. “Here ya are, Ma’am. Ya go home to your folks.”
She stared at the money, her one good eye shifting to the dirty man, patting her arm gently.
“Don’t ya say a word, ya just go home.” Tipping his hat, Kyle bolted away, his feet pumping up dirt as he raced to catch up with his friends.
Staggering to his feet Thompson glared hard at Kyle as the small man slowed to snag the black Stetson from the dust before running on. Taking a breath Emmet bellowed down the street, “Hannibal Heyes is it?! You’re a damn coward and, trust me, I will speak with you another day!”
“Hell, you will!” Heyes shouted spinning and barreling past both Preacher and Jenkins. “Let’s finish this now.” Olly Mathewson stepped in wrapping his long arms about Heyes, pinning him. “No, I don’t think so. You are too pissed and he is simply too little for you to worry over.”
Heyes growled, lunging to break free, the black demon he kept poked down inside of him crawling for freedom and screeching for blood.
“Sam Hill, Heyes, twisting his head off is only gonna put a murder charge on your poster,” Olly yelled. Grabbing hold of an arm, Heyes had managed to wrangle free and as he did Kid Curry appeared. Quickly assessing the situation, Curry snatched hold of his partner, forcibly herding him kicking and cussing to the livery stable.
Heyes leaned against a corral pole; his mercurial black eyes staring at the ground in front of him. Kid looked back toward the bonfire confused, “What the hell happened?”
Heyes spit blood from his mouth, shoving his hair back from his face.
“He had it coming,” was the snarled answer, “and, I don’t feel like talking any more about it.”
“All right,” Kid shook his head. “I’m gonna saddle our horses. You gonna stay here?”
Kid looked at his bloodied cousin and with a sigh walked on into the barn.
Kyle fell into step beside him, tilting his head back toward Heyes, and said, “That man back there, he were treatin’ that pretty lil’ gal poorly.”
Kid smiled back at his cousin, “Is that so?”
“Uh huh, he’d been hittin’ her and Heyes he stepped in and. . .don’t recall when I last saw him so powerfully pissed, but. . . ” Kyle looked back toward his leader, spit on the ground, and grinned, “sometimes a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.”
Wichita Red, "I'm not really a rebel, but I take chances. I have a good time, and I live life the way I want to live it."
Posts : 871
Join date : 2012-04-22
Age : 65
Location : Colorado
|Subject: Re: March 2014 - A Man Has To Do... Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:57 am|| |
Here's a short, missing scene from The Day They Hanged Kid Curry:
“C’mon, Wheat, lighten up,” begged Kyle. He’d been riding alongside his angry partner for the past hour and Wheat hadn’t spared a single word for him. “Why’re you so pissed off?”
Carlson looked at his small partner in amazement. “How can you ask me that? I saw the look on your face, Kyle. You don’t want to help Heyes and the Kid any more than Hank or Lobo did. You was willin’ to let them hang the Kid without liftin’ a finger. Why the hell did you come with me?”
“Don’t know; guess I come to watch your back.”
“You sure you ain’t lookin’ forward to a hangin’?”
Now it was Kyle’s turn to be furious. “That ain’t fair! The Kid’s my friend.”
“Some friend,” grumbled Wheat. “You should’ve stayed behind with Lobo and Hank; played some more cards while your ‘friend’ got his neck stretched.”
“What’s got you so high and mighty? How come you’re so hell-bent to ride to their rescue? You spent the last year tellin’ us all that goin’ for amnesty was gonna end badly for ‘em. Ain’t that why you decided not to go for it? Heyes said we could git it.”
“That ain’t got nothin’ to do with this.”
“Sure it does. You been sayin’ for years that those two would end up hangin’ from the highest tree; how come you’re so worried about them now?”
“How come you ain’t?” snapped Wheat.
“I’m worried,” Kyle looked away from his partner and mumbled, “I’m worried about the Kid same as you, but I’m worried ‘bout gettin’ my own neck in a noose. There’s gonna be all kinds of law there. What if someone recognizes us?”
“Us? Who’d recognize us? We’re small-time, two-bit outlaws, not Heyes and Curry. No one’s gonna be payin’ any attention to us,” said Wheat in a rare moment of honesty. “You know, I can’t believe you all could ride with those two all those years and then turn your backs on ‘em when they finally need you. Ain’t one of you that ain’t had his tail saved by them and you can’t be bothered to help.”
“I’m helpin'. I’m here, ain’t I?”
Wheat sighed, “Yeah, I guess so.”
“I just don’t get it. You been runnin’ Heyes down for years and the Kid, too. How come you’re so worked up?”
Wheat turned away from the penetrating stare of his smaller partner. “You oughta know, better than anyone, I was jealous of Heyes; young whippersnapper takin’ over the gang like that. Should’ve been mine. I was with Big Jim longer than anyone, but he pretty much gave the gang to Heyes. You think I should’ve rolled over and kept quiet about that?”
“Sure, Wheat, the rest of us did. Ain’t one of us that hadn’t been in the gang longer than those two.”
“Well, I couldn’t. It irked me every time Heyes ordered me about.”
“But you always did what you was told; even if you grumbled about it the whole time. Why didn’t you just ride out and find yourself a new gang?”
Carlson blushed beet red and said something so softly that Kyle couldn’t hear him.
“What’d you say?”
Wheat glared off into the distance; staring at the Montana prairie opening up before him. He cleared his throat and spoke, “I said; I knew Heyes would make us rich and famous.”
Kyle chuckled at the reluctant admission. “He did, didn’t he? The Devil’s Hole Gang is famous. Everyone knows us.”
“They do and that’s why we owe it to the Kid to help him.”
A stream of tobacco spewed from Murtry’s mouth and he grinned a juicy, brown smile at his partner. “I reckon we do. How come you let Lobo and Hank git away with not comin’? You’re leader now.”
“I figured it’d be more trouble than it’d be worth. Those two would find some way to mess it up if’n I dragged ‘em along.”
“I reckon you’re right.”
“I am right. What about you, Kyle? You ready to put it on the line for the Kid? ‘Cause don’t make no mistake about it. We just might end up danglin’ next to him. I’m willin’, are you?”
Murtry frowned and thought before answering, “You know, Wheat, you’re a better friend than I’ve gived you credit for. I’m right proud to call you partner.”
"You can only be young once. But you can always be immature." —Dave Barry
Posts : 832
Join date : 2012-04-22
Age : 102
Location : The Comfy Chair
|Subject: Re: March 2014 - A Man Has To Do... Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:55 pm|| |
The sound of rain woke Jed Curry, long after midnight. It pattered against the windows and the roof. A light wind moved the lacey curtains. He lay on his back, listening to the rain fall and enjoying the sweetened breeze that freshened the stagnant air of his hotel room.
Slowly he became aware of other sounds; horses knickering, men’s low voices, a cough. He sat up quickly, fully awake. His pistol hung on the headboard, and he slowly eased it out of its holster and crept on tiptoes to the window. Pushing aside the curtain with the barrel of his gun, he peered around the window frame, trying to see but not be seen. He looked out cautiously and saw – nothing. No crowd of men gathering to form a posse. Instead, several men were walking down the wooden sidewalk, singly and in pairs. Along the unpaved street, wet horses stamped their feet and pulled restlessly at their ties.
Curry pulled the curtain further back. Across the street, he saw a bartender, still in his work apron, closing and locking the saloon doors. No wonder he’d heard so many men at one time. His chest felt tight, and he realized he’d been holding his breath. He consciously took a slow, deep breath, willing himself to relax. The tension drained out of him, and he felt exhausted. He sank into a battered armchair, resting his arms on the padded arms of the chair, still holding his pistol loosely in his grip.
The street sounds faded away. He looked at the other bed, where Heyes lay still. Too still? In the darkness, he couldn’t tell if Heyes’ chest was moving. He got up, putting his gun back in its holster. He crossed the room quickly and rested a gentle hand on Heyes’ chest. The heartbeat was strong and steady.
Heyes stirred, and his eyes opened slowly. He blinked a few times, trying to focus.
Heyes turned his head side to side restlessly. He started to stretch but stopped when it hurt.
“What’s wrong?” Heyes asked. His words were slurred.
“Nothin’” Curry replied. “It’s rainin’.”
“You woke me up to tell me that?”
Curry sat down on the bed alongside his friend.
“Yeah, sure. Ain’t you the one who always wants to know what’s going on?”
Heyes pushed himself up into a sitting position. Curry resisted the urge to help.
“Not when I got better things to do, like sleep.”
“I’ll keep that in mind,” Curry said.
Heyes closed his eyes. Concerned, Curry rested his palm on Heyes’ forehead.
“I’m okay,” Heyes muttered.
“No fever,” Curry said, withdrawing his hand. “How you feelin’?”
Despite his worry, Curry smiled.
“Want more laudanum?”
“No. It makes me sleepy.”
“It’s the middle of the night, Heyes. You should be sleepin'.”
“I would be, if you weren’t waking me up for a weather report.”
“Thought I heard a posse gatherin' outside.”
Heyes’ eyes opened wide, and he tried to get up, but Curry put his hands on Heyes’ shoulders and held him down.
“Easy now. It weren’t nothin’. Just the saloon closing' and the last drunks goin’ home.”
“Oh.” Relieved, Heyes collapsed against his pillow.
“We lost ‘em, Heyes. We can stay here awhile so you can relax and heal up.”
“I’m ready to go anytime.”
“If you say so. How about I get the horses ready now and I throw you across your saddle like a sack of potatoes.”
“I can ride,” Heyes insisted. “I’ve ridden hurt worse than this.”
“I know you have,” Curry agreed. “I just can’t remember when.”
A flash of lightning brightened the room, followed by a long, slow roll of thunder. Fat raindrops pounded against the windows.
“Storm’s gettin’ worse,” Curry said. “Not a fit night for man or beast.”
Heyes didn’t respond.
“Ain’t nobody gonna follow our trail in this stuff, not even an Apache.” Curry smiled at Heyes, urging him to share the joke, but Heyes was quiet.
“Heyes. Look at me.” Heyes reluctantly turned his head towards his friend.
“Relax. Nobody knows we’re here.”
“The doctor knows,” Heyes interrupted.
“Don’t matter none. You know how bullets fly in these minin' towns. He’s treatin' a couple gunshot wounds every day. We got some funds for a change, so we can stay here a week or so, till you’re ready to ride. Nothin’ to worry about.”
“If that posse finds us, Kid, I want you to promise me you’ll leave me and go.” Heyes said quietly.
“What the hell kind of thing is that to say to me!” Kid said. “After all the years we been together, you think I’m the kind of man who’d leave his partner behind?”
“I know what kind of man you are, Kid, and that’s why I’m telling you, I want you to go. You wouldn’t last six months in prison. You’d be dead, and it’d be my fault, and Kid, I couldn’t live with that. That’d kill me sooner than getting shot and falling off my horse.”
“Huh. Well, considerin’ you just tried to get yourself killed by getting’ shot and fallin’ off your horse, I guess I have to believe you.” Another long roll of thunder punctuated the conversation. Both men turned to look at the window. The rain, now mixed with sleet, came down in sheets.
“You need the quilt, Heyes? Feels like it’s getting’ colder.”
“Yeah, thanks, Kid.” Curry got up and unfolded the quilt that hung on the footboard, laying it across the bed and pulling it up almost to Heyes’ neck.
“That feel better?”
The warmth did feel awful good to Heyes. It seemed to soothe all his aches and pains.
“Sure does. Thanks.” His eyelids were getting heavy. Even the sound of the thunderstorm, loud as it was, was lulling him back to sleep.
Curry sat down on the bed again. He saw Heyes was drowsy, and that was a good thing, but he knew if he left things unsaid now, they would never be said.
“Heyes,” he began. Something in Curry’s tone made Heyes open his eyes and listen hard.
“We been partners a long time, ain’t we?” Heyes smiled his response.
“I ain’t runnin’ out on you, any more than you’re gonna run out on me, so don’t even talk that way to me. We ain’t partners for some stupid reason like some men say, like it’s somethin’ we got to do, some kind of duty. We’re partners because we’re friends and we trust each other. That’s just the way it is. And, unless you really piss me off by tellin' me to run out on you, we’re gonna stay partners. So shut up and go to sleep, will you?”
Heyes smiled broadly. Even in the darkness, he could sense Curry smiling back at him.
“Kid?” Heyes asked. “I think I could do with a bit of that laudanum after all.” A flash of lightning illuminated Curry’s surprised expression.
“If it’s what a man’s gotta do to get better, I guess I ought to do it,” Heyes explained. “Especially since I don’t want you to load me on my horse like a sack of potatoes.”
“I’ll get you a dose – a small dose! Just enough to help you sleep, okay?”
“Okay. Just a little bit. I don’t want to get used to that stuff.”
“I don’t want that neither.” Curry poured a scant spoonful from the brown bottle on the nightstand. He lifted Heyes’ head gently with one hand, and Heyes swallowed the liquid gratefully. Curry put the spoon back on the nightstand.
“That ought to kick in pretty fast,” Curry said.
“Usually does.” In fact, Heyes thought he could already feel the effects. His headache was fading, and his arms and legs felt heavy as gold bars. Curry saw his friend’s breathing slow and deepen. Watching Heyes sleep was making him sleepy, too. He glanced over at his own bed with the rumpled covers and felt it calling his name.
Curry put one hand on Heyes’ chest. The strong, steady heartbeat reassured him. Satisfied, Curry got up and crawled into his own bed. The thunderstorm didn’t show any signs of weakening. Nope, he thought, ain’t nobody good enough to track me and Heyes through this kind of weather. He pulled the covers up around his neck. He figured they’d both sleep late.
"If it's worth doing, it's worth doing badly."
"The failure in doing something is stopping too soon."
Posts : 1619
Join date : 2012-04-22
Age : 60
Location : Northern California
|Subject: Re: March 2014 - A Man Has To Do... Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:56 pm|| |
I was reading a Drena Hills' story called Holiday and came across this paragraph that fit so nicely into our monthly challenge...
And young Jedediah despite his age was all ready a clever little boy who knew that big blue eyes with tears in them could make just about any woman crumble. He always felt bad about pretending to cry, but sometimes when a man was just 6 he had to do what he had to do or life would just up and pass him by.
Just had to share with the rest of you.
"Do you ever get the feeling that nothing right is ever going to happen to us again?" - Kid Curry
Posts : 178
Join date : 2012-04-21
Age : 56
Location : Devon
|Subject: Re: March 2014 - A Man Has To Do... Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:58 am|| |
I managed to do one! Just in time! It's a little rough around the edges but it's a challenge contribution. I'm still AS&Jing! A Man’s Got to Do ….
“Is everyone in position?”
“Yep. Wheat and Kyle have gone round the back. They should be waiting to go by now.”
“And Clyde’s with the horses? Need him to be ready as soon as we get out.”
“Heyes, everyone’s ready. You’ve planned it down to the last second. Let’s go do it instead of talkin’ ‘bout it, shall we?”
“Lead the way, Kid.” Heyes held out his arm, gesturing towards the bank.
Kid gave him an affirming nod, flipped the safety off his gun and sauntered across the road, with Heyes at his side.
As they reached the door of the bank, both surreptitiously checked that the other gang members were following their lead, before entering the building through its large, wooden doors.
Once inside they discretely fanned out, apart from Heyes who approached a teller.
The young man greeted Heyes with a cheerful, “Good morning.”
“Mornin’,” Heyes returned, with a broad smile.
“What can I do for you today?” the teller asked politely.
Heyes looked down briefly before bringing his gun into view. “You can hand over all the money,” came the succinct instruction, accompanied with a dimpled grin.
The teller’s eyes widened and he gave a visible gulp. Looking uncertainly about him he saw there were several other men in the bank, all cradling guns.
“I can’t do that,” he exclaimed, with hushed, trembling tones.
“Oh, sure you can,” Heyes replied with false joviality.
“No sir, I can’t. The money’s all in the safe and only Mr. Locke can open it,” came the sincere reply.
“What’s your name?”
“Conrad. Conrad Dewbury.”
“Well, Conrad Dewbury, could you please point out Mr Locke to me?”
“You’re not going to shoot him are you?” the youth asked in wide-eyed shock.
Heyes leaned forward, pressing his head as close as he could to the bars between him and the teller and hissed, “No, I’m not gonna shoot him but if you don’t start co-operatin’, my friend over there may shoot you.”
Conrad looked across to the friend indicated. He was met with a glacial, steely glare as Kid Curry acknowledged him by tipping the front of his hat with the handgun he held.
“Mr Locke is the one standing in front of the safe,” Conrad squeaked.
“Thank you, Conrad. Now, come on out from behind that counter and join your colleagues, if you’d please,” Heyes instructed, indicating towards the assembled group of bank employee and customers the rest of the Devil’s Hole gang had corralled in the corner.
“Yes, sir,” came the compliant response.
Heyes turned his attention to the small, be-spectacled, pale faced man stood in front of the bank’s large and impressive safe, which just happened to be one of the main reasons this particular bank had been selected.
The new Brooker safe should prove no problem to Heyes’ nimble fingers.
Looking over at his partner, Heyes inclined his head towards the bank manager, still stood defiantly before the safe. The man paled even more as both outlaws approached.
“Mr Locke,” Heyes addressed the now shaking man, holding out his hand in greeting. A perturbed Locke looked down at the proffered hand and then raised his gaze to look at Heyes.
“I’m not opening the safe!” he stated defiantly, the distortion of his glasses making his eyes appear to bulge more than they already were.
“Now don’t be like that, Mr Locke,” Heyes cajoled. “As a matter of fact, I don’t need you to do that as I’m quite capable of doing it myself.”
“Th- that’s not possible,” Locke stuttered. “This safe is foolproof.”
“Well, there you have it. I’m no fool,” Heyes responded conceitedly. “If you’d be kind enough to step aside and give me a little room I’ll show you.”
Locke opened his arms and rooted himself to the spot. “N-n- no. I’m sorry but I can’t allow you to …”
“There’s nothing to allow, Locke,” Heyes growled, getting a little fed up with the man’s stalling. “Now stand aside before I get my partner here to remove you!” he barked.
Locke took a couple of steps backwards until his back was against the safe, arms still held wide.
“You’ll have to kill me first,” he said dramatically.
Heyes put his hands on his hips and dipped his head forward. A slightly raised eyebrow and twitch of the mouth was the only response the Kid made.
Heyes’ head suddenly snapped up. “Move!” he commanded but Locke stood firm.
“Mr Locke.” Locke flinched visibly as the gunman, stood behind his assailant, spoke. The Kid, for his part, kept his arms crossed in a non-threatening manner, and spoke with soft, consolatory, even tones. “What you got ta understand as we’re on a bit a a time schedule here and iffen you don’t move soon then I’m gonna have ta do somethin’ about it. My partner here, don’t like to be kept waitin’.”
Though the words were calm there was no denying the menace behind them.
Locke swallowed but still did not move.
By now there was unrest in the bank. The Devils’ Hole gang were getting twitchy, the bank staff and customers were beginning to murmur their admiration at Locke’s defiance, if a little nervously.
Heyes had lost patience by now. “Get him out the way, Kid.”
With a sigh, the Kid stepped forward and took Locke by the arm but the much smaller man wriggled manically and managed to escape the grasp.
The Kid’s eyes clouded and his expression hardened. With a deep, throaty growl borne of exasperation, he took Locke by both arms and manhandled him out of the way, while Locke audaciously tried to plant his feet but he was no match for the physically bigger and stronger Curry.
When the insolent bank manager had been removed and taken across the room to stand with the others, Heyes interlinked his fingers and stretched them, in preparation of the manipulation of the safe’s tumblers.
His fingertips had just touched the dial when he heard his name being called from across the room. He grimaced with irritation.
“What is it, Kyle?” he asked, without even looking round.
“Think we got company. There’s a whole passle of people gatherin’ across the street and the sheriff seems to be makin’ his way over.”
At this remark Heyes did look round and met the steady gaze of his partner.
“Guessin’ we ran out of time, Heyes,” the Kid sighed.
Heyes threw back his head, closed his eyes and silently cussed. In the meantime, the Kid had organised the captives to be huddled into a far corner and, while he covered them with his gun, ordered the rest of the gang to make their way to the back door, where Clyde was waiting with the horses.
Still keeping a watchful eye, he sidled towards his partner who hadn’t moved from in front of the safe.
“We gotta go, Heyes,” the Kid told him.
“It’ll only take me a couple of minutes,” his forlorn partner mumbled.
“We ain’t got a couple of minutes.”
Reluctantly Heyes made his way towards the door but not before giving Locke one last irate look.
“Of all the stupid, irresponsible, down right ….” The last of Heyes’ tirade was lost to the sound of the horses’ pounding hooves as they made their way out of the town, before splitting up to make their own ways back to the Devil’s Hole.
About an hour later, when the Kid was confident they weren’t being followed, they slowed their horses to a more sedate pace. Heyes was still fuming over the bungled robbery attempt as they pulled up to let the horses and themselves, catch their breath.
“I mean, what was he thinking? I don’t expect he earns that much money, managing a bank like that. It wasn’t as if it was the biggest haul we’d ever been after. I just can’t believe that scrawny little man stood in the way of …”
“Heyes – give it a rest will ya. It ain’t gonna do no good thinkin’ on it so much,” the Kid told his partner patiently as he passed him the canteen from which he’d just taken a swig. Heyes absentmindedly took the proffered canteen.
“I just don’t get it, Kid.”
“Well, I guess sometimes a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do,” the Kid reasoned. He did not dare look at his tetchy partner, for fear he might laugh. He had been highly amused by the stand off in the bank, even though they had come away empty handed. It wasn't often Heyes came off worse in a altercation, especially to someone like Locke.
“Just as well I was there to back you up there, Heyes,” the Kid commented flippantly, riding off quickly before his partner could retort. A flabbergasted Heyes watched him ride away wondering just where his planning had gone so wrong.
He had obviously come across a Locke he could not pick!
'If I hadn't seen such riches I could live with being poor.'
Last edited by FrankieASJ on Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:50 am; edited 2 times in total
Posts : 1619
Join date : 2012-04-22
Age : 60
Location : Northern California
|Subject: Re: March 2014 - A Man Has To Do... Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:45 pm|| |
A man has to do what a man has to do
Two trail weary former outlaws cautiously rode into El Dorado, their eyes taking in the buildings, the townsfolk, and glanced for a name on the sheriff’s office.
“Lloyd Montgomery,” Curry muttered so only his partner would hear. “I don’t think we know Sheriff Montgomery, do we?” When he didn’t hear his partner answer back with the expected, “No, we don’t,” the Kid glanced sideways and saw his partner tip his hat down, covering more of his face. “Obviously, we do.”
“Just continue to ride outta town.” Heyes fought the inclination of spurring his horse out quickly.
They rode a few miles out to a wooded area and dismounted.
“I’ve been wrackin’ my brain, Heyes, but I sure don’t recall a Lloyd Montgomery and we got papers to deliver.”
“You wouldn’t know him.” Heyes pulled the set of papers out of his saddle bags. “He rode with the Plummer gang when I did. I heard a rumor he turned sheriff, like Lom, but I didn’t believe it. He was an ornery cuss… he always seemed to have it out for me since I was the youngest in that gang. Made my life miserable.”
Curry took the proffered papers. “So you can’t go into town, but I can.”
“Seems so. I can’t take a chance with Montgomery as sheriff. He’d know me and not think twice about collecting that reward money,” Heyes sighed. “And I was really looking forward to a hot meal and a drink. A bed and shower are going to have to wait until the next town.”
“Okay,” the Kid said as he put the papers in his saddle bag. “I’ll deliver them and get back here.”
“May as well get a few supplies; don’t know when we’ll get to the next town. We need coffee and beans and…”
“I know what we need.” Curry mounted his horse.
“Oh, and Kid, buy a bottle of the good stuff so I can have a drink later.”
“Hurry back. Montgomery shouldn’t recognize you, but…”
“I’ll be careful, Heyes.” The Kid grinned. “You’re worried about me.”
“Yeah, worried you’ll get in trouble without me!”
Curry’s smile disappeared. “I won’t get in trouble. Why don’t you get out that book I know you have in your bags. Before you know it, I’ll be back.” He reined his horse towards the road and loped back the way they came from.
~ * ~ * ~
The Kid smiled as he walked out of the mercantile with his purchases and stuffed them in his saddle bags. So far the trip into town had gone smooth. He delivered the papers to the lawyer, who was relieved to get them so quickly and happy to pay for the job, with a small bonus. The store had what they needed, including their favorite licorice that the Kid couldn’t resist buying and some cigars for the evening. And there was no sign of Sheriff Montgomery. One more stop and he’d be on his way back to his waiting partner.
On his way to the saloon, he smelled the fried chicken being served in the café. “Hmm… I got a little time and can bring Heyes back some. Fried chicken is good hot or cold,” Curry rationalized.
Most an hour later, Curry went up to the bar when he entered the saloon. When bartender looked up and the Kid ordered, “A beer and a bottle of your best whisky.”
The bartender brought the drink and bottle. “That’ll be a dollar and a bit.”
The Kid paid the man and was enjoying his beer when a hand took hold of his arm before he knew it. He froze.
“Hey, Kid… long time no see,” a gal whispered in his ear.
“The name’s Thad…,” he said as he turned to see who knew him. “Maggie, it’s you!” He swept her off the floor in a hug.
“I’ve missed you, too!” the strawberry blonde gal gave him a big kiss. “Been a long time. Do you live nearby?”
“Just passin’ through. Last time I saw you was at…”
“Why’d you leave and come here?”
“The mayor’s wife objected to him seein’ me and paid me to leave.” She looked around the room. “Where’s that handsome partner of yours?”
“He’s waitin’ for me. In fact, I really need to go, unfortunately.”
“What?” Maggie pouted. “You’re gonna have a drink and go? No time for me? I was thinkin’ we could…” She continued by whispering in his ear.
Curry blushed slightly. “Well, my partner is readin’ a book. Maybe he won’t notice if I’m gone an hour longer, but I have to leave then.”
“Sure, honey. Just follow me.” Maggie grabbed his bottle in one hand and his arm in another.
The Kid allowed himself to be led up the stairs.
~ * ~ * ~
Heyes paced the temporary camp site, stopped, looked at his watch, flipped the lid shut, and paced some more. “He should have been back at least two hours ago! Maybe Montgomery did know him. Probably got himself into trouble… that dang gun of his! And he’s stubborn, too.” He mounted his horse. “So help me…”
“Where you goin’?” Curry slowed his horse’s gait quickly as he came to the trees and saw his partner.
“Where have you been?! Do you know how late you are?”
“You were worried.” Curry held out a bag. “I brought you something to eat.”
Heyes grabbed the bag and peeked inside. “Fried chicken? You stopped and ate?”
“Well, I had to eat sometime, didn’t I? Thought you’d appreciate something besides beans for your meal.”
Heyes took out a leg and began eat it. “Did you deliver the papers? Get supplies?”
“What took you so long?”
“I got recognized.”
“Who? Montgomery? How’d you get away?”
“Not Montgomery – Maggie.”
Heyes furrowed his brow. “Maggie? Maggie from Shingle Springs?”
Curry smiled. “Yep.”
“You mean you took time to… Hey, you had a bath!”
“Well, Maggie wasn’t gonna… I needed a bath.”
“I can’t believe you took the time to have a dinner, a bath, and took some time to be with a gal!”
“Heyes, a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.” The Kid sighed and grinned when he thought about the last hour or two. “Besides, not just any gal – Maggie. You can’t tell me you wouldn’t have spent some time with her if you were in my place.”
“I bought a bottle of the good stuff, some cigars and our favorite licorice,” Curry said, hoping to appease Heyes.
“And the chicken is good, even though it’s cold.”
The Kid smiled. “Let’s get down the road some away from Montgomery. You can tell me more about him and this ornery side of his. How did he make you so miserable?”
The two men walked the horses down the road while Heyes ate and talked. “Well, Lloyd Montgomery was…”
"Do you ever get the feeling that nothing right is ever going to happen to us again?" - Kid Curry
Posts : 136
Join date : 2013-10-27
Age : 46
|Subject: Re: March 2014 - A Man Has To Do... Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:00 pm|| |
Grue"Look, mister, you got the wrong man."
"Sonny, I knows what I'm looking fer, and you're it.
The young man held his hands in the air. "Mister, please."
The gunman smirked. He held his pistol steady, and fired.
Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry galloped into the yard of Salter’s ranch near Laramie, Wyoming. Jumping down, they hitched their horses to the rail, acknowledging Lom Trevors on the porch. The trio entered the ranch house.
"You two made time. Just pulled in myself a bit ago."
The duo, winded, regarded the lawman expectantly. Heyes spoke, "Wire said you'd seen the Governor?"
"Yep. Just in from Cheyenne."
The sheriff poured two additional mugs of coffee, handing each in turn to the partners before grabbing his own. "Take a load off and catch your breath." He sat backwards on a chair in front of a stained oaken table; it had seen its share of conversations. He was not smiling. "We have some serious business to discuss."
The partners glanced at each other before seating themselves. They sipped and settled the mugs on the table, spoke in unison, "What's up?"
Without giving Lom a chance to respond, Kid Curry asked, "We didn't get it, did we?"
Hannibal Heyes glowered. "No, we didn't. There'd be whiskey instead of coffee if we did. Lom?"
Setting his mug on the table, the lawman spread his forearms the length of the top of the chair back. He sighed. "No."
In one motion, Heyes stood, sidearming his mug into a corner. He raised his voice. "I knew it! What do we have to do, Lom? It's been two years! We've stayed out of trouble, helped the Governor whenever he asked ... Hell, we've kowtowed to any request from him or you." He turned and stared at the open door. The front coming in had overtaken the sun; the scenery beyond was dark.
A few moments of disquiet filled the room. Finally, Heyes turned back to the men at the table. He breathed deeply, his tone repentant. "I'm sorry, Lom. When we got the wire and it said urgent, we got our hopes up a little too high maybe." He glanced at Curry, sighed, sat down.
Kid's brow knit thoughtfully. "Lom, what's goin' on?"
"The Governor's none too happy with you two. He was ready to pull your provisional amnesty, but I managed to put him off that idea, for now anyway."
"Why? After all this time ..."
"I was as confounded as you, Heyes. I calmed him down and finally got the whole story. Seems the son of one of his biggest backers was shot up by Devil's Hole. What he was doing up there, who knows -- fool kid! Anyway, he's in a bad way; was left for dead. From the little he's been able to tell, it seems he got on the wrong side of one of the boys up there. They couldn't make out the name, but it was something like Bratton, or Bartel. That ring a bell?"
Kid slowly shook his head.
Heyes spoke, "No. But then, we haven't been up there in a long time. Don't sound like any of the boys we rode with."
"I didn't think so. But, the Governor is holding you two responsible."
Kid looked aghast. "That don't make sense."
"That's what I told him. Somehow he thinks you bein' good at what you did might have influenced the men with you too much, or even spur some to want the outlaw life, especially like that fool kid." Lom shook his head. "It's a damn shame. Anyway, like I said, the boy's in a bad way. The doc tending him is hoping for the best but ain't sure he'll make it. That boy dies, I can't say what the Governor'll do as regards you two, never mind your amnesty."
Heyes looked Lom dead in the eye. "So the Governor's putting it on us even though we had nothing to do with it?"
"Yep, that's about the size of it. Don't make sense. It's political payback far as I can see. There's an election coming up, and the boy's father is pressuring the Governor to get the shooter." The lawman rolled his eyes. "Like I said, he was ready to revoke your provisional amnesty and have you two hauled off to the territorial prison. I pointed out he has you two at his beck and call, so he's calling in a favor."
Curry looked up. "Another favor? Hmph! More like hangin' us by the throat."
Heyes eyed the sheriff. "Yeah, we bring in this Brat, Bart -- whatever his name is -- or we're behind bars. Is that about it, Lom?"
Heyes flew out of his chair. "Unfortunately, nothing! We've done everything we were supposed to do. Now this? We go to Devil's Hole or ... go to Mexico. Got no choices left. Come on, Kid. We can make tracks before this storm sets in."
Kid Curry rose. "See ya, Lom." He followed his partner out the door.
The lawman jumped to his feet. "Wait!"
They stopped. "What?"
Lom's face flushed with anger. "Now just a damned minute! I put myself on the line for you two. You owe me!"
"You two come to me two years ago for a favor. I was skeptical but pulled for ya every step of the way. Even now I talked the Governor into not throwing the pair of ya to the wolves." He sighed. "You want to walk away now, go ahead. But if I ever see either of you again, I'll ship you off to prison myself. And be glad to do it!"
"Kid, tell me again why we're doing this?"
"Because we owe Lom."
"Do you really believe that?"
"Yeah, Heyes, I do. Much as I hate to admit it."
A blond man reclined behind a pair of boulders on an outcropping overlooking a valley. He started at the sound of a shot, then another. Now alert, he clambered to the best vantage point, rifle at the ready. Grinning, Kyle Murtry fired two return shots, signalling the men forward.
He watched men and horses slowly ascend the trail, standing when they finally reached the summit. "Good to see ya, Heyes, Kid."
"Whatcha doin' up here? Ya ain’t changed yer mind on goin’ straight?"
The partners glanced at each other. Heyes replied, "Maybe. Kinda miss the old life."
Kyle removed his hat and slapped it against his thigh. "Golly! It be good to have ya back!" His smile just as quickly faded. "But ..."
Curry's eyes narrowed. "But, what?"
"Well, t'ain't like it was. Things've changed."
"Well, yeah, but we'll put Wheat in his place."
"Heyes, it ain't Wheat." Kyle looked down at his boot.
Kid eyed his former subordinate. "Kyle, whatcha ..."
Three sets of eyes turned toward the sound of hooves. The rider stopped on a dime, pistol drawn.
"Heard shots back at the cabin." He turned the gun on Heyes and Curry. "Hands up where I kin see 'em."
The partners complied.
Heyes smiled. "Now, that's not a real friendly welcome ..."
"Shut it! I'll do the talkin'!" The gunman kept one eye on the partners and the other on Kyle. "Who're these two?"
The blond outlaw stammered. "They's Hey ... Hey ..."
Keeping his gun trained on Heyes and Curry, the rider jumped off his horse, striding toward Kyle. He backhanded him with his free hand. The blond man cowered.
"No need for that!" Before Kid Curry could lower his arm to slap leather, a shot whizzed past his ear.
In the confusion that followed, Curry's bay reared, throwing him to the ground with a thud. The gunman fired again. Heyes sidestepped, reaching for his holster, but yelped, his hand streaming blood. Kyle sprang forward, throwing his weight at the stranger's legs. Both went down in a heap, the gunman's pistol knocked free. The blond outlaw took a blow to the face.
"Hold it!" Hannibal Heyes held his side arm in his left hand. Kicking away the gunman's pistol, he motioned for him to stand. "Hands where I can see them." His eyes held the stranger's. "Kyle, see to Kid."
The blond outlaw ran to the prone Curry. Removing his bandana, he spit on it, applying it to the side of Kid's head.
Curry moaned, then bellyached, "Ow!"
Kyle grinned. "He's a'right, Heyes."
"Heyes? Kid? Curry?"
Dark ex-outlaw eyes narrowed. "What about it?"
"Hell, we been wonderin' if you two would ever show yer yellow bellies."
"Now, wait a cotton-pickin' minute ..." Kyle stormed toward the gunman.
"Yer little yappy pup there ain't good fer much, is he?"
Heyes stepped to block the blond outlaw's approach. "Kyle, tie his hands real good. Nothing but a two-bit loser. He ain't worth your trouble."
The gunman smirked. A handful of blood caught him mid-laugh.
"But he's worth mine."
Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything. ~ Wyatt Earp
|Subject: Re: March 2014 - A Man Has To Do... || |
March 2014 - A Man Has To Do...