This post has been moved. Originally posted by Cal:Storm Clouds
They'd ordered ham and eggs, biscuits and gravy...coffee...and pie...well they were celebrating.
Before leaving the last town, early as it happened, Heyes having been rather too fortunate at the poker tables the night before, Kid had decided to let Lom know they were moving on. He'd sent a brief telegram,
be in Torrents Gap in one week . Smith and Jones,
and was surprised to receive a reply,
Judge Handley recommended you for reward . two hundred . will wire to TG soonest . Lom.
Well well miricles, paid for once, that was a new experience. Kid had taken time to stock up on supplies for the trail. The horses had made good time to this thriving little mining town, the third such town they'd visited since leaving the stage at Clarksville and heading north.
They'd secured their favourite type of hotel room, front with a view down the main street. They'd had baths and barber shaves, slept in soft beds, one each. They'd decided to give their finest threads an airing this morning as they would have to visit the bank, even their white shirts had been laundered and ironed for them overnight.
Kid thought all he needed now was a big breakfast and he may just begin to believe their luck was set fair. Two gingham clad lovelies had vied with each other to be the one to take the order from two of the handsomest visitors their town had seen in a very long time. Kids face had broke into a hundred watt smile, blue eyes twinkling as the winner approached. Heyes shook his head ruefully as the inevitable flirting ensued.
Kid was now giving his full attention to his breakfast. Heyes who'd picked at his, pushed it aside. He was holding a thin journal the banner of which declared...
Torrent Tribune..if its happening you'll read about it here!
Heyes looked really bored, seemed nothing was happening in Torrents Gap. His coffee was refreshed, the waitress lingering over their service.
"Thankyou " he dimpled eliciting a warm giggle "I think Mr Jones will be ready for that pie shortly"
He watched the retreating rear appreciatively.
"What you thinking about Heyes?" smirked Curry.
Heyes faced Kid and set his features in their most innocent arrangement.
"I was thinking about Clem...."
"Sure you were."
"I was thinking about the goofy look on your face when she introduced us to those two marshals". Curry visibly shuddered "Don't remind me think I aged ten years!"
Annoyed that Heyes had tried to put a dampner on his good mood, Kid smiled broadly at his cousin,
"Don't think I was as shocked as you....when we saw those two guys....all I could think was we really should've stayed in the closet!"
Heyes' keen eyes caught the disappointment writ large on the face of the approaching waitress. She plonked pie in front of each handsome face with a small shake of her head and an exhaled sigh. She returned to her friend with a resigned lift of her shoulders and a whistful look back to the two handsome strangers for what might have been.
Heyes was horrified...Curry oblivious.
Knowing he had to quickly set things right, Heyes shook his head at his exasperating partner and summoning his deepest, ex outlaw leaders voice he called for the check. When it came, he slapped Kid a little too hard on the arm and pronounced to the World,
"Better not eat too much of that pie Thaddeus, we got to get you fitted for your wedding suit. Can't have my wife saying I let you marry the mayor's daughter in that tired old blue thing."
Curry was baffled, in short order he was bundled out onto the boardwalk before he'd had a chance to find out if either of the young ladies would like his company later that day.
"What did you say that fer? We might have to wait round here till next week for that money to arrive, I think they kinda liked us."
Heyes wasn't about to explain what he'd read in that waitress' face to the Kid. He pulled at his collar as though suddenly it had become too tight, shaking his head in wonderment at the innocence of the fastest gun in the west . Gathering his thoughts quickly, the silver tongued one enlightened his partner,
"See Kid its a plan.....a Hannibal Heyes plan.....them waitresses sure to be gossips....soon everyone in Torrents Gap will know we're here as a last hurrah fore your nuptials.....we can sleep late...go drinking and gambling....no one will think anything of it.....and no one will call us transients....we'll have us a fine time."
Curry looked confused, he'd been having a fine time, but he didn't like the idea of anyone calling them transients again. His hand fell to the butt of his trusted gun. Last time he'd been called a transient the law made home walk round nekkid!
"I guess Heyes" he smiled, nodding.
As it turned out Heyes had been right. Why that very afternoon sheriff Helmut Hauser had shook Kids hand and wished him luck in his coming wedding with a knowing wink. People were disposed to buy him drinks and the local fallen doves saw the handsome blonds proximity to wedded bliss as a challenge. Heyes got so into his role that he'd invented a convoluted back story for the romance, so much so that Kid was getting confused.
"So my fiancé is your brothers cousin...right?"
It was very late Saturday night and they'd had a lot to drink and were just swaying their way past the bank on route to the hotel.
"What does it matter Kid...they won't remember either...anyways...our money'll be in the bank Monday and we'll light out. Don't want to outstay our welcome do we. Hey?"
"Nothing...couldn't a been...thought I saw Pre...na." and with that the partners decided to entertain the generous folks of Torrents Gap with a little singing...fade out...fade out!
They didn't attend church the next morning. Curry managed breakfast...just before the hotel dining room closed. Heyes spent the day with his hangover. As the afternoon came on so did the storm clouds, dark and loaded with rain. Kid hadn't given much thought to the towns name, but looking out of their hotel room later that night he whistled,
"Sheesh...Torrents in Torrents ...what a night...even dogs shouldn't be out in this."
"Fine night for ducks and outlaws" laughed Heyes, still nursing his head but feeling a lot better. " We used to tell the boys it was good for them coz there wouldn't be no tracks for a posse...remember?"
"Yeah...well I sure am glad we gave all that up. Don't mind sitting here looking out at it...wouldn't want to be out in it...that's for sure."
It was three in the morning when the explosion woke the town. Like all the other residents of the hotel, in hastily pulled on pants, boots and guns, Heyes and Curry tumbled out onto the porch to see the front of the bank in flames, its door flat on the boardwalk.
The partners looked incredulous at each other, then alarm spread on their faces as they heard the big sheriff calling out for heroes to make up a posse.
Back in their room, accompanied by the pounding hooves of the posses departure in the street below, Kid is maniacally packing their things.
"Wait a minute Kid...this has nothing to do with us...we don't need to go...in fact how would that look?"
"But Lom...and the judge...they know we're here...and..."
"Yeah...and I think they'd back us up. Sure one time Lom would'a come here gunnin for us...but..."
"What? Back us up that your brothers cousin's sister's marrying...sheesh...I can't even back us up!"
"No...no...kid ...we're in the clear...you'll see...no ones looking at us for this...we're strangers so they won't think we should've joined that posse. Our money's not even in the bank yet. We're OK, this has nothing to do with us...we'll just send a telegram to Lom in the morning ...explaining."
Kid looked uncomfortable, it was a new experience to be in a town after a bank robbery. He'd overheard the lovely waitresses saying "Devils Hole gang" at breakfast but there was no mention of him or whats his name. Surely this was way off their patch? but he guessed things had changed since their day.
Heyes had started acting weird, smiling too much, talking too loud. When they got back to their room he swore loudly that their money better @#£%! well be there tomorrow!
The storm really hit. Curry looked out at the relentless rain, the mud churned up by wagons in the main Street. Two workmen were rehanging the banks door, struggling under the weight, he sighed and shook his head. He should be known their luck couldn't hold,
"Think I've had enough of Torrents Gap...when there's a Gap in the Torrents think we should be moving on anyway. Did you get a reply from Lom yet?"
"Not yet Kid...we'll just sit tight is all."
Heyes opened a book, so Kid took gun oil, a cloth and his Colt to the seat by the window and kept a close eye on the street below.
Later that night
A commotion below got a light sleeping Curry to his feet. He grabbed the Colt from the bedpost, stood behind the window frame and twitched the curtain aside. The heroes were returning, tired but elated. A few whoops were heard. Someone shouted a questioning greeting from the saloons batwing door.
"We Bagged us an outlaw!"
Kid looked for a body slung over a horse. Saw none. Confused he studied the riders straggling up the muddy street, trail worn and wet. Even under their rain slickers he could see none of the riders were tied up. He looked back at the big sheriff at the head of the column pulling his huge sorrel to a halt in front of the jail. As he dismounted Kid got a clear view of the diminutive prisoner tied into the saddle of a small mare on his far side, his eyes went wide in recognition.
"Oh no" said Heyes, now at Kids shoulder
Heyes had seen it. That look Kid gets when he throws sense out the window and goes in to save the day, all guns blazing. He didn't miss his partners sudden interest in the jail and how many deputies were on duty and when. They hadn't discussed it over breakfast, or as they walked to the telegraph office to collect Loms reply, but he could feel it coming........the real storm.
"But its Kyle...not just anyone...Kyle...that's all there is to discuss. Of course we're going to break him out!"
Curry was mean, loud and dangerous, his face inches from Heyes'. They'd been going at it since they'd got back to the room. Heyes had reasoned every which way and was feeling exhausted.
"Kid...Lom says if we have anything...Anything... to do with that robbery that's it...no second chances...all that effort wasted. We break Kyle out...that's having something to do with the robbery! Lom will come arrest us himself...that what you want? Get arrested...no amnesty...twenty years in jail!"
"But its Kyle..." and so it continued.
There was a knock on the door, a polite cough
"Laundry" called an oriental voice.
The partners realised their voices had been rising, Heyes walked to the door but didn't open it until Kid stood with his gun drawn just out of view.
"Oh our shirts...thankyou...put them right on the bed there"
The diminutive Chinese man entered the room, turned and smiled up at Heyes
"Hello again Mr Heyes, Mr Curry perhaps you should close the door, and it might be prudent to lower your voices too."
Heyes looked at the little man confused for a second, then at his partner. Kid came to stare down at the unexpected visitor, still holding the gun, fuming. The man's poker face was impressive in the presence of a riled up Kid Curry. He didn't flinch.
Kids face broke into a wide smile
"Wong...that you? Didn't know you there for a minute without the beard and moustaches. You here to get Kyle out? Is Haff with you?"
Wongs eyes slid to the window,
Down below a small figure in old robes and a cooli hat was sweeping the boardwalk in front of the jail. As if feeling their gaze, Haff briefly glanced up.
"How did you know we were here?" asked Heyes, not at all pleased to see the two newest members of the Devils Hole gang now lead by Kyle Mertry's partner, Wheat Carlson.
He owed Wong a debt for saving Kids arm, maybe even his life, after the Kid had taken a bullet in a posse chase from hell right back to the Devils own country, but he didn't think now was a good time for Wong to collect.
"I've been in town for weeks, you'd be amazed how people talk when they bathe or sit in a barbers chair. Imagine my delight when I heard the bank manager worrying his safe would not be strong enough for the mines payroll when it rested at his bank overnight before going up to the mine on Monday. Or my delight in seeing my good friends Mr Heyes and Mr Curry."
"What! We had baths! You shaved...@#£%&! That's amazing...why didn't you say something?"
Kids voice was getting loud again, as he looked at the little man incredulously, the smile growing wider.
"Why would I Mr Curry? Weren't you just telling me what I already know? It was very comforting. You see Haff and me, we are invisible in your west. They have made wanted posters for us now you know. I have seen them...The Chinaman, wanted dead or alive, reward two thousand dollar. The picture is drawn from a dime novel villain. My own mother would not know me. Haff's is worse. The Devils Apache, picture looks like Sitting Bull!"
Kid laughed heartily.
Heyes watched and worried.
Kid needed air, he'd leave the two geniuses to argue. There was a break between downpours which gave the air a scrubbed quality, good and fresh. He took a cigar out of his pocket settled himself into a chair on the hotel porch, and pushed back onto two legs. Hat pulled low, he watched the jail and the bank, thinking.
A small figure headed down the street toward the livery corals that spread out at the rear of the street, almost to the bank itself. Almost to the bank...
"Ah," sighed Kid "That's how they did it."
He stood, and quielty strolled over to the bank, then cutting down one of the side alleys, made his way slowly to the farthest coral which held a pair of familiar mules and a beautiful paint mare mountain pony. Next to the coral stood a ramshackle mule wagon. There were a few sacks scattered on the flat bed but Kids keen eyes soon noted the very sturdy solid construction of the wagons seat.
He leaned on the rail, pulling mud off his boots on the bottom one. He caught as slight movement over by the back of the wagon.
"That payroll box never left Torrents Gap did it Haff? But how did Kyle get taken?"
The little Indian made a show of giving apples to the mules. The pony ran up and tried kicking her rivals for Haffs attention away in a spirited show of dominance.
"Feisty mare." appreciated Curry. Haff lowered his voice
"Wheat and Kyle went in, Lobo had the horses out back, Preacher n me lookouts both sides. Kyle blew the safe. Wheat grabbed the box, took it straight to Wong, who'd got the wagon real close. The boys took off, all different directions, course it was raining so wouldn't have mattered but that was the plan.
Wheat was gonna send a telegram a week or so later, Wongs brother ill or something. Wong pays a labourer, me, to load his barber chair on the wagon, easy gettaway, blow box later.
Kyle hadn't come out, his horse was still there, I thought he'd blowed hisself up. Wong said I should trail the posse. They took off, rode a few miles in the rain, holed up in a barn for hours just sending a couple of men out now and then to scout for tracks."
Haff shook his head at the futility of this.
"They must of had enough. I seen they was heading back fer town, so I took off cross country to beat them back"
Haff face twisted in disgust.
"I should a stuck to them. Kyle must a come to, found his horse and let her drift him out of town, but he was in a bad way, some burnt and deafend most like, if I'd seen him first..."
"Don't worry we'll get him out" comforted the gunslinger. Haff looked up for the first time.
" You gonna help?" he smiled.
" Oh yes, one thing Heyes n me do better than robbing trains n banks is jailbreaks. Let me tell you bout this one time I had to give myself up to free a good friend of ours called Belle Jordan..."
Heyes' silver tongue was in overdrive, he had to get the cunning Little oriental to see this from their perspective.
"Kid n me need that amnesty Wong...we're not invisible...and its twenty thousand dead or alive...how do you think Kid got in that state last time...maybe we won't get lucky next time...and its twenty years they want! We like Kyle but..."
"Mr Heyes, Kyle is not needing another explosion right now. When Wheat comes back, and he will, he'll bring Dynamite. You could open the locks without Dynamite. We would see Kyle away, no one would know you were involved."
"Lom would...and there's this judge..."
This argument had been raging sometime, when shouting from the street below pulled them both to the window.
"Seems your partner and mine have decided without us Mr Heyes, men of action it seems, however foolish."
Heyes watched, unable to take his eyes off what was surely gonna be a disaster below.
Haff, now in an Indian blanket and large black hat staggered his way loudly along the boardwalk directly into the path of deputy Hauser, the arrogant young nephew to Sheriff Hauser. The young would be Wyat Erp backhanded the pint sized drunken indian.
"Get outta my way halfbreed!"
Haff, anticipating the blow, threw himself over the rail and landed dramatically, mud splattering in every direction at the feet of Kid Curry. The Kid, sounding not to sober himself pulled Haff to his feet.
"No one talks to my drinking buddy like that. Don't think I like your attitude...HIC!"
Then a man mountain, the family resemblance to the sheriff obvious, came to stand next to the deputy eying the drunks.
"Don't you take that from them son, you're a town deputy now".
"That's right...you shouldn't be talking that way to me!"
The young punk squared up to Kid, hands on his gun belt.
Why don't he just arrest us? thought Kid. He hadn't really reckoned on a gun fight, and now there were two of them. He watched, trying to keep up the drunk act, saw the movement and...Bang! Bang!...two holsters hit dirt.
Haff had managed to cover Kids shooting hand from the jail side with his blanket so the sheriff running to them hadn't seen the draw. Now he leapt at Kid knocking him off his feet and into the welcoming mud in mock congratulations for the fine shooting. Kid played along allowing his Colt to fly from his hand to the feet of the stunned deputy.
"What's going on here Mason? Is that Jones?" The sheriff eyed the mud wrestlers. "He been drinking this early? Who's firing off bullets in my town!"
The deputy, Mason , was coming to his senses. Kid and Haff horsed around some more to give him time to pick up Kids gun, wave it at them and demand they walk to the jail.
"Not sure I want them in the jail... like that...and I don't want a drunk Indian in my jail any longer than I have to. You make sure you throw them out soon as they sober up...I'll have to go look for Jones partner...I thought this here was the sensible one!" And with that the sheriff stalked off.
Kid was put in the cell adjacent to a sleeping Kyle. If they'd known Kyle was resting they wouldn't have put quite so much mud on their faces. They'd half expected to be greeted " Well howdy Kid, Haff!" He took a little pleasure in riling the young deputy again about needing to practice his fast draw, just enough so Mason, eyes blazing, threw the near unconscious Haff into Kids lap with only a cursory pat down for weapons, shouting
"Here you like Indians so much see how you like sleeping with one in the same cage!"
Mason had drawn night duty and was nodding in the chair over by the sheriffs desk. Kid had filled a grateful Kyle in on the plan. Haff was grinning, adding feathers to his headband and ferocious war paint to his already mud coloured face. When they were ready, Kyle held the gun they'd smuggled in, Haff stood on the cot behind Kid, took a handful of blond curls and brandished a wicked looking blade to the happless Jones' neck. Kid tried and failed to look terrified.
"Come on you two, quit horsing around. We gotta make this look good" whispered a very tired sounding Kyle. They all took a deep breath.
Curry screamed, Haff let out a terrifying war cry. Masons eyes flew open.
"Deputy you better get back here with that key real quick...not sure how long I can keep the Apache from scalping that drunk " drawled Kyle showing the muzzle of the gun through the bars.
When they'd got the wide eyed deputy tied up and gagged on one of the cell cots, Kyle turned from Haff, who was pushing a still terrified hostage at knife point to the back door, to add
"and iffn your thinking o coming after us...I just might let him have that scalp...you understand?"
Kid smiled when the back door opened under his hand and he saw Kyles little mare, the black gelding and the paint pony tied, all fully loaded with their gear, at the rear of the jail. Thank you partner he grinned though he new Heyes would be long gone.
Heyes and Wong had ghosted down the back stairs of the hotel almost as soon as they'd seen the jail door shut behind their partners and the happless Mason. Heyes'd heard enough to know he'd have to get the Sheriff running all round town looking for Smith to ensure only the young deputy, who didn't seem too bright was there to lock up the drunks.
Wong was shaving a customer when Heyes passed the shop later in his game of cat and mouse.
"You want shave sir? Good hot towels". Heyes smiled and shook his head, Wong was right...invisible.
After dark, he waited for Kid to make a move. He heard his partners dramatic scream followed by a blood curdling war cry. Laughing, he quickly had the rear door to the jail open in time to hear Kyle's threat to let The Devils Apache scalp poor Jones. He watched as all three passed him on their way to freedom.
Next morning, as the sun was just putting in its first appearance in days, Heyes, looking rather dechevilled and hung over wobbled up to meet the sheriff as he approached the jail house.
"Sheriff!". He hollered, then faked pain in his head ."Hear you got my drinking buddy..I mean partner...in a cell. There was no need..."
"Yes there was! There was gun play in the main Street...and he was drinking with an indian. We don't hold with buying Indians liquor in these parts".
"That sneaky Indian drank us under the table...they left me in a ditch...back there...says they were gonna find themselves couple a..."
Smith, under the disapproving glare of Sheriff Hauser had the sense to stop talking. He smiled up at the Sheriff,
"Well I sure hope Thaddeus has seen the error of his ways, and I'd like a word with that Indian, I think I was robbed!"
Heyes' is playing the distraught friend of the abducted Jones to the fullest.
"Scalped! What will my wife say?...and the mayor!"
Oh he's enjoying himself far too much.
A couple of miles out of town, the three desperadoes pull up behind some rocks just off the trail. Haff is returning to town to watch his partners back till the telegram from Wheat arrives. The rain has stopped but he's already wet enough to start wiping off the war paint.
"Bye Haff, stay safe and keep Wong safe." Kid offered a handshake. Haff beamed
"My friend Kid Curry would make good indian!" he laughed at Kids muddy face. "See you back at the Hole Kyle" and with that he was gone.
"You gonna be alright Kyle?" Kid looked at Kyle's tattered clothes and smoke blackened face.
"Oh sure Kid...Wongs been showing us how to be invisible...he says we don't need to hightail it hell for leather after a job...we just melt into the night..." Kyles eyes became wide, his voice dropping to a conspiratorial whisper.
"Good" nodded Kid bemused, wiping his face with a bandaner and water from his canteen. "Well you stay safe you hear."
Kyle looked up into the handsome, smiling face of his statuesque companion, noting the boyish clear skin, the disctive blue eyes, the straight white teeth and let out a heartfelt sigh for Kids misfortune.
"See Kid, you and Heyes...you just stands out too much in a crowd... that's probably why you have so much attention from the ladies."
Kyle shook his head with quiet understanding of Kids shortcomings .
" Don't suppose you could ever melt like me an Wheat. Troubles always gonna be able to find you Kid!"
Curry watched as Kyle walked his little mare away.
"Lot of truth in there."
Kid wasn't going to be sleeping on the ground, not an inch of which was dry, though the storm had passed. He reached into his saddle bag, sure that his partner wouldn't have forgotten to pack food, and found a note.
K, you hot head, well done. Head North. I'll collect money and tie up loose ends here. Meet up in two days. H.
ps. money in bedroll
pps. you need a bath
ppps. be very careful who shaves you!
pppps. stay outta trouble!
"Guess you were a long time waiting in that alley Heyes" said Curry ruefully, shaking his head.