Stories: Alias Smith and Jones

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 Friends or Foes by InsideOutlaw

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royannahuggins
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Posts : 419
Join date : 2013-10-13

20140301
PostFriends or Foes by InsideOutlaw



Starring

Ben Murphy and Pete Duel
as Kid Curry and Hannibal Heyes


Guest Starring

Leslie Nielson as the Sheriff


Kevin Spacey as Matt Crenshaw


Clive Owens as Davy Foster


Colin Ferrell as Dylan Mullavey


Michael Emerson as Mr. Pitts



Kid Curry stumbled out through the batwing doors of the saloon. The sun hit his face and he raised an arm to shade his eyes. Off balance, he wobbled badly and put a hand against the post next to him. “Sheesh, I didn’t have that much to drink, did I? Must’ve been that stew,” he mumbled as he set off down the deserted street. He didn’t go far before he clapped a hand over his mouth and ducked into an alleyway. Bending over, he breathed through his mouth, and closed his eyes.

“What’s going on here?” shouted a loud voice in his ear. The Kid, surprised, spun around.

“Now, what in tarnation did you do that for?! Those are my best boots,” growled the sheriff, standing in front of him. “Drunk and disorderly; that’s a $100 fine, son. You’re coming with me,” said the older, big man. He grabbed Curry by the shirt front with one hand and pulled him along next to him with little effort. The Kid nearly jogged to keep up.

“Sheriff, I’m not drunk. I think I’m sick.” The Kid held his hand to his stomach as he stumbled along next to the sheriff.

“Either way, son, you ain’t getting sick all over my streets. You can wait it out in a cell,” said the lawman.

Curry groaned.

OOOOOOOOOO

Hannibal Heyes rode up to the small hotel and dismounted, tying his horse off to the hitching post out front and patting its neck. Grabbing his saddlebags, he entered the hotel and walked to the front desk. The desk clerk ignored him and continued to sort mail, his back to his customer. Heyes frowned at the snub, and rang the bell loudly. The clerk turned and looked the dusty cowboy up and down, then sniffed, “We’re out of rooms. Sorry.”

Heyes narrowed his eyes and looked at the keys still hanging on the board by the room numbers. He dropped one hand to his gun, leaned in close to the clerk’s face, and threateningly said, “Are you really planning to turn me down? Because I’m not in a very good mood and I’ll do just about anything to get a soft bed and a hot bath.”

The clerk gulped, sputtered, and said, “Oh, I’m not turning you down, sir. I’m out of rooms, but I have a very nice suite you can have for the same price, sir.” He scrambled through the room keys, scooped up a larger key, and handed it to Heyes. “Here you are, sir. You’ll be in the Silver Queen Suite, sir.” Pushing the register to Heyes, he held out a pen, sweat springing to his brow.

“Good. You can send that bath up right away,” said Heyes, snatching the pen and scrawling across the page.

OOOOOOOOOO
nKid Curry sat on his bunk in the jail cell, his head gripped between his hands. At the sound of the door opening, he stood up and went to the bars, craning his head to see who was coming. It was the big lawman and he had a set of keys in his hands. The Kid backed away from the bars. “Sheriff, I sure am sorry about your boots. I must’ve had something that disagreed with me.”

“You sure did; a few too many drinks from the looks of you. Save it, son, you can tell it to the judge,” said the lawman, swinging open the door.

“The judge? Oh, c’mon, Sheriff, I said I was sick, not drunk,” moaned the Kid.

“Sorry ain’t good enough. I saved up two months for those boots!” snarled the burly man as he grabbed Curry by the arm and dragged him through the door. “Court’s in session now. Let’s go.” He kept a firm grip on his prisoner.

OOOOOOOOOO

Heyes was sitting on the porch of the hotel watching the street when the door to the sheriff’s office opened. He saw a big man with a tin star step out onto the sidewalk and drag Kid Curry out behind him. Heyes stood up to get a better look as the man walked his partner across the street and into the saloon. He leaned in through the door to the hotel and called to the desk clerk, “What’s going on in the saloon?”

Stammering, the nervous man said, “The j…judge is here. He’s always here the first Monday of the month. Why?”

Heyes had already ducked back out the door and was hurrying up the street.

OOOOOOOOOO

Heyes slipped into the saloon and stayed on his feet by the back door. “Oyez, oyez, court is now in session,” intoned the lanky man standing by the bar. Tables were pushed to the side and several rows of chairs were set up facing the bar. The place was packed. The Kid was seated in the front row and Heyes stared at the back of his head.

A small, gray-haired man walked to the bar and slipped behind it. He pulled a gavel out of his jacket and rapped it hard on the wooden bar top. “Quiet! Court’s now in session. Mr. Jobson, what’s the first case?” asked the judge.

“Mr. Thaddeus Jones, please rise,” boomed the thin man. Curry stood and the sheriff rose a moment later.

“Your honor, Mr. Jones has been arrested for being drunk and disorderly in public and assaulting an officer of the law,” stated the lawman.

“I was sick! I didn’t assault anyone, just the sheriff’s boots,” said the Kid. The crowd laughed loudly.

“Quiet! I don’t want to hear a peep out of you, Mr. Jones. Is that clear?” asked the judge. “Were there witnesses? Is there any evidence?”

“Gus, stand up. Sir, Gus Branson saw the defendant drinking at the Shady Lady. Ain’t that right, Gus?” questioned the sheriff.

“Yes sir, he was. Saw him drinking hard.” Gus pointed out the Kid. “I followed him out of the bar and saw him stagger off up the street and into an alley. The next thing I know, I hear the sheriff talking real loud and then there’s kind of a scuffle and the sheriff comes out holding onto Mr. Jones.”

“And I reckon my boots are evidence, sir.” The sheriff held up two soiled boots. The audience laughed loudly again, and the judge quieted them with several raps of the gavel.

“Mr. Jones, you are being charged with being drunk and disorderly in public and, more importantly, with assaulting an officer of the law.” The judge peered at Curry. “Do you understand the charges?”

“I…didn’t…assault…anyone,” the Kid ground out.

“That was a yes or no question, sir. Not another word out of you, Mr. Jones. I’ve already warned you, and I’m not going to again,” said the irritated judge.

“Your honor, it’s not like I threw a punch!” snapped Curry.

“You are in contempt of court! The court will appoint Mr. Crenshaw as your lawyer and will reconvene at one o’clock sharp to hear your case. Next case,” barked the Judge, rapping his gavel.

The sheriff took his prisoner by the arm again and turned to lead him out. The Kid saw Heyes standing in the back of the room. They made eye contact, but gave no other indication of recognition. Heyes waited until his partner was led out and then slipped out the door a minute later.

OOOOOOOOOO

Mr. Crenshaw arrived at the jail as the Kid was finishing a light lunch of bread and water. The sheriff let the attorney into the cell, picked up the empty dishes, and then left them alone.

“Mr. Jones, Matt Crenshaw; how do you do, sir?” The man holding out his hand was about Curry’s height, but considerably heftier. His hair was slicked back and he wore a well-tailored coat. The Kid reached out to shake his hand and eyed him.

“So, let’s get right down to business, shall we?” said Crenshaw. “I charge a $100 retainer and $10 an hour. Can you pay me?”

The Kid looked shocked. “But the fine’s only $100!”

“That’s correct; it is for the drunk and disorderly charge, but the assault and contempt charges could mean real jail time,” the lawyer explained.

“I don’t have that kind of money. I’m here lookin’ for work,” said the Kid.

Crenshaw shook his head and appeared to be thinking. He smiled. “All right. Let’s get you off and then you can work off your debt to me. You look like a capable man and I could use someone to run errands and make a few deliveries. Is that fair?”

“Fair enough,” said Curry.

Reaching into his jacket, the lawyer pulled out a folded paper and a pen. Making a few hand-written notations, he passed the paper to his new client. “Sign on the bottom line, Mr. Jones.”

“What’s this?” asked the Kid.

“It’s just my usual contract. You’ll see that where I normally enter the amount of my retainer, I’ve outlined the terms of our agreement.” Crenshaw pointed to the fine print.

The Kid read the paper carefully and signed his name. “Where I come from a handshake’s good enough to seal a deal.”

“Well, I am a lawyer, Mr. Jones; it’s my nature to get it in writing,” chuckled Crenshaw. Picking up the paper, he folded it neatly and returned it to his pocket. “I’ll see you in court, Mr. Jones.”

OOOOOOOOOO

Court was in session again at precisely one p.m. The Kid was standing in front of the bar, but this time he had his lawyer with him. The judge was settling the crowd and Curry looked around the room. He spotted his partner sitting in the back row. Heyes looked back at him and the Kid’s eyes slipped past Heyes onto the man seated next to him and continued around the room before the Kid turned to face the judge who was watching him.

“Mr. Crenshaw, your client is charged with being drunk and disorderly in public, assaulting an officer of the law, and contempt of court. How does your client plea?” asked the judge.

“Not guilty to the first two, sir, and guilty with extenuating circumstances to the last,” said Mr. Crenshaw. The Kid stared at the floor.

“All right, then. Sheriff, state your case.” The judge nodded to the burly lawman on the other side of the aisle.

“The defendant was found in an alley, your honor. He was reeling about and when I questioned him, he…he assaulted me!” blustered the sheriff. “I have a witness that swears he was in the saloon drinking hard just before the incident. Gus, stand up and say your peace.”

Gus stood. “That’s right, Judge. He was drinking all right.” Gus sat.

The judge struck his gavel. “Your turn, Mr. Crenshaw; let’s hear your case.” He frowned at Jones who was still studying the floor intently.

“Molly Cullen, can you please rise?” asked Mr. Crenshaw. A small, middle-aged brunette lady rose. She was holding a dishrag that she twisted in her hands. “Miss Cullen, you run the Wildflower Café, is that correct?” probed the lawyer. The woman nodded. “Can you please tell the judge what you told me earlier?” asked Crenshaw.

“He wasn’t drunk. He was sick on my stew,” she wailed. The crowd tittered. “He wasn’t the only one. The meat must’ve turned, your honor.” Molly blushed beet red and tears were glistening in her eyes.

The Kid smiled at her and she gave him a small, tense smile in return. The judge struck his gavel. “All right, the first two charges are dismissed, but he is still in contempt of court.”

“Sir, my client doesn’t deny that he spoke out of turn, but he is a fine upstanding citizen and was upset at being unjustly accused of a crime,” said the lawyer. The judge nodded and Crenshaw went on, “Sir, Mr. Jones is now in my employ and will be working off his debt to me. I promise to keep him under my supervision, if it pleases the court?”

“All right, but see that you do as Mr. Crenshaw tells you, Jones. I don’t want you in front of me again. Next!” said the judge. Curry turned around grinning, and looked for his partner. Heyes was gone.

OOOOOOOOOO

A soft tap at his door roused Curry from his nap. He rose and crossed to the door, gun in hand, and opened it a crack before swinging it completely open. Heyes walked in, shut it quickly, and grinned at his partner.

“Really, Kid? You couldn’t find a better place to be sick than on a sheriff?” asked Heyes, chuckling.

“It’s not like I planned it, but it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy,” said Curry, grinning back. “Why are you bein’ so secretive?”

Heyes shrugged. “It makes sense to be careful. No one’s seen us together, so I thought I’d keep it that way. So, you’ve got a job working for that lawyer?”

“He stiff-armed me into agreein’ to work for him before he’d defend me,” said the Kid.

Heyes sat down on the single bed and lay back down with his arms tucked behind his head and his boots resting on the footboard, “What’s he want you to do?”

Kid Curry walked to the foot of the bed and knocked Heyes’ feet off the furniture. “Don’t make yourself at home, Heyes,” he said sarcastically. “He said something about runnin’ errands and makin’ deliveries; doesn’t sound too hard on the back.”

Heyes sat up again and stood up. “You coming out tonight?” inquired Heyes walking for the door.

“Nope, I’ve had enough fun for one day. I’ll see you around town, okay?” said Curry.

Heyes ducked out the door.

OOOOOOOOOO

“Good morning, Mr. Jones. Are you ready for some work?” asked Crenshaw. The Kid stood before the oaken desk that dominated the small office.

“I reckon I am. What exactly is it you want me to do and how many days do you figure it’s goin’ to take to work off your bill?” asked Curry.

“I’ll pay you $20 a day, so five or so days ought to cover it,” said Crenshaw.

“You charged me $10 an hour! How is that fair? You only worked one hour,” said the Kid angrily.

“Don’t forget the $100 retainer. Come now, Mr. Jones; or may I call you Thaddeus? I’m an educated man, Thaddeus; my time is worth more than yours. Surely you understand that?” said Crenshaw smugly. He picked up several thick manila envelopes from his desk and held them out. “You need to deliver these. The addresses are on the envelopes. Makes sure the folks sign the cards on the outside of their envelope and bring the cards back to me. I need proof of delivery.”

“What’s in them?” asked the Kid.

“Oh, that’s confidential, Thaddeus. I can’t tell you. Now, off with you,” he said, shooing the ex-outlaw out the door with a gesture.

OOOOOOOOOO

Curry walked into the post office next to the dry goods store. A small bell rang over the door, and an elderly man shuffled out of a back room and up to the counter.

“What can I help you with, young man?” he asked, peering through the thick lenses of his glasses.

The Kid held out the envelopes in his hand. “Can you give me directions to these addresses? I have to make some deliveries for Mr. Crenshaw.”

The old man looked at the envelopes. “Ride out Main Street going south towards the mine. You’ll come to a cluster of houses; that’s the company housing. You’ll find these addresses there.”

“Thanks, mister, that’s a big help,” said the Kid, turning for the door.

“Good luck to you, you’ll need it,” cackled the old man.

OOOOOOOOOO

Riding up to the first address, Curry dismounted and walked up to the shabby home. Coal soot dusted the exterior and the wooden windows were shut tightly. Rapping on the door, he waited patiently for someone to answer. After several minutes of waiting, he walked to the next house. Again, he rapped on the door and again he waited. No one came to the door. Moving down the street, he tried another house; again, no answer. Frowning he walked up the street back towards his horse. A man walking down the center of the road stared at him.

“Howdy. Where is everybody?” questioned the Kid.

The man stopped and looked him up and down. “Who’s askin’?”

“Jones, Thaddeus Jones. I have some papers to deliver for Mr. Crenshaw,” said the Kid.

The man spat into the street. “They all saw you comin’, mister. Nobody’s gonna open their door to you.”

“Why not?” asked the Kid.

“’Cause those are eviction notices you’ve got there, you darn fool!” The man left the Kid standing in the street staring down at the envelopes in his hands.

Curry looked up to watch the man hurry away. Crumpling the papers and shoving them in his pocket, he marched back to his horse, mounted, and rode quickly towards town.

Pulling up in front of Crenshaw’s office, he jumped out of the saddle, tied off his horse, and walked into the building without knocking. Crenshaw was seated behind his big desk and looked up as the Kid entered. “All done already, Thaddeus?”

“No, I ain’t done! Why didn’t you tell me these were eviction notices?” demanded Curry, pulling the papers from his pocket and angrily throwing them down in front of the lawyer.

Crenshaw rose and braced his hands on the desk. “Why are you so upset? I’ve offered you an opportunity to work off your debt to me. Surely, you would prefer to do that rather than face the judge again and risk jail time?”

The lawyer ignored the glare on the Kid’s face and walked around to the front of the desk to face him. “Furthermore, Thaddeus, you will see that these people vacate those properties.”

“I’m not puttin’ people out of their homes!” yelled Curry.

“You will do as I say or you will find yourself back in jail charged with contempt again and breach of contract. Understood?” smirked Crenshaw.

The Kid growled and left the office, envelopes still gripped tightly in his fist.

OOOOOOOOOO

Curry walked into the hotel and stopped at the front desk. The clerk was gone. He snuck a peek at the register, raised his eyebrows at what he found, hurried up the steps taking the stairs two at a time, and stomped his way down the hall. He pounded on the door until he heard Heyes growl, “All right, I hear you! I’m coming.”

Heyes opened the door partway and peered out at Curry. “Nice job keeping a low profile. Do you think they heard you knocking on the third floor?”

The Kid pushed past him and walked into the spacious, opulent suite. He turned and looked at Heyes. “Funny, ain’t it, Heyes? The one time you get yourself a fancy hotel room, you don’t want anyone to know we’re partners.”

Heyes shut the door and looked at him, wide-eyed. “Hey, can I help it if you got yourself into a mess?”

“Well, you can help me come up with a plan to get out of it. That sleazy lawyer is makin’ me evict a bunch of minin’ families from their homes!” growled the Kid.

“Kid, that’s not your problem. You just need to deliver those papers.” Heyes walked over and sat down on the sofa. He gestured to his partner to sit.

“That’s where you’re wrong, Heyes; it’s our problem. Crenshaw’s tellin’ me now that I have to make sure they leave, and if I don’t, he’s threatenin’ to put me back in jail. He made me sign a paper, Heyes, and now he’s sayin’ I’ll get charged with breach of contract if I don’t do as he says.” The Kid didn’t sit. “If I hang around that jail cell long enough, don’t you think that sheriff might just figure out who I am? If he does, don’t you think he’s goin’ to start lookin’ around for my equally wanted partner? Seems to me you’re a stranger in town, too. How long do you think it’ll be before the sheriff starts wonderin’ who you are?”

“So what do we do?” frowned Heyes.

“I’ll tell you what I’m not goin’ to do. I am not puttin’ a bunch of women and children out of their homes!” The Kid waved the envelopes in his hand at his friend.

“Let me see those papers,” said Heyes. The Kid passed the mangled envelopes to his partner and sat down. Heyes picked up the silver coffee pot on the table, poured himself a drink, and sat back. He held one of the envelopes over the spout of the steaming pot for several minutes and then gently pried it open. Taking the papers out, he studied them intently and returned them to the envelope, sealing it shut again.

“So, what do they say?” asked Curry.

“They’re eviction notices all right. Once you deliver those papers, Crenshaw’s giving those folks only a week to clear out. He’s already begun foreclosing on them.” Heyes shook his head.

The Kid sighed. “So they’re real. I guess if it’s legitimate, I’m goin’ to have to do it.”

“They’re real, Kid, but that doesn’t mean they’re legitimate. Deliver the papers tomorrow. I’ll nose around and see what I can find out. We still have time to figure this out,” said Heyes.

“We could just ride out tonight,” the Kid suggested.

“That won’t work. Crenshaw will alert the authorities. The last thing you want is to have a wanted poster floating around for Thaddeus Jones,” Heyes pointed out.

“For gettin’ sick on a sheriff?! That seems a little unreasonable, don’t you think?” griped the Kid.

“Breach of contract’s a serious charge, and so are contempt and assault. The judge could throw the book at you. You’re right, though, this whole thing seems unreasonable. Let me see what I can find out tomorrow,” said Heyes.

OOOOOOOOOO

The Kid rode out to the company town the next morning. He rode down the alley behind the first house on his list, tied his horse off on a tree edging the backyard, and waited patiently under the shade of the tree until the back door opened nearly an hour later and a tired-looking woman stepped off the back porch. She carried a basket of wet laundry tucked high on one hip and a crying baby under the other arm. The Kid walked across the narrow alley way and said, “Ma’am. Here, let me help you with that.” She looked at him fearfully, but he smiled warmly and reached out to take the basket. He carried it to the clothesline and set it down. Reaching into his jacket, he pulled out an envelope. The woman paled as the Kid apologetically said, “I’m real sorry about this, ma’am, but I’ve got to give you these. Can you please sign here?” He handed her the papers and a pencil. She began to cry nearly as loudly as her baby as she scrawled her mark on the envelope.

“There, I’ve signed your darn papers. Now get your ugly face off my property. If I see you again, I’ll shoot you,” she said between sobs. She ran back into the house and slammed the door, leaving her pile of wet laundry at the Kid’s feet. He frowned and stomped his way back to his horse. Untying his gelding, he led the way to the next address.

OOOOOOOOOO

Heyes entered the small community just after noon. Riding down the street, he studied the dilapidated shotgun shacks that made up the town. There was a small store with a sign out front that read, “Beaumont Mining Company Store.” He grinned, dismounted, and went inside. An elderly man looked up from a newspaper he was reading at the counter. “Can I help you, mister?”

“Howdy,” smiled Heyes. He looked about the store. He could see that the shelves were well-stocked and nothing had prices on it. “Does Beaumont Mining Corporation own this store?”

The clerk snorted, “The store, the town, and every last soul in it.”

“Is this the same Beaumont that had that smelter building blow up in Denver a few years back?” asked Heyes, grinning broadly now.

“Yep. I remember that. I was working down there at the time. Got transferred up here after they had to shut down the yard for a while,” chuckled the man. “A big gold shipment went missing about that time, too, but they kept that part hushed up real well.”

“So, I hear there might be some job openings,” said Heyes.

The man was frowning at him now. “Only if you’re a buzzard willing to pick at a poor soul’s bones.”

Heyes raised his eyebrows. “What’s that mean?”

“The mine’s hiring ‘cause there’s a strike going on. Anyone who crosses the line’s taking his life in his hands,” said the gray-haired man.

“I guess I don’t have any interest in profiting from another man’s misery,” said Heyes. “What are they striking over?”

The elderly man looked past Heyes out through the front window and cast a glance over his shoulder. “The conditions in the mine are real bad. We had a couple of cave-ins recently and some folks were killed. Now some of the men have gone on strike until the mine fixes things. The mine ain’t budging and I think it’s about to get ugly, but don’t tell anyone I said so. I need my job. It’s all I can do anymore,” he whispered.

“Ugly? In what way?” questioned Heyes.

“Up to now, they’ve just sent the guards out to break up the lines and a few heads, but there was a fellow in town today serving eviction notices to the ones who are on strike. They’re putting people out of their homes just for striking. I hear Dylan’s calling a meeting at his house tonight,” said the man.

“Well, I wish them luck; you, too, old man.” Heyes tipped his hat and walked out the door. He mounted his horse and rode slowly up the street. Down a side street he saw three boys playing with a stick and an old wagon hoop. He rode up to them and said, “Say, I’ve got a nickel for whoever can tell me where Dylan lives.”

The boys all clamored around his horse. A small red-head stared at Heyes. “Dylan Mullavey? Who wants to know?”

“The name’s Joshua Smith. Can you take Dylan a message for me?” asked Heyes.

“I guess so,” said the boy, wiping his dripping nose on a greasy sleeve and holding out his hand for the nickel.

Heyes flipped the coin to the boy. “Tell him there’s a man who knows how to deal with Beaumont that wants to meet him.” The other boys all stared at Heyes in awe as the little red-head bolted down the alley.

OOOOOOOOOO

The Kid stalked into Crenshaw’s office and slapped the empty envelopes down on the lawyer’s desk and glared at him. Smiling coldly, Crenshaw took the envelopes and carefully removed the signature card from each one, noting the X’s and names scrawled across them. “Very good, Mr. Jones; I’m impressed. I want you to meet the 6:10 from Weston tomorrow night. There are two men arriving. Bring them here and I’ll tell you what you’ll do next.”

“What are you bringin’ in your own men for, Crenshaw?” asked the Kid, suspiciously. “The mine has enough guards to handle turnin’ out a few miners.”

“Let’s just say that the guards have a misguided sense of loyalty,” answered the lawyer. He shoved the cards in his pocket and stood, saying, “That will be all, Mr. Jones.”

“I ain’t your trained dog. You’ll do well to remember that,” said Curry, coldly.

The attorney looked shaken for a second, but recovered quickly and sneered, “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you, Jones.”

OOOOOOOOOO

Heyes played poker at a rough wooden table in the mining town’s makeshift saloon. The bar was housed in a canvas tent and sported a wooden plank stretched between two barrels as a bartop, a dirt floor, and a stack of crates constituting the back bar. Throughout the afternoon, he sipped lightly at his beer and kept his ears trained on the gossip about him. The men he played with came and went throughout the afternoon, but their money stayed behind with Heyes. He saw the bartender watching him speculatively and occasionally, the tent flap would open and someone would poke their heads through, look around until they spotted saw him at the poker table, and duck back out.

After dark, the red-headed boy found Heyes in the tent and led him through the pitch dark alleys to the back of a softly lit cabin. Tapping three times, the boy waited. The door opened and a tall, broad man grinned out at them. “Ah, young Gerry, I see you’ve brought our guest. Davy, Davy Foster,” said the man, extending his hand to Heyes.

Heyes shook it. “Joshua Smith.”

“I understand from Gerry here that you think you can help us, Mr. Smith,” said Davy.

“I’m sure I can help you, Davy,” promised Heyes, with wide smile.

“All right, come on in and let’s hear what you have to say. I tell you though, it won’t go well for you if we don’t like what we hear,” said Davy with an equally wide smile.

Heyes stepped past him into the cabin. There were six other men besides Davy inside and seated around a rough oaken table lit with a coal lamp. A plume of greasy smoke rose from the lamp. The men stared at Heyes with hostile expressions as he smiled around the room.

“Gentlemen, my name’s Joshua Smith, but that’s not my real name. I’m not telling you my real name because I used to work for Beaumont Mining Corporation in Denver,” began Heyes. The men shifted in their seats and sat up straighter watching him closely. “See, I was like you. Busted my tail working for Beaumont and for what? That smelter building blew and they laid most of us off. Never mind most of us had families that depended on us. My youngest was real sick at the time and we couldn’t keep up with the doctor’s bills. Lost our house and then we lost little Luke not long after. I’ve been looking to get back at Beaumont for a long time and I reckon you folks could use my help,” he finished.

A small, thin man asked, “Can you use that fancy sidearm you’re packing?”

“I can usually hit what I aim at,” chuckled Heyes.

“How are you in a fight?” questioned another.

“Fair enough; but I have other skills that might be real helpful to you,” said Heyes.

“Like what?” asked the burly man, sitting across from Heyes.

“I’m a good hand with dynamite and nitro,” grinned Heyes.

The seated men all murmured quietly to each other and the burly man stood up and reached his hand across the table. “Dylan Mullavey. I’m pleased to make your acquaintance, Mr. Smith.”

Heyes grasped the outstretched hand. “Joshua.”

OOOOOOOOOO

Heyes opened the door to the suite. The Kid was sitting on the sofa with his legs stretched out in front of him, cleaning his gun. His tin of gun oil was sitting on the coffee table. The dark-haired man crossed the room and picked up the oil, slipping a coaster under it. “You’ll leave a ring on the wood.”

The Kid frowned up at him. “I ain’t in the mood, Heyes…”

“You in the mood to shoot someone?” quipped his partner.

The Kid banged his gun down on the table. “As a matter of fact, I am. Crenshaw’s gettin’ on my nerves. What’d you find out, Heyes? You better have figured this one out, because I ain’t workin’ for that lowlife one second longer than necessary.”

“There's a strike going on and the miners who are leading the strike are the ones Crenshaw's foreclosing on.” Heyes tossed his hat onto the bed and pushed the Kid's leg off the couch. He flopped down next to him. “Those folks are no further behind on their rent than usual, but this time Crenshaw's using it to put the squeeze on the ringleaders. That mine's not safe, Kid, and the miners are afraid to go to work. They started this strike to force Crenshaw to act. Now he's acting all right, only not the way they wanted him to.”

The Kid started to speak, but Heyes held up his hand. “And that’s not all. Guess who owns this particular mine?”

“Who?” asked Curry.

“Our good old friends at the Beaumont Mining Corporation,” grinned Heyes.

The Kid was grinning, too, now. “Just what are you plannin’, Heyes?”

“I figured if the mine has you and Crenshaw on their side, it’s only fair if I even things up a bit. This time you get to be the bad guy and I’ll be helping the needy folk. I’m going to work for the miners,” said Heyes.

“They’re goin’ to pay you?” asked the Kid, surprised.

“Nope, I’ll do it for free,” said Heyes.

“Do what for free, Heyes?” pried Curry, suspicious.

Heyes shook his head at his partner. “Now, Kid, I can’t tell you that. You work for the other side.”

“Heyes…” the Kid stood up.

“We can’t be seen together. If someone figures out we’re working together, it’ll ruin the plan.” Heyes gathered up the Kid’s cleaning supplies and thrust them into his partner’s arms.

“What plan?” asked the Kid. Heyes had a grip on his arm and was leading him to the door.

“Now don’t start that again,” said Heyes, holding open the suite’s door and ushering Curry out.

OOOOOOOOOO

A dark cloud of smoke signaled the train’s approach. The whistle blew and, seconds later, Engine 459 rounded the bend towards the station. Curry fidgeted with his hat brim as he sat on a bench under the overhang. As the train came to a stop, he stood up and put his hat on his head, pulling the brim low. The conductor stepped off the platform and positioned a small step stool beneath the train’s steps and began helping the passengers off. The Kid studied the faces as they passed. Finally, two tough-looking men stepped off the train and looked about the platform. They wore low slung, tied-down guns on their hips. Curry walked over to them.

“You lookin’ for Crenshaw?” he asked.

The tallest of the two stepped close. “You him?”

“Nope, I’m Jones. Thaddeus Jones. Follow me.” The Kid turned and walked away without looking back. The two men followed.

OOOOOOOOOO

“Did you get the map?” asked Heyes as he slipped inside the cabin’s door. Davy nodded and pointed to the rolled up paper on the table. Dylan was seated in his usual spot. Heyes reached out to pick up the map as Dylan seized his arm.

“What about you? Did you bring the nitro?” inquired Dylan, releasing his grip.

Reaching into his jacket slowly, Heyes eased a package out. He opened it carefully, took out a small bottle, and set it gently down on the table. All three men kept their eyes on the small bottle. “They’ll never miss it. I took a little from each bottle in the storeroom.”

“You’re a crazier man than I, Mr. Smith. Handling this stuff is not for the weak of heart,” laughed Dylan.

“Will it be enough?” asked Davy.

Heyes nodded. “That’s probably enough to level the town.”

“How did you get in the storeroom?” Davy cringed away from the bottle. “They keep this stuff under lock and key.”

Heyes didn’t answer. He reached again for the map, unrolled it, and spread it out across the table, leaning over it. “Can you show me the unstable tunnels?”

Dylan nodded and stood shoulder to shoulder with Heyes pointing out section after section of the mine. Heyes marked each shaft on the map. “You said they were rotten, that the timbers were failing, right?”

“What are you planning, Joshua?” asked Dylan. “I think it’s time you tell us what you have in mind.”

“You all have been striking for, what, a month now?” Heyes looked about the room at the other men. “The mine’s not meeting your demands, are they? They’re setting the guards on you because they have no intention of doing anything other than making you back down, but you’re not going to back down, right?”

“That’s right. What’s your point, Joshua?” challenged Dylan.

“The point is; you and the mine are fighting like two dogs over a bone. What if we took that bone away?” asked Heyes.

“I don’t follow,” said Davy, but Dylan was quiet for a minute and then he began to smile.

“He’s saying if we blow up the bad parts of the mine, Beaumont will have to dig new shafts and they’ll lay new timbers. The new ones will be safe,” grinned Dylan. “I like the way you think, Mr. Smith.”

“How will all that help us? If the shafts are shut down, we’re still out of our jobs, our homes, and the mine will set the law on us,” Davy grumbled.

“Not if it happens when all of you are present and accounted for,” said Heyes.

“The payroll arrives tonight and we’ve already heard rumors the mine’s holding pay until the strike ends. It’s almost as though Pitt, the manager, wants a fight and I’ll be pleased to give him one. We usually get our pay at noon Saturday and everybody shows up for it. We’ll spread the word that every man needs to be there.” Dylan looked at each of his men for any disagreement. There was none.

“First make sure everyone’s out of the mine. At noon sharp, you cause a diversion and I’ll take care of the shafts. They’ll never know you had anything to do with it. They’ll think they collapsed, and when it’s all over and done with, Beaumont will need even more miners to get their operation up and running again.” Heyes rolled the maps back up and tucked them under his arm.

“How are you going to do that without blowing yourself up?” said Davy.

“I haven’t figured that part out yet,” laughed Heyes. He pulled open the door and slipped out into the night.

OOOOOOOOOO

Upon hearing a knock, Crenshaw opened his door. The two gunmen walked into the dimly lit office first and Crenshaw stepped forward, blocking the Kid’s path. “Thank you, Thaddeus, that will be all for tonight,” he said. The Kid glowered as the door shut in his face.

Coming around to the other side of his desk, Crenshaw nodded to the men to sit. The two men sat and introduced themselves as Stretch and Zeke. “Let’s get to it, shall we, gentlemen?” said the lawyer. “I’m Matt Crenshaw and I represent the Beaumont Mining Corporation. You men have been hired to help with security up at the mine. There has been an ongoing problem with a strike and it will be your job to see that the troublemakers are taken care of.”

“Ain’t they got their own men?” asked Zeke.

“They do, but they are not capable of providing, shall we say, the correct services and the manager wishes to keep your roles quiet. Do you understand?” asked Crenshaw. “I’ve gotten word there’s going to be a confrontation tomorrow and I want you two there.”

“You want us to kill off the troublemakers, and you figure the rest will run for the hills?” questioned Stretch, the tall man.

“I didn’t say that, gentlemen,” smiled Crenshaw.

Zeke smiled back at him. “We want a hundred dollars a….task.”

“Agreed,” said Crenshaw.

“What about Jones?” asked Stretch. “Me and Zeke work alone.”

“Mr. Jones will be your most important task,” said Crenshaw smugly.

OOOOOOOOOO

Heyes was leaning against the trunk of a ponderosa pine, looking down the long road in front of him. The moon was overhead and shining brightly. He felt the press of cold steel before he heard the click of the chambers and he started. “Ha hah, Kid. Very funny.” He looked around at his grinning partner.

Returning his gun to the holster with a flourish, the Kid grinned. “How’d you know it was me, Heyes? Maybe you were gettin’ robbed.”

“Quit fooling around. We don’t have much time,” snapped Heyes.

“All right; I don’t have much. Crenshaw’s brought in a couple of gunnies, but he cut me out of the conversation. I figure he’s goin’ after the key people. What about you?” asked Curry.

“See if you can stick with those two. Start being cooperative with Crenshaw, not too much though; we don’t want him wondering if you’re up to something,” said Heyes. “I’ve got a plan and it doesn’t involve bloodshed.”

“That’s good. Let me hear it,” said the Kid.

“Shh! Did you hear that? Someone’s coming.” Heyes peered into the night. The Kid turned and Heyes started for his horse.

“I didn’t hear anything,” whispered Curry as Heyes reached for his saddle horn.

“We can’t meet again, Kid. It’s too risky.” Heyes mounted and looked down at his partner. “Be careful.”

The Kid watched him ride off. “I know you’re up to somethin’ I’m not goin’ to like,” he hissed.

OOOOOOOOOO

Early the next morning, Heyes rode to the next town over and tied his horse off two doors down from the general store. He had his jacket collar turned up, a brown hat on and pulled down low, and he took a pair of spectacles out of his pocket and put them on. He stepped up onto the boardwalk and walked into the store. Browsing around for a while, he watched as the clerk waited on a middle-aged woman. When she left the store, Heyes picked up a clock and walked up to the counter and asked, “How many of these alarm clocks do you have?” The sun was shining in the front window and reflecting off the wire-rimmed glasses he wore, causing the ex-outlaw to squint at the clerk behind the counter.

The clerk snorted, “How many do you need? You must be some kind of heavy sleeper to need more than one, mister.”

Heyes smiled. “Yep, I am, but they aren’t for me. They’re for the orphanage over in Gunnison. Those kids need all the help they can get waking up for school.”

The clerk smiled back. “I reckon I’ve got five or six out back. Do you want them all? If it’s for a good cause, I’ll give you a real good price on them; five dollars.”

“Oh, it’s for a real good cause,” chuckled Heyes. “Can you wrap them up for me? I’ve got to run across the street for a minute.” He slid a bill onto the counter.

“Sure thing, mister, and I’ll throw in a bag of red licorice for the kids,” said the man.

“Thank you, sir. The kids will be real pleased,” said Heyes with a grin. He stepped out of the store and ducked into the alleyway adjacent to it. Pulling off his glasses, he turned his blue coat inside out, revealing the red lining, and pasted a horse hair mustache under his nose. His new costume nearly completed, he pulled his brown hat off and tossed it behind some boxes, then walked confidently out of the alley and down the street.

OOOOOOOOOO

“There you go, mister. That’ll be three dollars,” said the pharmacist, handing Heyes a small blue bag.

Heyes handed over the cash and picked up the bag, tucking it inside his jacket. “Thanks.” Outside the store, he turned, whistling happily, and walked up the street, stopping in the same alleyway and changing his appearance again. He ducked into and out of the general store quickly and pulled out his pocket watch, looking at the time.

OOOOOOOOOO

A pounding at his door awakened Curry. Standing up and scratching his head, he scooped up his gun and stood to the side of the door. “Who is it?”

“Jones, open up. It’s me, Crenshaw,” said the impatient voice on the other side of the door.

The Kid set his pistol down on the dresser and unlocked the door. Crenshaw shouldered his way, pushing Curry back behind the door swinging open.

“There’s trouble out at the mine. I want you to get up there and see what’s going on,” said the lawyer.

“That’s not part of our agreement, Crenshaw,” said Curry.

“Do we need to go over the terms again, or should I just take you straight to jail?” said Crenshaw, unpleasantly.

The Kid sighed. “All right. What do you want me to do?”

“You wear that gun like you know what to do with it. Go on up to the mine. I want you to guard the office if there’s any trouble,” said Crenshaw.

“Don’t they have their own guards?” asked the Kid.

“They do, but if there’s trouble, they might be busy elsewhere. The payroll was delivered last night and the manager’s worried about being short-handed. I offered your services,” said the lawyer.

“All right, that doesn’t sound too hard.” Curry shoved his gun into his holster and grabbed his jacket.

Crenshaw grinned. “That’s more like it, Thaddeus. You do this today, and I’ll call us even.”

The Kid smiled, too.

OOOOOOOOOO

Curry arrived at the mine office as a crowd was beginning to gather outside. Men were pressing up against the small porch of the office as the Kid tied up his horse. Wading into the crowd, he pushed his way through the jostling bodies, getting elbowed and jeered at as he passed through. He kept his eyes locked on the door and made no notice of the abuse. Stepping inside the building, he found several guards standing about a desk and a rotund, bald-headed man seated behind it. Everyone turned as he walked in.

“I’m Thaddeus Jones. Matt Crenshaw sent me,” he said.

A big man stepped forward to shake his hand. “Hurley Grimes. I’m the head guard.”

The Kid smiled and shook his hand. The bald-headed man came around the desk, his hand outstretched as well. “Mr. Jones, thank you for coming; I’m George Pitts, manager. As you can see, we have quite a problem. I am about to go out and address our workers. Your job will be to see that nothing in the office is disturbed,” he said. Curry nodded.

OOOOOOOOOO

A mob of angry miners crowded the office building. Six armed guards had gathered in front of it. They were heavily armed and glaring at the strikers. The door to the office opened and the general manager, Mr. Pitts, along with Grimes and the other guard, stepped out onto the small porch.

“Good day, gentlemen. What can I do for you?” he asked, genially.

“You can make it safe for us to go back to work,” yelled Davy.

“Stop evictin’ our families,” screamed another man.

“Come, come, gentlemen. We’ve been all over this before. There’s no money in our budget for improvements. The owners have no intention of wasting money on unnecessary repairs,” said Mr. Pitts, frowning at the crowd.

“That mine’s a death trap and you know it,” hollered Dylan.

“It’s really very simple. We can repair the mine and not pay you, or, you can return to work, get paid and provide for your families. We’re willing to move forward, sirs; are you?” asked Mr. Pitts to the angry crowd. A low rumbling of voices rose into the air.

OOOOOOOOOO

Heyes carefully dipped an eyedropper into the small bottle of nitro; he slowly released the bulb, allowing the last tiny amount of the clear liquid to slowly suction up the glass dropper. Easing it out of the glass, he picked up the last of the glass vials from the blue bag, and filled it as slowly as he had the dropper. Once done, he set it down in the wool-lined box with the other five filled vials; each vial separated from the next by a soft cushion. He gently closed the lid and placed that box within another heavily padded box. The sound of the mob drifted into the tool shed where he hid. Pulling out his watch, he checked the time. He picked up the box gingerly and gathered up a large brown bag, hurrying, very carefully, out of the shed. Heyes pressed up against the side of the small building and kept watch on the drama unfolding in front of the office. He saw a man step forward and launch a rock at one of the guards, hitting him in the chest. Yelling broke out, and the guard came on swinging, but Mr. Pitts yelled for order. At that moment, all eyes were on the guard and Mr. Pitts as Heyes walked softly out from behind the shed and into the mouth of the mine.

OOOOOOOOOO

From inside the office, the Kid waited for a long time. He could hear the voices starting to rise, as the crowd’s mood changed for the worse. He couldn’t see much from where he stood with his face pressed against the windowpane.

OOOOOOOOOO

The yelling continued, both sides growing more angry and frustrated. Dylan pulled a watch out of his pocket, looked at it, and craned his head over the crowd. He nodded at Davy who in turned nodded to a man deeper in the crowd. A roar went up and the miners, as one, surged forward. Several guards were pulled by their legs off the porch and the others dove into the crowd, swinging their clubs. Mr. Pitts fled inside the office.

Curry turned from the window and looked at him. The man leaned against the door and pulled out a handkerchief, wiping the sweat off his brow.

Mr. Pitts looked at the Kid. “What are you standing there for? Get out the back door and help, you darn fool!” He watched as the Kid ran out the back door and then he smiled craftily. Stepping over to the safe, Mr. Pitts quickly opened it and pulled out a heavy sack. Stepping over to the window nearest the safe, he passed it out the window to Crenshaw, who waited outside. The lawyer reached up and grabbed it. Turning, he came face to face with Kid Curry’s gun.

“Going somewhere?” grinned the Kid. Crenshaw slowly reached for the sky. Curry yelled to Grimes, the head guard, who was on the fringe of the melee. The guard looked up in and saw Curry waving to him. “Hey, come on over here.” The man ran over, breathless.

“What’s going on, Jones?” gasped Grimes.

“Mr. Pitts and this man are stealin’ your payroll money. Mr. Pitts is inside. Here’s the money. I need you to come with me and guard it. Can you do that?” asked the Kid, carefully watching the guard’s reaction. Satisfied by what he saw in the man’s face, the Kid handed the cash to the guard and thrust his gun into Crenshaw’s back. Crenshaw scowled.

OOOOOOOOOO

Mr. Pitts had shut the window and was barricading the front door to the office when the back door was flung open and in walked Crenshaw with his hands tied behind his back, followed by Jones and Grimes. Mr. Pitts reached inside his jacket and started to pull out a small derringer. The Kid drew his gun, in a blur of action, and shot the pistol out of the manager’s hand. The man cried out and slid to the floor, clasping his stinging hand. Curry retrieved the small gun as the guard stared wide-eyed at him.

“Put the money in the safe and spin the dial,” he told the guard. Grimes did as he was told while the Kid watched. Tucking the gun in his waistband, Curry roughly pulled Mr. Pitts up and sat him down in a chair. Pulling another chair over from the wall, the Kid pushed Crenshaw down and tied the two back to back.

“Keep an eye on these two. I’ll be back,” said the Kid. Grimes nodded, pulled his gun, and sat down on Mr. Pitt’s spacious desk.

OOOOOOOOOO

Deep in the bowels of the mine, Heyes walked slowly down a corridor, the brown bag in hand. Stopping at a junction in the tunnels, he paused, pulled out the rolled up map, and unrolled it. He stood under a coal lamp and studied the map in the dull light. Rolling it up again, he shoved the map away and took the right hand tunnel. Several minutes later, he stopped. There was a shaft angling away to the left. Kneeling, he set the bag down and reached into his gray jacket, pulling out the padded box. Placing it on the ground, he opened the lid, lifted out the second, smaller box; opened that, and pulled out a vial. From the brown bag, he retrieved an alarm clock. He wound it gently and set it fifteen minutes fast; then set the alarm for three o’clock. Taking the small vial in his hand, he placed it against the alarm clock, securing it gently with putty and a string so the neck extended into the bell where the hammer could strike it. His homemade bomb completed, Heyes tucked it up into the cross braces of the horizontal shaft. After gathering up his supplies, he walked carefully on, working his way back up towards the entrance.

OOOOOOOOOO

A shot rang out and Dylan Mullavey cried out, grasping his shoulder. He fell to his knees and was lost in the mob swarming about him. The Kid looked up the hill in the direction the shot had come from. Another shot sounded, twenty or thirty yards to the right of the first one and another man fell to the ground. A third bullet whistled past Curry’s ear and he dove at the ground. Bending low to conceal himself amongst the fighting men, he pushed his way to the edge of the crowd and disappeared behind the tool shed. The Kid ran up the hillside using what cover he could. He came out on a rocky outcropping above the first gunman, his pistol in hand. “Drop it! I’ve got you covered.”

Stretch was lying on his stomach using a small rock to rest his rifle on. He stood up slowly, both hands raised, and scowled. “You! What are you doin’? We work for Crenshaw, too.”

“Yeah, but I don’t. Now step over there,” he said, gesturing the man away from his rifle. Hearing a pebble ricocheting down the hillside, the Kid swung around and shot Zeke in the arm as he raised his gun. Curry dropped to the ground and rolled onto his feet as Stretch reached for his sidearm. The Kid shot the holster clean off the man’s gun belt.

“Stop shootin’. We give up. Oh geez, stop shootin’,” yelled the tall man, his arms up, and his eyes closed.

OOOOOOOOOO

Heyes set the last alarm clock one minute faster than the prior clock and secured the final vial to it. He hid it in the timbers and stood up. Leaving the bag and map behind with the bomb, he ran for the entrance to the mine.

OOOOOOOOOO

The fight was beginning to lose steam. The shooting had startled the combatants and they had scattered slightly before resuming the fight. Davy was clenching a guard when he saw Heyes run out of the mine and behind the tool shed near the entrance. Grinning, Davy punched the guard and dropped him to the ground. With renewed energy, he swung at the man in front of him.

The guards were tiring. They were being overwhelmed by the sheer number of miners. Finally, one of the guards, a huge man, stood still, dropped his weapons at his feet, and raised his hands. “You win. We give up. Give it up, boys,” he roared. The other guards looked to their leader and dropped their weapons. The miners, seeing Dylan clutching his bloody shoulder yet smiling, lowered theirs.

Curry pushed the two gunmen in front of him, stopped at the edge of the crowd, and yelled, “These are the men who were shootin’ at you. It was a set up. Crenshaw, the lawyer, hired them. He and Mr. Pitts are tied up in the office. I caught them stealin’ your payroll.”

The miners and guards alike swarmed about the Kid. A guard and one of the miners grabbed Stretch and Zeke by their arms, dragging them towards the office.

The Kid looked about the crowd, searching the faces. A rumbling tremor shook the ground beneath his feet and a cloud of dust and smoke belched from the adit. A miner next to the Kid yelled, “Cave-in! There’s a cave-in!” A little less than a minute later, there was another great shaking, and more dust spewed from the tunnel. The men, shaken, milled crazily about as a third, and then a fourth, quake struck. A look of dawning horror crossed Curry’s face and he whispered, “Heyes, what have you done?” He took off running for the mine entrance. A miner grabbed at his arm, yelling, “Mister, it’s collapsing, you can’t go in there. The whole thing’s coming down.” Curry shook him off brutally and kept going.

He was nearly to the mouth, when he felt another pair of hands grab him. He swung around, his fists raised, only to find Heyes hanging onto him tightly. Stunned, the Kid dropped his hands, and looked at his partner, speechless. Finally, he croaked, “You?” Heyes nodded, a tentative smile forming on his lips. A fifth shock unbalanced them and Curry pulled free. Heyes watched him warily. The Kid looked dazed, but he slowly began to chuckle and then he started laughing. Heyes grinned and slapped him on the back, knocking a large puff of dust off his sheepskin jacket.

A sixth jolt shook the ground and Heyes said, “That’s the last one.”

“I’m glad you didn’t tell me what you were plannin’, Heyes,” gasped the Kid. He bent over for a short time and caught his breath.

Reaching into his coat, Heyes pulled out a small, white paper sack and held it out to the Kid. “Here, I brought you something.”

Curry opened it and peeked inside. “Red licorice, my favorite; you shouldn’t have, Heyes.” Pulling a piece out and putting it in his mouth, he closed the bag and tucked it into his pocket.

“Hey, aren’t you going to share?” asked Heyes.

“Nope; you didn’t share your plan with me, so I’m not sharin’ my licorice with you,” said the Kid.

Heyes opened his mouth as another quake shook the ground. This one was stronger than the rest and the two partners clung onto each other to stay on their feet. When the trembling ceased, Heyes shook his head. “That wasn’t me!”

Curry laughed and flung his arm around his partner’s shoulder.

OOOOOOOOOO

Dylan and Davy stood next to the stage as Heyes and the Kid tossed their bags inside the empty coach. Dylan smiled. “We don’t know how to thank you two. Davy got a wire from mine headquarters this morning. The new manager’s on his way here and he’s already made us both foremen. Mr. Pitts and Crenshaw will be arraigned tomorrow. They’ll be going away for a long time. The sheriff tells me he had a little ‘talk’ with Mr. Pitts and those two gunnies sang like canaries; said Crenshaw hired them to kill you, Jones. It seems he and Mr. Crenshaw had been planning to pin the payroll theft on you; you were going to be killed trying to get away.”

“Why me?” asked Curry.

“Because you wear your gun like an outlaw,” said Davy. “Crenshaw noticed you the first day you rode into town. When you got sick and arrested, he saw his chance to cover his tracks by pinning the crime on you.”

“Thanks to you, Mr. Smith, we have a few years of hard work ahead of us.” Dylan glanced about to be sure they weren’t overheard.

“Better you than me. Good luck to you,” said Heyes, shaking hands with Dylan and Davy. The Kid shook their hands as well.

Climbing into the empty stage and settling into his seat, the Kid turned to his partner. “Heyes, the next time you decide to help the needy folk, don’t.”

“They’re all yours, Kid,” laughed Heyes as the stage started off.


(Writers love feedback! You can let Inside Outlaw know how you enjoyed the story with a quick comment. Just Post Reply  to the Comments for Friends or Foes thread below the story.)

_________________
Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry, the two most successful outlaws in the history of the west. And in all the trains and banks they robbed, they never shot anyone.
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