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 The Almost Great Escape

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CD Roberts

Posts : 114
Join date : 2013-09-23

PostThe Almost Great Escape

This is a story of Heyes and Curry at the Valparaiso Home for Waywards.

Jupiter Snodgrass waited deferentially in front of the superintendent’s desk for a reply. While he waited, he studied the superintendent. The man never ceased to fascinate him. He was a cadaverous man, lean and gaunt with high sunken cheekbones, long limbs and long thin spidery fingers. Jupiter watched those fingers twining and entwining around each other while their owner was preoccupied in thought.

Finally, Superintendent McDermott gave his response.

“You will say nothing to them, Snodgrass. There will be no punishment today.”

“No punishment! Sir, I must protest. They are incorrigible and disobedient.”

“Mr. Snodgrass, that description could be applied to all of our boys I would think,” he said dryly.

“Sir, you know as well as I that these two are far more troublesome than the other boys. They are insolent. They are idle. They encourage disobedience in the other boys. You can’t place them. How many times have one or the other of them been indentured only to be returned within a week. Now the word has spread among the farmers and I fear we will be burdened with them until they are adults. When they are truant they steal food from the farms…”

“Mr. Snodgrass, all boys steal fruit and other articles from the farms, and I mean all boys, even the locals.”

“Sir, I have given up counting how many times they have been truant. The work here has to be done, and it is left for the other boys to do it.” The superintendent snorted. “You understand what I mean sir. I admit our boys are not particularly diligent on the whole, but at least the other boys make some semblance of working. If you overlook this infraction it will imply a lack of resolve on your part, and soon the other boys will be wandering off.”

“Mr. Snodgrass, I did not say that they would not be punished. I said they will not be punished today. There is a difference. A thought has come to me.”


“As you so aptly stated we must be relieved of them. They are becoming too old to remain and must be indentured.”

“Sir, not a one of the farmers will take them.”

“You must leave it to me Snodgrass.”

The superintendent reclined slightly in his high backed chair. He interlocked his fingers, and then unwound them. Somehow, with his large sunken eyes, the resemblance to a spider luring its prey into its web increased. He sat upright and picked up his pen. He dipped it in the inkwell and began to write.

“Snodgrass, you have your duties to attend to.”

Jupiter Snodgrass turned, and left McDermott’s office in a highly dissatisfied state. Once, not so long ago, he had been young and filled with energy and hopes. He would be an instructor; he would teach and mold the young into model citizens who would become the very fiber of a strong and righteous America. He would devote himself to this task. He would inspire others and reap the reward of his Christian works in the world to come. He had approached teaching with the zeal of a missionary, and like a missionary, traveled to a rugged wasteland-- for that is what he considered the plains of Kansas to be-- to devote his life to teaching in an orphanage.

It hadn’t taken long for disillusionment to engulf his soul. Like a virus, it entered almost imperceptibly, and then it multiplied and grew, spreading an infection of disappointment throughout his being.

The compound that was the Valparaiso Home for Waywards was functional and institutional, with little else to recommend it. He could live with that and with the hardships that came with it: low pay, a meager diet, long days, and hard work. It was the boys. They refused to be inspired. Most were wastrels, and most were not even orphans. Many came from a family with only one parent who could not support them, mainly what were called war orphans. Some were from poor families with more children than they could handle; some were the children of drunkards. Some were simply too troublesome to keep at home. Only a few, a very few, were genuine orphans.

And the irony of it all was that the two boys truant today were really and truly orphans, and they were just as disrespectful, probably more disrespectful, than the boys from families of low morals. It was worse than disheartening. It seemed to be representative of the failure Snodgrass felt in reaching his life’s goals.

He mulled this over, and happened upon Poole sitting on a log doing nothing. Poole had straight, greasy blond hair, and freckles on his nose and cheeks. A most disgusting boy, thought Snodgrass, he had a tendency to develop warts, hence his nickname ‘Toad’.

Snodgrass realized with dismay that Poole was actually preoccupied with his finger, which he had removed from his left nostril, and was contemplating the substance on its end. Snodgrass acted swiftly. He smacked Toad across the back of his head with the book he was carrying. The superintendent might be soft with the boys, but he wasn’t. He had come from a good family with Puritan origins. Spare the rod and spoil the child.

“Ow.” Poole rubbed his head and looked up to see what had hit him. “What did ya hit me for, Mr. Snodgrass? I wasn’t doing nothing.”

“You weren’t doing anything, you disgusting brat. At least say it correctly. Cleanliness is next to godliness. Keep your fingers out of your nose.”

“Yes sir, Mr. Snodgrass, but I don’t see what my pickin’ my nose has got to do with cleanliness and God, and…”

Before Poole finished Snodgrass stalked off. THEY were back, entering the gates of the compound with easy gaits as if nothing was amiss and they hadn’t a care in the world.

“Curry, Heyes, stop where you are.”

The two boys came to a halt beside an empty box of supplies that had been sitting beside the front gate. Taking the box to a nearby dumping ground was one of their tasks that they had left undone, and was another irritant to Snodgrass. As he approached, Snodgrass could see a smirk on Curry’s face, and that the barest hint of a smile played on Heyes’ lips. The complete lack of respect they displayed for him -- and Valparaiso was insulting.

“You both were truant -- again. You had chores to do. What do you have to say for yourselves?”

By the time he had reached them, they had replaced the grins with blank looks.

“Jed, Mr. Snodgrass says we had chores to do. I didn’t know we had any chores today, did you?”

“Nope, can’t say that I can recall any.”

Snodgrass fumed. “You know full well you have work everyday. How dare you lie to me?”

The boys looked at each other, blankly and stupidly.

“Now Mr. Snodgrass, if you or any of the other teachers hada said something this morning, me and Heyes here woulda…”

“Oh stop it. Just stop talking. The superintendent will see to you.” He strode off angrily, and tripped on a rake that one of the boys had left lying out. “Who left this rake out here? You boys know you are supposed to put the tools away when you are done using them. Who did this? Well?”

Heyes and Curry watched the man.

“I think he’s angry. Do you think he’s angry?” asked Curry.

“Um,” grunted Heyes in response.

“Well, whaddya suppose they’re gonna do to us this time? A whuppin’?”

“Probably Jed. And they’ll probably try to separate and indenture us off to some farmers again. That is if they can find any who ain’t heard about us yet.”

Curry laughed. “Well we know how to handle that if it happens, don’t we Heyes?”

“Sure do Jed. I bet we’ll be back here in under a week.”

“Heyes, we are gonna leave here someday though, ain’t we? I mean there’s gotta be something out there better than this.”

“Oh sure Jed, but we gotta have plans. We’ll leave sometime. Let’s go sneak in the library. I got a book I borrowed I gotta return.” He pulled out a small volume that he had stuffed between his pants and shirt behind him.

The library was one of the more agreeable rooms in Valparaiso. It was a small nook off the room used by the teachers for their correspondence and other tasks involving writing. It had two shelves of books in mint condition, the reason being that although the denizens of Valparaiso were fortunate enough to have a library and books, the children were not allowed to read them, as it was feared they would ruin them. Since most of the boys didn’t care much about reading unless forced to read an occasional line or two in a McGuffey reader, it didn’t matter anyway.

Heyes did read, and he developed a system of ‘borrowing’ books. Since the teachers were too exhausted at the end of the day to read them, he quickly discovered that by removing one volume at a time and shifting the other books around no one ever noticed a book was missing.

After returning the book and selecting a new one, while Curry kept watch, the two boys joined the rest of the teachers and children of Valparaiso at supper.

Frankly, supper was a dreary affair. What little food they were given was generally over or undercooked, and no talking was allowed among the children. Prayers were said, food gobbled down and the children dismissed to return to the sleeping quarters, to prepare for the night. While the boys quarreled, pushed, shoved, kicked and pinched, the weary instructors tried their best to halt the unruliness by the use of a leather strap judiciously applied to offenders’ hands. After which thanks were bestowed for what they had been given, lights turned out, and eventually sleep ensued.

The next morning the bell to rise rang at 5 AM as usual. The boys struggled to awaken amid yawns, stretches, and more hitting and shoving, only in the early morning they were decidedly crankier. They dressed, hastily made their beds and stood in line to take turns washing their hands and faces with the cold water poured into the cracked basins from cracked pitchers.

Then they went outside and lined up for roll call and announcements. The only announcement that interested Heyes and Curry was the one in which it was announced the two of them were to see the superintendent in his office immediately after breakfast.

“I am making arrangements for the two of you to be indentured.”

The boys rolled their eyes, and then gave each other a look that previously would have irritated Superintendent McDermott, but which did not bother him the least at this moment.

“I have written to an acquaintance of mine living in Massachusetts.”

Curry, who had no knowledge of geography, looked puzzled, but Heyes interrupted.

“You mean back east?”

The superintendent ignored him, and continued.

“Captain Standish is part owner of a merchant company in addition to which he owes me many favors. I have requested that the two of you be taken onto two of his vessels as cabin boys in order to learn an honest, hardworking profession. The hours are long, much longer than the working hours here, but you are young and will adapt rapidly to them. He is an upright man, and is exacting in his discipline. I think the experience will do both of you much good, in addition to which you will become responsible, self-sufficient members of society. I should hear his response within the month, but I have no doubt it will be in the affirmative.”

“Do you have any questions?”


“Good. That is all. You may leave. It would be much appreciated if you made some attempt to accomplish a few of your assigned tasks. It would also prepare you for the heavier work you will soon be taking upon yourselves.”

They edged towards the door.

“Bye the bye, did I mention the period of indenture? No? It will be for seven years. You are dismissed.”

Outside the superintendent’s office, Curry and Heyes gasped and leaned on the wall.

“Heyes I don’t wanna be a sailor. I don’t think I’d like to be on a ship.”

“Neither do I,” said Heyes. “And what’s McDermott mean? – seven years. When they send you to a farm, it’s for three years. This can’t be happening.”

“Well, it looks like it is happening.”

“We ain’t even gonna be on the same ship, you know.”

“Heyes we gotta leave.”

“I know.”

“We gotta run away.”

“I know.”


“You got an idea?”

“Yeah, we walk out and don’t stop walking.”

“Jed, they’ll come after us. You know he gets paid to get the boys indentured.”

This was a common belief among the boys of Valparaiso. They were positive that they were being sold into work, and that the superintendent made a fine profit off of their labor. Just as they were positive the teachers had extra food hidden. Neither rumor was true. The board of directors for Valparaiso had limited funds to work with, and the war years had left Kansas in an impoverished condition. Indenturing children was a way of reducing numbers with the hope that the children would learn a profession. And the rumor of the hidden food supplies was the cause of much continuing distress among the instructors as it led to repeated vandalizing of their living quarters by the children in search of the hidden hoard.

“We can’t just up and leave. We gotta have an escape plan.”

“An escape plan?”

“Sure, like the Count of Mounty Crysto fella. He and the Abbey dug tunnels for years and then right before they could escape the Abbey died. Then the jailors sewed the Abbey into a sack so the count sewed himself in the sack instead. He figured he’d be dumped outside of the Chatow d’eef—the prison he was in. ‘Course he didn’t realize that the jailors were gonna dump him in the ocean.”

Curry looked at him blankly.

“He shoulda realized it though, ‘cause the prison was surrounded by water…”

“Heyes we aren’t surrounded by water and we don’t have time to dig a tunnel, and why would we wanna dig one anyway?”

Heyes looked at Curry with patient superiority. “Jed, I know all that. I’m just sayin’ we gotta think up a plan.” He looked at Curry and reconsidered. “Tell you what, I’ll think up the plan.”

“OK, but if it’s no good I’m gonna tell you.”

“You do that Jed,” replied Heyes with a quizzical look.

That night the two boys slipped out of their sleeping quarters for a smoke and a talk behind the infirmary.

“I’ve got a plan, Jed.”

Curry smiled. “That’s great Heyes.”

“It’s a little complicated, but then all good plans are,” Heyes said proudly.

“It better not be too complicated. We’ve only got about a half an hour before Quigley does rounds.” Mr. Quigley was another of the instructors employed at the home.

“We’ll need a diversion.”

“A diversion?”

“That means we get some of the boys to do something to attract the attention of the instructor on duty. While he’s busy with them we’ll make our way to the gate, climb it, and leave.”

“That’s it?”

“Well, that’s most of it.”

“I thought you said it was complicated.”

“It is complicated. For me, that is. I still have to think up a diversion. Also it’ll have to be on a night with no moon.”

“How come?”

“Jed, we don’t want the instructor to see us, do we?”

“But if he’s busy with your diversion, how’s he gonna see us?”

“That’s just in case Jed. When you’re planning an escape you have to foresee any complications and plan for them.”

“That’s smart, Heyes.” Curry puffed on the stogie they shared. “Heyes, what are we gonna do when we leave?”

“I figure we can head for one of the big cow towns, Jed. We already know how to play cards. I bet we can make a lot of money playing cards against those Texas cowboys. I mean, how hard can it be to beat a bunch of cowboys?” Heyes continued, “Think about it Jed, how much smarts does it take to sit on a horse and drive cattle? That’s a job of fellas who can’t do anything else. Playing cards with ‘em will be like taking candy from a baby.”

“What worries me is food Jed. We’re gonna need some for the trip. I can’t see any way around taking some from the kitchen here.”

Both boys stopped and considered this momentarily. They realized they would need more than the occasional biscuit with jam that all the boys hooked from behind the cook’s back. This would be more than a small transgression, and could even be considered stealing.

Curry was the first to break the silence.

“Well, it’s not like we’d be takin’ more than we’d be eatin’ anyway, is it? I mean if we stayed we’d be eatin the same amount of food, wouldn’t we?”

“That’s right Jed. So it’s really like it’s our food anyway, not like we’d be stealin’ or anything.”


The boys grinned at each other as much in relief as with admiration at their mutual cleverness. Reaching the butt end of their stogie, which they had ‘borrowed’ from one of the instructors; an act of kindness as Heyes put it, since the instructors were not allowed to smoke any more than the boys were, they crushed it. They then returned to the boys’ hall, and slipped in through the same window they had climbed out.

During the night Heyes came up with what he knew was a brilliant diversion. He was almost disappointed that the escape would be so easy, unlike escapes he had read about that were masterpieces of conception. It was a real shame that he’d had to discard so many ideas that promised more adventure, but at the same time he had to admit that escaping from Valparaiso didn’t present as much of a challenge as escaping from Libby Prison. He greatly admired the intelligence and pluck of the Union soldiers who had dug their way out by hiding the excavated dirt in Rat Hell, the sealed off kitchen infested with rats. For all the charm of that plan, he didn’t think he would have been able to convince Curry to dig a tunnel in a room filled with rats or dig any tunnel for that matter, not that Valparaiso had a kitchen filled with rats.

That other popular method of escape, dressing in women’s clothing as the Earl of Nithsdale had when he escaped from the Tower of London, was unappealing even to him. It also had the disadvantage of being entirely impractical. Even the least intelligent of the teachers, Quigley, would not be fooled.

What remained was the idea of a diversion. He and Curry would have to convince the other boys to break into the teachers’ rooms in search of food, a not too difficult task. The difficulty lay in convincing them to break in when they wanted them to. He was positive that without his help during the quest for foodstuff, the boys would make a mistake and be caught, but that generally happened when he wasn’t around to help them anyway.

He decided that he and Curry would have to take small amounts of food at a time to avoid suspicion and hide these in the disused barrel behind the infirmary. This would take a couple of weeks, which would be plenty of time to organize the food raid.

“Superintendent McDermott.”

“Yes, Snodgrass,” McDermott replied wearily. The superintendent did not raise his head from the ledger he was studying.

“Bradley says the supply of prepared foods is being depleted.” Bradley was the cook, and in charge of the rations.

“My understanding is that is what occurs when food is eaten, Snodgrass.”

“My meaning, sir, is that the food is disappearing unnaturally. Bradley believes it is being stolen by the boys.”

“Snodgrass, the boys are always taking food.”

“Sir, Bradley reports that the amount of food missing is unusually high.”

McDermott grumbled at the ledger. “Do you realize, Snodgrass that the cost of feeding the older boys has increased dramatically? We are not doing well at all; these books are not in balance. A small matter of some food missing hardly compares to the debts we are generating in the feeding of these older children.”

“With due respect sir, the missing food…”

“Snodgrass, if you and Bradley believe the boys are taking more than is usual I suggest that you catch them at it. Then report back to me. As it is, I have my hands full. I must make a report to board next month and, as it is, I hardly think we will be in the black by then.”

Snodgrass excused himself and left in a huff. McDermott leaned his chair back against the wall and gazed out his window at the barrel behind the infirmary. He smiled, shook his head to clear it, and returned to his work.

On the night of their great escape, Curry and Heyes waited until all was quiet, gathered their meager belongings consisting of a greasy deck of cards won off of a town boy in a game of dares, a bowie knife won in a game of poker from the same boy using the greasy deck, various other items assumed to be of importance, and their clothing.

Heyes gently placed one hand over the mouth of Will, his chosen leader for the night’s expedition, and lightly tapped his shoulder to awaken him. Will opened his eyes groggily, and after focusing them, muttered, “Already?” rolled over and began to snore.

Heyes shook him again and hissed, “Get up.”

Will wiggled his body and pressed his face deeper into his pillow.

Heyes shook him harder. “Get up or give me back the cigars.”

Will pushed himself up and started to awaken his cohorts.

“Quiet,” hissed Curry.

He and Heyes slipped out the window. They crouched by a bench. Curry had been pondering why he had been able to see Will on a moonless night. Looking up in the sky, he realized a bright three quarter moon was lighting up the sky and the grounds.

He pointed to it.

“I know,” Heyes whispered. “I can’t figure it out. There wasn’t a moon last night. What happened?”

They looked at each other and came to the same conclusion. “Clouds,” they said at the same time.

“We should have kept track of the full moon, not just figured there was no moon because it was dark last night.”

“I suppose so Heyes, what do we do now? Go back?”

They heard the movements of the boys in the hall behind them.

“Can’t,” said Heyes, “our diversion is gonna be in a few minutes, and anyway the food’s not gonna last forever. And anyway we picked tonight because Quigley is doing the rounds.”

Curry put his hand over Heyes’ mouth, and turned Heyes’s head so he could see the instructor patrolling the grounds. The boys’ eyes opened wide. It was Snodgrass, not Quigley. They shrank into the shadows. At least he was walking in the opposite direction.

Behind them, there was the sound of something falling and a dull thud, followed by a loud “ow!”

Jupiter Snodgrass changed direction and came straight towards them. As he neared the superintendent’s door opened.

Heyes and Curry squeezed their eyes shut. Snodgrass was almost on top of them.


“Sir?” Snodgrass stopped.

“I have need of your assistance.”

“Superintendent, I heard a disturbance in the boys’ quarters. I would like to investigate that first.”

“Piffle, Snodgrass. Do you hear anything now?”

“No sir, but…”

“Obviously one of the boys had a nightmare. I require your assistance immediately.”

Snodgrass reluctantly changed direction, after a last glance back at the window over Heyes and Curry, and strode to the superintendent.

“Snodgrass, go inside. I will be with you momentarily.”

“But sir…”

McDermott walked away in the direction of the main gate. Snodgrass shook his head and entered the superintendent’s rooms.

“Now what?” Curry whispered.

“Now we get those others out and on their way.”

“But Heyes, McDermott is out.”

“And he’s headed the other way, isn’t he?” Heyes briskly rose and looked into the open window.

“What is the matter with you? We told you to be quiet.”

“Tom, he…”

“Never mind that. Get out here. Now!”

Four boys sheepishly crawled out the window.

“Will, Tom.” Heyes sized up his ‘men.’ “Frank, Joe. You know what you are supposed to do. When I tell you, you head over to the teachers’ hall and start searchin’. “

“I still don’t git it,” said Joe, scratching his head. “What’ll you two be doin’ while we’s in the teachers’ rooms?”

Will hit Joe. “Knucklehead, we’ve told ya a million times. We’re lookin’ fer food in the rooms and them two is gonna raid the kitchen.”

“Oh yeah, I fergot.”

Curry rolled his eyes. “If you fellas don’t do what we tell ya to do, and do it right, then tomorrow we’re gonna…” He stopped. He wasn’t sure what to threaten the boys with since he wasn’t planning on being in Valparaiso the next day.

Heyes finished for him. “We’re gonna keep all the food we get for ourselves, and you’ll have to return the stogies,” he said mildly. “After all we have a bargain.”

While Heyes and Curry were occupied in drilling their troops, a small form opened the door of the boys’ hall and slid out unnoticed. The form slipped off into the murky night.

The boys waited quietly except for the occasional snuffle, and nose rubbing. After a few minutes, Tom stood up to shake his legs which were going numb.

“Get down!” Heyes hissed. “What do you think you’re doing?”

“My legs are getting’ stiff. Why’re we waitin’ so long anyhow?”

“Because the superintendent is roamin’ about.”

“Hsst,” Curry broke in.

Superintendent McDermott was returning to his rooms. The boys froze and waited until he was safely inside. Heyes and Curry pushed the four boys in the direction of the teachers’ hall, and started off in the direction of the kitchen. Partly there, they looked back and seeing that the boys were now inside the teachers’ quarters, changed direction for the infirmary.

Creeping behind the wood building, Curry kept a look out and Heyes raised the lid of the barrel.

“I don’t believe it,” he quietly wailed.


“It’s empty.”


Abandoning all pretense of keeping guard, Curry pushed Heyes aside, and then almost dived into the barrel. He scraped his hands around the base of it, and retrieved a biscuit.

“One biscuit! One biscuit! Where’s the rest?” he demanded.

“Well I dunno,” Heyes responded in a high-pitched voice.

“We don’t have any food. Let’s go back.”

A loud commotion was heard in the teachers’ rooms. Snodgrass and McDermott ran out of the superintendent’s quarters and over into the hall.

The two boys stood irresolutely.

“Heyes, let’s go back and do this again on a later day.”

“We can’t.”

“Whaddya mean we can’t?”

“Jed I don’t think this is gonna work a second time, not with the teachers knowin’.”

“Heyes, it’s not working now.”

“Jed I don’t wanna go to sea.”

They looked into each other’s eyes and silently came to an agreement. They made a run for the front gate.

Panting they looked for the box of trash that had been near the gate and which they had planned to use to get a foothold for climbing.

“Where’s the box?”

“How do I know where the box is? It was here earlier today.”

“Well it’s not now, Heyes. How do we get out?”

Curry crossed his arms in angry resignation.

“I’m going back.”

“You can’t, McDermott’ll send you to sea.”

Heyes crossed his arm in an unconscious mirror image of Curry and stepped back to the gate, leaned on it and fell through backwards.

“It’s open,” cried Curry happily.

“I can see that,” said Heyes rubbing his head.

“Let’s go,” and Curry grabbed Heyes’s arm to help him right himself, and they ran off into the night.

The following day at roll call, the four guilty culprits were called out of line and sentenced to a whipping each and extra duties. Poole, better known to his peers as Toad, was commended for removing the box that had been left beside the gate on his own volition during the prior afternoon. His service was contrasted to the attempted theft by the other boys, and held up as an example for all to follow. The rest of the announcements were read as usual, and then Superintendent McDermott returned to his office.

Jupiter Snodgrass followed him inside.

“Superintendent, you do realize that Jedediah Curry and Hannibal Heyes were missing at roll call this morning.”

Superintendent McDermott scanned his daily paperwork in front of him.

“Their belongings are gone sir.”

“Do you regret their absence, Snodgrass?”

“Sir they are two of our boys.”

McDermott stared at Snodgrass unblinkingly. “The two oldest boys you mean to say. They did eat considerably.” He looked down at his papers. “I believe you said not too long ago that they set a bad example for the others.”

“Yes sir that is true, but now they have apparently run off.”

“You did say that it would be impossible to indenture them, did you not? That none of the local farmers would take them.”

“Yes sir, I did say that.”

McDermott lifted his papers on edge and tapped them on the desk to make their ends even.

“Then I believe they have solved a great difficulty for us.”

“Then you are not going to search for them sir?”

“Would you care to, Snodgrass?”

Snodgrass studied his superintendent with increased admiration. He turned to leave and opened the door. With his hand still on the knob, he turned back to Superintendent McDermott.

“Superintendent, the gate was unlocked last night.”

“Was it really? We shall have to take better care to see that it is not left unlocked in the future.”

Toad took a breather from his chores during the heat of the afternoon. Seemingly out of nowhere he had produced extra food and bribed some of the younger lads to do his remaining work. Ensuring he wasn’t followed, he went behind an old broken plow that had been left to rust a distance from the main compound. He opened the box that he had carted off the previous afternoon and selected a snack.*

A few miles down the road, Heyes and Curry sat with their shoes off and their feet in a puddle to cool them off. Heyes stared off down the horizon as Curry absentmindedly poked his index finger through a hole in the sole of one of his shoes.

He laughed, and Heyes turned to him.

“We did it. You did it. Heyes, you’re the smartest fella I know. You’re almost as smart as one of them there genius folks.”

Heyes smiled at the compliment and looked down the road again towards the future.

*Poole was eventually indentured to a banker. He had a natural inclination for business and went on to found a large and highly successful insurance company. He truly lived a life of moderation and was a man beloved in his community. He married early, had five children, and a loving and loyal relationship with his spouse. The only complaint to be heard about him and his family was that his children and grandchildren were inveterate nose pickers.

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