Stories: Alias Smith and Jones

Buckshot Enterprises Presents a site for posting and reading Alias Smith and Jones Stories
 
HomePortalFAQSearchRegisterLog in

Reply to topic
Share | 
 

  The State of Colorado vs. Clementine Hale by Victoria Quynn

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
royannahuggins
Moderator
avatar

Posts : 419
Join date : 2013-10-13

20140307
Post The State of Colorado vs. Clementine Hale by Victoria Quynn



Clem's in trouble.  Can Heyes and Curry trust a couple old friends to clear her name, even if one of them is... Harry Briscoe?



Starring

Pete Duel and Ben Murphy as
Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry


Guest Stars:

David Ogden Stiers as Prosecutor Ambrose Bartholomew Briles


Robert Fuller as Sheriff John Cawley


Paul Fix as Judge Paul Douglas


Inger Stevens as Josie


Arlene Golonka as Marie


Mills Watson as Todd Martin


Michael Weatherly as George Rowe


Eric Christian Olsen as Jake Potter


Jim Davis as Jim Springer


Special Guest Stars:

Sally Field as Clementine Hale


J.D. Cannon as Harry Briscoe


Angus Duncan as Chester Brubaker



Very Special Guest Appearance:

Don Ameche as Diamond Jim Guffy



The State of Colorado vs. Clementine Hale
by Victoria Quynn



A very bright, very full moon sat high in the sky. It and shooting stars and a myriad of constellations produced an explosion of light, which brilliancy illuminated the darkness almost to a twilight – if not a daylight – appearance.

Beneath the canopy of meteor showers, a neat house sat near the road, surrounded by a picket fence. Curtains danced in the breeze and blunted the lamp light emanating from inside. The glow spilled out onto the porch.

Hard by the other side of the lane, hidden by trees, a man watched.

The door opened, and a petite, dark-haired woman stepped through the threshold carrying a bucket. She went to the railing and splashed the contents over the side. Looking up at the heavens, she watched nature's show for a few moments before walking back inside, closing the door behind her.

Still, the man watched.

*****

Two hours later

Two horses with men aboard approached the hitching rail in front of the picket fence. The men dismounted and looked around, taking in their surroundings. Then, nodding to each other, they strode purposefully to the porch and climbed the steps. Knocking softly, they waited a moment until one said something, apparently in answer to a query from inside. The door opened and the same dark-haired woman stood in the opening. She smiled and started to speak to the two men.

*****

Meanwhile

The watcher in the woods was rapt with attention as the horses approached. A broad grin spread across his countenance as the young woman spoke to the men. Soundlessly, he slapped his hand against his thigh in glee. Unfastening his horse’s reins from a low lying bush, he guided the animal slowly and noiselessly away.

*****

Very early next morning

Eight men approached the house by the road, now dark inside. Stealthily, two went around to the back. A brace ran to the barn some fifty feet from the dwelling. Another pair took up position by the fence. The remaining couple ran across the road and into the woods opposite. Moments later, the latter two emerged from the woods, shaking their heads to the pair in front, while the barn brace silently returned and reported the same. The pair by the gate stood guard. The remaining four, one with a star on his chest, climbed the steps and knocked on the door.

"Sheriff Cawley and deputies here. The house is surrounded. Come out with your hands up. And no tricks. If we have to, we’ll shoot.”

The sheriff knocked again. "Open up, or we kick in the door.”

A light appeared in the window. The same dark-haired woman, clad in a robe and rubbing sleepy eyes, opened the door. Two deputies rushed past her into the house.

"Sheriff, what is this? What's going on?"

"Where are they, Miss Hale?"

"Where are who, Sheriff?"

"The two men who stopped here earlier this evening. And where are their horses?"

"You mean the two men who stopped to ask directions? I suppose they're on their way to where they were going. I further suppose they're riding their horses. Or rather," Clementine Hale allowed her tone to drip sarcasm, “Since it is 2:00 a.m., maybe they and their horses are fast asleep? And how dare you search my house without a warrant!"

"We have a warrant, Miss Hale.”

"A warrant at an hour when all decent folks are asleep?”

"I've always said you had spunk, Miss Hale. But harboring fugitives is a crime, not to mention probable aiding and abetting."

"Harboring fugitives? You have the wrong house!"

"No ma'am, we have the right house. Where are they?"

A pert nose wrinkled in frustration. "No one's here but me, Sheriff. You'd better have a damn good explanation for this!"

"Now, Miss Hale, no need to use that kind of language."

The two men inside concluded their search and joined the sheriff. “No one here but her, Sheriff. They must've gotten away. Probably restocked from her stores before they left."

Sheriff Cawley turned his attention from his men to Clementine. "All right, Miss Hale, one more time. Where are they?"

"No one's here, and no one's been here, save the two men who stopped for a few minutes earlier this evening to ask for directions." Clementine instinctively stepped back, only to have her arm grasped by one of the two deputies.

Sheriff Cawley eyed her. Gruffly, "All right, Miss Hale. Didn't want it to have to come to this, but you're under arrest. Please get dressed. We're taking you in."

Eyes wide and mouth agape, Clementine stood rooted to her spot for a few moments as the words sank in. Taking a deep breath, she strode to her bedroom, closing the door behind her.

*****

Twenty minutes later

Clementine, now dressed, emerged from her bedroom. Taking one last look at her home, she extinguished the lamp and stepped out onto the porch, closing and locking the door behind her. Placing the key in her purse and pulling the drawstring up her arm, she faced the sheriff, who produced a pair of wrist irons.

Calmly, she remarked, "Surely those aren't necessary, Sheriff? It's not as if I'm going to run with you and all these deputies around."

"I'm sorry, Miss, but all prisoners must wear them."

Clementine closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and nodded reluctantly. Holding her arms in front of her, the irons closed around her wrists. She was led down the steps and half lifted into a waiting buggy.

*****

Three days later

Hannibal Heyes stood at the counter in the telegraph office in Golden, Colorado, scribbling on a piece of paper. His partner, Jed "Kid" Curry, sat splayed on a bench next to the wall, his arms crossed and hat pulled low over his forehead. Heyes reviewed what he had written, and handed it to the telegraph operator.

The operator counted the words. "That'll be six dollars and fifty cents."

"That's highway robbery!"

"Would you like to rewrite it?"

With a sigh, Heyes shook his head and, reluctantly, handed over the money.

Without moving, Kid Curry asked, "Did you write a book, Joshua?"

Hannibal Heyes sat down beside his partner, who did not see the scowl Heyes sent his way. "Book? No. But Lom needs to know our plans for the next few weeks, and it gets wordy. Think you could have done any better?"

Pushing his hat back on his head with one finger, Kid admitted, "Probably not. But for that price, we could have gone to visit him."

"Maybe so. But we promised Clem a visit first."

Kid stretched and yawned. "You got a point there. Let's get that room and freshen up before dinner. Then I'm just goin’ to sleep – maybe for two days."

"I'll second that," Heyes leaned back. "Just don't want to move."

"Come on. The sooner you move, the sooner you get to soak your cares away."

"And my saddle sores."

Wearily, the pair rose. Heyes put his hand on Kid's shoulder as he followed him slowly toward the door.

"Mr. Smith! Wait!"

Heyes turned to face the telegraph operator. "Huh?"

"There's a reply coming in."

"Really? We weren't expecting one."

The man behind the counter spoke as he wrote, "Seems Sheriff Trevors had an urgent message waiting for you at the Porterville office, to be sent as soon as you got in touch."

Heyes and Kid glanced at each other and shrugged before striding to the counter. The telegraph operator handed Heyes the message, which he read silently before giving it to Kid, who examined it quickly and eyed Heyes worriedly. Both shared a silent look before they said, simultaneously, "Harry!"

Heyes picked up a pencil and started writing.

*****

Two days later


The partners sat in the back of a mostly empty saloon, glumly nursing beers. They looked up, expectantly, every now and then as the screech of the batwing doors signaled each new customer. They exchanged silent glances, sighed, tapped fingers, fidgeted in their seats, and otherwise kept their eyes on their beers, which for the most part went untouched.

Suddenly, a familiar figure blundered through the doors and stopped, blinking as his eyes adjusted from the bright afternoon sun to the dimmer light inside. The ex-outlaws watched. Kid Curry rose and walked toward him.

Kid leaned in close, and sotto voce, said, "Harry, could you keep it down? We're tryin' to be discreet and all."

Harry Briscoe nodded. "Of course, Thaddeus, of course."

Walking back to their table, Kid returned to his seat quietly, while Harry pulled a chair out and sat, scraping the legs not so discreetly as he pulled it in.

Kid and Heyes stared at him in disbelief.

"Shhhh," hissed Heyes.

"What's all the fuss?" Harry asked in a normal speaking voice.

"Shhhhhh," now came from two ex-outlaws, while Heyes added in a whisper, "Keep it down, would ya, Harry?"

Harry whispered, "All right, all right. I got it, I got it."

Heyes and Kid exchanged a glance and synchronized roll of their respective brown and blue eyes before Heyes spoke, "Harry, did you see Clem?"

"Yeah, saw her a couple of times."

"And?"

"Boys, she's been in that jail five days now, so she's not exactly in the best of moods. But she's doing all right, considering the circumstances. She arranged to wire Sheriff Trevors about getting in touch with you two. Told her to just sit tight for a couple more days and she'd be outta there."

Kid shook his head. "Hate to think of Clem behind bars. Wish we could just ride in there and blast her out."

Heyes shot his partner a look. "But you’re not really thinking that, are you, Thaddeus?"

Kid met the gaze. "No."

Heyes turned again to the detective. "Thanks for going to see Clem, Harry. Did you get someone?"

Harry's chest puffed out, as a peacock about to strut. "Gents, not only did I get someone, I got THE someone!"

Kid's eyes narrowed. "Huh?"

All three men leaned in closer, their voices continuing in a low tone.

"Boys, I got your old friend, Lawyer Brubaker."

Kid's brow furrowed. "But he's in Junction City!"

Harry's visage brightened. "Nope, he just opened a new office in Denver. Thought that might make you happy."

Heyes nodded, his dimples in full glory. "Harry, that's wonderful! You done good!"

Kid sported a broad grin. "What about Diamond Jim?"

Harry's fist made a sweeping motion through the air. "Yup, he's on board. He'll wire the retainer to Brubaker, and they'll take care of the financial arrangements between them. Diamond Jim'll wait 'til this is all over to discuss repayment."

"Yes! For once things are workin' out our way!" Kid's excitement got a tad loud for Heyes, who shot him a warning glance. Sheepishly, "Sorry."

“Now we just have to meet with Brubaker,” said Heyes. “Harry, have you arranged a meeting?"

"Yup, he's coming out here tomorrow."

The dark-haired ex-outlaw leader sobered. "Good. Now we just have to get things moving."

*****

Next day, early afternoon
A hotel room

“So, you saw Clem? How is she?”

Chester Brubaker, Esquire, counselor-at-law, met Heyes’ eyes, “Spending so many days in jail is wearing her down, Joshua. She’s spirited, sure – but, she’s beginning to lose hope.”

Kid observed ruefully, "Jail'll do that to ya."

Brubaker continued, "That's very true. Miss Hale waived a hearing until she had counsel, and I’ve moved for that tomorrow, and I’ll also petition for bail. Of course, we’ll be pleading not guilty."

Heyes spoke, "Of course! And we need to know in what direction we're going. Use all our resources the best we can – manpower, anyway. And I want to see Clem."

Brubaker laughed. "Joshua, hold your horses! You sound like the attorney!" Then, sobering, the lawyer continued, “Perhaps you could help me with the case somehow. We’ll just have to figure that out.”

Kid asked, "What about Harry and me?"

"Harry will be doing the detective work. He and I have discussed this. You can help Harry or me as needed."

Kid nodded. "Okay."

Brubaker pulled a tablet from his portfolio, and referred to it as he spoke. "Let's discuss the case. Miss Hale is charged with misdemeanor harboring of fugitives. This is actually good news, because the arrest warrant listed felony harboring, as well as misdemeanor aiding and abetting. They must not have the evidence to back up the original charges. Indeed, from what I've seen, their case is very circumstantial, and most judges would throw it out. This prosecutor, though, is pressing it."

Harry Briscoe, until now quiet and following along, spoke up. "Mr. Brubaker, in terms of investigation…"

"Harry, let's finish outlining the case before we get down to strategy," Brubaker cut him off. "As I said, this case shouldn't even be in court, and the prosecutor is really pushing it. There’s an election coming up, or he might have something else to prove."

Heyes rolled his eyes. "Yeah, a name. Probably wants to get to Thaddeus and me through Clem."

"Perhaps a name is what he wants. But I think even a beginning reader of law could see the cracks in this case."

"What do you mean?" Kid seemed fascinated.

The attorney regarded the trio. "Bottom line, they're pressing a case against this poor woman for harboring fugitives who are not even wanted in the state of Colorado, and on whom there are no federal warrants. Furthermore, they weren't even acting on behalf of authorities in Wyoming, where the fugitives are wanted. When you factor all of that in, the raid in and of itself is questionable and likely illegal. Any questions thus far?"

Heyes spoke, "Yeah. Did they have a proper search warrant?"

"Yes, there was a warrant, issued pursuant to the sworn affidavit of a bystander who swore he saw Heyes and Curry ride up to Miss Hale's home and speak to her. After taking her into custody, they executed the warrant by searching her home further, removing several items to be used as evidence."

"What did they take?" Heyes asked.

"A diary, and other odds and ends. It's the diary that they're highlighting. In it she has written several passages about you two, thereby establishing a relationship."

Curious, Kid asked, "What did she write?"

"Ultimately, it doesn't matter because we're going to argue it's fiction – a young woman's passing fancy on meeting two outlaws…”

Heyes interrupted, "But she does know us and has for a long time. If they wanted to, they could find at least a couple of people to testify to that."

"But that's just it. I really don't think they'll go to the trouble of seeking out witnesses. I've seen this type before. The prosecutor seems to be trying to keep it narrow and focused, but, as I said, he really doesn't have a case."

Heyes, again. "But how're you going to separate us from Clem?"

Brubaker smiled. "We'll acknowledge the long acquaintance, since that's the basis of the charges, but aside from that, we'll do our best to move the argument away from you boys and just try to refute what they throw at us, and throw a few tricks of our own at them."

Heyes shook his head. "That'll be a feat in itself, given our long friendship and her being accused of harboring us."

"Perhaps. But, we'll give it a try. Okay, next, they have the sworn statement of the bystander who says he saw you two ride up to her house the night she was taken into custody. The bystander swears he knows your descriptions and has personally seen you there before. Any truth to that?"

Heyes' and Kid's eyes met. Kid sighed and his shoulders slumped.

Heyes looked Brubaker in the eye. "Possibly."

Brubaker tried to suppress a look of surprise. "Care to explain?"

Heyes continued. "Last year, we went by Clem's to take her to Mexico with us. Some guy saw us, like now, and called out some friends of his. They said they watched Clem's house from time to time, hoping to catch us in case we showed up unexpected-like, with the aim to grabbing us and collecting and splitting the reward. Anyway, we left some of them tied up in the house. So, if it was one of those men, yeah, he saw us.”

Brubaker shook his head. "Okay, we’ll have to work around that. The details aren’t mentioned in the affidavit, although they should be to establish how he knows you. That’s another of the cracks in their case. We’ll prepare for this on a defensive mode; that is, we'll not bring anything up if they don't – we’re not handing them anything. We’ll defend every accusation they have the best we can. And we’ll hopefully stay one step ahead by investigating a few things they’ll probably not bother with.”

“But you don’t think he has any chance of winning this?” Kid asked.

“Probably not. But, I’m new here, and don’t know the people in the court very well. I’m presuming judges here won’t abide frivolousness, and we’ll just have to play the cards as they’re dealt. I suppose you can relate to that, Joshua?”

Heyes grinned. “Yes, sir, I think I can!”

“All right. I’ll file the bail petition tomorrow and see about getting Miss Hale released. It’s not something they should oppose. I know I shouldn’t have to say this, but you two need to stay here, and not come to Denver or try to see Miss Hale – at least not yet. I’ll send reports and instructions via Harry as soon and as often as possible. Otherwise, we’ll stay in touch by telegram. And one other thing – now and for the duration of this case, you two need to go by ‘Joshua’ and ‘Thaddeus,’ as we’re doing here, even when alone. Given the nature of the charges, we can’t have anyone accidentally overhearing your real names.”

The four men nodded agreement and stood, shaking hands, before Heyes and Kid saw Harry and the lawyer out.

*****

Next day

In the Denver court house, Chester Brubaker sat at the defense table with Clementine Hale. Still wearing the same clothes she wore when arrested six days before, her light brown hair hastily pinned into a too-loose bun, she appeared tired and bedraggled.

At the prosecution’s table, a portly man with mutton chop sideburns ruffled through some papers.

The bailiff called the court to order, “All rise. The Honorable Judge Paul Douglas presiding.”

The justice briskly took his seat, and in a no-nonsense manner, waved the spectators to be seated. “The Court will come to order. Would the parties please identify themselves.”

“Ambrose Bartholomew Briles for the State, Your Honor.”

“Chester Brubaker for the defense, Your Honor.”

“Mr. Brubaker, I presume your client understands the charges against her?”

“Yes, sir.”

“How does she plead?”

Clementine glanced at Brubaker and then at Judge Douglas, answering him in a strong voice, “Not guilty, Your Honor.” She sat down.

Brubaker faced the judge. “Your Honor, my client is charged with a misdemeanor only and has already served six days in jail. I petition the court for bail so she can await trial at home.”

The judge turned to the prosecutor. “Mr. Briles, any objection?”

Briles stood in place. “Not in theory, sir. But, to deter Miss Hale from absconding, we require the bail set to represent a burdensome consequence. The State asks for bail to be set at $1,000.”

Brubaker was incensed. “Your Honor, that’s outrageous. Miss Hale was born, raised, and still resides in Denver, where she holds property. This is her home, and her only wish is to resume her life here as she knew it, before this nonsense arose.”

Briles countered, “Your Honor, Miss Hale has been known to associate with wanted men, surely something a proper lady in Denver or anywhere else would not do. The State does not oppose bail per se, but we would, quite frankly, prefer Miss Hale to remain in prison.”

The judge’s brow furrowed as he spoke, “On a misdemeanor charge, Mr. Briles? Isn’t that a bit far reaching?”

“Not in this case, Your Honor. Miss Hale associates with known outlaws. We contend that it is with Miss Hale’s help that these criminals have evaded capture and remained at large. They have escaped justice many times, and it may be presumed they could help the defendant to do likewise. In jail this would be more difficult; at her home, quite easy.”

“Mr. Briles, this is not a trial, so we’ll not go over the evidence here. However, from my brief review of your submission, I think you overstate the danger. I find it unlikely that Miss Hale, who is well known and liked in the community, will attempt the jail – or house – break, of which you are afraid. I order bail set at $50. The defendant will remain within the confines of the Denver city limits and report to Sheriff Cawley every other day. Mr. Brubaker, ensure your client is in court for all scheduled appearances. Anything else?”

Clementine threw a relieved glance at Brubaker, who addressed the judge.

“Yes, Your Honor. The defense requests a continuance of one month so we might look into refuting the ridiculous and false charges against my client.”

“Continuance granted. The clerk will advise the parties of the next hearing date, to be held not less than four weeks from today. At that time, gentlemen, please be ready to try the case. If further continuance is necessary, the parties should come to agreement and submit a joint stipulation to that effect for my signature. Court is adjourned.”

The bailiff called for everyone to rise as Judge Douglas gaveled and left the bench.

Clementine’s hands covered her nose and mouth as if she could not believe the judge’s ruling. She looked at the much taller Brubaker and said, simply, “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. Now, let’s get started on your defense. We have a lot of work to do.”

*****

Later that day
The boys’ hotel room

Hannibal Heyes lay reading. He looked up as Kid Curry excitedly entered.

“Joshua! A telegram from Brubaker. Clem’s out on bail!”

Heyes sat up and read the wire, grinning. “Great news! And Harry’ll be by tomorrow to discuss the next steps. Now the real ‘fun’ begins!”

*****

Next day

In their hotel room, Heyes stood, leaning against the wall, while Kid perched on the footboard of the bed, and Harry sat in a chair.

The detective spoke, “You should have seen the prosecutor’s face when the judge set bail at $50. Joshua, I think you were right – the man wants to make a name for himself.”

“Really? What’s his name?”

Harry smirked. “Ambrose Bartholomew Briles.”

The dark-haired ex-outlaw’s eyes narrowed. “Hmm, he doesn’t have to make a name for himself – his parents already did it for him!”

Kid chuckled. “Hannibal, step aside. Your name is a mouthful no more.”

Heyes rolled his eyes. Turning to Harry, he asked, “All right, Clem’s out of jail, now what?”

Harry pulled several sheets of paper from his coat pocket. “Mr. Brubaker’s assignments; Thaddeus and I are riding over to Idaho Springs. That’s where the two men who stopped at Miss Hale’s place asked directions to. We try to find them and get them to come back and testify.”

Heyes held out a hand. “Can I see those?”

“Be my guest.”

“Anything interesting?” Kid asked.

Heyes strode to the window and looked outside, then back to the center of the room. Stopped. Turned. He was deep in thought; fingers drumming sporadically on his thigh. Kid and Harry watched and waited. He returned to the window, then back to where he started. Suddenly, his face lit up.

“Got something?” Kid asked.

“Yup. Harry, you go to Idaho Springs by yourself. I want Kid to do something else.”

“Now, wait a minute, Joshua. Those are Mr. Brubaker’s orders.”

Kid admonished the detective. “Harry, hear him out. It isn’t every day you get to hear a Hannibal Heyes plan.”

Heyes grinned. “That’s right, Harry. I want Kid to get statements from the people we were with that night. Insurance, in case anything goes wrong. Even though Mr. Brubaker is optimistic about getting this case thrown out, it doesn’t hurt to have a back-up plan.”

Harry sighed. “All right, so what’s the plan?”

Heyes started, “It goes like this…”

*****

Three days later
Brubaker’s office

Clementine Hale, hesitantly, opened the door to the lawyer’s inner office. Brubaker was standing next to a bespectacled man with a dark beard.

“Oh, sorry to interrupt. I’ll wait outside…” Clem stopped short, taking a second look at the stranger.

Brubaker strode in her direction, taking her by the arm. “Miss Clementine Hale, I’d like you to meet my law secretary, Mr. Joshua Rembacker.”

Mr. Rembacker extended his hand. “Miss Hale.”

Her countenance brightened. “Heyes!”

The two embraced for several moments, before Heyes backed up and regarded her at arm’s length, his hands resting on her shoulders. “I’m so sorry this happened, Clem, and all because of us. We’re going to get you out of this.”

Clementine pressed her lips together and nodded, “A beard? Very distinguished.”

He chuckled. “It’s fake.”

She smiled. “No matter.”

They embraced again.

Brubaker loudly cleared his throat. “I don’t mean to interrupt…”

Heyes pulled away. “No, we do have work to do.”

Clem smoothed her dress. “Yes, indeed.” Glancing around the office, she asked, “Where are Kid and Harry?”

Brubaker motioned for them to sit at a conference table loaded with papers and books. “That is part of what we’ll be discussing.”

*****

Simultaneously
Monument, Colorado

Kid Curry strode up to the bar of the Silver Queen Saloon.

“Beer.”

The bartender immediately brought the brew, which Kid downed in one gulp.

“Now, Sugar, you must be thirsty! Give him another, Jack, on me.”

Kid looked to his side as a pretty blonde joined him. She rested her hand on his.

“Thanks, Josie. You’re a sight for sore eyes.”

“Well, Sugar, I can say the same for you, ‘cept you’ll look a mite prettier when you’ve had a hot bath and gotten rid of that trail dust.”

Kid sipped a second beer. “Josie, that sounds real good, but I’m here on business and don’t have time to linger… Maybe next time.”

The saloon girl pouted. “Now, Sugar, that’s too bad, but I will hold ya to that ‘next time.’ What kinda business?”

“Actually, I need to talk to you, and Marie, if she’s around. Maybe at that back table. It’s kinda private.”

“’Course, Sugar, whatever your little ol’ heart desires, but we can get more private than that,” Josie winked and stroked Kid’s neck, before looping her arm through his and guiding him to the table. “Marie, too, huh? Lookin’ for some adventure?”

Kid blushed, and chuckled nervously, “Not that kind. Really, is Marie around?”

Josie leaned in close to the ex-outlaw, stroking his forearm with one finger. “She’s around, Sugar. But I hate to disappoint you, she really does favor that poker-playin’ partner of yours. But, of course, if a customer is payin’…”

Kid rested his hand on Josie’s. “Josie, honey, really, I do have business here and have to talk to both of you. It’s important. I’ll pay you both for your time, so would appreciate your findin’ Marie so we can get started.”

Josie frowned. “Oh, Sugar, you really do mean it. You can’t fault a girl for tryin’. All right, I’ll find Marie and be back lickity-split.” With that, she rose and walked suggestively upstairs.

Kid watched after her and chuckled to himself as he sipped his beer.

*****

At the same time

Brubaker, Heyes, and Clem sat around the conference table.

The attorney spoke, “Joshua, while Thaddeus and Harry track down those two men in Idaho Springs, I’d welcome your input preparing our case.”

Heyes took in a breath. “Harry’s in Idaho Springs, but I sent Thaddeus on another assignment. A contingency plan, so to speak.”

Clem regarded him with a surprised look. “Heyes? You’re questioning Mr. Brubaker’s decisions? This is my life at stake here, whether I go to prison or not!”

“Now, Miss Hale, let’s hear what he has to say.”

*****

That moment

Kid stood as Josie approached the table with an equally pretty redhead.

“Jack, three beers.” Marie sat down. “Honey, Josie tells me you have business with both of us. Now, that is different, but a girl could be interested. But, where is that dark friend of yours?”

The ex-outlaw smiled. “Joshua’s in Denver, also on business.”

Josie moved her chair closer to Kid’s, and rested against his arm. “Now, Sugar, you two boys are gonna get a headache what with all this ‘business’ you keep talkin’ about.”

Marie added, “Yeah, Honey, a girl could get jealous…”

Kid choked on his last sip of beer, but recovered quickly. “Uh, ladies, really, you’re, uh, gettin’ the wrong idea.”

The redhead leaned in on the ex-outlaw’s other side, “And what wrong idea is that, Honey?”

Kid swallowed hard. “Umm, ladies? Please, can we just talk?”

Incredulous, Josie extricated herself. “Sugar, I know you want something different, but just to talk?”

The flush returned to the cowboy’s cheeks. “W-well, l-ladies, uh, yes, j-just talk, at least right now.” Kid reached for the beer with his free hand and gulped it down.

Marie spoke, “Okay, Honey, whatever you want. We’re listenin’.”

Kid sighed and blew out a breath, trying to compose himself. He leaned forward, arms in front of him on the table. “What I need, if you ladies don’t mind, is for you both to sign statements I have in my saddle bags, which say my friend and me were with you that last time we were here. And, since they need to be notarized, we’ll have to do that before a notary public.”

“A – a what?”

“A notary public. It means we can use ‘em in court.”

Josie licked her lips. “That’s all, Sugar?”

Kid smiled. “Yup, that’s all. But, I do want you to read the statements first and know what you’re signin’.”

Josie winked at the blond man. “Neither of us reads real well, Sugar, so you’re just gonna have to read them to us, maybe upstairs?”

Kid gulped. “Well, umm, ladies, uh, I think the notary can read them to ya or answer any questions you might have – uh, on the statements, I mean.”

Marie leaned in close to Kid again on her side, while Josie mirrored the action. The redhead spoke, “Honey, I hope your partner don’t get jealous, but you’re lookin’ real cute when you’re flustered.”

Kid gently nudged each female away. “Really, ladies, I, uh, need to get this done and have to get back to Denver as soon as I can.” He gulped again, and shook his head, as if to clear it.

Josie sat up straight in her chair. “All right, Sugar. It’s kinda slow in here right now. If those pieces of paper mean that much to ya, we’ll go sign them and get ya on your way. On one condition…”

Kid looked at her, quizzically.

“You gotta come see me again real soon.”

“Sure,” Kid grinned. He turned to Marie, “And I’ll make sure Joshua’s with me.”

“Darn tootin’ ya will!” she declared.

*****

Next morning

Clementine burst into Brubaker’s office, clutching an envelope, her visage beaming. Heyes looked up from his perusal of a large book.

“Heyes! A wire came in from Kid!”

“Clem, you’re going to have to remember to call us Joshua and Thaddeus.” He took the envelope.

“Sorry, Hey…Joshua,” she cringed as she corrected herself.

Heyes opened the envelope. “Thaddeus got the statements signed. He’s headed back, and will wire when he gets to Golden.”

Clem half-smiled, then frowned. “That’s great news, I suppose.”

“You suppose? Come on, Clem, this IS great news!”

“I know. But, I don’t want you to use them.”

Heyes took her hand in his. “Don’t worry, Clem, they’re for contingency only. With any luck, they’ll never see the light of day.”

Clem sighed. “Hey… sorry, Joshua, I hope you’re right about that. And I hope Harry is able to find those men.”

“Well, if we don’t hear from Harry by the time Thaddeus gets back, we’ll send him after Mr. Briscoe.”

*****

Two days later
Idaho Springs, Colorado

Harry Briscoe sat at a secluded saloon table. With him were two men, one with sandy hair, the other darker. A conversation came to an end. All three stood and shook hands, Harry exited.

Striding quickly across the street, Harry reached the telegraph office and stepped inside.

*****

Harry emerged from the telegraph office, a smug grin on his face.

*****

Two days later

Chester Brubaker sat at his desk in shirt sleeves, hunched over a thick law book. Around him sat several empty cups. Heyes entered with two mugs of coffee and set one in front of the lawyer.

“Thanks, Joshua.”

“Sure.” Heyes sat down and watched Brubaker read. He audibly cleared his throat.

The attorney looked up.

The ex-outlaw leader turned law secretary regarded him with an expectant expression.

Brubaker sighed. “I know you want to help but we’re all caught up for the moment. Why not go take a walk? I’ll be preparing the next round of papers for the rest of the day.”

Heyes’ eyes widened. “More papers? That’ll be the third set!”

“And there’ll be several more sets before we’re through. You did want me to be as thorough as possible?”

“Of course!” Pause. “I guess I didn’t realize all the footwork and paperwork that goes into preparing a case.” His countenance lit up a little with a sly smile. “Imagine it was me and Thaddeus going to trial. We’d be in lock-up six months while you lawyers got everything straight.”

Brubaker chuckled. “Six months? Try a year!”

*****

Two weeks later
Golden, Colorado

Harry Briscoe knocked on a hotel door. It was opened, first a crack, and then further, allowing him to enter. Kid Curry peeked his head out and looked both ways down the hall before closing the door.

“You can put the gun away now, Thaddeus,” Harry reminded the ex-outlaw.

“Oh, sorry, Harry. Must be goin’ a little stir buggy.” Kid deftly placed the Colt back in his holster. “The last wire was five days ago, and more of the same, ‘Sit tight, don’t draw any attention to yourself’ – which means no more than a beer or two here or there, lest someone sees me hangin’ around doin’ nothin’ for too long. Joshua knows too well I’m not good at sittin’ around waitin’.”

“Sorry, Thaddeus, but you can reserve your complaints for Joshua.” The detective fished a folded piece of paper out of his coat pocket and handed it to Kid. “There really hasn’t been anything more for you to do.”

Kid rolled his eyes as he read. “So now my partner wants me to come to Denver and wait around some more. Check in to a hotel and bide my time, be in place in case needed.” He looked up. “Harry, tell Joshua cleanin’ my gun got old two weeks ago.”

*****

One week later

The bailiff called the Court to order. “This is the case of the State of Colorado versus Clementine Hale. All rise! The Honorable Judge Paul Douglas presiding!”

Judge Douglas took his place on the bench.

The bailiff continued, “State your names for the record, please.”

“Ambrose Bartholomew Briles for the State, Your Honor.”

“Chester Brubaker for the defense, Your Honor.”

The judge nodded. “All right, gentlemen, since I’ve heard nothing since the hearing from either of you, I presume you’re ready to try the case?”

“Yes, sir,” came from both tables.

“Good. A jury has already been seated. Mr. Briles, your opening statement, please.”

Brubaker and Clem sat down as Briles stepped out from behind the prosecution’s table and strode to the front of the jury box. The twelve men seated seemed rapt with attention, as the prosecutor’s cadence and enunciation echoed the best of revival preachers.

“Your Honor. Gentlemen of the Jury. I’ll be brief.

“Miss Clementine Hale might be known to some of you as a young woman of strong moral character, undisputed reputation, and high esteem; in short, a good neighbor. But, we will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that she not only associates with known outlaws – cruel and hardened criminals, highwaymen, men with $10,000 bounties on their heads, wanted dead or alive – who think nothing of robbing innocent citizens of their hard-earned life savings, and worse; but also harbors them, giving them succor, and creature comforts, while those who seek to keep and maintain the peace search high and low – exhaustively, unrelentingly – ultimately, only to fail. And why, you ask? Because those of Miss Hale’s ilk hide them out.

“And may I remind you, good gentlemen, that this winds up wasting the taxpayers’ money – again, hard-earned by the sweat and diligent toil of ordinary folk like you.

“Where does it end? Criminals must be caught. On that everyone, I’m sure, can agree. And those who hinder that aim, that wish of every good citizen to live in safety and in peace, must be punished to the fullest extent of the law. And, so, therefore, must Clementine Hale be punished for her misdirected and misguided actions.

“Thank you.”

Briles held the jury’s gaze for several long seconds before nodding and purposefully striding back to his seat.

Judge Douglas glanced at the defense table. “Mr. Brubaker?”

The defense attorney rose, and strode to the same position his opponent had just yielded, acknowledging the judge and jury in turn before starting, his conversational delivery less strident than Briles’, though no less purposeful.

“Your Honor. Gentlemen of the jury.

“Brevity might have served Mr. Briles well in his opening statement just now. Unfortunately, it was a well-rehearsed fabrication, however well-meaning.

“The real truth of the matter is that Miss Clementine Hale is a victim of circumstance, wrongly charged. Indeed, Mr. Briles had one thing correct – Miss Hale is a fine, upstanding, law-abiding, young woman of wonderful and undisputed good character. On that, I believe, you will all agree. Those who have known her all her life, here in Denver, would proudly testify to that fact, if necessary.

“But, we sadly find ourselves here. Sadly, because this fine young woman’s reputation is being sullied. And why? I posit the reason is votes. Yes, that’s right, votes. This is an election year, and Mr. Briles must run to maintain his position. And that, takes votes. So, he chooses to pursue headlines with scandal. And it takes the guise of arresting a fine young woman, throwing her into jail, and dragging her into court for no reason other than his own greedy ambitions – votes.

“Mr. Briles is correct in another sense, gentlemen – the taxpayers’ money IS being wasted, but not by lawmen fruitlessly doing their jobs chasing men who are not even wanted in this state, but by pushing a case of no merit. It takes time and effort to prosecute someone, and a LOT of money – taxpayer money.”

Brubaker walked back to the defense table, his long strides covering the distance in a few steps. He took up position behind Clem.

“You will find the State’s case so weak, they could not charge her with the felony they so desiredly sought. Therefore, she is charged with a misdemeanor, a much less serious offense, but one which the State still has to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt. And, gentlemen of the jury, you will see that they will not be able to do so, as the preponderance of the evidence will show Miss Clementine Hale innocent of all charges.”

Now, Brubaker placed his hands lightly on Clem’s shoulders.

“At that point, you must find her not guilty and let her go home and resume her life, from which she was so cruelly torn by these events.

“Thank you.”

Clem looked up at Brubaker with pursed lips, and he acknowledged her with a smile as he resumed his seat.

Judge Douglas seemed all business. “With all this talk of taxpayer money, we certainly don’t want to waste any time. Mr. Briles, please call your first witness.”

Briles stood. “Thank you, Your Honor. The State calls Todd Martin to the stand.”

Todd Martin, a fellow we have seen before, came forward. Per the bailiff’s instructions, he placed his left hand on a Bible and lifted his right.

The bailiff recited, “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you, God?”

“I do.”

The bailiff, again, “State your name for the record.”

“Todd Henry Martin.”

Briles stepped in front of the witness box. “Mr. Martin, what do you do for a living?”

“I own a small ranch.”

“And where is your ranch located?”

“About ten miles outside of town down the Parker Road.”

“And what do you raise on your spread?”

“Cattle mostly, and my children have a small goat herd.” Martin grinned, which made some spectators laugh.

“Where were you on the evening of August 14th, last?”

“After an early supper with the family, I took up position in the woods opposite the Hale house on Parker Road.”

Briles nodded. “And why did you do that, sir?”

“I was waiting to see if any company stopped by.”

“And why would you be so interested in Miss Hale’s company?”

“I wasn’t interested in just any company she might have had – just particular company, a couple of fellas.”

Briles walked halfway to the defense table and partially addressed Clem. “But, surely Miss Hale is a respected member of the community. Why would you be so interested in her guests?”

Martin grinned again as he spoke. “Because I was hoping to catch some outlaws.”

Briles regarded Clem. “Mr. Martin, why would you be looking for outlaws at Miss Hale’s home?”

Martin also looked at Clem as he answered. “Because she knows Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry, and they’ve been known to visit.”

Some spectators gasped.

Briles turned back to Martin. “Surely you jest, Mr. Martin. Outlaws at Miss Hale’s place?”

“Yes, sir, seen them there before with my own eyes, a while back.”

“And what did you see on the night in question?”

“Two men stopped by and knocked on her door. Miss Hale answered and started speaking to them.”

“Continue, Mr. Martin.”

“Well, they were talking for a spell, and I got on my horse and rode out double quick to tell the sheriff.”

“Was that after dark, Mr. Martin?”

“Yes, sir, it was.”

“And how did you know the two men?”

Martin shifted in his seat, as if uncomfortable under the scrutiny. “Well, like I said, I’ve seen them there before. I rode out right quick back to town to tell the sheriff, and swore out an affidavit.”

Briles walked to the prosecutor’s table and picked up a document of several pages, which he then handed to the witness. “Mr. Martin, is that the affidavit you swore out?”

Martin reviewed the document for several seconds, then looked up. “Yes sir, it is.”

Briles retrieved the affidavit and handed it to the clerk. “Please mark this as ‘State’s Exhibit A.’” Then, turning back to the witness stand, he continued, “Mr. Martin, if it was dark, and you were in the woods, how were you able to see the men clearly?”

“I didn’t exactly see them clearly like in the daytime, but it was a full moon and fairly light. One had dark hair, and the other blond, and they fit the description of Heyes and Curry, and Miss Hale talked to them real friendly-like, so I knew it was them.”

“Thank you, Mr. Martin. And, how long ago did you first run into these outlaws, and under what circumstances?”

Martin shifted again. “Well, it was last year. Me and a bunch of fellas sometimes take turns watching the Hale house because we’d heard she knew Heyes and Curry. Thought if they ever came by, we’d catch them, split the reward. And, one day, they did, and that’s when I saw them.”

Briles nodded. “Thank you, Mr. Martin, for your testimony. You and your fellow citizens do the community a great service – watching out for rough and undesirable elements which we certainly don’t want here. Again, thank you.”

Briles strode back to his table, and nodded to Brubaker, “Your witness.”

Chester Brubaker stood. “Mr. Martin, your affidavit – which is sworn testimony – states that you did not clearly see the faces of these men whom you observed at Miss Hale’s home the night of August 14th. Is that correct?”

Martin cleared his throat before replying, “Yes, sir, that’s correct.”

“And why is that?”

“Well, they had their backs to me.”

“So, let me get this straight. You swore that you noticed two men fitting the general wanted poster descriptions of Hannibal Heyes and Jed ‘Kid’ Curry, from fifty feet away on a dark night, and didn’t see their faces? So, although you testify you’ve seen Heyes and Curry before, you’re identifying them only from a rear view in the dark of the evening?”

“Well, yes… But it was a full moon, and it was bright out.”

“Mr. Martin, we are not disputing that there was a full moon that night, and shooting stars as well, for that matter. It was a bright night; that’s not in contention. The Rocky Mountain News reports as much for that evening. Nor are we disputing your having possibly met Heyes and Curry before. What I find somewhat incredible is how you can definitely identify, without a doubt, two men whom you allege you saw once, very briefly, more than a year ago, in the dark, from fifty feet, from the rear, without observing their faces. Can you answer that?”

Martin’s shoulders slumped. “Mr. Brubaker, all I can testify to is in the affidavit, no more.”

Having betrayed no emotion to that point, Brubaker half-smiled. “Thank you, Mr. Martin, no more questions.”

Briles hastily stood. “Re-direct, Your Honor.” He walked hurriedly to the witness stand. “Mr. Martin, how long did you observe the outlaws, Heyes and Curry, when you first saw them last year?”

Martin seemed relieved. “Well, I didn’t just observe them. I was in their company for a few minutes.”

“Can you tell the Court the circumstances?”

“We let them know they were surrounded, and they said they’d like to make a deal, so the man who was in charge that day went in to Miss Hale’s house and talked to them. After a while, he called to us to come in because they’d struck a deal. It was a trick, and Heyes and Curry disarmed us and tied us all up after we went inside.”

Briles confidently walked to the jury box and looked right at several jurors in the front row as he spoke. “So, allow me to summarize. You were in their company and observed them for some very long minutes, at least enough to make a reliable identification…”

Brubaker jumped up from his seat. “Objection, Your Honor, Mr. Briles is leading the witness as to time.”

Judge Douglas responded, “Sustained. Mr. Briles, watch yourself, please.”

Briles briefly looked at the judge.

“Allow me to rephrase, Mr. Martin. You state, here and in your affidavit, that you were in the company of Hannibal Heyes and Jed ‘Kid’ Curry long enough, in your estimation, to be able to identify them without directly observing their faces, under full moonlight from the rear, and you’re quite confident, without a doubt, that it was them?”

Martin sat up straighter. “Yes, sir, Mr. Briles, that is correct.”

Briles smiled at the witness. “Thank you, Mr. Martin.” Then, to the judge, “No more questions.”

The judge glanced at Brubaker, who shook his head. “Mr. Martin, you may step down.”

Martin left the stand, and took a seat in the gallery.

Judge Douglas addressed the prosecutor. “Mr. Briles, you may call your next witness.”

Briles announced, crisply, “The State calls Sheriff John Cawley to the stand.”

After Sheriff Cawley took the stand and was sworn in, Briles started his examination.

“Sheriff Cawley, state your occupation, please?”

“I’m the sheriff of Denver.”

“And how long have you been in that position?”

“Four years.”

“So, you are well acquainted with Todd Martin?”

“Yes, sir, he often conducts business in my town.”

“And in what esteem do you hold Mr. Martin?”

“He’s a good man, Mr. Briles – never any trouble.”

“Thank you, Sheriff. Now, can you please relate the events of the early morning of August 15th?”

Sheriff Cawley spoke in a matter-of-fact manner. “Myself and seven deputies went to the Hale place upon suspicion of two wanted men being there, according to Mr. Martin’s affidavit. We reconnoitered the property and nearby woods, and found them to be clear. We then knocked on the door and Miss Hale answered. We entered the house to execute a search warrant, and questioned Miss Hale briefly before executing a warrant for her arrest on suspicion of harboring, and aiding and abetting known criminals. We took her into custody and later continued the search of the property.”

“And did your search yield anything?”

“Yes, sir. We found a diary with references to Heyes and Curry, and several items of men’s clothing, along with several sidearms and rifles.”

Briles went to the prosecutor’s table and picked up a book, which item he handed to Sheriff Cawley. “Sheriff, is this the diary you spoke of?”

Sheriff Cawley examined it. “Yes, sir, it is.”

“Thank you, Sheriff. Would you please read the passage circled on the page hand numbered 25?”

The sheriff thumbed through the diary, found the reference, and read. “January 18. Snow. I wonder how Heyes and Kid are faring up at Devil’s Hole. If it’s snowing this bad here, it must be really bad there. I hope they’re able to get to Cheyenne in time for us to meet up next week.” He looked up.

Briles moved in front of the jury box.

“Sheriff Cawley, have you read the rest of that diary?”

“Parts of it, sir. Not all of it.”

“Have you read enough to testify that there are several other references such as the one you just read, that refer to the names ‘Heyes’ and ‘Kid’?”

“Yes, sir, there are a number of such references.”

“Would you read the first page of the diary, Sheriff?”

Cawley flipped to the first page. “Property of Clementine Hale, Parker Road, Denver, Colorado.”

“So, Sheriff, as an officer of the law and this Court, would you please tell us your conclusion as to the diary?”

“Yes, sir. I would conclude that this diary belongs to Miss Clementine Hale, and that by references in it, presumably in her own hand, that she is referring to Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry as acquaintances, if not friends.”

“And, Sheriff, would you have any reason to doubt the veracity of those statements?”

“No, sir, I would not.”

“Why?”

“Because items in diaries are the personal thoughts of the owner.”

“So, Sheriff, to summarize,” Briles looked at Brubaker as he spoke, “and let me phrase this correctly the first time so Mr. Brubaker does not feel the need to object – you confiscated a diary under a legal search warrant from the Hale home that says it belongs to a Clementine Hale at that address, and in it are references to known outlaws, Hannibal Heyes and Jed ‘Kid’ Curry, possibly known to her and others as ‘Heyes’ and ‘Kid,’ and you conclude that, by that evidence, Miss Hale knows these two men, at least as acquaintances. Is that correct?”

“Yes, sir, it is.”

“Thank you, Sheriff.” Retrieving the diary, he handed it to the clerk. “Mark the diary as ‘State’s Exhibit B,’ please.”

“Moving on,” Briles returned to his place and lifted a sack onto the table. “Sheriff, what other items did you take from the Hale home under the search warrant?”

“Several items of men’s clothing and some firearms.”

Briles took several items from the sack and walked them over to the sheriff.

“Sheriff, are these some of the items of men’s clothing you spoke of?”

The lawman examined the items and nodded. “Yes, they are some of those we removed.”

“And what do you know of Miss Hale’s living circumstances?”

The sheriff looked straight ahead as he spoke. “From what I understand, Miss Hale is an unmarried woman who mostly lives alone. Her father stays with her when in Denver, but travels frequently on business.”

“So, it is possible that this clothing belongs to Mr. Hale. Why confiscate it?”

“Because Mr. Hale is portly, and this clothing is too small to fit a man of his size.”

Briles held up a pair of pants in the direction of the jury. “What do you conclude from these trousers?”

“That they’d fit men matching the descriptions on Heyes’ and Curry’s wanted posters, approximately 160 to 170 pounds. So I took them into custody.”

“Thank you, Sheriff.” Returning the items to the sack, Briles walked it to the clerk. “Mark these as ‘State’s Exhibit C.’”

Next, Briles reached behind his chair to pick up several rifle cases. The sheriff identified the firearms as those taken from the Hale home.

Prosecutor Briles then handed the witness to the defense.

Chester Brubaker strode to the clerk’s desk, where he rummaged in the newly marked sack of clothing. Removing two pairs of pants, he walked to the witness stand. “Sheriff, please examine this first pair of trousers, which you already testified about. You said they appear to be for a smaller man than Mr. Hale? I concede you’re no textile expert, but would you please give your honest opinion, as a man who wears and is therefore familiar with men’s clothing, as to the condition of the fabric of these trousers?”

Briles jumped up. “Objection, Your Honor. Speculative.”

“Overruled. Mr. Brubaker has already conceded Sheriff Cawley is not a textile expert. You may answer the question, Sheriff.”

Briles sat down, looking somewhat angry.

The sheriff gave the pants a thorough, thoughtful, inspection, before speaking. “The fabric appears worn, in some areas.”

“Thank you, Sheriff. Could you conclude, perhaps, again, not as a textile expert, that the pants might be very old? What I’m looking for is, would these possibly be old enough for an older gentleman, such as Mr. Hale, to have worn when younger, and thinner?”

“I’m not sure how old they are, but… Maybe.”

“Thank you, Sheriff. So, there is some doubt in your mind as to whether a much thinner man, such as Heyes or Curry, might have recently worn these?”

The sheriff hesitated. “Yes, there is.”

“Thank you, Sheriff.” Brubaker held aloft the second pair of pants he had removed.

“Just for the record, and for comparison’s sake, this is another pair of trousers removed from the Hale home by the sheriff.”

He turned again to the witness.

“Sheriff, continuing in the line of questioning where we concede you are not a textile expert, but are testifying strictly as a man familiar in that general capacity with men’s clothing and as the executor of the search warrant in this case, would you please inspect these trousers and tell us your impressions?”

Briles again jumped up, but was waved to his seat by Judge Douglas.

The sheriff looked at the judge, who nodded.

“These are much larger. The fabric isn’t worn at all. They look fairly new.”

Brubaker spoke, “And it is your presumption that these belong to Mr. Hale?”

“Yes, sir, it is.”

“Thank you.” The defense attorney took the trousers.

“Sheriff, having been in office for four years, I presume most of the inhabitants of the area are well known to you?”

“Those who’ve lived here for a while.”

“Is Mr. Hale well known to you?”

“Yes.”

“And what is his general reputation?”

“Mr. Hale is a good man, very fond of his daughter, a shrewd businessman, who is away much of the time.”

“And how would you describe Mr. Hale’s attitude toward money?”

The lawman raised an eyebrow. “Mr. Hale is considered to be parsimonious.”

“So, would you say it is reasonable for a parsimonious man to hang on to items for which he has no further use?”

“Maybe.”

“And, is it reasonable, in your opinion, that the smaller, worn trousers that you inspected first, might belong to a man who wore them years ago when he was thinner, but hasn’t disposed of because of a tendency towards parsimony?”

The sheriff again raised an eyebrow. “Yes.”

“Thank you, Sheriff.” Brubaker returned the pants to the sack, and retrieved the diary from the court clerk. “Sheriff, conceding the diary does belong to Miss Hale, is it at all possible that the references to a ‘Heyes’ and ‘Kid’ are, at best, hearsay, as to being actual references to known criminals, Hannibal Heyes and Jed ‘Kid’ Curry?”

“Yes, sir, that’s possible.”

“And, further, is it possible that such references are fiction – flights of fancy into the so-called romanticism of the outlaw kind, of a somewhat impressionable young woman, who might have written this years ago, given there is no year attached to any of the dates in this diary?”

The sheriff hesitated before speaking. “Yes, sir, I suppose it is.”

“So, Sheriff, is it your testimony that there is at least a possibility that references in that diary to known criminals are fiction at best, and hearsay at worst, which hearsay is not admissible into evidence?”

The sheriff paused again. “Yes, sir, that is my testimony.”

The defense attorney smiled at the jury. “Thank you, Sheriff.”

Brubaker walked back to the defense table. “Your Honor, the defense moves to strike the diary from evidence, as hearsay.” He offered papers to the bailiff, who handed one set to Briles and another to the clerk.

Judge Douglas regarded the lawyer for the defense. “Mr. Brubaker, I’ll review your argument. Mr. Briles, if you’d like to respond, please have the papers to the clerk by tomorrow morning.”

Briles responded, his expression one of annoyance. “Yes, sir.”

Brubaker asked, “Sheriff, why did you remove the weapons from the Hale home?”

“It’s normal and customary to confiscate any and all weapons in executing a search warrant, sir.”

“So, they have no bearing on this case but to have been taken in the ordinary course?”

“That’s correct, sir.”

“And, if Miss Hale is found innocent, would the weapons be returned in the normal course?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Thank you, Sheriff. One last item. You previously testified you executed an arrest warrant on Miss Hale under suspicion of felony harboring, and possible aiding and abetting known criminals, yet she is charged only with misdemeanor harboring. Why is that, Sheriff?”

“That’s a matter for the prosecution.”

“Is it possible that the State did not have enough evidence to bring actual charges of aiding and abetting known criminals?”

“Yes, sir, it is possible, but I have no direct knowledge of that.”

“Thank you, Sheriff. No further questions.”

The judge looked at Briles, who shook his head.

Judge Douglas turned to the witness. “Sheriff Cawley, you may step down.”

The sheriff left the stand.

“Mr. Briles, please call your next witness.”

Briles stood. “The State rests, Your Honor.”

“Thank you, Mr. Briles. We’ll adjourn for lunch and resume at one o’clock.” He gaveled as everyone rose, and left the bench.

*****

_________________
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.


Last edited by royannahuggins on Mon 10 Mar 2014, 4:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down

 Similar topics

-
» Olive Hale Ingram QSM for services to the history of NZ Ceramics
» Wanted: OLD Empire State Troops
» Ball State News
» Updated depth chart for Boise state game
» Country,City,State game
Share this post on: Excite BookmarksDiggRedditDel.icio.usGoogleLiveSlashdotNetscapeTechnoratiStumbleUponNewsvineFurlYahooSmarking

The State of Colorado vs. Clementine Hale by Victoria Quynn :: Comments

avatar
Re: The State of Colorado vs. Clementine Hale by Victoria Quynn
Post on Mon 10 Mar 2014, 3:58 pm by royannahuggins



11:45 a.m.

Kid Curry stood on a corner near his hotel, a newspaper in hand, which he seemed to read cursorily. He looked across the street and barely acknowledged Harry Briscoe, who appeared on the opposite corner. As soon as traffic cleared, they walked into the street toward each other, Kid keeping an eye on the newspaper while striding. Harry brushed him as they passed.

“Pardon me.”

“Pardon me.”

Unseen by anyone, a folded piece of paper changed hands

*****

Simultaneously

Hannibal Heyes paced in Brubaker’s law office. He glanced at the clock – 11:45.

Sandwiches and coffee waited on the conference table.

The door opened, and Heyes rushed in to the reception area. He waited until Brubaker and Clem closed the door behind them. “So, how’d it go?”

Clem smiled, “Well, I think.”

Brubaker nodded. “Yes, very well. We refuted or at least were able to add doubt to all the prosecution’s evidence, and Briles has rested. I’ve also moved for the diary to be stricken from evidence. We start our case after lunch.”

Heyes pointed toward the conference room. “Lunch is ready. How long do you think it’ll take?”

The three strode toward that room, sat down, and started to eat.

Brubaker finished with a bite before answering Heyes. “Our case? We might finish today or go into tomorrow – not sure, yet. It depends on how long Briles cross-examines. I’m not going to rush, and the judge plans to rule on the motion in the morning. If Briles doesn’t counter-move, the judge will rule in our favor regarding striking the diary from evidence.”

Clem followed the conversation. “And if he does counter?”

“Then, the judge will decide if oral argument is necessary or not. If so, we’ll argue without the jury present. If not, he’ll decide on the arguments in the briefs.”

Heyes only nibbled at his sandwich. “I’d like to go to court this afternoon. I’ll sit in the back, and act like I don’t know you.”

Brubaker looked him in the eye. “I can’t allow that, Joshua. We can’t take the chance of someone recognizing you through the disguise. It’s one thing to stay mostly in the office, another to be in public. It’s bad enough Thaddeus is in town, too. I should never have agreed to that.”

Heyes’ tone almost sounded of defeat. “All right. I’ll stay put. But I need Thaddeus here – where Harry can slip him information as to how things are going.”

Clem bit her lip, and stared at her plate

Brubaker regarded Heyes. “Joshua, you know I’m against that, for all the reasons we’ve discussed.”

Heyes perked up, a mischievous twinkle in the brown eyes. “Well, do your job well, and I’ll be the first one who’ll be happy to forget about it.”

*****

1:00 pm

Judge Douglas gaveled the afternoon session to order, and asked Brubaker to call his first witness.

“The defense calls George Rowe to the stand.”

A dark-haired man of medium build rose. Before he reached the stand, Briles jumped up.

“Your Honor, may we approach the bench?”

“Yes, Mr. Briles. Mr. Brubaker?”

Both attorneys walked to the bench.

Sotto voce, Briles spoke, “Your Honor, I must object to this witness. Indeed, I must object to any witness the defense plans to call, as I was not properly informed of their plans.”

Judge Douglas looked at Brubaker.

In an equally low voice, the defense attorney responded, “Your Honor, we have sent the prosecution every paper we filed, as required under Court rules. Among them was our witness list and that area as to which each would testify. Indeed, my investigator delivered that some weeks ago.”

“Have you evidence of that, Mr. Brubaker?”

“I can produce it, Your Honor.”

*****

After conferring with Harry, Brubaker presented a paper to the judge and Briles.

“My investigator’s signed receipt as proof of delivery, Your Honor.”

The judge eyed it briefly. “Take the stand, Mister Rowe.”

George Rowe took the stand, and was sworn in.

“Mr. Rowe, can you tell us what you were doing the night of August 14th, last?”

“Yes. My partner and I were on our way to Idaho Springs to try our hands at minin’. But we thought we took a wrong turn, and since it was gettin’ dark, we decided to stop and ask for directions.”

Brubaker stood at the defense table. “Please continue, Mr. Rowe.”

“Well, we stopped at this house, and Miss Hale there answered the door. We asked her if we was on the right road to Idaho Springs, thinkin’ we was lost and all, and she said we was.”

“And then?”

“She told us of a big strike up that way, which we didn’t know about, and spoke for a while. Then, we said good night and rode out.”

“How long do you reckon you and your partner spoke with Miss Hale.”

“Maybe ten, fifteen minutes or so. Long enough to go over the directions with her, talk about the strike for a while, and then about the weather – was kinda hot, ya know? Not good weather to be in the saddle all day.”

“I understand, Mr. Rowe. Where were you and your partner coming from?”

“Oh, we’d been workin’ at the Flyin’ C, over there by Elbert, for a couple-three years steady, and just got a hankerin’ to try something different. So we packed up and left.”

“Mr. Rowe, have you ever had any trouble with the law?”

“Heck, no. Well, wait… I was thrown in the hoosegow once to sleep off a drunk.”

Some spectators chuckled, and Brubaker smiled. “Mr. Rowe, has anyone ever mistaken you for Hannibal Heyes?”

“No, sir.”

“Are you Hannibal Heyes?”

“No, sir, I’m George Rowe.”

“Mr. Rowe, I’m going to read you a description. I’d appreciate your listening to it very
carefully, and when I’m finished, please tell me if it fits you in any way: Age, 29, height, 5 feet 11 inches. Weight, 168 lbs. Dark brown hair, brown eyes and even features. Medium build."

“Well, that pretty much fits, except I’m 30, not 29, and five feet ten inches, instead of five feet eleven.”

Brubaker moved to the jury box. “Mr. Rowe, that’s the description of Hannibal Heyes from his wanted poster. So, it’s reasonable then, that, in the dark, from the rear, one might mistake you for the man I just described?”

“I guess so, but I ain’t Hannibal Heyes!”

“Thank you, Mr. Rowe. No more questions.”

Briles sat with shoulders slumped at the prosecutor’s table. “No questions, Your Honor.”

The judge spoke, “Mr. Brubaker, please call your next witness.”

“The defense calls Jake Potter to the stand.”

A medium-built, blond man – his description also perhaps fitting a familiar wanted poster – approached the stand.

*****

Brubaker had a middle-aged man, Jim Springer, on the stand.

“So it is your testimony that you employed George Rowe and Jake Potter on your ranch, the Flying C in Elbert, Colorado, for the last three years?”

“Yes, sir. Both good, reliable, and trustworthy hands. They left to try their luck at mining, but, I’d take them back anytime.”

“They are not known to you as Hannibal Heyes or Kid Curry?”

A gentle laugh, “No, sir. Just George and Jake.”

“No further questions, your Honor.”

Briles sprang to his feet. “Mr. Springer, how can you be so sure that Rowe and Potter are not Heyes and Curry? After all, there are no known photographs of these notorious criminals…”

At the defense table, Clem raised a hand to cover a sudden smile.

“… Mr. Springer, if they started working for you around three years ago – isn’t that close to the date of the last robbery attributed to Heyes and Curry? Can you really – under oath – rule out any possibility, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that you have – in all innocence, I am sure – been harboring outlaws?”

Jim Springer scratched his chin. “I dunno about shadows of doubt. I know Jake – he’s the fella who sounds like the Kid Curry poster – he can’t hit a barn door at twenty paces. And, George – he’s the Heyes sound-alike – I’ve played poker with him and I’m not sure he knows spades from clubs. If they’re Heyes and Curry, I’d – I’d eat my hat!”

Laughter came from the gallery, but was silenced by the judge’s gavel. Briles resumed his seat. The judge glanced at the defense table, Brubaker shook his head, and the witness stepped down.

“Do you have anything further, Mister Brubaker?” asked the judge.

“The defense rests, Your Honor.”

“Mister Briles, do you wish to call anyone on rebuttal?”

“No, Your Honor.”

“I’ll take closing statements first thing in the morning.” The gavel banged. “Court is adjourned.”

*****

Next day
Judge’s Chambers

“Gentlemen,” Judge Douglas addressed Briles and Brubaker, “I have decided to rule on the papers that the diary is inadmissible and will be thrown out of evidence. The jury will be instructed to disregard all testimony about it. So, Mr. Brubaker, your motion is granted.

“As well, Mr. Briles, I find your case rather weak. However, I’m going to let it go to the jury on the strength of Mr. Martin’s affidavit. Were it not for Mr. Martin’s character, and the high repute in which so many people hold him, I would be throwing the case out without Mr. Brubaker’s having to file a motion for demurrer.

“Now, gentlemen, let’s have closing statements.”

*****

After a short recess

Chester Brubaker stood in front of the jury box.

“Gentlemen of the jury, it is now my turn to be brief. The State has utterly failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant, Clementine Hale, is guilty of anything beyond kindness to two strangers who happened upon her home one evening to ask for directions. For this reason, and this reason alone, you must find her not guilty.

“And just in case there is any doubt in your minds, please let me remind you that it is Clementine Hale who is wrongly on trial here – not those two thieving criminals, Hannibal Heyes and Jedediah ‘Kid’ Curry. Clementine Hale is not here on trial for their crimes. Indeed, she did not commit a crime. End of story.

“To repeat – The State has failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, which is their burden. Given that, you, gentlemen of the jury, have no choice but to find Clementine Hale not guilty, so that she can return to her normal life – the life that was so brazenly interrupted by this farce of a charge.

“Thank you.”

Brubaker returned to a smiling Clem.

With a nod from the judge, Ambrose Bartholomew Briles, prosecutor-in-chief, approached the jury.

*****

“And so, gentlemen,” Briles wound up his close, “…Let justice roll down from the hills. Let it thunder from the heavens! For justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done!”

With a final dramatic gesture, he swept back to his seat. The riveted expressions on the faces of the jury suggested the prosecutor’s speech had been stirring, perhaps convincing. Clem, unsmiling and her eyes downcast, seemed worried. Brubaker spoke to her in a low voice and pressed her hand.

*****

“And that concludes my instructions. Gentlemen,” the judge addressed the jury, “You may consider your verdict.”

*****

Two days later

Hannibal Heyes rushed in to Brubaker’s office, unkempt, banging the door loudly behind him. His shirt was not tucked in, there were rings under his eyes, and his fake beard was coming loose at one side.

“Joshua? Is that you?” Brubaker called from inside the office and then appeared in the reception area.

“Any word on the jury yet?”

“Nothing yet. We’ll just have to be patient. Try and rest, you’ve been working hard, you deserve it.”

Heyes sighed. “I rest by playing poker, which I can’t do right now because it’ll put me in one public place for too long, or by reading, which I can’t concentrate on. So, I’ve been cleaning my gun a lot, like Thaddeus does, but how many times can you do that? I feel liked a caged animal.”

“You might feel like a caged animal, but do you have to look like one?”

“Huh? Is it that bad?”

The attorney nodded.

Heyes rubbed his face; more of the disguise detached from his skin. “I need to take this off and shave, but the last thing I want to do is face that room at the boardinghouse
again. It feels like a prison – all four walls and no partner to talk to.”

Brubaker smiled. “I keep a razor in the washroom here. You’re welcome to borrow it. Why don’t you clean up before Miss Hale gets here? You’ll feel better.”

*****

Fifteen minutes later

In the washroom, stripped to the waist before a mirror, a basin of water in front of him, and his face fully lathered, Heyes picked up a razor and started to shave.

*****

Simultaneously

Clem walked in to the reception area of Brubaker’s office, letting the door bang shut behind her.

As with Heyes, Brubaker appeared. “Who’s there? Oh, Miss Hale. Did you have an accident?”

“No, a carriage splashed.” As she walked in the direction of the washroom, she continued, “I’ll just try to wash this out a little…”

“Miss Hale, not right now!”

The attorney’s words did not reach Clem in time. She opened the washroom door without knocking, and her voice raised in surprise, “Heyes! What’re you…?”

“Oww!”

The razor splashed as it hit the water. Gaping at her, he stood frozen in place momentarily before hastily reaching for his Henley on a nearby chair and covering his chest with it.

Clem entered, and closed the door. “Heyes, you cut your face!” She picked up a towel and wet it before dabbing at the cut.

“Clem! What’re you doing?” Heyes struggled to move away, and fumbled with his shirt as he tried to pull it over his head.

She sighed, her voice taking on that familiar tone she used with the two who were almost like brothers to her. “Heyes, always so modest, but I’ve seen you without a shirt before. I know what boys look like!”

“Clem!!”

She backed away so Heyes could finish with the Henley, then moved in again. “See, the bleeding’s stopped already.”

Heyes smarted at her actions. “I’ll have to cover this so the glue doesn’t tear it when I take that beard off next time.”

Clem regarded the cut, her hand on his chin. “It’s just a nick. Just bled a lot.” She grinned. “You’ll live.”

A sheepish smile appeared on the ex-outlaw’s countenance. “I know.” He turned back to his task while Clem sat down.

“I’ll wait for you to finish before I see about the mud on my skirt.” She paused, then continued, her voice more somber. “Heyes, do you think they’ll find me guilty?”

Heyes turned to regard her. “Nah. Don’t even think that, Clem. They don’t have a case.”

“Then why is the jury taking so long? Mr. Brubaker thought they’d be back quick, but it’s been two days now. I don’t like the idea of going to prison.”

“And you won’t have to, I told you that.”

Clem stood and turned away from him. “No, I won’t let you do that.”

One side of his face still white with lather, Heyes turned from the basin, wiped his hands on a towel, and went over to her, gently grabbing her arm and turning her to face him. He put his hands on her shoulders and looked her in the eye, his voice solemn. “Clem, I promised you we’d take care of this, and we will. Kid’s here in town waiting for word. And I’ll be in court with the statement of where I was that night. And Harry will testify that the Joshua Smith in the statement is Hannibal Heyes.”

Clem regarded Heyes for a second, then let herself be pulled into an embrace. “I can’t let you do it. For all that talk about you not being wanted in Colorado, they’ll arrest you and hold you for extradition.”

She pulled back to look at him.

“The most they can give me is a year – probably less.” She shook her head, and her voice got stronger. “No, you’re not going to prison, not for a day, and certainly not for twenty years, not if I have anything to say about it! Kid, neither.”

Heyes went back to the basin. He stood holding the table and stared into the water; he sighed. “I appreciate that, Clem, but I’ll do what I have to do. This is all happening because of us. It might not be the best plan I’ve ever had, but – just let us work it out.”

Clem shook her head. “Men!”

*****

Same day

A soft knock at his hotel room door had Kid Curry unholstering his Colt quicker than most men could blink. He spoke just loud enough to be audible to the person outside. “Who’s there?”

“Harry.”

Kid opened the door so the detective could enter, and quickly looked to either side of the corridor before locking the door and holstering his sidearm. He gestured to a chair. “Take a load off, Harry.”

Harry sat, and proffered a folded note.

Kid grinned. “What’s this, about the twentieth love letter from my partner in the last few weeks? Aww – Harry, I think he misses me!” However, he sobered as he read. “I don’t believe Joshua really plans to do this. I certainly don’t want to. We’ve worked too hard and too long to stay out of trouble.” The ex-outlaw paced, head down, deep in concentration.

Harry watched him walk the length of the room and back again. “Ya know, Thaddeus, I don’t know that he really wants to do it. And Mr. Brubaker and Miss Hale are also against it.”

Kid stopped. “I know he wants us to be ready, just in case. But this isn’t some small jail in the middle of some two-bit town – this is the big city! More guards, stronger locks… I got a bad feelin’ about this, and we’re gettin’ way too far ahead of ourselves. I’ll bet it’s gonna be okay, that Clem’ll get off. That’s what I have a good feelin’ about.”

Harry stood. “I have to get back. Any message for Joshua?”

Kid thought a second. “Yeah. It’s probably the first time he’s ever heard it from me, but tell my partner to be patient!”

*****

Next day -- third day of jury deliberation

A messenger boy ran into Brubaker’s law offices and found the attorney, Heyes, and Clem at the conference room table, coffee in front of them. “Jury’s coming back. Judge wants everyone back in the court room right away.”

“Thanks, son. Tell the judge we’re on our way,” Brubaker spoke as he rose.

Clem covered her nose and mouth with her hands, and looked at Heyes.

Heyes half-smiled and put a hand on her shoulder. “It’s gonna be okay, Clem, I know it.”

She nodded, took a deep breath, and stood. Primping, she reached for her hat, and pinned it in place. Finally, she faced Brubaker. “Well, it’s as good a time as any, I suppose. We shouldn’t keep the judge waiting.”

Brubaker reached for his case, and Clem her purse, and together they left the office.

“Good luck!” Heyes called after them.

The ex-outlaw leader then put on his suit coat, grabbed a portfolio, and stepped out, locking the door behind him.

*****

Twenty minutes later

The court room looked much the same as it did during the trial, with everyone in their places as before, with one notable addition: Hannibal Heyes, still disguised as Joshua Rembacker, was seated in the back row of the gallery. He sat erect, lips pressed tightly together.

The bailiff asked the jury foreman to stand.

Judge Douglas spoke next. “Has the jury reached a decision?”

All eyes were on the jury foreman as he spoke. “Yes, sir, we have.”

The judge regarded the defense table. “Will the defendant please rise?”

Clem and Brubaker rose and stood in place, and the judge nodded to the jury foreman.

“We find the defendant, Clementine Hale, not guilty.”

Cheers emanated from the gallery, Clem smiled broadly as she looked up at Brubaker, and wiped away a single tear, as if the strain and anxiety of the last month was finally released. Then turning her head – oh so slowly as if to appear unobtrusive – her eyes searched for and met Heyes’. He grinned and nodded at her, then quietly slipped out.

*****

Epilogue

Later that evening

All in appropriate attire for a lavish dinner, Heyes (still in disguise), Kid, Clem, Harry, Brubaker, and Diamond Jim Guffy sat around a table in a private room off the dining salon in one of the more expensive hotels in Denver – Clem seated between the two ex-outlaws. The table was filled with mostly empty platters and plates, and the six sat back in their chairs, as if well sated.

“Well, hear, hear,” Diamond Jim grabbed a bottle of champagne and uncorked it with the ease of a man used to such trappings. “No need to ring for the steward. I think another round is appropriate, given the festivity of the occasion.”

All raised their glasses as the suave Diamond Jim, still seated, stretched across the table to fill each to the point appropriate for the beverage. “Excuse my boardinghouse reach. We’re all just friends here.”

Hoisting their glasses, they all faced Jim as he continued, “To friends, fortune, and freedom. May all of us here present always have them in abundance.”

“Hear, hear!”

They all sipped.

Diamond Jim turned to Clem. “Clementine, it’s getting late. Perhaps we can see you to your suite before we gentlemen adjourn to the smoking room.”

Heyes regarded Jim, Brubaker, and Harry. “Why don’t you three go ahead. Thaddeus and I have some catching up to do with Clem, so we’ll finish here and see her upstairs. But, again – thank you, all of you. We’re beholden to each of you.” He nodded, a pursed smile appearing.

Clem grinned. “Joshua, you getting all sentimental on us?”

Heyes, Kid, and Clem all exchanged a look, as if in understanding.

Diamond Jim rose. “All right. From what I’ve heard, it sounds like you three haven’t had much time together through this whole thing.” He turned to the others. “Well, Chester, Harry, care to join me for cigars and brandy?”

“That sounds wonderful.” The lawyer rose to his feet.

“Indeed – count me in! Never met a fine cigar I didn’t care for!” Harry stumbled through his words as he got up, almost knocking over his chair in his haste.

Heyes and Kid rose and shook hands with the departing threesome. “Good nights” were exchanged all around.

Now alone, the trio stared at the table momentarily before all three started speaking simultaneously –

“I just wanted to…”

“Clem, how you doin’…?”

“Let’s see…”

They stopped and laughed with the ease of long acquaintance, the temporary awkwardness gone.

Kid reached his arm around Clem and pulled her close. “I’ve missed ya, Clem. Sorry it took this to bring us together.”

“Oh, Ki… – Thaddeus!” She stopped as she caught herself and conspicuously looked around.

The blond ex-outlaw squeezed her shoulder. “We’re alone, Clem. It’s okay, as long as you don’t shout it out.”

Clem lowered her voice so only the two partners could hear. “No, it’s not all right. Someone can walk in any minute, and who knows if a waiter is right outside expecting us to leave any second so he can come in and clean up.”

Heyes’ and Kid’s eyes met, and the pair exchanged a look, seemingly of “Where is this going?” – or perhaps of understanding.

Clem continued, sotto voce, sadness in her voice, “And Josh… – Heyes! – even though this is all over, I can understand now why you needed to keep the disguise. If anyone, those men who watch my house, saw us… Well, how would we…? I think I know now how you two feel all the time, having to hide out, being on the run…” She sighed.

The dark-haired man regarded Clem. “Honey, you know we feel responsible for this happening to you, and we can feel bad, but it’s all over. Let’s look on the bright side. We’ll just have to be real careful when we’re in Denver. Better yet, we can meet up with you other places. Let’s just enjoy tonight. How often you going to have a suite in this place?”

Clem smiled. “I’ll try. It was nice of Jim to insist on the suite, and dinner. It was really nice. But, tomorrow it’ll be even nicer to get back to normal at home.”

Kid sighed. “Yeah, tomorrow we have to leave and find ourselves some work to pay Jim back. He’ll settle with Brubaker, and then we have to settle with him.”

Clem pulled away from Kid and regarded him, then Heyes. “Thank you, boys, for offering to pay. But, you won’t have to do that, after all.”

“Huh?” The two men exchanged a look and shrugged.

Clem continued, her grin growing broader. “Well, Mr. Brubaker decided not to charge for his fees, to do it – pro bono, I think he called it – to get some recognition, being new here and all. And Jim paid whatever expenses he had, and wasn’t looking for anything in return, so,” she glanced between the two, “there’s nothing to repay. He didn’t say anything to you so I’d be able to surprise you.”

Two ex-outlaws’ visages lit up; they were left speechless.

“Although… I owe you both a lot… So, I’ve decided to,” she paused as she reached into her purse, “give you a present.” She handed an envelope to Heyes. “I thought you might like this. Keep it safe, and close to your hearts.”

Kid eyed the envelope, then Clem. “Clem, is that what I think it is?”

There was a twinkle in her eye. “Well, let’s just say it might be a likeness I think you’ll appreciate. After all, with you two headed out in the morning, we don’t know when we’ll see each other again.” She yawned and started to rise. “Gentlemen, I’m going to take my leave now, and will see myself upstairs. You two go join the others. I hope we’ll see each other soon.”

The brace stood, and the trio exchanged hugs and goodbyes.

Heyes and Kid watched Clem exit the room, and turned their attention to the envelope.

Impatiently, Kid Curry urged, “Well, what are ya waitin’ for? Open it!”

Heyes grinned, and gingerly opened the envelope. He peered inside, and a frown appeared. He pulled out a photograph – of Clem!

Heyes chuckled. “Well, she did say it was a likeness we’d appreciate.”

Kid laughed. “Yeah! I guess the real one’ll have to wait. Come on.”

Heyes put the envelope in his coat pocket and draped his arm around Kid’s shoulder as they left the room.

THE END


Author’s Note: The author is not a lawyer. As well, while effort was made to make the story as realistic and believable as possible, this is a piece of fiction, and liberties might have been taken with established criminal procedure. Further, no original characters are based on any persons, living or dead, and no disrespect is intended toward any law enforcement or prosecutorial entity or jurisdiction – Indeed, I am grateful for the jobs they do!

As well, I wish to take this opportunity to thank my fellow producers, Penski and Sister Grace, as well as our unsung part-time producer (and editor extraordinaire), Calico, and fellow VS writer, Lana Coombe, without whose support and counsel this, my first VS story and by far the longest piece I have ever written, might not have made it to the finish line.

*****


(Writers love feedback! You can tell Remuda how you enjoyed the story with a quick comment. Just click Post Reply for the Comments for The State of Colorado vs. Clementine Hale thread below the story.)



avatar
Re: The State of Colorado vs. Clementine Hale by Victoria Quynn
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:42 am by royannahuggins
RAMBLINGIRL - Remuda, this was my favorite of all of your stories. You did an excellent job in the courtroom. It sounded very realistic to me. Characters were right on. Even without a good case against her, you had me nervous for Clem's final verdict. Totally enjoyable read. Great job!
avatar
Re: The State of Colorado vs. Clementine Hale by Victoria Quynn
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:42 am by royannahuggins
FRISCOGIRL - Boy, I'd never have thought you didn't have some legal training! You had me following the court procedure thinking it sure felt real! Loved seeing the familiar characters back; Clem has gotta stop confiding in her diary, doesn't she!!! What an enjoyable read tonight. I'd never believe as well this is your first virtual season story. Congratulations
avatar
Re: The State of Colorado vs. Clementine Hale by Victoria Quynn
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:43 am by royannahuggins
PENSKI - Wonderful first virtual season story, Remuda (they aren't easy to write)! You have Clementine, Heyes and the Kid in character with their speech and actions. Love even Heyes getting tired of cleaning his gun - very cute! And speaking of cute...blushing Kid with the two gals! And Heyes being modest in front of Clem, but it not even fazing her (how can a shirtless Heyes NOT faze a female?). Great story!
avatar
Re: The State of Colorado vs. Clementine Hale by Victoria Quynn
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:43 am by royannahuggins
GHISLAINE EMRYS - This was a very well thought out and enjoyable plot. Loved the all legalese, and the courtroom scenes with the two lawyers squaring off against each other seemed very realistic to me. The ending was perfect—the last vidcap was great and Clem got the best of the boys…again! Heyes and Kid came out even, for once, and even Harry did good. Thanks for a great episode!
avatar
Re: The State of Colorado vs. Clementine Hale by Victoria Quynn
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:43 am by royannahuggins
SILVERKELPIE - Having been involved in court cases all over the world (purely professional of course!). I think you did a cracking job of showing the unfolding evidence and the agendas that can motivate prosecutions when politics and justice get intertwined. Loved the ending, so very Clem!
avatar
Re: The State of Colorado vs. Clementine Hale by Victoria Quynn
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:43 am by royannahuggins
Not a lawyer, huh? Coulda fooled me. Wow, I bought the whole courtroom action and the motivation of the prosecuter. The voices of all our favorite characters where right on target. I really liked the way you wrote Clem and her interaction with the boys. Great job! - Skykomish
avatar
Re: The State of Colorado vs. Clementine Hale by Victoria Quynn
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:44 am by royannahuggins
NM131 - Really excellent first VS episode! Loved the courtroom drama, which was a nice change of pace and seemed very realistic to me. Liked how you involved Harry Briscoe and Brubaker. Clem was very well written and true to her character. Slam the gavel down - it's a winner.
avatar
Re: The State of Colorado vs. Clementine Hale by Victoria Quynn
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:44 am by royannahuggins
LANA COOMBE - I have nothing but admiration for anyone who can write stories involving legal jargon and procedures! A extremely well put together episode, which kept its pace and the readers' interest throughout. Well done Remuda.
avatar
Re: The State of Colorado vs. Clementine Hale by Victoria Quynn
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:44 am by royannahuggins
(Max here)
I lurve courtrroom dramas...what a great addition to the VS. No move to strike!!
Your honour - could I have another tense close up shot of that dimpled fella in the false whiskers??
avatar
Re: The State of Colorado vs. Clementine Hale by Victoria Quynn
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:45 am by royannahuggins
This is a brilliant court room drama, Remuda. (It's Allegra here by the way) - I love the way the proceedings unfolded and the tension was built up. You sound like a professional to me is all I can say. I think it was great that Brubaker and Harry Briscoe came in as guest stars too. They added a lot of fun factor to the episode. Very, very well done you for a great episode. Uhmm...like Max - can I also just have a close up shot of the dimpled fella at the end. :-)
avatar
Re: The State of Colorado vs. Clementine Hale by Victoria Quynn
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:45 am by royannahuggins
You did a great job. I really liked the story.
This is a different take on the series and I liked it. Not too many of the episodes centered too much on another character like Clem is here. The casting was great and I like the mix of old and new guest stars. I'm not sure if the boys would have turned themselves in if Clem was found guilty. I wonder if it was the case if it would depend on the sentence Clem got, like in the Posse that Wouldn't Quit. Maybe it's a good thing they didn't have to find out. Thank you for posting.
 

The State of Colorado vs. Clementine Hale by Victoria Quynn

View previous topic View next topic Back to top 

Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You can reply to topics in this forum
Stories: Alias Smith and Jones  :: Virtual Season :: Virtual Season 2010/2011-
Reply to topicJump to: