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 Early Encounters with Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry by Lana Coombe

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royannahuggins
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PostEarly Encounters with Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry by Lana Coombe



Based on actual events!



I'd like to dedicate this story to the small woman, with dark brown hair. Thanks for the lovely childhood. 31st July 2011.


The wind whipped up her hair, leaving it strewn across her brow, plastering it against the sweat on her forehead. She’d been running hard for the last hour. Adrenalin coursed through her veins, exhilaration keeping her going, driving her on.

She pulled her horse to a stop, to catch her breath. The ravine was deep and the ledge, along its edge narrow, but she had faith in her mount. She looked over her shoulder as the two men reined in their horses behind her.

“Follow me,” she urged them. “I know this place like the back of my hand. The posse will never follow us.”

The men regarded her uncertainly.

“Please, you’ve gotta trust me. If that posse catches up with us, well … it’ll all be over,” she told them, pleading tones rippling through her words.

“Why are you doing this?” the dark-haired man asked, eyes narrowed and brow furrowed. “It could get you into serious trouble.”

She glanced anxiously down the canyon. She couldn’t see anything, but knew they would be there, knew they’d be coming, getting closer by the minute.

Returning her gaze to the two men with whom she rode, she could clearly see the perplexed concern in their faces. She bit her lip, considering how she could explain to them her presence at just the right time and why she wanted to do this for them.

“Can we talk about this later?” she asked.

“No!” they replied in unison.

Her eyes darted away momentarily before she looked back at them with wide eyes, pointing behind them. “Looks like we’re going to have to!” she exclaimed.

Flicking a look over their shoulders they instantly understood her response. The posse was in sight.

“Come on,” she shouted, steering her horse towards the narrow ledge, which clung to the steep sides of the canyon. To their right was a craggy wall of rock and on their left, a sheer drop of about thirty feet, to the canyon floor.

Leading the way, the girl skilfully guided her horse along the ledge, talking persuasively to him, in a low, soothing voice, gently yet forcefully tapping the gelding’s sides with her heels, driving him forward.

A sceptical look passed between the two men, but the sound of gunfire, coming from behind them, was all the encouragement they needed and they too guided their horses onto the rocky outcrop.

“I sure hope she knows what she’s doin’,” the fair-haired man commented dryly, through gritted teeth.

The horses picked their way carefully along the narrow path, the riders keeping the lightest touch of control on the reins, trusting their mounts to find their own footing.

The sound of pounding hoof beats got louder and soon they heard shouting as the posse reached the ledge. Not daring to take their eyes from their course, the three riders pressed on, silently saying their own personal prayers.

Suddenly, a bullet ricocheted off the canyon wall, above their heads. The horses tensed and jittered. The riders tried to remain calm, heeling them forward.

“There’s a bend a little further along. Keep going,” she called back to her riding companions, just before another bullet bounced off a nearby rock. They carried on and sure enough the canyon wall began to curve, not dramatically, but enough to protect them from any more flying bullets.

After a couple more minutes of riding, the path widened and a trail diverted up through a crevice in the rock.

The loose shingle on the path caused the horses to stumble. Their riders leaned forward, over their necks, kicking them on until they finally reached the top of the slope. When all three riders were safely at the top, the girl turned and gave them a triumphant grin.

“I wouldn’t look too happy just yet. Sounds like the posse’s still comin’,” the one man said, removing his brown, floppy hat and swiping his brow with his shirtsleeve. Sure enough, the metallic sound of shod hooves clicking against the hard, rocky ground was heard, as the posse edged its way along the ledge.
“Who are these guys?” the man in the black hat, with the silver band, asked, perplexedly, his brow furrowed.

“I don’t think I wanna hang around long enough to find out,” his partner replied, taking his gun from its holster and checking the chamber. “Whoever they are, they ain’t gonna give up too easy,” he added resignedly, as he returned his weapon to its place on his thigh.

“They’re not going to give up without a good chase, that’s for sure,” the girl told them knowingly.

“You know these fellas, Miss?” the darker man asked.

“Not as such, but I know their type,” she replied. “Come on, we’d better get moving. “

“You sure you know what you’re doin’? I mean, how much experience you had at losin’ posses?”

The girl shifted a little uncomfortably under the scrutiny of a pair of intensely blue eyes.

“You’d be surprised at what I know about posses,” she told him confidently, “and besides, I know this place better than anyone,” she added, before swinging her horse around and setting off at a good pace.

The dark-haired man shrugged his shoulders at his friend and set off after her. The fairer haired man gave a last cautionary glance back along the trail and then followed.

The trail began to widen and flatten out, allowing them to ease the horses into a canter which ate up the ground, putting a good distance between them and the posse.

A short while later, the girl veered off to the left and headed for a small wooded area. As they reached the trees, she slowed her horse and looked round to check the two men were still following.

“We’ll cut through here and this’ll take us to the river I was telling you about,” she explained. They nodded in response.

The ground gave way to a steep but short bank, at the bottom of which a river ran over irregular rocks and stones.

Easing her horse down the bank, the girl leaned back, nearly to the horse’s rump, to compensate for the steepness of the slope. The two men followed, mirroring her action. The horses slid the last few feet down the incline and splashed into the water, which ran along the riverbed. They worked their way upstream, guiding the horses, as best they could, so as they didn’t turn over too many stones, which may give away their route.

After a while, the girl turned in her saddle and called back to the men. “There’s a patch of bushes up ahead. We’ll make our way out to open ground there. The bushes will hide our tracks.”

As they reached the top of the bank, through the bushes, the fair-haired man drew alongside his partner. “Gotta say, Heyes, she seems to know what she’s doin’ and she sure does know all the tricks,” he whispered.

The dark-haired man nodded his agreement. “I just hope we ain’t making a big mistake trusting her,” he replied huskily.

By now the sun was getting low, sending luminous pink and orange streaks across the darkening sky. The girl looked worriedly skyward. There wasn’t much time left.

“Reckon we ought to take a break soon. The horses are tuckered out and I ain’t much better,” commented the one man, as he took off his hat and ran his hand through his wavy hair.

“Perhaps we should look for somewhere to camp. They won’t be able to track us in the dark,” his friend contributed.

“There’s a sheltered spot under some trees up ahead,” the girl told them. The men nodded appreciatively.

Suddenly, something caught the fair-haired man’s attention.

“Hate to tell you this, but I don’t think we can stop just yet – look!”

An orange glow appeared in the distance.

The dark-haired man let an expletive slip passed his lips.

“Torches!’ declared the other.

A look of concern passed between them.

The girl looked on worriedly, biting at her thumbnail. “There’s not enough time,” she mumbled to herself. “What am I going to do? What’s going to happen?” she added thoughtfully.

“Miss? What do you mean it’s not enough time? Do you know something that you oughtta tell us?” the dark-haired man asked angrily.

“No,” she swiftly replied. “It’s not like you think. I’d never do anything to put you in real danger; it’s just it’s getting dark and it’ll soon be time to ….”

She was interrupted by a shout. “It’s getting dark. Time to come in.”

She turned to see a small woman with short, brown hair, standing in the doorway of the house. “Have you finished your spelling homework? If you have a bath you can stay up to watch that cowboy programme you like but, straight to bed afterwards.”

“Coming, Mum,” she called before the woman disappeared back indoors.

The girl looked around, but they were gone; she was alone again. She gave the rhododendron bushes, which offered such perfect cover, a wistful fleeting look. “Another time,” she whispered.

She made her way to the house, wandering past the stream, which skirted the perimeter of the garden, steep banks making a natural boundary. She walked along the narrow pathway, close to the side of the house, bordered by rough, overgrown ground and followed the paved area around the back of the house, until she came to the big, white, back door.

With one more happy glance about her, at the garden she knew like the back of her hand, she went indoors, knowing there were many more adventures to come the next day and for many days after. What she didn’t know was she’d still be having adventures with Kid Curry and Hannibal Heyes forty years later.





(Writers love feedback! You can tell Penski how you enjoyed the story with a quick comment. Just click Post Reply  for the Comments for Early Encounters with Heyes and Kid thread below the story.)

_________________
Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry, the two most successful outlaws in the history of the west. And in all the trains and banks they robbed, they never shot anyone.
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Early Encounters with Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry by Lana Coombe :: Comments

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Re: Early Encounters with Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry by Lana Coombe
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:38 am by royannahuggins
PENSKI - What a wonderful encounter and memory, Lana! I would love to see this garden you had all your adventures with Heyes and Kid - sounds absolutely fantastic! A child's imagination is an awesome wonder. Loved your tribute and thank you for sharing one of your childhood memories with us!
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Re: Early Encounters with Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry by Lana Coombe
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:38 am by royannahuggins
SILVERKELPIE - For those of us who are of a 'certain age' this is redolent of so much of our youth. The imagination, the freedom and the memories. What a wonderful piece. It was clearly the same all over the world. Isn't it wonderful that we have a forum to share? Thank you for your beautifully written prod! I mean that in the nicest possible way! Brought back all kinds of things.....
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Re: Early Encounters with Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry by Lana Coombe
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:38 am by royannahuggins
Lana - This was lovely and warm. I thoroughly enjoyed following you and the "boys" through the garden. Thank you for sharing this piece of childhood. Beautifully written as well. - Skykomish
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Re: Early Encounters with Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry by Lana Coombe
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:39 am by royannahuggins
REMUDA - This is wonderful, Lana! Lovely remembrance in the guise of an action tale. My heart stopped for a moment when I saw the story was nearing the end, and they were still trying to evade the posse! Thank you for sharing such a sweet reminiscence.
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Re: Early Encounters with Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry by Lana Coombe
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:39 am by royannahuggins
This is a truly lovely and heart-warming memory, Lana. Thanks for sharing and giving a wonderful and very fitting tribute to the boys. Classic garden adventures just before bedtime - and the years roll back....
(Allegra)
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Re: Early Encounters with Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry by Lana Coombe
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:39 am by royannahuggins
GHISLAINE EMRYS - A mystical, mysterious meeting for sure! What a sweet story, and I can definitely relate! Lucky girl--all her dreams sort of come true!
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Re: Early Encounters with Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry by Lana Coombe
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:39 am by royannahuggins
NM131 - Lovely story Lana. It's nice to know that even though the little girl grew up and is now the one calling her own children in to do their homework her imagination hasn't lost it's adventureous twists and turns. Thanks!
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Re: Early Encounters with Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry by Lana Coombe
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:40 am by royannahuggins
[Max here]
I loved that!! Proper posse chase excitement – and us kinda wondering about the girl and kinda half knowing it was you. That was just lovely. And still playing cowboys after all these years.
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Re: Early Encounters with Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry by Lana Coombe
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:40 am by royannahuggins
JOANNB - Awe, what fun. A very enjoyable read.
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Re: Early Encounters with Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry by Lana Coombe
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:41 am by royannahuggins
AKEAYS - What a fun story. Sure brought back memories, and it seems for more than just me. i guess i was one of the lucky ones in that my father realized that buying me a pony even though we didn't live in the country would keep me out of trouble! I spent so much time riding the trails on old Midnight, running from posse's that I didn't have time to get hooked up with the "wrong sort" at school. Like you say, 40 years later, we're still doing it!!!
 

Early Encounters with Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry by Lana Coombe

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