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 A String of Bad Luck by Penski

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royannahuggins
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Join date : 2013-10-13

20140310
PostA String of Bad Luck by Penski



Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? If their names are Mia Bronson and Joe Briggs or any number of other old adversaries the boys run into in this VS episode, the answer is a resounding, YES! A stage ride turns into nothing but "A String of Bad Luck" for Heyes and Curry.



Starring Pete Duel and Ben Murphy

A String of Bad Luck
by Penski



Four horses raced along the dirt road as they pulled the stagecoach through flat, dry country. Inside the coach were six passengers being jostled about.

“Sheesh! He must be hittin’ every bump in the road,” mumbled Kid Curry. He looked over to his partner, the black hat pulled down low over his eyes. “And I can’t believe he’s sleepin’ through it.”

A moment later, the wagon hit a bump hard and the passengers were thrown from their seats. A loud crack was heard outside the coach.

“Whoa…whoa there!” shouted the driver as he reined the horses to a stop. Once they had come to a halt, he jumped down from the driver’s seat.

The passengers stumbled out of the coach, rubbing their head or other body parts that hurt, as the driver inspected the wheels.

“Did you have to hit every bump in the road?” asked an angry man. “We were nearly killed in there with that last one.”

“Well,” the driver spit a wad of tobacco, “You wanna make it to Tucson before dark, dontcha ya?”

“In one piece – yes!” the man spat back.

Heyes stepped out of the wagon, holding on to his head, and looked around. “What happened?” he asked groggily.

“We hit a really big bump. I can’t believe you were sleepin’ through all that. Must’ve been real tired to be sleepin’ so sound,” replied the Kid. “Are you okay?”

“Hit my head kinda hard, but I’m fine. Gonna have a headache.”

“Well, folks, looks like we ain’t gonna be makin’ it to Tucson this evenin’. Broke a few spokes. We’ll hafta take it slow into the next town where we can get that wheel repaired.” The driver spat out more tobacco.

An elderly woman shook her head in disgust and held a hankie over her mouth.

“Everyone back in the rig,” the driver said as he climbed to the top seat.

“Just our luck,” Curry said as he stepped back inside.

Heyes followed his partner. “Better than getting held up.”

“Not much better.”

Once everyone was back in their seats, the driver gently slapped the reins and kept the horses at a walk.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Meanwhile, in the Golden Corral Saloon

An older woman with light hair in a bun poured a drink and then went back to cleaning glasses behind the bar.

A tall man walked up to the bar wearing a grey cowboy hat and blue shirt.

The bartender stopped wiping glasses and came up to him. “What’ll you have, mister?”

“Is your beer cold?”

“Colder than this warm room.”

“Then I’ll have one.” He put a nickel down on the bar top.

She poured him a beer. “There you go,” and turned to walk away.

“Lookin’ for a Mia Bronson. Know where I might find her?” he quickly asked as he swallowed some beer.

“Depends… Who’s asking?” She turned back, facing the customer.

“Heard she was lookin’ to hire someone – someone good with a gun.” The man drank deeply from his glass.

“I’m Mia Bronson.” The woman stepped closer to the man and leaned forward. “How did you hear about the job?”

“We have a mutual friend – Jim Clark from West Bend.”

Bronson nodded. “How is Jim?”

“Dead. Took a bullet in the heart a month ago,” the man replied. “About the job?”

Mia looked around the saloon. “Sam, I need you to tend to the bar while I step out.”

An employee, sitting at a table eating, nodded and, grabbing his plate, came over behind the bar.

“I’ll be in the back room, if you need me.” Bronson grabbed two glasses and a bottle of whiskey. She motioned with her head that the stranger should follow her. Once inside the office, she closed the door behind them and sat at the desk. “Sit.”

The man sat in the chair nearby. “So you own this saloon?”

“Manage it, for now. It’ll be mine soon enough,” Mia said bitterly as she poured two glasses of whiskey. “What’s your name?”

“Briggs – Joe Briggs.”

“And are you good with a gun, Mr. Briggs?” Bronson glanced at his right arm that was slightly crooked from a break that hadn’t set correctly.

“Not as good as I once was,” he admitted, “but I’m better and faster than most. About the job?”

“Are you discreet?”

“Sure.”

“Are you willing … to kill?”

Briggs thought for a moment. “If the price is right. Who do you want dead?”

“Two men who swindled me out of a lot of money.”

“What do you know about them? Where can I find them?”

“Well,” Mia swallowed her whiskey, “they both are a little younger and shorter than you, but not by much. One goes by the name of Smith and has dark, straight hair. The other goes by Jones and has wavy, blond hair. Both of their guns are tied down.”

“Smith and Jones? Smith and Jones… Does Smith play poker pretty good and is Jones good with that gun of his?”

“Yeah, that sounds like them. You know them?” she asked incredulously.

“I might. Sounds like the two fellas I had a run in with.” Joe finished his drink and slid it on the desk, nodding for a refill. “What exactly did they do to you?”

“I had a good life in King City. Ran the Silver Horseshoe Casino and pretty much the whole town until those two showed up,” the bartender said with anger as she refilled both glasses. “They swindled me out of $20,000!” Mia shook her head at the memory. “Of course, I was suspicious of them. They were trying to tell me they could make counterfeit money. I played along with their game, hoping to get enough information to tell the sheriff what they were up to. But they escaped with my money and made flyers telling the whole town that I was crooked! Me, of all people! Even promised a $1,000 reward.”

“Sounds like it could be the same men.”

Mia cocked her head to the side. “What’d they do to you?”

“Ruined my life! I was a foreman of the Running W ranch outta West Bend, Texas – a law-abidin’ kind of guy just tryin’ to keep the peace in town when they rode in with their guns tied down. Right away I was suspicious about them and their intentions in town. Knew they were up to no good. Had one of my men follow them once and they tied him up out in the middle of nowhere! They even changed a preacher’s attitude and he left town for good.”

“The preacher?” Mia took a drink. “How’d you get shot in the arm?”

“Well, there were rules in that town and Jones wouldn’t ‘bide by those rules. Refused to follow them, in fact. Dangerous fellow, he is. I was on the Main Street, with innocent people all around, askin’ him to obey the law, when he pulled his gun and shot me in the right arm. I almost died from the bleedin’. Then his partner Smith drew his gun.”

“Oh my!”

“We were damn lucky nobody else got hurt.” Briggs swallowed the rest of his drink.

Mia asked, “Then what happened?”

“They finally were persuaded to leave town on the next stage. I’ve had to learn to do everything left-handed now. Took some time, but I can shoot just about as good with my left as I did with my right. I’ve been on the lookout for them for quite a while.” Briggs paused for a moment before continuing, “If I ever see them again, I’m gonna shoot them both down…dead!”

“I’d like to see them dead myself. And that’s the job. Find them and kill them.” A slow rumbling sound of a wagon passing the saloon made Mia look at a watch pinned to her blouse. “Stage is late today. I better go back to the bar and help.”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The stagecoach limped into the town of Rio Vista and stopped in front of the telegraph office. The six passengers disembarked and stretched while looking around at the town.

“Sorry ‘bout them wheel spokes breakin’, folks. It’s gonna take a day to get ‘em fixed so we’re stuck here in Rio Vista,” the driver apologized as he turned around to hand a large piece of baggage down. “So who’s this bag belong to?” He handed it to the young, blond passenger in a brown hat.

“That’d be mine,” said an elderly woman as she reached up to take it from Kid Curry.

“Ma’am, can I carry your bag to the hotel for you?”

“I don’t want to put you out, young man.”

“No problem at all. Joshua will get my saddlebags,” he said as he escorted her into the Rio Vista Inn.

“The two saddlebags would be ours.” Heyes squinted as he looked up at the driver and received the glare of the bright afternoon sun.

“Here ya go,” the driver said as he handed down the saddlebags as Curry returned. “Will you two be continuin’ on with us? Should I be lookin’ for you when we’re ready to head out again?”

“Not sure yet,” Heyes commented. “Depends on the poker.”

“Yeah, and the town’s sheriff,” Kid mumbled under his breath as he turned from the driver to take a closer look around.

Heyes joined him and quietly asked, “So, have you found the sheriff’s office yet?

“The saloon is over here,” Curry pointed to his left, “and the church is over there,” he pointed to his right, “So that means the sheriff’s office has to be this way.” Pushing his hat down further to hide his eyes, the Kid started walking towards the left.

Heyes also pushed his hat down and cautiously followed his partner. “There it is. And no name on the outside. Don’t you just hate it when you don’t know who the local law is?”

“I sure do. Guess we’ll just hafta be careful ‘til we figure out if we know him or not. May as well get a drink, huh?”

“Sounds good after that long, bumpy ride.”

With saddlebags slung over their shoulders, they headed to the Golden Corral Saloon.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

A few minutes later

Into the saloon walked two men with saddlebags slung over their shoulders – one with a black hat and the other with a brown one. They quickly glanced around the room before starting to walk to the bar.

“YOU!” Mia shouted as she pointed to the newcomers.

Briggs turned toward the door, “Speak of the devils…”

Heyes and Curry stopped in their tracks and made brief eye contact with each other.

“Time to go!” Heyes said as he grabbed the Kid’s arm and wheeled around, hurrying toward the door.

Curry allowed himself to be led until Briggs spat out, “Jones, me and you have unfinished business!”

The Kid shook off Heyes’ arm and turned to face the bar. “Briggs, you got what you deserved. You’re lucky I only shot your arm and didn’t kill you.”

“Thaddeus,” Heyes entreated him in a low voice. “Time to go.”

Briggs and Curry glared at each other with fingers resting on their gun butts.

A train whistled outside and Heyes glanced out the batwing doors and saw a train in the station loading up with passengers and freight.

“Thaddeus, that’s our train. We have to go.”

“Go? You aren’t going anywhere but to the graveyard,” Mia hissed. “Right, Briggs?”

“Thaddeus, don’t,” Heyes implored.

After a minute of glaring at Briggs, Curry let out a deep breath. Using his left hand and only two fingers, the Kid cautiously removed his Colt from his holster and handed it to his partner. Holding his hands out, he said, “Briggs, I’m unarmed. You low enough to shoot me anyway?”

“Put the gun on the bar, Briggs,” Heyes demanded. “It’s over.”

“It ain’t over until I say it’s over,” he said, angrily.

A sheriff, sitting at one of the tables, stood up. “Actually, it’s over when I say it is. Put your gun on the bar, mister.”

Briggs’ left hand touched the butt of his six-shooter as he glared at his enemies.

“I said, put the gun down, NOW!” the sheriff said as he drew his pistol.

Briggs put his firearm on the bar, never taking his eyes off Smith and Jones.

“Why’d you put down your gun?” shrieked Mia. “Kill them!”

“You keep quiet!” Briggs ordered.

Heyes and the Kid glanced at the sheriff.

“We got a train to catch…” Heyes started to say.

“Then you better go catch it,” the sheriff replied. “Go on; get outta here!”

Heyes grabbed the Kid’s arm again and pulled him towards the door. This time, Curry allowed himself to be led out of the saloon.

“Train looks like it’s about to leave town,” Heyes said quickly as he handed the gun back to the Kid. He began running across the street to the train that was exiting the station and jumped on the back of the last car.

The Kid followed Heyes, but did not holster his Colt until he was near the station. Heyes reached out a hand and helped him up on the train that was gathering speed.

“Are they followin’ us?” asked the Kid, winded.

“Briggs and Bronson came outta the saloon and are watching us leave. That sheriff came out, too, and was talking to them.”

“That was a close call.”

“Yeah,” Heyes agreed. “Guess those two are still holding a grudge, huh?”

“Seems so. But they both deserved what they got. Joe Briggs was nothin’ more than a bully and … and so was Mia Bronson. They both scared the folks in the towns they were in.”

“They sure did.” Heyes opened the door. “Come on, let’s go find some seats.”

Curry and Heyes walked through a car crowded with families, crying babies included, without finding a place to sit.

“Maybe the next one has some seats,” the Kid suggested.

“And hopefully it’s quieter,” Heyes added.

Strolling through next coach, Heyes commented, “It’s quieter, but no room. Let’s try the first passenger car.”

As they left the coach, a man put his newspaper down and scowled. He checked the derringer in his breast pocket – the chamber was loaded with bullets. Folding the paper, he grabbed his carpetbag and followed the two men.

Curry entered the last of the passenger cars and grinned. “There’s some seats in here.”

“Good!” Heyes put his saddlebags and hat in an upper compartment and sat down. As he looked out the window, he commented, “Sure glad to have some miles between us and those two.”

“Me, too.” The Kid, having stashed his saddlebags with Heyes’, stretched out in the seat and angled his hat down over his face to rest.

A few minutes later, Winford Fletcher sat down next to Heyes and put his derringer into the former outlaw’s side.

Heyes quickly turned from the window and, seeing Fletcher, closed his eyes and sighed. “Thaddeus, wake up.” Heyes kicked his partner’s foot.

The Kid, using one finger, lifted his hat above his eyes and saw the derringer. His eyes followed the arm to see who was holding up Heyes. “Fletcher…” he groaned.

“Put your hands on top of your head, both of you. Hurry up or I’ll shoot.”

Putting their hands up, Fletcher removed the Kid’s gun Colt from its holster and then Heyes’. He put them in his carpetbag on the floor.

“What do you want from us?” Heyes asked.

“I’m turning you both in for the reward money, that’s what I’m doing! You stole $20,000 last time we met and I haven’t forgotten.” Fletcher kept the derringer in Heyes’ side. “And I’m not letting you two out of my sight this time. You won’t be jumping off this train.”

The passengers, watching the exchange, began murmuring amongst themselves. A young man slowly walked by their seats and left the rail car, returning moments later with the conductor.

“See here, what is going on? Put that gun away; you might hurt someone!” the conductor demanded.

“I will not!” insisted Fletcher. “These men are wanted outlaws and I am taking them to the next town where I’ll turn them in to the sheriff for a reward.”

“That true? Are you wanted outlaws?”

Heyes rolled his eyes and shook his head. “We get this all the time, don’t we, Thaddeus?”

“Sure do,” agreed the Kid with a sick-looking, sheepish grin.

“Seems we look just like those two notorious outlaws, Hannibal Heyes and what’s-his-name.”

“Kid Curry,” the Kid filled in the missing name with a look of frustration that only his partner saw.

“They ARE Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry!” Fletcher adamantly claimed.

Heyes and Curry shrugged their shoulders as they put on their most innocent faces for the conductor. “He’s Thaddeus Jones and…”

“He’s Joshua Smith.”

“Sir, I must insist that you put your gun away with this carload of passengers! Someone is bound to get hurt.”

“But…but… Have you checked for their tickets? I bet they don’t have any.”

The conductor gave a hard look at the three passengers. “Okay, I want to see all of your tickets.”

Fletcher produced his ticket from his breast pocket and handed it to the railroad employee.

“And what about you two?” The conductor handed back the inspected ticket.

Heyes smiled. “Well, you see, sir. We were late.”

“Real late…” Curry added.

“…Catching this train. Didn’t have time to buy a ticket – barely had time to get onboard. But we have money to buy tickets, if the gentleman will allow me to pull my money out of my pocket. You do let people purchase tickets on the train, too, don’t you?” Heyes used his silver tongue.

“Not very often, but sometimes it’s necessary,” the clerk agreed.

“I will not allow these men to bamboozle you into setting them free!” Fletcher’s voice rose.

“Now…now… Don’t need to rile up the rest of the passengers.” The conductor tried to hush the outraged man as he looked around the car at the staring passengers.

Fletcher took a deep breath. “Are you willing to allow me to hold them in a baggage car, away from the rest of the passengers, seeing they don’t have tickets? At the next town, we’ll get off and go to the sheriff. If I’m wrong, I’ll apologize to these men, buy them a steak dinner and a ticket to wherever they want to go.”

The conductor nodded thoughtfully. “Sounds fair to me.”

“Well, it doesn’t to me!” Curry hissed.

“Or me, either,” agreed Heyes. “What happened to being innocent until proven guilty? This is the United States of America, isn’t it?”

“Didn’t say you were guilty. Just saying it seems fair you have a free trip to the next town where you can tell your side to the sheriff,” the conductor said as he looked around the car again. “Seems we’re upsetting the passengers, so let’s go to another car. The one in front of this one is a baggage car. I’ll lead the way.”

The conductor waited a moment before starting to walk down the aisle. Fletcher, with his derringer still pointed into Heyes’ side, took hold of his bag. “You heard the man, let’s go.”

Heyes and the Kid slowly stood up.

“Mind if we get our saddlebags?” Curry asked as he pointed to the compartment above them.

“No funny business, and you get them both.” Fletcher pushed the derringer further into Heyes’ side as he was about to get his own bag. “And you keep your hands up.”

“Oww… Careful with that gun,” Heyes said as he put his hands back on his head.

The Kid reached for their saddlebags and looked at Fletcher for his next instructions.

“Okay, follow the conductor. Me and Heyes will go last. You make so much as a sudden move and Heyes will get it.”

“I won’t,” Curry said as he started walking through the train. “You just be careful not to accidentally shoot him.”

The four men left the passenger car and walked into the next one, where trunks and other pieces of baggage were stacked.

Fletcher looked around and noticed some bare floor space to one side. “Over there, in the corner. You both sit down on the floor. And drop your bags over here.”

After the Kid put their saddlebags near a trunk, he and Heyes both sat down, as instructed.

“You’re making a big mistake,” Heyes said, again, in the presence of the conductor. “We’re Joshua Smith and Thaddeus Jones – just drifters looking for a job wherever we can.”

“Well, the next town is about an hour away. You three should be okay in here for that long,” the conductor said as he walked to the door. He turned towards Fletcher and continued, “Now, you be careful with that gun. I don’t want no dead bodies when we get to Centralia, you hear?”

“There won’t be, if they mind themselves,” Fletcher said as the conductor left the car. Looking around, he found some rope. He threw it at the Kid. “Use that to tie your partner’s hands. Save some so I can tie yours.”

Heyes let out a deep breath as he held his hands out in front of him, while Curry, kneeling in front of him, began to tie them together.

“What do ya think you’re doing? Not in the front – in the back!”

“You’re going to insist on tying them in back while on a train? How are we going to balance ourselves if it jerks?” Heyes argued. “Besides, you have the gun.”

“True…true. Okay, you can tie them in front, but no funny business. And you better do a good job. I’ll be checking your work when you’re through, Mr. Curry.”

The Kid continued to tie his partner’s hands. “Sorry,” he said, as Heyes grimaced. “He said to do a good job.”

Heyes glared at the Kid. “Now you listen.”

When he was finished, Curry sat back down and allowed Fletcher to tie his hands.

Inspecting Heyes’ hands, Fletcher remarked, “Good job, Mr. Curry. Now we just have to wait until we reach…”

The train came to a hard stop. Fletcher lost his balance and his carpetbag tipped; the pistols fell out and slid across the floor.

Heyes reacted swiftly and grabbed a six-shooter. As he pointed it at their captor, he realized Fletcher had recovered and had his derringer pointed, in close proximity, at the Kid.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you, Mr. Heyes. Drop the gun and Mr. Curry won’t be shot.”

Curry shrugged his shoulders in defeat as Heyes dropped the gun and kicked it towards Fletcher.

Winford put both of their guns back in his carpetbag and secured it before opening the door a crack. “Just needed water, I guess,” he said as he sat on a trunk near them with his derringer still out.

“Great, just our luck to get on the same train as you, Fletcher. This is what, the second time we’ve done that?” Heyes said, sarcastically. “You know we were just helping you. Didn’t want you caught with that money and in the same trouble as that banker.”

“Helping me out? By breaking into my safe and stealing my money?”

“It wasn’t really your money,” the Kid replied. “It was part of the money Powers stole from his own bank.”

“Still, you broke into my safe…” Fletcher pouted. “And left that note…”

“Warning you how easy your safe was to open.” Heyes reasoned. “Again, helping you out.”

“I did buy a better safe after that…”

The train started with a jolt, tossing Fletcher onto the floor near his prisoners.

Heyes fell on top of Fletcher, pinning him down, while the Kid retrieved the derringer that slid near him.

“Get off me!” Fletcher demanded.

“Kid, get my knife and cut my hands free.” Heyes repositioned himself to keep Fletcher pinned better.

The Kid crawled over to Heyes and slipped his fingers inside a boot, removing a knife. Holding it the best he could with his hands tied, he began slicing at the rope.

“Ouch! Not my hands!”

“Well, I’m a little tied up at the moment and doin’ my best!” Curry said as he continued cutting with the knife, but taking it a little slower. “There!”

Heyes pulled his hands apart. “Your turn. Fletcher, stay still, would ya!” With freed hands, Heyes quickly cut through his partner’s bindings.

Curry reached for the carpetbag and pulled out their guns. Pointing his at Fletcher, he said, “Okay, Heyes, you can get up. I have him.”

Heyes slid off Fletcher and, using some of the longer pieces of rope, immediately began tying his hands.

“See here! I’ll get back at you two some day!” Fletcher shouted.

“Are you tired of hearing him complaining?” Heyes asked.

The Kid grinned. “I saw a hankie in that bag. Let me get it.” Not taking an eye off of Fletcher, he rummaged in the carpetbag and pulled out a handkerchief.

Heyes took the proffered cloth and stuffed it into a shouting Fletcher’s mouth, muffling angry cries for help. “There. Only have to be that way for a short time. We’ll be pulling into the next town soon.”

“Speakin’ of town, it’s comin’ up quick. And the conductor will be here ‘fore that. Don’t think we want him to find us here with a tied-up Fletcher.”

“True. You know what that means, though, don’t you?”

“Yeah, we get to jump off the train.” Curry sighed, “Aren’t we gettin’ too old for this?”

“Maybe you are.” Heyes got up and opened the car door. The train was moving at full speed. He looked ahead and saw an incline coming up. “Going up a hill soon, so the train will slow down some. Get ready.”

Curry scowled at Winford Fletcher. “It’s all because of you we have to do this, ya know.” He grabbed their saddlebags and joined his partner by the door. “Closest town is where this train is goin’, ya know.”

“Yep.” Heyes winked at his partner and said in a louder, clear voice, “That’s why we’re going the other way.”

Grinning, the Kid added, “Where we came from?”

“Yep. Walking back to that last town. Might want to take your gun belt off and put it in your saddlebag,” Heyes said as he started unbuckling his belt.

“I know how to jump off a train, Heyes.” Kid bent down to untie the leather thong around his thigh. “Had to do it enough times because of a ‘genius’ and his plans.”

Heyes gave his partner a “look” before stowing his gun belt in his saddlebag. He looked out again. “About ready? It’s coming up.”

Curry fastened his bag closed. “Yep.”

The train started up the incline, losing its momentum. Towards the top of the hill, the engine chugged slowly to the crest.

“About as slow as it’s gonna get.” Heyes threw out his saddlebags. “Don’t forget to tuck and roll.”

“I know!” Curry threw out his bags.

Both men jumped within seconds of each other, hitting the ground hard and then rolling down the embankment. They lay still for a few minutes, catching their breath.

“You okay?” Curry asked as he began to get up.

“Yeah. Maybe I am getting too old to jump out of a train.” Heyes stood and gently stretched. “Ow, I have bruises on my bruises.” He looked over to his partner and noticed a grimacing face. “Are you okay?”

“No, I must’ve hurt my ankle.” The Kid stood up and put a little weight on his left foot. “DANG!! That hurts!”

“You didn’t tuck and roll like I said, did you?”

“I did, too!” Curry limped to a fallen log and sat down so he could take his boot off.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you. Once it’s off, you might not get it back on from the swelling.”

The Kid gave a resigned sigh. “Guess you’re right.”

“Of course I am! Stay put and I’ll go get the saddlebags.”

Heyes returned moments later and handed the Kid his bags. They both immediately pulled out their pistols and fastened their gun belts back around their hips.

“Just our string of luck today,” the Kid mumbled. “How are we gonna get to town now?”

“Slowly and with you limping, from the look of it.”

Curry gave him a frustrated look.

“Come on, I’ll help you,” Heyes encouraged and offered his hand. “Hopefully Fletcher thinks we’re walking to Rio Vista and not the next town.”

Curry, using the proffered hand, stood up. “Don’t see a stick I can use. Do you?”

“No, but we’ll find one. Just put your arm around my shoulders for now.”

“How far do you think it is?” asked the Kid.

“Don’t think about it; just concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other – like we did in the desert.”

With Heyes helping the Kid, the two slowly hobbled towards the next town.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Meanwhile, in the town of Centralia

Willard Sloane looked at the name of the saloon, smiled, and walked in to the bar. “I’d like to see the owner,” he told the bartender.

“Is Mr. Wheelwright expectin’ ya? He don’t see strangers.”

“He’ll see me. Tell him an old friend is here – one that still prefers a good whiskey over an expensive brandy. He’ll know who I am.” Sloane reached into his pocket and put several coins on the bar top. “And a glass of whiskey before you get him – your best whiskey.”

“Yes, sir.” After pouring a drink and handing it to his customer, the bartender went to the office door and knocked. “Mr. Wheelwright?”

“Come in,” came a growl from inside. “What do you want? Why aren’t you at the bar?”

“Sir, there’s a man out there who wants to see you. Told me to tell you he’s an old friend that prefers whiskey over brandy.”

“What? Can’t be.” Verle Wheelwright walked around the desk and glanced out the door.

At the bar, Sloane saluted him with his glass of whiskey.

“Well, I’ll be!” Wheelwright pulled the door open wide and walked over to the bar. “Willard Sloane. What are you doing in Centralia?”

“Passing through on my way back home. Thought I’d stop and see if an old friend would buy me dinner and a drink.”

“Maybe a drink of brandy, but not that rot-gut whiskey you prefer.” He slapped his old friend on the back. “If a meal is what you want, then a meal is what you’ll get! Sam, tell the cook I want two of his best steak dinners, now.”

Wheelwright led Sloane to a private table in the back of the saloon. “Annie, bring me two glasses, our best whiskey, and my bottle of brandy.”

“Thank goodness; I thought you were going to make me have a brandy with you,” Sloane chuckled as he sat down.

Annie brought the requested bottles and glasses, poured the drinks, and passed them around. “Anything else, Mr. Wheelwright?”

“Yes, don’t let me be disturbed unless it’s dinner,” he dismissed her. “So, Willard, what have you been up to? Still living in that one-horse town with the big name?”

“Now, Verle, Wickenberg isn’t as big as Centralia, but I dare say it’s more than a one-horse town. More like a two-horse town since I’ve bought up most of it.”

“So you’re on your way home. Where did you go? Someplace fun and exciting?”

“As a matter of fact, yes. Went to New Orleans to check out the casinos for any new ideas and places to buy liquor.”

“You’re in the saloon business, too?”

“I bought the saloon about a year ago from a widow so she could return to her family back sEast with her children.”

“Ahh…a forced sale, huh? Must have gotten it for pennies on the dollar. Good man.” Wheelwright toasted Sloane. “How little did you give her for the place?”

“$30,000,” Sloane mumbled into his glass.

“What? Did I hear you right? $30,000?!?”

“Well, she was a widow and all…”

“You? Charity? Doesn’t sound like the Willard Sloane I know.”

“You could say I was put in a position where my hand was forced, if you know what I mean.”

Wheelwright thought for a moment. “So someone found out something about you, huh? Well, we all have our skeletons in the closet and hope no one finds them.”

“Enough about me, how about you? The Palace appears to be successful. Of course, I didn’t notice your name on any other of the businesses in town.”

“So I don’t own the whole town like you, but the Palace is enough. Keeps me in a lifestyle that I enjoy, and comes with a fringe benefit of ladies, when I please.”

“Still enjoying the bachelor life, I see.”

“And why not?” Wheelwright looked around, irritated. “Sam, where are those dinners?”

“Comin’ right up, Mr. Wheelwright,” said the bartender.

Sloane leaned forward and quietly asked, “So, Verle, are you still running a crooked house?”

“Who me? Now where did you get that idea?” Wheelwright grinned. “I run as straight a house as you probably do.”

“So, what’s been your most profitable con?”

“Well, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to share with a fellow saloon owner. I play with a $1,000 buy in and when the pot is big, I have my man switch decks. The mark has four kings and thinks he’s won, but I have four aces. Works every time!”

Sloane raised his brow. “I’m impressed. Bet that makes the mark mad.”

Wheelwright’s eyes shadowed over. “Yeah, occasionally I have to deal with a mad loser who wants to get even.” After a moment, he continued, “What about you?”

“Oh, you know, the typical brake on the wheel and the marked deck. That’s one of the reasons for my trip to New Orleans.”

“Long trip. Are you in a hurry to get back home? Why don’t you stay a day or two as my guest so we can catch up?”

“Well, if you’re sure it won’t be a bother.”

“Heavens no…and here comes our dinners, finally.”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The next evening

A weary Heyes and Curry both limped into town, with the Kid leaning heavily on a stick.

“What town is this, Heyes?”

“Who cares? It’s a town and a meal and a bath and a bed. With a drink coming first.”

“Looks familiar, like we’ve been here before. Don’t it to you?”

Heyes glanced around. “Been in so many lately, I’ve lost track of where we’ve been. Looks like any of the other towns we’ve stayed in.”

Curry looked around. “There’s the sheriff’s office. Do you know Sheriff Becker?”

“Nope, can’t say that I do. Come on, there’s the saloon.”

“Excuse me, gentlemen,” the sheriff stepped off of the boardwalk. “How’d you get to Centralia?”

The two men glanced at each other.

“We walked,” Heyes told the sheriff.

“Walked? Why not stage or train or horse?”

“Oh, we had horses,” Curry said.

“But they got stolen,” Heyes added.

“Stolen? Well, my job,” the sheriff explained, patiently, “is to take complaints from victims of horse thieves. Why didn’t you come to my office to report it?”

Heyes explained, “Oh, we will, sheriff, as soon as we have four…”

“Or five…”

“…Whiskeys to dull the pain of our feet. And Thaddeus, here, hurt his ankle. Have to get it up as soon as possible.”

Curry nodded in agreement.

“Well, okay, but I want you boys in my office reporting this crime first thing in the morning.”

“Yessir.”

“Of course.”

Heyes and Curry hobbled over to the saloon, not caring to notice the name, as the sheriff watched them.

They entered the saloon and took a table near the door.

Annie sauntered up to them. “Welcome to Wheelwright’s Palace. What can I get you?”

Curry gulped and looked around.

Heyes quickly recovered from his initial shock. “The Palace, huh? Sounds pretty pricey. Is this the only saloon in town?”

“Sure is.”

“Then a bottle of whiskey and two glasses.”

As soon as Annie left the area, Curry whispered, “I told you this town looked familiar.”

“Do you see Wheel-wrong anywhere?”

“No. It is kinda late. Maybe he’s gone home for the evenin’.”

Annie came back with a bottle and poured the drinks.

“Just wondering,” Heyes asked. “Is there any high-stakes poker being played tonight?”

“Just a few low-stakes games over at those tables.” Annie pointed to the middle of the room. “The owner, Mr. Wheelwright, usually starts the high-stakes games and he’s not in tonight.”

“Oh, that’s too bad. I was hoping to play a few games.”

“He’ll be in tomorrow night, I’m sure,” Annie said as she left the table to help other customers.

“He might be here, but we won’t be.” Curry put his left ankle on a chair and took a drink.

“Think we’d be safe staying the night and nursing our feet. Shouldn’t meet up with Wheel-wrong if we stay outta here.”

“Have to figure out how we’re leavin’ in the mornin’.”

“I’m really tired. How about we take this bottle to the hotel with us?”

“And take these boots off so we can soak our feet? Sounds like the best plan you’ve had in awhile.” Curry grinned and then grimaced as he tried to stand.

“Come on. I’ll help you.” Heyes put the Kid’s arm over his shoulder. “You and your tender feet.”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The next morning

Heyes and Curry limped into the café for breakfast and sat down by the window.

“My feet and ankle still hurt somethin’ awful,” the Kid complained.

“Well, you didn’t think they’d get better overnight, did you? And keep a watch on the sheriff. He expects us to show up and report our horses being stolen.” Heyes took a sip of coffee. “You can ride with that ankle, right?”

“Well, since it’s the only way outta town for a day or two, I don’t have much choice, do I?” Curry took a bite of eggs. “And a fine time to ask me now, after we bought the horses and gear.”

“I feel better with them tethered outside in case we have to make a getaway.”

“I just hope I can finish breakfast before we have to leave.”

“Me, too,” Heyes agreed. “I’m hungry and we might be on the trail for awhile.”

“Thanks for remindin’ me and ruinin’ my appetite.”

“Can’t ruin your appetite, Thaddeus.” Heyes grinned.

A pretty waitress came by with a pot of coffee. “You boys want anything else?” she asked as she re-filled their cups.

“No, everything was real good,” the Kid said as he gave her a warm smile that caused her to blush.

“Maybe just the check,” Heyes said as he gave his partner a look.

“What?” Curry asked when she left.

“Why do you always have to make eyes at the ladies? They remember you then.”

“I don’t do it on purpose – just comes naturally.”

Heyes rolled his eyes and pulled out a dollar when the waitress returned with the bill.

They took a few more sips of coffee and stood to leave. As they exited the door, two men were entering.

“YOU! I can’t believe you dared to come back!” Wheelwright roared. “Sheriff! Sheriff!”

Sloane glared at Heyes.

“Jim Plummer? What are you doing here with Wheelwright?” Heyes asked quietly for only Sloane to hear.

Plummer hissed, “If I ever get you alone, I’m gonna make you pay for making me buy that saloon and my own building!”

“Gotta go, Thaddeus!” Heyes said, as he pushed past the two men and towards the horses. He was about to mount when he noticed the Kid having difficulty getting on his horse. “Come on.”

“I am! My ankle’s hurtin’, ya know.” Curry grimaced as he heaved himself into the saddle.

Together, they hurried out of town as the sheriff ran up to Wheelwright.

“Just don’t stand there… Get them!”

Sheriff Becker hurried back to his office and horse, recruiting men for a posse along the way. Ten minutes later, a group of ten rode after Heyes and Curry.

“Such excitement in Centralia! Sloane shook his head. “Well, I guess I better get back home to quiet, little Wickenburg.”

“Before breakfast?” Wheelwright growled.

“I’m not much of an eater in the morning. I’ll stop in the next town.”

“What about coffee, Willard?”

Sloane glanced at his watch. “I probably have time for a cup,” he said before mumbling under his breath, so no one could hear, “Before that posse brings Heyes and Curry back.”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The Kid and Heyes rode hard, putting as many miles as they could between themselves and the posse. On the top of a ridge, they slowed their pace, resting the horses.

“See anything?” Heyes glanced up ahead planning their path.

Curry glanced behind them. “Yep. There’s a cloud of dust comin’.”

They pushed the horses, again, a few miles.

“Still coming?”

The Kid turned around, again. “Yep. And gainin’ speed.”

“Damn.”

Heyes and the Kid crossed a river and Heyes wiped away the tracks where they exited the water.

Heyes looked around. “And now?”

Still astride, Kid kept a look-out. “Still comin’.”

“That Sheriff Becker part Apache?”

“Heyes, the horses are about spent.”

“I know! Down here.”

They rode into a small canyon that, after a mile, boxed them in.

“Down here? Now we’re trapped!” Curry said, frustrated.

“How was I to know? No need to get proddy.”

“Give up or fight?”

“Well, Wheel-wrong knows us as Smith and… What alias did you use?”

“Chauncey Brandon.”

“Kid, where do you get these names? Anyway, Plummer…”

“Whose alias is Sloane,” the Kid added.

“… Knows we’re Heyes and Curry, but I’m figuring he’s left town. Doesn’t need us identifying him. So I guess we give up and talk our way outta it.”

“And if we can’t?”

“They don’t know us. We’ll be okay as Smith and Brandon.”

“And how do we explain that we ran?”

Heyes ran a hand through his dark hair. “Thought we did something when Wheel-wrong yelled and panicked? Leaving town anyway?”

“That’s all you can come up with?”

Heyes shrugged.

Moments later, the posse blocked them in the canyon. Ten guns were drawn on them.

Sheriff Becker shouted, “Throw your guns down!”

As they threw down their pistols, Heyes asked, “Is there anything wrong, Sheriff? Did we do something?”

“Yeah, you ran.”

“And,” the deputy said, “You’re Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry!”

The Kid and Heyes closed their eyes and sighed.

“Don’t know us…” the Kid muttered.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Heyes and Curry sat in the Centralia jail, both lying on their cots with their boots off.

“Just our luck…”

“Who knew the deputy would know us?” Heyes shook his head in disbelief.

“Well, at least I get to rest my ankle.”

Heyes glared at him. “You’ll have plenty of time to rest your ankle…twenty years! If only the governor had kept his word about the amnesty.”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

A few days later

Heyes and Curry were riding in an enclosed black prison wagon, on their way to the Wyoming Territorial Prison.

Heyes closed his eyes and put his head against the wall. “I can’t believe this is happening to us. We’re really going to prison!”

“Just our luck…We’ve had a string of bad luck since the stage wheel broke.”

“Kid, look…” Heyes’ head tilted towards the small window.

The wagon passed a small lake and up ahead was a daunting, white stone building with two large wings on either side. Wooden guard towers were at the ends of the wings. The wagon entered a gate and drove into a courtyard.

A guard opened the door. “Okay, get out!”

Heyes and Curry shuffled out, their feet shackled and their hands cuffed.

“No talking, and follow me!”

They did as they were told and were led to the warden’s office.

“So, finally, the infamous Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry come to visit,” the warden chuckled. “Well, you’ll find your names won’t make it any easier on you here. In fact, your time might be a little harder with the guards and other prisoners wanting to show you your place. We have strict rules here and they are enforced. Obey them and we’ll get along fine. Disobeying them will earn you time in solitary confinement. Your prison clothes are waiting for you in your cell. You will change and give the trustee your clothes. Do you understand?”

Both nodded.

“Guard, show them to their cells!”

Another guard led them to the north wing. “There are three tiers. You’ll both have to share a cell, since we’re full, on the top tier.”

“At least we aren’t being separated,” Heyes muttered as he climbed the stairs.

“Silence!” The guard opened a cell door with crisscrossed bars, leaving many three-inch holes. “Inside, and change your clothes. A trustee will be along shortly for your clothes.” He slammed the door shut and locked it.

Inside the cell were a bunk bed, a chamber pot, and a bucket of water on a small table. On the beds were two sets of black and white striped uniforms.

“Guess this is home for the next twenty years,” Heyes said with a sigh.

“At least we’re together, for now.”

“Yeah.”

They changed their clothes and sat on the bed.

A trustee came to the cell and opened the door. “Came for your… Well, look who’s here! Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry!”

“Clitterhouse!” Heyes and Curry said in unison.

“You’re a trustee?” asked Heyes.

“That’s right,” he said with a sneer. “And I know two men who are going to be glad to hear that you’re here. In fact, their money helped get me this job.”

“Their money?” questioned Curry.

“That’s right. They were bankers and have some money to influence what happens in here. As trustee, I make sure they have as many comforts as I can get them.”

“Bankers?” Heyes bit his lower lip.

“That’s right. You remember August Binford and Chester Powers, don’t you, boys?”

“Yeah, we might’ve heard of them before,” the Kid said as he sat on the edge of the bed and put his head in his hands. “Just our luck…”

“I better get the clothes put away. Looking forward to making your time here as hard as I can – very hard!” Clitterhouse slammed the cell door and locked it.

“Heyes, what are we gonna do?”

“Nothin’ we can do.”

“What a string of bad luck!”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

"Heyes, wake up! Heyes!" The Kid shook his sleeping partner.

"What?” Startled, Heyes sat up quickly. “Kid! Oh, what a dream!"

"Seemed like more you was havin' a nightmare."

"It was... Where are we?”

“On a stage. The rest of the passengers got off at the last town. Just me and you now.”

“Was there a bumpy road?”

“Uh huh. Really bumpy. Don’t know how you were able to sleep.”

“Did the spokes of the wheel break?”

“Break? No, but I’m surprised they didn’t the way we hit a few of those holes.”

Heyes took off his hat and ran a hand through his hair. “Kid, we were having such a string of bad luck.”

“We were? What happened?”

“Well, first the wagon wheel broke and we ended up in Rio Vista. Went into the saloon and there was Mia Bronson and Joe Briggs.”

“Joe Briggs?” Curry narrowed his eyes. “I didn’t have to dance no jig, did I?”

“No, but he was gonna draw on you, and Mia wanted us dead. But a sheriff stepped in and we were able to catch a train that was leaving.”

“That seems like good luck to have a train leavin’ when we needed to.”

“Yeah, but… Do you have any water?”

“Here.” Curry handed him a canteen.

Heyes took a swallow. “Winford Fletcher was on the train and he was determined to turn us over to the sheriff in the next town.”

“Just like when he did when we met that banker, Powers.”

“He’s coming up later in the dream. Anyway, we got away from Fletcher and…”

“Don’t tell me; jumped the train and had to walk into town.”

“More like you limping because you hurt your ankle ‘cos you didn’t tuck and roll.”

“I always tuck and roll.” Curry took the canteen back and took a drink.

“When we reached town, the sheriff wanted to know how we got there.”

“And you told him our horses were stolen so he wanted us to report it…”

“After some whiskey for our aching feet. Yep.”

“And then what?” Curry leaned forward.

“Guess what saloon we walked into?”

“Not Mia Bronson’s…”

“Nope. Wheel-wrong’s Palace!”

“What a nightmare! Did he see us?”

“Not until the next morning, after breakfast. And he was with – you’ll never guess this – Jim Plummer, who wasn’t happy about having to buy that saloon for $30,000.”

“W.R. Sloane from Wickenburg.” Curry automatically rubbed his fingers. “Thought I was gonna lose my thumb from hittin’ it with a hammer so many times.”

“Then Wheel-wrong sent the sheriff and posse after us.”

“But he didn’t know we were Heyes and Curry; oh, but Plummer did.”

“Plummer couldn’t say anything, but a deputy recognized us.”

“Sheesh…” The Kid shook his head in unbelief. “Then what?”

“We were on our way to Laramie to the Wyoming Territorial Prison.” Heyes involuntarily shuddered. “It was awful! At least they didn’t separate us.”

“The way your dream is goin’, who’d we see there?”

“Clitterhouse was a prisoner trustee!”

“How’d he become one of those?”

“Because of bribes from bankers August Binford and…”

“Chester E. Powers.” The Kid took a deep breath. “That really was a nightmare! Think you saw everyone who has ever had anything against us.”

“Not everyone.”

“Well, at least we didn’t meet up with Harry and those crazy gals of his.”

Heyes grinned. “Or Blanche from San Juan.”

The stagecoach hit a bump, hard, and a loud crack was heard. They got out of the coach as the driver was inspecting the wheel.

“Looks like we broke a spoke. Gonna have to take it slow until the next town.”

“What’s the name of the town?” Heyes asked, apprehensively.

“Rio Vista.”

The partners exchanged a look and Heyes said quickly, “You know what, driver? How about you toss down our saddlebags and we’ll just wait for another stage…”

The Kid piped up, “Or we’ll just take our chances and maybe walk until we find a ranch, or somewhere we can buy a couple of horses…”

The driver shrugged, reached behind him to grab their saddlebags and handed them down to Heyes. “Here you go boys. Have a safe trip!”

“Gotta be better than the one I just dreamed about,” Heyes muttered to his partner.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
The End


And now the Guest Stars ...
(can you see why I had to add them at the end this time?)

Dennis Hopper as the stage coach driver


Lee Majors as Joe Briggs


Ida Lupino as Mia Bronson


Gene Hackman as Sheriff of Rio Vista


Rudy Vallee as Winford Fletcher


Bob Hoskins as the train conductor


Slim Pickens as Sheriff Becker


Mark Lenard as Willard R. Sloane / Jim Plummer


Robert Middleton as Verle Wheelwright


George Montgomery as Sheriff Curt Clitterhouse




Honorable Mentions go to …

John McGiver as August Binford


Broderick Crawford as Chester E. Powers


Jack Cassidy, Joanna Barnes and Karen Machon as
Harry Wagoner, Janet Judson, and Lorraine


Susan Oliver as Blanche Graham


(Writers love feedback! You can tell Penski how you enjoyed the story with a quick comment. Just click Post Reply for the Comments for A String of Bad Luck 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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A String of Bad Luck by Penski :: Comments

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Re: A String of Bad Luck by Penski
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:32 am by royannahuggins
PENSKI - This was a fun story to write! First had to think of all the adversaries they met along the way and where might they be ... still living their lives or in jail or maybe dead (thinking of the gang in Jailbreak at Junction City and Blanch from San Juan who were accused of murder). Hope you enjoyed a stroll down memory lane with all the Pretty Bad Bad Men (and Women) we love to hate!
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Re: A String of Bad Luck by Penski
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:33 am by royannahuggins
GHISLAINE EMRYS - Thoughts as I’m reading through the episode:
* Love the conductor asking if HH and KC really are wanted outlaws—as if they’d just up and confess right there!
* Like Kid telling Heyes he knows how to jump off a train.
* Love all the reworked lines in this episode. This is a great reference: “Yeah, occasionally I have to deal with a mad loser who wants to get even.”
* What a clever idea to incorporate all the things that went wrong for the boys into one episode—it’s like their nightmares came true.
* Funny that the sheriff doesn’t know them but the deputy does.
* OMG, it WAS a nightmare!!! What a fun story--you really had me going! Absolutely love the ending!
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Re: A String of Bad Luck by Penski
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:34 am by royannahuggins
NM131 - My, my the boys have certainly p*off a good amount and variety of villians. LOL during the stroll down memory lane. All the references were incorporated seemlessly - well done. I especially liked the jumping off the train banter and the deja vu ending. I was wondering why there was a lack of cast pictures at the beginning and now I know why. Thanks for the inventive episode; their string of bad luck was good luck for us!
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Re: A String of Bad Luck by Penski
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:34 am by royannahuggins
This was very funny, Penski. At first I wondered that there was no cast list but had the big 'Ah hah' at the end of the show. Very clever episode with all the flashbacks to past villains. Poor Heyes. What a nightmare for him. He can't believe it's happening...and he was right (again), it wasn't. It was all a bad dream. Love the Kid telling him he always tucks and rolls when jumping off a train as if that bit must have made it clear that Heyes must have been dreaming because he didn't that time. And then the wheel really does break and the next town is the first one from the dream. Yes, I think I'd walk too. Well done for a great episode. (And this is Allegra by the by!)
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Re: A String of Bad Luck by Penski
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:34 am by royannahuggins
Got my Monday morning started off right! Thanks! -- A.G.A.
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Re: A String of Bad Luck by Penski
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:35 am by royannahuggins
SILVERKELPIE - What an ingenious romp! How on earth did you think this one up, but I’m really glad that you did? Loved the catalogue of villains a wicked women and what a great way remind us of so many episodes. Really enjoyed this.
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Re: A String of Bad Luck by Penski
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:35 am by royannahuggins
LANA COOMBE - So many villains in one story! So much bad luck befalling our lovely boys, it could only be a bad dream. I really liked Joe Briggs and Mia's perspective stories on their encounters with Smith and Jones. Thought that was clever. Great banter and characterizations throughout. Well done you, Miss Penski. : )
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Re: A String of Bad Luck by Penski
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:35 am by royannahuggins
Loved the surprise ending. I thought, oh, this is going to be a dream and someone's going to wake up. Instead, it turned out to be a vision of the future!
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Re: A String of Bad Luck by Penski
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:36 am by royannahuggins
Among all the terrific elements in this story, I especially liked Joe and Mia telling their stories, twisting them just enough - or, maybe, looking at them from a certain point of view - to make Our Boys the bad guys. Very clever storytellilng, Penski!
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Re: A String of Bad Luck by Penski
Post on Sat 15 Mar 2014, 1:37 am by royannahuggins
[Max here]
Oh no!! Joe Briggs. (I know Mia ought to ring a bell too, but I stop at Hadleyberg. Ah, the counterfeit scam – I know) And this is where the stage is heading! Pom pom pom! Oooh – love Kid disarming himself. Winford Fletcher. This is guest star heaven, huh? No ticket???!!! Indiana Jones would throw ‘em off! Lucky train jerk there – just like the real episodes (smile). Willard Sloane? Isn’t that – Mister Spock’s dad, I mean, Jim Plummer? And Wheel-wrong (Nice one, snirt). Oh, good heavens, laughed out loud when Clitterhouse opened the cell door. Ah! Was wondering how they were going to get out of all that. And – huge smile as they decide to walk. Great last line. Clapping and grinning Penski. How lovely to see all those old, old friends.
 

A String of Bad Luck by Penski

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