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 The Day They Kidnapped Curry Part 2 by Penski

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Join date : 2013-10-13

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PostThe Day They Kidnapped Curry Part 2 by Penski




With his partner missing and all hope of amnesty gone, will Hannibal Heyes return to a life of crime?


Starring

Pete Duel and Ben Murphy as
Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry


Guest Starring

The Carradine Brothers


David Carradine as Ben Harper


Keith Carradine as Josh Harper


Robert Carradine as Chris Harper


James Drury as Lom Trevors


Ed Harris as Les Harris


Strother Martin as Clint White



The Day They Kidnapped Curry Part 2
by Penski and friends
(you know who you are)


Friday

The beginning colors of dawn painted the sky from dark tones to pinks when the door opened again.

“Let’s go, Heyes.”  Chris kicked at the man curled up in a ragged blanket in the corner.

Heyes opened his eyes and glared at the other man before slowly standing up and walking out of the hut.  He stopped for a moment to stretch.

“In the cabin.”  Josh motioned with his gun, then followed his brother and Heyes.

Ben smiled when they entered the cabin.  “Good morning, Heyes.”  He held out a coffee.  “You look like you need to wash up some.”

Heyes took the proffered cup.  “Where’s my partner?  What did you do with him?”

“I already told you.”  Ben sipped his coffee.  “They took him somewhere out of the way.  You do the train robbery with us and when we’re back here safe, we’ll tell you.  You’d better start concentratin’ on the job in hand, though, or your partner just may die.”

Heyes stopped sipping the coffee.  “What do you mean he just may die?”

Ben grinned.  “I mean it’s your choice how you get your partner back!”  The grin changed rapidly to a glare as Ben faced Heyes down.  “Now sit and drink your coffee!”

Heyes was forced to sit down by Chris’ and Josh’s hands on his shoulders while Clint and Les finished shaving and dressing.

The sun peered above the horizon when Heyes threw the dregs of his coffee out the open door.  “Let’s get going, then!  Get the horses!”

Ben smirked and poured another cup of coffee.  “Need I remind you, again, that I’m the leader?  We go when I’m ready.”

Heyes slammed his hand on the wall and walked to the river.

“Let him be.”  Ben watched Heyes from the window.  “I don’t think we’ll have a problem with Heyes while his partner’s fate is in our hands.”  He turned back into the cabin.   “Now how about some breakfast before we go.”

Heyes washed up in the river and began pacing.  Pulling out his pocket watch, he noted the time was 7am.  He glared at the cabin as the aroma of bacon and the sound of a pan being scraped filled up his senses.  He angrily kicked at a stone on the ground.  “I just wanna get going and get this over with so I can have my partner back.”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

“Heyes, you about ready to go?”  Ben picked at his teeth with his fingers as he walked to the river.  “You missed a mighty fine breakfast.”

Heyes stared at the sun, rising fast in the sky.  “Wasn’t hungry.”  He turned toward Harper and pushed his hat down to shade his eyes.  “I’m ready when you are.”

Ben grinned.  “Appears you finally figured out who’s boss.”

They began walking to the corral where the others were saddling the horses when Heyes veered towards the house.

Ben grabbed his arm.  “Told you we were leavin’, Heyes.”

Heyes shook off the hand.  “I’m getting the map, schedule and my notes.  I’m gonna need them.”  He raised a brow at the other man.

“Hurry up, then, and meet us at the corral.”  Ben sulked off to join his gang.

Heyes went into the cabin and found the needed items on the top of the dresser.  He started for the door when something familiar caught his eye.  His partner’s hat and jacket were thrown in a corner of the room.  He picked them up, shaking the jacket and caressing the brim of the hat.  “I hope you don’t need these, partner, but I’m betting you do.”  Heyes left with the Kid’s belongings to join the others.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Kid Curry moaned as he regained consciousness and grabbed his head.  Dried blood matted his hair on the right side.  He blinked several times, trying to focus on the area around him.  “Heyes?”  He saw the sun peering over some mountains in the distance.  “Heyes!”  As he tried to sit up, his hands grasped his chest and stomach.  “Oh…that hurts!  Heyes!”  The Kid forced himself to kneel on all fours and then sat back on his haunches.  All around him was desert, as far as he could see, and no partner.

The Kid spotted the canteens nearby and crawled to them.  He opened the cap of one and had a few sips of water.  “Heyes!” he yelled into the desert.  A lone coyote answered his cry with a howl.  

Slowly turning in a circle, he gazed intensely into the horizon for a shimmer of water or a familiar formation.  Mountains surrounded him – mountains and a lot of nothing.  Curry studied the ground and saw hoof prints.  Sighing, he began following the trail back to Brown’s Park.

When the sun was high overhead, the Kid raised a hand to shield his eyes from the glare of the sun as he looked for shade.  His hair was matted to his head and his clothes already wet with sweat.  He removed his bandana and wiped the sweat off his face.  He shook the nearly full canteen and took a sip of the warm water.

“Guess I’m gonna have to make my own shade,” he whispered to no one, as he unbuttoned his shirt and removed it.  He rolled up the sleeves of his Henley and sat down with the rock behind him.  He swung his shirt over his head, using it as shade, and made himself as comfortable as possible to wait out the heat of the day.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Heyes lifted the canteen and took a long drink of water.  A sheepskin jacket was tied to the back of the saddle and a brown hat’s stampede strings were hanging from the saddle horn.  He looked up towards the sun – just past noon.  “Ben, we’re gonna have to pick up the pace if we’re gonna get to the place we should camp tonight.”

“You heard him.  Let’s get goin’.”  Ben spurred his horse forward.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The sun began came to descend behind the mountains when the Kid stood up, stretched out the kinks from being huddled under his shirt, and brushed off his pants.  Taking a large drink from the canteen, he also poured a little of the precious liquid on his bandana to wipe his face and neck.  His stomach rumbled.  With a sigh, he continued his slow walk.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The Harper gang sat around a small fire eating a meal of beans, biscuits, and bacon.  Heyes sat away from the others, leaning on a boulder.  He moved his food around on the plate as he picked away at it.

“Heyes,” Ben called out as he finished his meal.  “What time’s the train due in this area?”

“I figure around ten.”  Heyes scraped his food back into the pot.  “We’ll need to pack up and be at the tracks around eight.”

“Why so early?  We had to get up at the crack of dawn this morning,” Chris complained.

Heyes opened up his bedroll beside his saddle, using it as a pillow.  “Trains can be early as easy as they can be late.  And we need to put something onto the track to force it to stop.”  He lay down and put his hat over his eyes.  “Don’t know what that’ll be until we’re there and look around.”

“What do you think you’re doin’, Heyes?”  Josh kicked Heyes’ boot.

Heyes lifted his hat and glared.  “Going to sleep.  Have another long day ahead of us.”

“You think we’re gonna just let you sleep there like that?  What if you take off or get a gun and hold it on us.”

“You really think I’m going to risk that?”  Heyes sat up.

“Josh’s got a point.”  Ben looked around the campsite.  “Tie him to that tree over there.”

Josh smirked and pulled out his gun.  “Get up and get your bedroll, Heyes.  Les, get a rope.”

Heyes threw his hat on the ground.  “Now that ain’t necessary, Ben.  I’m not gonna do anything.  I just want to get the Kid back.”

“That may be,” agreed Ben.  “But I don’t need to wake up with a knife at my throat or a gun to my head and you demanding to know where Curry is.”  He turned back to the others.  “Tie him up.”

Les and Chris both got up, Chris went to help Josh while Les rummaged through their gear looking for something to tie up Heyes.

“Move it, Heyes!” Josh ordered, his gun trained on the former outlaw.

Heyes grabbed his hat in irritation, then gathered his bedroll and stood.  “You’re not thinking, boys.  You tie me up and I’ll lose any feeling in my fingers so I won’t be able to open the safe come tomorrow.”

“They can tie you to the tree and leave your hands free,” Ben grinned.  “We’ll even let you sit so you can get some sleep and not be too tired for tomorrow.”

“Go on, you heard Ben.”  Chris waved his gun towards the tree.

Heyes stomped over to the tree and laid his bedroll down.  He buttoned his coat up and sat on the bedding, leaning against the tree.  Chris tied his torso to the tree while Josh held the gun on Heyes.

“He’s all bedded down, Ben,” Chris said as he tied the last knot where Heyes’ hands couldn’t reach.

“Check Chris’ knots, Josh.”  Ben laid his bedroll down by the fire.  “I don’t trust Heyes not to try and get out.”

Josh tugged at the rope.

“Ow!” Heyes grunted.

“Ropes are tight – he ain’t gettin’ away,” Josh informed his brother.

“Good, now we can all get a good night’s sleep knowing there’ll be no nasty surprises to wake up to.” Ben sneered at Heyes as he pulled a blanket over himself. Heyes gave him a stony look and resigned himself to an uncomfortable night.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Kid Curry followed the precious horse trail for as long as the light would allow it.  As the light finally faded and a quarter moon appeared in the eastern sky, he headed to a rock jutting up from the landscape.  He leaned on the rock, shook the half empty canteen and took a drink.  “I’m gonna have to find water tomorrow,” he mumbled to himself.  “And somethin’ to eat, even if it’s a bug.”  Sliding down into a crack where two rocks met, he curled himself into a ball rubbing his arms in a half-hearted attempt to warm himself up as he tried to rest.  “Gonna be cold again tonight.”


Saturday

The pre-dawn sky was turning from ink to pink as Heyes struggled to reach his pocket watch.  Finally, he snagged the watch chain and manipulated the watch into his hand so that he could flip it open.  It was six in the morning.  “Hey!” he shouted.  “Time to wake up.”

Ben rolled over in his blanket to glare at Heyes.  “What?” he said blearily.

“It’s six o’clock,” Heyes called out.  “We have an hours’ ride and we gotta be by to tracks by eight.”

“Dang it, Ben, shut him up!  The sun ain’t even out,” complained Chris pulling his bedroll over his head.

“You want to rob a train on a full stomach, you better start getting yourselves moving,” Heyes told him simply.

Ben threw back the blanket and sat up.  He ran a hand through his hair.  “He’s right.  Everyone get up.  Clint, get the coffee goin’.  Les, get last night’s dinner heated.  Josh and Chris, start saddlin’ up the horses.”

The gang grumbled as they stretched and began their chores.  Ben walked over to Heyes and untied the ropes.  “There ya go, Heyes.  Now you can get ready, too.”

Heyes stood up and stretched.

“Give me your gun belt,” Ben ordered, holding out his hand.

“Why?” Heyes furrowed his brow.

“Because I said and, last I checked, I was the boss.”

“Just asked,” mumbled Heyes.  He removed the belt and handed it over.

Ben removed the few bullets stored on the back and put them in the loops of his gun belt.  He searched his saddle bag and pulled out Heyes’ gun.  He turned the chamber and emptied all the bullets, then put it in the holster.  “Put it on.”

Heyes raised a brow.  “Robbing a train with no bullets?”

“No one but us knows there’s no bullets.  Just aim your gun; they’ll assume it’s loaded.”

“And I can assume you and the boys will cover me?” Heyes questioned.

Josh snickered.  “We sure will, Heyes.  You can count on us.”

Heyes glared at Josh as he buckled his belt and tied the thong to his leg.  He folded up his bedroll and tied it to the back of his saddle, along with his bags and his partner’s jacket and hat.

“Breakfast is ready,” Les announced and he began filling up the plates with the leftover beans.

Heyes sat on a boulder nearby sipping coffee as the others ate their breakfast.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The Kid took one step at a time.  He stopped and sipped some water, emptying the canteen.  He threw it away and shook the other one.  “Still almost full.  Some coffee sure would taste good.”

Curry searched the ground.  The wind had blown the tracks he had been following the previous day away.  “Right.  Left.  Right.  Left.”  He took one step at a time, staggering along the way.

“It’s gettin’ too hot… Have to find shade.”  He looked around and saw some scrub brush.  “That’ll have to do,” he said as he stumbled his way over.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The Harper gang lay in wait for the train.  A tree had been felled across a long stretch of track with no curves.  A plume of black smoke and steam could be seen in the distance.

“Everyone know what they’re supposed to do?” Ben asked as the gang stood up.

“Yeah,” came several replies.

Heyes headed to a boulder.  “Take your positions.”

The engine came into sight, followed by the piercing sound of brakes being applied.  While Heyes covered his ears, Josh and Chris jumped aboard the still-moving engine, guns drawn and yelling.  The train continued to slow, finally screeching to a stop just before coming in contact with the log.

Les and Clint entered the passenger car from both ends, Les giving directions to the worried travelers.  “Leave your belongin’s and get out of the car.  Not that way… This way!  That’s right.”

Ben and Heyes observed the other gang members for a few minutes, observing Josh and Chris leading the engineer and brakeman towards the passengers.  They then turned their attention to one of the box cars.

“The safe should be inside this mail car and there’s usually a clerk in there,” Heyes informed Ben as they got to the door.  Heyes tried the handle.  “Locked.”  He bent down and pulled a lock pick from his boot.  A minute later, he had the door unlocked and opened the door.

“Stop where you are!” someone inside demanded as the door swung open.  “Don’t come any closer or we’ll shoot.”

Heyes got a good look at the two men inside the car and slowly raised his hands.  “Soldiers!?  Ben, are you crazy?  You don’t rob a train when it’s being guarded by soldiers!”

“Get your arms up, too!” ordered the second soldier, pointing his gun towards Ben.  “Get in here, slowly, you hear?”

“If only the Kid was here…”  Heyes walked into the mail car when windows broke behind the soldiers.  They turned quickly to see Josh and Chris aiming guns on them as they sat on their horses outside the car.  Ben took advantage of the distraction and shoved the army men so they lost their balance and fell.

Josh grinned.  “Who needs the Kid when you have me, Heyes?”  He rode over to the steps and climbed into the car.  “Well, well, what have we here?” he crowed as he pointed his gun at the younger looking soldier.  “Ya’d better say your prayers, boy!”

“No!” shouted Heyes, pushing himself in front of the soldiers.  “There’s no need to kill them.  Ben, I mean it; call Josh off!”

“They’re in the way, Heyes.  Get outta Josh’s line of fire!”

“Heyes didn’t move.  “Ben, I’m asking you to think about this.  Shooting any of their men will bring the army down on you real hard.  And killing them here isn’t necessary.  Listen, I’ll take responsibility for them – see that they behave themselves and stay out of the way while I open the safe.  What do you say, huh?”

Ben’s eyes narrowed.  “Are you tellin’ me what to do, Heyes?”

“No,” answered the former Devil’s Hole gang leader.  “I’m just stating the facts.”

A tense moment went by.  “Josh and Chris, get out there with the others and help with the passengers,” Ben told his brothers.

“Ben…” Josh began.

“I said get!  Both of you!”  Ben shouted.  When they left, he turned to Heyes.  “They’re your responsibility.”

Heyes sighed from relief and nodded.  He aimed his gun to the two soldiers.  “Make sure you slide all weapons, easy-like, towards me.  Unbuckle your belts.  Good.  Now take off your boots.”  When the soldiers hesitated, Heyes waved his gun.  “You heard me.  Now get into that corner and sit with your legs folded.”

Heyes quickly found some twine.  “Ben, will you cover them while I tie them up?”

Ben nodded.

“Okay, hands behind you.”  Heyes tied one set of hands and then the other.  “You’ve been doing a good job of being quiet.  You keep being quiet and I won’t see fit to tie dirty bandanas over your mouths.  Okay?”

“Yeah,” the older soldier responded while the younger one nodded his head.

“So, Heyes, why are the soldiers on the train?” inquired Ben.

Heyes gestured towards the rear of the car where, not one, but two safes sat side by side.  “Seems they’re guarding their own payroll.  Is that right?”  He looked at the men in the corner.  The older soldier hesitated and then nodded.

“Two payrolls!  Hot dang!”   Ben looked gleeful.

“Ben, I wouldn’t,” Heyes told him.

“And just why not?” Ben snarled.

Heyes sighed.  “Two reasons.  One, it will take me twice as long to open two safes…”  Ben looked like he was going to interrupt but Heyes held up his hand to stop him.  “…And two, same as if you kill a soldier.  The army will hunt you down with all they have if you steal from them.  Just let’s take the payroll we knew about and get outta here while we can.”

Ben looked at the two safes, to the soldiers, then back to the safes.  He smashed his hand on the side of the car.  “Dang it!”  Then, waving Heyes towards the safes with his gun he said, “Alright, open the other one and get me the money!”

Heyes grinned and went to the where the safes were at the back of the car just as Josh’s voice called out.  “Everything okay in there?”

“We’re fine,” Heyes called back before turning to the soldiers.  “Which one is yours?”

“One of the left,” growled the older soldier.

Heyes smiled as he knelt in front of the safe on the right.  He took off his hat and flexed his fingers before leaning into the safe and manipulating the knob.  He concentrated as he listened for the tumblers to fall into place.  Fifteen minutes later, he grinned as the safe opened.

“About time!”  Ben impatiently pushed him out of the way and stuffed the money into empty saddle bags.  He stood up when he finished, heading toward the door.  “Let’s get outta here!”

Heyes made to follow Ben but turned to the soldiers as he got to the door.  “Just remember,” he told them quietly, “I may have just robbed this train, but I saved your lives and stopped the Harper brothers taking your payroll.  I’m sorry I couldn’t do more for you but I got my own hostage worries right now.  You might say I was forced into doing this robbery.”  He touched the brim of his black hat in salute and dropped down from the landing to the sound of shouting near the passengers.

“Where’s the Kid when I need him!” Heyes muttered, hurrying toward the skirmish.  “What’s going on, Ben?”

“None of your business, Heyes,” Josh answered for his brother.  “Just keepin’ the passengers in line.”  He raised his gun at a middle-aged man.

“Ben, we’re done here!  Let’s just get on our horses and get outta here,” Heyes implored, holding both hands up.  “No good will come out of killing someone.”

Josh glowered at Heyes and cocked his gun.

“Ben!” Heyes shouted, his eyes pleading.  “We’ve already been through this.”

Ben walked over to his brother and put a hand on his gun.  “Go take a walk, Josh.”

“Ben…” Josh growled.

“NOW!  Go bring the horses around,” Ben ordered, his face red with anger.  “Heyes, you, Clint, and Les get the passengers back to the train.  Chris, go help your brother.”

Josh shoved his gun into the holster and threw his hat on the ground before walking off towards the horses, ground-tied on the other side of the train.

“Do I have to?” Chris asked.  “Rather stay away from him when he’s that mad.”

“Yes, you have to.  Josh can’t bring all the horses by himself.  Now get.”  Ben took off his hat and pushed his hair back.  He stood in the middle between his brothers and the passengers.  “Gotta do somethin’ about Josh’s temper.  It’ll be the downfall of us yet,” he mumbled.

Heyes put his hand on the threatened, shaken passenger’s back and gently steered him towards the train.  “C’mon, folks.  Let’s get back in the car where you’ll be safe.”

A young boy, clutched to his mother’s dress, overhead Ben’s orders as they made their way back to the train.  “Ma, one of them is Hannibal Heyes!”

“Hush, dear!”  The young woman took her son’s hand and hurried him along.

“Mister, are you Hannibal Heyes?” the boy shouted out.  “Where’s your partner, Kid Curry?”

“Wish I knew,” Heyes said quietly to himself.  “I wish I knew.”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Once the sun began to set and the temperatures cooled, desert animals began to emerge from their daytime shelters.  Kid Curry crawled from beneath a shrub and looked around at his surroundings.  “I have to find water.  There has to be a river or a creek around here.  There just has to be.”

Getting his bearing, Kid Curry walked for awhile before looking for a shelter from the cold night.  “I can make it to those rocks.”  He opened the top and sipped some water before plodding forward.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The Harper gang hooped and hollered as they galloped away.  Only Heyes looked towards the train and sighed before kicking his horse to follow the others.

They rode hard for several miles before letting the horses slow to a more comfortable long-striding gait.  They rode into Browns Park after dusk.

Heyes dismounted and walked straight over to Ben.  “Okay, you’re all back safe with the money.  I held up my end of the bargain.”  He put his hands on his hips.  “Now, where’s my partner?”

Ben looked at Heyes for a moment and then gave him the briefest of nods.  He turned to his brothers.  “Tell him,” he said simply handing his horse’s reins to Les.

“We left him… what… you think about a four hour ride from here?”  Chris looked at his brother for confirmation.  Josh nodded and he continued.  “That a way.”  He pointed.

“Four hours east of here?  So you took him to Colorado?” Heyes asked.  Josh nodded as Heyes raised his voice.  “There’s nothing out there but lots of hot, dry land!”

“Yep,” Chris spit out some of his chaw.

“Where?  At a shack?  Near a cave?”  Heyes took off his hat and ran his fingers through his hair.

“Nope.”

“Near a river or stream?” Heyes’ voice grew louder.

“Nope.”

“What am I looking for?”

“You ain’t lookin’ for nothin’,” spat Josh.  “We jus’ dropped ‘im.”

“With nothing?  It’s been, what, two days?  He’s had no protection from the sun, no food, no water…”

“He had water,” piped up Chris.  “Two canteens full.”  At Josh’s glare, he shrugged.  “I left him a second one,” he explained.

“Would he have been able to drink all tied up?” Heyes asked Chris.

“He weren’t tied up, Heyes,” said Chris quickly before looking slightly embarrassed and adding.  “We didn’t need to tie him.  He was out cold when we left him…”

Josh sneered.  “He was out when we tied him onto the saddle and when we dropped him off.  He’s lucky I didn’t kill him, but I promised Ben I wouldn’t.”

“May as well have!  So help me, if my partner is dead, I will come back and hunt you all down.  Mark my words!”  Heyes stomped over to the corral and whistled for Curry’s mount.

“What are you doin’, Heyes?” Ben walked over by him.  “May as well spend the night.  Won’t get far in the dark.  Besides, your horse needs a rest.”

Heyes turned quickly on Ben and pointed a finger in his chest.  “I want all of your canteens full of water.  And I want both of our guns back.”  He looked towards the darkened eastern sky where only a sliver of a moon hung.  “I’m leaving as soon as I get the Kid’s horse ready and you better hope he’s is alive.”

Heyes moved quickly, saddling the Kid’s horse and leading it to where his mare stood waiting.  He mounted Curry’s horse and led his own as he trotted out of the camp, stopping by the river to get the full canteens from Les and Clint.

“Hope the Kid’s alright,” Clint called out to Heyes as he left.  Heyes didn’t bother to reply.


Sunday

Heyes led Curry's horse into a Colorado sunrise, a dark blue sky lightening into deep shades of purple and pink.  Almost a dozen canteens hung off the saddle horns of the two horses.  “This is going to be like finding a needle in a haystack,” Heyes murmured as he urged his mount forward.  “Hang on, Kid!  I’m coming.”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Kid Curry slowly stood up and yawned.  He shivered.  “Gonna be a long day.”  He headed toward a small copse of trees in the distance.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Heyes rode east until he had covered the distance he figured the Harpers had traveled.  He remained vigilant along the way, looking for any sign of his partner.  Standing up in his stirrups, he scanned the horizon.  “Which way did you go, Kid?”  He sat in his saddle and wiped the sweat from his brow.  “You woke up and looked around… I’m gonna guess you followed their trail back, didn’t you?  I must have missed you or you’re wandering in circles.”

Heyes headed back in the direction he came from.  “Some champeen tracker I’ve turned out to be,” he said, disgusted.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The sun was high overhead when Kid Curry made it to the stand of trees.  “Water.”  He fell to his knees and began to dig.  “Has to be water.”

Curry lay sprawled in the shade.  “Roots go down far… too far.  Just got a little bit left.”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The sun was beginning to set.  Heyes stood on the stirrups again.  “KID!  KID!” he shouted, looking all around.  He sat down dismayed.  “Where are you?”

Heyes spotted a rock cropping in the distant.  “Maybe you’re over there.”  He urged his gelding forward and tugged on the bay’s reins.

The rays of sun bounced off an object on the ground, immediately getting Heyes’ attention.  He kicked the horse into a trot and quickly jumped out of the saddle when he approached.  “A canteen.”  He opened it and felt for moisture.  “It has to be yours!  KID!  KID!”  Heyes saw a few footprints in the dirt.  “Finally, something to go on!”  Heyes mounted and slowly followed what was left of a trail.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

“Have… to… go…”  The Kid struggled to stand up, weak from hunger and thirst.  He took a sip from his canteen.  “Rocks ahead.  Gotta make it… that far.”

By the time he reached the rock formation the temperature had dropped.  "So cold," he muttered, rubbing his arms.  Finding a crevice in the rocks, he curled himself inside.  "Where are you, Heyes?"

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The sky darkened, making any trail difficult to see, when Heyes finally stopped for the night.  He wiped down the horses and gave them some water to drink.  “Good thing I brought so many canteens.  We’re gonna need to find water tomorrow.”  Hobbling them, he let them graze on the little foliage in the area.

Heyes leaned back on his saddle, staring into the starry sky.  “How are we gonna get out of this mess?  Amnesty is gone.  You’re wanted for murder and robbery.  I’ll be wanted for robbery, if I’m not already.”  A lone coyote howled.  “It felt kind of good, feeling those tumblers falling into place yesterday, Kid.  I've missed that.  We sure were better than the Harpers at robbing.  No one got killed on our jobs.  Then again, I never allowed a cold-blooded murderer to stay in the Devil’s Hole gang.”  Heyes took a bite of jerky.  “If the amnesty is gone, maybe we’ll do one more big job, like that army payroll, and disappear.  Maybe go somewhere they haven’t heard of Heyes or Curry.”  His eyes darkened.  “The Harpers will pay if you’re…”  Heyes’ voice died out.


Monday

Heyes saddled up and was ready with the sun’s appearance.  The tracks he was following were sporadic, demanding all of his attention.  “I gotta find you today, Kid.  You can’t have much water, if any on you.”  He hurried the horses forward.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The Kid crawled out of his nook and grabbed tight to the rock to help himself up.  He shook his lifeline, the canteen.  “Just a swallow… two.”  He rubbed at his burning eyes and ran his tongue over his lips.  He drank a little, soothing the chapped lips.  Letting go of the rock, he became light-headed and fell to his knees.  “Gotta keep goin’.”  He stood and pressed on, his steps sluggish, his feet dragging.  He glanced up into the glaring sun.  “Heyes...” he whispered in a raspy voice.  “Can't see...”  He fell to his knees.

Darkness enveloped Kid Curry; he fell prostrate on the ground.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Hannibal Heyes shook the canteen before opening the cap and taking a long drink of water.  He removed his bandana and poured some of the precious liquid on it, wiped his face and then tied the wet material around his neck again.  “That feels better.”  He took off his hat and was running his fingers through his matted hair when he noticed the birds.  Four large birds rode the thermals as they flew in a circle around their prey near a rock formation.  Heyes squinted against the sun, straining his eyes in the direction of the predators' quarry, then, knitted his brow as he placed his hat back on his head and reined his gelding toward the boulders.

One vulture landed near the rock formation.  As Heyes drew closer, the form of a human came into view.  A cold sweat came over him, despite the heat of the day, and he spurred his horse forward, shouting and flailing his arms at the threatening scavenger.  He dismounted before his gelding had come to a full stop and scrambled toward the figure.

“Kid?” he called out hesitantly.  Heyes knelt and slowly rolled the man onto his back.  “Kid!”  Curry’s face was sunburned and his lips cracked.  His skin was hot to the touch.  “Don’t you be dead, you hear?!” he admonished, placing an ear to his partner’s chest.  He held his breath, listening for some sign of life, then swallowed hard and lay three fingers carefully along his partner’s neck.

Heyes sat on his haunches and looked around at the harsh land, capable only of growing sagebrush and rock.  “I have to get you out of the sun and cooled down.”

He stood and shaded his eyes from the sun.  “There’s a little shade by those rocks, but won’t be for long.  That’ll have to do for now.”

Heyes bent and, lifting Curry’s shoulders, dragged him to some shade.  He got several canteens and rummaged through a saddlebag until he found a clean bandana.  Kneeling beside his partner, he poured water on the cloth and wiped his face.  “C’mon, Kid, wake up.  I need to get some water in you.”  He soaked the cloth and opened the Kid’s mouth, letting the water drip inside.  Heyes stroked Curry’s throat, hoping he would swallow.  Continuing to drip water, the Kid swallowed some of it.  “That’s right,” Heyes encouraged.

After a few swallows, Heyes began taking off Curry’s boots, pants, and shirt.  “I have to cool you down.”  Once he had most of the clothes off, he soaked the Henley and cotton drawers, wetting the hot body down.  Then he went back to dripping more water into his friend.

The sun beat down and the shade was starting to disappear.  Heyes stood again.  “Have to find some shade for all of us.”  He smiled when he spotted a small grove of trees in the far distance.  “Trees!  Maybe there’s water.  There’ll at least be shade.”  Heyes looked at the Kid and back to the trees, took off his hat and ran his fingers through his hair.

Heyes ground-tied the bay near Curry.  “I know this isn’t the most comfortable way to ride, but it’s only for a short distance.”  Heyes reached under his partner and lift his body over the saddle.  “Sorry, Kid.”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The horses quickened their pace when they came close to the copse – shelter from the sun during the heat of the day.

Heyes promptly dismounted and made his way to the Kid, pulling him down from the horse and feeling for a pulse.  He breathed a sigh of relief when he felt the heart rate.  “You’re still too hot and your heart’s too fast.  It’s not very strong, either.”  He opened a canteen and dripped water into Curry’s mouth.  “Help me out, Kid.  Swallow.”  With some coaxing, more water entered the dehydrated man’s body.

Heyes untied Curry’s bedroll and laid it out in the middle of the grove.  He gently dragged the Kid on the bedroll and poured more water on the hot body to cool it off.  “That’ll have to do for now.  Let me take care of the horses and then I’ll give you some more water.”

Heyes hurriedly unpacked the animals and brushed them down.  He hobbled them and gave them a drink before letting them forage for food in the grove of trees.  He gathered wood, preparing for a campfire to ward off the cold of the evening.  All the while, Heyes kept one eye on his partner.

Once the chores were done, Heyes settled down next to the Kid and continued his ministrations – painstakingly dripping water into Curry and keeping his body damp during the hot hours of the day.  “I see you’ve been to the trees before.  At least I’m guessing it was you digging a hole.  Looking for water, I bet.”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The red orb slowly descended and disappeared behind the distant mountains, washing the sky in fiery colors of reds and oranges.  Heyes put his jacket on and put a bedroll near the Kid.

“Well, your body will be cool soon enough,” Heyes commented, exhausted from the long day.  “I should get the fire started to keep you warm.”  He stood and stretched.  “And make some coffee for me.  It’s going to be a long night.”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Heyes finished tucking the bedrolls around the Kid to keep him warm.  He poured a cup of coffee and cradled it in his hands for warmth as he blew into it.  He sat back down next to his partner and took a few tentative sips.  “Nice and hot for a chilly evening.”

He put the mug down and dripped more water into his unconscious friend.  “Next time WE see the Harpers… So help me!”  Heyes took a deep breath and slowly released it.  “Are you warm enough, Kid?  You’re getting better about swallowing the water.  I’m gonna take that as a good sign.  I’d feel better if your heart was beating a little slower and stronger.  Wish I had some salve to put on your lips.  Won’t be kissing no girl with them for a while.  Don’t matter none since no girl will look twice your way.  Your face is so sunburned it’ll be peeling and you’ll look uglier than normal.”  Heyes took a few more sips of coffee.  “I wish you’d wake up.  I’m getting tired of talking to myself.  Actually,” he yawned, “I’m just plain tired.  Mind if I stop feeding you water and close my eyes for just a few hours?”  Heyes yawned again and finished his coffee.  “We have to get to a river tomorrow.  You’re not leaving much water for the horses and me.  Not that it’s your fault – darn Harpers!”  Heyes curled up under his and the Kid’s jackets.  “Have to make it an early day…”

Soft snores mingled with the faint cry of a coyote.


Wednesday – a few day later

“Heyes…” Curry spoke in a raspy soft whisper.  “Heyes.”  The urgent voice was a tad louder.

“Hmmm…” came a sleepy reply.

“Water…”

“What’s that, Kid?” Heyes mumbled.

“Water.”

“It’s over there in…”  Heyes sat up and grinned at the bleary blue eyes staring at him.  “About time you woke up!  I was thinking you were going to be like Rip Van Winkle and sleep a hundred years.  You know, you had me scared there for a while, with the buzzards flying over you and…”

“Water.”

“Oh, let me get you some water.  You must be thirsty, though I’ve been dripping water into you what seems non-stop since I found you.”  Heyes shivered as he got out from under the covers and threw some logs on the fire.  Next he pulled a saddle by the Kid’s head and lifting his shoulders, elevated his head by leaning him against it.  He poured water into a tin cup and held it out.  “Think you can hold it?”

Curry nodded, but his hands shook when he went to grasp it.  He drank greedily and began to cough.

“Slow down; there’s lots more.”  Heyes moved the cup away.  “How are you feeling?”

“Lousy!” Curry said in a raspy whisper.  “Thirsty and so tired.”

“That don’t surprise me.”  Heyes offered more and the Kid drank.  “When I found you over a day ago, you were lying out there in the hot sun and your heart was racing like a posse was after you.  Like I said, I’ve been trying to get water in you by dripping it in your…”  Heyes set the empty cup down and pulled the covers up to his sleeping partner’s chin, but not before checking his heartbeat.  He smiled when he felt he slow, strong beat.  “You just rest and get better.”

Heyes rubbed his hands up and down on his arms and shivered as he glanced into the sky.  “Still a few hours before sunrise.”  He poured water into the coffee pot and set it near the hot coals to heat up before heading back near his friend.  “Move over, Kid.  I’m coming back to bed.”

The Kid, without waking up, rolled over on his side, facing the warmth of the fire, making more room for his partner.

Heyes curled up under the blankets with his backside to his friend.  “Sure is good to have you back again, Kid.”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The sun made its grand entrance before Heyes stretched and yawned.  Curry’s breathing was steady and not labored like it had been.  Heyes put three fingers on his partner’s neck to check the heartbeat.  He smiled.  “Still slow, but steady.”

“What you doin’?” came a croaky voice, followed by a yawn.

“Just checking.”

“And?”

“It’s beating strong and steady, finally.”

“More water?”

“Sure.”  Heyes pulled back the covers and stomped his boots on.  He picked up a canteen, dropped it, and picked up another.  He poured water into a cup as Curry struggled to sit up, leaning on the saddle.  “Here, let me…”

“I can.”  With an effort, the Kid hoisted himself up and moaned from the physical exertion.

Heyes frowned as he watched.  “Stubborn mule!  You just woke up after being out for over a day and you have to wear yourself out by insisting on sitting up without help.”

Curry tried to glower, but gave up.  “Water?”  He held out his hands, still shaky from weakness.

Heyes handed gave the cup to his partner.  “Are you hungry?”

Curry drained the cup, shook his head, and laid back, his head on the saddle.  “Just tired and thirsty.”  He closed his eyes.

“I bet!  I found you passed out and it took over a day for you to come to.  And…”  Soft snores came from his partner.  “Guess you are tired.”

_________________
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 Sat 05 Apr 2014, 12:52 am; edited 4 times in total
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The Day They Kidnapped Curry Part 2 by Penski :: Comments

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Re: The Day They Kidnapped Curry Part 2 by Penski
Post on Sat 05 Apr 2014, 12:03 am by royannahuggins
A Few Weeks Later

Heyes and Curry cautiously rode into Porterville after dark.  Raucous sounds of music, talking and laughter came from the saloon, but the streets were quiet.  They dismounted and tied their horses to the hitching post near the sheriff’s office where a soft light was emitting from the window.

The men quietly stepped onto the boardwalk and pressed themselves against the building.  Heyes ventured a quick look through the window.  He nodded to Curry and, going over to the front door, motioned for him to go around to the back.

Sheriff Lom Trevors sat at his desk doing paperwork.  He looked up when he heard the door knob turn and quickly put his right hand on the butt of his gun.

Heyes, his gun already out and aimed at the sheriff, slipped through the door in one swift movement shutting it behind him.  “Howdy, Lom,” he said.

Lom’s eyes narrowed as he took a slow breath and then said, “You know, I have orders from the governor to arrest you and Curry for breaking your amnesty deal.”

“So the governor can break the deal and not get arrested, but we can’t?” Heyes sneered.

“No, Heyes, you can’t!” hissed Lom angrily, emphasizing each word.  “Do you have any idea just how much trouble you’re in?”

“I’ve got a pretty good idea, yeah,” snapped Heyes.

“Really!  Then, just where’n the heck have you been?”

“He’s been with me,” came a calm voice from behind.

Lom startled and turned around.  Kid Curry stood with his gun drawn.  The sheriff’s shoulders slumped and he raised his hands away from his own weapon in mock surrender.  “Kid,” he said and then he shook his head.  “I know I locked that door.”

“You did;” answered Curry.  “I unlocked it.”

Heyes raised a brow.  “Learning from me, are you?”

“Funny,” came the sarcastic reply.

Lom sighed.  “Look, boys…”  Heyes and Curry both turned towards the sheriff.  “What are you even doing here?  Kid, you’re wanted for armed robbery and murder.  Heyes…” He paused and then started again, his irritation once more winning through.  “Heyes, what was left of the amnesty deal is off.  I warned you not to do anything illegal and you went and robbed a train.  How could you?”

Heyes walked over to Lom and removed his gun from its holster, putting it on the desk before putting his own away.  “I had to save the Kid,” he replied simply.

"What're you talking about?" Lom asked, confused.

The Kid, who had already holstered his own weapon, poured two cups of coffee and held one out toward Lom, his face a question.

Lom ran his eyes over Curry.  "You don't look so well," he said, softly.

"Thanks," the Kid replied, sarcastically.  His hand began trembling slightly.  "You want this coffee or not?"

"Yeah, please," Lom answered.  Then his brow furrowed in concern.  "You feeling okay, Kid?  You look a little pale.  And tired," he added, studying Curry more carefully.  "And you've lost weight."

Curry's eyes held Lom's with a steady gaze, but he said nothing.

Heyes snorted.  “He looks a dang sight better than he did a few weeks ago,” he told the sheriff.  “When I finally found him the buzzards were about to land on him.”

“Buzzards?!”

“Yeah, buzzards.  He’d been left out in the middle of the desert.”  Heyes couldn’t hide the bitterness in his voice.

Lom turned to stare at the Kid who merely shrugged his shoulders and sat down on a side bench.  “I survived.”

“Barely!”  Heyes’ eyes were flint hard.

Lom took a gulp of coffee.  “What happened?  Because the last I heard, you’d just robbed a bank and shot the teller.”

“An’ you believe that?” asked the Kid.

“If I believed that, we wouldn’t be talking,” snapped Lom.

“Lom,” said Heyes.  “You know he didn’t do any of those things.  You know he wouldn’t.  I’ll tell you what did happen though.  The Harper brothers kidnapped the Kid, then made it look like he robbed that bank and shot that teller, just to lure me in, knowing I'd come looking for him.”

Lom looked over to Heyes.  “The Harper brothers killed a man to get you?”

“Yeah, Lom, they did,” replied the Kid quietly.

“And then they almost killed the Kid, too, for the same reason,” Heyes went on, “and so now we need to get them.”

Lom stared at the partners.  “You’re serious?”

Heyes and Curry both nodded.

“May I remind you again that you’re both wanted for robbery?” asked Lom.  “And, guilty or not, the Kid is wanted for murder.  The amnesty deal is history and I can’t believe I’m sitting here talking to you!  I should be arresting you.”

“We need your help, Lom,” said Heyes.

Lom sighed and stood up from his desk turning away from the partners.

“Lom…” said Heyes, his voice holding a note of pleading, “I’ve done a lot of thinking about this while nursing the Kid back to health.  That’s what we’ve been doing all this time.  I’ve had weeks and I think I might have a way of proving his innocence.  Then, if you could talk to the governor about ‘extenuating circumstances’, there might even be a chance of him getting his amnesty deal back.”

“What about you?” Lom asked.

“Well, like you said, I robbed a train,” replied Heyes, “so I can understand if the governor isn’t feeling that sympathetic towards me right now.  I had no choice on that one though.  It was that or the Kid’s life.”

The sheriff’s back stiffened before his shoulders, once more, slumped down.  He turned back towards the two ex-outlaws.  “I think you need to fill me in on everything that’s happened since I last saw you,” he said, “and then we’ll take it from there.”

Heyes smiled.  “Well, the Harper gang was holding the Kid prisoner and when I arrived they held me there, too, and told me they wanted me to help them rob their first train.  They threatened the Kid when I refused and, in the end, they took him out into the desert and left him.  I had to help them with the robbery before they’d tell me where he was.  By the time I could get to him, he’d been out there for about four days with no food, no shelter and little water.”

Curry nodded once before looking down.  “Like I said, I survived.”

“And I had no choice,” repeated Heyes.

“Okay,” said the sheriff.  “Well, if you’ve come to me I’m assuming you’ve already put together some sort of plan?”

“Yeah,” replied Heyes, “a plan starting with you.”

Lom looked worried but Heyes went on.  “Look, did you talk to the witnesses from that train robbery?  Or the soldiers?  It’s really important that you do.  They’ll tell you that I actually saved their lives.  I also talked Ben Harper out of stealing the military payroll on top of the other money.  I’m sort of hoping that will count for something if the governor ever wants to hear our side of things.”

“You’re going to have to come up with more than that if you want him to listen to you,” Lom told him.

“I know,” said Heyes.  “But I have it all worked out.  What if you get to catch the Harper brothers in the act of robbing a train?  And then, if they are brought to trial in Evanston, I’m pretty sure I’ve found a way we can prove the Kid didn’t rob the bank or murder the teller.”

“There’s more than a couple of ‘ifs’ in there,” said Lom.  “Are you sure you know what you’re doing, Heyes?”

“When does he ever?” deadpanned the Kid.

“Hey, it’ll work,” said Heyes.

Lom sighed.  “I’ll be seeing the governor in a couple of days, anyway,” he informed the partners.  “You tell me what you’ve got planned and I’ll see what I can do for you.”

The two ex-outlaws smiled.


A Few Weeks Later

The sun was dipping low, about to go behind the mountains, when Clint rode into the Brown's Park hideout with one rider.  “Ben, we got company!”

The three Harper brothers and Les came out of the cabin; Josh had his hand on the butt of his gun, ready for anything.

“Who is…” Ben started to say as he came out the door.  “Hannibal Heyes!  What brings you back here?  Did you find the Kid?”

Heyes glared at the three brothers as he dismounted near the cabin.  “I did.”

“Alive?” Josh snorted.

“Alive!” came a response with a click of a gun behind the Harpers.  “Drop your guns – NOW – then kick them over here!”

Heyes scowled.  “I should let him shoot you all for what you did to him, but I won’t.”

“Why’d you come back?” Ben asked nervously as they placed their guns on the ground and kicked them away.

“Since you took away something that meant a lot to us, you’re going to be helping us.”  Heyes took off his gloves and tucked them into his belt.  “Why don’t we go inside and sit down while I tell you what’s going to happen.  Les, you too.  Get over here!”

“And if we don’t want to do it?” Josh growled.

“You don’t have a choice.”  Curry glared as he aimed his gun at Josh’s chest.  “Now get in there and sit like Heyes told you to do.  I don’t need much of a reason to kill you, seein' how because of you I'm wanted for murder.”

Josh gulped and followed his brothers, Les, and Clint back into the cabin and sat at the table.

“So what’s this all about?” Ben said as he sat down.  “What did we take away from you?”

“You hadn’t heard hear much about me and the Kid lately, had you?”  Heyes helped himself to some coffee and handed a cup to Curry.

“Yeah, I guess we hadn’t, but we don’t go in your area or read the papers.”

Heyes sat down on the opposite side of the table from the brothers with the Kid behind them, his weapon still drawn.  “The Kid told you we retired from the business…”

“Yeah, but why’d you do a fool-hardy thing like that?”

“For amnesty.”

“Amnesty?  What’s that?” Chris asked with a puzzled look on his face.

“We HAD a deal with the governor – our names would be cleared if we went straight and gave up robbing for good.”

“The governor offered you that?” Ben questioned skeptically.

“He did and we were close – real close – to getting it.”  Heyes sipped some coffee.  “You ruined our chances at amnesty, so this time, we're pulling a BIG job so me and the Kid can retire to Mexico.  I got it all planned out.”

“What’s that gotta do with us?” Josh sneered.

Heyes put his cup down and leaned forward, his eyes dark with anger.  “You’re gonna help us, like it or not, and we get half the take.  You fellas will share the other half...”

"That ain't fair!" Chris cried out.

“Fair?”  Curry asked, a dangerous tone to his voice.  “Like leavin' me in the desert was fair?”

“We didn’t mean nothin’ by it, Kid.  And we left you some water.”

“You didn’t mean nothing by it!”  Heyes slammed his fist on the table.  “No hat or jacket out there in the desert!”

The Harpers gulped under the cold, hard stare of Heyes and with Curry’s gun aimed at them from behind.  Les and Clint sank down in their seats.

“Now get outta here before I do something I’ll regret,” Heyes demanded.  “I’ll tell you about the job tomorrow.”

“But it’s OUR cabin,” Josh argued.  “Where do you expect us to sleep?”

Heyes chuckled.  “I happen to know of a shed you can sleep in.”

“The shed?” Chris asked incredulous.  “All of us in there?”

A gun clicked behind them.  “Don’t tempt me, Harpers.  Now get!”

Les and Clint hurried out of the cabin while the Harper brothers hesitated.  “How do we know the Kid ain’t gonna shoot us from behind as we leave?” Ben asked.

“You don’t.”  Heyes stood up and looked menacing.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The next morning, Kid Curry banged on the shed.  “Time to get up and make breakfast!  And after that we’ve got to talk through some plans.”  He unlocked the door and swung it open.

“All right, we’re comin’,” grumbled Ben, emerging through the door and squinting into the sunlight.

“I can’t believe you’re lettin’ them boss us around, Ben,” Chris complained.  “We’re supposed to be the leaders – not them!”

“Shut up!”  Ben stood up and stretched the kinks out of his back.  “What do you want to do?  They have our guns and ammunition.  Besides, it don’t hurt to hear what Heyes has planned.  Half of a really big heist might not be so bad.”  He walked out of the shed.  “Les!  Clint!  Get in the cabin and start breakfast.”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Right after breakfast, everyone was sitting at the table while Curry leaned against the wall with his arms folded and Heyes paced.

“So, what’s this big plan of yours then, Heyes?” asked Ben.

“It’s our retirement plan,” replied Heyes, “and it’s going to ensure a comfortable life in Mexico for us both.  We’re going to rob the army payroll train.”

Ben’s eyes narrowed as he stood up and grabbed Heyes’ shoulder halting his pacing.  Curry stood up straighter by the wall, his hand coming down towards his gun, but Ben ignored him.  “You told me the army would hunt us down if we robbed them of their payroll.”

Heyes glanced to the Kid.  “They’d hunt us down here,” he replied with a sly smile, “but we’ll be south of the border where they can’t touch us.”

“What about us?” Les asked.

Heyes snorted.  “Do you think we care what happens to you after what you did to us?”  He waited for a reply and continued when there was none.  “There’s word that the payroll on the next train will be $60,000.  That means there’ll be $30,000 for us and $30,000 for you to split.”

Clint whistled.  “That’s a lot of money!”

“Sure is,” Chris agreed.

“A lot of money for the army to get really mad!” Ben growled.

Heyes shrugged his shoulders.  “So disappear like we’re doing.  That’ll be $6,000 each and can go a long way if you don’t waste it on liquor and gambling.”

Ben sat down again appearing to be in deep thought.  Heyes and the Kid waited and watched as Ben caught the eyes of each member of his gang and received either a nod or a shrug in reply.  There was another moment and then Ben said. “All right, we’ll help you.”

“But where will we go?” asked Les, a slight whine to his voice.

“Shut up, Les,” growled Josh.  “Ben’s got it sorted.”

“Once the money is dealt out, you’re on your own.” Heyes told the gang, pretending not to notice the tension in room.  He put a map on the table.  “Okay, the train will be going through this area tomorrow in the late afternoon and we’re gonna be there to meet it.”  He looked around at the gang.

“Why not where we stopped it the last time?” Josh questioned.

“Because,” Heyes explained impatiently, “they’ll be more on guard in that location.  Any more dumb questions?”

No one risked saying anything.

“Be ready to ride out at noon today.  Guns will be cleaned and ready.”  Heyes put the weapons on the table, along with the cleaning supplies.

The Kid pulled away from the wall and came slowly and menacingly over to the table.  He gave each gang member the benefit of his steely stare.  “And don’t you even think about usin’ one of those guns on us or it’ll be with your last breath,” he growled.  “I would love nothin’ more than to have the opportunity to pay you boys back.”

Clint and Les gaped and the Harper brothers sunk into their chairs.

Heyes smirked grimly.

By noon, the gang was mounted and following Heyes out of Brown’s Park with Kid Curry in the rear, watching his partner’s back.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The following afternoon, the gang was in place waiting for the train.

Les and Clint were near the tree line where the Harper gang’s horses were tethered, ready to be loosened and ridden.

“Don’t forget to help monitor any passengers and the train crew,” Heyes reminded them as he rode by.

Chris and Josh crouched behind a boulder nearby the log across the track.

Heyes pulled the reins on his horse.  “Ready to jump the train and stop the engineers?”

“Yeah, Heyes,” Chris said, putting his gun back in the holster.

“Josh, no killing anyone – you hear me?  You’ll be answering to the Kid if you do.”

“Yeah, I hear you, Heyes,” Josh grumbled.

Heyes rode over to Ben who leaned on a tree opposite Les and Clint.  “Ready to rush the train when it’s stopped and assist with the crew?”

“Yep.”

Heyes paced along the tracks, waiting for the train’s arrival.  Kid Curry sat on his gelding at a vantage point; keeping his eyes on the gang and scouting for first signs of the train.

A shrill whistle from the Kid alerted everyone that the train would be there in a few minutes.  Guns were drawn and checked for bullets.  The men stayed out of sight, waiting for the word from Heyes.

An engine rounded a corner, spewing smoke and steam from its stack.  As soon as the log came into view, the piercing sound of the brakes being applied was heard.  The gang came out of their hiding places towards the train.  Curry then quickly made his way down from the vantage point towards Heyes.

Chris and Josh ran and were about to jump onto the engine when shots rang out from the engine compartment.

“What the…” Josh fired back as he and Chris took cover.

As the train jerked to a stop, a boxcar door slammed open.  Armed men, mounted on horses, yelled and began encouraging their animals to jump out of the car.  Chaos ensued with the outlaws running for cover while shooting at the men.

Curry galloped toward Heyes, kicked his boots out of the stirrups, and gave his partner an arm up.  Gracefully, Heyes swung up behind and slapped the gelding’s rump, encouraging him to run.  The Kid headed for the tree line and they zigzagged through the birch and pine to avoid the bullets.  At one point Heyes jerked behind him.

“Did you get hit?” the Kid shouted when they had put some distance between themselves and the foiled train robbery.

“I’m okay,” Heyes assured his partner.  “I almost lost my hat, though!”

Curry rolled his eyes in exasperation.  “Heyes, horse isn’t goin’ to last much longer.”

“He doesn’t have to.  We should be there soon.”

The gelding came to a meadow with a stream running through it.  Hobbled nearby were two horses and gear.  Both partners smiled when they saw the horses.

“Good ol’ Lom,” said Heyes.  “Knew he wouldn’t let us down.”


Ten Days Later

Heyes and Curry rode into a town, noting the location of the hotel, livery, saloon, and sheriff’s office.  They reined their tired mounts in front of the barn and dismounted.

“While you settle in the horses, I’m going to send Lom a message – see if we need to head to Evanston yet.”  Heyes handed the reins to his partner.

“I’ll meet you in the saloon.”  Curry took the reins and led both animals into the livery.

Heyes walked across the street and entered the Western Union office.  “I’d like to send a telegram,” he said to the clerk behind the counter.

“Sure thing.”  The elderly man handed him a piece of paper.  “Write down the message and who you want it sent to.”

Heyes wrote on paper, handed it to the clerk and paid the man.  “We’ll be staying in the hotel tonight if there is a reply.”

“I’ll see that you get it.”  The clerk sat in front of the machine and began clicking at the striking hammer.

Heading to the saloon, Heyes found Curry at the bar with two beers being placed in front of him.

“Good timing.  Get the message off?”

“Yep.  Hopefully we’ll hear soon from Lom.”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Deputy Harker Wilkins entered the office, waving a piece of paper.  “Sheriff Trevors, you got a telegram.”

Lom took the paper and scowled as he read the simple message:

To Sheriff Trevors
Porterville, WY

Is all okay with mutual friend?  Stop.  Please update.  Stop.

J Smith
Teller City, CO

“About time I heard from them,” Trevors grumbled as he stood and grabbed his hat.  “Harker, I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Curry and Heyes entered the hotel and rang the bell on the desk.  A gentleman came out from a side room.  “Can I help you?”

“Yes,” Heyes said as they put their saddlebags and rifles down.  “We want a room for the night.”

“One or two beds?”

“How much is two beds?” asked the Kid.

“Two beds is three dollars while one bed is two dollars,” the clerk replied.

Curry looked questioningly to his partner who was counting his money.

“We’ll take one bed.”  Heyes grabbed the pen and began checking in.

The hotel clerk glanced at the new name in the register.  “Mr. Smith?  I just received a telegram for a J Smith.”  He turned and grabbed a paper from a cubbyhole then handed it to him.

The Kid signed the register with the name Thaddeus Jones.  “Is that from who I think it is with an update?”

Heyes quickly read the message, frowning.

“Everything okay?” asked the Kid.

“I guess.”  Heyes headed to the stairway.  “I’ll tell you about it upstairs.”

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

“So we’re meeting in Piedmont, not Evanston?”  Curry sat on the bed and removed this boots.

Heyes began to pace the room.  “Yep.”

“And when do we have to be there?”

“Lom said to meet him there in a week.”

The Kid lay back in the bed.  “Guess we’ll be leaving tomorrow morning.”  He paused, puzzled, and then said, “Piedmont is next to Evanston.  Why not go directly there?”

Heyes stopped pacing for a moment.  “Guess we’ll find out in a week,” he said with a sigh.

“You know what?  I reckon you’re gonna worry whatever I say, so I think I’ll just get some sleep.”  The Kid put his hat over his eyes and settled down on the bed.

“You’re not worried?” Heyes asked.

“Nope.”

“Why not?”

“It’s one of your plans, isn’t it?”

“Yeah.”

“Well then.  No problem.”  He lifted his hat up once more.  “And since you’re fixed on pacing a groove in the floor, I figured the bed is bought and paid for so I might as well use it.”  He gave Heyes a quick smile before retreating back under his hat leaving Heyes speechless.


One Week Later

Kid Curry and Heyes yawned and stretched as they got off their horses in front of the Piedmont livery.

“Think Lom is here already?” Heyes wondered aloud.

“I’m hopin’ he’s at the saloon ‘cause that’s where I’m headin’.  I need a drink.”  Curry handed the gelding’s reins to the boy at the livery.  “Make sure he gets a good rub down and an extra measure of grain.  He deserves it.”

Heyes pulled out a few coins and handed it to the same young man.  “This should cover it.”

“Will they be stayin’ the night?” the boy asked as he pocketed the money.

“We’ll let you know as soon as we know.”  Heyes turned and followed his partner to the nearest drinking establishment.

The two men walked into the saloon and let their eyes adjust to the darkness inside before quickly glancing around.

“He’s not here.”  Heyes grabbed Curry’s arm and turned toward the door.  “Let’s go to the next one.”

The Kid allowed himself to be led.  “But if he’s not there, we’re gettin’ a drink before lookin’ for him anymore.”

“Deal.”

The men walked down the street a block to find two saloons across the street from each other.

“Bucket of Blood or Lucky Horseshoe?” asked Heyes.

“Lom in the Bucket of Blood?  I say Lucky Horseshoe.”

Again, they entered the establishment and let their eyes adjust before sweeping the room with a glance.  The Kid smiled and pointed to a table in the back corner.  “Told you.”

Curry went to the bar to order beer while Heyes joined Trevors.  “Howdy Lom,” he said as he sat down.

“Smith.”

“Why’d ya want to meet here?” asked Heyes.  “Is there bad news?”

“Well, I thought it’d look a mite suspicious if I was seen talking to you two before the trial so I decided to let you come here where I can bring you up to date without having to worry about potential eavesdropping on our plans.”

“Good thinking,” said Heyes.  “How’s our mutual friend?”

The Kid brought over three beers.  “Thought you might need another, Lom.”

“Thank you,” said Lom.  “Our mutual friend is very well.  He’s delighted that the Harper gang was caught red-handed and he’s pretty sure the trial will be very good for his image.”

“Well that’s good news,” said the Kid.

Lom held up his hand.  “Just a moment, Jones.”

Heyes frowned.  “What is it?”

“It’s nothin’.  Just let me finish,” replied Lom.  “Like I said, he’s very happy with the way things are right now.  He’s also read the reports and witness statements given by the soldiers and passengers during that first train robbery.  It is clear from these accounts that you,” he pointed at Heyes, “were participating in the robbery unwillingly and that you saved several lives and a lot of money.”

“He thinks that?” asked Heyes with a surprised smile.

“Yeah, he does,” Lom answered.  “And because of that and the subsequent apprehension of the gang, he’s going to overlook your part in the first robbery and he’s willing to renegotiate your amnesty.”

“That’s great!” said the Kid as Heyes grinned widely.

“Didn’t think I had a chance anymore,” admitted Heyes.

“And now for the hard part,” said Lom.

“I thought that was the hard part,” said Heyes.

Lom gave him a look.  “It’s not over yet, Smith.”

“How’s the next part goin’?” asked the Kid quickly.

“It’s going like we thought it would,” Lom answered him.  “The Harpers have just arrived in Evanston to stand trial.  According to Sheriff Smith – yes, Sheriff Smith – they are saying they did the robbing with Kid Curry and he killed the teller.  That way they get sentenced for seven years and don’t hang.”

“But the governor knows…” began Heyes.

“He knows,” Lom told him, “and he’s happy for you to try and prove things different as long as the Harper brothers stand trial like they should and don’t get away.”

“When does the trial start?” Heyes asked.

“In two days.”


A Few Days Later

Heyes and the Kid sat in a bar in Evanston.

“Bar sure is empty,” Curry commented.

“That’s because everyone is at the trial.”

“Then, shouldn’t we be there too?”

“Nope.”

“Nope?”

“Nope.  I’m not going to a trial unless it’s my own,” Heyes said bluntly.

The Kid gave him a look and then sighed.  “I hope Lom is able to give me my hat and jacket back.  I’ve grown attached to them.  Warmest coat I’ve owned.”

“But if things don't go as we planned, guess you won't be needing either of them.”

“Nice, Joshua!  Let’s just hope I will be needin’ them!”

Heyes smiled.  “My plan seems to be working as we speak.”

A deputy came up to the poker game and stared at the Kid.  “Excuse me, sir, but you’re wanted at the courthouse.”

Curry looked up.  “Me?  What did I do?”

“Nothing.  The judge wants a bunch of men that are about your size and age with curly hair for a ‘line up’.”

“A what?”

“He called it a ‘line-up’.  Shouldn’t take more than an hour of your time.”

“Do I have a choice?”

“Nope.  Let’s go.”

Curry put down his cards and took the money in front of him.  “Hope I’ll be back soon, gentlemen.”

Heyes winked at his partner as he turned to leave with the deputy.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The court resumed with four men fitting the description of the killer.  The first man put on the brown hat and sheepskin jacket and faced the witnesses.

“Nope, it wasn’t Mr. Penney from the mercantile.  He’s too tall,” one of the businessmen said and the rest agreed.

The second man put on the hat and jacket and faced the witnesses.

“Nope.  This man is too old.”  The rest of the witnesses agreed.

Curry slid on the jacket and hat and faced the witnesses with a smile.

“Definitely wasn’t him,” one of the women responded.  “We would have remembered him!”  The other women nodded and the men agreed.

The fourth man put on the hat and jacket and faced the witnesses.

“No.  The man was thinner and taller,” one of the businessmen said and the rest agreed.

“Please take a seat in the back of the courtroom for a moment,” the lawyer requested.  “Sheriff Smith, please bring in the Harper brothers, one at a time.”

Josh Harper was led into the courtroom and paled when he saw the jacket and hat.

“Mr. Harper, please put on the jacket and hat and face the witnesses.”

Josh put on the hat and jacket and slowed turned towards the audience.  The witnesses gasped and backed up.

“That’s him!” said one.

“He’s the killer!” said another.

“He shot the teller!” said the first voice.

Lom looked at the judge.

“Are you sure?” the lawyer asked.  “This is Joshua Harper and not Kid Curry.”

“It’s him alright!  I’ve had nightmares about him since it happened,” another witness spoke up.

Josh Harper panicked and snatched the deputy’s gun.  He held it at the audience.  “Let me go and no one gets hurt.”

Curry took the safety off his gun and watched the drama unfold.

“You heard me!  You let me go and…”  Harper grabbed one of the female witnesses.  “And she won’t get hurt.”

One of the witnesses fainted while others in the audience screamed.

The screaming brought people throughout the town towards the courthouse, including Hannibal Heyes.

“Back up!” Josh demanded.  “Let me out of here!”

The crowd parted allowing Harper and his prisoner access to the door.

“Don’t do it, Harper,” warned Trevors as he passed him.  Lom looked in the back and saw Curry's hand moving toward his Colt.  Trevors imperceptibly shook his head, warning him not to take action.

“Out of my way, lawman, or she’s dead!”  Harper pushed the girl in front of him.  He hesitated for a moment before turning the gun towards the sheriff.

“Trevors!” Curry shouted out a warning.

Lom moved quickly to the side, missing a bullet, and then fired his weapon.  Harper and the girl fell into the aisle of the courtroom, blood pooling on the floor.

Women screamed and folks rushed forward.  Curry slipped out the courtroom door and down an alley to avoid the crowds.  Heyes followed after his partner and caught up with him.

“Kid, what happened?” Heyes demanded.

“The witnesses identified Josh Harper as the killer and he grabbed the deputy’s gun.  Took one of the witnesses as his way out and then turned the gun on Lom.”

“Did he get Lom?”

“No.  I shouted out a warning and he got out of the way.”  Curry took a deep breath.  “Someone’s shot in there, though.  I didn’t want to stay around with everyone comin’.”

“Come on.”  Heyes gently led his partner by the arm.  “We’ve done all we can now.  The rest is up to the judge and the governor.  Let’s get out of here.”

“Okay.  Back to Piedmont?”

“And wait for Lom – yep.  C’mon.”


A Few Days Later

Heyes, Curry and Sheriff Trevors sat at a table in the back of the saloon with a whiskey bottle.

“So Les and Clint admitted you were miles away locked in a shed during the robbery and that Josh Harper wore your jacket and hat.”  Lom rubbed at his chin, self-consciously.  “Josh is dead.”

“You didn't have a choice, Lom,” Curry insisted.

“Josh was a cold-blooded murderer," Heyes added, his eyes hard.  “If you hadn't shot him, he'd have killed you, and probably the girl too.”

Lom simply shrugged his response.

The Kid leaned back in his chair.  “So?  What's the governor got to say?”

“The governor has reinstated both of your deals for amnesty since you were not at the Evanston robbery.”

“I’ll drink to that!”  Heyes poured, and all three clicked glasses before drinking.

Lom gave the partners an almost fond look.  “You know, you’ve really done good, boys,” he said.

“Getting sentimental, Lom?” teased Heyes.

“Maybe a little,” Lom admitted.  “I don’t think the governor can doubt just how seriously you are taking your amnesty deal either, now,” he went on.

“Well, let’s hope it hurries him along a bit,” said Heyes darkly.

“I’m just happy that the deal’s still on,” said the Kid.  “I really thought we’d lost any chance this time.”

The three men took a moment with this thought before Lom stood up.  “Well, I better get going.  Have to get back to Porterville before it blows up again.”

“It’s safe, Lom.  We’re here with you.”  Heyes grinned.

“As if that makes a difference with you two,” Lom said, but he was smiling.

“Ah, Lom?  Do you have anything for me?” asked the Kid.

Trevors snapped his fingers.  “As a matter of fact I do!”

Heyes and Curry followed Lom out of the saloon and Trevors untied a sheepskin jacket and brown hat from his saddle.

The Kid took the items from the sheriff and put them on.  “Thanks, Lom,” he said, “for believin’ me and standin’ by us.”

“Thank your partner for that,” Lom told him turning back to the horse.

“Josh is dead, but what happened to the girl that he had, Lom?” Heyes asked.

“She’s shaken, but okay.  Your ‘line up’ idea was a good one, Heyes.  Reckon I might use it again someday.”  Lom turned back to the Kid.  “By the way, thank you for the warning.”

“You’re welcome.”

Trevors mounted his horse.  “Be careful loaning that out to anyone else, okay, Kid?”

Curry grinned as he put on his jacket and hat.  “You bet!”

“C’mon,” said Heyes turning his partner back towards the saloon as Trevors rode away.  “We’ve got some celebrating to do.”



(Writers love feedback! You can comment on Penski's story by clicking the "post reply" button, found at the bottom left side of your screen. You don't have to be a member of this site and you can be anonymous.)
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Re: The Day They Kidnapped Curry Part 2 by Penski
Post on Sat 05 Apr 2014, 7:03 pm by Penski
Phew...

Look for a fanfiction version of this story with more h/c this summer. It'll have more of Curry in the desert and more Heyes caring for his partner.

Big thanks to my friends who helped me write this story - Allegra and Grace R Williams! Wouldn't be the story it is without your helpful suggestions and advise.
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Re: The Day They Kidnapped Curry Part 2 by Penski
Post on Mon 07 Apr 2014, 3:57 am by Lana Coombe
clap  Well worth waiting for.  Poor old Kid left out to dry in the desert.  I was sure they'd lost the amnesty.  A Heyes plan and I loved the line out and the ladies knowing they would have remembered Kid!  Wouldn't we all! wink
Looking forward to the fanfic version - I'm a sucker for H/C and a bit of angst.  biggrin   thumbsup
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Re: The Day They Kidnapped Curry Part 2 by Penski
Post on Mon 07 Apr 2014, 10:23 am by Grace R. Williams
Danger, adventure, little bit of angst. What a wonderful television episode this would have made! One of my favorites from you, Penski. trophy 
Re: The Day They Kidnapped Curry Part 2 by Penski
Post on Sun 13 Apr 2014, 8:47 am by Calico

Right, so HH is planning a train robbery and the Kid is out in the desert making a noise like vulture seed. What’s next?
Kid wants to watch that Coyote. It might be… Her.
I am liking the sky turning from ink to pink. Consider that nicked.
Awww – they’re still sneaking through Lom’s back door. I like my VS traditional.
I sense a HH plan … What is Heyes tricking these brothers into??
And yet another twist – KC still has to prove his innocence. You’ve done us a real saga here, Penski and friends.
Snicker!!! Loving the women saying they’d have remembered Kid!! Bless.
Cor Crickey!! Lom’s a hero!! Huzzah.
And HH invented the line up – as well as the lie detector and fingerprints!! Adore it!!
Re: The Day They Kidnapped Curry Part 2 by Penski
Post on Mon 14 Apr 2014, 11:38 am by CD Roberts
Hooray! The bad guys got their comeuppance! And a Hannibal Heyes plan! Great story Penski (and friends!). Poor Kid when asked to do the line-up(and after all he had been through!): A deputy came up to the poker game and stared at the Kid.  “Excuse me, sir, but you’re wanted at the courthouse.”

Curry looked up.  “Me?  What did I do?”

I felt so sorry for him there.

Lom was perfectly written; exactly like the character in the series. And the villains were delightfully nasty. Wonderful writing! wow  thumbsup 

Read this comment:
Kid wants to watch that Coyote. It might be… Her.

Thank you Calico. Made me laugh on a Monday morning. rofl
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Re: The Day They Kidnapped Curry Part 2 by Penski
Post on Sat 19 Apr 2014, 11:48 pm by Ghislaine Emrys
BTW, that's a great picture of the Carradine brothers--where's it from?  Good description of the train robbery; I liked Heyes trying to make the soldiers understand he was forced to do it.  That Josh is a loose cannon--good thing Heyes was there to prevent him from killing any- and everyone.  Good use of the "champion tracker" line here.  Also, excellent choice of photos to accompany the story--just wanted to mention that.  

Back to the plot…  Of course Heyes will find his partner and Curry will be down and just about out but they are survivors and, having been through the desert before, twice actually, three time's the charm so I knew they'd make it.  The conversation with Lom in his office was wonderful--Heyes sure knows how to get the sheriff to see things his way.  :-)

So…robbing the train with the Army payroll…I'm guessing Heyes has arranged, through Lom, to have lots of soldiers and lawmen aboard all ready to capture the Harper gang.  Interesting that Ben's greed blinds him to realizing that Heyes and Curry might want revenge more than the money.  And…yep, I'm right!  (Smugness gets tamped down now.)  Oh, more great scenes with Lom and the boys!  The whole trial section is great--did Heyes read about line ups in another Mark Twain novel???  You did surprise me, though--I thought it'd be Kid who killed Josh, not Lom.  That was a good twist.  Glad things are back to status quo at the end, though I guess it was too much to think the governor would actually grant them amnesty for bringing in such bad guys.  

Best lines: “I’m okay,” Heyes assured his partner.  “I almost lost my hat, though!”  Yeah, that woulda been a catastrophe!

Great story--thanks to everyone who had a part in writing it!
Re: The Day They Kidnapped Curry Part 2 by Penski
Post on Wed 23 Apr 2014, 10:12 am by InsideOutlaw
Ahh, I love a good Heyes plan and the line up was a clever solution to a complicated problem. Thanks for the enjoyable read and I'll look forward to the fanfic version!
Re: The Day They Kidnapped Curry Part 2 by Penski
Post on Sat 26 Apr 2014, 4:04 pm by HannaHeyes
What a great story! I was hooked after reading just the first little bit. You made the Harpers so easy to hate, especially Josh. They knew Heyes would do anything to save his partner. Loved the plan Heyes came up with to clear their names. I agree with the lady witness, I think I would remember Kid's face too! Lom was written perfectly. Nice surprise to have him kill Josh instead of Kid. I look forward to the fanfic version. Wonderful job to all involved!
Re: The Day They Kidnapped Curry Part 2 by Penski
Post on Sun 18 May 2014, 4:37 pm by AllegraW
Superb second half, Penski. A brilliant plan getting both the boys out of what looked like a hopeless situation. And what would they do without Lom, huh. You have written a wonderful, action packed double episode. Roll on the fanfiction version.  clap 
 

The Day They Kidnapped Curry Part 2 by Penski

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