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 3.8 A Question of Loyalty by Sally Wheaton

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Post3.8 A Question of Loyalty by Sally Wheaton

"I don't see anything, do you?"

Kid shook his head. "It doesn't mean they're not there though. It could just mean they're good."

Both men continued to survey the scene for several minutes.

"Kind of funny, that there was only one shot though, don't you think?" ventured Heyes.

Curry turned and looked further up the valley.

"An ambush?"

Heyes nodded. "That's exactly what I was thinking."

He was still looking intently down the valley.

"Whoever it is, obviously doesn't know we're already under arrest."

"That's the strange thing though Heyes. If they were aiming at you or me, they weren't a very good shot."

Heyes looked at his partner with interest.

"That shot was a lot closer to Harry than it was to either of us."

"Maybe they do know we're under arrest then."


Pete Duel as Hannibal Heyes
Ben Murphy as Kid Curry

Guest Stars

J D Cannon as Harry Briscoe

Gary Burghoff as Charlie Foster

Doug McClure as the Sheriff

James Coburn as John Drake

A Question of Loyalty
by Sally Wheaton

There was something about the young man sitting opposite him mused Hannibal Heyes as he watched him over the top of the cards he held in his hand. He was a small, bespectacled man, with something of a shifty expression. He didn't play poker well, in fact he appeared downright nervous, his left eye twitched every now and then and he stammered a little in a rather strained and high-pitched voice.

What was strange though and what was really starting to unnerve Heyes, was that his nervousness didn't seem to be related to the cards in his hand. He'd been studying him for a while now and he was starting to think that the man was nervous about something else - and that, Heyes decided, made him decidedly nervous too. The man had introduced himself as Charlie, and although he had chattered away almost non-stop throughout the game, he had all too noticeably not said anything else about himself.

Heyes glanced at his partner, seated to his right, and he gave an almost imperceptible nod. So he had noticed Charlie too. It was time to leave.

Heyes threw in his hand and leaned back in his chair. As he did so, Charlie looked up at Curry and let out an enormous sigh of relief, visibly relaxing. Puzzled, Heyes followed his gaze towards Curry. His heart sank as his previous unease suddenly fell into place. Over Curry's shoulder, he could clearly see the sheriff standing in the door of the saloon, flanked by two of his deputies. Charlie was standing up now and calling and beckoning to the sheriff who walked slowly over to their table and nodded to Charlie.

"Who answers to Joshua Smith and Thaddeus Jones?" he asked as the two deputies drew their guns. Charlie was becoming more and more excited and animated as he pointed to Heyes and Curry.

"That's them sheriff. The two I told you about. I'm right you know, their names sure aren't Joshua Smith and Thaddeus Jones. I knew it right away. Didn't I tell you I was sure as soon as I saw them? You'll find out I'm right, just you wait and see sheriff. I knew it, I tell you, I knew who they were ....."

With Charlie's incessant chattering echoing in their ears, Heyes and Curry were lead away and only five minutes later, they found themselves, once again, locked in a jail cell.

* * * * *

"Well son, you've done a real good job there. There's been more than a few sheriffs and bounty hunters after this pair over the years, I can tell you. I guess congratulations are in order." the sheriff smiled at him.

Charlie visibly puffed up. "You can say that again sir. I'm real proud of myself and I just know that my boss is going to be real proud of me too."

"Your boss?"

"At the agency sir. Bannerman Detective Agency."

In the jail cell behind them, Heyes and Curry looked at each other and rolled their eyes.

Charlie continued like an express train "You see I'm quite new at this, well truth to tell I wasn't actually very good at it at all to start with. In fact they put me to work with one of the senior men and it sure was a revelation. He taught me everything I know and I can tell you he is one of the best. Well sir, personally I'd say he is the best, the very best. Not a thing that man can't do. A true wonder he is. Well anyway, you can tell I think a lot of him, bit of a hero of mine really. I can't tell you how impressed he is going to be when he finds out…."

The sheriff looked at Charlie and shook his head slightly. Would the man ever stop blabbering? It was plain getting on his nerves. Quite how he'd ever managed to bring in two of the most wanted men in the West, he still didn't understand. But they were here safely locked up in his jail cell and he wasn't complaining about that, so he just decided not to question it any further.

"Yes well, come along now, no time for all this idle chit-chat" and with that he drew Charlie's attention to the paperwork.

Back in the cell, Heyes sat down on his bunk, looking decidedly dejected

"We must be getting old Kid”.

"The great Hannibal Heyes finally brought down by a young greenhorn huh?"

"Oh no, not finally. He hasn't seen the last of us yet. There has to be a way…." Heyes shook his head

Curry smiled. That was exactly the sort of attitude in his partner that would find them a way out of here. He settled on his bunk, hat over his eyes and did what he was good at doing. He waited. Heyes, meanwhile, paced.

* * * * *

Curry woke with a start and wondered how long he'd been asleep for. He peeked out from under his hat. Heyes was still pacing, endlessly back and forth. He sat up and stretched, rubbing his eyes and taking a good look at his partner. That certainly wasn't the expression he wore when he had a plan, so Curry assumed he was still doing battle with it. He was about to ask when the sheriff approached the cell.

Heyes stopped pacing for long enough to address the sheriff.

"Sheriff, I don't know how long you're planning on keeping us here, but you're making a terrible mistake. This has happened to us before and it seems that maybe my partner and I do fit those descriptions, but young Charlie there has got it all wrong I'm afraid. My name is Joshua Smith and my partner here is Thaddeus Jones and we really would like to get this all cleared up because we have business to take care of in White Water."

"Well either way, you won't have to wait long." the sheriff informed them. "I've just received a telegraph from the Bannerman Detective Agency and they're sending one of their senior men here to escort you up to Wyoming. If what you're saying is true, it will all get sorted out but I have to admit, I'm not convinced. I think you are Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry. Charlie may have a unique way with words but I do believe him. I think he's telling the truth about you two. But anyway, the Bannerman agent will be here tomorrow so don't worry boys, you won't have to wait long" he smiled sarcastically before returning to his desk to put his feet up.

Alone once more in their cell, Curry turned to Heyes.

"A senior Bannerman man? Heyes do any of their senior men actually know us?"

"I don't think so Kid. I think maybe they're going to reckon on taking us up to Wyoming to be identified."

"We can't let that happen Heyes. We've got to do something. If we're taken up to Wyoming, that's it. End of the amnesty. End of freedom - have you thought about that?"

Heyes nodded distractedly.

"Heyes, you got a plan?" asked Kid urgently.

"No. No, I don't. Not yet." Heyes sounded slightly annoyed at having to admit this.

"Because I am telling you, now would be a good time. A very good time"

* * * * *

It was late the following afternoon when Charlie burst into the sheriff's office like a whirlwind.

"He's here Sheriff, he's here. He's just arrived on the train from Denver."

The sheriff looked up from his desk.

"Good afternoon Sheriff" came the voice of the senior Bannerman agent who had walked into the sheriff's office with Charlie.

Heyes and Curry, who had been playing cards in their cell, stopped suddenly and looked at each other in disbelief. Senior Bannerman man?

"I don't believe it" groaned Curry

"How'd he get to be senior?" asked Heyes "They must be pretty short of agents."

Turning towards the front of the cell, they plastered enormous grins on their faces and in unison called out jovially.


Harry Briscoe shook hands enthusiastically with the sheriff and then, deliberately ignoring the two prisoners, added "Yes young Charlie has done an excellent job here. Mr Bannerman is going to be mighty pleased about this. These two have slipped through the Agency's hands a few times Sheriff and we're more than happy that young Charlie here has finally brought them to justice."

"We're happy that it was in our town Mr Briscoe." smiled the sheriff "So what are the arrangements for transporting them up to Wyoming?"

"Mr Bannerman has put me in charge of the operation. He's diverting two of our top agents from San Francisco to assist me. They should be arriving here tomorrow morning. In the meantime, I have a few details to finalise and then we'll be leaving tomorrow morning once Rees and Jackson arrive."

"That's good news Mr Briscoe. We'll all feel a lot safer in this town once you have them safely in your custody."

"Come on then Charlie, you can help me make the arrangements." said Harry, turning to leave.

Turning towards Curry, Heyes beamed at his partner and whispered "I told you there was a way."

Curry looked up optimistically "You got a plan Heyes?"

"Well, I don't have the details yet, but Kid, with Harry in charge how hard can it be?"

The two Bannerman men were just about to leave when the sheriff turned to Charlie and asked, "There's just one thing boy that's got me real curious. How did you identify this pair? The best in the West has been after them for years - how did you do it?"

"Well sir, you see, I knew them because I had seen them before. And I told you didn't I, about how I had someone teach me everything he knew?" The sheriff nodded as Charlie continued. "Like I said, Mr Briscoe is one of the best, the best if you ask me. I couldn't ask for a better teacher."

"Wait a minute!" demanded Curry, looking at Charlie in shock. "Mr Briscoe?"

Charlie nodded.

"Harry .. Briscoe?" Curry asked, pointing at Harry.

Charlie nodded.

"Harry Briscoe is that hero of yours you were telling us about earlier? The best there is?"

"Yes that's right Mr Curry. He taught me everything. It's all thanks to him that I caught you."

Curry rolled his eyes, unable to believe what he was hearing.

Harry, standing between the sheriff and Charlie, tried to stand up a little taller. "It's what we pride ourselves on at the Agency. A Bannerman man is …."

For the first time, he dared to look up at Heyes and Curry as he spoke, only to find that they had both pinned him with a long, hard stare. He stared back for as long as he could but he couldn't hold the gaze and he was the first to look away. He shook his head slightly. Sometimes he did just wonder if he hadn't met his match in these two boys.

"Sheriff, I'll be making an early start with these two in the morning so I'd better hurry along and make the plans. Charlie, your train leaves early too."

"My train Mr Briscoe sir? Why, I thought I would be coming with you?

"Yes Charlie, your train to Denver. Mr Bannerman himself will be waiting to talk to you. I think I can safely say that he's more than happy with you."

An enormous smile lit up Charlie's face.

"Oh yes, of course. Well if Mr Bannerman himself wants to see me, then yes, of course. Really? Mr Bannerman himself? He wants to speak to me? But what about you Mr Briscoe, won't he want to speak to you too? After all, like I told the sheriff here, you taught me everything I know."

"No, no son, you go and see Mr Bannerman. You deserve it and I'll get this pair safely up to Wyoming and then come on to Denver."

Harry smiled reassuringly at Charlie. Darn boy, capturing these two. He could have done with that feather in his cap himself. Still, if he could get them to Wyoming, surely George Bannerman would be impressed by that? He didn't need to be upstaged by a fast-talking young upstart that was for sure.

He looked across at Heyes and Curry and tried to look intimidating, but somehow it didn't quite work. A twinge of guilt ran through him and he looked away from them. He couldn't really turn them in could he? After all, they'd done for him? The job they'd helped him with in putting the crooked Silver Palace Casino in Colorado Springs out of business had given him a real boost at the agency for a while, but a couple more failed assignments had chipped away at his reputation since. He needed something big again, something that would really impress George Bannerman. What was he to do? He needed this. And it wasn't as if he'd actually captured them. Young Charlie had done that - on his own too. Now that was something he really could have done with himself. Yes sir, that would truly impress George Bannerman.

The sound of his name snapped him out of his reverie and he realised Charlie had actually stopped talking and was looking at him expectantly.

"I said, Mr Briscoe sir, are you sure you'll be safe with those two?"

Harry bristled and stood up straight, indignant. "Charlie, I am a Bannerman man."

Heyes and Curry turned away, both finding it almost impossible to stifle a laugh.

Charlie started up again and Harry started to usher him out of the sheriff's office.

"Charlie" came a voice from the back of the office. "There's just one thing that's got me real curious"

Charlie turned to look at Hannibal Heyes and was a little taken aback at how threatening he could be - even standing there in a jail cell.


"Wh-what?" stammered Charlie

"Where? Where had you seen us before?"

"On a train."

Charlie's usual vociferousness deserted him in the face of Heyes' questions.

"Where was the train?"

"Near Scotsville in Wyoming."

"You were a passenger?"



"About ten years ago."

"I see."

Heyes turned away and Charlie, relieved, made for the door as quickly as he could, followed very closely by Harry.

* * * * *

Harry Briscoe put his fork down on the plate. Dinner had not been pleasant. Charlie's continuous talking had been extremely off-putting. He hadn't stopped for the last hour and Harry was becoming more and more agitated. He swore if he didn't stop soon … well, he wasn't sure what, but something. Briscoe was now at the point where he was no longer paying any attention to what the younger man was saying but every now and then a few words would filter through just enough to disturb his own thoughts. It was becoming more and more disconcerting.

"… I swear Mr Briscoe, if it wasn't for you…"

Well it was nice that Charlie thought he'd helped him. He'd had a few people who had helped him a time or two as well. Not many, he had to admit, but a few loyal friends.

"… and I really am grateful …"

He supposed he should be grateful to his few friends too. And he was . He really was.

"… and I want you to know Mr Briscoe sir, you'll always have my loyalty … "

Loyalty. Now there was a valuable commodity in these parts he mused. Not everyone could say they had another's loyalty - not everyone could say they deserved it either of course. But some did.

" … I sure am excited to see what Mr Bannerman has to say …"

What was he going to do about George Bannerman? He'd given his life to the Agency. Surely he deserved some credit and some loyalty for that?

"… he's going to be so impressed, I just know it…"

George Bannerman wasn't a man who was easily impressed but capturing Heyes and Curry would surely do it. Now if he could only pull off something similar himself.

"… and I have you to thank…"

There he went again, reminding him of everything he didn't want to think about, everybody he didn't want to have to thank.

"… one day I want to be just like you Mr Briscoe …"

If only he knew. If only young Charlie knew how many times he'd nearly thrown his career away, nearly ruined everything. All for what? A few thousand dollars? But of course he didn't know, did he? Because of two loyal friends who helped him, who he had to thank … oh darn Charlie Foster. He really did not like the way his thoughts were going.

"… because Mr Briscoe, I have to be honest and say, I owe everything to you."

With that, Charlie finally came to a halt and sat there smiling widely at his mentor. Slowly Briscoe looked up at him.

… owe everything … owe everything …

Suddenly Harry pushed his chair back, stood up and strode out of the dining room, leaving a bewildered Charlie staring after him and wondering what on earth he had said to get such a reaction.

* * * * *

"Harry you have to do something" hissed Curry through the cell bars. Briscoe wasn't entirely sure how he'd ended up here at the jail talking to Heyes and Curry, and he certainly wasn't sure that it was where he wanted to be.

"But boys, what can I do? You got yourselves into this mess and you'll just have to get yourselves out of it. My hands are tied. I have to think of my job. I'm a Bannerman man and that must come first."

The look Heyes gave him had brought many a greater man than Harry Briscoe down to size and it stunned Harry into silence.

"Harry, what about all those favours you owe us? You wouldn't even have your job if it weren't for us." Curry pointed out.

The words rolled around inside Harry's head more than he would have liked.

"Boys, boys. I wish I could help" he tried to placate them.

"You can help Harry" stated Heyes simply.

"Not without risking my job. Don't ask this of me boys. Our friendship can never come between me and my job. I thought you knew that?"

"Harry!" Kid was getting impatient

"What if it didn't risk your job? What if you could help without anyone ever knowing?"

"Without risking my job?"

Curry looked at his partner and immediately followed his lead.

"Sure Harry, like Heyes says, no-one will ever know."

Harry looked conspirationally left and right and then left again as if to check that the sheriff wasn't watching and then he took a step closer to the cell door and leaned in close to Heyes.

"How?" he whispered

Heyes had to swallow hard not to laugh. Harry's schoolboy detective skills were way too obvious and if the sheriff had been awake he would surely have aroused his suspicions. But he wasn't awake. Heyes and Curry had kept a careful eye on him throughout the conversation and he was happily snoring away with his eyes closed. He hadn't seen a thing.

"Think about it Harry. From tomorrow morning, once we're on our way to Wyoming, we will be in your charge. We'll be your responsibility and you'd be blamed for anything that went wrong. Right now however, we're in the sheriff's charge. If anything should, er, "go wrong" now, it wouldn't be your fault, now would it?"

Heyes watched as comprehension registered on Harry's face and then continued.

"So if you're going to help us, it has to be tonight."

Briscoe straightened, frowned at Heyes and then moved away from the cell as he considered his options.

"No-one would know?" he asked, turning back towards them.

Heyes shook his head.

"No-one" confirmed Curry.

Harry Briscoe had never been blessed with a great intelligence but he knew how to use what he had and he knew he was being shown a way out of his problem. A way to keep his much treasured job and good standing with the Bannerman Detective Agency and at the same time, ease the guilt he was beginning to feel all too strongly.

"Help you?" he asked uncertainly.

Two heads nodded.

"Help you escape?"

Two more nods.

"Escape from jail?"

Again, two nods.

"But isn't that against the law boys?"

"Yeah Harry it is" Curry's voice was hard and cold "Just like stealing thirty thousand dollars that doesn't belong to you is. Just like taking one hundred thousand dollars in stolen gold bars is."

The words and Curry's tone hit Harry with full force and he came back over to the cell door and smiled at them.

"Boys. You know me, I'm always willing to help. I'll do whatever I can, but I don't really know what I can do. The keys to this cell are locked up in that safe over there and without them there's no way you'll be walking out of this cell."

"Ah, but that's where you're wrong" grinned Curry

"Dynamite?" asked Briscoe, clearly more than a little alarmed at the thought.

Heyes finally let a small laugh escape his lips.

"No Harry, not dynamite."

"You're forgetting who you're dealing with " Kid explained. "Hannibal Heyes doesn't need a key to open a lock - remember?"

"All I need is something like a small knife, or a letter opener."

"All you have to do is figure out how to get it in here to us" smiled Curry confidently.

"But how…"

"You're the detective Harry, work it out. Think of somewhere you wouldn't look if you were searching someone." Heyes interrupted him. "You're a senior agent, a Bannerman man, you'll think of something."

Heyes and Curry looked at each other and sat down on their bunks, as if to dismiss Harry. As he turned to go, Heyes called out

"Oh and Harry,"

He paused and turned back to look at them

"Tonight" came Curry's voice.

* * * * *

An hour later Harry Briscoe came back into the sheriff's office. Heyes and Curry looked at each other, their interest and awareness heightened. Nothing changed visibly but both were now ready for any eventuality, especially any chance of escape, no matter how small.

Before he got far into the office, Harry sneezed loudly. He pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and blew his nose vigorously. Heyes and Curry glanced at each other again, more than a little intrigued as to how this would pan out.

"Bless you" said the sheriff. "Must be this cold night air." He held his hand out to shake Harry's hand but as he was about to take it, Harry sneezed again, and blew his nose with even more gusto. The sheriff pulled his hand back sharply and looked at Harry a little distastefully.

"Sounds like you're getting a proper cold there Mr Briscoe."

Behind them in the cell, Heyes had to cover his mouth with his hand to hide a smile.

"Are you here to see me or visit the prisoners?" the sheriff asked Briscoe.

"The prisoners. Just a few final details to sort out."

Relieved at that, the sheriff reluctantly moved round the desk to search the detective.

"All a formality but it has to be done I'm afraid."

"Of course, everything by the book. That's how the Bannerman Detective Agency got the reputation it has and how it keeps it - by being thorough."

Harry held his arms up for the sheriff to check his jacket and then as he moved to check his legs, he sneezed once more and grabbing his handkerchief from his pocket, again blew his nose loudly.

The sheriff didn't like the sounds of it at all. He certainly didn't want to be catching a miserable cold from this man. With luck though he'd be gone first thing in the morning. He hurriedly completed his search and retreating to a safer distance in case the man sneezed all over him again, he waved Harry on through and settled back at his desk to finish up his outstanding paperwork. He glanced at his watch. In less than an hour his deputy would be here to take over from him and he could go on home for the night. He'd be glad of that. It had been a long day and now this man was doing his utmost to pass him a cold. Who'd be a sheriff on nights like this he asked himself.

"Boys, how are you doing?" asked Harry approaching the cell. Kid wrinkled up his nose and kept his hands firmly in his pockets in case Harry should entertain the idea of shaking his hand. Heyes just came to stand by the door and looked at Harry expectantly.

Suddenly, without warning, Harry let out another enormous sneeze. He sniffled mightily and grabbed quickly for his handkerchief. As he blew his nose on it, a small metal object fell from it and jangled onto the floor by Heyes' boot. Heyes quickly stepped on it to hide it and loudly sympathised with Harry on his cold.

Heyes risked a glance at Curry who had a broad smile on his face.

"Well Harry, I'm impressed"

"Sshh, now boys. You said no-one would know"

"And they won't Harry. Now you go on over to the saloon and get involved in a poker game or a conversation so that people remember you being there. We'll wait an hour or so at least to give you time."

The detective nodded and then made a show of discussing the details of what time he wanted to leave in the morning and explaining that the outlaws would be tied up firmly at all times. Heyes and Curry just nodded sombrely.

Harry nodded and then, having run out of things to say, he sneezed once more and was gone.

* * * * *

He stood outside in the dark street, looking back at the jail. He only hoped he was doing the right thing. Friends were friends it was true, but he had pledged his loyalty to the Bannerman Detective Agency and it meant more to him than anything. He still wasn't sure he was doing the right thing. But he hadn't really had much choice he told himself. He had been backed into a corner and he could really only see one way out - well, only one way which would allow him to live with himself. He smiled. Yes he was doing the right thing. He took his handkerchief from his pocket, folded it neatly again and headed for the saloon.

* * * * *

The deputy had come in to take over from the sheriff an hour or so later but it had been another couple of hours before he had finally fallen asleep. Heyes and Curry had waited patiently, playing blackjack in between furtive glances at the deputy.

Kid looked impatiently at his partner.

"Take it easy Kid. The time'll come soon enough."

"No Heyes, it might come but it won't be soon enough. Every minute I spend in a place like this is a minute too long."

"Why Kid you surprise me. I thought you'd appreciate the easy life. All of your food is brought right to you …"

"Heyes, have you tasted that food?"

"You don't have to worry about anything, about getting a job, about not having any money and best of all, you don't have to worry about being recognised by a sheriff or chased by a posse."

"What I do have to worry about though is my partner - Heyes did anyone ever tell you you're a little weird sometimes?"

"Well, no-one who's opinion I care to take any notice of."

Kid opened his mouth to reply but was interrupted by the sound of snoring.

Instantly their expressions turned serious.

"He asleep?" mouthed Kid silently.

Heyes nodded. "I think so" he whispered.

They listened intently for a few moments without moving. Gradually the snores became louder and more regular and finally convinced that he was asleep, Heyes reached under the old mattress for the pick he had hidden there earlier.

Curry stood in the corner of the cell, firstly to get a good view of the deputy in case he should awaken but also to shield Heyes from his view should he open his eyes suddenly. Heyes' concentration would be on the lock and as always Curry's job was to keep a close lookout for any danger. It was only because he knew Curry was there and trusted him totally to do his part of the job that Heyes was able to allow himself to focus fully on the lock. Curry for his part, left Heyes to worry about the lock and concentrated solely on staying alert for danger signs. It was a system that had worked for them countless times before and was something they fell into automatically now. There was no need for words or explanations.

The sounds of the snores changed slightly and Curry reached behind him and placed his hand on Heyes' shoulder. Heyes immediately pulled the pick out of the lock and resumed his earlier pacing back and forth across the cell, as if he'd been doing that all along.

The deputy snorted, repositioned in his chair and was soon snoring away again happily.

Heyes looked at Curry and waited for the signal. Finally happy that the deputy had fallen back to sleep, Curry nodded and Heyes went back to work on the lock.

Just a few moments later, Heyes pulled the pick from the lock and ever so slowly pushed open the cell door. Heyes' face lit up with a smile of victory and he whispered "Good old Harry".

Kid grinned back and together they silently made their way out of the cell and across the office.

Kid headed for the cupboard where he'd seen the sheriff place their guns but as he started to open the door it creaked. They both froze in place and stared at the deputy, but he continued to snore. Letting out a sigh of relief, Kid went to try again. Heyes waved frantically at him to stop and mouthed "leave it".

Curry shook his head and frowned at Heyes.

Kid please don't get stubborn now pleaded Heyes silently to himself, all the time knowing that he would never be able to persuade Kid to leave without his gun. He knew himself that it was sensible to get the guns but right now all he wanted to do was get out of there as fast as he could.

Kid reached up and very gently tried the other door to the cupboard. He scrunched his face up, waiting for the creak, but it never came and slowly the door swung open.

Holding his breath, he carefully reached around, behind the door that was still closed. He felt around and gave Heyes a small nod as his fingers curled around his gun. He pulled it out and placed it in his belt. Heyes started to turn, prepared to escape with just one gun between them but Curry reached back into the cupboard for the other one.

Heyes waved at him again to leave it and come along but it didn't take Curry long to find what he was looking for. He pulled out the second gun and, relieved, Heyes dragged him towards the door. He peered out to check the street and as he did so he heard an almighty crash as the deputy stirred and managed to knock the contents of the desk onto the floor. Feeling sure he would wake himself with the noise, the pair ran out into the street where thankfully everything seemed to be quiet.

As they reached the livery and started saddling their horses, Heyes let out a long sigh of relief. Climbing up into the saddle, he grinned at Curry.

"Anyone ever tell you you're a stubborn old fool?"

"Well, no-one who's opinion I care to take any notice of" he grinned back as Heyes' smile faded.

Hauling himself into the saddle, Curry urged his horse forward and together they raced towards the edge of the town.

A few minutes after leaving the town behind them, they slowed and turned, afraid they were being followed, but could see no movement behind them.

In the silence and still of the night, the click of the gun being cocked was unmistakable.

"Hold it right there boys"

Kid closed his eyes and wished he could keep them that way. Heyes' eyes simply turned cold.

Together, in unison, they looked up to where the voice had come from, straight into the face of Harry Briscoe.

* * * * *

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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3.8 A Question of Loyalty by Sally Wheaton :: Comments

Re: 3.8 A Question of Loyalty by Sally Wheaton
Post on Sun 17 May 2015, 1:13 am by royannahuggins

"I can't believe you're doing this Harry" groaned Curry "Not to mention that I can't understand why you're doing it?"

"It's my job boys." replied Harry as he led the way down the trail. They'd been travelling since last night but were only making slow progress. The trail wasn't an easy one and as Heyes and Curry had their hands tied securely behind them, it made riding very difficult. It was easier this morning in full daylight, but, Heyes figured, the trip was going to give them plenty of time to work on Harry, the ropes and a plan. Never one to lack confidence in his ability to get them out of a fix, Heyes wouldn't even contemplate the idea of actually arriving in Cheyenne.

"But if your job is so important to you Harry, why'd you help us escape from jail last night only to take us prisoner again straight away? Don't make no sense to me." continued Curry

"I do feel bad about it." Harry replied sincerely, as if that explained everything.

"But why Harry? Why?" demanded Curry, getting more and more annoyed now.

"Didn't want to be shown up by a young greenhorn huh?" asked Heyes perceptively, squinting into the sun towards Harry.

"Now that's nonsense and you know it"

Heyes raised his eyebrows.

Darn that man thought Harry, it was impossible to bluff him.

"Well, OK, I did think I might just be able to do my reputation a little good here."

"The truth Harry, what's going on?" Heyes was insistent.

"OK, OK. After you helped me with that job at the Silver Palace Casino in Colorado Springs, everything went real well for me at the agency for a time. But it's hard to live on one job forever and things didn't .... well they didn't quite go so well after that."

Heyes and Curry both nodded, not at all surprised.

"The truth is boys, my reputation with the agency at the moment isn't all that young Charlie Foster makes it out to be. Oh he is easy enough to impress, but George Bannerman is another thing entirely. When I heard that Charlie had captured the two of you, I must admit it did occur to me that that would be a real feather in my cap. I could do with that right now boys."

Harry looked downbeat and for a brief moment Curry almost felt sorry for the man, almost.

"If I'd left you where you were, in jail, then young Charlie would have got the credit for capturing you two. Oh I'd have got some credit sure for escorting you up to Wyoming, but it's not quite the same thing. "

"So you thought you'd help us escape and let the town and the Bannerman Agency believe they'd lost another chance at us, but then Harry Briscoe would not only capture Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry, but he'd personally deliver them to Wyoming too?" surmised Heyes.

"Something like that." admitted Harry without looking at them.

"That would be quite a feather in your cap." nodded Heyes.

"It isn't going to work though Harry" stated Curry.

Harry did look up at that.

"You've still got to get us to Wyoming - that's a long way, a very long way." added Heyes.

"It's true Harry - I sure hope you're better at tying knots than you used to be - only took us a couple of minutes last time." smiled Curry.

"I am." Harry nodded vaguely.

Heyes looked at Curry, afraid that Harry was right. They were, after all, still tied up. He'd been struggling with the knots behind his back all morning, but to no avail and he knew Kid was thinking the same.

"It's still a long way to Wyoming." Curry's voice was intimidating "Anything could happen."

The implied threat was not lost on Harry and he started to wonder, for the first time, whether he would actually be able to get these two all the way to their destination.

The three men rode on in silence for a long time, the two outlaws allowing Harry time to think around what they'd said. His doubts and concerns had been easily readable on his face and they wanted him to continue thinking along those lines.

Finally it was Heyes who broke the silence. "Harry?"


Heyes stopped his horse, forcing Harry to stop too, alongside him.

"Are you sure you're doing the right thing?" Heyes asked with mock concern, as if for Harry's own welfare.

Curry brought his horse to a standstill on the other side of Heyes.

The doubts ran visibly across Harry's face.

"Think about it." added Curry, mirroring Heyes' mock concern.

"It's just that...." Heyes faltered and looked up the trail, away from Harry.

"Just that ..." he sighed heavily "Harry, I thought we were friends?"

The look of genuine hurt on Heyes' face stunned Harry. He was lost for words. Friends? He didn't have many friends.

"I thought ..." Heyes paused again "I thought that's why we did things for each other, because we were friends." Heyes looked deep into Harry's eyes with as much compassion as he could muster and then shaking his head in feigned disappointment, he kicked his horse forward again and slowly moved on ahead up the trail.

Curry watched Harry react. He was feeling guilty alright, that was for sure. He couldn't blame him either - Heyes' performance had almost convinced him too!

They rode on in silence once more, with Harry digesting this latest conversation.

Eventually Heyes spoke again, this time his voice was full of frustration and disappointment. "Harry, where would you be right now if it wasn't for us?"

Harry didn't want to think about it, but Heyes wasn't going to let him off the hook that easily.

"Think about it Harry. Would you still have your job?"

There was a long pause before he added "Or would you be in jail by now?"

Harry couldn't look at Heyes. He was right of course. He wouldn't have his job if it weren't for these two. Twice he had almost been tempted into a life of crime and twice they had stopped him, saved him. But he did still have his job and it was important to him. And he wanted to keep it and he needed something to prevent him from losing it and this, they, were just too good a chance to miss.

"So after we helped you keep your job twice and kept you on the straight and narrow, you're now going to send us to prison for twenty years?"

Harry was getting more and more miserable. Why did Heyes have to keep reminding him of all of this?

"When you know how hard we're working for our amnesty. You know we've changed Harry. You know we haven't done anything in a very long time. We have seen the error of our ways and we're doing something about it. Just like you did yourself. We didn't turn you in. Harry do you really think we deserve to be sent to prison right now?"

Harry understood what Heyes was saying. In truth he had to admit that he agreed with him. They really didn't deserve to end up in prison now. But what was he to do? He had to think of his job. He shook his head. He really didn't want to hear any more of this. Unfortunately though, it was going to get worse as Curry took over the conversation. His tone was far more hostile and threatening than Heyes' had been and Harry was always wary of Curry in this mood. Right now he sounded furious and Harry didn't doubt for a moment that he meant what he said.

"Quote Harry Briscoe "Think how nice it would be to have a really good friend in the Bannerman Detective Agency". Remember that Harry?"

Harry swallowed. He did remember saying that.

"Quote Harry Briscoe. "Now you know there's nothing in the world I wouldn't do for you two boys" What about that one Harry? You remember that one?"

Harry nodded despondently.

"You have to let us go Harry" Heyes said calmly. "You can't turn us in. It wouldn't be the right thing to do and you'd never live with yourself afterwards. And once we were in prison, there'd be nothing you could do to put it right. Even you" he emphasised the words "a senior Bannerman Detective, wouldn't be able to get us out of prison."

"Heyes is right Harry. Let us go." added Curry more quietly but with certainty.

Harry looked up at them both glumly. He wasn't sure what to do for the best.

"It's my job boys. I can't lose face."

"Ah Harry" laughed Curry gently "is that all you're worried about?"

"Kid's right" confirmed Heyes. "We'll work out a plan so you don't lose face. We'll wait til we get into a town and then we'll make it look good, like you did all you could. Nobody will think badly of you, in fact the opposite. We'll make you look good Harry, like a hero. Even George Bannerman himself will be impressed."

Harry was almost tempted - almost. If there was a way to let these two go and still have George Bannerman be impressed with him then maybe that would be the right thing to do. He just wasn't sure. On the other hand, bringing in Heyes and Curry would certainly be something. Really something. His decision made, he looked at them and tried to look more confident than he felt.

"No boys. It isn't going to work. I'm going to take you in and nothing you say is going to change my mind."

Curry sighed in frustration and looked away. This wasn't going to plan. Heyes remained calm, at least on the outside.

"Quote Harry Briscoe "Now you're absolutely sure there's nothing more I can do for you?". Harry, do you remember why you said that?" Curry was angry again and Harry did his best to ignore him.

Heyes looked at Harry with his most sincere expression and when he spoke, his voice was unruffled and totally in control.

"If I were you Harry, there's just one thing I'd be worried about."

Harry looked up at him sceptically.

"If you turn us in and we're in prison, who's going to get you out of the next fix you get yourself into?"

Harry stopped in his tracks. He hadn't thought of that. What was he to do?

"We won't be able to help you if we're in prison. And Harry, be sure that there will come a day, when you need our help." Heyes finished.

"Again." Curry added pointedly.

* * * * *

"Darn Harry and these ropes" muttered Kid quietly, getting more and more annoyed.

"Darn Harry and his job" replied Heyes.

In the cover of darkness, whilst Harry was sleeping, they had both been working persistently on the bindings holding their hands behind their backs. They'd even managed to shuffle round at one point so that they were back to back, enabling them to work on each other's ropes, but still without success. After a couple of hours of making no progress at all, they knew they had to try and get some sleep before the morning. There was always tomorrow to try the ropes, and the persuasion, again.

The three came to a standstill at the top of a ridge. The view down the valley was breathtaking, though in truth none of them were really in a position to fully appreciate it. The scenery was becoming greener now, with more trees and thicker undergrowth. It was once again slow going as they made their way down a steep hill to the valley floor, but once there it became easier as the valley opened out to a lush meadow surrounded by gentler hills. The two outlaws looked around them, both thinking that it was good hide-out country if only they could find a chance of escape. Curry pulled at the ropes binding his wrists once again, but it was no use.

Hearing the sound of running water, the three had slowed down to listen more carefully, when the shot rang out.

Heyes and Curry instinctively spurred their horses to a gallop.

"Move it!" shouted Curry to Harry who was to his side and a little in front of him. Curry was alarmed to note that Harry hadn't really reacted to the sound of the bullet. He supposed that Harry just wasn't used to being shot at and he wondered who was aiming at himself and his partner now. He vaguely registered that the shot had been way off mark though if the shooter had been aiming at him. In fact, it had ended up closer to Harry than himself.

Racing across the valley directly towards the hills, they made their way into the cover of a glade of trees. Finding themselves slightly ahead of Harry despite their hands being tied, Heyes and Curry stopped and turned to look back across the valley to where the shot had come from. There had been only the one shot.

"I don't see anything, do you?"

Kid shook his head. "It doesn't mean they're not there though. It could just mean they're good."

Both men continued to survey the scene for several minutes.

"Kind of funny, that there was only one shot though, don't you think?" ventured Heyes.

Curry turned and looked further up the valley.

"An ambush?"

Heyes nodded. "That's exactly what I was thinking."

He was still looking intently down the valley.

"Whoever it is, obviously doesn't know we're already under arrest."

"That's the strange thing though Heyes. If they were aiming at you or me, they weren't a very good shot."

Heyes looked at his partner with interest.

"That shot was a lot closer to Harry than it was to either of us."

"Maybe they do know we're under arrest then."

"And they're trying to kill Harry so that they can get the reward?"

Both were silent for a few moments, considering this.

"What you thinking Kid?" asked Heyes eventually.

"Well, I was thinking that for all the bad thoughts I've been having about old Harry the last couple of days, he doesn't deserve that. I couldn't stand by and watch him get killed."

Heyes nodded and went back to looking down the trail.

"You?" asked Curry.

Heyes grinned sheepishly at him.

"Oh I was just wondering whether it would be easier to escape from Harry Briscoe or from that guy who wants Harry out of the wayl"

Kid smiled at him.

"Well" continued Heyes in mock defence "he did miss, whatever he was aiming at."

* * * * *

The trail became more and more difficult during the afternoon. Heyes tried to persuade Harry to untie his and Curry's hands, but he was having none of it. Heyes tried explaining that they suspected they may be ambushed and that Harry himself might be in danger, but his pleas fell on deaf ears. It seemed Harry believed that Heyes and Curry had somehow got one of the Devil's Hole Gang to fire the shots just so that they could persuade him to untie them. It didn't take Heyes long to figure that he wasn't going to get anywhere. In the end though, it took all of their concentration to follow the trail with their hands tied and keep alert for a possible ambush.

But as it turned out there was no ambush and they eventually left the canyon and made camp for the night close to a stream.

After they'd eaten, Harry checked that his prisoners were firmly tied and then went down to the stream to refill the canteens. As he straightened up from the stream, he thought he caught a movement out of the corner of his eye.

"Now boys, come on. None of the funny stuff huh?"

He turned and saw a figure standing not far off, just behind a tree but in the near dark it was difficult to make out the detail.

The first thing he saw clearly was the gun pointing directly at him.

"Boys" he pleaded, a little bewildered at how this had happened.

"Boys?" came a deep, gruff voice. "I'm no boy Briscoe, you know that."

Harry knew who it was before he saw the face. He looked around him desperately. This man was dangerous and this wasn't a good situation.

"Drake? What on earth are you doing here?"

"Why, I've come to kill you Harry of course, what do you think I'm doing here out in the middle of nowhere, holding a gun on you, with no witnesses around."

He laughed, a loud sneering guffaw that left Harry in little doubt that he was serious.

"K-kill me?" stammered Harry

"Of course. It's the only way. You're standing between me and what I want. You shouldn't have done that. This way there'll be no witnesses, no proof."

"That's not entirely true" came Heyes' voice from the trees on his left. "There's a witness here."

"And another one here" countered Curry's voice from the right. Drake looked around but couldn't see either one. They were both well concealed by the trees and the darkness.

"Alright Drake, whoever you are, put the gun down. We've both got you covered and there's no way you can take us both. Put it down."

Slowly the man tossed his gun away, out of his reach. When Harry made no move to pick up the gun, Heyes had to bite back his frustration. Surely Harry realised that they were bluffing? Neither of them had a gun and what's more they both still had their hands tied. If Drake should realise that, they'd be in big trouble.

Heyes was relieved to hear Curry's calm voice taking command.

"OK Harry, pick up the gun."

Harry was still in a numbed shock but he responded to Curry's instruction and bent for the gun.

Drake was a shrewd man. He calculated his odds at pretty low. If he moved, one of the guns would hit him. But if he didn't move, well that didn't really bear thinking about. His chances were zero whichever way he looked at it. He had nothing to lose and so as Harry bent for the gun, he made a run for it, disappearing into the darkness and then the trees like lightning.

Heyes and Curry rushed forward out of the trees but pursuit was useless. Their hands were tied, both literally and figuratively, and after all they didn't even have guns.

Looking down at his hands tied in front of him, Heyes turned to Harry.

"He'll be back you know"

"Have you thought what you're going to do about that?" asked Curry.

"Twenty thousand dollars is a lot of money you know, there are plenty of men who'll fight hard, even kill, for that amount." Heyes added.

"Twenty thousand dollars?" asked Harry surprised.

"It's what we're worth. Ten thousand each. You have us. He wants us. Like the man said, you're standing between him and what he wants"

"I wish it were that simple" Harry shook his head "but it's not."

As they made their way back to camp, Harry explained. "His name's John Drake and he's a wanted man."

"For what?" asked Heyes.

"For the attempted murder of George Bannerman himself."

Heyes eyebrows rose in interest as he digested that piece of information.

"George Bannerman, of course, will make sure he's captured and when he is, he'll go to trial where he doesn't stand a chance because there is a witness who saw everything clearly."

Harry stopped and turned to face his two prisoners. "That witness is me."

Heyes and Curry exchanged a glance.

"So that's why he wants you dead." concluded Heyes.

Harry nodded.

"Nothing to do with us?" asked Curry.

Harry nodded again.

"In fact, he probably doesn't know who we are, or even care." Heyes looked at his partner as he spoke and Curry saw the first spark of an idea in his eyes.

"That's probably true." continued Harry. "There's another reason too that I'd really like to see him bought to justice. I saw everything that happened, because I was very close by. Close enough that I should have been able to stop him. I'm not proud of the fact that I wasn't able to."

I can imagine that scene thought Heyes, but rather than ask Harry for any more details, he thought it best to move the conversation forward. "Be quite a feather in your cap if you could capture him and bring him to justice in court then wouldn't it?" he asked.

"Yes it would" nodded Harry. There was a long pause before Harry looked up miserably and admitted "But boys, do you honestly believe that if I went after him, I'd be able to do that? Because I'm afraid I don't."

"Harry, you ... " Curry started encouragingly, but then faltered. What could he honestly say to that. He was relieved when his partner saved him from having to answer.

"No Harry, I don't believe you could."

Harry nodded miserably, accepting Heyes' honest verdict.

"But we could." finished Heyes.

Curry looked at Heyes and raised his eyebrows questioningly.

Harry perked up. "You could." It was a statement not a question.

"But not tied up of course" Heyes started

"And not without guns" added Curry.

Harry looked from one to the other, still unsure.

"Harry, you said yourself you were only taking us in to get a feather in your cap with the agency. Remember how bad you said you felt about it? Now just how much more of a feather would it be to bring John Drake to justice? What would George Bannerman say to that? Darn it Harry, capturing us is easy. Think about it. You can capture us any time you want. Come on, even that young upstart Charlie Foster managed to catch us - how hard can it be?"

Curry nodded in agreement, taking up where Heyes left off. "It's true Harry. I think the once great Hannibal Heyes is losing his touch."

Heyes turned to Curry and gave him a look that told him clearly not to take this too far but Curry was just getting into his stride. "In fact, truth to tell, one of the reasons we had to go straight was because Heyes was starting to lose his touch. He couldn't open the safes anymore ..."

Heyes glared at Curry, who simply smiled at him and continued. "The plans had dried up. It just wasn't working anymore."

Curry shook his head in dismay and Harry just nodded and looked at Heyes in sympathy.

"So you see, what Heyes said is true. You can capture us anytime you want."

Curry paused slightly and Heyes jumped in to get the conversation back to where he wanted it to be.

"But now, John Drake. He's a different matter entirely. A man like him, well, it takes something special to catch a man like that."

Heyes paused, really hating to have to say the next bit. He gave Harry a moment, just in case he was already convinced. But when Harry looked at him blankly, he knew he was going to have to do it.

He turned slightly away from Curry first. There was no way he wanted to be able to see him while he said it. Taking a mental deep breath and resigning himself to what Curry would say later, he continued.

"Something special - and dangerous. With a man like Drake, it's going to involve gunplay. What you need is a pretty special gunman."

Harry looked up at Curry, but Heyes steadfastly refused to even give him a glance.

"And one thing I will say, is that whilst Hannibal Heyes may have lost his touch, Kid Curry certainly hasn't."

He finally turned slightly and risked a small glance at his partner. Curry gave him the biggest, brightest and darn it, the smuggest smile he'd ever seen and he turned away quickly.

"Come on Harry, untie us, give us our guns back and let us go after Drake for you. We'll bring him back and help you take him in."

* * * * *

The two ex-outlaws had been tracking John Drake for most of the day. It was hot and it was hard going, but they both had the feeling they were closing in on him. They were following the tracks up a steep trail. It wasn't clear where it lead but it wasn't a well used trail and gave every indication that it was only used by those who knew what they were doing.

Finally the trail widened a little and they spotted a small cabin in the distance. Leaving their horses safely tethered, they approached carefully on foot, scrambling up the rocks and through the undergrowth so as not to be seen. Once they were close enough to see clearly, they waited and watched carefully.

Drake was experienced at hiding out and he didn't give much away, but eventually after a lengthy wait, they saw enough to know that he was in there and, they judged, most likely alone.

Heyes moved into position at the front of the cabin, lying on his belly behind a small rock. Giving Curry time to make his way to the back of the cabin, Heyes waited before yelling out to Drake.

"Drake! You hear me? We know you're in there. We've got you covered and there's three of us again."

At the back of the cabin, Curry smiled at the lie. Could his partner ever tell it straight without exaggerating? Immediately he acknowledged that yes, he could. And he did. Often. Every time he spoke to Curry himself in fact. Curry knew that in all their years together, Heyes had never lied to him. He saved his exaggerations for others too - mostly for those times when it would give them a slight advantage - like now. Mostly, he smiled to himself.

Directly to the rear of the cabin was a large open yard which meant he couldn't get as close as he had wanted. There was very little protection at all, except for the shrubbery a little way from the cabin. Crouching behind it, he found he was able to see through an open window into the cabin, He couldn't see any movement but set his sights on the window and waited.

At the front, Heyes peered out from behind the rock, but couldn't see any movement either.

"Come on out Drake, there's no way out for you this time" he yelled.

When it happened, it happened very quickly. Drake moved to the window and fired in Heyes' direction.

At the back of the cabin, Curry saw Drake through the open window. He saw him move to the window at the front. He saw him raise the gun and he knew he was aiming at Heyes. In what seemed like slow motion, he took aim through the open window and fired. As Drake pulled the trigger, his gun was hit by Curry's bullet, his own shot went high into the air and the gun flew out of the front window.

It had been an impossible shot. But just as Heyes had said earlier, it was going to take a pretty special gunman to bring down Drake. Curry smiled to himself. Yep, he was definitely going to have to remind his partner about that later.

In front of the cabin, Heyes secured Drake's gun just as Curry appeared at the back window, his gun still trained on Drake.

After securing their prisoner, they started back down the trail.

"Joshua, you don't have to say anything about what happened back there you know."

Heyes looked over at Curry.

"Yeah, I know Thaddeus. I didn't want to gloat, but now that you've brought the subject up, yes I know, I was right again wasn't I?"

He smiled broadly at his friend, who brought his horse to a standstill and frowned in puzzlement as he tried to figure out how Heyes had just got the better of him - again.

* * * * *

Two days later the four had made camp not far from the town of Harrisburg. It was late at night and Heyes and Curry were sitting a short distance away from the other two, out of earshot.

"So do you trust him Heyes?"

"Harry? Yes. And no. What about you?"

"No. Not enough anyway."

"I agree Kid. We can't go into town with them tomorrow."

"But will he manage to get Drake into town safely without us?"

"I've been wondering exactly the same thing. He might but on the other hand he might not. But how much can we do for him Kid?" We've given him a good chance and if he can't do this final bit on his own then maybe he just doesn't deserve it."

"And he was gonna turn us in."

"Right. We could run out on him right now. And I'm just not sure that I want to risk my freedom on what he might or might not do."

"Heyes, I agree completely. Let's just get out of here."

Even as he spoke, Harry approached them.

"About time to turn in boys. But before we do, there's just one thing."

With that, he pulled his gun on them and proceeded to tie their hands behind their backs. Remembering how well he'd bound them before, the two ex-outlaws shared a somewhat confused glance. He hadn't done nearly such a good job this time, in fact the leather straps could almost be described as loose.

"You see boys, I need to keep a close eye on Drake tonight and I don't see how I can possibly watch you two at the same time, especially from right over there. It occurred to me that you might attempt to, erm .." he gave them a pointed look before continuing "escape. It would be irresponsible of a Bannerman man to allow that to happen boys. So I have to tie you up to keep you secure whilst I watch Drake."

He looked from one to the other.

"You understand?"

Heyes laughed and nodded. "Yes Harry, we understand."

"Good. Well, goodnight boys. Sleep well."

He tipped his hat at them and started to walk back to where Drake was sitting, also bound. After a few steps, he turned around to face them again.


He hesitated and they waited.

"I ... I .." he started but stopped. Unable to say the words, he waved his hand in the air in a dismissive gesture.

"See you around boys" and with that he turned again and walked back towards Drake.

Heyes and Curry smiled after him.

"Goodnight Harry, sleep well yourself." called Heyes. "And thank you" he added more quietly.

With Harry out of earshot again, the two turned to each other. Curry raised his eyebrows questioningly and Heyes grinned and said "Go!"

Only a few seconds later, Heyes was the first to have his hands free and turned to look at Curry with a satisfied smile on his face.

"Losing my touch indeed."

"And here I thought Harry had finally learned to tie ropes properly. Seems he's a bit inconsistent huh?" laughed Curry as he freed his own hands only a couple of seconds later.

"Good old Harry" Heyes smiled back. "I didn't think he'd be able to turn us in. If this eases his conscience though, who are we to argue?"

Quietly the pair made their way to their horses and just a few moments later they were away and clear of the camp.

* * * * *

The next morning there was great excitement in the town of Harrisburg. News spread fast that a Wanted man was being brought in and the townsfolk were out on the streets, trying to catch a glimpse as a prisoner was delivered to the sheriff's office.

At the top of the street, the two men who had ridden into town only moments after the other two, turned their horses and rode straight back out of town, satisfied that the job was complete.

3.8 A Question of Loyalty by Sally Wheaton

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