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 3.15 You Don't Bring Me Diamonds by Sally Wheaton

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royannahuggins
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20150523
Post3.15 You Don't Bring Me Diamonds by Sally Wheaton


They heard the door open then and watched as the sheriff came back in and with his deputy's help, emptied the contents of their saddlebags onto his desk. He went slowly through everything, turning each item over and around and examining it in minute detail.

"What's he doing?" whispered Kid.

Heyes just frowned and shook his head, indicating he had no idea. They both watched intently as the sheriff continued. He carefully shook each item of clothing, fished into all of the pockets and then laid the item flat on the desk and ran his hands over every inch of it. He shook the book from Heyes' bag vigorously and then flicked through each page. Finding Curry's shaving brush he ran his fingers carefully through the bristles and shook it hard.

"I think he's looking for something Heyes" said Kid

Heyes just looked at him. His partner did have the knack of stating the obvious at times.



Starring

Pete Duel as Hannibal Heyes
Ben Murphy as Kid Curry


Guest Stars


Alan Rickman as Harvey Sandford

Danny Devito as Sheriff Warren


You Don't Bring Me Diamonds
by Sally Wheaton



The saloon in Oak Creek was one of the liveliest they'd been in. The noise of the patrons at the bar and the poker tables almost drowned out the piano player in the corner. It was a bright, cheerful place and Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry had spent the last three nights in there.

Heyes was involved in a poker game in what passed for a quiet corner. The game was challenging but he was winning more than he was losing as usual. The man sitting opposite him, who'd introduced himself two nights ago as Harvey Sandford, was an especially good player and Heyes was enjoying the contest.

Curry was leaning against the bar, enjoying the whisky and the attentions of a pretty, blonde haired saloon girl in a bright blue dress. The truth was he'd been enjoying the whisky all evening and he wasn't exactly sober at this point.

He knocked back the contents of his glass and placed it down heavily on the bar. The saloon girl ran her fingers through his hair enticingly.

"What'd ya say ya name was honey?" he slurred slightly.

"Lucy" she smiled at him and leaning close, planted a kiss on his lips. "What's yours?"

"Thaddeus" he replied happily. For this small moment at least, all was well with his world, as the bartender filled his glass once more and Lucy put both arms around his neck.

Suddenly the piano player stopped playing and within moments the whole room had gone silent. Standing in the doorway was Sheriff Taggerty and he certainly looked like he meant business. The group of four men with him looked like they were expecting trouble and almost like they were looking forward to dealing with it.

Kid turned towards the bar, not wanting the sheriff to see his face. He was still sober enough to know what this meant. Next to him, Lucy pulled away from him and also turned towards the bar. In the now quiet saloon, Curry heard the footsteps approaching and, deciding it was better to face what was coming, he turned back around and came face to face with two of the sheriff's men. Glancing towards the back of the room, he saw the sheriff and the other two men standing by Heyes' table. He exchanged a look of resignation with his partner as the sheriff's loud voice demanded

"OK cowboy, on your feet, you're under arrest."

Heyes turned his eyes to the sheriff but didn't make any move to stand up. He took a breath to voice his objections, but as he did so, Sheriff Taggerty placed his hands on the shoulders of the man sitting beside him.

"I said stand Ralph Benton, you're under arrest." the sheriff growled and non too gently hauled Benton to this feet. The other two men with the sheriff flanked the cowboy and escorted him out of the saloon.

The sheriff turned back to the poker table, tipped his hat at them and smiled "Gentlemen. Sorry to interrupt your game" before following the others across the saloon.

Heyes looked at Curry in shock, unable to believe he was still sitting there.

In front of Curry, one of the men was speaking. "I'm sorry Lady, but you're under arrest too. I don't want to use force, so just come quietly."

Curry's surprise at the situation turned to bewilderment a moment later as Lucy pulled him into an enormous bear hug, kissing his face and running her hands all over him.

"Seems like it's not our day Thaddeus honey" she whispered in his ear. "Maybe we can try again another day?" Kissing him full on the lips, she pulled away from him and allowed herself to be escorted out of the saloon.

Curry again just stared after her in amazement.

At the back of the saloon, Heyes smiled to himself. Trust the Kid. He thought he'd done well himself to avoid being arrested, but Kid had not only avoided arrest, he'd also got himself kissed - and how!

Curry picked up the whisky the bartender had poured for him, downed it and leaned against the bar, a little uncertain at this point whether his legs would hold him up without support. The bartender quickly refilled the glass yet again.

Heyes meanwhile had excused himself from the poker game and had now joined Curry at the bar. Curry reached for the glass of whisky but Heyes beat him to it and downed it in one.

"Close call?" slurred Curry, a little too loudly for Heyes' liking.

"No need to tell the whole world that" he said in a low voice so that only his partner could hear and then added pointedly "Thaddeus."

Kid realised what he'd done and looked contrite. Heyes slapped him on the back and smiled to soften his words.

"S'OK. No harm done."

Heyes realised that the Kid was somewhat drunk, but he couldn't blame him. Life was tough and they'd seemed safe in this town, come to think of it, they still were really, but the close call had been a little unnerving to say the least.

The bartender placed a glass in front of Heyes but he shook his head, refusing the whisky. The one thing they had learned, the hard way, was that it was dangerous for them both to be drunk at the same time and so Heyes needed to stay sober tonight.

Curry looked at Heyes miserably "They took Lucy away" he stated flatly.

"Yeah, I know." replied Heyes wondering if Kid had had more than he thought.

"Why?"

"I don't know. I've been wondering the same though."

Kid looked at his partner and tried hard to concentrate. Yes, Heyes was worried. Probably wondering how soon they'd be able to leave town. Kid took a huge deep breath and stood up straight, pushing himself away from the bar. He wobbled a little but stayed upright. That was good he decided.

"Well, we'd better get our stuff then." He said with more enthusiasm than he felt.

Heyes was relieved.

"You're probably right" he agreed and propping his arm under the Kid's shoulders to support him, they made their way out onto the street.

The cold night air hit Curry like a tornado and he stumbled and would have fallen had Heyes not caught him just in time.

"You sure you can ride?"

"Yeah. Been doing it for years Heyes. Heck, how do you think I got into town? Walked?" Curry clearly thought this was hilarious and laughed loudly. Heyes just smiled and shook his head. His partner's sense of humour was bad enough when sober he mentally grumbled.

Heyes contemplated leaving Curry by the livery while he went upstairs to collect their things, but in the end decided he'd better take him with him.

"OK Kid, now we have to go to our room and get our stuff. OK?"

"OK" nodded Kid.

"Now I want you to concentrate once we get into the hotel, OK?"

"OK" nodded Kid again, seriously

"Hard, OK?"

"OK"

"It's important"

"OK"

"Whatever you do, don't .."

"OK," interrupted Kid slightly louder. "I'll be careful I promise."

"OK," replied Heyes.

"I know it's important."

"OK."

"You can trust me."

"OK."

"You don't have to worry, Joshua," he emphasised the name. "I know what my name is." Kid grinned broadly.

"Oh I wasn't worried about that." Heyes dismissed with a serious expression.

"You weren't?"

"No."

"What then?" asked Kid puzzled and suddenly serious.

Heyes looked at him intently before saying deliberately and sternly. "Don't sing."

Heyes gave Kid that wide-eyed innocent expression he'd seen so many times before and turned to hold the door open for Curry, who staggered through it, totally bemused.

The stairs proved something of a challenge but were eventually negotiated safely and Heyes sat Kid on the bed while he gathered their belongings together and stuffed them into the saddlebags. It only took a few minutes and in no time they were at the livery and ready to leave.

This time as they walked across the street, Curry insisted he didn't need any assistance.

"You sober now then?" asked Heyes, not convinced.

"Yep," replied Curry confidently and with a too big smile.

"Uh-huh." Heyes was extremely doubtful as they walked into the livery.

"You can get on your horse OK then?" he asked, trying not to laugh.

"Sure" nodded Curry automatically without really thinking about it. Once he stood by the horse though, it was a different matter. Heyes had surreptitiously checked the saddle for him but had then left him to his own devices. Kid looked at his foot and then at the stirrup - it was high. Could he get his foot that high without falling over? He'd need something to hold onto for sure, so he reached out and grasped the saddle. The problem then was that he didn't have a spare hand to direct his foot into the stirrup and after all that whisky he didn't think he could find the stirrup with his foot alone. He stared at the saddle and frowned. This was harder than he thought.

Then it suddenly dawned on him that he could get up without using the stirrup at all, heck he'd done it many times before. Now, all he needed was a big, big jump....

Heyes' eyes widened as he saw the Kid suddenly take off from the ground and leap towards the horse. He went sailing high up into the air and then seemed to change direction in mid-air until he was flying over the horse, headfirst. He would have landed on the ground on the other side had Heyes not leapt forward and grabbed his ankles, but at least, Curry mused, he was on the horse - sort of. He wasn't the right way up yet but he was on it. Heyes of course was laughing loudly at him and truth to tell he felt extremely foolish and more than a little nauseous. Heaving himself into an upright position, he glared at Heyes and tried to sit still while the nausea passed. Never again, he vowed, would a drop of whisky pass his lips. Now, if Heyes would just shut up and if they could travel slowly, he just might make it out of town.

He did better than that and they succeeded in putting several miles between themselves and the town. As they came out of a small glade of trees, they found a small clearing and looking around as best he could in the dark, Heyes judged it was as good a place as any to make camp for the night. They were far enough out of town for now - after all they actually had no reason to believe anyone had recognised them. They'd bed down and get a good few hours sleep - Kid was beginning to look like he needed it. He'd feel better in the morning though and they could get an early start and be miles away by nightfall.

"Hey Kid, what do you reckon we stop here? Rest up for the night? Well, what's left of it."

"You reckon we're far enough away from Oak Creek?"

"I think so. You know Kid, as much as those three being arrested gave us a shock, we don't actually have any reason to think that they know who we are."

Kid looked at him for a moment, considering. "You're right. Let's rest."

In truth, Kid was seriously feeling the effects of the alcohol and a few hours sleep sounded real good right now. As he watched Heyes dismount and tether up his horse, a wave of sleepiness came over him and all he wanted to do was lie down and close his eyes. He was really in no condition to be making sensible decisions and for some reason known only to himself and never to be disclosed, especially to his partner, he decided that the quickest way down was just to topple off sideways, landing on the hard ground with a loud thud.

Heyes was running towards him in a second. "Kid?"

As he rounded the animal, he came face to face with Kid lying on his back in a pile of dust, laughing hysterically.

"I take it it's only your pride you hurt?" he asked.

"Ah Heyes, it was the quickest way," he smiled.

Pulling him up into a sitting position, Heyes quickly checked him over and found the only damage he'd done was to his shirt.

"Kid, you've ripped your shirt to pieces, not to mention all the dust."

Standing, Heyes found his partner's saddlebag, rummaged around inside it and pulled out a clean shirt.

"Here."

When Kid encountered a few problems with the sleeves, Heyes took the ripped shirt from him and throwing it on the ground behind him, he helped Kid into the new shirt, smiling at his helplessness. He then rescued the old torn one, screwed it up and threw it into the saddlebags.

Next he laid out Kid's bedroll and blanket and Kid rolled into it gratefully and within moments was snoring. Heyes smiled at him in the darkness and patted his shoulder. He hadn't seen his partner the worse for drink in a long time - too long in fact. It did him good to let his guard down for a while and just enjoy himself. Too bad the evening had turned sour. Still they were safe and they were free and tomorrow was another day. Remembering back to when the sheriff had walked across the saloon towards him, he acknowledged that that was more than enough for now. At that moment, he had definitely expected to be spending the night in a jail cell.

He set about making camp as quickly as he could and as well as he could in the darkness and it wasn't long before he too was fast asleep.

* * * * *

The next morning dawned bright and clear. Curry opened one eye reluctantly and then snapped it shut again. He groaned groggily. Why did the morning after always have to hurt so much? Hearing a series of mini-explosions getting closer and closer to him, he pulled the blanket back over his head.

"Morning Kid," Heyes whispered, though it sounded to Curry like a Cavalry stampede.

Slowly Kid's head emerged from the blanket and he dragged both eyes open. His partner was standing over him. Darn Heyes and that big smile he thought. What does he have to be so cheerful about anyway?

"I thought you could use this." Heyes handed him a cup of strong coffee which he accepted gratefully. After downing the whole cup he decided it might well have improved things and he tried sitting up gingerly and stretching a little. Yes, maybe things weren't as bad as he'd expected after all. Another cup of coffee he reckoned and he'd be ready to ride.

The extra coffee had done the trick and the pair had spent a pleasant day riding through beautiful scenery with, for once, the time to enjoy it.

As they rode into the town of Linden Peak, they discussed what had happened the previous evening.

"What do you think that was all about last night anyway Heyes?"

"I don't know, Kid. Ralph Benton was arrested and of course so was your friend Lucy"

Kid smiled at the memory. "Yeah, that was a shame, a real shame."

Heyes laughed. "I have no idea what they were arrested for though, the sheriff never said."

"Whatever it was though, it has nothing to do with us, right?"

"Right" Heyes agreed. "Leaving town was the best option though. That way we don't need to concern ourselves with any of it."

"I like the sound of that Heyes. Trouble that don't concern us," grinned Kid

"Makes a nice change huh? Nothing to worry about."

"First stop the saloon then?" asked Kid

"I thought you swore never to let a drop of whisky pass your lips again?" laughed Heyes.

"I said that?"

Heyes nodded.

"Really? Out loud?"

Heyes nodded again.

"Hmm" Curry shook his head thoughtfully and then grinned.

"Well, I must have been drunk. Didn't know what I was saying."

With that he dismounted, tethered his horse and made his way into the saloon, closely followed by Heyes.

In the doorway of the sheriff's office, Sheriff Warren watched the two strangers ride into town and enter the saloon.

"Billy" he called to his young deputy inside, "bring me that telegram that Sheriff Taggerty from Oak Creek sent us this morning." After a few moments of frantic searching, Billy handed him the telegram and he read through it again.

"To all sheriffs close to Oak Creek. Believe 2 men left Oak Creek overnight carrying stolen diamond worth 10,000. Be alert to all strangers."

Warren looked down the street towards the saloon pensively.

"Billy, keep your eye on things here for a while, I have some business to attend to," he said, walking out onto the street, He passed the saloon and stopped briefly to look inside. The two strangers were there at the bar and he took a more detailed look at them. Then he continued on to the telegraph office.

"Hank, can you send a telegram for me please."

The telegraph operator nodded.

"It's to Sheriff Taggerty at Oak Creek. Two strangers here. Detailed description of 2 men required."

The sheriff watched as Hank sent the message through and then as he left, he added. "Hank, let me know the minute the reply comes back will you? It's urgent. I'll be in my office."

It was only about ten minutes later that Hank came running up to the sheriff's office with the reply and taking it from him hurriedly, Sheriff Warren studied it.

"One blond curly hair, white shirt. Other dark straight hair, black hat, tan pants in boots. Both same height."

Sheriff Warren sighed. That was them. And he'd been hoping for a quiet evening too.

"Thank you Hank" he dismissed the telegraph operator and turned to his deputy. "Come on Billy, we've got work to do."

* * * * *

Heyes and Curry were still in the saloon. They'd intended just to get one drink before checking out the town and the sheriff's office and finding a room at the hotel. It hadn't worked out that way though. Standing at the bar, Heyes had been watching a poker game and had come to the conclusion that these were some of the worst players he had ever seen. He was just about to nudge his partner and comment on it, when one of the players bowed out of the game, leaving an empty seat. It seemed too good a chance to miss. Heyes turned towards Curry, but found that the Kid's attentions were now firmly fixed on the dark-haired saloon girl in the bright green dress who was smiling seductively at him. Shrugging, Heyes decided there was no harm in staying here for an hour or so and then they'd go and find the hotel.

He had very quickly made an impact on the game. The players were indeed as bad as he had thought and he already had more in front of him than he'd started with. He was really beginning to like this little town. Glancing over at his partner, he guessed that he was starting to like the place too.

Suddenly a hush fell over the saloon. Looking up from his cards, Heyes saw the sheriff and his deputy standing in the doorway.

The events that followed seemed almost surreal to Heyes. The sheriff approached his table and looking directly at him, said, "OK stranger, you're under arrest."

Heyes was yanked non too gently to his feet and his arms tied behind him. Looking towards Curry he saw the deputy approach him.

"OK fella, you're under arrest too." Curry's face hardened as his arms too were tied behind him and he didn't even pay any attention to the dark haired saloon girl when she leaned over and kissed him on the cheek.

The pair were bustled out of the saloon and up the street to the sheriff's office where they were thoroughly searched. The sheriff removed their guns and placed them on his desk with their saddlebags and then ordered his deputy not to touch them until he returned. He then pushed Heyes and Curry in the cell and they heard the all too familiar clanking of the jail cell door closing behind them.

"Sheriff" began Heyes "may I ask what we've been arrested for?" My name is Joshua Smith and this is my friend Thaddeus Jones and ..."

The sheriff cut him off abruptly.

"I don't really care what you say your names are. And I think you know only too well why you've been arrested. Now if you'll excuse me gentlemen, I have an important telegram to send. The news of your capture will be most welcome I am sure" and with that he was gone.

Heyes and Curry slumped down onto one of the bunks.

"How'd he recognise us?" whispered Curry.

"I don't know" Heyes was clearly puzzled "I don't recognise him, do you?"

"No, I don't think we ever saw him before."

"The name outside says Sheriff Warren - that doesn't sound familiar either."

"No." Curry shook his head "The deputy?"

"I don't recognise him either though, do you?"

"No. Someone else in town then?"

"Must be. Someone must have seen us ride into town."

"Or in the saloon."

"Could be."

"He's sure ran off to telegraph Wyoming pretty quickly though," groaned Kid.

"It'll be a couple of days before they can get someone down here though to collect us, there's time."

"Time? Yes. Means? No."

"You've got to have a little faith, Kid. It takes time to find the means," grinned Heyes confidently.

They heard the door open then and watched as the sheriff came back in and with his deputy's help, emptied the contents of their saddlebags onto his desk. He went slowly through everything, turning each item over and around and examining it in minute detail.

"What's he doing?" whispered Kid.

Heyes just frowned and shook his head, indicating he had no idea. They both watched intently as the sheriff continued. He carefully shook each item of clothing, fished into all of the pockets and then laid the item flat on the desk and ran his hands over every inch of it. He shook the book from Heyes' bag vigorously and then flicked through each page. Finding Curry's shaving brush he ran his fingers carefully through the bristles and shook it hard.

"I think he's looking for something Heyes," said Kid

Heyes just looked at him. His partner did have the knack of stating the obvious at times.

The search continued until they'd looked at every item. Evidently, they hadn't found what they were looking for.

Sheriff Warren sighed and approached the two men in the cell. Opening the door he pulled Heyes out of the cell and pushed him into the cell opposite.

"OK," he said brusquely to his deputy. "Search him again." Billy searched Heyes thoroughly this time, turning out all of his pockets and making him take off his boots and even his socks. Still finding nothing, they made Heyes remove all of his outer clothing until he was standing there in just his long underwear.

The sheriff was becoming more and more frustrated and bad tempered. He threw Heyes' clothes back at him rather angrily and moved to Curry's cell to give him the same treatment.

Finally he pushed Curry into the cell with Heyes and then he stood and watched as the deputy did a thorough search of the cell they had originally been in. When the deputy still couldn't find whatever it was they were looking for, the sheriff yelled at him to search the saddlebags again.

Still, they had turned up nothing. The sheriff slumped down into his chair and leaning on his desk, placed his head in his hands and sighed. His deputy stood nearby, watching rather nervously.

"What have we missed?" wondered the sheriff aloud.

Heyes and Curry looked at each other in puzzlement. They were obviously looking for something specific and for some reason, mused Heyes, they expected to find it. But what or why he didn't know. They hadn't given any clues about what they expected to find, except that it was small, judging by the places they had looked. What had also puzzled Heyes, was how this all tied together. When they'd first been arrested, he'd assumed that they had been recognised, but now he wasn't so sure. Maybe they'd been arrested because the sheriff thought they had something? They obviously hadn't found what they were looking for. If they became convinced that they didn't have it, whatever it was, would they then release them?

"Aha"

He was rudely awakened from his thoughts by the sheriff's loud voice.

"The horses" he said to the deputy, standing up in excitement. Go to the livery and search their horses. The deputy hurried to his task and the sheriff sat back down, this time nodding to himself. He was convinced he'd figured it out.

When the deputy returned half an hour later to report that still he hadn't found anything, the sheriff was stunned.

"What? Nothing? That's not possible. It has to be there somewhere. We've searched everything here twice. It has to be there. Are you sure you checked thoroughly?"

The deputy nodded, becoming more and more nervous. "Maybe... maybe they don't have it?" he ventured gingerly.

"Don't have it?" raged the sheriff "Of course they have it you fool. You're just not looking properly."

Sheriff Warren sat back down. It was getting late.

"OK," he started a little more sympathetically "maybe we'll do better in the morning. Let's leave it for tonight and look again tomorrow."

Billy nodded in relief. It sounded like a good idea to him.

The sheriff gathered up the things on his desk and put them back into the saddlebags.

"You keep a careful watch now tonight, you hear?"

Billy could only nod again - he was too exhausted to talk further.

"Well then, I'll see you in the morning."

"Goodnight sheriff." Billy finally found his voice.

"Goodnight Billy."

With the sheriff gone, the deputy settled down into his chair and put his feet up on his desk. It had been some night he thought, as his eyes started to drift closed. He snapped them open. Mustn't fall asleep he admonished himself. Must be careful ... very ....careful .....very ......

* * * * *

Heyes and Curry were lying on their bunks, but neither was asleep. Heyes' mind was in overdrive, trying to figure out what was going on. Curry looked over at the deputy who hadn't moved in several minutes. With the deputy most likely asleep, now would be an excellent time to attempt an escape - if only Heyes had a plan. Looking over at his partner on the other bunk, he assumed he didn't have a plan - or he wouldn't still be lying there.

Sitting up, he whispered, "Heyes?"

His partner sat up as well and turned to face him.

"What Kid?"

"You any ideas on how to get us out of here?"

"Nope, I don't."

Curry shook his head in resignation. This wasn't good.

"I'm not sure escape is a good idea though," added Heyes.

"Not a good idea?" Curry was shocked "Since when has breaking out of a jail not been a good idea?" he asked urgently.

"Think about it Kid," his partner leaned forward intently. "They're looking for something right?"

Curry nodded.

"They haven't found it," continued Heyes.

Curry shook his head.

"So?" urged Heyes, as if that should make it obvious.

Curry looked at him a little blankly and repeated "So?"

Surprised that for once Curry wasn't following his thinking, Heyes explained further.

"So maybe they didn't arrest us because they knew who we were. Maybe they arrested us because they thought we had something. But, whatever it is they're looking for, we don't have it, right?"

Curry nodded slowly, still a little unsure where this was leading.

"So what are they going to do when they can't find it? They'll have to let us go."

"Let us go?"

"Yes. Clear case of mistaken identity. We don't have what they think we have. I don't know who they think we are, but it’s not Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry."

"So they'll let us go?"

"Uh-huh. I think so. They'll have to."

"That's your plan, Heyes? We're not going to escape, we're just going to wait here until they let us go?"

Heyes nodded again and as he opened his mouth to reply, they spotted movement by the door. The door handle was turning - someone was entering the office.

By unspoken agreement, they positioned themselves so that they could see clearly what was happening.

Slowly the handle turned and then the door opened, completely un-noticed by the deputy who was fast asleep. As the shadowy figure crept around the door, Heyes was surprised, and confused, to recognise Harvey Sandford, the other cowboy who had been at the poker table with him in Oak Creek when the sheriff had arrested Ralph Benton and Lucy. What was he doing here? He glanced quickly at Curry whose questioning look told him that he had recognised him too.

Harvey looked towards them and placing his finger over his lips, indicated to them to be quiet. Heyes and Curry became more and more confused as they watched him move over to the sheriff's desk and very carefully, so as not to wake the deputy, open the drawer and gently remove a set of keys.

Moving stealthily over to the cell, he slowly and silently placed the key into the lock, turned it and opened the cell door.

Standing in the cell, staring at Harvey Sandford through a now open cell door, Heyes and Curry didn't need a further invitation. Despite his earlier misgivings about an attempt at escape, Heyes could not look at an open cell door and not walk out of it. If the sheriff didn't find what he was looking for, then maybe he would let them walk out of the jail - but on the other hand, maybe he wouldn't. The pair looked at each other and it didn't take long to come to a decision.

They walked out of the cell and moving quietly, they collected their saddlebags and guns from the desk.

"Come on" urged a whispered voice from behind them, and hurriedly they followed Sandford out of the sheriff's office. He lead them across the street to the livery where he had all of their horses ready and together the three mounted and galloped down the main street and out of town.

They kept a careful watch for any signs of pursuit and didn't slow up until they were well clear of the town. Eventually though, with no evidence that anyone was following them, they slowed to a walk.

"Well Mister, I don't know why you did what you did, but I guess we should say thank you." ventured Curry with reservation.

"I guess you should," smiled Harvey.

Heyes was more than a little more suspicious and eyed the man dubiously. "So why'd you do it?" he asked a little coldly.

"An act of charity?" he replied.

"Nope. Not that." returned Heyes immediately.

"You're right. I do have my reasons."

As he said it, he drew his gun and pointing it at them he said, "Throw your guns to the ground. Nice and slow. No fast moves."

Heyes and Curry had no choice but to comply.

"Now, where is it?" demanded Sandford.

"Not that again," sighed Curry. "Why does everyone think we have something?"

"I don't know what others think, but I know that I know you have it."

"How?" asked Heyes.

Sandford sighed impatiently "I was there remember? I saw Lucy give it to you," he said, looking at Curry.

"Give me what?" demanded Curry, getting irritated.

"The diamond!" Sandford was getting irritated too.

Heyes glanced at Curry.

"Diamond?" asked Curry.

"Stop playing games" Sandford was angry now. "I saw her after she was arrested, she told me where it is. I know you have it. Now, where is it?" he demanded, cocking the gun.

Curry was about to answer but Heyes beat him to it.

"Aah, come on now, you seriously think we're gonna walk around with it? The only reason that sheriff couldn't find it is because we don't have it with us. It's hidden of course. We're not that stupid."

"Where?"

"I'd have to show you that."

Sandford considered this for a moment and then nodded. "OK, which way?"

Quickly scanning the lay of the land as best he could in the moonlight, Heyes swung his horse around and lead the way towards what he hoped was the most difficult trail. If they got any chance at all to escape from Sandford, this kind of trail would hopefully give them the best chance to get away properly. An easy, open trail would make them too visible.

* * * * *



_________________
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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3.15 You Don't Bring Me Diamonds by Sally Wheaton :: Comments

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Re: 3.15 You Don't Bring Me Diamonds by Sally Wheaton
Post on Sat 23 May 2015, 5:02 pm by royannahuggins


As Heyes had hoped, their chance came after a few hours. Curry was leading the way, Heyes was following behind him with Sandford bringing up the rear holding the gun on Heyes. Progress was slow on a difficult trail which wound through a series of rocky ridges with steep sides and various narrow trails twisting through them. It wasn't easy for the horses to keep their footing in the darkness.

Lady Luck was with them though, and Sandford's horse was the first to stumble. Sandford tumbled sideways and landed hard on the ground. With the gun no longer trained on him, Heyes spurred his horse forward and Curry reacted too, leading the two of them away from Sandford, up one of the narrow trails and very quickly out of Sandford's sight.

They climbed steeply for a few moments and soon discovered that the small trails actually formed a maze through the rocks. They found themselves on a path which doubled back as it climbed until they could look down on the main trail to where Sandford was now remounting his horse.

They watched as he followed the small trail they had taken. Their luck held out though and once in the maze of trails, he didn't make the same choices they had. Crouched silently on top of the rocks, they could hear him moving down and away from them. They listened intently until the sounds faded into the distance. Then, moving as quickly as they could, they made their way back down the narrow path to the main trail and then doubled back on it in the direction they'd come from. They paused every now and then to listen for the sounds of pursuit, but could hear nothing. Clearly, Sandford was still searching for them in the maze of paths.

They rode all night and all morning until they reached the town of Bennett. They left their horses at the livery and then checked out the town. It was a busy, bustling place, easy to get "lost" in. Relieved to discover that they had never even heard of the sheriff, they stopped at the saloon for a beer and decided that, as exhausted as they were, it would be safe enough to take a room at the hotel for one night.

"The room is four dollars a night and you'll have to pay upfront," the hotel desk clerk told them.

Curry handed over the money and the desk clerk ran into the back room with it. A newspaper sitting on the desk caught Heyes' eye and, always interested in what was going on, he picked it up to read. The headline drew his attention immediately and he nudged his partner.

"Hey Thaddeus, look at this."

Heyes scanned the article but Curry was distracted by the desk clerk who was pushing the guestbook across the desk to him to sign.

As Curry took the pen, Heyes sensed the sudden tension in his partner, though Curry showed no outward sign of it. Curry signed the book quickly and then turning to Heyes, said brightly, "What say we go and get those drinks now then Joshua? You're right, we can take our things up to the room later. Right now, I need a drink."

"Sure thing, Thaddeus. So do I." Heyes nodded, smiling back, though he had no idea what was causing Curry's sudden desire to leave.

They turned and quickly made their way out onto the street as the desk clerk called after them, mystified by their behaviour.

"What about your key gentlemen?"

Out on the street, Curry took Heyes' arm and started pulling him hurriedly towards the livery. Being dragged along the street in a somewhat ungainly fashion, Heyes finally found the breath to speak. "Kid, may I ask..."

Before he had finished the question, Curry replied, "Warren. He's staying at the hotel."

"Sheriff Warren?"

"That's right. Sheriff Warren from Linden Peak - his name is in the guestbook. He signed in just a few minutes ago."

Heyes' face grew pensive as he tried to piece together what he knew.

Curry led the way into the livery, both of them scanning the street for any signs of Sheriff Warren. As Curry stepped through the door of the livery, his eyes quickly adjusted to the dim light inside.

All of a sudden, he turned right round and stepped straight back out of the door, bumping right into Heyes who was directly behind him.

"Warren?" asked Heyes in a whisper as Curry pushed him quickly around the side of the livery.

"Uh-huh" Curry shook his head. "Worse."

"Worse?"

"Sandford."

"Sandford is in there?"

Curry nodded. "You think they know who we are?"

"No Kid, I don't. I think they think we have something they want though."

"A diamond?" asked Curry

"Yes." Heyes nodded. "The newspaper on the hotel desk had a headline about a stolen diamond. It was stolen three nights ago from the bank in a nearby town. The two people involved were arrested in Oak Creek two days ago."

"Oak Creek? We were in Oak Creek two days ago."

"That's right. The two arrested were Ralph Benton and Lucy Arlington."

"Lucy? The saloon girl? She stole a diamond?"

"So they say. They believe they were in town to meet an accomplice and pass on the diamond. They also believed they'd arrested the two before they had met with the accomplice and had a chance to give him the diamond. However, neither Lucy nor Benton had the diamond on them."

Curry groaned.

"You're not going to like the next bit Kid."

"Heyes, I already don't like it. What next bit?"

"The accomplice's name is Harvey Sandford but..."

Curry interrupted him. "You're right, I don't like it."

"Actually, I haven't got to the bit you're not going to like yet."

"You haven't.?"

"Nope."

Curry closed his eyes and leaned his head back against the wall of the livery before asking, "What?"

"There were two strangers in town that night and the authorities believe the diamond was passed on to them instead and that they have escaped with it."

Curry was getting seriously fed up.

"I don't suppose there's any chance that they're not talking about us, is there?"

"They had descriptions."

"Don't tell me, Heyes."

"One was dark haired with a black hat."

"Enough already, Heyes!" whispered Curry impatiently.

"The other was..."

"I said no more Heyes"

"…blond."

Curry glared at him.

"I'd say that's us. They got pretty accurate descriptions," Heyes continued.

"That's very comforting to know Heyes."

"Except for one thing though."

"What's that?"

"They said we were the same height." Heyes was shaking his head perplexed, as Curry looked at him.

"You'd think it would be clear even from a distance that I'm taller than you," he finished.

"You're taller?" replied a stunned Curry. "Now wait a minute Heyes, we've been through this before..."

Heyes pulled him quickly back against the wall as the door to the livery opened and Harvey Sandford walked out. They watched him walk down the street. "How'd he find us so quick?" Heyes shook his head "He must be good."

"I think the faster we get out of here, the better Heyes."

"Kid, I couldn't agree more."

The two made fast work of preparing their horses and were galloping out of town only minutes later.

* * * * *

"So let me get this straight." mused Curry as they rode. "The law, as in Sheriff Warren, thinks we left town with the diamond. They think we had something to do with the robbery."

"That's right. Presumably they think we still have the diamond. That's what Warren was looking for the other night."

"Hm. Harvey Sandford is also after us because he's in league with the robbers. He thinks we have the diamond too."

"Yes. That's why he broke us out of jail. He wanted us to give him the diamond or show him where we'd hidden it."

"So do you think any of them know who we really are?"

"Probably not. If they had known, I think the newspaper report would have mentioned that but it didn't say anything about Heyes and Curry. I think they probably just think we're a couple of guys who have the diamond."

They rode in silence for a while, Curry digesting all of this. Heyes?"

"Yep?"

"Do we have the diamond?"

"No Kid, I don't think we do."

Curry nodded.

"But I think we did have it. And I think I might know where it is."

Curry was intrigued now as Heyes continued.

"You were pretty drunk that last night in Oak Creek."

"You hadda bring that up didn't you?" moaned Curry.

Heyes put up a hand to pacify him. "It's relevant Kid, hear me out. Do you remember when Lucy was arrested?"

"Yes."

"Do you remember what she did as the sheriff approached?"

Kid shook his head.

"I do, because I remember thinking that I thought I'd done well to avoid getting arrested, but only you could manage to avoid arrest and get kissed all over by a saloon girl at the same time."

Curry smiled as the memory returned. "I remember. She was all over me."

"Exactly."

"You think she had the diamond and she planted it on me somewhere?"

"Could be."

Curry considered this. "But Heyes, if she put the diamond somewhere on me, then why didn't Sheriff Warren find it when he searched me?"

"Because," started Heyes "you fell... ".

"... off my horse and ripped my shirt and I changed it." Curry finished the sentence for him. "Heyes, you're right. It was dark. It could have dropped out of the shirt pocket as I changed it."

Heyes nodded.

"I screwed up the ripped shirt and put it in your saddlebag. But Warren searched them thoroughly so it can't still be in there. It must have dropped out."

"OK, so we know where the diamond is and we have two people chasing us for it. What are we going to do?"

"Well I don't think they're going to stop chasing us Kid. It won't take long before they figure we left town and come after us. We have to find a way of proving that we didn't have anything to do with the robbery. I don't think they know who we really are but they could realise that at any time and before you know it, Heyes and Curry are linked to a diamond robbery."

"How are we gonna prove it?"

"Well, I think the first thing we have to do is to go find the diamond."

* * * * *

They'd travelled all day and slept on the trail that night, but by late the following morning, they'd made it all the way back to where they'd slept the first night they'd run from Oak Creek. Curry smiled a little to himself as he remembered the drunken state he'd been in that night. The truth was, he didn't remember a lot of detail about it and so he'd left it up to Heyes to identify the exact spot where they'd camped.

Heyes hadn't found it particularly easy to identify either as it had been dark at the time and much of his attention had been on his worse-for-wear partner. Eventually though he found what he thought was the spot and the pair started a thorough search of the site.

Curry was crawling around in the dirt and the dust, inspecting every inch of the ground.

"What're you doing, Kid?" came Heyes' voice from behind him.

"I'm looking for a diamond, Heyes." Kid answered without looking at him. "What are you doing?"

"I'm looking at a diamond, Kid. And it's beautiful."

"Aw Heyes, you found it." Curry crawled over to where his partner was sitting on the ground, holding a bright, sparkling diamond in his hand. Curry took it from him and turned it over in his hand, looking at it.

"Hard to believe it's worth ten thousand dollars though."

They looked at each other. They both knew what the other was thinking. They both knew it was the wrong thing to think. They both knew they couldn't do what they were thinking. They both sighed and rolled their heads.

"Kid, the sooner we get this cleared up, the better."

"I couldn't agree more Heyes. Not to mention of course that both Sheriff Warren and Harvey Sandford are probably fast on our trail even now."

"Sure hope so." replied Heyes grinning.

At Kid's questioning look, he added "That's the next part of the plan. Come on."

* * * * *

"I see him." stated Kid, handing the binoculars to Heyes. The two were both lying flat on a rock looking down on the trail. From their high vantage point they had a good view of the trail as it crossed the valley floor in front of them but at the same time the canyon gave them good cover.

"You're right," grinned Heyes. He handed the binoculars back to Curry, crawled off the rock and returned to his horse. As he turned to make his way back down the trail, he turned towards his partner and held up five fingers to confirm the five minutes they'd agreed on.

Sheriff Warren was on his way up the trail, approaching the rocky outcrop where Curry remained. Heyes made his way back down and then turned and headed in Warren's direction. There were numerous small trails amongst the rocks and it was vital that Warren took the right one.

Nearing the edge of the rocks, Heyes dismounted and took cover so that Warren couldn't see him. Heyes peered out and watched the sheriff heading towards him. He waited for a few more moments until he was sure that he would be seen, and then mounting once more, he rode out onto the main trail and lingered for a few moments. He looked back towards Warren and didn't move until he was sure the man had seen him. He then openly took the path that would lead back towards Curry.

Starting up this path, he stopped when he reached the point where another path forked off. Listening intently, he could hear the sheriff approach. Once again, he waited until Warren had reached the foot of the path before making it obvious which track he had followed at the fork. Warren was gaining on him - good.

The cat and mouse game continued for a few minutes more, with Heyes careful to do enough to lead the sheriff into the trap and yet not allow him to actually catch up with him.

Rounding the final corner before their appointed spot, Heyes slowed, dismounted and scrambled quickly up the rocks on the opposite side of the path to Curry.

Within moments, Sheriff Warren rounded the corner and stopped abruptly when he saw Heyes' horse.

"Hold it right there," came Curry's voice from the rocks.

Warren looked upwards but the sun was directly behind Curry and so he couldn't make anything out.

"Take your gun out and throw it onto the floor."

Warren complied.

"What do you want?" he asked. "If you have ideas to kill me, I should tell you the rest of the posse isn't far behind me."

"There's no posse." replied Curry. "We know you've been following us and we know you're alone."

Heyes jumped down from the rocks on the other side of the pass and standing in front of Warren, he gave him a huge smile.

"We're not going to kill you though." he told him. "We just want to talk."

"Talk? What about?"

"Well, it's about the diamond see?"

Warren reacted and Curry called out from the rocks again. "Careful, I have a very sensitive trigger finger. Just take it easy."

Warren looked up towards the voice, clearly concerned.

"He isn't going to kill you." Heyes reassured him again. "He's just a little worried about his finger is all" he added in a conspirational tone. "Been a big dodgy lately."

The sheriff looked more than a little worried and glanced back up towards Curry before turning his attention back to Heyes. "OK, what about the diamond?"

Heyes sat down on a rock and looked thoughtful. "Well, we didn't have anything to do with the robbery. We were caught up as innocent bystanders in Oak Creek when the sheriff there arrested Benton and Lucy Arlington. Lucy was posing as a saloon girl and she, well how can I put this? She turned her attentions on my partner over there. It seems that just before the sheriff arrested her, she planted the diamond on my friend, putting it in his shirt pocket."

"And he didn't notice?" asked the sheriff, obviously not believing the story.

Heyes made a motion as if he was drinking a whisky and nodded pointedly at the sheriff as he indicated towards Curry with his eyes. The sheriff nodded, understanding.

"I see. But when I arrested you in Linden Peak, we searched you thoroughly and we didn't find the diamond."

"No. That's because it had fallen out of his shirt pocket and onto the floor."

When Warren raised his eyebrows questioningly, Heyes stepped a little closer to him.

"He wouldn't want me to tell you this" he said more quietly "but he, er, he fell off his horse. Ripped his shirt, had to change it."

Up in the rocks, Curry rolled his eyes. Was this amount of detail really necessary? To draw the sheriff's attention to the gun in his hand, and also to let Heyes know what he thought of that last comment, he coughed loudly.

"Yes, well anyway," continued Heyes quickly, glancing up towards the rocks "the diamond fell onto the ground. Of course we didn't know anything about it at this time so we didn't notice."

Heyes stood and paced a little, the sheriff's eyes followed his every move.

"Now the problem we have see, is how are we going to convince you that this is the truth? If I were you, I don't think I'd believe us right now, especially not with the gun on you and all. So, what we're going to do" he paused for effect "is to give you the diamond back."

The sheriff looked at him, surprised.

"As a sign of goodwill if you like. To demonstrate our innocence. Might make it easier for you to believe us."

The sheriff nodded. "Well, yes it might, a little. The truth is though, I still don't think I do believe you."

"I told you he wouldn't" Heyes called up towards the rocks.

Curry smiled to himself and shook his head. His partner was enjoying himself.

"Get off your horse," said Heyes, more sternly.

When Warren hesitated, Curry's voice shouted out, "Do as he says."

Warren again complied.

As Heyes approached him, he said, "Turn around, face your horse, and put your hands together behind you."

When Warren again hesitated, Heyes stopped in his tracks, tilted his head and sighed. "Do I have to get him to threaten you every time before you'll do as I say?"

Warren looked at him a little confused.

Heyes' expression changed, instantly he became the outlaw leader, a man not to be argued with.

"I said turn around" he demanded. This time Warren moved immediately.

Up in the rocks, Curry again smiled to himself.

Heyes walked up behind the sheriff, tied his wrists, loosely, with his bandana and then turned him around to face him. He took a small pouch from the pocket of his dark blue shirt and slowly removed the diamond from it. He held it up in front of the sheriff so that he could inspect it and then returned it to the pouch and placed the pouch in the sheriff's pocket.

"Like I said, we're giving you the diamond because we're innocent, but because we knew you wouldn't believe us, we have to do this too. Now I want you to walk over to these rocks and then you're going to wait here with my partner while I take care of some other business."

He steered the sheriff over to the rocks as Curry jumped down, gun still trained on him. Between them they then guided him back up to where Curry had been hiding out of sight. With the sheriff also now concealed from the road, Curry gave his partner a nod.

"Now all you have to do is wait here with him until I get back." smiled Heyes at Warren. "And don't worry, he won't kill you." he added.

He started to make his way back down the rocks, but then turned back to the sheriff in an afterthought. "Oh, and I wouldn't make too much noise if I were you, it affects his finger."

Warren shivered and looked at Curry who gave him a cold smile. His eyes focussed on the gun, still pointing straight at him. He was totally confused about what was going on and he wasn't too sure he was going to get out of it alive.

* * * * *

Heyes had stopped at the entrance to the rocks and was scouring the horizon with the binoculars. Below him was a flat valley floor, dusty and barren. And there was no sign of Sandford. Heyes knew he was out there somewhere, maybe just a little cleverer than Warren though.

After a few more minutes, Heyes decided he'd have to do more to draw Sandford out. He made his way around the rocks at the edge of the valley floor, taking care to remain out of view, When he was several hundred yards from the rocks where he'd started, he spurred his horse forward and darted out into the valley at a gallop, leaving a thick trail of dust behind him. The dust would be visible for miles around he knew, and he was a sitting target to some degree, but he was confident that Sandford wanted him alive. What Sandford really wanted of course was the diamond and Heyes was the one who could tell him where it was. But only if he were alive. Heyes kept moving at top speed, the sound of the horse’s hooves thundering in his ears and the dust clogging up his nose and his eyes. He didn't even dare to slow down to see if Sandford was in pursuit, he just encouraged his horse on as fast as possible, back towards the safety of the rocks.

Finally reaching his destination, he took cover and only then did he look behind him. A big grin lit up his face. It had worked. Making its way across the valley, directly towards him, was another cloud of dust. Sandford.

Heyes knew he needed to take more care this time. He had never really considered that Sheriff Warren would attempt to shoot him before he captured him, but Sandford was another matter. He was also more astute than the sheriff and would surely give Heyes more of a run for his money.

Hannibal Heyes though had never been one to shirk at a challenge. In fact, it was what brought out the best in him. He wasn't short on confidence either, and although he acknowledged the skills of his adversary, it never occurred to him that he wouldn't come out on top.

He waited a few more moments until Sandford was a little closer. When Sandford finally took his gun from his holster, Heyes grinned and moved on. Over the next few minutes, Heyes led Sandford through the maze of trails, towards where the Kid was waiting. It was a dangerous game, he knew, baiting him at each corner, at every turn, remaining just far enough ahead that he was never able to get in a clear shot or gain too much ground on him. Heyes had the advantage that he knew the trails and he knew the game he was playing. He judged from the other man's reactions that he was becoming riled and that would only make him more dangerous.

Finally Heyes rounded the final bend and arrived back at the place where Curry was still waiting with Sheriff Warren.

Heyes again dismounted and then pulled his saddle slightly loose and twisted a little. Finally he slumped down on the ground, giving the impression that he'd fallen.

Only seconds later Sandford rounded the bend and taking in the scene, he came to a standstill, his gun drawn on Heyes. "There's no escape this time" his voice was cold and threatening. "Where is it?" he demanded loudly.

"The diamond?"

"Yes of course the diamond. What have you done with it?"

Heyes pulled himself into a sitting position on the ground and smiled up at Sandford.

Sandford started to yell, "What have you done with it?"

"You'd better ask my partner."

"Your partner? Where is ...."

Suddenly it dawned on Harvey Sandford what had happened. He heard the familiar click of a gun being cocked somewhere behind and above him and he realised he'd just made a big mistake. At Curry's command, he threw down his gun.

Slowly Heyes stood up.

"Now about the diamond," he said, his voice even more hard and threatening than Sandford's had been a few moments before. "We don't want the diamond. It's too difficult to get rid of. So we're going to give it to you."

"What?" Sandford was stunned and more than a little confused.

"After" threatened Heyes "you pay us for our share of the job, just as it was agreed when we agreed to help with the job."

"What?" blasted Sandford, enraged.

"We did a job for you. We want paying. Like we agreed."

"Paying?"

"Like I said, for our part of the job."

"Don't be ridiculous! What do you want paying for?" he almost screeched. "You were never part of this job. You just happened to get in the way that's all. Ralph and Lucy are locked up in jail for their part in this job. I'm the one that took the risk to break into that bank and get the diamond in the first place. You must think I'm soft in the head if I'm going to pay you when you had nothing at all to do with this - and you know it too. You have to be a part of a job before you can get paid and ....."

He stopped abruptly as Curry and Sheriff Warren made their way down from the rocks above his head, Curry still with the gun on him. As they reached ground level, Heyes moved towards them and handed Sheriff Warren ropes which he used to tie up Sandford.

"You hear all of that, Sheriff?" he asked.

The sheriff nodded in confirmation. "I did. I'd say it's all pretty clear too. He stated his involvement and he cleared you two."

He turned and looked directly at Curry. "I assume that you are no longer holding me hostage with that gun?"

Kid looked down at his right hand, which he realised was still holding the gun and was even pointing it in a sheriff's direction. Horrified, he spun it and quickly returned it to his holster, then tipped his hat at the sheriff and smiled.

* * * * *

"Mr Smith, Mr Jones." acknowledged Sheriff Warren as he shook hands with each of them. The three were standing outside the sheriff's office back in Linden Peak, where Harvey Sandford was now safely locked in the jail.

"Thank you, boys. You did us a big favour in finding that diamond and bringing in Sandford. I've notified Sheriff Taggerty back in Oak Creek and he's happy that it's all been cleared up now. I'm sorry that you two got involved in the way you did. You must admit though, you looked mighty suspicious and I admit, I sure thought you had that diamond!"

Heyes and Curry smiled and nodded.

"Well boys, thanks again, see you around." and with that he turned and walked into his office, leaving Heyes and Curry on the street.

They turned almost without thinking towards the saloon and a few moments later they were standing at the bar together, both with a beer in front of them. It wasn't long however before Heyes spotted a game of poker and just a few minutes later, he was already starting to win. Pleased with how things were going, he looked up towards the bar his smile turning to a look of horror as he noticed the red-haired saloon girl in the bright green dress sidle up to his partner and put her arms around his shoulders ...
 

3.15 You Don't Bring Me Diamonds by Sally Wheaton

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