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 Amnesty: The Final Play

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AuthorMessage
MoulinP



Posts : 9
Join date : 2015-10-18
Location : England

20151021
PostAmnesty: The Final Play

Here is my take on what might have happened immediately after the boys got their amnesty. Most of my later stories stem from here so this is setting the scene.







                                                               Amnesty: The Final Play


Heyes and Curry looked up at the sound of hooves approaching.

“Are you fellas called Smith and Jones?” the rider asked.

Heyes was the nearer of the two. “Yeah, what can we do for you?”

“Got a telegram.”

The rider held it out. Heyes moved to take it. “Thanks.”

The rider turned his horse and rode away.

Curry moved to join his partner. “What’s it say?”

Heyes pulled off his gloves, pushed back his hat and wiped his forehead on his sleeve. He took a deep breath as he opened the envelope, thinking not for the first time, that he wasn’t cut out to a farmer. He blinked as he read.

“To Joshua Smith and Thaddeus Jones. Come to Porterville as soon as can. Have some news. Lom.” Heyes frowned at the Kid. “How did he know where we’re at?”

The Kid’s face was a broad grin. “Heyes!” he yelled. “We’re got it! Why else would he write?”

Heyes was frowning and the Kid shook him by the arms. “Heyes!”

Heyes now realised and he grinned.

“Come on, Heyes. Let’s go quit and pack up,” the Kid said, starting to walk in the direction of their horses.

“Quit?”

Heyes looked down at the patch of ground they had been digging, only half finished.

“Yes!” Don’t tell me you’re enjoying being a farmer?”

Heyes smiled and pulled on his gloves. He marched after the Kid and overtook him.

“Come on Kid! What are you waiting for?” he called over his shoulder.

---------------------------------------------------

“Come in, boys. I’ve been expecting you,” Lom said, as they walked in.

Heyes looked round as the Kid shut the door and then back at Lom. “How d’you know where we were at?” he frowned.

“Did we get it, Lom?” the Kid asked, eagerly, coming to stand by his partner in front of the desk.

Lom grinned ruefully and motioned for them to sit. He opened a drawer in his desk and brought out two envelopes. He pushed one in each direction.

The Kid snatched his up immediately and tore it open. Heyes watched him for a moment; then eyed his suspiciously.

“We done it Heyes! We got it! Right here in black and white!” the Kid, whooped.

Heyes leaned forward and slowly took his envelope off the desk. Chewing his bottom lip, he broke the seal. Then licking his lips he cautiously took out the contents.

“We finally got it! I never thought we would,” the Kid continued. He nudged Heyes. “Told you we would!”

Heyes read the first paragraph of the letter. Swallowing hard he looked at the second sheet, which was the amnesty itself. He checked it was signed, nodding slightly, and returned to the letter. With a deep breath, he read the rest.

The Kid was now dancing a jig around the jail behind him.

“What’s he mean “no big announcement”?” Heyes frowned.

“I’ll explain,” Lom said. “Can you shut him up?”

“Kid!”

Heyes had to holler several times before the Kid heard.

“But we got it Heyes. Didn’t we?” He looked suddenly worried seeing Heyes and Lom frowning at him. He retook his chair in concern.

“Yes we did,” Heyes confirmed. “But it ain’t that simple. Lom needs to explain.”

“You’ve got your amnesty,” Lom started. “No question about it. Those are official papers.” He paused, looking from one to the other. “The Governor has been very impressed with how you’ve conducted yourselves over the past two years. Oh, he admits there have been some headlines and he’s come close to tearing those up a couple of times. Somehow, and I really don’t want to know how, you’ve managed to turn things around and keep your record clear. So he’s decided to give you your amnesty now before somebody else takes advantage of the secret.” He paused again. “But he can’t make an announcement. It’s not a good time for him, politically. Well I guess it never would be pardoning two high profile outlaws like you two. So what he’s done is write to all the sheriffs and marshals in Wyoming and told them. He’s hoping that news is just kinda leak out over time”. Lom winced.

“How much time?” Heyes frowned. The Kid looked puzzled.

“He figures about six months.”

“But that means that still nobody knows!” Heyes protested. “We’ll still be in the same situation we was last week!”

“We could get killed!” the Kid, added, realisation having suddenly dawned.

“Yes. That’s why I’ve come up with a plan,” Lom said.

Heyes and Curry looked at each other and then back at Lom.

“What sorta plan?” Heyes was suspicious.

“Well now don’t look at me like that,” Lom grumbled, seeing his look. “I’ve done my best at short notice.” He took a deep breath. “I want you to stay here in Porterville.”

“For six months!” They both protested.

“We’d go crazy!” Heyes added. He looked at the Kid, who was shaking his head.

“Yeah I figured that so I’ve got you both a job and place to live.”

“Why?” Heyes was still suspicious and his voice had taken on a hard edge.

“To keep you safe Heyes. You go running around before the news is out and like the Kid said you could get killed.” Lom looked from one to the other. “I’m trying to keep you alive boys and this is the only way I can think to do it. Here where……..” He was going to say, where I can keep an eye on you but changed his mind. “…… I can look out for you.” He looked anxiously at them.

Heyes sat back in his chair, swallowed as he considered for a moment or two.

“Does the letter say where we’re at?” he asked.

“No. Just that you’ve been pardoned and are no longer wanted.”

Heyes nodded and patted the Kid reassuringly on the shoulder.

“Okay.” He swallowed hard and took a deep breath. “Tell us about these jobs.”

The Kid glared at him and Heyes shook his head at him. “No choice, Kid. Lom’s right. We finally got it. Do want to risk it?” He shook his head again. “I don’t like it Kid any more than you but I really don’t want to risk it.”

The Kid sighed and looked up at the ceiling. They had dreamed about this moment for two long, hard years and now it had finally happened. Well this wasn’t how he thought it would be. He swallowed hard. So how had he’d imagined it would be? He shook his head. They had never dared get that far. Slowly he nodded in acceptance.

Lom visibly relaxed. “Okay. I didn’t have much time. Wasn’t sure how long it would take to find you.”

“Yeah, how did you find us?” Heyes frowned. Beside him, the Kid rolled his eyes.

“Oh I had people out looking. You were quite hard to find.”

“That was kinda the point Lom,” the Kid said.

Heyes smiled faintly and licked his lips. “Jobs, Lom?”

“Oh yes. I had to think about what you were each good at.” He smiled pleased with himself. “But it took some doing to find legal things!” he said, rolling his eyes. “The owner of the hardware store wants to retire. About time too if you ask me. He drinks a bit. How he ever finds anything to sell is beyond me. The place is an utter mess. Heyes, you’re just the man to sort it out and get it running like it’s supposed to.”

Heyes smiled and nodded at the compliment.

Lom turned to the Kid.

“You were more difficult. In the end, the only job I could get you was in the livery stables. Best I could do.” He winced in apology.

“Well that’s real nice of you, Lom,” the Kid said, sarcastically. “Can’t I help Heyes in the hardware store? Sounds like it’s too bigga job for just one man?”

Lom shook his head slowly. “Well now Kid I’m sorry but it’s best I keep you two apart. You’re gonna attract attention as it is. Two good-looking young fellas just happening to arrive in town together. Somebody might get to thinking, especially when the news gets out.”

The Kid glared at his partner. Heyes smiled back pleasantly.

“It’s only for six months Kid.” He slapped the Kid on the shoulder again.

“Six months!” The Kid was indignant. “Six months of shovelling……..” Heyes held up a finger warningly. “Manure!” The Kid spat the word. He slapped his hat down on the desk and held his head groaning.

Heyes and Lom swopped grins.

“You mentioned somewhere to live?” Heyes inquired, rubbing the Kid’s back.

“Yes. I found a small house on the edge of town. It ain’t much but the rent’s cheap. I’m sure you can fix it up. Take you there now if you like?”

Heyes nodded and patted the Kid on the back. “Come on.”

---------------------------------------------------

“You’ve got the weekend to fix it up. Start work on Monday boys. Good luck.”

Lom turned his horse and rode away, leaving Heyes and Curry to survey their new home.

Heyes stood hands on hips. The Kid just glared.

It was a single storey cabin. Outside the veranda had planks missing and the hitching rail had collapsed at one end. Weeds grow close to the house and there was a general air of neglect.

Inside there was just two rooms, a main room with a bedroom leading off. It was obvious that the place hadn’t been lived in for some time. It was dirty and some of the furniture was broken. The previous occupants looked to have left in a hurry as the remains of their last meal was still on the table.

The Kid looked round in disgust and shook his head. “I ain’t staying here, Heyes.”

But Heyes could see through the mess. “It ain’t so bad Kid. We just need to get on with it. Soon have the place looking good. Lom says we’ve got all weekend.” He spied a broom and thrust it at him. “Here. Get sweeping.”

The Kid glared at him and snatched it from him. As he did so, the broom head fell off. Heyes bit his bottom lip to stop from laughing. The Kid’s face twitched into a grin too.

“Okay Heyes we’ll do it your way,” he sighed.

As Heyes had suspected the place looked worse than it really was and in no time, the place was looking presentable again. He had even found a vase and put some flowers in it on the table.

“Really?” the Kid had questioned.

Heyes shrugged. “Sure. Makes the place looked cared for, Kid.”

---------------------------------------------------

By Monday, they were ready to start their new lives.

Lom hadn’t been exaggerating about the state of the hardware store. Heyes pushed his hat back and surveyed it hands on hips. He swallowed hard. The store was dark. It was full of stock in a complete jumble. Seth Tyler, the owner, looked at it with him.

“I knows where everything is,” he said, hopefully.

“Yeah I bet you do.” Heyes sniffed, then took a deep breath. He hitched his pants. “Well best get on with it then. Don’t suppose you’re gonna help me are you?”

“Well I’ll help you as best as I can but it’s my back see. Sure does give me some gip these days,” Seth said, holding it in emphasis.

Heyes looked at him doubtfully. “Somehow I’d thought you’d say that,” he muttered under his breath. “How about making some coffee? You can do that can’t you?”

Seth grinned. “Now that I can do.”

Over at the livery the Kid was having a different experience. Walt Reilly had agreed to take the Kid on when Lom had asked but was suspicious about hiring a fella he hadn’t met. His opinion didn’t change when the Kid turned up.

“You won’t be needing that,” he said, pointing at the gun strapped to the Kid’s leg. “Ain’t no wild animals in here. Take it off and put it over there. Then I’ll show you what we do.”

Reluctantly the Kid did as he was asked. He’d promised Heyes he’d give it a go and knew his partner wouldn’t accept ‘just turning up’ as giving it a go. So he spent the day forking out used bedding, making up new bedding, filling water buckets and feed holders. All under the watchful eye of Walt Reilly, who seemed to be everywhere that the Kid turned.

“Well how did I do?” the Kid asked at the end of the day.

Walt stroked his chin. “Well you showed great promise. Few more weeks and I’ll show you how to deal with the customers.” He turned away.

The Kid rolled his eyes. “Great!” he muttered.

Walt turned back almost smiling. “See you tomorrow?”

The Kid nodded and reached wearily for his gun.

---------------------------------------------------

Heyes was already back when the Kid got home.

“Ah! Kid glad you’re back. I’m gonna fix dinner.”

“You? Are gonna cook?” The Kid looked doubtful.

Heyes looked hurt. “Yes. I ain’t a bad cook.”

“You ain’t a good cook either! You burn water!”

“Now Kid I told you before that’s impossible.”

“Yeah you told me that the last time you did it too!” The Kid threw his hat on the table, wearily. “I’m beat. Can’t we go eat in town?”

“Tell me about your day first,” Heyes said, sitting down at the table.

“There ain’t nothing to tell,” the Kid said, sitting down too. “As I thought it was shovelling …….” He paused. “Manure. All day!”

“Not ALL day surely?”

“Yes ALL day. Or very nearly. I filled water buckets as well.” He rolled his eyes in disgust.

“Still you’ve broken the back of it now,” Heyes smiled cheerfully. He patted the Kid’s hand. “Be better tomorrow you’ll see.”

The Kid put his head in his hands. “I’m not sure there is gonna be a tomorrow. It was hard Heyes, real hard.” He groaned then looked up. “He made me take my gun off!”

“Did you need it?”

“What do you mean? Of course I didn’t need it!”

“Then you didn’t need it,” Heyes said, triumphantly.

The Kid glared at him. “There’s logic there somewhere Heyes but I ain’t sure I’ve figured it out yet.” He sniffed. “So seeing as we’re doing the domestic chat. How was your day?”

Heyes widened his eyes. “Interesting. Found all sorts of things. Some I don’t think even had a name let alone know what they do! But I enjoyed it. I had a good day.” He gave a nod of satisfaction.

The Kid glared at him. “Are you sure you wanna cook?”

Heyes looked at the range. “No I guess not. We’ll get something in town.”

They got up putting on their hats.

“Oh by the way you should have a bath first, “Heyes said, as they were going out of the door.

“Why’s that?”

“You sure do stink!”

The Kid just glared at him.
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