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 What Happens now

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Join date : 2015-10-18
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PostWhat Happens now

My take on how the boys decided on their first names

What Happens Now


Heyes and Curry sat in a saloon in a nameless town, fifty miles from Porterville. The day before Lom Travers, their friend and sheriff in Porterville, had told them the Governor of Wyoming had given them a provisional amnesty. If they could stay out of trouble. After a year or so of honest living, they might at the Governor’s discretion, receive a full amnesty. Then they would be free men.

For now though, Lom had told them to get out of Wyoming. So early the next morning they had saddled up and ridden across the border into Colorado.

Heyes and Curry sat, each with a beer in front of him, silently contemplating what life now meant. The Kid sat hunched over, his arms on the table, staring into his beer. Heyes looked more relaxed, sitting back in his chair with one arm resting on the back. His other hand idly rubbing the condensation on his glass. They had sat like that for twenty minutes, apart from the occasional sip of beer.

“So,” the Kid said, breaking the silence with a nod. “What do we think?”

Heyes licked his lips and swallowed. “I think we’ve been given a second chance,” he said, quietly.

The Kid nodded. “Can we do it?”

Heyes sucked air through his teeth and swallowed again. “I don’t know.” He sat forward, mirroring the Kid’s posture. “One thing I do know, Kid, is we won’t know unless we try.”

He took a sip of beer to wash down the lump in his throat.

The Kid nodded again. “Are we gonna stick together?”

“Of course!” Heyes frowned shocked at the suggestion they should split.

“I just figgered … that you might stand a better chance on your own.” The Kid risked a glance at his partner.

Heyes shook his head furiously and folded his arms on the table. “Nope, we’ve gotta do this together.”

The Kid grinned but looked doubtful. “Well now Heyes, that’s ….”

“Kid, I can’t do this without you,” Heyes interrupted. He put a hand on the Kid’s arm in emphasis.

The Kid nodded and put his head down. Heyes withdrew his hand and they went back to silent contemplation again. After several minutes, the Kid spoke again.

“Any ideas what we do now?”

“Well, Kid, I’ve been thinking ‘bout that as we rode here. We gotta find somewhere safe.”

The Kid pursed his lips and lifted his beer to his lips. “Easier said than done, Heyes.”

“Yep,” Heyes agreed. “And we’ve gotta stay away from crooks and temptation. And go by different names. Lom called us Smith and Jones. That’s who we’ve gotta be. Mr Smith and Mr Jones.”

“Who are you?”

“I’m Smith!”

“That means I’m Jones right?”

“YES!” Heyes hissed, rolling his eyes in disbelief.

The Kid took a drink. “Do I get another name? Y’know just in case …” He shrugged.

“In case of what?”

The Kid looked disgruntled. “Well … I’ve really got two names.” He dropped his voice. “Jedidiah Curry.”

“You’ve got three names,” Heyes told him, taking a drink.

The Kid winced. “That’s just a …”

Heyes shook his head and raised a finger at him. “You have a middle name. Can’t remember what it is though.”

The Kid sniffed. “It’s Thaddeus.”

Heyes widened his eyes. “Thaddeus?”

The Kid nodded. “Yep.”

“Thaddeus Jones,” Heyes mused, trying it on his tongue. “It has a certain … something about it.” He raised his glass to hide his smirk.

The Kid glared at him.

“Okay, Mr Smith how should we address you?” he flung back.

Heyes smiled slowly. “Mr Smith will be just fine.” He sobered and cleared his throat when he saw the Kid’s unamused look. “Joshua. That’s my middle name.”

“’Course it is. That’s better’n your first name!”

Heyes scowled. “Only Ma ever called me that!” He paused. “Oh and Big Jim Santana.” He shook his head. “Never understood why he insisted on it.”

They raised their beers and sipped in unison.

“Your Pa always called you Heyes.” The Kid frowned. “Why was that?”

Heyes took a deep breath. “He was one of eight boys would you believe! Grandpa Heyes just called them all Heyes. I guess it was easier not to have to remember every name.” He rolled his eyes and took a sip of beer. “Pa just carried on with the family tradition, even though there was just me.”

The Kid grunted. He looked like he wanted to say something. He glanced at Heyes, unsure whether to or not. With a sigh, he decided to.

“D’you think we’ve really got a chance, Heyes?”

Heyes widened his eyes. “There’s a choice, Kid. Between some chance and no chance.” He sniffed and looked at his beer. “It ain’t gonna be easy but I’m prepared to give it a go.”

The Kid sat digesting his words and then he nodded. “Got a plan?”


Nothing further was forthcoming and the Kid motioned to Heyes to speak more.

“Oh you wanna know what it is,” Heyes grinned.

“Now you mention it,” the Kid glared.

“Hmm.” Heyes rubbed his chin thoughtfully.

“Heyes!” The Kid’s growl was low.

“We’ll have to get jobs.”

“Yeah, I figgered that much. Where?”

Heyes winced. “Wherever we can.”

“Doing what?”

“Anything legal I reckon.” Heyes took a sip of his beer.

The Kid glared at him hard. “You sure you wanna stick together?”

Heyes smacked his lips and nodded.

They went back to silent contemplation for a moment then Heyes put a hand on the Kid’s arm. The town sheriff had just walked into the saloon. They both put their heads down but watched him. The sheriff had a word with the bartender who pointed in their direction.

The Kid growled.

“Easy!” Heyes hissed. “We ain’t doing anything wrong.”

The sheriff reached them now.

“You boys just passing through?”

Heyes looked up and smiled. “Yes sir.”

The sheriff looked at them suspiciously.

“The bar keep says you’ve been sitting here not talking or drinking for half an hour now. You waiting for something? Or somebody?”

They both shook their heads.

“Nope, we’re just having a break from the trail. We’ll be moving along soon as we’ve finished our beers,” the Kid smiled.

“Unless … you know of any work, sheriff? ‘Cos we’re looking for work too.” Heyes added.

The Kid glared at him.

The sheriff still looked unsure. “Well … I might … know of something. What sorta work you looking for?”

Heyes grinned. “Oh we can turn our hands to most things, sheriff. So long as it’s legal and not too hard on the back.”

The Kid glared at him again.

“Okay Mr ….?”

“Smith.” Heyes got up and offered his hand. “Joshua Smith. And this here’s my partner, Thaddeus Jones.”

The Kid hurriedly got to his feet and shook the sheriff’s hand. Boy that felt strange!

“Well Mr Smith, Mr Jones come along with me.”

The Kid swallowed nervously and took a deep breath. He felt like he was about to lose his lunch. If he’d had any lunch that is. He glanced at Heyes.

Heyes just smiled smugly at him. “After you, Thaddeus.” He motioned that he should follow the sheriff.
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