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 Yuma - Part One ...8,900 words

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Cal

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Join date : 2015-11-11

20160413
PostYuma - Part One ...8,900 words

---ooooooOoooooo---

Yuma
By Cal

---ooooooOoooooo---



PART ONE

Episode one

“Yuma?  Yuma? That the best you can come up with Heyes, Yuma!”

Curry’s eyebrows scowl, he looks like he might have eaten something that didn’t agree with him.  Truth was, a chance to eat anything would’ve been preferable to their current diet of dried jerky from the depths of their dusty saddlebags.  The last piece he’d tried to chew was the flavour of unwashed socks.

Maybe he has got a bad taste in his mouth?

“We could certainly use a change of State right now and I know I said I didn’t mind heading South ‘fore it gets real cold …but I wasn’t thinkin’ o’ Yuma!”

“What’s wrong with Yuma, Kid?”

Heyes was getting fed up of being second guessed, again.  If Kid had wanted to decide where they were headed next, then he should have just gone ahead and decided.  But oh no, as always he’d left the actual decision making up to Heyes, and then, when Heyes’d made a perfectly reasonable suggestion, he’d gone all bull-headed and proddy.  

Heyes scowled back at the Kid who’d dropped back a bit, head rolling from side to side in time to the big blacks clomping hooves, chin on his chest, shoulders slumped.

“I mean it! What’s wrong with Yuma?”

“What’s wrong with it? I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it.”  

Kids head shot up, blue eyes ablaze.  He started pointing to the fingers of his left hand with the gloved trigger finger of his right.

“We were in Yuma, when all that Santa Marta trouble started.  If you hadn’t a pulled off a near miracle solving that killing, I’d a been shot! Then there’s that train massacre, we tracked those murdering scum to the hills just outside Yuma, where I nearly got shot...”  

Kid sent the back of his cousins head a deep and meaningful look.  Heyes had turned in the saddle, refusing to watch the rest of the show as the rant continued. I’ll save you the details, but it involved a lot of nearly getting shot.

They’d been in the saddle for days, but to them it felt like weeks and as was becoming customary, they’d had no opportunity to provision for the trail. The towns were getting farther apart and the trails drier.  The days were long and hot, the nights cold and seemingly getting colder. The ground was as hard as it ever was. The coffee in their packs was as old as the jerky, and they hadn’t seen any decent game to shoot in days.  

Kid didn’t function well on short rations.  

Heyes had decided to head South as winter started to hit up North because Kid had had a couple of bouts of pneumonia in the past, and it seemed like a real sensible idea. And the poker tables in Yuma were calling to him. He knew Kid was just feeling the hole behind his ribs more than anything else.  

He’d give it another go.

“We’ve had some good times in Yuma Kid.  There was the fayre, and the horse races. We both won, remember?  It wasn’t Yuma’s fault that that idiot didn’t know good horseflesh when he saw it.  And, I’d like to remind you, I was doin’ real well, raking in money at the poker tables, ‘fore I got your telegram…”  

Heyes’ silver tongue slowed to a faltering halt as he realised that this wasn’t going to help him win any arguments with Kid.

“You mean the telegram I sent you from jail, ‘cause they were fixing to shoot me!”

Kid set his jaw sending another blue-eyed glare at his older cousins back.

“Yeah ok…”  

Heyes stopped his chestnut mare and turned to face down the glare.

“Of course Kid, you were in Santa Marta…not Yuma” Heyes placated. “And the train massacre, that wasn’t Yuma neither.  Yuma will be warm, we can make easy money, but most importantly of all, nobody knows us in Yuma.  We can sell the horses and take the train down. Spend maybe a month, even two, in one place. In the warm!”

Kid’s eyes narrowed in thought.  He sighed deeply.

Heyes saw the change. He smiled, knowing he was winning.

“Nobody knows us in Yuma, Kid and they got Hotels, baths, women, restaurants, saloons, poker…”

“Alright!”

The fastest gun in the West did a very good impression of a sulky …kid.  

“We’ll go to Yuma.”

---ooooooOoooooo---
Yuma – the hotel dining room

“Mr Heyes, Mr Curry you made it to Yuma!”

Louise Carson smiled up into two, shocked ex-outlaw faces, the very first morning the boys were in Yuma.  

They’d arrived after dark on a very late train, and had woken early from their hotel bed, by grouching bellies.  They’d come as far as the Hotel dining room, hoping someone was already serving breakfasts.  Mercifully, they were the only hotel guests up at this ungodly hour.  Louise had rushed out to greet them before they’d even had a chance to select a table.

“Miss Carson, I see you also made it to Yuma.” Heyes removed his hat, looking off in every direction for other ears, he added quietly “Its Smith and Jones, remember?”  

“Oh sorry.” Louise put her hand to her mouth as if trying to pull back the forbidden names.  “I was just so pleased to see you.  When you said you’d look me up if you ever made it to Yuma …well …I didn’t really think you would.  I am just so pleased to see you.”

“Yeah we did say that, didn’t we?” Curry accuses Heyes, also removing his hat, shaking his head at the forgetful one.  

Heyes’ face is all wide eyed innocence as he nods.  Louise looked the boys up and down; they’d washed, and shaved, and were looking very handsome but they also looked lean, trail worn and tired round the eyes.

“Would you like some breakfast?” she smiled warmly “I know the owner won’t mind me offering, and the Hotel guests won’t be down for ages yet.”

“We are Hotel guests, Louise” smiled Curry. “And, yes please, we’re starving!”

With a small chuckle, Louise turned on her heal and glided back to the kitchen.  
“Two house special breakfasts coming right up.”

The partners sat heavily at the closest table and searched each other’s faces.  Was this OK? Someone knowing who they were, on their very first morning in Yuma?

Heyes sighed and looked at his hands. “She looked real pleased to see us Kid.” His face screwed up into a worried frown.

“Wouldn’t you look pleased, if $20,000 just walked into the room, and sat down for breakfast?  She could be going to fetch the sheriff right now.” Kid looked about, feeling uncomfortable.  “We don’t really know much about her do we?”

“Well, we trusted her before, remember, to do the right thing?” Heyes looked at the door of the kitchen eyes narrowing. He was trying to sound surer than he was feeling.

“What if the right thing is turning in two notorious outlaws for the rewards on their heads?” Kid follows Heyes’ gaze.  He isn’t feeling nearly as unsure as he sounds, though he’s hoping this is going to be ok, and he’s getting breakfast.

“She won’t.” Heyes’ eyes are narrowing, his head shakes slightly.  “She stayed, and got Jenny off that murder charge.  She knew who we were by then and she didn’t mention us once during the trial …other than Billy and Caleb were pretending to be us. No. I don’t think she’d…”  

Heyes sent a warning look Kid’s way, coughing out a relieved sigh, as Louise reappeared from the kitchen.

“Here you are gentlemen” Louise was all smiles, carrying two huge plates of food.  “Mr Smith.” A smile for Heyes.  “Mr Jones.” A smile for Kid.  “I’ll go fix you some coffee gentlemen, then if you don’t object, I’d like to come and join you for a spell.”

Grateful smiles and nods to Louise’s retreating skirts.

“I knew she wouldn’t….” started Heyes, picking up his fork.

“Never doubted her for a minute…” finished Kid, rubbing his hands together and feasting his eyes on the huge breakfast.

---ooooooOoooooo---

Much mastication later, chatting over coffee

“So Jenny and I became firm friends…I think we met when we both needed some support…and we were there for each other.  ‘Course Billy’s death hit Jenny very hard…”  Louise realised she didn’t want to go over this painful ground, and quickly changed the subject.  “My sister and her husband run this Hotel.  The trial seemed endless so, when I could eventually come South, it just seemed natural for Jenny to come along with me by then.  There were just too many memories for her…”  Again Louise felt uncomfortable.  She picked up the two empty breakfast plates as she stood to clear the table.  “But I’m supposed to be working this morning.  Being related to the owner affords me certain privileges I guess, but I did say I’d help out this morning, I’d better get back to work.”

She turned just a few feet from the table.  

“We will see you two later, for dinner, won’t we?  Jenny will be so looking forward to seeing you again, when I tell her that you’re here, and I don’t want her disappointed.” Louise gave them both a meaningful look. The partners gave her their legendary innocent faces. “Oh, we’ll be there” they chorused.  

Both the boys are feeling much more relaxed and replete.

When they’d learned that Jenny was also here in Yuma, they’d actually started looking forward to a visit with their old and dear friend.

---ooooooOoooooo---

Mid-morning

“Nobody knows us in Yuma, Kid!” mimics Kid. “How could you have forgotten Louise was coming here?”

“Ok, so I was wrong that no one knows us in Yuma.  Don’t mean it’s not a nice place to rest a spell.  Why don’t we just give it a week?”  

Heyes was sitting out on the front porch of the Hotel, lighting the first decent cigar he’d had in weeks.  Curry sat next to him, pushing back onto two legs to rest his booted feet on the rail.  He’d been scanning the street for other faces he might know.  He couldn’t shake the feeling that someone had eyes on him. They’d had so many near disasters recently, he was forgetting what it felt like to relax.  He blew out a long breath and reached over to accept the cigar Heyes was proffering.

“I guess.”

The brown floppy hat was set low over the blue eyes.  Scanning resumed.

“You’ll see Kid.” Heyes mirrored the two legged slouching.  “We got nothing to worry about. Yuma’s going to be like a holiday.  Even get to enjoy some of Louise’s fine cooking.”  

The scruffy, be-conchoed, black hat was set over the dark eyes.  

“All we gotta do is relax…”

Two long plumes of cigar smoke snake skywards as the boys exhale their anxieties.

“Boys!” A shrill cry from across the street.

Two chairs hit the boards with a thud, hats fly up, eyes widen in synchro.

“Can’t be him!” Kid is incredulous.

“He was all set up in Carson City.  What’s he doing here?” Heyes in disbelief.

“Boys, am I glad to find you two …at last.”  

Harry Briscoe smiles his pert little smile from across the street.  He’s looking clean and tidy and not even a little bit desperate, which has the boys somewhat confused.

“Harry!” Heyes and Kid are up and crossing the street to stand each side of Carson Cities premiere detective.  

“Harry, you’re an awful long way from Carson City.  What brings you to Yuma?”
Heyes tries not to make it sound too much like an accusation, but not very successfully.

“I was looking for you boys …I’m working on a big case.”  Harry lights a cigar, giving them both a conspiratorial nod and a wink.

“You were lookin’ for us?” Curry’s eyes are wide, his voice is ice, as he grasps one of Harry’s arms.

“We’re part of your …big case …Harry?” Heyes grasps the other arm threateningly.

Harry pulls his arms free from their grip.  He stands tall, straightens his suit. He sees the worry in their faces.  

“No! …No …you’re gonna be real glad I found you boys.  You could say I’m here to help.” He tries to engage them with a smile or a nod. “Or even to repay a debt.” Harry waves the short cigar stub between their faces. “You could say …I’m kinda acting as your guardian angel.” A satisfied nod.  “You could say…”

“Harry!” Kids stare is enough to stop Harry in has tracks.

“Harry, what makes you think we need your help?”  Heyes gets in close, studying Harry’s twitching face.  He doesn’t say it out loud but there’s a definite waft of ‘What have you done now?’ in the air.

Harry straightens his neck, his eyes do that open and closey thing.  “You’re going to thank me for this boys.  Old Harry’s going to save you this time, you’ll see.”  Harry starts looking around them ostentatiously, and then his neck disappears into his collar like a tortoise.  “But first, we need to get you off the street.”

Heyes and Kid start looking all around too.  They don’t even know what they’re looking for.  They grab an arm each and march Harry to the nearest saloon.  If they were going for inconspicuous, they failed, spectacularly.

---ooooooOoooooo---

A back table of a near empty saloon

Three untouched beers rest on the table. Kid has his head in his hands, groaning.   Heyes is shaking his head in disbelief, his lips want to speak but he’s having trouble forming words.  Harry is looking from one to the other, perplexed.

“Don’t worry boys …soon as I got the word …I got straight on a train.  Came to look for you.”

Harry screwed up his face as if reconsidering.  

“Well …I had to come to Yuma anyway …on a missing person case …which is very fortuitous for you, because …here I am …to warn you.”

Harry tries on a relieved smile, to see if it’s catching.

“They can’t be here ‘fore Wednesday …at the very earliest.  All you boys gotta do is …get out of town.”

Harry says this last like he’s part of the outlaw fraternity, and knows all the parlance. A smug grin fills his face, as he sends the cigar gripped between his fingers, in a wide arc to end pointing out at the bat wings.

Kid's eyes follow the glowing cigar tip, then his head drops back to his hands. More moaning.

“How many?” Heyes mumbles, he can’t believe it.

“Six!  …is what I heard.  Six of Bannerman’s finest!  They got the word that you’d been seen heading South and that you were planning to spend the Winter in Yuma.”

Harry raised his eyebrows in a ‘and here you are’ gesture.  

“I only found out because I contacted the local agent down here for some information about this missing girl I’m looking for.  He thought I was still with the agency see, and let slip that six of Bannerman’s best were headed this way.”

Harry realised that his enthusiasm was a might misplaced in this company and sombered up.

“He thought I might be in for a cut of the bounty on you two.” He showed them that this thought, was unthinkable.  “Of course, there’s already two agents permanently based here, so Yuma …will be crawling with agents by the end of the week.” Harry smiled in spite of himself, at the thought of all that detecting going on.

“Heyes!” The fastest gun in the West fixed the ex-leader of the Devils Hole Gang with a gunslinger stare. “Just when did you decide we was coming to Yuma?”

Heyesian thinking, followed by light dawning in the dark eyes.  He swallowed, the voice is pitched a little higher than normal …guilt Heyes?

“Well… I saw there was going to be some fine racing down here and I remembered the poker tables.  Read it in the local newspaper, while we were up in Independence…”

“I knew it!”

Kid shook his head.  “You know you’re a blabber mouth when you’re on a drunk Heyes. You didn’t come back to the room that Saturday night did you? You told me you woke up in a ditch… You stayed with one of Big Fran’s fancies didn’t you?”

Kid looked skywards.

“OH…don’t this just beat all? We didn’t just come to Yuma…Oh no…We was leading a parade!”

---ooooooOoooooo---

A small homestead on the outskirts of town that same evening

“Boys, aren’t you a sight for sore eyes.”

Jenny looked a lot older, less vivacious, more domesticated somehow.  Kid thought that Jenny’s eyes probably were sore, since she looked like she’d done an awful lot of crying lately. He wrapped her up in a big bear hug and held her close.  She pulled away only reluctantly, looking up into Kids blue eyes.  

‘Blue as my Billy’s’ she thought.  

She held a hand to his face and fought for control of her emotions.  She needed to stay strong tonight, but that blue eyed gaze had knocked her sideways for just a second.  She composed herself, taking in a long breath, and turned a sad serene smile to Heyes.  

He gave her a gentler hug and a kiss.  He looked as if the silver-tongue was going to fail him in the face of the obvious raw emotion he’d seen briefly on Jenny’s face. He returned the smile.

“Jenny…you know we couldn’t stay…we didn’t want t’ leave…but…well we’re just so sorry for…”

“Hey, enough.” Jenny stood back, straightening her spine.  “Let me get a good look at you two. Kid I think you’re finally filling out.  Heyes your skinnier than a jack rabbit. You got anywhere with that amnesty yet, or are you still on the dodge calling yourselves Smith and Jones?”

Now she’d got up a head of steam, Jenny wasn’t going to leave any gaps for the boys to fill with mushy stuff.  She didn’t feel that strong yet.

“Louise has made enough food to feed Custer’s army, I hope you both brought good appetites.”

She shooed them towards chairs.

“Oh and boys can you hang those gun belts up somewhere high, I don’t want little Abel there getting any ideas.”

Little Abel was a small bundle of about three, maybe four, swamped by an over sized nightshirt, cap and socks.  He was stood by Jenny’s chair.  His deep, dark eyes filled with awe as he took in every detail of the two strangers. Then shyness won the struggle with curiosity and he flung himself behind Louise’s skirts as she came forward from the stove to greet the boys.

“Aww,” she huffed shaking her head “Jenny, he should be in his bed by now, you’ll spoil him!”

“One late night won’t spoil him Louise, he just wanted to get a good look at our guests.  Right young man, you got your look, now get!” Jenny gave the munchkin a mock growl. He trilled with laughter and ran to the bedroom.  “And close the door Abel, we don’t want your snoring to send us all deaf!”  More delighted squealing, and the door was pushed shut.

Heyes and Kid have been struck dumb.  They look to each other for explanation.  Come up empty. They turn to the women.

“Errrrm…...?” Kid was pointing at the bedroom door.  

“Something you forget to mention to us this morning, Louise?” manages Heyes in a high whine.

“You didn’t tell them?” Jenny looks at Louise incredulous.  She has a big genuine smile on her face now and she turns and beams at her guests. “Oh well, we can do better than that!” she chuckles.

Jenny’s eyes twinkle with mischief; she gives her full attention to Heyes and Curry’s faces, she’s enjoying the effect this revelation is having on them.  “Boys.” She calls up to the loft behind her. “I know you’re just pretending to be asleep because we told you y’ had to scat and be quiet, but won’t you say hello to our guests.”

Three more faces appear at the top of the loft ladder. A chorus of “Eve…, Evening, Evening Mister, Misters…s” greets the two perplexed ex-outlaws.

“Howdy…” Kid gives a little wave, counting heads.

“Woah…” Heyes shakes his head as the two ladies laugh and wave the children back to bed.

“This here is a Home for Boys Kid…” Jenny starts to explain, but is laughing too much.

“A Home…Fer Waywards…?” interrupts Kid smiling, thinking, ‘why wasn’t there somewhere like this back then.’

“No, just Boys, Kid.”

She pats Kids cheek again seeing his thoughts clear as day.

“Just boys who ain’t got nowhere else to be, nor no one else to care fer them.”

She sat and invited them to sit again.  

“Just boys, in need of a home.”

“Well, that’s quite an undertaking you ladies have given yourselves.”

Heyes is thinking he’s glad that he and Kid decided not to risk this visit till late, after the boys’ bed time. But was this revelation going to put a crimp in his plan to ask the ladies to let him and Kid stay till morning. They’d checked out of the hotel and they’d bought horses.  The horses were outside now, carrying all their possessions and some trail provisions. After Harry’s news, they didn’t plan to stick around Yuma, not even for one more day.  There hadn’t been any scheduled train or stage departures for the next two days, so horseback it was.

Louise felt she should offer more explanation.  She smiled at Heyes.

“We get to stay here too.  We also needed a home, we couldn’t keep taking up rooms at the hotel.  The previous guardian of this home …well he died…”

“Yeah. He fell down and broke his neck…” offered Jenny.  “Of course, he’d spent a lotta days before that filling his neck…” she rolled her eyes.

“Well, he died, and the County were going to close this place and sell it.” Louise continued.  “With a little help from my brother-in-law, we persuaded the Mayor and the County Board to let Jenny and me try and keep it open.” Louise nodded over at Jenny with a smile.  “It’s been hard work, but I think we all benefit.”

“You run a Home for Wayw…. Boys…and you also work at your Brother-in-law’s Hotel?” Kid can’t believe it. “Sheesh!”

“No, no, I was visiting with my sister yesterday, it just got a little late to get home, I was just helping out.  It seems like fate has decided to take a turn, me running into you two this morning like that.”

Louise smiled over to Jenny, who nodded.

“Yes we certainly seem to be fated with meeting old acquaintances in Yuma” Kid shook his head and sent his partner a very meaningful look.

“In fact, we think if we stay much longer, we might be running into quite a few more” Heyes added, ruefully.  “So Kid and me, will be heading out in the morning.”  

“Tomorrow?” Jenny looks shocked, she stares at Louise, obviously upset.

“Well… we still got all night to talk, and eat, don’t we?” reassured Kid, stomach growling.

“Yes” smiled Louise, patting Jenny’s hand and sharing a meaningful look with her partner. “Come to the table boys, foods all ready.”

---ooooooOoooooo---

Everyone’s enjoying coffee after some of Louise’s splendid cooking

“So you inherited four boys with the house?” smiled Heyes. “That’s a real handful.”

“Six,” corrects Jenny. “We took charge of six young’uns, Heyes.”

“Six Boys!” Kid laughs. “That’s not a handful, that’s a riot!”

“Must you go …so soon?” Louise studies Kids face with earnest. “It would be so good for the boys to have a bit of male company around.”

Kid shakes his head.  “Sorry Louise, we can’t stick around Yuma.  Like Heyes said, we got to go.  Our horses are all packed up out front.”

“Tonight! On horses?” Jenny sounds exasperated.

“Well, we’d prefer to leave it till daybreak…” Kid lets the unasked question hang in the air.

“Well, we’re just gonna haf’ta flat out ask them.” Jenny sighs heavily at Louise.

“Well I was hoping to work up to it Jenny, but I think you may be right.”

Louise fixed first Heyes, then Kid, with an earnest look and then jumped in with the request she’d been building up to all through dinner.

“We need your help. We got no one else we can ask.  The Mayor is set to close us down and ship these boys off to …who knows where, or whether they’d be allowed to stay together… You see, Jenny an’ me, …well …we’ve failed…”

She looked down at her hands in her lap.  

“We’ve lost two of the older boys. …We think they’ve run off to be outlaws.”

She shook her head, lifting appealing eyes to the two ex-outlaws in front of her.

“Just before we took the place on, a benefactor of the home, well the only benefactor of the Home that is, he made a brief visit, leaving Abel.”

Louise and Jenny both sent adoring looks to the bedroom door.

“Seems he filled Cain and Nathaniel’s heads with stories of outlawing.  My sister told me, he was as much a drunk as Samuel Johansen, the man that was staying here …supposedly to mind the boys.  The town was scandalised that a drunkard could be funding the home …and when they heard there’d been talk of outlawing, well, there was worry about where the money he sent was coming from.”

The women stared at each other for just a second, Jenny nodded encouraging Louise to finish her tale.

“They’ve just been looking for an excuse to close us down really. Never believed two women could…  and now that two of the boys have run off …well …it’s just a matter of time.”

Jenny grabbed Kids hand. “I can’t lose any more boys, Kid.  We decided to ask you and Heyes to go look for them, bring them home to us.” She put her hand over her mouth, frightened of saying too much, desperate to have said enough.

“Well,” began Heyes “We know a Detective, he’s right here in Yuma. In fact, he’s on a case looking for a missing girl right now. I bet if.…”.

“Of course we’ll help” said Kid, covering Jenny’s hand with his own.  “We want to help.”  Jenny was drowning in blue pools of reassurance.

Kid very pointedly did not look at Heyes.

Heyes closed his eyes.
---ooooooOoooooo---
Daybreak

Heyes and Curry are in their saddles about to leave.
“From what Louise has found out already, it sounds like your runaways are heading out towards the turnpike at Benton.  They could get North from there.”

Kid is leaning down towards Jenny, stood at the front of the house with Abel on her hip.  

“We’ll head out that way too, and we’ll wire you from there if we find out anything.” Smiles Heyes.

Jenny is all talked out, she just smiles up at the boys trying to look hopeful.  
Kid nods and makes to leave.  

“Wait up.” Louise comes round the side of the little building riding a small grey pony with four black socks, loaded down with trail provisions. “You weren’t going to start without me were you?”

“Now, wait a minute Louise,” Heyes tries not to sound too harsh, “You don’t think you’re coming with us.  We got to cover ground …and quickly! We might even be followed.  We’ve said we’ll ask around for yer runaways, but that’s it.  This ain’t no picnic, and this here’s dessert country!”

“Yes, I know that thank you, Joshua…I live here, remember?  I know this area quite well. And I’m well provided for.  Jenny and I sorted all that out last night.”

Louise and Jenny fixed the partners with looks that would not brook any arguments.  Anyone would think they’d had a bit of practice getting their own way with the male sex recently.

“Boys, you don’t know what Cane and Nathaniel look like.” Jenny raised her eyebrows in a ‘thought that would have been obvious’ way. “And they won’t understand that they can trust you.  These are boys that haven’t had much luck placing their trust in adults. They know Louise …has their best interest at heart …even if they don’t appreciate it.” Jenny smiled, sharing a small joke with Louise.  “Louise is coming with you.  Stay safe my dear, and bring our boys home.”

“I will, and boys,” Louise raises her voice, ostensibly for the benefit of the crowd of small boys by the door. “You mind what Jenny tells you.”

Louise fixes the two ex-outlaws with an inclusive stare.  

“Are you coming gentlemen?”

---ooooooOoooooo---




Episode Two




After a couple of hours on the trail of Cain and Nathaniel

“This is rough terrain to be on foot.  I sure hope those boys took plenty of water with them.”

They were walking the horses through the heat of the day, but keeping the pace slow and easy.  Kid eyed the sharp rocks and the cactus and thought about two teenagers making this journey. He shook his head ‘wouldn’t have been easy’.

“Cain and Nathaniel ran wild all over this ground before Jenny and I took on their home.  They’re both very resourceful boys, well …they practically had to bring themselves up.  Oh they liked Mr Johansen well enough, I think he gave them an awful lot of freedom...”

Louise looked sad. She would probably have liked to add that the boys hadn’t taken to her efforts, to reign them in, at all.

“I think it’s only the fact that we insisted they attend school, that kept them from running off before this.”

Louise thought she knew which trail the boys would have started out on, so had taken the lead.  The partners exchanged a look and a smile behind Louise’s back.

“You think they stayed at the Home so they could go to school?” Heyes sounded incredulous, but also quite impressed.

“Well, Nathaniel is very loyal to Cain. He’s a year younger, and Cain helped him out, early on, when he had troubles with some bullying, since then they’ve been inseparable apparently. And Cain …well he’s at that age …he would have stayed for a certain young lady that he only saw in school.”

Louise smiled, then laughed.  

“Oh” smirked Kid.

“Her father didn’t like her mixing with …Well, he thought she was getting a might too wild herself, and he decided to send her back East, to his sister’s… Cain took that hard.”

Louise shook her head.

“I guess that’s when they decided there was nothing left to keep them at the home.”

“Yes, all that love, and warm beds, and full stomachs, must have been awfully hard to bare…” laughed Kid.

“…and being made to go to school instead of having to work.  I’m amazed they stuck it so long!” finished Heyes.

“Oh I think I can understand it.”

Louise had had time enough to think about it, and had experienced first-hand the boy’s disappointment with their new circumstances. Cain’s words were still ringing in her ears.

“A boy used to going his own way; suddenly finds his home invaded by women and a new small child. Having rules to keep, and school to attend, and to be expected to do domestic chores that seem trivial and unimportant.  Not used to a woman telling him…”

Louise stopped herself, pressing her lips so hard together, white lines appeared around them.

“I should think next to that; the life of an outlaw would appear pretty glamorous don’t you?”

“Oh yeah, me and Kid, we were just about drownin’ in all the glamour” opined Heyes with a shake of his head. “That’s why we begged the Governor to give us an amnesty, we couldn’t take no more.”

“Sheesh!” whistled Kid “Someone’s going to have to put these two straight about a few things when we catch up to them.”

Louise smiled to herself, ‘That’s what I’m hoping for Kid’ she thought.

---ooooooOoooooo---

A small homestead; a long hard day’s walk from the Boys home for a couple of teenagers, in the direction of Benton Turnpike

An old fella is sitting sharpening an axe on a grind stone turned by pedals. He sees the party of three pull their horses up to the hitching rail outside the white board house he shares with Thelma his wife.

“Thelma, get out here, we got company.”

“Howdy” calls Heyes.

“Howdy yerselves.  Don’t get too many visitors ‘round here, these days. You folks looking to eat? Thelma an’ me, we ran this place as a staging post, ‘fore they cut back on the line. But we still got plenty of room, and plenty of welcome for travelling folks.” Charmed old Johnno.

“Well that’s a mighty decent offer friend” smiled Kid.  “We’d be obliged to you for a bit of shade and water for the horses, and a bite to eat for ourselves.”

Louise looked very pleased to be out of the saddle, as she strode to the door of the house, now held open by a beaming Thelma.  It was a very long time indeed since she’d made such a long hot ride.  Shade was very welcome.

Johnno corralled the partners towards the house too.  “I’ll just water your horses and take them over to the barn, and I’ll come join you.”

---ooooooOoooooo---

Around a big oak table, after some food and a few pleasantries.

“Well now, we did get some young’uns by here not that long ago…” Thelma is placing coffees in front of her guests.

“Horse thieves’ n no goods!” squealed Johnno, surprising the company with his venom.

“Johnno, you still that tongue of your’n, I told you I let them borrow old Pat...”

“Woman, I ain’t senile yet. I know that young Caleb done charmed you with his Hiawatha’in an’ all that fancy poetry…but horse stealin’ is horse stealin’…”

At the mention of Hiawatha and poetry Louise’ face lit up. She smiled and beamed with pride. “That’s so like Cain; he can recite Longfellow’s ‘Song of Hiawatha’ by the yard.  He’s really quite remarkable.”

Heyes and Curry nodded but the old couple seemed to have forgotten they had guests.  Thelma put her hands on her hips, head wagging from side to side.  “If they stole old Pat, then how comes she’s stalled in yonder barn right now, munching hay, happy as the day is long?”

“Well I didn’t say they kept her, Woman! But they sure did stole her!” Johnno’s bottom lip jutted out from under the untidy whiskers on his top lip, as his finger jabbed the top of a nearby stool for emphasis.

“Excuse me…” Heyes tried a polite cough as well to try to get their attention, he’d only asked if they’d seen a couple of near grown boys passing through recently.

“You said Caleb?”

Thelma turned from her exasperating husband and looked into the earnest dark eyed gaze of the ex- Devils Hole Gang leader.

“Yes that was the name he was using. Caleb, Caleb Black, the other two was Billy White and Joe March.” Thelma laughed out a sigh. “Well that’s what they told us.”

The three guests at the table rolled their eyes at the names. Thank goodness Jenny wasn’t there.

“‘Course we could see they were lying, but they needed help, not chastisement.” Continued Thelma sending a meaningful glare Johnno’s way.  “Young Jo’s feet were all cut up poor love, and the boys looked like they needed some feeding up.”

“We fed them best we could back at the Home!” Louise had taken this as a slur on her ability to provide food for the boys.  “It takes time to get weight back on them” She pleaded. “We couldn’t always find them to feed them.”

“Wait a minute… wait a minute…” Kid looks between the two women. “Who’s this Joe? You said you lost two boys from the Home right…Cain and Nathaniel, they’re calling themselves Caleb and Billy, but who’s this other boy, Joe?”

Louise narrows her eyes, thinking through the boy’s friends and classmates but coming up short.

Thelma supplies the answer. “Oh she didn’t want us to know.  No, she was all dressed up in boy’s clothes, that must be why her feet were so badly cut up, she must have borrowed those shoes…”

“Thieves… stole ‘em … didn’t I just tell you woman, they was thieves, …” started Johnno.

“Borrowed I said…” Thelma leaned over her husband getting nose to nose with him. “And borrowed I meant. There’s no need for you to go about callin’ them nice young’uns thieves!”

The row continued, the guests at the table forgotten once more.

“A girl?” Heyes eyes narrowed, looking over to Kid, “A missing girl?”

“Harry’s missing girl?” asked Kid with a slight shake of his head.

“Could be?” Heyes shrugged. “How many can go missin’ at one time?”

“What did she look like?” asked Louise, trying to get Thelma’s attention again. “Jo?”

Thelma had the grace to look a little embarrassed.  She had indeed forgotten they had guests. She replaced the scowl with a sweet smile.  

“Real pretty, blond hair, blue eyes, a might taller than young Caleb, but you could see he was real smitten…”

“Josephine Marshall!” Louise sounded surprised. “Josephine Marshall left with the boys …and walked all this way?”

“Yes, Josephine …that’s such a pretty name …told us she was Jo March…like we’d never read Little Women…” Thelma shook her head fondly, “Her feet were all cut up, that’s why I said to young Caleb, that old Pat out there was such a smart horse, why she could even find her own way home in the dark.  I knew he’d take my meaning, him being such a smart boy, quotin’ all that fine poetry. …Oh it was beautiful what with Billy stood right there.”

“They was horse thieves, woman…” began Johnno again, waking Thelma from her reverie.

“If you hadn’t of scared them off, I might have had a chance to talk them young’uns ‘round, that Caleb was a real smart boy.  All your talk of fetchin’ Sheriffs to runaways …you plumb scared them off, you old fool!”

“Woman…”

“Urm…” Heyes was getting good at interrupting the ensuing domestic.  “Do you have any idea, which way they was headed?”

“Oh they probably went to try charm the local tribes off their reservation.” Johnno squealed.  “Probably went to steal their horses too!”

Kid looked up, ‘Local tribes?’ he thought. His eyes closed.  Indians still made him nervous.

“I know where they’re gone.” Thelma shook her head at Johnno but turned a sweet face to Heyes.  “They were heading for the freight line, to get them up to the turnpike. It was a fool idea really but I heard young Billy suggest it to Caleb while he was outside chopping all that wood for me.” Thelma looked at the wood and caught sight of Johnno again, “To keep us warm at nights and so I can cook dinner …for a no account, ungrateful…husband!”

Kid looked at the healthy wood pile and nodded appreciatively, Billy, or was it Nathaniel, was no shirker. All the logs had only recently been split, and there was a fine basket of good kindling. The boys had earned their meal.

“Thank you Ma’am” Heyes addressed the back of Thelma’s head as she lay into Johnno again for his shortcomings.  

The company,
     feeling they’d been forgotten once more,
           headed for the door,
                  quietly.
---ooooooOoooooo---

Back on the trail

“We’ll head for the tracks and make sure those kids managed to hop a freight without getting their selves kill…” Kid stopped as he saw the impact of his words were having on Louise’s face.

“Oh I think they’ll be fine Kid,” Heyes grinned at his younger cousin.  “This Cain’s meant to be such a smart kid, he’ll have realised they need to be on a bend or on an incline…. Maybe even find a water stop. He’ll know that train’s going to have to be going real slow …especially with a girl in tow…” Heyes faltered under a glare from Louise.

“Josephine Marshall is more than capable of hopping a freight train, of that I’m sure!” Louise has her dander up. “Why she’s more than capable… Bad influence on her… Huh!... If anyone was a bad influence …she knew Cain would have followed her anywhere …if she’s got my boys killed…”

Louise is looking off, way into the distance towards the tracks.  

The partners share disbelieving smiles behind her back. Heyes waves his arm in an ‘after you’ gesture.
---ooooooOoooooo---

Track side

“Here’s as good a place as any.” opines Curry looking for signs of blood or body parts and finding none. “It’s where I’d of chose.”

“Well I’m sure glad they had the sense to follow the track this far at least, before trying it.” Heyes was also down off his horse looking at the hoof tracks of the big mare.  She was near sixteen hands with huge feet, more plough horse than riding horse, made tracking her really easy.  Her trail was wandering off from the track at this point, obviously heading back home alone.

“I’m amazed they could be so resourceful.” Louise was looking up the steep bank to the track shaking her head. “Boarding a moving train, from here?”

The partners are also nodding at the achievement.

“If they wanted to be outlaws …that train would have to have been headed North …can’t see them wanting to join up with El clavo down in Mexico, do you Heyes?” smiled Kid sharing the joke to lighten the mood.

“Well I guess we follow the track North then …see where they get off” Heyes thought about it for just a second.  “My guess would be next stop or …soon as they get hungry.”
---ooooooOoooooo---

Benton Turnpike (next stop)

“We’ll stay here overnight.” Heyes smiled at a weary, dusty Louise.  She hadn’t complained once, he liked that.  “We got time for a bath, a meal and a soft bed before we head off again in the morning.”

“Wonder what they did, when they got here?” Louise was looking round the rough, not too friendly-looking town huddled close to several crossing rail lines.  She noted the telegraph office at the train station.

“Oh I don’t know, smart resourceful kid like Cain…” Heyes nodded to himself, surreptitiously taking in the name of the local sheriff and silently confirming with the Kid that they didn’t need to worry. “…I’m sure he could have come up with a way to get them some food…”

“Yeah …I think a hard working kid like Billy would have found a way to raise a little money… get them a crib for the night.“  Kid scanned the street looking thoughtful. “If I were him, I’d go see if the livery needed any help.”

Louise looked from one partner to the other with a satisfied smile on her face.

---ooooooOoooooo---

Dinner at the town’s only Hotel, that night

Kid was regaling the others with his trip to put the horses at the livery.  “I told you he was a hard grafter.  The livery owner remembers Billy White. He was real sorry to see him go.  I couldn’t get much out of him about that though …he got real cagey …said there’d been some bad business up at the hotel…this hotel.  But I couldn’t get any more out of him than that.  I think he’s scared of something or someone.”

Heyes and Louise nodded.

“Well I asked at the telegraph office when I sent my telegrams.” Heyes was wiping his mouth on a napkin pushing away from the table. “Seems that our clever Cain …or should I say Caleb Black …talked himself into a job running the telegrams round town for the telegraph clerk.  He didn’t say why the kids left town either, but he gave me the impression it wasn’t their decision to leave ...said it like they’d been run off or something.” He screwed up his face, frustrated not to have gathered all the facts.  “At least we know they would have had enough money to buy food.”

“And we know the boys at least, were sleeping over at the livery” put in Curry.

“So where was little Miss Josephine Marshall, while my boys were grafting all over town, to feed her?” Louise rolled her eyes.  “And she probably insisted on in sleeping in a proper bed here at the hotel.  Spent all their money.” Louise looked towards the kitchen.  “If there was trouble in this hotel, then the kitchen staff will know all about it.  I think it’s time I took a professional interest in the catering.”
---ooooooOoooooo---

A knock on the adjoining door of two hotel rooms

“Come on in Louise” Heyes called “What did you find out?”

The boys sit on the beds and offer Louise the only chair.

“Well first, I owe Miss Josephine Marshall an apology.  She took a job here, in the Hotel as Joanna March, making beds and fetching bath water and such.  She was given a bed in the attic and was told to eat in the kitchen.”  

“Well that’s real good isn’t it Louise?” Curry’s confused by Louise’s sad face.

Louise sighed and blew out her cheeks. She fixed Heyes and Kid with a look of utter misery.  

“The night the boys had to leave, that poor child had been working all day, and …well there’s no easy way to say this …seems when she went downstairs to fix herself something to eat in the kitchen …the owner…well he tried to force his attentions on her.”

“What!” Kid is rising, hand on gun butt, blue eyes blazing …Louise grabs his arm, shaking her head.

“Seems Cain was in the lobby delivering a telegram to the front desk. He must have been hoping to see Josephine.  He heard the commotion in the kitchen, heard Josephine cry out…”

Louise looked like she wanted to burst into tears.

“He found them …he’s got this temper …he near beat that man to death…”

Heyes and Curry whooped, throwing fists into the air.  Louise held a hand to her face, shaking her head quietly till the partners stilled.

“No …no …you don’t understand.  Nathaniel had come looking for his friends …he’s a strong boy …he had to drag Cain off and tried to calm him down.  He’s only thirteen but he watches Cain close like that. That man wasn’t moving … the sheriff was called …and the boys both ran off!”  

Louise had her head in her hands determined not to cry.

“When those boys fled this town, they believed Cain had killed a man with his bare hands. They must be so scared…”

Louise’s eyes shut tightly.

“But he didn’t.  That creep lived, right?” Kid sits opposite her patting her shoulder.

“What happened to Josephine?” asked Heyes quietly.

Louise looked up at them, tears replaced with determination.

“I don’t know yet …but I’m going to find out in the morning…”

---ooooooOoooooo---

Breakfast in the café across the street from the hotel, Louise has already left to carry on investigating.

“Oh no, what’s he doing here?”

Kid’s head nearly drops into his breakfast plate, but he manages to plaster on a false smile, as Harry Briscoe enters the room to join them for breakfast.

“Harry? Didn’t think you be able to get here so quickly?” Heyes stands and pumps Harrys hand, smiling in full dimpled glee, resting a hand on Kids shoulder as he attempts to rise. “I only sent you a telegram yesterday.”

Kids face is a picture, “What?!?!”

Harry sits, calling for coffee.

“Well it sounded like you might o’ had an interesting development in my case.” Harry drops his head towards Heyes and whispers, “Good idea to sign that telegram Rembakker, Heyes.  There’s Bannerman men on every street corner back in Yuma…it’s like a convention!” He sneers in distaste. “And they’re asking all over town for you two.”

The cigar is out and the lighting pantomime begins.  If anything, Kids face turns it up a notch in the, ‘another one of your genius plans nearly got us caught Heyes’, department.  

“You invited Harry to Benton Heyes!”   Kid makes this sound like an accusation.  “Well I sure hope none of them agents back in good old Yuma were thinking; ‘I wonder where old Harry’s going’? And maybe came along for the ride…”

“You weren’t followed were you Harry?” Heyes didn’t look at all worried.

“No! …no…. at least….” Harry didn’t sound very confident, his hands started playing with the cigar in front of him.  It was suddenly really interesting.

“Of course you weren’t, smart detective like you” assured Heyes smacking Harry on the back, heavily.  

Kid rolled his eyes, he never the less started looking for exits.

Heyes fixed Harry with a larcenous twinkle in his dark eyes “Tell us some more about this big case you’re working on Harry.” He nods encouragement.

“Yeah tell us all about this missing girl Harry” encourages Curry, as ever, catching on that Heyes is working an angle.

“Well…” Harry takes a sip of the coffee that’s just appeared in front of him, “I wouldn’t call it a big case, boys. Ermmm …She’s a girl …named Josephine Marshall …from Yuma …and …she’s gone missing.”

The boys exchange a ‘Could have guessed that much look’, but keep quiet and nod to encourage Harry to say more.

“Well, Her Uncle ...he’s well connected …he owns a copper mine not far from Carson City …and he’s got some railroad connections too.”  

Harry has got off the point.

“The girl, Harry…” sighs Kid.

“Well, I’m working for the uncle see; he’d read the piece in the newspaper, all about me solving the Blight murder.  He needed a top notch detective to find his wife’s niece …He only wanted the best!”

Harry sits up straight, straightening his tie and favouring his companions with his great detective pose.

“Top notch Harry?” Heyes slapped Harry lightly on the back with an impressed nod “He must be willing to pay a top notch price, for the very best, huh?”

“Well…” Harry tried to look bashful but couldn’t prevent a very proud smile breaking out on his face.  “I can certainly attract the best clientele these days’ boys …now the good words out.”

“So there’ll be room to cut us in on the deal, if we help you find the girl Harry?” Heyes stared frankly at their old friend, a heavy hand on his shoulder, nodding encouragement.

“Be like old times, us all working together again, Harry” smiled Kid, a heavy hand on Harry’s other shoulder.

“Well …well …the thing is boys…” Harry stammered.

“’Corse …you remember all the help we gave you, getting that reputation, now don’t you Harry?” Heyes dropped his voice to a low rasp.

“And you really want to find this girl, don’t you Harry?” It was a frank and heartfelt statement from the Kid.

His implied incompetence wasn’t lost on Harry. His eyes narrowed. He knew he needed their help, but he’d almost got himself believing he was a great detective.

“If you two know something about the disappearance of this poor, unfortunate girl…” he began.

“We do.” Stated Heyes “And it’s going to cost you a hundred dollars…”

“Apiece” beamed Curry.

Harry must be able to charge high fees indeed these days because he hardly took a second to think this over.

“Done!” he almost shouted.  

The partners looked at each other, they should probably have pitched in higher.  Never mind it was money for old rope.  Louise had gone to do all the actual investigating; I wonder if any of them thought it might be fairer to negotiate a cut for her?

---ooooooOoooooo---

Back at the hotel later the same day

Louise knocked the adjoining door lightly.

“Come on in Louise” Heyes called “What did you find out?”

“Plenty.” Sighed out Louise, sitting on the end of one of the beds this time. “I’ve just had tea with the local pastor and his wife …and a very confused …Josephine Marshall.”

The partners exchange a look, ‘that two hundred dollars is in the bag.’

“She’s using her own name now, and she’s wearing some fine girl’s clothes.”  Louise smiled at this.  “I think hardly anyone, but the Pastor and his very kind wife, would realise she was the same unfortunate creature from the hotel that night.”

Louise shook her head slowly.  

“Seems one of the staff, a lady that also worked at the Hotel, whisked her away to her good friend at the vicarage, as soon as she could… after …Seems the Hotel owner and the Sheriff …they go back a long way. There’s been other instances …other girls …and these other girls …they haven’t fared too well under the law in this town.”

Louise closed her eyes for a moment, swallowing the anger.  

“I feel I’ve wronged that girl somehow.  None of this was her fault.  Anyway, I’ve promised, I’ll see her home safe to her Ma.”

Louise eyed the partners to see what effect this revelation was going to have on them.

“That’s a really good idea, Louise.” Heyes places his hands on her shoulders nodding earnestly. “And we have this good friend, someone you can both put your trust in, that will escort you both, safely all the way to Yuma.”

Heyes tries to hide the smile as he glances to Kid.   Kid rolls his eyes, ‘easiest two hundred ever.’

“Of course that means Jenny and I will be relying on you two, to go on and find Cain and Nathaniel …and bring them home …”

Louise fixes each of the partners with a wily glare “You will, won’t you.  I know you wouldn’t want to let Jenny down.”

It wasn’t a question.

“Of course we’re going to find the boys.”  Kid, ever practical adds.  “But we still don’t know what they look like.”

“I was getting to that.” Louise gives Heyes a shrewd look “Cain is dark, hair and eyes, he has a look of you, Mr Heyes.”

Heyes shrugs, so.

“I had quite a talk with Josephine Marshall.  I asked her why they’d all took off like that.  Seems, she wasn’t ready to settle in her Uncle’s place just yet, to become a young lady; she liked the freedom afforded her in Yuma.  She told me, Cain had caught her up in his big plans.  Seems, he overheard that visitor and Samuel Johansen talking in their cups one night. He heard that, like young Abel’s mother, Cain’s mother had been a saloon girl from a place called Harris town.  He heard Abel was his half-brother.  He got it into his head, that his father was some big outlaw up in Wyoming, at a place called Devils Hole.”

Louise’s eyes found Heyes’ and her eye brows lifted.

Kid looked from one to the other. “Wait a minute …you don’t think…. Heyes…is the…?” He explodes laughing.  “Heyes …. a father…. Hah!”

Heyes doesn’t know whether to deny the possibility to Louise, as silly and near impossible …he’d have only been …well you do the maths …or defend the possibility that he could be a father, to his crowing partner.  

He looks in turmoil.

“No, I’m not saying that Thaddeus …I’m just stating that Cain has it in his head, that his father is at Devils Hole. Now add to that, that they both think that he’s killed someone.” Louise sighed in earnest. “It doesn’t take a great deal of imagination to work out where the boys are headed.”

The partners shake their heads biting back huge grins.

“They’re a very, very long way from Devils Hole Louise.”  

Heyes is glad to change the subject.  “I checked the train times for the evening they left town.  I think our boys would have tried jumping another freight to leave town in a hurry, but there was only a passenger train that day, going up to Tarpool Leap.  There’s another train headed that way tonight.  I think me and the Kid should be on it.”

“What does Billy …I mean Nathaniel look like Louise?” asks Kid casually.  

Heyes’ face splits into a gleeful grin. “Maybe he’s got blond curly hair and big blue eyes Kid?” he taunts.

“Nathaniel’s mother was a Navajo squaw.  She died in childbirth, and his father, the town blacksmith, blamed the boy and drank himself to death. He’s got his mother’s looks, but he’s big and strong like his father. Don’t worry Mr Curry, I won’t be holding you responsible for Nathaniel.” Louise fixed Heyes with another wide eyed look.  

Heyes screwed up his face and scowled.  

“Dark hair and dark eyes, with a touch of genius, don’t mean nothing.” His eyes narrow as he says it out loud.  He shakes his head, it’s not possible. “And Harris Town is crawling with outlaws.”

Curry, off the hook, is revelling in his partner’s discomfit, and can’t hold the laughter in any longer.
---ooooooOoooooo---

Outside the telegraph office late in the day

“Was her Uncle pleased Harry?” asked Heyes, holding out a gloved hand for the money.

“A very pleasing and swift conclusion to my investigation.“  Harry quotes looking all puffed up with success.

“Urhum!” coughs Kid, waving empty gloved palm under Harry’s nose.

Harry removes his wallet and counts out a hundred dollars onto each palm.

“Thank you, Harry.” Smiles Kid.  

Heyes pockets the stash, beaming.  Heyes’ turn to cough.  Kid stashes the cash just as Louise arrives with a very pretty, blond, fifteen-year-old girl in tow.

“There’s a stage to Yuma in the morning.” Louise smiles at the boys.

Josephine turns scarlet as each of the partners greet her gallantly.

“Remember, to send word as soon as you know anything, please. Mr Smith. Mr Jones.” A brief kiss for each. “We’ll be waiting to hear from you.”

“Ladies,” announces Heyes formerly “It is my great pleasure to introduce you to Mr Harry Bartholomew Briscoe. Harry, Miss Louise Carson and Miss Josephine Marshall.”

Harry is chivalry itself.

“Safe journey ladies” smiles Kid.  “I know Harry here will take great care of you both, after all, he knows how much you mean to us.” Kid fixes Harry with a meaningful look.

Harry tips his hat offering an arm to the girl and then, with a soppy grin on his face that neither of the partners have ever witnessed before, offers Louise his arm. “I think dinner is on me Ladies” he smiles. “Shall we?”

Heyes and Kid watch Harry stroll off between the lovely ladies to dinner and realise they have a train to catch and haven’t got time to eat.

“Come on Thaddeus, don’t want to miss our train.” Heyes is already walking away still amused by Harry’s love smitten face.   Kid’s brain is trying to work out how he’s managed to miss dinner.

---ooooooOoooooo---


END OF PART ONE
Part two can be found here http://asjbuckshot.forumotion.com/t367-yuma-part-two#928


Last edited by Cal on Sat 21 May 2016, 12:54 pm; edited 5 times in total
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Yuma - Part One ...8,900 words :: Comments

Re: Yuma - Part One ...8,900 words
Post on Fri 15 Apr 2016, 12:55 am by Guests
This is shaping up as a good story but is hard to read because of the changes in verb tenses.
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Re: Yuma - Part One ...8,900 words
Post on Fri 15 Apr 2016, 5:39 am by Cal
Hi Guests - thanks for the feedback - I'll do a little editing when I post the next episode - I'm very much a story teller - rather than a writer - but doesn't mean I shouldn't try improve :)
Re: Yuma - Part One ...8,900 words
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Yuma - Part One ...8,900 words

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