Stories: Alias Smith and Jones

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Posts : 23
Join date : 2013-10-26
Age : 60


Wild horses couldn't keep me away from joining in on such an auspicious occasion as "One Hundred Monthly Story Challenges!" It's an honor, as well as a privilege, to be included with such an awesome group of story tellers and dream weavers.

I woke up this morning, still dealing with one of my pounding headaches (this one's been here for over 3 days) and oddly enough, as I sat here waiting for my medicine to kick in and bring it down a notch or two, this wonderful bunny plot hopped nearby and I grabbed it quickly before it could scoot away. Heard him muttering something that sounded like, "I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date," as he stared at his pocketwatch... So, with many thanks to my furry friend, I shall say adios and let you peruse my story...

“One Hundred”

“Penny for your thoughts, Kid.” Heyes touched Curry on the shoulder. “You look like you're a hundred miles away.”

“Wish we had a penny,” Jed groused and turned away from his post as lookout. His curry-blue eyes were troubled, his expression serious. “You're sure we've got everything right this time?”

“Last time was just practice; a dry run,” Heyes assured him. “We were rehearsing, you know, like a play, and last week was our opening night. Things are supposed to go wrong. We've gone over this at least a hundred times - nothing's gonna go wrong today,” he added confidently. “You'll see.”

“That's what you said last time, Heyes - we almost got caught!”

“Almost. But we didn't,” Heyes grinned. “Did we?”  

“It was just a lucky break for us that woman fainted. Everyone was more concerned about her than us.” He turned back to keep an eye on the bank while they talked.

“Aren't you conveniently forgetting that we were able to get away because I cased the bank before we robbed it? I knew the manager's office had a side door that we could use as an alternate escape route.”

“But that's not the way you planned it, Heyes! You said we'd go in the front door, tell 'em to give us the money, then once we had it we'd high-tail it out the front door and duck into the alley where the horses were. Well, so much for your great plan!” Jed snorted. “We ended up being forced to go out through the manager's door – since the sheriff was out front waitin' for us - then we had to go around the whole building just to get to the alley! We barely made it! With everyone chasing us, when we dropped the bag of loot, there wasn't even enough time to stop and grab it. All we could do was jump on our horses and ride away while they fired shots at us! And then, to top it all off, we didn't get one single cent from our first job!”

“I know what happened,” Heyes reminded his partner. “I was there!”

“Take it easy, Heyes,” Curry held up a placating hand. I'm not tryin' to rile you up; I jus' wanna know that this time things will be different. That this time we'll end up with something for all our trouble.”

“This time my plan is one hundred percent fool proof. We've checked and double-checked it all. We haven't left even one thing to chance. In a few days we'll be a hundred miles away from here, spending the money, and everyone will forget it even happened. Trust me.”

Curry sighed. “Whatever you say, Heyes.”

“That's the spirit, Kid. I'll tell you what; I'll even bet you a hundred dollars that this job goes off without a hitch.”

“A hundred dollars?” Curry scoffed. “Really? We don't even have two coins to rub together; where're we gonna get a hundred dollars?”

“That's just a drop in the bucket of what we're going to get from this job,” Heyes boasted. “We'll just take the one hundred dollars outta that.”

Curry grinned. “I like the way you think, Heyes. Okay, I'll take you up on that bet. One hundred dollars says you're wrong.”

Heyes' brow furrowed. “So, in other words, you're really gonna bet that my plan won't work?”

“Not 'in other words'; that's exactly what I'm sayin'. I still feel like somethin's gonna happen; somethin' bad.”

“Quit being such a 'Negative Nellie', Kid,” Heyes chided his partner. “The odds are a hundred to one in my favor – so you're gonna owe me a hundred dollars when all this is over,” he added smugly.

“I hope so,” Curry retorted and changed subjects. “It's almost closing time. There's the two tellers an' I've counted three customers. Haven't seen hide nor hair of that bank manager either comin' or goin'. I don't see anyone else headin' in that direction. You wanna wait to see if one or two of 'em leaves before we make our move?”

“Yeah, let's give 'em a few more minutes. The less people the better.”

“That sheriff an' his deputy won't be back for a while,” Curry grinned. “It was pretty smart of you to get them outta the way like that. By the time they ride out to that farm and find out it was a false alarm, they're gonna miss all the fun!”

“We're learning, Kid. By the time we've robbed a hundred banks we should be real experts!”

Curry pivoted around to face Heyes. “A hundred? You really think we'll have to rob that many banks to get the money we need?”

“All depends on how much we get.” With a philosophical shrug he continued. “The bigger the haul, the less we have to rob.”

“I thought we'd just have to do this a few times. Then we'd buy us a ranch and settle down.” He released a dispirited sigh and turned back to the bank. “That's a lotta banks... and a lotta time, too.”

“Aw, it's not that bad; cheer up, Kid. In just a few minutes we're gonna be rich!”

For his cousin's benefit, Curry summoned a smile to his face. “Sorry; I jus' never thought we'd havta be outlaws to survive. There's gotta be something legal that we're good at?”

“Nothing that'll get us the kind of money we need! I've done my best to find us honest work, but you know how that went. Would you rather go back to that mining job?” Heyes snorted derisively. “You almost died working in there! We busted our tails for a month straight and what did we have to show for it? Nothing! We barely made enough to pay for our room and board while we were slaving away! Or how about having to ride drag on that cattle drive? That was a lot of fun – I'm still coughing up dust! Maybe you'd rather bust horses or brand cattle? Those jobs were real easy on the back and they rank pretty high in my books – don't they in yours?” His rant over, Heyes' brown eyes - which had darkened to an obsidian color – glared straight into curry-blue ones.

“No,” Jed replied calmly. He stared back into the eyes of his friend without flinching. “We've done our best. Guess we've done over a hundred different jobs. One of the worst ones was cleaning those outhouses – I never thought we'd get the stench outta our clothes!  We've pretty much tried about everything anybody'd hire us to do, an' you're right. We don't have anything to show for all that hard work. I'm not sayin' you're wrong – that we're wrong – I'm jus' wishin' we didn't havta do it, that's all.”

Most of his anger abated, Heyes nodded and looked down. “Yeah, I know. Tell that to my feet and your stomach. My toes are poking out and your belly hasn't been full in months. Not one hot bath in weeks, only cold ones in the rivers and our clothes look like moths have been feasting on 'em. Maybe it'll make you feel better if you think about it this way: we're like Robin Hood – robbing the rich banks and giving it to the poor – us. The banks have more money than they need; they can share some of it with us.”

“I like that,” Curry grinned. A moment later, he came to attention. “Hey, looks like two customers just left.”

Heyes took a deep breath. “You ready, Kid?”

“Yep. Let's go get rich!” Curry quipped.

The pair sauntered casually across the street, keeping a wary eye as they walked into the bank.

Curry shut the door behind him and leaned back against it. With a nonchalance he was far from feeling, he reached behind with his hand, found the lock and turned it quietly.

Heyes approached the counter. A quick glance to his left confirmed that the one remaining male customer was nearing the conclusion of his transaction with the male teller.

“May I help you, sir?” the female teller inquired with a solicitous smile. After a frank appraisal, appreciation for the man caused her smile to grow warmer. Heyes looked back over his shoulder, caught Curry's eye and winked. Kid nodded back. When Heyes stepped up to the window and pulled his weapon from his holster, Curry followed suit as he walked up to stand behind the customer.

“This is a stick up!” Heyes announced in a loud, clear voice. “If everyone does what they're told, nobody'll get hurt.” He pulled a burlap bag from inside his coat and shoved it towards the teller. “Put all the money in the bag!” he ordered.

Her smile disappeared instantly. With a face that was now pinched and pale, the woman's hands trembled as she hastened to comply. She began to shove bills into the bag.

“Don't do anything stupid,” Curry warned as the male customer backed up into his gun.

When he felt the hard steel of the weapon poke into his back, the man stopped and slowly raised his hands up in the air without being told.

Their attention focused on keeping tabs on the three people in the main room, Heyes and Curry failed to notice a fourth person.

“You  two are the ones doing something stupid,” the bank manger snapped. “Trying to rob my bank.”

Heyes and Curry whipped around.

“Stupid is as stupid does,” he sneered. He reached into his waistcoat to pull out a gun as he stepped closer to Heyes.

Keeping a close watch on the manager and the weapon in his hand, Curry was caught off guard when the bank customer turned to fire a shot at him before diving for the floor.

A burning sensation, like being stabbed by a red hot poker, went through Kid's right shoulder and he reached up to touch it. When he lowered his hand, he blinked in surprise to find blood.

With all the attention focused on his partner, Heyes rushed forward and snatched the gun from the manger. “Stay right there, mister!” he warned and stepped back to eye the man cowering on the floor. “Slide your gun over here, he ordered in a terse voice. “And don't you dare move one inch or you'll be leaking like a sieve!” Gun in hand, Heyes could finally check on Curry. “You okay?”

“I've been better,” Curry winced. He swayed and dropped to the floor, where he twisted around to look up at his cousin.

“You'd better hope my partner lives,” Heyes growled. “Or you won't be able to run far - or fast - enough to hide from me!”

The man glared at Heyes. “I won't be forgetting your faces for a long time!”

“I want you to remember our names. I'm Hannibal Heyes and he's Kid Curry. Be glad you caught him on a bad day, otherwise your loved ones would be planning your funeral!”

Heyes helped Curry to his feet. “That gunshot had to have alerted everyone. We need to get outta here. Can you walk?”

“Do I have any other choice?”

“That's the spirit, Kid!”

The pair rushed out the back door. After helping Kid mount his horse, Heyes got on his.

“Wait a minute,” Curry held up his hand.

“What's wrong?” Heyes looked at his partner with concern.

“Other than getting shot you mean?” A faint smile graced Curry's lips. “Jus' wanted to remind you that you owe me a hundred dollars, Heyes.”

Sharing a look of relief that things hadn't turned out worse, Hannibal Heyes and Jed “Kid” Curry turned to make their getaway, their second one in at least a hundred more that were about to follow...

study  "My task, which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel -- it is, before all, to make you see..."  study  ~~ Joseph Conrad ~~
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