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 March 2010

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Penski

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Posts : 119
Join date : 2013-09-26

20170105
PostMarch 2010

Telling Tales

The gang is telling tales around the campfire wondering if their leader was coming back



Telling Tales -

Kid Curry leaned on a boulder, with his arms folded in front of him, staring into the darkness. Heyes should have been here yesterday. Where was he? Did the posse get him? Bullets were flying on both sides. Maybe he’s lying somewhere wounded or… The Kid couldn’t think about that. He would know if his partner was…wouldn’t he?

The rest of the Devil’s Hole gang huddled around a fire trying to stay warm. There was jerky to eat and a few bottles of whiskey to pass around. Kyle tried giving Curry something to eat, but he just shook his head. The Kid didn’t even seem to care if they drank tonight. The Kid didn’t seem to care about anything…except worrying where his partner was right now.

Wheat took a swallow from the bottle and passed it to Lobo. “Hell, I remember when Heyes first came to the gang. Big Jim Santana was the leader then. Good leader. Heyes was this young thing…thought he knew everything. Had to knock him down a peg or two. Show him who the bosses were.” He took the bottle from Kyle and after another swig, Wheat continued. “Yep…thought he was purty special ‘cause he could open safes without dynamite. Hell, we almost got caught a few times waitin’ fer him. Would’ve been faster with dynamite. Could’ve been outta there and long gone ‘fore those posses started chasin’ us. Ain’t a bad leader…ain’t a good leader either. Gonna miss him.”

Preacher shook his Bible. “Those who live by the sword are gonna die by the sword. That’s what the good book says. Don’t believe in violence and I liked how Heyes didn’t believe in hurtin’ no one. Got all the passengers a good distance away from the train. Good man…always polite with the ladies.” Preacher took a drink from the bottle as it passed him. “He was a Goliath among men with a giant reward on his head. Know what happened to Goliath, don’t you? He fell ‘cause of a small kid with a slingshot. Yep. And Heyes felled ‘cause of small posse with guns.

“Know what I don’t like ‘bout Heyes? Kinda took all the fun away from me by openin’ them safes. I didn’t get a chance to blow many of ‘em up,” Kyle pouted. “But he treated me good…real good. Always let me choose how much dynamite I needed. Wheat, I wanna ‘nother drink. Poor Kid—what’ll he do without Heyes?”

Lobo passed the whiskey from Wheat to Kyle. “Heyes was fair. I never worried ‘bout not gettin’ my fair share of a haul. Led the gang jus’ like Big Jim. Smart too. ‘member when he figured how to rob the 1st National Bank of Jefferson?

“I ‘member that job!” Kyle said as he threw another log on the fire.

Lobo continued. “First on we robbed at night. Used that…what was it he used for the window?

“Bar spreader,” Wheat mumbled. “I woulda come up with that idea.”

“Why didn’t you, Wheat?” Kyle asked.

“’Cause…’cause we didn’t need to use it ‘fore, Kyle.” Wheat glared.

“Gimme that whiskey, this one’s empty.” Hank threw the bottle to the side. “Heyes was good at avoidin’ posses and sheriffs, that's fer sure. Outta Pilot Hill he found that dang animal trail…”

“No, Kid found that trail,” Preacher corrected him and passed the bottle. “I was next to him.”

“Heyes…Kid…someone got us away from that posse findin’ an animal trail. Posse never saw it. Went right pass us.”

“What about that Sheriff…what was his name…Clitterhouse, weren’t it? Whoo-wee, did Heyes make him mad. Made him look bad in front of the whole dang town.” Kyle threw another log in the fire.

The Kid walked into the campfire area and stood there for a moment, silently staring at the gang. “I think you all are done talkin’. All of you makin’ it sound like Heyes ain’t comin’ back.”

“How long we gonna wait here? Ground’s hard and it’s gettin’ cold,” Lobo grumbled.

“Til Heyes come back, Lobo.” The Kid glared at him through narrowed eyes.

“What if Heyes don’t come back, Kid?” Kyle asked.

“There goes our money,” muttered Wheat.

Curry swung around his gaze to Wheat as he asked, “Something you wanna share with me, Wheat?” When the other man shook his head, the Kid nodded. “Didn’t think so.” Then he looked at Murtry. “He’ll be here, Kyle,” the Kid said with an air of confidence. “Heyes won’t let us down.” Walking back to the boulder, he stared at the starry sky. “Where are you, Heyes?” he whispered.

An hour later, the Kid drew his gun as he suddenly tensed and looked off towards the trees.

“Whatcha…”

“Shh…hear somethin’.”

The rest of the gang drew their guns as they listened.

A chestnut mare walked into the camp with its rider slumped over and barely hanging on.

“Heyes!” The Kid ran to the horse. “Are you alright?”

Weary dark brown eyes looked at his partner and he slightly nodded his head.

Curry helped Heyes get off the horse. “Are you hurt?” He looked at Heyes, concern in his eyes, but couldn’t see any visible injuries.

“No…just tired. Had a hard time getting away from that posse.” Heyes walked unsteadily to the fire. “Any coffee?”

Kyle poured a cup and handed it to Heyes. “You’ve been tryin’ to get away from the posse all this time?”

Heyes nodded.

Hank furrowed his brow. “They didn’t follow you here, did they?”

“No, they didn’t follow me here. Think I’d lead ‘em to you?” Heyes took a swallow of coffee and threw the rest in the fire.

“You still got the money, don’t you?” Wheat asked.

“Yeah, I still have the money.”

“That’s enough…leave Heyes alone. Why don’t you all go to sleep since we’ll be leavin’ in the morning. I’ll take first watch. You’re next Preacher and then Lobo.” The Kid took Heyes’ bedroll from his horse and set it near the fire. “Go to bed, Heyes. I’ll look after your horse.”

Heyes lay down along with the rest of the gang. Soon the sound of snoring was all the Kid heard as he brushed down an exhausted horse. “You sure had a hard run, didn’t you girl. Let’s see if I still have an apple in my bags.” He searched around and found the treat. “Here you go, girl.” He walked her to the creek so she could get her fill of water and then tied her with a rope and halter where she could graze on meadow grass. The Kid poured a cup of coffee and smiled down at his sleeping partner. He sat on the boulder and sighed with relief.

A few minutes later, the Kid was alert again when he heard someone stirring. Heyes got up and walked over to his partner and leaned on the boulder beside him.

“Whatcha doin’ up, Heyes? You’re exhausted.”

“Can’t sleep.”

“You looked like you were sleepin’ a minute ago.”

“Oh yeah? Heyes looked around and noticed the empty bottles of whiskey that lay on the ground, the glass catching the flicker of the firelight. "Guess the boys drank all the whiskey?" he asked tiredly.

Grinning, the Kid reached behind him where he had placed his saddelbags and withdrew a bottle. "Figured I'd hold on to the good stuff." He handed the whiskey to his partner and received a smile. “Hard time shakin’ that posse?”

“Yeah. When we split, they all came after me. Somehow knew I had the money, I guess.”

“Maybe someone watched and knew the guy with the black hat and chestnut had all the money?”

“Probably.”

“How’d you get away?”

“I circled back and followed a creek part of the time. Rode all night, too.”

“With that sliver of a moon?”

Heyes nodded. “Figured if I had a hard time ridin’, they would, too. Must’ve spotted me first thing in the morning ‘cause the chase was on again. Finally lost them by taking that animal trail near the river and heading into that crevice.”

“Glad you’re back.”

“Were you worried about me?”

“Nah…worried about the money.” The Kid glanced sideways at his partner and smiled.

“Next time maybe we should split the money—you take half and I take half.”

“Sounds like a good idea.”

“What have you been doing while waiting for me?”

“The boys were tellin’ tales around the fire.”

“Tales, huh? Any I want to hear.”

The Kid took a sip of whiskey and gave Heyes a small smile. “Nah. You’ve heard ‘em all before.”

Heyes yawned and stretched.

The Kid put his arm around his partner’s shoulders and firmly led him back to his bedroll. “Go to bed, Heyes. I’m watchin’ your back.”

“Thanks, Kid,” Heyes mumbled as he crawled back into bed.
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