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 Missing Scene - Wrong Train to Brimstone (2250 words)

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PostMissing Scene - Wrong Train to Brimstone (2250 words)


Wrong Train to Brimstone – Missing scene
by Cal


Merdot MacDuff stood and scratched his head watching the two young men leave his livery yard.  Something about the way their eyes had hardened to dangerous flint, had unsettled him.
The dark one had said,

“…you’re sure gonna die a rich man MacDuff…”

And the fairer one had growled,

“…if you live long enough.”

It was meant as a joke, surely.  But the more he thought about it, the words sounded more and more like a threat to his life.  

Those young guys tied down their well-used hard ware, and he’d definitely seen that glint of menace in their eyes as they’d turned to leave.  They were young men that didn’t like to be crossed.  He could tell.  Were they planning to return and take exception to the way he’d dealt with them?

Now his dealings with them had been fair and square, of that he was sure.  In the eyes of the law he’d done nothing wrong, but they had gone away sour.

Why in tarnation had they changed their minds so darn quick, and rushed back here to buy back their horses, after only five minutes in Bramberg. The horses they’d rode in on looked exhausted, they couldn’t be thinking of taking them straight back out on the trail.

It didn’t make sense.


MacDuff’s eyes narrowed, then opened wide in realisation. He hitched up his pants and did, what for him was, a fast run to the Sheriff’s office.


“There’s a train through here eight o’clock tonight… heading East… if you happen to be going that way” said the old homesteader, loading his supplies.

Heyes and Kid tipped their hats with tight smiles, in thanks for the information.
No horses, no stage, and no train till eight o’clock in a town where Wade Sawyer was a deputy.  

Didn't look good.

Wade Sawyer had chased them out of Kingsberg, and then stayed on their tail for days. He would know them on sight, and he must have an awful bad stomach because he was carrying around an awful big grudge.  His horse had broken a leg trying to follow the notorious outlaws down a near vertical scree, and he’d had to shoot it.  As they’d watched him slowly climb out of that drop, they’d both known just how far he was going to have to walk to find another horse. At the time that had been quite gratifying.

“We gotta get outta this town Heyes, and we can’t afford to wait on a train East tonight. We gotta get, and we gotta get now.”

The blue eyes flashed, trying to take in all directions at once.  They were using the wagon as cover, but the loading was almost complete.

“Don’t you think I know that?” groaned Heyes, screwing up his dark eyes and trying to cover all the angles he thought his partner couldn’t.

“The answers simple enough.”

When no more was forthcoming from the genius, Kid was forced to turn and shake his head in wide eyed bewilderment.


“I gotta turn eighty-six dollars into a hundred …and quick” shrugged the genius.

“Pay that robbing horse thief a hundred …to buy our own horses!”

Kid shook his head with feigned disappointment in the genius.

“If we gotta buy them Kid, well then, they ain’t our horses.  ‘Sides, can you think of a better idea?”

Heyes’ eyebrows shot up in question.

Kid’s lips pursed up into a sneer, as he swallowed his objections down with a roll of his eyes, and resumed scanning the street for danger.

Heyes scanned the street also, for a saloon and a likely poker game. Trouble was, it was early in the morning. Not much poker got played before breakfast.  He noticed a couple of men stood on the other side of the street that looked as cagey and wary as he and Kid no doubt did. They remained behind wooden pillars whenever they could, looking out at the streets inhabitants with sidelong furtive glances.

‘Must be another coupla outlaws’ thought Heyes.

Suddenly, the wagon wheel in front of his nose began to turn as the homesteader slapped down the reins and whistled up his team.  Kid grabbed Heyes’ arm again and pulled him backwards into a side alley.

“Now what?” Heyes asked grumpily, he didn’t appreciate being man handled.

“Talk about the robbing horse thief… where do you think Ol’ Mean Merdot MacDuff’s heading now?” Kid chewed, following MacDuff’s rather comic flight across the street.

“That’s torn it” sighed Heyes, also watching the show.

“Guess the penny’s just dropped, that we were kinda desperate to get our horses back.”

There was an uncomfortable minute, when they both contemplated their thinly veiled threats to the horse trader’s future existence, and wished they’d kept their mouths shut.  At least they were equally at fault.  

They flashed a look at each other but said nothing by mutual consent.

Wade Sawyer appeared in the doorway of the Sheriff's Office a few minutes later and headed off towards the nearest saloon.

“Guess there’s no doubt who he’s looking for is there?” snarked Kid, sourly.

Heyes gave him a wistful look, then searched the other side of the street for the furtive partners he’d seen there earlier.  With a small smile starting to play on his lips, he noted, they had slunk back into the deep morning shadows just as the deputy had passed them.  The smile grew.

“Come on Kid, I’m thirsty” he said, pulling Kid by the arm this time, back along the alley behind them.


Half an hour later

Heyes watched the batwing doors from the alley at side of the saloon.  Kid had disappeared through the batwings a quarter of an hour since.  Heyes had told him to sit on a table nearest the side alley door, hopefully join a few locals for a friendly game or two of anything that could make them some money.  And, that if Kid heard a drunk, rattling up a din in the side alley, he should make his excuses and use the door asap.
Wade Sawyer had headed down towards the mercantile, checking out restaurants and a few cafés, for the two drifters as he went.  

A little judicious questioning, had told Heyes, that Bramberg sported three saloons and two brothels as well as a good selection of eating houses and one other livery.  Enough to keep the Deputy Sheriff busy for a while.

Heyes straightened his neck, and his hat, and strode purposefully for the bat wings.

“Boy, do I need a drink” he told the bartender with a huge sigh.  

“I’ll have a beer.  I’ll take a cold one if you’ve got it.  You wouldn’t believe the day I've had… A coupla drifters… just tried to steal my horse… Anyone here …own that big black gelding tied up out front?”

“That’d be mine, friend” came a laconic voice from a table over by the side door.

Kid sat with two others, one suited gentlemen looked like a travelling salesman and the other looked like he might live in the saloon, if they'd let him.  They were all eating ham and eggs.  It smelt very good.  Kid grinned at Heyes sheepishly, noting his partner’s eye roll.

“Why?” he said, as sternly as he could muster, wiping runny egg off his chin.

“Well …if you know my friend Wade Sawyer? …He’s the new Deputy here in Bramberg…”

“I know him. Know him well” stated Kid honestly.

“Well better buy him a drink next time you see him, friend ...because if he hadn’t come along when he did … them two drifters would have had my horse …and yours … right from off the street… in broad daylight!”

Kid stood, looking concerned.

“It’s OK …like I said …good old Wade’s chasing them all over town now… relax friend …finish your breakfast” smiled Heyes meaningfully, his eyes filling with glee.

“Well then pull up a chair...” drawled Kid.  “Come and join us for breakfast …Ernie there …is a wiz with a frying pan.”

He smiled broadly at the barkeep.

“How do you happen to know my old friend Wade Sawyer?”

“Oh… me and Wade go way back…” smiled Heyes easily, proffering a bill to Ernie for the beer and the promised breakfast.

“It’s on the house boys” smiled Ernie, pushing the ten-dollar bill away.  

He hadn’t reckoned last night’s taking yet, and he didn’t want to get in to digging out change.  Last night’s takings had been excellent, with the BarT boys in town.  Ernie was feeling generous.

“Any friend of Wade Sawyer’s, is a friend of Ernest Pilsner” he said.

“I’m just glad Wade caught up with them two drifters he's been looking fer.  He was in here earlier asking about them. Seems ...they threatened that weasel MacDuff’s life, though how that tight-fisted, old goat has managed to escape death all these years, is beyond me. The descriptions he gave Wade …well ...they were so vague …Said they had killer’s eyes and walked like coyotes!  Like I told Wade… that would fit almost anyone.”

“Oh, I got a real good look at them myself” said Heyes, and preceded to describe the two drifters he’s seen skulking across the street earlier.


A couple of hours later

Stomachs full, and quite a few hands of a low stakes poker later, Heyes had upped his funds by twenty dollars and Kid was just about even.

The saloon had a few more patrons, and Ernie was enjoying some loud gossip about Deputy Sawyer’s efforts to apprehend a couple of would be murdering horse thieves, with three or four local cow pokes up at the bar.  He also regaled them with Heyes’ accurate descriptions.

And that’s when the two furtive drifters entered the bar looking for respite from the relentless midday sun.  

Heyes kicked Kid under the table.  They’d both feigned disinterest in the gossip, while hanging on every word, anxious to know where deputy Sawyer was last seen.  

The bar noise dropped significantly, till Ernie in a loud theatrical voice announced that he kept the best and coldest beer in Bramberg and that the first glass was on the house for the two new comers.  Amazingly, his very un-subtle head jerking towards the cow poke nearest the bat wing doors, went unnoticed by the two grateful recipients of cold beers.  

Heyes rolled his eyes and slanted a look to the side door.

“Think ...I better go …off load the last one, ‘fore I get me another beer” smiled Kid sheepishly, getting to his feet and sweeping his money into his other hand.

“Hah!” laughed Heyes.  

“That sounds like a good idea” he said sounding very Kyle-like, and mirroring Kid’s actions.

“Oh …don’t worry gentlemen …we’ll be back.”

They slowly ambled through the side door, making a show of being just acquaintances.

Once in the alley however, they ran to end, to look out onto the main street and watch, as Wade Sawyer was dragged through the bat wings by the cow poke sent to fetch him, and returned moments later with the two drifters handcuffed to march them straight to the jail house.

“Who were those two, anyway Heyes?” asked Kid, not feeling very comfortable at seeing other men arrested in their place.

“What have they done?”

“I don’t know, Kid.  But they were sure acting guilty of something, when I saw them this morning in the street. Whoever they are, be grateful, ‘cause they’re gonna keep Wade Sawyer busy, and off our backs till that train leaves tonight.  How about we go rent us a room, and get some sleep till then, just in case he decides to do his rounds this afternoon."


Seven o’clock

“Heyes, something’s happening over at the Sheriff's office” said Kid, staring into the street from the hotel window.

Heyes got up and stretched his back as he walked to his partner’s side.  They watched, unable to hear the words, as the very riled, newly freed, shorter drifter berated Deputy Sawyer with alarming chopping hand gestures, and much spittle escaping his mustachioed mouth.

Wade Sawyer looked uncomfortable to say the least.  Kid and Heyes smiled broadly, enjoying the show.

The taller partner seemed to be trying to calm the smaller one down, repeatedly pointing to his watch and looking over at the train station.
Wade Sawyer was shrugging apologies, and handing back the men’s weapons.  The small, mustachioed plaintive was practically jumping up and down as he checked his was still loaded.  Wade Sawyer threw an arm towards the restaurant adjoining the Sheriff’s Office, in obvious invitation to the two injured parties.

“Well… whoever they are …they sure got Sawyer rattled” laughed Kid.
“I never got me an invitation to dinner after a wrongful arrest.”

“You’ve never had a wrongful arrest” stated Heyes flatly.  

“Guess... if they’re in there eating …we better get dressed and get ourselves onto that eight o’clock east bound.  If I read that right, it looks like those other two clowns are planning to try make that train too.  Guess we’ve all had about as much as we can take of Bramberg… Brimstone, here we come.”

“Amen to that” sighed Kid.  

“Here’s hoping for an uneventful ride.  Like the man said… we happen to be going that way.”

And with that, they packed up and headed out for the train station.


Give yourself a pat on the back if you recognised Grant and Gaines...I had even more fun at their expense, in my story 'Yuma', in my story thread.
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