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 The New Teacher Part Three continued

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Cal

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Join date : 2015-11-11

20170515
PostThe New Teacher Part Three continued

---oooOOOooo---


The new Teacher
By Cal


---oooOOOooo---

PART THREE
Continued

(Scene 20 – 1,600words)

Heyes

Hannibal Heyes happily joined Kid in the butchering of the deer at the edge of the glade.  Gave him a chance to fill Kid in on his scheming.

“Ten percent…. Ten percent Kid…. Do you realise what that could mean… Ten percent share in a mine. And we’re in at the very beginning… I mean they haven’t even broke ground yet… And the best part is … we don’t even have to do any of the actual digging… That’s getting done for us… by experts! We’ve just gotta sit back and wait for our money to come rolling in… I’m gonna ask Brubekker to open us a bank account… US…. A bank account… What do you make of that?”

He chuckled, hanging on to the carcass as Kid pulled at the skin.

Kid snorted as the leg pulled free of the skin.

“I’m hearing you Heyes… But… what I’m NOT hearing is … just what we’ll be doing t’earn this ten percent.”

Kid pulled on the rope, that sent the skinned carcass up into the air, and tied it off.

“Ten percent… that’s a lot… of something… And this is something they’ve been prepared to sit and wait on …till the time is right… so they won’t be planning on handing over that much… not without a lot of… something… coming back from us… in return.”

Kid plunged his knife into the mid-line and started ripping.

Heyes took a step back from the falling gore.

“Well …yeah… That’s the beauty of my plan… Kid… see …all I promised we’d do is… go get the papers from Widget’s safe… the ones showing Maxwell has the mineral right to the land Emma Widget left him… That way… they can go stake a proper claim on the place… all nice and legal.  Nothing wrong in that! And they know… surety or no surety… if they can’t show legal claim to the mineral rights on that land, to the investment banker on Thursday… Well… there ain’t gonna be any mine.”

Heyes’ rolled his eyes.

“They need us.  Like I told them… ninety percent of something… is better than a hundred percent of nothing. All we’ll be doing is helping make it all nice and legal for them.”

“Legal?!” snorted Kid, concentrating on his work.

“Getting them papers… That’s house breaking, Heyes… And stealing… in anyone’s book… especially Lom’s… or the Governor’s! That’s just the sort of trouble we’re supposed to be keeping out of.”

Heyes’ hands found his hips.
 
Kid was just doing what Kid always did.  

Playing Devil’s advocate.  Making him explain everything… just to prove he’d already thought through all the angles.  Kid was good at spending money, but it took a real genius like him, to have the foresight, to see the value of a sure-fire investment like this.
 
“It isn’t house breaking, Kid …not if someone invites you in, it isn’t…” he said reassuringly to Kid’s back.

Kid continued taking out his disquiet about the whole scheme, on the carcass, hacking and sawing with his knife.
He merely grunted his unrest.

Then Heyes was handed a large, bloody haunch to hold.

“And,” Heyes added encouragingly.  

“We happen to know someone who lives there…”

“Frankie” stated Kid flatly, putting a second haunch on top of the first.

“Let me see…” he said, his voice dripping with sarcasm.  

“It’s OK …Your Honour… We didn’t break into the house… No… We just asked an eight-year-old girl to open a window for us…”

Kid set the liver and other delicacies to one side for a quick pan fry, before he took the bulk of the meat down to Cora and Bridgette.

Heyes looked around for somewhere to put down the still warm, and rather pungent, meat in his arms.  He couldn't see anywhere suitable, and finally just dropped it where he stood, wiping his hands down the back of his pants.

“OK,” he said to his younger cousin’s broad shoulders.  

“It’s a grey area… I’ll grant you that… But Kid… it’s not like we’ll be stealing anything… Widget was gonna give Maxwell them papers, by now, anyway… it’s just he happens to be…”

Heyes didn’t want to say ‘dead’.  They didn’t know for sure yet, Widget was dead.
 
“Dead” said Kid with finality, stabbing the knife into what was left of the carcass.

His hands, and the knife, running with red gore.

“…Indisposed…” said Heyes more delicately.

“Anyhow… There ain’t gonna be any judge asking us how we broke in… I mean… how we got into the house… coz there ain’t gonna be no robbery… so… there ain’t gonna be no trial… coz we ain’t gonna get caught.”

Kid’s shoulders dropped. He blew out a long, indulgent breath, stopped what he was doing, and turned to give Heyes his full attention.

“Let me get this straight,” he said emphatically.  

“We break in…er…I mean, we get invited… into the house. You open the safe.  You give Maxwell the papers he needs… And for that… they’re willing to give away a ten percent stake in a mine… And we just have to sit back …and wait for them to send us a share of the profits.”

Heyes nodded vigorously, eyes wide and innocent.  

Too innocent…

He should have toned it down a little on the innocent….

Kid’s eyes narrowed.

Heyes saw it and grinned.

“Well… there maybe … just a little more to it than that… But essentially that’s it… right there… what you said… that’s the deal…”

“Heyes… I know you… There’s something you’re not telling me …”

Kid took a step closer to his cousin.

“What is it?”

Kid didn’t mean it threateningly, but he was never the less, waving the bloody butchering knife at Heyes.

“Well… there may be just a little more… I haven’t mentioned yet…”

Heyes turned his back on Kid, and began to pace away, swinging his arms wide.

“A detail... “

The silver tongue was stretched.

“There’s just a chance… there may be… a little trouble … when it comes to filing the actual claim… at the Land Office …in town… I might …have said …You’d be willing to help out… on security… Go with them … just for reassurance… just as back up… They only got the one shotgun that’s still fireable… I mean…You did shoot the other one outta Jenkins’ hands… now he says that one is… ineffectual…”

Kid dropped his head and snorted.

Heyes ploughed on regardless.

“I mean …they’re gonna need help… It would only be as a precaution… just in case… there was a problem… Don’t mean there’s gonna be a problem… but…”

Heyes sighed and came clean, continuing his pacing, his head wagging from side to side.

“Seems there’s been some bother recently… for people that own land in these parts… Spencer’s had his fancy lawyers, looking at his daddy’s land holdings.  Maxwell thinks that, the new strike over at the Spencer mine was a lie, and Spencer’s got investors breathing down his neck.  He’s looking for new seams under the adjacent land, and claiming the mineral rights belonged to his Daddy all along.”

Heyes took on the lecturing tone of …a new teacher.

“His henchmen have been hanging around the Land office… and Maxwell thinks… as Spencer don’t exactly agree that the land Emma left him, is his in the first place… let alone the mineral rights…  Well… There may be trouble.”

Heyes turned to find he was looking directly at Kid’s chest wall.
 
He stopped short, finding Kid’s face far too close to his own. The sapphire blue eyes held a touch of the gunslinger steel glare.

“Oh…”

“And just what is it… you’ve said …that I’d be willing to do about any of this… Heyes?” said Kid very slowly.

Heyes focused in on the bloody knife, his eyes nearly crossing at the tip. He shrugged at Kid, and smiled broadly, shaking his head.

“Well… whatever needs doing I suppose” he tried lamely.

“On the plus side… I told them we definitely wouldn’t be robbing the bank!”

Heyes shook his head vigorously.

“I mean… No one’s gonna invite us into the bank, now, are they? So… that would be stealing! Even if we were …planning to put it back… it wouldn’t make any difference.  I told them we definitely don’t do that no more.”

You did?” said Kid, rather taken aback dropping the bloody knife to his side.

“You did. Well… good… That’s good, Heyes… coz we don’t… we don’t do that no more.”

Heyes nodded enthusiastically.  He could see he’d made inroads with Kid.  He was beginning to win his cautious partner around.  

“That’s right,” he smiled, turning Kid around at the shoulders, and slapping him on the back.

“That’s right… No bank robberies for us… we’re just ordinary honest citizens now… Just like everyone else.  All we’re doing is… helping out …some local entrepreneurs… to acquire some documents they need… and doing a little protection work, while they file a legal claim… After all, Kid… security IS your forte…”

“My what?”

Heyes rode on over Kid’s confusion, eager to emphasise the overall objective.

“And then …all we have to do …is sit back …and watch all that lovely profit… come rolling in to our new bank account.”

Heyes made it all sound so simple.

Kid looked a bit bemused.
 
“Ontra… per…what?” he asked.

---oooOOOooo---

(scene 21 – 1000 words)
which is wrong, because it isn’t a scene, it’s a journal.  My journal.

Frankie

This is my journal.

Theodore Smith said that I should keep a journal, because I told him about the train robbery, when Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry opened the safe on Daddy’s train, and he said

“My, Emelda… er… Frankie, what an exciting and dangerous life you have led. Already. And you are only eight years old.  Who knows what you shall become, in the future, with such adventurous experiences behind you.  You should keep a journal, so that, when you are as famous as your Daddy and come to write your memoirs, you will have a reference.”

That’s a good idea, because old people get confused (and probably too scared) and forget how to do things, like robbing banks.  

Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry are too old (and probably too scared and grouchy) to rob Daddy’s bank.

So Fred and me are going to have to rob the bank.

Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry said, they couldn’t tell me why they won’t help rob Daddy’s bank, because it is a secret, an outlaw secret, and they couldn’t tell anyone.  

Which is a lie.

When Fred Janx and me did sneaking back, after school today, to the Stumpery, we heard Hannibal Heyes tell Mr Maxwell

“…we’re not at liberty to explain… all the ins and outs… but let’s just say …a good friend of ours has a friend in high places …that just might see fit to wipe our (p)late clean… if we can stay out of trouble …and out of jail …long enough for him to decide the time is right… but its gotta remain a secret till then…”

Which means that, they’ve already told the secret to Liberty, and another friend, and his friend too, and Mr Maxwell, and they haven’t shrivelled up and died.
 
And I know fine well, that Kid Curry doesn’t need anyone to help him wipe his plate clean, because I’ve seen him eat, and he does it himself, a lot.  

And, so can Hannibal Heyes.  

Fred’s mom cooked near a whole deer, it looked like. And Hannibal Heyes didn’t even leave gravy on his plate.

But they are both grouchy when they finished wiping their plates clean.

Very grouchy.
 
And Hannibal Heyes got shout-y and Kid Curry got all sweetheart-y.  

Which is just silly.

Hannibal Heyes said

We just can’t …and that’s it! I don’t have to explain myself to you anymore… I’ve told you …six times now, Frankie… Kid and me… we don’t rob banks and trains anymore… Now enough… that’s it… that’s final… No more discussion… No more arguments… Jeez …what does it take…”

And then Kid Curry said

“It’s OK, Honey (YUK!)… what Heyes is trying to tell you, is…”

“She knows fine well what I’m trying to tell her… I already told her… SIX TIMES!”

“What Heyes …is trying to explain to you, Darlin’ (DOUBLE YUK!) …is that …we’d get in a whole lot of trouble if we went and robbed that bank tomorrow. We could get away… sure we could… a long way away… But it wouldn’t be enough… It would still get out …that it was us that robbed that bank… and then… well… we wouldn’t get… the thing that we want… the secret thing… that he said.”

Fred said it was time for us to go, because he said Hannibal Heyes was about to blow.

Hannibal Heyes was puffing a bit.  He wasn’t blowing.  He was walking back and forth with his hands on his hips and rolling his eyes and shaking his head.

And it wasn’t six times.  It was five.

Yesterday, when he said I had to go home.  I waited, till he forgot what he just said, and then he said I could go with him to the Stumpery.

So, I waited this time too.

Kid Curry turned me around, by touching my shoulders (TRIPLE YUK!), and pushed me towards Fred.  

I am not going to be Kid Curry’s sweetheart. I’m going to be an outlaw, and Fred and me are going to rob the bank.  We broke Mr Laidlaw outta jail.  We can rob a bank, easy. I got a real good plan. We don’t need grouchy Hannibal Heyes, because I already know the combination to the bank safe, and no one needs a sweet-hearting gunslinger, whose probably too old and scared to help, anyway.

Kid Curry said

“Just… Run along and play with Fred, Darling (JUST MORE YUK!)  You said all your gonna… Just go… Go Play… Go on.”

But, he was wrong.  I had two more words to say.

I was right to wait.

Before we even got to the trees, Hannibal Heyes, who is very grouchy and forgetful, did shouting again. And we turned around, and looked at him, and he tried to do dimples. But it didn’t look like a proper smile, with dimples, because smiles are meant to be happy. This one looked like he was feeling sick.

He said

“Frankie! We need to come to your house tonight.  I’m going to show you how to open the safe in your daddy’s study… You’d like that wouldn’t you… For me to show you how to listen to tumblers… How to open the safe.  Well …we need you to invite us in… please…”

He is still grouch-y… and shout-y… and old… and confused… and forgetful… and wasn’t nice that time he put his smelly old glove over my mouth… and he can’t keep secrets …and he tells lies…

But I do want him to show me how to open safes by listening to tumblers.

So, I said, I might.

---oooOOOooo---


(Scene 22 – 1,750words)

Kid


“It’s that one” whispered Heyes, stood out in the grounds of the Big House, hidden from view behind some blowsy shrubs.

“And just what makes you so darn sure… that’s Widget’s study, Heyes” said a weary sounding Kid.

“And don’t go telling me… its ‘coz you’re some kind of genius.”



The genius had taken some pacifying, after a visit to the Stumpery from the World’s most annoying eight-year-old.  And then, the discovery that the trail over the ridge wasn’t anything like an escape route, had just made things worse.  

Kid hadn’t spared Heyes any of his well-practised adjectives, in giving his partner his opinion of their current …. circumstance.  

They’d talked it over.  

A lot.  

And they’d decided that the chance of a proper stake, for their future, to go lie low in Mexico or Canada, or even overseas, was worth the risks of continuing with Heyes’ hair brain plan.  

That was another one of Kid’s adjectives.

So here they were.



“It’s gotta be that one… ‘coz it’s the only one on the ground floor … that hasn’t had the drapes closed.  Widget probably told the servants they weren’t to go into his study when he was away… so …they wouldn’t go in there to close the drapes… Its simple logic Kid.”

Heyes looked pityingly at his slower, younger partner, his lips pressed together in a tight line, eyebrows raised.

“Come on…”

Kid sighed heavily.

Why did he listen to Heyes?

He looked out across the courtyard, and seeing no threat from either corner of the house, followed Heyes in a low crouching run to the chosen window.  

Heyes was already working the lock.

“Why are you trying to open the parlour window, Hannibal Heyes?” whispered Frankie.

Both ex-outlaws spun on their heels, Kids Colt pointed out at the night over the head of a disgruntled looking eight-year-old, stood behind them with her hands on her hips.  

Heyes juggled his flying lock picks back into his pockets.

“Frankie? … Hi… We didn’t think you’d make it… Parlour? Not your Daddy’s study?”

Kid’s eyes rolled as he holstered the Colt.

“It’s this way…” said Frankie sulkily, leading off around to the back of the house.

Kid made an after you gesture to the sheepish looking genius. The study had French Doors, which had been left invitingly ajar.

Frankie waved them in.

Kid sighed heavily again, taking a comfortable arm chair back to the doors, to sit on guard, Colt in hand.  

Frankie looked at him and frowned.

“There’s only Trinni and Dankworth in the house… And they’re both in the kitchen …doing drinking.”

Kid said nothing.  

He knew what a conversation with Frankie could lead to.  He waved her over to Heyes with his Colt and a gunslinger stare.  

Heyes was already behind the desk swinging a large portrait of “Old man Spencer” off the wall.  He smiled when he saw the make and model of the safe.  He could open one of these in his sleep.  

Well almost.
 
He grasped the dial betwixt long dextrous digits, and lay his ear to the door of the safe, as his eyes closed.

“Hmmmm!”  coughed his impatient apprentice beside him.  

“You said you were going to show me how to do listening to tumblers.”

Heyes looked down annoyed for just a second, but seeing the small determined face, the crossed arms and the big yellow bow above the spectacles, he smiled and nodded.

“Let me find the first click, and I’ll let you listen…” he instructed taking on the air of… a school teacher.

Frankie nodded her agreement, and watched as Heyes eyes closed again and the dial was moved ever so slowly.

Kid checked the door to the passage and the hallway beyond.  Satisfied, he returned to the French doors and concentrated on the expanse of courtyard that ran the length of the back of the house.  It was nearly full dark, and the two servants had noisily climbed the stairs to bed.

Over by the safe the lesson continued.  

Kid shook his head and sighed out his disapproval of the time being wasted in his opinion.  He’d seen Heyes crack enough safes to know this could have been over a long time ago.  

Frankie was stood on a chair doing the listening.  

Heyes was practically turning the dial for her, his hand hovering over hers, without actually touching it, of course.

They needed to be moving this along.

“Heyes!” he whispered across the room.

Heyes shh’ed him with a wince and turned back to his pupil.

“I got it!” whispered Frankie.  

“That’s the last number… We found all four…” she said excitedly.

Heyes beamed, showing her the piece of paper as he wrote the last number down for her.

“Well what are you waiting for? You got the whole combination now… You should be able to open it.”

Frankie’s eyes were wide as saucers. Her small hands turned the dial carefully as she checked off the numbers on the paper… then… she held the lever and pulled on it with both hands.  

The lever fell, and the safe door swung open.

Heyes looked back to Kid with pride like he was expecting a round of applause.

“Just get on with it!” spat Kid.

“Find that darn paper… we came for …and let’s get outta here.”

Heyes helped Frankie down from the chair.  Well, he would have done, if a look from Frankie hadn’t stopped him in his tracks. He chuckled, deciding instead to clear a space on the already groaning desktop, to start emptying the safe’s contents.

“Hmmmm!” coughed Frankie.

When Heyes looked up from the desk, Frankie handed him a large, scrolled up piece of parchment that had discoloured to near yellow with age.

“Oh…” said Heyes surprised, taking the parchment.

“This … this is it? This is what Maxwell needs?”

“Yes… I saw Daddy put it in there, when they had a will reading after mummy died” nodded Frankie.

“Daddy said…

If you insist Steadman… I’ll have the lawyers look at it again… but you’ll find …you are just wasting my money… the legacy to Maxwell is sound... just as Emma wished it.  

And then he put it in the safe on top of the big pile of money.”

Heyes hadn’t missed the big pile of money.

Kid had seen the big pile of money from across the room.

There were also some deep blue velvet boxes that obviously contained the family jewels.

Probably pearls
                … and diamonds…
                             there were quite a few boxes.

Frankie slammed the safe door shut.

Spun the dial and swung the painting of her grandfather back against the wall, before jumping back off the chair, and fixing both frozen partners with a quizzical look.

“Hadn’t you better go and give that to Mr Maxwell?” she asked innocently.

Heyes looked like he was just coming around from a broken spell.  He blinked hard.

“Yeah…” he coughed out, sounding strangled.

“Yeah…” echoed Kid from the French Doors.


A loud expletive cry from outside the French doors froze everyone to the spot.

“Ow! Darn strings!”

Kid pulled Heyes off his feet and they hit the floor behind an old leather sofa just as Wendell Widget walked into the study through the French doors, rubbing at his bloody knee, where his expensive trousers had ripped.

“Daddy!” shouted an over excited Frankie running straight at him and nearly knocking him off his feet again.

“Francesca? What are you doing…? Never mind that now… I suppose you were after my books… Quiet child… quiet… Is your Uncle Steadman in the house?   I thought you’d all be in your beds…. Quiet child….”

Wendell put a hand over Frankie’s mouth to quash the inevitable long explanation that his questions would elicit from his only daughter.

Behind the sofa, Kid mouthed

“Wendell Widget! I thought you said he was dead.”

And drew a gloved finger across his neck in case Heyes couldn’t lip read.

Heyes could lip read.  He answered silently.

“I don’t know… You said he was dead too! …”

Heyes shrugged up his shoulders.  Suddenly his eyes went wide.

“You don’t think he’s a “

Heyes mimed ghost by waving his hands about.

“Do you?”

Kid dropped his head into his hands, and when he looked up, Heyes got the message that Kid may just be a bit fed up with their current circumstance.

“You go back to bed …Darling… And I’ll come up and …and…read you a story …you’d like that… in just a little while.  Uncle Steadman … and his men… they aren’t here… are they? I didn’t see any of them …coming in… Just …just …go back to bed … will you Francesca… and be very… very quiet…”

Wendell Widget was trying to push his daughter closer to the study door.  Frankie, came out of her rapture, at seeing this long longed-for parent, to stare up at him and ask

“Daddy… why did you come in through the garden?  Why didn’t you use the big door like you usually do? Why is your knee bleeding? You did come and stand by my bed in the middle of the night when I was sleeping… didn’t you? Uncle Steadman said you were in Boston… Why don’t you want to see Uncle Steadman?...”

Other questions were in the queue waiting patiently.  Wendell Widget’s shoulders slumped.  Frankie had the bit between her teeth.

“Not now… there’s a good girl.  I’ll answer all of your questions… but not now… I have to get …something from the safe …for Mr Maxwell… Is Mr Maxwell here?… Is he upstairs? …in his rooms?”

Frankie pursed up her lips.  

Her Daddy wasn’t going to answer her questions, but he was asking questions of his own.  That didn’t seem fair.

She’d try another question.  See if they could take turns.

“What do you want to get from the safe?”  

Frankie suddenly realised she could show her father she wasn’t a waste of education.

“I can get it for you!”

She ran to the painting dragging the chair behind her.  The painting was swung.  The dial expertly positioned and the safe door flung wide, before Wendell Widget had a chance to protest.  He watched wide-eyed, as his eight-year-old daughter, breached the only security he had.  He covered his face with his hands and asked hoarsely.

“How …did you learn …to do that?”


Behind the sofa two more faces were covered also.  

Eyes were closed, waiting for the inevitable answer to come from Frankie.  

They weren’t disappointed.

Two ex-outlaw heads dropped in silent groaning.

---oooOOOooo---

(scene 22 continued…. Words)

Heyes

Heyes worked fast to get his holster untied and the buckle unfastened.  He let the heavy pistol and belt slide to the floor. He shook a warning glance at his partner in crime and mentally crossed his fingers.

“I learned it from him” proclaimed Frankie, pointing to the old leather sofa in her Daddy’s office.

“He came to school on Monday and said he was Theodore Smith…”

“Who?” asked a perplexed Wendell Widget, staring at the empty sofa.

“Me” said Heyes getting to his feet, pushing Kid down as he tried to rise beside him.

“Me.  My name is Smith… Theodore Smith and I’m the new school teacher.  I met your daughter at school yesterday... when I took up my new post… er… Miss Henderson… She introduced me to the children…”

Heyes reached out a hand in greeting, coming to stand in front of the desk.  The parchment from the safe, was dropped silently onto the busy surface.

Frankie shook her head.

“He gets confused… he’s old …and very grouchy…”

“Francesca! What have I told you about respecting your elders…”

Wendell Widget looked at the extended hand in confusion.

“Theodore Smith? … I thought you’d look older… And sound more…”

He screwed up his face, looking as if the chaotic occurrences were causing him physical pain.

“What are you doing in my house? ...at this time?…Mr Smith… Behind my sofa?... With my daughter?... In my study?... and how could you teach Francesca ...to open my safe? … None of this makes any sense…”

Heyes grabbed a hand, and shook it warmly, adjusting his speech to sound more Eastern.

“Oh… it’s a long story Mr Widget… I’m sure you understand… Your daughter is quite a force of nature… She can be very persuasive… I must admit when you entered … through the garden doors …just now… I was quite thrown into panic… I thought the house was about to be ransacked by ruffians!”

Heyes looked extremely …flustered… and apologetic, taking off his hat and smiling warmly at his host.

“I can’t apologise enough for my... cowardly actions… When I heard Emelda Francesca greet you so warmly as a parent… well… I’m sure you’ll understand …my embarrassment… Oh dear… This won’t do… this just won’t do!”

Frankie’s jaw had dropped, but then her eyes narrowed.  Heyes was still standing in front of the desk hiding the parchment.  She reached over and picked it up.

Heyes stepped forward to pump Widget’s hand again.

“Let me start over… I am most gratified to meet you at last Mr Widget… Your reputation …”

Wendell pulled his hand free and raised both hands in front of his face, stopping Heyes, mid gush.

“Yes… yes… I knew you were expected Mr Smith… It was remiss of me …not to be here to greet you personally… But …What are you doing here? … In my study…and how in tarnation …did you show my daughter how to open the safe?… And why would you do that?”

Heyes screwed his hat in his fists, thinking hard. He could almost hear Kid echoing Widgets question from behind the sofa.

“Miss Emelda… was most adamant in her invitation …here this evening… She was quite determined …that I should come and meet you.”

Heyes paused for just a second, and was gladdened by the silence emanating from the eight-year-old behind him.

“But when we arrived… and you were nowhere to be found… she thought …you may be occupied in your study … Of course, you weren’t … but she said …we should wait …and… then …then she showed me the safe… and you see... I have some interest in this particular make and model of safe…”

Heyes let a smile of enthusiasm enter his voice, hoping to engage the engineer before him, with his love of things mechanical.

“It’s the very model and make… of the safe in my own father’s study… I was merely commenting to Frankie …that …I once opened my father’s safe as a boy… when the combination had been misplaced… And …I discovered that your daughter too... has a fascination with locks … I will admit …it’s become something of a hobby of mine.”

Heyes suddenly looked horrified, as if just realising the way this must look to the owner of said safe.

“Nothing … nothing …has been disturbed… I mean I wouldn’t… I couldn’t… Oh dear… oh dear… What must you think of me? …It was just …the mathematical challenge… we found the numbers… We would never …have… Oh dear… oh dear… I must admit… I do sometimes let my curiosity rule my actions.”
 
Heyes stood, humbled, searching the study floor in contrition.
 
“I … I would quite understand … if you wish to withdraw your offer of employment… under the circumstances…  My actions here ...this evening… have …have been deplorable.”

Nothing was said.

After a minute, more of admiring the carpet pattern, Heyes peeked.

Wendell Widget was facing the study door, hand on forehead in deep thought.  Heyes straightened himself up, annoyed that his contrition was not being properly appreciated.

“You said …we…?” said Widget slowly, turning back to face Heyes.

Heyes threw an arm over Frankie’s shoulder inclusively, as she came to stand at his side, handing the parchment to her father.

“Is this what you want to give Mr Maxwell Daddy?” she asked.

“No…” said Widget, distractedly still studying Heyes face.

“That is to say …yes… thank you Francesca… This is, indeed, what I wish to give to Mr Maxwell… But …no… What I meant was… earlier… Mr Smith, you said... When we arrived…you said... that we should wait… “

Heyes swallowed but kept his face passive.

“I did?... er… I did. Of course….hmmm….”

He smiled looking back towards the sofa with a dismissive shrug.

“Oh …well… I was just referring to… err… MY MAN…” he said waving a dismissive arm at the sofa.

Frankie inhaled, thinking Heyes was forgetting names again, and she’d have to step in and help.

“Kid…”she started helpfully.

“Yes!” Snapped Heyes loudly, clicking his fingers and telling her to shut up with his eyes.

“Kidd! Yes my man... Kidd! Don’t continue to skulk there behind the furniture, man … Go and ready my carriage… We have taken up enough of this good family’s time… The hour is late... I will be leaving presently.”

There was a brief second, when Heyes distinctly heard the sound of a second gun belt hit carpet.  Kid slowly stood up, toeing both their gun belts under the nearest piece of furniture.

“Yes…Sir” he said almost threateningly through tight lips.

Wendell Widget’s chin dropped to his chest. His eyes became a little spaced.
 
Kid slowly rounded the sofa and made to walk out the study door passed Widget.  Heyes threw a hand onto his chest, to stop him in his tracks.

“Not that way, man! …Haven’t we roused the house enough for one evening… Use the garden door… If it’s good enough for the Master of the house… then …I’m certain its good enough for the likes of you.”

Heyes shook a knowing head at Widget, in a ‘Can’t get the staff’ sort of way.  He got no response from Widget and thought this may be the perfect time to make a getaway.

“I’ll take my leave of you too, Mr Widget… if I may… I can see …that the reunion betwixt yourself and your ingenious daughter …is a far more fitting use of your time …than meeting the new school teacher.”

Heyes made a simple nodding bow of farewell, hand over heart in sincerity.

“Our business can wait for another day.”

He replaced his hat, and turned to follow Kid through the French doors.

Frankie pulled at Wendell Widget’s arm.  Her Daddy’s face appeared vacant and confused.  She knew the feeling well.

“Daddy… Why don’t you ask them to deliver the documents to Mr Maxwell?... They said they were good at deliveries…. And that’s where they’re going.”

Widget seemed to resurface at his daughters practical words.

“This is all most confusing” he mumbled.

Then he focused on Frankie’s face.

“They are?”

Frankie nodded.

“Mr Maxwell isn’t in the house.  Uncle Steadman …said Mr Maxwell couldn't live here anymore… He said…

You enter here again… under pain of death, Maxwell… do you understand me? …You’re not hiding behind my sister’s petticoats now… you money-counting ba…”

Wendell Widget threw a hand over his darling daughters foul mouth, eyes wide with embarrassment, that she should repeat such language in front of her new school teacher.

He smiled weakly at Heyes, who was trying to hide his own smile behind feigned shock.

“Erm… I do apologise… Francesca has been raised around industry…Mr Smith… and all that goes with it… er… But… is she right? Are you going to Maxwell?”

Loud knocking hammered the front door.  

Widget visibly jumped.

Frankie's brow creased, over her father's fingers. She looked in wonder at the study door.  Her father had returned.  Who else may return?
 
Heyes and Kid froze, a mute conversation passing between them.  What now...this was meant to be a simple house break in? What else could possibly go wrong?

The hammering came again.  

Sounds of scraping furniture came from upstairs. Followed by creaking doors, and soft footsteps on squeaky protesting stairs, marked the slow path of one of the servants descending from above.

“Who’s that …come a calling ...at this time of night?” drifted a grumbling voice from the hallway.

Heyes watched Widget’s face fascinated.

The man looked in turn panicked, then protective of Frankie, then saddened, all in a heartbeat.  Finally, he was stealing his resolve, straightening his clothes and setting his shoulders.

Heyes thought he and Kid, may have been forgotten about, but Widget turned to them, looking down at the papers in his hand, and obviously trying to make his mind up about something. He sighed heavily, putting one hand on his daughter’s shoulders, and eyeing them warily.

“Frankie seems to trust you Mr Smith… And… I know just how hard won that trust is.”

He quickly strode over to them and thrust the parchment at Heyes.

“Take these papers to Maxwell… but… Give him a message also…”

Widget looked at the study door as though he could see through it, to the dramas beyond.  He looked like he’d got a sour taste in his mouth when he turned back to Heyes.

“Tell him… tell him… I won’t be able to stand surety for him …for the loan he needs…”

Frankie protested, but was shh’ed... by everyone.

“Tell him …it’s …just not possible …and for that I am more than sorry.”

Out in the hallway, the hammering resumed, and the servant was answering that they were moving as quickly as it were possible.

“Go… go now, quickly” said Widget.

He nearly pushed Heyes and Kid out into the garden, closing up the French doors behind them.  Just before the doors closed the boys heard what sounded like a crowd of noisy people entering the house.

They stood in the darkness. Heyes looked back into the room.  Frankie looked very small and lost at her father’s side, as he again readied himself to face whatever was in the hallway beyond the study door.

“Come on” he said to Kid reluctantly starting to walk away.

“We got what we came for… Let’s get out of here.”

“Oh no you don’t!” insisted Kid pulling Heyes’ back to the window by the arm.

“I am not going anywhere… till you get back in there… and get my gun!”

The glare was in full evidence.  

Heyes smiled weakly.

Kid’s eyes closed as he muttered under his breath

“And you better remember Heyes…we’re partners… I am not …under any circumstances… YOUR MAN!”

---oooOOOooo---

(Scene 23 – 3,000 words)

Frankie

My Journal for Wednesday

It wasn’t my Mummy.

At the door last night.

I’m not being silly.  

And I’m not being a baby.  

I know Mummy is dead, because there was a funeral, and a will reading and everyone said she was dead. And my new baby brother was dead too, and she wasn’t coming back.  But when daddy just came back like that, and then the big door knocked real loud, I thought, only for a minute, that it may be Mummy come back too, and everyone was wrong.

Adults can be wrong.

I know.  

Uncle Steadman was wrong about Daddy being in Boston.  

I know how many miles Boston is from here, and I know how fast a train can go because Daddy told me, and I can do the math because I know the formula.

[MATH]  

See.

Daddy couldn’t have been in Boston yesterday like Uncle Steadman said he was.  I gotta show Daddy the math and get him to answer all my questions.  He hasn’t answered one yet, like he said he would.  

Not one.  

And I’ve asked thirty-seven.  

I gotta get him on his own and ask him again.  Because of the visitors, I can’t get him on his own.

It’s not fair.

I don’t like visitors.

Anyhow, like I was saying, it wasn’t Mummy at the door.  It was them. The visitors.  And they filled up near the whole house with bags and noise and people.

I waited, in the study when the visitors came, just like Daddy asked me to, but I did sneaky looking from the door just like an outlaw on lookout.  Like Kid Curry, but without a gun.

Oh yeah, Hannibal Heyes came back through the window, because they forgot their guns.  You’d think Kid Curry would remember something important, like his gun. He’s a famous gunslinger after all.

Matt Jenkins said, his Daddy said, that he’d never seen anything to beat Kid Curry on a fast draw.  He said it was just a blur, no one could be faster, not even William Lyle, and William Lyle is the fastest gunslinger here in Clearwater.  

Mr Lyle works for my Uncle Steadman. Mr Maxwell says he is called a henchman, but I don’t know what that is.  Mostly, he just tells Uncle Steadman he’s right about things.

Oh yeah, Hannibal Heyes.  He did shh’ing at me, like I didn’t know the rule about not talking when you’re doing sneaking.  I shh’ed him right back, after all, he was doing sneaking too, and I wanted to hear the interesting talking in the hall.  He just smiled and said something to me, as he shut the study window.

But he said it, without saying it.

Which is silly, because I couldn’t hear him, or see his face properly in the dark even with my glasses on. I think he was saying something about the safe, and the bank.  I guess he was wishing me good luck with my first bank robbery.

I know how to open safes, just by listening to the tumblers.  Hannibal Heyes taught me how to do it yesterday before Daddy came back. I’m not allowed to write down how to do it, but it’s an outlaw secret, just for outlaws like me and Hannibal Heyes.

Hannibal Heyes said he hasn’t even shown Kid Curry how to do it yet, which is why Kid Curry was in a very grouchy mood all the time Hannibal Heyes was showing me how to do it.  

It means I’m a real outlaw now, and I can do Bank robberies and probably hold up trains.  But I haven’t tried a train hold up yet.  I did my first bank robbery, just for practice, at lunch time today, when all the children at school were eating.  

I went into the bank to see Mr Forbes.  He’s the the Bank Manager, and he was very pleased to see me.  

He said

“Miss Widget… For what do we owe the pleasure… Are you here to see that the bank is all …ready and ship shape… to receive the mine pay roll?”

Mr Forbes is old.

The Bank isn’t ship shaped. It’s a square, with a big door and two windows on the front, one very small window with bars on the back, and a side door into Mr Forbes’ Office.

But he was right about one thing, I was there to “pipe the Bank.”  That’s what Hannibal Heyes calls checking what safe they have.  Of course, I already knew what safe they had, a Pierce and Hamilton 1878.  That’s why I’d read the article in the library fifteen times, but Hannibal Heyes said it was important to pipe the Bank, so I did.

Mr Forbes said,

“How diligent of you to come and check up on us… How very like your dear Mother… Though… I believe… you may rely on your Uncle to oversee the delivery of the money …he never misses… delivery and collection…”

I waited till he forgot I was there, but he kept on talking.

“All that remains for me to do… is re-set the combination for the safe… We don’t want any outlaws …knowing the combination… now do we?”

You can be sure, I took real good notice of what Mr Forbes was saying and doing after that.  

And,

I stole …. a Bank pencil …. from his desk, which is real Bank property, which is just like a robbery, and Mr Forbes didn’t even see me take it.

[CHANGE TO PENCIL]

I am now writing my journal, with my first ever Bank “Haul”, that’s what Hannibal Heyes calls the money he puts in the sack from a robbery. But I didn’t steal any money yet, and I didn’t have a sack.

My second Bank Robbery is tonight.  I’ll have to steal a sack from the pantry first to be ready for the haul. We have to steal $10,000, which is five bundles of notes.

[MATH]

See.

It’s a good thing that I found out about changing the combination.  It could have been a disaster for my plans to rob the bank because I don’t know how to do nitro-glycerine or vacuum pumping yet even though I read the article fifteen times it didn’t explain properly. Not so you could do it on your own, without Hannibal Heyes.

Like I told you, I’m going to have to crack the safe myself, (that’s what Hannibal Heyes calls it, when you open a safe by listening to tumblers) because Hannibal Heyes is too old and scared and … secret-y …to help me.
 
So, it was a very good thing that I was there when Mr Forbes did changing the combination, and I could watch carefully and remember the new numbers, and write them down as soon as I got back to school.

I know what you’re thinking.
 
You’re thinking, now Daddy’s back, I shouldn’t even need to rob the bank, because Daddy can just give Mr Maxwell the money he needs like he said he would.

Well Daddy’s changed his mind and now he won’t.  He won’t show the venture cap’list’s agent $10,000, and he won’t answer my question about why not. He told Hannibal Heyes, to tell Mr Maxwell  

“It’s just not possible… and for that I am …more than sorry…“


But, what does… more than sorry… mean?  I asked Theodore Smith at school today.

He said

“Ah …what an interesting conundrum you have set for me, Emelda… Sorry, you prefer, Frankie… To be MORE THAN sorry… I suppose we should consider that it may be taken purely at face value… to mean that someone was indeed extremely sorry about something …but, we should consider, should we not … that they are …may be… seeking something MORE … something very rarely given freely in my experience of the human condition… something very important INDEED ... forgiveness… Such a simple thing to give… and yet … of immeasurable value.”

Which means that, Daddy must have lost something, very valuable INDEED, that he wants to give and without it, he can’t help Mr Maxwell with the Venture Cap’list’s agent.

But I don’t know what he’s lost and what he wants to give away.  And I can’t get him on his own to ask him. And he hasn’t answered my first thirty seven questions yet.

Daddy has a big pile of money in his safe, not $10,000, but a big pile, so I don’t think Daddy has lost his money. That’s valuable.  Maybe Daddy’s lost his watch.  That was a present from Mummy, and Daddy said it was worth all the money in the World. That might be immeasurable.

It’s confusing.

I know Daddy wanted to help Mr Maxwell and the Malcontent Gang before, and he doesn’t look very happy now he’s back, and he’s more than sorry he’s lost his watch.  I think he would be happy again if he knew about my plans to rob the Bank, but I don’t want to tell the visitors.

So, I’m going to write him a letter. I can put it in his top desk drawer in his study and no one else will see it. I’ll tell him about the robbery and that he doesn’t have to worry about me going to jail because we’ll be sure to put the money back before Uncle Steadman needs it to give away to all the miners.

Caroline Coleman keeps bugging me, and asking me what I'm writing.

I should explain about Caroline Coleman.

Caroline Coleman is ten.  She wears blue dresses with blue ribbons and a white bonnet, with even more ribbons.  Even her shoes are near white and have more ribbons to tie them on her feet.  

And she’s sleeping in my nursery.  Sharing.  She was one of the visitors.

The rule with visitors is, you’re not allowed to talk to them until they talk to you first.  

Mummy said,

“Emelda my dear… you must let our visitors …enter the house …before …you start asking them all of your questions… Best to wait… just until you are spoken to, my dear… that way …we can at least pretend we’ve raised you with a modicum of manners and civility.”

I know what manners and civility means. I looked it up in a dictionary.  It means being polite.

I can be polite.

I don’t think Daddy’s visitors were very polite.  They near knocked the door down with banging, and when they saw Daddy in the hall, they did shouting at him about chasing him half way across the country.  

But the rule is, if someone has to knock the door before they can come in, then they are visitors, even if they do shouting. And you can’t talk to them and ask them questions unless they’re shouting at you.  They weren’t.  They did all their shouting at Daddy and Dankworth.

Daddy said he was real surprised to see them in Clearwater and that he’d only just arrived himself.  

The big woman, with the enormous mud-green feathery hat, shouted that he should consider the consequences of his actions, before taking off again on a mad cap dash across country.

She said

“There could have been dire consequences Widget… very dire consequences … if anything had …gotten in the way …of the business at hand…”

I don’t like her. She shouted some more about presuming my Daddy had no intention of leaving the house in the next few days, because she was going to see to it.  

Daddy didn’t shout back.  He was holding hands with a small mousey woman.

The small mousy woman burst into tears, and Caroline started crying as well.  

Even the tall, skinny boy that was with them, looked like he was gonna cry too.

It was horrible.  But then these two big men, with brightly coloured vests and guns with white and silver handles at their waist, took Daddy and the boy by the arms and dragged them into the parlour.

The boy shouted

“Mamma… Don’t let them take me too…. Mamma!”

I didn’t like any of Daddy’s visitors. They were all very shout-y and noisy and wearing really bright coloured clothes, that make my eyes go funny.  I didn’t want to go and say hello to any of them, but about ten minutes later, Daddy called me out of the study to meet his visitors.

I didn’t say anything just like Mummy told me.  The little mousey woman did smiling, even though she looked like she only just stopped crying.

She said

“This must be Emelda Francesca… Look Caroline my dear… You shall have a sister… Won’t that be wonderful for both of you… Say hello to Emelda, Caroline.”

Caroline didn’t say hello.
 
Caroline is a bit like Sue Anne at school, but she doesn’t leave her mouth open as much as Sue Anne.  Daddy practically had to pull her away from her mother and push her to the bottom of the stairs.  He asked me to take Caroline to the nursery, to show her all my books and the new dolls I never play with.

The big woman didn’t like it, and said we should go into the parlour too.  One of the big men with the guns, came out of the parlour and stood by her side, staring at Daddy.  

And Daddy said

“What type of person threatens little girls… They are just small children …and the nursery is the safest place for them to be right now… I don’t want my daughter… caught up in your sordid schemes…”

I don’t know what sorted schemes are, and I haven’t got a dictionary in the nursery. But that must be what they were doing in the parlour.  May be, it’s like whist, which is a game adults play.  It isn’t difficult. I can beat Daddy, and Trinni, and Dankworth at whist.

Then Daddy left us at the bottom of the stairs, and pushed everyone else into the parlour.  As he closed the doors he said something to me without saying it just like Hannibal Heyes! I couldn’t make out what Daddy said either.  

It’s much easier to understand what someone says if they just say it, not just move their lips.  My glasses make seeing a lot easier than before I had them.  Before I had them, everything was bleary and joined together.  But I still can’t see very well, unless I get real close.  

And I can’t do reading lips.  Fred says it don’t matter, ‘cause he can see fine well, and he can do looking out for me when we rob the bank.  I asked Kid Curry what he did, when Hannibal Heyes was cracking a safe, and he said, he watched Hannibal Heyes’ back.  

Which is silly.  

He’d be a lot more help, looking out of the window.  That’s what I told him, and Hannibal Heyes agreed with me.  He wasn’t very good at looking out the window. I guess he needs more practice.  When Daddy came into the study, through the window, he was just as surprised as Hannibal Heyes and me, and he was so scared, he pulled Hannibal Heyes to hide behind the sofa.  

It’s sad really.  

No wonder he doesn’t want to do robberies anymore. It’s nice of Hannibal Heyes to let him tag along, but I’m glad he’s not coming on our robbery. Fred is going to do the looking out and Kid Curry would just get in the way.


Oh yeah,

I was telling you about Caroline Coleman.  

She’s not outlaw material.  And she’s not my sister. I wanted to do sneaking back to the parlour door to hear what sorted scheming sounded like. But Caroline Coleman was there. I didn’t even ask her if she was any good at sneaking back. Outlaws don’t wear shoes with ribbons.

And one of those big men came and stood outside the parlour door and did staring.  

He watched us climb the stairs.

When we got to the nursery, I asked Caroline Coleman if she’d read any of my books.  She didn’t answer, which was rude, and just started hugging the dolls.  

It was annoying.

I asked her if her Mummy was married to my Daddy yet, and she just started out crying again and saying something about needing a horrid chaperone.  

She’s really annoying because that didn’t answer my question either.  No one is answering my questions.

Just when I decided to try and sneak down stairs by myself, to hear the grownups business, and I’m being real quiet, she decides to pipe up and talk to me.  

I told you she’d never make an outlaw.  She doesn’t even know not to do talking when someone’s trying to do sneaking back.

She said

“Don’t! … Don’t go down there Emelda… You’ll get into trouble with Mrs Dowling... She’ll shout at my Mummy… And they might hurt Fredrick … please … please don’t… They already said …your father… may have messed everything up… and …it would be all  his fault… if Fredrick… DIED… And they’re already being so beastly to Colin… please… please don’t.”

Then she did crying again, and hugging the dolls all over again.

She’s wrong.

My Daddy never messes things up.  He’s sometimes untidy, when he’s working, but he always makes a real fine job of everything.

My Mummy said

“Your Father is incapable of doing a bad job… Emelda… He is what’s known as a perfectionist… Sometimes… he will work …and work ….and work at a problem until he knows he has it just right… and yes… He can be infuriatingly stubborn… and forget to eat …or to sleep… or to be kind… but then again… if he was any other way, he wouldn’t be the great engineer he is now would he...”


Which means that, Caroline Coleman is wrong.  My Daddy hasn’t messed anything up, and whoever Fredrick and Colin are, it’s not my Daddy’s fault if they die.

It’s probably Caroline Coleman’s Mummy’s fault.  Who comes visiting and then does crying all the time?  And she brought that big, feathery Mrs Dowling as a horrid chaperone, and she’s shout-y and horrible.

Then, I remembered about Daddy being more than sorry. Daddy’s lost his immeasurable watch, and he wants to give something away so he’s not sorry all the time.  And I realise that was what Daddy was trying to say

“Sorry.”

---oooOOOooo---

End of Part Three


Last edited by Cal on Tue 04 Jul 2017, 6:48 am; edited 5 times in total
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The New Teacher Part Three continued :: Comments

Re: The New Teacher Part Three continued
Post on Mon 05 Jun 2017, 11:26 pm by cac
I did NOT see that coming!! Hurry up with the next chapter, please!!!
avatar
Re: The New Teacher Part Three continued
Post on Tue 06 Jun 2017, 10:05 am by Cal
Will do cac... Heyes is posted... and I'm working on Frankie to get her next journal entry up to scratch.
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Re: The New Teacher Part Three continued
Post on Fri 09 Jun 2017, 3:27 pm by Penski
Where'd he come from? Interesting new twist!
Re: The New Teacher Part Three continued
Post on Sat 10 Jun 2017, 8:42 pm by nm131
Gotta love Frankie, too bad she's 20 years too young for Heyes. Thanks for the new chapter. I got a kick out of the last line of Kids. goodone
Re: The New Teacher Part Three continued
Post on Sat 17 Jun 2017, 11:54 pm by cac
I love how literal Frankie is! So funny as an observer (especially her derogatory comments about Kid!), and I so respect her mind, analyzing each step of each event. GREAT chapter.
avatar
Re: The New Teacher Part Three continued
Post on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 11:57 am by Cal
Aw ...Ta cac... much appreciated as always. We're going through terrible times in the UK at the moment... more dreadful deaths in London... I've moved my computer into a quiet room so I can escape from the news and real life for a bit and spend sometime with Kid and Heyes... Time for part four and Kid to be security for filing the claim on the land for the new mine.... Oh the possibilities!
avatar
Re: The New Teacher Part Three continued
Post on Sun 18 Jun 2017, 4:58 pm by Penski
Gotta love Frankie and her exact thoughts! goodjob
 

The New Teacher Part Three continued

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