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 The Long Way Home Part 2 by Inside Outlaw

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royannahuggins
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royannahuggins

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Join date : 2013-10-13

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PostThe Long Way Home Part 2 by Inside Outlaw

Starring

Pete Duel as Hannibal Heyes and Ben Murphy as Kid Curry
The Long Way Home Part 2 by Inside Outlaw Heyes10The Long Way Home Part 2 by Inside Outlaw Kid10


Co-Starring

James Drury as Lom Trevors
The Long Way Home Part 2 by Inside Outlaw Lom10

Dakota Fanning as Callie Monroe
The Long Way Home Part 2 by Inside Outlaw Dakota10

Gil Birmingham as Running Wolf
The Long Way Home Part 2 by Inside Outlaw Gil_bi10

John Cusack as Paul Monroe
The Long Way Home Part 2 by Inside Outlaw John_c10

Tilda Swinton as Mildred Monroe
The Long Way Home Part 2 by Inside Outlaw Tilda_10


The Long Way Home - Part 2
by Inside Outlaw



Heyes stood over a set of muddy hoof prints leading down into a river and gazed towards the foothills in front of them.  “She crossed.  Why is she heading due east?  The Crow and Cheyenne reservations are northeast and she’s headed away from Running Wolf’s camp.  She’s aiming for the Bighorns.”  Heyes remounted.

“Maybe she’s lost.  At least, she ain’t botherin’ to hide her tracks.  We’ll catch up to her soon.  That pony’s got to take two strides for every one of ours.”  The Kid and Heyes pulled off their boots, tucking them under their left arms and sent their horses into the river.  The animals swam hard against the steady current sending them downstream until they struggled up onto the bank on the other side.  Once on dry ground, the riders dismounted, removed their wet socks, replacing them with dry ones, and pulled their boots back on their feet.

Heyes stood first and stared at the mountains.  “But why risk her neck crossing the river when she could ride north alongside it and get to where she wants to be?”

“Don’t ask me.  I never can figure out why women do the things they do,” grumbled Curry.  “Does it matter?  She’s goin’ east so we are too.”  

The two friends remounted and sent their horses into lopes.  The Bighorn Mountains slowly grew larger and, as the foothills began to climb, the horses slowed to a jog and then a walk as the riders gained altitude and wound their way up the steep slopes.  Both horse and rider began to breathe harder as the air thinned and the terrain changed to alpine tundra.  Cresting a ridge first, Curry reined his horse up suddenly, jumped off, and hurriedly led the animal back down to Heyes.  He thrust his reins at his partner, whispering, “Indians.  Callie’s with ‘em,” before turning abruptly and running back up the slope, dropping to his belly and crawling the last few feet to the top.

When Heyes reached his side, the Kid pointed to the scene below them.  Four young men stood amid a manmade circle of stones laid out in what appeared to be a many-spoked wheel covering most of a hilltop.  Their horses and a familiar pony placidly grazed nearby.  A tall youth held Callie with one arm around her waist and one hand clamped over her mouth while she kicked and struggled to free herself.  The others laughed and shouted encouragement to her captor.

The Kid slid his gun from its holster and took careful aim, but Heyes laid a hand on his arm.  “You really wanna do that?  Could be a whole lot more of ‘em.”

One random blow landed on Callie’s foe in a bad place and he doubled over in pain, letting her go.  The laughter died immediately and the other men ran after her, one drawing a hunting axe and brandishing it over his head.  The mood had clearly turned ugly.  

“Yeah, I’m sure,” said Curry grimly while re-aiming.  The axe was shot from the brave’s hand.  He stopped and stupidly stared at his stinging appendage as his companions dove for shelter behind shrubs and rocks.  Callie continued running, shrieking at the top of her lungs.  

Heyes, having drawn his own weapon, was circling around at a run across the ridge to cut off Callie’s escape.  The Kid peppered the ground around the youths preventing them from chasing her or taking potshots at his partner.  Instead, they began to return his fire, their shots poorly aimed and widely missing their mark.  One brave lifted his head and took aim at the fleeing girl.  Heyes shot him and the young man gripped his ruined shoulder, flopping to the ground and raising a small puff of dust.  Callie was clambering up the face of the ridge towards Heyes, her face contorted with fear and relief at the same time, her hands and feet grappling for purchase on the rocky ground.  Without slowing, she flung herself at him clamping her arms around him and hanging on fiercely as he continued to fire his gun at the braves who’d begun a hasty retreat.  Three of them supported their badly-wounded friend, nearly dragging him along with them.

The Kid laid down a calculated line of fire, nipping at their heels as they took to their horses and fled with Nemehotatse running after them, but the already-tired, spotted pony soon slowed to a jog, then a walk, and finally she put her head down and began to graze the sparse grasses.  Holstering his gun, the Kid ran over to his partner.  “Is she all right?”

Pushing the sobbing child to the end of his arms, Heyes examined her.  “I think she’s fine.  Just shook up.”  He pulled Callie into his chest again and held her tightly until her cries faded away.

“We better get outta here before they bring back their papas.”

Lifting the girl up into his arms, Heyes ran back to their horses with the Kid following cautiously.  Once mounted, Curry galloped down the hill and retrieved the pony while his partner intently studied the rock formation laid out below him.  When he returned a few minutes later, the Kid hustled Callie onto her pony, attached a lead rope to her bridle.  The trio took off at a gallop veering southward away from the trail of dust raised by the four youths who had fled from them.

“Where now?” yelled the Kid as he slowed his fatigued mare.

Heyes reined Spike to a jog.  “Sheridan’s closest but Buffalo’s bigger.”

“Buffalo then.  I need me a hot bath and a hotter meal.”

“Works for me.  Good thing we showed up when we did--Callie’s safe.”

“Barely.  That was some fine shootin’, partner.  Your aim’s improvin’.”

Heyes grinned at the compliment.  “Ha, who aimed?”



#



When they reached Buffalo late the next day, Heyes and the Kid took Callie to a busy saloon restaurant for dinner.  The child was frightened by the noisy white men occupying the bar area, so they retreated to a quiet corner table in the restaurant to shield her from the crowd.  Heyes waved a server over and ordered two bourbons, a sarsaparilla, and three bowls of buffalo stew.  The food arrived quickly and Callie leaned over her bowl with a big smile on her face, inhaling the heady aroma.  Looking up at her two companions, she gabbled at them but they couldn’t understand her.

At the next table sat a grizzled mountain man who’d watched the threesome get settled with an impassive face.  He’d seen the two men’s blank expressions and translated, “She says it’s her favorite.”

The Kid grinned.  “Mine, too.”

The man smiled kindly at Callie and spoke to her in Cheyenne.  She nodded solemnly and gave him a lengthy reply.  He turned to the two ex-outlaws.  “She said she’s Cheyenne, but she was sold to the Crow for ponies.  She also said you two saved her from some young bucks but she wants to go home now.”

Heyes frowned.  “We’re taking her home.”

“Home, huh?  You mean to her white folks, don’t you?”

Curry paused in lifting his spoon to his mouth, his eyes narrowed.  “Why’re you askin’?”

The man lifted his hands defensively.  “Now, don’t go gettin’ your tails in a twist.  I’m just a nosy old so and so who’s spent too much time alone in Indian country.  The name’s Charlie Wilfall.”  

“Thaddeus Jones, this is my partner, Joshua.”

“And who’s this?”  Charlie asked, winking at Callie.  

“Her name’s Callie,” answered Heyes coldly.

Undeterred, Charlie finished his whiskey with a gulp.  “You do know that little gal’s gonna have a real hard time when she gets home, don’t you?  I lived with the Cheyenne for a spell during the winters of ’78 and ‘79.  They have a different way of bein’, if’n you know what I mean.”

“We know,” said Heyes bluntly, cutting off that line of conversation.  “Do you know these parts pretty well?”

Charlie laughed and it quickly to turned to a wet, phlegmy cough.  “That’s an understatement if’n I ever heard one.”  

“We found her up in the foothills.  There were these rocks laid out in a wheel pattern,” said Heyes.

“A medicine wheel.  There’s hundreds of ‘em around these parts and all the tribes use ‘em.  Nobody knows who built ‘em, but the Indians say they’re from before time.”

“What’re they for?” asked the Kid.

“The Indians use ‘em for visions and prayers and such.  They say the wheel is laid out according to the points of the compass and the stars.”

“The compass?” said Heyes.  “Could she have been using it to find the Cheyenne?”

“Wouldn’t surprise me none.  The Indians always seem to know their way home no matter where they are.”  Charlie chuckled.  “Those boys must’ve been pissed to have her show up.  She said she thought they were Shoshone and they don’t cotton to Cheyenne, ‘specially little white female ones.”  

“Can you tell her she can’t run off again?  It’s too dangerous,” said the Kid.

“Ask her if she’s been to the wheel before,” added Heyes.

Charlie spoke some more to Callie and grinned at her answer.  “She’d been there with her tribe a long time ago.  I told her there are worst things than travelin’ with white men and she needs to let you look after her.  I ‘spect she knows that’s true now.  She also said to tell you you’re goin’ the wrong way.”

Heyes replied, “Tell her we know and we’ll get her home.”

The Kid frowned.  “I don’t like lyin’ to her, Joshua.”

“It isn’t a lie.  I just didn’t say what home.”

“Could be best she goes back to her white family,” interjected Charlie.  “If’n the Cheyenne sold her, they might not be too happy to have her just show up again out of the blue.  They might decide she’s too much trouble,” he added ominously.  

Curry scowled.  “Don’t you think she’s gonna figure out she’s not goin’ home when we head out tomorrow?”

“Maybe.”  Heyes turned to Charlie.  “Can you explain to her that we have a job to finish first before we take her home?  I don’t want her to try to run off again.”

He related Heyes’ words and gave them her reply.  “She says she understands but she asked if all white men are as loco as you two.”



#



“Rawlins, here we come,” said the Kid, sending his horse into a slow jog.  

“Callie’s not too happy we’re heading south,” said Heyes as he rode alongside the girl.  She was making it plain without words she was annoyed to be riding away from familiar territory, but she was cooperating sullenly.  “The road between Buffalo and Casper’s well worn.  We won’t have any problem making good time.  We’ll make a quick stop in Casper, re-supply and head onto Rawlins as fast as we can.”

They passed many wagons and horsemen along the way to Casper.  Each night, they traveled a short distance from the road and set up camp.  After re-supplying in town, they rode on until they reached the open grasslands.  

“We’ll stop here for a couple of days.  The horses need a rest and they can fatten up a little.  Us, too,” said Heyes with a smile.  He dismounted and rubbed his lower back with both hands while stretching and moaning.  

“The trail to Rawlins follows the Medicine Bow River most of the way.  Game should be plentiful the rest of the trip,” said the Kid.  “Reckon I won’t have any trouble keepin’ us in meat here on out.”  He watched Callie jogging her pony alongside the riverbank.  “She sure is pretty with her hair shinin’ in the sunlight.  She’s gained some weight, too, and lost that hungry look of hers.  I’m glad her folks didn’t see her when we first met her.”

Heyes smiled.  “I doubt they’ll care what she looks like.  They’ll be too happy to have her back.  It must’ve been awful for them wondering where she was or if she was alive.”

“Funny she wants to go back to the Cheyenne; don’t seem to me she was treated all that well.  I guess it’s all she knows.”  The Kid sighed.  “Still, I feel bad about trickin’ her.”

“It’s for her own good, Kid.”

“I sure hope so.”  

“Stop fretting.  Callie’s getting a loving family and we’re getting paid.”

“You’re right, Heyes.”  Curry grinned.  “I guess I’m just tired.  I’m really lookin’ forward to a nice soft bed and a dinner I don’t have to kill and cook up.”

“Amen, partner.”



#



“11:15 to Laramie and Cheyenne’s arriving,” called out the trainmaster as he stepped from his office.  “Step on back and clear some room for the folks getting off.”

Heyes’ small party waited patiently near the back of the platform until the sight of the iron monster spewing thick smoke and the sound of the screeching rails as it slowed sent Callie into a panic.  She tried to flee the terrifying specter only to be caught by the quick hands of Kid Curry grabbing her coat collar.  Her response was immediate and intense.  She fought with all her strength and screamed Cheyenne words at the top of her lungs.  Every pair of eyes on the platform swung in her direction.  Aware of the attention, the Kid lifted her off her feet and clamped a hand over her mouth.  Callie continued to squirm and kick, her dress flying about indecently.  As the train screeched to a halt, she went limp in a dead faint.  A trio of finely-attired women shrieked in horror and screamed for help.

The trainmaster had seen the whole incident and hurried over to them.  “I can’t put that child on the train.  It’s plain as day she’s a savage and I can’t endanger the other passengers!”

Heyes frowned at him with disdain.  “And you have no concerns about the safety of a young girl?  What if we were kidnapping her?”

“I…er…um.”  The man flushed a deep red.

Pulling out the governor’s letter, Heyes thrust it at the man.  “We’re on special assignment for the governor.  You’ll find that he’s arranged for a private car for us.”

The trainmaster quickly scanned the contents of the document and his manner changed dramatically.  “Yes sir!  Very good, sir.  Please, right this way.”

“That’s better,” said Heyes, giving the man his hardest outlaw glare.  

Curry, holding Callie cradled in his arms, pushed past both of them.  “Quit jawin’ and take us to our seats.”

Chastened, the man waved a porter over who picked up their saddlebags and subserviently led them to their car.  It was a dining car with a half dozen tables flanked by bench seats facing each other.  A wide aisle ran the length of it and it was entirely empty.  

The Kid settled Callie on one of the benches covering her with his coat before he sat down across from her.  She didn’t stir.  “Poor kid must be all tuckered out.  Ten days in the saddle and what do we do?  Scare the heck outta her.  I bet she sleeps the whole way.”  

“Good, maybe we can too.”

“Go ahead.  After that scene at the station, my nerves are too tight to doze.  ‘Sides, they’ll be servin’ lunch soon.”  

Heyes got up and crossed the aisle to another bench.  Lying down on his back, he pulled off his hat and tossed it onto the table then sighed loudly and closed his eyes.  “Save me some, will you?”  He was asleep within minutes.

The Kid occupied himself cleaning his gun between glances out the window at the sere, featureless landscape.  When his task was completed, he stowed away his cleaning supplies in his saddlebags and leaned into the corner between the bench and the window, struggling to stay awake.

The clanging of a dining cart entering the car roused him and awakened Callie.  She sprang up to a sitting position, fully alert and ready to flee, but one look at her surroundings and out the windows assured her she was trapped.  Deflated, she slumped down and pouted.

“Hey now, cheer up, there’s food.”  The Kid smiled as the waiter stopped the cart next to him and lifted the dome from a platter of beefsteaks.  A bowl of mashed potatoes, a smaller platter of green beans and a frosty pitcher of ice water stood next to it.

The aroma woke Heyes who sat up sleepily and yawned.  “Where are we?”

“No idea,” answered the Kid.  

“We’re about forty miles past Laramie, sir,” said the waiter as he handed the Kid a knife and fork rolled in a linen napkin and placed a laden plate in front of him.  He started to place a table setting in front of Callie, but Curry took the knife and fork from him.  “I’ll cut hers up for her.  Thanks.”
 
Efficiently, the man finished serving Heyes and pouring drinks then departed.  

The Kid cut her meal into bite-sized pieces and put it in front of Callie.  Sulking, she kept her head down and looked away.  “Still mad at us, huh?  You’re only gonna get madder on an empty stomach.”

Heyes chuckled.  “Listen to him, he knows.”  

Callie slid to the floor in a snit as the two men ate eagerly and, after a few minutes, they both saw a small hand reach up and snatch a handful of food, then another, and another, until her plate was empty.

“Good thing we’ve got this car to ourselves.  Those fine ladies would scream even louder if they saw her eatin’.”

“At least she’s eating.”  Heyes pushed his plate to one side of his table and wiped his lips with a linen napkin.  Callie, watching him from her den beneath the table, lifted the hem of her new calico dress and wiped her mouth.  Heyes smiled at her but shook his head.  He leaned across the aisle and held out his napkin to her.  She took it, sniffed it, and wiped it across her mouth.  He mimed wiping his hands and she imitated him.  He patted the empty spot next to him and she crept out from her hiding place and crawled up next to him.

Taking the napkin clutched in her hand, Heyes dipped it in his water glass and cleaned her hands and face.  “Can’t take you to your folks with a dirty face, can we?”  He tapped the window to draw her attention to it and pointed out a small herd of antelope running in the distance.  She grunted and climbed over him for a closer look.  Pressing her nose to the glass, she watched the telegraph poles whiz past, her head turning slightly at each one.

“How come you didn’t send a telegram to Lom lettin’ him know we’d be in Cheyenne tonight?” asked the Kid.

“The governor knows we’re coming, but I thought it’d be better if she got a good night’s sleep before she met her aunt and uncle.  Figured they’d be waiting at the depot if they knew we’d be in tonight.  I said we’d meet them in the morning.”

Curry frowned at him.  “That ain’t for us to say.  You not gettin’ too attached, are you?”

“What?!  Me?  No!”

“Good, ‘cause we get paid tomorrow and I plan to be spendin’ that money in places little girls can’t go.”  

“Josh-wa!” cried Callie, surprising both her companions.  It was the first time she’d called either of them by a proper name.  She was excitedly pointing out the window at a large herd of wild horses.  She turned back to Heyes a few seconds later with a sad expression on her face.  “Nemehotatse.”

He smiled.  “She’s with us.  C’mon, I’ll take you to her.”  He stretched out his hand and she took it shyly.  “Get some shut-eye, partner, while I take her to the stock car.”  

When Heyes and Callie returned, she was nearly dancing with excitement, humming and repeating “Nemehotatse”, over and over again.  Almost eagerly, she climbed back onto the bench and resumed peering out the window.

The Kid opened his eyes and yawned tiredly.  “Pony doin’ all right?”

“She’s all settled down.  Lucky for us, she had those cows to keep her company.”

“I sure hated leavin’ Lulubelle in Rawlins.  She was a nice mare.”

“It’s going to be hard enough to explain why the governor had to ship a pony to Cheyenne.”  



#



Heyes awoke to a porter calling out, “Next stop, Cheyenne.”  The train was slowing to a stop.   Callie had fallen asleep hours ago with her stuffed bunny tucked into her chest.  The Kid scooped her up as the porter assured them their belongings were being transferred to their hotel and the pony to the nearest livery stable.  Heyes tipped the man generously with the governor’s money and the trio departed.

When Callie awoke the next morning, the sunlight was streaming in through lace curtains, twinkling with dust motes as it fell across the bed.  She was also alone except for her little stuffed rabbit.  She grabbed it, jumped out of bed, and ran to the door.  It opened to reveal a genteel sitting room.  Heyes was on a sofa, finishing breakfast.  The door to another bedroom was open on the left and she could see the Kid standing in front of a mirror, shaving.

The Long Way Home Part 2 by Inside Outlaw Kid_sh10

“Thought we left you, huh?” said Heyes, holding out a sweet roll to her.  She came over and sat next to him; taking the offering and dropping her bunny next to her.  “She sure likes that stuffed toy you got her.”

Curry was patting his freshly-shaved face with a soft towel as he came into the sitting room.  He tossed the towel over the back of the sofa.  “I guess she’s a little old to be draggin’ it around but it seems to give her some comfort.”

Heyes dropped his cup into its saucer with a clatter.  “Poor kid.  No wonder she needs comfort.  She lost her folks in the worst way then spent the next part of her life learning to be Cheyenne only to have her new ‘family’ sell her like livestock.  The Crow tell her she’s marrying into their tribe only they also took the goods and sold her out.  All she knows about life is she can’t depend on anyone.”  

The Kid sat down across from Heyes and Callie and poured himself a cup of coffee from the pot resting on the silver service tray on a side table.  “You’ve given this a lot of thought.”

“I’ve had a lot of time to think lately.”  Heyes watched Callie grab another sweet roll and stuff it into her mouth whole.  “Hey, careful now, don’t go choking yourself.”

“Well, stop dwellin’ on it.  You were the one who convinced me Callie’s gonna have a real family now.  Her folks want her real bad.  Bad enough to spend a small fortune payin’ us to bring her back,” the Kid smiled wolfishly.  “Tonight she’ll be sleepin’ in her new bed and we’ll be…at least I’ll be sleepin’ with one of the lovely ladies from McGillicuddy’s Emporium.”  

Heyes nodded.  “You’re right.  She’ll be fine.”  He said it, but he didn’t sound like he believed it.



#



“Hold still,” said Heyes as he tried to do up the buttons at the back of Callie’s calico dress.  She squirmed and pulled away from him.  “Sheesh, could they make these buttons any smaller?”

“What happened to those magic fingers of yours?  Or do they only work on safes?”  

Heyes paused buttoning long enough to glare in exasperation at his partner.  “Why don’t you give it a try?  She’s fidgeting like a nervous filly.”

“She’s reactin’ like one, too.”  

“What’s that supposed to mean?” demanded Heyes.

“You’re nervous, so’s she.”  

“I’m not nervous!”

The Kid grinned.  “Then how come you’re actin’ like a mama sendin’ her baby off for the first day of school?”

Having accomplished his task, Heyes stood and faced his critic.  “What d’you want me to do?  Take her to meet her new parents in buckskins?”

“They ain’t gonna care what she’s wearin’.  They’ll be too happy to have her back.”

Heyes relaxed.  “You’re right.  Guess I just want her to make a good first impression.”

“It ain’t the first impression that counts.  Let’s go.  It’s almost ten and we said we’d meet Lom and the Monroes for brunch.”  

Callie crossed the hotel lobby clutching her bunny nervously.  She shuffled along next to Heyes and the Kid as though being led to an execution, but her hair shone in the gaslight and her calico dress gave her a neat and tidy appearance.  When her two companions stopped at the entrance to the dining room, she looked up.  A tall, mustached man wearing a shiny star on his chest smiled at her.

“You must be Callie, I’m Lom,” he said gently.  His eyes shifted to his two friends.  “The governor’s real happy with you two.”

Heyes smiled broadly.  “How happy?  Happy enough for amnesty?”

“Not quite that happy, but he won’t forget the favor,” said Lom.

“You mean like he has all the other ones,” said Curry grumpily.

“Come on.  Let’s introduce Callie to her family.”  Lom turned and led the way to a table set in a quiet corner of the big dining room.

A man and a woman stood on the far side of the table positively beaming with pleasure.  A shorter, heavier man stared at Callie curiously.

“Thaddeus Jones, Joshua Smith, this is Paul and Mildred Monroe and this is Bill Nelson, the governor’s Chief of Staff.  And this is Callie.”  Lom smiled broadly at the girl, but she stared at him impassively.

Mrs. Monroe hurried around the table to Callie, but the child cringed behind Heyes, peering up at the woman before them.  “Callie’s a bit skittish around new folks,” said Heyes in his most congenial voice.  Callie looked up at him as she heard her name.  He knelt down next to her and stroked her hair.  “This is your papa’s brother and his wife.  The Monroes.  These are your people.”  The young girl looked at him blankly, but an excited glow lit her eyes as she saw the waiter approaching with a tray laden with food.  

“Why don’t we give her a chance to get to know you over some food,” said the Kid, hopefully.

“Yes, of course.  Darling, you sit next to Callie and Mr. Smith can sit on her other side since she seems to be comfortable with him,” suggested Mr. Monroe.

Heyes rose, holding Callie’s hand, and led her to a chair.  She sat but she leaned away from the woman next to her and shuffled closer to Heyes.  The waiter was busily placing the dishes on the table and, when he put a plate filled with bacon and scrambled eggs in front of Callie, she smiled.  While everyone else was occupied with unfolding their napkins, she plunged her hand into the eggs and pushed a fistful of food into her mouth.  Mrs. Monroe gasped in shock, crying “No!” loudly.  Mr. Monroe scowled at the girl.

Callie’s eyes widened and she dropped the remaining eggs on the table, obviously terrified and frozen in place, her eyes downcast.

Heyes rushed in to soothe her.  “It’s all right, sweetheart, you haven’t done anything wrong.”

“How can you say that?  She’s eating like an animal!” squealed Mrs. Monroe, aghast.

Dark brown, cold eyes met hers, but the voice was bland and patient.  “Ma’am, the girl was taught by her captors not to eat until food was offered her.  It took us the better part of our trip to convince her she’s allowed to eat when she’s hungry.  It’s our fault that we didn’t much care how she did it.”

“She’s put on weight since we got her.  You should’ve seen her a few weeks ago, she was all skin and bones,” added the Kid.

“I…I’m sorry.  I wasn’t thinking,” apologized Mrs. Monroe.

“There, there, dear, you have no need to apologize.  The girl has no training so we must keep our expectations low.  I’m sure Greta and Matthew’s examples will teach her some manners in no time.”

Nelson jumped in.  “Captives are considered the lowest members of the tribes and often compete with the curs for the leavings.  A girl doesn’t attain status until she marries.”  His scowl demonstrated his disapproval.

“I’m sure Callie just needs some time to adjust,” placated Lom.

“Oh dear,” said Mrs. Monroe, plainly horrified by the information.  She pushed the plate towards Callie indicating she should eat, but the child wouldn’t look at the food again.

The rest of the meal passed awkwardly with stunted conversation.  Callie’s story, as Heyes and the Kid knew it, was relayed to her new family but met with many questions they couldn’t answer.  Dismay and trepidation blossomed on the Monroes’ faces.  Dining completed, the group rose from the table and moved into the lobby with Callie clinging to the Kid’s hand.

“Thank you for returning Callie to us, we are very grateful to you both,” said Mr. Monroe, passing a bulky envelope to Heyes and then extending his hand.  Each ex-outlaw shook it and stepped back.  Callie wrapped her arm tightly around the Kid’s arm.  

“Hey darlin’, these are your folks now.  You gotta go with them, he explained gently while prying her hand away.  

“Callie, you be a good girl for Mr. and Mrs. Monroe,” said Heyes.  He wistfully stroked her hair one last time, visibly hardened his features, and walked towards the stairs to their room.  Mrs. Monroe reached down and took Callie’s hand as the Kid followed his partner.  When the girl tried to pull away to follow them, Mrs. Monroe dragged her back.  As the two men ascended the stairs, they heard a ruckus break out behind them, but they kept going.

“Sheesh, she thinks we sold her again,” said the Kid quietly, trying to ignore the angry cries.

“We did sell her,” said Heyes, morosely.  

Callie was clawing and fighting with all her strength as Nelson and the Monroes ushered her out of the hotel.  Her resistance turned to terror and she began screaming in Cheyenne.  Embarrassed, Mr. Monroe swept her off the ground, kicking and biting, and deposited her into their waiting carriage.  The child continued to howl and fight as the carriage disappeared around the corner.  Nelson stared after it as Lom stood in front of the hotel, shaking his head.



#



Once the door to their room closed, Heyes ran both hands through his hair and uttered a curse.  

“She’ll be fine, Heyes,” assured Curry, watching his partner beginning to pace back and forth across the bare pine floor.

“Will she?” snapped Heyes.  

Curry sat down on the stuffed chair.  “Settle down, partner.  Of course, she’s scared.  She’s been shuffled from one place to the next her whole life, but she’s with family now, Heyes.  It’ll take her a while to get used to it, but she’s home.”

“I know that!” shouted Heyes.

“Then what are you gettin’ worked up over?  It’s not like she can stay with us driftin’ from one job to another.”

Heyes flung himself onto the sofa.  “You’re right.  It’s just…I don’t know.  I guess I thought it’d be easier.”

“I’m sad to part ways, too, but look on the bright side.  We got paid and Callie’s with her folks like she belongs.  Why I bet she’s already gettin’ spoiled rotten by the Monroes.  There’s no reason for you to get your tail in a twist.”  The Kid stood up.  “C’mon, we’re goin’ out.  I ain’t lettin’ you mope around this room all day.  You’ll feel better after a couple of drinks.”

“I hope so.”

“Well, I know I will.”



#




A WEEK LATER

The Long Way Home Part 2 by Inside Outlaw Heyes_10

Heyes was leaning back in his rocker on the hotel porch exhaling a plume of smoke.  “You know, I’m thinking we ought to be moving on.  Maybe we should take a little vacation now that we’re flush and head over to Glenwood Springs, take the water, play a little poker.”  

Curry laughed derisively.  “Play a little poker?  You lookin’ for a rematch with Doc?  Seems I recall he whipped you real good the last time you two sat down.”

“Holliday had an unfair advantage.  I was sick!”

“Not too sick to play.  Or lose,” grinned Curry.

“You want to go or not?” growled Heyes.

“I never said I didn’t want to go.”

“Good.” Heyes ground out his cigar, tucking the stub into a shirt pocket, and stood up.

“Where’re you goin’?”

“To get us some horses.”

“Now?”

“Why not now?”

“’Cause I’m still enjoyin’ my cigar.”

“What, you can’t smoke and ride?”

With a sigh, the Kid stood up.  “All right, Heyes, you win.”

Smugly, the dark-haired man smiled.  “I always do.”

“You didn’t when you played Doc Holliday.”  

“Don’t start that again!”

The two men bickered the short distance to the livery stable, but were both silenced when they saw Callie’s paint pony in a small corral with several other horses.

Curry found his voice first.  “What’s she doin’ here?  Didn’t Lom say Nelson told him he’d have her sent out to the Monroe place?”

“He did.”

The livery owner appeared from the shadows of the barn.  “Gents, what can I do for you?”

“What’s the story with that paint pony?” asked Heyes.

“Kinda short for you, ain’t she?”  The man loudly guffawed at his own joke until he noticed his clients weren’t smiling.  “You like her?  I’ll make you a real deal on her.”

The Kid frowned.  “She’s for sale?”

The livery owner shrugged.  “The owners told me to get rid of her quick.  Ten bucks and she’s yours.”

Heyes looked at the Kid.  “We’ll take her and the two bay geldings with her.”  

“Now they’ll cost you.  Forty for the one with the blaze and thirty-five for the other.  With tack, it’ll be a hundred total.”

“I’ll give you eighty for all three,” said Heyes.  “With tack.”  

“Why, that’s highway robbery!” declared the stableman.

“It’s more than they’re worth.  And we ain’t takin’ ‘em at gunpoint.  We’re offerin’ good money,” said the Kid with a tight, humorless smile.

Taking in the tied-down guns on each man’s hip and the angry, stubborn looks on their faces, the livery owner said, “Sold.”

Heyes fished a few bills out of his pocket and passed them to the man.  “I’d like you to keep them for a few days while we’re in town.”

“Yes sir.”

The two ex-outlaws crossed the street and sat on a bench in front of a dress shop.

“What d’you think that was all about?” asked Curry.

“Callie loved that pony.  She’d never give it up without a fight.”

“You’re right.  A pony meant she was somebody.  It’d kill her to lose it.  What the hell are the Monroes thinkin’?”

“I don’t know but I aim to find out.  I’m gonna go see Nelson.”  Standing, Heyes strode off towards governor’s office.  

The Kid caught up with him.  “What’re you plannin’ to do?”

“I have no idea.”  

The front door to the governor’s office building opened as they neared it.  Bill Nelson stepped out, but saw them and frowned.  “I was just coming to look for you two.  Callie Monroe’s run off.  I thought maybe she’d be with you.”

“Run off?  When?” asked the Kid.

“Last night.  Monroe left a few minutes ago.  Come in, I’ll fill you in.”  Leading them into his office, Nelson crossed to his desk and sat down, waving the men into the two chairs facing him.  

“Why’s her pony for sale?” demanded Heyes.

“Mr. Monroe said she tried to ride off, so he took the pony away.  It seems the girl’s not adjusting too well.  She’s been kicking up a fuss and making life miserable for everyone.  But the real trouble started when she…um…she tried to scalp Greta Monroe with a kitchen knife.  The Monroe girl’s fine, but it scared the wits out of her parents.  They’ve been locking Callie in her room at night and Mr. Monroe said they went to check on her this morning and found the board covering the window pulled away, the glass broken, and the girl gone.”  

“Does that surprise you?  I don’t know about you, but when someone locks me up it kind of makes me want to bust my way out.”  Heyes was visibly angry.  “So, Callie’s on her own, on foot, with no way to defend herself.  Why aren’t you and Monroe out scouring the countryside for her?”

Nelson held up his hands defensively.  “Hey, take it easy, that’s what I plan on doing.”

“You?  What about Monroe?” challenged the Kid.

“The Monroes want Callie found just as much as we all do, but…” Nelson hesitated.

“But what?” Heyes leaned forward aggressively.

“Look, the girl is too much for them to handle.  They weren’t prepared for what they were facing and they don’t think they can handle her.  Monroe is talking about putting her in a home.”  

Heyes’ fist slammed down on the desk like a gunshot.  “A home?” he roared.  “We know all about ‘homes’, don’t we, Thaddeus?”

“Yeah, we sure do, and we know they’re no place for a girl like Callie.”  Kid Curry appeared as angry as his partner.  “She thinks she’s Cheyenne; the other kids will torture her.  She’s not going to a home!”  Unconsciously, his gun hand dropped to rest on his Colt.

“Now look here, there’s nothing I can do to stop them.  The law’s the law and they’re her legal guardians.  Since you know the girl, we’d like your help in finding her.”  Nelson sat back and looked at them expectantly.  

Heyes glared back at him, but his angry expression slowly eased.  “All right, we’ll help, but only if we go alone.”

“That’s crazy…” began Nelson, only to be interrupted by the Kid.

“If you send a passel of lawmen after her, she’s gonna go to ground and you’ll never find her.  Let us go get her.  She trusts us.”  Heyes nodded his agreement to his partner’s request.

“Well, she used to trust us,” said the Kid, ignoring Heyes’ scowl.

Nelson thought for a few moments then said, “Find her.”



#



Curry stole a glance at his partner riding alongside him.  “It’s been three days, Heyes.  Callie could be…”

“Don’t say it.”

“Heyes…”

“We’ll find her.”  Heyes turned his horse onto a narrow game trail.  The painted pony trailed behind him on a lead line.  The small, empty saddle stirrups thumped forlornly against the pony’s sides as she jogged to keep up with the taller animal.

“I’m just sayin’…”

“I know what you’re saying and I don’t want to hear it.”  Heyes reined up his horse sharply and wheeled it around to face his partner.  “We got her into this mess and we’re gonna get her out.”

“We found her shoes the first day, there ain’t no way we’re gonna find tracks with her barefootin’ it.”

Heyes sent his horse into a walk and rode silently for a long time, but eventually reined up again and said, “We’ve been going about this all wrong, riding in circles trying to pick up her trail.  You said it yourself--Callie’s more Cheyenne than anything so what would she have learned from her people?”

“Beats me, Heyes.  I ain’t Cheyenne.”

“Do you remember what Charlie said?”

“Charlie said a lot.  Could you narrow it down a bit?”

“He said the stones align with the stars and with the points of the compass.”

“He also said the Indians went there to pray and have visions.  What’s that got to do with Callie?  Heyes, get to the point.”

“The point is the Indians know the stars and the directions that align with them!  They can navigate by them.  Callie would know how to find her way home to the Cheyenne.”

Exasperated, the Kid sighed.  “Couldn’t you’ve just said that?”

“She’s going north, towards Montana and the Cheyenne.”

“We can’t be sure of that.  You’re doin’ a lot of guessin’ here.”

“You’ve got a better idea?”

The Kid didn’t answer.



#



They made camp that night along the banks of a small river.  After dinner, Heyes and the Kid crawled into their bedrolls by a modest fire and watched the stars sparkling against the dark sky.

“I hate thinkin’ of that little girl out there somewhere all alone while we’re lyin’ here warm and cozy.  You really think we can find her?”  The Kid tucked his arms under his head and crossed his legs.

“All we can do is give it our best shot, Kid.  I think we’re on the right track.  If she’s heading north, she’s probably following the water just like we are.  There’s too much dry land around these parts to risk straying too far from it unless she found something to carry it.”

“What if she did?”

Heyes’ voice turned surly in the darkness.  “What if she didn’t?  Look, there’s no point in arguing.  We don’t have anything to go on except the fact that we know she wants to find the Cheyenne and they’re north, so we go north.”

Curry sighed.  “You’re right.  Sorry.  I’m just worried about her.  It’s rough country for a gal all alone.  Sure seems like we should’ve seen some sign of her by now.  She only had a half day’s start on us and she’s on foot.”

“We wasted a lot of time the first couple of days.”

“Guess we did.  We’d better get some shut-eye if we’re gonna ride hard again tomorrow.  G’night, Heyes.”  The Kid rolled over onto his side, his back to his partner.  

“’Night, Kid.”  It wasn’t long before the sound of soft snoring filled the air.

In the wee hours of the morning, Curry woke with a start.  The wind had come up and the willows along the riverbanks rustled loudly.  He listened intently for several seconds.  The horses were restlessly stomping about on their highline.  He reached over and clamped a hand over Heyes’ mouth awakening his partner, but the finger he held up to his lips prevented Heyes from making any sound.  With a nod of his head, Curry indicated the horses.  He released Heyes and reached for his gun, sliding it from its holster silently.  Heyes slid from his bag, his own gun already in his hand.  He waved the Kid to the left and he circled around to the right, both of them stealthily closing in on where they had tied their animals.  What they saw in the moonlight stopped them in their tracks.

Callie stood next to her pony, slipping a bridle over the mare’s head.  

“Callie,” said Heyes softly.

The child jumped, startling the pony, and turned to him guiltily before trying to scramble away into the brush only to collide with the Kid’s chest.  Immediately, she began yelling and kicking at him but he held her tightly to him so she couldn’t put any force behind her blows.  She flailed at him for a long time before her screams turned to sobs and she collapsed at his feet.  He reached down and gently helped her to her feet, brushing leaves and dirt from her clothes.  She was dressed in her old buckskin tunic with her pants underneath.  Tears stained her cheeks, but she lifted defiant blue eyes to him.

“Easy now, darlin’.”  The Kid turned slightly away from her towards his partner, his mouth open to speak.

“Kid, watch out!” yelled Heyes as Callie struck Curry hard with a rock she’d concealed in her fist.  

The Kid let go and clutched his arm.  “Ow!”

Heyes chased after the fleeing girl, tackling her as she cleared the brush and emerged by their campfire.  Callie tried to wriggle out from under him, but he kept her pinned to the ground.  “Callie!  Cut it out!  Behave!  No!”

At the last word, she stopped moving and glared at him.  A single, mutinous tear trickled down her chin.  Her buckskin tunic had torn along the neckline.  Heyes lifted her to her feet and tried to straighten the garment, but it slipped off one shoulder.

“What the…?”

Heyes lifted his head to see the Kid staring at Callie’s exposed back and the series of thin, raw lines crisscrossing her back revealed by her torn garment.  

Curry was plainly outraged.  “They whipped her, Heyes!”

“Callie.”  The smooth baritone voice elicited a response and the girl looked into compassionate brown eyes.  “I’m sorry.”  She allowed him to stroke her hair gently and wipe away her tears.  

“We ain’t taking her back!” growled the Kid.

“I never planned to.”

“What?!”

“I’m taking her to the Cheyenne.  Those are her people now.”  Heyes turned stricken eyes to his partner.  “Why didn’t I see it before we gave her to the Monroes?  She’s only ever wanted to go to the only home she’s ever known.”  He spoke softly to the girl, “Tsitsistas.”  Callie’s eyes widened.  Heyes nodded his head and repeated, “Tsitsistas.”  He pointed at her and pointed to the north and said once again, “Tsitsistas.”  She smiled and clung to him.  

The Kid tiredly rubbed his face.  “Heyes, the Cheyenne ain’t as friendly to the white men as the Crow are.”

“I know.  I’ll get as near as I can without getting caught.”

“We’ll get as close we can, but are we gonna know how close that is?” the Kid’s voice rose as he spoke.  “In case you ain’t noticed, I’m kinda fond of my scalp.”

“I said I’d take her north.  You don’t have to come.”

Curry threw his hands up.  “Now you’re talkin’ crazy!  You ain’t goin’ without me!  Arggh, you drive me nuts.”

“Feeling’s mutual, partner.”  Heyes shrugged.  “No point in going back to bed, we’re all wide awake.  There’s enough light from the moon.  Let’s saddle up and get going.”



#



FIVE DAYS LATER – WYOMING/MONTANA BORDER

“Heyes, we’ve got company.”

“I see ‘em.  They’ve been following us since we crossed the Rosebud.”  Heyes reached over and took the lead to Callie’s pony, signaling her with a finger to his lips to be quiet.  She looked around confused until she spotted the scouting party.  Watching the newcomers warily, she kept silent and allowed herself to be led.  

“Are they Cheyenne?” asked the Kid.

“Who knows?  Callie doesn’t seem sure.  If she was, she’d be yelling at the top of her lungs,” reasoned Heyes.  “Just keep riding.”

The braves watched them for a long time then two of them turned away and disappeared behind the hill.  The remaining ones sat their horses quietly and stared down on them.

“They’re going back for reinforcements,” said Curry, unable to keep a rising note of panic from his voice.

“Take it easy.  If we run, they’ll come after us.”  Heyes calmly stopped, dismounted, and held his arms up to help Callie from her pony.

“What happened to only gettin’ close?!”

“I miscalculated.  We must be nearer to the battlefield than I realized.”

“What battlefield?”

“The Rosebud.  Those stone rocks over there aren’t natural.  I read the Cheyenne and Lakota placed markers at the site of key events and they’re still there today.  We must be in the middle of it.”

“Great, just great, now you tell me.”  Curry swung off his horse and slapped the dust from his shirt.  “What d’we do now?”

“We wait.”  Heyes led his horse and Callie’s pony to one of the cairns and tied them off to it.  He took Callie’s hand and led her to a patch of soft grass, sitting down and pulling her down next to him.  

Curry tied his horse next to the others and joined them, sinking to the ground.  “I’m waitin’, but I ain’t likin’ it.”

“The best we can hope for is they don’t think we’re a threat and they come to check us out.  Callie can tell them we mean no harm.”

“And the worst is they’ll cut our throats in the dead of night.”

“Yep.”  Heyes wrapped a protective arm around Callie.  She snuggled next to him, smiling up at him.  Her blue eyes shining with hope.

The Kid frowned and shook his head.  “Never thought I’d go out this way.”

“We’re not done yet.”

Curry laid back on the grass and stared up at the puffy clouds drifting overhead.  “I sure hope not.  I’ve still got money burnin’ a hole in my pocket and big plans on how to spend it.”  

“It is ironic, we might be about to die but we’re finally flush with cash.”  Heyes’ humor died as he saw several more Indians arrive and line up next to the others.  “They’re back.”

“Already?”  The Kid sat up again.  

The two ex-outlaws sat watching the warriors for what seemed like hours on end until a bellowed war whoop split the quiet.  The warriors began spilling down the hillside at a dead run, shouting war cries and waving weapons.  Upon reaching the plain, their ponies kicked up clouds of dust around them as they circled the two men and the child, drawing closer and closer until only their foggy shadows could be seen through the thick haze.  Heyes and the Kid sat still, barely breathing, their shirts wet with nervous sweat, but Callie stood up and jumped up and down with delight at the braves’ performance until Heyes pulled her back down.  When Heyes and the Kid didn’t respond to the taunting, one of the warriors reined up his horse and shouted at them.  Callie’s response was instantaneous, she shouted back at him in Cheyenne.  He held out a coup stick and shook it so the feathers twisted around before he screamed as he sent his horse galloping towards them.

“Don’t move,” warned Heyes quietly but firmly.

“Are you kiddin’?  I’m so scared I couldn’t if I wanted to,” replied Curry.

The brave slid his horse to a stop at the last second, leaning over his animal’s neck and striking Heyes’ shoulder with his stick.  Heyes took the blow stoically and the disappointed man shouted at him.  Callie screamed a torrent of Cheyenne back at the warrior.  The man’s jaw nearly dropped at the words spilling from her mouth but he recovered and wheeled his horse away to gallop up to another warrior wearing an elaborate war bonnet.

The Long Way Home Part 2 by Inside Outlaw Cheyen10

“He’s talkin’ to the boss,” said Curry.  “I don’t know what Callie said, but she must’ve said it just right.”  

The man with the war bonnet yelled out a command.  Heyes and the Kid watched as the riders stopped milling about and turned their horses towards them until there was a solid line of Cheyenne warriors grimly facing them.  The leader broke out of the line and slowly rode towards them.

“Is this where we die?  ‘Cause if it is, I’ve got a few things to square with the man upstairs,” whispered Curry.  

“Shh.”  Heyes hung onto Callie, preventing her from running out to meet the fierce soldier.

The man stopped his horse several yards away from where they sat and stared at them coldly.  Neither ex-outlaw dared to breathe until he shifted his gaze to Callie and spoke gently to her.  She stood up and bravely answered him as Heyes and the Kid watched pensively.  The man nodded and said a few more words to her.  She smiled and turned to Heyes, slipping her arms around his neck and hugging him tightly.  She then turned to the Kid and pulled her bunny from where she kept it hidden in her buckskin.  She tucked the bunny inside Curry’s shirt and patted his chest while gabbling in Cheyenne to them both.  Finally, she untied her pony and mounted.  Both ex-outlaws watched silently as she rode away alongside the brave.  When the unlikely couple reached the other Indians, the line of braves followed behind them as they climbed over hill, disappearing from sight.

The Kid fell back to the ground and neither man said anything until long after the Cheyenne had left.  It was Heyes who spoke first, his voice thick with emotion.  “I sure wish I could’ve said good-bye.”

Curry reached out and patted his partner’s shoulder.  “No need.  She said it for us.”

Heyes stood up and dusted off his pants.  “Let’s get outta here before that guy changes his mind about letting us go.”

“Now you’re talkin’.”  The Kid stood and untied his horse, mounting easily.  It wasn’t until he was in the saddle that he realized Heyes was still gazing at the hill.  “She’s home, Heyes.  You did good.”

Heyes turned to him and smiled but his eyes were shining with unexpressed emotion.  “We did good and we did it together.” He took his reins and climbed into his saddle.  

“What’re we gonna tell the governor and the Monroes?”

Heyes turned in his saddle towards the hill.  “We’ll tell them Callie Monroe is dead.”

“It’s the truth, Heyes.  She died a long time ago.”

“Just like Jed Curry and Hannibal Heyes,” said Heyes, pensively.  

The Kid smiled gently at his best friend.  “Naw, we were just lost for a while.”  



###





Author’s Notes:

The precipitating facts Lom provided our heroes about the battle of Prairie Dog Creek and the Crow reservation are true, the escaped band of reservation Crow and their captive is my fiction.

Monida Pass was a Union Pacific railroad station that serviced Yellowstone National Park in the beginning of the 1880’s.  It was a grueling 85-mile trip from the station to the west entrance of the park.  The Northern Pacific RR reached Cinnabar, Montana, in 1883.  Rail service to Gardiner, Montana, didn’t begin until 1902.  Camp Sheridan became Fort Yellowstone in 1891 and is now known as Mammoth Hot Springs.  Some of the original army buildings still service park administrators.  The East Fork of the Yellowstone River was renamed the Lamar River after the 1884-1885 U.S. Geological survey.  It bisects what is now known as the Lamar Valley where the Yellowstone Institute is located along the road to Cooke City, Montana.  

The institute’s biologists can often be found on the south facing slope near their campus using their spotting scopes to study the wolf packs flourishing after reintroduction into this ecosystem.  If you see them, be sure to hike up to where they are positioned as they are usually delighted to share their scopes with park visitors.  The luckier guests can hear the mournful howls of the packs and occasionally spot lupine residents going about their lives.  The scene described with the mother grizzly was one I was fortunate to watch through a biologist’s scope.

Fort Washakie is the only U.S. military outpost named for a Native American.  It was decommissioned in 1906.  The graves of Chief Washakie and Sacajawea are on the grounds of the fort which is located within the present Wind River Indian Reservation.

Between seventy and one hundred fifty medicine wheels have been identified in South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.  To learn more about how Native Americans constructed and used medicine wheels visit:  http://solar-center.stanford.edu/AO/bighorn.html

After the Battle of the Rosebud, following General George Crook and his Crow and Shoshone allies had departed, the Lakota and Cheyenne returned to the battlefield and piled up rocks at the locations of key events.  Some of the rock piles remain to this day.



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_________________
Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry, the two most successful outlaws in the history of the west. And in all the trains and banks they robbed, they never shot anyone.
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The Long Way Home Part 2 by Inside Outlaw :: Comments

Penski
Re: The Long Way Home Part 2 by Inside Outlaw
Post on Sat 17 Nov 2018, 5:05 pm by Penski
clap clap clap
Great ending to a wonderful story! I'm so glad it ended this way. Poor Callie. That had to be a difficult decision for the boys to make. Thank you for your contribution to this year's Virtual Season!
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Re: The Long Way Home Part 2 by Inside Outlaw
Post on Sat 17 Nov 2018, 9:10 pm by Laura
I too am glad that it ended the way that it did. Just think about how hard her life had been, how could the Monroe's expect things to work out so smoothly? And then to treat her so badly. The last two lines are so moving and hopeful.
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Ms
Post on Sun 18 Nov 2018, 12:36 am by ladkiss
Well written, I enjoyed this very much, it's nice to see that both Heyes and Curry have a soft spot for little lost girls. Sad that she lost so much but glad she made it home. Thank you.
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Re: The Long Way Home Part 2 by Inside Outlaw
Post on Fri 07 Dec 2018, 4:41 pm by Nightwalker
I hadn't thought that Heyes would develop such an affection for the girl. Nice to see one of his softer spots here. The boys handeled the difficult situation very well and kept true to their nature.
The ending is sad, but Callie is now where she thinks she belongs to and isn't that most important?
Thank you very much for the wonderful story. I would have enjoyed seeing it on the screen.
moonshadow
Re: The Long Way Home Part 2 by Inside Outlaw
Post on Thu 13 Dec 2018, 3:18 am by moonshadow
Watching and reading so many westerns through the years, with them presenting the way people were treated and how they ended up if they were captured and forced to live with the Native Americans, I found myself wondering how little Callie would fare. Would her fate be worse or better?

You wrote a fitting and truthful conclusion. Heyes and Kid thought they were doing the right thing but Callie showed them where she thought home was to her and where she belonged. They were smart enough to trust her judgement. I would probably have told the family Callie was dead, too.

One last extra happy thing for me was that Callie got to keep Nemehotatse; I think she'll remember Heyes and Kid every time she rides her! Wink
 

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