Home is a place of safety and security, right? Not if you don't have in place certain preventative measures.
The hot noon sun beat down on the group of horseback riders winding through a mountainous path. The Devil’s Hole Gang were heading back to their hideout after a successful bank robbery in the town of Willow. Still riding the rush of adrenaline from the robbery, the men joked back and forth amongst themselves. Except for one; he was silent and kept a vigilant watch at the country they were passing through.
Kid Curry reined in his horse and turned around for the fifth time.
Hannibal Heyes noticed his partner out of the corner of his eye. He twisted in his saddle looking in the same direction as his partner. “See anything?”
Curry stared hard at the hills around them. “Nope.”
“Are you hearing anything?”
“Then why do you keep looking back? You’re making me nervous.” Heyes turned back and kicked his horse into a jog to catch up with the rest of the men.
Curry nudged his horse with his heel so his gelding could keep pace. “Just a feelin’, that’s all.”
“A feeling?” Heyes glanced sideways.
“Yeah, a feelin’ that something’s wrong or someone’s followin’ us.”
“But you haven’t seen or heard anything to make you feel that way.”
Heyes shook his head. Sometimes his partner could be too cautious. “Then let’s hurry up; I wanna get back into the Hole before dusk.”
An hour later, the Kid waited for everyone else to go through the narrow entrance leading to Devil’s Hole and then turned to scan one more time before following.
“Stop that!” Heyes yelled back without even stopping.
“Turning around. If someone was there, we’d have seen him. You’re making me nervous.”
The narrow path opened into a valley with steep bluffs on the east and west sides. Heyes and the Kid pulled up beside the leader’s cabin just as the sun began its descent behind the high walls that cradled the hideout.
“Home, sweet home!” Kyle exclaimed as he walked over to relieve them of their horses.
Heyes dismounted and grabbed a money bag and his saddle bags. “Only you would think of this as a sweet home.”
The Kid was also untying a money bag and shot an approving smile at a pouting Kyle. “Feels like home to me, too, Kyle.”
Heyes rolled his eyes as he entered the cabin and set the bags on the table. He came out with a bucket and went over to the well to fill it with water.
“Thanks, Kyle. Make sure you and one of the other boys rub ‘em down good, okay?” Curry handed him his horse’s reins.
“Shore thing, Kid!”
Heyes followed Curry inside and shut the door. He put some water in a pot on top of the stove and built up a fire. “Home…” he muttered.
Curry came out of the small bedroom where he had dropped his saddlebags on his bed. “Well, it is the closest thing we’ve had to a home for a long time.”
“You sure are proddy.” The Kid set his bag of money on the table besides Heyes’ and added coffee beans to the water.
Heyes sat down and opened the bags as he began to divide the money. “That’s because you kept turning around—got me edgy.”
“Just bein’ careful.”
“I know…I know. And I like it when you worry.” Heyes began counting out the money and making piles. He looked up for a moment, grinned and continued, "Keeps us out of jail.”
Curry remained quiet and finished the coffee while his partner counted. He poured two cups and handed one to Heyes. “Here you go…”
“Thanks,” came an absent-minded response as Heyes continued dividing the loot. When he finished, he leaned back in the chair and stretched.
“Done?” Curry grinned. “Want me to fetch the boys?”
“Yep.” Heyes sipped his coffee.
The Kid went to the bunkhouse and walked in. “Whatever you got there cookin’ smells good.” He peeked into the pot on the stove.
Lobo came over and stirred the dinner. “Venison stew. Should be ready in an hour or so.”
“Heyes is ready to hand out the money.” Curry took a deep breath of the stew’s aroma.
Wheat lie stretched out in his bunk. He sat up and complained, “He can’t come here? Why do we hafta go see him?”
“Wheat, if you want your money, you better go.”
Wheat muttered, “I’m comin’…I’m comin’.”
The men filed out of the bunkhouse and over to the leader’s cabin where Heyes was waiting on the porch.
Heyes grinned as the men stood before him. “Before I give you your money, there’re some jobs around here that we hafta discuss.” Heyes paused for the grumbling he expected and was not disappointed. “Kyle, it’s your turn to cook next.”
Kyle spit a wad of tobacco on the ground. “Sure thing, Heyes.”
“His turn to burn next,” Adams muttered.
“And Wheat, you have first watch tonight. Fuller, you have second watch.”
Fuller mumbled, “Don’t know why we have watches…nobody comes uninvited.”
“And Bud, you have stable duty.”
More complaining came from the gang.
Curry gave Heyes one of his looks.
“It’d be nice to have some fresh meat tomorrow.”
The Kid gave Heyes a quick nod.
“Now that I got that outta the way, here’s your money. Wheat…Kyle…Lobo…Bud…Fuller…and Adams.” As he called out their name, the men stepped up to get his share. “There! So what’s for dinner, Lobo?”
“Venison stew…ready in an hour.”
“Good. Give us some time to clean up.” An hour later, and a lot cleaner, Heyes and Curry went over to the bunkhouse for the meal.
“Watch duty, Wheat,” the Kid reminded the man who poured a cup of coffee.
“Yeah…yeah. I was fixin’ to go out after this. Don’t want me fallin’ asleep out there, do ya?” Wheat deliberately took his time drinking the coffee, put his boots and coat on and grabbed his hat on the way out the door.
After dinner, Heyes and the Kid sat on their porch smoking cigars and drinking whiskey while listening to the poker game in the bunkhouse. The stars were twinkling overhead as the crickets sang their nightly tune.
“Don’t you wanna join the boys for a friendly game, Heyes?”
“Nah, kinda peaceful out here. Just going through that last job in my head.”
The Kid nodded, the gesture almost going unnoticed by Heyes in the darkness. “Thought it went smooth.”
“Sure did.” “How much did we get?”
Curry whistled. “Not bad for the little town of Willow.”
“Nope, not bad at all.” Heyes let out a puff of smoke.
The Kid yawned and got up to stretch. “Think I’ll turn in.”
“I’m right behind you. Kinda tired myself.” Heyes snuffed out the cigar and took a short walk to the well for more water in the morning.
In the middle of the night, Curry woke as he heard Fuller leave to relieve Wheat from watch. He went outside and leaned on the porch support until he saw Wheat come in.
“Wheat…” Curry came out from the shadow.
“What!” Wheat jumped. “Sheesh, Kid, scared me half to death! What’re you doin’ up?”
“Heard Fuller leave and knew you’d be in soon...see or hear anything out there?”
“Nope, just some coyotes.”
“Good. Night, Wheat.” Curry turned to go back into the cabin.
Early the next morning, the Devil’s Hole gang awakened to a rifle shot.
“What the…” Curry threw his blanket off of him.
Heyes and the Kid jumped out of bed and put on their pants. Kid grabbed his gun belt, pulled out his gun and cracked open the cabin door.
“See anything?” Heyes asked, standing behind him.
“Yep, layin’ on the ground.”
“That’d be my guess.”
The rest of the gang spilled out of the bunkhouse in various manners of dress to see what the commotion was.
Another shot rang through the Hole, shattering the early morning quiet.
Lobo clutched his arm as he screamed in pain.
“Dammit…get back inside!” the Kid yelled at the men.
“Who got hit?” Heyes asked.
“Lobo…in the arm.”
Heyes raked his hair back out of his face. “Damn, who’s shooting?”
“Don’t know who, but that’s no ordinary rifle they’re shootin’ with. They must be on top of the bluff on that ledge over there.”
“And where’s Fuller? He was on watch. If I get my hands on him …” Heyes began to pace.
The Kid closed the front door and went to the bedroom to finish dressing. He checked his gun again and holstered it.
Realizing his partner was dressed, Heyes quit pacing. “Where are you going?”
“To the bunkhouse. Better if we’re all together…and there’s supplies in there. Don’t have any in here.”
Heyes nodded in agreement and went to the bedroom to put his shirt and boots on. As he buckled his gun belt, he asked, “Figure out how we’re gonna get there?”
“I’ll cover, you go first. Ready?”
“Yep!” Heyes zigzagged across the ground while Kid shot up into the hill where a rocky ledge made near a natural perch.
Another rifle shot rang out and Heyes fell before reaching the bunkhouse.
“Heyes!” The Kid ran to Heyes, grabbed him from under the arms and pulled him to safety in the bunkhouse. Just when they walked through the door, the rifle sounded again.
“You could’ve gotten yourself killed getting me,” Heyes panted in pain.
“Knew I had time while he loaded the rifle again.”
“Thought you were covering me…”
“Yeah, I was, but this guy is good. He knew my bullets weren’t gonna reach him.”
Heyes winced. “Damn! Got me in the thigh.”
“Can see that. Bleedin’ pretty good.” Curry helped his partner to a bunk.
He glanced around the room and saw Wheat and Kyle tending to Lobo’s arm.
“How is he?” the Kid asked as he removed Heyes’ gun belt and boots.
“Bullet went through, but broke his arm.” Wheat continued to wrap and immobilize the arm.
“Bud, I need a knife, water and some bandages.”
“Just got the one bucket of water here and then we’re out.” Bud gathered the needed supplies.
Heyes muttered, “Need indoor water pump…”
Curry noted his partner’s ashen face and sheen of sweat. “Stay with me, Heyes.”
Heyes gave him a nod.
Taking the knife from Bud, the Kid cut away Heyes’ pants and long johns.
“Hey…my favorite pants,” he protested feebly.
“Not anymore—lessn’ you wanna wear ‘em stained with blood now.” Curry carefully checked the wound.
Heyes writhed in pain.
“Hold still…let me see if it’s still there.” Releasing a breath, the Kid continued, “Went through.”
Using water and a rag, Curry cleaned the wound. “Need some whiskey.”
Bud quickly handed him a bottle and the Kid poured the alcohol on the wound.
“Dammit! God that hurts!”
“Sorry, Heyes.” He tightly wrapped bandages around the wound to stop the bleeding. “There, that’s about all I can do for now.”
Heyes closed his eyes and tried to control the pain with his breathing.
His partner brought him a cup of water. “Drink this.”
Keeping his eyes closed, Heyes asked. “What is it?”
“Rather have some whiskey.” Heyes glanced up.
“You drink some water and I’ll give you some whiskey.”
Heyes drank the water and held his cup up for the promised liquor.
Kid poured some whiskey into the glass and Heyes gulped it down.
Kid wiped Heyes’ face with a wet cloth and covered him up. “You okay?”
“Do I look okay?”
Curry shook his head and went over to Lobo. “How’s he doin’?”
“Good as can be expected.” Wheat shot the Kid a look. “Who’s shootin’ and why?”
A rifle shot hit near the porch and a shout was heard. “You…in the bunkhouse!”
Heyes started getting up from the bunk.
“What do you think you’re doin’?” his partner asked as he gently pushed him back on the bed.
“Gonna find out who that is and what they want.”
“Ain’t that obvious? They want us dead.”
Once again Heyes tried to get up and the Kid pushed him back down. “Just stay put and I’ll talk to him.”
Heyes shook his head. "No, better if he doesn't figure out who's shot and who isn't. What if you get a chance to get out of here? I won't be much good with a bad leg so I'll do the talking."
“Hey…anyone down there?” came another yell.
Kid paused and then assisted Heyes to the door. He opened it cautiously part way with his gun drawn as he helped his partner lean on the frame.
Heyes shouted out the door. “Who are you? What do you want?”
“Lou Nelson…maybe you’ve heard of me before.”
Everyone in the bunkhouse glanced at each other and they all wore the same expression of trepidation. Yeah, they’d all heard of him before – a famous bounty hunter who had a reputation for always bringing in his man. And they were usually dead.
“Yeah, we’ve heard of you.”
“I want Heyes and Curry.” Pause. “The rest of you can go.”
Bud, Wheat and Kyle looked at each other with a glimmer of hope. Heyes and Kid looked at each other with dismay as Heyes leaned heavy on his partner.
“Bud, get Heyes a chair.”
The outlaw got one and Curry set Heyes down by the door and then got another chair to prop up his leg. Heyes shivered so his partner covered him with a blanket.
“Did you hear me?” Nelson shouted out.
“Yeah, we heard,” Heyes answered back.
“You send out Heyes and the Kid, don’t matter to me if they’re dead or alive.”
Wheat went by the door and yelled, “What guarantee do we have that the rest of us can go?”
Kid hissed. “Wheat!”
“No guarantee…just hafta take my word on it,” shouted Nelson.
Wheat muttered as he went back by Lobo, “his word…”
“Got til 10:00 to decide.”
“What we gonna do, Kid?” Kyle asked with a mouth of chaw.
“Heyes’ll figure something out, won’t you, Heyes.”
Heyes rested his head against the wall and shivered. “Is there any coffee?”
Bud went to get a cup. “Yep, got some made before all this started.” He poured Heyes a cup and gave it to the Kid.
Curry handed the cup to Heyes and waited to see if he could hold it steady.
Heyes took a sip. “What time is it?”
“Almost eight, I reckon.” Curry rang his fingers through his hair.
“Have two hours then.” Finishing the coffee, he handed the cup back to the Kid.
“Let’s get you back in a bed.” Curry started to help Heyes up. “You’ll be more comfortable.”
Heyes swatted him away. “I’m okay here.”
“No you’re not. That leg might stop bleedin’ if you laid down and stopped movin’.”
“Fine, but if Nelson starts talking again…”
Curry lifted his partner up and half carried him to a bunk. “I’ll bring you back by the door.” He checked the wound again and frowned at the bloody bandage. “Heyes, you’re still bleedin’ a lot. I’m gonna hafta sew you up.”
Heyes sighed. “I figured as much…just do it and get it over with.”
The Kid gathered a few supplies and unwrapped the saturated cloth. “Might wanna bite down on something.” After a quick nod, he removed Heyes’ bandana and held it for him to grip in his mouth. After pouring more whiskey to cleanse the wound, he put the torn skin together and sewed it closed. More whiskey was poured on the injuries and a clean cloth wrapped again around the entrance and exit wounds. “Done.”
Heyes kept his eyes closed as he removed the bandana and concentrated on his breathing. His partner took a clean, wet cloth and wiped the sweat from his face.
The minutes slowly ticked off. Heyes lay quietly, wishing the throbbing in his leg would stop since it was making it almost impossible to think straight. The Kid stood guard at the door looking for any movement or listening for any sounds. Lobo lay on his bunk, sliding in and out of consciousness. Kyle sat at the table shuffling a deck of cards while Wheat paced.
“With Heyes bleedin’ like that, Kid, the two of you ain’t gonna make it two miles outta camp, even if ya can make it past that bounty hunter. I’m makin’ the deal.” Wheat went over near the door and hiked up his pants. “Now you can give up peacefully or take on the three of us.”
Curry looked back in the room. “You decidin’ for Bud and Kyle, Wheat?”
“They’ll see it my way. We ain’t got a plan and we’re runnin’ outta time!”
“We’ll come up with a plan, don’t you worry.”
“Only good plan’s the kind with dynamite,” Kyle muttered through the mouth of chaw as he continued to play with the deck of cards.
“You and your dynamite, Kyle!” Wheat rolled his eyes at the younger man.
“If I could blow somethin’ up, that’d de-stract Nelson maybe enough so some of us can git outta here and git help.”
“Yeah, a couple sticks of dynamite might help right now, Kyle.” Curry turned his attention back outside.
“Really?” Kyle stood up and went to his bed. “I got some right here, Kid.”
The Kid looked back in the bunkhouse surprised. “You keep dynamite by your bed?”
“Yeah, under my pillow.”
“Under your pillow?”
“Well, you sleep with your gun in reach, don’t ya?”
Heyes lifted his head and glanced sideways towards Kyle as he listened.
“Well, yeah, but…”
“What’s the difference with me sleepin’ with dynamite. Ain’t gonna blow up without a fuse.”
Curry caught himself chuckling. “Got a point there, Kyle.”
“How much dynamite you got there?” Heyes asked as he pondered Kyle’s plan.
“Three sticks! An’ it’s the good stuff, too! You gonna let me blow somethin’ up, Heyes?” Kyle asked excitedly.
Heyes put his head back on the pillow. “Think we just might.” He thought for a few minutes. “Kid, what’s in that old supply shack? Anything we need?”
“One that’s about to fall down on its own? Nothing we can’t replace.” The Kid stared outside for any sight of Nelson. A quick flash of metal reflecting in the sun rewarded him. “There he is! Just where I thought he might be.”
“Where’s that?” Heyes looked up again.
“That rock jettin’ out on the east side. The small ledge.”
Heyes took in the information of Nelson’s position in relation to the buildings and grinned.
The Kid glanced at his partner. “Workin’ on Kyle’s plan, Heyes?”
“Well, not sure if it’ll work. And I’m not too comfortable with your part in it.” Heyes raked his fingers through his hair. “Don’t know if it’s worth the risk.”
“Tell me what it is and I’ll let you know if it’s worth it.”
“Kyle can throw out the dynamite—one of them needs to hit the shack. If you can get out the door and around the bunkhouse while the dynamite’s going off, he might not see you. From there you can get to the barn and then in the tree line. You know the paths around here better than anyone. Figured you could go around and surprise Lou Nelson. But if he sees you… Well, I’m not sure it’s worth the risk.”
“Or he might get mad enough to start shootin’ up the bunkhouse. And some of them bullets are comin’ inside.” Curry added to the risk. “You and Lobo can’t move.”
“But we could turn the table on its side and put you two behind it. It’ll offer some protection.” Curry thought aloud.
While Heyes and the Kid worked out the details amongst themselves, Kyle beamed as he listened to the exchange of words going back and forth between partners. Kyle directed his attention first to Heyes, then to the Kid, and back to Heyes, completely engrossed in their conversation.
Wheat took to pacing back and forth in front of everybody and Bud sat silently on his bunk, watching the others.
“Wheat, you have any rifles in here?” Curry asked.
“There’s one or two, but not much ammo.”
“Come here and take a look.” The Kid opened the door a little further and pointed to the rock jetty. “See that ledge? That’s where Nelson is. If you and Bud shoot while Kyle throws the dynamite, we’ll have a better chance of me gettin’ outta here and Kyle gettin’ back in safe. What do you think?”
Wheat squinted as he followed the direction Curry pointed. “Guess it’s worth a try. We’re about outta water in here and can’t stay put much longer.”
Heyes pulled out his watch. “Well, it’s 9:30. Better get moving if it’s going to work.”
Wheat pulled out the rifles and ammunition. Kyle and Bud turned the table on its side and carried an unconscious Lobo behind it. The Kid helped Heyes get comfortable on the floor next to Lobo and then checked his gun.
“Have only half an hour then I’m coming in for Heyes and Curry!” came a shout from outside. “Rest of you are gonna have to suffer the consequences if you don’t turn them out!”
“Ready?” Heyes glanced at his partner.
“Run as fast as you can…and zigzag some, just in case he sees you.”
Curry grinned. “I will.” He looked at Wheat, Kyle and Bud. “Are you three ready? Bud, know where to aim?”
“Yeah, I know.” Bud put a bullet in the rifle and cocked it.
“Kyle, check your light and fuses,” Heyes reminded him as he lay back down, wishing he could have come up with a better plan. “And don’t hit my cabin or the well,” he added as an afterthought.
“I won’t, Heyes.” Kyle double checked that the fuses were perfect and lit a cigar. He took a few deep puffs to make sure it wouldn’t go out since it was going to light the fuses.
Wheat aimed a rifle out of the door. "I'll start shootin' first, Bud. You pick it up about five second later--that'll give me time to re-load."
Bud went to the window. “Got it.”
“Kyle, you go out right after Wheat shoots and light them fuses.” The Kid readied himself for his run. “I’ll be right behind you.”
Wheat cocked his rifle and aimed. “GO!” A shot rang out.
Kyle rushed out with a lit stick of dynamite and threw it into the middle of the yard. He quickly lit again as Bud shot off his rifle.
Curry hurried out and around the bunkhouse, heading for the barn. He skirted a dead Adams as he zigzagged across the yard. Before he reached the corral, he heard a bullet whistle past him as the shack exploded. He ran into the barn, leaning against the wall and breathing heavily. Curry released one of the horses from its stall and sent the gelding galloping out of the barn. During the third explosion, he sprinted into the trees.
In the silence afterward, a voice boomed out, “So that’s how it’s gonna be! I’m betting I have more ammo than you do. This is your last chance to send out Heyes and Curry before I shoot up that bunkhouse. It ain’t gonna be no match for my rifle.” To prove his point, Nelson shot at the wall and the bullet came through the wood, lodging in a bunk. Bud, Wheat, and Kyle took cover behind the table with Lobo and Heyes.
“Hope the Kid can stop him soon or we’re all dead.” Wheat ducked as another bullet whizzed into the room. “We don’t have anymore rifle ammo.”
“He will…he will.” Heyes winced in pain. “He better,” he spoke in a softer voice.
Lou Nelson continued to send bullets into the bunkhouse with a fury to match his anger at the explosions and rifle shots. He knew someone escaped, even saw a horse leave the hideout, but couldn’t be sure if there was a rider or not because of that last blast. He figured it was a yellow-belly outlaw saving his own skin.
The Kid darted through the trees as he made his way from the west slope to the east. He heard Nelson’s threat and knew the rifle’s caliber could penetrate the walls of the bunkhouse. On the north side, he stopped to catch his breath. An opening in the trees would leave him exposed for a few minutes. Hoping Nelson was concentrating only on the building, Curry took off again. He scampered up an animal path heading towards the ledge he knew Nelson occupied.
The Kid slowed down when he got close so not to make any noise. His breathing quickly returned to normal and he unlatched the safety on the holstered colt. Drawing the gun, he made his way to the ledge. He saw the bounty hunter fire the rifle at the bunkhouse door.
Nelson chuckled to himself as he began loading the rifle again. “Door about to fall off. Damn outlaws just need to give up.”
“Nelson!” Curry jumped out in the open with his gun aimed at the man.
Dropping the unloaded rifle, Nelson went for his pistol, just to have the holster and gun shot off by Kid Curry.
“Get up!” Curry demanded.
Lou Nelson began to stand when suddenly his boot slipped on loose rocks. He began to fall back, off the ledge.
The Kid moved forward to grab him, but Nelson’s fingers brushed his as he fell.
Curry looked down and saw the man responsible for the siege was sprawled face down on the sharp rock below and he was definitely dead. “Wheat…Kyle…you can come out now!” he shouted.
Wheat, followed by Kyle, came out of the cabin.
The Kid waved. “Everyone okay down there?”
“Yeah…we’re okay,” Wheat replied.
“I’ll be down in a while.” Curry turned and disappeared.
An hour later, the Kid returned to the hideout. “He did shoot up the door pretty good,” he commented as he walked into the bunkhouse. Glancing around the room, he noticed that Heyes and Lobo were back in bunks, the table was upright, coffee brewing, and a meal was being prepared by Kyle.
Curry walked over to his partner and glanced at the clean bandage. “Stopped bleedin’—good.”
“Where’ve you been?” Heyes asked as he tried to sit up more.
“Went to the look-out…”
“Dead. Looks like he fell asleep. Nelson snuck up on him and slit his throat.”
Heyes closed his eyes and shook his head. “And Nelson…did you…”
“Nope. He slipped on some loose rocks and lost his balance. Tried to grab him before he fell over the edge, but…” Curry poured a cup of coffee and sat at the table. He glanced around at the room. “Lots of holes in here.”
“Thought we was goners ‘fore we heard your gun go off.” Kyle stirred the stew in the pot. “Shore was relieved when you called out our names.”
Wheat stared out the window. “About earlier…You know I wasn’t serious about turnin’ you in.”
Curry glared. “Sure, Wheat.”
“Some changes gotta be made so this don’t happen again,” Heyes spoke to defuse the tension between Wheat and his partner. “Have to take different routes back to the Hole—not the same one—even if it takes longer. And two guards at the lookout post. And no reason we shouldn’t have hand water pumps in here. Wouldn’t have run outta water. And need to add a supply room here. No more running outta ammo.”
“You sure have been thinkin’ about this, haven’t you.” Curry grinned a shook his head.
“I have…need to concentrate on something instead of thinking about how much my leg hurts. And that ledge…its gotta go. Have some more dynamite, Kyle? Enough to blow it away?”
Kyle grinned from ear to ear. “Shore do, Heyes!”
“Good. And we need to add a back door to this place when we add that supply area. We were lucky this time," he added. "Could've been a real disaster."
“Yeah, it could’ve been,” the Kid agreed. “Kyle came up with a pretty good plan…the only plan, Heyes.”
Kyle beamed at the praise.
“Hey, I was injured!” an insulted Heyes spoke up.
A week later, the Devil’s Hole gang gathered around two graves at the look-out point near the entrance. Heyes and Lobo remained on their horses while the gang watched Kid pound markers into the ground for Fuller and Adams.
“Thanks for burying them here, Kid.” Heyes looked each gang member in the eye before saying, "Let this be a lesson on how important it is to be alert when you're on watch. Kinda gives their deaths a purpose."
Curry nodded and there was a moment of silence.
“Got some work to do. We best get started.” The Kid mounted his gelding and the others followed down the path to the bunkhouse to start on the changes they had discussed.