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 The Legacy

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Remuda

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Posts : 750
Join date : 2013-08-25
Age : 42

PostSubject: The Legacy   Sun Nov 03, 2013 1:53 am

The Legacy
Two men sprawled on a bench in the heart of Denver. The dark-haired member of the duo perused a newspaper he held full length in front of him. His blond counterpart reclined, head resting against the back, hat covering his head, arms to his side, legs splayed out in front of him. Before them, the city bustled, but paid them no mind.

Hannibal Heyes turned a page, rustling the paper to straighten it.

Jed “Kid” Curry stirred. Hand lifting his hat from his countenance, he peered in his partner’s direction. “Can you do that quieter?”

“Huh?” Heyes’ visage never left the rag.

“Can you do that quieter? You just woke me up.”

Heyes’ eyes narrowed. He turned to his cousin. “You mean, read quieter?”

Curry’s eyes rolled. “No, turn the page quieter.”

“Oh.” The thought sank in. “You mean, like this?” Heyes played the paper as an accordion, pulling it inward and out, the rustling growing louder with each “squeeze.” “A little hard not to make noise with it.”

Blue eyes closing, Kid replaced the hat over his face and leaned back. “I’m sure you can be more careful than that and let a body rest.”

Deep dimples appeared. “I suppose I could.”

Passersby went about their business. A dog chased a cat. Children rolled hoops down the street. A horse neighed as a delivery wagon stopped in front of a store. Still, the partners kept their perch.

“Kid!”

No answer.

Heyes’ elbow found Curry’s ribs. “Thaddeus! Wake up!”

A right hand jumped to a sidearm. Blue eyes opened wide. Kid Curry pulled himself up straight, alert and at the ready. “What?!”

Heyes shook his head. “Would you keep it down?”

They looked around. One or two people regarded them but otherwise went about their business.

Curry’s hand moved away from his pistol. He rolled his eyes in his partner’s direction and lowered his voice. “You’re the one who shouted.”

Heyes opened his mouth to say something, but stopped short. “I didn’t shout. Never mind.”

“What’re you so all fired up about?”

The dark-haired man spoke under his breath. “You remember Tremaine?”

The blond brow knit. “Gus Tremaine?”

“Yeah.”

“Sure. That old coot’s a sly one.”

“That he was.”

“Was?”

“Yep. Was.” Heyes handed Kid the paper, indicating a place on the page.

Curry read out loud in a low voice. “‘Gus Tremaine, age 82.’” He turned to his partner. “I didn’t know he was that old.” He continued, “…‘Died peacefully in his sleep in Denver.’ … He was right under our noses. Wonder if he’d have known we were here.”

“No reason for him to.”

“No, guess not.” Kid read silently. “A wife and three daughters? … When did he have time for a family?”

“Guess he made the time. But his glory days were way behind him.”

More silent reading. “True, but he was there when we needed him.”

Heyes chuckled. “Yeah, he sure was. Taught two wet-behind-the-ears kids a thing or two about life.” He lowered his voice, “And outlawing.”

“We were young then, weren’t we?”

“Uh huh. Barely knew anything about the world.”

“And we thought we knew it all.” Curry smiled; sighed.

Heyes glanced at him. “What?”

“Nothin’. Just thinkin’.”

“Now, Thaddeus, I’ll do your thinking for you. Just don’t go being all philosophical on me.”

“I’m not. Just rememberin’.”

Heyes sat up straighter. “And to think we only knew him such a short time.”

“Yeah. Not long. But he really got to us, didn’t he? And wouldn’t take no guff from us, either. Follow what he said or get out of his sight. He was tough, but fair. But what’s really gettin’ me …”

“What?”

Curry tried to convince himself. “He lived to 82.”

“Yeah, a ripe old age, especially for someone in his line of work.”

Kid turned to Heyes. “That’s what’s gettin’ me. He didn’t look that old, he didn’t act that old. … It says he was a wanted man livin’ out in the open with a wife and family and no one paid him no mind. That’s somethin’, Heyes.”

“It is. Maybe they dropped the charges against him and the paper got it wrong.”

“Maybe. Or maybe they just got tired of chasin’ him.”

“Could be.” Heyes stared straight ahead. “Or maybe … Guess we’ll never know.”

“Nope.”

“That’s a legacy he left. A family. Imagine that.”

Curry contemplated the bustle around them, but it faded from his focus. “I can’t imagine that, the way we’re always on the move. One day, maybe …”

“A family? Settling down? Maybe.”

“Do you really think so, Heyes?”

“Joshua.”

Kid looked around sheepishly. “Sorry. Joshua.”

“It’s a good thing we don’t slip up too much. The aliases are almost like our real names – the way we answer and all.”

They sat in silence for several moments.

Curry re-read the obituary. “It says he might not have been the most successful outlaw but he did all right for himself, in a criminal sort of way.”

“He was successful, all right.” Heyes absentmindedly breathed on his fingernails and shined them against his shirt. “They’re probably comparing him against the ‘most’ successful – us.”

Curry chuckled. “Modesty’s not your strong suit, is it, Joshua?”

Heyes didn’t miss a beat. “Nope.” Then, “But Gus was modest. He really was.” A pause. “Maybe we can learn something from that.”

Blue eyes grew wide. “Did I hear you right?”

“You heard right, Thaddeus. Face it, Gus Tremaine left a legacy. He lived to a ripe old age and had a family when the odds were way against him. He lived a good enough life that the law left him alone, whether they dropped the charges against him or not – but there’s nothing here that says they did. He beat the odds in all the ways that mattered.” Heyes sighed. “I guess that’s something to think about …”

“And learn from?”

“Maybe. If we get the amnesty, we have a chance. If we don’t, the odds are against us achieving half what he did. He was a good man, we knew that. But you really have to admire him for winning the roll of the dice. Isn’t everybody beats the odds like that.”

“What’s the chance we will?”

“Don’t know, Kid, but …”

“Thaddeus.”

Heyes smiled. “Thaddeus. That’s a reminder of it all the time, isn’t it? Aliases. I wonder if Gus ever had to use one. He didn’t when we knew him.”

“And in his lifetime, that wasn’t all that long ago.”

“Nope.”

Curry breathed deep and stretched. “Well, I don’t know about you, but all this philosophizin’ is makin’ me hungry. All the good we’ve said about Gus, but the man still had to eat.”

Heyes laughed. “That he did, Thaddeus. That, he did.”

_________________
Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything. ~ Wyatt Earp
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