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 The Devil's Due Part 9

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Silverkelpie

Silverkelpie

Posts : 1446
Join date : 2013-08-24
Age : 58
Location : Over the rainbow

The Devil's Due Part 9 Empty
PostSubject: The Devil's Due Part 9   The Devil's Due Part 9 EmptyMon Jun 01, 2015 9:29 am

Five Years Later

Re-entering the saloon, Heyes led his former partner to a door at the back of the barroom.  He grasped the knob and swung the heavy door open before glancing over his shoulder and catching the barkeeper’s eye.  Heyes held up one finger and the man in the apron nodded his understanding.  He pulled a bottle of his finest bourbon off the back bar and sauntered in their direction.


“Come on, Jed, we can talk privately in here.”


“Jed’s dead and gone, Heyes,” said Curry flatly as he stepped across the threshold and looked around the barren room.  Heyes followed him into it.  A table was set up for poker in the center of the space.  There was a window, covered in heavy drapery to prevent prying eyes from seeing inside.   “Where’s the window lead to?” the Kid asked as the barkeep placed the unopened bottle and two glasses on the green felted table and left quickly, shutting the door behind him.  Curry pulled the curtains aside to check if the window was locked shut.


“No need to worry.  Two of my men are in the alley covering it; there’re two more out front.  You can relax.”


“Your men, Heyes, not mine.”


“Suit yourself.”  Heyes pulled out a chair, scraping it noisily over the rough, wooden floor planking.  He sat down and poured two generous portions of amber liquid into the glasses.  Curry took the one held out to him and sat across from his childhood friend. 


“All right, Heyes, let’s talk.  Where’ve you been the last five years?  You sent me that telegram in El Paso tellin’ me to watch my back and stay away from you, what, four months or so after we split? You said Burdon was onto you.  That was the last I heard from you until I saw your wanted poster in the Trinidad sheriff’s office a year ago.  Didn’t look to me as though you were worryin’ about lyin’ low.”  Curry tossed back his drink and put the glass down with a bang, keeping a grip on it as it was quickly refilled.  “Seems to me if you really needed me, you wouldn’t have waited so long to find me.”  The tenseness in his body spoke of his anger, but his face was relaxed, wiped clean of expression.


Heyes shook his head once, a grim smile springing to life.  “I’ve always known where you were, how do you think I knew to telegraph you in Texas?  You didn’t take my advice, though, did you?  No, you seem to have gone out of your way to make quite a name for yourself.”


Eyes narrowed dangerously, Jed stood up with both hands on the table, and growled, “That’s right, I did.  Enough of a name that Burdon had a hard time findin’ anyone to go up against me.   He tried hard, but after the first couple of hired guns, he couldn’t find anyone else stupid enough to give it a try.  Maybe I didn’t lie low, maybe I didn’t hide like a frightened schoolgirl, but I watched my back just like you said and I could’ve been watchin’ yours, too, only you didn’t want me ridin’ with you ‘til it suited you.  Conversation’s over.”  He was unprepared for how quickly Heyes’ hand shot out and gripped his forearm.


“Please, sit down.  At least hear me out.  I had good reasons to keep away from you.”  Heyes’ eyes begged for his cooperation, naked need shone in them, giving Curry a glimpse of the emotional anguish his former best friend was suffering.  It was unlike Heyes to be needy and his anger was overcome by his curiosity.  He sat and waited.


Heyes finished his bourbon and refilled both glasses before settling back into his chair.  He knew he had to find the exact words to convince the Kid to stay.  “You were smarter than me, Kid.”  He smiled as he saw his blonde friend’s eyebrows shoot up in surprise.  “I thought if I was clever enough, I could hide from Burdon and his merry band of thugs.  I was wrong.  It was only a few weeks after I sent that telegram.  I was working for an outfit punching cows near Bighorn, Montana; out in the middle of nowhere.   It was a perfect setup until I got cocky and decided I deserved a few days off.”


Curry slightly smiled.  He hadn’t forgotten Heyes’ arrogance.


“Me and a couple of the other hands rode into Billings to have some fun, play some poker, and visit with the ladies.  It was fun until one of the gals figured out I was the guy someone had been asking about.  She tipped off Burdon’s hired help that I was holed up in the only brothel in town.  If I hadn’t stayed so long…”  Heyes chuckled softly, “but at twenty it was hard to keep my pants buttoned up.”


“How’d you get away?” 


“I didn’t.  They damned near beat me to death before the other hands caught up with us.  If they hadn’t come looking for me, I wouldn’t be here.  As it was, I was laid up for almost two months; cost me my job and every last cent I had.”  Heyes took another slug of bourbon. 


“You’re lucky they didn’t just shoot you outright,” said Curry and as the words slipped from his mouth, it dawned on him maybe they hadn’t kill Heyes right away because they’d been looking for him.  He was the one Burdon really wanted.  The man who’d gunned down his son.  They’d tried to beat the information out of Heyes and it was plain his partner had covered for him.


“I’m not sure I’d call it lucky.”   Heyes could still remember the pain.  He’d never felt anything like it before or since.  “Anyway, it was a sure thing Burdon was going to keep coming.”


“You could’ve sent for me, Heyes.  I’d have come.”


“I know you would’ve.”  Heyes peered down into his empty glass, his empty life.  He’d made so many mistakes, but dragging his partner down wasn’t one of them.


“All these years, I thought you’d turned your back on me.  That ain’t it, though, is it?  You been keepin’ your distance ‘cause you thought you were protectin’ me.”  Curry lifted the bottle and refilled Heyes’ glass as he digested what he had just heard.  The anger slipped away and he felt the stirrings of happiness for the first time in a long time.


Trying to lighten the mood, Heyes answered.  “Way I hear it, the mighty Kid Curry don’t need protecting.”


“So why’d you turn outlaw?  You weren’t exactly a common criminal.  A criminal genius, ain’t that what Soapy used to say?”


“Some genius,” said Heyes, bitterly.  “You were right.  I messed it all up.  It was my fault Jen died.”


“Heyes, I was pissed off at you when I said that.”


“Don’t make it less true.  Then when I killed Scrivener, I couldn’t deal with it.  I hadn’t understood what you were going through when William died and, by the time I did, it was too late.  I knew I couldn’t draw Burdon to you, but I couldn’t take care of myself either.  I was a conman, not an outlaw.”


“You’re one now.  Pretty damned good outlaw from the way I hear it.”


“I am,” smiled Heyes, “but it was a long time coming.  I knew after Burdon’s men caught up with me, I had to find protection so I joined a gang; Jim Plummer’s gang.  He was only willing to take me on after I proved to him I could manipulate locks and safes.  I rode with him for almost a year and learned a lot.  It was a pretty good living until he ran off with thirty grand after a particularly successful job.  Me and a couple of the boys spent the better part of the next year hunting him down, but we never did find him.  We finally drifted south to Devil’s Hole territory and pulled some small jobs on our own.  That’s how we got Big Jim’s attention. 


The beating he gave me was shorter than the previous one and, when it was over, came with a job offer.  Santana is a smart man and he knew opening safes was safer than blasting them.  We started pulling jobs at night when the banks were closed and the trains were mostly empty.  The men loved it and accepted me for what I could bring to the table.  Jim started to bring me in on the planning end of it, too.”


“I read about Burdon’s bank gettin’ robbed.  Was that one of yours?”


“That and some of the other misfortunes he suffered.  I figured I owed him for robbing me of the best partner I ever had.”  Heyes smiled broadly. 


“Guess I owe him for that, too,” said the Kid.  He felt as though a heavy weight had been lifted from his heart.  So many years…wasted.  “Did you know I went to see Clem right after we split?  It was hard, but I’m real glad I went.  She looked good and Philadelphia was sure something to see.”


“Soapy told me.  We’ve been in touch.”


“He never let on he heard from you,” said the Kid, feeling his anger re-kindling, “even when I asked.”


“I made him promise not to, Jed…er, Kid.  I didn’t want you trying to find me.”


“Don’t you think I should’ve had a say in that, Heyes?  Why now?  How come it’s all right now?”


“I got word from Soapy a couple of weeks ago.  Burdon’s got cancer.  He’s dying.  It’s over.”


Conflicted blue eyes met brown before glancing off to a corner of the room.  “I can’t be pleased about that.  The man lost his wife when their son died.  They were marks in a con and it all got out of hand.  We helped to break a family and turned into the kinda men we grew up hatin’.  We became our own monsters.”


Heyes nodded slowly.  “Sure, in a way.  We’re thieves and gunmen, but we have limits.  I like to think that something of what our folks taught us stays with us; left to ourselves we might have gone straight, but Burdon never gave us that choice.   He’s so busy blaming us for William’s death he’s forgotten, or he’s lied to himself, about what his son really was. He’s the one who turned a psychopath loose on the world, not us.  Life is hard and we did what we had to.”  He paused.  “Have you ever wondered what our folks would say to us if they saw us now?”


“Nope.  I’ve only wondered if my ma would use a chair to stand on so she could slap me good and proper, or if she’d throw it at me.”


Heyes smiled in spite of himself.  “She had a good throwing arm, your ma.  I remember when she saw me running away from your apple trees.  She caught me right on the back of the head with rotting windfall full of worms.”


“Happy days,” chuckled the Kid.


“Yeah, great times and you’re the only one I can share them with.  How about it, Kid?  Come and join us.  I stayed away for your own good, and you’ve gotta believe that.  There’s no need anymore.  We can be a team again.”


“Again?”  The blue eyes glinted.  “It felt like you were in charge.  I ain’t in no hurry to go back to that.”


“I was just older, is all.  A couple of years matter at that age.  We’ve both gone out and become our own men.  We have our own strengths.”


“It’s been a long time.  I’m used to bein’ on my own and I’ve only got myself to worry about.”  The Kid kicked aimlessly at the leg of the table.  ”Besides, bank robbin’ doesn’t sound like my kinda thing…”


“How many times have you been stuck in some horrible town without a nickel to your name?  How many times have you cursed Burdon when you’ve had to leave some pretty girl behind you and move on?”  Heyes leaned forward, his tone dropping to a purr.  “How many times have you wished you could get drunk enough to sleep without dreams?  You’ll have backup at last, Kid; not to mention a future.  We can finally save up enough to go off somewhere and start the ranch we always talked about.  How about it?  Come with me…”


The square jaw clenched beneath a stiletto of blue ice.  Heyes held his breath waiting for a reply, but the only sound was the ‘tap, tap, tap’ of the toe of the Kid’s boot as it flicked carelessly against the table leg.  Heyes’ long fingers slid from his glass, and crept into a tense fist; waiting for the answer which was seemingly never going to come.


Suddenly both heads snapped around at the familiar blast of black powder from a gun.  They leaped to their feet in unison and grabbed for their own weapons.  There was the sound of a scuffle and male voices raised in altercation, spiraling to a crescendo.  Without a word, both Heyes and the Kid rose to their feet and lifted the table, jamming it in front of the door.  They strode over to the window and slid it open as silently as possible.  A mute conversation took place, the darting blue eyes appraising the window as an ambush before they fixed on the outlaw leader in question.  The brown eyes narrowed in defiance before relenting.  He was the one who had called the Kid here.  Hannibal Heyes had to prove himself and go first.    


A shout came from outside the room.  “Let him have it, Hank!”
 

Their eyes locked at the words being fired off after the next shot outside the room.  “Look, Wheat.  It’s a trap!”


Heyes didn’t need another prompt.  He gingerly peered out of the window before sticking his head out completely.  “It’s fine,” he draped a long leg over the sill.   “There’s nobody here.  Come on.”


The Kid quickly followed and both men slunk down the alley with guns drawn, prepared by a surge of adrenaline and tightly wound nerves to fight their way to freedom.  Heyes pressed himself against the wall to peer out into the street. 


“Hey, Mister.  Is that a Colt?”


The question came from a little blond boy with a home-made haircut.  Heyes stared out to the street.  If this was a trap it was a very covert one; women shopped for groceries, children formed knots of mischief outside stores, and the owner of the general store smiled and nodded at him as he lifted a crate from a nearby wagon.  Heyes looked down at the child and reflected on the fact that his mother obviously needed a considerably bigger bowl.  “Have you seen any other men with guns?”


“Just my pa,” the sprout replied.  “He’s going on a coyote hunt with Uncle Arthur, but ma says it’s just an excuse to go to the saloon.  He’s got a rifle.  Ya never answered me.  Is that a Colt?”


“No, sonny, this is a Colt.”  The Kid emerged from behind Heyes, holding the weapon in both hands to be clear to passing townsfolk that this was a controlled show-and-tell and not a quick draw.  He nodded towards Heyes’ gun.  “That’s a Schofield.”
 

“Bobby!” A tall woman stood in front of the general store, her hand raised to shade her eyes as she scanned the street.  The small boy murmured his thanks to the two armed men and ran to her.


“Got ‘im!” said a voice from behind them.  Both Heyes and the Kid stared at the sight of the hook-nosed, sallow outlaw swinging a dead rat by the tail.  “Preacher,” Heyes barked.  “What the hell is going on here?”


“It was a rat.  Wheat hates ‘em.  Makes him come out in hives.  It ran past Kyle.”  He held the deceased rodent higher.  “We got it though, didn’t take more’n a couple o’ shots neither.”


“What was all that about a trap?” Heyes demanded.


“Yeah, that shoulda been a clue to Wheat that there was rats about.  There’s traps laid.  They ain’t no use unless the critter runs into it, though.”


Heyes glared at his henchman.  “You mean I skinnied out the window for nothing?  I thought it was a trap.”


“Ya did?” Preacher snickered.  “I guess the boys’ll get a real kick outta that.”


“Round up the boys and head on back to the Hole, pronto!” Heyes’ tone warned the outlaw not to argue.  “I’ve got some business to complete; I’ll ride out later.”


“Heyes…” began Preacher.


“Head out now!”


With a shrug, the lean man walked away.  Wasn’t nothing to him if Heyes wanted to parade around without the safety of his gang. 


Heyes sighed heavily and turned back to the man whose laughter lit up his blue eyes.  “Well, I guess that’s blown it.  You’re not gonna join an outfit like this.”


Kid Curry folded his arms and stared reflectively out at the street.  “Ya know, Heyes.  When it looked like there was trouble we slipped right back into our old ways.  Neither of us said a word, but we read one another perfectly.  I thought we’d lost that.”  He shrugged.  “I guess I was wrong.”


Heyes bit into his lip, almost afraid to ask the question.  “What’re you saying, Kid?”


“I’m sayin’ that we still got it, whatever ‘it’ is,” he unfolded his arms and turned to face his cousin.  “I missed ya.  And I guess you need me.”


“I do?”  Heyes quickly re-phrased the words as a statement.  “I do.  That’s why I arranged this.”


“I thought you had it all worked out, Heyes.  The gang, the glory, and big dreams; but now I see that’s really all your silver tongue again.  Sure. Ya got men, but they range from lazy to downright dangerous.  You need me to watch them so you can come up with the schemes, doncha?”


Heyes shrugged.  “I wouldn’t go that far, Kid…”


“No?” 


“Not completely…”


“Heyes, this is me you’re talkin’ to.  No bullshit, huh?”


“Yeah, you’re right.  I need someone I can trust.  Look at what I’ve done so far, but with someone I can trust behind me, we’ll be rich.  We can save and get that ranch, Kid.  We could really do it.  They’re loyal enough, but downright dishonest.  I need a partner to be the best outlaw anyone ever saw.”


A wry smile played over the Kid’s lips.  “Dishonest?  Ain’t that one of the first qualifications for a robber?”


“If you’d been working with us, you’d have kept them focused, Kid.  They’ll listen to you.  I know you’ll get them working together.  We could achieve great things.  When we’re together we can take on the world.  I can’t do everything at once.”


“When I thought you had it all together I wasn’t interested, but now I see the truth; that there’s a job for me to do – that you actually need me…”


Heyes smiled widened to a grin.  “You’ll come?”


“But I ain’t interested in you being the boss of me, Heyes.  It’ll be like old times.  Partners or nothin’.”


Heyes cheeks pitted with dimples at the sight of that familiar warning glint in the blue eyes.  They were finally engaging properly again; that invisible barrier was lifting.  “Sure.  Partners.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.”


OOOOOOOOOO


“Give me your gun,” demanded Heyes, holding out his left hand as he reined up his gelding.  The two men had traveled for hours without seeing another living soul and, as the dusky sky darkened, they’d ridden into the narrow canyon they now occupied. 


“Why?”  Curry could feel the hair on his neck standing up; an instinctual recognition of danger, but Heyes wasn’t dangerous.  Not to him.  He was sure of it.  He pulled his Colt from his holster and handed it over, butt first. 


Heyes shoved the Kid’s gun into the waistband of his pants, pulled out his own weapon, and fired off two rounds in quick succession before returning the Schofield to its holster.  He grinned at Curry.  “We’ve been watched by my men for the last mile.  If you rode on armed, they’d figure you’re holding me hostage and you’d be dead before you went another ten feet.  I prefer you alive.”


“I prefer me alive, too,” agreed Curry with a smile.  “So this is Devil’s Hole?  Not hard to see how the law couldn’t breach it; we’re in the middle of nowhere.  The lookouts can see trouble comin’ for miles.”  He glanced around approvingly, noting the discreet positioning of the guards at the top of the cliff walls, only visible now because they were standing up and waving their hats at their leader.


A few minutes later, the newly reunited friends were dismounting in front of a sturdily built cabin.  A small group of men loitered in front of a bunkhouse and stared at them speculatively.  Heyes ignored them, but the Kid let his eyes drift in their direction.  He saw them whispering to each other and knew his presence was causing some consternation.  He nodded solemnly at the big, burly outlaw at the front of the pack but only received a cold-eyed stare.  Curry looked at Heyes with raised eyebrows.


“Don’t pay him any mind, Kid.  That’s Wheat.  He’s had a burr under his saddle since I took over.”  Heyes grabbed his saddlebags and slung them over his shoulder.  “Let’s get you settled in before you meet the gang.”  He paused at the top of steps before curtly yelling, “Wheat, all of you, my cabin, ten minutes.”


Curry barely had time to stow his gear in the battered dresser of his new quarters before he heard a knock at the door.  He walked into the living room and leaned against the stone hearth as Heyes opened the door and ushered his men into the cabin.  The Kid was careful to meet every man’s inquisitive gaze with a casual nod. 


Heyes crossed the room to stand next to him.  His face wore a broad, dimpled smile as he knew the effect his next words were likely to have.  “Boys, this here’s Kid Curry and he’s agreed to join up with us.”


Astonished, the men started to speak, but Heyes held up his hand to forestall any comments.  “Listen up.  The Kid’s an old friend of mine.  I trust him completely and you can, too.”

 
“I ain’t even sure I trust you,” grumbled Wheat softly, but not softly enough.  He shut up quickly when Curry’s cold blue eyes bore into him.  Like the rest of the gang, he knew the man’s reputation.


A craggy-faced man frowned and said, “We don’t need another shootist, Heyes, and I ain’t for gettin’ a smaller cut ‘cause you decide otherwise.”


The smile fell from Heyes’ face.  “He’s not a hired gun, Lobo, he’s my new partner.  You’ll be answering to him.  He’s going to see that things run smoothly around here so I can concentrate on the planning end of things.  You’ve got a problem; you bring it to the Kid.  Got it?”


“Hold on a damned minute, Heyes.  I’m next in line.  Big Jim said so,” growled Wheat loudly.


“You are next in line, Wheat, after the Kid,” said Heyes firmly.  “Big Jim’s not running the gang, we are.”


The other gang members sat quietly watching the growing confrontation.  Wheat had the most to lose so they were content to let him fight the battle.  Besides, they’d all seen the Kid’s hand drop down next to his gun when Wheat raised his voice.  Facing down Kid Curry was not something any of them were in a hurry to do.


Exploding with anger and humiliation, Wheat surged towards Heyes.  His hands came up to seize his smaller leader’s jacket, but he froze at the sound of a pistol cocking.  The gasps from his friends caused him to glance at Curry.  The muzzle of the Kid’s .45 was aimed at his head.  Cautiously, he first raised, and then dropped, his hands.  “Easy now, Kid.  I didn’t mean no harm; just got a bit hot under the collar is all.”


“Good.  Then you won’t mind havin’ a seat and leavin’ your hands where I can see ‘em,” said the blonde-haired gunslinger.


Wheat returned to the sofa and sat on the edge of it, his hands visibly resting on his knees.  Soft chuckles erupted around him and his ears burned with shame, but he kept his mouth shut. 


The Kid holstered his gun with a flourish and smiled at the other men.  “I know it ain’t easy havin’ someone come in and take over like this, but Heyes and me have big plans and I think y’all are goin’ to like what he has to say.”


Heyes quickly introduced the rest of the men.  When it was Kyle’s turn, the small outlaw jumped up and seized Curry’s hand, pumping it with enthusiasm.  “I’ve heard all ‘bout you, Kid, welcome to the Hole.”


Heyes knew it was time to steer the conversation towards the end goal.  “With the Kid’s help we can make this gang the best the West has ever seen.  I’m not saying we haven’t done well for ourselves, but we’re raising our sights higher.  A lot higher.”

 
“What’s the job, Heyes?” asked Hank.  He was quiet one in the gang, never saying much, happy to go along with pretty much anything and anyone. 


“I’m glad you asked, Hank,” said Heyes approvingly.  “Men, we’re going to rob the Miner’s Bank of Arvada.”


“How come we gotta keep robbin’ banks in Colorado?  How come we don’t never steal nothin’ nearby?” asked Kyle.  He cast a glance at Curry and apologetically added, “I don’t mean to complain, but I git kinda tired of ridin’ so far sometimes.”


“You don’t want to foul your own nest, do you, Kyle?  The law in Wyoming’s pretty much left us alone because we don’t cause them too much trouble since Jim went to prison.”


“Big Jim didn’t make us ride all over hell and back for a few measly dollars,” muttered Wheat. 


“We’ve been causin’ plenty of trouble in Colorado.  Don’t you think the law there’s gonna start kickin’ up a fuss?”  Preacher knew Heyes, for some reason, favored banks near Denver.  That’s where the big money was, but it was starting to be worrisome.  In this business, it never paid to be predictable. 


The Kid watched the men watching Heyes.  He already knew Wheat was going to be a problem.   Probably Lobo, too, but the rest of the men seemed respectful enough.  He’d spend the next few days making sure they understood he was backing Heyes’ plans.  Always.
 

“Who’re they going to complain to?  They haven’t been able to prove it was us who pulled those jobs.”  Heyes smiled again.  “There’s a transfer of cash coming into the Miner’s Bank at the end of next week.  Fifteen thousand dollars.”


“Hoo Wee,” cried Kyle.  “That’s more’n we’ve ever scored.”

Hank whistled and smiles sprang to life on the rest of the faces.  The Kid relaxed.  The hard part was over.  The men had already forgotten about the new interloper.  He had to hand it to Heyes.  It had gone just like he’d said it would.


OOOOOOOOOO 


Two scruffy men rode up to the hitching post in front of the Miner’s Bank of Arvada and dismounted.  One of the men pulled a heavily-laden sack from his saddle and they entered the bank passing a lone customer as he was leaving.  Together they strode up to the teller’s window and the dark-haired man dropped his sack on the counter with a dramatic ‘plunk’.


“Mornin’,” he said with a grin.  “My podnah and me’d like to make us a dee-poss-it.”


The startled teller looked at the dusty sack and then let his eyes roam over the two disheveled men before him.  “Do you have an account, sir?”


“Nossir, I don’t, but I ‘spect we can remedy that,” said Heyes with a wink. 


“Very good, sir.  How much coin are you depositing?”


The Kid grinned displaying boot-blackened teeth.  “That ain’t no coin, mister.  That there’s gold ore! 


The thin man behind the counter smiled nervously.  “Ore?  You do realize this is a bank.”


Heyes leaned on one elbow and said, “You din’t hear the gold part, did ya?”


“Yessir, I did, but you see we have no way of valuing the gold until it’s been assayed and the assayer’s gone until Tuesday.”


“We’s got to be back by nightfall.  Gosh-dang claim-jumpers have been tryin’ to git our claim.” said the grimy-toothed blonde.


“I’m sorry, sir.  We can’t take your…er…gold.”


“Let me talk to your boss,” demanded Heyes, “I’m sure we kin come to an unnerstandin’.”  Preacher had been in town for the past four days casing the bank.  One of the soiled doves he’d sported with had told him the bank manager was rumored to be up to his ears in debt due to keeping a large family and two mistresses.  He wouldn’t turn away their business.


The man closed up his cage and went through an oaken door behind him.  A minute later, a portly, graying man appeared with the clerk in his wake.  “Good day, gentlemen.  I’m Caleb Jacobson, how may I be of service to you?” he said with a false obsequiousness.  Ushering the two men into his office, he quietly closed the door and went to sit behind his desk.


“You kin take our gold and put it in a safe place,” said Curry.


“I wish I could, sir, but as Mr. Jenkins has advised you, we cannot establish a value for your deposit until Tuesday.”


“I’s knows how much it’s worth, pal.  I just want to make sure no one can git their hands on it but us,” countered Heyes.  “What’ll you charge to just stick it in that there safe you have settin’ behind your desk?”  He was glad now that he hadn’t gotten around to having the bag of ore assayed and converted to cash after he’d stolen it during the gang’s last robbery.  It was going to be the key to pulling off this job.


“Sir, I cannot store your personal property in our safe without knowing its value and you must’ve noticed that we do not offer safety deposit boxes.  We found that service too unprofitable for such a small bank.”


Heyes tore open the sack and thrust it under the manager’s nose.  The man peered inside and saw the unmistakable glow of gold veining in the stones.  It wasn’t pyrite.  He’d prospected himself in his youth; he’d recognize fool’s gold anywhere; this was the real thing.  Heyes continued on, “Let’s just say it’s worth around five thousand.  I’s already weighed it.  There’s almost fourteen pounds of gold ore in this here sack.”


Jacobson could tell from the size of the sack that the gold dust would be worth at least four times that amount even if the rocks proved to be lightly veined.  He sat back and pondered his options for a moment while sizing up his potential clients.  They were miners, no doubt about it, and had little education.  It was obvious they were underestimating their strike.  Some men had all the luck.  His eyes glanced down at the foreclosure notice he had been in the process of executing when Jenkins’ had interrupted him.  He’d been dragging his heels on it all morning--it was for his house. 


He came to a decision.  He could replace a few pounds of the gold ore with common pebbles.  That could be enough to tide him over until he could straighten out his finances and what could these men say if they caught the deception?  He was a pillar of the community.  It would be his word against theirs.  He could do it tonight, after closing hours; after Jenkins went home.  No one would be the wiser.


The answer to all his problems had just walked through his door and he’d be damned if he squander this opportunity.  Clearing his throat, he stood up and smiled.  “I am sure with a little cooperation on your part we can accommodate you.  May I suggest that we take your deposit to the General Store?  They have a scale there and we can get an official weight on it.  If you’ll agree to deposit it by weight and an agreed-upon-estimated value, we can take your gold.”


Heyes and the Kid smiled.


OOOOOOOOOO

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Na sir 's na seachainn an cath - Neither seek nor shun the fight      Old Scottish proverb
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Silverkelpie

Silverkelpie

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The Devil's Due Part 9 Empty
PostSubject: Re: The Devil's Due Part 9   The Devil's Due Part 9 EmptyMon Jun 01, 2015 9:29 am

Heyes watched from the alley as the bank’s front door opened.  Jenkins and Jacobson bustled through it and the bank manager stooped slightly to lock the door.  Next to him, the Kid turned and signaled to Wheat to have the men ready and in their assigned places. 


“You’ve got forty minutes, Heyes.  Not a second more.  Jacobson always takes an hour.  That gives us a twenty minute cushion,” warned Curry.  “If you can’t get it open, Wheat and the boys will take over.  They’ve got five minutes to get it done and then I’m pullin’ the plug.”  He knew that Kyle had brought two sticks of dynamite tucked under his grimy jacket.  That would be more than enough to blow open the safe.


Heyes smiled smugly.  “I’ll get it open.”  When Jacobson had opened the safe for them earlier that afternoon, he had watched closely.  It was a newer model but a single three-digit combination would open it.  He’d been able to tell, despite the banker blocking their view of the dial; that the first and second numbers had fallen within the range of nine to twenty-three.  Jacobson must’ve been aware of his intense concentration because he had then shifted his body until Heyes could no longer tell how far he was turning the dial.  No problem.  If he couldn’t get it open during the banker’s dinner hour, the boys would do it the hard way.  Either way, the neat bundles of bills he’d seen on the top shelf would be riding home with the Devil’s Hole gang tonight.  He rose from his crouch and followed his new partner down the alley towards the heavily-barred back door of the building.  Heyes pulled out his lock picks and was soon slipping inside the door with the Kid by his side. 


Heyes knelt by the safe as the Kid checked the office and the windows to be sure there weren’t any surprises.  Satisfied, Curry crossed to the front door and drew his knife.  He carefully cut a small slit in the window shade and peered out at the street.  Across the way, he could see Wheat through the plate glass window of the saloon calmly eating a steak dinner.  Shifting slightly, he could just make out Kyle sitting on the sidewalk whittling a piece of wood.  They were to stay put unless Heyes couldn’t get the safe open. 


Heyes had his ear to the steel door and his right hand slowly manipulated the dial.  A pleased grunt alerted the Kid his partner had found the first number.  The second number took a little longer.  The Kid glanced at the dented silver pocket watch Heyes had loaned him. 


Thirty-seven minutes had passed by the time Heyes heard the tumblers drop a third time.  “Ahh.  Got it.”  He grinned up at his best friend.  He felt elated having the Kid with him.  It had been far too long.  Swinging the door open, he quickly pulled the cash from the shelf and dropped it into an empty sack.  He grabbed the bag of ore with his left hand and put both sacks at his feet.  The heavy steel door closed with a soft click and he spun the dial. Snatching up the lighter cash bag, he slung it to the Kid who caught it with a delighted smile.  Curry swiftly pulled the window shade up and down twice, signaling the men they’d cracked the safe. 


Pulling out his pistol, Heyes picked up the sack containing the gold ore and started for the back door.  He hadn’t gone two steps before he heard all hell break loose in the street.  His head swiveled to his partner who had gone back to the window.


“Dammit it all to hell!” swore Curry.


“What’s going on?” hissed Heyes from beside the back door.


Curry could hear screaming and yelling out on the street.  “They screwed it up, Heyes, that’s what went wrong.”  He’d barely completed the sentence when the back door swung open with a bang and Wheat barreled through it followed by Kyle. 


Murtry pulled out the dynamite from his jacket and held it up.  “Where’s the safe?”


“What are you doing?!!” snarled Heyes. 


“We’re savin’ your asses is what we’re doin’.”  Wheat wore a smug grin.


“You’re not saving anything!  You’ve blown it, Wheat!”  Furious, Heyes threw the heavy gold sack to him.  Wheat caught it and stared at it dumbly.


“The signal was: come on one, two stay,” said Curry with clenched teeth.


“No, it weren’t.  It was one stay, two come,” protested Wheat.


Kyle punched the big outlaw’s arm.  “I told you you had it backwards!”


“Shut up, Kyle!”  Wheat turned towards the door still clutching the sack of ore.  “Crowd’s gatherin’.  Guess it’s time to stop arguin’ and start runnin’.”


The Kid rolled his eyes at Heyes.  “Now he wises up.”  He peeked through the slit out at the street.  Hank and Preacher were in front of the saloon beating the tar out of each other. Instructed to provide a distraction if they saw Wheat and Kyle, they’d been caught by surprise when the big man and the little outlaw had both rushed towards the bank building despite having been cautioned not to draw attention to themselves.  It had been plain to Hank and Preacher that the safe had to be blown.  Grinning, they’d gone after each other, giving it their all. 


Now, to Curry’s horror, he saw Jacobson and Jenkins running past the fight and towards the bank.  “They’re comin’!  Get the hell out of here!” hissed the Kid.  Everyone sprang into action.  Kyle and Wheat collided in the back doorway and squeezed through as one.  Heyes was next with the Kid bringing up the rear, his Colt drawn and aimed at the sound of the unlocking door.


“You better be right, Jenkins.  This is the second time you’ve interrupted my evening meal with your ridiculous hysterics.”
 

“I swear, Mr. Jacobson, I saw two saddle tramps running in this direction before the fight started.” 


The front door swung inwards as Curry dove for the back door.


“What the?  It’s you!” screamed Jacobson, catching a glimpse of the thief.  “Jenkins, get the sheriff!  We’ve being robbed!”  He stared in astonishment at the safe and then dashed out into the street, yelling at the top of his lungs.  “Help! Stop them!  The bank’s been robbed!” 


The folks watching Hank and Preacher turned towards the new drama.  Women and children dashed for cover while the men drew their weapons.  The two fighters dropped their fists and frowned at each other.  This wasn’t how it was supposed to happen.  It was plain to them something had gone very wrong.  They melted into the alley next to the saloon and ran for their mounts.
 

Behind the bank building, Lobo slid to a stop; the four horses he led bouncing wildly on their heels.  He saw his friends running towards him and briefly wondered how he could’ve missed the blast.  


Wheat reached him first and scrambled for his horse’s reins and saddle horn.  As he swung his leg up, a gunshot caught him on his shirtsleeve rendering a deep tear in both the fabric and his flesh.  He leaned over his horse’s neck and clung on, screaming at the animal to run.  The gunfire was increasing rapidly as more and more men appeared on rooftops and alleyways lining the street.
 

Lobo ducked low trying to present a smaller target.  He was preparing to die when he saw Kid Curry stop in the mouth of the alley way, his gun blazing.  The Kid shot with a deadly accuracy and set up a barrage enabling Heyes and Kyle to safely mount.  Behind Curry, Heyes saw the shadows of three armed men enter the far end of the alley.  He shouted “Go!” to Kyle and Lobo while he spurred his horse towards his partner and started shooting wildly.  The three men dropped to the ground.  Heyes crossed the small distance and leaned over to grip the Kid’s forearm, yanking hard and swinging Curry up behind him.   The over-burdened horse plunged into a gallop, struggling under the weight of the two outlaws. 
 

The sound of gunfire drew most of the men who had gathered at the front of the building and more people were pouring out of alleys and doorways onto the back street, shooting at the passing outlaws.  Lobo and Kyle, leading the Kid’s un-mounted horse, kicked up a cloud of dust as they followed Wheat down a side street.  The airborne grit filled Heyes’ eyes as he neared the intersection so he never saw Kyle flinging the dynamite, but the ensuing explosion closed that avenue of escape.  Veering away, Heyes booted his frightened mount straight up the back street towards the edge of town, leaving most of the shooters blinded by the blast’s maelstrom of dirt and debris.  They just might make it.


“Heyes!”  Curry punched his partner’s shoulder and pointed.  He wasn’t in a position to take a shot at the man who had congenially nodded and smiled at them this morning; the grocer was standing by an open doorway, lifting the scattergun in his hand.  This was it.  Heyes would die first and he’d have to know it.


Heyes yelled and drove his horse at the man taking aim.   The shotgun wobbled uncertainly before the terrified man flung it aside, diving away from the huge beast and behind a bin of neatly-stacked apples.  The horse jumped onto the sidewalk, through the door, and into the store.  Steel horseshoes clawed for traction on the polished floor as stunned customers scrambled away.  Shelves were knocked over and canned goods crashed and rolled in all directions.  Heyes saw the closed front door.  He could feel the Kid’s hot breath on the back of his neck; his partner’s arms wrapped tightly around his waist.  Adrenalin scorched through his veins.  He couldn’t let them die like this.  Screaming into his horse’s ears, he drove the maddened animal through the plate glass window by sheer force of will.


The Kid felt the sting of shattered glass and then, for a long second, they were suspended in mid-air.  He kept his eyes shut and his face pressed to Heyes’ back and held on for dear life.  One thing was for sure clear to him-- Burdon wasn’t the only one who’d gone crazy over the years!


The horse plummeted to the street and galloped away; its eyes rolling in its head.


OOOOOOOOOO


Burdon’s eyes protruded from his skeletal face, the waxy skin stretched over the bones like a death mask.  “How much?”


The chief accountant’s eyes glanced over to the corner, unable to hold his ailing employer’s gaze.  “That’s not important.  Nobody was hurt and that’s the main thing.”


The head rose from the pillow, white tufts of hair protruding from around a tonsure line on his balding head.  “Damn it!  I’ll decide what’s important.  How much did they take?” 


“We haven’t had a full report yet, Sir.  We believe it’s in the region of about fifteen thousand dollars.  You were correct, sir.  The descriptions match Heyes and Curry.”


“They’re together?”  The exertion of holding himself up showed in the trembling, struggling muscles before he collapsed back on the pillows.  “Get Carmichael in here.”


“Your lawyer?  I think it’s the doctor I should be calling.” 


“Get him.”  Ernest Burdon brought up a quivering, cadaverous hand and laid it on a wasted chest which looked barely strong enough to take the weight.  “No doctor can help me now.  I want my lawyer.”  The accountant gave a curt nod and headed to the door.  He gestured towards someone in the other room until an erect man with mutton chop whiskers strode into the room.  “Carmichael?  I need to add something to my will.”


The lawyer frowned.  “Are you sure?  You have already split everything amongst your daughters and were happy with that.”


“Yeah, but I want to change my will…” Burdon broke into a phlegmy cough, “Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry.  I want to reward the person who brings them in.”


Carmichael’s hirsute brows gathered.  “That sounds fair enough.  What?  Maybe a thousand dollar reward?”


Burdon slowly closed crepey eyelids and exhaled slowly.  There was a pause, such a long one, that Carmichael glanced nervously at the maidservant lingering in the corner.  Burdon suddenly inhaled again, sucking in the little life he still could.  “Carmichael.  I want to leave money to the man who kills them.”


The lawyer’s bristled eyebrows rose.  “That’s not possible, Ernest.  I cannot arrange for a crime to be committed after your death.  I am duty bound to report that.”


“But what about client confidentiality?”


Carmichael shook his head. “I have a legal duty to report a plan to harm another person.    I can’t break the law.  They already thought of that and I’d have to report it.”


“And you would?”

    
“I’d have to.  If it ever came out that I knew and hadn’t reported it, I could be jailed.  Much as I like and respect you, I’m not prepared to do hard labor for you.”

   
Burdon’s eyes closed to predatory slits.  “What can I do?  There must be something I can do.”


“Well, there is one thing…”


“What?  I’m running out of time.”


“You could legally put up a reward.”  The lawyer pursed his lips.  “It is descended from the English common law ‘hue and cry’ and has a legal basis.  It encourages a cry to be raised by the inhabitants of a hundred in which a robbery had been committed, if they were not to become liable for the damages suffered by the victim.  Put simply, people must help to catch the thief to prove they are not in league with them.”


“Hundred?”


“A subdivision of a county in England with its own court, but that is not important,” Carmichael leaned forward.  “The way it translates to our purposes is to have members of the public working hard to catch these men for you for no pay unless they are successful.  Make it hard for people to resist by making the reward a life-changing amount of money.  Something like, say…five thousand dollars.”


“I don’t want them in jail, I want them dead,” Burdon broke off into another rib-shattering bout of coughing. 


“That’s the beauty of it,” grinned the lawyer.  “Make the reward payable dead or alive.  Nobody in their right mind is going to risk them escaping when they could shoot them in the back.  They’ll want to ensure that the money is in their hands.  Instead of you having one or two bounty hunters out there, you’ll have every farm hand with hopes for the future on your side.”


“Yes…every farm hand, every lawman…,” Burdon paused, staring intently at the ceiling.  “Make it a good amount.  Ten thousand dollars a head.”


“Ten thousand dollars!” Carmichael spluttered.  “That’s madness.  You’ll be ruined.”


“Ruined?” sneered Burdon.  “What are they going to do?  Dig me up and put my corpse in the poor house?  I won’t last the week, but I can make this my legacy.  How can I rest in my grave until I know they are haunted to the grave?  I’ll say more than that; the man who gets both of them can have this house and every stick of furniture in it.”


“But what about your daughters?”


“Pah, if they’re worth anything at all they’ll find themselves a husband.  Angelique has already snared herself one.  It’s up to the other two to get themselves sorted out.  I want the house left in trust for ten years after my death.  The trust fund will pay all living expenses for the girls on top of the allowance I have already arranged for them.  They can live rent free, but as soon as these men are dead, the man responsible will not only get the reward; he’ll get the house too, as long as he’s related to me.”  Burdon shifted under the sheets.  “Heaven knows that should light a fire under the girls to get married to some man who will deal with this.  They’re practically on the shelf as it is.”


“You can’t be serious,” Carmichael blinked uncomprehendingly at his employer.  “Your daughters could be left destitute.”


“I have no time for idle jest, man.  They’ll have an allowance.  If they want more than that they’ll have to marry it,” Burdon cut himself off from saying ‘just like I did’ in the nick of time.  “They can live a respectable life on their allowance.  If they want more, that’s up to them.”


Carmichael’s face set back into a professional mask of compliance.  “If that’s what you wish.  Ten thousand and the house?”


“The man who brings Heyes and Curry to justice will only get the house if they are both dead, and only if he is related to me by marriage, or some such.  He’ll get the reward but not the rest of the money if they are in jail, and not if they get acquitted at trial.  I want those men dead and I want it to be worth someone’s while.”


“As you please, sir.  I shall get the documents drawn up.  Who do you want to witness it?”


“A couple of servants will do.”  Burdon nodded over to the maid in the corner.  “Her and some other will do.  Get Pickford, my butler.  He’ll do it.”


“Are you leaving anything to Pickford?  You can’t have a beneficiary as a witness.”


“Yeah,” sighed Burdon.  “I’m leaving him all my clothes and a hundred dollars.”


“Well, he’s no use.  I’ll get one of the stablemen and the cook.”  The lawyer nodded over to the maid.  “You don’t want a flibbertigibbet like her on it either.  What use would she be if they started asking questions about the state of your mind?  She can hardly describe the condition of a dish of custard.”  The maid scowled and opened her mouth, but dropped her fair head at the steely glare from Carmichael. 


“The state of my mind?” Burdon demanded.


“Nothing for you to worry about.  It’s just your lawyer looking after your interests for you.  Any significant changes to a will at a time of great illness could be vulnerable to such challenges.  It’s my job to ensure that we have everything covered.  You’ll get the chance to read it over and check what I say before you sign.  We want to make sure everything is covered; the cook and a solid working man; that’s who we want as witnesses.”  He stood.  “You try to rest, sir.  I’ll get the documents prepared and we’ll get them signed and properly witnessed before half an hour is up.  You can go to your grave knowing that these men will know no rest when you are gone.  You have my word.” 


OOOOOOOOOO


 All eyes were fixed on old man Burdon’s still chest.  It had seemed like the longest time since it had risen, exhaled, and stilled, but as his last breaths became delayed and spaced out, nobody could assume it was the end.  He’d been doing this for half an hour.  The body suddenly jolted into life again and Lottie Burdon clenched her lace handkerchief around taut knuckles as her father’s terminal breaths rattled through his frail body.  He released the blast of air slowly, through loose vocal chords, until he stopped moving once more.  Everyone leaned forward to watch, chairs creaking and necks craning, determined not to miss the last moments of the Burdon patriarch.  Burdon’s three daughters and his son-in-law stared, and stared…and then stared some more.


The young man in the grey jacket turned to the doctor.  “Is he gone?”  He stretched his arm around the slim waist of his wife.  “I’m not sure how much more of this Angelique can take in her condition.”


She patted her husband’s hand indulgently.  “Oh, hush now, James.  I must stay with my father during his final moments.”  She placed a palm over her stomach.  “At least we got to give him some good news before it was too late.  I hope it will be a son.  He’d have wanted that.”


“Will you two be quiet?” hissed the young woman to their right.  “My father is dying.” 


“Sorry, Lottie,” murmured James.


The doctor leaned over the patient and felt for a pulse.  “He’s gone.  He’s finally at peace.”


The youngest girl with the caramel colored hair gave a loud wail of dismay and dropped her head into her hands.  “Daddy’s dead!  He’s gone.  How can we manage without him?” 


“Charlotte, can you try to contain yourself?  James will look after us,” Angelique looked up at her husband.  “He will help to advise us on finances and keep us safe and well.  We know we can trust him with everything.”


“You’re parasites.  You’re talking about money and he’s lying there, still warm.  How can you be interested in such things?” muttered Charlotte.


“We’re interested because we need to survive and the world is a cruel place,” her older sister retorted.  She frowned at her father’s body.  “Can’t you shut his eyes, Doctor?  I hate the way they’re staring like that.”

 
“Ever the practical one, Carlotta,” The doctor placed a hand over Burdon’s eyelids and gently pulled them closed.  They promptly popped open again.  “Sorry.  Let me just…”  He pulled harder, holding them in place before slowly withdrawing the hand and watched in dismay as the skin contracted once more to reveal the empty, staring eyes.  “They don’t seem to want to…”  He shrugged helplessly knowing that he couldn’t apply the glue usually used in these situations; not with the family watching.  He grasped the sheet instead and folded it respectfully over deceased’s gaunt face.  “I’m sure we can get it sorted for his casket.  Let’s leave the undertaker to prepare the body.  They are the experts in this field, after all.”


James placed an urging hand on Angelique’s forearm.  “Come.  We have said our goodbyes and he is at peace now.  We need to withdraw and allow the men to do what needs to be done.”


“I hear tell that in poor families it’s the job of the women to lay out the dead,” the young woman’s ringlets shuddered as she grasped her younger sister’s hand.  “Could you imagine such a thing?”


“Lottie, leave your sister alone.  You know she’s too delicate to deal with such thoughts,” Angelique snapped.


“You’re suddenly the boss, because you’re the oldest?” retorted Lottie.  “I think not.”


“No, James is the boss because he’s the man of the house and I am his wife.  In any case, you know I’ve told you off about tormenting your sister all your life.  Can’t you show some respect?”


“I’m upset too,” Lottie protested.  “I’ve a right to express myself.”


They continued down the staircase to the drawing room, James stepping to the side to let his wife and female relatives enter first.  “I need a drink,” he nodded over to the lawyer who raised his head at their entrance.  “Yes, Carmichael.  He’s gone.  It’s hard to believe.  He was such a larger than life character, but he’s gone at last.  He’s at peace now, with his wife and son.”


Carmichael nodded.  “Let me get that drink for you.  Sherry, ladies?”


Angelique cast questioning eyes to her husband before getting a silent nod of assent.  “Yes, I think we all need something.”


“Brandy, James?”


“Thanks, Carmichael.  I think we’d be as well getting the will out of the way sooner rather than later,” James accepted a balloon shaped glass.  “There’s the business to think of.”  


“Ah, yes.  The will,” Carmichael raised his eyebrows.  “I have a copy here.  He changed it just before his death.”


“Changed it?”


The lawyer nodded and reached into his breast pocket.  “Yes, he wanted to make sure there was a reward out to chase down Heyes and Curry after his death.”


“Oh, that’s a relief.  He only added a reward.  I thought for a moment there it affected us.”


Carmichael arched a brow.  “With all due respect it does affect you.”  He looked around the room at Burdon’s three daughters.  “It affects every one of you.”


“Us?” Charlotte demanded.  “Have we lost our annual allowance?”


“No, you keep that for life, but he has added a reward of ten thousand dollars a head for Heyes and Curry, dead or alive.”


Angelique’s porcelain brow creased.  “That’s far too much.  That will eat into our annual allowance if it’s claimed.”


“I agree,” James skewered the lawyer with a hard look.  “I’ll get that contested.  That will use up the capital which pays the allowances.”


“As you please, but as I drafted it, I believe it will stand up in court.”  Carmichael poured his own brandy.  “He was most insistent on the reward being dead or alive.”  He unfolded the will and started to read.  “To my daughters Angelique, Charlotte, Carlotta…”


“Yes, yes,” James waved his hand dismissively.  “They still get the same allowance.  That’s fine.  We only need to hear what is different.”


Carmichael nodded.  “He was also quite particular about this house going to the man who kills them, provided he’s a relative and that it happens within the next ten years.”  He fixed James with a hard stare.  “So far that can only be you.  None of the other daughters are married and he was an only child.  He has no other male relatives.” 


Angelique’s eyes widened in horror.  “No, James!  You can’t.  I’m expecting and I need the support of my husband.  Kid Curry is a killer.”


“And if he’s not a relative?” James demanded.


“Then he just gets the reward.”   


“But if the reward is claimed it will destroy the trust and the allowance with it.”  James paced pensively.  “And what happens if nobody kills them within ten years?”      


“Then the house reverts to a shared asset between his daughters.  Basically, you have the use of the house and the running expenses paid from the funds held in trust for the girls, but you only have the house as long as the man who turns in Heyes and Curry doesn’t kill them; and if he’s not a relative.”


“What happens to the trust fund when all the daughters die?”


“James!” Carlotta exclaimed. 


“The hard-headed practicalities have to be faced.  What happens, Carmichael?”


“The remaining sum is split between the children of the daughters named in this document.”


James nodded.  “So if no male relative kills these outlaws, we have exactly the same situation as we had before, except for the payment of the reward if they are captured?”


Carmichael nodded slowly.  “Yes, more or less.  Even if they are killed, he only gets the house if he is a relative.  Mr. Burdon wanted to inspire a family member to continue this quest after his demise.  I must be clear the will actually states relative, it does not specify the gender.  I must admit that I cannot see any of you ladies heading out after two infamous outlaws.”  He smiled around the room.  “Are any of you interested?”


“Of course we aren’t,” James tossed back the last of his drink.  “That was his obsession.  We need to concentrate on the living.  I take it you will make sure that all his daughters receive their allowance and that I, as the male head of the family, will get the running costs for this place?”


“Of course,” Carmichael smiled.  “I run the fund and can go through it with you any time you like.  Would you like to see the will itself?”


James waved the document away.  “No, there’s no need to go through the small print.  You’ve explained it.  I’ll deal with the business, you look after the trust.  It is audited every year in any case.” 


“So we have no other family?” Carlotta asked.  “Not even distant relatives?”


“Your mother was the last surviving member of her line, and your father only had a couple of maiden aunts.  That was why he was so intent on having male heirs,” Carmichael placed the will back in his pocket.  “I can’t see them heading off across country trying to bring in Heyes and Curry.  Can you?  I mean women just aren’t equipped to deal with men like that.  Are they?”

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Na sir 's na seachainn an cath - Neither seek nor shun the fight      Old Scottish proverb
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Keays

Keays

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The Devil's Due Part 9 Empty
PostSubject: Re: The Devil's Due Part 9   The Devil's Due Part 9 EmptyTue Jun 02, 2015 8:41 pm

Oh my!  Is this a lead in for something, or what?  Are Heyes and Curry going to have some indignant women coming after them in order to save their inheritance?   There might be a case of conflicting interests come along with that scenario.

Looking forward to seeing how you ladies bring it all together.  Great job!  Nice to see them partners again and how easily they slipped back into that role.

Thanks for a nice break from my studying!
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fledge23



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The Devil's Due Part 9 Empty
PostSubject: Re: The Devil's Due Part 9   The Devil's Due Part 9 EmptyThu Jun 04, 2015 1:09 pm

Oh dear - Wheat's going to be in trouble!

Great chapter!
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Silverkelpie

Silverkelpie

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Age : 58
Location : Over the rainbow

The Devil's Due Part 9 Empty
PostSubject: Re: The Devil's Due Part 9   The Devil's Due Part 9 EmptyThu Jun 04, 2015 2:19 pm

Kiss thanks  Thanks for your kind comments, Keays and Fledge.  We really appreciate you taking the time to let us know what you think.

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Na sir 's na seachainn an cath - Neither seek nor shun the fight      Old Scottish proverb
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