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 Chapter 3 The Trap Part one

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Keays

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Posts : 1431
Join date : 2013-08-24
Age : 60
Location : Camano Island Washington

PostSubject: Chapter 3 The Trap Part one   Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:57 pm

Chapter 3: THE TRAP Part one


Richard Layton took pride in the fact that he was the best shot with a rifle in all the county surrounding the town of Murreyville. Whenever there was a shooting contest, he won them all. Whenever there was a rogue cougar taking out too many calves or foals the ranchers hired him to track it down and take care of it. Whenever Sheriff Morrison had need of some trustworthy and capable men for a special job Rick was always first on his list. Therefore it came as no surprise to Layton when Morrison got in touch and told him to be ready to move out at a moment’s notice. Something good was in the air, and Rick, with his trusty and well oiled ‘73 Winchester 44-40 was definitely going to be needed.

Morrison had received a telegram from his informant two weeks previous. It stated that two men by the names of Joshua Smith and Thaddeus Jones would be dropping by the Double J ranch sometime in the very near future and that was all Morrison needed to know to start getting preparations under way. He began by contacting the three men who had the talents and the tenacity to understand the plan and to carry it out to its conclusion.

Along with Layton, there was Jack Strode who, though not as handy with a rifle as Richard, he was just as good a tracker and Morrison wanted him along just in case the quarry escaped the trap. Then the third member of the party was Mike Shoemacher who had no special abilities other than that he was big and could look menacing without even breaking a sweat. He also had a brain under his hat and was not an easy man to con which was a strong asset considering who it was they were going after.

Once Morrison had his three men organized and standing by, he made a trip to the county seat to pay a visit to The Honourable Judge Henry Jackson. This visit was to arrange for warrants and extradition papers that would give the Sheriff the lawful right to enter another state or territory, arrest the outlaws and return with them to Wyoming. There they would finally be brought to account and face trial for their numerous crimes.

Sheriff Morrison left no stone unturned. Knowing that timing was everything, he didn’t wait for the news telling him that the outlaws had arrived. He gathered his carefully chosen posse together, boarded the specially ordered train and began chugging and clanking their way to Denver just as fast as the engine could haul them. He had made arrangements with his deputy to be on the lookout for another telegram from Brookswood Colorado and when it did arrive, to send it on to the telegraph office in Denver. Morrison would be waiting there to receive it.

Once that telegram actually did arrive, then things really started to get serious. Everything hinged on Sam being able to keep the two outlaws from leaving the ranch without them getting suspicious that something was in the works. If that part of the plan had been up to Morrison he wouldn’t have used him. Sam was a good lad, but he was young and inexperienced and could easily give the game away without even knowing he had done it.

But Sam’s father had been a much liked and respected law man and the people funding this little operation wanted to give his son a chance to prove himself. Morrison just wished they would do that on a plan that wasn’t quite as volatile or potentially profitable as this one was. Heyes and Curry were anything but stupid. The slightest hint of a setup and they would be gone and so would any chance of ever laying out a trap like this again. This plan had been over a year in the making, but it was a one time deal, no second chances so it just had to work.

From Denver, the small posse took a stagecoach to the small town of Salt River that was ten miles outside of Brookswood. Morrison did not want to announce their arrival to anyone in Brookswood in case someone in town got word to the Jordan’s inadvertently or not, and that included the local law enforcement. Morrison didn’t know the sheriff of that town and didn’t want to take the chance that the man might be an idiot. The less anybody knew about their plans the better.

That evening Morrison sent one more telegram to Sam letting him know (in as few words as possible, in case the telegraph operator liked to gossip) that everything was ready. Then all Morrison could do was hope that Sam knew what he had to do and not lose his nerve this close to the end.

Horses, and a few last minute supplies were purchased and the small posse made their way towards the Jordan ranch They were able to make good time at first, but as the light started to fade they slowed the pace down so as not to cause injury to themselves or the horses. They all rode in silence, everyone’s nerves just a little on edge. It was getting on to midnight by the time they were approaching the ranch and five miles out they stopped to wait out the night, not wanting to risk getting any closer with the lanterns blazing.

They picketed the horses, but left them saddled and ready to go, just in case. The men then wrapped themselves in blankets to try and stay a little warm in the chilly spring night air and settled in to wait for the first hint of dawn to make an appearance. Actually getting some sleep was completely out of the question. If it wasn’t for the anxiety involved the anticipation of dawn’s arrival would have reminded the men of long ago Christmas mornings when the first light of day would bring happy surprises. But there was no telling what this first light was going to bring, other than relief when it finally did arrive and the men could get moving again.

By the time the sun was peeking up over the horizon the posse members were in their positions around the Jordan’s ranch house and waiting for anything to start happening. Mike was some distance back, keeping the horses quiet. Jack had settled into a spot by the barn furthest from the house but with a clear view of the yard and the front porch. Richard and Morrison had hunkered down behind the wood shed and water well which gave them a side view of the porch but a clear view of the barn closest to the house. All the strategic points were covered.

Richard did one more quick check of his rifle then placed the barrel over the lip of the well in order to test his maneuverability. He had to be able to rest the barrel of the rifle on something solid to achieve the stability he would need for the clean shot but he also needed the rifle unhindered in case the target got wind of what was coming and made a run for it.

Then, just as the sun was clearing the horizon and warming itself up for another pleasant spring day, the front door of the house opened. A man with dark blond curly hair and wearing a light blue shirt and jeans came out onto the porch and down the steps and headed for the outhouse.


“That’s Curry.” Morrison whispered.

“I know.” Came Richard’s quiet response.

“Just let him carry on. We have to wait until they’re both out in the open.”

“I know.”

Curry came into view again and then made his way into the first barn. The men waited

About ten minutes later the front door opened once more and a dark haired disheveled man wearing tan trousers and just his henley staggered his way down the steps and also headed to the outhouse.

“There! That’s Heyes.”

“I know.”

“Damn! Why couldn’t they come out together? The longer this takes the more complicated it could become.”

They sat quietly, watching while Heyes made his way from the outhouse and into the barn. Then they waited, hearts thumping and nerves jingling.

“Damn!” Whispered Morrison again. “Come on! If anyone else comes out of the house now this whole thing could be a wash. If either of those girls are anywhere near your line of fire you cannot shoot.”

“I KNOW!” Geesh! Why couldn’t Morrison shut up and let him focus. He knew what he had to do.

Then, what seemed like an eternity later, Heyes and Curry came out of the barn and headed back towards the house. Curry had come out first, but Heyes was close behind and he hurried to catch up, placing a hand on his partner's shoulder. They were talking, smiling, apparently in good spirits and totally unsuspecting of anything amiss.
Richard took a deep breath and lined him up in his sights.

“Do you have him?” Morrison whispered.

“I have him.”

“Take your shot.”

Richard moistened his lips, held his breath and then slowly squeezed the trigger.


Heyes felt the shock of the impact go through the Kid’s body as the bullet slammed into Curry’s right shoulder. Curry grunted softly, fell over into Heyes and then started to go down. Heyes grabbed him and went to the ground with him, trying, somewhat unsuccessfully to cushion his fall.

Then pandemonium broke out.


Heyes couldn’t decide if time had sped up or slowed down. He was hardly aware of the sudden eruption of activity, of people shouting and running, the dogs barking from some far away distant location. A baby screaming. But Hannibal and Jed were in a bubble all by themselves where time had no meaning and the world stood still.

Curry was gasping, fighting to breathe and blood was everywhere. It spread across the front of his shirt like river water overflowing its banks turning the blue material into a sopping, sickening mess. It seeped out from where Curry was laying, escaping from the exit wound in his back and running in little rivulets along the dusty ground and soaking into the knees of Heyes’ trousers. Curry’s right arm lay helpless by his side, but his left hand clutched at Heyes’ henley, hanging on for dear life.

Heyes was terrified. He’d never seen so much blood. Oh Dear God! Please, stop the bleeding! He was leaning over the Kid, his hands grasping the saturated material of Kid’s shirt causing blood to squeeze through his fingers, while he desperately hung on to his partner. If he could just hold on tight enough then Curry couldn’t leave him.

“Hey…Heyes…” It was hardly more than a gasping whisper.

“Yeah Kid.” It was all Heyes could do to push the words out, there was no breath in his lungs.

“I’m sorry…”

Heyes knitted his brow. “What have you got to be sorry about?”

“Should…have been….more careful.”

“Aww, Kid no. That wasn’t your fault. We both got careless.”

“Heyes…”

“Yeah Kid.”

“Gonna pass out…now.”

“Yeah Kid, okay.”

Then Curry’s eyes rolled back and his body relaxed. His left hand released its desperate hold on Heyes’ shirt and dropped down onto his chest. With that intimate contact broken the bubble surrounding them burst open and Heyes’ senses were instantly assaulted by the noise and confusion of the activity around them. Suddenly he was aware of Belle kneeling across from him, desperately stuffing padding and cloth into the wounds in an attempt to at least slow down the bleeding. Beth was by Curry’s head, clutching his shoulders, sobbing and rocking herself and pleading with all her soul “Please don’t die. Please don’t die.”
Then the inevitable; a hand grabbing the back of Heyes’ henley and an authoritarian voice cutting through to his senses.

“Hannibal Heyes, you’re under arrest. Get your hands up where I can see them. NOW!”

Heyes couldn’t sort out what he was supposed to do. He looked to Belle with eyes asking for help. She smiled gently over at him and touched his hand. That small contact enabled his mind to focus and to tell his fingers to release their grip on Curry’s shirt. He automatically went to wipe them on his henley to clean off the blood, but quickly thought better of it when he felt the cold steel of Morrison’s hand gun pressing against the back of his skull. He left his hands bloody and raised them for the sheriff to see.


“Good. Now, put them behind your head and stand up.”

Heyes did so, now keenly aware of the two rifles aimed directly at him, but at such an angle as to hit him if fired, but conveniently miss the sheriff. He felt rough hands patting him down, starting at his boots and working their way up. First one lock pick was discovered in his right boot, then another in his left boot and then a third neatly tucked away in the waistband of his trousers.

Morrison laughed. “My my Mr. Heyes you’re just a walking mercantile store today aren’t you? Do you have one hidden behind your ears, or how about up your shirt sleeve?”

Heyes felt no need to comment. He stood quietly, despondent, looking at the two men with their rifles aimed at him, noticing Bridget in the middle distance being comforted by Sam, hearing the dogs, quieter now but still letting out the occasional “woof” from inside the bunk house. There were birds chirping and flies—or was it a bee—buzzing around them. He felt the sheriff grab one of his wrists and then the other, pulling them down and around behind his back and snapping on the hand cuffs. He was numb, he didn’t care.

“He’s not going to die is he Momma? Please don’t let him die.” He heard Beth pleading with her mother.

“Well now Beth, we are going to do everything we possibly can to make sure that doesn’t happen, okay?”

Her words and tone were quiet and comforting to try and keep her daughter calm but when she looked up at Joshua the worry and the fear in her eyes reflected what was in his own. They both knew that saving Thaddeus’ life was anything but a certainty.

Jesse came out of the house and hurried over to them, carrying a blanket. He put a hand on his wife’s shoulder and knelt down beside her.

“I’ve laid blankets and some pillows on the large table, if we can get Thaddeus onto this blanket, then maybe we can carry him inside and get him settled there without causing him too much distress.”

Belle nodded and she and Beth started to spread out the blanket. In the meantime Jesse stood up and sent a glare over at the sheriff.

“Why are your men just standing around? Why hasn’t someone gone into town for the Doctor?”

“Calm down Mr. Jordan.” The sheriff answered him. “That’s been taken care of. I sent one of my men for the Doctor right away, they should be back here within the hour.”

“This man could bleed to death within the hour!” Jesse shot back at him. “There was no need to shoot him in the first place! You had them cornered you could have easily just walked in and arrested them without all this bloodshed!”

Morrison bristled at the assault.

“On the contrary, Mr. Jordan.” He snarled back. “Kid Curry is just too damn good with that handgun and I had no intentions of giving him the opportunity to use it! He’s a killer and he’s dangerous! The sooner you and your family realize that the better off you’ll be!”


Ten minutes later, with Jesse, Richard, Jack and Sam each grabbing a corner of the blanket they had Curry inside the ranch house and got him settled onto the layers of blankets on the table. Morrison had given Heyes a slight shove to follow, and the girls quickly brought up the rear. Once inside the sheriff indicated one of the chairs that had been pulled away from the table for Heyes to go sit in.

Belle was instantly in charge—again. “Bridget, you know where I keep the laudanum for your Papa’s headaches?”

“Yes Momma.”

“Please go and get it, and bring some more padding and towels from the storage. Beth, go see to your brother.”

“But Momma…”

“Don’t argue with me young lady, just do it.”

With a quick heart wrenching look at Thaddeus Beth did what she was told. However, no one had specified exactly where she was to see to her brother, so within minutes she was back in the living area with J.J. in her arms and was doing her best imitation of a mouse in the corner.

Bridget returned with the required supplies and then helped her mother remove the sopping red paddings and replace them with clean ones. It was hard to tell if it was doing any good. The bleeding had been staunched to some degree, but the necessary jostling that had taken place to get Curry into the house had set things to flowing again. It wasn’t long before the new dressings were just as bloody as the previous ones.

Heyes felt sick. How long was it going to take for that Doctor to get to them?

Jack was in the process of unbuckling Curry’s gun belt and pulling it out from under him when Kid groaned and was suddenly awake. He looked around and could only see strangers standing over him and panic slowly started to rise up.

“Heyes?”

“Yeah, I’m here Kid.” Heyes answered, quickly getting to his feet, but Morrison sent him back to his chair with a quick gesture and a hard look. Heyes sat back down with a scowl on his face, feeling that a battle was eminent.

Jesse moved forward and put a hand on Curry’s leg. “It’s alright Thaddeus, we’re here.”

Belle was beside Kid, speaking softly to him hoping to keep him calm and maybe get some laudanum into him. It wasn’t a strong painkiller, but anything at this point might help. Curry was having none of it, nothing was familiar to him and that pain in his shoulder was driving him mad. Panic rose up, enveloped him and then exploded. He started to fight.

“HEYES!”

“No Kid, don’t! I’M HERE!”

Heyes was on his feet again ignoring Morrison this time, but the sheriff grabbed him and pulled him back.

“No!” Heyes was furious. “Let me go to him! I can calm him down! UNCUFF ME!”

The two deputies and Jesse had pounced on Kid trying to hold him down, but his panic was beyond reason, beyond pain and he fought like a man possessed. Belle was knocked to the floor, spilling some of the medicine, but through quick reflexes and desperation managed to save some. Jay was crying and the two girls clung to one another as they watched the violent scene, unable to do anything to help.

“You’re killing him!” Heyes yelled. “Do you want him to bleed to death right here on their kitchen table with those girls watching?! UNCUFF ME!”

Morrison sent a quick glance over at the three Jordan children, but still hesitated.

“I’M NOT GOING TO GO ANYWHERE!” Heyes was pleading in desperation.

Finally, what seemed like an eternity, Morrison dug out the keys to the handcuffs and unlocked one bracelet leaving the other in place.

As soon as Heyes felt himself free he was at Curry’s side, shoving one of the deputies (he didn’t know or care which one) out of his way and grabbed his friend by his good shoulder with another hand across his upper chest. Heyes shook him, trying to break through the panic, to get his attention.

“KID! KID! It’s me Heyes! I’m here!”

The change was miraculous. As soon as he heard his cousin’s voice and could see his face Curry began to calm down.

“Heyes?”

“Yeah Kid.” Heyes practically went weak with relief. “It’s me, I’m here. You can relax, okay?”

“No. Run Heyes. Run.” Came the whispered but urgent demand.

Heyes gave a half rueful smile as he glanced around at the stern faces and bristling guns surrounding them.

“No Kid.” He answered sadly. “It’s too late for that. We’re done.”

Curry groaned in disappointment and closing his eyes, he lay his head back down on the damp blanket.

Heyes sighed and ran his hand through Kid’s hair, stroking him, coaxing him to relax and to stay calm only dimly aware of the stickiness of the blood in his curls.

“Joshua?” It was Belle.

Heyes looked over at her.

“Joshua, see if you can get him to take some of this. It’s just a mild painkiller and sedative, but it might help.”

Heyes nodded and took the small bottle from her. He put his hand behind Kid’s head and lifted him up a little. Curry opened his eyes.

“Here Kid, try to swallow some of this.”

“What’s it?”

“Just something to help with the pain. It’s okay.”

He pressed the bottle to Kid’s lips and he took a sip. He snorted and made a face.

“I know.” Said Heyes. “It’s probably bitter.”

“Yeah.”

“It’ll help though Kid, okay. Take some more.”

Heyes got a few more sips into him before Kid made it clear that he’d had enough. Heyes laid him back down again and with a small smile of thanks, returned the bottle to Belle.

Heyes felt wrung out. Curry was so weak and that panic attack had sucked away even more of what little strength he’d had left. The top blanket was damp with blood, and even though Belle continued to change the dressings on the wounds, the white cloths just continued to turn red as the blood continued to seep out.

Heyes wiped a clean patch of his shirt sleeve across his eyes and was surprised to find tears on his cheeks. He closed his eyes with a sigh and again wondered how much longer that Doctor was going to be. Just how long could they hold on? He opened his eyes again and looking at Kid, was surprised to find those brilliant blue eyes staring at him, clear and bright and as focused as they’d been the night before.

“Han, do you really think we should be doing this?” Kid asked him in a voice clear and strong. “You know my pa will tan both our hides if he finds out.”

Heyes was taken aback. His mouth opened but for a couple of beats, nothing came out.

“Yeah, Jed. Don’t worry about it.” Heyes finally stammered. “Everything’s alright.”

Jed nodded and smiled a smile of trusting innocence. Then he closed his eyes and lay his head back down again. A sigh escaped him. The room was heavy with silence, even Jay had stopped crying and lay nestled in his sister’s arms, aware that the world was on hold.

Heyes felt hot tears burning behind his eyes. ‘I’m loosing him.’ He thought to himself. ‘I’m loosing him and there’s nothing I can do about it.’

Then the sound of horses galloping into the yard broke everyone out of their trance. The Doctor had arrived.


Doctor David Gibson was a young man about the same age as Curry, but that was where most similarities between the two men ended. Gibson was a handsome young man, with dark hair and eyes, like Heyes’ but he was taller than Heyes, over six foot and therefore appeared slimmer (if that’s possible). He was born in Philadelphia and grew up in a loving, wealthy family full of doctors. It was a family tradition and totally taken for granted that any sons born in the Gibson line would follow the proper footsteps and pursue a career in the medical profession.

David was somewhat in the middle of six siblings and had done exactly what was expected of him by following his brothers into medicine. Then when it became time to set up his own practice he had done something totally unexpected and shocking to the whole family—he moved west.

Life as a doctor in Philadelphia was boring and predictable and David wanted something more than that. Medicine ran in the Gibson family for sure, but David was given more than just the parental expectation to choose that for a career, he was given a gift. He was a natural healer. He had an instinct for it. In everything that he learned he was able to take it one step further, to expand beyond what was already known and turn it to practical use. He improved on old methods and techniques and seemed to be able to see how and why something should work. He had a successful and lucrative career ahead of him, perhaps even an authorship.

Then out of the blue, he packed up and moved. Of course his family was shocked! He was suppose to stay in Philadelphia, set up practice within the family business, marry the girl next door (who was also from a long line of medical men) and become a part of the Gibson family dynasty. Why in the world would he want to give all that up and move out to the middle of nowhere to set up a tiny practice in a tiny town where all he could hope to work with would be cowboys and dirt farmers! How was he supposed to make a name for himself way out THERE!?

Fortunately for the people of Brookswood and the surrounding area David had his own ideas about what made a successful practice and treating society ladies suffering from a touch of “the vapors” wasn’t it! He had stopped in Brookswood on his way to Denver and knew that he had found his place in the west. He bought a quaint little house on a quiet street, had put up his shingle and was open for business within the week. That had been three years ago.

Now, on this chilly, but promising spring morning David had been enjoying his first cup of coffee and had gone into his office next to the living room to review his list of patients for the day. He hadn’t been at if for long when his young (and of course, pretty.) wife Tricia had entered his office and announced that they had a visitor. David had then entered the sitting room and found himself in the presence of a mountain of a man wearing a deputy’s badge.


“Ah.” David commented, trying to get over the illogical feeling of intimidation that was simply based on the man’s shoe size. “What can I do for you, Mister…?”

“Shoemacher, Mike Shoemacher.”

“Well, ah, nice to meet you Mr. Shoemacher. What seems to be the problem today?”

“Shooting. Out at the Jordan place.”

“What!?” David was taken off guard. “My goodness! How long ago?”

“Oh, I suppose about half an hour.”

“You suppose?!” Exclaimed David as he rushed around gathering together all the items he calculated he would need on such a call. “How serious is it?”

“If he’s still alive I guess it’s serious enough.” Commented Shoemacher casually. “It’s just an outlaw though and he’s probably bled to death by now anyways. Still, best if you come out just in case.”

David was slack jawed for a moment. He couldn’t believe the callousness of this man. Surely even an outlaw deserved more regard than what was being displayed here.

He got everything he needed together, grabbed his standby carpet bag containing bandaging and wound dressings and then hurried into the kitchen where he gave his wife a quick kiss on the cheek.

“I’m sorry Tricia, no time for breakfast I’m afraid.”

“Yes I know, I heard.” She assured her husband. She was actually quite accustomed to him running off to some emergency or another and often in the middle of the night. This was nothing new for a doctor’s wife. “I’ll expect to see you when I see you.”

David gave her a quick appreciative smile and then dashed out the door and down to the livery to have his horse saddled. He considered taking the surrey instead of riding, but decided that a horse under saddle could move a lot faster than one hitched to a cart so the animal was made ready. Rudy, his trusty little chestnut gelding was also accustomed to the unscheduled mad dashes out to wherever and he stood quietly but at attention while David attached the various pieces of luggage to the saddle. Leading the animal out of the livery, David mounted up and somehow found a way to settle into the saddle in amongst all the other accessories that had been tied to it.

Shoemacher sat his horse calmly while the Doctor got prepared, finding the whole procedure rather humourous and in his mind totally unnecessary. Then they were on their way heading out of town at a gallop towards the Double J ranch.



David entered the ranch house carrying some of his supplies, with Shoemacher following him lugging the rest. David took a quick look around the room and his gaze took in and processed everything in an instant. The Jordan family he of course already knew and it came as no surprise to find Belle standing over the patient doing everything she could to tend to the injury. Jesse was in attendance and assisting where he could and the two girls were present, but staying out of the way and tending to their brother. He noticed Sam standing back looking a little ashen faced, but the other men in attendance were strangers to him.

“I take it you’re the doctor?” Morrison asked him.

“Yes. What have we got here?”

“Rifle shot in the shoulder.” Morrison answered him. “Bullet went in the front and out the back and he’s lost a lot of blood. If you can save him, fine. If not—oh well.”

The Doctor was getting a little tired of this callus attitude being shown by the lawmen and sent a rather scalding glare back at the sheriff. Then he hurried over to the man lying on the table taking, off his jacket and rolling up his sleeves as he went. He placed his bag on the table beside the young man’s legs and indicated with a look to Shoemacher where he wanted the rest of his supplies placed.

“Hi David” Jesse greeted him. “Sure is good to see you.”

Belle smiled a greeting at him and quickly moved out of his way. David nodded to them and then quietly scanned his patient, taking in all the information that the physical condition of the man could tell him.

“How long ago did this happen?” He asked.

“A little over an hour now.” Jesse answered him.

Heyes couldn’t believe it. An hour? Is that all? It seemed like an eternity since he had gone out to the barn to talk to his friend.

David nodded, then he looked to his patient again, putting a hand on his chest to check his breathing and heart rate, feeling his skin and lifting an eyelid to check the pupils.

“Has he regained consciousness at all?”

“Once.” Jesse answered. “Just after we got him inside.”

David nodded. “Was he lucid? Did he know what was going on?”

There was a beat of silence, no one quite sure how to answer that one.

Finally again, Jesse gave the answer. “Yes and no. He panicked at first, but calmed down when he saw his partner, and then he sort of…well, he…”

“He went back to when we were kids.” Heyes finished.

“Ah.” Said David. “He regressed.”

“What’s that?” Asked Heyes.

“What you just said.” David explained. “Went back to childhood memories.”

“Oh. Is that normal?”

“It happens sometimes.” David answered, not wanting to mention that it usually did not bode well.

Then David took a moment to assess the man standing across the table from him. One look into those dark brown eyes told him all he needed to know. The worry and the strain was evident and the amount of blood on his person, starting at the tips of his dark hair and covering him all the way down to his boots indicated he had been in close and constant contact with the stricken man. This was a friend or family member who needed to be treated with as much sensitivity and care as the patient himself.

“What’s your name?” David asked him.

“What?...oh, ahh..Josh…no…Heyes. Hannibal Heyes.”

David was taken aback for an instant. He hadn’t expected to hear a name he would actually recognize. He had heard faint rumours that the Jordan’s were on friendly terms with the outlaws Heyes and Curry, but in the three years that he had known the family, there had never been any hint of it. If these men were Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry that would certainly explain why there were so many guns present and why the lawmen were being so cautious. But for now, these men were his patient and a very worried friend, and that’s how Dr. Gibson would treat them.

“My name is David Gibson.” David introduced himself to Heyes. “And I’m going to do everything I possibly can to save your friend.”

Heyes gave him a weak smile. “Thanks Doc.”

“I’m going to need you to help me with some things though. Are you up to that?”

“Of course.”

“What are you two talking about?” Morrison demanded. “Speak up so’s we can all hear what you’re saying!”

David sent the sheriff another nasty look and then brought his attention back to his patient.
Heyes felt an instant liking towards this young doctor. It was obvious that he was highly intelligent and Heyes could relate to that. But he also did not suffer fools or bullies lightly and Heyes suspected he may have found himself another ally.

His assessment of the patient done David then quickly went to work, explaining things as he went. He took a pair of heavy scissors from his satchel and began cutting away Curry’s shirt and undergarment.

“Okay, we need to get these clothes off of him, so Hannibal if you could just pull the cloth away as I’m cutting. Yes, that’s good. Now Jesse lift him up just a little and pull away the shirt from under him and be careful of the wound there. Pull the material away from it gently. That’s right. Now Belle, get in there with the padding and staunch that bleeding if you can. Okay, lay him back down again Now, we pull this sleeve off away from the wound here. Good. Belle, some more padding please. Good. Now don’t throw that shirt away, we need to hang on to it until I’m sure that none of the material has stayed inside the wound.
"Jesse, could you pull that carpet bag over here and get me some more padding? Bridget!”

Bridget jumped, startled out of her fear trance.

“Could you heat up some water please? But not too hot, just so we can wash some of this blood away.”

“Yes, alright.” Bridget answered and hurried into the kitchen.

David sent a quick glance to Beth. She was sitting in an armchair, rocking herself and cradling little J.J. in her arms. She was softly humming. In her numb mind she was doing it to keep her baby brother quiet and still, but in reality it was doing exactly that for herself. David decided to leave her to it.
He then took a small glass bottle out of his satchel and popped the cork

“Okay Belle, I need you to let me get at the wound here.”

Belle removed the padding from Curry’s shoulder and blood instantly started to seep out again, but David quickly poured some of the clear fluid into the wound and it instantly began to froth and fizz and then was absorbed into the flesh.

“What’s that?” Asked Heyes.

“Carbolic Acid. It’ll clean and disinfect the wound. It’s a good thing he’s unconscious otherwise it would hurt like hell. Belle, if you could clean up that blood again. Thank you. Now I need to examine that wound to make sure there is nothing foreign in there, you will have to keep it clean so I can see what I’m doing. It won’t be easy, just do the best you can.”

“Yes, alright.”

David brought out some small forceps and carefully began to open the lips on the wound. Belle did her best to wipe away the blood as it emerged without hindering David in his examination. The forceps were gently inserted into the wound and David focused intently on feeling any change in the resistance or any sound of metal on metal to suggest an object inside.

Heyes couldn’t help but be fascinated watching the man work. He was an artist, no doubt about it. His long slender fingers gently probing, examining, searching for anything that wasn’t what it should be. And all the while that his fingers were busy, his eyes would be glancing here and looking there, making sure that the physical symptoms hadn’t changed, that the patients colouring hadn’t paled further or the rhythmic breathing hadn’t slowed anymore. Heyes felt like an ignorant fool beside this man and for once he was thankful for it. Here was someone who could help.

“Okay.” David took a deep breath and straightened up. “There’s nothing in there, it’s clean.”

Bridget showed up with a basin full of water a little sooner than expected.

“Momma had already heated some water for breakfast so it was already there. I just had to find a basin to put it in.”

“Good.” David answered her. “Well done. If you could just put it on that chair beside Hannibal.”

Bridget looked to Joshua and did as she was instructed.

“Thank you Bridget.” Joshua smiled at her and she gave a weak smile back then put a hand on his shoulder and stayed close.

“Okay, Hannibal here’s a cloth if you could just wash him down, get rid of as much of this old blood as you can, and then,” he reached into the carpet bag and pulled out a towel. “You can dry him off with this.”

Heyes accepted his new duty and soaking the cloth in the warm water he began to gently wash his friend, trying to remove the drying blood from his torso and then his face and his hair. Then he moved down his left arm and then the hand, then did his best to remove the blood from under and around the Kid’s finger nails. Bridget followed after him with the towel, drying Thaddeus off as they went. Never once did it occur to Heyes that he could have benefited from just such a sponge bath himself, all he could see was the blood on his friend.

In the mean time, David had pulled more supplies out of his satchel. He sprinkled some white powder into the shoulder wound, watched it being absorbed and then sprinkled some more.

“What’s that?” Asked Belle

“It’s morphine powder. It’s a powerful painkiller. It can also be taken orally so I will be leaving quite a bit of this with you.”

Then David took out a small case, and took from it a curved needle and some suturing thread and began to quickly stitch the lips of the bullet wound together. Belle continued to sop up blood as it appeared, but the more David was able to close and stitch the wound, the less blood there was until finally it had stopped flowing altogether.

Both David and Belle took a deep breath and relaxed for a moment. David checked on Heyes’ and Bridget’s progress and seeing that they were about done got prepared for the next step.

“Okay Hannibal. We need to get your friend onto his side now so I can examine the exit wound, but I don’t want him lying fully on his chest so you’ll have to support him. Here’s a clean padding to put against the shoulder wound and keep pressure on it, but don’t support him there, just keep a light pressure. Use your own body if you have to to block him from rolling onto his chest okay?”

“Yeah, okay Doc. Here, Bridget come over to my other side, use your body to support his hips alright?”

“Alright Joshua”

This was the second time David had noticed the familiarity between Hannibal and the eldest Jordan girl. In fact, the whole Jordan family did seem to be on intimate terms with these outlaws and that would certainly give some credit to the rumours he had heard. It was obviously no coincidence that these men had ended up here at the Double J and if there was opportunity he was curious enough to want to ask about that—at a later date of course. In the mean time, back to business.


“Okay Jesse, help me roll him over onto his side. Easy.”

They got Curry rolled over quickly and gently, and Heyes and Bridget actually got up and sat on the table in order to support the wounded man and prevent him from rolling over too far. Then David and Belle began the procedure all over again.

David’s jaw tightened and he subtly shook his head when he got a good look at the damage the bullet had done when it exited the man’s body. Then he quickly relaxed his features and reminded himself not to do that. It tended to give the wrong impression and elevate the worry and stress level in the family members and friends who might be in attendance.

Again, he poured on the carbolic acid and Belle kept the area as clean as she could while David put his magic fingers to work again, trying to determine the internal damage done to the shoulder.


“Yeah.” He said, more to himself than anybody else. Then; “The bullet went right through the shoulder blade and has shattered it. There’s going to be a lot of bone splinters in there. I’m not going to be able to remove them under these conditions and he’s probably too weak to survive such a lengthy procedure anyways. We can deal with that later, preferably in a hospital, when he’s stronger. In the mean time, the arm and shoulder are going to have to be completely immobilized and there’s no telling how much damage has been done to the nerves and muscles. He’ll probably never get full use of this arm back again.”

Heyes inwardly groaned. Kid wasn’t going to like the sound of that.

David got his forceps again and began searching inside the wound. Within seconds he smiled and pulled out a piece of material.

“Here, Jesse. I think this is part of the undershirt. Can you check it with the hole in the garment and see if it matches?”

“Sure Doc.”

Jesse took the saturated piece of material and went over to where they had laid out Thaddeus’ shirts. In the mean time David went back to probing for the second piece of material from Curry’s outer shirt. He was optimistic that he would find it when suddenly he froze and a look of concern flashed across his face.

“What?” Heyes asked him.

“He’s stopped breathing.”
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Keays

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Posts : 1431
Join date : 2013-08-24
Age : 60
Location : Camano Island Washington

PostSubject: Chapter 3 The Trap Part two   Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:05 pm

“WHAT!?” Heyes went from calm assistant to frantic partner in less than an instant. “WELL DO SOMETHING! GET HIM BACK!”

The dynamics in the room changed in a flash. Beth ran over to stand by her sister, Belle and Jesse were back at the table and the lawmen, who had all been insisting on indifference were suddenly tense and alert, unable to avoid getting caught up in the stress of the situation.
Heyes was off the table and shaking his partner, frantic to get some sign of life.

“Quickly!” Said David. “Get him on to his back again! Jesse, Hannibal, pull him up to the end of the table until his head just tips back over the edge. DO IT! NOW! QUICKLY!!”

It was David’s turn to get up on the table. Instantly he checked the Kid’s positioning, making sure that his head was tilted back just enough for his mouth to open and the air passage to his lungs to be unhindered. He took the chance of causing more damage to the shoulder by lifting both of Curry’s arms over his head and saw the sutures he had just put in place start to tear. Oh well, that was second priority now. He had to get this man breathing again.

David put his hands together, palms down, one on top of the other and placed them in the middle of Curry’s chest just below the breast bone and then pressed down. He released and then pressed down again and repeated this action a number of times putting his whole body into it and breaking out into a sweat with the exertion and the stress. He stopped, put an ear to Curry’s chest and then to his mouth, listening, praying that there would be some stirring of life. Nothing. Back to the chest compressions.

Heyes was beside himself. His hands were up, clutching at his hair, the forgotten handcuffs dangling from his left wrist. He felt his chest and throat tightening up again and tears burning behind his eyes, then spilling out to roll down his face. He thought he was going to explode.


“COME ON! YOU’RE A DOCTOR! YOU’RE SUPPOSE TO SAVE PEOPLE! SAVE HIM!! GET HIM BACK!!”

“I’M TRYING!”

David couldn’t believe he was loosing this man! He couldn’t loose him, not now! They were so close. Come on, breathe! Another quick check, listening, praying for any response. Nothing. Back to compressions.

Jesse moved over to stand by Heyes and put a supporting hand on his friend’s arm. Heyes was finding it hard to breathe himself, he was gasping, perspiration mingling with the tears and blood on his face.


“Oh God Jesse, no.” Heyes whispered. “What’ll I do without him? Come on Kid, come on. Breathe. You can’t give up now! COME ON!”

Then finally, Kid gave a barely audible sigh and took a breath. David pounced on it! An ear and a hand to Curry’s chest. Yes! Something was happening. Back to the compressions, desperate to keep it going, like stoking a barely flickering flame on a windy wet night.

Belle had moved over to stand with her children and now everyone in the room except Curry was holding their breath, waiting with strained anticipation, grabbing on to that little bit of hope.

David continued to work. Pump, pump, pump. Stop, ear to the chest. Yes. It was getting stronger. Pump, pump, pump. Stop, ear to the chest. Pump, pump, pump. David sat back on his heels, waiting, watching, seeing if Curry could continue breathing on his own. Then, yes! There it was. The slow, gentle rise and fall of his chest. Curry was breathing again.

There was a collective sigh of relief. Everyone felt weak in the knees.

“Okay.” Said David as he climbed down from the table. “That’s obviously it for today. He needs time to rest and get some strength back. Sheriff, if one of your men could find that bullet and see if the remaining material came out with it, that would save me from having to go into that wound again.”

“Yeah, sure.” Morrison agreed. “Sam, go see if you can find it. It’s probably embedded in the side of that barn.”

“Okay Sheriff.” Sam answered weakly. He locked gazes with Jesse and then quickly looked away as he headed out the front door.

Jesse wasn’t sure what happened there. His mind was so exhausted from the events of the morning that it wasn’t able to grasp the significance of that exchange between Sam and Morrison. But the alarm bells were going off and the seed of suspicion had been planted.

Then Morrison continued. “We’ll have to borrow your buckboard Jordan, so we can get Curry into town.”

Everyone looked at Morrison in disbelief.

“This man is not going anywhere Sheriff.” Said David. “Didn’t you hear me? He needs rest. The only moving he’s going to be doing is from the table to a bed and that’s it!”

“It’s too risky to leave him here. He’s dangerous.”

“He’s hardly dangerous now, Sheriff.” David shot back. “He’s not even conscious! You can leave a man here to guard him if you feel it’s necessary, but if you try to move him in a buckboard now you will kill him. That is not an educated guess; that is a guarantee!”

“Fine!” Morrison finally had to accept that. “But he will be under guard, and I want to see the room where he’ll be kept. I want to be sure we can make it secure.”

“I’ll show you Sheriff.” Jesse offered, and then giving Heyes a reassuring pat on the shoulder took Morrison in to the room under the staircase where Heyes and the Kid had been sleeping during their stay at the ranch.

Heyes felt all done in. He had to get outside for some air or he felt he was going to faint. He placed a hand on the Kid’s shoulder to reassure himself that his skin was warm and that there truly was life in his cousin’s body. Heyes smiled, then David met his glance and a silent ‘thank you’ and ‘you’re welcome’ passed between them. Then Heyes, forgetting that he was in custody and was supposed to stay put headed out onto the front porch to give himself a chance to recuperate.

David began again. With Belle helping they managed to get Curry pulled back down from the end of the table and then focused on getting him cleaned up and the shoulder immobilized.

Heyes stood out on the porch to the right of the front door, leaning against the post and railing. It was still just mid morning—couldn’t be any later than 10:00 a.m. but it seemed to Heyes that an eternity had passed. Sam had let the dogs out of the bunk house and all three of them were out there by the first barn sniffing around the ground where Curry had fallen. Fortunately most of the blood had seeped into the dirt by this time so the animals had little more than the scent to go on. Sam was over at the barn too, running his hands along the wooden structure and scanning it with his eyes, seeking the elusive bullet.

Heyes stood there taking all this in, but feeling nothing. He didn’t really know what he was supposed to be feeling, what he was expected to be feeling. But tears still pooled in his eyes and occasionally spilled out and rolled down his cheeks. He didn’t seem to be able to stop them and yet he didn’t feel like he was crying. He must be crying though, so why couldn’t he feel it?

Then from the corner of his eye Heyes saw a blurry image of Belle as she stepped out through the front door.. She had noticed Heyes leave the group and stagger out onto the porch, so calling Bridget over to carry on helping David, Belle wiped her hands on a towel and followed the young man outside. Heyes turned away from her, feeling embarrassed. She smiled slightly at his discomfort and put a gentle hand on his arm. He still wouldn’t look at her.


“I’m sorry.” He finally said to her.

“Joshua, don’t be silly.” She gently admonished him. “We all know how important Thaddeus is to you, how close the two of you are.”

Heyes nodded, his throat tightening. Of course now he felt like he was crying. Couldn’t come on him when he was alone—no! Had to be when Belle was present. His embarrassment grew but he decided to ignore it. “He’s the only family I have left.”

Belle squeezed his arm. “No Joshua, that’s not entirely true. You know that Jesse and I both think of you and Thaddeus as family. The girls love you like brothers. Well at least Bridget does, Beth seems to have other designs.”

Heyes had to smile at that.

“We’ll always be here to support you no matter what happens, you know that.”

Heyes turned somber again, he raised his eyes and looked at Belle straight on—tears be damned.

“But we always seem to bring trouble to you and your family Belle, whenever we show up. Why would you want to be supportive of that?”

“Isn’t that what families are for?”

Heyes smiled again. “What, bringing trouble or being supportive?”

“Both!”

They laughed at little at that, but then Heyes turned away again and looked off into the middle distance—little boy lost.
Belle’s heart went out to him. She felt she had to give him something to hold on to so she quickly made a decision about something that she had originally planned on keeping to herself.

“Well Joshua. “ She began. “I have it on good authority that Thaddeus can’t die right now, so you don’t need to worry about him so much.”

Heyes turned a skeptical eye her way. “Really.”

“Yes. Beth made me promise not to tell Thaddeus, but she never said anything about not telling you, so, here it is.” She continued. “About three years ago, shortly after we moved to Denver Beth came to me and told me that she’d had a premonition.”

“A premonition?”

“Yes. She said that she was certain that we would be seeing you boys again, because she and Thaddeus were bound together in this life, that the two of them had something important to accomplish.”

“Really?” Heyes said again, only more curious than skeptical this time. “Does she know what this something is?”

“No. It wasn’t that specific. She has herself convinced that it’s of a romantic nature but I have a feeling that it’s something more than that.”

“And does she get these premonitions often?” Asked Heyes, still skeptical but interested all the same.

“No, not often.” Belle admitted. “But when she does, they usually come to pass. I can’t explain it. Neither can she. She just knows. So you see.” Belle continued with a smile. “Thaddeus can’t die, not right now anyways, because then he wouldn’t be here to help Beth accomplish their task—whatever that’s going to be.”

Heyes sighed deeply. He wasn’t convinced that he believed in ‘premonitions’, but the possibility of it did give him some hope.

Suddenly they heard Morrison’s booming voice from inside the house.

“Where’s Heyes!?”

Then a quieter response; “He’s just out on the porch with Mrs. Jordan. We’re keeping an eye on him.”

Heyes was instantly on the defensive. He took a deep breath as he straightened up trying to compose himself, and quickly wiped both sleeves over his eyes and face hoping to clean away any signs of tears. Belle was one thing, but Heyes promised himself something right then and there; the law was never again going to see him cry.

Then the front door slammed open and Morrison pounced on Heyes, pushing him into the wall of the house and cuffing his hands behind him again.


“Sheriff, please…” Belle began, angry at the unnecessary show of force.


But Morrison just glared at her and dragged Heyes along the porch and down the steps to the ground. Jack and Rick had followed the sheriff outside in order to keep a closer eye on their prisoner, leaving Mike inside to keep guard over Curry—hardly a taxing job at the moment.

Jesse knew that Thaddeus was in safe hands so long as the doctor and the two girls were present, so he decided to join the group outside as his regard for Morrison was dwindling more and more as the morning progressed. Noticing the rough handling that Heyes was already receiving from the lawman Jesse was convinced he had made the right choice.

Then Sam came running over from the barn, quite excited with his obvious success.

“I found it Sheriff!” Sam announced. “See, here it is. And here’s the material with it. Doc ought to be happy about that.”

“Good work son.” Morrison said as he took the bullet from him and shoved it into his pocket. “And Sam, I meant to tell you, you’ve done a fine job here for us. Your Pa would be real proud of you.”

Sam’s excitement suddenly disappeared, and he looked decidedly uncomfortable as he avoided meeting the gaze of either Jesse or Heyes. “Yeah, thank you Sheriff.” He mumbled.

Heyes and Jesse exchanged looks. Suddenly it all made sense. All the little nuances’ that on their own didn’t amount to anything, but put them together and suddenly there’s a trap being laid. Sam showing up just when the Jordan’s needed a hand. Sam bonding with the dogs so they would listen to him, getting them used to being in the bunkhouse at night, out of the way. His sudden and convenient girlfriend in town, even though he had been showing interest in Bridget. And then Thaddeus’ horse coming up lame on the very morning the boys had been planning on leaving.

Heyes’ jaw and fists tightened and the glare he sent Sam would have set the lad’s knees to shaking if he had seen it.

A small gasp coming from the porch caused heads to turn, and there was Bridget, staring at Sam, her hand to her mouth, stricken to the heart.

Sam started towards her, to say anything, to apologize, but Bridget turned her back on him and ran back into the house. Belle quickly followed. Some hurt feelings were going to be in need of comforting.


“Sam!” Morrison got his attention. “Do you know which horse is his?” He asked him, gesturing towards Heyes.

“Yeah Sheriff.”

“Good. Go get it saddled up will you. Time we got this business over with. You two.” He added, looking at Jack and Rick. “Keep an eye on Heyes, and don’t let him out of your sight this time! Apparently I need to remind you that the main reason these two have yet to be brought to trial is because every lawman and bounty hunter in the whole damn country tend to underestimate this man!” He glared at Heyes and then stomped back into the house to HOPEFULLY get events going in the right direction.

Jesse moved over to Heyes, very much aware of and annoyed by the scrutiny of the two deputies.

“I’m sorry about this Joshua. Obviously Sam’s been in on it all along.”

“Yeah. I hope Bridget’s going to be alright.”

“It’s been one hell of a morning.”

“Hmmm.”

Inside the barn, Sam was busy getting Karma saddled up and ready, but his thoughts were miles away. This wasn’t anything like what he thought it would be. He had been so looking forward to this moment when the trap would be sprung and Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry would finally be in custody, but it just didn’t go the way he had imagined. When he thought of outlaws, he always pictured them as ignorant, brutal people who didn’t deserve any respect or consideration but these two men, in opposite ways, were nothing like that. Indeed, as Sam thought back on the time he had spent with Curry the previous day it occurred to him that he might even have come to like the man if circumstances had been different.

Heyes was another matter though. Heyes frightened him. Even now, when he was at a definite disadvantage and scared to death over the fate of his friend, Sam found the man intimidating. It’s funny, he would have thought Curry would have been the intimidating one. Then he cringed as he remembered his arrogance of the previous evening, thinking that he would be capable of arresting that conman all on his own. Thank goodness he hadn’t tried it! Heyes would have taken him apart and the whole operation would have been blown.

Even Morrison had cautioned them that during the set up and arrest, Curry would be the one to watch. Not to let his quiet manner and amiability fool them. He was the dangerous one, he was the killer. But once they were in custody Heyes was the one who would need watching. ‘Capturing Hannibal Heyes was like trying to grab a river trout with your bare hands’ Morrison had said. ‘If you were very lucky and everything went according to plan you just might be able to snag him, but it was another matter altogether to hold onto him!’ And Sam believed it. There was just something in the man’s eyes. He might be an outlaw, but he was no fool.

Sam finished getting Karma ready and then led her out of the barn. Buck watched them go and sent a little nicker after her, wondering where she was going and if he would be joining her. It would be nice to get out on some grass again.

Once outside, Karma spotted her human across the yard and with head down and ears up she quickly walked towards him, leading Sam along with her. She was hoping that maybe they could get out for another gallop like they had yesterday. That had been fun. She got up to him and nudged him a little and nibbled on his shirt. Heyes smiled at her and spoke a quiet greeting, but didn’t touch her. Karma felt a little put out, ‘What, no scratch on the neck? No head hug?’ She rubbed her head against his chest and gave him a little bit of a stronger nudge, but still nothing. She began to sense something was wrong; he smelled funny. He wasn’t responding to her the way he normally did.

Karma nibbled at the sleeve of his henley then followed his arm around behind him and found the metal bracelet around his wrist. Well this was something she knew about. Heyes smiled as he felt her lips investigating the handcuffs and then her warm breath and soft tongue moistening his hands. He knew there was nothing she would be able to do to free him this time, but she sure was trying. Her teeth nibbled at the metal links attaching the cuffs but try as she might she couldn’t get a good hold on them. Every time she tried to bite down on them, they just slipped out of her grasp and her teeth would snap together with a loud ‘click’.

Sam was standing and watching the front door of the ranch house, thinking about Bridget until the mare's behavior brought him back to reality with a jolt. Feeling that he had not been paying attention to his duties and had missed something with what the mare was doing, he made the big mistake of over-reacting.


“Hey! Cut that out!” He yelled at her, then gave her a sharp jerk on the mouth with the reins.


Karma’s face tightened with pain, she threw her head up and reared backwards pulling Sam with her for a few yards before she broke free of him. Then, blowing in agitation, with head and tail up she danced away from him and galloped to the far end of the yard before turning to see what was going to happen next.

Heyes' nerves were on edge, and he had already been thinking thoughts along the criminal lines where that little upstart of a lawman wanna be was concerned. Seeing Sam abuse Karma Lou like that was all it took to push him right over that edge.

With a snarl of pent up anger and frustration, Heyes ducked his head and charged, catching an unprepared Sam in the midriff with his right shoulder. Heyes heard and felt the air explode from Sam’s lungs and then both men were sprawled in the dirt scrambling for the upper hand. Within seconds Jack and Rick, whose egos were still bruised from the chewing out they’d received, had charged in and joined the battle. Sam was unceremoniously dragged out from under Heyes and pushed to the side like a gasping sack of baby potatoes, and then they turned on the prisoner and began to kick and punch him into submission.

There’s no telling how long the beating would have gone on for if Jesse hadn’t been there. A quiet man on fire, Jesse’s adrenaline was pumping and he was into the middle of the fray before too many blows had found their mark. Grabbing one deputy and then the other Jesse easily sent them sprawling back towards the porch where they were quickly back on their feet and ready to charge into round two. Meanwhile, Heyes, cat like, had rolled away and scrambled to his feet as well, blood running from his nose and a split lip. He yelled his challenge and began his charge again and then Jesse was there, standing between them with arms spread and palms out, keeping the three combatants apart through the sheer force of his presence.


“JOSHUA! STOP!” Then the palm turned into an accusing finger, pointing at Heyes, bringing him to an instant, raging halt. “You remember what we discussed about choices!” It was not a question. “YOU REMEMBER!”

Breathing anger, adrenaline still pumped, Heyes fought against Jesse’s force of will for the beat of an eternity. Then he broke eye contact and submitted to the older man at a time when he would never have submitted to any other.

Tensions started to relax as everyone backed off. Sam was still sitting in the dust, hugging his torso and trying to pull air back into his lungs.

Morrison was suddenly on the porch, practically purple with anger.


“What the Devil is going on out here!? Do I have to be everywhere at once!? Bloody tarnation! Can’t you men even handle one prisoner in handcuffs!?”

The two deputies looked a little put out at being reprimanded yet again and glared daggers over to Heyes who was beginning to calm down and getting himself under control again.

“Just a little misunderstanding Sheriff.” Jesse answered him. “Things are under control again.”

“Misunderstanding!?” Morrison yelled. “Looks like the bloody Indian Wars all over again. Sam! Go catch that damn mare!”

“NO! Jesse, please!” Heyes was begging him. “Please! Don’t let them take her! I’m giving her to you! Don’t let them take her off the ranch!”

“You got no say in this!” Morrison yelled at Heyes, coming down the steps towards the group of men. “As soon as you were arrested everything you owned became the property of the Wyoming courts!”

“Well, we’re not in the Territory of Wyoming, Sheriff.” Jesse countered. “So taking that into consideration, it appears to me that Mr. Heyes here does not own any property. That mare now belongs to the Double J.”

Morrison fumed. Jack looked a little disappointed. As soon as he had spotted the mare coming out of the barn he had designs of bidding on her himself. Now it appeared that wasn’t going to happen.

“Fine.” Morrison snarled. “Sam! Go saddle up Curry’s horse. Heyes can ride in on that one.”

Sam hesitated, still rubbing his chest.

“Ahhh, Sheriff…”He began hesitantly.

“WHAT!”

“Curry’s horse is lame, he can’t go anywhere.”

Morrison was into a slow burn. He glared at Jesse as though all this were his fault.

“What is it with you people?” The Sheriff asked him. “This man…”And he pointed an accusing finger in Heyes’ direction. “Is one of the most wanted outlaws in the Wyoming Territory. He’s a cardsharp, a conman and a thief! He has cost the banks and railroads thousands of dollars! And you’re treating him like he’s one of the family!”

“Everyone can make mistakes Sheriff, doesn’t mean he can’t turn things around if he’s given the chance.”

Morrison scowled. “Don’t give me that amnesty nonsense! That’s a rumour at best and it’s never going to happen. That man is going to prison and if Curry survives he’ll be joining him there.” Then he turned to his deputies. “Jack, you can stay here and watch Curry and Heyes’ll ride your horse in to town.”

“Yeah, alright Sheriff.” Jack answered, sounding a little disappointed.

“I know we’re all tired.” Morrison told him. “As soon as Rick gets some sleep I’ll send him out to relieve you.”

Jack nodded and headed up the steps and into the house.

“Alright!” Morrison continued. “Let’s get this show on the road!”


Bridget ran into the house, trying to hold back the tears until she could get somewhere private
She had been busy helping Dr. Gibson get Thaddeus’ shoulder bandaged up when Beth had decided that Jay was drowsy enough to go back to his room for a nap, and then she had joined them at the table. It was obvious to David that Beth wanted to help, but didn’t know what to do. He smiled at her and got her to hold the dressing in place while he and Bridget wrapped the bandages.
At this point Jesse and Morrison exited the bedroom and came back over to the table.

“How much longer are you going to be with him Doc?” Morrison asked.

David barely glanced at the man, his dislike for him was so intense.

“Not much longer.” He answered. “But I want to make sure he’s as comfortable as possible and that Belle will have all the supplies she’ll need until I can get back out here again.”

“Fine, but hurry it up will you.” Morrison growled.

“It would help if your man could find that bullet.”

Morrison snorted derisively, did a quick scan of the room and then froze.

“Where’s Heyes?!” He bellowed and he headed for the front door under a full head of steam.

“He’s just out on the porch with Mrs. Jordan.” Rick answered as Morrison charged past him. “We’re keeping an eye on him.”

David breathed a sigh of relief as the area emptied of everyone but his two young assistants and Shoemacher, who at least was sitting out of the way and staying quiet. He smiled reassuringly at Beth again sensing that she seemed to be having the hardest time of it.

“You and your sister care a lot about this man, don’t you?” He asked her.

She looked up at him through frightened eyes staring out of an ashen face. “Yes.” She mouthed the word, but hardly any sound came out.

“Have you known him a long time?” David was trying to keep her talking, get her mind focused and working again. Sixteen was awfully young to be having to deal with something like this.

“Yes.” Beth answered, her voice coming easier this time. “About four years. They came to stay at our ranch for a while. He’s really nice.”

“So, can I count on you and your sister then, to look after him while he’s here?”

“Oh yes!” Beth was adamant. “I’ll look after him!”

“We’ll look after him.” Bridget had piped in, not wanting to be outdone.

David smiled. “Good.” He said. “Then I can be rest assured that I’m leaving him in capable hands.”

Both girls smiled.

“Bridget.” David continued. “Could you step outside and see if anyone has found that bullet yet? I really would feel a lot better about patching him up if I knew for sure that I haven’t left anything behind in there.”

Bridget smiled and nodded. Then she had stepped out onto the porch just in time to hear the Sheriff complementing Sam on his ‘good’ work.

David had glanced up, surprised at Bridget’s almost instant return, but when he saw the look on her face he realized that the errand she had been sent on was totally forgotten. Then, looking around, and not even acknowledging David and her sister, Bridget ducked into the spare room where Joshua and Thaddeus had been staying. Another drama unfolding.

Two beats later, Belle came in and not seeing her eldest daughter anywhere sent a questioning look over to the doctor. David nodded to the bedroom door, thinking to himself that this ranch house was suddenly busier than the Denver train station on the 4th of July. He shook his head in mild bewilderment and put his attention back on his patient and his young assistant.

Belle moved to the threshold of the bedroom and stood for a moment and watched her eldest daughter. This was certainly one of those hard lessons that life tends to throw at the young and inexperienced. Everything just hurts so much when you’re young, things like deception and betrayal are new emotions and no coping mechanisms had been built up to deal with those things yet. Well Bridget was getting her first real taste of it now that was for sure.

Belle came in and sat down on the bed beside her daughter and put an arm around her. Bridget hugged her mother and cried into her shoulder.


“Oh Momma.” She sobbed. “How could Sam do that? I thought he was our friend.”

“I know sweetheart, but he obviously thought he was doing the right thing.”

“But he lied to us, pretended to be someone he wasn’t just to get us to trust him while he laid in wait!”

“Well, that’s what someone working undercover for the law does. Didn’t you say that that was acceptable as long as it was for the greater good?”

“But that’s just to trap bad people! Not us! We’re not bad people!”

“But who’s to judge that Bridget? Who’s to decide who is good and who is bad? To our way of seeing it, we’re not bad people and neither are Joshua and Thaddeus. But to the law, Joshua and Thaddeus are criminals and using us to get to them was acceptable.”

Bridget sniffed and wiped her eyes.

“I guess that’s what Joshua was trying to tell me and I just couldn’t see it.” Bridget admitted. “I don’t think I could ever do what Sam did.”

Belle gave her a pat on the shoulder.

“Well, try not to be too hard on him. We don’t know what his reasons were and I think he may already to feeling some regrets.”

“A lot of good that does now!” Bridget answered bitterly.

“I know.” Belle agreed with a sigh. “Well, I’d best get out there to help with Thaddeus, Beth looks to be a bit overwhelmed. You just stay quiet in here for a few minutes if you like and come out when you feel better.”

“Yes Momma.”

Bridget sat on the bed for some time trying to get her thoughts sorted out. So much for being a detective! She was never going to treat honest hard working folks like that! Sam should be ashamed of himself!

She heard Sheriff Morrison come in and talk to Dr. Gibson about the bullet, and then Morrison and Mike got to discussing their next move and how to make it. She really didn’t want to go out into the common area while that Sheriff was there. She really didn’t like him.

She wiped away the last of the tears and looked around the room. There was Joshua’s hat setting on the dresser, he would probably be needing that. Thaddeus’ hat was there too but that wasn’t going to be going anywhere. There were their saddlebags and a navy shirt draped over the back of the chair. Then Bridget’s heart skipped a beat as she spotted Joshua’s holster and gun hanging off the same chair. She had a wild fleeting thought of grabbing his gun and forcing the Sheriff to release her friends but then she realized with a sinking heart just how foolish that would be. Even if she knew how to use a hand gun, she could never get the drop on all of them at once and it would just create more problems.

She stood up and went over to the chair and affectionately ran her hands along the material of Joshua’s shirt. She picked it up and hugged it to her chest and then buried her face into its soft folds, taking in his scent and she felt the tears starting to come again. Then she felt something that wasn’t quite right. There was an object, slender and hard neatly sown inside the collar. She looked around for something sharp and found a pocket knife on the dresser along with some coins and a few other nick naks. With the point of the knife, she carefully broke through the threads and pushed the object out into her hand. It was a lock pick.

Bridget quickly looked around to make sure no one was watching her, then suddenly she heard more commotion outside and then her father yelling at someone. That was unusual. She could count on the fingers of her one hand how many times she had heard her father raise his voice and it always precluded trouble for someone!

Morrison started to curse, which dropped him even lower in her esteem and she heard him storm back out onto the porch again and then the yelling really began. She decided she had best to wait until things quieted down again so she draped the shirt back over the chair, grabbed Joshua’s hat and hiding the pick inside it, waited an eternity before quietly making her way back out onto the porch.

She saw her father walking away from them across the yard to go catch the mare. Sam had moved Jack’s gelding over to the porch so that Heyes could move up onto a higher step and then just reach across and slip his foot into the stirrup. Then with a couple of hands helping to steady him he was able to swing his other leg over the cantle and get mounted. And there he sat, looking a little dejected while he waited for the lawmen to get organized themselves.


“Joshua.” Bridget called quietly to him and then casually walked down the steps to stand beside the horse. Heyes looked down at her. “I found your hat in the room and thought you might be needing it.”

Heyes smiled. “Oh yes, Bridget. Thank you.” And he leaned over to her so she could put the hat on his head.

It was while he was down, almost face to face with her that she showed him the lock pick and then quickly she slipped it inside his boot.
Heyes was startled. He wasn’t quite sure if that was a good idea or not. Then they both jumped when Morrison suddenly came out of nowhere.

“Here there young lady.” The Sheriff said as he took hold of Bridget’s arm and pulled her back up onto the steps. “Best stay away from him. Even handcuffed he can be dangerous and I wouldn’t want to see anything happen to you.”

Heyes and Bridget exchanged small, knowing smiles. As if Joshua would ever do anything to hurt her!

Then the lawmen, including Sam were all mounting up and Heyes mouthed a silent ‘goodbye’ to his young friend. He sent one more disparaging look at the door of the house, wishing for one last look at his partner but it was not to be, and then they were riding away.

Sam held back a moment watching Bridget, but she avoided his gaze, then turned and went back into the house. Sam hung his head and kicked his horse after the departing posse.

Heyes heard Karma whinny after him and it darn near broke his heart, but he did not look back. Everything and everyone who mattered to him were back at the Double J Ranch and he was being forced to leave them behind. When would he see Kid again? Would he ever see Kid again? The answer that came to him scared him more than prison itself.



TO BE CONTINUED

Note; I did some research into what was known about resuscitation in the 1880’s and was quite surprised to learn that the professionals actually knew quite a bit. Some of their methods were a bit wacky, but David is smarter than the average small town doctor so he would have his method down pat. They were certainly aware of doing chest compressions in order to get air pumping into the lungs again. They had apparently abandoned mouth to mouth during that time period, believing that any air once expelled from the lungs would no longer be of any use
The term 'regressed' probably wasn’t in use at that time, but given David’s intelligence and forward thinking, maybe he’s the one who coined the phrase. Works for me!
I’m the first to admit that I have no real medical training so if I have insulted anyone with my ignorance, I apologize. Chalk it up to poetic license.


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 3 The Trap Part one   Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:16 pm

You capture Heyes' wilyness so very well. I liked the line, 'Capturing Hannibal Heyes was like trying to grab a river trout with your bare hands.’ I'm sure that he is going to be doing what he can to win this small victories, but I obviously know he's going to jail. I am looking forward to watching his journey through the capture and trial.
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Chapter 3 The Trap Part one
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