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 And So It Begins Chapter four

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Keays

Keays

Posts : 1447
Join date : 2013-08-24
Age : 62
Location : Camano Island Washington

And So It Begins  Chapter four Empty
PostSubject: And So It Begins Chapter four   And So It Begins  Chapter four EmptySat Sep 07, 2013 9:08 pm

CHAPTER FOUR

AND SO IT BEGINS 


 The ride into Brookswood was one big blur to Heyes, he had too many other things on his mind.  He was hardly aware of Morrison leading the procession with the halter rope attached to Heyes’ horse firmly wrapped around his saddle horn.  Mike was to Heyes’ right with the rifle casually cradled in his left arm, but ominously aimed at the outlaw, nice and handy just in case, and Sam was riding along to Heyes’ left, trying to remain inconspicuous.  Heyes, as mentioned before, was hardly noticing.

 What he was aware of was the lock pick inside his left boot.  What he was thinking about, was just what exactly he intended to do about it.  He could just leave it there until he was safe within the confines of a cell.  Once the handcuffs were removed and everyone had settled for the night it would be no problem to retrieve the pick and make his escape.  He had done that very thing so many times in the past it was like clockwork and that could easily be his next move.  Still, he hesitated this time, being faced with a new situation.  What would he do then?

 In past circumstances Curry had been with him, waiting for Heyes to save the day, or hiding out in some pre-determined place, anticipating his arrival.  But this time Curry was seriously wounded, unable to go anywhere.  Sure Heyes could escape quite easily, but where would he go?  He would have to leave his cousin behind.  Heyes wouldn’t be able to lay in wait and retrieve him later, the law would be waiting for just that kind of action.  And what about the amnesty?  Heyes could escape, lay in wait and maybe, with luck grab the Kid later, but then all those years of trying for their pardons would be wasted, that’s even if he could get the Kid out.

 The best Heyes could do, if he made a run for it, would be to head to Mexico and hope that the Kid would survive his wounds and get his pardon on his own.  Quite a long shot actually, since Heyes making a run for it would probably cancel out any chance the Kid might have to get that amnesty.  Heyes’ own freedom could end up costing the Kid twenty years.  Damn!  Damned if you do and damned if you don’t!

 He decided to fall back on plan B; when in doubt, wait and see what happens.

 He felt eyes upon him and glanced over to meet Sam’s inquisitive gaze but then the young man ducked his head and turned away, afraid to meet that dark, accusing stare.

 Heyes sneered in disgust.  That lad was going to have to develop a thicker skin if he planned on making a living knifing people in the back.  His mood was bitter, and he didn’t mind sharing it.

 “Sam,"  Morrison called to the young man.  “ride on ahead and let the sheriff in Brookswood know we’re coming.”

 “Yeah, alright Sheriff.”  Sam pushed his horse forward into a lope, relieved to get away from the outlaw and to have something useful to do.

 Forty minutes later the small posse jogged into town and turned in to the hitching rail in front of the Sheriff’s office.  Much to Morrison’s disgust a small group of citizens had spotted them riding in and had begun to follow them, pointing and mumbling to themselves along the way. By the time the mounted group had made it to their destination there was quite a crowd gathering.

 This was exactly what Morrison had hoped to avoid.  How had word gotten out?  He scowled to himself, then decided to just ignore the populace and simply get on with the business at hand.  The three lawmen dismounted and Heyes, seeing no alternative at the moment, swung his right leg over his horse’s neck and slid to the ground.  Mike instantly grabbed hold of him and, pulling him around the horses, headed him towards the steps leading to the office, trying to ignore the numerous comments bombarding them from the growing crowd.


 “Yeah, that’s Heyes alright,”  same one comment. “I was in a bank they robbed a few years back.”

 Jeez, another eye witness, Heyes thought, had they really been that flippant about their identities?  Yeah, they had.

 “That’s Hannibal Heyes?!”  came another incredulous voice.  “Why, he’s just a skinny little fellow!”  Heyes gritted his teeth at that one.  “With a name like ‘Hannibal’ I always thought he would be bigger than that!”

  “My God!  There’s blood all over him!”

 “Well, that would make sense.  I heard one of them took a bullet.  Looks like it was Curry.”

 “That’s Hannibal Heyes?  I was playing poker with him all afternoon yesterday!  WOW!  I’m never going to forget that game now!”

 Yesterday afternoon?  Heyes thought as he was being dragged into the sheriff’s office.  That was only yesterday?


 Once inside the office Morrison glared at Sam, who was by the desk taking refuge with the local deputy, who was also a young man awestruck by their new prisoner.

 “I’m sorry Sheriff,” Sam piped in before Morrison could start in on him.  “Somehow everybody already knew you were bringing at least one of them in here today.  That crowd was starting to gather before I even arrived.”

 Morrison calmed down and gave Sam a small smile.  His nerves were on edge dealing with these two outlaws and he knew he had been taking it out on his men.  Everybody needed some rest.

 “I know Sam,”  the sheriff answered him.  “I think it was that big mouth of a livery man who let everyone know something was up.  It’s alright.  Just don’t let any of them in for a visit!”  Then he glanced around, puzzled.  “Where is the Sheriff?  I would have thought he’d want to be here for this.”

 “Ah, Sheriff Jacobs is out of town right now, attending his niece’s wedding,” answered the local man (boy).  “Ah, my name’s Morin, sir, Joe Morin.  I’m in charge here until the Sheriff gets back.”  He swallowed, and sent a quick glance over in Heyes’ direction, obviously not wanting to be in charge of such an important prisoner.

 “Oh that’s just great,”  Morrison complained.  “About the only right thing that has happened on this venture is that we actually captured Heyes and Curry.”

 Speak for yourself, Heyes thought.  As far as he was concerned that’s about the only thing that hadn’t gone right!

 Morrison sighed and gave in to the inevitable.  “Alright.  Deputy..Morin is it?”

 “Yes sir.”

 “If you could just show Deputy Shoemacher here where to lock up the prisoner and then if both of you could return here so we can go over the details and get the paperwork out of the way.”

 “Yes sir, Sheriff.”

 “Alright Sheriff.  Come on Heyes, this way.”

 Mike escorted Heyes towards the heavy wooden door that led into the cell block and then waited for Joe to grab the keys and get the door open for them to carry on.

 There was nobody else in the cell block on that particular day so Joe swung open the door to the cell closest to the entrance and Mike casually pushed Heyes inside.  Heyes just stood there, his back to the cell door and took in his new lodgings with a heavy heart.  There was just one bunk in this cell, running length wise along the far wall and aside from the chamber pot in the corner that was about it.  There wasn’t even a window.  The cell at the far end of the isle had a window and Heyes could hear people out there talking and laughing, and even caught his name being mentioned a couple of times but that just served to depress him even more.

 Then Heyes heard the cell door swing shut and clang into place.  He turned and looked at the large deputy.

 “Ah, Mike?  What about the cuffs?”

 “Sorry Heyes,” Mike answered.  “Morrison has the keys.  You’re just going to have to wait for him.”

 Heyes slumped slightly in disappointment.  His shoulders were beginning to ache and it would be nice to at least get the cuffs off.  He watched as the two men exited the cell block and that heavy wooden door was closed and locked behind them.  All of a sudden Heyes felt very much alone.  He sighed, feeling a little sorry for himself and then went over to the bunk and sat down, pushing himself back and leaning into the corner of the cell.  He closed his eyes hoping to maybe get some rest, collect his thoughts.  But that didn’t happen.

 As soon as his eyes closed he heard the rifle shot again, felt the tremor go through Kid’s body and then his friend falling over into him.  Blood everywhere.  Then Beth pleading; “Please don’t die.  Please don’t die.”  Heyes jerked himself out of it.  It had been bad enough going through that once, he didn’t want to re-live it again.  Unfortunately, now that he was alone and things had quieted down, worry over the fate of his cousin took hold on him and he wasn’t going to be allowed to think on anything else.

 Finally, after what seemed an eternity but had really only been half an hour, the heavy wooden door opened and Morrison came into the cell block.  He unlocked the cell door and entered.

 “Okay Heyes,”  he said.  “on your feet, turn around.”

 'It’s about time', Heyes thought as he did as instructed.  'Finally getting these damn cuffs off.'

 But to Heyes’ surprise, and disappointment the cuffs were not released.  Instead, Morrison started another methodical search of Heyes’ person, starting at his neck and shoulders and slowly working his way down.

 “Another search Sheriff?  Surely you don’t think…”

 “Quiet!”

 Heyes closed his eyes, dreading the moment Morrison would reach his left boot.  He knew the sheriff would find it, Morrison was being too thorough not to.  Heyes thought, regretfully that he should have shook that pick down further so that it might have fallen over and rested under his foot inside the boot, but he had wanted to keep the tool handy, easy to get at in case he had needed to retrieve it quickly.  Now he knew he was going to loose it all together.

 Sure enough, Morrison finished with the right leg and then started down the left.  As soon as he slid his hand inside Heyes’ boot, he froze.  Then sliding the lock pick out he stood up and Heyes tensed, not quite sure what to expect at this point.

 “Well isn’t this interesting,”  Morrison commented. “Where did you get this one Heyes?”

 Heyes smiled nervously, more than a little aware of the close proximity of the sheriff standing behind him.

 “You just missed that one when you searched me the first time.”

 “You’re lying Heyes,”  Morrison countered him. “I searched you thoroughly and I didn’t miss anything.  The three I took off you this morning are still with me.  So where did you get this one?”

 “Honest, Sheriff, you simply missed it….”

 The sucker punch to Heyes’ kidney put him into the floor before he even realized he’d been hit.  He lay there on his side, gasping for air as the pain blossomed and then radiated out from the point of impact.   Morrison stepped around in front of Heyes and then squatted down and shoved the lock pick in front of his face.

 “Where did you get it?”  Morrison asked again, then he paused as a thought occurred to him.  “It was that Jordan girl wasn’t it?  The oldest one, Bridget.  She slipped it into your boot when she came to say goodbye to you didn’t she?”

 “No,”  Heyes gasped.  “Like I said….you just…missed it.”

 Morrison stood up.  The kick that landed in Heyes’ ribcage almost made him pass out, if he didn’t throw up first.  He pulled both knees up almost to his chest as he fought to breathe. Pain filled his mind.

 “Don’t ever play me for a fool again, Heyes.”

 Then Heyes vaguely heard the cell door open and then clang shut again.  He was left alone, laying on the cold of the cell floor, gasping for breath.


 Joe Morin hadn’t felt at all comfortable about being left to guard the prisoner all on his own.  He knew all about Hannibal Heyes and the tricks he had up his sleeve and Joe found it very difficult to relax and get any work done.  When he heard foot steps outside he hoped it was Morrison or one of his deputies coming back to assist him, but then the handle on the front door rattled as the person tried to enter and finding it locked, started knocking.

 “Ah, who is it?”  Joe called out, nervously.

 “It’s Doc Gibson and Jesse Jordan,”  came the Doc’s voice.  “I want to come in and check up on the prisoner.”

 “Oh, ah, just a minute.”

 Joe hurried over to the door and unlocking it, let the two men in.  Then he did a quick scan of the boardwalk outside and finding it empty breathed a sigh of relief but quickly closed and locked the door again.
 Jesse and David exchanged glances.

 “A little nervous Joe?”  Jesse asked him.

 “You better believe it,”  Joe admitted.  “I’m not supposed to let anybody in here or even go into the cell block unless it’s a dire emergency.  I just wish Sheriff Jacobs was here.”

 “Sheriff Jacobs wouldn’t have left you in charge if he didn’t think you could handle anything that came up.”  Jesse assured him.

 “Well I don’t think he foresaw this,”  said Joe.

 “You’re doing fine Joe,”  David assured him.  “We brought some clean clothes for Mr. Heyes and I want to check him out.  He took a bit of a beating out at Jordan’s place.  I just need to make sure he’s alright.”

 “Oh, I don’t know,”  answered Joe looking anxious again.  “Sheriff Morrison said…”

 “Sheriff Morrison is not in charge of this jail Joe, you are,”  David countered him.  “And being the town’s doctor I have authority over you and Morrison when it comes to the welfare of a prisoner.”

 Joe looked like he was stuck between and rock and a hard place.

 David smiled to put him at ease.  “Don’t worry about it Joe, we won’t let your prisoner escape.  And you know Sheriff Jacobs would approve.”

 “Yeah, I know,”  Joe admitted.  “Alright, I’ll let you in.”

 Joe retrieved the keys to the cell block and the cells and opened the wooden door to let the two men inside.  One look into the first cell and everyone was up in arms again.

 “God dammit Joe!”  David snapped at him.  “What happened in here!?  How long has he been like this!?”

 “I don’t know,"  Joe stammered as he quickly unlocked the cell door.  “Morrison was the last one in here and he told me to stay out!”

 David and Jesse rushed into the cell and over to Heyes and were down beside him in an instant.

 “My God, Joshua, what happened?  Are you able to sit up?”

 “No!”  David interjected.  “Don’t move him Jesse, not yet.”  Then to Joe; “Get the keys to these handcuffs for goodness sakes!  What the hell is Morrison thinking leaving him like this?!”

 “Well, I don’t have the keys Doc.  Morrison’s got them.”

 David was fuming.  “Jeez, they haven’t even cleaned him up.  Joe!  Go get water and soap, lots of it and keep it coming.  And towels and some extra blankets.  Go!!”

 Then David turned his full attention to Heyes.

 “Okay Hannibal, where do you hurt?”

 “Everywhere,”  came the tight reply.

 “You’re going to have to be more specific than that.  Where does it start?”

 “My right side.  Front and back.”

 “Okay.  Just try to relax.”

David gently pulled Heyes’ blood stiffened henley up and away from his right side.   Both Jesse and David sucked their teeth when they saw the deep, dark bruising that was already developing on Heyes’ torso, nicely competing with the set of bruises that were there from the earlier assault.   David carefully examined the ribcage and applied very, very gentle pressure against the lower ribs. But even at that Heyes tensed and gasped in pain.

 “Easy,”  David tried to sooth him.  “Just relax, I won’t be long.”

 Done with examining the ribs, David then concentrated on the bruising on Heyes’ back, gently feeling around the area and applying some pressure where he needed to.  Heyes closed his eyes and tried to block the pain, but wasn’t having much luck.  He finally broke down and started to protest.

 “Ow.”

 “Sorry.”

 “Ow!”

 “Sorry.”

 “OW!”

 “Sorry.”

 “You’re not sorry Doc, so stop saying you are!”

 David smiled.  “Okay, you have a point,”  he admitted.  “I don’t like hurting you Hannibal but I need to be sure there is no serious damage inside.  I want to feel confident that you’re going to heal up alright since I don’t know how long I’m going to be able to keep you under my care.”

 “Yeah, okay.”

 David finally finished with his examination and then straightened up with a sigh.

 “Alright.  That kidney feels pretty tender and bruised, but I don’t think it’s damaged. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of your floating ribs has a hairline fracture in it, but it’s not broken.  It’ll certainly be causing you some pain for the next few days, but it ought to heal alright.  However, having said that, if you start to cough up blood, or you see blood when you use the chamber pot you let me know right away.  Do you understand?”  

 “Sure Doc.”

 “I mean it Hannibal, it’s important.  Don’t play heroics or the tough guy, telling yourself that if you just give it some time it will go away on its own.  I know what young men are like when it comes to seeking aide.  And a few older ones too,”  David added, with an accusing glance directed at Jesse.  That gentleman chose to be looking elsewhere at that particular moment.

 “No, don’t worry Doc,”  Heyes assured him.  “If I see anything like that I’ll let you know.”

 “Good,”  David was satisfied with that.  “Now, do you think you can sit up on your own?”

 “No, I’ve already tried.  The pain just shoots through me and I can’t breathe.”

 “Alright.  Jesse, if you can give me a hand here.”

 “Sure.”

 “If you can just get hold of him on that arm, and I’ll pull him up with this one then we can get him into a sitting position.  Hannibal, I’m just going to straighten your legs out in front of you, then we’ll pull you up.  Don’t you do anything, just stay relaxed.  Let us do the work, okay?”

 “Yeah, fine.”

 “Okay Jesse, you ready?  Alright, up you come.”

 Heyes suddenly found himself in the seated position without too much fuss and bother.  He still hurt like the dickens, but the sharp pain he had been expecting never happened.  David’s expertise was impressing him more and more.

 “Okay, that went well,”  David commented.  “Now, your bunk is right behind you, so the next step is to get you sitting up on it.  I’m going to bring your knees up now to get you into position, so just relax.”  He did that and then David and Jesse both stood up and each grabbed hold of an arm again.   “Just like before Hannibal, don’t you do anything.  Let us do the work.  Okay Jesse, ready?  Here we go.”

 Just like before, Heyes easily found himself now sitting on the bunk and the world was looking a whole lot better.  David and Jesse sat down on either side of him.

 “Now, if we could just get these cuffs off of you we might start making some progress.”  David commented.

 “I see you have your medical bag with you,”  Heyes observed.  “Do you have anything long and slender in there, something that might just resemble a lock pick?”

 Jesse and David exchanged looks and then David smiled.

 “Yes, I think I just might.”

 David quickly retrieved his bag from where he had dropped it by the cell door.  He sat back down on the bunk, opened his bag and rummaged through it until he found another small case and he opened that to reveal a set of probes of various lengths and thicknesses for Heyes to choose from.  They weren’t exactly like a lock pick, not having been designed for that use, but Heyes was able to spy one that ought to do the job and David pulled it out for him.

 “Now what?”  David asked.  “I’m quite proficient at using these tools for what they were designed for, but I’ve never picked a lock in my life.”

 “That’s alright,”  Heyes answered.  “I can pick a lock with my hands tied behind my back.”  He smiled at his little joke.  “Just put it in my right hand, that’s right.  Now, direct the end of it into the key hole for me.  Good.”

 Heyes started to take a deep breath, then stopped short at the pain it caused.  He’d have to remember not to do that!  He released the air that was in his lungs and closed his eyes, easing himself into a relaxed state.  He focused his mind on the lock and the tool in his hand.  He smiled with pleasure despite his pain when he felt himself in familiar territory.  He could picture the inside of the lock in his mind, knew just where the end of the tool needed to be and just how much pressure to apply to seduce the lock into opening up for him.

 Both Jesse and David watched silently, mesmerized by the artist at work.  His long, slender fingers barely moved, everything was precise and delicate and then ‘click’, the one cuff surrendered and Heyes’ smile broadened.  Jesse was amazed.  He felt like he was gradually saying goodbye to Joshua Smith and just beginning to scratch the surface of Hannibal Heyes.  No wonder Morrison was so jumpy.

 “Easy does it,”  said David as Heyes tried to bring his arms around in front of him. The muscles in his shoulders were so tight and sore they protested at the sudden movement and Heyes sucked his teeth.  “Just bring them around slowly, then work them around a little until they start to ease up.  There you go.  That better?”

 “Yeah,”  Heyes answered and started to take a deep breath, then again decided that that wasn’t such a good idea after all.  He moved his neck and shoulders around a bit until the stiffness in them eased then he placed his hands on his lap and every quickly unlocked the second cuff from his wrist and let the offending manacles slide to the floor.

 “How is Curry doing?”  he asked David.

 “As well as can be expected.  He’s resting.”

 “Yeah, but—he’s still breathing right?”  Heyes needed to hear the reassurance.

 “Yes Hannibal, he’s still breathing.  Plus he has three lovely ladies more than happy to tend to his needs.  He’ll be well looked after.”

 Heyes nodded, relieved.  Then there was some loud banging and clanking from the outer office, quickly fallowed by Joe and a friend coming into the cell block sloshing buckets of water and trying to keep hold of all the other paraphernalia associated with a sponge bath.  Heyes was beginning to feel nervous.

 David brightened up.  “Oh great!  Bring it all in here boys, and keep the water coming.  Hello George, how are you today?”

 “Fine Doctor Gibson,”  Joe’s friend answered, but his eyes never left Heyes.

 Wonderful, thought Heyes, another awe-struck youngster.  Hopefully he wouldn’t be sticking around.

 “Where is Sheriff Morrison Joe?”  David asked.  “I’d like to have a word with him.”

 “Ah, I think he said he was going to set up travel arrangements and then get some sleep,”  Joe answered a little nervously.  He didn’t like being put on the spot and was already worried about what was going to happen when Morrison got back and found that Joe had not obeyed his orders.

 “If you see him, tell him to come talk to me,”  said David somewhat tight lipped, then; “Well, go on off with you.  Get more water, we’re going to need it.”

 The two young men disappeared, much to Heyes’ relief, but then David’s next words set him on edge all over again.

 “Okay Hannibal, let’s get these clothes off you and get you cleaned up.”

 “Ahhh…..I can just do that on my own can’t I?”

 David sat back and looked at him with half a smile on his face.  “Well I don’t know Hannibal, can you?”

 Jesse decided to take the doctors lead and just sat back quietly, giving Heyes the time he needed to come to the uncomfortable but inevitable conclusion for himself.  Heyes sat for a moment just staring straight ahead then looked from one man to the other hoping for some reprieve.  He didn’t find any.

 Showing a streak of stubbornness that would match the Kid’s, Heyes tried bringing one foot up to cross over his knee so that he could pull the boot off.  No go.  He barely got his knee half way up when pain shot through his torso and he gasped for breath.  Then he tried using the boot heel on one foot to assist in pulling the boot off the other.  Damn!  That hurt even more.  He sighed and sat for a moment.  There had to be a solution to this!

 Finally he changed tactics and attempted something simpler.  Very slowly and carefully and with a great deal of effort Heyes was able to pull his arms out of the sleeves of the henley and then pull the shirt over his head but by the time he was done he was sweating and tight lipped with pain.

 “Alright,”  he conceded.  “Let’s just get this over with.”

 Jesse and David both smiled and then set about getting down to business.  Washing Heyes’ hair proved difficult because he was unable to lean over the basin so water and soap was getting everywhere.  Still, the job got done.   They let Heyes wash his own face and he carefully dabbed at his split lip.  It was sore, but not a bad cut and once he had removed the dried blood it was barely noticeable.  His two friends carried on washing his arms and shoulders and torso, being very careful of the numerous bruises that were in attendance, and turning the buckets of water red faster than Joe was able to replace them.

 It was at this point that Jesse began to notice other injuries that were well healed, but still apparent.  Yet another scar from a bullet wound under the left shoulder blade was the worst that he saw, and probably the most life threatening.  Still the other numerous scars of nicks and slices and close calls told their own story of a life full of danger and pain and no way out.

 Heyes was acutely aware of his nakedness in more ways than one.  Many men liked to boast of the scars they carried and the close calls they had escaped from.  But Heyes wasn’t one of them.  He kept himself covered up for the most part, not wanting others to see his battle wounds.  To him they were an accounting of all his foolish choices and decisions, and his inability to keep himself, and those he was responsible for, safe from harm.

 “My goodness Joshua,”  Jesse began before thinking that it might be intrusive. “just how many times have you been shot?”

 Heyes tried to pull his mind away from the pain and discomfort he was currently in and focus on Jesse’s question.

 “Including the grazes, or just the ones that had to be dug out?”

 David and Jesse exchanged glances.

 “And Thaddeus?”

 “He’s got his share.”

 Moving along, Jesse draped one of the dry blankets across Heyes’ shoulders so he would not get cold and then they set about carefully pulling off his boots and socks, both of them noting that even those items were bloody from the inside out.

 “Okay,”  said David.  “let’s stand you up so we can get your trousers off.”

 Heyes groaned inwardly.  Please don’t let Morrison walk in on them now!

 They got him on his feet and then Jesse grabbed another blanket and held it around Heyes’ waist in order to preserve some of his dignity while David pulled the bloody trousers and longjohns down to the floor.  Heyes held onto Jesse’s shoulder to steady himself while he stepped out of the soiled clothing and then David quickly began washing the dried blood off his legs, etc.  It was the etcetera and was causing Heyes distress.

 Jesse, well aware that what David was doing, even as a doctor, would cause extreme embarrassment to any grown man, attempted to engage Heyes in conversation to try and keep his mind off of what was going on below his waist.

 “What in the world did you do Joshua, to deserve such a beating?”  Jesse asked him.  “I know Morrison is a bit of a bully, but I don’t think even he would have laid into you like this without a reason.”  

 Heyes looked a little sheepish.

 “Ahhh….well.  He found another lock pick on me.”

 “Another one?  I find it hard to believe that he missed one when he searched you.”

 “No, he got all the ones I had on me at the time.”

 “Well then how?.....Oh, don’t tell me it was one of my girls!”

 Heyes smiled at him.  “Okay, I won’t.”

 “Oh my goodness,”  Jesse groaned.  “Well, it couldn’t have been Beth, she was way too distraught over Thaddeus to follow through on something like that.  It must have been Bridget.  She’s going to be hearing about this!”

 “I wouldn’t be too hard on her Jesse, she was just trying to help.”

 “Yeah, like the last time.  Nearly getting her mother thrown into prison!  Now this time you ended up receiving a sound beating.  She has to learn there are consequences to making those kinds of choices.”  He signed.  “I don’t know what it is about you two, Joshua.  Those girls are usually very responsible and know right from wrong but as soon as you boys show up all their common sense goes right out the window!”

 Heyes gave an impish smile and flashed his dimples.  Jesse laughed out loud.

 “You devil!”  he teased Heyes.  “You know exactly the effect you have on the fairer sex—young and old!”

 Heyes shrugged smugly and gave a playful nod.  Then he turned serious again and looked Jesse straight in the eye.

 “Don’t worry about your girls Jesse,”  he said.  “They’re both fine, sensible young ladies (on the most part).  When the time comes, they’ll make the right choices.”

 “Hmmm.”  Like most fathers, Jesse wasn’t totally convinced.

 “Okay, I’m done here,”  David announced.  “Let’s get you into those clean clothes.”

 “Oh,”  Heyes responded, a little surprised.  Jesse had done a good job at distracting him.  He hadn’t been totally successful, but close enough.

 Half an hour later Heyes was looking more himself, comfortably dressed in black trousers and boots and a light coffee coloured shirt.  A dark brown jacket lay at the foot of the bunk for when the evening turned chilly.  His previous clothing would more than likely have to be burned since nothing was going to get those stains out.
 Then, almost as though on cue, Morrison came storming into the cell block.

 “What the devil is going on in here!?”


Last edited by Keays on Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:33 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Keays

Keays

Posts : 1447
Join date : 2013-08-24
Age : 62
Location : Camano Island Washington

And So It Begins  Chapter four Empty
PostSubject: And So It Begins Part Two   And So It Begins  Chapter four EmptySat Sep 07, 2013 9:15 pm

David and Jesse both stood up. Neither man cared for this Sheriff much and both were ready to do battle.

“What’s going on is exactly what I was wanting to ask you!” David threw back at him. “What’s the idea of leaving a man in that condition alone and locked in a cell? He may be your prisoner Sheriff, but I insist he be treated with a certain amount of humanity!”

“Oh you do, do you?” Morrison countered. “Well I’ve said it before and apparently it bares repeating; Heyes and Curry are dangerous men! They’ve yet to make it to trial because people like you treat them like they’re upright, honest citizens! You have no idea how quickly they’ll turn on you or anybody else in order to avoid going to prison! Well I intend to make sure that man goes to trial and I really don’t care if you don’t like the way I go about it!” He paused and glared over at Heyes where he was still sitting on the bunk. “Mr. Heyes and I needed to come to an understanding as to my tolerance level for con games. Hopefully we have reached that point.”

Heyes just smiled weakly back, not really feeling up to including himself in this discussion.

“I understand your concern Sheriff.” David responded. “But keeping a man’s hands cuffed behind him indefinitely is borderline torture and I will not tolerate it as long as he is in my care.”

“Fine.” Morrison answered. “We’ll just see how long that’s going to be.”

David ignored the veiled threat. “I also want to see a decent meal and lots of drinking water brought in here. I have a feeling he hasn’t had anything all day.”

“I’m really not hun….”

“Shut up!” David threw back at Heyes, so riled now that he forgot about courtesy. “You’re going to get some food into you whether you like it or not!”

“Joseph! Sam!” Morrison called while still glaring at David. “Get this cell cleaned up! Then go over to Molly’s and ask her to prepare a meal for the prisoner.”

“Yes, sir Sheriff.” Joe answered and he and Sam quickly began to collect up the buckets and blankets and towels and even did their best to wipe up any spilled water that was still pooling in various places on the floor. Joe noticed the handcuffs still laying where Heyes had dropped them, so he collected those as well to return to the Sheriff.

“Are you going to be visiting with the prisoner for much longer?” Asked Morrison sarcastically.

“At least until I see he has had something to eat.” David answered.

“And you?” The Sheriff asked Jesse.

Jesse sat back down again and folded his arms. “I have nowhere else I have to be.”

Heyes knitted his brow and looked at Jesse as a thought suddenly occurred to him.

“Well that’s just fine.” Morrison answered. “I’ll be in the office until such time as you finally take your leave.” And then he turned on his heel and stomped out of the cell block.

David breathed a sigh of relief and began collecting up his medical supplies and returning them to the bag. Joe and Sam were quick to gather up the other items and made a hasty exit, glad to be getting away from the friction.

Heyes turned back to Jesse. “Speaking of places to be, weren’t you supposed to be teaching class today?”

“Oh yeah, I know.” Jesse admitted a little self-consciously. “With all the distractions this morning I totally forgot about class until it was too late to do anything about it. Still, everyone knows now what happened so it won’t be a problem. I’ll be back at it tomorrow. There’s probably no point in expecting Beth to attend class though.” He added reflectively. “I doubt she’ll be able to focus on anything other than Thaddeus and, I think Belle is going to need all the help she can get, looking after two helpless boys.”

“Hmmm.” Heyes felt a little guilty about that and didn’t really know how to respond.

“I’ll take Tricia out with me in the morning when I go to check up on Jed.” David offered while he was looking around for the little tool Heyes had used to open the handcuffs. “I’m sure she’ll be happy to help out. Have you seen that little probe Hannibal was using?”

“Oh. No.” Jesse answered, and standing up began to pat down the bunk and look around the floor for the missing item.

Then, in unison, both men stopped searching for the item and looked over at Heyes. Our innocent outlaw had a sheepish smile on his face while holding up the ‘missing’ utensil. Both men sighed resignedly and went to sit back down on the bunk again. David took the probe from Heyes’ fingers and returned it to its case.

“Sorry.” Said Heyes. “Force of habit.”

“Hmmmm.” David nodded. Neither man wanted to know when exactly Heyes had snatched the tool or where in the world he had hidden it.

“I swear Joshua, you’re incorrigible.” Jesse commented. “I’m beginning to think you ask for the treatment you get at the hands of these lawmen. You certainly don’t go out of your way to make it easy.”

Heyes did not feel inclined to respond.


“Come on Hannibal, you have to eat something.”

Heyes looked at the plate of food in front of him. He was hurting inside and out, physically and emotionally. Every time he forced a forkful down his throat his gut just tightened up into a knot and let him know the intrusion was not welcomed. He managed to swallow down about half of what was on the plate just to get David to stop nagging him, and then he drank some water and called it quits.

“Well, alright.” David conceded. “I guess that’s good for now, but try and eat some more later on will you?”

“Yeah, I will Doc.” Heyes lied.

“Here.” David retrieved a small pouch from his bag. “there's a couple of doses of laudanum for you to take. Mix it in some of the water before you go to sleep and again in the morning. It should help.”

“Yeah, okay doc. Thanks.” Heyes took the pouch and set it down beside his cup.

“I’d best be getting home before Tricia gets too worried. I’ll drop in again first thing tomorrow morning to check up on you.”

“Yeah, okay Doc.” Heyes answered, somewhat lethargically. “And thank you—for everything.”

David nodded and glanced over at Jesse.

“I better be going too Joshua. I need to get home before it gets too dark. I may not see you again before you leave, is there anything else you need, anyone you want me to get in touch with?”

“Oh Yeah.” Said Heyes, now that Jesse mentioned it. “Could you send a telegram for me?”

“Sure. Ah, I need something to write on. David, do you have anything…?”

David nodded and going back to his handy medical bag pulled out a pencil and some paper. “Okay, go ahead.”

“Send it to Sheriff Lom Trevors in Porterville, Wyoming. Just….tell him what happened. He’ll know what to do.”

David finished writing down the information and then handed the paper to Jesse.

“Alright Joshua, I’ll get this done right away.” Then Jesse put a hand on his friends shoulder and Heyes looked up at him. “You remember what we talked about. I know you could be in for a difficult time, but I expect you to keep your word.”

Heyes nodded. Then they were gone and he found himself alone again. He sent the dinner plate one last disgusted look and then pushed himself back on the cot and settled into the corner of the cell in the hopes of maybe getting some sleep. His body was so sore from the beatings he’d received that he didn’t even bother trying to lay down, but using the skinny pillow as a cushion for his head and shoulders against the wall he did manage to find a position that gave him some measure of relaxation and he closed his eyes.

'He’s stopped breathing.'

'WHAT?! WELL DO SOMETHING! GET HIM BACK!'

'I’M TRYING!'

'GET HIM BACK! GET HIM BACK!'


Heyes’ eyes snapped open, he was sweating and his heart was racing and then he started, surprised to see Morrison standing on the other side of the cell door, watching him. He closed his eyes and inwardly groaned. What now, he wondered.

“Oh your feet Heyes, come over here, up to the bars.”

Heyes sighed then slowly eased himself off the bunk and walked over to the bars beside the cell door.

“Put your hands through the bars, one on each side. Good.”

The Sheriff snapped the handcuffs back onto Heyes’ wrists and then unlocking the cell door, came in and began the methodical search all over again. Heyes suffered the indignity of it all in silence, except for a small intake of breath when Morrison patted down his torso, not giving too much concern for the tender bruising. Once he was done with Heyes, he turned to the bunk and did a quick but thorough search in and around that convenient hiding place. Then did the same with Heyes’ black hat and the new jacket that was draped across the foot of the bed. Fortunately for Heyes, he found nothing in or around any of these items to cause him concern.

He spotted the pouch of medicine setting beside the plate and snorted with a touch of disdain. He snatched it up, shaking his head at the idiocy of some people then took the plate of food and the water cup and put them on the floor outside the cell. Then he came up behind Heyes, and unlocking one cuff brought the prisoner’s hands back down and around behind his back again.

“Oh come on…” Heyes complained.

“I don’t mind bruising your other kidney for you Heyes.”

Heyes’ jaw tightened. “No, that won’t be necessary.”

“Good. Keep your mouth shut.”

Morrison snapped the cuffs shut again and Heyes started to step back from the bars but then he felt Morrison’s hand in the middle of his shoulder blades pushing him back into the bars again, causing him to flinch with pain.

“Just stay put Heyes. Don’t you move until I tell you to, understand?”

Heyes nodded as best he could. “Yeah.”

Morrison backed off; Heyes heard the cell door open and then clang shut again.

“Okay.”

Heyes backed off the bars and sent a glare over at Morrison as the Sheriff walked back towards the wooden door. Morrison smiled as he locked eyes with the outlaw. He was wearing Heyes down, he could see it. Morrison was winning and he knew it.

Heyes went back to the bunk and tried to settle into the pillow again. He got himself as comfortable as possible, but with his hands cuffed behind him once more he gave up any hopes for getting some sleep even if his own mind wasn’t sabotaging that effort anyways.

He was feeling angry and irritated at the way Morrison was treating him. He didn’t deserve….oh, now wait a minute, maybe he did deserve to be treated like that. His thoughts went back to what Jesse had said, about how Heyes seemed to be asking for it sometimes, how he was always pushing the limit. He’d always been so flippant when it came to outwitting the law, it was a game to him. It was so easy. Heyes, with his brilliant mind and nimble fingers opening safes and cell doors like it was a parlor trick being performed for the amusement of all.

But Morrison wasn’t amused, he was fed up. He’d had it with Heyes and Curry running rough shod over the legal system of the country and it was time to get serious and do something about it. The sheriff had never pretended to be anything other than what he was; a law officer determined to bring two outlaws to justice, no matter what it took, or who tried to stand in his way.

What was getting Heyes’ goat is that Morrison wasn’t a fool, and that the Sheriff was right; Heyes had been playing him for one, just like he always did. Only this time Heyes was up against a man who understood the way his mind worked and was always one step ahead of him, blocking every move he made. Morrison was meticulously wearing him down, mentally (and physically) beating him into submission.

A tingling of fear settled over Heyes as he finally came to an understanding of who he was up against. It wasn’t the fear of going to prison, or the fear of never seeing his cousin again, not even the fear of death. It was the fear of loosing. Hannibal Heyes wasn’t used to loosing. There was always a way out and his arrogance had never allowed him to seriously ponder the possibility that there could come a time, maybe this time, that the way out would be blocked.

The chilly midnight hour of the next morning found Heyes up and pacing. His eyes were burning with exhaustion, but his mind wouldn’t let him sleep and the aching in his body wouldn’t let him rest. He was impatiently awaiting the coming of daylight in the hopes that it would bring news of Curry. His cousin was fighting for his life, could already be dead for all Heyes knew and it was driving him mad not being with him. He wanted out of this cell, not to run away and disappear, but to return to the Double J to put his mind at ease, one way or the other.

Then he heard talking in the outer office, Morrison’s gruff loud voice giving orders again, and the quiet murmurings of others responding. Then the jingling of keys in the lock and the wooden door swinging open and Morrison, Mike and Jack came into the cell block. All three were dressed for travel and the two deputies were armed with rifles to go along with their handguns. Something was definitely up.

Morrison unlocked the cell door and all three men entered, rifles at the ready, and the Sheriff unlocked Heyes’ handcuffs.

“If you’ve got to use the pot, better do it now cause you’re not going to have another chance for awhile.”

Well that was diplomatic. Heyes thought, then he considered his options and decided that maybe it would be a good idea.

While Heyes was busy with that little necessity Morrison grabbed Heyes’ jacket and hat and gave them both another quick inspection. Then it was Heyes’ turn, face first up against the bars again and yet another search of his person. Heyes was getting tired of this. Just where did the Sheriff think Heyes would be getting any more tools of his trade? Truth of the matter was; Morrison knew darn well that Heyes would be clean, but every chance the Sheriff got to let the outlaw know who was in charge was going to be utilized. Every time handcuffs were removed or locations changed or anyone other than a lawman got close to the prisoner, he would be searched. Heyes was not to be given any leeway at all.

As soon as the search was completed Morrison gave Heyes his jacket.

“Here, put it on.”

“Little early for a ride isn’t it?” Heyes asked as he did as he was told. No one answered him. “Can I ask how my partner is doing?”

Again, no answer, but Jack broke eye contact with him for just a split second. Just enough to make Heyes even more worried than he had already been.

Morrison held out his hand to Jack and the deputy passed him a leather belt with manacles attached to it that he’d had slung over his shoulder. Heyes had never seen such a contraption before and he had a feeling he wasn’t going to like it much.

“Turn around, hands up.” Morrison instructed him and Heyes obliged him. Then the belt was put around his waist and cinched up snugly behind his back.

Heyes sucked his teeth as the belt applied pressure to his injuries. “Easy.” But again, he was ignored.

Then Morrison turned Heyes around, brought his hands down in front of him and snapped them into the manacles. He grabbed Heyes’ black hat, plunked it onto his head and promptly marched the prisoner out of the cell and into the front office.

Joe was there, sitting at the desk, looking sleepy but also relieved that these men were finally going to be leaving his town. Morrison grabbed the pen that was on the desk, dipped it in the ink well and quickly signed the release form stating that he was again taking custody of the prisoner and relieving Joe of any further responsibility. At least where Hannibal Heyes was concerned.

“Don’t get too relaxed.” Morrison told the young deputy. “You’ll be getting the other one in here just as soon as he’s healed up enough to make the trip.”

“Yeah, but by then Sheriff Jacobs will be back.” Joe answered. “And it will be his problem.”

Morrison snorted then nodded a farewell. Heyes felt a rush of relief at what the Sheriff had let slip. Curry was still alive! That was all Heyes needed to know for now. He was still alive.



Nathaniel Ryne was 10 years old and off on his first train ride with his parents in tow. They were traveling to Wyoming Territory to visit his mother’s sister and to meet her and her husband’s new addition; a healthy baby girl. Nathanial didn’t really care about meeting his new cousin, but a TRAIN RIDE! Now that was something to get excited about!

He had barely slept the night before and had been a general all round pest to his parents as the final count down came into effect and this new experience was so close he could taste it. His parent’s were hopeful that since he had hardly slept he might settle down and spend the night on board in blissful slumber. Hopeful—but not convinced.

That morning, while they waited on the platform for the train to accept them into it’s confined interior, little Nathan ran back and forth with his toy gun shooting at the horses, the other passengers, the dogs, the train, birds in the sky, nails in the planks. In other words, anything that caught his mischievous eyes. Instead of being tired, he was running high on adrenaline and enjoying every minute of it.

Finally, finally, finally the conductor indicated that it was time to board the train and everyone began making their way into their specified cars and settling in to their proper seats. This was wonderful! It smelled so different than the coach they had ridden in on other excursions. Wood and leather and fine upholstery mingled with the smells coming in through the open windows. Sounds of the engine and the steam whistling out from under the wheels mingled with horses whinnying and people talking. Occasionally a dog barked. But so many new sensations! Nathaniel just didn’t know where to look or listen first.

His parents finally got him settled into their seating arrangements and he resigned himself to sitting on his father’s lap and watching the other passengers coming on board and settling themselves into their seats that would be their homes for the duration of the journey.

He soon became restless again and began using the back of the seat as make-believe cover and shooting at the other people with his toy gun. His mother admonished him, telling him that it was rude to point a gun, even a toy one, at other people and that she would take it away from him if he didn’t settle down. He moaned. She was always ruining his fun. But he tucked the gun into his waistband anyways and contented himself with hiding behind the back of the seat and ‘spying’ on the other passengers.

As the car began to fill up and everyone was settling in Nathan noticed that there were three rows of seats near the back of their car that were not being claimed. Nathaniel wondered at this, but his father shrugged it off as nothing important. Probably reserved for people getting on further down the line. It was going to take a couple of days to get to Wyoming and passengers would be coming and going throughout the trip.

Finally, after what seemed another eternity, Nathan heard the conductor announce "All aboard!" and the engine released more steam and three loud whistles, then with a jerk and clatter and a chug chug chug they actually started moving! Wow, this was great. They chugged past the station and the rented surrey they had used to get there and then they started picking up speed. They past the mercantile and the livery and the saloon and all the people on the street and the horses and the buggies and then they were on the outskirts of the town and moving into the open countryside.

The train picked up speed again and then settled into the ground covering ‘gait’ that would carry them past fields and trees and streams and bridges and all the way in to the next territory. Nathaniel squirmed over onto his mother’s lap and she settled him into a more comfortable position for him to be able to sit and look out the window. He sat there for some time, his arms and chin resting on the open window sill, watching the landscape slide by, feeling the breeze and listening to the clackity clack of the wheels speeding them along towards their destination.

The cool spring morning floated into a warm afternoon and Nathan began to drift off in a nap, much to his parent’s relief. Sandwiches with tea or lemonade had been brought around for lunch and the passengers were mostly content to sit back and snooze the afternoon away.

The train passed through a number of various sized towns in its journey towards Wyoming, stopping in some and pushing on through in others. Still, the three empty rows of seats remained just that—empty. Evening came on and people pulled out packaged food for dinner, and sweets and drinks were brought round and offered to anyone wanting them. Windows were closed up against the evening chill and quiet conversation and nighttime settling in took the place of clacking wheels and intense scenery watching.

Night was well underway. The lamps in the car had been dimmed so that people who were able to sleep could do so. Nathaniel lay snuggled in his father’s arms. He lay quietly, soothed by the rhythmic rise and fall of his father’s chest as he slept. His mother was also asleep, as were the majority of the other passengers. Nathaniel snoozed simply because there was really nothing else to do.

Dimly he became aware of the train slowing down and finally coming to a halt in yet another small town along the route. He looked out the window and could see lamps lighting up the platform outside, but not too much else. He became aware of men’s voices, speaking quietly and then footsteps as they walked along the planks beside the car.

He heard a door squeaking open and then four men walked into the isle of their car. Nathaniel was instantly totally awake. He knew right away that something was different with these men. The first thing he noticed is that three of them were carrying rifles and then he saw the shining tin stars of law officers peeking out from behind light jackets. He watched intently as the small group walked down the isle towards him and then as they drew near he saw that the second man was shackled, his hands in front of him, cuffed to a belt that was drawn snugly around his waist. The third man had his hand pressed against the prisoners back, encouraging him to keep moving forward.
Nathanial looked up at the prisoner as he came level with their seats and suddenly his heart was in his throat. The prisoner was looking at him! Nathanial was drawn in to those dark piercing eyes and experienced a mixture of sensations he had never known before. Fear, excitement, awe. He couldn’t look away.

The prisoner sent him a hint of a smile and a small wave with one of his shackled hands. Nathaniel tucked into the safety of his father’s shoulder but couldn’t take his eyes off the man. They passed on by and the prisoner was directed into the second of the three rows of empty seats. He complacently sat down in the seat nearest the window and waited patiently while one of the officers took more chains from a companion, then knelt down by the prisoner and did something with them than Nathanial could not see. All he could hear was the soft rattle of the chain and locks clicking into place. Then the three lawmen settled into seats themselves. One, a really large, intimidating man, sat down beside the prisoner, one sat in front and the third took the seat behind them. All kept their rifles at the ready.

Nathaniel continued to stare. A real, live, authentic, outlaw! Wow! The man did not appear to be dangerous at the moment, but there was still something about him that made Nathan’s heart beat a little faster. He was obviously someone important if he warranted three officers and three rifles and all those chains to accompany him on this journey.

Nathan wondered where he was from and where he was going. He imagined a wild chase on horseback, guns blazing and men yelling as they ran the outlaw down! Could anything be more exciting?! Then his heart seemed to stop in his chest and a thrill of fear went through him as the outlaw's dark brown eyes locked onto his again. The man was beyond tired, beyond weariness. Even Nathan’s youthful judgement could tell that and yet he still sent the young boy an acknowledging nod and a soft smile.

Nathaniel pulled out his toy gun and aiming it at the outlaw, made believe shooting at him. The man’s smile deepened and he nodded subtly, as though to himself as though he recognized and accepted the irony and the justification of the boy’s playful action. Then the smile faded and total exhaustion emanated from the very core of his being.

Hannibal Heyes turned away from the boy, and with a sigh, looked out the window into the night as the train jerked slightly into motion and continued on its way towards Wyoming.


The small group of men left the sheriff’s office and then headed across the street towards the train station. Heyes had expected to see horses waiting for them outside, or at least a coach. It had not occurred to him that they might be leaving town by train and in the middle of the night at that. David was not going to be pleased.

Morrison knew what he was about as they were not standing on the platform for much more than five minutes when the lantern for the train engine could be seen steadily making its way towards them. It hissed and chugged its way up to the platform and carried on past the small group of men as it slowly came to a halt alongside the station. There was no one else around and the steam coming up from the engine into the cool night air gave the platform an eerie almost ghostly atmosphere as the conductor approached the four men carrying his own shimmering lantern.

“You Sheriff Morrison?”

“That’s right. Is everything arranged?”

“Yup. Just climb aboard this car right here. Your seats are at the back of the car, left hand side.” Then he gave Heyes a suspicious look. “You sure your prisoner’s secure? We got families with children on board here. Don’t really understand why you got to transport him by passenger train anyways.”

“Because nobody would expect it, that’s why,” grumbled Morrison. “And don’t worry about him, he won’t be causing any trouble. Will you Heyes?”

Heyes smiled innocently. “Not me, Sheriff.”

“Well, okay.” the conductor clearly wasn’t too happy with the situation, but he waved them on board anyways and went about his own business of managing the train.

The small group stepped on board and entered the dimly lit passenger car and slowly made their way down the isle towards the seats that had clearly been reserved just for them. Mike went first, with Heyes then Morrison and finally Jack bringing up the rear. Morrison kept his hand in the middle of Heyes’ back, partly to keep him moving, but mainly to constantly be re-enforcing the pecking order to ensure that Heyes never forgot who was in charge.

After the cool night air outside, coming in to the confined space of the passenger car was like stepping into a warm encompassing blanket. The after-shock and weariness that had begun to settle over Heyes once he had been left alone in his cell now doubled its intensity and he felt his knees wanting to give way beneath him. He gave a quick glance at the sleeping passengers and his weary eyes lighted onto a young boy to his left who was snoozing in his father’s arms. There was something familiar about him, like Heyes was looking at himself.

Heyes felt what? Remorse? Regret? Or was it just plain self-pity at the sight of the youngster? He couldn’t be any more than eight or ten years old. Right around the same age he had been when his own life had started to go so wrong. The lad was small, and so young, nestled there safe in his father’s arms. Heyes went suddenly back in time. He wouldn’t have been much different from this boy when his own father had been so violently taken from him. How could a small boy that age take on the weight of the world and not be damaged by it? And yet Heyes could remember not thinking of himself as a small frightened boy, but as the man of the ‘house’ now. As the older cousin whom Jed could look up to and depend upon and young Hannibal thought he was doing right.

Then the boy looked up and met Heyes’ eyes, bringing the outlaw back to the present. What was that in the child’s eyes? Fear or awe? Or maybe a mixture of both. Heyes wanted to put the lad at his ease, to let him know he had nothing to be afraid of. He quietly smiled at the boy and did the best he could to give him a little wave with a shackled hand. The boy ducked down, but couldn’t bring himself to look away. Then Heyes was past him and the contact was broken.

Heyes was directed into the middle set of seats and was actually grateful to be able to sit down and get settled in. To his bruised and aching body the cushioned seats were like a warm well-padded woman’s soft embrace. Exhaustion threatened to take him over, yet he was afraid to close his eyes not wanting to yet again relive the nightmare of the previous day’s events.

Morrison had taken another set of manacles from Jack and, kneeling down in front of Heyes’ seat, snapped the leg irons around the outlaws ankles, then taking the length of chain attached to the cuffs, wrapped it around the metal bar under the seat and then brought the loose end up and attached it to the leather belt that was cinched around Heyes’ waist. He was most definitely secured. He didn’t care; he was so tired.

Mike settled in beside Heyes, and Jack slid into the seats behind them. Jack hadn’t had much chance to get some sleep, having taken the first watch with Curry. Now, it seems it was finally his turn to catch a nap. Mike made a point of keeping his rifle handy. Morrison sat down in the window seat in front of Heyes and didn’t look like he was planning on sleeping any either. Then, from over Morrison’s shoulder Heyes made contact again with the wide open brown eyes of that same youngster. The outlaw was still being scrutinized.

Heyes acknowledged the boy again and sent him another quiet smile. Then the lad did something that to Heyes seemed very prophetic; he pulled out his little toy hand gun, took aim at the prisoner and pretended to be shooting at him. Heyes’ smile deepened for an instant. It wasn’t because he thought the boy’s actions were amusing, on the contrary, he found them tragic. Tragic and symbolic of a life gone wrong.

Heyes broke the contact this time and turned to look out the window as the train jerked slightly and began moving again. Once they got past the station, the night sky was so dark there really wasn’t anything to look at and Heyes found himself staring into the dark brown eyes of his own reflection. Worried stared back at him. Worry and sadness and…defeat? No, not defeat. Even in his state of exhaustion he was not willing to concede defeat. Acceptance maybe. Jesse had been right again; there were going to be difficult times ahead but maybe it was time to face up to them, maybe it was time to stop running.

Heyes sighed. Is this how it was going to end? All those years of avoiding the law and now he was ironically on a train, being taken back to Wyoming to stand trial for…how many crimes? Maybe Heyes needed to look at this from another point of view. If this was the end of his life as a fugitive, didn’t that also mean that it could be the beginning of his life as a free man? Turn a negative into a positive, isn’t that what he was supposed to be good at? But Curry was right, Heyes was a cynic and he couldn’t block out the other possibility either; that it could also mean the beginning of his life as a convict. And so it begins—one way or another.

The train was picking up speed and the clackity clack of the wheels along with the rhythmic rocking of the car was having a mollifying affect on Heyes and the exhausted eyes of the reflection gazing back at him began to glaze over. He started to lean forward, to remove his hat but was again instantly halted by the sharp pain in his ribcage. He asked Mike if he would be so kind as to remove the hat for him. Mike obliged, but then gave the hat and hatband another quick inspection before plunking it onto Heyes’ lap. Morrison had been quite adamant in his instructions.

Heyes had never thought about putting a lock pick inside his hat. Maybe because it was too obvious. Still that might be a good idea for future reference, if only…..he could….utilize… that….

Then just when Heyes wasn’t thinking about it, sleep snuck up from behind and put his troubled mind to rest.


TO BE CONTINUED



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Gringa

Gringa

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And So It Begins  Chapter four Empty
PostSubject: Re: And So It Begins Chapter four   And So It Begins  Chapter four EmptyTue Sep 10, 2013 1:39 pm

The scene with the little boy and the gun was very touching and showed the human side of the man they were treating like an animal. Oh, this is getting very sad!
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PostSubject: Re: And So It Begins Chapter four   And So It Begins  Chapter four Empty

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