Posts : 1467 Join date : 2013-08-24 Age : 63 Location : Camano Island Washington
Subject: The Trial of Hannibal Heyes Chapter eight Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:15 pm
THE TRIAL OF HANNIBAL HEYES - part one
Heyes was not bored. If it were not for the fact that he was a thirty-four year old male, a born leader of men, highly charismatic and a very confident, self-proclaimed genius, one might say that he was weak in the knees, knot in the stomach scared to death. But since he was all of the above let us just say that he was extremely nervous.
The date of his trial had finally arrived and he was feeling a mixture of both relief and anxiety at what the future would bring to him. Lom had got him out earlier that morning for a decent breakfast, a shave and a haircut. His friend had even arranged for him to get a bath, but the butterflies in his stomach had made it hard for him to really enjoy it. His better set of clothes had been washed and pressed and Hannibal Heyes was looking like quite the clean cut citizen rather than the down and out prisoner who had been sitting (pacing) in a jail cell for three months.
The small group of men were assembling in the front office of the jailhouse, getting prepared to go through the back door that Heyes had only been through once before. It opened onto a hallway that would lead them directly into the courthouse next door which was where Heyes had gone for his preliminary hearing. That had been three months ago, and now he was facing that same doorway again, trying to prepare himself for the real deal.
He was not in handcuffs, he was being allowed that small courtesy at least, but he felt no less a prisoner for it. Sheriff Turner stood in the lead, with Mr. Granger on Heyes’ right and Lom on his left. Following up the rear was Mike with the ever present rifle. Heyes would swear that he didn’t need to see the deputy to know that he was there; the man was so big that his very presence would cause the air pressure in the room to increase to the point where Heyes would feel his ears wanting to pop. Or was that just fear—stress—nerves?
Turner turned to the group. “Are we ready?” And having received an affirmative from the lawyer, he unlocked the door and the small group of men started down the corridor.
Heyes felt Lom’s reassuring hand on his arm. “Deep breaths Heyes. Here we go.”
Though it only took a few minutes to cross the distance between the office and the courthouse, to Heyes it seemed an eternity. Finally they arrived at the second door and Turner opened it and the group suddenly found themselves in the midst of a flurry of quiet voices and an anticipating atmosphere within the courtroom reserved for the trial of Hannibal Heyes.
As soon as the five men entered, a hush fell upon the room and Heyes suddenly felt like a caged mountain lion on display. He did a quick scan of the occupants, wondering if he would see anyone he recognized, but it was like trying to distinguish individual trees inside a thick forest and he soon gave up the effort. Then before he really had a chance to look, he was being ushered into the row of seats which he and his ‘party’ were to occupy for the duration of the trial.
Oh God he was nervous! Heyes couldn’t remember the last time he actually shook from nerves and he hoped that he would be able to calm down a little once the proceedings had begun. He sent another quick scan over to the jury box, again in the hopes of seeing some familiar faces; like players from the poker game, by any chance? But no; they were all strangers to him and probably had been brought in from out of town just to avoid that very compromise from happening. Finally, after what seemed like another eternity the bailiff entered the courtroom with the inevitable “All rise! The Honourable Judge Henry Parsons presiding!” Everyone stood up while the Judge entered the court room and took his place on the bench and Heyes’ heart sank just a little. It was the same Judge who had refused to grant him bail and though it was logical that there would only be the one judge for the district, Heyes had hoped for one who might be a little more sympathetic.
Everyone was encouraged to take their seats again and the trial officially began.
Initially there was just a lot of talking and paper rustling as the legal necessities of getting the trial underway were quickly dispensed with. Basically it was stated that this was indeed the case of; The Territory of Wyoming vs. Hannibal Heyes. That the defendant had been charged with numerous counts of armed robbery (too numerous to count), breaking and entering and fraud and that the defendant had entered a plea of not guilty due to extenuating circumstances. Everyone was anticipating an exciting trial.
The prosecuting attorney; Mr. Harold DeFord was very confident that this trial was going to be short and sweet and was not going to be wasting any time in beating around the bush. The first witness to be brought forward for the prosecution was Sheriff Tom Morrison.
“Sheriff Morrison.” DeFord began once the Sheriff had been sworn in. “I understand that you were the arresting officer. Is that correct?”
“Yes, it sure is.”
“And there is no doubt in your mind that the defendant is indeed the outlaw, Hannibal Heyes.”
“No doubt at all. It’s him.”
“And why is it, do you think, that you were able to arrest and bring this man to trial when so many others before you have tried and failed in that endeavor?”
Morrison snorted derisively. “Because I know him.” He answered. “I know the way his mind works, I know the tricks he tends to get up to if given half a chance. I simply didn’t give him that chance.”
“Did he try to escape custody?”
“Oh sure he tried. More than once, but he obviously wasn’t successful.”
“So, hardly the actions of a man anticipating a pardon from the Governor then.”
“He knows there’s no pardon coming!” Morrison insisted. “Who do you think hired me to bring them in in the first place? Governor Warren might not have organized this job but you can bet he knew about it. I wouldn’t be surprised that Heyes and Curry started that rumour themselves just to avoid prison time.”
“Interesting." DeFord commented. "Thank you Sheriff Morrison. No more questions.”
“Your witness, Mr. Granger,” the Judge prompted.
“Thank you, Your Honour.” Granger answered, and he approached the witness. “Sheriff Morrison, do you not think it unusual that Mr. Heyes has not run with the Devil’s Hole Gang for five years now? And indeed, cannot be directly connected with any crimes committed during those five years?”
“No,” Morrison stated bluntly. “If he hasn’t been running with his old gang it’s only because he and his partner had moved on to other things and they just simply got better at covering their tracks.”
“So you don’t think that it’s more than a coincidence that the five years that Mr. Heyes claims to have been living an honest life coincide with the five years that he has not been with his old gang and has had no crimes accredited to him?”
“No.” Morrison stated again. “Like I said, he’d just moved on to better pickings. He’s an outlaw and five years of covering his tracks doesn’t change that fact.”
“Thank you. I have no more questions for Sheriff Morrison.”
“You may step down, Sheriff.”
Morrison left the stand and headed back to his seat, but on the way he caught Heyes’ eye and sent him a subtle, but triumphant smile. Heyes bristled.
“Relax,” Granger whispered to Heyes as he sat back down. “Do not let any of these people know they’re getting to you. Mr. DeFord is looking for just that kind of response.”
Heyes sighed and tried to relax. He knew Granger was right and he had to watch his own body language but under these circumstances it was proving to be harder than he had imagined.
“Your next witness, Mr. DeFord,” the Judge prompted.
“I’d like to call Mr. Kenneth Roberts to the stand.”
A middle aged man whom Heyes did not recognize came forward to be sworn in. Mr. Granger had been given a list of all the witnesses whom Mr. DeFord would be calling, but there were a few on at that list whom Heyes did not recognize. Mr. Roberts was one of them.
“Mr. Roberts,” DeFord began. “would you please tell the court what you do for a living?”
“Sure.” Roberts answered. “I have a small ranch here in Wyoming.”
“And how is business on your ranch Mr. Roberts?”
“Well, it could be better.” Roberts admitted. “About seven years ago we had taken some prime stock up to Denver and sold them to one of the ranchers up that way. They were good breeding stock and we got a good price for them and we were counting on that money to upgrade our place and turn it into a real high end cattle ranch, get us some even better breeding stock and just keep on building. Well, we deposited that money in the Merchants Bank in Denver there, cause they had a brand new Pierce and Hamilton ’78 and the bank manager and the local law both assured us that it was fool proof, and nobody could break into that safe.”
Roberts stopped here, shaking his head with regret. Heyes felt a sinking feeling in his gut. He already knew where this was going.
“What happened, Mr. Roberts?” DeFord prompted him.
“It got broke into is what happened!” Roberts answered with a bit of heat. “Every dang red cent of our money got stole! Instead of being able to put money into our place, we ended up having to sell more stock just to keep our heads above water. Turned out to be a hard winter that year too and had a lot of stock die on us cause we had no money to buy extra feed. The banks took forever to come up with the insurance and even then it didn’t cover the full amount, and by the time we got it well, the damage had been done. It’s only been in the last year or two that we’ve finally started seeing some growth again. Yes sir, it’s been a real hard struggle.”
“Do you know who it was who stole your money, Mr. Roberts?” DeFord asked him.
“Sure do.” Roberts answered with some heat again. “When the detectives got through piecing together how that safe got blowed they said it would have taken a genius to have done it. Someone who had a real understanding of calculating to figure out how to blow it like that without damaging the contents. That the only outlaw they knew of with the brains and the audacity to attempt it would have been Hannibal Heyes.”
At this point Mr. Roberts sent an accusing glare over towards the defendant and Heyes felt like he just wanted to melt into the floor boards. He had been so proud of himself after that job. He knew nobody else would have been able to pull it off and he also knew that the law would know it too. He had taken perverse pleasure in rubbing their noses in it, not thinking or caring about the long term affect his actions might have on regular, hard working folk. Now it was all coming around to slap him in face.
“So how would the suggestion that Mr. Heyes has apparently been living an honest life these past five years change the way you feel about what happened?”
“Wouldn’t change it at all!” Roberts insisted. “I wouldn’t care if Hannibal Heyes risked his life to save a sack full of drowning puppies! What he did to me and my family was devastating! Pardon be damned—he should go to jail!”
“Thank you, Mr. Roberts.” DeFord finished, then turned to Granger. “Your witness.”
Granger smiled and stepped forward. Heyes groaned and ran a hand through his hair; an unfortunate nervous habit that Granger had already cautioned him about, but apparently to no avail. For a man who was so good at reading other people’s body language, under this kind of stress Hannibal Heyes had no idea about his own.
“Mr. Roberts,” Granger began. “we are not here today trying to decide if Mr. Heyes is or is not guilty of the crimes he has been accused of. On the contrary, he openly acknowledges that he committed these crimes. What we are trying to decide here is whether or not his own acceptance of guilt and attempt at reformation should be taken into consideration as to his sentencing.”
Here Mr. Roberts snorted and sat back in his chair, not looking too impressed with attempts at reformation.
“Him deciding to go straight now don’t change what he done to us.”
“No one is denying that fact Mr. Roberts.” Granger continued. “But isn’t it more the bank itself and the insurance company to whom you should be seeking retribution? After all they are the ones who assured you that your money was safe with them.”
“Well, I suppose.” Roberts agreed, somewhat hesitantly. “The insurance company did pay us some back, but like I said; not all and it sure took a long time to get it.”
“Indeed. My point exactly. And it was not Mr. Heyes’ intention to cause you and your family hardship. In fact, it was because of the way the banks tended to treat hard working citizens like yourself that prompted Mr. Heyes into his unfortunate choice of employment. He has also since come to realize the error of his ways and is attempting to turn his life around. Do you not think that attempt is worth at least some consideration?”
“Well…” Mr. Roberts shifted uncomfortably. “I suppose. If a man realizes he’s done wrong and is trying to make it right that should be taken into account—a little.”
“A little is certainly better than not at all Mr. Roberts. Thank you.”
“You may step down Mr. Roberts.” The judge informed him. “Mr. DeFord?”
“Yes Your Honour. I would like to call forward Mrs. Joan Baines.”
A young woman came up to the stand, looking a little scared and overwhelmed by all this legal stuff but she also looked determined to have her say and her voice was clear and strong enough as she was sworn in.
Heyes was hating every minute of this, it was turning out worse than he had even imagined. He sank down a little lower in his chair again wishing he could just disappear.
“Where is he finding all these people?” he whispered over to his attorney.
“Unfortunately Mr. Heyes,” Granger informed him quietly. “as soon as word of your arrest and upcoming trial got out, they found him.”
Heyes glanced up at Granger and rolled his eyes then met Lom’s look and that didn’t help him to feel any better either.
“Mrs. Baines.” DeFord acknowledged her. “Would you please tell the court where you are living and of your current circumstances?”
“Yes, of course.” Mrs. Baines agreed, clearing her throat a little nervously. “I live in Wyoming, over by Murreyville actually. Things are better for me now, since I met my husband, but up until that point I was very hard pressed to make a living.”
“And why was that Mrs. Baines?”
“Well, I guess it was a little over five years ago that my dear mother and myself were traveling by train to come and live with my sister who had recently been widowed. We had sold our little house in Montana and had the money from that sale in the safe in the baggage car along with some of our other valuables. We of course intended to use that money to set ourselves up here and live together. The railroad assured us that it was unusual for outlaws to stop the passenger trains, being more interested in the freights that would be carrying more plunder. We have since realized that this was not entirely true. Indeed, we were stopped by a band of thieves and forced off the train while they rummaged through the baggage car and helped themselves to all the valuables that were there!”
“Do you know who this band of thieves was?” DeFord asked her.
“Yes indeed.” She answered quite self-assured. “They were quite happy to introduce themselves as The Devil’s Hole Gang, lead by Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry! They took a great deal of pleasure in making sure that we all knew who we were being robbed by!”
“Awww Heyes.” Lom whispered. “Couldn’t you have been meek and discreet just once in your life?”
Heyes glanced over at his friend, thinking that the same question had just been occurring to him.
“What happened then Mrs. Baines?”
“We lost everything.” She admitted in a small voice and her expression saddened. “Mr. Heyes had no problems at all opening up the safe and taking all our worldly possessions. It was very traumatic and my mother who, of course was not young anymore, was very upset by it. We had intended on arriving in Murreyville to help my sister get back on her feet after the tragic loss of her husband, but now it seems we would be showing up at her doorstep as paupers ourselves.”
“Did the railroad insurance not cover your financial loss Mrs. Baines?”
“They did eventually, yes.” She answered, but those sitting close to her could see that she had started to cry, very quietly, the tears silently running down her face which she tried to hide with her hanky. She bravely got herself under control and then continued. “Unfortunately the strain and anxiety caused by the robbery proved too much for my mother in her advanced years. She suffered a heart attack and passed away shortly after we arrived in Murreyville.”
There were some gasps and sad murmurings from those in attendance and Heyes felt sickened. They had always prided themselves on not hurting anyone during their robberies, but he had come to realize, even before now that there was more than one way to cause injury to another person. He felt his throat tightening just a little then and he wondered if it were more for sympathy towards the young woman on the stand, or pity for himself? He didn’t want to dig too deep on that one and taking a deep breath, he sat up straighter and forced himself to remain calm and collected. There was going to be a long way to go yet.
“Thank you Mrs. Baines.” DeFord finally said to her. “I realize this must have been difficult for you. I have no more questions.”
“Mr. Granger?” the Judge inquired.
Granger stood up, hesitated and then shook his head. “No questions Your Honour.”
“Thank you Mrs. Baines. You may step down now.”
Mrs. Baines left the stand, head held high and deliberately avoiding the dark brown eyes of the defendant.
“Mr. DeFord, your next witness please.”
“I summon Mr. Winford Fletcher to take the stand.”
Heyes groaned. Damn it! He hadn’t been looking forward to Fletcher getting up on the stand. That man was such a weasel, he would be willing to hound Heyes to his grave just to get a dollar back on his loses. This was getting worse and worse. Witnesses for the prosecution were coming out of the woodwork; witnesses for the defense were burrowing tunnels and disappearing. Heyes had been able to give Granger something to counter Fletcher with, but he couldn’t give too much without implicating others and that was something Heyes just wasn’t willing to do.
“Relax.” Granger whispered.
“Mr. Fletcher.” DeFord began. “can I assume that you are familiar with Mr. Heyes?”
“I most certainly am!” Fletcher exclaimed indignantly.
“Can you point him out in this court room?”
“Certainly! That’s him right there.” Fletcher answered, pointing an accusing finger directly at Heyes.
“Can I inquire as to how you are acquainted with Mr. Heyes?”
“Indeed,” said Fletcher. “I am ashamed to say that I was scammed by Mr. Heyes and three of his cohorts in a fake land deal. I ended up loosing a great deal of money in that scam, and then had to pay out another small fortune to clear my name of the false charges that were laid on me as a result of that scam!”
“You said there were four people involved in this ‘scam’. Do you happen to know who the other three people were?”
“I know one of them was Mr. Curry,” Fletcher announced. “but unfortunately I was never able to discover the identities of the other two. One of them was a young woman and the other was an older, distinguished looking gentleman.”
“Indeed. Perhaps, with a bit of persuasion we will be able to discover the identities of the other two people involved.” DeFord commented with a glance over towards the defendant. Then he turned back to Fletcher. “And when did this unfortunate scam take place?”
“Three years ago.”
“Three years ago.” DeFord repeated pointedly. “Well within the five year span in which Mr. Heyes was supposedly living an ‘honest’ life.” Then he turned back to Fletcher. “You seem like an intelligent man Mr. Fletcher, obviously a business man and well aware of how contracts work.” Fletcher nodded. “How is it that Mr. Heyes was able to trick you into falling for their ‘scam’?”
“Ohhh, he’s a slick one.” Fletcher answered self-righteously. “I can usually spot a scam happening a mile away but Mr. Heyes is an artist! He’s got a silver tongue that just makes everything sound legit and then keeps things moving so quickly that you don’t have time to evaluate what is really going on. He is a dangerous man! A thief and a swindler! All I can say is; thank goodness he has finally been brought to justice!”
“Thank you Mr. Fletcher,” and DeFord nodded to the Judge as he took his seat.
“Mr. Granger, your witness.”
Granger rose and approached the stand.
“Mr. Fletcher, if you were so badly misused by Mr. Heyes and his accomplices why were no charges ever laid against them?”
“I didn’t know who they were until later.”
“But still,” Granger pressed the point. “I would have thought that an honest business man like yourself would want to come forward and inform the authorities that a crime had taken place.”
“Well.” Fletcher flustered. “I was embarrassed by it—that I should have been taken in so completely!”
“Certainly I can believe a certain amount of embarrassment,” Granger stated. “but I find myself questioning the reasons for it. Was it for being taken in by con men? Or was it for having your own ‘slightly’ dishonest business practices found out? You mentioned having to quickly cover your tracks, could it be that you had been doing a little flim flaming on your own Mr. Fletcher?”
“NO!” was Fletchers indignant reply. “I have never in my life embezzled funds from my clients! Those accusations are the ones I mentioned right up front that were falsely laid against me by Mr. Heyes and his cohorts in order to make me look bad!”
“Yes. And for which you had to pay a ‘small fortune’ to have swept under the carpet.”
“CLEARED!” Fletcher yelled, getting all flustered. “I was cleared of those charges!!”
“Yes, my mistake.” Granger commented. “Cleared. No more questions Your Honour.”
“Next witness, Mr. DeFord.”
‘’The prosecution would like to call Mr. Charles Morgan to the stand.”
Heyes tensed up again. He had been surprised to see Chuck’s name on the list for the prosecution; He was an even bigger numbers player than Heyes was and could easily spend just as much time in prison if he was ever found out. Heyes looked around, and sure enough good old Chuck approached the stand and allowed himself to be sworn in.
Much the same age as Heyes was himself, Chuck liked to come across as more of a gentleman and suave ladies man than Heyes would ever pretend to be. He was a good conman, Heyes wouldn't deny that, but though Chuck looked the gentleman on the outside, underneath all that suaveness was an arrogant, and not so much a fool, as he was an inattentive coward. Heyes had worked with him a few times, but was never comfortable doing so because he was sure that sooner or later the man would slip up and Heyes did not want to be working a con with him when he did so.
“Alright, Mr. Morgan, if you would take the stand please.” DeFord suggested after the swearing in. Then the attorney turned his attention to the jury. “Gentlemen of the jury, it should be noted that Mr. Morgan is a confessed con artist himself and has agreed to give evidence here in exchange for leniency in his own case. What he has to say should be accepted as truth based on his own experiences.”
Heyes’ brain was spinning. What was he going to say? What could he possibly say that would damn Heyes even more than he already was?
“So, Mr. Morgan,” DeFord addressed the witness. “could you please tell the court how it is you know the defendant and whatever information you have that relates to this case.”
“Well, sure.” Morgan began. “I know Heyes and the Kid from way back. I met Heyes first when we were both running with the Plummer gang. We realized we both had similar backgrounds in that we both started out working the confidence games. Although we were trained by different people, it's a small club so to speak so eventually you end up knowing most of the players. I knew that Heyes had worked a lot with a con artist by the name of Jonathan Saunders, or 'Soapy' as he was known in those circles.”
Heyes’ teeth literally bared in anger. “You bastard!”
This expletive caused a definite disturbance in the atmosphere of the courtroom. The Judge’s gavel banged through the sudden commotion.
“Mr. Granger! Control you client or he will be held in contempt!”
“Yes Your Honour….” Granger began, but Morgan cut him off.
That unworthy gentleman had snapped his attention over to Heyes as soon as the insult had been uttered and was quick to defend himself.
“C'mon Heyes,” He reasoned. “they were going to send me to prison if I didn’t agree to this! What else was I suppose to do?!”
“GO TO PRISON!” Heyes shot back as he came to his feet, preparing to rip the man’s heart from his chest!
Lom and Mike instantly had a hold of the prisoner and threw him back into his chair. The Judge’s gavel was literally banging out a staccato at this point while the house was abuzz with speculation.
“Control your client Mr. Granger!!” the Judge was almost red with indignation. He pointed the gavel at the prisoner. “And you, Mr. Heyes—another outburst like that and you will attend the rest of this trial in shackles! Do you understand?!”
Heyes’ eyes were still dark with anger, but with both the lawmen pinioning him to the chair even he could see the futility of his current stance. He forced the anger down and using the well honed skills of the conman they were accusing him of being, he enveloped himself in a demeanor of civility.
“Yes Your Honour, I understand.” he responded politely. “I apologize to the court and it will not happen again.”
“GOOD! Mr. Morgan, if you will please continue.”
Chuck was keeping a suspicious eye on Heyes. He knew a quick cover up when he saw it and he also knew that Heyes was a master at the game.
“Yes, of course,” he finally answered. “Ah, where was I? Oh, yes. Soapy Saunders, I discovered by reputation was actually a kind-hearted gentleman who often took in new recruits to learn the trade. Those of whom he recognized as having special talent, he nurtured along to be top players and I know that Heyes was one of his favorites. The Kid wasn’t bad either, but he didn’t really have the same touch that Heyes did.” Chuck smiled. “Yeah, Heyes was a real artist, that’s for sure. Anyway, the last con I know of Heyes pulling was about four and a half years ago. He and Soapy were running a scam called “The Shell Game” which involved setting up a fake gambling establishment to entice a mark into betting on horse races that had already been run with the results therefore already being known. The mark was a very lovely young woman by the name of Grace Turner and Heyes and Soapy took her for ten grand.”
Heyes’ jaw tightened but he controlled himself with the help of Lom and Mike still holding him down. The courtroom was again abuzz with excitement and the gavel was busy bringing everyone back into order again.
“Silence in the courtroom, or it will be cleared!”
“Thank you Your Honour.” Mr. DeFord said, and then turned his attention back to his witness. “Are you certain that this incident took place less than five years ago Mr. Morgan?”
“Oh yes, definitely.” Chuck assured him.
“Thank you. Where does this Mr. Saunders reside?”
“Last I heard he was living in San Francisco.” Chuck informed him. “As is a Mr. O’Sullivan whom I knew personally and who was also very instrumental in teaching us young bucks the tricks of the trade so to speak.”
“Thank you Mr. Morgan.” DeFord answered. “I think the law might be interested in having a word with those two ‘gentlemen’.”
Lom could feel Heyes trembling with anger through his shirt sleeve and he placed his other hand in a part consolatory part restraining hold on his friend’s shoulder.
“Just take it easy Heyes.” Lom whispered to him. “It could just be all bluff, trying to get a reaction out of you.”
“Both Silky and Soapy are old men!” Heyes whispered back, barely controlling his outrage. “Neither of them would last six weeks in prison!”
“Again,” DeFord continued, addressing the jury. “so much for our five year period of abstinence.”
“Your witness Mr. Granger,” said the Judge as Mr. DeFord sat down and Mr. Granger rose to his feet. Then the Judge continued with an air of long suffering indulgence. “And please keep your client under control.”
“Yes Your Honour. Thank you,” and Granger approached the witness. “Mr. Morgan, you seem to be quite familiar with this crime and who was involved with it.”
“I was there.”
“So you claim. However, as far as I am aware there was never any crime reported to the authorities. No victim has ever come foreword to lay charges against Mr. Heyes, or Mr. Saunders for that matter. I would think that if this Miss Turner had been swindled out of $10,000 she would have been quick to report it.”
“Not necessarily.” Morgan countered. “Often the mark doesn’t want to contact the law simply because they would then implicate themselves in some unlawful activity. That’s one of the conditions you look for when choosing a mark, that way when they’ve been had they won’t go to the authorities.”
“So this Miss Turner was a thief herself then?”
“Well, I suppose she was to a small degree.”
“A small degree?” Granger confirmed. “What exactly was her small crime Mr. Morgan? Do you know?”
“Well, according to Heyes.” Morgan explained. “She had turned the Kid in to the authorities for the reward money and then turned around and helped him to escape custody. She then disappeared with the money. Heyes claimed that that put him and his partner into a difficult situation.”
“Really?” Granger asked. “Why? They were already outlaws, what difference would it make to them?”
“Well, Heyes claimed that he and the Kid were trying to….ah…”
“What, Mr. Morgan?” Granger prodded him. “Trying to what?”
“Hmmm, really? And it’s interesting, don’t you think?” Granger continued. “That the amount of money that this Miss Turner was ‘swindled’ out of just happens to be the same amount she would have received for handing Mr. Curry over to the law. Isn’t that correct Mr. Morgan?”
“Well, yes I suppose it is.”
“Hmmm.” Granger smiled and then turned to the jury. “Tends to make you wonder, doesn’t it? No more questions Your Honour.”
Chuck Morgan left the stand wondering if he would still get his reprieve even if his information didn’t achieve the desired results. Heyes bore holes in that man’s back as he left the floor and disappeared in amongst the spectators.
“Mr. DeFord,” the judge began. “do you wish to call any more witnesses for the prosecution?”
“Yes, Your Honour. One more witness if I may,” and then receiving affirmation from the Judge; “I would like to call Mr. Brian Charles to the stand.”
Again, Heyes was curious about this witness, the name had not sounded familiar and he was hoping that once he saw the individual that it might ring some bells.
A clean cut man a little older than Heyes made his way forward and was sworn in.
“Do you know him?” Lom whispered over to Heyes.
Heyes shrugged and shook his head.
“Mr. Charles,” DeFord began. “would you please tell the court where you spent your childhood?”
“Well, for the first twelve years of my life I lived with my family on a farm along the Kansas/Missouri border.” Mr. Charles answered, revealing a slight twang in his pronunciations. “Then in 1860 raiders attacked our farm, killing most of my family. My younger brother and I survived and we were sent to Valparaiso orphanage where I stayed until I was seventeen.”
Heyes felt a chill go through him. Brian? ‘Bratty’ Brian? Heyes would never have recognized the bully who had learned early on to leave young Hannibal Heyes alone. There was an excited murmuring from the peanut gallery, and then with a collective recollection of the threat to empty the courtroom, everyone quieted down again.
“It has been suggested in some circles that Mr. Heyes and Mr. Curry should be shown leniency for their lives of crime because of the traumas of their childhoods.” Mr. DeFord pointed out. “What is your opinion of that reasoning Mr. Charles?”
“Oh, well sure it’s rough loosing your family like that,” Charles agreed. “and things at the orphanage were always kind of tight—never enough to eat, really. But if you behaved yourself you were treated fairly enough.”
“And did you behave yourself Mr. Charles?”
“On the most part, sure.”
Heyes snorted and received a nasty look from the Judge for his comment. He quickly smiled back an apology and the questioning continued.
“You certainly appear to have done well for yourself Mr. Charles.” DeFord observed. “Did you ever feel inclined to follow the outlaw trail?”
“Oh no sir,” Charles answered. “When I was seventeen I was set up quite well into an apprenticeship and I learned a trade. I’m married now and have a family of my own. I owe a lot to Valparaiso.”
“Was that a common occurrence?” DeFord asked. “For the young men coming out of Valparaiso to be set up in an apprenticeship?”
“Of course. They wanted to see us succeed. Not end up turning to….well…” And here he sent a bit of a sheepish glance over to Heyes. “to thievery to survive.”
“Indeed,” DeFord agreed. “Wouldn’t want that.”
Heyes sighed. What a pretty picture good old Brian was painting of that institution.
“So, Mr. Charles, do you remember Mr. Heyes being at Valparaiso with you?”
“Oh sure!” Charles answered. “I had already been there a while when Han and Jed came in, but they made themselves known pretty quickly.”
“Trouble makers, were they?”
“Oh well, Han was for sure. Now, Jed, he was kind of a sweet kid. Oh, but I remember one time he…”
“Please try to keep your comments relevant to Mr. Heyes if you can.” interrupted the Judge. “Mr. Curry will have his day in court.”
“Oh yeah, sorry Your Honour.” Charles apologized. “It’s just kind of hard to talk about the one without bringing the other into it.”
“Do the best you can, Mr. Charles.”
“Yes Your Honour.”
“So,” Mr. DeFord continued. “Mr. Heyes was a trouble maker you say?”
“Well, yeah,” Charles said reflectively. “he was always getting up to some sort of mischief. But he was such a charmer he’d usually end up getting away with it. Irritated the rest of us boys no end I can tell you. But we also learned pretty quickly not to tangle with him. Or with Jed for that matter.”
“Really? Mr. Heyes was a scrapper was he?”
“No! Not at all. He’d just find a way to get you back.” Charles explained. “Especially if some of the older boys picked on Jed when Han wasn’t around. Hannibal was devious. Wouldn’t matter if it took a day, a week or a month, he’d just wait for the perfect situation to present itself and then he’d set you up to take a fall. And he always managed to do it in such a way that the evidence never pointed to him.”
Heyes sat in his corner with a reflective smile on his face. Yup, even back then he had been pretty good.
“Indeed,” DeFord commented. “well I can see where that would be irritating.”
“Yeah,” Charles agreed. “and I have to admit I wasn’t too surprised when I started hearing about those two taking to the outlaw trail. It just seemed to kind of fit—you know?”
“So it didn’t surprise you when Mr. Heyes ran away from Valparaiso before he could be set up in a trade?”
“Oh no,” Charles answered. “I mean, I was already gone by the time they ran off but I heard about it pretty quickly. I wasn’t surprised at all. Han would never have been able to settle into a trade—he was too wild, always challenging authority. He just wouldn’t have had the discipline. And I wasn’t surprised that Jed went with him either, those two were thick as…well, thieves.”
“So in your opinion Mr. Charles, Mr. Heyes was not forced onto the outlaw trail because of his life at Valparaiso but rather, he was already inclined that way—to challenge authority.”
“Yes, in my opinion, that would be the truth of it. There were other options open to him and he chose not to take them.”
“Thank you Mr. Charles. No more questions.”
“Mr. Granger, your witness.”
Mr. Granger approached the witness.
“Mr. Charles,” he began. “do you recall any of the details surrounding the murder of your family?”
Charles shrugged. “The raiders hit our farm on a Saturday morning, killed everyone there and burned the house to the ground.”
“That’s all you can recall?” Granger asked. “How did you and your brother escape?”
“Oh well, we weren’t actually there at the time.”
“So you didn’t witness your parents and other siblings being murdered then?”
“No,” Charles admitted. “Joe and I left real early that morning to go fishing. The first we heard of it was when the preacher found us and then we went to stay with him and his family until we could be moved to the orphanage.”
“I see,” Granger commented. “So for a young child, say ten years of age, actually witnessing the brutal murder of his family, well that could be quite traumatic don’t you think?”
Mr. Charles shifted a little uncomfortably in his seat. “Well, yes I suppose.”
“You suppose? I think it quite likely, Mr. Charles.” Mr. Granger countered. “In fact, I put to you that by the time young Hannibal Heyes was delivered to Valparaiso the damage was already done. A young boy, filled with pain and anger was thrust into unfamiliar surroundings and then basically ignored unless he acted out in some way. Now I’m sure the people who ran the orphanage did the best they could under difficult conditions but I think it safe to say that there was very little time to give any of the boys’ individual attention.”
“That’s true,” Charles agreed. “but many of the children there had similar experiences as Han and Jed and the majority of them did not become criminals.”
“I’m sure,” Granger acknowledged. “But how many of them are leading contented lives, I wonder.”
“That is all conjecture Mr. Granger,” the Judge interrupted. “Please try to stick to some semblance of the facts.”
“Of course Your Honour. My apologies.” Granger conceded. “I guess what I’m trying to suggest Mr. Charles, is that young children experiencing such a traumatic event in their lives may react differently to it depending on the extent of the trauma and according to their own individual personalities. Some become extravert and act out while others may become introvert and shut down. Either way anger can fester and then manifest itself later in life with behaviors that the rest of us who grew up in loving families would find difficult to understand.”
“What?” Mr. Charles looked confused.
Heyes was looking uncomfortable; all this talk about traumatic experiences was getting too close to things he’d rather not discuss.
“I’m sorry,” Mr. Granger tried to dumb it down. “Witnessing the brutal murder of his family may have been what caused Mr. Heyes to become wild and ‘challenging of authority’ in the first place.”
“Oh,” Charles responded. “Well, like I said; other boys went through similar experiences and didn’t cause any trouble.”
“Right,” Mr. Granger conceded with a sigh. “I have no more questions Your Honour.”
“Thank you Mr. Granger,” the Judge responded. “Have you anything more to add Mr. DeFord?”
“No Your Honour,” DeFord answered. “I have no more witnesses at this time.”
“Then I suggest we break for lunch. Court will resume at 1:00 this afternoon.”
Back in his cell Heyes was pacing in anger, his bowl of stew and biscuits sitting untouched on the floor by his cot. Damn that Chuck, how could he turn on Silky and Soapy that way? Both those men had had a hand in saving their lives! Even Chuck's! Took them in off the street, gave them food and lodging and hope! Treated them fairly, taught them a trade—so what if it was an illegal trade, it was a way to survive! Now Chuck had turned on them just to save his own skin! Damn him!
Lom came into the cell block and approached Heyes’ cell door. He absently noted that the other prisoners in the block were staying as far away from Heyes as they possibly could. They had all suffered, or witnessed someone suffering the bite of his tongue when he was simply feeling frustrated; only someone with a death wish would approach him now. Well, Lom didn’t have a death wish, but he felt that he knew the lion well enough that he wouldn’t get bitten—not too badly anyways.
“You going to eat your lunch Heyes?”
“It’s going to be a difficult afternoon; you should calm down and eat something.”
“I don’t want to calm down!” Heyes snapped back. “And who the hell can eat! Except for Mike, it seems he’s like the Kid and can eat anytime! And speaking of Kid; why can’t I see him?! We’re in this together aren’t we? I should be able to see my own partner! Why are you keeping us apart?!”
“Heyes, calm down!” Lom threw back at him. “You’re ranting now, just angry for the sake of being angry and that’s not going to help you at all, or the Kid. You know it’s not me keeping you apart and there’s nothing I can do about it, and believe me we’ve been trying! Granger’s been doing everything he can to get Curry moved over here, but in the mean time while you’ve been complaining about only getting an hour a day out of this cell, the Kid hasn’t been getting anything! The judge over there refused him bail and the lawyer appointed to him doesn’t seem to give a damn, so your partner has been stuck in a cell day in and day out! Thank goodness he’s handling it a whole lot better than you are!”
Heyes continued to pace, his anger was not abating and then the more pressing reason for it came out. “Damn that Chuck! Let me get my hands on him! I’ll kill him!”
Now Lom’s anger really flared. “Heyes, don’t you dare make a threat like that in my presence!” he warned his friend. “That puts me in a very uncomfortable position! You want me to keep trying to help you and to keep after the Governor, DO NOT MAKE DEATH THREATS IN FRONT OF ME! You are no longer the smartest wolf in the pack! These lawyers are just as intelligent as you are and they know the law inside out! Start showing some respect and self-control or you are going to end up cutting your own throat in there!”
Heyes just scowled at his friend and continued to pace, his face dark as thunder. Then another man whom Lom did not recognize approached the cell, and nodding a greeting to the Sheriff he then turned his attention to the prisoner’s tense back.
“Well Joshua, is this your idea of ‘dealing with things’?”
Heyes spun around, preparing to chew the head off of whoever would dare speak to him in such a subordinating manner and then instantly the fire went out of his eyes and his aggressive stance softened.
“Jesse. I….” Heyes dropped his gaze and suddenly looked embarrassed.
Lom looked over at the newcomer in total amazement. He had never known Heyes to defer to anyone so completely. Just the mere presence of this man had brought the outlaw down out of his temper tantrum and hopefully to a point where he might just start thinking a little bit more clearly. Lom extended his hand to the stranger.
“Sheriff Lom Trevors.”
“Oh, of course Sheriff.” Jesse responded, shaking hands with the lawman. “Jesse Jordan, we’ve exchanged telegrams a few times.”
Lom nodded acknowledgement. “Yes, Mr. Granger said you would be speaking for the defense. Good to finally meet you. It seems that Heyes has a certain amount of respect for you, perhaps you can get him to start behaving himself.”
Then both men sent questioning looks over towards the subject of their discussion. Heyes sighed, suddenly feeling very foolish. Why did Jesse have such a disarming affect on him? The man was dominant without being domineering, assertive without being overbearing and he could knock Heyes down five pegs with no more than a look or a gesture.
Heyes sighed again. “Alright!” he said. “I’ll try to ‘behave’ myself in there. I’m just not used to playing this kind of game.”
“Well, you better get used to it fast,” said Granger as he approached the three men. “This afternoon isn’t going to be any easier than this morning was. Actually, it’s probably going to be a hell of a lot harder.” Then he nodded a greeting to the two visitors. “Gentlemen, if I may have some words in private with my client?”
The two men left the cell block and client and solicitor approached their respective side of the bars and settled into a conference.
“It’s not looking good in there, is it?” Heyes asked him.
“No, it isn’t.” Granger agreed. “The best chance we have is for a sympathy bid, but that means putting you on the stand and I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“Afraid I’m going to attack the prosecuting attorney?”
Granger smiled. “Well, maybe,” he admitted. “But I’d be asking you some difficult questions and for it all to work you would have to be willing to be completely honest with your answers. It won’t be easy for you.”
“But you think that is our best chance?”
“Yes, I do. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that you are guilty of the charges laid against you, we’ve never denied that. We need to convince the jury that you had good reason and you need to sound convincing.”
“Hmmm,” Heyes nodded, but he didn’t sound too enthusiastic. He didn’t want to go back to that day in Kansas, even he and the Kid never spoke about it and now he was being asked to bare his soul to a courtroom full of strangers.
“Also,” Granger continued. “I put you on the stand then that will also give the prosecution the opportunity to question you and once you are under oath Mr. Heyes, you will have to answer his questions.”
“Well,” said Heyes reflectively. “I don’t think I have anything to hide at this point.”
“Haven’t you?” Granger asked him. “What about the names of your two accomplices whom Mr. Fletcher referred to?”
“Ah,” Heyes commented.
“Are you prepared to give those names?”
“You will be under oath Mr. Heyes,” Granger reminded him. “If the prosecution asks you for those names and you refuse you will be held in contempt.”
“Well what’s the worse that could happen then?” Heyes asked.
“I know this judge. If you are held in contempt of court you can forget about leniency of any kind, forget about any chance at an early parole. He’ll throw the book at you. He’ll drown you.”
Heyes closed his eyes, groaning. “So, let me make sure I have this straight,” he ventured. “If I don’t take the stand myself and we just go by what the witnesses say, I will most likely do prison time, but hopefully a reduced sentence, and chance of early parole. The only way I’m likely to avoid doing any time is if I take the stand and really lay it on thick for the sympathy vote and possibly be pardoned. But if I take the stand and the prosecution asks me questions I’m not willing to answer I’ll be even worse off than if I hadn’t taken the stand at all. Is that it in a nutshell?”
“Yes,” Granger agreed. “I believe you have the gist of it.”
Silence ensued. Heyes pushed away from the bars and running his fingers through his hair tried to think what the best options would be.
“Well, Mr. Heyes,” Granger asked him. “what do you want to do?”
Heyes was at a loss. He wasn’t thinking clearly and he knew it. Why was his brain feeling so muddy right at a time when he needed it to be at its sharpest? Finally he conceded defeat.
“I don’t know Mr. Granger,” he admitted. “What do you suggest?”
“Well, I suggest we let our witnesses give their testimonies and then decide how we want to proceed,” Granger suggested. “If I feel we have a good case without putting you on the stand then I won’t call you. On the other hand if things are looking dicey I will ask you again at that point what you want to do. There is always the possibility that the prosecution will not ask you for those names.”
“Hmmm. How likely is that?”
Last edited by Keays on Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
Posts : 1467 Join date : 2013-08-24 Age : 63 Location : Camano Island Washington
Subject: The Trial of Hannibal Heyes Part two Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:32 pm
“All Rise! The Honourable Judge Henry Parsons presiding.”
“Alright gentlemen, if we may proceed with the defence,” the Judge brought the afternoon session to order. “I have two testimonials here that I will now read out to the court. These testimonials should be taken as truths and with as much regard as though the individuals were in this courtroom and under oath.
The first is from Mr. Patrick McCreedy, Red Rock Texas. Mr. McCreedy states; I have known Hannibal Heyes and Jedediah Curry for going on five years now and have never had any reason not to trust them. They have completed a number of jobs for me, all of which included entrusting them with large sums of money or valuable property. I have and would again stake my life on their integrity. Patrick McCreedy, Red Rock Texas. P.S. By the way, Joshua is the best poker player I have ever had the pleasure of battling with over the same $20,000 pot.”
There were a number of chuckles from the gallery especially from a few of the local poker players who could appreciate the joke. Judge Parsons however, did not find it amusing. He carried on with the second testimonial.
“The second is from Judge John Hanley, retired. Junction City, New Mexico. Judge Hanley states; I became aware of Mr. Heyes and Mr. Curry’s quest for a pardon four and a half years ago and have supported them in their quest since that time. When I first became acquainted with Mr. Heyes and Mr. Curry they had showed a willingness to risk their own safety and freedom in order to do the town of Junction City a great service. These efforts on their parts have not been forgotten and I will continue to support them any way that I can in their quest towards clemency. John Hanley, Junction City, New Mexico.”
The judge returned the papers to their folder and then surveyed the attorneys and the jury members.
“Again,” he said. “these testimonials are to be taken as literal truth and to be respected as though the witnesses had been on the stand and under oath. Now, Mr. Granger will you please call your first witness?”
“Certainly Your Honour,” Mr. Granger stood up. “I call for Sheriff Lom Trevors to take the stand please.”
With a sigh to calm his own nerves, Lom stood and took his place on the stand.
“Sheriff Trevors, will you please tell the court and the members of the jury how it is that you know Mr. Heyes?”
“Well, as many people here know, I used to run on the wrong side of the law.” Lom explained. “I first met Heyes about fifteen years ago, before he’d taken up with the Devil’s Hole Gang. He and Curry weren’t together at that time so Heyes and I partnered up for a while and I’d say that we got to be friends. We’d pull a number of small time heists together, then part company for a bit but we always seemed to meet up again. “It went on like that for a couple of years and then Heyes got back with Curry and they were in with the gang by then when it was being run by Jim Santana. I joined up with them for a while and ran a few jobs, but I was loosing my taste for the life by that time. I’d fallen into outlawin’ just by chance, just trying to stay alive much like Heyes and the Kid did. “ But I was starting to feel that it wasn’t right and I decided it was time to make a clean break from that life before it was too late. To make a long story short, I turned myself in to a Sheriff that I knew. He brokered me a pardon from the then Governor of the Territory and then, much to my surprise, offered me a position as his deputy. He seemed to think that my experience would come in handy and so I began my life as an officer of the law rather than a breaker of it.”
“Well, that certainly did put you in a unique position.” Granger commented. “How is it that you continued to remain friends with outlaws after you took up the badge?”
“I didn’t.” Lom assured the court. “I broke all ties to that life. I hadn’t seen Heyes or Curry for at least five years before they came to me asking for help.”
“So they approached you seeking an amnesty?”
“That’s right. They’d heard about the deal that Governor Hoyt was offering at that time and asked me to look into it for them.”
“And did you look into it for them Sheriff?”
“Yes, I did. Unfortunately Governor Hoyt had intended the amnesty offer for small time thieves, not for men like Heyes and Curry who were running rough shod over every bank and railroad in the territory.”
“So the Governor didn’t give them the amnesty I take it.”
“No, he didn’t,” Lom admitted.
“So why bother going straight?” Granger asked. “What would it get them?”
“A chance, maybe,” Lom ventured. “They hoped that if they could just prove that they were capable of leading a law abiding life that the Governor might reconsider.”
“And did he reconsider, or did any of the preceding governors reconsider?”
“Apparently not,” Lom admitted a tad bit sardonically.
“And yet you continue to support them in their efforts,” Granger noted. “despite the risk to yourself and to your career?”
“Yes,” Lom answered. “I had been fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to start over. I felt that if Heyes and Curry were serious about getting out of the life they were in, well, who am I to say they couldn’t do it?”
“That was very generous of you Sheriff,” Granger commented. “Do you still feel it was the right thing to do?”
“Yes,” Lom answered. “I have no regrets along that line.”
Granger smiled. “Thank you Sheriff. Your witness Mr. DeFord.”
Mr. DeFord approached the witness. “Sheriff,” he began with a smile. “you say that the defendant and his partner were serious about going straight and yet we’re heard from two different witnesses here this morning who claim that this is not the case. That indeed Mr. Heyes and his partner continued in their previous line of work and scammed a number of people out of thousands of dollars. How do you account for that?”
“I am aware of most of these incidents.” Lom admitted. “I am also aware that there is more to them than meets the eye. Many of the jobs that Mr. Heyes carried out in the past five years have been at the request of certain government officials. So though they may appear to show Mr. Heyes sliding back into his old ways, they were indeed legally sanctioned operations that may have been of too delicate a nature to go through regular channels.”
“Really?” DeFord responded skeptically. “Would you care to elaborate?”
“No, Mr. DeFord. I am not at liberty to elaborate.” Lom informed him. “If you are in need of further details I suggest you subpoena the governor.”
A wave of chuckling went through the courtroom at this statement causing the Judge’s gavel to be put back into service.
“Quiet in the courtroom please,” the judge looked to the prosecuting attorney. “I strongly suggest you abandon this line of questioning Mr. DeFord. I believe you could be getting in over your head.”
“Yes, Your Honour.” DeFord conceded. “So, Sheriff Trevors, to the best of your knowledge Mr. Heyes has not broken any laws in the last five years, is that correct?”
“To the best of my knowledge, yes that is correct.”
“Thank you Sheriff Trevors, no more questions.”
“Your next witness, Mr. Granger.”
“I would like to call Mr. Jesse Jordan to the stand please.”
Jesse and Lom traded off and Jesse settled in to answer questions.
“Mr. Jordan,” Granger began. “how long have you known the defendant?”
“About four years now.”
“Four years,” Granger repeated. “and you consider him to be a friend?”
“Yes, I do.”
“And you trust him with your family, with your daughters?”
“Even knowing who he is, you have no concerns about having him in your home, interacting with your family?”
“What makes you feel so confident that this man is so worthy of your trust?”
Jesse sighed and looked over at Heyes, gathering his thoughts.
“We originally got to know Mr. Heyes and Mr. Curry under their aliases.” Jesse began. “So we were not prejudiced by stories and rumours that we had heard about the outlaws. We got to know them simply as Thaddeus and Joshua and they were just two fine young men who never gave me any cause for concern in having them in my home.”
“But once you were made aware of whom they were did you not have concerns about harbouring known outlaws?” Granger asked. “They were still wanted by the law.”
“Yes, I know.” Jesse admitted. “I suppose it was just a chance I was willing to take. I knew they were trying to turn their lives around and I felt that they had a good chance of being successful at that so I choose to support them rather than turn them in.”
“Why would you consider notorious outlaws like Heyes and Curry capable of turning their lives around?”
“Just by their very natures.” Jesse explained. “Neither of them is bad, or malicious in character. They just got off to a bad start and got in with the wrong people. They were aware of the mistakes they had made and were genuinely trying to make things right.”
“So, in your opinion, you feel that Mr. Heyes is deserving of an amnesty. Is that correct?”
Jesse looked over at Heyes again. “Yes I do,” he answered. “I believe that Joshua is repentant of his past crimes and given the opportunity would make a worthwhile citizen.”
“I would ask that you refer to the defendant by his legal name Mr. Jordan,” the Judge requested. “to avoid confusion, if you please.”
“Of course, Your Honour. My apologies.”
“No more questions, Your Honour.” Granger announced, and turned the floor over to DeFord.
“Mr. Jordan,” DeFord began. “you just stated that Heyes and Curry never gave you any reason to be concerned about having them in your home. Is that correct?”
“Yes. That’s correct.”
“Even when a legal posse surrounded your home and threatened to start shooting if you didn’t turn the outlaws over to them?” DeFord asked incredulously.
“It was the legal posse that put my family in danger at that time Mr. DeFord.” Jesse snapped back. “Not Joshua and Thaddeus! Indeed it was their quick thinking that prevented gunfire!”
“But was not your wife accused of assisting the two outlaws to escape legal custody Mr. Jordan?”
“Accused and acquitted Mr. DeFord!”
“Yes, with the aid of Jed Curry himself as I understand.”
“Yes,” Jesse conceded. “Thaddeus gave himself up in order to testify on behave of my wife. I will always be indebted to him for that.”
The Judge interrupted again. “Mr. Jordan, please. Legal names if you will.”
“I’m sorry Your Honour. Old habits.”
“Time to break old habits, Mr. Jordan.”
“Yes, you’re right,” Jesse agreed, looking with some regret over at his friend ‘Joshua’.
“Yes,” DeFord got things back on track. “I’m sure you would feel some indebtedness for that assistance, though it was hardly a sacrifice for him was it? Since he promptly broke custody and disappeared into the night. Hardly the actions of a man trying to go straight.”
“No,” Jesse agreed. “but certainly the actions of a man who felt some responsibility for my wife’s predicament and did the only thing he could do to make things right.”
Again the Judge interrupted “Might I suggest Mr. DeFord that we get back to discussing Mr. Heyes, since he is the one on trial at the moment. As I have stated before, Mr. Curry will have his day in court.”
“Of course Your Honour. Back to the matter at hand. Mr. Jordan,” DeFord began again. “Were you aware of Mr. Heyes’ abilities as a con man? A card sharp? That he is incredibly talented at creating and maintaining a persona all with the intentions of concealing his true character and identity?”
“I am aware that Mr. Heyes is accredited with those talents,” Jesse conceded. “I am sure that in his previous lifestyle they were developed as a defence mechanism and it is probably what kept him alive. I was never aware of him playing “con games” with me.”
“I think that would constitute a successful ‘con’ Mr. Jordan,” DeFord explained. “in that the ‘mark’ in never aware that he is being conned until it’s too late.”
“I believe that I have known Mr. Heyes long enough by now to see him for who he is,” Jesse countered. “He is indeed a flawed human being, like most of us, but he is hardly rotten to the core.”
“No?” was DeFord’s sceptical response. “You are aware of his amazing prowess as a poker player. It even gets referred to in the testimonial from Mr. McCreedy. ‘Best poker player I have ever had the pleasure of…’ etc. etc. We all know that poker is a game of deception and bluff. To be exceptionally good at it, one must have a perfect memory as well as a sharp and devious mind. Does that not make you the least bit concerned about his integrity?”
“It seems to me that I have heard much the same said about lawyers Mr. DeFord,” Jesse countered, much to the amusement of the spectators and the defendant. “Are you suggesting that you are lacking in integrity?”
“Hardly a fair comparison Mr. Jordan,” DeFord responded once the courtroom had been quieted. “I chose to put my talents into upholding the law, not breaking it.”
“Of course,” Jesse conceded, though he didn’t appear too contrite.
“So, Mr. Jordan,” DeFord changed tacks. “you have heard the earlier testimonies from a number of individuals whose lives have been forever altered by the actions of Mr. Heyes and his partner. Do you not feel that the victims of these crimes are deserving of some form of justice for their grievances? After all Mr. Heyes openly admits his guilt. Why should he be allowed to walk away from the consequences of his behaviour when his victims obviously cannot do the same?”
Jesse hesitated. This question from the prosecuting attorney was so similar in its content to the discussion he had had with Thaddeus concerning them facing up to their actions that he found himself momentarily at a loss for words.
“Yes. Sorry,” Jesse responded. “Certainly I agree that they do need to take some responsibility for their actions but I’m sure there are other ways for them to accomplish that without doing prison time. It seems to me that many of the injustices they themselves suffered during the war and in the orphanage should be taken into consideration when judging them on their later choices and behaviours.”
“Perhaps,” DeFord agreed. “But as Mr. Charles has already stated concerning that line of defence, other boys suffered similar injustices and did not take to the outlaw trail. Why should Mr. Heyes be so privileged to use that as his condonement when others in similar circumstances were able to make wiser choices?”
“I suppose one would have to look at each situation in order to judge the choices made,” Jesse responded. “We also need to keep in mind that Mr. Heyes wasn’t much more than a child himself when faced with those life and death decisions. If given the choice of starving or stealing who here amongst us would choose the former?”
“But Mr. Heyes did choose to leave a safe haven, thereby putting himself into the position of having to steal in order to stay alive. That was hardly a responsible decision on his part.”
“Again, he was little more than a child and children do not tend to make responsible decisions,” Jesse countered. “they simply react to the situation they find themselves in. And I’m sure that very few of us here can know what it must have been like growing up in an orphanage—especially during those times.”
Finally the Judge interrupted this battle of conjectures and pointed out an obvious fact.
“Gentlemen, I hardly see the point of discussing assumptions concerning the defendant’s past when we have the defendant available to set the matter straight himself,” he said. “Mr. Granger, the next move is yours. If you desire a few moments to confer with your client as to whether or not he chooses to take the stand I will grant you a fifteen minute recess.”
“Thank you Your Honour,” Granger responded. “I would appreciate that.”
The atmosphere in the courtroom lightened to some degree as people got up to stretch and move around. There was definitely a soft buzzing of voices as everyone was discussing their point of view and speculating on how things were going to turn out.
Jesse stepped down from the stand and approached the defendant and his supporters.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I think I may have messed that up to some degree.”
“You did fine Jesse,” Heyes responded with a smile. “don’t worry about it.”
“Looking back on it, I think Mr. DeFord deliberately set that up in order to push you into taking the stand,” Jesse continued. “I’m not sure if that was your intention or not.”
“We hadn’t decided yet Mr. Jordan.” Granger answered him. “But it would look rather suspicious now if we declined.” The latter part of this comment spoken rather pointedly towards his client.
Heyes smiled uncomfortably. His heart was thumping against his chest and his palms were sweaty. He didn’t want to do this, but the way DeFord had set it up; he tended to agree with his lawyer. To back off now would look awfully suspicious.
“I guess we better do it then,” Heyes finally conceded.
Nobody disagreed with him, but nobody looked happy about it either.
“Just to confirm,” Granger stated. “you fully understand the consequences of refusing to answer questions once you are under oath?”
“Yes Mr. Granger,” Heyes assured him. “I understand.”
Three heavy sighs were the response to Heyes’ acceptance.
“I better get back to my seat,” said Jesse. Then he put a hand on his friend’s shoulder. “good luck. Either way, I’ll try to get in to see you later.”
Heyes nodded his throat suddenly very dry.
“Your Honour,” Granger announced. “We have come to a decision.”
The Judge tapped the gavel to get everyone’s attention.
“Order everyone!” he announced. “Ladies and gentlemen, please return to your seats. Court is back in session.”
A few moments of everyone shuffling back to their spots and then the room quieted down very quickly, anticipation mounting.
“Mr. Granger,” the Judge asked. “what is your decision?”
“My client has agreed to take the stand.”
“Fine. Have him come forward to be sworn in.”
Heyes couldn’t take a deep breath; he felt like he couldn’t breathe at all. He somehow managed to get to his feet and make his way to the stand. A bible was thrust under his nose.
“Place your right hand on the bible and raise your left hand. Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?”
“State your full name.”
“Hannibal Ellstrom Heyes”
“Please be seated, Mr. Heyes.”
Heyes sat down and for the first time was able to survey his audience. It looked quite different from this perspective and also quite intimidating as every set of eyes in the room were aimed directly at him. He did a quick scan to see who all he might recognize and found himself being able to pick out a number of familiar faces in the crowd.
There was quite a fair showing of the regulars from the weekly poker game and that pleased him. Oh, and there was Betsy from the café as well. Morrison—well, he quickly passed over him. Oh, and there was Jesse, settled back into his place now and sitting beside him was—David? That was a surprise. What was the doctor doing here? And then on Jesse’s other side, a woman—was that Belle? No! It was Bridget! Oh no! Why in the world did Jesse allow Bridget to come to this spectacle? She must be so disappointed in him after all the things she’s heard. Heyes never felt more ashamed of himself than he did at that moment. Now the things he was going to have to dredge up from his past were going to be even harder to relate knowing that she was going to hear them. For not the first time that day, Heyes felt like he wanted to just simply disappear.
Then Mr. Granger stepped into his line of vision and all else became secondary.
“Mr. Heyes,” the lawyer began. “may I ask when you were born?”
“February 24th, 1851.”
‘’And were you born in Kansas?” Granger continued, deliberately asking non-threatening questions in order to ease his client into the harder ones that were to come.
“No. I was actually born in New York State,” Heyes answered. “My parents heard about land being available in Kansas and so they and the Curry’s decided to move there when I was still quite young.”
“Do you remember moving to Kansas?”
“No. The only home I remember was our farm in Kansas.”
“There was a lot of unrest in that area during the late ‘50’s and early 60’s. Were you aware of any of that?”
“To some degree,” Heyes admitted. “Occasionally we’d pick up on whispered comments about a farm being burned out or one of the older boys in the area going off to war. I remember my father never leaving the house without his rifle, but we didn’t think too much of it, to us it was normal. In many ways our parents kept us protected from what was going on and I’d say we had a pretty good childhood on the most part.”
“By ‘us’ you mean you and your siblings?”
“How many siblings did you have?”
“Ahhh…” Heyes hesitated here for a moment then seemed to collect himself and carried on. “I had a brother and sister, both older than me.”
“So two siblings?”
“I think that’s right. Yes.”
“You think?” Granger asked, surprised. “Don’t you remember how many siblings you had Mr. Heyes?”
“I had two. A brother and a sister.”
“You’re sure about that?”
“Yes,” Heyes confirmed. “My older brother left to join the war effort. I haven’t seen or heard from him since.”
“I see.” Granger responded. Considering the devastating casualties of that war no one in the courtroom doubted what had probably happened to the older brother.
“So how old were you when the raiders attacked your farm?”
Heyes’ jaw tightened. “I was ten years old.”
“Did you witness the attack?” Granger asked, starting to dig a little deeper now. “Were you at home when it happened?”
“Yes,” Heyes answered, almost becoming detached. “It was early morning, summer time. Pa had gone out to feed the livestock. My mother and sister were preparing breakfast. I was setting the table—I think.”
“What was the first indication that anything was amiss?”
Heyes furrowed his brow, thinking back. “Ahhh, horses galloping. Coming closer. I could hear my father yelling but couldn’t make out what he was saying. The dog was barking, frantic. Then gunfire, rifles. My mother and my sister grabbed other rifles and everything just went crazy. My mother pushed me behind the curtain that led to the pantry and told me to stay there.”
“And did you?”
“Yes,” Heyes admitted. “I was scared. I think I started crying—I think. I wanted to help, but Ma had told me to stay there, so…”
“Then what happened?”
“Just—noise, crazy. Couldn’t keep track. Men yelling, gunfire. I could smell wood and hay burning. My mother and sister were firing the rifles out of the windows. I heard my mother screaming, but I don’t know why. Then men broke through the door and they ahhh…”
Heyes hesitated beginning to look distressed. Silence hung in the courtroom like a blanket smothering smoke.
“Take your time Mr. Heyes.”
Heyes took a deep breath and continued. “My sister got in another shot and hit one of the raiders and he went down, but then the others rushed them and got the rifles away from them. Two of them grabbed my sister and one man slapped her really hard—more than once. She went down behind the table and they went down after her. I could hear her screaming, but I don’t know what they were doing to her.”
Heyes swallowed. He could feel himself shaking, these old memories flooding back after all those years of trying to bury them. He was having a hard time with it, which was obvious to everyone there. Mr. Granger felt bad about pushing him, but he knew he had to.
“What happened next Mr. Heyes, when you’re ready.”
Heyes looked up, the terror of that day and the memories of people and events long passed haunting his dark eyes.
“My mother broke away from them and she could have run out of the house, but she didn’t.” Heyes recalled confusion in his voice. “Instead she turned and ran back towards the pantry. Our eyes met for an instant and she motioned for me to run and then she turned and deliberately drew the attention of the men away from me.” Heyes’ voice was shaking now and his knuckles were white from clutching the arms of the chair he was sitting in. “They grabbed her and hit her and I could hear her dress tearing and then I ran.”
Heyes stopped talking again. Suddenly he looked like a small frightened boy, shame emanating off him in waves.
“You were only ten years old Mr. Heyes,” Granger reasoned. “you couldn’t have helped her.”
Heyes looked over at him. His eyes were dry, but the anguish in them was heart wrenching. The only sounds breaking the heavy silence in the courtroom was the occasional quiet sob from some of the ladies present and gruff coughing from the gentlemen.
“You got out of the house?” Granger prompted.
Heyes nodded subtly. “Yes,” he answered in barely more than a whisper. Then he coughed himself to try and loosen his throat muscles. “Ahhh, I ran outside and the air was filled with smoke. The barn was ablaze and the horses were running loose, in a panic. My father was lying on his back by the well; there was blood all over him. The dog was beside him and he’d been shot so many times he was hardly recognizable as a dog.”
Here Heyes stopped again. He looked up, sought out and found Jesse. He was watching Heyes intently, his left arm around his daughter’s shoulders. Bridget was crying softly, trying to hide it behind her handkerchief.
“Why would they do that Jesse?” Heyes asked his friend. “Spencer was a good dog, why would they massacre him like that?”
A few heads turned to gaze upon the man to whom Heyes was focusing on. All Jesse could do was quietly shake his head. What other answer could he give?
“What did you do then Mr. Heyes?” Granger asked, trying to keep his client from locking up.
Heyes again turned his attention back to the lawyer.
“Ahhh, I ran,” he admitted. “The Curry farm was only a couple of miles away so I just found myself heading there. I could still hear screaming from the house and more gunshots and fire crackling and more screaming. I don’t know if they were shooting at me or….I just ran.”
“So, you made it to the Curry’s place?”
“Yes. But before I got there I saw smoke on the horizon and realized that their place had been struck before ours. Dread hit me like ice water and I ran even faster….”
“Yes, Mr. Heyes.” Granger prompted him again. “What did you find when you got there?”
“Devastation,” Heyes answered bluntly. “The house and the barn had been burned to the ground and were just smouldering then, but there were small pockets of fire still burning around the yard. Two of the horses had been shot and were partially burned, I guess the others had run off. I came across parts of their dog and then parts of….Jed’s younger sister.”
There were groans throughout the courtroom then and Heyes’ throat tightened and he coughed again and then swallowing, continued on.
“I could see what was left of Jed’s Pa over by the barn, but I couldn’t see his Ma anywhere. Then I heard sobbing and I followed the sound around to the other side of a pile of burning wood. It was Jed. He was sitting on the ground beside his older brother whose throat had been cut. There was blood all over both of them. Jed was sobbing almost hysterically; he was rocking back and forth and clutching his mother’s dress. It was the blue dress, the pretty one with the blue and white lace around the collar, though you could barely recognize it now, torn and tattered and covered in blood. “ Jed wasn’t wearing any shoes and his hands and feet were burned and his hair looked like it was singed and he was covered in soot and ash. Ho looked up at me as I approached him and I could tell he was trying to say my name, but all that came out was more sobs. I could hear his younger sister screaming, but I couldn’t see her anywhere.”
“So Jed had two younger sisters?” Granger asked.
“No, just the one.”
“I’m sorry Mr. Heyes. I’m confused. I thought you said that Jed’s younger sister had been…well....killed?”
“Yes, she was.”
“Well then how could you hear her screaming?”
A tingling chill went through Jesse. Something was wrong. Beside him he felt David tense even more than he’d been already. Heyes sat with his mouth open, as though he totally expected to know the answer to that, but nothing was coming to mind. Suddenly his teeth chattered, just for an instant and then stopped. David started to get up but Jesse put a hand on his arm, stopping him. Anyone approaching the defendant now, especially unsummoned would surely cause guns to be drawn.
Heyes’ brain was spinning. His focus went inwards, trying desperately to work this out. He knew the answer, it was obvious, but it was staying in the shadows, just out of reach. Screaming. He could hear a baby screaming, but he couldn’t find her. Then suddenly he gasped audibly and his head jerked slightly as though someone had just slapped him across the face and he went white as a ghost. He gasped again.
“Oh God! Jesse!” Heyes’ anguished eyes sought out his friend again and held on to him like a lifeline. “Oh God, no! I left her behind!” He could hardly breathe; his teeth chattered again and then stopped again. “My sister, my baby sister! How could I have forgotten about her? Awww Jesse! She couldn’t have been much older than J.J. and I left her behind in the house and they burned it down! She was burned alive and I could hear her screaming and I kept running away! How could I have left her!? She was my baby sister and I left her behind!!”
Bridget was sobbing. Jesse felt sick. He wanted to close his eyes, to shut out this nightmare, but he didn’t. He kept his eyes locked onto Heyes’ trying by sheer will power to keep his friend focused, to keep him from falling completely apart on the stand.
“Mr. Heyes,” Granger began in a tight quiet voice. “again, you were only ten years old. There was nothing you could have done. It seems to me that your mother saw a way to save at least one of her children and did what she had to do to give you that chance. If you had disobeyed her and tried to get to the baby you only would have succeeded in being killed yourself.”
Heyes broke away from Jesse and stared blankly at Granger, his sensible words meaning nothing to him.
“Mr. Granger,” the Judge intervened. “it’s early in the day yet, but I suggest that we adjourn until tomorrow morning and give your client a chance to compose himself.”
“Yes. Thank you Your Honour.”
“Court is adjourned until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning,” the gavel tapped loudly and all hell broke loose.
The room was instantly abuzz with people jumping to their feet and everyone starting to talk at once. Lom and Granger rushed forward and grabbing Heyes, they got him quickly to the side door and into the hallway leading to the jailhouse, Mike and Sheriff Turner not far behind them. Meanwhile David had also rushed forward, trying to catch up with them. He knew that Hannibal was in trouble and needed help, but he was too late. The Bailiff closed the side door just as the doctor got there and refused to let him through.
“But he’s my patient; I need to get to him,” David protested.
“Not this way Doctor,” the Bailiff countered. “Only the defendant and officers of the law are allowed through here. You’ll have to go around.”
Frustrated, David turned and quickly made his way back towards the main doors of the courthouse, but there were so many people milling about and hindering his passage that it took him a few minutes to reach the outside steps. He hurried down them and headed for the jailhouse, coming up on Jesse and Bridget having a somewhat heated argument.
“But he’s my friend too!” Bridget was yelling. ‘I want to see him!!”
“A jailhouse is no place for a young lady!” Jesse insisted. “You will wait for me over at the hotel!”
“I’m almost nineteen! I’m an adult! I can do what I want!”
“I’M YOUR FATHER! YOU’LL DO WHAT I TELL YOU!!”
At which point Jesse turned his back on his daughter and headed for the jailhouse. David quickly scooted past Bridget, not wanting to get assaulted in the aftermath. That young lady was a picture of pure frustration as she stood with clenched fists and stamped the ground with indignant anger. David made it past her without her so much as noticing him, and then, on the run he even caught up with and past Jesse in his hurry to get to the jail.
Meanwhile Heyes had been ushered back into his cell, then leaving Lom in the cell block with him, Turner and Mike returned to the front office to intercept anyone trying to get in to see the prisoner. They turned out to be David’s second stumbling block.
“But I’m his doctor,” David repeated the argument. “He’s in trouble and I need to see him.”
“He’s fine,” Turner insisted. “Besides, our own doctor has been seeing to him so your services aren’t required.”
Then, from inside the cell block came Lom’s urgent voice. “Turner! Get in here with the keys to Heyes’ cell! Quickly! There’s something wrong with him!”
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Posts : 1467 Join date : 2013-08-24 Age : 63 Location : Camano Island Washington
Subject: The Trial of Hannibal Heyes Part three Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:33 pm
Once back inside his cell Heyes had started to pace. He was agitated, frustrated, confused—tormented. He kept running his hands through his hair, repeatedly.
“How could I have done that?” he kept saying over and over, his agitation growing. His teeth started to chatter again, Lom couldn’t figure that out. It was a warm day, how could Heyes be cold?
“Heyes, try to calm down,” Lom was practically begging him. “You’re working yourself up into a state.”
“A state?” Heyes asked his mind in turmoil. “A state of what?”
“Of nerves!” answered Lom. “And you’re not doing much for mine either.”
“How could I have forgotten about that Lom?” Heyes asked his friend, real confusion in his eyes. He had started to shake. He stopped pacing and came over beside Lom and just stood there, holding onto the bars, a blank stare on his face. His teeth chattered.
“Heyes, what’s wrong?” Lom asked with real concern now.
Heyes shook his head, confused. His body was trembling now and he leaned against the bars of the cell, and then slowly he sank down to the floor, his teeth chattering like it was 40 below.
“Turner!” Lom called. “get in here with the keys to Heyes’ cell! Quickly! There’s something wrong with him!”
Turner came into the cell block and unlocked the cell door. David had come in on the Sheriff’s heels and as soon as the cell was opened, had nipped in ahead of Turner. He was getting really good at this manoeuvre and was inside the cell and grabbing the blanket off the cot before anyone could stop him.
“Sheriff, do you have any strong liquor in your office?” David asked him. “Like whiskey or brandy?”
“Well I have some brandy, but….”
“Great!” said David as he knelt down in front of Heyes and wrapped the blanket around him. “Get me two shots of it will you please.”
“Well, hold on now,” the Sheriff complained. “That’s real good…”
“NOW Sheriff, if you please.”
The two sheriff’s exchanged looks. Lom smiled. Grumbling, Turner finally gave in and made his way back out to the office to get the brandy. Jesse passed him on the way.
“David?” Heyes asked him between chatterings. “What’s …..happening?.....What’s wrong?”
“You’ve gone into shock Hannibal.” David answered him while briskly rubbing his shoulders, trying to get some heat generating. “We just have to get you warmed up, you’ll be alright.”
“Why would….. I have….. done…. that?”
David just gave a little ironic laugh and glanced up at Lom and Jesse. He was met with two very concerned expressions. Turner came back with a tin cup of brandy and handed it to the doctor. Bridget had glided in on the wake of the Sheriff and then stood quietly behind her father, watching the scene.
“Here, drink this,” David offered the cup to Heyes and he took it with shaking hands and managed to get the two shots down his throat.
He felt the liquor burn on its way down, then it hit his stomach and the warmth of it started to radiate out through his body. Gradually the trembling began to subside and the chattering eased off. David continued to rub his shoulders until Heyes finally gave a deep sigh and his body relaxed.
“There you go,” David said. “Feeling better?”
“Yeah.” Heyes answered.
“Think you can stand up?”
“Yeah,” but then suddenly added. “Doc, how is my cousin?”
“Who?” David asked, confused.
“Oh! I’m sorry; I hadn’t realized you two were related,” David admitted. “He’s fine. We’re finally getting him moved into town. He’ll be going to one of the other jails here.”
“Good. Glad to hear it,” Heyes mumbled and David couldn’t decide if he was being sarcastic or not.
Then Heyes started to pull himself back up onto his feet and seemed pretty steady once he got there, though he kept the blanket wrapped around his shoulders. He smiled over at his two friends and his expression turned to mild surprise and then embarrassment.
“Bridget. What are you doing in here?”
Jesse spun around. “BRIDGET! I told you to wait at the hotel!”
The look she sent her father was one of pure defiance. Heyes couldn’t help but smile. The girls were definitely growing up.
“It’s alright Jesse,” Heyes assured him. “if she still wants to be around me after what she heard in that courtroom today, I have no problem with that.”
Jesse sent him a look of parental frustration but Bridget wasted no time in taking advantage of the approval.
“Of course I still want to be around you!” she insisted as she slipped in between the men, entered the cell and gave Heyes a hug. “You’ll always be my dearest friend, Joshua!”
Bridget’s hug did just about as much as the brandy had done to help Heyes feel better.
Turner on the other hand, was a little anxious about this young woman not only being in the cell block, but now actually in the cell and hugging one of his most notorious prisoners! But nobody else seemed to think this worthy of concern, so he contented himself with just keeping a close eye on the situation.
The rest of the afternoon and evening went by in a bit of a blur for Heyes. He was understandably quite disturbed by the revelations of the day and continued to ask ‘Why?’ and ‘How?’ but without really listening to any answers that were presented to him. Long after the others had left to carry on with their own evening affairs, Lom stayed with his friend if for no other reason than to keep him company.
They drank coffee together and even had dinner together in the cell and talked about the old days when life had been carefree and adventurous. Lom even got Heyes laughing about some escapade they had pulled together or something that the Kid had done that had gotten everybody into trouble. But throughout it all Heyes still had a cloud over him and his hair suffered greatly with the constant attention it was receiving.
Then, as the evening shadows began to replace the autumn sun, David returned to the cell block and smiled in at the two old friends who were doing their best to help one another get through a difficult time.
“Good evening, gentlemen,” David greeted them.
“Hi David. Have you seen Kid yet?”
David smiled again. “Yes. He’s doing fine. Keeps asking about you though, about as often as you keep asking about him.”
Heyes just smiled. He was glad to hear that Kid was doing alright, but knowing that didn’t ease the ache of missing him.
“How are you doing Hannibal?” David asked. “Any more chills?”
“No. I think I’m alright now.”
“Good. I’ve brought you a sleeping draft for tonight. Tomorrow’s going to be another difficult day so you’re going to need your rest.” David sighed and mumbled to himself. “I seem to be handing out more sleeping aids than anything else these days.” then he perked up and handed the small pouch to Heyes through the bars. “Here, take this with some water and get some sleep. Try to stay warm. If you get the shakes again during the night have one of the deputies come and get me, okay?”
“Yeah David, I will.”
“Good. Gentlemen, goodnight.”
“I better be going too Heyes,” Lom said as David left. “I’ll see you in the morning; I’ll try to bring some breakfast over with me.”
“Can’t we just go to the café?”
“Nope,” Lom answered. “Your hour a day has been rescinded while the trial is going on. Wouldn’t want you inadvertently mingling with the jury members. Would create a conflict of interest right there. Sorry.”
“Oh.” Heyes said, somewhat disappointed. “I guess that makes sense. Goodnight Lom.”
Heyes slept quite well that night considering, but he woke up early, before dawn and his mind started to take over again. He lay on his back staring up at the barely visible ceiling allowing memories, and non-memories to take control.
How could he have done that? How could he have so totally forgotten about little Jenny, his baby sister? Again self-pity washed over him as he reflected on the life that could have been—should have been his—if not for that damn war! How could men do that? Butcher young children? Babies, literally in their cribs! How could they do that? Heyes groaned and rubbed his eyes and tried to think of something else. He could kill for a cup of coffee—damn! Where was Chuck when Heyes needed him? Then Heyes’ thoughts turned to the Pandora’s Box that that bastard had opened! What was he going to do about that? Just hope that DeFord didn’t ask him about it? If he gave up those names he’d be no better than Chuck was, but if he didn’t he knew it could mean the death of him. Heyes groaned again and then sat up, wrapping the blanket around him against the early morning chill. Hopefully Lom would be there soon with some coffee and breakfast. Could he eat? His stomach tightened to a knot at the thought of food. He supposed he should try or David would be after him for sure—that man could be such a nag sometimes! He needed a shave.
He missed his partner and resented the fact that they were still being kept apart. He looked around the cell block and felt even more irritated. There were only two other inhabitants and they (by request) were being housed in cells as far away from the outlaw as possible. Both cells on either side of Heyes were empty; there was no reason why Kid couldn’t come here. But there was a reason, and he knew it. Together they were dangerous. Together they could make plans and work out their strategy and Morrison knew it. That Sheriff wasn’t going to let them get together and apparently he had enough clout to make sure it didn’t happen even in a town that wasn’t his own. Unfortunately, being logical about it and understanding the ‘why?’ of it didn’t help him to miss his partner any less.
'C'mon Lom! Let’s get this day over with, one way or another.' He sighed deeply, ran his hands through his hair and standing up, began to pace.
“All rise! The Honourable Judge Henry Parsons presiding.”
“Mr. Granger, is your client able to continue?”
“Yes Your Honour.”
“Good. Mr. Heyes will you please take the stand. I remind you that you are still under oath.”
“Yes Your Honour. I understand.”
Heyes moved to the front of the courtroom and sat down facing the assembly. It looked even more crowded than it had the previous day, if that were possible. Then Mr. Granger stood facing him.
“Mr. Heyes,” he began. “if we could carry on from where we left off yesterday. You had arrived at the Curry’s farm and found Jed to be the only one left alive. It that correct?”
Heyes sighed deeply and then started again. “We headed towards town at that point. I had to carry Jed, piggy-back as he couldn’t walk with his feet burned the way they were. He wouldn’t let go of his mother’s dress and he wouldn’t stop crying even though I kept talking to him the whole time.”
“How old was he at this time?”
“Eight years old?”
There was a wave of sympathetic murmurings going through the courtroom at this point, but then everyone quickly quieted down, already enthralled with the continuation of the events.
“How far was it into town?”
“About ten miles,” Heyes answered. “but we only had to go about half way. Other neighbours had seen the smoke and had come to investigate.”
“So you carried your cousin for five miles?”
“Yes,” Heyes answered matter-of-factly, seeing nothing remarkable about this.
“Then what happened?”
Heyes sighed again. “Well, when our neighbours found us they had a buckboard with them so they got us into town. They tried to take Jed to the doctor, but he wouldn’t let go of me and wouldn’t let go of that dress. I wanted to go with him too as I didn’t feel that I wanted to let him out of my sight just yet, so eventually we both went over to the Doc’s. Turns out he wanted to see both of us anyway so it all worked out. Fortunately the burns Jed had suffered weren’t too bad and they eventually healed up alright, but they must have been pretty painful at the time.”
“Yes, I’m sure,” Granger agreed. “Do you know how he received those burns?”
“No.” Heyes admitted. “Kid and I never really talked about that day.”
Granger nodded. “Then what happened?”
“Well, we stayed with our neighbours for a little while and then they moved us to Valparaiso.” Heyes answered, then, hearing small gasps and disapproving murmurs from the assembly, he felt the need to justify the act. “It was hard times for everyone those days. It was hard enough for families to keep themselves fed so taking in orphans would have caused quite a hardship for most people around there. We didn’t expect anything different.”
“And how was Valparaiso?” Granger asked. “Were you treated kindly there?”
Heyes snorted derisively. “I’m afraid I must contradict Mr. Morgan here in his opinion of that institution. The only thing he said that had a ring of truth to it was that there was never enough to eat!” he commented dryly. “We learned right off what to expect from the people running the place. Nobody could get Jed to let go of that dress! Even when he fell asleep he clutched it so tightly that nobody could get it away from him. I suppose they felt so badly for him that they didn’t really try very hard either. “But when we got to Valparaiso the matron literally tore it away from him, calling it disgusting. Jed started to scream and he wouldn’t stop. They locked him in a room by himself and wouldn’t let me stay with him, told him he could come out when he decided to ‘behave’ himself.” Heyes went quiet for a moment, his jaw tightening in anger at the memory of the abuse. “It took two days for Jed to finally give in and then it was only because he was hungry. “Neither of us forgot that ‘introduction’ to Valparaiso. It turns out that ‘hungry’ was the normal condition at that place. We learned early on how to steal, that was the only way we could even come close to getting enough to eat. And Jed was already kind of small for his age so he got picked on a lot and what food was given to him often got snatched away by one of the other bigger boys. It seemed like I was always stealing food.” Heyes added reflectively. “And despite Mr. Morgan’s opinion that I usually “charmed” my way out of trouble, unfortunately the exact opposite was generally the case. The whip and the cane were a common punishment for boys who stole food and for the five years that we were there I usually sported a fine collection of bruises. The matron even broke my wrist once.”
Silence weighed heavy in the courtroom.
“What about apprenticeships, or trades?” Mr. Granger finally asked. “Were any of these made available to you?”
“Not really, no,” Heyes answered. “There were a lot of boys left homeless in that war Mr. Granger, all of them looking for a way to survive. An opportunity would present itself occasionally and the boy who seemed best suited to it would be placed there. But that only happened for a very few of us. There were just too many boys and not enough work.”
“What was it that prompted you to finally leave that place?”
Heyes smiled ruefully. “I could see the way things were going,” he answered. “I hadn’t made any real lasting friendships there. Jed and I kind of kept to ourselves and watched each other’s backs. That place had been a really good training ground for our later endeavours, that’s for sure. Anyway…why did we leave? We were starving. More boys were still coming in, so things were getting worse not better. Finally one night we’d just had enough of going to bed hungry. An opportunity presented itself and we left. Nobody came looking for us, so I don’t think we were missed too much.”
“Did you fare much better on your own?”
“No!” Heyes admitted. “No, at first it was really tough. Again we found ourselves having to steal just to eat and then sleeping where ever we could find shelter.”
“Did you ever consider going back to Valparaiso?”
“No!” Heyes answered with a laugh. “No. As bad as it was out on our own, it was better than there!”
“So how did you survive that time?”
“I don’t know,” Heyes admitted quite candidly. “I look back on it now and still marvel at the fact that we did survive. For a couple of years it was tooth and nail, always living just on the edge and I don’t think we would have made it a third year. But then, by happenstance we tried stealing from a master and got caught, but instead of turning us over to the law, the gentleman took us in and gave us a home and FOOD and a place to sleep. Gave us a family of sorts, again,” then Heyes smiled briefly. "and Jed, well he did a lot of catching up in the eating and growing department."
Granger nodded and smiled himself, certainly understanding that possibility. “And this man who took you in, can I assume that it is the Mr. Saunders whom Mr. Morgan has already mentioned?”
Heyes jaw tightened and he visibly bristled. “Yes.”
“So I take it you feel a certain loyalty towards this man.”
“Yes Mr. Granger, I think it safe to say that I do.”
“Even though the trade he taught you was illegal and eventually set you up on a life’s path that brought you to this court?”
“He saved our lives, Mr. Granger!” Heyes answered him with a bit of heat. “It’s kind of hard to just push that aside—even though Mr. Morgan seems to have had no trouble doing it!”
Not to Heyes’ surprise, the gavel banged out a warning and brought tempers down to a simmer again.
“Calm yourself Mr. Heyes,” the Judge warned him. “Please keep your answers direct to the questions.”
“Yes Your Honour,” Heyes answered a little tight lipped. He found Chuck in amongst the crowd and glared at him until he squirmed.
“Alright, Mr. Heyes,” Mr. Granger got Heyes’ attention focused back onto him. “you and your partner were obviously very successful in your careers. I take it you were living a reasonably good life, especially when compared to your childhoods.”
“Yes.” Heyes admitted though he had the good graces to look a little ashamed of that fact.
“So what was it that made you decide to change? Try to go straight?”
“Well,” Heyes pondered a moment. “it was becoming quite obvious, even to us that we were on a dead end path. We were also beginning to realize the harm that we were causing people, even if that wasn’t our intention in the first place. We had just never considered it before. “ The way we grew up, Mr. Granger, even before our folks were killed we’d heard about raids all along the border, people being killed, homes burned to the ground. Seeing homeless people walking past our place wasn’t unusual and they’d often beg for food, or steal it if they got the chance. “ Then in Valparaiso, stealing became second nature. We had to steal food to survive. By the time Kid and I settled in with the Devil’s Hole Gang, stealing was just what we did. We never thought anything of it. But then, like I said, we started looking around and realized that things just weren’t right. “ Our friend Lom Trevors had turned his life around and was doing okay for himself so we decided to get in touch with him and see if maybe we had a chance too.”
“And that was five years ago?”
“Yes,” Heyes agreed with a sigh. “five years ago.”
“And you have been working towards that goal of receiving a pardon since then?”
“Thank you, Mr. Heyes. Your witness Mr. DeFord.”
“Mr. Heyes, do you know what a sociopath is?”
Heyes bristled at the double insult. “Yes, Mr. DeFord I am well aware of the meaning of that word.”
“Good,” Mr. DeFord responded. “But for those of you here who have no reason to be aware of that word; in a nutshell, it refers to a person who has no social conscience. They take what they want, when they want and without remorse or consideration for the effect their actions may have on others. They are often highly intelligent, charismatic and manipulative. They see themselves as above the law, sneering down at us mere mortals who are restricted by our own moral code. Does that description sound familiar at all to you Mr. Heyes?”
Heyes was doing his utmost best to remember Mr. Granger’s advice to him about not allowing Mr. DeFord to push him into a reaction.
“As I have stated,” Heyes answered tightly. “I am well aware of its meaning.”
Mr. DeFord nodded. “Is that the only connection to that description you can think of Mr. Heyes? Here you have by your own admittance spent most of your life, stealing from others. Indeed to the point that it became ‘second nature’, that you saw nothing wrong with it.”
“We stole to survive,” Heyes reiterated. “Once on that path it is very difficult to get off it. As I stated, we came to realize that it was wrong and have spent the past five years trying to turn that around.”
“Yes. ‘So you stated’,” DeFord agreed with that so far. “and Sheriff Trevors, by his testimony also states that you have remained law abiding during these past five years and therefore should be considered for a pardon.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“And yet,” DeFord continued. “if I understand previous testimonies correctly, your partner has on at least one occasion broken legal custody and according to Sheriff Morrison you tried to escape from his custody after having been legally arrested. Is that not considered ‘breaking the law’?”
“Sheriff Morrison may be of the opinion that I tried to escape from his custody,” Heyes explained. “but the truth of the matter is that I had decided to see this through and face trial. If I had intended to escape, I would have done so and not be here in this court today.”
There came a loud 'HA!' from the assembly and Heyes could only assume that it was Morrison giving his honest opinion of that statement. This was followed by some appreciate chuckles by others in the room, until the Judge brought everyone to order again.
“Indeed?” DeFord continued when things had quieted down. “You are that confident of your abilities?”
“Well how good of you to decide to join us then,” DeFord stated sarcastically and then continued. “It has also been stated here that you were involved in a number of scams or con games during the past five years. Now, your friend, Sheriff Trevors suggests that these acts were sanctioned by legal authority and that therefore you were not breaking any laws. Is that correct?”
Heyes tensed. This was heading into dangerous ground. He tried hard not to panic.
“My partner and I did a number of jobs for government officials, yes.”
“And these officials were happy with the results of your efforts?”
“Yes, I believe they were.”
“Odd then, that none of them is here to support you now.”
“Yes, it is isn’t it?” Heyes agreed dryly.
“So if these operations you were involved with in the last five years were legal then you should have no qualms in telling the court who else assisted you in these endeavours.”
Heyes felt a tingle of fear go down his spine. There it was. Decision time. How should he handle this? What should he do? Well, when in doubt; bluff.
“My partner, Jed Curry,” was his obvious response.
Mr. DeFord smiled. “Yes, we’re well aware of Mr. Curry’s involvement. I am of course referring to the two people whom Mr. Fletcher mentioned as being part of that particular operation.”
“Which two people?” Heyes asked innocently.
“The two who are not Kid Curry,” Mr. DeFord emphasized. “What are their names Mr. Heyes?”
“I’m not at liberty to divulge that information.”
“Why not?” DeFord pressed on. “If that was a legal operation they are in no danger of prosecution. Indeed, we should be thanking them for being so helpful.”
Heyes felt the trap door snap shut. Fear took hold of his chest like a vice and he found it hard to breathe. He looked over at Lom, his eyes desperately asking for forgiveness, knowing that what was going to happen next would cut that man to the quick. Lom was looking confused and anxious. Heyes and Kid had not told him anything about the scam to trap Fletcher and when it had been brought up in court by that gentleman; Lom had hoped that it had simply been one that the boys had agreed to do through other channels, like their part in helping Mr. Zulik. Now though, seeing Heyes’ distress Lom was beginning to have his doubts.
“No,” Heyes finally stated, through a tight throat. “I can’t give you those names.”
There were a number of audible groans throughout the court. Heyes wasn’t sure who they were coming from. He only knew that he was lost.
“Why not, Mr. Heyes?” DeFord asked.
“Because that was not a legal operation,” Heyes admitted quietly and again he looked to Lom for forgiveness but he didn’t find any there. Lom was angry.
“It was not a legal operation,” DeFord repeated. “You have been claiming that you and your partner have been law abiding for the past five years and yet now you openly admit to having pulled a confidence game that was outside the law. Why would you have done that Mr. Heyes, if you were hoping for an amnesty?”
Heyes was feeling sick. How could he say that Clementine had blackmailed him and the Kid into doing this for her in order to help her father? If the law found out that Clem had a picture of the two of them and had deliberately withheld it then she would be in a whole lot of trouble. Heyes wasn't about to turn her in, and he sure wasn’t about to turn in James Guffy!
Silence weighed heavy in the courtroom. He had been backed into a corner; he had nowhere else to go.
“We did it to help out a friend,” Heyes was willing to admit that much.
“And what is the name of this ‘friend’?” Mr. DeFord continued to push.
“Mr. Granger,” the Judge interrupted. “is your client aware of the consequences of refusing to answer a question posed to him while under oath?”
Mr. Granger looked regretful. “Yes Your Honour,” he admitted with a sigh. “He is aware of the consequences.”
“Mr. Heyes,” the Judge turned to the defendant. “I will give you one more opportunity to answer the question or you will be found in contempt. Do you understand?”
“Yes Your Honour,” Heyes accepted that fact. “I cannot answer the question.”
“Then I find you in contempt of court, Mr. Heyes!” the Judge announced. “Mr. DeFord, do you have any more questions for the defendant?”
“No Your Honour, no more questions.
“Fine. Mr. Heyes, please return to your seat.”
Heyes somehow managed to get to his feet and then walk back to his place. He tried to connect with Lom, but his friend refused to meet his eye. Lom was furious. As far as he was concerned Heyes had betrayed his trust and everything he had done; putting his job on the line and going out on a limb for him and the Kid had all been for nought. Maybe it was too late for the tiger to change his stripes. Maybe Heyes was simply an outlaw, through and through and there was just no changing him. The courtroom was silent.
The closing statements made by the two attorney’s had gone by in a blur. Heyes hadn’t even listened to them. What was the point? All he could do now was wait for the verdict and hope that Mr. Granger’s assessment of the situation had been overly pessimistic. Maybe he still had a chance at some leniency. Maybe.
When Heyes was returned to his cell to await the verdict from the jury, he found himself there alone. Lom had helped to escort him back and had not said a word to him the whole way down the corridor. Once in his cell Heyes had tried to get Lom to stay, to talk to him, to please let him explain. But Lom was too angry and simply turned his back on his friend and left.
Mr. Granger came into the cell block to stand by his client at a time he knew would be very difficult for him. Heyes sent him a weak smile as the lawyer came up to the bars.
“Well, Mr. Heyes. I have to admit it does not look good.”
Heyes simply nodded his agreement and began to slowly pace the cell.
“Is it truly worth your freedom to hold back that information?” Granger asked him.
“Despite what Mr. DeFord would have the jury believe, I am not a sociopath,” Heyes insisted. “I will not betray a confidence or stab a friend in the…..” and there he broke off and glanced towards the cell block door. He had stabbed Lom in the back, even though he had not meant to and knowing what that friend was thinking of him now made Heyes heartsick. He wanted desperately to make things right between them, but he didn’t know how.
Granger nodded, knowing there was no point in pushing the matter.
“If it helps,” Granger started, changing the subject. “the longer it takes for the jury to reach a verdict the better it could be. If it takes them a long time it means they are undecided and they may have to compromise. What you went through in your childhood should count for something.”
“Hmmm,” was about all Heyes had to offer.
Jesse entered the block at this point and approached the two men. Mr. Granger nodded a greeting to his patron and then with another glance at his client, left the two friends to talk.
Jesse stood quietly at the bars, waiting for Heyes to make the first move. Heyes continued to pace for a few more minutes not sure if he wanted to talk, but also knowing that he didn’t want to be left alone again either. Finally he approached his friend and mentor and stood silently before him, unable to meet his eyes, not knowing how things could be worse.
“Well Hannibal that was quite an eye opener in there.”
Suddenly Heyes knew how it could be worse. He looked at Jesse then, with disappointment in his eyes.
“It’s ‘Hannibal’ now is it? No longer ‘Joshua’?”
“Yes,” Jesse confirmed. “I think it is time to let go of old habits.”
“The promise you made was to Joshua,” Heyes pointed out.
“The promise I made was to YOU,” Jesse countered. “I won’t abandon you. I question some of the choices you’ve made here but I trust that you have your reasons. Whatever the verdict is, whatever happens in there, you’re still family and we won’t abandon you.”
Heyes clutched the bars between them, his knuckles turning white with the pressure.
“Jesse,” he began in a choking whisper. “I’m scared. I’m so scared. I’ll die in prison.”
“Only if you keep telling yourself that,” Jesse answered. “You’re a strong man Hannibal. All you need to do is decide that you’ll make it through and you will. No matter what happens, don’t give up. Will you promise me that?”
“Another promise Jesse?”
“Yes. Will you promise?”
Heyes sighed and leaned his forehead against the bars. He was no longer confident, he was no longer sure he could do it.
“Hannibal, if not for me then for the girls?”
Heyes sighed. That just wasn’t playing fair. He looked up at Jesse then, meeting his eyes and nodded.
“For the girls,” he agreed.
Then the cell block door opened and Mike came in with the keys to the cell.
“Jury’s back,” he announced.
“Gentlemen of the jury, have you reached your verdict?”
“We have Your Honour.”
“And what say you?”
“We find the defendant Hannibal Ellstrom Heyes guilty of all charges.”
Reaction swept through the assembly like a wave, a chorus of relieved jubilation competing with anguished disbelief. Even though the verdict was exactly what Heyes had braced himself for, nothing could have fully prepared him for the reality of it. He was numb and his heart was pounding so hard, he was sure it must burst from his chest. He couldn’t breathe.
“Hannibal Ellstrom Heyes please stand up and face the bench.”
Heyes complied, feeling like he was in a nightmare.
“Mr. Heyes,” the Judge began. “I must agree with the jury. Though I do not contend that you are a sociopath, perhaps the choices you have made and the life you continue to embrace would be more understandable if you were. But on the contrary, to all intent and purposes you are a very sane and intelligent young man who simply has chosen to live outside the laws of this land. “You came into this trial insisting that you had led a law-abiding life for the last five years, and yet it has been shown beyond a doubt that that has not been the case. You have lied to your friend and supporter and you have shown contempt for this court. Indeed, I feel that you are a very dangerous man and have no true intentions of reformation. I therefore sentence you to twenty years to life at the Wyoming Territorial Prison. Sentence to commence immediately. This court is adjourned!”
And the gavel came down.
Heyes’ groan would have been audible if it hadn’t been for the uproar of the assembly. Everyone started talking at once and someone, somewhere in the hubbub was crying. Mike was quick to approach Heyes and get the cuffs on him before the prisoner regained his equilibrium and attempted something desperate. Then he was dragged, unhindered through the side door and, for the last time, down the corridor and back to his cell.
He was uncuffed and left alone. The silence in the cell block was suffocating, its other occupants acutely aware of the storm brewing. The rage came upon him gradually. Beginning in the pit of his stomach and the back of his throat and then spreading until it engulfed his heart and his mind and then his very soul. He screamed his anguish to the world and not a single item in his cell was safe from his assault. No one dared approach him while he was in this mood because for the first time in his life Hannibal Heyes was out of control and murderous. It took two hours for the prisoner to wear himself out to the point where he was sane again. Only officers of the law were allowed near him now that he was convicted and Lom knew that of that select group only he would have any chance at all of reasoning with the man. So, he swallowed down his own anger and feelings of betrayal and entered the cell block. He realized that when all was said and done, Heyes was still his friend and he would continue to fight for him, and for the Kid.
Heyes saw Lom approach the cell and snarled at him.
“What was the point Lom?!!” he yelled at his friend. “All those jobs we did for the governor and for the governor’s friends!!! What was the point?! Where were they when I needed them?! Huh!!! Where?!! Hiding in their offices behind their big wooden desks, that’s where!!! Do you know how many times Kid and I could have just hightailed it to Mexico?!! How many times we were in Mexico and came back!!! How many times we could have gone to Canada!! We were so close to the northern borders so many times, it would have been easy!! DAMMIT!! EVEN CANADA WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER THAN PRISON!! I bared my soul out there and for what?!!! I had forgotten so much of that bloody nightmare and I had to dredge it all back up again!! Have to live with it all over again!! For NOTHING!! You may as well put a gun to my head and shoot me! I'm going to be just as dead anyways!!! Damn promises! I should have just lit out for Mexico!! I learned early; watch your own back! Me and the Kid! I don't owe anybody else anything! I shouldn't even be here dammit! This is what I get for developing a conscience!"
Lom stood quietly, accepting the onslaught. Heyes paced the cell furiously, hitting the bars with his fist, kicking the already overturned cot, letting his anger run wild. But at least it was just anger now and not blind murderous rage. Lom waited. Eventually Heyes began to calm down even to the point of realizing that he had bruised his hand when hitting the bars. Finally he stopped pacing, and stood facing away from Lom, hands on his hips, breathing heavily and dripping sweat. He gave a huge sigh and then turned to look at his friend. Lom looked back.
“I’m sorry.” Heyes finally said. “I’m sorry I let you down.”
Lom didn’t respond. He was sorry Heyes had let him down too.
Heyes shook his head as though in a debate with himself.
“We had to do it,” he told Lom. “I can’t explain why, you’ll just have to accept that we had to do it. And that Fletcher! That weasel! He’s more of a scam artist than I’ll ever be. He’s the one who should be going to prison!”
“And the other crime?” Lom asked quietly. “The one Charles Morgan accused you of.”
“We told you about that one Lom,” Heyes reminded him. “We had to get that money back from Grace Turner. We returned it to the authorities Lom, you know we did.”
“Yeah, I guess I do know that,” Lom admitted. “Unfortunately in the eyes of the law, all the good things you’ve done were cancelled out by the bad things. And your refusal to give up those names just sealed your fate in the eyes of the Judge.”
Heyes came back over to the bars and again leaned his forehead against them.
“Is the Judge right Lom?” he asked almost in desperation. “Am I beyond redemption? Beyond hope of a decent life?”
“No Heyes,” Lom assured him having changed his mind about that himself now that he'd had a chance to calm down. “The Judge was wrong about that. He doesn’t know you; he was just going by the evidence. Your friend Mr. Jordan and I have been talking with Mr. Granger. We have a plan. We’re not going to give up, so don’t you.”
“Okay Lom,” Heyes agreed. He pushed himself away from the bars, looking exhausted, burned out. “I won’t give up.”
Two days later Heyes again found himself shackled to that damn belt with the cuffs in front. He had really developed a healthy dislike for that contraption. The prison wagon that was to transport him to his new ‘home’ was outside the jailhouse, waiting for him. Mike was there with his ever present rifle while Sheriff Turner made some last minute inspections of the prisoner before they were to take him out and turn him over to the prison guards. There were a few of the younger deputies around them too, trying to look important, but feeling a little nervous all the same.
Finally all was made satisfactory and the little group of lawmen escorted the prisoner out the back door and into the lane where they expected the wagon to be waiting for them. No wagon.
“Oh for goodness sakes,” grumbled Turned in disgust. “They must be around front. Come on, we can just walk around. Better than trying to explain to everyone why we came back in.”
So the small group headed around to the front of the building, drawing a few glances from the curious who were walking by, but by this time most of the townsfolk had moved on from the great Hannibal Heyes trial and were settling back into their own routine. Seeing the outlaw being escorted away was not really considered particularly noteworthy anymore.
Heyes saw the heavy prison coach with bars on the windows and locks on the door waiting patiently for them by the front of the jailhouse. They headed towards it, passing by another small group of men heading towards the front doors of that same building. Heyes couldn’t help but notice Morrison in that group, he seemed to be able to sense the very presence of that man now and his anger towards him started to rise. He pushed it down however, knowing that this was hardly the time to exact revenge upon the sheriff; that would just have to wait. Heyes' small group continued on towards the wagon and Mike was just preparing to assist Heyes up the steps and into the vehicle, when suddenly, he heard it! That voice that was more familiar to him than his own and his heart leapt to his throat.
Heyes’ head snapped up and he spun around, desperately searching for the source of that yell and his eyes focused on that other group of men who had just arrived at the front door of the jailhouse.
To Be Continued.
Posts : 483 Join date : 2013-08-31 Location : Madrid
Subject: Re: The Trial of Hannibal Heyes Chapter eight Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:12 am
Wow, what shocking revelations in this one. How will Heyes cope with realising he ran off and left his infant sister? And a certain witness giving evidence against him... Oh, so much to come! If only real life would slow down and let me read.
Kattayl likes this post
Subject: Re: The Trial of Hannibal Heyes Chapter eight