Posts : 1467 Join date : 2013-08-24 Age : 63 Location : Camano Island Washington
Subject: Attitude Chapter Nine Part one Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:12 pm
Curry was bored. Bored! Bored! Bored! BORED! Usually when he finds himself locked up in a jail cell he just lays back with his hat over his eyes and goes to sleep. Even Heyes had marveled at his ability to accomplish this feat at any time of the day or night and under just about any set of circumstances. Unfortunately, since Curry was after all, a young and healthy male, even his undeniable talent had met its match when the long summer days began to blend into weeks. When the small posse with their prisoner had finally arrived in Murreyville it had been a great relief to get off the stifling train and away from the curious looks and playful antics of the other passengers. And that was just the adults, but even the children were starting to get annoying and Curry was really feeling the need for some solitude. At least it was relatively cool inside the jailhouse and once the prisoner had been placed in a cell, and the shackles and belt had been removed he felt a certain amount of stress easing off his shoulders. He was still hurting, emotionally and physically and Morrison pushing him up against the bars for the routine but totally unnecessary search had sent his head to spinning and his stomach to threatening unpleasantness.
“Alright Curry,” Morrison said. “hope you like your new lodgings cause this is where you’re going to be for a while now. Behave yourself and we’ll get along just fine.”
“Yeah, sure we will,” Curry mumbled his cheek bone still stinging and bruised from the last time he had tried to comply with the Sheriff’s wishes.
Morrison chose to ignore the outlaw’s grumblings and leaving the cell block, finally left him alone. With a heavy sigh of oh so many emotions, Jed sat down on the bunk and cradled his right arm with his left, wishing he could find some way to ease the aching. Finally he tucked his arm inside his shirt to give it some kind of support and then lay down on the bunk, covered his eyes with his hat and hoped to maybe get some sleep. Forty minutes later, still awake and hurting, Curry heard the cell door opening and groaned inwardly at the prospect of yet another encounter with the Sheriff.
“C'mon Curry, wake up,” Rick’s voice was a welcomed alternative. “I’ve brought the Doc here to see you.”
Well that sounded promising! Curry removed his hat as he sat up and found himself looking at what he would have normally considered a ‘typical country doctor’. Of course, after having gotten used to David and his ways a typical doctor might be a little hard to adjust to.
“This is Dr. Jones,” Rick continued. “I just asked him to come over and check you out. I know you’ve been hurting.”
“Yeah, thanks,” Curry answered. “Ahhh, Morrison agreed to this?”
“Nope, probably not,” Rick admitted. “Like they say; ‘it’s often easier to ask forgiveness than seek permission.’” then he smiled. “So, we’ll just see how the Doc can help you out for now and then take it from there.”
“Howdy there, young man,” Dr. Jones greeted the prisoner. “I hear you’re still experiencing some pain from a bullet wound.” Curry nodded. “Okay, let’s see what we can do about that.” And the Doctor approached Curry and began his examination.
“Your name really Jones?” Curry asked, a little skeptically.
“Sure is,” he answered. “The world is full of people named Jones, haven’t you noticed?”
“Well. I just happen to be one of them.”
Curry almost laughed out loud despite the discomfort from the exam. How many times had he used that very same line of logic when defending his alias to his own group of skeptics? Meanwhile, the doctor did not take long in his examination of the shoulder, and Curry could not help but take note of the differences between this doctor and David Gibson. Though Dr. Jones was much older than David his probing fingers just didn’t seem to have the same intuitiveness behind them. He almost felt clumsy in comparison. It was like trying to compare a country bumpkin in a shooting competition to Kid Curry in a serious showdown. You just knew who the artist was. Still, the man did set Curry’s arm into a new sling and was going to leave some morphine for him to help take the edge off and that’s really the most that the Kid had been hoping for. But then, while Dr. Jones was treating the cut on his cheekbone, the Kid thought he would push it a little further and began making inquiries.
“Ah, the doc who patched me up said that I should start doing some stretching to help loosen up the muscles. Do you know anything about that?”
“Stretching?” Jones asked, a little incredulously “What was he getting at?”
“Well, he said that it would help me to get the mobility back in the shoulder.”
“He told you that?” Jones responded, and sadly shook his head. “Sounds like a fool to me, or a coward. Just said that to make you feel better I’m afraid.”
“What do you mean?”
Jones finished treating the cut and then put a consoling hand on Jed’s left shoulder.
“Son, I’m sorry,” he said. “that doctor had no right to tell you that. The way your shoulder has been tore up you’ll be lucky to be able to write your own name; that is if you could write in the first place. No, you just keep that arm in a sling until it heals up right and take the morphine when you need it and I’m afraid that’s the best you can hope for.”
He gave Curry’s shoulder a couple of pats and then turned to Rick with a sad smile. “It’s a shame what some doctors will tell a fella just to make him feel better.”
Rick sent a quick glance over to Curry to see how he was taking that bit of news and then escorted the doctor out of the cell block. Curry sat on the bunk, staring into space; now he was really scared. The doctor he needed and had come to trust was no longer available to him and instead he was stuck in the care of an old fogy who had no idea how to help him. He found himself tempted to break out of jail just to get back to Brookswood and back to Doctor David Gibson. Lom came to see Curry as often as he could, but with his own duties in Porterville, Heyes’ trial in Cheyenne looming on the horizon and Morrison insisting on keeping the Kid in Murreyville, well it kind of stretched that worthy friend a little thin. At least Kid was able to get some news as to how his partner was fairing and that they were both on the same track concerning getting this situation dealt with. Lom didn’t know the details, but from what he related of Heyes’ attitude, Curry easily surmised that he had also made some kind of promise to Jesse and now they were both honour bound. Actually, more to the point; all three of them were honour bound. Heyes and the Kid were holding up their end of the deal, only time would tell if Jesse intended to do the same. One thing Jed did ask of Lom is if he could please send a telegram to David for him.
“Who?” Lom had asked.
“David Gibson, the doctor back in Brookswood.”
“Isn’t the doctor here helping you?”
“More like hindering me, I’d say,” Lom looked confused. Curry continued. “The doctor here is trying to help, but there’s no comparison between the two men. I need David.”
“Okay Kid,” Lom agreed. “I’ll send him a telegram. What do you want it to say?”
Curry stared off into space for a moment. “Help!” he stated.
“That’s all? Just ‘help’?”
“He’ll know what I mean.”
“That’s all? Just ‘help’?”
“I know what he means.”
“A man of few words isn’t he?”
“He can be,” David admitted, smiling over at his wife. “but he gets his message across.”
“Does this mean you’re going to drop everything and go running to Wyoming?”
David groaned inwardly. Was this going to turn into another fight? Tricia felt the tension growing as she stood in the office, watching her husband pack up a few items into his satchel.
“It’s alright David,” she finally assured him. “I guess this is just part of who you are, and since I married you for who you are it would be silly of me to try and change that.”
David smiled, relieved. He took his wife into his arms and held her tightly.
“Thank you” he said. “I love you, you know.”
Tricia smiled. “I know.”
“Why don’t you go stay out at the Jordan’s while I’m gone, or go to your folks place? I shouldn’t be more than five days or so.”
“No, I don’t want to impose on them,” Tricia answered. “Millie is right next door. We’ll keep each other company.”
“Well, alright,” David accepted as he returned to packing. “if you’re sure. I get concerned about you being alone here.”
“I’m hardly alone!” Tricia reminded him. “It’s not like I’m out on one of those ranches by myself. We’re right in town here and like I said, Millie and I can keep each other company.”
David nodded. She was right.
“I’ll swing by the Hamilton’s place on my way to the train station and let them know I’ll be out of town for a few days,” David commented, more to himself than to Trish since she was already well aware of the fact that the Hamilton’s had handled all the medical concerns that had come up in the town before David had arrived. They were always happy to fill in for him whenever he had to go away for a while.
“Alright,” she answered mechanically. “Have a safe trip.”
Out at the Jordan’s place Jesse was sitting at the dinning table contemplating a piece of paper he was holding in his hands. Sam had gone into town to pick up some feed and as usual had stopped at the telegraph office to check for messages. He tended to send actual letters to his mother, but sometimes just a telegram would come back. Just enough to keep in touch and let the other know all was well. This time however, there was one there for his boss and seeing that it was from Cheyenne Wyoming, Sam figured it must be pretty important. It hadn’t taken him long to finish up his errands in town and after a quick visit with Maribelle he then returned to the ranch and handed the message over to Jesse. Belle had passed by her husband a couple of times in an effort to get J.J. settled after his last meal and hadn’t really been paying too much attention to Jesse until she finally had the baby quieted and down for a nap. Then coming out of the day nursery she took note of him sitting there and realized that he had been there for a while and hadn’t changed his position or expression for some time.
“Is that a telegram?” she asked by way of starting the conversation.
Jesse looked up. “Hmmm? Oh yes. It’s from Joshua’s lawyer, Mr. Granger. He is politely ‘requesting’ my presence at the trial in order to give testimony for the defense.”
“Oh.” Belle responded, sitting down at the table with her husband. “Well, that’s hardly surprising, after all Joshua is a friend,” then she noticed Jesse’s concerned expression. “Do you have a problem with doing that?”
“No, no,” he admitted. “I guess I just never thought that I would be. And the timing is not great. Miss Shadbolt can take over my teaching classes, so that’s not a problem, but the fall auctions are happening right around the same time and we have a lot of stock that’s ready to go.”
“I know, but Sam has been doing a good job here,” Belle pointed out, then smiled. “I think he’s working extra hard now in order to make up for past deeds.”
Jesse smiled too. “Yes. A little bit of a guilty consciences can work wonders,” then he became thoughtful again. “I know he has a couple of friends in town that could use work, maybe they would be willing to hire on temporarily, just for the season.”
“I’m sure they would,” Belle agreed. ‘Now, I better get started with supper. Do you know where the girls are?”
“They went for a ride I do believe,” Jesse informed her. “They’re getting so attached to those two horses I don’t know what we’re going to do when the boys come back to get them.”
Belle smiled and patted her husband’s hand. “One thing at a time,” she advised and then got up and headed for the kitchen.
Conversation over the supper table that evening was both animated and vociferous. The two girls had indeed been for a ride and were quite excited about their two charges.
“And Karma-Lou is just so fast!” Beth exclaimed for about the tenth time. “She’s wonderful to ride! I can certainly understand why Joshua is so fond of her!”
“Well Buck may not be quite as fast, but he’s very dependable and always careful where he puts his feet,” chimed in Bridget, not wanting to be out done. “He’s a very kind horse, and I’m sure that in his youth he was just as fast as Karma!”
“Just keep in mind that those horses are on loan,” their father reminded them. “I fully intend to return them to Joshua and Thaddeus whenever they’re ready for them.”
“Yes, we know,” the girls both acknowledged, calming down a little bit. They were both torn between not wanting their friends to go to prison, and also not wanting to give up some fine mounts.
“Have you heard anything, Papa?” Bridget asked.
“Yes, actually,” Jesse answered. “I received a telegram this afternoon asking me to testify at Joshua’s trial in September.”
“Really?” asked Bridget, brightening up. “Can I come?”
“I don’t think that’s wise.”
“Why not?” she pleaded. “You know I’m interested in the law and what better way to see how things work than to actually go to a real trial?”
“You’ve been to a real trial,” her father reminded her. “Your mother’s.”
“That’s not the same thing!” Bridget persisted. “That was so long ago I barely remember it! And I was so scared I wasn’t really paying attention!”
“I just think you’re too young to deal with something like this,” Jesse reasoned. “This could get very intense. You may not like some of the things you’d hear about your friend.”
“I’m not too young, Papa!” Bridget insisted. “You keep saying that! I’m going to be nineteen in October. I’m a grown woman!” Jesse and Belle exchanged smiles. “and whatever I hear about Joshua, he’s still going to be my friend—nothing will change that!”
“Let me think about it,” he finally said. “Your mother and I will discuss it and then, we’ll see.”
“Can I come too?” asked Beth in a small voice.
“NO!” came the adamant response from both parents.
As we have all come to realize at this point; Dr. David Gibson is not a stupid man. He arrived in the town of Murreyville during the late afternoon and intentionally avoided the jailhouse until he was sure that Sheriff Morrison had gone home for supper. He checked into the hotel, got an early supper for himself and then took up a strategic position along the boardwalk where he had a clear view of the front of the jail, and then waited. Sure enough, close on to 7:00 pm David spied Rick making his way to the jail and disappearing through the front door. Ten minutes later Morrison himself exited the same building and began the twenty minute walk that would take him home. David waited until the Sheriff was well and good out of sight and then headed over to the jailhouse himself. He entered the office to find Rick in the process of making coffee for himself and the lone prisoner. Rick looked up in surprise and then added some more water and coffee to the pot.
“What are you doing here Doc?”
“I had an urgent request from our friend in there,” David explained. “It seems he hasn’t much faith in the local physician.”
Rick snorted. “Yeah, well that doesn’t surprise me,” he admitted. “I’ll let you in. But if Morrison finds out about it, I’ll deny all knowledge.”
“Why are you still doing guard duty anyways?” David asked, suddenly curious. “Don’t you have a spread to look after?”
“Yeah,” Rick admitted. “but this was part of the deal we made with Morrison; to stay on till the end. I’ve got good people looking after my place for me, and I have to admit, my share of the reward money on those two is going to be well worth it”
“Yes, I suppose,” David was somewhat non-committal.
Rick sighed. “Now don’t get all judgmental on me Doc! It was a job and not an easy one at that. Curry’s not a bad sort, but it doesn’t change the fact that he’s an outlaw and a gunfighter and I’ve got no qualms about bringing him in.”
“Yes, I suppose you’re right,” David conceded the point. “In the meantime, I feel like I’m fighting the odds just keeping the two of them on their feet. Your boss isn’t helping.”
Rick just smiled. Truth be known he was getting a little tired of Morrison’s bullying as well and him shooting that outlaw from the train was above and beyond the call of duty. Rick wasn’t going to admit as much to the doctor, but he was definitely having doubts about working with the Sheriff again. Then, as the coffee started to boil, Rick took down the keys and led David into the block and unlocked Curry’s cell door.
“Hey David!” Curry was up off his bunk in an instant, smiling broadly. “Finally! Thanks for coming!”
“You guys want some coffee when it’s done?” Rick asked as he closed the door on the Doc.
Then Rick left the two men together.
“What happened to your face?” David asked with some concern.
Curry’s smile instantly faded. “Morrison.” he said simply.
“Ah. Well, it doesn’t look too bad. It should heal up alright.” David observed. Then continued; “So what’s so bad about the local doctor that you had to summon me from my warm hearth and warm wife?”
Curry groaned. “Oh David, the guy hasn’t got a clue. I don’t think he’s even gone to school. I asked him about doing stretches and all that stuff you were talking about and he looked at me like I had just been taken in by the biggest crackpot west of the Mississippi! Why is it everyone thinks you’re an idiot?”
David laughed. “Because I have gone to school and then some,” he explained. “and if the local doctor is an old coot who’s been at it for forty years then he’s not going to like some young whippersnapper coming in and changing the rules on him.”
Then Rick was back; “Here you go fellas—fresh coffee,” he announced and handed the two cups through the bars to David.
“Thanks. Here you go Jed,” then he added as a mumbled aside. “I do seem to be spending a lot of time in jail cells lately.”
Jed heard him as he took his cup. “Yeah, tell me about it.”
David smiled. “Sorry.” he apologized. “I know it’s been a lot harder on you.”
Curry just nodded in silent agreement and then the two men sat down for a companionable drink of caffeine.
“So how was your trip here?” David asked. “From the look of your face I’d say it didn’t go very smoothly.”
“You can say that again,” Jed answered. “You were right about that Sheriff; I don’t know what’s the matter with him. He’s just mean for no reason. My old gang tried to hold up the train, didn’t even know we were on board.” Curry hesitated for a moment, sadness coming back onto him again. “He shot a friend of mine right out of the saddle, right in front of me, just to get their attention. Killed him, right there in front of me.”
David sighed. “Yeah. I’m sorry Jed. That does seem to be Morrison’s way; subdues by intimidation,” the good doctor couldn’t think of anything more to say and certainly nothing that would help his friend feel better.
“He’s just mean,” Curry repeated. “You warned me to watch out for him, well now I’m warning you. You tend to rub him the wrong way as well and one of these days you just might rub him too hard and I wouldn’t want to see anything happen to you,” then he smiled. “at least not until my shoulder’s healed up!”
“Ha! Right, thank you!” David laughed. “Now you tell me after summoning me here behind his back!”
Curry smiled again. “Cheers!” he said, and tapped his coffee cup to David’s
They both took one more drink and then David stood up, took Jed’s cup from him and put them both on the floor out of the way.
“Okay, let’s get on with the business at hand,” he said and gently removed the sling that was supporting Jed’s arm and started unbuttoning his shirt. “How has it been feeling on the most part?”
“Okay,” David said as he started to prod and probe again. “that’s to be expected.”
Curry grimaced with the pain of the exam.
“Try to relax Jed,” David told him. “and don’t forget to breath.”
“What do mean?” Curry asked him. “how could I forget to breath?”
“Well you weren’t breathing just then.”
“Yes I was.”
“No, you weren’t.”
“Jed! Just relax.”
“I am relaxed! OW!! Jeez David—you always hurt me!”
“And yet you summoned me here.”
“Come on, let your arm relax. There, thank you. BREATHE JED! I know it hurts but it will release in a minute…….. there. How does that feel?”
“Oh,” Curry said, surprised. He moved his arm around a bit and could feel that the muscle had loosened up. “Yeah, that feels better.”
Then David showed Jed some exercises he could do on his own to help with the stretching and to increase muscle strength. They seemed straight forward enough.
“Okay. So, how much morphine are you taking?”
“Ahhh, well. Enough so’s I can sleep,” Jed answered a little sheepishly.
David picked up on his nervousness right away and started to push.
“Enough so you can sleep,” David repeated. “How much is enough?”
“Well, Dr Jones gave me a pouch full and told me to just take it as I needed it.”
“And how much is that?”
“Enough so’s I can sleep.”
David sighed. “Okay. Just at night then?”
“Well—sort of, sometimes—well, usually.”
David looked over at him suspiciously.
“Jed, are you still taking it twice a day on a regular basis?”
David groaned with exasperation.
“Well it hurts David!”
“Just because they call you ‘Kid’ doesn’t mean I’ll accept childish behavior from you!”
“Where is this intimidating gunfighter I’ve heard so much about!?” David demanded. “Fastest gun in the west! Everybody’s so afraid of you and you can’t even handle a little bit of pain!”
“Well why do you think I became the fastest gun in the west!!?” Curry yelled back. “It kind of discourages people from HURTING ME!!”
The two men glared at each other for a moment and then both started to laugh. Rick had heard the shouting and had come into the block to make sure the two men weren’t at each other’s throats and then just stood there watching them with a furrowed brow.
“What in the world are you two going on about?” he finally asked.
“Oh, it’s alright deputy,” David assured him as he began to recover his composure. “just a minor disagreement.”
“Really,” Rick commented as he headed back towards the office. “Well let me know if you decide to kill each other and I’ll be sure to clear out the building.”
David sat back down again and both men settled into a companionable silence for a few minutes. David picked up the coffee cups and handed Jed’s back to him.
“I’m sorry,” David finally said, then started to chuckle again. He coughed and stifled it. It was time to be serious. “I did warn you about the dangers of being on that drug for a prolonged period of time.”
“Yeah, I know,” Jed admitted. “I guess it’s just that old Dr Jones wasn’t too encouraging with his opinion and even though I didn’t really believe him, it did kind of scare me. So, the painkiller was available and it was just easy to keep on taking it.”
“Yeah, alright. I can understand that,” David agreed. “but now you really do have to cut back. Even if Dr Jones encourages you to take more, don’t allow yourself to be persuaded. It really is important Jed. You get addicted to morphine and you’ll experience a whole new level of misery trying to get off it again. Alright?”
“Yeah okay David. I know you’re right.”
“Good. Now where is the pouch Jones gave you?”
“I just want to see how much you have.”
“It’s not much.”
“Fine. Just let me see it.”
“You don’t need to…”
“ALRIGHT! Alright,” Jed conceded, and reaching under his pillow he brought out the pouch.
“Thank you,” David opened the pouch and took a peek inside, then he sprinkled a little of the powder into the palm of his hand. “No more than that amount, at night only. Okay?”
“Jeez, that’s not very much.”
David just stared at him.
“Yes. No more than that amount at night only.”
“Right. Good,” David returned the pouch to Jed and then stood up. “I’ll get going now. The next train back home doesn’t leave until 10:00 tomorrow evening, so I’ll try and get in to see you one more time. That is if Morrison doesn’t find out. If he does, I’m sure he’ll find a way to block me.”
“That’s it then?”
“No. Once you get moved to Cheyenne hopefully I’ll have more access to you and not have to be skirting around Morrison. In the mean time just do the stretching and the exercises I showed you and that should keep things from getting worse anyways. Then when you get to Cheyenne I’ll see you there and we’ll really get after it.”
“Okay Doc. Hopefully I’ll see you tomorrow evening anyways.”
“Yes. I’ll try. Goodnight.”
Jesse and Belle were just getting settled into bed for the night, Jay was in his night crib already sound asleep and the household was deceptively quiet.
“So, what do you think?” Jesse asked as they sank into the pillows.
“You know ‘about what’,” Jesse answered. “Do you think Bridget is mature enough to go to Joshua’s trial?”
Jesse got met with silence. He waited, giving his wife time to think about her answer. When it finally came it was an honest; “I don’t know. What do you think?”
“I don’t know,” Jesse had to admit. “That’s why I’m asking you.”
Silence. Both parents lay in bed staring up at the invisible ceiling.
“Well,” Belle finally broke the stalemate. “what are your concerns about her going?”
“I suppose that she’ll probably be hearing some pretty brutal truths,” Jesse surmised. “The girls have only seen them when they’re on their best behavior. It was quite a reality check for me when I finally had to come to terms with whom and what they really are. What’s that going to be like for a nineteen year old girl?”
“It might be easier,” Belle answered him.
“Easier? How do you mean?”
“She’s still young and flexible in her thinking,” Belle explained. “she knows what they are, even before they’d met them the girls had heard all about Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry. They also know about the war and the affect it had on many people—they learned that much in school. But hearing about history in class, or about people through dime novels isn’t the same as getting first hand accounts. It might be difficult for her to hear the truth, but at least then she would know the truth.”
“So you think I’m being too protective.”
“I think you’re being a good father,” Belle countered. “but being good parents also means knowing when to let your little girl grow up.”
Silence. Belle could almost hear Jesse’s wheels grinding. Heavy sigh. Silence.
“We know she has a real interest in the law,” Belle continued. “She’s very interested in how the system works and how she can use it to help people. This trial would be an education for her, in more ways than one. I guess the conclusion I’m coming to here is that we would end up with more regrets by not letting her go than by letting her.”
“The lesser of two evils?”
“Or a blessing in disguise.”
“Yeah, I suppose,” Jesse kind of agreed. “and it’s not like she would be there on her own. I can keep an eye on her and if things get too difficult I can pull her out.” He lay silent again for a few more minutes. “Alright, we can tell her in the morning that she can come with me.”
“Well if I know our girls at all—she already knows.”
They sent knowing smiles to one another, kissed goodnight and then settled in to sleep.
Over in the next room, Beth and Bridget were both sitting on the floor with their ears pressed up against the wall that separated Beth’s room from their parents’ room.
“Can you hear anything?” Beth whispered to her sister.
“No, they’ve stopped talking,” Bridget answered, just as quietly.
“What did they decide? Could you hear?”
“I think they said I could go.”
Beth sighed dejectedly. “I wanna go too,” she complained. “It’s not fair; you always get to do the fun stuff.”
“Well I’m older,” Bridget reasoned. “you’re still just a little girl.”
“I am not!” Beth countered and then got up from the floor and went over to her bed in a huff. “You’re not that much older than I am and a little difference doesn’t make any difference at all!”
“Well look at it this way,” Bridget suggested, joining her sister on the bed. “I’ll smooth the way for you to go to Thaddeus’ trial. If everything goes fine with me there’s no reason why you can’t go the next time.”
“Yeah,” said Beth a little suspiciously. “but what if it doesn’t go fine? What if it’s really bad?”
Both girls sat quietly, contemplating that possibility
“Joshua will be alright,” Bridget assured her younger sister, though suddenly she didn’t sound too confident about that herself anymore. “you’ll see; they’ll both be back here for Christmas.”
But the looks they exchanged held a tinge of worry and doubt and sleep did not come quickly for either one that night.
The mornings had begun to have a chill to them when Curry was finally informed that he would be transported to Cheyenne the next morning in order to prepare for his own up and coming trial. He knew that Heyes would be starting his any day now and Lom was busy at that end of things helping to get everything organized. Curry had been left pretty much on his own and he was feeling a little lonely and was worried for his partner. He missed him, and really felt that he should be with him at this time, but knew that Morrison would never allow that to happen. And knowing that just made him resent the Sheriff even more. Curry could hear them up in the front office getting things in order long before the cell block door opened and then Rick and Jack came in and started going through the old routine of getting the prisoner ready for transport. Curry never would have thought that being in a cell surrounded by officers of the law and then being frisked would ever become mundane, but it just goes to show that repetition can make anything seem tedious.
“C'mon Curry, on your feet,” was Rick’s greeting to him. “We’re going to have to leave this sling behind I’m afraid. If Morrison found out that we let you out of this cell without being cuffed there would be hell to pay. You don’t really need it anymore do ya?”
“Well…” Curry began. “it does help.”
Rick thought about it for a minute. “Yeah, okay. We’ll bring it along then so you’ll still have it at the other end,” Rick agreed. “It’s not going to be too long a train ride anyways. Anything else here you need?”
“Yeah, under the pillow,” Curry told him. “the pouch with the medication that Dr. Jones gave me.”
“I’ll get it,” Jack offered.
Then Rick was busy cinching that cursed belt around Curry’s waist and shackling his hands into the cuffs.
“Alright, let’s go,” Rick said, and gave Curry a slight push out the door. “we’ve got a train to catch.”
“Morrison not joining us?” Curry asked.
“He’s already there,” Rick told him. “testifying at your partner’s trial.”
Fortunately, just as Rick had promised, this train trip proved to be not only a lot shorter, but a lot less exciting than the previous one had been. There were only a few other passengers in the car that they were riding in—and no children! So aside from a few curious glances at the man in shackles they were pretty much left in peace. They found themselves pulling into Cheyenne without incident and in time for supper but unfortunately Morrison was at the train station waiting for them and that kind of killed any appetite Curry might have had. The prisoner was shuffled off the train and straight over to a small building down a side street that apparently used to be the main jailhouse but was now only used for overflow. Or, as in this instance—solitary confinement. Sheriff Turner was waiting for them in the front office with the ever present coffee pot simmering away on the stove. The small group of men entered the building, and much to Curry’s surprise found the interior to be light and airy, and open. The three cells down to the left were not partitioned off behind a heavy door, but were just an extension of the office. Of course Curry had been in jails laid out in this manner before, but after spending the last three or so months in a more secured abode this was a refreshing improvement
“Howdy folks,” Turner greeted them as he snatched up the keys from the desk top. “So, this is Mr. Curry is it?”
“Yeah, this is him,” Morrison answered. “You better keep your eyes on him. He’s not quite as slippery as his partner, but I hear he’s been awfully quiet lately, so I wouldn’t trust him.”
“Hmm, I see,” Turner answered him, not terribly impressed. “That true young fella? You busy making plans?”
Curry just smiled. With Morrison around he had given up all efforts to communicate and Turner just nodded as though he understood that and then led them over to the first cell. Morrison went in with the outlaw and removing the shackles, pushed Curry up against the bars and did the usual end of journey search. He finished it, finding nothing—again and then held Curry in place with the one hand between his shoulder blades. This was also becoming old.
“Don’t move Curry, until you hear the cell door close,” Morrison cautioned him. “got that?”
Fifteen minutes later all the paperwork had been signed and stored away and the three visiting lawmen headed out to get supper and find rooms for Rick and Jack for the duration. The two remaining occupants each settled in to their respective corners. Everything quieted down for the evening, with Turner sipping coffee and reading the paper. Curry was stretched out on the cot with his hat over his eyes, but he was worried and finally, with a sigh he sat up and glanced over at the lawman.
Turner got up and came over to the bars.
“So, you’ve got a voice after all,” he observed. “What can I do for ya?”
“How’s my partner doing?”
“Well, his trial starts tomorrow which will be kind of a relief for everybody I think,” Turner answered him. “he doesn’t take well to confinement does he?”
“No,” Curry answered quite truthfully. “tends to make him a little stir crazy.”
“Yeah, I noticed,” Turner said dryly, then; “You had any supper?”
“No,” Curry answered, a little distractedly.
“You want any supper?”
The rest of the evening went by rather uneventfully. A couple of the young deputies from the main jailhouse had arrived to take over the night watch and considering their previous experience with Hannibal Heyes, were a little anxious about what his partner might get up to. Their worries however were for naught. In fact, Curry put his sling back on, took the prescribed amount of morphine and then slept reasonably well through the night. Next morning, two other deputies showed up bringing breakfast so they were a welcome sight. Then the day just settled into the usual routine of paperwork and dealing with minor disturbances around the town. As the day wore on however, Curry became more and more restless. He was tempted to take more of the drug, but he knew that even from afar, David would be watching and would give him another reaming out if the pouch emptied faster than the Doctor judged that it should. Besides, he also knew that David was right and for his own good, he had to back off it. Still, it was difficult. He knew that Heyes was in court that day and felt frustrated at not being there with him. For some reason, he had always imagined them going on trial together, facing it together, probably because that is what they had always done. They’d always backed each other up, always been there for the other one. Now Curry couldn’t be there for his friend and that was sitting in his stomach like a guilty knot and he took up his partner’s habit of pacing the cell. Around mid-afternoon Sheriff Turner showed up again to relieve the two deputies and settled in himself to drinking coffee and reading the daily paper. Eventually, after about an hour of this, Turner put the paper down and sent an exasperated look over towards the prisoner.
“Listen young fella,” he began. “why don’t you settle down in there? You’re beginning to get on my nerves.”
“Sorry Sheriff,” Curry answered quite honestly. “I’m just worried about my partner. Any idea how it’s going?”
“Well, yeah actually,” the sheriff admitted. “I’ve been over there with them. The Judge ended the session early today to give your partner a chance to…” Turner hesitated, not quite sure how much detail he wanted to pass on to the prisoner.
Curry stopped pacing and looked over. “A chance to what?”
“Giving testimony has been kind of hard on Mr. Heyes,” Turner explained. “I think the Judge just wanted to give him some time to collect himself and regroup.”
“I think it best you wait and talk to your lawyer or one of your friends about that,” Turner suggested. “I expect they’ll be over to see you after supper, tonight. They would have come by yesterday to see you but for some reason Sheriff Morrison forgot to tell them you had arrived.”
Last edited by Keays on Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
Posts : 1467 Join date : 2013-08-24 Age : 63 Location : Camano Island Washington
Subject: Attitude Part two Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:13 pm
A couple of hours later, Kid was half heartedly nibbling on some stew and biscuits when the front door to the office opened and David and a gentleman whom Curry didn’t know came in. Turner got to his feet.
“Ahhh, figured you fellas would be showing up sooner or later,” the Sheriff greeted them. “He’s right over there.”
Curry got up and went over to the bars.
“Jed, how are you doing?”
“Mr. Curry, I’m Steven Granger. I’m going to be your lawyer,” and Granger extended a hand through the bars and the two men shook.
“Mr. Granger,” Curry acknowledged him. “how are things going for my partner?”
“Well it’s not over yet, but it’s been rough on him.”
“That’s the second time I’ve heard that, but nobody will tell me what’s going on,” Curry complained.
“I’ll leave your friend here to fill you in Mr. Curry,” Granger answered him. “I just wanted to introduce myself. I’ll be back over to see you later tomorrow and we can get started. Alright?”
“Yeah, fine,” Curry answered him, but looking at David a little apprehensively.
Granger left the two friends to talk, but David called over to the sheriff first.
“Sheriff, do you think you could let me in to the cell? I’ll need to exam his shoulder anyways.”
“Oh, I suppose so Doc,” Turner relented. “You seem to be making a habit of taking over my jail cells. Don’t you have nothing better to do?”
David smiled. “Not at the moment, no.”
Turner came over and unlocked the cell so that David could enter and sit down beside the prisoner.
“How’s your shoulder?”
“Did you back off the morphine?”
“Yeah. Just taking a little at night still. I’m trying to back off of that too.”
“Good,” David sighed, feeling the real topic weighing in the air and wondering where he was going to begin. Well, might as well just plunge in. “Jed, did you and Hannibal ever talk about what happened when you were kids—what happened to your folks?”
Jed tensed. He hadn’t expected that and he was caught a little off guard.
“No,” he finally answered.
David looked over at him. “Never?”
“No, never,” Jed confirmed, then he looked away and down at his hands. “Came close once, but it was just….’ And he trailed off, not knowing how to finish that sentence.
“Yeah,” David understood, to some degree. “Did you know that Hannibal had a younger sister? Still a baby at the time?”
“Sure,” Jed answered. “little Jenny—Jennifer. Yeah, I remember her. She died too, just like my….”
“Yes, I know,” David assured him with some sympathy. “but at least you remember your sister. Hannibal had forgotten about his.” David informed him.
“What do mean?” Jed asked him. “he forgot that she died?”
“No. I mean he totally forgot about her,” David explained. “forgot that he even had a younger sister. When he was asked about his siblings he said he’d only had two. Both older than himself.”
Curry looked over at David incredulously. “How could that be?” he finally asked. “How could he have forgotten he had a baby sister?”
David sighed. “It’s called a ‘repressed memory’,” he explained. “It happens sometimes when an event is so traumatic, so terrible that the mind can’t deal with it, so it simply pushes it back out of conscious memory just as though the event had never happened. There have been a number of cases like that chronicled since the war.”
“Really?” Jed was amazed. “Jeez, I wish that could have happened for me.”
“No you don’t,” David assured him. “Sooner or later something will happen that triggers that memory and when that occurs, it’s devastating. And that’s what happened with Hannibal today while he was on the stand, relating the events of that raid. It hit him hard Jed; remembering it like that. Believe me, it’s not something you would want to go through.”
Silence settled over the cell with both men momentarily lost in their own thoughts.
“How is he?” Jed finally asked.
“Better now,” David told him.
“He’s not alone is he?”
“No. Your friend Sheriff Trevors is with him.”
“Jesse and Bridget are also here.”
“Yes! Much to everyone’s surprise,” David confirmed. “But that young lady did a lot to help Hannibal feel better. So, for that alone I’m glad Jesse brought her along. She definitely has her own mind!”
“Ohh hoo,” Jed laughed. “David, you don’t know the half of it! Like I said; she and Heyes, a lot alike!”
Then the front door to the office opened again, and Jed visibly tensed. Morrison glanced into the cell and seeing David there gave Turner a scowl.
“What the hell is he doing in there?!” the one Sheriff demanded of the other.
“Oh lighten up,” Turner answered him as he got to his feet. “They’re just talking and I’m right here keeping an eye on them. Everything’s fine.”
Morrison did not look pleased, but seeing that Turner was not going to back down, he changed tactics.
“Me and my deputies are going to be spending the night here anyways Sheriff, so you may as well head back over to the main jailhouse, or go home. Whatever you usually do at this time.”
Curry groaned under his breath. David could sympathize.
“Yup, I’ll be heading over that way,” Turner answered just as Rick walked in the front door. “You gentlemen have a good night. I’m sure you’ll see the Doctor out.”
Morrison scowled again, but settled into one of the chairs with a cup of coffee and the newspaper and prepared to put in his shift. Rick also relaxed, putting his feet up on the desk and pulling his hat over his eyes. May as well get a snooze in while he could.
No longer comfortable discussing Hannibal with Morrison there, David did a thorough exam of Jed’s shoulder and seemed pleased with the result.
“You’ve been keeping up the exercises,” The Doctor observed.
“Yeah, of course.”
David smiled. “Good. Try getting through the night without the sling. Put it on again in the morning when you’re up and about, but if you can sleep without it all the better,” then he sighed and put a consolatory hand on Jed’s shoulder. “I hate to do this to you, but I should get over to check up on your partner before it gets too late.”
“Yeah that’s fine David,” Jed assured him. “I’m alright. Say ‘hi’ to Heyes for me, okay?”
“Yes, I will. I’ll see you tomorrow,” Jed nodded. “Sheriff, I’d better be going.”
Morrison got up to let the Doctor out of the cell and then saw him to the front door.
“You just keep showing up like a stray dog don’t ya Doc?”
David just smiled. “I’ll be around to see him again tomorrow, Sheriff. Hopefully his shoulder will continue to improve?”
“Time will tell,” Morrison commented dryly.
Once David was gone Morrison headed back over to the cell and approached the prisoner. Curry had become too complacent of late and the Sheriff didn’t trust that behavior with these two outlaws. Time for another attitude adjustment.
“C'mon Curry, on your feet, up against the bars,” he ordered as he entered the cell.
Jed groaned. Not another search. Then suddenly Morrison grabbed him by his shirt and hauling him to his feet, slammed him head first into the bars. Curry hit hard, grunted and nearly went down.
Rick just about fell out of his chair and then was on his feet in an instant.
“Jeez!! C'mon Tom! There’s no need for that! What are you doing?!”
Morrison ignored him. He grabbed Curry again, pushed him up, face first, against the bars and with a hand between the prisoner’s shoulder blades, held him there to the point where Curry found it hard to breath.
“When I tell you to move—you move,” Morrison snarled in Curry’s ear. “I’m not putting up with attitude from you. You got that?”
Curry didn’t answer him fast enough and Morrison grabbed the back of his shirt, pulled him away from the bars and then plowed him back into them again.
“I said; you got that?”
Then Morrison whacked the Kid’s arms up over his head and proceeded to give him yet another search, and none too gently either.
“Well your shoulder seems to be doing much better Curry,” the sheriff observed sarcastically “I guess old Doc Jones knows a thing or two about healing after all doesn’t he? That Gibson is a crackpot if I ever saw one!”
Curry and Rick exchanged a quick glance acknowledging their little secret, and then Morrison was done with the symbolic search, completely missing the silent communication that had just taken place around him. He found nothing on Curry’s person, and of course hadn’t expected to. Pulling Curry around he gave him a hard shove into his cot and left the cell, clanging the door closed behind him. Curry stayed where he landed. He was shaking from anger and shock and the ice cold glare he sent after the sheriff had made smarter men than Morrison back off. Rick was tight lipped with anger himself and didn’t mind voicing it.
“What the hell was that?!”
“Stay out of it!” Morrison shot back at him. “I know what I’m doing and I don’t need you second guessing me!”
“Yeah but Tom, he wasn’t doing anything,” Rick persisted.
“And now he knows he better not be doing anything,” Morrison countered with a smile as he settled back down with his paper and a coffee. “It’s all about attitude.”
Rick and Jed exchanged looks again. It was going to be a long night.
The atmosphere inside the office of the main jailhouse was electric, as though a thunder storm had blown in and smothered the whole building with a dark ominous cloud crackling with lightening. Determined not to be left out of anything, Bridget had quietly entered the office in the wake of the men, but the sounds echoing out from the cell block of her dear friend in the throes of a blind rage assaulted her heart and before she knew it she was crying again. She had instantly made a bee line towards the heavy wooden door, insisting that she wanted to offer some comfort to Joshua, but she found herself blocked by just about every person in the room.
“But I want to see him!!” was her wailing protest.
This was met with a resounding “NO!!” from a number of male voices, not the least of which was her father’s.
“No, Miss, you can’t go back there,” Turner insisted, much to Jesse’s relief. “He’s not rational right now and he wouldn’t hear anything you had to say anyways.”
“But I could try,” she said in a small voice, but already knew it wasn’t going to happen.
“No one’s going back there. Not even you Doc,” the Sheriff stated. “I’ve seen men go like this before when they’ve been hit with a hard sentence and the best thing to do is just leave them alone until they calm down.” At this point there came an exceptionally loud banging from inside the block. “There goes the cot against the bars,” then a crash!! “that was the chamber pot. I hope it was empty.”
“Well,” Lom sighed. “there’s no point in hanging around listening to this. I’ll give him a couple of hours and then see if he’s worn himself out enough by then to hear reason.”
“Good idea,” Turner agreed. “Why don’t you folks head over to the saloon or…oh excuse me Miss, I mean the café or something. Let things calm down here a bit.”
“Actually, I’d like to speak to you gentlemen if I may,” Mr. Granger put in. “over a cup of coffee sounds just as good a place as any.”
The small group was in agreement and they all headed over to the café, Bridget arm in arm with her father. Jesse had pretty much resigned himself to the fact that Bridget was in on these events whole heartedly now. There was a determination about her that was not going to be denied and even her father was inclined to believe that maybe his little girl was growing up. Having seated themselves at one of the larger tables in the café, they caused Betsy a minor stab of disappointment when all they ordered was coffee’s all around. Unfortunately nobody was particularly hungry after the judgment had been brought down and even coffee almost seemed to be pushing the limits. Still, the coffee arrived and somehow, it seemed to just naturally become part of the discussion.
“I’m sure I’m not the only one here who feels that the sentence handed down to Mr. Heyes was extreme,” Granger began, and was met with a number of emphatic nods. “Unfortunately I knew the Judge was going to do that, he doesn’t take contempt of court lightly. As a lawyer I’m not suppose to take sides as such. I should be able to go into the courtroom and argue both the defense and the prosecution of any given case with equal conviction. However, in this particular case I’m finding it very hard to just walk away and leave a young man to basically die in prison when he has never killed anyone himself. I believe he is genuinely sincere in his efforts to reform—despite that unfortunate backsliding. In dealing with Mr. Heyes I was surprised to find him an honourable man who is obviously loyal to his friends and benefactors. Indeed, the fact that he was willing to accept life in prison rather than betray a confidante, in my mind, speaks admirably for him.”
At this point Granger stopped speaking to allow his words to sink in and to permit anyone the opportunity to disagree with anything he had said. There was no dissension in the group. In fact, if he had been paying attention he might have noticed a young woman’s eyes intent upon him and a heart warming in his favour.
“I think we are all in agreement with you Mr. Granger,” Lom spoke for the group. “What did you have in mind?”
Granger smiled. “Well, apart from the usual appeal that I can put in through the courts and which will on the most part, be ignored I’m sure, I do have another idea. But it’s going to take a lot of commitment and perseverance from those of you who may choose to accept the challenge.”
“I’ll do it!” Bridget chimed in. “and I’m sure Beth will want to help too!”
“You don’t even know what it is yet,” Granger reminded her.
“I don’t care,” she answered her eyes alight with excitement and the eagerness of finally being able to do something. “Whatever it is, we both want to help!” and she sent the young lawyer a huge smile full of brightness and hope.
Mr. Granger felt his heart do a couple of somersaults and he smiled back at her. Lom and David had been contemplating the lawyer’s words and hadn’t noticed the electrical exchange pass between them. Jesse however, did notice.
“Ahhh, yes…well,” suddenly the lawyer found himself momentarily at a loss for words. “ummm—actually Sheriff Trevors!” he was relieved to get his mind focused again. “Your comment to Mr. DeFord is what got me thinking about this.”
“Oh yes?” Lom answered. “which comment was that?”
“Your suggestion that he subpoena the Governor,” Mr. Granger reminded him. “I realize we can’t really do that, but we can bring him to account in another way.”
“How?” asked Lom. “I’ve been trying for three months to get him to respond to me and I keep getting shut out.”
“That’s because you have been respecting the promise to keep the deal a secret.”
“But the Governor’s office has not kept its end of the deal,” Granger persisted. “I assume that each governor, upon appointment had been made aware of the agreement made with Mr. Heyes and Mr. Curry?”
“Yes,” Lom agreed. “every one of them was informed of it and agreed to it.”
“And yet when push came to shove, the Office closed the door and ignored the deal,” Granger pointed out. “so they reneged on it first, which means all bets are off.”
“So what do you suggest we do?” Jesse asked. “storm the Governor’s Office?”
“Yes!” Granger answered with a smile. “but not with people, and of course, not with guns, but with paper. We get in touch with as many newspapers in Wyoming that will take the story and let the people know exactly what the governor’s deal was and that it was ignored in the end.”
“But would that work?” Jesse asked skeptically. “Most of the people in Wyoming with any kind of clout at all are the big ranchers and railroaders, not to mention the bankers. I think they would be more interested in seeing Heyes and Curry behind bars and not be too concerned about the governor breaking a promise made to outlaws.”
“You underestimate the power of the average citizen Mr. Jordan,” Granger countered. “If every person in Wyoming who has the power to vote were to be convinced that their governor does not keep his promises, well that’s a very powerful tool.”
Silence surrounded the table as this idea settled in and took hold. Bridget was already wrapping her brain around the possibilities and was suddenly very antsy to get home and bring Beth up to speed on what was in the works.
“We could do it Papa,” she insisted to her father. “Beth and I could do this. We’ll get in touch with all the newspapers in Wyoming and in Colorado as well. And the sooner we get started the better because Thaddeus’ trial is going to start soon and maybe we can make a difference in time to help him!”
“How are you going to manage that from home?” Jesse pointed out to her, somewhat skeptical of his daughters getting involved in such a scheme
“I’ll help them get it set up as much as I can,” Mr. Granger offered. “A lot of it could be done through the telegraph system and the mail service.”
Jesse sent Granger an exasperated look, but Bridget sent him one of open admiration. Jesse looked over at the doctor.
“You’ve been awfully quiet throughout all this David,” he pointed out. “What do you think?”
“I think I’m not really qualified to have an opinion in this,” David admitted. “There is not very much I would be able to contribute to the effort, though of course I’ll help out where I can. Personally, at this point I feel that anything is worth a try.”
“I’ll do what I can,” Lom offered. “but being a Wyoming Territorial Law Officer I would not openly be able to do much. Just as you yourself, Mr. Granger cannot show involvement in this as I’m sure it would indicate a conflict of interest.”
“Yes,” Granger agreed. “This is why I have presented it to you people who are their friends and supporters. I think it safe to say that Miss Bridget has made up her mind but if you gentlemen wish to think on it further that’s quite understandable. As I said, it will take commitment and perseverance once it gets started. But please don’t take too long. The lives of two young men could very well depend on it.”
‘So no pressure then’ was the prevailing thought going around the table after that statement. The man wasn’t a lawyer for nothing. Bridget smiled at him. Jesse looked worried. David and Lom were contemplating.
“We’ll think on it.”
Curry was numb in both mind and body. He sat on his bunk, knees drawn up and held to his chest, his eyes staring blankly ahead at nothing.
Morrison had exploded into the office crowing like a peacock, gleefully announcing the verdict to all those present.
“Twenty years! Ha! That’s one ‘great’ outlaw we’re never going to have to worry about again! Hear that Curry?! Twenty years to life—that could not have gone better!”
“That was pretty harsh,” Rick commented. “means he won’t even be eligible for parole for twenty years. Jeez. I could understand it if he’d actually murdered someone but….”
“Oh, typical ‘Hannibal Heyes’ arrogance,” Morrison explained. “thought he could get away with being disrespectful to the court just like he is with everything else. Well, this time his attitude turned around and bit him hard! Maybe he’ll learn some respect in prison, eh Curry? Ha ha. This is great! Think I’ll go celebrate!!”
Then just as quickly and obtrusively as he’d entered the office, Morrison banged out through the front door and was gone to go join the crowd over at the saloon who were also in a celebratory mood. Heavy silence settled over the jailhouse. Rick remained seated at the desk, but his eyes were on the prisoner and he never in all his life felt as sorry for another man as he did at that moment. The silence prevailed. Curry couldn’t believe it. Twenty years to life? How could that be? How ‘disrespectful’ could Heyes have been to warrant such an unforgiving sentence? This wasn’t how it was suppose to end. Five years of living on the edge, of dodging posses and bounty hunters and other outlaws. Of always doing the ‘right’ thing, making the ‘right’ choices, trying to do everything by the book; this was suppose to have a happy ending. How could this be? Jed felt his throat tightening. ‘NO’ he told himself. That wasn’t going to happen! He bit into his lower lip, hands into fists, clutching his own hair, fighting the tears. Fighting a silent battle to keep him from drowning in fear and self-pity—and anger. Just what kind of lawyer was this Granger guy anyways?! What good did he do? Heyes probably would have done better defending himself with that kind of legal aide! The man must be a total imbecile! And now he was going to be defending Jed? What hope did he have now? Where one goes the other follows! How could this be? How could this have happened? Curry was so focused on his own inner turmoil that he wasn’t even aware of the deputy’s eyes upon him. But ever since that day at the Jordan’s ranch when Curry, pumped to the gills with morphine had still managed that insane escape attempt, Rick had felt a grudging respect for the outlaw. Then as the days of guarding him had turned into weeks and now months, there was no longer any ‘grudging’ about it. The deputy still didn’t have any qualms about bringing the outlaw in to justice, but he now hoped that somehow Curry would find a way to escape the same judgment that had befallen his partner. Obviously Rick never had the chance to get to know Hannibal Heyes all that well and the strongest memory he had of the man was of an enraged and manacled outlaw attacking three armed officers in a battle he couldn’t hope to win. But in hindsight Rick could understand why Heyes had reacted in such a feral manner. His partner lay stricken and near death, their futures hanging by a thread and Curry and Heyes were well known for their loyalty to one another. Indeed, Morrison had banked on it. Rick also believed that a lot could be told about a man by the company he keeps and the gathering of friends at Heyes’ trial had consisted of law abiding, honourable people. Would Heyes and Curry have such people standing by them at a time like this if they were not honourable themselves? Or at least, putting in the effort to try and be? Rick sighed in frustration. Obviously this was not a clear case of black vs white, good vs evil or even lawfulness vs anarchy. There was so much more going on here. And what about that rumour of amnesty? Sheriff Trevors had certainly hinted that the outlaws had been offered something along that line without actually coming right out and saying it. But if that were the case, then why hadn’t the governor come forward? Too politically volatile? That might make sense. And what was with Morrison?! Rick had worked with the Sheriff on other cases and hadn’t felt this sickened by the man’s behavior before. Or was that just because he’d never actually gotten to know the previous prisoners? On this occasion Rick not only came to know, but had come to like and respect the man whom he was guarding. So what did that say about Rick himself? The tables had been turned. Rick had become so contemplative of his own thoughts that he hadn’t noticed the other man’s shift of focus, and now the outlaw gazed upon him. Rick sighed and came back to the present and the two mens' eyes locked and held. The silence continued. Eventually Rick got to his feet, opened the drawer of the desk and pulled out the whiskey bottle and two shot glasses. He filled the glasses and went over to the cell. Curry just sat on the bunk, hugging his knees and watching the deputy with total despondency.
“C'mon Curry,” Rick suggested. “come over and have a drink.”
“In celebration?” he asked with a hint of sarcasm.
“No. In conciliation.”
Curry hesitated a moment and then with a complacent sigh, got up and went over to the bars. Rick handed him a drink and they tapped glasses out of a growing mutual respect and then each downed his shot in one swig and instantly felt better for it. Rick took Curry’s glass back and returned to his desk intending to glance over the daily paper yet again. He barely got settled however when the front door burst open and a flurry of skirts and blond hair came flying into the office and made a bee line straight towards the prisoner. Rick was on his feet in an instant and made a run back to the cell, just in time to block Bridget from reaching her destination.
“Hold on young lady! Just where do you think you’re going?”
“Deputy Layton!” Bridget was indignant. “I just want to see my friend. You know he won’t hurt me!”
“It’s not him hurting you I’m worried about,” Rick admitted. Bridget gave him a confused looked, so Rick continued. “Didn’t I hear a suggestion that it was you who slipped Heyes a lock pick way back when? You wouldn’t happen to be considering a similar tactic here and now would you?”
Bridget blushed instantly and Curry thought; so much for her interest in becoming an undercover detective seeing as how she had just admitted her own guilt under very light interrogation. Jesse chuckled as he and David entered the office at a more sedate pace.
“You see Bridget,” her father said. “there are always consequences.”
“Yes Papa,” Bridget hung her head and looked contrite. “I wasn’t going to do anything Deputy; I just want to see my friend.”
“And besides, Deputy,” Curry put in. “Heyes is the only one who can pull off that trick. Giving me a lock pick would be a waste of time.”
“Fine, you have your visit,” Rick consented, but then he gave Bridget a stern look and wagged his finger at her. “but I’m going to be keeping my eye on you, so no funny business.”
Then he headed back over to his desk, sending a conspiratory smile over to Jesse and David as he went. Indeed, the only one who took Rick’s threat seriously was Bridget but of course, that was the whole idea. Bridget approached the bars and smiled at her friend.
“Hello Bridget,” he answered her and putting his hand through the bars, stroked her hair, and gave her an affectionate kiss on the forehead. She looked like she might start crying again, but she kept a stiff upper lip and stayed dry.
“Well, I think he would have done okay on the sympathy plea, but then the defense attorney asked him a question that he refused to answer,” Jesse explained. “and I guess this Judge won’t tolerate that and just slammed him. Granger had warned Hannibal that it could go that way, but Hannibal just wouldn’t back down.”
“Awww Jeez,” Curry responded. “What was the question?”
“Something about a confidence game you two pulled that was not legally sanctioned,” Jesse continued. “Mr. DeFord asked for the names of your accomplices and Hannibal refused.”
Jed looked confused. “What confidence game?” he asked. “What names?”
“A Winford Fletcher brought forward the accusation,” Jesse informed him.
Suddenly the light dawned. Curry closed his eyes and groaned. Then he got angry.
“This was supposed to be about us!” he practically growled. “about me and Heyes earning our freedom, not about us turning in our friends in order to get it!”
Nobody said anything for a few minutes, giving Jed the time he needed to digest that bit of information and to calm down.
“How is he?” Jed finally asked. “How is Heyes taking this?”
Jesse and David exchanged looks.
“Not good,” David told him. “not good at all. And Turner won’t let any civilians back in to see him. Sheriff Trevors though has gone back over there now to try and calm him down.”
Curry nodded. “Well if anybody can it’ll be Lom, I guess. Heyes must be fit to be tied right now.”
“We all went and had a little conference with Mr. Granger over at the café,” Jesse told him. “We’re going to put in a plan of action to try and get the governor to honour his promise to you two. I don’t know how long it’s going to take, but we’ll keep after him until we get results. Bridget’s already getting a full head of steam up and once she and Beth decide to do something—well, look out governor!”
Jed actually laughed. “Ohh hoo, I feel better already!”
“So don’t give up Thaddeus, okay,” Said Bridget. “Promise?”
Jed smiled at her. “Okay Bridget, I promise I won’t give up.”
Bridget smiled back.
“We’ll be heading home for a while,” Jesse informed him. “but we’ll be back for your trial date. Mr. Granger ought to be coming over soon to discuss strategy with you.”
“Hmmm,” was Curry’s only response.
“Don’t hold what happened to Hannibal against him,” Jesse said. “He’s young, but he knows his business and he’s doing everything he can.”
“He’s really nice,” Bridget added with a shy smile.
Curry raised his brows and sent a questioning look over to Jesse. That paternal figure rolled his eyes. Curry tried to stifle the grin, but he wasn’t too successful at it.
“We better be going,” Jesse said and he put his right hand through the bars and shook hands with his friend. “Take it easy Thaddeus, and we’ll see you in a few weeks.”
“Yeah, okay,” Curry answered a little disappointed that they were leaving. “I’ll see you. Bye Bridget. Say ‘hello’ to Beth and your mother for me.”
Bridget smiled, trying to stay positive for him. “I will. Bye.”
“I’ll be along in a few minutes Jesse,” David told him. “I’ll see you back at the hotel.”
Jesse nodded and then he and his daughter left the office. David turned back to Jed just as Rick came up with the keys and unlocked the cell before anybody had even asked him to. David smiled at him.
“I won’t be long” he assured the Deputy.
David entered the cell and the two friends returned to the bunk.
“What’s going on there?” Jed asked him. “Don’t tell me Bridget is falling for the lawyer.”
David smiled. “Well I didn’t notice anything happening, but apparently Jesse did,” he admitted. “and the way Bridget acts whenever Mr. Granger is mentioned makes me think that—just maybe….”
“Ohh, ho ho,” Curry laughed. “I bet Jesse’s just thrilled about that!”
“Oh well, it comes to us all,” David prophesied, and then turned serious again. “So, the same old question Jed; how’s your shoulder, and why do you have a new bruise on your face?”
Curry rolled his eyes. “Shoulder’s feeling really good, but my face? Well Morrison seemed to think I needed an attitude adjustment and that the bars of the cell were just too convenient an opportunity to pass up.”
David gritted his teeth. “That son of a….there is something seriously wrong with that man.”
“Yeah, well. Unfortunately he’s not the only lawman out there who’s like that,” Curry told him. “Actually it seems to be more the rule than the exception.”
David sighed. “It worries me, leaving you here with him,” he admitted. “I’ll be staying on a few more days, at least until they move you over to the main jailhouse. There are more people around over there so he won’t have quite as free a reign as he does here.”
Curry lowered his voice. “Don’t worry about it David,” he assured the Doctor. “I think Rick is getting a little fed up with his boss’ attitude as well and will step in if things get out of hand.”
David nodded. “I hope you’re right. Okay, how much morphine do you have and how much are you still using?”
Curry pulled the pouch out from under his pillow and handed it over. David took a peek inside and nodded.
“Okay,” he said. “Good. You are backing off of it.”
“I want you to start using it now only when you really need to, alright. While I’m in town we can work on getting you off of it altogether. If you have trouble sleeping we can always try some laudanum, okay?”
“Laudanum doesn’t help me at all David.”
“That’s because your system is too used to the morphine. Just give it a chance.”
“Yeah, okay,” but Jed didn’t look too pleased about it.
“Good. Alright! Let’s get to it here,” and David stood up and faced Jed. “Unbutton your shirt.”
Not realizing that it was a test, Jed absentmindedly used his right hand to undo the buttons and it was only after he saw David smiling that he realized what he had just actually accomplished.
“Oh!” Curry stated, surprised. “I undid the buttons!”
“Yes, you did,” David agreed with the obvious. “Good dexterity. Things are coming along quite nicely. We’ll get you back almost good as new before you know it.”
“Let’s not push it Jed.”
Then the Doctor and the patient settled into what had become a usual routine now of massaging and stretching the muscles and working on the exercises. It only took about twenty minutes to get through but Curry was tired at the end of it and by the time David was ready to leave a lot of the stress had been worked out of Jed and he was feeling quite a bit calmer. The doctor took his leave and Curry returned to his bunk. He lay down, took his hat and put it over his eyes and tried to relax. He didn’t think he was going to sleep, wasn’t even trying to; he just needed to be alone with his thoughts for awhile. He hoped Heyes was alright. Thoughts of his partner and what he must be going through took over his mind and a wisping of sadness settled over him until he did in fact drift off to sleep.
Two days later Morrison entered the jailhouse with Jack and two of the regular deputies following in his wake and looking like they were on a mission. Rick got up from where he had been snoozing in the chair and reached for the keys to the cell.
“Is it time then?” he asked Morrison.
“Yup,” the Sheriff answered. “Heyes should be well on his way by now so let’s get this piece of burden off our hands.”
Curry, who of course could not help but overhear this conversation, was on his feet in an instant and preparing himself for the usual, pointless searching. Sure enough as soon as Rick had the cell door opened, Morrison came in and pushing Curry up against the bars had quickly patted him down. Then the belt was cinched around his waist and his hands locked into the cuffs. This whole routine was getting to be so boring. Is this what the rest of his life was going to be like? Again, his heart and thoughts went out to his partner ‘will Heyes be able to handle this?’ And then; ‘will I be able to handle this?’ Curry sighed dejectedly and they led him out of the cell. They kept to the side streets mainly, in an effort to avoid the majority of curious onlookers as they made their way by foot over to the main jailhouse. About half a block away from their destination the small group of men came out onto the main street, crossed the road and then straight up onto the boardwalk and towards the front office. Curry wasn’t paying too much attention to the people they passed other than recognize the fact that most of them certainly recognized him. But then they walked by a gentleman sitting in a chair in front of his store and reading the daily paper while taking a break from his duties. Curry couldn’t help but notice the headline on the front page of the opened newspaper that the man was holding up while he read the inside articles. Jed almost did a double take; HANNIBAL HEYES—RAILROADED? What was that?! Curry didn’t have time to read anything more of the article, but maybe he would be able to convince Rick, or David or somebody to get him a copy of that paper! In the meantime Morrison had also noticed the headline and was then hurrying Curry along, before he had time to really digest what he had read and maybe start causing some problems. Indeed, the Sheriff was so focused on getting his prisoner into the jailhouse that he didn’t notice that the prison wagon was still pulled up out of the way and to the side of the building. But then, just as they reached the office and Morrison had opened the door to go in, he saw Mike standing head and shoulders above a group of men walking across the street from the back lane. Then once having seen Mike, he noticed Sheriff Turner in the group and then—dammit!! Heyes! What was he still doing here? They were supposed to have been gone an hour ago!! Then, too late Morrison realized that he wasn’t the only one who had spotted the convicted man.
Heyes had been just about to step up into the back of the wagon when his head snapped up and he spun around.
Not thinking; just elated at seeing his partner again, Curry broke away from Rick and started towards his friend. That wasn’t going to happen! Before Kid had gone more than two steps Morrison was on him and the rifle butt was up in a flash and landed a staggering blow to Curry’s right shoulder. Curry heard the crack of a bone breaking inside and then the pain of it exploded and assaulted his brain and he passed out—but only for a heartbeat, just long enough to come to and find himself on the ground and pandemonium all around him. Feet were running past him, over him and around him. Men were yelling and cursing and he heard Heyes’ name being called out in anger more than once. Then someone had him by the underarms and was dragging him through the door and into the office where he was unceremoniously dumped and left to lay there, writhing in pain. He heard the office door slamming shut and still people running and yelling and someone, Morrison? Shouting for a doctor; “But not that Gibson idiot!! Get me a real doctor! Get Dr. Jackson in here!!!” More running, the office door opening again, and slamming shut again, and then Curry passed out—again.
Heyes was grinning broadly at seeing his friend not only up and walking around, but not even needing his arm in a sling by this time. Such an improvement over the last time they had seen each other was an incredible relief! But then Heyes’ grin disappeared just as quickly as it had come as he witnessed Morrison’s assault on his partner and then anger rose up in him and that became fueled by a long standing hatred. Suddenly it was the right time for retribution after all. As soon as Heyes had turned at the sound of Kid calling his name, Mike had grabbed hold of Heyes’ arm in order to pull him back around. Then suddenly Heyes had launched himself off the bottom step of the wagon and he came straight up like a rocket, the top of his head slamming into the bottom of Mike’s chin with a resounding CRACK! Mike staggered backwards, blood spewing from his mouth where he had bitten into his own tongue and maybe broken some teeth. Instantly Heyes was charging! Head down, shoulders forward he headed for Morrison like a runaway freight train and plowed into the sheriff before the lawman even had an inkling of bringing his rife around to bare. Heyes hit him so hard; Morrison was catapulted forward and went head first into the edge of the open office door. He went down in a crash, amongst yells and curses but was on his feet again in an instant, blood pouring from his nose that was obviously broken and there was the beginnings of an ugly red welt that ran down the left side of his nose, starting just above the brow and reaching all the way down to his chin. Morrison was in a rage and had murder in his heart as he came after the fallen Heyes, yelling curses at him, but then everyone was on the move in an instant. Jack was pulling the injured Curry into the office as Rick and a number of the other deputies got between Heyes and the sheriff and diverted the lawman back towards the building. Meanwhile, Mike who was miraculously still on his feet had grabbed Heyes where he lay and hauled him by his shirt collar and the manacle belt back towards the wagon. Heyes was in a daze from the double impacts and was only vaguely aware of being grabbed and dragged and then tossed through the air like a sack of flour to land in a heap on the ground by the back of the wagon. Then Mike was on him again and grabbing him in the same manner, hauled him up and literally threw him into the prison wagon Heyes hit hard, banging into the bench that ran along the inside of the wagon for the prisoners to sit on and be manacled to. He lay on the floor, shaking his head, trying to clear away the buzzing. Mike climbed into the wagon with him and grabbing him by a manacled arm, hauled him up to sit on the bench. Then the big deputy shook Heyes and gave him a couple of sharp slaps on his cheek.
“Hey, Heyes,” Mike’s speech was slurred due to his injuries and the blood he constantly had to spit out. “Heyes, you awake? Can you hear me?”
Heyes’ eyes opened wide, though they still had a dazed look about them. He shook his head to further try to clear his brain.
“Yeah Mike,” he finally answered. “yeah, I can hear ya.”
Then Heyes got a clear view of Mike’s huge paw of a fist coming down like a pile driver straight towards his left eye. Heyes had barely an instant to think; ‘Oh crap! This is going to hurt!’ before the blow hit home and Heyes was swimming in a whirlpool of stars and then total blackness.
TO BE CONTINUED
Posts : 483 Join date : 2013-08-31 Location : Madrid
Subject: Re: Attitude Chapter Nine Part one Sun Jan 12, 2014 6:55 am
Poor Heyes just isn't going to settle down to life in prison, is he? A really emotional chapter.