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 Defensive Position

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Posts : 537
Join date : 2013-08-24
Location : London

Defensive Position  Empty
PostSubject: Defensive Position    Defensive Position  EmptySat Aug 31, 2013 5:59 am

Defensive Position

“Get after them! They just robbed the bank!”

The sheriff gave the portly bank manager a look of derision. “Well, duh! I’d never have thought of that. It’s a real good job you’re here to keep me right, ain’t it?”

All eyes glanced anxiously down the street at the two youths; one blond the other dark, galloping furiously down the main street, raising a cloud of cocking dust.

“What are you waitin’ for? They’re skedaddlin’, and your standin’ around like an old maid at a weddin’.”

“I got it in hand. I saw them two greenhorns hanging around the bank for the last week. The fair haired one kept playin’ with that gun of his. Now, either they’d developed a keen interest in fiduciary matters...,” He grinned. “I read that in a book. It’s a good word ain’t it? I like sayin’ it - fiduciary... That new library sure is great.”

“They’re gettin’ away!”

“As I was sayin’ – either they’d developed a keen interest in fiduciary matters, or they were plannin’ on robbin’ it.” The lawman hooked his thumbs in his waistcoat, a broad smile spreading over his face. “There’s more than one way to skin a cat,” his eyes clouded over. “Not that I ever did skin a cat – seems kinda cruel to me. It ain’t like we eat them or anythin’, but I read that in parts of China...”

The banker started to go purple in the face. “What in the name of all that’s holy are you witterin’ on about man! This ain’t the time for one of your shaggy dog stories. They’re gettin’ away.”

“It wasn’t quite time. I guess it is now.” The sheriff gave a curt nod before placing stubby fingers into the corners of his mouth, letting loose an ear-splitting, ringing whistle. The signal was picked up by a couple of young men on the sidewalk on either side of the main street, who hoisted the rope, strung between, them as high as they could, before wrapping it around the posts and hanging on to the ends for all they were worth.

The horsemen careened into it, their chests slamming against the rope as though it was an iron bar, before thwacking backwards onto the earth, where outraged citizens swarmed over them and dragged them to their feet.

The sheriff gave a cackle. “I read about that in the new library too. There’s a village in England where a ghost from their civil war still rides in the moonlight. He was killed by a rope strung across the road.”

“You could have killed them?” demanded a woman. “They can’t be more than sixteen.”

“Nah, I paid two lads to hoist it. From the sidewalk they’d be lucky to get it higher than the horses’ heads. You can learn a lot from books. I’m real glad we got that new library.”


The two youths cleared away the rope from the street, the fair haired one giving a surreptitious smile to his dark haired companion. “How’d you know, Heyes? That could have been us. We talked about holdin’ up that bank.”
The dark lad took off his hat and ran his fingers through his hair. “I know, but we’d never done it like them. I wanted I’d do some research, so I went to the library.”

“You and your damned books.”

“But I met the sheriff. He wondered if I had a friend and if we wanted to make a few bucks because he’d figured out that a pair were casing the bank. They were real amateurish about it –practically had their noses pressed up against the windows. There was really only one way they could leave town from the bank because of the river, so he’d figured out a plan.”

Kid gave a low whistle. “But why us?”

“He was real clear about that – he said that any young man who spent his evenings hanging about in the library must be a fine, upstanding individual. He trusted me.”

“Upstandin’? You were in there researchin’ the best ways to rob the bank!”
Heyes’ face dimpled into a smile. “I was actually studying Roman defensive strategies.”

“That ain’t what helped here. Don’t try to make yourself out to be some kind of genius, Heyes. This was nothin’ but blind luck. That could’ve been us.”

Heyes gave a light chuckle. “Yeah but luck comes from piecing together everything you know. I remembered your great pearl of wisdom too, and I think that’s the best defensive strategy there is.”

“What ‘pearl of wisdom?’”

“Do you remember what you said when we were at school and Miss Thompson asked you about George Washington?”

Kid groaned. “School? You know I don’t remember school... In fact, I work hard to forget most of it.”

“She asked why his father didn’t punish him when he admitted to chopping down his father’s cherry tree – and you replied,

‘Because George still had the axe in his hand...?’ It took her nearly ten minutes to get control of the class again. It sure stuck in my mind, Kid. The best defence of all is to make sure you’re always the one holding the axe.”

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Posts : 554
Join date : 2013-08-24
Age : 63

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PostSubject: Re: Defensive Position    Defensive Position  EmptySat Aug 31, 2013 7:11 pm

I loved this story when I first read it and continue to love it on further reading. I love the line "The best defense of all is to make sure you're always the one holding the axe." That pretty much sums up how our boys work.

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