Do I have regrets? Sure. Who doesn't?
I didn't set out to choose this life. More like it chose me. Us. We didn't ask to lose
everything, everyone we loved. We were kids, for God's sake, and we were starving. We
did what we had to do. At the time, we had no qualms about thieving.
It started off small. An apple here, a loaf of bread there. We got good at working as a
team. Kid would distract them with those baby blue eyes and I would sneak in for the grab
and run like hell. He'd start yelling and pointing in the opposite direction. Pretty soon we
weren't so hungry anymore and our wants changed. A new pocketknife or a pair of gloves on
a cold day. Once we got comfortable, we got greedier. It was too easy for us so we
started to make a game of it. We got more daring and learned more ways to steal. Started
stealing bigger. Kid mastered pickpocketing; I discovered a talent for locks. Kid had already
worked hard to get real good with a gun. I had learned to play poker with the best of them.
It wasn't long before we both wanted more. About then, Soapy came along. He recognized
our talents and took us under his wing. He sent me to a locksmith and I was taught the art
of manipulation. Of safes, that is. Manipulation of people was a talent I was born with.
And learning. I love learning and Soapy had a library of books. I read everything I could
get my hands on. Soapy taught us both to run a con. Kid was real good at it. So was I.
It was a good time.
We didn't stay with him, though. We earned him plenty for his trouble and he profited by
us. But pretty soon we got cocky. Cons were too tame and took too long to set up. We
wanted fast money and soon we wanted the fast women it could buy, so we left Soapy and
set out on our own. It wasn't long after Kid and I split up for a while. It was natural at that age that we'd drift apart. We could both take care of ourselves and we both had our
own ideas about how to do it.
I rode with a few gangs. Kid built a reputation as a fast draw. It was good for both of us.
You know how you don't appreciate something until it's gone? That's how it was. Something
was missing and when we ran into each again we fit together better than before. That was
when we made history as the best of the best.
But nothing lasts forever. Safes got better and posses got smarter. It was fun while it
lasted but it became obvious that we had only one way to go and that was down. So we went
for the amnesty. Now, that we had qualms about! We had no idea how to be ordinary and it was a lot harder than it looked. Worked out okay, didn't it?
“The purpose of life isn’t to arrive at death in perfect condition but to slide into it sideways with your hair mussed, your clothes disheveled, a martini in one hand and chocolate in the other, shouting ‘Whooeee, what a ride!’”--Hunter S. Thompson