Heyes' brows furrowed as he opened his eyes. Both his fists came down hard on the bed. "NOOO! NO, NO, NO!" He threw the quilt off of himself so hard, it ended up in a heap on the floor. Jumping up, he threw his arms in the air. "WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!" he yelled to the empty room. He angrily crossed to the window and looked out. "WELL?...WHAT IS IT?!"
Having heard the ongoing tirade as he neared the door, Kid cautiously unlocked it and looked in. "Heyes, who are you yellin' at?" he asked slowly.
Heyes furiously turned himself around to face the door. He looked fit to be tied. Curry walked in the room and shut the door. He set down the coffee, sandwich, and paper he was carrying on the dresser, all the time watching his obviously upset partner. He attempted once again to make contact.
"Mornin' Heyes. What's with all the yellin'?"
Heyes ran both hands through his hair. "NOTHING...I DON'T KNOW...WHY...?!" His hands dropped to his hips as he sighed. "Nevermind. Just...a nightmare that REFUSES to end."
Kid studied him for a minute, not quite sure how to reply to that. "Well, you probably woke up half the hotel. I could hear you yellin' all the way down the hall."
Heyes turned back to face the window. Curry waited for a response. When he didn't receive one, he tried talking to his cousin again. "I, uh, didn't want to wake you so I brought you back somethin' to eat." Still no response. "Heyes? What's wrong?" He was starting to get a bit worried.
"Nothing Kid. Like I said, it's...it was just a nightmare." He went back to his bed and sat down on the edge.
Curry wasn't sure about that, but whatever it was, Heyes obviously didn't want to discuss it. He knew when his partner got like this, it was better to just leave him alone until he was ready to talk. He cleared his throat. "I found a couple of jobs in the paper. One's fixin' a barn's roof and the other is deliverin' some papers."
"Well, you better take the delivery job."
Kid was surprised. Heyes never volunteered for the harder job. "Alright Heyes, what's eatin' at you? You always manage to get the easier job, but now you're just gonna give it to me?"
"I said it was nothing. Now, go on that delivery job. If I go, I'll just probably end up getting shot again."
Now Kid was really confused. "Shot again? I don't remember you bein' shot recently." The gunslinger decided to ask one more time, regardless of Heyes' mood. "What's goin' on with you?"
Heyes looked up at him. "Nothing." He forced a smile onto his face. "Now, you better get going before someone else takes that job."
Kid frowned. Heyes was obviously lying to him, but if he didn't want to talk, there was no way to force it out of him. He'd tried many times before and it had just ended up in a fight. This time, Curry decided he'd just try to be patient, no matter how hard it was. "Okay then. You goin' out to the barn job?"
"Uh, yeah," Heyes answered absently. "After I eat. We need the money." He got up and started getting dressed.
Kid watched him for a second. "Well, see you this evenin'."
Curry stared at him another second or two, then walked to the door and left.
Heyes finished getting dressed, grabbed the food and coffee, and sat at the table near the window. He quickly finished off the breakfast. Disgust was evident on his face as he peered out the window at the town holding him prisoner in his own personal jail. "What is it you want Destiny Loop?! Maybe I ought to burn your whole town down." Heyes seriously considered that for a few minutes. But someone would surely get hurt, so it was out of the question. Finally, he stood up. "I WILL figure this puzzle out. If it takes me the rest of my life, I WILL figure it out before I die of old age." He walked out of the room, slamming the door behind him.
Another two pine cones flew off the log as Heyes lowered his weapon. He pushed some bullets out of his gun belt to reload. He'd ridden out to the previous place he had practiced to be by himself so maybe he could think of something. His mind was a jumble of things. He went over and over the things he'd tried. He went back over the conversations he'd had with Cat the old Indian. How many days did this make? What else could he try? He set up and shot at pine cones for about an hour and a half. How did Kid do this for hours at a time? He decided to quit and went to sit in the grass beside his grazing horse. Heyes removed his hat and dropped his head into his hands. A gentle breeze rustled his hair. He looked up at the semi-cloudy sky. "What's it going to take, huh?" He was mentally exhausted and just wanted to forget about it for a while. It was then he decided what he was going to do the rest of the day.
Kid Curry returned to town that evening after delivering the documents to the mine. He decided to go into the saloon to get a drink and see if his cousin was in there. He strolled through the bat wing doors and went and leaned on the bar. The bartender walked up to him. "One beer please." Kid laid down money for the drink and turned around to survey the rest of the saloon. He figured Heyes would be involved in a poker game if he was present. But as his eyes searched the poker tables, the ex-outlaw leader couldn't be found. He took a drink and was about to turn back around to the bar when he barely caught a glimpse of a familiar black hat at a table in the main back of the saloon.
As he neared his partner's table, his gait slowed down by what he saw. Heyes' head was facedown on the table. Beside his hand sat a nearly empty whiskey bottle. But what really got Curry wondering was the other items on the table. Apparently, Heyes had taken some salt and the bowl of boiled eggs normally found at some saloon bars and brought it to his table with him. There were the equivalent of three broken egg shells laying here and there. The rest of the eggs however were standing up on their ends all around the salt covered table. Kid stopped and stared at the inert form of his cousin for a moment. "Practicin' your magic tricks back here Joshua?"
Heyes' head shot up unsteadily and bleary brown eyes stared up at his partner. "Hey Kid!" he said a little too loudly.
Curry's eyes widened. "Joshua! Not so loud!" he hissed as he took a seat at the table, upsetting some of the eggs.
Heyes looked at the overturned eggs in utter despair. "What'd you do that for? Don't be knocking over my eggs." He could hardly sit upright in his chair.
Kid sat his beer down and started putting all the eggs back in the bowl.
"I said don't touch my eggs Kid!" he once again said loudly as he reached to get the eggs back out of the bowl.
"Joshua, shut up and quit with the eggs." Kid slapped his hand away from the bowl. "The bartender's probably wonderin' where they went to." He finished gathering up the egg population to the ongoing complaints of his drunk partner. Sitting the egg bowl on an empty table next to them, he turned back to see Heyes' whiskey bottle turned up as the last drop was sipped out. "How long you been in here?"
"I don't know," Heyes said dropping the bottle on the table. "Half the day? Ashk the bartender. He might know."
Curry rolled his eyes. "Why didn't you go to that roof patchin' job?"
"'Cause I already done that twice. Besides, it's jusht gonna be messed back up in the morning. Why bother with it? It won't never get fixed and it's all because of that dang rooshter."
"Joshua, you ain't makin' no sense. I mean, I know you're drunk, but still."
Heyes slapped the table hard causing a few people to turn around and stare. "It won't work Kid!"
Curry slightly smiled at their audience until they went back to their own business. "WHAT won't work?"
"Fixing that roof. Like I shaid, I've done it twice and the rooster shtill woke me up." He reached for what was left of Kid's beer.
"Oh no you don't. You've had plenty enough seems to me." Kid stood up and firmly grabbed his cousin by the arm. "C'mon. It's time to go back to the hotel before you manage to tell everybody in here who we are."
Heyes was pulled to his feet, but almost immediately fell back down. If Curry hadn't been to his side holding him, he would've hit the floor. "I don't care if they know. They'll forget it tomorrow."
"Well, I don't want to spend the next twenty years in prison so shut up and come on." Kid started pulling his unsteady partner toward the doors.
"Stop Kid! Let's just have one more drink. What do you shay? One more, then we'll go back to the hotel." People were starting to take notice of the pair as they were now within hearing distance of some of the other occupied tables.
Kid sighed angrily. "NO. No more for you tonight. You ain't been this drunk in I don't know how long." He kept pulling Heyes toward the exit by the arm.
Heyes dug in his heels, almost stopping Curry completely. "Will you let go of me?! I was the leader of the gang and what I say goes. And I say we have another drink."
Kid was starting to see red by then. He jerked Heyes close to him and whispered, "If you don't shut up and come with me, I'm gonna flatten you and drag you out of here." Keeping a death grip on Heyes' arm, Kid got behind him and started pushing him.
"KID!" At that, everybody looked at them. Curry ignored them, pushed harder and finally had him up to the bar and headed toward the exit. Heyes grabbed hold of the bar. "WAIT A SHECOND!" He immediately turned and smiled at the bartender who had been enjoying the show since it had started in the back. "Hey, your eggs are back there. They stand up real good."
The bartender looked like he wasn't sure how to reply as Curry took hold of both arms and broke Heyes' hold on the bar. "Move it Joshua!" he growled. Heyes was still resisting but Kid managed to finally get him out the bat wing doors and into the street.
"WILL YOU TURN LOOSE OF ME?!" Heyes yelled as he struggled in Curry's grasp.
"WILL YOU ACT LIKE YOU HAVE A LITTLE SENSE AND MOVE?!" Kid yelled back. He turned his reluctant partner toward the hotel. "I pity the lawman who ever has to try to hold on to you."
"ALRIGHT! I'll go with you. Just turn loose."
Kid eyed him suspiciously as he let go of one of Heyes' arms. "There's no way I'm lettin' go of both arms. You can't even walk straight with me helpin' you."
"Are you hungry?" Heyes asked out of nowhere as he was pulled along. "What am I shaying? You're always hungry."
Kid ignored him. He was hungry, but there no way he was taking his cousin into the cafe. After a few exhausting minutes, he got Heyes to the hotel. "Be careful on these steps."
Heyes smirked at him as he took a step up. He got on the first step fine, but tripped on the second one. Curry caught him before he cracked his head on the boardwalk. Once inside, Heyes smiled at the desk clerk as they slowly passed. "Hi."
"Uh, hi," the clerk answered back. He turned his eyes to Curry. "Is he okay?"
"No. But don't worry. He won't be no problem. He's goin' straight to bed."
"No, I'm not!"
"Yes, you are. One way or another, you're goin' to bed." Kid started pulling him up the the stairs.
Heyes followed sluggishly. "No I'm not," he said softly.
"I'm not arguing with you like a five-year-old. One of three things is goin' to happen when we get in that room. You're either goin' to voluntarily lay down, pass out, or get knocked out." Curry finally got him up the stairs and to the room. He propped Heyes against the wall as he got the key out to unlock the door. Heyes started to slide down the wall. "I'm about to go turn you in myself." Kid caught him and after a couple of aggravating minutes, got the door open. He practically slung his partner inside. "Now, get your jacket and things off and lay down."
"Yes Ma," Heyes said sarcastically as he started pulling off his brown corduroy jacket. That proved to be more difficult than it should have been. He finally managed to pull the garment off and tried to throw it over a chair. He hit Kid with it instead. As Kid put the jacket down, he watched Heyes start to sway. He went over and put him beside his bed. Heyes looked at his partner. "I see two of you." As soon as he finished the sentence, he started to pass out. Kid pushed him backwards onto his bed.
"Thank God," Kid exhaled in relief.
Come to the dark side...we have cookies