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 Yuma - In four episodes - Episode Three (5,900 words)

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PostSubject: Yuma - In four episodes - Episode Three (5,900 words)   Yuma - In four episodes - Episode Three (5,900 words) EmptySun Feb 05, 2017 8:15 am

By Cal

(Part Two)


Episode three
Train Station at Benton Turnpike

Heyes had the tickets and was waiting at the very end of the platform.  The saddle bags, bed rolls and saddles were piled at his feet.  The train was making grunting and wheeshing noises in preparation for departure.  Most passengers had already boarded.  Heyes scanned the platform for Curry.  Kid had felt the need to find food before their departure, and was going to miss the train if he didn’t hurry up. 

The train shuddered and the carriages clanked and groaned as the engine took the strain.  The platform filled with smoke and steam.  The whistle gave a quick blast, and the track took up a high whine, as the wheels started moving.  

‘Where was he?’  Heyes gripped the tickets between his teeth, picked up the saddlebags, throwing one over each shoulder.  He put a bed roll under each arm, and grabbed both saddle horns.  He nearly overbalanced lifting the saddles, but instead, found himself propelled forwards towards the fast receding back step of the train.  As his feet left the ground, he felt the full weight of Kid Curry crash into his back and propel him the length of the small platform at the back of the train.

“Sheesh! Heyes, you near missed our train.” laughed Curry, with one hand still in Heyes’ back and the other delicately cradling two bags of hot beef.

Heyes, growled loudly through the tickets in his mouth as he struggled through the carriage door to dump all their kit on the first available 
bench.  The carriage was empty; their favourite kind.  Removing the tickets, he straightened his neck to give the tardy one a piece of his mind, but the aroma of the warm beef, took all the sting out of his silver tongue.  

He took the proffered peace offering; and with a devilish twinkle in the deep brown eyes, smirked at his beaming younger cousin.  “That was close!  I’ve never known you to miss a train, Kid.   Especially those we were fixin’ on robbin’.  Remember?” He took a bite, but continued whilst chewing. “You used to jump on them …from rocks …bridges …horseback …oh all sorts of ways …till that is, we figured you only had to lift a few rails to stop ‘em.  All those bruises …broken bones … blood… uuummm!” Heyes screwed up his face, looking at each of Curry’s limbs in turn. “And all we had to do was lift a few little ol’ rails!  …Seems a shame.” 

He grinned at his partner, and took another big bite of beef.

Kid’s smile melted to consternation but he’d let Heyes enjoy his moment. Truth be told he’d given himself a bit of a scare too, that had been close.  He demolished his own sandwich in just a few seconds, then lay back on a 
bench, for a sleep.  He imparted this pearl of wisdom, just before the floppy brown hat hid his eyes, “I got a good look at a map …that’s why I was late. I think our boys would’ve quit the train at Gela Flats.”

Heyes was walking up the length of the carriage, wiping his greasy fingers on the backs of the benches, in search of a discarded newspaper.  On the front seat he found one that was only a week old.  He smiled, if Kid was right, they were going to be on this train for quite a time.  


Kid wakes sometime later and calls to Heyes that he’s going outside to ...get some air.  An article in the paper has caught Heyes’ interest and he deftly removes the column of newsprint with a neat rip, and stashes it inside his jacket.  A nearby cough gets the scholarly one’s attention and the gaurd holds out his hand for the tickets.  

Profering their tickets, Heyes puts on an aimiable smile and decides, now is as good a time as any to start asking after the runaways. “I was wondering, if you might have seen a couple of...”

“Look Mister, like I just said to those other two fellas, if I wanted to spend my time looking for outlaws, I wouldn’t be making myself so damned busy working for the railroad, now would I?”  The gaurd sees shock register in the passengers eyes at these harsh words, and remembers that it was the other two fellas that had held him up and wasted his time, not this one. He continues in a more civilised tone.  “No, I’d go get me one of them high paying detective jobs.  It ain’t my job to go spotting no two fellas, now is it?  ...its yours.”  

The gaurd lifted the second ticket, questioningly.

Heyes quickly wiped the shock off his face, replacing it with a desperate smile.  “Oh partners out back ...getting some air. These other two fellas ...errm ...agents ...detectives us. ...They’re on this train?” 

“Didn’t I just say so?” The gaurd shakes his head, exasperated at how slow all these detectives seem to be today.  “Called themselves  ....Grant and Gaines ...that’s it ...Said they were from Bannermans Detective Agency.” 

“No!” Heyes covered his face with a gloved hand to hide his pained expression “Oh No ...Not those two!  They’re a pair of real pains in the...” 

“That’s them!” jumped in the gaurd. “That Gaines is all puffed up and full o’ hisself!  Tellin’ me it was my duty to do his job fer him!”

“My partners not gonna like this,” Heyes eyes the rear door.  “He ain’t gonna like this at all!”  You can say that again Heyes.  “We used to work with that pair once, out of the Fort Worth office.  Gaines and Thaddeus partner ...they don’t get along.”  Heyes shakes his head.  “Professional jealousy! Its a terrible thing.”  He flings an arm over his new best friends shoulder and fixes George, he’s read the name badge, with a conspiritorial look.   “You see George,  Bannerman has sent a whole pack of us detectives down here searching for them two dipicable outlaws, Heyes and Curry. Thaddeus, well he knows what Kid Curry looks like, so we got  the best chance of makin’ the bonus on them two. Gaines ..well he tried to brow beat Thaddeus into throwing in with him ...instead o’ me ...but Thaddeus is real loyal.  Told him I was his partner.  But things got a bit heated ...Gaines even tried pullin’ a gun on Thaddeus!”  Heyes looks shaken, well he is.  “Look, I know I shouldn’t be asking this of you George, but we’ve got to keep Gaines and Thaddeus apart? I don’t want Thaddeus to have to face that puffed up idiot again  ...He might really lose his temper this time.  My partners real handy with his gun!” 

Heyes let his hand drift towards the butt of his own tied down gun. George’s eyes follow the movement and Heyes sees the moment at wich the implied threat, of ‘gun trouble on your train,’ hits home. “I guess I can keep Thaddeus from wandering the train...” Heyes reasures George “If you can just, get them to believe this car’s empty?”  

Heyes saw the relief register on the George’s face. 

“I can do better than that! I can put this car ‘Out of Bounds’.  Anyone asks, I’ll just say its a quarantine, on doctor’s orders.  That should put a crimp in that Gaines’ snoopin’!”

“Excellent!”  Heyes beamed “I think if you ever wanted a change of career, George ...well, with fine thinkin’ like that, Mr Bannerman would just snap you right up.”  

As George leaves the carriage, with Heyes slapping him on the back, practicaly pushing him through the door, Curry re -enters the carriage.  Heyes takes his lock picks out of his boot and gets the door locked behind George.  As he turns, Kid can see the strange mix of worry and relief in Heyes’ face, and his eybrows shoot up in question.  

Heyes has got that ‘Where do I begin..?’ look on his face.


In the front carriage

Carl Grant looked across at his partner and worried. 

He could still remember how close he’d come to having to arrest Fred, over that stupid gold train scheme Fred had tried to get them involved in, with that idiot Dailey and the Blaine woman.  Working with Fred was getting to be no fun at all and he could feel Fred going off the rails again.  He wasn’t only drinking too much this time, but Carl suspected he’d also got into debt, gambling.  They’d been friends and colleagues a long time; partners, their wives were even friends.  He’d promised Fred’s wife, that he’d keep him on the straight and narrow from now on.  That Gold train business had been too close a call. Thank goodness those two punks had jumped them in the bathroom in Branberg and taken their place on the train, or he would have had to arrest his best friend!   When Briscoe suggested they’d been part of it, Carl was able to convince him they’d been ready to arrest Daily and Blaine on the train, but of course they’d been prevented from doing so.  Bannerman had given them the benefit of the doubt, preferring to keep them on a close leash, than face the scandal of more than one rouge agent.  They couldn’t afford another mistake like that.  

Carl stared across at his partner. 

Of course Fred was convinced he’d missed out on a chance to solve all his problems that day.  He’d sworn vengeance if he ever caught up to those two punks again.  Silly really, they’d saved both their jobs.  Bannerman had offered ten percent of the rewards on Heyes and Curry this time, instead of the usual five percent.  Fred had been on edge ever since, and had come to some fool notion that Briscoe… Briscoe?!? …had thrown in with Heyes and Curry. He thought if Briscoe was down here …and Heyes and Curry were also in the area …then they must be doing something together!  It made no sense to Carl at all, but Fred had this way of persuading you…and Briscoe had been heading this way.  Fred Gaines sat now, gazing at the near black window, his eyes kept narrowing sporadically and his lips never quite stopped moving. 

Carl took a deep breath; he’d have to ask.  “What’s eating at you now, Fred?” 

“Where is he?  …he’s not on the train …had tickets …saddles, saddle bags, bed rolls …but no sign of him.” Fred muttered.

“Who?” Carl asked.

“Tall, dark fella, stood right out at the end of the platform …in Benton.  He ain’t on this train …And he was waiting fer someone?  I can’t bring it to mind, but …I know I’ve seen him before…” The muttering went on under his breath.

“Now Fred, maybe he never got on …because he was waiting fer somebody …and they never showed.” 

Carl might just as well have been talking to himself.  

He tried a little louder “Get some sleep Fred …there’s still a couple of hours to Gela.” 

Fred just looked more agitated.  

“And another thing! Did you see an invalid board this train in Benton? …Cause I sure didn’t! …So where’s that quarantine sign suddenly sprung from on the last car?  …Something’s not right here …I wouldn’t be surprised if Heyes and Curry, aren’t sat back there, right now, laughing at us!”   

Fred’s eyes started flickering alarmingly. 

“Now, Fred” placated Grant “Not every tall, dark haired fella is Hannibal Heyes …Remember all the trouble we got into back in Yuma … just last week? …He was a deputy, wasn’t he Fred …Not Hannibal Heyes…”  

Carl leaned over and put a heavy hand on Gaines’ shoulder.  “Try sleepin’ …”

The hand was shaken off.  “No. No …I’m going back there to check …You coming?”

Carl Grant’s head dropped heavily onto his chest.


Last Car

Kid Curry practically has his ear glued to the connecting door, straining to hear anything from the other side, colt in hand.  Heyes is sat nearby, looking worried.  He looks at the near black window, catching small glimpses of the dessert speeding by outside.  He doesn’t want to have to make a jump from a speeding train, and face that.  Curry sees the look and whole-heartedly agrees with him.

Muffled footsteps outside the door get Kid’s atention:  He waves frantically to get Heyes’.

“Quartantine means someones sick in there Fred” An exasperated Carl argues.  “They ain’t gonna take kindly to you just busting in on them.  And, you’ve told that gaurd who we are now, so ...if this gets back to Bannerman ...we could both be in a lot of trouble ...maybe even lose our jobs.“  

A sneer from Gaines, he’d been hearing this the whole length of the train.  

“Fred, please ...Heyes and Curry aren’t in there!” Carl practically shouts.

Kid freezes, eyes wide.

“I just want to be sure is all!  ...I can be polite, Carl.” Gaines grasps the doorknob and gives it a good rattle.

“Is that you George? How sweet of you to come back and check on us” comes a high pitched voice from within.

“Erm’s not George, Ma’am.  My name is Gaines ...erm Fred Gaines...from the Bannerman detective agency ...We have errr ...juristiction find out who exactly is travelling on this train.” 

Grant groans;  Fred is going too far again.

“Well young man...” comes the high pitched, elderly ladies’ voice(?!?!) “There’s just me and my poor sick nephew in here...” 

Loud consumptive coughing, followed by dramatic groaning can be heard from the quarantine car. 

“There, there, don’t you fret my dear...” 

Heaving noises and gasping.  

“Won’t you wait a just a moment, please, Mr ...detective ...Sir ...I must just dispose of this...  errrm.... well dispose of this ...and then I’ll be able to get the door open for you.”

Coughing that would not have been out of place in the death scene from Little Nel. 

“Are you sure you need to come in ...right now ...Sir?” The lady sounds a bit frantic. “The doctor did say he was at his most contagious when he’s coughing...” 

More prolonged, dramatic coughing followed by a drawn out moanful sigh.

“NO! ...No Ma’am ...we’re mighty sorry to have disturbed you...” apologised Grant, bashing his partner on the shoulder and shushing him away from the door with his hat.


Inside the carriage

Kid has tears in his eyes from all the coughing. He’s listening to the departing footsteps of Grant and Gaines. Heyes, who has been holding the newspaper around his head like a ladies bonnet to help him get into character, lets the newspaper fall to the 
bench beside him and colapses on top of it.

“Heyes, we got to get off this train!” Kid sounds hoarse.  He pulls himself up and starts making for their gear up at the back. 

“Now Kid… “ Heyes looks at the near black windows as he joins Curry at the back of the carriage. Kid is already pushing their belongings onto the rear platform of the train.  Heyes screws up his face in a pained expression, not liking the idea of jumping from a moving train. His hands begin to rub up and down the seat of his pants, unconsciously rehearsing the hurt he’s sure to feel. “…we could wait …prey for a water stop...” He tried.  

Kid’s face was grim as he left the carriage.  Heyes could tell all arguments were futile.

“I think there’s a bend up ahead...” Kid was craning around the edge of the car, looking ahead through the gloom and smoke.  He watched the bend approach and then looked down at the track passing below the platform at an alarming rate.  The train was still traveling far too fast to make the jump safely.  

As the train entered the bend and slowed just a little, Kid was trying to decide whether he should jump first, or whether he should throw Heyes off first, then their gear and then jump himself, when a heavy hand landed on his shoulder.

“Kid? Kid!” 

Kid heard the smile in Heyes’ voice and looked up from the blur of the track below his feet.  The dimpled one was pointing off round the bend, to a barely visible spec of light and the unmistakable shadow of a water tower ahead.  “Sheesh!” whistled the Kid in relief.  

Won’t be throwing Heyes off the train today then Kid.


Late the next day
Livery on the edge of Gela Flats

Heyes blew out his cheeks looking towards the darkening street, being here wasn’t the brightest thing they’d ever done. Heyes’ brain was still lecturing him on all the dangers they could face here, not least of which were Grant and Gaines.  It made no sense going looking for trouble.  Yes, they’d promised Jenny and Louise that they would continue the search for Cain and Nathaniel but… 

For the last few hours, after reaching the small hills above the vast plain of Gela Flats, they’d been arguing.  They both knew they really should be putting as many miles between the Bannerman agents and themselves as they could get out of the two scrawny horses they’d managed to buy, but, Kid had argued for one quick look in Gela for the runaways, and reluctantly, Heyes’ had heard himself agreeing...

It was getting late and they were surprised the livery was still open. They decided it would be less suspicious to leave their mounts there, than ride down main street with them, after all they had no idea who was the law in Gela Flats.

“These boys won’t be stopping long, one hour tops. they just need a quick rub down and a handful of grains.” Kid smiled at the livery help, a surly looking youth, about the same age as the two runaways.  He handed over the reins of the two broom-tails.  He still felt they’d been robbed.  

Curry took a second look at the lad, ‘Couldn’t hurt to ask’ he thought.  “I was wonderin’, if you’d seen a haff-Navajo lad?  He’s about your age. He worked the livery over in Benton. Last I heard he was headed this way. He’s a real hard grafter.”  

The boy sneered, rolling the coins Kid had given him under his thumb.  He took a long look at the partners as if sizing them up. “Might’ve’” 

Kid added another coin with a small shake of his head.  

“He ain’t a real hard grafter now, Mister. He’s in jail.”  The youth smirked, pocketing the cash.

“Jail?” Heyes hissed “What about Ca…errm …his friend?” 

The youth considered milking another coin for the information but he was enjoying being the barer of bad news too much to wait. “Both in jail.” He smiled, showing his not too straight teeth.  “They got themselves arrested, when a telegram came from Benton.  Seems they caused a lot of trouble and the Sherriff’s holding them till they’re picked up, for trial.”


Not long after

“What you thinking Heyes?” Kid whispers. Kid and Heyes are stood in the mouth of a dark alley, across the street from the jailhouse, keeping to the darkest shadows. “You know they ain’t going to get a fair hearing over in Benton.  You heard what Louise said.  We gonna bust them outta jail?”

“No!” Heyes shakes his head at the Kid, incredulously, of course the Kid can’t see his face at the moment, it’s too dark.  “That would just make them fugitives.  They’re already in deep trouble.”  His brow creases in thought as he stares over Kid’s shoulder.  “No, We’ll have to send a telegram from the next town we hit…”

“Get your hands up …and don’t even think of reachin’ for yer guns.  My partner’s got you covered from across the street.” Fred Gaines stepped out of the shadows behind Heyes, pushing the 
barrel of his gun into Heyes’ ribs.  He grinned maniacally into their shadowed faces, as he took their guns, and stuffed them into his own belt.  “Carl, I got them!” he called sounding way too excited.

Carl Grant walked slowly across the street from the alley on the far side, a peacemaker levelled at Kid Curry.  If anything, he looked reluctant and embarrassed.  “Now gentlemen, don’t be alarmed.  If you will just step across the street to the Sheriff’s Office …I’m sure we can sort this all out real quick …” he babbled.

“You heard him, git!” Gaines’ voice was loud and vicious, as he poked the 
barrel harder into Heyes’ ribs.  The ‘good cop, bad cop routine’ had the ex-outlaws perplexed. They exchanged a look of confusion, which neither of them could see of course, but could understand entirely.

“Now wait a minute, I don’t know who you think we are, but…” Heyes started.

“Please,” Grant’s voice was low and calm, and the plea seemed to be directed as much to his partner, as to Heyes and Curry.  “Just step over to the jailhouse for a minute, and I’m sure we can get this all sorted …all nice and peaceable like” he placated. 

“Who are you? And what’s this all about?” asked a cool Curry. Of course, he’d recognised the agents but he wasn’t convinced that these two had recognised them yet.

“My partner believes you may be …well …there’s just a small chance …you could be…” Grant sent a pleading look to his partner, this hadn’t worked out well for them back in Yuma. 

“Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry!” Crowed Gaines triumphantly, his eyes getting wider with greed.  He was already counting the reward money.  Grant saw the look in Gaines’ eyes and groaned.  

“Heyes and… Whatshisname!  That’s ridiculous!” Heyes shouts, ignoring the gun 
barrel in his ribs and stepping out of the alley and into the light, towards the far more reasonable seeming Grant.

Carl Grant gets his first good look at Heyes, and seems even more confused.  Then as Curry also leaves the alley, to stand in the light at Heyes’ shoulder, he gets that look of someone who can’t quite bring to mind the name of an acquaintance.  He lifts the gun and waves them towards the jailhouse in polite invitation. “Jail’s right across the street, gentlemen.  I’m sure we can get this all cleared up real quick…”

“Move!” shouts an inpatient Gaines.

“Well you’re going to look pretty stupid cause we ain’t…” Heyes is jabbed in the ribs, and he reluctantly starts walking across the street.

“Save it for the jail house son,” Grant says wearily, “Sheriff Sawyer knows them two on sight.  This ain’t going to take more than a minute of your time…”

Heyes shoots Kid a look that manages to say ‘Your idea to come into Gela …not mine!’  Kids eyes shut ‘…Oh this trip just keeps getting’ better...’ 


Jail House, Gela Flats

“Sheriff, we got us a coupla prisoners.” Grant calls as he enters the brightly lit jailhouse.  

Sherriff Wade Sawyer needs no introduction to these two detectives, they’d been in his office earlier, Gaines strutting round like a prize rooster.  He was busy.  They’d have to wait on him.  “Just take them over by the cells there …gentlemen …I’ll be through here shortly.” He never looked up from his paperwork.

Heyes is holding back by the door. “Ok …Ok!” he placates, waving a hand back at Gaines. He’s confirmed their worst suspicions; this was the Wade Sawyer who knows them on sight. He sends Kid a resigned look. “Ok, I’m going…” Heyes leads Kid right across the room, to stand with their backs to the bars of the big cell, where he can see two teenage size lumps on the cots. 

Kid smiles and nods his head at the two teenage runaways as they approach the bars behind him. They look tired and defeated, and a little curious at the new arrivals.  Then he notices his partner, and looks confused.  Heyes is holding his hands up so high, his elbows nearly brush his ears.  Kid, whose hands are barely higher than his belt, looks wryly at Heyes’ wide-eyed expression then up to his lofted hands, and speaking out of the side of his mouth asks, “What you doing?”

“Should you ask me, whence these stories? Whence these legends and traditions…” Heyes starts babbling under his breath “…I should answer, I should tell you, From the forests and the prairies…” he turns his head and nods to Cain, the shorter of the two boys behind Kid.

“What?!?!” Kid turns to Heyes, his own hands dropping even lower, and eyeballs his partner like he’d gone mad.

“Get your hands up, and shut up, both of you.” Gaines fixes the seemingly uninterested sheriff with a professional glare.  “Sherriff! We have reason to believe these two men are…”

“Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry!” shouted Sheriff Sawyer in surprise, rising and un-holstering his gun in one swift movement.  

“How did you?  Where in tarnation…? How could you just…?”  

The sheriff regained a little self-composure, taking a minute to straighten a crick out of his neck. He came over to have a gloat at the two outlaws that had eluded his posse.  “Well …well …this time …the only place you’re going …is a cell...”

“Woah!  Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry! For real!” Nathaniel was suddenly very awake and very interested in the proceedings. “Like in the dime novels?!?!” The boy had his arms through the bars, to touch his two heroes. 

“Well they ain’t just made up.” Explains Cain, in a dull, seemingly uninterested, lecturing tone. “They’re in newspapers too.  They was big outlaws, back in the day, ’fore Wheat Carlson and Moondance Mertry that is.”

The delight, in inspiring such awe in young hearts, is rapidly wiped from two ex-outlaws faces.  You can see Heyes is just itching to argue.  Kid hasn’t got passed Moondance Mertry yet…

“Really!  They are?!?” Carl Grant sounds more shocked than Nathaniel.  “But …I know I’ve seen these two somewhere before…”

“Yes, they’re Heyes and Curry all right.  I’d know these two hoot owls anywhere. I’ve had the misfortune to chase ‘em out of Kingsburg, half way across the country, before they gave me the slip.    Cover me while I search ‘em, Heyes always has a couple of lock picks in his boots.” 

The sheriff found the lock picks, and two knives and some fishing line and…. needless to say …he was very thorough.  He even took the partners boots.

“When did you make Sheriff, Wade?” drawls Curry, as he enters the small cell at the side of the building.  “Last time we saw you …you was deputy …in Branberg…”

“That’s it!” shouts Grant “Branberg! …These are the two punks that jumped us in the bathroom…”  

Realization struck.  The shock on Grants face turns up a notch. 

”Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry got on the gold train!?! … The special! …That was set up to catch…!?!”  Words fail him.

The innocent faces on the two latest inmates wasn’t fooling anyone.  Grant studied the two notorious outlaws with wonderment, and thought ‘I have to thanks Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry for saving me from having to arrest Fred?!?’ Of course, he kept that to himself.

Gaines came and stared through the bars at the two ex-outlaws.  His eyes started to twitch independently, the gun in his hand started to shake.  Kid and Heyes stared down the 
barrel looking very worried. He was already excited about the arrest but now, oh joy of joys, the objects of years of loathing were also, seemingly before him.  His strained nerves were reaching breaking point…

“Fred?” Grant suddenly sprang back to life, seeing the murder in his partner’s eyes.  He pushed the 
barrel of Gaines’ gun down towards the floor, putting himself between the new inmates and his partner. “We should go wire the good news to the Yuma office; call off all the other agents.  And Mr Bannerman wants us to get a photographer in here straightaway. Remember?  He insisted just in case they …”

“No one …not even Hannibal Heyes …is going to break out of my jail …gentlemen!” Wade Sawyer proclaimed triumphantly throwing all their other confiscated gear into the back of his large office safe.  “No Sir …no jailbreak this time!”  

Gaines pushes Grant down the passage between the cells.  Heyes and Curry can still hear every word but they’re feigning disinterest.  “Why should we Carl? …Those two are worth £20,000 …Why should we share that with Bannerman?” 

Carl Grant closes his eyes; his partner must be feeling desperate indeed.  “Because we’d have the whole agency on our tails, is why!”  He pleaded, but he can see he hasn’t managed to reconnect to the Fred Gaines he knows and likes.  

Heyes looked at Grant.  Grant shook his head, somehow Heyes felt Grant wanted to be reasonable, even friendly, which was somewhat confusing.  Anyway, it was all he had to work with.  He fixed Grant with one of his friendliest smiles. “How come, you were waiting for us …in that alley?”

“One of Fred’s hunches!” sighed Grant patting Gaines’ shoulder. “When no invalid got off that train.  We questioned the guard again …told us you’d jumped.  We gave Tommy over at the livery your descriptions.  He told us you were asking him about Indian-Jim and his friend over there.  We reckoned they must be pretty important to you, to risk coming back here, so we waited.” 

Later that night 

“We got to get outta here Heyes before Grant talks his greedy partner into contacting Bannerman, and they get a photographer here” hisses Curry. “And we’re goin’ to have to take them boys with us.  We can’t leave them here now. Not now they think they’re connected to us.”

“I know Kid, I’m workin’ on it.” Heyes stared across at the two boys in the cell across the passage.  They weren’t asleep either.  

Curry followed his gaze and smiled.  “I know, I can’t get over the resemblance, its uncanny.” He shook his head. “Who’d a thought it?”

“Not me, that’s for sure, but I guess there can’t be any doubt now, can there?” Both the partners are staring at Cain. They can’t help themselves.  

Cain shifted uneasily under the weight of those stares.  He pushed his face up close to the bars and whispered, “Are you really Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry?” he made it sound like he wasn’t bothered whether they were or weren’t.

Two heads nod, but Heyes slants his eyes to the sheriff’s back, with a finger on his lips.  The sheriff is working late at the desk, with his back to the cells.  He only has one deputy, so the Bannerman detectives are taking turns on guard duty too. Carl Grant sits across the office.

Heyes smiles over to the two boys. “We know Jenny and Louise.  They sent us to find you.”  Curry nods agreement.

“Them two old women …know Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry!” whispers Nathaniel, his big brown eyes huge. Cain shoots him an exasperated look; much to his annoyance, Nathaniel has been in awe since the revelation.

“Louise ain’t that old.” Smiles Kid “You better hope she never hears you said that.”

“Do you want…?” began a casual Cain.

“Later” shushed Heyes. 

The sheriff had begun to show an interest in the prisoners’ whispering, turning in his chair.  The cell occupants began yawning and slapping pillows.


In the small hours of the morning

“Now,” mouths Heyes to Cain, putting a finger to his lips and pointing over to the two sleeping guards.

None of the prisoners have slept much, not even Kid.  Talking had been prohibited by the particularly proddy deputy, left on night duty.  He was backed up by a very smug and crowing Fred Gaines, who was taking his turn at guarding.  Fortunately for the inmates, the deputy had brought a celebratory bottle with him, and Gaines seemed only too willing to help him empty it.  At first there had been much jeering and toasting at the expense of the two most successful outlaws in the West, but, as the long night wore on, both well soused imbibers had succumbed to sleep. 

Loud snoring had signalled to Heyes that their chance had come.

Cain took something from under his pillow and stretched to pass it to Heyes’ waiting fingers.  Deftly, first the lock to the small cell, then the larger cell were picked.  

Curry carefully put on his hat and with a silent pat on the back for Heyes, stealthily walked to the sleeping deputy in his stockinged feet.  The gun was drawn silently from its holster and held close to the sleeping men’s faces.  He looked at Heyes, who seemed to say ‘shame to wake them’ with his eyes. ‘Yep’ agreed Curry’s eyebrows.

Heyes knelt by the safe, and in the wonderful silence, had the thing open in no time at all.  Seeing the two sleepers showing no signs of waking, he covered them with his own gun, and sent Kid to the backdoor with all their belongings and the two lads.  He was enjoying himself, locking both the cells again and gathering all the side arms, keys and anything else he could think of, and locking the lot in the safe.  

For good measure, he reset the combination to the safe.

Gaines’ snoring stops and then he gives a loud snort, which freezes Heyes, still in his stockinged feet.  

Curry silently berates his partner from the rear door with a gunslinger glare, frantic lip movement and much exaggerated arm waving.  Finally, getting Heyes’ attention, he mouths …well I’m sure you can imagine …it wasn’t a polite invitation to join the other three by the door. 

With guns drawn and finally, boots on, the four desperados slip through the rear door into the night.


Back at the livery
“These are your horses?” whispers Nathaniel incredulously, inspecting the broom-tails cowering at the back of the stall. “Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry don’t ride them! Kid Curry’s got this wild black stallion called…”

“Huh?” Curry is hurrying with the tack and doesn’t like the implied insult to his outlaw prowess. “We had to jump off a train, in the middle of the dessert, to come find you two. These are the best we could get.”

“At least we should have a good couple of hours’ head start on the posse” hisses Heyes, tying up young Tommy and retrieving Kids coins, with a ‘serves you right glare’ “Come on you two, we can let the other horses out, give them some extra work…”

“If it was me deciding,” begins Cain solemnly, “I’d take those two over there, and me an’ Nat can take them two…” 

Cain and Nat start towards the mounts he’s picked out…

“Well it ain’t you decidin’ is it Cain!” Heyes is getting riled, Cain is questioning their every move.  He thought they should make for the train tracks.

“My names Caleb!” Cain gets in Heyes’ face, eyes defiant.

“We ain’t horse thieves!” Kid has a hunk of two shirt fronts “And you ain’t gonna be, neither.  The ones we come by honest will do us …Now just get the other doors open quick and quiet!”

The two lads look to each other for explanation of this apparent paradox …Kid Curry and Hannibal Heyes want to do the honest thing …they don’t understand at all …but Kid didn’t look too friendly anymore and that they understand plenty…

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Yuma - In four episodes - Episode Three (5,900 words)
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