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 The Long Road Back (Haff and Wong seven) - Part One - A Friend in Need - 2500 words

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PostSubject: The Long Road Back (Haff and Wong seven) - Part One - A Friend in Need - 2500 words   The Long Road Back (Haff and Wong seven) - Part One - A Friend in Need - 2500 words EmptySun Feb 12, 2017 7:11 am

My Haff and Wong "Season" finale - A story in twenty two parts... 

Featuring Lom Trevors cowboy 1 , Wheat Carlson cowboy3 , Kyle "Moondance" Mertry cowboy 12
and as special guest star, Mr Clint Eastwood as the  bounty hunter... on horse



(Haff & Wong seven)
By Cal


Part One

A Friend in Need

A campfire late at night, surrounded by four men, two of whom are covered in dust 

“What makes you think we know where Haff and Wong are, Wheat.  They’re part of your gang …You should keep track of them.” Heyes blows on his steaming coffee mug.

“We can’t afford to be seen running with the Devils Hole Gang no more Wheat. You know that. What’s the Governor going to think when he hears you busted us out of jail?” Kid raises his mug to tap on Heyes’ with a smile.  He looks mighty relieved to be there all the same.  “Of course, it was real thoughtful of you and Kyle …to help us …like that.” 

Kid pokes one of his ears as if it’s still ringing.

“Perhaps a little less dynamite next time Kyle…” says Heyes, smacking dust off his shirt and wiping soot from round his mouth, before sipping his coffee.  He doesn’t want to seem too ungrateful, but he had his spare lock picks in his hat band and he’s sure he could have got them out, eventually, even if they were being watched constantly by that bounty hunter.

“Sorry ‘bout that Heyes …I only had the good stuff on me …Woohee!… Near took half the jailhouse up with it.” Kyle’s eyes sparkle with glee.

The ex-outlaws exchange a look.  

Near took them up with it also. They demonstrate this by brushing off more dust and soot, Kid shaking his near grey curls to try unclog his ears.  

Heyes stares into his now dust-speckled coffee, and back at the Kid, with annoyance writ clear across his face.

“Don’t you go apologising to them, Kyle!” Wheat fixes Heyes and Curry with what he hopes is an intimidating glare.  “We busted you out of jail for one reason, and one reason only …coz you know where we can find Mr Wong and Haff.” He nods, fixing each of them with his best gang leaders stare.  “I sent one of the boys back into Tunnel Junction, when they didn’t come back to the Hole.  Said they’d left Tunnel Junction, tied up in a mule wagon, as prisoners of a coupla bounty hunters named Smith and Jones.” Wheat gets up in their faces, raising his eyebrows.  “Sound familiar?” 

“That’s the last time we saw them Wheat.” Kid gives Wheat his friendliest smile, not in the least bit intimidated.  “They’d got themselves in some deep trouble, with some Chinese Sidewinders.  We had to go bust them out …and get ‘em far away real quick. But we split up from them, about forty miles South of Junction.” 

“Did Wong keep the haul Wheat?” says Heyes, thinking he’s spotted the problem.

Wheat chews at the corner of his moustache, looking uncomfortable.

“No …He wired us the money …to the bank in Harris Town.” 

This made them all smile with incredulity, including Wheat. 

“Wired it?!? To a bank!” laughs a wide eyed Heyes.

“Yeah … I had to go collect it ….”

More laughter all round.

“Aww …I’d a paid good money …to see old Fassbinder’s face when you asked him for $50,000 …without a six-gun Wheat.” Kid smirked.

“Weren’t $50,000 Kid” puts in Kyle, confused but happy that everyone seems to be getting along again.  “But Old Fassbinder, he did look a might taken aback …what with Wheat wearing …a suit…”

More mirth at Wheats expense.  Both the ex-outlaws have had to clamp gloved hands to their faces to hold it in.

“Shut up Kyle!” Wheat snaps, trying hard to set his features back to intimidating.  

Kyle, not the least bit intimidated, thinks he should explain some more.  “We ain’t seen neither one of them since the Junction …and well …we needs Mr Wong…”

“We don’t needs Mr Wong fer nothing, Kyle!” Wheat sends a wordless threat to his infuriating partner.  “I’m just a might concerned …is all … Mr Wong and Haff …didn’t get back to the Hole after the last job.”

“Well last time we saw Wong, I think he was considering a new line of work, Wheat.” states Heyes, avoiding eye contact with Wheat by poking the fire.

“Yeah …Didn’t seem right, Haff takin risks with his life like that …when he don’t even know how to spend the money….” says Kid straight to Wheat’s face.

“You talked Mr Wong into that amnesty deal, Heyes?” Kyle asked guilelessly, mouth remaining open to show us the bakky he’s chewing.

“You did, didn’t you! You talked him into that damn fool amnesty deal…” Wheat makes a grab for Heyes, his raw edges starting to show.


One word from The Kid is enough to stop Wheat in his tracks.

“WE didn’t talk him into nothing.”  Heyes is all business.  He looks up into Wheat’s eyes and puts a friendly smile back on his face to cool things down. “I don’t think they’d even need amnesty Wheat.  They’re so good at …being invisible.  Wong’s probably just worked out for hisself …that it’s just a matter of time ‘fore one of ‘em gets caught …or killed.  Last we saw of them, them Highbinders had Wong beat up pretty bad, and Haff ‘d been shot.  Got to ’ve given them a reason to think about movin’ on...”

Kid nods his agreement. 

Heyes sighs heavily and looks down at his boots.  

“That whole posse wheeled right round after Haff, Wheat.  They knew he had the haul, and they didn’t baulk at shooting him in the back, neither.  I think, Wong may just have realised …outlawing ain’t too smart fer a couple of people who only just discovered what freedom is.  It was the same for Big Jim, remember?  Being locked up for seven years …that would give any man pause before he’d go risk his freedom again …and Haff and Wong …they were slaved fer years in a Mexican mine. That’s got to be worse than prison… I think they just remembered the value of freedom.”

Kid subconsciously rubs at the weeping welts around his wrists, still smarting from the leather ties that bounty hunter had used.  He certainly wasn’t ready to give up his newly won freedom and be caught again any time soon.  He begins to feel uneasy, wondering if they’ve stopped long enough already.  He looks up at the horses, trying to judge how long it will be till they’ll be ready to move again.

Kyle appears to be giving Heyes’ words a lot of thought too.  Well, he’s thinking hard about something.

“How we gonna do it now, Wheat?  …Can’t do it with just the two of us. We could surely do with Haff to put a scare into ‘em and Mr Wong to think it out fer us…”

“Shut up Kyle!” 

Wheat’s eyes close, and he covers his own mouth, to show Kyle how it’s done.

Heyes thinks he’s seen the problem.

“Look Wheat. The Kid and me …we’re real grateful you came and busted us out of that jail back there… If you like …I could help …take a look at your plans…” 

Kid’s eyes go wide at this suggestion from his supposedly-reformed partner.  He needn’t have worried.

“Day I need help from Hannibal Heyes …is the day I stop being the leader…”

“But you ain’t the leader no more Wheat…” Kyle interrupts, looking confused again. 

“Shut up Kyle!” 

Wheat’s shaking his head in his hands.

“You ain’t the leader?” Heyes sounds shocked. “Then …who is?” 

Heyes is looking far too interested for Kid’s comfort.  “It don’t matter who is, Heyes” he reasons.  “We’re not involved anymore, remember?  It don’t matter if El klavo’s come up from Mexico, to run Devils Hole …It don’t concern us…”

“Oh It ain’t no El Klavo Kid.” Says Kyle, spitting out his bakky and frowning.  “It’s a couple of half grown, no good, gun heads brought in by Squint Weaver and his gang.”

“Weaver?!?!” Kid’s suddenly looking very interested in who’s running Devils Hole.  It’s Heyes’ turn to worry, as Kid’s face turns grim and his hand clamps to the butt of the Colt at his side.

“Kyle …go see to the horses” orders Wheat sounding exasperated “… and its Clint Weaver, Kyle …. Clint! He said if he heard you call him Squint again… he’d personally kill you!” 

“Why? They’re fine” Kyle looks to the quiet horses more confused than ever. The horses seem to be very happy to have been forgotten about for a while. “They ain’t going nowhere...” 

“Just go! …. Before I decide …I might just shoot you …myself!”  Wheat’s eyes blaze with pent up temper and frustration.

Reluctantly Kyle stands, straightening his gun belt.  You can see he wants to say more but, hearing the fuming coming from Wheat, he decides to slowly move off towards the horses.

“Sounds like you got yourself more than one problem there, Wheat.” States Kid flatly. “Couldn’t hurt to let Heyes here …help you think it through now could it?  I’ll go help Kyle with the horses … see how much longer they need …’fore we can get moving again.” 

Kid’s already on his feet.

“Like Kyle said …the horses are fine!” Heyes sounds annoyed to be left with Wheat.

“We’ve given them a hard run over some rough ground, Heyes.  Won’t hurt to check them over.” Kid moves his eyes to Wheat, whose staring at the ground muttering.  Kid mouths ‘We owe him’, and glares at his reluctant partner.  

“There’s just a chance we haven’t shaken all that posse? …We can still put a few more miles between us and them …with that big Moon up there” he tries, nodding his chin vigorously at the back of Wheats head.

“You know we have.  You saw them turning back …same as I did.” scowls Heyes, returning the glare and setting his mouth into a tight lipped line, with a nearly imperceptible shake of his head.

Kid’s eyes close with a huge sigh.  He purses his lips, shaking his head at his reticent partner.  He decides to give up on subtlety. 

“Just talk to Wheat, Heyes.  We owe him! 
                             And lose the fire…  
                                           …We’ll be on our way in twenty minutes.  I ain’t at all sure we shook that bounty hunter.  He didn’t appear to me, to be the type that would be willin’ to quit so easily.” 

The next day

“Why are we trying to find Haff and Wong Heyes?”

“To help Wheat, Kid …We owe him …apparently” answered a proddy Heyes sarcastically.  “You know I could have got us out of that jail.  And I wouldn’t have had to blow up half the town to do it neither! Lom knew we were close to Louvides.  We’d just sent him a telegram!”

“That don’t explain why we’re trying to follow a stone cold trail to Haff and Wong, Heyes.”

“Well who else do we know who owes us enough …to give us an alibi for that jailbreak …by lying through their teeth …and sayin’ we was somewhere else at the time.  And who else do we know …can easily adopt another identity …and who won’t be suspected of being associated with us?”

“Silky? Soapy? Diamond Jim?”

“No! It’s got to be someone even Lom wouldn’t suspect …It’s gotta be Wong! …invisible Mr Wong.” Heyes looked distracted “I think I can convince him to go to the press …with some cock ‘n’ bull story …that will put us in another part of the country when that jail blew. Then the Governor won’t think we’re anything to do with the Devils Hole Gang again. It shouldn’t be too difficult …not if we tell him we’re trying to help out his good friends, Wheat ‘n’ Kyle…”

“Why would we even do that Heyes?  Surely that’s just asking fer trouble …and we’re supposed to be stayin’ out of anything that looks even remotely like trouble.  Helping Wheat …against Weaver …that’s gotta be TROUBLE!”

“Well when you insisted I have a heart to heart with Wheat, Kid…” Heyes fixes Kid with a dark eyed stare… “That made it our trouble.  You see …seems Weaver didn’t just ride into Devils Hole and oust Wheat …No…He’s not just robbing stages no more neither.  No …he’s started robbing trains now …and he’s got two of his gun heads callin’ themselves Heyes and Curry …so we get the blame …and they ain’t too particular …whether they go shooting the passengers or not Kid! … If the Governor and Lom put that together with the jailbreak in Louvides …its not just the amnesty, we can kiss good bye to ... we’re also both wanted for murder!”

Kids face was a picture. “Come on Heyes …. We gotta us a Chinaman to find!”



Lom Trevors had had a bad week.  The circuit Judge had released a known criminal: a man it had taken Lom weeks to hunt down and bring to justice.  Everyone knew he was a murderer, even if the Judge said there wasn’t enough evidence to prove it.  

The man had sat in the Porterville Jail telling anyone that would care to listen, that ‘When he got out…’, (He thought his brothers may come get him) ‘…he’d personally see to it, that Lom’s future was short and painful.” 

Of course, no one would ever have dreamed that he’d have an overzealous Judge on his side.  Lom felt prickles on his neck. Guess he’d be feeling that a lot till he knew Django Flatt was back behind bars or dead.  Lom knew which future outcome he preferred. Sometimes upholding the law was very …frustrating. He threw the paperwork for the case back into his draw with disgust.

He rubbed his tired eyes and picked up the yellow telegram.  He didn’t need to read it again.  He knew what it said, and he knew it proved Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry, using the aliases Joshua Smith and Thaddeus Jones, aliases known to the Governor, were in Trappers Rest just twenty miles from Louvides a week before the Devils Hole Gang blew up the Louvides jailhouse. 

He sighed deeply and picked up the newspaper with his other hand, looking from one to the other.  This was with-holding evidence.  He should be making that telegram known. He dropped the paper.  The headlines still screamed at him;

Heyes and Curry Return to Devils Hole Gang  
Four Dead in Train Robbery

Hanging isn’t Good Enough…

Lom took a deep breath and stood, strapping on his gun. He called to Harker, his deputy and told him he’d be out of town for a few weeks. Taking his rifle off the rack and planting his big Stetson on his head he left without further explanation.

Harker had seen Lom in that mood before.  ‘Wouldn’t want to be in the shoes of the man he’s chasing …no Sir’ he thought, watching Lom mount up and leave Porterville.

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