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 Settling Wheat – Part Fifteen (Alias Hannibal Heyes)

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Join date : 2015-11-29
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PostSubject: Settling Wheat – Part Fifteen (Alias Hannibal Heyes)   Settling Wheat – Part Fifteen (Alias Hannibal Heyes) EmptySun Jul 09, 2017 9:52 am

Settling Wheat – Part Fifteen (Alias Hannibal Heyes)

Wheat got to Flixton’s mill before Gruber and the Kid. They found him and Sam glaring at each other over Sam’s desk.

“Marshal, Deputy, it appears I have a visitor and he tells me you know all about his being here,” Sam said, icily.

“Morning Walter,” the Kid greeted Wheat cheerfully.

“Jones,” Wheat growled. “Gruber,” he added, almost as an afterthought.

“Sam I see you’ve met a friend of ours, Walter Brown,” the Kid introduced.

“He tells me he’s working for Jeremiah Curry and he’s here to persuade me to sign some papers Jeremiah has had drawn up which hands my mill over to him.”

“That’s right,” said Gruber.

“Sam it’s all working out how Joshua figured it. Like I told ya yesterday,” the Kid said. “Relax, Walter’s not gonna do anything. He’s on our side of the law. Curry only thinks he’s working for him.”

Sam looked at him. “So YOU say. How do I know YOU’RE not working for Curry as well?”

The Kid considered. He supposed he might be thinking that as well if he was in Sam Flixton’s shoes.

“You can check. We’re bona fide law men,” Gruber said, quickly before realising that was too quick and rather dumb.

“Sam ya trust Craig Carmichael don’t ya?” the Kid said, rescuing the situation.

Sam nodded slowly. “Yeah, Craig’s a good friend.”

“Well he trusts Lom Trevors and me. Else, why would he’da told us ‘bout Jeremiah’s threats in the first place? He wants to help. Make sure ya didn’t get hurt.”

Sam sank into his desk chair suddenly and rubbed his forehead, wearily.

“This is too much. I don’t know who to trust anymore.”

The Kid sat down and put a reassuring hand on Sam’s shoulder. “Ya can trust us, Sam. We only want to get Bloodstone that’s all.” He looked up at Wheat and then round at Gruber. “Give us a few minutes huh?”

Wheat nodded and went to move.

“Er …” Gruber began.

“Please Marshal. Let me talk to Sam alone for a few minutes.” The Kid was firm and Gruber finally gave up any pretence of being in charge. Clearly, this man was.

The Kid waited until the two men had left and then leant closer to Sam.

“Sam, you know Joshua Smith don’t ya?”

“Yes.” Sam frowned. “But what’s he got to do with this?”

“Everything. This is HIS plan to get Bloodstone we’re working to. Josh is a real good friend of mine. In fact, I’m staying at his house while he’s recovering from his accident. Sorta helping out with the chores ‘till he’s back on his feet. It’s ‘cos of Josh that I happened to be here in Wyoming. I usually live in Boston these days. Which is kinda surprising … considering who I … used to be known as.” The Kid rolled his eyes. He was going the long way round the houses but didn’t want to come straight out with it in case he frightened Sam even further.

Sam frowned. “Used … to be known as. I don’t understand.”

The Kid licked his lips. “I’m in the market for some land and I made some enquires at Bloodstone’s office. He wrote me a letter back ‘bout a piece of land called Pine Lake, between here and Porterville. I went to see it and I really want to buy it. ‘Cept there’s a problem. The letter he wrote wasn’t for me. It was for Jeremiah. There was a mix up. Our names being so similar an’ all.”

“Similar?” Sam frowned even harder and rubbed his forehead. He was getting a headache, he was sure of it.

“Yeah, Sam. Y’see my name is really … Jedidiah Curry.” He whispered the name. It had been a dilemma. He figured that he had to tell Sam the truth about his involvement in this affair but at the same time, he didn’t want Sam to think he was putting pressure on him.

“O-kay,” Sam said, slowly. He could see how the mix up over names may have happened.
However, there was a lot more unanswered questions. Before his mind could form them into sentences, the Kid rushed on.

“Now the reason why Jeremiah Curry wants Pine Lake,” the Kid said, hoping to distract Sam away from his real name. “… is ‘cos there is a large deposit of fibrous talc on that land.” That had to be of more importance to Sam than the fact that he was sitting in very close proximity to a notorious, if reformed, gunman.

Sam sucked in a large gasp of breath, other considerations forgotten.

“But Jeremiah can’t buy Pine Lake ‘cos he ain’t got no money and Bloodstone can’t lend him the money ‘cos of him being the government land agent an’ all. But what Bloodstone CAN do is lend him the money to buy your mill.”

“But I don’t want to sell my mill.”

“That’s why Walter is here. To try to get ya to sign these papers. See, if Curry can get your mill then he can use it as collateral to buy Pine Lake and get his hands on the fibrous talc. Now if he also had your secret formula he’d be made wouldn’t he?”

Sam sighed and shook his head. “Yeah he would be. Sheesh! I thought Jeremiah was a decent man.”

“Don’t feel too bad Sam. Like Gruber and me keep saying, it’s Bloodstone we want. Jeremiah just wants to save his business but unfortunately, he’s fallen prey to Bloodstone’s greed. We reckon a judge’ll see it for what it is and go easy on him.”

Sam leant forward and put his hands over his eyes. “What a mess,” he groaned.

“Yep, which is why we need your help, Sam, like we told ya yesterday.”

“Why didn’t you tell me all this yesterday? And why send that Brown fella here?”

“I haven’t sent him. Jeremiah did but Brown works … .” For a moment, the Kid didn’t know who Brown did work for. He gave a short laugh. “Brown works for Joshua Smith.”

Sam came out of his hands. “Joshua?”

“Ye-ah Brown’s gonna be the manager in his Salt River branch when it opens. He’s kinda helping
us out until it does.”

Sam rolled his eyes and shook his head. “I dunno. So what are you asking me … Deputy? Jones? Jedidiah?” He shook his head again.

“Jones’ll do. All we’re asking is for you to make a complaint against Jeremiah and then Gruber and me can get on with the business of catching Bloodstone in the act. But we have to let Bloodstone and Curry think they’ve got ya mill.”

“I’m not signing my mill away!” Sam was firm.

“No an’ we’re not asking ya to. Does Curry know your signature?”

Sam pursed his lips and then shook his head.

“No I don’t think so.”

“Good, so I’ll sign it as you. Gruber, you and Brown will be my witnesses. We’ll all know it’s a fake and it’ll stand up in court as such but Jeremiah won’t know that. He’ll think Brown did what he asked.”

Sam shook his head. “This is incredible. I hadn’t realised Jeremiah was in such desperate straits.”

“Yeah he is but we can let him keep some of his dignity if ya help us.”

Sam nodded. “Joshua’s your friend you say?”


“Is he up for visitors?”

The Kid nodded. “He’s outta bed but not moving around too much yet.”

Sam nodded. “Then I’d like to see him before I agree to anything.”

“Okay, Sam I’m sure we can do that.”

If having Heyes talk to Sam was the only way this was going to happen then so be it.


“I’m sorry but my husband is really not well enough for visitors,” Mary said, sternly, barring the bottom of the stairs.

Sam looked at the Kid. Gruber hovered in the background, looking around at the large airy hall.

“Mary, this is Sam Flixton,” the Kid said. “It’s to do with the case I’m working with Lom on.”

“I’m sorry. No. He’s been out of bed all morning as it is AND … .” She turned a hard glare at the Kid who took a step back. “Who’s idea was it for Ted to bring over The Hardware Store accounts? I notice he waited until he saw me in The Hat Shop?” Mary folded her arms and waited an answer.

The Kid winced and scratched his cheek. “Josh is bored, Mary,” he groaned. “And he was anxious. Figgered it wouldn’t hurt for him to check the books over. Jus’ so he knows that he’s not losing too much business while he’s laid up.” He shrugged. “I thought it would help,” he added, lamely, seeing he wasn’t anywhere near convincing enough.

“He and Paul were poring over them when I came back to break it up. He should be back in bed sleeping by now.”

“Okay, Mary.” The Kid’s voice had taken on a harder tone. He was done messing about. “This is real important and it’ll only take twenty minutes at the most.” He looked at Sam who nodded. “And afterwards, I’ll personally see that Hey… Joshua gets back into bed.” He glanced in Gruber’s direction to see if he had noticed his little slip. It would appear not. “How’s that?”

Mary looked from one to the other and huffed a sigh. “Okay but Joshua goes to bed not a moment later.”

“Yes ma’am,” the Kid grinned, already starting up the stairs and taking an amused Sam with him. Gruber had sat down on the one of the chairs that stood round the walls of the hall. He would wait.

“Joshua’s wife?” Sam asked the obvious in a whisper.

“Yep. She’s a nice lady. Josh was lucky. The accident coulda killed him. The pneumonia too so she’s being over protective. Can’t say I blame her. We’re here.”

The Kid brought them to a halt outside the bedroom door, turned the handle and opened it, inviting Sam to go first.

“Hi Sam good to see you again,” Heyes grinned, as he looked up. Although he hadn’t mentioned the likelihood to anyone, he wasn’t surprised to see Sam here.

“Joshua.” Sam walked quickly over to where Heyes sat and they shook hands, albeit awkwardly.

“I heard you had a real bad accident. I’m glad to see you’re looking better than I thought you would,” Sam grinned, pleased to see his friend.

“Yeah I did but I’m on the mend now. Thankfully. Still not on my feet … .” He gestured at the plaster cast. “Foot … yet.” He indicated a chair and put aside the book he was reading. When he looked up again it was straight at the Kid. “I’ve got this Thaddeus thanks.”

“Mary said twenty more minutes and then I’m to help ya back into bed for ya afternoon nap,” the Kid grinned, mischievously. He moved to the door. “I’ll be back right on time.”

“Thanks,” Heyes scowled. As the door closed, he turned to Sam. “My wife has turned into a security guard and my partner thinks I need babying.”

Sam chuckled as he sat down where Heyes had indicated. He hesitated.

“I guess you know all about this Jeremiah Curry business.”

“Ye-ah, bad business.”

“Jones told me a little more about it earlier. How are you involved, Joshua?”

Heyes swallowed. “I’m not. Thaddeus is my partner, my cousin in fact. He’s involved because he wants to buy Pine Lake. He kinda stumbled onto something big here and I figured out what was happening. Its starting to play out now so it seems I was right,” he shrugged.

“Why does HE want to buy Pine Lake?”

“It’s a nice spot by all accounts. Plans to build a house overlooking the lake for his family to use when they come visit. Thaddeus lives in Boston these days. That’s where his wife is from and where they live as a family. But … .” He paused and swallowed. “Think he misses the West though. I live here so … think he wants somewhere he can come visit.”

“And that’s all there is to it?”

“Yep, pretty much.”

“What are his plans for the fibrous talc?”

Heyes considered. “Not sure he has any. As I understand it, there is a condition of sale on the property. The owner has to offer the ore for sale at a competitive price. If it is mined of course.”

Sam nodded and sighed. “Doubt he’ll want a full scale mining operation right next door to where he plans to live,” he said, cagily.

Heyes smiled. “No I don’t suppose he will but he might be willing to permit … say … a small scale operation. Just enough to supply … oh one or two paper mills in the locality.”

That possibility was something he and the Kid had discussed previously.
Sam smiled. “It will depend on him getting Pine Lake of course.”

“Yes it will. Which is why he’s helping out with this inquiry. You don’t know Thaddeus. He’s a determined guy. If it’s at all possible, he’ll get it.”

Sam nodded. He licked his lips. “You know how er important fibrous talc is to my business. And er … how difficult and expensive it is to get sometimes.”

“Yes you told me when I visited that time.”

“So um if Thaddeus was to purchase Pine Lake do you think … he would … do a deal with me … for the fibrous talc?”

Heyes grinned. “Sam, why aren’t you asking HIM these questions?”

Sam looked embarrassed. “Well … .” He sighed. “He tells me his name is really Jedidiah Curry.” Sam looked at Heyes hard. “Kid … Curry?”

Heyes pinched his bottom lip, thoughtfully. “He WAS known as that a while back yeah,” he said, quietly.

Sam moved in his seat nervously.

“Then you must be …?”

Heyes interrupted. “It’s a secret, Sam. A real big secret.” Heyes was firm.

Sam looked upset, sad and nervous all at the same time. “How much more?” he murmured, shaking his head.

Heyes allowed Sam a moment of reflection.

“Sam I know this is a lot for you to handle all at once but you can’t ignore it. It’s not gonna go away.”

Sam hung his head. “No, I realise that … Joshua?” He looked at Heyes sadly and shook his head.

Heyes smiled. “That’s who I am now Sam and who I’m gonna stay.” He paused. “Hope you can understand why … I’ve a family to protect. Just like you do.”

Sam nodded and took a deep breath. He let it out slowly. “Jones and that federal marshal want me to make a complaint against Jeremiah.”

“Yes. Then they can get on with catching Bloodstone.”

“Okay.” Sam swallowed hard. “I’ll … I’ll do that.” He shook his head. “But it’s Jeremiah I’m concerned about. He doesn’t deserve all this. He’ll be ruined.”

Heyes smiled. He knew that was hard for him. “Jeremiah could come out of this with some dignity, Sam. I think he’ll lose his business but I don’t think he’ll go to jail. It’s Bloodstone who’s the crook.”

Sam nodded and licked his lips. “Yes … Jones … said something similar.” He frowned. “Jones also said something about writing a formula?”

Heyes grinned. “Yeah that was my idea. Good huh?”

Sam’s face twitched into a smile. “It’ll have to be close to the truth. Jeremiah will have a fair idea about it.”

“But not close enough Sam to give your secret away. None of us want that.” Heyes was firm.

Sam nodded. “I’ll give it some thought. I can probably write something that will be convincing
enough.” He paused, looked down at his hat in his hands, and then looked back at the man he knew as Joshua Smith.  “Joshua I don’t mind telling you what you’ve revealed to me today was a real shock but I can understand why you need to keep it secret. It’ll be safe with me.”

Heyes smiled and nodded. “Thank you. I appreciate that.”

Sam got up. “Thank you for seeing me. I feel better about this now.” He nodded to the door and smiled ruefully. “I’d better go. Jones will be back in a moment to tuck you into bed.”

“Yeah he will and he means it too,” Heyes said, wide eyed. “See you Sam and don’t worry. I’ve a feeling things’ll work out just fine for everyone. ‘Cept Bloodstone of course.”

The Kid came back when Sam had left.

“How’d it go?” he asked, closing the door.

“Okay. Sam’s gonna make the complaint official and write a formula.”

The Kid grinned. “Heyes that’s exactly the result I was expecting when he asked if he could see ya.”

Heyes nodded, knowingly. “I kinda figured that’s what you had in mind.”

“I’ve signed the papers and given them to Gruber. He’s gonna accompany Sam back to Hardy
City and meet Wheat with them on his way back.” He rolled his eyes. “That should be an interesting meeting.”

Heyes rolled his eyes as well. “Ye-ah. Ole Wheat don’t like lawmen.”

“Awh, he knows Gruber is a new one. He’ll have a bit of fun but he’ll leave him in one piece.” I’m sure of it, he could have added.

“How big a piece remains to be seen I guess.”

They chuckled and then fell into companionable silence.

The Kid scratched under his chin. “Y’know Heyes I think I’m getting the hang of this thinkin’ business. Ya’ve been holding out on me all these years. It’s kinda easy.”


They both chuckled some more and then both sobered when they heard footsteps outside the door.

“Quick! Hand me the crutch. She who must be obeyed is here.”


Later after some sleeping on Heyes’ part, the Kid and Cowdry gathered in the bedroom. The Kid had enlisted Heyes’ help in persuading Cowdry to pose as Hannibal Heyes.

“Impersonate, Mr Heyes? Again?” Cowdry looked wide-eyed.

Heyes sat in the armchair looking up at the two men, still on their feet.

“Well technically you didn’t impersonate me,” he sniffed. “The Bulmer brothers just assumed that’s who you were,” Heyes said, helpfully.

“Paul I know I’m asking a lot … .”

“Will I be a deputy sir? So it’s official?” Cowdry seemed more eager about that, than what they were asking him to do.

Heyes looked away to hide his smirk. The more he saw of Paul Cowdry the more he liked him.
They had spent some time together while Heyes recovered from his bout of pneumonia. Together they discussed a wide range of topics. Cowdry had read passages from a number of books. He had helped Heyes with his accounts this morning. Mainly doing the writing, as Heyes couldn’t. He offered helpful suggestions as they went along as well. Yes, he was very much a fish out of water but Heyes recognised a kindred spirit. Resourceful, the man could think on his feet and Heyes liked that about him.

The Kid glanced at Heyes for support but just got an interested look instead. Dealing with Cowdry was down to the Kid.

“Well yeah I reckon Lom’ll deputise ya,” the Kid said, slowly. Now Heyes did nod. He thought so too.

“Will Rose be impressed sir?”

“Rose?” Heyes mouthed.

“Any girl would be, Paul,” the Kid grinned. “You’ll be a gen-u-ine hero.”

Heyes smirked to himself. He could have a fair guess who Rose was.

Cowdry beamed. Then his face fell. He nodded and started to pace, gesturing at a chair, asking the Kid’s permission to sit. Receiving an answering nod. Cowdry sat and frowned. Heyes and the Kid swapped glances. Heyes shook his head slightly and put a finger across his lips. The Kid sat as well. This might take some time.

Heyes broke the silence of the thinking man a few minutes later.

“What are you thinking, Paul?” he asked gently. “Maybe it’ll help to talk it through.”

Cowdry looked up, startled. “I’m thinking that I … don’t know you well enough sir. To
impersonate you.”

Heyes sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “Well that’s kind of a good thing. Jeremiah don’t know me either. Except perhaps by reputation.”

“But my accent sir. I have tried to lose my English accent but … .” Cowdry sighed. “I’m told it’s still very much in evidence sir.”

Heyes smiled. “That’s easy. One of the reasons why the Kid and me were rarely caught is that we didn’t look like how folks thought we should look. There was nothing about an English accent on my wanted poster but that don’t mean I couldn’t have one. Or could affect one when I chose.” Heyes took a deep breath. “And I mighta done on occasion.” He paused and shook his head furiously. “We can work on your accent Paul. I don’t see it as a problem.”

“What if I’m asked about how I plan to break into the safe?”

“I can tell you enough to cover that.”

“I won’t actually HAVE to do it, will I sir?” Cowdry looked anxiously at the Kid.

“No Paul. Sam Flixton will write a formula that Jeremiah Curry will accept. We’ll just tell him ya broke into the safe to get it.”

Cowdry nodded. “And Mr Brown will be there with me? Wheat?”

“Yeah, he’ll be there with ya but Gruber and me will be close by.”

Cowdry ran a hand over his chin, still undecided. The Kid lounged comfortably and inspected his manicure. He pursed his lips thoughtfully. “’Bout time I considered giving you a raise, Paul,” he said, nonchalantly.

Heyes gave him the look. Really?

The Kid sniffed and ignored him.

“Girls can be expensive, Paul.” The Kid paused. “In fact I know they are.”

“I’ve only saw her that one time sir,” Cowdry reminded him, looking a little embarrassed.

“Might there be further opportunities?” the Kid pressed.

Heyes rolled his eyes.

Now Cowdry reddened. “There might be sir. If your business here takes a while.”

“Oh, I reckon it might. If we’re successful and get Pine Lake then I’ll be spending a lot of time out here. And of course, I’ll need my valet with me.”

Heyes closed his eyes and shook his head. He’d forgotten about the Kid’s zeal for matchmaking. On the plus side, Cowdry didn’t seem averse to this Rose. Which was a step up from some of the horrors the Kid had tried to stick him with when they were single.

Cowdry looked like he had made a decision but was having difficulty saying it. Heyes decided to step in and save the poor man any further embarrassment.

“Yes or no, Paul. We need to move on here.” He didn’t mean to sound sharp but that’s how it came out. Cowdry looked at him and gulped. Heyes smiled in apology. “We’ll need time to find someone else if you can’t do it.”

Cowdry nodded and looked at the Kid.

“I’ll do it sir. On one condition.”

Heyes and the Kid swapped glances.

“And that is?” the Kid asked, gently.

“That I absolutely … will not have to … in anyway … ride a horse sir.” Cowdry bit his bottom lip and looked anxious.

Heyes and the Kid grinned.

“No Paul ya won’t have to ride a horse. We’ll be civilised and go by train.”

Cowdry looked very relieved.

“Then sir I think I can do it,” Cowdry said, taking a deep breath.

“Good that’s settled,” Heyes said, suddenly all business. “Kid, go find us some coffee. Paul, you and me have got work to do.”


The next evening, Wheat and Cowdry stood outside the barn where they were meeting Jeremiah Curry.

“Ya ready?” Wheat growled. He wasn’t looking forward to this and he had his doubts that Cowdry could pull this off.

Cowdry swallowed hard. “Yes.” His unease wasn’t helped any when Wheat drew his gun before pushing into the barn. Cowdry swallowed again and followed.

Inside, Jeremiah Curry was pacing up and down. He turned as the two men appeared.

“Where have you been man? We said eleven!”

Wheat sniffed. “Train was late. Curry this here’s the safe cracker I told ya about.” To Wheat’s
surprise, Cowdry stepped forward, offering his hand.

“Heyes. Mind if we get on?” he said, pumping the hand of a surprised Jeremiah Curry. Heyes had told him to immediately take charge of the situation, catch Jeremiah off guard. Wheat was further surprised to hear Heyes’ voice coming out of the Englishman.

“Heyes?” Jeremiah queried.

“Yes, Hannibal Heyes. You mighta heard of me.” Cowdry took a perch on a hay bale and gestured
with his head for Jeremiah to take up one as well. “Do sit down Mr Curry. Can’t afford to get a crick neck in my line of work.”

Jeremiah stumbled onto the nearest one. “No, no of course not. I thought you’d … .”

“Ah no,” Cowdry interrupted. “Not exactly. Still like to keep my hand in now and then as a favour to an ole friend. Walter and me go way back.”

Wheat remained on his feet, folded his arms and watched, amused. This was turning out to be a most enjoyable evening after all.

“Now,” Cowdry said, slapping his thighs as he got down to business. “Walter tells me you have a little safe you’d like me to open. He didn’t know the details but you’ll need to tell me all you can. Do you know the make and model for a start?”

“I think it’s a Brooker. ‘Fraid I don’t know the model.”

Cowdry looked down as if he was thinking. “Okay,” he mused, slowly. “Well can you remember how big it was? That’ll give me something to go on.”

“Well it was kinda small. Probably … no more’n about three feet high.”

Cowdry nodded. “Sounds like the Brooker 202 don’t it to you, Walter?” Which of course it was,
Wheat having noted the make and model when he had been doing a spot of “intimidation” in Sam’s office earlier.

“Yep, I reckon ya might be right … Heyes.”

Cowdry produced a Heyesian smug grin that almost had Wheat gulping. If it hadn’t lacked the dimples, he woulda sworn … .

“Let’s proceed on that basis shall we? That doesn’t sound like it will present any problem at all. Now what am I looking for once I’m inside?”

“Um, well I don’t rightly know where it will be but you’re looking for a mathematical formula of some sort.” Jeremiah drew himself up. “I’ll know it when I see it,” he said, having concluded that he should sound like a man who knew what he was doing, even if he didn’t!

“Good.” Cowdry reached into the inside pocket of his jacket. Jeremiah started and Cowdry grinned, when he pulled out a notebook. “Now my fee.” He scribbled something on a sheet and then flicked back a few pages, frowning as he if consulting a list. “Shall we say … oh two hundred up front? Three more if what I retrieve is to your satisfaction?” He looked up, his expression such that he expected no argument.

“Five hundred!” Jeremiah exclaimed.

Cowdry shrugged. “D’you want this formula or not, Mr Curry? It doesn’t matter to me one way or the other.” He returned his notebook to his pocket and looked expectantly.

“Yes.” Jeremiah looked sick. He sighed. “Yes, yes I do want it.” He reached for his billfold and with obvious reluctance, counted out two hundred dollars. Cowdry noticed they were all small denominations and Jeremiah didn’t retain many.

“Thank you.” He passed the money to a surprised Wheat. “Here Walter you might need this for our expenses.”

“Yeah er sure er Heyes.” Wheat quickly put the money away.

“The safe I take it is in Mr Flixton’s office at the mill. Where in the mill is that exactly?”

“To the left of the main door.”

Cowdry nodded. “Expect the main door to be locked, Walter. I’ll need my number two, maybe the number three and possibly the five. We have to assume the office door is locked as well but the number two should take care of that. Can you remember that Walter?”

Wheat had no idea what Cowdry was talking about but he realised he had to go along. “Er yeah sure,” he stuttered and then caught up. He sniffed. “Yeah those locks didn’t look anything special
er Heyes.”

“Good.” Cowdry got up. “Very well Mr Curry. We will endeavour to obtain your formula tomorrow night. Walter will be in touch the next morning and we’ll arrange to meet to finish our transaction.”

Jeremiah nodded weakly. The two men shook hands in a business like fashion and Cowdry swept out. Wheat touched the brim of his hat in Jeremiah’s direction and followed.

Cowdry’s nerve held up until they were further into town where he sat down heavily on the bench outside the gunsmith’s store. Wheat stood by his side.

“How did I do?” Cowdry gulped, back in his usual accent.

Wheat chortled. “If I hadn’t been there to see it, I woulda said that was ole Heyes hisself in there with me.”

Cowdry smiled. “Thank you Wheat. I thought I did a fair rendition of Mr Heyes.”

“Ya sure did. What was with the numbers?”

Cowdry grinned, slightly embarrassed. “Mr Heyes said I should throw in something
knowledgeable about the locks on the doors. He mentioned something called lock picks? I gather there are different sizes.” He shrugged. “I just gave them size numbers. Sounded okay didn’t it?”

Wheat chortled and gave Cowdry’s shoulder a friendly shake. “Yeah it sounded real good. Hell I was convinced.”

“Praise indeed, Mr Brown.”

Wheat beamed and then frowned when he realised what Cowdry had said. By that time Cowdry had got up and was walking away.

Kid Curry and that other fella; Hannibal Heyes and whatsname
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Settling Wheat – Part Fifteen (Alias Hannibal Heyes)
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