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 Settling Wheat - Part Nineteen (Kid Curry)

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MoulinP

MoulinP

Posts : 242
Join date : 2015-11-29
Age : 59
Location : Norfolk, England

Settling Wheat - Part Nineteen (Kid Curry) Empty
PostSubject: Settling Wheat - Part Nineteen (Kid Curry)   Settling Wheat - Part Nineteen (Kid Curry) EmptyWed Jan 31, 2018 8:29 am

Settling Wheat – Part Nineteen – Kid Curry

Both women were quiet on the train back to Cheyenne. Each was deep in their own thoughts. Paul had told Rose a little about what he was involved in. She didn’t pretend to understand it all and she knew Paul had left a lot out. It was Mr Curry’s business after all. Mr Curry was interested in purchasing some land. When he and Paul had ridden out to look at it, Paul had been kidnapped by two vicious, bloodthirsty men and taken to their hideout. Fortunately, Mr Curry and another man … Whit? Wyatt? Wilt? … had rescued him from the clutches of these evil men and arrested them. They were now safely incarcerated in jail awaiting trial. It would appear that Mr Curry and Paul had stumbled upon a fraud perpetrated by a federal employee, long suspected but up until now, there was no proof. The sting operation Paul was involved with tonight was designed to bring about that federal employee’s downfall.


Rose was proud of Paul’s involvement but also desperately worried. Anne’s news that a deadly gunman would be present didn’t allay her fears any. Nor was she sure about the revelation she had heard later.


Mr Curry had been perturbed by the news Anne had had brought and had left the room for a time. When he came back, he was a little white and everyone looked concerned. He had assured them all he was fine.


Mr Smith had noticed her confused look. “I think Rose should know a little more about this don’t you? Before she gets the wrong idea,” he had said, quietly to Mr Curry. In reply, Mr Curry had nodded, with a hand gesture that said, you tell it.


“Rose, you know that Paul works for Mr Jedediah Curry here?” Mr Smith had asked. He indicated Mr Curry sitting, next to him on the chaise lounge to his right.


Rose had nodded. “Yes.”


Mr Smith had taken a deep breath. “Well a long time ago he used to be known as … Kid Curry.”


Rose had looked at the two men sat side by side on the chaise lounge. One, Paul’s employer, not as smartly dressed as when she first met him, but his western clothes looked expensively tailored. The other, similarly dressed in western clothes, with his right limbs in plaster casts, poor man. Two handsome middle-aged men she thought.


Rose frowned. She knew the name Kid Curry but it was from a long time ago.


“I think my brother used to read dime novels about Kid Curry when we were children. I remember him trying to read me bits he considered exciting. They sounded dim to me!” Then she had gasped when a sudden thought came to her. “You mean … Kid Curry is an actual REAL person? YOU?”


“Owh!”


“Yes Rose he’s an actual real person.” Mr Smith nodded in confirmation, with a smug tight-
lipped smile.


Mr Curry had frowned hard at Mr Smith, furiously rubbing his arm where Mr Smith had pinched him. Mr Smith had dropped his head to hide his grin, ignoring the daggers flying at him from the right. To his left, Mrs Smith had given him a nudge. When she had his attention, she rolled her eyes at him, with a shaking head.


Rose had looked up to Paul, standing behind her chair. She was grateful for his reassuring
hand on her shoulder. This was all so confusing!


“I thought Kid Curry was a … myth? A fictional character?”


Paul had shaken his head. “No, Rose. Mr Curry IS Kid Curry,” Paul had said, gently.


“Was, Paul,” Mr Curry clarified and Paul had nodded in acceptance of the correction. “Rose, as Joshua says it was a while ago and I’ve been law-abiding for a lot of years now.”


“I … I thought you lived in Boston?” Rose had said, still confused.


“I do. We do. I married the railroad heiress, Caroline Fairfield. HER home is in Boston so that’s why we live there.”


Mr Curry had smiled in a friendly way but then he had sobered. “When this is all over Rose, Cowdry can tell ya more but for the moment, it’s probably best ya don’t know.”


Rose nodded. “Of course, it’s not my business, Mr Curry.” Rose had hesitated. “Was it the right thing to do? Coming here?”


“Oh yes.” Mr Curry had taken a deep breath. “I can’t say that Anne brought welcome news but it is important news. If ya hadn’t remembered the name of the house and if ya hadn’t spotted me in town, I doubt Anne woulda found me in time.”


Rose had smiled. “Then I’m glad I was of help.”


On the other side of the carriage, Anne’s thoughts were on a later conversation. Anxious to get back to Cheyenne she had asked when the next train was. Realising that they wouldn’t get back into Porterville in time, Heyes’ wife had suggested they all had a late lunch and head for the four o’clock train instead.


Anne was curious to know more about the woman Heyes had married and so had offered to help with the preparations. Mary was equally as curious about Anne. In the kitchen, she went first.


“So you’ve known Joshua, as Heyes of course, for a while?” Mary opened.


“Yes, we’ve been friends for a long time.” Anne had hesitated and then sought to put her at ease. Her previous occupation had instilled in her to keep on the good side of acquaintances. You never knew when you might need a favour. “Almost as long as I’ve known my husband,” she had smiled. “I’ll always be fond of both Heyes and the Kid. It was interesting working with them.”


“And are you still working in that capacity?”


“Nooo! Linnaeus and me got out about the same time as the boys did. We run a dry goods store in Cheyenne now and have two children. We’re respectable business people. The Kid asked for a favour in finding out about Bloodstone and we called in a few of our own. Strictly as a one off. For old time’s sake.”


Mary nodded. Now it was Anne’s turn.


“So … you know about his past?”


Mary had half smiled back. “Yes, I know all about that but he’s a different man now.”


Anne had looked thoughtfully at the potato she was peeling. “Oh I think the outlaw I knew is still there just below the surface.”


Mary had blanched at the thought that this woman knew her husband so well. “Yes,” Mary had agreed, reluctantly. “But we try NOT to resurrect him.”


The way Mary had said NOT implied to Anne that somehow it was her fault that Heyes had taken charge of the room earlier. Anne had recognised Heyes’ business demeanour; she had seen it often enough in the past.


“Did you knew who Heyes was before you married?” Anne asked, slowly. She hadn’t meant to stress the word before. It had just happened that way. Quite rightly, it wasn’t her business but she was curious.


“Yes. He had to take a risk and tell me. If we were going to marry, he wanted to marry under his real name.” Mary smiled faintly. “As did I, once I knew. So, in private I’m Mrs Hannibal Heyes. In public of course I’m Mrs Joshua Smith.” Her smile had widened. “So far neither of us have regretted it.”


Mary had looked thoughtful. “I think he’s very happy being Joshua Smith. I only catch a glimpse of the other fella occasionally.”


“Like earlier? When I told him my news?”


“Yes. I knew that was Hannibal Heyes then.” Mary had paused. “But it doesn’t usually last very long.” Then she smiled. “He knows his place and he’s content.”


Anne had smiled to herself. Anyone who could control Hannibal Heyes deserved respect. She had opened her mouth to speak but Mary had turned away to rummage in the larder for cold meats.


Anne went back to peeling potatoes.


“So what does Heyes do now?”


“He owns The Hardware Store in town and he’s about to open another in Salt River,” Mary told her.


Anne pursed her lips. “Hardware. That’s … unexpected.” Then she laughed. “I thought Heyes
might go into banking or the law perhaps. He’s certainly smart enough.”


“Yes,” Mary agreed. “He fell into it by accident. Lom found him a job, helping out at first and one thing led to another. He enjoys it.” Her turn to ask a question. The two ladies were dancing round each other and both knew it. “You didn’t say how you came to meet Joshua,” she fished.


Anne nodded. She and Heyes had been lovers briefly. She knew many things about him. Not least how mercurial he could be. How much fun he could be, how offbeat his sense of humour could be and that smile. The one that could light up a dark room. She also remembered how exacting and efficiently he had run The Devil’s Hole Gang. He had explained to her once that it was a business after all and should be run like one. She suspected that a few of the Gang thought otherwise but they were usually the ones who didn’t stay very long. There was a phrase for it. Heyes didn’t suffer fools gladly. There were times when he could seem ruthless and cruel. He needed to be. There was no room for sentiment in outlawing or business. And he wanted to be successful in HIS business. Anne wondered if he run his current enterprise with the same mentality. If he did, she pitied his poor employees.


“We were introduced by a mutual friend. Has he ever mentioned Soapy Saunders?”


“Yes. And I met him. Nice old gentleman.” Mary had wrestled a cold ham onto the table and then brushed back a lock of hair that had escaped. “Although I understand he was a conman.”


“Yes he was. He ran some big cons in his time. Some were very intricate and took a long time to bear fruit. I met Heyes during one that Soapy was overseeing. Heyes wasn’t really involved but the con called for a charming young man and he fitted the bill.” Anne hesitated.

“It didn’t take me long to realise just HOW charming,” she said, rolling her eyes. Anne had winced. Why had she opened up the possibility that Mary would pickup on that?


Mary had smiled weakly. She turned away then to find a knife.


“This is a nice house,” Anne had said, finally to break the uncomfortable silence.


“Thank you.”


“Do you live here on your own? Just the two of you?”


“The two of us.” Mary had paused, possibly for effect. “And our children.”


Anne had looked surprised and laughed. “You have children?”


Mary had laughed. “Yes of course. Why do you sound surprised?”


Anne was stumped for an answer at first. “I suppose I didn’t imagine Heyes with children. He never seemed the type to me.”


“We have three. Two boys who are around somewhere. They’ll come running in when they smell food. They usually do. And our eldest, Susan, is at school.”


Children weren’t renowned for their common sense and predictability. Two traits Anne knew would irritate Heyes if they were absent. So how did he manage as a father to three
youngsters?


“Joshua is very good with all of them,” Mary had said, as if reading her thoughts.


Which made Anne wonder more about the woman he’d married. Mary was beautiful, Anne hadn’t expected anything less. Although it was fair to say, she did look a little flustered right then. And intelligent. She obviously knew her husband well and by the way, Mary spoke to Heyes, Anne could tell that she held great sway over him. The curious thing was that Heyes seemed happy to let her. What made a man who liked to be in control defer to someone else? And a woman to boot.


Anne had turned to face her. “Mary … can I call you Mary?”


“Yes of course … Anne.”


“Heyes looks very happy and settled. And I’m really pleased for him. I last saw him when the amnesty was still hanging over the boy’s heads and they were wondering if they’d ever get it. I think they were beginning to think that the Governor was stringing them along.” Anne had looked at the potato in her hand. The last time she had seen Heyes, he was drinking heavily, looked older and weary. She wasn’t going to tell Mary that so she had just smiled instead.

“I’m glad things worked out. I think you were just what Heyes needed.”


Mary had pursed her lips and folded her arms. “I do wonder sometimes whether he misses it,” she had sighed. “You know the thrill. The challenge. The excitement. His life is so
humdrum these days in comparison.”


Anne had shaken her head. “I shouldn’t think so. I should imagine it was a huge relief when
Hoyt came through.”


“Yes. I expect you’re right.”


Mary had set to slicing ham.


“Well he relived it all writing the stories,” Mary had said, suddenly. “I think that was traumatic enough.”


“Stories?” Anne had queried curiously.


“Yes. He started by writing a few stories for the local paper using Hannibal Heyes as a pen name. They’ve become very popular here and the writer being a mystery adds to their popularity. There aren’t that many people in this town who know that Joshua really IS Hannibal Heyes. Even the editor of the paper doesn’t know for sure. Although I think, he’s suspected.  Fairly soon after Joshua started writing them, a publisher friend of Jed’s in Boston, read them and offered Josh a book contract. He’s written four, one about his childhood and how he fell into outlawing, one about being an outlaw and two about trying to go straight. We had no idea in the beginning how successful they would be.”


Anne had turned in surprise. “I’ve seen those books. I’ve never read them because I thought they were just someone taking advantage of his name for a spot of sensational writing. So HEYES wrote them?”


Mary had laughed. “Yes. He enjoys writing. Crafting the words, developing the plot, fleshing out the characters.” Mary smiled. “He’s not so wild about the typing and the editing though. But I don’t think they’ll be anymore outlaw books. He’s turned his hand to fiction writing these days.”


“He was PAID for writing about his … criminal … life?” Anne asked, doubtfully.


Mary had shaken her head. “No. He didn’t want to profit anymore from that life.” Mary rolled her eyes. “And he didn’t think the Governor would be too pleased either if he did. So he had Craig, the editor of the Porterville Bugle, put in a disclaimer that the stories were written for fun and not for profit.” She had paused. “It’s a slightly different story with the books. We’re only keeping a tiny percentage of the royalties and those are locked away for the children. The rest are going to charity. Joshua has started writing thrillers now. Last month, saw the publication of his first book and all the signs are good that he’ll be equally as successful. He’s working on his next already. I think it’s a murder mystery.”


Anne smiled. “I shall look out for his books now I know who the author is.”


Silence had descended on the kitchen except for scraping of potatoes and slicing of cold meat.


“I’m …. .”


“So what … .”


They had laughed, easily together, the ice finally broken.


“You first,” Mary said.


“I’m curious about the name of the house. Amnesty. As Heyes is using another name, isn’t that a little risky?”


Mary had looked as though she was choosing her words carefully. “Possibly but he didn’t get a choice. Hard to go Straight Volume 2 came out while we were building this house so I decided Amnesty was an appropriate name.”


“You did?” Anne was surprised.


“Yes. You see Joshua is playing a game and I thought it would help him.”


“A game?”


“Yes Porterville LIKES the Hannibal Heyes stories. The town is proud of the fact that it’s here that the stories were first published in THEIR newspaper. I think a lot of folks in town HAVE suspected who Josh really is but no one has said anything directly to me or to him. He’s on the Town Council. He’s a member of a number of societies. He’s well liked here. When it does finally come out that he IS Hannibal Heyes, I don’t think that Porterville will have much trouble accepting it. I also think the further away in time we get the easier it will be. And I think that’s what he wants, a slow realisation.” She paused, with a small mischievous grin.

“Of course he told anyone who asked at the time that as the whole town was talking about Hannibal Heyes and amnesty, it was just a word that stuck in the mind.” Mary had laughed.

“I’m not sure how many folks actually believed that but it doesn’t seem to have done any harm.”


At that moment, two small boys had entered the kitchen in a rush. Both had their father's stamp on them, blessed with his dark eyes. Only the elder boy had his mother’s light brown hair colouring.


“Is there anything to eat, Mama?” the younger had asked.


“Yeah, I’m starving!” the elder added. “Oops!”


Both pulled up short when they realised their mother wasn’t alone. Mary had folded her arms and looked at them in horror. Both boys were dusty and dishevelled and the elder boy had rips in his shirt and pants.


“WHAT ON EARTH HAVE YOU TWO BEEN DOING?” Mary had yelled, getting hold of the
younger boy and giving his clothes a not too gentle brushing.


“Um,” started the older boy, glancing at the strange woman and sidling behind her. Anne smiled in amusement. She had one just like him at home. “Playing, Mama.” Mary had yanked him out from behind Anne and brushed him down hard. “Owh! Mama!”


“Look at you! Honestly Harry, this shirt was new!” Mary said, on her knees, as she tried to fold the ripped piece of cloth back where it belonged.


“I thought I hadn’t seen it before,” the boy had muttered but only Anne had heard. He fixed
Mary with a broad innocent smile, very reminiscent of his father.


“Mind your manners. This is Anne. She’s a friend of Pappy’s. Say hallo like good boys.”


“Hallo,” they had chorused obediently.


“This is Billy and this rascal here is Harry.”


Harry had frowned at his mother who gave him a wide-eyed look back.


“Hallo boys,” Anne smiled.


“Food will be ready shortly. Now you two go and wash up.” Mary got to her feet. “And Harry change your clothes. If your father sees you like that … .” She didn’t finish. She had no need to. As they dashed away, she shook her head.


“What do you do?” she asked Anne helplessly.


Anne laughed. “There’s not a lot.”


Back on the train, Anne smiled. Heyes had a lovely home and a nice family. She was glad. Knowing how hard trying for amnesty had been on both former outlaws, Heyes deserved it.

ASJASJASJASJ

As Anne and Rose’s train was pulling into Cheyenne, a hundred miles away in Longwater, the situation had become violent. The second bullet had buried itself deep in the stomach of Edward Dandy. Dropping the gun, he looked down in shock. In all the gunfights he’d had, no one had even come close. No one had even winged him. He’d never had a scratch. Now this was more than a scratch. This was life threatening. No! The realisation dropped him to his knees and then he keeled over.


Seeing the damage he’d done to Dandy, the Kid staggered backwards into the hall. Where he
tripped over the unconscious legs of Gruber. He stumbled and he sank heavily onto the stairs. The whole of his right arm was numb, no pain yet in his shoulder. He knew there would be. Yet he was euphoric. He’d done it. Taken on a younger, faster man and he was still alive! Clutching his shoulder, he began to laugh, almost hysterically. He was alive!


In the room, the brawlers sought to take advantage of their opponent’s distraction by landing the resuming punch.


Across the room, Cowdry blinked. “Owh!” He felt the back of his head and felt the bump. He gingerly sat up and quickly took in the situation. It was much as he’d left it. Except Dandy was lying on the floor in obvious agony. In the hall, he could see his employer sitting on the stairs, holding the shoulder where a bullet had hit. Blood was seeping out between his fingers, his right arm hung limply at his side. Yet he appeared to be laughing. Cowdry fleetingly wondered if he should go and help him. Then looking around at the melee ensuing, he quickly decided that he should try stopping that first.


Cowdry saw the gun where Dandy had dropped it and he crept closer. He glanced round to see if anyone was watching him. No one was. All too preoccupied with fighting their various opponents. He closed his hand around it and shuffled himself into a sitting position with his back to the sideboard. Dropping the gun onto his lap, he rummaged in his jacket pocket until he found what he was looking for, a small bottle with an oversized label. Keeping an eye out, he tore off as much of the label as he could and stuffed it back into his pocket.


Having made a decision, he got to his feet, hesitated and then fired a shot into the ceiling.


“IF I MIGHT HAVE EVERYONE’S ATTENTION JUST FOR ONE MOMENT PLEASE!” Cowdry yelled.


The Kid, panting as adrenalin from his exertions retreated and pain swept in looked at him in disbelief. What on earth was Cowdry doing now?


The shot and the yell had the desired effect although Dandy continued to writhe in agony on the floor.


“I’D LIKE TO BRING THIS TO YOUR NOTICE. VERY IMPORTANT.”


Cowdry was holding the small brown bottle high in the air.


“What the hell’s that?” Bloodstone growled, pushing Sheriff Gunnison off him.


“This Mr Bloodstone is the antidote.”


“ANTIDOTE? Antidote for what?”


“The poison,” Cowdry smiled, smugly.


The Kid rolled his eyes. He had no idea.


“You see what a lot of you won’t know is that I’m Mr Curry’s valet. As his valet, I loaded his gun for him this morning. Now Mr Curry … .” He gestured at the Kid with Dandy’s gun. “Is a little out of practise these days. With one of these.” He waved the gun for emphasis. “As a responsible valet it is my job to look after my employer’s interests and it seemed to me that he ought to have an edge. Don’t you agree?” He didn’t wait for an answer but continued. “So when I loaded Mr Curry’s gun for him this morning I took the liberty of … .” Cowdry smiled somewhat embarrassed. “Dipping the bullets in curare first.”


“What the HELL is curare?” Bloodstone thundered. At the same time, he was thinking he had stepped into some bizarre farce.


“Oh!” Cowdry started, suddenly realising that he had been a little opaque. “Curare is a deadly poison that South American Indians use for hunting,” he said, knowledgably. “It brings down game by relaxing the muscles. In a very short space of time, those of you who have been unfortunate will begin to feel the effects.” He ended with a pleasant smile and then gave a deep sigh. He nodded to Jeremiah and looked at Dandy. “Exposure to it will mean that the victim will suffer from curare poisoning. In this case … as well as a gunshot.” Smug grin. “So … if you don’t want your friends to die a really, REALLY horrible and painful, if not frightening death, I suggest you stop now and let these nice officers of the law arrest you.” Another smug grin.


Bloodstone stared at him open mouthed. “You’re bluffing!” Bloodstone knew if he was arrested, he’d be going away for a very long time. That was something he knew he wouldn’t survive for very long.


“I don’t know, Nathan,” gasped Jeremiah, finding it difficult to breath. “He’s Hannibal Heyes. I think we should believe him.” Jeremiah sounded desperate, struggling to keep awake and sweating profusely. He felt his strength giving out and he began to slip sideways.


“He’s NOT Hannibal Heyes. How many times I gotta tell ya?”


“Well I do admit there’s been a certain ambiguity over my identity during my dealings with you gentlemen but well … .” Cowdry shook his head. “Can you afford to take the risk that I’m NOT Hannibal Heyes?” He took a deep breath and sighed heavily. “Especially as I have the antidote right here in my hand. It will need a doctor to administer it of course. Dangerous stuff in it’s own right but it shouldn’t be a problem to get him here on time. I mean after all … .”


“Nathan. Please. I’m begging you.” Jeremiah said as he slid down the wall, losing his ability to stay upright as well as his grip on consciousness.


“Aaagh!” bellowed Bloodstone, starting to lunge at Cowdry. Behind him, Gunnison had freed his handcuffs from his pocket as Cowdry was speaking. Before Bloodstone could get more than a few steps towards Cowdry, Gunnison pulled Bloodstone’s arms behind his back and snapped the cuffs shut before he knew what was happening. “Aaagh!”


At the same time, Wheat, by now unfazed by Cowdry’s speeches, used his gun to clunk Didcot on the head. The heavyset man collapsed into a satisfying heap.


Out in the hall, Gruber came back to consciousness and groaned. “What did I miss?” he gasped.


The Kid clapped a bloody hand on the federal marshal’s shoulder. “Ya missed it all, Gruber,” he laughed. “Ya missed it all.”

ASJASJASJASJ

“Cowdry what was in that bottle?” the Kid asked, later. The Doc and his nurse had arrived promptly when summoned. Cowdry had used a temporary dressing to stem the flow of blood from the Kid’s shoulder. The nurse went to the aid of Jeremiah Curry, after the Kid had waved her away. Tending properly to his bullet wound would have to wait for later. The Kid knew the bullet had gone right through. Jeremiah was in greater need of attention than he was. He could wait. So for now, the Kid lay propped up on the couch in Jeremiah’s study, nearly as white as the sling on his arm. He was starting to get some feeling back in his hand.


The bullet he had fired was a different matter. Right now, the Doc was concentrating on saving Dandy’s life. The Kid was anxious. Dandy hadn’t looked too good.


“Angostura Bitters sir,” Cowdry said, with aplomb.


“Anger what?”


“Angostura Bitters sir. They’ve saved many a life sir. My previous employer swore by them. Insisted they were added to his drink every night sir.” Cowdry looked at the Kid as if that explained everything.


“Cowdry,” the Kid said, through gritted teeth. “How did you … ?” He spluttered. “How do you even KNOW about curare? Let alone the antidote?”


“Ah! Yes I see your confusion sir.” He paused. “I’ve been helping Mr Heyes with his research sir.” The Kid blinked. “Research for his next book. Writing notes for him. As he can’t … .” He paused and mimed writing. “Because of his arm sir.”


“Cowdry! I KNOW Heyes can’t write at the moment AND I know he can’t read his left-handed attempts! Jus’ … get on with it!”


“Yes sir.” Cowdry nodded. “Well his research involves ways of murdering someone. We came across curare poison and the antidote comes in a little brown bottle. Like this one.” He held up the bottle of angostura bitters. “So I just thought that I could use it to … bluff … sir.” He suddenly looked embarrassed. “I’m sorry sir if I did wrong but I thought things should come to a halt. They looked like they were getting a little out of hand.”


The Kid smiled faintly. “Cowdry ya did fine. I owe you my thanks.” Cowdry beamed. “Jus’ tell me one thing. Where on earth did ya get these anger-whatsits from?”


“Um well … .” Cowdry looked embarrassed. “When I saw Rose the first time, we were chatting and … well I’d … .” The usually unflappable man now flapped. “I er … well I must have mentioned them sir and she found them for me, gave them to me when we met earlier. As a … a present sir because we’re … .” Cowdry flushed and his tongue explored his mouth.
“Stepping out sir,” he finished, quietly, unable to meet the Kid’s eyes.


Despite the pain he was in, the Kid smiled. “Paul I don’t wanna know what you talk to Rose about but I’ll say this, I’m real glad ya did. I reckon Bloodstone and his boys would have had us if ya hadn’t intervened.”


Cowdry beamed and nodded. “That’s what I thought so … not exactly Marquis of Queensbury was it sir but it er did the trick.”


“Yeah I’ll say. And curare? Never heard of it but it sounds like I’m gonna have to watch myself around ya in future. There’s no telling WHAT you can put in my food.”


“Oh sir I wouldn’t dream of it. I just like to read sir and I seem to be able to retain what I read and recall it on a future occasion.” Cowdry edged to the door. “I’m sure you’re familiar with that sir.”


The Kid looked doubtful. “Ye-ah, suppose I am. Check on Dandy for me Paul would ya? He didn’t look too good.” The Kid looked concerned.


Cowdry nodded. “Yes sir.”


As he opened the door to go out, Wheat was waiting to come in. Cowdry nodded to him, looked back at the Kid for permission to let him come in.


“Come in … Walter.” The Kid thought he’d better continue with Wheat’s alias while there were lawmen around.


Wheat closed the door and crossed the floor to the couch. He winced as he opened and closed his fists.


“Well that was jus’ like ole times, Kid. Haven’t had me a party like that in quite a whiles.” He pressed his shoulder blades back together. “’Course I reckon I’m outta practice a mite,” he grunted and then felt his shoulder.


“I reckon we’re all getting a little too old for this kinda thing, Wheat,” the Kid said, nodding at his injured shoulder. “Has the law got ‘em?”


Wheat nodded and swelled proudly. “I helped those of the crime fighting persuasion round up the bad guys. But I er reckon I’m about outstayed ma welcome. If’n ya know what I mean.”


The Kid smiled. “Yeah I know what ya mean, Wheat. Duck out the window. I’ll cover for ya.”


“Don’t mind if I do,” he said, crossing quickly to the window and heaving it open. Looking back, he nodded. “I’ll make ma way back to Amnesty. Be seeing ya.”

_________________
Kid Curry and that other fella; Hannibal Heyes and whatsname
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