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 Chapter 7 Adjustments

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Posts : 1467
Join date : 2013-08-24
Age : 63
Location : Camano Island Washington

Chapter 7 Adjustments  Empty
PostSubject: Chapter 7 Adjustments    Chapter 7 Adjustments  EmptyMon Sep 09, 2013 9:35 pm

Adjustments Part one

 Dr. David Gibson was not going to get caught flat footed again.  As soon as he was finished with his calls for the day he disappeared into his home office and started getting information organized.  He skipped supper altogether, much to Tricia’s chagrin and then, to add surprise and disappointment to her deteriorating patience, he nipped out the side door and headed, once again into the heart of downtown Main Street.
 Tracking down Sam was not that difficult a task.  There are only so many places a young man stuck in town is going to spend an evening and David’s first choice struck gold.  Pushing through the bat wing doors of the saloon he stopped and quickly surveyed the room until his eyes lighted upon the man in question standing at the bar, enjoying a beer.

 “Sam, how are you this evening?”

 “Doc!”  Sam answered after gulping down his mouthful.  “I wouldn’t expect to see you in here.  You and your wife have a fight or something?”

 “No, not yet.”  David answered truthfully, with a little bit of foreboding.  “I need to have a word with you Sam and ask a favour of you.”

 Sam looked a little apprehensive.  “A favour?”
 “Yes.”  Then David took out an envelope he had tucked inside his jacket and handed it to Sam.  “I’ve gathered together all the records I’ve kept of Curry’s treatment and medications, and I’ve also added some of my own notes as to what I would recommend for the on-going healing process.  I’ve also added some pre-measured dosages of painkillers with instructions that I would like you to give to Curry once you’re on the road.  The records, I would like you to pass on to the doctor in the town where Morrison is going to be holding Curry until his trial.  Okay?  Can you do that?”

 “Well, why ask me?” Sam grumbled, not really wanting to get involved with all this doctoring stuff.  “Why don’t you just give it to Sheriff Morrison when he gets into town?”

 “Because I don’t trust Sheriff Morrison Sam, that’s why.”  David admitted rather testily. “The Sheriff would probably consider it too much of a nuisance and toss everything into the garbage.  But it’s important, alright?  Please, will you do it?”

 Sam fingered the envelope and chewed his lip while he debated the pros and cons.  Sam was a little bit afraid of Morrison and if he found out that Sam was doing the doctor’s bidding there could be hell to pay.  On the other had, Sam did like Jed Curry and still had twinges of conscience over what had happened; maybe this would be a way to make it up to the outlaw, just a little bit.

 “Yeah, okay.”  Sam finally agreed.  “I’ll keep it safe with my stuff and try to give it to Curry when Morrison’s not looking.”

 David smiled.  “Thank you Sam.  It is important”

 Just then they were interrupted by the barkeeper who didn’t really appreciate bodies taking up space at the bar if they weren’t going to order anything.

 “C'mon Doc, you’re a good guy and all, but order something will ya?”

 “Oh, yeah.  Sorry Bill.  I’ll have a shot of whiskey.”

 Bill supplied him with his drink and moved off.  David took a small swig and followed it with a relaxing sigh.  Sometimes a shot of something a little stronger than coffee helped to ease the strain of a stressful day—week—month.

 “So what do you plan to do with the rest of your evening Sam?” he asked.  “Going back out to the Jordan place for the night?”

 “Oh, no.”  Sam answered.  “I need to stay in town for when Morrison arrives.  He may want to leave right away.”

 “Yes.”  David agreed somewhat bitterly.  “I do recall he has a tendency to slip away in the middle of the night.  Hence, my wanting to see you now instead of waiting until the morning.”

 “I doubt he’ll be here tonight.  Maybe tomorrow.”  Sam surmised.  “I think I’m going to drop by and visit with Maribelle this evening.  Her folks kind of like me and well, so does she.”

 “That sounds pleasant enough.”  David agreed.  “You no longer interested in Bridget?”

 “Well sure I am.”  Sam admitted.  “But she’s not too interested in me right now so I figure I may as well go where I’m appreciated.”

 “That’s sound thinking,”  said David, kind of wishing that he had a similar option open to him.  “I’ll be doing one more check on Curry for the evening and then go on home myself.”  At which point he finished his whiskey, nodded a good night to Sam and headed out the door.

 When David got over to the jailhouse, Sheriff Jacobs was just making a fresh pot of coffee, since he knew he was going to be there all night long guarding the prisoner.  He was just pouring himself a cup when the good doctor walked in the door.

 “Hey Doc, how you doing this evening?”

 “So far so good.  How’s Curry?”


 “Is he asleep?”

 “Nope, just quiet.”  Jacobs smiled.  “He’s nothing at all like what I expected.”

 “Hmmm.  Give him time, he might surprise you.”

 “Oh, I’ll be keeping my eye on him don’t you worry about that.  You want a coffee?”

 “Sure.  Why not.  Let me take one in for Jed too.”

 “Okay.  I’ll grab the keys.”

 Jacobs handed the two coffees to David, got the keys from his desk and the two men headed into the cell block.
 Curry was stretched out on the cot with his hat over his eyes, apparently quite relaxed.  He sat up as soon as he heard the cell door open and smiled a greeting to David as the doctor came up to him and handed over a coffee.

 “Thanks Doc.”

 “I’ll be out in the office.”  Jacobs announced as he closed the cell door.  “Just give me a shout when you’re ready to leave Doc.”

 David nodded acknowledgment as he sat down beside the prisoner and they both took an appreciative sip of their coffees.

 “How are you feeling tonight Jed?  How’s the shoulder after the ride in to town this morning?”

 “Not bad considering.”

 “Good.”  David nodded.  “I’m going to be cutting you back on the morphine now, and we’ll see how that goes.”

 Curry was suddenly concerned.  “Why?  By how much?”

 “I’ll still be giving you some at night so you can sleep.”  David assured him.  “But if you can put up with some pain during the daytime I think it best if we start cutting you back.  I’ve given some to Sam for you to be able to take if it gets too much on the trip to Wyoming, but the less you take during the day the better.  Okay?”

 “But why?”  asked Curry again, feeling a somewhat irrational fear at the idea of the painkiller being withdrawn.  “Isn’t it better to not hurt at all?”

 “Not necessarily.” David answered, noting Jed’s anxiety and feeling even more so that it was time to start cutting back.

 “David!  WHY!”

David sighed and took another sip of coffee, trying to think of the best way to explain the dangers of the drug.

 “Often what happens with morphine, and other painkillers like it, is that if you keep taking it over a prolonged period of time you’ll start needing it even when you’re not in pain anymore.”

 “Well, why?”  Curry was confused.  “Why would you want to keep taking it if the pain is gone?”

 “It just has an effect on the body.  You start to crave it.”  David explained.  “It’s almost like not having it causes pain rather than it relieving pain that’s already there.”

 “Oh.”  Curry sat for a moment, contemplating this and drinking his coffee.  “That’s not good.”

 David smiled at Jed’s predisposition towards understatement.

 “No.”  He agreed.  “That’s not good.”

 The two men sat quietly again, drinking their coffee. A heavy silence fell over the cell.

 “What’s the matter David?”  Jed finally asked his companion.

 “What?  Why do you think something’s the matter?”

 “C'mon, you’re as bad as Heyes when it comes to talking a blue streak.”  Curry accused him.  “What’s wrong?”

 David sighed again and took another sip of coffee.  Curry waited patiently.  The similarities between this young medical man and Jed’s partner were becoming more and more apparent.  Jed had opened the gate and he was willing to wait and see if the doc came through.  After a couple of minutes Curry was rewarded with a response.

 “I’m just worried about your injury.  I don’t know what kind of doctor is going to be treating it after you leave here.”

 “Well, what’s the problem?”  Curry asked.  “It’s healing up fine.”

 “Yes it is.”  David agreed.  “I’m actually very pleased with how it is healing.  The human body is an amazing thing and given time can repair itself of some of the worst injuries imaginable. I once treated a young man who…”  he hesitated, catching Jed’s ironic smile.  David gave a little self-conscious laugh.  “Yeah, never mind. I just wish Morrison would let you stay here until your trial date so we could get started on some exercises for you, but well, that’s not likely to happen.”

 “You worry too much David.  Either that or there’s something else bothering you.”

 “It’s Morrison.”  David admitted the simple fact.  “I don’t trust him.  He doesn’t seem to care about the welfare of his prisoners just so long as he gets them from point A to point B, and he doesn’t care how he does it.  He knew Hannibal was injured and deliberately snatched him out from under my care because he didn’t like me giving my professional opinion.  Now, I just know he’s going to do the same thing with you.”

 Kid felt a tight knot hit his stomach. “What do you mean ‘Hannibal’ was injured?”

 David looked over at Jed, surprised.  “Didn’t anyone tell you what happened?”

 “No, not to that extent.  What happened?”

 David sighed, feeling a twinge of regret.  He thought Jed already knew what had happened to his partner.

 “He ‘provoked’ the lawmen and got beaten up pretty badly when he was first taken into custody.”  David explained.  “Then Morrison gave him a bruised kidney and a cracked rib while he was incarcerated here. I was concerned that he may have suffered more serious internal injuries but Morrison snuck him out of town before I could be sure.”

 Curry groaned, and leaned back against the wall behind him.  “Oh geesh.  And Heyes keeps telling me I’m the hot head.  I don’t get it.  That’s not like Heyes.”

 “Well, Bridget slipped him a lock pick and when Morrison found it Hannibal wouldn’t tell him who gave it to him.  He paid a heavy price for his loyalty.” David explained.

 Curry rolled his eyes.  “Oh brother!  Two peas in a pod those two.  I’m amazed they actually get along, they’re both stubborn as mules.”

 David smiled, thinking that Jed had shown quite a stubborn streak himself on occasion.  “Still, Morrison shouldn’t have hit him that hard.  Especially after he’d already taken that beating out at the Jordan’s place for attacking Sam.”

 “He did what?!”  Curry was incredulous.

 David shrugged and nodded.

 Curry shook his head.  “I still don’t get it.”  He admitted.  “Heyes is usually very protective of himself; he’s the one who’s always holding me back from getting into fights.”  He smiled a little, remembering his partner’s ways.  “He’s a thinker, more brain than brawn you know?”

 “Yeah, well.  We’ll all act out of character when we’re scared.”  David pointed out.  “And watching you die on the table and not being able to do anything about it terrified him.”

 Curry looked at David with his mouth open, disbelief emanating off of him.

 “What do you mean, ‘I died’?  I’m here now, how could I have died?”

 David shrugged again.  “You stopped breathing Jed.  You’d lost a lot of blood and your body just gave out.  If I hadn’t done some extensive studying of resuscitation techniques back east you wouldn’t be here right now.  Even at that it was very close.”

 Curry ran his left hand over his eyes and then through his curls as this information sunk in.

 “Ohhh, geeesh.  Yeah, Heyes would have lost it—especially if he knew that it was Sam who betrayed us.”  

 David nodded. “He was reacting to the emotions of the situation and not really thinking clearly.  Much like you did when you climbed out the window under a full dose of morphine,”   he added ruefully.  “The only difference is, Hannibal can remember doing it, but he was no less out of control than you were.”

 Curry nodded.  “No wonder Belle was so concerned—oh and the girls!  They were there throughout all of this?”


 “Ohhh no.  Awww, poor Beth.  No wonder she was so….”  and his thoughts went back to the previous day in the barn.  Guilt washed over him again.

 “It’s not your fault Jed.”  David assured him, misunderstanding where the guilty conscience was coming from.  “Those girls rallied and were very helpful to both me and their mother when it came to looking after you.  They obviously care a great deal about you.  You and Hannibal.”

 “Yeah, I know.”  Curry admitted.  “I just hope we don’t end up disappointing them too much.”

 David knitted his brow and looked over at Jed with a thoughtful expression.

 “I swear,”  he said.  “You and Hannibal are the oddest pair of outlaws I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing.  Not that I know too many outlaws—but what I’ve heard and read about you two, well you’re just not what I would have expected.  You both have an edge to you that I find hard to understand, but you’re not malicious, in fact you’re just the opposite.  Makes me wonder why you chose the life that you did.”

 “Well, not so much a choice Doc, as just sort of falling in to it.”  Curry told him.  “And Heyes and I have been trying to make things right.”

 “Yes, I know.  Jesse told me about the amnesty bid and that’s why he’s trying to help you out.”  David admitted. “Do you think you have a chance at it?”

 Curry sat quiet for a few moments, staring at the floor.  Then the hand went through the curls again.

 “I donno David,”  he finally said.  “We’ve been in custody, what—six weeks now?”

 “Yes, about that.”

 “Still no word from the Governor.  I think we’re on our own.”  Then he was off the bunk and suddenly pacing the cell, feeling agitated.  “I wish I could talk to Heyes, find out what he’s thinking.  But still, no jail cell is going to hold him if he decides he’s going to go so he must be planning on seeing it through.  Dammit!!”  and he whacked the bars with his fist.  “I just wish I could talk to him!”

 “Well, that’s not likely going to happen.”  David told him.  “Morrison’s adamant about keeping you two apart probably for that very reason; he doesn’t want you communicating.”

 “You’re right David.”  Curry scowled.  “I haven’t even met the man yet and I already don’t like him.”

 “Yeah well, sometimes dislike is a healthy thing.”  David responded.  “Just remember what I said and don’t provoke him.”

 “Yeah, I’ll try Doc.”

 “In the mean time, here’s a dosage of morphine if you want to just mix it in with what’s left of your coffee then at least I’ll know you’ll sleep tonight.” he stood up and taking a small packet out of his jacket pocket, he handed it to Jed.  “I better get home to Tricia.  I think she’s going to be a little steamed at me.”

 Curry smiled.  “Trouble at home Doc?”

 “Oh well, nothing we can’t sort out.”  David hypothesized.  “Besides, she’s probably right.  If you ever get married Jed, just remember when you have a disagreement; she’s probably right.”

 “Okay Doc, I’ll keep that in mind.”

 “Goodnight.  Hopefully I’ll see you in the morning.”

 “Yeah, goodnight.  Good luck.”

 It was a very fine evening as David walked home from the jailhouse.  Well into summer now the nights were long and usual very pleasant and tonight was one of the nicest, with dusk just starting to settle in.  Unfortunately the good doctor wasn’t enjoying it as much as he would have normally due to his twinges of guilt over the way he had ignored his wife that evening.
 He had been so wrapped up in getting everything prepared for his patient and then making sure that he got the information to Sam before Morrison got into town that he had totally shut Tricia out of his plans.  He had even skipped out on supper and that wasn’t fair, since Tricia had taken the time to prepare it.  Besides that, now he was hungry and was probably only going to receive  hot tongue and  cold shoulder for dinner.
 David Gibson loved his wife, there was no doubt about that.  He had been new in town, still  hadn’t bought his little house or opened up his practice yet,  wasn’t even sure that this was the town he was going to settle in.  Meeting Tricia had clenched that decision for him.
 He had been walking into the Mercantile just as she had been walking out and as soon as their eyes had met there was a connection.  Tricia Baxter had grown up on one of the numerous ranches in the area and had learned one important thing from that life; that it wasn’t the life she wanted.  She was young and pretty and intelligent and had no shortage of suitors, but they were all ranchers and though it was fun to have her choice of dates for any of the social events she wasn’t taking any of their advances seriously.
 Her friends teased her good-naturedly, warning her that she was going to become an old spinster if she continued to be so picky.  Tricia’s response to that was that she would rather be an old spinster than marry into a lifestyle that she already knew would make her miserable.  So when that tall dark and handsome stranger showed up in town she was totally smitten and when she discovered that he was also a doctor, well!  That just made the romance all the sweeter.
 The courtship only lasted three months.  Once they were married, David took his new wife home to his new house and introduced her to the realities of being married to a new practitioner.  It was a lot of ‘new’ all at once and the first six months of married life, though joyous in many ways was also quite trying on the young couple and there had been a lot of adjustments to be made.
 One of the things they had always tried to have and hold in their relationship was respect for one another and David knew that his treatment of his wife earlier in the evening had been anything but respectful. Indeed, though Tricia was always understanding of the unpredictable hours of a medical man and was always willing to help in the care of a difficult case, these past six weeks had been hard on her.  Now that the patient had been moved into town and David was no longer having to make the trip out to the Double J ranch, Tricia had been hoping for a nice romantic dinner at home with her husband.  And then her husband had disappeared out the side door without saying a word!
 As David entered the well lit house, he was trying to work out in his own mind what he was going to say to make things alright, but as usual, as soon as he saw his wife sitting dejectedly in the kitchen over a solitary cup of tea all his arguments went out the window.

 “I’m sorry,”  were the first words out of his mouth, smart man.

 Tricia looked at him with a long suffering sigh and getting up moved over to the stove.

 “I’ve tried to keep you supper warm.  I’m sure you’re hungry.”

 “Yes, I am.  But Tricia, please…”  and David crossed the space between him and his wife in quick strides and took her in his arms.  He hugged her close, but her body remained tense, she was mad.  “Let me explain.”  He continued.  “I’m not trying to justify, it wasn’t right leaving here without a word.  I just want to explain.”

 “Fine,”  she answered him.  Then she pulled away from his embrace, removed his plate from the stove and plunking it down on the table, sat back down herself in front of her cup of tea.

 David sat down and kind of sort of picked at his food.

 “It’s just that…”  he started awkwardly.  “Well, I’m worried about Jed and the treatment he’s going to get from Morrison.  That shoulder is so close to healing well, but the next stage is crucial and I’m afraid that if anything happens or the next doctor to treat him doesn’t know what he’s doing, then Jed could still loose partial use of it.”

 “I know you want what’s best for your patients David,”  his wife admitted.  “But sometimes you take it too far.  You can’t be in control all the time.”

 “I know that.”

 “Then why can’t you let Jed go?  There are other doctors you know.”

 “Butchers you mean!”  David responded with a little bit of heat.  “Most of the ‘doctors’ I’ve seen out here haven’t got a clue what they’re doing.  They haven’t even had any formal training, it’s all just guess work!  It would be tragic if Jed lost the use of his arm now after all we’ve done to get it healing properly!”

 “David, you saved his life,”  his wife pointed out.  “There’s nothing tragic about that!”

 Tricia hesitated, looking into her half empty tea cup.  She wasn’t sure if she should bring up her next thought as David might view it as a betrayal but she also thought that it was important and he at least consider the other side of the coin.  David knew there was more coming and waited patiently, knowing that his wife often had input that may not occur to him.  Finally he saw her make her decision, and she looked him in the eye.

 “Did you ever think that maybe, Jed ‘Kid’ Curry loosing the use of his gun arm might not be such a bad thing?”

 David was taken aback!  “Wh…what?!”  That thought went against everything he held true to his profession.  “How can you say that?!”

 “David, think about it!”  Trish pleaded with him.  “You saved his life!  Isn’t that enough?  The man’s an outlaw, what if you save his arm and he somehow escapes custody and then what if he goes back to his old ways and ends up actually killing someone?!  How would that make you feel knowing you might have been able to prevent it?!”

 “Aww, Tricia, no.”  David was adamant.  “That’s just too many ‘if’s’ to be plausible.  What ‘if’ he got the pardon and turned out to be a model citizen or ended up using his talents for upholding the law instead of breaking it.  We can’t know how his life is going to go!  And besides that, there’s no proof that he is a killer!  On the contrary Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry are noted for avoiding violence in the jobs they’ve pulled.  To suggest that he’s going to turn around and start killing now is totally unfair.”

 “David, I’m just saying; you’ve done enough.”  Tricia  repeated.  “Let him go.  Another doctor can take over his care.  Once he’s out of this town, he’s out of your practice and therefore no longer your concern.”

 David sat back in his chair, no longer hungry.  He knew that to some degree Tricia was right; he did tend to get too wrapped up in his patients.  But on the other hand, how could she expect him to be complacent about handing over the care of a patient to another doctor when the job was only half done?  It was a dilemma and one that he was having a hard time adjusting to.

 “Yes, alright.  You do have a point to some degree.”  David admitted.  “But a lot of what I was doing this evening was in compliance with what you’re saying.  There were just certain things I had to do to insure the proper continuation of his treatment before I could feel at all comfortable about letting him go.  Do you understand that?”

 “Yes, David.  Of course I understand that,”  Tricia assured him.  “Just next time, let me know!  I had no idea where you went or what you were doing, and that’s not fair!”

 “I know, and I am sorry about that,”  David agreed.  “I was just so focused on getting it done that I wasn’t thinking and I apologize.  You have every right to be angry.  But,”  he added.  “don’t expect me not to care about my patients, or give them less than my best just because of who they are and what they may or may not have done.  Agreed?”

 Tricia sent her husband a small smile.  “Agreed.”

 Later that evening David discovered something else that every married couple comes to realize sooner or later; that make-up sex almost always makes the argument worth having in the first place.

  Heyes was bored.  Bored, bored, bored.  BORED!  Did they really think that one hour a day outside of this tin box was to be considered a privilege?!  Though the mild sleeping draft he was given to take every evening did allow him some relief from the mundane wakefulness of every day in and day out, it only worked for about five hours out of every twenty-four.  And the doctor would not allow him any more than that, afraid he might get addicted or some such nonsense.  What did that mean, addicted?  Addicted to what?  SLEEP?!
 All the other inmates of the cell block had been rotated out numerous times over since Heyes had first taken up residence so he had given up even trying to remember their names.  If by chance he wanted the attention of any of them, it was with a resounding 'HEY YOU!' or if that didn’t work an empty tin cup thrown against the bars usually got the desired affect.  The initial awe of being in the company of Hannibal Heyes generally wore off if the inmate was incarcerated for more than a couple of days.  The constant pacing of the outlaw and the cynicism that was the usual response to the most casual of inquiries tended to keep everybody at a distance and Heyes was pretty much left alone.  No, Hannibal Heyes was not adjusting well to life behind bars.
 When Morrison had gone to tend to his other ‘fish’ he had left Mike behind to tend to Heyes.  The sheriff didn’t have too much confidence in the local constabulary especially after Heyes’ near escape early on in his confinement.  So nope, Morrison wasn’t going to trust the security of his main catch in the hands of anyone other than his own proven deputy.  So, when Lom wasn’t in town, which was often, Mike became Heyes’ regular escort and it can be said that the two men at least, attempted to get along.

 “Hey Mike,”  Heyes started with an air of innocent joviality.  “Sure is hot today.  Aren’t you hot?”

 “It is the middle of summer Heyes; it’s supposed to be hot.”

 “Well…there’s the saloon right across the street.  Wouldn’t you like to have a nice cold beer?”

 “A beer?”  Mike stopped and looked down at Heyes from his towering 6’6in bulk.  “You’d just love for me to get drunk wouldn’t you.”

 “No!  No, no, that’s not it at all Mike.”  Heyes insisted while giving the deputy a two handed shackled pat on the arm.  “I was just thinking that a nice cold beer would go down real good right about now.”

 “Uh huh,”  was Mike’s response. “Fine.  You want a beer, let’s go get you a beer so long as you don’t mind drinking alone.  I’m on duty.”

 “Oh!  Oh, I don’t mind.”  Heyes insisted, surprised that it had been so easy and thinking that he should have tried this ages ago.

 Once inside the establishment Heyes felt a great deal of the stress of his confinement start to melt away and the smile that he beamed was as genuine as it was rare these days.  They sidled up to the bar and Mike ordered and paid for Heyes’ beer.  Once it arrived, Heyes took in a mouthful, and just as he had done with his first cup of coffee at the café, he held onto the beverage and savored the tingling coldness of it before swallowing it down and then taking in another mouthful. How long had it been since his last beer?  He couldn’t even remember.  No, wait a minute—it had been that afternoon in Brookswood.  That last time he had taken Karma out for a gallop.  The last time he’d played a game of poker.  The last time…..Kid.
 Heyes sighed.  He took another swig of beer and then turned around to lean back against the bar.  There weren’t too many other patrons about yet seeing as how it was only late morning, but there was a friendly poker game going on at one of the center tables and of course Heyes couldn’t help but feel drawn to it.  Without him even realizing it the game, like a magnet began pulling him towards it until he felt Mike’s large hand on his shoulder, dragging him back to the bar.

 “Where do you think you’re going Heyes?”

 “Just one hand, Mike.  What harm would it do?”

 “What are you going to play with?  You don’t have any money.”

 Heyes smiled up at the big deputy.  “Would you spot me?”

 Mike didn’t look too impressed with that idea.

 “C'mon Mike!  Chances are good I’ll double your money in one hand.  And if I do loose it, then I’ll buy you a beer next time!”

 Mike couldn’t help but snorkel a little at the unlikelihood of that happening, and then, like most people, he gave in to Heyes’ charismatic manipulations and agreed to spotting him for one hand.  Heyes approached the table, feeling a nervous excitement that hadn’t touched his soul for many a moons and he wondered where that was coming from.  Still, he supposed, it’d been a while.

 “Good morning gentlemen.”  Heyes greeted the players.  “Would you mind if I sat in for a hand or two?”

 “Oh, Mr. Heyes!”

 “Of course.  It would be an honour!”

 Much to Heyes’ surprise and mild embarrassment (not to mention, pleasure) a few of the players actually stood up and shook his hand(s) and gave him a welcoming slap on the back.

 “By all means, Mr. Heyes.  Have a seat!”

 “We don’t play for big stakes here Mr. Heyes, but we do have fun.”

 “Great!”  Heyes responded with a huge smile.  “Thank you.”  And he settled in to enjoy himself.

 Mike settled in at an empty table just across from the players and prepared to be bored for an hour.  However, he was pleasantly surprised to find himself being drawn in to the game and to discover that Heyes’ reputation as a talented poker player was hardly unwarranted.  One hand stretched into two and two into three by the time Mike realized that the hour was more than up and it was time to get his prisoner back to the jailhouse.
 Mike had enough poker etiquette to not interrupt the hand being played, but once that was done and Heyes was raking in the pot, he gave a quiet discreet cough and got to his feet.  A look of disappointment flashed across Heyes’ face, but he quickly covered it up and smiled at his fellow players

 “Gentlemen, thank you,”  he said sincerely. “It has been a real pleasure.  But my companion has indicated that it is time for me to return to my lodgings.”

 “Aww, that’s a shame.”

 “Sure is, you brought our little game up to a whole new level.”

 Heyes’ smile broadened.  “Thank you,”  he repeated.  “Now, ahh, I did promise Deputy Mike here that I would double his money for him so if you gentlemen don’t mind I’ll just keep that amount and return the rest of my winnings to the pot.”

 “What?  But why?”

 “Yeah, Mr. Heyes.  You won that fair and square.”

 “Yeah, yeah I know,”  Heyes agreed.  “but what am I going to do with it where I’m going?”  Then seeing the gloom that these words had settled over the table, he quickly added; “Besides, I’d like to join you again and I wouldn’t want you thinking I was just after your money.”

 His ruse worked and everyone perked up and there were smiles all around.

 “Sure thing Mr. Heyes.  Any time.”

 “Yup, we’re usually here every Friday morning for a game.  You’ll always be welcome to sit in.”

 Heyes nodded and then acknowledging Mike, the two men headed for the exit.  Heyes handed him the coins as they stepped out onto the street.

 “Here Mike,”  he said.  “Have a beer on me when you get off duty.”

 “I just might do that.”  Mike accepted the coins.  “I take it this is going to be a regular stop on Friday mornings now until your trial gets in the way.”

 Heyes smiled up at him.  “Would be nice.”

 “Hmmm.  We’ll see.”

 Sheriff Turner looked up from his paper work as the two men entered the office.

 “It’s about time you showed up.  I was just about to send a posse out to look for you.”

 “Sorry about that Sheriff.”  Mike answered.  “We were just over at the saloon, everything’s fine.”

 Turner got the keys from the drawer and headed towards the cell block.

 “Well, try explaining that to Mr. Granger,”  he commented.  “He’s been in here twice looking for his client.  Still, I suppose it won’t hurt him to actually have to work for his fee on this case.”

 Heyes had been back in his cell for about an hour and was actually settled enough to get into reading and comprehending one of the dime novels that had been making its way around the cell block, when his lawyer returned.  Heyes stood up and approached the bars so that they could confer in some measure of privacy.

 “Any luck?”  Heyes asked him.

 “Some.”  Granger nodded.  “Mr. McCreedy got back to me.  Says he’s too old now to make the trip here in person, but he’ll get together with his lawyer and write up a testimonial.”  Heyes nodded.  “He also wired a tidy sum to help cover some of you and your partner’s expenses.  It seems you have no shortage of sponsors Mr. Heyes.”

 Heyes’ eyebrows shot up in surprise.  “Uncle Mac sent money?!  Okay, now I’m convinced; we must really be in trouble!”

 “He’s your Uncle?”  Granger looked confused, then he shook his head and carried on.  “Judge Hanley is retired now and also agrees to send a testimonial, and that he will convey his greetings to the Governor and remind him of an obligation owed—whatever that means.”

 Heyes nodded again.  “The Judge knows about our amnesty deal.”

 Granger nodded.

 “What about Conrad Zulick?”  Heyes asked.

 “I haven’t heard anything back from him.”  Granger admitted.  “And seeing as how he is the new Governor of Arizona I tend to doubt that we will.  Is there anyone else you can think of?”

 Heyes leaned against the bars, his chin resting on his crossed arms, lost in thought.

 “Hmmm.  Harry Brisco?  Oh no!  What am I thinking?  Ahhh, former Governor Hale?  We did some work for him a while back.”

 Granger sighed.  “You apparently have a lot of friends in high places Mr. Heyes, but it seems that none of them want to come down to acknowledge you.  What about companions, people you grew up with?”

 “You mean who aren’t outlaws?”

 “There must be somebody.”

 Heyes sighed dejectedly.  “Lom, Jesse and I guess there’s Clem.”  Then he shook his head.  “No, not Clem.  We only know her because her father was an outlaw.”  Heyes sighed again.  “It seems our friends are either too high to come down, or too low to come up.  Well, if Zulick is too busy to acknowledge us then maybe you could try Deputy Marshal Donovan also over in Arizona.”  Then Heyes thought about that and reconsidered.  “But coming forward and admitting that he knows us could put him into a lot of trouble too so….maybe not.”  Heyes smiled at the lawyer, knowing he wasn’t being too helpful.  “I’m sorry Mr. Granger, most of the people who might have some influence here would be put into compromising positions if they were to come forward in a court of law and admit to knowing us.”

 “Yes, I can see where that could be a problem.  Even if we protected them from prosecution they’re reputations would be irreparably damaged.”  Granger agreed.  “We’re quickly running out of time here.  You can bet that the prosecution is preparing a solid case against you and I’m sure they’re not having any trouble doing it.  Anything you can think of at this point would be helpful.  In the meantime I will continue to work on the sympathy plea; difficult childhood, falling into stealing in order to survive, that sort of thing.”

 Heyes nodded.  The moroseness that had been alleviated by the poker game was settling back onto him again

 “Any word from Lom?”

 “He expects to be back in town next week.”  Granger told him.  “I’m sure he’ll have some news about your partner at that time as well.”

 “Okay.”  Heyes straightened up from the bars and turned back to his bunk and the dime novel.

  Granger hesitated a moment before leaving, wishing he could say something more optimistic.  But truth be known trying to set up a solid defense for a known outlaw who was in no position to deny his guilt was a task that even the most seasoned of barristers would shrink away from.  Hannibal Heyes had just been too damn good at what he did.

Last edited by Keays on Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Join date : 2013-08-24
Age : 63
Location : Camano Island Washington

Chapter 7 Adjustments  Empty
PostSubject: Adjustments Part two   Chapter 7 Adjustments  EmptyMon Sep 09, 2013 9:37 pm

“Jed!  How are you doing this morning?”

 Curry removed his hat from over his eyes and sat up.  “Morning David.  I’m doing okay.  How are things with you?”  He asked pointedly.

 “Great!”  David answered with a twinkle in his eye.

 “Uh huh.”

 “Here’s a cup of coffee for you, thought you might like one.”

 “Yeah, thanks David.”  Curry answered as he took the beverage, thinking it best not to mention that he’d already had two cups.

 “So, let’s take another look at that shoulder.”  David suggested as he put his own coffee down on the floor and started to unwrap the bandages.

 It wasn’t quite the ordeal that it had once been since the open wounds had pretty much healed over by this time.  The stitches had been removed a while back and everything looked good.  Even the open wound on the back had covered over and though there was going to be quite a scar there, it was looking healthy enough.
 At this point David was more concerned with what was going on inside the shoulder.  As much scaring as was showing on the outside, there was going to be just as much if not more on the inside and that’s where the problems would be.  If the doctor in the next town did not encourage Jed to move and stretch those muscles and break down the scar tissue then everything would just seize up and Jed would be left with limited use of the arm.
 Then, in the back of his mind David would recall what Trish had said about that not being such a bad thing.  But the doctor in David just couldn’t accept that and he knew he had to give Jed the best possible option that was open to him and encourage a complete recovery.
 David gently removed the gauze that was holding the arm snug against Curry’s torso and then very carefully removed the sling.  Jed was a little hesitant and quickly brought his left hand over to support the right, not wanting to let the injured arm hang loose.

 “It’s alright Jed.”  David assured him.  “Give me your left hand.  Take hold like we’re just meeting for the first time and shaking hands.  Okay, now squeeze, tight as you can.  Good.  That’s a strong grip you’ve got there.  Now do the same with your right.  Squeeze, tight as you can “
 The effort it took for Curry to give David a good grasp was very apparent in the tightness of his expression and the paled complexion.

 “Okay, that’s going to need work,”  said David.  “Now, just relax.”

 Then, still holding on to Jed’s right hand, David slowly pulled his arm out, away from his body.  Jed tensed and gasped with pain.  David brought the arm back in to Jed’s torso, then took hold of his elbow and pulled the arm up, creating much the same response as the first maneuver.

 “Okay.”  David said, letting Jed take the arm back in to hold protectively against his torso again.  Then the good doctor really began his investigation and slipping his hands beneath  Jed’s shirt started to massage the muscles of Curry’s shoulder.

 It amazed Curry no end how it was that David’s slim, sensitive fingers could always find the most painful spot to start probing in.  The more David searched Curry’s shoulder and back, the less tolerance Curry had for it.







 “If you’re so sorry David, then stop doing it!”

 “Sorry.”  David said again.  Then he smiled and sat down beside his patient.  “I know it hurts, but I need to do it to see how things are healing up in there.”

 “Okay, so…how is it going?”

 “Good, so far.”  David admitted.  “I’m going to have to give you some stretches and exercises to do though, and it will hurt to do them.  You’re also going to need someone to help you with them.  Maybe Sam.”  David sighed.  “I don’t know.  I’m going to have to think on this for a while.”

 Then the outer door to the cell block opened and Morrison came up to the bars of Curry’s cell.  An instant tension settled over the occupants.
 “Well, looks like the prisoner has healed up quite nicely.”  Morrison commented.

 “On the outside.”  David answered.  “Still a lot of internal damage.  I’d appreciate it if you would keep that in mind.”

 “Sure Doc, anything you say,”  then the sheriff looked directly at Curry.  “Name’s Morrison, though I’m sure you’ve heard enough about me by now.”  Curry sent him a cold smile. “Had a lot of trouble convincing your partner to behave himself.  Am I going to have the same problems with you?”

 “Oh, no sir Sheriff.”  Curry answered quietly.  “Heyes is the problem child.  I’m as meek as a mouse.”

 “Uh huh.”  Morrison said as he turned back towards the main door.  “It’d be in your best interest to remember it.”  And then he was gone.

 “Sheesh.”  Curry released the breath he had been holding.

 David gave Jed a reassuring pat on the shoulder.  “Yup.  Watch yourself with him.”

 Later that afternoon, after David had finished with his rounds in the area, he drove his horse and surrey directly back to the jailhouse to do another check on the prisoner.  Unfortunately when he entered the office, Sheriff Jacobs could only give him an apologetic smile and show him an empty cell.

 “I’m sorry Doc.”  Jacobs told him.  “Shortly after you left on your rounds Morrison came in here and took possession of his prisoner.  And Curry is his prisoner so there was nothing I could legally do to stop him.”

 David went into the empty cell and picked up the remnants of the fresh gauze and sling that he had re-set Curry’s arm with that morning.

 “Yeah.”  Jacobs commented a little shamefacedly.  “Morrison wanted him manacled pretty securely with those shackles that are attached to a belt around the waist.  He couldn’t really do it while Curry’s arm was in a sling, so…”

 “So Morrison took the sling off.”  David finished for him.


 David sighed dejectedly, then dropping the sling back onto the bunk, he turned and walked out of the jail without a word.
 First thing he did was head for the saloon.  He needed a drink.  He was fuming.  He knew that Morrison was going to pull that stunt again which is why he had taken the precautions that he had, but it was still maddening.  He punched open the bat wing doors and headed over to the bar, but then he slowed down to almost a standstill and his jaw dropped in disbelief.

 “Sam!!  What are you doing here?!”

 Sam’s head snapped up and then he sent the doc an agonized look.

 “Aww, Jeez,”  he mumbled.  “I’m sorry Doc.  Morrison told me he didn’t need me to escort Curry to Wyoming.  I guess he heard that I was going to stay on at the Jordan’s place and thought that he was doing me a favour by letting me go.  So, I’m sorry Doc,”  and Sam pulled out the envelope with the instructions and the medications for the next doctor down the line and handed them back to the medical man.
 David took the envelope without a word at first.  Then his temper exploded and he slammed his fist onto the bar.

 “DAMMIT!!!”  He exclaimed.  “THAT BASTARD DID IT TO ME AGAN!”

  Jed was trying to relax and enjoy (?) the train ride, but his shoulder was aching and having his hands shackled in front of him the way they were just wasn’t helping.  The first thing he’d noticed when they had boarded the train the previous day was that Sam was not with them and that probably meant that the morphine wasn’t with them either.  That was bad news as far as Curry was concerned.  He was becoming more and more uncomfortable and sleeping just wasn’t in the cards for this trip at all.
 Things had gone down pretty much the same way for Curry as they had for Heyes.  He’d been shuffled quickly onto the passenger car and escorted down to the row of three empty seats at the back of the rows with Richard leading the way.  Then Curry with Morrison directly behind him, a  hand pressed against his back, pushing him along.  Then Jack bringing up the rear.  Once seated Morrison had secured Curry to the seat with the leg irons and then everyone had settled in for the long ride into Wyoming.
 As would be expected the other passengers were at first quite curious as to who this prisoner might be and why did he warrant such a heavy guard.  The questions did not remain unanswered for long though.  Unlike with Heyes, by now the news of the capture of those two notorious outlaws had spread far and wide and it didn’t take much deduction to put two and two together.
 Soon, the braver of the boys in that car, and then some from the other cars who had gotten wind of the celebrity on board, began to approach the armed men in hopes of a closer look at the outlaw.  Curry tried to be amiable towards them, but he was hurting and it was taking quite an effort.

 “Wow!  Are you really Kid Curry?”

 “Who would have thought you’d be on this train!”

 “Where’s Heyes?”

 “Is he on this train too?”

 “Are you really as fast as they say?”

 “Can you show us your fast draw?”

 “Is it true you’re going to prison for twenty years?”

 “Wow, twenty years!  That’s a long time.”

 “Yeah, I’ll be in my thirty’s by then—that’s so old!”

 “Is the Devil’s Hole Gang going to try and rescue you?”

 “Wow that would be great!”

 Curry smiled at them and gave a good effort to answer their questions, but they came rapid fire and most got drowned out by the next so he eventually gave it up.  Then Morrison called it quits and sent the young boys packing, much to their groans and complaints and dirty looks towards the lawmen.  Curry, who usually enjoyed talking to children was actually relieved when they were disbanded and even the quick, shy glances from a couple of the young ladies in attendance did little to alleviate his spirits.
 The train had crossed the border into Wyoming shortly after noon of that day, though there was no indication from the landscape that such a transition had occurred.  It was just a typical sunny summer day and the train carried on at a steady rhythmic chugging throughout the long afternoon.  Curry sighed with boredom, trying to ignore the growing ache in his arm with nothing to distract him from the monotony aside from a smile from a pretty girl or an admiring glance from a young boy.
 Curry sat quietly looking out the window and watching the scenery go by and gradually began to realize that he was recognizing certain landmarks that were showing up along the route.  It shouldn’t really be too surprising, Curry mused, that the landscape would be familiar to him, it was a well used track after all and he and Heyes would have stopped trains along here on a regular basis.
It was some distance away from their usual haunts, the Devil's Hole hideout actually being situated further north in the mountains. But things would get too hot for them along that route if they hit it too many times in a row so he and Heyes would often come south to do some reconnaissance. They often had gone further afield then this, hitting Denver and other areas in Colorado, and going further north up into Montana in order to take the law by surprise. He and Heyes would go first in order to scope out a new run then call for the required members to come join them for the selected hit. Totally unexpected and precise, those jobs had paid off well and made the travel and planning well worth the expense.
He smiled whimsically as he remembered those days, of him and his partner scouting out the territory and planning where along the route would be the best place to stop their chosen target.  Those had been good times.  They had been in their hay day.   They’d been invincible, nothing could stop them.  Heyes was brilliant, Curry was fast.  They had been young and reckless and loving every minute of it.
 Curry sighed, a little regretful that those days were over and gone now.  Life had changed and they’d had to make certain adjustments just to keep their heads above water, so to speak.  Now look at them, he mused, still making adjustments just to stay alive and keep moving forward.  Although right now, moving forward meant stepping out into the abyss and hoping that somehow in the darkness they’d both land on their feet.
 Curry came back to the present as the train started around a bend and he smiled again as he remembered this area as their favorite ambush spot.  It was perfect; the bend in the tracks just long enough so the engineer couldn’t see the logs blocking the tracks ahead until he was into the trap, but still with enough room to bring the train to a halt without endangering anyone.  On top of that there was just the right amount of level ground to make room for the passengers to be safely disembarked and assembled while the outlaws went about their business.  It was as though this spot had been designed specifically with outlawing in mind.
 Then, suddenly, almost like a deja vu the train actually started slowing down, the screaming brakes against the metal wheels competing with the frantic whistles from the engine as the people in the car started looking around anxiously.  The lawmen were instantly on the alert.  Morrison was up in a flash and walking towards the head of the car and then disappeared out onto the landing to get a better idea of what was going on.
  Curry had tensed and instantly sat up straighter, but then felt Rick’s hand on his arm, cautioning him to stay settled.  Jack was out of his seat, rifle at the ready and making sure that none of the passengers made a move towards the prisoner.  If this was a planned attempt by the Devil’s Hole Gang to rescue one of their leaders, they were going to find it a difficult task indeed.
 The train was coming to a halt when Curry saw two horsemen gallop past his window and his heart skipped a beat.  In an instant he had recognized Lobo and Charlie and knew that it was his old gang.  But they couldn’t possibly know that Curry was on this train.   They had probably just planned this as a regular robbery, totally unaware of the lawmen that were on board and preparing for battle.  Curry was understandably anxious; this could get dangerous really quickly especially with Morrison in charge!
 Suddenly Rick was out of the seat and Morrison had returned and was quickly unlocking Curry’s ankles from the shackles.  He had handed his rifle over to Richard and instructed the two deputies to take up positions at the windows and be ready for a fight.  He pulled out his hand gun, and grabbing Curry by his left arm, hauled him to his feet and started hurrying him to the outside landing of the car.
 It was all happening so fast that Curry only had a vague impression of the scared eyes watching him scrambling towards the exit.  The boys who had earlier been all excited about a possible outlaw raid were now clinging to their mother’s skirts, finding the reality of it far more frightening than anything they could have imagined.
 Then the two men were out on the landing and Wheat and Hank were trotting their horses past on their way to the baggage car.  Before Curry could grasp what was happening, or even yell a warning to his former compatriots of the danger they were in, Morrison aimed his revolver and fired.  Whether Morrison was really that good a shot, or he’d just been lucky, Curry would never know but the result was that Hank’s head jerked back and he fell from the saddle like a rag doll and didn’t move once he hit the ground.
 Curry gasped in shock!  It was all surreal; he couldn’t believe this was happening!  As soon as the shot was fired, Morrison pushed Curry forward, in front of him and turning the revolver pressed the still warm muzzle up against the prisoner’s temple.  Curry heard the hammer being pulled back and felt sick. Wheat had instantly pulled his horse up and around and was aiming his hand gun in the direction that the shot had come from.  Then he froze, hardly believing what his eyes were showing him.

 “Kid!!  What the hell…?”  and he trotted his horse closer to the two men standing on the car.

 “Hold it right there Carlson!”  Morrison yelled at him.  “Now that I have your attention, you and the rest of your men better back off!  Your boss here is wanted dead or alive and after all the problems I’ve been having I’d just as soon blow his brains out right here and now!  It’s up to you! Back off or he’s dead—and I mean it!”

 Well that got Wheat’s gander up and he took aim at Morrison, trying to look like he meant it too.

 “Well now, what makes you think that once you shoot Curry I won’t just shoot you?”  he blustered.  “We were just here pulling an honest train robbery!  Hell, we heard that Heyes and the Kid had been captured, but that’s not new and it always turns out to be a false alarm!  We didn’t even know the Kid was on board and you go shootin’ one of my men and makin’ threats!  Maybe we’ll just shoot you where you stand and take Curry with us!”

 The other members of the gang had gathered around now, drawn by the gunfire and they were all hooting and laughing like they thought Wheat had a great idea.  Meanwhile Kyle had dismounted to check on the fallen Hank and when he looked up; his expression was none too happy.
 Curry was beginning to feel like a chicken caught between a hungry coyote and the chopping block.  Morrison pressed the muzzle of his gun harder against Curry’s temple.

 “You best tell them how it is Curry,”  Morrison murmured to him.  “or I swear I will kill you and Carlson will be the next one to go.”

 Curry swallowed, trying to moisten his very dry throat.

 “Best listen to him Wheat!”  Curry croaked, his voice sounding gruff even to himself.  “You got no idea what you’re up against here!”

 Just then Kyle had remounted and approached Wheat, looking pale and a little scared.


 “Not now Kyle, I’m busy!”

 “But Wheat—Hank’s dead.”

 Wheat shot a look at Kyle, who nodded solemnly and then they both glanced back to where a couple of the other boys were heaving Hank up across his horse’s saddle.  Wheat glared back towards Morrison, his expression livid.

Curry groaned. “Aww no, not Hank.”  he whispered to himself, but Morrison heard him and smiled.

 “You better tell them Curry.  I’m getting tired of this game.”

 Wheat looked like he was about to explode and Curry knew he had to stop it and stop it NOW!

 “Back off Wheat!”

 “He killed Hank!”

 “And he’s going to kill me and then you if you don’t back off!!”  Curry yelled at him, frustrated with the man’s obtuseness.  “Do you really think he’s alone here?  You have at least three rifles aimed at your chest right now!”

 Wheat sat back and obviously paled as he instantly began scanning the windows of the passenger car.

 “Well…what about you Kid?”  Wheat asked, suddenly anxious.  “It don’t feel right just riding off and leaving you here.”

 Curry was actually starting to get mad, why did Wheat always have to be so damned stubborn?  Morrison was getting a bit of perverse pleasure out of the battle of wills between the two outlaws.  Apparently even a band of thieves has problems with middle management.

 “Wheat, please.”  Curry persisted.  “Go!  Just go and live to rob another train tomorrow.”

 “But Kid…”


 “Alright!  We’re goin’!”  Wheat finally agreed.  “But this ain’t over!  What’s to stop us from comin’ at ya again further down the track and takin’ em by surprise!?”

 Curry groaned again.  “Well maybe the fact that you just told the law that that’s what you’re gonna do!  Kinda ruins the surprise don’t it!”  Kid pointed out in frustration.

 Wheat started blustering, feeling insulted.  “Fine then!  We’ll just leave you to it!  Just tryin’ to help and you get all uppity!  We’ll just be goin’ then!”

 “Fine, do it.”

 “We’re goin’.”


 Then, with one final exasperated snarl in the Kid’s direction, Wheat signaled to his men and they turned and galloped off towards the nearby woods.
 However, before the small band of outlaws got more than a few yards, Morrison took sudden aim and fired at the backs of the retreating group.  Wheat slumped forward, obviously wounded, but he didn’t fall and the group of outlaws kept going.  Curry yelled in anger and rammed into the sheriff, spoiling his aim for another shot.
  Quick as a rattle snake Morrison rounded on the Kid and whacked him across the head with the side of his revolver.  Curry went down in the confined space, his back against the railing, trying to raise his shackled hands to protect himself from another blow.  Morrison moved to shoot him where he sat but then suddenly Rick was there knocking the Sheriff’s gun off target.


 “WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?”  Morrison rounded on his deputy.

 “There’s no reason to kill him!”  Rick tried to reason with his boss.  “Leave him be!  He did what you asked!”

 “What!  Are you turning into a bleeding heart too Layton?!”  Morrison sneered at him.

 “No!  Just I think everyone needs to calm down.”  Rick reasoned.  “Curry’s not going anywhere and I doubt that gang is going to come back now that we’re on to them.  Just leave him be.”

 “Fine.”  Morrison snapped back.  “You baby sit him then!”  and he stomped down off the landing and along with some of the other male passengers headed up towards the engine to see about getting the train moving again.

 Both Rick and Jed breathed a sigh of relief.

 “C'mon Curry, on your feet.”  and not thinking, Rick grabbed him by his right arm and started to pull him up.

 Jed gasped with pain and again felt like he was going to black out.

 “Oh, sorry.”

 Then Rick stepped over him to his other side, took hold of his left arm this time and helped him to his feet.  They headed back inside the car towards their seats with the other passengers talking excitedly around them.  A number of the male passengers were still in the process of re-holstering their own side arms, having pulled them in a show of support for the lawmen. The adults at least were all getting fed up with the number of robberies that had been staged along this line.   However, the youngsters, now that the danger was over were very animated in their own re-enactments of the attempted robbery/rescue, their allegiances’ quickly changing from the famous outlaw to the heroic lawmen.

 “WOW!  Did you see that?”

 “BANG!  BANG!  I’m going to kill me some outlaws!

 “We showed them!”

 “WOW!  The Devil’s Hole Gang!”

 Rick still had hold of Curry’s arm as they made their way down the isle, but Jack came forward to try and clear the boys out of the way to get the prisoner safely back to their seats.  So much for using a passenger train as a ruse.  All three men were aware of how much worse this whole situation could have turned out if the outlaw band hadn’t backed off.  

Curry was pale and looking pretty shaken up as the deputies got him seated down and secured again.  Rick took a handkerchief and tried dabbing away the blood on Curry’s cheek bone where the hammer of Morrison’s revolver had landed its blow and split the skin.  Curry flinched and drew away.

 “Yeah.”  Rick said, giving up the effort.  “You’re going to have quite a shiner along there.”

 Curry didn’t respond, just sat staring out the window as the train jarred slightly and then started moving again.  Rick could see the cloud of pain settling over the Kid, a pain that had nothing what so ever to do with the man’s physical condition.

 “I’m sorry.”  Rick told him.  “Morrison didn’t need to kill that man.  Was he a friend?”

 Curry looked over at Rick as though in a daze.  Finally he answered.  “Yeah he was.  I’ve known him for years.  He didn’t deserve that; Hank Wilkinson didn’t have a mean bone in his body.”

 “He was an outlaw.”

 “You don’t have to be mean spirited to be an outlaw.”  Curry mumbled and then looked pointedly at the empty seat in front of them where Morrison generally sat.  “Just like you don’t have to be an outlaw to be mean spirited.”

“Hey Lom!”  Heyes was off his cot in an instant and up to the bars to greet his old friend.  “Sure is good to see you!”  Then he noted Lom’s solemn expression and his own smile dropped from his face.  “What is it?  Is the Kid alright?”

 “Yeah, Heyes.  Kid’s alright.”  Lom assured him.  “Morrison’s got him settled in over in Murreyville for now.  But I do have some bad news for you.”

 “What Lom?  What is it?”

 “Hank Wilkinson’s dead.”

 The news hit Heyes like a ton of bricks.  He paled and he felt like he was going to be sick.

 “What?”  He breathed.  “Why?  What happened?”

 “Well, the gang stopped the train that Kid was being transported on.  They were just going to rob it, they had no idea there were lawmen on board.  Then they came up against Morrison.”

 Heyes closed his eyes, groaning.  “Oh no.”

 “Yup.”  Lom continued.  “According to Curry, Sheriff Morrison didn’t even give them any warning.  Just shot Hank right out of the saddle to ‘get their attention’.  Apparently Carlson was wounded as well, but the Kid doesn’t know how badly.”

 Heyes leaned against the bars, his forehead resting on his crossed arms.

 “Hank was one of the nicest fellas I’ve ever known.”

 “I know Heyes.”  Lom sympathized.  “C'mon, let’s get out of here, go for a walk.”

 “I don’t feel like going for a walk.”

 “I know, but let’s go anyways.”

 Lom unlocked the cell door and snapped the handcuffs onto Heyes’ wrists.  Heyes went along with his friend, thinking that maybe some fresh air would do him some good after all, and then maybe a stiff drink would help even better.  He couldn’t decide if he was more hurt or angry, but one thing was for sure; his hatred for Morrison was now locked in and solid.  That man was going to get his own back.  Heyes didn’t know when where or how, but a day of reckoning was coming.  

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Join date : 2013-08-31
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 7 Adjustments    Chapter 7 Adjustments  EmptySun Dec 01, 2013 8:59 am

Oh, Morrison is mean, isn't he? I get the feeling that only somebody that single-minded could bring in the boys though. He is the dark side of the law just as we don't ofetn see the dark side of the boys it's there too. Really enjoying this. I may have to re-read 'Ghosts' once I've finished this.

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 7 Adjustments    Chapter 7 Adjustments  EmptySun Nov 01, 2020 9:23 pm

I enjoyed this story and now am rereading it. It is so sad and dark I have to read it in small pieces. It is my favorite ASJ story with the three parts. Thank you for sharing your skills with us.
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Age : 63
Location : Camano Island Washington

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PostSubject: Re: Chapter 7 Adjustments    Chapter 7 Adjustments  EmptyMon Nov 02, 2020 6:33 am

Thanks Kattayl. I'm glad you are enjoying it. It's also nice for me to see that new people are reading it and finding it worth their time.
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