Heyes and Laurie decided to make Small Falls their home. That is if you can
call anyplace a home when you still look over your shoulder all the time and
you can never stay in one place too long. It was more like a central meeting
place, or a place that for the time being was safe. Heyes knew Laurie would
be safe there when he and Kid had to leave her. Walter and Doris Jansen had
let them know they considered Laurie to be like a daughter and would always
look after her. After they found out that she was cleared of all charges in
the shooting of Mr. Carlson, they headed back to Small Falls to see what they
would do next.
The town was quiet and the people were nice. The partners knew that besides
Laurie, Doris and Walter knew their real identities. They were almost
positive Sheriff Tom Hardy also knew who they were, although he never
acknowledged the fact. He did remove their wanted posters from the wall and
threw them in the trash in front of them saying that Hannibal Heyes and Kid
Curry hadn't been heard from in such a long time, he didn't think it
necessary to keep them posted. He put up some other outlaws saying it would
be better to have people they could actually catch on the board. That was
it. They really didn't think anyone else had an idea of their real
The three of them lived at the Jansen Hotel. Walter and Doris kept the front
two rooms of the hotel for them, Laurie and Joshua in the front corner room
and Thaddeus in the adjoining room. Laurie helped Doris with the hotel
cooking and cleaning. Her muffins and biscuits were always the first to go.
They were so popular, she always made sure to put some aside incase Kid
didn't wake up early enough to get them. Heyes and Kid helped Walter with the
upkeep of the hotel, did an occasional odd job around town and played poker
in the saloon.
The three had started to settle into a fairly normal routine. However, a few
months after returning to Small Falls, Laurie could see something different
in Heyes. As they sat on the front porch of the hotel one summer evening
enjoying the breeze she looked at him, "What's the matter?" she
"Nothing," Heyes responded as he sat in the chair next to her with
his feet propped up on the banister, cigar in mouth.
"You can't keep things from me, you should know that by now,"
Laurie said as she placed her hand on his and moved closer to him. As she
leaned in she whispered, "You're antsy, what's the matter?"
Heyes turned to Laurie and looked at her with those mesmerizing brown eyes of
his. He studied her face and a smile started to creep across his face as he
removed the cigar from his mouth, "I'm not antsy. Nothing is the
matter." He said and then his smile reached his eyes as he added,
"If I'm antsy it's only because you’re sitting so close to me. I'd
rather be upstairs and not on the porch."
Laurie stared deep into his eyes, the eyes she could get lost for days in.
When he looked at her that way, the rest of the world ceased to exist. She
looked at the smile, the face, she thought about running her hands through
his dark brown hair. She thought of him, then she shook her head and smirked,
"No you don't, you're good, but you are not going to distract me until
you answer my question."
Heyes let out a soft chuckle and traced the outline of her face with his
hand, "Question, I answered a question, was there another?" He said
quietly as he leaned toward Laurie and lightly brushed her lips with his
thumb as she bit her bottom lip.
She closed her eyes; she was getting lost in his voice, his touch, those eyes.
She took a deep breath and calmly responded, "You didn't answer why you
were getting antsy?"
"Because things are goin’ too good," the response came from
Kid who had just appeared on the porch steps. "He gets this way when he
thinks things are goin’too good. He's waitin’ for somethin’
"Does something always have to happen?" Laurie asked innocently as
she opened her eyes and looked at Kid.
"Yes," Heyes said as he sat up in his chair. "With us it
Kid sat down in the chair next to Heyes, "He's right, with us it always
"Well, maybe if you're not antsy about it, nothing will happen,"
she said as she looked at Heyes then placed her hand on his. Turning back to
Kid she asked, "How was dinner with Sarah?"
"Nice. She's a real good cook?" Kid responded lighting his cigar.
"And..." Laurie inquired.
"And what?" Kid responded sounding confused as he put his feet up
on the banister.
"And, AND," Laurie said sounding exasperated as she waved her hands
in the air.
"And you're home early," Heyes said explaining Laurie as he turned
to look at Kid. He smiled and gave her hand a squeeze.
"Heyes!" Kid exclaimed, "Sarah is a very nice respectable
"Yes, I know," he said holding the cigar between his teeth. As he
removed it, he pointed at his wife and chuckled, "She asked. Not
Laurie let out a sound and playfully swatted at Heyes. "You're awful, do
you know that," she laughed.
"That's why you love me," he said smugly.
She leaned over to him and kissed him softly on the cheek, "True,"
she whispered so softly it was almost a purr. "Now, if the two of you
will excuse me, I'm going to head upstairs." She stood up and ran her
hand up Heyes arm, as she got to the porch door she turned around. "Are you playing poker tonight or
will you be up soon?"
"No poker tonight," Heyes responded. "No one wanted to play
with us last night, so we'll give it a rest."
"No one want to lose to you again last night," Kid corrected.
"Okay, then I'll see you upstairs in a while," Laurie said as she
went into the hotel.
As the door closed Kid looked at Heyes, "Did you tell her?"
"No, not yet," he said taking a puff of his cigar. "She knows,
but I didn't tell her."
"Two months ago I would have asked how she knew, but I know you're
right. When do you figure we should leave?"
"Couple of days should be fine," he said staring out into darkness.
"Don't want to cut it too close. The drivers aren't due to be coming
through ‘til the end of the week. If we leave then, even if they're early,
we'll miss them."
cattle drives that put a large influx of new people into Small Falls were due
to start at the end of the week. It lasted for about three weeks, during
which Heyes figured they should be out of town. They knew some of the folks
on these drives and some of them knew who they were. Whether or not any of
the ones that came through Small Falls could identify them really didn't
matter. There was no reason to take a chance. No reason to gamble and bring
trouble their way. The Sheriff was content to look the other way, but if
someone came and identified them, he would most likely feel obligated to
arrest them. Heyes and Kid knew this. They didn't talk about it but Laurie
knew it too. When knew folks came to town, she was always very careful to
check them out. She would get the full report on them and let Heyes know.
Once, she stopped the partnerts from walking into the saloon full of a posse
looking for some other guys but at least two of them, could identify the
"Couple days will be good," Kid replied, "Maybe I'll see if
Sarah wants to go to dinner tomorrow. When you gonna tell Laurie?"
"Tonight or in the morning," Heyes responded. He knew he had to
tell her, he just didn't want to. He hated leaving her and this would be the longest
time they would be apart since they left to meet the Colonel. He knew when he
got into a relationship with her, that he couldn't always be there and
actually they had been together much more than he had thought. He just didn't
like telling her. He knew she would worry about them when they were gone.
"We still sendin’ a telegram to Big Mac?" Kid asked as he
puffed on his cigar and eyed the street.
"After we leave, we'll stop and send it. Don't want it coming from Small
Falls. The less people that know we've been here the better."
They sat on the porch smoking their cigars and enjoying the nice breeze as
they surveyed the town. Nice quiet town, not too big and not too small. Not
too big to have too many people with too many chances of running into a
familiar face and not too small so they would be bored. There were three
saloons with gambling and they would rotate to see who had the best games
going. Walter had talked about getting into that business, adding it to the
hotel but really didn't know what to do. He thought that perhaps in the
future Heyes and Kid would be willing to help run it.
sat on the porch wondering if such a dream would be possible. Would he and
Kid ever get their amnesty and would they really be able to settle down. Small
Falls was a really nice town, but Laurie was right, he was antsy. Part of it
was because things were going smoothly the other part was because he liked to
move around. He liked the west and he liked to be free, roaming the west.
Finding new towns, new poker games, big pots, a noticeable smile came over
his face and his eyes lit up.
"Floor plan?" Kid inquired.
"High stakes poker," Heyes said with a slightly devilish laugh
raising his eyebrow.
"Not with Mac!"
"Nooo, not with Mac! Just in general," Heyes said with amusement.
"Just for the challenge!" He chuckled and Kid joined in.
"Kid," he said in a more serious tone, "Do ya think we'll ever
settle down? I mean really settle down in one place?"
Kid looked at him, he could see concern in his partner's face, "Yeah,
Heyes, I think when we get our amnesty, we will be able to stay in one
place." As though reading his mind he continued, "I think you get
antsy because we've still got a price on our heads. You know that any minute
this," Kid motioned with his hand the town, "could all be gone.
Your happiness with Laurie could all be taken away and you're scared."
"Scared?" he raised his eyebrow.
"Yeah, Heyes scared. You're afraid that you'll lose the people you love
all over again. You're afraid someone or somethin’ is gonna take it all
away from you." Blue eyes met brown eyes as he talked seriously to his
cousin. "It's not gonna
happen. But that's why you're so antsy."
"There you go thinking again," Heyes said flippantly, trying to
diffuse what was said. "I thought we had an arrangement." He sat
there digesting what Kid said to him, he knew that at least part of what was
said was true. He did fear losing everything again. He could never see that
changing. Not even when they got amnesty.
sat for a while in silence. By the silence, Kid knew he had gotten to Heyes
and knew it was best to just leave it alone. He had to deal with this by
himself. Heyes was not likely to show any emotions, holding them in and
pretending they didn't exist, like tonight.
Kid," Heyes said as he stood up, "Cigar's done. Think it's time to
go talk to Laurie." He got up patted his partner's shoulder and walked
into the hotel.
was a hotel, he thought and he didn't own it. Doris and Walter wouldn't even
allow them to pay to stay there. Maybe that was it. Maybe if they actually
owned something, or lived in a place they could call their own instead of
just a room. It was a very nice room, and Laurie had made it as much like
home as possible, but it was just one room. There was no privacy except that
one room. Everything else was public, eating was public, and if he had an
argument with Laurie it was public. As he said goodnight to Walter, who was
working at the front desk, he turned to go up the stairs to their room.
Laurie was sitting at the vanity brushing her hair when Heyes walked into
their room. She saw his reflection in the mirror as he closed the door and
took off his hat. He quietly unbuckled his gun belt and walked over to hang
it on the bedpost. "When are you leaving?" She asked as she watched
him move in the mirror never turning to look at him and never stopping
brushing her hair.
Heyes didn't turn around or attempt to make eye contact, he didn't even ask
how she knew he just he sat on the bed and took his boots off. "Two
days, maybe three depending on the weather," was all he said. He stood
up walked over to the basin of steaming water.
"Just got that for you a few minutes ago, it should still be warm,"
Laurie said as she stood up, extinguished the lantern by the vanity and
walked over to the bed.
had the corner front room so it was bigger than the one next to them that the
Kid used. They had a high four poster bed that sat between the front windows.
The wardrobe, and vanity were positioned along the wall that was parallel to
Laurie's side of the bed and the dresser with shaving mirror was on the wall
by the door. The other side of the room was set up as a sitting area with two
large over stuffed chairs and a small sofa arranged in front of the fireplace.
The door to Kids room was along this wall. From the windows in the front,
they could see the entire front street and partially down the main side
Laurie had changed into her nightgown before he came into the room; she
turned down the bed and sat on her side. She quietly glanced at Heyes who was
deep in thought. She knew not to disturb him when he was this way, but looked
to see if there was an opening so she could let him know she was there, she
understood. A smile, a touch was all she needed to do, but she needed to know
the right time, so not to be rejected or make matters worse. She really
wasn't sure what the cause of Heyes' mood tonight, but whatever it was, she
wanted to make sure he knew he wasn't alone.
finished getting cleaned up and then slowly began to undress. He was still
lost in his own thoughts as he undressed and neatly laid his clothes on the
chair. He checked the door to make sure it was locked and then, extinguished
the lantern by the door leaving the only light the low light emitting from
the lantern on his side of the bed.
turned towards the bed. Laurie was already lying down under the covers.
Heyes quietly sat on the bed, extinguished the lantern and got under the
covers without saying a word. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath
trying not to make a sound; quietly she rolledon her side with her back
towards him. She fought the urge
to cry or ask if she had done something to cause this mood.
lay there quietly for a few minutes listening to Laurie's uneasy breathing.
He could tell that although she was trying very hard to be calm, to
understand, he had hurt her because of his silence. It was his way of dealing
with things but he told himself that he had to try to be more open with her.
He rolled over on his side facing her and watched for a moment; and then with
one swift movement he wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her close to
him. As her back touched his chest he leaned in and kissed her neck,
"I'm sorry," he whispered in her ear.
breathed deeply and almost purred as he continued to kiss her neck. "I
love you," was all she said as she turned to face him and look into his
deep brown eyes, into his very soul. As they stared silently into each
other's eyes, lost inside their world, Heyes leaned forward and gave Laurie a
very soft gentle kiss, she returned the kiss with a passionate kiss and
Laurie was still wrapped in Heyes' arms when she woke the next morning. She
stayed there quietly enjoying the warmth of his body next to hers. She never
felt safer or more secure than she did when she was in his arms. She closed
her eyes and with the slightest of sighs wished they could stay like this
she heard whispered in her ear, "that better be a happy sigh and not a
Laurie smiled and turned her head to see Heyes looking at her, "How long
have you been awake?" She asked as she rolled her whole body over to
"A little while," he said as he brushed the back of his hand on the
side of her face. "I didn't want to disturb you. You were sleeping so
soundly, looking so peaceful."
"You were watching me again," she smiled then shook her head,
"What am I going to do with you?" Laurie stared deep into his eyes
as he smiled at her, she bit her bottom lip.
"I'm sure I can think of something," Heyes smiled as he pulled her
into a kiss.
The kiss lingered and became more passionate until Laurie, finally out of
breath pulled back. "Oh, my" she stuttered, "I have to go make
Heyes held on tight and began kissing Laurie's neck, "Can't you skip
Laurie felt she was melting into Heyes. She was getting lost in his warmth,
his touch, his voice, his kisses; her breathing became more uneven as she
tried to regain control. Why, she thought, Doris told her she didn't have to
cook every morning, she could skip today. But, Laurie liked to do it and, oh,
Kid, Kid would be so disappointed if she didn't make the blueberry muffins
she promised him. Heyes began to nibble on her ear as she began to squirm.
"I have to get up, I'm sorry." She said, "I promised Kid I
would make blueberry muffins, I have to go."
Heyes stopped kissing her neck and lifted his head to look into her eyes
"You're leaving me…here…now…so you can make Kid
muffins!" He stated incredulously.
nodded her head.
released his tight hold on her, tilted his head, opened his mouth but nothing
came out. He closed his eyes for a moment, opened them and looked directly
into her eyes, "You are leaving your husband, in bed, so you can go make
his partner, blueberry muffins."
Laurie giggled a little and bit her bottom lip then nodded her head slightly,
"Uh-huh. I'm sorry."
Heyes let out a sigh and rolled on his back, "Does he have bad timing or
what! Even when he isn't here, or knocking on the door, he knows how to kill
"I'm sorry," Laurie said propping herself on her elbow alongside
Heyes. "If I didn't promise." She stopped herself and added,
"I'll make you a promise."
turned his head to look at her. "You stay right here," she
whispered to him, "Give me thirty minutes and I will be back. I will
remember exactly where we were and nothing will disturb us the rest of the
smiled at her.
Pulling Laurie's head towards his, "Deal," he whispered as he
pulled her into a passionate kiss.
After a few minutes, Laurie pulled back breathless again and shook her head,
"You certainly aren't making this easy."
"Good!" Heyes replied and smile. "Thirty minutes and then I
kill Kid for taking you away if you're not back."
She jumped up got dressed, went back gave Heyes a slow lingering kiss as she
pulled back she reached over to the side of his bed and handed him his book.
"Thirty minutes, don't get up!" She ran out the door and down to
True to her word, thirty minutes later, Laurie was running up the stairs and
into their room. She opened the door and stepped in to see Heyes dressed and
sitting in one of the chairs with Kid sitting across from him in the other
chair. Laurie stopped dead in her tracks, Heyes looked up and gave her a half
smile as he rolled his eyes, "Kid came in right after you left."
"Morning Jed,” she said unenthusiastically.
"What did I do?" Kid asked with a confused look on his face.
"You called me Jed. You only call me that when you're mad at me.
So what did I do?"
Heyes tried to suppress his smile as he gave Laurie a wide eye look and
tilted his head waiting to see hear her explanation.
called you Jed," Laurie said trying to cover and not be distracted by
Heyes' look. "Sorry, don't know why, guess I'm just tired."
Changing the subject, "The blueberry muffins I promised just came out of
the oven," she said as she pointed back to the door.
"I almost forgot!" Kid said with a big grin on his face as he stood
up. "Better go get me some while they're still hot." He started to
walk to the door and turned back around when he realized Heyes and Laurie
weren't following, "Aren't you comin’ to breakfast?"
Heyes sighed and smiled at his partner the bottomless pit, "Be right
there; give me a minute."
Kid look at Heyes and then at Laurie, "Oh, sure, I'll get us a
table." He turned back around and left the room.
Heyes stood up and walked over to Laurie and put his arm around her waist,
"We could let him go alone to breakfast."
titled her head.
right," he continued, "He would only come up to find us. He could
never understand how something might be better than breakfast." He
sighed and gave Laurie a kiss on her neck then the two of them followed Kid
down to breakfast.
partners starting making plans and figuring out what supplies they would
need. Sitting on the porch they were discussing sending the telegram to Big
Mac. Last time they spoke he had told them he had a job for them when they
were available. Laurie overheard this conversation and looked at them,
"If he asks you to take that stupid bust thing," she said
adamantly, "You had better turn and walk away." She paused for a
second then added, "Better yet, Kid shoot him for asking."
"Shoot him?" Heyes laughed.
"Yes shoot him!" she replied. "I don't know him; I don't want
to know him because he has a one track mind when that stupid thing is
concerned. And, he is not concerned about your welfare."
"Mac wouldn't ask again," Heyes stated.
"I don't know," Kid hesitated, "Laurie has a point. He is
rather obsessed with that thing. With Armendarez buyin’ it, maybe he
does want us to get it back."
"We told him we wouldn't do it last time, so it would be a waste of his
time to ask again. Besides, he sold it; it doesn't belong to him
anymore." Seeing by the looks on their faces that he was getting
nowhere, he threw his hands up in the air, "Okay, okay, if he asks us to
take it, Kid will shoot him."
"Good!" Laurie said with a huge smile on her face. She leaned over to
Heyes and gave him a kiss on the cheek then turned to walk inside, "I
told Doris I would make dessert for tonight."
"Blueberry pie?" Kid asked hopefully.
"Just for you," she replied with a smile and a touch on his
shoulder as she passed him.
"Have I told you I love you lately?" Kid asked
"Not nearly enough," Laurie said and pretended to pout.
"Hey!" Heyes shouted.
Kid and Laurie looked at him like he had two heads, "What!" Kid
"She's my wife!" Heyes barked, "Keep your hands off her."
"My hands aren't on her!" Kid yelled back.
"Both of you stop yelling," Laurie scolded them. She turned to Kid
and laughed; "He just doesn't understand, it's all about the food."
"Well of course," Kid stopped in mid sentence and turned to look at
Heyes. He was going to say something but just decided to shake his head.
Quietly he said, "Heyes, I know she's your wife, I only appreciate her
and Heyes looked at him.
appreciate her in other ways too but, oh jeez that didn't come out right
either," Kid said getting extremely flustered. "Heyes, you're
makin’ somethin’ out of nothin’. Yes, I love Laurie, for
her cookin’, for her bein’ your wife, like a little sister but
"I know," Heyes said calmly trying to conceal the smile that was
desperately trying to form on his face, "You didn't have to go getting
all excited about it."
Laurie walked back over to Heyes, "You are terrible, and yes before you
say it that is one of the reasons I love you." She bent over and gave him
a soft kiss on the lips and a playful swat on the arm. She turned and walked
back into the hotel.
Heyes and Kid gathered the supplies they would need for the next week and
made plans as to where they were going and how they were going to keep in touch
with Laurie. As always, a telegram telling her that the weather was sunny or
perfect meant everything was great. If they said it was cloudy things could
be better, and if it was raining they were in trouble.
morning came before any of them were ready for it. The three got up early and
ate breakfast downstairs in relative quiet. Doris had packed them enough food
for the rest of the day. She and Walter said their good byes and waited on
the porch for Laurie as she and Sam walked them to their horses. Laurie gave
Kid a kiss. "Take care of yourself and Heyes," she whispered as Kid
gave her a hug.
"I promise to bring him back safe," Kid replied. He bent over to
Sam and gave him a pet, "Take care of her." Sam barked an
acknowledgement and Kid mounted his horse.
Laurie turned to Heyes and forced a smile. "Ride safely, let me know how
things are going when you can."
"I will," Heyes said looking into her eyes he placed his hand on
her face. He stood gazing into her eyes then gently pulled her into a kiss.
"I love you."
"I love you too," Laurie whispered. They stood holding onto each
As they released their hold, Heyes looked down at Sam, "You're job is to
make sure she's okay. You take care of her alright." Once again Sam
barked an acknowledgment. Heyes gave Laurie another kiss and mounted his
"Take care of each other and come back safely," Laurie said.
"We will," Heyes replied then turning his horse he called out as he
left, "See you on the twenty-second!"
and Sam stood watching until the dust trail from the horses was no longer
visible. They then turned and walked up to the porch and the waiting arms of
Walter and Doris.
Heyes and Kid rode out of town, riding south towards Big Mac's ranch. They
didn't know if there was a job there, but if there was, they might as well be
on their way.
days after leaving Small Falls, the partners arrived in Silver Springs. As
they entered the town from the north side, Heyes checked out all the people
and buildings on the right side of town as Kid check the left side of town.
As they approached the Sheriff's office Kid read the sign out loud,
"Sheriff John Jefferson" turning to Heyes and smiling, "We
don't know a Sheriff Jefferson do we?"
"Nope," Heyes smiled back as he continued to scan the peoples'
faces in the town. He rode directly to the telegraph office and dismounted.
"Figure we'll take care of sending the telegrams first, check into the
hotel and then get a drink."
"Sounds like a plan to me," Kid responded as he followed Heyes.
Heyes wrote out the first telegram to Laurie,
arrived, Silver Springs. Weather has been great. Waiting on Mac's reply.
the telegraph operator was sending the first telegram Heyes wrote the second
to Big Mac,
need Thaddeus and me for a job? Available now. In Silver Springs waiting
response. Joshua Smith.”
he paid the operator he said, "We'll be staying at the hotel. You can
leave word there when we get a response." They turned, left the office
and headed to the hotel stopping first to stable their horses. After checking
into their room and depositing their belongings Heyes turned to Kid,
"Drink or food first?"
"You have to ask."
"Well, I thought you might be thirsty?" Heyes laughed.
"Well, I am, but I think I am more hungry than thirsty so food."
"Food it is. A nice steak dinner would be great followed by a drink and
some poker," Heyes said as he headed towards the door.
The next morningthey received a response from Big Mac,
still need you for a job. Meet me at the hotel in Red River in three days.
Will tell you of job then. Big Mac.”
"Well," Heyes said after reading the telegram. "It’s north of his ranch so
that's a good sign."
Kid looked at him warily, "Yeah, but why didn't he tell us about the job
in the telegram?"
Heyes thought a minute and then trying to sound convincing, "You know
how he likes to keep things a secret. It's just his way of being in
"That's what worries me," the blond man said sounding worried as
the brown haired man gave a nervous laugh.
"Better send a telegram to Laurie telling her what's happening"
Heyes said changing the subject as he started to write the telegram,
“Weather still sunny. Heading to Red River
to meet Mac. JHHS.”