JEWELS PART 4
and Joey stomped into the saloon and barked at the bartender to get them some
whiskey. "Don't get it," Joey said. "How'd the jewels
git here? We searched the stagecoach when we robbed it. They weren't
"Don't know but if I find out how and who helped, they're gonna
pay," Jake growled. "They cost me money! I'm also gonna get even
with Suarez for only payin' us the money we got up front. He still owes us
the rest of the money. I don't care if the jewels made it here or not, that
money is ours! If he didn't have so many guards with him today, he would've
already paid." Jake slammed down his glass and barked at the bartender
"Do you think his nephew had anythin' to do with it?" Joey asked.
"If I ever see ‘im, I'll ask," Jake snarled as he shot back
his second whiskey banging the glass on the bar for a refill.
"Well maybe we could catch up with ‘em," Joey innocently
"What?" Jake roared as grabbed Joey and whirled him around so his face
was only inches away from his.
"They was out by their horses when we came in." Joey stammered,
"I thought ya saw ‘em."
"No!" boomed Jake as he let go of Joey and practically ran out the
saloon doors. He looked up and down the street and saw no sign of the two
men. "Let's go," he yelled at Joey as he emerged from the saloon.
Jake looked at Joey and shook his head, he was his brother but he definitely
wasn't the brightest person. "Do ya always have to be so dumb? We're
gonna find McCreedy's nephew and his partner and git the rest of our money
"But why would Senor Suarez pay them?"
Jake just looked at Joey shook his head and hit him in the arm, "Git on
Heyes and Kid quickly rode north out of town. Kid turned and looked back,
"No sign of them, maybe they didn't see us."
"Maybe it took them a little longer to put the pieces together,"
Kid looked at Heyes with a sour look on his face, "You're certainly
"A realist. Things have gone fairly smoothly until now, something's
bound to go wrong."
"You're still in your mood!" Kid said in disgust. "I thought
we went over that."
shrugged, twisted his face a little and turned to face ahead.
Kid implored, "You gotta snap out of it. You're the one who's supposed
to look at the glass half full. You're the one who is always tellin’ me
things are gonna be alright."
Heyes, who was now riding a few feet in front of Kid, turned around to answer
his cousin, "I hate to disappoint you Kid, but it looks like we got us
some company riding this way."
Blue eues gave a quick glance at the dust being kicked up by the horses
coming in their direction. "Jake and Joey?"
"Don't know but don't want to find out," Heyes said as he urged his
horse to ride faster. Looking ahead he said, "Let's head into the hills.
We can watch with the cover of the trees and see if they follow us. If they
do and it's Jake and Joey we should be able to lose them."
"Big they are, smart they're not." Heyes said as he guided his
horse towards the hills.
The partnersquickly headed for the cover of the trees on the hill. The rocky
landscape of the hills would also help cover their tracks as they made their
way. Looking back they could see the dust trail and the riders that were
following them. "Well I guess its Jake and Joey or someone else who is
after us. They're comin’ too fast and changed direction to match
us," Kid sighed.
"Let's hope it's just Jake and Joey. I don't think either of them is
smart enough to follow us over the rocks. Even if they can, it's two on two.
I like our odds," Heyes responded as he scouted ahead looking for the
best way to traverse the hill and rocks. "We're gonna have to take the
path up higher, there is no way the horses are going to make it over those
rocks and gulch in front of us," Heyes said as he pointed to the area he
was talking about."
higher they got, the more difficult it was on the horses as the terrain
became very steep. Heyes jumped off his horse as the horse started to stumble
when it lost its footing. "It'll be safer to walk the horses up the rest
of the way. It looks like there is a clearing up ahead."
Kid got off his horse and started to lead it up the hill following Heyes'
path. "Guess we're not gonna make it to town tonight," he grumbled.
"Doesn't look it," Heyes responded without looking back. As they
approached the clearing, they could see the entire valley below them.
"No sign of Jake and Joey, they or whoever was following us, must be
below in the trees."
"Better keep movin’."
"Yep," Heyes said surveying the area. Pointing down the other side
of the hill, "If we can get down the hill we can cross the river and I'm
sure we can lose whoever is following us."
"That's gonna take us well out of our way and the river is movin’
Heyes turned to Kid and shrugged, "We can take the long way or we can go
back down the hill and hope Jake and Joey aren't looking for us and it's not
"Heyes," Kid growled, "Sometimes you really get on my
nerves. I was lookin' forward to
a nice bath and steak dinner tonight. Maybe even some poker. But now we're
gonna be out here. Who knows where, probably wet from the water, eaten beans
from a can. If we're lucky and
can lose whoever is followin’ us!" He mounted his horse and
started down the hill towards the river. The hill was not as steep on the
west side of the hill as on the east side so they could ride down.
Heyes mounted his horse and followed. "You don't have to go getting all
proddy Kid," Heyes said in a conciliatory tone. "I would much
prefer to be in a hotel with a bed then to be out here too. I just don't see
They made it down the hill with a fair amount of ease. They followed the
river to where they could cross. As they entered the water, Heyes looked up
the hill to see two riders at the top.
back around they began to traverse the river. The water was deep, coming up
past the stirrups. They raised their feet so not to get too wet as the water
rush past them. It took a lot of effort for the horses and men to trudge
through the water as the current banged against the sides of the animal
making it difficult for the horse to stay upright and the riders to stay on.
As they finally made landfall, Heyes turned around to see Jake and Joey about
one third of the way down the hill watching them. They turned and went back
up the hill and out of sight. "Well, guess they decided it was too
difficult to cross," Heyes said as he pulled his horse to a stop.
"I know I wouldn't have wanted to follow someone across the river if I
just watched them cross," Kid responded. "I wasn't so sure we were
gonna make it."
"You and me both Kid, you and me both!"
"I'm kind of beat, this is a nice flat area, the horses need to
rest," Kid said, "Why don't we camp here for the night?"
"Sounds good to me," his partner replied as he got down off his
horse and unloaded his gear. "I'll get some wood so we can start a fire
and dry off."
Sitting by the fire, Kid pulled off his boots, "I hate wet boots!"
Heyes pulled off his boots, “ Couldn’t agree with you
and Kid set up camp and stayed by the river for the night. It was fairly
pleasant but neither of them slept particularly well wondering if Jake and
Joey knew another way around the river. Kid rolled over to see Heyes sitting
and staring at the fire, he watched him for a few minutes as he absently
rubbed the heart charm attached to his watch between his thumb and fingers.
"Fresh coffee?" Kid asked, having gotten used to the rock gut that
his partner passed as coffee.
"New pot," he stated as he put his watch away and reached for it to
pour a cup.
Kid sat up and took the cup, "Did ya figure out how much longer it's
gonna to take to get back to Small Falls?"
"No. We'll have to see if we can find a spot to cross back over. The
river looks like it gets deeper and is still traveling fast. Don't want to
risk crossing again like yesterday."
"Maybe there's a bridge up ahead or the river slows down."
"Maybe, but then again maybe not. By the look of the sky, it looks like
we're in for some rain, so we better find some shelter or town."
"A town would be nice," Kid said enthusiastically.
"Yeah, but I'm not holding out hope for that, let's eat breakfast and
get moving. Doesn't look like there's any shelter as far as the eye can see
They ate breakfast then packed up their gear to head out. Following the
river, they looked for a place where the water wasn't rushing by and was
shallow enough for crossing. They found nothing and continued west following
the river until they set up camp another night.
"Heyes," Kid grumbled, "I thought when we went for our amnesty
we wouldn't be givin’ up the finer things in life, like a bed to sleep
in, a roof over our heads, and good hot food, not beans from a can."
His partner shook his head, "Kid this had nothing to do with the
amnesty. We aren't running from a sheriff. We're running from Jake and Joey
and right now I think they're a lot worse than a sheriff. Once we can safely
cross the river again, we'll be on our way to those warm beds and
The blond man smiled, Heyes was coming out of his funk. He was once again
being the more optimistic one. It was the way it was supposed to be.
"How far out of our way do you think we've gone?"
"Probably two days maybe three. The river is taking us too far west to
go through the pass so we're going to have to double back once we
"Laurie's gonna be mad at me."
spread across his face as he looked at his partner.
promised her, twice, that I would have you back on the twenty-second. There
is no way I'll be able to keep the promise."
Heyes laughed, the big tough outlaw Kid Curry is afraid of breaking a promise.
"Don't worry, we'll send a telegram when we get to the next town and let
her know we're a few days behind schedule. She’ll forgive you."
"I hope so," he said not sound so sure, "She promised to make
me her special blueberry muffins and pie when we got back."
Brown eyes twinkled as he laughed harder, "It's always about food isn't
it. Not about Laurie's feelings just about food!" He shook his head and
continued to laugh.
Kid shrugged his shoulders, "So what's for dinner?"
looked at Heyes and the smile on his face got bigger, maybe it was a good
thing to be out here after all.
Midday on the nineteenth, they finally found a spot to cross the river; the
water wasn't too deep and the current wasn't moving as fast. About half way
across Kid asked Heyes, "Do you think Jake and Joey gave up or do you
think they knew this is where we would cross?"
"Don't know but we better be ready just in case."
They arrived on the other side of the river and found they were alone. They
started to double back down the side of the river when the road forked. Sign
pointing straight read ‘Dry Gulch 18' the one pointing north read
‘Summit 10'. "Which way?" Kid asked.
Heyes looked at Kid's pleading face. "Dry Gulch," Heyes deadpanned.
blond’s shoulders slumped.
eyes lit up as he chuckled lightly, "If you wanted to go to Summit why
didn't you just say so?" Kid opened his mouth to say something when
Heyes added, "I changed my mind, let's go to Summit."
"Sometimes you really get on my nerves," Kid growled as he guided
his horse towards the north road.
followed chuckling quietly.
Entering the town of Summit, they went directly to the telegraph office to
send word to Laurie they were behind schedule.
been cloudy. Staying the night in Summit. Will be couple days late. JHHS”.
They headed to the hotel, hot baths, hot meals and a nice bed to sleep in. In
the morning they ate breakfast and headed out of town.
couple of days out from Summit went smoothly, the threat of rain hung in the
air but that's all it was, a threat. Morning of the twenty-second they woke
to cooler temperatures and dark clouds on the horizon. "Better get
moving and find some shelter unless we want to be soaked," Heyes said to
Kid as he motioned to the clouds.
"I hate being wet," Kid moaned and got up to get his gear together.
"How close is the next town?"
"Think Silver Springs is still at least couple days ride from
here," Heyes said, "Don't think there is anything closer unless we
"Don't you want to get Small Falls?"
"Yes, I want to get to Small Falls," Heyes said indignantly.
"I just don't like the look of those clouds, the terrain up ahead is
tough and we should be able to reach Dry Gulch quicker or find some shelter in
the trees on the side of the hills going towards Dry Gulch." Heyes
looked at Kid as he packed his gear on his horse, "Your call."
Looking at the sky and the fast approach of the black clouds Kid thought a
moment, "Dry Gulch is closer, I vote for that."
"We can ride the storm out there. I'll send another telegram to Laurie
when we get there."
The two mounted their horses and headed southeast towards Dry Gulch, stopping
long enough to water their horses and have a quick lunch. Mounting their
horses after a short rest they looked towards the sky, the clouds were coming
fast. Heyes and Kid rode with a little more urgency but by mid afternoon, the
wind began to pick up and lightning was the only thing lighting up the dark
after, the rain started to come down in sheets. The thunder was deafening
with lightning flashing everywhere. "We better look for cover,"
Heyes yelled over the crashing thunder. Heading for the trees at the base of
the hill, the partners were getting slammed in the face by the driving rain.
It was hard to see in front of them and they knew they needed to find some
kind of shelter quick. Going deeper into the trees as the thunder boomed and
lightning stuck a tree not too far from them.
"Heyes," Kid yelled, "We're gonna get killed out here if we
don't find shelter. We're either gonna get hit by lightnin’ or break
our necks when we fall off the horses cause they're really spooked."
"Yeah, I know," Heyes said pulling his hat low in hope it would
help him see in front of him. Taking a second look he pointed to the left,
"I think there's an over hang or cave over there." They steered the
horses in the general direction. The animals were not being very cooperative
as the rain pelted them and the ground was becoming extremely difficult to
maintain footing. Finally, getting to the cave or a long deep over hang, they
got off their horses at the same time another lightning strike hit a tree
near them. The horses reared knocking Kid to the ground and bolted. Bending
over to help his partner up Heyes yelled, "We'll get them when the storm
is over. They won’t go far, just some place safer." The two turn
to walk down a narrow passage between some rocks, "At least it's not
raining as hard in here," Heyes said as he led the way. "Maybe
there’s more coverage up a head."
"Yeah, hopefully we can get find a dry spot," Kid said from behind.
passage got a little bit wider and was now covered on top. They continued to
walk around a bend and into an open area. Stepping into the area, they saw a
fire built in the middle. Reaching for their guns and turning to look around
they heard it, the click of several guns being cocked.
"Hands up!" someone shouted. "Turn around."
The partners slowly put their hands in the air and even slower turned around
to see who was holding a gun on them.
"Well looky what the cat dragged in?"
Heyes and Kid glanced at each other and sighed. Putting on his best disarming
smile, "My partner and I were just trying to get some shelter. Our
horses got spooked and took off. We'll be happy to go back down the passage
and hang out at the end until the storm passes. We didn't mean to bother
"Oh, you're not botherin' us," the giant man said, "They're
not botherin' us now are they Joey?"
"No, Jake they ain't botherin' us at all," his brother replied with
a wide grin showing less then a full set of teeth.
"Johnson," Jake instructed still pointing his gun at the
ex-outlaws, "Go git their guns." Pointing to the man with arms and
legs like tree trunks Jake said, "Ox, tie ‘em up."
"Tie us up; we just wanted to get out of the rain. We really don't want
to bother you fellows," Heyes said smiling as he began to lower his
"Keep the hands up," Jake bellowed, "You two already bothered
us by gettin' the jewels to Suarez."
"Sir," he said in his most sincere voice, "I really don't know
what you're talking about. We have been checking..."
"SHUT UP!" the big man roared. "Somehow McCreedy got the
Jewels from Clayton to Red Rock to give to Suarez. Then Joey sees you two in
Red Rock. We come lookin' for ya and ya take off. So I think you had
somethin' to do with the jewels and we're gonna git the rest of our money out
of ya if we have to beat it out of ya!"
"Whoa, Jake, that's what he called you right. We had no idea it was you
after us when we left town. All we saw were two horses riding real fast in
our direction. When we changed direction, so did who ever was following
us," Heyes calmly explained. "We thought maybe they were gonna rob
us or hurt us, we had no idea it was you."
nodded in agreement.
were in Red Rock because Thaddeus' uncle lives there and wanted us to check
out his horses. That's all. Right now we're on our way home, back to my wife
and family. We really don't know anything about the jewels. We saw them in
the bank but that was it. Mac must have gotten them after we left town."
"SHUT UP!" Jake once again bellowed at Heyes as he walked over and
gave him a backhand across the face. The force of the blow sent him into Kid
and they both tumbled to the ground. The men standing around looked on and
laughed. "Ox, tie ‘em up NOW! Make sure they're good ‘n
tight. Joey, see if they got any money."
walked over and started to pat down Kid, pulled a ten out of his pocket with
a smile. On Heyes he found twenty-four dollars. The partners were thankful
they had enough foresight to send the money ahead to Laurie. They also knew
they each had a hundred dollars in their boots but didn't think Jake and Joey
would think of looking there.
Jake paced staring at the two men now tied up and sitting on the ground.
"Where's the rest of the money?" he demanded as he waved his gun
Not wanting to get hit again but feeling it would be worse if he didn't
answer Heyes closed his eyes and quietly stated, "There isn't any. We
were just checking out one of Uncle Mac's horses. For free, cause he's a
relative that's all."
Jake walked over and backhanded Heyes again sending him to his side on the
telling the truth," Kid jumped in before Jake had a chance to kick
Heyes. "We ran into my Uncle in Clayton. He asked us to come check out
one of his horses. The other horse we were lookin' at fell through so we had
time to ride down to his ranch. He wasn't even there when we got there. We
only stayed one nightand left. I don't know anythin’ about the jewels
and where they are."
Jake pointed his finger at him, "I think your lyin' and I'm gonna make
"What cha gonna do Jake?" Joey asked.
"I have to think ‘bout it. But I'll come up with sometin'."
finally righted himself as the two sat tied off to the side. The group of
nine men sat around the fire. "Heyes," Kid whispered, "You
noticed there are only nine now."
"Where do you think the other one is?" Kid whispered back.
Kid twisted his head around to see his partner’s face, "You're
"Don't feel like getting hit again," Heyes angrily whispered then
added, "Trying to figure out how to get us out of here with no horses
without being killed."
"Thought maybe you were thinkin' about Laurie. If things worked out
right we would be in Small Falls right now."
Heyes gave Kid a look and turned his head away. He had been trying not to
think of Laurie and the fact that today was the twenty-second and they should
be in Small Falls having great food, being with Laurie, holding her, touching
her. But, no! Every time they took a job from Big Mac something went wrong.
It always went wrong! Why they kept taking jobs from him, he had no
idea. Heyes was so deep in
thought that he didn't here Joey come over to bother them.
"Hey you, you ignorin’ me?" Joey yelled at Heyes as he nudged
him not so lightly with his foot.
The shooting pain through his kidney brought Heyes back to reality,
"What, I'm sorry did you say something?"
"Yeah, I said sometin'," Joey baited Heyes. "I said what happened
to your pretty wife."
Heyes' eyes went black and his lips became thin and tense, "I'm not
"We saw you with your wife in Clayton, pretty thing she was. I'd like to
git me some of that," Joey laughed as the rest of the ganged whooped it
Kid could feel him become tense. In a very tight voice and with authority
Heyes repeated, "I'm not married. The lady you saw me with was paid to
hire. That's all."
Jake walked over to them "When you got here you said you were just
tryin' to get home to your wife. Now you say you don't have a wife. Which is
"Look," Kid jumped in feeling the rage build in his partner,
"My friend is married but what do you want him to say. You've hit him
twice, kicked him and we're both tied up. If you were him, would you answer
questions about your wife?"
Jake looked at Kid then at Heyes and nodded, "Guess you're right. I
wouldn't tell where my wife is neither." Grabbing Joey by the arm,
"Leave ‘em alone, it's not the wife I want, it's the uncle and we
know where he is."
"I heard Kid," Heyes whispered.
"Well what are we gonna do?"
"We're sitting here tied up, no guns, no horses, what can we do?"
he responded quietly. "Besides, maybe it's time for Mac to get beat up
and not us."
"You don't mean that."
"You feel my jaw and tell me I don't mean it."
"I forgot, how ya doin’?"
"Oh much better now, my jaw barely hurts, in comparison to the way my
kidney feels!" Heyes scowled.
"Hey," one of the men yelled in their direction, "Quiet over
"Sorry," Kid said, "Didn't know we couldn't talk. We're all
tied up, wet, cold and hungry. Just tryin’ to keep our minds off of
"By making a plan to escape," the man yelled back.
"Well," Heyes hesitated, "it’s kind of hard to do that.
First we would have to get untied and Jake let me tell you Ox did a great
job. Then the two of us would have to take on the nine of you. That's the
easy part considering you all have guns and we don't. Once we knock you all
out and take your guns, we have to go out into the raging storm. The one that
got us into trouble in the first place, the one we came in here to get out
of. Oh then we realize we have no horses. They ran away because of the
storm." he paused for a second figuring he was going to pay for being so
sarcastic then added, "Yeah, that's what we were doing planning our
escape. Not trying to figure out how to sit more comfortably or get
Jake let out a howl, "Shut up Johnson!" Jake laughed, "He's
right - what's your name?"
"Smith, my partner is Jones."
"Right, Smith," Jake continued to laugh, "So how far with the
plan ‘ave ya gotten?"
"All the way up to the storm and the horses" he played along.
"Can't control the storm and we'll have to hope the horses aren't too
"Horses aren't far," Jake stated. "There's some natural
shelter at the other exit of the cave. It's sort of covered, that's where our
horses went and Ox's pretty sure he saw your horses goin' there too. That's
how we knew you was comin'. Didn't you wonder how we were all standin' back
away from the fire when ya first came down the passage?"
and Kid gave each other an acknowledging look. At least they weren't stupid
and missed the signs that someone was in the cave. There were no signs where
was checkin' our horses when he saw yours." Pausing Jake turned to Ox,
"Where's their gear?"
"Still on the horses," Ox replied.
"Go get it
"Now, the storm is..."
"NOW!" Jake bellowed.
"Jake," Heyes stated, "It's just our gear, no money, really.
We weren't lying about that. We only had the money you," he paused as he
was going to say took but realized that might be a bad choice of words.
"You have from us. The weather's real bad out there; Ox could get
killed. There were two lightning strikes real close to us. The horses will be
there after the storm. If they feel safe enough now, they're not going to
"Jake he's right," Joey said.
Jake turned and glared at his brother, "Yeah but maybe he doesn't want
us to get the gear. Maybe they're hiding the money, maybe somethin’
else. Joey, you go with Ox and get the gear," Jake paused for a second,
Ox and Joey went out to the horses and a few minutes later came back drenched
with the soaking wet saddlebags and bedrolls. Dumping them on the floor of
the cave, Jake went through them and found nothing. Jake looked in the
direction of the partners. Heyes shrugged his shoulders with an ‘I told
you so' look on his face. Jake picked up a saddlebag and threw it across the
cave slamming it into the wall.
The storm raged on all evening and into the night. The howling wind was
enough to make it difficult to sleep, being tied up the way they were made it
impossible. By morning, they were stiff, sore, cold, tired and hungry. The
storm was still raging outside the cave. The smell of the coffee began to
make Kid's stomach growl and Heyes' mouth water. He still had the taste of
blood in his mouth from being hit yesterday and would do just about anything
to get a cup of coffee, good or bad.
"Excuse me," Heyes said as he tried to wiggle to get some of the
kinks out of his body. "Is there any chance we could get cups of coffee
and maybe a little bit of breakfast. Any food would do. We haven't had
anything to eat since yesterday morning and I'm real tired of listening to my
partners stomach growl over here."
"Why should we give ya anythin'?" Joey asked.
"Well except for accidentally stumbling into your cave for shelter, we
haven't done anything," he said in as pleasant voice as he could, considering
his mouth was as dry as the desert.
turned around and continued in his preparations for breakfast.
"Heyes," Kid whispered, "I think I'm going to die of
starvation. I was hungry before but with the cookin' I'm down right
"Famished?" Heyes chuckled quietly.
"That's what Doris always tells me if I'm late for a meal. She'll say
Thaddeus you must be famished. Well Heyes right now I am, so you better start
thinkin’ how to get us out of here and get us food!"
"Excuse me," Heyes said clearing his throat. "If you're going
to try to get money from Thaddeus' uncle you should probably try to treat us
a little better. He's not going to give you anything if he thinks we haven't
been treated right or," Heyes paused and swallowed hard, "dead."
"Will you be quiet, you're gettin’ on my nerves!" Joey
"Joey, Mr. Smith has a good point. McCreedy ain't gonna give us money if
he thinks his nephew's been mistreated. On the other hand, I don't know how
he feels ‘bout Mr. Smith. So untie Mr. Jones' hands and bring ‘im
over by the fire. We'll git ‘im some food, but leave Smith over by
himself." Jake stated trying to stare down Heyes.
eyes glared back at the man and didn't give in.
"Jake," Joey said, "Jones might try to escape.
"Leave his feet tied," he said sounding annoyed. "And where's
he gonna go? Smith's still tied up, do ya think Jones can take on the nine of
us and live, let alone escape?" Jake looked at Joey as he could see his
younger brother trying to figure out the answer to his question. "Just
move Jones over here," he said shaking his head.
went over to move Kid towards the fire. As he bent down to pull Kid up hegave
Heyes a swift kick in the ribs and laughed.
Kid yelled, "My Uncle thinks of Joshua the same as me. We're family. If
you hurt him, he's not gonna give you any money."
"Then I guess you'll both be dead and then we'll kill your Uncle,"
Joey laughed callously.
"Then you won't be getting any money," Heyes moaned. "There
will be a big price on your head but that won't really matter because Mac has
a lot of loyal friends and they'll hunt you down torture you. Then kill you
before you get back to a sheriff."
Jake looked at Heyes, he was sure this man was trouble. He was too calm and
not afraid of them. Something was different he just couldn't figure out what.
He motioned to Ox to get him and move him next to his partner, who was
sitting next to the fire having his hands untied by Joey. "One move I
don't like and I don't care about the money," Jake said staring at
Heyes. "First I'll kill Jones, so you can watch then you," Jake
didn't make a sound; he just stared back as Ox pulled him up to his feet and
dragged him towards the fire. Plopped down next to Kid, Heyes looked at Jake,
"We'll untie your hands so you can eat, then you can go do your business
after. Take off your boots and hand them over," Jake instructed.
"Is it possible to just give you one boot Jake?" Heyes asked with a
pitied look on his face. "My boots are the only things that are keeping
my feet a little warm. We wouldn't try to run away with only one boot. Not in
this weather. Not that we would try to get away anyway since there are nine
of you with guns."
Jake barked, "Why do I care if you're cold?"
"Because you want money from my Uncle," Kid responded.
"Fine," he grumbled flipping his hand to figuratively dismiss them,
"One boot! But one move and you get a bullet in the head!"
and Kid took off one boot each making sure to keep the one with the hundred
dollars in it on. Kid smiled to himself, Heyes doesn't always work fast, but
he never stops working. That silver tongue of his might have saved them from
a beating or worse if Jake found the money in their boots. He knew Heyes was
biding his time, their time waiting for the storm to pass. He had complete
confidence that he would come up with something, he always did.
The storm continued day and night for the next two days, only letting up for
short periods of time. Heyes and Kid sat in the same place they were by the
fire. Their hands were untied only long enough to eat and they were allowed
to relieve themselves outside the cave but only when absolutely necessary and
with guns pointing at them. Finally on the fourth day, they woke up to quiet
and dry skies. Jake sent Joey and Ox out to check the area. They came back
and reported everything in the area was a mess, lots of flooding. Path into
Dry Gulch was under water and the river was about twice the size.
Late in the day, Ox yelled into the cave that Kelly had finally gotten there.
Walking into the cave Jake asked, "Where ya been?"
"Everythin' was flooded, took cover in an old shack. Had to ride way out
of the way to git here." Looking at the backs of Heyes and Kid he asked,
"Smith and Jones," Jake responded, "McCreedy's nephew and
partner. We're gonna git some money for their release," Jake stated and
laughed a very evil laugh!
Kelly walked over to see the front of the two men sitting tied up by the
fire. Heyes had dipped his head as soon as he heard the voice, a gesture that
wasn't lost on Kid. "Good, I'm out of money and," Kelly stopped mid
sentence as he had now come around from behind and was looking at the two
men. The blonde one sat staring straight ahead but the dark haired one held
his head low. Seeing the hat, that hat. No one else he knew had that hat; it
was his signature and always wondered why it wasn't put on the wanted poster.
"Hey you," Kelly said with force directed at Heyes, "You with
the brown hair, look at me."
"What's goin’ on?" Jake asked angrily as he walked over next
"You with the brown hair, look at me!" Kelly demand.
Putting on his best poker face, Heyes
slowly looked up.
well," Kelly chuckled, "Look who we got here."
"Who?" Jake demanded with a totally confused look on his face.
"You don't got Smith and Jones," Kelly began. "And we don't
need McCreedy's money, we got our own jackpot right here!"
"You ain't makin’ no sense Kelly! Maybe you got water on your
brain," Jake said getting angry.
"No, no water on the brain. Dollar signs on the brain," Kelly said
with a big smile. "Smith here,ain't Smith. He's the one and only
Hannibal Heyes so I'm guessin' his partner here's Kid Curry. No wonder the
jewels got out of Clayton without no one noticin'!"
"Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry!" Jake exclaimed. "Are you sure?"
"Positive," Kelly snarled. "Heyes got me kicked out of Devil's
Hole and arrested. I'll never forget that face."
"Well," Jake said turning to Heyes and Kid, "What do ya have
"I'm real sorry Jake," Heyes said in the most disarming voice he
could muster. "I'm Joshua Smith. My partner is Thaddeus Jones. I don't
know why this man would call us Hannibal Heyes or Kid Curry. Do we really
look like two of the most successful outlaws? Would we have just walked into
this cave without any back up if we were Heyes and Curry? Wouldn't we have
told you who we were? Wouldn't we have stolen the jewels in Clayton if we
were Heyes and Curry? How do you explain that? Heyes and Curry giving up a
million dollars in jewels sitting in a bank. We touched the jewels! Would Mac
McCreedy allow Heyes and Curry to touch the jewels?"
Jake looked at Kelly, "Well?"
"I can't explain why he let them touch the jewels but I'm tellin' you
that's Hannibal Heyes!" Kelly insisted.
Looking at Jake with his big blue eyes looking as innocent as possible Kid
jumped in, "Jake, really McCreedy is my uncle. I have never seen this
man before and neither has my partner. I know we have a vague resemblance to
Heyes and Curry but my partner was right, if we were them, wouldn't we have told
you and would we have left the jewels in the bank. Come on, no one would
think Heyes and Curry would do that. What proof does he have? When was the
last time he saw them?"
That was it. Kid went too far and said something he shouldn't have.
sighed ever so lightly, briefly closed his eyes and waited for Kelly's
Jake asked looking at Kelly.
"I know its Heyes. Yeah it's
been a long time but," Kelly stopped and started to smile.
when Heyes knew he was done and he better start coming up with a new plan and
has a scar on his left calf where he was hit gettin' away from a posse. The
bullet grazed his leg makin' it look like someone cut ‘im with a knife.
He complained because he bled so much it ruined a new pair of pants."
"He has a scar on his left calf?" Jake asked.
"Yep," Kelly said.
"Go ahead, check there's no scar," Heyes said very calmly.
leaned over and started to pull up the left pant leg. No scar.
looked at Jake and shrugged.
"Okay Kelly, enough," Jake bellowed.
"Wait," the man said putting his hand up. "The right leg, it's the right
leg. They hit ‘im when he was gettin' on his horse, it's the right
leg!" Kelly exclaimed. Kelly grabbed at the right boot and pulled it
off. Along with the boot came the hundred-dollar bill.
looked at Jake and gave his best ‘kid getting caught with his hand in
the cookie jar look’ he had while wanting to smack Kelly across the
face. Pulling up his pant leg, Kelly exclaimed, "There it is!"
Heyes looked Kelly in his eyes. His eyes grew dark, his lips thinned,
"Hi, Sean. Long time."
"Don't call me Sean!" Kelly yelled angrily as he hit Heyes across
went with the punch knowing it was coming because Kelly hated the name Sean.
Moving with the punch, there was little impact and he smiled at Kelly, it was
worth it to make him boil.
Jake yelled to stop and Joey and Ox jumped in to pull Kelly off Heyes.
"So you're the infamous Hannibal Heyes." Turning to Kid, "Kid
Curry I presume."
tell me, whydidn't you tell me who you are?"
"Didn't think you would listen. I mean Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry
walking into a cave with nine men pointing guns at them. Not exactly good for
the reputation," Heyes said.
"Untie them," Jake instructed.
"Honor among thieves?" Heyes smiled graciously.
"No," Kelly yelled. "The money!"
Starting to get really annoyed with Kelly, Jake stated, "McCreedy
ain't gonna give us money for Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry."
"Not that money, the reward money. They ‘ave ten thousand dollars
each on their heads; that's twenty thousand dollars!" Kelly raised his
gun and pointed it Heyes' head, "and it's payable Dead or Alive!"
"Not anymore!" Heyes yelled quickly as Jake knocked Kelly's gun
into the air.
looked at Heyes for more.
been changed, only payable if we're alive. Seems some power guy wants to see
if we still have his money. We don't but we're not going to tell him that now
are we!" Heyes said in jovial voice with a smile that lit up the cave.
"No it hasn't!" Kelly yelled.
"Do you want to take that chance?" Heyes said coldly to Kelly,
staring him down. With his lips paper-thin and his eyes black, Heyes said in
his leader voice, "Do you want to take that chance? Kill Kid and me and
get no reward. So, no money from Suarez, no reward from McCreedy and no money
for turning us in. Is that how
you want to play it Sean? Are you desperate or just stupid? Did you explain
to Jake it was your fault I was shot?
It was your fault Big Jim Santana was arrested and sent to jail and
now it will be YOUR fault if you kill us and they get nothing? Is that really
how you want to work it…Sean? Jake and Joey will tear you limb from
limb to collect the debt. Now that's something I would love to see."
"Jeez," Joey said in awe, "You really are Hannibal Heyes
"Yes, Joey. I'm Hannibal Heyes," he said with pride and confidence.
"How we gonna turn ‘em in without turnin' ourselves in?" Ox
"Personally, I don't think you should turn us in," Heyes said
"Course you don't," Ox replied.
"Well, even I know the difference between twenty thousand dollars and a
million dollars," Heyes said with a smile as he drew out the words to
"What?" Jake asked, "Twenty thousand and a million. You have
"No, but we know where they are and how to get them. That's why we were
coming back this way," Heyes explained. "You untie us, work with us
and we can split it even."
"He's lyin’!" Kelly yelled with so much rage you could almost
see steam coming from his head. "He's just tryin’ to get out of
"Of course I am," Heyes said mocking Kelly. "But I am doing it
in good faith. I'm willing to share a million dollars in jewels. I know where
they are and how to get them; it's up to you. I'm sure I can bargain or bribe
whomever you turn us into. Then once again you'll be out your money because
you don't get paid until we're in the Wyoming penitentiary. With a million
dollars in jewels, we're not going to the penitentiary."
"Unite him, leave Curry tied for now," Jake told Joey. Glaring at
Kelly, "I'm the leader; we'll do it my way. If you don't like it,
Joey untied Heyes.
you," Heyes said to Joey then turning to Jake.” Untie Kid or the deal is off.
It's both of us or nothing. I'm done being nice and I'm done doing it
your way. Untie Kid now and I'll fill you in on our plan."
nodded at Joey to untie Kid.
stood up rubbed his wrists and stretched a little. "How ‘bout a
shot of whiskey to loosen me up."
stood up and stretched just as Heyes had done. He wasn't sure what Heyes was
up to but knew his partner's brain was working and working quickly. He almost
felt sorry for Jake and Joey. After the initial beating Heyes took, they
actually had been quite civil to them the past few days. He could see by the
look in his face that Heyes didn't like Kelly one little bit and he would be
the one to pay. Kid almost hoped Jake and Joey wouldn't have to pay as well.
Jake gave Heyes and Kid a shot of whiskey and poured one for himself,
"To new partners," he said.
"To new partners," they said as they downed the glass of whiskey.
"Okay, first of all, keep him away from me!" Brown eyes glared at
Kelly. "If you want the money, he stays away from me. I'll deal with you
and Joey and anybody else except that scum or the deal is off."
Kid and I are here, oh before I continue, we need our guns back."
"Not so quick," Jake said. "I need to trust you."
"And I need to trust you," Heyes said. "There are ten of you
and two of us. Your odds are much better than ours and I don't really feel
like dying right now."
looked at Heyes.
you want to turn us in fine, let's go. Otherwise, give us our guns so that we
can work on getting rich!"
smiled inwardly, the Hannibal Heyes charm. Actually it was Hannibal
Heyes the leader coming to the front. Kid loved to watch Heyes work and
take over the room. Guys tried to keep up, smart men, but they were no
match for Heyes when he was on his game, and right now, Kid could see he was
just starting to hit his stride.
sighed and wondered if he was just about to make the biggest mistake of his
life, he turned to Joey and motioned to him to get their guns. "First,
where are the jewels?"
"I can give you that much," Heyes stated. "They're in the bank
in Dry Gulch."
"Give them the guns," Jake said motioning to Joey and then to Heyes
and Kid to sit down.
"If it's all the same to you Jake," the ex-outlaw leader
stated. "Been sitting a lot
lately, would like to stand. And, I do my best thinking pacing."
"That he does," Kid said with a smile.
twenty-second came and went and since Laurie had received the telegram from
Heyes she knew they would be a few days late. The telegram came from Summit
so she added three days on to the trip expecting them home on the
twenty-fifth or the twenty-sixth. She woke up on the twenty-fifth and made
the special blueberry muffins and pie she had promised Kid and waited. She
did the same on the twenty-sixth and waited. By the end of the twenty-sixth,
Laurie began to worry.
told her the weather had been cloudy, could things have been worse and he
didn't want to worry her? Did something happen to them after they sent the
telegram. Each day Laurie got up and spent most of the day on the porch with
Sam watching, waiting and hoping. Doris, Walter and most of the town tried to
comfort her. Some telling her that they had heard there had been terrible
rains that knocked down the telegraph wires, so maybe they tried to get in
touch with her but were unable. Laurie would force a smile and try to pretend
to be comforted by their words but it was no use. She knew something more was
going on. She just didn't know what.
Mr. Quimby received the telegram and as he was writing it down was trying to
figure out who he should show it to first. It was addressed to the Sheriff,
well to all Sheriff's in the area, but he knew Laurie would want to know
about it too. As for Laurie, should he go directly to her or see Walter and
Doris so they could tell her. He opened the telegraph office door and took a
step outside; he re-read the telegram, "Looking for anyone who can positively identify Hannibal Heyes. A
person involved in a bank robbery fitting description has been shot. He is
unconscious and in grave condition. Please contact immediately. Sheriff Jacob
Slatery." Mr. Quimby hesitated then headed to the Sheriff's office.
He knew who the men in town claiming to be Joshua Smith and Thaddeus Jones
were, but he really wasn't sure if anyone else in town knew. He had made some
vague remarks about them to Walter and Doris but never got a real answer from
them although he was pretty sure they knew. As for the Sheriff, well he never
made any indication that he knew, and since he hadn't arrested them, Mr.
Quimby assumed he didn't know. As for himself, he was on a train they robbed
a few years back. It took him a while to remember where he had seen them when
they originally came to town. By the time he did, Joshua had married Laurie
and they were so nice to the rest of the town that he thought he would keep
it to himself. Since he has known them, they have been nothing but up
standing citizens and hoped that this person who was shot was not Joshua.
Mr. Quimby entered the Sheriff's office, "Tom," he said as he held
the telegram out. "Urgent to
all Sheriff's in the area."
Sheriff Hardy took the telegram from Mr. Quimby, "Thanks," he said
as he read the message he stood up. Picking up his hat he turned to the
Deputy, "Have some business to attend to, I'll be back." Placing
the hat on his head with the telegram still in his hand, he walked quickly
towards the door.
As Hardy read the telegram he knew right away he had to talk to Laurie. It
would be better coming from him then reading it in the paper in a few weeks.
By then, it might be too late in fact it might be too late now. It was a three
days ride to the town of Dry Gulch and the stage took four. Tom also realized
that he would have to reveal the fact that he knew Joshua and Thaddeus were
really Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry. Something he didn't want to do, but
under the circumstance, didn't feel he had any other choice. He decided a
long time ago when he figured out who they were, that he would only deal with
the ramifications when he had too.
walked with a purpose, down the street to the hotel. The Sheriff walked
up the stairs to and straight to Walter who was at the front desk, "Need
to talk in private."
"It is," Tom replied with a grim look on his face.
motioned to his office and both men walked inside. As he was closing the door
as well come in Doris. This concerns you too."
entered the office and Walter closed the door. Tom handed the telegram to
him. As Walter read it, the Sheriff said "I think it might be a good
idea if you both are here when I tell Laurie."
immediately got a concerned look on her face as she placed her hand on her
Walter looked at his wife, "Joshua may have been shot. They are looking
for someone to identify him."
"Shot," Doris exclaimed! "I don't understand, how?"
"During a bank robbery," Tom replied.
Doris looked horrified at Walter, "He doesn't do that any more. It can't
Walter placed his hand on Doris', "I know dear, but he isn't here and
he's late returning. Someone fitting the description of Hannibal Heyes has
been shot and is grave condition. I don't think it is Joshua but we have to
tell Laurie. You should go get
nodded and left the room to find her.
As she left, Walter turned to Tom, "How did ya know?"
"Well I knew something was up with the two of them. Especially leaving
when they didn't know if Laurie was going to make it. Then watching them when
Mrs. Carlson pulled the gun on her, I walked into the office and it just
clicked. Why it took so long I don't know but I knew right then. Either one
of them could have killed her but they didn't. They weren't afraid for Laurie
either. They knew they had the situation under control. I kind of let them
know that night, took down their posters but never came out and told
"Now what?" Walter inquired.
"You mean now that you know and Laurie will know, I know. I don't know.
I'll decide that after we find out if it was Joshua that was shot." The
two got quiet as they heard footsteps approach the door.
opened the door and walked in. Laurie started to follow and then saw the
Sheriff and hesitated, then continued. Walter closed the door behind them.
"What's the matter?" Laurie looked at the three faces with pained
expressions looking at her. She took a deep breath and gasped, "Oh, God
its Joshua isn't it?" She began to breathe heavy and sway.
put her arms around Laurie.
happened, is he okay? What about Thaddeus?" Laurie asked as her chest
was heaving as she tried to catch her breath as the room began to spin.
"We aren't certain dear," Walter replied as he too tried to steady
"There was a telegram sent to all Sheriff's in the territory asking for
anyone who could identify Hannibal Heyes. A man fitting his description was
shot in Dry Gulch while robbing a bank. The rest of the gang got away,"
Laurie took one last deep breath and closed her eyes for a minute. As she
opened them she stated, "I have to go," and she began to pull away
from Doris and Walter.
"I'll go with you," Walter started.
"No, you are needed here. They only need one person and that will be me.
You can not get involved in this," Laurie stated adamantly.
"I'll go with you," the Sheriff replied.
turned and looked at him trying to figure out his motivation.
can go with you and protect you. I can tell them you were on a train
that was robbed by them and you got a good look." Placing his hand on
Laurie's shoulder he continued, "You shouldn't have to go through this
alone. Since the telegram came to me, I'm the logical one to go with
Laurie looked the Sheriff in his eyes, "If it is Joshua are you planning
on arresting him?"
"No," he replied.
"Okay, you can come. But only so Doris and Walter don't worry about me.
Understand?" Laurie said defiantly.
"I understand," he responded, "I'll send word we will catch
the morning stage and will be there in four days."
"I'm not waiting for the stage," she firmly stated. "Walter
can you saddle my horse, I will be packed and ready to go in fifteen minutes
if you would like to join me Sheriff."
Looking at the determination in her face Tom replied, "Make it twenty. I
have to send a telegram, tell my Deputy I'll be out of town for about a week,
and pack. It will take me a little longer than you."
"Fine - but then I leave," Laurie stoically stated and abruptly
turned and left the office.
She went to her and Heyes' room to pack. She walked in the room and closed
the door behind her, then leanedher back against the door. Taking a deep
breath, she started to tremble. What if it was Heyes who was shot? What if he
was robbing a bank and where was Kid? Tears started to stream down her face
as her whole world started to crash in on her. She leaned paralyzed against
the door until she heard foot steps in the hall. She shook her head and dried
her face as she quickly started packing determined not break down again as
she changed into pants for the journey.
There was a quiet knock on the door as Doris slowly opened the door,
"Are you alright dear, do you need any help?"
Laurie turned towards her friend, "I'm fine Doris, thank you for
asking." Picking up her saddlebag she headed for the door.
Laurie and Doris reached the front porch of the hotel just as Sheriff Hardy
arrived. Walter had saddled her horse and was packing food Doris had made for
them. "There's enough food for a couple of days in the bag," he
reached over and gave Walter and Doris hugs then mounted her horse,
"Thank you. We'll send a telegram when we get to Dry Gulch." She
turned to the Sheriff, "Ready?"
Laurie kept the pace as quick as possible slowing down only long enough for
the horses to recover before speeding up again. She rode in silence mostly,
lost in her thoughts and determination to get to Heyes, well hopefully not
him, but to find out as soon as she possibly could. As night started to set,
the Sheriff stated, "I think we should find a place to camp."
continued to ride, not answering.
the Sheriff said louder, "It's going to do Joshua no good if you get
hurt or killed because you can't see where you're riding. I think it's time
to stop for the night."
Laurie looked surprised and then it slowly registered what the he said,
"I'm sorry. I was lost in thought. I just want to get there as soon as
possible Sheriff. You are right though, we should make camp."
As they stopped and started setting up for the night he looked at Laurie,
"Just one more thing, we're going to be traveling for three days
together, maybe you should start calling me Tom."
She nodded as she opened the bag Doris had packed for them and laughed.
"Sure hope you're hungry Tom," she paused as she said it having it
sound strange to her. "I think Doris packed enough food for a week, not
a couple of days!"
Laurie didn't sleep much that night. She sat and stared at the fire most of
the night. Remembering all she could about Heyes and Kid. She was remembering
every telegram they had sent her since they left. Everything was great at
least that's what they said until two weeks ago. She got the telegram that
said the weather was cloudy. She didn't panic when she got it but knew it
meant there was possible trouble. There was no indication what the problem
was, there never was. Heyes always kept the telegrams as short as possible, counting
the words and in code.
was to protect Laurie as much as them. That was the last she had heard from
them. They were a week late returning and she had been getting increasingly
worried. Then came the telegram to all the Sheriffs asking for help to
identify Hannibal Heyes. Could it really be him? Why would he be robbing a
bank? Things were good in Small Falls, maybe too good she thought. She knew
he was getting antsy before he left, maybe he wanted to go back to his old
life. He said that life was over and done with but Laurie didn't know what to
think. She also remembered that he had been forced to rob a bank before or
Kid would be killed. Could that have happened again? Everything was swirling
around in her head. She finally closed her eyes and fell asleep with only a
few hours until sunrise.
As soon as the sun was up, Laurie was awake and they were on their way. She
was determined to get to Dry Gulch as quickly as possible. As long as they
didn't push the horses too hard and they weren't taking risks, Tom was
willing to let Laurie lead the way. He knew this must be extremely difficult
for her even though she didn't show it.
Two and a half days after they left Small Falls, Tom and Laurie rode into Dry
Gulch. He was going to suggest going to check into the hotel and getting
cleaned up before seeing the Sheriff, but taking one look at her determined
face as she steered her horse in the direction of the Sheriff's office he
decided she wouldn't go for it. As they rode down the street Tom reached out
and placed his hand on her arm, "Laurie, when we get inside let me do
the talking, okay?"
Laurie turned tohim, "I'll be fine."
"I have no doubt, but I can protect you. I have been going through what
we should tell Sheriff Slatery and decided we can't tell them you saw them on
a train. If it is Joshua," pausing as he saw the anguish on Laurie's
face. "I'm not saying it is, but if it is, how do we explain that you're
not going to leave his side."
nodded an acknowledgement, if it was Heyes, nothing would get her away from
think I'll say that your husband has been confused with Hannibal Heyes before
and is over due, we just had to check it out. This way if it is Joshua, you
can stay with him. If it's not, no one will know your relationship,
Laurie nodded in agreement, then quietly said, "Tom, they haven't done
any of this for over a year."
"I know," he said trying to sootheher.
"If it is him, there has to be a reason and where is Kid. If it was
Heyes, then Kid would be here, I know he would unless he couldn't."
Laurie stopped herself and took a deep breath. They were almost at the
Sheriff's office and she had to get her emotions under control.
They stopped in front of the office and dismounted. Laurie had the urge to
run into the office but felt herself paralyzed. After rushing to get here, to
find out, she no longer had the ability to move. Tom walked over to her and put his arm
around her. "It's okay, I'm
here; I'll be next to you every step of the way." Tom gently guided
Laurie into the office. "Sheriff Slatery," he said presenting his
hand to shake. "I'm Sheriff Tom Hardy from Small Falls. I sent a
telegram about possibly being able to identify Hannibal Heyes."
"Sheriff Hardy, nice to meet you," Slatery said as he stood up from
his desk and shook Tom's hand then looked at Laurie.
"Sheriff Slatery," Tom continued, "This is Mrs. Laurie Smith.
Her husband is over due in Small Falls by almost two weeks now. He has been
mistaken before for Hannibal Heyes. When I got the telegram we figured we
should come and see if it was Joshua. Can we see the prisoner?"
"Mistaken for Hannibal Heyes?" Sheriff Slatery repeated looking
suspiciously at Laurie.
"Just once, by a bounty hunter," she said meekly. "Joshua has
brown hair and brown eyes and I guess by the description probably about the
same height. It was all straightened out though. He was supposed to be home
on the twenty-second and I haven't heard from him so I had to check, just to
make sure. He's a good husband and doesn't rob banks. We've ridden for almost
three days, can I please see the injured man. I need to know."
"I'm sorry ma'am," Slatery said, "Heyes died overnight."
Laurie gasped and her knees got weak, if it wasn't for Tom's arm around her,
she would have fallen to the floor. "Sheriff, can I see the body? I'll
know if it's Joshua or not," Hardy asked.
"Sure, he was moved to the undertakers, it's just down the street. Ma'am
you can stay here if you like."
"No, I'm going. I have to see with my own eyes." She looked at Tom,
"I need to see him."
"Okay, all three of us will go," hesaid.
The three walked down the street to the undertakers. Tom was supporting
Laurie as she had lost all feeling in her body. She kept replaying in her
mind what the Sheriff had said. He said Heyes was dead. He didn't know it was
Heyes. She was there to identify him. It couldn't be Heyes and if it was,
where was Kid. Laurie's head was spinning and by the time they reached the
undertakers she could barely stand on her own.
The undertaker took them over to the body that was covered by a sheet. Tom
led Laurie to a chair at the side of the cot. "You really don't have to
do this," he said to her.
Laurie shook her head as tears filled her eyes, "I have to do this. I
have to see with my own eyes." She looked at the undertaker and nodded,
he lifted the sheet. Laurie gasped and put her face in her hands as she began
Tom looked at the man on the cot. He heard Laurie gasp and placed his hand on
her shoulders. "It's not him," he said and the undertaker covered
the man's face.
Relief raced through Laurie's body. It's not Heyes, so now where is he and
Kid. Why did they think this man was Heyes? Laurie tried to compose herself
and looked at Sheriff Slatery, "It's not my husband. I'm sorry I can't
tell you if it's Hannibal Heyes or not.
A Sheriff from Porterville came and cleared my husband. Sheriff,"
Laurie paused for a second as though she was trying to remember the name,
"Sheriff Trevors of Porterville. He knows what they look like, maybe you
could contact him." Laurie stood up with Tom's help, her knees still
"I'm glad he isn't your husband ma'am" Sheriff Slatery said.
"As for Sheriff Trevors, I got a telegram yesterday from his deputy,
he's on his way. Maybe then we'll know for sure."
Laurie sighed in relief this time because Lom was on the way. Maybe he knew
where Heyes and Kid were.
they left the undertakers, Tom tipped his hat at Slatery and thanked him for
his time. Hardy and Laurie went to the hotel to check in then went to the
telegraph office to send Walter and Doris word that it wasn't Joshua and they
would let them know when they would be leaving to return to Small Falls. Then
they returned to the hotel.
"I'll be right across the hall if you need me," he said to her as
they went to their rooms.
"Thank you Tom," Laurie solemnly said. "I think I'll take a
bath then maybe try to rest a little. Then I'll figure out what to do
next." She took a deep breath and closed her eyes, she didn't want it to
be Heyes but at least she would know what happened to him. No word and he was
two weeks over due, with no news, Laurie was beginning to wonder if he
decided not to come home. He was acting very antsy before he left and then he
looked so sad looking out the window in Clayton.
"You haven't eaten much in the past few days, how ‘bout after you
rest, I'll take you to dinner." Tom kindly said then when it looked like
Laurie was going to decline he added, "I won't take no for an answer. If
Doris or Walter find out you haven't eaten, it will be my head. Besides you
have to keep up your strength to find Joshua."
Laurie smiled sadly and
nodded, then turned to her room.