days later Heyes and Kid were checking into the only hotel in town.
"We're supposed to meet Mr. McCreedy, has he checked in?"
"Yep," the clerk responded. "Smith and Jones," he said
looking at the registry. "Said he would be in the saloon."
"Thank you," Kid replied then looking at Heyes, "Guess we'll
bring our gear to the room then head to the saloon."
"Sounds good, I'll send a telegram to Laurie after we talk to Big
Mac," he said as he started up the hotel stairs.
As they walked into the saloon, Heyes saw Big Mac sitting at the corner table
with a bottle of whiskey and three glasses on the table. He nudged Kid and
they headed to the back of the saloon.
"Hope you don't mind," Big Mac said holding up his glass, "I
started without you."
Looking at the bottle of whiskey that was about a half gone Heyes responded,
"Good thing we got here now."
Kid sat down next to Heyes and poured two glasses of whiskey. "So Mac,
what kind of job do you have for us?"
"Right to business huh fellows," he asked as he took the last
swallow of his drink putting the glass in front of Kid for a refill.
"None of the nice pleasantries, hi Mac, how you doing, how was your
trip, that kind of stuff. Just right to business."
"Okay," Heyes started, "hey Mac, how ya doin', it's great to
see you again. Did you have a good trip here, we did. So you said you had a
job for us, what is it?" Heyes just stared at the large man beginning to
wonder if it was worth their coming to see him.
"You're look says you don't trust me" he stated.
"You're right," the brown haired partner replied sounding less than
pleased. "The past two jobs you had for us didn't exactly go as smooth
as you said they would. Now you want nice pleasantries and you wonder why I
look skeptical. You aren't planning anything to do with that bust again are
you? Because if you are, Kid is going to shoot you and I am going to let him."
"No, No," McCreedy chuckled, "Nothing to do with that. Done
with that, well at least for now. What I need is a couple of bodyguards I can
"Bodyguards?" Kid questioned as he leaned in.
"Yes, bodyguards," Big Mac replied.
"You have plenty of ranch hands that could be bodyguards, why us?"
Heyes asked still being skeptical.
"I need to be able to trust my bodyguards completely," he replied
as he took a sip of his whiskey. "I need to transport something very
valuable to my ranch. I need to know that the bodyguards are good and can
protect me. I also have to know that they won’t try to steal from me.
And I have to know that they won't kill me so they can have what I'm
carrying. Knowing who you are, I can trust you. I know you can protect me and
from past experience I know you won't steal from me. I also know that you
don't kill when you do steal. So that's why I was willing to wait for
"What exactly are you transporting?" Heyes inquired.
"About a million dollars in jewels," Big Mac replied.
A smile went from ear to ear on Kid as his eyes lit up, "A million
"Shh," Mac said quietly as he motioned with his hands. "There
are people who know I have to move the jewels and I don't want anyone to over
"How much?" Heyes asked as he finally took a sip of his drink.
"One thousand dollars," Mac replied.
"Each," Kid stated, also taking a sip of his drink.
"Eight hundred a piece," Mac smiled.
"Not this time," Heyes stated shaking his head no. "You waited
for us and yes you can trust us. As I said before, jobs for you don't go as
they're planned. If we take this job," he paused, "Yes, if we take
this job, you will do exactly what we say and we will be paid, two thousand a
"That's robbery," Big Mac said incredulously!
"No that's our price," the ex-leader of the Devil’s Hole Gang
said matter-of-factly. "Take it or leave it. I think considering what
you're transporting, it's a fair offer. One more thing, these jewels belong
to you right, because if they don't, there isn't an amount of money that will
"The jewels belong to me," Mac replied in disgust.
"Then why do you have to move them?" Kid asked.
"I need them for a land deal.” McCreedy answered then added,
"Fine, I'm in a bind because I told them I was coming. Two thousand
Heyes smiled, "And you'll do it our way, everything we say right down to
the last detail?"
Heyes said with authority, "Say it; say you will listen to us and do as
you’re told or the deal is off."
Grumbling and mumbling he responded, "I will listen to you and do
everything your way."
A smile developed on Heyes' face as his eyes lit up, "Sounds like we
have a deal." He raised his glass and finished his drink then poured
himself another as he waited for Kid to do the same.
"So got a place in this town to eat?" Kid asked. Noticing the look
on Heyes' face added, "What, we can go over the details just as easy
eating as we can sittin’ here and drinkin’ and we haven't eaten
since this mornin’."
"Well that sounds fine, but I'm going back to the hotel to rest since
this bottle is empty anyway," Big Mac said standing up. "I'll meet
you for dinner at seven."
"Seven!" Kid exclaimed.
"Calm down," Heyes said with a chuckle, "I'm sure we can get
something to eat before than." Looking at Big Mac as he also stood up,
"How about we make dinner at six."
"Six it is," Mac said as he started to leave the saloon. "See
you then boys."
The partners followed him out of the saloon, "I'm going to send Laurie a
telegram, why don't you go to the café to see if they have pie or
something and I'll meet you there."
Kid walked to the café as Heyes went sent Laurie a telegram.
is great. Got a job with Mac, didn't have to shoot him.” Heyes paused
when he wrote this and chuckled hoping Laurie would understand, “more details later. JHHS.”
then went to the café to join his partner. As he walked in, he had to
laugh; in front of Kid was the biggest piece of pie he had ever seen.
"Is that the whole pie?"
"No," Kid mumbled through a mouth stuffed with pie, "It's half
a pie. You can order half a pie! Blueberry! Not as good as Laurie's but its
"Glad you like it, I'm going to head to the room to get cleaned up,
enjoy your pie," Heyes smiled as his partner nodded his head, waved his
hand and never stopped eating.
After getting cleaned up and getting some rest, Heyes and Kid headed
downstairs at six to meet Big Mac for dinner. They sat in the corner table of
the dining room. "Okay Mac," Heyes said, "Tell us more about
"Alright boys," he started as their food arrived at the table,
"I have some jewels in the Bank of Clayton. I need them for a land deal.
There are folks that know I am going to transport them to Red Rock for the
deal. I believe that they might try to steal them."
"That sounds easy enough, but what is it that you aren't tellin’
us," Kid inquired as he stared at Big Mac.
"What you boys don't trust me?" Mac said sounding offended.
"That's exactly what my partner is saying Mac," Heyes said in a
voice that was almost his outlaw leader voice. "Every time we do a job
for you, you forget to tell us one or two small details. Those one or two
small details seem to almost get us killed. So, I'll ask again and this time
if we don't have an answer we like, we're leaving. What else aren't you
telling us Big Mac?"
McCreedy looked at the serious faces that were looking back at him.
"Okay, okay," sounding defeated he threw his hands up in the
air. "You win. I know that
there are a group of men already in Clayton just waiting for me to
"How many," Kid asked in a menacing tone.
"I don't know, about half dozen, dozen maybe more."
"You don't know? A half
dozen or a dozen maybe more! That's the difference between six and twelve men
at least, maybe more. That's a big difference!" Kid exclaimed his eyes
narrowing as he stared at the man. Pushing his food away he began to stand
Heyes put his hand up, "Let's here all the details, then if we don't
like them we leave. Agreed?"
nodded at his partner and sat back down.
to look Mac right in the eyes, Heyes asked very calmly, "So Mac, who are
these men and what should we really expect when we ride into Clayton?"
Big Mac looked at the table as he pushed the food around the plate. Looking
up he said, "I'll level with you. There will most likely be about a
dozen men waiting for me to get to town. The man I want to do business with
is not exactly above board so I'm not sure how many there will be. That is
why I need you. I know you can handle yourself and take care of me."
"Why not have professionals move the jewels?" Heyes asked.
"Because the men he is sending are professionals, professional thieves
and if I send them the regular way, they will steal them and I will have
nothing," Mac explained.
"The authorities don't know about these jewels do they? That's why
everything is so secretive isn't it? We aren't stealing any jewels!"
Heyes stated adamantly.
"Yes they are a secret, no you aren't stealing them. They belong to
me," Mac stated.
"Like the bust did the first time we went to get it," Kid sniped.
"No, they're in the bank, I own them and they have to be
"Then why don't the authorities know about them?" Heyes asked
gruffly as he tilted his head.
"Truth is, I won them in a poker game. I am getting them to trade for
some land the previous owner has."
"This previous owner isn't Armendarez is it?" Kid implored.
"Noo," Big Mac stated but seemed to drag the word just a little too
long as he looked at the table.
"That's it," Heyes stated angrily as he stood up, Kid followed,
"We're out of here."
As they turned to leave, McCreedy pleaded, "Boy, boys please sit."
Finally exhausted, Big Mac gave in, "Yes the jewels have to do with
Armendarez but not what you think. I am going to use them to trade for land
on the other side of the river so that when the river changes the property
will still be mine. The property is owned by one of Armendarez's enemies.
Fortunately for me, he wants the jewels more than the land. Of course, I
don't trust him not to want both so that's why I need you. That's the whole
story. So are you still going to be my bodyguards?"
Heyes looked at Kid, there was a conversation going on in the look that no
one but the two of them understood. Heyes turned to Big Mac, "It will
cost you twenty-five hundred, each!"
"Think of it as the penalty for not being up front with us to begin with
and think your getting’ off cheap," the Kid added.
Looking at the standing men, Big Mac hesitated then said, "Deal, stage
coach leaves tomorrow."
Heyes and Kid started to sit down, "No stage coach, you do it our
opened his mouth to say something but was interrupted by Kid, "We have
been on two stage coaches that have been stopped, robbed and they recognized
us. On another one, everyone was held hostage, no stagecoach. We aren't in
control. Now let’s eat while Heyes here thinks and comes up with a
opened his mouth again only to have the blond partner put his hand up,
"Quiet, he’s plannin’ and he needs quiet. If you want to do
this, you will do it our way. This is our way, now eat."
nodded and Kid and he started to eat. Kid pushed Heyes' plate in front of him
and handed him his fork. Heyes absently picked at his food as he thought.
By the time coffee was served at the end of the meal Heyes was beginning to
show a smile on his face. Mac had watch him during the entire meal and
finally turned to Kid and whispered, "Is he always like this?"
"Only when he's schemin’ and I think he's comin’ up with one
now," Kid smiled.
"A plan?" Big Mac asked.
"No," Kid said with pride in his voice, "A Hannibal Heyes
"Someone say something?" Heyes asked as he came out of the trance
he had been in. He looked down at the table, "Good, coffee," he
picked up his cup and took a sip.
"Is he always..." Mac started.
"Always," Kid interrupted and smiled. "Like the whole world
doesn't exist until he has a plan."
"A plan, yes, I have a few more details to iron out, but yes we have a
plan," Heyes said as his smile traveled up to his eyes and he took
another sip of coffee. "We'll leave in the morning," turning to
Kid, "after breakfast. We'll have plenty of time to discuss the plan
then. Right now, I'd like to play some poker." He finished his coffee
and stood up.
followed suit and Big Mac excused himself for the night.
was okay but the boys turned in early. They knew they had a long journey to
Clayton in the morning. During breakfast Heyes explained that Big Mac was
going to take the stage into Clayton while he and Kid would ride in. He
figured that they would arrive a day before the stage and could check things
out before McCreedy arrived. "We'll check into the hotel, play poker and
ask some questions. See if we can find out how many are in town waiting for
you to arrive."
"I thought you said that we weren't taking the stage?" Mac
"We won't take it on the way out, but on the way in you can. Who ever is
waiting there for you will be expecting you to arrive on the stage. This way
Kid and I will arrive before you and no one will know we’re together.
When you get to town you'll check into the hotel," Heyes explained.
"Then what?" Big Mac asked as Kid also looked at Heyes.
"Then I will explain the rest of the plan. No need for you to know ahead of time.
If I'm the only one who knows the whole plan, no one will accidentally find
"That sounds like you don't trust me," Mac growled.
"No, its how I work." Heyes explained, "The less people who
know about the plan, the less people there are to make changes in it. The
less people are in danger. We do it my way, or this is where we part
Big Mac looked at the Kid and Kid nodded. "Okay, but I am trusting you
and counting on both of you to get those jewels back to my ranch."
"That's what we plan on doing," Heyes responded. Turning to Kid,
"Think it's time we get moving." As Heyes stood up he looked at
Mac, "You're stage leaves at two today. See you in Clayton in four
Heyes and Kid got their gear from the hotel and went to get their horses.
"Why don't you saddle the horses, I have telegrams to send." Kid
went to saddle the horse and Heyes went to send two telegrams. The first was
to Laurie and the second was to Big Mac in Clayton. Heyes met up with Kid and
they rode out of town.
As they left town Kid turned towards his partner, "You gonna explain why
you didn't tell Big Mac the whole plan."
"Simple Kid," he responded, "Don't trust him to have told us
the whole story. ‘Til I think we know everything, he stays in the dark
until he absolutely has to know."
"Okay if I know?"
"Sure. We can talk now, or
we can go over it when we set up camp for the night."
"If nothin’s happenin’ now, guess it would make more sense
to wait ‘til we stop," Kid said then added, "Did you tell
Laurie we were headin’ to Clayton."
"Yeah," Heyes said with a huge smile on his face.
Three days later the partners rode into Clayton. When checking into the
hotel, Heyes signed in and asked the desk clerk, "Two rooms, adjoining
if you have them." Kid looked strangely at Heyes, he just smiled back.
"Oh and two baths, as soon as possible."
"Rooms are at the end of the hall on the first floor. I'll send baths up
in about twenty minutes," the clerk responded.
They turned and started to walk away when Heyes turned back around,
"What time is the stage due in tomorrow?"
The clerk responded, "The one from the east is due in around noon."
"And the West?" Heyes asked.
"‘Bout ten," the clerk answered.
Kid was totally confused, first the two rooms and now the stage from the
west, what was Heyes thinking? As soon as they got out of range from the
hotel clerk he turned towards his partner, "Why two rooms and why did
you care about the stage from the west?"
Heyes motioned to the rooms and they entered them. Coming in through the
adjoining door Kid looked at Heyes, "Well?"
"To start with, I thought you might like some privacy and since Big Mac
is paying for the rooms," Heyes smiled. "Secondly, I didn't want
the clerk to know which stage we were looking for. He could have been paid
off, we don't know. I suggest, we get cleaned up,” he paused and looked
at Kid, "You do want a bath don't you?"
"Of course," Kid responded looking at him like he had lost his
"So we take our baths, go get some food then head over to the saloon for
some poker and to check things out," Heyes explained. "We should
try to get seats at different tables so we can find out who's in town. Then
we can hopefully have an idea of how many are waiting for Mac to
"Sounds like a plan," Kid said then tilting his head slightly
added, "Why do I get the impression you are not tellin’ me
"Have I ever done that to you before?" Heyes asked trying to sound
offended but not really pulling it off.
"Actually, you have!" Kid stated. Something was up, he just wasn't
sure what it was yet, but he trusted his partner and knew there was a reason
he wasn't telling him. He would wait. He knew Heyes would tell him when he
needed to know.
They took baths, went to have dinner and then went to the saloon. As they
walked in, both men surveyed the saloon and the faces in it. Neither of them
recognized anyone. The saloon was crowded with a full bar and four tables of
poker, two tables were full and two tables, each with one seat open. Heyes
took the seat at the back table while Kid took the seat at the table closest
to the bar. They both continued to check out the rest of the patrons. Most
seemed to be locals, as they would greet each other by first names and ask
about family and things. Heyes was seated along the back wall of the saloon
next to a table of four men that were relatively quiet to his right. He could
see all the men except for the one that was right next to him. He noticed
they were watching the other two tables of poker rather intently. After about
half hour, two men at one of the full tables got up, followed by the four men
at the table next to Heyes and left the saloon.
"Glad they left," one of the poker players said at Heyes' table.
"Me too," responded another one.
"Trouble?" inquired Heyes. "They looked quiet to me," he
"Quiet? You should'a been here last night," the first poker
player said. "They washooten and hollern, causin' all kinds of trouble.
The one pulled his gun on Jim here," he said pointing to the second
"Yeah," Jim said, "He said I cheated. I aint never cheated in
my whole life. If it weren't for the big fellow starin' ‘im down, I
think he would've shot Me."
"They're not from town?" Heyes asked.
"No sir!" Jim said. "They came in yesterday afternoon. Said
they's waitin' for someone to come to town and a big payin' job. Think that's
why the big guy, think the name's Giant or Jack somethin' like that. Think
that's why he stared the man named Joe down. Had somethin' to do with the big
job I heard him say."
Heyes swallowed hard, "Giant Jake?"
"Yeah that's it, Giant Jake!" Jim exclaimed. "Anyways they've
been real ornery and the other four fellows jes sit and watch, jes like they
"Well," Heyes said as he gathered the money in front of him and
stood up, "Think it's time for a break and a beer. I'll be back."
He picked up his money and glanced at Kid who took his cue, finished his hand
and met Heyes at the bar.
"What'd ya find out?" Heyes asked Kid.
"Those six fellows who just left are new. They came in yesterday and
caused some trouble in here. One of them drew on a local," Kid
"Do you know who they are?" Heyes asked as he sipped his beer.
"Giant Jake and his kid brother Joey," Heyes stated with a smirk on
his face. "What are the odds that good ole Mac knew who was waiting here
and that's why he waited for us?"
"Are you sure?" Kid questioned with a puzzled look on his face.
"Joey drew on the guy sitting at my table. Said Giant Jake stared him
down and called him Joey. Do you know anyone else named Giant? Anyone that is
as big as the man that just left here? If it is and he called the guy Joey,
my bet is on it being Little Joe his kid brother. You know what that means
don't you?" Heyes said taking a gulp of his beer and then letting out a
Kid took a sip of his beer and looked at the bar, "Whatever your plan
is, it better be really good because those guys are really mean." They
stood there for a few minutes in silence then Kid asked, "You don't
think they know who we are do you?"
"No, they would only know us by reputation. Just like we know them.
Nothing more," Heyes said. "I think I have to rethink my plan, but
I think it might be too late." He finished his beer and walked towards
the saloon doors.
followed. "Why?" he asked, "What haven't you told me about
your plan? What didn't you want me to know about?"
"It's not that I didn't want you to know about it," he said as they
walked the dark street back to the hotel. "It's just that I really
wasn't sure if I wanted to go through with it or not."
"Go through with what?"
"Need time to think," was all Heyes said as they walked up the
stairs to their rooms. Heyes walked into his room and closed the door and sat
down in the chair without lighting a lantern.
Kid walked into his room, lit his lantern and walked to the doorway in
between his and Heyes' room. He looked at his partner just sitting in the
chair staring into darkness. "Heyes," Kid said softly.
didn't respond; he was already deep in thought.
turned from the doorway and went about getting ready for bed. Before he
turned in and turned off his lantern, he walked into Heyes' room and lit the
lantern by the side of his bed. He adjusted it so there would be only a
slight glow in the room. His partner continued to sit in the chair staring
forward as he left the room and went to bed.
Kid woke up, he looked into his Heyes’ room. At some point in the night
or early morning, he had gotten up and went to bed; only removing his hat,
boots and gun belt as he lay on top of the covers. Kid shook his head
wondering what part of the plan he was so concerned about.
As he turned back to his room Heyes called out, "Hey Kid, you want
The blond wheeled around to see his partner had rolled over to face him.
"Did you get any sleep?" he asked as considered the fact that Heyes
may have just moved to lying on the bed instead of sitting in the chair.
"Enough," he replied as he sat up.
Kid looked at his partner and wondered how much was enough and what part of
the plan changed when they found out Giant Jake and his kid brother Joey were
in town. By the look on Heyes' face, enough wasn't that much. "Do ya
want to walk away?"
Brown eyes stared at blueeyes for a moment before responding, "No,"
he said quietly. "I'll work it out, we could use the money."
Kid leaned against the door jam and studied his partner, something was going
on inside his head, he just couldn't figure out what it was. "We're
doin’ okay with money and we can go back to the hotel in a couple of
weeks, we've been worse off." Then it hit him, they could go back to the
hotel, maybe that's what was bugging Heyes. "Heyes, did you get a
telegram from Laurie? Is that what this is all about?"
"All what?" he asked as he got up and splashed water on his face.
"You've been antsy since before we left Small Falls. You've been holdin’
somethin’ from me ‘bout the plan and now you’re
sayin’ we need the money. What's goin’ on?"
"What's going on?" Heyes repeated sounding annoyed "is that I
don't want to live in the hotel the rest of my life. I want a place. Walter
and Doris have been great but I just can't sit around and do nothing. Then we
get here and Giant Jake and his little brother Joey just happen to be hanging
around town. They are two of the meanest outlaws around. If they were
smarter, they would just rob the bank and not wait for Mac to get the jewels
but they have pea brains in those big..." Heyes stopped in the middle of
the sentence as a smile crept across his face and up to his eyes. With a low
laugh he looked at Kid, "I think I just figured out how to fix the
plan." He chuckled and went about getting ready to leave the room.
Turning to Kid, "Ready for breakfast?"
Kid just looked at him. He could see by his face that his partner had fixed
whatever was bothering him about his original plan. If Heyes was relaxed, so
was he. "Starved, let's go eat."
The two left the hotel and headed to the café. As they were leaving
after breakfast, a stage rounded the corner on the far side of town.
"Looks like the stage from the west is on time," Kid stated.
Heyes paused and smiled, then started to head over towards where the stage
would stop. "Kid," he said, "This is the part of the plan I
didn't mention to you. I wasn't sure how you'd react and I wasn't sure how I
was gonna react. This is what I was worried ‘bout when I saw Giant Jake
and Joey. Not exactly sure why I did it, it sounded like a good idea at the
Kid followed and listened.He was totally confused by what his partner was
saying then as the stagecoach stopped and people started getting out, he
stopped dead in his tracks. That's what this was all about. What was Heyes
Heyes quickened his pace as he approached the stage. He arrived just as she
was stepping off. He picked her up in his arms and twirled her around setting
her back down on the ground he gave her a huge kiss. Breathlessly they
separated and Heyes looked her in the eyes, "I've missed you," he
She looked back into his beautiful brown eyes and placed her hand on his
face, "I've missed you too."
By now Kid was standing to the side of the pair and gave a soft cough.
"Oh Thaddeus," she said as she took her eyes off of her husband and
looked at him, "I've missed you too." She stepped close to him and
kissed his cheek.
Glaring at his partner, "I've missed you too Laurie. Joshua, we need to
"Let's get Laurie's things and head to the rooms. We can talk
there," Heyes said looking at Kid.
blond man opened his mouth to say something, but closed it and followed the
In the hotel room Kid just stared at Heyes and Laurie. "Heyes, we need
to talk," Kid demanded.
just looked at him.
to Laurie, "So Laurie, what brings you to Clayton?"
She turned around from unpacking her bag and looked first at her husband and
then at his partner, "Heyes sent me a telegram asking me to join the two
of you here. My guess is," as she turned back towards Heyes, "he
didn't tell you I was coming."
"No, he didn't," Kid said curtly. Still staring at his partner, "I
think he knows that I would've told him it wasn't a good idea."
Finally speaking up and trying to alleviate some of the tension in the room
Heyes said, "Kid, I thought we had an agreement about that."
"Not when it comes to somethin’ like this," Kid quietly
yelled. "She's your wife and you drag her into this."
"She knew what she was getting into when we got married."
"Are you insane?" Kid yelled.
Heyes walked over to his partner and looked him in the eye, "I had no
idea Giant Jake or Joey were going to be here. I have no intention of letting
Laurie get hurt let alone involved. If you will listen, I will explain
everything to you."
looked at Heyes, took a deep breath and nodded his head.
"Good," Laurie said as she walked over to the two men. "Now
both of you go into the other room and work things out, I am going to take a
bath. When I am done, you can tell me what I need to know." She leaned
in and kissed Kid on the cheek then turned and did the same to Heyes.
men went into the adjoining room and closed the door.
As soon as the door closed Kid turned to Heyes and growled, "You want to
tell me what you were thinkin'? Or have you just gone crazy?"
"I don't know what I was thinking," Heyes said flustered.
"Well, actually I do and it sounded better at the time I thought
it." He stood there with a confused look on his face.
Before he had a chance to say anything else Kid jumped on him again,
"You brought Laurie into a job. A woman. We only used women when it was
absolutely necessary and never when there was a chance they could get hurt.
Usually the woman is involved or has information for us. Laurie's not in on
this, she has nothing to do with this. She's not a throw away, she's YOUR
WIFE!" Kid looked at Heyes and shook his head then turned away. His face
was tense; his whole body was tense as he walked away from the man he thought
he knew. He turned back to look at his partner, he was still standing in the
same spot, not even his expression changed.
"Look Kid," Heyes said quietly, "I never planned to get Laurie
in the middle of this. I thought if she were here, it would be a cover. No
one would suspect us of being here with Mac. No one would think that a man
with his wife and cousin were actually here to be a bodyguard for anyone. I
didn't know Giant Jake and Joey would be here. If I did I would never have
suggested she meet us. Why do you think I've been thinking so much since I
saw them yesterday?" Heyes started to pace, he stopped and closed his
eyes for a moment then looked at Kid, "I thought having Laurie here
would help with our cover. I didn't tell you before she arrived because I
knew you'd do this and I knew you were right. I know she isn't a throw away -
no woman is, but certainly not Laurie."
"Heyes..." was all Kid said before being interrupted.
"I know, I already said I was wrong!" Heyes said sound irritated.
"Laurie doesn't deserve this. Maybe I don't deserve her. I can't change
what I've been, I'm trying but no one is letting me, us change. We have
played by their rules for long enough and it's gotten us nowhere;
nothing’s changed. Someone can come up and arrest us at anytime or kill
us. Yeah they can kill us for walking down the street and it's perfectly
legal. And there's nothing we can do about it."
"You're soundin’ like me Heyes. I'm the one who is always
questionin’ and wonderin’ and you're the one who always says it's
worth it. What changed?" Kid asked in earnest.
Heyes paced the room stopping to look out the window.
watched his partner and wondered what was going on in his head. "We can
walk away; just tell Mac we changed our minds."
looking out the window Heyes quietly responded, "So he can threaten to
turn us in if we don't help. That's the kind of friends we have Kid, that's
the kind of people we work for. If they don't like our answer, they just
threaten to turn us in and collect twenty thousand dollars."
"Mac hasn't done that since we walked away the first time. If you
remember he offered us fifty thousand dollars to get the bust back," Kid
said calmly. "What's eatin' you Heyes?"
Brown eyes turned around to look at blue eyes and simply stated, "The
fact that I'm thinking of a million dollars in jewels and wondering if it
would be so bad if we stole them and left the country. Maybe that's why I
asked Laurie here, so she could leave with us."
Kid stared at Heyes. This was the first time since they decided to go for
amnesty that he had said anything like this. He was always the levelheaded
one. When Heyes decided on something, he had the determination to follow
through. If it wasn't for that determination, Kid knew they would have blown
their chance long ago. "Heyes we've worked so hard, do you really want
to throw it away?" Realizing he was getting nowhere, he decided on a
different approach, "Do you think Laurie will leave with us and when are
you gonna ask, before or after we rob the bank?"
The ex-outlaw looked stunned for a minute and then a smile appeared on his
face. With a soft almost inaudible laugh, "Kid, you had me there for a
second. Thanks, I'll tell Laurie to take the stage home in the morning."
"Wait, is that the second or third time you've said I was right?"
"I never said you were right?"
you DID," Kid's voice began to get louder.
"No I DIDN'T," Heyes said louder than Kid.
"YES YOU DID, YOU SAID YOU DIDN'T TELL ME BECAUSE YOU KNEW I WOULD BE
RIGHT," Kid yelled even louder at Heyes.
"I SAID I THOUGHT YOU WOULD BE RIGHT. I NEVER TOLD YOU SO YOU
DIDN'T SAY OR DO ANYTHING, SO YOU WEREN'T RIGHT. "
"YOU SAID YOU WERE WRONG."
"Just because I'm wrong doesn't mean you're right," Heyes said and
smiled. The smile only Kid saw; the one that reached Heyes' eyes and lit up
opened his mouth to say something and closed it. He rolled his eyes and lightly
and taking a bottle of whiskey out of a drawer Heyes poured two drinks. He
handed one to his partner, "Want to sit down and go over the plan?"
Taking the glass Kid asked, "How did you know where that was?"
"You always put the whiskey bottle in the top right drawer."
"Huh, never thought about it."
"No Kid you don't. You act on instincts. Me, I got to think things
out," Heyes said as he sat down in a chair and put his feet up on the
Kid sat in the chair across from Heyes. "So what's the plan?"
"Well, as you know, my first plan was to come in get the jewels and ride
out. That's pretty much been shot to hell with Giant Jake and Joey here. Then
there's Laurie." He stopped and took a sip of whiskey. "Kid,"
he said, "I don't know what I was thinking. I thought if she were here,
it would be a good cover. I never wanted to put her in danger; I don't want
to pull her into our life. I don't know why I did it." He took another
sip of his whiskey and looked at the glass while he swirled the whiskey around
"Heyes, maybe you did it because you missed her," Kid said
unassuming. "You haven't seen Laurie in over a week and it does make a
good cover. I saw the way you walked to the stage today and the look on your
face when you saw her. Anyone who saw the two of you would never think we
were here as bodyguards. The question is what do we do now and what will
Brown eyes looked up, “I think I have a better plan than the first one.
It shouldn't put Laurie or us in danger. In fact, if things go the way
they’re planned, we shouldn't have to worry too much about Giant Jake
and Joey." Heyes looked at his watch and stood up. "The stage from
the east should be in soon, let me see if she's done with her bath. If she
is, we can all go over the plan before Mac gets here. I still want to keep
him in the dark for a little while longer on some of the things."
"What about Laurie?" Kid asked.
"She'll listen to the plan and then I will listen to the both of you.
Then we'll decide about Laurie."
"Is she going to meet Mac?"
"If she stays," Heyes responded then added, "Unless she wants
to stay in the room the entire time, I think she'll have to. Mac is going to
want to know who I'm sharing my room with." Heyes walked over to the
door between the rooms and slowly opened it and snuck into the other room
without exposing the room or Laurie to Kid.
soon as the door closed behind Heyes and Kid, Laurie could hear shouting.
Mostly Kid shouting but she couldn't tell exactly what he was saying. Something
about Heyes being crazy and he didn't sound happy. She wondered what was
going on. Heyes hadn't told Kid she was coming and the look Kid gave Heyes,
she had never seen him do that before. With a look like that she could
understand why he was an outlaw, a really good outlaw. A look like that would
scare anyone into doing what you wanted and Kid wasn't supposed to be the one
with the look. That was Heyes. He was the one who was supposed to scare you
with just one look.
sat on the side of the bed thinking her whole life was about to fall apart.
Heyes was acting strange before they left Small Falls but Kid convinced her
that was because things were going right. When she got the telegram from him
telling her that they would be in Clayton in three days would she please join
them, he missed her, she was ecstatic. Now to find out he never mentioned
anything to Kid about her coming and he's really angry with Heyes over her
didn't know if she should just leave, taking the next stage out of town. As
she contemplated, the noise in the next room quieted down and the ladies from
the hotel brought Laurie her bath. Figuring she wouldn't be able to catch the
stage she came in on, she decided it couldn't hurt to take a bath and at
least feel good. Hopefully, the partners would resolve their issues and Heyes
would come tell her what was going on.
soaking in the tub for a while without hearing anything from the next room,
Laurie once again heard shouting. This time it was both Heyes and Kid and
something about being wrong. She had enough and decided it was time to go
find out what was going on. Just as she was getting out of the tub, the door
quietly opened and Heyes slipped into the room.
"Perfect timing," he said with a smile and a devilish look on his
"Not so fast," she said putting up her arm to hold him at an
arm’s length. "It's the middle of the morning and I think I need
some answers first." She put her hand down by her side as she held her
towel around her.
Heyes looked into Laurie's eyes, "You're right, you deserve some
answers. Get dressed and we'll go into Kid's room and go over everything.
She smiled as she gazed into his eyes and knew everything was going to be all
The couple returned to the other room. Heyes sat back down in his chair and
Laurie sat on the bed. Kid and Laurie stared at Heyes waiting for his plan.
He looked back at both of them, then turning towards Laurie, "Big Mac
has hired us," his hand moved between Kid and himself, "as bodyguards.
He has a million dollars in jewels in the bank here that he needs to get back
to the ranch. We already know that there are at least six guys here waiting
for Mac to arrive. He should be here on the noon stage."
"How do you know there are six guys and why isn't Big Mac here with
you?" she asked.
"We rode in yesterday to check things out. Found the six in the saloon
last night. Locals said they were waitin’ on someone and a big
payday," Kid answered.
"We know two of the six. Well we know them by reputation. Giant Jake and
his kid brother Joey," Heyes continued leaning forward in his chair and
talking quietly. "My original plan isn't going to work with the two of
them here. They are really mean and have no issue killing for fun let alone a
million dollars." Heyes paused and took Laurie's hands in his, “I
originally sent the telegram so you could be our cover. I thought having you
here; no one would suspect us of being with Big Mac." He looked her in
the eyes, "I'm sorry I shouldn't have done that, I shouldn't have asked
Laurie smiled at him, "Did you lie when you said you missed me?"
Heyes, still holding her gaze replied, "Nooo, I didn't lie."
"Then you weren't wrong," Laurie took her hand and touched the side
of his face. "I am here, if I can help in any way, I want to. I know you
won't let anything happen to me." Turning to Kid, "And Kid is here
so I know I'm safe. Don't worry, I'll stay out of the way and play the little
woman." She smiled at Heyes and he laughed lightly. "So tell me
about the plan and what I can do to help."
Letting go of her hands and shifting in his chair he went on, "Well, as
I said, the original plan isn't going to work. However, I have a better
one." Heyes paused and looked at Kid, "Mac said they kept the
jewels in the safe at the bank. This is an old bank; I need to find out what
kind of safe they use. If it's an older model," a smile inched across
his face, "I think I have the perfect plan."
"Heyes," Kid cautioned, "You're not thinkin’ what I
think you're thinkin’ are you?"
"Kid..." Heyes started but was interrupted by Laurie.
If you're thinking what he's thinking and he doesn't like what you're
thinking then I'm thinking we need another plan!"
Heyes and Kid looked at each other then at Laurie; they both opened their
mouths to say something to her but didn't. Kid turned to Heyes, "She's
your wife, any idea what she just said?"
"No," Heyes said shaking his head. He sat their pondering Laurie's
outburst then looked at her, "It's nothing illegal if that's what you're
She sat in silence looking at the two confused faces, "Okay, then go on,
but remember you said you would listen to us." She pointed to Kid and
Heyes took a breath and continued, "This is how I see it, we get Mac to
go look at the jewels when he gets here. I will have time to check out the
safe. Then, we get some fake jewels; go back to the bank at night. I'll crack
the safe, replace them with the fake ones and be out of there before anyone
knows we were there."
"You're going to rob the bank," Laurie says standing up, "Are
"No," Heyes said standing up next to Laurie, "I'm not robbing
the bank. I am just going to exchange the real jewels for the fake jewels.
They're Mac's property and he will know about it so it isn't stealing. We're
not going to touch anything else in the bank."
"Okay, I understand that part, but how does that help us get out of town
without Giant Jake and Joey huntin’ us down?" Kid asked.
A smile crossed Heyes' face as he lifted his eyebrows, "Simple. Before
we left Silver Springs, I sent a telegram to Laurie to meet us here. I also
sent one to Big Mac from his ranch foreman. That telegram said he found
another piece of property for Mac to buy, cheaper. He didn't need the jewels.
Mac will get the telegram when he gets here, make a fuss about coming all
this way for nothing and then he can leave on the stage in a day or two.
Giant Jake and Joey will think he's going home empty handed. Of course, he
will go check on the jewels since he is here. That's when I'll get a look at
them and know what we need to replace them with."
"Heyes," Kid said standing up with a huge smile on his face,
"That’s a plan!"
if it's a safe you can't open?" Laurie asked.
and Kid glared at her.
she said defensively, "They could have a new safe. Isn't that why you
got out of the business? It became too hard to hear the tumblers."
ex-outlaws looked shocked.
do listen, you know. I have been around the two of you and your conversations
about what you did and why you stopped. I've even asked you," she said
looking at Heyes, "why you quit so don't be so shocked that I know a
thing or two. So if they have a new safe, then what's the plan?"
"Then will have to go back to the original plan with a few
changes," Heyes replied meekly.
"And the original plan was what?" she sarcastically asked.
"Mac was going to get the jewels from the bank. We would then put fake
ones in their place in the container and leave them in his room while he went
to play poker and pretended to get drunk. We figured whoever was here to get
the jewels would break into the room while he was gone and take the fake
ones. We would keep the real ones with us or with you and me. We, you and I,
would have gone back to the room after dinner while Kid and Mac went to the
saloon. Being married and having been apart, it would be perfectly natural
for us to do that. Mac's room was going to be down the hall. I would be able
to see who ever it was come and go. When I saw Giant Jake and Joey here I
didn't think that plan would work. They're too mean and stupid to go for the
jewels in the room. They would rather wait ‘til we left town and hurt
or kill us."
"When did you change the plan?" Laurie pried.
"When Kid and I were in his room discussing things, I said if Jake was
smarter he would just steal the jewels. Well, he isn't but we are,"
Heyes said with confidence.
Changing the subject Kid interrupted, "Its just about time for Mac's
stage to come in, how much do we tell him?"
"You're keeping stuff from Mac?" Laurie asked looking confused.
"Just until he has to know and we make sure he has told us
everything," Heyes said putting his hand on Laurie's arm. Turning to
Kid, "We tell him we need to go to the bank to see the jewels, see them,
not get them. Then we will figure out when to tell him what happens next. In
any case, we need to get this done and be on our way in a day, two tops. I
don't want more guys arriving looking for the jewels and I don't want Jake to
get too antsy."
they were talking they could hear the stagecoach arriving in town. Heyes
turned to Laurie, "I would like you to stay here while we go meet Mac.
Once he is in the hotel, I'll introduce you to him. I just don't know if
there is going to be any type of reaction when he gets here and I want to
check the situation out."
nodded her head in agreement.
to look at Kid, "You're going to wait ‘til he is walking to the
hotel. You're walk over to him and loudly say Uncle Mac what a surprise to
see you. I'll be a half step behind you."
Heyes and Kid turned and walked out the hotel room door. Laurie walked back
into her room and went to the window to watch. People were just getting off
the stage. She wanted to see if she could pick out Big Mac; when the last
passenger got off the stage, she knew it was him. As he gathered his
belongings, he headed towards the hotel. She saw Kid come into view with
Heyes a step behind him. She also heard Kid call him Uncle.
she stood at the window she noticed a very large man and a smaller one
watching the action from the front of the saloon. There were two more men
watching intently from in front of the telegraph office and another group
pretending to tie up their horses. That was six, but Laurie noticed a group of
four other men just exiting the Livery looking very interested in Mac, Kid
and Heyes. Since the stagecoach blocked some of their view, she wondered if
the partners noticed them. Laurie turned her attention back on Mac, Heyes and
Kid. It looked as though Kid was introducing Heyes to his uncle and they all
turned to walk towards the hotel.
they left the view of the window, Laurie saw the men she was watching walk
towards the two men in front of the saloon. As the ten men got together, they
turned and walked into the saloon together and out of Laurie's sight.
A few minutes later as Laurie sat in a chair waiting, she heard voices in the
hall and a door open and close. Next she heard what appeared to be door to
the room next to hers open and close. Laurie stood up just as the door that
connected Kid's room to hers open. Heyes walked in, "Mac's here,"
he told her. "He's going to get cleaned up and then join us in Kid's
room before dinner. I'll introduce you to him then and we'll go over the
"Okay," Laurie said with a concerned look on her face. "Did
you happen to see the four men coming out of the Livery when you met Big
and Kid shook their heads no.
and I assume his brother Joey were by the saloon when the stage came in, right?"
partners nodded their heads. "There were two more by the telegraph
office and the two that were taking a real long time tying up their
"Yeah," Kid said, "So what about the four coming out of the
"From the window I could see the whole street. I could see you and Heyes
meet Big Mac and hear you say hi to him," Laurie explained.
"That's good," Heyes interjected, "If you heard Kid calling
Mac uncle, they heard it on the street. So what makes you think the four are
with Jake and Joey?"
"The six I just mentioned watched every move you both made and then I
noticed this other group of men over by the Livery. They were in almost a
circle looking like they were talking to each other but all their eyes were
on the three of you. As soon as you entered the hotel, well left the view of
my window, the four slowly started to walk over to Jake. All ten men met
outside the saloon, talked for a few seconds, pointed at the hotel and then
walked into the saloon so I assumed they were together."
Heyes placed his hand on Laurie's arm and nodded. He turned quietly and
started to pace. Kid and Laurie watched. Laurie looked at Kid and he shrugged
his shoulder and smiled. Heyes turned and looked at both of them, "We
need to do this quick. We see the jewels this afternoon, pipe the bank
tonight, gather supplies tomorrow and do it tomorrow night. We leave town day
after tomorrow. If Mac doesn't agree with the plan, we walk away today."
Kid nodded in agreement, "Should Laurie leave on the stage tomorrow?"
"No," Heyes shook his head, "We still need the cover to make
this work. Jake is going to have second thoughts if just the two of us start
hanging out with Mac." Turning to Laurie, "Do you want to
"No, I want to stay and do anything I can to help."
"Good," he gazed into her eyes. "Just remember, you do exactly
as we say and if anything, and I mean anything doesn't go as planned, you go
to the Sheriff's office and stay there. If they find out who we are, you are
to say you had no idea and play the hurt wife, understand." Heyes stared
at Laurie and when she didn't respond he glared at her and forcefully said;
"Yes," Laurie replied holding his gaze. "I understand.
Anything goes wrong I should go to the Sheriff. If they say you're Hannibal
Heyes and he's Kid Curry, as opposed to me defending you I should play the
stupid hurt wife and say I had no idea. Is that it?"
nodded his head yes.
her eyes still trained on him, Laurie continued in her own forceful voice,
"Well, then Hannibal Heyes, nothing better go wrong because I am
planning on going home with my husband Joshua Smith and his partner Thaddeus
Heyes had a chance to respond, there was a knock on Kid's hotel door. Kid
turned walked back into his room and got the door. Mac walked in, Kid closed
the door behind him. "Mac, we have someone we want you to meet," he
said as he turned and walked towards the door that connected his and Heyes'
room. As he entered the room, Laurie and Heyes were standing next to each
other near the bed. Big Mac followed into the room immediately spotting
"Mac," Heyes said as he put his left arm around her waist and
gestured with his right hand, "I'd like to introduce you to my wife,
Big Mac first looked confused as he stared at Heyes and then Kid. Both of
them seemed serious enough, he turned his glance towards Laurie. Removing his
hat and reaching out with his right hand to grasp hers, he pulled her hand up
to his lips and kissed it. "The pleasure is mine Mrs..."
Mac dragged the word on looking at Heyes for confirmation of her name,
"Smith," he replied. "Laurie Smith."
"Mrs. Smith," Big Mac said releasing Laurie's hand, "I am
charmed to meet you."
"Mr. McCreedy," she said.
"Oh my dear, only my enemies or employees call me that," he said
with a chuckle. "Big Mac or Mac will do just fine."
"Then it’s Big Mac," she said as she nodded her head and
Heyes escorted Laurie to a chair and motioned to Mac to take a seat. Kid
walked over to stand behind Heyes with his arms folded in front of him, the
position he always took when Heyes was explaining one of his plans. When
everyone was settled Heyes turned to Mac, "We spotted ten men we think
are here to get the jewels. Have you ever heard of Giant Jake?"
shook his head no.
he and his little brother Joey are here in town with eight other men. They
made trouble in the saloon two nights ago and were talking about waiting for
someone and a big payday. They were watching every step we made when you got
to town. That's why Thaddeus called you Uncle. We want them to think this is
just a chance meeting. Before we left Red River I sent Laurie a telegram to
meet us here. She is part of the cover." Heyes saw a slight smile and
tilt of Mac's head. Sternly he said, "She is really my wife, Mac."
Laurie arrived on the morning stage. It was obvious to those in the street,
including some of Jake's men, that we haven't seen each other for a while. So
as it looks, Thaddeus and I are in town to meet Laurie. Then you, Thaddeus'
Uncle arrived. Surprise, Thaddeus greets you. Now as we leave to go to
dinner, a telegram should be waiting for you at the front desk of the
"How do you know that?" Mac asked.
"I know, because I sent it the same time I sent the one to Laurie. Yours
is from your foreman and tells you, he has found another property. Better and
cheaper, so you don't need the jewels."
"What's that going to do?" Mac asked. "We still need to get
the jewels you don't think these men are going to give up that easy do
"No we don't," Kid stated with piercing eyes, "How do you know
they won't? What aren't you tellin’ us Mac?"
"Nothing, boys. I'm not hiding anything from you," McCreedy said in
a conciliatory manner.
"Joshua," Kid announced, "I think it's time we leave."
Heyes began to stand.
Mac acknowledging defeat, "I know who Giant Jake and Joey are. I heard
they were hired to steal the jewels. That's why it was so important for me to
wait for the two of you. But that's all I know. I have no idea how many men
they have with them or how they are planning to steal the jewels."
"Mac, just how did you come into possession of these jewels
anyway?" Heyes demanded.
"In one of my Saturday night poker games."
"Great!" Kid bellowed. "We come here to be bodyguards to you
and jewels you probably conned away from someone."
"No," Mac said calmly, "Won them fair and square. I told him
not to bet them but he insisted. No tricks, just straight draw poker."
"No Hoyle rule?" Kid asked sarcastically.
"What would make him bet a million dollars in jewels?" Heyes asked.
"Three Kings and arrogance," stated Mac.
"What did you have?" Heyes questioned.
"Four twos. Had a pair, took three cards and ended up with two more
twos," Mac laughed.
and Kid laughed as Laurie sat there watching the three men.
Heyes sat back down in the chair, "That's all you know?"
"That's it, if it isn't I'll double your price," Mac said.
"Okay, so that's all you know" Heyes said matter-of-factly.
"Let's get back to the plan. Jake and Joey brought eight friends of
theirs. They aren't going to give up and they're really mean. So you do
exactly as we say or the deal is off."
nodded his head in acknowledgement.
we go downstairs for dinner, the telegram should be at the front desk. When
you read it you will make a fuss about coming all this way for nothing.
Thaddeus will make a remark that at least the two of you got to see each
other." Turning to Laurie, "I want you to ask Mac what he was
coming here for and when he tells you to get some jewels from the bank, you
will ask to see them."
you'll agree and we will all go to the bank before we go to dinner. While in
the bank, I need to get a good look at the safe and the jewel
"Then what?" Mac asked.
"We go to dinner" Kid responded.
"And," Mac asked looking for more information.
"After dinner, you and Thaddeus will go to the saloon and act a little
happy a little drunk, a little loose lipped in front of Jake and his
men," Heyes explained. "Laurie and I will retire to our room. When
the two of you get back from the saloon, Thaddeus and I will pipe the bank.
Tomorrow we will get supplies; exchange the real jewels for fake ones. Leave
here the next day. Laurie and Mac taking stage coaches and Thaddeus and
myself following Mac's stage at a distance."
"Do you really think this will work?" Mac asked.
"I wouldn't try it if I didn't" Heyes stated.