The dark haired leader walked briskly across the compound and into the bunkhouse followed closely by his blond haired partner. Opening the door they saw the men busily working, packing, organizing and generally getting ready to ride out.
“Well,” he said as he opened the door, “boys, you can all relax, the job’s off for now.”
“Why?” the men asked, almost in unison.
“Hunter’s Moon,” the leader replied.
“What?” the gang questioned.
“Hunter’s Moon,” Heyes repeated.
“There ain’t no Hunter in the gang,” Wheat stated. “And tell him we don’t need to see his moon,” he snickered.
The gang chuckled at the implication.
“We don’t want t’ see no one’s moon,” Lobo chimed in. “‘Specially if he’s been out huntin’ all day and is covered in mud.”
The chuckle became an outburst of laughter.
“That would be one scary moon!” Hank added.
The laughter was at a full roar at this point as the gang members made snide comments regarding each other’s moon.
“Yeah, yeah,” Heyes faked a smiled, waved his hand dismissively at the unruly gang and turned to leave.
Above the ruckus Kyle called out, “Heyes, how come the job’s off? Who’s this Hunter guy?”
Heyes turned back around. “It’s not a guy, Kyle, it’s the moon.”
“Huh?” Kyle looked and sounded confused.
“A Hunter’s Moon… the full moon,” Heyes explained.
“Sounds like a poor excuse if ya ask me,” Wheat said under his breath.
“‘Scuse me,” Kid turned his icy blue stare on Wheat.
Wheat shifted uncomfortably, “Jes sayin’ I don’t think havin’ a full moon is a reason to cancel the job.” He took a breath, settled himself and then puffed out his chest. “We’s the best. If I was the leader, I think I would plan all the jobs around full moons - makes it easier to see what we’re doin’.”
“Yeah, that’s true,” Heyes replied. “It also makes it a heck of a lot easier for the law to see what we’re doing too.”
“Pffft, so what,” Wheat postured.
“It’s not a great idea for people to see us breakin’ into a bank,” Kid stated.
“That’s right,” Lobo interjected. “They ain’t got no picture of Heyes and Kid on their wanted poster. If they’s see them, they might.”
“Wheat’s got a picture on his,” Kyle piped in. “’Cept they’s forgot t’ put a mustache on him so I drew one on one I saw.” He looked at Wheat, “Ya weren’t t’ happy ‘bout that…why?”
“Yeah Wheat, why weren’t you happy Kyle drew a mustache on you? Maybe ‘cause it would be easier to recognize you?” Heyes smirked. “Kind of like being seen in the light of the moon…wouldn’t ya say?”
“All that bright moonlight…sure makes it easier to see what they’re shootin’ at,” Kid pointed out. “Think I would like to make it harder for them to capture us.”
“Yeah,” Heyes nodded in agreement. “Me too.”
Wheat shrugged his shoulders and stretched his neck.
Heyes smiled. “To answer your question, Kyle, it’s called a Hunter’s Moon ‘cause of the time of the year. With the days getting shorter ‘cause the sun’s setting earlier, it makes it easier for hunters to see their prey.”
“Or sheriffs to see people breakin’ the law,” Kid added.
“Who knows, maybe the sheriff would turn the other cheek,” Lobo cracked.
The gang stared at him
“Ya know, full moon, turn the other cheek…” he tried to explain.
Bah ha ha, roared the gang.
“Other cheek,” Wheat chuckled. “Guess then it would only be a half-moon!”
“Ain’t there supposed to be a dark side of the moon?” Hank asked.
“Only if ya fall into a tar pit!” Lobo howled.
The gang exploded with laughter. Heyes and Kid stood looking at their gang, shaking their heads.
Seeing the partners, Wheat tried to get the group under control. Tugging on the belt loops of his pants he yelled above the noise, “Alright men, we can stop preparin’ for the job. Jus go back to your normal stuff. We’ll get back to this…” He turned towards the leaders, “When we goin’?”
“’Bout a week,” Heyes replied.
“We’ll get back to this once the Hunter’s Moon is over…down…” Wheat waved his arm in frustration, “not so bright.”
The gang cracked up again.
Heyes and Kid looked at each other, rolled their eyes and smiled; they hadn’t intended to, but getting under Wheat’s skin was always an added bonus.