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Former Friends

Former Friends

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Published by beejay
Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry come across some former friends who have an unfortunate interest in the local bank.
Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry come across some former friends who have an unfortunate interest in the local bank.

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Published by: beejay on May 22, 2009
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06/14/2009

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Former Friends
 Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry were riding slowly towards the town of Old Upton,Wyoming along a sun-baked road, heading west. Letting their horses walk was anunusual experience for them, and the men were enjoying a brief period of calm in their normally hectic lives. They were heading towards a meeting with sheriff Lom Trevors,for yet another discussion about an amnesty that had the frustrating habit of retreating asthey advanced towards it."This must be the longest day of the year," Curry said to his friend in a somewhat irritatedvoice. The irritation wasn't with his friend, but with the dullness of the trip. "Heyes, isthis the longest day of the year? I swear it must be. How long have we been riding,anyway? It seems like forever; there ain't nothing on this road to look at. Heyes? Heyes,are you listening to me?""Uh huh umm." Heyes yawned. "I'm listening. What?""I said is this the longest day of the year?""Nope Kid, that's uh, that's later." Heyes thought for a moment. "The shortest day isDecember 21st, so the longest must be July 21st. It's called the uh, ahem", and carefullyhe enunciated each syllable, "the eeeqweenox.""I didn't know that. That's got a real scientific sound to it," the Kid said in a pleasedvoice."Read it in a book Kid. You can learn all sorts of things from books. You know you reallyoughta read some more. It'd do you good. You know, after we get our amnesties, we'regonna wanna get good jobs. You're gonna need some education for that.""
 If  
we get our amnesties, you mean. I mean, here we go again, meeting Lom and for what? For another favor for the governor.""I know, Kid. But I don't see that we have any other choice. At least we'll get a chance totalk directly to Lom again, and find out where we stand."They rode on for another few minutes."Heyes, I don't see why we have to arrive so early in Old Upton. Lom's not gonna bethere until the 16th, and it's only the 12th."1
 
"The telegram said he might get there a few days earlier from Colorado. I just don't think it would look good if Lom was already there when we arrived. Kid, we wanna look eager to help the governor out, and keeping the sheriff waiting, even if he is our friend, won'timpress no one.""I suppose you're right. I just don't like the idea of 
having 
to be in one town for so long.What if the sheriff knows us?""Kid, Lom would not meet us somewhere where the sheriff knew us. In fact, I think he picked Old Upton 'cause it's a small, nothing town, way on the border of Wyoming. Youever hear of 
anything 
ever happening in Old Upton?""Well…""So stop worrying." On arriving in Old Upton the two friends rode towards the town's saloon for a beer.Passing the sheriff's office they stared in pleased disbelief."Heyes, do you see what I see?" said the Kid pointing to a large sign that read "closed"nailed to the door."I sure do, Kid. I sure do. C'mon, let's head on and get those beers, and relax. We can findout what's going on over there."In the saloon they ordered their two beers, and then walked over to a poker table withroom for more players."Mind if we join you?" asked Heyes."Not at all. I am Dr. Richard Phelps, town physician, and these two gentlemen are Frank Read and Tom McGrady. Frank's a local rancher, and Tom's been dealing faro here in- between jobs for the railroads."The Kid and Heyes sat down."I'm Joshua Smith.""Thaddeus Jones.""
Smith
and
 Jones
. You're joking?" Tom asked, laughing.2
 
"No really. We met a few years back on a drive up from Texas. I think being named Smithand Jones is why we fell in together, kinda amusing that; and being the only Northernersamong all those Texans we became friends," Heyes lied suavely."Now that I understand," Frank said and he shuffled the deck of cards. "Draw poker, nowild cards."Dr. Phelps chuckled. "I'm glad to see you're on your toes Tom. I'm beginning to havesome confidence in you, although I was skeptical at first.""What does that mean?" asked the Kid puzzled."What Dick means is that I'm running for the office of sheriff." This bit of informationwas of interest to Heyes and the Kid, and they listened more alertly. "Sheriff Marshlandgot himself shot and killed last week, so we're holding elections for a new sheriff nextweek." Tom straightened up as he spoke, Dr. Phelps' words reminding him to display hisskills as a lawman."I thought Old Upton was a quiet town," asked Heyes. "I hope you don't mind if I ask how your sheriff died.""Yeah or why you'd wanna take his place," added the Kid."Oh, we're a quiet enough town. Marshland was fool enough to leave his gun loaded andon the counter in his kitchen. His cat jumped up, knocked it off, it hit the floor, went off and got him right between the eyes." Tom shrugged. "Frank, are you ever gonna dealthose cards?"Heyes and the Kid stared at each other."Now
 you're
joking," said Heyes."Nope. It's the truth. So now we're out a sheriff. Tom here is gonna run in the election andCyrus Boone is gonna run against him. Tom's our man. His job for the railroads is ridingshotgun. So he is an experienced man. The only thing Cyrus has going for him is heclaims to be a descendent of Daniel Boone. Not too much upstairs, if you know what Imean," Frank put the deck on the table for Dr. Phelps to cut."So you wanna tell us what you're doing in Old Upton?" Tom raised his glass to drink,took a sip. He put the glass down, stacked his chips in neat piles, leaned back and crossedhis arms, all the while observing Heyes and Curry with an intent expression. That isexcept when he glanced out the corner of his eyes at Dr. Phelps and Frank, making surethey were aware of his capable manner as a potential lawman, and his abilities atquestioning strangers.3

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