The Butt of All Jokes
A Pre-Amnesty Story
Summary: Just another not-so-typical night for the Devil's Hole Gang before a big job.
Disclaimer: Don't own them, but boy these guys are fun to play with.
Warning: Wrote this when it popped into my tired, sleep-deprived brain. Hope you enjoy it anyway.
"All right boys, we'll set up camp here for the night," Hannibal Heyes said as he dismounted his horse and led it over to a nearby stream. The Devil's Hole Gang had been riding hard for the last few hours, trying to keep to the schedule that Heyes had in place. Tomorrow, they would be holding up the train coming from Cheyenne, a train reported to be filled with a payroll shipment worth $50,000.00.
"You sure ya want to stay here for the night?" Wheat Carlson asked, purposely trying to egg his leader on.
"This spot is just fine, Wheat," Heyes said not even bothered by the man's attitude. "We'll have us a good meal and get us a good nights sleep before we have to leave in the morning."
"But shouldn't we keep goin'? It's still light out, Heyes," Kyle Murtry whined as Kid Curry handed his horse's reigns over to the smaller man.
"No we shouldn't, Kyle. We still have to hunt up something to eat, remember?" Kid explained as he checked the load in his gun.
"That's right," Heyes agreed. "Kid, you and Kyle go see what you can scare up for tonight's meal. Wheat, Lobo, take care of the horses. Hank, Preacher, go gather up some wood and start a fire. I'll unpack some of the other food we brought and get it started while the rest of you get to work." With the orders given, each man or group of men went their separate ways.
Kyle slowly walked through the woods in search of the elusive prey that would serve as this evening's supper. He stopped when he heard a twig snap. To Kyle, the animal sounded like it had to be a small deer due to the rustling noises that the creature was making, but big enough to feed everyone. Turning in the direction of the sound he slowly pulled his gun and carefully took aim through the thick foliage. He saw a glimpse of movement and once again he heard the snap of another twig and fired. The loud, piercing scream immediately told Kyle that it wasn't a deer after all.
Hearing the shot and the scream, the rest of the camp went running only to find Kyle standing in shock over what just happened. "Kyle, what's going on?" Heyes asked as he ran up to the smaller man. Kyle stood there looking in the direction that he fired in. "Kyle?" Heyes then heard it, a low, angry moan, the kind of moan that could only come from one kind of animal.
Heyes quickly ran through the thick underbrush, leaving behind the rest of the gang who were also trying to make their way through, he stopped to find his cousin lying on his right side, his left hand reaching around him, holding onto the back of his upper leg as he rocked back and forth in obvious pain. The muffled cursing told Heyes that Kid wasn't seriously injured, but he was definitely glad he wasn't in Kyle's boots at the moment. Kneeling down beside his partner, he quickly took in the situation. "Kid, you all right?"
"Do I look all right to you?" Kid ground out through gritted teeth.
"Where'd you get hit?" Heyes asked as the rest of the gang came crashing through the underbrush. He heard Kid mumble something but didn't quite catch it. "What'd you say?"
"I said I got hit in the…backside!" Kid said louder, embarrassment written all over his face.
"You mean Kyle shot ya in the butt?" Wheat laughed out only to stop when the glare from Kid proved too much for him. The rest of the gang quickly started turning away so as to hide their faces from the injured man.
"I'm powerful sorry about shootin' ya, Kid," Kyle said, crushing his hat in his hands as he stood dangerously close to the injured man.
"Just get away from me Kyle," Kid threatened as he tried to reach for his gun that he was still strapped to his leg.
"Kid, leave Kyle alone. I'm sure he didn't mean to shoot ya," Heyes ordered as he got in between the two.
"Maybe not, but it still don't change the fact that he did shoot me!"
"Why did ya shoot him, Kyle," Wheat asked as he pulled the smaller man away from Kid's side.
"I thought he was a deer."
"Do I look like a deer to you?" Kid yelled out.
"Ya don't now, but ya did when I shot ya," Kyle explained.
"Let me take a look at you," Heyes said calmly.
"Out here?" Kid asked, his eyes widening at the prospect of what was to come.
"Well where else you would like me to take a look at ya?" Heyes asked as he started removing Kid's gun belt. "We are after all, camping out in the middle of nowhere,"
Kid sighed realizing he had no choice. "Okay, just…just get the rest of them outta here."
Heyes turned to the gang. "You heard the man, get outta here," Heyes ordered. "Oh and Preacher, go get the medical supplies and bring them back. I might need your help when you return." The gang did as they were told and quickly left.
"All right, get on your belly," Heyes said after he helped his cousin undo his pants. Kid rolled over and as carefully as possible, Heyes pulled Kid's pants and long johns down enough to reveal the injury to the man's bottom.
"Well it could have been worse," Heyes quipped as he checked the wound. "He could have been using the shotgun."
"Shut up Heyes," Kid growled out.
"Hey, do you want me to help you or not?"
"What I want you to do is shoot Kyle for me," Kid replied as he winced at Heyes' examination of the wound. "Wheat too, just 'cause he laughed at me."
"Well you better add the rest of the gang to your list of victims if that's the case. They were all laughing at you, but Wheat was the only one dumb enough to do it out loud."
A few moments later, Preacher came back through the underbrush and placed the medical supplies and a bottle of whiskey next to Heyes. "How bad is it, Heyes?" Preacher drawled out as he knelt beside the two men.
"Um," Heyes said as he cleared his throat, "the wound doesn't look too bad, Preacher, but I need to get the bullet out. Want to open that bottle of whiskey and get some bandages out of the bag?" Preacher nodded and did as he was asked. Heyes pulled out his knife and grabbed the bottle, pouring some on the knife and then onto the wound. "Sorry Kid," Heyes said when his friend cried out in pain. "Needed to clean the wound out."
"Warn a guy next time, will ya?" Kid hissed back, tears stinging his eyes.
"Preacher, I'm gonna need ya to hold Kid down while I dig the bullet out," Heyes said as a nervous look crossed his face.
"You got it Heyes," Preacher replied as he crawled up towards Kid's shoulders. "Here Kid, you might want to use this," Preacher said as he placed a piece of a tree branch into Kid's mouth. Kid nodded in understanding and did his best to get ready for what was to come.
With Preacher lying across Kid's shoulders, Heyes moved to sit on the backs of Kid's thighs so that he wouldn't be able to move too much as he searched for the bullet. "Okay Kid," Heyes said with a slight quiver of apprehension in his voice. "Here I go." Heyes did his best to ignore his friend's moans of pain as he cut the wound open further and searched for the slug. Fortunately for all involved, the bullet wasn't in too deep and Heyes breathed out a sigh of relief when he finally found and removed the projectile from Kid's backside. He quickly poured more whiskey over the wound and awkwardly did his best to wrap the bandages over the injury before pulling Kid's pants back up into place.
"I'm gonna kill him, I'm gonna kill Kyle," Kid muttered as he lay on the ground, eyes closed, exhausted, and shaking from the ordeal.
"You're not gonna kill Kyle," Heyes said as he sat back, shaking slightly himself from the experience. He was truly grateful that it wasn't as serious as it could have been.
"All right, I won't kill him," Kid wheezed out, "I'll just wing him a few times."
"Now Kid, you know what the Good Book says about turning the other cheek," Preacher said with a serious look on his face.
Both men just looked over in shock at Preacher before the man winked and let a smile light on his face. Kid quickly turned his attention back to Heyes when he heard a snort coming from the man, and glared at him when he fell over in laughter.
"Not you too, Preacher?" Kid groaned at the joke made at his expense.
"Sorry son, couldn't help myself," Preacher chuckled.
"And you're no better, Heyes," Kid yelled at his cousin.
"Ah, I'm sorry Kid," Heyes apologized as he wiped tears of laughter from his eyes. "After what I just went through, I needed that laugh."
"What you just went through?" Kid asked in astonishment. "I'm the one that got shot."
"Yeah, and I'm the one that had to dig the bullet out," Heyes said as a reminder.
"Okay, next time you let Kyle shoot you and I'll dig the bullet out," Kid said and then let out a groan when he tried to move.
Heyes' expression suddenly became serious. "You in much pain, Kid?"
"I'll be okay," Kid answered, his breathing still somewhat heavy. "But I don't think I'll be able to sit a horse for a few days. Sort of puts a kink in the ol' plans for robbin' that train tomorrow."
"Don't you worry about that," Heyes said as stood up. "Let's just get you back to camp so that you can rest up. I'll decide later what to do about that train."
Together with Preacher's help, the two of them carried Kid back to where the rest of the gang was. Upon arriving, the three of them saw that there was a couple of rabbits spitted and roasting on the fire. "Where'd those come from?" Heyes asked as he and Preacher carefully set Kid down onto the ground on his right side so that he could see what was going on.
"I uh, saw some rabbits runnin' around and snared them for supper," Kyle said as he hung his head down in embarrassment. "Figured Kid would probably be hungry after what he just went through."
Kid looked at the smaller man and suddenly lost the anger that he had earlier. "Uh, thanks Kyle. That was nice of ya."
"I figured it would help make up some for what I did to ya," explained Kyle.
"Yeah, it does. Thanks again," Kid said. He could see Kyle's guilt over the situation lift as he smiled back at the smaller man. "Uh Heyes?" Kid said quietly as Heyes was placing a blanket over him.
"Yeah Kid?" Heyes answered as he positioned a pillow under Kid's head and another one behind his backside incase of an accidental rollover.
"Why don't you leave Kyle here with me while you and the rest of the boys go meet that train," Kid said with a smile. "He can take care of me while you're robbin' it."
"You sure about that?"
"Yeah, I'm sure. I know that Kyle didn't mean to shoot me," Kid yawned as his adrenaline level was quickly dropping off and fatigue was setting in
"Okay, only if you're sure."
"I'm sure," Kid answered as his eyes started closing. "Just be sure to take his gun with you though. Don't want him accidentally shootin' me again."
Heyes knelt there and chuckled over his cousin's now sleeping form. "I think I might just take yours along too, just to be on the safe side." Heyes smiled as he looked at his friend's pale complexion and sighed in relief, grateful for the outcome, knowing that things could have turned out much differently. He then quickly got up while clapping his hands together to get the gang's attention. "Okay fellas, listen up. A slight change in plans for the tomorrow's train robbery…"