One winter’s morning in a place called Devil’s Hole a handsome young outlaw woke to find the stove had been lit in his room and he could smell breakfast being cooked. He put his leg out of bed and promptly put back in to bed again it was cold.
He sat up in bed and put his fingers through his brown hair, sweeping his troublesome fringe out of his face he called to the person who was making breakfast.
The young man heard footsteps out by his bedroom door the door knob turned the door opened and a fresh-faced youth with dark blonde curls put his head around the door.
“Yes Heyes, what is it?”
“I require my pants please”
“Well, they’re over there on the chair”
“Oh, Heyes you’re such a wimp at times here” he said as he got him his pants.
“Breakfast’ll be in fifteen minutes”
“That will give me long enough to shave and put my shirt on”
Then his blonde friend left. He put his pants on in bed and then he got up. He slept in his socks, so he sat and put his boots on then he put his feet on the floor. Then just before he had his wash and shave he looked at the calendar on the wall.
“Twelfth of December happy birthday Mamma” said Heyes to himself
He went over to the basin and picked up the jug beside it and pour some water in then he had his wash and shave, the young outlaw was handsome, with brown eyes to match his brown hair he was the leader of the Devil’s Hole Gang, since Big Jim Santana had been arrested and sent to prison. He was Hannibal Heyes or just Heyes to his friends.
Heyes finished dressing, and then went out into the living room with doubled as a dining room, his Blonde friend brought the breakfast in of eggs, bacon and sausages. Now Heyes’s friend was more than a friend he was his cousin, he was tall, handsome, broad shouldered with blue eyes to match his blonde hair. He was a gunfighter and had the title of one of the fastest guns in the west he was Jed ‘The Kid’ Curry. But he was just Kid to his friends and to Heyes of course. After breakfast, while Kid did the dishes Heyes went and saw to the horses for today they were going on a job it was the bank this time.
Heyes got the boys together and when Kid had finished his chores in the kitchen he joined them.
“Now boys we’re not going to rob the bank today, it’ll be tonight when everyone’s a bed”
“So why are we goin’ now Heyes?” asked Kyle Murtry
“Because Kyle we need to do some shopping for the holidays and get the normal supplies as well that’s why were all going so Chuck, Stanley and Lean here can come back with the wagon with the supplies in. Kid, Myself, Lobo, Wheat, Hank and you stay in the Saloon until night fall and then we rob the bank.” Said Heyes thoroughly.
So that’s exactly what they did, then as Heyes had said when night fell they went over to the bank. To Heyes’s relief it was an old safe, so he sat down and played with the tumblers it wasn’t long before he had the safe open and they filled their bags full of the money and then they left in a hurry.
The Sheriff was fat and lazy, so they managed to get back to Devil’s Hole without being chased by a posse.
“Right, boys we’ll get a goodnight’s rest and then we’ll decorate the cabins for Christmas” Heyes gave a dimpled smile as the boys left their cabin. While the boys went to bed Heyes and Kid sat and wrapped all of the gifts for under the tree. Heyes went and put them in his safe along with the money that they had stolen that night.
Then he and Kid went to bed themselves. Sometime during the night someone broke into Heyes’s safe, took all of the Christmas presents, the money and Heyes’s wooden box.
They discovered it in the morning Heyes went to the safe and found it open he looked at Kid then looked in the safe and it was empty.
“No, no this can’t be it’s gone”
“Yeah thanks Kid”
“What’s wrong Heyes?”
Heyes looked at him with tears in his eyes “my mother’s box I was using it as a keepsake box and it had everything I took from home when I left for the last time”.
“Oh, Heyes no”
Once he’d pulled himself together, he got up off the floor and went over to the boys and he was very, very cross.
“Alright now someone last night broke into my safe and took not only the Christmas presents and the money we stole but also a wooden box that belonged to my late mother and I want it back, if it’s not back in our cabin by nightfall I will instigate a search of everyone’s belongings do you hear me!”
“Good, Come on Kid” said Heyes as he left.
They went back over to their cabin, they went in and Kid sat down while Heyes paced up and down the room. Heyes was still bristling and that was a good thing when it comes to Heyes thinking.
As he was pacing he thought about all of the people that had left when Heyes took over and he remembered one had said that he’d get him back for taking over as leader when he’d been there as long as Jim had been there.
So, he turned to Kid and said, “Kid what was the name of that man who threatened me when I took over as leader”
“Wasn’t it Henry Jamerson?”
“That’s right Kid I wonder where he is now?”
“Heyes, Heyes, will you listen to me for two minutes”
“What is it?”
“The new kid has the surname of Jamerson, we were gone all day yesterday who’s to say that he didn’t sit there with your safe and find out the combination. When we got back with all of that money he must have thought it was his birthday, Christmas and Thanks Givin’ all in one night”
“You think he’s some kinda relation”
“Fits don’t it”
“I hate to admit it Kid but yes”
“Come on he’s on guard duty or s’posed to be”
So Heyes and Kid went out to the mountain where young Jamerson was supposed to be, but he wasn’t.
They could hear voices down below, they looked down and there was Young Jamerson and Henry.
“Well now Henry Jamerson what are you doin’ here?” said Kid with gun drawn.
“Hi Kid, I just came to see my nephew that’s all”
“You lyin’ snake” said Heyes from behind him.
“Now let’s have a look what your nephew has in his saddle bags” said Heyes as Kid joined him
Heyes took the boys saddle bags and emptied them and all of the things that had been stolen fell out all except Heyes’s mother’s box Heyes let go of his rage “Where is my mother’s box sunshine!”
“If I were you boy I’d tell him and now he’s just about ready to beat the hell outta someone and that someone’s gonna be you” said Kid.
“Alright I buried it behind the powder store”
“Alright, now we are taking these things back to Devil’s Hole and you and your uncle here can clear out now” said Heyes as he mounted his horse Hermes and rode off with Kid now too far behind.
They rode into Devil’s Hole and went into their cabin and put the things back in the safe. then they went behind the powder store and saw the freshly dug earth and so they dug it themselves and there was Heyes’s mother’s box.
Heyes breathed a sigh of relief, picked it up and dusted it off and held it close to him. Then he took it back into the cabin, put it in his room under the bed not before checking that everything was still there, and it was.
After that the boys decorated the cabins and put up the tree Kid and Kyle dressed it while Lobo and Wheat saw to the dinner. Then when dinner was ready they all went to the large cabin where everyone had a good time they opened their presents and got their share of the money.
A good time was had by all just before they left Heyes told them that it had been young Jamerson who had stole the items in his safe and why.
Then he and Kid went home and to bed,
“Good night Heyes Merry Christmas”
“Yeah night Kid, Merry Christmas to you too”
They turned out the lamp and Heyes fell fast asleep happy and contented that he had his mother’s box back and solved the Christmas Mystery.