A Holiday Heist

By Elleree

Kid Curry walked toward the train depot from the livery, glad of his sheepskin jacket. Snowflakes fluttered slowly down from the gray sky, dusting the brim of his hat.

He shivered. Sure will be nice to warm up, he thought.

Curry had just spotted the depot's wreathed door in the distance when he saw Hannibal Heyes come flying outside. Concerned, the fast draw hurried toward him.

"Come on," Heyes said, taking hold of Kid's elbow and steering him toward the train's platform.

Kid was definitely concerned. "I just sold the horses, but I reckon we can buy them back. What is it?" He lowered his voice. "Sheriff? Bounty hunter? Somebody else we know?"

Heyes shook his head and dropped his partner's arm. "No, there's nothing wrong. I've got our tickets."

"You flew out of there like a posse was after you," Curry replied.

Heyes looked down, adjusting his gray jacket. "I...just wanted to get outside."

"It's freezin' out here and we've got at least half an hour till the train shows up and that's if there ain't a delay. What's so awful you'd rather wait in the snow? Did somebody recognize you?"

"No," the dark haired man replied. "I told you, everything's fine."

"You anger the clerk?"

"No," Heyes said shortly.

"Did a pretty lady reject your advances?"

"What? No!"

"Then what, Heyes? I don't fancy freezin'." Kid crossed his arms and waited.

Heyes mumbled something.


"There are carolers in there."

Incredulous blue eyes stared at embarrassed brown ones. "Oh no, not carolers," the blonde finally said sarcastically. "Sheesh. Well, you can freeze outside if you want, but I'm goin' in."

He walked inside and sat down, smiling at the carolers with the sprigs of holly pinned to their hats. One of them was quite pretty and she smiled right back. Yep, Kid Curry was a-okay with carolers.

Eventually, his partner joined him. Despite his natural inclination, Curry decided not to prod Heyes about it. He'd just be stubborn enough to actually wait outside.

A man burst into the train depot waving a telegram and looked at Heyes and Curry first. "Hey, did you hear!? There was another bank robbery!"

Heyes and Kid looked at each other, then back at the man.

Most of the others in the building seemed to ignore him and the clerk just shook his head.

"I hadn't heard that, no. This town?" Heyes managed.

"No, but not far. It's that same new bunch of thieves. They're robbin' banks and trains all over!"

"Is that right?" Kid asked, frowning.

"Yeah," said their new friend. "Hopefully, that's the last robbery for the season. Might be that even robbers take a break for over the holidays!"

"I imagine a lot of them do," Kid said with a small smirk, ignoring the elbow he got from Heyes.

"I'm gonna go tell the rest of town. Good luck to you!" The telegrapher left.

"I really hope we don't need it," Heyes said.


Kid was humming under his voice, O Come all ye Faithful as they watched the train pull up to the station with an impressive burst of steam trailing behind it in the snowy sky.

Heyes glanced at his partner and the blonde stopped humming, giving him a sheepish grin.

"Sorry. They're hard to forget once they start up in your mind."

"S'fine," Heyes replied. He didn't hate Christmas, it just brought up painful memories and so he preferred not to think about it. The dark haired man looked down and away.

"Wonder if there really will be a job waitin'?" Kid asked, trying to get his partner to think of something else.

Kid understood Heyes' feelings on the holidays, but didn't exactly share them. Sometimes it made him sad to think of what they'd lost, but for him, there was sweet along with the bitter. Their early childhood memories were great and he'd always liked the mood of the season. On earth peace, good will toward men and all.

Besides, they were still free and Kid hadn't met that faster gun. Seemed like a good reason to celebrate every holiday possible to him.

"Let's hope so. But it's not a bad idea to go Southwest, where it's warmer for the winter, in any case," Heyes replied. "We've got money saved up."

"Just as long as we don't end up 'reclaimin'' busts for Big Mac," Kid said.

Heyes did smile, then, as they boarded the train.

It was crowded. They ended up sitting on the same bench, since there wasn't room for anything else. Heyes wanted the window seat so Kid sat by the aisle; he tipped his hat and the women sitting next to them who smiled.

"Hello, ladies," he started, but an older gentleman stopped in the aisle between them.

"Remember, you two behave since your mother and I can't sit across from you," an older gentleman said to the young women. He wrung his hands, seemingly nervous.

"Pa, we're grown," one protested, turning pink. "Besides, it isn't good for your heart for you to get upset."

Kid couldn't help but overhear. "Excuse me, sir, did you say you and your wife wanted to sit here? Are you seated together?"

"Yes, down that way," the man said.

"My friend and I would be happy to switch," Kid said.

"We would?" Heyes asked under his breath.

Kid ignored him. He knew Heyes didn't actually mind helping someone, his partner just wanted to give him a hard time.

"That's terribly kind of you! Wilton Shoemaker at your service. These are my daughters, Miss Phillipa and Adeline Shoemaker."

"Pleased to meet you. I'm Thaddeus Jones," Kid said as he stood and shook the man's hand. He gave the ladies his sweetest smile, eyes ever so blue.

"Joshua Smith," Heyes said as he stood and smiled towards the ladies.

The man led them down the aisle and introduced them to his wife before they switched seats.

"You are kindness embodied," Mrs. Shoemaker said. The couple thanked them once more before going to sit with their daughters.

"Didn't it feel nice to do a good deed?" Kid asked.

"Sure. Just wish this bench felt nice. I'd just gotten comfortable," Heyes groused.

"It's gonna be that kind of train ride, huh?" Curry asked his partner.

"What kind?"

"The kind when I wish we had separate benches."

Heyes elbowed his friend just as the train started to move.


Kid was leaned back against the seat; not sleeping, but resting, when he heard an annoyed groan.

"He's leanin' on me!" the complaint came from the bench across from their own.

"Am not!"

"Are too!"

Kid glanced over; a woman with her red hair in a bun sat by the window with two boys on her bench. One was a red-headed, older boy who had a younger, dark-haired lad next to him.

"He elbowed me, Ma," the littlest said.

Their mother stood, holding on to the bench in front of her; the train was bouncing. "If you can't sit nicely, I'll have to sit in between you."

"No!" both boys said together.

She sat back down and caught Kid's gaze. "Let me know if my boys bother you," she said.

"Not at all, ma'am. They reminded me of my childhood, that's all," Kid said with a smile.

"Musta been a long time ago," the redhead shot out.

Curry laughed. "Depends on who you ask."

"He don't usually act like it was that long ago," Heyes said, looking away from the window to join in.

"I'm Thaddeus Jones and this is my hilarious partner, Joshua Smith, ma'am."

"I'm Mrs. Bernard. Boys?"

"I'm Edward," the redhead said.

"He means Eddie," the younger one chimed in. "I'm Tommy. He's seven and I'm five."

"You're only four," Eddie said with the gravity of an elder sibling.

"I'm almost five," Tommy countered.

"Alright, boys, let's have our snack," Mrs. Bernard said, getting into her carpet bag.

"I like your hat," Eddie said.

"Thanks," Kid replied. "I like your slingshot."

"I'm pretty good with it," Eddie said.

"I'm better," Tommy added.

"Boys, hush," she said, doling out snacks and shooting another apologetic look at the partners.

They smiled at her and then settled back on their own bench.

"Remind you of anyone?" Curry asked his partner.

"Quit leaning on me," Heyes said quietly in reply, mimicking the older boy's tone and making his partner laugh.


The train came to a slow stop and Heyes and Curry shared an alarmed look.

"Nothing to worry about, it seems there's a tree blocking the rails," the conductor said.

That did not reassure the two ex train robbers.

Kid pulled off his gloves, just in case. "Reckon it's that gang the telegrapher talked about?"

"Probably," Heyes said. "That'd be our luck."

There was the sound of gunshots outside.

"I hate bein' right," Kid said. "But that's what we get for not goin' on horses."

Heyes just closed his eyes for a minute while all the rest of the passengers panicked.

"What do we do?!" Mrs. Bernard asked.

"Just try to stay calm," Kid told her. "It'll be alright. We won't let anyone hurt you or your boys."

She nodded and moved the boys next to the window and herself in the aisle seat.

"Just don't be too heroic," Heyes said quietly.

Kid smirked. "I'll be medium heroic at best. I'm used to playin' the bad guy's part, after all."

"Funny. I hate that this is happening… I blame the holidays," Heyes replied.

"You're the only one I know that would try to blame this craziness on Christmas."

"People are insane this time of year," Heyes replied.

"Maybe these guys are insane the whole year through. Lots of robbers are, or desperate."

"Which one were we?"

"I was desperate," Kid replied in a low voice. "You were crazy."

"You backed up my plans and co-led a gang with me!" Heyes hissed indignantly.

"Huh. You're right. Maybe we're both crazy," Kid said with a grin. "Can you see what we're up against?"

Heyes looked out. "We're going to find out."

A man clad in dark clothes with a bandana covering the lower half of his face boarded the train with a cocked gun in his hand.

"Hands up on top of the benches where I can see them! My friends'll collect your weapons and then you'll all get off one at a time. If any of you move in a way I don't like, I'll shoot."

Kid and Heyes exchanged a look of disgust. Robbin' the passengers.

Curry watched the second and third men enter the car. He glanced at his gun, then at Heyes, who shook his head no.

Do not intervene! Heyes said through a look.

"You're a pretty lady. Maybe I should search you for weapons," the man disarming the passengers said. He had two gunbelts crossed over each other, both guns tempting in their holsters.

Okay, yeah, that one deserves it, but no, Kid, Heyes continued, brown eyes staring down blue.

Two Guns' partner had his Colt in hand and was extremely casual with his menace.

Kid's jaw clenched.

"What, no smile for me?" Two Guns continued with another female passenger as he got closer.

Heyes' own glare became flinty. If that man didn't watch it, he'd have Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry correcting his manners.

"Okay, now you." The bandit with the bag stared down Kid Curry. "Drop in your gun."

Silent Colt joined them.

Kid Curry gave the men his cool, calm expression that said 'I could shoot you in under a second.'

"You hard of hearin', boy?" Two Guns asked.

Do not say anything, Heyes thought. Please just do it.

Kid hesitated, but finally did as he was told on viewing the second robber had the gun on his partner.

Heyes let out a sigh of relief and dropped his own gun in the bag.

The pair moved on.

"Two in the aisle, one at the front exit," Kid finally said.

"Two in position outside. They've done this before," Heyes agreed.

"One at the front and end of the train out there?" Kid asked Heyes.

"Yeah," Heyes replied. "Don't do anything stupid."

"But if I do, you'll have my back?"

Heyes gave him a Look; he didn't have to ask as he knew the answer.


Hannibal Heyes watched as his partner whispered with the Bernards, then spoke to the Shoemakers, calming everyone down as they stood huddled outside the train. The railroad workers had been tied and looked about as annoyed as Heyes felt.

"Leavin' just two out here is dumb," Kid said when he returned to his partner.

The silent one with the Colt had gone with the other two leaving Bandana and Two Guns.

"Maybe you should give them pointers," Heyes said.

"More like you ought to help the three havin' problems with the safe."

"Don't none of you move," Bandanna bandit said. "I'll be right back."

He left, no doubt to see what was taking so long.

His companion had dropped the bag of guns, and pulled one of his two pistols, aiming at the passengers.

Crossdraw. Figures, Curry thought.

The man chose to stop his aim on the visibly quivering Mr. Shoemaker.

"Just breathe, pa, please," one of the Miss Shoemakers said.

"My chest," the older man gasped.

"Please leave him alone!" Mrs. Shoemaker said, getting between her husband and the gun while his daughters helped him sit down.

"Ain't my fault if he's got a bad ticker," the thief leered.

Kid Curry moved forward. Heyes was right next to his partner, as always.

"Excuse me," Heyes said. "You're doing this wrong."

The robber looked at Heyes, aim dipping down. "What?"

By the time he noticed Curry, the fast draw had already cocked the bandit's second gun and had it pointed directly at his face.

"Drop it. Quietly," Kid said.

The bandit looked at the gun and dropped it. Kid hit him over the head with his gun.

"Okay everyone, let's tie him quick and shift to cover it," Heyes said, getting the man's dropped gun.

Kid was already on the move.


The fast draw slid out from the side of the train car with his gun against the back of the bandit who had been going through a mail pouch instead of looking out. He disarmed him and knocked him out quickly, smirking when Heyes caught up.

Time for some fun, Kid's look to his partner said.

We've got different definitions, Heyes' look said in response, but he got ready as they moved forward together.

Three thieves were crowded into a train car. One was apparently there to watch, the man with the bandanna had his arms crossed, and the safecracker had his ear pressed to the door, trying to concentrate.

"Safe cracking is easier without an audience," the thief listening to the tumblers muttered.

"You were supposed to bring dynamite," Bandanna said.

"They were sold out thanks to the holidays," the watcher replied.

None of them were looking at the door.

"Howdy boys," Kid said as he appeared, gun in hand.

Bandana turned, drawing, but Kid shot the gun out of his hand.

"Don't think about it," Heyes said, gun aimed at the other two.

They raised their hands.

"How many numbers did you have left?" Heyes asked, looking at the safe.

"One," the cracker muttered. "Some dang idiot shot his gun off in my good ear. The other one's deaf."

Heyes winced.

They waited until the train crew took over the apprehension of the other outlaws, melting back into the rest of the passengers.

"How many numbers?" Kid muttered

"Professional curiosity!"

"How's he doing?" Kid asked Mrs. Shoemaker.

"Much better now there aren't any guns," she said. "I believe it's just his nerves, but we'll get off at the next town and see a doctor. Thank you, both of you."

"You're heroes," Mrs. Bernard added.

The partners waved off the praise and took a seat back on the train, glad the crew decided to drop the villains off in the next town and keep going. The conductor was all too happy to take the credit for saving the day. The train started moving again, making the passengers cheer.

"Heyes?" Kid asked.

"Yeah, Kid?"

"It felt nice to be on the right end of a failed train robbery for once."

Heyes laughed. "Yeah, but let me just say something."


"The next time we mix a heist with the holidays, I get to plan it."

"Whatever you say, Heyes," Kid said, slinging an arm around his cousin's shoulders.

After all, they were out of that business.