ASJFans Mailing List Round Robin
This Round Robin is currently still in progress. If you are a member of the asjfans mailing list and are interested in participating, please e-mail Catherine.
Part One by Catherine
Anyone who'd been outside around the time that dusk fell that day would have seen the two horsemen ride into the center of town, and no doubt, more than a few people did. But no one paid the two rather dusty travelers any particular attention, as they dismounted and looked around.
"Red Rock Saloon," one of them read, rather glumly.
"United States Post Office, Red Rock, New Mexico," responded the other. "And over there, the Red Rock Hotel." He squinted in the light that was falling brightly at him over the two and three story buildings that made up Red Rock's main street. "Can't say they showed much imagination in naming things around here, but at least you always know where you are."
"I don't like it, Heyes," said the other. "We've been in towns called Red Rock in nearly every state and territory west of the Mississippi, and we've had somethin' go wrong in just about every one of 'em. Why, we even nearly got thrown into jail in Roca Roja, Mexico, and even though neither you or me speaks much Spanish, we knew just what that meant, didn't we?"
"You gotta start thinkin' more positive, Kid," grinned his companion, removing his hat, and brushing his dark hair back with his hand. "What are the odds somethin' can go wrong for us in every town named Red Rock that there is? Scientifically speaking, the odds are overwhelmingly in our favor."
"Well, you just keep thinkin' that way, Heyes, but I'd like to find out whether we know the sheriff here, first."
"Fair enough." Heyes looked around for an indication of where the sheriff's office might be. Soon he'd spotted a sign with a star on it, and as they approached nearer, it became apparent that it was the sheriff's office, indeed. But the place where the sheriff's name would have appeared had been painted over, and recently, too. Heyes sniffed at the smell of fresh paint, and then turned around to face his partner, his dark eyebrows knotted together in a frown. "Looks like they're gettin' a new sheriff, Kid," he said.
"That's right," said a voice from behind them. "Our new sheriff arrives tonight. It was terrible, what happened to Sheriff Mather. Did you boys know him?"
"Can't say we had the pleasure," said Heyes, politely, to the elderly gentleman who stood there, with a pleasant expression on his lined but distinguished features. He winced, thinking that a complete stranger had heard him referring to the Kid as "Kid."
"He was a fine man. They say it was the Devil's Hole Gang who killed him, but I don't believe that, myself. I've heard those boys aren't much on killing. Still, I'm in the minority in this town, on that."
"The Devil's Hole Gang." Kid Curry frowned. He hoped against hope his tone of voice was as innocent as he tried to make it come out. "Why, they're way up north, aren't they? What would they be doing killing someone down here in New Mexico?"
"That's what I said," agreed their new friend, nodding. "But you know how folks get when they're scared, sometimes. My name’s Napoleon, by the way."
The two outlaws looked at each other. The one man in town who didn't think the Devil's Hole Gang had killed the sheriff, and he thought he was Napoleon. Just perfect.
" . . . Samuel Witherspoon Napoleon," he continued.
They sighed with relief.
"I'm Joshua Smith, and my friend is Thaddeus Jones."
But just then, they heard a familiar voice calling, "Hey boys! Is that you?"
Part Two by Deborah
The voice boomed from a second story window across the street. The three men in front of the Sheriff's office turned in response. Actually, everyone in the street turned, slightly startled. And there, there in the window was the beaming countenance of Harker Wilkings, formerly known as "Deputy Sheriff Harker Wilkins of Porterville serving under duly elected Sheriff Lom Trevors."
With a collective sigh, the populace of Red Rock resumed its normal flow of activities which had been only momentarily halted by that ringing baritone. They told themselves that they'd get used to it in time but until then, Harker Wilkins was still a jarring experience for what was normally a very quiet sleepy town.
The men to whom the hail had been directed were staring in disbelief.
"I knew it," muttered the Kid under his breath. "I just knew it." Leaning forward slightly, he whispered into Heyes' ear. "Odds are in our favor, you said. What are the odds now?"
There was no response from Heyes. He simply smiled weakly and nodded at Harker, who was leaning precariously over the window ledge. Seeming to become suddenly aware that the window ledge was not built to withstand someone of his stalwart proportions, Harker waved enthusiastically, motioned for them to stay where they were and disappeared from sight--presumable making his way downstairs and across to them.
Their new acquaintance looked at them with renewed interest. "So you know the new sheriff?" he asked.
"The new sheriff?" Curry and Heyes chorused.
"Why, yes. Apparently Mr. Wilk . . . oh, I mean Sheriff Wilkins was a good friend of Sheriff Mathers and when he heard what happened he came along to see what he could to help clear the matter up. Well, as we needed a new sheriff and he seemed taken with the town, we offered him the job."
Part Three by Catherine
"Good to see you two!" said Wilkins. "Smith and Jones, wasn't it?"
Heyes smiled broadly, and painfully. "That's right, Deputy . . . I mean, Sheriff Wilkins. How's our old buddy Lom Trevors doing?"
"Lom's doing just find," responded Wilkins, while Heyes looked up at him and thought about just how large he really was. "He mentioned he'd heard from you boys a while back. Say, you're not still transients, are you?"
"Transients? Us?" asked Heyes, with that smile still fixed on his face. It was beginning to hurt.
"No, we're just passing through. On our way to somewhere else. Where we belong." Kid Curry eyed his partner warily.
"Well, that's all right, then," said Harker Wilkins, happily. "You boys come down to the sheriff's office and see me, anytime. Always glad to see old friends."
Samuel Witherspoon Napoleon smiled, too. "The sheriff and I have some business to attend to. I'll be seeing you two around." And with that, he walked off, chatting with Harker.
Kid Curry whistled. "Good old Harker Wilkins."
"Well, he's awful stupid, but he must be a good man or Lom never would have kept him around."
"True enough. Should we check into the hotel, maybe head over to the saloon?"
"Sounds just about right to me, Kid." Heyes turned to his partner. "Okay, so what's your bet. Do we meet a lovable old codger who offers us hazardous but potentially profitable work? Or do we meet a young lady in distress and you insist we straighten things out for her, even at great risk to our amnesty? Or . . . I know . . . a bounty hunter comes through. That's it. A bounty hunter."
Hannibal Heyes was so caught up in what he was saying that he failed to notice a shadow which came up behind him.
"Uh, Joshua?" asked the Kid softly. "Don't look now, but . . . "
Heyes turned around and followed the Kid's gaze. The man who was standing behind them was tall, and lean, and dressed head to toe in dusty old leathers. He looked to be about as mean as a rattlesnake, and he had the coldest grey eyes Heyes had ever seen.
Part Four by Karen
"Heyes turned around and followed the Kid's gaze. The man was standing behind them was tall, and lean, and dressed head to toe in dusty old leathers. He looked to be about as mean as a rattle- snake, and he had the coldest grey eyes Heyes had ever seen" .....
Heyes stepped back slightly behind the Kid as the stranger's hand hovered close to his gun. The Kid expecting some trouble slowly began to remove his right hand glove in case he needed to draw.
The stranger spoke "Pardon me, you're blocking the boardwalk."
"What?" Kid replied, expecting some threatening statement. Heyes gripped Kids arm and pulled him back out of the way.
"Thanks" the stranger tipped his hat and went on his way.
The Kid gave a sigh of relief "Thought we were gonna get some trouble there"
"Yea" Heyes agreed, also relieved they didn't. "How about we get that drink and then check into the hotel?" he suggested.
"Nope" Kid answered after a pause, "Let's check into the hotel and then get a couple of drinks.
"OK" Heyes agreed.
The pair unhitched their horses and led them to the livery stable. Once the horses were settled they made their way to the Red Rock Hotel. They went to their room and entered "Look Kid, a bed each!" Heyes exclaimed as he dropped his saddlebag and bedroll on the one nearest to him.
"Good - I'll be able to get a good nights shut-eye" the Kid said as he dropped his belongings on the other one.
"What d'ya mean?" Heyes quizzed as he tested the mattress by bouncing up and down on it.
"Nothin'" Kid replied grinning - Heyes looked round at him and realized he was jesting. "Come on, lets get those drinks" Kid beckoned and Heyes followed making sure the door was locked after them.
The saloon was crowded but they didn't recognize anyone and were able to enjoy their drinks and play some poker in anonymity before returning to the hotel.
Heyes was the first to wake next morning. After a long stretch to waken his limbs he turned to check if the Kid was awake - he wasn't. Slipping out of bed quietly, he went to the dresser, poured some water into the wash bowl, shaved, washed and dressed. He turned his attention to the Kid, still sleeping. With a grin on his face he considered waking him up by splashing some water on his face - but decided against it.
Instead, he shook Kids shoulder "Kid - time to get up. We'll miss breakfast if you don't hurry". Kid moaned and sat up "OK, All right, all right, I'm getting up", he protested.
Heyes waited patiently as he also shaved, washed and dressed. They made their way to the hotel restaurant, ordered coffee and breakfast.
When Kid had finished, he pushed his plate aside, and watched Heyes clean his plate of egg yolk with some bread and then wipe his mouth with the napkin. "That was good." he said leaning back in his chair and rubbing his full belly.
"What d'ya think we ought to do about Sheriff Mathers being murdered by the Devils Hole Gang?" Kid asked.
"Don't believe they did it. Do you?"
"No - they're not smart enough to plan anything like that. Could have been an accident, self defense, maybe ....." the Kid ran out of excuses if it was true.
"Perhaps we ought to see Deputy - Sheriff Wilkins" Heyes corrected himself, "and find out what happened and if we're implicated".
"Yea, this could put our amnesty in jeopardy" Kid agreed.
Heyes stood up "Let's exercise the horses and then go and see Wilkins".
Kid rose, they left and made their way to the livery stables.
After letting the stable hand know they were taking the horses out they went and saddled up. As they led them out the familiar sound of a gun being cocked made them freeze. "Drop the gun belts boys!" a voice bellowed from behind them.
Part Five by Virginia
The Kid and Heyes did as they were told.
"Now, put your hands up and turn around real slow like" the voice commanded.
The voice sounded hauntingly familiar to both the Kid and Heyes; by the time they had turned around with their hands up, they both had a sick feeling in their stomach. That voice couldn't belong to anyone else-- it had to be Harry Briscoe.
"Howdy, boys" Harry said.
Curry and Heyes glanced at each other with a look of resigned disgust. "Hi, Harry" they said in flat unison as they examined the rodent-like features that composed Harry Briscoe's face.
"Well, well, if it isn't my good friends Smith and Jones. Or is it Jones and Smith? I can never remember." Harry said with a distinct smirk in his voice. It was clear, even to the casual observer, he enjoyed having these two at an advantage.
"Hey Harry, can we put our hands down now?" Heyes inquired. "That gun's makin' me nervous" the Kid added.
"Sure, you can put your hands down as soon as I collect your gun belts" Briscoe informed them.
Harry kept a steady hand and eye on Curry and Heyes as he slowly walked toward them and collected the gun belts. As Harry was doing this, Curry hissed at Heyes "What'd you say about odds? Remind me never to listen to you when you start talkin' about odds."
After Harry had collected the belts, the Heyes and Kid dropped their hands.
"What's this all about Harry?" Heyes demanded.
"Well, see, it's like this boys. The governor of New Mexico was pretty upset about the killin' of Sheriff Mather. Third sheriff they've lost in a year! He's 'fraid they won't be able to get anyone to take the job in the territory. That's why he called Bannerman--he wants to know who's behind all this killin'. He's convinced it's the Devil's Hole gang. And well, you know, when people need somethin' done right and fast, they know Harry Briscoe's their man." Harry blustered.
Curry and Heyes rolled their eyes simultaneously at this last line.
"Yeah, well that may all be true, but what does that have to do with us?" the Kid asked.
"You know we've been straight for more than a year. Whatever is going, if there is anything going on, we had nothin' to do with. And need I remind you, Harry, that you owe us. You owe us big." Heyes asked.
"Well, why don't we all get out of the street and go over to the Sheriff's office and we can straighten this whole thing out." Briscoe chimed.
Seeing as they didn't have much choice as Harry was still holding his gun on them, Heyes and Curry started walking toward the Sheriff's office, with Harry behind them, gathering quite a few stares.
When they arrived at the Sheriff's office, Briscoe opened the door and motioned the Kid and Heyes inside with a wave of the gun.
Upon entering and seeing who was sitting at the Sheriff's desk with his legs propped up on the desk, Heyes and Curry froze...
Part Six by Carole
Heyes was the first to recover from the shock. It wasn’t too hard to find a smile for the big man in the chair before them, who himself was smiling like an odd and only faintly dangerous cat he’d once read about in a story with the unlikely title of Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland.
“Howdy, Jim!” He managed a bluff, jovial tone despite his mounting unease. “Kid, this is Big Jim Santana. ‘Member? I told you about him. We go way back to Devil’s Hole before your time. Jim, this is Kid Curry. You two never met, but you probably feel like you already know each other, as much as I talked about you both…” Heyes was talking too much, and he knew it, but he couldn’t seem to stop himself. Big Jim had never been any threat to him, but the former Devil’s Hole leader was among the last people Heyes expected to encounter in Red Rock, New Mexico. In any Red Rock, for that matter. The last he knew, Big Jim had settled down in San Francisco, a town whose color, if any, was gold, with that overly-made up rich widow with the root problem, Clara… what was her last name, anyway? Did it matter? She hadn’t been honest about anything else; she’d probably lied about that, too.
His thoughts were running away with him, but only a second or two had passed. Long enough for Big Jim to rouse himself from his indolent pose, rise from his creaking chair and come around the desk to wrap Heyes in a familiar, bone-crushing bear hug.
“Haneebaal!” Jim Santana boomed loud enough to be heard in three other states, quite a feat since they were nowhere near Four Corners. “Welcome to Red Rock, a town with no sheriff, no imagination, and best of all, no Clara.”
That answered one question. Partly, at least.
“Jim!” Heyes got out, when he was able to draw breath past his aching ribs. “What a surprise.” Shock was more like it. “What in Sam Hill’re you doing here in this—“ p!sshole? “—little smudge on a map? And—“ how quickly can the Kid and I get out of here again? “—What can we do for you?”
Heyes didn’t have anything against Big Jim personally; it was just that any time him and the Kid brushed against old friends, trouble in one form or another always rubbed off. It had gotten so that a familiar face always sent them screaming in the opposite direction. Well; not screaming: as quietly as possible.
Dark eyes crinkling at the corners, chuckling his rich, Irish-Mexican chuckle, he clapped Heyes soundly about the shoulders with both big hands, causing Heyes’ lean frame to buckle only for a moment.
“Ahh, my friend,” he began, motioning for Harry Briscoe, behind them, to leave. “That is a tale.” Big Jim could sure spin a story. Whether or not it was true, of course, remained to be determined. “Sit down. You, too, Mr. Curry. May I call you Kid?”
The Kid shrugged. “Sure, Jim,” he answered in a lazy and only faintly challenging drawl.
Heyes risked a glance at his partner for the first time. To any but the most shrewd observer, the Kid appeared to be at ease and totally unsuspicious of his new acquaintance. In reality, his every nerve was focused and alert. Heyes hoped that he was the only one who realized that.
It was easy to see that the Kid’s familiarity caught Big Jim off-guard. Quickly Heyes took advantage of that fact.
“You say Clara’s not here, Jim?” he inquired as he sat down – on the edge of the seat. “You two have a – a parting of the ways?”
Jim grimaced. “Worse than that,” he confessed, sitting down again himself. “I married her. It didn’t take either of us long to realize that as happy as we were with each other, we were happier still when we spent as little time as possible in one another’s company.”
Heyes tried not to smile. “Is that how you come to be here?”
“Well, yes. Partly. You see, I met Mr. Bannerman in San Francisco at one of Clara’s interminable parties. We hit it off right away, and now I am, ahh, consulting for his most difficult cases.”
Heyes did smile at last. Irony was something that made getting up in the morning worthwhile. Against his will and better judgment, he felt himself relax a little.
“What makes you think we can help you with this one?” The Kid was direct, but that was all right. It was time to be direct. Like a practiced vaudevillian entertainer, Heyes had warmed up the audience for the main act. And the main act was a duet, not a solo.
Big Jim appraised Kid Curry with narrowing eyes and pursed lips. “Not ‘what,’” he said slowly, “but ‘who.’ A friend of yours paid me a call just before I left San Francisco.” Oh, terrific, thought Heyes. Another friend. He and the Kid were just a couple of regular Dale Carnegies. “A good friend.” Jim paused. “A _very_ good friend. Harry—“ he raised his voice so that Harry Briscoe, who had gone into the next room, could hear him. “Would you please bring out our… guests?”
With as many unpleasant surprises as they had already had today, Heyes couldn’t imagine how things could get any worse. His imagination fell far short – literally – as Miss Clementine Hale ventured into the room. Moreover, she was not alone: she was carrying a large, two-handled basket of blankets that wriggled and whimpered suspiciously like a baby.
“Howdy, boys,” she murmured with totally uncharacteristic shyness. “There ’s somebody here I’d like you to meet.”
“Who would that be, Clem?” Softly, Kid Curry echoed Heyes’ own thoughts.
She blushed. Heyes would never have believed it possible of Clementine Hale, but it was true.
“Well,” she cast her gaze downward and made a moue of pretty confusion. “He’s either your son or your nephew, I guess, depending.”
Part Seven by Karen
"are you suggesting..." Kid's voice trailed off as it dawned on him what Clem was saying.
He looked at Heyes, as their eyes met their unexplainable ability to read each others minds asked "This must be a set up.". Their respect for Clem would never let their relationship lead to this. Heyes was the first to act on his intuition and decided to play her game for a while until the opportunity arose to confront her.
"Come Clem, you're not suggesting that one of us is the father." he protested as he approached the basket and pulled back the wriggling blanket. "Lets take a look." His face broke into a huge smile as he picked up the baby.
"W-e-l-l look at this!" he exclaimed as he held the infant up at arms length.
"Just look at those pretty blue eyes - jus' like yours Kid." he grinned at Kid insinuating the infant was Kids. Kid stepped beside Heyes to take a closer look. He tickled the baby under the chin, causing it to give the biggest smile and show the cutest dimples he had ever seen.
"Has your smile Heyes" he grinned at Heyes shifting the insinuation back to him.
"What's its name?" Heyes asked Clem, ignoring Kid's remark with a wry smile.
Clem sighed, "It's not an 'it' Heyes, he's a 'he'" she reminded him as he made faces at the infant causing it to giggle and blow bubbles. "He doesn't have a proper name yet - didn't know whether to name him after you or Jed".
Big Jim, having watched the proceedings with some amusement, spoke with a smile. "When you done deciding who the kid's Pa is, let me know. I'll buy whichever a drink and congratulate with the finest cigar. Meanwhile, I'm going to the saloon for a drink." He picked up his hat and headed for the door.
"Me too." Harry said, tipping his hat to Clem and following Jim.
Heyes handed the infant back to Clem. "Well Clem. Is this another ruse to blackmail us into doing another job for you?" he asked now that they were alone. This was a good time as any to get to the bottom of what’s going on.
"Would I do anything like that to you two - my best of best friends?" she protested.
"Yea, I believe you would." Kid replied knowingly.
Heyes turned to her, as if rebuking a child. "Whose kid is it Clem? he inquired. "It's not ours and it's not yours is it?
Clem paused before answering. "Well, no" she admitted realizing her game was up. "I borrowed it." she added placing the infant back in the basket.
"You borrowed it! What do you mean 'borrowed it'?" Heyes' voice began to rise in anger. "Who from?" he continued unable to believe what he was hearing.
"Does it matter who from?" she asked avoiding answering the barrage of questions.
"It does to its' folks. If they know." Kid interrupted giving Heyes a chance to calm down.
Clem accepted defeat. "Its, I mean, his name is Joe, Joseph Carpenter - his Ma's a friend of mine and I'm looking after him for a while."
"You didn't kidnap him did you?" Heyes asked, not sure whether to believe her or not.
"Heyes..." Kid pleaded against such a suggestion.
"No. I certainly did not kidnap him." Clem replied indignantly.
"Then why this pretense of making out one of us is the father?" Heyes asked having calmed down.
"Are you in trouble again?" Kid interrupted again. Hoping to get an explanation of what she was up to.
"No, I'm not in trouble." Clem protested feeling tearful at the harshness of the questioning she was receiving.
"Well then, why?" Kid asked in a quieter tone seeing she was getting distressed.
Clem sat herself down and recomposed herself. "I need your help..." she started.
"Our help? What for?" Heyes interrupted, "What about him?" he nodded towards the basket.
"...to help some mutual friends of ours." she continued ignoring the last question.
Heyes and Kid seated themselves on the edge of the desk, arms folded across their chests in anticipation of a truthful explanation.
Clem nervously adjusted her hat and smoothed her dress across her lap.
"We're waiting." Heyes prompted impatiently. "Which friends Clem?"
"They're..." she hesitated, taking a deep breath, she looked at Kid and then Heyes, wondering how they would take this.
"...they're Wheat, Kyle, Lobo, Hank an'..." she paused as Heyes and Kid looked at each other "How come Clem knows these members of the Devil's Hole Gang?".
Part Four by Hilary
Reading his partner's mind, Heyes inquired of Clem, "Just how do you know the boys?"
Clem looked to the ground, her fingers nervously toying with the fringe of her plum-colored dress. "They came to me," she said quietly, with some trepidation.
"Came to you?" Curry asked incredulously. "Why in the world would they come to you? They don't know that you know us."
"Well," Clem attempted a beginning for the much-anticipated explanation. "You see, boys, I've been doing a little writing to make ends meet." She looked into each of their eyes, with that angelic way of hers that always spoke of eventual trouble to them.
"What kind of writing?" Heyes asked sharply.
"Oh you know, just a little bit here, a little bit there - for a publisher in New York who makes those silly little dime novels school children love to read. I've been writing about our relationship, growing up together, some of the interesting adventures we've shared."
Dumbfounded, Heyes unfolded his arms and stared wide-eyed and worried at Clem. Kid brought one of his hands to cover his eyes, and rubbed his brow as if that would erase the mounting panic and dread both men were simultaneously experiencing - the sound of metal bars clanging shut on a 20-year sentence echoed in their imaginations.
"How . . . could . . . you . . ." Heyes sputtered, turning away in disbelief and dismay.
"Now boys," Clem earnestly protested, "you know a girl's gotta eat! I can't work the farm the way it's needed to earn a decent income. And there's very little of the professions available to women. I can't sing to save my life . . . acting takes too long to make a big enough name for yourself to earn any money. And I'm certainly not going to earn my keep by being a whore!" She stopped her tirade of justification for a moment to catch her breath. "There's really nothing to fret about."
"Nothing to fret about?" Heyes nearly shouted as he twirled around and grabbed the petite woman by her upper arms. "We're trying for an amnesty, Clementine." He exclaimed as he shook her. "You exposing us to the world is not going to help us out - not going to help at all," the words almost spat out. "We might as well start heading to South America, Kid." Heyes let Clementine go and backed away a step or two.
Kid finally raised his head, his eyes in the tight squint of anger. "But that doesn't explain how Wheat 'n all them looked you up. They can't read."
"Well, the novelettes have been selling very well. You two are probably the most popular outlaws in the west." Her attempt to smooth their ruffled feathers was failing miserably.
"And soon to be the most popular behind bars," Heyes said into the air. "You still aren't telling us exactly what made them come to you."
"Because of your popularity, I've become somewhat of a celebrity. You know, a little notorious and famous myself!" she said with a touch of pride, batting her eyelashes while cocking her head to one side. "People are seeking me out for appearances and autographs just about everywhere I go these days. One day I was in Cheyenne doing some - oh what do they call it? . . . publicity - that's it. That's what they call it. Anyhow, Wheat approached me asking if we could speak privately about you two. I was a little reluctant - the man probably hasn't had a bath in over a year, but there was something desperate and even a little naïve about him, so I agreed. He told me about the trouble down here in Red Rock, about how they had nothing to do with the murder, but they didn't know how to go about clearing their names. I think the thought of hanging was scaring him real bad. He asked me if there was anyway I could contact you two gentlemen - I believe he thinks you two can do something. I came down here to survey the situation, find out what I could.
Kid slid off the desk and walked to the window, looking out at the sunny day, people walking up and down the boardwalks and streets. He sighed and said, "Time for another miracle, Heyes. Got any left up your sleeve?"
Suddenly, the baby let loose with a wail. "Oh dear," Clementine said, "it's time for little Joe's lunch." Scooping the up the basket, and with a dramatic swish of her dress, she turned and walked out the door.
Kid watched her as she made her way across the street to the hotel. He turned to his partner and found him contemplating his boots - as if to count the dust particles on each one. "What are we going to do now, Heyes?" Perhaps if they could be numbered, a solution would be easier to find.
"I don't know, Kid." He sighed, a deep frown burrowed across his wide-set, brown eyes. With the raise of one eyebrow, he said, "Maybe we should forget South America and head to Australia . . ." his voice trailed, his thoughts far away in a distant land.
Heyes was brought back to reality a moment later the door opened . . .
To Be Continued…
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