A Certain Justice
“It’s not fair, Kid! Not fair at all!”
Kid Curry rolled his eyes and urged his horse to a quicker pace. His ears were burning from too many days in the saddle, forced to listen to his partner’s continual rant.
“I mean, how’d you get so all fired…” he fumbled, “What did you say Grace called you?”
The Kid grinned, smugly. “Inspirational.” He paused, remembering, then quickly added, “But that wasn’t my word, Heyes, it was hers. And it was a long time ago. Look, I really don’t want to talk about this any more.”
They made camp near a stream, cooked their supper of fresh caught fish and leaned back on their saddles, settling in for a quiet night. No posse, no sheriff, no hooting and hollering from any saloon to disturb them. Only the peaceful sounds of crickets and the gurgling of the stream. Heyes and Curry pulled their blankets up to their chins and listened.
Curry winced as soon as his words broke the silence. Had he opened the floodgates? He sighed heavily as Heyes started in again.
“Who was this Jennifer anyway? And Madelyn? Or Isobel, hmmm? Heard ya spent the night with her in a goat pen! And those Mary and Sue twins in San Francisco? Now Ann and Ellie and…”
“Heyes!” Curry sat up, his outburst startling Heyes. “They weren’t real! Just stories them writin’ women cooked up in their heads is all!”
When Heyes stayed quiet, Curry rested his head against the saddle again, hoping to get some relief from the constant interrogation Heyes had been subjecting him to.
“I still say it’s not fair.”
This time Curry stood in exasperation, throwing his hands into the air. “What can I do, Heyes? How can I fix this? Just tell me what I need to do to have some peace!”
Heyes’ eyes dropped to the cold ground, an embarrassed look crossing his face. “Just want a certain justice is all.”
“Yeah, justice!” Heyes lifted his head now, speaking the word with more confidence. “I’m as appealing as you, Kid.”
Curry arched his eyebrows, doubtful.
“Seems to me, as a former Leader of the Devil’s Hole Gang, I’m entitled to as many of those women writers writin’ romance about me! Women find me attractive, Kid, exciting, charming…” He would have continued the list, but was interrupted by the Kid.
“Women find you smart, Heyes.”
“Nothing wrong with being smart!” he snapped then, paused, “is there?” The pause grew longer. “What’s wrong with being smart, Kid?”
Curry sat next to his friend, placing a supportive arm around his shoulder. “It’s like this, Heyes. Last time I talked to Grace…”
“Wait a minute! You TALK to the writing women? How?”
“Sure! Ya just look up and start talkin’. They’re always watchin’ and listenin’.”
Heyes’ eyes scanned the treetops, skeptically.
“So anyway, last time I talked to Grace, she was tellin’ me how she has a hard time writin’ you. Can’t get in your head ’cause she thinks you’re too smart for her. You’re always plottin’ and schemin’.”
“That’s ridiculous! I’m not too smart for her! She’s just gotta try a little harder is all!”
“She’s tryin’, but she’s not sure she can do it. And she says she just can’t picture you in a… well, in a romantic sort’a way.”
A frown took over Heyes’ face. “How come?”
Was that a sheepish smile on Curry’s face, or was the smug grin back? “Guess she just don’t find you quite as…uh…”
“Inspirational?” Heyes provided, closing his eyes and nodding in understanding.
“I wouldn’t worry about it though. I’m sure there’s loads’a them writin’ women who find you lots more inspirational than me!” He should have stopped there, but he added under his breath, “Just seems they ain’t inspired enough to be writin’ about it… right now.”
Heyes’ frown was replaced with an angry glare.
Curry held both hands up defensively in front of himself. “Look, Heyes, Grace even told me she’s workin’ on it, gonna write some romance story about you someday, no matter how long it takes!”
“Yeah? And how long you think it might take?”
The Kid swallowed hard and gave his partner a sympathetic look. “Well…ah…when she wrote a romance about me, she told me she was pretty darn inspired and it took her, ” he passed a hand over his mouth, muffling his final words, “wlovrye.”
“It took her what?” Heyes questioned, undeterred.
“It took her well over a year!” Curry finished, wishing his partner hadn’t forced him to say it.
Heyes’ shoulders seemed to sag.
“So let me get this straight, Kid. You’re sayin’ all I gotta do is hang around waiting for one of those writers to get inspired?”
“But in the meantime, they’ll still be writin’ romance about you?”
The Kid nodded again. “An’ only you, me and the writin’ women will know about it. It’ll be our secret.”
Heyes gave a small, disgusted laugh.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.