Making the Leap

Making the Leap
By Maz McCoy

“JUMP!” Hannibal Heyes yelled.
“Kid we gotta do it. Jump!”
Beside him in the boxcar his partner dug his heels in literally and figuratively. “No!”
“Kid, if we don’t get off this train we are gonna get caught. Do you want to spend the next twenty years of your life in jail?”
Kid turned to face Heyes. “That is a dumb question.”
“Not jumping is dumb!”
Kid pointed to the terrain rushing by. “Do you want to break your neck?”
“That is a dumb question too.”
“I am not gonna jump while the train is going at this speed.”
“Then we’re gonna get caught.” Heyes sat down on a wooden crate. “I doubt they’d give us adjoining cells so we best say our goodbyes now.”
Kid shook his head. “You’re not even sure they are bounty hunters.”
“Do you want to take that risk?”
Kid pointed to the scenery rushing by. “Do you?”
Heyes sighed. “Kid, I know I’ve seen that tall fella before. He was asking questions about two men, one fair and one dark haired.”
“Maybe he wanted to offer us a job?”
“Somehow I doubt it.”
“Look, Heyes, we can’t jump now it’s too dangerous and those men didn’t actually see us did they?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well then, let’s assume they didn’t. We can ride back here, keep an eye out for them and if we have to, we’ll jump off further down the line when the train slows.”
Heyes looked up at his partner. “You might be right. Guess I was a little over-anxious.”
“We haven’t slept much lately you’re bound to be snappy.”
“I was not snappy!” Heyes snapped.
“Yes, you were.” Kid removed his Colt from his holster and checked the chamber. “You practically dragged me outta my seat when you saw that big fella.”
“I did not drag you,” Heyes objected. “If I’d dragged you we’da drawn attention to ourselves. Did we draw attention?”
“No,” Kid agreed.
“Exactly. I was discrete. Got us outta there without drawing attention to ourselves. Without those men spotting us.”
“So why’d you wanna jump off the train so fast if they didn’t spot us?”
Heyes stood up. “It was a precaution.”
“A precaution?”
“Ain’t that like being careful?”
Kid pointed to the rushing scenery once more. “Is that being careful?”
“Is that another dumb question?”
“No, Heyes, it’s…”
“Hold it right there gentlemen.” Kid and Heyes froze. A tall man stepped out from behind a stack of boxes which had been shielding their view of the doorway. “Raise your hands and keep ‘em where I can see ‘em.”
“What’s this about?” Heyes asked, as he held up his hands.
“My name’s Wheeler and I’m a bounty hunter.” He waved the Schofield in his hand from Kid to Heyes and back again. “And you two are Kid Curry and Hannibal Heyes.”
Heyes laughed. “Not this again! Sir, if I told you how many times my friend and I have been mistaken for that pair of ornery outlaws I don’t think you’d believe me. Why one time we were up in…”
The train gave a sudden lurch, Wheeler stumbled into the boxes and Kid grabbed Heyes by the back of his shirt propelling him towards the open doorway. As he placed his hand flat on his partner’s back he yelled one word. “JUMP!”

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