Snortin’ an’ Sniffin’
By Maz McCoy
The author, suffering without complaint (yeah right!) against the less-than-common cold virus, finds her hero has suffered too.
Lying under a star-filled sky Hannibal Heyes looked to the heavens and identified the constellations he knew. The Great Bear, Cassiopeia, the North Star. He gave a heavy sigh and turned over on his bed roll pulling the blanket with him. A few moments later he repeated the process turning the other way. Now he faced the fire. It snapped and crackled soothingly but he took no comfort from it. He was wide awake.
“Will you settle down? I’m trying to get to sleep,” Kid stated.
“How can I get to sleep with you making all those noises?” his partner complained.
“It’s not my fault. I’ve got a cold!” Kid sniffed.
“Don’t I know it? Snortin’ an’ sniffin’!”
“I can’t help it. My nose keeps running and it’s damn sore.”
“Can’t you wipe it on your sleeve?”
“I have. It’s gone soggy.”
“Then use a bandana.”
“I got one of yours.”
“What?” Heyes sat up and looked accusingly across the flames at his partner.
“I used all mine. If I don’t use this my nose’ll drip.” Kid held the bandana against his nose.
“You might’ve asked.”
“I don’t remember.”
“Might not’ve said it very loud,” Kid confessed and sniffed once more.
“This is ridiculous!” Heyes threw back his blanket, reached out to the coffee pot sitting beside the fire and shook it. A sloshing sound assured him there was water in it. “Want some coffee?”
“Sure, why not? With my nosed blocked I can’t taste it anyway.” A thought struck the suffering ex-outlaw. “We got any whiskey?”
“Nope.” Heyes set about preparing the pot, and then placed it on the fire. He cast a glance at his partner. Kid’s eyes were heavy, his nose looked red even in the glow of the campfire and it was true, he didn’t look well. If a bounty hunter turned up now…Heyes brushed the thought from his mind.
“I knew I’d catch it from that darn kid,” Kid complained.
“I warned you not to get too close.”
“No, Heyes. You told me to water the horses, pay the hotel bill and buy you a beer. You did not tell me to avoid the baby in the general store.”
“I told you a long time ago to steer clear of babies.”
“That does not count as warning me against a germ carrying infant.” Kid’s ire lost something when he finished his sentence with a gigantic nose blow into Heyes’ bandana. Yes THAT bandana. The navy one with white patterns on it. Kid leaned back against a boulder and gave a heavy sigh. “I feel rough.”
“You look it.”
“Great.” To increase their woes a rumble of thunder rolled across the sky. “Terrific. If it rains I’ll get pneumonia.”
“No you won’t.”
“How do you know?”
“’Cos I’ll have shot you long before that.”
Heyes sat back on his heels. It was going to be a long night.