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Home, Sweet Devil's Hole

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Hannibal Heyes looked around the three-room cabin. The whole thing, all to himself – well, himself and the Kid, because of course Kid Curry would occupy the other bedroom.

Big Jim had used it as an office, of sorts, but Heyes figured there was no way that he was going to leave his partner in the bunkhouse with the likes of Kyle and Wheat and Lobo. Not when he was looking forward to his first night’s sleep without Wheat’s snoring. And Kyle’s digestive system was, to put it tactfully, a little iffy, especially when he got nervous before a big job.

Anyway, what did he need privacy for when he was planning to continue Jim Santana’s policy of no ladies in Devil’s Hole? Having a bedroom of his own was privacy beyond his wildest imagining – he wouldn’t know what to do with a whole three-room Leader’s cabin to himself.

It wasn’t like there was a whole lot to move in, since Jim had left all the furniture behind, not exactly needing it in prison. Heyes and Curry didn’t own much. Their clothes, a few odds and ends like a deck of cards and Heyes’ guitar. Half a dozen books, most of them read and reread so many times their owner knew them almost off by heart. A couple of bowls and plates and glasses and the like, though they’d probably eat with the men in the bunkhouse most of the time, just to maintain a sense of camaraderie.

The clattering of footsteps and Kid Curry was in the room with him. The blond man looked around, an expression almost of wonder on his face. Something of their own, that’s what he must have been thinking, too. It was almost, Heyes thought, the best part of becoming leader of the Devil’s Hole gang.

“Here,” Curry said. “I figured maybe a picture or two would make the place seem even more homey.” And he handed Heyes a flat object.

It was a cheap engraving, in an inexpensive frame, a scenic view of the Rockies which was honestly less impressive than the view they’d have from their porch. But it was most definitely the thought that counted.

Heyes went to the cabinet where they’d stowed a meager selection of tools, and took out a hammer and a nail.

“It’s yours, Heyes. A housewarming present. You can put it in your room, if you want.”

“Nah, Kid. Let’s put it out here were we can both look at it.” He carefully chose the place he wanted to put the nail, held it to the wall, and whack! He hit himself square on the thumb. “Ouch!” But he tried again, and successfully got the picture hung.

The two men stood back and looked at it. The idea of having a wall of their own to hang a picture on was almost more than either of them could have imagined, for many years.

“I think we’re going to like it here,” said Hannibal Heyes.

“You know, Heyes, I think you’re right,” said his partner.