Chapter Nine

Max sat in his cell replaying the events of the night before in his mind. It had been an old fashion shoot out, with Max severely out numbed. He finally went down when a man got a lucky shot and hit him in the shoulder. But before he had fallen, he managed to deal out some heavy damage. And now here he sat, in jail looking out the barred window. The jailhouse door opened and Duncan entered.

"I told you there'd be no mercy Max, and I'm staying true to my word." Max didn't speak, he just stared up at Duncan "Mr. Harris died, you know one of the men you shot? Do you know what that means Max? I'll tell you, it means you've crossed the line to murder. You hang at noon." He turned to leave, but paused in the doorway "I'm sorry things turned out this way, we would have made a great team." He left then, leaving Max alone with his thoughts once again. Max sighed and glanced out the barred window at the crescent moon. Closing his eyes he prayed that Sunday was somewhere far away . . .

"I have a bad feeling about this." Arthur stated "A very bad feeling." Sunday rolled her eyes.

"What do you have to be worried about Arthur? You have the easiest part!"

"And you don't have to wear a dress!" Leon added "I hate Paul's plans, why do I always have to be the woman? I hate it!" Part of Paul's plan to rescue Max was to blend in. This meant stealing people's clothing off clothes lines and gathering around the gallows, so Simon could get close enough to cut the rope.

"Aw, don't say that Leon!" Sunday laughed "You look very pretty."

"That's easy for you to say, you're wearing pants." Sunday herself, was dressed up in a black suit, with her hair tucked up into a matching hat. Sunday winked at him.

"And I make it look good." Paul rushed up to them.

"Simon's in place." He told them, he then noticed Arthur. "What are you doing here? Get to your spot before you blow this for us!" Arthur scurried off.

"What time is it?" Sunday asked.

"Quarter til." Paul replied looking at his pocket watch

"We should get going." Paul nodded and turned to Leon.

"Don't forget your fan, you'll need it to hide your face."

"I have a solution." Leon stated.

"And what would that be, dear brother?"

"Next time, you be the woman." Sunday held back a few minutes before following her squabbling brothers. When they got to the town square the gallows was up, and they were testing it with a couple sacks of something. Across the square, Sunday spotted Mrs. Harris sobbing into a handkerchief with her eight-teen year old son at her side. Sunday said a quick prayer for her fallen husband before moving on.

The Welles had arrived in Sycamore in time to find out about Mr. Harris' death and Max's hanging. It was then that Paul put his plan into action. And now Sunday stood next to the wagon that was suppose to bring Max's body to the graveyard. She had been told to wait for Simon's signal, whatever that was. Sunday wasn't even sure where Simon was, but she was confident that when the time came Simon would let her know loud and clear.

Suddenly the church bell began to ring. Sunday glanced at the chapel's clock– 12 o'clock on the dot. It was time. Sunday glanced up just in time to see the crowd spilt as Jimmy lead Max to the gallows. Sunday's heart pulled as she gazed at him, he looked horrible. There was blood all over the right shoulder of his shirt, his hair was a mess, and his pants were ripped. Jimmy proceeded to lead him up the gallows steps as the crowd booed and hissed. Being right next to the gallows, Sunday couldn't see much, but she could imagine them putting the noose around Max's neck and then tightening it. Sunday prayed that Paul's plan would work.

"Do you have any last words?" Jimmy asked. There was a moment of silence before Max spoke:

"Let's just get this over with." Then everything was still, the crowd went silent, and Sunday held her breath. The moment came, when the door in the floor gave way, and Max began to fall. Sunday's mind began to fill with visions of Simon not being able to cut the rope in time and Max dying right in front of her. Those visions were shattered when Max landed, a little stunned maybe, but relatively unharmed a few feet from where Sunday stood.

"Yee-haw! I gottcha again! This mustache idea of mine really works! Oh, and Duncan thank your deputy for letting me borrow his uniform!" That had been Simon's signal, but Sunday blocked it out. She was already too busy heading for Max. Falling on her knees next to his side, her hat came off, allowing her hair to fly free. As Max's sapphire blue eyes met Sunday's bottle green ones, he smiled.

"Did I die? Are you an angel?" Sunday returned his smile.

"Not quite." Sunday helped him to his feet. "C'mon we gotta go." Sunday and Max climbed into the wagon just as Simon was jumping into it.

"Go, go, go!" Simon yelled to Arthur and Paul who were already in the driver's seat. Paul nodded and pulled on the reins. They shot off, with half of Sycamore hot on their tail.

"It's a shame they took my gun. I could really use it about now." Max mused. Simon grinned and pulled something from his holster. He tossed Max's gun back to him.

"Merry Christmas. I took it when I knocked out Duncan's deputy, I kinda figured it was yours." Max looked at him in shock "What? How did you expect me to get this uniform, it's not like I had one laying around!"

"No, it's not that!" Max said before the three had to duck, while Duncan fired wildly at them "It's just the fact that you just met me." Simon shrugged.

"I guess if my little sis is in love with you, you must be an okay guy." Sunday swatted at him, as Max attempted to aim his gun. He only managed one shot before winching in pain, and lowering his gun.

"I can't do it, they shot me in my shootin' arm." Sunday smirked.

"I wouldn't worry about them." She explained as they approached the bridge that left town. "Arthur's got that covered."

"Do it now Arthur!" Leon shouted as soon as they made it safely across the bridge. Suddenly there was an explosion and the bridge blew up into millions of tiny pieces. Max laughed at the swearing Duncan on the opposite side of where the bridge use to be.

"Grade A dynamite." Simon explained tipping his hat, as Arthur ran to catch up with the still moving wagon.

"Whoo!" He exclaimed as he collapsed into the wagon "That was a rush!" Sunday raised an eyebrow as she leaned against Max's good shoulder.

"It feels pretty good to be bad, huh?" Leon cleared his throat.

"Well Paul, your plan worked. There's just one more thing we gotta do." Leon told him. Paul looked at his younger brother.

"And that is?"

"Stop the wagon so I can change out of this damn dress!"

Author's Note: Well, that's it. Don't worry though, a squeal is in the works. I don't know when it will be up, because of school and other projects I have going, but hopefully it will be done soon. I would like to thank you all for reading and reviewing, it really means a lot to me. I heart you all.