"Well," Artemus Gordon said after an elongated night of chasing Dr. Miguelito Loveless, and finally landing him in jail again, "I hope he stays there this time."
"I doubt it," said his infamous partner, James West. "Hes escaped the last few times, why not do it again?"
"Did you hear those vows he was screaming as the sheriff was taking him away?"
"Yeah, I think it went something like, Ill get you two, if its the last thing I do!"
"I say we put it off our minds. I prescribe a night of dinner and dancing!"
"I dont know, Artie, Im really tired."
"Jim boy, are you ok? Youve never said no to a night of wining and dining!"
"I know, Artie, I know. You can go, but I think Ill just stay here and relax."
"Ok, whatever you say, Jim boy." Artie said as he grabbed his coat.
"Ill see you later."
The door closed and Jim started to drift off. Just as he closed his eyes, he heard the noise of a lock unlocking. Had he turned around a little sooner, he would have seen his assailant. With a hard blow to the back of the head, he was out cold.
* * * * * * * * *
Hours later, at perhaps 11 p.m., Artie returned.
"Boy, Jim, you sure missed a great ni-, Jim?"
He searched around the train, but his search came up fruitless.
"He normally leaves a note when he goes out. That is, when he goes out on his own account. Wait!" Artie then spotted Jims wrist gun.
"That cant be good."
* * * * * * * * *
Artie, using logic, came to the conclusion that Jim had been hit by a man with tremendous strength, his wrist gun removed, and carried off somewhere.
He remembered Lovelesss vows and decided that Jim was now a prisoner of Loveless. Following a trail of footprints, for it had rained heavily that night, he started to get on Voltaires tracks.
* * * * * * * * *
Jim woke up to find himself in a completely white room. There were no windows or anything of the sort except for a door. He suddenly felt a throbbing pain on the back of his head. He then remembered sitting in the train just as Artie was leaving, and, he guessed, hit with a blunt object. He wondered who had brought him here. Then suddenly, as if on cue, the door burst open, and in walked Voltaire.
Voltaire had an ugly, deceiving grin on his face.
"Ah, Voltaire," he said, " so we meet again."
"Dr. Loveless wants you."
He then proceeded to grab Jim and shove him out in to a windowless corridor.
"Hey, watch it!"
Minutes later, Jim stood before an uncontrollably happy Loveless.
"Well, Mister West, isnt nice to see you again, and so soon!"
"Didnt I just put you in jail?"
"The sheriff wasnt hard for Voltaire to handle."
"Youre probably wondering what youre doing here."
"The thought had entered my mind."
"Well, you are here to be executed before my very eyes. You have meddled in my affairs for the last time," Loveless said in a calm voice.
"How, may I ask, will I be executed?" Jim asked calmly.
"You wont be executed right away, first, I have to see you suffer."
"And if youre thinking of your partner, Mister Gordon, he should be along soon enough. Gordon went in to the train, stopped in mid-sentence and started looking for clues as to your whereabouts. As a matter of fact, here he is now!"
Then, Artie entered with his hands tied behind his back, and a gun at his back.
"Throw them in the cell!"
With that, Jim and Artie were shoved in to a jail cell. The door closed, and it was silent.
"I knew Loveless would stick to his word," said Jim.
"I believe it."
"Well, lets get out of here."
"Im with you."
With a stamp of his right boot, out of Jims boot shot a knife. Then they started on Arties ropes. With a sizzle and a pop, they busted the lock on the cell door.
" I wonder what Lovelesss evil device is this time.
"You know Loveless. Something very interesting."
" I think were about to find out."
Just then, Jim and Artie entered a large room and saw Loveless.
"I was expecting you, gentlemen. Did you actually think I would actually leave you in a lone cell, unguarded, and with only ropes holding you back? I dont think so!"
"I knew it was to easy," whispered Artie to Jim.
"I was prepared for your visit and brought along your death contraption. Here it is! Its called a guillotine. You put your head in the hole, and the sharp blade comes down and slices your head off!"
Artie and Jims eyes both opened wide, and silently thinking the same thing:
(Well, this could finally be it. That blade looks pretty sharp.)
Loveless started again.
" And to prove to you how effective it is, Ill show you an example with this carrot."
Loveless then put a carrot in the hole and told Voltaire to pull the rope. The carrot was cut neatly in two.
"Gordon will be executed first."
"Oh great. Just my luck."
"And to make things more interesting, West, you will watch Gordons execution. Prepare him for the execution!"
"Well, so long Jim. It was nice knowing you."
Artie was shoved to the death trap, and his head was put in the hole.
Jim was contemplating how to help Artie escape. He just couldnt let Artie die like that. He suddenly had an idea.
"On the count of three!"
Jim was only hoping it would work. Then he looked at Arties face and saw the utter hopelessness in his eyes.
Jim saw Arties eyes close tightly, as to try to make the pain that was inevitable less.
Just as Voltaire pulled the cord, Jim flicked his knife on to the side of the guillotine blade, which caused it to stall inches from Arties neck. Voltaire, dumbfounded, stood there with his mouth wide open. He would have been delighted to see Lovelesss enemies with their heads on the floor. Jim then a hard punch to the nose, and Voltaire was out. Seeing that his plan had worked, he ran to help Artie out of the device.
"Wow, thanks Jim! I was truly convinced that it was the end!"
"So did I."
"Seize them!" Loveless screamed as they rushed out of the room.
The agents ran in to some guards, and as Jim was fighting, he suddenly heard someone yell, "FREEZE!"
He then noticed Voltaire (who had recovered) with a gun to Arties head.
"If you want your partner to live, youd better put your hands over your head. "
Jim did as he was told. Then, from behind, Artie jumped on Voltaire, causing the gun to go off. Jim suddenly felt a pain in his leg.
"Run Jim, run!"
Jim then clutched his leg and started limping like a bird trying to fly with a broken wing.
"Come on! Ill help you!"
Artie put Jims arm around his shoulder and helped him limp off.
They then came out in to an open space.
"You thought you could get away?" questioned Loveless.
The agents thought this was a pretty awkward question to ask. Little did they know that that question was being asked to distract Jim and Artie from Voltaire, who was sneaking up behind them. Voltaire pounced on Jim, and he came down hard. After a brief fight, Jim stopped moving. Artie, astonished, checked his pulse.
"Hes not b-breathing."
"Good, good. And now, Gordon, if you will be good enough to follow Voltaire, we will make some new arrangements."
And with a snicker, he was off. They left
Voltaire tied Arties hands behind his back. Voltaire carried no weapons, but Artie knew what he could do to him if Artie tried to run away and got caught. Soon, they entered inside Lovelesss lair once more.
"Poor Jim," Artie thought, "No one deserves to die like that."
"Mr. Gordon, in case youre wondering, you will still be killed, but not with a guillotine this time. This time, I will shoot you myself."
"Oh, thats original," Artie muttered to himself.
"Would you like a blindfold?"
"This is it," Artie silently thought, "Jim wont rescue you now, Artie old boy."
"Voltaire!" Loveless screeched, "the gun!"
Voltaire then brought in a gun on a velvet pillow.
"Gordon, do you know why this gun is so special?"
"I can only guess."
"Its because it is the gun that will kill you. Ready!"
"This is it."
To Lovelesss surprise, no bullet came out. He had a very puzzled look on his face, but it was no comparison to Arties, who was trying to figure out why he wasnt dead yet. Suddenly, from behind a curtain, limped Jim!
"What?" questioned Loveless.
"Let me explain. I figured that a one-on-one fight with Voltaire wasnt looking good for me, so I pretended to be dead. Loveless just left me on the ground, so I came in here, unloaded the gun, and here I am!"
"Now gentlemen, if youre done whispering, Ill take care of both of you at the same time!
"I dont think so," and with that, Jim took out his gun, and shot Voltaire. He couldnt walk well, but he could still shoot. Voltaire collapsed to the floor. Not dead, but hurting an awful lot.
"Come on Loveless."
Loveless admitted defeat, and preceded the agents. Soon enough, Loveless and Voltaire were in jail, and for a long time. Jim and Artie returned to the train, and Artie bandaged Jim up.
"You feeling any better?"
"Yeah, thanks Artie."
And soon, both agents were asleep, thinking of what tomorrow would bring.
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