Rose – Three
~ Bank Caper ~
And so here we were, all getting ready for the job of a life time, or at least my life time. I’d never done a bank job before, it terrified me to think what we about to do but I felt oddly excited.
We were going to rob a bank! Yea it was a small town bank but still.
We were going to rob a bank!
Matthias had come up with a good plan and we were going to run through it again before we left camp that morning. Matthias had taken me out to the next town over and we’d bought ourselves some nice outfits, we’d keep these for future capers but I had spent a full day getting a dress sized to my body.
I’d never been taken to get a dress sized before.
I felt like a real lady, one of those posh lady types you see wandering the streets at Landsend port, fresh off the ship from the Old World.
Posh tarts an all.
So there we were, Matthias and I all dolled up like posh tarts and Solomon, John and Obadiah decked out in their long jackets, wide hats and face masks tied around their necks.
“Alright…” Solomon began. “An hour before the stage coach carrying the payroll wheels into town…” He looked up at the two gunmen and waited.
“We ride in to town, taking up positions on either side of the bank, here at the saloon and here in the general store.” John pointed the stick in his hands at the simply drawn map in the dirt, tapping the end against the two rocks that symbolised the Saloon on the West side and the General Store on the East.
“You two take up positions and check each side for us. Making sure no one breaks their way in.” Solomon nodded to the the pair, putting a pair of small twigs into the sand at the positions indicated.
“Miss Rose and ‘thias will arrive a few minutes before the stage coach arrives, you two will…” Solomon looked up at us in our fancy outfits.
“Matthias and I make our way down the street from the hotel, we look like we’ve been around shopping and are going to pick up more cash.” I picked up the two sticks representing us, made with the addition of a little set of hats out of folded paper; Solomon was pretty good at that!
“We head inside and begin to negotiate the money transfer, they attempt to send a telegraph out to ask for the money so we wait inside the telegraph room.” Matthias put his hand on the sticks and moved them to a small square off the side of the large X inside the bank.
“Where you guys wait until they begin to load out the stage coach in to the vault where you guys…”
This was my turn.
“Open the window and drop out my brolley. That is the signal for you to go in through the back door and hold up the coachmen.”
Solomon grinned and moved the bullet that acted as his icon. “Yep, I come in, push the men in to the bank and hold them up in the rear room. You and ‘thias then spring yourselves from the front ant push in. We rob the vault and if we have to, pop the main vault with explosives; but I think I can pick the tumblers.”
Solomon brought the three figures together before moving them out the front back. “The two boys outside make sure we get clear and interrupt anyone coming from the front before we all meet up here in the mountains.” He tapped out a spot on the map he drew in his journal. “All set?”
“All ready.” We all grinned and stood up. I watched Obadiah and John ride off before giving them a little while. Matthias and I boarded out horses, I having to ride sideways due to the way the dress sat. It was odd to ride like this, I was used to riding properly.
Matthias and I arrived into the town and made our way through the back door of the hotel and made our way outside through the doors, we looked like we had just came out the rooms. Solomon had split off on our approach to the town, he made way down the back streets of the town. We pretended to make our way through the front area until we arrived at the bank; it was pretty easy to get in without arising suspicion, simply walking through the front door and up to the desk.
Slowly making our way to the desk, I looked around and took in the environment. A few guards here and there.
Matthias began to talk to the bank teller. I played uninterested.
A couple of innocents making their way out. This was going to be the best time to pull the heist.
Making our way through the door into the back room, we were brought to the telegraph room.
We had been in the back room for about five minutes waiting for the wire to come through. Looking through the window of the door, the staff of the stage coach had begun to load the bags in to the vault. This was our chance.
“It’s a little stuffy in here, mind if I open a window?” I asked the older gentle man at the door before making my way slowly to the window.
“Oh of course madame.”
Pushing up the window, I let out a gasp. “Oh oops! My umbrella.” Dropping the material umbrella out of the window, I let out a sigh. “I will pick that up on our way out. I am so sorry sir.”
“It is fine, accidents happen.”
Stepping back from the window, I approached the door and nodded to Matthias. He grinned and moved beside the door too, unfastening the buttons of his jacket and getting ready to draw both of his iron.
I slipped my hand up my dress and to my thigh holster, pulling out the holdout pistol hidden there. Two shots would be enough before I got my gun from Solomon.
There was a commotion going on outside the door, Matthias nodded and stepped through the doorway and pulled up his bandanna to hide his face. I did the same and pulled my scarf up across my face. The old man at the desk turned and found the two shot holdout pistol aimed his direction.
“Sorry sir, but you’re going to want to take a close inspection of the nails in the floorboards.”
The man raised his hands and slowly got down on to his knee’s and then onto the floor. Doing my part, I yanked the wire out of the back of the telegraph and looked through the window in the door.
Matthias had both his pistols aimed at two of the men while the black duster wearing Solomon with his red bandanna hung around his lower face aimed a double barrel shotgun at the nearest group of men. He ushered them into the room with me and the telegrapher before Matthias took my spot, taking the shotgun from Solomon and handing me one of the pistols.
Stepping into the hallway, I managed to get a look inside the vault proper. It was a large steel door with three smaller steel safes on the wall ahead of us.
“Can you pick them?” I asked, keeping an eye out of the door to the front desks.
Solomon knelt by the safes one by one and put his ear to them, gently caressing the edges with his fingerless gloved hands and then twisted the nob of the locking mechanisms. “Sure can. Give me five minutes.” Without even waiting, he put his ear closer to the steel door and began to gently turn the knobs in slow clicks, all the while he held his silver pocket watch in his other hand.
The next five minutes passed achingly slow. With each click, with each turn the seconds passed by. Solomon clicked away at the safes. He cracked the first one pretty quickly and moved straight away onto the second. I rushed into the vault and began to load up the saddle bags with the contents of the vault.
Stacks of notes, bundles of coins and sheets of paper. We took everything, I was good with my hands so I could quickly and evenly spread it out onto the three saddle bags, each one a pair of bags so six bags in total.
The first safe half filled the first saddlebag and by the time I had finished packing the first, Solomon had popped the second. Inside this was more notes and coins, less paper but the notes were good enough. This was looking to be at least a good couple thousand.
“How much? How long?” Matthias asked from the door, poking his head in through the gap. “About two thou… three maybe. A bunch of papers that they can look at later. S’ on the last safe now.” I called back, Solomon chipping in his estimate.
“Three, two… one… pop.” He stepped back and opened the safe before letting out a long whistle. “I think we hit the jackpot boys… and ma’am.”
I turned and my mouth dropped, my tongue slack. “We’re rich!”
The safe did not contain cash, it did not contain coins nor did it contain papers.
It contained gold.
Bars of gold.
Lots of bars of gold.
“Load up as much as you can, shift it so we can evenly carry it.” Solomon ordered and stepped back out, loading one of the bags onto the horse’s waiting out back. When he came back for the second I had just about finished it. Solomon came back just as shit got real.
A loud crack filled the air and Solomon and I turned to face the telegraph room. Matthias was pressed up against the door and one of the coach men had jumped him, pushing his shotgun against his chest and causing it to fire into the side wall.
“Well shit.” Solomon snarled and raised his hand, he did not even draw his pistol as the iron appeared in a flash of light and smoke, gripped in his hand perfectly as if it had mealy been invisible.
The iron let out a loud crack and smoke filled the hallway, the glass between us and the telegraph room shattered and the coach man pushing Matthias against the wall fell sideways against the desk, a large bloody hole in the spot under his armpit and above his hip.
“Let’s go.” Solomon yelled and turned to aim the pistol at the door we had come through from the main lobby.
Another figure rushed in, the security guard from the lobby. He rushed forward and Solomon put another shot at point black in to his chest, sending the poor unsuspecting man flying back with the impact.
There was a scream from the lobby and all hell had broke loose.
“Ah shit.” Solomon snapped and looked back at Matthias and I. “R, get the bags loaded up. M, you reload and get ready for the front, we have about two minutes before the door gets kicked in and the lawmen rush us.”
I got to work loading the bags full of the gold, damn this shit was heavy but I managed to get the saddlebags onto the horses rumps and turned back inside. I could hear gunshots from the other side of the building, out on the main street. That meant that John and Obadiah were keeping us covered.
Rushing back inside, I found Matthias taking the guns off the people in the telegraph room before he tied the door handle together with an added chair to keep it shut.
“Now we don’t have to deal with them gettin’ out any time soon.” He laughed and picked up the shotgun from its place on the table. He’d already popped in two shells into the breach loading double barrels. “Solomon’s got the lobby covered.” He stated just as a pair of shots rang out from inside the lobby.
Peeking through the door to the lobby, I saw the dead body of the first man to storm inside and the innocent bystanders caught in the middle of our little caper. Hiding behind the counter desk, it appeared Solomon had ushered them into there to keep them safe from any stray shots.
He kept close to the door, having pushed up a set of heavy seats to keep it closed. Shots could be heard outside and a few of them were hitting the building’s wooden walls.
It wasn’t a real heavy gunfight but it was enough to wake up the entire town.
“Alright, we’re getting out of here.” Solomon rushed towards us, but not before he stopped in the middle of the room, closed his eyes and took a single long breath.
I had no idea what the man was doing but he looked like one of those priests, monks or paladins I used to hear stories about as a kid. Peaceful, tranquil in the heavy rain of lead.
There was a loud bang that wasn’t a loud bang, but a series of bangs all coming together to make one loud crack, every single one of them going off at the same millisecond.
“Signals given, now we go.” He finished and motioned for us to go out of the back door.
Rose – Three