Chapter 3 – Destiny Redux

One day, Blacky said to Bandolero, “Hey, I have a plan. Listen to this.”

The days passed as Bandolero listened to the plan. It was a long plan. At times, Bandolero became confused, and he would ask Blacky for clarification. Blacky always obliged Bandolero’s requests but to Bandolero it often seemed the clarifications were different from what he could remember of the first explanations. This confused Bandolero, and while he was trying to overcome his confusion and figure out what was different, he would miss portions of the clarifications, and would ask Blacky to repeat the clarification. Blacky, though generally intolerant of people who couldn’t understand him, was an epitome of patience with his friend, Bandolero; up to a point.

After seven days, Blacky paused and took a deep breath.

“Say, Bandolero,” he uttered finally, “do you remember the first part of the plan?”

Bandolero scratched the stubble of beard on his cheek as he thought carefully about his answer. He wondered if Blacky might be testing him, to see if he’d been paying attention. Alternatively, he considered the possibility Blacky himself had forgotten the first part of the plan. It had, after all, been a few days since the last time Blacky had clarified the first part of the plan, which had probably been the most clarified of all the parts of the plan. It had been clarified at least twice after the third part of the plan, which had been especially confusing to Bandolero. At least, it had seemed that way to Blacky who, astute though he was, had to admit that when it came to Bandolero he often couldn’t tell whether the man was pulling his leg or not. This, of course, suited Bandolero just fine. Even though he considered himself the more mentally nimble of the two outlaws, Blacky being, without question, faster on the draw, there were times when he just couldn’t follow Blacky’s logic. Little known to Bandolero, naturally, was the fact that Blacky had no logic. Blacky was well aware of this shortcoming, though he, himself, would never admit, not even to himself while in solitude with nobody listening to his thoughts, that it was a shortcoming. He considered it to be a talent he hadn’t quite picked up yet, which was no disgrace. After all, no one person could master all the talents that could possibly be mastered, not even if one had the time to spend all of one’s time doing nothing but mastering talents, which would not leave any time for other pursuits, such as the life of an outlaw.

“Not really,” said Bandolero, cautiously.

“Not really – what?” asked Blacky.

Sometimes, late at night, as the breeze whispered through the cacti and the fire ants scurried around in his sleeping bag, Bandolero’s mind would drift back to that little log cabin he once knew as home, and he would remember the last thing he heard as he rode away in search of his destiny…