Butch and the Illusionist (Part 2)
“A disguise?” Paisley queried. “You planning another job? Not this train, I hope.”
“Relax, nothing worth taking on this one,” Cassidy said as he turned to his sidekick and gestured for them to leave.
The Sundance Kid stood up, “Come on Etta, let’s get a drink while the boss talks.”
Butch and Paisley watched as Longabaugh and Place passed a drunk entering from the next car. He stumbled down the aisle, a flask of whiskey in hand. As the man got closer Paisley recognized him. Arlo Arbuckle, an old magician who’d been on the circuit for years before Paisley had arrived in the new world. Rumour had it he was once a highly regarded wizard.
Arbuckle raised his flask when he recognized Paisley. Jamison nodded back.
“He with you?” Butch asked as he watched the man drop into a seat three rows away.
“Coincidence, just an old wizard I know. He’s more about the drink than magic these days.”
Butch turned back to Paisley, “You know, I’ve done some things but I’m not getting any younger. Harry and I are looking to head south, like South America south. maybe Argentina or somewhere no one will find us. Etta’s getting tired of the fugitive life and Harry promised to settle down, maybe do some ranching.”
“So why the disguise?”
“You know, Harry will be fine but out there but the Pinkerton Detective Agency won’t let me rest.”
“So you want a new identity? Leave Robert Parker behind in America?”
“Something like that but I need to be dead or they will keep hunting. Even now they are getting ready to meet us when we disembark in New York.”
“I’m sure I can conjure up something crude to get you through the crowd undetected. Once we are somewhere I can work we can do something a little more permanent. You’ll be a new man by the time you board passage to Buenos Aries.”
“No Jamison, I need something permanent. America needs to believe that Butch Cassidy of the notorious Wild Bunch is dead or in prison. I want my end posted on the front page of every ink-stained rag in the Union.
“What did you have in mind, Butch?”
“I want you to conjure up a perfect copy of me, identical in every way. The slightest irregularity will sow a seed of doubt. When I, well my doppelganger, gets off this train the Pinkertons need to believe it’s me and the minute that unsuspecting sod flinches… well you can figure the rest out for yourself.”
“You are asking me to sacrifice another passenger? I’ve done some messed up shit Butch but even if it were possible, which it is not, I’d be sentencing someone to death out on that platform.”
“…and I’d slip out the back a changed man, free, never to rob another train or take another life again.” He placed a satchel full of enough money to take me back to Europe, or across the world to Australia on the seat across from him. I’d be able to escape the restrictive laws America places on witches and warlocks. Go somewhere I could use all of my talents. I’d be free.
To be continued…
Butch and the Illusionist
Part 3 Coming Soon >>
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2023-03-11 | irregular
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