The Saga of Miles Forrest

 I left Charlie Gold sitting in my chair at my table in the diner.  I told him not to get too comfortable with the seating arrangement.  He was much stronger and I was glad he would be around.  He would make sure Marta and Molly got home safely. Molly had her pistol and I left the Greener with her.  
Star hadn’t been ridden much, but I still decided on taking Hawk.  I would be riding up and down the canyons checking out the larger mines and Hawk was much better in the mountains.  I would save Star for my trip to Denver.  It was in my mind to ride to Silverton but the last few nights had been cold, and up there in the higher elevation it would be right at freezing and might even snow.  I didn’t relish laying out all night with it snowing.  Guess I was getting soft in my old age, but I noticed the ache in my bones when the cold weather started to set in.  Perhaps it was that winter a couple of years ago up north of Meeker.  I had nearly froze that winter.  Plus two days on the trail versus four to five hours by train.
I felt the cold creeping in while I was riding in the coach.  The days were gone where they kept a stove in each car, but they needed to do something to heat the train up.  Plus, now I had to buy coffee in a special car set up and it cost a dime.  Who would pay a dime for a cup of coffee?  Whatever happened to the days when it was kept on the stove and it was free?
Upon arriving in Silverton I took Hawk directly to the livery and told a boy working there to take care of her.  Silverton was sure growing and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to ride up to some of the mines; to check out the miners and what they thought of things.  Even thought I didn’t work with them anymore I stopped first at Wells Fargo to jaw with the guys, plus I knew they would have coffee on the stove and I could get a cup from them.  I didn’t think any irregularities would happen in this office.  If shipments were off it would be before arriving here to be shipped or somewhere before it reached the mint in Denver.
Leaving them I went and secured a hotel room and then went to get some supper.  Costs had gone up quite a bit since I had been here so I settled on a bowl of venison chili for $.25 and coffee came with the meal.  “Somebody, somewhere is making some money,” I thought to myself.
After eating I decided to take a walk up and down Blair Street.  Again, a person can get a feel of what is happening in a community by walking along the dives.  It was still a little early but the saloons and other places of iniquity were already doing business.  All of a sudden I felt strange; I wasn’t carrying the Greener.  It was the first time in years I hadn’t had it with me.  A shotgun is a wonderful deterrent; most of the time I just had to point it at someone and they would give a listen.  Made me feel like I was missing some of my clothing.
As I turned the corner, standing in front of one of the saloons what that hardcase I saw back in the Diner in Durango.  He saw me, and quickly went inside.  I felt a chill, ah, getting foolish in my old age.  The sun had been smothered by the mountains and the cold of the evening was starting to creep down my neck.  I pulled up my collar and decided to walk on back to the hotel.
In my room, I started a little fire in the fireplace and then sat on the bed.  Then the struggle began with my boots.  I guarantee that when I do plenty of walking my foot just grows to the inside of my boots.  After finally getting them off, I lay back on the bed.  I could hear the wind picking up and would need to add another log to the fire before going to sleep.
My mind started whirling.  I started thinking of things that had happened in the past few years.  Sometimes when a body gets along and finally gets still all kinds of things will go through their mind.  Some of it is reflection and thrown in with that is regret.  I had been thinking of the times when law enforcement was getting to me.  It seemed as if I could work through the issue that I often had to shoot and men died.  Too often I also saw the forces of evil at work.  Molly and the good Lord had helped me through that hard time.
Laying there I got to thinking of the time I had to search for my friend, Elias Butler.  He went through such a time after working a case with the Rangers back in Texas.  Then a chill went through me again, and I woke up.  I had fallen asleep on top of the covers, the fire had gone out, and I was downright cold.  
I finally made it through the night.  After washing my face in the cold water in the basin I headed on back to the restaurant for breakfast.  Just before I entered I looked to the corner, and there stood the hardcase, watching me.  I felt the chill down my spine…

Echoes from the Campfire

By that toil and sweat, by the friction of horny palms, by the expansion and contraction of muscle, by the acceleration of blood, something great and enduring, something physical and spiritual, came to a man.”
–Zane Grey  (The Call of the Canyon)

“For the Lord is the one who shaped the mountains, stirs up the winds, and reveals his thoughts to mankind. He turns the light of dawn into darkness and treads on the heights of the earth. The Lord God of Heaven’s Armies is his name!”
–Amos 4:13 (NLT)
“The American populace must decide whether it is more important to be politically correct than morally correct.”
–John M. Vermillion

I don’t know whether to be angry, to grieve, or to puke, or maybe a combination of the three.  Enough is enough!  When a display in a store depicting fall items for purchase offends you–you have the problem.  Get a life!  The ignoramuses are coming out of the woodwork, not only in the political circles, but all over any place the media will promote.
This stuff about not kneeling when the National Anthem is played is ridiculous!  Do people have a right to protest, yes.  However, they are missing a very important component about rights, and that is RESPONSIBILITY.  What is their responsibility to their employer, teammates and those who purchase a ticket?  What is their responsibility to those who paid the price for them to protest?  Because of the great legacy and heritage of this country to fight to overcome wrongs they can protest, but how?  How can they disregard that sacrifice?
Each time they kneel it is a slap in the face to 56,000 names etched in a wall in Washington D.C.  My uncle’s name in on that wall.  Each time they kneel there is a rumble of men in graves throughout this country turning over.  Protest, yes if you must, but there is a time and place, and then there must be something that the individual does.  Just because they have a platform for protesting doesn’t mean they do not then have a responsibility to aid their cause.  Take away one paycheck and see how long they would protest.  True protesting, maybe so, but more than not they have the platform so are making a grandstand play.
These protesters need to talk with their ancestors to see how far this nation has come.  They need to see the sacrifices that make up the heritage to see where they are now.  Deprived, nonsense!  Whiny babies–yes!  And where is the club leadership… joining with them.  Now if that isn’t cowardice, what is?
“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.”
–1 Timothy 2:1-3 (NKJV)

Seldom do I remove someone as a “friend” from Facebook.  If they write something I believe inappropriate I simply delete the post or move on.  However, I did remove someone just yesterday.  The person stated that every NFL player should bow in protest against the “so-called President.”
There are a couple of things wrong here, the first is alluded to in the notes above.  The second is mentioned in the scripture from Timothy.  This political “junk” is entering the church and bringing a division.  The Church knows neither black or white, or Asian, or Indian, but the family purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ.
Paul, living under the reign of one of the most vile people in history, Nero, said that “first of all” prayers, etc. should be made for kings (i.e., Presidents).  This is not the encouraging of people to reject and bow in protest.
Let me tell you, the person on Facebook is not derelict, nor deprived or impoverished.
“When I do good, it is grace that does it; when I do right, it is grace that does it; when I do wrong, it is because I resist grace.”

Coffee Percs

Soon the smell of boiling coffee would fill the campsite, along with the smell of frying bacon and biscuits heating by the fire.”
–J.S. Stroud

Howdy there pard,  whew, sure glad the seerers changed their minds and today is not the end of the world.  Get yurself in here, the coffee is hot and black.  No sirree, no additives today.  Now, ifn yuh have to be puttin’ in some cream or sugar, I’ll turn my back while you do it.  This morning I made “Midnight Ride,” ahhh, that’s good coffee.
Now this strange occurrence that is takin’ place with the constellations and planets is somethin’ to take notice of.  There will be signs in the skies, and there will be wars and rumors of wars, and the earth will be groaning; to me all this points to the fact that the Father is ready to seen, and the Lord Jesus is coming back for His children.  When He does, whoa Nellie, things are gonna get mighty worse.
That cup was good, how ’bout you, ready for a refill?  I wonder what absurdities will come to us today?  I did hear that Hobby Lobby sold out of cotton for displays.  Guess some folk were not offended.  Makes me wonder if the person who made the statement knows anything about her ancestry.  Can she trace her ancestry back to the cotton-fields?  Hmmmm, reminds me of a song I used to hear as a kid, “In Them Old Cotton Fields Back Home.”
Mercy, pard!  We done drained that pot!  That should keep yuh goin’, at least for a while.  Not sure of any plans today.  Just take the day as it comes.  Who knows, it may be the day the Lord returns; you remember that term don’t yuh?  Rapture!  Yeehaw, that will sure be one ride flyin’ up through the sky.
Have a good day, you take care of yurself.  Hey!  Wait just a cotton-pickin’ minute!  Don’t you dare mount up without checkin’ yur cinch!

Echoes From the Campfire

I’ll let the future take care of itself. Whatever falls, I’ll be ready.”
–Zane Grey (Riders of the Purple Sage)

“Look, I will come as unexpectedly as a thief! Blessed are all who are watching for me, who keep their clothing ready so they will not have to walk around naked and ashamed.”
–Revelation 16:15 (NLT)
“What had once been straightforward reporting and investigative journalism was now a witch hunt for the next salacious tidbit that they could throw across the airwaves.”
–T.R. Kohler

I tried to stay away from it, but there was no way it would leave my mind. Cotton-pickin’ it, I just could not let it go. It kind of reminds me of the Scarecrow of Oz who had a headful of straw, but this particular person must have a head full of cotton, it is so soft. Anyone you thinks that a display of cotton is insensitive and racist must have a soft head.
My mercy! My Grandma picked cotton in the fields along with the kids. Now, I must admit Grandma was only half Irish, however, the other half was Choctaw. Let me give you at least three clues from history.
1) Ten percent of plantations owned 30 or more slaves.
2) Most white southern farmers did not own a slave.
3) The small farmers who owned a slave or two worked in the fields right along with their slaves.
Oh, and let me throw in one more little fact. There were Indians, especially the Cherokee that owned black slaves, and earlier in U.S. history even white slaves. One more thing, most Indian tribes would make slaves of black or white captives.
So people, get a life!
I will add a couple of more thoughts to the quotation by Kohler. Journalism just ain’t what is used to be or should be. Sure, there have always been those who would make up stories; go back to Hearst and Pulitzer with their “yellow journalism.” But, not only today are their witch hunts nonsensical, there is what is now called fake news. Back in the day, that meant they were liars. There are particular groups out there, for some reason very left-wing and liberal, that have an agenda, that despite any truth or facts presented refuse to see it. Now, friends, that ain’t ignorance–that’s stupidity.
We have spent most of the week walking the beaches in Delaware, watching the effect of Jose. The waves were crashing and the power of that mighty ocean with just a little wind was an amazing thing to behold. The result of the physical laws of nature that God created often result in storms. As I mentioned last week, this very God rides the wings of the storm. In fact, Scripture portrays Him sitting with a storm around Him.
“Out from the throne came flashes of lightning and rumblings and peals of thunder, and in front of the throne seven blazing torches burned, which are the seven Spirits of God [the sevenfold Holy Spirit].”
–Revelation 4:5 (AMPC)
Take it or leave it, but I believe there will be more and more storms, of all various kinds, because nature is groaning. Phillips writes in his translation, “It is plain to anyone with eyes to see that at the present time all created life groans in a sort of universal travail.” (Romans 8:22) That was in the time of Paul, and if you study earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes and tornadoes, the frequency and ferocity have increased.
Pray for the victims of Harvey and Irma and for those in the islands, especially those in Puerto Rico. Also remember those in Mexico facing destruction and death from the earthquake, and also those in Montana and the West with those ferocious fires. And that is just within our hemisphere.