The Saga of Miles Forrest

The trip to Canon City was uneventful, for which I was glad.  I watched my two prisoners while traveling on the train with them.  James had turned even more remorse than before.  If ever I had seen darkness in a face, that was James Lamb.  John, on the other hand, seemed to have a ray of hope in his countenance.  Perhaps it was the prayers of Lucas, one never knows how a prayer or a few words of encouragement might help a person.
    Upon arriving in Canon City I was surprised to see U.S. Marshal Jens Blasco waiting for me at the station.  “So, that’s the Lamb brothers?” he asked.  “Plus, you said that Glen Framm was dead and Ioway Jenks was in custody?”
    “Well, greetin’s to you too, Marshal,” I said sarcastically.  “But, yes to your questions.  The other miscreant, the one the Judge killed, was Sim Colburn.  Jenks identified him for us.”
    He continued to walk with me toward the prison.  “Any news of Fooy?” I asked on our trek.
    “No, Sam’s a smart one.  He’ll be in one of those big cities spending his money until it runs out.  They made quite a haul so who knows how long before he reappears.”
    I nodded with my head toward the Lambs.  “Others weren’t so smart.  Oh, by the way, according to Jenks, it was Teeter who shot the guard.”
    “We’ll put ‘wanted for murder’ on the next poster.  He’s running now, so he’ll begin to make mistakes.  It won’t be long before we have him,” stated Blasco.  “When you’re through with your business with the warden I want to see you.  I’ll be waiting in an office he’s provided for us.”
    With that he turned and walked toward the business area of the prison while I waited at the gate for a guard to take me to the warden.  The guard looked at my paperwork then led me to a room where we waited for the warden to appear.  
    It was all done within a few minutes.  I had the Lambs off my hands, signing them over to the warden and the Colorado State Penitentiary.  Neither of the Lambs said anything as two other guards appeared to take them away.  I did receive a goodbye sneer from James.
    A guard, standing in the hallway, directed me to the room where I would find Blasco.  He was sitting behind a table, in a little office, smoking a cigar.  For the life of me I don’t know how a man could breathe the smoke from one of those things into his lungs.  I imagined it was something like the smoke from the bottomless pit.
    “Have a seat, Forrest,” he commanded.  “I need for you to go with me to Raton.  Frank Reston and his gang have been spotted in the area.”
    It kind of took me by surprise.  I had been figuring on getting back and I told him so.  “I didn’t bring any traveling gear,” I informed him.
    “We’ll take the train to Trinidad; horses and gear will be waiting for us there.”
    I looked at him.  “How’s the pass?”
    All I received was a smile before he answered.  “Cold and some snow.  Unless a storm rolls in we’ll should be okay.  Miles, I really need your help.  Here’s our chance to nab Reston.”
    There was no way I could argue with that, plus the fact he was my boss.  Where’s Fred Martin?  I’d thought he’d meet you in Raton.”  Martin was the Deputy U.S. Marshal stationed in Santa Fe.
    “Martin’s on business down Las Cruces way, that’s why I need you.”
    “When do we leave?” I inquired.
    Blasco looked at the large clock, its pendulum swinging back and forth.  “Train pulls out in less than an hour,” he paused and stood giving me a large, toothy smile that was partially hidden by his moustache.  “Let’s go!”
    We made it to the train with time to spare and situated ourselves in the only coach car.  Blasco led us to the middle of the train to take our seats.  He motioned for me to sit, he then sat across from me, that way we could see both doors of the car, not that we were expecting anything to happen, but one never knows.
    I looked at Blasco.  I had never worked directly with him.  He was a man a little taller than me but not as broad in the shoulders.  His hair, eyebrows, and moustache were a dark brown, almost black.  With deep-set eyes he looked menacing.  
    He saw me looking over at him.  “Be sure you pick up a heavier coat when we get to Trinidad.  It’ll be cold going over the pass.”
    This time of year it was dumb of me not to be wearing my sheepskin coat.  I’d left it at home and instead was wearing a black and red plaid jacket.  I could get by with it most of the winter, but he was right, more then likely I would need a heavier coat.
    “I’m going to get some shut-eye before we reach Trinidad,” he told me then pulled his black Stetson down over his eyes and leaned back.  I happened to notice that he took the loop off the hammer of his pistol, just in case.
    I hadn’t had time to send a telegram to Molly.  I needed to make sure to do that when we reached Trinidad, otherwise…

Echoes From the Campfire

Routine had a lulling effect upon the senses, and he knew his security demanded that he be alert at any moment for whatever might come.”
              –Louis L’Amour  (North to the Rails)

    “He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become known.”
              –Proverbs 10:9 (NKJV)
There is no god like God.  Why should we worry or fret or tremble when the Lord God Almighty is watching over us?  Troubles, what are they to Him?  Toils and tears, He can quickly vanish them.  As you read this first part of Psalm 33, think of David sitting and contemplating God.  He might be alone, in the wilderness tending the sheep.

    1 – Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous ones; praise from the upright is beautiful.
    2 – Praise the Lord with the lyre; make music to Him with a ten-stringed harp.
    3 – Sing a new song to Him; play skillfully on the strings, with a joyful shout.
    4 – For the word of the Lord is right, and all His work is trustworthy.
    5 – He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the Lord’s unfailing love.
    6 – The heavens were made by the word of the Lord, and all the stars, by the breath of His mouth.
    7 – He gathers the waters of the sea into a heap; He puts the depths into storehouses.
    8 – Let the whole earth tremble before the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
    9 – For He spoke, and it came into being; He commanded, and it came into existence.

Every day we should begin with praise.  Our praise should be fresh, joyful, and skillfully presented to Him.  If His mercies are new every morning, how much then should our praise be new every morning.
    We are new creatures, old things are gone.  Augustine said, “Put off oldness.  A new man, a new testament, a new song.  A new song does not belong to the old man; none learn it but new men, renewed through grace from oldness, and belonging now to the new testament.”  Do you belong to the old world, or born again into the new kingdom of God?  Then sing a new praise to Him.
    The earth trembles, the earth shakes, yet the world, the system of antichrist only mocks.  Mock now, one day it will tremble.  One day all will see Him as He is!  Oh, what a minute, the world does not tremble, they scorn and ridicule, but the shame of it is so do many Christians.  Take time to see the Lord and let your words be grateful for His majesty.

         “Then let our songs abound,
          And every tear be dry;
          We’re marching through Emmanuel’s ground
          To fairer worlds on high.”
                  –Isaac Watts

Coffee Percs

His hesitation was due to his natural tendency to hold on to his money to ensure the ability to purchase things he needed to survive, like coffee beans and cartridges for his rifle.”
              –Charles G. West  (A Man Called Sunday)

Mornin’ to yuh, Pard.  Yep, I can see graylight just beginnin’ to appear.  I was as snug as a bug in a rug this mornin’ to tell yuh the truth.  But, jist for you, I’m up, coffee is sittin’ here ready for yuh to join me.
    Pard, things shore ain’t like they used to be.  Hatred abounds all around us.  I was ponderin’ the other day, I do that from time to time, about all the hatred; why it’s everywhere.  It made me really grateful that I have the heavenly Father, a good God, walkin’ with me through this wearisome, troubled world.  With the media seeming to gloat over any kind of hatred (and if there’s not enough, they’ll make some up to suit their agenda) it’s often hard to see the good.  It’s one thing not to like a person or what they do, but mercy, don’t let hate seep from your heart.
    My goodness Pard, yuh slurped that cup down like nobody’s business.  Refill’s a-comin’.  Now, what I was a-sayin’…one of the reasons there is so much hatred, besides being the work of the devil, is that there is so little humility.  The Speaker, what’s her name, said it was a sad day for America all the time gloatin’ an’ smirkin’, and handin’ out her victory pens with her name on them.  There should have been tears, not joy.  Yeah, Pard, I know her name, but we don’t let it come from our lips in our house.
    Times jist ain’t so simple.  One thing for sure is to be sure yuh have enough bullets and coffee around you.  Make sure the Bible is handy and that yur readin’ it regularly.  When yuh see some of that hatred comin’ close to yuh, breathe a prayer an’ say a praise to the good Lord, for the simple things–like not forgettin’ to check yur cinch.

Echoes From the Campfire

Trouble often came out of nowhere to muddle up life.”
              –Cliff Hudgins  (Viejo and the Ranger)

    “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”
              –1 Peter 3:14 (NKJV)
I’ve mentioned this week that we need to have fellowship with master disciples from the past, as well as the idea of developing a personal mission statement.  Today, I want to share something from General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s private writings.  I picked this up from Terry Tuley’s book, Battlefields of Blessing:  Civil War.
    We must always be people of integrity, men and women of honor and righteousness.  Ponder the following by General Jackson.

         1)  Through life let your principle object be the discharge of duty.
         2)  Disregard public opinion.
         3)  Sacrifice life rather than your word.
         4)  Endeavor to do well everything which you undertake.
         5)  Never speak disrespectfully without cause.
         6)  Spare no effort to suppress selfishness.
         7)  Avoid trifling conversation.

In his notes he further said, “Avoid bad company; there is danger of catching their habits.”
    Good character takes work.  It doesn’t happen overnight.  There must be trials, tests, storms that need come your way to help knock off the rough edges of your character.  The Holy Spirit has His part as well, and He will look to it.  Don’t hinder Him.
    In years past I have written much about a key word that few understand today–DUTY.  People have their agenda or follow an immoral agenda posted by others.  Few really understand the concept of true duty.  Solomon spent a life of misery.  Oh, he had wealth, fame, and power.  The world was at his fingertips, but when old age came his way he said it was all vanity.  There was one thing required:  DUTY.

         “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:  Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”
                   –Ecclesiastes 12:13(NIV)

Come to think of it, that would make quite a personal missions statement!