The Saga of Miles Forrest

Do you have to keep me chained to this seat like an animal?” he whimpered.
    “Billy, as far as I’m concerned you’re just one step above an animal.  In fact, if I owned a dog, I wouldn’t chain him up.”
    He’d been whining and whimpering ever since we left Durango twelve hours ago yesterday.  When I took him for a walk, he’d whine that he couldn’t walk right with the chains on his legs.  He’d whine when I gave him food saying he couldn’t eat with handcuffs on, but I’ll tell you, he managed to do both.  I think I even heard him whimper in his sleep.
    I probably should have locked him up in the cattle car but didn’t want to disturb what horses might be in there.  At least there were only two sets of passengers in this car and as soon as they saw Billy was a prisoner they left and found seats in the other car.  The car we were in was right next to the tinder and I sat with my back to it so I could watch if anyone came in.  There was one other passenger car, one for any cargo, and one for any horses.  Attached to the back was the caboose.
    I didn’t think Billy dangerous, but he was a nuisance and, well, he had tried to kill me so I had to depend upon my ears to hear anyone come in if I should doze.  So far, I had done well, and didn’t feel too much worse for the wear as we traveled.  I had Billy chained to the seat across the aisle from me and I sat back next to the window.
    We changed trains in La Junta and would have to change again in Pueblo for Canon City.  We would have a four hour layover in Pueblo.  That would be the most dangerous part of the trip.  It would be hard to keep my eyes on all four directions, but then who would want Billy?
    Those were my thoughts as I heard the door open at the far end.  Lifting my head to see who it was, I groaned within me and moved the Greener from the seat to my lap and shifted in the seat toward the aisle, for walking down it was Lillian.  She had some kind of little hat with a feather in it on her head and was wearing a very nice, form-fitting green dress.  
    She came to where we were sitting, and I waited for her to speak.  She was hesitant, but then finally said, “I’d like to talk with Billy.”
    “Fine, hand me your bag.”
    Looking as if I slapped her, she retorted, “I beg your pardon.”
    “Your bag, give it to me and then you can sit with him.”
    “Why, why, you don’t think…here!” and she thrust the bag at me and it clunked on the side of the seat in front of me.
    “Cautious,” I said, then looked in the bag.  
    “There’s personal things in there,” she said sharply.
    “I’m sure there is,” and I lifted out a small Colt .41 and smiled at her.
    “For protection,” she hurriedly said.  “A woman needs protection when she travels alone.”
    When I didn’t give her the satisfaction of a reply she started to sit next to Billy.  “Sit across from him,” I commanded in what I thought was a calm voice.
    They did some chit-chat not saying anything of importance or that I might take notice of.  I just wanted her to leave.
    “Marshal, you should unchain Billy.  He’s very uncomfortable.”
    I just stared at her with that look I’ve been known to give.
    She huffed a bit and then declared, “I’m going to sit here and make sure that you don’t kill him before he gets to Canon City.  After all, according to the trial, you are the person he tried to kill.”
    “Go ahead, but you will do your sittin’ down at the other end of the car.”
    “I have my rights!  I have a ticket, I’ll sit anywhere I please!”
    “Miss,” I sort of moved the Greener so she could see it, “if you don’t move to the end of the car I’ll have the conductor remove you altogether.”
    She huffed some more, then stood up reaching out her hand.  I gave her the bag, but she kept her hand out, waiting.  “My gun.”
    I smiled…