The Saga of Miles Forrest

I was at the train station waiting for the arrival of the Secret Service agents.  When the train arrived I was surprised to see Special Agent Gilford Covney come with the two other men.  Shaking each of their hands I asked if they wanted to go to the bank or get something to eat first.
    “Let’s get to the bank; see what we can find,” said one of the men.
    Off we went and I informed Covney of what took place the night before.
    “You say that one of them is in jail?” Covney asked.  “Is he secure?”
    “Sheriff Gold said that he would stay in the jail until you arrived.  I would spell him later so that he could make his rounds,” I informed him.  “Charlie is doing double-duty right now as the town doesn’t have a marshal.  He hasn’t been able to travel to trouble spots in the county.  We have Douster, the former head-teller in jail as well.  I’m not sure what part he plays in all of this.”
    “Hmmm,” muttered Covney.  “I’ll have a chat with him later.”
    I nodded to Ooverholm when we went into the bank.  There were no customers so I motioned him over and introduced him to Covney and the two agents, McClure and Gibbons.  He showed us the office of the bank president.
    They two agents looked around at the walls so I spoke up.  “Gentlemen, I think what you might be looking for is underneath that desk.  That’s where I caught Douster looking.”  I already knew there was some kind of hiding place there.
    Going to each side of the heavy desk they heaved it out of the way and pulled back the carpet.  Sure enough there was a hidden safe in the floor.
    “Mister Ooverholm, do you have the combination?” asked Covney.
    He stood there gawking at the safe.  “No sir, I have no idea.  I had no idea it was there.”
    Agent Gibbons started rummaging through the bag he was carrying and pulled out what looked like miniature sticks of dynamite.  He pulled out a chisel and hammer commencing to chip away close to where the hinges might be located.
    McClure looked on and then turned to Ooverholm.  “I would close up the bank for a little while.  Maybe stand outside assuring onlookers that everything is all right.  There is going to be a little explosion after Todd gets the dynamite set.”
    “Will, will, the bank be damaged?” Ooverholm asked in quavering voice.
    “No, I assure you, only that little area near the safe,” McClure replied putting his hands on Ooverholm’s shoulder.  “Agent Gibbons is an expert in this sort of thing,” he said pushing on Ooverholm.  “Go on.”
    In a few minutes Gibbons had enough of the floor chipped away and had placed the charges.  “You all might want to step into the other room.  One never knows what could happen,” he said with a smile.
    We hurried out as he lit the fuse, then he rushed out to join us.  Seconds later there were two small explosions, more the sound of large firecrackers.  I doubt that many outside even heard it unless they were close to the bank.
    McClure and Gibbons began to pry open the safe as the hinges were blown.  Soon they had it open and inside were five bars of gold.
    Covney looked at me.  “More than likely you foiled the plan to add to those bars when you kept the gold shipment on the train car.  Billington was supposed to give those bars to the men who had been chasing you and they would take it to a place in California.  There was a bank out there with our surveillance on it as well.  It seemed that Lillian’s husband and Billington’s brother-in-law were involved.  Lillian was sent out here to investigate just after her father run off.  Oh, by the way, the brother was the father of Billy Denton.”
    “What a mess,” I said.
    “McClure, you and Gibbons clean up here and secure the gold,” ordered Covney.
    Covney and I started out.  “When you’re through, come down to the diner.  The meal’s on me.”  I looked at Covney, “If that’s okay?”
    He just smiled, went outside and spoke to Ooverholm.  “You can open the bank now.  My agents are just cleaning up.”
    As we walked through the door of the diner.  Molly smiled, pointed to my table and said, “Your table awaits you.  Sit yourselves down and I’ll bring you some coffee.”
    My eyebrows went up and I looked at her, then over to Covney.  We walked over to the table where she had poured coffee and set the cups on the table.
    “Mister Covney…”
    “Gilford, please, Mrs. Forrest.”
    Molly smiled.  “Then it’s Molly to you.  It’s good to see you again.”
    We had ordered and were drinking coffee when McClure and Gibbons walked in and took a table by the front window.
    “They can sit here with us,” I admonished.
    “No, the less you are seen with them the better,” said Covney.
    I have said it before, and here it happened again.  In through the door walked…