The Saga of Miles Forrest

I don’t believe it,” I muttered motioning to Covney.  “It’s Merker.”
    “Now that’s audacious,” exacted Gilford.  He nodded at the two agents, Gibbons and McClure, who were sitting close to the door.
    I clenched the Greener and stood.  Figuring that Covney would follow I walked to where Merker was seating himself.
    “Merker, you’re under arrest,” I stated pointing the shotgun at him.
    I’ll give him credit, he acted cool and nonplussed. “What’s the charge?”, he asked as he straightened the silverware on the table.  Then he called out, “Waitress, I’d like some coffee if you’re not too busy!”
    Nudging him with the Greener I said, “Let’s go.”
    “But you haven’t charged me with anything, and I’m a bit hungry,” he smiled.  “Ahh, Mr. Covney.  I didn’t know you were in town.”
    I don’t know how he got in but there was Tommy pulling at my jacket.  “Marshal Forrest, the sheriff needs you down to the jail right this moment.”
    I scowled at him.
    “Urgent, he says.”
    “Mind if I walk with you?” inquired Merker.  “You wanted to take me there anyway.”
    I took off for the jail with Merker behind me, followed by Covney and the two agents.  There was a bit of bile rising up in my stomach for there was something that wasn’t right.
    Charlie met us outside.  “Agent Covney and Miles, come in with me.”
    We went through the office area back to the cells.  Hanging from the ceiling was the prisoner, Curt.  He had used his sling to make the noose.  Douster was on the floor–unconscious.
    Looking around I saw that Gibbons and McClure had entered along with Merker.  Glaring at Merker he gave me a smirk then turned around and walked out bumping into Doc Jones as he left the jail.
    Doc glanced at the man hanging.  “Take him down,” he ordered.
    “No!” commanded Covney, “not yet.”
    Doc then went to check Douster.  It seemed that he had quite a knock on the head and was just regaining consciousness.
    “How’d you hurt your head?” I asked.
    Stammering he began to answer.  “I was so startled at what he was doing.  I jumped on the bed to stop him, and, and must have slipped, lost my footing somehow and fell on the floor.”
    Giford Covney went to him and touched the knot on his head.  Douster flinched.  “Interesting how it is a knot on the head.  I would think you would have hit your face or the side of your head on the floor.  What do you think, Doc?”
    “It is rather unusual,” came the reply.
    I grabbed him by the shoulder and shoved.  “Who hit you!”
    Fear came into his eyes.  Was it because of me or the person that had hit him?  “No one.  I told you what happened,” he maintained.
    Covney was studying the hanging corpse.  “Doc, how could a man with an arm broke like his figure out a way to hang himself…and with his own sling?”
    “Let’s get him down so I can examine him.”
    Gilford nodded at the two agents and they came and helped untie the hanging body.  
    “Lay him on the bed,” admonished Doc.  “Hmmm…hmmm.  There’s a nice knot on his head too.  I can tell you this.  He died from suffocation by hanging, but there is no way on earth that he could have done this to himself.”
    I rushed out to the diner…