The Saga of Miles Forrest

I was sitting down at the table with Doc Jones and Gilford Covney.  We had taken the “body” over to Parker’s so he could get it in a casket and ready for burial.  Grizz had been successful and brought us some fresh meat, so Gilford and I was having some bear stew while Doc was eating some of Marta’s enchiladas.
    Standing at the edge of the door I saw Charlie Gold motioning for me to come.  I must have frowned for he motioned a little more frantically for me to come.  Looking down, I took two more quick bites of my stew and got up.  
    “Molly, save this for me,” I pleaded.  “Back in a while.”
    “Bring Mr. Covney with you,” requested Charlie.
    As we went outside, I sided up next to Charlie.  “Okay, Mr. Sheriff, what is it?”
    He put his hand to his mouth, looked around and just said, “Follow me.”
    He was constantly looking around seeming to be worried that someone was watching.  In front of me, I saw Billington’s house.  
    “If anyone asks, we were here on official business with the bank and the Secret Service,” Charlie said as he unlocked the door and we all entered.  He lead us back to a formal dining area where there was only one window and the curtains were pulled tight.
    I was a bit surprised to see Judge Klaser and Judge Broomfield sitting at the table along with Douster.  Douster wasn’t as surprised for I knew Charlie had to hide him somewhere.
    “Welcome, boys,” said Judge Klaser cheerfully.  “We need you for witnesses.  Douster here has agreed to give us a deposition.”
    Judge Broomfield looked at me.  “What actually are the charges against Mr. Douster?” he inquired.
    “Tampering with an on-goin’ federal investigation,” I replied.
    “Ahmm,” the Judge muttered.
    “What’s to keep me from walking out of here?” snapped Douster.  
    “For one, three of us know that you are an eye-witness to murder, since you testified so in our presence.  Second, as soon as Merker and his cronies know you’re alive and free they’ll be after you,” Charlie pulled at his moustache.  “I would give you maximum of two days life.”
    “You’d have to protect me,” protested Douster.  
    “Just like I would any other free person walking the streets of Durango,” Charlie replied with a smile.
    “So, why are Gilford and I here?” I asked.
    “Miles, you were the arresting official, and Agent Covney is indirectly involved with the investigation.  Plus, we have another duty for him to perform which I will get to as soon as Mr. Douster writes out his deposition and we all sign it,” to which Judge Broomfield pushed paper and pen in his direction.
    “Charlie,” I breathed, “you know there’s at least one other fellow out there with Merker.”
    He nodded and said, “At least one.  I figure at least two.  One to watch while the other set the dynamite.”
    Douster finished, dropping the pen.  Judge Broomfield read it over and signed it, then gave the it over to Judge Klaser who did the same.  Charlie, Gilford and I did the same and as I signed it as a witness I gave it back to the federal judge.
    “That means I don’t have to appear in the courtroom?  Right?” asked Douster a little apprehensive.
    “I can’t guarantee absolutely,” he paused, “but with the Judge’s signature and mine I doubt if it will be called into question.”
    Judge Klaser spoke for the first time.  “That brings us to Agent Covney,” he said and turned his gaze upon Gilford.  “When are you leaving for Denver?”
    “We will be headed out tomorrow morning,” replied Gilford.
    “You and the other two agents?” questioned Judge Broomfield.
    Gilford nodded and Klaser took up the conversation again.  “Mister Douster will be your third agent.  Get him to Denver, away from here.”
    “My things!” Douster protested.
    “Marshal Forrest will gather them up and have them shipped to you.  If I’m not mistaken the Marshal needs to go to Denver in the next few weeks anyway,” said Judge Broomfield.
    I jerked my head to look at the Judge.
    “I was meaning to tell you,” mutter Covney.