The Saga of Miles Forrest

What was it like?  I’ve never experienced anything like what you’ve experienced,” said Molly in an excited yet hushed tone.
    We were sitting in the diner after the noon rush.  Anihu was in the kitchen cleaning up and fixing stew for supper.  Molly was only serving stew for the evening meal and she decided to close the diner on the 1st.  
    “It’s hard to explain,” I said taking a sip of coffee.  “I was sitting there with my hat pulled down over my eyes, but I wasn’t sleepin’ for I thought that Decker could be on the train and I darn’t not sleep.”
    “Go on,” she urged.
    “He sat down and I told Him I wasn’t sleepin’, and I could feel Him smile.  I didn’t see it, but I know He was as I could somehow feel it,” I paused pulling at my moustache, “just like I can feel Him frown at me.”
    “I didn’t hear His voice, yet I did…”
    She interrupted, “I don’t understand.”
    Smiling I continued, “I don’t either.  I didn’t hear it with my ears, but I heard it in here,” I said pointing at my chest.
“He asked what I thought about the job with Soapy Smith and I told Him I couldn’t take it.  That’s when I felt the smile.”  
    I looked at Molly.  “Sorry, I can’t explain it better than that.”
    She nodded as if she understood.
    “Then He asked about the position in New Orleans.  I told Him I didn’t think I would take it.  It would take me away from Durango, and you have the diner and all.”
    “There was the smile again, and He said, ‘Are you sure you shouldn’t go to New Orleans?  Sometimes a person has to do things that he doesn’t necessarily want to do.'”
    “Are you tellin’ me to go?” I asked.
    “No, I just want you to be settled in your mind,” I felt His presence begin to leave.  Merker and the fallen one will be after you again.  Stay on your guard!” and He was gone.
    I looked at her.  “Molly we must be diligent.  Always after I’ve had a visit from the Lord things seem to get a little rough.”
    She reached over putting her hand on my arm and smiled at me.  “We’ll get through it.  We’ve always have.”
    Reaching for the ever-ready coffeepot I refilled both our cups.  Lucas came out from the back along with Anihu and sat with us.  I grabbed a cup for each of them and filled it.  Lucas was growing up.  
    Molly gave a little laugh.  “It was a grand time, wasn’t it?  When are they supposed to be back?”
    “Manana,” spoke out Anihu.
    We had a grand time when Marta became Charlie Gold right after the Christmas service at the church.  We opened the diner for the whole congregation and anyone else from the town who wanted to join in the celebration.  I grabbed Charlie’s hat and put it on the counter for people to drop in donations and the cost of the meal if they could afford it in it for a wedding present.  I thought about using Charlie’s boot, but then when I pulled it off it might drive away those in the room, and Marta’s little wedding slipper was just too small for gathering in much.
    It wasn’t elaborate.  We just had venison chili, cake, and plenty of coffee.  I took over his duties as sheriff, at least in Durango, I didn’t go outside the town, while they were on their honeymoon.  He took her down to Santa Fe.
    Anihu doesn’t come out and join us often, so we were enjoying her company.  Lucas was always too busy, but also was still a kid, so he didn’t feel like sitting with us.  Laughing, Molly was retelling when Marta wiped icing on Charlie’s face.  He put on his sheriff’s stern face and it scared her until he started laughing.  She cried out and tried to put more icing on him.
    I had just lifted the cup to my lips for a sip when Stan Offut came in the door.  I saw him look around, then he headed straight toward our table with a telegram in his hand.  He doesn’t come here often to eat, and when he headed straight toward us I became a mite concerned.
    “Stan, what’s up?” I asked.
    He didn’t say anything, just handed me the telegram.  
    “Explosion on the train…STOP…No details…STOP
    “Marta was on that train!” yelled Lucas.
    “Miles!  He’s right.  Charlie and Marta were on that train coming back.”
    “That would put them somewhere between here and Conejos,” I said.  “I need to go.”
    I looked at Molly, then Stan interrupted.  “There’s more.  There tracks are destroyed in several places between here and Conejos.”
    Looking at him, I said, “I’m surprised the wires are still up.”  He just shrugged his shoulders, but it caused me to ponder.
    Taking one more sip I pushed my chair back and stood up.  As I did Molly did the same, “I’m going with you!” she stated emphatically.
    “Me too!” added Lucas.
    “I don’t think…” I started to say, but Lucas interrupted,
    “She’s my sister!”
    I grabbed his shoulder.  “Go saddle the horses.  You can ride Hawk.  Saddle Star for me and Two-Bits for Molly.  We’ll meet you at the cabin as Molly will have to change and I’ll need to get supplies,” I stated. 
    As we walked out of the diner, I looked back and saw Anihu with her head bowed–praying.  “Lucas, I’m goin’ over to Vexler’s and get a mule, then on to Foster’s store.  Meet me there.”