The Saga of Miles Forrest

They’re still following us,” cried Lucas.
    He was speaking of the wolves.  Since the day we left camp after the storm, the wolves had stayed on our trail.  I caught a glimpse of them a time or two, but they kept their distance and didn’t try to come into camp at night.  I thought we might be getting a blizzard, but it snowed only a few inches and the wind had dropped.  It was cold, most definitely around zero, and once in a while there would be a little flurry.
    “Are they after us?” he said again, worried.
    “Don’t be worryin’ about them wolves.  They are just followin’ us ’cause they know that where men go there might be food of some sort.  They aren’t anxious to be takin’ on our guns.  Now, if we were to leave one of the horses to fend for himself, there would be a fight.  The horse might win, but that would depend on how many wolves there were.”
    “I’m sorry, Senor Miles, I know it is not right to be scared,” he whimpered, looking in all directions.
    “Who told you that?” I asked.  I kept my gaze forward.  It was white everywhere and we were following the rails.  We were moving slow as I didn’t want any of the horses to misstep on a rail or one of the ties.  
    I turned my face toward Lucas to answer him.  “Lucas, my boy, there’s been plenty of times that I’ve been scared.  A few times scared out of my wits.”
    “You’ve been afraid?” he asked astonished.
    “Many times, but a man has to keep goin’.  He has to take action, depend upon his skill, and the hand of the Lord.”
    “Miles!” Molly exclaimed interrupting us.  “There is the train.”
    The wreck was visible across the ravine.  We would have to stay on the tracks so it was about twice as far as it looked.  We should be there in about twenty minutes.  “Ride easy, we’ll get there.  No need to hurt the horses here at the end because we got in a hurry.”
    Now I became more wary.  There may be another type of wolves hanging hereabouts.  As we approached, the engine and wood car were on this side of the destroyed rails.  One of the passenger cars was about half destroyed.  The other was unharmed.  It was fortunate that the train wasn’t thrown over into the ravine.  It wasn’t steep, but it would have made it much worse.
    As we approached there was some activity and then a man started walking toward us.  It was Theo Burnett, U.S. Marshal from the Santa Fe area.  I had met him a couple of times, but didn’t really know him.
    We had to dismount to lead the horses the horses across where the explosion took place.  As we got on the other side, Burnett said, “Well, Marshal Forrest, I’m surprised to see you here.”
    “Looking for a friend,” I replied.  “He was supposed to be on this train coming home from his honeymoon.”
    He let his head drop a little; not a good sign.  “We have the dead back in the baggage car along with the severely wounded.  There are some wounded in the passenger car,” pausing he turned and pointed toward a tent.  “It’s been really cold.  There’s a little stove in the baggage car, one in the caboose and we kept a fire going in the tent.”
    “Theo,” I interrupted, “you didn’t tell me where my friends are.”
    “Follow me,” he said and started walking back.  Past the wreck, past the passenger car, and then he tapped on the baggage car.
    The door slid open wide enough for a person to get in or out.  Burnett grabbed my arm, “They’re alive and in there,” he paused looked at Molly and Lucas.  “She’s in bad shape.”
    At that time, up above us in the heavier timber came a mournful howl.  “The wolves!” Lucas exclaimed.