The Saga of Miles Forrest

Boy, you’d just be a tasty morsel for them wolves,” joked Burnett as Lucas stepped up on the train.
    His eyes widened and he jumped the last two steps into the car.
    “Miles, what’s wrong with him?” asked Burnett as Molly stepped aboard.  “I was only joshin’ him.”
    “For some reason he’s deathly scared of wolves.  Take it easy on him,” I replied.
    Theo clasped me on the back.  “Sure didn’t mean to be upsettin’ him.”
    As I entered the car Lucas was kneeling on a seat, looking out the windows.  Molly was moving through the car looking for Charlie and Marta.
    “Lucas,” I said standing behind him.  “Marshal Burnett was just kiddin’ with you.”
    “Miles,” came the voice of Molly.  “Back here.”
    I hustled on back toward the end of the car.  There were some hurt folk in there, maybe a dozen.  It made me wonder how many were killed in the explosion.
    Molly was stooped down and bent over Marta.  “Hey there, Miles,” Charlie said softly.  
    Reaching over I touched the side of his face where he had a nice gash.  “You need to get this sewed up Charlie.  Hurt anywhere else?”
    He stood up while Molly was checking Marta.  “Here,” he pointed to his side.  “I was shot.”
    “Shot!” I exclaimed.  “I thought it was an explosion.”
    “Someone was out there waiting,” uttered Charlie.  “They seemed to know who I was.”
    I looked down at Marta.  “How’s she doin’?”
    “Not sure; we need a doctor,” he paused, then sighed.  “I don’t even know if one’s on the way or not.”
    Molly stood up next to me as Theo also came up bringing Lucas with him.  He nodded at me to reassure me that everything was all right between him and Lucas.
    “Theo, do you know Sheriff Gold?”  
    “I know him now; didn’t know he was a sheriff though,” replied Theo.
    Molly interrupted my introductions.  “Her pulse is strong, but she’s hurt.”
    “The explosion was a couple of seats in front of us.  It threw her up over me.  I think she hit her head on one of the seats behind us,” he answered nervously.  “I can’t seem to keep her conscious.”
    “She must have what Doc Jones is callin’ a concussion,” I offered.  “Is she sick to her stomach?”
    Molly grabbed hold of Charlie’s hand.  “Her arm is for sure broken, and maybe a couple of ribs.  I…I don’t know if there are any internal injuries.  Has she regained consciousness at all?”
    “Now and then.  I try to get her to drink some but water is scarce,” he said.  “There is water down the ravine in a creek, but it’s quite a haul.  I thought about going down, but I don’t want to leave her.”
    “Charlie, I’m going to see if I can round up some buckets.  Since Molly’s here now, we can make a trip to the creek.  I imagine there’s others thirsty.”
    “I will help!” Lucas informed us.  Just as he said that, a wolf let loose with a howl.”  Lucas cringed, but stood firm with a fierce look in his eyes.
    Turning to Theo I asked, “How many dead?”
    “Five, they were sitting right over the blast.  Miles, I just can’t figure it.  There was nothing on this train worth taking,” he answered shaking his head.
    “I don’t understand it either, but I think it was to get revenge on me.”
    “You!” he exclaimed, “why you weren’t even on the train.”
    Pointing at Charlie then to Marta, “But a couple of close friends were.  Theo, did you know that Charlie was shot?”
    He jerked his head and roared, “I had no idea!  Do you think they’re still lurking?”
    Shrugging my shoulders I suggested, “Theo, see if you can find some buckets and we’ll make a trip to the creek before dark.  While you’re a-doin’ that I’m gonna take a look-see out there.  Lucas, you stay here with Charlie until I get back.
    “Miles,” said Molly grasping my coat.  “You be careful!”
    Givin’ her one of my winsome smiles, “Aren’t I always?”
    The wolves began to howl as I turned to walk out of the car…