The Saga of Miles Forrest

I hadn’t been able to pinpoint where they were, but I knew in my gut that sooner or later they would show up.  Clem had informed me that there were more men waiting to get me.
    “Hello the camp!” came a yell from the trees beyond my sight.  “Can we come in?”
    At least they were observing camp courtesy.  It would have been smarter for them to come blasting in.  “Sure come on in, but be sure I can see your hands.”
    Three men rode in, hands in sight like I ordered.  I was standing off to the back and off to one side of the fire.  I had my coat on and a blanket draped around me, my gun out of sight under the blanket.  I was holding the Greener in my left hand.
    “Cold night,” remarked one of the men.  “Mind if we dismount and warm ourselves?”
    “Go ahead,” I replied.  Only three, I just had the feeling there were at least four, maybe five.  I wasn’t comfortable in the situation, but it was what I had so I’d play it out.
    “Ahhh, coffee,” spoke up another in anticipation.  “Any left?”
    “Should be,” I uttered.  “You’ll need your own cup.”
    “Fine, fine, I’ll get it from my bag.”
    The other two men moved closer to the fire.  “Just be sure all you come back with is a cup,” I warned.
    Stooping down by the fire the man who spoke up first started in again.  “You don’t seem to be a very trusting soul.”
    “Nope.  Three men out in the cold, just wanderin’ about.  Reckon it just doesn’t look right, so you’re right, I’m not very trustin’.”
    The man had come back with his cup and handed it toward me.  “Mind pouring me a cup?”
    “Yep,” I said.  “Don’t see where your arm’s broke or any maimed fingers.”
    “Okay, no problem,” he said reaching for the coffeepot.
    “He’s not a very courteous man,” spoke up the one who had been speaking.  “In fact, he’s been quite rude.”
    “Good coffee,” said the man after taking a sip.
    “Mind if we stay the night in the camp?” asked the man as he put his hands over the fire to warm them.  I could see all their hands now with the flames flickering upward.  
    “That’s no way for a civilized person to treat his fellow man.”
    “Never been called ‘civilized,'” I replied.  “There’s plenty of country out there, plenty of wood available and as you don’t seem to like my company…”
    The lead man continued to talk.  “You’re worth quite a bit of money to us,” he stopped and glanced at Molly.  I didn’t know there would be a bonus in it for us.  Merker didn’t say anything about a woman.”
    He started to rise and I threw myself to ground, firing as I went down.  I felt the bullet graze the back of my neck.  My first bullet caught the man who was still stooped at the fire; the one who hadn’t said anything.  It hit him and he fell back against the man standing knocking him off balance.  My second shot caught the standing man along with my third.  Then I started crawling as fast as I could toward the darkness.  After I hovered down in the brush I glanced back and saw that Molly had shot the other man with the rifle she had with her.  I had to find that fourth man.
    The man that Molly shot was on the ground groaning.  “Ring, help me.”
    “Forrest!” came a voice from the darkness.  “Throw out your gun!  I have the woman in my gunsights!”
    I didn’t answer.  I was trying to get a bead on the voice.  
    “I won’t say it again!  I’ll shoot her!”
    I holstered my pistol and cocked both barrels on the shotgun.  Taking a deep breath, I sighed, stood up slowly then let out a howl like I’d heard those southern boys use during the war.  I charged toward the sound and let lose with both barrels…
Today in the Texas Revolution:  Fannin attempts his relief march to the Alamo but turns back.  R.M. Williamson arrives in Gonzales to help organize Alamo relief forces there.