The Saga of Miles Forrest

I sort of felt a little guilty playing that trick on Tandy, but not real bad. He had to learn the tricks if he was to stay alive.  But there was still something gnawing at my stomach. Some may call it a gut feeling, but I tend to think that it is God trying to tell me something. I learned a long time ago not to ignore it.
But I didn’t do anything else to him and we arrived back in Durango. I took him over to the eatery. First to introduce him to Molly, but I was also hoping there might be a piece of pie. I knew the coffee would be on.
Molly came out as we entered. Tandy walked up to her. “So this is the famous Molly,” and he reached out to shake her hand.
I motioned to the table. “Any chance there’s some pie?”
“Quit giving me that pitiful look.” She looked at me and raised her eyebrow and nodded toward Tandy as he was sitting down. I shrugged my shoulders. Then she turned and went to the kitchen. “Will apple do?”
We ate a piece of pie and then Molly brought out dinner. My, I sure did remember I like her cooking much better than mine. After finishing Tandy went out and Molly refreshed my coffee.
“What about him? she asked.
I told her the story of what happened in Montrose and then added. “There’s just somethin’ about him. How did he know about you? I didn’t mention you to him at all. In fact, I was only with him one evenin’ and that little bit when he tried to take me.”
I continued after taking a sip. “It would be nice to have someone I trusted watch my back, but I’m got this itchy feelin’. Say, why don’t you and I go shoppin’? I want to take you to Conrad’s.”
“Conrad’s? Isn’t he the gunsmith?”
“That’s right and one of the best I know.”
The next morning after the breakfast rush we went over to Conrad Schlutze’s place. He was a grand old man whose father came over from the old world before the War. He taught Conrad the art of gunsmithing.
“Welcome, welcome, what can I do for you Mr. Forrest?”
“I’d like to see a small caliber for Molly here. Maybe .32 caliber, something she can easily handle.”
She punched me in the shoulder. “Do you think I can’t handle a gun? Remember who my father was? He taught me a thing or two about guns.”
“That wasn’t what I was thinkin’. It was more the size; easy to carry around.”
While we were conversing, Conrad came over with a couple of small guns. One was a sleek looking .32 Smith and Wesson. “Oh Miles, I like that one.” And Conrad handed it to her.
She knew what she was doing as she checked to see if it was loaded. “I could make a special pocket in my apron that this would fit in and nobody would know.”
“How about a shotgun?” I asked.
“I have the rifle, and now I have the pistol. I don’t think I’ll need to protect myself against an army,” she said sarcastically.
“I hope you never have to use them, but I feel better when I’m travelin’ knowin’ that you have them.”
“We have a couple of hours before the lunch crowd comes. Let’s go try it out. Plus Two-Bits hasn’t been ridden in forever.”
It was fun. We fired several rounds and it seemed to be a good gun. I still preferred my Schofield .45, but it was a right powerful little gun. It would do. We rode to the eatery and I took the horses back to the pasture as Molly went in to help feed the lunch bunch. I hadn’t seen Tandy so I didn’t know if he was following me or not. I reckoned not. I’m sure I would have noticed if he were back there.
When I went to the eatery for lunch I knew for sure he wasn’t out there, for he was sitting at the table and in my chair. “Here we go again,” I thought to myself.

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