The Saga of Miles Forrest

The next morning I was packed and at the train station with a ticket to Pueblo.  The weather was dreary with a drizzle of rain making it colder than normal.  I had the Greener is my left hand and small grip in the other.
    Molly held me by the arm.  “Do you think this will bring an end to this?” she asked.
    “I’m tired of you, my friends, and myself bein’ a target.  The Lord’s had his hand on us so far, but, well, I’m tired of being a target.  It’s time to put some pressure on Myers; hopefully he will lead me to Merker.”
    We stood there, communicating without speaking.  “I wish you’d come with me,” I remarked.
    “Now, Miles, we’ve been over this.  Marta is starting work today and is beginning to remember things.  I need to be with her,” she paused, squeezing my arm.  “Charlie is here, and I’m staying at their house until you get back.  Lucas will take care of the horses.  He’s excited since you told him to ride one each day.”
    “But what if Merker shows up here?” I remarked.
    “Quit second-guessing yourself.  If he does, he does.  We’ll deal with it.  Tell you what, send me a telegram when you get to Pueblo that way I know where to answer you.  I’ll send you one at the end of each day,” she informed me.  “By rail you can get back in a few hours.”
    The whistle blew and the conductor made a walk along the platform.  “All aboard!” came his yell.
    It must have been funny seeing me hug Molly, having her wrapped up in my arms holding a shotgun and suitcase.  I gave her a kiss goodbye and headed off toward the car.  The conductor nodded at me as I stood on the first step of the car.  Molly stood there and waved, then I moved on into the car.
    I moved on down to the far end, noting everyone seated in the car as I moved down the aisle.  I sat with my back to the engine, that way I could see anyone entering the car and also all of the people seated there.
    There were several passengers.  One young lady, sitting a couple of rows back and across from me seemed fidgety.  Finally, she spoke up.  “Mister, must you carry that dreadful thing?”
    I kind of looked around.  “What thing would that be, ma’am?” I replied.
    “That, that gun,” she said pointing.
    “Why, ma’am, this is a genuine W.W. Greener, 12-gauge coach gun.  Guaranteed to stop bandits, desperadoes, thieves, murderers and the like,” I said with a smile.
    “That’s horrid!” she exclaimed.
    “Yes, ma’am, that’s what it’s supposed to do, strike fear into the hearts of anyone that looks into the business end of the barrel.”
    She shuddered and turned toward the window.  The conductor came and sat across from me.  “Business trip, Marshal?” he asked.
    “Well, I’m not out for pleasure,” I stated then nodded my head to where the stove used to be.  “Sure miss havin’ a stove with coffee brewin’ on it.”
    He smiled, “that’s the way of progress.”  He stood up and began moving down the aisle, checking tickets.  I pulled my hat down over my eyes and leaned back in the seat.  Thoughts began to mill in my brain like cattle on the trail.  Stirring and spinning around and around, nothing making sense, there was no clarity.
    “Lord,” I whispered, “You need to give me direction.  Show me what to do.  Tell me where to go and stay.”  I sighed, “and keep Your hand wrapped around Molly.”
    I must have dozed off, which bothered me some, but someone was shaking my shoulder, it was the conductor.  “Marshal, wake up.  We’re taking on water and will be here several minutes.  I know in the work-shack there’s coffee.  Boys wouldn’t mind sharing with you.”
    It was a good chance to stretch my legs.  When I passed the woman who said I bothered her she gave me a look.  My, with that look she didn’t need a shotgun.  There was something sinister about her expression.
    I was about to take the step off the train when I had a gut-feeling saying, “Don’t.”  I usually listen to those “feelings” for I figure it might be the Holy Spirit telling me something.  Instead of getting off I stood on the steps of the car until the train started to move.  The fresh air had invigorated me and just before I turned to go back inside I saw two men walk out of the work-shack with guns in their hands.  They stared in my direction and one then spat on the ground.
    Moving back inside I found the conductor.  “Does this train happen to have a dinin’ car?” I asked.
    “So happens it does,” he replied, then added.  “No coffee in the shack?”
    “Business to attend to,” I said.  “Missed the opportunity.”  I left him and walked through the next passenger car and found a dining car.  I wasn’t hungry, but I did want a cup of coffee.  Sitting down by a window I looked out and sipped my coffee wondering what had just happened.
    “Does Myers know I’m comin’?” I wondered.  “Maybe Merker…”