The Saga of Miles Forrest

I spent the rest of the trip puzzled by what had happened.  The woman across from me continued to scowl anytime our eyes would make contact.  For some reason she just didn’t approve of me.  I wonder if she realized the toil and pain that pioneers have always gone through to make it safe for those that followed.
    Why are those men waiting for me at the shack?  If so, how did they know I would be on the train?  The conductor, someone working for the railroad back in Durango, possibly Merker himself.  That bothered me, if it was Merker, that meant he was back in Durango.  Molly was there, my friends were there.  I whispered a little prayer, for I believed that prayer transcended boundaries.
    It was late when we pulled into the station in Pueblo.  I went down to the hotel to secure a room and found that there were only three left, all on the fourth floor.  The clerk gave me my key and I trudged up the stairs to the room.  He told me that there were some saloons down the street that served food.  Opening my room, I was not impressed.  There was a bed and vanity with a bowl and water pitcher on it.  I placed my grip on the chair in front of the vanity and went back out to grab a bite to eat.  As I was going down the stairs, the woman from the train was coming up.  I received my scowl and watched her go to what I imagined was her room.
    I had been in Pueblo several times.  For the most part it was a dirty little town, growing from the fact that there were coal mines in the vicinity.  Land to the east was fairly good ranchland, though dry during the summer.  One thing that I hated about being a lawman was that I often had to spend my time in these types of dives.  Wicked men sought the presence of other wickedness, so to find them, go to where they tarry.
    Looking in the first one, I decided that it was too dark.  I didn’t like to be in a dark room among people I didn’t know must less trust.  Up and across the street there was one with music playing and seemed to be well lit.  Pushing the swinging doors aside I walked in, and by habit took a step to one side.  I brought the Greener up and held it in both hands as my eyes became more accustomed to the room and I could take in the atmosphere.  People were busy gambling and drinking.  I went to the bar.
    The bartender came over, “Can I help you?” he asked pleasantly enough.
    “Hungry.  Do you serve food in this place?”
    “Sure, I can rustle up a steak,” that made him laugh like he spoke a funny joke.  “Or I can get you some stew or chili.”
    “Chili verde?” I asked, my mouth already watering.
    “This is Pueblo, is there any other kind?” he replied like I asked a foolish question.
    It went through my mind that he needed a thump alongside the head, but it went away quickly when I realized all of the different sort of folk he had to constantly deal with.  “Chili, I’ll be at that table back there.”
    “Want a bottle?” he questioned.  “We have almost any brand you can think of.”
    “Just coffee,” I muttered.
    That brought another ripple of laughter.  “Well, that’s one I sure don’t carry.”
    I glared at him, making him duck his head.  “I’ll bring some coffee.”
    Walking back to an open table I had to maneuver between chairs.  One obstinate person just sat there, not moving his chair so I could get by.  I tapped him on the shoulder with the Greener and he then willingly obliged.
    There were three bartenders working and the one that I talked to brought me a little pot of coffee and a large bowl of chili almost heaping over the side.  I was hungry, so after taking one sip of coffee, I started spooning the delicious spicy chili into my mouth.
    I was almost finished when I saw two well-dressed men wearing suits and derby hats walk out of a room upstairs and head down to the main floor.  My attention went straight to them.  One was Myers, could the other be…Merker?  They walked through the room and out the door.  I didn’t get a good glimpse of the other man, so I didn’t know if it was Merker or not.  Quickly I got up, searched for some money to pay my bill, and hurried out.
    The men were moving up the street on the boardwalk, away from the saloon and hotel.  I hurried to them, I was anxious.  They turned at the same time and I swung the Greener, catching the man I didn’t recognize alongside the head; he dropped to the ground.  Myers, started to yell, but I took the Greener in both hands and pinned him up against the wooden wall of a building.
    I pressed it up against his throat.  “Remember me, Myers?” I barked in a low yet firm voice.  
    He gritted his teeth and spluttered, “Forrest.”
    “How did you get out of prison?” I asked, pressing the shotgun firmer against him.
    He grunted, “Good behavior, and, and friends in high places.”
    I released him, then poked him in the stomach with the barrel.  “Don’t move or this gun will make a mess of you.”  I leaned down to get a view of the man’s face that was lying there in the dirt.
    Turning his head, I looked in anticipation.  It was…