The Saga of Miles Forrest

It was someone that I had never seen before.  I shoved the Greener in Myers stomach to get his undivided attention.  “Who is he?” I asked.
    He snickered as he answered.  “He’s a man you don’t want to trifle with.  That’s Thornton Hewell Hawkens.”
    “Thornton Hewell Hawkens,” I thought.  “Who in the world is that?”  
    “Listen Myers, if he is someone important, why in the world is he handing out with you?  Most people don’t want anything to do with jailbirds,” I paused for a second as a groan came from the unconscious man.  “Help me get him up on that bench.”
    I pulled the shotgun out of Myers brisket and he stooped down to help pull Thornton Hewell Hawkens up on the bench in front of the saloon.  He was coming out of his sleep as he put a hand up to where I thumped him.
    “Just who is this Thornton fellow?” I asked.
    That brought a snort from Myers.  “Why, he’s one of the richest men in California.  In California circles his bank rivals that of Sam Brannan and Wells Fargo.”
    “And he is with you, why?” I further questioned.
    He huffed a bit and then started to explain.  “I know people here in Colorado.  He’s interested in becoming a stockholder in some of the mining operations.”
    “Does he know why you were in prison?”
    “He does,” he remarked sharply.  “He also knows that the charges were fraudulent, that I was charged because of my connection with Billington and his daughter, not because of any wrong-doing on my part.”
    I eyed him over, then stood up, lifting the Greener a bit which caught his attention.  “Is that so?” I answered.  “What about your connection with Merker?”
    He snorted out a laugh.  “I know nothing of what Merker has been up to.  I haven’t seen him since before I went to prison, nor have I heard from him,” then he laughed again.  “I hear that he’s been giving you a fuss.”
    “That’s what I want to stop.  Has he contacted you since you’ve been out of prison?” I asked.
    “Told you,” he snapped.  “I haven’t seen him since I went to prison,” he hesitated, “nor do I care to!”
    “How about since you’ve been out?”
    There came a groan, and a muffled voice from Hawkens, “Merker?  Where…”
    “Sssh, sssh, you rest easy,” ordered Myers.  “This is Marshal Forrest and he was just asking me some questions.”
    He looked up and fell forward onto the boardwalk.  A hollow thud sounded as he head hit the wooden planks.  Then I heard a woman’s shriek.  “Murder! Someone get the sheriff.  There’s been a murder!”
    I looked up into the scornful face of the woman on the train.  “Did you kill him with that dreadful gun?”
    “Get him back on the bench,” I ordered Myers.  “I need to shut this woman up.”
    “You going to thump her with that shotgun?” he snorted and began to pick up Hawkens.
    “Ma’am,” I said reaching out to grab her arm.  
    “Help!” she screamed.  “Help!  I’m being molested!  Help!”
    I surely wanted to thump her alongside the head.  Maybe it would knock some of the silliness out of her, but figured that it wouldn’t serve any purpose except to quiet her.
    “Lula?” came a quiet voice.  “Lula, what’s all the commotion?”
    “Oh Thornton,” she squealed.  “I thought you were dead.  I thought that dreadful man shot you.”
    The only thing that came to my mind was the name, “Lula?”  When we were surrounded by half-drunk men coming out of the saloon.  All I could do was sigh…
Today in the Texas Revolution:  Lead elements of the Mexican army arrive at San Patricio.