The Saga of Miles Forrest

So, Merker’s finally out of the way?” questioned Doc Jones as he started to get up from his chair.  “No, stay still, I’ll get the coffee.  You’ve had an ordeal with this man, and he’s finally out of the way.”
    Molly chirped in as he grabbed the coffeepot off the stove.  “I’m so glad of that.  We never knew what to expect or when to expect something from him.”
    “Amen, to that,” I replied as Doc poured the coffee sloshing some of it out on the table.  “Doc, I hope you’re more careful with your patients that you are pourin’ that coffee.”
    He shuffled back to the stove with the pot.  “Here I am, trying to be nice to you, and what do I get?  Complaints!  You’re as bad as some of my patients.  I remove a bullet from them and they complain.  Should just leave it, let it fester and get infected?  They’re the one that got shot, why complain to me, I didn’t do it!”
    I looked over at Molly, who just shrugged.
    “You’re right, Doc.  I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have complained at your gracious gesture,” I commented.  “I don’t want to be the one that you leave a piece of lead in to fester.”
    There were three tables of customers in the diner and Marta was taking care of them.  Edith still came in at the rush hour to help Molly as she was not relegated to do the cooking.  Today, an aunt of Marta’s was starting in the kitchen–Emelda.  She was Marta’s father’s sister.  Molly wanted someone that was able to keep the Mexican flair with the food in the kitchen, especially the enchiladas as they had become one of the favorites with the customers.
    I nodded toward Marta.  “How’s she doin’?”
    “She seems to be holding up well.  She was despondent for a day after Anihu died.  I don’t know if it was from her previous experience, or that her aunt died, or that Charlie has been up at Silverton,” Molly replied.
    “Well, I would imagine it could be a combination of all three,” I volunteered, then took a sip of my half-cup of coffee.  “When’s Charlie due back?”
    The door opened.  Two rough-looking characters walked in; they weren’t miners.  Molly excused herself and went to the kitchen to see if Emelda might need some help.  She was worrying over her like an ol’ hen.
    “Doc?” I repeated my question about Charlie as I watched the two men.  They chose a table off to my left up against the wall.
    “I don’t know, he left right after you did,” Doc answered.  “There was some problem with a shooting and robbery, the marshal didn’t give chase after the perpetrators left town.”
    I stood to get the coffeepot.  “My turn,” I said to Doc.
    Pouring another cup for Doc, I refilled my cup and was putting the pot back on the stove.  “Mister!” thundered a voice.  “How ’bout you bringin’ that pot over here and fillin’ our cups?”
    Ignoring him, I placed the pot on the stove and went back to my place at the table.  “Mister!” this time a curse was mingled with his voice.  “You don’t hear very well!”
    “Do you recognize that guy?” asked Doc.
    Shaking my head I saw Marta going to him with a pot from the kitchen.  The man slapped at her, hitting her arm knocking the pot out of her hand and onto the floor.  He was standing now.  “I want that man, to bring that pot, and fill my cup!  Then he can fill my friend’s!”  The other man was just sitting there smiling.
    I looked over at Doc, “Why?”  Standing up I took a few steps his direction.
    “You forgot the pot!” he reminded me.
    “Now I don’t know who you are, or what you want,” I began to say when shots were fired outside and down the street.  Charlie was gone and there wasn’t a marshal in town yet.  I started rushing for the door, when a bullet hit the head jamb on the door.
    “Easy, just stand where you are,” came the voice.
    Turning my head I saw where both men were standing against the wall, the one had moved more toward the front.  They had guns in their hands.
    “Now,” the man sounded, “get me that coffee!”