The Saga of Miles Forrest

Marta seemed to be doing better since Molly stood in for her.  She was back to her normal self, singing something in Spanish as she went through the day doing her work.  Emelda seemed to enjoy cooking and was doing a fine job so Molly agreed with Marta to let her stay on.
    I had just come in from riding Star.  He doesn’t get ridden enough and was getting fat.  We went up the canyon road for a few miles, then ran back down.  With that thoroughbred blood in him, he liked to run, in fact, he needed to run.  He was not the horse for the mountain like Hawk, but there would be few that could match him running out on the plains.
    It was mid-morning and there were no customers in the diner.  “Senor Miles,” perked up Marta.  “Come sit, I will get you some coffee.”
    Well, there was something that was hard to refuse.  I eased down in my regular spot, resting the Greener back against the wall as Marta came with a cup of coffee.
    “Sit down, Marta, join me,” I requested.  She hesitated, looked around the room and since there was nobody there she picked up a cup from the counter and joined me.
    “Where’s Molly?” I asked.
    “She back in the kitchen, making some pies for the lunch crowd.  She be out in a minute or two,” came Marta’s reply.
    “So, Marta, how are you feelin’?” I asked in concern.
    “Oh, I doing fine; I no hurt.”
    “No, I mean up here,” pointing at my head.
    There was a puzzled look for a moment, the a smile.  “Si, my head no longer hurts.  I’m okay.”
    I wiped my hand down over my moustache, then pulled on the left side.  “I mean, emotionally.  Do you still forget?”
    She held her cup with both hands and brought it up to take a sip.  Slowly she lowered it.  “No, I no forget.  I understand how important it is to remember, even the bad things of life.  El Senor,” she said looking up, “has a purpose in everything.  I am beginning to understand.”
    Well, I couldn’t argue with that.  I often pondered when I couldn’t understand something or why something was happening the thought, “His wonders to perform.”
    It was good to sit with her for a spell.  Molly had the pies out of the oven and was letting them cool.  I planned on lingering long enough to get a piece.  She came out, poured a cup of coffee and joined us.
    Marta started to get up when Molly put her hand on Marta’s arm.  “No need to get up.  Stay, that lunch crowd will be here in a little while, rest while you can.”
    We were having a nice time, chatting about this and that.  It was good to see Marta smile again.  I looked up as I heard the door open and three gentlemen walked in–the city council.  They came straight toward our table and just stood there.  I picked up my cup, took a sip and nodded at them.  
    Finally, Martin Olson, appointed councilman and saloon owner, spoke up.  “Forrest, why are you sitting here?” he snapped.
    Smiling at them I replied, “Drinkin’ coffee, and hopin’ for a piece of pie.”
    With that, Marta jumped up.  “Senors, coffee?”
    “No!” snapped Olson again.  John Newsome shook his head.
    Wilson Foster, supposedly the chairman of the council, gave Marta a smile.  “I’d be obliged.”
    “We want to talk with you!” bellowed Olson.  
    Staring at him I said, “Well, why don’t you start talkin’ and quite bellerin’?”
    “Alone!” he said, giving Molly a sneer.
    Molly started to push her chair back, when I placed my hand on her arm.  “This is her establishment, along with Marta, so they have the right to sit here.  Plus, you might as well understand this, I don’t hide things from Molly.”
    He was grumbling, but Wilson pulled out a chair and sat with Newsome following his example.  That meant if Olson was to join us he would have to retrieve a chair from an a-joining table.  He huffed some more, then turned and jerked a chair from the table behind him.
    After he plumped himself down in the chair, he started again.  “What are you doing about those bank robbers?”
    I took a sip, more to annoy him than anything.  “As I said, they haven’t broken a federal law.  Sheriff Gold should be back in today.”
    “That was Sam Fooy, and his bunch!” exclaimed Olson.
    “May I ask, how you know it was Fooy?  Do you know him?” I asked.
    He belched out a curse.  I slammed my cup down on the table.  “I will tell you this once, to refrain from using that kind of language here.  You have ladies present!”
    Olson turned to Molly and gave her a forced apology.
    “What about Marta?”
    Looking over at her, he sneered.  “She’s only a Mex…”
    The next thing he knew was the feeling of a coffee cup smashing against his jaw.  I couldn’t see that he was armed, but I stood wanting to give him a good thumping, but to his credit he turned to Marta and spoke a soft apology.  Then he stood, ready to leave.  “I’ll be writing the governor about you!” Then stormed off.
    I sat back down, and Wilson spoke up.  “Why do you antagonize him so, Miles?”
    They were in the process of standing when Molly piped up, “Gentlemen, why don’t you stay for a piece of pie?”
    “Well, I don’t think…” Newsome started to say, he was clearly agitated by what just took place.
    “Come on, Mr. Newsome,” encouraged Molly.
    Both of them slid back into their chairs and Marta hurried off to get each of them a piece of pie.
    “Don’t forget one for me,” I hollered as she ran into the kitchen.