The Saga of Miles Forrest

We finished our pie and I noticed that Mr. Newsome enjoyed his.  I gave Molly a pat on the hand and stood up from the table.
“Why don’t you gentlemen join me in a trip to the bank so we can talk with the new president?  By the way, what’s his name?”
    Both Foster and Newsome got up.  “Thank you, Mrs. Forrest, for the delicious pie,” said Wilson with a smile.  Newsome just nodded and sort of gave a grunt.
    “R. Seymour Clevenger is his name,” offered Newsome.
    “Foreigner, ain’t he?” I inquired as we stepped out the door onto the boardwalk.
    “No, no, I think he’s from Philadelphia or maybe Boston,” came the retort from Newsome.
    Wilson gave a little laugh, as I stopped and turned toward Newsome.  “That’s what I said, foreigner.  This is the West and we don’t exactly do things the same way as they might be done in Boston.”
    Newsome caught on, and shook his head.
    Crossing the street I informed them that I needed to stop at the telegraph office before continuing.  Stan Offut had his back to us, filing some papers in slots over his desk.
    “Howdy Stan,” I said upon entering to get his attention.  “Anything for me?”
    He turned reaching out a hand to shake mine, then saw the two men with me and nodded at them.  “Sure do, Miles.  There’s a couple from Marshal Blasco from Denver.”
    Handing me the first telegram, he leaned over the counter trying to peer at the note.  I don’t know why, he had already read it so he knew what was in it.
    “Fooy robbed bank in La Junta–STOP–Reported seen in Pagosa–STOP–could be your man–STOP”
    “Looks like Olson may have been right; that gang may have been Sam Fooy’s gang,” I paused to look at the telegram again then at the two men.  “Makes me wonder how he knew it was Sam Fooy.”
    The second telegram stated that there was a big payroll going up to Silverton and I was to ride up with it.  
    We continued on our walk to the bank.  “Wilson, how did Olson come to be on the council?  He hasn’t been here that long and there’s other good men in town that could have filled that position.”
    “Uh, well, he sort of volunteered for the position, replied Foster.
    “And you and John just let him appoint himself,” I said with some disgust.  “The election for councilman is this fall, correct?”  They both nodded in agreement.  “Who else is runnin’ for that position?”
    “No one that we’ve heard of,” replied Newsome.
    We had arrived at the bank so we curtailed our talk as we went in.  Ooverholm was working as the teller.  I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t given the position as bank president.  He was vital in our investigation of Billingham and Douster.
    I nodded at him.  “We need to see Mr. Clevenger,” I informed him.
    “Let me finish with Mrs. Wentworth,” he replied.
    She was an older lady who owned a lady’s dress shop; made dresses herself and had factory-made dresses sent in as well.  She looked at us as she finished making her deposit.  I tipped my hat and that made her smile.  Funny, how a common courtesy can brighten someone’s day.
    Ooverhold went to the office door and knocked.  After knocking he opened the door and said, “Marshal Forrest is here to see you…”
    He was interrupted by an curse.  “Send that lazy marshal in here.  I have a few words for him!”
    “Gentlemen, after you,” I uttered, sending them in first to face the verbal wrath of Clevenger.  It brought the thought back to me, “a simple courtesy can brighten one’s day, but profane words can darken a day.”
    “Uh, well, greetings Mr. Foster, Mr. Newsome.  I wasn’t expecting you,” he muttered then I walked in.  “Marshal, uh, what can I do for you men?”
    “Mister Clevenger, I’m Miles Forrest and we’ve not formally met as of yet.  I was wondering,” I paused, “we were wondering what was taken in the holdup.”
    “Around $5000 in cash!” he exclaimed.
    “Around?  What does that mean?  I would think that you would know exactly how much was missing,” I implored.
    Newsome spoke up, “By all means!  Both Mr. Foster and I have money in the bank along with the other citizens of Durango.  Exactly how much is missing?”
    Ooverhold had been standing by the open door and interrupted.  “I think I can help here.  When I totaled the money after the holdup the take was $8050.”
    There was a gasp from Foster.  I barged into the conversation.  “My, that is somewhere around $5000.  Was the payroll for the mines taken?”
    “No,” muttered Clevenger in disgust.  “They are not going to use the bank.  The train is bringing it in and it will be loaded from one train to the Silverton trail.”
    The bank still had not regained a positive reputation from the fallout with Billington and Douster in their gold scheme.  I didn’t know Clevenger, but he seemed at the moment not to be in a bright light considering he didn’t know how much was stolen.  Or was there more to it.
    “Why aren’t you out looking for them?” wailed Clevenger.  “You’re the marshal.  Mister Olson was by earlier and we’re going to do something about your badge!”
    “Any securities or bonds missin’?” I asked.
    Clevenger’s face drew a blank look to which Ooverholm responded.  “No, just cash and gold.”
    “Could you describe any of the robbers?” I asked.
    There was a loud silence.  “Uh, no, I was in the office.”
    I looked over at Ooverholm…