The Saga of Miles Forrest

As soon as the train pulled into the station I jumped off and headed down to the telegraph office.  I needed to get a wire off to Marshal Blasco in Denver.  I knew he wouldn’t be happy with the message, but I had to let him know what happened and what the situation was.  I wasn’t even sure if it was Sam Fooy’s gang.  I saw the faces of two men, but had no names to put on them.
    I was tempted to go to Charlie Gold’s office, but thought I should let Molly know I was back.  It was past supper time, but not time for the diner to close.  Upon entering I saw a couple, Mr. and Mrs. Bert Crenshaw, owner of a carpentry shop.  Nodding at them I went back to my table.  I was surprised that neither Molly or Marta wasn’t in the room.  I grabbed a cup from the shelf and poured a cup of coffee then pulled out a chair and sat down.
    The coffee was hot and strong, it had been sitting a while, but it would do.  I was bringing the cup up for a second sip when Molly walked out of the kitchen.  I had to smile as she had flour all over the side of her dress and apron.  Even though she wore an apron she tended to get flour on her backside from wiping her hands.  She still hadn’t seen me.
    She was visiting with the Crenshaws and finally when she turned she saw me.  I was expecting her to run right over and jump in my arms, but all she did was take two steps and place her hands on her hips.  It was then that she noticed there was more than a dusting of flour on her dress.  Instead of coming to me, she rushed off to the kitchen.  In a few minutes she was back out.
    I stood up as she approached and gave her a big hug.  She was still brushing at the flour.  “Maybe you should wear a pair of chaps, instead of that apron.”  Ooop, that didn’t go over too well from the look she gave me.
    Going back to the shelf I grabbed a cup and filled it with coffee for her.  She took a sip as I was getting myself situated, grimaced, “Ugh, this stuff is terrible.”  She placed the cup on the table and pushed it away from her.  
    “That’s what you serve to your customers,” I said.
    Well, that got me another look.  “‘Tis not.  We keep a fresh pot brewing in the kitchen, I’ll have you know.”
    I took another sip, looked at her and made a face.  “It’s not very good.”  She gave a hearty laugh.  I always like to hear her laugh.
    “Where’s Marta?” I asked.
    “We had a slow day, so right after the supper rush, I told her to take off.  Without a marshal in town, Charlie stays right busy with town and county work.  They don’t get to see each other much,” she replied.
    I just shook my head.  “I’ll stop by and see Foster tomorrow.  I don’t know why they drag their feet.”
    “Well,” she muttered.
    “Well, what?”
    “Well, you’re back earlier than I thought you’d be.  Is that good news or bad?” came her inquiry.
    Pulling at my moustache I gave her a big smile.  “It’s good news for you that I’m back.”  To which I received a snort.  “But it’s bad news–the train was robbed.”
    “Any clue as to who it was?” she asked.
    “Same gang that robbed the bank,” I paused to try and take another sip.  It was still bad, scorched.  “The two that were in here that used you as a hostage did the same at the train.  They had six women with them when the baggage car opened and took three with them to make their getaway.”
    “At least you know what they look like,” she stated then added.  “Hungry?”
    “Wish I had a name to go with their faces.  I’ll check Charlie’s wanted posters tomorrow, and yes, I’m quite hungry.”
    She pushed away from the table.  “I think there’s still some stew left in the back, along with the last of today’s bread.”  She turned to walk back to the kitchen.
    “By chance, any pie?” I hollered.
    Turning she looked at me and just shook her head.

    The next morning, after a good breakfast, I went over to the sheriff’s office.  Charlie was just finishing making his morning rounds, rounds that should be made by the town marshal.
    “Heard about the robbery.  Anyone hurt?” he asked as we met by the office door.
    “Engineer killed,” I disclosed.
    His eyebrows raised as we went in.  It was a nice place, new furniture.  Maybe it was a good thing that the old office was destroyed.  “That puts a different light on things,” he stated motioning for me to sit.  He went to the stove to grab the coffeepot.
    I nodded, “Murder now, not just robbery.”  I reached for the cup, took a swallow, then wiped my moustache.  “Mind if I go through your posters?”  I went to sit behind the desk.  “Let me see the one on Sam Fooy.”
    Charlie had it on top of the stack since we had already been looking for him.  I laid it to the side and began to go through them.  It was hard to believe that I had the reports of so much evil in my hand.  When I thought about it, my stomach became a little queasy.
    A picture caught my eye and I set the posters on the desk.  “This one…he’s one of them.”
    The poster read:  James Lamb (aka:  Jim Lamb, Jimmy Lamb)  Wanted for armed robbery, kidnapping, extortion.  Often seen with his brother John Lamb.
    “Do you have a poster on John?” I asked.
    “If I did, it would be in that stack,” replied Charlie.
    I stood up, poster in hand and started out.  “I’m goin’ to show this to Molly, then have some printed up and posted around town.”