The Saga of Miles Forrest

I filled out a lengthy report and sent it to Marshal Blasco in Denver.  In it I described what happened with the robbery of the bank in Durango and the train robbery going to Silverton.  In it I mentioned that I thought that two of the robbers were the Lamb Brothers and sent them a description, also mentioning that they liked to use women for hostages.  To my knowledge they had not harmed any of the women, excepting ruffling their feathers a mite and tousling them some.  They were not close to the individuals involved in the killing of the engineer, although being part of that gang they were an accessory.
    There had been no reply as of yet.  
    The morning was bright with a few puffy clouds in the sky.  I had already eaten breakfast at the diner and walked over to the telegraph office.  I looked in at Stan Offut who greeted me warmly, but said there was no news for me.  Reckon no news is good news.  Charlie had ridden over to Mancos.  There was an argument that resulted in a shooting.  From what I heard, no one was killed, but he needed to check out the dispute.  I was sort of covering for him while he was out of town, therefore, I had an excuse to go see Wilson Foster.  
    Wilson had a nice store; he kept it well-stocked, neat and organized.  A person could buy almost anything he needed and if Foster’s store didn’t carry it, well, it just doesn’t exist–at least in my mind.  I had seen some of those mail order catalogues called Montgomery Wards; I think it was out of Chicago.  I just tried to stay clear of those wish books.
    I liked going into his store, for when you opened the door a little bell would tinkle.  Numerous times I had opened and closed it just to hear it make that tiny sound.  See, it doesn’t take a lot to keep me occupied.  Darnelle, his niece, was straightening up some shelves when I entered.  Stopping, she waved at me.  “Morning, Mr. Forrest,” she said in her sweet voice.  She was sort of a plain-looking girl, but very pleasant.  I had always wondered why no one had walked her off to the church.
    “Is Wilson in?” I asked waving back.
    “He’s in the back.  Do you want me to get him?” she asked.
    Shaking my head, I replied.  “No, I’ll just go on back.”  As I started back I heard the tinkle of the bell so turned and looked.  There were a couple of rough-looking characters that had come in so I stopped to watch them for a moment.  
    One of the men saw me watching.  He stopped and stared back for a minute while the other man was talking to Darnelle.  “We’re lookin’ for some seegars,” he said with a rough voice.  
    Darnelle, in her pleasant manner, replied, “I’m sorry Mister.  We don’t carry any tobacco products; you’ll need to visit Vendors.  It’s just down the street and around the corner.”
    He grunted, “Come on Red, let’s go.”  Then he saw that his friend, Red, was staring at me.  “What’s wrong?”
    “That fellow,” he remarked, “he looks familiar.”
    With that remark I decided I should turn around to give him a better view.  Then taking two steps toward him I asked, “Something I can help you with mister?”  
    The one called Red, shook his head.  “I thought I recognized you, but reckon I was wrong.”  He turned quickly and headed out of the store with his partner following.
    Now, he got my mind to working.  Somewhere in my noggin there was a struggle for recollection.  The more I thought on it, the more I thought I had seen him before as well.  I was scratching the back of my head when Foster walked out from the back.
    “Miles, good to see you.”
    I liked Wilson Foster; he was a good man, but a little wishy-washy with someone who might have a tendency to push.  “Mornin’, Wilson,” I greeted him.  “I want to ask you a question.  What would happen if someone, like those two that were just in here,” I paused pointing at the door, “were to come in here and rob you?  What would you do?”
    The question surprised him, and he stammered, “I’d get Sheriff Gold.”
    “But Sheriff Gold is over at Mancos working out a situation.”
    “Well, then I’d get the mar…” he stopped before finishing the word.
    “The marshal, was that what you were goin’ to say?”  I paused looking at him.  “But there ain’t one.  What’s the holdup?  The citizens of this town deserve protection.  You lost Charlie Gold and now he’s the sheriff; you had a bad experience with Billy Denton.”
    He dropped his head a little, the spoke up.  “The council can’t come to an agreement.”
    Well, I thought that was good news; at least Foster and Newsome were not letting Martin Olson bully them.  “Listen, I know that John McCall is available.  He just resigned up in Gunnison; you ought to contact him.”
    Scratching his head he was ready to reply when down the street shots were fired.  I ran out of the store…