The Saga of Miles Forrest

Marta informed me that Molly went down to the butchers.  The customers at breakfast had eaten most of the sausage and Molly liked to keep sausage ready to fry.
    “Keep me informed about Mr. Creeps,” I said with a laugh then went over to the stove to replenish my cup of coffee.  I had just gone back to my chair in the corner when Molly came in.
    “Elena, here is five pounds of sausage.  Go ahead an use half of it in whatever way you need.  Mister Vandemeer said that he will butcher up half a beef and have it brought down.  Have you seen Lucas?”  She was saying all of these, taking off her wrap and putting on an apron, and I just sat there and smiled.
    Then she turned towards me, “And you, how long will you be there, getting in our way?” she snapped.
    “I didn’t know I was in anyone’s way,” I replied.  I stood up and started for the backdoor.
    “Where are you going?” Molly barked.  “If you think we’re in danger, don’t you dare leave!”
    I stopped to look at her.  She avoided my glance then Marta came in giving an order.  Marta looked at me, “Senor Creeps told me that he’d see me tomorrow.”
    Molly turned toward her.  “Who?” she asked sharply which seemed to stun Marta.
    “The man out there, sitting in the corner by the window.”
    Molly rushed to look out from the kitchen.  The man was walking out the door with his back to her.  She turned to us, “Miles, there’s something familiar about that man.”
    I went to her, she started to turn away when I grabbed her shoulder and brought her to me.  Wrapping my arms around her, she finally sighed.  “After this is over I’ll go huntin’ to get some fresh meat for the diner.”
    “How long do you intend to stay here?” she questioned.
    “Two, maybe three days.  I just feel that I need to be here,” I replied then released her.
    The day passed by slowly.  Sitting back in the little alcove was not my way of having fun.  All I did was doze, and ponder, and pray.  Now, pondering ain’t bad; it just depends on what you’re pondering on.  Praying is always good, but I don’t know about the frequent naps.

    I was awake the next morning when Elena and Marta came to open up.  Marta went around the diner lighting the lamps while Elena began firing up the ovens and stoves.  She was good at keeping a constant temperature; to me that is somewhat of an art.  Too hot and the biscuits burn, to cold and they don’t cook properly.  There were two large stoves in the kitchen.
    Molly came in about twenty minutes later and she went to work making pies.  I hadn’t realized how much work was involved in the morning to open up.  Marta said that Lucas would be by to cut some firewood for the box.  I would have done it, but didn’t want anyone to see me.
    Marta was out in the diner with her usual smile and greeting to the first customers that came in.  The morning was usually fairly busy and the diner filled up.  Molly and Marta were hustling around waiting on customers, and Elena was doing a dance between the stoves in the kitchen.  I could see that they needed to hire someone to clean the pots and skillets, as Elena had to do that before she could prepare another meal.
    About 9:30, the last customer left from the morning rush.  Molly started to get a cup of coffee to sit with me.  I shook my head.  She realized that would be breaking habit, so she and Marta went out to sit at the table to rest and sip coffee.
    It wasn’t long when I heard the front door open.  A few minutes later Marta came in the kitchen.  She came by me on her way to get coffee for the customer.  “It’s Senor Creeps,” she whispered.
    She was on her way back to the front when I heard the door open again.  I heard some muttering out front, but I couldn’t make out what was being said.  Molly came in the kitchen.  “Two men, one dressed in black, but not sitting together.  I know I’ve seen them before.”
    I went to the edge of the kitchen so I could listen.  “Thanks for the coffee, darling,” I heard the man comment.  “Where’s that marshal, the one who brought me coffee last time?”
    “He’s been gone a few days,” Molly replied.
    “I sure hope he didn’t have an accident,” laughed the man sitting at the other table.
    There was a small laugh from the other man.  “Come here, sweetheart,” he ordered.  “I know you recognize me even with the beard.  You’ll get used to it.”
    I was hoping Molly moved back toward the stove.
    There came a shout, then I heard the cup crash to the floor.  It was time to play this out.  Entering the diner I said, “Pick up the cup!”