The Saga of Miles Forrest

Ha,” came the laugh from the man wearing black.  “I had heard that my friend was dead and came to check on his grieving widow.”  His smile vanished at he looked across the room at the other man, then he turned his attention back to me.  “I figured I could bring life back into her life.”
    “Before I arrest you, I would like to know who is John and who is James,” I said simply. 
    “Ha,” came the laugh again.  “I am most certainly James,” he pointed at the other man, “the dull one is John.  Seems his aim wasn’t so good.  But arresting me, for what?”
    I just shook my head, wondering if he liked to hear himself talk.  “Let’s start with bank robbery, abduction of three women, using women as hostages, train robbery, and accessory to murder.  Add the attempted murder of a federal officer to the list.  My mercy, Lamb, you’ve got quite the resume.  Now, pick up the cup!”
    Instead of moving toward the cup, he took a couple of steps to his left widening the gap between him and his brother.  I had to bring this to a close quickly.  There was something about James Lamb that told me that he was a dangerous man.  They were far enough apart to make it very difficult for me to shoot both of them if it came to gunplay and they way he was acting I didn’t doubt for a minute that it would.
    “Don’t move another step,” I ordered.  There was the smile and he took another step, then another, testing me to my limits.
    A shot rang out from behind me.  From the corner of my eye I saw John double over.  James went for his gun, but he must have been distracted seeing his brother fall.  My bullet hit him in the elbow.  It must have broken the bone for he immediately dropped his gun.  I glanced quickly at John before looking behind me.  Lucas was there, holding a rifle.
    He had tears in his eyes.  “Senor Miles, are you goin’ arrest me?”
    I was watching James as I went over to Lucas.  Taking the rifle from his hand, I put my hand on his shoulder, “No, son, you’re not going to jail.”
    “That man was going to take Marta.  I wasn’t going to let him!” he said almost in a sob.
    It was then I noticed that James was bending down, trying to pick his gun from the floor.  I moved toward him, “Not the gun, pick up the cup.”
    Fortunately for me, he could not hurt me with his eyes because I could see the daggers being flung at me.  “The cup,” I said again.
    “I’m bleeding,” he snapped.  “Send for the doctor.  My brother’s dying!”
    “The wages of sin are brutal,” I replied.  “Pick up the cup and I’ll check on your brother.”
    He went to his knees and started to the cup, his right arm dangling.  He grabbed the cup with his left hand then looked at me.  “I can’t get up.  You’ll have to help me.”
    I reached down with my left arm to help pull him to his feet.  He swung the hand holding the cup at me; I was half suspecting he would try something.  My pistol was still in my hand and I slashed at his hand making contact with his wrist then I thumped him alongside the head and he felt to a heap on the floor.
    Looking up I saw Doc Jones coming through the door with Marta right behind him.  He looked at me and shook his head.
    “Better check that one first,” I suggested point at John.  “He took a bullet.”
    Doc looked him over, Lamb had passed out.  “I need to get him to my office to get the bullet out.  He’s losing blood, and I can’t really tell how bad he’s hurt.”
    A crowd had built up outside so I went out and grabbed a couple spectators to carry John Lamb over to the doctor’s office.  
    “Go ahead,” ordered the doctor, “I’ll be over just as soon as I check this other man.”
    The arm of James Lamb was bleeding with the bone sticking out, but the artery wasn’t hit.  “My, my,” Doc uttered.  “I’m not sure that I can do anything about this arm.  It might have to come off.”
    I motioned for a couple more men to help with James.  “Good thing he is unconscious, carrying him will hurt like the devil,” remarked Doc.
    “I’ll be over in a few minutes.  I need to check on Lucas.”
    “Lucas?” inquired Doc.
    My lips tightened as I told him, “Lucas is the one who shot John.”
    Doc stood by the door shaking his head as I told him, then walked over to his office.
    I went over to Lucas…
P.S.  The Saga will not appear next week as we’re traveling back to Texas.  Look for Miles on October 29 in another exciting episode.  The book, Return From Tincup, is about Miles Forrest when he was foreman of the Standing P outside Gunnison, Colorado, and is at the publisher.  Be looking for it!