The Saga of Miles Forrest

The situation was going to go from bad to worse in a matter of seconds if I didn’t act.  “James, don’t!” came the shout from John Lamb.
    James Lamb turned toward his brother; it was all the distraction I needed.  I slashed down as hard as I could with the barrel of the shotgun on the arm that had recently been amputated.  Lamb shrieked like a Comanche, his face going pale.  He fell to his knees then rolled over on his side, moaning, the pain etched deeply on his face.
    Before I could turn to face the other man two shots were fired from behind me.  I saw the man stagger and fall.  Judge Broomfield had fired from his position on the bench. I jumped down from the witness stand to level the Greener on the approaching John Lamb.
    Another shot rang out; my attention went to the front where Charlie Gold has just shot Glen Framm.  I turned just in time to glance at Micah Teeter running out the door.  Over to the left, the one called Ioway Jenks was standing, hands in the air.  
    I could hear his hollering, “Not me, not me!  I’m not in this!”
    Charlie went over to relieve him of his gun.  I reached down to pick up the guns from the fallen Lamb and his fallen companion then motioned with the shotgun for his brother to come check on him.
    The courtroom was abuzz with sound and filled with commotion.  Judge Broomfield was not about to have that.  “Sheriff Gold, secure your prisoner then clear the courtroom.  I want everyone out not directly involved in the trial at hand,” he paused and I watched him survey the room.  “Doctor Jones, come check on the wounded and downed men.”
    He was standing closest to the downed body of Glen Framm.  “He’s in bad shape, but breathing.  If I can get him to my office and work on him, he might live.”
    “Sheriff Gold, grab a couple of men to help carry him over to Doc’s office,” ordered the Judge.  “Stay there until other arrangements can be made.”
    Charlie looked my direction and I nodded.  I went to Marta and Lucas as Doc was coming up to check on the other two men.  As I escorted them out of the courtroom, I heard Doc tell the Judge.  “You sent this one to meet his Maker, Judge.”
    “Go on about your normal business, if that’s possible.  Molly will be concerned so tell her I’m alright,” I informed them of what to do.  Before leaving I put my hand on the shoulder of Lucas.  “You did a fine job up there on the witness stand.”
    He gave a half-hearted smile then headed down the street with Marta.
    When I came back in I saw Belford sitting at the table, seemingly in a daze.  In front of him, on the table was the form of James Lamb.  Brother John was standing beside the Doc as he checked James over.
    “Will he be all right, Doctor?” breathed John.
    “Should be,” responded Doc Jones.  “He passed out from the pain.  I’ll get him over to the office and check out his arm more thoroughly there.”
    Approaching them, Belford turned to look at me.  “You should be put away for causing all of this pain,” he muttered.
    I looked at the Judge and he just shook his head.  “The Bible says don’t try to argue with a fool,” stated the Judge giving me advice.
    Just then, the eyes of James Lamb blinked open then started to roaming, searching.  “I’m here James,” uttered John.  “Why did you try such a thing?”
    Groaning he muttered, “I had a score to settle, plus I had to check on you.”
    “James, that youngster, the one who shot me, has made me do some self-appraising.  He said he was praying for me, and came over almost every day to see how I was doing.  I can’t be mad at him for protecting his sister.”
    “Marshal Forrest, I order you to see that James Lamb makes it to the penitentiary in Canon City to serve his sentence.  I find that John Lamb will serve the same sentence,” he paused, “to be paroled in two years.”
    “Judge!  You can’t do that!  I protest, the trial isn’t over yet!” screamed Belford.
    “Mister Belford,” Judge Broomfield turned to face him.  “I can, and I did, this trial is over!”
    The Judge looked at me again.  “You’ll leave as soon as the doctor says that the prisoner is fit to travel.”
    I nodded, then saw Charlie Gold walk in the door.  “Judge…”