The Saga of Miles Forrest

It was all I could do to keep Jens in bed.  To get up and walk would tear open the stitches.  He finally compromised and agreed to stay in bed for a day.  After that little discussion I went to the cantina for breakfast.
    After greeting Ramon, I took a seat at the table.  A young senorita came with a coffeepot in hand.  “Coffee, Senor?”
    “Si, and something to eat,” I responded, holding up my cup for her to fill.
    When she turned to leave, Ramon came over to the table.  “You no want to eat at the cafĂ© next to the hotel?” he asked.
    “Not partial to their company,” I replied, “plus I enjoy the food here.”
    That brought a smile to his face.  I nodded to a chair.  “Have a seat.”
    “You have something on your mind?” he smiled, then added, “Of course, U.S. Marshals always have questions.”
    “Since you asked, I do have a few things I’d like to ask.  How does Abrams get chosen for marshal?  I assume he is appointed by the mayor and city council.”
    “Si, that is correct.”
    I rubbed my hand down the side of my face and over my chin noticing that I needed to shave.  “Aren’t there enough Mexican votes to defeat the mayor?” I asked.
    That brought a laugh from him.  “Senor, there are few of us who will venture to vote,” he paused before continuing.  “Let’s just say retribution occurs.”
    At that time the young lady brought my breakfast. It was a plateful of sausage, eggs, and potatoes all covered with a red sauce.  “You like?” she inquired.
    “Looks delicious!  I’ll need another plate of this when I go to take to the Marshal.”
    “I’ll leave you to enjoy,” stated Ramon as he got up to leave.
    I had some other questions, but it seemed as if he wanted to get clear of me.  I finished my breakfast in quietness with Ramon watching me from a distance.  When I was about half-way  through I motioned to the senorita for a plate to take with me. When I completed my meal I took two silver dollars from my pouch I keep in my vest pocket and laid them on the table.  That should bring a smile to her face.
    Upon entering the hotel room Jens was out of bed and sitting in the chair by the window.
“What are you doin’ out of that bed?” I demanded from him.
    “Tired of lying on my back,” came his tart reply.  “I see you did a little rearranging of the furniture. Expecting trouble?”
    “We haven’t exactly received the welcome mat; thought we might have some visitors last night.  Here, I brought you some breakfast,” I paused, then asked, “Has the doc been here yet?”
    “Ahhh,” his eyes lit up.  “Go check to see if a telegram has come through while I eat.”  With that command, he stuck his fork in the food and lifted a bite to his mouth.  “When you get back I want you to tell me more about that cackling laugh and the Pale Rider,” he mumbled, his mouth full of eggs.
    “What you really need to know about is Jesus,” I began to speak.
    He waved at me, “When you get back.”
    Turning I left to go see Fitzer at the telegraph office.  When I stepped out of the hotel I saw the marshal standing three buildings down.  Ignoring him, I continued on my way.
    “Mornin’,” I hollered at Fitzer.  He stood up from behind the little desk and came to the counter.  “Any messages for us this mornin’?”
    He had a telegram in his hand; it was from Fred Martin.  “Be there on Tuesday.”
    Tuesday, that was today.  “Did you show this to anyone?”  I asked.  He hesitated, “Did you?” I asked a little more forcefully.  He was beginning to irk me.
    “Uh, just Marshal Abrams,” he muttered.
    “Why you little pipsqueak.  You know you just broke federal law…I should arrest you!”  I didn’t finish as shots were fired from up the street.  Up near the hotel…