The Saga of Miles Forrest

I wasn’t real worried about the trip from Telluride to Durango.  It would take a few days, but with three wagons of ore and each wagon having two guards plus a teamster it was well taken care of.  Wilson, Dawson, and I rode up and down and around the wagons.  If we were attacked it would have to be by a large group as they just couldn’t come and haul the ore away, and that was another advantage, it wasn’t milled or smelted yet.  Yet, I didn’t relax, there was always that chance.
The guards on the wagon worked for the mines, therefore, I didn’t know them.  I figured the mine owners knew their men well enough to supply qualified men for the job.
We were about a day and a half out of Durango when one of the wagons broke down; a broken wheel.  There wasn’t a spare, so there would have to be help coming from Durango.  Something about the location and the timing kinda bothered me.  Being in charge I decided to send Wilson and Dawson along with the two other wagons and would stay with the one until it could be repaired or another wagon sent to replace it.  I also changed the guards.  I wouldn’t let the two on the one broke down stay with it.
They argued some about that.  They said they worked for the Deep Hole Mine and that this was their ore.  It made me sorta laugh and guess it showed for it irritated them further.
“Ore has been sorted back in Telluride and marked.  It is all mixed together from five or so mines.”
“We don’t think we should leave it,” said a gruffy red-haired man.
“That’s right, you don’t think!”  I said.  “You follow my orders!”
So the guards switched up, but I kept the teamster.  I figured he might be involved if there was foul play and I wanted to keep an eye on him.  We had enough food for a week so we were not hard up that way.  Water was a little problem.  There was a stream to the south of us about a mile and another back up the road about the same distance.  There was a small keg about half full so we should be alright for a day, but then would need some water.
Early the next morning we were having our coffee and I spoke to the men.  “If they’re comin’ it’ll be this mornin’.  They wouldn’t wait longer as they would be easier to follow.  So stay close to the wagon and keep your guns handy.”
Sure enough, about an hour later here came a small group of men; I counted five, but there may be a couple more around.  They rode in slowly.
As I walked out to meet them, I noticed the teamster moving around to get behind me.  “Unt uh, you stay right up here with me and to my left.”
“What?” he cried.  “You’ve no reason to talk like that!”
“Then there should be no problem, now get up here.”
The leader stopped in front of me.  “Looks like you’ve got some troubles,” he said.
“Not really, the coffee was good this mornin’, and help should be here by this time tomorrow.”
“Well, the boys and I would surely like to help you out.”
“Figured,” and then I lifted the Greener.  When I did that I heard the other two guards cock their rifles.  “This will handle our troubles I reckon.”
He looked sorta troubled, but most people get that expression with a shotgun pointed at them from a few yards away.  “Mister,” I said.  “Ifn that fellow up on the hillside raises his rifle, I’m cuttin’ loose with this here shotgun.  I guarantee it will empty your saddle.”
“Your name Forrest?” he asked.
I nodded.
“Heard there was a bounty on you.  Might be I collect.”
“Might be you’ll try to collect.  Now, I would advise you boys either go back from where you came or continue on up to Telluride.  Right now the air is startin’ to get an unhealthy feelin’.”
“Perhaps we’ll meet again,” he said.
“I’ll look forward to it; as long as it’s face-to-face.”
I could see the anger rise in his face, but he motioned for his gang to follow him on up the trail.  “Hey!” I hollered.  “Don’t forget the man on the hillside.  Sure don’t want him to do something he might regret.”