The Saga of Miles Forrest

Reaching out my hand, “Let me see that poster of Keim again.”  
    There was some hesitation as Shaw looked into my eyes then shifted them to glance at the Greener I was holding in my right hand.  He reached in his pocket for the folded paper and reluctantly handed it to me.
    I looked it over carefully.  He turned my eyes back to Shaw.  “Was this issued by the State of Kansas or any of the counties therein?”
    He sneered, “Don’t make no difference; it’s a wanted poster!”
    “Well, it makes quite the difference.  People can go makin’ up their own wanted posters that would make them an accessory to murder.  Now from what I understand from Mr. Keim is that this was issued by the Langford family.”
    Shaw’s eyes widened and he started to jump up from his chair when I gently, well sorta gently put the Greener on his shoulder.  “Just stay seated!”
    I tapped the Greener on his cheek.  “Let me tell you straight, and I’ll tell you only once.  Anything happens to Conrad Keim, whether he is killed or disappears, I will hunt you down.  I’ll make sure you hang.”
    Hatred entered his eyes making me wonder if my name was added to his poster.  I had him pretty well figured out.  He wasn’t a tough man, but a cheap, weak sample of a man.  He wasn’t the type who would face up to anyone, but would only come from their blindside, shooting  them in the back.
    “I am waiting for a telegram from the U.S. Marshal’s office in Kansas awaiting information concernin’ this poster.  If it says what I think it will say I’m comin’ for you,” I informed him, not bothering to tell him I hadn’t sent the telegram to them, yet.
    “What for?” he almost screamed.  “I haven’t done anything.”
    I tapped his cheek again with the Greener.  “You pointed a gun and threatened an innocent citizen.  You are tryin’ to enforce an illegal wanted poster and by pointin’ that gun of yours I could imply it was a threat of murder,” I paused for him to think about it.  “Plus, you have disturbed the peace of this town, and agitated me to no end.  I don’t like that.”
    He snatched the poster back.  “Can’t Keim take care of himself or does he always hide behind yur skirts?”
    Well, that did it.  I raised the Greener to give him a little thump alongside the head.  Nothing to really hurt, but enough to get his attention.  He did right well, for he maintained a sitting position in his chair with the thump.  I did see his hand move toward his pistol.
    “That would not be real bright,” I muttered then smiled.
    By now his eyes blazed bright with hate.  “Shaw, you ought to leave town.  I can’t be around to protect you all the time and,” I turned to look at Keim then back to Shaw, “I think that Keim would easily take care of you.  That is if you dared to face him.”
    He was breathing deeply.  “Can I leave now?” he asked with a snarl.
    “Why surely,” I responded.  Shaw stood up knocking the chair over as he did and started to walk off.  I put the Greener out in front of him barring his retreat.  “Forget somethin’?” I pointed to the chair.
    His jaws tightened, he was not a happy person, but finally he remembered some manners taught by his mother, bless her soul, or maybe it was the 12-gauge shotgun I held but he reached down to pick up the chair scooting it under the table.  I couldn’t make it out but he was muttering something under his breath.
    “Speak up!  Don’t let there be secrets between us.  If’n your makin’ a threat I’d like to know.”
    He didn’t say any more just stalked off.  Just before he got to the door, I hollered, “Shaw, remember my job is to keep the peace and protect the citizens of this town.”  He glanced at me then proceeded out the door.  I turned my attention to Keim.  “That goes for you as well.”
    I went back to my table setting the Greener on the table then picked up my cup of cold coffee.  Leaving it on the table I went to the counter for a new cup and poured a fresh cup.  “Sorry gentlemen,” I said after sitting.  “Part of the job.”
    Reverend Chapman rubbed his chin then spoke, “Well, that was entertaining.  Is that typical?”
    Giving him a glance then over to the Rev. Robinson, who I thought was trying to hide a smile.  I took a sip before answering.  “No, it was done special for the new pastor,” then lifted my cup for a deeper swallow.  “Just count it toward the offering this Sunday.”
    That brought an actual chuckle from Rev. Robinson.  Molly came up to the table at that time.  “What’s so funny?  I just thought I’d see if you gentlemen were ready for your pie…”