The Saga of Miles Forrest

Thursday, Molly and Marta were planning a going-away party for the Rev. Robinson and his wife Lucy and also to introduce the new preacher.  Sunday would be his first official service.  Things had settled down since the little confrontation in the diner.  Of course, most of the time Keim would be working out at Thompson’s ranch, and Shaw was keeping a low profile.  
    On my way to the telegraph office, I saw the two reverends and Clyde Hoffner walking the streets.  Reverend Robinson was still taking his successor around to meet the people of the town.  I happened to talk some with Mateo and he mentioned that he was well-received in the Mexican section of town.  I’m sure that will not make the priest happy.
    There was a telegram waiting for me from Marshal Blasco.  He said that Keim is not wanted for anything in the State of Kansas.  He said a deputy would be making a call on the Langfords since they were the ones that issued the poster.  I had to chuckle a little as he ended the telegram, “I’m still alive and doing well.”  I reckon that was a jab a me for not checking on him.  I had left him recuperating after our episode in Raton.
    Solly Vendor was standing outside his cigar store when I came out of the telegraph office.  I liked Solly but I couldn’t abide the smell from his ol’ stogies.  He was a jolly sort, always ready to help out if there was a problem in the town, and behind the scenes I knew that he helped those who fell in need.
    “Miles, got a new batch of plug tobacco in just yesterday.  Want me to cut you off a chew?  On the house,” he said soberly, then gave me a slap on the shoulder.  “I heard about the commotion down at the diner.  What’s with this ranch foreman?”
    “Let me tell you, Sol.  The wanted poster is bogus.  I just received a wire from Marshal Blasco informin’ me of its invalidity.”
    “How so?”
    “I don’t know the story yet, but it seems a bitter family in Kansas put it out on their own.  The marshal’s office in Kansas is checkin’ it out,” I informed Solly.
    From up the street came Charlie Gold, marching in my direction.  “Looks like he’s on a mission,” remarked Vendor.
    He was, and it included me.  “Solly,” he said in greeting.  “Miles, get your gear together.  You’re going with me to Silverton.  There is a large shipment of bullion coming out and I need you to help me guard it.”
    “What about the mine guards?” I asked.  I think I was becoming domesticated for I didn’t enjoy the getting out and going like I used to.
    “It’s a large shipment from several of the mines.  Their guards will take it to the Wells Fargo office; that’s when they, along with us will take over.”
    Stan Offut rushed out of the telegraph office bumping into me.  “Oh, good, Marshal, this just now came in for you,” he said handing me a telegram.
    It was from Marshal Blasco, “Shipment from Silverton–STOP–You are to guard as far as Kansas City–STOP  J. Blasco.”
    Charlie looked at me and I gave a big sigh.  “When do we leave, Sheriff?”
    He reached for the telegram, read it, then gave me a slap on the shoulder.  “Next train goes out in two hours.  I’ll get the tickets while you’re getting ready.  I’ll meet you back at the diner in an hour.”
    “If you see Mateo, tell him to come to the diner,” I hollered as he walked back up the street.
    Stan and Solly were standing there looking at me.  “How’s this Mateo working out?” asked Solly.
    There was no animosity in his question but I turned to look at him.  “Sol, why don’t you tell me?”
    That brought a smile to his face.  “If you can keep him alive, I think he’ll be a good one.”
    Offut was quiet, so I turned to him.  “Uh, I have no problems,” he muttered stepping back to go back to his office.
    Two hours later Charlie and I were on the train heading up to Silverton.  We had said our goodbyes to Molly and Marta who had fixed us some nice ham sandwiches to take with us.  “We should be back tomorrow afternoon,” I informed Molly.
    She looked at me, “When will you have to leave for Kansas City?  I want you here for the party on Thursday.”
    All I could do was shrug and say, “I don’t have a schedule yet.  I should get it from Wells Fargo when I get to Silverton.  They should have all of the transfer and travel times.”
    I had seen Upton Shaw sitting at a table, but I didn’t know how intently he was listening in on our conversation…