The Saga of Miles Forrest

It was late evening when the train pulled into the Durango station.  There was a problem with one of the cars and it had to be detached.  The problem was that there were few places along the way where the car could be taken off and left.  I didn’t figure there would be anyone at the station waiting for me since it hadn’t arrived on time.  
    I was wrong.  As I stepped off the train I saw Lucas sitting on a bench.  Upon seeing me he hopped up, waved at me, and ran off.  The diner would still be open, and that was the direction he was headed.  
    I was ready to leave the station platform when I noticed Mrs. Blackstone with her son, Connor, standing there amidst their luggage.  They were looking around as if they expected someone to be there to meet them so I went over to see if I could help.
    Doffing my hat I approached them, “Were you to be met?”
    Receiving a small smile, she replied, “Yes, my husband was supposed to meet us here.  I don’t see him anywhere.”
    Her voice carried with it some worry so I tried to console her.  “Well, the train was quite late comin’ in.  He’s probably around somewhere and will show up.”
    Since I had met her I had been racking my brain trying to recall a Blackstone.  I was almost sure there wasn’t one in Durango.  Perhaps he was in Silverton, Telluride, or one of the smaller camps.  Looking at their attire I didn’t think he’d be one of those poor down-and-out miners.  He was supposed to be a rancher, but perhaps he took to mining and fell down on his luck.
    By the time I was ready to head off, Molly had come up with Lucas.  She gave me a big hug.  “What took you so long?”
    After giving her a kiss I pointed to the engine, “Trouble with one of the cars.”
    “When the train didn’t show up on time, I started praying,” she said then hesitated pointing. “Who is the woman and boy?” she asked as she had seen me talking with her.
    Taking her by the arm we moved toward Mrs. Blackstone.  “Excuse me, ma’am.  I’d like for you to meet my wife.  Molly, this is Mrs. Blackstone and her son Connor.”
    Molly reached out her hand, “Glad to meet you,” then she pulled Lucas to her.  “And this is Lucas.”
    I saw the eyebrows of Mrs. Blackstone raise, “Is Lucas your son?”
    That brought a chuckle from Molly.  “Oh no, he’s the brother of my partner in the restaurant business.”  Then she pulled him close for a hug.  “But I’d sure claim him in a minute!”
    “Oh, uh, call me Jessie,” blurted Mrs. Blackstone, gaining her composure.  “My husband was supposed to meet me here, but I suppose since the train’s late that he’s off somewhere.”
    Molly gave me a questioning look, then turned her attention back to the woman.  “I imagine you’re starved.  Why don’t you come down to the diner and we’ll fix you up with a good meal.”  She looked over at Connor.  “Do you like pie?  Chocolate pie?”
    His eyes lit up and he turned his face to his mother.
    “Sure, come on.  Why, your husband might even be in the diner,” I said taking Molly by the hand and leading her away.  “Your luggage will be safe.”
    As we were walking toward the diner, I asked, “How’s Mateo?”
    “He’s doing all right,” she replied but without conviction.
    Stopping, I looked at her.  “Lucas, why don’t you take Connor and his mother on down to the diner?  We’ll be along shortly.”
    Looking Molly straight in the eye I asked again.  “How’s Mateo?”
    Tears filled her eyes.  “He was shot in the knee.  Doc had to do surgery to remove several bone chips.  He’ll be laid up for a while and will always have a limp.”
    “How’s Luciana and the boys takin’ it?”
    “They were scared, still are,” she paused, hesitating.
    “What?” I questioned.
    “The city council fired him!” she replied emphatically.  “They won’t pay for Doc’s services, nor pay Mateo while he is convalescing.  I’ll let Doc tell you more about it, but he was shot by that bounty hunter, Shaw.”
    Taking her hand, I didn’t say anything as we started walking again.  Just before stepping on the boardwalk in front of the diner I stopped her.  “Do you recall anyone by the name of Blackstone?”
    She looked at me, pursed her lips, shaking her head…