The Saga of Miles Forrest

I had been to see Mateo everyday since I had arrived back home.  Since Charlie had been over in Telluride dealing with an incident I would stop to see Mateo on my daily and nightly rounds.  He was just now getting up and trying crutches.  Doc Jones told him that it would be a slow process healing and that he would never walk normal again.
    Luciana was holding up well and the two boys were helping out at home as they should be.  Ever since Mateo had become my deputy they had taken on more of the house chores, the chopping of wood and such, that Mateo normally would have done.  I had a talk with Judge Klaser about the city council firing Mateo after he was shot.  He said there wasn’t much that could be done, but he gave a wry smile.  
    The morning after I got back I stormed in to see Foster.  I jumped all over him and would have chewed on him good if Darnelle hadn’t been in the shop.  There were other customers and I wanted them to hear what I was saying.  It seemed that Foster just stuck his fingers in his ears and wouldn’t listen.  I told him I had a mind to resign leaving the town unprotected and wondered how Elizabeth would take it when the bums and thugs began to have their own way with the town.
    As I was leaving I heard Darnelle take over where I left off.  She did the chewing.  I heard her exclaim, “Uncle, how could you do such a thing to Mr. Ramirez?  Especially after he was shot trying to put an end to a gunfight!”  From there I took my rampage over to John Newsome.
    I wasn’t able to attend the Sunday service, but Molly told me that the new preacher, Rev. Chapman, preached on the Good Samaritan and how it was the responsibility of the people to help others when they are down and out, not to throw them in the dump.  She said that his eyes were on Foster and Newsome.  This past Monday I found out that a lawyer came to see Foster and said that he was going to enjoy the opportunity to bring the lawsuit against him on behalf of Mateo.  From what Darnelle told me later, Wilson’s eyes got wide and his cheeks bulged with anger but also fright.  Especially when he reminded Foster that there was an election coming up in a month.
    Doc was sitting with me in the diner having our usual morning coffee.  From what Marta understood, Charlie was to be back on Saturday.  That would free me up some to go looking for Upton Shaw.  I had a score to settle with him.
    “Let me go over this one more time,” I said referring to the gunfight.  “Keim and another cowpoke from the ranch were comin’ out of Solly’s store when Shaw fired from over in the park.”
    “I didn’t see it, but I heard the shots and ran out of my office,” stated Doc.  “I saw Keim holding his side and the cowhand by the name of MacLean holding his arm.  My attention went to Shaw who fired another shot hitting Keim, knocking him down.  That’s when Mateo came running from around the corner hollering for Shaw to drop his gun.”
    “Was that when Mateo was shot?”
    “You got it.  Upon hearing Mateo, he turned to fire at him, hitting him in the leg.  Mateo fell, but was able to get off a shot hitting Shaw who then limped off into the park,” Doc informed me.
    “No one went after Shaw?” I asked, finally taking a sip of my coffee.
    Doc shook his head, “Mateo was down, Charlie was out of town, and you were on a train somewhere.”
    “You know Shaw was hit?” I questioned.
    “There was no doubt about it, but I don’t know how bad.  Since he was limping my guess it was in the leg or thigh.”
    I had heard this from Doc before, some from Molly and Marta as they stepped out from the diner after the first shots were fired.  When they saw Mateo fall they rushed to his aid.  The story was pretty much the same from Mateo, although he didn’t see the first shots fired.  Solly confirmed most of what Doc said as did others I’d talked with.
    “Where do you think Shaw went?” I asked Doc who had just requested a piece of pie.
    “When I catch up with him, he’ll have plenty of charges against him, and a long time in prison to contemplate his actions,” I responded.
    “Remember, vengeance is the Lord’s,” uttered Doc, cutting a piece of pie with his fork.  I looked at it–apricot.
    “Don’t worry, I don’t want to kill him, and I won’t unless absolutely necessary.  He is used to doing things his own way, going his own way, having freedom to move around.  My thinkin’ is that prison would be the greater punishment,” I replied.  Then I hollered, “Molly, I’ll take a piece of that pie.”