The Saga of Miles Forrest

I’ll give that bunch this much; they stayed and finished their dinner, now almost ignoring me completely.  They even ordered one of Molly’s pies, so I knew they were not stupid.  Fools maybe, for they had chosen the wrong path in life, but stupid, no.
There were no any more customers and Molly asked, “Are they here to start trouble?”
“Well, it’s no coincidence that they’re here, but I don’t think they’ll cause any trouble.  At least not now, not here.”
I reached for the coffee to help wash down the pie.  “Marta, come here a minute.”  She hustled herself over.
“Bring your mother by, I’d like to talk with her about working here as well.”  I got up and walked to the kitchen and looked by the stove.  Then I went out the backdoor and glanced at the woodpile.  Brrr, I didn’t notice it, but the evening chill was getting colder.  October was surely beginning to set in, or maybe my bones were just getting a little older.
“Molly pour me another cup please.”  I looked at Marta.  “Do you have a brother or know a boy who’d like to make a few dollars?”
“Si, Senor, mi hermano, my brother.”
“Bring him along.”
Molly and I sat there watching Marta clean up the tables.  Winter would be upon us before we knew it, and I needed to get the shack made more into a house before then.  There were not many men around who needed work, most were working their own claims, looking for gold, or working for one of the larger mines.
The next day I went on down to the office at Wells Fargo.  I went back and talked with Foster about the ore being shipped to Denver.  “There’ll be plenty of gold on that train.  I’d put an extra guard or two this time.  It might be the last major load sent out until spring.  If the snow hits early we might get one this size.”
He nodded.  “Want to go along?”
“Let me give it some thought,”  I paused.  “You know the gang that we confronted from Telluride is in town.”  He looked startled.
“Make sure those two guards from Telluride don’t go with the ore.  Or, maybe… .”
“Miles, you have something on your mind?  Get it out.”
“What if we hire them as the extra guards?  I’ll ride the train as well.  We’ll have the car all loaded, but it will be fake.  The next train will carry the real stuff.”
“Not a bad idea.”
“Keep Wilson here for the shipment.  Say he got sick or something.  Then put the two new guards on the train with Dawson.  Don’t let anyone know what is happening except Wilson and Dawson; they can be trusted.  I figure they’ll attack before Pagosa.  Either way, I’ll get off and wait for the other train and ride on in to Pueblo with it.  You can have a couple of guards waitin’ there to escort it in to Denver.”
As I walked out of the office I noticed a man slouched against the railing across the street.  He was one of the men who was at the Eatery.  I walked down to the station, and then decided to saunter over to the marshal’s office.  I wanted to look at some posters.  The leader was not registering in my mind and I wanted to see if there were any new posters.  If there was the marshal could go and arrest him now.
He always had the coffee on, and as soon as I entered he offered me a cup.  There was a real host.  We made some small talk and I told him about the crew in town and asked for the posters.  After twenty minutes or so I came up with nothing.  I started to leave.  “Say, you know of anyone who knows how to use a saw and hammer?”
Again the negative answer.  “Well, contact me if you do.  I need to get the house in shape.”
We had kinda been the cause for a quiet laugh or smirk from several in town.  Molly was doing fine with the restaurant, not getting rich but doing all right, and I made decent money with Wells Fargo, and got a reward once in a while for bringing in some outlaw.  Yet, we lived in a ramshackle place.  I surely needed to do something about that.
I made my way back to the eatery and as I walked in the door… .