The Saga of Miles Forrest

Well, Mr. Newsome, what brings you out in this weather?” inquired Molly.  “I hope that Jewelene is not ailing.”
    “No, no, I just need to talk with Marshal Forrest,” came a nervous reply.
    “John, sit down, I get you some coffee,” I said as I stood to get a cup from the shelf.
    “Uh, Marshal…”
    “Sit down, John,” I said invitingly, while Rev. Chapman pulled up a chair for him.  “After all these years, don’t you think it’s time to call me Miles.”
    Putting the cup in front of him, I looked at the door again, expecting Wilson Foster to walk through.  I gave my head a slight shake then sat myself down.  “What can I do for you?”
    He had both hands on the cup tapping his fingers on it.  I don’t know if he was warming them, or it was being nervous.  “Well, uh, Marshal, uh, Miles, I really should speak in private, after all it is city business.”
    “John, all of these folks are citizens of Durango.  Go ahead, I’d probably tell them anyway,” I responded.  He glanced at Rev. Chapman.  “Do you know the new preacher?”
    “Uh, Mrs. Newsome and I go to the other church in town, but, uh, yes, he came by the store to introduce himself,” he said before taking a sip of coffee.  He grimaced.
    Marta jumped to her feet.  “I’ll get some honey.  And, Mr. Newsome would you like cream?”
    He gave a nervous smile, “Yes, please.”
    “Uh, Marshal…”
    “Spit it out, John.  What do you want?
    “I know that next Tuesday is to be your last day as marshal in Durango.  I,” he paused while Marta handed him the honey and cream.  “I for want have appreciated your services.  As you know, Paul Parker, the undertaker was elected to the council, and in a meeting with Judge Klaser and Mr. Parker, we selected Stan Offut, he ran against Parker, you might remember, to replace Wilson in his illness.”
    He had everyone’s attention.  Perhaps that was making him more nervous.  “Well, we only had one name, one person who was interested in the position of town marshal.”
    “And who might that be?” asked Doc in his normal, gruff manner.
    Newsome took a long swallow.  “Mike Queens.”
    “Queens!” Doc exclaimed.
    Molly spoke up, “Mister Newsome, are you sure you want Mike Queens to be town marshal?”  She looked at me, “Miles, what do you know about him?”
    “I know he’s a hardcase.  Spends most of his time in Silverton.  I’ve heard reports of him traveling to Taos and stirrin’ up trouble there.  Are you sure you want Queens?”
    Newsome was fiddling with his cup again.  “You want another cup, Mr. Newsome?” asked Marta politely.
    “No, no, thank you.  That’s why I’m here, Marshal.  I, we, the council would like for you to remain as marshal.”
    I took a sip of my coffee then wiped the droplets off my moustache with the back of my hand for which I received a slight frown from Molly.  I pulled on each end of my moustache before answering.  “You are sayin’ that you want me to remain as marshal?  Am I right?”
    He nodded, “Yes, you see Queens won’t work with a Mexican, and our arrangement with you and Judge Klaser over Ramirez because of his injury was that he would remain deputy.”
    “So, are you tellin’ me that the only reason you want me is to fulfill your obligation to Mateo and the orders of the court?”
    “Bah,” came a grunt from Doc.
    I looked at the others at the table, and found them all looking at me.  I twisted the left side of my moustache again as I pondered what was before me.  “Tell you what, John.  I’ll take the job providing that I receive full pay and that Mateo Ramirez does as well.”
    He swallowed hard, and now was wiping his face with his hand.  “Well, well, I, uh….”