The Saga of Miles Forrest

Well, Marshal Forrest,” came the cry from across the store.  “I was wondering if you would ever come in here again.”  Darnelle started for me, and after giving me a hug, she continued.  “I hear that you’re going to be city marshal on a permanent basis.”
    I laughed a little, “So that’s what you hear?  What else do you hear?”
    She gave a wry smile before answering, “I know that Stanley Offut wants you, and so does Mr. Parker,” then with a giggle she added, “and we all know that Mr. Newsome, bless his soul, will vote with the majority.”
    “I stopped by to see how Wilson was doin’.  What does he think about all this, or has he been able to say anything?”
    The smile fell from her face.  “Uncle is doing some better.  He can shuffle around the room if he has something to hold onto.  He did manage to mumble out some sounds, ‘Not Que’ and that was all I could make of it.”
    I pulled on the end of my moustache.  I always liked Wilson Foster.  Sure he would get on my nerves now and again, but overall he was a reputable man.  “Give him my best,” I said before leaving, “I mean that.”
    The small smile came back, “I know you do.  Where are you headed?”
    Giving a short grunt I said, “Time for the showdown.  Meeting with Judge Klaus, the council, and Queens.  I pray that it goes smoothly.”
    As I came to the entrance I heard her say behind me, “Don’t be such a stranger…please.”
    Without turning I gave a little wave then went on out to the boardwalk.  I stood for a moment looking up and down the street.  It was then I noticed Skinny Green leaning against a post.  “Skinny!  What are you doggin’ me for?”
    He seems startled, then straightened up, at least as much as I’ve ever seen Skinny straighten.  “I’m a detective,” he boasted.
    I took a couple of steps toward him, causing him to step down off the boardwalk into the muddy street.  “Detective, huh?  Tell me about it.”
    Scratching the top of his head, then wiping his hand down his face he answered.  “Man said he’d give me five dollars if I’d follow you.”
    “That so, what man?” I inquired.  “Why did he want you to follow me?”
    With a shrug of his shoulders, he simply replied, “Don’t know.  Just told me to follow you.”
    “Well, this is as far as you follow me,” I declared.  “I have a meeting in the courthouse with the Judge, that is, unless you want to see the Judge.”
    “No, no, that’s fine,” he stated, but a frown came on his face.  “I hope the man pays me.”
    “Skinny, when were you supposed to meet this man?”
    He shrugged again, “Don’t know, he said he’d find me.”
    “Get on then,” I barked, the stepped off the boardwalk to head to the courthouse.
    When I got there Stan Offut was the only one there with Judge Klaser.  After I greeted them, Offut handed me a telegram.  It was from Marshal Blasco in Denver.  “Deputy will arrive for prisoner.”  He was always short with his telegrams.  He didn’t say when, and I had to assume it was Sam Smith he was referring to.
    Newsome came in next with Mike Queens by his side.  I thought that a mite strange.  A few minutes later Paul Parker arrived.  “Gentlemen, you may all be seated,” stated the Judge.  “Let’s get this meeting started as I have to work on tomorrow’s docket.  Mister Newsome, since you’re the new head of the council go ahead.”
    “Uh, well, there’s been some discussion with Mr. Queens since I last talked with Marshal Forrest.  He’s, uh, well, agreed to a compromise.  Mateo Ramirez can stay on as deputy.”
    That caught my attention as well as the Judges.  “So then, what is your vote, Mr. Newsome?”
    He was fidgety, but blurted out, “Mike Queens!”
    “Newsome!  Perhaps you don’t remember what happened with McCall as marshal,” I challenged.  I really didn’t care if I was marshal or not, but I didn’t want to see the citizens of the town harassed by a hardcase wearing a badge.
    “What are you insinuating?” snarled Queens.
    I stared at him.  “Queens, I know your kind!”
    “See what I mean?” blurted out Newsome.  “This is what we get from Marshal Forrest.  He’s brutal…a, a beast!”
    I looked at the other two councilmen.  I knew both men well, but they were new to the council, and Offut was only filling out the term of Foster.
    “Since, I’m voting for Mr. Foster, I assume he would go along with Newsome,” piped up Offut.
    My attention went to Queens when Judge Klaser asked Parker, who bluntly stated that he would vote for me.  Queens eyes widened briefly, the narrowed glaring at Parker.
    Shaking my head, I stood.  “Guess that settles it.”  
    I started to walk out but upon passing by Queens he grabbed my arm.  “I’ll settle with you later,” he promised with a sneer.
    “Let go, or you’ll never use that hand again!” I ordered.
    He released my arm and I continued on my way out the door.  Queens jumped up, “Tough guy, I’ll make sure I settle with you…”