The Saga of Miles Forrest

I went into the office that the marshal and sheriff shared.  There were two desks in the front, one for the town marshal and one for a deputy, the sheriff has a small office to himself.  I started to Charlie’s office and when I entered Queens was behind Charlie’s desk with feet propped up on it.
    “What do you want?” Queens snarled.
    “You mind movin’ from Charlie’s desk?  I need to look at his posters,” I said, not in a mood to argue.
    He made no movement to move, but sat there with a smirk on his face, daring me.  “You have no right to anything on this desk, or in this office either!”
    “Queens, you may have forgotten that I am a Deputy U.S. Marshal, that gives me the right.  Now do you want to move or are you goin’ to force me to thump you?” I challenged moving my fingers for a better grip on the Greener.
    He saw my hand moving, then looked up at me.  “You and the sheriff think you own this town.  That’s going to come to an end.”  He still hadn’t moved.
    “Where’s Mateo?
    That brought a chuckle from him.  “That Mex, ha, he don’t work here no more.”
    He was expecting something from the hand that held the shotgun, but I reached out grabbing the heel of his boot and flipped him over.  Sprawled out on the floor, he cursed, then went for his gun.  I poked him in the chest with the Greener.  “Wouldn’t be a smart move, Queens.  Now get up and get out!”
    He struggled to get up, but the only thing that was hurt was his pride, and I’m not sure what kind of pride he had.  So far, I hadn’t heard anything from any of the merchants in town.  I knew he was cozy with Frank Kingston, owner of the Ghost Diggings Saloon.  It was not as upscale as the Broken Drum, frequented mainly by out of work miners.  
    When he left I started going through Charlie’s file of wanted posters looking for someone that might fit the description of Nevada Bill.  Thompson was an honest rancher, but hard at times.  He normally was careful about whom he hired, but he wasn’t afraid to give a chance to a puncher riding the line.  However, since the shooting of Keim, there seemed to be at least one around him that carried the air of a gunman.
    There was nothing to be found.  AS I left the office I looked down the street toward the Mexican section of town.  I should go talk with Mateo.  Something had to have happened to make him quit for I knew he needed the job and the money and the council promised that he could remain deputy.
    I started walking in that direction and bumped into Rev. Chapman coming out of Foster’s Mercantile, which housed the post office, with packages in his hand.  “Sorry, Parson, I wasn’t payin’ attention.”
    He seemed to be a perpetual smile, “No problem.  Just received some books in the mail and while I was there thought I’d pick up something for Betty.”
    A surge of guilt passed through me.  It’s been a while since I got something for Molly.  I always do when I have to go out of town, but nothing since Christmas.  
    “Where are you heading, Miles?” he inquired tightening the collar of his jacket as a cool breeze had come up.  It had warmed up so everything was melting, that making a mess of the streets as they were filled with mud.
    “Goin’ to check on Mateo.  I just heard that he was no longer a deputy.”
    A puzzled look formed on the preacher’s face.  “Mind if I keep you company?”
    We were ready to cross the street when a shot was fired, followed quickly by another.  Both the parson and I turned around suddenly.  “That sounded like it may have come from the saloon!” he exclaimed.
    “You stay here, Parson,” I ordered as I ran toward the saloon.
    Upon entering my attention went to a cowboy lying on the floor, Mike Queens was standing over him.  I grabbed a man standing by the door, “Go get Doc Jones!”
    “No need, get the undertaker,” laughed Queens who had his hands clasping the edge of his frock coat.  He then targeted his words to a group of punchers, “Anyone else want to call me a liar?”
    “What happened here?” I asked.
    Queens sneered, “None of your business, Deputy U.S. Marshal, out of your jurisdiction.  This was town business…”