The Saga of Miles Forrest

I could hear the whack, whack, whack as Queens was attacking Fernando.  Rushing in he turned on me smacking me alongside the neck driving me into the bars of the cell.  Charlie then jumped on his back, Queens roared swinging around trying to loosen him, but Charlie hung on.  After shaking my head, I drove a fist into Queens jaw causing his knees to stagger, then Charlie grabbed him throwing his arm around his neck choking him.  Finally, Queens succumbed and lay still, but not unconscious.
    My attention went to Fernando, who was still trying to cover himself up.  “Easy, boy, easy, I’m not goin’ to hurt you.”
    “Queens!” yelled Charlie, “What in the world are you trying to do?”
    There was no answer forthcoming as he pushed himself off the floor.  He pushed Charlie away and started out the cell.  I moved to my feet and grabbed him spinning him around.  As he was spinning I pushed him into one of the other cells and onto the cot.  With him face down on the cot, I pulled his gun from his holster.
    I moved out of the cell; he jumped up coming at me so I slammed the cell door catching him in the face.  A curse exploded from his mouth, “Forrest, I’ll get you for this!”
    “Lucas, get out in the office!” I ordered and pointed.  Then I glanced at Charlie and nodded toward Fernando.  He stooped to help him up on the cot while I went out to talk with Lucas.
    He was standing there, trembling, eyes wide.  “Okay, son, what went on in there?” I asked softly trying to settle him down.
    Lucas just shook his head.  “I’m not sure,” he said, almost whimpering.  “Fernando asked for a cup of water.  The marshal muttered something about him being a “beaner” but brought a cup.  As he was handing it to Fernando it hit the bars and spilled it on the marshal’s shirt.  That threw him into a rage.”
    He was beginning to settle down so I pulled out a chair.  “Why don’t you sit, and settle yourself.”  Then I half-sat on the corner of the desk.
    “The marshal, he opened the cell door then grabbed me hitting me and throwing me out of the cell.  Then he turned his anger on Fernando.  He had something in his hand, a quirt maybe and started hitting Fernando,” he paused to look up at me.  “That’s when you came in.”
    “Forrest!  Let me out of here!  You can’t hold me like this!  Forrest!” came the voice of Queens bellowing from his cell.  
    Charlie brought Fernando out to the office and tossed a quirt that he had picked up from the floor of the cell to the table where I was sitting.  “I need to take him over to Doc’s office.  Some of those cuts need tending to.”
    I nodded, “Get him tended to, and I’ll meet you at the diner.  I’ll have Lucas with me.  I’m not goin’ to subject him to Queen’s rantin’.”
    “Forrest!  You can’t leave me in here like this!” he ranted as Lucas and I left the office.  “You’ll pay for this!  Forrest!”
    We walked down the street toward the diner, Lucas rubbing the side of his head where Queens hit him.  “Has this happened before?” I asked as we continued down the street.
    “No, but he, what you say, stormed at us, always threatening,” replied Lucas.
    Walking in the entrance Molly saw us immediately.  She knew something must be wrong with Lucas being with me and rushed over.  Of course the first thing she saw was the bruise on the side of his head.  Putting her arm around him she hurried him over to the table.  Lucas sat down as Molly rushed off to the kitchen.  I pulled a cup off the shelf to pour coffee before sitting down.
    Molly had gone to the kitchen and returned with a piece of chocolate pie for Lucas.  I looked at her longingly, but she scarcely even noticed.  “There’s only one piece left, and that’s for Fernando,” she informed me.  
    Lucas had taken a couple of bites while Molly and I set there and watched him before Charlie came in with Fernando followed by Doc Jones.  As they were approaching the table Molly stood then went to the kitchen for Fernando’s pie.  Doc came straight to Lucas.
    “Put down that pie, I want to check the side of your head,” he stated brusquely.  
    I watched him, then had to ask.  “How does lookin’ in his eyes help you check the side of his head?”
    Doc gave me a glance then went back to his examination.  He gave a short grunt then looked at me.  “How about a cup of coffee?”  Then he asked Lucas if he was dizzy.
    Lucas shook his head, “Is it okay to eat my pie now, Senor Doc?” he asked.
    Scratching his chin, then he pulled at his eyebrow, then with a wink, “Go ahead, eat your pie.”  Sitting down he took a sip of coffee then turned his attention toward me.  “Something has to be done with that man strutting around as town marshal,” he snapped.  “Using a quirt like that he could have put the boy’s eye out.  As it was he cut him some.”
    Molly returned with Fernando’s piece of pie and Doc looked at it with hungry eyes.  She looked at him, then over at me, then up to Charlie.  “I suppose you all want a piece now?  Well, I have apple, buttermilk, and butterscotch left.  You first, Doc.”
    We gave our orders with a smile; Marta had come over to check on her brother then looked at me with concern.  “He’s not in any more trouble is he?”
    I started to answer when Charlie interrupted to informed me.  “I thought you might be interested that when I brought Fernando into the diner I saw Stanley Offut rushing down toward the jail.”
    Bringing the piece of the butterscotch pie to my mouth, I smiled…