I pressed myself hard to the side of the adobe wall. “Lucas! It’s Marshal Forrest. Don’t shoot!” I hollered. “Lucas!”
“Si, I hear you, Senor Marshal. Eets all right, come in,” came his reply.”
Before I entered I noticed drops of blood at the threshold of the door. I didn’t rush in, but hesitated and peeked inside the entrance. I saw Lucas, standing along the frame of the doorway to the inner office holding the left side of his face. Blood was dripping. There was a rifle in his other hand.
There were some now gathering outside the jail. I grabbed a man. “Go get Doc Jones!” I ordered then pushed him toward the street.
Upon entering I saw the chair that was normally behind the front desk was knocked over and from what I could tell standing there, a bullet had smashed into it. Lucas, started toward me. “Go back inside the office and sit down!” I commanded. He turned and I followed him. Passing the frame I saw where a bullet had hit it and splinters were sticking from it.
“Sit on the desk and take your hand away and let me see how bad you’re bleeding.”
“No, don’t touch it,” he whined.
“I’m not goin’ to touch it. I just want to have a looksee,” I assured him. When he removed his hand, I told him to look at me. “Can you see me?” I saw that he had some splinters from the door frame embedded in the side of his face, and I was concerned about his eyes.
“Si, Senor Miles, the bullet hit the frame where I was standing. I think it throw my aim off as I fired the at same time the bullet splattered on the frame. It knocked me to the side.”
“You didn’t miss him, but he was able to drag himself out of here and get away. As soon as Doc Jones gets here, I’ll be on my way to catch him.”
Doc Jones and Marta arrived at the same time. They both started hollering at the same time, and I couldn’t make sense of either. My ears did catch the words of Marta. “Lucas, you’re bleeding! I knew I shouldn’t have let you work here.” The main reason I paid attention to her was the glare I received after she looked at Lucas.
He tried to shrug her away, but she wouldn’t let go until Doc pulled her from him. “Here, the two of you let me look at,” he hesitated, for he almost said boy, “this young man.”
Doc took a piece of white cloth from his bag and handed it to Marta. “Could you wet this please?”
“Water in the basin in the outer office,” I interjected.
She returned in a few seconds giving the cloth to Doc. “Just going to wipe the blood from your face so I can get a better look. You just hold still.”
“It sorta hurts, Senor Doc,” came the response from Lucas.
He gave a grunt, placing the cloth on the table and pulled out some tweezers from his bag. “Well, Lucas, it’s going to hurt just a little bit longer. You grab hold of the edge of that desk while I pull these splinters out. There’s a couple of big ones, and a few smaller ones.”
Doc jerked, and Lucas let out a yelp. “That’s one of the big ones, now for the other,” Doc said to no one in particular. Then I saw him touch the largest of the splinters with his tweezers and looking Lucas in the eyes which were wide in anticipation. Doc jerked again, pulling the splinter, but this time there was not a sound from Lucas.
Picking up the wet cloth he dabbed at the blood on the cheek cleaning it again. “The rest won’t be so bad. It’ll take me only a minute or so.”
Marta was standing close to Lucas, in fact it seemed that she kept moving closer. Doc stopped his work, then turned to her. “Marta, please! Give me some room. Your brother’s all right.”
“Hmmm, hmmm,” came the sound from Doc then he scratched the side of his face next to his ear. “Lucas, there’s one deeply embedded and I’m going to have to cut it out. I can’t grab it to pull it out. It’ll only take a second.”
He reached inside his bag bringing out a razor. “Grab the desk,” and then he used the blade to slightly cut the face of Lucas, bringing forth more blood. Quickly Doc placed the razor down, picked up the tweezer and pulled out the last splinter. He used the wet cloth to wipe his face again then told Lucas to hold the cloth tightly against his face. Doc then reached inside his bag bringing out two bottles and after looking at both of them, he chose a small, brown bottle.
“Let me have the cloth,” he ordered. He poured a small amount of brown liquid, iodine, on the rag and then rubbed the wounds on Lucas’ face.
“Yeoww, that burns!”
Another grunt from Doc, “Quit being a baby, you’re embarrassing me.” Then he chuckled. “You’re good to go, Just keep that cloth on your face until the bleeding stops,” he instructed then slapped Lucas on the leg.
Purposely, I think, Doc got in the way of Marta who wanted to hug the boy giving me time to step in. “Lucas, tell me what happened.”
“I was standing by the wall, over there where we keep the posters and this man came in. Senor Miles, it was the man from the trail. He said something, like, ‘you’re the reason my nephew is dead, now it’s your turn’. He drew his gun and I kicked the chair. It gave me the chance to get in the office for he shot at the chair, then fired at me, hitting the door frame. By that time, I had my rifle, I had laid it on the desk, and fired back at him,” he paused and waited a moment before continuing. “I was stunned, I prayed that he wouldn’t come inside the room, then I heard you holler.”
I didn’t look at Marta. “You did a good job Lucas. He won’t get far.”
Nodding at Doc, I moved out of the room to allow Marta to smother Lucas. I headed on up to saddle Star…