The Saga of Miles Forrest

Lucas was sitting there and sleeping soundly.  The guy had the desire to protect us, but his will just wasn’t strong enough to keep him awake.  Fortunate for all of us, nothing happened.  I picked him up and placed him on the pallet. then I went over and stirred up the coals and stoked the fire.  This was late October and the nights were quite chilly.  I figured while I was up I might as well put on a cup of coffee.
While waiting for the water to boil, I lit the oil lamp and pulled out my Bible.  I had thought much over the years about the amount of evil that there seems to be in the world.  If it is true, like some of those folks back in the East are expounding, that man is basically a good person at heart, then why does it seem that there is more and more evil?  And not just evil, but cruelty and barbarity.  Nah, I’ll stick to what God has spoken, that man is a sinner and needs a Redeemer.
I have heard people cry about showing mercy to those renegades that bring hurt and sorrow upon people.  There is a time for mercy, but I also have had to come to grips with the idea that there must also be justice.  If there is no justice, then mercy becomes an excuse and a meaningless phrase and justice itself becomes a laughingstock.  It made me think of Elias down there in the Territory working for Judge Parker.  Now, there were evil men there.
Looking over at the pallet with Lucas and Molly lying there sleeping, not hearing the sounds of the night, but resting in peaceful slumber.  What will be the future for Lucas’ generation?  If evil is allowed to persist, then what?  From what I see in God’s Word is the fact that men are to help those in need, the less fortunate, and the children.
The sizzling of water boiling over in the pot, brought me back to my senses.  Time to get the coffee boiling and ready to face the day.  As soon as it was light I reckoned I would take a walk in the direction of where Lucas said he saw the man run and get on his horse.  Molly would be getting up soon and heading down to the restaurant.  I’d escort her this morning after our little ordeal last night.
“Miles,” I heard her voice.
“Coffee’s ready,” I replied.  She got up, put on her wrapper, and came to the table.  By now the fire had taken the deep chill out of the room.  I got up and pulled the pot from the fire and poured coffee in the two tin cups we kept by the fireplace.
“Gray-light be approaching pretty soon,” I said.
She reached out and put her hand on my arm.  Amazing, I thought how soothing and comforting little things can be.
“You going to look for him today?” she asked.
“I’ll look around.  Maybe I find some clues.”  I sipped the coffee, it was steaming.
“I need to get ready.  Need to get down to the restaurant and get the stove warmed up.  I want to have some pies made this morning.”
We left Lucas sleeping and headed out while it was still dark.  The town would soon be stirring and Molly liked to have the place warm and going before the sun came up over the mountains.  When we arrived, we found Marta and her mother already at work.
Marta came over to us.  “You both okay?  Lucas told us about the shot.”
“We’re fine.  I left him sleeping.  He stood guard during the night.”
About that time the front door opened.  The first customers of the day…