The Saga of Miles Forrest

We sat there, sipping coffee when Molly asked, “Miles, what’s wrong?  You’ve been sullen and quiet for a week now.”
“Doc’s right; this is a shooting gallery.  It should be a place to relax, enjoy a meal, a piece of pie and coffee and some laughter and conversation.  I’ve made it a target.”
Placing her hand on my arm.  “We are what we are.  That is something can’t change.”
“We can move,” I ventured.  “I know a place in northeastern New Mexico.  Great land for cattle and horses.  We have Star, we could start a horse ranch, run some cattle.  Move away from this death.”
“That’s not like you,” she said.  “You’re a man to stand up to trouble, not run from it.”
“It’s not me, but those around me, you.  Greta and Hannah have already left.  Smart ladies.  Now, there are others, innocent.  It could happen with the place full; others could be killed.”
“What is it the Lord tells us?  ‘He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?’  Miles, you help bring justice to this land.”
“Maybe, but what about mercy?  A chest-full of lead isn’t showing much mercy.”
“Now stop it right there! exclaimed Molly.  “You continually show mercy.  By bringing down evil and wickedness you keep it from harming others.  You constantly have protected your friends, me.  That is mercy.  You deal out justice, but not because of vengeance or for the sake of killing, but for protecting what is good, and right, and lovely.”
I looked at her and saw that her eyes were glistening.  “Another cup and I’ll be on my way.”
“Way?  Where are you going?”
“There’s still at least three of them out there.  I’m not waitin’ for them to make another attempt.  They’ve tried three times now.  You said ‘justice.’  Well, it is time to take justice to them.  I’ll be gone a week, maybe two.  I don’t plan to get caught up there in the high country with a winter storm.”  There was alarm now in her eyes.  “Don’t fret.  If the weather looks bad, I’ll come on home.”
“Go, and pack your mule.  I’ll get some food together for you for a week.  Any longer than that and you’ll have to hunt.” 
She got up and hustled to the kitchen.  She was upset I could tell, and that gesture told me it was time to get my possibles together.  I would take Hawk, pack the mule and be sure of my ammunition.  I also threw a tarp on the load in case of weather.
By the time I came back to the eatery Molly had composed herself.  She had a couple of sacks of goods for me and waiting on the table was a large piece of pie. 
“I better be seeing you before two weeks is up–understand?  Now finish your pie and get!”
“Molly,” I started.
“You don’t need to explain.  I understand; I just worry.  You need to bring these horrible men to justice and I’ll be here with the coffee ready when you get back.”
I mounted Hawk, tipped my hat and moved out slowly.  The weather was cool, and the nights would be nippy, but no sign of storm other than what might await me when I come upon those scoundrels.