The Saga of Miles Forrest

It was a good, quick, successful hunt. I was able to bag a couple of deer and three nice-sized elk. There was more to be had, but I only had two mules along with me; I couldn’t have taken more meat out and I sure wasn’t one to be wasteful.
Heading back into Durango I went straight off to Miguel’s. He was a man that did much of our butchering. I didn’t have the time to take care of this. He said he would get one of each butchered up today and down to the eatery. He would put the rest in his ice cave. He dug out a small cave on the side of the hill and every winter he cuts ice from the Animas and stores it in the cave. It keeps most of every summer; meat doesn’t spoil easily. He said he’d bring down a couple of hams he had in the smokehouse that were ready.
After making my delivery to Miguel I went on down to see Molly. I had a hankerin’ for some coffee and hopefully a piece of pie. Since it was afternoon there was only one customer there and he was just lingering over his cup of coffee. I walked on back to the kitchen, and there she was. Her back was to me and she was brushing flour off her hands, most of it on her apron. Marta saw me, and I put a finger to my lips to hush her as I snuck up on Molly.
I put my arms around her and she let out a yelp and knocked what she was working on all over the kitchen floor.  Grabbing for her knife she turned and saw me. “Miles Forrest! Don’t you ever do that again!” Then she paused and looked at the mess on the floor. “There’s your pie, mister; all over the floor and it was the last of the dried peaches.”
“Molly,” I whimpered.
“Now, don’t you go giving me that ‘poor me’ look.”
I held open my arms and with a sigh she came to me and I enclosed her in them. “You’re smiling, aren’t you?” I just held her.
“Okay, okay, go have a seat; pour a cup of coffee, and after Marta and I clean this up I come out. There are a couple of letters for you; one I left on the table.”
I had just set the Greener over the arms of the chair next to me and finished pouring a cup. Picking up the note I saw a quarter under it. Molly had just come in with a bowl of stew. “Did you notice the money under the note?” I asked.
“I hadn’t noticed that note until now,” she said perplexed.
Opening it I began to read. “You were a good friend and I’ll not have you chasing me. Don’t worry about Wray anymore. I needed a horse so I purchased Two-Bits. Tell Molly I’ll miss her pies.” It was unsigned. I just looked at Molly.
“Here are the two other letters,” and she handed them to me.
I opened the one from Wells Fargo. “There was a murder on the train to Denver. Judge Wray was killed and a grotesque way. It seemed he was in a vacant car and was found tied to one of the seats. His left eye was gouged out and he was missing an ear. Death came from a throat slit from ear to ear. Investigate as soon as you get back.”
Passing the note to Molly I opened the other. It was from Dave Cook. It read, “There was an altercation up at Virginia Dale. Our mutual friend is alright, but he said to pass on to you that he shot a man called Ferguson in the hip. He was not able to apprehend him. Come to Denver and work for me again; bring Molly – she would like it. I’ll help Wells Fargo get you transferred to the Front Range.”
I passed that note to Molly as well. As she read it I fingered the quarter. Placing it on the table I took another sip of coffee. Molly looked at me with sad eyes. I nodded, “Trenton.”