The Saga of Miles Forrest

There was something funny about the one-eyed man.  Walking over to him I could see that he had long, shaggy hair that flopped out over his coat.  His hat was pulled down over one side.  Could he be hiding something?
As I stood behind him I spoke, “Trenton.”  He moved just a mite when I spoke the name and then slowly turned in his chair.
“You speaking to me?” he asked in a snarl.
“Mind if I sit?” I was relieved it wasn’t Trenton.
“Suit yourself,” again the snarl.  Was he trying to act tough for my benefit?
I pulled out a chair and sat down.  “You got a name?”  I asked.  It was not normally considered polite to ask a person his name, but I was not in a polite mood and this was official business.
“Depends on who’s asking!”
“How’s ’bout Deputy U.S. Marshal Miles Forrest,” I said with a little snap to my reply.
That brought a little smile to the edge of his mouth.  “Wilmore, Jacob Wilmore.  That suit you?”
“Does for now.  I’m looking for a one-eyed man; sorta fits your description.”  I laid the Greener on the table, pointed at him, and cocked it.  That brought a rise to his eyebrows and I was certain now I had his full attention.  “Do you happen to remember where you were two weekends ago?”
He smiled, “Right here or down at the livery.  I do odd errands for the folks about,” he paused.  “Mind telling me why you’re asking?”
I uncocked the Greener, but held onto it.  “Seems as if there was a killin’ on the train from Durango to Denver.  There weren’t no witnesses, but for some reason there is suspicion that a one-eyed man was the perpetrator.”
A scowl came on his face.  “Why’s that?”
“The dead man had his eye cut out, plus an ear cut off,” I stopped and looked him in the eye.  “Take off the patch!”
“Now there’s no need…”
“Take it off yourself, or I’ll lay this shotgun alongside your head and take it off myself!”
He smiled again and reached up to take his hat off.  I cocked the Greener. 
“You’re a careful one, ain’t you?  I have to take off my hat to slip off the patch.”
“Figured so,” I said.  “That other eye of yours never wanted to focus on me.  Now tell me, why the patch?”
“‘Bout a week and a half ago, this man with one-eye, tall, slim gent, came up to me and asked if I wanted to make $50.  Now, marshal, that’s almost two months pay, so I asked him what I needed to do.  He handed me an eye-patch and said wear it for thirty days, and he paid me.”
“He still here?”
“Not that I know of.  He said, most likely a man would be up this way looking for him.  Fellow by the name of Forrest, and that would be you.”
“I don’t suppose he said where he would be going?”  I asked.
“Mister Marshal, he rightly did.  He said he was heading for California and planned on getting on a ship to one of them there islands out there and spend the rest of his days,” pausing and rubbing his eye.  “He said he was your friend, and didn’t want to cause you no trouble.”
I nodded.  “Well, Jacob Wilmore,” I put out my hand in a gesture of friendship.  “How’s ’bout I buy you supper?  I could use a cup of coffee.”