The Saga of Miles Forrest

It was early, Molly and I were sitting near the stove and the coffee was ready.  I grabbed a couple of cups, setting them on the table I poured each of us a cup.  We didn’t say anything, just sipped at our coffee.  Finally I gave a big sigh.
“Why didn’t they just wreck the place instead of hurting Eliana and Marta?” I asked no one in particular.  “That’s just downright meanness!”
I took another sip, waiting for Molly to say something.  She didn’t.  So I continued… .
“They need to come directly after me.  What is it with hurting my friends and folks I care about?”  I looked at Molly.  “Well?”
“Miles, you know better than I do about the evil on this earth.  You’ve been teaching me about how God works, how He cares for us, for you, so you should have a better grasp on an answer than I do.”
We couldn’t see out the windows so when the door opened I was a mite surprised.  I should have been more alert with the windows boarded up, anyone could’ve sneaked up on us.
Walking through the door we heard, “Buenos dias, Senora Molly, Senor Miles.”
“Marta!  What in the world are you doin’ here?
“Time for work.  What is it you say, ‘the early dog gets the best bone,’ or something like that?”
“Marta, you really shouldn’t be here,” said Molly.
“Why not?  You don’t want me?”
“Of course we want you, but your arm….  We want you to heal,” replied Molly.
“I heal better here, doing some work,” she said as she moved off into the kitchen.  Soon we heard the rattling of skillets and pans.  It was a few minutes later she came out.  “Senora Molly, you know it is almost 6:30.  That’s when we open and the coffee is not on in the kitchen and there is no sausage frying for gravy.  Did you count the eggs?”
We looked at each other, then smiled.  Here was a girl with a broken arm telling us that we need to get it together.  Molly got up and went to the kitchen.  I went over and opened the door so folks would know that this “diner” was open for business.  Despite all of the troubles that this place had seen people knew of the good food and continued to come.  Hopefully this latest incident wouldn’t affect the customers either.  A man’s stomach is a loud voice and it will cause him to overlook other difficulties in life.
When Marta came out with the first man’s order I motioned her over to me.  “Could Molly stay with you and Eliana for a couple of days?  I’m riding to Silverton.”
She looked me in the eyes.  “I know what you are doing.  You are going to try to find this man, Ferguson,” pausing for a moment.  “He is a very bad man.  But si, the Senora can stay with us.”
I got up and took a walk through town.  I wanted to talk with Marshal Gold and also tell the office that I would no longer be working for them as a Wells Fargo detective.  However, I needed a job so I would offer my services for the stage line.
The marshal knew of the ruckus and injuries, but he didn’t have any connection to Ferguson or any of the other men.  I didn’t figure he would.  Upon arriving at the office there was a new man working.  Introducing myself, he told me to wait a minute and went to the backroom. 
“Here is a note concerning you from a Mr. Gilford Covney.  It says that he is arriving…let’s see, it would be next week, from Chicago and wants especially to see you.”
“Covney, from Chicago?” I questioned.
“Sorry, Mr. Forrest.  That’s all I know.  I was told to tell you if you came by the office.”
“I should be back from Silverton by that time, Lord willin’. 
When I told Molly I was going to Silverton she was a little concerned.  “You’re looking for Ferguson.”
“I need to take some action.  I don’t want any more of my friends hurt because of a skunk like him roamin’ loose.  I’ll be headin’ out in the mornin’.”
Molly and Marta fed me a good breakfast of biscuits and gravy and then Molly packed some sausage sandwiches for my trip.  It was before graylight that Hawk and I hit the trail.  It was a beautiful day in the San Juans, but I knew it would still be cold at night.  As we climbed up into the high country there was more and more snow.  I began to hope for a dry place to camp for the night.
It was almost dark when I stopped for camp.  There was a little place between some rocks that was clear of snow and water, and it had a patch of grass where Hawk could munch.  I got the fire started and took care of Hawk, then threw down my bedroll and saddle.  Being between the rocks I would stay toasty tonight with the heat reflecting off them.
The fire was ablaze and I took a little walk with coffeepot in hand.  I filled it up with snow and headed back to camp.  Immediately I sensed something amiss.  Pulling my pistol I moved slowly toward the fire.  I was startled, for there was someone stooped by the fire frying up bacon.
“Come on in, Miles.  Put the coffeepot on the fire so I can get the coffee going.  I’ve been waiting for you.”
That voice; it was one that made me tremble yet feel at peace at the same time.
“Oh, and put that gun away.  You don’t need it, at least for now.”