The Saga of Miles Forrest

Come on Miles, sit down, supper is almost ready.”
I came into the camp and sat down across from him by the fire. I looked down and watched him cook, and then saw the scars.
“Miles, you have scars too. They are different from mine in a way, but many of them are similar. Yes, I see the scars, the physical and the spiritual. You received many of them by sacrificing yourself.” He then handed me a cup of coffee.
“I know that You’re with me all the time, but when You come like this there is usually something behind it,” I paused and took a sip wondering if I was asking too much. “Is this the time?”
“How’s the coffee?” He asked. “Troubles are coming. It’s enough for you to know that I am with you. Rest in that knowledge and take courage.”
It was stupid of me to say so, but I looked down and saw His spurs and boots. “I sure do  admire those golden spurs,” then I looked up and He was gone.
I reached over and ate the bacon He cooked. Another stupid thought went through my mind, “I wonder if this is kosher bacon, if there’s such a thing?” Nevertheless I ate it and drank the coffee. Coffee always tasted smoother made with snow. It would be another day and a half before I reached Silverton so I turned in early.
Sometime during the night I wakened, it was still and cold. Then I noticed an putrid odor. “Been wondering if you were going to wake up, friend Miles,” then came the cackle. “He’s given you to me. This time you’re mine.” Then that laugh. I don’t know how a person can snarl and laugh at the same time, but the Pale Rider seemed to have it down.
“Get out!” I cried. “How dare you come in this camp when He’s been here?”
“Turn over Forrest, I want to see your face. I want to stare into your eyes knowing that He has forsaken you.”
“Get out! I know better than that, for He will never leave me or forsake me. You can’t deceive me that way.” I pulled my blanket up over my shoulder and tried to block out his smell.
“Forrest! Forrest, turn over and look at me!” I just ignored him.
“Forrest! I’ll make you pay.”
“Join the club,” and all of a sudden a peace came upon me and I reckoned I went to sleep for it was morning when I woke to the sound of a Camp Robber squawking.
The Pale Rider sort of left my mind as Hawk and I continued our way to Silverton. I don’t know what I expected to find. Maybe Ferguson, maybe my end, but I wasn’t worried.
When I came to the diggings I let Hawk slow to a walk. I wanted to enter the town aware of everything around me. It seemed like there were more miners than ever before. Riding up to the Wells Fargo office I stopped, tied Hawk to the rail, and went in.
“Mister Forrest!” came the exclamation. “How did you get up the trail? They blocked it off and won’t unload the passengers from the train as well.”
“Willie, what’s goin’ on?” I asked.
“They’re not letting anyone from Durango come up here–diphtheria!”
I looked at him and rushed out. I flung myself up on Hawk and gave him a spur to which he took off toward the rail station. The town marshal was there with several deputies. I came upon the marshal and the conductor having an argument.
“Get me and Hawk on that train!” I hollered.
“Can’t do that Mr. Forrest,” the conductor answered.
“The quarantine is that no one can get off. I’m gettin’ on!”
“There’s no room and no tickets available. Sorry.”
“I’ll stay with Hawk in the stock car,” then I pulled my badge. “And this is my ticket!” He finally agreed.
Now I was anxious. The ride down would only be about four hours, but I believed it was the longest four hours I had ever spent. When we stopped at the station in Durango, I jumped off before the train stopped. Hurrying along I hollered at Henry, “Take care of Hawk,” and I rushed to the eatery. It was closed.
Muttering to myself, “Marta’s, she has to be at Marta’s.” And I found myself running.
There was a black wreath on the door of Marta’s home. I banged on the door and it slowly opened. Entering the home, Marta grabbed me by the shoulders but I shrugged her off. My eye caught movement in the darkened corner; he was there–the Pale Rider. I moved through the little house and on the bed…