The Saga of Miles Forrest

We have been trying to get her to drink, but her throat is so sore she cannot swallow. I am sorry, Senor Miles,” said Marta softly.
The hours moved into days. Sitting on the little chair by her bed, well, I just sat and prayed, and prayed, and tried to get water down her. I kept a cool compress on her throat hoping that should help. It was going into the third day that I began to come to my senses. I had been so self-centered I forgot to take in my surroundings.
“Marta, where is your mother?” I asked.
“She passed a week ago.”
I was so caught up in my own pity that I forgot the plight of others. “I’m so sorry.” I looked around again. “Lucas?”
“Very sick, in the other room.”
Shame rushed over me and I dropped my head. “Marta, can you forgive me?”
She put her hand on my shoulder. “Senor Miles, there is nothing to be sorry about. We sorrow, but life must continue. We pray, but it is the Lord who decides.”
The smell had diminished and I looked to the corner and couldn’t spot the Pale Rider. I must have fallen asleep and woke with someone’s hand on my head. It was Molly. Her eyes were open. “Miles,” and she coughed. “I’m so thirsty.”
“Water, agua, now, hurry,” I was in a fluster. I held her up so she could drink. After a few swallows she said. “Miles, you, you shouldn’t be here. The diphtheria, you must go.”
I just smiled. “Try and get me out of here. More water?” She nodded.
Just then Marta came from the other room. Fear struck me as I looked at her. She appeared somber, but then, there came that smile of hers. “There’s someone in the other room that would like to see you. I’ll take care of Molly.”
There was Lucas, lying on the bed, his dark brown eyes open. “How’re you feelin’ pardner?” I asked.
“Weak, very weak, but better.”
“You get some sleep now; when you get better we’ve got some work to do.”
“Si,” and he smiled. “Maybe we can get the Senora to bake us a pie,” he smiled again and closed his eyes and went back to sleep.
I went back into the room with Molly. The recovery was miraculous. She was sitting up and drinking water. There was already some color coming back into her face.
“Praise the Lord, Molly, I thought you were a goner. My faith, it was so weak.” I looked at Marta.
“She knows,” and Molly reached out to take her hand.
“Eliana was a gracious lady,” said Molly and I saw her squeeze Marta’s hand.
Going over to Marta I gave her a hug. “She will be greatly missed.”
“Miles, I need a change of clothes, will you go get them for me? Also, check on Doc. I know he must be exhausted.”
I looked at Marta. “It is alright, I will look after her. Go.”
“Be back in a few minutes,” and I headed toward the eatery.
I was a block away when I heard, “Forrest!” Three men came out into the street. “Surprised?” came the voice.
I didn’t recognize two of the men, but the other was Ferguson. They began to spread apart with Ferguson in the middle. I heard him cough.
“You’re finally going to meet your Maker,” he paused and smiled. “You’re not so big without that scattergun.”
I measured my chances and they weren’t so good. One, maybe two, but I doubt I could get all three of them. I also hadn’t checked my Schofield since arriving back in Durango. But I kept it oiled and cleaned; it would be ready. Some people say that time stops at times like this. I wasn’t going to let that happen, in fact I figured I might speed it up some.
“Go for it Ferguson. You’ll be at the Judgment before I get there.” I jerked my gun and…