The Saga of Miles Forrest

I jerked my pistol and turned slightly toward Ferguson. I was thankful I drew first for he was fast, mighty fast and still beat me. His gun fired and I felt a slight tug on my left side; if I had not turned his bullet would have hit me center. I fired right after him and caught him in the chest. I couldn’t worry about the other men, but I had to take Ferguson first.
He was on his knees trying to lift his gun. I fired and hit him approximately in the same place and he fell backward with the impact. With my second shot my mind heard a shot from a larger caliber, but I didn’t have time to dwell on it as I felt the bullet from the man on my right hit my leg. I turned toward him and fired a shot. I thought I missed so I fired again and he crumpled to the ground.
There was now only one bullet left in my gun. I had to make it count as I turned to face the man on my left. When I turned his way I saw that he was already lying on the ground–dead. I limped toward Ferguson. He was alive but the light was quickly fading from his eyes.
“Why?” I asked.
He choked out an answer. “The money, it started with the money.” His eyes closed. Then came a cough and blood came from his mouth. He tried to talk, slobbering, “Then it became a quest.”
He stared at me. “Forrest, someone will get you yet.” Choking now, he murmured, “Solomon Bellows, not Ferguson,” and with that he passed on into eternity to meet with his Maker.
With the excitement dying down I became very conscious of the pain in my leg and gave way to its weakening and dropped to the dirt in the street. I figured I would survive if the bullet hadn’t hit an artery, but the pain was beginning to grow.
Then I felt her touch, “Miles.” Molly was there, and it seemed as if everything was going to be alright. Marshal Gold was right behind her and a fellow went to find Doc. He had to be about somewhere with all the sick people in the town.
A few days later we were sitting at a table in the eatery drinking coffee. We hadn’t opened yet as the town was almost completely quarantined, but there was more movement now and it seemed the epidemic was on its way out. Doc and Marshal Gold were with us. My leg was stitched up but had a burning sensation and I couldn’t be much pressure on it. The bullet that Ferguson fired had only creased my side but there was a burn there. It seemed that no matter which way I turned I felt the ache in some part of my body.
Marta was in the kitchen cutting us a piece of pie that Molly had baked. “It was a rifle bullet,” said Marshal Gold. “Someone shot that third man right through the eye.”
When he said that we all just looked up and at each other. “Trenton?” asked Molly.
“There has been nothing seen or heard about him being in town. Nor do we have any idea of who the shooter was,” replied Gold.
“Well, he sure saved your hide, Miles,” joined in Doc. “And this here Ferguson was really Solomon Bellows?”
“Seems that way, Doc. Miles, you’ll be in for a hefty reward. He’s wanted in several states for robbery and murder.”
We told Doc and Charlie that we decided to give Marta partnership in the eatery. “We’re gonna tell her after she brings out our pie,” I said. “Least we can do for her and Lucas.”
Almost upon call she came out. I noticed that the usual smile wasn’t there, but I counted that to her still mourning the death of Eliana. Molly spoke up. “Marta, Miles and I decided to make you a partner in the diner. We’re going to call it M & M’s Diner. What do you think?”
She set down the pie, sort of hard to my thinking, and it looked as if a smile started to form on her lips, but then her eyes rolled back and she collapsed to the floor…