The Saga of Miles Forrest

It scared us when Marta collapsed.  Charlie picked her up and took her to our pallet behind the kitchen.  Doc shooed us out, except Molly, and checked her over.  We could hear him muttering and once in a while pick up a word or two.  “No fever…throat feels normal…stay with her…cool compress…”
He came out, walked past us and went over to the table.  Before sitting down he poured a cup of coffee.  Charlie and I looked at him, then at each other.  At the same time we walked over to the table.
“Well?” I asked.
“Well, what?” came his reply as he took a sip of coffee.
“Marta!  Is she okay?” asked Charlie.
Doc took another sip, he could be downright ornery at times.  He smiled and said, “It’s not the diphtheria.  I think she just plain wore herself out.  She’s been through a lot over the past week or so.  Beaten by those ruffians, her mother hurt and then dying, and little Lucas and Molly almost dying.  I figure she is just plumb tuckered out.  A good day of rest or two and she should be alright.”
By the middle of the week Marta was up and around.  Glass had been put back in the now M & M Diner, and with Doc declaring the quarantine over there were a few customers.  There were quite a few folk that were tired and so came to the diner for a meal as they didn’t want to cook at home.  Charlie and I went hunting a couple of times and filled the icehouse up with elk and venison.  Charlie even bagged a black bear.
Marta was back to her old self, smiling and working with Molly.  Things were so busy with me out hunting and the customers that I hadn’t even had a chance to talk with her about Eliana.  Nor had I had the chance to ask Molly about a piece of pie.  She was baking them, but always they went out to the customers.
Last Sunday after Sunday sermon, Charlie told me to come with him.  Durango was fortunate to find him for a marshal.  Some of the ones in the past were a little on the shady side, especially when Judge Wray was in office.  He said he had something he wanted to show me.
As we were walking up the street from the diner he said, “Miles, that kitchen is not the place for you to make a home.  It’s small and has no privacy whatsoever!”
“Charlie, if you remember right, I had a cabin once.  It was destroyed by my enemies.”
“I recollect.  But that’s just it.  Once you let the ashes settle you clear them out and start building again.  Didn’t you hear the parson this morning?  You need something for you and Molly.”
“Well, maybe with the reward from Bellows I can start looking for something,” I declared.
“Miles, how long have you been away?”
“On to a month.”
“And when was the last time you ventured up the hill to where your cabin was?”
“Oh, let’s see, maybe last fall.  Why?”
We walked up the hill and low and behold, there was a cabin standing on the property where the old one was built.  Not exactly the same place but only a few yards from it.  I looked at Charlie.
“Doc, and few of the folk in town,” he stammered a bit, “And myself pooled our resources and work and built this for you and Molly.”  He paused again.  “‘Course it isn’t completely free.  The taxes on the land have to be paid, but with the reward I figured that would not be a problem.”
“Charlie, we can’t…”
“Okay, be stubborn, we’ll give it to Molly then!”
I turned toward him and then put out my hand.  We started up toward the cabin when Henry came running up.  He was sort of the town errand boy and I thought at first something was wrong with Hawk. 
“Mr. Forrest, I’ve been lookin’ all over for yuh,” he said out of breath.  “Yur to come immediately to the Wells Fargo office.  There’s a man there to see you.  I think Covney was his name.”