The Saga of Miles Forrest

 I should have figured it would be Billington who barged first through the door.  “What do you think you’re doing, Forrest?” he shouted.
“Well, right now I’m sitting behind Marshal Gold’s desk and going through some wanted posters,” I said with a smile.
“You know what I mean!  The Council appointed a new marshal, you had no call to take such action!”
“You had no call to give another Charlie’s badge!” I came right back at him.
“The Council voted and we gave the position of Marshal of Durango to Billy Denton.”
“And what happens to Charlie?” I asked.  “He has served this town faithfully for over a year now.  You don’t just throw him out in the cold.”
He sort of stuttered.  “It don’t make any difference.  He’s almost dead.”
That got me up out of the chair and I raised and slammed the Greener down on the desk.  “Did Doc Jones say he was goin’ to die?”  Billington didn’t answer.  “Did he?”
He was searching for words, and maybe a little courage.  “Well, no, but it doesn’t make any difference.  We hired someone else,” he looked at me and when he saw the daggers coming out of my eyes, he dropped his head.  
“So you wonderful town leaders are goin’ to let a man down, a man who has helped keep you, your families, and your businesses safe.  You’re despicable!”  I was a little more than irate.
About that time came another council member and that seemed to bolster Billington’s courage.  “Tell him Foster, tell him we appointed Billy Denton as new town marshal.”
“Well,” then he looked at me and didn’t want to continue.  “Well, we need a marshal.”
“That’s fine,” I replied, “Hire a deputy, but Charlie is still marshal.”
“Truth is Miles,” said Foster.  “We can’t afford to pay two town marshals.”
I glared at him, “Nonsense!  But you won’t have to, I’ll help Charlie and it won’t cause this town a dime.”
Billington wasn’t going to let it go.  “We’ve already given the position to Denton,” he was red-faced now.  “Plus the Council would never agree to you being marshal.  We don’t like the way you do things!”
“You mean, you don’t like the way I do things.”  I looked at Foster.  “Do you have a problem with me Wilson Foster?”  Turning my gaze back to Billington.  “The problem with you is that I messed up things with your friend Judge Wray.  Shame we couldn’t come up with evidence against you.”
I thought he was going to croak or at least have a minor stroke.  “Nevertheless,” he said.  “Denton is our new marshal.  You will not sit behind that desk!”
“If Denton is marshal, then Charlie still gets paid and his job back when he is better.”
“I told you we can’t afford to pay two marshals,” he sputtered.
“Then I think we need to call a town meeting and let the people of Durango have a say in this,” I paused looking at him.  “And bring along the books to show that two cannot be afforded.”
“Alright, alright, Denton will be acting marshal.  Give him his badge back.”
“Is that right Foster?” And I got a nod from him.  “Badge is on the floor in the back.  You go get it.”
I sat back down and started going through the wanted posters again.  “You are not to stay here!” fumed Billington.
Looking up I smiled and said, “I have a legal right to be here; plus just doin’ my job checkin’ these posters.