The Saga of Miles Forrest

 I sent a telegram to Marshal Blasco to inform him that I would be delayed in coming to Denver.  I didn’t go into detail, but told him that a friend needed my assistance.
Charlie’s condition hadn’t changed.  “Doc, what’d think?”
“Miles, I wish I knew.  This is beyond what I know.  He is still pale, and hasn’t regained consciousness.  I just don’t know.”
When he said “pale” I looked around but didn’t see or smell the Pale Rider.  ‘Course that doesn’t mean he wasn’t around.  I don’t always see him.  We tried to convince Marta to go home, but she refused.  She would leave only during the rush hours for the diner and then return.  Doc fixed her up a little pallet so she could stay there.  Seemed that her feelings toward Charlie went pretty deep.
I went to the marshal’s office a couple of times a day.  Usually Denton was there.  He seemed to be earning his pay by simply sitting in Charlie’s chair behind his desk.  One day I went to Foster and mentioned it to him.  
“Who’s walking the streets at night?  I haven’t noticed your new marshal doin’ much.”
“Stay out of it Miles,” he ventured.
“Wilson, what happens when trouble comes?  Who checks your doors at night?  Who is walking the streets to keep the riff-raff under control?
I could see he was a little agitated.  “How do you know he isn’t out there at night?”
“Because I am.”  Wilson was a good man, but he could be coerced into doing things Billington’s way.  “There are good people in this town, and someone needs to take care of them.  Denton surely ain’t!”
“I’ll call the town council together and see if we can’t light a little fire under the marshal.”
“You do that Wilson,” and I turned and walked away from him.
I walked on down to the marshal’s office.  Denton was in his usual place and I went around behind the desk.  “Hey, you can’t come in here and do as you please.”
I stared at him.  I surely wanted to say more, but I stayed very cool and calm.  “I want to take those wanted posters for McClendon to look at.”
“You can’t take them out of the office!  I forbid it!”
“Want to stop me, Billy?”  I stared at him again.  “What you need to do is get up and walk ’round this town a few times.  Get the feel of it, know the people,” I paused not moving my stare.  “How many times have you walked in Mexican town?”
“I’m not going down there!” he exclaimed.
“They’re citizens of Durango; it’s your job.”  I grabbed the posters and started for McClendon’s.
Upon entering his store, I saw him straightening up some shelves behind the counter.  He kept his store neat and organized.  Food items in one place, dry goods in another, leather goods in another, I just happened to catch him putting some stock of canned goods on the shelf.  What they aren’t coming up with now?  I saw peaches in a can, and tomatoes in another.  I guess that’s called progress.
He turned as I approached, “Well, howdy there Miles.  What can I do for you?”
“Are there really tomatoes in that can?” I asked.
He smiled and reached up and picked out a can and opened a drawer with some kind of gadget in it.  He hooked it on the lip of the can and began to work it around the edge until the lid popped off.  Walking over to this little table where he kept a few items he grabbed up a fork and gave it to me.
“Try one,” he said with a big smile.
I forked something that looked sorta like a tomato and stuck it in my mouth.  He smiled even bigger as my eyes widened.  I sucked the juices out and then chewed it up.  “Tomato?” he asked.
“Yeah, and not bad.”  I forked up another one.  Before I proceeded to stuff it in my mouth I said, “Take a look at these posters; see if any of them could be the men that came in here.”
I put the tomato in my mouth and took the can from his hand.  After eating I swallowed some of the juice in the can.  McClendon was going through the posters and suddenly stopped.  “This one, he was the one that Marshal Gold shot,” and handed me the poster.
“Johnson Spigget, sometimes known as “Dutch John.”  There was a $250 reward on him for robbery.
“Sorry, Miles, but the other man isn’t here.”
“Still, we now have a name to go on.  I’m goin’ to contact Cook down in Denver, and see if his association can’t give me some up-to-date information.”  
I looked at McClendon a little sheepishly.  “Only one left.”
He laughed, “First can’s on the house.  Go ask Molly.  She buys them by the case.”
I gave him a funny look, and then the boy, Henry ran into the store.  “Marshal Forrest, come quick!  Doc needs you…”