The Saga of Miles Forrest

It was a nice time, if even for a few hours.  Molly and I are usually busy with something and often I’m out of town.  So far I haven’t done much with the Secret Service.  This past trip to Silverton was the first time.  I knew I’d need to contact them to see when they expected me in Denver.  Marta ran the diner well and she had a cousin that helped out now and then so maybe when I go to Denver, Molly will be able to accompany me.
I walked Molly on back to the diner so she could check up on things, then I turned and went to see Billy Denton and getting Charlie released.  I wasn’t a real happy person so it was a good thing I was able to sit with Molly for a spell.  I may have gone in that marshal’s office spitting nails and end up as Charlie’s cellmate.
Billy was sitting there, as normal, not doing a lick of work when I entered.  “All right Billy, why are you keepin’ Charlie locked up?”
I must have shocked him some when I burst in like that for he most fell out of his chair.  Perhaps I caught him sleeping.  Looking up startled he replied, “Attempted murder!”
“There were plenty of eye witnesses that said the three other men shot first.  Charlie was just defendin’ himself.”
“Only one man, from what I know.  He’s laid up at the doc’s and swears that Charlie shot him as he stepped off the train,” said Billy bristling up.
“That’s crazy!  Again you have witnesses against that.  At least let him out, Charlie’s not goin’ to run off until he gets his name clear.  What’s his bail?”
“No bail; I don’t know who you think you are Forrest, coming in my office and ordering me around.  This was attempted murder!”
“Have you even looked for the two other men?” I asked, trying to stay calm.  “Plus you do realize that the man that Charlie shot has a poster out on him!”
That caught him by surprise.  “No, ahh, didn’t know that.”
“Have you taken security precautions down at Doc’s place?  Maybe you should go through those posters now and again.  That’s what they’re for, to make you acquainted with the lawless element that might wander into Durango.”
“Don’t you tell me how to operate my office!” he yelled.  The veins on his neck popped out and that’s not common for a young guy.  
“Well, someone needs to tell you,” I said calming down again.  “Tell you what, release Charlie into my care.”
“That’d be like throwing kerosene on a fire.  You’re worse than he is as far as I’m concerned!” he was settling down some himself.  “Now, why don’t you just get yourself out?”
Turning to leave, I stopped at the door and looked back at him.  “I’ll be back.”
I hurried on down to the judge’s office to see if I couldn’t get Charlie out.  If nothing else he should have bail.  Walking inside I saw the clerk sitting at his desk working on some papers.  “Tell the Judge that Miles Forrest would like to see him.”
“Oh, hello, Mr. Forrest.  Sorry, but the Judge hasn’t been to his office in a couple of days.”
“He sick or somethin’?” I asked.
“Well, ah, I don’t rightly know.”
“Hasn’t shown up for two days and no one’s checked on him?  What’s the matter with you?  That’s not like the Judge not to show up without giving notice.”
“I’ve been rightly busy myself!” he exclaimed and pointed to all the papers.  
“Paper!  You value your paperwork over the absence of a co-worker, and friend?”
Something wasn’t right, and I hurried even faster over to the Judge’s house.  He lived about five blocks from his office so it didn’t take long to get there.  I couldn’t detect from the outside if he was in there.  From what I could tell there were no lamps flowing.  I knocked on the front door–no answer.  When I turned the knob, it was locked.  
“Judge!  Judge Klaser!” I yelled with no answer, so I let go and kicked open the door.
Going into the room I didn’t see him.  I kept yelling out his name.  Moving through the front room, his study and the kitchen, there was no sign of him.  I climbed quickly up the stairs and into a bedroom.  On the floor, lay the Judge.  He was all tied up, and I thought he might be dead.  Kneeling I could then see there was blood around his head.  It wasn’t fresh, maybe a day old.  Feeling for a pulse I found a faint one.  As fast as I could I untied the ropes.  I was a mite fearful to move him, but I also wanted to get him off the floor and check for further injuries.
I took the chance and was able to get him up on the bed.  There was not much else I could do so I went back downstairs and outside to run to get the doc.  As I went out the door, one of the boys we used for errands, Tommy, I think was him name hollered at me.
“Mr. Forrest!  I’ve been lookin’ all over for you!  Mrs. Forrest says to come quick!”
“Now what?” I thought…