The Saga of Miles Forrest

As I walked toward Billy Denton, his eyes started to widen and I noticed his Adam’s apple moving. He must have gulped. I stared at him as I said, “Go release Charlie Gold!”
“He’s under arrest for attempted murder,” he mumbled.
“Not anymore! Where is his accuser? What happened to the witness?” I pointed my finger at him and continued. “If you had been doin’ your job the Doc and Judge Klaser wouldn’t have broken heads. Plus the fact that the person who did it has escaped.”
“You don’t know that the wounded man hit Doc,” he retorted.
“Maybe not him, but one of the other two fellows that were with him.”
“You still can’t be sure,” he insisted.
“Denton, for a law officer, you sure are dumb! Let’s go!”
We turned to go down the stairs as Molly was coming up. “Miles?” she started to say, then changed it. “Don’t you…” When she said that I waved at her and went on down the stairs. “I’ll see you at the diner,” I yelled as I went out the door.
Denton didn’t want to concede but he started to see the fallacy of holding Charlie. As we stepped on the boardwalk in front of the marshal’s office there was a shot. Billy ran into the office and I ran around the back. A man was horseback and had just fired through the barred window.
“Hold it!” I yelled.
He snapped a shot at me, I drew and fired as the horse reared. I was almost positive I hit him, but he was able to turn the horse and gallop down the back street.
Rushing back to the front I ran inside the jail. “Charlie!”
Denton was getting the keys and Charlie was laying on the floor. As Denton opened the jail cell, Charlie spoke, “He gone?”
“You alright?” asked Denton reaching down for Charlie.
“I was standing right where you are now, Miles, when I heard a horse out back. I saw the gun coming through the window and I dove for the floor and under the bunk. He fired, missed and I crawled under the bed. The angle was too difficult for him to aim, and that’s when the two of you busted in on the action.”
“Get your hat, gun, and come with me,” I said.
“What about the charge?” he asked.
“Let’s go over to the diner and I’ll fill you in with all that’s happened.”
Denton had his gun for him, “Sorry, Charlie, I was just doing my job.”
I looked at him with disgust and muttered under my breath, “You sure are dumb.”
Things sort of settled down the rest of the week. Molly, Marta, and Anihu were getting ready for the Thanksgiving meal we have been giving out since Molly opened the place. It was mainly for those down-and-out miners who were destitute. Molly always made venison stew and biscuits for them. It had opened up and several people would come by and partake; some would give a donation.
Charlie had gone hunting and shot a nice elk, so this year it was not venison stew, it was elk stew. I happened to be fortunate to bag a couple of grouse which we held back for our own Thanksgiving dinner. I figured that Molly had a couple of pies hidden as well.
After closing time we all set down for our meal. Charlie was there with Marta and her whole family. Doc Jones and his wife joined us. He still had headaches from time to time, but not as severe. It was a grand time, despite the events of the previous weekend. Oh, and the pie was good. Molly made apple and butterscotch pie, two of each. Anihu made something she called tamales. We laughed, drank coffee, of course, ate, and then Doc stood up.
“I’m thankful that I’m alive,” he paused and took time to look at each of us. “And that I have friends that care.”
From that point each of us began to share. It was Molly’s turn. She stood and began, when the door burst open. It was Tommy again.
“Come quick, it’s the Judge!”