The Saga of Miles Forrest

We all rushed down to the Judge’s place, then ran up the stairs. The Judge was awake and complaining that he was hungry. Doc went over and checked his head, cleaning the wound and replacing the bandage.
“Don’t try to get up just yet. We’ll get some stew over to you,” said the Doc.
That was good news; something to be thankful for. Doc told him to stay in bed, and for us not to bother him for at least another day. With a cracked skull, he needed to take things slowly.
“Tomorrow, I want him moved downstairs,” said the Doc to no one in particular. “I don’t want him trying to come down those stairs or go up them.”
A few days later found Charlie, Doc, and I sitting around the table at the Diner. It was cold outside and the stove just off to my left was putting out the heat, and there was a coffeepot sitting on top which we used quite frequently. We had just finished a big piece of mincemeat pie; it was filled with elk and it sure made the stomach feel satisfied. I had an egg on the side, fried to perfection. Hannah and Greta still had their egg farm, but Hannah wouldn’t venture close to the Diner; Greta or a delivery boy, sometimes Tommy made the deliveries.
We were chit-chatting and the talk turned to the Doc being thunked up side the head and the Judge’s cracked skull. Both were doing much better now. The Judge was still either in bed or sitting in a chair. We had brought a cot into the dining room where he could lay down.
“Those owlhoots must be holed up somewhere either in town or just outside,” Charlie said out of nowhere. “There are two of them crippled up now. Perhaps, I’ll go make a few rounds to check up on the folk on the fringe of town.”
“Not a good idea,” I said. “You no longer wear a badge.”
“What?” They heard me chuckling to myself.
“I think the thing to do is for me to grab Billy Denton and for him and I to go out and check the homes outside town. Make him work a bit for the town’s money.”
They both laughed and I got up to refill the coffee cups.
“No, dead serious,” I said. “I’m goin’ to get him and we’ll ride out each day.”
“Say,” Doc spoke up. “Election is coming next March for sheriff. Charlie, you have the experience, why don’t you run for sheriff?” he looked around for Marta. “Of course, being sheriff will take you out of town once in a while.”
“Nah, he couldn’t handle it,” I said. “He’s tied tight by her apron strings.”
Marta walked over and we quieted down. “What are you worthless guys talking about?”
I got up again and grabbed the coffeepot. “Their cups are full, Senor Miles.”
“Marta,” Doc began, “we were thinking that Charlie should run for sheriff. That would give him a good job, and a steady income. Might even make him want to settle down.”
She stood there with hands on her hips. “Hmmmm, and get him shot at.”
“Yeah, but at least he’ll be gettin’ paid for it,” I said.
“Paid for what?” asked Molly as she came out of the kitchen joining our group.
“They want Charlie to run for sheriff,” Marta explained to Molly.
There was a stillness, Molly had assumed the same posture as Marta. Then the front door opened…