The Saga of Miles Forrest

It had been cold this week. There were some small snow flurries, but the nights were like knives cutting through you, it was so cold. I reckoned it was below zero, and the days didn’t reach above the freezing mark. Naturally, I sat most of the time near the stove in the diner and drinking coffee. I had just poured a fresh cup and sat down when through the door came Billy Denton along with two of the city council, Thomas Billington and Wilson Foster. I tried to ignore them as they marched right up to my table.
“Forrest! We warned you about causing trouble! We should have the marshal here arrest you,” yelled Billington.
Now that caught me by surprise. I really don’t know why for there’s no-telling what these uppity folk might say or do. “Arrest? Trouble? Mind tellin’ me what I’ve done?”
“Can you use it?” I asked with a smile, then took a sip of coffee. “The rifle I mean,” finishing my statement.
My, my how quickly the blood rushed up his face to his ears.
“Fact is, I hired a man to hunt some wolves when we found tracks just above my place in the woods. We figured about half dozen wolves lurkin’ around.” I wanted another cup of coffee, but I didn’t want to offer this bunch a cup. Oh, Billy I didn’t mind, he was just, well, he was just Billy. “Bein’ that close to town, they’ll lose their fear quick enough and then watch out for children could be in real danger.”
“That’s it, could be! You’re causing fear in everyone because of your ‘could be.'”
“Let me tell you straight. The only people I’ve told is the man I’ve hired to hunt, Doc Jones, my wife and the folks that work here. Mind tellin’ me how you came to hear ’bout the wolves?”
“My son Nathaniel, came home from school. Said that half-breed that you seem to allow hang around here mentioned something.”
Guess it’s just my tempetuous nature, but I couldn’t let that slide. My foot kicked the chair on the other side of the table and it slammed into the Councilman Billington. I was up and had his collar in my hand and was ready to let my fist explode into his nose when I heard, “Miles!” It was Molly. “What are you doing?”
“I was goin’ to give the right righteous Mr. Billington a lesson in good manners and humanity.”
“Miles,” she said with a mild disappointment.
I released the councilman and went back to my chair, picked up my cup and poured another cup of coffee. “Why don’t you gentlement sit down? I’ll get you all some coffee,” said Molly.
“No, thank you, Mrs. Forrest,” said Wilson Foster.
However, Billy ventured in and said, “I’d like one Mrs. Forrest.”
Molly smiled at him, “Okay Billy…and I know, with honey.”
“The other thing that has come to our attention is the fact that you’ve encouraged Charlie Gold to run for sheriff. Billy, here, is law in Durango.”
Sometimes stupidity just flows out of these men. “Now, tell me what that has to do with Billy. He’s marshal of Durango, but Charlie is runnin’ for sheriff, that means a county position.”
“Yes, but his office would be here in Durango!” Foster finally said something.
“I don’t see what you’re gettin’ at. Wouldn’t it be to your advantage to have two good lawmen living in Durango?” I said and watched Billy sort of puff up some.
“We don’t want him intefering with the marshal…”
At that moment Grizz came in through the kitchen. “Don’t mean to interrupt your discussion as I’m sure it’s important, but Miles you might want to come take a look at this.”
I followed him back out through the kitchen and into the alley. I didn’t recall that I asked for anyone to follow but those at the table were right behind me. Grizz pointed and laying in the alley were two large wolves. “Kilt them this mornin’,” he said. “After I skin them I’ll bring in the ears for the bounty.”
“Bounty,” came the flustered voice of Billington. “We don’t have a bounty on wolves.”
“Better check the minutes of the council,” I said. “Good job, Grizz,” and slapped him on the shoulder.