The Saga of Miles Forrest

Denton was sitting at the desk when we drug the man I cold-cocked in. “Open a cell,” I ordered.
“Wha, what are you doing? You can’t bring him in here!”
“He murdered a man and I’m puttin’ him in a cell until he gains consciousness. Now, open a cell! I won’t say it again!” I commanded.
We laid the gunman on the bed and locked the cell. “Thanks, Jimbo. You must be tired from all that runnin’ back and forth. Here,” I reached in my pocket for a dollar. “Go get yourself a steak.”
He smiled and nodded his thanks. After he left I saw Billy standing, looking at the man on the bed. “He would have shot me,” he said matter-of-factly then an awareness came to his face. “Did you kill his friends?”
“Now why would I do that? They did nothing to break the law, and I far as I know they’re not wanted,” I was watching him squirm. “‘Course they might want come to the jail to check on their friend.”
He put his hand on his gun and started to lift it. “Billy, what do you think you’re doin’?”
“I can’t have the town thinkin’ I back down,” he was almost whimpering.
“Too late for that, the town already knows.”
I was at the door ready to walk out when bursting through it came Councilman Billington. He glanced at me, then Billy, then looked at the man lying on the bed. “He dead?”
“Nope, but he’ll need some lookin’ after and reckon he will have a mild headache,” I replied and started out again when this time Doc Jones walked in.
“I hear there may be need for my services,” he stated.
“Billy, let the Doc see the prisoner.”
“You just can’t open that cell, he’s dangerous!” screamed Billington.
Looking at the Councilman with disgust, I said, “Billy, let the Doc examine the prisoner.”
Billington looked at me. “Did you kill the other two men?”
“You’re the second person to ask me that. What did they do? Are they wanted?”
“You have to!”
“Listen, I don’t have to do anything. There’s your marshal over there who ran from the scene,” I paused and then put my finger in Billington’s chest, “same as you! I brought this man into custody because he killed someone.”
I looked up the street and saw his two companions head the direction of the jail. I smiled and then went over to the corner to sit. “Speakin’ of his friends, here they come.”
“I’m unarmed!” screamed Billington. “Go arrest them, Marshal.”
Billy looked confused and uncertain. It looked at if he wanted to run out of the office, but it was too late, the two toughs were in the doorway.
“Marshal, we want to see our friend!” ordered one.
He sort of stuttered, but didn’t reply. Then they looked at Billington. “Hey, fancy-britches, can your marshal hear?”
“Get out of here immediately!” blustered Billington.
Laughing the men looked at him. One in a dirty fur-hat looked at him and said, “Well, throw us out.”
“Marshal, arrest those men,” yelled Billington. He was worse than a young gal who had come face-to-face with a rattlesnake.
“On what charge?” asked fur-hat and he put his hand on his gun. If it went any further I would have to intervene.
At that time Denton threw his badge on the desk where it bounced and skipped off the edge onto the floor. Bumping into the men he ran out into the street looking for his horse.
The other tough stooped to pick up the badge and held it close to his chest. “How’s it look on me Mr. Fancy-Britches?”
That was enough. “Put it on the desk,” I ordered. “I won’t have you tarnishing a badge of the law.”
They hadn’t seen me over in the corner and when I spoke they jumped. Then they heard me cocking the Greener.
“Hope your head is harder than your friend’s for the barrel of this shotgun is right ready to see.”
He put the badge on the desk, and said, “We just wanted to check on our friend. You hit him right hard.”
“How is he Doc?”
“He’ll have a headache for a while, but the skull isn’t cracked. He should make it long enough to hang.”
When he said that the room became quiet and tension began to rise when…