I flung the cup at no one in particular, but sort of toward the middle man. Drawing at the same time I shot at the man to my left. I know I hit him, but didn’t know where or how bad. My next move was to kick over the table, but I was able to get off a shot.
Feeling the burn of the bullet along my neck I dove to my left hitting the floor hard, jarring me. He had shot a couple of times into the table. I raised up slightly to get a shot at him. It seemed that there were shots off to my right. I had forgotten about the third man.
Taking aim under the tables I fired. The bullet hit a table leg missing, but a splinter must have hit him for he went down to one knee. He had me located and fired in my direction, the bullet smashing into the back of the chair behind me.
Raising up I fired. This time I heard the thud of bullet striking flesh and a grunt. Standing I took a step toward and as I did I felt the tug of a bullet hitting the heel of my boot. It was the man I shot when I first fired. Taking another step I saw him on both knees; his one hand holding his side.
“Throw it down!” I ordered.
“Blazes I will,” then he raised his gun to fire. I shot twice, both bullets hitting him; one smashing into his right shoulder breaking the bone while the other caught him high on the breastbone. He sat there, slumped over and bleeding.
There was another shot from the man on the floor, but it was not close. I took a step in his direction; he was lying on his back. He tried to lift his arm to fire again, but I was close enough to kick the gun out of his hand. Then I put my pistol up under his chin, he just closed his eyes.
“Miles, you all right?” came a voice from over by the kitchen. It was Charlie Gold.
“Yeah, Charlie.” That was the shooting I heard over to my right. He must have taken care of the third man. Good thing, because I had my hands full with these two. “You show’d up at just the right time.”
Checking the man on the floor in front of me, I saw where my bullet hit. He was bleeding from just below his ribcage on the left side. Charlie and I both moved toward the man kneeling in the center of the diner. He was moving his hand trying to raise it, but because of his smashed shoulder couldn’t. His chin was resting on his chest just above the hole that was freely pouring blood. Lifting his head he tried to focus on me, but his eyes were glazing over.
He coughed and tried to say something. I couldn’t make it out, “Bil”, then his head fell forward. He had gone on to now meet his Maker.
Charlie was standing over the man he shot. He was dead; a bullet in the chest and one in his face. I holstered my gun and slapped Charlie on the shoulder.
Thirty minutes later, Doc Jones had been by as well as the undertaker who had removed the bodies. There was a closed sign on the door and Marta was scrubbing up the blood that had spilt on the floor.
Charlie was sitting at the table with Molly and me. “I saw the sign on the door that said the diner was closed. That didn’t settle right, being closed this time of day so I went to the back door.”
“Well, that deserves a cup of coffee on the house, don’t you agree, Molly?” I got up, grabbed some cups, and went to the stove. Pouring coffee for the three of us, I came back to the table.
We were sitting there, the rush now passed, sipping on the coffee. I put my hand on Molly’s arm and said, “Just another action-packed day in the lives of the Forrest family,” and gave her a big smile.
“Hey, Marta, you sure you want to get married to a lawman?” Marta stood up, walked to the table glaring at me. Then she leaned over giving Charlie a big kiss and hug.
“That answer enough for you?”
There was a banging at the door. This time I reached for the Greener, stood up and cocked it. Marta walked to the door unlocking it. In walked Bill, from Wells Fargo. When he saw the shotgun pointed at him, I thought he was going to pass out.
“Telegraph, Mr. Forrest. I was told it was urgent and to deliver it to you,” he paused, swallowing a big gulp, he said, “Would you mind pointing that gun somewhere else?”
I took the telegram and said, “Thanks, Bill.” He turned and walked back out.
“Well, read it,” ordered Molly.
“It’s from the Wells Fargo office in Silverton. ‘The last of the ore is at the mill…stop…should be ready to ship in five days…stop.'”