The Saga of Miles Forrest

Denton stepped back when I suggested he do something. I really didn’t think he would try and face me down. Plus it wasn’t his place; the gold was under my supervision, not Billington’s.
One of these days I think steam will actually roll from Billington’s ears. Either that or his top will blow off. Guess he was upset that the gold wouldn’t be in his bank and he could spout his mouth off boasting about it, or that he was upset that I was in charge of the gold. But the world has always had the pompous.
I had Charlie go tell Molly to be at the station at ten in the morning; that’s when the train will pull out for Denver. She was to have my grip packed along with hers. I didn’t doubt that she would be ready. Lucas came by to get Hawk and he was given the job of riding Star, Hawk, and Two-Bits. I decided not to take Star with me. If I needed a horse I would just pick one up from one of the liveries in Denver.
After Charlie came back I stepped off to send a couple of telegrams. One to the Secret Service office in Denver and the other to the U.S. Marshal’s office in Denver. I told them the train would be leaving at 10:00 am and there would be one change of train outside LaJunta.
Charlie brought a sandwich back for me, and would you believe, a piece of pie. In the express car where we were carrying the gold there was a stove so we made a pot of coffee and settled in for the night. I had just finished the sandwich when there came a pounding on the door not far from where I was sitting.
Motioning for Charlie to move to a position across from where I was sitting and just back a few feet I moved to open the door. I wished for one of those little peek-windows where I could see who was outside. I would be making that suggestion to Wells Fargo and the Secret Service. As it was I had to open the door to see who was out there.
“Ring out!” I hollered. “Who’s out there?”
“Billy Denton,” came the reply.
I opened the door a few inches. “What do you want, Billy?”
“Mister Billington said for me to help guard the gold.”
Opening the door so he could step through I said, “Billy, it’ll be a long night, think you can stay awake?”
For that I received a scowl from him. “I can do my job!” he answered smartly.
“Here you go, Billy. You can sit here in the middle of the car–gold on both sides of you,” said Charlie.
He walked over to a partial pallet lying on the floor and sat down. Charlie started talking again. “Of course you realize, if we’re attacked most likely they will try to get through the side door since it’s larger and that’s the easiest way to unload the gold,” he paused and smiled. “That wouldn’t sidin’ won’t stop a bullet.”
Billy’s head jerked up. “He’s just kiddin’, Billy,” I calmly said. “No one is goin’ to attack this car tonight. You can rest easy.”
However, both Charlie and I laid back with boxes of gold bullion between us and the end doors.
The night was cold, and we kept the fire in the stove along with the pot of coffee going. When it was fully light the next morning they began to move the gold from this car over to the train from Denver. Molly arrived around 9:20 and boarded. I couldn’t pay her any attention but I felt assured she had all my clothes. We would be in Denver nigh onto a week to ten days.
The transfer of gold went smoothly. Charlie was at the car where the gold was being unloaded and I was in the car where it was transferred. Billy just walked back and forth in whatever official capacity he might have; really he didn’t know what he was doing. At 10:10 we were ready to pull out. I had checked each box to make sure it was nailed tight and not tampered with. Wells Fargo had five guards in the car so I would be able to spend some time riding with Molly. The gold, technically was under their care.
A few minutes before we pulled out Billington came running up, puffing and out-of-breath. He grabbed Billy by the top of his jacket and pulled him aboard. It seemed the two of them were taking the train to Denver. Molly smiled at them, but all I could do was heave a big sigh.