Doc Mac had ordered bed rest for Dan for the next few days and had given Cole headache powders and some laudanum for him. He cautioned the young man to use the laudanum sparingly and only if the headache powders didn’t seem to relieve Dan’s pain.
Cole nodded and promised Doc Mac he’d do exactly that.
Gabe said to Cole, “Once we get Dan home and settled you and I can go over to the café and get some breakfast and we can bring it back and eat with Dan.”
Cole nodded. “That would be a good idea.”
Jalen said, “I need to get Falcon over to the jail and then I’ll need to go over to get food for the prisoners and Brett and me.”
Gabe and Cole nodded and replied, “All right.”
Dan hearing he was ordered to bed rest protested, “I don’t need to stay in bed…I’m all right.”
Doc shook his head. “You’ve had a pretty good head injury and I want you to stay in bed and rest at least a couple of days. I want that headache to subside before you resume your regular activities.”
Dan sighed. “It doesn’t sound like I have much choice.”
The doctor smiled. “Not really.”
Gabe and Cole nodded. “We’ll make sure he does as you say Doc.”
The doctor smiled. “Thank you.”.
Dawn hearing the doctor’s orders and Dan’s protests said, “Dan…the girls and I can come over and keep you company until we have to go to work.”
Dan pouted some, but then nodded. “All right…I’d like that.”
Gabe chuckled. His older brother had never been a very good patient.
Cole and Gabe helped Dan over to the saddlery after Doc Mac was finished with him. They got him settled in bed and he huffed. “You two are nothin’ but a couple of mother hens. I’m quite all right.”
Cole replied, “Doc said you gotta stay in bed, so that’s what’ you’re goin’ to do if I have to stay in bed with you to keep you there.”
Dan gave Cole a devilish grin and then winced. “Now…that’s an idea I think I could live with.”
Cole rolled his eyes. “Now who’s bein’ naughty?” He asked.
Dan just shook his head and then grimaced from the pain. The grin and the head shake had cost him and he laid his head on the pillow.
Cole covered him and kissed him on the forehead. “We’ll be back soon with food. Rest for now.”
Dan sighed and said, “Okay.”
Cole and Gabe went over to the Diamond Café and met Jalen there.
“Getting’ food for you, Brett and the prisoners?” He asked.
Jalen nodded. “Yes, how’s Dan?”
Cole said, “He didn’t like the idea, but he’s restin’. We’re getting’ food for all of us. We’ll eat with him, and then I hope he’ll sleep for a while. I know he didn’t sleep very well last night. I have some projects I can work on while I watch over him in the bedroom.”
Jalen nodded. “All right, but if you need anythin’, don’t be afraid to come over to the office. Either Brett or I can come over to help.”
Cole grinned. “All right. Thanks. The offer is appreciated.”
Jalen smiled. “No problem.”
When the Sheriff’s food order was ready he took the heavily laden tray and smiled at the proprietress. “Thank you Maria. I’ll bring back the tray and dishes when I come for lunch.”
Maria smiled at Jalen. “Sure…whenever it’s convenient.”
Jalen smiled at the woman and headed out to the jail.
Cole and Gabe waited and when their food was ready went back to the saddlery and set up a small table in the room Cole and Dan shared. Cole helped Gabe to prop Dan up and they set the food on the table for themselves and a tray across Dan’s lap with his food.
“I can eat at the table you know.” He protested.
Cole said firmly, “Doc Mac said you were to stay in bed and rest for the next couple of days at least.” He put another headache powder in Dan’s coffee and Dan sighed. “All right you two.” He said.
Gabe and Cole exchanged looks and chuckled.
After the meal Dan drifted off to sleep and Gabe went back to the Diamond Dust and Cole went and grabbed up some projects that required only lacing right now so he could work and keep an eye on Dan.
Dan woke after a while, almost in time for lunch. He smiled as he saw Cole working on a piece of leather. “What are you doin’?” He asked a bit drowsily.
Cole put his work aside. “One of the orders that required lacin’. I thought I’d take care of those kind of projects while I watched over you.”
Dan said, “Well, thank you for taking the responsibility for the work we have to do and that I can’t take care of and watchin’ over me.”
Cole grinned and shook his head. “You should know that I love you and I don’t mind.”
Dan smiled and then grimaced. “I do know and I just want you to know I appreciate it.” The older man then grew more serious. “The one thing I don’t appreciate is you takin’ unnecessary risks…like I saw you do durin’ the gun fight.”
Cole smiled at Dan’s words at first, but then bit his lip at his partner’s next words. “I’m sorry Dan…I didn’t mean to…I just sorta got caught up in the excitement of things.” Cole said softly.
Dan replied, “I know and I know you’re sorry. We’ll talk more about this later, when I’m feelin’ better.”
Cole nodded and sighed. “All right Dan.” He decided to not worry about things for now, his first concern being taking care of his partner. He got up and mixed up another headache powder. He handed the glass to Dan. “Here drink this down.”
Dan wrinkled his nose, but downed the glass of awful tasting stuff.
Cole took the glass from him and then pulled out the chamber pot. “I’ll leave you to take care of things while I go fix us some lunch.
Dan blushed a little, but nodded. “All right.” He waited for Cole to leave the room before making use of the pot, placing the cover on it and climbing back into bed.
Dawn had gone back to the saloon with the girls and after she bathed tried on the new dress and accessories she had bought, modeling it for the girls.
Ruby smiled. “You were right Lily, it’s perfect for Dawn.”
Lily nodded. “I thought it would be.”
Dawn smiled. “I’m glad I did go…but look at these too.” She pulled out two more dresses and the other girls admired them as well.
Once Dawn finished showing off her new finery she dug into a package and presented the other girls with the perfume and scented soaps she had brought back for them.
The girls all hugged and Ruby and Lily thanked Dawn for the presents.
“This will be so nice. They smell so good!” Lily cried.
Ruby grinned. “If this don’t entice some of them smelly old men who come here nothin’ will.”
Dawn laughed at Ruby’s description of some of their customers who didn’t bathe much, although the girls knew it was pretty customary. They themselves were happy for the luxury of being able to have tubs and bath water. Gabe made sure of that. He told them early on he wanted clean girls. He wasn’t running a nasty, dirty place and that included his girls. If there were some who objected to the bathing ritual Gabe moved them on to other places.
Once the girls had visited and seen everything and received their presents they noticed it was almost lunch time. “We should go down and bring a tray over for Dan and Cole and visit with Dan as we promised.” Dawn told her friends.
Ruby smiled. “Yes, we should. It will be fun; I want to hear all about their trip to St. Louis .”
Dawn smiled. “It will be entertainin’. They did some very interestin’ things. They told me when we were on the train comin’ back from Denver …that is before we were robbed.”
The other girls hugged her. “It’s all right Dawn. We’re very glad Dan and Cole were with you.”
Dawn smiled. “So am I, they’re very nice men. There’s no doubt Gabe and Dan are related to each other. He took good care of me until the robbers separated me from them. Even when we were both tied up and he was hurtin’ from them beatin’ him at the gang leader’s house he tried to be supportive and carin’.”
The other girls nodded. “We’re very fortunate to have such men here and in this town.”
Dawn smiled and agreed.
The girls then went downstairs and sought out Gabe.
Gabe Fairmont was in the kitchen of the Diamond Dust preparing food to take over to Dan and Cole. He knew Cole wouldn’t be able to prepare a hot meal and so had stew and biscuits and some cookies for dessert. He looked up when he heard a light knock on the doorframe and smiled. “Hello Dawn.
Dawn entered along with the other two girls. “Oh…I see you’re already preparin’ a tray…we’d thought we’d eat with Dan and Cole and visit with Dan until we have to begin work so Cole can do some other things if he needs to.”
Gabe smiled. “All right…I can make up another tray for you girls and we can bring them over to the boys and you girls can then visit.”
Dawn smiled. “Thanks Gabe, you truly are very sweet.”
Gabe blushed a bit. “You gotta stop sayin’ that.”
The three girls laughed. “Not if it’s true Gabe.” Ruby teased.
“That’s right Gabe.” Lily chimed in.
Gabe smiled and finished making up the other tray. He said, “All right, enough of this, let’s bring over this food for a couple of hungry men.”
Gabe took the heavier tray of food and Dawn picked up the other and Ruby and Lily trailed them.
Cole was about to pull some cooked beef out of their ice box and had been ready to slice some of it to make sandwiches when he heard a knock at the door. Putting the plate with the beef on the table he went to open the door and was surprised to see the three girls and Gabe with trays of food. “Oh…Hi, I’m glad to see all of you…Come on in!” He opened the door and allowed everyone to enter. Gabe, seeing the cold beef on the plate smiled at Dawn.
Dawn grinned back. Gabe was right. Cole wasn’t going to make a hot meal for Dan.
Gabe said, “You can put that back in the icebox for now Cole. We brought you hot food.”
Cole smiled and put the plate with the cold beef back into the ice box as Gabe and the girls unburdened the trays setting five places at the table. Gabe said, “If Dan isn’t dizzy, you can let him come out here to eat, but then he’s to go directly back to bed.”
Cole nodded. “All right, I’ll check and go get him.”
Gabe smiled. “All right. I’m goin’ back to the saloon. If you need me just send one of the girls. Don’t let Dan stay out of bed too long, The girls can visit with him in his bedroom while he rests.”
Cole smiled. He knew for most people the impropriety of visiting with a man in his bedroom would be scandalous, but for these girls nothing would be thought of it.
Cole knocked on Dan’s door and then entered.
Dan was sitting now on the side of the bed.
Cole smiled. “Gabe brought over hot food for lunch and the girls are here to visit as well. He said you could join us in the kitchen for the meal, but then you have to come right back to bed. The girls will come in here and visit with you. While they’re here I’d like to go over to Jack Hillyard’s and get Boots and bring him here where I can visit with him and take care of him.”
Dan nodded. “That sounds like a good idea.”
Cole smiled. “I thought so.”
He made sure Dan put on his slippers and wrapped himself in his warm robe. When he stood up Cole asked anxiously, “Are you dizzy? Gabe said if you were you were to stay in bed.”
Dan said, “No, I’m not dizzy.” He had a little dizziness, but he wasn’t going to tell Cole. It wasn’t bad and had already cleared up and so he walked with Cole into the kitchen to join the girls.
Dawn smiled as Dan came into the kitchen and went over and kissed his cheek, being careful to avoid the bruised one. “You still look pretty colorful with your bruises, but look more rested and what I can see of your color it’s better too.”
Dan smiled and then sighed as he felt the pain in his face. He’d be so glad when that went away and he could feel better.
Dawn took Dan’s hand and led him to the table.
Dan sat down and as they all seated themselves he said the blessing. They talked about their adventures, laughing and enjoying themselves as they ate the savory meal.
Once lunch was over Cole helped Dan back to bed and left the girls to continue to visit with him as he went over to the livery to collect his horse. He saw Jack Hillyard and called, “Mr. Hillyard…hello!”
Jack, who had been watering the horses in his care smiled. “Hello Cole…what can I do for you?” He asked.
“I’m here to get Boots. I’d like to take him home now.”
Jack smiled. “You can leave him with me for a few days if you want to if you won’t have the time to take proper care of him with Dan laid up for a few days and you carin’ for him.” He offered.
Cole shook his head. “My horse and I haven’t been together very long and I really want Boots to get used to me. When I took him off the train and rode here for everyone’s help it was the very first time I even rode him.”
Jack smiled and nodded. “I can understand that. You may take him, but if things get too much and you need me to care for him I will. He’s very well mannered and an easy horse to care for.” Jack told him. “You and Dan did very well selectin’ him.”
Cole grinned. “Thank you for the offer Mr. Hillyard, I’ll do that if I need to and I’m sure glad you like Boots so well.”
Jack smiled. “You’re welcome. Give Dan my regards.”
Cole smiled. “I’ll do that.”
Jack got Boots. He was all tacked up, just like he was when Cole rode him into town. “Nice tack you have here Cole. Maybe you and Dan can make somethin’ like it…I’d be interested in a saddle with a suede seat like that.”
Cole grinned. “We’ll see what we can do once Dan is recovered.”
Jack nodded. “All right. Take care for now.”
Cole smiled and waved to Jack as he led Boots out of the livery and over to the Saloon to house him in the barn Gabe had out back.
The saloon girls had kept Dan entertained with Dawn sharing her shopping experiences and the work she had done for Madam Willow, then the episode with Smokey.
Dan’s violet eyes darkened at the tale and the mention of the man who had treated Dawn so roughly and she noticed.
“Dan, now don’t you go getting’ all fired up…you let the Sheriff Take care of that man.” She scolded.
Dan said, “I’d like just a few minutes with him out back of the Sheriff’s office to give him his due.” He said a bit hotly.
Dawn shook her head. “You don’t want to end up on Jalen’s bad side…or in that cell with the rest of them. You know he won’t put up with that kind of behavior, he’s an honorable man.” Dawn said.
Dan sighed. “I know, but I just can’t help feelin’ angry with the man.”
Dawn nodded. “I know, but let the law take care of him Dan, please don’t take the law into your own hands.”
Dan sighed and nodded. He lay back on his pillows. His head was beginning to ache horrible again and he closed his eyes.
Dawn, seeing Dan was in pain again was relieved when she heard horse’s hooves and knew Cole was returning.
Cole settled Boots. There wasn’t much he had to do but untack him. Jack had fed him, watered him and groomed him already. He talked to the horse, petted his nose and fed him an apple, then said, “Boots, I gotta go take care of Dan now, but I’ll be out to see you for your supper.”
The horse nudged him as though he understood what Cole was saying.
Cole grinned, patted the velvety nose once more and latching the stall door returned to the saddlery.
Dawn, hearing the back door open smiled at the other girls and went to Cole. “Hello Cole, I think Dan’s in pain again.”
Cole frowned slightly. It hadn’t been more than a couple of hours since the last headache powder and he wasn’t due for another one yet. He got out the bottle of laudanum and measured out a small amount like Doc had showed him and put it in a glass of water and brought it to Dan.
“Hi Dan…I got Boots from the livery and he’s all settled in the barn out back of Gabe’s.”
Dan said, without opening his eyes. “That’s good.”
Cole pressed the glass into Dan’s hands. “Drink this. I know it will taste bad, but it will help your headache.”
Dan cracked open his good eye, but then took the glass and downed it wrinkling his nose.
Cole smiled and took the glass and then said to the girls, “Thank you all for keepin’ Dan Company and takin’ such good care of him while I was gone.”
Dawn smiled. “You’re welcome Cole.”
Cole smiled. He glanced over to Dan and could see he’d already drifted off.
The girls smiled at his peaceful face and quietly left to return to the saloon.
Jalen brought in the food for Brett, himself and the prisoners. He pushed the tray with their food under the cell door and he and Brett ate together at his desk where they talked quietly.
“Hey!” Falcon shouted. “Where’s our lawyer…we’re entitled to one ain’t we?” He called loudly.
Jalen nodded. “Yes, you are entitled to one. Mr. Roland Harrison will be comin’ to see you once I let him know you’re ready to talk to him. I’ll be doin’ that after I eat my breakfast. I suggest you eat yours while it’s hot.” He told the outlaws.
Falcon gave Jalen a sour look, but turned to his food.
Once Jalen finished he said to Brett, we don’t have to bring the dishes back until we go for their lunch. I’m goin’ to talk to Roland, but I also need to get with the engineer of the train and I want to visit the passengers once more to try to identify their belongings we’ve recovered.”
Brett nodded. “All right, you go do that and I’ll keep an eye on things here.”
Jalen smiled.” All right. I’ll be back as soon as I can. I know these bad guys can get on your nerves, try not to let them okay?”
Brett nodded. “Okay.”
Jalen then left and headed to Roland Harrison’s office to let him know the outlaws needed a visit.
Roland Harrison, the town lawyer smiled when he saw Jalen in the doorway of his office. “Hello there Sheriff.”
Jalen smiled. “Hello there Roland…you probably know by now I have a job for you. I have four outlaws locked up in the jail. They need to speak to legal counsel.”
Roland nodded. “Yes, I was expecting you to stop by. I can go over to the jail now if you like.”
Jalen nodded. “All right, but I want you to know they have all they need. They’ve been fed and all their needs have been taken care of. There’s no reason to get close to the cell or the outlaws. Don’t let them trick you into getting close enough for them to pull any tricks on you.” Jalen warned.
Roland nodded. “I’m pretty aware of those kinds of things Sheriff and I promise, I’ll be careful.”
Jalen nodded. “All right.” Meet me at the jail in about two hours. I need to talk to the train engineer and I also need to check with the passengers regarding their recovered possessions so I can be sure to identify them and return them once the trial is over as they’re bein’ held as evidence.”
Roland nodded. “All right…I’ll meet you over there in a couple of hours.”
Jalen went over to the hotel where the engineer and the others from the train, as well as the passengers were staying. He went up to Morris Henning’s and smiled. “Morris, how’s the arm?”
Morris smiled. “It hurts some, but its doin’ all right. Doc says no permanent damage and there just might be a scar.”
Jalen smiled. “Well I’m glad you’re doin’ good. Can you tell me which room the engineer is in? I need to talk to him…I also need the list of other train people and the passengers so I can talk to them. Do you have a tablet and pencil I can borrow to take notes? I forgot to take one with me from the office.”
Morris nodded and gave Jalen the requested items. “The porter and stock handler are stayin’ at the rail yard.”
Jalen quirked an eyebrow, but nodded. ”All right.”
The Sheriff made his way to the room the engineer was staying in. He met with him and went over the situation with the outlaws and said, “I’m not goin’ to hold the train any longer. I’ll telegraph Sheriff Henderson at Glenwood Springs to let him know I’ve recovered the payroll and have taken the remainin’ outlaws into custody to await Judge Graham.”
The engineer nodded. “All right…thank you. Will you need any of us for witnesses?”
Jalen said, “No, your people didn’t see anythin’, I probably will detain some of the passengers to act as witnesses as they saw more of what the outlaws did than you or any of your people did.”
The engineer nodded. “I’ll also notify my superiors that the payroll has been recovered and will be returned to them as soon as the trial is over.”
Jalen said, “All right, that would be a good thing to do.”
The engineer said, “Thank you Sheriff for everything you’ve done.”
The lawman smiled. “You’re welcome. It was my pleasure to help.”
The engineer and Jalen shook hands and the Sheriff went on his way to again make contact with the passengers on the train. He wrote down names, addresses and descriptions once again of stolen items so he could double check against his first list in case there were items the passengers didn’t remember being taken the first time. He also would double check addresses and told each person their possessions would be returned to them after the trial of the outlaws as they needed to be kept as evidence. The people Jalen spoke to thanked him and told him they understood about their possessions. He detained key witnesses at the hotel for the trial and told them their expenses would be paid while they stayed in Diamond Springs and that once the trial was over their possessions would be returned to them before they left.
Roland Harrison met Jalen at the jail and upon entering he could see Brett was agitated and annoyed. He asked, “Brett, do the prisoners need anythin’?”
Brett shook his head. “No Sir, everythin’ they need has already been taken care of.
Falcon glared at the lawmen, but said nothing.
Jalen turned to the outlaws. “This is Roland Harrison…he’s the town attorney and will be meeting with you regardin’ your situation. Me and the Deputy will leave him with you so you can have some privacy. We’ll be makin’ our rounds.”
Roland smiled at Jalen and Brett. “I’ll be expecting you both to return in about an hour or so then?”
The Sheriff nodded. “Yes, that would be about right.”
Roland nodded. “All right.” He turned his attention to the prisoners while the lawmen left the Sheriff’s office to make their rounds.