A terrible buzzing noise was coming from the Marshal's office. People down the street were standing in a small group, looking towards the office and laughing.

Matt came in the back door of the office, a grimace on his handsome face.

"Chester! Please stop that! I could hear it all the way over by the General Store. People are asking me if I've arrested a giant bee!"

Chester took the paper-covered comb away from his mouth, a hurt look on his face.

"I thought it was starting to sound pretty good, Mr. Dillon. Maybe if I practice a little more." He raised the paper-covered comb to his mouth.

"No! Put that down. Please. I've got an assignment for you."

Chester immediately perked up, dropping the paper and comb, and attentively watching his Marshal.

"I have to ride towards Elkader, hunting for Jim Holder. A cowboy rode in earlier, claiming he spotted him out on the prairie in that direction.

"Ain't he that fella that held up the stage and shot the driver last week?"

"Yep, that's the one! Look, Chester, I may not be back until late tomorrow sometime, so I want you to watch over things." Matt was loading one of the rifles he had taken down from the wall.

"Yessir, Mr. Dillon! Don't you worry about nary a thing!" Chester had straightened up, smoothed back his long brown hair with his fingers, and tucked his shirt in tighter.

"Mr. Dillon, why don't you have a cup of coffee before you leave? It's been brewing for four days now and should be jest about right now." He picked up the metal coffee pot from the stove, sloshed it around, and poured a thick stream into a mug.

"Thanks, Chester. I could use it." He took a swallow.

"Is it strong enough, Mr. Dillon?" Chester considered himself to be an expert on coffee making, and frequently added egg shells, cayenne, and other experimental items in his quest for the perfect mix.

"Chester, I had to fight it all the way down!" After a few more swallows, he set down the mug.

"I'll be back sometime tomorrow night, probably, and hopefully with Jim Holder." Matt threw his saddlebags over his shoulder, picked up the loaded rifle, grabbed his Stetson and headed out the door.