Put it down to remnants of his previous job, but he had contacts and he used them so he knew what he was dealing with. That added information assisted him with the mindset of the individual he was searching for and gave him insight into how they might react in a dangerous situation. Would panic set in, would they remain calm, go in search of help, play it by the book, or respond randomly. That information assisted him in creating a grid pattern from which to start. Some said he liked to hoard information, and possibly that was true, but it had served him well so far.
“I’m an artist and I dabble in writing mysteries.” Obviously, she’d received criticism regarding her choice of occupation because her chin lifted, and she dared him to comment.
“You any good?” he asked thoughtfully.
“Not bad. I’m my own worst critic but I do well enough.”
“That include gallery showings?”
“Then you are good. No need for self-critiquing then.”
June smiled. “It’s not that I don’t enjoy and appreciate what I do, but it’s about improvement, perfecting my craft. Art is in the eye of the beholder, either you like or love it, or it’s not for you. There’s no middle ground.”
“Portraits, landscapes, what’s your specialty?”
“I dabble. Landscapes, scenery for the most part, although I have done a few portraits and some impressionism.”
“How much hiking do you do? Are you equivalent to your brother?”
“Nearly. He’s always been one step ahead since he loves it and has more time for it than I do, but he’s been a great teacher and I can hold my own in most any situation.”
“Good to know.” And it was. This situation could get dicey. Her brother and Jackson were avid world class hikers. The information he’d uncovered suggested they would remain together unless the situation were critical and they had each other’s backs.
“Ok. Here’s what I know about your brother and Jackson.” Nigel filled her in on what he’d learned.
“Well well! You covered a lot of ground.”
“It’s helpful knowing the mindset of whoever I’m searching for, helps me determine their actions and reactions in most situations.”
“You been at this awhile then?” June was thinking in terms of what his track record looked like, in retrieving lost individuals.
“Yeah, eight years.”
“And have you spent a great deal of time on search and rescue missions?”
“You find most of the people your searching for?”
“Yes. Lost a couple along the way. Too little too late. No one realized they were missing. By the time we got to them, one had died of hypothermia, the other had hunkered down and was so disoriented they didn’t realize they were only a few hundred feet from the way out.”
June understood from his response and tone those losses disturbed him, greatly.
“Let’s hope we’re on the right side of this one then, shall we?”
“Your brother and Jackson were well equipped, know how to handle most given situations, and I’m sure they are safe.” There were only a few circumstances that he felt could trip them up. Foul play serious injury or death. None of which he would suggest.
They were ready to head out. June asked, “Which direction you headed in?”
“We’re together. Safety in numbers. What direction were you headed in when you found the notebook?”
Nigel pulled a creased map out of an inner pocket and held it out. They both scanned the area. “This path is well travelled,” and pointing at the other, “this one not as much, suggesting it’s likely the path they’d take.”
June nodded in agreement, “Your right, they’d take the challenge over the easy route any time.”
“Ok, let’s head out.” He lifted his gear settled into his backpack assuming she’d follow suit. He was pleased when she did.