Besmirch


Your Daily Word Prompt – Besmirch – March 19, 2019

Whatever Jackson was embroiled in, it seemed he was in over his head.  She doubted he’d shared his concerns with Roland probably in a misguided attempt to protect Roland’s reputation, not besmirch it … whatever IT was.

Since she couldn’t picture him knowingly becoming involved in anything nefarious, she wondered if he’d stumbled onto something, something sensitive that now placed his life and her brother’s in danger.  Could this situation just be a wild co-incidence?   She shook her head.  Too bad she didn’t believe in co-incidences.  They happened, but rarely.

Jackson was rolling in money, great huge mountains of it according to Roland.  Even though Jackson could have devised much more elaborate escapades, he’d chosen to remain by Roland’s side. They were as close as any two brothers could be.  If Roland suspected for a moment that Jackson’s life was in danger, he’d move heaven and hell to find out what it was and protect him, no matter what!

Nigel watched her from time to time as they continued their search.  She was deep in thought, mulling over what he’d said.  It was one thing to believe something was hinky, another when the idea was confirmed.  That was an entirely different ballgame. Broadening their search, they fanned out, leaving 10 feet between them and began again, focused on looking for broken twigs, footprints, bits of clothing, something either might have dropped, any clue they could follow to find the two missing men. 

June nearly tripped over a hidden root and stumbled but caught herself.  Nigel looked at her as she stood frozen.  Hustling across the space separating them he looked down at the spot she was staring at.  “Shit!”

“It’s Roland’s camera.  He’d never, never give it up, not without a fight.” 

Nigel picked the camera up with a gloved hand and carefully bagged it before placing it in his backpack.  A chagrin crossed his face, “Old habits.” Then he added, “I’d say we’re on the right track.”

June exhaled a long-held breath and agreed, “It would seem so, and I’m not sure whether to be pleased or terrified.”

“If Roland left this behind, he did so hoping someone would find it.  He left us another clue!”

“We need to see what pictures he’s got in that camera.  There’s got to be a clue, don’t you think?”

“I think if Roland could give us a hint, he would.”

“How long before we can look at it?”

“I’ve got a friend on the force with the group up ahead.  I’ve radioed our location. He’s bringing the gear to take prints off the camera. Soon as he’s done, we’ll see what Roland if anything, Roland had to say.”

Looking ahead at the area they’d not yet covered, Nigel added, “A regular hiker could cover approximately two miles per hour, but Roland and Jackson were experienced hikers and would likely cover twice that if not more, depending on whether they were in a hurry or not.”

“And?

“We’ve backtracked and covered approximately 20 miles twice at a snail’s pace while searching and twice that yesterday.  I’m attempting to create a timeline. You found Roland’s book night before yesterday, it was nearly nightfall correct?”

“Yes, it was.”

“It’s nearly nightfall again, and we’ve found another clue.”

“He’s dropping stuff around dusk.”

“Yes, it would seem so.” 

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