So, Nigel concluded, one or both were leaving clues, strategically at that, nothing hither and thither about this.  They indicated direction and perhaps more importantly, offered more important incite into what was happening.  Nigel’s mind was working overtime.  Book, marginal additions, camera.  “Let’s stop, take a breather.  I have an idea.”

“Ok.”  Intrigued, June set her backpack down and rested on top of it.  “What’s up?”

“I’m thinking there’s more here than just dropping stuff for someone to find.  I’m wondering if there’s a connection in the clues themselves.”

“Such as?”

“Let’s take a look at that notebook again, shall we?”

Tugging the book from an inner pocket, June handed it across without hesitation.

“Two pairs of eyes may make sense of this.”  They continued scanning the notebook, first reading Roland’s notes, the second time, the additions.

“Look.  Look at this.”  Nigel held the book tighter and pointed at the additions.  “Every third word creates a sentence.”

“Create diversion immediately.  Bring Sampson now.”

“What do you suppose it means?”  June asked perplexed.

“Taking Roland and Jackson wasn’t a diversion.  I believe that was the beginning of whatever this is.  Whoever added these notations was hoping someone else, either the third party that joined them, or another person would find them.”

“If so, why a diversion?  Out here, in the middle of nowhere?”

“Depends on when it was written.  If they knew or suspected someone would come looking for Roland and Jackson, they’d require a diversion in order to carry on with their plans, whatever they are.”

“That begs the question, what would they do to Roland and Jackson?  If they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time?”

“Or taking them was part of the plan all along but the perps weren’t expecting such an immediate response to their disappearance.”

“Your right, Nigel.  They may have thought that our guys wouldn’t be noticed or considered missing for several hours.  It also begs the question ‘did they know who they’d kidnapped and their capabilities’.  Could be they considered them two individuals out for a few days hiking unaware of their capabilities.”

“Yeah, it also begs the question, ‘what they’d do about it when they realized they weren’t just regular hikers, but capable’.  Also makes me wonder if they knew Jackson was wealthy and if that fact played in the original plan or became part of the plan when they realized who he was and how wealthy he was.”

“It also makes me wonder what they’d do to Roland if they considered him expendable!?”

“I doubt Jackson would have allowed that to happen.  They are close, and he’d ensure Roland’s safety, don’t you think?”

“Yeah, yeah, I do, but at what cost?”

“If they weren’t part of the original plot, would they dump them somewhere and continue?  If they realized Jackson was loaded, would they drag them along hoping for a ransom or use him as leverage?”

“The thing is, Nigel, there’s no one to contact.  Nigel doesn’t have family!  He’s it.”

“I’ll have someone look into it immediately, find out who his trustee is, who’s in charge of the money.  There must be someone an assistant, a board of directors, he couldn’t keep his business going without.”

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