June admired what Nigel stood for, what he represented. Honesty, integrity, truth, justice. It was evident in every line of his body in ways he probably wasn’t even aware as if he wore a cloak. She was more drawn to him with every passing moment shared. Nigel wouldn’t give up until both men were found. While he might keep some thoughts on the matter secret, it was obvious he had opinions.
Honestly, she had to agree. Jackson had to be the target. Roland made good money, very good money for his photos but he wasn’t in Jackson’s league. It also made sense they’d keep Jackson in line by holding Roland captive.
Knowing Roland as she did, he was working on a plan to free them. Leaving clues was just the tip of the iceberg. She desperately wished she could anticipate his next step. He wouldn’t put Jackson’s life in jeopardy and he was obviously trying his best to get the word out in hopes someone would find his clues. Nigel was probably right that the order of his clues mattered but for the life of her she couldn’t figure out what they meant.
“Nigel, can we take a minute and see if the clues add up to anything? I keep revisiting your idea the manner in which he’s dropped them means something. It’s teasing my brain, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it matters. I’m sure there’s a link and it’s teasing my brain, but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. I know it matters! I feel it. There’s a connection there somewhere!”
“Of course we can!”
“Ok.” Sighing, June continued, “Notebook, camera, footprint, unknown man.”
“He might have taken a picture of the man or men. I’m assuming there would have to be more than one to keep Jackson and Roland in line. They could easily overtake an individual man given the right moment and would even if he had a weapon.”
“Unfortunately, it’ll be several hours before we get anything back from the camera.” Nigel’s frustration at the thought equaled her own.
“The notebook was standard for Roland and everything I read was indicative of the type of notes he’s always taken, there doesn’t seem to be anything unusual there, except of course for the unknown additions in the margins. The boot print is definitely belongs to Roland. It seems he made sure it was the left boot print which I think is significant in itself. Not that anyone else would know it belonged to him other than me, I’m not completely sure how that helps but it is an important detail.”
“The boot print is an isosceles triangle which wouldn’t mean much by itself, but I wonder if he was leaving a clue to indicate this was the path they were on, but also where they could potentially be heading. Let’s take a look at the map, see what’s ahead.”
Pulling out the map, Nigel held it out so they could both view it simultaneously. “Well damn, I didn’t notice that before.”
“What?” June was mystified.
“Look toward the middle at the top of the map.”
“Yeah, facing the same direction as the boot print.”
“You think it might be significant?”
“It highly possible.”
“That section is riddled with caves and a long time ago was riddled with pan handlers. There are dozens of abandoned sites where panhandlers camped out while seeking treasure.”
“It would make for a great hide out.” June conceded.