“While we’re being straight here,” June paused momentarily, “how good are you at negotiation?”  She paused again before adding, “Do you think we’ll have a chance to negotiate, get them out safely?”

Nigel looked directly into June’s eyes.  He knew she needed the truth.  “It’s always possible.  Honestly, it depends on the captor’s agenda.  The motive whether it’s money, revenge, payback, all carries a great deal of weight.  The other question is are their lives worth more than the payoff or the threat?” 

“I guess the question is are these guys the ring leaders or paid thugs! Each scenario could bring about a different result. They may not be willing to risk incarceration or death on someone else’s behalf.”

June sighed heavily, “How do you prepare for something like that?  It is obvious they were taken against their will.  I thought that from the beginning and it was why I was antsy to get search and rescue involved and moving.  Since they are both experienced adaptable and adept, an accident or injury didn’t cut it for me.  One of them would have gone for help.”

When she paused, Nigel waited her out before asking, “And?”

“And I know Roland’s done exceedingly well with photography and all, but I also know Jackson’s loaded.”  She grinned, “ok, wealthy.  From the beginning I couldn’t shake the idea he’s the target.”

“Whoever (and I am assuming it’s Roland) is leaving clues is doing so very carefully using items he doesn’t believe will be noticed or missed.  That tells me that whoever has them doesn’t know them well.  Otherwise, they’d have noted the camera was missing.  It also begs the question, were they the ones writing in the notebook?  If so, you’d think they’d have kept it or added more notes along the way even kept it as proof of life.” Nigel wasn’t pulling any punches. 

It’s a huge area and the likelihood of someone finding a lost notebook simply blows my mind. I’m astounded we found it, that and the other clues,” June admitted.

“They have to know we’re here, that a search party is involved.  That’s why that miscreant made an appearance, I’m just not sure whether it was a warning bravado or a threat.” 

“We’ll know soon enough.”  Nigel stated flatly.

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