“I agree. I haven’t figured it out yet. Interestingly they are backpacking boots, built for heavy loads, gnarly terrain, high cut to stabilize ankles to carry a lot of weight. They appear to be full-grain leather with a rubber bumper to protect from impacts. Maybe not well broken in but broken in none-the-less which means whoever is wearing these, came prepared.”
“Excellent observations, June.”
“This region, terrain if you will, would require this type of boot because of the mud and muck. They have good grips on the bottom I would suspect and because they’re leather, would hold up under the circumstances. Like yours and mine.”
“I noticed you came prepared.”
“I knew what I was getting into. Roland and Jackson did as well. Just as you did. This guy was prepared, had done some research and knew what foot apparel was required. It suggests premeditation, preparedness, don’t you think?”
“Yes, I do, June. I’d say our guy or guys had researched the region very well, knew what to expect, knew where they could hide out, where to jump our guys.”
“Planned then. Does that make a difference to the outcome?”
“It might, it might not. Since they know the area, they could hold up for days without being discovered and they are probably prepared for just such an advent. It also means it took weeks to plan. It sure wasn’t spur of the moment.”
“Having said that, I think something unexpected happened. Something they weren’t prepared for. If indeed the man in this photo is one of the kidnappers, I’d sure like to know more about him.”
“Let me see if I can sketch a better picture of him.”
“You can do that?”
“I can extrapolate from the photo, at least give us a pretty good likeness.”
June pulled out Roland’s notebook and turned to an empty page and began drawing. Nigel was impressed. He sat silently observing as she worked.
When she was finished, she handed the picture across to him, “There, I’d say that’s pretty close.”
“I’ll send this to my men immediately.” Which he did.
“We’re getting somewhere now, aren’t we?”
“Yes, I believe these are excellent clues. Even if the photo of the man doesn’t pan out, the boots should. I’ve got my men working on it now.”
“Good to have contacts.” June smiled.