Nigel had contacted the local authorities updating them on the current situation and they had undercover men stationed at every entrance should the suspects managed to escape. 

As soon as they could identify the culprits involved, a full-on investigation would ensure.  Nigel had to admitted he was a cop at heart and his blood was pumping. 

His long-standing friendship with the local constabulary meant he was covered should excessive force be required. He hadn’t drawn his gun in months, but he was prepared for that eventuality.  Tossing a quick look at June he unclipped his gun.  He noticed her eyes widen at the possibility.

Roland was in pain but kept a protective arm around his sister as they followed several feet behind with Mark covering their backs. Brad Harris and John were still in the lead.  Suddenly a shot rang out and everyone hit the dirt.  It came from up ahead and from the sound of it, wasn’t directed at them.  Trouble in the ranks, Nigel wondered?  Was someone getting antsy or had the leader shown up prepared to take out anyone that could tie him to the current events? 

He signaled to Brad and Harris who kept moving while John dropped back to cover June and Roland. 

As they made their way quietly forward, they could hear yelling.  It was couched in echoes and difficult to understand but clearly the individual was furious.  It sounded like someone was kicking everything in their path and the onslaught continued for a couple more minutes which gave them the opportunity to advance more quickly.

Suddenly Brad stopped and held his fist in the air.  They were closing in. Nigel moved forward after signaling the rest to halt and joined Brad.  From their vantage point they could see Jackson sitting on a boulder with his hands tied behind his back.  The larger man he and June had caught a glimpse of several days ago was cowering off to the side.  A taller younger man stood between him and Jackson waving a pistol around frenetically.  They couldn’t see the other two men purportedly present so they must have moved on toward the cave’s other entrance, that or they’d taken off for parts unknown.  It was a dicey situation since he wasn’t sure how many men were armed ready and willing to fight.

As they hunkered down, the man in front of a bleeding Jackson began yelling.  “It didn’t have to be this way, Jackson.  You just had to turn and look the other way.  Even if you weren’t interested in the money, being rich and all, it would have set me up for life.  You brought this on yourself.  Your ransom will hold me over rather nicely.”

Jackson replied but it was muffled but they could see him shaking his head side to side.  Suddenly the other man yelled, “Shut up, Jackson!  You think you know it all, think your so smart, but you didn’t see any of this coming, did you?”  He kicked Jackson’s leg hard enough to knock Jackson on the ground. Brad winced at the vicious kick. 

If Nigel was reading the situation correctly, the man in the corner wasn’t prepared to fight seemed shaken at the turn of events.  Doubtful he’d leave alive if the instigator had anything to say about it.  No witnesses was how Nigel read the situation and he wasn’t sure whether the other perp was aware of that fact. 

“We’ll be out of here in an hour and the money better be ready, Jackson.  I know as well as you how the business runs and I know protocol.  If you don’t follow through, I’ll shoot you were you stand and cut my losses.”

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