The Search

“Your men already scouted the area?” June asked.

“Yes, I split them into two groups, the larger group is starting at the far end, the smaller at this one.”

“Have they found any clues to suggest they’re here?”

“Not yet.” It had surprised Nigel. Either they were more clever than he’d given them credit for and were covering their tracks, or they’d gone another route. That worried him because if it were the case, they’d deliberately dropped clues to confuse and obstruct.

A couple of hours more and they were passed the second set of caves heading toward another one. He found another clue. A hat. “June, take a look at this.”

“That’s Roland’s good luck hat; he took it everywhere, even if he didn’t wear it, it was tucked into his satchel.”

Nigel nodded but didn’t explain his relief. This was a very personal item and it likely meant Roland at least was still free enough to drop hints.

“We have a damn good idea where they’re headed, we outnumber them, we’re prepared. We’ll find them, June.”

“Yeah, I’m sure of that.” She desperately hoped they’d be in one piece.

June found it difficult to sit and await the outcome of what had just happened. Even though she didn’t know Brad or the other members of Nigel’s crew, the thought of anyone of them coming to harm was disturbing. She was shallow breathing and didn’t realize it until Nigel moved and she sucked in a lung full of air.

Nigel, had he looked, would have found her gorgeous green eyes enormous, overwhelming her face, the intensity of the situation holding her in its grasp. His eyes were trained on his men’s position up ahead. Though he couldn’t see them, he knew where they were, and he was nearly motionless until Brad made his way back through the underbrush moving stealthily toward him.

As he closed the gap between them he sent hand signals to Nigel that June didn’t understand. With bated breath, she watched his steady approach. Nigel stood and so did she.

In a near whisper, he related, “Not sure where it came from, but someone took a pot shot at Harris, missed by a country mile; unfortunately, I didn’t get a visual and the sound echoed off the mouth cave. It could have come from anywhere.”

“It could have been a warning shot or someone with bad aim. Either way, we’re on the right track.” Nigel was concerned.

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