“Well, guess we use old technology”, I said, and I brought out a map. “Um, how do we know this map is the right one for where we are?,” asked Kat. “Well, we don’t,” I said, “but since we were in this province I figure this must be where we are.” I circled a large area on the map. Kat just looked at me. “That doesn’t seem to help much,” said Kat. “Yes, that’s true,” I said, “but first we need to check and make sure they didn’t put any listening devices or tracking devices on us.” So we checked thoroughly and we each had one, plus there was one in each of our backpacks. I decided to smash our phones and leave them behind so they can’t use those against us either.
Then we went back to the map. Meow,meow.=Give me pencil, I show something. So Muffin took the pencil and drew lines down and across. Meow,meow.=This where we are now. We are presently beside a small lake, which showed up on the map. Then I could see where the nearest town was located. “Well, this is roughly the route we will take,” I said, “but it’s not going to be easy. We will need to walk about 12 to 16 hours a day to make it in time.” “My, you are cheerful today,” said Kat, “but that’s a lot of walking for 4 days. We need to eat and sleep too, and rest a bit now and then.” “I’ll be honest Kat,” I said, “but doing 12 hours a day through this terrain won’t do it, we will likely have to make some detours around swamps, bogs, cliffs, plus there is this river which we will have to cross on day 3.”
Kat looked at the map, then at me, “if we reach it by day 3.” “We will have to cross it on day 3 or we won’t make it in time,” I said. “But we only have 2 sandwiches each, that’s not enough for one day’s worth of walking,” said Kat. “Well, there’s lots of food all around us,” I said, “but there are also other problems, like wild animals, bears, cougars, lynx. And small critters, the worst of all, mosquitos! In this country they can eat you alive at night, so we have to be very careful where we sleep.” “Wow, you really are cheerful today,” said Kat. Meow.=we gladly share our food with you, we catch mice. “Thanks, but no thanks, I’m not eating a mouse,” said Kat firmly.
Meow,meow.=no, he mean you can have our cat food, we catch mice for us. Kat just gives a big sigh. But up we get and start walking, after all, there’s at least 4 hours of good daylight, don’t want to waste it. At 9 pm we were at the top of a ridge with a light breeze blowing. “This is a good spot to spend the night,” I said, “the mosquitos shouldn’t be too bad here.” It had been a very hot summer day, so that breeze was very refreshing and it did keep the mosquitos away too, not one showed up that night. Kat woke up and stretched, then suddenly sat up.
“I smell coffee!”, she exclaimed, “how did you do that? I didn’t know you had that little…thing.” “It’s kind of a mini camp stove, single burner style,” I said, “but I didn’t have it, I found it, plus some other things over there.” She went to look. “I don’t understand,” she said, “are they giving us supplies along the way? But how do they know where we are going?” “The cats said a helicopter dropped it early this morning, just after it got light.” So we enjoyed our breakfast of coffee and sandwiches, while the cats enjoyed a more, um, rustic breakfast which Kat didn’t want to look at.
In the bag that was dropped were guns for Kat and I as well, plus steel balls for the cats, which had also been taken away. “Obviously this stuff came from Baldwin,” I said, “he found us because Muffin had told him to track us when we first got to that old farmhouse.” “Smart kitten,” said Kat and gave them both a hug. Then off we went for our first day of hiking, which really wasn’t so bad. It was fairly easy and uneventful walking through the forest, but we were certainly tired by 6 pm. Kat and I did have to carry the cats much of the way however, so they weren’t quite so tired as us. “I can’t go any further today Steve,” said Kat, “and I thought I was in good shape.” “That’s okay,” I said, “we covered more ground than I thought we would, so we’ll stop here for the night.” Then a couple of shots, hitting the tree next to us!
To Be Continued.
Previous chapters of this story, and more stories, can be found on my home page under “The Investigators, Inc.”
©2021 Steve McLeod.