I looked at the cats, then looked around. “What do you think the danger is kittens?”, I ask them. Meow,meow.=Not sure, but feel danger. Meow.=Yep, and it not wild animal danger, it people danger. Meow,meow.=Yep, I agree with that, it people we need to worry about. I looked around some more. It was fairly open pine forest on granite hills here, not much undergrowth, so I could see quite far. But I didn’t notice anything. However, I wasn’t going to doubt the cats. The people behind us could never catch up to us that quickly, but they could have had a way to contact someone for help. We will have to watch carefully tonight, or try to walk in the dark, which I don’t think would be a good idea.
We settled down for the night. Meow.=You 2 sleep, we keep watch. “No,” I said, “I’ll take the first watch, you two haven’t had much sleep lately and I want you well rested for this next part.” So they curled up next to Kat, who was already sleeping, and fell asleep quickly themselves. There is no moon tonight, so it was very dark in that forest, instead I needed to rely more on my hearing. It was completely calm, which was good, and except for a Barred owl in the distance, I heard nothing. After a short time the owl moved quite close to us and kept up with his hooting. Too bad I couldn’t see him, Barred owls are nice and big. Suddenly he stopped.
I listened more carefully now and started to hear footsteps, slowly coming toward us. Wish I could use my flashlight, but that would just make me as easy target. Sounded like 3 people. Could those 3 really have caught up to us already? I woke up the cats. They listened, then ran off the way of two people. One person came along right next to me, so I tripped him and whacked him on the head. That should keep him sleeping for a while. Then I heard another set of footsteps a little farther from me coming up faster. “Thwock!”, and one was down. “Thwock!”, and another was down. Now that last man. He started coming closer so I just waited.
When I figured he was about 10 feet away I ran after him, in and out around the trees and knocked him to the ground. But not before he got off one shot, and I felt the sting in my shoulder. But I had him down and got my gun at his head. “Wait,” he said, “I can tell you who’s behind this.” “Okay,” I said, “tell me and you live.” “It’s your…”, then Kat had the flashlight on us and shot. The man was dead. “Are you okay Steve?”, asked Kat as she and the cats ran over to me. “Yes,” I answered, “I’m okay.” Meow,meow.=No you not, shoulder hurt. Then Kat noticed the blood too. “You are hurt, you’re shot. We went back to our little spot under the pines.
We had left our tent in the open and moved ourselves outdoors and hidden in the trees, just in case someone was going to come after us, which they did. “There’s still one prisoner,” I said, “this guy over here.” “That’s the woman from earlier,” said Kat. Meow.=And men we get were same men. “They certainly managed to get help in a hurry, which is kind of interesting,” I said. “That was fast,” said Kat, “do you think they flew in some help?” “I think we would have heard a plane or helicopter,” I said, “but perhaps there is a road nearby that doesn’t show on the map. There’s lots of old logging roads in this country and they are not always marked.
That would explain why they are always south of us too.” “Maybe we could go that way and find the road, it would be easier walking,” said Kat. “And easier for them to see us,” I said, “we’re better off staying as hidden as possible right now.” “I guess you’re right,” she said, “now, about that shoulder, the bullet is still inside.” “Guess you’ll have to dig it out,” I said with a smile. Kat just looked. “Not in the dark I won’t,” she said. “You can do it,” I said, “I’ll hold the flashlight.” Meow,meow.=Not good idea, maybe more people around, they see light and come. “Hmm, that’s true Muffin,” I said, “but I’m bleeding too much, we can’t wait.” It was soon over, Kat and I quickly fell asleep while the cats continued watching. What was that man going to say?
To Be Continued.
©2021 Steve McLeod.