“I think that we need to find Hermit Pete’s old cabin if we can,” I told everyone, “I am sure there is a clue there somewhere that might help us.” “That is a tall order Steve,” said Kat, “if he has been dead for so long, then his cabin is likely rotted away to almost nothing now.” “Perhaps not,” I replied, “if it is made of logs then there will still be enough there to find it and quite likely it is still standing.” “But it could be anywhere within a range of 20 miles, or more,” said Rock, “especially if he made it as a younger man.”
“That is true,” I said, “but I think it is closer than that. This book, which is written as a story, tells about a man named Mountain Pete who came to a small town for supplies once a month in the evening and left following the summer sunset. So that gives us an approximate direction to follow.” “But how do we go looking for it without the others becoming suspicious?”, asked Kristina.
“Well, this one hiking trail might help,” I said, “we follow it for a ways then cut off around this point (as I pointed on the map), then follow around to check out this area over here.” “That might fool the people here,” said Rossana, “but from what the others have told me, Q is out there somewhere and obviously watches your every move.” “That is true,” I said, “so we will have to leave while it is still dark, then cut off into the forest and wait for daylight. It is really our only clue for now so we need to check it out.”
“Galyna and I had talked about those 4 men and how then hardly ever leave their cabin, except to eat,” began Sigurbjorn, “so I suggested a couple of us could search it, say, at lunch today, to see what they might be up to.” “Hmm, not a bad idea,” I said, “you, Rossana and the cats can do that.” “Um, is that not slightly illegal?”, asked Rossana. “Perhaps,” I said, “welcome to the world of a PI.” She just laughed, as did everyone.
It was not hard to explain their absence at lunch, and the cats decided to go hunting I told them. I did not say what kind of hunting. Oh well. Rock and Benson went over to the young men just as they finished eating and sat down with them to talk a bit, which would give the girls a bit more time. I could see they did not like the idea too much, but it is hard to say no to Rock, he has a certain way about him that makes people ‘want’ to talk with him.
The rest of us stayed around longer as well enjoying some more coffee and pie. We then left and signaled for Rock and Benson to leave as well which they did. Meowr!=We done, also find something. That was good to hear and we all hurried back to our cabin. We were just about to hear their report when Kristina looked out the window. “Jazzy is coming,” she said and she went to meet her. At the bottom of the stairs something caught Kristina’s attention and she quickly threw herself in front of Jazzy.
Thud! An arrow hit her in the back and she fell to the ground. Sigurbjorn was on the top of the stairs by that time and spotted a man with a bow over by one of the cabins. She shot twice and the man fell. That got the attention of everyone and 3 of the girls plus Benson ran over to the cabin where the man fell. Another person ran off into the trees crashing as he, or she, went.
Benson raised his gun and shot once. There was silence. Then they went and brought another man with a bow out to the clearing around the cabins. Everyone at the resort said they had never seen the men before. I mostly believed that since they likely worked for Q. But I believe that at least one person here also works for Q, but who is it? Rock had brought Kristina back inside and Mriya removed the arrow which had not gone in far, just barely really, due to the vest and shirt that Kristina was wearing.
The two dead men were put in the cold storage shed. Galyna and Sigurbjorn talked with Jazzy for a while and we found out the ghost woman spoke Icelandic. But she did not look like any of the women at the resort. Hmm, not too much help there, but her mother did not let us talk with her for long either.
The girls, and cats, gave their report, then we all went to bed early and were up very early the next morning to head out on our hike. Kristina was well enough to join us which was good. We made it to our cut off spot as it was getting daylight, I was really hoping it would still be dark. We looked over the map then split into 2 groups and headed out.
To Be Continued.
©2022 Steve McLeod.