Daniel looked at the water’s surface taking in the Fall Colors in the reflection. He was confident that with Malachi’s help he could build his own raft from the river cane nearby and cover the same distance as Alexandra’s group in the same time and probably faster. However, if the group chose to port along the way he might overlook their tracks and lose them. If only they’d stuck to the trail he could be sure what direction they were going and maybe how fast. He figured that some of older members would have held the group back enough for him to eventually catch up with them. Malachi balked at the idea of using a raft as well. Instead, he suggested that they each take a side of the stream and head for the falls. If the group had ported anywhere along the way one of them would spot the tracks depending on which side of the stream the tracks were found on. They went back to Malachi’s camp where he generously topped off Daniel’s supply of jerky and dried fruit. He tossed in a few dried herbs as well. By mid morning the two men were halfway to to the falls when Malachi gave a sharp whistle. Daniel looked across the stream and saw that Malachi had found what looked like a piece of torn cloth. He quickly took the small spy glass from his pocket and saw that it was bloody. Daniel had been around the telegraph service enough to have learned the Morse Code but Malachi was older and kinda set in his ways. So they had agreed to use semaphore to communicate from the banks of the creek. Malachi signaled that this was the bandage that he’d placed on Alexandra’s wounds when she fell from her horse. It was on the muddy bank and soaking wet. But there was no tracks to show that anyone had left the raft. The bandage had either fallen off or been cast aside for whatever reason. They continued downstream and within the sound of the falls Daniel spotted a piece of river cane that had been worked with a saw. A piece of cordage that was made from torn clothing was still tied to one end. He surmised that it was a part of the frame of the raft. They were in sight of the falls and in a panic Daniel ran to the drop. As the water cascaded down it created a thick mist in the cold air. In spite of the fog Daniel spotted the raft broken up on the rocks. His heart sank as he climbed down the rocky face of the mountain to investigate. By the time Malachi reached the bottom Daniel was holding a few bits and pieces of the group’s belongs. Broken mirrors, smashed bottles and torn clothing was scattered far downstream. Daniel was softly sobbing as he sorted through the wreckage. Malachi placed a large hand on Daniel’s shoulder to console his friend. Suddenly Daniel looked up with a strange expression. He took his spy glass and did a few sweeps downstream. “But where are the bodies?” He mumbled. The pair went a couple of hundred yards downstream but they couldn’t find any sign of a person having actually fallen with the raft and possessions. He scrambled up to the top of falls and just a few feet inside the trees he found the sign he needed. Three stacks of three stones laid out in a triangle. It was a message from Alexandra. When they played in woods as children she’d leave stones in this configuration as clue as to where she was hiding. The tip of the triangle pointed to broken twig that confirmed her direction of travel. The wave of relief Daniel felt was beyond description. He motioned for Malachi to join him and they decided to camp on that spot for the night. Daniel produced a small box with a crank and wires sticking out of the end. When he turned the crank sparks danced across the gap. He used this to start the evening fire. In the morning they would follow the trail left by Alexandra.
Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.
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4 thoughts on “The Traveler. Discoveries”
Daniel and Malachi are great trackers. Catching small signs of Alexandra. Beauty in the midst of tragedy. Blessings!
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Thank you 😊♥️.
I kinda imagine this story takes place after the Civil War but before the 20th century. Maybe around the 1880s. Regardless of how I end the story I’m going to file Daniel and Malachi away use them again sometime.
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You’re welcome! You could probably use Daniel and Malachi in a book you write.
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My wife and I are currently doing some R&D on a new line of business. Lloyds Lens Photography will be around as long as I have a camera and internet but it hasn’t quite helped me reach the goal of independent income. With that said, if the new thing works out like the numbers say it might then I’ll finally have the time to pursue using some of the characters that I’ve developed on my blog in their own books.
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