Another Ten Seconds
Chapter 32 "Teed's Wisdom"

by Jeff Rand

Thoughts of missing Winter Campers continued to trouble Mark Bollman during the two weeks following Winter Camp LIV. He had come to believe that some sort of conspiracy existed and ultimately every Winter Camper was either a possible suspect or a potential victim. Eventually, he knew, that he too could become involved in an unfortunate mishap.

The decision of whom he might trust equally troubled him, knowing that many of the Winter Camp regulars were among the missing. Ron Donohue, John Howey, Alan Wilson, Dr. Bob Hartwig, Tom Ray, Jeff Rand and Steve Donohue were included on this list. Unfortunately his attempts to contact Douglas Wilson after Winter Camp proved unsuccessful, suggesting that he should add Doug to the list. Though he could not be sure, he hoped that Roger Horn might be able to give him some answers. Horn had left that impression when he departed from Winter Camp.

Initial attempts to contact Mr. Horn with his satcom had failed and Mark now chose a more traditional approach. Succumbing to a desire for secrecy, Mark opted for a surprise face to face encounter.

Roger tried hard to put the confusion of Winter Camp LIV in the past. Everything was starting to get back to normal, especially his work at managing his portfolio. Very soon he would leave for Florida for the dual purpose of visiting his daughter Karley and inspecting some of his southern properties. Ernesto, Karley's fiancÚ, would be visiting Cuba during this time, which suited him just fine. All he needed to do was pack a few things and find his wife Jamie before driving the short distance to the airport. Located at the Brighton-Howell International Airport, his private plane would take them the rest of the way to Key West. Experienced as he was in flying, Jamie often disappeared when he was leaving for a trip, suggesting that she still questioned his piloting skills. Determined to leave as planned, he donned his cross country skis to follow the trail that Jamie blazed into the woods adjoining the Horn estate.

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"What are you doing here?" said Roger, surprised to find Mark Bollman in the woods near his house. "Evidently, I've been following the wrong set of ski tracks."

Looking somewhat dismayed over Roger's lack of cordiality, Mark responded, "Is this a safe place to talk. I have a matter of great importance to discuss. Various events related to the recent Winter Camp have given me much concern. Everyone else I've tried to contact regarding Winter Camp has been unavailable."

Irritated by the potential delay in his trip, Roger said, "Yes, this is a very safe place. No one is around to overhear our conversation, since ours are the only sets of ski tracks. Suppose you tell me what this is all about. Incredible events occurred at the past Winter Camp to be sure, but I've chosen to get on with my life. Don't you think it's better to concern oneself with future prosperity, rather than dwell on the past? Eventually things have a way of working out, if you just charge ahead."

A wisp of wind from the north brought a quick chill to the encounter.

Hoping for a warmer reception, Bollman continued, "I believe that all Winter Campers are in grave danger. Ordinarily I would tend to believe that some of our fellows had concocted an elaborate hoax, as we've experienced at previous Winter Camps. Let me assure that I am not an alarmist. Like you I tend to be a skeptic. Oatley coming out of hibernation and killing a man who died 50 years ago, just could not be what it appeared. When we saw the second shooting, it became apparent that this went well beyond any prank of overexuberant Winter Campers."

Suddenly the truth became apparent and Roger agreed to assist Mark. Picking their words carefully, in case their privacy was not what it appeared, they decided to meet at the Lincoln Pilgrimage next month. Horn would continue with his trip as planned, but would do some further investigating using his trusted contacts in Southern Florida. Every move henceforth would be conducted with the utmost secrecy. Roger could be extremely deceptive when the need arose. Equally capable of secrecy, Mark would pursue an independent investigation through the resources at his disposal.

END OF PART IV

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