Patrick Novel ground his teeth as he checked the rear view mirror. His daughter Agnes bounced in her seat and wailed. Next to him his wife Wanda sighed. ‘Stop the car. She’ll have to pee in the bushes.’
‘Oh for God’s sake. This is the sort of thing my father would have done. We are nearly there. Can’t she…’
‘Stop the sodding car,’ Wanda hissed. ‘Sometimes your father knew what he was doing. We will go in so no one will see. Heaven forbid we should embarrass you.’
‘It’s not that.’ But they both knew it was. Patrick pulled over and in seconds Wanda had Agnes out of the car and in amongst the trees. He watched as the red of Agnes dress gradually faded from view and then looked around. It was a nice spot with a dappled light and interesting trees. He looked up as first a young man in jeans and a hoodie staggered onto the road and headed for the town to be followed shortly after by an older chap dressed in a caricature of a committed hiker’s garb. He watched their progress as they matched each other’s stride eventually disappearing around the bend.
He was wondering who they were and why something about them didn’t seem right when a sharp knock on the passenger door made him jump. The top of Agnes’s head poked above the door frame. He reached across and opened the door.
Agnes climbed in and stared ahead. She smiled lightly. ‘In the trees. We need to follow the men.’ Agnes pointed ahead, at the now empty road. How did she know he had been watching two men? ‘Men?’
‘The young one, Jim, in a hoodie and Martin in the red shorts.’
Patrick goggled his daughter then grabbed his phone, dialling his wife’s. Moments later it rang from the pocket in the passenger door.
‘We need to follow the men, daddy.’