We had reached the riverbank proper. My boots sank into mud, but I hardly noticed. All of my attention was focused on the clearly discernible marks visible on the ground. These mirrored those I had earlier witnessed, great swaths of disturbed wet earth, as if someone had been recently dragging something heavy across it.
I heard MacBean’s sharp intake of breath, and stilled instantly. He gave a barely discernible nod and I followed his gaze.
Where the riverbank met the forest there was an incline, one covered by a great morass of gnarled, exposed tree roots. My gaze moved slowly down the length of them, looking for whatever had captured the attention of my friend.
“Caves,” MacBean murmured. “I played here as a boy, had forgotten about them entirely.”
I stifled a laugh. What sort of man forgets a cave, particularly when conducting an investigation? If I had not been a guest at your property, had this not been my first visit North, I would have certainly noticed the caves.
If I had spent my youth on this riverbank, I would have remembered.
Perception does not seem to be MacBean’s particular strong suit.
“You cannot consider them caves,” MacBean amended, scowling at me. “More like spaces in the earth. Nothing like a proper cavern, and certainly nothing. . .”
His words died away as another flash of light shone briefly, filtering through a thick collection of ancient roots.