7. 6 - The Squonk Hunters POV
The journey was uneventful, the motorways giving way to dual carriageways, the flatness and green to hills and purple heather. Eventually the roads became narrower and the ground became undulating and barren. I wished I’d bought a van with better seats, the strain of the hours behind the wheel getting to me. The promise of a big bonus for a quick capture spurred me on.
As light dropped I entered InverGarith and slowed. It was a pleasant place, the sea on one side and a few crofts scattered around. A pub sign moved in the wind as I passed. There was no one around and so I slowed outside one particular hose. The lights shone out of the windows lighting up the vegetable patch outside.
My research showed that this was the home of the local nurse Morag Stewart. She lived there, according to records with her son Tom. This must be the Squonk family. They moved around so much, changed their names but they still were caught.
I thought I saw someone looking out so started up and headed to the next village. The bed and breakfast was comfy enough. I refused the offer of spending time with the old couple who owned it preferring to spend time alone in my bedroom.
The next morning, I rose early and had a good breakfast. The old women hung around while I ate, I think she was anxious for some new company. I usually liked to sit quietly and plan the day but thought it might be useful to find out the local gossip. After listening to tales of the village, which might have meant something to those involved, I gently brought the topic to the story of Albert Baggins. It was like the floodgates had opened.
She babbled on about how he’d been on his deathbed when that wonderful nurse from InverGarith had arrived. The next they knew he was out and about, running along the roads every day. The London Marathon had come next. She showed me the cuttings and there in the picture was Morag Stewart.
At first I was shocked. I knew this woman. She’d been the husband of the Squonk I’d caught a few years back. It rarely happens that we go back to the same family. I wondered if they’d recognise me. The son was the one I was interested in. He’d have far more tears to give than the mother, who if she carried on healing would have few tears left. A young Squonk would attract a very high premium.
I set off a while later in the van. I’d reconnoitre today and then make a plan to capture him.