The path followed the creek downstream at a little distance away into the woods.  It was narrow, but seemingly well traveled.  They could hear the flowing water off to their left, and catch glimpses of fresh green forage through the trees.  They saw only occasional canine tracks, but the scent, slight though it was, was steady.

Just after noon, they agreed that they should start looking for a place to spend the night.  No one wanted to be on this trail after dark, and Hobie had learned that waiting late in the day almost made certain a hasty, uncomfortable search for shelter.  They were determined not to split up, so they sped up to cover more ground, and have a better chance of finding suitable refuge.

After about half an hour, the ground began to slope more steeply away from the stream, and to their right a little way through the trees the terrain was strewn with large boulders in many shapes.  Some were round like large versions of the pebbles in the creek.  Others had tortured shapes as though they had been coughed out on the hillside by some large, very angry dragon.  Ben thought that they might find a good place to spend the night among the boulders, so the ventured off to the right onto the slope. 

They spotted a depressed, and almost level piece of ground between two large slabs of rock that would at least provide shelter from the wind.  Ben led the way into the broad crevice.  As soon as they stepped inside it they realized that this was not a place they wanted to stay.  It was a place of death.  The smell was in the soil and hanging on the rock sides.  Then they saw them.  At the far end there were fresh bones.  The small band quickly made their way back to the trail, and continued in the direction they had been traveling.

The End

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