For the first time since he'd left the safety of his house, Gray began to relax. He was fairly sure Tomkin was an ally, and he lay back with a sigh of relief, pondering his next move. Should he carry on looking for his father, get to the bottom of whatever was going on, or should he cut his losses and give it up?
Whilst mulling this over, he heard something in the other room- the low, furtive mutterings of two people. The tiny hairs on the back of Gray's neck stood up on end, and his muscles stiffened. There was a moment of indecision- if Tomkin had company (apart from Gray) then technically it was his business and he should not get involved. But instinctively he decided to get up. He was in a foreign place and had to be on his guard- trust did not exist in these woods. His injury did not complain as he quietly made his way to the opening.
There was a low ceilinged corridor, only a couple of metres long, that curved to the left. There was one opening on the right- presumably the room beyond was the kitchen- and that is where the voices were coming from. Holding his breath, Gray edged up to the opening and slowly peered in...
What he saw made an icy wave of shock seep through him. Tomkin had removed his mask, revealing his true identity, and Gray instantly recognised him as the man standing next to his father on the photograph. The other man was middle-aged, thin and had a greying black beard that matched his wiry unkempt hair.
"He's getting too close, too close to the truth!"
"Stop panicing, just keep him here, drug him so he loses his memory and I'll sort it."
Horrified, Gray desperately tried to think straight. Scanning the room, he saw a steaming pot of soup on a stove, and on a table at the side was the photograph, torn to pieces.
He had to get out somehow... find the way out... That was probably round the bend in the corridor though, and he would have to pass by the kitchen opening. Surely he'd be seen...