Chapter 4: The Hunt Begins
“It is one of the great difficulties in life that we never have certainty. While we often see clearer in hindsight than foresight, yet even in looking back we all too often have unanswered questions. Would things have been better if I had chosen differently in some thing or another? If I had just spoken in less haste, would I have been able to convince someone of the dangers of their chosen path?”
“There is some value to such considerations, as we may well be able to learn from our own past. But there is a danger also, for it is all too easy to turn from useful self-examination to useless self-incrimination in such thoughts. We must always remember that our knowledge was not perfect in the past… nor is it in the present. It may well be that actions we thought turned out for ill may have been better than what we think now would have been best.”
“We should be able to track the box, or the amulet if they’ve removed it from its box,” Maritha said thoughtfully after Garkhen told their story.
“’Nd if someone here’s passing information along?” Almonihah’s arms were folded in front of his chest, and his gaze said he was as suspicious of Maritha as anyone else.
If she noticed his gaze, she showed no sign. “While I hate to think that anyone in my team would be insane enough to let something like that fall into the wrong hands, I suppose I can’t dismiss the possibility, given the evidence at hand. Which leaves the dilemma of what to do about it…”
She pursed her lips. “Well… we could at least make sure you get accurate information… if I have two teams work on it and keep in contact with you, you should have something to go off of. I might be willing to doubt a single member of my team, but I can’t imagine that four or five of them are bad. And if someone’s passing information along to these thieves, well, I’ll figure something out.”
Almonihah grunted, clearly less than pleased, but did not object.
“Thank you, Archivist Maritha,” Garkhen said, his calm voice seeming almost a rebuke to Almonihah, “I think that should be reasonable. If we find something suspicious in what is passed along to us, we shall tell you. Now, how long do you estimate it will take to give us an initial direction of travel?”
“No more than an hour,” she said after a moment’s thought. “And of course, as we refine our estimates, we can communicate further with you.”
“Very well, then,” Garkhen replied. “Please, let us know as soon as you may. Almonihah and I shall prepare ourselves to go—we do have one small issue we must handle first.”
Ah, Almonihah. Always the suspicious type.