to Nampula was no small task. The thick jungles seemed almost
impenetrable in some places and the few clearings were always
welcomed. This time, a new question robbed Jed's thoughts.
If there were four scientists on the expedition and his father
was left behind in Madagascar, who was the fourth scientist
that Ngubu spoke of?
is just the other side of that ridge." Ngubu said with
a look of disdain on his face.
that's good, right?" Jed tried to change his tone.
but there is much water we must pass. Many things live in
that water..." His voice got weaker toward the end. "We
must move quickly if we are to reach Nampula today."
And with that, we quickened his steps and kept his gave upon
20 minutes, Jed could feel the ground under his feet to loosen,
then loosen some more. When Ngubu mentioned 'water,' Jed was
thinking of a small river. However, now he was realizing why
Ngubu wasn't looking forward to this part. He meant swamp.
wasn't long before they were each holding their packs over
their heads, wading through waist-deep water. The water was
of an odd brownish color, almost green. The opaqueness left
a mystery as to what swam below its surface. Before Jed could
dwell too much on those thoughts, though, Ngubu suddenly jerked
around to look at him with a startled expression on his face.
Ngubu shouted, frantically looking around for any way to get
out of the water as quickly as possible. Jed also began to
look around frantically, although not quite sure what he was
looking for. However, his concentration was broken once more,
this time by Ngubu's splash down into the murky water.
Jed shouted, not quite sure what else to really do.
a couple of seconds, Ngubu resurfaced a couple of yards to
the right of where he sank, this time with two, 15-foot boa
constrictors wrapped around his body.
There are TWO! Nampula is not far off! Go, NOW!" Ngubu
gasped and motioned for Jed not to get too close. Jed, however,
dove towards the struggle and pulled out a knife from his
pack. He wrestled and cut, wreslted and cut...until Ngubu
was able to free himself from the dead carcasses. Jed grabbed
onto him and pulled him along in the water, along with both
of their packs until they came to come rocks that protruded
from the water, on which they climbed atop to rest.
about half an hour, Jed finally broke their silence. "Are
cut me, several times you know..." Ngubu started to say,
then, as to change the subject, "Why did you not go?
Did I not tell you to go?"
I couldn't just let you die! You would have done the same
for me, right?"
just looked at Jed with a frowning face.
Jed asked again, a little less hopeful this time of the answer.
were supposed to go! I cannot go through with it now..."
Ngubu's tone shrank as it did when he spoke about the swamp.
through with what?"
Whitlow hired me to take you deep into the jungle and to leave
you there. You were not supposed to help me...I tell you this
because I cannot let you die out here. My debt to you is now
would she want me dead?"
do not know this, I only know what I have already told you.
I CAN give you this, though. She left this in my office yesterday.
I was planning on giving it back to her when she returned
to pay me." He handed Jed a small sewn bag with some
personal items. One of them, though, took Jed by surprise.
It was a small piece of paper with the following letters written.
it was in his father's hand!
was no money in it, I checked." said Ngubu.
found something worth more to me than money. These letters
were written by my father."
they mean nothing."
I was young, my father would write letters on a piece of paper
to keep me busy. Within them was a secret message. By counting
over a certain multiple of unused letters over and over, a
message would be revealed. The multiple changed with each
message. He would usually do this when he wanted me to sit
still and be quiet. For instance, MFOR with a multiple of
2 reads FROM. Once you've used a letter, you skip over it
in future counts."
you read his father's secret message? The Final Puzzle and
answers for Part III will be in the next issue of Quest Adventures.
HERE FOR PART III SOLUTION
to Adventure Puzzles