“Can you shine your torch over there?” said Knowles after Adelaide Hills had finished her bandaging.
Adelaide shone her torch in the direction he was pointing in – the hotel was about three hundred yards away.
“I was inspecting a hut in the trees over there when I was hit,” said Knowles, “and that’s about 400 yards away. Was I dragged all that way?”
Adelaide played the torch down his back – “You haven’t been dragged for that distance because you’d be far dirtier and more unkempt than you appear, I would say you were carried here and then dumped, so that you wouldn’t be visible from the path. That’s terrible, you were left in an exposed place, in the woods you’d have been warmer. We have to get you inside – can you stand?”
Knowles rose gradually and had to lean on Mrs Hills for a minute before the muscles in his legs registered the body weight and held him upright.
“Here’s my stick, Inspector.” Knowles took the proffered stick and leant on it gratefully.
“You need blood sugar, Inspector, so I suggest you suck a couple of these sweets, they will give you boundless energy, which is the effect they have on Bingo, isn’t it boy?”
Bingo barked with glee and Mrs Hills gave them two sweets each.
“Can we head to the hotel?” asked Knowles, “will that be alright, Adelaide?”
“Yes, I will be fine, we can walk for miles can’t we Bingo?”
Bingo barked in agreement and ran off towards the stile. Knowles looked down at Clarke’s farm – the bulls were no longer sheltering by their barn, but seemed to be more spread out. The wind must have died down and the temperature had risen as a result.
“These sweets are quite tasty, what brand are they? asked Knowles as he reached the stile.
“I buy them in bulk, I forget their name, I can let you know, the bag will be with the rest of Bingo’s food supplies.”
Knowles stopped sucking the sweets – “you mean…”.
“Oh yes…didn’t I mention that, they are dog treats…I did mention that, I am sure I did.”
Knowles shook his head slowly, but kept the sweets in his mouth, as he concentrated on climbing the stile, which seemed like Mt Everest all of a sudden.