In this chapter I've burrowed a couple of lines from TLW ' Barbarians At The Gate ',
please dont sue me I'm really not worth it.
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They have been gone far to long thought Veronica, she was standing on the balcony
watching the area waiting for there return.

Malone prepared a cup of tea for Veronica and walked out onto the balcony.

Malone : they will be back soon Veronica there properly just making up for lost time.

Veronica smiled and took the cup of tea Ned offered to her. She then turned back to
watching the forest and noticed it was getting dark.

Veronica : I know but I cant seem to shake this feeling that some thing is wrong,
look its getting dark and you know how Roxton always makes sure we're back before
dark.

Malone pondered on this for a moment, she was right Roxton was a stickler for
making sure that they either set up camp or made it back to the tree house and no
matter what good time they were having he wouldn't endanger Marguerites life by
staying out for the nite rather then be back at the tree house safe and sound.

Malone : OK lets fetch Challenger and go look for them, but just for the record if we
interrupt anything I'm blaming you..

Veronica could only smile, she hoped they did interrupt them, then find that they have
been attacked or worse.

Within half an hour they were all packed and ready to go, much to Challengers
annoyance who was busy experimenting with his new invention.

Challenger : come on then, if we are to find them I want to be back I have a lot of work
to do and I'm sure Roxton and Marguerite are not going to be happy that we are going
to interrupt there picnic.

Challenger wasn't so sure that anything had happened to them but he wanted to
make sure just like Veronica and Malone.

Malone and Veronica entered the elevator and smiled at each other after Challengers
comment he was a funny character sometimes.

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Marguerite awoke from her unconscious state, she immediately becomes aware of a
pounding head ache and back ache come to think of it. She tries to pull her hand up
to her head but winces in pain when she cannot move. Marguerite opens her eyes to
see whats stopping her, she then sees that she is tied very securely to a tree stump
her hands and legs tied and her body slumped forwards ' no wonder I have a back
ache ' she thought to herself.

As she opened her eyes again she realised John was captured too, she frantically
tried to focus on the surrounding area too see Roxton, she gave a sigh of relief when
he was also tied up and slumped forward but he was still unconscious.

Marguerite struggles with her restraints and is very anxious with Roxtons welfare he
was still unconscious and she could see a trail of blood down the side of his face,
obversely from the hit on the head she hoped that was all it was.

She looks across the camp and watches the group of head-hunters but she was too
far away to hear what any of them were saying.

Her attention is bought back to Roxton as she sees him stir awake, she calls to him
softly.

Marguerite : John, John please wake up, come on now not the time to be having a
nape.

She smiles as she sees his eyes flutter open and then close again.

Marguerite : Oh no you dont, come on John stay with me, JOHN....

That catches his attention as he opens his eyes again and tries to focus. His head
feels like its being hit against a brick wall and then he remembers what happened and
looks up in search of his Marguerite, he relaxes just a little when he sees two pairs of
concerned eyes staring back at him.

Roxton : oh thank god.

He mutters under his breath and looks up again at her face.

Roxton : are you OK ?

Marguerite : Well apart from the spitting head ache, being tied to a tree stump, quite
securely I'd like to add , oh and being on the dinner menu for these brutes I feel
absolutely bloody marvellous.

She responded in her usual sarcastic tone.

Roxton : Your fine, so how many our there.

Roxton knew she was OK from her sarcastic voice that was only Marguerite.
He tried to turn and look round but his head went into a spin and had to close his eyes
to regained his composure.

Marguerite watched him, worry etched all over her face he obversely took a greater
blow to the head then she did.

Marguerite : Are you OK ?

Concern evident in her voice.

Roxton : Why Marguerite sounds like you care.

He sounded cold, she couldn't blame him really.

Marguerite : I do.

She was feeling exhausted with the situation they were in and the situation with
Roxton.

Roxton watched Marguerites head hang low with exhaustion, now wasn't the time or
place to discuss their relationship. He started to struggle against his restraints but to
none avail he would have to wait till they untied him then maybe they could have a
chance to escape.

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Veronica, Malone and Challenger have been tracking Roxtons and Marguerites tracks
for about an hour when they find that they had doubled back on themselves obversely
returning but then they stop.

Veronica : what the .... this isn't right these tracks clearly show them making there way
to the water hole and then there returning back in the same direction but they didn't
return ...

Challenger is looking around for any others tracks.

Challenger : perhaps they had to change direction for some reason and took a
different route back, we better look for the other set of tracks and hurry its getting
darker by the minute.

The small group then disperse to look around, it wasn't long when they come across
the head-hunters tracks.

Malone : Over here look.. there are more tracks but not Roxtons and Marguerites.

Veronica walks over to where Malone was pointing.

Veronica : your right there not Roxtons or Marguerites there cannibals I think and
judging by the number of tracks there's about ten of them. I've got a very bad feeling
about this...

Just as she finished her sentence Challenger shouts for them.

Challenger : oh dear I think we can safely assume Roxton and Marguerite have been
captured by them, look ... there's Roxtons hat and Marguerites gun.

Veronica looks for the direction they were heading in, they had to find them and quick
head-hunters never wait around for long in one place.

Veronica : Do you want the good news or bad news.

Malone : You know either way I think its going to be bad news all round.

Veronica : well the head-hunters tracks lead off in that direction to the west, but there
are no tracks from Roxton and Marguerite which means they are probably being
carried.

Challenger : that means there either dead or injured, so I suggest we hurry up and
find them.

With that the group head off to the west hoping that the trail they are following leads
them to Roxton and Marguerite alive.

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They follow the tracks for about an hour when they realise they must be close as they
can see and smell the smoke from a camp fire.

Veronica : we're close to the camp site its important to be as quite as you can and
stay low, if there is ten of them we will have no chance with just three of us we will
have to wait till we get there to size up the situation.

They all agree and make the short journey to the camp site.

Malone : There it is through that under growth.

Challenger : yes I see it, and there's Roxton and Marguerite on the other side. They
seem to be unharmed but securely tied up, we need to untie Roxton and then
Marguerite if we are to have any chance of an escape.

Veronica : right Ned you untie Marguerite, Challenger you keep watch and ill untie
Roxton and if we're lucky we might just get away unnoticed.

She looks at the faces staring at her in ' I dont think that will happen face ' and smiles.

Veronica : it might .

They quietly make there way round the other side of the camp and just as they
approach Roxton and Marguerite, two cannibals make there way to Roxton and start
to untie him, he struggles against his captures but there to strong for him and hold
onto him tight.

Marguerite looks on in horror she madly starts shouting at the cannibals in there
native tongue but they dont even glance in her direction. She starts to pull as hard as
she could against the vines holding her but they only cut into her wrists more, she
could feel warm blood running down into her palms but she didn't care all she could
think about was Roxton.

Roxton is led to a stone slab he could see old blood marking the surface, his stomach
churned at the sight. He viciously fought the men pushing him down onto the slab but
his strength was weakening. He was tightly fastened to the stone he could barley
breath let alone move, he watched as the obverse leader made his way towards him
holding an sharp axe in one hand.

Roxton tried to turn his head so he could see Marguerite for the last time he wished
she wouldn't be witness to his death.

The leader risers the axe into the air ready to bring it down upon Roxtons neck, he
closes his eyes he never thought he would go like this. He could hear Marguerite
screaming out his name.

Marguerite : NO..... PLEASE GOD NO..... JOHN I LOVE YOU.......

She knows he heard her as he turns his head ever so slightly in her direction and
sees a small smile on his lips.

She then watches in slow motion as the axe is bought down whistling through the
air.......

Marguerite : NOOOOOOOOOOOOO............

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