Alisen shook the soil off of the thick scroll. The footsteps were growing nearer, and soon Alisen understood that they were not the footsteps of one man, but two. She hugged the tree, paralyzed with fear. The footsteps grew nearer, and with them voices became audible.
"...pesky no-good kids just walking around looking for trouble. Just you wait, Beetel, as soon as I have my hands around the neck of that girl you just wait... I'll-"
"Calm yourself, Jette, they are around here somewhere, you saw their camp remains yourself. Now just calm down until we find them. You'll do no good running your mouth off about them, you'll only make yourself hoarse and give me a splitting headache."
Alisen pinched herself hard to break the spell of her stand-still and scrambled up the tree, thankful for its low-hanging branches and thick canopy. She watched as down below Beetel's and Jette's bodies appeared. She drew in a sharp intake of breath, realizing that, while the scroll was tucked safely in her boot, the green cloth was lying exposed beside the tree. Alisen closed her eyes and dug her fingernails into the soft bark of the tree, hoping very hard that the two men would continue walking.
She opened her eyes, and gasped inwardly. Beetel and Jette were crouched directly below her, their eyes on the cloth. They both looked up.