39 Clues - Cahills vs. Vespers 04 - Shatterproof (Roland Smith) by 39 Clues - Cahills vs. Vespers

39 Clues - Cahills vs. Vespers 04 - Shatterproof (Roland Smith) by 39 Clues - Cahills vs. Vespers

Author:39 Clues - Cahills vs. Vespers [39 Clues - Cahills vs. Vespers]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9780545298421
Amazon: 0545298423
Barnesnoble: 0545298423
Goodreads: 12107920
Published: 2012-09-04T04:00:00+00:00


“Did someone just fall?”

Natalie barely heard the question over her sobs. Incredulous, she turned her head to see a hiker standing behind her.

“Did someone fall?” he repeated urgently.

Natalie looked at him in confusion. He was in his early twenties, carrying a backpack slung over his shoulder.

“Our friend just . . .” She choked up again. “He . . .”

“Stay exactly where you are,” the man said. “I’m going to squeeze by you.”

Before she could object, he slipped nimbly by her and Ted, who was frozen in horror.

Fiske stared at the man in disbelief. “Who are you? How did you —”

“Never mind that,” the man interrupted. “The ground isn’t stable!”

Together Fiske and the hiker pulled the devastated Alistair to his feet.

“I . . . I couldn’t hold on. . . .”

“It’s a long fall,” the man said, looking over the edge. “But there’s a chance he’s still alive. Can he swim?”

“I don’t know,” Fiske said, looking with a spark of hope at Ted and Natalie.

Natalie shook her head. She didn’t know, either.

“The rapids are bad through here,” the man said. “But they flatten out about a mile downriver.”

“Who are you?” Fiske asked.

“My name is Martin Holds. I was up on top when I heard someone yell.”

“You got down here pretty quickly,” Fiske said.

“I guess I did,” Martin said. “I’ve been down this path before and I’m a mountain climber.”

“Where are we?”

Martin looked confused. “You don’t know?”

Fiske shook his head.

“Baden-Württemberg.”

“Germany?” Fiske asked.

Martin nodded. “The Black Forest.” He looked at their clothes and a whisper of alarm crossed his face.

“How can we get down there?”

“The trail’s out. The only way around is to go back on top. I have a cell phone at camp. We can call for help.” He gave Alistair a sympathetic look. “If your friend survived the fall, we’ll find him.”

Fiske shook his head. He could not believe that Phoenix was gone.

Natalie was the first to reach the top of the trail, but she’d barely stepped to safety when a hand grabbed her, covered her mouth, and threw her to the ground. Ted was next. Fiske tried to fight the guards off, but got a smack with a rifle butt for his trouble. With his bad knee, Alistair was subdued easily. Martin Holds was last. He was able to bloody a guard’s nose and smash a fist into another guard’s belly before he, too, was overwhelmed.

“Saved us from coming down to get you,” the head guard said, looking down at the flex-cuffed prisoners. “Nice of you to come back up the trail.”

Fiske was too exhausted and grief-stricken to respond, but Martin Holds struggled to turn over. “What’s all this about?” he demanded.

The guard ignored him. “Where’s the boy?”

“He fell,” Fiske said.

“We’ll see.” He waved two guards down the trail. “Get up!”

When they didn’t comply, the guards yanked them roughly to their feet.

“Get your hands off me!” Martin shouted.

“He has nothing to do with this!” Fiske insisted, breaking away to force himself between the guard and Martin. “He doesn’t know anything. He was just trying to help us!”

“Wrong place at the wrong time,” the head guard said.



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