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continued from the last letter
We followed the trail left by your kidnappers. It was slow going, but at least that gave me time to pay some attention to the edition of the Malleus Malleficarum Logan and I had found at the tower and the notes it contained. I did not have any difficulties in recognising your handwriting, but the content of your notes was quite another matter. It was clear enough that the notes were written ín a code, but that the book needed to decipher that code was missing – as a wild guess, I would have assumed Cautio Criminalis.
It became clear that the men were making their way towards Altamira and we decided to ride fast, following the street. We gambled that Altamira was indeed their goal and did our best to overtake them. We reached Miravete at dusk and there were three very tired horses in the stable of the tavern. Sebastian is the priest of Miravete and while we never liked each other and he considers me a criminal, I decided to talk to him. His housekeeper grudgingly told Ramon and me that he was to be found at the tavern where he had to give last rites to a stranger.
We found Sebastian just preparing to leave the tavern. Upon seeing me, he probably would have ordered the peasants to seize me, but he was so surprised that I got a word in before that and asked him where you were. Demanded to know, is the better choice of words. He did not know that you had left Altamira or that the men he had just administered to had anything to do with your disappearance.
When I told him what had happened, he ran upstairs again and slammed open the door to the room the strangers had taken. And as you know, Sebastian has a body and voice supremely fitting for barging his way into rooms. The next thing the man closest to the window knew was that he was being held out of the window by the scruff of his neck while Sebastian yelled at him. I pushed the second man against the wall, a knife held to his throat. He denied that they had anything to do with kidnapping you, but he was not a very good liar. He tried to attack me, I stabbed him in the shoulder and he fainted. I did not have the patience to wait for him to wake up, so I brought him over to the window and asked Sebastian to please not push the last witness to his death. At the sight of the lifeless body of his comrade, the second man completely lost his nerve and agreed to take us to the hiding place where their leader waited for them to return, guarding you. They had not dared to risk bringing you to Miravete, although I wish they had been stupid enough for that.
We found our way to the hiding place without problems, a cave by the river used by smugglers, accessible only from one place. With some more prompting, the man told us that his leader was not alone and that the cave was trapped. I wasn't sure what to believe, but there was nothing for it but to go and see. Accompanied by Logan, who has some experience with traps, I made my way down to the cave and we found nothing but a cold campfire and an old, rotting fisher boat. Alain had used a rope to scale the cliffs and dropped down the last few metres. He investigated the boat in search of a hidden mechanism and we signalled for the others to join us.