I intended to re-enter the campsite but I hesitated and as I did the temperature rose. Why did I feel the need to retrieve this lifeless object? What risk was I willing to take to do it? I stepped back into the camp area and looked at the tents. Slowly I walked a few paces toward the tents on a well worn pathway used often by others but never by me. I approached within 25 feet of the tents and stood still again. Five breaths later I knocked my boken loudly on the closest tree as though I was rapping a brass knocker on someone’s solid white entry door. In milliseconds, Johnny’s scatter hair covered head popped out from behind the big orange dome.
What did I need to do? The actions last night seemed like some type of attack that just this morning I was responding to. My entry into the campsite was my attempt to blend with the attack. It was time for me to lead. “It’s cool.” I said. “I wanted to come and talk with you about something.”
“Talk with me, about what?” he said. He did not look too surprised to see me.
“Last night someone stole a sword from my dojo that I want to get back. I thought that you might have heard something about it.”
He moved over a few steps to the seats in the campfire area. “I heard a couple guys talking about it. Yeah, I think I can help get it back.” Waving toward a mud splattered black fake leather couch, he gestured displaying a the hospitality of a fine southern gentleman; “Come on over and have a seat. I was sort of expecting to see you today. “
I leaned against a tree a few paces away instead. “Well, I am prepared to offer a reward for its return; fifty dollars cash. Do you think you might know who took it?”
Excitement beamed from Johnny’s face. “Yes, I know who took it.” he said. “Fifty bucks! Are you serious about that?”