We began the trek back to camp earlier than normal, so that I could spend some time studying the sudden change in the rock I had been observing. I fully believed that I would be able to see something by studying the matter at a microscopic level. My desire to uncover more about the metallic square was proving difficult enough that I longed for anything to help clear up the mystery. Loretta and I barely spoke the entire way home. She would not say it, but I could tell she disagreed with my decision to depart early that day.
When we made it back to camp, Loretta said, “I am not feeling so well. I think I am going to lay down. Something has come over me and I need some rest. Please do not disturb me unless it is an emergency.”
I found it rather odd for her to fake an illness, but I was keen on getting to the bottom of the current mystery at hand, so I told her, “Not a problem. Hopefully you will feel better after some rest. Let me know if I can get anything for you.”
As soon as she had turned in, I grabbed the materials I needed and entered my tent to start studying the pieces of rock in depth. One of my prized possessions is an upright microscope. I have a growing collection of slides from samples I have taken over the months I have been working at uncovering the square. Close observation of the leaves of the mysterious plant have proven that it has a cellular composition that has yet to be observed. This was the first time that I had taken a sample of the pieces of rock and I never could have imagined what I was on the verge of discovering.
To be continued…