Raw adrenaline forced Jill into action like a fuse lit to dynamite. She snatched up the shovel, twirling it in her hands. The mountain man's movements registered shock and then anger. He rose and turned, his face contorted in psychotic rage that dominated his features. His eyes showed no signs of understanding, while his lips curled and a snarl rattled from his clinched jaws.
He pointed the gun but Jill swung viciously at his arm sending it flying into the woods. She smashed the handle unerringly against the man's temple and he crashed to the ground. She sent blow after blow upon the man until he started to cry like a child.
The hypnotic cloud of derangement melted away leaving only a broken, sobbing man behind. Jill forced herself to stop. She stepped back and grabbed rope from the cave entrance. She pulled his hands behind a tree and secured them. He didn't fight her but continued to cry and curl into a ball like a caged animal that had been punished.
"He said I could have a prize!" the man sobbed. "I want my prize!" He still lay on the ground with his arms awkwardly behind the tree. He hit his head against the ground like a child not getting his way. Unable to watch the madness any longer, Jill stripped off her light jacket and then her T-shirt before she put the jacket back on. She pushed her T-shirt under the man's head. He calmed in an instant, happy and content.
"It's so pretty," he cooed as he rubbed his face on the fabric.
Jill had seen enough. She fished his phone out and dialed 911 before laying the phone near the man's mouth. She faintly heard the operator come online asking questions as the man continued to mumble about the shirt. She draped a canvas over low branches to give the crazy man cover before she retrieved her shoes and ran from the camp.
Her mind raced as fast as her feet as she made her way down the mountain and toward the sound of water. Who had the crazy man spoken to on the phone? She searched her memory as she crashed through the woods making enough sound for her father and others to find her. She was certain they were looking. She found a stream and followed it. The woods looked familiar now and she rushed on. A memory slide across her mind and she stopped. She barely registered a large black dog on the opposite side of the stream running toward her. It jumped the water and shifted in midair.
"Jill?" Saal asked when he reached her.
"Billy's the cop," Jill said almost to herself.
Saal clicked his earpiece. "I've got her."