The Amber Trail
eyes like pinpricks.
    The policeman pushed Dig
sideways. “Okay, I’m going.” Dig shrugged him away and headed to
the exit; customers frowned as they watched him leave. When he
reached the door someone shoved him between his shoulder
    Dig exited the bank and paced
down the road, ducking through street stalls as he rotated his
shoulder, trying to work away the pain. When he reached the temple
at the end of the street, he sat on the warm gravel of the road
with his back against the wall, and retrieved the crumpled wad of
paper from his pocket.
    I got it, he thought, and
    He flattened the paper out
between his legs. A message had been scribbled onto it in a messy
blue scrawl:
    I told you - there is
no address on file you idiot!
    Dig stared at the paper, eyes
wide, then turned it over. He found nothing written on the opposite
side, so he turned it back and reread it.
    Dig’s hands fell to his lap, and
his head dropped back to the wall behind him. He stared up at the
sky and sighed.
    Now what?

    HE SAT AGAINST THE WALL with the sun
bearing down on him, roasting his arms and legs. Somewhere in the
temple behind him a bell resonated periodically in a deep tone. As
his throat parched with thirst, he threw his pack onto his back,
and trudged back up the road.
    When he came upon the doors of Helpful Hari’s Tourist Information he paused, then pushed
through the curtain of beads over the doorway. Hari waited inside
with a smile.
    “ Mr Australia!” he
said. “Shane Warne! David Warner! What can I help you
    Dig smiled weakly and pointed to
a sign hanging above a bank of dusty desktop computers. A stout boy
wearing headphones sat before one of the screens, playing computer
games. “It says here that you arrange international phone
    “ Of course. Would you
like to ring Australia?”
    “ Yes
    “ Okay, sit down.” He
gestured to a glass booth in the corner of the room with a
telephone bolted to the wall and a green plastic stool in the
centre of the space.
    Dig entered the booth and pulled
the sliding glass door behind him with a creak. He sat on the stool
and Hari pointed at the telephone, holding his fist to his ear with
thumb and pinkie finger extended.
    Dig gave a thumbs up, then lifted
the telephone and dialled. It rang a few times, before being picked
up with a melody of tones.
    “ Buckley’s
    “ Jake, it’s
    “ Oh, hey,” Jake said.
“How’s it going? You get there okay?”
    “ Yep, I’m here. Just
arrived in Hampi.” The line crackled. “Got a favour to ask
though...I need you to cancel my phone. It got nicked.”
    “ How'd you manage
    “ Taxi driver I
    “ You numpty. Yeah
I'll get it stopped.”
    “ Thanks.” He swapped
the phone to his other ear. “ are
things over there?”
    “ I’m catching up on
things. I got into Dad’s computer and I’m filling last week’s
    “ Nice.”
    “ Yeah it’s amazing
what I can get through without a hangover.” He snorted. “So when
are you planning on seeing our...friends?”
    “ Soon. Once I find
them. I’m having a bit of trouble tracking them down. Either nobody
knows where they are, or nobody wants to tell me. I’m not sure
which it is at the moment.”
    “ Bugger.”
    “ Can you check
something else for me though? Just before I left I was looking
through Dad’s stuff, and I remember seeing an email between him and
Banyan Breweries, just before he went over to India last
    “ Last
    “ Yeah. There was
something in it about a meeting point.”
    “ Hang on, I’ll
check.” The squeal of the office chair echoed in the
background. “Man,” Jake muttered. “I don't think Dad deleted
anything in here his whole life.” There was a long pause. “Hang on,
this might be it. Want me to read it out?”
    “ Yeah.”
    “ So Dad writes: Hi
Max, I expect to arrive in Hampi mid-morning Thursday. Are you
going to be around? Shaun. And

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