‘Really got yourself in a pickle this time.’ Silence. Dan could not believe it. Not again. ‘I thought you were over this obsession?’
Brett shivered. His wet clothes stuck to his skin, and the wound on his leg throbbed. Dan offered Brett his jacket. He declined.
‘Things didn’t go to plan, alright?’
‘They never do. Care to elaborate on the situation?’
‘It was Brodie’s idea.’
‘Blame is a sign of guilt.’
‘I object to that statement.’
‘Then I’ll rephrase it for you. Take responsibility for your own actions. Brodie isn’t the one facing federal charges.’
‘It’s down there, I know it.’
‘Not that local legend again?’
‘We found clues.’
‘When will you and that band of misfits grow up? You are sixteen years old. Intelligent, and wasting your life away trying to find something that doesn’t exist.’
‘The markings in dad’s book. It was a code to a library book.’
‘A library book?’
‘In that library book was a code decipher. Using the letters and numbers hidden within the text we discovered the next clue.’
‘And what was that?
‘Latitude and longitude. It took us to this spot.’
‘This well has been off limits for years. A heritage listed site. You can’t go down it without government permission.’
‘Why do you think they go to such great lengths to protect the area?’
‘Because it’s dangerous.’
‘Because they’re hiding something.’
Dan shook his head and lifted himself from the chair. Brett flinched as the legs of the chair screeched against the floor.
‘Harold Holt disappeared while swimming at sea. No one ever saw him again. The government have not hidden his body in some well.’
‘Explain why there are so many strange people hanging around here? Asking questions?’
‘Real estate. They want to buy the land as an investment.’
‘I’m telling you Dan, they are looking for something, and if they find it our country is in big trouble.’
Dan turned his back on his brother and stomped towards the door of the interrogation room.
‘Dad wasted his years chasing this silly myth.’ He stopped at the door. ‘Please, I implore you. For mum’s sake. Tell the cops you stupidly accepted a dare. You give them your story, and they throw you into an asylum.’
‘Mum always told me to tell the truth.’
‘The conspiracy of our great-grandfather is nothing more than that. Harold Holt’s body is not hidden in a well. Nor is there a file number of a secret document buried with his corpse. If there is such a thing that contains information that exposes an international conspiracy, I’ll fly to the moon.’