metal. One pin protruded from it, and his hand located a hole designed for a second pin.
Vance ached to cry out or punch the wall. Wrenching the remaining pin from the wall, he flung the bracket across the entrance cave, towards where he imagined the door to be. This was impossible. How had he managed to come back to the same cave? There had been no forks in the first cave. Unless he had missed one, missed a branch of the tunnel before he had reached the lichen-filled cave.
It was no use anyhow. He was too tired to set off again. Turval said he would have as long as it took. Rest now, worry about finding the way out when he was feeling better. A night's sleep would help clear his head...
* * *
Vance woke up on the cold floor, the sound of footsteps echoing from the dream he had been having. He sat up when he realised the sound was not from his dream. He could hear the sound emanating ever so faintly from a tunnel. In the blackness he couldn't see the tunnel entrance, but he knew one must be there. Maybe several exits went forth from this cave.
Stumbling slightly, he stood. He hadn't realised just how fatigued he was. Dizzy, dehydrated and half starved, Vance headed toward the tunnel. He didn't care anymore if he stumbled or knocked into some piece of masonry. Whether it killed him or not, he would find the source of those footsteps.
For hours he stumbled through the tunnel. This time, when presented with a branch he did not hesitate - whichever he stumbled down first was fine with him. It didn't seem to matter anyhow; the sound of the footsteps was always just ahead, whichever route he took. Several times his heels buckled on the uneven surface, but he continued with haste. A twisted ankle was the least of his problems. At this rate he'd be dead before