"Welcome to Camp Marmotville," Alicia called.
"Thanks," Nancy replied. "How's it going?"
"We've got the packing under control," Jen- nifer said. "Hey, you haven't seen my dad, have you?"
"He left here in a Jeep about forty-five minutes ago," Bess reported.
Jennifer frowned. "Huh. He was supposed to meet us up the hill, but he never showed up.
I think I'll check the other feeding stations.
Maybe a problem came up." She walked off toward the road.
"Are those maintenance guys around to- day?" Nancy asked.
"I haven't seen them," Ned replied.
"What about Jack?" Nancy went on. "Is he still at the feeding station?"
"No. He came through about an hour ago but said he had paperwork to do," Ned ex- plained. "I'm sure he'll show up in a little while."
"So you guys moved out here just in time for our big cookout," Alicia said, smiling.
"Cookout?" Bess asked with interest.
"Our farewell dinner," Alicia explained.
"To celebrate the end of stage two of the study.
I'm about to make potato salad. Anyone want to help?"
Bess gave Nancy an inquiring look, then said, "Sure, I'm game."
As they walked away. Nancy told Ned about Richard and Piker's references. "Can you get away? I want to check those guys out."
"Sure," Ned said. "I'll just take the time."
"I'm a little concerned about Professor Trainey now, Ned," Nancy said as she started the car and headed for the western entrance of the park.
She told Ned about the photograph she found in Trainey's tent. "What if I've been wrong about him? If he knew who was in that photo and went to confront him, he could be in danger."
"Do you think we should go back and look for him?" Ned asked.
Nancy shook her head. "Let's leave that to Jennifer for now."
The narrow road led down into a valley and across a railroad track into a town. She turned onto the main street. It was lined with two- story wood frame buildings and resembled the set for a western.
Just past the business district was a white building with a green slate roof. The sign out front identified it as the town hall. Nancy parked, and they walked in.
The Ashland Police Department occupied one big room on the ground floor. A husky man of about thirty was sitting at one of the two desks. The name plate on the desk said Chief Tucker. As Nancy and Ned approached the counter separating the waiting area from the office, he raised his head with a friendly smile. "Hi, folks, can I help you?"
Nancy introduced herself and Ned and ex- plained that they were investigating a poach- ing scheme in Yellowstone Park. "You can call Chief Ranger Robbins to check us out," she added.
"Thanks, I'll do that." He swiveled to face the telephone and spoke for a couple of min- utes, then turned back to them. "Well, now, Nancy and Ned, what can I do for you?"
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