Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dead Rite chapter 129.06

Peters helped him back to his feet. “I've lost my bearings, I think.”

“Honestly, sergeant. Didn't you do orienteering in the boy scouts?”

“I was never a scout, sir. I valued my free time too much. Besides, I was too interested in girls at that age to worry about what colour my toggle was.” He grinned.

“What about police college? No outdoor classes there?”

“Only the dog handling and the fitness course. It we were bussed away from the college it was generally to the pub.”

“Did you never learn the trick of using moss on trees to tell you which direction was north?”

“I only ever learned that moss grows where it's damp, sir, and trees aren't generally damp.”

“Right, well, have you got a watch?”

“'Fraid not, sir. I use my phone for the time, these days. Seems daft to carry both.”

White sighed. Society would fall to the backwoods madman if the electricity failed. “You can remember what a watchface looks like, though?”

“Digital or analogue?”

“Analogue, obviously.”White stared at his sergeant, unsure if he was being baited or not but Peters wore a poker face of innocence. He held up his wrist and pulled back his cuff to show his watch. “Right, you hold the watch face parallel to the ground and point the hour hand in the direction of the sun. Adjust for daylight saving if it's summer, of course, but the clocks haven't gone forward yet.”

“Okay, sir, with you so far.”

“The point halfway between the hour hand and twelve indicates south, so to find north you turn around. Simple.” He looked at the watch. “Right, it's eleven a.m. so we point the hour hand to the sun which makes the half-eleven point south and the half-five mark north. Simple.”

“Very clever, sir, but do you know what's even easier?”

“What, sergeant?”

“The mapping application on my phone.”

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