The Fourth Woman: Chapter 3

“Lovelock, Nev. (AP) – Two women are missing after an outing in desert with friends. Foul play not ruled out. Authorities are searching the surrounding canyon and caves.”

Previously known as Sunset Guano Cave, Horseshoe Cave, and Loud Site 18, Lovelock Cave is 150 feet long and 35 feet wide. In 1911 two miners began digging out the bat guano from the cave so that it could be used as fertilizer.

A year later, the first official archaeological search of the site was made by the Museum of Anthropology, University of California to recover any historic materials that remained from the guano mining of the previous year. The cave’s last use is believed to be in 1850 as indicated by a gun cache and a human coprolite, fossilized feces.

Nearby is Medicine Rock, an old formation once used as a meeting place of the local tribes as well as Leonard Rockshelter, a limestone formation ‘discovered’ in 1936. After two hours of exploring the gaps, crags and passages in and around the ‘shelter,’ the two women headed back to find the other two women were still nowhere to be found.

“Damn it,” April complained, “I hope they didn’t wander off and get themselves lost.”

Janice checked her watch, it had stopped at 12-noon. She thought, “I gotta get a new battery when we get back to town.”

She hollered to April who was already at the picnic site picking up what was left of their lunch, “What time do you have?”

She looked at her left wrist, “My watch has stopped, so I don’t know what time it is. Sorry.”

Janice quickened her pace to join up with April. “Did you say your watch stopped?”

“Yes.”

“At what time?”

“Noon.”

“So did mine.”

“That’s kinda creepy, don’t you think?”

“Yeah, that’s why I wanna get outta here.”

“Good idea. Lets find Marilyn and Lori.”

The pair slipped between the rocks that led them to the center of the rock formation. Once through they could both see Janice’s car, but neither Lori or Marilyn were in view.

Janice continued up the road towards the mountains, calling for the two women. April did the same thing has she crested the rise to the south of the rocks, and looked down into an open field of nothing but small boulders, sand and scrub brush.

It wouldn’t take long for them to agree that they needed help in finding their friends. As hard as it was to do, they decided that together they needed to head into Lovelock, to the Pershing County Sheriff’s office and report their friends missing.

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