Bracing himself he stepped into the icy water with his foot reaching for the first step he knew was there. Three more steps and he was up to his waist in the freezing water and facing the waterfall itself. He knew what he had to do as if some unknown hand was guiding him.
He plunged into the deep pool and began swimming strongly toward the waterfall. Right before he reached it he dove deeply and explored the rock face with his fingers. As he suspected there was an opening about three feet below the surface of the pool going under the waterfall itself.
Bobbing to the surface he took a deep breath and dived again swimming as deeply into the opening as possible and rose feeling the rock surface above his head sloping upward until it opened into a silent pool. His head broke the surface as he gasped for breath. It had not been a bad swim but it had been a frightening one.
The water was icy and he pulled himself out of it onto a rocky ledge. He was shivering in the dark as his fingers searched and found what felt a pack of some type and a torch. Tearing the pack open by touch his fingers closed on the heavy wool like material of a robe. Gratefully he slipped it on and pounded his body until the circulation started coming back.
His fingers searched and found a pouch of tinder. He soon had the torch going and was warming himself as he was looking around. The pool looked only six feet across and was his only way back. His heart was racing wildly. He knew this was the secret the lake hid and he also knew he only had two hours to explore before he had to leave. The good news was he felt certain the med-alert bracelet would not give him away within the cavern. He was safe as long as he stayed inside.
The torch flickered as he walked barefoot deeper into the cave. The thundering of the waterfall made the entire cave seem to vibrate even though the sound was muted and it was hard to tell where it was coming from. The floor of the cave sloped sharply downward for twenty feet and then leveled out into an open area.
There was an opening that turned sharply to the right but Tobal ignored it, his entire attention was focussed on the chamber ahead of him. There was a rough stone altar with unlit torches set into the wall on each side and the emblem painted on the rock behind the altar took his breath away. It was the same symbol of a man and woman holding hands within a circle that had been on the gold medallion his parents had left him.
He lit the two altar torches and stepped back to examine the chamber he found himself in. There was a rough circle in front of the altar for circle members to sit and many of the places seemed to have personal belongings placed carefully around them.
On sudden impulse he moved to one of the cushions near the altar and picked up a clay bowl that held some dust covered items. In the torchlight he carefully emptied the contents of the bowl on the ground and picked two plastic bracelets up. He recognized them as hospital bracelets.
Wiping the dust off them he held the larger one closer to the light of the torch. He saw the words "Rachel Kane" written plainly on it. With his heart thundering in his chest he picked the smaller one up and examined it. Under a coating of grime and dust he saw "Tobal Kane" written and then the date of his birth.
It was his baby bracelet from when he had been born. These things must have belonged to his mother. Blinking away tears, he moved the other items with his finger to examine them more closely. A jade and amber necklace caught his eye. Static electrical energy seemed to crackle from it as he ran it through his fingers wiping the dust off. Thinking quickly he put the necklace over his head and thrilled at the intense feeling of love and peace that swept over him.