…and 2013 goes out with a… portage?

As Mark in panel two contemplates the arc of his life (perpetually 35 years old, has never done anything except what he is doing right now, got married to ensure a roof over his head and three squares a day, tricked into becoming a step father)  he thinks of jumping off the rock face to his death as a viable option to doing Jeff’s bidding…  thinking of the peace that Johnny Walker must know, having hurtled over the edge with the angry, grazed elk, never to scheme again…

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…and yet, all Mark can seem to think about is the location of “those artifacts.”  Otherwise, this whole thing will have been for naught.  Like a terrier on a bone, this guy is… even in the face of certain death, he can only think of that which is driving the plot line.  Because really, does anyone think that Mark is actually in mortal danger here?  I mean, the strip is named ‘Mark Trail’ after all… But even as we manufacture some tension, the mind still races as to how Mark gains the upper hand…  does he put the canoe up on his shoulders and then do a 360, taking Jeff out?  He can’t kill Jeff, since he knows where the loot is hidden.  Oh, such a conundrum…