Sam Ellis was a three time elected state senator from the far reaches of the real central Pennsylvania. With all of the redistricting and Gerrymandering, he would wind up serving an area that was almost as big as Delaware and certainly bigger than Rhode Island. He had offices in 4 counties and probably needed more. That was a problem of rural areas. There weren’t that many people, so the geography kept on expanding. Senator Ellis did the best that he could for his people. He was not a raging looney, nor a member of the Tea Party. He was basically an old timey conservative. The folks in his district loved him.
I got kind of scared when Rhonda told me that maybe I should just leave the building. The first thought that came into my mind was a bomb scare. However, that would have meant that everyone was to leave the building. That was not happening. I remembered that Bob, the security officer, did not seem to know what was going on. That seemed hard to believe. Maybe what was happening was restricted to just a few people. Otherwise everyone would know what was going on.
I pressed on with Rhonda. “Rhonda, I know that something is wrong and for the life of me, I cannot fathom what the heck it is. Is Senator Ellis involved in something dangerous? Tears started to pour down her cheeks. She turned away from me and reached for some tissues on her desk. She walked over to the office door and closed it. She moved over to where I was standing and began to hug me. Her tears turned into sobs. “Chet, he’s gone and no one knows where he is. The last time someone saw him was Tuesday night at the Tavern on the Hill Restaurant and he has not been seen since. His family back home in Dushore is in a panic. He was supposed to be home yesterday and has not appeared yet. There are no phone calls from him, not texts, no emails, just nothing. We believe something terrible has happened.”
I was stunned. This is not something that happens in the Capitol building.
I tried to calm Rhonda down. It was apparent that other people in the building were aware of what was going on. That would account for the strange looks from people. Sam Ellis had been in the House for 20 years before he ran for the Senate. I knew him well then and most people who worked in the house knew that he and I were friends. It was therefore, not surprising that they were not willing to tell me what was going on. I understood the feeling. I did not want to tell anyone either.
When I left Rhonda, she had composed herself and was attempting to go about her business. If there was foul play with the senator, what would be a reason for it? Or, was there some sort of accident on the way home and no one has yet discovered it. My suspicious mind then leapt to another possibility. Was there something that the senator was doing or not doing that infuriated some people that might have led to taking action against Sam?
As I left the building, I encountered Bob. He looked at me glumly and said, “Chet, I found out what it was. By this time you must know also. I am sorry. I know that you and the senator are friends. I hope this turns out well for the senator.” “Bob, I am not sure,” I said. “There are lots of things that could have gone wrong.”