I spent the next couple of hours on the net looking at the bills that Sam Ellis sponsored or was on as a co-sponsor. I even looked at bills that he was on. I reviewed this year’s bills and those signed into law and went back another year that might give me a clue. I looked for patterns and could not find one. Sam was on the appropriations committee and that was a pretty powerful committee, even if you were in the minority. Fortunately for Sam, he was in the majority. Chris Montalto was the chairman and wielded that power like Thor and his hammer.

I was drawing a blank when the phone rang. No one in the house seemed to pick it up, so I did. I said hello and no one responded. I asked if there was anyone there, and I heard nothing at all. I said, “Alright, if you don’t want to talk or this is a wrong number, I am hanging up.” That is what I did. It was curious that the person on the other side kept listening without hanging up. They may have wanted to hear my voice to see if it was the person they were calling.

I dumped my legislative sleuthing and went to the bathroom to take a shower. While I was showering, I heard the phone ring again. It rang five times, until someone, maybe Jonathan picked it up. I heard nothing more. When I dried myself, I went downstairs to see who had called. Margaret told me that Jonathan, our seventeen year old answered it, but the person on the other end said nothing, so he hung up. For a second, I was worried. Then, I realized that some phone marketing people do that from time to time.

The phone rang a third time and I answered it quickly. This time I was ready to yell at the person. However, it turned out to be Rhonda from Senator Ellis’ office. She seemed a bit off stride as we got into the conversation. She told me that she was racking her brain to see what she could come up with about the senator’s absence. She called it absence because she did not want to conclude that he was missing. I told her about my research and Margaret’s idea that someone does not want him to be found.

Rhonda began to cry again. I tried to calm her, but was unsuccessful. I told her to call me back when she had calmed down. She told me that she would.

Ten minutes later, the phone rang and I answered. I fully expected Rhonda to be on the other line. Instead there was the silence again with one difference. After about a minute, a disguised electronic voice said, “Stop looking for Ellis. If you continue, you and your family will be in danger.”


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