THE GRAND SUNSET ROOM
in the world has my husband disappeared to?" Francis
asked as she nervously tapped her foot on the floor. "Surely he can't
have vanished off the face of the earth!"
"You know how he is, dear." Mary
patted her on the back reassuringly. "He's probably locked away
talking business somewhere. You know how obsessed he is the that company
"But this is supposed to be a party of celebration for Reginald
and our family." Francis began to pace back and forth.
"This isn't some business dinner where he's trying to work the room for
"Well, maybe he's trying to talk some sense into Nelson
Of course, Mary was grasping at straws at this point. She, herself, had no
clue as to where her son-in-law might have gone.
"That, I can guarantee is impossible! I don't think he even wants
to be in the same room as Nelson Stokes!" Francis quickly looked
around again. "Besides, the royal couple is over there! I bet
they've got themselves perched up on their imaginary pedestals so they can look
down on everyone else here!"
"Now, Francis," Mary grabbed her daughter's hand and held it
tightly. "There's no reason to get yourself bent out of shape."
blurted out as she rushed up to them. "Oh, Momma, something awful's
"Young lady, what in the world are you still doing here?"
Francis frowned at her daughter's presence.
"I thought I sent you home with my driver." Mary grabbed
Maggie's arm and spoke to her sternly. "How dare you disobey your
mother like this!"
"B-but I know where Father is!"
"Maggie, that's all well and good, but I'm sure you realize that this
will most certainly result in a severe punishment!" Mary maintained
her grasp on her arm.
"Mother, not now!" Francis interrupted. "Maggie, you
said you knew where your father is? Where? How?"
"Oh, I'm sorry I disobeyed you and didn't go home." Maggie
stared at the ground. "B-but something horrible is going on with
"What in the world are you talking about?" Mary questioned.
"Yes, Maggie, what is going on here? What horrible thing is
happening?" Francis looked intently at her daughter as she waited for
an answer. "Tell me, Maggie! Where is your father?"