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Wherein Buck’s attempt to find Marilyn’s next of kin takes a strange twist.
Buck was tempted to tuck the phone back in Marilyn’s purse, but knew there had to be someone who was a closer friend or relative to be here with her. He decided to do a more thorough examination of her contacts. Maybe someone would stand out. He was halfway through the list when it dawned on him to check her phone log. Surely one of the people she called frequently would be a close connection.
He switched screens and found a number she had called several times the previous day. It could be a client or business she worked with, but they might be able to offer some more information. It was the best shot he had.
The phone went through three rings before a youngish-sounding woman answered. Buck moved away from the busy waiting room, realizing he didn’t know what to say to this person now that he had them on the line. It wouldn’t be good to dump the news that Marilyn had collapsed and was in the hospital before ascertaining exactly who he was talking to.
“Hi. My name is Buck Pounds. I know this is weird, but do you know Marilyn Stever?”
“No.” The woman’s voice was quiet. “Should I?”
“I’m not sure. I have her phone and she called this number at least four times yesterday. I’m trying to find a friend or relative.”
“I wish I could help.” The woman sounded sincere.
“Is there someone else there that she may have been trying to get in touch with?”
“No. I live alone and there was only one call yesterday. What was the name again?”
“Marilyn Stever.” Buck sighed, glad he wasn’t a detective. Sorting out details and finding leads weren’t his thing.
“She’s in the hospital. I’m not sure what’s wrong, but she should have family here.” He moved closer to the windows facing the parking lot. The glass was cold despite the glare of the sun.
Buck thanked her for her time and hung up. He wished he had more pieces for this puzzle. As hard as Marilyn was working to help him, he could do a little more investigating in her time of need.
The phone buzzed in his hand again. It was a call from the number he had just talked to. Maybe she had figured out a connection. He answered.
“Mr. Pounds? Is that right?”she asked. Her voice was odd, a bit breathless, a bit terrified. “I checked my messages and there is a message from Marilyn, but it is cut off after her name. What did you say her last name was?”
“Stever. Marilyn Stever.”
“I think that’s my mother.”
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