T he Glenners sat around the Shabbos table trying to conduct the meal. The men sang a few zemiros and spoke about the parshah, painfully aware of the two police officers sitting near the phone in the entrance hall.

The butler served dessert on a silver tray, but it sat untouched in the center of the table.

Toby finished bentshing and stood. “I’m going upstairs,” she said.

Lazer and Moe pushed back their chairs and walked her to the curved staircase. They wished each other Gut Shabbos, and the men returned to the dining room.

“How is Toby feeling?” Moe asked.

Lazer exhaled loudly. “The baby is due very soon, b’ezras Hashem. This stress isn’t good for her.”

Moe ran his hand through his white beard. “Why hasn’t anyone called yet? What could the kidnapper possibly want, other than money?”

Lazer held his palms upward. “I don’t know. Who would want to hurt an innocent child?”

“Is there anyone holding a grudge against you? You’re a wealthy man with many employees.”

“The police asked me the same thing. I can’t think of anyone. Baruch Hashem, Toby and I are on good terms with all our workers.”

“Then it has to be for money.”

“I’m sure it’s for money. Officer Maxwell thinks the kidnapper will wait a day or so until we’re completely beside ourselves with worry, then call and demand payment. They’re going to be stationed here around the clock until the call comes.”

Moe reached for some cake and placed it on his plate. He couldn’t help but notice it was the same kind of cake he had baked for Jacob. He often baked for his family before he returned to the Matthews home. Although his niece employed her own cooks, his chocolate cake was still her favorite. Just as it was when she was a child.

“I’ll bring this to the two officers. It looks like it will be a long night.”

The startling sound of glass shattering followed by a scream brought both men to their feet.

“What was that?!” Moe asked dropping the plate.

Lazer was already running to the front of the house, and nearly collided with the officers.

“Upstairs!” Officer Maxwell said.

They took the steps two at a time and reached the landing at the same time Toby did.

She trembled uncontrollably. “The window! In the bedroom!”

The men dashed to the room that faced the street, and saw broken shards of glass on the polished wooden floor and rug. The window was shattered and the rain streamed in.

Officer Maxwell knelt down over the debris. “Look at this.” He lifted a large rock from amid the broken glass. A note was secured around it with twine.

The other officer tore out of the room and down the steps. He pulled open the front door and rushed out into the rain in hope of finding a clue, but the street was empty. He returned to the house to share the news.

“The kidnapper made contact with us,” Officer Maxwell said. He opened the paper. Lazer and Moe stepped closer, glass crunching under their feet.

“If you want your daughter back alive and well,” he read, “have $20,000 cash, in $100 bills only, ready. Further instructions will be forthcoming.” The policeman looked at Lazer. “That’s a hefty sum,” Officer Maxwell said.

Lazer reached for the note. “It’s a small price to pay for my daughter’s life.” (Excerpted from Jr., Issue 655)