I smiled. "I don't think the question is, 'Can I find him?' I think the real question is, 'Will you be okay with whatever we find?'" I decided to include Archer in the second question by adding the word "we."
Her response was delayed. "What are you trying to say?" Her expression was beginning to turn toward the negative.
"My associate is right. There are tons of possibilities, and I want you to be aware that it might not be positive."
She seemed to calm down a bit. "I understand I think."
"Okay," I said, leaning back in my chair. I took in a deep breath, collecting my thoughts. "Let's dig a little deeper. How long has he been missing?"
I looked over at Archer who was smiling. Was he thinking what I was thinking? I would have to ask him later.
"Have you gone to the police?" I asked.
"Yes," Mrs. Duncan replied, leaning forward in her chair. She pounded her fist on my desk. "But, they wouldn't help me." She leaned back into the chair, a tear running down one cheek. I didn't say anything. Instead, I waited for her to gain some composure.
"They said that there was nothing suspicious about his disappearance," she said finally.
"Did they give a reason?" Archer asked. I watched Mrs. Duncan's reaction to Archer's question closely. Was she at ease with him yet? She seemed to have moved on, for she answered his question.
"Yes. They said that because he travels on business all the time, a 48 hour disappearance would not raise red flags."
"They didn't care about the cell phone?" Archer asked.
"No. They said that he could have lost it or the battery could have gone dead."
"Which are possibilities," I said.
Mrs. Duncan started to protest but remained calm in the end. "I don't think so. It isn't like him not to call. There was one time that he didn't call, but he called the next morning on a different phone. His battery had gone dead."
I didn't have anymore probing questions for her. I wanted to look into it, and I was hoping that this would turn out all right. I looked over at Archer, and he nodded, seeming to be thinking the same thing I was.
"Okay, I think we will look into it," I told Mrs. Duncan. "Give us some more details, and we will get started right away."