Enemy In the Room
from
unsuspecting customers.”
    Trevor rose again to face Ellis. “Won’t
permit? Look, you may know computers and phones, but I raised the
money and put together the license application that won this gold
mine. Don’t talk about ‘permitting’. Like it or not, we’re
partners, and I say that knowing all this information—new every
day—is the best part of what we have.”
    “No. The phones themselves are more than
enough.”
    “We’re talking about the chance to know
almost every new idea, make investments, and even influence
events.”
    “Including blackmail?”
    The younger man smiled. “For now, let’s just
collect information and see where it leads. Think what it could
mean for our people to have this information.”
    “ Our people ? I’ve lived in the U.S.
almost all my life. This nation has been wonderful to us. Look at
this opportunity that we have, the son and nephew of an Egyptian
immigrant. These are our people.”
    “Never! I accepted your father’s Anglicized
name to join his business, but I’ve never given up my identity.
These people oppose Islam. Qutb, an early member of the Muslim
Brotherhood, saw it all here decades ago: filth, materialism,
greed, democracy. Only Islam will bring people back to pure life,
merging faith, government and everyday life. It is the only way.
And the West opposes all of this. They killed our people, including
my father, your uncle. We must revenge his death. All their deaths!
Revenge is a sacred requirement that Allah will honor with His
blessing.”
    Ellis turned, walked to a window, then
retraced his steps while Trevor watched. He came close to the desk.
“Trevor, it was terrible that your father died in prison, along
with so many others in the Muslim Brotherhood. But it was Gamal
Nassar, a socialist and Egyptian nationalist, who had your father
killed. Hardly a Western democrat. And he wanted a modern country,
not a throwback to mistreating women and burning books that the
Muslim Brotherhood is always espousing.”
    “What do you know about the Brothers?”
    “Enough to know that they would be a
disaster for any country they tried to rule.”
    “Are you crazy? They are the world’s only
hope! Look at what they do in Iran. Even though they are Persian
Shi’a, they are a true Islamic state, with religious leaders in
charge. It’s incredible! We hope for the same thing in Egypt, and
in all the other countries with governments pandering to their
Western masters.”
    Ellis took a deep breath. “Look, Trevor,
we’ve been through this before, and we’re not going to solve the
world’s problems. Let’s come back to our phones. You know how badly
I feel about your father’s death; I’m sure it’s why my father gave
you half of everything, for which I’m glad, because we built this
business together. But this cheating is wrong. Knox Communications
is not going to do it, no matter what you think. You don’t have
kids. I can’t tell my two boys to play fair if I’m going to steal
information and use it to outbid or outmaneuver others. If
necessary, when I get back from Charlotte tomorrow, I’ll call a
meeting of our investors and tell them what you’ve been doing and
ask them to confirm that we must stop.”
    Trevor sat down, his arms folded tightly.
“You always think you know best.” He spoke in Arabic, which Ellis
did not understand. He looked intently at his cousin. Then he said
in English, “I won’t let your personal sense of right and wrong
kill this sweet deal.”
    “And how will you stop me? I know the
investors. They won’t like what you’re doing any more than I
do.”
    Trevor was silent, his lips pursed and he
shook his head slightly from side to side.
    Ellis turned to leave. At the door he looked
back. “I’m taking the King Air. In the morning I’m going over the
proposed cell tower sites around Charlotte. When I get back we’ll
try one last time. Maybe one of us will have to go. It’s not what I
want, but I can’t be in

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