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. The lights lowered and a spotlight
picked out the master of ceremonies.
"All right, all right!" My uninvited guest reached into a pocket, pulled
out a wallet. "But Tolliver must die by noon Sunday or we'll all be dead!"
He flipped open the wallet to show me an ID. A small dark spot appeared on
his white shirt front. He looked startled, then said softly, "I'm very sorry,"
and leaned forward. He seemed to be trying to add something but blood gushed
from his mouth. His head settled down onto the tablecloth.
I was up out of my chair at once and around to his right side. Almost as
swiftly Moms was at his left side. Perhaps Morris was trying to help him; I was
not-it was too late. A four-millimeter dart makes a small entry hole and no exit
it explodes inside the body. When the wound is in the torso, death follows
abruptly. What I was doing was searching the crowd-that and one minor chore.
While I was trying to spot the killer, Morris was joined by the headwaiter
and a busman. The three moved with such speed and efficiency that one would have
thought that having a guest killed at a table was something they coped with
nightly. They removed the corpse with the dispatch and unobtrusiveness of
Chinese stagehands; a fourth man flipped up the tablecloth, removed it and the
silver, was back at once with a fresh cloth, and laid two places.
I sat back down