What happened just as Otis Amber entered the restaurant in "The Westing Game"?Chapter 13

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Just as Otis Amber enters Shin Hoo's Restaurant, a bomb goes off in the kitchen.

The bomb, like the one that had gone off a day ago in the coffee shop, does not appear to have been meant to hurt anyone.  It is a homemade concoction, which had been assembled in "a tall can labeled 'monosodium glutamate'", and set "behind similar cans on a shelf".  It had been set off by "a color-striped candle" which had been timed to "burn down to the fuse at six-thirty (when) whoever was working there would be at the other end of the room".  When Otis Amber, "a bundled and booted figure", comes in the door, he dances "an elephantine jig, stomping snow on the carpet", an instant before the bomb goes off.

The bomb sends "a cluster of red sparks hiss(ing) through the swinging kitchen door, kiss(es) the ceiling, and rain(s) a shimmering shower down and around".  There is, in fact, one minor injury as a result of the explosion - Sydelle Pulaski has apparently fallen and broken her leg.  The police and fire inspector conclude that the bomb was not a bomb at all, but a gas explosion, which is "nothing unusual...especially in weather like this, (with) no ventilation, (and) snow packed over the ducts".