The Westing Game

by Ellen Raskin

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How did Sydelle end up near the bomb in The Westing Game?

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Sydelle Pulaski had been dining at Shin Hoo's Restaurant and had just finished her meal.  She had found the meal to be "superb", and had just gone to the kitchen to "give (her) compliments to the chef" when the bomb went off.

Shin Hoo's Restaurant was more crowded than usual that night.  Since the Coffee Shop had been damaged by the first bomb, Mr. Hoo had advertised that his restaurant would be "prepared to satisfy all dinner accommodations...(at) reasonable prices".  Although a few of the tenants chose to order out, a majority of them had gathered that night for dinner at the Chinese restaurant.  Unfortunately, someone had earlier "set a tall can labeled 'monosodium glutamate' behind similar cans on a shelf" in the restaurant's kitchen, along with a "color-striped candle (which) would burn down to the fuse at six-thirty".  The bomber had calculated that at that time, "whoever was working there would be at the other end of the room".  No one was supposed to have been hurt.

Sydelle Pulaski had been enjoying dinner at the restaurant at a table with Chris Theodorakis, "the two cripples together", as she had though sardonically.  She had just finished eating, and had gotten up to compliment the chef in the kitchen, knocking her chair to the floor as she struggled to maneuver with her polka-dot crutch.  Angela, seeing that Sydelle was having trouble, had risen to help her, but had been distracted by the entry of Otis Amber.  Sydelle was just entering the kitchen when the bomb went off.  The explosion knocked her to the ground with a fractured ankle, and she lay there "being drenched by the overhead sprinkler and draped with noodles" which had been scattered in the blast (Chapter 13).

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