Dinner party

Chapter 1


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"Will you walk into my parlour?"
Mason and Julia were dressing for a dinner party.
"Why in the wide world is your father gathering all these people?" asked Julia. "Kirk
Cranston, Robert Barr, Cruz Castillo, Peter Flint, Keith Timmons… Is it an attempt to discover the fittest?"
"No- rather to replay the Leipzig folksbattle."
"Fine! And what empire is expected as first?"
" I suppose, Japan - in the magnificent personality of Kirk" came the ready answer.
"I am not sure that Japan took part in that battle"-
Julia was evidently non-plussed.
"We are doing it on a larger scale" reassuringly smiled Mason.

Mason and Julia entered the sitting-room. Among those already present were:
1) Kirk, busily calculating how much dynamite it would take to convert the Capwell mansion into a model of early Celtic pyramides,
Barr, mentally sizing up the emerald ornament of the fireplace,
 3) Castillo, trying to figure out the number of handcuffs necessary for the hold-up of this merrry company.
"I gathered you here to inform you"
began CC...
"That Eden made up her mind to return to me" cut in Castillo with the implacability of a unicorn confronted with the theory of the impossibility of his existence.
Kirk reached for his revolver evidently about to confirm his reputation of the man who first shoots
- and then asks questions.
Cruz immediately cocked his with the professional gesture of a superman-one who survived a 5 years "modern Zorro or Brave new world" course in Police Academy and sometimes actually managed to hit the target.
Robert put himself between them, mentally cursing the Dobsons for the allot
ted him portion of noble- mindedness.
"Sorry for interrupting you, gentlemen, but
" he began.
"Someone stole my diamond!" exclaimed CC who was evidently bent on being the sole director of the show.
"Now your shares will slide down" stated Barr joyfully.
"Tomorrow Capwell Enterprises will be mine".
"I will kill you!"
CC succumbed to the example set by Castillo and Cranston and produced a revolver.
Robert, having found himself facing 3 weapons, felt the thrill of a gladiator in front of a troop of valiant USA marines.
"I am gratly flattered by your atention, gentlemen, but it seems to me I hardly deserve to be the lion of this party
." Here he was interrupted. Brandon shot into the room and breathlessly announced: "The keys of your safe are gone!"
"Never mind" smiled Barr. "I will open your safe with the carefree adroitness of legal blindness"
"I will enlighten you" sprang up Cruz.
"I will kill you" repeated CC with the iron determination of an atomic reactor.
"CC, as far as I know there are no DIY
manuals on safe - breaking on sale yet. You need me" tried to reason with the new Terminator Barr.
"You may shoot"
announced Quinn suddenly entering the room. "May I introduce myself? Robert Barr 2. No Eden-related problems. Improved compatibility with the Capwells in toto."
"I am the only Robert Barr" protested Robert.
"All falsifications are prosecuted. The law..."
"The law- c
est moi." informed everyone Keith Timmons triumphantly entering the parlour.
"The also-ran list is now complete"
summed up Mason.

Chapter 2