He was most apologetic.
Mr. Ten Percent extended his hand. Good doing business with you, he said. Welcome to India, haa, and best of luck.
Thats it? When will I hear from you again?
Youll not be hearing from me. Next communication will come from the principal.
With that, the middleman walked off in the direction of the exit, soon vanishing amidst the crowd.
The balloon wallah was close behind him.
His bunch of silver helium balloons bobbed along above the heads of all the happy children and parents, indicating his position and that of his mark as accurately as a homing device.
Puri watched their progress for a few seconds. Then the detective signaled to his client to stay put for at least ten minutes as per the plan and went in pursuit of Tubelight and his balloonsand Mr. Ten Percent.
Excerpted from The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing by Tarquin Hall. Copyright © 2010 by Tarquin Hall. Excerpted by permission of Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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