The door to the men’s room at the top of the stairs opened, and the man who had accosted Arthur came out, sniffing.
Startled at the sudden movement, Random lifted the gun again just as a man standing behind her made a grab for it.
Arthur threw himself forward. There was a deafening explosion. He fell awkwardly as Trillian threw herself down over him. The noise died away. Arthur looked up to see the man at the top of the stairs gazing down at him with a look of utter stupefaction.
‘You…’ he said. Then slowly, horribly, he fell apart.
Random threw the gun down and fell to her knees, sobbing. ‘I’m sorry!’ she said. ‘I’m so sorry! I’m so, so sorry…’
Tricia went to her. Trillian went to her.
Arthur sat on the stairs with his head between his hands and had not the faintest idea what to do. Ford was sitting on the stair beneath him. He picked something up, looked at it with interest, and passed it up to Arthur.