Going back down the hall, I saw Willy. He saw me, too, and he tried to get to the staircase, but I caught up with him and grabbed his arm. "Did you get permission to leave the cafeteria?" I asked, knowing the answer.
He stammered out the beginnings of a few possible replies, squirming in my grip as I hauled him back to the scene of the crime.
Roger was lying on his side on one of the long tables, clutching at his stomach. His skin was pale and his eyes were closed. Amy and Carol were cleaning up the table where he'd thrown up. Jan was standing next to him, and I could tell from her posture that he was out of danger, at least for the moment.
She smiled when she saw that I had Willy. She gestured at the table where some of the others were sitting, and I pulled him over there and sat him down. I did a quick check and confirmed that the rest were all there: Ms. Tumolo, James, David, Pete, and Daphne. Other than the ten of us, the large cafeteria was empty.
"Here is the situation," Jan said, addressing them all, her hands on top of her cane. "This is almost certainly an attempted murder, one of you is probably the culprit, and I am in charge now.
"My first priority is Roger's life, but he seems to be out of danger, and medical help is on the way, so now I can concentrate on identifying who did this.
"Also, don't even try to get away. Marshall can outrun any of you, and he could beat any two of you in a fight. I let the other students leave the room because they were all very young. I doubt if any of them were responsible for this, and some of them were getting upset. That doesn't apply to you, however. You can be upset or not, as you prefer, but you're not leaving."
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