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River of Venom

"I think it was a blowgun dart," you tell Jorge. "And the tip was rubbed in poison-frog venom."

His eyes widen. "The mark in her arm," he says.

"Right," you say. "The pinprick. What else could it be?"

He says nothing for a moment. "I was hoping something," he says finally. "The mark in her arm -- the pinprick. She realizes she is going into shock. She is a doctor -- she knows what to do. She injects herself with epinephrine." He picks up the empty hypodermic case. "She is left-handed. So the mark would be in her right arm, no? But where is the syringe?"

but where is the syringe?

"I forgot to tell you," you say, and hold out your hand. "She was laying on it."

Jorge turns the syringe over and over in his hand. A fat tear of joy streams down one cheek.

"So," you say. "The pinprick is NOT a bee sting, or a blowgun dart -- it is Doctor Hernandez giving herself the epinephrine. AFTER she is already going into shock."

"Correcto," Jorge says. He gives you the syringe back. "But then what gave her the allergic reaction in the first place?"

What do you tell Jorge?

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