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The parable of the waiter

A restaurant, a bohemian crime, the witness who observed it and the witness who wasn't there

By Christopher Burns   September 2004

History tells us something of what happened. The shooting took place at L’Hippodrome restaurant at approximately nine in the evening of Sunday 17th February 1901. There is no dispute as to who fired, but recollections of the event are contradictory and the records of the Paris police are incomplete. The official version omits the names of two of the diners as well as most of what especially fascinates us about the case.

At the time, the events of that night were chaotic and senseless. After more than a century, we have a knowledge of history that gives us objectivity. Those…

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