From this printing: Following an exotic, danger-filled trail from London to Paris, Lisbon and Tangier brings Modesty and Willie to the mountains of Hindu Kush - home of a modern Genghis Khan with an army of ruthless mercenaries.
(Modesty) gave a tired shrug. "(…) We had to wait quite a while before we could get the prowlers without any noise."
"Too bad." He gave a smiling sigh of sympathy but the Magnum did not waver. "It just shows how much depends on small details."
"Why don't you join us, Mike?" she said quietly. The question was asked only to make him believe that she had no other hope.
He chuckled. "No thank you, my pet. I like to be on the winning side. So do these stalwarts behind me, no doubt. And you can't win now, you know. You're a woman, with all the hindrance of little scruples."
"Perhaps you're right."
"I know I'm right. Why look now, I could shoot you and watch you die . . . and feel a little sad maybe, but I'd lose no sleep over it." His smile grew gentle and his voice softer yet, with the Irish brogue sounding more strongly. "But you'd find it hard to pull the trigger on me even if you held the gun, darling. D'you know that? I'm the man who first made you happy a long time ago, remember? Ah, sure you remember. Wonderful Mike Delgado. You'd never be able to kill the man who taught you to fly to the stars, would you?"
Her shoulders sagged. "That's something we'll never know for sure," she said wearily, and half turned to look at Willie, her left flank towards Delgado. "I'm sorry we didn't quite make it, Willie...."
Her left hand came up in a small helpless gesture to draw Delgado's eye, and in the same instant her screened right hand moved in a smooth blur of speed. Her head turned to Delgado as the Colt .32 cleared the holster, and she fired across the small of her back - a trick shot with all the dangers of failure and all the virtues of surprise.
The sound of the Magnum followed the sharper crack of the Colt by a split second.
Peter O´Donnell, Sabre-Tooth, 1966