“The Blackmailer, The Fugitive, and The Victim”
~~~Black Estate-Drawing Room-7:33 pm~~~
“I need you to say that you were down there with me.” Sir Black says
“I can’t.” Miss Scarlet sighs, “Both my mother and Mrs. Meadow-Brooke saw me around the time you killed him.”
“Well, what’s one more murder?” Sir Black says glancing at the blazing fire.
“What?” Miss Scarlet asks, “What was that?”
“Oh, nothing.” Sir Black says, “Just an old man rambling.”
~~~Boddy Mansion-Study-7:40 pm~~~
All of the guests are leaving or have left already. Mr. Boddy enters his study. Mrs. White is behind his desk, polishing a bookend on his bookshelf.
“Oh, Beryl, I didn’t know anyone was still here.” Mr. Boddy says
“Yes.” She says, “I’m going to stay in the servant’s quarters tonight.”
“Alright.” He says, “Is everything alright at home?”
“What? Oh, everything’s fine.” Mrs. White lies, “I just hear we are going to get a thunderstorm and would rather be here than at home.” Thunder rumbles in the distance, “You see. It’s bad to travel in this weather…”
“I suppose.” Mr. Boddy says
Mrs. White leaves and Mr. Boddy sits behind his large oak desk. The telephone rings.
“John Boddy.” He answers, “Gregory.” He says to Professor Plum
~~~Professor Plum’s Car-Front Seat-continuous~~~
“I think you should check on your uncle.” He says, “He seemed a bit frazzled when we left.” Rain begins pattering against the window of his car. Miss Peach sits next to him.
“I don’t know.” Mr. Boddy says, lightning fills up the sky with a bright flash, “We’re having a bit of stormy weather.”
There is a pause.
“I’ll check on him in the morning.” Mr. Boddy says. The front door opens and several people enter, “Listen, Greg, I’ve got to go.” He hangs up the phone and enters the Hall.
Mrs. Peacock, Colonel Mustard, and the Meadow-Brooke’s are there.
“You don’t mind if we wait out the storm? Do you?” asks Colonel Mustard
“Of course not.” Mr. Boddy says, he sees Mrs. White in the Kitchen doorway, “As a matter of fact, I’ll have Mrs. White fix up some bedrooms for you.”
“We don’t want to impose.” Mrs. Meadow-Brooke says
“Nonsense.” Mr. Boddy says, “We could have a billiard tournament, or play cards in the conservatory. I have plenty of books in the library… Make yourselves at home…”
Mrs. Meadow-Brooke walks down the hall to the Conservatory.
“Pinochle anyone?” she smiles
~~~Boddy Mansion-Conservatory-8:00 pm~~~
Mrs. White is sitting across from her partner, Mr. Boddy, Mrs. Peacock is across from hers, Colonel Mustard, as are the Meadow-Brooke’s.
Thunder rattles the windows as Mrs. Peacock makes a bet on the blind, putting some money on the side of the table. After several rounds around the table, Mrs. Peacock takes the blind… for twenty-seven points. She smiles as she lays down a double Pinochle… with a round house.
“Anyone up for another round?” asks Mrs. Peacock, collecting the money
“Maybe in a while.” Mr. Boddy says, “I’d like to take a break.”
Mrs. Peacock begins to count the hundred dollar bills.
“Mrs. Peacock, may I talk to you?” asks Mr. Meadow-Brooke
“Of course.” She says, walking with him over to the end of the long Conservatory.
“I’d like to ask how you do it.” Mr. Meadow-Brooke says, she smiles, “But I already know how.” He smile fades
“What are you talking about?” she asks
He reaches in her sleeve and pulls out three cards, “This was the original blind…” he says, “I don’t know how, but you switched them.”
“And your point?” she asks, secretly beaming that her plan succeeded
“You’re a great swindler.” He chuckles, “I’ll be taking half of what you won.” He says tugging at the money in her hand, “Let go.”
“No!” she says, “The colonel and I are splitting this.”
“Oh, alright, I’ll just make the announcement of your swindling at the start of the next game.” He says, “Boy, will they have some laughs.”
“You can’t.” Mrs. Peacock says, “They’ll hate me.”
“Alright, then we continue playing, and you give me half of whatever you earn.” Mr. Meadow-Brooke says, “Do we have a deal?”
“And what?” Mrs. Peacock asks, “You’re going to invite me to dozens of Pinochle games and blackmail me if I don’t go?”
“It crossed my mind.” Mr. Meadow-Brooke says, “You are very popular in Chicago, how would the town take it if you are revealed as a hustler. You have finally been relieved of the suspicion of you killing your husbands… which I’m still working on.”
“Working on?” Mrs. Peacock gulps
“Just because you haven’t been called into court lately, doesn’t mean we aren’t looking for a fault in your alibis.” Mr. Meadow-Brooke says, “A hustler and a murderer. You sure are a busy girl.”
“Mr. Meadow-Brooke, you can have all the money I earn from gambling if you drop the case of my husbands.” Mrs. Peacock says
“That’s a big loss on my part, but I have compassion.” He tugs the money out of her grip, “It’s a deal.”
Mrs. Peacock is shaking with a mix of fear and anger.
“Oh, just one more thing.” He says, “You’re my new partner.” He begins to laugh.
~~~Black Estate-Drawing Room-8:30 pm~~~
Sir Black looks inside the dark room. Miss Scarlet lays on the floor, her head bleeding. A fire andiron next to her.
“Sorry, Vera, you asked to much about where I’m going.” He says, “And if you survive, let’s hope you keep your mouth shut.” He slams the door, followed shortly by the front door slamming. His shadow casts over Miss Scarlet’s body. She begins to moan. Lightning lights up the room.
TO BE CONTINUED