[Act 5, Scene 1. Time : Sunday 6.30 AM. The Dining Room. ALICE, HARVEY, JEROME, AUSTIN, STEPHEN and CINDY are here. Everybody is wearing their nightclothes(1). CINDY is lying on the floor near the fireplace, while AUSTIN and HARVEY are rolling around on the floor trying to punch one another. ALICE is lying on top of the table, being choked by JEROME. Both ALICE and JEROME are injured, the former has been punched several times in the face while the latter has several deep scratches in his face. STEPHEN is sitting under the table, crying.]

Alice : Jerome, no! [Choke] It's not what you think!

Jerome : I'm going to kill you!

[Enter CLINT, staggering. He has very recently been hit very hard on the side of the head with a blunt instrument.]

Clint : Get off her, Trindle, I'm gonna kill the bitch!

Jerome: [Ripping Alices pyjamas open, then standing back, with a shocked expression on his face] What has become of us? [Looks around, then back at Alice, quickly covering her again] My dearest Alice, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. is most keenly sorry for any harm caused to you. [To Clint] Calm down! We were all under the effects of some poison!

Jerome: [Ripping Alices pyjamas open, then standing back, with a shocked expression on his face] What has become of us? [Looks around, then back at Alice, quickly covering her again] My dearest Alice, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. is most keenly sorry for any harm caused to you. [To Clint] Calm down! We were all under the effects of some poison!

Clint: Hey... fuck you, Trindle! [Looks confused] Poison? I'm not poisoned, damn it! I'll kill you too, Trindle! I always have hated your little fucking tea making inventions.... and I hate the little fuckin bunsen burners on your pajamas. Those are bunsen burners, aren't they? I'm too drugged to.... [Shakes his head, then punches the right side of his head] Damn... I'm sorry, Jerry.... What was I doing? And what the heck is Harvey and Austin doing? Who the fuck hit me? I'll kill 'em! Should I break them up? [Clint stumbles over, yet nimbly steps over a potted plant that Harvey and Austin have tipped over] Just give the word and I'll break 'em up, Jerry. If you want, I can break the lawyer. The Colonel seems more important, anyway.

Austin: [Attempts to head-butt Harvey, but misses and smacks his head off the ground. Apparently woozy, pushes Harvey away from him, and staggers to his feet] I've done it. I've done it. I've done it. I've done it. I've done it.

Jerome: [Glad he doesn't have to beat Clint up] Well, Clint, perhaps you should endevour to separate Harvey and Austin without damaging either of them. Austin could come in very useful to Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. when Jerome investigates the missing patents. And Harvey will be useful later, certainly. [Sounding very much like he's saying it for Alice's benefit rather than meaning it]

Harvey: [Staggers to his feet, a confused expression on his face] What in hell is going on here? [Looks from Austin to Jerome, his eyes finally resting on Alice. His confused expression becomes one of pure rage] You are a dead man, doctor! [Moves quickly to Alice, looking very concerned] Dearest niece, are you alright? Alice?

Jerome: [To Harvey] Sir, surely after your own attack of Austin, which for some reason appears unjustified, you cannot be serious in your accusation of Jerome! Obviously we are not ourselves at the moment, or at least weren't in the moments previous to this moment.

Alice : [Reeling after Jerome's underhand pyjama attack, pulls herself off the table and ties her dressing gown. Tightly. She gently touches her swollen face.] Ow, what happened? The last thing I remember is that awful woman force feeding me beans.

Jerome: [Looking distastefully at That Awful Woman] Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D., being the closest thing present to a medical doctor, will examine the presumably rotting carcass on the floor. It comes to mind that she may have been murdered by one of us present, considering our recent behaviour. Though, she was not ever a member of our group, so Jerome feels confident that he is not the culprit. [Bends down, and checks her for vitals]

Alice : [Joining Jerome, but keeping a close grip on her dressing gown] Maybe she was asked to join the party, and you killed her because of that? [Points at Mr. Black's Clock] Look, almost nine hours have passed since dinner, something strange has obviously happened.

[JEROME turns over CINDY, she has been strangled with a garrotte. Her throat is still bleeding and the body is warm, clearly, this happened very recently, within the last five or ten minutes.]

Clint: [Sits down] Oh man, I need a cigar.

Alice : [Whirls around to Clint] Cigar? Curious, one of the few things I remember about last night is you constantly looking for cigars. So, [pacing the room] could it be that your desire for cigars now, after everyone else has recovered, is an indication to the fact that you are still affected by whatever caused our lapse of memory? Moreover, does this suggest that Clint was more stronly effected than the rest of us? And, in turn, does that point to the possibility that he is more likely to have killed poor Cindy than any of the rest of us. I put it to you, Clint, that you are the murderer, what say you? [Smirks at Austin, as though showing off.]

Harvey: [Looking sadly at Cindy] The poor child! Strangled, possibly by one of us, mmpfh! [Looks at each member of the party, before examining the material used to strangle Tiger]

Austin: [Shakes his head fervently, then turns around looking at the party, and upon seeing Alice ventures in her direction] My God woman, which fiend hath bludgeoned you so. I will have his heart upon stake, and wrench it up their main cavity. [Touches Alice's face] Had I a cloak upon me, I would cover you, and save you from the stares of such leering wretches as we have among us, for such beauty should be covered and only revealed upon necessity. [That said, rolls up his sleeve and examines Maplin, searching for marks or scars. Satisfied, he brandishes it about before finally rolling down his sleeve once more].

Alice : [Looking at her soon-to-be black eye and swollen lip in the mirror] I couldn't say who did this, but considering a certain Dr. Trindle was trying to choke me just a few moments ago, I don't think it is too difficult to figure it out. Strange, isn't it, that Cindy was also choked, and Dr. Trindle made it clear how much he disliked her?

Clint: [Pulls out a cigar and lights it] Honey, I have cigars. Why would I ask for one? [Looks at Cindy] She probably got killed by the same person who did this. [Points to his bleeding head] And whoever did that.... [Clint grins and cracks his knuckles]

Jerome: But Alice, considering my drug enduced dislike for Cindy, surely Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. would not have used anything other than bare hands to strangle Cindy. But, a weapon was used. Perhaps one of the more accustomed to weapons is the murderer.

Austin: Enough! Were we to examine the evidence and try this case in court, I am sure that the guilty party, although that party may be part of this party, would not be held guilty, under Act 4, Section 7A, which states that when the accused party, is insufficiently aware of his, her or its [flicks a quick glance at Clint, then proceeds with his address to the masses] actions, and found guiltly of a crime, which may or may not have been committed, caused, or enticed by a second party, that first party shall be accused merely of stupidity. Therefore, I see no point in accusing each other of this heinous crime as it seems all present had become detached from their senses. There is one, that I would suspect, capable of such trickery and subtlety, and that would be none less than Mr. Black.

Harvey: Good observation, there, Private. Now is not the time to turn on ourselves. We must suspect those not present. [Looks around the room] Mr Black, and that butler person, mmpfh. Now, to business! To find the murderer, we must first find the weapon, yes? I suggest we split up into teams, and in true military fashion, search each room of this house for either Black or the butler, or a likely weapon. [Looks down at his attire, a tasteful blue cotton with embroidered cannons all over, complete with four stars on each shoulder.] But first I think we should change into something more...appropriate.

Alice : [Walking to the door] Considering the ungodly hour, I doubt that we have any attire that could possibly be more suitable. Now, about teams, I'm not so sure, what about [opens the door] shriek! I guess we can rule Black and Alfred out of the investigation. [Turns to the others, and slowly walks to Harvey.] Okay, which one of you did it?

[Both BLACK and ALFRED are here, lying neatly beside the stairs. Both are quite dead and both have expressions of absolute fear on their faces. There are some bloodstains around BLACK's neck, as well as a few on the stairs. There are no obvious marks on ALFRED.]

Harvey: Ah! Quite! Perhaps now is the time to turn our suspicions on a member of the party. [Thinks for a moment] Am I the only one among us, mmpfh, who has no memory of the last few hours? I will tell you this now. I had no love for our Mr Black, here, whom I knew years ago, only then he went under the name of Michael Carruthers. [Harvey spits] A more trecherous villain you could not meet! I killed the Donkhound, he took the credit! While I lay bleeding, trying to regain my strength, he [gestures towards the body] claimed the kill! I vowed then, in the hotheadedness of youth, to kill him if ever our paths crossed again! [Looks at his hands] I had a reason to do this! Dr Trindle also had a reason! Why, only last night I heard him threaten Black in the office. I think his words were, "monstrous, Mr Black. I won't let you get away with it" [Looks at Jerome] And Private Sleaze, you were framed by Black, were you not, mmpfh? Ha, I heard you in the drawing room! [Looks at Alice, sadly] And both Black and Scar were already aquainted, that much is obvious! [Looks at Stephen] And that just leaves you, soft lad!

Jerome: Please, someone remind Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. to thank whoever the killer is - and Austin, Jerome will not be requiring your services regarding the patent applications any more. Did anyone ask Mr Black where his laboratory is?

Alice : [Slowly moving away from Harvey] Jerome! How can you be so callous? For all we know, you could have stolen the inventions off him, and then perhaps you would have reason to kill him so you could clean out his lab. Before you rule Stephen out of it, Uncle, everyone might be interested in knowing that I overheard him threaten Mr. Black last night before dinner - in the drawing room. It was about the fact that all his films are rubbish!

Jerome: Now that it has been mentioned by the beautiful and well breasted Alice, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. remembers hearing from the games room, Alice shouting "Get your filthy hands off me Black, do not try and take me." [To Alice] Possibly, Jerome was saving you from Mr Black, and inadvertedly started strangling you? Also, Jerome's inquiry about the laboratory was aimed at this party's goal - to kill Dan. Mr Black had mentioned that he could kill lok Sotot, which amounts to the same thing.

Alice : [Indignantly] Excuse me, Mr. Big Ears, but how dare you listen in on a private conversation! I was playing a game of draughts(1) with Mr. Black, and he threatened to take my only king - this is what you get for listening in to conversations, half a story. It seems odd to me, [pulling her dressing gown tight] Dr. Trindle, that despite you spending the entire evening accusing that nice Mr. Black of stealing your invention, that the only reason you wanted to see his laboratory was to help the party, and not, as one would expect, to steal his inventions and murder the man, and his servants, however you did it.

Jerome: [To Alice] Sweet Alice, have you ever known Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. to be anything other than a chivalrous, kind and generous man? Jerome assures you that his motives are as pure as the driven snow. Jerome had no reason to kill Mr Black, as sueing him for stealing Jerome's patents would earn much more money than selling the inventions.

Alice : When, Dr. Trindle, were you not chivalrous? Let me see. When you tried to choke me, when you ripped my Rupie pyjamas open, when you referred to me as well breasted. I know it is true, but a gentleman would not refer to them. I also consider it somewhat unchivalrous that you, the doctor, haven't bothered to look at them. [Points passed everyone and out the door at the two bodies.] Now, [coldly] Dr. Trindle, what do you have to say to that?

Jerome: [Sigh] Alice, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. is not able to do two things at once. As your personal opinion is crutial to Jerome's mental well-being, the Dr was concentrating on restoring your lost faith. It appears that Jerome will have to wait on that matter. [Crosses to the other bodies, and examines them]

Alice : [Sitting down] So it appears.

[JEROME walks across the hallway to the two bodies. MR. BLACK was the first to die, strangled in the same manner as CINDY. He has been dead for 5-8 hours. ALFRED doesn't have any marks on him, but has a terrified look on his face, JEROME can't be sure but suspects that he has been dead for at least an hour, possibly of a heart attack, which doesn't really account for the look of fear.]

Jerome: [To Alice] Does Jerome have any chance of winning you over, after making mistakes while under some evil influence that eveyone else was under anyway?

Alice : When you've proved you're not the murderer, I might listen to you. [Stands over by the Donkhound] Okay people, what do we think has happened here?

Harvey: Dear niece, as I've already said, we'll be one step closer to the truth if we find the murder weapon. And please don't stand quite so close to that, for it brings me unhappy memories, mmpfh! [A look of enlightenment suddenly crosses Harveys face] Gah! Ha! And tish! Perhaps it was Dangsten Blackheart who murdered these people! His father seemed to have a knack of appearing in the most unlikely of places, and now that his son has the power... well, who knows what he's capable of! He created some sort of drug in his laboratory, and followed our trail here! I'm sure that someone with his power would have no problem entering this house! While we were all here, he slipped into the kitchen and covered our food with the drug! Then he stood back, hoping we would kill each other! Of course, he would have to kill poor Cindy, the Butler and Black, as they, as far as I remember, ate nothing!

Alice : [Stroking the Donkhound as one would a pet dog.] That makes no sense, Uncle. If he did do it, why would he have left us alive? I know the chances are the Jerome will probably have us all killed before long, but if Dangsten was able to slip into the house unnoticed, he surely would have done the job on us too. Anyway, Black had plenty to eat and drink, as far as I remember.

[Slowly, some ghostly figures begin to form around the table. They are almost transparent, but it is quite clear who they are. BLACK, JEROME, ALICE, STEPHEN, HARVEY and AUSTIN are sitting at the table, while CINDY is standing holding a tray with some empty bowls.]

Clint : Hey Black, you got a cigar? A wegal affair like this dinner should be finished with a welaxing cigar.

Black : [Head in hands] Will you for Phili's sake listen to me? You must listen to me before its too late - or we will be in terrible danger.

Jerome : [Eyes narrowed] Terrible danger as in, danger of litigation for blatant plagiarism?

Alice : [Removing a string bean from her liver, and holding it up as though afraid it might bite her, looks at Cindy] You bitch, you fucking bitch, you did that deliberately, didn't you?

Harvey : Now niece, behave yourself, Ms. Tiger is just concerned that you are eating enough vegetables.

[As HARVEY is speaking, the figures begin to shimmer and fade.]

Clint : Yeah, Al, mellow out. Blackie said he's gonna give us some of his weally lovely cigars.

Black : [Thumping the table] You don't understand, you're all in terrible danger!

[The figures disappear completely.]

Austin: [Eyes glazed over, and a look of rapture on his face] Wow, dudes, what a rad trip. It seems that Black, had something of importance to convey. [Starts scratching at his left arm] Perchance it was pertaining to the Sword of Antioch, which happened to catch my attention. However, I would guess that none here would be capable of causing such a look of fear upon these men's faces, save the sight of damage caused to Maplin, yet that has not happened. Therefore, I would conclude that this carnage was caused by an external force, and one that resides outside this party of parties. Are we to pursue such a being, or is it best to retrace our steps after searching this building? It may be that, were it indeed the aforementioned Dangsten Blackheart, that he has left a trail of wreckage in his pursuit. Yet that, for some reason, appeals not to me.

Alice : [Gesturing at the contorted look of pain on Cindy's face] I'm sure if one of you strangled the nice Mr. Black he would look somewhat frightened too. As for Alfred, well, I don't know. He looks pretty scared, but there are no obvious marks on him.

Clint: Well, I'll follow in case you guys get in trouble, but I'm not helping with the investigation other than that. I really don't care who killed Black. And as for his servants, if they were vile enough to work for him, I don't care about their souls being avenged either. Heck, I didn't kill Black, but I wish I had. [A look of rage crosses over his face] The bastard! It was *his* fault that I was in the pin for two fucking years! [Look of anger subsides] By the way, Alice, I overheard you and Black, too, like Jerome. Sorry. This is what I heard:

Jerome in the Office, shouting, "That's monstrous, Mr. Black, monstrous. I won't let you get away with it."

Austin in the Drawing Room, saying, "You were bribed sir, bribed to frame me. Do not think I will forget it. Sleep well."

Alice in the Gamesroom, shouting, "Get your filthy hands off me Black, do not try and take me."

and

In response to a threat by Black, I said, "Is that a fact, Mr. Black? Well, know now that I do not need a weapon to kill a man, any handy household item will do."

And by the way... I meant it. Colonel, lets divide into two groups. That way we have maximum benefits. We have enough people that any one person can't be overpowered, especially me in my state, and we can cover twice as much ground that way.

Alice : [Gesturing at the contorted look of pain on Cindy's face] I'm sure if one of you strangled the nice Mr. Black he would look somewhat frightened too. As for Alfred, well, I don't know. He looks pretty scared, but there are no obvious marks on him.

Stephen : [Recovers from his trance and moves to the center of the group. He is dressed in silk pyjamas with a satin-red smoking jacket. He points to the dead bodies with a smoking pipe that he has picked up on the way] Elementary, my dear Alice. It is quite clear that whoever killed Mr Black, did so with the intention of murdering him. If this is the case, then whoever killed Mr Black....oh wait [glances down at a roughly drawn out script] Erm...that's where I ran out of ideas!

Jerome: Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. is going to commence a search of this abode. [Walks for the door] Jerome believes he shall start with the dining room.

Alice : [Gesturing at the contorted look of pain on Cindy's face] I'm sure if one of you strangled the nice Mr. Black he would look somewhat frightened too. As for Alfred, well, I don't know. He looks pretty scared, but there are no obvious marks on him.

Stephen : [Recovers from his trance and moves to the center of the group. He is dressed in silk pyjamas with a satin-red smoking jacket. He points to the dead bodies with a smoking pipe that he has picked up on the way] Elementary, my dear Alice. It is quite clear that whoever killed Mr Black,did so with the intention of murdering him. If this is the case, then whoever killed Mr Black....oh wait [glances down at a roughly drawn out script] Erm...that's where I ran out of ideas!

Jerome: Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. is going to commence a search of this abode. [Walks for the door] Jerome believes he shall start with the dining room.

Clint: If you don't have any objections, Dr. Trindle, I will search with you. Unlike Alice, I feel I can trust you the most. [Dashes some ashes off of his cigar onto Black's body] Asshole! You deservesd all you got, you filthy bastard. You''ll never frame me now, will ya? [Turns back to Jerome] And I hope you can trust me. For one thing, it looks as if I was almost a victim [Points to his head] and secondly, when I kill someone, Itake credit for it, and even though I wanted to kill Black, I didn't. I ain't no crazy killin' fool.

Jerome: A healthy combination of Brains and Brawn, Skill and Strength, Mind and Muscle, Spellcraft and Swordsmanship, Qualifications and Queer-Bashing. A fine alliance, that none may seek to vanquish! [Waits for Clint, then leaves for the Dining Room]

Clint: [While walking out the door with Jerome] Yeah, Jerry. We *do* kick ass, don't we? What are we going to do about.... [Leaves with Jerome]

Austin: [Turns to the others that are left] I think it would be more prudent to first search for our weapons that Mr. Black took from us. Yet it makes me wonder, what damage would have been done were we to have had those weapons in our possession before that scene in the Dining room. And what may come to pass, were such an outage of memory and sense befall us again? But I would also suggest searching Mr. Black's room, where we may find evidence of his twisted dealings, and perhaps a clue as to what has actually happened here.

Harvey: Where did they say they were going? The Dining room? That's funny, I could have sworn that this was the Dining room! [Looks at Austin] Private Sleaze, you're logic is impeccable. I can see a bright future for you in the forces, me lad. But, this vision has me a wondering, mmpfh. Perhaps if we stay here, the vision will return, showing us a little more of what happened last night. The vision, as I remember, appeared when Alice began stroking the Donkhound. Do it again, Alice.

[Everyone but AUSTIN heads to the dining room.]

Alice : Well Uncle, if you can bear to look at it. [Strokes the Donkhound] No, 'fraid not.

[JEROME and CLINT have searched through the dining room and found nothing.]

Alice : While I agree that it is a good idea to search the house, why he has on(1) he was surely in bed. About this vision, does anyone have any idea what it means? Can we rely on it?

[Enter AUSTIN.]

Jerome: [Giving up his search] Yes, Alice, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. concurs with your judgement. Mr Black's room must be investigated, if for no other reason that to discover what the room of someone with THOSE pyjamas looks like.

Alice : [Laughing] Yes, who lives in house like this? [Then, realising she has been friendly to Jerome, puts on a cross face.] Yes, Dr. Trindle, that would be an appropriate avenue of research.

[Exit ALL. As the party approach the bottom of the stairs, another vision forms in front of them, on the stairs stand the figures of ALICE, HARVEY, JEROME, AUSTIN and STEPHEN(1), heading up to bed. They are all still fully dressed, except AUSTIN, who is wearing a dressing gown. AUSTIN appears to have a large cut on his face.]

Alice : I don't want to go to bed.

Harvey : [Lecherously] Well niece, nice things happen in bed. [Calls out to somebody out of sight] Goodnight! I'm going up to my bedroom night, to go into my bed, and you know, it wouldn't surprise if the door were left open. Eh? Gah! Young women these days, eh?

Jerome : I do not find this at all amusing. I wonder did Black use a similar scheme to steal my ideas off the Northern Trade Board.

Stephen : Well, it's fine for all of you, with your fine big rooms and lovely pink bathrooms, but I [extravagantly pointing to himself] I am forced to sleep in a tiny boxroom. Perhaps, Austin, we might bunk up for the night, I'm a demon with the backscrubber.

Austin : I'm a demon with the stilleto.

Stephen : Ooh! Wearing them, eh? Gosh, Harvey, we're both in luck tonight! I wonder if poor Alice has to wear stilletoes?

[The figures slowly vanish. The real party go to BLACK's room.]

[Act 5, Scene 2. Time : Sunday 6.45 AM. Mr. Black's Bedroom. AUSTIN, ALICE, HARVEY, CLINT, JEROME and STEPHEN are here. The door of the room has been kicked in, and it was obviously locked from the inside. There are some bloodstains on the bed. The wall is covered in some lovely train wallpaper, and the room is covered in toy trains. There is a small safe here that has three keyholes in it, as well as a number of wardrobes, drawers etc.]

Alice : I wonder, did he like trains?

Clint: The door's bashed in. [Looks at Jerome] Jerry, you don't think *I* did it, do you!?! I don't remember a thing.

Stephen : Of course, you would say that wouldn't you, Mr Scar. [Adopts a serious tone] Let us weigh up the facts...Firstly, you were heard threatening Mr Black with ordinary household utensils. Secondly, you alone are strong enough to break down this solid door...And last but by no means least...the real murderer wants us to think that Clint commited this foul deed. How about that for a twist?

Harvey: [Flares his nostrils in annoyance, before looking at Stephen] I've been meaning to ask this for a while, but who the hell are you, eh? How did you worm your way into our party? Kindly step back and leave the thinking to the real men, what. [Looks at Alice] And of course, the finest of female minds! Why don't you go and cook us breakfast, or something?

Stephen : [Calmly looks Harvey up and down, before scribbling in his notebook something that was obviously about Harvey. Looks back up] Well, well, well Harv! It is well known that you have a very short fuse. A real British soldier would remain calm under duress. And I put it to you that you are...[makes a 'da da dah' noise for effect] an imposter. What kind of Englishman has, and I quote, "Eggs, sunny side up!" [Points dramatically to Harvey, while looking in the opposite direction]

Harvey: [Raises his eyebrows, before turning to the rest of the party, points his index finger at his head and makes a swirly gesture with it. He calmly turns back to Stephen] I do not know what way an Englishman likes his eggs, sir. For I am not English...wot! Now, my stomach is a rumbling, fellow, so, off to the kitchen and whip us up a fry.

Clint: Well good. At least all of you don't think I did it. Good guess there, Hikcoggs. Maybe it was Dangsten. He's the only one around who could break that door off here, besides me, and it would make a good horror movie background for the game.

Stephen : Do not be so sure Clint! [Pulls out a violin and starts to play it. Stops] We are all still under suspicion. Maybe you tried to double bluff us by making it look like you did it, and everyone knows it is never the obvious suspect...apart from in my movies...maybe that's where I went wrong. Or maybe you're just too stupid to think about double bluffing us. No! The only one who can definately be ruled out is Alice! Although some of us heard her say "..do not try and take me.." in the gamesroom, she was in fact on her own in the gamesroom and just wanted us all to believe that Mr Black had sexual feelings for her. Ha! Clever, Alice, very clever. [Shouts] But not clever enough!

Alice : [Eyes Stephen suspiciously] Your logic is as flawed as your chromosonelly whatsit thing that makes your hormones come from the thing that, not the one that produces testosterone, but the other one, that horses have, or small dogs who don't play with bones [nudges Harvey] eh? eh? [Seeing that no one understands her] Well, you're wrong. He was in there with me, as I have already explained. Now, [looking at the door] are we sure that Clint is the only one who could have broken the door down? Perhaps Dr. Trindle could have done it? [Eyes Stephen's violin suspiciously, wondering just how he managed to fit it under the dressing gown]

Stephen : Ah ha! So you WERE in the gamesroom with Mr Black! [Nods his head with a big grin as though he has uncovered a big clue] Now, don't you feel better having told the truth, Alice? [Turns to Austin] So now we turn our attention to Austin. Austin. Austin who was being blackmailed by Mr Black would have more motive than most. Will you reveal to us just why you were being blackmailed? And correct me if I'm wrong, but you were highly suspicious of the food and wine on offer. [waggles his finger menacingly] Which makes me wonder whether you ate it and thus whether you were affected by the drugs? For if you weren't, well, [with a patronising tone] could you not take advantage of OUR drugged states, [speeds up] kill Mr Black, stage it as though Clint committed the crime, knock off the butler and maid, [slows down] and...end...your...black...mailing...worries faster than you can say "Alice is looking at me rather suspiciously"!!! [Starts to play the violin]

Jerome: [Getting decisive] Right! Austin, see if you can gain entrance to the safe. Clint and Harvey, go and find another door the same size, and try to break it down - Clint by himself first, then both of you together. Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. will examine the bloodstains. Alice and Stephen can check the drawers and closets. [Looking around] Everyone agreed? [moves to examine the bloodstains]

Clint: Hey, I just thought of something. Maybe I broke down the door to save one of the party members from someone and *I* broke down the door, because it was locked and I tried to save them... but... [Looks confused] Catch my drift? By the way, Dr. Trindle, maybe you should inspect the door to see if any tools were used to help the "door breaker". With the right tools anybody could get through that door. Having a Ph.D. in physics should give you adequate knowledge to get through the door. Which means A.) if you are NOT the murderer, you can tell us how the door was opened. or B.) You were the murderer. You *were* attacking Alice, you know. But don't worry, Jerry. I trust you. In fact, you are the only one I trust here, right now. Well.... I trust Stephen didn't do it, because he's too much of a pansey, but I just don't want to hang around him, because I don't want him watching my *back*. As for the rest of you: In fact. [Clint takes the hat from STEPHEN and puts it on] I have a better deduction as to what happened.... Alice is adept enough to take out Black, but I think she was more interested in Cindy. Remember the dinner scene, Jerry? She was very pissed off at Ms. Tiger. Maybe because Cindy has such a nice pair of jugs. I don't know. The Colonel is Alice's uncle which would tie him in with the plot and he would kill Black so there weren't any witnesses. They got in the door with Austin using his lock picks and Austin then faked the door being knocked down by hacking it a couple of times with his blade. About that time, the butler came up and Austin screamed he would sue, causing the butler's life to expire, and Jerome came running up the stairs with me. Jerome was the first to enter the room, knocking Austin's weapon from Maplin by accident, and he tried to save Ms. Tiger's life, but was too late. He then confronted his only love interest, Alice. [Puts a hand on Jerome's shoulder] It must have been rough for you to so valiently do so. At that time, I entered the room and Austin had waited for me by the doorway. With my back to him, and his weapon knocked from Maplin, he picked up the nearest bludgeoning item. Maybe a potted plant or a candlestick holder. He then hit me on my noggin' repeatedly, until I stumbled out of the room. The Colonel here, [Points] got mad at Austin because he had let me get away without finishing me off with Austin's strategic surpise attack and they started to fight.

Thus, in Act 5, Scene 1. Alice : Jerome, no! [Choke] It's not what you think! Jerome : I'm going to kill you! I enter the room, staggering. I have been hit very hard on the side of the head with a blunt instrument. It was whatever Austin had picked up. That was also why I lived. I don't think I could have suvived a surprise attack from the Colonel. Clint : Get off her, Trindle, I'm gonna kill the bitch! And all of this time Hickbiggs was cowering under the table crying. I still haven;t figured out how he fits in. Well, Doctor, how does that sound? It wasn't one of us, but a group of us.

though. It almost makes sense.

Jerome: [To Clint] This is not by any stretch an admission of guilt in any way, but Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. has done many strange things since arriving at Mr Black's abode, as Jerome believes the rest of you have. Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. believes that while one or more of us here may have committed a heinous act, the perpetrator is by no means responsible for their actions. [Quietly to Clint] Jerome too, trusts our friendship more than any other is this strange conglomoration of people. [To Everyone Again] Therefore, Jerome believes that we should all discover the direction BEHIND these actions rather than the person used as a tool. We can all agree that the most likely candidate is Dan, haunting us for thwarting his earlier attempts.

Jerome: [Pondering] The only things Jerome remembers distinctly since the liver was served by the deceased Cindy, are the following statement. Austin in the drawing room, accusing someone, assumed to be Mr Black, of being bribed to frame him. Alice in the games room, shouting to Mr Black to get his filthy hands off her, and not to try to take her. This has been explained as a simple game of draughts. Jerome also remembers Clint mentioning to Mr Black in the Dining Room that he is most capable of killing a man with any household item. On that vein, Jerome believes we should be looking for the following murder weapons - a Candlestick, Rope or garrotte, and perhaps some poison or frightening device.

Jerome: While finding out the Who, With What and Where of these killings, Jerome strongly urges that the party do no forget the fact that the responsible persons are not in fact responsible.

Jerome: While finding out the Who, With What and Where of these killings, Jerome strongly urges that the party do no forget the fact that the responsible persons are not in fact responsible.

Clint: In the search, we must be careful not to get offed by Dangsten, as well.

Clint: Hey Jerry. Someone might have used that "Dr. Jerome K. Trindle Water Propelling whats-it Thingy" (TM) (R) to knock down this door. Don't ya think? I mean, it might be able to produce a strong enough spray to knock the door off its hings! What do ya think, Jerry?

Jerome: [Interrupting his search yet again, with a scratch of his chin] Yes, the Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. Spring Action Water Propelling Motor, used in conjunction with the Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. Common Garden Hose with Adjustable Nozzle could produce a fairly powerful blast. It is also possible that Mr Black has a stolen version of the afore mentioned items in his laboratory. Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. will examine that room next.

Clint: Hey Jerry. Someone might have used that "Dr. Jerome K. Trindle Water Propelling whats-it Thingy" (TM) (R) to knock down this door. Don't ya think? I mean, it might be able to produce a strong enough spray to knock the door off its hings! What do ya think, Jerry?

Austin: [Frowns with disdain at all members of the group, who seem to propose their knowledge in all matters detective] Such amateurs. Tch. [Turns to Clint] I would have you know, that I was not black mailed, nor would any have such information about me that they could successfully do so. And were they ever to do so, I would assure you that my resolution of that problem would not be as blatant as what we see before us, but infinitely more subtle. There are ways around black mail, that are indeed as effective as removal the black mailer, and I would venture a guess that Mr. Black would have enough to hide, that a counter black mail would be successful. Therefore, I would ask you not to accuse me of such that you cannot back your claims with evidence. Which leads me on to another point [jabs a finger at each member of the party], and that is that until we find more evidence there is no point postulating as to who did what and where. Perhaps that shall be determined the l! onger we search. [Bows to Jerome] I thank you for your advice, good Sir, but I do realise what my duties are. [Strolls casually over to the safe, and examines it, searching also for traps, muttering under his breath] Ha, Maplin would never deign to wield a weapon, for it is beneat h him. Indeed, that is why I have been granted the pleasure of having two arms. Hmm, that Clint, is pretty numb skulled, if he does not realise even that.

Alice : [Who has been watching the last few exchanges with a look of barely concealed contempt] Clint, has anyone recently told you that you are a total and utter fool? Well, they jolly well should - I've never heard such rubbish. I think I agree with Aussie, we should be more sure of our facts before we come up with accusations that are so far fetched even Stephen would balk at using them in one of his films. Furthermore [striding to the door and spreading her arms wide dramatically] if some kind of Dr. JKT Thingy was used to force the door open, isn't it just ever so slightly likely that there might be a drop of water here?

Jerome: [To Alice] Certainly, dear Alice. Except, that if the Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. Solar Powered Water Evaporator was ALSO used, there would be no evidence of any water. Of course, if Jerome had the Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. Wood Dampness Detector, a trace would be able to be found. [Thinks on that for a second] But! The Laboratory awaits! [Jerome starts striding down the hall, then turns back.] Does anyone know where it is?

Alice : You know, Dr. Trindle, half the time I think you're making up these inventions. When I was playing draughts with Mr. Black, he told me that he doesn't have a laboratory, that he does all his work in his office. So maybe that's the place to check. However, it just occured to me that we never searched the dining room - because, if I remember correctly, you hurried us out of there. I wonder, should we check that first?

Jerome: [In not a completely obvious attempt to win Alice's favor] Jerome assures you that all of my mentioned inventions exist - Mr Black stole the Patent Applications to prove it. Let us search the Dining room - Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. is a patient man.

Harvey: [Carefully examining the carpet near the bed] Hmmm! Ah ha! Well, well. I never! [Picks something up in his hand, before sniffing tentatively at it.] Gah, the curs! [Stands up slowly, his knees popping] I believe I've found the cause of our memory loss. Mescyote, of all things! [Shakes his head sadly, holding up what looks for all the world like a rat dropping, before sealing it in a small clear platic bag] Exhibit A, I believe, mmpgh.

Alice : [Whipping out some rizlas and tobacco] Crikey, Uncle. Just what we need to relieve the tension! Now - what do you reckon is the connection between our memory and loss and, hmm, what was I going to say again?

Mescyote (pronounced Mess-key-oat-ee) is an hallucinogenic drug similar to Opium, Peyote, LSD and Mescaline. It has been known to cause odd behaviour and hallucinations. It's also a damned fine trip, and is a popular recreational drug of choice amongst the rich. Being fun, it is, of course, illegal. Depending on how it has been harvested (it is a plant which is treated with several chemicals) Mescyote can be sniffed, snorted, injected, ingested or even applied anally.

Stephen : [Grabs back his hat and starts to shake off the dandruff whilst giving Clint a look of contempt. Addresses the party] I believe, gentlemen, [smirks at Alice] that we are going about this the wrong way. We each have a motive, of that we are agreed. However, I am about to surprise you all now, with concrete evidence that I am innocent...The only motive I have is that Mr Black was highly critical of my trilogy of films. However, if I were to exact revenge on every one of my critics, there would be no critics left. [Sighs] Ah! What a perfect world that would be. [Recovers] Anyway, I still have many critics who are critical in their criticisms of my critically unaclaimed works. [Smug tone] What do you think about that then, ey?

Alice : I think that a violin string could be used as a garrotte.

Stephen : [Whilst writing in his notepad]Really, Alice? And why do you say that? Do you have some experience with strangling people? I mean, not everybody would automatically think of a violin string as a possible weapon. [Starts saying out loud what he is writing] Clue eleven - Alice seems well versed in the art of strangling people. See clues one, four and five. Asterix.

Alice : [Becoming increasingly petulant] They might think it if one of the prime suspects had played a perfect rendition of "Four Cats Strangled" on a violin and then wrote a letter to their imaginary French friend about it.

[Exit ALL.]

[Act 5, Scene 2. Mr. Black's Dining Room. 6.55AM. CLINT, HARVEY, JEROME, AUSTIN, STEPHEN and ALICE are here. CINDY's body is lying by the fireplace.]

Alice : Harvey, you seemed to be the most, er, familiar with Cindy. Do you want to check her?

[Some shimmering figures appear around the table, they are all holding hands. JEROME, HARVEY, AUSTIN, CLINT, STEPHEN, ALICE, CINDY and ALFRED are here, sitting in that order. CLINT has been injured, and has received a blow to the head, but it is not quite as bad as it is now.]

Alfred : I do not like this. I do not like it one little bit.

Alice : You claimed you didn't like Black taking Mescyote either, but you didn't stop him, did you?

Alfred : Then I wasn't required to participate.

Austin : We weren't exactly given much of a choice to participate, were we?

Alfred : I was acting under orders, sir.

Austin : Oh pity, pity! If you are to argue that when we sue you, you will need a lawyer as good as me to argue that. And I guarantee you, I shall be on the prosecution.

Cindy : Come on, this will be a great lark!

Alfred : We are meddling in affairs we do not understand.

Alice : Look, I'm sure Mac will let us know if there's a problem with what we're doing.

Alfred : [Gravely] That is just what I am concerned about.

[The figures get bright for a second, and then fade.]

Clint: Mac? Is she talking about the nun? She can't be. The nun's dead. So what had happened to me? I already had a wound in that vision.

Harvey: I've seen something like that before, many years ago while fighting the jungle tribes of DenseFoilage back in '61. I found a group of my troop, sitting around the mess table, linking hands, having ingested copious amounts of Mescyote, oh yes!. They claimed they were attempting to contact the spirit world! Can you believe it? By the number of bottles lying around, I thought they'd already succeeded! Ha! The spirit world, indeed! Two months in the brig was too good a punishment for those curs! [Bends down next to Cindy and examines her body]

Austin: [Paces back and forth in front of the fireplace, finger upon and thumb beneath his chin, looking very pensive] These visions disturb me. I understand that they portray events that took place yester evening, but that we have no recollection of those events must be attributable to that drug. Yet that scene strikes me like a sceance. With whom were we trying to make contact, and the more serious question, is with whom did we in fact make contact. This, to me, is very troublesome and spells M-O-O-N. That is dicing with death.

Alice : [Sitting at the table where her image was] Wouldn't it be really freaky if another vision happened, so my image appeared sharing the same space as my body? Wow! [Puts her hands out as her image had and closes her eyes] I agree with Aussie, it looks like we were having a seance. It seems like a pretty cool thing to do - but, as he asked, who would we be trying to contact? Joan, maybe? Just in case there hadn't been enough abuse handed out all night. Clint, maybe you were hit twice? [Flicks open her eyes] From the state of your face it looks like you were hit several times - oh sorry, that's the part of your face that hasn't been hit. Well, the side of your head was surely hit a few times - maybe the first couple happened before the seance? I just hope one of the hits was given by me! [Looks demurely over at Clint, with her arms still spread open]

Harvey: [Still examining Cindys body] By the sound of it, dear niece, we were trying to communicate with Sister Immaculata for some reason! But as to the why, I've not an idea. As for Scar, I'd imagine he asked for a cigar, yet again, before being punched by someone, mmpfh. [Stops suddenly] Perhaps we were trying to communicate with Black! Notice how he didn't appear in the last vision? Hmm, eh? I'll tell you why he wasn't there, he had already been murdered!

Alice : [Leaping up from the table] Good point, Uncle. Maybe [moving over to a spacious part of the room] Clint kicked in the door [pretends to kick open an imaginary door and runs up to Austin] caught Black by the throat who then hit him on the head.

Austin : Choke! [Grabs a candlestick and taps Alice on the head, not particularly gently.]

Alice : Ow! [Lets go of Austin] But at that stage Black was dead, murdered by Clint. And that's how the door was kicked in. [Notices Harvey still searching Cindy] There's a lot of searching going on there, Uncle.

Harvey: Eh? Just being thorough, dear niece. To half do a job is not to do a job at all, oh yes! In fact, if I'd been slovenly in my duties, I might have missed...this! [holds up a length of metal wire]. This was lying in the fireplace, under some cinders. [Looks closely at the wire] This, I believe is our murder weapon. [Throws the wire onto the table] Anybody recognise it?

[As the wire lands on the table it does so with an audible twang.]

Austin : [Tilting his head to one side] That, my good Colonel, is not a wire, but a string.

[ALICE grabs the wire for a second before putting it back.]

Alice : Pretty strange kind of string, isn't it? I can't see you being able to make a paper aeroplane out of that. [Pauses a second] Wait, no, that's not right, what do you make paper aeroplanes out of? Hmm.

Austin : It appears to my highly trained ear that it is the string from a cello - consider the abrasions on the victims neck, it is clearly apparant that they were formed by this very string.

Alice : I wonder, when she was being choked, did it play a note?

Harvey: [Tears a curtain off its rail, and places it over Cindy] A cello you say, Private Sleaze? Then the murderer must be strong enough to physically hold a person in one hand! I'd always thought a cello player used some kind of stick! [Looks sadly at the body] Choking by cello! What next, beating by basoon? Goring by guitar? Strangling by triangling? Gah!

Austin : Torture and even death by music are not unknown. For example, [emphasises the Mr.] Mr. Kingston-Short, can you imagine some poor soul being forced to listen to two hours of the Spice Girls? Can you just imagine what it would do to them?

Alice : [Tapping her foot and nodding her head in time, singing barely audibly] Tell you want I want, what I really, really want....(1)

Austin : However, I think you misunderstand. A cello is a large instrument with strings on it, often, but not always, played with a bow. The item on the table is not an actual cello, merely a string. Now, it appears to me that whoever killed Cindy was interrupted, or at least caught in the act - hence the hurried disposal of the item. And, let me think, who was it that was most interested in Cindy?

Alice : Strange, isn't it that the weapon used to kill Cindy was found in the cinders? You know [emphasises the CIND] Cindy, and Cinders?

Harvey: Ain't it amazing, just, dear niece! I was thinking the same thing! [Looks at Ausin] I don't care much for your tone, private! If you are insinuating that I murdered this poor girl out of lust, then hah! I wanted to make her sing like a cello while strumming with my bow. Not kill her with one! And address me by rank, you cur! I've fought in enough wars to earn it! I've been up to my neck in shit and blood, putting my ass on the line long before you were even putting yours on a potty! Hah!

Austin : [Quite unimpressed] I suggested nothing of the sort - but your overly defensive tone suggests that you have something suggestive that you are suggesting we ignore. I don't care to hear what you were strumming, and I care even less about what you where you placed your ass when covered in excrement, although I have heard of a brothel that might be able to arrange a similar experience. You, sir, address me by my correct rank, I shall address you by yours.

Alice : I know! I've got it! I've got it! They're made of paper! Silly me.

Stephen : Actually, I was thinking of using the Spice Girls to do the soundtrack for my next movie! Anyway, do we know what string that is, because I'm missing one from my cello! [Looks innocently around before breaking into a smile] Only joking! [To Harvey in a gooey childish voice] And Harvey-Warvey is getting upsetty-wetty is he! Personally, I find violence apalling, except for in the movies. You should not be proud of what you have done. You monstrous fiend.

Alice : [Pointing at the bulge in Stephen's dressing gown] Is that a violin in your pants, or are you just pleased to see Austin? Stephen, you are the one who is familiar with stringed instruments, do not try and accuse Uncle H of something he didn't do.

Harvey: [Turns to Stephen] I may be a monstrous fiend, but you play the violin...badly. Who is the more monstrous? I no longer fight in wars, but you, despite a most obvious lack of talent, continue to rip screeches from that poor instrument. [To Austin] You seem to equate my defensiveness with an attempt to hide guilt. What manner of red blooded man can sit idly back and smile, while being accused of murder? Only the most reptilian of souls, that's who. Or the most calculating of killers! Of which I am neither! [After a moments reflection] Or perhaps both! Who among us can say, and prove, that they did not kill these people?

Clint: [Holds a hand to his forehead] I'm getting a headache. [Puffs his cigar] I hope I killed 'em. Not Cindy, but Black.

Austin : Colonel, you bore me. I did not accuse you of anything - you might remember that I merely suggested some who the girl was vaguely acquainted with may have done the deed. It was you yourself who surmised that I was speaking of you.

Alice : Look, this is getting us nowhere. Do we believe that one of ourselves is the murderer? Or do we think that there is someone else in the house?

Austin : Madam counsellor, are you suggesting that there is nobody in the house?

Alice : Yes, nobody.

Austin : I put it to you that you are lying, madam, can we not all see before us a body? Did you not just claim there is no body in the house?

Alice : I hope the murderer kills you next.

Austin : [Smiles] So, are we right to think there is nobody else in the house?

Alice : Yes.

Austin : Yes we are right to think that, or yes there is no one else in the house?

Alice : No.

Austin : No? So there is?

Alice : [Getting flustered] No meaning yes, that -

Austin : No meaning yes, what kind of guilty talk is that?

Alice : [Angrily] I don't know! Anyway - the question is, do we hold Dangsten responsible for what happened, or did one of us do it? And what are all these visions about? Surely something Black said can give us a clue? Okay, that's more than one question, but shouldn't we discuss this before arresting Austin?

Jerome: Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. believes that Dangsten should be held responsible, and therefore, on that note of solidarity... [Jerome opens his hands and holds them out, palm up for all to see. His right hand is covered in a number of small cuts, as though he broke a glass with it] Jerome has no recollection of how these cuts appeared in his hand, but it clearly happened a few hours ago, even though they easily start bleeding again. [Looks around the group] Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. would also like to see everyone else's hands, to see if there are markings similar to the ones on Cindy's throat.

Clint: If Dangsten is here, then why aren't we dead? [Turns to Jerome and holds out his hands] Nope. Nuthin' on mine, Doc. See. I am getting impatient, Doctor. Let's search some more. I want to find out who killed the babe. She could have provided an excellent game of "Around the World in Bed".(1)

Harvey: [Looks at Clint, eyebrows raised] Around the world in a bib? What manner of game is that? On reflection, I don't want to know! [Shrugs his shoulders and holds out his hands for all to see] Spotless and I'm glad to say, cut free. As for Dangsten not killing us, I think he may be playing games, testing each of us, our strengths, our weaknesses, hoping that we will destroy ourselves. Which, judging by this mornings escapade, we almost did! [Thinks for a moment] I agree with the doctor. Let's go into this believing each of us is innocent, oh yes indeedy!

[AUSTIN and ALICE regard each other suspiciously before turning their hands over, neither has any marks.]

Alice : Why would Dangsten go to such trouble? What's the point? Why wouldn't he just kill us?

Austin : I agree with alice. Let's go into this knowing that one of you is the murderer.

Jerome: But that's not the point which should be considered and discussed. The reason for us all to have no memory of events is of little consequence. As long as we face this as a group, and not accuse others, merely attempt to solve the riddle.

[AUSTIN and ALICE regard each other suspiciously before turning their hands over, neither has any marks.]

Harvey: [Looking straight at Austin] Solve the riddle well and good, but I think Private Sleaze knows more than he's telling! In fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised that he knows how to play the cello, by God! And probably knows a lot about cello strings, to boot!

Austin : [Examining Maplin] Such an attitude may scare those unfortunate enough to be under your command, but such accusations are unhelpful, insulting and slanderous. [Looking up] Before this day is done I vow that you shall be served with a writ. If not for murder, then for slander.

Stephen : [Sighs and shakes his head] People, people! This petty bickering will get us nowhere. We need to work together. [Holds out his hands but then quickly folds his arms] Er, what next, Colonel?

[The traditional shimmering takes place, and the following figures appear, seated around the table. HARVEY, BLACK, CLINT, ALICE, AUSTIN, STEPHEN and JEROME. No one has any wounds, but JEROME, AUSTIN and HARVEY are all standing up, looking very angry. AUSTIN has taken off his shirt and is only wearing a pair of trousers.]

Black : I'm sorry, but I had to do it.

Harvey : Preposterous! You should be flogged sir, you and your no account butler, how I pity Ms. Tiger, working for someone like you.

Austin : I find the reason for your action ridiculous.

Black : It is for your own safety - can't you see that? I admit I overdid it, but its sometimes difficult to judge.

Alice : Oh, leave him alone, for God's sake. Dangsten will probably be in here to kill us, if not him the Pearses, if not them, Nathaniel, if not him, any one of hundreds.

Black : That's the point I'm trying to make - no one can get in or out of the house, it is impossible.

Jerome : Impossible? Please don't inform Jerome that you are in possession of the Dr. Jerome K. Trindle BSc. PhD Anti-Criminal Device Patent Pending?

BlacK : No, but I do have a Dr. B. Black B.Eng Ph.D. DSc. House Protection Unit Patent number #76633-A878.

[The figures slowly disappear from sight.]

Alice : Can't get in or out? I don't think I like the sound of this.

Clint: [To Harvey, speaking loudly] NO! I said, "Around the world in BED" not "BIB"!!! [To Alice] Has he always been hard of hearing? [To Jerome Right. So let's get started. We should start searching and stop babbling, if we are to get this over with. [To no one in particular] I've GOT it! I must be dreaming. [Starts clicking his leather boots together] There's no place like home. There's no place like home. There's....

Alice : Check how testicularly endowed you are, that ought to show if you are dreaming or not!

Austin : Enough. Maplin and I grow weary of this tiresome babbling. Let us set forth our plan for searching the house.

Alice : How about this? We split up, look at a room each, and meet back here after it, to say what we found.

Stephen : Hmmm! I'll have a look in the office.

Clint: I'll check the off- [Looks at Stephen] I'll check Black's room. And I don't want any of you following me. [Looks at the party] I don't want anybody at my back.

Alice : Might I remind you, Clint, you are currently the prime suspect, [glares at Jerome] well, one of them, anyway. It is us who should be concerned about you following us. I think I'll check my own bedroom, just to make sure that no one, well, just to check it out.

Jerome: Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. believes that the most worthwhile area of this abode to examine would be the Servants Quarters. Jerome will see you all anon.

Alice : Before you go, shouldn't we all say where we'll be? I think I'd prefer to know who'll be wandering around upstairs with me. Uncle Harvey? Austin? Are you two going to help search?

Harvey: [stomach makes a hungry, rumbing noise] I'll be in the kitchen, dear niece.

Alice : Well, whip us up a nice fry while you're there Uncle, I'm starving.

[A number of ghostly figures appear around the fireplace, all dressed in nightwear. JEROME, AUSTIN, ALICE, HARVEY, CLINT, STEPHEN, ALFRED and CINDY are here. The party all look quite hungover, particularly CLINT, who has an extremely sick looking expression, and appears to be rubbing his tongue.]

Alice : That's brilliant, now we're all going to get killed.

Harvey : Not at all, niece, I'm sure Alfred here can tell us where the talisman is.

Alfred : Of course, sir.

Harvey : See? No problem, now all we must do is march over and get it.

Alfred : It is locked in the safe, sir.

Austin : [Waving Maplin about theatrically] Confound Black's paranoia, had I my tools, I would have the safe opened in the blink of an eye. Where are the keys, my good man?

[ALFRED and CINDY exchange looks]

Cindy : 'ey chuck, them keys is well 'id.

[The figures fade away.]

Austin: I shall take it upon myself to examine the Drawing Room. Little mention has been made of it yet, therefore I think that it may play an important role in the near future. [Mutters to himself] And I'm sure there should be a large mirror upon the wall.

Alice : What safe were we talking about there, I wonder? And what could we have meant by a talisman? I'm very confused over the whole thing.

Clint: Don't worry, Alice.[Grins wide] I will be up there to *protect* you. [Turns to leave, but appears to be looking over his shoulder] I repeat, anyone also trying to search Black's room will be cut to ribbons. You can have your turn after me. [Still walking away, grinning, quietly to himself] I don't really give a shit. If I can remember right Black keeps a safe in his room. Hmmm... I wonder if he's changed the combo.

Alice : [Jumping behind Harvey] Remember right? You mean from when you killed Mr. Black? Uncle, his boorish behaviour seems to be turning toward violence. I think the murderer is Clint, no one else is evil enough to kill three people and be arrogant enough to wait around to threaten the rest of us.

Clint: [Laughes] Maybe I did. Hell I wish I remembered. I'd like to remember the sensation of crushing Black's throat with my bare hands or splintering his skull with a couple swift kicks to the back of his skull. You know, I was taught that trick by an ancient monk before I killed 'em. [Smiles, then leaves the room]

Harvey: Hah! That's his style, murdering defenceless old people! [Leaves the room]

[Exit ALL.]

[Act 5, Scene 3. Mr. Black's Dining Room. 7.25AM. CLINT, HARVEY, JEROME, AUSTIN, STEPHEN and ALICE are here.]

Alice : Well, I found nothing of interest, but you [points at Stephen] you tried to get into my room last night!

Clint: [Grinning ] I didn't see anything. Nope. Nothing. I did, however, find out that most of Black's wardrobe is not name brand.

Alice : [Regarding Clint with a baleful eye] I don't like the tone of your smirk, mister, not one little bit. Not even a really, really tiny little bit. Did you really not find anything, or are you just trying to annoy us?

Stephen : [Obviously disturbed and shaken. Raises his hand and points at Jerome] You! You! You evil man! [Shakes his head] You should go into THAT office [points vaguely in the direction of the office] and clean it up. Oh by the way, is mercury poisonous? [To Alice] And darling, why should I want to go in your bedroom? If I did like women, I'd be a little more choosy. [Winks at Austin and Clint, the looks back at the others guiltily] Did I just say mercury? I meant water, er arsenic..... No, coke!

Stephen : [To Alice] You're not talking about when I came in to ask to borrow your hair restorer, are you?

Alice : [Pulling her dressing gown tightly closed] I think you were trying to get my dressing gown! And whatever you took, I hope it is poisonous. What did Jer [pauses] that evil man do?

Austin: [Looks at Harvey] My god, man, were I not of such a passive nature, I'm sure you too would be dead at this time. I see that your attraction for the good Cindy knew no bounds. I have a score to settle, but that shall wait, as I'm sure others shall find much fault with you, following the events of last night. [Turns towards the door, once again] I think that I shall inspect the kitchen.

Jerome: [Pulling Clint aside, and speaking privately to him, in a rushed urgent tone which seems amusing because of the long-winded way he says everything] Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. seems to recall an utterance made by you about wishing to see yourself kill Mr Black. Jerome suggests most strongly that you examine the Servants Quarters.

Jerome: [To Stephen] What is all this about? Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. will not stand idle while you attempt to destroy his hard earned reputation with your factless slander! Jerome WILL examine the office, and prove his innocence!

Clint: Yeah, Hackbog, leave off Jerry... [Holds up a rather large fist] or you can count on another murder, this time by my hands. I won't have you wiping your ass on Jerome's crystal clear image. He's a much more decent man than you'll ever sleep with... or meet... or be. He was the only one with the balls to try and save me back at Iok's, and I'll *never* forget that. He failed miserably, but at least *he* tried, where as you watched me flail to my death. [To Jerome] If you want, Jerry, I'll go with you, or... if you wish, I will stay behind. You might not want me mucking up things. [Steps towards Stephen] Any problems!?! I'll go with Jerome to the office with Jerry if he doesn't have a problem with that.

Harvey: [Looking at Austin] Poppycock, young Sleaze! However, I did see the most curious vision while in the kitchen, mmph. Private Sleaze and the doctor were arguing over some woman. Sleaze was naked and covered in blood. [Turns to Jerome] What, doctor, did you mean when you said we'd get what's coming to us? A curious threat and no mistake! I think you may be correct in your assumption, dear niece.

[As HARVEY is speaking, JEROME grabs CLINT and whispers something to him.]

Alice : [Doing a double take on Harvey] What did you say Uncle? When did he make that threat?

Harvey: [Shrugs his shoulders] I presume it was last night, Alice. [Stops suddenly] Maybe the doctor wasn't threatening us at all! Maybe his threat was directed towards Black, Cindy and the butler! And why was Sleaze naked, drenched in blood! All these questions and no answers forthcoming! [Calms himself down] Alice, you say that, [points at Stephen] that article tried to enter your room last night. How do you know it was him?

Alice : Okay Uncle, good question. If people could stop waving large fists around and threatening me, perhaps we could talk about this in a calm, intelligent fashion. [Looks at Clint] Don't worry, you don't have to be concerned with the intelligent part. I went up to my room just a minute ago, and I got a vision of Stephen trying to get into my room. Presumeably, other people saw something, or did they?

Clint: Naw. Nope. Sure didn't in Black's room. I don't know why I was covered in blood. Maybe I was naked because I had my way with Ms. Tiger? I hope not. I don't even remember. I wonder if I was good.

Harvey: [tuts loudly] Philli in heaven, man! Private Sleaze was naked and covered in blood! Not you!

Alice : [Eyes Austin suspiciously] Well, this could be a good way to check if these visions are true, or if they are just some strange after effect of the mescyote. I remember one time when Jim collapsed on the toilet and myself and Mycil sat in the sitting room for about three hours trying to move out of our chairs, but we felt so heavy we couldn't move, even though we though he was dead. [Smiles nostalgically] Ah, happy days. [Looks back at Austin] Well Aussie, do you have a large wound?

Stephen : [To Jerome] Yes! Do that! Go to the office! And when you come back you can explain to us what your cunning plan was to get satisfaction. [To the others] He said that with a really nasty look in his eye as well! Apparently our dear departed friend had stolen an invention from Jerome, and Jerome was none too pleased. I think that if Jerome would be so kind as to reveal his hands, we'll see some scars... [Folds his arms and looks smug]

Harvey: [Walks across the room to Stephen] And perhaps it's time for you to show us your own hands? Eh? Come on, soft lad, give us all a look!

Clint: [Looks sheepishly at the party] Oh... he said Sleaze. I thought he said Scar. Well Austin was taking off his clothes at dinner. Remember him putting his bare feet on the table. Ugh... nasty little warty things they are. [Makes a face]

Stephen : [To Jerome] Yes, Jerome! You go search the office. Then come back and explain what you meant by saying you will be satisfied after Clint calmed you down [takes a breath] after you found out our dear departed friend had copied your invention. [To the party] I think we should take a look at the scars on Jerome's hands and we will be a whole lot closer to finding the murderer. [Back to Jerome] So, you avenged Mr Black with deadly consequences, didn't you?

Clint: We *will* and you'll see that Jerome and I are innocent, you little gay man.

Alice : I know this might sound surprising, but I am confused. Who's hands are we suspcious of? Stephen or Jerome? Now, I have a theory - could it be that there was more than one person involved in the murders? Two people who, for example, might be trying to support each other? Clint? What do you think of that theory?

Clint: I think it shows about as much intellect as you can muster... which is pretty damn low. Exactly what are you implying little one? [Smirks] Or after Jerome showed us... little ones. Are you saying that Jerome and I killed Mr. Black? I think the same accusation could be made about you and your patheticly feeble uncle, but that wouldn't explain the dooor being knocked down. [To the entire party] Would you like for me to try to knock a door down. That would show if it were possible.

Alice : Little one? Who are you talking to? Your testicle? Might I remind you Clump, that two years in Belsize cured Uncle Harold completely, and, may I add, resulted in Aunt Hilda having the fourth largest shoe collection in Waterdeep. Your suggestion about breaking the door is quite simply preposterous - all you need do is pretend that you can't break it, and voila, you suddenly blame Uncle Harold and I, and, considering the man isn't even here, I consider us an unlikely pair.

Austin: [Casts a glance in Harvey's direction] Colonel, please, irritate me no more. I've had enough of you postulations. It was never blood upon my body, but red paint, and I assure you that I know who through that paint upon my body and so defiled Maplin. It was you [points a finger at the Colonel, and then does a Matlockesque pirouette to face Alice]. I would plead to you as a person of sense, that at least you would believe me - your Uncle was obsessed by that Cindy whereupon he confronted me in the Drawing room, and threatened me most violently.

Stephen : Enough! The answer is in Jerome's hands. [To Jerome] I'll show you mine, if you show me yours. [Dramatically holds out his hands]

Alice : [Looking at Stephen's smooth hands and manicured finger nails] Crikey! His hands are almost as well looked after as Austins! But that doesn't prove anything - surely the murderer just washed his hands after doing the dirty deed. [Turns to Clint] Well, are you going to pretend you can't break open the door, or will we have another look around the house?

Clint: I'll break it down if you want me to. That way you'll know it was me. Huh? Well if I did do it and I can break down the door, why wouldn't I just kill you, too. Lead the way, I'll break it down.

Alice : [Locking the door, and sighing] As if this is going to prove anything.

[She stands back and CLINT charges at the door, banging off it. It doesn't budge.]

Alice : Come on! Surely you can do better than that! [Looks at the others] If you believe that he really tried to break that door you must be even more stupid than...[pauses] oh, what's her name again? The one with the long black hair? Glasses? You know who I mean, but it is obvious that he wasn't trying his hardest. Why don't one of you try it?

Stephen : [Gives a polite cough] Er, hello! Can we now see Jerome's murderous hands, please? [To Jerome] If you would be so kind, Trindle-poops. [To the others] I'm sure that the evidence will speak for itself. You can wash cuts, but there'll still be scars there. [Back to Jerome] And you certainly can't wash the scars of guilt away, either. Case dismissed. [Nods with a smile at Austin, thinks for a while] er closed. Case closed.

Jerome: [Holding out his hands for all to see] Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. does indeed have cuts on his hands.

Jerome: Might Jerome remind this group that he has not yet seen the office, which according to Stephen, contains the evidence as to where these marks came from. Therefore, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. suggests that this witch-hunt be put on hold until he has all the facts about this matter.

Jerome: And might Jerome also remind this group that, in good faith, Jerome has ALREADY shown the markings on his hands. [To Stephen] Jerome really doesn't feel this persecution is fully justified. Perhaps you should just pay more attention when things are offered, you would not need to spout such spurious accusations?

Alice : [Locking the door, and sighing] As if this is going to prove anything.

[She stands back and CLINT charges at the door, banging off it. It doesn't budge.]

Alice : Come on! Surely you can do better than that! [Looks at the others] If you believe that he really tried to break that door you must be even more stupid than...[pauses] oh, what's her name again? The one with the long black hair? Glasses? You know who I mean, but it is obvious that he wasn't trying his hardest. Why don't one of you try it?

Clint: Fine Alice. I'll try again. [Gets in an american football stance] Damn I know I'm gonna throw my shoulder out again. [Runs at the door

Harvey: [To the group] Doesn't that door open inwards? You see, we're *in* the room, and normal fashioned doors always open *into* a room. In order to bash down a door, the basher would have to be *outside* the room, because the door opens *inwards*, see?

[CLINT bounces off the door again.]

Alice : Crikey Uncle, couldn't get one passed you! [Tries to open the door] Oh no! We're locked in, what are we going to do? What are we going to do?

Clint: Nice try, Alice. I'm not falling for it, though. [Tries to open the door]

Alice : [As Clint pulls at the door] Oh no! We're all going to die! [Calming down somewhat] If Clint is to be believed, and he didn't break the door down, then who did? Black said that there's no one else in the house.

Clint: [Unlocks the door and looks at Alice] There.

Alice : Well, as I said, if Clint can't break the door down, who did break down Black's? Or, should we get Clint to go outside and do it?

Clint: *sigh* If you want me to, I will try from the outside of the door.

Alice : [Clearly smug at having annoyed Clint] Whatever pleases you, Clint. I suggest that we have another look around, and that as we come back, anyone who wants to have a try can. However, I would be extremely surprised if anyone would admit to breaking it. Anyway, I must answer a call of nature.

[Exit ALICE, taking the key with her. Followed by ALL.]

[Act 5, Scene 4. Mr. Black's Dining Room. 7.45AM. CLINT, HARVEY, JEROME, AUSTIN, STEPHEN and ALICE are here. ALICE now has make up on.]

Alice : Well peeps? Did anyone find anything? I found a puzzle! Looks jolly hard too. There are all these little shapes in a big square divided into squares, or perhaps even rectangles, depending on how you look at it, and you have to say which shapes in the big shapes, not the really big shape, the smaller ones, match shapes in the other shapes. Crikey! I just noticed, shapes is an anagram of "he saps" - that's pretty scary, isn't it?

Clint: I'm gonna search my room.

Stephen : [Looks red-faced, as though he's been exercising. Also has a permanent grin]Oh my! Oh mmyyy! Gosh! That was wonderful! I've not had such a good time since I visited the Queensview Blue Monkey Picture House. [Looks dreamily at Austin] My equivalent of Maplin had a nice little workout. Oh yes. [To Alice] Until your pervert of an Uncle came along!

Jerome: Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. now knows that the accusations leveled at him from Stephen were completely unfounded. These injuries [Indicates his hand] were sustained while Jerome took his anger out on a glass jar. [To Stephen] Jerome can only assume you are as incompetent as you are lacking in heterosexual genes. Tell me - which side of your head were you dropped on at birth? [Examines Stephen's head for tell-tale bumps]

Clint: He's tellin' the truth, Hack. I was with him. What are you talkin' about, Hack? What did Harvey do?

Alice : More to the point, what was Austin doing before Harvey came along that gave Stephen so much pleasure! [Looks at Jerome's hands] Those cuts certainly weren't caused by a garrotte, which I thought we had established ages ago, but that doesn't necessarily mean he didn't use one, does it? [Thinks to herself] Doesn't mean he didn't, two negatives cancel each other, so it should be "Does mean he did", crikey! Jerome is the murderer because he cut his hands on a jar?

[Everyone's attention is suddenly caught by a shout from the table. Sitting around it are the images of BLACK, HARVEY, CLINT, ALICE, STEPHEN, JEROME and AUSTIN. Everyone but JEROME is sitting down, JEROME is standing with a knife in his hand.]

Jerome : Liar! Liar!

Black : If you would-

Jerome : Lies! From the second we entered this house, nothing but lies.

Black : No, that is not the case, the door is-

Jerome : [Climbing onto the table] Lying bastard!

[HARVEY and CLINT hold back JEROME]

Clint : Hey Jer, mellow out man. I think Black might have some of his weally gweat cigars, smoke one of them and you'll be cool.

Harvey : I'm sure you can understand his ire, Black. We saw him killed before our very eyes.

Black : Maybe that's what it appeared to be, but that was not the case. That's why I had to use the Mescyote.

Alice : [Wearily] Oh great. That just increases our chances of being killed from 98 Black : You must believe me, if not, we are all in terrible, terrible danger!

[Slowly the images fade, with JEROME struggling to break free from HARVEY and CLINT.]

Alice : [Stepping back from Jerome] Hmm, well. Did anyone else see anything interesting?

Jerome: [Waves his hand at the table in disdain] This proves nothing. All of these images are proving to us is that we all had motive. [Looks around the group] Until we see an image of a murder being committed, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. as the highest qualified person in this group, suggests that we use them as a source for clues and nothing else. None of us remember anything [Turns To Harvey] do we? Therefore, we can count ourselves as unaccountable for whatever transgressions were transgressed while we were not in control of ourselves. Has any other vital information been found on the search?

Alice : More to the point, what was Austin doing before Harvey came along that gave Stephen so much pleasure! [Looks at Jerome's hands] Those cuts

Alice : I certainly didn't see anything related to the murder - and it seems odd that we didn't see anything in Black's room. That would seem to be the best place to get some information.

Harvey: [Looking very unsettled] Hmm? What? Ah, yes indeed! One would think so, Alice. But as for these visions, who can say that they are true? I certainly don't remember the events happening [looks pointedly at Jerome]. I don't remember having to physically restrain the doctor from sticking a knife between our hosts shoulder blades. I don't remember throwing a tin of paint at Private Sleaze and I don't remember partaking in a seance!

Alice : True, perhaps the visions should be taken with a pinch of salt until we find out what is causing them. However, there does seem to be a ring of truth about them - Jerry did get rather agitated at Mr. Black during dinner, it's the ones that seem to take place after dinner that I wonder about.

Clint: Ok, I did sorta see something in Black's room. [Lights another cigar]

Alice : Sort of? What does that mean? Explain yourself.

Clint: Well... [Looks around] I saw who killed Black. That's all. [Starts to walk away] But you really don't need to know, do you? Besides... [Blows a smoke ring] ... I need to search my room before I make any accusations.

Jerome: [Leafing through a Shakespearean novel he picked up in the library] Methinks Jerome doth feel the urgent call from nature, and therefore shall intend that the bathroom be his next destination.

Alice : Yes Clint, out with it, let's see it for what it is! There's no point in looking around the house if you know who did it.

Clint: Nope, girly. Not yet. I need some hard... [looks at Alice's chest] ... firm... [Lingers] ... evidence before I can accuse someone of such an action. And I think I'll find some after this search. Now let's get to it. [Folds his arms in defiance]

Alice : [In annoyance] So you don't know anything? You're just pretending to know something?

Clint: [Smiles] We'll see, Alice. We'll see. Just watch your back because you don't know who it is. That isn't a threat, but friendly advice. I'd advise you follow it. Now let's go.

Alice : How annoyingly cryptic. I declare that you do not know who did it, Clink, and are just posturing.

[Exit ALL]

[Act 5, Scene 4. Mr. Black's Dining Room. 8.00AM. CLINT, HARVEY, JEROME, AUSTIN, STEPHEN and ALICE are here.]

Alice : Well, I just came from the servants quarters and I think I know who the murderer is! Someone who had a bit of lead piping crept into one of the rooms, [bends down and sneaks up to a couch] beat whoever was in the bed with it [makes a number of swings at the couch] lifted the covers to see their handiwork, and then left. And do you know who that was? It was you [points at Clint] You killed Mr. Black.

Austin: [Waves his hands in the air] Am I surrounded on all sides my madmen. What possessed you Clint? Although upon lack of concrete evidence it seems that I'm trusting Alice's judgement on this. Yet that does not explain, what happened to the other two, and seeing the frenzy that most people were in, how is it that none of the party came to harm? [Turns to face to Jerome] And good sir, I will forgive your threats as you were not of proper mind when we encountered each other last night. I do appreciate your releasing me from prison but do not hold that favour against me now. I will repay you in kind, with any luck, by use of my knowledge of the law to save you from accusations and indeed indictments that you are guilty of first degree murder last night.

Stephen : I think we'll find that we are all barking up the wrong bush. Clint is not the murderer. The murderer is none other than....[points at Harvey]....Captain Harvey! Yes. Harvey threatened to deal with me the way he dealt with Mr Black. [To Harvey] I hope you have a good lawyer.

Alice : Rubbish, all of you threatened Black in some way - but Clint is the only one who was seen attack him, I saw it with my own eyes.

Harvey: [Sighs deeply and looks at Stephen] The way I dealt with Black was to harbour a twenty five year non-violent grudge against the man for stealing my fame over killing the Donkhound. I did not speak to him for twenty five years, mmpfh! By saying that I would deal with you in the same way, I presume, for I can only presume, as I've no recollection of the incident, that I would ignore you also for the next quarter of a century. Gah! And who could blame me? Who?

Alice : Well said Uncle. The question now, of course, is how to deal with Clint since we have established beyond a shadow of a doubt that he bludgeoned Black's brain to bits. Shall we arrest him?

Austin : Well Clint, you stand accused. This young lady asserts she saw you crack Black across the head - do you deny it? Or does anyone here wish to speak on his behalf? Do so now, or forever hold your peace.

Clint: [To Stephen] Thanks Hack, I didn't do it. [To Alice] You fucking bitch, I'm gonna kill you! I agree with Hack, Harvey *did* do it! I saw him do it in Black's room, but Alice tried to do me in. Anyone who doubts me should go to my room. Alice tied to sneak into my room. I saw her, but before I could defend myself she [Jabs a finger at Alice] bashed me right here on my noggin. [Ponits at his head] Well Alice, what do you have to say for yourself, murderer!?! [Takes a menacing step towards Alice, he seems to have a broken bed post in one hand] Well Alice, I'm ready for you this time. Come on!

Alice : [Taking out a file and filing her nails, looking bored] Away with you, small man. How could I be a murderer when the very person I am accused of murdering stands here in front of me, as boorish and odious as ever? That odour which we first encountered upon meeting you is all too present today.

Austin : [Raising an eyebrow and stepping back out of the way] I urge all present not to become embroiled in violent behaviour, or, at the very least, keep the numbers involved low, as it takes some time to complete the D7/GBH form. [Adding, as an explanation] For filing for compensation.

Clint: [Raises a hand as if to slap Alice] You... [Stops, appears to shudder, then slowly turns around, facing the doorway] May your nails rot in hell, girl... along with your murderous soul. I'm searching Alice's and Harvey's rooms. If anyone follows...

Stephen : Ooh...violence makes me so queezy. [To Clint] Go get her. She's had it coming for a long time. [To Alice] And don't forget, it's nothing personal. It's just business. [Hums the Godfather tune] Actually Clint, if you just hang on a minute, I'll go and get my camcorder. I think it might be in Blacky's bedroom.

Alice : [Looking around at the others] Well, thanks for the support everyone. Stop right there, Clump - we did not meet here simply to listen to your rantings, perhaps someone else saw something of interest. And, may I add, I did see you beat Mr. Black to death, accusing me of something seems a fairly pathetic way to evade blame.

Harvey: [Looks at Alice] Apologies dear niece, my mind was miles away! Did that...man, threaten you? Did he? [Turns around swiftly, seeking out Clint] By God, stay your place sir! [Harvey yells at the top of his voice, going very red in the face. A vein in his neck pulses visibly] How dare you insult a lady and then try to slink your way back to your slimy burrow! You ignorant piece of shit! You accuse me and my niece of murder, when all the time, we are the only two who know it was you, Clint fucking Scar! I saw you bludgeon Blacks head with a bar while he was sleeping! Ha! What a fucking coward you are, sir! Kill a man while he's sleeping! You slimy little rat fucking, dick sucking cunt! I'd shit on your entire fucking lineage, toady-boy, but your mother would probably root in it! [Harvey turns back to Alice, calmly] Gah, dear Alice, but you look tired. I'm feeling weary myself.

Alice : [Closing her mouth which dropped open in shock] Uncle? Are you okay?

Austin : [Rubbing Maplin furiously] Watch your tongue sir, blasphemous and uncouth behaviour and words are what we expect from Clint. They seem somewhat misplaced from you. Calm yourself lest your heart give way under stress.

Alice : [Coldly] He was just trying to protect me from that murdering liar, Clap Scar.

Clint: [Turns around] That's it, Harv. I'll take Alice's shit, since she's a mere girl, but I won't from you! [To Austin] Make out those forms Sleaze. I'm about to commit murder. [To Harvey] By the way, Harvey, I saw your hands kill Black with a rope or wire, not a bludgeoning weapon. Defend yourself! [Attempts to slap Harvey]

[CLINT catches HARVEY crack on the chin and sends him reeling across the room.]

Alice : [Picking up a convenient vase and smashing it across the back of Clint's head] How dare you!

[CLINT staggers momentarily as the wound on his head begins bleeding again.]

Austin : [Taking cover behind the table] I say! Cease and desist immediately.

Jerome: [Snapping out of the daze he's been in while watching the fracas in front of him] Yes, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. does concur with Austin on this matter! Fighting amongst ourselves will accomplish nothing! It matters not who is indeed guilty of the dastardly deed which we are endeavoring to investigate, but rather that we keep some semblance of unity and remember that THE FATE OF QUEENS VIEW RELY'S COMPLETELY ON US! We are the only brave few who can save the world from the likes of Dan, and therefore must put aside our petty differences, and unite together to slay our accursed foe!

Clint: [Touches his wound and looks at the blood] Aww shit, I'm bleeding again. [To Jerome] OK, Jerry. I was just tired of that military pansey flapping his mouth. He had it coming to him ya know, Jerry. He's been trying to pick a fight with me since he first showed up. [To Harvey] What's wrong, boy, did the military not feed ya yer wheaties? Ha... ha... ha... [Looks pale. Sits down] I think I've lost a little too much blood. Jerry, you got yerself any healing potions?

Harvey: [Catches his balance, looking momentarily stunned] Bollocks we will! [Moves quickly to Clint, lashing out with a right hook] Have at you, brigand!

[CLINT's head snaps back as HARVEY's fist makes contact. ALICE picks up a beautiful china clock, and lifts it above her head to hit CLINT. Realising how expensive it is, she swaps it for a rather cheap china dog which deserves to be broken.]

Alice : Apologise this second, you evil man, or by crikey I'll set my dog on you!

Austin : [Producing a form from beneath his dressing gown] Good Doctor, perhaps you might sign this agreement whereby yourself, myself and Mr. Hitchberg agree to share any treasure discovered in the house in measures proportional to each parties participation in the drafting of intraparty and interpersonal proposals.

Stephen : [Goes over to Clint] Are you okay Clinty? [Tries to stroke Clint's thigh] I'll look after you. Let's go to your room, and you can have a nice lie down. I did First Aid at the Hollywood Directing school, you know.

Clint: Get off me, Hack! [Rubs his jaw] Come on you commie bastard. Harvey, you are nothing but a relic! Your time is over. It's my time, now. Jerome, if you truely care for Alice, you will keep her from attacking me, because if she doesn't stop bangin my noggin there's gonna be trouble.

Harvey: [Coldly] Lay one hand on my niece and I'll kill you. That's not a threat, that's a promise. Oh, and Scar, I sleep with one eye open, so you'll find me a harder kill that you found Black. My time is over? [Flexes his fist] Hah! I think not, soldier, mmpfh! [Turns to the others] We're wasting time here, men! And lady. [Bows to Alice] There are more rooms to search, so snap to it! Hut, hut!

Alice : [Shaking the china dog at Clint] Grr! It takes more than a cigar smoking thug to scare our family.

[Several figure form around the table, talking. BLACK, AUSTIN, ALICE, CLINT, HARVEY and STEPHEN are there.]

Black : I have in my safe a talisman, but it requires daylight to work. [Looks out a window] Sigh, what little daylight we have had since this terrible dark has descended.

Clint : Wow! Talisman, cool! Can he make spaghetti? I'm weally hungwy again!

Alice : [Narrowing her eyes at Clint] Talisman, you fool, not Italian man. God, how I hate you.

Jerome : Talisman? Stolen, no doubt! And what makes you believe that it will not be stolen from you?

Black : It is a special kind of safe, and, to prevent anyone from breaking into my room during the night, the keys are hidden all over the house. It is unlikely in the extreme that it will be opened without my assistance.

Austin : Foolishness, Black. It would seem the obvious thing to do is to kill you - what say you now?

Black : [Smiles a strange smile] One of you wants to kill me, but everyone else wants me to live. I think it is unlikely that I will die tonight.

[With BLACK's propehtic words, the figures fade from view]

Alice : Now that's strange - could it mean these visions aren't true after all?

Harvey: Hmm, [stroking his chin] it's a conundrum and no mistake. And where was the doctor? What talisman? Who wanted Black killed? Who wanted him kept alive? What keys? What happened to my breakfast? By God, so many questions, so few answers! Gah!

Alice : [Strangely, also stroking Harvey's chin] Good question Unc. Maybe he hid keys around the house - but they could be anywhere. I presume the chest he was talking about was the one in his room - that took several keys.

Clint: [To Alice] Cigars huh... [Spits at her foot] I guess I'll have to change back to chewing tobacco. [Smiles] Harvey, your military only works because people like you spread their bullshit far and wide and the soldier boys believe it. You're nothing but a washed up old man, and I don't think you would be talking to me like that if I wasn't severely wounded by your niece.

Alice : Washed up old man? Better than some pungent oaf who was beaten up by a girl, twice!

Austin : [Coming out from behind the table] If that brings the macho behaviour to a finish? Now if people could control themselves, perhaps we should be concerned with this talisman the ill fated Mr. Black spoke of? Why would he think the rest of us would want him to have access to it?

Clint: [To Austin] We have to find some keys first. I haven't seen any. Have you? [To Alice] So you *DO* admit to attacking me in my room!?!

Alice : I don't have to admit to anything, all that matters is that you believe I beat you up twice! Whipped, Clint, you're whipped in your mind, and that's all that matters!

Austin : While I am, of course, concerned about the state of Clint's mind, perhaps we should concentrate on the question of keys? Has anyone encountered any on their travels.

Harvey: I've not found any keys, private. But I do believe that one-nut there, [gestures vaguely in Clints direction] has indeed gone slightly jungle crazy! I remember in Kauchang, in 66, a young private went el-loco during a night raid. He was accusing people of the most offensive things, all of it unfounded, of course! The pressure had gotten to him. I think he might have being the type to enjoy shopping, or gossiping, you know the kind. [Harvey nods his head slightly towards Stephen] One of those...people, if you catch my meaning. And, [looks momentarily lost] ah, the fellow jumped off a cliff in the end! Are there any cliffs around here?

Alice : Gosh, Unc, do you think we might be able to get Clink to jump over the edge of one? Come on, lets see if there's anything else around.

[Exit ALL]

[Act 5, Scene 5. Mr. Black's Dining Room. 8.AM. CLINT, HARVEY, JEROME, AUSTIN, STEPHEN and ALICE are here.]

Alice : [Looking pale] Hmm, I just came from Black's room - and I saw him being strangled, [looks at Clint] maybe he wasn't beaten to death after all. It looked as though he said something - I couldn't make it out, but it had four syllables, and ended in an "o" or "toe". What could that mean?

Clint: Anyway... has anyone found a key? And where is everyone searching?

Austin: [Brushes his hand through his hair, smiling to himself] My, my, it all starts to become clearer. [Looks at Alice's confusion, then places his hand upon his chin, as though deep in thought] To one of my skills in deductive reasoning, a formulation of last nights proceedings can indeed be formed, but as yet I would hesitate to explain further, or at least until such a time as I have investigated further and perhaps other members of the party have indicated their findings, but at this time I would like to stress that it becomes more and more apparent that I am one of the few that is innocent of any crimes committed this previous evening.

Stephen : [To Austin] You know, you are really good-looking when you are thinking. Perhaps you should do more of it. [To the party] I have a key!

Clint: [Glaring at Alice] Has anybody checked the chest to see how many keys it takes? I don't guess anyone's checked Harvey's room. You really should see the way Alice ranted on about killing someone. It would chill your bones. I suggest that if anyone hasn't checked Harvey's room that we *all* go there now so you can see the murderer [Points to Alice] confess her sins. Philli damn your stinkin' hide, you backstabbing whore!

Jerome: Does anyone else have keys? [Looks around the group] And, what have everyone found out. Mr Black was indeed strangled, by a male. [To Alice] So, Alice, sweetness, you are cleared of Mr Black's murder. [Eyes narrow as he surveys the party] But she's the only one who has been cleared.

Alice : [Nods at Jerome] Thank you Dr. Trindle. I believe now that there are three people we can rule out, myself, yourself and of course, Uncle Harvey. [Turns to Clint] And as for you, how dare you claim that I ranted! You slime infested cockroach-like puss filled maggot encrusted piece of dirt! [Her voice gets louder and increasingly high pitched] Ranted? You fucker, you don't know the meaning of the word! [Grabs Gnasher, her trusty china dog.]

[HARVEY suddenly lashes out and lands a fine kick on CLINT's backside]

Harvey : That's the final straw, you little piece of shit! How dare you call my niece a. a...lady of the night! And a killer! Lets end it here! Now! Choose your weapon!

Clint: [To Jerome] Jerry, I heard Alice confess the crime. Besides, you know I would tell you if I killed a man. I very proud of those types of things. [Looks at Harvey with a calm, stoic face] Colonel, have you ever killed a man with a slinky or a jar of cheese whiz? Have you ever killed man for the shit of it? Have you tasted the sweet yet vile flavour of blood rolling around in your mouth after you've bit off a man's ear or nose? I have, Colonel. I am a baaaaaad boy. But those days are behind me. I no longer am that way. Well... partially... but not much. [Smiles] [His voice stays at one level in almost a drone] If you'd only seen the look on your dear niece's face as she sweetly sounded the victory of her crime. You'd throw up. Why don't you look in your room and see for yourself before gettting your butt kicked by me. After all, if you do kill me [Laughes] .... and I'm right.... then you'd feel pretty stupid, wouldn't you? Let's check the room, then -if you wish- I will kill you. You should feel lucky. I'm leaving the decision to you, Colonel. Make a good decision.

Stephen : [To Jerome and Clint] Actually, that's what us in the movie business refer to as a double entendre. I don't actually have a key, but now I know that you both have keys, because why else would anyone ask [impersonates Clint] 'how many keys the safe needs' or [impersonates Jerome] 'who else has a key'? [Giggles, before jumping up and down on the spot pointing at the two] Ha ha ha ha ha. I fooled you all!!! [Stops and thinks before announcing] Double bluff! That's it.

Harvey: [Eyes closed, he suddenly starts and yawns massively, before patting his mouth with his hand] Oh, you've finished. I'm afraid I slept through everything beyond the bit about killing cheesy wits! Hah! Fascinating stuff, though! Most entertaining! Most entertaining, indeed! [Turns to Alice, before suddenly turning back to Clint] Oh, by the way, did you mention which weapon you wanted to use?

Jerome: [Looking disdainfully at Stephen] Madam, please do not attempt to form a logical argument to back up any of your ludicrous accusations, as Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. is by far the superior intellect. It was you who said you had one, so when Jerome enquired as to "who else has a key" the reference was obviously "who other than Stephen Boy-Girl has a key". Also, Clint's question regarding the number of keys could be asked by anyone who paid attention in Mr Black's room.

Harvey: [Without looking at Jerome] I have.

Jerome: [To Clint] And, sir, in answer to your previous question, Jerome examined the afore mentioned chest in Mr Black's room, and after serious hypothesizing, rigorous experimenting, and diligent hard work, Jerome is quite confident with his conclusion that THREE keys are required to open said chest. [To Everyone] So, has anyone (carefully omitting the "else") found any keys? They should be roughly [measures with his hands] this size, to the best of Jerome's estimation.

Alice : Oh shut up Clint. I don't think you'll be killing anybody today, look at the state of you, messing up Mr. Black's fine carpet with all your blood. If you had bothered to try and reason things out instead of insulting people you mightn't have got quite the hiding you did. Jerry just proved that I couldn't have done it, yet here you are, bleeding on, cursing at and insulting me. You remind me in some ways of a small irritating insect, but with fewer sexual organs, of course. You could obviously be killed in an instant, but I am slow to do it, for fear that I will dirty my slippers. Now, do as Jerome says and anyone who has a key show it, for they are obviously the key to this mystery.

Jerome: [Wondering exactly what part of Jerome's speech Harvey is responding to] Pardon, Colonel Harvey Kingston-Charles III? Are you perhaps stating your possession of one of the keys?

Harvey: [Looks from Clint to Jerome] Yes doctor, I have one of the keys you mentioned. See? [Holds up the key for all to view]

Jerome: [To Clint] And, sir, in answer to your previous question, Jerome examined the afore mentioned chest in Mr Black's room, and after serious hypothesizing, rigorous experimenting, and diligent hard work, Jerome is quite confident with his conclusion that THREE keys are required to open said chest. [To Everyone] So, has anyone (carefully omitting the "else") found any keys? They should be roughly [measures with his hands] this size, to the best of Jerome's estimation.

Alice : Crikey Uncle, well done! What is it the key for, I wonder.

Jerome: [With a quick, sidelong glace at Clint] Jerome and Clint have found the other two keys. [Shows the keys, then turns to Harvey] Perhaps, good sir, we should traverse upstairs, and see what this chest contains? [To Austin, looking a little sick at having to ask] I believe we will be requiring your skills to determine whether the chest is safe to be opened.

Clint: [In a bored sounding monotone] It's for Black's chest. You are right, Alice. I do feel a bit pale from loss of blood. [Sits down] I realize your uncle is not himself, also. I don't quite think I am either. I feel sort of sick. Maybe I should bandage myself before I bleed to death. So we have all three of the keys, right?

Alice : [Looking in annoyance at Clint] What? You are not my Uncle? What rubbish you talk Clint. [Turns excitedly to the others] Didn't Black say that he had some kind of Talisman in his safe? I wonder what it does, and why he was killed to stop us getting at it.

Clint: Never mind, blonde one. Let's stop babbling and get up to the chest. [Pulls a wad of white cloth out of his pockets and starts bandaging himself.

Alice : [Huffily] Hmph! I don't have blonde hair!

[Exit ALL, up to Mr. Blacks bedroom. The room is as it was before, but there is a sudden chill, and BLACK appears in the bed, sleeping. Someone's arms appear in the vision, holding a garotte. Only their arms are visible, the rest of their body not appearing in the vision. They quickly pull it around BLACK's throat and pull tight. BLACK's eyes snap open, filled with fear. He tries to grab the (obviously male) hands, but they hold firm. His neck begins to bleed, and blood pours from his mouth and nose. His eyes seem to focus on the bedroom door, which is now fixed, and he mouths something. Abruptly, the scene vanishes.]

Alice : [Shivers] This is what I saw when I came up, can we continue this downstairs?

Clint: I saw it too, when I came up here. Those hands could have been anyone's except for Alice's, *but* I heard Alice in Harvey's room say," I killed him."

Jerome: [Motioning Austin forward] If you would please check for traps, Austin. [Turns to Harvey] What say you, good Colonel? Should we open the safe here, depending on the outcome of Austin's examination of course, or attempt to move it downstairs?

Harvey: [Still looking at the bed] That is one of the more unpleasant things I've seen, and I'm not talking about those dubious stains on the bedsheet. Thank goodness I didn't have breakfast! [Turns to Jerome] I think it might be better to move the box to the dining room. Dearest Alice is obviously distressed.

Alice : Almost as unpleasant as watching Clint eat.

[Exit ALL. The party go down to the dining room with HARVEY and JEROME carrying the safe between them. Enter ALL into the dining room. Sitting around the table are the images of HARVEY, CLINT, STEPHEN, AUSTIN, JEROME, ALICE and MR. BLACK. They are all looking at one corner of the room.]

Clint : Cool! [Standing up] How did you do that Black?

Jerome : [Sulkily, into his glass] Seems uncannily like the plans for the Dr. Jerome K. Trindle Three Dimensional Holographic Device, Design Pending.

Black : This phenomenon started a few weeks after the explosion in Kings Reach - from my extensive research I think it is somehow related to Iok Sotot.

Alice : [Banging her head against the table several times] How many more times? He's dead.

Black : [Makes a frustrated look at Alice and turns back to the others] It appears that there is so much evil in his temple it can twist the very nature of time, that's why we can sometimes see echoes of past events.

Stephen : [Jumping up from the table, a huge smile on his face] Oooh! I'm first! I'm first!

Harvey : Gah! Soldier you will never be first, what on earth are you talking about?

Stephen : First to go into the toilet to see Austin doing the business!

[Exit STEPHEN]

Harvey : [Making a disgusted face, that is almost as horrified as Austin's] Well, perhaps you might be first in some things after all!

Black : Ye-es. The past events are normally those that happened several hours before in that location, but often images appear in parts of the house that are unrelated to the real location. Apparantly, the closer one is two Iok Sotot's temple, the worse the distortion becomes.

[The images slowly fade from view. HARVEY and JEROME lift the safe onto the dining room table.]

Alice : Well, maybe there's some truth in these images after all. [Looks at Austin] Well Aussie? What's the story?

Austin: [Bends down to examine the safe, searching for traps, and also counting the number of keyholes] Hmmm, interesting. Such uncanny workmanship, yet it appears surprisingly simple. In relation to the visions, it seems that Black may have been telling the truth, but why then have we only seen visions in Black's house. Surely we would have seen visions in the temple itself, upon the river and in the caverns. Therefore, we may conclude that it is possible that Black has been pulling the wool over our eyes [throws a sidelong glance at Stephen and mutters] although some of us. I'm sure are into that, [then continues] and that all of these visions are fictitious. On the other hand, if we can verify that Black has spoken the truth, then it may be possible that all images that have shown themselves to us, are indeed valid replays of preceding events. Indeed, it may be possible that Jerome has spoken a word of truth - the images might be projected according to some devious plan of Mister Black, and I would hasten to add that it would not surprise me in the least.

Harvey: Good work there, private! Sterling stuff! But I'm begining to doubt the validity of these visions. I saw Clint bludgeoning Black to death in one of these visions, but that is clearly not how Black died! However, to business. [Harvey holds up his key]

Alice : I saw Clint hit someone too, but I couldn't see who it was. [Looks around at everyone] And no one appears to have any wounds, except Clint himself!

Alice : Well, there was some odd behaviour in Iok's temple - maybe Black's tale would account for the way you all behaved then. As for being true, how can we prove it either way? It was one of the visions themselves that told us they were true! Anyway, are you going to open the safe Aus?

Clint: ... And we know who did that according to the visions. [Looks at Alice] Also, the false vision proves me innocent, right?

Clint: Oh... so I hit someone. Wow, that's good news for me. I must have been defending the party since no one here looks like they were hit by by me.

Stephen: [Stares into space for a while] Whoa. Trippin' flashback man. [Shakes himself and turns to Alice and Clint] Oh, very clever. Now I understand! This petty bickering may fool the others, but it doesn't fool me. I put it to you that you are in league with each other and are both connected to the death of Mr Black.

Alice : Are you completely stupid? Or is it just an act? [Looks at CLint] No, Clint, I'm not talking to you, I'm talking to that. [Gestures at Stephen]

Jerome: [Interrupts with a raised hand] Surely, people, it would be more constructive if we were to open this safe, and stop flatulence rectuming around. (fart-arsing) [To Austin] Have you finished your lawyer work yet? Is it safe? Do you have any idea whether the order of the keys is important? [To Harvey] How shall we do this, sir? You are, undoubtably, the senior rank here, and Jerome will bow to your experienced judgement. [Nudges Clint, and whispers something]

Jerome: [Whispers to Clint] Be nice for a minute - this problem requires the skills of this odd group, and we cannot afford to alienate.

Clint: [Nods as if listening to Jerome, turns and actually grins at Alice, then looks at Stephen] Yes, Hitchbottom, for once I agree with Alice. You *are* an idiot.

Harvey: [A look of disapproval crossing his face] Gah! Whispering is for girls and soft lads, doctor. There is enough suspicion among us without you adding to it. For shame, doctor. [Looks closely at the chest] Hmmph! I think the best course of action is each of the key holders to insert and turn his key at the same time. This operation will require excellent timing and precision, so I would suggest a countdown, along the lines of, on my mark, three, two, one, mark! At which, each of us inserts his key. And the same again when turning the keys. [Smiles happily to himself] Yes indeed, that, is the way to open this chest.

Alice : Uncle H is correct, Jerome. It is shabby behaviour indeed to be so furtively whispering in the aisles. Austin? Is Harvey right about the chest? Surely you have seen something of its ilk before?

Jerome: [Bowing slightly to Harvey] My apologies, good sir. Jerome had not intended to cause any negative reaction, and was merely asking Clint if he would like his key back. [Holds out the key] Well, unless Austin has another suggestion, let us open the safe as per Harvey's well thoughout plan. [Looks expectantly at Austin]

Clint: I'm sorry I wasn't listening. What were ya saying Auss? Anyway, is there a patern on the chest to denote which keys to use?

Austin: [Holds his right hand up face outward, glaring at Harvey and shouts] Halt. Do you purpose to know of what you speak, Colonel. First, I cannot stress enough, that we have four keys and the safe merely requires three. This I have stated over and over again, yet none seem to listen. My comments should not fall upon deaf ears, as they are too valuable to lose simply to float upon the aether. Secondly, it seems apparent that the keys must be turned, exactly five seconds after each other. With respect to the order in which they must be turned, it is indecipherable. Perhaps there is a clue, in one of the rooms, or perhaps the rooms in which the keys were found themselves provide a clue. Their location in the house may symbolise which key should be inserted where. I find it difficult to motivate myself to unlock this chest, as failure to open it, shall cause the release of gaseous death, and disabling of said trap is unlikely in the extreme. [Looks around for someone to hand his key to].

Clint: Yeah, thanks Jerry. Austin, is this chest trapped or what? I don't get why a chest that takes three keys would be trapped. So, there's my key, Jerome's key, and Harvey's key. Did you say you had one Austin, or am I hearing things?

Alice : Well Aussie, you seem to know so much about it, surely you know what order to turn the keys. I'm sure [backing away from the chest] we place at the far end of the room comes a muffled voice, obviously the result of speaking through a handkerchief] Mmfm mmble, mmber mb.

Harvey: [Laughs long and loud, his face beetroot red. Panting, he wipes the tears from his cheeks] Well told, dear, but I think it was a horse, not an elephant. But it makes a cracking joke all the same! Why the long face! Wonderful! [Harvey bellows with laughter once more]

Stephen: [With a puzzled expression] I don't get it. I've never heard of a talking elephant. Anyway, I say that we should open the safe now. If I had a key, I'd do it. But I don't have a key, so I can't. Only those lucky enough to find them should have the honour of being the first to see the contents of the safe. I'm sure Sergeant Major here would agree with me [nods to Harvey]. Let's take a vote!

Alice : [Standing up with a cross look on her face] It wasn't a joke, I just warning everybody to stand back! Now Austin, please open the safe.

Austin: Loathe as I am do to it for fear of personal harm, I shall attempt my hand at undoing this contraption. [Sticks out both hands, one in Jerome's and the other in Harvey's direction] Good sirs, would you be so kind to hand me those keys that are in your possession, so that I may risk body, mind and, well, soul and follow the Doctor's urging to enable the viewing of the contents of this safe.

Austin: [Takes the keys from the others and inserts them, then wipes his hands upon his tunic. Rubs them emphatically together, and bends so his face is level with the safe. He then places his right hand upon the first key]. Dr. Jerome, would it be possible that you could count down the seconds from five, after I have turned each key, as precision is a requirement. I would be much obliged, and I am sure that you would be too if I could depend upon your accuracy. [Mutters under his breath] Five, four, three, two, one.

[JEROME obliges, and, showing that, indeed, he is the most intelligent member of the party, counts to five. AUSTIN turns the second key, and after JEROME's next count, turns the third. The chest pops open.]

Alice : [Running out from her hiding place, still with the cloth to her mouth] Mmmf! Mmmmf! Mmmb! Mrrmble, horse!

[AUSTIN opens the chest revealing a complex set of wires and small vials of coloured liquid. His eyes open wide in horror as he surveys the interior of the safe, opening the door only reveals a space of about two inches, in which the wires and liquid are. The wires attach the door to ANOTHER door inside, this one has two keyholes. AUSTIN holds the door barely open, and dead still.]

Harvey: [Hands his key to Austin] Do not fear, private Sleaze. If things go awry, your sacrifice shall be celebrated in song for eternity! Good luck!

Austin: [Still standing immobile, sweat slowly forming upon his forehead trickles toward his eyebrow, and a single drop splashes beside the open safe] As I suspected, there is more to this than first meets the eye. So subtle is Black, that were it not for my foresight, we would no longer stand here in wonderment of my skills. [Slowly drops the lid of the chest, so that it once more is shut] It seems that despite Jerome's counting skills, we are in need of at least one more key. If there is a pattern to this, then I would suspect that we may need another key thereafter, as the outside used three, the second trap two, and perhaps there is yet another hidden surprise that requires only one. Urging you to search the rest of the house, I must stress that no one touches this chest. I would suggest that we study the copious notes that the Colonel or perhaps Jerome have kept, and discuss which rooms have been visited. Perhaps then we could most efficiently uncover the final key in one of the as yet unvisited rooms.

Stephen: [Busily writing and crossing out in his notepad and humming various tunes, oblivious to what Austin is doing. Addresses party] Right! I've got he first verse for the song. [Reads from his pad]

Austin The Hero,

By Stephen Hitchberg A.C.E

"In the house of Mister Black, Stands Austin with a safe to crack. The onlookers, they did sweat, A few even placed a bet."

That's all I've got so far.

Alice : Good thinking Aussie, although I'm not sure how your foreskin saved us all from certain death. I agree with discussing Uncle Harveys and Jerome's notes - I for one have been to my own room, the bathroom, the servants quarters, Jerome's room and Mr. Bs dungeon of death. There was only one puzzle, in the bathroom but I couldn't, I mean, I decided I would come back later to solve it. The most interesting thing I saw was Clump beating somebody with a pipe while they were in bed.

Alice : What thrash! How dare you insult brave Aussie like that! At least do him the justice of a proper song. [Ahem]

He did not fear and did not scream, He didn't run and leave his team, Instead he jutted out his chin, And saved us all with his foreskin.

Now, *that's* what I call a song!

Clint: I've been to Alice's room, Harvey's room, my room, Black's room, and... um... that room that had Jeroe breaking glass with his hand. Which one was that?

Jerome: Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. has visited:

The Kitchen, where Austin and Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. had a minor altercation.

The Servants quarters - where Jerome saw a vision of Clint approaching a bed with someone in it, and beat the person with a piece of lead piping. After several lashes, he lifted the sheet, and threw it back down angrily.

The Office, where Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D expressed much wrath toward Mr Black, and caused these scratches. [Again shows his hands]

The Bathroom, in which Jerome relieved himself while watching Harvey open and enter a small door. That is also where Jerome solved a puzzle, and retrieved this key. [Shows a key]

Mr Blacks Room, in which an apparation [stresses that word] of Clint murdered Black. Black attempted to say a word, which was four syllables ending in "O", or he got killed before he could finish it.

Clint: Whoa there, Doc. I saw the *apparation* in Black's room and it could have been any of us men. I don't know about you, but all I could see of the *apparation* was his hands and part of his arms. I found my key in my room after solving the puzzle. I solved another in Harvey's room, but someone already had taken the key. By the way... Black say something while being murdered. It appeared to have four syllables and ended in a "O" or he wasn't done saying it. Could it have been I-ok So-to...... without the "T"?

Harvey: [Bellows loudly, eyebrows raised] What? Sotot killed Black because he wasn't invited to tea? Preposterous notion sir, preposterous! Gah ha! Ludicrous in the extreme! Almost as good as the horse joke! [Looks around the faces of the party] Oh...and I went to the games room, the office and the servants quarters. I found a key in the games room...and I found the severed head in the kitchen.

Alice : You found a horses head? Shriek! Maybe that's who did it, Don Corleone, and poor old Black only got out the "Don Corleo-" part? Crikey, we better fork out some protection money quick sharp!

Austin: I must confess the key I possessed was the one from Harvey's room, as the Bathroom had previously been solved. In Harvey's room I discovered some blood stained sheets, and Alice confessing to what appeared to be Harvey's body her guilt of murder. Yet Harvey was not there. In the bathroom while looking for a reflective surface, I saw Harvey arsing about. In the kitchen, Jerome had a bit of a falling out with me, over some woman. In the drawing room, I discovered the extent of Harvey's wrath. And finally in Jerome's room I saw Jerome also arsing about.

Stephen: [Stands with hands on hips looking excited] Well, you wouldn't believe what I got to see. First, I went to the office, and saw Jerome saying that he was going to kill Mr. Black. Then I went to the Drawing room where Aussie was starkers, and Harv said he'd kill anyone who touched that trollope of a maid. But that's nothing compared to what I saw upstairs. [Takes a deep breath before continuing] I saw the whole thing with the toe in Blacky's room. But, in my boudoir, Harv actually confessed to killing Mr. Black. They were all visions, you understand.

Alice : Crikey! Horses heads! Toes killing people? Just what the hell is going on here? Is it the case that different people see different visions in different rooms at different times?

Clint: [Cups his hands to amplify his voice and says loudly to Harvey] I SAID I THINK BLACK SAID "IOK SOTOT!" NO I DON'T THINK HE LIKED TEA!

Harvey: [Looks at Clint] I know Black didn't like tea! Brought him out in a rash, don't you know. [Turns back to Alice] Hmm, dearest niece, a valid point indeed. It's quite possible that different people do indeed see different visions. When I was in the Servants Quarters, I saw [points at Stephen] whatshisname fighting with Black over one of his movies! He threatened to cut out Blacks heart!

Austin: [Clasps his hands over his head and bends over double, breathing deeply and slowly] Philli, give me patience. [Stands upright again, then addresses the party as if a batch of school children] It seems that most visions are shared, and some perhaps not, yet I would urge towards action as the chest intrigues me. We may stand here arguing forever, and the contents of the safe may well provide the solution to all our questions. [Looks toward Harvey beseechingly]

Alice : Well then Aussie, perhaps you might cease attacking Uncle H and give a useful suggestion. I saw something different to Uncle H in the servants quarters, and I certainly didn't see any horses heads! [Turns to Clint] Quite honestly, I don't care whether or not you like tea.

Clint: I told you I didn't kill Black. Who did Alice kill then? Was she talking about killing Black in checkers or what? Maybe she didn't mean she literally killed whoever she confessed to killing. Does this make sense to anyone? There has to be a reasonable explaination to all of this. Maybe Sotot took the form of each of us and did these things and killed Black, the butler, and Ms. Tiger. Can he shape-shift?

Jerome: Let us investigate the differences between the stories regarding the Servants Quarters. Jerome saw CLINT approached a bed with someone in it, and beat the person with a piece of lead piping. After several lashes, he lifted the sheet, and threw it back down angrily.

Jerome: And also, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. would like to make apologies and rescind his previous error regarding Black's room. The hands Jerome saw are not identifiable as belonging to Clint - Jerome had the Servants Quarters confused with Blacks room.

Jerome: Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. believes that we should all take the next half hour to extensively search the entire house, separately. When all is done, we can compare stories and discover if there is any truth or consistancy to these visions.

Harvey: [Nodding in approval] Well said there, doctor. But there is only one person who will be able to tell if the visions are true or no, mmpfh. And that's the one who committed these heinous crimes! [Thinks for a moment] Now, I don't wish to cause any undue suspicion, but there is only one among us [casts a sidelong look at Stephen] whom no-one remembers from Queens View. No one remembers him joining the party. In fact, no one remembers him prior to Iok Sotots temple. Does anyone but me find this suspicious, under the current circumstances?

Alice : Crikey Uncle! Good point. And, [whirling around to face Stephen] all but Stephen have been observed in some vision or another up to no good. [Looks at Jerome] Are you suggesting that we all visit EVERY room in the house?

[From the table comes the voice of AUSTIN, who is sitting there talking to JEROME, ALICE, BLACK, STEPHEN, CLINT and HARVEY.]

Austin : So, Mr. Black, you are claiming that you spiked our food and drink with the virulent Mescyote to protect us from Iok Sotot whom we saw killed with our own eyes?

Black : That is exactly what I'm telling you.

Harvey : Gah! What nonsense you talk, Black. Let us bring forth the delightful Cindy once more and think of other [licks his lips] more entertaining things.

Stephen : [Regarding Austin's naked torso with greedy eyes] I'm with you Colonel!

Alice : [Slowly and deliberately, obviously very angry] Don't you understand? Don't any of you understand? Don't you understand who we brought into the house? Men like you, you think you're so creative, but you don't know what it means to create, to create a life, to feel it growing inside you. Men like you, men like you created the atom bomb, men like you ..

Black : Yes yes yes, whatever. But don't you see? That's why I put so much of the drug in the food - it is the only way to keep him in check until we can use the talisman.

[As the image of CLINT falls off his chair, sound asleep, the other figures disappear.]

Stephen : [In shock] Aarrrghh. Clint is Iok Sotot! [Runs towards Clint and tries to pull his mask off]

Clint: [Calmly looks at Stephen pulling on his nose] Please let go before I rip your face off.

Austin: [Looks at Clint's feeble effort at lifting Stephen] You are extremely eager to exert yourself for one that should be recuperating. Such blood loss cannot be overcome by trying to lose more. However, before you do expire I have upon my person, somewhere [quickly roots through his tunic, but does not manage to extricate the obvious form, then mutters] blood and sweat, where I have I placed it. [Once again to Clint] No matter. Upon signature it would allow us to equally divide your possessions among the party, of which I would extricate a mere three in eight part for personal services, and impose a further fourteen in twenty-one part tariff upon the remaining part for the service of distributing said personal effects among the other parties involved. [His eyes suddenly flare up, as if an insight has occurred. He then bends down, removes his left shoe, unfolds a form FF-8182 A.3, replaces his shoe and hands the form to Clint] Fortunately, there is no requirement for witnesses, when you do sign. [Hands Clint a well-chewed BIC biro] And I wish for my writing utensil to be returned upon completion.

[CLINT catches STEPHEN by the front of his pyjamas and pushes him back. The two of them stand there, STEPHEN with a finger from each hand wedged in CLINT's nostrils and another finger in his mouth, while CLINT is holding him back. Curiously, the mask doesn't come off.]

Alice : Crikey! What I'd give for a camera now! Stephen, make sure you wash your hands after this.

Jerome: [With an exasperated sigh as if to say "here we go again"] Let us not be distracted by this unknown homosexual, who's only claim to fame is that he produces lousy movies. Perhaps it is Stephen who is Sotot? We all saw what Dan did to him, that would explain Stephen's behavior.

Harvey: [Looking at the scene with mounting horror] Gah! He's trying to kill Clint! I saw a native use the "finger nostril brain puncture" technique back in '46. Pulled the fellows brain out through his nose! That little faggot plans to kill us one by one! By God, I think he is Sotot!

Alice : [In horror] Kill Clint? [Pauses a second and continues in a calmer voice] Kill Clint? Hmm. Tough call eh? Let a nephew of the Devil free or get rid of Clint? I suppose we better stop him - unhand him Stephen, unhand him or by crikey you'll feel cold sharp china across your bonce. [Wields her china dog again.]

Stephen : Mmppff. Gah. Don't you see. Clint is Iok Sotot. When we brought him back to life, instead of getting his soul back, Iok Sotot got there first. Clint is an imposter! [Attempt to kick Clint in the ball(s)] Take that!

[STEPHEN brings his knee up between CLINT's legs and, judging by the contorted look of horror, agony, helplessness and perhaps a little pleasure, makes contact with an area of some tenderness. CLINT's grip relaxes and he falls to a crumpled heap on the floor, unconscious.]

Alice : Crikey! He's killed him! [Steps back from Iok, I mean, Stephen]

Harvey: I see your game, soft lad! You want us all to gang up and kill Clint in the mistaken belief that he is Sotot! Well it won't work, you twinkletoed trickster! [Points at Stephen] Is that how you murdered Black?. Did you trick one of our party into thinking he was the Dark One? Or did you do the dark deed yourself, as you said you would in the vision? Gah! We've been conned all along!

Stephen: [Hands over his mouth] Oh no. What have I done? [To the others] I've seen this in a film before. We all think Iok Sotot is dead, but he's not. [Pulls out his ivory handled dagger and speaks to Austin] I say we cut his throat and finish the job. Aussie, you'll witness that I'm doing this in pure self-defence, won't you?

Alice : Crikey! He is Iok Sotot! [Crashes her china dog on to STEPHEN's head, breaking it.] Bastard! He just broke my dog!

[CLINT begins stirring. Apparantly, he is not dead after all.]

Austin: Ask me not to witness should a treacherous act. Necrophilia does not become even a man of your nature. I would also like to add that were you to continue, then you would implicate yourself in some manner, in the occurrences of last night. Therefore I would warn you to not commit an act that you may later regret. Knowing that I myself, may have been in Clint's position I would also not deign to offer my services, were you to continue in your current vein of action. Finally, I would like to assure you that I would not take part in any form of retribution, nor act on the part of prosecution were you to continue the dastardly deed you suggest.

Stephen: [Eyes brighten at the sight of Clint awakening. Looks blankly into space, glancing down at Clint every so often] What's that you say mother? But I can't do that mother. It's wrong. [Kneels beside Clint] Okay mother, for the good of the motel. [Unzips Clint's trousers and starts to pull them down] What's a morning glory, mother?

Alice : [Angrily to the rest of the party] For Phili's sake, are we just going to stand around? Harvey, Jerome, move yourselves! [Goes to a sideboard and picks up an expensive looking glass lamp] It seems a shame to waste such an item of beauty to save Clint, but something has to be done.

Harvey: [Clearly annoyed] Oh shut your face, Alice! Can't you see that the good Doctor is tying the arse bandit up? [To the other members of the party] Lads, if Stephen Sotot moves, or tries to escape, don't hesitate to run him through with something. Philli only knows what devils he can magic up to kill us! [Harveys eyes search the room for anything that could be used as a weapon]

Alice : [Mouth hanging in shock] What? I beg your pardon! I'll thank you to mind your tongue, Uncle. [Looks at Jerome] With what to you propose to tie up Stephen?

Jerome: [Pulling out what appears to be an ordinary length of rope, and starts to tie Stephen up with it] Never fear! The Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. Offender Apprehender will confine this most dastardly of villans. [Makes a few elaborate knots, which look like they could fall open at any second] You wont be hurting any of us again, foul faggot!

[JEROME produces some rope and begins tying up STEPHEN, who doesn't appear to notice.]

Alice : I guess this means we've found Iok Sotot, eh? Pretty clever, aren't we uncle?

Harvey: [Nods to Alice] Apologies for my manners, Alice. I was caught up in, mmpfh, the excitement of the moment. [Turns back to Jerome and Stephen] Quick, lets finsh this evil fucker off while he's at his weakest! If he regains his strength, we could be all done for! We saw what he was capable of in the temple!

Stephen: [Comes out of his trance. Notices Clint with his trousers down and Jerome tying him up, and smiles] Oh, Jerome, why didn't you say before if you wanted to tie me up? Never mind. Let's just kill Iok Sotot first though, eh? [Nods to Clint]

Harvey: Gah! He's trying to bewitch you doctor! I've heard tales from seafarers about creatures called Sirens, who, using nothing but their voices, can enchant people to do their bidding! Ha sir! [to Stephen] You will not find us as easy to trick a second time! Quickly now, he must be gagged!

[HARVEY rips off his sleeve and ties it around STEPHEN's mouth, effectively gagging him.]

Harvey : Hah fudge packer! Try using your evil tricks now.

Alice : Crikey! Looks like I owe you an apology Jerome, I'm terribly sorry I ever even considered that you might be behind the murders. [Glances at Clint and mumbles] Mm sry clnt. Anyway, what do we do with Stephen Sotot?

Jerome: Though Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc Ph.D. has the utmost faith in the judicial system, if Stephen were to be bought to justice he would merely spend the rest of his life chained up with a large homosexual, who would commit the grossest acts of demeaning sodomy on him. [Looks around the party] Jerome doesn't believe this filth should be rewarded in any way - and any who don't believe me should watch his films. But, let us jump not to conclusions - can we indeed be sure that this is a reincarnation of Sotot? Perhaps we should drag him along behind us like a gimp while we search the house for answers?

Alice : Crikey Jer! You saw the way he was carrying on, like some bad actor in a cheap film made by Stephen Hitchberg. Why else would he behave in such a way unless he was [lowers her voice] the evil one? [Looks brightly] Hey! Wouldn't that be a good name for a film Stephen? Oh, you're bound and gagged because you're the devil incarnate, sorry about that!

Harvey: [Steps warily away from Stephen] Yes indeed Alice. But it all makes sense, don't you think. Who of us remembers this man before entering Sotots house of hell? Who was not injured during the battle with Sotot, and then miraculously escaped injury again during the fight with his cursed offspring? How did the Pearses know we were travelling on Diceys boat? How did those religious zealots know we were there? [Harvey scratches at his privates] Because this little perfumed ponce orchestrated the whole thing! But we all saw with our own eyes, this filth [looks back at Stephen] attempt to murder a member of our party! Gah! We may not get another break like this!

Jerome: [To Harvey] Then, revered Colonel, you agree that this visitor to vegemite valley should not be let out of our site? The only reasonable, humane solution, Jerome is sure you will concur, is to discover all of the facts, colate the evidence, and base a sound scientific conclusion on all relevant information. Therefore, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. proposes that we all search the house, room by room, together and dragging this bottom dweller with us. [Scratches his chin thoughtfully] We could even appoint Clint as his personal guard, as Mr Scar has less reason to be gentle than the rest of us. [Looking at Clint] Does anyone have anything we could aid our fallen comrade with?

Alice : [Pouring out a glass of water and putting on the floor beside Clint.] There, I'm sure that'll do. Okay, so what room shall we check?

Harvey: [Bends and picks up the glass and takes a huge gulp from it. Spinning quickly, he fires the glass into the fireplace, where it shatters to pieces] Ahhh lovely! Almost as nice as lapping at water poured between a pair of huge breasts! Almost as niece, I mean..nice. Gah! If we must pull this pomandered buftie along after us, then we must. Personally, I think we should end its fetid life now before any more of us are murdered! Philli only knows the powers this thing posesses! Why, even now, his followers could be laying siege to this house!

Alice : All the more important to find that final key, now, where next?

Harvey: [Tuts loudly] Alright then! We'll deal with this devil after we find your precious fucking key! I mean, in all honesty, we have captured Iok Sotot for Phillis sake! We should end it now! Once he is out of the way, we could search for your key at our leisure, without running the risk of being stabbed in the back, or, or turned into a toad! Would you like that, dear niece? Would you? To spend the rest of your days sitting in some pond, croaking to your hearts content?

Alice : [Taken aback] Uncle Harvey! I'm sure there's no need to be quite so rude about it. And, [one hand on her hip, the other pointing angrily at Harvey] may I just point out Mr. Dirty Mouth, one of the vision thingys said that Black's talisman was needed to kill of Iok. Now, are you going to be difficult or are we going to find the key?

Harvey: [Places one hand on his hip and points back at Alice] I'm not been difficult, little miss mammaries, I'm being sensible! We cannot trust these visions! These visions are most likely the work of Sotot! It is clearly his intention to send us on some wild goose chase, hunting for a damned key that doesn't exist, or worse, we find the key and try to use the talisman to kill him, but instead, increase his power a hundred fold! If the talisman does exist, there must be some damned good reason Black kept it so well locked away from Sotot! Gah! By finding the talisman, we could be bringing about the end of the world!

Alice : [Pointing at Harvey so now both their fingers are touching] Good Phili! What is wrong with you uncle? If Sotot is still alive, which I doubt, as I saw with my own eyes that he is deader than tank tops, why on earth would he make us see these visions? Why wouldn't he just come in and kill us?

Harvey: Gah! [Throws both hands in the air, in an exasperated gesture] How the hell would I know, I'm not Iok Sotot! I'm just trying to think through all the possibilites! Perhaps that wasn't Sotot we saw being killed. Perhaps Sotot has been with us all along! Nobody knows what Sotot looks like, do they? This whole thing could be an elaborate plan to get his hands on the talisman! Or that sword in Waterdeep!

Alice : [Even more exasperated] Of course we know what he looks like, we saw him! Back in the temple - a big baldy head, horrid yellow teeth and a breath, quite frankly that reminded one of Clint's body odour on a bad day.

Harvey: [Raises his voice even more] Because that creature you describe *said* he was Iok Sotot! We've no idea if it was or not! As far as I'm concerned, the first time we truly me Sotot was when Stephen appeared. Our first supposed meeting with Sotot was a sham, designed to make us accept Stephen into our party! When all along, it was actually Sotot we were travelling with!

Alice : Don't you shout at me, you naughty man! You weren't there when Iok was killed, you were in that soul prison. Several people, including the one who stabbed him claimed that he was Iok Sotot.

[Amidst all the arguing, a number of figures form around the table, BLACK, STEPHEN, JEROME and ALICE are here. The table looks as though the meal has been finished.]

Jerome : [Curtly] Yes? What did you want to say to me?

Black : Could we speak in private?

Stephen : Oh Alice! Look at that, the men want us to go! Come, I'll see if I can find you something nicer to wear, that fluffy sweater makes you look such a bimbo!

Alice : Touch me again and I'll cut your arm off.

Stephen : Touchy! Well, I know where I'm not wanted. *sigh* How boring, not even my camera to record my terrible treatment.

[Exit STEPHEN.]

Black : In private?

Jerome : Anything you want to say to me, Black, can be said in front of the lovely, polite and gracious Alice.

Alice : [Picking her nose] Oh, shut up Jerome.

Black : Yes, she should be okay. Look, the others told me about the soul prisons - that's how Sotot was able to leap into one of their bodies, being in the prison-

Jerome : Enough! I've heard enough, come on Alice.

Alice : I couldn't be bothered moving.

[Exit JEROME]

Black : You must listen, it could save your life!

Alice : Tell it to someone who cares.

[The figures fade.]

Stephen : Mu Muckin Masters! Mrl mgjet mu, mu, mu, mu marpists. Mu mummer muckers. [Wildly struggles to get free] Mu mon't meamise me mamer mur m. Mi mow mo me murmemer murmemer murmemer mis. [Stops struggling, looking resigned to his fate]

Alice : [With a look of astonishment] Did he just say that he would like to drink a pint of wood?

Jerome: [Moving forward to Stephen, motioning for the others to grab large club-like weapons and surround the captive (do you know how difficult it is to get that much information into a single motion? I hope you all realize just how clever Jerome is)] Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. will remove the Dr Jerome K. Trindle. B.Sc. Ph.D. Voice Muffling Cloth for a few seconds. Jerome suggests the comments you make in those seconds be as persuasive as possible. [Removes the gag for a few seconds, then plugs it back in.]

Alice : [As Jerome slaps her across the ear with all his arm waving and hand gestures] Ow! I hope you know what you're doing Jerry.

Harvey: [Mouth drops open as he watches Jerome remove the gag] Good God you fucking idiot! What do you think you're doing? You've just killed us all! [Harvey stomps around the room, raising his arms in obvious annoyance] Of all the fucking moronic things I've ever seen, *that* just entered the charts at number one! Have I just been talking out of my arse-hole for the last five minutes? By Philli's penis-helmet, I don't believe it!

Alice : [Mouth drops open as she watches Harvey rant] Good God Harvey, what has got into you? There is no need for that kind of foul language - Jerome is only trying to give him a chance - we don't want repetition of the Moe Moe incident now, do we?

Jerome: [While removing the gag] Jerome believes that we should investigate Austin's room first, as no-one has searched there.

Alice : Well said Jerry, it's good to see that someone is concerned about finding the key instead of shouting and roaring about frogs. Why don't we split up one last time to check out the rooms? Then we can meet back here and figure out what's going on. What do you think?

Jerome: Certainly! Let us away now! [Strides for the door, all thoughts of listening to Stephen gone]

[Act 5, Scene 7. Austin's Bedroom. 8.45AM. CLINT, HARVEY, JEROME, AUSTIN, STEPHEN and ALICE are here. One entire wall is taken up with AUSTIN's portable folding mirror, while the rest of the room is covered in pictures of AUSTIN and MAPLIN. The mirrored wall shimmers, before a scene slowly materialises. There is an image of AUSTIN, sitting on the bed, polishing MAPLIN. He gets up and goes to the door]

Austin : Knowest that thou dost disturb me in the purest of activities - the polishing of Maplin is a task which cannot be taken lightly. [Opens the door.]

[Enter STEPHEN]

Austin : Are thou stupid? Dost thou believe I would abandon the polishing of Maplin for you?

Stephen : Oh Austin, you are such a card. I want you to come this minute to my bedroom.

Austin : [Turning away from STEPHEN, shielding his eyes with MAPLIN] Remove thyself from my presence before I am forced to kill you.

Stephen : No, I mean it, you must come to my room, I have something important to show you.

Austin : Out, out I say!

Stephen : You must come, it might explain something about the way that terrible Mr. Black is behaving.

Austin : Enough. I cannot bear your supidity a second longer, remove yourself.

[The scene fades in the mirror, with the two still bickering. One one wall is a picture of two broken wheels, below it are two buttons, one marked `yes' and the other `no'. There is also a slot and a vent near the buttons.]

Alice : Crikey! Will they fix the wheels or not? Hmm. Did anyone see anything of interest?

Jerome: [After a quick glance to make everyone think that he's just making a decision now, and hasn't already studied it for several minutes before the others came into the room] Just from a casual glance, Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. believes that Wheel A can be fixed with pieces 2 and 4, but pieces 1 and 3 will leave a gap in Wheel B. Therefore, the answer is [presses the NO button]

Alice : No! It's obvious to any fool that they don't-

[JEROME presses the button and there is an ominous sound of gears grinding behind the wall. A few seconds pass before a key pops out.]

Alice : Don't... don't serve any purpose other than fixing the wheels. Good stuff Jerry!

Jerome: [After a wee think] It is Jerome's belief that he has pieced together part of last night, being:

Harvey leaves his room through the secret door.

Clint comes into Harvey's room, and bashes at whatever is in the bed with a lead pipe. Discovering nothing is there, he returns to his room and places the lead pipe on his bed.

Alice was waiting for Clint in his bedroom, hiding in the wardrobe in fact. She knocks Clint around with the Candlestick.

Thinking she's killed Clint, she rushes to Harvey's room to tell him, only to find that he's not there, and the bed is ruffled from Clint's little spat.

Harvey's secret passage takes him into Jerome's room, as Jerome saw Harvey exit a small door, and also was woken by someone in his room.

Harvey leaves again, and Jerome quickly searches where Harvey came from, and discovers the secret passage.

Jerome: [Looking around the party] Perhaps we should investigate this secret passage?

Alice : [Suspiciously] And just what Uncle Harvey was doing sneaking through hidden doors? I find it amazing that people spent their time searching for hidden doors - it's hardly the way one should behave when one is a guest in another's home. Harvey, what do you have to say about this?

Harvey: You're probably very good at checking out passages, usually back ones, I'll warrant.

Clint: [Starts to stand up with hands over his crotch] *squeak* .... hurt... oh damn.... hurt...

Austin: [Saunters over to Stephen, and bends down closely to peer into his eyes] Fear not, for I have a method of proving that you are innocent, and such accusations that stand against you shall be rebutted in the full. It shall also come to pass, that we shall find the true Iok Sotot if he has not already met his demise, and destroy him, if we can assume that Black has told no untruths, which personally I find difficult to believe. My plan would be to find the final key, and unlock the talisman, whereupon in sunlight we may place it upon your forehead, if such is the manner of how these gadgets work [looks at Jerome for confirmation] and in such a way determine from your reaction what truth there is in the beliefs of the masses.

Alice : [Suspiciously] And just what Uncle Harvey was doing sneaking through hidden doors? I find it amazing that people spent their time searching for hidden doors - it's hardly the way one should behave when one is a guest in another's home. Harvey, what do you have to say about this?

Stephen : [To Jerome] Any chance you have a pacifier for the ears so I don't have to listen to the foul and abusive language that is spouting from the civvy over there. [nods to Harvey] Clint ! Carry me to Mr Black's room, where we shall find one end of the secret passage! [To the party] It's really quite obvious. And we're all about to die because of your collective ineptitude.

Austin: [Bows to Jerome] Good sir, your detective skills are indeed astounding, however I would postulate that the secret passage that Harvey traversed was actually from your [points a finger at Jerome] bathroom and leads directly into Black's room. This leads easily to the conclusion that Black was killed before his door was broken down. And I would further put it to you that he [points to Harvey] committed the crime with the Cello string from the Games room. And the motive, I would infer from previous conversation, was a battle of honour, much like the fights among a pack of wolves to prove leadership virtues and worth - if you could not kill the Donkhound, then kill the killer of the Donkhound and you have proved not only the ability of the victim, but that you are a more capable killer than the aforementioned party. However, let us return to the Dining room with this newly acquired key, and put the talisman to the test.

Jerome: [To Harvey] Perhaps you need some brandy, good sir. You may find it curbs your natural instinct to be a cunt.

Jerome: [Thinks on it, obviously trying to find holes in Austin's theory] It does seem more logical your way, Jerome must admit. In fact, Jerome can be ruled out of the murder of Black for that one reason - Black would not have put the killer in the room with the secret passage. [Looks out a window] Is it light enough yet to use the Talisman, do you think? Jerome thinks not, and therefore we should investigate this passage before we open the safe.

Clint: [Eyes crossed making unmanly whimpers] hurt... oh pain... oh agony...I only have one left.

Alice : [Horrified] Jerome! Behave yourself! And you too, Harvey, what do you think you're playing at? You've been jolly well objectionable all morning. That said, I think Aussie has a good point, maybe we all broke the door down to find out what happened to Black.

Alice : [Curtly] You want to go to the toilet? Well, there's no one stopping you. Trying to sneak out of bondage is the kind of tricky thing Iok would do, I vote he stays.

Clint: [Rubbing his crotch] I don't think he needs to go that bad. Um... I sorta remembered something else. The talisman can trap the soul of a person. I remember Black telling me. Will that help?

Harvey: You seem to be remembering a whole lot of things lately. But I must confess, I was the one who helped to kick open Blacks door with you. I recall there was the sound of a scuffle inside, so we both broke the lock. I can't remember anything other than that, though. [Strokes his chin, deep in thought, before shrugging]

Alice : What subject? The toilet or where this other passage is? We don't have any chance of finding it - we could search the house for four years, two months and three days and still not find it. Pity there isn't another clue.

Alice : [Exasperated, to Clint] Could you possibly be more vague? How does it trap a soul? Where does it put it? How do we stop the soul from escaping? How will we be 93breakfast? I'm starving!

Stephen : [To Austin] So Aussie, darling. Have you got any ideas on the subject? I'm sure you'll agree with me that I'm right [nods to Harvey]. Or have you got your own thoughts?

Jerome: [To Alice] Worry not about the usage of the talisman, as Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. is confident he can work out the procedure. [Looks around the party] When we get the safe open, it is Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D.'s belief that HE should be the only person able to take posession of the device - as we don't want either Harvey or Stephen to use it, and Jerome will discover HOW to use it. Are we agreed?

Clint: Jerry, Black told me exactly how it works and I will be glad to tell you, but only you and maybe Alice as it seems she is still her normal "I-hate-Clint" state of mind. I don't think I should tell anyone else how it works, though. And, Alice.... if I do tell you, you have to swear to me that you will not tell your uncle, even though he is related to you. He seems a bit disturbed at the moment.

Alice : How dare you suggest my Uncle is a bit disturbed at the moment! I'll have you know he has *always* been a bit disturbed - all that side of the family were since cousin Pearse spiked the food at the family reunion with Moroccan Black. However, I agree that Jerome would be the best to figure out the talisman - although only because he is clever, and not, as you seem to be suggesting that I am in anyway suspicious of Harvey. I accept he has been a little cranky this morning, but we were up very early, so I'm sure that explains that. Now what's the plan? Will we try and find this passage Jerry saw from his bed or try out the talisman and see what happens?

Clint: [Looks hurt] I'm sorry, Alice. If you want me to tell him too, I will. But I refuse to tell Stephen Sotot the secret that Black entrusted in me.

Alice : Well, that's okay so. Now, what next? Deal with Stephen Sotot or find the passage?

Clint: Ok. I'll tell you now before you forget. [Whispers something to Harvey, Alice, and Stephen, leaving out Austin and Stephen]

Alice : [Looks suspiciously over at Austin] Is there some reason that we can't tell Aussie about the t- ... about the thing? Why don't we just whip open the safe and let it do the business on SS?

Jerome: [Holding up his hand] Let us concern ourselves with one item at a time - Jerome believes the next on the agenda is to discover the location and destination of a second passage in Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D.'s bedroom. Let us now take care of that. [Walks to his room, and looks around]

Harvey: [Face like thunder] I don't like what that little poof is insinuating. Neither do I like what that [points at Jerome] halfwit is implying! Lets clear this up once and for all. Lets put this talisman to the test. And I'm sure those of us whom think I'm guilty, will be most relieved to hear that I'm willing to be tested first. As I said from the begining, I've nothing to hide! Unlike the murderer.

Stephen : [Getting angry. Looks like he is about to cry] Oh pleeeaaassse! I am not Sotot. I am sure Jez will agree with me. Why would I be so keen to get hold of the Talisman if I am Sotot. Let's forget about the non-existant second passage. Let's get the safe open!

[ALICE runs across the room and leaps onto JEROME's bed, as she lands there is an audible crack.]

Alice : Ow! [Feels under the clothes] Sorry Jerry, I think I broke your er.. [holds up a broken sextant] your um.. your thing. [Puts it back down again.]

[Through the window comes a crack of light, illuminating the room.]

Alice : Maybe they're right Jerry, maybe we should use the talisman now, while we can.

Jerome: After the briefest of searches, Jerome believes we should go downstairs to attempt the safe. [Looks around quickly for the passage]

Alice : Why don't you help him, Aussie? You're supposed to be good at finding secret knobs, aren't you?

Austin: [Beats his head on the wall] Why do none hearken to my words. The safe it is and tempt me not to open with nervous hands, for then shall we all perish.

Clint: [Takes out a cigar, inspects it, and lights it] Damn... I'm down to my cheap-three-copper-piece Hillsfar cigars. This is bad... very bad. [Seems to snap out of the little cigar influenced spell] I agree with Jerry... whatever he said. [Puffs on his cigar and dazes off again]

Alice : So, you mean instead of a horrid disgusting smell, there will now be a cheap, horrid disgusting smell?

[JEROME gives up his search and the party return to the Dining Room. The safe is still there, as are the four keys. The party gather around the table where the safe is.]

Alice : Crikey! This is exciting, isn't it? [Looks around at the others] So, who's it going to be to open it?

Jerome: Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. will attempt the feat. [To Austin] Is there anything about this safe, in particular the last key, that Jerome should know before attempting this?

Austin: [Looks at the key in Jerome's hand, then at his face, then back at the key in Jerome's hand] Yes, there is something you should know. That last key fits the last lock. I cannot understand that you put me at risk to undo the first four locks, then take upon yourself all the glory of unlocking the last - I cannot warn you enough that there is extreme danger in the attempt of this feat and I would urge you to take the utmost care. However, I cannot warn you what will take place after the fifth lock is undone, and were you to take it upon yourself, I would stand outside the door. Or you could simply hand me the key.

Jerome: Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. will attempt the feat. [To Austin] Is there anything about this safe, in particular the last key, that Jerome should know before attempting this?

Alice : [Frustrated] Men! What does it matter who opens the thing, just open it! [Looks to Jerome] Aussie might be more qualified to this, because he does tend to spend time sneaking into houses and stealing things.

Jerome: Jerome was actually attempting to not hurt your feelings, Austin, as if you want to open the safe, which Jerome believes you are the best qualified to do, Jerome must demand that you immediately step back to allow Jerome to take posession of the Talisman. [Holds out the key for if Austin wants it]

Harvey: By crikey, what's going on here? Pretty boy here [nods towards Austin] is the obvious choice for opening the chest, yet the doctor wants to be first to get his hands on the talisman. Most peculiar. [To Jerome] Hoi, why are you so eager all of a sudden! [Steps back and shields Alice] I know your game, boy! You won't get her soul, you obnoxious fucksack! What are those veins appearing all over his neck and face? It's Sotot!

Jerome: [To Harvey] Hello kettle? It's the pot - you're black. Seek not to cast spurious accusations at Jerome, Colonel. Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. is thinking for the good of the party, as he is not under suspician.

Stephen : [Laughing hysterically] Oh, Jez, you can be soooo cute. Now, if you'd kindly undo my bounds which, I must say, are the best set of bondage material I have ever come across. You'll go far, Jerry, mark my words. Can I perhaps keep these, or purchase a set from you? We could go into partnership selling them. I have many contacts who'd gladly pay a hefty sum of money. [To Austin] Aussie, I need a good lawyer. Know anyone?

Alice : [Struggling to see passed Harvey] Out of the way Unc, I want to see this! I don't see any veins on Jerome's face - only the normal ones, and [a sudden look of comprehension comes across her face and she looks to Jerome, horrified] you mean? You mean that... that Uncle Harvey is Black? Maybe that's why he's been so strange lately - oh no! Two possessions in one party and only one talisman!

Austin: [Snatches the key from Jerome's grasp and jabs it in his face (not physically, but like pointing a finger)] Yes, I shall stand back and let you remove your precious talisman, as Clint has told you how it should be handled - but forget not that Harvey too, knows that secret, and I will not guard your back. Therefore, I would suggest that you release Stephen as he is the only one willing to guard your ass. [Swings back towards the safe, and attempts to open the last lock].

[AUSTIN hunches over the safe and opens the first three locks as before, then, pausing only to wipe a bead of persperation from his brow with a ludicrously large silken handkerchief, unlocks the final two. He steps back from the talisman to allow JEROME access, but as he puts his hands around it, HARVEY grabs ALICE and shoves her at him.]

Alice : Ow! [Crashing into Jerome]

[The talisman is knocked from JEROME's hands and flies into the air.]

Harvey: You bunch of fucking cunts! [Attempts to grab the talisman]

Austin: [Shouts at Clint] Grab the talisman, thou clumsy oaf for thou knowest it's use and I shall attempt to deter this Sotot beridden Colonel. [Ducks under the spinning talisman and grabs the safe off the table, hefts the safe above his head and is about to throw it at Harvey].

[AUSTIN hunches over the safe and opens the first three locks as before, then, pausing only to wipe a bead of persperation from his brow with a ludicrously large silken handkerchief, unlocks the final two. He steps back from the talisman to allow JEROME access, but as he puts his hands around it, HARVEY grabs ALICE and shoves her at him.]

Alice : Ow! [Crashing into Jerome]

[The talisman is knocked from JEROME's hands and flies into the air.]

[AUSTIN grabs the safe and as he tries a startled look comes across his face, as though he suddenly realises what physical labour involves. The safe doesn't budge an inch.]

Alice : [Still off balance] So let me get this straight, Uncle Harvey isn't Uncle Harvey and he isn't Mr. Black? He's Iok Sotot? Crikey!

Stephen : Eeek. Alice! Get over here and untie me. [Struggles furiously to get free]

Harvey: [Flabbergasted] What? Kettle? Pot? What the hell are you gabbing on about, man? To talk insane and expect us to trust you with our lives? Well I for one hold you under suspicion.

[ALICE and JEROME finally disentangle themselves and turn to watch HARVEY leap into the air with surprising agility and catch the talisman, before landing, again with remarkable grace.]

Alice : Well done Uncle! And look, Clump didn't even make a move. It's just as well you're here, isn't it?

Harvey : Shut up you stupid bitch! Shut your fucking mouth until I've something to put into it.

Alice : [Slowly realisation dawns] You mean ...

Harvey : I mean you're fucked. You're all fucked. [Stands there, as though daring someone to make a move.]

Jerome: Austin! Help Clint! [To Harvey] So, one bout of anal sex not enough for you, eh? That explains why you've been coming on to Stephen so much. I wont untie Stephen for you, I'm sure you like your queers tied. [Jerome starts muttering under his breath]

Clint: Sheeeot! I don't need Austin's help. Remember how well I did last time Sotot tangled with me? [Looks odd for a second] Wait... oh yeah, I remember now... maybe I could use some help. I remember the unmistakable taste of Sotot's boot in my mouth. Nasty thing really. So, Sotot how was yer boy? How was it like to be his first? [Winks]

Harvey : Shut up, shut up you fucker! [Dramatically swings the talisman at Clint, smashing it against his head.]

Alice : Harvey! No!

[The talisman shatters on impact with CLINT, and he staggers across the room with blood pouring from his head (the blow reopened the wounds put there by person(s) unknown). He falls against a sideboard and, catching the tablecloth on it, falls to the ground, bringing all the vases and priceless glass items crashing to the floor. He lies motionless.]

Alice : Clint! No! Those vases are worth a fortune! [Runs to Stephen and unties the ropes]

[AUSTIN seems to shimmer for a second before disappearing. HARVEY looks at the spot where AUSTIN was and picks up the dagger that CLINT dropped.]

Harvey : [To Jerome] Pathetic, you're all pathetic, but I think I'll kill you first, just to be on the safe side.

Jerome: [While appearing to adjust something on his glasses] Hmmm.. The Dr Jerome K. Trindle B.Sc. Ph.D. heat sensitive optical receptors should be able to... Ah! That's it Austin, grab the Talisman! [Mutters some words, causing raw magical energies to dance around his fingertips.]

[Two jets of flame shoot from JEROME's hands and hit HARVEY, who reels momentarily.]

Alice : Jerome! That's Uncle Harvey! [Finishes untying Stephen, with tears streaming down her face] Don't hurt him, he's really the most gentle person in the world!

Harvey : [Runs at Jerome, gashing him with the dagger] You fucker! I'm going to kill you!

Jerome: [To Alice] Yes, Jerome can see that. [Looking past Harvey] Yes, Austin, backstab him! [Draws a dagger, and lunges at Harvey]

[JEROME attempts to hit HARVEY with the hilt of his dagger, but is pushed off.]

Harvey : Fool! No one can stop me! [Plunges the dagger deep into Jerome's chest, and snaps the hilt off.]

[JEROME steps back, with blood seeping from his mouth and nose, clearly in a state of shock, and drops his dagger. ALICE runs across the room and tries to leap onto HARVEY, but he reacts with incredible dexterity and catches her on the chin with the remains of his dagger. She is sent flying to one corner of the room and cracks her head off the wall before lying very still. The dagger that JEROME dropped suddenly leaps into the air and disappears. Seconds later, the same thing happens with the rope that had tied up STEPHEN.]

Harvey : [Punching Jerome with the hilt of the sword, knocking him to the ground] Haw! An invisibility spell? Stupid man - do you think that Iok Sotot can be fooled by such a simple parlour trick? The only ones who can't see you are your friends, and they will soon be dead. [His eyes travel the room, coming to rest on a pair of ornamental axes.] Oh yes, you will soon be dead.

[JEROME crashes against some shelves and falls to the ground, barely conscious.]

Stephen : [Brushes himself down while glancing around for a weapon. Looks at Harvey] Come on then. Do you want to feel my tight ass? [Winks towards where he thinks Austin is] Maypole! 35! On two!

Harvey : [Taking one of the axes down] Your ass will be less tight when I cleave your cheeks in two with this. [Swings, apparantly missing Stephen by miles, but the axe stops in mid swing.]

Austin : [Suddenly reappearing] Ow!

Harvey : Oops, did I ruin your plan? Kneel in front of me, faggot, and beg for your life, it might just save you.

Austin: [Looks at where he was hit, in astonishment, then looks towards Harvey] Thou has incurred the wrath that shall destroy you. [Looks heavenward and screams] Philli, protect me and aid in the destruction of this pestilence that doth pursue us until the ends of the earth. [With that, leaps at Harvey, arm raised above his head, dagger reflecting slightly as it moves in it's slow downward arc].

Stephen : [Runs, avoiding Sotot, towards the second axe] Go get him Aussie!

[HARVEY winces as AUSTIN's dagger plunges into his shoulder.]

Harvey : Bastard! Bastard! [Swings his axe up and catches Austin square in the stomach.]

[A look of shock appears on AUSTINS face as HARVEY holds the axe in position for a second. As HARVEY pulls out the axe and whirls around to face STEPHEN, AUSTIN slumps to the ground in a heap.]

Harvey : Just you and me now, little man. And soon, it will be just me.

Stephen : [Gets a firm grip on the axe] Father, I don't want to fight. I can feel the good in you. Come with me and join the rebels against the Empire....

Jerome: [Struggling to stand, and clear his head] Stephen, you must not give in to the dark side, you are our last hope.

Obi Wan: No, there is another.

Jerome: [Shakes the Star Wars flashbacks out of his head, then looks around for a weapon or anything he can throw at Harvey to either distract him, or maybe even do some real damage.]

[STEPHEN swings his axe at HARVEY, who blocks the blow, but is pushed back.]

Harvey : Damn this body, damn its weakness.

[STEPHEN, spurred on by his success, swings the axe again, this time missing HARVEY, the axe crashing onto the ground. HARVEY steps to one side and swings his axe at STEPHEN, catching him in the side and knocking him to the floor, his own axe spinning away.]

Harvey : And now, faggot, now you die. [Brings the axe down onto Stephen's neck.]

Harvey : [Surveys the carnage in the dining room, before looking over at Jerome, who is trying to get up.] All dead, little man. All dead except you. [Picking up Austin's dagger he crosses the room and kicks Jerome's feet from under him.] I almost liked you, you were so close, but you should have got me when you had the chance. [Cuts Jerome's throat.]

[HARVEY crosses the room to look at himself in a mirror, pausing only for a second as he almost slips in the pool of blood that has poured from the now dead CLINT.]

Harvey : [To the mirror] Thanks, Harvey, but you're too old and too weak. [Turns around to look at the others] The same goes for the rest of you, just too fucking useless. Long live Iok Sotot! [Takes the dagger and plunges it into his heart.]

[HARVEY falls to his knees, and his head hangs back. A vapour drifts out of his mouth and nose, forming a small cloud in front of him. As the cloud slowly drifts out of the room, HARVEY's eyes close and his lifeless form crumples to the ground.]




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2001-06-01