Disclaimer: For the sake of believability, and for the author's sanity, certain aspects of the plot and lines have been adjusted to better represent the individuals involved in this production. After all, if it were going to be exactly like the movie, why would you sit here and read it, anyway? Enjoy!
Bob Kiwi & Company
( Need A )
By The Author Who is Feared to be Named
COL. MUSTARD.........................................................Bob Kiwi
MRS. PEACOCK.......................................................Bobetta Kiwi
WADSWORTH..........................................................Commander Charles D'gal
MRS. WHITE.............................................................Ferdia da Birdie
PROF. PLUM.............................................................Squeaks Arcadia
MR. GREEN..............................................................Ferdie da Birdie
MISS SCARLET.........................................................Iiwi Redbird
MR. BODDY................................................................Commander Drake Dumas
Commander Drake Dumas
THE MOTORIST.........................................................Commander Drake Dumas
POLICE OFFICER.......................................................Commander Drake Dumas
SINGING TELEGRAM...............................................Commander Drake Dumas
PART THE FIRST
NEW ENGLAND, 1954
A storm rages outside of a eighteenth century mansion. The huge stone manor is illuminated by flashing lightning, not only setting the mood for a gloomy evening
but also for Death!
Death: I COULD NOT HELP MYSELF. SORRY.
D'gal's car travels through the wind of an oncoming storm. It pulls up to the gate of Hill House, a large, imposing mansion that is located in the middle of nowhere. He takes out a key and unlocks the gate, then returns to his car to drive the car up to the front door.
D'gal exits the car, holding a bag and looking at the two barking guard dogs. The dogs approach D'gal and prepare to jump. Wadsworth quickly pulls a big beef bone out of the bag and hurls it to them. As the dogs trot away to gnaw on the bone, D'gal rolls up the bag and goes over to cinch the dogs' chain so it won't allow them to reach the door. He steps toward the door . . . and sniffs. Pausing, he checks the bottom of his feet. Dog crap. He looks in disgust at the dogs, growls at them, and they crouch down in fear. Satisfied, D'gal turns back toward the manor.
The Hall of Hill House is a remarkable abode, elegant but not gaudy. It is furnished in dark wood and brass, with crystal chandeliers. There are several doors on each side of the hall and three at the end.
To the left: Lounge and dining room.
To the right: Study, library, and billiard room.
The end: Conservatory, ballroom, bathroom, and kitchen.
The stairs are located to the right.
By the staircase is the door to the basement steps.
The classic, "Shake, Rattle, and Roll," is playing in the background. D'gal opens the front door of Hill House and wipes off his foot. He enters and hangs up his coat, and then turns, walking briskly down the Hall steps toward the library.
The library is a somewhat more comfortable room than the hall, composed of dark colors. All of the walls are covered with books, with the exception of one wall, a window.
Gracie, a young and rather jiggly French maid, is polishing a glass. The music is much louder and the French hen is dancing along. D'gal enters and turns off the record player, causing the music to stop. He speaks to the maid in a proper English accent.
D'Gal: Is everything ready?
She replies in a French accent.
Gracie: Oui, monsieur.
D'Gal: You have your instructions?
Gracie nods as D'gal exits. She sniffs the air, and then examines the bottom of her shoes.
D'gal continues walking until he reaches the kitchen, a narrow looking room covered in white tile. There is a meat freezer to the right and a counter off to the left. Drake, the cook, is sharpening a knife. Joseph McCarthy is speaking on the television in the background.
D'Gal: Is everything all right, Dum-ass?
Drake whirls around, knife in hand.
Drake: It's DU-MAS!!! And WHY am I in a dress?
D'Gal: You're the cook. And play along, or the author may do bad things to you.
Drake: FINE! * composing himself * And dinner will be ready at seven-thirty.
The doorbell rings and D'gal exits the kitchen. He smiles to himself.
D'Gal: Stupid duck.
A small, yellow kiwi is standing by the front door, being growled at by the dogs. He is not comfortable as D'gal opens the door.
D'Gal: Good evening.
Good evening. I don't know if--
D'Gal: Yes, indeed, sir, you are expected, Colonel. May I take your coat? It is Colonel Mustard, isn't it?
Bob: No, that's not my name. My name is Danger
Bob stops when D'gal shots him a look. The kiwi shrinks back and the black duck then smiles an evil grin.
D'Gal: Excuse me, sir, but tonight you may well feel obliged to my employer for the use of an alias.
Bob sniffs around and checks his shoe as D'gal hangs his coat. The pair start across the hall.
Bob: And who are you supposed to be?
D'Gal: I'm Wadsworth, sir. The butler.
They enter the library, where Gracie is still present.
D'Gal: Yvette, will you attend to the Colonel and give him anything he requires. * glances at them * Within reason, that is.
Bob looks at Gracie.
Bob: Not an issue.
D'gal exits, closing the doors behind him. The doors have books on the back of them, and so look like a part of the wall.
Bob: Oh, Wadsworth, I was--
Bob turns to discover the doors have disappeared. He hears the bell ring. He gives Gracie a weary look.
Bob: Any coffee around here?
A woman dressed in black stands outside, in the rain. D'gal opens the door and gestures for her to enter.
Ferdia: You. What..?
D'Gal: A-HEM. Do come in, madam. You are expected.
Ferdia: Alright, what's going on? Why am I here? Who is
D'Gal: All I know is that you are to be known as Mrs. White.
Ferdia: Yes, it said so in the letter. But, why . . . ?
D'gal removes her coat, with a brilliantly white inner lining. Meanwhile, Ferdia sniffs and checks her shoe. He then escorts Ferdia to the library to join Gracie and Bob here. Bob is sipping Cognac and glancing wearily at the French hen. The doors open, the left one into the yellow kiwi.
D'Gal: Ah. May I introduce you? Mrs. White, this is Yvette, the maid. * The two women look at one another and react with disgust * I see you know each other.
Ferdia turns away as Bob emerges from behind the door.
Meanwhile, down the road from the mansion, a slim, red bird is standing by her broken down car. In the distance, an owl can be heard. She hits the car, obviously frustrated. Thunder roars in the distance.
Iiwi sees headlights a short distance away. She smoothes her dress. As the car nears, she bends over the engine and lifts a leg. The car screeches to a halt just past her and backs up. Iiwi goes to the car and peers in.
Squeaks: Want a lift?
Iiwi: Do I want to know why you're out here too?
Squeaks: I don't ask. You live longer that way. Come on.
Iiwi: Will I survive the trip?
Squeaks: * smirking * I'm not on duty right now.
She gets in.
Iiwi: Thanks. I'm late for a dinner date.
Squeaks: Me too. Where are you going?
She pulls out a sheet of paper.
Iiwi: * looking at paper* Let's see . . . Hill House. Off Route 41.
Squeaks: Wait a minute. Let me look at that. *takes paper * That's where I'm going. I got a letter like this.
They both look disturbed. But the rain has started and Squeaks turns on the windshield wipers as the car pulls away toward their common destination.
Back at the mansion, D'gal has just brought another guest into the library. She is a very over-dressed yellow kiwi with a huge pink, feathered boa.
D'Gal: And this is Mrs. Peacock.
Bob: MRS!!! Darling, how could you?!?
Ferdia elbows him in the side.
Bob: I mean, how do you do?
D'Gal: Yvette, will you go and check that dinner will be ready as soon as all the guests have arrived?
Gracie nods and exits the room, just as the doorbell rings again.
It is now raining quite hard and a bluebird with glasses is standing at the door. The dogs, of course, are growling. D'gal opens the door to greet the newest arrival.
Ferdie: Oh, goody. It's you. Is this the right address to meet Mr. Boddy?
D'Gal: Oh, you must be Mr. Green.
Ferdie: * sighing * Yes . . .
D'Gal: * to dogs * Sit!
Ferdie immediately sits down on the bench at the order.
D'Gal: No. Not you, sir.
Ferdie, trying to recover his dignity, gets up and enters the house. They go to the library where D'gal introduces him.
D'Gal: Everyone, Mr. Green.
Gracie offers him a drink.
Ferdie: * jaw on the floor * Gah?
Ferdia: Grow up, bro.
Just a short distance away, Squeaks and Iiwi were almost to the manor.
Iiwi: It should be just off there.
They rounded the bend and Hill House came into view.
Squeaks: That must be it.
A crash of lighting illuminates the house in an eerie glow.
Iiwi: Why is the car stopped?
Squeaks: It's frightened.
Iiwi: Say what?
Squeaks: Forget it.
Iiwi raises an eyebrow at him, but says nothing. Squeaks gets the car is started again and it rolls up the driveway. They exit their car and run for the front door. He shields her from the now heavy rain.
Squeaks: * dryly * Charming.
Iiwi: Guess we should knock.
But before she can, the door opens, revealing D'gal.
D'Gal: Professor Plum! And Miss Scarlet. I didn't realize you were acquainted.
Squeaks rolls his eyes and walks past him. Iiwi follows and D'gal grins at them as they remove their coats. He escorts them to the library. They enter with D'gal, who introduces them to the rest of the guests.
D'Gal: May I present Professor Plum . . . and Miss Scarlet.
Nods all around. Squeaks and Iiwi receive wine glasses from Gracie. Iiwi gratefully sips hers, while shaking a few drops of rain from her feathers, but Squeaks declines.
D'Gal: Of course, since you've each been addressed by a pseudonym, you'll have realized that nobody here is being addressed by their real name.
The guests glance around suspiciously. Suddenly, Drake bangs a gong once, fiercely. Ferdie jumps at the sound, dumping his champagne on Bobetta.
D'Gal: *calmly, as always * Ah. Dinner.
Ferdie: * hands Bobetta his glass, starts to mop her up as she clucks * I'm sorry . . . I'm a little accident-prone . . .
The guests cross to the Dining Room. The room is elegant, in similar decor to the Hall, but it is
somewhat more comfortable, though a bit small. At one end, there is a door and a metal partition, both leading to the kitchen. The guests file in and stare at the table covered in china and crystal.
D'Gal: You'll find your names beside your places. Please be seated.
The guests, except for Bob, find their places and sit. D'gal sets Iiwi's drink on the table, to her pleasure.
Bob: * indicating the head of the table * Is this place for you?
D'Gal: Oh, indeed, no, sir. I'm merely a humble butler.
Ferdia and Squeaks cough loudly at that statement. D'gal glances over at them, but says nothing.
Bob: And what exactly do you do?
D'Gal: I buttle, sir.
Bob: What's a buttle?
D'Gal: * sighing * It's what I do. The butler is head of the kitchen and dining room. I keep everything . . . tidy. That's all.
By this point Ferdia is trying to suppress a snorting laughter. Bob attempts to continue but is interrupted by Bobetta.
Bobetta: Well, what's all this about, butler; this dinner party?
D'Gal: "Ours is not to reason why . . . Ours is but to do and die"
D'Gal: * smiling evilly * Merely quoting, sir, from Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
Squeaks: Sure you were. I prefer Kipling, myself. "The female of the species is more deadly than the male." * to Ferdia * You like Kipling, Mrs. White?
Ferdia: Sure, I'll eat anything.
Gracie enters carrying a tray filled with bowls.
Gracie: * to Bobetta * Sharks' Fin Soup, Madame.
The others ignore him as Ferdie starts to gag under the table.
Bob: * again indicating head * So, is this for our host?
D'Gal: No, sir. For the seventh guest, Mr. Boddy.
Ferdia: I thought Mr. Boddy was our host.
The guests all concur.
Ferdia: So who is our host, Mr. Wadsworth?
Wadsworth chuckles with a closed smile.
Squeaks: Well, I want to start, while it's still hot. My fur is soaked through.
Bobetta: Oh, now shouldn't we wait for the other guest? It would only be polite.
Gracie: I will keep somesing warm for eem.
Iiwi: What did you have in mind, dear?
The guests are silent as they eat. Ferdie slurps soup from his spoon. Ferdia disapproves, then does the same. Bob, Iiwi, and Squeaks stare at them, spoons poised near mouths. They do it again. The silence continues.
Bobetta: * breathlessly * Well, someone's got to break the ice, and it might as well be me. I mean, I'm used to being a hostess; it's part of my husband's work
Iiwi kicks him under the table. Bobetta continues, not even having noticed the interruption.
and it's always difficult when a group of new friends meet together for the first time to get acquainted, so I'm perfectly prepared to start the ball rolling . . . I mean, I have absolutely no idea what we're doing here, or what I'm doing here, or what this place is about, but I am determined to enjoy myself and I'm very intrigued and oh, my, this soup's delicious isn't it?
Everyone sits bewildered.
Ferdia: You say you are used to being a hostess as part of your husband's work?
Bobetta: Yes, it's an integral part of your life when you are the wife of a. . . oh, but then I forgot we're not supposed to say who we really are, though heavens to Betsy, I don't know why.
Bob: * wounded look on his face * Don't you?
Ferdie: I know who you are.
Bob: Well, duh, but we're supposed to be playing along.
Iiwi kicks him under the table again
Ferdie: That's not what I meant.
Iiwi: Aren't you going to tell us?
Bobetta: * plays with large diamond bracelet * How do you know who I am?
Ferdie: I work in Washington, too.
Squeaks: Oh, so you're a politician's wife.
Bobetta: Yes, I-I am.
Bob: * surly tone * Well, come on, then. Who's your husband?
Suddenly, as Bob begins to whimper again, D'gal opens the door from the kitchen.
Bobetta: * to Ferdia * So, what does your husband do?
Ferdia: * giving him a sharp look * Nothing.
Ferdia: Well, he . . . just . . . lies around on his back all day.
Iiwi: Sounds like hard work to me.
Bobetta: Indeed, it is.
Gracie, in the kitchen, opens the partition suddenly. The noise coincides with a crash of thunder. Ferdie, jumpy as ever, spills his drink again, this time on Iiwi.
Ferdie: I'm . . . sorry. I'm afraid I'm a little accident-prone.
He starts to wipe off her upper chest, but she whacks him away.
Iiwi: Watch it, buster.
Squeaks: I see you like living dangerously, Green.
Gracie starts serving food.
Gracie: Excuse moi.
The guests start eating.
Bobetta: Mmm! This is one of my favorite recipes!
D'Gal: I know, madam.
Bobetta: So, what do you do in Washington, D.C., Mr. Green?
Bobetta: Come on, what do you do? I mean, how are we to get acquainted if we don't say anything about ourselves?
Iiwi: * angrily * Perhaps he doesn't want to get acquainted with you.
Bob: Hey, don't be mean to her.
Bobetta: * bothered * Well, I'm sure I don't know, but if I wasn't trying to keep the conversation going, then we would just be sitting here in an embarrassed silence.
Squeaks: Are you afraid of silence, Mrs. Peacock?
Bobetta: Yes! What? No, why?
Bob: You don't have to be afraid my darling!
Once again, Iiwi kicks him.
Bob: * flustered * Aren't you getting tired of doing that!?!
Iiwi: Not especially.
Squeaks: Oh, it just seems to me that you seem to suffer from what we call pressure of speech.
Iiwi: "We"? Who's "we"? Are you a shrink?
Squeaks: I do know a little bit about psychological medicine, yes.
Ferdia: Since when are you a doctor?
Squeaks: I use to practice a little.
Iiwi: Practice makes perfect. Ha. I think most men need a little practice, don't you, Mrs. Peacock?
Everyone looks at her with surprised expressions.
Iiwi: Hey! That's what the line is!
Bobetta shrugs, very uncomfortable.
Ferdia: So what do you do, Professor?
Squeaks: I work for UNO, the United Nations Organization.
Ferdie: Don't you mean 'UFO?'
Iiwi: So, you're a politician, too?
Squeaks: No, I work for a branch of UNO. W.H.O., the World Health Organization.
Bobetta: Well, what is your area of special concern?
Squeaks: Family sanity.
Iiwi: Must have got a lot of practice in the da Birdie household.
Both Ferdia and Ferdie stick out their tongues at her.
Squeaks: * sighing and turning to Bob * What about you, Colonel? Are you a real colonel?
Bob: No, I'm a secret agent.
Iiwi smacks his wing.
Bob: Stop it, stop it, stop it! Fine, yes, I am, sir.
Iiwi: You're not going to mention the coincidence that you also live in Washington, D.C.?
Bob: How did you know that? Who do you work for?
Iiwi: I've certainly seen you before. Although you may not have seen me.
Bob: Ah, hah! A double agent!
Ferdie: So, Miss Scarlet, does this mean that you live in Washington, too?
Iiwi: Sure do.
Bobetta: Does anyone here not live in Washington, D.C.?
Squeaks: I don't.
Ferdie: Yes, but you work for the United Nations. That's a government job. And the rest of us all live in a government town. Anyone here not earn their living from the government in one way or another?
Bob stands suddenly.
Bob: * angrily, to D'gal * Wadsworth, where's our host, and why have we been brought here?
The doorbell rings and D'gal exits to answer it. They hear the door opening and Wadsworth speaks.
D'Gal: Ah! Good evening. You are eagerly awaited.
Drake: Wait, I thought I was the cook! What's going on? Why are you locking me in? I'll take that key!
D'Gal: Over my dead body, sir.
Drake: Don't tempt me.
D'Gal: As if you could. May I take your bag?
D'Gal: No, I think you want to leave it here until you need it, right?
D'Gal: It contains evidence, I presume?
D'gal enters the dining room, followed by Drake.
D'Gal: Ladies and gentlemen, may I present Mr. Boddy.
Drake: Like the soup? I made it myself
D'Gal: Do sit down, Mr. Boddy.
Drake: * eyeing him suspiciously * Thanks.
Gracie starts to serve him
Drake: Thanks, I'm starving.
D'gal elbows him and the duck lands face first in the bowl.
D'Gal: Pardon, sir.
Mrs. Peacock hits the table.
Bobetta: * angrily * Look. I demand to know what's going on. Now why have we all been dragged up to this horrible place?
D'Gal: Well. I believe we all received a letter. My letter says, "It will be to your advantage to be present on this date because a Mr. Boddy will bring to an end a certain long-standing confidential and painful financial liability." It is signed, "A friend."
Ferdie: I received a similar letter.
Iiwi: So did we, didn't we. * indicating Squeaks *
Drake: I also received a letter.
Gracie starts to serve him again, but he looks up at D'gal.
Drake: Uh, no thanks, Yvette. I just ate.
Ferdie: Now, how did you know her name?
Drake: * shrugs * Up until a few minutes ago, I was the cook.
D'Gal: Forgive my curiosity, Mr. Boddy, but did your letter say the same thing?
Drake: No. But then you probably knew that, you villain.
D'Gal: I see . . . * to group * Can I interest any of you in fruit or dessert?
D'Gal: In that case, may I suggest we adjourn to the study or coffee and brandy, at which point I believe our unknown host will reveal his intentions.
Everyone rose from the table and followed D'gal to the study. It is, by far, the most comfortable room they've seen so far. It is decorated in subdued tan colors. There are several couches, a bookshelf, a table with drinks, and a desk. The guests enter and look around for their host.
Ferdie: Well, there's no one here.
D'Gal: * to the guests in general * Please help yourself to brandy and be seated.
Wadsworth goes to the desk and takes a manila envelope. It reads:
Open AFTER DINNER
Wadsworth opens the envelope and peruses the contents.
D'Gal: Ladies and gentlemen, I'm instructed to tell you what you all have in common with each other. Unless you would care to do the honors, Mr. Boddy?
Drake: Why me? Like I know what's going on? I don't even know who I am.
Iiwi: True. For that he would need to have a clue.
Bob: She's a poet, and didn't know it.
Drake stands suddenly.
Drake: It's a hoax! I suggest we all leave before this maniac kills us all!
He takes off out the study door.
D'Gal: * in pursuit * I'm sorry, sir, you cannot leave this house!
They run through the front hall and Drake goes to the front door. D'gal follows, and he is followed by the other guests.
Drake: No? Who's gonna stop me?
D'Gal: * evil grin * There's no way out.
Mr. Boddy tries the front door. It's locked.
D'Gal: All the windows have bars, all the doors are locked.
Drake: This is an outrage! You can't hold us prisoner!
The guests, in confusion, agree.
D'Gal: * shouting over the din * Ladies and gentlemen, please! Please return to the study. Everything will be explained.
The guests file unhappily back into the study. Drake walks past D'gal toward the rear of the hall.
D'Gal: * to Drake * You too, duck.
Drake starts running.
D'Gal: Other way!
He pursues Drake to the conservatory. The room is humid, with plants all around. Three of the walls are brick, and the fourth is glass, leading to the outside. The rain can be heard and seen, against the glass.
Drake runs in, picks up a brick and prepares to throw it through the glass. D'gal enters quickly after him.
D'Gal: You can't get out that way, duck.
Drake: Why not? It's only primitive architecture!
Suddenly, a vicious Doberman jumps at the glass, barking and snarling. Drake drops the brick. D'gal roughly takes a hold of him and they walk back to the study where the other guests are waiting.
When the two rejoin the others, D'gal takes up his envelope again.
D'Gal: Ladies and gentlemen, you all have one thing in common. You're all being blackmailed. For some considerable time, all of you have been paying what you can afford and, in some cases, more than you can afford, to someone who threatens to expose you. And none of you know who's blackmailing you, do you?
Bobetta: Oh, please! I've never heard anything so ridiculous. I mean, nobody could blackmail me. My life is an open book--I've never done anything wrong.
D'Gal: Anybody else wish to deny it?
The guests look at each other, but no one responds.
D'Gal: Very well. As everyone here is in the same boat, there's no harm in my revealing some details. And my instructions are to do so. Thank you, Yvette.
The maid, so dismissed, leaves. Ferdie's eyes follow her out.
Ferdia: Spare us the dramatics.
D'Gal: No. * turning to Squeaks * Professor Plum, you were once a professor of psychiatry, specializing in helping paranoid and homicidal lunatics suffering from delusions of grandeur.
Ferdie: Hey! Ma ain't that bad.
Squeaks: Yes, but now I work for the United Nations.
D'Gal: So your work has not changed.
D'Gal: But you don't practice medicine at the U.N. His license to practice has been lifted, correct?
Iiwi: Why? What did he do?
D'Gal: Let's just say his credentials were a bit 'out of this world.'
Bob: Hah! Then you are from space!
Bobetta: How shocking!
D'Gal: * swooping down on her * Are you making moral judgments, Mrs. Peacock? How, then, do you justify taking bribes in return for delivering your husband Senator Peacock's vote to certain lobbyists?
Bobetta: My husband is a paid consultant. That's a well-paid profession.
D'Gal: But perhaps not well paid enough to support your 'diamond-a-day' addition? So you accept, how shall we say 'untraceable' donations, in exchange for your husband's vote.
Bobetta: All right, I admit it! I have a problem!
Bob: My poor darling!
Squeaks: So it's true?
Bobetta: * sniffing * But they're so sparkly and pretty!
D'Gal: Yes, and you've been paying blackmail for over a year now to keep that story out of the papers.
Ferdia: Well I don't know about anyone else, but I'm being blackmailed for something I didn't do.
Ferdie: Me too.
Bob: And me.
Iiwi: Not me.
D'Gal: You're not being blackmailed?
Iiwi: Oh, I'm being blackmailed, all right. But I did what I'm being blackmailed for.
Squeaks: * with interest * What did you do?
Iiwi: Well, to be perfectly frank, I run a specialized shop and service which provides rich individuals with the company of expensive, otherwise unobtainable, knickknacks.
Ferdie: So how did you know Colonel Mustard works in Washington? Is he one of your clients?
Bob: * shocked tone * Certainly not! I'm a hero!
Ferdie: I was asking Miss Scarlet.
Bob: * indignantly * Well, you tell him it's not true!
Iiwi: It's not true.
Squeaks: Is that true?
Iiwi: No, it's not true.
Bob: * gasping * Slander!
Ferdie: Ha-hah! So it is true!
D'Gal: A double negative!
Bob: Double "negative"? You mean you have-- * whispers to Scarlet * Photographs?
D'Gal: * chuckling * That sounds like a confession to me. In fact, the double negative has led to proof positive. I'm afraid you gave yourself away.
Bob: Are you trying to make me look stupid in front of the other guests?
Iiwi: You don't need any help from him, hero.
Bob: That's right!
Bob realizes what he just said.
D'Gal: Since the Colonel holds a sensitive security post in the Pentagon, you have been paying to keep these facts quiet.
D'gal then turns to Ferdia
D'Gal: Mrs. White, you've been paying our friend the blackmailer ever since your husband died under, shall we say, mysterious circumstances.
Ferdia: I'm not married. He was my boss.
D'Gal: Not anymore. And you had your lover help you dispose of him, isn't that right, Plum?
Ferdia and Squeaks: NO!
D'gal looks down at a paper he had pulled from the envelope.
D'Gal: Oops. You're right. * looking at Drake with a sly expression * My mistake.
Bob: Then why are you paying the blackmailer?
Ferdia: I don't want a scandal, do I? It would be bad for my career. We were always disagreeing, especially about him having a stick up his
Bobetta: How crude.
Ferdia: * shrugging * He didn't actually seem to like me very much. He had threatened to kill me in public.
Ferdie: Why would he want to kill you in public?
D'Gal: I think she meant he threatened, in public, to kill her.
Iiwi: And was that his final word on the matter?
Vernon: Being killed is pretty final, wouldn't you say?
D'Gal: And yet he was the one who died, not you, Mrs. White, not you.
Ferdia: He had too high an opinion of himself. I'm afraid it came as a great shock to him when he died.
But he was found dead at home. His head had been cut off.
The men in the room slowly started backing away, except for Squeaks, who just shook his head.
Ferdia: I had been out all evening at the movies.
Ferdie clears his throat and stands.
Ferdie: I have something to say. * pauses * I'm not going to wait for Wadsworth here to unmask me. I work for the state department. And I am a coward.
No one looks very shocked at this revelation, though Bobetta does clucks in disgust.
Ferdie: I feel no personal shame or guilt about this. But I must keep it a secret or I will lose my job on security grounds. * pauses again * Thank you.
Mr. Green sits back down next to Prof. Plum, who is still shaking his head.
Squeaks: Well, that just leaves Mr. Boddy.
Iiwi: What's your little secret?
D'Gal: His secret? Oh, hadn't you guessed? Besides being an idiot, he's the one who's blackmailing you all.
Lightning crashes. Drake looks terrified
Drake: No! It's not true!
The guests advance on Drake as he stands. Bob challenges Drake to fight, boxing-style.
Bob: Put 'em up!
Drake steps on Bob's toes.
Bob: AAAHHH!!! My poor, cute feet!
Ferdie: Gentlemen . . .
Squeaks: * disappointed tone * If you can't fight fairly, don't fight at all!
Drake: It was an accident!
Bob: Ooh, I'm going to give you such a booting!
Ferdie ducks for cover while the others try to separate them. Bob recovers and Drake goes for him. Ferdia gets in the way and body-slams Drake to the floor.
Ferdie: Was that necessary, sis?
D'Gal: Completely, if you ask me. Please, carry on until the police arrive.
D'Gal: * shrugging * Blackmail depends on secrecy. You've all admitted how he's been able to blackmail you. All you have to do is tell the police, he'll be convicted, and your troubles will be over.
Drake: * standing, in pain * No, it's not true. You're the criminal here.
D'Gal: I have evidence in my possession, and this conversation is being recorded.
Gracie sits in the Billiard room, filing her nails, and listening to a tape recorder that is not recording.
Ferdie: Point of order--tape recordings are not admissible evidence!
D'Gal: Ladies and gentlemen, the police will be here in about * checks his watch * forty-five minutes. Tell them the truth, and Mr. Boddy will be behind bars.
Drake does not move from his chair. D'gal looks at him inquisitively.
D'Gal: Don't you want to go and get something?
Drake: Not especially.
D'gal sighs and stalks off into the hall. He returns with the black bag Drake had brought with him. D'gal places the bag in Drake's lap.
D'Gal: What precisely are you up to, Mr. Boddy?
Drake: Search me.
Ferdia: The evidence against us, no doubt.
D'gal chuckles. Drake opens the bag and withdraws several boxes, each a different size and shape. One for each of the other guests.
Iiwi: We didn't know we were meeting you tonight. Did you know you were meeting us?
Ferdia: What were you told, precisely?
D'Gal: Merely that you were all meeting to discuss your little . . .financial arrangements. And if he did not appear, I would be informing the police about it all. Naturally he could hardly resist putting in an appearance.
Everyone looked at D'gal.
D'Gal: I'm guessing.
Drake finishes handing out the packages.
Drake: I guess you should open them.
Iiwi: Why not? I enjoy getting presents from strange men. And you don't get any stranger than him.
Iiwi opens her package. A candlestick.
Iiwi: A candlestick? What's this for?
Ferdia opens her box and reveals a rope - tied in a noose.
Ferdie takes his box in one hand. He opens it and lets the contents fall into his other hand. A bent lead pipe.
Bob opens his box and pulls out . . .a heavy wrench.
Squeaks takes the lid off his package and looks in. He gingerly pulls out a revolver.
Finally, Bobetta, who is twirling a dagger.
Drake: Hey! Those are lethal weapons!
Suddenly, Drake gets an idea. No good can come of this.
Drake: If you denounce me to the police, you will be allowing a dangerous villain to escape.
But . . . if one of you kills him now . . .
D'gal smirks in response.
Drake: . . . no one but the seven of us will ever know. He has the key to the front door, which he said would only be opened over his dead body. I suggest we take him up on that offer.
Drake confidently crosses the room and closes the door to the hall.
Drake: The only way out for any of us is for one of you to kill Wadsworth. Now.
He turns off the lights.
Several noises can be heard. Someone inhales raspily. There is a gunshot. Something ceramic shatters.
The lights go up. Bobetta, who turned on the light, drops the dagger in shock.
Drake is lying prone on the floor.
CONTINUED IN PART THE SECOND