Warning: all names of writers characters invented and will be used by me in future, similarity with real person is accidental!
Agatha Haddington – writer.
George Haddington – writer, Agatha’s husband.
Desmond Woodward – publisher.
Elata Woodward – Desmond’s wife.
Sybil Lefebvre – writer.
Beaufort Lefebvre – Sybil’s husband.
Truman Nelson – writer.
Massey Diter - writer.
Ormond Abbey - writer.
Fergus Mattingly - writer.
Carla Rosseter - writer.
Belinda Padgham - writer.
Radley Spillbread – PR agent of publishing house.
Hulbert Cunningham – owner of the hotel.
Voleta Limmington - works at hotel.
Ludlow Bertrand – works at hotel.
Living room in art-nouveau style.
Agatha and George sit near table, drink tea.
AGATHA: Today we have evening at Desmond’s place, you remember, George.
GEORGE: Agatha, you know how I hate publishers. By the way, you didn’t check evening post.
AGATHA: It’s your duty.
GEORGE: I did it, but forget to tell you. Desmond cancelled this meeting, he plans something different. Like with the book cover last time. I hate this business.
AGATHA: Completely disagree with you, dear. Publishing industry is unstoppable inspiration in our work.
AGATHA: He could taste it. Not everyone eat everything with garlic.
GEORGE: At least I try. Better than your idea of drown him in guest’s room sink.
AGATHA: How about another people? He had to eat it alone.
GEORGE: You always disagree with my ideas for murder.
AGATHA: I carefully listen to you.
GEORGE: Fine, I could agree to sink.
AGATHA: I told you.
GEORGE: Only at one possibility.
AGATHA: Which one? All guest had to be deaf for not hearing screams of victim.
GEORGE: Swimming pool.
GEORGE: Our murderer will be wet after drown a victim.
GEORGE: How she will not bring attention?
AGATHA: We discuss that it suppose to be he.
GEORGE: You are more blood-thirsty, my love, always were.
AGATHA: Swimming pool. I listen.
GEORGE: Party was out of control. Too many drink and it ends in swimming pool. Everyone are wet. Including our murderer.
AGATHA: Nice idea. But we plan murder in English country home, 20-th. There aren’t swimming pools.
GEORGE: Party was not under control and finishes in pond. Wasn’t such bad before I told that aloud!
AGATHA: We will think.
GEORGE: If he asked?
GEORGE: Best solution.
AGATHA: More tea, dear.
GEORGE: Thank you, it would be lovely.
AGATHA: About that surprising idea with quest party.
GEORGE: I warned you not in our house.
AGATHA: They pay for authentic place a lot.
GEORGE: And how you explain that...
George takes in hand remote control unit, direct it on the windows, curtains with recognizable buzz start to open.
AGATHA: Not necessary made it in front of them.
GEORGE: I agree with your idea, that it will be necessary for inspiration, but not for entertainment. And now, if you don’t mind, I’ll check my post.
AGATHA: As you wish, dear.
George opens box which is on table, it’s decorated in art-nouveau style laptop.
Agatha takes knife for paper and starts to open envelopes from the tray.
Lovely melody of door bell. George doesn’t move.
AGATHA: No, thank you, darling, I’ll open myself.
Agatha enters with Radley.
GEORGE: Such a honour from unique Radley, star of advertising campaign of our publishing house.
RADLEY: Will you ever forget it? Desmond insist that I made it real.
AGATHA: Cup of tea. George, it was your bet.
RADLEY: With pleasure, Agatha. I hadn’t idea that he wasn’t serious.
AGATHA: Massey was drunk.
RADLEY: I never saw him sober. So I thought it was just in his style.
GEORGE: Massey wasn’t good in his ideas before that.
AGATHA: But he is stubborn.
RADLEY: Now I know, but we saved him.
AGATHA: Unforgettable advertisement campaign. Your tea, dear.
GEORGE: I still can’t get, how you managed to make a trip to Sahara so quick.
RADLEY: My brother-in-law is owner of extreme tourism travel firm.
AGATHA: Did he do that before?
RADLEY: No one believed that he’ll do it for real.
AGATHA: I always was against too much alcohol.
GEORGE: Massey was unstoppable, when told that. Writer need to write only about personal experience.
AGATHA: When he walked away at night, no one saw him and only with GPS we could find him.
GEORGE: Don’t look at me like that, Agatha.
AGATHA: Why? Who, if not you, bet with him. Darling, I wait for answer.
GEORGE: I need an argument that I was right. When I insisted that imagination is more important. Desmond just make it true.
AGATHA: No more about that shame. What exactly brings you here? We always happy to see you, but...
RADLEY: Desmond organizes party “murder quest”.
GEORGE: Such unusual for owner of crime publishing house.
AGATHA: Tell more.
RADLEY: There will be a murder...
GEORGE: And our work is to plot it.
AGATHA: To solve.
RADLEY: To propose a victim.
RADLEY: Not volunteer. But propose. And if you guess, you’ll be a winner.
AGATHA: How we could guess?
RADLEY: Someone will have that mark. Here is a list of guests.
AGATHA: With our names, I suppose?
RADLEY: I’m afraid so.
GEORGE: What the hell? Desmond is first choice.
AGATHA: For murder or victim.
RADLEY: It couldn’t be possible.
AGATHA: Radley, it’s old George’s joke. Suicide. Murderer and victim is the same person.
GEORGE: Thank you for making trouble and came personally. Something do you want to tell, Radley.
RADLEY: To be true. I... I don’t know how to say... I predict you will be on top of the list, both of you.
AGATHA: Dear, why?
RADLEY: Yesterday was a huge scandal about your draft.
AGATHA: Did I misspelled something?
RADLEY: Corrector show to Desmond draft with “Desmond will never read till 35 page. - No dear. - What, no? - He won’t read text such long.”
GEORGE: But he didn’t, we were right, if only corrector noticed this.
RADLEY: Obviously, but Desmond was very angry.
AGATHA: Thank you for your support, dear.
RADLEY: See you at party.
GEORGE: I will close the door, Agatha, don’t worry.
AGATHA: Bye! Radley, don’t listen to his advices for horses, George lost last week.
GEORGE: It happens with everyone.
AGATHA: It happened with you.
George and Radley exit.
AGATHA: Double murder, I don’t think that Desmond will choose it. George will tell that it probably be me, because victim is often a woman. If it plan Desmond, than George will be our killer, my killer or main suspect.
On the other hand Radley lost money after George’s advices. He could made a revenge and want that we will be nervous.
George was right, we need to live normal life. How he stopped me to call a police, after I saw that man with flowers near house of our neighbours? I didn’t recognize him, thought that he is bugler, killer and serial sexual maniac at free time. At the end he was boyfriend of cook which Trisha asked for a party, he wanted to make a supporting surprise to girl.
How long they are in the hall! Again discuss strategy for races. George is absolutely lost since son is abroad. If I ask him, he’ll tell that’s ridiculous.
And story is in dead end. I never know that person could be tired of killing people as daily creative job.
GEORGE: Again talk to yourself.
AGATHA: I’m thinking aloud.
GEORGE: Desmond could make you a victim and me a murderer.
AGATHA: Don’t you think, it’s stupid to gather mystery writers to playing in crime quest.
GEORGE: It’s not “Murder is announced”.
AGATHA: But it could be.
GEORGE: Everyone will know about Letty and Lotty. Desmond is a man.
AGATHA: Here is creative spark.
GEORGE: Don’t you think, that you became bored since son is studying abroad?
AGATHA: Not for a moment. It’s just for semester.
GEORGE: Three weeks already.
AGATHA: You count!
GEORGE: I remember date better than you, simple.
GEORGE: Don’t ask me day of week when we were married.
AGATHA: It’s too easy. Our first best seller “Wednesday is good for murder”.
GEORGE: We thought it was fun.
AGATHA: “And there were no one”?
GEORGE: Stop it.
AGATHA: If you are so sure, but we have more important problem.
GEORGE: Draft which we promised to publishing house.
AGATHA: I like how you talk about it “we promised”. Contract is empty word for you.
GEORGE: You know that I’m working better on deadlines.
AGATHA: You work better when you want.
GEORGE: Our last line.
AGATHA: “Sybil stays near open window, on the ground is still body of her driver, Phillips”.
GEORGE: Don’t think it’s too frank.
AGATHA: What exactly?
GEORGE: Sybil could recognize herself.
AGATHA: It’s surname of her first husband and we gave it to her driver.
GEORGE: You always are best in making puzzles.
AGATHA: She was cheating on that culinary competition.
GEORGE: Sybil lost in final. It wasn’t even pie made by you, dear.
AGATHA: Not to me. It’s my revenge for favourite bakery.
GEORGE: As you wish. “Her arms were shaking: “What I did?” - mumbled Sybil. “I’ll have his baby”.”
AGATHA: What? Since when?
GEORGE: I thought it will bring wider readers interest.
AGATHA: Is she insect, who kills a partner? What do you suggest?
GEORGE: It was documentary on TV last night and you answered questions on-line, I was bored.
AGATHA: Oh my God, we never will finish this story.
GEORGE: What do you recommend?
AGATHA: Be more serious in murder planning.
GEORGE: Why Desmond needs this show?
AGATHA: You will find answers at the party. “Sylvia’s hands were shaking. “Who will drive me to the party now? “
GEORGE: Now it’s absolutely disgusting.
AGATHA: I know. We need fresh air.
GEORGE: Desmond proposed the same.
AGATHA: In which way.
GEORGE: When you were busy with choosing me or you to kill, I read about party destination.
AGATHA: It couldn’t be.
GEORGE: Lonely hotel, twelve rooms, in the middle of countryside.
AGATHA: He will kill all of us.
GEORGE: Don’t be so unsurprising in your foreseen.
AGATHA: This time I don’t want to say I warned you.
GEORGE: You will always say it. We need new ideas. How could you kill someone in the lonely hotel?
AGATHA: In the night, when all guests will sleep.
GEORGE: “Sybil listened to the quietness of the house. Guests were sleeping. Till morning she hasn’t nothing to worry about. Sybil closed curtain and heavy hand embraced her throat.”
AGATHA: The end for the chapter. Not bad hook.
GEORGE: I agree. And I’m creative.
AGATHA: Fine. Who it was? Will we kill her?
Office of editor in publishing house. Posters of books are on the walls. Drafts are on the floor, on chairs. Piles of books created difficult landscape in which at home feels Desmond. He walks not touching all that. Now he is busy with pile of books which he takes from the chair, where tries to sit Sybil Lefebvre.
SYBIL: Put this books on floor, Desmond. Why that rush?
DESMOND: Did you receive my invitation to party?
SYBIL: To figure out that you bring me here. I’m writer. I was in the middle of plotting a scene. Your message. Emergency. I’m here. And you ask if I received your invitation?
DESMOND: Simple yes could be enough.
DESMOND: I need your help.
SYBIL: In plotting a murder. I’m best selling author, I don’t work on parties for kids.
DESMOND: Only for adults with very... very aesthetic sense of style.
SYBIL: It was years ago and it was legal, charge in pornography never entered the court.
DESMOND: I know. I will be the victim.
DESMOND: At the party.
DESMOND: Do you know how work magicians?
SYBIL: It was different kind of rabbit. Rabbit as a symbol.
DESMOND: Worse than less information could be only lot of knowledge. Magician works with assistants.
SYBIL: Of course, but I can’t make any magic tricks. To kill during the magic show, it’s banal.
DESMOND: I need an assistant for that party, than no one else will know that it will be you.
SYBIL: Why me? What for?
DESMOND: I’ll have a house full of mystery writers and I will be victim. They should solve my murder.
SYBIL: Old suicide joke.
DESMOND: No. I will be alive. You will be the first who’ll find my body. You will convince them that I’m dead and no one else will check.
SYBIL: Why me? Why I am not inside a trap with everyone else?
DESMOND: Because you send your draft on time. Everyone else are punished.
SYBIL: Cruel mind. Why not to play it with your wife as assistant?
DESMOND: No one will believe her. Too easy. So I don’t bring her there.
SYBIL: What is the result of that game?
DESMOND: Nothing. Just field work. I want to know who is real master of craft.
SYBIL: Someone told you that you work too seriously.
DESMOND: I arrange all. Listen. In the morning you aim will be to...
DESMOND: One more thing, Sybil. Owner of the hotel. He is special fan of yours.
SYBIL: What does it mean special? All fans are the same.
DESMOND: Hulbert Cunningham is know you before your first book “Death”.
SYBIL: How it could be possible?
DESMOND: He liked your writing style since your short story “Murder committed”.
SYBIL: It never was reprinted. Only magazine version.
DESMOND: Because of that I told you, he is special.
SYBIL: And he will be on my side, when we will scare the rest.
DESMOND: Yes, and it was his wish that you’ll be his companion.
SYBIL: I’ll send him signed gift edition of “Death come back again and again and again.”
DESMOND: He has it already.
SYBIL: But it costed on auction...
DESMOND: It was secret buyer. Possibility is that was owner of our hotel. I didn’t ask.
SYBIL: Did he married?
SYBIL: I just want to know, which perspective I had.
DESMOND: And mister Lefebvre?
SYBIL: Best in him is his surname and I already receive it.
DESMOND: I will check and notice you.
SYBIL: Have a nice day, Desmond.
DESMOND: You too.
DESMOND (on phone): It was easiest conversation in my life. She believed. Yes. Not for a moment. I know it all will be entertaining. She will be in trap. All answers. See you at place.
(puts phone in the pocket) Welcome to our mystery, Sybil. You will like it, you have no idea how much.
ELATA: Not for long was your audience with Lefebvre’s wife.
ELATA: I remember. Poor Beaufort.
DESMOND: If you lived next door to him, it doesn’t mean that he deserves your pity.
ELATA: I didn’t marry him. So forget that old story.
DESMOND: I can’t tell now nothing for sure. But I promise that your Beaufort soon be free from Sybil.
ELATA: I foretell that she won’t stop.
DESMOND: Better describe it as shadows of past.
ELATA: You are sure that you don’t need me at first day of your trip with writers.
DESMOND: Long holiday. I know how it’s important for you, this floral show.
ELATA: Botanic watercolour course.
DESMOND: Like I said. Now it’s better that we go home.
ELATA: Why you look at me like that?
DESMOND: I still amazed about you.
ELATA: I understand that, but why exactly.
DESMOND: We married for 8 years and even for a second you didn’t want to became a writer.
ELATA: It’s good or bad?
ELATA: I think you too serious with your work with writers. That games... someday it will be too much.
DESMOND: Accurate planning and nothing happened.
ELATA: You was absolutely sure with Massey Diter.
DESMOND: All is fine. He will write a book about dessert.
ELATA: You think that all problems could be solved by writing another book.
DESMOND: It’s my world. It always helps.
ELATA: We will talk about that after party.
Desmond and Elata exit.
Little hotel’s hall.
Voleta works at reception desk.
Enters Sybil with bag on wheels, one side of which is broken, so it makes difficult walk for Sybil and unpleasant noise.
SYBIL: Any cars on two miles territory!
VOLETA: Madam, it’s restricted by law, nature protection...
Sybil puts bag on the floor, looks at Voleta.
VOLETA: Voleta is my name. Madam, can I help you?
SYBIL: Martina, for a moment I was sure...
VOLETA: In what, madam?
SYBIL: That I know you. Not you, but Martina. Girl from photo.
VOLETA: Which photo? And you are?
SYBIL: Sybil Lefebvre.
VOLETA: Nice to meet you. I didn’t recognize you at once, at all that pictures... In real life you look younger.
SYBIL: Everyone say me so...
SYBIL: Yes, Voleta. I would like to relax, before all arrive by foot.
VOLETA: Yes. Mr Cunningham proposed for you room in little house with special service from our hotel.
SYBIL: Yes. I use such holidays for work on the drafts in new places. It gives me energy.
VOLETA: Hope you will enjoy stay in our hotel. It’s all your luggage?
SYBIL: Of course not. I left bags at the taxi, didn’t pay the man. He should be on place.
VOLETA: Ludlow will bring everything here and pay the driver, at costs of Mr Cunningham.
SYBIL: Generous man. Is he married?
SYBIL: Mr Cunningham?
VOLETA: Hulbert, no.
SYBIL: I’m glad to hear that.
VOLETA: Ludlow, bags of Mrs Lefebvre are at the taxi near door.
LUDLOW: Nice to meet you, Mrs Lefebvre. All your luggage will be on place in a few moments.
SYBIL: I prefer enormous luggage.
LUDLOW: To bicycle connected the trailer. Nothing to worry.
LUDLOW: Something else.
SYBIL: Show me the room.
VOLETA: It’s my job.
SYBIL: He will take my bag, Martina.
VOLETA: It’s Voleta.
SYBIL: I just checked, Voleta.
Ludlow and Sybil exit.
HULBERT: Did she recognize you?
VOLETA: From the first glance.
VOLETA: Don’t you think it’s too risky.
HULBERT: Witness against main suspect. She needs that feeling of disturbance.
VOLETA: Hope you know what you do.
Enter Agatha, George, Fergus, Carla and Truman.
HULBERT: It’s my pleasure to have as guests such literature’s stars. Lady and gentlemen, owner of that place, Hulbert Cunningham.
TRUMAN: It would be lovely, if it will be some kind of cars allowed.
HULBERT: Sorry, but it’s strictly against the law on that land. We have a big choice of bicycles.
GEORGE: You predict, how it ends, when you trust Desmond’s idea.
FERGUS: To his defence I had only money which he pays for first draft.
CARLA: Amen. Desmond, no matter, where are you now, we send gratitude to you.
DESMOND: I’m here.
FERGUS: Did you bring victim with yourself?
DESMOND: I always glad when you have words, Fergus. Hope fear of white empty paper will run away from all of you here. Carla, Agatha, George.
AGATHA: Where is Elata?
DESMOND: She will join us tomorrow.
CARLA: We will wait.
Enter Massey, Ormond and Belinda.
AGATHA: I will change a victim. And a murderer. Just in case.
BELINDA: Ormond said it is lovely without car, such nature connected.
ORMOND: Belinda completely disagree with me.
HULBERT: In moment I’ll show you rooms.
CARLA: Murder will be tonight?
DESMOND: Only invitation party, I’m afraid.
CARLA: Fine, I’ll left poison in my handbag.
DESMOND: It will be lovely open discussion of professionals.
FERGUS: Could be, but you will be present, Desmond, it never be open.
DESMOND: Thank you for explanation, Fergus.
At the little restaurant on the outside of the hotel are tables, chairs. Everyone walk, talk.
Fergus, Massey, Belinda, Carla, Ormond, Truman, Sybil, Desmond, George, Agatha.
Voleta and Ludlow serve to them.
TRUMAN: George, don’t you feel awkward on parties.
GEORGE: Why should I?
TRUMAN: Everyone have new possibilities and you came with wife.
GEORGE: Agatha loves parties.
TRUMAN: We all do. But it’s your wife. Different time spending.
GEORGE: I’m married, not dead, Truman. Maybe, I’m old fashioned, but I still believe that you can have fun with own wife.
TRUMAN: I don’t know.
GEORGE: Believe me, all depends on woman. Agatha knows how to have fun. And main thing: I always know name of the woman with whom I’m going home.
TRUMAN: Cheers, old fashioned lover.
CARLA: How you could spend all free time with husband?
AGATHA: I spend time to convince myself that he loves me like I love him and he is perfect for me.
CARLA: I don’t agree. It’s boring.
AGATHA: He has all qualities to be a good person with whom spend life.
CARLA: Tall, not ugly. What else?
AGATHA: For my George is adjective – handsome. He could dance, he is lovely, wonderful father.
CARLA: It’s unexciting.
AGATHA: Sometimes he had interesting ideas...
CARLA: Oh my God, you’re smiling. Tell me...
AGATHA: It’s inconvenient.
CARLA: I drink gin and tonic, without tonic, I won’t remember tomorrow.
AGATHA: Few days ago he send me a text “Naked at home”.
CARLA: Naughty boy. And?
AGATHA: He didn’t tell what to do. So I undressed myself, set in the living room. And there is an armchair, near it I always put my basket with knitting. So I started to knit, while waiting for him.
CARLA: And how it was?
AGATHA: Wool on naked body.
GEORGE: And she could be very inventive.
TRUMAN: In what sense?
GEORGE: I wrote her few days ago “Bake at home”. She sometimes cook. Instead of it she was waiting me at home, naked.
TRUMAN: Wow! How it was?
GEORGE: She was knitting, with needles. Not what you are waiting for at first, but unforgettable. We ordered cakes by phone.
MASSEY: I think that writer had right to write only about himself.
DESMOND: Herself. Now everyone are equal.
MASSEY: Like you insist. He or she experienced.
DESMOND: I don’t agree that your novel about man, who spend a week in desert it’s your story.
MASSEY: I went through that.
DESMOND: You walked at morning, we found you in less than two hours. Experience. It was a bet!
MASSEY: I suffered more than that.
DESMOND: Sybil is coming to us.
MASSEY: She understands me.
MASSEY: Don’t you ever think that she had too many details in murder’s case. She commit it herself and wrote about it after. Or at first wrote about it, waited for readers opinion, improves mistakes and commit perfect murder.
MASSEY: Look how smoothly she walks. So tall, so beautiful.
DESMOND: Like cruise liner.
DESMOND: Because she has a hell of place where to write a name on her.
SYBIL: Desmond, what a lovely party.
DESMOND: I just glad to see all my writers in one place.
MASSEY: Sybil, how about dance.
SYBIL: Any music.
MASSEY: I waited for a drop of imagination.
BELINDA: I prefer to write without such disgusting details.
FERGUS: You say that to me, Belinda.
BELINDA: Yes, Fergus. I can’t read your dissections before or after food. Never at evening or at morning, because it will have mood on my whole day or nightmares.
ORMOND: Belinda, you are from old school.
BELINDA: Yes, Ormond. I still think that murderer has to have some compassion to victim.
ORMOND: What for?
FERGUS: In your last book...
BELINDA: I still hadn’t my last book.
ORMOND: Like with sex, always looking forward. Last wasn’t yet.
FERGUS: In your previous book you killed five characters with guillotine.
ORMOND: I agree to Fergus, it’s painful.
BELINDA: Not at all.
FERGUS: How can you be sure?
BELINDA: Everyone know it.
ORMOND: From where?
BELINDA: People talk.
FERGUS: Which people? Who were still alive after guillotine?
BELINDA: Oh God! If it’s painful?
ORMOND: More gin.
BELINDA: Yes, thank you.
MASSEY: You look scared, Belinda.
BELINDA: Just another twist of plot which cross my mind.
MASSEY: In your novel. That portable guillotine...
MASSEY: What did I said?
ORMOND: Like always, too much.
DESMOND: Voleta, smoking room is ready?
VOLETA: Quiet and peaceful, like we discuss.
DESMOND: I can do it.
TRUMAN: Where is Desmond?
VOLETA: In smoking room.
ORMOND: There is a smoking room? Disgusting.
LUDLOW: It’s private party, rules are peculiar.
MASSEY: Could you organize some music?
LUDLOW: It is possible.
Ludlow switch on music, light is twinkling.
Everyone walk, dance, difficult to understand who is who.
Music is louder, dances are harder.
Music stops. Lights on.
Near the door of smoking room stays Sybil.
All turn to her.
SYBIL: Desmond, he is dead.
HULBERT: Stay here. I will check.
SYBIL: Murderer is in this room.
BELINDA: Hope it wasn’t painful to him.
MASSEY: We have to call police.
FERGUS: Full house of mystery writers. We don’t need a police.
CARLA: We solve that mystery with own resources.
GEORGE: Than murderer is one of us.
TRUMAN: Fine, when we’ll write a book about it, it will be collective of authors or anthology.
AGATHA: Who was where during a party?
BELINDA: Who saw Desmond alive?
VOLETA: Truman Nelson asked me about Desmond.
TRUMAN: Yes, I asked. But Desmond was in smoking room. I have asthma, I can’t breath there and killed him.
FERGUS: How he was killed, Sybil?
SYBIL: Stubbed in chest with hunter’s knife.
MASSEY: What you did there?
ORMOND: You said that you won.
SYBIL: I was sure. But here. Lot of drink, party. You remember, I hate parties. But even more I dislike to be alone and think of my husband far away from me. With whom? And I went to Desmond to have a cigarette.
AGATHA: You were last who saw him alive.
SYBIL: No, I was first who saw him dead.
GEORGE: Bunch of suspects. Opportunity had everyone.
BELINDA: Light was perfect for it.
MASSEY: Why? Why kill him?
CARLA: Good question for which everyone had personal answer.
BELINDA: He wasn’t best man in the world. He was an editor. Maybe something else.
FERGUS: That stupid game with murder.
GEORGE: It had to be only tomorrow.
AGATHA: And real killer didn’t wait and used a chance.
GEORGE: He couldn’t make it alone.
AGATHA: She could be also.
GEORGE: They didn’t plan.
AGATHA: Poison was too obvious.
ORMOND: Stop. It’s unprofessional to watch how you make a story. What about us? Hello! We also have ideas. It wasn’t present exclusively for you two.
GEORGE: Sorry, Agatha just overexcited.
BELINDA: We need to call a police, and with DNA test and everything what could be tested, they’ll tell us who is the killer.
SYBIL: Belinda, how about your article “Brain is the best way to solve any murder case.”
BELINDA: It was for writing. Not for daily life. Everyone, wake up! I’m older and more experienced here.
Enter Radley and Elata.
ELATA: I told you, party is still on.
MASSEY: Elata, you don’t suppose to be here.
ELATA: I made a surprise to Desmond. I change dates for drawing course. To you all amazement also. Why you look at me?
FERGUS: Desmond, he is...
TRUMAN: Behind that door.
Elata quickly walks to door, exits.
RADLEY: We were on the same train. Than Elata walked with me. Cars...
Woman’s scream becomes an angry argument.
GEORGE: What’s going on?
AGATHA: She still can’t accept husband’s behaviour.
TRUMAN: Personal experience?
On stage runs Elata.
After her, all in blood, with knife in the chest enters Desmond.
DESMOND: Please, stop.
DESMOND: We just had fun.
ELATA: With knife in the chest and no one call the police.
BELINDA: We thought to made that.
FERGUS: After solving a mystery.
DESMOND: Just be quiet. It’s not convenient.
ELATA: You are mad, like all of them.
MASSEY: If nothing happened, let’s celebrate. Music.
DESMOND: Good idea.
Music turns on. Light twinklers.
Everyone touches Desmond’s knife. Quickly all became drank. In playing and joking with knife participate everyone, including Hulbert, Voleta and Ludlow.
Morning after party. Everyone are at different chairs. Empty bottles are on tables.
Desmond stands up and went to the smoking room. He still has blood on clothes, but any knife is on him.
Desmond enters smoking room, than quickly returns.
DESMOND: Sybil is dead! Sybil is dead!
TRUMAN: Joke told second time is not a good joke. Cheers!
DESMOND: She is cold.
ELATA: Desmond, how many times?
Ludlow enters in the room and returns.
LUDLOW: Woman is really dead. Everyone, stay calm.
RADLEY: We have to call a police.
MASSEY: We will call. But first of all, we’ll find out who is our killer. At least this time. When we will have one more chance?
DESMOND: Bad idea, Massey.
MASSEY: You wanted that we played in it, didn’t you. Now, have time of your life. Yesterday you were first to participate.
TRUMAN: I wrote story about court investigation.
GEORGE: We all know what to ask.
BELINDA: And how to lie.
LUDLOW: Police is here. Calm down, everyone. Ludlow Bertrand, police officer. My duty was to judge during murder game.
ORMOND: Your game? Congratulation, you loose!
DESMOND: It wasn’t suppose to be real murder.
FERGUS: Her blood is on your hands.
GEORGE: Not bad idea, Fergus. Police officer as investigator and killer. You used it in “Murder-in-law” book.
FERGUS: It’s so nice that you really read my book, not only write a review.
VOLETA: It was your fault, Mr Woodward.
DESMOND: It all became my mistake, I know. I wasn’t planned that.
ELATA: What you did, Desmond?
DESMOND: It was my idea.
MASSEY: Who could predict?
ELATA: Tell, or I’ll kill you. This time for real.
LUDLOW: Please calm down, everyone. At first I’ll check crime scene. All talks after it. It’s understandable.
HULBERT: Do you need a special room?
LUDLOW: Thank you, Mr Cunningham.
Ludlow exits to smoking room.
Hulbert exits in opposite direction.
TRUMAN: We all know what will be now.
GEORGE: We’ll wrote about this for years.
BELINDA: This young boy won’t be better than we.
DESMOND: Belinda, your suggestions.
BELINDA: We will participate in that. We knew each other, we read books of each other.
ELATA: Everyone of you stabbed someone in books.
DESMOND: Darling, thank you for support.
AGATHA: Elata is right. And we want to listen about your fault, Desmond.
MASSEY: It’s all wrong.
CARLA: If you have something to hide.
BELINDA: We need place.
Everyone start to change how situated tables and chairs, that one table with two chairs on sides of it is in the middle. Around it are chairs, at which like children at the party, arguing, sit all writers.
LUDLOW: What’s the Hell is going on?
TRUMAN: We had nothing to hide from each other.
LUDLOW: It’s investigation.
BELINDA: Boy, I wrote more murders than you had women in whole life. We don’t disturb your work.
LUDLOW: You all insist!
ORMOND: It’s free will. And our ultimatum.
LUDLOW: It’s my work.
GEORGE: He really could be main suspect.
CARLA: Policeman with dark past. Ex-lover of Sybil.
LUDLOW: All of you are mad. I’ll have it in mind. But I agree to your crazy idea. Who will be the first witness?
FERGUS: Our names on papers in that big box.
LUDLOW: Why and when you did it?
DESMOND: It was prepared for today’s party with murder.
LUDLOW: To my observation it begins far early. Fine, let’s begin our day.
GEORGE: You could start with time line.
BELINDA: Really, officer. It’s helpful: who was where when.
TRUMAN: Sketch of the place with arrows.
CARLA: You could use our photos.
AGATHA: Yes, we all have few of them, signed, just in case.
LUDLOW: Thank you for your cooperation, but I am familiar with police work.
ORMOND: Confidence based on what?
LUDLOW: Professional experience! May I begin?
FERGUS: We suspect that you forget about that.
LUDLOW: I will start from...
ORMOND: It have to be just chance of Fortune. Find name.
LUDLOW: Ormond Abbey, I’ll listen to you.
TRUMAN: It’s not fair.
LUDLOW: But practical. Come on, on main place. Did anyone change mind?
RADLEY: About what?
LUDLOW: To be present during interrogation.
CARLA: At which reason we’ll change own mind.
LUDLOW: Amazing power to trust.
LUDLOW: You all know that one of us is killer. You didn’t afraid to sit shoulder to shoulder to that person.
BELINDA: Trust it can’t be named. We believe that in every person hides an evil. It can’t be surprise or news for us.
LUDLOW: You choose a difficult life. Life on the dark side.
GEORGE: We write about justice.
LUDLOW: At first gave evil occasion to commit a crime.
ELATA: My words to Desmond. You life is wretched, you make money on it. You are on the dark side.
DESMOND: All your beautiful life is wrong. I appreciate your approval of my work field.
FERGUS: Pure Desmond, not everyone prize you.
DESMOND: Draft had to be on my table previous week.
LUDLOW: Calm. Be quiet.
HULBERT: Mr.Bertrand. I prepared a room.
LUDLOW: Thank you, Mr. Cunningham. But all changed, public wants open process.
HULBERT: It’s murder, not party.
CARLA: Do you have something to tell?
HULBERT: Of course, not. But I am against such advertisement for my hotel. We planned different story.
VOLETA: It was worse idea ever.
MASSEY: Am I the only one here, who suspects that we took part in the story, sense of which we didn’t follow.
GEORGE: Wise words.
MASSEY: Not necessary every time when I said something, agree with me. I already forget that episode with bet about desert. And I have own opinion.
AGATHA: That hotel, with books of Sybil Lefebvre. It’s not convincing.
HULBERT: What’s wrong with that? Everyone had own preferences.
BELINDA: Could be, but not correct.
LUDLOW: More observations?
BELINDA: It’s stage, not proper made in minor details.
DESMOND: He is fan of Sybil, since “Murder committed” story.
BELINDA: Could be. But how long-term reader could made such terrible mistake and maintain that quotation “And I will find you and kill you again and again” is from Sybil’s book “Death came again and again.”
MASSEY: It’s from book “Death came again”.
HULBERT: What do you suggest?
CARLA: Next. Voleta Limmington.
CARLA: On party Sybil called you Martina.
VOLETA: She was drunk.
ORMOND: Not you, to forget your name.
GEORGE: Is Mr Bertrand is real police officer? “An inspector calls”.
LUDLOW: Enough of that game. I will talk to you only at police station.
ORMOND: Where all colleagues will participate in interrogations and will prove that it was your fault that you took part in private game, where was for real murdered human being.
LUDLOW: What do you suggest?
TRUMAN: Give time to us and we’ll solve a crime.
LUDLOW: What I suppose to do till that miracle?
BELINDA: Watch and learn.
ORMOND: Ludlow, what exactly are you doing here?
LUDLOW: Nice move. I didn’t notice when my investigation became interrogation of me.
DESMOND: It was my idea.
ELATA: I feel it.
DESMOND: Sybil’s texts, they were...
FERGUS: Boringly detailed.
LUDLOW: Too detailed.
AGATHA: I told you, she killed someone.
GEORGE: Darling, be less enthusiastic.
LUDLOW: And when I show details of case to Desmond.
DESMOND: We thought, she is our killer.
CARLA: And her confession it’s “Murder is committed.”
DESMOND: Exactly. And Martina, Voleta Limmington, was our single witness who saw the same and we thought...
FERGUS: Why now?
ORMOND: Passed a lot of time, when everything began. Were another murders, cases.
VOLETA: Someone else knew about that story and killed Sybil, didn’t you notice.
FERGUS: But why now?
HULBERT: It was Ludlow’s, Bertrand’s idea and I agree.
AGATHA: Why? How you are connected with officer?
HULBERT: He is dating my daughter, Grace. And Grace wanted to help him.
BELINDA: It explains not accurate setting.
MASSEY: I could make a conclusion that now you don’t believe that Sybil was a murderer.
DESMOND: Not now.
BELINDA: Could she committed suicide, that it would look like a murder.
GEORGE: Her name will be on first pages, no one will search her real story.
ORMOND: Voleta, why you changed your name.
VOLETA: To check if she’ll remember me, Desmond told me so.
ORMOND: Ludlow, was Sybil a second witness.
VOLETA: She described it in story.
MASSEY: Did Sybil told you, Desmond, that she killed someone?
DESMOND: It wasn’t in her CV.
GEORGE: Why not normal police?
LUDLOW: I am proper police and I’m here to close a case.
DESMOND: Beaufort Lefebvre.
AGATHA: You could go to him, he worked in police.
LUDLOW: And told that his wife is serial killer.
DESMOND: It wasn’t accidental evidence.
DESMOND: All her books. We had letters from different police officers around the country.
ELATA: You never answer for such letters.
DESMOND: But we archive them. In case of plagiarism accusations.
MASSEY: Desmond, you are stupid donkey.
CARLA: Important and correct observation, but reasons.
MASSEY: Did anyone of you listen to Sybil’s chatting?
BELINDA: Nearer to the point.
MASSEY: It were old cases.
LUDLOW: Most of all.
MASSEY: Beaufort Lefebvre.
BELINDA: Magic spell didn’t give us a clue.
CARLA: Charity fond.
MASSEY: You get it.
FERGUS: Central police archive digitalized.
TRUMAN: Of course. Details. Photos.
DESMOND: Closed cases.
ORMOND: Dead ends.
ELATA: She didn’t know nothing.
LUDLOW: No, she knew all, what police find before. This case was never closed.
VOLETA: She recognized me.
BELINDA: Your face. It was very stupid of you, to kill alive woman.
CARLA: Sybil wasn’t best in the world, but even she didn’t deserve it.
HULBERT: You said you wanted to close that case, Martina, because of daughter.
LUDLOW: Martina Limmington hasn’t a daughter.
RADLEY: It’s my fault.
DESMOND: Hello, what had you done.
RADLEY: Like you told, I check all potential plagiarism stories and found new letter from Ludlow.
LUDLOW: I’m less than year in that place. Nothing happened. So I checked old cases, never closed.
BELINDA: To show your intelligence, I guess.
RADLEY: I made investigation. I talk to Voleta, Martina, her, the same. And checked facts.
ORMOND: And Martina, Voleta, agreed to help a police to catch a real murderer.
VOLETA: It’s not true.
RADLEY: I told Ludlow about colour of the car, which you remember.
MASSEY: “Lights of yellow car were in front of her, in light he died.”
DESMOND: Amazing memory.
LUDLOW: It wasn’t in papers. It wasn’t in investigation. It was in book.
VOLETA: I was a victim. And I don’t know why. What for? Stranger was killed. I saw it. Now you insist that I murdered a writer? That stupid cow.
ORMOND: Who he was for real?
LUDLOW: Young doctor, who was on practice here. He had a lot of woman.
VOLETA: I saw him at pharmacy, once or twice. Why kill him?
CARLA: Daughter. Martina. You wanted to name her Voleta, where is she?
LUDLOW: She hasn’t...
AGATHA: Not your answer.
VOLETA: He told mother. I saw him just once, and he told mother. He told that I’m in love with him and he don’t want to have troubles.
MASSEY: It was in Sylvia’s story. Idea with child from that man. She, killer, argued with him and murdered doctor.
ORMOND: Sylvia wrote it so talented, that you believed that it was your story.
LUDLOW: Police had version that it was accident and car was without a driver. Than came Martina Limmington and told that someone was in the car, case still open.
RADLEY: And after that was me.
BELINDA: Dear, your story became real and you wanted to kill a Sybil to finish it.
VOLETA: When it was printed, everyone talk about it. It was most interesting part of my life. I didn’t kill no one. It was accident, years ago. I didn’t see it. You want that I’ll tell it aloud, officer. I did.
TRUMAN: Sybil, perhaps, didn’t have own ideas, but imagination had enormous.
SYBIL: In our business you had to be dead to heard how people appreciate you.
ELATA: Pour Beauford, he can’t get rid of you.
SYBIL: I also glad to see you, Elata.
DESMOND: Party was amazing, wasn’t it?
AGATHA: And our unsuccessful killer – Voleta, Martina Limmington?
LUDLOW: I can’t prove that she is dangerous for society and needs special treatment. I need to close a case. I just add some deepness for Desmond’s story. Sybil helped.
HULBERT: Did Grace know about it?
LUDLOW: Not exactly.
HULBERT: I will talk to her.
DESMOND: I’m genius. It was unforgettable. I didn’t expect that, but how about one more day of holidays.
BELINDA: Next time.
FERGUS: All future conversation only with my agent.
ELATA: You are mad, Desmond.
George and Agatha’s house.
Near coffee table sit George, Agatha, Sybil and Beaufort Lefebvre.
AGATHA: I just wanted to apologize for our conflict, which we had during bakery contest.
SYBIL: Most ridiculous thing in the world.
AGATHA: To be true...
GEORGE: You rehearsed it, dear. You’ll do it.
SYBIL: Don’t worry, Agatha. I bought all the pies at the same bakery.
AGATHA: But how?
SYBIL: I waited in the car, when you leave shop.
GEORGE: Glad that everything is clear.
BEAUFORT LEFEBVRE: Sybil told me about your interest to art-nouveau time cases. You flat, it’s amazing.
GEORGE: Thank you.
BEAUFORT LEFEBVRE: Do you still want to make here mystery quests games?
AGATHA: We didn’t decided.
GEORGE: I am tired of living in museum.
SYBIL: It’s better for writing mood.
AGATHA: I told George all the time about that.
GEORGE: Desmond and his problems with publishing house. If we could afford investigatiob attraction and live in another place.
BEAUFORT LEFEBVRE: I need new authors for publishing house, which I gifted to Sybil.
GEORGE: But Desmond.
AGATHA: Yes. It would be...
SYBIL: Ludlow didn’t told me that she is mad. I believed that she is murderer. Now I pay for best clinic to Voleta. Girl didn’t deserve it. Desmond went this time too far, like at every case.
BEAUFORT LEFEBVRE: And Radley Spillbread will work for us.
BEAUFORT LEFEBVRE: We met once on the race.
AGATHA: More tea, dear.
SYBIL: With pleasure, dear.
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