The J.Harlequin Debacle: A RP Stage Short
(Everyone's a suspect!)
There was a quite noticeable scuff on the floor.
The creme de la creme of the world's crime-fighting society were at a formal dinner at her modest country residence that evening, and there was a scuff on the floor.
Molly Maltese sighed in tones of great irritation and wondered how she hadn't noticed the mark BEFORE all her guests had arrived. They were in the dining room now, chattering happily and dining on the delicious meal she had hired a cook specifically for. Many of her friends and associates were then, including some new faces. One new face in particular; a Mr. John Harlequin. He was a new politician in the area, determined to take on Joe Hollis for mayor. His past was basically unknown; his favorability extreme. Citizens either loved him or hated him.
Just as she had this thought, someone shrieked.
Raising a brow, she hurried from the parlor to look in. All the guests seated at the long table were either standing or sitting with shocked expressions; and John Harlequin was quite shockingly purple.
Even as she rushed into the room and neared him, Harlequin gave one final gasp and died. Silence descended as she grabbed his glass and sniffed at the rim delicately. She turned, and countless eyes bored into her.
"Alright, which one of you poisoned my guest?" she snarled.
Whispers and titters danced along the table, before a very familiar man stood. "We should call the police." he said.
Another raised a brow. "There's a room full of detectives here. I'm sure that's not necessary."
"It is when one of those detectives may be a murderer!"
"We can't send for the police anyway; can't you see its been snowing all this time? We can't go anywhere!" another shouted. Molly went to the window and looked out. Sure enough, snow blanketed everything in sight. The cars parked out front were completely obscured by white.
"Nobody is leaving! If you try, I'll shoot every last one of you!" Molly yelled, pulling out a pistol.
"If the killer says they were framed, then why on earth would I be here trying to show Elizabeth what I've found. See, I'm using gloves, trying not to contaminate this for, it can have finger prints." Marc said, "Zeo is risking it by not using gloves."
"What were you doing in the kitchen alone?" Heimlich asked with cuiosity.
"Funny that you should ask, Heimlich," Marc replied, "I was in there looking for clues. Harlequin was killed with rat poison and this little bottle, may have been used to carry the poison."
A silence filled the room.
"Look, I want to get some sleep." Molly said, "And I'm sure that Mr. Zeo does too. So here's what's going to happen. We are all going to go to bed, and tomorrow morning, we'll discuss this."
"I agree," Joseph said. He handed Marc the bottle back, and Marc took it with his gloved hand.
The four detectives went to their rooms. Elizabeth fell asleep almost instantly but Marc lay awake. He couldn't help but wonder, who had the rat poison. And why rat poison?
He walked up to the desk in the room quietly and sat down. Careful not to wake up Elizabeth, he turned on the desk lamp and pulled out his finger print dusting kit. He began to look for finger prints.
After a minute or so, he got one. A full finger print on the middle of the bottle. Not just one finger print, but two which appeared to be an index finger and a thumb print. Marc pulled out some tape and carefully removed the finger prints from the bottle, preserving the prints on the tape.
He shut the light off and went to sleep.
**The next morning, everyone had breakfast. Marc had never seen so many paranoid looks among so many faces. Everyone afraid they were next to get killed with rat poison.
Even Marc himself, was slightly scared.
After everyone was showered and cleaned, they all met in the study room.
"Last night," Marc said, "A few of you know that I found this bottle in the kitchen by the trash bin. (Contin..)
I found two prints. An index finger print, and a thumb print."
"How do we know they're not yours?" Vulkie asked.
"Good question. You see, unlike some detectives, I use gloves when handling evidence. I know not to contaminate it."
"How do we know you're not the killer?" Someone else asked.
"Because," Marc replied, "Not once, have I gone into the kitchen yesterday except to dine with my fellow detective friends. And, I was sitting five seats away. Count them. 1 2 3 4 5. Don't you think that's a little hard to poison someone's drink sitting that far away?"
Molly then opened her mouth to talk.
"There were so many of us moving about last night, and no one expected any poisoning to take place. How could we be sure that you didn't slip into the kitchen when we're not looking?" Molly challenged.
"I think the best way to answer that" Zeo interrupted, "is to let me try matching those prints." Marc gave Zeo the prints and again he stayed in a corner to work his magic while everyone were having breakfast and discussed quietly amongst themselves who the killer could be.
**30 minutes later**
"Good God!" Zeo exclaimed.
"What's the matter?"Molly asked, "Have you got a match?"
Zeo nodded nervously. "I didn't want to make any mistake here. We are talking about charging someone with murder..."
"Quit stalling, tell us, to whom does those prints on the rat poison bottle match to?" Someone exclaimed.
Zeo looked upset with the interruption, but he continued, "After I think I got a match, I double checked it with that third set of prints from the Bourbon bottle. There is no mistake, the fingerprint from both the rat poison and Bourbon bottle belongs to the same person. It's Molly's maid, Elsie." Zeo concluded.
Everyone gasped. Someone yelled that he knew it was her all along. Molly began to call for the cook to find out where Elsie was, and then they all realized she had not showed up all morning. The lady of the house then quickly headed for the maid's quarter, followed by several eager detectives.
Molly didn't bother to knock. She simply pushed open the door and entered Elsie's room. The curtains were drawn and it was very dark inside, but the detectives could sense that something was wrong. A dark shadow was hanging in the middle of the room. Someone turned the light on.
It was Elsie. With her eyes bulged out from her socket, and her lifeless body already turning blue, the maid was hung by a rope from the ceiling beam and a chair had fallen sideways on the ground. It appeared that she had committed suicide... or had she?
"This smells like a set-up" Vulkie said and Joseph nodded. "This ain't usual. Let me see her finger nails,to see if she "scratched" at something,like the rope. Victims of suicide usually do that" Joseph said and he pulled a magnifying glass out.
"Hmm,interesting.." Joseph murmered and Heim began to sweat. "What's wrong old boy? Isn't this a suicide?" Heimlich asked.
"It's not a suicide. You see,there are no "marks" of rope thread at her fingernails. The only conclusion I can make,is that Elsie was "strangled" before she was "hung" up." Joseph said and everyone gasped.
"That's sick!" Charlie said and Heim nodded. "But it needed to look like a suicide,my boy. But we're detectives,not fools!" Heim said and everyone nodded.
"Let me look for some clues..." Joseph said and he began to search the room. "From what I found,this is the most important. A threatening note. "I know what you're up to. Coorperate or be killed!" it says" Joseph said.
"People,everyone,write something down. Joseph'll analyze it and make a match..." Molly said and everyone scribbled something on the note,even the cook.
"Give me 30 minutes to make sure" Joseph said and everyone left for their room. Vulkie grudgedly went in her room,with a special guest of Molly's.
"Don't even think you can touch me.." Vulkie murmered and the guest grunted. "As if I wanted to.." he murmered and Vulkie ignored him.
***30 minutes later***
Three knocks on the door,Molly standing at the other side. "Meet us in the dining room. Joseph has analyzed the note.." Molly said and she shook her head. "I can't believe it who did this..." Molly said and she went away,to the other people.
****The dining room***
"Please calm down everyone!" Joseph said and everyone went silent. "Right,the person who wrote this note is no other than..." Joseph began...
(someone wants to wrap this rp up right quick. -.-)
Molly stood off to the side, at least seven shades of angry, worried, thoroughly irritated and quite saddened. Something just seemed so wrong about Elsie having any involvement at all, and now the poor girl was dead! And she had this suspicion she could not quite rid herself of. After everyone had burst into her room last night, guns drawn, with her wearing nothing but a robe and a very shocked expression, she had been too wired to go to sleep. And she had wanted to speak to Joseph, but after the bottle was found the opportunity never presented itself. Morning had come too quickly!
But she had slept lightly, opening her eyes at even the slightest of noises. And last night, she had definitely heard a noise, one that sounded like the door opening. At first she had lost all her detectives iron nerve and froze, afraid the killer would be hovering over her in a moment, but when she finally dared a peek, the door was closed, but Zeo was gone.
"Just a moment." Molly said quietly, and she took Zeo by the arm. "I want to ask him just one question, everyone. I know you're dying for results but it will only take a minute."
She led him by the arm to the study and closed the door behind her. Whirling, she crossed her arms and faced him.
"Where did you go last night?" she asked. "After everyone had returned to their rooms. You left, I heard you. Where did you go?"
Something like unease prickled over the back of her neck. Was she just being unnecessarily suspicious?
"I'm going to look in the spot where Elsie was killed for more clues," Marc said, "I know there has to be more than just a note. Who's going to go with me?"
"I will," Elizabeth said. And the two of them left the room leaving Vulkie, Charlie, and Heimlich behind. Whether or not they were going to go was up to them.
Marc and Elizabeth entered the room where she was found. The began searching with concentration, neither one of them talking. On the flool about two feet away where the body was found was a thin strand of hair.
"Elizabeth, I've found something," Marc called out. Elizabeth rushed over to him. "What is it?" she asked.
"A hair," Marc said, "From someone with......curly hair. Long, curly hair." He said slowly.
"Let's go find Molly and tell her what was found." Elizabeth replied.
The two detectives left the room to find Molly and Joseph to show them what was found.
Sleuth About Town
Elizabeth slept like a baby all night. Not because the whole murder thing didn't worry her, but because she was really tired.
She didn't notice any of Marc's moves as she slept, and went down to the breakfast table light spirited, despite her attention to everything.
Speaking only when something was directed at her, the woman cruised through the meal until the moment they went to Elsie's room to find her dead body.
She remained as quiet as usual during the mess, her eyes and ears working a lot more than her mouth.
As Marc invited her into the now empty room, she followed him obediently, roaming the place with her eyes, paying attention to every little thing. As Marc found a clue, she kneeled besides him and looked at the hair. Her hand went to her head, out of instinct.
"Thank goodness mine's straight", she thought to herself.
She stood up, moving some hair away from her eyes and blinking a couple times, slightly dizzy. She said nothing about it, though.
"Let's go find Molly and tell her what was found.", were the only words from her mouth before leaving the room.
She stopped by the middle of the hallway and leaned against a wall.
"You can go.", she murmured, "I need a minute".
* Back in the study *
"Where did you go last night?" Molly asked Zeo, "After everyone had returned to their rooms. You left, I heard you. Where did you go?"
"I went to confirm some of my earlier findings." Zeo replied with a straight face. "And I think I was right. Let us return outside, I will make the announcement, and everything will become as clear as day."
"What earlier findings? Do you mean the fingerprints? I thought those were dusted and done." Molly questioned suspiciously.
Zeo did not reply her, and forced his way out of the study. Molly had no choice but to follow Zeo back to the dinner hall.
Just as Zeo was about to speak, Marc interrupted him with the new finding. Zeo eyed the strand of long curly hair carefully and remained quiet for a while. "This strand of hair belong to the person who also wrote the threatening note." Zeo finally said, with a tinge of regret in his voice. His then cleared his throat and announced to the crowd, "I am sorry to say, that both PE belong to none other than our host, Ms. Molly Maltese."
Everyone in the room gasped.
"Just a moment ago, Ms. Maltese was trying to question my whereabouts last night, when she was actually the one I saw leaving the room." Zeo stated. "Obviously Molly would have access to all the rooms in this house, have the authority to order Elsie to do the poisoning for her, and when she fear that Elsie might spill the beans on her, she told everyone not to leave their room so that she can silence the poor girl and made it look like a suicide."
Molly looked on Joseph with an expression of perfect horror.
"What on earth are you saying?" she asked in a confused voice. "This must be some mistake, you have to believe me!"
"I always said you could have been a star actress, Maltese." a voice said from the assembled crowd, but Molly seemed to pay no mind. She focused on Joseph, her eyes narrowing.
They watched as she stepped forward. "You will not get away with this, Joseph Zeo." she said in a low voice, but Marc, seeing her move forward pinned her arms behind her and shoved her to her knees in a blur of motion. She grunted as she hit the ground, and looked up at Joseph, who was outlining the evidence eagerly.
"I can't believe it was Molly all this time!" Vulkie said to Elizabeth who was standing near her. But Elizabeth frowned.
"I don't know if I quite...buy it..." she said doubtfully, but Vulkie scoffed. "Oh please, acting is second nature to Molly. She jerks people around as if they were on marionette strings, she could easily have played us with none the wiser! Joseph is a hero for catching her in time!"
But there were still some mutters of vague unease as the room looked in Molly's unwavering eyes.
"Just a moment, Joseph," Marc said. "That's a frame up right there. You shouldn't jump to conclusions. I've made that mistake before and I've had to lean the hard way not to do it again."
"What do you mean?" Zeo replied.
"I'll explain it." Marc said, "first off, that bottle may have Molly's finger prints on it, but, it was never proven that was the bottle that had the rat poison. If you recall, I said it MAY have been THE bottle that contained the poison. Not that it WAS the bottle. Second off, as you can see, this hair that I found is curly. Not straid. Ms. Maltese here, has strait hair. And thirdly, have you even decided to compare that handwriting to anyone's handwriting in this house?"
No one spoke for a full minute. Marc stepped forward and took the note from Zeo's hand and began to examine it.
"If you ask me," Marc said, "It looks like someone who is.....left handed wrote that note."
"That's amazing for you to know that," someone said. Marc didn't look up to see who it was. "How do we know you didn't write that?" they asked.
"Because, I'm right handed. I have terrible left handed hand writing and this here is pretty neat writing," Marc said.
"Well then how do you know that someone who is left handed wrote it?" Joseph asked.
"Very good question, my friend. Take a look at the slant of the words." Marc replied.
"What about them?"
"They are too slanted for a right handed person to have written it. If you ask me, I think the same person who wrote this note, also had their hair pulled out by Elsie. So who in here has curly hair and is left handed?" Marc said.
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