You're a private detective hired to watch the guests at an isolated Swiss inn. During the first night, one of the guests, Calvin Fox, disappears during a magic act - and doesn't reappear...
Rays of sunlight stream between the craggy peaks and in through the grimy windows above the staircase. Down below you hear a hearty male voice and, for a second, you think it must be Calvin Fox, having grown tired of his little joke and hungry for Bertha's cooking.
Instead, you wander into the dining room and find the fifth guest, Colonel Mustard, at the carved oak table, eating a rasher of bacon with his eggs and swilling a cup of hot tea. "Colonel Lewis Mustard," he says, raising his fork in a salute. "Late of His Majesty's Fusiliers. Sorry about not putting in an appearance yesterday. Beastly belly hasn't been the same since the Boer campaign."
"You seem to be eating fine this morning," says Marina Popov. The Russian hypnotist is seated across from him, sipping her own tea from a glass.
Colonel Mustard seems about to answer when the distant sound of a door and footfalls and several unfamiliar voices interrupt his thoughts. "Must be reinforcements," he chuckles. The three of you walk out to the lobby and are immediately faced with the new arrivals. They gaze uneasily around the dim interior while Fritz feels his way behind the desk to the register. As they sign in and peel off their traveling coats, you meet them, more guests for tonight's New Year's Eve festivities.
Mrs. Samantha Peacock. It's a name vaguely familiar from the society columns. English, you observe as she speaks, and bordering on middle-aged, but with the kind of bearing and sexual current that some men find fascinating.
Mr. Colin Green appears to be the current target of that current, although he seems too much the cynical man of the world to acknowledge Mrs. Peacock's attentions. He is sophisticated and cool to the point of being chilly.
Bertha has wheeled in the last newcomer, a grayish, lined face mounted on a crippled body. He introduces himself as Sabata. On hearing his name, Marina inhales sharply. "The artist," she whispers. "His style is so... hallucinogenic. They say his paintings predict the future, if you know how to interpret them."
The man in the wheelchair has heard this. His mouth smiles but his eyes remain cold. "Some would call me a visionary-- in the true sense of the word. For me, it is quite simple." Sabata interrupts himself, pausing and holding out his hands, as if to feel the air. "There is death here." His Spanish accent is thick but his words are clear.
Bertha clasps her hands to her heart. "Mr. Fox," she gasps. "The black magic made him disappear and now he is dead."
Copyright © 1998, 2010 by Newfront Productions, Inc.
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