Back at the inn, while the new arrivals get settled, you wander up to the second floor with at least one question answered. "How did Calvin Fox wind up at the bottom of the ravine?" He didn't. Someone had faked his own death. Again the question is, "Why?" What could he hope to gain?
"Its not enough money."
"It's all I have."
"Liar. You just don't think I'm worth it."
"We agreed on a price."
"Well, the price has gone up."
The voices stop you in mid-track. They're coming from behind one of the doors, somewhere on this floor. A woman demands more money. A man tries to hold out. The words are almost whispered, so you can deduce little. Now, suddenly, they're even softer, as if the two can sense someone in the corridor, listening to their desperate argument. Tiptoeing down the hall, you try to identify the room. One of the guest bedrooms. But which one? Just a little further and...
Your foot crashes into a brass spittoon. It rings like an alarm and the voices fall silent.
Lunch provides a welcome break from these maddening events. There are eight of you at the noonday meal. Bertha serves a hearty goulash with fresh-baked bread. You can't help wondering if she is the cook or if Fritz is responsible. Oh, well. you suppose the blind can cook as well as anyone.
"I hate to speak ill of a fellow practitioner of the serving arts." Mrs. White has waited until Bertha returned to the kitchen. "But I don't trust that Bertha. There's something shifty about her."
"There's something shifty about this whole place," Colonel Mustard says, his eye twitching with the tension. "We have a stranger sneaking around the premesis, faking his own death. And a crippled artiste - no offense, Sabata - who still babbles on about death in the air."
That's true. The Spanish artist has not backed down from his prediction of death. He sketches on his pad in mad bursts of energy and everyone is just a little frightened to see what he's drawing there.
"In a few hours our host will be here," Samantha Peacock says with forced gaiety. Then we'll be off to his extraordinary chateau."
Sabata emits a cruel chuckle. "You imagine Ian Masque's chateau will be much cheerier? You will look back on this as a doomed man looks back on his sweet childhood."
A pall descends over the rest of the meal. As the plates are cleared, several of the guests decide to stay for cigarettes and coffee, while others retire to the lounge.
"Oh, my!" Mrs. Peacock's voice is raised in a combination of suprise and delight. She re-enters the dining room carrying a small jewelry box. "Look what I found on the floor. It must have fallen from a table." There's a gift card tied to the box's hinge and she opens it with a flutter.
"To Samantha, a token from days gone by. Colin Green." She smiles at Mr. Green but his expression is inscrutable.
Peacock opens the ring box and her face falls. "Nothing." She displays the empty silk cushion. "Colin? What's the meaning of this?"
"It's not from me,"says an ever-suave Colin Green. "I never saw it before."
"Well, if its not from you..."
As if in answer, a soft cry of pain filters in from the kitchen. Sensing the worst, you rush into the adjoining room. It takes you a few seconds to see her, sollapsed in a corner by the sink, her body convulsing in the final spasms of life. Bertha dies a second later. In her left hand is an ornately jeweled ring. On her right finger, just above the knuckle, is a small drop of blood. Martin Urfe bends over, inspecting the ring without touching it.
"Poison," he says and points to a tiny, sharp barb hidden inside the gold band.
"It was meant for me," Mrs. Peacock gasps as she stares at the dead maid.
Mrs. White nods her head, knowingly. "I told you Bertha was shifty."
Copyright © 1998, 2010 by Newfront Productions, Inc.
Copyright © 1998, 2009 Hasbro Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.