"The Pains of Love"

By Paul Howls

 

Love was in the air on the night that Dr. David Black invited six of his closest friends to a dinner party at Tudor Close. Little did he realise that sometimes a broken heart can be fatal.

 

Scene 1: The Hall

The main entrance to Tudor Close; The Hall is covered from head to foot in human size portraits of the former masters of Tudor Close, intermingled with the heads of dozens of different exotic animals from tigers to deer.

Dr. Black opens the large oak main door, inviting Mrs. Peacock in.

<Black> Elizabeth, Iím so glad that you could come. Let me take your coat.

Black hangs up the coat as they speak.

<Peacock> I wouldnít have missed it for the world. I do so enjoy your little parties.

<Black> Iím glad. Itís a shame though that this year weíll be without the company of Jack. Weíll all miss him. He was a very good friend.

<Peacock> And a good husband. It was such a shock when he died Ė nobody could have been more upset than I.

<Black> Yes. Well, at least youíve been lucky finding someone else. Mike and the others are in the Lounge.

They go through to the lounge.

 

Scene 2: The Lounge

The lounge is a bit tamer than the hallway, with two settees, several tables, a mantelpiece with a grand Victorian clock on it, a few landscape paintings dotted here and there, and several hunting trophies and knives in a large cabinet on one wall.

Mrs. White and Prof. Plum are talking to each other on the sofa, whilst Col. Mustard and Miss. Scarlett are talking in the far corner. The all look up as Mrs. Peacock and Dr. Black enter. Mrs. Peacock starts to walk over to Col. Mustard but Prof. Plum stops her.

<Plum> Ah, Elizabeth. You are looking particularly ravishing tonight.

<Peacock> Why, Professor Plum, you flatter me. Mrs. White, a nice change to see you out of your uniform.

<White> Dr. BlackÖ

<Black> Interrupting. ...David

<White> Blushing Ö David, was very kind to invite me. It is strange Ė I feel I should be running around preparing the meal - not preparing to eat it.

<Peacock> Well you enjoy yourself Blanche. Please excuse me, I must go and see Colonel Mustard.

She moves away

<Black> Iím so glad Elizabeth could give you the night off. It would not have been the same without you.

Mrs. White smiles

<Plum> I wonder where Reverend Green is Ė he should be here by now.

<Black> Heís probably finishing off writing one of his sermons Ė you know how he is about them.

<Plum> Iíll never understand the man myself - too dedicated to his work.

<White> Thereís nothing wrong with being dedicated to your work. Iíve been cook at Arlington Grange for years, and I still enjoy every minute of it.

<Black> I agree - if you find something that you enjoy doing - then why shouldnít you be dedicated to it.

Meanwhile Mrs. Peacock has walked over to Col. Mustard and Miss. Scarlett

<Scarlett> Snidely. Hello mother. I thought you werenít going to be able to come.

<Peacock> Putting her arm around Col. Mustard. I changed my plans especially - I couldnít have left Mike all alone could I?

<Mustard> Thank you Elizabeth.

Hogarth (Dr. Blackís butler) enters with Rev. Green.

<Green> Iím so sorry I'm late - I was busy finishing my sermon for Sunday.

Dr. Black smiles at Mrs. White and Prof. Plum.

<Black> Donít worry Reverend. Youíve timed it perfectly - I think dinnerís just about ready.

He looks over to Hogarth who nods.

Shall we all move through to the dining room?

 

Scene 3: The Dining Room

Dr. Black and the six guests are sitting around the grand candlelit table, with Dr. Black at the head, Miss. Scarlett, Prof. Plum and Mrs. Peacock down the one side and Rev. Green, Mrs. White and Col. Mustard down the other. They are just finishing the main course and are in deep conversation.

<Black> To Prof. Plum. Oh, do you remember The Crab. To Miss. Scarlett. We had this awful master at school - Mr. Crabtree - if we so much as giggled in one of his classes weíd get ten strikes of his cane.

<Scarlett> How awful. I really canít imagine the two of you as little schoolboys. She giggles.

<Plum> The three of us - David, myself and Jack - were little terrors at school. Always up to mischief.

<White> To Col. Mustard and Mrs. Peacock. Iím so glad that the two of you have found happiness.

<Peacock> So will you Blanche.

<Mustard> Just you wait Blanche, the right man could be waiting just around the corner.

<White> I do hope so ... So when is the wedding planned for.

<Mustard> Oh, I think ...

<Peacock> Cutting in. As soon as possible of course.

<Mustard> Smiling. Of course.

<Black> To Miss. Scarlett. Of course, thatís when I first met Rose. She was the daughter of the headmaster. She was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen Ė an angel. I thought that there was no way that sheíd ever like me. Her father forbid her to see me Ė but eventually I got the woman of my dreams.

<Scarlett> Ahh. You must miss her so.

<Black> I do. She meant the world to me. When she died last year it felt like my whole world had fallen apart.

<Scarlett> Putting her hand on Blackís hand. Well Iím very proud of how well you have coped. I donít know what Iíd do if the man I loved died.

<Black> You learn to carry on - eventually.

<Scarlett> Maybe youíll find love somewhere else. Quickly. Of course no one whoíd love you as much as she did. Not that someone couldnít. I mean... Oh I am sorry ...

<Black> Donít worry Vivienne, I understand what you are trying to say. Hopefully ... Who knows?

The servants are removing the dishes etc. from the main course, and are preparing to serve the deserts.

<White> To Rev. Green. Youíre being very quiet Reverend. Is everything all right?

<Green> Hesitates. Yes fine, fine.

<White> You must pop around tomorrow - Iíll bake some scones especially.

<Green> Youíre too kind Mrs. White.

<Scarlett> Loveís a very strange thing isnít it. You never know who is going to fall in love with who. Those who you think would be ideal for each other just donít get on, and then the least likely people seem to fall for each other.

<Black> Too trueÖ

There is a smash as Reverend Greenís Glass is knocked over.

<Green> Very upset. Oh. Iím terribly sorry David. I didnít mean to. I Ö Iíll go and clean myself up.

He leaves.

<Scarlett> Are you all right Professor? You haven't said very much.

<Plum> Hmm? Yes, fine thank you. I was somewhere else.

<Black> Well then Colonel, when are you going to make an honest woman of Mrs. Peacock? She is of course the woman you love isnít she?

<Mustard> Oh, well, yes of course. As soon a possible.

<Scarlett> I donít think that thereís any need to rush.

<Hogarth> Interrupting. To Black. Will that be all sir?

<Black> Yes thank you Hogarth. You and the servants may have the rest of the night off.

<White> Shocked. But the table will need tidying up. What about all of the plates? They need washing. They could be damaged Ö

<Black> Donít worry Mrs. White. Theyíll be fine for a few hours.

<Scarlett> Trust Mrs. White, always the housekeeper.

<Hogarth> Thank you sir.

Hogarth and the servants leave the room.

<Peacock> Well that was a lovely meal David.

<Black> I believe it was one of Mrs. Whiteís recipes. Anyway, I have a few phone calls to make if you will all excuse me. Could we all meet in the lounge at nine Ė I have a few things that I want to tell you all.

Black promptly leaves.

<Scarlett> I wonder what that was all about?

Silence.

<Peacock> Well Mrs. WhÖ Blanche. Would you accompany me to the lounge for a drink?

<White> That would be lovely.

They leave.

<Scarlett> Iím going to the Ball Room.

She leaves.

<Mustard> Well Plum, are you up for a spot of billiards later.

<Plum> Maybe in half an hour or so Ė thereís something Iíve got to get sorted first.

Plum quickly drinks the remainder of his drink and leaves.

 

Scene 4: The Lounge

Mrs. Peacock and Mrs. White are sitting on the settee drinking white wine.

<Peacock> Are you enjoying your night off Blanche?

<White> Very much so. I didnít think that Iíd ever be invited to one of Dr. Blackís parties.

<Peacock> I asked him to invite you, as a thank you for all youíve done for me since Jack died.

<White> Oh Ö that was kind of you.

<Peacock> Youíve been a treasure. I would never have been able to sort through all of his things on my own.

<White> Youíre a strong woman Mrs. Peacock. Dr. Black and I were saying just the other day how well youíve got through it all.

<Peacock> Oh, were you?

<White> Oh yes. Dr. Black said he couldn't believe how you managed to get though a second husband dying like that, and barely shedding a tear. You're so brave Mrs. Peacock.

<Peacock> Pausing. Blanche, I think thereís something that you ought to know.

<White> What?

<Peacock> David. Pause. You do realise that itís rumoured that heís been seeing Emily Peach.

<White> Shocked. No. No I hadnít realised.

<Peacock> Iím sorry Blanche.

<White> Upset. No, thank you for telling me before I made too much of a fool of myself.

<Peacock> Oh Blanche, you werenít.

<White> Getting up to leave. Almost crying. I think Iíll go and tidy up some of that mess in the Dining Room. Leaving. Those plates will only be damaged.

She leaves.

 

Scene 5: The Study

Dr. Blackís study is quite a dark room as the walls are panelled with oak.

Dr. Black is sitting at his large oak desk, talking to someone on the telephone.

<Black> Ö No, Iím sure about it Ö Iíve got proof Ö A letter he sent, itís all in there Ö Iíve had enough of keeping it a secret. Iím going to tell them all whatís going on Ö I know, I know. Opening the drawer of his desk and taking out a revolver. Iíll take care of myselfÖ

 

Scene 6: The Ball Room

The magnificent Victorian Ball Room at Tudor Close is known throughout the county, for each wall is covered with enormous mirrors stretching from floor to ceiling. These mirrors are inside gold leaf frames, surrounded by white carvings of as many Greek gods as you could possibly imagine, and more. In the far corner of the room is a grand piano, and on one of the walls is a chaise long on which Colonel Mustard and Miss Scarlett are sitting.

<Mustard> Worried. He knows.

<Scarlett> So what if he knows. Thereís absolutely nothing he can do. Heís got no proof.

Mustard picks up a piece of rope from the floor and starts twisting it around his hands.

<Mustard> Heís definitely up to something. Whatís this "announcement" that heís got planned for later?

<Scarlett> Stop worrying. Sheís not going to find out Ė until itís too late, and then Arlington Grange will finally be mine.

<Mustard> Ours!

<Scarlett> Of course Mike. Ours. Daddy should never have left that Black Widow the house, it was rightfully mine.

<Mustard> But what if he tells her? What if he does have proof?

<Scarlett> Pausing. Okay, Iíll go and speak to him. Donít worry, I will sort everything out.

She kisses him and leaves.

 

Scene 7: The Kitchen

Dr. Black's kitchen sparkles at you as you enter. Every enamel surface is spotless, and the metalwork gleams with polish. There is a large wooden table in the centre of the room where the night's meal was prepared; and there is a large rug on the floor.

Reverend Green is leaning over the sink trying to wash the red wine out of his shirt. He is extremely upset and is crying.

<Green> Iím sorry God. I donít know why I keep having these thoughts. I donít mean to. He knows doesnít he? He found out, some how? What am I going to do? Please Lord, I donít know what to do. Thereís no way out.

He looks up and sees a spanner lying on the kitchen table. He smiles, picks up the spanner and leaves.

 

Scene 8: Outside the Study

Prof. Plum is standing outside the door to the Study looking fairly angry. Miss Scarlett approaches him.

<Scarlett> What are you doing Professor?

<Plum> I was just about to go in to see Black. He was on the telephone so I was waiting till he finished.

<Scarlett> Are you alright?

<Plum> Laughing. Am I all right? Am I all right? No I am not all right. You and him at dinner. You think that he and Rose were the ideal couple.

<Scarlett> But they were married for years.

<Plum> Yes they were. He got his way eventually. He always gets his way. "His little angel". He never loved her as much Ö

<Scarlett> I think you should go and calm down a bit Professor before you see him. Go and get some fresh air in the Conservatory.

<Plum> Very well.

He leaves. Scarlett enters the Study.

 

Scene 9: The Dining Room

Mrs. White is stacking the dishes from the earlier meal. It is obvious that she has been crying. She looks up as Rev. Green walks past the door carrying a spanner.

<White> Calls out. Reverend?

Green stops in his tracks, surprised.

<Green> What?! Oh Mrs. White, I didnít see you there.

<White> Is something the matter Reverend? And why are you carrying a spanner? Come and sit down.

<Green> Oh Ö err Ö oh. Breaks down. Oh Blanche. I donít know what I was doing. Sits. I think I was about to do something really silly.

<White> Oh Reverend. Let me take that. She takes the spanner off him and puts it on the table. It canít be that bad.

<Green> It is. Believe me, it is. I donít know what to do. Iím at my witís end. Things used to be so simple. My father didnít want me to become a vicar; but I knew what I wanted in life, and I did it. But now Ö now things are different. I donít know whether I can stay as a pastor Ė if anyone finds out, that will be it. It will all be over. I CANíT let that happen Blanche, I CANíT.

<White> There must be something you can do?

<Green> I can think of only one way out. But it goes against everything I stand for. Everything I believe in.

 

Scene 10: The Conservatory

Tudor Close's conservatory is a botanist's paradise - filled with exotic plants from Dr. Black's many trips abroad. As well as the many plants, there is also several cabinets and shelves on the walls, containing trowels, shears, hoes and other general junk.

Prof. Plum is pacing up and down in the room shaking his head. On the surface he seems a lot calmer than earlier Ė but underneath he is extremely angry. He is thinking about something very carefully. He sees a piece of Lead Piping on one of the shelves and stops pacing. He smiles, picks up the Lead Piping and leaves.

 

Scene 11: The Kitchen

Mrs. White walks in carrying general cutlery and silverware from the Dining Room. She trips over the rug on the floor, dropping them.

<White> Talking to herself. What a silly place to put a rug. Iíd never have that sort of thing in MY kitchen. She puts the silverware on the sideboard. Youíre talking to yourself again Blanche Ė what would your mother say. She rolls up her sleeves and starts washing the plates. What are you going to do Blanche? Everythingís in such a mess. There must be something Ö

 

Scene 12: The Study

Prof. Plum bursts in through the door.

<Plum> Shouting. BLACK Ö

Stops as he see that only Miss Scarlett is in the room. She quickly closes the desk drawer that she was looking in.

Oh, Vivienne Ö I was just looking for Black.

<Scarlett> Well for his sake, itís lucky you havenít found him.

<Plum> Where is he?

<Scarlett> Calm down Professor. I donít know. He wasnít in here when I came in to speak to him. I thought Iíd wait till he came back.

<Plum> He must be somewhere.

He goes to leave. Miss Scarlett stops him.

<Scarlett> Youíre not going anywhere. I told you to calm down. Now sit down and take a few deep breaths.

She takes the Lead Piping off him. He sits down and takes a few deep breaths.

<Plum> Iím sorry Vivienne. I donít know what came over me. Everything seems to be in a muddle. Iím not thinking properly.

<Scarlett> I think thereís something in the atmosphere. Everyoneís been a bit on edge since dinner. What do you think Black has to say to us all?

<Plum> I dread to think. Pause. Anyway, Iím feeling better now. Iím supposed to be playing billiards with Mike Ė Iíd better dash.

<Scarlett> If youíre sure. I think Iíll have a look around for Dr. Black.

They both leave.

 

Scene 13: The Hall

Miss Scarlett passes through the Hall on her way from the Study. She interrupts Mrs. Peacock who is hanging her coat up in the Hall cupboard.

<Scarlett> Snidely. Hello Mother. What are you up to?

<Peacock> Nothing that would interest you dear. Iím surprised to see you here alone Vivienne; couldnít you find a young man willing to escort you.

<Scarlett> You should know by now that I have no problems finding willing men; and I donít have to flash MY money around to attract them.

They give each other very dirty looks. Mrs. Peacock smiles.

<Peacock> Have you seen MY fiancé anywhere? I havenít seen him since dinner.

<Scarlett> The Professorís just gone to meet him for a game of billiards. Have you seen Dr. Black? I've been waiting for him in the study. Iíve got to speak to him.

<Peacock> No, I donít know where he is. Anyway, I should go and find Michael.

Mrs. Peacock walks off in the direction of the Billiard Room, and Miss Scarlett leaves in the opposite direction.

 

Scene 14: The Billiard Room

Prof. Plum walks in, wiping his hands on a piece of cloth. Col. Mustard is already in the room, practising his billiards.

<Plum> Iím sorry Iím late Michael.

<Mustard> Donít worry Plum; it meant I could get in a bit of practice. Iím a bit stuck on this shot though.

Prof. Plum picks up a billiard cue and moves toward the table.

<Plum> Thereís a way out of every situation Michael. He lines up the shot. Itís just a matter of finding the best method to defeat your opponent without having to get yourself into trouble at the same time.

He takes the shot.

 

Scene 15: The Library

The Library, covered from wall to wall in ancient texts, is strangely quiet compared to the rest of the house.

Rev. Green is kneeling on the floor, holding a bible and a rope tied into a noose. He is sobbing to himself.

<Green> Iím so sorry Ö I didnít mean to do it Ö If I had any choice Ö Please forgive me Lord Ö Please forgive meÖ

In the background Miss Scarlett suddenly screams.

 

Dr. David Black has been murdered. Miss Scarlett discovered his body at the bottom of the cellar stairs (marked with an ĎXí on the map). Inspector Grey has been sent in to discover which of the six guests at the house that night killed him. But, he's having problems and needs your help.

By clicking on the suspectsí pictures to the left, you can read their answers to the questions that Inspector Grey has posed them.

Click on the Weapons icon (top left) to see where the possible weapons were discovered.

Click on the Map icon (top right) to see the layout of Tudor Close.

Click on the "Murder Cards" icon to make a suggestion as to Whodunit, with What and Where. You will then be told how many you guessed correctly.

Click on the Book icon to bring you back to this story.

Click on the central "Cluedo" icon (or on the link below) to take you back to the Cluedo main page.

 

Try to solve the mystery by reading as few of their answers as you can before you make a suggestion. If you get it wrong, go back to the testimonies and read a little more.

HINT: Cluedo is a game of deduction; all six suspects had good motives to kill Dr. Black. Try to work out who could have possibly done it, what weapons they had access to and where they (and Dr. Black) could have gone.

GOOD LUCK.

© Paul Howls, 1998

 

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