Murdered to Death Act II Scene 2 - Inspector Pratt

  1. Top of show.
    [Enter, carrying book] Very interesting. Very interesting indeed. [Place book on end table. Center.] So... you all maintain that when the shots were fired you were in your rooms.
  2. Charles: Except for me, old boy. Just nipped outside for a spot of air.
    Thomkins: And me, sir. I was in the downstairs lavatory.
    I'm aware of that, Thompson. Pity you weren't out of there a bit faster.
  3. Thomkins: I would have been, sir, but it was rather difficult. When I opened the door, the Colonel was holding the gun in a firing position. I thought my number was up.
    What number?
  4. Thomkins: It's just a saying, sir.
    [To Charles] MMn. Can you explain, Colonel?
  5. Charles: Simple really. It's the same as... thought I'd had it... had my chips.
    No, why you had the gun!
  6. Charles: Oh, sorry, old chap, get you now. I rushed in, spotted the gun lying there, picked it up.
    Thomkins: And that's when I saw him, sir.
    I'm quite aware of that, Thompson.
  7. Thomkins: Sorry, sir. Just trying to clarify the events.
    [To Thomkins] When I want clarity, I'll ask for it... I usually manage without. [Stomp on his foot and turn back to Charles.] Did you see anyone else, Colonel?
  8. ...
    Joan: It all happened so quickly, Inspector. Suddenly we were all on the staircase. I remember calling to Missus Craddock.
    [To Joan] Do you recall what you called when you were calling?
  9. Joan: It's so difficult. I believe it was, "There's another one gone." So tragic. And if you hadn't mislaid the gun, Inspector.
    [To Bunting] You were in your room in the basement, Butler Bumsting?
  10. Bunting: I wasn't feeling very well. I think I must have caught something.
    Charles: Too much to drink if you ask me.
    And you didn't hear the shots?
  11. Bunting: I didn't hear anything, your Lordship, I must have dropped off.
    Dropped off what?
  12. Thomkins: He was virtually unconscious on his bed when I checked on him, sir.
    Bunting: I thin it must be the flu. May I be excused for a moment?
    What for?
  13. Bunting: It's rather urgent. [He leaves. Phone rings.]
    [Jump, scream.] Ah... that'll be the phone.
  14. Thomkins: [Answers the phone] Bagshot house, Constable Thomkins... feeling much better thank you sir... Sergeant? One moment, sir. it's for you, Sarge... the Deputy Chief Constable.
    [Take the phone. Wrap up in phone during conversation.] Pratt, sir... I'm afraid so, sir, but it wasn't exactly under my nose... yes, same weapon, sir... immediately? But, sir... yes, sir.... sir. [Unwrap from cord and hang up.]
  15. Thomkins: Didn't sound very pleased, Sarge.
    No, Thompson, he wasn't. You're going to be in very hot water over this. [Center] Right I want to get this cleared up once and for all. I haven't got long, I'm wanted back at the station... another important case.
  16. Charles: We won't detain you then, old boy.
    Not so fast, Colonel. there's one thing that's been preying on my mind. Missus Marbles, you said taht before Miss Bogshot was shot, she went into the dining room, looking for a book?
  17. Joan: Yes, Inspector.
    Well I've taken the trouble to interrogate the book case. There was one book which caught my eye, separate from the rest... and it's in this book that I believe the answer to our mystery lies. [Move to the end table and take book from Pierre. Take it back Center.] "The Art of Macrame." [Pause.] Does this mean anything to any of you? [Pause.] You disappoint me. [Flick through pages.] I felt sure this book held the key. [Drop key.] Ah... the key. [Pick up key.] If I'm not mistaken, this key holds the key. At a guess I'd say it's the key to the front door.
  18. Joan: I believe you'll find it's a safe key, Inspector.
    But of course, Missus Marbles. Why should we anticipate danger from a mere key!
  19. Joan: No, Inspector. The key to the safe.
    The safe? Precisely what I was thinking, Missus Marbles. If you'll bear with me but a moment, I will unlock our proverbial panda's box. [March out into the dining room. Wait two beats, then come back in, direct to Thomkins.] Where's the safe, Thompson?
  20. Thomkins: Don't know, Sarge.
    Pierre: I believe I know, Inspector. Per'aps you will allow me the 'onour of assisting you.
    Thank you, Monsewer. [Hand him the key and return Center.]
  21. Thomkins: But, Sarge!
    Stop fussing, Thompson. Pity you don't show that sort of initiative.
  22. Joan: I think you'll find the contents of the safe unimportant, Inspector. I believe I know the identity of the murderer.
    You do!
  23. Joan: I've come across many similar cases... and this particular one seems to follow a typical pattern.
    Quite so. Continue, Missus Marbles. I suspect that your suspicions will confirm the suspicions which I already suspect. [Take out notebook and pen and scribble as she talks.]
  24. ...
    Elizabeth: What a ridiculous suggestion! You can't possible believe that?
    [To Elizabeth.] But I do. As it happens, it's a line of investigation which I also have been following. Would you care to reveal your proof, Missus Marbles?
  25. Joan: I'm afraid that's not possible, Inspector.
    Come now... don't be so modest.
  26. Joan: But I have none.
  27. Jone: I was merely postulating, Inspector. Usually upon my revelations, the murderer immediately breaks down and confesses. Unfortunately on this occasion I seem to have failed.
    You mean you made it up!
  28. Joan: Absolutely, Inspector. I thought it was worth a try.
    [Cross out notes furiously.] Missus Marbles, do you realize the seriousness of your rash pustule? I could have you charged with... with... with a very serious charge.
  29. Pierre: I am sorry, Inspector, but I bring unfortunate news. The safe was empty except for a small amount of money... a trifle.
    A pity... I had high hopes. [Take the money, thumb through it, then put it in pocket.] I'd best hold onto this... could be important.
  30. Thomkins: No copy of the will I suppose?
    Pierre: Non.
    I think we've already covered all possibilities with the will, Thompson.
  31. Thomkins: But thinks have changed, Sarge. The Colonel now inherits the estate.
    Does he? [To Charles] Do you?
  32. Charles: So it would seem, old boy.
    Margaret: What! Charles, what are you saying?
    No doubt a surprise. But then you weren't aware of the long standing relationship between your husband and the late Miss Bogshot.
  33. ...
    Margaret: Don't, Charles. Stop it now!
    Charles: This is really too much, Sergeant. I gave you information in the strictest of confidence.
    [To Charles] Regrettable but inevitable. Another crime has been perpetuated. [To Margaret] Over a great many years your husband had a lustful, sinful, pestilent affair with Miss Bogshot. As a token of her esteem, she made certain provisions in her will. With the death of Missus Foxhole, Colonel Codling becomes major beneficiary.
  34. Margaret: How could you do it, Charles? How could you do it to me?
    I think that concludes the investigation.
  35. Thomkins: Are you sure, Sarge?
    No doubt, Thompson. Major Beneficiary came here with the express intent of killing the two ladies of the house. [Move to the couch while saying] He did so with ruthless cunning, expecting to outwit the forces of the law. Unfortunately for him, he didn't count on me. [Lean on back of couch but miss, hit floor. Jump back up. Move to center.]
  36. Charles: This is preposterous!
    [To Charles] I think not. You were close to the scene of the crime on both occasions. Just before Miss Bogshot was shot she said, "so you've found." As I deducted at the time, she was about to say "your gun". The gun which you were holding.
  37. Thomkins: Actually, I deduced it, Sarge.
    Stop trying to be clever, Thompson. Missus Foxhole's last words were, "he's trying to kill me" ...he. You again, Major. Neither Butler Bumsting nor Mister Marsalaysee had anything to gain by killing her. Charge him, Thompson. [As Thompson marches him out.] You accused me of incompetence, Major... were the first to cast nasturtiums against me. Perhaps now you see how incompetent I really am.
  38. Margaret: My husband may be an adulterer, but you're very wrong about one thing, Sergeant.
    I think not. I'm rarely really wrong.
  39. ...
    Charles: Not real paintings of course... copies. He supplied them.
    Margaret: They're in it together.
    So, the thick plottens yet again. What are your real and proper names?
  40. ...
    Elizabeth: Fool! Well you're not 'aving me!
    Grab her, Thompson!
  41. Charles: Well done, Bunting, old chap. Arrived in the nick of time! Bit like the old Keystone Cops eh, Sergeant?
    Hold on to her, Major. Pull yourself together, Tompson. [To Pierre] You were saying, Mister Marsalaysee?
  42. ...
    Pierre: except before dispatch we swapped the originals for these copies. Dorothy found out. She tried to blackmail us.
    So you mortally killed her.
  43. Pierre: I didn't... we didn't. We haven't killed anyone!
    I think that's for me to decide.
  44. Charles: I told Mildred these were copies. Blighter must have overheard.
    You incurably murdered them both to save your own skins. As I suspected from the start.
  45. Pierre: We haven't hurt anyone!
    I don't think that will stand up in a court of legal law. [To Center.] You should be more careful. You know what put me on to you? When you returned and claimed there was a trifle in the safe... the ramblings of a mad man. And so I conclude my conclusions. A classically conducted investigation which will be recorded in the annals of most criminal crime... the two young innocents... murdered to death. Take him out, Thompson... I'll man-handled Miss Hardly-Trumping. [Take Elizabeth by the arm.] Good afternoon all. [Exit to hall.]
  46. ...
    Margaret: Just watch me. Keep them covered, Robert.
    [Sweep Bunting aside. Take gun. Swing it around dangerously while talking.] Thank you, Mister Bumsting. I wondered where Thompson had left it. Good afternoon all. [Exist]
  47. Joan: Inspector... help. You've got the wrong ones. Inspector...
    [Re-enter, all the way to left of couch.] Pardon? [Fight scene.]
  48. Joan: Stop them, Inspector... they're the murderers!
    What... oh, right. [Start toward Dining Room.]
  49. Joan: Not there, Inspector... outside!
    [Move to window.] Stop them, Thompson... come on, man, you can hop faster than that! Right... out of the way, man! [Smash window, aim, close eyes and look away, fire, look. Walk away proud and smiling, realize I shot Thompkins, run back look, then walk away slowly and sadly.] I wonder if one of you might assist Constable Thompson. He appears to have damaged his other foot. [Blackout.]
Card Set
Murdered to Death Act II Scene 2 - Inspector Pratt
Inspector Pratt's lines from Murdered to Death.