Episode Four, Mystery - "Clueless"
In our previous episode, rugged pioneers Beau and Trixie tracked the cattle baron who stole their land deeds and stranded them in a valley. Before they could catch him, they were kidnapped by bandits. After foiling the bandits' bank robbery plot, they tracked the cattle baron to his last location. He was already gone, but he had left something behind...
"It seems the thief has left a calling card," private investigator Beau said, leaning behind the armchair.
His detective partner Trixie tucked a pencil behind her ear. "Well? What is it?"
Beau held up a playing card.
"The ace of spades?" Trixie sputtered. "Could you possibly be less original? What kind of lame criminal leaves the ace of spades?"
Beau sealed the card in a plastic bag.
"What next, a trail of oversized footprints leading to his secret lair?" Trixie complained.
"Well, if our thief isn't too clever, I guess it isn't who we thought, after all," Beau said.
The two looked at one another solemnly. Every time they took a case these days, they hoped it would lead them to the world's most daring thief, known internationally only as the Baron. When they first began investigating one of his heists, he had somehow managed to steal their top secret case files even as they tracked him. They had lost their credibility in the investigative world - and most of their clients.
Now, investigating the theft of jewels from Dr. Hugh Dunnett's mansion, they realized they were off the Baron's scent again.
"Detectives!" The door flew open, and a maid dashed into the room.
"What is it, Mrs. Blanche?" Trixie asked.
"There's been a murder!"
When Trixie and Beau reached the foyer where the body lay on the oriental rug, the mansion's houseguests had assembled.
"It's Dr. Dunnett!" Beau said.
"His jewels disappear yesterday, and he's murdered today," Trixie said. "What's going on here?"
The detectives looked at the six suspects. "I think you had better wait for us in the parlor," Beau said.
"But what if one of us is the killer?" the beautiful Miss Crimson cried. "I won't be shut in a room with a killer!"
"Fine," Trixie said. "Each of you pick a different room. We'll be right in to speak to each of you." She noted who went to which room, and then she joined Beau beside the body.
"We'll have to wait for the coroner to determine the cause of death," he said, "but our poor Dr. Dunnett sustained a pretty good blow to the head at some point."
Trixie peered over his shoulder. "Any idea what kind of weapon was used?"
Beau stood. "Well, he was a hardy boy, but a heavy enough object would do the job." He pointed at a decorative shelf at one end of the foyer. "That bronze statuette, for example."
"We'd better check out those suspects," Trixie said, pulling out her notepad. "I suggest Mrs. Blanche in the music room."
"With the statuette?" Beau asked. "If it really is the murder weapon and we bring it in there with us, then the murderer will get pretty nervous and might slip up."
Beau retrieved the statuette and then puzzled over how to look casual about carrying it with him as they entered the music room.
The interview with Mrs. Blanche yielded no new information. The moment she had seen the body, she said, she had run screaming for the detectives. On the way out, Beau casually tapped a few keys on the grand piano and grimaced. "Needs tuning," he muttered.
They spoke with Miss Crimson next, but she spent most of the interview complimenting Beau's hair and striking various poses. Trixie marked her suspicions about Miss Crimson's behavior in her notebook.
Next, they met Professor Prune on the screened patio. "If you ask me, Dr. Dunnett didn't pay enough attention to the mansion's security system," he announced, snapping a book shut and standing to greet them. "First the stolen jewels, now the murder. They sure lock homes where I'm from. I suppose that's a lesson he never learned."
Trixie and Beau noticed how quick he was to blame the crimes on an outsider. They proceeded to the reading room, where they met up with Colonel Grey-Poupon.
He stood and brandished his riding crop when they entered. "What is the meaning of this?" he cried, indicating Beau's heavy statuette.
The detectives exchanged looks. "Whatever do you mean?" Trixie asked.
"You look like you're going to club someone with that thing," the colonel complained.
They got little information out of the man, so they moved on to the breakfast nook, where the elegant Mrs. Bluebird sat sipping sherry.
Trixie flipped through her notes. "Mrs. Bluebird, what is your first name?"
"Agatha. Christie, I mean." Mrs. Bluebird turned bright pink.
"My research since the jewel theft indicated that you have gone by more than one name," Trixie confirmed.
"So which is it?" Beau thunked the statuette onto the table. "Agatha or Christie?"
Mrs. Bluebird glanced at the statuette but did not react nervously to its presence. "My name's not important," she said. "Yes, I have a checkered past, but I never killed anyone!"
Their last suspect, Mr. Teal, was waiting in the foyer for them. "Look, I want some answers out of you two," he snapped. "When can I get out of here? I don't want to end up like him!" He pointed at Dr. Dunnett's body.
"Let's get them all together in one place," Beau said. "Maybe that will ease everyone's nerves." He turned and called for the suspects to come out into the foyer.
Trixie and Beau watched as Miss Crimson, Mrs. Bluebird, Colonel Grey-Poupon, and Professor Prune assembled in the foyer.
"Where's Mrs. Blanche?" Miss Crimson cried.
"In the music room!" The detectives raced back. The housekeeper was gone, but the fireplace was partially swung back to reveal a secret passage.
"Quick!" Beau cried, and Trixie followed him into the cold, musty tunnel. They staggered through the darkness until they saw light ahead.
"The foyer?" Trixie said, when they stepped out through a secret doorway. "The tunnel leads back into the foyer?" She shook her head at Mrs. Blanche, who was struggling against Mr. Teal and Colonel Grey-Poupon as they held her. "Okay, that was about as brilliant as leaving the ace of spades as your calling card, lady."
"I would have gotten away with his jewels, but Dr. Dunnett had you on the scene before I could make my getaway," Mrs. Blanche snarled. "He happened upon me while I was hiding the jewels inside the grand piano, so I had to do him in!"
"In the music room with the statuette, Mrs. Blanche?" Trixie asked.
"Bingo. I guess that makes you the winner."
"Well, I helped," Beau pouted.
It wasn't until the police had taken away the murderer and cleaned up the scene that Beau's and Trixie's thoughts returned to the baron.
"I guess we'd better head back to the office and check our clues again," Trixie said. "Maybe we can get back on his trail."
As they headed out the door, though, they were driven against the outer wall by a tremendous explosion...
"The Clue board game, which inspired this episode, is a trademark of Hasbro."
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