The Affairs at Meddler’s Top: A Play in Two Acts


ACT 2: Scene 1

*The audience settles back into their seats and the lights dim in the auditorium, starting back up over the court*

Usher: *Standing at attention to address the audience* Court will rise.

Judge: *Enters once more and settles behind his bench*

Usher: Court is in session *He moves back into his position near the bench, this allows time for the audience to resume sitting*

Judge: Right Mr. Farquar, where were we?

Pros: In the Drawing Room. The Maid had just been shot

Judge: Oh yes, I remember. Well what happened then?

Pros; Well m’lud, we return to the drawing room an hour later. The body has been removed, and Inspector Topiary and Sergeant Manners are just beginning their investigation

ACT 2: Scene 2

*The lights dim on the courtroom and start coming up on the main stage, the sheer curtain pulls back once more to open upon the Drawing room, and hour after the murder occurred, with Sir Hector speaking with the Inspector, the Sergeant, Davinia, and Petunia. Topiary asks if Sir Hector knows of any reason the maid may have been shot. Sir Hector mentions that she was not a very good maid but that’s hardly a reason to shoot anyone, he gets chastised by Lady Davinia, not only for his poor taste in statements bot for his foolhardy scheme. The inspector agrees with her that it was a ridiculous plot. Hector admits that, but in hindsight he needn’t have worried the necklace was a fake. The inspector asks how he knows this, Petunia pipes up about the Baroness inspecting it and announcing they were not real emeralds. Topiary aska where the guests were when the maid was shot, Davinia tells him honestly that they were all on their way to their rooms to wait for the inspector. The sergeant asks who found the body. Hector tells him how Glossop the butler was there when the poor girl was shot. The inspector decides to start with the butler and asks the Sergeant to see everyone present to their rooms until he needs them.

The Sergeant escorts the ladies while the Inspector asks Sir Hector to send Glossop in to him. While the butler arrives Inspector Topiary takes out his magnifying glass and scrutinizes the area where the maid fell as well as the doors and the large French Windows. Glossop enters and the Inspector begins by asking him how long he’s worked for the Croquet’s, and we’re given the same drawn out 2 minute answer that Twitter was given back in act one. The Inspector had to interrupt him to spare us a second time, he asks if Glossop enjoys the position, he answers in the affirmative, Topiary continues about the health of the relationship of the Croquet’s, Glossop answers vaguely. The Inspector continues on with what had occurred in that room that evening. Glossop explains how they learned the necklace was fake and how Sir Hector called for the Inspector. The guests were asked to wait for the Inspector in their rooms, Sir Hector asked himself, Glossop, and Blossom the maid to tidy up the drawing room for interrogations. Then there was a sudden shot and Blossom fell dead. He had no answer for the Inspector as to why someone would shoot the poor girl. The Inspector takes note and asks Glossop to ask Mr. Éclair to come down. Glossop exits and in his absence Topiary asks Sergeant Manners to conduct the interview so that he can watch the reactions*

Bouffant: *He enters almost hesitantly and stays near the door* Inspector? Sergeant? You wanted to see me? [pg 19]

Sergeant: Yes sir, we did. Would you like to sit down?

Bouffant: Thank you?

Sergeant: Now Mr. Éclair, perhaps you would like to recount the events of this afternoon?

Bouffant: It’s all very simple. I arrived just before lunch, following an invitation from Sir Hector to spend the weekend, playing tennis. On my arrival I was met, shown the gardens, then appeared in here for pre-lunch drinks. Then Sir Hector for some reason or another produced his wife’s emerald necklace. The Baroness screamed “Fake! Fake!” We were ushered to our rooms, and the maid was shot

Sergeant: Very clear, Mr. Éclair

Bouffant: Well if you can make sense of it, you’re welcome to it

Inspector: So where were you when the maid was shot?

Bouffant: …Er…I was in the library with Lady Davinia

Inspector: Not in your room?

Bouffant: On my way there Inspector. I needed something to read. As you know I work in the theatre. I am always on the lookout for new ideas

Sergeant: Was there anybody else in the library?

Bouffant: No we were quite alone

Inspector: Thank you Mr. Éclair. That will be all for now

Bouffant: Can I go?

Inspector: You mustn’t leave the house I’m afraid

Bouffant: Oh how exasperating. It will be very bad for my play if it gets out that I’ve been involved with murder and robbery

Inspector: Well just remember that Blossom is dead. She can never leave. Perhaps you’d ask Mr. Fortesque to come in please *He almost pouts but exits to go and fetch Twitter*

Sergeant: I don’t think much of him Inspector

Inspector: Neither do I

Twitter: Inspector you wanted to see me?

Inspector: Yes indeed I did. Now I know why you were down here this weekend, and what happened this afternoon, but perhaps you could confirm for me where you were when the maid was shot.

Twitter: Oh that’s easy. I was in the library with Baroness Gorianova

Sergeant: Really? Was anybody else there?

Twitter: No just myself and the Baroness. I was looking at the map of Africa. I’m planning a new expedition to seek out the lost tribe of the Umbongo. I specialize in lost tribes you know

Sergeant: Really sir. What do you do when you’ve found them?

Twitter: Well not much actually. But I love travel and it lets you get to know a country well. I love Africa

Inspector: Quite sir. That’ll be all. Please send in Mr. Barrington-Smythe

Twitter: OF course, Inspector *He makes a speedy exit out*

Sergeant: Another one in the library alone eh? Curiouser and curiouser.

Inspector: Tell me Sergeant. If Mr. Fortesque spends so much time in Africa how is it that he has such a pale complexion?

Sergeant: Indeed sir.

Peregrine: *Enters, looking a bit tense* Inspector, please be quick, I would like to return to London this evening, I have urgent business to attend to. I’m due to play in a tennis tournament tomorrow

Inspector: You’re in rather a rush aren’t you sir? After all this is a murder investigation, and you were due to stay here the weekend

Peregrine: Well I’m afraid I’ve got my dates mixed up

Inspector: I’m sorry Mr. Barrington-Smythe but you will have to remain here until our investigations are completed

Peregrine: Look it’s obvious that I couldn’t have killed the maid. I was in the library with Petunia when the fatal shot was fired

Sergeant: Really sir, I thought you might be. Were you alone by any chance?

Peregrine: Yes we were. Now if you’ll excuse me I must pack

Inspector: I’m sorry sir, you can’t leave, not just yet. What line of business are you in sir?

Peregrine: This and that you know, I dabble

Inspector: Right, thank you sir, please wait in your room

Peregrine: Oh really *He’s a bit cold and he walks briskly out*

Inspector: Right Sergeant. This is what I want you to do. Go and interview the ladies, Baroness Svetlana, Trellis Trelawney, and Lettis Croquet. Find out where they were this afternoon. I’m going to make my own investigations about the three gentlemen we’ve just interviewed. I’m sure they have something to hide

Sergeant: Very well sir *He pulls out his own notepad and heads off to stage right, the lights dimming slowly after him*