The manner of this death was most foul and a mystery indeed, so it was that Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were called to solve the riddle of this murder.
The day had been hot and muggy as the guests arrived at Mr. Boddy’s mansion, Hill House Manor was its formal name. All the locals just called it the Heathen House, for there always seemed to be a party going every night and there was going to be a party this night too. They had all been invited there by Mr. Boddy, for dinner and a charade party. Colonel Mustard was the first to arrive, with Miss Scarlet by his side. He arrived in an old 84 Jimmie pickup that had rusted fenders and a large dent on the drivers side, Colonel Mustard was known to be a heavy drinker and sometimes would cruise through peoples front yards, or maybe hit a tree or something, and end up sleeping inside the police station for a couple of nights.
Professor Plum arrived about half past five, looking very stern and glum as usual. He was the English professor at Stilldoor University, just 20 miles or so away. Always a stickler for the use of ‘proper’ English punctuation and speaking was he. A real pain in the ‘asse’, all the faculty and students often said. Mrs. White and Mrs. Peacock arrived together in Mrs. Peacock’s brand new white caddy. Both wore richly detailed dresses this night, for a glad party it was expected to be. Mrs. White wore a shimmering blue cocktail affair with a sequined purse and shoes to match, Mrs. Peacock wore a silky red dress that flowed effortlessly when she walked, both were as pretty as could be. The townsfolk all thought that there was something strange about these two, for they were always seen together, laughing and giggling, happy as you please. Mr. Green arrived perhaps about an hour later, late as usual. Driving his green BMW, for green was his name and green was his favorite color too. He owned the luxury sports car dealership in town and a local bar too. ‘SPORTS CARS ON THE GREEN’, and ‘THE GREEN BAR’, they were called, not very imaginative names were these. Mr. Green was a widower, around his late 50s or so, but he was never without female company if he wanted it, for he was loaded with dough, and liked to show himself off. The guests were all greeted at the door by the butler Wadsworth and each were lead into the great conservatory of Mr. Boddy. Drinks and hors-d’oeuvres were available to all, and as each guest arrived, their chatting and laughter became louder and louder, all expected a great diner and a pleasant time playing charades. Diner was to be served at around 7:30, so there was time to sit and chat until the butler arrived to escort them to the dining room. The day had been hot and muggy, but now a summer storm had arrived. Flashes of lighting and thunder with a heavy constant rain now started to disrupt the evening’s party.
The lights of Hill House Manor began flickering on and off, then suddenly the house went dark and only the lighting flashes illuminated the conservatory. Some candles were lit and they gave the room an eerie glow with flickering images cast against every wall. All the guests spoke quietly now, watching the lighting show and waiting for Wadsworth to replace the fuses, and then they could continue with their festivities. It only took about five to ten minutes or so for Wadsworth to replace the fuses, and once again the house was brightly lit. Suddenly Wadsworth rushed into the conservatory.
“He’s dead...he’s dead!!”
“Who’s dead, speak up man, who’s dead?” Colonel Mustard demanded.
“He’s dead, Mr. Boddy’s dead!” Wadsworth exclaimed, trying to catch his breath.
“What? Where?”, was everyone’s question.
“In the billiard room just down the hall.”
Rushing past Wadsworth, everyone hurried through the doorway and into the billiard room, all except Wadsworth, who stayed behind and made himself a strong drink of scotch. All the guests now gathered around the body of Mr. Boddy, lying on top of the billiard table with a knife in his back. Everyone was appalled to see such a sight, their host just lying there with blood dripping onto the green felt.
This is the murder that Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were called to solve. Who would do this murder most foul? Wadsworth greeted Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson at the front door and immediately escorted them into the billiard room, all the guests were asked to return to the conservatory and wait, and to touch nothing until Holmes and Watson could talk to them. Dr. Watson quickly proceeded to examine the body, the knife was a plain kitchen carving knife about 6 inches long, it still had some turkey skin about the handle and was thrust deeply into the back of Mr. Boddy, near the middle of his shoulder blades. Dr. Watson had to remove the knife in order to turn the body over, and under the body he found a candlestick holder, with the candle still in it, its wax was still soft around the wick. Examining the body further, Dr. Watson discovered rope burns around the neck of Mr. Boddy, still fresh and some rope fibers around his collar. Searching through the pockets of Mr. Boddy, Watson found a small revolver that had not been fired recently, and in Mr. Boddy’s wallet he found numerous love letters, which appeared to be written in a women’s handwriting, he gave these letters to Holmes for his examination.
While Dr. Watson was examining the body, Holmes went about the room searching for clues to this murder most foul. Holmes quietly and methodically searched every inch of the billiard room looking for clues, even going so far as to crawl along the carpeted floor with his magnifying glass searching for even the tiniest of objects. In the smoldering ashes of the fireplace along the west wall he found a pipe wrench that had been tossed into the burning logs, he carefully removed it and examined it closely, then set it on the billiard table. He also found a lead pipe which had been hidden under the divan, it had fresh hair and blood on it, and it seemed to match the wound on Mr. Boddy’s head that Dr. Watson had recently found, he placed this on the billiard table too.
A murder most foul in this billiard room. Nothing else could Holmes and Dr. Watson find on the body or in the billiard room that might give clues to who had done this evil deed. The body was left there that night on the billiard table, along with the revolver, candlestick, knife, the wrench and the lead pipe. Holmes and Dr. Watson then went into the conservatory to question the guests that were there that evening. Holmes went about questioning each of the guests, while Watson waited and watched. Holmes first questioned Miss Scarlet and showed her the letters they had found, then he led her into the library, which was just through the door to the west so he could question her in private, and so the others could not hear her answers. Watson stayed behind to observe the other guests and discern what he could of their reactions on this night. From the library muffled moaning sounds could be heard while Holmes questioned Miss Scarlet, and thumping noises too. Sherlock Holmes and Miss Scarlet were in the library for perhaps 10 minutes, then Miss Scarlet returned to the conservatory, her hair was tussled about and her clothes looked somewhat misshapen. Holmes remained in the doorway of the library, looking somewhat out of breath, then motioned to Mrs. White to join him in the library for her question and answer session. Mrs. White would not go, she was afraid and she would only go if Mrs. Peacock was allowed to come with her. Holmes agreed to her request, and closed the library door behind them as they entered. Again muffled moaning sounds could be heard while Holmes questioned Mrs. White and Mrs. Peacock, and again there were thumping noises. After about 20 minutes this time, the library door opened and Mrs. White and Mrs. Scarlet returned into the conservatory, and again their hair and clothing looked just slightly out of order.
Holmes followed the two women into the conservatory, and made himself a stiff drink, then sat down in the overstuffed chair in the corner by the fireplace, looking somewhat exhausted, he then asked Dr. Watson to question the remaining guests, and this Watson did, taking each in turn into the library for questioning, each session lasted only perhaps five minutes or so.
“What’s going on here? What’s this all about?” said Chief Inspector Colombo as he stood in the conservatory door way.
Wadsworth, the butler, had also called the police that night, soon after calling Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Inspector Colombo now took control of the crime scene and all those in Hill House Manor. He and his men went about examining all the rooms, the body, the weapons, and re-questioned all the guests, including Holmes and Dr. Watson.
Case file #4567-345: City of Los Angliees
Murder of Mr. Samuel Boddy:
Dr. Watson was convicted of murder in the second degree, his fingerprints were the only ones found on the murder weapons. He was sentenced to 20 years, with no chance of parole.
Sherlock Holmes was convicted of tampering with evidence and with ‘tampering’ with the female guests. He was sentenced to seven years, and then extradited out of the country.
But if you ask me, I think the butler did it.....