Duke: They said he was a really important scientist with a big discovery. Somethin' about a laser...

Slip: Some kinda laser pointer, yeah.

Duke: Mind if I see it?

Slip: There's a problem wit' that. It's missin'.

Duke: Missing? That wasn't mentioned in the call.

Slip: It wasn't missin' then! Maybe we'd still have it if you'd been here sooner.

Duke: We had problems getting here! (Nods at the parlor) Can I come in?

Slip: *Shrugs* Yeah, sure.

Sach: (He comes in with a sandwich as Duke enters) Hello, Sergeant. Want a baloney, mustard, and peanut butter sandwich on rye? Nothin' finer!

Duke: Um, no thanks, sir. I'll pass. (Leans over Slip) Who let him off the leash?

Slip: *Mutters* I did, unfortunately.

Duke: Any way to get him back on, before he finds the concession stand?

Sach: (He nods) Is he here for the party, Mr. Johns?

Duke: You might say that.

Slip: Yeah, he's here for the party. Crowd control, y'know?

Sach: Ok. Everyone's in the dinin' room. (Grins at Duke) Haven't I seen you before, Chief?

Duke: (Shakes his head, but he can't help smiling) No, buddy, you haven't seen me before. (Mutters to Sach) It's Duke, Sach. I've known you guys for years.

Sach: Right! (He slaps Duke on the back) Well, glad to see you, Officer! Come on! Come see the party!

*Slip just rolls his eyes.*

Duke: (Shrugs to Slip) What can you do? It's Sach. He'll never change.

Slip: That's puttin' it bluntly.

(They walk right into the dining room...and almost trip over Chuck and Rachel on the floor, kissing and enjoying themselves thoroughly. Marsha and Junior or more-or-less doing the same thing on the couch.)

*Slip nudges Chuck with his toe, to which Chuck responds by sticking his tongue out.*

Rachel: If you want one, Sally is in the kitchen with Louie. I don't know where Miss Cynthia is.

Duke: (Turns to Slip) Got one for me?

(Two sets of legs stick out from under a table. There's some giggling, both male and female.)

Slip: *Sighs* I got a feelin' Sal's still mad at me.

Duke: Sal? Who's she? (Mutters to him, smirking) Are you two fighting again?

Slip: *Mutters* It ain't my fault.

Duke: I'll ask later. (He grins) You know, sir, you don't have to be shocked. These people are just having a good time.

Rachel: (She kisses Chuck's neck) Oh, you bet we are.

Duke: Where's the rest of you? You mentioned a Sally and a Louie in the kitchen.

Slip: *as we hear Chuck laugh* The maid and the cook.

Sach: (Looks up from his sandwich) Yeah! And there's Miss Cynthia, too. She's the Professor's ward. And the Professor, but he's dead. He's on ice.

Duke: Where is this Miss Cynthia?

Slip: *Mutters* Still tied up, hopefully. *normally* She stepped outside for some fresh air.

Bobby: (He comes in, his eyes wide) She's gone! Miss Cynthia is gone! I was just outside, and she's not there.

Duke: (Crosses his arms) So we have kidnapping now as well as murder?

Rachel: She's gone?

Marsha: Who's gone?

Bobby: Miss Cynthia's gone!

Slip: I saw her outside myself. She can't be gone.

Bobby: But she is! I didn't see her outside at all!

Duke: We're going to need to send people to look for her. Everyone else, stay inside and continue with finding that laser. (Turns to Rachel and Chuck) Could you two bring in the cook and the maid? I'm going to need to question everyone eventually.

Chuck: *Frowns* Do we have to?

Duke: (Raises an eyebrow, but he's grinning; that wasn't in the script) Yeah. Sorry to break up your fun there, kid.

Rachel: Party pooper.

(Chuck and Rachel head for the "kitchen." The others join Duke and Slip.)

Duke: Oh, and could someone retrieve the legs under the table? (Mutters to Slip) Before Butch finds out what Buddy's doing to his woman under there?

Slip: Gladly. *Puts his foot down on where he assumes Buddy's butt is.*

Buddy: (Under the table, which goes up a foot) Ouch! (He and Jane emerge from the table) Did you need to do that?

Slip: *Shrugs* I wanted to.

Duke: (As Chuck and Rachel emerge with Louie and Sally) Have any of you seen Miss Cynthia lately?

Sally: (Makes a face) No. She hasn't been in the kitchen in an hour. (Eyes slide to Slip) She's been busy, and so have I.

Louie: I haven't seen her! I'm innocent, Officer, I swear! I didn't do it!

Duke: Whoa! Down, sir. I'm not accusing anybody of anything. I'm just saying we need to find her so I can question all of you before the rest of my squad arrives.

Bobby: Well, who was the last one to see her?

Slip: I was.

Duke: (Raises an eyebrow) How was she the last time you saw her?

Slip: She was okay. I suggested she get some fresh air.

Duke: And that was the last time you saw her?

Slip: Yeah, that was the last time I saw her.

Duke: (He frowns) I'm sorry, Mr. Johns, but I'm going to have to question you further. You're under arrest until we can find Miss Cynthia.

Sach: But you can't do that!

Slip: What?!

Sally: Mercy!

Louie: Oh no!

Rachel: This isn't good.

Marsha: Does that mean he killed the Professor?

Duke: We don't know, ma'am. But we'll figure it out soon.

Slip: I didn't do nutin'!

Chuck: Listen, Officer, we'll find out what's going on and prove that he's not the murderer.

Duke: (Nods) Very well, then. You have until the other squad cars arrive. Until then... (tugs Slip along) Come on, Mr. Johns. We need to question you.

Slip: This is ridiculous!

Sach: (Grins and leans over Slip) Hey Chief, does this mean I get your room?

Slip: *Mutters harshly* No!

Duke: Let's go. I'll question the rest of you later. Murder is a very serious matter, you know. Everyone else, find that laser! (And the curtain falls as Duke drags Slip away. Sach turns to Slip as it falls.)

Sach: Hey Chief...can I really have your room?

Slip: *Growls* No!

Duke: (Grins) This is kind of fun. I'm glad I get to join in on this story.

Bobby: (Nods) Me too.

Rachel: Hey Chuck...wanna continue that last scene in the dressing rooms?

Chuck: *Grins* You bet I do.

Marsha: I need to freshen up my face. Wanna come with me, Jane? I think there's soda in the other dressin' room.

Jane: Sure! Letís go.

Louie: I think I'm going to sit down for a while backstage. (He sits on a crate right where he is) It's nice and quiet here. It'll be a good place to rest and try to remember the rest of my lines.

Sally: (Turns to Slip) Where's your new sweetheart?

Slip: *Rolls his eyes* Sally, she ain't nutin' to me!

Sally: Then why is she jumping on you...and you're not exactly saying "no?"

Slip: Because I was tryin' to stay in character out there! No one else is, aní ya ain't botherin' them about it!

Bobby: (Crosses his arms) Oh really? I've remembered more than half of these lousy lines.

Duke: Hey, remember the person in the uniform here! Iíve remembered my lines, too!

Slip: Sach don't remember none of 'em!

Sach: Who's lookin' at the butler?

Sally: And I've remembered most of MY lines, and so have Rachel, Jane, Louie, and your brother. Don't act like you're so high-and-mighty, Cecil B. Demile!

Slip: That ain't what I meant!

Sally: I've just about had enough of you, Terrence Mahoney. Go after your little girlfriend! See if I care! Someone else can play my role! I quit! (She storms off, angry as a bee who just lost their honey.)

Bobby: Nice, Slip.

(Alabama O'Malley storms backstage at this point, almost running into Slip. He's even madder than Sally.)

O'Malley: Mr. Mahoney, what's going on? What are you doing to my masterpiece? To my glorious words? My carefully wrought plot?

Sach: I'd say we're makin' them better.

O'Malley: Nothing makes sense anymore, and no one is saying or doing what they should? Where's Miss London? Beyond playing her part in totally the opposite way from how I wrote it, she's a terrible actress! (Frowns) And Miss Cynthia was supposed to disappear right before the end of the show, not three scenes before! No one is doing what they're supposed to. Mr. Director, you're supposed to keep everything flowing! Where's the flow? This is starting to look like a B-movie comedy!

Bobby: Sir, we're doing the best we can. We're not professionals.

O'Malley: I'll say you're not! If this were a professional show, Equity would be after every single one of your heads!

Sach: I think we're doing real well! I'm havin' a good time.

Slip: Yer the only one, Sach.

O'Malley: Mr. Mahoney, I realize you aren't professionals. You did, however, read my script, right? We rehearsed it, right?

Slip: Yeah, Alaska, I read it an' we rehearsed it.

O'Malley: Then why don't I hear my words up there, hmm?

Bobby: (Mutters to Duke) They're bad? (Duke snorts)

Slip: You ain't listenin' hard enough, hmmmm?

O'Malley: Mr. Mahoney, you are in charge of making sure everything goes right onstage. You're the one who is supposed to make sure they do what they're supposed to do. Tell me why Miss Cynthia disappeared at least three scenes before she was supposed to!

Slip: *Shrugs* I dunno. I ain't her keeper.

O'Malley: But you are in charge of making sure the show runs smoothly.

Slip: Who said it ain't runnin' smooth, hmmmm?

O'Malley: Mr. Mahoney, please, PLEASE just try to get everyone to stick to the script!

Slip: What the hell do ya think I'm tryin' ta do out there? Why don't ya ask the rest of 'em?

O'Malley: All of you, just stick to the script from now on!

Bobby: All right.

Duke: Sure.

Sach: Only if you say "please."

O'Malley: (Throws his arms in the air) Amateurs! (He storms off)

Sach: Gee, what got into him?

Slip: Could it be ya wouldn't know yer lines if they came up and bit ya, Sach?

Sach: Ok, so I can't remember my lines. They were dumb, anyway.

*Whitey comes rushing in. He hurries over to Slip.*

Whitey: *Out of breath* Slip...they...got...Butch!

Slip: Who got Butch? What's goin' on?

Whitey: Sheila's...got him! She...almost had...me, too!

*Slip growls and picks up the nearest object, which happens to be the laser pen. He draws back and lets the laser pen sail through the air. It strikes the wall across from them, where it breaks into several pieces.*

Bobby: Shit. That thing isn't supposed to be broken when it's found, Chief.

Sach: Tsk, tsk. What have we told you about that temper?

*Slip turns a growl on Sach.*

Duke: (Take's Slip arm) Don't take it out on him, Slip. We've gotta find Butch. Attack him later.

Sach: Much later. Say, next century?

Slip: *Tugs his arm away from Duke* I don't wanna hear nutin' outta you.

Whitey: Chief, can we please go rescue Butch? Who knows what Sheila's doing or has done to him?

Duke: Sheila. As in Saunders? (Makes a face) I heard of her. Ice Queen of the East Side. Dragon Lady, too. They say she's ruthless, heartless, and the definition of the word "bitch."

Slip: That'd be her.

Bobby: (Rubs his bad leg) I can't join you. I really need to get off this leg. I'm going to sit down in one of the dressing rooms.

Sach: I'll join ya, Chief!

Duke: So will I. Don't need a Dragon Lady doin' somethin' to that poor kid.

Slip: Anyone that's comin', come on. Whitey, where'd ya last see him?

Whitey: I can show ya. They were in the hall in the back...

Duke: (Points to something open in the ceiling) Hey, what's that?

Sach: How'd that square get way up there?

Slip: I think that's the roof entrance up there.

Sach: How are we gonna get up there? Fly?

Duke: There's got to be some kind of ladder.

Sach: Well, why don't we just check it? (He pulls down the square...and a ladder hits him right in the chin, knocking him to the floor.)

Whitey: Sach, are you okay?

Sach: (Rubs his nose) Oooh Chiefy, is my nose still in shape?

Slip: Actually, it looks better.

Sach: It does? (He bends it around) Maybe I ought to knock it around more often!

Duke: Would you guys come on? (He grabs the ladder and goes up first.)

Sach: (To Whitey) After you, Professor.

Whitey: Thank you, Sach!

Slip: Get movin'!

Sach: Ok, ok. Geez, Chief! Why don't you get movin'? (He goes after Whitey)

*Slip follows Sach up.*

(Cut to the roof. It's dark, and we can see the obviously fake lights of New York all around them. Duke is up first; he helps the others.)

Duke: (As he pulls Whitey up) Here you go.

Whitey: Thanks, Duke.

Duke: Anytime. (Gets Sach next) Here you go.

Sach: Thanks. I thought that ladder was never gonna end!

Duke: And now, here comes the Chief!

Slip: Just help me up.

Duke: (Does so, dragging Slip onto the roof) Here you go. Nice up here, isn't it?

Sach: (Sniffs) Yeah. Smell that fresh night air!

*Whitey takes a deep breath...then coughs.*

Duke: Ok. We've gotta find Butch.

Sach: Yeah. You two take that-a way (points to the back) and Whitey n' I will take that-a way (points to the front, closer to the brightly-lit neon sign)

Whitey: *Gives Sach a hug* I'm stickin' close!

Sach: (Hugs him back) I won't leave you either, Whitey ol' pal. This place is scarin' the livin' nightlights outta me!

Whitey: *Nods* Me too.

Duke: (Turns to Slip) Looks like the tough guys have to set an example to their men.

Slip: Ain't too difficult since we're talkin' about those two chickens.

Slip: C'mon, lets check this out.

(The four make their way across the roof. Whitey and Sach cling to each other, both nervous and frightened.)

Duke: (Looks up) I think I hear somethin'. A clickin' sound.

Slip: *Pauses* Yeah, I hear it, too.

(The clicking becomes more distinct as two figures step out of the shadows. One is Sheila...whose hands run over the neck of Butch. Butch stands next to her, half in shadow, his visible eye clouded and hazy.)

Sach: It's her. (His rubber lips go.)

Slip: *Eyes narrow* Let Butch go.

Sheila: Why? He's rather enjoying being with me. *To Butch* Aren't you?

Butch: (Nods) Yes, Miss Saunders.

Sach: What did you do to my pal Butch?

Duke: He don't look right. He looks like he's been drugged.

Sheila: Oh, I had a nice little chat with him.

Slip: Chat my ass.

Whitey: She...she hexed him!

Sheila: *Smirks* And I would have had you too if you hadn't run away.

Butch: Hello, Chief. (Narrows his eyes) Dictator. Treatin' me like I'm a kid all the time.

Slip: What're you talkin' about? I treat ya just fine, Butch.

Sheila: *Smirks* That isn't what I've heard.

Butch: No, you don't. Not me, not Whitey, and not Chuck, either. You shove us into the background, while you and Sach go running off. I almost never get a chance to play piano for anyone anymore!

Sach: Leave me outta this.

Slip: All ya had ta do was say som'en!

Butch: I could have, but you wouldn't listen, anyway. You don't even listen to your own brother.

Slip: *Pauses* That's...not true...mostly...

*Sheila continues to run her fingers over Butch's neck.*

Butch: (Gasps and closes his eyes...and when he opens them, they're filled with angry fire) You don't listen to anyone but you. You treat me like I'm a child. You push me aside. Chuck, too. Whitey's the oldest besides you, and you push him aside. I'm tired of being shoved into the background!

Slip: *His fists clench at his sides* Dammit, Sheila, ya bitch, you let him go!

Sheila: Why? You can't stand hearing the truth?

*Slip growls, his eyes blazing with anger. His knuckles turn a little white from being held so tightly.*

*Whitey whimpers and holds on tighter to Sach.*

Duke: Let the kid go. He never did anythin' to you.

Sach: My poor Butchy! What's she done to you?

Sheila: I've shown him the light.

*Slip makes a move forward, aimed for Sheila.*

(Butch steps in front of her and takes the blow from Slip's right.)

Slip: *Backs off, shocked* Butch!

Butch: (Grabs Slip by his collar) You don't think I can be tough just 'cause I'm the easy goin' piano player, huh?

Duke: Now hold on there, kid....

Slip: *Shakes his head* No, Butch, I never said that.

*Sheila fingers Butch's neck again, smirking.*

Slip: Butch, don't listen to her. She's done som'en to yer mind!

Butch: (He closes them again...and when he opens them, he's smirking) Yeah, she's done somethin', all right. She's made it up for me. (He hits Slip...right into Duke.)

Sach: Chiefy! Duke!

*Slip and Duke land in a heap on the floor of the roof, with Slip groaning and holding his jaw.*

Duke: (Makes a face at Slip) Did you enjoy your soft landing?

Slip: Shudup. *Still holding his jaw; starts to get up* If ya think I'm goin' down that easy, ya got another thing comin'.

Sheila: You're too stubborn for your own good, Mahoney.

Butch: I know you, Chief. You don't give anyone a chance to do anythin' that you don't like...or that might make them better n' you.

Slip: Maybe, but this ain't doin' much for you.

Sheila: I don't think he's learned his lesson yet.

Slip: *Points at Sheila* You need ta shudup and quit yer coachin'!

Butch: Why don't you ever give Chuck n' me a chance to show what we can do? Even Whitey gets to do more than we do, with his radio operatin'. And Sach is your best buddy...and you have him even more bamboozled than the two of us.

Slip: Butch... *Turns a blazing look on Sheila again* I've had enough of you, Sheila. Quit feedin' him this crap!

Sach: Yeah! Butch don't hate the Chief. He knows he's our friend!

Duke: What you got on that poor kid, lady?

Sheila: Nothing. He's speaking the truth, and it would seem Mr. Mahoney doesn't want to hear it.

Slip: You bitch. *Moves forward, attempting to strike Sheila again*

(Butch moves in front of her again. He grabs Slip's arm and yanks it behind his back.)

Butch: Who's the Chief now?

Slip: *Yelps* Butch, don't...

Sheila: Make him beg.

Slip: You...stay outta...this!

Sheila: *Shrugs; runs her hand over Butch's neck and the back of his head* Break his arm.

Slip: *Eyes widen* No!

Butch: Yes, Sheila. (He twists it harder.)

Sach: Butch! Stop! Leave him alone!

*Slip bites his lower lip to keep from crying out, but there are tears trickling down his cheeks.*

Sach: No! Chiefy! (He runs over to Butch) I hate to do this to 'ya, but... (Hits Butch as hard as he can in the chin. Butch falls to the roof, unconscious.)

*Slip slumps forward, gasping, and slowly brings his arm back around where it should be.*

Sheila: *Makes an aggravated sound* Damn you! I'm not finished with you yet! *She takes off into the shadows, the clicking of her heels fading quickly.*

Duke: (Picks up Butch) He's out cold. We'll see if we can get him up when we go downstairs.

Whitey: You did it, Sach!

Sach: Yeah, I did! (He goes to Slip's side; Duke takes the still-out Butch) Chiefy, are you hurt? Speak to me!

Slip: *Winces* Good punch...Sach.

Sach: Thanks! Maybe Butch has somethin' 'bout hidden talents. I CAN hit, you know. I just don't like doin' it unless I really gotta.

Slip: *Slight grin* I'm glad... *winces again*

Sach: Are you ok? Do you think you'll be able to get downstairs and finish the show?

Slip: I'm gonna finish...this show. I just... *lightly touches his shoulder and groans* Okay...Butch has...a strong grip.

Whitey: Chief, you haven't answered Sach's question.

Sach: Yeah! Are you ok?

Slip: An' I'm not...gonna.

Whitey: Your shoulder might be separated.

Slip: Yeah, and?

Whitey: *Shrugs* I know how to put it back in place.

Slip: How? *Shakes his head* Never mind. Just do it.

Whitey: Okay, Slip. If you think it hurts now, well...hold that thought. *Gently puts his hands on Slip's shoulder.*

Slip: *Blinks* Wait, Whitey, what're you...

Sach: You know how to put a shoulder back? Whitey, I didn't know you were a doctor!

*Whitey just grins. He takes the opportunity of Slip's distraction and yanks on his arm, bringing it forward...which makes Slip scream bloody murder.*

Whitey: *Lets go of Slip's arm* Well?

Slip: Better. *Pauses* Don't ever do that again.

Sach: (Puts a hand over his ears) Yeoowch! What were you doin' Whitey, killin' him?

Whitey: No, Sach. I had to put it back in place.

Sach: You sure did it loudly!

Duke: (He shifts Butch's weight) Feelin' better now, Slip?

Slip: Yeah. Still hurts, but it ain't so bad.

Slip: *Nods at Butch* How's he doin'?

Duke: (Butch groans a little) Sounds like he's comin' to. Let's get him downstairs. We can ask him more questions there.

Slip: Good. Letís go.

(We fade out as the four head back down the steps to the theater.)