(We open in the lobby of the theater. Gabe, Scruno, Butch, and Duke are looking everywhere for the money.)
Duke: (Looks behind a potted plant) This is crazy. Where would a dame like Sheila hide cash?
Butch: (Shakes his head) Forget it, guys. We've checked everywhere inside and backstage. That money just isn't in here.
Duke: Money just doesn't disappear into thin air. It has to be somewhere!
Butch: I don't know. Where do people usually put money, besides the bank?
Gabe: She might even have it on her.
Butch: (He blanches) I'm not going near her again, ever if possible!
Duke: I wouldn't touch that bitch with a 100 foot pole.
Scruno: Neither would I, not for all the watermelon in New York!
(Suddenly, the outside and side doors fly open. A group of goons march into the room. The largest goes up to Gabe and Duke, smirking. The others surround Butch and Scruno.)
Goon #1: Well, lookie here! It's the big fake cop and the little reporter!
Duke: What's going on?
Goon #1: We're supposed ta put you guys on ice until the end of the show. Rumor has it you've been snoopin', an' people around here don't like snoops.
Gabe: Really? What people would that be?
Goon #1: You'll find out when we get there. (He aims his fist right for Gabe and knocks him into Duke; both hit the wall, dazed.)
Butch: You asshole! (He hits the goon, but two more go after him.)
*Scruno goes after the two after Butch. Gabe groans.*
Duke: (He groans, too) Why is it that everyone likes to use me as a landing pad?
Gabe: Dunno... *groans again* You ain't soft.
Duke: You ain't light.
Gabe: Then we're even.
Goon #1: (He yanks Gabe to his feet; another goon grabs Duke as the others surround Scruno and Butch) Ok, boys. You're comin' with us. (Smirks) But our boss don't want any harm to come to this one. (Shakes Gabe) She likes him.
Gabe: Lucky me.
(That's when the lobby door bursts open...and a remote control airplane flies in! It drops boxes of marbles on the goons. They try to go after the plane, but they roll everywhere and end up on the floor!)
Goon #1: What in the.... (He lets Gabe go to chase the plane...but he just slips on the marbles, too!)
Sach: (As he and Whitey run in the room; Whitey has the remote control for the airplane) It's workin'! I'm glad you brought that thing to work on while we were backstage.
Whitey: Me too! Besides, it was fun!
Butch: (Hits one of the goons when he tries to stand, then runs over to his friends) Guys! Good timin'!
Duke: Yeah. They were just gonna put us on ice!
Sach: I don't think there's a fridge around here big enough to fit all of ya.
Whitey: Or a freezer.
Duke: No, guys. They were gonna stash us somewhere until the show was over, so we couldn't snoop anymore.
Butch: Maybe we'd better end the snoopin'. It's not gettin' us anywhere, an' I think Sheila knows what we're doin'.
Gabe: And we've looked everywhere.
Butch: We'd better go backstage. Sach, they'll need you onstage soon, if you haven't missed your cue already.
Sach: (Shrugs) I don't really do much until they start sayin' who did it.
*The group heads back to the stage. We switch to onstage, in the "kitchen," where we see everyone who is supposed to be in the show gathered.*
Rachel: We've searched the whole house, and I think we can safely say that the only people here are us.
Sally: Then who is trying to kill Miss Cynthia?
Zelda: Someone here is trying to kill me!
Marsha: Don't look at me! I wouldn't kill a lady or a cop, especially a cute cop!
Slip: We're lookin' at 'em, him or her. Could even be more than one of us.
Louie: It ain't me! I didn't do it! I've been in the kitchen most of the night, and I couldn't reach the cop without a stepladder!
Sach: (He runs onstage, now holding a bag of pretzels) I'm here! I'm back! What did I miss?
Slip: *Jerks his good thumb* It coulda been Dawson, for all we know!
Chuck: Him? I doubt it.
Slip: I'm givin' an example.
Chuck: Not a very good example.
Louie: (Gets between them) Stop it! Fighting won't help anyone now, let alone the Professor and that Cop!
Sally: What we need to do is find out who is doing the killing. (Turns to Slip) You're the detectives. What do you think?
Slip: I think we need ta find out who has the motive.
Sach: (Points to Zelda) I still think she did it. She never really liked the Professor.
Slip: Possible motive.
Rachel: And it seems like half the people here worked with the Professor during the war.
Marsha: (Makes a face at Rachel) What about you and your disappearing hubbies? Wasn't one a scientist?
Rachel: Yes, he was. Worked with atom bombs and nuclear reactors. I never saw him much. He was eventually blown three counties over by one of his own experiments and didn't survive the flight.
Bobby: (Nods at Slip and Chuck) What about you gentlemen? I know your registered detectives, but did you ever meet the Professor before?
Slip: I never met the guy before.
Chuck: Yes, you did! You said you met him at some party a few months ago.
Slip: *Eyes narrow* No, I didn't.
Chuck: Well, I'm not making it up.
(The camera moves to a shadowy overhead shot as we follow what's going on below.)
Sach: Ah ha! And what did you say to the Professor then? Anythin' incriminatin', hm?
Slip: *Scowls* I was drunk, all right? I don't remember even meetin' the guy.
*Chuck just sighs, shaking his head.*
Bobby: (Frowns) How about you, Mr. Johns the Younger? You remember him?
Chuck: *Shakes his head* I wasn't at that party. I never met him before tonight.
Sach: (Grins and shoves Slip) So you did it! Fess up!
Slip: That ain't what I said! Yer puttin' words in my mouth! *mutters* An' watch the shovin', Sach.
Sach: How can I put words in your mouth? They come outta your mouth, jus' like this! (Opens and closes his mouth.)
Slip: *Gives Sach a one armed shove* Get offa me!
Sach: Aw, go on! (Pushes Slip out into the room.)
Bobby: How drunk were you at that party, Mr. Johns?
Slip: *Points at Bobby* You butt out! *stomps over to Sach* You push me ONE more time...
Sach: And what? You have a bum wing.
Slip: *Shakes his good fist in Sach's face* I still got one good wing left, and yer gonna see it up close if ya don't knock it off!
Sach: You an' what army?
(Just as Slip lifts his fist, we cut back to the overhead view. A shadowy figure cuts the rope on a sand bag. The camera follows it as it falls to the stage...dangerously close to Slip.)
Slip: *Surprised by it* What the hell?! *stumbles into Sach*
Sach: Oh my! Where did that come from? (Whispers to Slip in horror) Chiefy, are you hurt?
Slip: *Eyeing the sand bag like it might jump up and bite him; breathes out* No, but that was way too close.
*Chuck is looking up, trying to determine where it came from.*
Sally: What happened?
Bobby: (Mutters to Chuck) What's going on? That wasn't in the script!
Chuck: *Mutters back* I don't know!
Marsha: Oh..oh my... (she puts up her hand and swoons daintily into Jane's arms; Jane fans her with her hand)
Sach: Someone's droppin' things on people now!
Bobby: Now they're tryin' to kill Mr. Johns, too!
Rachel: He knows too much! (Grabs Chuck) I hope they don't go after you next!
Chuck: *Gulps* I know nothing! *Slip glares at Chuck.*
Rachel: Maybe some of us should go upstairs and figure out where that came from. There's no way any of us could have done that. We're all here!
Bobby: Unless it was done while we were all out looking for the killer.
Sally: (Nods) Any one of us could have rigged that. (Mutters to Slip) And I'll bet I know who did it in real life...
Slip: *Mutters back* Think I gotta pretty good idea myself.
Sally: She must be getting desperate if she's trying to kill you outright.
Sach: Chief, what are we gonna do? Even I can guess who wants to hurt ya...but how can we stop her?
Slip: *Shakes his head* I don't know.
Sally: (Out loud) Maybe someone could go on the roof and check out things up there? (Mutters to Slip) A couple of people can go on the catwalks and take a look around. I think the audience will be able to see most, if not all, of them.
Sach: I'll go up there. I wouldn't, but Mr. Johnsí got the busted wing.
Sally: I'll go, too. It's really my job and Dawson's, anyway.
Chuck: I'll go with you guys, too.
Louie: I'm not going anywhere else but this kitchen!
Bobby: I think the rest of us will stay here and try to figure out how that happened...and why.
Slip: *Sits by the wall* I'll be over here, out of harm's way.
Bobby: (Grabs Zelda's arm before she can join Slip) Why don't you tell me more about your work with the Professor, Miss Cynthia? It sounds fascinating.
Zelda: *Frowns, but she nods* Okay. Well...
*Zelda continues telling Bobby about it, while Slip sits off to the side. He's clearly lost in his thoughts and not paying attention. Suddenly, a hand reaches through a split in the wall just in front of Slip and slashes a knife downward. It gets stuck in the table. Slip yelps and nearly falls out of his chair.*
Louie: Mr. Johns! (He, Buddy, and Junior run over to Slip) What happened?
Buddy: (Mutters) That wasn't in the script, either.
*Slip is staring at the knife stuck in the table.*
Junior: *Mutters* There's somethin' really wrong goin' on here.
*Slip opens his mouth to reply, but he can't get the words out.*
Buddy: No shit.
Louie: Yeah, there's somethin' wrong all right. Slip is speechless. I don't think I've ever seen that happen.
*Slip does manage to give Louie a look, clearly saying he isn't amused.*
Buddy: Ok, so those people aren't on the roof...and they're not just interested in Miss Cynthia.
Louie: Mr. Johns must have found out something very interesting to attract this kind of attention.
Buddy: Maybe... (Looks up at Bobby and Cynthia) Do you two know anything about this?
Bobby: (Frowns, his eyes wide) No! I'm over here. And anyway, Mr. Johns has been nothing but a great help tonight!
Buddy: What about you, Miss Cynthia?
Zelda: *Shakes her head* I wouldn't try to kill him!
Rachel: Don't look at me! I really don't know the guy... (sighs) ...and would never hurt his brother.
Marsha: (Mutters to Jane) She'd never hurt him now, when she isnít married to him.
*Jane nods, grinning.*
Rachel: Well, what about you two?
Marsha: Me? Do I look like the kind of girl who would hurt a guy?
Rachel: If he said "no," yes.
Marsha: Guys say "no?" When?
Jane: *Shrugs* I don't think I've ever heard of that.
Slip: *Blurts out, aggravated* I coulda been killed here!
Buddy: Keep your shirt on, Sl...Mr. Johns! We're trying to figure out how to protect you!
Louie: Maybe one of you should stay with him at all times.
Slip: But I was surrounded by all of ya, and that happened! What's one-a ya gonna do?
Junior: *To Buddy* How about you and me go look for that hand?
Buddy: (Nods) Good idea. Louie, you watch Mr. Johns.
Louie: What if they go after me?
Buddy: Duck. (The two head over to the wall and start searching it.) I don't see anything. You found anything yet, Ben?
Junior: Nope, nothing.
Louie: (Mutters to Slip) Are you sure you're all right?
Slip: *Mutters* 'Sides bein' scared outta my wits?
Louie: I wish I knew what... (His eyes widen as a hand pops out and reaches for Slip) Mr. Johns, look out!
Slip: Wha... *the hand closes around his throat, throttling him; he swats at it with his good hand, but he has no force behind the hits*
Louie: No! (He grabs the hand and finally manages to pry it off of Slip; the hand makes an "oh, darn!" snapping noise and vanishes) Oh...oh my god. Sl...Mr. Johns, are you ok?
*Slip coughs, gasping for air. He manages to shake his head.*
Louie: I wish there was a way we could get you some water!
Bobby: (He hobbles over, followed by Zelda) Sl...Mr. Johns! What happened?
*Slip tries to reply, but only ends up coughing again. His face has turned red from coughing. He pounds a fist on the table.*
Buddy: (He and Junior run over) What's going on? (He pounds Slip on the back)
*The coughs finally dissipating, Slip groans, leaning forward on the table on his good arm.*
Louie: (Mutters to Slip) You have some scenes offstage after this. Maybe you'd better take a rest. I mean it.
Buddy: We'll find out who's doin' this, Chief.
*Slip nods without picking his head up.*
Sally: (She, Chuck, and Sach rejoin them; Chuck holds part of a cut rope) Look at what we found on the roof.
Sach: (Runs to Slip) Chiefy! Oh Chiefy, what happened? Did they get ya?
Sally: Slip? What happened? You're white as a sheet!
Chuck: *Rushes over as well* Slip!?
Slip: *Quietly* I gotta...leave stage...
Chuck: Sach, help me get him backstage.
Sach: (Nods) Right. (He and Chuck take either of Slip's arms. Sach makes sure to be careful of Slip's bad arm.)
Sally: Is there anything I can do for you, Mr. Johns?
Slip: *Just gives her the most pathetic look ever* Dunno...
Sally: (Sighs) I have to stay onstage. Maybe Buddy and Junior could stay with you. They don't have any more scenes for a while.
Junior: *Nods* We'd be happy to, Chief!
Slip: Jus' do what ya need ta. I don't care.
Buddy: Ok, then. Come on. (Sach and Chuck help Slip offstage, with Buddy and Junior following, as we fade out.)