Sach: (He brings the soup out) Here's your soup course, everyone, compliments of our great chef, (bad French accent) Chef Louie!

Slip: *Glares at Sach upon seeing his empty bowl* Don't ya think I'm missin' som'en here?

Sach: Oop! You must have the bowl I drank out of. (He grabs it) I'll get you another bowl.

Slip: Ya better.

Sally: (To Whitey) Why don't you tell him more about those letters, Master?

Whitey: The, uh...oh...someone's mad at me.

Sally: (Nudges Whitey, then, to Slip) What the Master means is, he's been receiving at least a letter a day for the past couple of weeks. They've all been the same.

Bobby: Letters?

Sally: Yes. The Master has been receiving some very threatening letters.

Bobby: (Turns to Zelda) Did you know about this, my dear?

Sach: (He pulls between Zelda and Bobby) Are you kidding? She only cares about chasin' other people's men!

Bobby: But I've heard she has a sterling reputation.

Sally: (Whispers to Slip) It has to be one of these people. They all once worked with the Master...yes, the ward and the dim blond, too.

Slip: I know who my pick is.

Sally: But nothing can be proven.

Slip: Nutin' yet.

*The doorbell rings.*

Sach: Now, who can that be? I'll go get it.

(Sach heads back towards the "parlor." When he returns, Junior and Buddy, in tap shoes and top-hats, follow.)

Sach: Um, these guys are... (Looks at Buddy) Who are you guys?

Junior: *Grins* We're Jude and Ben, entertainers. We tap dance.

Buddy: We're the guy the Professor hired for tonight's entertainment! Hit it, Ben! (They start dancing to an instrumental "Puttin' On the Ritz.")

Sally: (Mutters to Slip) How'd they talk you into lettin' them do this?

Slip: I was desperate.

Buddy: (As they finish; turns to the crowd) What did ya think?

Sach: (Claps) Bravo! You were wonderful! Better n' anyone on Broadway!

Bobby: (Turns to Whitey) And with that, perhaps we'd better adjourn to the lobby, my good man?

Whitey: Yeah, lets go to the lobby.

(Suddenly, the lights go off, plunging the stage into darkness.)

Sach: (Whines) Who turned on the dark?

Sally: Dawson, calm down.

Bobby: Maybe it's the fuses?

Slip: *Growls* Who's touchin' my butt!?

Bobby: Not me!

Sally: (Mutters) Wish I was, me but I'm not close enough.

*There's a feminine chuckle behind Slip.*

(Suddenly, a shot rings out. Marsha, Zelda, and Rachel scream.)

(We hear a thump on wood. When the lights return...Whitey is face-first in his empty soup bowl, a knife in his back.)

Bobby: (Jumps up) Oh my god!

Sach: Um...I don't think that should be there.

Zelda: *Screams* Professor!

(Marsha faints. Jane catches her and waves a fan-shaped napkin over her.)

Rachel: Someone call the cops!

Chuck: This won't look good on our record.

Sach: Someone get him outta there. He'll ruin the soup bowl!

Sally: I'll call the police. (Runs out; mutters to Zelda on her way) Touch my boyfriend's butt again, and you'll be in the soup bowl next.

*Zelda just smirks at Sally.*

Buddy: What's going on? We're just here to dance, not to see people die!

Slip: Someone here did this. Ain't no one leaves till we find out who did it.

Sach: One of us did it?

Buddy: (Nods) There isn't anyone else here!

Rachel: Maybe there's someone else in the house that we don't know about.

Zelda: Nope. This is all of us.

Bobby: (Waves at Slip) You and your brothers are detectives. Go ahead. Detect.

Rachel: I don't get it. We heard a gun shot, but he has a knife in his back.

Buddy: Maybe someone wanted some target practice?

Rachel: In here?

Slip: We're questionin' everyone here.

Bobby: I didn't do it! He was one of my closest friends!

Rachel: You said you haven't seen him in years.

Bobby: Not Zelda. But I have kept in touch with Professor Keller.

Buddy: Can anyone take fingerprints or something?

Chuck: Unfortunately, we don't have any of the materials needed.

Marsha: (She starts to come to) Where am I? What happened? (Turns to Jane) How come you're wearin' that ugly dress?

Jane: But...

Rachel: (Sighs) Looks like she forgot who she is again. (Leans over Marsha) Miss Craisen OF THE STAGE and screen, we're at a party, an' the white-haired guy who was eyein' ya just got killed.

Marsha: (As Jane helps her to her feet) Right. I knew that.

*Jane just blushes.*

Rachel: What are we gonna do about the body?

Marsha: (Whispers to Whitey) I know what I want to do with the body backstage. I'm sure glad I don't do much and you're pretty much done.

*Whitey grins, turning a little red in the face.*

Bobby: Maybe some of our more able-bodied men could carry him into the parlor for the police to inspect.

Rachel: Maybe we should just leave him.

Sach: I need to wash that soup bowl!

Slip: We're takin' him into the parlor, and that's that.

Sach: I ain't touchin' a dead body! What if he breathes on me?

Bobby: Dead men don't breathe.

Marsha: I'd do it, but I don't want to break my nails. (Whispers to Whitey) I'd do it, but I'm afraid of what my hands will do if they end up in certain places.

*Whitey turns a shade redder.*

Junior: Ben, wanna help?

Buddy: Sure, Jude. You get his feet. I'll get his arms. (Mutters to Junior) And watch his feet. They smell.

Junior: *Mutters* I know.

Whitey: *mutters* I can hear you two.

Bobby: (As the two carry Whitey out to the living room) Isn't there someone else here?

Sach: (He's drinking the rest of Bobby's soup) Yeah, Chef Louie. He's probably freakin' out all over the kitchen by now if he heard that gun shot. He gets nervous.

Sally: (She runs back in) I called the cops. (Leans against Slip with a sigh) What now, Mr. Johns?

Slip: We question Chef Louie, obliviously.

Sach: You gotta be careful 'bout it, though. He can get jumpy.

Slip: I'll be real gentle.

(The set moves as they do. The table moves off and is replaced with another table, this one laden with food. Actually, it looks a bit like the kitchen set from "Sally and the Beast" with a large refrigerator and stove replacing the fireplace. Louie is standing over the counter, chopping what looks like carrots with a large knife.)

Slip: *Calls out* Chef Louie?!

Louie: Eiiieee! (He jumps..and the large knife he was holding goes flying! It lands in the back wall right between Sach and Chuck.)

Sach: (Gulps) Louie, if I wanted that close of a shave, I would have gone to a barber shop!

*Chuck's eyes widen.*

Louie: Don't DO that!

Sally: Told ya he's jumpy.

Slip: You been in this kitchen the whole time fer the last fifteen minutes?

Louie: Yes! After I heard that gunshot, I wasn't going to go anywhere else! Someone might get killed out there! :P :O

Slip: *rolls his eyes* And BEFORE the gunshot? Were ya here then, too?

Louie: Yes! That fancy dinner don't make itself, you know!

Louie: Why? What's going on? That gun shot. Someone got killed, didn't they? I swear, I didn't do it! It wasn't me! I'm innocent, I tell ya!

Slip: Yer Master the Professor got killed.

Louie: The Master? Oh no! Who's gonna pay me? He owes me at least a hundred dollars back wages!

Sally: (Nods) He owes all of us. He's spent all his money on that little laser thing.

Slip: So ya all got motive. Great.

Louie: (Wails again) I didn't do it!

Sally: Maybe we'd better go back to the body and wait for the cops.

Marsha: Can't we do somethin' that ain't near the body? (Shudders)

Bobby: It's not like he's going to walk away.

Sally: I imagine the private eyes will want to take a closer look at the body.

Buddy: I wouldn't.

*Chuck shakes his head.*

Slip: But he's got that laser on him still, right? He oughtta keep an eye on that thing if someone's willin' to kill for it.

Bobby: (Nods) Maybe we ought to take a closer look at it, too.

Marsha: I'll bet it's fun to play with! You can turn off the lights an' make little hearts and shadow puppets n' stuff!

Louie: I'm not going anywhere near a dead body. I'm stayin' right here.

Sally: Under the circumstances, maybe Louie would be better off where he is.

Sach: I'm stayin', too.

Slip: No ya ain't, Dawson. *belts Sach with his hat*

Sach: Hey! You ain't supposed 'ta belt the help!

Sally: (Grabs both their ears) Why don't we go see what's going on with that laser, boys?

Sach: Ow! Hey, watch the hearing equipment!

Slip: Ow! *growls* Sal...

Sally: (As she pulls them out to the parlor) Quit messing around, you two. We have a real mystery to deal with, and it has nothing to do with lasers. That Zelda is up to something with the money...and she and that bitch Sheila may have done something to Scruno and Butch.

Sach: We can't do that if you're holdin' our ears!

Slip: No kiddin', Sal. *Makes a face* 'Sides, I ain't messin' around! I'm stickin' to the script!

Sally: (Lets them go) Enough. Sach, you haven't been sticking to the script. Could you even attempt to remember your lines?

Sach: Whitey didn't.

Sally: He doesn't have as many lines to remember. He's just a corpse from here on in. You're on until the very end.

Slip: 'Sides, most of Whitey's lines didn't matter anyway. Yer síposed ta know stuff... *rolls his eyes* lookit who I'm sayin' this to.

Sach: I know stuff! Just ask me what two plus two is!

Slip: *Folds his arms* What's two plus two? An' no usin' yer fingers.

Sach: Five and a half! Now, ask me another good one!

Slip: *Holds up all five digits on his right hand* What's five... *closes his fingers into a fist* divided by one?

Sach: Umm... (counts...then gulps) Me going into the parlor. Bye! (Runs off.)

Sally: (Sighs as they follow) How can he be so brilliant with chemistry...and so darn dumb with other things?

Slip: I quit askin' myself that years ago.

*Slip and Sally enter the room to find that Chuck is already checking Whitey for the laser.*

Rachel: I swear I saw him put it in his pocket.

Bobby: I did, too, and I was right next to him.

Jane: So did i!

Sally: What's going on? (Grins) I didn't know you were that friendly with the Professor, Mr. Johns the younger.

Chuck: *His face flushes* I'm tryin' to find the laser!

Marsha: Maybe we could strip-search him?

Rachel: I don't think certain people here need to see that.

Marsha: I do! (Jane elbows her.)

Jane: *Mutters* Marsha!

Bobby: We've gotta find that laser! It's the key to all of this!

Sally: We'll have to search the whole house!

Sach: It couldn't have gotten far. No one can leave, remember?

Sally: Mr. Johns the elder, do you still have those letters?

Slip: Yeah, I... *pats around his jacket for them* Wait a minute. Where'd they go?

Sally: What!?

Sach: Maybe they're under a table?

Slip: I had 'em in my pocket!

Bobby: Someone must have stolen them from your pockets when the lights were out!

Slip: An' I'm willin' to take a guess at who... *glares at Zelda*

Sach: (Goes to Zelda) Ok, Miss Cynthia. Cough 'em up.

Zelda: I will not.

Sach: Come on, lady. You've gotta have them! You were the one goin' around, grabbin' people's backsides!

Bobby: He has a point.

Zelda: I only grabbed his. The lights weren't out that long for me to grab him AND the letters.

Slip: Ya got two hands, and I only felt one on me.

Zelda: *Smirks* I'll remember that next time.

Sally: May I ask where your other hand was, then?

Zelda: *Smirks* I know where I would've liked it to have been.

Bobby: Didn't the letters say you were threatened too, Cynthia? Maybe that gunshot was intended for you.

Zelda: Yes, they did make attempts on my life, too.

Rachel: For all we know, it may have been intended for any of us. My husband was a very important scientist.

Bobby: I still work with sensitive government airplanes. That's all I can say about it. It's very hush-hush.

Marsha: I did run into a few spies durin' World War II. I was a regular Matta Harry!

Jane: *Nods* She was.

Rachel: What about you, Miss Sarah Pilsner? You haven't always been her secretary.

Jane: No... I did secretarial work during the war.

Buddy: Well, now what?

Sach: I vote we get away from the corpse.

Marsha: We haven't seen the rest of the house yet!

Bobby: And we have to find that laser and the letters, before someone destroys both.

Sally: And the cops should be here soon.

Zelda: How about we split up?

Sally: Split up?

Bobby: Not a bad idea. There isn't much time left before the cops arrive.

Rachel: (Grabs Chuck's arm) I get him. (Sticks her tongue out at Zelda)

Sally: (Gets next to Slip) And I get him.

Zelda: Oh no, you don't!

Slip: Why don't we draw for who goes wit' whom, hmmmm?

Sally: (Nods) We could use straws or matches. There's matches in the desk.

Slip: I'll get 'em. *goes over to the desk and retrieves the matches; breaks them into pairs of different sizes and puts them in his hand* Okay, everyone pick.

(Everyone draws, then starts matching up the sizes. Rachel grins at Chuck as they find they have the smallest match sticks.)

Rachel: This should be interesting.

Chuck: *Smiles* Yeah, it should.

Sally: (Sighs as she and Sach show the middle sticks) I guess we're together.

Sach: Don't look all put out about it! I'll protect ya!

Sally: That's not what I'm worried about.

Marsha: (Grins at Junior) Hiya, kiddo.

Junior: Hiya. *turns a shade of red*

Jane: *Goes to Buddy* Looks like it's you and me.

Buddy: (Nods) Sure!

Bobby: That leaves me out. (Shrugs and winces as he leans on his bad leg.) Maybe I'll go see if that Chef knows anything about the laser or the letters. I can do that while sitting down. I got this bad leg during the war, and I can't really stand on it for very long. (He heads out.)

Slip: *Mutters when he sees who he got) Oh shit...

Zelda: *Grins at Slip and hugs his arm* Look like it's you and me!

Slip: Great.

Sally: Ok. Why don't four of us take the downstairs, four the upstairs, and two the basement?

Marsha: How about the basement? (Grabs Junior) You can protect me from any killers.

Junior: Sure.

Rachel: Let's go upstairs. (Takes Chuck's hand) It's darker up there.

Chuck: Okay.

Buddy: We'll go with you.

Jane: Yeah.

Sally: Ok. We'll meet back here in twenty minutes to meet the cops.

(Everyone splits up. Bobby takes off first, limping to the "kitchen"...really offstage.)

Sally: (As the others go "upstairs"...once again, offstage) Maybe we should check the dining room first. That was the last place anyone saw the letters or the laser.

Slip: Whoever took 'em prob'ly hid 'em so they wouldn't be caught with 'em.

Sach: Then we have to check everywhere! (He starts looking under Slip's hat and in his coat.)

Slip: *Belts Sach with his hat* Knock it off, ya crazy moron!

Sach: Well, what do we know 'bout you? (Leans close into Slip) Where were you on September 15th, 1942?

Slip: *Narrows his eyes* Watchin' you dance around like an idiot.

Zelda: *Latches onto Slip again; to Sach* Stop upsetting him!

Slip: *Mutters* Would you knock it off?

Sally: (Gets between Slip and Zelda) All right, all right. Enough. Dawson, check the china cabinets. Mr. Johns, you and I will search behind the pictures and knick-knacks. Miss Cynthia, you look under furniture. They may have rolled or been pushed somewhere.

Zelda: You can't tell me what to do!

Dawson: I can do that! (Goes to the cabinets with the plates; pulls out a plate) These don't look like China to me! They look like plates!

Sally: This is the maid and the butler's domain, Miss Cynthia. When you're in my domain, I can tell you what to do.

Zelda: That's what you think.

Sally: (Whispers to Zelda) Get on your knees, before I announce to the entire audience that you're wearing nothing under your dress. I saw it the last time you bent over.

Zelda: *Smirks; whispers back* Might wanna keep that in mind. All I need is a half minute & your boyfriend.

Sally: (Tugs at Zelda's white dress) You know, these costumes are kinda cheap. I could tear this dress right off and reveal your "nothing" to the whole audience...

Zelda: It wouldn't be the first time.

Sally: (Shoves Zelda on the floor) Just get down! You can't get any lower anyway, you boyfriend-stealing bitch.

*Zelda just smirks and appears to be looking.*

Slip: *Leans over Sally; whispers* What was that about?

Sally: Just some weirdo who thinks she's Ava Gardener.