*Suddenly, the lights go out. Moments later, there's a decidedly male yelp.*
Sach: Hey, the dark went on again!
Sally: I thought they fixed the fuses!
Sach: (He stumbles around in the dark) I can't see! Where am I going?
Slip: *Mutters* I dunno, but someone's gettin' fresh again.
Sally: Miss Cynthia, don't you dare touch his...parts.
Sach: Ladies, this is no time to fight! We have to find that laser! (He puts out his arms) If I can find my own nose first. (Touches his face) Oh there it is! I thought I lost it.
Slip: If ya did, I'd find it for ya wit' my fist.
Zelda: They're trying to kill me! Protect me! *jumps into Slip's arms*
Slip: *Growls* Miss Cynthia...
Sach: Did you see a mouse again an' get scared, Miss Cynthia? (He tsks and pulls her out of Slip's arms) Here, I'll protect ya from some old mouse. (He grabs a fly swatter and slams it down) There! All gone!
Zelda: *Whispers harshly* I don't want YOU!
Sach: (Whispers just as harshly) Well, you're gonna get me, 'cause the Chief don't want YOU.
Sally: (Turns to Slip) Are you ok?
Slip: Yeah, I'm alright.
Sach: Miss Cynthia, you an' I are gonna go in the kitchen to check the fuses. Mr. Johns and Miss Sally will keep lookin' for the laser.
Sach: (Grabs Zelda's arm) Besides, I need you to protect me from the big bad dark!
Zelda: Oh please.
Sally: I need Mr. Johns to help me find that laser. It is his job to find things.
Sach: That's right! Come on, Miss Cynthia. You need to learn how to change fuses yourself anyway.
Zelda: I don't want to change fuses.
Sach: Yes, you do. Come on, it's fun! (He drags Zelda out of the room.)
Sally: (Turns to Slip) Well, Mr. Johns, what do you suggest we do now? Shall we move on to another room?
Slip: I suppose we could.
Sally: We could go to the billiard room, or the ballroom, or the library...
Slip: How about the library?
Sally: (Smiles) Perfect. (As they "move" to the next set, which is really the parlor set redressed with more books) So, Mr. Johns, how did you and your brother become private detectives? You don't seem like private eye types to me. You're too...noble.
Slip: *His eyebrows go up, then he shrugs* We just like helpin' people, right wrongs and things like that.
Sally: (As she looks through book shelves) Are either of you married?
Slip: No, neither of us.
Sally: Do you have an office with a blond secretary who serves you coffee, like in the movies?
Slip: Nah, it's just the two-a us gettin' in each other's way.
Sally: Have you solved any really big cases?
Slip: Not unless you count the stolen piano.
Sally: (Chuckles; then) You know...not to be offensive, but I wonder why the Master called you? Perhaps because of the state of his finances? He may have not intended to pay you, either. I told him he should have gone to the police, but he said it was too delicate of a matter.
Slip: *Shrugs* We're used ta not gettin' paid. *spots something out the corner of his eye* Hey, what's that? *goes over to the fireplace; grabs the poker and pokes at something*
Sally: (Joins him at the fireplace) What's what?
Slip: *Sighs* Envelopes. Looks like these were the letters.
Sally: Oh no! Our evidence! Now we HAVE to find the laser. It's the only proof as to why he was killed!
(Sally goes through the books again, this time with more determination. As she pulls a large book, the bookcase opens, revealing a dark "tunnel"...though we can just faintly see that it goes behind the set.)
Sally: Mr. Johns, look! I didn't know this was here!
Slip: I've always wanted to find a secret passageway.
Sally: Come on. (She pulls a flashlight out of the desk) I'm glad I remembered where Dawson stashed this after our last power outage. He gets afraid of the dark so easily!
(They both head into the "tunnel." As the bookcase closes behind them, we see the set seem to "move"...until we reveal an "upstairs." Rachel and Chuck are about to go into one room, Jane and Buddy into another.)
Rachel: (Peers in) I think this is the bedroom.
Chuck: Lets check it out.
Rachel: (Grins as they enter) You know, this is kind of cozy in the dark. (Sighs) It's a shame my late husband is...well, late. We used to do lots of fun things in the dark. Especially on weekends. Are you married, Mr. Johns? (She starts checking the bed, going through the bedsheets.)
Rachel: (She walks around the bed...and "accidentally" bumps into him) Oh! So sorry! Can't see a thing in this dark. (She grins and pulls him closer) You know, Mr. Johns, I find you very attractive.
Chuck: *Grins* And I find you very attractive. Good thing I don't even have a girlfriend, huh?
Rachel: And I am single now. My husband died (sighs) of very strange causes. I used to know the Master during the war. I was a nurse then. That's how I met my second husband. He was a doctor. Died when a plane filled with bananas fell on him right after V-J Day. (Sighs) I'm surprised you don't have a girlfriend. A handsome fellow like you? Your brother keeps you too busy with cases? I suppose that as a private detective, you don't have much time for a social life.
Chuck: Actually, we have too much of a social life.
Rachel: (Raises an eyebrow) You didn't look like the type who went out with a dame a night. That oversized brother of yours, maybe, but...
Chuck: It isn't even that. It's like we're intimidating.
Rachel: People are afraid of you, because of your job...or your reputation for being tough?
Chuck: *Shrugs* I guess so.
Rachel: If it's any consolation, I don't find you intimidating at all. Maybe your brother a little, but not you. I think you're very sweet. Too sweet for this racket.
Chuck: *Turns a few shades of red* Thank you.
Rachel: I know Harold is barely in his grave, but I'm a big girl now, so... (She leans in for a kiss...just as Buddy bursts into the room, followed by Jane.)
Buddy: Hey, guys! We heard some really weird noises in the back of the house when we were searching the master bedroom...and I don't think they're ghosts. Something's stuck back there!
Slip and Sally: (Faint; downstairs, from behind the walls) Let us out! Help!
Rachel: Those arent' ghosts. I think they're Mr. Johns the elder and the maid.
Buddy: How in the heck did they get down there?
Rachel: Who knows? The point is, maybe we ought to help them out. We don't need anyone else dying.
Buddy: Good point. (Turns to Chuck) You're the one who's related to the guy. Do you hear your brother?
Rachel: It's hard to miss hearing him bellow.
Sally and Slip: Help! We're really stuck back here!
Rachel: (Mutters to Chuck) Damn it. It sounds like they really got stuck in that "secret passage." :P
(Everyone runs out into the hallway at once. Once they get out there, they're going so fast, they're not looking where they're going. They all run into each other pell-mell and land in a tumble of arms and legs.)
Rachel: Where's the voices coming from?
Buddy: Downstairs, I think!
(They hurry downstairs, to the kitchen.)
Louie: (He and Bobby are next to the stove and sink) We hear someone behind here!
Bobby: It sounds like Mr. Johns and the maid!
Slip: *Yelling* Open up!
Bobby: Does anyone have a crowbar or something?
Sally: Would someone move the damn stove? It's blocking the door!
Buddy: Johns, you an' my partner could get this one.
Sach: I'll help. (Smirks at Zelda) So will Miss Cynthia. She's a strong girl.
Zelda: *Huffs* Fine.
(It takes all four and Louie to lift the heavy stove, but they finally do manage to get it moved enough for Sally and Slip to come out.)
Slip: About time. *holds up a small object in his fingers* Found this in there. Anybody been flyin' a plane lately?
Bobby: (Nods) I still do.
Slip: Must be yers, then. *drops the object in Bobby's hand; it's a pin in the shape of an air plane*
Bobby: (Frowns) But...I haven't had a pin like this in years. (Turns to Jane) Didn't you say you once worked as a secretary for the Armed Services? Was it the Air Force?
*Jane nods, blushing a little.*
Bobby: The killer must have dropped that in the passage.
Sally: Maybe we should split up again.
Louie: I want to come too this time.
Bobby: As do I. Perhaps we could search the parlor again.
Rachel: (Grins at Chuck) Let's go back upstairs.
Louie: (Nods) Let's go.
Sally: (Grabs Slip's arm) We're not going to be onstage again for a while. I need to talk to you.
Slip: Looks like I ain't got much choice.
(Sally yanks him backstage as the stage changes back to the parlor set.)
Sally: We've gotta find a way to get that Zelda off your back!
Slip: Yer tellin' me! Every time I turn around, she's waitin' to jump on me...and I don't mean my back.
Sally: I wish we could just throw water on her and make her melt. Her boss, too.
Slip: *Clears his throat* Yeah, me, too.
Sally: (Sees Zelda coming) Speak of one of the devils... (Gets in front of Slip) Hello, and good bye. Why don't you go get a drink of water and cool of that flame of yours?
Zelda: No way! There's only one thing that'll cool my flame.
Sally: Yeah. Someone pouring ice down your chest.
Zelda: Nope, that won't do it.
Sally: I know how I'd do it, but it would drive the ratings on this story up.
Zelda: *Smirks* But that's exactly it! *pushes Sally and grabs for Slip*
Zelda: Forget her. Run away with me!
Sally: Oh no, you don't! He's not running anywhere but back onstage with me! (She yanks Zelda away.)
*Zelda makes a fist and swings at Sally.*
(Sally has the sense to duck. She winds up hitting a set leaning against a wall instead.)
Zelda: *Yelps* Ow!
Sach: Oop! (He joins Slip, eating a chicken drumstick) What's this, the Tuesday night fights? Here. (Holds out another drumstick) Want some fried chicken?
Slip: *Considers it, then nods* Think I will.
Sach: (Hands him the drumstick) Enjoy the show, Chief.
Sally: (She nods at Zelda) Stay AWAY from my man. He doesn't want you. Can't you take a hint?
Zelda: I've never been very good with hints.
Sally: Well, he's one you can't miss. (She gets in front of Zelda.) LEAVE. SLIP. ALONE.
Zelda: *Smirks* Then he shouldn't have made that deal that let me take the lead role.
*Slip coughs and stops eating.*
Sally: What deal?
Zelda: In order for him to be director, he had to give me the leading lady's role.
Slip: You little...
Sally: (Turns to Slip) That's how desperate you were to direct this mess?
Slip: It's for a good cause, Sal!
Sally: (Glares at Zelda) Yeah. A great cause. (Growls) Why did you want to appear in this so badly?
Zelda: *smirks at Slip* I wanted to play opposite him.
Sally: (Turns to Slip) Is this all true?
Slip: *Turns to Sach* I think this just blew up in my face.
Sach: I think it just exploded more than one of my experiments.
*Zelda advances on Slip and kisses him hard! She knocks him into the wall behind where he and Sach were standing.*
Sally: Oooh! You...you... (She grabs Zelda and knocks her to the floor! The two wrestle as Sach attends to Slip.)
Sach: Chiefy! Speak to me! Are ya hurt?
Slip: *Groans* I might be. I don't remember there bein' three of ya.
Sach: There is? Then why are you guys always sayin' you can't even handle one of me?
*Slip just groans again as his eyes close.*