(We open as Slip and Sach go back onstage. Slip finally pulls Sally off of Zelda.)
Sach: Ladies! What'll the audience say if they see you two with black and blue eyes onstage?
Sally: That I defended MY man!
Sach: Look, I think we've gotta get back onstage. Why don't you ladies figure this out later? (Mutters to Slip) Much later. Like next century.
Sally: Fine. (Glares at Zelda) Stay off of Slip's lap from now on. (She storms out.)
Sach: Yeah! (Gabe joins them...and is almost flattened by Sally.) Sorry about that, Gabe. (His eyes go to Zelda) Sally doesn't like our leading lady. For that matter, I'm not crazy about her, either.
*Zelda just folds her arms.*
Sach: Come on, Chief. We've gotta get out there, 'fore we miss our cue. (Turns to Zelda) Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of heaven...'cause it hasn't! (He pulls Slip out.)
*Zelda hmphs and storms off.*
Gabe: *Shakes his head* That's what I get for showin' up late. *heads out backstage*
(As Gabe walks backstage, we hear frantic voices from under the stage.)
Butch: Help! We're stuck!
Scruno: Someone get us outta here!
Gabe: What in the world...
Butch: Gabe! Gabe, is that you?
Gabe: Yeah, it is. Where are you guys?
Butch: Down here! We're stuck under the stage!
Gabe: Under? *looks down* Is there a trap door here somewhere?
Butch: (We hear something smack against the floor) Right here!
(We see a little bit of floor under Gabe go up and down.)
Gabe: There you are! *Unlatches the trap door* How long have you fellas been down there?
Butch: (As he climbs out) I don't know. How many years has it been since we arrived?
Butch: (Frowns as we hear voices from the stage) Has the show started yet? I know we heard people onstage...
Gabe: *nods* It's started. I just got here myself, and what I've seen backstage hasn't been good.
Butch: I know the rehearsals weren't great, but has Sach really been forgetting his lines that much?
Gabe: And she must've been all over him again because Sally was ticked off at her.
Gabe; Sach was even trying to get between Sally and Zelda.
Butch: That's REALLY bad. Sally's temper is almost as bad as Slip's. (Frowns) She's not the only one causin' trouble, either. We overheard her boss talkin' about this whole thing bein' a scam. Sheila Saunders ain't gonna give the money from this to the Milk Fund. She an' Zelda are gonna keep it for their criminal organizations.
Scruno: We heard it right from Sheila.
Butch: They caught us peepin' and chased us. We hid under the stage, but the door got stuck, an' we've been there ever since.
Gabe: I like your idea of snooping, but what we really need is a good vantage point...
Butch: (Points upwards) How about the catwalks?
Scruno: Oh no, I'm not goin' up there!
Butch: (Points to several stagehands who have spied them and are coming their way) And maybe we don't have a choice!
Gabe: Get goin'!
(He hurries over to the nearest ladder and scrambles upwards to the catwalks, Gabe and Scruno on his heels.)
Butch: (Helps Gabe up first) There's gotta be a way we can reveal what we know 'bout Sheila an' Zelda, without gettin' killed.
Gabe: We'll think of something!
(The camera pans out to give us a shot of the entire dining room set, including the catwalks above it. Sally, Slip, Zelda, and Sach rejoin the others. Sach is now munching on a bag of potato chips.)
Slip: *Mutters to Sach* Can't ya stop eatin' for ONE lousy scene?
Sach: No! I'm hungry! (Hands Slip the bag) Want some?
Slip: *Shoves the bag back at Sach* No, I ain't hungry! I've had Zelda jumpin' at me this whole show, I may never be hungry again.
Sach: Ok. Fine. You always get crumbs all over, anyway. (He shoves another handful of chips in his mouth)
Bobby: We sent those two dancers to see if they can do anything with the fuse. (Frowns) There's something strange about them.
Louie: Yeah. Did you see them dance?
Bobby: No, I mean besides their act. How did they show up here just in time for the murder?
Marsha: Maybe they really wanted to see a good mystery.
Slip: Or wanted to be a part of one.
Marsha: You think those guys did it?
Rachel: They probably couldn't harm a fly.
Bobby: It's possible. We don't know anything about them.
Slip: Exactly. I ain't rulin' anyone out.
Louie: Even me?
Slip: Even you.
Louie: But I didn't do it, I swear!
Chuck: *Shrugs, to Louie* Don't take any offense. It takes him forever to rule out himself.
Louie: (Frowns) Come to think of it, you boys did turn up kinda suddenly.
Bobby: That's true, Mr. Private Eyes.
Rachel: (Smirks at Chuck) Oh, I'm sure they had nothing to do with the murder. They're supposed to solve it, not cause it.
Chuck: *Sighs and pulls out a thin wallet; flips it open, revealing a license* Here's my license.
Bobby: (Nods) Very good. (Looks up at Slip) How about you, Johns the elder?
*Slip sighs. He pulls out a similar wallet and flips it open.*
Marsha: (She sighs) You know, I always thought private eyes were sorta noble an' dashin', like in the movies.
Sally: All we know is they have a good reputation, which is why the Master called them.
Marsha: You boys ever saved a lady from a fate worse n' death?
Slip: We ain't been that lucky.
Marsha: Maybe you will be tonight.
Louie: Where's Miss Cynthia? We haven't heard from her in several minutes.
Sach: She can stay gone.
Slip: *Mutters* I ain't broken hearted she ain't here.
(That's when we hear a scream from one side of the room.)
Marsha: That wasn't me!
Bobby: I think it was Cynthia!
Louie: Cynthia! Where are you, Miss Cynthia?
Zelda: Over by the window!
Sally: (Mutters sarcastically to Slip) Aren't you supposed to jump up and run to your ladylove's arms?
(Everyone hurries over to the window. Bobby takes Cynthia in his arms.)
Bobby: Cynthia, what happened? What made you scream so?
Slip: *Mutters to Sally* That ain't funny, Sal.
Sally: I don't think so either, but it's in the script.
Zelda: Someone was trying to choke me!
Slip: If everyone else can go off script, so can I.
Louie: You poor darling!
Bobby: Who was it?
Rachel: Did you get a good look at them?
Marsha: Was he cute?
Zelda: I don't know! I couldn't see them! I just felt their hands around my neck!
Sach: Do you know where they went? (He makes fists) I'll tear 'em apart with my bare hands!
*Slip whacks Sach on the back of his head.*
Bobby: Maybe it was someone who came in through the window.
Sally: But it was locked!
Chuck: Why don't we check the window?
Louie: That's a good idea. Maybe they forced an entry. It is dark in here.
Bobby: I agree. It's possible. The locks in this house are rather old.
*Chuck and Slip go to the window to inspect it.*
Sach: Well? See anythin' interestin'?
Chuck: It looks okay...
Sally: So no one came in that way?
Slip: Not this way.
Sach: So it was one of you! Which one of ya did it? (Pokes his finger at Slip) Was it you, Mr. Private Eye?
Slip: *Grabs Sach's finger in his fist, then mutters* Don't make me hurt ya.
Chuck: *Releases Sach's finger from Slip's fist* We're simply saying that whomever tried to choke Cynthia didn't come in through the window, Dawson.
Sach: Ok, then. Someone here did it. Unless a ghost did it.
Slip: It weren't no ghost, Sa...uh, Dawson!
Sach: Then who did it? (Goes to Marsha first) Was it... (Takes one look at her...assets...and his rubber lips go. He moves on to Jane.) How about you, Miss Hair Bun? Did you strangle our Miss Cynthia?
Jane: I don't even know her! Why would I do that?
Sach: Maybe you knew her in a past life!
*Slip belts Sach on the back of the head again.*
Bobby: You know, Miss Jane, you're very familiar. I think I may have seen you somewhere before...
Jane: Maybe I just have one of those faces.
Marsha: That's why she works so well with me! (Poses...and Sach's lips go again) I just have one of those faces, too. The type that looks good in front of a camera.
Slip: *Turns to Rachel* What about our widow here?
Marsha: Yeah! How many of your five husbands just mysteriously disappeared?
Rachel: The last one died while doing research on his newest project. Some kind of chemical thing. The one before that was an illusionist. He disappeared...and never reappeared. He wasn't very good at his job.
Marsha: Yeah, I'll bet it was a chemical thing. I heard he was poisoned...and you were the one who stuffed it in him!
Rachel: I did no such thing! I was at the movies when he died!
Slip: I'll bet you were.
Rachel: How about you, Miss Cynthia? Were you really strangled, or were you faking it? No one saw it.
Zelda: Why would I fake something like that?
Sally: To hide something. Or make yourself look innocent.
Slip: Or to try to throw us off completely.
Zelda: I really was choked!
Sally: You say you were, but none of us saw you.
Zelda: You were too busy looking at private eye licenses in the dark!
Sach: Yeah! We couldn't see their licenses, either! (Turns back to Slip) Did you do it?
Slip: Don't you start that again, ya crazy moron!
Bobby: Perhaps we should put a flashlight on those licenses.
Slip: Fine! Do that!
(Bobby shines the flashlight on both their wallets and reads the contents of Slip's. He sighs.)
Bobby: Yes, they're both legit. Quite so.
Slip: Ya happy now?
Bobby: (Nods) For now.
Rachel: Well, now what?
Zelda: Why don't we split up again and keep looking?
Sach: Ok! (Grabs Slip's arm) I'll take the private eye!
Bobby: (Smirks at Zelda) Why don't I keep an eye on you, Miss Cynthia? No one would dare try to kill you with an Air Force Major by your side. (Mutters to her) And you stay off of Slip's lap. It's distracting him...and he's not interested. Take a hint.
Slip: Letís get outta here, Sa...Dawson.
Sach: Yes sir! (Grabs Slip and pulls him out)
Zelda: *Her eyes narrow* Fine. I'll go with you, Major.
Chuck: *To Rachel* Care to join me again?
Rachel: (Takes his arm) Certainly, Mr. Johns.
Marsha: (Makes a face) We're outta men. I guess it's you n' me, Sarah.
Jane: As usual, Miss.
Louie: (Takes Sally's arm) Why don't we search together?
Sally: (Smiles at Louie) I'd appreciate it. You're such a sweet, loyal man. (Glares at where Slip fled to) Which is more than I can say for other people.
(The camera moves back above as everyone but Marsha and Jane walk off-stage. Butch turns to the other two.)
Butch: Zelda's up to something. Sach kept her from jumping in Slip's lap there, but she really wanted to do it.
Scruno: You ain't kiddin'. That girl's only got one thing on her mind, and it ain't the play.
Gabe: We've gotta tell Slip what they're planning for the money.
Butch: Yeah. Come on.
(Whitey's wandering around backstage when the guys run into him...literally. They end up on top of each other.)
Butch: Ouch! (Looks under him) Oops. Sorry, Whitey. You ok?
Whitey: I think so. Am I still in one piece?
Butch: As far as I can tell. (Frowns) Whitey, this whole thing is a scam. Sheila's takin' the money from the tickets an' keepin' it for herself. It ain't for the Milk Fund at all. It was just some plot to make more money for her illegal stuff.
Whitey: What? Oh no! Oh, Slip ain't gonna like this!
Butch: And Sheila knows that we know. She sent stagehands after us!
Whitey: Slip REALLY ain't gonna like that!
Butch: We've gotta find Sheila and that money and tell the Chief what's goin' on!
Gabe: Come on, fellas, this way!
(The four encounter Slip and Sach on their way off-stage.)
Sach: Hiya, fellas? Where have you been? And does anyone have any candy bars? I need energy.
Butch: Chief, you're not going to believe what we heard! Sheila's takin' the money from this show for herself!
Slip: *Eyes narrow* I believe it.
Butch: It was never for the Milk Fund at all. It's supposed to go to all the illegal stuff she does.
Butch: She'll probably take that money half-way to Brooklyn after the show's over.
Slip: She ain't gettin' away wit' it, not if I have anythin' to do about it.
Butch: What'll we do now, Chief?
Slip: We'll split up. You guys look for Sheila. We'll join ya at intermission, as long as I can keep Zelda offa me and Sally offa her.
Sach: (Grins) I'll help ya with that, Chief, an' so will the other guys.
Butch: Ok, Chief. You be careful. We saw the last scene. That girl ain't messin' around.
Slip: Yeah, an' it's gettin' harder to consecrate on the play wit' tryin' to avoid her.
Sach: Maybe she's doin' that on purpose! She don't want ya to think 'bout the play...or at all!
Butch: (Nods) Yeah. If you think about the play, you might start thinkin' 'bout how a bunch of folks like us ended up doin' this in the first place.
Sach: And what the two of them are up to.
Slip: An' how much of a patsy I've been.
Sach: We've all been patsys, Chief. We all fell for it.
Butch: Let's find Sheila and the money, before anything else happens.
Sach: And we need to get back onstage.
(They all split up as we fade out on the stage.)