(We open with Slip and Sach storming back onstage. Bobby and Zelda are searching the parlor again.)

Bobby: (Looks up) Hello, gentlemen. Did you find anything on the grounds? (Mutters to Slip) You look madder than Louie when we don't pay him. What happened?

Slip: *mutters* They ain't raisin' money for the Milk Fund. Everythin' we've made, they're keepin'.

Bobby: What?! (Out loud) What? You didn't find anything?

Slip: Nutin'.

Bobby: Well, someone had to have attacked Miss Cynthia! (Mutters again) You think that's one of the reasons Zelda's been so persistent? She's tryin' to keep us from findin' out what she n' her boss have in mind?

Slip: *Nods, then mutters* By keepin' all our focus on keepin' her offa me, we ainít thinkin' about much else.

Bobby: It's gonna be kinda hard to confront her 'bout it now, while she's onstage.

Slip: So we'll get her off-stage.

Bobby: (Thinks) Isn't she supposed to disappear for a couple of scenes until right before the intermission?

Slip: *nods, smirking* Yeah, she is.

Bobby: Well...why don't we try talking to her after that? I think Sach, Sally, Rachel, and Chuck are supposed to search the upstairs after that.

Sach: I'd do anything to get rid of that Zelda. I don't like how she's acting around the Chief, just so he doesn't know 'bout the money.

Slip: I don't like how she's actin', period. An' she ain't a very good actress, either.

Bobby: None of us are exactly James Cagney...but she's AWFUL. She wouldn't make a two-year-old believe she's an innocent professor's ward. She's about as innocent as I am.

Slip: An' sayin' she's awful is still bein' nice.

Bobby: We've gotta get her outta here, period. None of us are exactly great, either, but at least we're all slightly believable. (Grins) Except for Sach, but I don't think he'll even be believable as anything except himself.

Sach: (Shoves Bobby lightly) Aw, you're too kind, Bob.

Bobby: Yes, I am.

Zelda: Excuse me, fellas, but you're supposed to be protecting me!

Bobby: (Rolls his eyes and hobbles over to Zelda) I'm very sorry, Miss Cynthia. Have you found anything?

Zelda: No, I haven't found anything, but you're all ignoring me!

*Slip suddenly grins and walks over to Zelda.*

Slip: You wanna be protected? I'll protect ya.

Zelda: Yes, I... (Eyes widen) You will?

Sach: Chi...Mr. Johns!

Slip: Someone's tryin' ta kill ya, right?

Zelda: Yes.

Bobby: (Grins - he has an inkling of what's going on) And I'll protect you too, Miss Cynthia. Your guardian was my dear friend.

Zelda: *She's really surprised* Oh, well, uh, yeah, uh...

Bobby: Of course! After all, you are just a poor, innocent, defenseless young girl. Who wouldn't want to protect an innocent maid like you? (Mutters to Slip) And I can't believe that was actually in the script.

Slip: Now, is there anythin' ya haven't told us, hmmmm?

Bobby: You must know an awful lot, working with your guardian.

Sach: Oh, she knows a lot, all right. She knows everythin'.

Zelda: Like what?

Bobby: Oh, more about the laser and how it works and what it's for...and maybe where someone might have stashed it?

Sach: And why you're so crazy 'bout Mr. Johns. You barely know him!

Zelda: *Points at Slip* I've been following all of his exploits! Every case he's ever had, I've followed! He's simply amazing at what he does! I simply couldn't help myself.

Slip: *Grins slightly* Maybe a little amazin'.

Bobby: Well, what about that laser? Tell us more about it.

Zelda: I don't really know much about it, just that a lot of people want it.

Bobby: Any ideas on exactly who might want it?

Zelda: *Shakes her head* It could be anyone here.

Bobby: Perhaps you have some questions for her now, Mr. Johns?

Slip: Are you sure you didn't recognize who tried to strangle you? At the very least, you could prob'ly tell us if it was a man or woman, based on their hands.

Zelda: Well, I'm really not sure. *grabs his hands* Hmm, you have nice hands, Mr. Johns.

Bobby: (Sach is about to try to get between Slip and Zelda, but he stops him) No, Dawson. Let them talk. (Smirks a little) Mr. Johns might find out something.

Sach: I don't get it.

Bobby: But Mr. Johns will.

Slip: Do I?

Zelda: *Grins* Yeah, you do. It wasn't you, I know that. I'd remember these hands.

Sach: What about my hands? (Grabs Zelda's arm) Hey, you have a nice arm.

Bobby: (Grabs Sach back) Dawson...

Sach: What? She does have a nice arm, for a girl like her!

Zelda: *Shakes Sach off without giving him any attention* You're amazing, Mr. Johns...

Bobby: I'd be careful, Miss Cynthia. If his head swells anymore, he may not be able to fit into that hat of his.

Sach: Does that mean I can have it and hit him with it?

Slip: I could show ya first hand just how amazin' I am.

Zelda: Could you?

Sach: Mr. Johns!

Bobby: Of course he could!

Sach: I don't think this is such a good idea...

Slip: *Gives Bobby and Sach pointed looks, then turns to Zelda again* Maybe we could go somewhere that ain't so crowded.

Sach: How about outside? I'll go with you and keep the wolves away. (He's about to join them, but Bobby grabs his arm)

Bobby: You and I will continue to search the parlor and billiard room. This is between the two of them.

Sach: But sir...

Bobby: (Mutters) Sach, Slip knows what he's doing. He won't let Zelda sweet-talk him again.

Slip: Letís go outside, Cynthia. Okay?

Zelda: *Grins* Okay!

*They head "outside."*

Zelda: (As they get backstage) Ok, boy, spill it. You and your friends have been doing your best to make a mockery of me all night...and now, you actually want to stick to this lousy script? What gives?

Slip: What're you talkin' about? I finally saw the light of day.

Zelda: You did? What do you mean? You're finally (she gets closer) interested?

Slip: *Pulls her to him and smirks* Yeah, I am.

Zelda: I'm glad you're taking the hint. You're so handsome. You don't belong among these imbeciles. You belong with me...with us.

Slip: Yeah? *nuzzles her neck*

Zelda: (Giggles) Oooh, you tickle! (She nibbles lightly on his neck)

*Slip winces, trying to keep in the act.*

Slip: What's the deal with this play?

Zelda: It's a murder mystery, and it's pretty bad. (Smirks as she nibbles) Except for you and me, of course.

Slip: *Can't help the moan that escapes; makes a face* The money it raised...

Zelda: (She's making slurping noises on his neck now) What money?

Slip: *Gasps a little, losing his train of thought* Uh, yeah, money...

Zelda: We have money... (She goes further down)

Slip: *Trying to straighten out his thoughts, but it isn't working* Money, uh... *moans again*

Zelda: What about money?

Slip: Uh...the money raised tonight...

Zelda: Oh, that money!

Slip: Yeah...for the Milk Fund...

Zelda: Milk Fund?

Slip: Yeah... I thought this was s'posed to be for charity funds?

Zelda: No... (She runs her hands over his rear) It's for us...

Slip: *Blinks, losing his train of thought again* Us who?

Zelda: Sheila and me. (Squeezes) Although I could save some for you and me.

Slip: *gasps* But...none for the Milk Fund?

Zelda: No. Why?

Slip: Lied...you lied...about earning the money...

Zelda: We did earn money. It's just going to another type of charity.

Slip: *Groans* That ain't right.

Zelda: It's our money. This is Sheila's theater. (She runs her fingers further) We can do whatever we want with it.

Slip: *Shakes his head* No, you can't...the show is legit...people paid on good faith... *yelps*

Zelda: Yeah. The show is legit...but it's OUR show. We found that dim-bulb writer and his doofus script. We hired all of you to appear in it. (Purrs) And I must say, no one is anywhere resembling as good as you and I are.

Slip: Wait...wait a minute... *pushes her away* There's not you an' I here, okay?

Zelda: There isn'?

Slip: No, there isn't.

Zelda: But...we were kissing...

Slip: Yeah, aní I was usin' ya to get some answers.

Zelda: You...you.... (narrows her eyes) When we get to intermission, I'll tell Sheila what's going on.

Slip: Really? Yer gonna go tattle?

Zelda: Not now. We're still on-stage. We have to get back there in a few minutes. During intermission.

Slip: Might be a little difficult if yer tied up.

*Slip grabs a length of rope from the stage floor. He starts wrapping it around her.*

Zelda: What are you doing? This isn't supposed to happen for a few scenes yet!

Slip: Too bad, it's happenin' now. It ain't like the audience is gonna notice.

Zelda: Yes they will! I have one of the most important parts in the play!

Slip: *Shrugs* Well, ya haven't seemed too important so far.

Zelda: I'm supposed to be the innocent ingenue who falls for the detective!

Slip: Yeah, and ya blew that opportunity. *waves as he walks away* Don't miss me too much.

Zelda: But...but....