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Cluedo Butler

By Paul Howls of

Chapter Two - At Dinner

Several courses later, Yvette and Hogarth were serving dessert to the ten diners. As they moved around the table, Dr. Black rang his wineglass.

"I'd like to say a few things. Firstly I'd like to thank you all for coming tonight. We have all been through a few bad times recently, so I thought a dinner party would cheer us all up."
"A very good idea." Captain Brown interrupted.
"Thank you Robert."

Mrs. White shot Captain Brown a dirty look across the table. An old friend of Black's, Brown had only recently returned to the village; but had been there long enough for everyone to get an idea of his character.

Dining Room
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A man of archaic, nautical attitudes, Captain Brown thought himself a bit of a ladies man; but in Blanche White's opinion, it would take a desperate woman to allow him anywhere near her. Unfortunately for White, the captain seemed to have formed the impression that she was attracted to him.

Trying to forget that thought, Mrs. White returned to listening to her host.

"… So if you would all raise your glasses… To my closest friends - who I have trusted for many years with my life, my love, my friendship, my home, my possessions and my money. May we have many more years together."

As Dr. Black sat back down in his seat, slowly the conversation resumed around the table.

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Mrs. White

"So Emily," Miss Scarlett asked, "has the wedding date been set yet?"
Miss Peach looked over towards her fiancé Graham Slate-Grey. "Well, it was set - but since Graham's accident, we've been concentrating on trying to get him better."

"I was so shocked when I heard" Mrs. White commented "You hear of people having accidents like that, but you think that it will never happen to you - and then it does! Or rather, doesn't happen to you - it happens to someone that you know. Like Graham. Awful. Mr. White never liked horses. 'Nasty Beats' he called them. 'Uncontrollable, with a mind of there own' he said. I suppose he was right."

Mrs. Peacock managed to interrupt the rambling cook with an objection. "He was not right! I'm sorry Blanche to talk ill of the dead, but horses are not 'Nasty Beasts'; neither are they 'uncontrollable'! In the right hands, they will obey every command you give them. It's people who are at fault. Playing about with horses when they don't know the first thing they are doing…"

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Silence descended rapidly on the table as Mrs. Peacock realised how inappropriate her words were. For a moment, people thought that Graham was going to say something. However, instead he picked up his spoon and started on his blamanche. Miss Peach looked speechless.


All heads turned toward a sheepish maid who had knocked a silver goblet from the sideboard. "Excusez-moi."

"That's a nice broach." Reverend Green told Miss Scarlett, attempting to change the subject.
"Erm… yes - thank you reverend. I just bought it."
"It looks very expensive." Mrs Peacock commented with a look at her stepdaughter.
"It looks beautiful!" Mrs. White awed from the opposite side of the table.
Miss Scarlett smiled back.

White's Walls/Floors

Further down the table, Professor Plum and Colonel Mustard sat silently opposite each other. Although no words were exchanged between them, their body language spoke volumes. As each man proceeded through his desert, Plum looked over towards Dr. Black. Mustard followed his gaze and then watched as Plum shook his head slightly and then looked back at the colonel with a frown. Mustard shrugged. The professor tapped his glass quietly with his finger and nodded towards the door. Mustard nodded back.

"What a splendid meal!" Reverend Green said as he sat back and patted his stomach. "My compliments to the cook." He said over to Yvette, who smiled back, dipped her head in acknowledgement and then began clearing the plates.

"Graham," Black called across the table to Slate-Grey, "Could we have a chat in the study?"

Slate-Grey agreed and the two men left the room. Professor Plum and Colonel Mustard stood up together, excused themselves and then exited. Most of the remaining occupants slowly made their way out of the Dining Room, leaving Yvette and Hogarth to sort out the room while Captain Brown watched them over a glass of Shiraz.

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