Chapter 3

Chapter 3 - 'A Murderer Amongst Them'

 

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"What?!" gasped Mrs Peacock, as she looked on at the nervous, wreck of a man standing by the wooden stairs of Tudor Mansion. "Murdered?" confirmed Reverend Green, he wasn't sure if he heard right, but he thought he'd just double check that it wasn't what the Professor said. Robert stepped forward to Peter and touched his shoulder - "What do you mean, Peter?" he asked quietly. Peter looked around at them all, his words just weren't leaving him, it was as though saying it out loud had crippled him, crippled him to the point where he could no loger explain himself. "He's there...lying on the floor...he's dead..." he stuttered and paused as he tried to explain what he had seen, Peter wished that he had a camera in his brain that could take the Tudor Mansion guests through what he had seen.

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As he was about to continue, The Butler appeared from the dining room along with an elderly lady, who appeared to be some sort of chef. Mrs White heard the comotion from the dining room along with The Butler, they thought it was best they check out what the fuss was all about - "What's going on?" asked The Butler. The guests looked around at each other, each one waiting for the other to repeat what Peter Plum had just announced. The Butler and Mrs White glanced round at the guests - "Well?" said Mrs White sternly, she wanted answers and the silence was irritating her. "Doctor Black has been murdered..." said Josephine Scarlett, glancing at Mrs White, then at the Butler, then towards the floor. Mrs White couldn't believe what she was hearing, how could he be? How did they know? "Dead?!" repeated the Butler; he looked startled, as though he was being confronted with his worst fear. "How do you know?" asked Mrs White, who was finding it all very difficult to believe - she had been pranked in the past and it was very similar to this. Silence fell over the guest, as they looked at each other with worried glances, Peter Plum spoke again - "...I found him...", he gasped gently as he spoke - "He's been...he's dead..." he said, staring into the eyes of the Butler. The Butler felt a sudden discomfort in his stomach - "You're absolutely sure?" he asked, just to be on the safe side. Peter looked down at the floor, then looked back at the kind old man, who had been nothing but pleasant to him since he arrived at Tudor Mansion. "He's dead" stated Peter; he couldn't stand any longer, Peter sat down, he didn't care where he landed, he just decided to sit down. As he felt himself sitting on the bottom of the stairs, Robert Mustard stepped towards him - "where's his room?" he asked, he said it in a gentle whisper. "At the bottom of the first floor corridor..." explained Peter, who felt severel lumps making their way up his neck, as though some sort of snake was inside of him.

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"I'm going up..." said Robert, he wanted to see Dr Black's body, he wanted to make sure. It's not that he didn't believe Peter, it's just he needed to re-confirm with himself that what was happening was real and wasn't just some huge mistake. "I'm coming with you" said the voice of Miss Scarlett, this is the first time she had addressed Robert at all, they'd had glances and stares, but never actually spoken. Robert wasn't sure how to act, he thought that his experience with seeing dead bodies would be better at handling this than Miss Scarlett, who had possibly had no experience at all - still, he was quite prepared to have someone with him. As the pair stared at each other, Josephine felt the need to explain herself - "I did first aid when I was in school, if he's hurt I may be able to help..." she said, not removing her eyes from looking into Robert's. Robert nodded and the pair walked up the stairs. "Come and sit in the living room, Peter" said Reverend Green, kindly. He reached his arm out towards Peter, he reponded and walked into the living room along with Mrs Peacock.

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"I'm going to call the police..." said The Butler, he turned around and stalked back through the dining room. Mrs White had a random thought, she quickly rushed after The Butler and shouted him "Hey..." she said - the Butler stopped and turned towards her. "You don't think...I mean...what's going on here?" she asked, trying to make sense of the situation. The Butler had always made her feel better, his words of wisdom carried her through quite a few tough times in the past. "What do you mean?" asked the Butler, his eyes looked dazed - "Well...what was Rusty saying in the Kitchen?" she asked, she wondered if he even remembered. "The gates are padlocked..." she reminded The Butler - "there's no way out..." she continued; it hit The Butler what point she was trying to make. "If that's the case, then the thoughts in my head are becoming quite disturbing indeed" replied the Butler, he turned around and began to walk again - Mrs White was confused, she didn't know what he meant with that. "What do you mean?" she asked, this time without moving. The Butler stopped, he stood completely still for several minutes, then turned towards her again - "The gates are padlocked and someone's died...this all seems very planned to me...like someone has planned this" he said, this time Mrs White didn't know what to say. The Butler looked away as he stated what had crossed Mrs White's mind quite a bit; he then turned and continued walking towards the kitchen. Mrs White took a moment to think about what he said, why would someone want to murder Doctor Black? Why would someone want to padlock the gates outside? What could be their motive for their actions? Mrs White wasn't scared, but the realisation that there was a murderer in Tudor Mansion was making her a little unsettled, never in all her years as a cook had she witnessed something like this, it was too shocking for her. She decided to join the guests in the Living Room, she was certain that she could sniff out a killer in moments if she could spend time

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Doctor Black was dead, his body lay motionless on the ground of his hotel room; it was confirmed. Robert had checked the body again and again, he was dead. He thought he saw him breathing a couple of times, but Robert was sure he was dead. He waited for Miss Scarlett to confirm what he already knew, and she did - "Yep, he's dead..." - Robert placed his hands on his face and let out a deep sigh. "This wasn't suicide either, or an accident..." continued Miss Scarlett; Robert looked at her and then glanced back at the lifeless body on the floor - "I know..." he replied. "I just...how could this happen?" asked Miss Scarlett, she was confused, she knew every guest and staff member in Tudor Mansion and none seemed like potential killers to her. When Robert didn't respond, Josephine decided to say something just to make sure he had heard her - "I just...I don't understand" she said, hoping he'd respond. "I don't either..." he said as his eyes met Doctor Black's body again - "It can't be one of the guests, none of them have left the room..." he said, not removing his view from the dead Doctor. "That leaves...Mrs White, The Butler and Rusty..." replied Miss Scarlett, she looked around the room in hope of finding some sort of evidence to point her in the right direction. "If only there were something..." she said looking round, as she glanced at the floor, she felt Robert's eyes on her; she met his eyes and the pair stared, just before she said "...incriminating". Their eyes didn't move; Robert was the one who broke it by stepping forwards and kneeling to the floor towards Doctor Black; Robert thought he saw his stomach moving at one point, but again, he was sure Doctor Black was dead.

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"There must be something..." said Robert as he leaned over the body to look around for some sort of...dare he say it...clue. Yes, he felt like someone from Scooby Doo, but that's the best description Robert had. "Careful!" shouted Miss Scarlett; it made Robert jump slightly, but when he looked towards her, he saw her eyes staring at his sweater. It was covered in blood because he had leant over Doctor Black's body "Ahh damn!" said Robert. "better change..." he said, getting to his feet.

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"I'll come with you" offered Miss Scarlett - Robert felt himself smiling inside, he would like the company, especially when the company was that of an attractive female. "Thanks" he said; he glanced back at the body of Doctor Black and walked out of the room, followed by Miss Scarlett and up to his room.