Chapter 5

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Robert and Josephine returned down the stairs of the Mansion and into the hallway - "'Well?" asked Mrs White; as she spoke, the rest of the guests all got to their feet and walked into the hallway to join Robert and Josephine. The pair of them paused, until Jospehine broke the silence by saying "He's dead...for sure..." - Mrs Peacock placed her hand over her mouth in shock, as though the whole world would be glaring at her fillings. "So it's true..." confirmed Reverend Green, who then glanced back at Peter. "We need to call the police..." said Robert as he walked towards the dining room - Mrs White stopped him and said "The Butler is sorting that, he's down there now..." she said. Robert stopped in his tracks - "Okay, so what's taking so long?" he said; Mrs White hadn't heard from The Butler since he went into the kitchen. "He keeps disappearing here and there..." said Josephine Scarlett, as she looked around at the others - Mrs White had known the Butler for years, he wasn't a killer, he felt guilty after accidentally standing on snails.

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"What are you saying? That he's responsible for this?" demanded Mrs White, she knew that was what they were saying, but she just wanted them to confirm it for her first. Mrs Peacock raised her eyebrows and then started laughing "Oh I could just imagine the headlines now - The Butler Did It!" she said with a harsh chuckle behind her sentence. Miss Scarlett glared at her mother, she didn't know her all that well, but she was showing very nasty behaviour from where she was standing; someone had been murdered and it wasn't something to laugh or joke about. "I suggest we all return to the Living Room and wait for the Butler to return with news..." suggested Reverend Green - he placed his hand on Peter Plum's shoulder and the pair walked slowly back into the living room. Mrs Peacock sighed and followed the pair into the Living room; Robert took this opportunity to talk to Mrs White, it also seemed Miss Scarlett joined him on this too - "So...what's the actual story?" whispered Robert to Mrs White.

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Mrs White touched Robert's shoulder and ushered him and Miss Scarlett into the Dining room. "Well, as far as I'm aware The Butler has gone phoning the police..." she said, still talking in hush tones - Miss Scarlett seemed to nod as she said this, as though keeping a mental checklist of what was happening. "Rusty, the gardener is outside trying to take off the padlock from the gate..." continued Mrs White - Robert felt his mouth drop open - padlock?! "What do you mean?" he asked; "what padlock?" asked Miss Scarlett. Mrs White sighed and looked around her to check there was no one else in the room - "Earlier, Rusty came into the kitchen and told us that for some reason the front gate was padlocked, which is something that hasn't happened in...years and years" she started, as she spoke Robert and Josephine leaned forward. "He said that there was no key, so he was searching for it. He went outside several minutes ago with pliers to cut it open" she finished - Robert was struck, had someone planned this? "Why would someone want to padlock the main gate?" asked Josephine, she was quite shocked at what she'd been told. As though answering her thoughts, Robert spoke - "Because that's our only way out of here..." he said; Mrs White nodded, as though understanding completely what he said and agreeing with every word. "Is he out there now?" asked Robert, Mrs White nodded and began walking towards the front door - she knew Robert and Josephine would follow her - "He'll probably be complaining about something along the way" Mrs White said, light heartedly in hope of lifting some tension.

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Mrs White opened the front door and began scoping to see Rusty from a far; she stepped onto the porch and squinted her eyes to see further down the Tudor Mansion grounds - nothing!

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Just then, Miss Scarlett spoke - "Erm...what is that?" she asked, as Mrs White turned to see what she was looking at, she followed her eyes and saw...lying on the floor - Rusty! "Oh my god!" gasped Mrs White.

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Robert rushed towards him and crouched over him - "Rusty..." he said, hoping that the gardener would show some reaction. As Robert looked at the state of the old gardener, he saw that the lifeless body had a large red wound around his neck; it was as though something had been wrapped around and had been twisted to stop the old gardener from breathing. "What's happened to him?" asked Josephine, in a shakey voice - Robert scanned the area of the body for something to shed light on what had happened to the old gardener; as he did he saw the answer - lying beside Rusty, just above where his head was, was a rope. It looked like a rope from the army training courses that Robert had been on, it was thick and would sure strangle an elderly man with some force. "He's been strangled..." confirmed Robert - Mrs White and Josephine gasped; Mrs White felt remorse for Rusty, sure he had been grumpy in his time, but they'd worked together for several years. Although quite grief stricken, Mrs White's thoughts spoke as she said - "Are there any pliers near by?" Robert searched around, he couldn't see any pliers - "Why?" he asked, Mrs White felt Jospehine look at her as well, she turned slightly and said "Because those pliers are the only thing that would break the padlock". A horrible, unsettling realisation sunk inside of Robert, he had thought it since the chat in the dining room, but he couldn't act on it as it wasn't completely sure - padlocked inside the Tudor Mansion, two peopled murdered and only the only way of getting out was now missing - this was being planned, it was too coincidental for Robert's liking, all he knew was that they needed to phone the police as soon as possible. "This is being planned" stated Josephine - "now we can't get out and there's two people murdered; someone's planned this and they'll probably have a lot more up their sleeve..." she said, reading Robert's thoughts and by the looks of Mrs White's face, also reading hers. "We need to tell the others..." said Robert.

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Mrs Peacock was pacing the Living room like a deranged woman, you'd think she had somewhere to be the way she was acting. Professor Plum hadn't really recovered from seeing the body of Doctor Black, but Reverend Green had the up most patience with him, he was a Vicar after all. Just then, Robert Mustard, Josephine Scarlett and Mrs White came rushing into the living room, they stood still in the doorway as all eyes were on them. "Well?" asked Mrs Peacock impatiently - Robert walked forward and stood in front of the fireplace, as though addressing them like a set of school children. "We've...we've discovered something and I don't think you're going to like what I'm going to say..." he said, keeping his head to the ground.

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Reverend Green got to his feet and Mrs Peacock stepped forward, hanging on to Robert's every word - "The front gate outside is padlocked..." he said, now gaining the courage to raise his head and look at the other guests - "we don't know why, it just is. That means there is no way of us getting out of here; there was a way and that was through Rusty, the gardener and the pliers he had to break open the gate" continued Robert. Even though Josephine already knew this, her heart was beating faster than ever and she was getting those shivers you get when you're afraid. "Trouble is...Rusty has been murdered..." announced Robert - Mrs Peacock gasped and Professor Plum also got to his feet. "What's more, the pliers to break the padlock are missing..." Robert continued; before he could finish, he was interrupted - "Two?! That's two murders?!" said Professor Plum, who seemed to be finding this very hard to take in. "Yes..." confirmed Robert - "and...it seems that something is happening...here...at Tudor Mansion tonight..." he continued; Mrs Peacock's hand yet again was placed firmly over her mouth. "People are dying and there's no way we can leave right now..." said Robert; "What are you saying?!" asked Professor Plum, quite irritably. "What am I saying?" asked Robert...as thought allowing the question to sink in.

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"I'm saying...that someone has...is...planning on killing us and they've made sure as hell that we can't leave the Mansion any time soon..." he said, looking round at all the guests. "Whatever this person has planned, it seems that they can't afford us to leave just yet..." he continued - "I don't know what's going on here, but I know that we need to stick together from now on, because if we don't..." said Robert as he looked at every one of the guests - "...We're all going to end up dead!"