(Continued from Part 1.)
Upstairs, the first door on the left leads into a sparsely decorated guest room.
A pair of legs poke out from underneath the bed. Another murder?
Then I see them shift. Nope, a live one.
I cough discretely and introduce myself once more to the owner of the legs. “I don’t want to interrupt your search of whatever is under there, but I’m just verifying the whereabouts of everyone last evening.”
“I’m afraid it is, if we want the murderer caught. So I have to ask you again.”
“Thank you,” I say. “You’ve been very helpful.”
He’s wrong. I’m afraid someone -did- see him.
I try not to let any of my growing suspicion show on my face as I continue the investigation. I still need to find the murder weapon and the location of the crime. Extra corroboration couldn’t hurt either.
It’s all I can do to not screech to an immediate halt and reverse out of the room. I try to act nonchalant and check out the bottle of vitamins with my magnifying glass as if nothing is wrong. Then step out again just as quickly and wordlessly.
Is he following me?
The bedroom is deserted. A massive canopied bed is the centerpiece of the room. The bedsheets are rumpled and an emptied bottle of champagne protrudes from under the bed. Was someone having a party in here last night?
Then the speckled cream label of the bottle catches my eye.
I whip out my trusty magnifying glass.
I leave it where it is.
I have visions of stepping out the bedroom holding the bloodied weapon and looking right into the eyes of the person coming out of the bathroom.
They don’t end well for me.
In the study I find another guest. “Just the person I wanted to see,” I say, smiling broadly. “I need your help to confirm someone else’s story. They say they spent last evening with you, so both of you are innocent and could be each other’s alibis.”
At the same time, I check out the area of floor that has caught her attention. Not blood, alas. I was hoping to get this solved quickly.
Another coffee stain. Perhaps from the empty mug atop the desk.
Yep, -he’s- the one.
And he may just have seen me walk into the room and talk to the lady too.
I try to swallow, my mouth uncomfortably dry. I can’t shake off the unnerving sensation of eyes boring into the back of my neck. The shadows are watching me.
I need to find the murder scene, fast!
I scramble downstairs in a hurry, hoping a sharp-eyed guest may have spotted something untoward.
I can’t exactly comb every square inch of flooring with one dinky magnifying glass. Not without getting bashed on the head from behind.
Fortunately, not the murderer.
Unfortunately, just inclined to marveling at the beauty of small details.
No blood on this floor.
Third time’s the charm.
“You’ve been -very- helpful, indeed,” I say. “Stay here a sec, won’t you?”
I race back upstairs to fetch the murder weapon.
I want to scream.
I really do.
I don’t think he’s seen me yet.
I stealthily duck to a crouch, using the canopied bed as cover, and slide out the bottle of champagne ever so silently…. moving slow enough to not make a sound, and swiftly as I dared so as to get out of here unseen.
Don’t turn around. Don’t turn around.
I book it downstairs.
Fully expecting an unfriendly face waiting for me at the crime scene to make it a double murder.
“THANK you for staying,” I say fervently, fighting the urge to keep looking over my shoulder. “It’s time to gather everyone.”
I lay out my case.
Here, the scene of the murder. Here, the murder weapon. And here, the stories of those I questioned, who all point to…
Some things still remain unanswered, though, and I’d appreciate the help of any other sleuths in the audience.
- The motive of the killing is still unknown. And what exactly happened last evening in the living room?
- How did the murder weapon end up where it was, unseen by other guests?
- For that matter, what exactly was going on in the bedroom?!
I never did see that one last elusive guest… did I?
A big thank you goes out to everyone who unwittingly took part in this murder mystery.
Turn-about is fair play. And I’d love for all of you to give the game a shot. There’s another mansion layout too.
It’s simple, but the fun comes in trying to fill in the blanks with your own narrative.
Can you beat my score? It’s possible to solve it in less moves and be a Holmesian Sleuth.
Or you could progress from just being suspected by the murderer, to being stalked… then killed.
Instructions for Running Sleuth:
1) Download Sleuth from the Norland Software site. Unzip it to an easy to find folder, like c:\dosgames\sleuth.
2) Download DOSBox, install and run it.
3) Type the following into DOSBox (change c:\dosgames to whatever your directory structure is)
4) Once in the directory, type sleuth to run. (Hooray, old DOS commands)
Option A will start you with the game’s pre-provided name list. Option B is personalized sleuth for you to type in your own names.
If you should get tired of all that typing per game, it is quite simple to edit the files DESCR.V1 and DESCR.V2 to use your own names for option A.
Like so. Scroll down to the end of the file.
The first line is first name. Next line, last name. Final line in capitals is however you want to refer to them when typing in commands in sleuth.
There’s room for seven guests.
Hope y’all enjoy.