WHAT THE BUTLER SAW ......
THE PROVERBIAL RED HERRING(S)
RECIPE FOR DISASTER
That delicate sound hung in the air like the stench of yesterday's socks. You knew what it was, but you didn't want to admit it. And you sure didn't want to look at it!
Fearing for her sanity, her very being, Zelda slowly turned to face the newly arrived manservant.
"Someone called my name?" asked the velvety smooth voice of extreme reason.
"Oh no, not again, this can't be happening again. It CAN'T" sobbed Zelda, collapsing onto the chilly hall floor, burying her face in her tattered skirt.
"Beg pardon mum? What is happening, or not happening, if I may be so bold to inquire?"
"Oh NatCh, I suppose you're going to tell me your name is Jeeves, .... yadda, yadda, yadda." moaned the feverish Zelda, as filip and Rock looked on in astonishment at her outlandish histrionics.
Jeeves' forehead crinkled into evenly spaced parallel ridges as he replied "Beg pardon mum, my name is Jeeves. Always has been. Jeeves. At your service."
Zelda raised a stricken, tear-streaked face and whispered "I suppose you're going to tell us that Pshrynk is dead .... again ... still ... yet? In the parlour?"
*cough* "No mum." replied the maddeningly marvelous manservant.
"No mum. There are no personages, dead or alive, currently in the parlour. Some apparently 'live and kicking personages' did however occasion the necessity for my cleaning services in the parlour just now. I removed several deposits of *shudder* liquid of unknown origin, and thoroughly cleansed the room with bleach."
"ça plairait pas à la police scientifique, mais ça vaut peut-être mieux quand même..."
Zelda and filip blushed furiously at this recital, and Zelda strove to change the subject.
"Where is Florence? She was scheduled to begin painting Pshrynk's portrait tonight in the library. She could tell us if he's alive or dead."
"I regret to inform you that Miss Florence departed in rather a huff earlier this evening." replied Jeeves. "Evidently she had been 'stood up' by Pshrynk, who failed to appear at the appointed time for his sitting."
"Maybe he showed up late and is waiting in the library now for Florence" suggested filip.
Rock Lobster snickered unpleasantly at hearing this naive suggestion, and Jeeves waded in with yet more exposition.
"Perhaps we should repair their imminently to ascertain the veracity of Mr. filip's perspicacious suggestion?" inquired Jeeves. Not waiting for their assent, he motioned for them to enter yet another hallway. As he bent to pick up the still luminous flare, Zelda astutely noted a red smear in the cleft of his manly chin. Sensing her gaze, Jeeves absently stroked his chin murmuring "It's quite difficult to use a cut-throat razor in the dark."
"Tu m'étonnes ! Comment se raser quand son visage change continuellement de forme ??"
As the band of desolate yet doughty adventurers passed into a new hallway en route to the library and who knew what fresh horror, they heard loud rapid footsteps approaching from behind them. Frozen in terror, they awaited the arrival of this new messenger of doom.
"Out of the way! Gangway! Gangbusters!" exploded from the darkness as the running figure neared their circle of light. "Oh, that poor chicken! What horrible things has kennyc done to chicken dear? I must get help now before he commits any further atrocities!"
Abruptly, clad in a white tunic liberally covered with huge splotches of fresh red blood, beppe burst into their group. Hair flying everywhere, eyes bursting from his head, arms waving madly about his head, beppe was the picture of panic! White chicken feathers, most bearing crimson stains, were literally flying from his windmilling arms creating a bloody blizzard that blanketed the hallway!
Beppe's voice climbed into a shriek of terror and desperation "We MUST hide the evidence! Quickly! For the love of all that's holy, does anyone have any barbecue sauce? He's going to use the ketchup! On chicken! Oh the tragedy! The insult. This cannot be! Let the poor chicken die with dignity!"
Not waiting for an answer, beppe continued his headlong flight into the corridor, his wails fading into the darkness. Before they could recover from this apparition of madness, a gray dog barking like a blood hound tore past them -- hot on the trail of the receding would-be chicken chef.
Shaken, and curiously stirred by the tidal wave of these raw emotions, the group continued its trek to the library, and whatever new onslaughts on their reason it might contain.
[Will beppe find an appropriate sauce for chicken?]
[Is there more than one murder victim?]
[Who will be in the library?]
[What will be in the library?]