Hudunit

[Scene:  A closed room, locked from the inside.  A dead body with a piece of paper
in its hand is clearly visible in the center of the room.  Suddenly, the door is 
forced open.  Two detectives come into the room with authority, followed by several 
men and women dressed as if for a party for high society.  A young woman comes in and
runs over to the body, followed by a distinguished older man who stands next to her.  
Others trail in, among them a mysterious ingenue type].

Old Man:  My god.

Young Woman:  Arthur!  Oh, Arthur!

Inspector Hudunit:  Don't touch anything!  I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you all
to leave the room.

(They all start to file out).

Officer:  But Frank, if they leave the room, the scene is over.

Hudunit:  Oh...right.  All right, everyone back in, come on.

(They all file back in).

Hudunit:  All right then, my name is Inspector Hudunit...

Everyone:  Hudunit?!

Hudunit:  If I knew that, we wouldn't all be here now, would we?  Now then:  
someone has committed murder.  The murderer is obviously in the room 
with us now!  (Everyone exchanges suspicious looks).   And just to let him or 
her know, I have never, ever in my experience as an Inspector failed to 
uncover a case.  I believe...

Mysterious Ingenue (Suddenly bursts forward into the center of the crowd):  
All right!  I know I'm not going to be able to hide it any longer!  I did it!  
And I'm glad, do you hear me!  We were performance artists on our way to the top!  
Then he totally changed our act!  He used to cover himself with lime jello and make me 
sing Joan Baez songs!  I couldn't take it anymore!  So I killed him!  I killed Richard!

Young Woman:  Could you tell me a little more about the lime jello?

Hudunit:  What the hell are you talking about?

Mysterious Ingenue:  Are you deaf?  I just said in front of everyone that I killed 
Richard Thornton!

Hudunit:  Well, for your information, ma'am, this isn't Richard Thornton.  This... 
(tilting the dead man's head up so she can see it)...is Arthur Robertson!

Old Man:  I believe the Thornton party is down the hall.

[They all look at her.  Long, embarrassing silence].

Mysterious Ingenue:   Oh.  In that case...um... excuse me!  (exits discreetly).

Hudunit:  Before we continue, are there any other murderers present 
who've come to the wrong party?

[The others look at each other and shake their heads]

Hudunit:  Good.  Perhaps we can continue.  Now then.  Let's look at the facts:  
we're inside a room, locked from the inside.  There are no windows or other doors.  
Only the dead man had a key to the room.  Which means that no-one could have gotten 
inside to kill him.  All of you were outside in the garden the whole time he was in here. 
Hmm.  Well.  This is quite a puzzle.  Quite a puzzle.  He was in here, you were out there.  
Hmm.  I don't understand this.  I really don't understand this.  I really, truly honestly 
just don't understand this.  I don't have the slightest idea what could have happened here!  
It's a mystery!  It's a total mystery!  It's a deep, dark mystery without the slightest clue 
or lead to follow!  (Trips over body). I mean, if there was just a shred of evidence, that 
would be something!  But there's nothing!  It's an enigma!  It's an enigma wrapped inside a riddle! 
It's a riddle wrapped in a mystery wrapped in a riddle hidden inside an airtight vault!  
It's a mystery inside of a mystery lost in a maze trapped in a web hidden inside a puzzle 
locked in a vault thrown down a well, a well that just keeps growing continually deeper, and deeper, 
and darker, and...

(During speech Officer has noticed a note in the dead man's hand, removes the note and reads it).

Officer:  Frank...Frank...

Hudunit:  What? 

Officer:  It's right here.

Hudunit:  What is?

Officer:  A suicide note.  "Nobody killed me.  I did myself in.  Sincerely, Arthur Robertson." 
It's even notarized.  

(Hands note to Inspector, who reads it).

Hudunit:  Huh.  (Suddenly brisk).  Well, that settles that.  Thank you everyone, we'll handle it from here.  
(Pulls out pad and starts making notes over dead body.)  Well, another seemingly impossible case nicely wrapped up.

Old Man:  Inspector, how do you do it?

Hudunit (Happy):  I don't know.  I don't know how I do it.  I honestly don't know.  (Becoming confused again):  
I really, truly, honestly just don't know how I...

Officer (tired):  Come on, Frank.  (Takes him by the arm and pulls him out of the room).

Hudunit (confused):  But why is he asking me how I do it?  I don't know how I do it...

(They exit, leaving guests and dead body.  They all look at each other, at a loss of what to do).

Young Woman:  Well....What should we do now?

Old Man  (brightly, to everyone):  Let's go check out the Thornton party!  (They all exit enthusiastically.)


END.

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