The Main foyer of the hotel
Description of the scene: Morning at a small house- hotel. Mr. OíReily, a tall man in his 50ís, is standing behind the room check-out desk reading a newspaper. He has a disturbed look on his face as he reads. On a chair in the room, Thomas Firman, a short man wearing a bathrobe is sitting reading a paper of his own. Mrs. OíReily, a women of her late 40ís, enters from the door behind the desk. She notices her husband reading the paper and the look of agitation on his face.
IRENE, humorously: Whatís the matter dear? By the way you look, Iíd think that your mother died.
OíREILY: (without looking up from the paper) You know that lousy Theodore Grant from down the road?
IRENE, sneeringly: How could I not know him? (with a hint of annoyance) You complain about his hotel every week and how much more business heís getting than you.
OíREILY, angrily: Yes, well now heís going to be getting far more business than me. (pointing to paper) It says here that Grant is putting an addition on his hotel of 10 new rooms. We only have a lousy 5 rooms here total, and now that scoundrelís getting ten more rooms to add to his already large hotel.
IRENE, shouting: Calm down man. (calmly) Business is still going well here. After all, 4 of our 5 rooms are being occupied tonight. If business continues in this fashion we will be able to get an extension to the this hotel as well.
FIRMAN, curiously: Is everything okay there, Mr. OíReily? I couldnít help but over hear your conversation.
Oí REILY, quickly: Oh, everything is just fine Mr. Firman. Thank you for your concern though.
FIRMAN: (pauses for a moment) Well, Iím kind of hungry. See you around OíReily. (Firman exits through dining room doors)
Oí REILY, curiously: I donít really like that man, Irene. He seems to know be listening in every time I have something to say.
IRENE: Donít let him bother you John. (jokingly) Youíre talking about the same man who locks his keys in his room over-night and has to come down every time to get the spare. (looking down at her watch, surprised at the time) Oh. Itís after 9 already, . (calling) Wendy! Wendy. (Wendy enters from the door behind the desk. She is a young girl who wears the traditional colors of a made, and apron and small white hat.)
WENDY: Yes Maíam? I just finished cleaning your room.
IRENE: Thank you dear. Now, could you please go and wake up Mrs. Carter. Itís a little past the time she wanted to get up.
WENDY, obediently: Yes Maíam. (exits upstairs)
IRENE: We really have to make sure we look good in the eyes of Mrs. Carter dear. After all she has been staying here for the past two years, ever since Mr. Carter died.
Oí REILY, thankfully: Yeah, without the old bag and the fortune her husband left, we wouldnít have any sort of business at all.
(Albert Paponey, a man in his 40ís, enters from upstairs, he is dressed in a black suit and carries an attachť case. His hair is slicked back)
PAPONEY, grumpily: Good Morning.
Oí REILY, cheerfully: Morning.
PAPONEY: Do you have my paper? (OíReily hands him a news paper from behind the counter, Paponey takes it and exits out the door to outside)
OíREILY, to Irene, annoyed: What crawled into his bed this morning?
IRENE: Oh, you know Albert Paponey. He works on his business all the time. The poor dear, he must be exhausted.
OíREILY, dumbfoundedly: You know Irene, sometimes I just donít get you at all.
(enter Mrs. Carter from stairs. She is old and bent, but she has a happy expression on her face. She walks with a cane down the stairs.)
CARTER, cheerfully: Good morning John. Good morning Irene. I almost slept in this morning.
Oí REILY, cheerfully: Good morning. I hope you are well today.
IRENE: Good morning, Mrs. Carter.
CARTER: And what are they serving today for breakfast?
Oí REILY: Waffles, I believe. And maybe bacon and eggs.
CARTER, happily: Oh good. (she exits through the dining room door on the right.)
IRENE, sweetly: There goes a nice woman.
(enter Wendy from stairs)
IRENE: Oh, Wendy. Have you finished cleaning all of the rooms?
WENDY: Yes Maíam. All except room 4. (strangely) That man hasnít come out of his room yet. I knocked on the door, but he told me he didnít want his room clean.
Oí REILY, questioningly: Isnít that that man, Mr. Hendel? He has rarely come out of his room at all. Heís a strange man if you ask me.
IRENE, not listening to Oí Reily: Iím kind of hungry myself. Iím going to get some breakfast. Care to join me?
Oí REILY: No, you go ahead, Iíll finish my paper.
Description: Night time at the hotel. Oí Reily is standing behind the counter. He is wearing glasses, and is checking his record books with a calculator. Mr. Firman is sitting down in the same chair as scene 1 reading a book.
(enter Miles Cordile. He is a man in his 50ís. He is wearing a brown suit. He looks hot and tired. He looks like he is feeling nauseous.)
Oí REILY: Good evening sir. How are you today? Oh, look at the time. Youíre just in time for dinner tonight.
CORDILE: No dinner for me I think. I just want to get to bed tonight. Iím not feeling too well.
OíREILY: Could I just have your name please, and Iíll give you a room.
CORDILE: Itís Miles Cordile.
OíREILY: Here you go. (hands Cordile a key) Itís room 5 up the stairs.
CORDILE: If youíll excuse me then, Iíd like to get to bed. Oh, yes. Could you please bring me up my breakfast tomorrow morning. Thank you. (exits walking slowly up stairs).
FIRMAN, getting up off chair: Whatís the matter with that guy? He doesnít seem very nice to me.
Oí REILY, angrily: Mind your own business Firman.
Description: Same room as the other scenes. Oí Reily is behind the counter. Again Firman is sitting in his chair reading the paper. Carter is beside him reading a book
(enter Wendy from stairs)
Oí REILY: Wendy, could you please go up to room 6 with a breakfast tray and wake up Mr. Cordile.
WENDY: Yes, sir (she heads into the dining room)
Oí REILY, to Firman and Carter: Will either of you two like any breakfast?
FIRMAN: Not quite yet, I donít think.
CARTER: Me neither, I am in the middle of a good book.
(enter Wendy with a breakfast tray. She takes it up the stars, exits.)
FIRMAN: Still no sign of that strange Hendel coming out of his room yet?
Oí REILY: No, not yet. Heís been staying here for a few days and the only time Iíve seen him is when he checked in. Heís a strange man.
FIRMAN, curiously: And what of that man who came in last night?
OíREILY: Heís fine, I expect.
(enter Wendy from stairs, she looks terrified)
WENDY, trembling: Sir, sir. I have to talk to you.
Oí REILY: Uh, would you two please excuse us and go into the dining room.
CARTER: All right John, itís time for breakfast anyway.
FIRMAN, slyly: Iíll just be heading up to my room. (Carter goes into the dining room while Firman heads to the top of the stairs. He sits there unnoticed listening to Wendy and Oí Reily)
WENDY, shaking: Sir, when I went up to give the man his breakfast, I knocked on the door...an..and there was no answer. I went in....(breathing deeply) and I found him dead.
OíREILY, shocked: Dead! Are you sure?
WENDY: Ye..yes sir.
OíREILY: Oh my, well...(upset) We canít tell anybody about this! We need to keep all the business we have much less scare the people away with people dying. What am I going to do!
(Firman sitting on the stairs hears the conversation and goes up the stairs)
Description: This scene takes place in the dining room. There is one large table in the center with a door on one the left wall to the main foyer of the hotel. There is another door to the kitchen. Mrs. Carter, Mr. Paponey, and Mr. Firman are all sitting at the table. A young waitress is serving them their food.
FIRMAN: Listen to this Paponey. There has been a murder in this hotel.
PAPONEY: What are you on about man?
FIRMAN: I heard OíReily talking. He says they that theyíve got a stiff up in room number 5. Apparently he was murdered in the night.
PAPONEY: Murdered in the night! You mean to tell me that a murderer was only two doors down from mine last night?
CARTER: Oh, my!
FIRMAN: Thatís right. Theyíre not sure who the murderer was, but I have my suspicions. If you ask me, it was that man Hendel. Nobody knows what he does up in his room all day. I think that he has been plotting the murder of the man.
PAPONEY, worried: Has anybody called the police yet?
FIRMAN: Not yet. OíReilyís worried that heís not going to have any customers if the whole thing gets out.
CARTER, frightened: Well what do we do know?
(Firman pauses to think a moment, then turns back to Carter)
FIRMAN: We have to do something. We donít know when that homicidal man will strike again.
PAPONEY, trying to hide his fear: Come man. Do you really expect us to believe that a man was murdered here last night?
FIRMAN: If you donít believe me, we can slip upstairs and Iíll show you the body.
PAPONEY: All right then, Firman. Lead the way. (He gets up out of his chair to leave. Firman does the same, then turns to Carter)
FIRMAN: Care to join us Mrs. Carter?
CARTER, sternly: No, thank you. I have no need to see any dead bodies. Iíll stay here and finish my breakfast, thank you.
FIRMAN: Suit yourself. Oh, if you are staying, watch your back. You have to be careful when thereís a murderer loose in the house. (Firman and Paponey exit out door on left. Upon exit the waitress comes from the kitchen and cleans up their plates while Carter eats. She exits out door on right to kitchen. Irene Oí Reily enters through door on left. She walks over to where Mrs. Carter sits.)
IRENE: Mrs. Carter. (Carter jumps as she doesnít notice Irene)
CARTER, catching breath: Oh, dear. Itís just you. I thought you were a killer.
IRENE, surprised: Killer?
CARTER: Yes, apparently one of the men in this hotel was murdered and your husband hasnít called the police yet because he was involved.
IRENE, shocked: My husband, a murderer?
CARTER, truthfully: I was surprised too. If I was you dear, I would stay away from that man. John may seem like a nice person, but if heís a murderer, stay clear.
(Irene leaves shouting ďJohn, John.Ē Enter Paponey and Firman. They see Irene leave)
PAPONEY, to Carter: What was that all about?
CARTER: That was Irene. She was here to tell me that her husband Mr. Oí Reily was involved in the murder. (questioning) Or was it that I told her?
PAPONEY, annoyed: Oh, you never remember anything important, but if what you say is true, then Oí Reily must be working alongside that strange Hendel. Firman was right, there was a body in that room.
FIRMAN, to Paponey: If you ask me, Iíd say that those two are after money. After all, both you and the ancient woman are loaded. (to Carter, realizing) Mrs. Carter, I believe that you are going to be in great danger. Mr. Oí Reily and Hendel are going to come after you too. They know that you are vulnerable and are going to try to get your fortune.
CARTER, terrified: Oh no! What are we going to do?
PAPONEY, on edge: I know what Iím going to do. Iím going to leave this awful place before those assassins slit my throat and take my money.
FIRMAN, agreeing: Youíre right. Itís best we all leave before we too are bodies in a room. Iím going to check out of here as soon as possible.
PAPONEY: Iím going to pack my begs right now. (They all exit out the door on the left)
Description: The main foyer of the hotel. OíReily is standing behind the counter reading the paper with an anxious expression on his face.
(enter Paponey from stairs. He is carrying a suit case)
PAPONEY, loudly: Well OíReily, Iím off.
OíREILY, misunderstanding: Why so suddenly?
PAPONEY: Iíd rather stay at a garbage dump then at a crime site. (He hands over some money then heads for the door.) Good bye OíReily. (exits)
(enter Firman from stairs with his suit case)
FIRMAN: If youíre allowing that Hendel person to stay here, then Iím leaving. (hands him money) So long OíReily. I hope you do well. (angrily) Just donít come after me.
OíREILY, confused and sputtering: Bu, But... (Firman exits out door)
(enter Carter from stairs with Wendy carrying her suitcase)
CARTER: Itís a shame I couldnít have stayed longer, but I have to protect my husbands fortune you know.
OíREILY, calmly: Now Mrs. Carter. You have been staying here for the longest time. Why have you chosen to leave so suddenly?
CARTER: Youíre a sweet boy John, but now youíve gone too far, you and Mr. Hendel. Iíll see you later Irene. (to Wendy) Will you please bring my bags out with me, I have a bus to catch to my sisterís. (Wendy and Carter exit)
(enter police officer from outside)
OíREILY, still confused: Officer?
OFFICER: Are you Mr. OíReily, the proprietor of this hotel?
OíREILY, with uncertainty: Yes?
OFFICER: You are under arrest for suspected murder.
OíREILY, shocked: What?! On whose charge?
OFFICER: A Mrs. OíReily called in about suspecting you a murderer. Now if youíll just come with me sir. (The police officer walks behind OíReily and cuffs him. Enter Irene from the door behind the counter as OíReily is being led out by the officer.
IRENE, with regret: Iím sorry John. I was scared that you really did kill that man. This was the only thing that I could think to do.
OFFICER: Donít worry Maíam. Weíll take him down to the station and find out what we can. (to OíReily) Come along now. (As he takes OíReily out the door, OíReily turns to his wife)
OíREILY, as a last attempt: Irene, let me explain- (He is cut off as the police officer escorts him outside)
(Irene covers her face and shakes her head in melancholy)
(enter a doctor from the stairs. He is a man wearing a white coat with a stethoscope around his neck and a small black bag.)
DOCTOR: Excuse me Miss, could I please speak to Mr. OíReily?
IRENE, sorrowful: Heís not in right now.
DOCTOR: Iíll explain it to you then. It seems that the man died in the middle of the night from a heart attack as your husband suspected. Tell him that there is no cause for alarm and that Iíll be around later today to take away the body. (pauses) Oh, yes. A man staying in room 4, Mr. Hendel I believe his name was, would like to talk to your husband. He says that heís sorry for staying in his room all the time and not wanting to be bothered, but heíd like to share with you the novel that he has been working on while he has been staying here.
(Irene lays her head down on the counter and weeps).
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