They had been casting furtive glances at each other all night. Except when they weren’t.
One is a dim-witted farm girl (or is she dim-witted…?). The other is a butler whose name may, in fact, be Butler. What started off as a fun murder mystery weekend has quickly turned into a murder mystery weekend . . . of DOOM. But can it also end up a love story? Daisy and . . . (is his name Butler? I honestly can’t remember), our potential love birds, now find themselves on the grounds of Natasha Winter’s mansion searching for a murderer with only flashlights lighting their way. Will this night end as they find true love? Or will it end as they find true . . . death by projectile objects? (Spoiler alert: It’s the latter.)
The scene below is from my farcical murder mystery Murder Mystery Weekend of Doom: A Love Story, available here from Norman Maine Plays. This 90-minute play is perfect for high school, college, community, or senior center theatre. If you’re looking for a fun, fast-paced play with 12 eccentric characters (2 M, 9 F, 1 M/F) who almost all die in bizarre fashions . . . then this is the play for you. If you’re not, you should still read this one scene. It’s rather moving while not being moving at all.
SETTING: Outside, night. The stage is bare except for a bench. The lights are very low. Wind is heard.
AT RISE: BUTLER is sitting on a bench moving his flashlight around looking for things. DAISY enters and BUTLER looks at her.
BUTLER: You were gone a long time.
DAISY: I couldn’t find my coat.
BUTLER: Did you find it? (DAISY stares at BUTLER quizzically.)
DAISY: I’m wearing it now.
BUTLER: Then you found it. That’s good. (Pause.) We should keep looking for Loomis. (Gets up and starts walking off.)
DAISY: Yeah. (They walk on a little in silence. Then DAISY stops and turns to BUTLER.) Butler?
DAISY: May I ask you a question?
BUTLER: As long as it’s not about my time in the service. That brings back bad memories.
DAISY: You were in the service?
BUTLER: I asked you not to ask about that.
DAISY: I’m sorry. What I really wanted to know is . . . what’s your real name? (BUTLER stops and looks at her. Then turns away.)
BUTLER: You don’t want to know. No one does.
DAISY: I do.
BUTLER: (Turns to her.) Really?
DAISY: Yes. (BUTLER continues looking at her, then decides to tell her.)
BUTLER: (Looking away.) Charlie. My real name is Charlie.
DAISY: Really? Then why does everyone call you--
BUTLER: Butler? I guess because they never cared enough to know my real name. (Silence.) I’ve been working for Ms. Winters 15 years now and she still thinks my name is Butler.
DAISY: Well, I don’t anymore. Charlie . . . I like that. It’s a good name.
BUTLER: Thanks. (They continue walking. BUTLER starts to shiver.) It’s getting really cold out here. I wish I had a coat.
DAISY: Why didn’t you get yours?
BUTLER: I was afraid.
DAISY: Afraid of what?
BUTLER: Many things.
DAISY: But which one kept you from getting your coat? Was it the fear of the murderer that is running around . . . murdering people?
BUTLER: No, I was afraid that if I wasn’t here when you got back then you would think I was the murderer and I just couldn’t bear the thought of you thinking that. (Pause.) Now that I think about it . . . I’ve probably should’ve have gotten my coat.
DAISY: Here, take mine. (She takes off her coat and hands it to him. He puts it on and then looks at her.)
BUTLER: That’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever done for me. Thank you. I feel so much warmer.
DAISY: It’s the coat. That’s what it does. Makes you warmer.
BUTLER: Thank you again. (They are quiet for a while. Then BUTLER stops moving and looks at DAISY, who now looks cold.) If I had an extra coat, I would give you one.
DAISY: That’s very sweet. (They continue on in silence.) What if Loomis isn’t the real killer? (BUTLER stops and looks at her.)
BUTLER: Of course she is. I mean, she is the only criminal here that we know of. Besides Grayson, who’s dead.
DAISY: I’m just saying . . . the killer could be any of us. It could be me. (BUTLER looks at her suspiciously.) It’s not, but it could be. (Silence. Starts to laugh.) No, I know who the killer is.
DAISY: The butler.
BUTLER: (Offended) What?
DAISY: (Notices that he’s offended.) You know, like that old saying.
BUTLER: What old saying?
DAISY: “The butler did it.”
BUTLER: (Shocked) But I’m the butler!
DAISY: I know.
BUTLER: You think I committed the murders?
DAISY: No . . . I didn’t say that.
BUTLER: (Getting upset.) You said, “The butler did it.” I’m the butler; therefore you think I did it.
DAISY: Look, I know for a fact that you didn’t commit any of the murders.
BUTLER: Is it . . . because you trust me?
DAISY: Wh . . . I . . . sure. It’s because I trust you.
BUTLER: And that trust you have in me . . . it’s because you love me . . . isn’t it?
DAISY: I-- (BUTLER walks closer to her and places his fingers on her mouth.)
BUTLER: Shhhhh! There’s no need to say it. I knew you loved me from the moment you saw me. Of course, that happens a lot, but never (Looks off.) . . . never to me. As a matter of fact, I doubt if anyone’s ever really liked me, much less loved me. I’m sure there were those who tolerated me, like Bridget, but I never had that magical moment that I’ve always longed for. Until tonight. Until . . . you.
DAISY: But I-- (BUTLER’S fingers return to her mouth.)
BUTLER: Shhhh! Words still aren’t needed. All that is needed is for you . . . to kiss me.
DAISY: Um . . . okay. (They move in for the kiss but before they can, BUTLER begins getting hit by a barrage of acorns.)
BUTLER: I was just hit in the head with some type of projectile. (Gets hit again.) There it is . . . OW!!! What are those things? (DAISY bends down and picks one up.)
DAISY: It’s these. They seem to be--
BUTLER: AHHHHH! (Falls)
DAISY: Charlie! (She kneels beside him.)
BUTLER: Daisy? Is that you?
DAISY: Yes, it’s me, Charlie.
BUTLER: Daisy, it appears that I’m dying.
DAISY: (Looks at him.) You are, Charlie.
BUTLER: Don’t mourn for me.
DAISY: I . . . I won’t.
BUTLER: Just remember me as you knew me . . . tonight.
DAISY: That’s all I did know you for, Charlie . . . tonight.
BUTLER: Yes . . . but . . . we . . . could’ve have had so much more.
DAISY: Like tomorrow?
BUTLER: Yes, like tomorrow and all of tomorrow’s tomorrows.
DAISY: That’s beautiful, Charlie. (Silence.)
BUTLER: Daisy, why weren’t you hit by anything? I mean, I was hit by so many and you weren’t hit--
DAISY: I did get hit a few times, but you saved me. You used yourself as my shield.
BUTLER: That’s not in my character. Besides, I don’t even recall you getting thrown at. As soon as I fell . . . all the throwing stopped.
DAISY: You’re talking crazy now. You should go ahead and . . . and die.
BUTLER: I know. But before I do . . .
Here it is. Steven's blog, where his thoughts about things are revealed. Good luck.