Read SCOPE-092010-SherlockPlay.pdf text version

Readers Theater Play

and the Blue Carbuncle


Circle the character you are playing. *Starred characters are major roles.

SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE: creator of Sherlock Holmes OLDER WATSON COMMISSIONAIRE PETERSON: the police chief of London OFFICER TURNER *SHERLOCK HOLMES: a great detective *NARRATOR *DR. WATSON: Holmes's friend THE COUNTESS OF MORCAR CATHERINE CUSAK: the Countess's maid JOHN HORNER: a plumber HENRY BAKER: a man down on his luck MR. WINDIGATE JAMES RYDER BOY 1 BOY 2 BOY 3

Sherlock Holmes

The character of Sherlock Holmes was created more than 100 years ago. And he's still the greatest detective ever.



221B BAKER STREET, DECEMBER 1889 SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE: I imagine all of you out there have heard the name "Sherlock Holmes." OLDER WATSON: The greatest detective who ever lived! DOYLE: Why yes, Dr. Watson. Though, actually, neither Holmes nor you is a real person. You are characters in my novels. OLDER WATSON: But what wonderful novels those are! We certainly had some adventures together, Mr. Holmes and I, trudging through the streets of foggy London, solving mysteries over steaming cups of tea at 221B Baker Street. . . . DOYLE: Which is where today's story begins. Commissionaire Peterson


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dozens of Henry Bakers in London. HOLMES: You know my methods, Watson. I shall begin by studying the object. It is obvious that the owner of this hat was once fairly well-to-do, but that within the last three years he has fallen on hard times. He is an older man who is not in the best of shape. And he has just had a haircut. DR. WATSON: I have no doubt that I am very stupid, but I must confess that I am unable to follow you. HOLMES: Elementary, my dear Watson. This is an expensive hat, but it is at least three years old. A wealthy man would never wear a hat so tattered and worn, so this fellow has surely gone down in the world since purchasing it. The traces of sweat inside it indicate that the wearer perspires a lot, so he must be out of shape. And these bits of gray hair--from a recent haircut-- tell us that he is a gentleman of some age. DR. WATSON: You do have an answer to everything! NARRATOR: Suddenly, the Commissionaire barges in. COMMISSIONAIRE (shouting): The goose, Mr. Holmes! See what my wife has found in its gut! NARRATOR: He holds out his hand to had a black band across the back of its head and a small tag on its leg that read "For Mrs. Henry Baker." SHERLOCK HOLMES: Where is the goose now? COMMISSIONAIRE: I took it home to eat this evening, lest it spoil and go to waste. Mr. Holmes, it is a minor mystery, but I would like you to find the owner of this hat. OFFICER TURNER: We want to make sure he was not harmed. HOLMES: Of course--as you know, even the smallest problem is of interest to me. NARRATOR: The Commissionaire and Officer Turner leave. DR. WATSON: How will you find the owner of the hat? There must be reveal a brilliant blue gemstone. HOLMES: By Jove, Peterson! That's the Countess of Morcar's blue carbuncle. It was lost at the Hotel Cosmopolitan just two days ago. DR. WATSON: But as I recall, the police have already caught the culprit. HOLMES: Precisely so. Watson, it seems our little

and Officer Turner have just arrived, carrying a tattered hat. COMMISSIONAIRE PETERSON: Last night, I saw an old man jumped by a gang of ruffians. I blew my whistle and tried to catch them, but they ran off. When I returned to help the unfortunate gentleman, he was gone. OFFICER TURNER: He took off in such a hurry that he left this hat behind. He also left behind a goose, which






mystery has suddenly become much more important. little daughter--and I take right good care of them too! OFFICER TURNER: Once a thief, always a thief, I say. It's off to jail with you. HORNER: But I am innocent I tell you! BAKER: I will, sir. Thank you. HOLMES: Mr. Baker, would you mind telling me where you got that delicious goose? BAKER: I got it from Mr. Windigate at the Alpha Club. NARRATOR: Baker bows and leaves. HOLMES: So much for Mr. Henry Baker. It is quite certain he knows nothing of the stone. Now, I suggest we pay a visit to the Alpha Club.

BOY 1: That's what they was arguin' about. BOY 2: Why would anyone get mad over a goose? BOY 3: I never get mad over a goose, 'specially if I'm eatin' it. HOLMES: Why indeed, boys? You have done well. Here is a shilling for each of you. Now scat, and stay out of trouble until I need you again.


TWO DAYS EARLIER, THE HOTEL COSMOPOLITAN THE COUNTESS OF MORCAR: Oh, Catherine, you cannot begin to imagine what that carbuncle means to me. I would give half my fortune for its return. CATHERINE CUSAK: It must have been stolen by that plumber. NARRATOR: Officer Turner brings in John Horner, handcuffed. OFFICER TURNER: Miss Cusak, is this the plumber who was here earlier? CATHERINE: Yes, officer. OFFICER TURNER: And were you present at the time of the robbery? CATHERINE: No, the Countess and I went out shortly after he arrived. When we returned, the plumber was gone--and so was the stone. JOHN HORNER: But I was only checking them pipes--and there warn't nothing wrong with them neither. COUNTESS (hysterical): What have you done with my precious blue carbuncle? OFFICER TURNER: Countess, I must ask that you control yourself. Now then, Mr. Horner, I understand you're no stranger to crime. HORNER: I was arrested many years ago, but I was only a teenager. Now I have a job and a wife and a beautiful


221B BAKER STREET DOYLE: Holmes placed a lost-andfound ad about Baker's belongings in the local papers. OLDER WATSON: Holmes expertly reasoned that a poor man would very much miss that delicious goose. And indeed, a man named Henry Baker showed up the next evening. NARRATOR: As Holmes predicted, Baker is an older, overweight man. HOLMES: Mr. Henry Baker, I believe. Pray come in, sir. Is this your hat? HENRY BAKER: Yes, sir, that is undoubtedly my hat. I know it well, as I have not been able to purchase a new one for several years. HOLMES: I'm glad to return it. By the way, we were compelled to eat the bird. BAKER: To eat it! Oh, my! DR. WATSON: The bird would have surely spoiled, Mr. Baker. We hated to see it go to waste. HOLMES: I presume that this fresh goose I've bought you will make an acceptable replacement? BAKER: Oh, certainly, certainly. How very kind of you, sir! DR. WATSON: So you have your hat and your goose. Will you be off now?


THE ALPHA CLUB, THE NEXT DAY NARRATOR: Watson and Holmes return to the Alpha Club with Commissionaire Peterson, the Countess, and Catherine Cusak. They overhear the end of a conversation. WINDIGATE: How could I possibly know? I don't keep track of where each and every goose goes, now do I? RYDER: But Windigate, surely you remember this goose. Think! HOLMES: Excuse me, Mr. Ryder, but are you an employee of the Hotel Cosmopolitan? RYDER: Yes, but how did you know? HOLMES: It is my business to know what other people do not know. Now then, I fancy you are looking for a goose with a black band on RYDER: It's no business of yours if I am. NARRATOR: Ryder leaves in a hurry. Holmes finds some boys that he knows on the street. HOLMES: Boys, there's a shilling apiece for you if you find out where that man goes. BOY 1: A shilling apiece! We'll do it. BOY 2: He'll never know we're behind him. NARRATOR: Later that day, the boys return to Holmes. BOY 3: That man is called James Ryder, sir. BOY 1: We followed him clear out of the city. He went to visit his sister. She raises geese in her yard. BOY 2: They started fighting--about a goose. BOY 3: She had sold his goose to Windigate at the Alpha Club. its head? RYDER: Yes, yes! Can you tell me where it went? HOLMES: It came to me--and a most remarkable bird it proved to be! After it was dead, it laid a beautiful little blue egg. NARRATOR: Holmes holds up the blue jewel. COUNTESS: Oh, Mr. Holmes, thank goodness!


THE ALPHA CLUB, A LOCAL PUB HOLMES: Mr. Windigate. We have just spoken to Mr. Henry Baker, who bought a goose from you. DR. WATSON: Where do you purchase these fine birds, Mr. Windigate? MR. WINDIGATE: I get them from Mrs. Oakshott, who raises them in her backyard. Hand-fed, they are. Best geese in London. HOLMES: Indeed! NARRATOR: Another man enters the Alpha Club. JAMES RYDER: You Windigate? WINDIGATE: I am, sir. RYDER: Did you sell a goose with a black band across the back of its head? WINDIGATE: Why is everyone asking about those geese? You'd think they were made of diamonds! HOLMES: Excuse me, sir. Are you trying to trace some of Mrs. Oakshott's geese?





CATHERINE: But how . . . ? I mean, the plumber must have confessed and told you where it was! HOLMES: Quite the contrary, Miss Cusak. Mr. Horner is an innocent man and will be set free. CATHERINE: What? We already know that Horner snatched the stone while he was alone in the room, fixing the pipes. HOLMES: Except, Miss Cusak, that Mr. Horner was not alone in the room, nor was he "fixing" the pipes, because there was nothing wrong with them in the first place. CATHERINE: Of course there was! Why would I send for a plumber if there was nothing wrong? HOLMES: An excellent question! But now let us return to my first point, that Mr. Horner was not completely alone in the room. Someone--an employee of the hotel--was there to lock up after he left. DR. WATSON: James Ryder! HOLMES: Quite right, Watson. Miss Cusak called in the unfortunate plumber Horner knowing the police would suspect a man with a criminal record . . . DR. WATSON: . . . and allow the real thief to get away. HOLMES: Precisely. The game's up, Ryder. RYDER: But it was Catherine Cusak! She organized the whole thing! CATHERINE: I would have gotten away with it too, if you hadn't been so stupid, Ryder. COMMISSIONAIRE: But how did the stone come to be in Mr. Baker's goose?


--James Ryder

RYDER: I wanted to hide it, so I fed it to one of the geese my sister raises. But then she sold it before I could come back and get it. Now I am a branded thief! And without having touched the wealth for which I sold my character. Please have mercy on me! I never went wrong before! I will never steal again! HOLMES: No more words! Get out of here! RYDER: What? Oh, heaven, bless you, sir! COMMISSIONAIRE: You're letting Ryder go? HOLMES: It was not James Ryder who is responsible for the crime, and he will not go wrong again. He is too frightened. Commissionaire, arrest this woman for the theft of the blue carbuncle. And now, Watson, let's be off. I feel it is time to begin the investigation of a new bird. DR. WATSON: Once again, Mr. Holmes, your powers of deduction impress me. I am starving, and a goose dinner sounds delightful.





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