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19 Nocturne Boulevard

19 Nocturne Boulevard is an award-winning anthology audio drama series that ran from 2008 through 2013, and then went into deep hibernation.

STILL working on that Comeback!!

Also the creator of Fatal Girl, Bingo the Birthday Clown, The Deadeye Kid, The Lovecraft 5, The Prisoner of Hancock House, The Decadence of Borrowed Silk, Eternal Dusk Roulette, and Atomic Julie's Galactic Bedtime Stories.                                                        Join our awesome Patreon supporters!

Jan 27, 2022

Adapted by Julie Hoverson from a story by H.P. Lovecraft.

Cast List
Richard - Philemon Vanderbeck
Edward - Bryan Hendrickson
Charles - Michael Coleman (Tales of the Extraordinary)
Warren - Glen Hallstrom
Herbert - Carl Cubbedge
Auguste - Reynaud LeBoeuf

Music by Kevin MacLeod
Editing and Sound:   Julie Hoverson
Cover Design:  Brett Coulstock
[cover art attributions]

"What kind of a place is it?
Why it's an artist's loft, can't you tell?"


The View from Within


  • Richard, artist
  • Charles, wealthy dilettante
  • Herbert, scientist
  • Warren, professor
  • Edward, pulp writer
  • Auguste, visitor

OLIVIA     What do you mean, what kind of a place is it? Why, it's an artist's loft, can't you tell?



RICHARD    [calling out] Thanks - ever so!


RICHARD    You have to love a restaurant that will send orders out.

EDWARD    Smells delicious. I suppose we should... wait?

RICHARD    Take a breadstick. No one needs to know.

EDWARD    [chewing] From one starving artist to another, my stomach thanks you.

RICHARD    [chuckles]




WARREN    Oh! This is-- ah! It is the right place, then?

RICHARD    Either that, or we're all lost together.

WARREN    [dubious] Oh?

EDWARD    [off] Don't confuse the poor academic! Invite him in!

RICHARD    Come in, then.

WARREN    Ah. This is the first time--

RICHARD    Welcome to my studio.  I don't usually have much company.  Through here.


WARREN    It is a bit out of the way.

RICHARD    Just be happy we're not meeting in the basement.

EDWARD    Oh, why?

RICHARD    [chuckles slightly] Mildew.  Though the atmosphere is most ... stimulating.

WARREN    I'm rather surprised the building is still standing.

RICHARD    It's an antique.

WARREN    More like a relic.


RICHARD    Any bets on who's next?

EDWARD    Heads or tails?

HERBERT    [off] Open the door!

EDWARD    Tails.

RICHARD    [snickers] [up, trying not to laugh] I'm coming.


WARREN    Good thing Richard knows how to give directions - I'd hate to be lost in such a decrepit and forbidding part of town.

EDWARD    Don't tell anyone, but I wrote them. His were needlessly labyrinthine. No one would have found this place in time.

WARREN    Dinner would have gone cold?

EDWARD    Weather would have gone cold.


HERBERT    You wouldn't believe the types of fungi that can grow in the plaster and wood in buildings this ancient. I suggest a thorough going over with Listerine, possibly followed by razing it to the ground.

RICHARD    [laughs] You modern-minded scientists. Can't see the value of anything lacking in hygiene unless it's in a Petri dish.

WARREN    Culture isn't born in a day.

HERBERT    It might be - in a Petri dish.

RICHARD    Sit. Relax. I suppose we could commence eating if Charles isn't--


RICHARD    But... he is. Back in a moment.


HERBERT    [sigh] Fire trap.

EDWARD    What?

HERBERT    These old gambrel-roofed buildings. The attic framing is particularly susceptible to the flow of air.

WARREN    Well, I doubt that it will go up tonight.

EDWARD    And I doubt that a going over with lister's formula will make it any less flammable.

HERBERT    Did Richard say anything about this story of his?

WARREN    Only that he felt it an impenetrable mystery.

HERBERT    It had better be something a bit more engaging than a plebian crime drama. That's no entertainment for a thinking man.

EDWARD    You didn't come just for the food? [bites a breadstick] I certainly did.

CHARLES    [coming in] Did I hear someone mention a thinking man?

WARREN    That would be Herbert.

EDWARD    Neither of us is inclined to think at all - if there isn't an immediate need.

WARREN    Of course I think - I'm always--

CHARLES    Buried in the college library. Absorbing.

EDWARD    Rather like a sponge.

HERBERT    [snort of laughter] So there's only one thinking man present.

CHARLES    I beg to differ. May I introduce a friend?

EDWARD    What? I thought this was a secret society!

WARREN    Is it? I thought it was dinner.

CHARLES    Don't matter. As he's in town for just the fortnight, Richard said I might bring him along. Particularly with a mystery in hand.

EDWARD    Aren't mysteries "afoot"?

RICHARD    [agreeing] Plenty of food, though it looks like the breadsticks are going fast.

AUGUSTE    [chuckle]

CHARLES    So. These are my cronies - Warren there in the tweed; Edward with the glasses; Herbert - well, he's Herbert. And you met Richard at the door.

AUGUSTE    Enchante'.

CHARLES    And this, to all you rabble, is monsieur Auguste, an old friend of the family.

WARREN    French?

AUGUSTE    Oui. Do not discompose yourself. My English is quite fair.

CHARLES    My father met Auguste when he was overseas. They always figured on meeting up again and trading some yarns.

AUGUSTE    "Yarns"?

CHARLES    Stories.

AUGUSTE    Ah. Oui. I am a great one for the recounting of the stories.

WARREN    But - but it's Richard's turn tonight!

EDWARD    I see why you let him in! Cheater.

HERBERT    You're not getting out of it that easily!

RICHARD    I'm not getting out of anything, but there's no reason we can't allow such an "august" visitor a morsel of our time. My story can wait until we're onto the cigars.

EDWARD    If they're half the size of your breadsticks, we might be here all night.


RICHARD    So, monsieur Auguste. You don't mind our informality?

AUGUSTE    I have lived a rather - bohemian - life, myself. If I was to be precise in the naming of names, you should all address me as "sir".

WARREN    You aren’t that much older than--

AUGUSTE    No, no! Pardon. It is the title, yes? I have the honorific of Chevalier - a knight, I think, en Anglais.

EDWARD    A knight? Really? Do you have a sword and a horse and everything?

WARREN    [disgusted sigh] Pardon Edward. He's the product of our public school system, and thus is oblivious of the niceties of history.

RICHARD    And you were a bohemian in Paris? [wistful sigh] there's no better place for it.

AUGUSTE    C'est vrai. True.

EDWARD    Aren't you some sort of consulting detective?

AUGUSTE    Mais non. At best, I would call myself a dilettante. My friend and I simply found ourselves in the path of a crime or two in our day. I analyse. I correlate. I also am willing to accept things that others might assume are impossible.

WARREN    Impossible? Nonsense. Things must be either possible or impossible.

HERBERT    Not really. The bounds of the possible are enlarged every year by my fellow scientists.

CHARLES    [teasing] I thought you of all people would be defending the "bounds of the possible".

HERBERT    Every impossibility is like a lock. Once you find the right key, the door opens, and the boundary enlarges.

AUGUSTE    Though I comprehend you are speaking of science, I am of the same mind. Trying key after key, any door will eventually open, even if there is a century of keys.



RICHARD    [puffing] So. Replete?

WARREN    That was quite delicious. How did you get anything like that delivered here?

RICHARD    Generous tipping. [chuckles]

EDWARD    Is anyone else chilly? [1 shivers] I feel a bit of a draft.

RICHARD    High ceilings and large windows. Good for painting, terrible for heating. Have some more brandy, that should warm you up.

CHARLES    You call this brandy?

RICHARD    The rum-runner I bought it from assures me--

CHARLES    Hmm. It's almost the right color, but the resemblance is less than skin deep.

RICHARD    Let's agree I buy for effect, not refinement.

HERBERT    Seeing your house, I can understand that.

RICHARD    And we come full circle. [sigh] My story begins at the house of a friend. I'll call her Mavis--

EDWARD    Mavis? A romance?

RICHARD    [dismissive] A patron. She'd just come into an inheritance, including a large manor out in the country. It hadn't been lived in for a while, and needed tending, but money can go a long way toward fixing any neglect.

CHARLES    My father would agree.

RICHARD    So, in the clearing out of the picturesque dilapidation, several outbuildings were uncovered.

HERBERT    This is your story? They trimmed the lawn and found a shed?

EDWARD    How... bucolic.

RICHARD    I'm simply trying to include any details you might need later to arrive at the conclusion to this mystery.

AUGUSTE    Perhaps, if I may, you could recount us the mystery first, and the details to follow.

WARREN    That wouldn't be precisely methodical, would it?

HERBERT    Under normal circumstances, I would abhor one who settles on a hypothesis first and then aims all his tests to achieving that end and only that end. But for the purposes of entertainment--

RICHARD    Right. Mystery first. Bare bones. The house was beautifully restored, mansard to masonry, and Mavis was hosting her first house party. She had invited some three dozen of her closest friends, secured a small orchestra, and was inaugurating the newly sprung ballroom floor.

EDWARD    [humming a waltz]

CHARLES    Leave off.

EDWARD    Just trying to help with atmosphere!

RICHARD    I had stepped out to look over some portraits unearthed in the attic. Mavis was most anxious for my opinion as to their provenance--

HERBERT    [bored] Ah? Stolen paintings? Is that it?

AUGUSTE    [superior] Do not judge your eggs before they are cracked.

EDWARD    Yeah, don't crack so early, Herbert.

RICHARD    Screams.

EDWARD    [mock scream]

RICHARD    [ignoring him] Screams erupted from the ballroom. From the sound of it, there was nothing less than a wildfire or militia attack in the offing.


RICHARD    I left my hostess in the portrait room.

EDWARD    [suggestively] Aaah.

RICHARD    Ahem. I made my way to the ballroom, much hampered by the press of people running the other direction--

EDWARD    Towards the "portrait room"?

RICHARD    --in a mad panic. By the time I reached the ballroom, it was an empty shell. Chairs were tipped, glass on the floor from shattered tumblers, and some very strange tracks.

HERBERT    [after a pause] And?

RICHARD    That is the mystery. You didn't want any piddling extraneous details.

HERBERT    You expect us to reach some sort of conclusion from this?

RICHARD    What would you do if this was one of your experiments?

HERBERT    I would run a series of tests. But that hardly applies here--

AUGUSTE    If I may beg to differ?

RICHARD    Hmm? How?

AUGUSTE    [small chuckle] In the case of ratiocination, the tests that would be run are the interview of the witnesses, and examination of the scene--

WARREN    That's a bit far to go for a story.

AUGUSTE    Bien. So we must settle for the interview of the singular witness, notre vieux Richard here. You, sir, are our window on the tale.

CHARLES    But - but how would that work?

AUGUSTE    Why not make of it a game? Each takes it in his turn to ask a question, to be answered to the best of Monsieur Richard's knowledge. Bien?

CHARLES    Sounds rather entertaining, really.

AUGUSTE    You can learn a great deal about any man from the way he plays even the simplest of games.

EDWARD    I might have an edge for once, what with my newspaper experience.

RICHARD    Obituaries? Hmm. You might at that.

HERBERT    It's hardly scientific method.

WARREN    I'm game, who begins?

RICHARD    I think widdershins would be appropriate. That means Edward starts it off.

EDWARD    Well. One question. I'm caught rather flat-footed.

CHARLES    Treat him like one of the characters in your stories.

EDWARD    I generally try to avoid talking to them. People find it unnerving. Very well. My question, to start this all off - do you have an answer to your own puzzle?

RICHARD    [laughs] I have an answer that satisfies me.

WARREN    Would it hold up in a court of law?

RICHARD    No. Next question.

WARREN    That wasn't my--

RICHARD    You should speak more carefully, then. Next?

HERBERT    Describe the tracks you found.

RICHARD    Is that a question?

HERBERT    [sigh] What did the tracks look like? Detail please.

RICHARD    Of course. They were muddy footprints with a rather recognizable configuration to the shape of the heel.

HERBERT    So definitely a person?

RICHARD    While I could say "ask that one next time round", instead I'll merely point out that I know very few animals that wear man made boots.

EDWARD    [laughs] I should write that one down. Charles?

CHARLES    Yessss. [Hmm, thinking] Was the culprit a member of the party?

RICHARD    No. Completely uninvited.

CHARLES    Ah well. Monsieur?

AUGUSTE    [satisfied with himself] Did the tracks merely enter the room and then come to a halt, or did they appear to have a specific terminus?

WARREN    Ah! You think someone at the party was the object, rather than the instigator, of the ... intrusion?

RICHARD    Shush Warren. You've had your turn. The prints meandered through the room, though they showed no sign of purpose.

AUGUSTE    And a terminus? Or must that be a separate question?

RICHARD    [consternation] Oh. A second question, I'm afraid.

AUGUSTE    It is nothing, I will wait.

EDWARD    Back to me, then... Hmm... Could I ask his question?

RICHARD    I suppose you could ask him.

EDWARD    [to Auguste] Could I? Oh, no! Wait - wait I have one. Where did the footsteps come from - I mean outside, obviously, but did you or anyone happen to follow them back to their source?

HERBERT    That's two questions.

EDWARD    No! Is it?

RICHARD    I'm making a ruling - if a question is a compound, I'll answer whichever parts suits me. In this case, yes. Come morning, we followed the footsteps.

EDWARD    B-but I asked where they came from?

RICHARD    But you also asked if we followed them. And I answered yes.

WARREN    Hold on! I'll ask where they originated from.

RICHARD    Very well. We followed them back to the family burial plot behind the house.

EDWARD    Really?

CHARLES    [laughing] Watch out! He'll take that as your next question.

HERBERT    Where did the tracks go?

EDWARD    Into the cemetery! Don't waste a perfectly good question!

HERBERT    No. Richard said they came from the cemetery. Where did they go upon leaving the house again?


RICHARD    Clever. But the answer is the same. They returned to the graveyard.

CHARLES    [after a beat] Oh! Me. Well, someone must have seen the intruder. What did they say he looked like? I mean it was a man, wasn't it?

RICHARD    [tiny chuckle] Everyone described the intruder as male.

CHARLES    But what did it-- [getting it, then rueful] Ah. I posed two questions, didn't I?

RICHARD    [gleeful] Oh, yes.

CHARLES    [to self] Must be more careful.

AUGUSTE    [to Charles] Do not fret yourself, mon ami. [up] How are the grounds laid out in relation to the house and the road?

RICHARD    That’s-- [thinking] ... that's--

HERBERT    But a single question.

RICHARD    [laughing] You've got me. Here, I'll show you.


RICHARD    This is the road, crossing the bottom, turning roughly... north I think. [pauses to draw] The house is here, with a gate, and a drive, thus.

AUGUSTE    And the burial place?

RICHARD    You specified the grounds. Not the structures.

WARREN    I don't know that a cemetery constitutes a structure per se.

AUGUSTE    No, no. It will wait.

EDWARD    I would love to ask for that, but I already have a question in mind.

AUGUSTE    It will wait.

EDWARD    Good. All right.


RICHARD    You're taking notes?

EDWARD    I'm working out my question so I don't blunder again.

RICHARD    [laughs]

HERBERT    How ...methodical.

EDWARD    Yes, well, I can be as tiresome as you, if I try hard enough.

RICHARD    The question?

EDWARD    You say the footprints went into the graveyard -that's not my question, just the premise - here it is: Which way did they go beyond the graveyard?

RICHARD    Nowhere.

EDWARD    Huh?

RICHARD    We found no footprints beyond the graveyard.

EDWARD    So this fellow wanders off into the graves and flies off into space?

WARREN    Shh. It's my question now.

RICHARD    Good.

WARREN    Hmm. Hold on. Perhaps I should take my questions down too. It's hard to see the flaws when a question is only behind your eyes.

CHARLES    Too true.

WARREN    [determined sigh] Is the ground around and outside the cemetery the type of ground that would show marks of, say, a horse?

RICHARD    Hmm. I'll have to equivocate and say - I saw no marks of a horse. All right?

HERBERT    Is this supposed to be a mystery or a ghost story?

CHARLES    That's hardly a fair question.

RICHARD    It's at least a very difficult one. Hmm. I suppose the absolute truth would be neither, but I don't want to give the wrong impression. So I will say simply that no one claimed to have seen a ghost.

CHARLES    [musing] But it's not really a mystery either - Don't answer! Just musing. Hmm... The plot thickens.

EDWARD    Come on, Charles!

WARREN    Don't pester.

CHARLES    Did you ever see the ... culprit?

RICHARD    I was in the portrait room.

CHARLES    I didn’t ask if you saw the incident - but if you ever saw the culprit.

RICHARD    Ahh. Hmm. Yes, at some point, I saw the one that I believe was the "culprit".

CHARLES    Well, at least he didn't vanish off the face of the earth.

RICHARD    [almost laughing] More or less.

AUGUSTE    [chuckling] More or less.

RICHARD    You sound like a man who knows something.

AUGUSTE    I know many things. I do not yet know you well enough to know what you are thinking, but I can already see - yes - when you are thinking, or rather when you are forced to think. Some questions merely amuse you, while others - others force you to consider carefully the words to use.

EDWARD    Oh I get it, instead of noting the answers, you're watching the speaker.

AUGUSTE    As with any game. Chess, par example, is not won by the player who watches only the board. It is not the board that one is playing against.

RICHARD    [offhanded] Amusing. But let's get on with your question - unless all this is just your way of buying time to think?

AUGUSTE    [chuckle] No. I have had plenty of time to think. I do not wish to ask the obvious question.

EDWARD    What is it? I'll ask it!

AUGUSTE    [tsks] Think of what hasn't been answered fully. [up] Mon question then, apart from the footprints, was there any other disturbance of the ground anywhere that you looked?

EDWARD    What? Even if you didn’t want to ask an obvious question, you didn’t need to throw one away on--

CHARLES    Shh. Let him answer.

RICHARD    [serious] Oh. Um...No.

AUGUSTE    [as if this is very important] Aah.

WARREN    It's almost as if they're speaking in ciphers. What are we missing?

EDWARD    I don't know. [annoyed] How obvious IS this question? Ask what hasn't been fully answered, indeed.

HERBERT     [smug] I know what it is.

EDWARD    What?

HERBERT    Find your own question. It's all a matter of organized thinking. Having an eidetic memory helps.

RICHARD    It is your turn, Edward.

EDWARD    The ground wasn't disturbed? What kind of clue is that - and that's not my question!

RICHARD    [almost laughing] Of course not!

EDWARD    It's rhetorical. Oh, hell. I'm drawing a blank. Here - did the intruder break anything at the house?

RICHARD    [thinking] Well... No one ever said the intruder broke anything, and there was no sign of it.

AUGUSTE    And yet things were broken. Your initial description was very clear on that point.

RICHARD    Yes, but that all happened during the general state of panic.

WARREN    I don't believe it's your turn, sir!

AUGUSTE    And I did not ask a question.

RICHARD    [laughing] ohhh. You sly dog, you.

AUGUSTE    [amused shrug] eh bien. My apologies for interrupting the proper order of things.

EDWARD    Hit him with a good one, warren!

WARREN    [still trying to figure it out] something that hasn't been fully answered... Oh! What about - Auguste, you asked something about where the footprints inside went - but it was two questions.

RICHARD    Well--

WARREN    Ssh! My question then is where did the footprints go, once inside the house. Be specific.

AUGUSTE    This may be of great interest.

RICHARD    You have to picture the room like this--


RICHARD    This entire wall was windows, including the one the intruder entered through. The orchestra was here, at the back. Hallways lead off here, and here. And there were a few tables.


RICHARD    There's no way to know who was where when the intrusion began, but the footprints started here and made a long loop this way--

HERBERT    That's an arc. A loop requires closure.

RICHARD    --probably to avoid tables. This area was all dancing. The intruder appears to have been drawn toward the music. There was a sort of fumble in the steps - a loss of purpose in the stride, which I assumed meant this was when the general panic broke out--

HERBERT    It took people that long-- [catching himself] No, no. Go on.

RICHARD    Panic broke out. From there, the footprints walked over to one of the alcoves, then, striding quickly again, back to, and out, the window.

CHARLES    Alcoves?

RICHARD    Yes, there are five. Next question.

CHARLES    No, no - I really must draw the line here. you never described alcoves when you were describing the room. Besides, it's not even my turn.

EDWARD    He's right!

WARREN    I think you'll have to give him that one.

RICHARD    I was only joking. Besides, Herbert has been looking smug for long enough. Out with it, foul fiend and ask the question you've been brimming over with!

HERBERT    [feigned innocence] Oh, me? [chuckles] I'm sorry, Warren, but you missed Auguste's point entirely. The question that was never answered is "what did people say the intruder looked like?"

AUGUSTE    Ahhh.

EDWARD    Good golly! That's right!

CHARLES    Well played, Herbert.

RICHARD    [starts slowly, but working up to being as spooky as possible] The few people who could speak of the intrusion without descending into helpless gibbering, or simple fainting, described the intruder as unclean, uncanny, unwelcome, abnormal and detestable. It was the ghoulish shade of decay, antiquity, and dissolution! It could not have been of this world - or certainly no longer of this world - yet a part of the horror was that in its eaten-away and bone-revealing outlines, it resembled nothing so much as an abhorrent travesty on the human shape! [moment of silence]

EDWARD    So a walking corpse?

RICHARD    [annoyed tch] If you, the self-professed wordsmith, wish to put it so bluntly, and blandly. Yes. Apparently so.

HERBERT    I protest - you said it wasn't something supernatural.

RICHARD    I said no one had seen a ghost. Ghosts are entirely ethereal, and this was apparently an entirely physical manifestation.

WARREN    True. Dead that climb out of graves and walk have long been a separate myth cycle from the purely spiritual. The "zombie" of the caribbean tales, which of course are drawn from the mystical beliefs of the various tribes imported from Africa--

EDWARD    Enslaved and dragged here.

WARREN    Yes, but the beliefs are so fascinating - that a witch doctor could cause someone to not only die, but return--

CHARLES    Is that the answer then? That a corpse simply woke up out in the graveyard and decided on a lark to join the party? Or are we expected to figure out how and what caused it to motivate?

HERBERT    I have a few ideas on that subject.

EDWARD    Ah, but it didn't come out of a grave - that WAS the point of your question about disturbed ground, wasn't it, Monsieur?

AUGUSTE    [shrug] I had a little thought.

EDWARD    That means you were onto the walking dead angle almost from first principles.

CHARLES    Father was right on the money, you are a genius.

AUGUSTE    Merely someone who is not afraid to embrace the impossible from time to time.

HERBERT    So this is the end of the tale. A body got up and wandered around, then walked away again. Where's the great mystery?

AUGUSTE    Perhaps, if I may?

RICHARD    Go ahead.

AUGUSTE    I think the question of where it went to is one of mild amusement, as perhaps is the question of what moved it to leave?

RICHARD    Perhaps.

EDWARD    Yes, but is there an answer?

AUGUSTE    I believe I have the answer to the first part. But I would like to ask my belated question first.

RICHARD    Please do.

AUGUSTE    Did you search the crypt?

CHARLES    [amused] The what?

WARREN    [annoyed] You never said there was a crypt!

AUGUSTE    Perhaps I have not the right word. The building in the cemetery for the bodies, non?

EDWARD    That's more of a mausoleum.

WARREN    Crypts are generally below ground. And you never said there was a mausoleum!

RICHARD    No one asked.

AUGUSTE    But I have asked now. Did you search the mausoleum, and, if I may ask, did you find your visiteur hidden within?

RICHARD    I should just give up now. There's nothing left to hide from you, Monsieur.

AUGUSTE    But I do not know everything. I believe there is still the question of why it walked away. And I believe it is Charles' turn.

CHARLES    Before I ask, is this something that can be answered?

RICHARD    [a bit subdued] I believe so.

CHARLES    Right, then. Do you think it was due to the fear and confusion that the creature decided to leave?

RICHARD    I don't think so. Most of the crowd had fled before it apparently made its own exit. If you look at the drawing of the room, I am still quite certain that here is where it was the moment the panic broke out, and yet it continues onward for some time.

CHARLES    Monsieur?

AUGUSTE    I have solved my part of the puzzle. I shall leave your younger minds to uncover the motivations.

EDWARD    [teasing] Cheater.

RICHARD    This means we're back to you, Edward.

EDWARD    From what you've drawn, it looks like the alcove is the epitome, or do I mean azimuth?

HERBERT    I doubt it.

EDWARD    The ultimate point, anyway. That seems to be where it turned back. Is that correct?

RICHARD    Is that your question?

EDWARD    Yes.

RICHARD    To the best of my knowledge, yes.

WARREN    What is in the alcove? Was -- [catches self] No. [firmly] What is in the alcove?

RICHARD    The same as all the other alcoves. A large mirror. They're supposed to reflect the light and make the room look larger.

WARREN    There are creatures of mythology who are terrified of mirrors. Vampires are said to have no reflection, possibly because the silver of the backing rejects their unclean nature and therefore refuses to reflect them. The gorgons--

HERBERT    Was the mirror untouched?

RICHARD    Meaning?

HERBERT    Did it do anything to damage the mirror?

RICHARD    The mirror was ...undamaged.

CHARLES    That sounds a little bit like a hint.

RICHARD    [negative facetious shrug]

CHARLES    Well, let's go on and get this over with. I think even I can read you this late in the evening. Did the thing touch the mirror?

RICHARD    There was a disgusting mold-smeared handprint, and I use the term very loosely, on the glass.

EDWARD    So it's afraid of a mirror. That's no thrill.

AUGUSTE    Have you ever suddenly realized there is a large spot of ink -oh! - leaked on your pocket, or a bird perhaps has insulted the crown of your hat?

HERBERT    Hasn't everyone? Nature is notoriously... insulting.

AUGUSTE    And perhaps people are smiling and laughing, or even upset and disgusted, and you don't realize the cause of it?

CHARLES    [laughs] Are you saying this thing needed to [gets serious] to see itself in a mirror to realize what it was?

HERBERT    I doubt there would be much higher brain function in a rotten corpse. It might not occur to it.

RICHARD    You know, that is rather the conclusion I arrived on. You're a bit of a marvel, Monsieur.

AUGUSTE    [modest] Experience. And ratiocination.

CHARLES    How did you come to the conclusion about where the - corpus delecti - would be found?

AUGUSTE    Ah! That was very simple! Reminded me of something from my youth. It is rather like the old saying "cannot see the forest because of all the trees", vous comprenez?

HERBERT    I know the saying.

EDWARD    It's rather obvious once you see it.

AUGUSTE    Bien. But what if the forest was hidden among a plethora of forests?

HERBERT    That wouldn't be physically possible.

AUGUSTE    conceptualize, mon ami. So, to extrapolate, where better to find a dead body, than in a room which is filled with them?


NOTE:      "Auguste" is intended to resemble "C. Auguste Dupin", the detective character in Poe's "Murders in the Rue Morgue" even though the timing would make him about 130 years old, if he's visiting Charles in the 1920s.

(story very loosely inspired by "The Outsider" by HPL)