THE ADVENTURE OF THE SUPERFLUOUS SKIT
by Linda Campanella

Characters:
Inspector Sherlock
Whatnot
Mrs. McGillicuddy
Cat Burglar

Costumes:
Deerstalker hat for Sherlock, hat for Whatnot, apron for Mrs. McGillicuddy, mask for Cat Burglar

Props:
magnifying glass, leaf, sack containing bottle of salad dressing, toy catapult, stuffed cat

(Knocking is heard. Mrs. McGillicuddy walks over to the door. Inspector and Whatnot enter)

Inspector: Good day, Madam. I am Inspector Sherlock of Scotland Yard.

Mrs. McGillicuddy: Scotland Yard! What is it?

Inspector: It's a police station. Surely you've heard of it.

Mrs. McGillicuddy: Yes, I have. My name is--

Inspector: Wait! Don't tell me. I shall deduce everything I need to know about you. I see by your hands that you do no housework. Your expensive shoes proclaim you a woman of wealth. The absense of a ring on your finger tells me you are single. And you have oil paint on your apron. Therefore, I conclude that you are the lady of the house, a successful unmarried artist.

Mrs. McGillicuddy: I am Mrs. McGillicuddy, the housekeeper. The owners of the house are away on vacation. I always wear gloves wehn I clean, and my ring is at the jeweler's for repairs. The shoes were on clearance. And that's not paint, it's gravy. I was making dinner.

Whatnot: Nice job, Inspector.

Inspector: This is my associate, Dr. Whatnot.

Mrs. McGillicuddy: You're a doctor?

Whatnot: Actually, I'm his sidekick.

Mrs. McGillicuddy: 'Sidekick?' What's a sidekick?

Inspector: (kicks Whatnot in the pants) Enough chit-chat, Whatnot. (to Mrs. McGillicuddy) I am on the trail of the cat burglar known only as "The Masked Marauder."

Mrs. McGillicuddy: Who is he?

Whatnot: Nobody knows. He wears a mask while committing his crimes.

Inspector: And my investigation has lead me here. The Masked Marauder will strike this house next, I am certain.

Mrs. McGillicuddy: Oh, dear! I'd better hide all the valuables. (Exits)

Inspector: While you do that, I shall look for clues. (Takes out magnifying glass. He and Whatnot walk forward so Burglar cam stand behind them) Hmmm...fingerprints!

Whatnot: What do you deduce from that?

Inspector: That Mrs. McGillicuddy is a lousy housekeeper.

Whatnot: Brilliant deduction! Where did you learn your great detective skills?

Inspector: Elementary school, Whatnot. Elementary school.

(Mrs. McGillicuddy enters)

Mrs. McGillicuddy: The house is secure now, gentlemen.

Inspector: Excellent, Mrs. McGillicuddy. Tell me, where did you hide your valuables?

(Burglar enters behind them silently, puts hand to ear as if listening to the conversation)

Mrs. McGillicuddy: The silver is in the oven, the jewelry is in the cookie jar, and all the cash is in the refrigerator. No burglar would ever think to look there.

(Burglar exits)

Inspector: (points magnifyiing glass at the floor) Aha! Footprints!

Whatnot: What do you make of them?

(Inspector follows footprints in a circle, Whatnot follows him, eventually coming back to the same spot)

Inspector: Two men...one a very bright chap, the other a hopeless nincompoop.

Whatnot: I think you're on the right track this time, Inspector.

Inspector: What's this? A leaf!

Whatnot: Where did that come from?

Inspector: A lemon tree, Whatnot. A lemon tree.

(Burglar returns and stands behind the group, carrying sack)

Mrs. McGillicuddy: Well, I'd better go check on dinner. (Turns to leave; Inspector and Whatnot are still examining the leaf) Aaaah! It's him!

Whatnot: I say, Inspector, did you hear a scream?

Inspector: What did you say?

Mrs. McGillicuddy: Help! Help! It's the cat burglar!

Whatnot: I said, "Did you hear a scream?"

Inspector: I can't hear you, someone is screaming.

Mrs. McGillicuddy: It's the Masked Marauder! Help!

Inspector: Aha! Whatnot, it's our first clue!

Whatnot: What is?

Inspector: Someone is screaming!

(They turn around to see Burglar)

Inspector: You are under arrest, Masked Marauder!

Burglar: You've got it all wrong, Inspector. I was just on my way to a costume party.

Inspector: I'm afraid you'll have to do better than that.

Burglar: Okay. I just wear this mask because I'm shy.

Inspector: You must take me for a fool!

Burglar: How about this? I'm the pizza delivery man.

Inspector: Wearing a mask?

Burglar: I prefer to work incognito.

Inspector: Well, if you see a cat burglar, be sure to let us know.

Whatnot: Inspector! This is the cat burglar! Show us what's in the sack!

Burglar: I'm telling you, I'm no cat burglar.

(Burglar reaches into sack, pulls out items one at a time)

Mrs. McGillicuddy: My catapult! My catalina dressing! Fluffy!! Oh, thank you, Inspector, thank you! (She exits with items)

Burglar: All right, you've got me, Inspector. I'll go along quietly.

Inspector: Fine. Then hop on out to the patrol car and wait for us there. We'll be along in a minute.

(Burglar exits)

Inspector: Well, well, another case solved.

Whatnot: Who was that masked man, anyway?

Inspector: We never did find out.

Whatnot: Do you really think he'll be sitting in the car, just waiting for us to take him to prison?

Inspector: Well...(long pause) Oh. Oh, drat.

Whatnot: You've really messed up this time, Sherlock. And you know what that means. Hand it over. (Inspector reluctantly gives magnifying glass to Whatnot) And the hat. (They exchange hats) Now, sidekick...(Kicks Inspector in the pants)...let's get after that cat burglar. (Whatnot heads for the door)

Inspector: I'm right behind you, Inspector.

(Both exit)

copyright 2011-2017 by Linda Campanella and Whatsits Galore

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