Hello everyone, hope you've been enjoying it, but I shan't truly know unless I'm told. :)

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Summary:

Tony and Carolyn find the perfect place to stow away Angelique's painting, and Carolyn ponders on a pen, wondering if it's one that took up too much air time in contemplation long ago.

Captain Daniel Gregg inquires of his old friend, Andre' DuPres, well... what the heck is going on and why is he within this Sam Evans guy?

Elizabeth continues to investigate the history of the Seaview property with a far more laid back Roger.

And... AT LAST! Barnabas Collins and Dr. Julia Hoffman *finally* play that game of cribbage suggested in a likely forgotten episode, coming to certain conclusions about Victoria Winters, Maggie Evans, and Willie Loomis. Wadsworth looks on, amused, and concerned.

As for Victoria and Peter, certain unfortunate circumstances have them fleeing from The Bates Motel in panic, of course... and this leads them... to another household, perhaps?

.*.*.*.*.*.*

The Pit of Ultimate Dark Shadows: Episode Six "Coffee, Tea & Cribbage"

[repetitious tones of Pit of Ultimate Darkness theme]

MILLIGAN: (sadly) Good Evening, I am your host Sir Simon Milligan, and welcome once again to the pit of… ultimate… (weepy) despair…

HECUBUS: (concerned) Master, what is wrong?

MILLIGAN: (wrathful) Have I summoned you?

HECUBUS: No-

MILLIGAN: Then BE GONE!

[footfalls on stairs, then a crash]

HECUBUS: Ow!

MILLIGAN: (weepy again) I am beside myself. My beloved and ultimately evil Angelique has gone down Dorian Gray Road and winded up in Queer Street*! Och! I am running out of Halloween hankies! (blows nose and sighs) I suppose there is nothing for it… Manservant Hecubus?

HECUBUS: Yes?

MILLIGAN: (tiredly) Oh, where are you?

HECUBUS: Are you sure you want me, Master?

MILLIGAN: Yes, you beknighted buffoon! Materialize!

[an explosive poof]

HECUBUS: Here, I am!

MILLIGAN: Well, that was showy of you! Tawdry and…

HECUBUS: Do say it, Master.

MILLIGAN: (sniff and inhale) EVIL!

HECUBUS: Thank you, Master! But why so… despairing?

MILLIGAN: Oh, don't you understand? I'm in love! I am not like other men! Although I am the gatekeeper to the boys club that is the Underworld, I am sensitive to a woman's needs…

HECUBUS: What woman would that be, Master?

MILLIGAN: Oh, you know who she is… She goes by many names… off handedly I only know of two, Cassandra and... (wind and music fade in) Angelique! Oh, was there anything *I* could have done?

HECUBUS: Well, Master, I suppose reaffirming Tony Peterson's free will didn't help matters.

MILLIGAN: Hecubus… really, you point out my short comings? How, how, how… (whispered growl) e-v-i-l…

HECUBUS: Of course, Master!

MILLIGAN: (sighing) Well, I suppose all we can do is (regains composure) continue! Thusly, Carolyn Stoddard and Tony Peterson (sniffs briefly) are still on their date… I wish I was… on a date. Arg!

HECUBUS: And so! There they are at the old root cellar to hide the warped painting of Cassandra Collins. Master, here, I have an old handkerchief. I hope you don't mind-

MILLIGAN: (blows nose) –EWLLG! Smells like… a junkyard dog!

HECUBUS: Hellhound to be exact, Master.

MILLIGAN: Ah, well, I suppose that sulphurous odor will distract me.

[Ocean waves and Dark Shadows Theme, then wind and such in the background]

CAROLYN: Ooo, I didn't realize what an eerie feeling I'd have coming back here, Tony.

TONY: How long did he make you stay in here?

CAROLYN: It was hard to tell. My guess is a few days, felt like forever.

TONY: Looks like there was no shortage of food. Don't you think someone still uses this place?

CAROLYN: Not that I know of. And none of this was edible. Higher up is what's left of the house that used to use this root cellar. What are you doing?

[sounds of rummaging and shifting debris]

TONY: I think we should cover this painting up. Someone could wander in and simply see it. Why make it easy to spot?

CAROLYN: Let me give you a hand. Ugh, nasty old rotten boards.

TONY: Broken jam jars, what is that?

CAROLYN: Looks like a molded rug… oof, smells like it, too.

TONY: Perfect that's just the thing to cover it up with.

CAROLYN: How can you touch that horrible thing?

TONY: I've touched worse.

CAROLYN: (chuckles) Thanks.

TONY: (monotone) Ha ha ha, no not you.

CAROLYN: I think all the rest of the garbage can go back on top… (grabs something out of pile, Contemplative) oh, hey, I wonder if this is that pen we were looking for years ago… (pause) No… (drops it) Anyway, that looks good. I'm ready to leave and clean up.

TONY: Good idea. I think my flashlight battery is running down as it is. (door creaking noise) After you, my dear.

CAROLYN: (playfully gracious) Thank you, sir. (footsteps through underbrush, door creaking) Let's get that big stone over it, as well.

TONY: Wow, I'll need some help with this, too. Carolyn, did you ever see that short film? "What To Do On A Date"?

CAROLYN: I'm not sure- good heavens! This IS heavy! No wonder I could never open that door. (grunts then sighs as stone is lodged against door) You were saying?

TONY: (jovially) It was an educational film. I saw it in high school. The ideas were along the lines of weenie roasts and rummage sales, baseball games, that kind of thing.

[car door opening, car door shutting, car door opening]

CAROLYN: (lighting up) Oh, yes! And hiking, or something. Bicycle groups. Why do you mention it?

TONY: Well, (starts car engine) I have a feeling [car door shutting] this type of an evening was NOT on that list.

CAROLYN: (laughing)

MILLIGAN: And so the pair drove off to Peterson's office, where they clean up a bit, so as Carolyn needn't explain her disarray, and she is taken home to sleep off all that work. Meanwhile! At the Evan's Cottage, Sam Evans and/or the Ghost of Andre Dupres and Captain Daniel Gregg are decompressing from their experience via the Withered Cassandra and/or Angelique, as the former works on cleaning the painting and touching it up.

SAM: Now, let me put together a bit of this solution and a bit of that, little rag and-

GREGG: Andre?

SAM: Oui?

GREGG: Andre, how is it that you have been able to return to the flesh? I specifically remember knowing you as a ghost. I can definitely find plenty of resemblance between you and this man, but I met you shortly after *I* had perished.

SAM: Je-

GREGG: And don't tell me in Français!

SAM: Daniel Gregg, you do beat all. You're still lumbering about the mesosphere with no knowledge of the infinitive resources of the human soul?

GREGG: You know the answer to that, Andre. You're the one who told me.

SAM: Yes. Even beyond death, bureaucracy still permeates. It was that business of an "accidental suicide" they never can get over with you, Daniel Gregg.

GREGG: Yes, and I'm sure they're still looking me over to decide whether I meant it or not. It's gotten to be so long I'm not even sure I didn't mean to do it. I confess that is the trouble with the blasted over-analysis of it.

SAM: And so you still remain, well, IN Maine.

GREGG: Yes, Andre, but it doesn't explain why YOU are still in Maine. (laughing) I can't believe, that having my painting scourged would lead to meeting an old friend, and in the flesh! Is it some particle, some spark of an Andre Dupres, lingering in this Sam Evans? Very curious.

SAM: Daniel, do you ever ask yourself how you can do something?

GREGG: We've had this conversation before…

SAM: Oui, but not over a fine glass of Madeira.

GREGG: (claps hands) Now you're talking!

[rummaging noises]

SAM: We have a bottle or two right over here, if memory serves.

GREGG: You have his memories?

SAM: Daniel, we are the same person. [cork popping noise] That's what I've been trying to explain to you. [liquid pouring] Here, and what shall we toast to?

GREGG: Sense, if you can make any of all this.

SAM: Very well, to Sense. [glasses clinking, sipping noises] Now, see here, Daniel. You're stuck, that is plain as bloody plain. I myself am but a little stuck. Not like you. Have you never even glimpsed at your other lives?

GREGG: (incredulous) Other lives?

SAM: Oui! Don't you remember the spirits and the soul? The many and the one?

GREGG: Blast it, Andre! I can hardly see the bale for the hay-… wait a minute… (thoughtfully) Many spirits… but only one soul.

SAM: Heh, or vice versa. It depends on how one wants to gestate it. Like I asked, have you never wondered how to do a thing? Even just materialization?

GREGG: Not in a long time, Andre. If it's the microcosm or the macrocosm that feeds your existence in this blighted painter, I don't know. I wanted you to tell me.

SAM: Ah, but that's just it. It is a nature I cannot explain. I may have never been proficient with a paint brush in my days as a Dupres, but, you see me with this… (swishing noises) a little dab here and there. Somehow I know it now. [clink down of paintbrush on easel rest] Daniel, have you never drawn a door and knocked three times?

GREGG: Andre Dupres, you must be mad.

SAM: More Madeira?

GREGG: Please. [liquid pouring]

SAM: Do you know this town? Collinsport? Many of the citizens really know quite little about the afterlife and rebirth shenanigans going on here. Many of us have been wandering through it repeatedly and this time around the daughter I cared so much for and I have come back, as well as so many others from so long ago all in the exact same spot. It's the order of this day and age. Can you imagine a countess and a hired man reaching out to each other so many incarnations later? It's been over a century but thanks to a greedy jewel fiend, we may all be able to meet again. All went wrong, my young friend, almost two hundred years ago when this colonial enterprise was being built as a nation.

GREGG: What happened?

SAM: A witch happened and her spiral of sourness still reeks upon these shores.

GREGG: Pshaw! I've met plenty of witches in my time. They're harmless enough.

GREGG: (brooding) Oh, Daniel, not one with a chip on her shoulder the size of Seward's Folly. Really, what witches can you possibly know of in this day and age?

GREGG: (scoffs) If there isn't a fine one not a states distance away from here… right near Manhattan!

SAM: Oh? Well if she is any match for the withered husk who came in here you ought to invite her.

GREGG: (surprised) Oh? That dame who came in asking for the painting? She might have been easy enough for me, though even withered, witches can be tough as nails.

SAM: I didn't mean her exterior. I meant her withered husk of a heart. Let me explain what happened…

MILLIGAN: And since this will take more hours than possible we lead on to… The next day and to be more precise, THE FOLLOWING AFTERNOON!

[standard dinging chime of the famous Collinwood grandfather clock]

MRS. JOHNSON: Mrs. Stoddard, would you like this tray in the drawing room, study, or library?

DAVID: (interrupting) Aunt Elizabeth! Have you seen my father?

ELIZABETH: Just a moment, David. Mrs. Johnson I think the study will work. Mister Collins should be there. Now, hold on a second, my young nephew. Your father and I need to discuss some legal matters.

DAVID: (dejected) Oh, all right. Well, Aunt Elizabeth, maybe you can help me.

ELIZABETH: If it's quick.

DAVID: Well, it's just that you know how I wasn't supposed to go and play at The Old House anymore?

ELIZABETH: Oh, yes. I hope you haven't transferred to playing in the cemetery… (pause) David, don't look at me like that, it wasn't a suggestion!

DAVID: I know, just a bad flashback for me once when I did.

ELIZABETH: Well, there you are. So what about the Old House?

DAVID: Well, Cousin Barnabas, I mean, the way it feels over there…

ELIZABETH: The tone?

DAVID: That's it! The tone of the house is more, I dunno, easy-going than it was. I mean, ever since that new butler arrived.

ELIZABETH: Who, Wadsworth? I think he's more a valet, as he's Cousin Barnabas' personal servant.

DAVID: Whichever. But I just wanted to know if the rule could be changed… maybe if I go and ask Wadsworth.

ROGER: Liz? What is taking so long? Oh, hello David.

DAVID: Father, can I go and visit at the Old House?

ROGER: (cheerfully) Well, why not? But, David, why not go and find Sarah to play with?

DAVID: (surprised) Sarah, um, well, it's been a very long time, but, I thought…

ELIZABETH: Indeed, David, I think your father has just shocked the both of us! How can you suggest that Roger? You always proved certain that was a fantasy.

ROGER: Oh, it might be, Liz, but where's the harm? Why must we all worry so much? It's riffling to the blood pressure and puts us all into a tizzy! This house has been full enough of dark shadows, can't we have some light shadows for a change? Or at least some translucent beclouding?

DAVID: Gee, thanks… uh, um, does that mean I can go?

ROGER: Out you go, young man, and find some company worthwhile, whether it's Sarah, or Wadsworth, just stay out of mischief and be back by suppertime.

[door opens, footfalls, door shuts]

ELIZABETH: Well, brother, you're full of surprises today. Especially with a missing wife.

ROGER: (absently) Wife? Oh, yes. I must confess she's plagued me little as of recently. Such a fly by night, I'm considering annulment.

ELIZABETH: (gratified) Well! This is news! Have you looked over the necessary papers for that?

ROGER: I have indeed. She comes and goes with such rapidity I don't think she feels much responsibility to this marriage at all.

MRS. JOHNSON: The coffee is laid out in the study, Mrs. Stoddard.

ELIZABETH: Thank you, Mrs. Johnson. Well, Roger?

[footsteps, door shutting]

ROGER: Now, let's pour this out and have a seat. What is this legal matter you wanted to address?

ELIZABETH: Well, here is the deed and the keys. I'm wondering why it's marked "not for sale" but that's the purpose I had in bringing this to you. I wanted your help in solving the mystery.

ROGER: Oh? (paper shuffling) The old Seaview property? Why, that property has been vacant for ages, and likely run-down altogether. What did you want to do, rent it out to some surf-fadding hipsters?

ELIZABETH: Surfing? I should think not! Those rocky shores of ours would be too treacherous and then we'd have a scandal on our hands.

ROGER: (incredulous) THEN we'd have a scandal on our hands? This estate is BUILT on scandal, Liz. Where have you been?

ELIZABETH: All right, then we'd have even more scandal on our hands. Either way, that wasn't what I meant in reviewing the deed with you.

ROGER: Well, it won't be long until the Seaview property's salability is within reach. Who did you want to sell it to? Burke Devlin is out of the question.

ELIZABETH: That's obvious. However, I know that Vicky wanted it and I wouldn't be surprised if she still wanted it. I'd wanted to give it to her as a wedding present when she was about to marry Burke, but now…

ROGER: Now she is married and to completely different blighter.

ELIZABETH: Roger!

ROGER: Oh, Liz, I don't mean that. I'm just relaxing, and this is good coffee.

ELIZABETH: Hardly your beverage of choice. (snidely) Did Mrs. Johnson spike it?

ROGER: No… I did. (sipping)

ELIZABETH: (sighing) Well, no wonder then… did you only spike your cup or have you left any for me?

ROGER: (laughs) Haha, here… (clinking ceramic, and liquid poring) There's some brandy for the whole pot, and no scrimping. Now, (clears throat) Caleb Collins… he was the hermit, wasn't he? I think I remember Father referring to him as Kooky Caleb.

ELIZABETH: Kooky Uncle Caleb, if I remember rightly.

ROGER: Yes, but the alliteration is better the other way. Boy, did that man keep to himself… and… I don't blame him. Anyway, it looks like it's an open book. You could go over it with that Peterson fellow.

ELIZABETH: Really? Really? I thought you despised him.

ROGER: Pshaw! Who has time for that? You know we have overdone it with suspicion and aghast in this household. Look at all we have to be thankful for. Our home is lovely, the estate is beautiful, we've got our health (knock on wood), and here is Caleb's house up for… Liz, what did you want it for?

ELIZABETH: I wanted it for Vicky. She loved that house and I believe she still does.

ROGER: That's as may be, but she and that Clark fellow have flown the coop, likely not to return. And besides, until it's free and clear, Kooky Caleb states it can't be sold before that time except to someone in the Collins family.

ELIZABETH: Well, don't you feel that Vicky is family?

ROGER: Yes, but not a Collins, biologically speaking at any rate.

ELIZABETH: That's what I mean.

ROGER: (suspiciously) What do you mean?

ELIZABETH: (lowly) Perhaps she is… biologically speaking… a Collins…

[Sinister crescendo music]

MILLIGAN: Meanwhile, at The Old House…

HOFFMAN: (sighing) So, I suppose that dream curse could have led to more people but it's terror seemed to cease somewhere between Mrs. Johnson and Professor Stokes… after that it just became a cacophony of flippant nuances from the old dream curse and then…

BARNABAS: Then? What were the dreams after that? I can tell you my little nap didn't amount to anything definable. Mostly a man shaking me that he'd gone through so much trouble raiding old coffins to find a wardrobe that fit me.

HOFFMAN: Oh, yes! What was Victoria's story?

BARNABAS: She said she didn't understand it.

HOFFMAN: Typical! But what can you remember?

BARNABAS: Well, I remember it involved a game of billiards with all 8-balls. From her description they played it more like Snooker. I remember a bit of that, but my dream showed each ball I was about to hit with a triangle on top displaying a yes or no style answer to a question.

HOFFMAN: Do you remember any of the questions or answers?

BARNABAS: Well, I remember asking if this was the dream curse. It answered "Reply hazy". Then on my next turn I asked if we were done with these confounded dreams, it answered "most likely". By the way, I scored 6 points after that.

HOFFMAN: HA! My goodness. Now I feel a bit bad for what I did after Victoria spoke to you about it.

BARNABAS: Why, what did you do?

HOFFMAN: Well, Vicky was pretty upset. I was consoling her near the fireplace. Then Cassandra wandered in and asked, doe-eyed as ever, why she was crying.

BARNABAS: Honestly? My goodness, that woman *never* gives up! What happened?

HOFFMAN: (light chuckling) I slapped her.

BARNABAS: DID you? I'll bet she warned you'd be sorry for that.

HOFFMAN: She did! Then Vicky slapped her on the other cheek. **

BARNABAS: Ahh! Ha! (laughing to the point of tears) Ah, haha, ha! Ha! Oh my! Oh no! Dare I ask what happened then?

HOFFMAN: Vicky said she deserved more than a slap in the face. (laughing) That really tickles you, doesn't it?

BARNABAS: (laughing to a calmer state) Oh, Julia, I dare say that anecdote *almost* makes everything I've gone through worthwhile. This is second to Sarah smiling at me with a lemon wedge in her mouth! Phew! So, did the dreams after that have any validity?

HOFFMAN: No. Well, from what I could make out, they seemed to inhabit story lines from Milton The Monster Cartoons.

BARNABAS: Milton The Monster? You have me at a disadvantage.

HOFFMAN: It's one of those animated presentations on the…

BARNABAS: Animated?

MILLIGAN: After Doctor Hoffman explains the new meaning of animation.

BARNABAS: So the story was?

HOFFMAN: Ugh! I am so tired. I don't even know if I want to explain the storylines after all of that. The hilarious repercussions previously have just overwhelmed me. (under her breath) Makes me feel bad about coming over here to bother him… (back to normal voice) Barnabas, haven't you been updating yourself?

BARNABAS: One hundred and seventy odd years is a lot of ground to cover. I have been working on it, Doctor. Especially since things have become a bit slower here. I finally have time. I'm still working on all the rushing about in this… day and age.

HOFFMAN: (chuckling) Oh, well, we all complain of that.

BARNABAS: Yes, but you do remember, Doctor. I didn't live in a time like that.

HOFFMAN: Well, (uncertain), well, well… you know, your right? We've been saying it so long. I know in the last century or two it's gotten worse, but what makes you think that people weren't in more of a hurry than in your parents' time?

BARNABAS: Something you call The Industrial Revolution. Quickly the competition was too much and humans were working alongside mindless machines, all that mattered was speed.

HOFFMAN: Oh, well, you *have* been updating yourself! That explanation is a bit simplified, but I suppose somewhat accurate. I can't say I often feel that way when I'm here. It all seems to stretch and slow down, even at the most suspenseful of moments. (sighing) You know, I've said it before and I'll say it again. It is rather dreary standing around here without us occupying ourselves.

BARNABAS: And, as I've answered before, what do you suggest, Doctor? That we play cards, or cribbage?

HOFFMAN: Hmph (thinking) … you know, what? Why not? Let's play cribbage!

BARNABAS: (thump of cane to floor) HA! (incredulous ) Are you serious?

HOFFMAN: Yes! I'm serious. Let's play cribbage.

[squeaky wheels]

WADSWORTH: I took the liberty of presuming the two of you would like a bit of tea, and…

HOFFMAN: Well, look at that. A Cribbage board and pack of cards… Spying on us were you?

WADSWORTH: Madam, the insulation of these walls is something I am still in the process of constructing.

BARNABAS: I have few secrets from this one.

HOFFMAN: Don't be silly. You have few secrets from anyone.

WADSWORTH: Would Sir be desirous that I set this up by the fireplace? It is a chilly afternoon.

BARNABAS: Tea and cribbage by the fire, wonderful, my good man.

WADSWORTH: One does try, Sir.

[cards shuffling, fireplace crackling]

WADSWORTH: Sir, I was wondering if you'd like me to begin ordering… DRIPless candles for our sunny little abode.

BARNABAS: OH? Have a problem with the lack of electricity?

WADSWORTH: Oh, no, of course not, sir. In fact it's better that there isn't any.

BARNABAS: Why is that?

WADSWORTH: Well… I am known for switching off the electricity to prove my point in certain explanations. It's just as well I don't have that temptation now.

BARNABAS: Fine… order the drip-less candles…

WADSWORTH: Very good, sir. (exits)

[card shuffling]

HOFFMAN: I'll take the liberty of dealing. Do you know all the rules?

BARNABAS: I know that I don't want to play with Muggins.

HOFFMAN: Who? Oh, yes, no stealing points. (card dealing noises) Very well.

BARNABAS: Here's my two to your crib and [liquid pouring] cream and sugar?

HOFFMAN: Just cream. (card flip) Ten…

BARNABAS: (clinking of china and card flip) Twenty. Two points for a pair.

MILLIGAN: And thusly, whether one knows this game or one doesn't, the entire array of details to this particular game of Cribbage is irrelevant enough to skip ahead. Suffice to say that our beloved red-head has reached 57 points whilst our beloved white-fang has reach 48 points and thusly…

[liquid pouring]

BARNABAS: More tea, Doctor?

HOFFMAN: Yes, thank you. You know, I've been wanting to let you know how pleased I was in your behaviour to Vicky getting married.

BARNABAS: Ah, yes, I thought you'd bring that up sooner or later. You see Doctor; I had some firsthand experience at her and Peter's awkward beginnings.

HOFFMAN: Oh? I'd been hoping it was because you'd finally listened to my warnings. (shuffles cards repeatedly)

BARNABAS: Oh dear, too much fog has lifted since those gloomier days. Why do you bring it up? No, don't deal yet.

HOFFMAN: (surly) You've been going back to the coffee shop to see Maggie. I remember that you used to when you first came to Collinsport. And we saw what came of that… together… so now.. .again… Why?

BARNABAS: Really, Julia. Such a quaint evening and…

HECUBUS: (gleefully) And she's made that sinister background music show up again inviting murk and mischief, hee hee hee!

HOFFMAN: (dictatorially) Really, Barnabas… again? What else would I be wanting to ask you about? I want you to stop seeing Maggie Evans.

BARNABAS: (self-assured) Or what?

HOFFMAN: (ruffled) Well… um…

BARNABAS: My dear, I am fit as the proverbial fiddle. Adam is also well off and moved on, as is Victoria, I hope. You aren't cold enough to want to bring Cassandra back-

HOFFMAN: (shudders)

BARNABAS: Except maybe for the pleasure of slapping her again.

HOFFMAN: (brightening) Say! I… well, no.

*BARNABAS: (snorts) Good to see you enjoyed that so much it was at least a tempting day dream. That shows you to be a good friend. However, if you're ploy is to threaten me with the idea of your disclosing the kidnapping of Maggie Evans, there is always your involvement with Dr. Woodward's death I could dredge up again… and frankly, I'd rather not.

HOFFMAN: (scoffs) I agree. I'd hate to see any other colleagues of mine get terminated by this place. Mind you… I could just take my medallion over to Maggie and uncover the history of her kidnapping to her alone, you know. She'd never want anything to do with you again, I'm sure.

BARNABAS: I know you can do that, Doctor Hoffman… BUT… I'd like to believe we've finally squared enough away, that neither of us is that cruel… anymore.

HOFFMAN: (touched) Really? Well, that is a surprise… and unusually kind. Still, I'm sure it isn't a good idea for you to meet with her and I'd rather you stopped. It's risky.

BARNABAS: Oh? You should know that Miss Evans may be getting hired to work at Collinwood as David's governess as things are. You might just as well ask me to move away.

HOFFMAN: (sighs) Fine… But why not wait? Seeking her out in town seems to be pushing it.

BARNABAS: Because, as she has told me herself, I'm her friend… Besides, Doctor, I think the only leverage you have is our poor Willie Loomis, and I doubt you'd truly want any harm to befall him.

HOFFMAN: Oh? How are you so sure? Perhaps I won't let him step a foot out of Wyndcliff… ever…

BARNABAS: (self-assured) Doctor, who would that benefit?

HOFFMAN: Well, it wouldn't benefit you (under her breath) and it's all I've got at the moment.

BARNABAS: You know, it's a house rule that before anyone meets the 60th point in cribbage, a wager is allowed.

HOFFMAN: (sarcastic) Oh? Really? Can I check the Family History on that one? (creak of chair and steps)

BARNABAS: Yes, page 62, under the subheading "Crib & Nod".

HOFFMAN: I see, (page flipping) looks like Joshua Collins introduced the rule in 1783… (begins to laugh)

BARNABAS: What is so amusing?

HOFFMAN: He introduced it during a game with your mother who thought the drinking hour should be earlier than four o'clock. That was the first bet with this house rule.

BARNABAS: Are you casting a slur upon my mother, Doctor Hoffman?

HOFFMAN: (chuckling) No-o-o, I'm just enchanted. (book closing with a flop)

BARNABAS: (grizzly) Why?

HOFFMAN: Because Joshua came up with the wager rule and Naomi won the wager. All right, Barnabas. What'll you bet?

BARNABAS: You have the deal, I make the wager; during "the run", or as it is now called "the play", or "the go", whomever gets the highest points in that segment wins the wager. If I win, you will release Willie Loomis from Wyndcliff at my command. If you win, I will… (hesitates) only visit Maggie at the coffee shop on Tuesday Nights.

HOFFMAN: Oh, that's hardly a bargain! You need to stay away from there entirely!

BARNABAS: (sighing) Fine, entirely. (sarcastically) That will be easy considering I wanted to have a few more paintings done by her father.

[door creak]

WADSWORTH: Sir?

BARNABAS: (impatiently) Yes, hullo, yes?

WADSWORTH: Would you like a third party witness to the-

BARNABAS: Good idea! Come right in… I say, did you um, how did you come to…

WADSWORTH: If Sir will forgive me, I wouldn't miss this for all the tea in China. Is Madam concurrent?

HOFFMAN: Hmmph… well, I suppose so. So the bet is for the Go, wouldn't want to raise it to the counting of hands?

BARNABAS: While you've got the crib? Not bloody likely! Deal.

[card flipping noises]

WADSWORTH: Will Sir and Madam please announce the stakes for benefit of accuracy?

BARNABAS: Yes, if I win the Go she will release Willie Loomis from Wyndcliff Sanitarium at my command.

WADSWORTH: Good heavens!

BARNABAS: If she wins the Go I promise to stop visiting Maggie Evans at The Coffee Shop.

WADSWORTH: Oh my, it all gets worse. I shall dearly pull for a draw.

BARNABAS: I put down a three.

HOFFMAN: I put down a seven which makes ten.

BARNABAS: Seven, two for a pair… that makes 17

HOFFMAN: (chuckling) Seven- Pair Royale for SIX! Top that.

BARNABAS: (also chuckling in self-assurance) Seven…

HOFFMAN: (gasps)

BARNABAS: That's a DOUBLE pair royal, AND the go of 31, that's a total of…

WADSWORTH: Sixteen points for Sir, six points for Madam.

BARNABAS: Your move.

HOFFMAN: (sighing dejectedly) Four

BARNABAS: Three, seven in all.

HOFFMAN: (dejectedly) Ten , seventeen in all…

BARNABAS: Go.

HOFFMAN: (scoffs) You had that other three?

BARNABAS: Yes, I wasn't about to play it.

WADSWORTH: And so Sir wins the bet with 16 points contrary to Madam's 7? Is this correct?

HOFFMAN: Yes, (sighing) you are quite accurate, Wadsworth.

WADSWORTH: Should I make up Mister Loomis' room?

BARNABAS: No, Wadsworth. I think he has a bit more time.

HOFFMAN: Oh? Really?

BARNABAS: At my command, Doctor. That doesn't mean immediately. As of right now, I believe you have a game to win.

HOFFMAN: Me?

BARNABAS: Yes, I believe you are going to win this game, which is of lesser concern than the wager.

WADSWORTH: If Sir or Madam has no more need of me, I believe I shall make ready to shine Miss Dupres' music box.

BARNABAS: Do. (pauses as Wadsworth exits) And now, Doctor, perhaps we can continue our quiet evening without further need to out tyrannize each other?

HOFFMAN: You have the music box here, Barnabas? I thought you gave it to Victoria.

BARNABAS: I had but when she was leaving with Peter Bradford she stopped in to return it. I must say it was…. Rather moving…

HOFFMAN: I remember seeing them leave from here, but I didn't know she gave back the music box. What did she say?

BARNABAS: (resigned sigh) She said after all that's happened it didn't belong to her, and likely never did, but she was glad to have it while she did… pair for 2 and with the ace as the starter another 15 for 4…

HOFFMAN: Pair for 2, fifteen for 4 and fifteen for six… Barnabas, you weren't upset about Vicky getting married to Peter. It wasn't like that when she was about to marry Burke.

BARNABAS: (light laugh) I remember. It was appalling to me that she was going to marry Burke, who I found crass and vulgar much of the time. But I recall what grew between Victoria and Peter Bradford. And though I never had a wild fondness for Mr. Bradford, particularly in his Jeff Clark days, he had something far more enduring than Mr. Devlin. Your crib, Doctor.

HOFFMAN: Oh… pair of kings for 2. What does Mr. Bradford have that's so enduring?

BARNABAS: Honourability, courage. He put himself on the line for her. Anyway, I'm grateful she returned the music box and I agreed with her that she was probably right. It didn't belong to her.

[music box audible in the distance]

BARNABAS: That must be Wadsworth cleaning it.

HOFFMAN: Eerie timing… I wonder what they're up to now, or where they are.

BARNABAS: Ah, living happily ever after, no doubt.

MILLIGAN: Hmmm, are they? Let's look to Victoria and Peter back on the other coast to find out!

[car motor revving violently]

PETER: (demanding yet terrified scream) VICKY! GET IN THE CAR!

VICTORIA: But it isn't a woman, it's a man in drag and I think-

PETER: Victoria! Just get in!

VICTORIA: (slamming car door) It's okay. He's moving away, he's going back to the house.

PETER: (determined) We're getting out of here.

VICTORIA: Let yourself calm down, he's half way up those steps now. Peter! Lay off the pedal! This is a Dart! Not a Rolls-Royce!

PETER: She'll take the heat. (peel out noise)

VICTORIA: Slow down! We're off the grounds! (engine running, pause) Would it be worth it for me to ask if you packed your toothbrush?

PETER: (sighs and laughs nervously ) Yes, it would. I am sorry Vicky. I know that was very sudden.

VICTORIA: *Very*. (sighs) And I never got to find out if that Sam Loomis was any relation to Willie or not.

PETER: We'll live with it.

VICTORIA: I suppose so. Where are we going now?

PETER: First, we have to stop and get gas. Then I've got this letter. They mentioned an empty room for rent. (paper fluttering)

VICTORIA: (reading) Cemetery Lane… Peter, really?

PETER: (self-assured) It's all right, keep reading.

VICTORIA: Westminster, California. We are responding to your entreaty. We have an enchanting room for rent at… cut-throat prices? Your blood may be as fine as ours… (questioning) Peter-?

PETER: (tiredly) It's fine. What? We just had a man in drag come at us with a knife. Look at the names. This will be perfectly fine.

VICTORIA: Morticia and Gomez Addams. You know you're losing some credibility here, sweetheart.

PETER: What's wrong? Addams. Perfectly respectable.

VICTORIA: (sighs) All right. Can't beat the places we've been so far, can it?

PETER: Nope. Anywhere is normal compared to Collinsport.

[finger-snapping theme to The Addams Family TV show.]

All Due Respect to:

The Kids In The Hall

Clue (1980's film)

Psycho (1960's film)

Milton The Monster (1960's cartoon)

Coronet (Instructional) Films

The Addam's Family (1960's TV Show)

The Ghost And Mrs. Muir (1960's TV Show)

And of course,

Dark Shadows (1960's TV Show)

No, Victoria Winters did NOT slap Cassandra in the original series, but she *ought* to have done.

The possibility of playing cribbage was once mention in the show and I *had* to make that happen ^_^

.*.*.*.*.*.*

Hello again, fellow fans. I discovered there is a limit to what fanfiction dot net can hold! So I'm going to make a general document and start posting it to you all. Last year I learned it was best not to post anything farther than what I'd recorded for the podfic version. As of Feb. 6th 2014 I've only got 1-7 up, but with enough support this stuff could go up to 50-100 episodes. Dark Shadows was 1,225 episodes long, eep.

Please review. Even a winkie-smile, a "lol!" or just a thanks will do. I'd love to find out if anyone who enjoys all the other shows tried Dark Shadows and got fed up with how messy things kept going and would have preferred it all became better. I think with the Dark Shadows fans it might be an unspoken rule not to encourage a story that shows them all working out their problems and seeing who they might become with far less extreme dilemmas.

So if I'm accurate there, let me know. I have almost all the couplings squared away in my mind and a basic plan for the rest of it that is currently 100,000 words in length, though could reach 200,000.

Thanks. :)