Author's Note: Hi there! Lil here! Wow, believe it or not I actually started a Marx Brothers fic! Huzzah! I've written many fanfic stories before, but never one with my favorite mischief-making brothers. This is a first, so please be kind. And I must say that there's not much of Zeppo in this first chapter, sorry SPAZ fans, but there'll be more of him in later chapters. This is based off of the game that the brothers, especially Harpo, liked to play, called Murder. It's very fun and if you haven't tried it I highly recommend it! It is where many people get together and they all get a paper and whoever gets the paper with 'Killer' on it gets to be the murderer and 'kill' victims, while the others try to solve who did it. It's also loosely based off of the movie Clue, which I haven't seen in years. I do own the board game, however, and love it! If you all would be so kind as to leave a review, it would make me very happy. Reviews make me smile! And now for that pesky disclaimer!
That Pesky Disclaimer: I own no one you recognize. I don't own the brothers, though I wish I did, nor do I own Siegfried Rumann or Margaret Dumont. Sadly, all I own are the maid and the two random women, who are there because I needed an even amount of people. I also own the cook, who isn't even in this chapter but who will probably snuff it in a later one. I wish I owned Harpo, anyone care to pitch in and buy him for me for my upcoming birthday? Murder!
Meetings and Tootsie Frootsies
Our story begins in front of a large and spooky mansion sitting back quite a distance from the road. Coincidentally, there is a thunderstorm raging outside which adds greatly to the eerie atmosphere, how convenient. Upon entering the front door we notice a rather portly man with a two-pointed beard and curled moustache bustling about and giving orders to a scantily-clad maid with blonde hair who is speaking French. Our attention, however, is drawn to a handsome figure in a black suit who is leaning against a door frame and watching the goings on with a rather dashing air. He seems to be expecting something.
Just then a car pulls noisily into the drive outside and the man smiles. "Ah," he says, "Our first guest has arrived! Do show them into the lounge, will you, Guttley? I will be there shortly, I have some business to attend to first." The bearded man nods and watches the younger fellow walk away down the hall before heading toward the door.
At this moment a very loud and annoying knock echoes through the house. Guttley opens the door to reveal a man in a bright, blaring yellow suit with a matching cane and safari hat. He has round glasses, a large black moustache, and is smoking a cigar. "Velcome, sir." the portly butler says in what sounds like a German accent, bowing to the side to let the newcomer in. "Ve haff been expecting you, please come in."
"Expecting me, eh?" the guest asks suspiciously. "What is this, an ambush?" He looks around, eyes darting from side to side in search of who knows what. "What kind of plot is this?" he asks, outraged. "You must be working for the monkeys! You sure enough look like a monkey! I thought I lost them after I crossed the Swanee River, but I guess I was wrong. Was I not invited here with open arms? And now ya wanna close those arms around my neck and kill me! Some hospitality!"
"Sir, remember zhat you are our guest!" Guttley tells him. "Ve vouldn't vant to kill our guests, vould ve? Ve just vant to murder you, not kill you. And I can assure you zhat zhere are no monkeys here, at least not to my knowledge." This seems to reassure the odd man and, though still a bit paraniod, he allows himself to be led inside the mansion, shaking the rain from his hat. After all, he doesn't mind being murdered. It's the killing that he wouldn't like too much.
The stranger enters with an oddly crouched walk and looks around. "Say," he says, cigar wiggling around in the air, "Nice place ya got here. It's no Cocoanut Manor, but it's better than some of the joints I've been in."
"Please allow me to take your hat," offers the bearded man, reaching for the aforementioned chappeau. He is immediately slapped by the strange guest, who clamps a hand tightly over his head and brandishes his cane at the butler with the other hand.
"What's the big idea?" he asks, eyeing Guttley even more suspiciously than before. "I payed two bucks for this hat! Go out and buy your own! Besides, yellow isn't your color anyway." The larger man sighs and doesn't bother trying to explain it to him. After all, he's just the butler, what does he care if his boss's guests are lunatics?
Turning around, he says, "If you'll follow me, please, Mister Kadaver vould like me to take you into zhe lounge." He leads the crouching man down the hall and through a doorway. The maid is in there behind the bar, getting things ready to serve drinks to the guests. "Haff a seat and make yourself comfortable," the German man continues. "Zhe ozher guests should be arriving shortly."
The man in yellow makes himself cozy in an armchair and asks the maid for a piña colada. Just then a doorbell chimes in an upbeat and chipper tune that plays throughout the mansion. "Zhat's odd," remarks Guttley, "Ve don't haff a doorbell!" He heads out the door to answer the call nonetheless.
This time, believe it or not, an even stranger sight greets him than before. A man with a purple top had covering a head of red curls greets him with a wave and a startling 'honk!' of a taxi horn in his hand. He is dressed in various shades of violet with a matching raincoat, but oddly seems not to need it as, despite the downpour, he is completely dry. "Ah, velcome." says the fellow with the forked facial hair, bowing once more. "Please come in. May I take your coat and hat?"
The guest walks in and whistles appreciatively. He does not take off his coat, but he removes his hat and plops it onto Guttley's head. The butler, not knowing what the guest is trying to do, just stands there looking ridiculous. The redhead walks around him and looks at his head from all angles, examining it carefully. Then, with a sigh and a shake of his head, he takes the top hat from the other man's head and places it rakishly back onto his own. We quite agree, it looks much better on him.
Puzzled, the butler stares at him for a moment before bowing again and saying, "Please allow me to show you to zhe lounge, Mister Kadaver would like you to wait there for him. Valk zhis vay." He leads the skipping mute down the hall and into the same doorway that he took the first guest. "Zhe ozhers should be here soon," he says. "Until zhen, feel free to make yourself at home and help yourself to whatever you like." He indicates the bar, where the maid is pouring a drink for the man in yellow.
Our purple friend, taking the man's words to heart, grins impishly before jumping over the bar and grabbing the maid, making her scream in terror. "No, no, no!" shouts Guttley exasperatedly. "I meant to help yourself vith vhat's in the bar, not vhat's tending it! Let her go!" As fate would have it, however, there is another knock at the door which forces the bearded butler to answer it. As he goes out the door into the hallway we see the first guest laugh as he checks his drink for poison and monkey hair while watching the second guest chase the maid around, honking happily.
The butler, nervously approaching the front door, is more than a little afraid at what he may find when he gets there. But upon opening the aforementioned door, he is happy to see three normal-looking people this time. In the middle is a gentleman with a tan complexion and curly dark hair, dressed in a green suit with an odd, conical green hat to match. On each of his arms is a rather attractive woman, each holding an umbrella. One has short black hair and is wearing a red dress, the other with long brown hair and a white dress.
"Hello! Please come in," says Guttley, smiling and bowing, relieved to have normal people arrive. The trio enters and he takes the women's wraps, umbrellas, and the man's overcoat, hanging them in the hall closet. Against his better judgment, he asks the man, "May I take your hat, sir?"
The fellow takes off his hat and looks at it, then looks at Guttley's head. He looks back at the hat and then says, "Nah, it wouldn't fit you!" He then puts the hat back onto his own head. The butler again is at a loss of words for this, are these men just stupid or insane? He can't decide which yet and feels it safer to just completely avoid the conversation of hats the next time another guest arrives.
"Velcome." the portly man says, still looking strangely at the man. "I did not know zhat you three already knew each ozher. I thought zhat all of Mister Kadaver's guests today vere supposed to be strangers. Zhis might be a problem."
"Oh, we don't-a know each otha. "says the man in green in a strange Italian accent. "You see, my car, she-a break-a down a ways down-a the road. These ladies, they was-a nice enough to pick-a me up and give-a me a ride. And I must say, if-a it means to be-a picked up by two-a beautiful ladies like-a this then I hope-a my care breaks-a down more often!" After he charmingly says this, the lady in red giggles and scoots closer to him.
The other woman just smiles and turns to Guttley. "Yes, we jut met him a few minutes ago." she explains in an English accent. "And I had just met the other lady shortly before that when she offered to share a cab with me at the train station. It turns out we were all three coming here, isn't that nice?"
"Yes, how convenient." says the butler. "Now if you vill all follow me, I vill show you into zhe lounge vhere zhe ozher guests are vaiting. Ve haff another person that should be arriving, but after zhat ve should be able to get started." The Italian slyly wraps his arms around the ladies' waists and all three follow the bearded man down the hall to meet the others.
Upon entering the lounge, however, a chaotic sight greets them. Everything is topsy-turvy! Cushions are thrown about with feathers floating everywhere, books are off the shelves and scattered across the floor, chairs are overturned, picture frames are askew, and amidst this mess sits the man in yellow, dumping out a wastepaper basket and rifling through its contents suspiciously.
An outraged Guttley looks around and turns as red as an angry lobster with a sunburn. "Vhat on earth happened in here?" he bellows! "Vhat did you do? Vhy did you tear zhis room apart? Stop zhat, you're making it vorse! Vhere is Chantefleurie? I'll get her to clean zhis up, it has to be straightened up before Mister Kadaver sees it like zhis or ve'll lose our jobs!" He looks frantically around at the horrible mess and begins pulling out bits of his beard in anger.
The safari-hatted guest looks up at the lobster-like man innocently. "Well ya see," he begins, "I heard a noise that sounded threatening and naturally I figured it was the monkeys after me again. You know, they've been closer than I'd like after that Timbuktu incident. So, of course I had to search the room just in case there was a chimp or gorilla hidden. Oh, and if you're looking for the maid, I'm not sure where she got to. Last I saw of her she was still tryin' ta get away from that honking Cassanova." He looks around the room and says, "Sorry about the mess. But the good news is that there weren't any sinister animals lurking around here."
Just then, however, a strange noise emits from the closet by the bar. Turning around as quickly as lightning, the lemon-esque man jumps up and dashes to the closet door. "Aha! I've got you now, you hoodlum primate!" he cries, grabbing a large bottle from the bar top and raising it over his head, ready to strike his would-be-killer. Flinging open the door, however, he is dismayed to see a flustered maid and a smiling purple suited fellow topple out. "Well, it looks like there was some sinister animal lurking around here after all." he says, eyeing the lipstick marks all over the man's face and the state of disarray of the woman's uniform.
The red haired man stands and helps the lady to her feet. She straightens her dress and looks at the butler, beginning to apologize. He cuts her off with, "I don't even vant to know! Just let's get zhis place cleaned up before Mister Kadaver sees it or ve'll both be fired!" Everyone else volunteers to help, even the paranoid man who caused the mess, and soon the room looks almost normal.
It would've been cleaned up much faster if they had all taken a little more interest in the job, however. As it turns out, the Italian man kept trying to sweet talk his two female companions, the man with the top hat kept 'distracting' the giggling maid, and the safari fellow kept obsessively knocking on the walls and floors to look for hiding spots in which monkeys might've been lurking sinisterly. Still, the room no longer looks as if a hurricane had just blown through, so that's a good thing.
Once more, right on schedule, just after the last of the pillows is straightened and the final picture frame hung, a knock sounds at the front door. "Oh, zhat must be our last guest!" Guttley says. "I'll go and get zhe door. Chantefleurie, vould you please go and tell zhe cook to get zhings ready for dinner? And everyone else, please don't do anything terrible while I'm gone!" With that he rushes out, sending one last glare at the fellow in yellow. The maid gives her red headed romeo one last smooch before leaving to go to the kitchen.
He watches her go and whistles coyly after her. The man in green comes over to him and chuckles, saying, "Hey, at's-a good! She seems-a real nice. You sure gotta da way with-a the ladies, eh?" The first man nods eagerly and raises his eyebrows, then honks his taxi horn a few times. "Yeah," the other man says. "Maybe you should-a take her out for tootsie-frootsie ice-a cream some time. Hey, we can-a both go and have a triple-a date!" The violet-clothed man holds up four fingers, then two, and honks questioningly. "Nah," the tan guest replies, "It wouldn't-a be a double-a date, I wouldn't-a be able to pick-a just one!" He indicates the two ladies sitting on the sofa and talking amiably. "I like-a dem both, it wouldn't-a be fair."
"Hey, I gotta anotha idea!" he says enthusiastically. "You could bring-a anotha girl, too! Then we can-a have-a the quadriplet-a date!" A shake of the head and a low whistle shoots down this idea, however. The violet man pats his hands over his heart and then stretches his arms out towards the door, declaring his love for the French woman who had just exited. "Aw, at's-a too bad. There's-a no otha woman ya wanna go with? Don't-a you like-a anybody else?" the Italian asks him. At this the silent man nods enthusiastically and reaches into his raincoat, pulling out a picture of a chestnut colored horse. He shows it to his friend and then kisses it before returning it to his interior pocket. "No, at's-a no good!" says the emerald suited gentleman shaking his head. "Everybody knows that horses don't-a like tootsie-frootsie ice-a cream!"
But their interesting conversation is brought to a halt before it can get any stranger, thanks to the appearance of Guttley in the doorway, followed closely by a stately woman dressed in dark blue. She is obviously very wealthy, as she has large and sparkly jewelry encrusted with diamonds and sapphires around her neck and arms. This does not go unnoticed by the bright yellow guest as he grins wickedly and crouches over to the chair where she has just seated herself elegantly. "Please make yourself comfortable vhilst I go and see vhat has become of Mister Kadaver." Guttley says as he once more goes out the door and down the hall.
"How do ya do, toots?" the lemon colored man asks the lady as he perches on the arm of her chair. "Say, where have you been all my life? On second thought, maybe ya better go back to whatever rock you crawled out from under. Feel free to leave your money at the door!" After her shocked 'Oh my!', he remembers to add, "And don't forget to tell 'em Groucho sent ya!"
"What on earth are you talking about, you strange little man?" the blue woman asks him. "Whatever it is, I find you very rude and wish you to leave this instant!" She attempts to push him off of the arm of her chair, but to no avail. He's stuck like bubblegum to the bottom of a shoe.
He takes her hand and holds it dramatically. "Oh, please don't tell me to go!" he begs her. "I must stay here by your side! I love you! I know we've just met, but don't you believe in love at first sight?" She smiles, flattered, not noticing that the sight he's looking at is her glittering jewels. He goes on, "You're beautiful, radiant, wonderful! You've got the eyes of Bette Davis, the lips of Greta Garbo, the body of King Kong! You're a sight for sore eyes! In fact, I think you're the sight that makes the eyes sore in the first place!"
At this she realizes that she's been insulted and tries to pull her hand away from him with an outraged gasp. He won't let her go, however, and so she settles for turning to look in the opposite direction of the brightly colored man. "Wait," he says, "Don't be offended! What I meant was that maybe your sparkling necklace, er… I mean your sparkling personality is blinding! Yeah, that's a good save, we'll go with that." She still refuses to acknowledge him. This, however, presents him with a good opportunity and a bad idea. While she is turned away from him, he slyly attempts to remove her necklace. Unfortunately, she feels this and assumes that he's trying to put his arms around her.
"Oh, Captain!" she says. "I suppose I can forgive you. After all, you mean well and seem to be rather sweet. And you are irresistibly attractive." We notice that she must be very nearsighted, as the man has a face that only a mother could love. And that's only if the mother were blind in one eye and had an eye patch over the other eye. Still, she smiles and turns back towards him, forcing him to stop his attempts at thievery and really place his arm around her shoulder. She smiles and leans into him, but before he can continue to mutter strange sweet nothings in her ear, the lounge door opens.
In walks the dashing man with the nice black suit that we saw in the beginning of our picture, I mean the beginning of our story. He smiles at them all and says, "Welcome, everyone, to my humble home! I'm Mister Kadaver. I'm very pleased to see all of you here this evening. Now, if you will accompany me to the dining room, we can have dinner before the first of us is murdered. Come on, now." The group follows him out the door and heads down the hall to the dining room, eagerly awaiting the events that are to take place after they eat.
Remember to please leave a nice review on your way out! For now I must be going, but the next chapter should be written soon and posted sooner. 'Til next time!