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Bad Night*
About Me
Which Way to the Manor?
Charlie's Problem*
We've Been Robbed
Whistle in the Dark
We've Been Robbed

This story is almost all dialogue. I leave it up to the reader to decide on all the other details themselves.

Tom McBrian, a wealthy businessman, sits by his olympic-size swimming pool. He sips at his club soda. His butler stands ten feet away. He is careful not to stand in Mr. McBrian's sun.

"James!" yells Mr. McBrian. "I need more ice."

"Yes, sir," James goes in the house while Mrs. McBrian comes out.

"Oh, Tom, there you are. I've been looking for you everywhere. I think the house has been robbed."

"Oh, I don't think so. Why, do you think we've been robbed?"

"I'm almost sure of it. I've been looking and looking and I can't find my pearls anywhere."

"That doesn't mean we've been robbed."

"Well then, how would you explain it? I ahve been looking for them for over two days now and I can't find them anywhere."

"When did you have them last?"

"The night we went tot he Donovan's party. I wore them with my black velvet dress, you know--the one with the puffy sleeves."

Mr. McBrian nods that he remembers.

James comes back outside with an ice bucket.

"Oh James," calls Mrs. McBrian, "have you seen anyone robbing the house lately?"

"No, madame, I haven't."

"James!" cries Mr. McBrian, "these are the old ice cubes from a few nights ago. I want new ones."

"Sir," James protests, "the maid informed me that she did put new ice cubes in the ice bucket."

"Well, she is lying. I recognize that ice cube right there. My God, it's the same one from the night we went to the Donovan's party." James, realizing he has lost, goes back into the house. "...Do you remember, dear?" Mr. McBrian says to his wife, "We came home and had a few nightcaps?"

"I'm afraid I don't remember much." Mrs. McBrian laughs, "I was a little intoxicated by the time we were home. Oh, I swear, I will never do that again. But back to the subject of my pearls, do you suppose someone took them?"


"You don't think Hilary took them, do you? You know, she was admiring my pearls at the party. In fact, she said she would give anything to have some like mine."

"Well, that's not the same as saying she was going to steal them, dear."

"It was close enough. She eyed my pearls like a wolf eyes sheep, or, something to that effect."

"I think you're imagining things."

"Oh, I don't think I am. I think she took them."

"No, she didn't."

"Yes, she did."

"No, she didn't."

"Yes, she did."

"No, she didn't."

"Yes, she did."

"No, she didn't. No, she didn't because you were wearing them on the way home."

"How do you know that?"

"They kept getting caught on the seatbelt buckle, remember?"

"I...vaguely remember that. Are you sure it was that night?"

"Yes, because you were wearing your black velvet, puffy-sleeved dress."

"Yes." Mrs. McBrian looks away thoughtfully. "I guess that means we've been robbed."

"You could have just misplaced them."

"No, I think we've been robbed."

"If we were robbed, why didn't the robbers take our VCR, or TV, or our stereo, or the thousands of other things we own, hmmm?"

"Well, that's just it dear, all those are so heavy and bulky. Pearls are so much more...portable."

"Then is any of your other jewelry missing?"

"No, just my pearls."

"You must have misplaced them."

James comes out of the house with the ice bucket again. Mr. McBrian sees him out of the corner of his eye.

"Oh, good, there you are. I thought I was going to have to go in and get you." Mr. McBrian takes a few ice cubes and puts them in his glass.

"Madame, I think you should know something." James says unemotionally.

"Oh, please James, I am very depressed. Don't talk to me right now."

"But, madame..."

"James, I think these ice cubes taste funny." Mr. McBrian interrupts.

"I don't think so, sir." James says defensively.

"I do. Maybe the ones closer to the bottom of the bucket are better." Mr. McBrian answers.

Mr. McBrian throws the contents of his glass onto the grass. He refills his glass with club soda and puts two new ice cubes in it. Mr. McBrian drinks it.

"Ah, that's better." Mr. McBrian says gleefully.

"Madame, if I may speak, are you, by chance, missing any jewelry?"

"Why, yes I am. I'm missing my pearls."

"I have found them madame."

"Really? Where were they?"

"I found them in the ice bucket. They must have fallen in. I don't think you would have put them there."

"They must've fallen in the night we came home from the party. I can't remember anything. You found them in the ice bucket?" she asks.


Mrs. McBrian looks over at the ice bucket by her husband. She walks over to it and starts to dig through it.

"Dear," her husband complains, I was going to use those ice cubes for my drinks.

Tom, Im looking for my pearls.

Madame, James interrupts, the pearls are no longer in the ice bucket.

Well, where are they then?

James pulls a long strand of pearls out of his coat pocket.

Oh, my pearls! Thank you, James. Tom, you must make sure Im more careful with my pearls from now on.

Yes, dear. Good job, James.

Thank you, sir.

Well, now that that crisis is over, Tom, I must talk to you about the charity dinner.

What about it?

You do know it is going to be...oh no! Mrs. McBrian raises her hand, My ring--its gone. Oh, Tom, weve been robbed.