Blog written by Mandy Preston
On Saturday 18th February, Mount Cook hosted it's first charity Murder Mystery evening in collaboration with local theatre troupe the High Tor Players. The event was a great success, raising a total of £825 for Help for Heroes! Mount Cook's Guest Services Manager, Mandy, worked tirelessly to organise the evening. She even wrote the script!
Here's Mandy's account of the murderous event:
Walking up towards the entrance of Mount Cook Adventure Centre, our evening began by a vivacious welcome to the “Count Mook Saloon” from a woman introducing herself as Blaise Sadler. After scrutinising the table plan, we made our way to our seats in Wild West themed fancy dress. We weren’t the only ones; the whole place was filled with gun slinging cowboys as WANTED posters for a particular Saul Jackson began to litter the room.
Starters arrived and it was evident that murder was afoot as an announcement came that Zeke, a local and wealthy prospector had been found dead in the barn outside and no-one was allowed to leave. Upon further investigation, things weren’t quite as they appeared to be. His hands had been tied, there was a toppled over chair nearby and rope that had been cut with a knife but with no sharp objects lying in sight. Hmmmmm. The Poirot head is put on.
The local witch doctor turned up late for the meal and she had knowledge of all sorts of weird and wonderful potions. Blaise, who had initially greeted us, was now shouting accusations at Zeke’s daughter who shifted the blame to the notorious gambler, Doc. My own suspicions lay with the priest who had “Love” and “Hate” tattooed on his hands. He looked dodgy and no-one else really seemed to know him that well when asked.
I was in full flow of my rigorous questioning technique when I was disturbed by two gun shots. I followed my ears to a small annexe room where, on the ground was a slumped female body with blooded spots trailing towards the exit door. Clementine, one of the railroad negotiators, was dead. I was now convinced it was Elijah, the priest. I had been witness to the copious bitter scowls that had exchanged between them before she was shot.
As the main course was demolished, further secrets were uncovered. The priest was revealed as the victim’s brother, the Judge’s dirty past exposed and now there were accusations thrown towards the ranch hand, Slick O’Hare. I think I know who dunnit. I grab my paper and start scribbling down names and motives. A blood curdling scream stops me in my tracks as I look up from my pen to see my new found friend, Blaise, falling to the ground. She had been poisoned.
Now I was lost. There was no motive for the last one, even when the rumored evidence of the marked playing cards fell from her bosom as she died; unless…… No. Things weren’t adding up and I only had a further half an hour to get my results in! No-one agreed with me. As the accused left the room for us to make our deliberations, I argued my own case with the team.
During all this, Deputy Sheriff Dan Fairweather had been doing his own research and had reached a verdict by half past ten. He concluded that our murderer, Saul Jackson was in fact travelling under the pretence of a Mr Slick O’Hare. Disguised as a lowly ranch hand who was helping Clementine to secure the rail land for construction, he killed anyone who got in the way of their ruthless greed. Unfortunately, his partner in crime, Clem, was witness to the accidental first murder of Zeke, so she was next on the list. With her gone, Saul now had chance to secure the entire profits for himself. What a stroke of luck!
If Blaise had lay off the booze, she may still be alive today. With every shot of whisky came another secret spat out from a distraught, scorned woman. The evidence she threatened to reveal would’ve cost Saul everything and meant two people died for nothing. She therefore had to be silenced.
Saul was led away by the Judge and the Deputy Sheriff and Mount Cook was safe once more.
We would like to thank everyone who joined us for this fantastically entertaining evening, and helping Mount Cook to raise a substantial amount of money for Help for Heroes. If you missed the event this time, keep your eyes peeled for another Mount Cook Murder Mystery after the summer!