Murder, She Wrote s05e13 Episode Script

Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble

Hear me, great Beelzebub and Nebiros and Fleurity.
[Woman] Tonight on Murder, She Wrote.
People have been known to sleepwalk for all sorts of reasons.
With a lighted candle and a bouquet of herbs used in satanic rites? I simply had no idea that you were somebody.
This could be a great big hoax.
You did not apprise me of the extremely broad spectrum of spirits this woman has summoned.
Patience Terhune's ghost was just spotted at the old Greeley place.
Half the town must be there by now.
All right, move back.
[Thunderclap] [Thunder Rumbling] [Thunder Continues] [Knocking] Come on, Agnes.
I haven't got all day.
Sprained her ankle, couldn't possibly get to my office.
Probably gone off dancing.
[Woman] As many enemies as ye were who looked out against me, of those that hated me, who hated me and watched me weep, do I take away your strength, like the sun takes away the strength of persons asleep.
Oh, hear me, hear me, great Beelzebub and Nebiros and Fleurity.
Thus do I call for it to rain both pestilence and pain - unto all the generations of the men and women who killed me.
- [Twig Snaps] [Gasps] Hold it.
Come back! Hold it there.
Waitl Stop.
[Exhales] Molly's making brownies, Dora Prouty's tuna-noodle bake, uh, your seafood-rice dish and Mildred's pigs-in-blankets.
Oh, Jessica, tell me there'll be enough for the Garden Club's Casserole Supper.
To feed several armies.
It's gonna be a total success.
Well, l- Jessica.
Jessica, you are simply not going to believe what I saw behind Agnes Finney's house.
Oh, hello, Harriet.
By the witch stump in the garden, there was this woman dressed as a-a Pilgrim.
She had candles and she was chanting some mumbo jumbo about people who'd killed her.
Oh, my God.
Patience Terhune.
Wail till I tell the Garden Club.
Patience Terhune? She's been dead for 300 years.
Three hundred years tomorrow.
It seems to have captured everybody's imaginations.
Jessica, I am not imagining things.
I saw what I saw.
And she was in pretty darn good shape for a tri-centenarian too.
Oh, forget it.
What's for dinner? [Laughs] [Floyd On Police Radio] Yo, Sheriff.
"Yo, Sheriff"? Oh, Mrs.
Fletcher, you got a minute? "Yo, Sheriff.
" Yo, Floyd.
Go ahead.
Sheriff, we're getting phone calls from newspapers and TVstations as far away as Boston about Patience Terhune's ghost.
I don't know what to say to 'em.
Geez.
Look, stonewall it.
The last thing we need is a bunch of reporters telling the world we got a town full of nutcakes.
That's a 10-4.
You see what all this witch-ghost business started? Well, Seth Hazlitt is hardly a nutcake- not as long as I've known him anyway.
Yeah, okay.
I, uh- I picked this stuff up at the witch's stump out at Agnes Finney's place.
What do you make of it? Not much.
This candle appears to be crudely made.
So do these pieces of pottery.
But not old, as in 300 years? I really have no idea, Sheriff, but this could be a great big hoax, or maybe some sort of mass hysteria.
Now that, I can believe.
It's probably some kind of bag lady.
You know, people in New York spot a nutcase like this, nobody'd even look twice.
Of course, most people in New York are bag ladies.
Gotta come back tomorrow.
Problem is you got some frayed wires up there.
Well, my front hall's got a bigger problem.
It's still only half painted.
Millie, I'm sorry.
Look, I promise I'll get to it this afternoon.
I swear.
Mmm.
Hey.
[Chuckles] Good morning, Mildred.
Adam.
Hi, Jessica.
Morning, Jessica.
[Phone Rings] Public library.
Midred Terhune speaking.
[Sighs] Alice, just because Patience and I were related- Look, as far as I'm concerned, she's still dead, and no, I don't believe in- Well, I'm sorry you feel that way, Alice.
It's been like this all morning.
Well, I suppose they mean well.
Well, if you ask me, I think they got a lot of nerve- the bunch of'em.
Tell me about these calls.
Are they nasty? Oh, it's crazy, Jessica.
As if I'm somehow to blame for other people's fantasies.
Adam's furious.
[Chuckles] He thinks we should move away from Cabot Cove right after the wedding.
Maybe travel.
Then you've set a date? Oh, we're closing in.
And thanks to my late Uncle Curtis, the few dollars I'll receive from that little apple farm he left me? - Pay for a nice honeymoon.
- Lovely.
Mildred? Mildred Terhune? Mr.
Fairchild.
Oh-Oh, Gordon.
No, no, you must call me Gordon.
Oh, how simply marvelous to finally meet you in person.
[Chuckles] Rick Rivers, meet my muse.
Hello.
It's a pleasure.
Mr.
Rivers is my media consultant.
Oh.
And this is my friend Jessica Fletcher.
Mr.
Fairchild.
Gordon.
I gave him a little help researching his new book.
"A little help"? Oh, my dear Mildred, without you there simply would be no book.
You know, I found The Rockport Sorcerer- See, we happened to be- very interesting, Mr.
Fair- we happened to be in Boston, and on the radio I heard of Patience's extraordinary reappearance.
So needless to say, we made it here as quickly as we could.
I wish you would have called me.
I could have saved you a trip.
Oh.
Oh, Mildred.
Mildred and her healthy skepticism.
Need I remind you that similar events that I recorded in Apparitions at Stony Pond have never been refuted.
Yeah.
Nor- I seem to recall I read several articles- may I add, have the events- Gordon- that I recorded in Evansville Terror.
Uh, Gordon, you and Mrs.
Fletcher have a great deal in common.
She writes mystery novels.
Oh.
L-I wonder if you could direct us to this, uh, Dr.
Seth, uh, oh, Hamlet, isn't it? Hazlitt.
Oh.
Yes.
Ah! You'll have to forgive Gordon.
He's been just crazed with the new book- Patience Terhune, the Witch of Cabot Cove.
Comes out tomorrow on the anniversary of her death.
Could you buy a better tie-in? Yes, and how fortuitous to have all this local excitement just now.
Oh, yeah.
Speaking of which, as we were driving into town, I don't believe I saw one TV news vehicle, or any of the media.
Yes, thanks to Sheriff Metzger.
Ah.
Shall we go? [Chuckles] You know, here I am trying to give you a story that could- [Knocking] Yeah, in a second.
Trying to give you a story that could finally get you out of that five-watt dump and into the big time- [Knocking] [Line Clicks, Dial Tone] [Knocking] Yeah, I'm coming.
Oh, pardon the interruption, Richard, but, uh, where are they? Who? The, uh, "locust attack" of media people.
Hmm? I told you I'm working on it, Gordon.
I'm afraid that isn't enough.
Publication is in 20 hours, and so far the only coverage we've had is not an interview, not a visit, but a phone call from some biddy who doubles as a want-ad salesman for the local weekly.
Now, I did not promise you a piece of the action in return for your ineptitude.
Hey, wait a minute, Gordon.
Just wait a minute.
First off, nobody warned me about some camera-shy sheriff, all right? And secondly, I am not the one who blew it with that Fletcher woman.
Hmm? Yeah, the one in the library, J.
B.
Fletcher.
She happens to be what passes for an intellectual- not to mention celebrity- in this backwater.
Gordon, all we needed was for her to buy your act, and we would have been home free.
But no.
You gotta go off and treat her like the hired help.
Well, I had no idea.
I know.
Maybe you should start boogying to something besides your own voice for a change.
Now you listen to me, you fifth-rate feather merchant.
No, just relax.
Just relax.
Little Ricky is in charge, and everything is gonna be okay.
I promise you, by tomorrow you'll be up to your earlobes in major media coverage.
Come from a long ways, ma'am? Arizona.
First time in Cabot Cove? Not really.
I was here a long time ago.
Well, I hope you'll be staying for a while.
Does anything indicate here that the Terhune women were actually engaged in witchcraft? Or was that part made up by Gordon Fairchild? Well, he had this to go on- The Book of Secrets, by Albertus Magnus.
Oh, yes.
That's considered something of a classic, isn't it? Mmm.
Published in London in 1560.
Been in the family forever.
Which is exactly how long it's taking you ladies to get your act together.
If we don't hurry, Jess, I will miss Evie Hilton's chicken pot pie- [Chuckles] And that will make me very cranky.
Well, now, that is an empty threat, Seth.
You're always cranky.
Mmm.
Oh, Adam, Mildred's hallway is coming along beautifully, and the color is such a lovely shade ofblue.
Thank you.
Just be careful not to touch it.
It's still a little wet.
Can you make heads or tails of all this nonsense about Patience Terhune? Well, I'm not so sure that it is nonsense- not all of it, anyway.
I mean, it seems to me that the Langhams and the Brewsters have had more than their share of problems.
[Seth] Oh, indeed they have.
The Brewsters have had cervical problems for as long back as I can remember.
Purely a question of genes, not magic, as I explained to Mr.
Gordon Fairchild this afternoon when he stopped in- [Doorbell Rings] Trying to make hay for that new book of his.
Mildred? Yes? I'm sorry to show up so suddenly.
I'm your sister Irene.
Irene? Oh, is it really you? Well, you come in here.
It's my sister Irene.
Oh, I can hardly believe it.
Neither can I.
[Whispering] That's Patience.
[Irene] Aunt Helen used to tell me about an old wedding picture of our parents.
And it's a wonderful picture.
There.
Oh.
He was handsome.
And she was so pretty.
You know, I don't think I ever saw a more beautiful mother, or a lovelier-looking little baby.
[Seth] A- yah.
Even with her illness, and still mourning your daddy, she fairly glowed when I showed you to her.
How old was I? Four days when Aunt Helen took me to Michigan? I wanted to take care of you myself, but I kind of had my hands full.
- "Kind of"? - Fifteen years old and having to nurse her dying mother.
What is it, Irene? Uh, something else Aunt Helen told me when I was little.
Something about a witch in the family? It's funny you should mention that.
Irene, what made you decide to come back to Cabot Cove at this particular time? Well, I don't know quite how to explain it, Mrs.
Fletcher.
It was almost as if I was drawn here, like I had to come back.
Did I say something I shouldn't have? [Laughing, Chattering] [Man] According to church records the poor child was whisked away before she- excuse me- even had a chance to be christened.
Mildred hasn't been in touch with her sister since she was nine years old.
It's strange that she should turn up now.
Hmm.
Now see here, Seth.
[Groans] You- [Groans] You-You said Irene is the same woman you saw at the witch's stump last night.
Henry, Henry, I did not say that.
But she is- forgive me- a sure-as-hell, 100% dead ringer for her.
Excuse me.
I saw Miss Terhune get of the 7:14 myself.
Uh, I was the one who drove her over to Mildred's.
Said she'd come in to Boston on the 10:00 a.
m.
Flight from Phoenix, Arizona.
Took the shuttle to Portland.
Adam.
Can I talk to you for a second? Come here.
What do you want? I was- I was wondering.
Do you suppose it would be okay if I dropped in on Irene? After she gets settled.
You have a good eye, Jonas.
[Wind Whistling] [Door Creaks, Shuts] [Dog Barking In Distance] And this one is Sanguinaria canadensis, also known as bloodroot.
Jessica, all of these are mentioned over and over again in witchcraft literature.
They're used for casting evil spells.
And Irene didn't remember any of this this morning? She was terribly upset when I told her.
L-I didn't dare mention anything about these.
Mildred, you mustn't read too much into this.
People have been known to sleepwalk for all sorts of reasons.
With a lighted candle and a bouquet of herbs used in satanic rites? [Mort] What I've been telling the newspeople is the truth, pal.
There's no story.
Zip.
Nada.
Bupkes.
Just a bunch of hick town gossips, blowing things way out of proportion.
Look, Mr.
Fairchild, you go peddle your book someplace else, okay? 'Cause I'm not gonna hype it for you, no matter how many people out there think they're seeing goblins.
Now, then, is there anything else I can do for you? I would be most appreciative to be permitted a look at those items that you discovered at the so-called witch's stump.
Why not? I'll be right with you, Mrs.
Fletcher.
Mrs.
Fletcher.
I would like to apologize for my rudeness yesterday to you at the library, but you see, I simply had no idea that you were somebody.
Here in Cabot Cove it's quite permissible to be polite to nobodies.
Here you go, Mr.
Fairchild.
If you'll excuse us.
Floyd, you wanna assist Mr.
Fairchild? Hmm! I, uh- I contacted the airlines like you suggested, and it all checks out.
Irene Terhune flew coach yesterday from Phoenix to Boston to Portland.
Or someone who said she was Irene.
But I just can't shake the feeling that all of this is so incredibly coincidental.
Sheriff, thank you.
I found it most illuminating- especially the figure that is etched on this fragment of clay.
It represents Nebiros.
Oh! The most evil of the demon spirits.
It's usually summoned to bring death to relatives- especially siblings.
Do you really believe that Mildred is in danger? Oh, my dear Mrs.
Fletcher, what I believe has nothing to do with it.
Yeah, well, good-bye.
- Have a good day.
- [Phone Rings] Wanna get that, Floyd? [Door Opens, Closes] [Floyd] Sheriff's Office.
I'm telling you, that guy is a bunco artist.
I can smell 'em 10 city blocks away.
Sheriff? Excuse me.
There' some kind of ceremony going on behind the Finney place at that witch's stump.
[Chattering] Yeah, I'm ready, Reverend.
Quiet, please.
Dr.
Overman wants absolute silence.
No cameras.
And remember, no talking.
This is so exciting, I can't stand it.
Harriet, please, quiet.
Yes! Yes, I can feel their presence.
Divine Lord, in thy mercy protect us from this evil.
[Crowd Murmuring] Seth, who is that man? Some sort of witch hunter imported by the reverend.
You know, whatchamacallit- exorcist or something.
- A what? - [Reverend] Shhl Reverend Fordyce, did I not make it clear that I require complete silence? Uh, yes.
Yes, yes, yes.
Yes.
[Overman] In the name of everything that's decent, I command thee, O Lucifer, O Beelzebub, and all ye spirits of Satan to flee forever before the forces of goodness and truth.
That's it.
I cannot work this way.
I will not work this way.
Dr.
Overman, it was just an accident, I assure you.
They're just curious.
It's not often you get to see a real, live exorcist at work.
The mood is broken.
I shall have to attempt again tomorrow.
But, Dr.
Overman, you estimated the exorcism would take only one day.
[Overman] Unfortunately, you did not apprise me of the extremely broad spectrum of spirits this woman has summoned.
She's the one.
She brought all the evil spirits here.
[Crowd Murmuring] Dr.
Overman? I've heard a great deal about your work, sir, and I would like to congratulate you.
I'm Gordon Fairchild.
[Chattering] Thank you for coming to my rescue, Mrs.
Fletcher.
I felt as though they were about to stone me.
Oh, I doubt they would have tried that with Jonas there to protect you.
Jonas is being absolutely wonderful, showing me the sights.
Really? And you know what, Mrs.
Fletcher? She says it's almost the same as the town she's been having this dream about.
Really? It's amazing.
Buildings- sometimes a whole street- exactly as I've seen them for years.
Isn't that something? Do you suppose it's possible that that dream could be the result of something your aunt might have told you? It's kind of creepy, isn't it- my ancestor dying 300 years ago tonight? [Groans] It must have been awful, burning to death like that.
Is anything wrong, Mrs.
Fletcher? I hope not.
You know, Irene, Mildred's an old, very dear friend of mine.
I wouldn't want her to be hurt or disappointed.
Do you realize that in the last 15 minutes the local bookstore has sold exactly three copies of Patience Terhune, the Witch of Cabot Cove? Gordon- And in the very town where the events took place.
Yes.
Oh, for God's sake.
You know, that uptight little minister and his carnival act- They could probably attract more media attention than you've been able to accomplish.
Yeah, and you know that Fletcher woman? Yeah, she is probably- Will you just shut up and listen? [Phone Rings] Now look, it's all set up for tonight, and I guarantee it's going to knock everybody's socks off, including yours.
[Ringing Continues] Hello.
Wh- Please don't tell me this.
Look, lady, we had a deal.
Come on.
You can't do this to me.
[Line Clicks, Dial Tone] What? She chickened out on us.
[Jessica] You're absolutely sure of the date? Thank you.
Thank you very much.
Oh, yes.
Yes, it is nearly time for me to go to New York to see my publisher.
I'll be calling you soon.
Thank you.
Good night, Phyllis.
That Phyllis Grant at the travel agency? Thank you.
Yes.
And she said that Agnes Finney left for Pittsburgh last Friday to visit her ailing mother, so there's no way that she could have asked you to make a house call the night before last.
Are you saying that someone sent me on a wild goose chase? Why? So that you would see exactly what you saw at the witch's stump.
If the ghost wanted to be seen, why did she grant the privilege exclusively to me? Well, it's possible there was someone else- [Phone Rings] Excuse me.
Hello.
When? Oh, yes, I am interested.
Thank you for calling me.
What is it, Jess? What's happened? Your privilege just became less exclusive.
Patience Terhune's ghost was just spotted at the old Greeley place.
Half the town must be there by now.
[Chattering] What's going on here? Sheriff, I saw her over that way.
You saw her? Yes! [Man] Come on, come on.
Look.
Look, there she goes.
- [Clamoring] - Hold it! [Woman] Let's get her out of there.
[Mort] I said, hold itl [Woman Screams] Now look.
I don't know who or what ran in that barn, but no mob is gonna go in there after it as long as I'm the sheriff.
- [Clamoring] - Go on back in an orderly fashion.
- Get in your cars and go on home.
- Fire! [Clamoring] All right, move back.
Come on.
Move! [Floyd] Back off.
Go on, move.
Movel All right, back up.
Come on.
Move it! [Clamoring Continues] [Coughing] [Man] Willard, get up there.
[Man #2] Okay.
Watch your step up there.
Sheriff, what are we looking for? The witch? Forget about the witch, Floyd.
She went back to Oz.
We're looking for something we may have missed- evidence.
[Rick] Thank you very much.
[Man] Come on, Rivers.
You dragged me all the way from Boston for this? Charlie, Charlie.
Can you cool it? Huh? It's not my fault you missed the ghost.
You've still got a whale of a story going on.
What story? There's no corpse.
There's nothing.
Charlie, there's no corpse, because she was a ghost.
[Sighs] What do I have to do, write it for you too? Simon, I'm so sorry about your barn.
Nothin' to worry about.
It ain't my worry anymore.
[Floyd] Sheriff.
Take a look at this.
A pail? It's got a funny smell to it.
[Man] Start checkin'the floor.
It's gasoline.
People start fires with it.
People, yes.
Ghosts, no.
- We didn't find any people here, Doc, dead or alive.
- Did you look in the root cellar? - How can I look in it? I don't even know what it is.
- It's a cellar where they keep roots.
- Where is it? - Well, there should be a trapdoor in the floor someplace.
[Mort] Watch your step.
[Jessica] May I? Thank you.
[Man Coughs] [Jessica] Ah.
Here it is under this pile of debris.
Fellas? You wanna lend us a hand over here, Floyd? [Jessica] It's Irene.
Yeah, here it is- the coroner's preliminary.
I wish you medics would learn to write in English.
A-yah.
Well, there's not much here we didn't know.
Blunt instrument, sometime yesterday between 11:00 a.
m.
And 3:00 p.
m.
3:00 p.
m.
A-yah.
But Sheriff, if she died between 11:00 a.
m.
And 3:00 p.
m.
, it couldn't have been Irene who was pursued into the barn last night, because she was already dead.
That means that somebody eighty-sixed her, and then four or five hours later decides, "Oh, yeah.
I better torch the evidence.
" Gimme a break.
You know, I think that Seth was right in the beginning.
Irene and the Patience that he saw were one and the same person.
So who did I see then? Somebody else's ghost? Well, I don't know about that, but you do have a point on the obfuscation in the coroner's report.
Took me a couple of readings to find it.
"Traces ofblue paint on the victim's face and hands.
" [Knocking] Come.
It's open.
Ah.
Fleeing the coop, are we, my hyperbolic little friend? Save the vocabulary, Gordon.
I'm outta here.
Wrong, Richard.
As much as I would wish it otherwise, we are connected at the hip for the duration of this fiasco, the blame for which is, I am afraid, equally mine for having employed you in the first place.
Yeah.
Like I'm real thrilled at being an accomplice to murder.
"An accomplice"? And as far as doing my job- Have you counted the TV trucks and reporters out there? You got your best seller.
Now all you have to do is hope that nobody starts asking who little Irene really was.
As for yours truly, I can be reached care of general delivery, just south of nowhere.
Richard, if you leave this room, you will not see one penny from that book.
And with no money, Rio can be a dreadful drag.
Such violence is not at all inconsistent with the type of black magic Patience Terhune was accused of practicing some 300 years ago.
So it's possible that her descendants, the late Irene Terhune and her sister Mildred- Might well be victims of a curse dating back to colonial times, if not actual practitioners of the black arts themselves.
[Reporter] Thank you, Dr.
Overman.
Dr.
Overman, that was just marvelous.
Dr.
Overman, I'd like a word with you, please.
I think I've heard them all already, Dr.
Hazlitt.
How fortunate for this beleaguered community that your impoverished, if-you-can't-see-it-or-touch-it view- so typical of your profession- is not shared by your neighbors.
[Crowd Murmuring] Really, Dr.
Hazlitt.
Oh, Doctor.
[Sniffling] Mildred, you were saying that- that you phoned Irene here at the house around 1:30.
Yeah.
From the library.
I had just been to the bank.
I told her that since the house had been in the family all these years, I was having it placed under both our names.
She was so moved she cried.
[Door Opens] I'm sorry, Mildred.
The sheriff wants to talk to you.
I told him that you weren't ready yet, but- Mrs.
Fletcher.
Mildred, I'm- I'm sorry to have to bother you at a time like this, but the way I see it, there are two possibilities.
Now, either your sister went out to Greeley's barn to meet someone, and the perpetrator was there waiting for her, or the perpetrator followed her to the barn.
- But Sheriff, why would she- - Mrs.
Fletcher, do you mind? Ma'am, I have to ask you this, just for the record.
Where were you yesterday between 11:00 a.
m.
And 3:00 p.
m.
- Wait a minute.
What do you think that- - Adam.
I was at the library from 9:00 a.
m.
Till closing.
There must be a dozen people who can verify it.
[Adam] Including me.
I was there most of the day doing rewiring.
And, Sheriff, I seriously doubt that my sister would go to a barn at night to meet anybody.
[Jessica] Hello, Jonas.
It's difficult to explain how we can become so attached to someone that we've just met.
It's dumb.
Oh, no.
Twenty-four hours I knew her.
Why? I mean, what could she have done to deserve anything like that? I doubt that she deserved it, Jonas.
And I'm fairly certain that there's nothing that you could have done that would have changed the outcome.
Oh, no? After we saw you at the witch's stump, we were gonna spend the rest of the day together.
Only she was tired from jet lag, so I drove her back to Mildred's.
Do you recall what time it was when you dropped her off there? It was a little after 1:00.
I almost went back for her, Mrs.
Fletcher.
If I hadn't let her talk me out if it- If I'd have driven up the coast like I planned- Jet lag? Mrs.
Fletcher, I really don't know what that has to do with anything, but it really doesn't matter, 'cause I'm on my way over to pick up the killer.
Dr.
Warren Overman, his fraudulent self.
Turns out he's been running his exorcism scam from one end of the country to the other.
Jessica, can't you see the egg on the faces of Reverend Fordyce and his merry band of witch hunters? What's the matter with your neck? Oh, nothing.
Now look here, Sheriff.
You're making a- What it was was, Irene found out about Overman's scams, figured out he was behind the whole witch thing and threatened to blow him out of the water if he didn't cease and desist.
It couldn't possibly have been Dr.
Overman.
Okay.
Okay, Mrs.
Fletcher.
Let's hear it.
Well, first of all, according to Reverend Fordyce, he and Dr.
Overman were at the rectory, planning exorcism strategy from noon until the time that Patience was seen near the barn.
Are you sure about that? [Seth] Is Fordyce sure about that? Maybe Overman has him mesmerized.
And second, Irene was not Mildred Terhune's sister.
What, because she had jet lag? No, because she claimed to have had it.
Sheriff, you don't get jet lag traveling from west to east, as in Phoenix to Boston to Portland.
Look, when everyone at the eastern end of the trip are nodding off, you're still wide awake.
All right.
Let's say somebody else used her airline tickets and rigged her telephone and answering machine in Phoenix.
She drives down from Portland into town the day before, goes into her Patience Terhune act, drives back to Portland and grabs the bus back to Cabot Cove the next night.
Exactly.
Well, how did she know so much about the Terhune family history? Mildred told Gordon Fairchild when she was researching his book.
Oh.
Oh, you gotta hand it to that lady though.
She was one hell of an actress.
- Probably directed by Mr.
Rivers.
- Seems to me they went to an awful lot of trouble.
Yes, but supposing they had turned Mr.
Fairchild's book into one of those great big mega-sellers.
Huh.
With mega bucks for Mr.
Fairchild.
And a nice slice for Mr.
Rivers too.
Ah.
Forgive me.
If I could interrupt for just a moment.
R.
L.
Pierson from Boston.
Cameron, Jeffries, Pierson and Morgan, Attorneys at Law.
I was looking for Mildred Terhune, and I was distressed to find out that her house was empty and there was a black wreath at her door.
Oh, that.
No.
Mildred's over at the library.
What did you want to see her about? That would be a private matter, Sheriff.
[Mort] Yeah? Well, we've had a murder here, Mr.
Pierson, which means we don't have any private matters.
Oh, they're, uh- they're sort of helping me.
Well, I'm here to deliver Mildred's inheritance from her late uncle.
The little apple farm.
Uh, well, correction.
It's the former apple farm.
It's an industrial park with a shopping mall, and an assessed value of $5, 227,000.
[Chuckles] And this one as well.
Now, as I outlined in my letter, Miss Terhune, your uncle's bequest was to be divided equally between yourself, your sister and your aunt.
Five million.
It's beyond comprehension.
And I'm the sole heir? When our letters of notification were returned from Michigan undelivered, we contacted the county officials.
So the reason you lost contact with Irene when she was nine was that both she and your aunt perished that year in a flu epidemic.
The public officials probably had no way of knowing whom to notify.
I'm sorry.
I just assumed you knew.
I don't know which makes me sadder, that Irene's dead or that that poor girl was murdered.
They find out who she was? Not yet.
I'll tell you one thing.
If the sheriff doesn't put Fairchild and his buddy away for this, I'm gonna do something about it.
[Mort] Look, between you and me, pal, Floyd's been a friend of Mildred's for a lot of years, and frankly, I don't know if I can control him.
No kidding? Well, it's like I told you, pal.
Till my lawyer gets here from New York, I got nothing to say- except that you and Floyd ought to get your routine worked out.
What's that supposed to mean? Floyd just got through telling me that you're the one with the hair-trigger temper.
Floyd? You are supposed to be the tough cop.
I'm supposed to be the nice guy.
Oh! Sheriff? I need a word with you.
A word's about all I've got time for, Mrs.
Fletcher.
[Whispering] Oh, really? Okay, Rivers.
It's gotcha time.
It was you who set fire to the barn- your own barn- to hide the evidence that it was you who murdered Irene, or whoever she was.
Simon Greeley told me that he sold you his barn yesterday afternoon.
Yes.
Okay, yeah, but I didn't kill her.
Oh, sure you didn't.
Like the Seventh Avenue subway doesn't have graffiti.
Now get smart, Rivers.
Sooner or later we're gonna identify the victim, and it's gonna lead right to you.
It was you who hired her, wasn't it, Mr.
Rivers? [Mort] Sure it was.
She demanded more money, so he killed her.
Listen, buddy boy, I know any number of bozos doing 30 to life on weaker circumstantial evidence.
The lady's name was Annie Gorman.
She was a mostly out-of-work actress.
I did her some publicity favors, but I did not kill her.
Come on now, Rivers.
You were off to such a nice start.
She started giving you a hard time, and- It wasn't about money.
She wanted out because she was having a guilt attack about hoodwinking Mildred Terhune.
That ties in with what Mildred said, Sheriff.
I pleaded with her to go through with the last gag- you know, Patience at the barn with the fire.
But she said no way.
She was through with it.
[Mort] So you hit her on the head and killed her.
How? I was talking to her on the phone.
She called me at the Cabot Cove Inn.
- From Mildred's house? - Yeah.
So I went over there to try to persuade her, but she was gone.
All this was ever about was trying to sell some books.
I never thought it would make Gordon so crazy.
Gordon Fairchild.
You hear that, Mrs.
F.
Hmm? Oh, I'm sorry.
I was- I was just thinking about something I saw that suddenly makes sense.
Oh, dear.
New paint.
So that's what happened.
[Seth] I know we've been avoiding the subject, but has anyone heard if Fairchild has confessed yet? No, but the sheriff now believes that the murder took place somewhere other than in the Greeley barn.
And then he took the body there? Well, Sheriff Metzger is convinced that when he goes over the barn again tomorrow morning, he'll find something that will link Mr.
Fairchild to the murder- some tiny shred of proof that Mr.
Fairchild might have overlooked.
Overlooked? That would be rather stupid of him, and that's one thing that Fairchild is not.
Yes, but don't forget, he thought that the fire would destroy everything.
Well, I have an early meeting with the library board.
It was a lovely dinner, Jessica.
Oh, dear.
Now, are you sure you won't have another piece of cake? No, I have had plenty, thanks.
Ever since I've been watching the scales, Jessica comes up with more and more leftovers.
[Laughing] Good night, Jessica.
Good night, dear.
Thank you so much.
You're so welcome.
Jessica, dinner was first-rate.
Thank you.
[Seth] Good night.
Good night.
[Mort] Hold itl Did you forget something, Adam? I guess it was about six months ago.
I was doing some repairs over at Millie's, and I found the letter from that Mr.
Pierson.
Notifying Mildred of her inheritance? That's right.
So I phoned him up in Boston.
Said I was Millie's Cabot Cove lawyer.
He told me where her uncle's property was, and I drove over to New Hampshire to take a look.
And you discovered it was worth a great deal more than an apple orchard.
Yeah.
That's, uh, when I proposed to Mildred.
I knew it wasn't right.
But all my life I never had much money.
Then that woman showed up, claiming to be her sister.
And of course you assumed that she had returned to claim her portion of the inheritance.
Why else would she show up? I mean, after all these years? I suppose you slipped out of the library by the back way and went over to Mildred's house that afternoon? Yeah.
I let myself in.
I found Irene by the hall table.
She was sorting out the day's mail.
Hi, Irene.
You startled me.
Oh, I just came to get my tools.
I had barely covered her up with my drop cloth when somebody rang the doorbell.
[Doorbell Rings] I couldn't take the chance of somebody walking in and finding her, so I hid the body as best I could.
[Rick Shouts, Indistinct] The feller at the door was getting impatient, so l-I ducked into a closet.
Annie? Annie, you here? You up there, honey? Gordon, it's me.
Negative.
Looks like she took a hike.
Yeah, I should have known she was a flake when I hired her, but who else would take a job like this? Look, I told you I would take care of it, and I will, tonight, if I have to dress up like Patience and torch Greeley's barn myself.
Adam, is that when you decided to hide the body in the barn? They wanted to make it look like Irene was going into the barn, so I thought I'd oblige 'em by putting her there.
I drove her to the barn right after dark.
I left the drop cloth to burn in the fire.
I mean, I figured that when people started asking questions, well- well, the outsiders would get blamed.
What a sweetheart.
Get him out of here.
Tell you one thing.
I never bought any of that witchcraft baloney, not for a minute.
I mean, there's a logical explanation for everything, right? Most of the time.
Right.
Excuse me.
You know, Seth, my neck is really bothering me.
I think I should come in and see you tomorrow.
Mmm, well, on the other hand, maybe you better save your money.
Seth Hazlitt, are you finally admitting that there's something in medicine that you don't know? No, nothing of the sort.
I just recall that three or four generations back, on your mother's side, you are related to the Brewsters, and medical science is ill equipped to deal with a 300-year-old pain in the neck.