The Speckled Hide – Episode 3 – The Fall of Dr Roylott


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Below we present the complete text of The Fall of Dr Roylott, episode 3 of The Speckled Hide.

Gaslamp Mystery - GM003 - The Speckled Hide

Gaslamp Mystery – GM003 – The Speckled Hide

SCENE 10: INT. — CAVES BENEATH THE ROYLOTT ESTATE — MOMENTS LATER (MARTHA, YOUNG HOLMES, HELEN)

  1. MUSIC: OPENING THEME – LET IT FINISH.
  2. NARRATOR – Escaping from the dungeon of the evil Dr Roylott and the, presumed, dead girl (Layla Stoner) our heroes, Sherlock Holmes, Martha Hudson, and the young Layla Stoner are seeking a way of escape…
  3. MARTHA: [CUE] Are you sure we’ve come the right way, Mr ’olmes? This tunnel seems to be wanderin’ along forever.
  4. SOUND: [29] LOW CHANTING — FADE IN AND UNDER.
  5. YOUNG HOLMES: There were no other ways out of that basement and this tunnel hasn’t branched once since we entered it.
  6. MARTHA: Then I guess there’s nothing for it, but to keep goin’ forward.
  7. HELEN: Can you see the light up ahead? I think there’s a chamber.
  8. YOUNG HOLMES: And if that chanting is anything to go by there are a goodly number of Roylott’s colony members within. We’ll need to be cautious.
  9. MARTHA: After you.
  10. MUSIC: [3] (BRIDGE) NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH.

SCENE 11: INT. — DR ROYLOTT’S MEETING CHAMBER — SECONDS LATER (MARTHA, HELEN, YOUNG HOLMES, LAYLA, DR ROYLOTT)

  1. SOUND: [9] (WALLA) LOW CHANTING — ESTABLISH AND UNDER.
  2. MARTHA: The chamber’s enormous — a natural cavern of some sort.
  3. HELEN: Can you make out what’s going on, Mr Holmes?
  4. YOUNG HOLMES: A ritual of some sort. They are all gathered in the centre of the space… around a circle with candles at the cardinal points.
  5. HELEN: (SHOCKED) Black magic?
  6. YOUNG HOLMES: Yes, I think so. A summoning of some kind by the look.
  7. MARTHA: Can we make our way to th’other side without bein’ spotted?
  8. YOUNG HOLMES: Perhaps, but I think something important is going on here. Something which may require our intervention.
  9. DR ROYLOTT: Rise, O Zathrus, master of flesh. Receive from us this sacrifice of blood and grant us self-control for another year.
  10. COLONISTS: Murmur in unison.
  11. HELEN: They’re cutting themselves and placing the blood in that golden cup.
  12. YOUNG HOLMES: So that’s how they did it.
  13. MARTHA: What?
  14. YOUNG HOLMES: They’ve made a blood pact with a demon. Blood in exchange for the ability to control the shift in their forms.
  15. HELEN: Something is happening.
  16. YOUNG HOLMES: Yes, the demon is manifesting within the circle. We must hurry and reach the door. If it manifests fully, it will be under Roylott’s control and he will not hesitate to send it after us.
  17. HELEN: He can do that?
  18. YOUNG HOLMES: Yes. The creature will be bound to his will until dawn. There’s no time to lose.
  19. MARTHA: I thought you said we should intervene.
  20. YOUNG HOLMES: I fear it is too late. We cannot cross the distance to disturb the circle in time and even if we did, the demon is manifesting. It would be loosed to destroy us in its rage, along with everyone else in this cavern.
  21. MARTHA: Obviously, you’ve never shied a rock at a crow what’s been at yer cabbages, Mr ’olmes.
  22. YOUNG HOLMES: What are you suggesting, Miss Hudson?
  23. MARTHA: I have an idea, Mr ’olmes. But first we need to get to that iron door.
  24. LAYLA: I don’t think so, Miss Hudson. You, Mr Holmes, and my sister are going nowhere. (CALLING OUT) Guards!
  25. DR ROYLOTT: (CALLING BACK) No, do not break the circle or cease chanting. The ritual must be completed! Layla, what have you done? You are outside the area of effect.
  26. LAYLA: (CALLING TO ROYLOTT) I saw them sneaking through, my love. It would only be a year without the power to change at will and it seemed wisest to deal with them before they could intervene and ruin everything.
  27. DR ROYLOTT: (CALLING BACK) Then do so quickly. The key moment approaches.
  28. HELEN: Layla, how could you? We are family.
  29. LAYLA: (LAUGHS) Ha. Family? What kinship binds us beyond blood? We were raised apart at separate boarding schools. We hardly know each other. You always were a sentimental little twit, Helen. In my new life I have loved more fiercely than you could know… and killed more frequently.
  30. HELEN: I don’t know you at all, do I? I guess I never did.
  31. LAYLA: Oh, and there it is. That delicious moment of realization. (BEAT) That’s right Helen, you never knew me at all.
  32. HELEN: … Then I guess that gives me a certain advantage over you.
  33. LAYLA: Oh? And what would that be?
  34. HELEN: You don’t know me either, and as such you won’t be expecting this…(GRUNT).
  35. SOUND: [30] SMACK OF FIST AGAINST SKULL — LET IT FINISH.
  36. HELEN: Or this… (GRUNT).
  37. SOUND: [30] SMACK OF FIST AGAINST SKULL — LET IT FINISH.
  38. LAYLA: (SWOONING) Ohhh!
  39. SOUND: [28] BODY DROPS TO FLOOR — LET IT FINISH.
  40. HELEN: Now, let’s be off while they are still preoccupied with their ritual.
  41. MATHA: (ADMIRINGLY) ’elen, I didn’t know you ’ad it in you.
  42. HELEN: Fortunately, neither did she. Here we are.
  43. MARTHA: Alright, we’re at the door. This is my idea: I throw one of these rocks at a candle ’n break their little circle, releasing the demon. We bar the door against their escape and leave the monster to deal with the shifters while we run like the blazes. Any objections?
  44. YOUNG HOLMES: Miss Hudson, remind me to publicly take back all the unflattering things I’ve ever said about you.
  45. MARTHA: (AMUSED) Don’t make promises you can’t keep, Mr ’olmes. Here goes. (GRUNTS WITH EFFORT).
  46. SOUND: [33] WHOOSH AND SMASHING OF CANDLEHOLDER — LET IT FINISH.
  47. SOUND: [31] HUGE ROAR AND SCREAMS WITHIN THE CHAMBER MUTED BY THE CLOSING OF THE IRON DOOR — LET IT FINISH.
  48. YOUNG HOLMES: Ladies? After you.
  49. SOUND: [32] SOUND OF RUNNING AS THE CARNAGE BEHIND THEM FADES INTO THE BACKGROUND — FADE OUT.
  50. MUSIC: [3] (BRIDGE) NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER — LET IT FINISH.

SCENE 12: INT. — CARRIAGE RETURNING TO LONDON — SHORTLY AFTER DAWN (HELEN, MARTHA, YOUNG HOLMES)

  1. SOUND: [6] (WALLA) CLIP-CLOP OF HORSE AND CARRIAGE — ESTABLISH AND UNDER.
  2. HELEN: I have never been so glad to see the dawn in my entire life.
  3. MARTHA: But I doubt I’ll ever get over seein’ the bodies in that chamber after the demon ’ad returned to its realm. Is anyone so evil as to deserve bein’ torn apart like that?
  4. YOUNG HOLMES: They were playing with powers beyond their capacity to control. Layla herself admitted to engaging in numerous killings. It would not surprise me if the number of missing persons in this region of England is significantly reduced from this day forward.
  5. MARTHA: It was still awful.
  6. YOUNG HOLMES: Yes, it was. And no less than for Miss Stoner. Will you be alright, Miss Stoner?
  7. HELEN: No, I don’t think I will. But life is like that, isn’t it? We endure.
  8. YOUNG HOLMES: Yes, we do.
  9. MARTHA: And where shall we be leaving you today, Mr ’olmes?
  10. YOUNG HOLMES: Actually, Miss Hudson, I’m coming back to 221B (TWO TWO ONE B) with you. I have an appointment with a young doctor who is looking for someone to share the rent on some lodgings there.
  11. MARTHA: Oh, no! You aren’t Dr Watson’s friend, are you?
  12. YOUNG HOLMES: Actually, I’ve never met him. But I do believe that was his name. What is he like?
  13. MARTHA: He’s confined to a wheelchair and very polite. He seems both tidy and respectable, which is more than can be said for you, Mr ’olmes.
  14. YOUNG HOLMES: Now, now, Miss Hudson. You did invite me to look for someone with whom to share the rent so that I could move out of my current Soho lodgings after that business at Musgrave Hall.
  15. MARTHA: I did. And I can ’ardly penalize Dr Watson for his poor choice in livin’ companion, now can I?
  16. YOUNG HOLMES: (AMUSED) No, I don’t suppose you can.
  17. MARTHA: I jus’ ’ope you don’t go alienatin’ ’im too quickly is all.
  18. YOUNG HOLMES: Oh, I shouldn’t worry too much on that account. I have a number of stories to regale him with that I am sure will make us fast friends.
  19. MARTHA: Oh, lord. You really need to stop showin’ off. People aren’t nearly as impressed with you as you think they are.
  20. HELEN: If you find Mr Holmes to be such objectionable company, Miss Hudson, why do you continue to assist him in these investigations?
  21. MARTHA: (SERIOUSLY) Actually, Miss Stoner, I don’t object to Mr ’olmes quite so wholeheartedly as it seems. As you ’ave no doubt realized for yourself, ’e is truly a great man beneath those rough edges. It’s my ’ope, ’owever, that a good man can be salvaged from within that greatness as well.
  22. YOUNG HOLMES: My dear Miss Hudson, I believe that is the first real compliment you have ever paid me.
  23. MARTHA: Don’t let it go to your ’ead. I may only ’ave one real compliment in me ’n I don’t expect you’ll be seein’ another fer some time.
  24. YOUNG HOLMES: Well, Miss Hudson, you have my thanks.
  25. MARTHA: It was just a compliment, Mr ’olmes.
  26. YOUNG HOLMES: Er… yes, but I was actually referring to the fact that you saved our lives down in that cavern. None of us would be here if it weren’t for your quick thinking.
  27. MARTHA: Why thank you, Mr ’olmes. I may have to record this day on my calendar.
  28. HELEN: Hmmm. (ARCHLY) I do believe there is a deal more mutual regard between the two of you than I at first thought.
  29. ELDER HOLMES: And so the affair of the speckled hide was brought to an end. Miss Stoner came into her inheritance, though she was, I think, little pleased with it in the end. I was paid and dutifully split the fee with Miss Hudson. Dr Watson and I took up residence at 221B (TWO TWO ONE B) Baker Street and settled into quite an amicable relationship.
    It turned out that Dr Watson was inclined towards a bit of amateur authoring and when I discovered this I was forced to ask him to significantly modify the records he was making of my activities. This he did, publishing them through the good offices of his friend, Arthur Conan Doyle.
    Little did I realize how popular these fictions would become. They quite hurled me into the public eye. At first Martha was quite put out that Watson cast himself as my companion in these adventures, but in the end I believe it saved her from becoming the target of some of the many enemies I made in the course of my career. All in all, things seemed to be going along rather swimmingly. I should have known it couldn’t last.
  30. MUSIC: [2] CLOSING THEME — LET IT FINISH.

The Speckled Hide

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