Story outline for: The Pompous Toad Croaked. Excerpt of the "Play" portion of the novel.
The Pompous Toad Croaked
A thoroughly politically incorrect and hopefully humorous (think Pythonesque) whodunit unfolds as three former adversaries meet for the first time since WWII and share recollections from their lives; that is, IF they can remember.
Bearded Dragon – Bing Dong is an elderly Chinese warrior, master of Ngo-cho Kun, martial art, also known as: The Five Ancestors Fist, a form which consists of five areas of intense discipline:
• Breathing and protecting the body
• Posture and dynamic power,
• Precision and efficient movements,
• Hand techniques and complementary elements of softness and hardness,
• Agility and footwork
Toothless Tiger – Tado Tanaka is an elderly practitioner of Ninjutsu a Japanese style of fighting known for unconventional tactics. Today, Ninjutsu are commonly known as Ninja. Ninjutsu encompasses multiple skills
• Spiritual refinement
• Unarmed combat
• Armed combat
• Disguise and impersonation
• Stealth and invasion techniques
Pompous Toad – Peter Tibbley, now an elderly former SIS [or MI6] agent retired from active service; however, he is frequently called upon for training new agents. He is one of the founding members, and still leader, of the Idle Toad, a registered political party, active in southern England
Bottom dwellers – Similar to catfish, these unnamed nefarious creatures have no allegiance to any cause; they dwell and feed in the underbelly of the international spy world.
Angels of Mercy – Women who unceasingly offer care for those fearless warriors they love.
• Jai Chen – Bing Dong’s nurse becomes his lover
• Waka Watanabe – Tado Tanaka’s nurse, former lover and now, wife.
• Penelope Pembrook – Known as, “Miss PP” behind her back, provides aid and solace to the Pompous Toad.
German counter-spy – Gunther Schreiber was an independent political writer, opposed to Nazi politics; his love interest was Klaudia Vogel, a diplomat’s daughter, who unknowingly transferred encrypted communications to the Allies.
African Princess – Princess Syrine was a Tunisian double spy during the WWII campaign in Tunisia. She absolutely loathed all foreigners, particularly those who were waging war in her country. She used all of her feminine wiles to subvert all of the enemy’s actions.
Italian Loafer – Carmelo Abandonato is a complete scoundrel, willingly changing his alliance with whichever cause is strongest at the moment, believing it wise to be aligned with the eventual victor; this suits his ambitions. Carmelo was infatuated with Bettina Agresta, a self-centered and angry woman. Abandonato opened a moderately successful ristorante in Treviso.
Boisterous Bolshevik – Sergey Mussorgsky was a hard-drinking rowdy warrior for the communist cause. Now retired from the cause he is a wealthy owner of a prestigious vodka distillery.
Effeminate Frenchman – Valentin Renaud was a delicate flower caught in the French Underground opposed to the Vichy Regime. Later in life, Valentin opened his own Cabaret in Paris, located not far from The Lido, but worlds away in style and class.
Excerpt from the play -- as released by a confidential informant from a secret government agency.
The Play: [Title redacted]
By: [Name redacted] and [Name redacted]
Storyline Summary: A thoroughly politically incorrect (Pythonesque?) tale unfolds after three former adversaries meet, for the first time since WWII. In the spring of 1970, the group meet for a luncheon during which they share recollections from their intertwined lives.
On the morning following this luncheon, a hotel housekeeper discovered the body of one of the participants, Peter Tibbley, aka “The Pompous Toad,” in his locked hotel room. The housekeeper called the manager and nervously related the discovery after she entered the room to clean and prepare it for the next guest.
The coroner’s report stated that Tibbley’s death was determined to be “suspicious” as there was no conclusive evidence of an existing medical condition that would explain caused his sudden demise.
Act one, Scene one,
Set: Interior of a formerly posh private dining room in an exclusive Gentleman’s club.
Center stage has one large, oval, table which is formally set with maroon tablecloth, and place settings for three: consisting of white napkins; five-piece silver table ware, plates, cups and saucers are cream color and trimmed in maroon and silver bands along the edges, crystal water goblets, and wine glasses. Heavy maroon drapes grace the floor to ceiling window directly behind the table. A cream color chair rail divides the walls, with mahogany wood below and a floral design wallpaper above. The edges of the wallpaper are beginning to peel away from the wall.
Stage left: An arched entryway, a coatroom is just to the left of the arched wood exterior door and maître’d stand.
Stage right: double swinging doors leading to the kitchen.
Main characters: Peter Tibbley, aka The Pompous Toad, Club member and host for today’s luncheon --
Bing Dong, aka The Bearded Dragon
Tado Tanaka, aka The Toothless Tiger
Incidental speaking characters:
Waiter – Offers menus to each guest, takes requests, delivers order requests to the kitchen; keeps water goblets full, fills or refills coffee or tea. Delivers hors d'oeuvres to each guest.
Sommelier – Offers wine list, presents selection to the table host, upon approval pours wine for each guest.
Sous-Chef – delivers meals to the table and presents dish to each of the guests.
Incidental non-speaking characters:
Maître’d – Formally cordial unnamed character gestures greeting to the guest as they arrive, escorts the party to their table, formally bows, and returns to his workstation.
Coat check staff – Smiling unnamed character receives outer garments, hats, delivers receipt; receives receipt and delivers garments.
Waiter Assistant – Offers menus to each guest, takes requests, delivers order requests to the kitchen; keeps water goblets full, fills or refills coffee or tea. Delivers hors d'oeuvres to each guest.
Act two, Scene two
Set: The bedroom of a posh hotel suite. Center stage: an ornately carved cherry wood bed, matching bedside tables, topped with crystal lamps grace either side of the bed. The lamp on the right side of the bed is on its side with the lampshade slightly askew and tilted to the right. The bed is unmade, a maroon trimmed, ivory satin comforter, the lower half of which is on the bed; the upper half of the comforter lays strewn on the floor on the right side of the bed, and is covering the lower half of Tibbley’s body. Tibbley is wearing charcoal color silk pajamas; his face and hands are ashen and his eyes and mouth are slightly open.
Main speaking characters:
The housekeeper – Miss Dempsey, discovers Tibbley’s body and relates her finding to Hotel Manager Phillips, relates the events of her morning and the gruesome discovery first to the manager, again to Chief Inspector Crowley.
Hotel Manager – Mister Phillips, hears Miss Dempsey’s account about finding Tibbley; goes to the room, checks for a pulse, calls police.
Chief Inspector Crowley – receives report from Phillips, dispatches constables to secure the scene, interviews Phillips and Dempsey.
Incidental non-speaking characters:
Inspector Thomas – Secures the scene – motions directions to the Constables.
Three Constables – Assist Inspector Thomas following hand gestured directions.
Coroner – Evaluates on scene evidence to determine possible cause of death, interviews Crowley, Phillips, and Dempsey.
Assistant to Coroner – Prepares Tibbley’s body for transport to pathologist for autopsy.