The Mulrooney's - Part Three
Rupert Mulrooney paced the parlor floor and came to a sudden halt.
“The Gazpacho!” said Rupert.
“What’s that, dear?” said Regina.
“It was your Gazpacho that killed us!” he said. “I’m sure of it now. It was making me crazy lo these many years. Well, that’s a load off my mind. I can see it all clearly now. I at the head of the table. You on my right, the children on my left. You with your face suddenly plopping into the soup bowl. The children laughing. Then Megan with her head in the bowl, and Dickie laughing. Then little Dickie taking the plunge. The laughter ending there. I was not amused. Then I, too, became a victim of the Gazpacho! And in my effort to avoid smashing my head into the soup bowl, my life came to an end with my nose in the butter dish! Oh, the humiliation! I told you those tomatoes didn’t smell right!”
“Oh, for goodness sakes, Rupert!” said Regina. “Every time we get chased from the house and find our way back, I have to go and explain things again. It was not the Gazpacho, dear. My tomatoes were just fine. I grew the best in the county. It was Rebecca the maid. She poisoned us. She was terribly in love with you, Rupert. And since she couldn’t have you, she’d rather see you dead, and us along with you. So she poisoned the soup. I remember quite distinctly, not being quite dead yet, sitting there with my head in the bowl, and hearing those new squeaky shoes of Rebecca’s enter the room. And if I’m to assume the shoes didn’t walk in on their own, I’d have to surmise that Rebecca was still wearing the dreaded things.”
“Nonsense!” said Rupert. “It could have been any number of the household staff!”
“Then I heard Rebecca approach you on my left,” said Regina. “And she said, ‘If I can’t have you in this life, dearest Rupert, I will have you in the next.’ Then I heard what sounded like a coconut hitting the hardwood floor. But I suppose it was only that empty head of hers. Imagine. Killing herself, and us, over you!”
“If Rebecca killed herself,” said Rupert, “How come she’s not among us? Answer me that little Miss Sherlock Holmes!”
“That must be the ghost in the attic,” said Dickie. “I hear her squeaky shoes all the time, but she never shows herself.”
“Well,” said Rupert, “from now on you’re to stay away from the attic. Do you hear?”
“But, Pop,” said Dickie. “I often play up there. It’s where some of my old playthings were stored. She can’t kill me twice. I don’t see the harm.”
“Just do as your father says,” said Regina. “I’ll see to this woman myself.”
If she weren’t all ready dead, thought Regina, I’d kill her myself. She ruined four of my best soup bowls.