THE EMPTY HOUSE
by Rosalyn Hunter
Act 1 – Sherlock Returns
1 EXT. STREET – PARK LANE – NIGHT
Fashionable neighborhood. Expensive town houses that are packed together with smart metal railings in the front and strips of green lawn. A man walks swiftly down the street and up the stairs to enter a multi-story house. The address 427 Park Lane.
2. INT 427 PARK LANE – HALLWAY – NIGHT
The young man (Ronald Adair) enters his house. He closes the door. His sister, Hilda, comes out of another room and enters the hall. He passes her without a word and slams the door to his study. Hilda calls his name.
Ronnie, is something wrong? Do you want some dinner?
The door locks.
3. INT 427 PARK LANE – ADAIR STUDY – NIGHT
RONALD ADAIR bends down and opens a safe, he takes out some money and begins to count it out on his desk. He is standing on the opposite side of the desk, not sitting in the chair. There is a window to his right. He takes a moment to remove his coat and tie before cracking the window. Then he pulls a scribbled NOTE out of his pocket and scrutinizes it. The note has names and numbers (amounts of money) on it.
Knock on the door.
HILDA (through door)
Ronnie, Ronnie are you coming to dinner?
Not now, I’m busy!
4. INT 427 PARK LANE – HALLWAY – NIGHT
HILDA at door having just knocked. She walks down the hallway. The camera stops on a grandfather clock which reads 10:05
The grandfather clock rests at 11:20. Sound of the front door. A woman enters. She takes off her coat and hangs it up.
Hilda dear, I’m back. The meeting went on far longer than I expected. Is Ronald home?
He came in earlier and locked himself in the study. He hasn’t had any dinner yet.
Mother undoes her scarf, and then walks to the study door. She knocks.
Ronald? Ronald. Ronald? Open the door. Ronald. Is something wrong?.. Ronald!
5. EXT. 427 PARK LANE – NIGHT
Sound of police sirens. Flashing lights of police cars. Two cars are parked in front of the pretty railing. Spectators are at a distance. Police officers cordon off an area.
6. INT – JOHN WATSON’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
On the TV is 427 Park lane with the police cars and the sirens.
Watson’ apartment is a sparsely furnished room with a bad view from the window, clean, spartan for the most part, but with a few homey touches.
The room contains a breakfast table with two chairs,a bed without a comforter but with warm brown patterned sheets that are tucked in, clean, and in military order.
In the single chair that sits before the television sits John Watson. He watches the news report.
The Honorable Ronald Adair second son of the Earl of Maynooth was found dead in his home today. Although he was found with a battered skull, no one was seen to enter or leave the room which was locked from the inside, and there was no sign of a struggle?
The scene shows a brown-haired man the caption under his name says detective inspector Gregson.
robbery was not thought to be a motive in this crime as nothing appears to have been stolen. We are investigating the possibility that the murderer may have climbed in through the window.
If anyone has information regarding this case, we would encourage them to contact Scotland Yard or their local police constabulary at once.
The TV camera shows the house. It points up to a small window. The window is impossibly high with no ledges or handholds.
They think that someone climbed up into ‘that’ window? Really? I don’t think that even the deadly Chinese bird-spider could have done it. What do you think, Sherlock?
JOHN turns his head and looks at a grey deer-stalker hat sitting on a shelf.
Zoom in on hat as opening music beats.