Sixteen players are possible heirs to Sam Westing's fortune. And all of them are suspects in the case of his curious demise. The one who discovers the villain's identity wins $200 million...and the losers lose all!
Can You Solve the Mystery Before They Do?
Only you have all the clues. But you're competing against some very clever players-including Doug Hoo, the high school track star...Angela Wexler, a beautiful bride-to-be...Turtle Wexler, her thirteen-year-old shin-kicking sister...Chris, fifteen, who sees everything from his window, a stuck-up, doctor's wife, and the grumbling Chinese restaurant ownder. They all have a hidden motive. But remember-nothing is what it seems to be....
Joey walks in the front door of her tiny house and plops her back pack onto the kitchen table. She peels her jacket off, the early spring heat making it stick to her skin.
"55 degrees," she mutters. "I don't know what kind of drugs the people on the news are on." She looks out the window at the thermometer. It reads 78 degrees. She rolls her eyes and opens the fridge. Taking a half gallon of milk out, she sets it on the table and goes to get a glass. An envelope wafts to the floor and Joey stops, picking it up. It was addressed to her, but she didn't recognize the return address. Intrigued, she rips it open.
"Miss Josephine Potter,
We regret to inform you that last Wednesday night, Samuel Westing passed away from coronary failure at Smithton General Hospital. The wake will be held Friday morning and afternoon at the Demmerling Funeral Home at 1198 Jefferson Ave, Smithton, Massachusetts. The funeral will be held the following day at the cemetery of Saint Peter's Wesleyan Church. You have been named as a heir and are encouraged to attend. Your plane fare and hotel arrangements have already been made and the information regarding your flight and lodging has been enclosed in the package you receieved.
Edward J. Plum, Attorney at Law "
Joey re-read the letter again, confused. She could not remember ever meeting anyone named Samuel Westing in her whole life, as a relative or even a casual aquaintance. The letter puzzled her greatly. There was no phone number to call, no background information on the deceased...nothing at all.
Dawson fell onto his bed, exhausted. It'd been an unbelievably long day at school. Jen had been hanging around Cliff all day and had barely noticed him at all. To top that off, Joey was acting more distant than ever. He let out a deep sigh and stared at his Spielberg posters, looking for comfort. His bedroom door opened, and his mother stuck her head in.
"Dawson, honey? This letter came for you today in the mail," Gail holds out an envelope to him. He stands up and takes it from her.
"Who's it from?"
"I don't know. Listen, you father and I are going out to dinner now, so you're going to be on your own tonight, all right?" Dawson just nods in reply, staring at the piece of mail. Gail shuts the door. Dawson opens the letter slowly and unfolds the stiff paper.
"Mr. Dawson Leery,
We regret to inform you that last Wednesday night, Samuel Westing passed away..."
"Who is this Samuel Westing, Jennifer?" Grams asked, handing Jen the letter as she walks into the kitchen. Jen looks at her, surprised.
"Who's who?" Jen looks at the letter, scanning it quickly. "I have no idea who he is, Grams."
"If you have no idea who he is, then *why* are you receiving a letter he has passed on?" Grams eyes Jen questioningly, but Jen is thoroughly clueless. "And *why* are you invited to his funeral and *why* are you a designated heir?"
"That's a lot of questions, Grams. And I don't have the answers," she looks through the envelope and pulls out her plane ticket. "I guess I'll be making the trip to find them." Grams immediately reacts.
"Oh, no, Jennifer! You're no gallavanting off to some unknown town to some mystery man's funeral!" Jen just smiles and walks upstairs.
Pacey grabs the letter out of Doug's hand, rolling his eyes.
"Don't read my mail, Douggie. Was it addressed to you? I thought not." He rips the letter open and tosses the envelope onto the floor. He reads it hastily, then smiles.
"Yes! I'm the heir to some old guy's fortune!" Doug looks at his younger brother, disgusted.
"And exactly who is this man, Pacey? I've never heard of him before in my life. This has to be a mistake."
"I don't care! Whoever this Sam Westing guy is, I'm a-going to his funeral and getting my cash!" Pacey drops the letter to the table and races upstairs.
"Where do you think you're going?"
Pacey runs into the coach section the airplane happily, almost knocking over a stewardess on his way through. She throws him a dirty look but he's too excited to notice. He glances at his ticket and begins searching for his seat.
"Ah, 28, here we are," he opens the overhead compartment and shoves his backpack in.
"Hey, watch it! My stuff's in there!" Pacey looks down at the occupant of the seat next to his. Her mouth drops in shock, as does his.
"Joey?" As if on cue, Dawson comes through the doorway and stops in his tracks, seeing them.
"What the...?" he starts, bewiildered. "Why are you guys..."
"On a flight to Smithton...?" Joey finishes. Pacey pulls a piece of paper out of his pocket.
"I got this letter in the mail-" Dawson and Joey simultaneously dig their letters out and look at them.
"I...I don't understand..." A loud noise comes from 1st class and suddenly someone comes bustling through the curtains, walking backward.
"Sorry, sorry! God, I didn't mean to bump the damn tray..." Jen turns and almost shrieks as she sees her three friends standing there, gaping, in the middle of the aisle. Her eyes shift from Pacey to Joey to Dawson. They all look confused.
"Um...what's going on?" she asks, puzzled. Nobody answers.
To Be Continued...
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