QUEEN OF HARPS
Note: Of a bit of interest might be the numbers at the auction. Johanna Shea's number is 12, and Nick's is 28....
Auctioneer (Samuel Basker): Item number 172 from the Kirstchner estate. Swan pattern harp, ashwood of unknown English or Irish origin.
Counselor Hayley: (On phone) It's just coming up now, Sir.
Auctioneer: Oh, this is in beautiful condition, ladies and gentlemen. I haven't seen a finer specimen in or out of a museum. Bidding will begin at twenty...
Johanna Shea: Twenty.
Auctioneer: Twenty. Twenty is bid.
Counselor Hayley: Twenty-five.
Johanna Shea: Twenty-eight.
Counselor Hayley: Thirty.
Auctioneer: Thirty is the bid. Thirty. Do I have thirty-five?
Nick: Seventy-five. (Causing a bit of a stir.)
Auctioneer: Seventy-five is offered. Seventy-five.
Counselor Hayley: Eighty.
Nick: One hundred.
Schanke: Did anyone get lucky?
Dispatch: Unit in the vicinity spotted the vehicle in question, 81. Private parking lot at Bartlett and Main.
Schanke: I'm a half a block away. I got it.
Counselor Hayley: Two-seventy-five.
Auctioneer: With your approval, the gentleman requires a moment to confer.
Schanke: There you are.
Nick: We're not on for another two hours. What are you doing here?
Schanke: I've been looking for you. You've really got to help me out here. Cohen's really steamed. You know that killer arrest report that was supposed to be on her table?
Nick: Yeah, its on the computer, just print it out.
Schanke: Easier said than done. There's that new software. It's a major nightmare, Nick!
Nick: How did you find me?
Schanke: You didn't answer your phone, you didn't answer your pager, so I put out an APB...on your Caddy I mean. We are at two Two-eighty-five. (The man signals) Two-ninety. I have three in the back.
Schanke: Nick, he's pointing over here. He thinks you're bidding!
Auctioneer: 300,000 is the bid. Do I have three-ten, Sir?
Schanke: Nick! He thinks your bidding!
Nick: He thinks what?
Counselor Hayley: Three-ten.
Auctioneer: Three-ten once. Twice. (Hits his gavel down) Sold for 310,000 dollars to the gentleman.
Schanke: You know, a couple of hundred bucks for an autographed Wayne Gretzky fridge magnet I would understand, but this...what are you doing here?
Nick: Ellen Kirstchner estate auction.
Schanke: Wait, Kirstchner? Ellen-Beamer-off-the-Bloor-bridge Kirstchner? You know when forensics says its an accident, it generally means we're off the case.
Nick: Yeah, I know.
Schanke: So, what's this all about, and if you're gonna say hunch, I'm going to have to hit you.
Schanke: Silly me, I was F9ing when I should have been F10ing. Thanks, Nick, I owe you big time.
Natalie: So, where was he?
Schanke: Auction house downtown.
Nick: It was a case.
Schanke: Not a case. Ellen Kirstchner.
Natalie: So, you still don't think it was an accident.
Schanke: Face it, Nick. It was a nice old lady, emphasis on the word old. It was a rainy night, dark highway, no enemies, no motive, no mystery, no case.
Cohen: Schanke, I got the crown prosecutor holding on the phone. (Schanke leaves)
Natalie: This isn't really about Ellen Kirtschner's death is it?
Nick: Coffee? She's one of the biggest collector's in the country, I thought it made sense to see who's buying up her estate.
Natalie: So...was it there?
Nick: Was what there?
Natalie: The harp. Do you think I didn't see you looking at it when they were tagging her collection.
Nick: I underestimated you.
Natalie: I guess so. Did you get it?
Nick: Schanke showed up. I couldn't let him see me spend ten years salary in one night.
Natalie: It's too bad. It was a beautiful piece.
Nick: I'm not letting it go. Not after all this time. I'll think of something.
Natalie: Why is it so important?
Nick: It's from before.
Natalie: Before what?
Wales: 1220 or so
Lord Delabarre: These Celts will come around to our point of view. You will see, Nicholas. Nick: Music my lord. Do you hear it? Nick: It's beautiful. I hope we did not disturb you.
Nick: The land of Carreg is far afield of the Pope, my lord. Does the holy sea hold sway this far from Rome?
Lord Delabarre: This far, and far beyond this realm. Ours is not to question the will of God, but to follow it. And it is God's will that we bequeath papal blessing on the current lord of Carreg. It is hoped that we can bolster his failing quest to bring God to the pagan's that surround him and would see him spirited from the fold, so to speak.
Nick: You sound like a general of old, my lord, on a campaign for your emperor. Our empire has a friendlier face, does it not?
Lord Delabarre: You ask too many questions that require complicated answers, Nicholas. Bad practice.
Nick: What if we journey in vain, my lord? What if our influence is unwelcome?
Lord Delabarre: These people are pagans, Nicholas. God is the wind in our sails. Failing that, he is the iron in our swords. If the Lord of Carreg is unable to accomplish the task he was charged with, it shall fall upon us to bring these people an offer that must not be refused.
Lord Delabarre: I hear nothing.
Nick: Such a strange sound. With your blessings, my lord, I shall ride on ahead.
Gwyneth: The song is over. You come with the delegation, don't you?
Nick: I am Nicholas de Brabant, I serve the Lord Delabarre.
Gwyneth: And how do you serve your lord here, Nicholas de Brabant, so far from your home, so far from your heaven?
Nick: As he compels me to.
Lord Delabarre: These Celts will come around to our point of view. You will see, Nicholas.
Nick: Music my lord. Do you hear it?
Nick: It's beautiful. I hope we did not disturb you.
Nick: Late night, Mr. Basker.
Samuel Basker (Auctioneer): How did you get in?
Nick: Back door was open.
Samuel Basker: It was? The Swan Harp. Number 28. I never forget a big player's face. You really wanted that, didn't you?
Nick: I was wondering if you could tell me about the buyer?
Samuel Basker: All bidder information is strictly confidential. I'm sure you understand these rules protect your privacy, as well-
Nick: Nick Knight, Metro Homicide. I also wonder if you could tell me where I could find the buyer's agent.
Samuel Basker: Then I imagine you'll be returning in the morning with a subpoena for my records detective. Until then, good night.
Natalie: Samuel Basker, R. I. P. Broken neck. Looks like a pro did it. Very quick, very neat.
Schanke: You know what's weird? There's 2 million dollars worth of attic stuff in there, and the only thing that is missing is the harp from the Kirstchner estate. Nick had a hunch, I should have listened.
Natalie: Look I know this sounds way out, but what if killing her were the only way to put it on the market? To put it out there where they could get at it?
Schanke: I'll go you one better. They killed the auctioneer after they couldn't buy the thing. A lot of fuss over a fiddle. Well I guess we gotta reopen the Kirstchner case, recheck all the physical evidence. I'll talk to Basker's assistant and get a list of everyone who was here yesterday. Especially everyone who was interested in that harp. You gonna have something for us tonight?
Natalie: What? Uh, yeah, yeah, check with me later.
Gwyneth: These have been here from before memory. The people who put them here invested them with magic. Are you so sure there is nothing in this world unknown to your beloved church? You cannot tell me you do not feel the magic. Nick: These people, your forbearers, where are they now? Their magic could not sustain them against time. No magic can do that.
Nick: I do feel the magic, but its not coming from these stones.
Gwyneth: Except perhaps the word of your God, Nicholas? And your representative of God on earth? Nothing remains of the ancients but this circle. The same will be true of my people soon. Your Lord Delabarre will have his part in that.
Gwyneth: You're but an innocent pawn in all of this, Nicholas. I will be the last to carry the harp, the last to sing the songs of my people. They say, there are ten thousand songs in this harp for the singer skilled enough to know them all. They also say a that miller's daughter drowned and that her soul became a swan, and the swan became a harp.
Nick: Do you believe it?
Gwyneth: Hmm, 'tis but ashwood and wire. But it has a soul.
Nick: These people, your forbearers, where are they now? Their magic could not sustain them against time. No magic can do that.
Natalie: Nick? Oh God, where did you get it?
Nick: I took it. It's not that simple. I couldn't let it disappear again. It needed me.
Natalie: Needed you. Nick! It's not yours.
Nick: Who does it belong to then? Who owns something that was stolen 800 years ago?
Natalie: That's not the point! You want something, you just walk in and take it? All right, all right. Just tell me that you didn't kill him.
Nick: Kill who?
Natalie: Basker was murdered sometime last night, and whoever killed him, took the harp, at least that's what it looks like.
Nick: He was alive when he left there. I saw him. It must have happened this morning. It was someone else.
Natalie: Someone who couldn't find the harp. I don't know Nick. I don't know how you're going to get yourself out of this one.
Schanke: Good evening Mr. Sleepy-head. While you were visiting Mr. Sandman, I have been working. Interpol is getting back to us on all the known owners of that harp prior to Ellen Kirstchner.
Nick: Wait a second, Schank. This may have nothing to do with the harp, the killer might not have been the one who stole the harp.
Schanke: Of course he... Listen, Nick, let's not over think this thing if we don't have to. I talked to Basker's assistant. I thought he was going to hold his breathe until he blew up, but I did coax the buyer's name out of him. The guys name is...if only I could read my own writing. Debarre?
Schanke: Yeah, yeah, that's it. Delabarre. Also known as Lord Carreg from England.
Schanke: Genuine royalty, even if he is 968th in line to the throne. His gopher is a Bay Street lawyer by the name of Ted Hayley of what else? Hayley, Hayley and blah blah blah.
Nick: Did you get Delabarre's address?
Schanke: Yeah, sure. When in Toronto, Sir Delabarre is bivouacked at the oh-so-proper Salisbury Club. We're talking polo buddy of the Prince of Wales, here.
Nick: What about the other bidders?
Schanke: Ah, now we're rolling. Blonde women, right? Basker's assistant didn't know her name, and her card was missing. I think that's what we detectives call a significant coincidence.
Concierge: May I help you, gentlemen?
Schanke: Yeah, we want to see Lord Carreg.... You waiting for the magic word?
Concierge: His lordship is out for the evening, I'm afraid.
Schanke: Well that's great! We'll just pull down his bed and leave a mint on his pillow.
Concierge: Lord Carreg would expect that only his invited guests would be admitted to his room.
Nick: We have a murder investigation here, and Lord Carreg is a material participant.
Concierge: I've yet to see any official documents to that effect, sir.
Schanke: Keep your teeth in, Jeeves, I'll get a phone warrant.
Concierge: That could take some time.
Schanke: That's okay. Yo Spike, where's the blower? (The man nods to the side) Thanks.
Nick: *Perhaps you misunderstood...Lord Carreg is expecting us.*
Concierge: Yes, of course, sir, go right up, sir, room 243. He's expecting you.
Nick: Thank you.
Lord Delabarre: My family crest. Since the time of my ancestor. The second lord of Carreg.
Schanke: So the harp's an heirloom?
Lord Delabarre: Lost back in the 13th century. It was preserved in the county crest and in local legend. The locals say the soul of the land is locked in the harp, which probably explains why we've never been able to make the manor yield like it should. But that pales in comparison with recent events.
Schanke: Uh, speaking of which, there was a women at the auction, blonde hair, she was bidding on the harp.
Lord Delabarre: So I understand. And she murdered the auctioneer? Stole the harp?
Schanke: Oh, we-we just want to talk to her.
Lord Delabarre: I would give a great deal to talk to her myself. But I'm sorry, I do not know who she was. Is there any chance of recovering the harp now?
Nick: Well, things can disappear in the underground art market in twenty-four hours and not show up for another hundred years. Something like this, who knows what it's worth to someone.
Lord Delabarre: There's a saying in the antique trade, Detective. That the value of any item, is whatever someone is willing to pay for it.
Schanke: Then the harp is expensive as they come, because someone's killing for it.
Schanke: Okay, so I like to rub shoulders with blue-bloods as much as the next guy, but there's no way our mystery blonde moves in the same circles as his lordship, except maybe to manicure his fingernails.
Nick: I know.
Schanke: Well, the point is....
Nick: It was worth a shot, and I wanted to meet him.
Schanke: That's it? What?
Nick: There's someone here. Go around.
Nick: Nice night for a climb, isn't it?
Schanke: Don't even think about it.
Nick: I'd say we've got our killer.
Nick: We ran her passport. The last time she was in town was the end of March.
Schanke: When Dame Kirstchner died.
Cohen: Ellen Kirstchner checked her mother's calendar and found two meetings with Johanna Shea the week before her death. Good collar, gentlemen, now let's nail this down.
Johanna: I'm an archeologist.
Schanke: Quite the little rock climber, too. That was a pretty sophisticated rig you had.
Johanna: A modern archeologist uses many different tools, Detective.
Schanke: Oh yeah, I believe it. And what sort of treasures of antiquities where you digging for at the Salisbury? Oh let me guess, bones right? A lot of dinosaurs there, huh, Nick?
Johanna: I work at the museum at giant's hand. The stone circle in Carreg, Wales.
Nick: Where the harp comes from.
Johanna: Yes. Look, it doesn't belong in a private collection, it belongs in Carreg.
Nick: So you came here to get it back. By any means.
Schanke: Where is it now.
Johanna: I don't have it.
Schanke: We know you tried to get it off of Ellen Kirstchner, she wouldn't sell, so you pushed her off a bridge. Basker wouldn't play cricket, so you killed him too and took the harp.
Johanna: Someone took the harp?
Nick: You were at the auction house after hours.
Johanna: I was there.... I needed to get the name and address of the buyer. Basker wouldn't tell me, but that's all.
Schanke: What about Ellen Kirstchner? You saw her the week she died.
Johanna: She had agreed to donate the harp to us, but she died before we could complete the paperwork. I only had an oral agreement. I talked to her lawyer, and he said that since there was no record of her intent that I would have to try and buy the harp at auction like everyone else. I sold my house...brought my savings. It wasn't anything near enough as it happened. I'd do anything to take it home. It's part of my history, my people's history. The legend has it, it contains the soul and spirit of our land.
Schanke: What were you doing outside that window tonight?
Johanna: I wanted to see Lord Carreg. But those stuffed shirts at the Salisbury club wouldn't let me through.
Nick: What did you want with him?
Johanna: Well, he bought the harp. I was hoping that he'd be like Mrs. Kirstchner and want to return it to its home. I didn't take the harp, and I didn't kill anyone.
Schanke: You're going to tell me you don't think she did it.
Nick: I think she's telling the truth.
Schanke: You're saying that someone else broke in, stole the harp, and eighty-sixed Basker?
Nick: Ah, something like that.
Schanke: You really don't like to make them easy do you?
Nick: Call it a hunch.
Natalie: Maybe he knows something you don't.
Schanke: No, no, no. We're partners, everything's on the table. It's the only way to work. What is that thing?
Natalie: Lungs. Smoker's lungs.
Schanke: Whoa, I'm glad I quit. I gotta admit this museum lady doesn't seem the type.
Natalie: I'm not ruling her out, mind you, but just remember that Basker's neck was snapped by a pro.
Schanke: Point naught. I mean its gotta be her. It comes down to who wants that stupid harp enough to kill for it. Can't be this Delabarre guy, he won the toss, so why bother? Johanna Shea is the only one with something to gain.
Natalie: So, what's the problem?
Schanke: Something doesn't fit? If she stole the harp yesterday, why was she trying to break into Delabarre's place today? Why wasn't she halfway to England?
Natalie: Well, maybe she didn't steal the harp.
Schanke: Well, then we're back to square one. Listen, I'm off duty. We got her for trespassing and attempted B&E. We'll um...keep her overnight and figure it out tomorrow. (Schanke leaves)
Natalie: Well, it looks like Basker died about 8:30 this morning. That let's you off the hook. Sunrise was 6:15.
Nick: You mean I wasn't off the hook before?
Natalie: Excuse me. (she reaches past him and gets something) What about Johanna Shea?
Nick: What about her?
Natalie: Well, Schanke thinks she's the killer, because he thinks she took the harp. But she didn't take the harp, did she? I'm ready to listen when you're ready to tell me the rest of the story.
Lord Delabarre: Stolen your heart, has she? Gwyneth: The lords meet tonight, shouldn't you attend?
Nick: Not hardly.
Lord Delabarre: I'd say otherwise. Tell me, Nicholas, you spend hours with her, listening to her song and her siren harp, the same music with which she stirs the rabble against us. What does she speak of with you?
Nick: Only of the people. Of their...their magic, their tradition.
Lord Delabarre: Their godless rituals. Casting sticks and stones to glean the future? Their unwillingness to follow the will of God and their king? How about their subterfuge and their murderous ways?
Nick: She's not like that!
Lord Delabarre: Your heart can tell you many things, young Nicholas, but it cannot, it will not, tell you when it is being tricked. Long ago, I learned the hard way that there is work and there is pleasure, and the two must always stay distinct. I know how you feel, Nicholas. I shan't dissuade with any more than this. Consider that the fair maid Gwyneth is work. No more.
Nick: (He kisses her) I am but an attaché. My words mean very little in their circles. (He kisses her again)
Gwyneth: My time is too short here. I'm sorry it could not be longer.
Nick: Now why do you say that?
Gwyneth: I have seen it in the stones that were cast for me. We will not share a destiny.
Nick: You would take a soothsayer's word before you would take mine?
Gwyneth: They're more than words, the truth. My people will never bow to the will of Rome. Our ways will vanish in blood, and the life will go out of the land. The harp alone will remain, and when it is taken, a curse will be within it. That the fullness of life will be denied to whomever possesses it, so that we will not be forgotten.
Nick: What foolishness. Lord Delabarre is right. You cling to your paganism like lichen to a stone. What did your soothsayer tell you of me? Surely you would have asked.
Gwyneth: That you will live very long, and in that time, never find happiness.
Nick: (After a moment) Play for me.
Gwyneth: The lords meet tonight, shouldn't you attend?
Johanna: You believe me?
Nick: Yeah. I believe you.
Johanna: I didn't take the harp or kill anyone.
Nick: I know. Have you talked to a lawyer?
Johanna: I don't know anyone here. I'm a long way from home.
Nick: I'll see what I can do.
Nick: My Lord, you must know that I'm innocent.
Lord Delabarre: Of course, Nicholas. Of course. Such ugly business this. In time the true killer will be unearthed. No doubt it was one of the field hands, one of their own bent on taking the poor woman.
Nick: What's to become of me?
Lord Delabarre: I've managed to secure your freedom, Nicholas, on condition that you pay your debt and your penance by fighting in the holy land.
Nick: I'm not a murderer. I must have a chance for a fair trial-
Lord Delabarre: Are you blind, man! You are a foreigner here. The harper woman was their native daughter. Stay to protest and they'll have your head. The Archbishop and I have exercised all our resources in order to secure this reprieve, Nicholas. I advise you to accept it, and our blessing, and take your sword to Jerusalem.
Nick: My lord.
Counselor Hayley: I don't see why the public defender couldn't have handled this, Detective Knight?
Nick: You're already involved, Counselor. Just call it a favor to the police department. Besides, ultimately, it's all to benefit Lord Delabarre. We all want to see him get what's coming to him don't we...? The harp?
Counselor Hayley: Why yes, yes of course.
Schanke: Can you believe we've got to spring her? She claims she doesn't know a soul in town but sure enough somebody ponied up her bond.
Nick: A mysterious benefactor, maybe?
Johanna: A minute, Detective, if you don't mind. Mr. Hayley just told me that you asked him to work on this on my behalf. Why?
Nick: Well, Hayley knows the circumstances of this case much better than a public defender would, and everyone has a right to a good lawyer.... Maybe I wished I had one once.
Johanna: Look, Detective, I'm an archeologist, and if there's one thing archeologists know, it's how to put the pieces together. So here's what I have. You're bidding against me for the harp, then your arrest me for killing Basker, then, you help me off the hook. I've got a lot of pieces that don't make homicide Detective on a case.
Nick: What do they make?
Johanna: I don't know yet. I'm a lot better at mysteries a thousand years old. But you can't be raised where I was raised and not believe in some kind of magic. I think things happen the way they do for a reason, even if we don't know what it is. There's a reason for you, too.
Nick: I hope so.
Lord Delabarre (Lord Carreg): Do come in. Counselor Hayley, can I get you something?
Counselor Hayley: No, no thank you, Lord Carreg. I've just dropped by to tell that Ms. Shea has been released from custody, and the police have persuaded me to act for her.
Lord Delabarre: And she does not have the harp?
Counselor Hayley: Oh, I can't say that for sure, but the police seem to feel that she doesn't have it, but at the same time they're keeping a close watch on her.
Lord Delabarre: A strange bit of luck for her, not too good for us, then. Did she mention where she was staying?
Lord Delabarre: I thought you'd have it.
Schanke: So what have you got?
Nick: Delabarre's dossier. I ran his records. This guy's a lord only on paper. He's got a lot of rotten land with his name on it, and a lot of nothing else. I mean, where'd this guy get 310,000 dollars?
Schanke: We are on the same wave length, mon ami. From Interpol.... The harp surfaced 120 years ago when a private English estate collection went up for sale. Since then, there have been three, count 'em, three owners from the same family who all met their maker prematurely, specifically at 55 years of age. And you gotta love this punch line.
Nick: Delabarre, all three of them?
Schanke: So, Hughey Dewey lied to us when he said his family never owned the harp.
Nick: The curse.
Nick: Call back up to Johanna's hotel, and meet me there.
Schanke: Why, what's going on over there...Nick?
Johanna: I didn't take it, it was just here.
Lord Delabarre: Well and good. But let's get down to the matter shall we? I've paid for it. I have a record of the sale. It belongs to me.
Johanna: Shouldn't we wait until the police have had a chance to determine who should get it?
Lord Delabarre: I suspect they'll determine that this is a matter where free enterprise reigns, eh? I paid for it. It's mine. I do hope you're not going to make this difficult for me, Ms. Shea. I've been fed up with the way this has gone and I'm tired...(tries to take the harp)...aaagh.
Lord Delabarre: Out of my way!
Nick: Give me the harp!
Lord Delabarre: No. It's killing me.
Nick: And you killed to get it. Ellen Kirstchner and Basker.
Lord Delabarre: Do you have any idea what it's like to live under a curse? This curse has followed us for 800 years! Every man in my family dies at 55. I'm 54, Detective. Please, I have to destroy the damn thing.
Nick: Give me the harp.
(Delabarre shoots Nick, and Nick knocks Delabarre down and takes the harp.)
Johanna: Help me, police! Can somebody help me?
(Nick then goes back to Johanna)
Johanna: Detective Knight. What happened? Are you all right? (He hands her the harp) Thank you.
Natalie: The forensic info from Basker's a perfect match from Delabarre. We've got hair samples, skin samples. It was him.
Schanke: Case closed.
Natalie: What about the harp?
Schanke: You know I heard someone laid down a half million for it at auction, and then turned around and gave it to that museum in Carreg.
Schanke: Yeah. Listen, I'm done. See you when the night shift reconvenes. Natalie. I take my leave, my lady, I'm off to snag 40 winks. What?
Natalie: Your Lordship.
Nick: Nat, would you stop worrying about me. I'm all right.
Natalie: When do I not have to worry? Nick, I trust you, but you just can't throw the rule book out every time something from your past comes up.
Nick: I won't.
Natalie: Oh, really, and what's going to stop you?
Nick: You. (Gives her a kiss and walks off)
Natalie: A half million dollars!