The second murder was very risky. It had limited the probable murderers to either Skinner or Chaz, with Colin and Hannah as outside bets (if either of them were ninjas). That took a lot of pressure off of the rest of the survivors – nobody was defending themselves, only accusing one of them. Skinner? I didn’t think so. Chaz? Let’s find out.
We spent the afternoon cruising between vineyards in the Espace, trying amazing wines from the region. I kept a close-ish eye on Chaz, sitting next to her in the car and sticking close by during the tastings. “Are you trying to get a piece of Chaz?” asked Vinny, ever perceptive. I was, to an extent, but I was rather enjoying getting to know her too. And was falling more and more towards the idea that she was the murderer.
Our wine tour ended at Ventenac, the cellar for the collective made up of the former employees of the family that had once owned the chateau. By now, Skinner and I had consumed several glasses of wine. We didn’t swill and fling away our dregs, you see. We just had the whole thing. Dominic, who had stayed behind, was setting up the evening’s entertainment around the rough patch on the second level of the terraced garden: a barbecue, bonfire and cabaret.
Great acts. Hannah sang. The Lovely Jane and the Lovely Colin sang. Jamie recited a poem. Vinny played guitar. Julia dressed up and read a poem. Dominic sang a Lovely Song for the Lovely Jane and the Lovely Colin, inspired by their approaching wedding. The Lovely Jane danced with Poi. Skinner, Vinny and I played Mallet’s Mallet, using crème fraiche instead of a mallet. I lost. Splat! As things drew to a close, we all sang together. Dom adapted ‘I Love Rock and Roll’ to be ‘I Love this Chateau.’ Jane had written new words to ‘Let It Be,’ a sweet and slushy end to a lovely evening. Even Skinner and I, easily the most pissed people there, couldn’t ruin it with our shambolic hosting.
Trial time: Chaz? Skinner? It didn’t take long. Of seven survivors, three had voted Chaz, with two voting Skinner. The Lovely Jane hadn’t chosen. My vote. I looked up. It was Chaz, I thought. I voted: “Skinner.” Over to you, the Lovely Jane. She chose Chaz. And so we hung her.