Murder on the Polar Express
CONDUCTOR: (sing-song) Who wants more hot chocolate?
(All the kids raise their hands. Then one kid drops dead. All their hands go down.)
KID 2: Barry?
KID 1: What happened to Barry?
(Kid 3 goes over to the body, picks up an arm and it drops.)
KID 3: He’s dead!
(Detective Hercule Poirot enters sniffing a cup. )
POIROT: He was poisoned!
KID 2: You mean-?
POIROT: Yes, it’s Murder on the Polar Express!
KID 1: What’s going on? Why isn’t Barry moving?
KID 2: Was he killed because he didn’t believe in Santa?
POIROT: Santa? Believe in Santa? How childish!
(All the kids look at him.)
POIROT: Oh, no, that’s not the reason.
CONDUCTOR: Who are you?
POIROT: Detective Hercule Poirot.
(All the kids just look at him.)
POIROT: The world famous detective!
KID 1: I can burp to 10.
(Poirot looks at the body.)
POIROT: I can’t help but notice that the child has coal dust in his hair. And his fingers bear the faint scent of brass polish.
KID 1: What’s that mean?
POIROT: He’s been outside this car. Did anyone see the child leave?
KID 2: Not really, we were pretty whacked out on hot chocolate.
POIROT: So, Mr. Conductor, I can’t help but notice you have the same soot and polish on you.
CONDUCTOR: Of course, I’m the conductor! I go everywhere on this train.
POIROT: Including the broken toy car?
KID 1: Broken toy car?
KID 3: Where they gather the old and abandoned toys to return to Santa?
KID 1: How do you how that?
KID 3: What? You think I just hop onto any strange train that pulls up in front of my house? I Google, baby.
POIROT: ---Except some of those toys don’t make it back to Santa, do they Mr. Conductor?
CONDUCTOR: My name is Higgins, by the way.
POIROT: Some of those toys, the older, collectible toys find their way to Ebay, where they fetch a pretty penny.
CONDUCTOR: I don’t know what you mean.
POIROT: It’s obvious this child was following you through the train and saw you taking the toys to list on Ebay. And it’s equally obvious you saw the child. You saw your private little nest egg about to fly away. But how? You knew Hot Chocolate time was coming up.
POIROT: So, all you had to do was grind up some Poinsettia leaves into one cup and serve it to this child.
CONDUCTOR: Where would I possibly get Poinsettia leaves?
(The kids just stare at the Conductor.)
KID 2: Polar Express.
CONDUCTOR: Fine, point taken.
KID 1: Poinsettia leaves? What’s so bad about those?
KID 3: They’re bad. My dog ate some of those leaves and he got so sick my dad had to take him to a farm to live upstate.
(They all just look at Kid 3, sadly.)
KID 3: What?
KID 2: Dude.
POIROT: You had the means and the motive. It was you, Mr. Conductor!
POIROT: Yes, you. You’ve been stealing from the company for years. You’ve justified it with the resentment you held toward the railroad company since that incident with Thomas the Tank Engine!
CONDUCTOR: Those bastards tried to fire me! It wasn’t my fault Thomas went off the rails, killing those kids in the magical station house.
POIROT: But you were the one who talked to those kids, keeping them in the station house with your endless stories about Thomas and all his British train friends!
CONDUCTOR: It wasn’t just me! There was amazing turnover in that job!
POIROT: That’s when they transferred you to the Polar Express.
CONDUCTOR: How am I supposed to survive on this? It only runs once a year!
POIROT: Which is why you pilfered the toys!
CONDUCTOR: They took my pension! My overtime! How else was I supposed to support my gambling problem?
POIROT: From a comfortable cell, now. Arrest this man!
KID 1: Who? We’re just a bunch of kids.
KID 2: Is there any type of security on this train?
KID 3: Even the Hogwart’s Express has adult supervision!
(Conductor quickly looks around and dashes off, scott-free.)
POIROT: Foolish man, he cannot escape from a moving train.
KID 3: We’re been stopped for 20 minutes now. Caribou.
POIROT: Nevertheless, another Chris-mystery solved by Detective Poirot!
KID 1: Hey, the conductor had my golden ticket!
POIROT: Shut up, Charlie.