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Irving Ernstein and the Murder at Haddon Hall

In 2017-2018 I worked on Irving Ernstein and the Murder at Haddon Hall. This is an animation short, based on on a poem I had written.

As with other projects, I worked with creative artists Dan Lockhart, Charlotte Lilt and Gabor Fonyo on it. They lent their services and talent to the project and as a result, they own the rights to their creative inputs.

The poem is below.

Irving Ernstein and the Murder at Haddon Hall written by Shane Pillay
Something’s afoot at Haddon Hall
Something’s afoot indeed,
Somebody’s stalking somebody else
For gain, for goal, for greed.

Then in the night the master’s shot
While asleep in bed;
There’s blood on the sheets and on the floor
All soaked in deepest red.

The police come in, knowing well
That somebody did the crime;
The butler who stands by the door
Or the maid who sweeps the grime?

Maybe Jack who tends the garden hedge
Or Joan who cooks the grub
There’s Bill who guards the sheep all day
And Bess who does the scrub?

The Chief in Charge is at a loss
Not knowing what to do
Then somebody says, “I know a man
“Who’ll solve the crime for you!”

“Who is this man you know so well?”
Asks the Chief in Charge
“He is indeed,” answers another
“The greatest sleuth at large!”

Then in the morning, all cold and dull
This man comes to town
In the master’s room he goes
And exhumes with a frown.

“Bloody, bloody murder,” he says
“Bloody murder here”
Then: “Bring me a cup of tea,” to Joan
“Or maybe a cold, chilled beer!”

He speaks to Bill, who’s in the field
Minding all the sheep.
“But Bill,” he says when the man protests,
“Were you really fast asleep?”

Then to Bess who sweeps the yard
Looking fair and fine
This man is smitten and then he cries
“Tonight we shall dine!”
In the garden stands poor old Jack
His face all forlorn
This sleuth tries some comforting words
“I’ll find who did the wrong!”

Plump Joan is waiting in the kitchen
Together with the lunch
This man, he speaks and eats and speaks
Now does he have a hunch?

He calls them to the study room
When the night has come
The fire by the sooty hearth
Crackling with a hum.
The men, they stand while ladies sit
All at his request
Our friend leans on the mantelpiece
Dressed in Sunday best.

They look at him and he looks at them
His face is stern and long
Then with a solemn air he cries
“I know who did the wrong!”

Their eyes grow round and their eyes grow wide
Just as the rising sun
The sleuth, he frowns and then he sighs
Oh will he just go on?

“I searched the room,” He says at last
“to see what I could find
“high and low, far and wide
“Yet still I racked my mind.”

“But then I found a clue so big,
“Never seen before
“Incredible why it hadn’t been
“It lay there on the floor!”

“By the footing of the bed
“There lay a crumpled note
“Penciled in by the master’s hand
“And this is what he wrote.”

“My friends here at Haddon Hall
“Forgive me what I do
“I cannot live like this no more
“Alone and in gloom”

“And so it is with deep regret
“That I must take my life
“For now I know more than before
“I shall never have a wife.”

“So goodbye to everyone I know
“Who have meant so much to me
“I hope my passage here with you
“Is more than memory.”

“So you see,” says the man
“It was pure suicide
“He shot himself in his room
“On that fateful night.”

Everyone is aghast
They cannot believe this truth
But they trust the guiding words
Of the super sleuth.

A day goes by in the town
The murder case is closed
Irving Ernstein makes to go
He’s packed all his clothes.

They give their thanks for his help
And he can only smile
But if they looked deep within
They’d see his cunning wiles.

He planted the paper by the bed
And forged the captain’s scrawl
Imagined the tale long and sad
That told the master’s fall.

For it was he who killed the Sir
who lived in Haddon Hall
Then ran away into the night
With gold, jewels and all.