Episode 9 of Mice & Murder, proceed at your own risk.
|Episodes Featuring Squire Badger|
|Mice & Murder
Squire Brockhollow is a tall and gruff elderly badger, who takes pride in his birthright and the social etiquette of high standing British society. He is the father of Jeremy and Constance Brockhollow, and brother to Lucretia Brockhollow.
After the death of one of his employees, Connor McCabbage, in the summer of 1905, Squire Badger hired Detective Sylvester Cross to investigate on suspicions of foul play. However, Sylvester was unable to come up with sufficient evidence, and the death was ruled an accident due to negligence. Even though Sylvester does not guarantee results, this was his first case he could not crack, and so Brockhollow requested not a refund, but his presence at his 60th birthday party on the evening of October 4, in an attempt to improve his own image. Sylvester's partner and roommate, Lars Vandenchomp, RSVP'd, much to Sylvester's dismay.
Buckster $ Boyd, an oil tycoon from Texas and owner of BB Industries, of which Brockhollow owned 50% shares, was also invited, as he claimed he needed to speak with Brockhollow in person for a unique deal. Buckster's "deal" involved blackmail in an attempt to get him to surrender his shares, but little did Buckster know that the Squire already had plans in the works to sell his shares to another shareholder, Hazel Hogswollop. While Hazel is not his biggest competitor, she named Josiah Jackrabbit, who is, as a proxy vote. Prior to his birthday party, the Squire has all the necessary paperwork drawn up and signed.
Sometime prior to the party, the Squire personally hired Gangie Green, a career criminal, as the groundskeeper at Loam Hall. Exploiting Gangie's other job as the gravedigger at Our Lady of Prayerful Paws, the Squire provided him with a list of bodies to exhume— names of deceased citizens buried at the Prayerful Paws cemetery. The night before the party, Gangie dug up the last name on the list, an elderly ram, and reported back to Loam Hall.
When Buckster, accompanied by his business partner, Daisy D'umpstaire, and his accountant, Armond Armadillo, arrive in the Village of Tufting Meadows, the Squire's chauffeur, Templeton Padhop, is there to meet them and informs them that he's been sent by the Squire to personally escort them to Loam Hall.
Shortly after the arrival of the rest of the Sylvan Sleuths, Brockhollow's butler, Thomas Gilfoyle, announces that the guests should move into the Ballroom, at the behest of the Squire, who wishes to commence festivities. As everyone files in, he encounters Sylvester for the first time that night, and the two exchange some unpleasant pleasantries about Sylvester's journey from London.
Brockhollow steps up to the dais and addresses the room with a short speech. He thanks his guests for coming and laments that the detective couldn't solve the case. As retribution, he announces a donation to Our Lady of Prayerful Paws in the sum of £150,000, and thanks Vicar Ian Prescott for his presence at the party. His daughter, Constance, steps up to read the thank you letter that was sent from the Cardinal of the church, but the Squire stops her, claiming he doesn't want to publicize the praise he received.
At the end of the speech, before the rest of the party disperses, Sylvester steps up to announce the return of Brockhollow's investigation fee. Lars attempts to intimidate him as he hands the money over, but the Squire is not so easily shaken.
Brockhollow confronts Sylvester at the bar for upstaging him, mistaking his melancholy attitude at seeing his former fiancée, Daisy, as a moment of weakness. He warns Sylvester that he doesn't like surprises, and although his celebrity might give him a public shield, Brockhollow isn't afraid of retaliating. Sylvester simply quips back that if he didn't want his nose rubbed through the mud, "he better move his nose". Buckster approaches Sylvester after this confrontation, and they come to an agreement to stir up some bad publicity for the Squire.
As Brockhollow moves throughout the party with his old war buddy, Colonel James Hawkins, and the Ladies Tabitha and Calliope Fawnbrook, he is intercepted by Vicar Prescott, who confronts him about his sizable donation to the church. They trade brief insults— Squire Badger about the Vicar's letters to the London newspaper, the Vicar about the Squire's absence in church— before the Vicar finally calls into question the allegedly "altruistic" motives surrounding the donation. Angered, Brockhollow threatens the Vicar with the contents of the Cardinal's thank you letter: their conversation concluding that the Vicar would be transferred to another parish in Siberia.
Brockhollow continues up to the Leisure Room with Col. Hawkins, where he summons Buckster for their private meeting. Unbeknownst to them, their meeting is overheard by two maids, Edwina Thimble and Carolyn Dickory, who'd been playing hooky when the Squire walked in and were now hiding behind some decorative curtains. Buckster reveals that the business deal he had mind was blackmail, intending to strongarm Brockhollow into handing over his shares of BB Industries. Infuriated, the Squire flips a poker table and calls Buckster and his father commoners with little sense. With a rage literally bleeding into his eyes, he quickly paces up to Buckster and shoves him to the ground. As his temper recedes, he flees the room. Several of the guests at the party are able to overhear this confrontation through the manor's extensive ventilation system.
Upset at his conversation with Buckster, Brockhollow decides to put into motion his plan to sell his shares to Hazel Hogswollop, despite the incredible loss it would net him. He draws up a legal notice and gives it to his valet, Ambrose Harding, to deliver after dinner.
At dinner, the Squire barely eats. Constance makes a short speech in praise of him and says that she loves him, despite their occasional disagreements. However, shortly after dinner, the two retreat to the Study, where another argument is soon overheard. Constance calls her father possessed, claims whatever he's just told her will never work, and storms out of the room, slamming the door. Matilda Molesly, the housekeeper at Loam Hall and Squire's old nanny, approaches him to ask if he's alright, as she noticed that he hadn't eaten at dinner. He pulls her into the Study.
The storm that had been brewing over Loam Hall finally breaks— a flash of lightning strikes a tower at the top of the hill, and the power goes out. A scream is heard, something drops, and a door slams. Rushing to the Study, they find Mrs. Molesly standing over the dead body of Squire Badger with his blood on her hands. He holds a dagger, and she claims that she'd watched him prod into his chest with it herself.