Chapter 5

When we last left Rue Manor, Giles had received a call from the killer telling the guests to be at the stables in the morning. That’s where Ulysses and the horse he rode in on fell into a shallow grave. Five guests have perished. Their killer hides amongst those who remain hoping to claim $250,000. All the survivors have to do to collect their reward is find the killer before he or she finds them.

An outdoor morgue includes a post with a list of poisonous snakes. Ulysses has some punctures on his back that could be snakebites. Dana notices what looks to be a fang bite on the lower right calf. At the crime scene, a snake is found in the saddlebag that was on Ulysses’ horse. There’s a cage door that was rigged to a trip-wire that released a flock of birds that freaked out the horses.

The victim’s last known whereabouts were in the stables. This is a plus for Cris, as she grew up around barns. The horses were all named for Greek gods save one—Oleander. Sasha notices flowers near the horse’s home. Ronnie notices that someone has ground up flowers in a spitoon with a mortar and pestle, as does Cris. The guests pair off in their respective partnerships to share (and withhold) the information they’ve acquired. Then it comes time for the riddle.

The guests take off into the woods where they find puzzle maps where they must use pegs to see where the road takes them. Kam makes his way into a shack that’s filled with dozens of snakes. There’s a stool with a message that reads “place murder weapon here.” One by one, the other guests attempt to find the murder weapon. Cris finds a floorboard with two bloody nails attached, and it indeed turns out to be the murder weapon. That means her partnership with Kam and Lindsey is in good shape.

DING! DING! The bell rings. The time comes for the guests to state their cases. One by one they leave the campfire to address the killer in the stables. Giles lets the guests know that the killer has been impressed by Cris. She will live to see another day at Rue Manor. The killer ground up poisonous oleanders that were placed on the finishing nails. He or she used the wooden board with the nails to strike Ulysses in the leg releasing the deadly poison into his system.

Sasha, Dana and Geno all have reason to be scared. They are literally not out of the woods yet. The guests must hoof it back to Rue Manor on foot. The next morning, as everybody is waking up, Geno comes down the stairs to find the lifeless figures of Sasha and Dana by the piano. Has the killer suddenly upped the ante by killing two guests at once?