The Game is Afoot

game afoot headline

On the afternoon of August 21, 1924, residents of 328 Clay Street were terror stricken by weird noises emanating from a room on the second floor of the building. There were scuffling sounds and urgent whisperings – all of which sounded ominous enough to draw the attention of several residents in adjacent rooms. A few of the braver souls crept along the corridor until they were near enough to the room to hear voices.

328 Clay Street

A woman cried out “O, Henry! You wouldn’t do that! Oh, no! No! No! Henry, For God’s sake!” The woman then emitted a blood-curdling shriek which ended in a choking moan. The eavesdroppers shuddered.

 

The deep guttural voice of a man snarled “You lied, you she-devil. You lied and lied, but if I swing into hell for it, you’ll never leave here to lie again.”

 

As if mortally wounded, the woman wailed one last time. The hallway Sherlocks heard the sharp ring of metal a heartbeat later, as though a long steel knife had been flung to the floor.

 

The spooked tenants waited for a few seconds, then rushed to their telephones. Moments later in the captain’s office at Central Police Station, three phones rang in unison. After deciphering the frantic messages, police concluded that each caller was reporting a murder at 328 Clay Street.

 

Officer Voy K. Apt was dispatched immediately. With sirens blaring, the cop raced to the scene.  A group of frightened people waited on the building’s second floor landing, hoping that police would unravel the mystery of the crime committed through a closed door.

 

Revolver in hand, Apt was directed to a room at the rear of the building. He drew a deep breath and then burst through the door. The spectators waited for an all clear signal, but what they heard instead was “Well, I’ll be…!”   Awaiting the armed officer in the death chamber were members of a dramatic club rehearsing a murder scene – using a bread knife.