Deadly Eclipse

By Adam Seirafi

Dr. David Black has invited his six closest friends to join him for a night of feasting and stargazing, in honor of the Standing Eclipse. When legend turns into fact and superstition changes to reality, the only outcome is disaster...

The great Hall of Tudor Close is one of the most remarkable rooms of the mansion. The gray-hued marble floor reflects the light from the blazing fireplace and the large gold chandelier in a way that reminds one of a beautiful sunset. Aristocratic portraits of ancestors, lords, and ladies adorn the pale blue walls. And an ornate, gold-leafed table lies in the middle of the room on top of a Persian rug.

"Oh my..." Dr. Black muttered as a speeding, crimson Ferrari swerved into Tudor Close's gated pathway. After almost hitting a statue of a stone lion, the speeding vehicle screeched to a stop. As Dr. Black opened the large, oak doors, he stopped for a moment, and saw a long, slender leg emerge from the car; then a hand with long, blood red fingernails. Dr. Black took the manicured hand and helped out a gorgeous and seductive young woman.
"Hello David," she said smiling coquettishly.
"You look lovely, as usual Vivienne," he replied trying to sound unaffected by her charm. Miss Scarlett and Dr. Black walked through the entrance of the Hall. "Let me help you with your coat." As he removed her taffeta over garment, a stunning backless ensemble was revealed
"Thank you." Miss Scarlett noticed a length of sturdy rope on the top shelf of the large wardrobe.
"The other's are in the Lounge, I'll join you shortly."
Vivienne nodded as she walked through the Hall. She absently thought of how expensive her newest pair of designer heels cost, which she had just bought that day. If she only knew what she and the other guests would be involved in later that night...

The Lounge is a luxurious place of relaxation and conversation. No guest can resist sitting on the Doctor's large, comfortable couches and arm chairs, with a view of the large fireplace in front of them. As decorative pieces, a few oil paintings dot the walls, along with a large, Victorian clock. The large wall-height windows keep the room lit during the day, but at night heavy cream-colored drapes keep the fire light in.

Mrs. White and the Reverend talked to each other on one of the large couches; while Mrs. Peacock and Colonel Mustard sat quietly on the opposite side of the room. Professor Plum sat quietly on an armchair near the fire. As Miss Scarlett entered the room, the Colonel's already concerned face became even more worried.
"Hm-m! Let me get up Miss Scarlett so you can have a seat here," he said hoarse at first. She smiled and gave him a wink, then sat down next to her stepmother. Mrs. Peacock looked wonderfully elegant as usual, wearing a royal blue, silk gown, with a long multihued train in the back; her fingers and wrists set with the rarest and finest jewels. Mrs. Peacock at first looked speechless, but then just sat there thinking. Presently Dr. Black entered and cleared his throat; everyone looked up. Dr. Black always looked nice at his gatherings; he wore a completely black tuxedo, glimmering diamond cuff links and matching diamond button studs all the way up his shirt.
"My fellow friends, I hope you enjoy tonight's little gathering, and even more so, what I have planned for you all after dinner." He stopped for a moment, and smiled slyly. "Tonight, as some of you may know, is the Standing Eclipse, which is renowned by astronomers for it's length of lunar coverage. By legend it is said to make the guilty redeemed and the secretive exposed. The Crastonian people were said to believe in this superstition and would have a great celebration in honor of the eclipse; as well as a ceremony to wash away hidden secrets and debts unpaid. A once in a lifetime experience of seeing this solar phenomenon will happen tonight. I will expect all of you to join me, for a night of looking at the stars... and redemption."
"Excuse me sir." Hogarth the butler entered the Lounge. "Sir, there’s a call for you in the Study from a reporter with the ‘London Gazette’. You have also received quite a few faxes from the bank."
"Thank you, Hogarth. You may leave." Dr. Black turned back to his newly worried guests. "Excuse me while I take this call." he said with a sinister smile then departed.
Everyone was speechless. Not being able to take the uneasiness any longer Colonel Mustard asked the Professor for a game of Billiards and Mrs. White and Reverend Green left for a glass of wine in the Kitchen, leaving Mrs. Peacock and Miss Scarlett sitting in silence on the sofa.
"I wonder what he could mean, mother," Vivienne said trying to sound disinterested.
"I am really not sure Vivienne; but I think you know something about it." Mrs. Peacock replied sternly. Miss Scarlett just smirked. "How on earth did you get that car, Vivienne? Wasting money as usual on pointless things, I see." Miss Scarlett pulled a shiny, tortoise shell handled nail file out of her small purse, and started to file her nails. "I asked you a question!"
"I bought it..." she replied still concentrating on filing.
"I'm not stupid Vivienne! I realize you bought it. But where did you get the money to buy the thing? Certainly not from me, I'd never-"
"You'd never what, mother?" Vivienne interrupted angrily. "You'd never give me the money my father left for me, which is rightfully mine? You'd never let me live life like a normal human being? You'd never stop sucking my father dry of everything he has, even after he has been dead for over ten years!" Mrs. Peacock slapped her.
"How dare you speak to me that way!" Mrs. Peacock yelled. But suddenly she was the quiet one. Miss Scarlett grabbed the nail file and pointed it at her face.
"If you ever touch me again, I promise you I'll-I'll!-" Miss Scarlett jumped up, slammed the nail file into the coffee-table in front of them and stormed out of the room. Mrs. Peacock sat there for a minute thinking angrily. She then abruptly stood up, grabbed the embedded nail file from out of the table, and departed.

As you walk into the Kitchen you get a burst of the delicious scents of pastries and cakes. Every tile sparkles, along with the pots and pans hanging above the large, old-fashioned oven and stove. Every piece of china and silver is carefully placed in their own compartment. A bulky chopping table has the remnants of tonight's meal piled neatly in a corner and a large rust colored rug lies in front of the entrance.

Inside Reverend Green stood sipping a glass of Shiraz alongside Mrs. White who had managed to find a good whisky to drink. They were in deep conversation.
"Jonathan, what are we going to do?" Mrs. White said nervously fondling the counterfeit Cameo brooch she wore near her neck. Mrs. White was a humble dresser, but seemed proud of her modest ways. That night she wore a simple white frock with a black paisley design. The Reverend took another sip of his wine. The balding Reverend always appeared grim. He wore a plain olive sports coat and had a pure, white, clergyman’s dog collar pressed to perfection, beneath his collar. The only eye-catching thing about him was the shiny ring he wore on his little finger.
"I still can not figure out why he is doing this to us..." the Reverend seemed very concerned.
"I know. That's just it... There's no reasoning with David ... He's completely made of stone!"
"Blanche..." the Reverend started to shake with anger. "It just infuriates me to think about him! Horrible, horrible thoughts come to my head! Oh God, forgive me!" With all the excitement, Reverend Green accidentally spilt his glass of wine all over the tile floor. "Oh no! I'm so clumsy!" The Reverend was now hysterical.
"Oh Jonathan no need to worry." Mrs. White began looking through some drawers. "Let me find some towels to clean this up."
"Blanche you're so kind. Thank you."
"No need to be so appreciative!" She said warmly with a dismissive hand gesture, while still looking through a cabinet under the sink. But then suddenly her facial expression changed.
"What is it, Blanche? Are you all right" The Reverend went over to see what was the matter and noticed Mrs. White holding a small bottle labeled 'RAT POISON'.
She regained her composure. "Oh... Everything's fine. How strange. I wonder what this is doing down here." She put the bottle on the counter. But everything was not fine. The Reverend wasn't the only guest having murderous thoughts. Blanche had been worrying about the loan she too had received from Dr. Black. She had always wanted a little, retirement cottage of her own, but never had the heart to ask Mrs. Peacock for help. But now the Doctor was going back on his word. How could he? she thought. "Ah, here we go, some paper towels." She leaned over to clean the spilt wine.
The Reverend eyed the small bottle. "Thank you Blanche. I think I may go ahead into the Dining Room and admire some of the antiquities." With that Reverend Green left the Kitchen.

In the Billiard Room you can find an assortment of heroic trophies on display. Rare animal heads and collections of deadly weapons adorn the smoky, wood paneled room. Near some windows is a large, intricate billiard table rumored to have been given to the manor's former masters by King Louie himself! A set of velvet settees lies against the other wall; and a unique fireplace keeps the room dimly lit, and warm.

Inside Colonel Mustard and Professor Plum were playing a game of billiards. The Colonel was two balls away from winning.
"Come on Peter! You're making this too easy for me!" he laughed and hit another ball into one of the holes. The Colonel was a dashing man with light hair and a tall, large stature. His dressing was as impeccable as he looked. He wore a chic black sports coat with golden button studs and a dark yellow cummerbund that matched his bowtie and hair.
Professor Plum didn't laugh at the Colonel's jokes. He was in deep thought and was not much into their game. Tonight he wore a plum colored tuxedo and a quaint, little, pink flower in his left buttonhole. His shoes were of good quality, but his socks didn't match and his usually kept up hair looked quite shabby. I can't believe it, I just can't! The Professor thought angrily. All my research will be washed down the drain... All my hard work, obliterated! Why on earth did the mongrel even help me in the first place?
"Wow! That was quite a scratch, my boy!" The Colonel interrupted Professor Plum's thoughts.
"Oh.. Erm.. Yes, I know..."
"Peter?... Is something the matter? You seem very thoughtful tonight." The Colonel laughed in his mind. The Professor never could handle much pressure, if any at all! But Black... Black has to be dealt with... No one threatens me! I can't believe old Lucky didn't pull through! The fool, thinking he can intimidate me... But if Elizabeth ever found out... Everything would be ruined... I have to stop him! Suddenly his mind moved to the open Billiard Room door as a quick flash of red passed by. Vivienne... "If you'll excuse me Peter, I have to... See something in the Ballroom."
"Alright... I have some business to take care of myself." With that the Colonel and Professor departed.

The Study, covered with dark oak, is kept in darkness by its heavy burgundy drapes. A large armchair sits in front of the fireplace and several bookcases lie against the walls. Dr. Black's intricate, ash desk is placed between the two wall height windows. A couple of the glass topped display boxes found here contain beautifully colored butterflies and moths, while the others flaunt ancient gold coins, and valuable, antique, surgical instruments.

The Professor hurriedly walked to the Study, and burst through the door. Dr. Black was sitting at his desk and was casually talking to someone on the phone, while looking through some business letters. One of the drawers was open and 'CONFIDENTIAL' documents could be easily seen. "Oh- hello, Peter." Dr. Black said after a few seconds of ignoring his visitor.
"Black, I need to have a word with you," Professor Plum said angrily.
"I'll have to call you back... Yes, soon." Dr. Black said into the phone, and then hung up.
"Just tell me - what on earth do you think you’re doing, Black? Investing, then taking back all the donations you've given to me. Why are you doing this?" Professor Plum was seething with anger.
Dr. Black finally looked him in the eye, with a patronizing smile on his face. "Well my friend, a man does need to look into his future, doesn't he? And I'm sure you were well aware it was just a loan."
"Don't give me that! You couldn’t care less about the small amount of money you've given me! Please, don't do this! My work will be ruined! Just give me a few more weeks to pay it back, I promise-"
"I'm sorry, Peter. A deal's a deal. And I've already made all the arrangements. I just have to go and sign for it on Monday, and all my money will be back in my pocket." He laughed and started to get up.
"Not if I can do anything about it!"
Dr. Black just smiled, walked past the Professor, and headed out the door. The Professor was enraged. He threw open the half ajar drawer and tossed the visible papers behind him, thus revealing something which caught his eye.

The most beautiful room of the manor is Tudor Close's large Victorian Ballroom. From its large, white stone fireplace, engraved with every Roman god and goddess ever known; to its spectacular grand piano, which is set off to one side of the large bay windows; but most mesmerizing of all is how the walls are covered with imported, Italian mirrors. Plush armchairs sit in the corners of the room and a set of majestic love seats sit in front of the fireplace.

Inside Miss Scarlett and Colonel Mustard embrace in front of the fire in a passionate moment of lust..
Miss Scarlett moved back for a breath of air. "Mike, we have to do something, soon!"
"I know Viv, I know..."
"Either would be fine - they'd both solve everything! You have to do this for me, for us, for our love and future together!"
"I-I don't know... Killing Elizabeth... I don’t think..."
" If you- I mean we, finally got rid of her, once and for all, we'd have all my money to ourselves- and hers! The old hag is bound to die sooner or later! Too bad, my newest buy didn't give her a heart attack..." She paused. "Well fine. David has to go then... He's too much of a threat to our plans." She paused for another moment. "Yes, Mike... You must do something about David. He's just too dangerous to live." She cooed, rubbing her hands across his chest. He backed away.
"Let me try to talk some sense into Black first. And if that doesn't work..."
"You'll kill the wretched beast! Like I said." She leaned over close into his face. "Everything will be fine, Mike. You'll see... Just do as I say... and everything will be fine..." They embraced and kissed once more. Miss Scarlett thought while still in a romantic position with the Colonel: David had better not try anything tricky... For his own sake...

The tropical Conservatory has always been known for its exotic beauty and rich aromas. The large flowerbeds are filled with rare and extravagant blooming flora, acquired from Dr. Black's many trips abroad. The glass-topped roof lets the moonbeams and starlight reflect upon the waters of the gushing fountain. And a set of lush, purple-cushioned, wicker chairs surround a table near one of the mosaic-covered walls.

Mrs. Peacock had just entered the Conservatory, her right hand clenched tightly. She leaned over the table, putting her weight against it with both her hands, trying to calm herself. Why is this happening to me? She couldn’t take it anymore. She collapsed into one of the cushioned chairs. She buried her face in her hands and began to sob. I have to do something... Stop it! Pull yourself together! She dabbed her eyes with a lace handkerchief and left the room.

One of the grandest of all English Libraries belonged to Tudor Close. Every wall is covered in bookcases, filled with journals and reports on rare diseases, foreign lands, and ancient cultures. The large, stone fireplace stands in front of two very large, deep-red, armchairs, along with a huge globe set in one of the corners. In the center of the dark wood floor, lies a massive medieval table, with two matching Gothic chairs on either side.

Inside sat the Professor, glaring at the deadly object in his hand. Something has to be done, he thought. Black must be stopped... Before it's too late... The Professor grimaced, as he grabbed the revolver and cocked the trigger, ready to fire. Just as he got up, Mrs. White opened one of the Library's closed doors and came in. The Professor quickly hid the object behind his back, and greeted her.
"Why hello, Peter. I just came in to tell you that, I have been told, dinner is almost ready, and we are all heading towards the Dining Room now." She smiled, and pretended not to show that she could plainly see what he was trying to hide behind his back.
"Aw, Blanche, we won't be treated with your delicious cooking tonight?" He said trying to seem less jittery.
"No, not tonight, Professor. But I believe the soufflé is my recipe!"
"Oh my! I can not wait!" the Professor said, trying to sound excited.
Mrs. White looked admiringly at one of the large marble busts sitting atop the mantelpiece. "Well I think I'll head out and see if I can get a preview of tonight's meal, in the Dining Room." The Professor smiled and left the Library. On his way out of the door, he accidentally dropped the shiny weapon, when trying to sneak it into his pocket. Mrs. White went over and picked it up. I'm obviously not the only one in trouble, she thought to herself. She placed the revolver onto the table, and headed over to the fireplace. How beautiful, she thought, gently touching the side of the bust. As soon as she did, she saw Dr. Black go by the Library door. It's him! she thought, and grabbed the bust by its base and headed after him.

Mrs. Peacock had just entered the Study, holding one of the silver candlesticks by her side, which she had just taken from the Dining Room. After realizing the Doctor wasn't there, she placed the candlestick atop his desk and sat down. "His files!" she exclaimed after seeing his documents scattered on the floor. She picked them up, and sat down nervously, looking for what he had in store for her and her secret.

Tudor Close's large Dining Room is definitely a sight to see. Atop the high domed ceiling stands a large mural, depicting the sad story of a hero and his beloved nymph's death. The impressive polished dining table reflects the sunlight from the long windows, as well as the more artistic crystal chandelier. Along with the matching, silk-cushioned chairs stand ornate vases and artifacts from the Orient.

Inside, the Reverend stood looking out of the windows, while Professor Plum sat in a corner looking at a bejeweled, ivory figurine. "It is quite amazing what we will be witnessing tonight. Don’t you think?" said Professor Plum abruptly, causing the Reverend to jump a little.
"Oh! Yes... Yes, quite so."
"David told us about the ancient beliefs of the nomadic Crastonians... I am not a man of superstition, Reverend, but I am finding there might be some truth to the matter..." The vicar looked away. "Black loaned me some money for my research on the Standing Eclipse. He says he has changed his mind and is going to take back all the loans on Monday."
"Oh no! You can't be serious?!" The Reverend’s speculations were correct.
"Yes, I'm afraid I'm quite serious..."
"He gave me a loan as well" Reverend Green finally spat out. "For my chapel... I cannot pay him back, right now. Work has already gone underway..."
"Hmm..." Professor Plum walked closer to the vicar. "You know, Jon... perhaps the prophecy is true... ‘Those who have sinned will get their just rewards...’ Maybe Black will get what he deserves, as well..."
Reverend Green stood for a moment, uneasy by the Professor’s revelations. He was in deep thought. I cannot let this happen... Oh Lord, please forgive me... The Reverend put his hand in his pocket, and felt the cold bottle in his hand.

Dr. Black had just walked into the Kitchen well aware that Blanche was following him.
"Dr. Black. Dr. Black!"
"Why, hello Blanche. You seem to be joining me for a before dinner drink, I see."
"No. Not quite." she said with spite in every breath. "Why?..."
"Why what Blanche?" Dr. Black replied cheerfully, now sipping a glass of wine.
"Why are you doing this?" her grip tightened around the base of the marble bust. "Why are you going back on your word? The loan you've given me. For my own home!"
"Ah, I see now. Blanche is getting greedy now that she finally has a chance to have a little money of her own." Blanche gritted her teeth with anger, but he went on. "I'm sorry dear friend, but I've decided to pull out from all my investments into your pitiful lives."
Blanche was speechless. "How could you be so heartless? Of all people in this world! You, the son of the wealthy banker, shot by his insane wife! I cared for your mother- she depended on me for all those years! You depended on me! I tried best I could to make you forgot all the horrible things that happened in this house! David... I loved you... And this-this is how you repay me?"
"Blanche... you are a piece of work." Dr. Black said, still with a calm smile. He turned around and started walking towards the door.
"And you, David, deserve to die..." she uncovered the heavy bust from behind her, and approached the back of the Doctor. She clenched her teeth, and tightened her grip. She started to swing the object upwards, and right as it was about to slam down on his skull-
"Elizabeth, wait! It's not what you think!" Colonel Mustard was talking to someone in the corridor. Mrs. White quickly opened a large drawer and slipped the bust inside. The Doctor laughed as he left the room.
"Get away from me! Don't touch me!!" yelled Mrs. Peacock as she rushed into the Kitchen.
"Elizabeth, please!"
Mrs. White hurried to the door. "Colonel, dear, maybe you should leave us alone for a minute..." and with a sweet smile on her face, she closed the door. She hesitated and then went over to Mrs. Peacock who was standing near the sink, looking out the window.
"How could he?" Mrs. Peacock muttered.
"How could he what, madam?" Mrs. Peacock turned around and sneered.
"Oh Blanche don't be so stupid! It's quite obvious! Michael and Vivienne are having an affair!!" she quickly turned back towards the window again.
I'm stupid? You're the fool still putting up with the mess! Mrs. White thought to herself.
"If you don't mind me saying so, madam, maybe you should give Miss Vivienne the benefit of the doubt."
"HA! Vivienne... That girl has always caused trouble in my life! From the day I met William..." Mrs. White tried to think of something to say, that wouldn't cause Mrs. Peacock to become angrier.
"I'm sure Miss Vivienne isn't doing, whatever is going on, intentionally-"
"Oh yes she is! I can see it in her eyes. It pleasures her to see me ache and suffer. She enjoys torturing me like this."
"Well maybe Miss Vivienne would be a bit less..." Blanche tried to think of a better fitting word.
"Horrible?" Mrs. Peacock interrupted snidely, admiring the large, shiny, sapphire that sat on one of her slender fingers.
"I suppose... If you gave her a larger allowance... or maybe gave her a loan. Yes! She could-"
"You can't be serious! Vivienne, a loan! Please! The girl could never do anything in the least bit responsible, none the less pay back a loan!" Mrs. Peacock stopped as she realized how hypocritical her comment was. "Speaking of loans..." Mrs. White flinched. "Blanche, has David loaned you any money? Like he has me... and probably the rest of us?"
Mrs. White stood for a moment trying to think of how to explain. "Honestly... Yes, he has..."
"Whatever for?"
"Oh, it’s nothing, madam, really-" Luckily for Mrs. White, Elizabeth soon interrupted.
"Blanche? Now really!" Mrs. Peacock's tone was now more inviting. "You know, you can always come to me, when you need help! Don't ever hesitate!"
"Oh thank you madam, how kind of you."
Mrs. Peacock was still smiling fakely, and quickly made obvious she didn't honestly care about Blanche’s problems.
"Now Blanche, if you don't mind, let's head towards the Dining Room, I'm famished." They started to walk out of the Kitchen. "Oh yes! Blanche, dear, I'm dreadfully in need of a drink. Would you mind fetching me a good glass of Shiraz?" Mrs. Peacock was now fully composed.
"Of course." And with that Mrs. Peacock walked to the Dining Room, with Mrs. White following shortly after.

Dinner was delicious, the wine selection exquisite, but the atmosphere was almost unbearably uncomfortable.
"Yvette, tell Cook dinner was wonderful." Dr. Black dabbed his lips with a napkin and took one more sip of his wine. "If you all will excuse me." Dr. Black headed towards the door. "Remember, the eclipse will be starting in ten minutes. This experience, I am sure, will be one that is most unforgettable." And with that he left.
Mrs. Peacock excused herself; followed by Colonel Mustard and then Miss Scarlett.
"Blanche would you like to join me in the Ballroom shortly? I have to have a look at something in the Library for a moment."
"Of course, Jonathan." Mrs. White replied as she and the Reverend left as well.

Miss Scarlett followed Colonel Mustard into the Hall. She hurried past him and put herself in front of the other entrance, arms outstretched against the frame of the door.
"Don’t forget what we talked about, love..." she said, smiling slyly. The Colonel looked at her for a moment.

Mrs. Peacock was looking intently at the night sky through one of the large windows in the Lounge. Colonel Mustard rushed inside once he saw her.
"Elizabeth, darling, I love you! Please believe me! I-" Mrs. Peacock put her finger to his lips.
"Mike... Let’s just enjoy this moment together... Look at the sky... it's breath-taking." The brightness of the moon slowly began to disappear. The stars shone radiantly. The guests peered out of the various rooms, eyes glued to the sky. Tudor Close was engulfed by the thick cold darkness...

"Vicar, wasn’t that beautiful?" Mrs. White said dreamily, almost forgetting about her problems. The peacefulness was interrupted by a sharp scream.
Reverend Green and Mrs. White rushed out of the Ballroom to see what was happening. They found Miss Scarlett at the top of the cellar stairs.
Professor Plum came out of the Dining Room. Mrs. Peacock and the Colonel soon followed. "What on earth is going on?"
Miss Scarlett grabbed Mrs. White and buried her face against her soft shoulder. "Miss Vivienne, what happened? My dear, please tell me, what is wrong!"
The reverend slowly walked down the cellar stairs. There he found Dr. Black’s contorted and lifeless body.


Dr. Black has been murdered. Miss Scarlett discovered his body at the bottom of the cellar stairs (marked with an ‘X’ on the map).

Inspector Grey has been sent in to discover which of the six guests at the house that night killed him. But he's having problems and needs your help.

By clicking on the suspects’ pictures to the left, you can read their answers to the questions that Inspector Grey has posed them.

Click on the Weapons icon (top left) to see where the possible weapons were discovered and where they are usually kept.

Click on the Map icon (top right) to see the layout of Tudor Close.
NOTE: This will open as a separate window so that you can refer to it whenever you want.

Click on the "Murder Cards" icon to make a suggestion as to Whodunit, with What and Where. You will then be told how many you guessed correctly. Try and do this as few times as possible.

Click on the Book icon to bring you back to this story.

Click on the central "Cluedo" icon (or on the link below) to take you back to the main page.

Try to solve the mystery by reading as few of the testimonies as you can before you make a suggestion. If you get it wrong, go back to the testimonies and read a little more.

HINT: Cluedo is a game of deduction. Any of the six suspects at the house that night could be the killer. Try to work out who could have possibly done it, what weapons they had access to and where they (and Dr. Black) could have gone. All movements should be supported by the story, the testimonies or the items that people picked up during the evening.

Also, the locations of the weapons will help you invaluably. Try to work out how they got to where they ended up.

If you get REALLY stuck, there is a link to the solution through the "Murder Cards" section - but please only use this as a last resort.


© Adam Seirafi, 2004


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