Part 50: Martin Summer
This won't take too long.
What is it?
Look, I'm just an average Joe. A salesman who doesn't spend time reading, you know? But talking with you, a guy who's written a best seller, got me to thinking... What's it like to write a book? To have strangers know you and all that jazz? So I was hoping you could fill me in on a couple of things. Like, how do you write a best seller? Stuff like that?
How does one write a best-selling novel? Is that what you are asking me?
Yeah! I mean, you wrote The Secret Word, and everybody read it, right? So teach me. Tell me how to come up with a story that everyone loves.
I love what Kyle is doing here. If Martin's a faker then Kyle can reveal it. If he's not then Kyle got an easy road to fame.
Oh ho ho! My dear man, the essence of a novel is not something so easily distilled.
C'mon, Summer. I ain't asking how to turn lead into gold. I just want a few pointers so I can take a stab at this writing gig myself.
Wait, hold on.
But if you can do it...
I guess I got the idea after seeing that notebook.
Yeah, the old notebook that got delivered to me by mistake. That was the manuscript for your novel, right? I mean, it looked like the same story to me, but what do I know?
So anyway, that's how you get started writing a book, right?
Yeah. I did.
And you know what else?
There's something odd about it. The handwriting in the notebook? Not yours.
Give it up.
The handwriting inside didn't look anything like your signature. Maybe you...I don't know... dictated your story to someone?
This...this conversation is beyond the pale, sir! Beyond the pale indeed!
And you know what else?
See, I can't get that pen out of my head.
Your name's not Alan!
You told me that your real name is Alan. You're a liar. Your name's no more Alan than mine is.
What did you say?!
Martin Summer's not your pen name, it's the one your mother gave you.
What's the problem? It's a simple question. I don't see why this is so hard for you.
You...you don't understand. You CAN'T understand!
There are so many steps in producing a work of art, so many...
Music: On the Rocks
Why are you so angry?
Let me take a wild guess here, Shakespeare. I think I know why you're so bent over my looking at your notebook.
Obviously bad handwriting wouldn't elicit that big of a reaction.
It exposes you!
It's because there's a secret hidden inside. And there's something else that doesn't add up, too. If it's your notebook, why did you send it to yourself?
Well, I... I didn't.
Who sent the notebook?
Who mailed you the notebook?
This whole thing reeks to high heaven.
What're you hiding?
Who wrote the novel?
The author of the story in the notebook?
It isn't you, liar!
It ain't you.
I wrote every word in that notebook! It's a true labor of love!
That didn't go so well. Let's try the other option.
C'mon. Who really did it?
Who is it?
Could it be anyone else?
Both choices coverge here.
Music: Easy Feeling
Mr. Hyde, on what do you base your assertion? How can you claim that I am not the author of the notebook?
Do you have some proof to back your presposterous proclamation? If you do, then I must insist that you present it at once!
All right. You want proof? I think I can come up with something.
Give me your autograph.
I hardly think this is the time to-
Close your head and sign. And make it your real name. Got me?
My real name?
Sign here. Use that fancy pen of yours.
I open my notebook and hand it to Summer.
If... If you insist. I must say, Mr. Hyde, you are being most disagreeable.
Summer signs the notebook.
I hope this will satisfy your mad request!
Yeah, that'll do.
Now show me your old notebook.
I beg your pardon?
Your real name's gotta be written in the old notebook, right? I'm going to compare the signatures.
Mr. Hyde! That's... That's...
Now we have to play spot the difference, except Rosa already told us the solution. It's a coincidence both "Summer" and "Parker" have "e-r".
The circles have to be drawn manually.
There's no way you wrote the story in this notebook. Look at the "er." That's not how you write them. Not even close.
Music: On the Rocks
That last question hasn't actually been answered yet.
Who wrote the novel?
The author of the story in the notebook? It wasn't you!
So who actually wrote it?
Was it Alan?
How do you know Alan?
What's the connection between you and Alan?
What's the problem?
Enough! Who are you?
Who hired you? Was it the publishing company? Or was it that treacherous Dan fellow?
What're you babbling about? I don't work for any publisher, and I don't know anyone named Dan.
Don't lie to me! Someone must have sent you! Do not think to treat me like a common fool! I am not a stupid man! Do you truly think to extort more money from me? It will not stand, sir! It will not!
Hey, calm down. You're getting all worked up for nothing.
I'm not a private eye. I'm not a hired thug. I'm just a salesman who happened to run into you in this hotel.
But...but you discovered it...
Looks like it. The question is, which secret?
The fact that your debut novel was written by somebody else? Or that someone found out and is blackmailing you?
You got two secrets, and now I know 'em both. That about cover it, or you got more skeletons rattling around in your closet?
Mr. Hyde, I must ask you again. Who are you?
Like I said, pal. Just a salesman.
Then why are you going to expose my secrets?
That's not my plan. There's nothing in it for me.
And blackmail's a dangerous game that I won't play. I just want the truth.
The truth is something I fear, lest it be discovered and exposed to all. It haunts me, and has kept me from even one restful night these past ten years.
Mr. Hyde... If I could take the secrets I've kept hidden away in my soul... If for one moment I could share them with another human being...
It might not be too late. I might yet be able to make a fresh start.
Please, Mr. Hyde, would you do me the favor of hearing my sad, ponderous tale?
When I was young, I wanted nothing more than to be a novelist. Upon graduating university, I found work writing for a small magazine. I reported local news by day and chased my dream every other waking moment. And yet, as the years slipped by, I realized I was failing... and fading. I was incapable. I had no muse to guide me, no words would come, I... I... I prepared to let my dream wither and die. But it was at that moment, my darkest hour, that I met Alan.
Guy who owns the pen.
That's correct. Alan, he... He was my friend.
We frequented the same cafe and knew each other's faces well. One day we struck up a conversation, and soon after became fast friends. Our lives were very strikingly similar. We were the same age, for one. In addition, we were both reporters, and we had both been raised by our fathers. The thing that surprised me most was discovering Alan's dream for the future. As you may have surmised, Alan, too, longed to become a novelist. And yet... Although we shared many similarities, there was one aspect where we differed. Alan had not abandoned his dream. In fact, he was totally consumed by it. He pursued the craft with a fervor and desire I could only faintly recall. Moreover, he was a man of immense talent.
For some reason, I simply did not wish to speak to him of that.
So Alan knew nothing of my impotent ambitions, and one day he... He gave to me a manuscript that was to be his entry in a writing contest.
Humbled by his trust, I gave it my full attention, reading it all in a single night. It was...amazing. A work of singular power and beauty. Alan had actually done it.
He had created a snare of prose and passion with which to capture his dream.
I couldn't think. I was drained, empty, filled with jealousy and rage and...
And into this dark void an even blacker thought was born.
If only the manuscript was mine... If it were mine, my forsaken dream might yet come to fruition.
It was like being part of a waking dream, where the actions were not my own.
I took it home, typed it up, and submitted it under my own name. As you know, the book was named the winner, and I was a novelist.
And Alan? What happened to him?
Alan has been betrayed by his only friend.
He disappeared. Vanishing one day without a trace.
Oh, how I have searched for him these past ten years.
And yet, I am no closer to finding him than I was when I started.
Music: Violet Sky
Mr. Hyde, I became a novelist by stealing Alan's work, but... I do not possess his talent. Each book I write is poorer than the one before... And then...the unthinkable. My assistant, Dan, found Alan's purloined notebook.
So you paid Dan off and he sent you the notebook. That it?
...Yes, it is.
So why'd you choose this hotel to take care of your transaction?
That, at least, is a question I can answer quite easily. I had heard of this hotel from Alan. He told me that Hotel Dusk was a special place to him. He said something very important happened to him here.
Something important, huh?
Alan mentioned it to me but once.
Whatever it was, I could see how he treasured and safeguarded it.
Yeah, I'd treasure this rathole, too.
Mr. Hyde, I...
Can it. I'm done with you. I'll see you around.
(Wonder what his buddy Alan's up to now. And what was the memory he told me about? What in the hell happened here? How many secrets does this place have? Starting to get on my nerves. C'mon, Hyde... Think...)
(All right, hold on. I gotta get all this straight in my head.)
What are you looking at?
Desist! What are you writing?
By the way, there's 2 things I learned:
1. We can pick up all the items we just stashed in the suitcase and toolbox. So pretend I did that offscreen.
2. Starting from this one, there's new responses to items during confrontations. I checked; all the earlier ones don't have them.
I've no need to see your pager, Mr. Hyde. It's an affront to my sensibilities.
Show room 215 key
Yes, yes, I have a key just like that. But that's neither here nor there, is it?
Show order sheet
You chastised me for looking at that earlier, sir. I will NOT suffer that fate again.
Show men's magazine
A recent issue of Va-Voom! Have you read the article on...um...well, yes...
I have money of my own, Mr. Hyde. I've no need of your charity.
Show old photo
Is this a photo of your family, Mr. Hyde? Thank you for sharing it with me.
Show potato chips
Please, Mr. Hyde, stop showing me your snacks. I've no interest in your layman's diet.
Show chocolate bar
Chocolate? Not now, my good man! I'm saving my appetite for more of Rosa's cooking.
Are you threatening me, sir? I must warn you, I will not go down without a fight.
Show room 217 key
Room 217? That's not your room, Mr. Hyde. What sort of mischief are you up to?