02x04 - Houdini Whodunnit?

[Man moaning with effort]

[Murmurs]

What the bloody hell...

Sir, you want to see this. The man is quite remarkable.

Murdoch, you're watching this? It's like some circus.

It's harmless, Sir. And the men seem to be enjoying it.

Do we know who the bloody hell he is?

Harry Houdini, King of Escape.

Inspector Thomas Brackenreid, King of Station 4.

I knew you were a clever man the moment I saw you.

Yes, well... yes. What can we do for you?

Actually, it's what I can do for you, Sir.

The Toronto Constabulary and guests are cordially invited to witness incredible feats performed by The Houdini Brothers.

Tonight at the Shaftsbury Theatre.

I suppose I could find the time.

I'm sure you'll find it most entertaining.

What next gentlemen?

Handcuffs!

[Applause]

What?

I'm not going to turn down the offer of a free show.

And neither are you.

You need to get out more. And so does Dr. Ogden.

All right.

[Whispers]

And now, Leopold, you must listen to Harry Houdini, think light thoughts... and float.

[Spectators]: Oh!

I wonder if he's employing the use of mirrors.

Oh William, don't ruin it.

[Spectators]: Oh!

He's very good.

Wait, what's this?!

[Spectators]: Oh!

Miss Ruby, the Temptress of Mystery.

Oh my goodness!

Yes, that is quite an entrance.

It certainly is.

[Acclamations]

Miss Ruby, will you lend a hand?

And now, good people, for the Houdini Brothers' greatest escape.

[Spectators]: Oh!

My brother has eleven minutes to escape from this vault or he will run out of oxygen and die. Starting... now!

[Exclamations of surprise]

[Applause]

[Exclamations of surprise]

[Whispers]

[Applause]

It's been nearly 11 minutes and still no sign of my brother.

He's not gonna make it.

Ladies and gentlemen!

[Whispers of surprises and admiration]

[Acclamation]

Hail the greatest escape artist of our time!

Help! Help!

The bank's been robbed and I think somebody's been killed.

And it was you who done it.

Walk this way sunshine because I want some answers!

We've got one dead man and an empty bank vault.

Plus an eyewitness who claims to have seen you fleeing the scene of the crime.

That is unfortunate, isn't it?

Extracting the Michael?

Excuse me?

Do you think you can make a fool of the Toronto Constabulary?

Dear Sir, to whom do you think you're speaking?

To the smart ass who pulled off tonight's bank robbery and killed a man.

You and probably that brother of yours.

But Sirs, you yourselves are witnesses to the fact that we were on stage the entire time.

Your brother was. To distract us I imagine, but you... you were missing.

For eleven minutes, Mr. Houdini, you were out of sight.

That was your idea all along.

To personally invite us to your little show while you slip next door and rob the bank vault.

I won't stand for such allegations.

Mr. Houdini, you still have to account for the fact that you were identified leaving the bank.

It wasn't me.

Where were you for those eleven minutes?

I will not divulge my secrets.

Oh yes you will!

You haven't a lick of proof or you'd have already arrested me. Am I right?

I'll say good evening, gentlemen.

I'm watching you, Harold.

Harry.

It's Harry Houdini.

Soon everyone will know my name.

Not for the reasons you'd like.

He did it all right.

With that brother of his. Right under our very noses.

But you know what galls me the most?

They invited us to the show so we could provide them with an alibi.

Sirs, the bank manager.

Edgar Simms.

Detective William Murdoch.

Inspector Thomas Brackenreid.

This is just impossible.

We installed a new vault 18 months ago.

It has a state-of-the-art mechanism.

Mechanism?

A time lock that secures the vault between the hours of 8 p.m. and 8 a.m.

The regular combination lock is useless during that period.

But someone did breach the vault.

They would have had to dynamite their way in, which is clearly not the case.

And on the biggest deposit day of the year.

How much was in there?

152 000 dollars.

Money...

It'll be my head for this, of course; that's nothing compared to the price poor Jonah paid.

Jonah?

Jonah Decker.

Detective Murdoch?

Excuse me.

It would appear the victim was killed by blunt force trauma to the head.

I'm fairly certain that his occipital bone is fractured.

So Mr. Decker was making his rounds and the burglar sapped him on the back of the head.

I'd like to take the body to the morgue now if that's all right.

Of course. Thank you.

Do you mind?

I usually only partake on the weekends.

But these are extenuating circumstances.

I'd say he's got 152 000 extenuating circumstances.

[Sighing]

I'm sorry our evening was cut short.

As am I.

Jules!

Give your sister a lift?

Detective William Murdoch meet Miss Ruby Ogden. My sister.

Younger sister.

It's a pleasure.

I thought it fun to surprise Jules with my little stage appearance.

Ruby, can we please put this Jules business to rest?

I'm not a thumb boy. Anymore.

You never told me you had a sister.

And in the theatre.

Well...

Actually, I'm a reporter.

But I believe that in order to get to the heart of any story, one must become part of the experience.

I decided to write about Harry Houdini.

So naturally you joined the show.

We really must be going. I have a post mortem to conduct.

Well, I suspect we shall see each other again, Miss Ogden.

Ruby. I'll make certain of it.

Good evening.

You're not happy to see me.

I thought you were still in India writing about that Raja.

That's old hat. I was drawn to London, met the most fascinating novelist: Herbert George Wells.

He became the subject of a series of articles.

And now the world is at his feet.

And I imagine, as usual, you became quite close with your subject?

That would be kissing and telling.

So now it's Houdini?

I thought he would make an interesting story, and after this evening even more so.

Well, how lucky for him.

It is, isn't it?

It's so good to see you, Jules.

We are going to have such fun.

What's this?

Playing with your toys, Murdoch?

It's a model of the bank.

Recreating the scene helps me visualizing the crime.

Well, you can forget that.

Because I've figured it out.

Oh?

Bank... theater.

Houdini escapes from the vault in mere seconds.

Exits through the side door, enters the bank, whacks Decker on the head, robs the vault, reenters the theatre, stashes the money, then reappears as if by magic.

But the theatre was thoroughly searched; no money was found.

Murdoch, the man's a magician.

He could have stashed the loot in some secret compartment in a magic trunk for all we know.

And what about the time lock?

He escaped from one vault, didn't he?

Sir, that vault was part of a stage show. Mere trickery and illusion.

So he knew how to bugger the time lock.

For your hypothesis to work, every minute detail of this plan would have had to have gone perfectly.

And it did! Look, I want one more crack at that little smart ass.

We'll have to keep an eye on this Houdini character.

He's got a sharp tongue on him.

Oh?

I don't think his tongue will be a problem, Sir.

Why is that?

What the bloody hell is he doing?

It's a lung capacity exercise. He's practicing for his new escape.

He's been in there for 2 minutes.

Two minutes?

Three minutes is his personal best.

Houdini, get your soggy ass out of there.

Please, Sir, he's trying to concentrate. He's mastering his body.

I'll master his body, all right. Now get him out!

Sir, you might want to see this.

Figured it out, have you me old mocker?

I believe so.

The walls of the vault are solid.

The floor however... is not.

So last night, your brother escaped from his chains quickly, slipped through that trap door and vanished beneath the stage floor.

2'58, 2'59, 3 minutes, Harry!

He's out of the vault in mere seconds and off to rob the bank.

Don't be ridiculous. My brother would never do such a thing.

Get him out now.

I think that's been long enough, Harry.

Harry? Harry?!

Oye, Houdini!

Something's wrong with the lad.

Harry!

Houdini!

Doctor...

Oh! William! Good grief!

You scared me to death.

Oh...

I apologize about my appearance. I'm short of staff...

It's quite all right.

I hope you're not here about Mr. Decker.

I've haven't had a chance to perform the post mortem yet for obvious reasons. But I will shortly.

I appreciate that. However, I'm here for a different reason.

Oh?

Yes.

Inspectors have the opinion that Mr. Houdini perpetrated the murder and the robbery.

Oh? You sound skeptical.

Yes, well, Mr. Houdini is very flamboyant as though he's performing on a stage at all times.

He's a born showman. That shouldn't make him a suspect.

No, it shouldn't.

However, he refuses to divulge where he was while the robbery was being committed. Allow me.

Further, as you already know, a witness claims to have seen Mr. Houdini fleeing the bank.

And what do you think, William?

The witness could be mistaken and Mr. Houdini could simply have been passing the time somewhere off stage as the robbery was being committed.

So it may just have been a coincidence.

It may or may not have.

Therefore I will need to interview everyone associated with the show including Miss Ruby.

I thought it only fair to tell you beforehand.

Yes. Well, thank you.

It's very good.

William?

Ruby may have well be brash and somewhat dramatic, but I assure you: she is not capable of murder.

I'm sure it will be a mere formality.

Good day, Doctor.

Good day.

[Houdini]: How does this sound? "King of the Fishes."

Or... or...

"Master of Water".

Yes. Yes, someone write that down.

I'll be writing you down for murder and robbery if you can't account for where you those 11 minutes you disappeared, sunshine.

Forget the 11 minutes, Sir!

I just went 3 minutes and 22 seconds without air.

Can you imagine the possibilities for underwater escapes?

A man died in that bank, and you're planning your next trick?

I am sorry that man died and that the bank was robbed, but I had nothing to do with either.

I am an artiste, not a confidence trickster.

Get your feet off!

I would never use my skills to brake the law.

I will, however, sometimes use those skills to illicit laughter.

That man is an arrogant little git.

You can't arrest him for that.

I know the flaws in our justice system.

What are you doing?

I'm curious as to how the bank robber entered the bank without triggering the alarm.

No, not "robber". Houdini.

I have an idea.

This should be good.

Butter.

Butter, George?

I believe he slathered himself in butter and slithered into the bank via the air vents.

Bloody hell, Crabtree, he wasn't covered in butter when he returned to the theatre, was he?

Good point, Inspector.

Actually, Sir, there might be something to what constable Crabtree is saying.

There might?

There is?

Not about the butter, George, the vents. Go on.

Yes, well I think he may have scaled the exterior wall, and then slipped through a small window into this 16-inch vent.

He then came along through this vent and emerged right next to the vault.

It's possible.

Well done. You could be onto something.

[Woman]: No he isn't.

Sweet...

Hello, Detective.

Miss Ruby?

A bit of help?

My coat?

Very kind. Thank you.

The dress was so bulky, I had to remove it.

For the experiment.

And what experiment would that be, Miss... ?

Ogden. Ruby Ogden.

Doctor Ogden's sister.

The naughty one, I presume.

I'll have you know that of the two Ogden sisters, I am the only one who has not been arrested.

Are you here to arrest me?

Doctor Ogden has a criminal record?

George. Please.

Miss Ogden, the vent?

Oh yes. You see, I believe Mr. Houdini to be innocent.

I took it upon myself to prove so.

Did you now?

I came across the same theory that your clever Detective Crabtree did.

Ma'am, I'm not a Detective, just a constable.

Not for long, I suspect.

Thank you, Ma'am.

Of course I had to test this theory for myself.

But you got stuck.

Exactly.

Proving that Mr. Houdini could not have done it.

On the contrary, I believe you've proven the opposite.

But my shoulders were wedged.

Mr. Houdini's shoulders would have become wedged as well.

I suspect Mr. Houdini is able to dislocate his shoulders.

It's a technique many contortionists and escape artists have employed for years.

So do you suppose that's how he made his way through the vent?

Of course it is.

Come on, Crabtree, let's go and pick Mr. Houdini up. Miss Ogden.

Detective, your Inspector is quite mistaken.

Oh? Why is that?

Because I know in my heart that Harry is innocent and I think you know it too.

I'm afraid it's you that's mistaken.

You see, I rely on logic, not feelings, to determine or not if a person is guilty.

Then perhaps you're merely capitulating to your Inspector's deSire for a quick arrest.

Miss Ogden, I could have you arrested for tampering with a crime scene.

Well then, you'd better handcuff me, Detective.

I won't... for your sister's sake.

But if I find that you are withholding information about this case, I will have no compunction about changing my mind.

Shall we?

We know how you pulled the bank job.

That's more than I know, Sir.

Please, tell me your theory.

On the night of your "great vault escape", you were planning an even greater one next door.

After escaping the vault on stage, you went to the bank then entered through the vents.

Where you proceeded then to kill the night watchman.

And clear out the vault.

The only flaw in your plan: you were spotted by someone.

Well done.

I certainly could have done that.

Is that a confession?

You've got the wrong man.

Tell me where you were during the vault escape.

That's your only alibi.

I don't reveal my secrets to anyone.

And I don't have to tell them to you because you have no concrete proof of your allegations.

If you want concrete I'll give you bloody concrete.

[Door shutting and keys tinkling ]

Maybe this will loosen you up.

Letting him sweat it a bit?

That's right.

Houdini does have a point.

Murdoch, I'm not in the mood.

There's nothing tying him to the robbery or the murder.

Then there's the issue of the time lock.

He'll talk once he tires of being secured by real police-issue locks.

You were standing in the bank wearing nothing but a petticoat and a bodice?

Detective Murdoch's face went such a shade of red.

It was sort of sweet.

Really?

Is that tobacco I smell?

Hm...

Jules! That's disgusting.

Don't be such a mouse.

The smell of a body can tell you a lot about a person.

What they ate. What they drank. How much they smoked.

This man was obviously a heavy smoker.

I see it all the times.

It's really quite repulsive.

Yes, it is.

And if you continue to smoke the way you do, you too will smell like this one day.

I'll have you know I quit.

Of course you did...

Oh! [Both laughing]

Now look what you've done.

Here, let me.

Have you paid mother a visit?

Jules, you know how I feel about cemeteries.

I did visit daddy though.

He says he hasn't seen you in months.

I've been busy.

He'd like us to join him this weekend at the Rowing Club for lunch.

I guess he will not take "no thank you" for an answer.

It might be good for you to get out of this morgue for once.

Don't you ever leave it?

Of course I do. I do have other interests, you know.

Such as?

I read, cycle, play tennis and attend the theatre regularly.

I was speaking more of male interests.

Oh... yes. I have those too.

Your Detective Murdoch?

He's not my Detective.

Our relationship is purely professional.

Surely you've entertained the idea of probing his intriguing mind?

Really, Ruby.

Such a shame. He's a fine specimen.

Jules? What is it?

His blood...

It's black.

Smith! At least try to look busy!

You really must do something about the locks on that holding cell, Inspector.

Crabtree!

Now double check the leg irons.

Yes Sir!

Here, let me help you.

Thank you.


Crabtree!

Houdini!

The vessels of his brains, lungs and liver are all filled with black blood.

Poisoned?

Precisely.

What kind of poison turns blood black? Something organic?

An alkaloid perhaps.

Was it ingested?

Most unlikely.

The dosage required to kill someone needs to be massive.

Injected then?

It's much more likely. Far more efficient.

Then there would have to be an injection site.

I was hoping to have found it before you arrived.

Oh...

I can wait.

Have you had a chance to visit with your sister?

Yes.

I received some arresting news from her.

Regarding?

Your conviction of character.

Ah, puns... the feeblest form of humour.

Is it true then?

Your arrest?

One hot summer evening, when I was home from university, my colleagues and I enjoyed swimming off Hanlan's Point.

Sans clothing.

Most risqué.

I don't know which was worse, being arrested or having your parents find out.

I found it.

I'm sorry?

I found it. The puncture mark. Come see.

It goes straight through the sclera and into the anterior orbit.

Let me get this straight...

Mr. Decker was smashed on the head as part of the robbery.

Yet the burglar injected him with poison as well.

So that means the robber came prepared to kill Mr. Decker.

If he was poisoned, why... Make it look as though he died from a blow to the head?

I think it was to create the illusion of a robbery gone wrong.

Why such an elaborate plan?

Perhaps Mr. Decker was also involved in the robbery.

An inside job.

So he willingly let himself get bashed over the back of the head, making it appear as though he caught the robbery in the act. So why is he dead?

Maybe his partner got greedy.

Decided to take the whole kitty for himself.

That would explain why the alarms weren't activated.

Houdini didn't scale any walls or shimmy through any vents.

Decker opened the door and let him walk right in.

But Sir, this could be the missing piece...

Thank you, Murdoch. I was hoping for your approval.

But you might also entertain the possibility that someone was capitalizing on Houdini's known abilities as an escape artist.

How so?

Maybe he was set up?

Merely a pawn in someone else's plans.

Not likely, Murdoch. Pawn's don't escape.

Hotels, flophouses, the train station: search everywhere. And I mean everywhere.

This is a man who can fold himself into a bloody teapot.

Well don't just stand like dummies! Move it!

Sir, I think we must also fully explore the possibility that Houdini was not involve in this inside job.

Fine, fine. Let's say he wasn't. Then who was in on it?

Someone who knew the inner workings of the vault.

Someone who knew that the vault would be full.

Simms, the bank manager.

That's where I would start.

Very well, Murdoch, you take one scenario and I'll take the other. We'll see how it turns out.

Ah! Mr. Simms. May I have a word?

Of course, Detective.

The bank owners are breathing down my neck, so I do hope you have some good news for me.

We have determined how the burglar entered the building.

You have?

Yes.

He was allowed entry by your night watchman.

Why would Decker do that? Unless... He was involved in the burglary.

But he was murdered, wasn't he? How do you explain that?

Killed by his partner.

Partner?

Yes. Someone with intimate knowledge of the bank.

Someone who knew that the vault would be full of cash.

Are you insinuating that I may have been involved?

You also had knowledge of the mechanics of the locks.

Not the time lock.

I couldn't have breached it. It is impervious.

We shall see, Mr. Simms.

Yes, I suppose we shall.

Back to the station.

[Detonations]

What are you up to?

Oh! Hello, Inspector.

I'm just testing a batch of poppers I just made.

It's common in every magician's arsenal.

You make them yourself?

It's rudimentary science. You take a little bit of this with a little of that and... [Detonation]

Planning on going somewhere?

Oh! With the show losing money like it had, with Harry in jail, well, the end is near, isn't it?

Houdini's not in jail.

What?

He's escaped.

I thought you might know where he is.

Well, I have no clue where he is. But don't take it personally, you're not the first to loose him.

I plan to be the last.

By the way, I am not Harry's brother.

I am just the fifth in a long line of Houdini brothers.

Fifth?

Yes. He thinks it looks better on the posters.

Who are you then?

Leopold Romanov, illusionist.

Why do you work for such a young lad?

Harry Houdini is the greatest talent I've ever seen. But he's not much of a businessman.

So you run the show?

Yes, I schedule performances and make travel arrangements.

I focus on the details while he dreams up his next escapes.

So with the show losing money, a full bank vault could look quite tempting.

I don't think Harry would do this.

I see.

Don't leave town any time soon, Mr. Romanov.

And if you see Mr. Houdini, tell him to do the smart thing and turn himself in. Got it?

George, I need you to find out anything you can about Mr. Decker.

Where he was before his job at the bank, if he was ever in any trouble from an old record, that sort of things.

Right away.

And the same for Edgar Simms.

Sir.

[Mechanism ticking]

What in the world is that, Detective?

It's a Sergeant and Greenleaf time lock, identical to the one at the Bank of Toronto.

Twenty years ago, it saw the downfall of Jesse James.

Now it's proving to be mine as well.

Perhaps you need a break.

I'm quite preoccupied at the moment.

You're still angry with me.

No.

No, I always welcome a healthy critique of my policing technique.

I've come to make it up to you.

That's not necessary.

I think it is.

I've never been treated to dinner by a lady before.

So that would make me your first.

How charming.

Ah, well...

You were speaking before about the novel that Herbert Wells wrote, "The Time Machine".

He's a notorious amorist, you know.

Oh.

Fortunately, I'm a notorious woman.

Yes, well, it sounds fascinating and I'd very much like to read it.

Do you have a copy?

I didn't read it myself.

Bertie read it to me in his garden over a bottle of Vipava Pikolit.

I assume the two of you were very close.

It's natural to become involved with those whom you work closest.

Don't you think?

I suppose.

Are you involved?

No.

But there is someone I find intriguing.

Perhaps you ought to tell her of your feelings.

I can't think of why any woman would not reciprocate them.

Don't tell Jules, all right?

I told her I cut down.

Good evening, Constable.

Good evening, Dr. Ogden. Working late this evening?

As usually, I'm afraid. Detective Murdoch as well, I presume.

Actually, he's gone out.

Oh?

I was hoping he could help me with something.

You don't know where he is, do you?

Hum... He's gone out.

Yes, we've established that.

Hum...

Constable, is there something you're not telling me?

It's such a joy to meet another curious soul.

Good evening.

Jules!

What are you doing here?

I'm sorry. I'm obviously interrupting.

Nonsense. Nonsense. Please, join us.

Are you staying long?

That depends on Detective Murdoch, and whether he can help me with a mystery I'm attempting to unravel.

Oh? What sort of mystery?

Poisons.

Then perhaps it was Deadly Nightshade that killed Mr. Decker?

Belladonna? I considered it. And it would have accounted for the stomach inflammation, but but there were no signs that the tissue was stained.

The Thorn Apple?

The brain was filled with black blood. There was no signs of congestion.

Hum...

Who would have access to such deadly and exotic poisons?

I would think someone with a background in chemistry.

Well then, Harry couldn't have done it.

He has no experience with chemistry.

I'll have to determine that.

And really, just how well do you know him, Ruby?

Well enough to know he couldn't have done it.

Mr. Houdini did have motive.

Not to mention opportunity.

You are forgetting how important a man's character is.

Harry would never rob a bank, let alone kill a man.

In our line of work, Ruby, you learn that character can be deceptive.

Your line of work is hardly the same as Detective Murdoch's.

I would argue that journalism and detecting share a much greater affinity.

Really, Ruby.

Detective Murdoch and I solve mysteries.

You spend your time riding elephants with sultans and lolling about with artists.

This is your problem.

You can't help but neatly categorize everyone and everything.

Your vision is so narrow.

William and I share a broader sense of the world.

Did you just call him William?

Hum... pardon me.

I don't mean to interrupt...

Oh! Please do, George.

I have some news, Sir.

Well, then I'll have to excuse myself.

Of course.

I'll make this as discreet as possible.

I suspect that the 2 of you are intimately involved so if you happen to see Mr. Houdini, would you please let him know that I'd like very much to speak with him?

Good evening.

[Both]: Good evening.

What was that about?

None of your business.

The two Miss Ogdens seemed quite a handful.

Your timing could not have been better. Thank you.

What do you have for me, George?

I found something interesting about Mr. Decker's past.

Oh?

His former employer was the United States Army.

Engineering core to be exact.

He has the skills to be an engineer yet ends up in Canada working as a night watchman?

And he's hired at the bank at the same time the vault is being installed.

He was hired by Mr. Simms.

Interesting coincidence, I thought.

Perhaps we should have another word with Mr. Simms.

Mr. Simms is working late and doesn't like to be disturbed.

He will be in an even worse mood once I am finished with him.

That's odd.

Oh! [She breaths heavily]

Dead.

Sir, how can this be an inside job if both inside men are dead?

Because there's something else at work here, George, that we hadn't thought of: a third man.

So now this robbery is a three-man operation.

So it would seem.

And you're suggesting that Simms hired Decker 18 months ago to sabotage the vault while it was being installed.

Exactly.

But the vault works.

Does it?

I think we haven't figured out how the locks have been tampered with.

All right. So Decker continues working as a night watchman and the two of them by their time waiting for a big payday.

The plan was for Simms to break in dressed as Houdini, bash Decker over the head and make off with the money.

Blame would fall on Houdini.

But Simms double-crossed his partner.

And in turn, someone else double-crossed Simms.

The question is, who's this third character? And what role did it play in all of this?

I'm hoping the exotic poison holds the key.

I've already tested over twenty different poisons.

And none of them turned the blood black?

No. But I'm not about to give up yet.

Would you care to assist?

Certainly.

I want to apologize about last night.

At dinner.

That's no for hemlock.

An apology isn't necessary.

No for phenol.

Ruby and I often find ourselves on opposite ends of a good debate.

Or a bad one.

No for Strychnine.

And who usually wins?

You've met Ruby. I think you know the answer.

But I may have won one battle: I think I might have convinced her to stop smoking.

[Coughing]

Oh?

With the help of Mr. Decker.

What do you mean?

She was here when I opened him up.

That smell would convince anyone to quit.

His body smelled of tobacco?

Yes.

Actually, both he and Mr. Simms reeked.

Wait.

Do you mind?

Normally, I only partake on the weekends.

Simms told me that he smoked only on occasion, yet his body also smelled heavily of tobacco.

[Both]: Nicotine.

That would account for the black blood.

We now have our poison.

A most obscure choice.

Indeed.

[Neighing]

Don't turn on the light.

I'd rather not have a run-in with that ill-spirited Inspector of yours.

He doesn't seem to like me.

I can't imagine why.

It is a puzzle.

I take it you contacted Miss Ruby.

She's hard to... avoid.

How may I help you?

Mr. Houdini, I need your opinion.

Opinion?

Yes. You exceed in illusion and showmanship.

Thank you.

And I've come to the conclusion that what I am dealing with here is an act of trickery.

Because logical explanations seem to elude me.

I see.

And if I do help you figure it out, will that not implicate me and encourage you to arrest me again?

Only if you're guilty.

Then we have a deal.

Clearly the robbery was an illusion of some sort.

Agreed.

But I've examined the locks on the vault, and they weren't tampered with.

Then, Detective, something else is amiss.

What? If the vault is secure.

No false walls, no tunnels.

Illusions are steeped in deception.

Something that makes the audience believe one thing to be true while it clearly isn't.

Such as?

Say I make an entire train disappear.

Well, obviously I didn't really, did I?

Either it remains there and you cannot see it...

Or it was never there in the first place.

It's not the vault.

It's the bank.

Did you have to drag us all the way down here, Murdoch?

Sir, if you will, I have a demonstration.

Well, get on with it then.

I'll barely have time for a quick scotch before the Missus expects me home.

Still on the short leash, Sir?

Shut it, Crabtree.

Sir, I believe that this robbery was the product of an illusion.

Many patrons of this bank would disagree.

Let me show you. Now. It's nearly eight o'clock.

The vault's time lock mechanism should be sliding into place... now.

George.

Please see that the vault is secured.

Hum! Hum! It's solid, Sir.

Yes, it is.

But the wall...

The wall is not.

Bloody hell...

When the vault was installed, Mr. Decker used his abilities as an engineer to tamper with the building's structure.

Specifically, this beam that the vault's bolts slide in to.

Now, by moving this beam over, as such, the vault door simply swings open.

Gentlemen, the great Houdini and Detective Murdoch.

Ha! Ha! Ha!

What the bloody hell he is doing here? Stop, now!

Sir, I enlisted Mr. Houdini's help as a sort of consultant.

He made me see that it wasn't the vault or the lock that were faulty.

So now we know how the robbery was executed.

And we know what roles Simms and Decker played.

But what about the third man?

I believe Mr. Houdini can answer that question.

I knew it.

Detective, you gave me your word.

Mr. Houdini, I know that you are innocent.

Please, tell me, how is it Mr. Simms knew exactly what you were wearing that night on stage?

I don't know.

And how is it that you, a known escape artist, happened to be performing in a theater right next to this bank on no less than the night it held more money than ever before?

It had to be someone who knew your schedule.

But what about the poison? Are we not looking for a chemist?

No. Not a chemist.

But he does have a background in science.

There's only one person it can be, isn't there?

Unfortunately, yes.

Driver, to the train station!

Yes Sir.

I don't think so.

What's in the bag, Mr. Romanov?

152 000$ by any chance?

Or perhaps a few extra vials of liquid nicotine?

I don't know what either of you are talking about.

That was your plan all along, wasn't it?

Vanish with the money and leave a trail of dead accomplices behind.

Unfortunately for you, Mr. Romanov, when it comes to vanishing, you are no Harry Houdini.

Come on, sunshine.

Having some trouble there, Mr. Houdini?

Not for long, I assure you, Sir.

Have you heard back from Philadelphia yet?

Yes. I spoke with the police.

Apparently Leopold Romanov had quite a history of flim-flammery.

Indeed?

He also spent time in jail with one Mr. Decker and one Mr. Simms.

Where they no doubt hatched this plot.

You'd think now that Houdini's been cleared, these two would get on a bit better.

Inspector, these leg irons, what have you done to them?

A little trick that I like to call "glue".

[Laughter]

That's cheating, Inspector.

I prefer to call it the art of illusion, Harold.

Well, I'm off now.

At least we got to have a little dinner together.

A dinner, as I recall, to which you were not invited.

You really didn't have to come that night, did you?

Yes, yes I did.

You were jealous.

Ruby!

I love you, but you always push me just hard enough to give you what you want.

You should know when it comes to William, I will not be pushed around.

Detective.

Miss Ruby.

This is good-bye.

You're off then?

I think my story about the great Houdini would be incomplete if I abandoned him now.

And his career much poorer for it, I'd imagine.

Do try to get Jules out of the morgue once in a while.

Of course.

Doctor...

Am I disrupting?

No.

Is there something you need?

Well, I was hoping to go over a case with you.

Oh, I see.

About a young swimmer's blatant disregard for clothing.

Might you discuss it with me over dinner?

Why yes, I'd be delighted.