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The Black Ring

By Alan Richardson


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A year after the Lanark-Edinburgh coach was robbed at gunpoint and its driver mercilessly killed by an unknown highway robber, five passengers on the same coach find themselves stranded at a remote roadside inn. Jessie, the innkeeper, harbours bitter memories of that night a year ago. The murdered driver was her husband. Much of her bitterness is aimed against the present driver, Sandy, who, while serving as the guard on her husband's coach, saved his life by running away. Sandy's most vivid recollection of the murder was a black ring worn by the highwayman. When, later in the evening, a black ring is found nearby the coach, a ring which Sandy swears is the same one, they realise that the murderer is amongst their number. But which one of the five passengers? Set in the late 18th century, this play was awarded the Scott Salver for the best original play entered in the 1978 S.C.D.A. One-Act festival.