Laura Bow II - Detailed Plot Summary (Spoilers)

Feeling like this game could be murder... literally? Well, come on in here for some extra detective work (and clues/hints/etc!) for the Laura Bow games (The Colonel's Bequest and The Dagger of Amon Ra).
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Semi-Happy Partygoer
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Laura Bow II - Detailed Plot Summary (Spoilers)

Post by Semi-Happy Partygoer » Sat Jul 08, 2017 5:25 am

I found this well-written plot summary for The Dagger of Amon Ra years ago. I'm glad I had the presence of mind to save it, as I've searched online since then and can't find a trace of it. The author was listed as David Matchen, though I did make a few edits for clarity. I found this to be a solid effort at piecing together the complex plot. It goes without saying that major spoilers follow, so do not read if you have yet to play the game. My thanks to Mr. Matchen, wherever you are.

LAURA BOW II: THE DAGGER OF AMON RA - PLOT SUMMARY

Three weeks before our heroine arrives in New York, the Countess Lavinia Waldorf-Carlton, during a trip to England, reads that a certain Watney Little has escaped from Dartmoor Prison. She learns, to her surprise, that the man pictured in the newspaper bears a remarkable resemblance to the newly-appointed president of the Leyendecker Museum, Archibald Carrington III. Using the shady underworld connections she has accumulated through her lengthy life of crime, she discovers Little's location and lays before him an idea for an art burglary scheme.

First, Little must kill and impersonate Carrington. Then, the two of them could steal valuable objets d'art from the inside, replacing them with cleverly-crafted forgeries. She even has a fence, Lawrence "Ziggy" Ziegfeld, to sell the goods to private collectors. Then, once the paintings had been passed on, they would vandalize the forgeries, thereby misdirecting any would-be sleuths (little do they know...).

Little goes along with the plan. He books passage on the Andrea Doria, strangles Carrington and stuffs him into a steamer trunk. So far, so good. He meets the Countess in New York and becomes, for all intents and purposes, Archibald Carrington III. Everyone is fooled.

Well, almost everyone. Det. Ryan Hanrahan O'Riley pays him a visit, armed with Little's Scotland Yard police file. O'Riley threatens to blow the whistle unless Little pinches the Dagger of Amon Ra and hands it over to him. Little, faced with the prospect of exposure, steals the dagger that night. He needs to hide it somewhere, though. Since the museum is to be closed all the next day in preparation for the gala fundraiser, Little hides the dagger in the gift shop ("The best place to hide a needle is not in a haystack, but among other needles").

O'Riley hears about the theft and gives Little his police file in exchange. O'Riley tells him that he'll collect the dagger once the heat has lifted.

That day, fresh-faced young Laura Bow arrives in the Big Apple from New Orleans. Her editor, as a favor to her father, assigns her to the dagger theft. After a colorful, whirlwind tour of the city, she arrives at the fundraiser.

Well, besides the advances proffered her by that handsome Steve Dorian, the evening is extremely boring...that is, until Laura wanders into the gift shop (which, unbenownst to the conspirators, has been left unlocked) and discovers that one of the souvenir daggers isn't a replica. Before she can confirm her suspicions, the security chief, Wolf Heimlich, shoos her away.

Meanwhile, renowned archaeologist Dr. Pippin Carter is positively livid that someone should attempt to separate him from his dagger - first this Dr. Smith character, and now some thief. So, he decides to accuse all of the suspects, in turn, until he can cleverly get one of them to confess (Sherlock Holmes would have been proud). By pure chance, he accuses Watney Little first, then turns around and accuses Dr. Ptahsheptut Smith. He tells both that he has acquired some "evidence" that will connect them with the theft, and that, if they want to protect themselves, they'll meet him in the Egyptian room at 7:45 and 7:55, respectively.

As this is going on, Heimlich mentions to O'Riley in passing that he just chased Laura out of the gift shop. O'Riley pales and leaves, mumbling an excuse. He goes up to Little to get the spare key, at which time Little tells him about Carter's accusations. O'Riley promises to take care of it. He sneaks into the gift shop, removes both the real dagger and one of the replicas, then locks the shop up tight. Outside, he slips the real dagger to Ziggy, telling him to hide it somewhere and then meet him in the Pterodactyl room.

O'Riley leaves the party to keep Little's appointment with Dr. Carter. Scratch one renowned archaeologist. O'Riley stuffs his body in a sarcophagus and then rifles through Pippin's pockets, inadvertently leaving a grape juice stain on Pippin's jacket. O'Riley then makes
himself scarce.

At 7:55 p.m., Dr. Ptahsheptut Smith enters, discovering a bloodstain next to one of the sarcophagi. He opens it, discovering Carter's body, and is so shocked that he fails to notice that he dropped his prized ankh in the blood. He resolves to tell no one he was there, out of fear that his presence might make him the prime suspect.

Immediately after he leaves, Yvette Delacroix arrives to keep her 8:00 appointment with Carter - she had promised to show him the inside of the mummy case - only to discover that someone has beaten her to it. Equally surprised, she inadvertently steps in the blood, failing to notice that she has left a footprint behind. She regains control of herself immediately, though, and realizes she has to remove all evidence of her presence there. She reaches into his pocket, finds his notebook and removes the top sheet, which would place her at the scene.

Enter contestant #3, Laura Bow, who comes in shortly after Yvette leaves and discovers the body. Laura never could keep a secret, though.

O'Riley answers her scream and gets her to leave the scene. He then realizes he has to hide the body somewhere else, so he stuffs it in a suit of armor in the medieval room, dreaming up a cock-and-bull story about the coroner having collected it.

Meanwhile, Ziggy goes downstairs to hide the dagger. He eventually drops it into Preservation Vat 13, but Ernie Leach, the custodian, catches him once he's descended, and ejects him from the room. Laura overhears this on the intercom in Carrington's office.

Ziggy goes upstairs to report the location of the dagger to O'Riley. He tells O'Riley about his run-in with Leach. O'Riley, however, has already decided that Ziggy has outlived his usefulness. He saps the hapless stoolie with a truncheon, goes onto the catwalk and cuts the pterodactyl's wires with Ernie's wire cutters. He then saws off Ziggy's head with the paper cutter blade he recently detached from Yvette's office. He hides the head in the life mask exhibit and replaces the other implements. Once again, he hears a scream, this time because Laura's discovered Ziggy's head.

O'Riley reattaches the blade to the paper cutter just before Yvette enters her office. He then tells her that he'll kill her if he ever finds out she's been sleeping with someone else. She laughs it off.

O'Riley realizes that there is only one other person in on the theft - Watney Little - and that, in order to ensure a clean getaway, he has to silence him. He finds Little in Carrington's office and impales him on the stuffed porcupine. Little, in a final attempt to come clean with the world, writes the location of the police file on his desk in his own blood.

Laura discovers the body and figures out that the letters "C.P." refer to Carrington's copy of Crime and Punishment, where Little has hidden the police file. She also discovers the diary of the late Sterling Waldorf-Carlton, who suspected the Countess of attempting to kill him, as well as Little's appointment book, which lists a meeting with the Countess and Ziggy in the medieval room at 1:00.

Laura hides behind the tapestry in the medieval room, and, when the Countess arrives, emerges and confronts her with the faux Carrington's death. The Countess, clearly flustered, blurts out the details of the art burglary scheme (although cleverly failing to reveal "Carrington's" true identity).

Laura then takes a trip downstairs, discovers the dagger in vat 13 and also finds Carrington's skeleton in the steamer trunk.

At this time, O'Riley realizes that there is another loose thread - Ernie Leach, who saw Ziggy in the alcohol preservation lab. O'Riley threatens him, telling him that "he has seen too much." Ernie, in order to protect Yvette, tells her little.

While Laura is upstairs listening to Wolf's and Dr. Myklos' conversation, Ernie decides to check on Vat 13, as Dr. Myklos had informed him something was clogging the release valve (the dagger). He leans over a little too far, and O'Riley climbs up the ladder and shoves him inside. He drowns Leach using the object scoop, then hauls Ernie's body out, drags it upstairs and throws it onto the mastodon horns. Laura discovers Ernie's body and reports it to O'Riley, who swears he'll kill her with his bare hands for all this trouble she's causing him.

Meanwhile, Yvette is distraught over Ernie's death. She has, of course, no clue that O'Riley is behind it, and attributes the death to Ernie's loan shark. O'Riley then overhears her with Steve Dorian and assumes the worst. After Steve departs (with chastity intact), O'Riley, consumed with jealous rage, has it out with Yvette, eventually knocking her out after a struggle. He then removes one of her stockings, strangling her with it. Next, he goes downstairs to the mammalogy laboratory, retrieves the sack of plaster and covers Yvette from head to toe, placing the completed statue on display in the Old Masters' Gallery. The Countess, unfortunately for her, sees O'Riley lugging the statue out of the office, puts two and two together and confronts O'Riley. The detective overpowers her, ties her up with a strong length of rope and lays her out on Dr. Myklos' desk, leaving the Countess to the tender mercies of Olympia's pet cobra, Barney...

Laura discovers the scene of the struggle and then locates Yvette's body and the clues left by O'Riley. While she does this, Dr. Myklos discovers the Countess on her desk, and then, totally misinterpreting the Countess' final words, goes to find Det. O'Riley.

Meanwhile, O'Riley, still insanely jealous, hunts down Steve Dorian, bashes him over the head with his truncheon and dumps Steve down the coal chute to be dealt with later...after he's finished with that meddling reporter.

Laura discovers Steve's boot, and then goes to check out the Countess, who has died of a snakebite. After rounding up Barney, she finds O'Riley's grapes next to the body.

O'Riley has figured out the perfect way to deal with Miss Bow. He grabs the mace from Heimlich's office and, dressed in a concealing shroud, chases after Laura. The reporter, after playing hide-and-seek with the killer, eventually stumbles into the secret temple of the Cult of Amon Ra, located in the museum basement. She learns that the inoffensive accountant, Rameses Najeer, is in fact the high priest of the Cult. She answers Rameses' riddle (courtesy of Ziggy's hint and Olympia's blackboard), and is shown the secret passage to the furnace room. From there, she locates Steve, and the two of them manage to capture O'Riley. The rest, as they say, is history.
"It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers" - James Thurber

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Re: Laura Bow II - Detailed Plot Summary (Spoilers)

Post by Tawmis » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:06 am

That is actually, very awesome. I wonder if something similar was ever done for Colonel's Bequest?

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Re: Laura Bow II - Detailed Plot Summary (Spoilers)

Post by notbobsmith » Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:36 pm

Just found this thread. I guess this is the most plausible explanation for everything, but it still has a few holes. For one, Tut Smith discovering Carter's body. There's no good explanation for the loss of the ankh, but why would Smith show up for his 10:15 appointment if he already knew Carter was dead? I guess you could say that he was still keeping up the act just in case, but that would be unusually diligent since he had no reason to think anyone would know about the meeting. After the body was discovered, it sounds like there was a big commotion and O'Riley was interviewing everyone. So I'm not sure how in that case Smith would not have heard about the murder. And I still don't know the point of moving Carter's body if everyone already knows about the murder. That just draws more attention.

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Re: Laura Bow II - Detailed Plot Summary (Spoilers)

Post by Rakeesh » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:03 pm

very nice. Cudos for preserving it :) I am not sure about CB, but there are some very comprehensive guides at Gamefaqs that explain the characters and backstory.

As for the Tut Smith issue, I think it's a plotholle inherent to the game and no fanfic can save it. There is no game with such a complex backstory without apparent potholes.


BTW I have read somewhere that Egyptians in the game are widely misrepresented. I mean, modern Egypt is an arabic muslim country. Egyptians don't wear names of Egyptian deities or Pharaohs. I dont think you will see a modern Egyptian called "Rameses", wearing an ankh and worshipping Amon Ra.

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Re: Laura Bow II - Detailed Plot Summary (Spoilers)

Post by Semi-Happy Partygoer » Fri Mar 30, 2018 3:46 pm

I agree it isn't perfect. O'Riley's motive for murdering the countess, for example. While she may indeed have witnessed him dragging Yvette's statue into place, it's more likely she was killed because she was the final loose thread in the art burglary gang. Given that she was responsible for bringing Little over in the first place, she knew far too much to live.

Nonetheless, I think it did cover most of the major points reasonably well, and you're right, Rakeesh, that there are certain inconsistencies which simply cannot be explained.
"It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers" - James Thurber

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Re: Laura Bow II - Detailed Plot Summary (Spoilers)

Post by BBP » Wed Apr 04, 2018 2:41 pm

I understood the LB2 scientific facts were based upon 1926 knowledge, which explains the brontosaurus...

I'll check my script to see if there's anything we can use to fill in the blanks. The only blatant error I found was moving Carter's body since it would be painfully loborious, it would take multiple people and several hours to put the armor onto a corpse that's not cooperating (and might have rigor mortis) plus it would make a lot of noise.
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