SATURDAY NIGHT was a special occasion at Cinnamon Bay Plantation. The bar did little business then, for the manager of the hotel hosted all of the guests at an elaborate party atop the ruins of the old sugar mill, which had been converted into an open air pavilion. A large, conical roof was positioned on supporting pillars in the center of the pavilion so that visitors were afforded an unobstructed view in all directions of the grounds, bays, and nearby mountains.
As soon as a guest walked up the ramp to the pavilion, he was greeted by the manager and his wife and invited to imbibe the hotel's specialty, planter's punch (which was available in copious quantities), and to partake at an hors d'oeuvres table set with steaming platters of scallops and shrimp entwined in bacon and barbecued meatballs wrapped in grape leaves. Normally one of the highlights of the party was the background music provided by a steel band imported from Cruz Bay. However, this particular evening the steel band was absent. And the atmosphere was tenser than on the night when Bethuel Fitzhugh's drowning was discussed. A drowning was an accident; but this was murder.