Lemony Snicket Wiki
Lemony Snicket Wiki

I'll never escape Hangfire. But perhaps an actress can manage the most important performance of her life.

Dame Sally Murphy is Stain'd-by-the-Sea's most famous actress. In Who Could That Be at This Hour?, she is forced to help Hangfire obtain the Bombinating Beast statue.


Early Life

Dame Sally Murphy is probably Stain'd-by-the-Sea's most famous actress. There should be a book about her career in the Theater Section.

Dame Sally Murphy was once Stain'd-by-the-Sea's most famous actress, performing in the Stain'd Playhouse. She is noted as having played the title role in Mother of Icarus, and having been risen to the ceiling on invisible wires,[2] and as having played Leslie Crosbie in The Letter.[3]

Sally Murphy about to drown.

Sally Murphy gave Lizzie Haines the opportunity to study under her, even after Stain'd-by-the-Sea's economy collapsed. After several months of mentoring, though, Lizzie was abducted by Hangfire and the Inhumane Society, who had a job for Sally.[1]

Who Could That Be at This Hour?

You can't help me. He's the only one who can help me. You're just a child.
— Dame Sally Murphy, Who Could That Be at This Hour?

Sally Murphy, pretending to be Mrs. Murphy Sallis, hires S. Theodora Markson and her apprentice Lemony Snicket to return the Bombinating Beast statue to her, which she claims was stolen by the Mallahans. Hangfire poses as her butler in order to keep an eye on things and possibly take the statue from them. 

Later, Snicket and Moxie Mallahan find her tied to a chair in the flooded basement of the Sallis Mansion and rescue her from drowning. Moxie realizes she isn't Murphy Sallis, and Snicket realizes that she's instead Sally Murphy. She becomes hysterical and claims that only Hangfire can help her. When Snicket mentions being part of a secret organization, she gets frantic and screams at him to leave. 

Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?

If Hangfire is aboard this train, there'll be no stopping him.

The busy train station.

Sometime after her attempted drowning, Sally and Lizzie managed to escape the Inhumane Society, and came up with a plan to escape the town and hide Lizzie, though Sally doesn't think she, personally, will ever escape Hangfire.

In order to sneak onto The Thistle of the Valley, Sally managed to convince Polly Partial to give them a thistle for Lizzie's porter disguise. While sneaking on, she and Lizzie run into Snicket, who recognizes her and asks for a favor. She offers to buy him an ice cream cone, as children like ice cream, but instead, he asks her to help him on the train. She refuses to tell him why she's leaving, and when he mentions the Inhumane Society, she asks him to keep his voice down and stop interfering. Lizzie reminds her that they need to be on the train, and she manages to get away from the apprentice. 

Once on the train, Lizzie switches disguises and pretends to be Sally's nephew. The train makes an unexpected stop, and then Snicket finds them again in their compartment. Incredibly nervous, Sally almost breaks character several times. Snicket informs them that a murder was committed and that Hangfire is aboard the train, before telling Lizzie to hide her porter's uniform better.  After the train crashes, Sally sticks by Lizzie as she reunites with her family, before offering to give autographs to the other passengers. 


Who Could That Be at This Hour?

The Mallahan family. They've been enemies of my family for many lifetimes. They always swore they'd steal the statue, and at last they have.
— Chapter Three
I just want the statue back with its rightful owners. I want nobody to know you are working for me, and I want nothing done to the Mallahans. They're nice people.
— Chapter Three
Do you promise to return the statue to its rightful owner, and do you promise to be discreet about the Sallis name?
— Chapter Three
Dame Sally Murphy: Where is he?
Moxie Mallahan: Who?
Lemony Snicket: There's nobody here.
Dame Sally Murphy: Get out of here! Leave this house at once!
Lemony Snicket: I was hoping for 'Thank you for rescuing me' instead, Mrs. Sallis.
Moxie Mallahan: That's not Mrs. Sallis.
Dame Sally Murphy: I am Mrs. Murphy Sallis, and I command you to get out of my home.
Moxie Mallahan: You're not Mrs. Murphy Sallis. In fact, there is no Mrs. Murphy Sallis. I've known Mrs. Sallis my entire life, and her first name is Dot.
Lemony Snicket: This is Dame Sally Murphy, Stain'd-by-the-Sea's most famous actress. She's a local legend.
Dame Sally Murphy: It's always nice to meet a fan of the theater.
—Chapter Nine
Lemony Snicket: Who put you in this basement?
Dame Sally Murphy: He did. Now get out! I have my family to think of!
—Chapter Nine
Lemony Snicket: I'm part of an organization that I'm sure can be of service.
Dame Sally Murphy, terrified: Get out! Get out! Get out! Get out!
—Chapter Nine

Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?

We have to get on that train!
— Chapter Two
Dame Sally Murphy: I suppose you want me to thank you for your actions when we saw each other last.
Lemony Snicket: It is traditional to thank the person who rescues you from drowning in the basement of an abandoned mansion. In fact, it might be said that you owe me a favor.
Dame Sally Murphy: Maybe I can buy you an ice cream cone sometime.
Lemony Snicket: That's not what I want.
Dame Sally Murphy: All children want ice cream.
—Chapter Two
Dame Sally Murphy: I'll thank you to stop interfering.
Lemony Snicket: Why does everyone keep wanting to thank me for the same thing?
—Chapter Two
We certainly didn't witness anything, and we're certainly not useful. We've been hiding in this compartment since the train left Stain'd Station. Ow! Not hiding. Sitting, I meant to say. Yes, we've just been sitting here.
— Chapter Six
Lemony Snicket: I suppose this is your nephew or something.
Dame Sally Murphy: I don't have a nephew. Ow! I mean, of course I have a nephew. He's a real live nephew and he's sitting right there.
—Chapter Six
Lemony Snicket: Let's begin at the beginning. Long ago, this entire area was covered in water.
Dame Sally Murphy: Look here, young man. I don't think we have to begin quite that far back.
—Chapter Thirteen