Download as a PDF
FIRST DRAFT DATE: October 8, 1990
REVISED/Dept. Heads' Distribution: October 19, 1990
REVISED/General Distribution: October 24, 1990 - BLUE
REVISED: October 30, 1990 - PINK
REVISED: November 6, 1990 - GREEN
Lynch/Frost Productions, Inc.
770 Balboa Boulevard
Van Nuys, CA 91406
1. INT. BEN HORNE'S OFFICE, GREAT NORTHERN - DAY
BOBBY BRIGGS, pumped for action, marches in the door wearing Leo's suit. BEN HORNE with his back to Bobby doesn't seem to know he's there, is pushing furniture around the room.
Mr. Horne? ... Mr. Horne?
Bobby studies the furniture arrangement; most of it is stacked up against one wall. He looks at Horne; unshaven and in a bathrobe. Ben spins around to stare at him.
Your secretary said to come in. Bobby Briggs.
Do you know what you have to have in this life, Bobby?
Balance. Distance. Symmetry. Look.
(gestures towards the furniture)
Isn't that a beautiful thing?
Mr. Horne. Did you listen to the tape?
I listened to your tape Bobby. Frankly, I'm surprised
that Leo could master the technology, but ...
(a sinking spell)
Damn it, talk to me, Bobby.
Mr. Horne, I have a great admiration for you.
Admiration is for poets and dairy cows.
Sir, you called and asked to see me.
(moving towards him)
You're standing in front of a mammoth skyscraper. A
leviathan that rips the clouds open. What's the first
question that comes to your mind?
The first thing you ask is "What's on the top floor?"
"Who's up in that penthouse, and why?" That's what I'm
like. Are you?.
(doesn't have a clue)
Of course I am.
(hands him a camera and acessories)
Opportunity knocks, Bobby. Follow Hank Jennings.
Chronicle his existence. Show me something I don't
Uh ... how much do I get for this.
What are you making now?
I'm in high school.
Ben takes out a roll of bills, peels off a single bill and hands it to Bobby.
Congratulations. A 100% raise.
2. INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE BEN'S OFFICE - DAY
Bobby exits into the corridor. He is stopped by a SCREAM behind him that starts far away and moves towards him. A drop dead blonde, LANA BUDDING MILFORD, draped in her bridal nightgown, rushes by him. Bobby smiles helplessly slowly closing the door on the strap of the camera case. The Bride resumes her scream going around the corner. Bobby starts to follow only to be yanked back by the strap caught in the door.
3. INT. SHERIFF'S OFFICE, CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY
COOPER and a realtor, IRENE LITTLEHORSE, an American Indian in her mid-fifties, look at a book with photographs of her listings.
Mr. Cooper, are you looking to rent or would you
consider leasing with an option to buy?
I'm looking for a little piece of paradise. Upon finding
it, I'll consider any option.
This just came on the market; it's a Victorian, 1890's. I
can also recommend the old Longacre house.
I'd like to see them both.
Very good. Which would you like to see first?
Cooper smiles. Takes a coin from his pocket. Flips it onto the table. It rolls and stops on a picture of yet another property.
What is this?
I thought I'd take that out. This property is called
"Dead Dog Farm." And it's worse than it sounds.
"Dead Dog Farm." What is it?
A puzzle. No one ever stays there long Dreamer after
dreamer has worked that patch of land.
"A parcel of vain strivings tied by a chance bond
Littlehorse smiles at Cooper.
I read Thoreau myself, Mr. Cooper. I have to warn you,
this isn't exactly Walden Pond.
When can I see it?
4. INT. SHERIFF TRUMAN'S OFFICE - DAY
COLONEL CALVIN REILLY, black, sixty, made of brick sits across from Truman.
Sheriff, what do you know about Major Briggs work?
Well, I guess all I know is he's doing something top
Cooper sticks his head in the door.
Cooper, this is Colonel Reilly. He's heading up the Air
Force's investigation into Briggs' disappearance.
Cooper. Just about to hunt you down. You were with
Briggs when we lost his coordinates.
Reilly drops a map on Truman's desk. Points to a circled location.
The area where he disappeared. Now when you were at
the site, did you happen to see any wildlife in the area?
Squirrels, skunks, ground hogs.
Any birds? ... Owls.
Moments before the Major disappeared I heard an owl.
(not giving away a thing)
No visual contact?
Look, Colonel, Garland Briggs is a good friend of mine
and this has us more than a little spooked. I really wish
you'd just level with us.
Can you clarify that?
(a look at Truman)
We know about your monitors and the messages you
received from deep space that pertain to me.
You may know something but you'd best get your facts
straight: our "monitors" are pointed at deep space, but
the messages we intercepted that Briggs showed you
were sent from right here in these woods. Where they
were being sent to is another question.
He points to the map again, near the disappearance site. A stunned moment as this sinks in.
Colonel, does this have anything to do with a place
called the White Lodge?
(pause, a look at Cooper)
Look, Colonel, we'd like to help you but you're not
making it any easier.
Garland Briggs is the best pilot I've ever known. He was
born with hardware most of us only dream of having.
He's been walking point on this operation for three years,
carrying a full pack. I'll tell you this: his disappearance
has implications that go so far beyond national security
the cold war seems like a case of the sniffles.
5. INT. RECEPTION AREA - DAY
ANDY BRENNAN, LUCY and JUDY SWAIN, from the HAPPY HELPING HAND organization chat on the sofa near the reception area. SWAIN references large file folders in front of her.
RICHARD TREMAYNE hurries in to join them.
Sorry I'm late, but the little Nipper is so excited about
our camping trip I couldn't coax him out of the car.
Richard, this is Judy Swain from the Happy Helping
I'm Little Nicky's case manager.
Charmed, I'm sure.
As I was about to tell your friends, the number one thing
to know about Nicky is that throughout his brief life he
has been confused, and perhaps traumatized, by a
persistent random misfortune.
(noticing the size of Nicky's files)
Looks like he's bounced around quite a bit.
The poor child.
Yes. An orphan, you know.
Really? What happened? Did his parents die?
Nicely deduced, Andrew. Persistent random
They were killed.
(a look at Andy)
How were they killed, Miss Swain?
Mysterious circumstances. I'm afraid the orphanage has
never provided us with that information.
Sheriff Truman hustles out of his office to announce ...
Andy, let's go. We've got an emergency at the Great
6. INT. MARSH HOUSE, JAMES' ROOM - DAY
JAMES sits on his bed cleaning some of his tools. He is interrupted by MALCOLM, Evelyn Marsh's brother, carrying a large cocktail. Uniformed. Thirties. Tipsy. Oddly vulnerable.
Can I help you?
I'm heading up the local serf rebellion. Wondering if
you'd help me bundle up loose sticks to burn the master.
Malcolm. Malcom Sloan.
(shaking his hand)
As in "Brother to Evelyn." I'm Mr. Marsh's driver ... as
in "Bring the car around, James."
(takes a belt from his drink)
I spend a lot of time waiting at airports, happily
basking in the glow of cocktail lounge flourescents.
(sits across from James)
How badly did she damage the Jag?
That's the nice thing about things. When she and Jeffrey
fell In love, he gave her a new life. I got a nice uniform
and the keys to the liquor cabinet.
Hope I don't sound ungrateful. Compared to the life I
was living wanton dissipation is a step up - and Evelyn,
well, she's learned a lot herself. Defensive postures.
Masking bruises. Vicious cycles.
What are you talking about?
I'm sorry, am I being obscure? Once a fortnight, Jeffrey
pounds her mercilessly and she tries to get even by
breaking one of his things, which perpetuates the cycle.
She's your sister, why don't you stop him?
Sonny boy, nobody stops Mr. Marsh. That's the golden
rule around here. Jot it down and put it under your
(finishes his drink, almost tears)
No one can do anything.
7. INT. HOTEL ROOM, GREAT NORTHERN - DAY
The corpse of DOUGIE MILFORD lies in the bed. A frozen grin is plastered on his face as DOC HAYWARD finishes a cursory exam and pulls a sheet over his head.
Looks like a heart attack.
Andy and Truman stand by. Dougie's dead hand clasping an open book falls out from below
the sheet. Andy leans over and reads.
"Once stimulated the female will respond in such a way
that the skin around the ..." oh my God ...
Guess Dougie went out with his boots on.
(gently takes the book from Andy)
"My Secret Life."
I'll say ...
(inspects other books on the nightstand)
"Kama Sutra," "Collected Poems of Byron," "Hookers
Andy discovers an ornate, purple wooden BOX on a luggage stand.
Sheriff? Look at this.
The three gather around it and slowly, silently take out it's contents: two red clown noses, monk's robe and cowl, large rubber bands, lotions, an eggbeater, and, finally, a lifelike mask that bears an eerie resemblance to Gary Crosby. They stand there in awe of this discovery until their focus is broken by shouting at the door. Mayor DWAYNE MILFORD, Dougie's brother, walks into the room swelling with emotion.
What a falling off was here ... Dougie. Lord, I hate to
say I told you so.
(sees and grabs the copy of Kama Sutra)
Here it is, Sheriff. The murder weapon. She might as
well have blown his brains out with a rifle. He never
could say no to a woman ... the old fool.
He begins to weep. Truman gestures to Andy who gently leads the Mayor to the door. Andy opens the door and hands the mayor over to two DEPUTIES standing outside.
8. INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE THE ROOM - DAY
As the deputies take Dwayne out he spots Lana, giving her statement to Hawk.
You sexual Howitzer. You'll burn in hell for this.
Take it easy, Mr. Milford -
I'm going to shout to wake the dead! She murdered my
brother, she's a witch!
He makes a pathetic attempt to get to her, forcing the deputies to lead him away. Lana begins to weep. Hawk tries to comfort her.
He's right. I'm cursed.
Don't be silly.
No, it's true. It started in high school. Prom night.
My date went to kiss me ... it was his first day with
braces. They gleamed in the moonlight ... and his jaw
(barely holding on)
We ended up in the emergency room. The doctors had
to break his jaw in three places to get it to shut. It's
gotten worse ever since.
(taking a chair beside her)
A curse needs a cure. I know a bit about these things.
Are you the sheriff?
Hawk idly leans his chair back against the door to Dougie's room. Puffing up.
Let's just say that when something big goes down, I just
happen to be the man who's -
Andy opens the door behind him. Hawk goes over. On his back he looks up to see Andy beaming stupidly at the bride, caught in her spell, as he steps on Hawk's hand.
END ACT ONE
9. INT. HIGH SCHOOL GYM - DAY
Wrestling coach, BUCK WINGATE, lectures his assembled squad who stare at NADINE HURLEY and MIKE NELSON standing next to one another in wrestling gear on the mat.
Boys, there's a story about a great football coach whose
name escapes me at the time who was dead set against
having black players on his team until the day they
brought him the most fantastic black halfback anyone
had ever seen. When what's his name watched him run
fifty yards and no one laid a hand on him, he shouted,
"Look at that Indian go!"
(slaps an arm around Nadine)
That coach accepted that athlete's desire to compete.
Today that same story applies to this woman's ... young
girl's right to compete as well. In addition to which,
it's her moral and constitutional right.
(now puts his arm around Mike)
Nadine has asked to prove herself to us by wrestling the
very best: our very own District champion, Mike Nelson
(he turns Nadine and Mike toward each other)
Ready to wrestle at the sound of the whistle ...
Wingate blows his whistle. Nadine and Mike circle each other looking for the take down. Hesitatingly, Mike makes a move for Nadine's legs, she takes him by the shoulders and lifts him above her head. She carries on a conversation only she and Mike can hear.
What are you doing?
Mike looks down at Nadine helplessly. She lowers him to the mat. Whispering to him.
Isn't it fun we get to be so close in public?
(struggling for air)
Neck ... you're breaking my -
You're right. This is almost like necking.
With great effort Mike escapes, but after her quick move he is in Nadine's bear hug.
I can smell your aftershave.
(brings him down again, his face into the matt)
Want to go do something tonight? I don't have a curfew
... hint, hint.
The rest of the team is yelling: "Pin ... Pin ..." Mike lets out a groan. To Nadine it is an answer she can't hear. She flips him over to his back.
What'd you say Mike?
(fearing for his life)
He's pinned. Coach Wingate holds up Nadine's arm.
Welcome aboard, Nadine Too bad you're a senior.
Nadine beams at Mike who returns her look with terror.
10. EXT. DEAD DOG
Cooper and Littlehorse stare at the house on Dead Dog Farms. An abandoned building on a derelict farm. FADED SHUTTERS guard the window.
Still standing almost by force of habit.
Habit can provide a strong foundation. Why is it called
Dead Dog Farm?
An old legend. Of all the people in the world the worst
and the best are drawn to a dead dog.
(off Cooper curious look)
Most turn away; those with the purest of hearts feel its
pain. Somewhere in between the rest of us struggle.
Cooper nods, walks up the muddy driveway. He stops when he sees TIRE TRACKS.
Have you showed the property to anyone else recently?
I don't think anyone's asked to see it this last year.
Cooper walks in the tracks; first one, then another, and another. Almost walking in circles.
Three cars. One a jeep, one a four-wheeler. Third's a
domestic sedan ... boot prints.
Cooper follows them towards the door. Irene follows.
11. INT. KITCHEN, DEAD DOG FARM HOUSE - DAY
Littlehorse follows Cooper into the room. The place is a mess with the exception of a table and chairs set upright. Cooper sits in a chair and then sits in one opposite it, studies the angles. Examines some ashes on the floor.
What are you seeing?
There's been a meeting here. Within the last few hours.
He hunts around for something else. Sticks his hand into the drain in the sink.
They forgot there was no running water.
(brings out a bit of fine white powder; holds it
to the realtor's nose)
Cooper lies on the floor under the table with his head flat against it. A bird's eye view. He slides his head along the floor. Finds what he is looking for. He licks his finger, runs it along the floor and brings it up covered with white powder. He shows it to Littlehorse.
More white powder.
Cooper holds the hand with the powder from the drain in the sink up to Littlehorse.
(shows his white finger)
Cocaine. Irene, we have to notify the sheriff.
12. EXT. ROAD IN THE WOODS - DAY
Tremayne's car is pulled to the side of the road with a flat tire. Tremayne has managed to get the car up on a jack. The lug nuts, the spare wheel, and the flat tire lie before him. He's trying to read the jack's directions, leaning against the hood.
I don't understand this at all. I just had the car checked
at the Gas Farm and they assured me everything was in
perfect working order. This all seems so ... technical.
(his concentration is broken by a piercing blast
from the car's horn)
Please, Nicky, Uncle Dick is trying to read -
(drowned out by more blasts from the horn.
Get out of the car, Nicholas. Nicholas, get out of the
car! Right now, out of the car! Out of the CAR!
The horn stops. Pause. Nicky exits the car and moves sheepishly to Tremayne.
Are you mad at me, Uncle Dick?
(back in control)
No, no, of course, not. Why should I be mad?
I scared you, didn't I? You jumped around like a do- do
He laughs. Tremayne goes back to work. Nicky wanders away.
Tremayne brings the tire up to put it on the axle, he leans into the wheel well. As he does this the car slowly begins to rock off it's jack ... about to come down on Tremayne's neck and shoulder. Tremayne realizes this just in time and pulls away. His glove is caught in the wheel well. He watches as the fingers of the glove are torn off and crushed. A very close call. From behind him, Nicky appears crying his eyes out.
Uncle Dick, Uncle Dick.
He rushes into Tremayne's embrace.
I'm alright. Don't worry.
What? What is it, Little Nicky?
What if you died? You're aren't going to die, are you?
Of course not, Nicky. Don't be silly.
As he comforts Nicky, Tremayne studies the overturned jack and the car sitting on absolutely flat land. His smile fades.
13. INT. EVELYN'S GARAGE - DAY
James works below the Dusenberg on a sled. EVELYN MARSH moves into the room. James sneaks a look as she walks towards the car; she wears an opened blouse and cut off jeans. She carries a six pack of beer and limes. James slides the sled out.
Sounds great. Give me just a second.
James slides back under for a moment. Evelyn drifts to the window, stands in the sunlight.
It's so hot today. Feels like Indian summer. Can you
have Indian summer in the spring?
I don't know why not.
She turns back, as James comes out from under the car.
I love the sun. Feels like it could just burn away all your
troubles. Wouldn't that be nice?
(takes a pull on the beer)
You've got troubles, don't you? Maybe someday we
should tell each other all our sad stories.
That could take a while.
You must be absolutely fried working under there.
Not so bad. Here, look.
He enthusiastically slides behind the wheel of the car. Turns the key and the car's engine ignites and purrs.
Engine's fine. Think the axle'll be okay, too.
How'd you get so good at this?
My Uncle Ed. You think I'm good you should see him.
He can fix anything.
Evelyn is lost in a sad thought. James snuggles with her gloom.
Met your brother today. We were talking. About your
situation and everything -
Mind your own business, James.
A guy like me, I look at you, you've got this house, all
these things, you're young and beautiful, maybe I'm
dumb but I don't get it. Why are you so sad?
(a naked look at him)
Am I so easy to read?
You afraid of something? Afraid of your husband?
(she looks away)
Do you know what it's like ... to be so alone and so
scared that all you can think about is the wrong thing?
I know what it's like to be alone.
James. James. You're so sweet.
He wipes the tears off her cheek. They stare at each other for a moment. Then slowly they kiss.
... I feel like he's stealing my life away.
Why don't you leave?
It's ... complicated.
Evelyn clings to James. They kiss again. The tender kiss melts into passion. Only to be interrupted by the a CAR HORN.
My God, it's him.
A car pulls up into the courtyard. She pulls away from him.
I've got to go. Don't worry about it. It's not as bad as
all that. Please don't worry about me. Promise.
Evelyn, where are you, dear?
Evelyn kisses him again, lightly, then hurries to the door. James goes to the window. He listens and watches Evelyn greet her husband.
14. JAMES POV
A limo's parked outside. Thru the window he sees Evelyn embrace JEFFREY MARSH, a large, middle-aged man. James can't quite see his face. Walking in front of Jeffrey, carrying bags to the house is Malcolm. He faintly hears their voices.
How was your trip?
Fine. Fine, dear. I brought you something.
They move into the house. James watches, hurting for Evelyn, hating Jeffrey.
END OF ACT TWO
15. INT. HIGH SCHOOL - DAY
Mike Nelson walks down the school hallway with a pronounced limp. Up ahead: DONNA HAYWARD dials the combination, opens her locker. She sees Mike approaching.
What happened to you?
(with fear and loathing)
I got beat up ... by a girl.
(turning back to locker)
What'd you do to her?
I'm not kidding, Donna. You've got to help me. It's bad
enough getting stomped on in front of the whole team.
(making sure no one is close enough to ear)
She likes me.
(not sure what to call her)
It's not funny.
(enjoying his trepidation)
Oh, I don't know. Maybe an older woman is just what
I don't want to go out with anyone who can pin me.
Well what do you want me to do about it?
You could talk to her or something. Pretend you're still
Sorry, Mike. I'm not that good an actress.
Please. Donna, this is serious. I'm gonna end up in
No dice. Mike watches forlornly as Donna walks away.
16. EXT. GREAT NORTHERN HOTEL - DAY
17. INT. GREAT NORTHERN CORRIDOR - DAY
Bobby steps through the lobby carrying the camera and a manila envelope. Mission accomplished. AUDREY HORNE appears, interrupts. Their flirtation continues.
Look who's here: did daddy have a change of heart?
Daddy made the best move he's made all year.
That's not saying much. What'd he do?
He put me on the payroll.
Bobby, you Junior Achiever you.
(self-important, showing the envelope)
My first assignment.
(smells an opportunity)
Anything I can help you with?
Maybe you could help me celebrate. After I show these
to the boss.
Bobby flirts, brushes his fingertips across her cheek. Audrey's amused. She likes it too.
Want to know what I think, Bobby Briggs?
(moves closer, her mouth inches from his)
I think we should think about doing ... business together.
A beat. Bobby leans in, as if to kiss. But Audrey avoids him, content to tease ... for now. A beat. Bobby recovers, manages a grin, and:
Audrey ... I like the way you think.
Bobby turns and walks away. Audrey watches him exit into the office. Then she goes into her secret crawlspace.
18. INT. CRAWLSPACE - DAY
CAMERA FOLLOWS Audrey down the dimly lighted corridor. She removes a wooden slat, reveals the familiar PEEPHOLE. Audrey leans closer ...
19. INT. BEN HORNE'S OFFICE - DAY
Furniture in the room has been rearranged. Fingering valuables, Bobby moves to behind Ben's desk and filches a cigar. Down at the floor a large Civil war game is spread out. Bobby looks at it, puzzled. Ben steps into the room , unshaven, wearing a grey civil war tunic, carrying a large Confederate flag. Bobby leaps to his feet, brimming with newfound confidence.
Hey, Ben, how's it going?
(deadpan, reacting to the use of his given name)
Why is God punishing me?
(revealing manila envelope)
I followed Hank. Got the pictures. Just like you
wanted. Ben, what is this you're doing here?
Gettysburg. Day One. The South is winning.
Ben takes the envelope, crosses to his desk, slumps down into the chair. Bobby sits on a desk corner, oblivious to Ben's glare.
I don't know what Hank's up to, but I figure it's no good.
He's meeting guys I've never seen before, and these boys
ain't exactly from the Rotary, if you know what I mean.
Ben holds up a hand to stop his babbling. Bobby stops immediately. Ben peers long and hard at the photographs. A beat. Ben smiles.
Bobby. I like you. How much am I paying, you,
We haven't actually discussed -
Ben reaches into his wallet, extracts a new bill. Hands it to Bobby.
Consider this your first raise. Come back tomorrow
and we'll discuss a full-time position.
Thank you, Ben. I won't let you down.
The use of the name again gives Ben a shiver.
20. INT. CRAWLSPACE - DAY
Audrey turns from the peephole, wonders, HOLD ON her for a beat.
21. EXT. BLUE PINE LODGE - DAY
22. INT. BLUE PINE LODGE - DAY (SUNSET)
OPEN ON PETE MARTELL pulling and tugging at a champagne bottle cork.
The trick is to twist and pull the cork at the same time ...
The trick is to open the damn bottle before the vintage
Pete and CATHERINE MARTELL in the Blue Pine dining room. A celebratory meal before them. Pete wrestles with the cork, finally POPS it. The cork ricochets off the ceiling. Champagne bubbles forth, spilling upon the table. Catherine holds out her goblet.
Nectar of the Gods, Catherine. It's the bubbles.
Pete manages to move some of the froth inside her glass, then his own. Pete smiles, holds his glass into the air. He means to propose a roast. Catherine grudgingly follows suit.
"Wine comes in at the mouth, love comes in at the eye; I
hold my glass to my lips, I look at you and sigh ..."
(blushes, takes a hurried sip)
(she couldn't care less)
Thank you, Pete. That's very lyrical.
It's Yeats. He's a poet.
Yes, I know.
The only other toast I know is a limerick. It didn't
(begging for silence)
Thank you, Pete. Really. I'm touched.
(trying to remember)
"There once was a lady from Galway ..."
(that does it)
JOSIE PACKARD appears from the kitchen. She's wearing a serving apron.
Josie, I want you to know that even though your station in
this household has changed, considerably, you can
depend on me to treat you with all the respect and
affection you deserve.
(biting her lip)
Thank you, Catherine. I will try to do the same.
We'll have our appetizers now.
(Josie starts to leave)
And put on your little maid's cap.
Josie goes to the kitchen. Catherine finishes her champagne, pours herself a second glass. Pete watches Josie exit, then, quietly:
Catherine? You think maybe you're being a little hard on
her? I mean she's still part of the family and all.
Peter, for your information, Josie had a hand in
Andrew's death and did everything in her power to
destroy me. She's lucky she's not swinging from a tree.
I don't believe it. Not the Josie I know ...
Oh, Pete. If gullibility was an aphrodisiac, you'd be a
Pete takes the latter as a compliment. Or maybe he's being sarcastic. It's hard to tell.
You're too kind.
Exasperated, Catherine finishes her second glass. Pours a third. She looks at Pete, considers their life together. And raises her own hand into the air, getting a little tipsy.
I'd like to propose a toast.
Pete hefts a glass of milk.
(to her somewhat hollow victory)
Here's to Ben Horne's doublecross; here's to Josie
Packard's dirty deeds; and here's to the woman who
brought them down. Here's to me. Catherine Packard
Here's to you, Poodle.
(pause, muttered, as she raises glass to lips)
Sometimes I think I was better off in the woods.
23. INT. COOPER'S ROOM - DAY (SUNSET)
START CLOSE on an advertisement in a newspaper personals column. Cooper's answer to Windom Earle's opening move. ANOTHER ANGLE reveals Cooper seated on his bed, holding the newspaper in one hand, his small tape recorder in the other.
Diane, I am holding in my hand a nationally distributed
newspaper. Plenty of color pictures. My opening move
responding to Earle's opening move was printed per my
instructions in the Personals column ... but I've already
received his response to this ... yesterday. He
anticipated my opening move perfectly. I wonder where
he is. I wonder what he's planning.
(getting up to pace about room)
In the meantime, I have spent my first full day without
badge and gun the best way I know how: occupying both
body and spirit. Real estate, Diane what the local agent
charitably describes as a Fixer-Upper. Nonetheless, it's
the sort of where a man might build a home, raise
a family, I which in spite of my past, I still hope to do
both someday. However, as is so often the case, even this
bucolic hideway is filled with secrets. Secrets that
may be connected to my troubles with the Bureau. Not
to mention the cocaine found in my automobile.
(beat, a little sad)
Agent Hardy's deliberations will soon be completed. If
I can't adequately defend myself there is the very real
possibility of imprisonment. Other innocent men have
served there, apparently with no great detriment to the
development of their character. If I must go, I hope I
can uphold the tradition established by Doestoyevsky,
Solzhinytsen and many other great Russian authors.
Cooper pauses, sad, uncertain. He pulls the Bookhouse Boy patch out of his pocket, just holds it for a moment. As if to consider his future. Suddenly: a knock at the door. Cooper turns off the recorder, steps carefully to answer it. Out of habit, he reaches toward his shoulder holster, reacts. He has no gun to protect himself. A beat. More knocking. Cooper answers and reveals Audrey Horne holding the manila envelope last seen in her father's office.
Hello, Agent Cooper.
(holding envelope to him)
This is for you. I stole it.
Then I suggest you give it back.
Not until you look inside.
What will I find there?
Pictures my father paid for.
A beat. Cooper takes the envelope, steps from the door. Audrey follows. Cooper removes the photographs, produces a magnifying glass. And examines them: black and white snaps taken at Dead Dog Farm. The weatherbeaten house, its distinctive shutters, visible in the background. But, more importantly: Hank Jennings meeting with several men: Ernie Niles, Jean Renault and the Mountie, Preston King.
I did good, didn't I?
(looking up from pictures)
You did better than good. You may have saved my life.
Good. So now we're even.
Another knock at the door.
Cooper steps to the door, opens it a second time.
DENISE BRYSON steps into the room. Audrey reacts, disappointment turns to jealousy.
Sorry. I didn't know I was interrupting -
Business, Audrey. This is Agent Denise Bryson, Drug
Enforcement Agency. Denise, I'd like you to meet a
very good friend of mine. Audrey Horne.
(extending a hand)
They have girl agents?
More or less.
Audrey, would you excuse, us please? Agency business.
I thought you were grounded.
Not for long. Goodnight. Thank you again.
Goodnight. You're welcome.
Audrey pauses. Then, quite suddenly, she raises up and kisses Cooper on the mouth. Audrey takes a proud look at Denise, and steps out the door. A beat. Both ignoring the stolen kiss. Cooper hands the photographs to Denise.
I spent the late morning looking at an abandoned
property on the outskirts of town. Tire tracks indicated
recent activity. In the kitchen, I found traces of cocaine
and the baby laxitive used to step it out. These pictures
place Jean Renault, Hank Jennings, Norma Jennings'
father-in-law, and Preston King, Mountie, at the same
scene earlier today.
(looking at photos, dryly)
I wonder who brought the coffee cake.
Cooper reaches into his bag, reveals the envelope of cocaine he took from the farm.
Check this sample I took from the farmhouse with the
cocaine found in my automobile and I think you'll find
it's a match. I was set up and I can prove it.
Denise takes the envelope.
Let's talk about something more important: exactly how
old is that girl?
I would have assumed you were no longer interested in
Hey, I may be wearing a dress but I still put my panties
on one leg at a time, if you know what I mean.
I know exactly what you mean.
END ACT THREE
24. EXT. SHERIFF'S STATION - NIGHT
26. INT. SHERIFF'S STATION - NIGHT
Richard Tremayne enters. Lucy reacts, Tremayne smiles, doesn't even stop to offer an unctious hello. Instead, he calls out to Andy as he passes.
What is it, Dick?
May I have a word with you?
Lucy frowns as the two men seek privacy in a corner. Tremayne looks left and right, quietly:
Andy, I fear we may have a problem.
It's our mutual friend, Little Nicky.
How shall I put this, you see, the child is, well he's ...
(deep breath, to the point)
Andy, I believe that Little Nicky, incredible as it may
seem ... may in fact be the Devil.
Or at the very least homicidal in the first degree. Andy,
we've got to find out what happened to Nicky's parents.
Doc Hayward moves past them to enter Truman's office.
27. INT. SHERIFF'S OFFICE - NIGHT
Doc Hayward enters. Dwayne Milford and Truman are seated.
I've got the autopsy results. Dwayne, Dougie died of
natural causes. Heart attack. No evidence of foul play.
Did you check him for witchcraft?
That's not the kind of thing that would show up in an
I want to press charges.
Dwayne, I can't press charges if there hasn't been a crime.
She killed him with sex! How much clearer does it have
Dwayne, it's been a long, hard day. Why don't you go
home and get some rest -
Rest?! You expect me to sleep?! Not until that
murderous hussy is behind bars where she belongs. I'll
sue, I'll bring civil suits, she'll never get her hands on
Dougie's money, not as long as I draw breath, NOT
ONE RED CENT!!
And with that, Dwayne storms out, Truman and Hayward follow him out into reception ... joining Tremayne and Deputy Andy, as they watch Dwayne's outbreak. A beat. Someone clears their throat behind them. All turn to find Hawk standing in the doorway of the conference room, Lana Budding at his side.
Harry do you still have that bottle of Irish in your
office? I thought I might add a little to some warm
milk for the Widow Mildord.
Lana sniffles meekly, wipes a fugitive tear from her cheek. Truman and Hayward stare with surprise, enthralled. Andy emits a little pleading sigh. And Tremayne speaks with quiet reverence, speaks for all of them:
"Oh she doth teach the torches to burn bright! It seems
she hangs upon the cheek of night like a rich jewel in an
Ethiope's ear; Beauty too rich for use, for earth too
HOLD ON this tableau for a beat. The rare beauty. The swooning admirers.
28. INT. SHERIFF'S STATION - NIGHT
Moments later. Lucy returns to her post through the now empty lobby. She looks about, reacts, picks up an incoming call.
Sheriffs Station, how can I help you? One moment,
Sheriff Truman? Sheriff
(puzzled, she gets up, walks to his office door,
No reply. Lucy leans closer, she can hear LAUGHTER from inside. She opens the door.
29. INT. SHERIFF TRUMAN'S OFFICE - NIGHT
Lucy stands in the doorway.
Lana Budding sits on the Sheriffs desk surrounded by ardent suitors. Truman, Doc Hayward, Andy, Hawk and Tremayne. Sweetly, in mid-tale:
... and so then I said, "But what do you think underpants
are for, anyway?"
The men react with laughter and affection. All eyes upon her. Tremayne leans closer.
Tell us another one. Please, Lana?
C'mon, Lana. One more.
Quiet, guys. Give her some room.
Okay. One time I had this cousin who was a clown in
this rodeo and there was all these really big horses ...
Andy leaps up to refill Lana's glass. Lucy reacts with rolling eyes, revulsion. But no one even notices as she pivots, slams the door behind her. A beat. And the mounted deer head creaks, tilts, and SMASHES down on a vacant chair. Only seconds after Andy left it. HOLD ON Andy's near-miss for a beat.
30. INT. DOUBLE R DINER - NIGHT
ED HURLEY sits at the counter, drags a fork through a piece of cherry pie. He's quiet, sad.
Are you going to eat that pie, or push it all over my
Ed looks up, sees NORMA JENNINGS standing there.
I'm not all that hungry.
Want to talk about it?
You don't want to hear my troubles.
We used to talk about everything. We still can, Ed.
A long beat. Ed just looks at her. She's still the woman he loves.
Remember when we were kids? Al the plans we made
It was like we were waiting for our lives to begin.
Planning all the stuff we'd do when they did. But
somehow, life starts before you know it. And suddenly
you're halfway through living it, and all those plans don't
mean a thing.
I'm living my life, Norma. I don't like it much.
Norma reaches down, takes his hand. A beat. Ed brings Norma's palm to his lips, gently kisses it. As if to find refuge there.
Maybe we can make new plans.
Ed looks up at Norma, hopeful. Norma smiles. But CAMERA REVEALS someone watching them from the kitchen with dark, angry eyes. Hank Jennings.
32. INT. DOUBLE R DINER - NIGHT
Ernie Niles dines alone. He lifts fork to mouth, stops half-way. Denise Bryson suddenly sits across from him.
Can I help you ...?
Denise produces the photographs from Dead Dog Farm, tosses them onto the table. Shows Ernie her i.d. and badge.
Mr. Niles, I'm not going to put the squeeze on. You've
been to prison, I don't need to paint you any pictures.
Wha - what are you talking about?
For starters you're guilty of a serious parole violation.
Enough to put you back inside. And unless you
cooperate, I'll do everything in my power to keep you
What do you want me to do?
HOLD ON poor Ernie. Sweating bullets.
33. INT. AGENT COOPER'S HOTEL ROOM NIGHT
Ernie spills his guts with gusto. Not to mention the usual lies and exaggerations.
My name is Ernie Niles. I confess. I'm guilty.
Terribly guilty. Against my will, of course -
ANOTHER ANGLE reveals Niles, Denise, and Agent Cooper in the latter's hotel room.
Mr. Niles -
They held me at gunpoint, they beat me and made
violent threats. These men are animals, they'll stop at
Mr. Niles -
They want me to sell drugs for them, I tried to resist,
but family is all important to me and when they
threatened my family, when they threatened my wife, I
weakened, I'm sorry, I know it was wrong, but love
makes a man do foolish things, illegal things,
That catches his attention. Ernie pauses, cowers just a bit. Cooper's cool and calm.
Ernie, we appreciate the trials you have suffered. We
Sympathize. That's why we're here.
Yes. Now tell us everything you know.
(off to the races)
They tortured me. Horrid, awful humiliations. I tried
to be strong, I swear, but a man can only stand so much
Not everything. Just those details that pertain to the
selling of drugs.
A beat. Ernie takes a deep breath, pulls himself together. Then:
They have five kilos of cocaine to sell. They need a
buyer. To save myself, I told them I could find one.
(the liar confesses)
God, no, I don't know anybody who could do that.
You do now. A major drug trafficker will arrive from
Seattle tomorrow. You will set up a meet with these
men at Dead Dog Farm.
But with who? Who is It?
You're looking at him.
May I be excused for a minute? Nervous bladder.
Cooper nods. Ernie shuffles off to the bathroom.
You were right. The cocaine you found at the farm
matches what I found in your car.
Jean Renault. A crooked Mountie. They almost had
Almost. Now it's our turn.
34. INT. GARAGE APARTMENT - NIGHT
James tosses and turns in his bed, then stops suddenly, listens. Voices shouting in the night. James hurries to the window that faces the main house. The sounds continue, but more ambiguous now. A fight? Some more innocent disturbance? There's no way for James to be sure. Just then: footsteps approaching. James turns: Malcom steps into the room. He drinks deeply from a tall glass, steps toward the window to peer back at the main house. Quietly drunk.
Is she alright?
The first time he beat her, I swore revenge. Something
violent and noble. Evelyn begged me not to hurt him.
She made me promise. For both our sakes. That was
four years ago.
With each succeeding violation, my heart's torn into even
smaller pieces. And one day ... I swear I'll kill him.
No matter what it costs.
Malcom turns from the window, faces James. Moonlight illuminates the tears upon his face.
35. INT. BRIGGS HOUSE - NIGHT
Bobby Briggs steps carefully through the dark living room. Then he stops, SEES someone sitting in an armchair. Startled, Bobby lets out a whoop and leaps backward. The figure reaches for a standing lamp, turns it on. Revealing Bobby's mother, BETTY BRIGGS.
Jeez, Mom. You almost gave me a heart attack.
What are you doin' alone in the dark.
Nothing. Just sitting here.
Well read a book or something, will you. It's creepy.
(pause; takes a closer look)
It's Dad, right?
Betty nods, bites her lip. A beat. And Bobby steps to her, kneels at his mother's side.
Hey. He's coming back. You know he will. This is just
some of that top secret jazz.
I'm not so sure this time.
Betty begins to cry. Bobby pauses. He doesn't know what to do. Then, a little awkward:
Guess you really love him, huh?
Bobby sits down, leans against the chair. He reaches into his jacket for a cigarette. Lights it. Knowing his mother will not protest. A long beat, then, quietly, almost contemplative:
I was at the Double R last week. Dad and I, we had this
talk. About this dream he had. There was this big
house, with lots of lights, made of white marble. Dad
was there, and I was there too. Living a life of "deep
harmony and joy." Something like that. And there was
all this stuff about my future. Good stuff. Kind'a nuts.
But it was cool.
Your father is an extraordinary man.
My father is a deeply weird individual.
(quietly, with affection)
He has a lot more goin' on under his hat than most
people. That's for sure.
Betty smiles. Bobby's not far wrong.
When I sleep at night, he runs his fingers through my hair.
He doesn't think I notice. But I do.
Just then: a noise from the front door. Both react, and MAJOR BRIGGS walks into the living room noticeably disheveled. There's a faint, almost imperceptible glow in his eyes. Bobby and Betty Briggs react with stunned silence. Briggs finally speaks:
(a little foggy)
How long have I been gone?
Strange. It seemed much shorter.
Betty Briggs rushes into his arms. Bobby gets to his feet. He's not up to a hug. But Bobby can't help but exhibit a little relief. Briggs speaks to him over his wife's shoulder.
Bobby, I want you to put out that cigarette. Then I
would like you to fix me a cocktail. A strong one, if you
(a little dazed)
Sure, Dad. Whatever you say.
Bobby steps off into the shadows. Briggs and his wife remain in loving embrace, illuminated by the warm light of the standing lamp. She weeps quietly.
Is everything all right?
No dear. Not exactly.
FADE TO BLACK: