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FARGO


                                   FARGO
                              a screenplay by
                                Ethan Coen
                                    and
                                 Joel Coen

	The following text fades in over black:

	This is a true story. The events depicted in this film took place
	in Minnesota in 1987. At the request of the survivors, the names
	have been changed. Out of respect for the dead, the rest has been
	told exactly as it occured.

	FLARE TO WHITE

	FADE IN FROM WHITE

	Slowly the white becomes a barely perceptible image:  white
	particles wave over a white background.  A snowfall.

	A car bursts through the curtain of snow.

	The car is equipped with a hitch and is towing another car,
	a brand-new light brown Cutlass Ciera with the pink sales
	sticker showing in its rear window.

	As the car roars past, leaving snow swirling in their dirft,
	the title of the film fades in.

				FARGO

	Green highway signs point the way to MOOREHEAD,
	MINNESOTA/FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA.  The roads for the two cities
	diverge.  A sign says WELCOME TO NORTH DAKOTA and another
	just after says NOW ENTERING FARGO, ND, POP. 44,412.

	The car pulls into a Rodeway Inn.

	HOTEL LOBBY

	A man in his early forties, balding and starting to paunch,
	goes to the reception desk.  The clerk is an older woman.

				CLERK
		And how are you today, sir?

				MAN
		Real good now.  I'm checking in
		- Mr. Anderson.

	The man prints "Jerry Lundega" onto a registration card,
	then hastily crosses out the last name and starts to print
	"Anderson."

	As she types into a computer:

				CLERK
		Okay, Mr. Anderson, and you're
		still planning on staying with
		us just the night, then?

				ANDERSON
		You bet.

	HOTEL ROOM

	The man turns on the TV, which shows the local evening news.

				NEWS ANCHOR
		- whether they will go to summer
		camp at all.  Katie Jensen has
		more.

				KATIE
		It was supposed to be a project
		funded by the city council;  it
		was supposed to benefit those
		Fargo-Moorehead children who
		would otherwise not be able to
		afford to attend a lakeshore
		summer camp.  But nobody consulted
		city controller Stu Jacobson...

	CHAIN RESTAURANT

	Anderson sits alone at a table finishing dinner.  Muzak
	plays.  A middle-aged waitress approaches holding a pot of
	regular coffee in one hand and decaf in the other.

				WAITRESS
		Can I warm that up for ya there?

				ANDERSON
		You bet.

	The man looks at his watch.

	THROUGH A WINDSHIELD

	We are pulling into the snowswept parking lot of a one-story
	brick building.  Broken neon at the top of the building
	identifies it as the Jolly Troll Tavern.  A troll, also in
	neon, holds a champagne glass aloft.

	INSIDE

	The bar is downscale even for this town.  Country music
	plays on the jukebox.

	Two men are seated in a booth at the back.  One is short,
	slight, youngish.  The other man is somewhat older, and
	dour.  The table in front of them is littered with empty
	long-neck beer bottles.  The ashtray is full.

	Anderson approaches.

				ANDERSON
		I'm, uh, Jerry Lundegaard -

				YOUNGER MAN
		You're Jerry Lundegaard?

				JERRY
		Yah, Shep Proudfoot said -

				YOUNGER MAN
		Shep said you'd be here at 7:30.
		What gives, man?

				JERRY
		Shep said 8:30.

				YOUNGER MAN
		We been sitting here an hour.
		I've peed three times already.

				JERRY
		I'm sure sorry.  I - Shep told
		me 8:30.  It was a mix-up, I
		guess.

				YOUNGER MAN
		Ya got the car?

				JERRY
		Yah, you bet.  It's in the lot
		there.  Brand-new burnt umber
		Ciera.

				YOUNGER MAN
		Yeah, okay.  Well, siddown then.
		I'm Carl Showalter and this is
		my associate Gaear Grimsrud.

				JERRY
		Yah, how ya doin'.  So, uh, we
		all set on this thing, then?

				YOUNGER MAN
		Sure, Jerry, we're all set.  Why
		wouldn't we be?

				JERRY
		Yah, no, I'm sure you are.  Shep
		vouched for you and all.  I got
		every confidence in you fellas.

	They stare at him.  An awkward beat.

				JERRY
		...  So I guess that's it, then.
		Here's the keys -

				CARL
		No, that's not it, Jerry.

				JERRY
		Huh?

				CARL
		The new vehicle, plus forty
		thousand dollars.

				JERRY
		Yah, but the deal was, the car
		first, see, then the forty
		thousand, like as if it was the
		ransom.  I thought Shep told you -

				CARL
		Shep didn't tell us much, Jerry.

				JERRY
		Well, okay, it's -

				CARL
		Except that you were gonna be
		here at 7:30.

				JERRY
		Yah, well, that was a mix-up, then.

				CARL
		Yeah, you already said that.

				JERRY
		Yah.  But it's not a whole pay-
		in-advance deal.  I give you a
		brand-new vehicle in advance and -

				CARL
		I'm not gonna debate you, Jerry.

				JERRY
		Okay.

				CARL
		I'm not gonna sit here and debate.
		I will say this though:  what Shep
		told us didn't make a whole lot
		of sense.

				JERRY
		Oh, no, it's real sound.  It's
		all worked out.

				CARL
		You want your own wife kidnapped?

				JERRY
		Yah.

	Carl Stares.  Jerry looks blankly back.

				CARL
		...  You - my point is, you pay
		the ransom - what eighty thousand
		bucks? -  I mean, you give us
		half the ransom, forty thousand,
		you keep half.  It's like robbing
		Peter to play Paul, it doesn't
		make any -

				JERRY
		Okay, it's - see, it's not me
		payin' the ransom.  The thing is,
		my wife, she's wealthy - her dad,
		he's real well off.  Now, I'm in
		a bit of trouble -

				CARL
		What kind of trouble are you in,
		Jerry?

				JERRY
		Well, that's, that's, I'm not go
		inta, inta - see, I just need
		money.  Now, her dad's real
		wealthy -

				CARL
		So why don't you just ask him
		for the money?

	Grimsrud, the dour man who has not yet spoken, now softly
	puts in with a Swedish-accented voice:

				GRIMSRUD
		Or your fucking wife, you know.

				CARL
		Or your fucking wife, Jerry.

				JERRY
		Well, it's all just part of this -
		they don't know I need it, see.
		Okay, so there's that.  And even
		if they did, I wouldn't get it.
		So there's that on top, then.  See,
		these're personal matters.

				CARL
		Personal matters.

				JERRY
		Yah.  Personal matters that
		needn't, uh -

				CARL
		Okay, Jerry.  You're tasking us
		to perform this mission, but you,
		you won't, uh, you won't - aw,
		fuck it, let's take a look at
		that Ciera.

	MINNEAPOLIS SUBURBAN HOUSE

	Jerry enters through the kitchen door, in a parka and a red
	plaid Elmer Fudd hat.  He stamps snow off his feet.  He is
	carrying a bag of groceries which he deposits on the kitchen
	counter.

				JERRY
		Hon?  Got the growshries.

				VOICE
		Thank you, hon.  How's Fargo?

				JERRY
		Yah, real good.

				VOICE
		Dad's here.

	DEN

	Jerry enters, pulling off his plaid cap.

				JERRY
		How ya doin', Wade?

	Wade Gustafson is mid-sixtyish, vigorous, with a full head
	of gray hair.  His eyes remain fixed on the TV.

				WADE
		Yah, pretty good.

				JERRY
		Whatcha watchin' there?

				WADE
		Norstars.

				JERRY
		...  Who they playin'?

				WADE
		OOOoooh!

	His reaction synchronizes with a reaction from the crowd.

	KITCHEN

	Jerry walks back in, taking off his coat.  His wife is
	putting on an apron.  Jerry nods toward the living room.

				JERRY
		Is he stayin' for supper, then?

				WIFE
		Yah, I think so...  Dad, are you
		stayin' for supper?

				WADE
			(off)
		Yah.

	DINING ROOM

	Jerry, his wife, Wade and Scotty, twelve years old, sit
	eating.

				SCOTTY
		May I be excused?

				JERRY
		Sure, ya done there?

				SCOTTY
		Uh-huh.  Goin' out.

				WIFE
		Where are you going?

				SCOTTY
		Just out.  Just McDonald's.

				JERRY
		Back at 9:30.

				SCOTTY
		Okay.

				WADE
		He just ate.  And he didn't finish.
		He's going to McDonald's instead
		of finishing here?

				WIFE
		He sees his friends there.  It's
		okay.

				WADE
		It's okay?  McDonald's?  What do
		you think they do there?  They
		don't drink milkshakes, I assure
		you!

				WIFE
		It's okay, Dad.

				JERRY
		Wade, have ya had a chance to
		think about, uh, that deal I was
		talkin' about, those forty acres
		there on Wayzata?

				WADE
		You told me about it.

				JERRY
		Yah, you said you'd have a think
		about it.  I understand it's a
		lot of money -

				WADE
		A heck of a lot.  What'd you
		say you were gonna put there?

				JERRY
		A lot.  It's a limited -

				WADE
		I know it's a lot.

				JERRY
		I mean a parking lot.

				WADE
		Yah, well, seven hundred and
		fifty thousand dollars is a lot
		- ha ha ha!

				JERRY
		Yah, well, it's a chunk, but -

				WADE
		I thought you were gonna show
		it to Stan Grossman.  He passes
		on this stuff before it gets
		kicked up to me.

				JERRY
		Well, you know Stan'll say no
		dice.  That's why you pay him.
		I'm asking you here, Wade.  This
		could work out real good for me
		and Jean and Scotty -

				WADE
		Jean and Scotty never have to
		worry.

	WHITE

	A black like curls through the white.  Twisting perspective
	shows that it is an aerial shot of a two-lane highway,
	bordered by snowfields.  The highway carries one moving car.

	INT. CAR

	Carl Showalter is driving.  Gaear Grimsrud stares blankly
	out.

	After a long beat:

				GRIMSRUD
		Where is Pancakes Hause?

				CARL
		What?

				GRIMSRUD
		We stop at Pancakes Hause.

				CARL
		What're you, nuts?  We had
		pancakes for breakfast.  I gotta
		go somewhere I can get a shot
		and a beer - and a steak maybe.
		Not more fuckin' pancakes.  Come
		on.

	Grimsrud gives him a sour look.

				CARL
		...  Come on, man.  Okay, here's
		an idea.  We'll stop outside of
		Brainerd.  I know a place there
		we can get laid.  Wuddya think?

				GRIMSRUD
		I'm fuckin' hungry now, you know.

				CARL
		Yeah, yeah, Jesus - I'm sayin',
		we'll stop for pancakes, then
		we'll get laid.  Wuddya think?

	GUSTAFSON OLDS GARAGE

	Jerry is sitting in his glassed-in salesman's cubicle just
	off the showroom floor.  On the other side of his desk sit
	an irate customer and his wife.

				CUSTOMER
		We sat here right in this room and
		went over this and over this!

				JERRY
		Yah, but that TruCoat -

				CUSTOMER
		I sat right here and said I didn't
		want no TruCoat!

				JERRY
		Yah, but I'm sayin', that TruCoat,
		you don't get it and you get
		oxidization problems.  It'll cost
		you a heck of lot more'n five
		hunnert -

				CUSTOMER
		You're sittin' here, you're talkin'
		in circles!  You're talkin' like
		we didn't go over this already!

				JERRY
		Yah, but this TruCoat -

				CUSTOMER
		We had us a deal here for nine-
		teen-five.  You sat there and
		darned if you didn't tell me
		you'd get this car, these options,
		WITHOUT THE SEALANT, for nine-
		teen-five!

				JERRY
		Okay, I'm not sayin' I didn't -

				CUSTOMER
		You called me twenty minutes ago
		and said you had it!  Ready to
		make delivery, ya says!  Come on
		down and get it!  And here ya are
		and you're wastin' my time and
		you're wastin' my wife's time and
		I'm payin' nineteen-five for this
		vehicle here!

				JERRY
		Well, okay, I'll talk to my boss...

	He rises, and, as he leaves:

				JERRY
		...  See, they install that TruCoat
		at the factory, there's nothin' we
		can do, but I'll talk to my boss.

	The couple watch him go to a nearby cubicle.

				CUSTOMER
		These guys here - these guys!
		It's always the same!  It's always
		more!  He's a liar!

				WIFE
		Please, dear.

				CUSTOMER
		We went over this and over this -

	NEARBY CUBICLE

	Jerry sits perched on the desk of another salesman who is
	eating lunch as he watches a hockey game on a small portable
	TV.

				JERRY
		So you're goin' to the Gophers
		on Sunday?

				SALESMAN
		You bet.

				JERRY
		You wouldn't have an extra ticket
		there?

				SALESMAN
		They're playin' the Buckeyes!

				JERRY
		Yah.

				SALESMAN
		Ya kiddin'!

	JERRY'S CUBICLE

	Jerry re-enters.

				JERRY
		Well, he never done this before,
		but seein' as it's special
		circumstances and all, he says I
		can knock one hunnert off that
		TruCoat.

				CUSTOMER
		One hundred!  You lied to me, Mr.
		Lundegaard.  You're a bald-faced
		liar!

	Jerry sits staring at his lap.

				CUSTOMER
		...  A fucking liar -

				WIFE
		Bucky, please!

	Jerry mumbles into his lap:

				JERRY
		One hunnert's the best we can
		do here.

				CUSTOMER
		Oh, for Christ's sake, where's my
		goddamn checkbook.  Let's get this
		over with.

	WIDE EXTERIOR:  TRUCK STOP

	There is a restaurant with many big rigs parked nearby, and
	a motel with an outsize Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox
	flanking its sign:  BLUE OX MOTEL.

	MOTEL ROOM

	Carl Showalter and Gaear Grimsrud are in the twin beds
	having sex with two truck-stop hookers.

				CARL
		Oh, Jesus, yeah.

				HIS HOOKER
		There ya go, sugar.

				GRIMSRUD
		Nnph.

				HIS HOOKER
		Yeah.  Yeah.  Oh, yeah.

	LATER

	The couples like in their respective beds, gazing at the
	offscreen TV.

				ED MCMAHON
		-  Johnny's guests tonight will be
		Lee Majors, George Wendt, and Steve
		Boutsikaros from the San Diego Zoo,
		so keep that dial -

	LUNDEGAARD KITCHEN

	We hear a morning show on television.  Jean Lundegaard is
	making coffee in the kitchen as Scott eats cereal at the
	table.

				JEAN
		I'm talkin' about your potential.

				SCOTT
			(absently)
		Uh-huh.

				JEAN
		You're not a C student.

				SCOTT
		Uhn.

				JEAN
		And yet you're gettin' C grades.
		It's this disparity there that
		concerns your dad and me.

				SCOTT
		Uh-huh.

				JEAN
		You know what a disparity is?

				SCOTT
			(testily)
		Yeah!

				JEAN
		Okay.  Well, that's why we don't
		want ya goin' out fer hockey.

				SCOTT
		Oh, man!

	The phone rings.

				SCOTT
		...  What's the big deal?  It's
		an hour -

				JEAN
		Hold on.

	She picks up the phone.

				JEAN
		...  Hello?

				PHONE VOICE
		Yah, hiya, hon.

				JEAN
		Oh, hiya, Dad.

				WADE
		Jerry around?

				JEAN
		Yah, he's still here - I'll
		catch him for ya.

	She holds the phone away and calls:

				JEAN
		...  Hon?

				VOICE
		Yah.

				JEAN
		It's Dad.

				VOICE
		Yah...

	Jerry enters in shirtsleeves and tie.

				JERRY
		...  Yah, okay...

				SCOTT
		Look, Dad, there is no fucking
		way -

				JEAN
		Scott!

				JERRY
		Say, let's watch the language -

	He takes the phone.

				JERRY
		How ya doin', Wade?

				WADE
		What's goin' on there?

				JERRY
		Oh, nothing, Wade.  How ya doin'
		there?

				WADE
		Stan Grossman looked at your
		proposal.  Says it's pretty
		sweet.

				JERRY
		No kiddin'?

				WADE
		We might be innarested.

				JERRY
		No kiddin'!  I'd need the cash
		pretty quick there.  In order
		to close the deal.

				WADE
		Come by at 2:30 and we'll talk
		about it.  If your numbers are
		right, Stan says its pretty
		sweet.  Stan Grossman.

				JERRY
		Yah.

				WADE
		2:30.

	Click.  Dial tone.

				JERRY
		Yah, okay.

	GUSTAFSON OLD GARAGE

	Jerry wanders through the service area where cars are being
	worked on.  He stops by an Indian in blue jeans who is
	looking at the underside of a car that sits on a hydraulic
	lift with a cage light hanging off its innards.

				JERRY
		Say, Shep, how ya doin' there?

				SHEP
		Mm.

				JERRY
		Say, ya know those two fellas
		ya put me in touch with, up
		there in Fargo?

				SHEP
		Put you in touch with Grimsrud.

				JERRY
		Well, yah, but he had a buddy
		there.  He, uh -

				SHEP
		Well, I don't vouch for him.

				JERRY
		Well, that's okay, I just -

				SHEP
		I vouch for Grimsrud.  Who's his
		buddy?

				JERRY
		Carl somethin'?

				SHEP
		Never heard of him.  Don't vouch
		for him.

				JERRY
		Well, that's okay, he's a buddy
		of the guy ya vouched for, so I'm
		not worryin'.  I just, I was
		wonderin', see, I gotta get in
		touch with 'em for, I might not
		need it anymore, sumpn's happenin',
		see -

				SHEP
		Call 'em up.

				JERRY
		Yah, well, see, I did that, and
		I haven't been able to get 'em,
		so I thought you maybe'd know an
		alternate number or what have ya.

				SHEP
		Nope.

	Jerry slaps his fist into his open palm and snaps his
	fingers.

				JERRY
		Okay, well, real good, then.

	CAR

	Carl is driving.  Grimsrud stares out front.

	After a beat:

				CARL
		...  Look at that.  Twin Cities.
		IDS Building, the big glass one.
		Tallest skyscraper in the Midwest.
		After the Sears, uh, Chicago...
		You never been to Minneapolis?

				GRIMSRUD
		No.

				CARL
		...  Would it kill you to say
		something?

				GRIMSRUD
		I did.

				CARL
		"No." First thing you've said
		in the last four hours.  That's
		a, that's a fountain of conversation,
		man.  That's a geyser.  I mean, whoa,
		daddy, stand back, man.  Shit, I'm
		sittin' here driving, man, doin'
		all the driving, whole fuckin' way
		from Brainerd, drivin', tryin' to,
		you know, tryin' to chat, keep
		our spirits up, fight the boredom
		of the road, and you can't say one
		fucking thing just in the way of
		conversation.

	Grimsurd smokes, gazing out the window.

				CARL
		...  Well, fuck it, I don't have
		to talk either, man.  See how
		you like it...

	He drives.

				CARL
		...  Total silence...

	JERRY'S CUBICLE

	He is on the phone.

				JERRY
		Yah, real good.  How you doin'?

				VOICE
		Pretty good, Mr. Lundegaard.
		You're damned hard to get on the
		phone.

				JERRY
		Yah, it's pretty darned busy here,
		but that's the way we like it.

				VOICE
		That's for sure.  Now, I just
		need, on these last, these financing
		documents you sent us, I can't
		read the serial numbers of the
		vehicles on here, so I -

				JERRY
		But I already got the, it's okay,
		the loans are in place, I already
		got the, the what, the -

				VOICE
		Yeah, the three hundred and twenty
		thousand dollars, you got the money
		last month.

				JERRY
		Yah, so we're all set.

				VOICE
		Yeah, but the vehicles you were
		borrowing on, I just can't read
		the serial numbers on your
		applicaton.  Maybe if you could
		just read them to me -

				JERRY
		But the deal's already done, I
		already got the money -

				VOICE
		Yeah, but we have an audit here,
		I just have to know that these
		vehicles you're financing with
		this money, that they really
		exist.

				JERRY
		Yah, well, they exist all right.

				VOICE
		I'm sure they do - ha ha!  But
		I can't read their serial numbers
		here.  So if you could read me -

				JERRY
		Well, but see, I don't have 'em
		in front a me - why don't I just
		fax you over a copy -

				VOICE
		No, fax is no good, that's what
		I have and I can't read the darn
		thing -

				JERRY
		Yah, okay, I'll have my girl
		send you over a copy, then.

				VOICE
		Okay, because if I can't correlate
		this note with the specific vehicles,
		then I gotta call back that money -

				JERRY
		Yah, how much money was that?

				VOICE
		Three hundred and twenty thousand
		dollars.  See, I gotta correlate
		that money with the cars it's being
		lent on.

				JERRY
		Yah, no problem, I'll just fax
		that over to ya, then.

				VOICE
		No, no, fax is -

				JERRY
		I mean send it over.  I'll shoot
		it right over to ya.

				VOICE
		Okay.

				JERRY
		Okay, real good, then.

	CLOSE ON TELEVISION

	A morning-show host in an apron stands behind a counter on a
	kitchen set.

				HOST
		So I seperate the - how the heck
		do I get the egg out of the shell
		without breaking it?

	Jean Lundegaard is curled up on the couch with a cup of
	coffee, watching the television.

				HOSTESS
		You just prick a little hole in
		the end and blow!

	Jean smiles as we hear laughter and applause from the studio
	audience.  She hears something else - a faint scraping sound
	- and looks up.

				HOST
		Okay, here goes nothing.

	The scraping sound persists.  Jean sets down her coffee cup
	and rises.

	From the studio audience:

				AUDIENCE
		Awoooo!

	KITCHEN

	We track toward the back door.  A curtain is stretched tight
	across its window.

	Jean pulls the curtain back.  Bright sunlight amplified by
	snow floods in.

	A man in an orange ski mask looks up from the lock.

	Jean gasps, drops the curtain, rutns and runs into -

	- a taller man, also in a ski mask, already in the house.

	We hear the crack of the back-door window being smashed.

	The tall man - Gaear Grimsrud - grabs Jean's wrist.

	She screams, staring at her own imprisoned wrist, then wraps
	her gaping mouth around Grimsrud's gloved thumb and bites
	down hard.

	He drops her wrist.  As Carl enters, she races up the
	stairs.

				GRIMSRUD
		Unguent.

				CARL
		Huh?

	Grimsurd looks at his thumb.

				GRIMSRUD
		I need ... unguent.

	UPSTAIRS BEDROOM

	As the two men enter, a door at the far side is slamming
	shut.  A cord snakes in under the door.

	MASTER BATHROOM

	Jean, sobbing, frantically pushes at buttons on the princess
	phone.

	The phone pops out of her hands, jangles across the tile
	floor, smashes against the door and then bounces away, its
	cord ripped free.

	With a groaning sound, the door shifts in its frame.

	BEDROOM

	Grimsrud has a crowbar jammed in between the bathroom door
	and frame, and is working it.

	BATHROOM

	Jean crosses to a high window above the toilet and throws it
	open.  Snow that had drifted against the window sifts
	lightly in.  Jean steps up onto the toilet.

	The door creaks, moving as one piece in its frame.

	Jean glances back as she steps up from the toilet seat to
	the tank.

	The groaning of the door ends with the wood around its knob
	splintering and the knob itself falling out onto the floor.

	The door swings open.

	Grimsrud and Carl enter.

	THEIR POV

	Room empty, window open.

	Carl strides to the window and hoists himself out.

	Grimsrud opens the medicine cabinet and delicately taps
	aside various bottles and tubes, seeking the proper unguent.

	He finds a salve but after a moment sets it down, noticing
	something in the mirror.

	The shower curtain is drawn around the tub.

	He steps toward it.

	As he reaches for the curtain, it explodes outward, animated
	by thrashing limbs.

	Jean, screaming, tangled in the curtain, rips it off its
	rings and stumbles out into the bedroom.  Grimsrud follows.

	BEDROOM

	Jean rushes toward the door, cloaked by the shower curtain
	but awkwardly trying to push it off.

	UPSTAIRS LANDING

	Still thrashing, Jean crashes against the upstairs railing,
	trips on the curtain and falls, thumping crazily down the
	stairs.

	Grimsrud trots down after her.

	A PLAQUE:  WADE GUSTAFSON INCORPORTATED

	INT. WADE'S OFFICE

	Wade sits behind his desk; another man rises as Jerry
	enters.

				JERRY
		How ya doin' there, Stan?  How
		are ya, Wade?

	Stan Grossman shakes his hand.

				STAN
		Good to see ya again, Jerry.  If
		these numbers are right, this
		looks pretty sweet.

				JERRY
		Oh, those numbers are all right,
		bleemee.

				WADE
		This is do-able.

				STAN
		Congratulations, Jerry.

				JERRY
		Yah, thanks, Stan, it's a pretty -

				WADE
		What kind of finder's fee were
		you looking for?

				JERRY
		...  Huh?

				STAN
		The financials are pretty thorough,
		so the only thing we don't know
		is your fee.

				JERRY
		...  My fee?  Wade, what the
		heck're you talkin' about?

				WADE
		Stan and I're okay.

				JERRY
		Yah.

				WADE
		We're good to loan in.

				JERRY
		Yah.

				WADE
		But we never talked about your
		fee for bringin' it to us.

				JERRY
		No, but, Wade, see, I was
		bringin' you this deal for you
		to loan me the money to put
		in.  It's my deal here, see?

	Wade scowls, looks at Stan.

				STAN
		Jerry - we thought you were
		bringin' us an investment.

				JERRY
		Yah, right -

				STAN
		You're sayin' - what're you
		sayin'?

				WADE
		You're sayin' that we put in
		all the money and you collect
		when it pays off?

				JERRY
		No, no.  I - I'd, I'd - pay you
		back the principal, and interest
		- heck, I'd go - one over prime -

				STAN
		We're not a bank, Jerry.

	Wade is angry.

				WADE
		What the heck, Jerry, if I wanted
		bank interest on seven hunnert'n
		fifty thousand I'd go to Midwest
		Federal.  Talk to Bill Diehl.

				STAN
		He's at Norstar.

				WADE
		He's at -

				JERRY
		No, see, I don't need a finder's
		fee, I need - finder's fee's, what,
		ten percent, heck that's not gonna
		do it for me.  I need the principal.

				STAN
		Jerry, we're not just going to
		give you seven hundred and fifty
		thousand dollars.

				WADE
		What the heck were you thinkin'?
		Heck, if I'm only gettin' bank
		interest, I'd look for complete
		security.  Heck, FDIC.  I don't
		see nothin' like that here.

				JERRY
		Yah, but I - okay, I would, I'd
		guarantee ya your money back.

				WADE
		I'm not talkin' about your damn
		word, Jerry.  Geez, what the
		heck're you?...  Well, look, I
		don't want to cut you out of the
		loop, but his here's a good deal.
		I assume, if you're not innarested,
		you won't mind if we move on it
		independently.

	PARKING LOT

	We are high and wide on the office building's parking lot.
	Jerry emerges wrapped in a parka, his arms sticking stiffly
	out at his sides, his breath vaporizing.  He goes to his
	car, opens its front door, pulls out a red plastic scraper
	and starts methodically scraping off the thin crust of ice
	that has developed on his windshield.

	The scrape-scrape-scrape sound carries in the frigid air.

	Jerry goes into a frenzy, banging the scraper against the
	windshield and the hood of his car.

	The tantrum passes.  Jerry stands pantin, staring at nothing
	in particular.

	Scrape-scrape-scrape - he goes back to work on the
	windshield.

	FRONT DOOR

	A beat, silent but for a key scraping at the lock.

	The door swings open and Jerry edges in, looking about,
	holding a sack of groceries.

				JERRY
		Hon?

	He shuts the door.

				JERRY
		...  Got the growshries...

	He has already seen the shower curtain on the floor.  He
	frowns, pokes at it with his foot.

				JERRY
		...  Hon?

	UPSTAIRS BATHROOM

	Jerry walks in.  He sets the groceries down on the toilet
	tank.

	He looks at the open window, through which snow still sifts
	in.  He shuts it.

	He picks up the small tube of uguent that sits on the sink,
	frowns at it, puts it back in the medicine chest.

	He looks at the shower curtain rod holding empty rings.

	FOYER

	Once again we are looking at the rumpled shower curtain.

	From another room:

				JERRY
		Yah, Wade, I - it's Jerry, I.

	Then, slightly more agitated.

				JERRY
		...  Yah, Wade, it's, I, it's
		Jerry...

	Beat.

				JERRY
		...  Wade, it's Jerry, I - we
		gotta talk, Wade, it's terrible...

	Beat.

	LIVING ROOM

	Jerry stands in wide shot, hands on hips, looking down at a
	telephone.

	After a motionless beat he picks up the phone and punches in
	a number.

				JERRY
		...  Yah, Wade Gustafson, please.

	BLACK

	Hold in black.

	A slow tilt down from night sky brings the head of a large
	paper-mache figure into frame.  It is a flannel-shirt
	woodsman carrying a double-edged ax over one shoulder.  As
	we hear the rumble of an approaching car, the continuing
	tilt and boom down brings us down the woodsman's body to a
	pedestal.

	A sweep of headlights illuminates a sign on the pedestal:
	WELCOME TO BRAINDERD - HOME OF PAUL BUNYAN.

	The headlights sweep off and a car hums past and on into the
	background.  The two-lane highway is otherwise empty.

	INT. CAR

	Carl drives.  Grimsrud smokes and gazes out the window.
	From the back seat we hear whimpering.

	Grimsrud turns to look.

	Jean lies bound and curled on the back seat underneath a
	tarpaulin.

				GRIMSRUD
		Shut the fuck up or I'll throw
		you back in the trunk, you know.

				CARL
		Geez.  That's more'n I've heard
		you say all week.

	Grimsrud stares at him, then turns back to the window.

	At a loud WHOOP Carl starts and looks back out the rear
	window.  Fifty yards behind a state trooper has turned on
	his gumballs.

	Carl eases the car onto the shoulder.

				CARL
		Ah, shit, the tags...

	Grimsrud looks at him.

				CARL
		...  It's just the tags.  I never
		put my tags on the car.  Don't
		worry, I'll take care of this.

	He looks into the back seat as the car bounces and slows on
	the gravel shoulder.

				CARL
		...  Let's keep still back there,
		lady, or we're gonna have to, ya
		know, to shoot ya.

	Grimsrud stares at Carl.

				CARL
		...  Hey!  I'll take care of this!

	Both cars have stopped.  Carl looks up at the rear-view
	mirror.

	The trooper is stopped on the shoulder just behind them,
	writing in his citation book.

	Carl watches.

	We hear the trooper's door open.

	The trooper walks up the shoulder, one hand resting lightly
	on top of his holster, his breath steaming in the cold night
	air.

	Carl opens his window as the trooper draws up.

				CARL
		How can I help you, officer?

	The trooper scans the inside of the car, taking his time.

	Grimsrud smokes and gazes calmly out his window.

	Finally:

				TROOPER
		This is a new car, then, sir?

				CARL
		It certainly is, officer.  Still
		got that smell!

				TROOPER
		You're required to display
		temporary tags, either in the
		plate area or taped inside the
		back window.

				CARL
		Certainly -

				TROOPER
		Can I see your license and
		registration please?

				CARL
		Certainly.

	He reaches for his wallet.

				CARL
		...  I was gonna tape up the
		temporary tag, ya know, to be
		in full compliance, but it, uh,
		it, uh ... must a slipped my
		mind...

	He extends his wallet toward the trooper, a folded fifty-
	dollar bill protruding from it.

				CARL
		...  So maybe the best thing
		would be to take care of that,
		right here in Brainerd.

				TROOPER
		What's this, sir?

				CARL
		That's my license and regis-
		tration.  I wanna be in
		compliance.

	He forces a laugh.

				CARL
		...  I was just thinking I could
		take care of it right here.  In
		Brainerd.

	The policeman thoughtfully pats the fifty into the billfold
	and hands the billfold back into the car.

				TROOPER
		Put that back in your pocket,
		please.

	Carl's nervous smile fades.

				TROOPER
		...  And step out of the car,
		please, sir.

	Grimsrud, smiling thinly, shakes his head.

	There is a whimpering sound.

	The policeman hesitates.

	Another sound.

	The policeman leans forward into the car, listening.

	Grimsrud reaches across Carl, grabs the trooper by the hair
	and slams his head down onto the car door.

	The policeman grunts, digs awkwardly for footing outside and
	throws an arm for balance against the outside of the car.

	With his free hand, Grimsrud pops the glove compartment.  He
	brings a gun out and reaches across Carl and shoots - BANG -
	into the back of the trooper's head.

	Jean screams.

				GRIMSRUD
		Shut up.

	He releases the policeman.

	The policeman's head slides out the window and his body
	flops back onto the street.

	Carl looks out at the cop in the road.

				CARL
			(softly)
		Whoa...  Whoa, Daddy.

	Grimsrud takes the trooper's hat off of Carl's lap and sails
	it out the open window.

				GRIMSRUD
		You'll take care of it.  Boy, you
		are smooth smooth, you know.

				CARL
		Whoa, Daddy.

	Jean, for some reason, screams again.  Then stops.

				GRIMSRUD
		Clear him off the road.

				CARL
		Yeah.

	He gets out.

	EXT. ROAD

	Carl leans down to hoist up the body.

	Headlights appear:  an oncoming car.

	INT. CIERA

	Grimsrud notices.

	EXT. ROAD

	The car approaches, slowing.

	Carl, with the trooper's body hoisted halfway up, is frozen
	in the headlights.

	The car accelerates and roars past and away.  We just make
	out the silhouettes of two occupants in front.

	INT. CIERA

	Grimsrud slides into the driver's seat.  He squeals into a U-
	turn, the driver's door slamming shut with his spin.

	Small red tail lights fishtail up ahead.  The pursued car
	churns up fine snow.

	Grimsrud takes the cigarette from his mouth and stubs it in
	his ashtray.  We hear the churning of the car wheels and the
	pinging of snow clods and salt on the car's underside.

	In the back seat, Jean starts screaming.

	Grimsrud is not gaining on the tail lights.

	He fights with the wheel as his car swims on the road face.

	The red tail lights ahead start to turn.  With a distant
	crunching sound, they disappear.

	The headlights now show only empty road, starting to turn.

	Grimsrud frowns and slows.

	His headlights show the car up ahead off the road, crumpled
	around a telephone pole, having failed to hold a turn.

	Grimsrud brakes.

	Jean slides off the back seat and thumps into the legwell.

	Grimsrud sweeps his gun off the front seat, throws open his
	door and gets out.

	EXT. ROAD

	The wrecked car's headlights shine off into a snowfield
	abutting the highway.  A young man in a down parka is
	limping across the snowfield, away from the wrecked car.

	Grimsrud strides calmly out after the injured boy.  He
	raises his gun and fires.

	With a poof of feathers, a hole opens up in the boy's back
	and he pitches into the snow.

	Grimsrud walks up to the wreck and peers in its half-open
	door.

	A young woman is trapped inside the twisted wreckage,
	injured.

	Snow swirls in the headlights of the wreck.

	Grimsrud raises his gun and fires.

	AN OIL PAINTING

	A blue-winged teal in flight over a swampy marshland.  The
	room in which it hangs is dark.  We hear off-screen snoring.

	We track off to reveal an easel upon which we see a half-
	completed oil of a grey mallard.

	The continuing track reveals a couple in bed, sleeping.  The
	man, fortyish, pajama-clad, is big, and big-bellied.  His
	mouth is agape.  He snores.  His arms are flung over a woman
	in her thirties, wearing a nightie, mouth also open, not
	snoring.

	We hold for a long beat on their regular breathing and
	snoring.

	The phone rings.

	The woman stirs.

				WOMAN
		Oh, geez...

	She reaches for the phone.

				WOMAN
		...  Hi, it's Marge...

	The man stirs and clears his throat with a long deep rumble.

				MARGE
		...  Oh, my.  Where?...  Yah...
		Oh, geez...

	The man sits up, gazes stupidly about.

				MARGE
		...  Okay.  There in a jif...
		Real good, then.

	She hangs up.

				MARGE
		...  You can sleep, hon.  It's
		early yet.

				MAN
		Gotta go?

				MARGE
		Yah.

	The man swings his legs out.

				MAN
		I'll fix ya some eggs.

				MARGE
		That's okay, hon.  I gotta run.

				MAN
		Gotta eat a breakfast, Marge.
		I'll fix ya some eggs.

				MARGE
		Aw, you can sleep, hon.

				MAN
		Ya gotta eat a breakfast...

	He clears his throat with another deep rumble.

				MAN
		...  I'll fix ya some eggs.

				MARGE
		Aw, Norm.

	PLATE

	Leavings of a huge plate of eggs, ham, toast.

	Wider, we see Marge now wearing a beige police uniform.  A
	patch on one arm says BRAINERD POLICE DEPARTMENT.  She wears
	a heavy belt holding a revolver, walkie-talkie and various
	other jangling police impedimenta.  Norm is in a dressing
	gown.

				MARGE
		Thanks, hon.  Time to shove off.

				NORM
		Love ya, Margie.

	As she struggles into a parka:

				MARGE
		Love ya, hon.

	He is exiting back to the bedroom; she exits out the front
	door.

	EXT. GUNDERSON HOUSE

	Dawn.  Marge is making her way down the icy front stoop to
	her prowler.

	INT. GUNDERSON HOUSE

	Norm sits back onto the bed, shrugging off his robe.  Off-
	screen we hear the front door open.

	FRONT DOOR

	Marge stamps the snow off her shoes.

				MARGE
		Hon?

				NORM
			(off)
		Yah?

				MARGE
		Prowler needs a jump.

	HIGHWAY

	Two police cars and an ambulance sit idling at the side of
	the road, a pair of men inside each car.

	The first car's driver door opens and a figure in a parka
	emerges, holding two styrofoam cups.  His partner leans
	across the seat to close the door after him.

	The reverse shows Marge approaching from her own squad car.

				MARGE
		Hiya, Lou.

				LOU
		Margie.  Thought you might need
		a little warm-up.

	He hands her one of the cups of coffee.

				MARGE
		Yah, thanks a bunch.  So what's
		the deal, now?  Gary says triple
		homicide?

				LOU
		Yah, looks pretty bad.  Two
		of'm're over here.

	Marge looks around as they start walking.

				MARGE
		Where is everybody?

				LOU
		Well - it's cold, Margie.

	BY THE WRECK

	Laid out in the early morning light is the wrecked car, a
	pair of footprints leading out to a man in a bright orange
	parka face down in the bloodstained snow, and one pair of
	footsteps leading back to the road.

	Marge is peering into the car.

				MARGE
		Ah, geez.  So...  Aw, geez.
		Here's the second one...  It's
		in the head and the ... hand
		there, I guess that's a defensive
		wound.  Okay.

	Marge looks up from the car.

				MARGE
		...  Where's the state trooper?

	Lou, up on the shoulder, jerks his thumb.

				LOU
		Back there a good piece.  In
		the ditch next to his prowler.

	Marge looks around at the road.

				MARGE
		Okay, so we got a state trooper
		pulls someone over, we got a
		shooting, and these folks drive
		by, and we got a high-speed
		pursuit, ends here, and this
		execution-type deal.

				LOU
		Yah.

				MARGE
		I'd be very surprised if our
		suspect was from Brainerd.

				LOU
		Yah.

	Marge is studying the ground.

				MARGE
		Yah.  And I'll tell you what, from
		his footprints he looks like a big
		fella -

	Marge suddenly doubles over, putting her head between her
	knees down near the snow.

				LOU
		Ya see something down there, Chief?

				MARGE
		Uh - I just, I think I'm gonna barf.

				LOU
		Geez, you okay, Margie?

				MARGE
		I'm fine - it's just morning
		sickness.

	She gets up, sweeping snow from her knees.

				MARGE
		...  Well, that passed.

				LOU
		Yah?

				MARGE
		Yah.  Now I'm hungry again.

				LOU
		You had breakfast yet, Margie?

				MARGE
		Oh, yah.  Norm made some eggs.

				LOU
		Yah?  Well, what now, d'ya think?

				MARGE
		Let's go take a look at that
		trooper.

	BY THE STATE TROOPER'S CAR

	Marge's prowler is parked nearby.

	Marge is on her hands and knees by a body down in the ditch,
	again looking at footprints in the snow.  She calls up to
	the road:

				MARGE
		There's two of 'em, Lou!

				LOU
		Yah?

				MARGE
		Yah, this guy's smaller than
		his buddy.

				LOU
		Oh, yah?

	DOWN IN THE DITCH

	In the foreground is the head of the state trooper, facing
	us.  Peering at it from behind, still on her hands and
	knees, is Marge.

				MARGE
		For Pete's sake.

	She gets up, clapping the snow off her hands, and climbs out
	of the ditch.

				LOU
		How's it look, Marge?

				MARGE
		Well, he's got his gun on his hip
		there, and he looks like a nice
		enough guy.  It's a real shame.

				LOU
		Yah.

				MARGE
		You haven't monkeyed with his car
		there, have ya?

				LOU
		No way.

	She is looking at the prowler, which still idles on the
	shoulder.

				MARGE
		Somebody shut his lights.  I guess
		the little guy sat in there, waitin'
		for his buddy t'come back.

				LOU
		Yah, woulda been cold out here.

				MARGE
		Heck, yah.  Ya think, is Dave open
		yet?

				LOU
		You don't think he's mixed up in -

				MARGE
		No, no, I just wanna get Norm some
		night crawlers.

	INT. PROWLER

	Marge is driving; Lou sits next to her.

				MARGE
		You look in his citation book?

				LOU
		Yah...

	He looks at his notebook.

				LOU
		...  Last vehicle he wrote in
		was a tan Ciera at 2:18 a.m.
		Under the plate number he put
		DLR - I figure they stopped him
		or shot him before he could finish
		fillin' out the tag number.

				MARGE
		Uh-huh.

				LOU
		So I got the state lookin' for a
		Ciera with a tag startin' DLR.
		They don't got no match yet.

				MARGE
		I'm not sure I agree with you a
		hunnert percent on your policework,
		there, Lou.

				LOU
		Yah?

				MARGE
		Yah, I think that vehicle there
		probly had dealer plates.  DLR?

				LOU
		Oh...

	Lou gazes out the window, thinking.

				LOU
		...  Geez.

				MARGE
		Yah.  Say, Lou, ya hear the one
		about the guy who couldn't afford
		personalized plates, so he went
		and changed his name to J2L 4685?

				LOU
		Yah, that's a good one.

				MARGE
		Yah.

	THE ROAD

	The police car enters with a whoosh and hums down a straight-
	ruled empty highway, cutting a landscape of flat and perfect
	white.

	EMBERS FAMILY RESTAURANT

	Jerry, Wade, and Stan Grossman sit in a booth, sipping
	coffee.  Outside the window, snow falls from a gunmetal sky.

				WADE
		-  All's I know is, ya got a
		problem, ya call a professional!

				JERRY
		No!  They said no cops!  They were
		darned clear on that, Wade!  They
		said you call the cops and we -

				WADE
		Well, a course they're gonna say
		that!  But where's my protection?
		They got Jean here!  I give these
		sons a bitches a million dollars,
		where's my guarantee they're gonna
		let her go.

				JERRY
		Well, they -

				WADE
		A million dollars is a lot a damn
		money!  And there they are, they
		got my daughter!

				JERRY
		Yah, but think this thing through
		here, Wade.  Ya give 'em what they
		want, why wont' they let her go?
		You gotta listen to me on this one,
		Wade.

				WADE
		Heck, you don't know!  You're just
		whistlin' Dixie here!  I'm sayin',
		the cops, they can advise us on
		this!  I'm sayin' call a professional!

				JERRY
		No!  No cops!  That's final!  This
		is my deal here, Wade!  Jean is
		my wife here!

				STAN
		I gotta tell ya, Wade, I'm leanin'
		to Jerry's viewpoint here.

				WADE
		Well -

				STAN
		We gotta protect Jean.  These -
		we're not holdin' any cards here,
		Wade, they got all of 'em.  So
		they call the shots.

				JERRY
		You're darned tootin'!

				WADE
		Ah, dammit!

				STAN
		I'm tellin' ya.

				WADE
		Well...  Why don't we...

	He saws a finger under his nose.

				WADE
		...  Stan, I'm thinkin' we should
		offer 'em half a million.

				JERRY
		Now come on here, no way, Wade!
		No way!

				STAN
		We're not horse-trading here, Wade,
		we just gotta bite the bullet on
		this thing.

				JERRY
		Yah!

				STAN
		What's the next step here, Jerry?

				JERRY
		They're gonna call, give me
		instructions for a drop.  I'm
		supposed to have the money ready
		tomorrow.

				WADE
		Dammit!

	THE CASHIER

	She rings up two dollars forty.

				CASHIER
		How was everything today?

				JERRY
		Yah, real good now.

	PARKING LOT

	Snow continues to fall.  Jerry and Stan stand bundled in
	their parkas and galoshes near a row of beached vehicles.
	Wade sits behind the wheel of an idling Lincoln, waiting for
	Stan.

				STAN
		Okay.  We'll get the money together.
		Don't worry about it, Jerry.  Now,
		d'you want anyone at home, with you,
		until they call?

				JERRY
		No, I - they don't want - they're
		just s'posed to be dealin' with
		me, they were real clear.

				STAN
		Yah.

	Jerry pounds his mittened hands together against the cold.

				JERRY
		Ya know, they said no one listenin'
		in, they'll be watchin', ya know.
		Maybe it's all bull, but like you
		said, Stan, they're callin' the
		shots.

				STAN
		Okay.  And Scotty, is he gonna
		be all right?

				JERRY
		Yah, geez, Scotty.  I'll go talk
		to him.

	There is a tap at the horn from Wade, and Stan gets into the
	Lincoln.

				STAN
		We'll call.

	The Lincoln spits snow as it grinds out of the lot and
	fishtails out onto the boulevard.

	SCOTTY'S BEDROOM

	Scotty lies on the bed, weeping.  Jerry enters and perches
	uncomfortably on the edge of his bed.

				JERRY
		...  How ya doin' there, Scotty?

				SCOTT
		Dad!  What're they doing?  Wuddya
		think they're doin' with Mom?

				JERRY
		It's okay, Scotty.  They're not
		gonna want to hurt her any.
		These men, they just want money,
		see.

				SCOTT
		What if - what if sumpn goes wrong?

				JERRY
		No, no, nothin's goin' wrong here.
		Grandad and I, we're - we're makin'
		sure this gets handled right.

	Scott snorfles and sits up.

				SCOTT
		Dad, I really think we should call
		the cops.

				JERRY
		No!  We can't let anyone know about
		this thing!  We gotta play ball with
		these guys - you ask Stan Grossman,
		he'll tell ya the same thing!

				SCOTT
		Yeah, but -

				JERRY
		We're gonna get Mom back for ya, but
		we gotta play ball.  Ya know, that's
		the deal.  Now if Lorraine calls, or
		Sylvia, you just say that Mom is in
		Florida with Pearl and Marty...

	Scotty starts to weep again.  Jerry stares down at his lap.

				JERRY
		...  That's the best we can do here.

	EXT. CABIN

	It is a lakeside cabin surrounded by white.  A brown Ciera
	with dealer plates is pulling into the drive.

	Grimsrud climbs out of the passenger seat as Carl climbs out
	of the driver's.  Grimsrud opens the back door and, with an
	arm on her elbow, helps Jean out.  She has her hands tied
	behind her and a black hood over her head.

	With a cry, she swings her elbow out of Grimsrud's grasp and
	lurches away across the front lawn.  Grimsrud moves to
	retrieve her but Carl, grinning, lays a hand on his
	shoulder.

				CARL
		Hold it.

	They both look out at the front lawn, Grimsrud
	expressionless, Carl smiling.

	With muffled cries, the hooded woman lurches across the
	unbroken snow, staggering this way and that, stumbling on
	the uneven terrain.

	She stops, stands still, her hooded head swaying.

	She lurches out in an arbitrary direction.  Going downhill,
	she reels, staggers, and falls face-first into the snow,
	weeping.

				CARL
		Ha ha ha ha ha ha!  Jesus!

	Grimsrud, still expressionless, breaks away from Carl's
	restraining hand to retrieve her.

	BRAINERD POLICE HEADQUARTERS

	We track behind Marge as she makes her way across the floor,
	greeting various officers.  She holds a small half-full
	paper sack.

	Beyond her we see a small glassed-in cublcle.  Norm sits at
	the desk inside with a box lunch spread out in front of him.
	There is lettering on the cubicle's glass door:  BRAINERD
	PD. CHIEF GUNDERSON.

	Marge enters and sits behind the desk, detaching her walkie-
	talkie from her utility belt to accomodate the seat.

				MARGE
		Hiya, hon.

	She slides the paper sack toward him.

				NORM
		Brought ya some lunch, Margie.
		What're those, night crawlers?

	He looks inside.

	The bottom of the sack is full of fat, crawling earthworms.

				MARGE
		Yah.

				NORM
		Thanks, hon.

				MARGE
		You bet.  Thanks for lunch.  What
		do we got here, Arbie's?

				NORM
		Uh-huh.

	She starts eating.

				MARGE
		...  How's the paintin' goin'?

				NORM
		Pretty good.  Found out the Hautmans
		are entering a painting this year.

				MARGE
		Aw, hon, you're better'n them.

				NORM
		They're real good.

				MARGE
		They're good, Norm, but you're
		better'n them.

				NORM
		Yah, ya think?

	He leans over and kisses her.

				MARGE
		Ah, ya got Arbie's all o'er me.

	Lou enters.

				LOU
		Hiya, Norm, how's the paintin'
		goin'?

				NORM
		Not too bad.  You know.

				MARGE
		How we doin' on that vehicle?

				LOU
		No motels registered any tan Ciera
		last night.  But the night before,
		two men checked into the Blue Ox
		registering a Ciera and leavin' the
		tag space blank.

				MARGE
		Geez, that's a good lead.  The
		Blue Ox, that's that trucker's
		joint out there on I-35?

				LOU
		Yah.  Owner was on the desk then,
		said these two guys had company.

				MARGE
		Oh, yah?

	EXT. STRIPPER CLUB

	Marge's prowler is parked in an otherwise empty lot.  Snow
	drifts down.

	INT. STRIPPER CLUB

	Marge sits talking with two young women at one end of an
	elevated dance platform.  The club, not yet open for
	business, is deserted.

				MARGE
		Where you girls from?

				HOOKER ONE
		Chaska.

				HOOKER TWO
		LeSeure.  But I went to high school
		in White Bear Lake.

				MARGE
		Okay, I want you to tell me what
		these fellas looked like.

				HOOKER ONE
		Well, the little guy, he was
		kinda funny-looking.

				MARGE
		In what way?

				HOOKER ONE
		I dunno.  Just funny-looking.

				MARGE
		Can you be any more specific?

				HOOKER ONE
		I couldn't really say.  He wasn't
		circumcised.

				MARGE
		Was he funny-looking apart from
		that?

				HOOKER ONE
		Yah.

				MARGE
		So you were having sex with the
		little fella, then?

				HOOKER ONE
		Uh-huh.

				MARGE
		Is there anything else you can
		tell me about him?

				HOOKER ONE
		No.  Like I say, he was funny-looking.
		More'n most people even.

				MARGE
		And what about the other fella?

				HOOKER TWO
		He was a little older.  Looked like
		the Marlboro man.

				MARGE
		Yah?

				HOOKER TWO
		Yah.  Maybe I'm sayin' that cause
		he smoked Marlboros.

				MARGE
		Uh-huh.

				HOOKER TWO
		A subconscious-type thing.

				MARGE
		Yah, that can happen.

				HOOKER TWO
		Yah.

				HOOKER ONE
		They said they were goin' to the
		Twin Cities?

				MARGE
		Oh, yah?

				HOOKER TWO
		Yah.

				HOOKER ONE
		Yah.  Is that useful to ya?

				MARGE
		Oh, you bet, yah.

	EXT. LAKESIDE CABIN

	It is now dusk.  The brown Ciera with dealer plates still
	sits in the drive.

	INT. CABIN

	We track in on Jean Lundegaard, who sits tied in a chair
	with the black hood still over her head.  As we track in, we
	hear inarticulate cursing, intermittent banging and loud
	static.

	We track in on Gaear Grimsrud, who sits smoking a cigarette
	and expressionlessly gazing offscreen.

	We track in on Carl Showalter, who stands over an old black-
	and-white television.  It plays nothing but snow.  Carl is
	banging on it as he mutters:

				CARL
		...days ... be here for days with
		a - DAMMIT! - a goddamn mute ...
		nothin' to do ... and the fucking -
		DAMMIT!...

	Each "dammit" brings a pound of his fist on the TV.

				CARL
		...  TV doesn't even ... plug me
		in, man...  Gimmee a - DAMMIT! -
		signal...  Plug me into the
		ozone, baby...  Plug me into the
		ozone - FUCK!...

	With one last bang we cut:

	BACK TO THE TELEVISION SET

	In extreme close-up an insect is lugging a worm.

				TV VOICE-OVER
		The bark beetle carries the worm
		to the nest ... where it will feed
		its young for up to six weeks...

	A pull back from the screen reveals that we are in Marge's
	house.

	Marge and Norm are watching television in bed.  From the TV
	we hear insects chirring.

	After a long beat, silence except for the TV, Marge murmurs,
	still looking at the set:

				MARGE
		...  Well, I'm turnin' in, Norm.

	Also looking at the TV:

				NORM
		...  Oh, yah?

	Marge rolls over and Norm continues to watch.

	We hold.

	BLACK

	Hold.

	A snowflake drops through the black.

	Another flake.

	It starts snowing.

	BRAINERD MAIN STREET

	The lone traffic light blinks slowly, steadily, red.  Snow
	sifts down.  There is no other movement.

	PAUL BUNYAN

	We are looking up at the bottom-lit statue.  Snow falls.

	HIGH SHOT OF MARGE'S HOUSE

	Snow drops away.

	HIGH SHOT IN MARGE'S BEDROOM

	The bedroom is dark.  Norm is snoring.

	The phone rings.

	Marge gropes in the dark.

				MARGE
		Hello?

				VOICE
		Yah, is this Marge?

				MARGE
		Yah?

				VOICE
		Margie Olmstead?

				MARGE
		...  Well, yah.  Who's this?

				VOICE
		This is Mike Yanagita.  Ya know
		- Mike Yanagita.  Remember me?

				MARGE
		...  Mike Yanagita!

				MIKE
		Yah!

	Marge props herself up next to the still-sleeping Norm.

				MARGE
		Yah, yah, course I remember.
		How are ya?  What time is it?

				MIKE
		Oh, geez.  It's quarter to eleven.
		I hope I dint wake you.

				MARGE
		No, that's okay.

				MIKE
		Yah, I'm down in the Twin Cities
		and I was just watching on TV
		about these shootings up in
		Brainderd, and I saw you on the
		news there.

				MARGE
		Yah.

				MIKE
		I thought, geez, is that Margie
		Olmstead?  I can't believe it!

				MARGE
		Yah, that's me.

				MIKE
		Well, how the heck are ya?

				MARGE
		Okay, ya know.  Okay.

				MIKE
		Yah?

				MARGE
		Yah - how are you doon?

				MIKE
		Oh, pretty good.

				MARGE
		Heck, it's been such a long time,
		Mike.  It's great to hear from ya.

				MIKE
		Yah...  Yah, yah.  Geeze, Margie!

	GUSTAFSON OLDS GARAGE

	Jerry is on the sales floor, showing a customer a vehicle.

				JERRY
		Yah, ya got yer, this loaded here,
		this has yer independent, uh, yer
		slipped differential, uh, yer rack-
		and-pinion steering, yer alarm and
		radar, and I can give it to ya with
		a heck of a sealant, this TruCoat
		stuff, it'll keep the salt off -

				CUSTOMER
		Yah, I don't need no sealant though.

				JERRY
		Yah, you don't need that.  Now
		were you thinking of financing here?
		You oughta be aware a this GMAC
		plan they have now, it's really
		super -

				ANOTHER SALESMAN
		Jerry, ya got a call here.

				JERRY
		Yah, okay.

	JERRY'S CUBICLE

	He sits in and picks up his phone.

				JERRY
		Jerry Lundegaard.

				VOICE
		All right, Jerry, you got this
		phone to yourself?

				JERRY
		Well ... yah.

				VOICE
		Know who this is?

				JERRY
		Well, yah, I got an idea.  How's
		that Ciera workin' out for ya?

				VOICE
		Circumstances have changed, Jerry.

				JERRY
		Well, what do ya mean?

				VOICE
		Things have changed.  Circumstances,
		Jerry.  Beyond the, uh ... acts of
		God, force majeure...

				JERRY
		What the - how's Jean?

	A beat.

				CARL
		...  Who's Jean?

				JERRY
		My wife!  What the - how's -

				CARL
		Oh, Jean's okay.  But there's
		three people up in Brainerd who
		aren't so okay, I'll tell ya that.

				JERRY
		What the heck're you talkin' about?
		Let's just finish up this deal
		here -

				CARL
		Blood has been shed, Jerry.

	Jerry sits dumbly.  The voice solemnly repeats:

				CARL
		...  Blood has been shed.

				JERRY
		What the heck d'ya mean?

				CARL
		Three people.  In Brainerd.

				JERRY
		Oh, geez.

				CARL
		That's right.  And we need more
		money.

				JERRY
		The heck d'ya mean?  What a you
		guys got yourself mixed up in?

				CARL
		We need more -

				JERRY
		This was s'posed to be a no-rough
		-stuff-type deal -

				CARL
		DON'T EVER INTERRUPT ME, JERRY!
		JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP!

				JERRY
		Well, I'm sorry, but I just - I -

				CARL
		Look.  I'm not gonna debate you,
		Jerry.  The price is now the whole
		amount.  We want the entire eighty
		thousand.

				JERRY
		Oh, for Chrissakes here -

				CARL
		Blood has been shed.  We've incurred
		risks, Jerry.  I'm coming into town
		tomorrow.  Have the money ready.

				JERRY
		Now we had a deal here!  A deal's
		a deal!

				CARL
		IS IT, JERRY?  You ask those three
		pour souls up in Brainerd if a
		deal's a deal!  Go ahead, ask 'em!

				JERRY
		...  The heck d'ya mean?

				CARL
		I'll see you tomorrow.

	Click.

	Jerry slams down the phone, which immediately rings.  He
	angrily snatches it up.

				JERRY
		Yah!

				VOICE
		Jerome Lundegaard?

				JERRY
		Yah!

				VOICE
		This is Reilly Deifenbach at GMAC.
		Sir, I have not yet recieved those
		vehicle IDs you promised me.

				JERRY
		Yah!  I ... those are in the mail.

				VOICE
		Mr. Lundegaard, that very well may
		be.  I must inform you, however,
		that absent the reciept of those
		numbers by tomorrow afternoon, I
		will have to refer this matter to
		our legal department.

				JERRY
		Yah.

				VOICE
		My patience is at an end.

				JERRY
		Yah.

				VOICE
		Good day, sir.

				JERRY
		...  Yah.

	WIDE ON THE CUBICLE

	We are looking at Jerry's cubicle from across the showroom.
	Noise muted by distance, we watch Jerry slam down the
	reciever, rise to his feet, fling the phone to the floor,
	raise his desk blotter high over his head with pens and
	pencils rolling off it and slam it onto his desktop.

	He stands for a moment, hands on hips, glaring.

	He stoops and picks up the phone, places it back on the
	desktop, starts picking up the pens and pencils.

	TRACK

	On steam-table bins of food, each identified by a plaque:
	BEEF STROGANOFF, SWEDISH MEATBALLS, BROILED TORSK, CHICKEN
	FLORENTINE.

	A complementary track shows two rays being pushed along a
	buffet line, piled high with many foods.

	MARGE AND NORM AT A TABLE

	They sit next to each other at a long cafateria-style
	Formica table, silently eating.

	A hip with a hissing walkie-talkie enters frame.

				GARY
		Hiya, Norm.  How ya doin', Margie?
		How's the fricasse?

				MARGE
		Pretty darn good, ya want some?

				GARY
		No, I gotta - hey, Norm, I thought
		you were goin' fishin' up at Mile
		Lacs?

				NORM
		Yah, after lunch.

	He goes back to his food.

				MARGE
		Whatcha got there?

	Gary hands her a flimsy.  Marge takes it with one hand and
	looks, her other hand frozen with a forkful of food.

				GARY
		The numbers y'asked for, calls
		made from the lobby pay phone
		at the Blue Ox.  Two to Minneapolis
		that night.

				MARGE
		Mm.

				GARY
		First one's a trucking company,
		second one's a private residence.
		A Shep Proudfoot.

				MARGE
		Uh-huh...  A what?

				GARY
		Shep Proudfoot.  That's a name.

				MARGE
		Uh-huh.

				GARY
		Yah.

				MARGE
		...  Yah, okay, I think I'll
		drive down there, then.

				GARY
		Oh, yah?  Twin Cities?

	Norm, who has been eating steadily throughout, looks over at
	Marge with mild interest.  He stares for a beat as he
	finishes chewing, and them swallows and says:

				NORM
		...  Oh, yah?

	KITCHEN OF LUNDEGAARD HOUSE

	Jerry, Wade, and Stan Grossman sit around the kitchen table.
	It is night.  The scene is harshly toplit by a hanging
	fixture.  On the table are the remains of coffee and a
	cinammon filbert ring.

				WADE
		Dammit!  I wanna be a part a
		this thing!

				JERRY
		No, Wade!  They were real clear!
		They said they'd call tomorrow,
		with instructions, and it's gonna
		be delivered by me alone!

				WADE
		It's my money, I'll deliver it
		- what do they care?

				STAN
		Wade's got a point there.  I'll
		handle the call if you want, Jerry.

				JERRY
		No, no.  See - they, no, see, they
		only deal with me.  Ya feel this,
		this nervousness on the phone there,
		they're very - these guys're
		dangerous -

				WADE
		All the more reason!  I don't want
		you - with all due respect, Jerry
		- I don't want you mucking this up.

				JERRY
		The heck d'ya mean?

				WADE
		They want my money, they can deal
		with me.  Otherwise I'm goin' to
		a professional.

	He points at a briefcase.

				WADE
		...  There's a million dollars
		here!

				JERRY
		No, see -

				WADE
		Look, Jerry, you're not sellin'
		me a damn car.  It's my show here.
		That's that.

				STAN
		It's the way we prefer to handle
		it, Jerry.

	THE DOWNTOWN RADISSON HOTEL

	Marge is at the reception desk.

				MARGE
		How ya doin'?

				CLERK
		Real good.  How're you today, ma'am?

				MARGE
		Real good.  I'm Mrs. Gunderson, I
		have a reservation.

	The clerk types into a computer console.

				CLERK
		You sure do, Mrs. Gunderson.

				MARGE
		Is there a phone down here, ya think?

	LOBBY CORNER

	Marge is on a public phone.

				MARGE
		...  Detective Sibert?  Yah, this
		is Marge Gunderson from up Brainerd,
		we spoke -  Yah.  Well, actually
		I'm in town here.  I had to do a
		few things in the Twin Cities, so
		I thought I'd check in with ya about
		that USIF search on Shep Proudfoot...
		Oh, yah?...  Well, maybe I'll go
		visit with him if I have the...  No,
		I can find that...  Well, thanks a
		bunch.  Say, d'ya happen to know a
		good place for lunch in the downtown
		area?...  Yah, the Radisson...  Oh,
		yah?  Is it reasonable?

	A GREEN FREEWAY SIGN

	Through a windshield we see a sign for the MINNEAPOLIS
	INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.

	ROOFTOP PARKING LOT

	The brown Ciera enters and drives lazy S-curves around the
	few snow-covered cars parked on the roof of the lot.

	It stops by one car and Carl emerges.  He quickly scans the
	lot, then kneels in the snow at the back of the parked car
	and starts unscrewing its license plate.

	EXIT BOOTH

	Carl pulls up and hands the attendant his ticket.

				CARL
		Yeah, I decided not to park here.

	The attendant frowns uncomprehendingly at the ticket.

				ATTENDANT
		...  What do you mean, you decided
		not to park here?

				CARL
		Yeah, I just came in.  I decided
		not to park here.

	The attendant is still puzzled.

				ATTENDANT
		You, uh...  I'm sorry, sir, but -

				CARL
		I decided not to - I'm, uh, not
		taking the trip as it turns out.

				ATTENDANT
		I'm sorry, sir, we do have to
		charge you the four dollars.

				CARL
		I just pulled in here.  I just
		fucking pulled in here!

				ATTENDANT
		Well, see, there's a minimum charge
		of four dollars.  Long-term parking
		charges by the day.

	A car behind beeps.  Carl glances back, starts digging for
	money.

				CARL
		I guess you think, ya know, you're
		an authority figure.  With that
		stupid fucking uniform.  Huh, buddy?

	The attendant doesn't say anything.

				CARL
		...  King Clip-on Tie here.  Big
		fucking man.

	He is peeling off one dollar bills.

				CARL
		...  You know, these are the limits
		of your life, man.  Ruler of your
		little fucking gate here.  There's
		your four dollars.  You pathetic
		piece of shit.

	GUSTAFSON OLDS GARAGE

	Jerry is staring up, mouth agape, at the underside of a car
	on a hydraulic lift.  Bewildered, he looks about, then asks
	a mechanic passing by, his voice raised over the din of the
	shop.

				JERRY
		Where's Shep?

	The mechanic points.

				MECHANIC
		Talkin' to a cop.

	Jerry looks.

				JERRY
		...  Cop?

	Marge and Shep face each other at the other end of the floor
	in a grimy and cluttered glassed-in cubicle.

				MECHANIC
		Said she was a policewoman.

	Marge and Shep silently talk.

	Jerry stares, swallows.

	INSIDE THE CUBICLE

				MARGE
		- Wednesday night?

	Shep is shaking his head.

				SHEP
		Nope.

				MARGE
		Well, you do reside their at
		1425 Fremont Terrace?

				SHEP
		Yep.

				MARGE
		Anyone else residing there?

				SHEP
		Nope.

				MARGE
		Well, Mr. Proudfoot, this call
		came in past three in the morning.
		It's just hard for me to believe
		you can't remember anyone calling.

	Shep says nothing.

				MARGE
		...  Now, I know you've had some
		problems, struggling with the
		narcotics, some other entanglements,
		currently on parole -

				SHEP
		So?

				MARGE
		Well, associating with criminals,
		if you're the one they talked to,
		that right there would be a
		violation of your parole and would
		end with you back in Stillwater.

				SHEP
		Uh-huh.

				MARGE
		Now, I saw some rough stuff on
		your priors, but nothing in the
		nature of a homicide...

	Shep stares at her.

				MARGE
		...  I know you don't want to be
		an accessory to something like
		that.

				SHEP
		Nope.

				MARGE
		So you think you might remember
		who those folks were who called
		ya?

	JERRY'S OFFICE

	Jerry is worriedly pacing behind his desk.  At a noise he
	looks up.

	Marge has stuck her head in the door.

				MARGE
		Mr. Lundegaard?

				JERRY
		Huh?  Yah?

				MARGE
		I wonder if I could take just a
		minute of your time here -

				JERRY
		What...  What is it all about?

				MARGE
		Huh?  Do you mind if I sit down
		- I'm carrying quite a load here.

	Marge plops into the chair opposite him.

				MARGE
		...  You're the owner here, Mr.
		Lundegaard?

				JERRY
		Naw, I...  Executive Sales Manager.

				MARGE
		Well, you can help me.  My name's
		Marge Gunderson -

				JERRY
		My father-in-law, he's the owner.

				MARGE
		Uh-huh.  Well, I'm a police officer
		from up Brainerd investigating some
		malfeasance and I was just wondering
		if you've had any new vehicles stolen
		off the lot in the past couple of
		weeks - specifically a tan Cutlass
		Ciera?

	Jerry stares at her, his mouth open.

				MARGE
		...  Mr. Lundegaard?

				JERRY
		...  Brainerd?

				MARGE
		Yah.  Yah.  Home a Paul Bunyan and
		Babe the Blue Ox.

				JERRY
		...  Babe the Blue Ox?

				MARGE
		Yah, ya know we've got the big
		statue there.  So you haven't had
		any vehicles go missing, then?

				JERRY
		No.  No, ma'am.

				MARGE
		Okey-dokey, thanks a bunch.  I'll
		let you get back to your paperwork,
		then.

	As Marge rises, Jerry looks blankly down at the papers on
	the desk in front of him.

				JERRY
		...  Yah, okay.

	He looks up at Marge's retreating back.  He looks back down
	at the papers.  He looks over at the phone.

	he picks up the phone and dials four digits.

				JERRY
		...  Yah, gimmee Shep...  The
		heck d'ya mean?...  Well, where'd
		he go?  It's only...  No, I don't
		need a mechanic - oh, geez - I
		gotta talk to a friend of his, so,
		uh ... have him, uh ... oh, geez...

	HOTEL BAR

	Marge enters.  She looks around the bar, a rather
	characterless, lowlit meeting place for business people.

				VOICE
		Marge?

	It is a bald, paunching man of about Marge's age, rising
	from a booth halfway back.  His features are broad,
	friendly, Asian-American.

				MARGE
		Mike!

	He approaches somewhat carefully, as if on his second drink.
	They hug and head back toward the booth.

				MIKE
		Geez!  You look great!

				MARGE
		Yah - easy there - you do too!
		I'm expecting, ya know.

				MIKE
		I see that!  That's great!

	A waitress meets them at the table.

				MIKE
		...  What can I get ya?

				MARGE
		Just a Diet Coke.

	Again she glances about.

				MARGE
		...  This is a nice place.

				MIKE
		Yah, ya know it's the Radisson,
		so it's pretty good.

				MARGE
		You're livin' in Edina, then?

				MIKE
		Oh, yah, couple years now.  It's
		actually Eden Prarie - that school
		district.  So Chief Gunderson, then!
		So ya went and married Norm Son-of-
		a-Gunderson!

				MARGE
		Oh, yah, a long time ago.

				MIKE
		Great.  What brings ya down - are
		ya down here on that homicide -
		if you're allowed, ya know, to
		discuss that?

				MARGE
		Oh, yah, but there's not a heckuva
		lot to discuss.  What about you,
		Mike?  Are you married - you have
		kids?

				MIKE
		Well, yah, I was married.  I was
		married to -  You mind if I sit
		over here?

	He is sliding out of his side of the booth and easing in
	next to Marge.

				MIKE
		...  I was married to Linda
		Cooksey -

				MARGE
		No, I -  Mike - wyncha sit over
		there, I'd prefer that.

				MIKE
		Huh?  Oh, okay, I'm sorry.

				MARGE
		No, just so I can see ya, ya know.
		Don't have to turn my neck.

				MIKE
		Oh, sure, I unnerstand, I didn't
		mean to -

				MARGE
		No, no, that's fine.

				MIKE
		Yah, sorry, so I was married to
		Linda Cooksey - ya remember Linda?
		She was a year behind us.

				MARGE
		I think I remember Linda, yah.
		She was - yah.  So things didn't
		work out, huh?

				MIKE
		And then I, and then I been workin'
		for Honeywell for a few years now.

				MARGE
		Well, they're a good outfit.

				MIKE
		Yah, if you're an engineer, yah,
		you could do a lot worse.  Of
		course, it's not, uh, it's
		nothin' like your achievement.

				MARGE
		It sounds like you're doin' really
		super.

				MIKE
		Yah, well, I, uh ... it's not that
		it didn't work out -  Linda passed
		away.  She, uh...

				MARGE
		I'm sorry.

				MIKE
		Yah, I, uh...  She had leukemia,
		you know...

				MARGE
		No, I didn't...

				MIKE
		It was a tough, uh ... it was a
		long -  She fought real hard,
		Marge...

				MARGE
		I'm sorry, Mike.

				MIKE
		Oh, ya know, that's, uh - what
		can I say?...

	He holds up his drink.

				MIKE
		...  Better times, huh?

	Marge clinks it.

				MARGE
		Better times.

				MIKE
		I was so...  I been so ... and
		then I saw you on TV, and I
		remembered, ya know...  I always
		liked you...

				MARGE
		Well, I always liked you, Mike.

				MIKE
		I always liked ya so much...

				MARGE
		It's okay, Mike -  Should we get
		together another time, ya think?

				MIKE
		No - I'm sorry!  It's just -  I
		been so lonely - then I saw you,
		and...

	He is weeping.

				MIKE
		...  I'm sorry...  I shouldn't a
		done this...  I thought we'd have
		a really terrific time, and now
		I've...

				MARGE
		It's okay...

				MIKE
		You were such a super lady ...
		and then I...  I been so lonely...

				MARGE
		It's okay, Mike...

	CARLTON CELEBRITY ROOM

	Carl Showalter is sitting at a small table with a tarty-
	looking blonde in a low-cut gown.  Each holds a drink.

				CARL
		Just in town on business.  Just
		in and out.  Ha ha!  A little of
		the old in-and-out!

				WOMAN
		Wuddya do?

	Carl looks around.

				CARL
		Have ya been to the Celebrity Room
		before?  With other, uh, clients?

				WOMAN
		I don't think so.  It's nice.

				CARL
		Yeah, well, it depends on the artist.
		You know, Jose Feliciano, ya got no
		complaints.  Waiter!

	The reverse shows a disappearing waiter and the backs of
	many, many people sitting at tables between us and the very
	distant stage.  Jose Feliciano, very small, performs on a
	spotlit stool.  The acoustics are poor.

	Carl grimaces.

				CARL
		...  What is he, deaf?...  So,
		uh, how long have you been with
		the escort service?

				WOMAN
		I don't know.  Few munce.

				CARL
		Ya find the work interesting, do ya?

				WOMAN
		...  What're you talking about?

	A DIRTY BEDROOM

	Carl is humping the escort.

	We hear the door burst open.

	The escort is grabbed and flung out of bed.

				CARL
		Shep!  What the hell are you doing?
		I'm banging that girl!  Shep!  Jesus
		Ch -

	Shep slaps him hard, forehand, backhand.

				SHEP
		Fuck out of my house!

	He hauls him up -

				CARL
		Shep!  Don't you dare fucking hit
		me, man!  Don't you -

	- punches him and flings him away.

	Carl hits a sofa and we see his bare legs disappear as he
	flips back over it.

	Shep enters frame to circle the sofa and kick at Carl behind
	it.

				SHEP
		Fuck outta here.  Put me back in
		Stillwater.  Little fucking shit.

	There is a knock at the door.

				VOICE
		Hey!  Come on in there!

	Shep strides to the door, flings it open.

	A man in boxer shorts stands in the doorway.

				MAN
		C'mon, brother, it's late -  Unghh!

	Shep hits him twice, then grabs both of his ears and starts
	banging his head against the wall.

	The hooker runs by, clutching her clothes, and Shep kicks
	her in the ass as she passes.

	He spins and goes back into the apartment.

	Carl is hopping desperately into his pants.

				CARL
		Stay away from me, man!  Hey!
		Smoke a fuckin' peace pipe, man!
		Don't you dare fuckin' -  Unghh!

	After hitting him several times, Shep yanks Carl's belt out
	of his dangling pants and strangles him with it.  Carl
	gurgles.  Shep knees Carl repeatedly, then dumps him onto
	the floor and starts whipping him with the buckle end of the
	belt.

	CHAIN RESTAURANT PHONE BOOTH

	Carl listens to the phone ring at the other end.  His face
	is deeply bruised and cut.

	Finally, through the phone...

				VOICE
		...  Yah?

				CARL
		All right, Jerry, I'm through
		fucking around.  You got the
		fucking money?

	JERRY'S KITCHEN

	Jerry is at the kitchen phone.  Through the door to the
	dining room we see Wade picking up an extension.

				JERRY
		Yah, I got the money, but, uh -

				CARL
		Don't you fucking but me, Jerry.
		I want you with this money on the
		Dayton-Radisson parking ramp, top
		level, thirty minutes, and we'll
		wrap this up.

				JERRY
		Yah, okay, but, uh -

				CARL
		You're there in thirty minutes or
		I find you, Jerry, and I shoot
		you, and I shoot your fucking wife,
		and I shoot all your little fucking
		children, and I shoot 'em all in the
		back of their little fucking heads.
		Got it?

				JERRY
		...  Yah, well, you stay away from
		Scotty now -

				CARL
		GOT IT?

				JERRY
		Okay, real good, then.

	The line goes dead.

	A door slams offscreen.

	EXT. HOUSE

	Wade, briefcase in hand, gets into his Cadillac, slams the
	door and peels out.

	INT. CAR

	Wade's jaw works as he glares out at traffic.  He mumbles to
	himself as he drives.

				WADE
		Okay ... here's your damn money,
		now where's my daughter?...
		Goddamn punk ... where's my damn
		daughter...

	He pulls out a gun, cracks the barrel, peers in.

				WADE
		...  You little punk.

	JERRY'S HOUSE

	Jerry sits in the foyer, trying to pull on pair of galoshes.
	Scotty's voice comes from upstairs:

				VOICE
		...  Dad?

				JERRY
		It's okay, Scotty.

				VOICE
		Where're you going?

				JERRY
		Be back in a minute.  If Stan
		calls you, just tell him I went
		to Embers.  Oh, geez -

	Thunk! - his first boot goes on.

	RADISSON

	Marge sits on the bed in her hotel room, shoes off,
	massaging her feet.  The phone is pressed to her ear, and
	through it, we hear ringing.

				VOICE
		...  Hello?

				MARGE
		Norm?

	MILLE LACS LAKE

	It is late evening, blowing storm.  A leisurely pan across
	the bleak gray expanse finds a little hut in the middle of
	the frozen lake with a pickup truck parked next to it.

				MARGE'S VOICE
		They bitin'?

	INT. HUT

	Norm has a cellular phone to his ear.  His feet are
	stretched out to an electric heater.  The interior is bathed
	in soft orange light.

				NORM
		Yah, okay.  How's the hotel?

				MARGE
		Oh, pretty good.  They bitin'?

				NORM
		Yeah, couple a muskies.  No pike
		yet.  How d'you feel?

				MARGE
		Oh, fine.

				NORM
		Not on your feet too much?

				MARGE
		No, no.

				NORM
		You shouldn't be on your feet too
		much, you got weight you're not
		used too.  How's the food down
		there?

				MARGE
		Had dinner at a place called the
		King's Table.  Buffet style.  It
		was pretty darn good.

				NORM
		Was it reasonable?

				MARGE
		Yah, not too bad.  So it's nice
		up there?

				NORM
		Yah, it's good.  No pike yet, but
		it's good.

	DAYTON-RADISSON RAMP

	The top, open, level.  Snow blows.  A car sits idling.

	Another car pulls onto the roof.  It creeps over to the
	parked car and stops.  It continues to idle as its door
	opens and Wade steps out, carrying the briefcase.

	The door of the other car bangs open and Carl bounces out.

				CARL
		Who the fuck are you?  Who the
		fuck are you?

				WADE
		I got your goddamn money, you
		little punk.  Now where's my
		daughter?

				CARL
		I am through fucking around!  Drop
		that fucking briefcase!

				WADE
		Where's my daughter?

				CARL
		Fuck you, man!  Where's Jerry?  I
		gave SIMPLE FUCKING INSTRUCTIONS -

				WADE
		Where's my damn daughter?  No
		Jean, no money!

				CARL
		Drop that fucking money!

				WADE
		No Jean, no money!

				CARL
		Is this a fucking joke here?

	He pulls out a gun and fires into Wade's gut.

				CARL
		...  Is this a fucking joke?

				WADE
		Unghh ... oh, geez...

	He is on the pavement, clutching at his gut.  Snow swirls.

				CARL
		You fucking imbeciles!

	He bends down next to Wade to pick up the briefcase.

				WADE
		Oh, for Christ ... oh, geez...

	Wade brings out his gun and fires at Carl's head, close by.

				CARL
		Oh!

	Carl stumbles and falls back, and then stands up again.  His
	jaw is gouting blood.

				CARL
		...  Owwmm...

	One hand pressed to his jaw, he fires down at Wade several
	times.  Blood streams through the hand pressed to his jaw.

				CARL
		...  Mmmmmphnck!  He fnkem shop me...

	He pockets the gun, picks up the briefcase one-handed,
	flings it into his car, gets in, peels out.

	DOWN RAMP

	Carl screams down the ramp.  He takes a corner at high speed
	and swerves, just missing Jerry in his Olds on his way to
	the top.

	INT. JERRY'S CAR

	Jerry recovers from the near miss and continues up.

				JERRY
		Oh, geez!

	EXIT BOOTH

	Carl squeals to a halt at the gate, still pressing his hand
	to his bleeding jaw.

				CARL
		Ophhem ma fuchem gaphe!

				ATTENDANT
		May I have your ticket, please?

	RAMP ROOF

	Jerry pulls to a halt next to Wade's idling Cadillac.  He
	gets out and walks slowly to Wade's body, prostrate in the
	swirling snow.

				JERRY
		Oh!  Oh, geez!

	He bends down, picks Wade up by the armpits and drags him
	over to the back of the Cadillac.  He drops Wade's body,
	walks to the driver's side of the car, pulls the keys and
	walks back to pop the trunk.  He wrestles Wade's body into
	the trunk, slams it shut and walks back to the scene of the
	shooting.

	He kicks at the snow with his galoshed feet, trying to hide
	the fresh bloodstains.

	EXIT BOOTH

	Jerry approaches in the Cadillac.

	The wooden gate barring the exit has been broken away.  The
	booth is empty.

	Jerry eases toward the street, looking over at the booth as
	he passes.

	Inside the booth we see the awkwardly angled leg of a
	prostrate body.

	EXT. JERRY'S HOUSE

	The car pulls into the driveway.

	FOYER

	Jerry enters and sits on the foyer chair to take off his
	galoshes.

				SCOTT'S VOICE
		...  Dad?

				JERRY
		Yah.

				SCOTT'S VOICE
		Stan Grossman called.

				JERRY
		Yah, okay.

				SCOTT'S VOICE
		Twice.

				JERRY
		Okay.

				SCOTT'S VOICE
		...  Is everything okay?

				JERRY
		Yah.

	Thoonk - the first boot comes off.

				SCOTT'S VOICE
		Are you calling Stan?

				JERRY
		Well...  I'm goin' ta bed now.

	CARL'S CAR

	Carl mumbles as he drives, underlit by the dim dash lights,
	one hand now holding a piece of rag to his shredded jaw.

				CARL
		...  Fnnkn ashlzh...  Fnk...

	ROAD

	Carl's car roars into frame, violently swirling the snow.
	Its red tail lights fishtail away.

	FADE OUT

	HOLD IN BLACK

	HARD CUT TO:  BRIGHT - LOOKING THROUGH A WINDSHIELD

	It is a starky sunny day.  We are cruising down a street of
	humble lookalike houses.

	We pan right as we draw toward one house in particular.  In
	its driveway a man in a hooded parka shovels snow.  He
	notices the approaching car and gives its driver a wave.

	The driver is Gary, the Brainderd police officer.  He gives
	a finger-to-the-head salute and pulls over.

	OUTSIDE

	Gary slams his door shut and the other man plants his shovel
	in the snow.

				MAN
		How ya doin'?

				GARY
		Mr. Mohra?

				MAN
		Yah.

				GARY
		Officer Olson.

				MAN
		Yah, right-o.

	The two men caucus the driveway without shaking hands and
	without standing particularly close.  They stand stiffly,
	arms down at their sides and breath streaming out of their
	parka hoods.  Each has an awkward leaning-away posture, head
	drawn slightly back and chin tucked in, to keep his face
	from protruding into the cold.

				MAN
		...  So, I'm tendin' bar there at
		Ecklund && Swedlin's last Tuesday
		and this little guy's drinkin'
		and he says, 'So where can a guy
		find some action - I'm goin' crazy
		down there at the lake.'  And I
		says, 'What kinda action?' and he
		says, 'Woman action, what do I
		look like,'  And I says 'Well,
		what do I look like, I don't
		arrange that kinda thing,' and he
		says, 'I'm goin' crazy out there
		at the lake' and I says, 'Well,
		this ain't that kinda place.'

				GARY
		Uh-huh.

				MAN
		So he says, 'So I get it, so you
		think I'm some kinda jerk for
		askin',' only he doesn't use the
		word jerk.

				GARY
		I unnerstand.

				MAN
		And then he calls me a jerk and
		says the last guy who thought he
		was a jerk was dead now.  So I
		don't say nothin' and he says, 'What
		do ya think about that?'  So I
		says, 'Well, that don't sound like
		too good a deal for him then.'

				GARY
		Ya got that right.

				MAN
		And he says, 'Yah, that guy's dead
		and I don't mean a old age.'  And
		then he says, 'Geez, I'm goin'
		crazy out there at the lake.'

				GARY
		White Bear Lake?

				MAN
		Well, Ecklund && Swedlin's, that's
		closer ta Moose Lake, so I made
		that assumption.

				GARY
		Oh sure.

				MAN
		So, ya know, he's drinkin', so I
		don't think a whole great deal of
		it, but Mrs. Mohra heard about the
		homicides out here and she thought
		I should call it in, so I called
		it in.  End a story.

				GARY
		What'd this guy look like anyways?

				MAN
		Oh, he was a little guy, kinda
		funny-lookin'.

				GARY
		Uh-huh - in what way?

				MAN
		Just a general way.

				GARY
		Okay, well, thanks a bunch, Mr.
		Mohra.  You're right, it's probably
		nothin', but thanks for callin'
		her in.

				MAN
		Oh sure.  They say she's gonna
		turn cold tomorrow.

				GARY
		Yah, got a front movin' in.

				MAN
		Ya got that right.

	CLOSE ON CARL SHOWALTER

	In his car, now parked, one hand holding the rag pressed to
	his mangled jaw.  He is staring down at something in the
	front seat next to him.

	His other hand holds open the briefcase.  It has money
	inside - a lot of money.

	Carl unfreezes, takes out one of the bank-wrapped wads and
	looks at it.

				CARL
		...  Mmmnphh.

	He paws through the money in the briefcase to get a feeling
	for the amount.

				CARL
		...  Jeshush Shrist...  Jeshush
		fuchem Shrist!

	Excited, he counts out a bundle of bills and tosses it onto
	the back seat.

	He starts to take the rag away from his chin but the layer
	pressed against his face sticks, its loose weave bound to
	his skin by clotted blood.

	He pulls very gently and winces as blood starts to flow
	again.

	He carefully tears the rag in half so that only a bit of it
	remains adhering to his jaw.

	EXT. CAR

	It is pulled over to the side of an untraveled road.  THe
	door opens and Carl emerges with the briefcase.

	He slogs through the snow, down a gulley and up the
	embankment to a barbed-wire fence.  He kneels at one of the
	fence posts and frantically digs into the snow with his bare
	hands, throws in the briefcase and covers it back up.

	He stands and tries to beat the circulation back into his
	red, frozen hands.

	He looks to the right.

	A regular line of identical fence posts stretches away
	against unblemished white.

	He looks to the left.

	A regular line of identical fence posts stretches away
	against unblemished white.

	He looks at the fence post in front of him.

				CARL
		Mmmphh...

	He looks about the snowy vastness for a marker.  Finding
	none, he kicks the fence post a couple of times, failing to
	scar or tilt it, then hurriedly plants a couple of sicks up
	against the post.

	He bends down, scoops up a handful of snow, presses it
	against his wounded jaw, and lopes back to the idling car.

	HOTEL ROOM

	Marge has a packed overnight back sitting on the unmade bed.
	She is ready to leave, already wearing her parka, but is on
	the phone.

				MARGE
		No, I'm leavin' this mornin', back
		up to Brainerd.

				VOICE
		Well, I'm sorry I won't see ya.

				MARGE
		Mm.  But ya think he's all right?
		I saw him last night and he's -

				VOICE
		What'd he say?

				MARGE
		Well, it was nothin' specific
		he said, it just seemd like it
		all hit him really hard, his
		wife dyin' -

				VOICE
		His wife?

				MARGE
		Linda.

				VOICE
		No.

				MARGE
		Linda Cooksey?

				VOICE
		No.  No.  No.  They weren't -
		he, uh, he was bothering Linda
		for about, oh, for a good year.
		Really pestering her, wouldn't
		leave her alone.

				MARGE
		So ... they didn't...

				VOICE
		No.  No.  They never married.
		Mike's had psychiatric problems.

				MARGE
		Oh.  Oh, my.

				VOICE
		Yah, he - he's been struggling.
		He's living with his parents now.

				MARGE
		Oh.  Geez.

				VOICE
		Yah, Linda's fine.  You should
		call her.

				MARGE
		Geez.  Well - geez.  That's a
		suprise.

	MARGE'S CAR

	Marge drives, gazing out at the road.

	MARGE AT A DRIVE-THROUGH

	She leans out of her open window and yells at the order
	panel:

				MARGE
		Hello?

	MARGE AT THE GUSTAFSON OLDS GARAGE

	She sits in the lot, eating a breakfast sandwich.

	JERRY LUNDEGAARD'S OFFICE

	Jerry is at his desk using a blunt pencil to enter numbers
	onto a form.  Beneath the form is a piece of carbon paper
	and beneath that another form copy, which Jerry periodically
	checks.  The carbon-copy form shows thick smudgy, illegible
	entries.

	Jerry hums nervously.

	Glass rattles as someone taps at his door.

	Jerry looks up and freezes, mouth hanging open, brow knit
	with worry.

	Marge sticks her head in the door.

				MARGE
		Mr. Lundegaard?  Sorry to bother
		you again.  Can I come in?

	She starts to enter.

				JERRY
		Yah, no, I'm kinda - I'm kinda
		busy -

				MARGE
		I unnerstand.  I'll keep it real
		short, then.  I'm on my way out
		of town, but I was just -  Do you
		mind if I sit down?  I'm carrying
		a bit of a load here.

				JERRY
		No, I -

	But she is already sitting into the chair opposite with a
	sigh of relieved weight.

				MARGE
		Yah, it's this vehicle I asked you
		about yesterday.  I was just
		wondering -

				JERRY
		Yah, like I told ya, we haven't had
		any vehicles go missing.

				MARGE
		Okay, are you sure, cause, I mean,
		how do you know?  Because, see,
		the crime I'm investigating, the
		perpetrators were driving a car
		with dealer plates.  And they
		called someone who works here, so
		it'd be quite a coincidence if
		they weren't, ya know, connected.

				JERRY
		Yah, I see.

				MARGE
		So how do you - have you done any
		kind of inventory recently?

				JERRY
		The car's not from our lot, ma'am.

				MARGE
		but do you know that for sure
		without -

				JERRY
		Well, I would know.  I'm the
		Executive Sales Manager.

				MARGE
		Yah, but -

				JERRY
		We run a pretty tight ship here.

				MARGE
		I know, but - well, how do you
		establish that, sir?  Are the
		cars, uh, counted daily or what
		kind of -

				JERRY
		Ma'am, I answered your question.

	There is a silent beat.

				MARGE
		...  I'm sorry, sir?

				JERRY
		Ma'am, I answered your question.
		I answered the darn -  I'm
		cooperating here, and I...

				MARGE
		Sir, you have no call to get
		snippy with me.  I'm just doin'
		my job here.

				JERRY
		I'm not, uh, I'm not arguin' here.
		I'm cooperating...  There's no, uh
		- we're doin' all we can...

	He trails off into silence.

				MARGE
		Sir, could I talk to Mr. Gustafson?

	Jerry stares at her.

				MARGE
		...  Mr. Lundegaard?

	Jerry explodes:

				JERRY
		Well, heck, if you wanna, if you
		wanna play games here!  I'm
		workin' with ya on this thing, but
		I...

	He is getting angrily off his feet.

				JERRY
		Okay, I'll do a damned lot count!

				MARGE
		Sir?  Right now?

				JERRY
		Sure right now!  You're darned
		tootin'!

	He is yanking his parka from a hook behind the opened door
	and grabbing a pair of galoshes.

				JERRY
		...  If it's so damned imporant
		to ya!

				MARGE
		I'm sorry, sir, I -

	Jerry has the parka slung over one arm and the galoshes
	pinched in his hand.

				JERRY
		Aw, what the Christ!

	He stamps out the door.

	Marge stares.

	After a long moment her stare breaks.  She glances idly
	around the office.

	There is a framed picture facing away from her on the
	desktop.  She turns it to face her.  It is Scotty, holding
	an accordion.  There is another picture of Jean.

	Marge looks at it, looks around, for some reason, at the
	ceiling.

	She looks at a trophy shelf on the wall behind her.

	She fiddles idly with a pencil.  She pulls a clipboard
	toward her.  It holds a form from the General Motors Finance
	Corporation.

	She looks idly around.  Her look abruptly locks.

				MARGE
		...  Oh, for Pete's sake.

	Jerry is easing his car around the near corner of the
	building.

	Marge's voice is flat with dismay:

				MARGE
		...  Oh, for Pete's sake...

	She grabs the phone and punches in a number.

				MARGE
		...  For Pete's s- he's fleein' the
		interview.  He's feelin' the
		interview...

	Jerry makes a left turn into traffic.

				MARGE
		...  Detective Sibert, please...

	POLICE OFFICER

	We are looking across a steam table at a man in blue.  He
	moves slowly to the right, pushing his tray along a
	cafeteria line.  Behind him, in the depth of the room, is an
	eating area of long Formica tables at which sit a mix of
	uniformed and civilian-clothed police and staff.

	We are listening to an offscreen woman's voice.

				WOMAN
		Well, so far we're just saying he's
		wanted for questioning in connection
		with a triple homicide.  Nobody at
		the dealship there's been much help
		guessing where he might go...

	The woman is entering frame sliding a tray.  Marge enters
	behind her, sliding her own.  We move laterally with them as
	they slowly make their way along the line.

				MARGE
		Uh-huh.

				WOMAN
		We called his house; his little
		boy said he hadn't been there.

				MARGE
		And his wife?

				WOMAN
		She's visiting relatives in Florida.
		Now his boss, this guy Gustafson,
		he's also disappeared.  Nobody at
		his office knows where he is.

				MARGE
		Geez.  Looks like this thing goes
		higher than we thought.  You call
		his home?

				WOMAN
		His wife's in the hospital, has
		been for a couple months.  The big C.

				MARGE
		Oh, my.

				WOMAN
		And this Shep Proudfoot character,
		he's a little darling.  He's now
		wanted for assault and parole
		violation.  He clobbered a neighbor
		of his last night and another
		person who could be one of your perps,
		and he's at large.

				MARGE
		Boy, this thing is really ... geez.

				WOMAN
		Well, they're all out on the wire.
		Well, you know...

				MARGE
		Yah.  Well, I just can't thank you
		enough, Detective Sibert, this
		cooperation has been outstanding.

				DETECTIVE SIBERT
		Ah, well, we haven't had to run
		around like you.  When're you due?

				MARGE
		End a April.

				DETECTIVE SIBERT
		Any others?

				MARGE
		This'll be our first.  We've been
		waiting a long time.

				DETECTIVE SIBERT
		That's wonderful.  Mm-mm.  It'll
		change your life, a course.

				MARGE
		Oh, yah, I know that!

				DETECTIVE SIBERT
		They can really take over, that's
		for sure.

				MARGE
		You have children?

	Detective Sibert pulls an accordion of plastic picture
	sleeves from her purse to show Marge.

				DETECTIVE SIBERT
		I thought you'd never ask.  The
		older one is Janet, she's nine, and
		the younger one is Morgan.

				MARGE
		Oh, now he's adorable.

				DETECTIVE SIBERT
		He's three now.  Course, not in that
		picture.

				MARGE
		Oh, he's adorable.

				DETECTIVE SIBERT
		Yah, he -

				MARGE
		Where'd you get him that parka?

	They have reached the end of the cafeteria line.  With a nod
	to the cashier, Detective Sibert indicates hers and Marge's
	trays.

				DETECTIVE SIBERT
		Both of these.

				MARGE
		Oh, no, I can't let you do that.

				DETECTIVE SIBERT
		Oh, don't be silly.

				MARGE
		Well, okay - thank you, Detective.

				DETECTIVE SIBERT
		Oh, don't be silly.

	GAEAR GRIMSRUD

	He sits eating a Swanson's TV dinner from a TV tray he has
	set up in front of an easy chair.

	He watches the old black-and-white TV set whose image - it
	might be a game show - is still heavily ghosting and
	diffused by snow.  The audio crackles with interference.
	Despite the impenetrability of its image, it holds
	Grimsrud's complete attention.

	At the sound of the front door opening, Grimsrud looks up.

	Carl enters, his face suppurating and raw.

	He reacts to Grimsrud's wordless look with a grotesque
	laugh.

				CARL
		You should she zhe uzher guy!

	He glances around.

				CARL
		...  The fuck happen a her?

	Jean sits slumped in a straight-backed chair facing the
	wall.  Her hooded head, resting on her chin, is motionless.
	There is blood on the facing wall.

				GRIMSRUD
		She started shrieking, you know.

				CARL
		Jezhush.

	He shakes his head.

				CARL
		...  Well, I gotta muddy.

	He is plunking down eight bank-wrapped bundles on the table.

				CARL
		...  All of it.  All eighty gran.
		Forty for you...

	He makes one pile, pockets the rest.

				CARL
		...  Forty for me.  Sho thishuzh
		it.  Adiosh.

	He slaps keys down on the table.

				CARL
		...  You c'n'ave my truck.  I'm
		takin' a Shiera.

				GRIMSRUD
		We split that.

	Carl looks at him.

				CARL
		HOW THE FUCK DO WE SHPLITTA FUCKIN'
		CAR?  Ya dummy!  Widda fuckin'
		chainshaw?

	Grimsrud looks sourly up.  There is a beat.  Finally:

				GRIMSRUD
		One of us pays the other for half.

				CARL
		HOLD ON!  NO FUCKIN' WAY!  YOU
		FUCKIN' NOTISH ISH?  I GOT FUCKIN'
		SHOT INNA FAISH!  I WENT'N GOTTA
		FUCKIN' MONEY!  I GET SHOT FUCKIN'
		PICKIN' IT UP!  I BEEN UP FOR
		THIRTY-SHIKSH FUCKIN' HOURZH!  I'M
		TAKIN' THAT FUCKIN' CAR!  THAT
		FUCKERZH MINE!

	Carl waits for an argument, but only gets the steady sour
	look.

	Carl pulls out a gun.

				CARL
		...  YOU FUCKIN' ASH-HOLE!  I
		LISHEN A YOUR BULLSHIT FOR A WHOLE
		FUCKIN' WEEK!

	A beat.  Carl returns Grimsrud's stare.

				CARL
		...  Are we shquare?

	Grimsrud says nothing.

				CARL
		...  ARE WE SHQUARE?

	A beat.

	Disgusted, Carl pockets the gun and heads for the door.

				CARL
		...  Fuckin' ash-hole.  And if
		you shee your friend Shep Proudpfut,
		tell him I'm gonna NAIL hizh
		fuckin' ash.

	OUTSIDE

	We are pulling Carl as he walks toward the car.  Behind him
	we see the cabin door opening.  Carl turns, reacting to the
	sound.

	Grimsrud is bounding out wearing mittens and a red hunter's
	cap, but no overcoat.  He is holding an ax.

	Carl fumbles in his pocket for his gun.

	Grimsrud swings overhand, burying the ax in Carl's neck.

	MARGE

	In her cruiser, on her two-way.  Through it we hear Lou's
	voice, heavily filtered:

				VOICE
		His wife.  This guy says she was
		kidnapped last Wednesday.

				MARGE
		The day of our homicides.

				VOICE
		Yah.

	Marge is peering to one side as she drives, looking through
	the bare trees that border the road on a declivity that runs
	down to a large frozen lake.

				MARGE
		And this guy is...

				VOICE
		Lundegaard's father-in-law's
		accountant.

				MARGE
		Gustafson's accountant.

				VOICE
		Yah.

				MARGE
		But we still haven't found Gustafson.

				VOICE
			(crackle)
		-  looking.

				MARGE
		Sorry - didn't copy.

				VOICE
		Still missing.  We're looking.

				MARGE
		Copy.  And Lundegaard too.

				VOICE
		Yah.  Where are ya, Margie?

	We hear, distant but growing louder, harsh engine noise, as
	of a chainsaw or lawnmower.

				MARGE
		Oh, I'm almost back - I'm driving
		around Moose Lake.

				VOICE
		Oh.  Gary's loudmouth.

				MARGE
		Yah, the loudmouth.  So the whole
		state has it, Lundegaard and
		Gustafson?

				VOICE
		Yah, it's over the wire, it's
		everywhere, they'll find 'em.

				MARGE
		Copy.

				VOICE
		We've got a -

				MARGE
		There's the car!  There's the car!

	We are slowing as we approach a short driveway leading down
	to a cabin.  Parked in front is the brown Cutlass Ciera.

				VOICE
		Whose car?

				MARGE
		My car!  My car!  Tan Ciera!

				VOICE
		Don't go in!  Wait for back-up!

	Marge is straining to look.  The power-tool noise is louder
	here but still muffled, its source not yet visible.

				VOICE
		...  Chief Gunderson?

				MARGE
		Copy.  Yah, send me back-up!

				VOICE
		Yes, ma'am.  Are we the closest PD?

				MARGE
		Yah, Menominie only has Chief Perpich
		and he takes February off to go to
		Boundary Waters.

	ROAD EXTERIOR

	Marge pulls her prowler over some distance past the cabin.
	She gets out, zips up her khaki parka and pulls up its fur-
	lined hood.

	For a moment, she stands listening to the muffled roar of
	the power tool.  Then, with one curved arm half pressing
	against, half supporting her belly, she takes slow, gingerly
	steps down the slope, through the deep snow, through the
	trees angling toward the cabin and the source of the
	grinding noise.

	She slogs from tree to tree, letting each one support her
	downhill-leaning weight for a moment before slogging to the
	next.

	The roar grows louder.  Marge stands panting by one tree,
	her breath vaporizing out of her snorkel hood.  She squints
	down toward the cabin's back lot.

	A tall man with his back to us, wearing a red plaid quilted
	jacket and a hunting cap with earflaps, is laboring over a
	large power tool which his body blocks from view.

	Marge advances.

	The man is forcing downward something which engages the
	roaring power tool and makes harsh spluttering noises.

	The man is Grimsrud, his nose red and eyes watering from the
	cold, hatflaps pulled down over his ears.  His breath steams
	as he sourly goes about his work, both hands pressing down a
	shod foot, as it if were the shaft of a butter churn.

	The roar is very loud.

	Marge slogs down to the next tree, panting, looking.

	Grimsrud forces more of the leg into the machine, which we
	can now see sprays small wet chunks out the bottom.

	Marge's eyes shift.

	A large dark form lies in the snow next to Grimsrud.

	Grimsrud works on, eyes watering.  With a grunt he bends
	down out of frame and then re-enters holding a thick log.
	He uses it to force the leg deeper into the machine.

	Marge is advancing.  She holds a gun extended toward
	Grimsrud, who is still turned away.

	Grimsrud rubs his nose with the back of his hand.

	Marge closes in, grimacing.

	Grimsrud's back strains as he puts his weight into the log
	that pushes down into the machine.

	The dark shape in the snow next to his side is the rest of
	Carl Showalter's body.

	Marge has drawn to within twenty yards.  When she bellows it
	sounds hollow and distant, her voice all but eaten up by the
	roar of the power tool.

				MARGE
		Stop!  Police!  Turn around and
		hands up!

	Startled, Grimsrud scowls.  He turns to face her.

	He stares.

	Marge bellows again:

				MARGE
		...  Hands up!

	Conscious of the noise, she shows with a twist of her
	shoulder the armpatch insignia.

				MARGE
		...  Police!

	Grimsrud stares.

	With a quick twist, he reaches back for the log, hurls it at
	Marge and then starts running away.

	Marge twists her body sideways, shielding herself.

	No need - the heavy log travels perhaps ten yards and lands
	in the snow several feet short of her.

	Grimsrud pants up the hill - slow going through the deep
	snow.

	Behind him:

				MARGE
		...  Halt!

	She fires in the air.

	She lowers the gun and carefully sighs.

				MARGE
		...  Halt!

	She fires.

	Grimsrud still slogs up the hill - a miss.

	Marge sights again.

				MARGE
		...  Halt!

	She fires again.

	Grimsrud pitches forward.  He mutters in Swedish as he
	reaches down to clutch at his wounded leg.

	Marge walks toward him, gun trained on him as her other hand
	reaches under her parka and gropes around her waist.

	It comes out with a pair of handcuffs, which she opens with
	a snap of the wrist.

				MARGE
		...  All right, buddy.  On your
		belly and your hands clasped
		behind you.

	THE CRUISER

	Marge drives.  Grimsrud sits in the back seat, hands cuffed
	behind him.

	For a long moment there, he is quiet - only engine hum and
	the periodic clomp of wheels on pavement seams - as Marge
	grimly shakes her head.

				MARGE
		...  So that was Mrs. Lundegaard
		in there?

	She glances up in the rear-view mirror.

	Grimsrud, cheeks sunk, eyes hollow, looks sourly out at the
	road.

	Marge shakes her head.

	At length:

				MARGE
		...  I guess that was your
		accomplice in the wood chipper.

	Grimsrud's head bobs with bumps on the road; otherwise he is
	motionless, reactionless, scowling and gazing out.

				MARGE
		...  And those three people in
		Brainerd.

	No response.

	Marge, gazing forward, seems to be talking to herself.

				MARGE
		...  And for what?  For a little
		bit of money.

	We hear distant sirens.

				MARGE
		...  There's more to life than money,
		you know.

	She glances up in the rear-view mirror.

				MARGE
		...  Don't you know that?...  And
		here ya are, and it's a beautiful
		day...

	Grimsrud's hollow eyes stare out.

	The sirens are getting louder.  Marge pulls over.

				MARGE
		...  Well...

	She leans forward to the dash to give two short signalling
	WHOOPS on her siren.

	She turns on her flashers.

	She leans back with a creak and jangle of utilities.

	She stares forward, shakes her head.  We hear the dull click
	of her flashers.

				MARGE
		...  I just don't unnerstand it.

	Outside it is snowing.  The sky, the earth, the road - all
	white.

	A squad car, gumballs spinning, punches through the white.
	It approaches in slow motion.

	An ambulance punches through after it.

	Another squad car.

							 FADE OUT:


	FADE IN:

	HIGH AND WIDE ON A SHABBY MOTEL

	It stands next to a highway on a snowy, windslept plain.
	One or two cars dot the parking lot along with an idling
	police cruiser.

	MOTEL ROOM DOORWAY

	We are looking over the shoulders of two uniformed policemen
	who stand on either side of the door, their hands resting
	lightly on their holstered sidearms.  One of them raps at
	the door.

				COP ONE
		Mr. Anderson...

	A title fades in:  OUTSIDE OF BISMARK, NORTH DAKOTA

	After a pause, muffled through the door:

				VOICE
		...  Who?...

				COP ONE
		Mr. Anderson, is this your burgundy
		88 out here?

				VOICE
		...  Just a sec.

				COP ONE
		Could you open the door, please?

				VOICE
		...  Yah.  Yah, just a sec.

	We hear a clatter from inside.

				VOICE
		...  Just a sec...

	One of the policemen unholsters his gun and nods to someone
	whose back enters - a superintendent holding a ring of keys.
	This man turns a key in the door and then stands away.

	The two policemen, guns at the ready, bang into the motel
	room.

	The rough hand-held camera rushes in behind them as the two
	men give the room a two-handed sweep with their guns.

	The room is empty.

	Cop one indicates the open bathroom door.

				COP ONE
		Dale!

	The two men charge the bathroom, belts jingling, guns at the
	ready, jittery camera behind them rushing to keep pace.

	A man in boxer shorts is halfway out the bathroom window.

	The policemen holster their guns and charge the window, and
	drag Jerry Lundegaard back into the room.

	His flesh quivers as he thrashes and keens in short,
	piercing screams.

	The cops wrestle him to the floor but his palsied thrashing
	continues.  The policemen struggle to restrain him.

				COP ONE
		Call an ambulance!

				COP TWO
		You got him okay?

	Cop One pinions Jerry's arms to the floor and Jerry bursts
	into uncontrolled sobbing.

				COP ONE
		Yah, yah, call an ambulance.

	Jerry sobs and screams.

	A BEDROOM

	We are square on Norm, who sits in bed watching television.

	After a long beat, Marge enters frame in a nightie and
	climbs into bed, with some effort.

				MARGE
		Oooph!

	Norm reaches for her hand as both watch the television.

	At length Norm speaks, but keeps his eyes on the TV.

				NORM
		They announced it.

	Marge looks at him.

				MARGE
		They announced it?

				NORM
		Yah.

	Marge looks at him, waiting for more, but Norm's eyes stay
	fixed on the television.

				MARGE
		...  So?

				NORM
		Three-cent stamp.

				MARGE
		Your mallard?

				NORM
		Yah.

				MARGE
		Norm, that's terrific!

	Norm tries to suppress a smile of pleasure.

				NORM
		It's just the three cent.

				MARGE
		It's terrific!

				NORM
		Hautman's blue-winged teal got the
		twenty-nine cent.  People don't
		much use the three-cent.

				MARGE
		Oh, for Pete's - a course they do!
		Every time they raise the darned
		postage, people need the little
		stamps!

				NORM
		Yah.

				MARGE
		When they're stuck with a bunch a
		the old ones!

				NORM
		Yah, I guess.

				MARGE
		That's terrific.

	Her eyes go back to the TV.

				MARGE
		...  I'm so proud a you, Norm.

	Norm murmurs:

				NORM
		I love you, Margie.

				MARGE
		I love you, Norm.

	Both of them are watching the TV as Norm reaches out to rest
	a hand on top of her stomach.

				NORM
		...  Two more months.

	Marge absently rests her own hand on top of his.

				MARGE
		Two more months.

	Hold; fade out.



Fargo



Writers :   Joel Coen  Ethan Coen
Genres :   Comedy  Crime  Thriller


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