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                                    "THE LADYKILLERS"

                                      Screenplay by

                                 Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

                                 Based on the 1955 movie

                                    "The Ladykillers"

                                     by William Rose

                

               EXT. MISSISSIPPI RIVER - DAY

               A BOAT

               Specifically, a garbage scow.

               We see it from ON HIGH, chugging down the placid but mighty 
               Mississippi.

               Head credits play over COVERAGE of the garbage scow. No sound, 
               except for an incongruously heroic score.

               The COVERAGE is a little rough, coarse-grained; along with 
               the overbearing score it almost suggests an industrial film 
               rather than a feature.

               One piece of sound -- the toot of the boat's horn -- is 
               obviously library. And not a new library either.

               The garbage scow passes under a bridge spanning the broad, 
               sluggish waters, and proceeds on to its landfill, a steaming 
               river island. Disturbed gulls and other scavenger birds rise 
               from where they were picking through trash. Their squawks, 
               like the boat horn, are not quite believable as SYNC.

               The head credits end as the anthemic music resolves.

               EXT. SAUCIER, MISSISSIPPI - DAY

               AN OLD HOUND DOG

               lies on the weather-grayed and -roughened planking of a front 
               porch. The porch is half-shaded from the noonday sun. It is 
               quiet except for the chirr of heat bugs, close by, and, very 
               distant, many voices in chorus, engaged in divine worship in 
               a Baptist church sufficiently far away that vagaries of breeze 
               fan them in and out of audibility.

               We once again hear the toot of the scow's horn, distant now 
               and played as real, not slapdash effect. At this, the dog 
               lifts his nose to catch the breeze, sniffs, and then, whining, 
               lowers his head to the floor and covers his snout with his 
               forepaws. He huffs briefly and goes to sleep.

               We DRIFT UP to show that the dog is sleeping before the

               SAUCIER WORM STORE

               Your source for worms, lures, etcetera, etcetera...

               We TRAVEL OVER TO REVEAL that the modest one-story structure 
               houses two establishments; its other front door leads to the

               SAUCIER MUNICIPAL BUILDING.

               A campaign sign in the window on the municipal side shows a 
               black man of late middle-age beaming and giving the viewer a 
               thumbs-up:

               RE-ELECT WAYNE WYNER SHERIFF/He Is Too Old to Go to Work.

               INT. SAUCIER MUNICIPAL BUILDING - DAY

               We hear snoring on top of a low, steady hissing sound.

               We are DRIFTING toward the door of the lock-up, which stands 
               open. The small cell is empty, its bed neatly made.

               A KEY

               We are ARCING slowly around a jailer's key on a ring that 
               hangs from a nail. The OFFSCREEN snoring and whirring 
               continues.

               The TRACK'S SHIFTING ANGLE now makes the light catch a spider 
               web spun between the key and the wall.

               POLICE SCANNER

               We DRIFT across the face of the radio. The peaceful steady 
               hissing jumps in louder at the CUT: it is uninterrupted: a 
               transmissionless, crimeless, misdemeanorless idle radio hiss.

               The snoring is also louder here. As we TRAVEL OFF the radio 
               we are COMING ONTO a pair of feet propped up on the desktop.

               They belong to SHERIFF WYNER, tipped back in his chair, 
               fingers laced on his chest, head lolling forward.

               As the MOVING CAMERA FINALLY ENDS on him, there is the ring 
               of a telephone -- muffled, not present.

               It nevertheless rouses the sheriff who almost strangles on a 
               snore as he awakes, and then rocks forward to pick up his 
               phone.

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         Sheriff Wyner...

               The muffled ringing continues; the sheriff looks, puzzled, 
               at the phone. Now the ringing stops and we hear a muffled 
               voice next door:

                                     VOICE (O.S.)
                         Worms.

               The sheriff replaces the phone, leans back again, adjusts 
               his hat, and is about to go back to sleep when we hear the 
               front door open.

               The sheriff looks and reacts with genuine, if momentary, 
               fear.

               He manages to compose himself and give the intruder a smile:

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         Afternoon, Miz Munson.

               Entering is an elderly black woman in a floral print dress 
               and fruited bonnet.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Afternoon, Sheriff. You know the 
                         Funthes boy?

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         ...Mackatee Funthes?

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         No no, WeeMack! Mackatee's eldest!

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         Oh yeah, believe I do.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Well, he's a good boy but he done 
                         gone down to the Costco in Pascagoula 
                         and got hisself a blastah -- and he 
                         been playin' that music!

               Wyner is not sure where this is going:

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         Uh-huh...

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Loud!

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         Well--

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         "Left my wallet in El Segundo!"

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         He--

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Songs like that!

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         Uh-huh...

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Hippity-hop music!

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         I could--

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         You know they call it hippity-hop 
                         music, but it don't make me wanna go 
                         hippity-hop!

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         No ma'am--

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         And Othar don't like that music 
                         neither!

               Sheriff Wyner now displays an exaggerated solicitousness:

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         It's been disturbin' Othar then, has 
                         it?

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         How could it help but do! That kind 
                         of music! You know what they call 
                         colored folks in them songs? Have 
                         you got any idea?

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         I don't think I--

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         NIGGAZ! I don't wanna say the word. 
                         I won't say it twice, I'll tell you 
                         that. I say it one time.

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         Yes ma'am.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         In the course a swearin' out my 
                         complaint.

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         Yes'm--

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         NIGGAZ! Two thousand years after 
                         Jesus! Thirty years after Martin 
                         Luther King! The age of Montel! Sweet 
                         lord a-mercy, izzat where we at?

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         Mm-mm--

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         WeeMack down to Pascagoula buyin' a 
                         big thumpy stereo player?! So he can 
                         listen to that word in the house 
                         next to mine? Sheriff, you gotta 
                         help that boy!

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         Help him?

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         You gotta take an innarest! EXTEND 
                         that helpin' hand!

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                              (dubious)
                         Well, we're here to help...

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Well God bless ya. Don't wanna be 
                         tried and found wantin'.

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         No ma'am.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Many many tunkalow parzen, Sheriff 
                         Wyner. Many many tunkalow parzen!

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         Many what ma'am?

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         You have been tried and found wanting. 
                         Don't want that writin' on the wall!

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         No ma'am--

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Feast a Balthazar!

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         Mm-hm.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         John The Apostle said: Behold there 
                         is a stranger in our midst, come to 
                         destroy us!

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         Yes ma'am.

               EXT. SAUCIER MUNICIPAL BUILDING - DAY

               Mrs. Munson closes the door behind her. She wags a paper fan 
               and mutters:

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         He's a good man. Just needs 
                         instruction. Dog, you in peoples' 
                         way.

               The dog stirs with a whine and ambles off.

               EXT. MUNSON HOUSE - DAY

               With a neatly tended garden. It is the last house on a street 
               of other similarly modest but well maintained homes; beyond 
               it the street disappears down a bluff. The empty space beyond 
               suggests a wide river, and indeed we can see the top of an 
               anchored, gaudily painted paddle-boat poking over the rise. 
               The paddle-boat is apparently anchored at the near bank of 
               the river.

               Mrs. Munson is entering by the gate. She stops in the garden 
               and stoops to pull a tiny weed marring the otherwise perfect 
               row of flowers.

               I/E. MUNSON HOUSE - FOYER - DAY

               Mrs. Munson lets herself in. A cat lopes up to her, the bell 
               around its neck tinkling, and leans mewing into her leg.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         You need somethin' to eat, Angel?

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY

               Mrs. Munson hand-cranks a can opener around a tin of cat 
               food.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Mm... gizzards...

               The cat paces back and forth between her legs, leaning into 
               them and purring, responding to the snap of tin as the cover 
               comes off the can.

               The can contains cubed processed gizzard in a gelatinous 
               medium like the stuff that clings to gefilte fish.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

               Above the fireplace is an oil portrait of a serious-looking 
               black man of late middle-age with a neatly groomed mustache 
               starting to gray. A couple of candles sit on the mantel below 
               the portrait, giving it the semblance of a shrine.

               Mrs. Munson enters and lights the candles.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Othar, I went'n complained about 
                         WeeMack, I hope it'll do some good. 
                         That boy hangin' by a thread! Over 
                         the pit! Fiery pit! "I Left My Wallet 
                         in El Segundo"!

               She shakes out the match and sits in a rocker and takes up 
               her knitting. As she sits she gives an audible groan.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...Sixty-seven years of life, forty-
                         six years of marriage, you mean to 
                         tell me you never one time suffered 
                         from piles? It's the human condition, 
                         most humans anyway. Like that ball 
                         player said: world's got two kinds 
                         of folks -- them that's got piles 
                         and them that's gonna get 'em. But 
                         you was always healthy as an ox...

               There is the distant moan of a riverboat horn.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...Passed on before you got piles. 
                         Mmmmhmm. Thank the Lord you wasn't 
                         sick. You don't wanna sicken 'n die. 
                         No, you wanna pass nice 'n peaceful... 
                         go to sleep one night, wake up in 
                         the glory land... woof...

               A gust of wind hums under the eaves; the candles below the 
               portrait flicker. As Mrs. Munson looks around the room, 
               vaguely towards the ceiling, sensing a negative aura, the 
               cat arches its back and hisses.

               At this moment the doorbell rings.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...Well who's that now, Pickles?

               She grunts as she hoists herself out of the chair.

               I/E. MUNSON HOUSE - FOYER - NIGHT

               She opens the door--

               A draft--

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

               The candles below the portrait of Othar go out, sending up 
               thin wisps of smoke.

               I/E. MUNSON HOUSE - FOYER - NIGHT

               The cat shrieks and bolts out the door, past the man on the 
               stoop: GOLDTHWAIT HIGGINSON DORR, III.

               He is a middle-aged Southern gentleman wearing a panama hat 
               and a cape over a cream-colored suit. He has dark circles 
               under his eyes. The smile he attempts, mournful yet courtly, 
               is wiped away by:

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         PICKLES!

                                     DORR
                         Ma'am?

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Go get 'im!

                                     DORR
                         I do beg your pardon?

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Go get Pickles, I didn't let 'im 
                         out!

                                     DORR
                              (tasting the name)
                         Pickles...

               EXT. MUNSON HOUSE - NIGHT

               Dorr walks down the stoop followed by the old lady.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Oh, he's up the tree again. Your 
                         gonna have to shimmy on up.

                                     DORR
                         I am so terribly sorry, madam. But 
                         won't the feline eventually tire of 
                         his lonely perch and, pining for his 
                         master's affection, return on his 
                         own initiative?

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Huh? No, he won't come down less you 
                         fetch him. He'd set there til Gabriel 
                         blows his horn if someone didn't 
                         shimmy up. Up with you now!

                                     DORR
                         Well then couldn't we perhaps offer 
                         him kitty treats and enticements, or 
                         if not foodstuffs perhaps squeaky 
                         little toys of the kind formerly 
                         manufactured in Hong Kong but now 
                         produced in the other so-called 
                         "Little Tigers"...

               His fingers form the quotes.

                                     DORR
                         ...of the Pacific Rim? The point 
                         bein', do we have to actually ascend 
                         the tree--

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Look, I don't want no doubletalk. If 
                         you ain't gonna fetch him down I 
                         guess I gotta call the po-lice...

                                     DORR
                         Police...

               His face darkens.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         They ain't gonna be happy. Every 
                         time they come fetch him down they 
                         swear they won't do it no more...

               Dorr casts his hat aside and starts awkwardly climbing the 
               tree. He gasps as he climbs:

                                     DORR
                         No need to call the authorities. I 
                         did this often as a youth -- why, I 
                         was a positive lemur... Here, kitty...

               The cat backs away down a branch, arching its back and 
               hissing.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Don't upset him, now!

               Dorr, on his stomach, inches after the cat, grunting:

                                     DORR
                         I wouldn't dream of it... harmless 
                         little felix domesticus... Come to 
                         G.H...

               The branch breaks, hinging down to slam Dorr face-first into 
               the trunk, from where he drops the rest of the way to the 
               ground.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

               Othar's portrait, upside-down, seems to be looking bemusedly 
               down on us.

               An OBJECTIVE ANGLE shows Dorr lying on the couch, a damp 
               washcloth on his forehead, eyes rolled back to look at the 
               picture.

               Mrs. Munson is entering with a cup of tea. Dorr swings his 
               feet out to sit up and accept the tea.

                                     DORR
                         I thank you, madam, for your act of 
                         kindness.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Well you let him out.

                                     DORR
                         I certainly did and I do apologize 
                         no end. Allow me to present myself, 
                         uh, formally: Goldthwait Higginson 
                         Dorr, Ph.D.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         What, like Elmer?

                                     DORR
                         Beg your pardon, ma'am?

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Fudd?

                                     DORR
                         No no, Ph.D. is a mark of academic 
                         attainment. It is a degree of higher 
                         learning bestowed, in my case, in 
                         recognition of my mastery of the 
                         antique languages of Latin and Greek. 
                         I also hold a number of other advanced 
                         degrees including the baccalaureate 
                         from a school in Paris, France, called 
                         the Sorbonne.

               Munson chuckles.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Sore bone, well I guess that's 
                         appropriate. You ever study at Bob 
                         Jones University?

                                     DORR
                         I have not had that privilege.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         It's a bible school, only the finest 
                         in the country. I send them five 
                         dollars every month.

                                     DORR
                         That's very gener--

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         I'm on their mailing list. I'm an 
                         Angel.

                                     DORR
                         Indeed.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         They list my name in the newsletter, 
                         every issue. I got the literature 
                         here, you wanna examine it.

                                     DORR
                         Perhaps when my head has recovered 
                         from its... buffeting. Mrs. Munson, 
                         are you at all curious as to why I 
                         darkened your door, as the expression 
                         has it, on this lovely camelia-scented 
                         morn?

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         I was wondering, til you let Pickles 
                         out. Then in all the excitement--

                                     DORR
                         I quite understand. The fact is that 
                         I saw the sign on your window 
                         advertising a room to let, and it is 
                         the only such sign among the houses 
                         of this charming, charming street.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Yeah, I got a room. I'm lookin' for 
                         a quiet tenant. Fifteen dollars a 
                         week

                                     DORR
                         I quite understand. Madam, you are 
                         addressing a man who is quiet -- and 
                         yet not quiet, if I may offer a 
                         riddle...

               He sets down the teacup and rises.

                                     DORR
                         ...Perhaps you can show me the room, 
                         Mrs. Munson, and allow me to explain.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Well you can see the room, but I 
                         don't like double-talk.

               Mrs. Munson precedes him...

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - STAIRCASE - NIGHT

               ...up the stairs.

                                     DORR
                         You see, madam, I am currently on 
                         sabbatical from the institution where 
                         I teach -- the University of 
                         Mississippi at Hattiesburg. I am 
                         taking a year off to indulge my 
                         passion -- I don't believe that is 
                         too strong a word -- for the music 
                         of the Renaissance. I perform in -- 
                         and have the honor of directing -- a 
                         period instrument ensemble that 
                         performs at Renaissance fairs and 
                         other cultural fora...

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - DORR'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

               They enter a small bedroom. There is a small bed on a brass 
               frame, a chair, a wash basin, and cheerful yellow chintz 
               drapes on the window. Dorr appreciatively takes it in.

                                     DORR
                         ...thoo-out central and southern 
                         Mississippi. We perform on the 
                         instruments for which the music was 
                         originally composed, in the belief 
                         that... that... Why, this is lovely...

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Wait a minute. You got some kind of 
                         band?

               Dorr once again wiggles quotes with his fingers:

                                     DORR
                         The word "band" would be, in this 
                         context, something of an anachronism. 
                         Though we do play together -- hence 
                         the word "ensemble" -- the nature of 
                         the music is such that one would 
                         hesitate to apply the epithet "band" 
                         with its connotations of jangling 
                         rhythm and ear-popping amplification.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         So you don't play hippity-hop, "I 
                         Left My Wallet in El Segundo," songs 
                         with the titles spelt all funny?

                                     DORR
                         Madam, I shudder. I quake. The 
                         revulsion I feel for modern popular 
                         music, and all other manifestations 
                         of contemporary decay, is, I have no 
                         doubt, the equal of y'own. Why, we 
                         play music that was composed to the 
                         greater glory of God. Devotional 
                         music. Church music.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Gospel music?

                                     DORR
                         Well-inspired by the gospels, 
                         certainly. The vintage, of course, 
                         is no more recent than the Rococo.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Rococo, huh? Well, I guess that'd be 
                         okay.

                                     DORR
                         But I certainly don't propose to 
                         inflict our rehearsals on you. May I 
                         enquire -- do you have a root cellar?

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - CELLAR - NIGHT

               Dorr ducks while descending the steep, narrow stair in order 
               to avoid an overhead beam. He is followed by Mrs. Munson.

                                     DORR
                         Yes, yes, yes, this looks promising...

               He pulls on a hanging string to light a bare bulb overhead.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Little dank, ain't it?

                                     DORR
                         Oh, indeed, but that only improves 
                         the acoustics...

               He experimentally claps his hands.

                                     DORR
                         ...Marvelous. These earthen walls 
                         are ideal for baffling the higher 
                         registers of the, uh, lute and, uh, 
                         sackbutt. That's why so much music 
                         of the cinquecento was played in 
                         crypts and catacombs. Yes, this will 
                         do nicely...

               He dry-washes his hands with enthusiasm, but his tone remains 
               mournful.

                                     DORR
                         ...This is perfect. This is more 
                         than perfect. I can scarcely contain 
                         my glee.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         You containing it okay.

               He starts to peel cash out of a large, well-worn billfold:

                                     DORR
                         Allow me to pay you a week in advance. 
                         Allow me to pay you two weeks in 
                         advance. Allow me to pay you a month 
                         in advance. I cannot countenance the 
                         thought of these charming apartments 
                         being tenanted by someone 
                         unappreciative of their special je 
                         ne sais quoi.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         That would be a shame.

               INT. CASINO - DAY

               TRACKING ON A GARBAGE CART

               On the cart is a boombox. It is playing "I Left My Wallet in 
               El Segundo."

               It is being pushed through a casino empty of customers.

               As the cart stops and a wastebasket is emptied into it:

                                     VOICE (V.O.)
                         You gotta peel this shit out sticks 
                         to the bottom.

               WIDER

               shows two youngish black men in the khaki uniforms of 
               custodians. Emptying the wastebasket is WEEMACK-MACKATEE 
               FUNTHES. He is instructing GAWAIN MACSAM.

                                     WEEMACK
                         ...You wouldn't believe this shit, 
                         sometimes even out here on the casino 
                         floor you gonna find sanitary napkin 
                         shit stuck there, Tucks, I don't 
                         know what the fuck people do while 
                         they're gambling here man.

                                     GAWAIN
                         I ain't peelin' funky shit with my 
                         human hands, man. That's a 
                         prescription for disease and viruses 
                         and shit, attackin' y'insides.

               As they roll on we see more of the gambling floor, which is 
               on something less than the scale of a Las Vegas casino. The 
               floor is not yet open and dealers stack and count chips at 
               the tables, pit bosses with clipboards looking over their 
               shoulders. Other dealers strap on visors and sleeve garters, 
               preparing to work.

                                     WEEMACK
                         You gotta do it. Mr. Gudge checks 
                         everything. Man is a motherfuck. 
                         Shit -- looka this.

               After a furtive look around he plucks a chip from the next 
               wastebasket and slips it in his pocket.

                                     WEEMACK
                         ...You keep an eye out, man. I found 
                         a hundred-dollar chip once.

                                     GAWAIN
                         Fuck that, man. I ain't pawin' through 
                         used Tucks for a fi' dollar chip.

                                     WEEMACK
                         I said it was a hundred.

                                     GAWAIN
                         Man, your guts gonna turn to soup'n 
                         leak outcha fuckin' asshole.

               SERVICE HALL

               The cart jitters loudly on the dimpled plastic floor.

                                     WEEMACK
                         This tunnel leads back onto land. To 
                         the office for all the people work 
                         for Mannex. Mannex Corporation. Owns 
                         the Lady Luck 'n three other boats...

               INT. CASINO - SERVICE HALL - DAY

               The two men are entering a windowless fluorescent-lit office 
               area. A row of wooden office doors and one heavy steel door.

                                     WEEMACK
                         ...This is where they think on their 
                         corporate shit, Gudge and them.

               He stops to empty a wastebasket.

                                     WEEMACK
                         ...The lights is ugly but it ain't 
                         as many Tucks.

               He bangs on the steel door:

                                     WEEMACK
                         ...YO, motherfuck! Lemme in!

                                     MUFFLED VOICE (O.S.)
                         What's the password?

                                     WEEMACK
                         Kiss my ass.

               We hear a deep chuckle and the door, steel reinforced, swings 
               open.

               INT. CASINO - COUNTING ROOM - DAY

               The two men enter, WeeMack nodding at the security man 
               (ELRON).

                                     WEEMACK
                         This is where they count the dough. 
                         You try to take any of it Elron there 
                         shoot your ass.

               Again the security man chuckles. WeeMack picks up some fast-
               food wrappers.

                                     WEEMACK
                         ...This place is a fuckin' pigsty. 
                         You a pig, man, nothin' but a squeaky 
                         ol' motherfuckin' pig...

               Elron chuckles. He is an enormously fat man; his chuckles 
               come from deep, deep in his chest.

                                     WEEMACK
                         ...You got fuckin' Kocoa Krispies in 
                         ya uniform man, still got breakfast 
                         there and you eatin' motherfuckin' 
                         lunch.

               Elron uses one hand to swipe crumbs off his uniform shirt, 
               chuckling.

                                     WEEMACK
                         ...You a disgrace before motherfuckin' 
                         God...

               Elron chuckles.

                                     WEEMACK
                         ...You a motherfuck-- oh, hello Mr. 
                         Gudge, how we be this mornin'?

               A man in a buttoned white shirt nods at him.

                                     GUDGE
                         Funthes. How's the new man?

                                     WEEMACK
                         He is a cleaning motherfucker, man!

                                     GUDGE
                         Is that a fact.

               INT. SOUNDSTAGE - SMOKING FIELD SET - DAY

               HIGH ANGLE

               It is a ruin of a field; charred trees point bare and gnarled 
               limbs toward a gray sky; smoke drifts across the desolate 
               waste.

               Something is bounding towards us from the deep background. 
               We BOOM DOWN as it approaches: a bulldog, running avidly 
               toward us on its stumpy little legs.

               An OFFSCREEN male voice (CLARK PANCAKE):

                                     PANCAKE (O.S.)
                         One, Mountain!

               There is an explosion that showers dirt in front of the dog 
               and makes it veer. Something strapped around the dog's neck 
               bounces as he runs.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...Scrub two! Scrub three! Four, 
                         Mountain!

               Another explosion makes the dog veer back so that it once 
               again bears on us. The thing that has been bouncing around 
               its neck flies off.

               Our CONTINUING BOOM DOWN has brought us to ground level just 
               as the dog arrives in front of us to feed at a dog food bowl 
               in the foreground. The yellow plastic bowl has a K-Ration 
               logo facing us.

               We hear another OFFSCREEN voice (DIRECTOR):

                                     DIRECTOR (O.S.)
                         Cut, goddamnit. His canteen fell 
                         off.

               The Director's feet enter in the foreground. He hooks the 
               dogs belly with one foot and hoists it roughly away from the 
               bowl. We

                                                                 CUT UP TO:

               The DIRECTOR. He scowls down at the animal.

                                     DIRECTOR
                         ...Props!

               A man in a Hemingway field-jacket with multiple pockets, and 
               also a loaded utility belt, trots up toward him, his belt 
               jangling as he runs. This is CLARK PANCAKE.

               Pancake is a florid beer-bellied man in his late fifties. He 
               has a full blond-grey Grizzly Adams beard and wears multi-
               pocketed shorts that form an ensemble with his Hemingway 
               jacket.

               The director is angry.

                                     DIRECTOR
                         ...The goddamn thing's canteen fell 
                         off. It would have been a good take.

               Pancake is unperturbed.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Okay. Okay. We're prepared for that...

               He hits a button on the radio on his belt and talks into his 
               headset:

                                     PANCAKE
                         ... Mountain, bring Otto with the 
                         apparatus.

               PULLING ANOTHER BULLDOG

               He strains at his lead, muscling forward as quickly as his 
               minder and his own stumpy little legs will allow.

               He peers through the two goggly eyeholes of an antique leather 
               gas mask, its pignose breathing apparatus covering his own 
               snout. His phlegmy breathing is amplified by the device.

               We TILT UP the lead to show his minder, MOUNTAIN GIRL. She 
               is a solid woman in her late forties with freckles beginning 
               to merge into age spots. Her long straw-colored hair is 
               tightly braided into Heidi pigtails bound with red ribbon. 
               Otherwise her dress is unadorned.

               The director squints at the dog.

                                     DIRECTOR
                         What the hell is this?

               Pancake's manner is professorial:

                                     PANCAKE
                         World War I vintage gas mask. It's 
                         authentic. Strapped on, of course, 
                         so it can't fall off. The animal is 
                         free to be as active as he wants, 
                         doesn't inhibit his movement, and I 
                         think it really sells the whole 
                         doughboy thing--

                                     DIRECTOR
                         It looks like a fucking joke.

               Pancake stares at the director for a moment and, though not 
               doing anything, makes a sound of concentrated effort:

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...Nnnnrnff!

               The director squints at him:

                                     DIRECTOR
                         What?

               Pancake comes out of his trance, or whatever it was:

                                     PANCAKE
                         No, nothing, uh... you're absolutely 
                         right, the gas mask is a whimsical 
                         concept--

                                     DIRECTOR
                         How the hell does it eat when it 
                         gets to the Kennel Rations?

               The dog looks up from person to person as each speaks, 
               twisting its neck to peer through the eyeholes. Its breathing 
               is growing louder.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Well, you're absolutely right–-

                                     DIRECTOR
                         Don't let the client see this.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Of course not, that would be 
                         inappropriate--

                                     DIRECTOR
                         Or the Humane fucker.

                                     PANCAKE
                         No no--

               The dog gets down on its knees, slowly, like a camel, 
               breathing ever more loudly.

                                     DIRECTOR
                         They'll shut the fucking spot down, 
                         Pancake. Put the goddamn canteen 
                         back on. That says he's a soldier. 
                         Dented tin canteen. Just tie the 
                         damn thing to his collar.

               The dog flops over into the mud.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Easiest thing in the world. I just 
                         thought -- but the canteen is much 
                         better. Good concept. Let's go with 
                         that--

                                     DIRECTOR
                         What's he doing?

               The dog has started to convulse.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Well, he's uh... Just breathe 
                         normally, Otto.

                                     DIRECTOR
                         The fucking dog can't breathe.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Oh, he can breathe, that thing is -- 
                         just breathe normally, Otto.

               The dog's breath is rasping and horrible.

                                     DIRECTOR
                         The fucking dog cannot breathe! Get 
                         that fucking thing off him!

                                     PANCAKE
                         Of course. Easiest thing in the world.

               He stoops and fiddles at the straps.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...It's on good and tight, I, uh... 
                         Just breathe normally, Otto.

               He starts thumping at his pockets.

                                     DIRECTOR
                         Get the fucking thing off him!

                                     PANCAKE
                         Don't have my Leatherman. Mountain! 
                         Give me your Leatherman! Chop chop!

                                     DIRECTOR
                         Get the fucking thing off him! Chitra, 
                         make sure the Humane fucker doesn't 
                         come over here! Bring him to craft 
                         services!

               As he makes to scoop up the dog:

                                     PANCAKE
                         Good idea! Ice water, treats-–

                                     DIRECTOR
                         Not the dog, you idiot! The Humane 
                         fucker! Distract him!

                                     PANCAKE
                         Right! Of course!

               He goes back to work on the mask.

                                     DIRECTOR
                         Oh my god, he's bleeding!

                                     PANCAKE
                         No, that's me -- I -- the 
                         Leatherman... here we go.

               His hand gouting blood, he finally manages to get the gas 
               mask off.

               A crowd is starting to gather and gape. The director barks 
               at a grip:

                                     DIRECTOR
                         Put up a couple solids here -- I 
                         don't want the client seeing this!

               Pancake thumps on the inert dog's chest.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Come on, Otto!

                                     DIRECTOR
                         Otto is fucking dead!

                                     PANCAKE
                         Mountain, have electric run me a 
                         stinger! Don't give up on me, Otto! 
                         Mountain, I need two live leads!

               More people crowd in to look.

                                     MOUNTAIN GIRL
                         Clark, the gennie's a hundred yards 
                         away!

                                     PANCAKE
                         Goddamnit! Otto's gonna have brain 
                         damage in about ninety seconds! Okay!

               He pulls the dog's lips back, exposing its teeth and slobbered 
               tongue.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...Kiss of life!

               He sucks in a deep breath and starts mouth-to-mouthing the 
               beast.

               EXT. FOOTBALL FIELD - DAY

               POV

               We are looking out from inside a football helmet; we hear 
               the super-present breathing of the helmet's occupant. Just 
               over the breathing we can hear the muffled shouting of a 
               snap count.

               We are in a crouch position looking downfield. At the call 
               of "Hike!" we and everyone on the field spring into action.

               We sprint downfield, the breathing becoming even louder. A 
               very big person downfield is sprinting toward us.

               After several yards, still on the move, we PAN quickly around 
               to look back for the quarterback. Barely visible among 
               converging bodies, he is releasing the football toward someone 
               else.

               Easing up on the run we PAN BACK around to look downfield 
               just as the oncoming defender is upon us and -- CRUNCH -- 
               slams into us. A STROBING PAN leaves us looking up at the 
               sky. Our loud breathing has stopped.

               After a long beat the breathing resumes with a raggedy labored 
               inhale. It continues irregularly. Another helmeted player 
               appears above us to peer down into our helmet. He extends a 
               hand to help us up.

               HUDDLE

               We are looking back and forth around the circle at our 
               gathered teammates.

                                     QUARTERBACK
                         Delta thirty-seven. On four!

               All, with a simultaneous hand clap:

                                     TEAM
                         Huh!

               LINE OF SCRIMMAGE

               Lined up opposite us is a snarling defender.

               Once again, over loud breathing, we can just hear the shouted 
               count.

               At "Hike!" we straighten to meet the defensive lineman lunging 
               at us. His mouthpiece clatters against ours and in horrific 
               CLOSE-UP he strains against us, his animal gurgles of effort 
               audible over our own ragged breath.

               With a primal roar from the defenseman our POV tips back and 
               up, BOOMING DOWN to stop with a CRUNCH against the ground, 
               staring up. Once again our breathing has stopped.

               After a beat a foot is planted on our helmet as a looming 
               running back steps on us in his charge downfield. He is 
               pursued by defenders some of whom leap over us and some of 
               whom by the sound of it step on various body parts.

               HUDDLE

               The same back-and-forth PAN.

                                     QUARTERBACK
                         Okay, Epsilon twenty-two! You the 
                         man!... Hey! BUTTHEAD!

               This brings our wandering attention PANNING back to the 
               quarterback:

                                     QUARTERBACK
                         You the man!

               A very, very present VOICE (HUDSON):

                                     HUDSON (O.S.)
                         Me the man?

                                     TEAM
                         Huh!

               LINE OF SCRIMMAGE

               The same breathing and count.

               On "Hike!" we sprint downfield.

               The same distant defender sprinting toward us.

               We hear low but very present a dismayed:

                                     HUDSON (O.S.)
                         Unh... oh no...

               Our breathing is torn by rasping wheezes of effort as we 
               continue to run.

               We look back.

               Every player is looking directly at us.

               A huge spiralling football coming at us -- too close, too 
               soon -- and--

               BONK!

               It bounces off our mouth guard and flies up.

                                     HUDSON (O.S.)
                         ...shit...

               We are looking forward just as

               CRUNCH!

               We are hit by the defender.

               We once again land face-up.

               Very steeply FORESHORTENED, right over us, we see the defender 
               juggling the live ball.

               With a moan, our own hand reaches weakly up towards the ball 
               and the high, distant defender.

               He finally gathers in the ball and securely tucks it, and 
               starts back upfield.

               We climb wearily to our feet. We look back upfield just in 
               time to see the defender start an elaborate victory dance in 
               the end zone. He pauses for a moment to point a gloved hand 
               directly at us, then resumes his strut.

               Shouting from the sidelines brings our PANNING attention 
               over.

               The coach, face twisted with fury, is shouting at us and 
               using his clipboard to wave us off the field.

               We trot toward the sidelines.

               All of our teammates stare at us –- some in shock, some in 
               anger, some in pity.

               At the sideline bench our POV swings round as we seat ourself. 
               A hand reaches up to the mouth guard to pull off the helmet 
               and we

                                                              MATCH CUT TO:

               Our first OBJECTIVE SHOT as the player (HUDSON) finishes 
               pulling off his helmet. He is a big blond boy. His entire 
               body, including his face, is solidly built.

               An offscreen Voice:

                                     COACH (O.S.)
                         Hudson!

               The boy, Hudson, turns to look, and we cut to one last

               POV

               The COACH is striding up, swinging his clipboard at the 
               camera: with a loud CRUNCH! it brings on:

               BLACK

               EXT. MINI-MALL / HI-HO DONUT - DAY

               HIGH ANGLE

               It is a typical sunbaked concrete strip mall with a Seven-
               Eleven, a launderette, and a Hi-Ho Donut. The Hi-Ho Donut 
               sign shows a pink donut with sprinkles and says in much 
               smaller lettering: And Croissants.

               A beat-up Impala pulls into the lot, pulsing hip-hop music. 
               After a long rumbling idle the ignition is killed. Both front 
               doors open. Two BLACK KIDS get out and look around with a 
               manner that is if anything too casual.

               INT. HI-HO DONUT - DAY

               There is faint muzak and loud air-conditioner hum. Glass 
               cases display donuts identified as GLAZED, JELLY, and FANCIES. 
               Fancies ooze yellow goo. The jelly on the jelly donuts is 
               developing a crust of age. The glazed also look moth-eaten.

               One customer, a disheveled older man, sits at one of the 
               little formica tables staring into a coffee cup. Next to the 
               coffee is a brown paper bag from which a straw protrudes.

               Behind the counter is a middle-aged VIETNAMESE WOMAN in a 
               neat white blouse.

               The two youths enter pulling out enormous handguns from 
               underneath their windbreakers.

                                     YOUTH #1
                         All right Dragon Lady, give us all 
                         the fuckin' money!

               The woman stares blankly.

                                     YOUTH #1
                         We want that donut money!

                                     VIETNAMESE WOMAN
                         Yao gin nyap!

               A man appears from the kitchen in back. He is a middle-aged 
               Vietnamese gentleman in a crisply pressed khaki leisure suit. 
               An ascot is knotted at his neck. He wears aviator eyeglasses. 
               In his mouth smolders a half-burned-down filterless cigarette. 
               This, we shall learn later, is THE GENERAL.

                                     YOUTH #2
                         Okay papa-san, we want that donut 
                         money.

                                     YOUTH #1
                         And we ain't fuckin' around, Mr. Hi-
                         Ho.

                                     VIETNAMESE WOMAN
                         Hi-Ho.

               The two youths look at her briefly. Nothing else is 
               forthcoming.

               The drunk looks up from his paper bag.

                                     YOUTH #2
                         Look, this fuckin' thing, it ain't 
                         complicated. You give us all the 
                         fuckin money, you don't get shot in 
                         the head, you make more donuts, get 
                         more money. That's how it works, 
                         see?

               The General stares at him. As with his wife, none of it seems 
               to register; unlike his wife, he seems unperturbed.

                                     YOUTH #1
                         Give us the money!

               He is pointing the gun directly at the General's head.

                                     YOUTH #1
                         ...You got three fuckin' seconds. 
                         You understand one-two-three? I'm 
                         gonna count one-two-three and then 
                         shoot. Okay? Three sec–- huh!

               The General has swung his fist up to hook two fingers inside 
               the youth's nostrils. His gun clatters to the floor. The 
               fingers are way, way up his nose. Only one knuckle shows on 
               each finger.

               The youth is staring cross-eyed at his own nose.

               His friend is also stupefied.

                                     YOUTH #1
                              (very nasal)
                         His fingers are way the fuck up my 
                         nose.

                                     YOUTH #2
                         GET... YA FINGAS... OUT... THE 
                         MAN'S... NOSE!

               The General still impassively sucks on his cigarette. The 
               first youth is on the verge of tears:

                                     YOUTH #1
                         I think they're in my brain, man...

                                     YOUTH #2
                         MOTHERFUCK!

               He raises his gun to start firing.

               As he does so the General uses his hook-hold on the other 
               youth's nose to slam his head backwards, down into some 
               Fancies.

               The door opens and a customer walks in, a semi-elderly lady 
               with a cane.

               Youth #2, eyes rolling, wildly swings to cover the door, 
               then back to the General who has his friend's head pressed 
               into the Fancies, then uncertainly over to the Vietnamese 
               woman who is loudly yelling at him in Vietnamese.

               Cigarette still dangling from his lower lip, the General 
               calmly plucks a pot of coffee from the coffee warmer and 
               tosses it into Youth #2's face.

               Youth #2 screams.

               EXT. HI-HO DONUT - DAY

               HIGH ANGLE

               The car is still pulsing hip-hop music. Youth #2 stumbles 
               out of the Hi-Ho, hands covering his face and sinks to his 
               knees.

               INT. HI-HO DONUT - DAY

               The General now has the first youth's face pressed into the 
               Fancies from behind. Without disturbing his smoking, the 
               General repeatedly kicks the youth in the ass.

               His wife, muttering irritably in Vietnamese, is wheeling a 
               water bucket and mop to where the floor is covered with 
               coffee.

               INT. CHURCH - DAY

               At the CUT many voices are swelling in a song of worship. It 
               is a black Baptist church, and the music has great energy.

               The white-robed choir finishes singing; a preacher takes the 
               podium.

                                     PREACHER
                         I know you all remember that when 
                         Moses came down the mountain, carrying 
                         the word a God, come down that Sinai 
                         peak, he caught those Israelites red-
                         handed. What he catch 'em doin'? He 
                         caught 'em worshipping a golden calf.

               Shouts of "That's right!"

                                     PREACHER
                         ...He caught 'em with their backs 
                         turned on God!

               More shouts of "That's right!"

                                     PREACHER
                         ...He caught 'em worshipping a FALSE 
                         God! A God of EARTHLY things! He 
                         caught them Israelites in DECLINE!

               "He caught 'em!"

                                     PREACHER
                         ...Because backslidin' is DECLINE, 
                         brothers and sisters! You hear talk 
                         these days, and I know you've heard 
                         this talk, you hear talk of DECLINE, 
                         well all that means is we done turned 
                         our back on God!

               "That's right!"

                                     PREACHER
                         ...People say civilization doin' 
                         this, civilization doin' that, 
                         civilization in DECLINE! Well it 
                         ain't no civilization! It ain't no 
                         them! It's US, brothers and sisters!

               "Amen!"

               We are TRACKING among the congregants, disproportionately 
               women, mostly of middle age and elderly, mostly wearing 
               elaborate go-to-church hats.

                                     PREACHER
                         ...It's what's in our hearts, each 
                         and every one of us when we like 
                         them Israelites! Slidin' awa-a-a-ay 
                         down that Godly slope, slippin' and 
                         slidin' toward the mire and muck a 
                         the stinkhole of greed -- that's 
                         DECLINE!

               "That's decline!"

               The CONTINUING TRACK brings us onto Mrs. Munson, wearing, 
               like most of her peers, an oversized hat; hers is adorned 
               with a great deal of plastic fruit.

                                     PREACHER
                         ...And what did Moses do when he saw 
                         those declinin' backslidin' never-
                         mindin' sinners?

               "What he do?"

                                     PREACHER
                         ...Moses SMOTE those sinners in his 
                         wrath yes he did!

               "Yes he did!"

                                     PREACHER
                         ...Y'all know what smote is! I smite! 
                         You smite! He smites! We done smote!

               "That's right!"

                                     PREACHER
                         ...To smite is to go UPSIDE the head!

               "Uh-huh!"

                                     PREACHER
                         ...Because sometimes, brothers and 
                         sisters, that is the ONLY way!

               "Yes it is!"

                                     PREACHER
                         ...To smite is to reMIND! We got to 
                         STOP that decline! And scramble back 
                         UP to the face a the almighty Gyod!

               "Amen!"

                                     PREACHER
                         ...'Stead a worshippin' that GOLDEN 
                         calf, that earthly TRASH on that 
                         GARBAGE island! That GARBAGE island 
                         in that shadowland WAY outside the 
                         Kingdom a God!

               "Way outside!"

                                     PREACHER
                         ...That GARBAGE island where scavenger 
                         birds feast on the bones a the 
                         backslidin' damned!

               "Yes they do!"

                                     PREACHER
                         ...And so, let us pray...

               EXT. CHURCH - DAY

               It is a white clapboard country church. The preacher stands 
               at the door chatting with the congregants filing out.

                                     WOMAN #1
                         You preach a wonderful sermon, Brother 
                         Cleothus.

                                     PREACHER
                         Why thank you, Sister Rose.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         That man has a lot to say.

                                     WOMAN #1
                         Yes he does.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         And every word of it the truth.

                                     WOMAN #2
                         Mm-mm. Jesus well pleased with him.

                                     WOMAN #3
                         Deed he is.

                                     PREACHER
                         Oh now ladies...

                                     WOMAN #3
                         Pleased as he can be.

                                     WOMAN #1
                         Mm-mm.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Stout, too.

                                     WOMAN #1
                         Mm-mm.

                                     PREACHER
                         Oh now you gracious ladies.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY

               Mrs. Munson is at the kitchen table. She folds a five dollar 
               bill into a sheet of paper, raising her voice as she does 
               so:

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         It was a good sermon. That man has a 
                         lot to say.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY

               We have CUT to the portrait of Othar over the mantel. He 
               does not answer.

               From the kitchen:

                                     MRS. MUNSON'S VOICE (O.S.)
                         ...Stout, too. It would've been a 
                         comfort to you...

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY

               Mrs. Munson has stuffed the paper-enclosed bill into an 
               envelope, which she is now laboriously addressing to Bob 
               Jones University.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         And the choir was all in good voice. 
                         Mm-mm-

               There is a knock at the door.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...Who could that--

               The cat yowls and hisses.

               I/E. MUNSON HOUSE - FOYER - DAY

               As Mrs. Munson swings open the door.

               G.H. Dorr stands on the stoop mournfully dry-washing his 
               hands and obsequiously ducking his head.

                                     DORR
                         My dear Mrs. Munson, I do so hope 
                         this is not an inopportune time for 
                         our first practice--

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Somebody die?

                                     DORR
                         I beg your-- Oh!

               He looks back at the long black vintage Lincoln hearse parked 
               at the curb behind him.

                                     DORR
                         ...No no, no bereavement, though it 
                         is so kind of you to enquire. No, 
                         the hearse is simply a vehicle 
                         commodious enough to accommodate all 
                         of the members of our ensemble. And 
                         of course our instruments, contrived 
                         in an age ignorant of 
                         miniaturization...

               He turns and gestures at the vehicle.

               At his sign, Gawain, the custodian, emerges from the driver's 
               side.

               Clark Pancake emerges from the front passenger side.

               The General, wearing a different but equally pressed khaki 
               suit and ascot, and with a smoking cigarette in his lips, 
               emerges from a back door.

               Gawain goes to the back of the hearse and opens its hatch to 
               let out Lump Hudson, the football player.

               Lump helps unload five large and oddly shaped instrument 
               cases, each man taking one except for Lump himself, who 
               carries two. As the parade of losers and misfits winds its 
               way up the walk:

                                     DORR
                         ...Let me introduce you to my friends, 
                         my colleagues, these devoted and 
                         passionate musicians... This is Gawain 
                         MacSam, our bassoonist...

               Gawain nods as he passes by.

                                     DORR
                         ...General Nguyen Pham Doc, viola da 
                         gamba...

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         No smoking in this house.

               The General tosses his cigarette away and bows stiffly as he 
               passes.

                                     GENERAL
                         So sorry.

                                     DORR
                         ...Clark Pancake -- a multi-
                         instrumentalist, but with his 
                         remarkable embosser Clark specializes 
                         in wind instruments, and is especially 
                         accomplished on the French horn...

               He nods, passes.

                                     DORR
                         ...And, finally, Aloysius "Lump" 
                         Hudson. Lump is our sackbuttist and -- 
                         thank you, Lump -- I see you've also 
                         brought my fiddle...

               As he hands Dorr the violin case:

                                     LUMP
                         Here's your fiddle, Doctor.

               Mrs. Munson sizes up the group.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         You ain't gonna make a racket, are 
                         ya?

                                     DORR
                         Oh no. Oh no no no no no. No, we 
                         shall recuse ourselves to the basement 
                         where we shall be -- I think here 
                         the expression is uniquely 
                         appropriate...

               He gives a sickly smile.

                                     DORR
                         ...as quiet as the crypt.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Hmph.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - CELLAR - DAY

               The General stands stock still, his nose an inch away from 
               the earthen wall, studying it, squinting through the smoke 
               of the cigarette pinched between his lips.

               The rest of the men are opening their cases and taking out 
               the instruments. Gawain's case contains, however, not a 
               musical instrument but a boombox and several tapes. He loads 
               one of the tapes into the machine.

                                     DORR
                         What do you think, General? Present 
                         any problems?

               After a beat the General turns away from the wall to give 
               Dorr a look into which one might read anything, or nothing.

               Gawain hits play on the boombox and the cellar is filled 
               with the fussy strains of baroque chamber music.

               Dorr nods.

                                     DORR
                         ...Good then.

               He spreads a map open on the sackbutt case.

                                     DORR
                         ...All right, gentlemen, why don't 
                         we all crowd around and go over the 
                         plan.

               The biggest feature on the map is a wavy, roughly north-south 
               pair of lines: a river. A boat icon sits at one edge and 
               from it a dotted rectangle extends inland.

               Dorr taps at the boat icon with his fiddle bow.

                                     DORR
                         ...This, gentlemen, is the Lady Luck, 
                         gambling den, cash cow, Sodom of the 
                         Mississippi delta -- and the focus 
                         of our little exercise. Here is 
                         Orchard Street...

               He is tracing a street that parallels the dotted rectangle 
               extending from the boat. The street is lined by small house 
               icons on either side; the bow comes to rest on one of those 
               icons.

                                     DORR
                         ...and here is the residence of Marva 
                         Munson, the charming lady whom y'all 
                         met moments ago. Gentlemen...

               Bow taps emphasize:

                                     DORR
                         ...You... are... here. Now. This 
                         brings us to this square...

               The bow indicates it, and then withdraws.

               Dorr uses the bow as a swagger stick to punctuate as he begins 
               to pace.

                                     DORR
                         ...Gentlemen, I believe you are all 
                         aware that the Solons of the State 
                         of Mississippi, to wit, its 
                         legislature, have decreed that no 
                         gaming establishment shall be erected 
                         within its borders upon dry land. 
                         They may, however, legally float 
                         upon any watercourse defining a state 
                         boundary. But while the gambling 
                         activity itself is restricted to 
                         riverboats, no such restriction 
                         applies to the functions ancillary 
                         to this cash besotted bidnis. The 
                         casino's offices, locker rooms, 
                         facilities to cook and clean, and 
                         most importantly its counting houses-
                         the reinforced, secret, and super 
                         secure repositories of the lucre -- 
                         may all be situated... wherever. 
                         Gawain -- where is wherever?

                                     GAWAIN
                         Say wha?

               Dorr's smug smile fades. Testily:

                                     DORR
                         Where is the money?

                                     GAWAIN
                         Oh. End of every shift pit boss brings 
                         the cash down to the hold of the 
                         ship in the locked cash box; once a 
                         day all the cash boxes're moved to 
                         the counting room.

                                     DORR
                         And where is the counting room?

                                     GAWAIN
                         Well, uh... in that square there. 
                         Where you pointing.

                                     DORR
                         And what, to flog a horse that if 
                         not at this point dead is in mortal 
                         danger of expirin', does the dotted 
                         square represent?

               Gawain hesitates, the question's obviousness suggesting to 
               him some trick.

                                     GAWAIN
                         ...Offices. Underground.

               Dorr's eyes close. A smile of feline contentment curls his 
               lips. He murmurs:

                                     DORR
                         Underground... Mmm... During the 
                         casino's hours of operation the door 
                         to the counting room is fiercely 
                         guarded, and the door itself is of 
                         redoubtable Pittsburgh steel; when 
                         the casino is closed the entire 
                         underground complex is locked up and 
                         the armed guard retreats to the 
                         casino's main entrance. There, then, 
                         far from the guard, reposes the money, 
                         cosseted behind a five-inch-thick 
                         steel portal, yes, but the walls, 
                         gentlemen, the walls of that room, 
                         are but humble masonry, behind which 
                         is only the soft loamy soil deposited 
                         over the centuries by Ol' Man, the 
                         meanderin' Mississip', as it fanned 
                         its way back and forth across this 
                         great alluvial plain...

               He has pried a fistfull of dirt from the cellar wall.

                                     DORR
                         ...This earth.

               He crumbles it, letting it sift to the floor, and then, 
               pleased with himself, he smiles.

                                     DORR
                         ...Any questions?

               Lump looks around, then hesitantly raises his hand.

                                     DORR
                         ...Yes, Lump?

                                     LUMP
                         What, uh... what does "cosseted" 
                         mean?

               Once again Dorr's smile fades. He does not dignify the 
               question with answer.

                                     DORR
                         The General here, whose curriculum 
                         vitae compahends massive tunneling 
                         experience thoo the soil of his native 
                         French-Indochina, will direct our 
                         little ol' tunnelin' operation.

               The General acknowledges with a curt nod.

                                     DORR
                         ...Clark Pancake, while a master of 
                         none, is a jack of all those trades 
                         corollary to our aim. He will be 
                         doin' such fabricatin' and demolition 
                         work as our little caper shall 
                         require.

               Clark acknowledges verbally:

                                     PANCAKE
                         Happy to be on board.

                                     DORR
                         Gawain is the proverbial "inside 
                         man". He has managed to secure a 
                         berth on the custodial staff of the 
                         Lady Luck, thereby placin' himself 
                         in a position to perform certain 
                         chores whose precise nature needn't 
                         detain us here, but whose performance 
                         shall guide this expedition to its 
                         happy conclusion.

                                     GAWAIN
                         Ya damn skippy.

                                     DORR
                         And this brings us to Lump. To look 
                         at Lump you might wonder, what 
                         function could he possibly fill, 
                         what specialized expertise could he 
                         possibly offer, to our merry little 
                         ol' band a miscreants. Well gentlemen, 
                         in a project of such magnitude and 
                         such risks, it is traditional -- 
                         nay, it is imperative -- to enlist 
                         the services of a hooligan, a goon, 
                         an ape, a physical brute, who will 
                         be our security, our fist, our 
                         batterin' ram. Lump is our blunt 
                         instrument, and on all our behalfs I 
                         wish him a warm Mississippi welcome.

                                     LUMP
                         Thanks, Professor.

                                     DORR
                         Well gentlemen, here you are, men of 
                         different backgrounds and differing 
                         talents, men with, in fact only two 
                         things in common: one, you all saw 
                         fit to answer my little advertisement 
                         in the Memphis Scimitar, and, two, 
                         you are all going to be, in 
                         consequence, very very incredibly 
                         rich. Let us revel in our adventure, 
                         gentlemen. Let us make beautiful 
                         music together. And above all, 
                         gentlemen, let us keep it to 
                         ourselves. What we say in this root 
                         cellar, let it stay in this root 
                         cellar.

                                     LUMP
                         There's no "I" in "team".

               All stare at him.

                                     DORR
                         ...Lump has a very excellent point.

               The music swells, supported now by a male chorus that has 
               the spirited manliness of the Red Army choir. We

                                                               DISSOLVE TO:

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - BASEMENT - NIGHT

               The men at work, tunneling.

               The cat sits on the cellar floor, head cocked, gazing at the 
               hole now opened in the wall.

               Lump, in a sleeveless undershirt, glistening with sweat, 
               wields a pickaxe at the forward point.

               At the mouth of the hole Clark Pancake shovels dirt into a 
               heavy plastic refuse bag held open by Gawain.

               G.H. Dorr sits on a camp chair, one hand idly waving time to 
               the music, reading an old and yellowed tome with half-glasses 
               perched midway down his nose.

               The General hops nimbly out of the tunnel and unzips and 
               steps out of his all-in-one to reveal, underneath, his neatly 
               pressed leisure suit and ascot.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

               Later, Dorr stands at the head of the cellar stairs, looking 
               around the empty parlor. He gives a nod down the stairs and 
               the men troop up past him, carrying sacks of earth.

               Over the mantelpiece, the eternal flame of the devotional 
               candle almost animating his features, Othar seems to watch 
               the men as they cross to the front door.

               EXT. MUNSON HOUSE - NIGHT

               The men load the earth into the hearse.

               EXT. MISSISSIPPI RIVER - NIGHT

               We are at the Mississippi bridge that we saw in the prologue 
               to the movie, but now, in dead of night, deserted.

               The hearse is pulling up at the middle of the bridge and 
               dimming its lights. The men emerge; when they open the back 
               of the hearse to pull out the sacks, the cat bounds out to 
               watch from a distance.

               We watch the men from HIGH, ANGLED DOWN along the masonry of 
               a tower that stands in the middle of the suspension bridge. 
               An ornamental gargoyle leers in the foreground.

               The garbage scow is approaching. We hear the low toot of its 
               horn as it nears the bridge.

               Lump is poised with the first sack hugged to his chest, 
               leaning over the railing.

               The nose of the barge enters below us.

               Lump releases the sack.

               We watch it drop dead away like a bomb from an airplane.

               It thuds distantly onto the barge. The next sack has been 
               passed up to Lump and is released.

               The cat watches. Its orange eyes blink. Its pupils adjust.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - CELLAR - NIGHT

               A PULL BACK shows that the cat is in fact back in the 
               basement.

               Its POV: continued tunneling.

               Back to the cat, watching, then turning its head at a noise:

               At the head of the stairs, the cellar door is opening.

               A whistle from the General and Lump and Clark Pancake scramble 
               from the tunnel. They whip a curtain over its opening and 
               all men grab up their instruments as Dorr, covering with a 
               cough, turns off the CD player.

               The General, his ever-present cigarette smoldering between 
               his lips, tongue-and-lips it up and backwards so that it is 
               inside his mouth, which he now closes.

               Marva Munson is heavily and carefully descending the stairs. 
               As the men come into view they are looking up at her, Lump 
               holding his sackbutt but still glistening with sweat and 
               smeared with dirt.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         That's okay, don't stop on account 
                         of me.

               Lump looks around, saucer-eyed, then blows gamely into his 
               sackbutt. It sounds like goose farts until Dorr waves him 
               down.

                                     DORR
                         No no, madam, we were about to take 
                         a break anyway. The glissandi on 
                         this particular piece are technically 
                         very demanding and I think we would 
                         all welcome a moment of relaxation.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Huh. I just thought you might like 
                         to see-what a you gotten up to, honey? 
                         Why you sweatin' like that.

               It is directed at Lump, who looks down at his own sweat-
               stained undershirt.

                                     LUMP
                         I, uh...

                                     GAWAIN
                         That man plays one bitch barrelful a 
                         sackbutt. Ain't no one can blow the 
                         tenor sackbutt like Lump, hoowee! 
                         goes at that thing like it was a pu-- 
                         uh, like it was a woman! Goddamn! He--

               She cuffs him on the head.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         You mind! I don't want that kind of 
                         talk in my home, even in the root 
                         cellar. This is a Christian house, 
                         boy, none of that hippity-hop 
                         language.

                                     DORR
                         Sadly, Gawain is given to--

               WHAP! She slaps Gawain again.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Sometimes it's the only way!

               He untenses after what seemed like the final blow, but -- 
               WHAP! -- she slaps him again.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...I'm tryin' to help you, son!

               WHAP!

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...Better yaself!

                                     DORR
                         As well you should, ma'am. But Gawain 
                         at times is so far transported by 
                         his love of the music of the early 
                         Renaissance as to--

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Don't make no never-mind he's 
                         transported!

               Dorr has her by the elbow and is ushering her back up the 
               stairs.

                                     DORR
                         I understand your--

               She pulls her elbow away and sniffs.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         You been smokin'?

                                     DORR
                         Certainly not, madam. I understand 
                         your indignation. And I was offering 
                         explanation, not excuse. I myself am 
                         offended by those who cannot find 
                         the proper words to express themselves 
                         and have recourse to--

               Gawain calls up the stairs:

                                     GAWAIN
                         Don't you be explainin' me, dawg! 
                         You can't look into my mind, cape 
                         man!

                                     DORR
                         Yes, yes...

               Dorr's tone is soothing as he shuts the door at the top of 
               the stairs.

                                     DORR
                         ...A fiery lad! But then Youth is 
                         fiery! A fact often remarked upon by 
                         the poets of the Romantic era.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         My youth I was in church, I wasn't 
                         walkin' around fiery. Youth ain't no 
                         excuse for nothin'! Well, anyway... 
                         only came down to show you the fife.

               She hands him a thick, roughly whittled piece of cane. Dorr 
               holds it, looks at it dumbly. He is, for the first time that 
               we have seen anyway, non-plussed.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...Othar's fife. He burned his own.

               Dorr tries to summon conversation as the two sit with their 
               backs to the fireplace:

                                     DORR
                         ...Did he?

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Mm-hm. I thought maybe bein' a musical 
                         man you'd be interested.

                                     DORR
                         Oh, I am indeed--

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Cut it himself and burned the holes. 
                         Israelites called it a kalil.

                                     DORR
                         Ah.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Kalil, fife, same thing. You can 
                         read about it in the Bible. Ain't 
                         nothin' new under the sun.

                                     DORR
                         Indeed not.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Gone these twenty years. He was some 
                         kind of man.

               From Othar's POV, slightly high, we see them both twist in 
               their chairs to look up at the portrait.

               REVERSE of the portrait, LOW ANGLE. Othar looks down at us 
               with what appears to be bemusement.

               Marva Munson and Dorr gaze up at the portrait for a motionless 
               beat. At length, Marva Munson sighs:

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...Blowed the kalil.

               Dorr's eyes remain on the picture as he inquires:

                                     DORR
                         ...I don't suppose Othar ever turned 
                         his hand -- or, uh, heh-heh-heh, 
                         turned his lip -- to the shofar?

               Prompted by her silence, he adds:

                                     DORR
                         ...The ceremonial ram's horn, sounded 
                         by the priests of the Hebrews?

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         I don't know nothin' 'bout that. 
                         Othar didn't study no shofar, to the 
                         extent a my knowledge. The kalil was 
                         good enough for my Othar...

               She gazes at the portrait.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...Some kind of man.

               INT. CASINO - DAY

               TRACKING BEHIND A SASHAYING ASS

               following a woman in a red dress.

                                     GAWAIN (O.S.)
                         Hey baby, don't be cruel. Jus' sneak 
                         one little peek...

               The woman looks back over her shoulder, smiling, as she 
               continues to walk.

                                     GAWAIN
                         ...Don't let this uniform fool ya--

               REVERSE PULLING TRACK

               leads Gawain MacSam, pushing his wheeled trash bin.

                                     GAWAIN
                         You don't need to be gamblin', honey, 
                         you lookin' at a sure thing. They 
                         call me Mr. 21, baby, 'cause that's 
                         how I measure up. I am the original 
                         black Jack, honey, accept no 
                         substitutions. You can pull my lever 
                         all day long, sweet mama, I ain't 
                         never gonna come up lemons. That's 
                         right, sugar, you can blow on my 
                         dice any ol' time.

               INT. CASINO - GUDGE'S OFFICE - DAY

               Gudge has his feet up on the desk and is filing his nails 
               with an emery board.

                                     GAWAIN
                         But Mr. Gudge, she had an ass that 
                         could pull a bus. This lady was fine, 
                         fine, dandy, divine.

                                     GUDGE
                         I don't care how big her ass was, 
                         MacSam. You're fired.

                                     GAWAIN
                         Say what?

                                     GUDGE
                         There is no fraternizing with 
                         customers on the Lady Luck. Clean 
                         out your locker.

                                     GAWAIN
                         But Gudge–-

                                     GUDGE
                         Get out of here. You're fired.

                                     GAWAIN
                         You can't fire me. I sue your ass!

                                     GUDGE
                         Sue me? For what?

                                     GAWAIN
                         Sue you for fuckin' punitive damages, 
                         man!

                                     GUDGE
                         Punitive damages.

                                     GAWAIN
                         Ya damn skippy. I know you firin' my 
                         ass 'cause I'm black!

                                     GUDGE
                         Everyone on the custodial staff is 
                         black, MacSam. Your replacement's 
                         gonna be black. His replacement will 
                         no doubt be black.

                                     GAWAIN
                         Fuckin' judge is gonna be black, 
                         motherfucker, that's who gonna be 
                         black! You gonna stand tall before 
                         the man!

               EXT. WAFFLE HOUSE - DAY

               VERY HIGH ANGLE

               We are looking down past the distinctive pylon-mounted yellow 
               letters: WAFFLE.

               INT. WAFFLE HOUSE - DAY

               The band of miscreants is seated around a table with cups of 
               coffee. Dorr's wardrobe makes no concession to the informality 
               of the setting; he still wears his cape and a black string 
               tie. His manner is more mournful even than usual:

                                     DORR
                         Oh my. Oh my my my my my. This is a 
                         severe setback. I am distraught. I 
                         am more than distraught, I am 
                         devastated. Oh my, this is quite the 
                         monkey-wrench heaved into the 
                         meticulously engineered construct of 
                         our little escapade.

                                     LUMP
                         Yeah, it fucks things up.

                                     DORR
                         I am beside myself. I am at a positive 
                         loss for words.

                                     GAWAIN
                         You still talkin' okay though.

                                     WAITRESS
                         Have you all decided?

               Dorr's intensely mournful agitation is brought to bear upon 
               her:

                                     DORR
                         Oh madam, we must have waffles. We 
                         must all have waffles forthwith!

               They hand in their menus.

                                     DORR
                         ...Oh we must think. We must all 
                         have waffles and think, each and 
                         every one of us to the very best of 
                         his ability! Perhaps if you apologized 
                         to the man and gave him flowers, or 
                         perhaps a fruit basket, with a card 
                         depicting a misty seascape and 
                         inscribed with a sentiment.

                                     GAWAIN
                         Shit, man, it ain't about apologizin'! 
                         He fired me 'cause I'm black!

                                     PANCAKE
                         He can't do that. You could sue him. 
                         Open and shut case.

                                     GAWAIN
                         Fuckin' A.

                                     PANCAKE
                         This is not 1952.

                                     GAWAIN
                         Man's a fuckin' bigot.

                                     DORR
                         Well then, perhaps, surely, a 
                         chocolate assortment has been known 
                         to warm the heart of even the most 
                         hardened misanthrope, especially if 
                         it's a premium chocolate, imported, 
                         say, from Switzerland, or the 
                         Netherlands, or some other of the so-
                         called "Low" countries be they Dutch 
                         or Flemish or Walloon--

                                     GAWAIN
                         Walloon my ass, the man ain't gonna 
                         roll over for a fuckin' candy bar!

                                     PANCAKE
                         I'm afraid there's a setback on the 
                         tunneling front too. We've run into 
                         a pretty large rock, and--

                                     GENERAL
                         -- Rock!

               All turn to look at the General. He continues to stare at a 
               spot in space. He slowly releases some inhaled cigarette 
               smoke, murmuring:

                                     GENERAL
                         ...Very bad.

                                     DORR
                         Oh my my, it seems that the poet was 
                         right: Troubles never singly come.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Oh, we can get through the rock, no 
                         worries there. Simplest thing in the 
                         world. Why we blow right through it; 
                         I've got a pyro license, we bore a 
                         hole in the rock, pack in a little 
                         plastique; igneous blows pretty good, 
                         and we--

                                     LUMP
                         Is he gonna want a piece of the 
                         action?

               All turn to look at Lump.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...Who?

               Lump hesitates, looking at the inquiring faces that surround 
               him.

                                     LUMP
                         ...Igneous?

               A female Voice:

                                     MOUNTAIN GIRL (O.S.)
                         Hello Clark. Am I ordering the prima 
                         cord?

               The men look up at her.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Yes, Mountain, we were just talking 
                         about that, and some plastique.

               All the men are staring at her, agog.

                                     GAWAIN
                         ...The fuck is this?

                                     PANCAKE
                         This is Mountain Girl. Mountain is 
                         my right hand. She helps me with 
                         ordnance. Helps me with damn near 
                         everything.

               The men stare.

                                     GAWAIN
                         ...You brought your bitch to the 
                         waffle house?!

               There is tension in the air. Dorr clears his throat.

                                     DORR
                         I confess myself to be puzzled as 
                         well. I thought we all understood 
                         that, so far as our little enterprise 
                         is concerned, mum, as the saying 
                         would have it, is the word--

                                     PANCAKE
                         Of course. I understand that. But 
                         this is Mountain...

               He chuckles.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...I don't keep secrets from Mountain. 
                         That's not how you maintain a loving, 
                         caring relationship.

                                     GAWAIN
                         ...You brought your bitch to the 
                         waffle house?

               He looks around.

                                     GAWAIN
                         ...Man brings his bitch to the waffle 
                         house!

                                     PANCAKE
                         Look, you, I'll thank you to stop 
                         referring to Mountain that way. She's 
                         the other half of my life.

                                     GAWAIN
                         Everybody lookin' at me like I'm a 
                         fuck-up, losin' that sorry-ass job, 
                         and this motherfucker bring his bitch 
                         to the waffle house!

               Pancake lunges across the table, sending dishes clattering 
               to the floor as he grabs Gawain by the shirt.

                                     PANCAKE
                         You son of a bitch punk! Shut your 
                         goddamn mouth!

               He shakes him vigorously and rears back to take a swing at 
               him.

               Gawain draws a gun.

                                     GAWAIN
                         Come and get me motherfuck! Come on, 
                         baby, let's get it on!

               Mountain starts screaming.

               People look, aghast.

                                     DORR
                         Gentlemen, please!

               The other men pry Pancake and Gawain apart.

                                     DORR
                         ...Gentlemen, this sort of behavior 
                         does you no credit in the eyes of 
                         your colleagues, or in those of the 
                         other patrons of this waffle house!

               Pancake grumbles as he composes himself and straighten his 
               clothes.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...Nobody talks to Mountain Girl 
                         that way. She had an abusive family!

                                     GAWAIN
                         Fuck you, man.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Little punk. I got syrup on my safari 
                         jacket.

               He embraces Mountain, who continues to sob quietly.

                                     DORR
                         Gentlemen, I propose that we consider 
                         the matter of this woman, Mountain 
                         Water, to be--

                                     PANCAKE
                         Mountain Girl.

                                     DORR
                         I am so very sorry. I propose that 
                         we consider this matter to be closed, 
                         and we shall chose to trust her, 
                         since we now have no choice, and 
                         since she shall share only in Mr. 
                         Pancake's portion of the booty.

               Over the shoulder of the quietly weeping Mountain Girl:

                                     PANCAKE
                         Of course. Wouldn't have it any other 
                         way.

                                     GAWAIN
                         Damn right you won't.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Up yours, punk.

                                     DORR
                         Gentlemen! And the manner of disposing 
                         of our igneous impediment is also 
                         settled. That leaves only the question 
                         of Gawain retrieving his job.

                                     LUMP
                         Couldn't you just bribe the guy?

               All turn to look at Lump.

               INT. MUNSON LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

               Othar looks serenely down from his spot over the mantelpiece. 
               Marva Munson knits; G.H. Dorr sits nodding over an ancient 
               volume of half-forgotten lore, reading glasses perched midway 
               down his nose. Curtains waft lazily in the summer night 
               breeze.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...You just a readin' fool, ain't 
                         you Mr. Dorr.

                                     DORR
                         Yes yes, I must confess, madam, that 
                         often I feel more at home in these 
                         ancient volumes than I do in the 
                         hustle-bustle of our modern world. 
                         To me, paradoxically, the literature 
                         of the so-called "dead tongues" has 
                         more currency than this mornin's 
                         newspaper.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Mm-mm.

                                     DORR
                         In these books...

               He removes his glasses and lazily twirls them.

                                     DORR
                         ...In these volumes, there is the 
                         accum'lated wisdom a mankind which 
                         succours me when the day is hard or 
                         the night lonely and long.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Wisdom of mankind, what about the 
                         wisdom of the Lord?

                                     DORR
                         Oh yes, the Good Book, mm. I have 
                         found reward in its pages. But for 
                         me there are other good books as 
                         well; the heavy volumes of Antiquity, 
                         freighted with the insights of Man's 
                         glorious age. And then of course I 
                         love, love, love the works of Mr. Ed 
                         G'Allan Poe.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         I know who he is. Kinda creepy.

                                     DORR
                         Oh no, madam, noooo. Not of this 
                         world, true; he lived in a dream, an 
                         ancient dream...

               Dorr himself is lost in a dream:

                                     DORR
                         "Helen, they beauty is to me Like 
                         those Nicean barks a yore That gently, 
                         o'er a perfumed sea, The weary, 
                         wayworn wanderer bore To his own 
                         native shore... "

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Who was Helen? She wasn't a loose 
                         woman, was she? Some kinda whore a 
                         Babylon?

               Dorr is still lost:

                                     DORR
                         One doesn't know who Helen was, though 
                         I picture her as bein' very, very 
                         extremely... pale.

               He comes to himself, focuses on Mrs. Munson.

                                     DORR
                         ...Miz Munson, I was tryin' to think 
                         of some way of expressin' my gratitude 
                         to you for takin' in...

               He chuckles.

                                     DORR
                         ...this weary, wayworn wanderer...

               The Professor takes a small ticket envelope from where it 
               had served as bookmark, and hands it across.

                                     DORR
                         ...It's just a modest little ol' 
                         present, why it's practically nothing 
                         at all.

               Beaming, she takes two tickets out of the envelope and 
               inspects them.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Oh Mr. Dorr, why you are such a 
                         gallant man...

                                     DORR
                         Oh no madam, I blush. I melt. No, I 
                         just happened to hear of this gospel 
                         concert tomorrow night, The Mighty 
                         Mighty Clouds of Joy, and I thought 
                         you and a friend from church, 
                         perhaps...

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Othar loved that music... Yes, I got 
                         a widow-lady friend...

                                     DORR
                         The concert is up in Memphis, but I 
                         have arranged for a car service to 
                         transport you thither and, needless 
                         to say, back home at the concert's 
                         termination. My friends and I will 
                         be rehearsing here tomorrow evening 
                         so you needn't worry about the 
                         security of your charming little old 
                         house...

               There is a knock at the door.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Huh? Excuse me.

               I/E. MUNSON HOUSE - FOYER - NIGHT

               Mrs. Munson swings the door open to Sheriff Wyner. His squad 
               car is parked at the curb.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Sheriff Wyner, how you doin'...

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

               The Professor's eyes widen with concern as he hears the 
               voices, off:

                                     SHERIFF (O.S.)
                         Evenin', Miz Munson, I just came 
                         by...

               I/E. MUNSON HOUSE - FOYER - NIGHT

               The sheriff is tipping his hat and already backing away, 
               trying to make his visit brief:

                                     SHERIFF
                         ...to let you know I had a word with 
                         WeeMack. He says he gonna comply 
                         with your request, keep the music 
                         down and neighborly.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Mm-hm.

               He calls from the bottom of the stoop:

                                     SHERIFF
                         So you have a pleasant evening now, 
                         and just let us know--

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Hang on there, Sheriff, somebody I 
                         want you to meet.

                                     SHERIFF
                         Ma'am, I'm a little pressed for time--

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Why, you chasin' a gang of bank 
                         robbers? Get on in here say hello.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

               The Voices approach:

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...We was just havin' tea, talkin' 
                         about Othar--

               The two enter and Mrs. Munson stops short, looking.

               The living room is empty. Even the Professor's teacup is 
               gone.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...Hm... Bussed his own dishes. You 
                         can always tell a gentleman.

               The sheriff, hat in hand, gazes about.

                                     SHERIFF
                         Someone was here, ma'am?

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Mm-hm, with me'n Othar.

               Once again, he tries to excuse himself:

                                     SHERIFF
                         Well, maybe I'll catch him next 
                         time...

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Come on up to his room.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - DORR'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

               The door opens and the two look in.

               The neatly made bed next to the small, barren dresser.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Mm, he's neat.

                                     SHERIFF
                         Very neat.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Probably went down to the cellar to 
                         play with his friends.

               She turns.

                                     SHERIFF
                         Ma'am, I really have to...

               POV FROM UNDER THE BED

               Top-teased by a dust ruffle in the foreground, we see Mrs. 
               Munson's heavy orthopedic shoes turning to pass Sheriff 
               Wyner's shiny black boots.

               REVERSE

               shows Dorr, cheek pressed to the floor, his teacup and saucer 
               under the bed with him.

                                     SHERIFF
                         ...be gettin' back...

               BACK TO NORMAL PERSPECTIVE

               Mrs. Munson is about to go out the door but notices something:

               A corner of the Professor's cape, protruding from under the 
               end of the bed.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         What the...

               BACK TO DORR

               fearfully watching.

               HIS POV

               The heavy orthopedic shoes approach, and then, with loud Mr. 
               Mogul sounds of effort, Mrs. Munson's hands and knees hit 
               the floor.

               Her head drops in to view to peer in, her own cheek against 
               the floorboards.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...What the... Why, Professor!

               We see the Sheriff watching and his HIGH POV of Mrs. Munson's 
               enormous ass.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...What you doin' havin' tea down 
                         there?!

               Dorr makes silent hand waves to disavow his own presence.

               Mrs. Munson roars with laughter.

               With difficulty she pushes herself back upright, still 
               laughing.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...Land of Goshen! Get out from under 
                         there!

                                     SHERIFF
                         Miz Munson, my pager just went off...

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Why of all the...

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - STAIRCASE/FOYER - NIGHT

               The Sheriff is already backing down the stairs:

                                     SHERIFF
                         'Fraid I gotta respond...

               He opens the front door and calls up:

                                     SHERIFF
                         ...I'll try to meet your friend some 
                         other time.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - DORR'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

               Dorr shimmies out from under the bed.

                                     DORR
                         Well that was very... refreshing... 
                         As you know...

               He gets to his feet, slaps dust from the front of his pants.

                                     DORR
                         ...we academics are inordinately 
                         fond of wedgin' ourselves into 
                         confined spaces. At Yale the students 
                         will see how many of their number 
                         they can enclose in a telephone booth; 
                         Harvard, a broom closet.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Why I never!

                                     DORR
                         There was the goldfish-swallowin' 
                         craze, of course, a different but 
                         related phenomenon... Ahem... I hope 
                         I didn't spill any tea...

               INT. CASINO - GUDGE'S OFFICE - DAY

               CLOSE ON A BOX OF CHOCOLATES

               The box is being pulled open.

                                     GUDGE (O.S.)
                         What the hell is this?

               WIDER

               shows Gawain in Mr. Gudge's office as Gudge, behind the desk, 
               looks at the gift-wrapped box.

                                     GAWAIN
                         It's just my way of sayin', well, 
                         goddamnit, I don't know what it's 
                         like walkin' in your shoes, bein' 
                         all tightass and all, and you don't 
                         know what it's like to walk in my 
                         shoes, but, well...

               Gudge is opening a card that was inside the box. Its floral 
               front says in gold script, "I'm Sorry... If I hurt your 
               feelings... "

                                     GAWAIN
                         ...You know, there's the custodian, 
                         and then there's the man inside the 
                         custodian, y'understand what I'm 
                         sayin'...

               Gudge opens the card. Inside is a hundred-dollar bill.

                                     GAWAIN
                         ...and that man has needs, dig, and 
                         I guess those needs, Mr. Gudge, which 
                         they usually involve women with big 
                         asses, well those motherfuckin' needs 
                         sometimes well up over the custodian 
                         like the motherfuckin' Johnstown 
                         Flood. But my point is it ain't gonna 
                         happen again. Not if it's humanly 
                         possible...

               Gudge reads the card, flips it over to look at its back.

                                     GUDGE
                         Hmm...

                                     GAWAIN
                         But Jesus, if you'd seen the ass on 
                         that girl, Mr. Gudge, you'd a wanted 
                         her sitting on your face too.

                                     GUDGE
                         Well, we're all human.

                                     GAWAIN
                         Ya damn skippy.

                                     GUDGE
                         This apology buys you a one-week 
                         probationary period. Stay away from 
                         the customers, MacSam.

               INT. TUNNEL - NIGHT

               Pancake is on his stomach, wearing goggles, boring a hole 
               into a rock face with a power drill.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - CELLAR - NIGHT

               We hear the whine of the drill faintly here, all but covered 
               by the sound of the chamber music on the boom box.

               The other men sit around. Dorr gives a casual glance at his 
               watch as the whine subsides.

               Pancake emerges from the tunnel covered with grime.

                                     PANCAKE
                         The drill bit's getting awfully hot. 
                         Gawain, maybe you could fill a hudson 
                         sprayer and spritz it down while I 
                         drill.

                                     GAWAIN
                         Fuck you, man, I ain't your house 
                         nigger. I'm the inside man!

                                     PANCAKE
                         Look, are you gonna have a bug up 
                         your ass for the rest of the time we 
                         work together?

                                     LUMP
                         I'll get the sprayer.

                                     PANCAKE
                         No no, me and this gentleman here 
                         have to get square. Let me tell you 
                         something, MacSam. You wanna know 
                         something?

                                     GAWAIN
                         I don't wanna know shit from you.

               Pancake leans against the wall and pushes his goggles up on 
               his forehead, leaving raccoon eyes.

                                     PANCAKE
                         I'm gonna tell you how I came down 
                         to Mississippi. Wasn't born here, 
                         you know. I'm from Scranton, 
                         Pennsylvania...

               Abruptly, he stares off into space.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...Nnnff!

                                     GAWAIN
                         Huh?

               Pancake's eyes regain their focus:

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...Scranton, Pennsylvania. Came down 
                         here in 1964. Greyhound Bus. With 
                         the Freedom Riders. You know who the 
                         Freedom Riders were, MacSam?

                                     GAWAIN
                         I don't give a shit who they were. 
                         Just tell me when they gonna leave.

                                     PANCAKE
                         The Freedom Riders, my fine young 
                         man, were a group of concerned 
                         liberals from up North -- whites, 
                         Negros, and yes, Jewish people -- 
                         all working together, just like we 
                         are here. Concerned citizens who 
                         came down here so that local black 
                         people could have their civil 
                         liberties. So that people like you 
                         could have the vote.

               All look at Pancake. Quiet, except for the delicate chamber 
               music.

               Gawain's tone softens:

                                     GAWAIN
                         ...You know what, man?

                                     PANCAKE
                         What, brother?

                                     GAWAIN
                         I don't vote. So fuck you.

               Pancake darkens:

                                     PANCAKE
                         Why you fucking--

                                     GAWAIN
                         And the bus you rode in on!

                                     PANCAKE
                         That's it!

               He peels off his coat.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...Let's step outside, MacSam!

               There is a knock on the cellar door. The men freeze 
               momentarily, then scramble for their instruments. The General 
               flips his cigarette backwards into his mouth.

               Dorr turns off the boom box, then calls:

                                     DORR
                         Yes, madam?

               The door opens and Mrs. Munson comes down the stairs, holding 
               a large plate covered by a checked napkin.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         My friend Mrs. Funthes is here so 
                         I'm about to go on out. I just wanted 
                         to leave y'all with some cinnamon 
                         cookies...

               She takes the napkin off and carries the plate from person 
               to person; each obediently takes a cookie with a murmured 
               "Thank you, ma'am."

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...Y'all sound pretty good. It'd be 
                         nice if you'd come by the church 
                         some day, give us a recital.

               Dorr takes her by the arm and escorts her back to the stairs.

                                     DORR
                         Oh madam, you are too kind. Our music, 
                         however, is -- how shall I put it? -- 
                         rather Roman in its outlook; many of 
                         our pieces were commissioned by the 
                         Holy See.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Oh, I see all right, but we don't 
                         make a big whoop-dee-do about 
                         denominations; everybody welcome at 
                         our church. We've had Methodists 
                         come in. Episcopals. Even had a Jew 
                         come in once with a guitar back in 
                         the sixties.

                                     DORR
                         Indeed. Excuse me, one moment, ma'am, 
                         and I shall see you off...

               They have reached the top of the stairs and the Professor 
               ushers her out but stays behind himself. He turns to address 
               the rest of the men below:

                                     DORR
                         ...If you gentlemen can labor 
                         harmoniously in the course of my 
                         absence, then perhaps upon my return 
                         we shall be prepared to explode that 
                         vexin' ol' piece a igneous.

                                     GAWAIN
                         He's the motherfuckin' piece of 
                         igneous.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

               The Professor emerges from the cellar. Mrs. Munson awaits 
               with her friend who is likewise togged out in fancy Sunday 
               dress and carrying a shiny black purse.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Professor, this is Rosalie Funthes, 
                         Rosalie, Professor G.H. Dorr, Ph.D.

                                     ROSALIE
                         Oh my, that's an awful lot of letters.

                                     DORR
                         Well of course in my youth I was 
                         simply known as Goldthwait...

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - CELLAR - NIGHT

               Pancake is taking the boom box off the table to clear some 
               space.

                                     PANCAKE
                         All right, safety meeting, let's 
                         listen up. General, could you hand 
                         me the prima cord and the compound 
                         there. Before we set the charge we'll 
                         run through our procedure.

               Various paraphernalia are laid out on the table.

               The cat sits in a corner of the cellar, watching carefully 
               and, it seems, listening attentively.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...I have earplugs for whoever wants 
                         them. Just wedge them in your ears. 
                         Now here we have -- not yet, Lump.

               Lump stops putting in his earplugs.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...Now. Prima cord. Gelatinite. C4. 
                         Time comes, we pack the hole in the 
                         rock with the C4 and insert two leads. 
                         A...

               He holds up one lead.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...and B.

               He holds up the other lead.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...Charge comes from a battery that 
                         is inside this plunger. Ordinary 
                         auto battery, you can pick it up at 
                         Sears, easiest thing in the world...

               EXT. MUNSON HOUSE - NIGHT

               A black town car idles at the curb. Dorr is just escorting 
               the two ladies out the front door and down the stoop.

                                     DORR
                         I remember my father telling me -- 
                         and it is one of the few memories I 
                         retain of the man, from one of his 
                         visits home, and how I do cherish it -- 
                         he said, "Goldthwait, you are not 
                         formed as other little boys."

                                     ROSALIE
                         Mm-mm.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         He a man of learnin'?

                                     DORR
                         G.H. number two was self-educated; 
                         he had no career, as such, though 
                         the state recognized the breadth of 
                         his readin' by making him librarian 
                         at the state nervous hospital in 
                         Meridian, where he was a distinguished 
                         inmate.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - CELLAR - NIGHT

               Pancake sets down the two electrical leads and picks up a 
               hammer.

                                     PANCAKE
                         This is the same procedure we will 
                         be using when we collapse the tunnel 
                         after entering the casino vault and 
                         returning to the root cellar.

               He looks pointedly at Gawain.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...This is for your own protection, 
                         so pay close attention. Once these 
                         materials are combined only the 
                         professionals may handle them. That 
                         means me, or the General. Separately 
                         they are harmless-completely inert. 
                         Why, you could light this stuff on 
                         fire, hit it with a hammer--

               He swings the hammer down onto the plastique--

               EXT. MUNSON HOUSE - NIGHT

               --and there is the dull thud of an explosion and the house's 
               windows rattle in their frames.

               The Professor, at the open door of the car into which the 
               two ladies have just sat, looks up at the house, as do the 
               ladies.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...What in the name of heaven was 
                         that?

               Dorr stares at the house, appalled.

                                     DORR
                         I'm... quite sure... that there is... 
                         no cause for alarm...

               He struggles for self-possession.

                                     DORR
                         ...Why, I'm not even absolutely 
                         certain that I heard anything at 
                         all.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Didn't hear anything?!

                                     DORR
                         Well, something, perhaps, but...

               Marva Munson starts to get out of the car.

                                     DORR
                         ...nothing that need discompose us, 
                         was the sense I was trying to 
                         convey...

               He urges her back into her seat.

                                     DORR
                         ...Miz Munson, I will not have you 
                         missing your musical recital. Why, 
                         you go ahead now. Miz Funthes, you 
                         as well, I beg of you...

               He is backing up the walk.

                                     DORR
                         ...I shall call the gas company, or 
                         the water company, or whatever 
                         subterranean utility is implicated 
                         in this little... occurrence... I 
                         shall see to the matter... as only a 
                         highly educated classicist could.

               At the door now, he gives the two women peering out the car 
               window a smiling but vigorous wave away, which they do not 
               heed, and then he enters.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

               The room is filled with smoke.

               Othar, slightly askew over the mantel, looks a little huffy.

               We hear clomping and screaming on the cellar stairs.

               Lump bursts out, shrieking:

                                     LUMP
                         Blood, Professor! Oh my God! Blood!

               The General comes bounding up the stairs like a panther, a 
               cigarette burning in his lips. He lands catlike in the living 
               room, glides to the blubbering Lump, grabs one shoulder firmly 
               with one hand, and with the other slaps him sharply, once 
               forehand, once backhand.

               Lump stares at him, shocked, his blubbering cut short.

               More noise is coming from the stairs:

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...why, it's nothing to make a fuss 
                         about. Perfectly all right... happens 
                         all the time...

                                     GAWAIN
                         ...You gotta go find it, dipshit!

               Pancake emerges from the stairwell, his hair singed, his 
               face and the front of his jumpsuit darkened by the blast. He 
               is clutching one hand with the other.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...No, no. Really, I'm perfectly all 
                         right.

               Gawain has ascended just behind to hector him over his 
               shoulder:

                                     GAWAIN
                         Perfectly all right? You just blew 
                         your fucking finger off!

                                     PANCAKE
                         Sure, but--

                                     GAWAIN
                         Well get back down there and find 
                         it, man! I ain't pickin' up your 
                         goddamn finger!

                                     DORR
                         I gather there was a premature 
                         detonation--

                                     GAWAIN
                         They can sew that shit back on, jack! 
                         Like that guy his wife cut his dick 
                         off! Just sewed that motherfucker 
                         back on!

                                     PANCAKE
                         Of course. Simplest thing in the 
                         world. Microsurgery--

                                     GAWAIN
                         Saw that motherfucker in a porno! 
                         Thing still works!

               Pancake is pale from loss of blood and his pontifications 
               lack full conviction:

                                     PANCAKE
                         Oh yes, they have remarkable abilities 
                         in the, uh...

               EXT. MUNSON HOUSE - NIGHT

               Quiet.

               The two women sit in the idling car, looking at the house.

               From the house there is very muted bellowing.

               Still looking toward the house, Mrs. Munson offers a word of 
               explanation to her friend:

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         They using the house to practice 
                         music a the rococo.

                                     ROSALIE
                         Mmmm-hm.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

               The cat, with a human finger in its mouth, sidles cautiously 
               to one side, warily eying someone.

                                     VOICES (O.S.)
                         Get him!

               The General, pluming cigarette in his mouth, tensed arms 
               extended outwards, sidles cautiously to cut him off.

                                     DORR
                         I propose that we get our fallen 
                         comrade to the hospital, and the 
                         General shall follow when he manages 
                         to recover the severed digit.

                                     PANCAKE
                         I don't know what all the fuss is 
                         about.

               The cat jumps.

               The General leaps to follow.

               EXT. MUNSON HOUSE - NIGHT

               The two women looking.

               The front door of the house opens. Lump, the Professor, and 
               Gawain emerge, escorting Pancake. Just before Gawain finishes 
               closing the door the cat slips out.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         PICKLES!

               The door is yanked fully open and the General races out after 
               the cat.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...You catch Pickles now!

               The cat races across the lawn and, with no break in stride, 
               up his favorite tree.

               The General follows and, also without breaking stride, 
               clambers up the tree after it.

               Tree limbs shake with activity hidden by the leaves. We hear 
               the hiss of the cat.

               The men are bundling Pancake into the hearse. Dorr calls to 
               the women before climbing in:

                                     DORR
                         The house is perfectly in order, but 
                         we need medical attention for Mr. 
                         Pancake who, during the disturbance, 
                         pinched his finger in a valve of the 
                         sackbutt.

               The cat leaps out of the tree and runs away down the road.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         You let the cat out!

               The General leaps out of the tree to land catlike on the 
               street, arms tensed, casts a look both ways, and then pursues 
               the animal down the road. We hear the retreating padding 
               footsteps of all six feet.

                                     DORR
                         The General is even now exercising 
                         every effort to retrieve your 
                         mischievous little pet. Please go, 
                         go and enjoy your concert, and we 
                         shall see you later in the evening. 
                         Au revoir, mes dames!

               EXT. MISSISSIPPI RIVER - NIGHT

               A new day. The garbage scow chugs down the mighty Mississippi. 
               It toots its horn.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - CELLAR - NIGHT

               CLOSE ON SCHEMATIC MAP

               It shows the underground complex and, stretching towards it 
               in a line drawn with a blunt pencil, is the tunnel. It is 
               now almost to the vault.

               A violin bow enters to tap at the line.

                                     DORR (O.S.)
                         Despite our little setback we find 
                         ourselves on schedule to penetrate 
                         the vault...

               The bow taps at the vault outline.

                                     DORR
                         ...here, this afternoon, having 
                         successfully blasted that little ol' 
                         rock to pieces during Miz Munson's 
                         choir practice.

               The violin bow withdraws.

                                     DORR
                         ...Clark, perhaps you can run us 
                         through the game plan for what remains 
                         of our tunnelin'.

               A bandaged hand enters frame and a finger-stump points at 
               the end of the penciled line.

                                     PANCAKE (O.S.)
                         Of course. Why, it's child's play 
                         now, easiest thing in the world. 
                         Only a couple of feet separate us 
                         from the vault...

               WIDER

               The men are clustered around the map, spread out on the 
               sackbutt case in the cellar. Clark continues:

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...Just the usual spadework until we 
                         hit the masonry of the vault, and 
                         then we drill through.

                                     DORR
                         And will you be able to wield the 
                         drill with your maimed extremity?

                                     PANCAKE
                         Oh, I should think so, it's only one 
                         finger. Inhibits me in doing finer 
                         work, of course. I'll always have to 
                         live with that... Ahem. Maybe, and 
                         I'm just thinking out loud here, 
                         maybe since, as you say, it will 
                         present problems later...

                                     DORR
                         Yes, Clark?

                                     PANCAKE
                         Well, maybe -- and this is something 
                         I've talked over with Mountain Girl, 
                         and she agrees with me, so it's not 
                         just one person's opinion -- maybe I 
                         should get a little extra compensation 
                         for the accident.

               A long, stony silence.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...Somewhat larger share. Why, if 
                         this were any other line of work I'd 
                         be getting workmen's comp, wouldn't 
                         I? Might even have a pretty good 
                         lawsuit.

                                     GAWAIN
                         You gonna sue yaself for blowin' off 
                         your finger?

                                     PANCAKE
                         Well that is simply asinine--

                                     DORR
                         Yes but you see, Clark, this is not 
                         what you just called "some other 
                         line of work."

                                     PANCAKE
                         But if it were--

                                     DORR
                         This is a criminal enterprise, not 
                         to put too fine a point on it, 
                         entailin' all manner a risks not 
                         involved in honest labor. Governmental 
                         regulations an' civic safeguards 
                         cannot be assumed to apply to 
                         antisocial pursuits.

                                     LUMP
                         Yeah, but he lost his finger.

                                     GAWAIN
                         We don't give a shit! Man can blow 
                         his own dick off, don't make no 
                         nevermind to us! We don't gotta pay 
                         the man for goin' around blowin' off 
                         body parts! Getcha head outcha ass, 
                         man!

                                     PANCAKE
                         Look, you--

                                     DORR
                         I think that in this instance Gawain 
                         has a very excellent point. I--

                                     GENERAL
                         No extra share!

               All stop and stare at the General.

               Clark grumbles:

                                     PANCAKE
                         Well, okay, majority rules, like I 
                         say, it was just a trial balloon. 
                         Hand's not so bad really, I even get 
                         some phantom feeling.

                                     GAWAIN
                         You pull on your prick you get phantom 
                         feeling. Greedy motherfuck.

                                     DORR
                         Now that that matter is settled, let 
                         us synchronize our watches before 
                         Gawain reports to work. In... twenty 
                         seconds... it will be twelve-sixteen 
                         exactly... fifteen...

                                     PANCAKE
                         It will be twelve-fifteen?

                                     DORR
                         No, in fifteen seconds -- now eleven 
                         seconds -- it will be twelve-
                         sixteen... eight...

                                     LUMP
                         Professor?

                                     DORR
                         Six... five -- yes, Lump?

                                     LUMP
                         I don't have a watch.

               EXT. CASINO - DAY

               It is the weathered doorway to the main entrance of the Lady 
               Luck. A hand enters to rap.

                                     ELRON (O.S.)
                         Yeah?

                                     GAWAIN
                         Me, dickwad.

               A low, chesty chuckle. The door swings open and Gawain enters.

               INT. CASINO - DAY

               RUMBLING WHEELS ON NUBBY FLOOR

               A garbage bin is being wheeled across the empty casino floor.

               WIDER

               Gawain is wheeling it. He is approaching the tunnel to the 
               corporate annex.

               BACK TO THE WHEELS

               As they roll down the tunnel.

               INT. CHURCH - DAY

               Loud singing at the cut. We are looking at Mrs. Munson in 
               the middle of the choir, holding forth in song.

               INT. CASINO - SERVICE HALL - DAY

               Gawain leans back against the wall next to the vault door, 
               arms folded across his chest. Faintly, from inside the vault, 
               we hear the whine of a power tool. Gawain leans over and 
               punches the button on boom box that hangs from the rolling 
               garbage bin. The hallway pulses with "I Left My Wallet In El 
               Segundo."

               INT. CHURCH - DAY

               More singing, Mrs. Munson and the rest of the choir now 
               clapping as they sing.

               INT. CASINO - VAULT - DAY

               The power-tool whine is louder here. We are looking at a 
               patch of wall.

               After a beat, and with a loud rev as resistance gives way, a 
               drill bit emerges from the wall, spitting out bits of the 
               masonry.

               The drill withdraws.

               After a beat, hammer blows.

               The chunk of masonry begins to buckle.

               INT. CASINO - SERVICE HALL - DAY

               The General opens the door, still somehow immaculately 
               groomed. Gawain enters.

               INT. CHURCH - DAY

               The gospel number rising to climax, supported by the organist 
               and the rest of the congregation.

               INT. CASINO - VAULT - DAY

               Clark and Lump, covered in dirt and plaster dust, have started 
               stuffing bundled bills and small sacks into large garbage 
               bags. An irregular hole, about three feet across, gapes in 
               the far wall.

               Gawain punches off the boombox, looking at all the money.

                                     GAWAIN
                         Well ain't that somethin'.

               Clark suddenly freezes in the act of collecting money. He 
               straightens slowly.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Hnnnn. Arrunggggh! Rnffff.

               He stands stock still, wincing, gazing off into space.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...Mmmmnggh!

               He whispers hoarsely, urgently:

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...IBS!

               The other men look at him.

                                     GAWAIN
                         ...Say what?

                                     PANCAKE
                         IBS! Irritable Bowel Syndrome! Is 
                         there a men's room down here?!

                                     GAWAIN
                         Oh man, you shouldn't be using the 
                         men's room--

                                     PANCAKE
                         Or a lady's room! IBS! Quickly!

                                     GAWAIN
                         You shoulda shit back in the house, 
                         man! We don't want Elron finding you 
                         in the goddamn crapper!

               Clark's voice is still hoarse. He does small knee bends of 
               urgency:

                                     PANCAKE
                         No choice! Quickly! It's a medical 
                         condition!

                                     GAWAIN
                         You are disgusting, man. All right, 
                         follow me.

               INT. CASINO - DAY

               We are CLOSE ON Gawain peering anxiously to one side.

               He turns and peers the other way.

               We hear a toilet flush and, after a beat, Clark emerges from 
               the men's room door next to which Gawain stands. His manner 
               is now completely relaxed.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Feel thirty pounds lighter.

               They start walking back to the vault.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...Thank you for being so 
                         understanding. Not everyone is, of 
                         course, which is why the biggest 
                         challenge of IBS is educating the 
                         public. Afflicts over two million 
                         people yet most of us have never 
                         heard of it. And it strikes without 
                         regard to age, gender or race.

                                     GAWAIN
                         Oh fuck, man, I don't wanna know 
                         about it.

                                     PANCAKE
                         That's the kind of attitude we're 
                         fighting.

                                     GAWAIN
                         Well maybe you should sign me up, 
                         man, 'cause you startin' to irritate 
                         my bowel.

               INT. CHURCH - DAY

               The choir finishes a number and sits -- all except for Marva 
               Munson, who unties the knot on her robe at the nape of her 
               neck, slips it off and, with murmured goodbyes, slips away.

               INT. CASINO - VAULT - DAY

               As the two men enter Clark is still holding forth:

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...I guess I never told you, that's 
                         how Mountain Girl and I met. They 
                         had an IBS Weekend at Grossinger's, 
                         in the Catskills. Of course the 
                         tourist business up there has 
                         suffered, with the demise of the 
                         Borscht Belt. So they have different 
                         promotions, mixers, so on. This was 
                         a weekend for Irritable Bowel singles 
                         to meet and support each other and 
                         share stories.

                                     GAWAIN
                         Man, I don't wanna hear a single one 
                         a them stories.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Well, some of them are very--

                                     GAWAIN
                         Not one fuckin' story! You one fucked-
                         up motherfucker! You--

               They stop short, looking:

               The General and Lump are standing in the middle of the floor, 
               stock still, each clutching a bag of money, staring up at 
               the same corner of the ceiling.

               Lump turns to Clark and Gawain.

                                     LUMP
                         Hey, lookit that.

               Gawain and Clark join them in the middle of the vault and 
               look up at the corner of the ceiling.

               A small video camera, aimed squarely at the four men.

               THROUGH THE CAMERA

               Black-and-white video, very WIDE ANGLE HIGH SHOT, of the 
               four motionless men below goggling up at the lens. Smoke 
               plumes from the General's cigarette.

               BACK TO NORMAL PERSPECTIVE

                                     PANCAKE
                         Huh. Looks like an Ikegami.

               He slips on his reading glasses as he gets a leg up on a 
               shelf just below the camera and hoists himself. He peers in 
               at the lens.

               THROUGH THE LENS

               Clark looming into EXTREME CLOSE SHOT.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...Oh yeah. Mm-hm. I'm not sure 
                         whether it's broadcasting...

               NORMAL PERSPECTIVE

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...Um-hm... No...

               He is fingering the back of the camera.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...Hard wire...

               Down below, Gawain looks at the wire snaking along the seam 
               of wall and ceiling. At the opposite corner it travels down 
               the joint of the two walls.

               He traces its path down and then across one wall at chair-
               rail height towards the door. The other men follow in an 
               anxious herd as he traces one finger along it.

               Just before reaching the vault door the wire goes through 
               the wall in a hole finished off with a grommet. Gawain goes 
               out the vault door...

               INT. CASINO - SERVICE HALL - DAY

               ...and picks up the line where it emerges on the other side, 
               travels down to the joint of wall and floor, and then 
               continues along the floor. Gawain follows it and the other 
               men continue to follow him.

               He traces it anxiously down the hall in a hunched lope. The 
               other men scuttle behind into...

               INT. CASINO - MONITOR ROOM - DAY

               The wire winds around into the room, back up to chair-rail 
               height, along one wall, behind some cabinetry which Gawain 
               hurries past to find it again on the far side, and then down 
               to a video recorder.

               It is not, however, hooked up to the video recorder: its 
               pronged end swings loose just by where it would be plugged 
               in.

               Inside the video recorder is a casette, which Gawain ejects. 
               The men crowd to look over his shoulder as he examines it:

               "Shevann's Schvanz".

               There is a pile of other videos by the monitor: "Charlayne 
               and the Chocolate Factory," "Big Dick Blaque's Big Night 
               Out," "Lemme Tell Ya 'Bout Black Chicks," "Anus & Andy." 
               Just next to the pile is an old bowl of Kocoa Krispies.

               INT. CASINO - VAULT - DAY

               The General climbs into the tunnel with a garbage bagful of 
               money, followed by Lump, likewise encumbered. Lump hands 
               back out a satchel to Gawain, who sets it on the vault floor 
               by the hole. From the way he handles it, it is quite heavy. 
               Pancake, also with a bag of money, is getting ready to climb 
               in:

                                     PANCAKE
                         Look, I didn't choose to have IBS--

                                     GAWAIN
                         Shut the fuck up!

               Lump hands Gawain a smaller, lighter satchel which he likewise 
               sets on the floor.

                                     PANCAKE
                         There's no cure, you know. Only 
                         control. Lifelong condition. Not 
                         complaining, just fact. And I did 
                         meet Mountain.

                                     GAWAIN
                         Grab your bag and get in that fucking 
                         hole!

               EXT. CHURCH - DAY

               Mrs. Munson is leaving, with singing still audible from the 
               service that continues inside.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - CELLAR - DAY

               We are looking from inside the tunnel towards its mouth, 
               where the Professor stoops slightly to peer in, anxiously 
               dry-washing his hands.

               A REVERSE shows the hunched-over men scuttling along the 
               tunnel towards us, holding large garbage sacks.

                                     DORR
                         Welcome back, gentlemen, mission 
                         accomplished I see. I am so very 
                         very delighted...

               He gives a hand down to each man as he exits the tunnel.

                                     DORR
                         ...Congratulations. Congratulations. 
                         I have some cold duck on ice for the 
                         occasion.

                                     LUMP
                         Maybe we could have something to 
                         drink, too.

               INT. CASINO - VAULT - DAY

               Gawain, left behind, is muttering to himself as he uses a 
               trowel and other instruments from his satchel to patch up 
               the hole at his end of the tunnel.

                                     GAWAIN
                         Motherfucker can't stop talking, 
                         can't stop shitting. Motherfucker 
                         tell everyone about his motherfuckin' 
                         asshole. No one gives a shit about 
                         his asshole. Nobody interested in 
                         another man's asshole. Or his bitch's.

               EXT. MUNSON HOUSE - DAY

               Mrs. Munson is letting herself in.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - CELLAR - DAY

               The men are sitting around the table, champagne glasses 
               raised. On the table sits the money, stacked in orderly piles.

                                     DORR
                         Gentlemen, to we few. We who have 
                         shared each other's company, each 
                         other's care, each other's joy, and 
                         who now reap the fruits of our 
                         communal effits, shoulder to shoulder, 
                         from each accordin' to his abilities 
                         so forth whatnot. We have had our 
                         little diffences along the way, it's 
                         true, but I like to think they have 
                         only made us value one another the 
                         more, each coming to understand and 
                         appreciate the other's unique 
                         qualities, potencies, and, yes, 
                         foibles. I suggest that we shall 
                         look back upon this caper one day, 
                         one distant day, grandchildren dandled 
                         upon our knee, and perhaps a tear 
                         will form, and we shall say, Well, 
                         with wit, and grit, and no small 
                         amount of courage, we accomplished 
                         something on that day, a feat of 
                         derring-do, an enterprise not ignoble -- 
                         we, merry band, unbound by the 
                         constraints of society and the 
                         prejudices of the common ruck, we 
                         happy few. Gentlemen -- to us!

                                     MEN
                         To us!

               They clink.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY

               Upstairs Mrs. Munson runs water into a teapot, humming to 
               herself.

               INT. CASINO - VAULT - DAY

               Having finished patching, Gawain starts painting. He turns 
               on his boombox, and out comes the big bassy "I Left My Wallet 
               in El Segundo."

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - CELLAR - DAY

               The men, having drunk deep, are setting down their glasses. 
               Pancake looks at his watch with some concern.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Charge should've gone off already.

                                     DORR
                         I do beg your pardon?

                                     PANCAKE
                         The charge to collapse the tunnel. I 
                         set it for eight minutes.

               Dorr looks at his watch.

                                     DORR
                         Well that time, and more, has most 
                         certainly elapsed.

               FROM INSIDE THE TUNNEL

               Looking toward the mouth. The men stoop over and peek 
               fearfully in.

               They again stand upright. A silence.

               Dorr clears his throat.

                                     DORR
                         I need not remind you of the 
                         importance of obliterating any trace 
                         of a connection between the vault 
                         and this house. It was of the essence 
                         of this plan that it should appear 
                         that the money had simply vanished. 
                         Without a trace. Spirited away, as 
                         it were, by ghosts.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Of course. I understand.

                                     DORR
                         The conundrum of the undisturbed yet 
                         empty vault, the unsolvable riddle 
                         of the sealed yet violated sanctum, 
                         is of the utmost importance not only 
                         to make our caper innelectually 
                         satisfying. It is also exigent as a 
                         matter of practical fact: I remind 
                         you that if a tunnel is ever found 
                         leading to this house, this house's 
                         owner knows all of your names.

                                     PANCAKE
                         She certainly does.

                                     DORR
                         Therefore -- to draw the unavoidable 
                         conclusion -- someone shall have to 
                         reenter the tunnel to reset that 
                         charge.

               INT. TUNNEL - DAY

               Pancake, hunched over, scurries along the tunnel. He reaches 
               the remnants of a large rock, where the tunnel grows smaller.

               He drops to crawl position and elbows his way forward, 
               toolbelt clanking along.

               We are getting closer and closer to a muffled but thuddingly 
               bassy "I Left My Wallet in El Segundo."

               INT. CASINO - VAULT - DAY

               The music loudly present at the cut. Gawain takes a handheld 
               blowdryer out of his satchel and flips it on, directing it 
               at the fresh paint on the wall whose repairs are now 
               invisible.

               INT. TUNNEL - DAY

               Music once again muffled. Pancake has reached a little LED-
               displaying timer with leads trailing off of it.

               He grabs it, puts on his reading glasses, squints.

               The display shows: TIME REMAINING: 00:12.

               The colons in the display rhythmically blink, but the number 
               does not advance. For some reason, stuck.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Huh.

               He reaches to his tool belt, pulls out his Leatherman.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY

               Mrs. Munson is setting places at a large table. There are 
               about a dozen place settings.

               INT. TUNNEL - DAY

               Pancake now has a mini-mag light clenched between his teeth, 
               aimed down at the timer. He opens the phillips head on his 
               Leatherman but abruptly stops and stares off into space.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Nnnnrungh...

               He is squinting with pain.

               The muffled hip-hop song is beginning to recede.

               INT. VAULT - DAY

               Gawain is wheeling his garbage cart out the door. The vault 
               is completely empty but looks completely undisturbed.

               He closes the heavy vault door behind him, leaving quiet.

               INT. TUNNEL - DAY

               Quiet here as well, now. Pancake's moan trails off to nothing. 
               He relaxes. The moment, whatever it was, has passed.

               He looks back down at the unit, flicks it with his finger, 
               and it emits a soft beep.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...Huh?

               He squints at the back of the unit.

               As it beeps again, he turns the unit over to look at its 
               face.

               The readout now says: 00:10.

               As he watches, peering down through the bottom of his glasses, 
               it continues to advance with a beep as each second slips by: 
               9... 8...

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...What the--

               His eyes widen and he frantically shakes the unit. It 
               continues beeping. He briefly and sloppily tries to fit the 
               phillips head into one of the four screws on the back of the 
               unit but immediately gives up and starts a panicked wriggle 
               back up the tunnel, whimpering.

               INT. CASINO - DAY

               Gawain is wheeling his garbage cart past Elron.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY

               Mrs. Munson is placing the last piece of silverware, just 
               so.

               INT. TUNNEL - DAY

               Pancake is in full panicked awkward flight as--

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - CELLAR - DAY

               --BOOM! We CUT TO the cellar and Pancake is shot out the 
               tunnel like a human cannonball, trailing a comet-tail of 
               dirt, dust, and debris that wafts what were neatly stacked 
               bills up into the air.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY

               The portrait of Othar jostles back to square. He now looks a 
               little angry.

               The cat arches her back, emitting a startled yowl.

               Mrs. Munson stands, frozen, then looks slowly around, trying 
               to assimilate what has just happened.

               INT. CASINO - DAY

               Gawain and Elron are staring at each other, frozen, also 
               reacting to what just happened.

               Finally:

                                     GAWAIN
                         ...You just fart?

                                     ELRON
                         Heh-heh-heh.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY

               Mrs. Munson is looking at the cellar door. Dust drifts out 
               from under it.

               She takes a slow step towards it. Another step. She opens 
               the door.

               There is no visibility in the cellar due to swirling clay 
               dust.

               She takes one step down the stairs, waving at the air in 
               front of her face.

               Paper money wafts in and out of the dust.

               We hear Voices:

                                     PANCAKE (O.S.)
                         Perfectly all right. Not a problem.

                                     LUMP (O.S.)
                         Well there sure as shit ain't no 
                         tunnel left.

               The clearing dust reveals the caped Professor anxiously 
               dancing from foot to foot, gathering money out of the air. 
               As he reaches up to grab a bill that has him facing up in 
               Mrs. Munson's direction, he freezes.

               His POV reveals her through dissipating dust.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Professor, I'm surprised.

               There is a long beat, through which all stare at her.

                                     DORR
                         ...Properly speaking, madam, we have 
                         been surprised; you are taken aback. 
                         Though I acknowledge that the sense 
                         you intend is gaining currency through 
                         increasing use.

               Further dissipation of the dust reveals how much money there 
               is, settling now to cover the floor of the cellar.

                                     DORR
                         ...You have returned from your 
                         devotions betimes.

               We hear the ring of the doorbell.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         I hadda fix tea. I wanna talk to 
                         you, Professor, don't you be leavin'. 
                         And don't make any more noise! And 
                         you!

               She points at the General who, in the excitement, has 
               neglected to hide his ever-present cigarette.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...I told you, I don't want any 
                         smokin' in here!

               She clomps upstairs and shuts the cellar door.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - LIVING ROOM

               We PULL HER towards the front door, angry and lost in thought. 
               Her look softens somewhat as she opens the door.

               It is a chattering infestation of hens: all of her friends 
               from church push in wearing church dresses and elaborate 
               hats.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - CELLAR - DAY

               The men are still frozen looking up toward the door. The 
               muted cackle of church ladies.

               The men gradually unfreeze.

                                     LUMP
                         She saw everything. She saw our 
                         hole...

               He turns to Dorr, near tears:

                                     LUMP
                         ...She saw our hole, Professor!

               Dorr rubs his hands anxiously, thinking:

                                     DORR
                         Yes... Yes...

                                     LUMP
                         What do we do?

                                     DORR
                         Well, first, my dear boy, we follow 
                         the General's example...

               The General remains staring up at the door, frozen but for 
               the smoke pluming from the cigarette in his mouth.

                                     DORR
                         ...and refrain from panic. Secondly, 
                         we cooly, calmly, collectedly think... 
                         think...

               The gaze of all the men drifts back up to the cellar door, 
               and we look down at them, gazing up.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY

               The chattering ladies are gathered at the table, Mrs. Munson 
               pouring them tea.

               The cellar door creaks noisily -- one might almost say 
               gothically -- ajar, and the Professor peers out with an 
               ingratiating smile.

                                     DORR
                         Hsst... Madam...

               The chattering abates and the ladies all look at him. His 
               smile broadens into ghastliness and he crooks a finger toward 
               Mrs. Munson.

                                     DORR
                         ...Mrs. Munson, if I might have a 
                         word...

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         You get back down those stairs!

                                     DORR
                         I assure you I shall be--

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Hush! Down those stairs! We havin' 
                         tea now! I be down shortly.

               He nods meekly and retreats, easing the door creakily shut.

               The ladies look inquisitively at Mrs. Munson as his footsteps 
               are heard descending the stair.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...He's the tenant.

                                     LADIES
                         Mm-hm.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - CELLAR DAY

               As the Professor rejoins the still staring and silent group. 
               The money has been picked up and is once again in stacks 
               upon the table.

                                     DORR
                         She shall be down shortly...

               Explaining, he indicates upstairs with a jerk of the head:

                                     DORR
                         ...Tea. Dainties.

               The men nod, murmuring.

               The cellar door squeaks open. There is the clomp of careful 
               footsteps on the stair.

               Using only tongue and teeth, the General flips his smoking 
               cigarette inwards into his mouth and gives Mrs. Munson his 
               usual deadpan look.

               She halts halfway down the stairs, still wearing an apron 
               and holding a spatula.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         I don't know what you boys been up 
                         to but I wasn't born yesterday and I 
                         know mischief when I see it. Now I 
                         want an explanation, but first I 
                         want you boys to get your fannies up 
                         here with y'alls period instruments. 
                         I been tellin' the ladies about your 
                         music and they wanna hear you play.

               She turns to head back up the stairs but abruptly stops to 
               turn and give the General a hard look which he innocently 
               returns.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...Hmph.

               She turns again and clomps back up the stairs.

               The General opens his mouth and, again without using his 
               hands, restores his cigarette to its usual place on his lower 
               lip.

               Lump is fretful:

                                     LUMP
                         Professor?

                                     DORR
                         Yes, Lump?

                                     LUMP
                         I can't really play the buttsack.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY

               The cellar door opens and the men troop out, G.H. Dorr leading 
               and the other men following rather sheepishly behind.

                                     DORR
                         Madame -- or rather, mesdames -- you 
                         will have to accept our apologies 
                         for failing to perform since, as you 
                         see, we are shorthanded. Gawain is 
                         still at work and we could no more 
                         play with one part tacit than a horse 
                         could canter shy one leg.

                                     LADIES
                         Mm-hmm.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Hmph.

                                     DORR
                         Perhaps I could offer as a poor but 
                         ready substitute a brief poetic 
                         recital. Though I don't pretend to 
                         great oratorical skills, I will 
                         happily present, with your ladies' 
                         permission, verse from the unquiet 
                         mind of Mr. Ed G'Allan Poe.

               Lump, Pancake, and the General sit and awkwardly accept dainty 
               teacups.

               The Professor rises, spreads his hand, and pronounces:

                                     DORR
                         ..."Ladies, thy beauty is to me Like 
                         those Nicean barks of yore..."

               CLOSE-UPS of the various ladies, some sipping tea or slowly 
               munching biscuits, but all eyes glued to the declaiming man 
               in the cape.

                                     DORR
                         "That gently, o'er a perfumed sea 
                         The weary, wayworn wanderer bore To 
                         his own native shore... "

               Murmuring Voice:

                                     VOICE
                         Amen.

               A slurp of tea from another quarter.

               Dorr bears on:

                                     DORR
                         "On desperate seas long wont to roam, 
                         Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face, 
                         Thy Naiad airs have brought me home 
                         To the glory that was Greece And the 
                         grandeur that was Rome... "

               A long silence.

               Then, scattered:

                                     VOICES
                         Mm-mm. Glory hallelujah.

               A lady holding a teacup turns to the General:

                                     LADY
                         That was soooome poem.

               The General stares at her.

                                     LADY
                         ...You know any?

               We hear the front door opening and Gawain enters, still 
               wearing his Lady Luck custodial uniform. He looks.

               His POV: church ladies with teacups and his comrades seated 
               among them, also holding teacups and scones.

                                     GAWAIN
                         Y'all been celebratin'?.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - FOYER - LATER (EVENING)

               The bustling and chattering ladies are just finishing leaving; 
               Mrs. Munson is seeing them off at the door. Evening is 
               gathering, and we hear the lonely toot of the distant garbage 
               scow.

               The men as well stand by the door and, affecting good cheer, 
               wave off the departing ladies.

                                     DORR
                         Goodbye, ladies. We had such a 
                         pleasant time.

               Mrs. Munson closes the door and her manner instantly darkens.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Now, I wanna know what's goin' on.

                                     DORR
                         Yes indeed, and the thirst for 
                         knowledge is a very commendable thing. 
                         Though in this instance, I believe 
                         when you hear the explanation, you 
                         will laugh riotously, slappin' your 
                         knee and perhaps even wipin' away a 
                         giddy tear, relieved of your former 
                         concern.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Hmph.

                                     DORR
                         You see Lump here is an enthusiastic 
                         collector of Indian arrowheads and, 
                         having found one simply lying on 
                         your cellar floor, a particularly 
                         rare artifact of the Natchez tribe, 
                         he enlisted us in an all-out effort 
                         to sift through the subsoil in search 
                         of others. Well, in doing so, we 
                         apparently hit a motherlode of natural 
                         gas -- I myself became acutely aware 
                         of the smell of "rotten eggs" -- and 
                         it was at just this unfortunate moment 
                         that the General here violated one 
                         of the cardinal rules of this house 
                         and lit himself a cigarette.

               The General stiffly bows:

                                     GENERAL
                         So sorry.

               The Professor, nodding, smiling, and dry-washing his hands, 
               continues to look at Mrs. Munson, though his story, 
               apparently, has ended.

               She returns his ingratiating look with a stare.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...What about all that money?

               Dorr's smile fades.

                                     DORR
                         ...Ah. The money. The money is... 
                         Mr. Pancake's.

                                     PANCAKE
                         That's right.

                                     DORR
                         He only just re-mortgaged his house 
                         in order to pay for the procedure 
                         that will correct the wandering eye 
                         of his common-law wife, Mountain 
                         Water, who suffers from astygmia and 
                         strabismus and a general curdling of 
                         the vitreous jelly. Mr. Pancake 
                         however is an ardent foe of the 
                         federal reserve and is in fact one 
                         of those eccentrics about whom one 
                         occasionally reads, hoarding his 
                         entire life savings either under the 
                         proverbial mattress or, as in Mr. 
                         Pancake's case, in a Hefty bag that 
                         is his constant companion.

               Under her stare, he elaborates:

                                     DORR
                         ...Steel Sack.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Don't trust the banks. Never have.

               She thinks, decides.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         This don't smell right. I'm callin' 
                         Sheriff Wyner.

               A chorus of gasps.

                                     DORR
                         Madam -- if you please. Yes! Yes! It 
                         was a lie! A fantastic tale! You 
                         have us! Dead to rights! But please 
                         allow me to tell you the truth -- in 
                         private.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - EVENING

               He escorts her to sit beneath the portrait of Othar, sits 
               across from her, and leans confidentially in.

                                     DORR
                         Madam...

               He agonizes. The words do not come easy.

                                     DORR
                         ...What I am about to reveal to you, 
                         you may find... shocking. Mrs. Munson, 
                         I must tell you that we are not... 
                         what we appear.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Mm-hm.

                                     DORR
                         We are not in fact musicians of the 
                         late Renaissance. Nor of the early 
                         or mid period. We are, in fact... 
                         criminals! Desperate men, madam! We 
                         have tunneled into the nearby offices 
                         of the Lady Luck gambling emporium 
                         and have relieved it of its treasure!

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Lord have mercy!

                                     DORR
                         It is true that the Lady Luck is a 
                         den of iniquity, a painted harlot 
                         luring people into sin and exciting 
                         the vice of greed with her false 
                         promise of easy winnings. Oh, her 
                         gains are ill-gotten, yes, but I 
                         offer no excuses -- save one! We men 
                         have each pledged half of our share 
                         of the booty to a charitable 
                         institution -- the General, to a 
                         placement service for Southeast Asian 
                         refugees; Mr. Pancake to the Blue 
                         Ridge Parkway Conservancy; and Lump 
                         to the United Jewish Appeal. As 
                         compensation for use of your house 
                         we had planned to donate a full share 
                         to Bob Jones University, without 
                         burdening you with guilty knowledge 
                         by informing you of same. But you 
                         have wrested the information from 
                         me! Now it is all on the table. Now 
                         you have it, the whole story, the 
                         awful truth.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Stolen money!

                                     DORR
                         Yes, yes, shamefully I admit it, 
                         yes! But find the victim, Mrs. Munson, 
                         I challenge you! Even the casino 
                         itself, that riparian Gomorra, shall 
                         suffer no harm! It has an insurance 
                         company, a financial behemoth that 
                         will cheerfully replenish its depleted 
                         vaults! That is its function! And 
                         the insurance company itself is made 
                         up of tens and tens of thousands of 
                         policy-holders so that -- we have 
                         done the calculations, Mrs. Munson! -- 
                         so that at the end of the day, at 
                         the final reckoning, each policy-
                         holder shall have contributed only 
                         one penny -- one single solitary 
                         cent -- to the satisfaction of this 
                         claim.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...Just one penny?

                                     DORR
                         Think of it, Mrs. Munson! One cent 
                         from thousands upon thousands of 
                         people so that Bob Jones University 
                         can continue on its mission! Why, I 
                         have no doubt that, were the policy-
                         holders aware of the existence of 
                         that august institution, why, each 
                         and every one of them would have 
                         volunteered some token amount to the 
                         furtherance of its aims!

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Well that's prob'ly true...

               The Professor, warming, has resumed dry-washing his hands:

                                     DORR
                         Yes madam, sadly, the criminal stain 
                         is upon my soul, but the benefit 
                         shall accrue to any number of worthy 
                         causes. As long, that is, as the 
                         secret stays with us. And I, surely, 
                         shall not be the one to divulge it.

               Mrs. Munson nods, musing.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Well... it's hard to see the harm in 
                         it... One penny...

               Her gaze drifts around the room, a smile beginning to warm 
               her face. The smile freezes, though, as her look catches on 
               something.

               Her POV: Othar, above the mantle, looks down with a 
               disapproving scowl.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...I'm sorry, Professor.

               Dorr is taken aback:

                                     DORR
                         Excuse me, ma'am?

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         No. It's wrong. Don't you be leadin' 
                         me into temptation.

                                     DORR
                         Madam, I must strenuously protest--

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         No, it's just plain wrong. Stealin'. 
                         I know your intentions were good, 
                         and I won't call the police if you 
                         give the money back. But I gotta see 
                         that you do it.

                                     DORR
                         Madam--

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         And all a you gotta go to church 
                         with me next Sunday.

               The Professor is incredulous:

                                     DORR
                         And... engage in divine worship?

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         I made up my mind. You can double-
                         talk all you want, but its church or 
                         the county jail.

                                     DORR
                         But--

               She rises.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         You think it over. I gotta feed the 
                         cat.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - CELLAR - NIGHT

               The men all sit around the card table, lit from below by an 
               oil lamp. The General is neatly packing the stacks of 
               banknotes into the sackbutt case.

                                     GAWAIN
                         Motherfuck!

                                     DORR
                         Yes. Unfortunately, Mrs. Munson has 
                         rather complicated the situation--

                                     GAWAIN
                         I know how to discomplicate it! Put 
                         a cap in the old lady's head! Then 
                         everything simple again!

               The group lapses into silence, considering. Even Gawain needs 
               a moment to digest the horror that he himself has proposed.

               The Professor is solemn:

                                     DORR
                         ...Not easy to do. Many reasons. 
                         Practical ones: a quiet neighborhood, 
                         a sleepy town. Reasons of moral 
                         repugnance: a harmless woman, a deed 
                         conceived and executed in cold blood. 
                         No, Gawain; would that it were simple!

                                     GAWAIN
                         Well -- fuck, man! What we gonna do, 
                         give the money back and go to church?!

                                     DORR
                         I shudder. I quake.

               He turns to the General.

                                     DORR
                         ...You sir, are a Buddhist. Is there 
                         not a middle way?

               The General grunts as he closes the clasps on the sackbutt 
               case full of money:

                                     GENERAL
                         Must float like a leaf on the river 
                         of life. And kill old lady.

               The men murmur.

                                     DORR
                         Well... I suppose you are right. It 
                         is the active nature of the crime, 
                         though, that so horrifies -- the 
                         squeezing of the trigger, the plunging 
                         of the knife. But, think a moment -- 
                         look at the other tools we have at 
                         hand.

               He looks around.

                                     DORR
                         ...We have the cellar. We have masonry 
                         and trowel. Perhaps we could simply... 
                         immure her.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Sure, easiest thing in the world. I 
                         could whip up a little mortar in one 
                         of those snow saucers, lay the bricks, 
                         anchor in some chains, Mountain has 
                         a source for the manacles...

                                     DORR
                         Ahh but gentlemen, we delude 
                         ourselves. Think of the woman's 
                         piteous moans as we lay tier upon 
                         tier of brick. Think of her 
                         lamentations as we fit the last brick 
                         into place, appealing to our better 
                         selves, the higher angels of our 
                         nature, our recollections of our own 
                         sainted mothers... No, I fear that 
                         we lack the sand to commit such an 
                         act. No... no... shortest and most 
                         painless is best. Let us confront 
                         reality. Gawain's gun... the retort 
                         muffled by a pillow... into the 
                         brain... the affair of an instant. 
                         The only question is... who wields 
                         the weapon.

               He looks around the table. Silence. No volunteers.

                                     DORR
                         ...I believe it is traditional, in 
                         such circumstances, to draw straws.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Well, sure, fair enough.

               He takes a broom leaning against the wall, bends back and 
               snaps a handful of its bristles.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...I'm thinking, though, that since 
                         I lost my finger -- I mean, literally 
                         lost it because of that goddamn cat -- 
                         maybe I should be excused from this 
                         thing. Hard for me to squeeze a 
                         trigger anyway--

                                     GAWAIN
                         You one whiney motherfucker! I squeeze 
                         your nutsack you keep that up!

                                     PANCAKE
                         Listen, punk--

                                     DORR
                         Gentlemen, no special pleading, no 
                         exceptions. It's in the nature of 
                         the situation that we would all prefer 
                         to be excused.

               Pancake grumbles as he counts out five bristles, takes one 
               and snaps it in half, displaying the short straw to the group, 
               and then hands the four long and one short to the Professor:

                                     PANCAKE
                         Well, okay... it was just a trial 
                         balloon...

               With a flap of his cape the professor jumbles the straws and 
               encloses them in one hand.

               Sweaty CLOSE-UPS. Each man stares at the straws. Some 
               hesitant, some resolute, they draw:

               First, the General: long straw. His reaction: impassive.

               Next, Lump: long straw. His reaction: relieved.

               Next, Pancake. Long straw.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Long straw. You all see it. All your 
                         fuss over nothing, punk.

               Two straws left. Gawain stares at them, licks his lips.

               He reaches for one straw, touches it, hesitates.

                                     GAWAIN
                         ...Motherfucker...

               He touches the other straw, hesitates.

               He goes back to the first straw, closes his hand around it, 
               closes his eyes, and pulls.

               He lifts the straw into frame before his squeezed-shut eyes, 
               raises his eyebrows, and slowly opens fluttering eyelids to 
               look: short straw.

               The Professor, smiling, opens his fist to confirm that he 
               holds the last long one.

               Gawain moans.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - CELLAR - NIGHT

               PULLING HIM UP THE STAIRS

               Slowly, slowly, Gawain mounts the cellar stairs. Behind him, 
               gathered in a semi-circle and looking up from the foot of 
               the stairs, the other men wait.

               As he plants one plodding foot in front of the other Gawain 
               raises the gun, slides back its primer to make sure there is 
               a round in the chamber, and then slides it shut as he reaches 
               the door.

               INT. MUNSON - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

               In the foreground Mrs. Munson sits knitting, humming an old 
               temperance tune. In the background the cellar door swings 
               open. Marva Munson doesn't notice; her knitting needles 
               continue their rhythmic clack.

               We PULL Gawain, gun at the ready, as he takes slow, cautious 
               steps across the floor.

               We INTERCUT his POV of the back of the old lady's head, bowed 
               over her knitting.

               As Gawain passes the sofa he picks up a cushion and buries 
               in it his hand holding the gun.

               He looks back up at the old lady. But now, still cautiously 
               approaching, he cocks his head, his expression bemused.

               HIS POV

               nearing the old lady is now different somehow. The perspective 
               is somewhat lower; the humming woman sounds not quite the 
               same; the rocking chair and the room itself are subtly 
               different.

               WHEN WE CUT BACK TO GAWAIN

               he is a runty, TEN-YEAR-OLD CHILD walking slowly across the 
               floor; he is cradling not a gun in a pillow but a squirming 
               little puppy dog.

               The dog yips; the woman turns to look at us. It is not Mrs. 
               Munson, but another black woman of about the same age.

                                     MAMA
                         What you got there, Gawain?

                                     CHILD GAWAIN
                         Why -- nothin', mama.

                                     MAMA
                         Nothin' my ass! You got a dog there!

                                     CHILD GAWAIN
                         No, Mama!

                                     MAMA
                         A filthy noisy little pest of a puppy 
                         dog gonna shit all over the house!

                                     CHILD GAWAIN
                         He won't shit in the house, Mama, 
                         I'm gonna train him, I promise, gonna 
                         train him real good--

               WHAP! She cuffs him on the side of his head.

                                     MAMA
                         I'm gonna train you real good! I 
                         told you don't bring no stray dogs 
                         into this house!

               WHAP! Another slap.

                                     MAMA
                         ...You wait til your Daddy gets home, 
                         he gonna lay into you proper!

               WHAP!

               The little boy, weeping, throws his arms around his mother:

                                     CHILD GAWAIN
                         Please don't hurt me no more! I love 
                         you, Mama!

                                     MAMA
                         Daddy gonna kick your ass!

               WHAP!

                                     MAMA
                         ...Bringin' in a filthy dirty dog!

               WHAP! Gawain's little brothers and sisters, drawn by the 
               commotion, have gathered excitedly to watch.

                                     SISTER
                         Mama's whuppin' Gawain's ass!

                                     BROTHER
                              (eagerly)
                         Ain't you gonna use the strap, Mama?

               WHAP! WHAP! Gawain is sobbing:

                                     CHILD GAWAIN
                         Please don't hurt me, Mama!

               Now it is the adult Gawain blubbering.

               The clack of knitting needles stops and Mrs. Munson turns to 
               look.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         What you doin'? What you doin' with 
                         my pillow there?

               He surreptitiously slides the gun into his pocket, sniveling:

                                     GAWAIN
                         I'm sorry, ma'am, I--

               WHAP! She cuffs him on the side of the head.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         I'm displeased with you! Colored boy 
                         like you, falling in with that trash 
                         downstairs!

               WHAP!

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...Ashamed a yourself! Didn't your 
                         mama raise you right!

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - CELLAR - NIGHT

               Gawain is tramping down the stairs.

                                     GAWAIN
                         I can't do it!

               The men are stunned.

                                     DORR
                         Why... this is most... irregular.

                                     GAWAIN
                         She reminds me of my mama. I can't 
                         shoot my mama! You motherfuckers 
                         just draw straws again.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Wait a minute. You've got to accept 
                         your responsibilities, young man.

                                     GAWAIN
                         Fuck you. And your irritated bowel. 
                         I can't shoot that old lady.

                                     GENERAL
                         Must shoot!

                                     PANCAKE
                         Now look here, it's the easiest thing 
                         in the world. Pretend her head is a 
                         casaba melon, and the gun is a melon-
                         baller, and--

                                     GAWAIN
                         What the fuck you talkin' about, 
                         man? You think this a melon-baller, 
                         you do it, man!

                                     DORR
                         My my, this is most irregular.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Look, with equal rights come equal 
                         responsibilities--

                                     DORR
                         I'm afraid that Mr. Pancake is right, 
                         my dear fellow. We cannot draw straws 
                         again; the exercise loses all 
                         credibility if you show that the 
                         loser can simply beg off doing the 
                         job.

                                     GENERAL
                         Must shoot!

               Gawain shoves the gun toward Pancake.

                                     GAWAIN
                         She just an old colored lady to you -- 
                         you do it, man!

                                     PANCAKE
                         Why you sniveling little coward!

                                     GAWAIN
                         What you say, you whiney motherfucker? 
                         I come up your irritated ass with 
                         this -- motherfuckin' gun--

               He is waving the gun.

                                     PANCAKE
                         You think you scare me, you mewling 
                         punk! You don't scare me! Bull Connor 
                         and all his dogs didn't scare me!

               He shoves Gawain.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...Be a man!

                                     GAWAIN
                         You fuck!

               He shoves him back.

               Pancake shoves:

                                     PANCAKE
                         Be a man!

                                     GAWAIN
                         You ain't no fuckin' man, fuckin' a 
                         sixty-year-old lady in pigtails!

                                     PANCAKE
                         WHY YOU BASTARD PUNK! MOUNTAIN GIRL 
                         IS FIFTY-THREE!

               They are shoving each other now, getting into it.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...SHE COULD RIDE YOUR ASS TO JELLY!

               He lunges at him with a bear hug and his inertia sends both 
               men tumbling to the floor, where they roll and wrestle.

                                     DORR
                         Gentlemen, please!

                                     GAWAIN
                         I seen Virginia hams I'd rather stick 
                         my dick in than your old--

               BANG! A muffled gunshot.

               Quiet.

               The two men have stopped rolling.

               They stare at each other where they lie, Pancake on top.

               At length:

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...Oh my god...

               Horrified, he slowly rises.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...I think he's hit!

               The men gather round and look down.

               Gawain still stares up at the ceiling.

               Pancake stoops, waves his hand in front of his eyes. No 
               reaction.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...I'll just check the carotid artery.

               He checks the carotid artery.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...That's a negative.

                                     LUMP
                         Oh, fuck.

                                     DORR
                         Oh my.

                                     LUMP
                         Is he dead, Professor?

                                     PANCAKE
                         Sure he's dead. I checked his carotid 
                         artery.

                                     DORR
                         Well this is most irregular. We will 
                         need a Hefty bag.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

               THE CELLAR DOOR

               Creaking open. The Professor, Lump, and the General peek 
               out.

               The living room is empty but a sliver of the kitchen is 
               visible; its light is on, and we can hear water running.

               Dorr hisses:

                                     DORR
                         She is in the kitchen. I shall 
                         distract her while you steal out 
                         with the carcass.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT

               Dorr enters breezily; Mrs. Munson is at the sink, filling a 
               teapot.

               Dorr positions himself so that, to talk to him, Mrs. Munson 
               has her back to the living room.

                                     DORR
                         Well, my dear Mrs. Munson, I have 
                         outlined your position to my 
                         colleagues and I now return to you 
                         to return our collective verdict.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Mm-hmm.

               Behind her, the General peers around the corner and starts a 
               catlike advance across the living room.

                                     DORR
                         There was much spirited discussion 
                         and an atmosphere of frank give-and-
                         take. Some of our number were 
                         initially appalled at your proposal 
                         that we simply return the money; 
                         some were more receptive.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         I don't care they was receptive or 
                         not!

                                     DORR
                         And that attitude, madam, was a factor 
                         in our discussions. To a man, I must 
                         say, they were devastated at the 
                         prospect of not being able to 
                         contribute to their respective 
                         charities.

               The General signals to Lump who now crosses the living room 
               with a big garbage bag slung over one shoulder in a fireman's 
               carry.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Well that is a shame.

                                     DORR
                         Indeed. But at the end of the day, 
                         your position prevailed, and the men 
                         have decided that we shall return 
                         the money -- every last cent of it! -- 
                         and attend Sunday services, rather 
                         than spend the remainder of our years 
                         wasting away in the Mississippi Men's 
                         Correctional Facility. Though that 
                         was the original preference of some.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Well I'm glad y'all came to see the 
                         light, anyway. I'm gonna have some 
                         tea and go to bed.

               The Professor, seeing that the General and Lump have made it 
               out the door, is anxious to wind things up:

                                     DORR
                         So the money shall be returned 
                         tomorrow at the opening of the casino 
                         office. Enjoy your tea, madam...

               Backing out, he looks to one side.

               Through the living room window he can see the hearse pulling 
               away from the curb. There is another car -- an old Volkswagon 
               microbus -- slowly tooling the opposite way down the street.

               Dorr looks back to Mrs. Munson.

                                     DORR
                         ...and congratulations on having 
                         recalled to the fold five poor, 
                         confused sheep who had momentarily 
                         strayed.

               EXT. MISSISSIPPI RIVER - BRIDGE - NIGHT

               We are at the middle of the bridge, the tower gargoyle looking 
               blankly down at the doings below.

               In the misty night Lump and the General are braced over the 
               railing, looking down, each holding one of the feet that 
               protrude from the Hefty bag cinched around Gawain's ankles. 
               A cigarette burns on the General's lower lip. Behind the two 
               men we can see the idling hearse.

               There is the toot of the garbage scow. Lump and the General 
               release Gawain's feet.

               Their POV shows the sack receding and flumping into the 
               garbage piled onto the scow that slips by below.

               A flock of scavenger birds, disturbed by the impact, lifts 
               off the scow with angry caws.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

               Dorr skulks at a corner of the living room's picture window, 
               peering out at the street.

               EXT. MUNSON HOUSE - NIGHT

               DOOR'S POV

               The Volkswagon microbus again cruises slowly down the street 
               in the same direction as previously; apparently it has been 
               circling.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

               The Professor scowls.

               EXT. MUNSON HOUSE - NIGHT

               DORR'S POV

               The hearse pulls up to the curb.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - CELLAR - NIGHT

               The Professor clomps down the cellar stairs. Pancake is 
               loading their digging implements into a satchel.

                                     PANCAKE
                         They back yet?

               Dorr is absent:

                                     DORR
                         Yes... yes, they just arrived.

               Pancake straightens from the satchel.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Good. I'll go dump these in the 
                         hearse.

               He mounts the stairs with a satchel in either hand. We can 
               hear the front door opening as the other men enter.

               Dorr, bemused, but apparently moved by a hunch, advances 
               slowly to the sackbutt case.

               He slides the catch that lets its spring clasp pop up.

               He lifts the lid.

               Mother Jones magazine. Piles of Mother Jones magazines.

                                     DORR
                         What in heaven's name...

               He riffles a pile, confirming that it is in fact all magazine, 
               no money.

               Lump and the General are clomping down the stairs.

                                     DORR
                         ...General!

               EXT. MUNSON HOUSE - NIGHT

               We are PULLING Clark down the street, a satchel in either 
               hand.

               HIS POV

               The microbus, parked halfway down the block, ominously idling.

               THE BUS

               We are CLOSE on its side-view mirror. Someone leans from the 
               driver's seat for a view into the mirror, and in the mirror 
               we see her, pigtails swinging: Mountain Girl.

               HER POV

               Clark Pancake, still rather small, approaching up the empty 
               street.

               PANCAKE

               PULLING him again. A smile is beginning to play at the corners 
               of his mouth.

                                     PANCAKE
                         No extra share, huh...

               The smile abruptly fades.

               He stops in his tracks for no discernible reason. At length:

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...Nnnrnf.

               He pants.

               Behind him, in the deep background, we see the General 
               bounding into the street and silently toward us.

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...Oof!

               The moment passes. Pancake shakes his head, as if to clear 
               it, and resumes his walk.

               HIS POV

               We are nearing the bus.

               THE BUS

               Mountain Girl sits in the idling bus, waiting.

               With a thunk and a gentle rock of the bus, we hear its back 
               doors opening, and Pancake's voice.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Mountain.

                                     MOUNTAIN GIRL
                         Clark.

               We hear an oof! of exertion as Pancake hoists each of the 
               two satchels into the back. The oofs are followed by:

                                     PANCAKE
                         ...Nnrungh! Aaarmh... Ninnnff... 
                         Offffflleghhll...

                                     MOUNTAIN GIRL
                         IBS, dear?

                                                                 WE CUT TO:

               THE BACK OF THE BUS

               to show Pancake being garotted by the General.

                                     PANCAKE
                         Nnnnnmmmmfffgh!

               EXT. MISSISSIPPI RIVER - BRIDGE - NIGHT

               The tower gargoyle stares sightlessly down.

               Lump and the General are at their accustomed place, each 
               holding a foot shod in a large hiking boot.

               Behind them we see the hearse idling.

               Near them on the bridge, both hands grasping the railing as 
               he gazes dreamily out into the night, is the Professor.

                                     DORR
                         "...Like those Nicean barks of yore 
                         That gently, o'er a perfumed sea..."

               We hear the toot of the boat's horn and the men drop the 
               body.

                                     LUMP
                         Quick! Grab Clark!

               They quickly stoop and grab another bag-swaddled body out of 
               which even larger hiking boots protrude.

                                     DORR
                         "...The weary, wayworn wanderer 
                         bore... "

               They drop the second body.

                                     DORR
                         "...To his own native shore."

               We hear the distant flump and the cawing of scavenger birds.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - CELLAR - NIGHT

               CLOSE ON A FIST

               With three protruding straws.

               SWEATING CLOSE-UPS:

               Lump picks a long straw: relief.

               The General picks a short straw. A short grunt.

                                     DORR
                         Excellent. I believe, at last, we 
                         have the right man for the job.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - MRS. MUNSON'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

               Mrs. Munson lies on her back gently snoring. At the open 
               window, sheers ripple in the evening breeze.

               A large clock ticks upon the mantle. It is almost one o'clock.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

               THE CELLAR DOOR

               It creaks open. The General looks stealthily out. A cigarette 
               in his mouth plumes smoke.

               He pushes the door fully open, emerges.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - MRS. MUNSON'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

               Mrs. Munson's snore catches on an inhale. She mutters 
               something, sighs, and resumes snoring.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - STAIRCASE - NIGHT

               The General treads lightly, noiselessly, up the stairway 
               leading to the second floor. He slides one hand into his 
               jacket, pulls out a garotte.

               With the faintest whoosh he whips it in a complicated loop 
               and snags the other handle with his other hand.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - NIGHT

               The General emerges from the staircase and advances on the 
               closed bedroom door. As he reaches for the knob he performs 
               the no-handed flip of the burning cigarette into his mouth.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - MRS. MUNSON'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

               The door swings noiselessly open. The General pauses to 
               survey:

               The still room. The ticking clock. Mrs. Munson, a large 
               sleeping mound upon the bed.

               The General advances, raising the garotte in both hands.

               He closes on her sleeping form.

               The garotte is lowered toward her exposed neck.

               It is a foot -- half a foot -- inches-away...

               Somewhere a muted gear ratchets and triggers the toll of--

               The clock, striking one. It is a cuckoo clock but, instead 
               of a bird emerging, a berobed Jesus comes out with his hand 
               resting on the head of a child who gazes up in adoration.

               The General starts at the noise and then suddenly freezes, 
               his eyes widening.

               Jesus retreats back into the clock.

               The General has swallowed his cigarette.

               He reaches up to his throat, panicked. In a silent frenzy, 
               he yanks loose his ascot.

               He gazes wildly about.

               He reaches for the water glass at Mrs. Munson's bedside.

               He tips it back into his mouth. There is a rattling sound.

               HIS POV

               The uptilted water glass is sending false teeth -- full uppers 
               and lowers -- rattling toward his face.

               THE GENERAL

               He frantically -- but still noiselessly -- sets the glass 
               back down. Wildly looks about, one hand clamped to his throat.

               A mad but silent dash for the door.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - NIGHT

               Plunging for the head of the stairs--

               --a brief yowl from the cat--

               --recoiling from where its tail has been stepped on, a hiss 
               and a flash of its claws at the General's leg--

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - STAIRCASE/LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

               --and he falls down the stairs, each thudding impact bouncing 
               his body like a rag doll's.

               At the bottom of the stairs he lies still.

               A CLOSE-UP shows his head bent at an unnatural angle, 
               unblinking eyes staring. Traces of smoke wisp from each 
               nostril and his open mouth.

               Over the mantle, Othar returns the dead man's stare. He looks 
               somewhat smug.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - CELLAR - NIGHT

               The Professor and Lump, responding to the noise, look slowly 
               up toward the ceiling.

               EXT. MISSISSIPPI RIVER - BRIDGE - NIGHT

               The body is laid out in a garbage bag by the rail.

               The Professor stands looking at it, contemplatively.

               Lump stands looking at it, contemplatively.

               The cat sits nearby on its haunches looking at it, 
               impassively.

               The professor muses:

                                     DORR
                         ...T'was our até brought us to this 
                         pass...

                                     LUMP
                         What, Professor?

               There is the toot! of an approaching scow. Dorr's manner is 
               still absent, his regard still on the corpse:

                                     DORR
                         Our overweening pride... The old 
                         woman is a more potent antagonist 
                         than one had imagined...

               He rouses himself, goes over to the bagged corpse. Lump 
               follows him and the two men hoist the body over the rail.

                                     DORR
                         ...Now, Lump, I'm afraid it falls to 
                         you to finish the job.

               They let the body fall onto the scow passing below.

                                     DORR
                         ...The comedy must end.

               The Professor turns to Lump and tries to hand him Gawain's 
               gun, but Lump, uncomfortable, declines to take it.

                                     LUMP
                         ...Professor, I been doing some 
                         thinking.

                                     DORR
                         Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

                                     LUMP
                         Maybe she's right! Maybe we should 
                         be going to church!

                                     DORR
                         Oh dear, Lump. I feared that those 
                         would be your words. Not that I don't 
                         appreciate your giving the matter 
                         the benefit of your thought. But 
                         please recall, young man, our 
                         respective functions in this 
                         enterprise. I am a professor, the 
                         professor as you yourself so often 
                         say, the thinker, the "brains of the 
                         operation," trained in fact in the 
                         arts of cogitation. You, Lump, are 
                         the goon, the hooligan, the dumb 
                         brute whose actions must be directed 
                         by a higher intelligence.

                                     LUMP
                         Yeah, I know, but--

                                     DORR
                         No buts, dear boy! Do not repeat the 
                         error of thinking! Now is the moment 
                         of praxis! Now, my dear boy, you 
                         must act!

               Lump reluctantly takes the gun that the Professor thrusts 
               upon him.

                                     LUMP
                         I can't do it, Professor! A nice old 
                         lady like that!

                                     DORR
                         Think of the riches, Lump, that you 
                         and I alone shall divide! Recall the 
                         dream of wealth untold that first 
                         drew you to this enterprise!

                                     LUMP
                         But--

                                     DORR
                         And reflect also that if you decline 
                         to act, forcing me to do so, then 
                         you shall no longer have any 
                         entitlement to the money! Your offices 
                         shall have been nugatory!

                                     LUMP
                         You mean -- you mean -- you're gonna 
                         kill her?!

                                     DORR
                         Of course! My hand would be forced!

                                     LUMP
                         I can't let you do that, Professor! 
                         A nice old lady like that!

                                     DORR
                         You?! Allow? Not allow? What 
                         presumption! You stupid boy! You 
                         very very extremely stupid boy!

               We hear the toot of an approaching scow -- this one very 
               long, sustained under all of the following:

                                     LUMP
                         Oh yeah?

               He points the gun at the Professor and--

                                     LUMP
                         ...Well who looks stupid now?

               --squeezes -- click -- on an empty chamber.

                                     LUMP
                         ...Huh?

               He turns the gun to have a look.

                                     LUMP
                         ...No bullets?

               HIS POV

               shows the foreshortened barrel as he experimentally squeezes 
               the trigger.

                                                                 WE CUT TO:

               the Professor on the BANG! and, after a sad shake of his 
               head,

                                                               CUT BACK TO:

               Lump in time to see him finish toppling back over the rail.

               The scow-horn ends.

                                     DORR
                         Perhaps... it had to be thus.

               He goes to the railing to look down.

               Lump, face-up on a pile of garbage, glides away. Disturbed 
               birds flap upward.

               The professor muses:

                                     DORR
                         "...Lo, in yon brilliant window-niche 
                         How statue-like I see thee stand..."

               His gaze rises with the ascending birds.

               Among the white gulls is one black bird. The Professor eyes 
               it as it rises past him.

                                     DORR
                         ...Hm. A raven?

               FROM VERY HIGH

               we look down on the Professor, the black bird rising to perch 
               on the gargoyle on the suspension tower in the foreground.

               The bird settles on a loose, teetering piece of masonry.

               BACK TO THE PROFESSOR

               looking at the receding red light on the bridge of the 
               receding scow:

                                     DORR
                         "...The agate lamp within thy hand... 
                         "

               BACK HIGH

               The teetering chunk of masonry tips away and the perchless 
               bird flaps off.

               BACK TO THE PROFESSOR

               very dreamy: he sees something in the distance, beyond time 
               and space:

                                     DORR
                         ...Ah, Psyche! from the regions which 
                         Are Holy land!"

               This is punctuated by the crunching impact of masonry scoring 
               a direct hit on his head. He falls over the rail.

               His cape snags on the railing and he hangs limp and lifeless. 
               Directly below his dangling body the stern of Lump's barge 
               is slipping away to leave black waters and the clanking of 
               chains.

               The fabric of the Professor's cape begins to tear. His body 
               drops in fits and starts as the fabric gives way.

               Finally the body rips free. It falls away from us. As it 
               does so the clanking chains are pulling into view the second-
               banger -- a garbage barge being chain-towed by the receding 
               scow.

               Dorr's body lands neatly on the barge.

               A gust of wind.

               The cape flaps free of the railing and is wind-tossed away 
               amidst the cawing birds.

               The cat, watching, blinks.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - MRS. MUNSON'S BEDROOM - DAY

               DRINKING GLASS

               It is resting on the very edge of the night table -- 
               protruding, in fact, past the table's edge.

               It is morning. We hear rustling from the bed.

               Hands reach INTO FRAME and hesitate, finding the glass empty 
               of water and precariously perched.

                                     MRS. MUNSON (O.S.)
                         Hmm.

               The hands tip the glass and take the teeth. We hear 
               complicated oral noises.

               EXT. MUNSON HOUSE - DAY

               The door opens away to reveal the morning paper lying on the 
               stoop. Mrs. Munson leans INTO FRAME to pick it up and we 
               ADJUST as she straightens to have a look:

               The headline says: $2.6 MILLION DISAPPEARS FROM LADY LUCK 
               CASINO. The subhead: POLICE BAFFLED.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Mm-hm.

               INT. MUNSON HOUSE - CELLAR - DAY

               Mrs. Munson is walking down the stairs.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Professor!

               She stops midway down and looks:

               The empty cellar.

               Money stacked neatly on the card table.

               Mrs. Munson sadly shakes her head.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...Hmm. Couldn't face the music.

               EXT. SAUCIER MUNICIPAL BUILDING - DAY

               Mrs. Munson is climbing the porch in her Sunday best. She 
               feints at the dog who lies curled in the sun:

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Scoot now! Outa the way!

               INT. SAUCIER MUNICIPAL BUILDING - DAY

               The sheriff is busy on the phone; there is a DEPUTY today 
               also on the phone. The sheriff, seeing Mrs. Munson enter, 
               covers the phone with one hand.

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         Miz Munson.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Sheriff, I gotta make a statement.

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         Could it possibly wait, ma'am? We're 
                         a little busy today.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         I guess it can wait, but it's about 
                         that casino money.

               The sheriff exchanges a significant look with the deputy, 
               then murmurs into the phone:

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         Call you right back.

               He cradles the phone and smiles at Mrs. Munson.

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         ...You know something about it?

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Something? Everything! I got it at 
                         home.

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         You... you have what at home, now?

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         The money. Two point six million 
                         dollars. Down in my root cellar. All 
                         stacked up nice and neat.

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         Mm-hmm.

               The deputy pauses to look up from his phone:

                                     DEPUTY
                         How'd it get there, Marva?

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Bunch a desperate men that stole it 
                         put it there, that's how! They was 
                         musicians of the Renaissance period, 
                         played the sackbutt and so on -- 
                         well, it turns out they really 
                         couldn't play, although they could 
                         recite poems to break your heart. 
                         Their ringleader speaks in dead 
                         tongues.

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         Does he now.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         I tried to get you to see him! That 
                         night?

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         Oh yes.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         I had to yell at 'em 'bout stealin' 
                         all that money and I guess I made 
                         'em feel pretty bad 'cause they picked 
                         up and left without takin' the money. 
                         But I was peeved with 'em, Sheriff, 
                         they'd been up to all sorts of 
                         mischief, come close to blowin' up 
                         the house, disturbed Othar no end.

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         Angry, was he?

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Wouldn't you be? All that racket!

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         I expect so.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         And they let Pickles out too!

               The sheriff sighs.

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         So you want us to go fetch him.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         No, he's back, but what you want me 
                         to do with the money?

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         Well...

               He and the deputy exchange looks. The sheriff looks back at 
               Mrs. Munson.

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         ...Why don't you just keep it, Miz 
                         Munson.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Keep it?

                                     DEPUTY
                         You keep it, Marva.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Well... I know it's only a penny 
                         offa everybody's policy...

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         How's that ma'am?

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         I know folks don't much care. Could 
                         I... You s'pose I could...

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         Yes ma'am?

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Could I give it all to Bob Jones 
                         University?

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         That'd be nice, ma'am.

               She picks up her handbag and heads for the door.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...Well, long as everybody knows.

                                     SHERIFF WYNER
                         Thank you for the information, ma'am.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         You're welcome, sheriff. Just doin' 
                         my duty.

               EXT. SAUCIER, MISSISSIPPI - DAY

               Mrs. Munson is walking home. It is a beautiful spring day.

               From far off, wafting toward us on the breeze, we can hear 
               the church chorus singing. Mrs. Munson joins in. She has a 
               strong voice:

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         Leaning, Leaning, Safe and secure 
                         from all harm. Lean on Jesus, Lean 
                         on Jesus, Leaning on the everlasting 
                         arm.

               She turns up the walk to her house.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...What a fellowship, What a peace 
                         of mind, Safe and secure from all 
                         harm. Lean on Jesus, Lean on Jesus, 
                         Leaning on the everlasting arm...

               When she opens the front door the cat slips out.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...Pickles!

               It races off down the street.

                                     MRS. MUNSON
                         ...Pickles!

               EXT. MISSISSIPPI RIVER - BRIDGE - DAY

               Pickles scurries along the walkway. We hear the toot! of an 
               approaching scow.

               The cat reaches the middle of the bridge. He sticks his head 
               through the bars of the railing.

               When we CUT CLOSE on the cat as he looks down at the water, 
               we see that he holds in his mouth a human finger.

               As the scow passes underneath, the cat opens its mouth and 
               lets the finger drop.

               The finger falls away and is barely visible by the time it 
               hits the scow.

               The cat looks up INTO THE LENS, and blinks. Its sideways 
               irises adjust.

               The scow is gliding away. With the low mournful toot of its 
               horn we tilt up the river to the great garbage island where 
               scavenger birds pick through the trash.

                                         THE END

Ladykillers, The



Writers :   William Rose  Joel Coen  Ethan Coen
Genres :   Comedy  Crime


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