THE LAST FLIGHT
John Monk Saunders
EXT. BATTLEFIELD - NIGHT
On a FREEZE FRAME of a huge mortar on the edge of a dismal no-man's land,
surrounded by trees and overhanging branches. The distant roar of battle
RUMBLES ominously. SUPERIMPOSED TITLES appear and hold for a moment.
Abruptly, the image springs to life. The gun FIRES deafeningly. The nearby
branches shake violently. Another set of TITLES appears. The image FREEZES
again as a lone bugle plays a charge. Again and again and again, the image
moves, the gun DISCHARGES noisily, the image FREEZES and more sets of TITLES
appear with every FIRING.
On the last discharge, the trumpet fades and all hell breaks loose:
Nothing but FAST, BRUTAL FLASH CUTS of:
Cannon firing in all directions.
Massive explosions on the battlefield that light up the night.
Troops marching across a bridge as a shell hits the river below sending water
towering into the sky.
An entire cavalry division galloping hard over the battlefield, blazing mortar
fire visible above them on the horizon.
Brief shots of the horses, their grim riders hanging on for dear life, their
muscles flexing, hooves pounding the dirt. Men yelling.
FASTER AND FASTER, MORE AND MORE CHAOTIC:
Mortar fire, explosions, smoke.
A machine gunner fires.
A soldier falls.
Infantrymen, rifles in hand, press through the haze.
More machine gunning.
More soldiers go down.
A massive gun fires.
SMASH CUT of a tank tread bearing down on the CAMERA, blacking out the screen.
Infantrymen trail behind the heavy machinery, firing pistols, rifles.
A bridge explodes. A building explodes. The ground explodes.
A bomb drops from an airplane.
Aerial view of an exploding building.
Anti-aircraft guns at work.
Planes in the air.
A machine gun fires skyward.
Planes circle, filling the air.
A single bi-plane.
The plane's gunner, SHEP LAMBERT, looks down, surveys the situation, breaks
into a grin.
Shep nudges his pilot, CARY LOCKWOOD, and points. Cary looks down to see:
Another plane below. In it, pilot BILL TALBOT waves and salutes. FRANCIS, the
gunner, opens his mouth, smiles and nods up at them.
An enemy plane arrives.
The enemy pilot fires his twin machine guns.
Bill and Francis' plane spins away.
Bill cocks a snook at the enemy plane and waves dismissively at it, much to
The planes circle in the air.
The enemy plane trails Shep and Cary. Shep FIRES his machine gun to no avail
as Cary watches.
The enemy pilot returns fire.
The two planes tango in mid-air.
The enemy pilot grins and FIRES.
Bullet holes riddle the side of Shep and Cary's plane.
Cary warns Shep they've been hit.
From the enemy plane's POV, Shep and Cary's plane streams black smoke.
The two planes. Shep and Cary's plane goes into a steep dive, spinning out of
Cary rips off his goggles as smoke pours up from below him.
Flames fill the cockpit as Cary's gloved hands desperately try to keep hold of
the red hot controls.
The plane, streaming smoke, spins wildly downward.
Shep, surrounded with smoke, looks skyward and salutes with mock gallantry.
Above, Bill and Francis watch. Bill returns the salute with a smile and waves.
Francis, though, doesn't look happy.
Shep twists in his seat and looks around.
Cary's hands grasp the controls in the flaming cockpit.
Level off, Cary! Level off!
Despite the flames, Cary pulls back on the control stick.
From the plane's POV: The landscape rushes by.
The plane, now level, crashes into the ground and comes to an abrupt stop.
Cary jumps out of the cockpit and rushes back to Shep who is struggling to
Shep! Shep, are you all right?
Can't make it, Cary. Can't make it.
Here, give me your arm! I'll get
you out of here! Hang on there,
Shep! Get a hold - Just hold tight,
Cary pulls Shep out and hauls him away from the burning wreckage where the two
of them collapse to the ground, half-conscious.
Flames consume the plane.
A TEMPERATURE CHART
for Lieutenant Shep Lambert, a patient at U.S. Army A.E.F. Base Hospital 145.
Shep's temperature readings for October 11th to October 26th are indicated by
a line on a graph, near a level marked CRITICAL. The distant sound of battle
continues to RUMBLE.
swings into view. This one is for Lieutenant Cary Lockwood whose readings for
October 27th to November 2nd are also below the CRITICAL mark. The line
continues and improves considerably by November 11th when the final reading is
INT. HOSPITAL - DAY
The battle sounds are now joined by a loudly TICKING clock. With no sign of
energy or emotion, Shep and Cary sit together on a hospital cot in full
uniform. Shep wears dark eyeglasses. Cary has a coat draped over his hands. He
glances off. We follow his gaze, PANNING past other patients in the hospital
to a wall clock and calendar. It is November 11th and the time is almost
eleven A. M. The battle's RUMBLE drones on.
SHEP AND CARY
stare up at the clock. Behind his dark glasses, Shep's left eye twitches.
slowly DISSOLVES to one last BRIEF BATTLE MONTAGE: soldiers yelling and
running, guns firing noisily, a plane crashing, explosions. The final image is
of a plane parked on the ground, its engine dying, its propeller slowing to a
stop as we DISSOLVE BACK TO the clock face. The center of the clock is lined
up exactly with the center of the propeller -- the slowing propeller blades
are replaced by the clock's hands -- as if to symbolically suggest that the
war has ended but time goes on. The NOISE of battle fades and only the TICKING
of the clock remains. DISSOLVE TO the calendar: November 11th, 1918 --
SHEP AND CARY
sit motionless side-by-side on the cot. Shep has a hand over his left eye.
Well, the old guerre is finie.
What are ya gonna do now, Shep?
(turns to him)
And then what?
Shep lets go of his eye and looks at Cary as if the answer were obvious.
Cary grins wryly.
INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE - NOT LONG AFTER
A nurse opens a door for Shep and Cary who enter. Shep wears his dark glasses.
Cary carries his coat to hide his hands. They pause as the doors they have
passed through close behind them.
Their distinguished-looking doctor, a medical officer with a white gown over
his uniform, sits at his desk studying their papers.
Lieutenants Lambert and Lockwood.
(rises, joins them)
You two leaving us, eh? In a way,
I'm sorry to release you two. I have
no choice in the matter.
Shep removes his glasses and presses his hand to his eye.
What am I going to do, Major, about
my-- oh, this rotten business?
The doctor examines Shep's eye more closely.
Mm? Spasmodic twitching of the
muscles under the eye, eh,
What the French call a tic. T-I-C,
tic. Little bothersome, isn't it?
Shep puts his glasses back on.
I'm afraid time'll have to take care
of that. Time and normal living.
Shep's lips tighten skeptically.
You two are returning to the United
States, I presume?
Shep glances at Cary.
Ah, we haven't decided.
I'd take the first boat home. Well,
here you go.
The doctor gives Shep his release form and shakes his hand, then turns to
shake Cary's. Cary merely looks down darkly and raises a bandaged hand at him.
Oh, I forgot your burnt hands.
The doctor folds up the release and stuffs it in Cary's breast pocket.
Neither of you is fully hospitalized.
I'd undertake a systematic course of
finger exercises -- to, uh, stretch
them and loosen them up. In time,
you'll regain their full use.
Thank you, sir.
The doctor gives Cary a pat on the shoulder.
Cary manages a smile and salutes. Shep moves to the door, saluting the doctor.
Bye, Lieutenant. Good luck.
Shep opens the door and he and Cary head out. After the door closes, the
doctor rubs his head thoughtfully. He talks, apparently, to an offscreen aide.
Well, there they go. Out to face
(shakes his head)
And their whole training was in
preparation for death.
He moves off as we
EXT. HOSPITAL - MOMENTS LATER
Shep and Cary exit the building but pause outside the doorway. They've seen
something coming toward them and glance at one another before clearing out of
its path. They watch glumly as a small group of wounded soldiers enter through
some metal gates, walk slowly past Shep and Cary without acknowledgment, and
head into the hospital.
EXT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE - PERHAPS SIMULTANEOUS
The office window opens. The doctor -- no longer in white but wearing his
uniform -- and his aide take a break, standing in the window frame for a
little fresh air. The doctor smokes a cigarette as they discuss Shep and Cary.
Why can't they go on with flying?
You know, the air mails or
I'm afraid they're unfit for further
service in that direction.
The aide looks at him, quizzically.
They fell, you know -- six thousand
(shakes his head, sadly)
Like dropping a fine Swiss watch on
the pavement. Shattered both of them.
Their nervous systems are deranged,
Spent bullets. That's it.
They're like projectiles, shaped
for war and hurled at the enemy.
(gestures with cigarette)
They've described a beautiful,
high-arching trajectory. And now
they've fallen back to earth.
Spent. Cooled off. Useless.
We slowly PULL BACK from the two men.
Oh, well, if they take care of
themselves, they'll pull through
Even if they do take care of
themselves, what good are they?
What can you expect of them?
(shakes his head)
I hate to think what may become
We have pulled back far enough and now we
EXT. HOSPITAL - NOT LONG AFTER
Two uniformed men with familiar faces -- exuberant pilot Bill and reserved
gunner Francis -- arrive at the bottom of the stairs in front of the hospital.
Bill, with his arm in a sling, and Francis, using a cane, start up the stairs
At the top of the stairs, Shep and Cary wave back, pleased to see them.
Hello, Bill! Hiya, Francis!
Hello, Bill! Francis!
Unexpectedly, Shep and Cary hurry down the stairs past them.
Well, I see you got yours.
Yup. We crashed.
Bill and Francis watch, surprised, as Shep and Cary hurry off.
(calls down, puzzled)
Hey! Where you going?
Shep and Cary, already seated in the back of a waiting automobile, grin like
From the stairs, Francis smokes a cigarette and looks down at Shep and Cary
uncertainly. But Bill takes the news in stride -- he smiles and waves his hat
See you in Paris!
(waves his cigarette)
Smiling, Shep and Cary wave back as their car drives off.
EXT. THE EIFFEL TOWER - NIGHT
A superimposed text reads:
PARIS -- 1919.
Traffic noise, taxi horns squeaking.
EXT. PARIS SIDEWALK - NIGHT
Strolling down the sidewalk four abreast, as if they own the town, come our
heroes -- Bill, Shep, Francis and Cary -- in smart hats and dinner clothes.
Outwardly, they seem to have recovered from their wounds. But:
Shep still wears his dark glasses and we occasionally glimpse his eye
Cary's bandages are gone but he has not regained full use of his hands. His
personality is dark and dry, more subdued than Shep's, and he comes across as
the most levelheaded, rational member of the group -- its unacknowledged
Francis seems to have suffered the greatest toll psychologically. A
narcoleptic, strangely detached and unemotional much of the time, always on
the verge of dozing off, his speech slurs even when he isn't drunk.
Only the athlete of the group, Bill -- a burly Texan whose full name is
William Talbot -- is in outstanding physical shape. But he is reckless,
restless, and temperamental, covering up unnamed insecurities with bravado and
How 'bout a cocktail?
Not a bad idea at that.
As a group, they turn and head into a nearby building.
BRIEF DISSOLVE TO:
A GLOWING SIGN
made of light bulbs, outside the building. It spells out CLARIDGE'S -- a
popular Parisian drinking establishment for Anglo-Americans.
INT. CLARIDGE'S - NIGHT
Numerous shelves holding numerous bottles of liquor. Employees in white
jackets hurriedly rush in and pull down a few bottles.
INT. CLARIDGE'S BAR - LENGTHY PANNING SHOT
The place is packed with well-dressed men and women. The bar is crowded with
men (and men only, for no women are allowed to sit at Claridge's bar) smoking,
drinking, conversing. At the end of the PAN, we discover our heroes entering,
greeted by an employee who takes their hats.
ANOTHER VIEW - NEAR THE BAR
An attractive young woman with a wide, vacant stare stands against a wall
opposite the bar holding a champagne glass in her hands. Her name is NIKKI and
she seems to be in a world all to herself.
Our four handsome heroes file past her, intent on finding a table. Only Cary
pays any attention to Nikki. After they have all passed her, he pauses to turn
and stare. She's extremely nearsighted and doesn't notice him. He looks at the
glass in her hand, puzzled. He starts off but then pauses.
After a second uncertain look, he moves off to join his friends who stand
together and peer around the crowded room, unable to find a place to sit. Cary
keeps looking at Nikki. He glances at the others and they follow his gaze:
still wearing a blank expression, clutches the glass in two hands.
in her hands. Between her fingers, we glimpse its contents -- a complete set
of men's false teeth.
We PULL BACK to discover that Cary has approached her. He's standing right
next to her and is staring at the glass. She finally notices him.
I beg your pardon. But, if I'm not
too inquisitive, would you mind
telling me what IS that you're
After another look, Cary turns to his friends.
Hey, it's teeth!
Shep, Bill and Francis hurry over like children and crowd around to stare in
amazement at the teeth. Nikki is unimpressed by all the attention.
Yup. It's a full set -- upper and
It's a nice expression.
Hey, how come you're with those
I was just standing here. And a nice
gentleman came along and begged my
pardon and asked would I mind
holding his teeth for a minute.
Well, what did he want you to hold
his teeth for?
Said he wanted to biff somebody.
Biff somebody?! Which way did he go?!
Just around to the right.
Come on, men! We're liable to see a
As quickly as they arrived, Shep, Bill and Francis depart. Cary starts after
them but stops to politely address Nikki who has gone back into her trance.
Would you like to come along?
(as if it were obvious)
Oh, no. I have to stay here and mind
the man's teeth.
They glance down at the teeth.
Oh, of course.
Cary hurries off as Nikki's empty eyes rise to the ceiling.
FLASH CUT - A MAN'S FACE
as it takes a combination one-two punch from a pair of fists.
FLASH CUT - THE MAN'S BODY
dropping unconscious to the floor.
OUR FOUR HEROES
enter a hallway just in time to see two Claridge's employees reach down and
haul away the unconscious body. Our heroes have missed the fight but Shep and
Bill are delighted anyway. Bill brushes his hands (one of his favorite
gestures) with satisfaction, as if he had thrown the punches himself:
Well. THAT'S all fixed.
Bill straightens his bow-tie. Already the group seeks a new distraction.
Let's go back.
They head back to the bar.
Nikki, no longer standing against the wall, sits on a bar stool with her back
to the countertop, smoking a cigarette and holding an empty champagne glass.
Our heroes enter and, glancing at the wall, fail to see her. After a moment of
searching, Cary spots her at the bar.
Oh, there she is.
All four crowd around her, pleased to be in her company.
Well, we missed it.
Did something happen?
Well, they carried a guy out.
(sees her empty glass)
Say! What's become of the teeth?
Oh, the man came and got his teeth.
Well, what did he say?
He said thank you for holding his
What did he look like?
I think he fell in an airplane in
the war -- and got his teeth knocked
Well, why do you think he was in the
Oh, he had a kind of little striped
ribbon in his buttonhole.
What makes you think he was a flyer?
(dry, to the others)
You can tell a flyer better by his
The men chuckle.
Well, what do you say we have a
Sure, here's some space.
Seats have opened up at the bar so they grab stools next to Nikki. Shep greets
Bon soir, Monsieur Lambert.
Qu'est-ce que voulez-vous [?]
Could I have a champagne cocktail?
Quatre Martinis pour messieurs!
Champagne cocktail pour Mademoiselle
The men are all excited to find out her name. Francis uses a pretzel as a
monocle to eye Nikki.
For the first time this evening, Shep takes off his dark glasses.
Can you imagine that, fellas? Her
name is Nikki!
Her name is Nikki. She holds men's
teeth. She sits at the bar and she
Boys, she's gonna be a lot of
Drinks are served. A moment of silence as they imbibe. Nikki's hand shakes as
she lifts her glass, spilling some champagne. She laughs, embarrassed.
Oh, my, my!
Shep, who has been watching her closely, also laughs.
Poor sweet! She can't even hold her
Nikki notices Cary unsteadily using both his hands to hold his Martini.
Oh, well, HE can't either. Besides,
he has to use two hands.
Nikki chuckles. A dark look crosses Cary's face as he looks at her and puts
down his drink. Seeing this, Bill and Francis exchange worried glances. Cary
abruptly rises and leaves the bar. Mystified, Nikki looks quizzically at Shep
who is suddenly grim and annoyed.
Course he can't hold his glass. His
hands are burned.
You have no right to spill YOUR
drinks. He can't help himself.
Burned? How burned?
He brought a plane down on fire.
An airplane? In the war?
Shep demonstrates with his hands as he explains:
He held the stick. But his hands
began to slip. Then he held it
inside his arms. He was trying to
bring his rear gunner down alive.
Did he bring him down safe?
Shep takes a swallow of his Martini, sets down the glass.
Brought him down.
Oh, so that's why--?
Yes! That's why he can't hold a
Oh, I'm so ashamed.
Now, Cary's had a pretty thin time.
His nerves are tricky. You should
never call attention to his hands.
AT A TABLE
Cary sits with a fresh drink and is trying awkwardly to pick it up when a
handsome but humorless American journalist -- the unspeakable FRINK -- enters
and greets him casually.
Oh, hello, Frink.
Cary immediately turns his attention to a menu. Rebuffed, Frink wanders over
to the bar and sees the other men. He has a friendly pat on the back for
Francis and Bill.
Hello, Francis. Bill.
Frink pauses to stare at Nikki's back, astonished to find a woman sitting at
the bar. Then he turns to Shep, amused.
Shep. Drunk again?
Say, don't you know any OTHER
opening remarks? It's about all
we've heard from you for a year.
(signals the bartender)
Frink snaps his fingers at Jean and grabs a seat next to Shep. Jean asks for
Frink's order in French.
Sidecar ... [?]
Jean moves off. Frink regards the others.
Say, why don't you fellows go home
and go to work?
Work? What kind of work?
Oh, anything useful.
What could we do? Sell washing
machines? Drive a milk wagon? Mend
old furniture or somethin'? Heh!
Go back to flying. Fly the air
Aw, we couldn't fly a kite.
Maybe a small kite.
Francis holds his fingers to indicate a very small kite. Bill chuckles.
Well, there must be something you
We've got to tend to our drinking.
We don't get much opportunity.
Lots of things going on outside.
Sun shining, trees growing, people
Say! Is that STILL going on?
Sounds pretty pre-war to me.
During all this, Nikki has been in her own little world. Frink leans over and
whispers to Shep.
Hey. Don't I rate an introduction?
Who's your swell friend?
Oh, her? Just an old hussy we found
Around her neck, on a slender chain, Nikki carries a small lorgnette. It opens
with a spring and has small rectangular lenses. She uses it frequently,
peering at unfamiliar objects in her helpless, nearsighted way. On Shep's
remark, she whips it out to stare at him, mildly offended. He raises his drink
to his lips and turns to her, speaking out of the side of his mouth:
Pay no attention. Sometimes he goes
Nikki looks away glumly as Shep grins at her. She turns and sees something.
She raises her lorgnette for a better look at:
who sits at his table, staring into space, holding his unread menu in his lap.
is pleased to see Cary.
Oh! He didn't go.
She rises to join him.
startled, rises and stares at Nikki as she approaches.
Oh, I'm so sorry. Your hands...
She tries to take his hands but he pulls them away in horror and stuffs them
in his pockets.
Oh, your poor hands! Your poor, poor
Wildly uncomfortable, Cary glances around like a cornered animal and finally
stalks away without a word, hands still stuffed in his pockets. Stunned, Nikki
watches him exit the building. She realizes she's done something terribly
wrong and moves to follow him.
But Shep intercepts her. Upset, she whimpers.
(more in disbelief
If you aren't the WORST! First, you
insult his hands and make him mad.
Then you cry over them and make him
self-conscious. Come on back here.
He clasps her hand and leads her to:
Francis and Bill watch, disturbed, as Shep guides a crying Nikki onto a stool
beside them. Shep sits next to her as she continues to sob. She pulls out a
compact to fix her tear-stained face.
Well, that's torn it. He'll never
come back now.
Then we'll have to find him.
To explain how sorry I am.
(amused at her
We-ell. You don't have to get so
emotional about it.
Who's getting emotional?
You are. You're coming all apart.
(hands her a glass)
Here. Take a drink of this. Make
you laugh and play.
Nikki takes a sip, then busies herself with putting away her compact.
Meanwhile, Bill leans in.
Say, what's she crying about?
She's crying on account of they
didn't wash her strawberries this
Didn't they wash your strawberries
this morning? Well, there ain't a
whole hell of a lot that we can do
about that now.
Frink watches suspiciously as Shep pays the tab, rises and whispers to Nikki.
Nikki obediently hops off her stool and Shep leads her away from the bar,
toward the exit. Bill and Frink are distressed to see her go. Bill calls after
Hey! Where're you goin'?!
Out to get a drink.
Bill gestures grandly toward the bar with its many shelves of liquor bottles.
Don't you suppose you could arrange
Nope. We gotta go somewheres else.
(without missing a beat)
Okay. Come on, Francis. We got to go
somewheres else to get a drink.
Francis and Bill head out the door. After a moment, Frink follows behind.
EXT. AVENUE DES CHAMPS ÉLYSÉES - LATER THAT NIGHT
A taxi cab -- filled with Bill, Francis, Shep, Nikki and Frink -- pulls up to
a restaurant. As it stops, Bill rises and points to someone at a sidewalk
Hey! There he is!
The others look.
The group cheers, spills out of the taxi and heads for:
THE SIDEWALK TABLE
where Cary sits reading a newspaper.
Cary looks up. He rises, a little startled, and politely removes his hat. The
others crowd around him.
Say, what are you tryin' to do,
Hello. Won't you sit down?
Sure we'll sit down. What'd ya think
we'd do? Stand around?
They all take seats around the little table. During this, Frink brings a chair
for Nikki who grabs a seat of her own. When he tries to use it to sit next to
her, Bill commandeers it for himself.
(with a wave, to Frink)
A waiter joins them as they settle in.
Hello, Shep. Hello, Nikki. What will
you have to drink?
Uh, could I have champagne, please?
The waiter departs. Off her order, Bill gives Nikki a look.
Boys, she's goin' to be a problem.
(explains, to Bill)
That's what I started on.
It upsets me if I change over to
There's a lot of things wrong with
What were you doing at the bar at
Yes. Don't you know you're not
supposed to be there?
There's a sign on the wall says
ladies must sit at the back.
Can't read signs.
Well, we'll just have to take care
of her, that's all.
Do you think she's good-lookin'
Oh, I know I'm not very good-
But when I was a little girl, my
mother always said I had the nicest
Shep laughs derisively. The others give him a look and he shuts up. The drinks
arrive. All the men, save Cary, snatch up their glasses. Bill removes the
toothpicked olive and swallows his Martini whole. He watches Nikki rubbing her
champagne's drinking straw between her hands as if she were a Boy Scout trying
to start a fire.
Then there's her drinking.
What's the matter with my drinking?
You're a sissy drinker.
Well, maybe I can improve.
Meanwhile, Cary attempts -- with some success -- to drink his Martini with one
unsteady hand. Bill inspects Nikki's mouth.
Then there's her teeth. Why, one of
'em is turned sideways.
You mean this one?
Why don't you have it turned around?
I don't have it turned around on
account of it's a kind of help.
Well, in what respect does it kind
Well, you see, when anyone kisses me
too hard, it splits my lip. And you
could tell when anyone kissed me too
hard on account of my lip would
bleed. So now I don't let anyone
kiss me -- hard.
The men are amused. Nikki sips her champagne.
Well, we'll let that pass.
Bill chuckles. Shep abruptly rises and walks off, presumably to the rest room.
Where's he gone?
Shep went off to sharpen his skates.
Now, about your nose.
What about my nose?
It isn't straight. It kind of turns
up at the end.
Well, when I was a little girl, I
got bumped by a swing.
How'd you happen to get bumped?
I just walked through the gate. I
was only seven.
Oh, poor dear. Didn't you see it?
I can't see very far.
Did it hurt?
It made me dizzy all day.
Well, I guess we can't hold that
We all make mistakes.
That's right. Michelangelo painted
Adam with a navel.
Bill and Nikki laugh at this. Suddenly, Nikki grows thoughtful.
All the same, he'd look funny the
other way -- even in a painting.
They all consider this for a moment as a fresh round of drinks arrives. Frink
abruptly rises and walks off, presumably to the rest room.
Where's he gone?
He went off to shave a horse.
Have you got a husband or anything?
Mother, yes. But we haven't met in
quite a long time.
Why not in a long time?
Well, on account of my mother's name
was Beulah. Now, you can't have a
mother named Beulah. So I changed it
to Jane. And that's how it all began.
An odd CHIMING sound distracts them. They look off to see:
the narcoleptic, arms folded, asleep in his chair. He awakes with a frown,
pulls a pocket watch from inside his jacket, opens it, and looks at it. The
chiming ends and he rises without a word and exits.
AT THE TABLE
Nikki watches Francis' exit curiously. Bill waves her off before she can ask:
He's goin' off to tame an alligator.
Who is he, anyway?
Francis used to fly with us in the
94th. The best shot in the squadron.
Brought down twelve planes. Used to
call him "Sudden Death." He lost
interest after his teammate got
killed. He's lonesome is all.
I like him.
He carries a chiming watch on
account of he's always falling
asleep in the daytime.
What kind of chimes?
Oh, Westminster, Canterbury, and
I'll take vanilla.
Cary puts a fist on his hip and gives Nikki an exasperated look. Taxi horns
squeak. Francis, Shep and Frink return from their various adventures and sit
down as Bill gives Nikki his opinion of Francis.
I think he's a washout.
Well, just because you're a big
bombardier and an All-American--
Oh, Montana State or somewhere.
Idaho or Nebraska or the Carlisle
Indians or something. Didn't you
never read about Bill? Bronko Bill
-- the Alabama Flash?
Bill grins as Nikki inspects him closely through her lorgnette.
I think it's a forgery.
Bill's face falls. He looks at Nikki.
Say! What do you want me to do?
Tackle a horse?
She nods. Shep is amused.
Sure. Go ahead. Tackle a horse.
(with a dismissive wave)
All right, all right, I'll tackle a
Shep looks down the street.
Here comes one now.
They all look to see:
A HORSE-DRAWN CAB
rolling down the street in their direction.
AT THE TABLE
Everyone watches as Bill rises and suddenly bolts in the direction of the cab.
Look out, horse!
THE HORSE-DRAWN CAB
rolling along as Bill runs in and tackles the horse, locking his big arms
around the animal's front legs to trip up the poor creature.
ON THE SIDEWALK
Cary, horrified, stands and yells:
Hey, Bill! Bill! Come back here!
Cary runs off, toward Bill, leaving a thrilled Shep and a worried Francis with
a distressed Nikki. They all stare in concerned amazement as a crowd of
pedestrians stops to watch the excitement.
AT THE HORSE-DRAWN CAB
Cary rushes up to the startled cab driver who is pulling hard on the reins.
Hey! What's the idea -- runnin'
down my friend like that? Here!
Cary forces a wad of francs into the driver's hand. The cabman protests in
French but takes the cash.
of the fallen horse as the driver descends from the cab. Standing up now, Bill
tries to haul the horse to its feet while Cary tries to placate the driver.
Never mind. Look where you're going
in the future now. You just watch out
where you're going!
Bill grabs the horse by its bridle and tries to pull it up. The horse, sorely
annoyed, gets up on its own and shakes its head violently to drive Bill away.
Bill hangs on and tries to calm the horse. Cary tries to pull Bill away as
Frink, Francis and the driver gather around. Bill is more interested in
petting the horse which understandably shies away from him.
Now listen, come on out here, you
(to the shying horse)
Now, listen, you ought to be ashamed
of yourself. You old fool! You know
what you'll do? You'll kill yourself
one of these days. Now, come on, get
out of here. Now, listen--
Satisfied with the outcome of all this, Bill heads back for the sidewalk.
(to the driver)
You all right now, brother?
The driver nods but is more concerned with reining in his skittish horse.
All right. Now, you just keep your
horse, see? You got your money.
The cabbie salutes Cary but pays more attention to his horse.
BACK AT THE SIDEWALK TABLE
The waiter sets out a fresh round of drinks as the group returns. Bill happily
dusts off the sleeve of his dinner jacket. Cary, beside him, leads him to his
seat. They all sit down under the following:
Hey, listen, Bill, you're All-
American, see? You're TWO All-
Americans! The lady's convinced
you're the whole team. You don't
have to tackle any more horses.
How 'bout that? Drink your drink.
(pleased with himself)
Ahhh. Wasn't that a great spill?
Nikki abruptly rises.
Hey! Where are you going?
Would you all excuse me for a
Well, where are you going?
(a grave announcement)
To take a Chinese singing lesson.
Francis immediately understands that she's become one of them. He raises an
olive in the air and cheers:
The men rise and all but Frink cheer her lustily as she departs:
Hooray! Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!
walks proudly into the restaurant as the men cheer. A smiling maitre d'
directs her to the ladies' room.
BACK AT THE TABLE
Frink watches Nikki disappear from view and, after a glance at the others,
rises and follows her. Shep, Bill and Cary remain at the table, laughing and
drinking. Bill turns to Cary with a smile.
Hey. What kind of a girl do you
think Nikki is?
Cary glances in Nikki's direction and tells Bill confidentially:
I think she's the kind that sits
down on phonograph records.
Bill thinks about this and nods.
INSIDE THE RESTAURANT
As Nikki returns from her Chinese singing lesson, Frink puts his arm against a
wall, blocking her way.
Say, Nikki, let's ditch these
drunks and go off somewhere by
ourselves. These crazy fools are
liable to do anything.
Do you think so?
Since the war, they don't care what
And do you?
I'll say so. I've got more
important things to think of.
What more important things?
Well, my work.
What kind of work?
I'm the foreign correspondent for a
New York newspaper syndicate.
How nice for you!
Nikki pushes his arm away and heads for the table. Frink watches her go, a
dark look on his face.
BACK AT THE SIDEWALK TABLE
The men rise briefly as Nikki rejoins them and sits.
Nikki? Are you the kind of girl that
sits down on phonograph records?
Nikki lowers her eyes.
(a bit defensively)
People shouldn't leave their records
What did I tell you?
Take me dancing?
What place you wanna go?
What places you got?
Well, we got Maxim's, only it's too
early. We've got Florida, Perroquet,
Pigalle, Le Rat Mort, Moulin Rouge,
I'll take vanilla.
Cary gives her a look. Bill clears his throat.
Somebody pay for the drinks!
Bill rises and claps his hands with enthusiasm.
We're off in a "billizzard" of
Whatever that means. The men rise and retrieve their hats.
INT. BAL TABARIN BALL ROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT
A festive Parisian night spot. Dance MUSIC plays while a floor show, lit by
moving spotlights, unfurls in the huge, darkened ballroom which is ringed with
crowded tables. A handsome male dancer, in tuxedo and top hat, whirls
exuberantly around the floor, surrounded by beautiful chorus girls.
Somewhere above all this, Nikki, lit by spotlight flashes, sits on the edge of
a ringside balcony observing the show with eager interest through her
The show continues: after a few twirls, the dancer links arms with the girls
to form a line and do some precision high-kicking. The music continues but the
dance apparently ends and the lights come up. Impressed, Nikki is breathless.
My, my! Isn't this nice?!
Nearby, the men sit at a roped-off table for six on a low balcony. Cary and
Francis sit glumly on one side of the table as Bill tries to tell a story to
the others (Frink; a nameless young woman nicknamed "Kiss-Me-Quick" who
appears in this scene only; Shep and Nikki).
Now, listen, men. I'll tell ya
Cary and Francis look doubtful about this. Bill sits at the table.
I was only four years old once.
What'd he say?
Said he was only four years old
And my aunt had a very low-neck
What'd he say?
Said his aunt had on a very low-neck
Can't believe it.
And she sat right across the table
in front of me. And I said, "Auntie
-- I can see your knees!"
Nobody laughs or even changes expression.
an awkward pause)
I wonder what's doing in Portugal
Bill is disappointed at the response.
Maybe I'd better do my match trick.
If you do match tricks, I'll recite.
You write poetry?
I'll send you a photograph of my
Cary gives her a look, then rises and peers with one eye into the open bottle
of champagne on the table between him and Nikki. He gestures at the bottle as
he sits back down.
Say, I wonder if there's anything
intoxicating in that.
Everybody cracks up -- except Nikki, who looks a little hurt.
An empty champagne bottle is placed on the floor.
INT. BAL TABARIN BALL ROOM - STILL LATER THAT NIGHT
By now, a dozen empty champagne bottles have been placed on the floor.
CLOSE SHOT - FRINK'S HAND
strays to Nikki's legs and up her dress.
Nikki rises indignantly and turns on Frink.
Just what ARE your plans?
The other men seated at the table understand instantly what's going on and
stare darkly at Frink.
You'll have to watch that lad, Nikki.
He's a member of the Wandering Hands
Society and he has a groping good
Frink nervously adjusts his necktie. Cary glares at him.
Your behavior, sir, is unseemly,
unethical, indelicate and lousy.
Have I made myself clear?
Frink, pretending chagrin, looks at Nikki.
All right. My mistake. I'm sorry.
You'll have to watch out for him,
Nikki. He's just a licentious old
It's getting pretty late, isn't it?
Do you want to go home, Nikki?
I'll take you home. Where do you
The others, except for Frink, begin to rise, too. Shep pays the waiter.
I'll take her home, too.
So will I!
We'll match to see who takes her
Nothin' doing! We'll ALL take her
I saw her first.
It makes no difference. She belongs
to us all now!
Nikki laughs as they all depart. Frink rises wearily to follow them out.
INT. HOTEL CARLTON - LOBBY - LATER THAT NIGHT
The group enters the spacious, empty lobby, laughing loudly. Someone says,
"Wheeee!" Others say, "Ssshhh!" They cross to the front desk.
AT THE FRONT DESK
The clerk is fast asleep, his head down on the desk. Nikki is about to wake
him when Bill bounds forward.
(quietly, to Nikki)
Sh! Let him sleep. What's your
Bill waves the others on and they exit toward the elevators.
Once they've gone, Bill, the athlete, vaults the front desk and lands -- with
a little noise -- on the other side, without waking the clerk.
He cautiously checks the clerk to make sure the sleeping man hasn't awakened,
then fetches Nikki's key from its cubbyhole.
Bill leaps up on top of the desk, landing on his rear end, swinging his legs
around -- nearly kicking the clerk in the process -- then silently slides off
the desk to the floor.
Watching the sleeping clerk warily, Bill tiptoes away.
At the last possible moment, Bill purposefully WHACKS the signal bell with his
hand, making it RING noisily. The clerk awakens with a start and grabs a
nearby telephone just as Bill disappears from view.
IN THE HOTEL ELEVATOR
Amused, the group piles into the "ascenseur". Last one in is Bill who shuts
the door and the metal safety gate behind him.
Here we are. Goin' up!
Who's gonna pilot this craft?
I'll take her off. Where's the
Bill looks for the controls as Cary turns playfully to the others.
Got your safety belts buckled?
SHEP & OTHERS
Bill finds the appropriate lever and grabs hold.
Here it is. Contact?
Bill pulls the lever and the car rockets up the shaft.
Most everybody cheers. They watch with great interest as the floors pass by
Shut her off!
Hold her nose! She's headed for the
Hey, stop it, will ya?
We've gone an' passed my floor.
Gone an' passed your floor? I'll fix
Bill brakes the car and starts it back down the shaft.
Put her tail down!
Bail out, boys! She's gonna crash!
Stop it! Stop it!
We've gone an' passed my floor
Say! How do you stop this thing?
Bill brakes the car too quickly -- it slams to a halt and everyone loses their
footing, nearly falling down. Part of the light fixture above them breaks
loose and crashes down on Frink's head, much to everyone's amusement -- they
laugh as Frink clutches his head, annoyed.
That's right, laugh.
We should've brought our parachutes!
Get a good hold, Millie. We're off
Bill reaches for the controls but Shep grabs the tail of Bill's jacket and
pulls him away.
Nothing doing! Let Cary take the
controls. You'll run us through the
Bill brushes his hands, his pride a little hurt.
All right, all right.
Let her go!
The car starts up the shaft again.
SHEP & FRANCIS
There we are.
INT. HOTEL HALLWAY - FIFTH FLOOR - MINUTES LATER - LONG TRAVELING SHOT
The elevator door opens. Cary leads the way as everyone else spills out
happily into the hall. Shep puts a congratulatory arm around Cary.
Say! That's a pilot for ya.
You deserve a medal.
Bill pins Nikki's room key to Cary's vest pocket. Smiling, Cary holds it up
proudly to Nikki.
All right, come on, men.
They head down the hallway in a drunken, disorganized fashion. Shep walks an
imaginary tightrope, wobbling spectacularly. Cary, bringing up the rear, shuts
the elevator door and escorts Nikki.
I need a rest, I need a rest.
Francis drops into a handy chair and lights a cigarette but Bill immediately
hauls him up:
Come on, come on.
Bill, whistling and pretending to ice skate, leads the group down the hall.
Francis tries to enter a room but Frink pulls him out of the doorway. Bill
backtracks to help Frink escort Francis. This allows Cary and Nikki to take
the lead. Nikki indicates the correct doorway to Cary.
Oh! Eighty-eight! Here we are!
The group cheers. Cary unlocks the door. The group enters Nikki's hotel room.
INT. NIKKI'S HOTEL SUITE - SITTING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
Laughing, the group files into the darkened room and spreads out.
Nikki switches on the lights. Bill marvels at the luxurious suite.
Well, for--! Well, I'll be a--!
Look! Nikki's got a whole apartment!
And a gramophone!
Delighted, Shep starts to crank up the gramophone.
Yeah! And chairs and tables and
floors and ceilings and everything.
So THIS is where Nikki lives!
Amused and pleased by their reaction, Nikki heads for her bedroom.
Yes, this is where Nikki lives.
Shep picks up a book and admires it grandly.
And she's got a book!
The gramophone comes to life and MUSIC plays from a record. Nikki passes into
the bedroom and switches on a light.
Got all the comforts of home.
Frink tries to follow Nikki into the bedroom but Bill pointedly intercepts
him. Disappointed, Frink looks past him into Nikki's bedroom and Bill follows
his gaze to see:
on Nikki's glass-topped dressing table -- dozens of them.
Hey! Look at all the bottles!
Bill enters and inspects the table closely.
as the other four men respond to Bill's enthusiastic summons and enter.
Hey! Come on in and look at Nikki's
Cary joins Bill at the table as the Texan picks up one of the bottles and
reads the label.
Hey, don't be handlin' her things.
Put 'em down.
But Bill goes right on, delighted. The others crowd around the table.
Leave 'em alone.
Salammbo! Chypre! Reve de Vestale!
Hey, you big bombardier--
During this, Francis has casually inspected a curtained walk-in closet near
the table. He pulls the curtain to reveal a rack of carefully hung dresses and
a floor covered with dozens of shoes organized in impeccably straight lines.
Say, I never saw so many shoes.
The others gather to peer into the closet. Frink loses interest immediately
but whistles at the sight of Nikki's sheer nightgown draped across her bed. He
moves to it eagerly.
Nikki sits on the edge of the bed removing her shoes as Frink picks up her
silk bedclothes and examines them with a grin. Bill pointedly takes the gown
out of Frink's hand. Tight-lipped, Frink stares at him. Suddenly, Bill points
to a small wind-up clock on Nikki's night table.
Bill drops the garment on the bed and moves to the night table.
She never winds her clock!
(picks up the clock)
It says eleven and I've never been
anywheres at eleven.
Nikki removes her earrings as Frink walks off and Cary takes a seat at the
foot of the bed.
(dry, to Bill)
What time are you anywhere?
Bill shakes the clock and puts it to his ear, listening.
(to Cary, ignoring Nikki)
Two o'clock. It's always two o'clock
in my life. Hey, listen. Besides
never having any matches and always
spilling her drinks, she never winds
her clock! Think I'll go in the
bathroom and see if she leaves the
cap off her tooth paste.
Bill heads for the bathroom but then stops and turns back to Nikki.
Is it all right?
Bill disappears into the bathroom, leaving Nikki and Cary sitting on the bed.
Nikki peers at Cary through her lorgnette.
The phonograph MUSIC ends just as Bill's voice calls from the bathroom.
Cary turns toward the bathroom.
Shep runs past and hurries into the bathroom. Cary rises from the bed to
follow. Nikki is perhaps mildly surprised by the excitement.
HIGH ANGLE SHOT - TWO TURTLES
swimming in shallow water at the bottom of a bathtub. A couple of decorative
lily pads lie next to the drain. The turtles' shells are inlayed with
Bill kneels by the tub as Frink, Shep, Francis and Cary join him. Bill points
out his discovery to the others.
It IS turtles!
Francis picks up a turtle and shows it to Cary.
Hey! Look, Cary! It's turtles!
Cary examines the turtle for a moment, placing a finger on it.
(with a nod)
Nice work, boys. It's turtles.
Cary and Francis inspect the turtle.
Nikki enters and addresses the men.
And now do you suppose you could
all excuse me?
Cary joins her.
On account of I'd like to go to bed.
Sure we'll excuse you. I'll clear
everybody out of here.
(to the others)
Come on, you fellas. Nikki wants to
go to bed.
AT THE BATHTUB
The other men, still lined up at the tub enjoying the turtles, are
Go to bed?
They rise reluctantly. Bill shakes water off his hand.
Yup, all right.
They file out of the bathroom.
(waves to the turtles)
So long, turtles.
Good night, turtles.
Frink follows the others humorlessly, without a word to the turtles.
TRACKING SHOT - THROUGH THE SUITE
The entire group exits the bathroom, passes through the bedroom and heads into
the sitting room.
Poor Nikki. Do you wanna go to
Sleep? You should NEVER go to sleep!
(with a wave, to Nikki)
Well, good night.
As Bill enters the sitting room, he looks around and hurries away toward
something he sees off screen. Shep and Francis follow.
(with a wave)
Francis says nothing.
Good night, Nikki.
Frink is the last out the bedroom door, though Cary stays behind to linger a
moment with Nikki.
Bill takes a pillow from the sofa and tosses it across the room. He proceeds
to leap feet first onto the sofa, fall on his back with his feet in the air,
then stretch his legs out across the sofa, lying down to go to sleep.
Shep, watching this, scratches his head, confused, then moves to join him.
Frink watches Francis drag some sort of heavy fringed rug to the floor near
the sofa, apparently preparing to lie down on it.
AT THE BEDROOM DOOR
Nikki and Cary stand close, exchanging warm goodnights.
Good night, Cary.
Good night, Nikki.
Cary, perhaps pleased with Nikki's attention to him, watches her withdraw into
the bedroom and shut the door. He turns from the door to see:
LOW ANGLE SHOT - SITTING ROOM
Four men, happily situated, settling in for a night's sleep: Bill and Shep on
the sofa, Frink on a chair, their three pairs of feet propped up on a table.
Francis, his head on a pillow, lies on the floor, stretching his legs and
yawning as only a narcoleptic can.
Say! I like this place.
Say, I like this place, too.
I think it's swell.
peers at them skeptically, hands on his hips.
It suits me.
You fellas think you're gonna PARK
Cary hears the bedroom door open behind him and turns to see:
opening the door, wearing a robe, carrying a bottle of eau de Cologne and some
Will somebody please scrub my back?
LOW ANGLE SHOT - SITTING ROOM
Excited again, Bill jumps to his feet, upsetting the others in the process.
Will somebody scrub your back?! Look
The men struggle to their feet and follow him to:
holds the bottle in her hand. The men's hands reach for it but Bill is quicker
than the others and commandeers it with authority.
I got it, I got it, I got it.
From over Nikki's nearly bare back, we watch Bill whistling jauntily as he
shakes eau de Cologne onto a towel.
now seated, watches this coolly as he takes out a cigarette and lights it.
BILL AND NIKKI
Bill examines Nikki's back with delight.
His eyes pop. For Nikki, though, this is an asexual activity.
Bill places her head on his left shoulder and prepares to scrub with his
Did anyone ever see such a back in
He scrubs a little.
Did anyone ever HEAR of such a
More scrubbing -- his tongue sticks out of his mouth as he studies his work.
SHEP, FRINK AND FRANCIS
watch all this with envy and interest.
Just look at that back. Just look at
that thing, won't you?
BILL AND NIKKI
Bill keeps scrubbing, adopting the air of a professional back scrubber.
He lifts her hair to inspect her neck.
He scrubs her neck.
I could go on doin' this a long time.
More scrubbing and then an amusing pantomime: To Nikki's bewilderment, Bill
pulls back the hair over her ear, looks down into her ear, cleans it out with
his little finger, flicks wax off his finger daintily, buffs the ear with the
towel, and finally blows sharply into the ear, causing her to wince. She
places her head on his shoulder again. More scrubbing.
TRACKING SHOT - SITTING ROOM
We start on Cary, who sits rocking in a tilted chair and smoking, watching
Bill and Nikki with amusement. After a pause:
Nikki? Are you rich?
Well, practically. Beulah is rich.
Well, just how rich IS your mother?
Leave a lady a few secrets, can't
By now, we've pulled back far enough to take in the whole group. Bill finishes
his scrubbing and Nikki adjusts her robe.
Thank you, William. That was EVER so
cool and nice.
(takes bottle and
towels from him)
(to the others)
Good night, Nikki.
They watch her move off. We hear the bedroom door close. Bill realizes
something, snaps his fingers, claps his hands and starts off.
Come on, fellas!
He rushes off. Shep, Francis and Frink rise and follow. Cary merely collects
his hat and cane and heads for the front door.
SITTING ROOM - ANOTHER VIEW
Bill and Shep carry the sofa over and place it directly in front of Nikki's
closed bedroom door. Francis brings his rug and pillow.
watches them, amused, from the front door.
You're gonna stay here, huh?
SITTING ROOM - ANOTHER VIEW
The men settle in for the night.
That's right! She might need some
Bill waves good night and collapses on the sofa. Frink, glancing at Cary,
brings his chair and sits in it. Francis lies on the floor. Shep fluffs
pillows on the sofa, etc.
turns, shuts off the lights, opens the front door and exits the darkened room,
closing the door behind him.
INT. CARLTON BAR - NEXT MORNING
The drinking hole in Nikki's hotel. A French woman noisily arranges dirty
drinking glasses as Bill, Francis and Shep enter -- horribly hungover, moaning
and yawning -- and line up at the bar. A bartender greets them to take their
Um, prairie oyster.
Shep has to nudge Francis with an elbow.
Prairie oyster for three.
Bartender moves off. Shep puts on his dark eyeglasses.
CARLTON BAR - ANOTHER VIEW
We start on a CLOSE SHOT of three drinking glasses as the bartender breaks a
raw egg into one. Beside them are the other ingredients of a potent hangover
remedy. We PAN OVER to the three men:
Say, we'd better get back to our
There's no Nikki at our hotel.
And the bar doesn't open so early.
Say! Why don't we move in here?
Sure. Let's stay here.
But - what about Cary?
What about Cary?
What ABOUT Cary?
Francis shakes his head, he has no idea.
We can move him in, too.
Francis nods in agreement. Shep thinks it over as the drinks arrive.
Not a bad idea!
Shep pays off the bartender who departs with a mumbled "thank you." The three
men each down their nasty hangover cures in a single swallow and move off one
at a time -- first Shep who exhales deeply, then Francis who takes it in
stride. Finally, Bill exhales happily and claps his hands as he follows the
others out, their hangovers apparently remedied.
Well, come on, men. Let's go.
INT. NIKKI'S SUITE - LATER THAT DAY
Phonograph music plays as an Asian maid, the hotel's specialist in Chinois
Pedicure, paints Nikki's toenails. We PAN UP to discover Nikki wearing a robe,
sitting in a chair next to the phonograph, smoking a cigarette and checking on
the progress of her paint job. A snappy knock at the door.
THE FRONT DOOR
opens and Bill, looking dapper, enters.
Then, Shep enters, wearing his dark eyeglasses and carrying a bouquet of
Next, Francis enters, sleepily.
Finally, Cary, who closes the door behind him.
Good morning, Nikki.
The men are all: wearing suits and ties, pleased to see her, and stone sober.
Francis finds his way to the sofa, which has been returned to its proper spot
in the room. He lies down and shuts his eyes.
Hello, Bill. Hello, Shep. Hello,
Cary. Hello, Francis.
(from the sofa)
I didn't expect to see you all so
Shep puts the flowers in a vase.
We camped on your doorsteps last
night. And this morning we all moved
Cary leans over her affectionately.
Despite your practically innumerable
faults, we adore you. We've decided
to adopt you.
Bill and Shep kneel next to Nikki. Bill notices the toenail painting.
Well, for heaven's sakes! Look at
Nikki! What are you having done to
Whatcha having your toes painted
Cary stands behind Nikki as she looks down at her toes.
I don't know.
(looks at Bill and Shep)
Seemed like a good idea at the time.
Cary smiles. Nikki, Bill and Shep share a laugh. The Asian woman goes right on
painting as Bill and Shep study Nikki's legs. During this, Nikki hands her
cigarette to Cary who moves to put it in an ashtray by the window.
Why, look at Nikki's legs, would
you? That there is practically the
loveliest pair of legs I ever saw in
all my born days.
Like my legs?
Cary stares out the window at a rainy day.
Look at those legs, Cary. My, they
Cary turns from the window.
Did you ever see such a swell set of
Well, what do you want me to do
about it? Burst into tears?
Would it embarrass you, Nikki, if
Cary were to burst into tears?
(looks at her legs)
On account of my legs? Oh!
(turns to Cary,
I think that would be sweet.
Cary manages a slight grin. As he does, there's a knock at the door. Everyone
hollers, "Entrez!" Shep runs to the door and opens it.
Oh, boy! Here come the drinks!
The others cheer happily. Two hotel employees enter carrying trays loaded with
already poured drinks. Shep hands a glass to Nikki.
Here, Nikki, drink this.
Make you laugh and play.
That's what I want to do, laugh and
Shep hands Bill a glass.
Francis sits groggily on the sofa, a drink in each hand. He polishes off one
and then the other. He leans over and sets one empty glass on the floor but
holds on to the other as he puts his head to the nearby pillow and dozes off.
Cary, Bill and Shep crowd around Nikki who is still seated -- all have drinks.
The tray-carrying hotel employees have apparently exited. Bill proposes a
Here's to Nikki's dainty legs. As
smooth and hairless as an egg.
They drink. Another knock at the door. They all yell, "Entrez!" The door opens
to reveal Frink -- whose face falls when he sees the other men with Nikki. The
others are not happy to see him, either.
Well! Here comes that licentious
old man. Who invited him?
Cary hands his glass to Bill and moves to meet Frink as he enters.
(shakes his head
How can you tell?
Cary watches Frink approach Nikki.
After a pause, Nikki looks up at him uncertainly as if she doesn't recognize
him. Then she peers at him through her lorgnette.
Oh, it's you.
(after a pause,
Won't you sit down?
Frink moves off to find a chair. Shep sets down his drink and follows him.
Frink starts to move a chair but Shep stops him.
Say, I don't think Nikki likes you.
No. What do you wanna hang around
Well, what do YOU hang around for?
Me? Why, I came to bring Nikki some
posies. I'll bet you didn't bring
Nikki any posies.
During the above dialogue, Bill nudges Cary mischievously and they glance down
at the tray in front of them. They exchange knowing nods, pick up some drinks,
bring them over, and offer one to Frink.
Have a drink?
Cure the shakes.
I haven't got the shakes.
Let's see. Hold out your hands.
Bill and Shep watch with interest as Frink holds out his hands, palms up.
No, turn them over.
Frink turns them over, palms down. Cary looks at Frink's steady hands,
Say, that's pretty good.
Cary looks down at the drink in his own hand.
Let's see if you can hold this.
Cary sets the glass on top of Frink's downturned hand. Frink balances the full
glass with ease.
Say, that's great.
Cary places a second full glass on Frink's other hand. Frink balances both
glasses with ease. Cary expresses keen admiration.
Steady as a rock!
Frink looks at the others, a little smugly. Cary slowly backs away and walks
off, as do the others. Frink's face falls as he realizes he has been left
standing in the middle of the room with two drinks balanced on top of his
hands and no way to safely remove them.
Cary, Shep and Bill return to Nikki and crowd around her.
Well, I guess that'll keep his hands
out of mischief for a while.
Frink, abandoned, reluctantly pleads with the others.
Hey. Take these off.
But the others simply ignore him.
Now, let's see. Where were we before
we were so rudely interrupted?
We were talkin' about Nikki's legs.
That's right. We were talkin' about
Nikki's legs. And havin' a fine time,
The Asian maid who has been working on Nikki's feet abruptly rises.
The men cheer, "Yay!" and Nikki smiles at the woman as she exits with her
tools. The men crowd closer to peer down at Nikki's legs.
Let's inspect the job.
But Nikki quickly covers her toes with a hand.
Oh, my poor toes. Don't look too
Nikki wraps her robe around her legs and stuffs them under body. Since she's
no longer using her footstool, Cary commandeers it and sits on it.
Well, what's the matter with your
Nikki grows extremely somber and begins to tell a story -- very slowly. Her
eyes stare into space and her voice conveys terrible sadness.
Well... when I was a little girl...
A worried look crosses Cary's face.
... my mother bought me a new pair
of shoes. ... And they were WAY too
Shep and Bill listen soberly.
... And I had to walk all the way to
Sunday school and back. ... Down the
road. ... And it was hot and dusty.
(hand to his face)
Oh, take her away! She's breakin'
And when I got home ... my toes
(on the verge of tears)
Oh, dear, oh, dear.
That's such a sad story. Let's all
have a drink, quick!
Their eyes pop. The men jump up eagerly and run off. Nikki, thoroughly
nonplussed by this, takes a sip of her drink. Shep, Cary and Bill crowd around
a tray and start imbibing.
Meanwhile, Frink looks around unsuccessfully for a way to lose the two glasses
that are still balanced on his hands.
For the first time in this scene, Nikki is on her feet. She walks over to the
drink tray and puts a friendly hand on the shoulders of Shep and Cary.
And now would you all excuse me?
On account of I'm gonna put on a
Well, why not?
Nikki walks off, exiting into her bedroom. The men continue to stand around
the tray, drinking. In the background, Francis sleeps on the sofa.
Over by the fireplace, a frustrated Frink, still balancing the two drinks,
casts a dirty look at the others. He angrily hurls the glasses into the
fireplace, smashing them loudly. Francis, startled awake by the noise, jumps
off the sofa. The others stare at him.
My, my. What's HE getting so excited
Frink, furious, rubs his hands with a handkerchief and stuffs it in his
You guys think you're so darn smart.
Shep, Bill and Cary laugh at this. Cary consults his pocket watch.
Well, cheerio, fellas. I'm off.
Bill waves goodbye. Cary eats a last olive, tosses the toothpick and heads for
the front door.
See ya later.
Cary exits as Nikki's voice drifts in from:
THE OPEN BEDROOM DOORWAY
What are the plans for the day?
Shep, drink in hand, enters and leans on the wall outside the door.
Well, on account of it's raining and
everything, we thought we'd go over
to the Cluny and play billiards and
How about Cary?
Went to get his hat and coat. He's
going to Père Lachaise.
Père Lachaise? What's Père Lachaise?
A cemetery. How 'bout you coming
No. I'm going with Cary.
You've been invited?
Nikki appears in the doorway, dressed to go out.
Do you think Cary might object?
Well, I have an idea he'd like to be
Well, Cary likes to be alone. He's
as brittle as a breadstick. One
silly crack from you and he might
break up in sections.
(thinks about this)
Well, then, I don't think he should
be left alone.
Tell me, what's Cary doing in Paris?
What are we all doing in Paris?
I know. But why doesn't he go home?
Well, he's not ready to go home.
What could he do if he went home?
Have people cry over his hands?
Well, it seems - a pity to go on
like this. He's such a sweet soul.
One of the best.
Isn't he just sort of wasting
On the contrary. He's trying awfully
hard to get hold of himself.
Lost in thought, Nikki moves off and a worried Shep follows her to:
THE FRONT DOOR
Shep stops Nikki from leaving. She's a little downcast as he admonishes her:
Now, listen. If you tag along, for
heaven's sake, be careful what you
say. Don't start getting sorry for
him and don't cry over him.
(with a chuckle)
And, above all, don't make any
unfortunate remarks, hear?
Oh, I won't. Why, who ever heard of
such a thing?
Nikki opens the front door and exits into:
where Cary -- carrying coat, hat and cane -- emerges from a suite across the
hall from Nikki's and heads for the elevator. He stops when he hears Nikki
calling to him. She runs to join him.
Cary?! Cary? I'm coming with you.
Without waiting for a reply, she starts for the elevator, then stops to look
down at her shoes.
Ooh, wait for Nikki!
She leaves him and runs back to:
THE FRONT DOOR
of her suite where Shep still stands. He watches with surprise as Nikki runs
(calls back to Cary)
Wait for Nikki!
Puzzled, Shep follows Nikki who rushes to:
HER BEDROOM CLOSET
Nikki draws the curtain to reveal her enormous collection of dresses and
shoes. Shep, drink in hand, wanders in slowly and leans against the doorjamb
as he watches Nikki pull off one pair of shoes and put on a seemingly
identical pair of red ones.
What are you changing your shoes
On account of I can walk faster in
Shep watches her hop and scurry off.
EXT. AVENUE CASIMIR-PERIER - LATER THAT DAY
Passerbys carry umbrellas on this rainy day. A taxi cab pulls up to a sidewalk
café -- LA REGENCE, according to the awning that covers the little iron
tables. Cary emerges from the cab and pays off the driver as Nikki hurries
under the awning. Cary joins her and, after a word to the driver ("Restez
ici."), looks at the rain.
Perhaps we'd better stay here a
while till it clears up.
Could we sit down here, do you
I think so. Would you like something
They move toward the café. As Cary hangs up his hat, a waiter arrives.
What should I drink now, do you
Cary orders the drinks as Nikki moves to sit at a table.
(to the waiter)
Deux picon citrons.
The waiter acknowledges this and heads inside, calling out the order to his
bartender. Cary joins Nikki at the table and sits down. She removes her gloves
and fixes her face while he takes out a cigarette and lights it under the
Very refreshing. Make you laugh and
That's what you always promise.
Cary, why does Shep Lambert go on
drinking so desperately?
Don't we all?
Not like Shep.
Well, Shep has that tic under his
eye, you know. Takes a lot of drinks
to keep that quiet.
But isn't there some kind of
treatment or something?
Shep could never stand a long course
of treatment. Drinking's the only
corrective so far as he's concerned.
He's found out the tic doesn't work
when he's tight. So he stays tight.
The waiter arrives with the drinks. As he spritzes seltzer water into their
glasses, Cary leans over to light a cigarette for Nikki. The waiter leaves and
Seems such a pity. How did he get
In the war.
I know. But how?
Well, it's not very romantic.
Well, don't tell me if you don't
Well, you see, a tic is a nervous
Lice under his bandages.
He had the devil of a time. He
nearly lost his mind. So you'll have
to excuse him a little.
I'm so sorry for Shep.
Well, don't let him know it.
Well, isn't he going home? Not ever?
Not ever. Not in his dark glasses
Can't something be done for him?
He'll have to be - reborn.
How's he going to end?
Well, how are you going to end? How
am I going to end? How is ANYONE
going to end? How's your picon
It goes fine. But doesn't ANYTHING
make any difference to you?
Not now. A long time ago, perhaps,
when I was a little boy.
Tell me, where were you little?
In Minnesota. On a farm.
Were you happy then, Cary?
I think so.
Tell me, what WAS there to be happy
about on a farm in Minnesota?
(lost in thought)
Ohhh, thorn-apple trees in blossom.
The smell of burning leaves in the
fall. The sound of horses' hoofs on
(looks at Nikki)
Did you ever dig up an Indian mound
or uncover a nest of baby field
mice? Or explore old trunks in an
attic? Listen to the moaning of the
telephone wires in the winter wind?
See a gypsy caravan?
So THAT'S why you were happy. On
account of apple blossoms and field
mice and telephone wires and gypsy
caravans and old trunks and things?
Nikki exhales, drinks, looks at Cary and shakes her head.
But aren't you going back? Not ever?
Would you like another picon citron
before you go? The rain is lifting.
Nikki finishes the last of her drink.
No. I'm ready now.
Cary leaves some money, Nikki gathers her things. They rise and walk off.
EXT. CEMETERY - LATE THAT AFTERNOON
Cary and Nikki stroll into view, arm in arm, and look around. The rain has
stopped. They are the only living people in the ancient cemetery.
Who all is buried here?
Oh, poets, painters, philosophers--
No cocoanut. Poets, painters,
They've paused. Cary looks around, points with his cane.
Oh, I practiced him.
He gives her a look and they move on.
And there's Balzac. And there's
Héloïse and Abélard.
Oh, tell me about Abélise and
No, Nikki. Not Abélise and Éloard.
Héloïse and Abélard.
I'm sorry. I really didn't do it on
purpose. It was on account of the
picon citron. Tell me about Héloïse
Well, they're buried here in the
same sepulchre side by side.
Why are they buried side by side?
They were the world's most famous
(looks off, points
with his cane)
There's the tomb.
They approach the large tomb which is fenced off by a low iron gate. Cary
removes his hat, Nikki peers at the double sepulchre through her lorgnette.
Tell me about the world's most
Well, Abélard was a scholastic
Whatever that is.
Whatever that is. He gained a
footing in a certain household as
tutor to a maiden called Héloïse.
And employed his unlimited
opportunities for the purpose of--
Well, betrayal. Not, however,
unmixed with real love. He carried
her off to Brittany.
Tell me more.
Well, her uncle was furious. He
blamed Abélard for the whole thing.
He conceived a terrible revenge.
I'm afraid for Abélard.
He broke into Abélard's apartment
one night and perpetrated upon him
the most brutal punishment.
The lovers were forced to live
their lives apart. But when they
died, they were buried here side by
(peers down at
There's a story that little heart-
shaped stones are supposed to grow
around the tomb.
And lovers come and find them and
exchange them with each other.
(looks at Nikki)
And, so long as you keep the stone
from the tomb of Héloïse and Abélard,
no harm can come to your true love.
How perfectly beautiful.
Isn't that a quaint legend?
They crouch at the iron bars of the gate surrounding the tomb and take off
their gloves under the following:
Do you think I might find a heart-
shaped stone? You help me, Cary.
All right, Nikki. Only we have to
They close up the place.
Just as soon as we find our stones.
They reach through the gate to poke at the rocks and gravel surrounding the
tomb. After a moment, Nikki rises and walks off excitedly with a stone in her
I found one! Where's yours?
Cary, too, finds a stone and rises to join her.
NIKKI AND CARY'S HANDS
as the couple sits near the tomb. They show each other the stones in their
upturned hands. Nikki takes the heart-shaped stone from her palm and places it
in Cary's stiff, weathered hand. Then she transfers his stone to her hand.
And, now, you take mine. And I'll
They close their hands over the stones as we PULL BACK to a WIDER VIEW of
Nikki and Cary smiling at one another.
Isn't that the way the story goes?
That's right, Nikki.
And, now, no harm can come to our
And, now, we'll have to go.
He starts to rise but she puts a hand on his arm.
You were so nice to let me come
with you. I spoiled your whole day.
You were going to do something else,
Well, what was it, Cary? Why did you
come here today?
(not looking at her)
To pay my respects to an old comrade.
Oh. And you wanted to be alone. I'm
sorry. Oh, I'm so sorry.
(begins to weep softly)
Don't pay any attention to me, Cary.
I can't help it. You MAKE me cry.
He stares at her, astonished, as she rambles on.
Oh, don't look so troubled, Cary.
I'm all right. I just want to cry
for a minute.
(puts a hand on
On account of you're so nice. You're
so clean, Cary. And your teeth are
so white. You're so civilized. You
don't care about anything any more,
nor anybody. Nothing makes any
difference to you. Nothing can
Why, you're lost. You're ALL lost.
You and Shep and the rest of you.
(takes his hand)
Oh, I want to do something for you.
I want to help you.
(looks at his wrist)
Let me wash your bracelet, Cary.
Why, see? The silver's all
tarnished. The silver's all
(removes his bracelet)
I'll take it with me and scrub it
when I get home. I'll polish it
with my nail-brush.
Nikki turns to put the bracelet in her purse. Thoroughly unnerved by this
emotional outburst, Cary looks around.
It's getting dark.
Cary rises, deeply uncomfortable. Nikki tries to make amends.
Anyway, we found a name for my
Cary turns and looks at her, amazed.
Héloïse and Abélard? A name for
your turtles? So that's what you
were looking for. I might have
known how it would end.
He looks down at the heart-shaped stone held awkwardly in his stiff hand. His
thumb brushes the stone and it falls to the ground.
INT. NIKKI'S BEDROOM - THAT NIGHT
Nikki sits, soberly polishing Cary's bracelet with her nail brush. Shep
enters, drink in hand.
She looks at Shep forlornly.
Shep walks over and confronts her.
Cary's in a state. Says he's going
away. Can't stand it any longer and
all that sort of thing.
(sits on the bed)
What happened between you two,
Cary seemed so sad and everything --
on account of I'd taken up his whole
So little Nikki said, all merry and
bright, "Well, anyway, we'd found a
name for my turtles."
A name for the turtles?
Shep cracks up with laughter and falls backward on the bed, his head dangling
over the edge.
Shep keeps laughing, twists around on the bed and sits up again.
Name for the turtles! That's so
funny, all right!
Shep holds a hand to his head and catches his breath as Nikki joins him on the
Why do you always HAVE to be funny
at the wrong time? Didn't I tell you
Cary was brittle? How did he respond
to THAT line?
Pulled down the iron curtain.
Shep cracks up again. Worried, Nikki tugs at his sleeve.
Did he say he was going away?
(through his laughter)
Yup. Gotta get away from it all.
Then, you've got to go to him right
Nikki rises and urgently pulls Shep, helpless with laughter, to his feet.
And explain that I didn't mean
it! Tell him how it was and
No, go on. You go right now before
it's too late!
She pushes him toward the door.
You go right straight to Cary.
INT. CARY'S ROOM - LATER
Cary removes clothes from a rack as a now serious Shep, drink in hand, stands
nearby trying to reason with him.
Now, listen, Cary, you don't have to
behave like an old Easter egg.
You're breaking Nikki's heart. She
doesn't know any better.
She doesn't know any better? Well,
whether she does or not, I'm going
a long ways away from Nikki. Nikki
and her turtles.
Whew! You sure are in an uproar.
What YOU need is a drink!
Cary packs a weathered suitcase.
I need more than a drink. I need a
lot of geography between me and that
Where do you want to go?
Anywheres. So long as it's a long
way from Nikki.
(pauses, looks at Shep)
You know -- that girl does things to
(back to packing)
I've got to get away.
Well, I wonder what's happening in
Cary stops packing and gives Shep a look.
(thinks it over)
I wonder what IS happening in
Shep stares at Cary, astonished, and moves off. Cary sets his packed suitcase
INT. NIKKI'S SUITE - LATE THAT NIGHT
Bill and Shep set a large steamer trunk upright.
BILL AND SHEP
Bill opens the trunk.
Ah! There you go.
Nikki appears, carrying a suitcase.
If Cary's going to Portugal, why
can't we go to Portugal, too? Ain't
we got any rights?
Sure we got rights!
Getting organized for their own impromptu Portuguese expedition, Bill, Francis
and Shep fill the trunk with Nikki's things as Frink leans on it, smoking a
cigarette and eyeing Nikki coolly.
Cary better not think he can screw
up in Portugal and leave old Shep
Say, when's he leaving?
Ten-thirty in the morning. Sud
Don't we have to have passports and
Sure we gotta have passports!
Bill joins Nikki.
What kind passports you like?
What kind passports you got?
We have ebony, cocoanut,
I'll take vanilla.
She brushes past him and crosses to a table where she is joined by Frink.
Good night, Nikki. I'll see you on
You're goin', too?
(with a sly smile)
I might, uh, pick up a couple of
features for my paper - in
Frink walks out the door. Nikki sighs a little and then busies herself with
carrying items the trunk. Shep arrives with a selection of dresses as the
group crowds together. Chaotic overlapping dialogue:
Nikki, do you want --?
Did you put all my shoes in?
You bet. There they are--
I don't know how you're going to get
all these dresses in, Nikki.
From the trunk, we
INT. NIKKI'S SUITE - NEXT MORNING
A mountain of trunks and other luggage piled on the floor. Nikki sits down
near Shep who finishes packing a suitcase on the floor.
Don't we have to go like anything?
The train leaves in twenty minutes.
Francis leans casually on the towering pile of luggage. Bill stands next to
him, smoking a cigarette and calling ironically to Nikki:
Are you SURE you have everything?
(misses the irony)
I - I think so.
Francis clicks his tongue as he regards the pile.
Hardly seems enough.
Suddenly, Nikki gasps and rises.
Oh, my turtles! My turtles!
are plucked from the tub and placed in ...
... A BASKET
by Nikki's little Asian maid. The fancy beribboned wicker basket has an
oversized handle which makes it a rather improbable turtle carrier. Bill
secures a wire mesh covering over the basket and carries it out of the
bathroom, handing it grandly to Francis.
Here you are, Francis! You're the
custodian of the turtles! Now don't
fall down on the job.
Bill walks off. Francis calls after him, worried:
Hey! I never tended turtles before.
Nikki arrives with a bottle of water and soaks her hand.
Now, all you have to do -
She gives Francis the bottle and sprinkles the turtles with water from her wet
- is to sprinkle 'em now and then, like
Oh, yeah. I see.
Some of the water ends up in Francis' eye which he wipes with the basket's
ribbon. Nikki walks off and Francis practices soaking his hand and sprinkling
IN THE BEDROOM
Five bellhops march in and, under the direction of Nikki and the men, proceed
to carry off the luggage, chattering in French.
Well, we're off.
(to a bellhop,
about the trunk)
Be careful of that one.
Burdened with luggage, the bellhops file out through the suite. Bill, suitcase
in hand, follows them out, beckoning to Francis behind him.
Uh, come on, Francis! Take those
Francis hurries along carrying the basket, followed by Shep and Nikki.
EXT. TRAIN STATION - LATER THAT MORNING
A whistle BLOWS. Their luggage already aboard, Francis, Nikki, Shep and Bill
walk down the platform, parallel to the train. Bill claps his hands
There she is, boys! The Sud Express!
Can you imagine Cary tryin' to run
away and leave us behind?
Bill laughs. Nikki peers at the train through her lorgnette.
Do you suppose he's really gonna
Sure he'll be here. He's never
missed a train in his life.
Say, do you suppose the turtles'll
be all right with that porter?
Bill gives Francis a supportive pat on the back.
Aw, sure they'll be all right. All
you got to do is -
(gestures with his hand)
- sprinkle 'em!
Francis nods soberly. Bill laughs. Nikki points, excited.
There he is!
FARTHER DOWN THE PLATFORM
Cary buys a paper from a newsboy and steps onto his train.
On the train steps, Cary stops and turns as his friends arrive and gather
around him, grinning.
Well, hello. What are you all doing
We just came down to see you off is
Well, that's darn decent of you.
Ya got a nice seat?
Yeah, right by a window.
Oh, how nice for you!
(with childlike desire)
Come on! Show us your seat by the
Yeah, come on, Cary! We wanna SEE
that seat by the window.
Climbing the steps, Bill and Shep crowd a confused Cary and force him into the
train. Following the others, Francis helps Nikki up the steps.
Come on, Nikki.
They all board the train and head for:
INT. CARY'S COMPARTMENT - A MOMENT LATER
The group crowds into the small compartment.
My, my, what a swell train.
Sud Express, Train de Luxe. Say,
I wonder if a chap can get a drink
on this train.
Sure! I don't see why not. Push the
Bill pushes a button for the porter.
Well, I'm afraid you won't have time
for a drink. We're gonna start in a
minute. You'll have to get off.
Everyone but Cary grabs a seat. Astonished, Cary stares at each as they speak:
Get off?! Gosh, no. We LIKE this
This is a Train de Luxe.
Yes, we like trains de luxe, don't we,
Sure! Trains de luxe is what we like.
The whistle BLOWS. Cary panics.
Hey! He's blowing the whistle.
(grabs Shep's shoulder)
Hey, we're gonna start.
Well, let her start.
The trains starts. Bill jauntily throws his hat up to the luggage rack above
and the others settle in for their journey.
Let 'er go Gallagher. Who cares?!
Frink enters casually.
Cary is stunned. Frink sits down with the others.
And you, too?
The group takes in the train's departure with perfect composure. Cary stands
and looks at them for a moment before breaking into a understanding grin.
That's right. Who cares?
Cary sits. As the train hurtles out of the now empty station, Nikki suddenly
turns to the window and waves goodbye to no one at all:
Goodbye! Goodbye! Don't forget to
Shep, Bill and Francis quickly join in, waving and shouting goodbye, much to
Cary's amusement. Even Frink manages a smile at this.
THE TRAIN'S WHEELS
racing down the track.
INT. CARY'S COMPARTMENT - IN THE HEAT OF THE EVENING
The compartment doorway. We hear the men laughing. Bill -- drink in hand, his
necktie loosened and his coat off -- appears in the doorway, coming from the
Hi, men! Look what I found.
With a grand gesture, Bill presents an elderly British gentleman who follows
him into the little room, greeted with a cheer of "Hooray!" from the men who
sit around, similarly coatless (save Frink), smoking and drinking.
Various bottles stand on a central table. The old gentleman is greeted warmly
but it's never clear whether he is an old friend or a total stranger.
Have a drink.
Ah, thank you, no, not I.
Bill and the old gentleman sit down. Nikki dozes in her seat by the window.
The basket of turtles hangs from above.
I - I say, are you all going to
Yup. We're going down there to
Drinking conditions, mostly.
By the way, what ARE conditions?
Don't you know what conditions are?
No. Never saw one in my life.
The drinking conditions are pretty
bad right here.
glancing at the bottles)
My beer's full of cinders.
Good for ya. Make ya lay hard-shelled
The men laugh. A whistle BLOWS. The conductor appears briefly in the doorway
to announce in French that the mademoiselle's compartment is ready.
Nikki? The man says your
Nikki wakes, rises, and clutching her pillow, heads for the doorway.
I'm glad -- on account of it's been
so hot and I'm so tired and I want
to go to bed.
Going to bed? Who ever heard of such
Bill rises to confer with her at the door.
Can we help you undress?
No, thank you, William.
The old gentleman looks rather astonished at this casual exchange.
Take off your shoes?
Undo your hair?
Scrub your back or something?
No, I can manage quite well by
myself. Good night, everybody.
The men say, "Good night." Frink, who has been watching Nikki with a predatory
eye, is the most polite:
Good night, Nikki.
Nikki turns and disappears down the corridor. The old gentleman mops his brow
with a handkerchief and stuffs it in his collar.
Can you imagine that ungrateful old
trollop? She wouldn't let them help
Can't understand it at all.
You know, she's not very pretty. But
when she was a little girl, her
mother always said she had the nicest
She got one tooth turned around, she
can't see very far, and she's ALWAYS
speaking out of turn. Otherwise,
she's a mighty fine piece of
Mm, seems to need a few repairs.
During the next exchange, Frink, seated by the door, grins at Bill and Shep,
then notices Francis dozing off. Frink cautiously rises and exits into the
corridor without anyone noticing his departure.
She's got eyes like an Assyrian
Queen's got eyes.
You ain't never seen no Assyrian
Queen! You're just a-makin' that up
outta yore own head!
I did SO see an Assyrian Queen.
In whose green hat?
In the Metropolitan Museum's green
hat, that's whose green hat.
Francis' pocket watch CHIMES. He wakes, rises, puts on his hat and moves
absently toward the door. Seeing this, Shep, Bill and Cary shout at him:
"Whoa!" Francis pauses in the doorway and sleepily turns to the others.
Hold on there! Where you goin'?
You're not going anywhere. You're on
You go back to your turtles, hear?
You've been neglecting your
Francis moves to the hanging basket of turtles, takes off his hat and, bottle
in hand, wets his fingers and sprinkles the turtles. Curious, the old
gentleman rises to join him. Francis explains as he works:
I have to sprinkle the turtles, see?
Sprinkle the turtles?
The old gentleman nods and clicks his tongue with understanding.
Cool 'em off.
Turtles get feverish on trains.
Ahh! Uh huh.
A woman's SCREAM drifts in from the corridor.
The men hear Nikki SCREAMING.
Francis, Cary, Bill and Shep -- in that order -- scramble out the door,
leaving the old gentleman behind.
Cary! Bill! Shep!
The men rush down the corridor to:
INT. NIKKI'S COMPARTMENT - A MOMENT LATER
Frink grapples with a half-dressed Nikki, his lips pressed to her neck as she
struggles to free herself from his grasp.
Energized by Nikki's peril, Francis bursts in and pulls Frink away from her.
Nikki grabs a wrap from the turned-down bed and covers herself as Frink pushes
Francis hard into a nearby wall, knocking him to the floor.
Get out of here!
Frink turns back to a defiant Nikki as Cary enters and sees a dazed Francis
slumped against the wall, clutching his head. Cary grabs Frink's shoulder and
spins him around.
Say, what's the idea?
What's the idea? Well, what business
is that of yours?
By now, Bill and Shep have entered and joined the tense confrontation.
Nikki, you all right? What is this
tough trying to do to you anyway?
Well, I was just going to bed and he
came in and flang himself all over
Frink, you'd better get out of here
right away before something happens
What right have you to tell me to
get out of here? This isn't your
compartment, is it?
Oh, I see. You wanna argue about it.
If you don't clear out of here right
now, you're liable to get hurt.
All right. Suppose you put me out.
Put him out? I'll snap his spine and
throw him off the train!
Cary rolls his eyes at this remark and wisely holds Bill back.
Hold everything, Bill!
Distraught, Nikki sinks down on a chair.
Oh, dear, does everybody have to act
Frink turns to her in protest.
I'm not gonna let these silly drunks
tell ME where to get off.
Silly drunks, did you say?
Yes. And that goes for the whole
bunch of you.
Let me have him.
Wait a minute. I'll take care of
You will, eh?
Frink starts to strong-arm Cary. Cary punches Frink in the jaw, knocking him
onto the bed.
As Frink slumps down to floor and leans against the bed, half-conscious,
Francis rises and watches the proceedings with a hand on his head.
Cary, fist still tightly clenched, stands over the dazed Frink as Bill
brightens considerably and wipes his hands with delight.
Mm! Now, ain't that nice? Have you
ever seen anything so cute?
Francis exits uncertainly.
Will you be all right now, Nikki?
(to Bill and Shep)
Grab hold of that fella and drag him
out of here.
Cary exits. Bill and Shep haul Frink to his feet.
Come to papa.
Nikki watches Bill and Shep lead Frink out the door.
INT. CARY'S COMPARTMENT - A MOMENT LATER
Francis sits by the window, rubbing his head. Cary arrives and sits down next
to him. Cary takes Francis' water bottle and hands it to him.
Here, Francis. Do your stuff.
Bill and Shep carry Frink in and dump him on the seat opposite Francis. Bill
walks off, wiping his hands happily. The others are grim, furious at Frink for
his actions. Shep watches a disgusted Francis soak his hand and sprinkle Frink
as if he were one of Nikki's turtles. Frink snaps out of his daze.
Frink, don't you know better than
to try a stunt like that?
Oh, I - I lost my head over the
girl is all. I'm sorry. I apologize.
Well, you apologize to Nikki in the
morning. And don't you ever get out
of line again. The next time, it
might be different.
Francis pointedly sprinkles Frink one last time. They give each other a dark
look. Francis fingers the neck of the water bottle as if he were going to use
it to smash Frink in the face. As they glare ominously at one another, we
EXT. LISBON, PORTUGAL - DAY
Crowded city street. A superimposed title reads: LISBON
LISBON NIGHT MONTAGE
Cocktail shaker in the hands of an expert who shakes it rhythmically as
appropriate Latin MUSIC begins. This DISSOLVES TO a kaleidoscopic VIEW of our
protagonists enjoying the night life: Nikki's image dominates at the center,
surrounded by images of the men in dinner clothes. Everyone drinks, except
Frink who smokes a cigarette and stares, desirous and snakelike, presumably at
DISSOLVE TO Nikki and her war birds (minus Frink) seated at a bar in an
otherwise empty club late at night, wearing goofy party hats. They swallow a
last drink and start to leave -- laughing, talking, merrily blowing little
party horns, taking a bottle or two with them, and waving to an unseen
bartender as they go. Someone says, "Good night." We TRACK IN for a closer
look at the bar, covered with many empty glasses.
And the music and the montage end.
INT. CARY AND SHEP'S HOTEL ROOM - DAY
Cary, wearing a robe, sees Shep still asleep in bed. Cary puts on a party hat,
sits on the edge of his own bed opposite Shep's, picks up a party horn and
blows into it, hard. The horn SQUEALS horribly. Shep wakes with a start and
sits up in bed, completely unnerved. Cary laughs at him and, with his clenched
hands, picks up a bottle.
Wake up, ya big sissy.
(pours a drink)
Here, drink this. It'll make you
laugh and play like any old thing.
Shep groans and sighs as Cary hands him a glass with his fists.
Say, Cary, what day is this?
Wednesday? Wednesday what?
What month, I mean?
You mean to say you don't know what
month this is?
I knew once but I forgot.
Well, it's June. The merry month of
June? Say, maybe I better get up.
Cary looks at Shep, amused.
What town are we in?
You're in Lisbon, Portugal.
Lisbon. That's where I thought it
was. I just wanted to check up is
(a little concerned)
Say, what's the matter with you,
Shep? Don't you really know where
you are or what day it is?
I kind of lose track of things.
Say, this is getting serious.
Cary lets the goofy hat fall off his head into his hand and sets it aside.
Serious? Is anything serious any
Well, it's serious when you don't
know where you're at. What's gonna
become of you?
By now, Shep has polished off his drink. He sets down the empty glass.
Oh, I'll be all right when I've had
a couple of drinks. Say, what town
did you say this was?
I just told you, Lisbon. Come on,
now, pull yourself together, Shep.
We gotta get organized for the
Shep, excited, gets out from under the bedcovers.
(like a little kid)
Bull-fight? Are we going to a
Sure. A Portuguese bull-fight.
Is that guy Frink coming along?
Gee, isn't there any way we can get
rid of that guy?
Somebody'll have to shoot him.
Shep rises and walks off.
Not a bad idea at that.
Cary watches him go and blows his party horn, wryly.
EXT. ARENA - DAY
A bugler blows his own horn, grandly, while standing before colorful bull-
fight posters that read: CORRIDA DE TOUROS
A crowd files in under an arched entranceway. Our little group enters, dressed
for a day at the fights.
Praca de Touros!
And, sure enough, the words over a decorated archway read: PRACA DE TOUROS
I wonder if there's a bar inside or
A friendly, English-speaking Portuguese man named Pedro overhears this and
Sure, there IS a bar.
Let's find the bar. We gotta get
organized for the bull-fight.
Right this way.
Pedro leads and they happily follow.
INT. THE BAR - MINUTES LATER
Led by their guide, Pedro, the group files in and lines up at the bar. A tiny,
extremely drunken old man is the only other customer.
Oh, boy! Lookit that bar, would ya?
Isn't that a beautiful thing?
What are you all gonna have?
Beer is what I want.
Nikki and Cary stand together at the bar.
I don't like beer.
Make you leap like a tuna.
Don't wanna leap like a tuna.
Make you bark like a fox.
Don't wanna bark like a fox.
Make you laugh and play.
That's what I wanna do! Laugh and
(to the bartender)
Bill, glass raised, proposes a toast. On the wall behind him is the shadow of
the drunken old man, standing in roughly the same pose.
Well, men, fire and fall back!
As Bill drinks, the old man's shadow wobbles forward. Bill hears the sound of
liquid SPATTERING. He stops drinking and looks puzzled.
A stream of liquid pours down onto Bill's right foot, soaking his sock and shoe.
Bill turns to find the drunken old man leaning at an unsteady angle, the
alcohol spilling steadily out of a glass in the man's hand and onto Bill's
Hey! What's the idea?
The others, lined up at the bar, see this and laugh. The drunken old man
brushes some lint off Bill's jacket as Bill shakes his pant leg, amused.
Well, I hope I don't catch a cold
in my left ear.
Band MUSIC plays. Cary looks up, concerned.
Hey, drink your drinks! We'll miss
The group hurriedly finish and exit. Shep pays the tab. Bill, followed by the
old man, shakes his pant leg and limps along after the others.
EXT. ARENA - MINUTES LATER
The crowd CHEERS and the band PLAYS as a parade of matadors, picadors and
banderilleros enters the ring.
Led by their guide, Pedro, the group takes seats in the front row, back of the
trenches. They have to sit close down so Nikki can see things. The drunken old
man from the bar tags along behind Bill like a puppy dog and tries to sit next
to him but Pedro pointedly directs him to a seat in the second row.
When Bill rises to cheer the parade, the drunken old man also rises and taps
him affectionately on the shoulder. Bill turns and greets him pleasantly,
shaking his hand.
Well! My old pal!
The old man tips his hat to Bill and sits. Bill shakes his pant leg and gives
the old man a wry look before also sitting.
IN THE RING
The parade ends. A matador throws his montera (his black woolen hat) into the
IN THE FRONT ROW
Cary catches the hat, much to the group's delight -- they shout "Hooray!"
Immediately, a cape is hurled at Bill who drapes it over the railing before
them. Cary offers the hat to Nikki.
Nikki, here's a present for you.
Oh, a hat!
Oh, señor, no, no, no -- you must
not keep the hat. You must put a
little present in it and return it
to the matador after the fight.
What kind of present?
Well, eh - a little jewelry.
Something you have like the chain or
the watch or the - the - the
cigarette case or the cuff links or
- or the--
A trumpet FANFARE. The crowd CHEERS. Bill points, excited.
Look! Here he comes!
IN THE RING
A bull charges into view. Bull-fighter and bull face off. The bull makes ten
passes, faster and closer each time.
IN THE FRONT ROW
Bill sits next to Pedro.
Nice work! Good work.
What's so good about it?
He works close to the bull.
Is that so dangerous?
Sure, it's dangerous. Bull-fighting
is very dangerous. It takes a lot of
courage to go into the bull ring.
Bill scoffs and waves dismissively. Cary leans in with a query.
Is it true the bull is blind when he
He sees only the cape -- perhaps.
IN THE RING
Bull-fighter and bull continue their duel. Finally, the bull gets the
advantage and others must rush in to distract the bull.
IN THE FRONT ROW
Bill is unimpressed.
Bet I could run that bull bow-legged.
You know, I should have BEEN a
You should have started at twelve
years of old.
I bet I could start right now.
(puts a hand on
Sit still and behave yourself.
Bull-fighting is not for Americans.
You think we haven't got the nerve
Why, listen, bull-fighting is just
for us, the Latins.
He thinks we're a-scared!
He tackled a horse once.
(stares at Bill)
Tackle a horse?
Full of himself, Bill nods.
(turns away; flatly)
Is not the same!
Everyone suddenly stares in shock as:
IN THE RING
the bull knocks down the matador. Others rush in to distract the bull which
runs wild, out of control.
IN THE FRONT ROW
Frink nudges Francis awake and points out the carnage in the ring. Francis
glances at the spectacle briefly and then sleepily applauds. Frink gives him a
look and nudges him to stop clapping. Francis simply goes back to sleep.
WILD BULL MONTAGE
The toreros try to control the bull but it refuses to cooperate.
The crowd watches intently. Bill takes off his own hat and picks up the
matador's cap that Cary had caught.
Toreros scramble and run for their lives. The bull chases them down, runs
across the ring, forcing them to jump the barrera, the protective wooden
barrier that circles the inside of the arena.
Bill, now wearing the cap, can't resist leaning over and mocking a group of
toreros who huddle in the callejon, the safe side of the barrier, just below
Nice work, Tony! Nice work, Joe!
The toreros look up at Bill in surprise. One of them responds in Portuguese
with a gesture toward the ring, as if to ask "If it's so easy, why don't you
try it?" The other toreros laugh.
Bill stares into the ring, a savage look in his eyes. He puts a leg up on the
He jumps down into the ring.
Cary rises, stunned.
Bill! Come back here!
But it is too late. Bill's coat is already off and he waves it like a cape as
he stalks after the bull.
The bull turns and sees him.
Bill moves toward it, waving his coat and grinning like a madman.
Shep is frozen. Beside him, Nikki screams and turns away.
The bull begins to charge.
Cary climbs over the railing.
The bull charges.
TRACK FAST TOWARD Bill who holds the coat before him -- big eyes, big grin.
The bull is on him. The bull roars.
Bill's face snaps backward in a blur, his coat follows.
The bull gores him through his coat. His face twists in pain.
CUT WIDE as the bull knocks Bill's body around the ring like a rag doll. He
hits the ground hard. Screams from the crowd.
Four toreros rush in.
They surround and distract the bull. Bill lies motionless.
Cary runs across the ring.
More toreros and others rush in, surrounding the bull, finally leading away.
In the front row, Shep, Nikki, Francis, Frink and Pedro watch with concern as
... toreros converge on Bill and try to move his body. Cary joins them.
But Bill is unconscious. A torero says something to Cary in Portuguese. Cary
and the others lift Bill.
Take it easy! Take it easy!
They carry Bill off.
INT. ARENA INFIRMARY - MINUTES LATER
A group of toreros straighten their gleaming spangled jackets and walk off to
reveal Cary standing over a bloodied Bill and holding his hand as medical
personnel prepare to operate. Bill lies flat on a table and smiles, amused
Cary? I slipped.
Too bad. You were doing fine.
Wasn't I, though? Heh. It's a cinch.
Bull-fighting? Just as easy--
Bill breaks off and raises his head to look at the doctor off screen.
Hey, Doc?! Be careful. What are you
To distract him, Cary pulls out a handkerchief and mops Bill's brow which
glistens with sweat.
You know why I slipped, Cary?
No, Bill. Why?
On account of that beer in my shoe.
Bill breaks off and raises himself up again.
Cary gently eases Bill's head back down.
Cary, that bull certainly was
Pedro escorts Shep (in his dark eyeglasses again) and Nikki into the room. The
doctor, in surgical gear, puts on gloves and looks annoyed by the intrusion.
You hurt, Bill?
You all right, Bill?
Sure. I'm all right. I was a big
The doctor has some sharp words for Pedro who acknowledges this and approaches
He wants that we should go right
I'm sure glad that I - I wore my new
blue shorts. I'll be a big success
in the hospital.
Nikki places a hand on his head.
I'll send you my turtles, Bill. And
THEN you'll be a big success.
She turns away, trying not to cry. Shep follows her as they leave.
So long, Bill.
Shep follows Nikki out.
Bill reaches up and pats Cary on the shoulder. Cary looks at the doctor, then
at Bill, before retreating to the door. He turns to look back at Bill who
grins at him.
See ya later - Cary.
Cary can't return the smile. He turns and goes, closing the door behind him.
Bill's attention turns to the doctor whose approaching shadow is cast on the
wall behind him. Bill's smile fades.
EXT. ARENA - MOMENTS LATER
Cary emerges and joins the group who are gathered glumly on some steps.
How is he?
They've just put him to sleep.
Nikki, emotionally fragile, hands Cary his hat.
Why, thank you, Nikki. There's
nothing you can do. You'd better go
back to the hotel.
Put Nikki in a taxi. We'll wait here.
As Frink and Francis exit with Nikki, Pedro approaches Cary with a couple of
Señor, the reporters want to know
why your friend descend into the
Cary looks off and thinks for a moment.
Tell them -- that it seemed like a
good idea - at the time.
Pedro stares at Cary in astonishment. Cary joins Shep and the two of them
stand with their backs to the others as we
EXT. CARNIVAL - NIGHT
The amusement park at Port Mayer. Crowds, carnival NOISES, a carousel with
At a nearby refreshment stand, we find the group, minus Bill. Everyone is
unusually silent and wearing dinner clothes. Francis holds a mug upside-down.
Frink leers at Nikki who ignores him while she, Shep and Cary down their
drinks. They hear:
They look over to see:
A little shooting gallery where customers rent genuine guns to shoot various
colorful targets and win prizes.
Sounds like old times.
Let's go and shoot.
Not a bad idea.
What say, Annie Oakley? Like to
fire off a gun at something?
(to their bartender)
We'll be right back. Hold
The group starts over to:
THE SHOOTING GALLERY
where an assortment of rifles and pistols are neatly laid out. Cary and Shep
escort Nikki to the arsenal while Frink and Francis tag along behind. An
attendant joins them to collect their money and ready their weapons.
First one to miss pays for the drinks.
What'll we shoot at?
Shoot one of those pussycats and see
All right. Look out, pussycat.
Shep FIRES and misses the moving cats that float across the base of the range
on an endless chain and disappear. But he hits a tinier target: a clay pipe
Shep's eyes pop with surprise.
Well, that's what I was aiming at,
a clay pipe.
(stares in amazement)
Whole thing's been misrepresented
Cary laughs at him.
Cary, let's see you shoot something.
Cary takes careful aim.
Look out, ball!
He FIRES and hits a ball balanced atop a stream of water.
What'd YOU aim at?
Well, let's see you shoot something.
Nikki awkwardly raises her little target rifle to her shoulder. The end of the
barrel describes uncertain circles in the air. A multiple exposure point-of-
view shot of the targets reveals that Nikki is a little too tipsy to be
handling a gun. Cary moves to help her.
Oh, no, no, no, Nikki.
How do you hold it still?
Listen, Nikki, on your right
shoulder. Now, put your hand out
there and hold up-- No, don't cover
up the site. No, no, no, that's
right. Now just hold it evenly--
Rapid GUNSHOTS. Cary looks up in surprise. He and Shep turn to watch in
amazement as Francis cuts loose with an automatic rifle, shattering a whole
row of pipes with split-second firing.
The others cheer as Francis lowers the weapon and stares moodily at an
astonished and, apparently, very drunk Frink. Cary takes this moment to
You can do better than that. Show
She again tries unsuccessfully to hold the rifle steady. Amused, Frink picks
up a pistol and imitates her.
What are you waving at, Nikki?
Cary sees Frink pointing his gun at Nikki and moves to intervene, grabbing
Frink's wrist with both hands.
Look out! Why, you fool. Don't you
know better than that?
Shep and Francis move to shield Nikki.
What's the idea?
Pointing a loaded gun at Nikki?
Take your hands off me.
Put down that gun!
Let go of my wrist!
Frink violently pulls free of Cary's grasp and, as he does, the gun goes off
with a BANG. Francis hurries Nikki to safety in the opposite direction. Shep
backs away, clutching his side -- for a moment, it looks very much as if he's
been hit. Cary pursues and confronts Frink.
Put down that gun!
Frink backs up to a nearby lamp post and, wielding the pistol, points it at
Cary. His face is tense, savage.
Listen, you keep your hands off me!
I've had enough from you! You try
any more of your rough stuff on
A nervous crowd of passersby pauses to watch the showdown.
Oh, so that's how it is. I thought
we taught you how to behave.
Frink, drunk and frustrated, starts to lose it completely.
You taught ME how to behave?! Listen,
you'd better behave now or you'll
I don't think so. I'll give you
three to put down that gun. It'll be
just too bad if you don't.
Too bad for who?!
Frink cocks the hammer.
Cary moves slowly toward Frink.
Keep away from me! I'll shoot, I
tell ya! I'll shoot!
Frink and Cary are less than a yard apart.
I'll shoot! I'll shoot!
GUNSHOTS. Cary flinches. Frink drops the pistol, his face twisted in pain. He
starts to fall.
Nearby, Francis coolly FIRES his rifle, pumping seven bullets into Frink.
Members of the crowd SCREAM in terror. Instinctively, Shep (still clutching
his side) and Nikki each put a restraining hand on Francis' arm. Francis
lowers the rifle, staring in horror and amazement at what he's just done.
Cary rushes over and pulls the rifle out of Francis' hands.
Francis snaps out of his trance as Cary hurriedly returns the rifle to the
gallery. Shep and Nikki watch, stunned, as Francis immediately moves to Cary
and shakes his hand.
Francis turns to Shep and Nikki for equally heartfelt handshakes, an odd look
on his face.
They realize he is saying a final goodbye. The crowd presses in as Francis
glances back at Frink before turning and hurrying off.
As a huge crowd rushes in the direction of the shooting gallery, Francis
threads his way through it in the opposite direction and, with only the
briefest glance backward, rounds a corner to disappear behind a building.
Cary stares at Frink's body as the gathering crowd streams into view, then
quickly starts to lead a shaken Shep and Nikki away from the shooting gallery.
We've got to get out of here. Come
on, Shep. Come on.
They slip through the thick fringe of excited people fast gathering in front
of the shooting gallery and hurry off in the same direction as Francis who is
BEHIND THE CARNIVAL BUILDINGS
on a dark, deserted street. Distant crowd NOISE and carnival MUSIC drifts in.
Under the light of a street lamp on the edge of the carnival, Francis strolls
casually into view and swings a leg over a slackly hung boundary rope, pausing
to glance backward. He sees ...
... Cary, Shep and Nikki as they round the corner and pause, a little
breathless, to lean against a wall. Shep, his fist still at his side, slumps
weakly as Cary and Nikki stare at ...
... Francis who briefly makes eye contact and then, without a word, turns,
steps over the rope and, pulling his jacket collar up around his neck, walks
off, instantly swallowed up by the darkness.
Cary and Nikki stare after him, astonished.
That's the last of Francis, I'm
afraid. We'll never see him again.
Did you notice his eyes? That's the
first time I ever saw Francis really
happy. What'll happen to him, do you
Don't worry about, Francis. He'll
take care of himself. Let's get out
of here. Let's walk.
Shep leans weakly against the wall, his eyes glassy.
No. Don't want to walk. Let's take
Cary quickly moves to a signal a cab parked nearby. Nikki rests a sympathetic
hand on Shep.
THE BACK SEAT OF THE TAXI CAB - MOMENTS LATER
As the cab jolts down an uneven street and drives slowly through the crowded
carnival, the MUSIC continues. Cary and Shep sit on either side of Nikki. Cary
is as edgy as Shep is subdued.
Did you see the way Francis poured
lead into that fellow?
Fast? Chain lightning!
Those slugs went right past my ear.
If I'd've moved an inch, I would've
caught one of them myself.
"Sudden Death," all right.
Nikki takes out a cigarette.
What's the matter with you, Shep?
I've never known you so quiet
That's right. I am kind of quiet.
(holds her unlit
Your lighter working?
Good ol', Nikki -- never has any
As Shep puts his hand in his inside jacket pocket to pull out his cigarette
lighter, a strange look crosses his face.
Sure you want a light?
That's what I want, a light.
Shep pulls out the lighter and flicks it on -- revealing bloodstains on his
white shirt. Nikki stares down at the blood in horror.
Nikki jumps up and moves away from Shep, into a seat opposite.
What is it?
Cary turns to Shep, who slumps back weakly against his seat with a strange
look of release and satisfaction on his face.
It's a forgery.
Cary examines Shep, reaching in to feel his bloody wound.
Do something for him, Cary! Oh,
He's been shot!
What can we do, Cary?! What can we
Shep, why didn't you say you were
Good old Cary. Sweet Nikki. You may
not believe it but this is the best
thing that ever happened to me.
Oh, Shep, Shep, don't say that.
You'll be all right. We'll get you
to a hospital.
Shep puts a hand on Cary's arm as the taxi continues to jolt along down the
No, no, Cary. Don't rush me anywheres.
Let's sit here for a while. The--
Hurts, the jolting.
Urgently, Cary reaches over and bangs on the glass between themselves and the
In front of the carnival's slowly revolving carousel, the cab rolls to a stop.
The carousel MUSIC drifts in. Shep hardly moves -- head back, blank eyes
staring, voice dreamy and weak. Cary puts his face close to Shep's, listening
That's better. You know, Cary, I feel
- just like we're falling -- long
time ago. Do you remember? Spinning
... spinning ... spinning. Only you
brought me down safe. Oh, Cary. Good
Best flyer in the service.
Nikki, seated opposite, is distraught.
Oh, Shepard, Shepard, darling.
We're gonna make a safe landing
Not this time, Cary. Ol' Shep's
Say, but we're spinning fast. Level
off. Cary, level off.
Shep's head slumps down. His face presses against Cary's shoulder.
Oh, Shepard, Shepard, darling.
Cary can't look at him. Eyes wide, Cary slowly presses his cheek to Shep's.
Shep? - Shep?! - Shep!
Cary looks as if he is on the verge of tears. And yet he cannot bring himself
EXT. TRAIN WHEELS
ROAR down a railroad track.
INT. TRAIN COMPARTMENT - NIGHT
Nikki cranks her portable phonograph, turns it on and puts the needle to the
record -- Toselli's "Serenade," that strange, sad composition that haunted
Europe at the close of the Great War.
As the bittersweet romantic music plays, she listens for a moment. Then she
turns and sidles over to sit next to Cary who is seated by the window,
scribbling something on a piece of paper beside a small lamp.
What are you writing, Cary?
A letter. A letter to Shep's mother.
Mind if I read it?
Nikki reads the letter silently. A long pause.
Why, Cary. Cary, that's the most
beautiful letter I've ever read.
Nikki turns away and begins to cry, quietly.
Please forgive me for crying, Cary.
I can't help it. You don't mind if I
cry just a minute, do you?
Cary puts aside the letter.
Can't you cry, Cary?
But you have cried sometime in your
life, haven't you?
Long, long time ago. Before the war.
And you can't cry now? Not even for
Shep Lambert spent his life in the
war. He had nothing more to give. He
had died once. And he was ready to
This time he was played out with
music. That was the way he wanted it.
And Bill Talbot was a big success in
the hospital in his new blue shorts.
Maybe he'll tackle the angel Gabriel
and - be a big success again.
Maybe Francis will forget to wind
his chiming watch one day and go on
sleeping. Till the end. It doesn't
matter now. Without them, nothing
matters. We only had each other.
Comradeship was all we had left.
And now that's gone, too.
And you, Cary? You? You're alone
That's right. I'm alone now.
I don't want you to be alone, Cary.
Let me stay with you. Let me be with
He takes her hand, looks at her affectionately.
Why, Nikki. You're sweet.
He kisses her hand. A strange, apprehensive look crosses her face as she turns
her hand over in his hands and opens it -- to reveal a heart-shaped stone.
Cary looks at her in surprise.
Why, Nikki, you kept it. You didn't
She lowers her eyes for a moment, then looks at him.
No harm can come to our true love.
No harm can come to our true love?
Oh, Nikki, you've become very dear
to me. I want to help you. Can't I
do something for you, too? What do
you want? What can I get you?
Well, I've always wanted a pair of
He gives her an uncomprehending look but then breaks into a smile as she
buries her head lovingly in his shoulder. He kisses her hand again.
in a dark, bleak landscape as it chugs away down the track.
Last Flight, The
Writers : John Monk Saunders
Genres : Drama