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	M E E T   J O E   B L A C K

	Screenplay by Bo Goldman

	--------------------------------------------------------------

	EXT. ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. - 4:00 AM

	A patch of water. PULL BACK TO REVEAL more water.  BACK
	FARTHER TO REVEAL an expanse of river, up the bank to
	massive lawn running up to a great, classic Hudson River
	manor house; the country estate of William Parrish.

	INT. PARRISH COUNTRY ESTATE - 4:00 AM

	MOVE THROUGH French doors that lead from a wide terrace into
	an expansive living room, DOWN wide corridors lined with
	Bierstadt and Cole paintings, the Hudson River School, mists
	and trees and small boats and distant humans.

	INT. PARRISH BEDROOM - 4:00 AM

	MOVE THROUGH the doorway to reveal a master bedroom furnish-
	ed with exquisite simplicity, revelatory of its sleeping
	occupant, WILLIAM PARRISH, 64, a warm but commanding face, a
	man of maturity yet who exudes a glow of enthusiasm.

	Although asleep, there is an uncommon restlessness to him.
	Parrish grips his upper arm as if in pain.  Now the severity
	of the pain wakes him, he squeezes his arm.  The wind comes
	up, through the wind a VOICE is heard distantly, or is it the
	wind itself:

			     VOICE (V.O.)
		... Yes.

	Parrish blinks, has he heard something, has he not, he is
	not sure, he releases his arm, his grimace of pain fades,
	the discomfort seems momentarily to have subsided.

	He rises now, crosses to the bathroom.  As he pees, a breeze
	outside the window, the wind again, but then the Voice comes
	up:

			     VOICE (V.O.)
		Yes...

	It is unmistakably a Voice, it is not the wind, Parrish has
	heard something, he looks around, but no one is there.  He
	can't finish peeing, turns back to his bedroom.  All beweild-
	ered, Parrish looks around once more, climbs back into bed,
	trying to trace the source of what he has heard or hasn't
	heard; he is not sure.

	He pulls the covers up now, not a SOUND, tries to close his
	eyes.

			     VOICE (V.O.)
		Yes.

	Parrish sits up again, frightened, but still there is no one
	there, he seems fraught with indecision, should he get up,
	should he not, what is happening?  He looks out: absolute
	stillness and silence, CRICKETS chirp down by the river, a
	light FLICKERS from a shadboat, Parrish closes his eyes but
	then they flutter open, he glances up at the ceiling and
	finally, exhausted, falls back asleep.

	EXT. REAR TERRACE, PARRISH COUNTRY ESTATE - NEXT MORNING

	The great lawn infested with workmen, planting stakes, un-
	rolling a huge canvas tent, gardeners fashioning topiary and
	adding landscaping of their own, crews setting up platforms,
	speakers, lights.  Ubiquitous is ALLISON, 35, Parrish's
	older daughter, foremen competing for her attention and she
	relishing every moment.

	A Painter approaches.

			     PAINTER
		The big tent, Miss Allison --

			     ALLISON
		Paint is rust and moss green.
		Medieval colors -- Daddy's like
		an old knight.

	A Florist stops her.

			     FLORIST
		The head table --?

			     ALLISON
		What about it?

			     FLORIST
		The flowers, ma'am--?

			     ALLISON
		Freesia, freesia, everywhere.  Daddy
		loves freesia -- and you, over there,
		lights.  Not too bright.  I'm looking
		for a saffron glow -- sort of tea-
		dance twenties.

	EXT. GREAT HALL, COUNTRY ESTATE - MORNING

	Parrish, groomed for the day, trots down the stairs, observ-
	ing the activity outside through the windows.  He checks his
	watch, strides down the hall, encounters MAY, 50, a family
	retainer who is opening the doors to the terrace as Parrish
	passes.

			     PARRISH
		What do you think of all this, May?

			     MAY
		It's going to be beautiful.  And
		Miss Allison says the President may
		come.

			     PARRISH
		Oh, the President's got better
		things to do than come to my
		birthday party.

			     MAY
			(smiling)
		What?

	Parrish grins, continues on, is intercepted by Allison who,
	on catching sight of him, bounces in from the terrace.

			     ALLISON
		Daddy!

			     PARRISH
		Hi, Allison --

			     ALLISON
		Have you got a minute?

			     PARRISH
		Not much more.  Big day in the big
		city.  What's on your mind?

			     ALLISON
		Fireworks.  Update -- we're con-
		structing the number '65' on the
		barge, archers from the State
		College at New Paltz will shoot
		flaming arrows at it, when it
		catches fire it will give us the
		effect of a Viking funeral with none
		of the morbidity... The Hudson River
		Authority says, for you, they'll
		make a special dispensation - of
		course there'll be an overtime bill
		for the Poughkeepsie Fire Dept...

			     PARRISH
		Allison, I trust you.  This is your
		thing.

			     ALLISON
		But it's your birthday.

	Parrish smiles complaisantly, they continue on into a break-
	fast room where SUSAN, 30, Parrish's younger daughter, is
	grazing at a table laden with cereals and fruits and coffee.

			     SUSAN
		Good morning, Dad.

			     PARRISH
		Hi, honey.

			     ALLISON
			(to Susan)
		I'm Allison, you're 'honey'.

			     SUSAN
			(smiling)
		Drew called from the AStar, they're
		still two minutes away.

			     PARRISH
		Drew's aboard?

			     SUSAN
		He wanted to ride back down with
		you. Now sit and relax, get some-
		thing in that flat tummy of yours --

	But Parrish only pours coffee.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
			(to Allison)
		You coming?

			     ALLISON
		You've got patients waiting, I've
		got three hysterical chefs, one
		loves truffles, the other hates
		truffles, the third one doesn't know
		what truffles are.  I'd better drive
		down.

	Parrish gazes at the going-on outside which are increasing
	in intensity.

			     PARRISH
			(unconsciously)
		I hate parties --

			     ALLISON
		Calm down, Daddy, you'll see, you're
		going to love it.

			     PARRISH
		Isn't it enough to be on this earth
		sixty-five years without having to
		be reminded of it.

			     ALLISON
		No.

	Allison goes, Susan observes Parrish fidgeting.

			     SUSAN
		Will you relax?  I know it is a big
		deal day --

			     PARRISH
		How did you know?

			     SUSAN
		Drew told me.

			     PARRISH
		Does Drew tell you everything?

			     SUSAN
		I hope so.

			     PARRISH
		You like him, don't you?

			     SUSAN
		Yeah.  I guess so.

	A moment.

			     PARRISH
		I don't like to interfere.

			     SUSAN
		...Then don't.

	The helicopter CHOPS in overhead.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		-- Here comes our boy now --
		Shall we?

	EXT. COUNTRY ESTATE - MORNING

	A BUTLER and May carry the overnight bags for the family as
	led by Parrish, they hurry towards the helicopter.  En route
	they pass QUINCE, 38, Allison's husband, who is perched at a
	portable bar with AMBROSE, the head caterer, tasting wines.

			     QUINCE
		...This shit's not bad.

			     AMBROSE
		-- The late harvest Riesling, Mr.
		Quince, a possibility for dessert.

			     QUINCE
			(pointing to another
			 bottle)
		And that?

			     AMBROSE
		Pinot Grigio.  We're considering it
		for the appetizer.

	Ambrose takes a sip, swishes the wine in his mouth, spits it
	in a bucket.

			     QUINCE
		What do you do that for?

			     AMBROSE
		Well sir, it's 9:30 in the morning.

			     QUINCE
		9:30's almost 10:30.  Where I come
		from, the sun's over the yardarm,
		m'boy, and the cocktail lamp is lit.

	Quince drains his wine, presents it for a refill, when he is
	hailed by Allison.

			     ALLISON
		Quince!  Everybody's waiting!

	Quince downs this glass too, runs for the helicopter as
	DREW, 34, a young man going places, emerges from it,
	approaches Parrish and Susan.

			     DREW
			(to Susan)
		Hello, Beautiful.

			     SUSAN
		Hi.

	Drew kisses her, over her shoulder he glances at Parrish.

			     PARRISH
		Good morning, Drew.  Thanks for
		coming out.

			     DREW
		Well, it's a big day.  Wanted to
		line up a few ducks before kickoff.
		Any thoughts?  Last minute refine-
		ments or variations?

			     PARRISH
		'Thoughts'?  Not a one -- but I did
		hear a voice last night.

			     DREW
		A voice?

			     PARRISH
		In my sleep.

			     DREW
		What'd it say?

			     PARRISH
		'Yes'.

			     DREW
		'Yes' to the deal?

			     PARRISH
		Maybe, who knows?  You know how
		voices are.  Let's go.

	Quince comes running up now.

			     QUINCE
		Hi, Bill --

			     PARRISH
		Good morning, Quince.

			     QUINCE
		How're you doing--?

			     PARRISH
		I'm doing great.  You ready?

			     QUINCE
		I am, this is it.  B Day.

			     PARRISH
		How's that, Quince?

			     QUINCE
		Bontecou Day.  Going to close
		with Big John -- Look at you, Bill,
		all cool as a cat and over at
		Bontecou's, I'll bet he's shitting
		in his pants.

			     ALLISON
			(to Quince)
		Honey, please.

			     QUINCE
		Okay.  All aboard - New York, New
		York!

			     ALLISON
		Remember everybody, tonight, dinner
		in the city at Daddy's.  You too,
		Drew.  We've still got some loose
		ends --

			     PARRISH
		Not my birthday again?

			     SUSAN
		You're only six-five once.

			     PARRISH
		Thank God.  Now could we go?  Let's
		get this day started.

	Drew ushers everybody on, first Parrish, then Susan and
	Quince, Drew the last to climb on, shuts the door behind him
	As Allison hurries away from the whirling rotors.

	INT. ASTAR HELICOPTER - DAY

	The configuration of seats has Drew beside Parrish, in front
	of them Quince and Susan opposite each other in single seats.
	Just as Drew removes color-coded folders from his attache
	case and spreads them out for Parrish on his tray table, the
	pilot waves to Drew, indicating 'phone call'.  Drew gets up
	and heads for the cockpit, Parrish scans the folders, glances
	over at Susan who is making some notes on a file of her own.
	He motions to her to please come sit beside him, she checks
	that Drew is still busy in the cockpit, tucks her papers into
	her carryall, and crosses over to Parrish who folds away the
	work that Drew set before him into his tray table, locks it.

			     SUSAN
		I thought you were in a meeting--?

			     PARRISH
		I am.  With you.

	He peers up ahead at Drew, on the telephone and gesticulat-
	ing intensely, right at home in the cockpit despite the CHOP
	of the blades and the pilot pressed up against him.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		Do you love Drew?

			     SUSAN
		...There's a start for a meeting.

			     PARRISH
		I know it's none of my business --

	Susan doesn't answer for a moment, then impulsively kisses her
	father on the cheek.

			     SUSAN
		No, it's none of your business.

	Another moment.

			     PARRISH
		Do you love Drew?

			     SUSAN
		You mean like you loved Mom?

			     PARRISH
		Forget about me and Mom -- are you
		going to marry him?

			     SUSAN
		Probably.

	A moment.

			     PARRISH
			(smiles)
		Don't get carried away.

			     SUSAN
		Uh oh --

			     PARRISH
		Susan, you're a hell of a woman.
		You've got a great career, you're
		beautiful --

			     SUSAN
		And I'm your daughter and no man
		will ever be good enough for me.

			     PARRISH
		Well, I wasn't going to say that --

			     SUSAN
		What were you going to say?

			     PARRISH
		Listen, I'm crazy about the guy --
		He's smart, he's aggressive, he
		could carry Parrish Communications
		into the 21st century and me along
		with it.

			     SUSAN
		So what's wrong with that?

			     PARRISH
		That's for me.  I'm talking about
		you.  It's not so much what you say
		about Drew, it's what you don't say.

			     SUSAN
		You're not listening --

			     PARRISH
		Oh yes, I am.  Not an ounce of
		excitement, not a whisper of a
		thrill, this relationship has all
		the passion of a pair of titmice.

			     SUSAN
		Don't get dirty, Dad --

			     PARRISH
		Well, it worries me.  I want you
		to get swept away.  I want you to
		levitate.  I want you to sing with
		rapture and dance like a dervish.

			     SUSAN
		That's all?

			     PARRISH
		Be deliriously happy.  Or at least
		leave yourself open to be.

			     SUSAN
		'Be deliriously happy'.  I'm going
		to do my upmost --

	He smiles.

			     PARRISH
		I know it's a cornball thing but
		love is passion, obsession, someone
		you can't live without.  If you
		don't start with that, what are you
		going to end up with?  I say fall
		head over heels.  Find someone you
		can love like crazy and who'll love
		you the same way back.  And how do
		you find him?  Forget your head and
		listen to your heart.  I'm not
		hearing any heart.
			(a moment)
		Run the risk, if you get hurt, you'll
		come back.  Because, the truth is
		there is no sense living your life
		without this.  To make the journey
		and not fall deeply in love -- well,
		you haven't lived a life at all.
		You have to try.  Because if you
		haven't tried, you haven't lived.

			     SUSAN
		Bravo.

			     PARRISH
		Aw, you're tough.

			     SUSAN
		I'm sorry.  But give it to me again.
		The short version.

			     PARRISH
		Stay open.  Who knows?  Lightning
		could strike.

	Silence.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		Forgive the lecture --

			     SUSAN
		I won't.  And when I tell Drew about
		it, he won't either.

			     PARRISH
		You won't tell him, and even if you
		did, he'd clock it and punch it into
		his laptop in order to pull out some
		key phrases when he gives the
		Commencement Speech at Wharton.

			     SUSAN
		You're terrible.

			     PARRISH
		I know.  But I'm the only father
		you've got.

	She kisses him on the cheek.

			     SUSAN
		Thank God.

			     PARRISH
		He doesn't care.  But thanks anyway.

	EXT. 34TH STREET HELIPAD, NEW YORK CITY - DAY

	The AStar lands, an attendant, waiting with a luggage cart,
	rushes to open the door and unload the bags.  The passengers,
	Parrish paired with Quince, Drew with Susan, file off the
	rooftop through a door which opens into an elevator.

	INT. ELEVATOR, NEW YORK CITY - DAY

	Parrish, Susan, Drew and Quince face forward as they ride
	downwards.

			     QUINCE
		Hey, this is it, the hour approach-
		es, I'm getting all excited.  So
		what do you think, is it --
			(indicates Drew and
			 Parrish)
		-- just the 'Executive Committee' or
		could you guys use me?

			     DREW
		Quince, m'man, thanks for the offer,
		but it's all set for just me and Bill.
		More people might --

			     QUINCE
		I know.  Gum up the works.

	Parrish is about to make some reassuring comment to Quince
	when the Voice suddenly intrudes:

			     VOICE (V.O.)
		'...I know, it's none of my
		business.'

			     PARRISH
		What?

			     DREW
		I was saying to Quince we won't
		need --

			     PARRISH
		Did you just hear something?

			     DREW
		Why yes, Bill, I was saying to
		Quince --

			     PARRISH
		No no, not you.

			     SUSAN
		Daddy, what's the matter?

			     PARRISH
		Nothing.  I'm sorry.

	A respectful silence, the elevator continues downwards,
	suddenly the Voice intrudes again:

			     VOICE (V.O.)
		'...I want you to levitate.  I want
		you to sing with rapture and dance
		like a dervish.'

	Parrish grunts bizarrely, Susan notices and reacts:

			     SUSAN
		What is it, Daddy --?

			     PARRISH
		Nothing.

	Parrish's eyes dart about, confirming no one has heard a
	thing but him.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		Just talking to myself again.  You
		know me --

	The elevator door opens.

			     PARRISH
		Well, here we are --

	Parrish leads the group out.

	EXT. 34TH STREET, NEW YORK CITY - DAY

	They exit the building.

			     SUSAN
			(to Parrish)
		Are you okay?

			     PARRISH
		A-Okay.  Got my gloves on, my ears
		pricked.  I'm ready for action.

			     SUSAN
		Well, go get 'em, Pops.

			     PARRISH
		Yer damn right.

	Parrish, followed by Drew, steps into a waiting limousine,
	Quince looks longingly after them.  Susan, blowing a kiss
	goodbye to her father, steps out into the street to hustle a
	cab.

	INT. LOBBY, BONTECOU WORLD HEADQUARTERS - DAY

			     DREW
		...Tomorrow we sign off -- photo
		opportunity, you and Big John, it'll
		lead network news.  Okay so far?

			     PARRISH
		Sounds good.

			     DREW
		It's going to be great --

			     PARRISH
		Do you think I need a haircut?

			     DREW
		Bill, after this deal, you'll be
		able to afford one.

	Parrish smiles, they step into the elevator.

	INT. BONTECOU EXECUTIVE OFFICES - DAY

	Parrish and Drew emerge from the elevator, Parrish observing
	the overkill decor.

			     DREW
		Their PR guy asked me, what did I
		think Parrish Communications stood
		for, that's principle and ethics-
		wise?  I came up with something, but
		then it occurred to me, why don't I
		ask Bill?  What do you think?

	A moment, Parrish shrugs.

			     PARRISH
		Our first annual report, must be
		thirty-five years ago now, I owned
		two stations, I wrote down a state-
		ment of purpose, that one day you
		would wake up to a Parrish radio
		station, read a Parrish paper at
		breakfast, catch our news on tele-
		vision during the day, and go to bed
		with one of our books or magazines
		and you would always be told the
		truth and in the bargain, have a
		good time.

			     DREW
		That's great!  Wait 'til I show it
		to Bontecou.

	Drew opens a door, a conference room, a circle of top exec-
	utives, now stepping out from the group is a huge, white-
	haired man, JOHN BONTECOU, 55.

			     BONTECOU
		Bill, thanks for coming over...
			(to Drew)
		And how're you doing today, Drew?
			(to Parrish)
		You've got a firecracker here, the
		kid's really set the table.

			     PARRISH
		Good, good.  Glad to hear it.

			BONTECOU
		We've met before, y'know, that White
		House function, the President had
		you on his right and you know where
		I was?

			     PARRISH
		I'm sorry, I don't recall --

			     BONTECOU
		Left field somewhere.  Well, Bill, I
		want to come in from the outfield,
		bat cleanup like you have, learn the
		plush ropes --

			     PARRISH
		I thought you were buying my company.

			     BONTECOU
		Oh, Mr. Parrish, I could never buy
		Parrish Communications.  I could pay
		for it, of course, but it would
		always have your imprint.

	Silence.  Parrish looks around at the circle of 'suits',
	Bontecou holding away.

			     PARRISH
		Well, that's very nice to hear.

	Drew nods excitedly.

	EXT. NEW YORK HOSPITAL CORNELL MEDICAL CENTER - DAY

	The busy medical community at 68th Street and New York Avenue.

	INT. CORINTH COFFEE SHOP, NEW YORK AVENUE - DAY

	A thriving eatery diagonally across from the hospital's
	entrance, customers cheek-by-jowl as a pair of waiters
	juggle breakfasts served to a noisy throng of doctors,
	residents and interns.

	Susan has squeezed into a seat in the corner.  A counterman,
	with a smile and a greeting, places a cup of coffee in front
	of her.  A sense this is a daily ritual, arming herself for
	the day; immediately she becomes aware of a man behind her
	speaking into the pay phone.

	An attractive YOUNG MAN, early 30's, a pair of suitcase at
	his feet, a raincoat slung over his shoulder.

			     YOUNG MAN
		...Honey, you've got to go on...
		there's a time to sow and a time to
		reap, you sow now and forget about
		him... yeah, I liked him, I don't
		like him anymore... because you're
		my honey and anybody messes with you
		messes with me -- I'm on a plane in
		a minute... as soon as I get my
		phone in, you're my first call,
		that's a promise... where you going
		now?... good, hit the books, get that
		degree, one day we'll hang out a
		shingle together... you bet, honey...
		later.

	The Young Man hangs up, turns around and sits down to an
	overflowing plate of eggs and meat, potatoes and toast, the
	counterman refills his cup and the Young Man ties into the
	breakfast, eating it with such relish that Susan can't take
	her eyes off him.  He senses her eyes, glances over, his
	cheeks filled with a mouthful of food, swallows embarrassedly.

			     YOUNG MAN
		Good morning, I was talking kind of
		loud there, sorry.

			     SUSAN
		Not at all.  It was fascinating.

			     YOUNG MAN
		Oh yeah?  What was 'fascinating'
		about it?

			     SUSAN
		You and 'Honey'?

			     YOUNG MAN
		My kid sister.  She just broke up
		with her boyfriend and she's
		thinking about dropping out of
		law school.

			     SUSAN
		I'm sorry --

			     YOUNG MAN
		Nothing to be sorry about.  That's
		the way with men and women, isn't
		it?

			     SUSAN
		What's the way?

			     YOUNG MAN
		Nothing lasts.

			     SUSAN
		I agree --

			     YOUNG MAN
		Why?

			     SUSAN
		I was just being agreeable, now I've
		got to explain why?

			     YOUNG MAN
		I'm not trying to sharpshoot you,
		but that 'nothing lasts' stuff,
		that's what was the trouble with
		Honey's guy.  He was fooling around
		and Honey caught him at it.  One
		girlfriend wasn't enough for him.

			     SUSAN
		So you're a one-girl guy?

			     YOUNG MAN
		Damn right.  Looking for her right
		now.  Who knows?  You might be her.

	Susan laughs.

			     YOUNG MAN (cont'd)
		Well, don't laugh.  I just arrived
		in town, got a new job -- I'm trying
		to get into this apartment.  You a
		doctor?

			     SUSAN
		How'd you know?

			     YOUNG MAN
		Everybody's a doctor around here.
		This apartment house is all green
		pajamas and slippers.  The guy I'm
		waiting for to vacate is a doctor.
		What kind of doctor?

			     SUSAN
		Me?  Internal medicine.

	The Young Man smiles.

			     YOUNG MAN
		So if I needed a doctor, you could
		be it?

			     SUSAN
		I could be her.

			     YOUNG MAN
		'Her'.

	A moment.

			     SUSAN
		Yes, I could.
			(a moment)
		I have an office in the hospital.

			     YOUNG MAN
		-- This is my lucky day.  I arrive
		in this big bad city and I not only
		find a doctor, a beautiful woman as
		well.

	Susan looks into her coffee.

			     YOUNG MAN (cont'd)
		I'm sorry, you mind my saying that?

			     SUSAN
		Not at all.

			     YOUNG MAN
		How 'bout another cup of coffee?

			     SUSAN
		I've got patients coming in --

			     YOUNG MAN
		And I want to get into my apartment
		and go to work.  Please, what do you
		say, another cup of coffee?

	Two pots are warming behind the counter, he reaches over and
	refills her cup and his.  Pushes a container and pitcher to-
	wards her.

			     YOUNG MAN (cont'd)
		I see you use lots of sugar and
		cream.  Me, too...

	They smile at each other, fix up their coffee.

	EXT. PARRISH COMMUNICATIONS, NEW YORK CITY - DAY

	A magnificent granite building, a monument to good taste in
	the midtown sea of glass and aluminum.

	INT. OUTER LOBBY, PARRISH COMMUNICATIONS - DAY

	Parrish and Drew enter, no particular fanfare but an aware-
	ness the 'Chief' has arrived, everyone giving Parrish the
	appropriate wide berth, Drew right beside him.

			     DREW
		I'm all excited --

			     PARRISH
		Me, too.

			     DREW
		I thought it was great, I thought
		you and Big John would be like a
		couple of bulls in a china shop --
			(faltering)
		Instead it was --

			     PARRISH
		Like a marriage made in heaven?

			     DREW
		You have a way with words.

	They stride to the main bank of elevators.

	INT. EXECUTIVE OFFICES, PARRISH COMMUNICATIONS - DAY

	Parrish, Drew beside him, proceeds through a high tech, but
	tasteful, maze, spiffy executive secretaries at burnished
	desks.  Neither looking right or left, somehow Parrish man-
	ages to acknowledge their bright smiles and deferential nods
	despite his swift entrance.

	He passes through an open set of doors and he is into his
	own suite, commanded by JENNIFER, his assistant.

			     JENIFER
		Good morning, Mr. Parrish.

			     PARRISH
		Hi, Jennifer.

	Drew is still at Parrish's heels, but now Parrish stops at
	the open door, turns back to him, reminding Drew that this
	is as far as he goes without being invited.

			     DREW
		So... Board convenes tomorrow, you'll
		recommend, we close and it's a deal,
		right?

			     PARRISH
		As close as a deal could be.

			     DREW
			(bursting)
		Olympic.

	Parrish disappears into his office.  Drew, on his way out,
	glides past Jennifer's desk.

			     DREW (cont'd)
		This is our lucky day.

	Jennifer acknowledges Drew with a smile, rises and moves to
	Parrish's doorway, waiting for the day's instructions, but
	Parrish only nods to the door and Jennifer quickly closes
	it, returns to her desk.

	INT. PARRISH'S OFFICE - DAY

	Alone in his office, Parrish's ebullient mood immediately
	changes.  Leaning against the back of the couch, he stares
	out through floor-to-ceiling windows, surveying the
	Manhattan skyline: cogitates.

	He takes a seat on the couch, opens a folder, suddenly he
	flinches with a spasm of pain in his shoulder.  It is sharp
	but brief, he notices it but what it does not continue, he
	ignores it.

	Parrish resumes looking at the folder when suddenly the
	pain comes again.  He reaches for his shoulder, tries to
	massage the pain, it does not subside.  Parrish stands,
	trying to shake it off, but it refuses to go away, some-
	thing is unmistakably wrong.  Now a SOUND which he has
	come to recognize, makes itself heard:

			     VOICE (V.O.)
		Yes.

	Frozen with surprise, Parrish's eyes search the room for the
	source of the SOUND, it comes from no particular direction,
	yet surrounds him.  Suddenly Parrish's symptoms sharply
	intensify, he is sinking to the floor but somehow grabs a
	corner of the desk, holds on with one hand, with the other
	clutches at his shoulder and arm, the pain has violently
	seized the upper part of his body.  He breaks out in a sweat,
	his pallor now waxen as the Voice repeats itself:

			     VOICE (V.O., cont'd)
		...Yes.

	Parrish grips the edge of the desk, the pain assaulting him
	on the one hand, the Voice coming at him from the outer,
	each aberration feeds on the other, he is beside himself,
	consumed with pain and bewildered by what seems to be a
	hallucination but which he is certain is not.  Parrish is
	possessed.  He angles his face in every direction, arbi-
	trarily chooses one and now embarrassedly, unconsciously,
	enrage, responds to the Voice.

			     PARRISH
		'Yes' what?

			     VOICE
		'Yes' is the answer to your
		question.

			     PARRISH
		I didn't ask any question.

			     VOICE
		I believe you did.

	Parrish is absolutely confounded, seized up with pain and
	consternation at this unseen Voice which has such presence
	and reality.

			     PARRISH
		Who are you?

	Silence.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		Goddammit, what is going on?!

			     VOICE
		I think you know --

			     PARRISH
		I don't!

			     VOICE
		Try.  Because 'if you haven't tried,
		you haven't lived'.

	A moment.

			     PARRISH
		What are you talking about?

			     VOICE
		What you were talking about.

	Parrish gasps.

			     PARRISH
		What is this?  Who is this fucking
		guy?

	He holds on tight to the corner of the desk, sweat dripping,
	his skin ashen.  Now he addresses the Voice again, searching
	for it in another direction:

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		Tell me who you are!

			     VOICE
		Are you giving me orders?

			     PARRISH
		I'm sorry, I --

			     VOICE
		No, you're not.  You're trying to
		'handle' the situation but this is
		the one situation you knew you never
		could handle.

	A spasm, the worst one yet, finally it subsides and there is
	an eerie silence in the room, a VOID, almost more disturbing
	than the voice that has filled it.

			     PARRISH
		Where are you?  Are you there?

			     VOICE
		It's enough now.

			     PARRISH
		Please.  Talk to me --

			     VOICE
		There's going to be plenty of time
		for that.

			     PARRISH
		What do you mean?!

			     VOICE
		I think you know --

			     PARRISH
		Know what?
			(a moment)
		Know what, goddammit!

	The VOICE is gone.  Parrish searches the corner, but the
	room has lost the quality it had when it was inhabited by
	the VOICE, it is now just Parrish's office.  Faint SQUEALS of
	traffic from the street, then a KNOCK at the door.

	Parrish touches his shoulder, the pain is gone, but he is
	still wet with sweat, the KNOCK again.  Parrish straightens
	himself up, adjusts his tie, runs his fingers through his
	hair, blinks as he addresses the door.

			     PARRISH
			(carefully)
		Come in.

	Jennifer enters.

			     JENIFER
		I've been buzzing you, Mr. Parrish.
		Are you all right?

			     PARRISH
		Sure.

			     JENIFER
		Lunch is 'in' today, have you given
		it any thought --_

			     PARRISH
			(interrupting)
		No.  Nothing.

			     JENIFER
		Nothing?

	Parrish is within himself, doesn't answer.

			     JENIFER (cont'd)
		Why don't I think of something?

	Parrish still doesn't answer, however Jennifer is satisfied,
	correctly hearing his silence as an affirmative.  She has her
	hand on the door, 'Open' or 'Closed'?  He nods and she closes it.
	Utter silence again.  Parrish's eyes search the room, nothing
	there.

	INT. CORINTH COFFEE SHOP, YORK AVENUE, DAY

	The place has cleared out now, the counterman busy bussing
	tables laden with dishes and cups, Susan and the Young Man
	are still at the counter, but about to leave.

			     YOUNG MAN
		...It's kind of a pro bono job.

			     SUSAN
		'Pro bono'.  That means doing good
		-- Going to be doing good all your
		life?

			     YOUNG MAN
		I know what you're saying.  Doesn't
		pay very well.  Depends on the woman
		I marry.  Maybe she'd like a bigger
		house, a better car, lotsa kids,
		college doesn't come cheap --

			     SUSAN
		You'd give up what you want for the
		woman you marry?

			     YOUNG MAN
		I would.

	Susan rises now, the Young Man with her, leaving money for
	their checks they head for the door.

			     YOUNG MAN (cont'd)
		If I married you, I'd want to give
		you what you wanted, I know it's
		old fashioned and all that, but
		what's wrong with taking care of a
		woman?  She takes care of you.

			     SUSAN
		You'll have a hard time finding a
		woman like that these days --

			     YOUNG MAN
		You never know.  Lightning could
		strike.

	Susan at the door now, pauses abruptly, her eyes on the
	Young Man.

	EXT. CORINTH COFFEE SHOP, YORK AVENUE - DAY

	The Young Man holds the door for Susan as they step out
	onto the street.

	Susan is staring at him now, he smiles, all open and
	vulnerable.

			     SUSAN
		I've got to go --

			     YOUNG MAN
		Did I say something wrong?

			     SUSAN
		No, it was so right it scares me.

			     YOUNG MAN
		I've been thinking... I don't want
		you to be my doctor.  Because I
		don't want you to examine me.

			     SUSAN
		Why?

			     YOUNG MAN
		Because I like you so much.
			(a moment)
		You have coffee here every morning,
		don't you?  If I came by, could you
		give me the name of a doctor?

	Another moment.

			     SUSAN
		Sure, I'll give you the name of a
		doctor.
			(a moment)
		...And I don't want to examine you.

			     YOUNG MAN
		Why not?

			     SUSAN
		Because I like you so much.  Now
		I've got to go.

	She hurries away down the sidewalk, the Young Man watching
	her.  Now he turns and starts off in the opposite direction.

	ANOTHER ANGLE - SUSAN

	She looks back at the Young Man, then turns and walks on.

	ANOTHER ANGLE - THE YOUNG MAN

	He looks back at Susan as the distance between them widens,
	now he turns and walks on.

	ON SUSAN

	She looks around once more but the Young Man is still headed
	in the opposite direction, his back to her.  She turns the
	corner and continues on.

	ON THE YOUNG MAN

	Approaching the corner, he looks back for Susan yet again,
	but she is gone, still turned he steps off into the street
	and a hospital supplies truck, speeding down the curb lane,
	HITS HIM BROADSIDE, a horrific impact, the THUD echoes as
	his body arcs through the air.

	Another sickening THUD as it lands, the Young Man lies
	crumpled, still.

						CUT TO:

	INT. SALON, PARRISH TOWNHOUSE, NEW YORK CITY - NIGHT

	A beautiful space adjacent to the dining room, it has a
	glass roof which offers a superb view of the Manhattan sky-
	line.  The hour is before dinner: gathered on one side of
	the room are Allison and Parrish, on the other side Drew and
	Quince.  COYLE, a butler, and LUISA, the housekeeper, pass
	hors d'oeuvres and drinks.

			     ALLISON
		...Music, I know how you love music,
		Daddy, and I want to have music that
		pleases you -- and of course doesn't
		put a thousand other people to sleep
		-- I've agonized over this and
		finally settled on Sidney Brown,
		twenty-four men, very eclectic, plus
		I'm feathering in a Latin sextet on
		their breaks - Tito Puente, Trini
		Lopez-zy, I forget their names --

	Parrish has tuned Allison out, he tried to stay with it, but
	his mind has wandered, the event of the day too much with
	him.

			     ALLISON (cont'd)
		You haven't heard a word, have you?
		I keep talking and all you do is nod
		like Mr. Himmelfass in The
		Nutcracker.

	Parrish still doesn't answer.

			     ALLISON (cont'd)
		You don't care, do you?

			     PARRISH
		What, honey?

			     ALLISON
		I lay awake nights in a cold sweat,
		I want this party to be like some-
		thing Mom would have made for you,
		I want it to be perfect --

			     PARRISH
			(attentive now)
		I know you do, darling.

			     ALLISON
		And you could care less --

			     PARRISH
		Oh, you couldn't be more wrong,
		sweetheart.  I can' tell you how
		much I appreciate it and how I'm
		looking forward to it.

			     ALLISON
		Good.  Songs.  What songs should
		Sidney -- Pancho and his six men we
		can forget about -- what songs do
		you think he should play?

	A stab of pain, Parrish discreetly grabs his upper arm but
	manages to keep his attention on Allison.

			     PARRISH
		Tell it to me again.

	Suddenly, the Voice cuts in:

			     VOICE (V.O.)
		...Yes.

	Parrish's head snaps, startled by the SOUND.

			     VOICE (V.O., cont'd)
			(to Parrish)
		Did you miss me?

	Parrish reacts once more, aware again he is the only one who
	has heard the Voice, as an oblivious Allison continues:

			     ALLISON
			(to Parrish)
		Never mind.  Leave it to me.

	Parrish ignores her, his attention has been taken by the
	Voice.  His eyelids flutter, nonplused, edgy and fearful.

			LUISA
		Mr. Parrish, dinner is served.

			     ALLISON
			(to Quince and Drew,
			 across the room)
		Chow-time, you guys.

	Parrish is confounded.  Blindly and disconcerted, he follows
	Allison and Drew and Quince.

	INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT

	As a disturbed Parrish approaches the table, he hears the
	Voice once more:

			     VOICE (V.O.)
		What are you looking so provoked
		about?  'Did you miss me?'  It's
		a normal question.  I missed you.
		But what do I get back?  'Not an
		ounce of excitement, not a whisper
		of a thrill --'

	Parrish sits.

			     VOICE (V.O., cont'd)
		'-- This relationship has all the
		passion of a pair of titmice'.

	Parrish is on the edge of his seat, struggling to hide his
	panic.

			     VOICE (V.O., cont'd)
		I'm waiting outside.

	The conversation swirls on around Parrish, he is deaf to it:

			     ALLISON
			(to Drew)
		Did you speak to the Governor?

			     DREW
		He's coming.

			     ALLISON
		His wife?

			     DREW
		Unfortunately.  I sat between them
		at the Bronx Zoo benefit -- it was
		better than Seconal.

			     VOICE (V.O.)
		I'm waiting outside.  Won't someone
		come to the door?

	Parrish is in shock, still striving to gain control of
	himself.  As Coyle serves him, Parrish turns to Luisa:

			     PARRISH
		Is somebody waiting outside, Luisa?

			     LUISA
		I didn't hear a ring, sir.

			     PARRISH
		Please have a look --

	Luisa goes as Coyle continues serving.

			     ALLISON
			(to Quince)
		What about the Mayor?

			     QUINCE
		He said he would be there with bells
		on.

			     DREW
		Good, maybe they'll drown him out.

	Parrish is still not hearing a word, preoccupied with the
	return of Luisa.

			     ALLISON
		Please don't be negative, Drew, we
		have an acceptance list that would
		do The White House proud -- The
		Secretary-General of the UN, the
		Chairman of the FCC, nine Senators,
		I don't know how many Congressmen,
		and at least twelve of the Fortune
		'500'.

			     QUINCE
		No jocks?  A twenty-game winner or a
		Masters champion?  Someone I could
		talk to.
			(a moment)
		Or would talk to me.

	Luisa returns to Parrish as the others' conversation drones
	on:

			     LUISA
		You're right, Mr. Parrish.  There
		was a gentleman at the door.  He's
		waiting for you in the foyer.

	Parrish is stunned.

			     PARRISH
			(after a moment)
		Show him into the library, tell him
		I'll be right there.

	Parrish, spinning with anxiety, tries to summon up his courage
	to go as Allison continues:

			     ALLISON
		I've arranged for favors -- silver
		charm bracelets for the women,
		platinum keychains for the men --
		all engraved 'W.P.' -- but now I'm
		thinking of scrubbing them, they
		seem so ordinary.

	Finally Parrish rises from the table, starts out.

			     ALLISON (cont'd)
		Are they ordinary?  Do they seem
		that way to you, Daddy?

			     PARRISH
		Uh -- I don't know.  No - uh - I
		don't...

	Allison is about to press the point, but then drifts into
	disappointed silence as Parrish leaves the room.

			     DREW
			(to Allison)
		You're overthinking it --

			     QUINCE
		I don't think they're ordinary.  I
		love keychains.

	INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE LIBRARY, PARRISH TOWNHOUSE - NIGHT

	Parrish moves deliberately down the hall, slows as he nears
	the doorway to the library.  The door is open.  He hesitates
	before he crosses the threshold, taking in as much as his
	eye can see, now tentatively, he enters.

	INT. LIBRARY, PARRISH TOWNHOUSE - NIGHT

	A beautiful, classic room, areas of dim, warm light, club
	chairs, books reaching to the ceiling, a rolling library
	ladder, a weathered dictionary on a stand, a model boat
	carved of bone set into the stacks which are separated from
	the reading area by a seven-foot high partition of obscured
	glass.

	Parrish, poised in the doorway, looks around, nothing in
	sight.

			     PARRISH
		Hello?

	Silence.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		Anyone here?

	No response.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		I said is anyone here?!

			     VOICE (V.O.)
		Quiet down.

	Parrish is startled, he shrinks backward for a moment, his
	eyes searching the room for the Voice, the timbre and pitch
	of which is exactly what he has heard before.  There is the
	sense that someone is there but Parrish cannot see him, and
	he does not dare look.

			     PARRISH
			(quietly)
		Where are you?

			     VOICE (V.O.)
		I'm here.

	Now a flicker of a shadow from behind a corner of the obscured
	glass, the section of the room most distant from Parrish,
	there is a shape.  Something is there.

			     PARRISH
		What is this, a joke, right?  Some
		kind of elaborate practical joke?
		At my 40th reunion, we delivered a
		casket to the Class president's
		hotel room and --

			     VOICE
		Quiet.

	Parrish falls silent, something in the SOUND and TONE of the
	Voice muting him.  He takes a step backwards.

			     VOICE (cont'd)
		Where are you going?

			     PARRISH
		I - I - uh --

	The shape moves, makes itself more visible.  Although still
	diffused by the glass, the shape has definition, a person, a
	man, his features are not yet distinguishable, but he is
	there all right.

			     VOICE
		The great Bill Parrish at a loss for
		words?  The man from whose lips fall
		'rapture' and 'passion' and 'obses-
		sion'...all those admonitions about
		being 'deliberately happy', what
		there is no sense 'living your life
		without...', all the sparks and
		energy you give off, the rosy advice
		you dispense in round, pear-shaped
		tones --

			     PARRISH
		What the hell is this?  Who are you?

			     VOICE
		Just think of millenniums multiplied
		by aeons compounded by infinity,
		I've been around that long, but it's
		only recently that your affairs here
		have piqued my interest.  Call it
		boredom, the natural curiosity of
		me, the most lasting and significant
		element in existence has come to see
		you.

	Parrish struggles to make sense of what he is hearing.

			     PARRISH
		About what?

			     VOICE
		I want to have a look around before
		I take you.

			     PARRISH
		'Take me'...?  Where?

			     VOICE
		It requires competence, wisdom,
		experience -- all those things they
		say about you in testimonials --
		and you're the one.

			     PARRISH
		'The one' to do what?

			     VOICE
		Show me around.  Be my guide.  And
		in return, you get...

			     PARRISH
			(breathless)
		Get what?

			     VOICE
		Time.

			     PARRISH
		What the hell are you talking about?

			     VOICE
		Watch it!

			     PARRISH
		I'm sorry --

			     VOICE
		In return you'll receive minuets, days,
		weeks, I'm not going to go into details
		... what matters is that I stay
		interested.

	Parrish squints, trying to make sense of what is happening.

			     VOICE (cont'd)
		...'Yes'.

			     PARRISH
		Yes what?

			     VOICE
		'Yes' is the answer to your ques-
		tion.

			     PARRISH
		What question?

			     VOICE
		Bill.  Come on.  The question.  The
		question you've been asking yourself
		with increased regularity, at odd
		moments, panting through the extra
		game of handball, when you ran for
		the plane in Delhi, when you sat up
		in bed last night and hit the floor
		in the office this morning.  The
		question that is in the back of your
		throat, choking the blood to your
		brain, ringing in the ears over and
		over as you put it to yourself --

			     PARRISH
		The 'question' --

			     VOICE
			(urging)
		Yes, Bill.  The question.

	After a moment.

			     PARRISH
		...Am I going to die?

	The figure who is the Voice takes a step forward now, no
	longer obscured by the glass he comes into the light, re-
	vealing himself to be the Young Man seen previously in the
	coffee shop, but there is a change; he seems odd, off-
	center, not handsome but terrifyingly beautiful.

			     YOUNG MAN
		Yes.

	A moment, Parrish beside himself.  He cannot bring himself
	to speak, finally:

			     PARRISH
		Am I dreaming this?
			(Another moment)
		Are you a dream?

			     YOUNG MAN
		I am not a dream.

			     PARRISH
		You're coming to 'take me'.  What is
		that?  Who the hell are you?

	The Young Man steps closer to Parrish, his face is inches
	from a shaking, sweating Parrish's face, the Young Man
	daring Parrish to identify him:

			     PARRISH
		You are --?

			     YOUNG MAN
		  	(urging again)
		'...Yes --'

	Parrish turns away.  But the Young Man, spectacularly, is in
	front of him again.

			     YOUNG MAN (cont'd)
			(gently)
		Who am I?

			     PARRISH
		...Death.

	Parrish is shocked, stunned, terrified at the word, by what
	he has comprehended.  He surveys the Young Man who, at this
	moment, actually seems bewildered by his effect.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		You're Death?

			     YOUNG MAN
		Yes.

			     PARRISH
		Death!

			     YOUNG MAN
		That's me.

			     PARRISH
		You're not Death.  You're just a kid
		in a jacket and a pair of pants.

			     YOUNG MAN
		The jacket and the pair of pants
		came with the body I took.  Let me
		ask your opinion.  Do I blend in?

	A hopelessly confused Parrish does not respond for a moment.

			     PARRISH
		You want me to be your guide --?

			     YOUNG MAN
		You fill the bill, Bill.

			     PARRISH
		I do?
			(a moment)
		How long will you be staying?

			     YOUNG MAN
		You should hope quite a while.

			     PARRISH
		And then --?

	The Young Man nods, gently.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		It's... it's... over.

	A long silence.  Parrish and the Young Man take each other in,
	the sense that now they understand each other.  A SOUND at the
	door.

			     LUISA (O.S.)
		Mr. Parrish?

	Parrish does not hear her for the moment, Luisa steps inside
	the Library.

			     LUISA (cont'd)
		Will the gentleman be staying for
		dinner, sir?

	Parrish ignores her at first, finally he looks at Luisa then
	at the Young Man, then once more at both of them as if to
	verify the Young Man's presence has been acknowledged by
	Luisa.  The Young Man interjects:

			     YOUNG MAN
			(to Luisa)
		Yes.
			(a polite afterthought)
		Thank you.

	Luisa nods perfunctorily and exits.  Parrish is frozen,
	dumbfounded.

			     YOUNG MAN (cont'd)
			(to Parrish)
		Where is dinner?

	Parrish does not answer at first.

			     PARRISH
		This is crazy -- you're not going to
		eat dinner with us.

			     YOUNG MAN
		Bill, I am eating dinner with you.
		And your family.  And that's what
		we're doing.  It's not open for
		discussion.  Nothing is.  Don't
		you understand?

	Parrish is frightened by the response.

			     YOUNG MAN (cont'd)
		Good.  Now lead the way.

	Parrish hesitates, then obediently leads the Young Man out
	of the library, down a long hallway and across the foyer.

			     PARRISH
		Excuse me?  Could I say something?

			     YOUNG MAN
		Of course.

			     PARRISH
			(quietly)
		It just occurred to me --

			     YOUNG MAN
		Speak up, please.

			     PARRISH
			(louder)
		When I introduce you, if I say who
		you are, I don't think anyone will
		stay for dinner.

			     YOUNG MAN
		Then don't.

	INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT

	As Parrish and the Young Man enter, Allison is heard in the
	background.

			     ALLISON
		...Well, here's another possibility.
		It's a little last minute, but how does
		this strike you?  Kaleidoscopes. Little
		gold kaleidoscopes.  Some German firm
		went kerplunkt, Tiffany's picked these
		things up, they're perfect party favors,
		however they're not personal, they're
		winter scene or something, snow-flakes
		and dachshunds...

	Parrish and the Young Man appear at the table, an awkward
	pause ensues, the unannounced guest's presence at a family
	dinner being noted, and the guest himself carefully survey-
	ed.  Finally, Allison breaks the ice:

			     ALLISON (cont'd)
			(to the Young Man)
		Hi there --

			     YOUNG MAN
		Hello.

	Parrish is horribly uncomfortable as the Young Man looks at
	each person as if he were discovering a face of the first
	time.

			     PARRISH
		Uh -- sorry -- to have stepped away
		for so long -- uh -- this is a
		friend of mine I asked to drop by --
		we got to talking and stuff -- uh --
		he's going to join us for dinner --
		um --

	Parrish drifts into another awkward pause.

			     ALLISON
			(to the Young Man)
		Hello, how nice to meet you.  And
		wouldn't it be nicer if my father
		would introduce you?

			     YOUNG MAN
			(to Allison)
		'...How nice to meet you.'

			     PARRISH
		Oh, I'm sorry.  This is my daughter,
		Allison, and her husband, Quince,
		Drew, my number one, works with me...

	Parrish drifts off as the Young Man awkwardly shakes hands
	with each person.

			     ALLISON
			(prompting)
		Daddy.  Does your friend have a name?

			     PARRISH
		A name?

			     DREW
			(pleasantly, going
			 along with the joke)
		Yeah, something he goes by --

			     PARRISH
		Oh, excuse me.  This is -- uh --
		this is --

			     ALLISON
		Daddy!  Come on, a name.

			     DREW
		Yeah, Bill, the suspense is killing
		me.

			     PARRISH
		Sorry...um - you - you know it's gone
		right out of my head --

			     DREW
		What?!

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		I'm sorry.  This is - uh - uh...

	The group waits patiently.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		Joe!

			     ALLISON
		Joe...

	Parrish once more drifts into silence.  (The YOUNG MAN is now
	identified as "JOE".)

			     DREW
		Just plain 'Joe'?

			     ALLISON
		Love that name.

			     QUINCE
		Me, too.  Hey, buddy!

	Joe, turned on by Quince's broad smile, reacts to it as Drew
	squints observingly at Joe.

			     DREW
		'Joe...'

			     PARRISH
		Yes.

			     DREW
		Is there any more to it?

			     PARRISH
			(alarmed)
		What do you mean?

			     DREW
		Like 'Smith' or 'Jones --'

	Parrish's face reveals a desperate searching for a last name,
	a furtive glance at Joe.  Parrish's brow darkens and a name
	tumbles from his lips:

			     PARRISH
		-- Black.

			     ALLISON
		Whew, at last.  Nice to meet you,
		Mr. Black.

			     QUINCE
		'Joe Black'.  Won fifteen and lost
		two for the Brooklyn Dodgers in
		1952.

			     JOE
		Yes?

			     QUINCE
			(to Joe)
		You bet.  I'm kind of my Rotisserie
		League.

			     JOE
		Are you?

			     PARRISH
		He is!  Let's sit down --

	Luisa has set a plate in front of Joe, and Parrish's, which
	was taken to the kitchen to be warmed, has been returned.
	Joe looks over at the other guests, then picks up his uten-
	sils gingerly, strives to copy the others, stops, staring at
	his foot.

			     ALLISON
			(to Joe)
		Paillarde of veal.

			     QUINCE
		Yeah, they hit the calf over the
		head with a mallet and then Luisa
		hits it again in the kitchen.

			     ALLISON
		Honey --!

			     QUINCE
		You know what I'm saying, Joe?

			     JOE
		No --

			     PARRISH
			(laughing emptily)
		Joe knows what you're saying, just
		being polite --

	Drew is studying Joe.

			     DREW
			(to Joe)
		Have we met?

			     PARRISH
		Uh -- he's from out of town --

			     QUINCE
		How long you here, Joe?

			     JOE
		As long as it takes.

	Drew is provoked by the response, but remains polite:

			     DREW
		You and Bill old friends?

	Parrish jumps in:

			     PARRISH
		No --

			     DREW
			(to Joe)
		I get the feeling you've done some
		business before.

			     JOE
		We have an arrangement now.

			     DREW
		What side of the industry did you
		say you were on?

			     JOE
		I didn't say.

			     DREW
			(to Parrish)
		Joe sounds like a ringer, Bill.  I
		have the feeling you guys got the
		broad strokes already.  Need any
		help with the details?

	Parrish falls silent again, looking for an answer.

			     DREW (cont'd)
		I'm sorry -- business at dinner...
			(to Joe)
		Forgive me for being so rude.

			     JOE
		Sure.

	The doors to the dining room open, Susan appears.

			     SUSAN
		Hi, everybody.  Sorry to be late -
		had to have dinner with my depart-
		ment chief --

			     ALLISON
		You ate?

			     SUSAN
		...I'm here, aren't I?  Wouldn't
		miss a loose end meeting.  What's on
		the table for discussion?  Party
		favors, flowers -- hi Dad, hi Drew --

	She kisses Drew in some light, humorous way they have ob-
	viously done before, their heads bobbing like plastic water
	toys and their lips meeting mid-air.

	At the kiss's conclusion Susan suddenly notices Joe is
	present and has been watching.  She is shocked, embarrassed,
	pleased, conflicted, an instant and wide spectrum of emotions.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		What are you doing here?

	Silence.

			     PARRISH
			(stunned)
		You know each other?

			     SUSAN
			(lightly)
		We've met.

			     PARRISH
		What?!

			     SUSAN
		-- This morning.  The Corinth Coffee
		Shop.  He was looking for a doctor.

			     QUINCE
		Well, I guess he's found one.

			     DREW
		Joe, you do get around.

	Joe is happily confounded by all the interaction.

			     SUSAN
		That's your name?

			     ALLISON
		And isn't it a lovely one?  So
		sturdy, so straight --

	Joe has heard Susan's question but, as he studies her,
	doesn't answer.

			     DREW
		Incidentally, Joe, where're you
		staying?

			     JOE
		Here...

			     DREW
		'Here'?

			     SUSAN
		In this house?

			     QUINCE
		Great!

	Parrish pushes his plate away.

			     PARRISH
		Uh - will that hold you, Joe?

			     SUSAN
		Incidentally, 'Joe' what?

			     JOE
		Black.

			     QUINCE
		Hey, this is fun.

			     SUSAN
		So, what are you doing here?

	Parrish tenses, but Joe doesn't answer.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		Cat got your tongue?  You weren't so
		silent this morning.

	Drew reacts to this allusion of intimacy.

			     ALLISON
		Now, I'm getting interested.  I want
		to know more ---

			     PARRISH
			(to Joe)
		We've got some things to discuss.

	Parrish stands, motions for Joe to rise.

			     DREW
			(to Joe)
		-- Did I hear 'business'?

			     SUSAN
		What 'business'?

			     QUINCE
		Don't bother asking, we already
		tried.

			     JOE
		It's so very nice to see you again.

			     SUSAN
		Funny, I don't get that feeling.
		Maybe it's because you found out
		I'm Bill Parrish's daughter.

			     PARRISH
		Cut it out, Susan.
			(to Joe)
		You and I've got to talk.  Big day
		tomorrow, everybody.  Joe, let's go.

	Joe rises, follows Parrish to the door, stops:

			     JOE
			(to Susan)
		Susan.
			(to Allison)
		Allison.
			(to Quince)
		Quince.
			(to Drew)
		Drew.
			(to Parrish)
		Bill...
			(to the group)
		Thank you.

	He makes an awkward little bow, then heads for the nearest
	door.

			     PARRISH
		Joe, that's the kitchen.

			     JOE
		Thank you.

	Joe pivots, and he follows Parrish out the proper door.

			     DREW
		That was 'Joe'.

			     ALLISON
		He's cute.

			     DREW
		Very.

	Susan's eyes are still on the door where Joe exited, her
	face reflecting her irritation and bewilderment, as well as
	a tinge of excitement.

	INT. HALLWAY, PARRISH TOWNHOUSE - NIGHT

	Parrish leads the way, Joe beside him as they progress through
	the huge house.

			     PARRISH
		...I'm sorry, I'm a little discon-
		certed, that stuff between you and
		Susan -- uh -- threw me.

			     JOE
		'Threw' you?  Where?

			     PARRISH
		Shook me up.  I mean that you knew
		her and everything --

			     JOE
		I didn't know her.  The body I took
		knew her.  The man she met in the
		coffee shop this morning.  I - uh -
		took him.

			     PARRISH
		So there's nothing between you and
		Susan?

			     JOE
		No.

			     PARRISH
		I wish you had said something to me
		about staying here --

			     JOE
		It hadn't occurred to me until then.
		I was just having such a wonderful
		time -- Besides, isn't this what I'm
		here for?

	Parrish suddenly looks very anxious, Joe stops.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		You seem uncomfortable, Bill.

			     PARRISH
		No, I'm okay with this - uh - I
		think.  So --

	He opens a door.

	INT. MASTER GUEST SUITE, PARRISH TOWNHOUSE - NIGHT

			     PARRISH
			(to Joe)
		Bathroom...tub...towels, sauna --

	Parrish turns back to the bedroom.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		...Chair, lamp, bed --

	Parrish is in a stunned state, chatters on unconsciously:

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		Box springs, they're assembled in
		Jakarta.  Had to stay in a station
		manager's house there unexpectedly
		- best night's sleep I ever had.
		Ordered twenty, they filled a con-
		tainer and shipped them right over,
		I've put one in every bedroom here
		and in the country.

	Joe tests the springs.

			     JOE
		What a good idea.

			     PARRISH
		Thank you.  Would you like the man's
		name?

			     JOE
		No.

	Parrish glances around, a room in which the occupant could
	not want for anything.

			     PARRISH
		If there is anything else, don't
		hesitate --

			     JOE
		I won't.

			     PARRISH
		How long have I got?

			     JOE
		You're putting me on the spot, Bill.

	A moment.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		Let's put it this way.  When I go,
		you go.

			     PARRISH
		When you go, I go.

			     JOE
		That's the best I can do.
			(a moment)
		...but minute-by-minute, I find
		myself lingering.

			     PARRISH
		...I just saw my doctor, he told me
		everything was fine.

			     JOE
		Your doctor?
			(icily)
		Did your doctor say anything about
		a tiny, undetectable hole in your
		aorta?  Did he mention an irreparab-
		ly weak vein in the further reaches
		of your famous brain?  Were they any
		prognostications about the possibil-
		ilites of a fatal collision on a golf
		cart of suffocating in an avalanche
		on a skin vacation in Gstaad?

			     PARRISH
		No --

			     JOE
		I hope you realize, Bill...in your
		office this morning, that was your
		time.

			     PARRISH
		Closer than that.

	Parrish keeps still, trying to cool the heat of Joe's
	temper.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		...But meanwhile, you are still
		here.  Count your blessings.  Call
		it gravy, frosting on the cake,
		whatever it is you say.

			     PARRISH
		Well, thank you for letting me know.

			     JOE
		Not at all.

			     PARRISH
		And - uh - I  guess, 'goodnight'.

			     JOE
		Good night to you, Bill.

	Parrish gently closes the door.

	Joe looks around, checks out his surroundings: curious,
	attentive.

	INT. HALLWAY, PARRISH TOWNHOUSE - NIGHT

	Parrish, unsteady, starts back down the hall, Luisa appears.

			     LUISA
		...Miss Allison asked if you would
		like to have your dinner kept warm?

			     PARRISH
		No. Thanks, Luisa.

			     LUISA
		Very good, sir.

	Luisa turns:

			     PARRISH
		Luisa --

	She stops.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		Mr. Black's luggage was misplaced by
		the airlines.  Would you mind get-
		ting a few things together for him?
		A couple of suits, some shirts,
		ties, underwear, shoes.  Have Coyle
		take his measurements off what he is
		wearing tonight.

			     LUISA
		Certainly, sir.

	Luisa nods, and heads back downstairs.  Parrish enters
	his den, takes a seat in his chair, stares into the middle
	distance, ruminates.

	INT. GUEST ROOM, PARRISH TOWNHOUSE - NIGHT

	Joe has been examining his room, full of curiosity and
	wonderment at the oddest things, the handle on a casement
	window, the hem and weight of the fabric of a drape, hinges
	on the bedroom door.  In the process he opens this door,
	steps out into the hallway.

	INT. HALLWAY, PARRISH TOWNHOUSE - NIGHT

	Joe wanders down the hallway past the occasional Dufy or
	Miro, a Venetian tapestry cheek-by-jowl with a miniature
	Ming vae, and even a Bonsai garden with a trickling vein
	of water.

	INT. KITCHEN HALLWAY, PARRISH TOWNHOUSE - NIGHT

	In the "back" of the house now, utilitarian paint and decor,
	the SOUND of laughter and a glare of light.  Joe enters.

	INT. KITCHEN, PARRISH TOWNHOUSE - NIGHT

	The staff is at ease, some smoking, remains of food around.
	Coyle, the butler, has his back to Joe and does not see him
	for a moment.  In front of Coyle, an open jar of peanut but-
	ter which he is spreading in generous hunks of Wonder Bread.
	Joe is fascinated by the process.  Coyle suddenly hears the
	silence, looks up and see Joe, standing up embarrassedly.

			     COYLE
		Yes, sir?

			     JOE
		Hello.  I'm Joe Black.  Nice to meet
		you.

			     COYLE
		Yes sir, Mr. Black, a pleasure.

	The staff all mumble expansive "Good evening, sir"s to Joe.
	He motions to them to sit, they do but Coyle does not.  Coyle
	shifts from foot-to-foot, the staff is not used to having
	Parrish family or guests in this part of the house.

			     JOE
			(to Coyle)
		What are you eating.

			     COYLE
		You mean this, sir?

	Coyle regards his peanut butter sheepishly.

			     COYLE (cont'd)
		Laura Scudder's Peanut Butter.

			     JOE
			(carefully)
		'Laura Scudder's Peanut Butter'.
			(a moment)
		You like it?

			     COYLE
		I would say, sir, it is right up
		there with Jif and Skippy.  But
		miles ahead of Peter Pan.
			(another moment)
		Like a taste?

	Joe nods, Coyle fashions a spoonful, offers it to Joe.  Joe
	swallows it.  But he has not yet found a comfortable way of
	masticating, his mouth and tongue go every which way, the
	staff observes him, fascinated.

			     COYLE (cont'd)
		You're a peanut butter man now, eh,
		sir?

			     JOE
		Yes, I am.  I thoroughly enjoyed
		this - uh - peanut butter.
			(to the staff)
		And I thoroughly enjoyed meeting
		you.

	Joe raises the spoonful of peanut butter in a kind of toast
	to the staff.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		I'll be moseying on.

	He heads out, with the spoonful of peanut butter, to cheer-
	ful "Goodnight, Mr. Black"'s, his tongue again licking the
	edges of the spoon.

	INT. SWIMMING POOL, PARRISH TOWNHOUSE - DAY

	A spectacular indoor Olympic pool, window commanding views
	of the skyline.

	Susan is swimming laps, looking very professional in a black
	Speedo suit, Joe wanders in, still licking his peanut butter.
	He observes her, but she is unaware of him, however now, as
	she makes a barrel turn, his shadow falls over a reflection
	from a window, she aborts her lap, looks up to see who it is.

			     SUSAN
		What are you doing here?

			     JOE
		I'm lost.

			     SUSAN
		-- Can't seem to escape you today.

			     JOE
		I'm sorry.

	Susan climbs out of the pool, gets halfway up the ladder,
	points to a stack of towels.

			     SUSAN
		Hand me one of those, will you?

	Joe turns to the towels, but one hand is occupied with the
	spoonful of peanut butter, he shifts it to the other hand,
	can't manage the huge Turkish towel one-handed, now implants
	the spoon in his mouth, lifts the towel with both hands and
	presents it to Susan.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		You must have something really big
		going on with my father --

			     JOE
		'Big'?

			     SUSAN
		You appear at his side out-of-the-
		blue, stay at his house, eat dinner
		with his family, it's practically a
		first.  You're in the red-hot center
		of big business and I thought you
		were a regular Joe.

			     JOE
		I am Joe.

			     SUSAN
		Not the one I met this morning, hit-
		ting on me in as nice a way as I've
		been hit on in a long time, but the
		moment you find out I'm my Dad's
		daughter, you act like a stranger.

			     JOE
		That is not my intention.

	Joe continues to nibble at his peanut butter.

			     SUSAN
		What are your intentions?  To make
		little dreams in coffee shops, turn
		a woman's head, and I don't mind
		admitting it was turned, I liked it,
		but ten hours later I feel like a
		fool.  I don't get it.  You, my
		father, here in this house, the cof-
		fee shop, it's making me upset, and
		I don't like being upset.  Who are
		you anyway?  And what are you eating?

			     JOE
			(mumbles)
		Peanut butter.

	He finishes the spoonful.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		But it's gone now.

	He shifts the spoon from hand to hand, starts to stick it in
	his pocket, realizes this is inappropriate.  Susan holds her
	hand out to him, he places the spoon in it and she sets the
	spoon on the table with the towels.  She watches, fascinat-
	ed, as Joe licks his gums, enjoying every last bit of his
	spoonful.

			     SUSAN
		You act like you never had peanut
		butter before --

			     JOE
		I haven't.

			     SUSAN
		-- What kind of childhood did you
		have?

			     JOE
		Do you love Drew?

			     SUSAN
		Come again?

			     JOE
		When you put your mouth to his,
		Susan, it seems a frequent thing.

			     SUSAN
		Drew is none of your damn business.
		Nor is where I put my mouth.

			     JOE
		I'm sorry.  Do you live here?

			     SUSAN
		No, Joe, I'm swimming here.  Then
		I'm going home.

			     JOE
		I guess what I'm trying to say is --
		I'd like us to be friends.

			     SUSAN
		I've got plenty of friends.

			     JOE
		I don't have any.

			     SUSAN
		I can see why.

	She finishes drying herself, drops the towel on a chair, and
	prepares to leave.

			     JOE
		...I didn't mean to offend you at
		dinner.  I'm not quite at home some-
		times with people.  I get busy doing
		- uh - what I do, and I don't seem to
		have developed --

	He drifts off.

			     SUSAN
		Yes --?

			     JOE
		I have a certain function to per-
		form, and that seems to take all
		of my time.  Bu sometimes - uh -
		I speculate - uh - I haven't left
		room for - uh - anything else.

			     SUSAN
		I'm sorry to say I know what you're
		saying.

	A moment.

			     JOE
		Susan?

			     SUSAN
		Yes?

			     JOE
		Did you know you have a wet spot on
		your shoulder?

	She glances at her shoulder, he grabs a towel, touches the
	drops of water, pats them dry, hands her the towel.  She
	flashes a nervous smile.

			     SUSAN
		Goodnight, Joe.

			     JOE
		Goodnight to you, Susan.

	Susan steps towards a door, Joe takes a step in the wrong
	direction, they almost walk into each other.  Now she takes
	a step in another direction, as does Joe, again they almost
	collide.

			     SUSAN
		Shall we dance?

	Joe is completely puzzled, finally Susan heads for one door,
	Joe for another.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		Joe --

			     JOE
		Yes?

			     SUSAN
		I think you want to go to the west
		wing.  Through there.

	Susan indicates yet another door.

			     JOE
			(after a moment)
		Thank you.

	Joe redirects himself, goes to the door.  As they both are
	about to exit, Joe and Susan sneak furtive looks at each
	other across the pool, smile at catching each other's
	glances.  Joe exits.  For a moment Susan's eyes remain on
	the door through which he has gone.  Now she grips the towel
	over her shoulders, the one Joe gave her, pats the same spot
	he did.

							CUT TO:

	INT. HALLWAY, PARRISH TOWNHOUSE - NEXT MORNING

	Parrish, dressed for the day, passes servants busy with
	their morning tasks, polishing doorknobs, putting away
	linen, dusting picture frames.  He nods and greets them as
	he strides down the hall, brisk "Good morning"'s to Coyle
	and Luisa.

	INT. GUEST SUITE, PARRISH TOWNHOUSE - MORNING

	Parrish knocks, waits a courteous moment, opens the door,
	finds Joe in an elegant shirt and trousers trying to tie his
	tie.

			     PARRISH
		Good morning.

			     JOE
		Good morning, Bill.

			     PARRISH
		How are you?  How're you feeling?

			     JOE
		'Feeling'?  I feel fine.  How do you
		feel?

			     PARRISH
		Um -- well, I didn't sleep too well.
		This is crazy.  This is the left-
		field thing of all time.  What do I
		do?  What do I tell my family?

			     JOE
		Oh, I wouldn't tell them anything,
		Bill.  You'll ruin the good start we
		had last night.  I felt as if I were
		being treated like a person.  'Joe'
		this and 'Joe' that - a nice smile
		- Quince passed me the rolls -- no
		'rapture' or 'passion' or any of
		those mighty things you seem so
		intent on imparting, but I am cer-
		tain, should you - uh - say - uh -
		who I am - our adventure would end
		abruptly.

	Parrish regards Joe, the tie is a sorry mess now, a batwing
	of silk stretching across his collarbone.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		But I did so enjoy your family.

	Parrish is startled, he regards Joe carefully.

			     PARRISH
		What about my family?  This 'adven-
		ture' involved only me, right?

	Silence as Joe considers the point, Parrish quickly crosses
	to him, undoes the tie, and now begins tying it for him.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		Tell you what, you promised that it's
		going to be only me and --

			     JOE
		And what?

			     PARRISH
		And I won't tell anyone who you are.

			     JOE
		Sounds fair enough.

			     PARRISH
		It is a deal?

			     JOE
		A 'deal'?

			     PARRISH
		You give your word, I give mine --
		that we'll do what we say.  It's a
		truth exchanged between two people.

	A moment.

			     JOE
		Bill --

			     PARRISH
		Yes?

			     JOE
		You've got a deal.

	Parrish seems relieved.  He has now, with some difficulty,
	completed the tying of Joe's tie, adjusts it beautifully on
	Joe's collar, then spins him around in front of a mirror.
	Joe, catching sight of his own appearance, rises to the
	balls of his feet, quite taken.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		This is great!
			(a moment)
		Now what do we do?

			     PARRISH
		Shake hands.

	Joe immediately extends his hand toward Parrish, but
	Parrish freezes on seeing the hand, stares at it, now takes
	it.  Joe pumps Parrish's hand vigorously, then breaks into a
	broad smile.

	EXT. 5TH AVENUE, NEW YORK CITY - DAY

	Parrish and Joe striding downtown, Joe's jacket fits per-
	fectly, he blends right in and he clearly enjoys being part
	of the smart Fifth Avenue crowd on the way to work.  Parrish
	senses Joe's pleasure, his slight preening, his eyes check-
	ing out the good-looking women headed for the offices at the
	top of corporate high-rises.

			     PARRISH
		You know, I got to thinking last
		night -- with you here, and seem-
		ingly occupied, how's your work
		going - uh - elsewhere?

	A flicker from Joe.  He has heard what Parrish has said, his
	eyes busy with the grift and the sparkle of the Avenue, but
	he is concentrating on Parrish's words.

			     JOE
		When you were shaving this morning,
		you weren't just shaving, right?

			     PARRISH
		What do you mean?

			     JOE
		You were hatching ideas, making
		plans, arriving at decisions, right?

			     PARRISH
		I guess so.

			     JOE
		So you understand the concept then.
		When you're busy here, your work,
		what your task is, is being executed
		elsewhere.

			     PARRISH
		Of course.

			     JOE
		So you've grasped the idea.  Con-
		gratulations.  Now multiply it by
		infinity and take it to the depth
		of forever, and you still will
		have barely a glimpse of what I
		am talking about.

	Parrish falls silent, chewing over Joe's admonition.

			     PARRISH
		Joe --?

			     JOE
		Yes, Bill.

			     PARRISH
		How about giving a guy a break?

			     JOE
		Make an exception?

			     PARRISH
		There's one to every rule.

			     JOE
		Not this.

	They stride on, cutting through the crowd, Joe all at home
	in his new surrounding, but Parrish just the opposite, un-
	characteristically uncomfortable, phrases forming on his
	lips but unspoken, then suddenly he blurts out:

			     PARRISH
		-- I don't deserve this.  I'm still
		young, this is not my time --

			     JOE
		That's what everybody says.

			     PARRISH
		I'm not everybody.

			     JOE
		That's what everybody says.

	Parrish is trying to control himself, glances at Joe.

			     PARRISH
		I want to live.

			     JOE
		I understand.

	A moment.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		But you can't.

	A sudden silence between them.  Parrish's shoulders appear
	to have stopped slightly, the courage he displayed at rais-
	ing these issues has vanished.

			     PARRISH
		What's it like?

			     JOE
		What do you mean?

			     PARRISH
		What's it like where I'm going?

			     JOE
		Can you keep a secret?

			     PARRISH
		Yes.

			     JOE
		So can I.

	They turn into Parrish's office building.

	INT. LOBBY, PARRISH COMMUNICATIONS - DAY

	As Parrish and Joe enter, Parrish is hailed by JAIME, the
	Elevator Starter.

			     JAIME
		Good morning, Mr. Parrish.

			     PARRISH
		Good morning, Jaime.

			     JAIME
		Knight's Reward in the 4th at
		Calder --

	A bemused Parrish walks on, Joe beside him, Jaime pursuing
	them.

			     JAIME (cont'd)
		-- A closer in today with cheap
		speed.  The colt will come from the
		clouds and boom!  Fifty-eight dollar
		horse.  I get you down, Mr. Parrish,
		just say the word.

			     PARRISH
			(smiles)
		I'm sorry, not today, Jaime.

	Parrish and Joe arrive at the bank of elevators.  Jaime,
	back at his post, hits a button.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
			(to Joe)
		You know, everyday I've walked into
		this building, Jaime gives me a
		horse.
			(a moment)
		I wonder if any of them won.

	The elevator materializes, Parrish and Joe step on.

	INT. PARRISH COMMUNICATIONS, OFFICE OF THE CHAIRMAN - DAY

	Parrish and Joe emerge from the executive elevator, Jennifer
	is waiting as usual with her pad, "Good morning"s, etc.  As
	Parrish strides down the hall, Joe right beside him, he passes
	instructions back to Jennifer who, scribbling, hurries along
	behind them.

			     PARRISH
		-- And call my family, I'd like them
		to come over for dinner tonight.

			     JENIFER
		Didn't the family get together last
		night --?

			     PARRISH
			(remonstrating, gently)
		Jennifer.

			     JENIFER
		Of course, Mr. Parrish.  Right away.

	Jennifer wheels and heads right back to the office as
	Parrish arrives at the door to the Board Room.

			     PARRISH
			(to Joe)
		Perhaps you would like to wait in my
		office --?

			     JOE
		No.

			     PARRISH
		What I'm trying to say is this is a
		Board meeting and you are not a mem-
		ber of the Board.

			     JOE
		I'm sure you'll see to it that it
		won't be a problem.

	Parrish hesitates, nods, conceding the point, reaches for
	the doorknob.

	INT. BOARD ROOM, PARRISH COMMUNICATIONS - DAY

	Parrish enters, Joe following right behind him.  A euphony
	of "Good morning"'s from the various members of the Board,
	including Quince.  Everyone sits when Parrish does but Joe,
	right at home, spots a tray of refreshments: coffee, pas-
	tries, he heads for them.

			     PARRISH
			(to the Board)
		-- This is Joe Black, a personal
		associate of mine - uh - he'll be
		joining us today.  I know it's --
		uh -- unusual, and my apologies --
		and Drew -- uh -- carry on.

	Immediately indications of surprise on Board members' faces at
	Parrish bringing in an 'observer', Drew's reaction guarded
	but intense.

			     DREW
			(after a moment, to
			 Joe)
		Nice to see you.  I didn't expect
		you, but certainly you can't get
		enough of a good thing.

			     JOE
		Thank you.

			     DREW
			(to the Board)
		The Board of Parrish Communications -
		is hereby called to order.  Our sole
		order of business is an acceptance
		of John Bontecou's generous offer
		and --

			     JOE
			(to Drew)
		Do you have any more of these deli-
		cious cookies?

	A hushed silence at the inappropriateness of Joe's inter-
	ruption.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		And a cup of tea.  With milk, I
		think.  I'd like to try it English-
		style.  Yes, a cup of tea with milk.

			     DREW
		Anything else, Mr. Black?  How about
		some water?

			     JOE
		Why yes, thank you.

			     DREW
		Hot or cold.

			     JOE
		Cold.

			     DREW
		And a glass.

	Drew indicates to the Board's Stenographer to arrange Joe's
	refreshments.

			     PARRISH
			(quietly, indicating a
			 chair)
		Would you like to sit down, Joe?

			     JOE
		Yes.

	Joe sits.

			     DREW
		To review -- we're really crossing
		the 't's and dotting the 'i's here.
		Bill had a great and conclusive
		meeting with John Bontecou yester-
		day, all that remains for us is to
		put it to a vote.

	Smiles and murmurs of a congratulatory receptiveness from
	the Board at Drew's news.

			     PARRISH
			(emptily)
		Thank you, Drew.

	Parrish takes a moment, draws himself up to say something
	official then stops himself, what follows is spontaneous,
	reflective, deeply felt.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		Umm -- I did enjoy -- or rather I
		was interested in meeting John yes-
		terday -- impressive... I suppose...
		But it did get me to thinking.  I
		started in this business because
		this is what I wanted to do.  I knew
		I wasn't going to write the Great
		American Novel, but I also knew
		there was more to life than buying
		something for a dollar and selling
		it for two.  I wanted to give the
		news to the world, and I wanted to
		give it unvarnished.  The more we
		all know about each other, the
		greater the chance we will survive.
		Sure, I want to make a profit, you
		can't exist without one but John
		Bontecou is all profit.  If we give
		him license to absorb Parrish
		Communications, and he has his eye
		on a few others after us, we'll be
		appointing him to the position he
		craves -- Gatekeeper.  In order to
		reach the world you will have to go
		through John Bontecou.  And not only
		will you have to pay him to do this,
		far more expensive, you'll have to
		agree with him.  Reporting the news
		is a privilege and a responsibility
		and it is not exploitable.  Parrish
		Communications has earned this priv-
		ilege, John Bontecou wants to buy
		it.  As your chairman, I urge you to
		agree this company is not for sale.

	A silence, everybody shifts, the Board is in shock, Drew is
	trying to maintain his balance.

			     DREW
			(carefully)
		...Sounds like you're not leaving
		much room for discussion.

			     PARRISH
			(to the Board)
		Sorry.  I know it looks like I'm
		reversing my field.

			     DREW
		That's your privilege, Bill.  But
		given our needs, given the absolute
		necessity for growth, given the fu-
		ture, the truth is... joining John
		Bontecou is every bit as certain as -
		Death and Taxes.

	Joe interjects:

			     JOE
		'Death and Taxes'?

	After a moment.

			     DREW
		Yes.

			     JOE
		"Death and Taxes"?

	Another moment.

			     DREW
		Yes.

			     JOE
		What an odd pairing.

			     DREW
		It's just a saying, Mr. Black,

			     JOE
		Of whom?

			     DREW
		It doesn't matter.

			     JOE
		Then why did you bring it up?

	Drew regards Joe.

			     DREW
		You're not familiar with the phrase,
		"In this world, nothing is certain
		but Death and Taxes"?

			     PARRISH
		I am now.

			     DREW
		Glad I could be of some help.

	The Board is provoked and mystified by Joe and even more by
	his presence, they cast meaningful glances at Parrish, Drew
	coolly grasps the irritation of the members.  Parrish breaks
	the silence.

			     PARRISH
		Shall we adjourn?

			     DREW
		But the matter's still on the table,
		Bill --

	EDWARD SLOANE, a contemporary of Parrish's, has been warily
	silent, but extremely observant.  Protective of Parrish, and
	sensing his burgeoning difficulty, he interrupts:

			SLOANE
		Why don't we let it rest for the
		moment?  Give it some air?

			     PARRISH
		Well said, Eddie.  Mr. Black, shall
		we?

	Joe rises.

			     JOE
			(to Drew)
		Those cookies were excellent.

	He exits with Parrish, the door closes behind them.  A BABBLE
	of disturbed reactions from the Board.

			     DREW
		Who is that guy?

	Drew grabs a telephone:

			     DREW (cont'd)
		Felicia?


			FELICIA (O.S.)
		Yes, sir?

			     DREW
		Get me a Field Background check on
		Joe Black.  Litigations. Bankrupt-
		cies.  Credit ratings.  The works.
		Got it?

	Drew hangs up.

	INT. PARRISH'S OFFICE - DAY

	Parrish enters, Joe right on his heels.  They booth stop,
	Parrish regards him.

			     PARRISH
		-- What's the deal here?  Are you
		going to be breathing down my neck
		right 'til the very end?

			     JOE
		I don't understand.

	Parrish tries to gather himself.

			     PARRISH
		...I'd like to be alone for a while.

			     JOE
		Are you sad, Bill?

			     PARRISH
		Yes, I am.  There's a research lib-
		rary on the fourth floor.  Why don't
		you go down and read some magazines?

			     JOE
		You're not thinking of going some-
		where, are you, Bill?

			     PARRISH
		Joe, could I ask you to take a walk?
		Buy a tie or something.  I know I'll
		be seeing you.

			     JOE
		Of course.

	But Joe doesn't move.

			     PARRISH
			(prompting)
		Now I'd like to be alone.

			     JOE
		Oh.  Okay.

	Parrish reaches into his pocket and hands Joe some cash.

			     PARRISH
		Here -- this will hold you for a
		while.

	Joe stares at the money as Parrish shows him the door.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		You know about money, don't you?

			     JOE
		It can't buy happiness?

	Parrish opens the door.

			     PARRISH
		Jennifer, give Mr. Black a map of
		the city.

			     JOE
		No thank you, Bill.  I can manage.

	Joe goes.

	INT. EMERGENCY ROOM AREA, NEW YORK HOSPITAL - DAY

	Susan is busy giving instructions to a Nurse, a patient on
	an examining table beside them.  As she finishes, she
	suddenly notices Joe down the corridor in the reception
	area.  She is startled for the moment, quickly makes a last
	notation, hands a chart to the Nurse and heads down the
	corridor.

			     SUSAN
		Joe --

			     JOE
		How nice you look.  Is that your
		uniform?

	Susan regards him.

			     SUSAN
		Why did you come here?

	Joe doesn't have an answer.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		Are you ill?

			     JOE
		Oh goodness, no.

			     SUSAN
		Then why are you here, Joe?

			     JOE
		I came to see you.

			     SUSAN
		I don't have any time to see you
		now.  I'm doing grand rounds and
		then I'm examining back-to-back
		patients until dinner and then --

			     JOE
		Very well, I'll watch.

			     SUSAN
		Watch me do what?

			     JOE
		Whatever you do.

			     SUSAN
		That's impossible.  I'm a doctor,
		I'm --

			     JOE
		And I'll be a visitor.

			     SUSAN
		Patients have visitors, not doctors.

			     JOE
		I don't mind --

	Visible now behind them are a Caribbean woman in her mid-
	thirties, TEENA, an arm around her mother, EASTER, who is
	holding her stomach and rocking back and forth in her seat,
	in great pain.

			     TEENA
			(urgently)
		Miss?  Miss Doctor?

			     SUSAN
			(gently)
		Just a minute, please.

			     TEENA
		Please.  My momma's sicker'n he
		is.

	Easter looks up and sees Joe.  She abruptly becomes still,
	eyes wide, as if sudden recognition.

			     EASTER
		Obeah.

			     TEENA
		No, Momma.

	But Easter just stares at Joe, fearful.

			     EASTER
		Obeah mon.  I gonna die.

			     TEENA
		Momma, stop it. Is just a man.

	Joe looks at Easter, curiously.

			     SUSAN
			(to Teena)
		What's obeah?

			     TEENA
		Bad spirit.  She just all fever, she
		don' mean nothin'.  Please help us?

			     SUSAN
		Have you filled out the insurance
		forms?

	Teena shakes her hand anxiously.  Joe leans forward to
	Easter and speaks softly in perfect, lilting West Indian
	dialect.

			     JOE
		No obeah, sister.  No duppy, no
		jumbie.  Evera ting gon' be irey.

	Susan and Teena both look at him, astonished.  Easter's
	fearful gaze remains locked on him.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		Go wi' de doctor lady.  Momma be
		fine.

			     EASTER
		Don' leave!?

			     TEENA
			(pleading)
		Momma.

	Susan leads Teena away.  Easter is riveted on Joe.

			     EASTER
			(with certainty)
		Obeah.

			     JOE
		Obeah evil.  I not evil.

			     EASTER
		What you then?

			     JOE
		I from dat nex' place.

			     EASTER
		You wait here'n to take us?  Like
		you bus driver to dere?

			     JOE
			(smiles)
		No, no.  I on holiday.

			     EASTER
			(looks around, dubious)
		Some spot you pick.

	She winces with pain, gasping.

			     EASTER (cont'd)
		Pain is bad.

			     JOE
		I nuttin' to do wi' dat.

			     EASTER
		Make it go 'way.

			     JOE
		Doctor lady make it irey.

			     EASTER
		Not dis pain.  Dis pain tru an' tru.
		Make it go 'way.

			     JOE
		Can't, sistah.

			     EASTER
			(adamant, pleading)
		Can, mistah.  Take me to dat nex'
		place.

	Joe regards Easter, a long moment.

			     JOE
		Not time yet.

			     EASTER
		Make it time.

	Joe shakes his head, a firm no.  But when he looks and speaks
	to Easter again, it is with concern and even regret.

			     JOE
		Can't feel wi' de way tings gotta
		be, Easter.

	Susan and Teena return with an Orderly and a wheelchair for
	Easter.

			     EASTER
			(to Joe)
		Please...

			     TEENA
		Come now, Momma.

	Easter is helped into the wheelchair.  She looks pleadingly
	at Joe.  The Orderly starts to wheel her away.  Joe stays him,
	putting his hand on Easter's arm.

			     JOE
		Close your eyes, Easter.

	She does, her pained grimace melts into a peaceful smile.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		Soon.

	He takes his hand away, and the Orderly wheels Easter off.

			     SUSAN
			(to Teena)
		Go with her.  I'll be right there.

	Teena goes.  Joe remains his normal voice.

			     JOE
		She's in a great deal of pain.

			     SUSAN
		Yes.

	Susan regards Joe, puzzled.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		Have you spent a lot of time in the
		islands?

			     JOE
		Some.

	Joe shifts.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		I - uh - I - realize now - uh - my
		being here - um - your patient --
		this is not really appropriate --
		and I - uh --

			     SUSAN
		Don't apologize.  There's nothing
		to be sorry for -- every hospital
		should have someone like you.

	Silence.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		Well...I'm glad you came.

			     JOE
		Thank you.  I'm so very glad to be
		here.

	Another awkward silence.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		I guess you're busy --

			     SUSAN
		Yes.

	She doesn't move, they search for words.

			     JOE
		Well, I could come again some other
		time.

	Susan regards him.

			     SUSAN
		Joe, I'm with Drew.

			     JOE
			(sincerely)
		Not now.

	Susan smiles gently.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		Don't you want me to come again...?

	A moment.

			     SUSAN
		I have to go, I'm sorry to say --

			     JOE
		Be sorry for nothing.

	Another moment.

			     SUSAN
		Yes.  Well...thank you, Joe.

	Susan turns to go, hesitates.

			     JOE
		Good-bye, Susan.

	Susan waves softly to him, heads down the hall, glances back
	once to see Joe has not moved, is watching her depart.

	INT. PARRISH'S OFFICE - AFTERNOON

	Jennifer shows Joe in, Parrish is deep in thought, beside
	him a meal laid out beautifully on his desk with linen and
	silver, but untouched.

	Joe is more abstracted than usual, he is starting at
	Parrish's food.

			     JOE
		Are you going to eat your lunch

			     PARRISH
		It's all yours.

	Joe starts eating, Parrish watches him, somewhat fascinated,
	Joe's chewing has improved.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		Good?

			     JOE
		Excellent.  What is it?

			     PARRISH
		Cold lamb sandwich with cilantro.  A
		little Coleman's mustard.

	Joe takes another big bite.

			     JOE
		Truly - uh - splendid.

			     PARRISH
		Glad you like it.  My wife turned me
		onto cold lamb sandwiches.  Joan --
		that was my wife --

			     JOE
			(familiarly)
		Uh-huh.

			     PARRISH
		Cold lamb sandwiches -- not as chewy
		as roast beef, not as boring as
		chicken.  She knew stuff like that.

	Silence, Parrish getting lost in his memories.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		-- Everything reminds me of her --
		there isn't a day that goes by that
		I don't think about her -- One day
		she was here.  The next day she was
		gone.  What are you going to do? --
		I guess you've heard all this a
		trillion times before.

			     JOE
		And more.

			     PARRISH
		Why didn't you stop me?

			     JOE
		Well...I don't know.

	Silence.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		How was it the first time you met
		her?

			     PARRISH
		I thought you'd heard a trillion
		times --

			     JOE
		This part I'm interested in.

	A moment.

			     PARRISH
		She had on this little blue suit --
		with a little white collar that had
		little red piping on it --

	Joe is riveted on Parrish ow, Parrish aware of him, has
	paused.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		You could have put her under glass
		and I would have just stood and
		looked at her.  But when she spoke
		-- I loved the sound of her voice
		and her laugh --
			(a moment)
		-- I couldn't get enough of her --
		and gradually -- or maybe it wasn't
		gradually -- I realized I couldn't
		live without her.

	A KNOCK, the door opens and Drew enters, looks at Parrish,
	then at Joe, stands poised in the doorway.

			     DREW
		May I interrupting?

			     JOE
		Yes.

			     PARRISH
		No.

			     DREW
			(to joe)
		'Just kidding'?

			     PARRISH
		Sit down, Drew.

			     DREW
		Before I do --
			(glances at Joe)
		I was hoping we might be alone,
		Bill.

			     PARRISH
		Joe and I have no secrets from each
		other.

			     DREW
			(to Joe)
		How nice for you both.

	Drew takes a moment, then plunges in.

			     DREW (cont'd)
		Bill, pardon my candor, but I was
		confounded by your decision this
		morning.

			     PARRISH
		Why?

			     DREW
		I was hired, you told me, to help
		bring Parrish Communications into
		the 21st Century.  This merger is
		the vehicle --

	Joe interrupts:

			     JOE
		Perhaps a merger is a way to bring
		Bill's company into the 21st cen-
		tury.  And perhaps it isn't.  And
		perhaps cheating on your French
		Philosophers exam at The Groton
		School was an expedient way to get
		your diploma, and perhaps it wasn't.
		Be that as it may, Drew, a question
		can often be argued both ways.

	Drew is stunned.

			     PARRISH
		Joe, cut it out.  And you too, Drew.

			     DREW
			(to Parrish)
		I thought this was practically a
		done deal --

			     PARRISH
		Well now it's undone, okay?  Forget
		Bontecou!  Scrub him!  I'm tired of
		his fancy name and his fancy offer.
		I'm not going for it.

	A moment.

			     DREW
		Okay.

	Drew heads for the door, turns around.

			     DREW (cont'd)
			(to Parrish)
		Can I invite myself to dinner
		tonight?
			(a moment)
		Susan and I had ticket for the
		Knicks game.  But she said you
		guys were getting together --

			     PARRISH
		Dinner?  Absolutely.

			     JOE
		Absolutely.

			     DREW
			(to Joe)
		Damn decent of you.

	Drew exits.

			     JOE
		Why, at this juncture, are you
		letting yourself be so concerned
		by business matters?

			     PARRISH
		I don't want anybody buying up my
		life's work and turning it into
		something it wasn't meant to be.  A
		man wants to leave something behind.
		And he wants it left behind the way
		he made it.  And he wants it to be
		run the way he run it -- with a sense
		of honor, of dedication, of truth.
		Okay?

			     JOE
		Okay.

			     PARRISH
		And I don't need your goddamn permis-
		sion either!  You!  Drew!  I don't
		need anyone to tell me how to run my
		life.

			     JOE
		Easy, Bill.  You'll give yourself a
		heart attack and ruin my vacation.

	INT. SALON, PARRISH TOWNHOUSE, NEW YORK CITY - NIGHT

	The skyline glitters through the terrace windows.  The hour
	is before dinner, Coyle and Luisa weave seamlessly among the
	family, offering hors d'oeuvres and drinks on a tray.

	Allison and Susan together by a piano; Parrish, Quince and a
	distracted Joe are gathered near the terrace.  Joe's eyes
	are on Susan across the room.  Her eyes flicker towards him,
	aware of his gaze.

			     ALLISON
			(to Susan)
		...We're never all together two
		nights in a row.  Maybe Christmas,
		Thanksgiving, that's it.  What's
		going on?

			     SUSAN
		Nothing's going on.  Maybe he
		doesn't want to be alone.  He's go-
		ing to be sixty-five in a minute --

			     ALLISON
		...I don't know, Daddy seems funny
		to me.  Ever since Joe showed.  It's
		like he dropped from the clouds...

	Drew enters.  He nuzzles Susan's neck, out of the corner of
	her eye she sees Joe still observing them.

			     ALLISON (cont'd)
		...When Daddy walked in with him, he
		couldn't even remember his name.  Now
		he's his house guest.  And you know
		how he hates house guests.  What is
		going on?

	Drew, whose eyes have also been on Joe across the room, turns
	back.

			     DREW
			(to Susan and Allison)
		Good question.

	Allison sees Susan's eyes flicker over towards Joe.

			     ALLISON
		-- But he does seem very nice.

			     SUSAN
		You think so?

	ANOTHER ANGLE

	Over at the terrace, Quince buttonholes Parrish, Joe stand-
	ing by.

			     QUINCE
			(to Parrish)
		...I read you all the way on the
		Bontecou thing, and I know where
		you're coming from.  And I'm with
		you a hundred and one percent.

			     PARRISH
		Thank you, Quince.

			     QUINCE
		But I've got to tell you, if mergers
		are in the wild, I've got some great
		prospects I've developed.  I want to
		talk to you about them next week.

			     PARRISH
		Next week?

			     QUINCE
		Yeah.  Or the week after.

	Quince sees Parrish hesitate.

			     QUINCE (cont'd)
		No good?

			     PARRISH
		No, anything is possible.
			(lightly)
		It's up to Joe.

			     QUINCE
		Joe, you don't know how glad I am
		you're aboard.  Anybody who can take
		some of the weight off the old man,
		I'm in his corner.

			     JOE
		That's very gracious of you, Quince.

			     QUINCE
		No problem.  I'll leave you two
		alone.  I can tell you guys have
		something on the fire --

	An excited Quince drains his drink and heads for Drew as
	Allison appears.

			     ALLISON
			(to Parrish)
		Did you know twenty-six members of
		your rifle company are coming?

			     PARRISH
		Who?

			     ALLISON
		From the Korean War.

			     PARRISH
		Conflict, honey.  Korean Conflict.

			     ALLISON
		Whatever it was, they'll be here.
		We sent out invitations to everyone,
		plane tickets included -- the RSVP's
		are amazing.  A few of them we didn't
		hear from, and some of them are dead,
		of course --

			     PARRISH
		Of course.

			     ALLISON
			(a moment)
		You know, we're going to give this
		party for you whether you like it or
		not.

			     PARRISH
		I like it.  I like it.  I'm sorry I
		don't seem more appreciative.

			     ALLISON
			(resignedly)
		That's okay, Daddy.

	ANOTHER ANGLE

	Across the room, Quince has pulled Drew aside:

			     QUINCE
		...I know you're down, but you know
		when you're down, Drew, there's no
		place to go but up.

			     DREW
		Thanks, Quince.

			     QUINCE
		Never mind Bontecou.  I've got some
		other merger possibilities up my
		sleeve, and I'm putting them to see
		old man.

			     DREW
		Are you?

			     QUINCE
		We'll do it together.  I'll clue you
		in.  Timing's got to be right.  The
		old man says it's up to Joe.

			     DREW
		'It's up to Joe'?  Those were his
		words?

			     QUINCE
		Yeah.

			     DREW
		'It's up to Joe', huh?

			     QUINCE
		Yeah, that's what he said.

			     DREW
		Well, that's very interesting.

	Drew gazes intently over at Joe who is crossing to Susan,
	for the moment by herself near the piano.

			     QUINCE
		I thought so, too.  Joe's a neat
		guy.

			     DREW
		Yeah.  Neat.

	ANOTHER ANGLE

	Joe approaches Susan.

			     JOE
		I wanted to apologize, Susan --

			     SUSAN
		I thought you said 'Be sorry for
		nothing'.

			     JOE
		Well, now I am sorry.  For intruding
		on you this afternoon.

			     SUSAN
		It wasn't an intrusion.  And if it
		was, it turned out to be welcome.

			     JOE
		I appreciate you --

			     SUSAN
		Excuse me?

			     JOE
		I mean I appreciate that.

			     SUSAN
		And I appreciate you, too.

	A moment between them.

			     JOE
			(delighted)
		You do?  Well, thank you very much.

	ANOTHER ANGLE

	Drew crosses over to Parrish.

			     PARRISH
		I was a little abrupt with you this
		afternoon, Drew.  Forgive me.  I want
		you to know I value your advice.

			     DREW
		As much as Joe's?

	Parrish doesn't answer.

			     DREW (cont'd)
		Who is this man?  He's giving
		ubiquitous a bad name.

	A moment.

			     PARRISH
		You're competitive soul, Drew.
		That's what makes you a great addi-
		tion to the money.  Joe is just...
		around.

			     DREW
		For how long?  And why?

			     PARRISH
		Please.  Don't worry about him.  And
		above all, don't antagonize him.

	Drew glances over at Joe.

			     DREW
		Boss's orders, huh?  I'm great at
		following them.  And I think I'll
		start right now.

	Allison calls out from the other side of the room:

			     ALLISON
		Dinner's ready, everybody!

	A BUZZ as Coyle opens the doors to the dining room and the
	family files in, Drew lingering behind with Joe.

			     DREW
		I have a confession to make to you,
		Joe.

	Joe just smiles in response.

			     DREW (cont'd)
		Do you want to hear it?

			     JOE
			(pleasantly)
		No.

			     DREW
		Well, I'm going to tell you anyway.
		I did cheat on that exam at Groton.
		But so did twenty-six other guys,
		and nobody ever mentioned it until
		today.  And I'm expecting you won't
		mention it again.  I don't know who
		you are and where you're getting
		your information, but I'm willing to
		pretend I did not hear it, and let
		bygones be bygones.  But can I tell
		you something else, it'd be nice to
		see the big guy without you next to
		him.  What are you, his shadow?  Do
		you hold his dick for him when he
		goes to take a leak?  You know some-
		times somebody would like a few min-
		utes alone with W.P.  That means
		without you.  Okay, pal?  Let's eat.

	INT. DINING ROOM, PARRISH TOWNHOUSE - NIGHT

	Everyone eating silently but looks are exchanged, glances
	averted, Allison notices Susan and Joe looking at each
	other, Drew observes Parrish watching Joe, Quince, on the
	other hand, just eats.

	Breaking the silence, Parrish chinks his glass, stands.

			     PARRISH
		-- I - uh - want to thank you all
		for coming - uh - my family --

	Everyone at the table is all attention.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		-- Allison and Quince, Susan -- and
		the other members --

	He glances at Joe, stops.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		-- I'm so happy when we can get
		together -- I mean I know you all
		have busy lives --

			     SUSAN
		Look who's talking.

			     ALLISON
			(a laugh)
		Yeah, speak for yourself.

			     PARRISH
		Anyway -- I remember when you were
		little girls --

	An awkward pause.  Quince chooses to fill the silence.

			     QUINCE
		I love little girls --

	Allison elbows him.

			     PARRISH
		And now you're all grown up -- and
		I'm - uh - um --

	Parrish struggles to keep his emotions in check, Drew
	clocking his behavior very carefully.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		I had some words all prepared but
		now I've forgotten them - uh - um -
		wait a minute.

	Silence, everyone waiting for Parrish to proceed.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		Uh, it's gone...um -- it was on the
		tip of my tongue.

			     SUSAN
		It'll come back, Daddy.

			     PARRISH
		Will it?...

	Parrish looking around, searching for words he will not find.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		Anyway, I'd like to go on but...

	He hesitates, drifts into silence.

			     ALLISON
			(tentatively)
		Daddy, you could sit down if you
		wanted to.

	A moment.

			     PARRISH
		There is so much I would like to say
		-- but I can't --
			(another moment)
		So I better sit down.  Carry on,
		everybody.

	He sits, then immediately stands up again.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		One other thing -- why don't we all
		have dinner again tomorrow night?

			     ALLISON
		Dinner?  Again?

			     SUSAN
		Haven't you had enough of us, Dad?

			     PARRISH
			(with great sincerity)
		No.

	The word lands with effect, Susan and Allison have heard it
	well.

			     SUSAN
		We'll be here.

			     QUINCE
		You bet.

			     ALLISON
		With bells on.

	The guests try to return to their food, Susan is the most
	concerned about Parrish's lapse, she does not say anything
	but Drew next to her senses her empathy and, in something of
	a display, gives her a pro forma hug.  Joe has observed
	every instant of Drew's performance, his anxiety is palpable
	when Coyle leans over to serve him, offering a tray of a
	roast that has been carved.

			     JOE
			(to Coyle)
		I would prefer some peanut butter.

			     COYLE
		How would you like that, sir?  On
		some kind of toast?

			     JOE
		Toast?  No...just the butter.

			     COYLE
		Right away.

	Coyle heads for the kitchen.

			     SUSAN
		Why do you love peanut butter so
		much?

			     JOE
			(intimately)
		I don't know.

			     SUSAN
		I adore things like that....food I
		can't do without.  Don't you?

	Joe is locked on Susan, it is as if there is nobody else in the
	room.

			     JOE
		Yes...

			     SUSAN
		It comforts you, doesn't it?

			     JOE
			(captivated)
		Yes...I've found that it does.

			     DREW
		Mind if I throw up?

			     PARRISH
			(admonishing gently)
		Please, Drew.

			     JOE
			(to Susan)
		I'm very concerned about the woman
		you attended to today.

			     SUSAN
		I am, too.

			     JOE
		Has her pain abated?

			     SUSAN
		We're doing what we can for her.
		But it doesn't look good.

			     JOE
		I'm sorry to hear that.

			     DREW
		Who are we talking about?

			     JOE
			(to Susan)
		But I know she's grateful for the
		care you're giving her.

			     DREW
		Is this a state secret or are we
		being excluded just for the fun of
		it?

			     JOE
			(to Drew)
		Susan's patient is whom we are
		talking about.

			     SUSAN
		Joe visited the hospital today.

	Parrish's head swivels to Joe.

			     ALLISON
		Did he?  That's more than we get to
		do.

			     DREW
		Well, maybe next time Joe goes,
		he'll take us along.

			     JOE
		Perhaps you could remind me.

			     DREW
		I'll make a note of it.  Anything
		else?

			     QUINCE
		I'd like to come, too.  See Susan
		strut her stuff.

			     DREW
		You're on, Quin-cee.  Destination
		Hospital.  Joe, you'll be the Tour
		Guide.  Okay?  How's that sound to
		you?

	Silence.  Parrish regards Joe, then Susan, his face reflects
	a sudden concern with their relationship.

			     JOE
		Susan is a wonderful doctor.

	INT. SALON, PARRISH TOWNHOUSE - NIGHT

	After dinner, the family and guests file back in from the
	dining room, Drew alongside Parrish.

			     DREW
		I have to go, Bill -- it's been a
		helluva day.  Need a few minutes to
		sort everything out.

			     PARRISH
		Okay, we'll see you tomorrow.

			     DREW
		Sure.

	Drew peels off, heads for the foyer and front door, Susan
	follows him.

	Parrish corners Joe.

			     PARRISH
		Why did you go to the hospital?

			     JOE
		I don't know.

			     PARRISH
		You were just curious?

			     JOE
		I guess...

			     PARRISH
		About Susan?

			     JOE
		I wouldn't put it that way.

			     PARRISH
		What way would you put it?

			     JOE
		You tell me, Bill.

			     PARRISH
		How about you telling me?  When I
		ask a simple question, I expect a
		straight answer.  That's what I'm
		used to.  Anybody who doesn't give
		it to me, I fire.

			     JOE
		Are you going to fire me, Bill?

	Silence, Parrish is at a loss.

	INT. FOYER - NIGHT

	Drew is putting on his coat, Susan with him, a tension between
	them, a heavy silence finally broken.

			     SUSAN
		...See you tomorrow night.

			     DREW
		Include me out.  I've had enough of
		the conversations.

			     SUSAN
		You don't mean that.  You wouldn't
		disappoint Daddy --

			     DREW
		Daddy'll do fine.  Besides, he's got
		Joe.
			(a moment)
		And so do you.

			     SUSAN
		Drew, you're out of line.

			     DREW
		That may be.  But I don't like the
		fucker.  I don't like the way he
		looks at you and talks to you.  And
		vice versa.

			     SUSAN
		Sorry, but I like the way he looks
		and talks to me.  And vice versa.
		Okay?

			     DREW
		No, not okay.  I thought we had a
		good thing going here.
			(a moment)
		It shows you never know.

	Silence, neither knows how to continue.

			     SUSAN
		Well... goodnight.

			     DREW
		Yeah.  Goodnight.

	Drew goes, Susan turns to find out at the far end of the foyer,
	he's been observing them.  She walks up to him.

			     SUSAN
		How long have you been standing
		there?

			     JOE
		I don't like the way Drew spoken to
		you.  But I feel better about it now
		because of the way you spoke back.

	A moment.

			     SUSAN
		Tell me about yourself, Joe.  Who
		you are.  What you're doing with my
		father.

	Susan's directness has caught him by surprise, Joe blinks.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		So you're not going to tell me?

	Joe remains silent, rendered extremely anxious by Susan's
	inquiries.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		You're married, aren't you?

			     JOE
		Why?

			     SUSAN
		Because guys who never say anything
		about themselves are always married.

	Joe doesn't respond.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		So you are married.

			     JOE
		No, I'm not.

			     SUSAN
		Girlfriend?

			     JOE
		No.

			     SUSAN
		Gay?

			     JOE
		No.

	Susan comes closer to Joe.

			     SUSAN
		Then tell me, Joe, how come a man
		as attractive, intelligent, well-
		spoken ,diffident in the most sed-
		uctive way, and yet powerful, is all
		alone in this world?

	Joe tries to respond but he can't, his stammer interrupted
	by Susan.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		I'm sorry, I don't want to pry and
		you don't want to tell me.  So let's
		leave it a mystery.  That's the way
		you want it, isn't it?

	Susan takes another step closer to Joe.

			     JOE
		Thank you, I appreciate that.

	They are inches apart now, the smell of each other surrounds
	them, a heaviness to the moment, now Joe turns to head up the
	stairs.

			     SUSAN
		Where are you going?

			     JOE
			(softly)
		To bed.

			     SUSAN
			(suddenly fragile)
		'To bed'?

			     JOE
		Yes.  I'm tired.

	He excuses himself with an ineffable gesture, now climbs the
	stairs, Susan watches him disappear.

	She turns back into the salon just as Allison and Quince are
	exiting, "good-byes" all around.  Susan is left alone now
	with Parrish who is fixing a drink at a sidebar.

			     PARRISH
		That was wonderful.

			     SUSAN
		Yeah, it's good to get together.

			     PARRISH
		Do you mind if I raise a little
		caution flag?

			     SUSAN
		Raise away.

			     PARRISH
		What is the nature of your interest
		in Joe?

			     SUSAN
		Well, remember how you told me about
		"lightning striking"?  The nature of
		it's in there somewhere.

	Parrish drops another cube of ice in his drink, takes his
	time before answering.

			     PARRISH
		I won't say you may be getting onto
		shaken ground --

			     SUSAN
		Then what will you say?

			     PARRISH
		I don't think this is the lightning
		you are looking for.  Drew's a good
		man.  I know I didn't seem to be
		completely in his corner before, but
		I've come to appreciate --

			     SUSAN
		Now we love Drew and Joe in verbo-
		ten?  What's going on?

			     PARRISH
		Nothing.

			     SUSAN
		When you say 'nothing' that way,
		it's not nothing.

			     PARRISH
		Then what is it?

			     SUSAN
		It's something.

	She kisses him.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		G'night, Daddy.  See you tomorrow.
		This is getting interesting.

	She goes.

							CUT TO:

	INT. THE CARLYLE HOTEL - NEXT DAY

	A large suite, room service carts creaking with pots of
	coffee and half-eaten pastries.  The Board of Parrish
	Communications is gathered, absent are Parrish and Quince.
	Felicia, Drew's secretary, takes notes.

			     DREW
		...I know you're all as uncomfor-
		table as I am to be meeting without
		Bill, but I got a call last night
		from John Bontecou.  Not only is he
		still interested, he is sweetening
		his offer.
			(a moment)
		Although it pains me to say it, in
		my opinion Bill Parrish dealt with
		us peremptorily in dismissing any
		deal with Bontecou.  Therefore, I'm
		sorry to say that if we are to exam-
		ine this new offer responsibly as
		the Board of Directors of Parrish
		Communications, we must do so with-
		out its Chairman.
			(another moment)
		Oh yes, there is one additional
		element: Bontecou is so anxious to
		get us, he said he'd take Parrish
		Communications with our Chairman or
		without.

	The Board falls silent.  Sloane, a peer of Parrish's,
	fidgets.  Drew milks the moment.

			     DREW (cont'D)
		It's no surprise if I suggest to you
		that the Bill Parrish we know is not
		the Bill Parrish you saw yesterday.
		You heard that speech -- some strange
		emotional rationale to buttress a
		knee-jerk rejection of a legitimate
		offer.  Does it not strike you that
		something is possibly affecting this
		man's judgement?  More specifically
		-- his judgement to make a critical
		business decision?

	Silence, the Board clocking Drew's argument.

			     DREW (cont'D)
		It's not pleasant to say the follow-
		ing, but I would be remiss, in this
		crisis, if I did not.  When we pre-
		sent Bill with the improved Bontecou
		offer, and if he refuses to let us
		consider it -- once more makes an
		adamant or emotional rejection -- we
		will have no choice but to seek an
		alternative.

			     SLOANE
		And what would that be?

			     DREW
		Bill's birthday is the day after
		tomorrow.  There is a provisory by-
		law in our charter.  Per the discre-
		tion of the Board, Corporate off-
		icers can be retired at age sixty-
		five.

			     SLOANE
		You're taking this too far, Drew.

			     DREW
		Am I not obligated to?

	Drew leans over to Felicia, speaks quietly and she leaves
	the room.

			     DREW (cont'd)
		How did this all come about?  Crisis
		-- Bill Parrish, crisis -- his com-
		pany, crisis for us.  I came about
		with the arrival on the scene of --
		Mr. Joe Black.  Mr. Joe who?  Joe
		Black.  He attends our Board meet-
		int, he sleeps at Bill's house, re-
		sides in his office.  Never leaves
		his side.  And, in my opinion, is
		always in his ear.  Telling him what
		to do and Bill is listening.  Who is
		Joe Black?  What is his relationship
		to Bill Parrish?  And most important,
		what is behind his influence on our
		Chairman?

			     SLOANE
		You're building this thing up too
		much, Drew.  He's had advisors be-
		fore.  Nobody tells Bill what to do.

	The door opens and Felicia enters followed by Quince, sur-
	prised at seeing a convened Board, but still he is all smiles.

			     DREW
		Thank you for coming.

			     SLOANE
		Hello, Quince.

			     QUINCE
		Hi, Ed, hi folks, I didn't know
		everybody was going to be here, what
		a nice surprise.  What's the big
		confab?

			     SLOANE
			(acidly)
		This is a secret meeting.

			     DREW
			(to Quince)
		I hope you'll respect its nature --
		What we're trying to do here is
		gather our thoughts -- in light of
		Bill's rejection of Bontecou's offer
		-- and make an appropriate presenta-
		tion to him as to how we think the
		company might proceed.  Won't you
		share with our Board the information
		you gave me last night?

	Quince hesitates, then realizes what Drew has on his mind.
	He nods confidently to Drew, then turns importantly to the
	Board.

			     QUINCE
		Well, I'm happy to tell you I've got
		good news.  As I was telling Drew,
		I've been making a little hay while
		the Bontecou sun was shining -- two,
		possibly three new and boiling hot
		prospects for merger.

			     DREW
		How did Bill react to the leads
		you've developed?

			     QUINCE
		He was interested.

			     DREW
			(prompting)
		-- But he was concerned about the
		timing?

			     QUINCE
		The timing -- yes.  He says it's up
		to Joe.

			     DREW
		'It's up to Joe'?

			     QUINCE
		That's what he said.

	Quince, having dispensed his information, looks proudly
	around at the Board members.  They are stunned, Sloane in
	shock.  Drew is absolutely still, letting Quince's words
	sink in.

	INT. DINING ROOM, PARRISH TOWNHOUSE - NIGHT

	Parrish, Joe, Susan, Allison and Quince are seated at the
	table, dessert plates in front of them, coffee cups beside.
	Allison and Susan's eyes are on Parrish, looking for some
	clue as to why has he gathered the family together yet
	again.  Parrish is somewhat within himself, but he peeks
	over his demi-tasse cup at Joe, Parrish aware of Joe's
	heightened interest in Susan, and Susan's reciprocation.

	Coyle enters carrying two imposing stemmed silver trays with
	cakes on them, Luisa follows with one other.  They set them
	down in front of Parrish.

			     PARRISH
		What is this?

			     ALLISON
		Annie made them.

			     PARRISH
		Who's Annie?

			     ALLISON
		From La Rosette, only the greatest
		pastry chef in America.
			(pointing)
		This is orange, from real Seville
		oranges.  Lemon, on a mille-feuille
		crust, a little on the fanciful.
		And a while, nothing like a good old
		white cake, vanilla, with Angel food
		but some maroons shavings thrown in.

			     PARRISH
		I don't like cake.

			     ALLISON
		It's for the party, Dad --

			     PARRISH
		Oh, the goddam party --

			     ALLISON
		'Goddam party'!

	Allison bursts into tears.

			     ALLISON (cont'd)
			(to Quince)
		Did you hear that?

	Quince quickly slashes a piece, takes a huge bite.

			     QUINCE
		This is great, honey.  The orange.
		Has it got a little vodka in it?
		Like that Finnish stuff, orange
		vodka --
			(to Parrish)
		Put your lips around this one, Bill.
		It's out of this world.

			     PARRISH
		No thank you, Quince.
			(to Allison)
		I'm sorry, honey.  I'm no good at
		this.  Why don't you choose whatever
		cake you like?

			     ALLISON
		I knew you were going to say that.
		Tito Puente.  The old platoon.  Now
		the cake.  You just don't care.  Why
		did I do this?  I should have my head
		examined.  I'm trying to throw the
		party for the century for my father -
		and you know what -- he doesn't give
		a shit.

	She bursts into tears all over again.

			     QUINCE
		But he does give a shit.  Don't you,
		Bill?

			     PARRISH
		Yeah, I give a shit.

			     QUINCE
		See.  There.  What'd I tell you?

	Joe watches as Quince dabs at Allison's tears with a napkin.

			     QUINCE (cont'd)
		Feel better?

			     ALLISON
		Yeah, but --

			     QUINCE
		But what?

			     ALLISON
		What will I tell Annie?

	Parrish forks a bit of a cake.

			     PARRISH
		This one.

			     QUINCE
		The vodka.  What'd I tell you?

	Quince puts a reassuring arm around Allison, she seems to
	relax now, Joe has been a keen observer of what has trans-
	pired between husband and wife, between man and woman, a
	sense that he has taken in the virtue of such a relation-
	ship.

	INT. SALON, PARRISH TOWNHOUSE - NIGHT

	After dinner, Parrish, Allison and Susan are gathered to-
	gether.  At the bar on the other side of the room, Joe
	watches as Quince pours himself a stiff hooker of brandy.

			     JOE
			(to Quince)
		Cirrhosis of the liver is the fifth
		leading killer of adult Western
		males.

			     QUINCE
		I didn't know that.

			     JOE
		On the other hand, Winston Churchill
		drank a bottle of cognac a day and
		lived until he was ninety-one.

	After a moment.

			     QUINCE
		You're an original, Joe.  A little
		hard to figure, maybe...

			     JOE
		And you're a nice man, Quince.

			     QUINCE
		Thanks.

			     JOE
		You're welcome.

	ANOTHER ANGLE

	Drew appears unannounced in the doorway, exchanges a tense
	glance with Susan, then heads straight for Parrish who seems
	surprised to see him.

			     DREW
			(to Parrish)
		Sorry to intrude, Bill, but we've
		got a bit of a crisis downtown --
		it's not something we could talk
		about on the phone.

	Parrish takes Drew aside.

			     DREW (cont'd)
		The Board's real unhappy, Pappy --
		they felt you dealt with them pre-
		emptorily, you never gave them a
		chance to speak --

			     PARRISH
		What is there to say?  They know
		what John Bontecou is -- and if they
		didn't, they know now.

			     DREW
		Yes, you made your feeling abun-
		dantly clear.  Now they want to do
		the same with theirs.

			     PARRISH
		What are their feelings?

			     DREW
		If I read this Board right now, they
		want you to accept Bontecou's offer.

			     PARRISH
		Over my dead body.

	Parrish's burgeoning anger has now gotten the attention of
	Joe, Susan, Quince and Allison.

			     DREW
		What do you think the Board is going
		to say when I tell them that?

			     PARRISH
		I don't care.

			     DREW
		With all due respect, you damn well
		better care because if you try to
		stonewall them again, there'll be
		blood on the floor.

	Silence, Parrish carefully calibrating Drew's remark.

			     PARRISH
		Whose?

			     DREW
		Yours.

			     PARRISH
		I'm feeling real uncomfortable right
		now because the guy who reports to
		me is threatening me.

			     DREW
		I'm just giving you the truth.  There
		was a time when William Parrish liked
		the truth.

	Joe, although across the room, is all attention.

			     PARRISH
		I think it's time you went home,
		Drew.

			     DREW
		Certainly.  Goodnight.

	Drew goes, everybody is in shock, Susan pursues him out into
	the hallway.

			     SUSAN
		Drew!

	He stops.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		Never talk to my father like that
		again.

			     DREW
		Don't worry about it.  There's a
		beginning and a middle and an end
		to everything.  And I think I've
		come to the end of my chapter with
		the Parrishes.

	Joe has followed them into the hallway.

			     DREW (cont'd)
		And the end began with this guy.

	Drew looks down towards Joe.

			     DREW (cont'd)
		Mr. Black --?  We ran a check on you
		and you know what we came up with?

			     JOE
		No, I don't --

			     DREW
		Not good, not bad, you know what we
		got?  Nothing.  No credit, no cars,
		no mortgages -- no wives.  Nothing.

	Joe waits.

			     DREW (cont'd)
		All of a sudden a guy appears on the
		scene with the Chairman of one of
		the greatest communications corpora-
		tions of the world, the boss makes
		him privy to all the company's
		secrets, he attends the Board meet-
		ings, and us working stiffs with
		MBA's up the ass and years and years
		and years of experience, we're left
		outside with our noses pressed
		against the window.

	Joe doesn't respond.

			     DREW (cont'd)
		This is a big-time operation, deal-
		ing in big-time issues, demanding
		big-time executives who make big-
		time decisions.  So, Joe, why don't
		you tell me exactly what it is
		that's big time about you?

	After a moment.

			     JOE
		You first.

			     SUSAN
			(to Drew)
		Why don't you get off his case?

			     DREW
		Oh, you're the great Joe's attorney
		now?  Are we going to go to court?
		Or are we going to go to bed?  And I
		don't mean you and me.  I mean you
		and him.

			     SUSAN
		That's it.  It's over.  Get out.

			     DREW
		So I guess a blowjob's out of the
		question?

	Joe clears his throat.

			     DREW (cont'd)
		Did you say something?

	Joe considers him evenly.

			     JOE
		Almost.

			     SUSAN
			(to Drew)
		I said get out.

	Now Drew wheels, heads right for the front door and exits with
	a SLAM.

			     JOE
		What an angry fellow.

	A moment passes before Susan realizes she and Joe are alone,
	and Joe does as well.

			     SUSAN
		I'm sorry about --

			     JOE
		Please.  We don't need to talk about
		Drew.

	She regards Joe.

			     SUSAN
		No.  We don't.

	They drift, osmotically, into the library in awkward silence.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		Brave you had a chance to look at
		Dad's rare books?  Jefferson's
		Parliamentary Manual, a first
		edition Bleak House --

	Joe comes closer, takes a deep breath.

			     JOE
		I love your smell.

			     SUSAN
		-- I guess you haven't.

	Now Susan, close to Joe, leans closer, her nose in Joe's
	neck.  Joe holds himself very still.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		I like your smell, too.

			     JOE
		Thank you.

			     SUSAN
		It was everything.

	Silence, the TICKING of the clock.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		When I was little, my mother used to
		say, "Darling, you could set your
		heart by this clock".

			     JOE
		-- Could you?

			     SUSAN
		Never tried, 'til now.
			(suddenly)
		Joe, may I kiss you?

			     JOE
		Why, yes.  Thank you.

	A moment.

			     SUSAN
		You're welcome.

	Susan reaches out for Joe, they kiss, he is awkward but his
	very awkwardness endearing.  Susan pulls him closer, they
	linger now, mouths on each other's, then separate.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		Thank you.

			     JOE
		You're welcome.

	The clock TICKS on.  A sense of foreboding falls over Joe's
	face, his fear that he is passing through some barrier, a
	point of no return.

			     SUSAN
		Joe?

	The apprehensive expression on Joe's face fades away.

			     JOE
		Yes?

			     SUSAN
		I don't know who you are.

			     JOE
		Well...I'm -- uh, Joe.  And you're
		Susan.  And I - uh - have this weak
		feeling in my knees --

			     SUSAN
		And is your heart beating strangely?

			     JOE
		Faster.  And I want the scent from
		underneath your ears and the taste
		of your lips and the touch of your
		tongue to stay with me -- forever.

	An intake of breath.  She is about to speak.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		And you don't even have to say a
		word.

	Their faces inches from each other's.

			     SUSAN
		I have to go home.

	But neither Susan nor Joe moves.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		Don't I?

	Her question makes Joe, almost involuntarily, smile.  Susan
	takes the opportunity to step back from him.  The SOUND of
	someone at the door, it is Parrish, Susan turns, comprehends
	immediately how the situation will appear to him.

			     SUSAN
		Goodnight, Daddy.

	She drifts right past him, exits.  Joe and Parrish are left
	alone now, eyes on each other's.

			     JOE
		Hello, Bill.

			     PARRISH
			(carefully)
		Hello.  Would you like to join me,
		Quince and Allison for a nightcap?

			     JOE
		Um -- not right now.

	An awkward moment.

			     PARRISH
		Okay.  Goodnight.

			     JOE
		Goodnight.

	Parrish turns and exits, Joe's head inclines, he breathes in
	the scent of his collar.

							CUT TO:

	INT. EXECUTIVE SUITE, PARRISH COMMUNICATIONS - NEXT DAY

	Parrish, followed by Joe, emerges from his private elevator,
	is greeted as usual:

			     JENIFER
		Good morning, Mr. Parrish.

			     PARRISH
		Good morning, Jennifer.

			     JENIFER
		The Board is waiting.

			     PARRISH
		What?

			     JENIFER
		Didn't you call a Board meeting?

	Jennifer sees Parrish is trying to right his balance, she
	knows better than to press the point.

			     JENIFER (cont'd)
		Yes, the members are waiting.  They
		are in the Board room now.

	Jennifer nods respectfully as Parrish doesn't cast a flicker
	of any further surprise, heads straight for the Board room,
	Joe right beside him.

	INT. BOARD ROOM, PARRISH COMMUNICATIONS - DAY

	Parrish and Joe enter, the entire Board is assembled, includ-
	ing Drew, Quince and Sloane.

			     PARRISH
		Good morning.

	An odd mixture of responses, the Board sheepish and at the
	same time looking their most dutiful at this odd meeting,
	its sudden convening clearly a problem for Parrish, a prob-
	lem which he does not attempt to hide, only control.

			     DREW
		Did you want to have a cup of coffee
		or something, Bill?

			     PARRISH
		I don't think so.  Do you?

	Drew gets the message, at the same time Joe is checking out
	all the attendees, his eyes come to rest on Drew.

			     DREW
			(to Parrish)
		To get to the point, we have re-
		ceived new information from John
		Bontecou concerning his desires for
		this company to merge with his, and
		we wanted to set the details before
		you.

	A moment as Parrish looks around, the moment extends, it
	appears he may not ever answer.

			     PARRISH
		That's it?

			     DREW
		Bontecou wants a quick response
		and --

			     PARRISH
		The answer is no, quick enough for
		you?

			     DREW
		Don't you want to hear the details?

			     PARRISH
		I'm not interested in the details.
		And I'm not interested in the big
		picture either.  What I am inter-
		ersted in is how my Board got conven-
		ed behind my back, is entertaining a
		further proposal from a man whom it
		offends me to do business with,
		moreover has the audacity to present
		this to me like a prize fish, and I
		am expected to clap for it like a
		performing seal.  No, thank you.

			     DREW
		So I am to understand from your re-
		sponse that you do not want to hear
		the details of Bontecou's offer?

			     PARRISH
		Yes, you are to understand that, and
		now may I ask you a question?

			     DREW
		Certainly, Bill.

			     PARRISH
		Are you running this Board or am I?

	Sloane leans in.

			     SLOANE
		We're not getting anywhere here.
		Why don't we take some of the best
		out of this thing, let's consider
		it coolly, let's take a week --

			     DREW
		Bontecou wants a speedier response
		than that.

			     SLOANE
		He'll wait --

			     PARRISH
		Doesn't need to.  Today, tomorrow,
		a week from now -- 'a week from
		now', who can think about a week
		from now -- the answer is going to
		be the same -- a loud, unmistakable,
		all-inclusive, airtight -- 'No'.

	A BUZZ amongst the Board, they finally rustle into silence
	under Parrish's withering glance.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		That's it?  I've got a busy day
		and this meeting has already set
		me behind.  Shall we adjourn?

			     DREW
		Before we do, while we're here,
		there is a second question the
		Board would like a response to,
		a far simpler one.

	Parrish waits.

			     DREW (cont'd)
		Who is the man sitting to the right
		of you?

	Everybody's eyes are on Joe.

			     PARRISH
		I've already introduced Mr. Black to
		you all.

			     DREW
		But who is he?  What are his creden-
		tials?  What is his relationship to
		you?

	No response from Parrish.

			     DREW (cont'd)
		The feeling of the Board is this: we
		fear Mr. Black is not only influenc-
		ing your decisions in regard to this
		company, but that you are relying on
		him to make them for you.

	Quince flinches at these words, his hands clasped in front
	of him, his knuckles white as Parrish regards Drew, but still
	does not answer.

			     DREW (cont'd)
		The lack of response, Bill, is not
		appropriate.  We are your Board, we
		have a right to know how you are
		managing the operations of this
		company, and most importantly, that
		you have not delegated someone to do
		it for you.

	Parrish squirms, desperately uncomfortable but still does
	not speak.

			     DREW (cont'd)
		Okay, one more time.

	Drew regards Joe.

			     DREW (cont'd)
		Who is Joe Black?

	Parrish stares stoically into the middle distance as
	Quince's head sinks into his hands.

			     DREW (cont'd)
			(to the Board)
		A motion has been brought before
		the Board to invoke Article 19 of
		the corporate charter.

			     PARRISH
		In English, please.

			     DREW
		Mandatory retirement upon our
		Chairman's sixty-fifth birthday.

	Parrish is expressionless.

			     DREW (cont'd)
		At which time, the Chairman will be
		named Emeritus, he will be welcome
		to attend all meetings, and will
		serve as International Spokesman for
		the corporation plus, of course, a
		settlement, a golden parachute of
		such magnitude that his feet will
		never touch the ground.

	Drew pauses.

			     DREW (cont'd)
		Please indicate your vote by a "Yes"
		or "No".

	A "Yes" is heard, now another "Yes", now more "Yes"es, all
	reluctant, "No" from Sloane, "No" from Quince who realizes
	he is the instrument of Parrish's dismissal.

			     DREW (cont'd)
		The motion is passed.  We will of
		course delay the announcement, out
		of respect for our former Chairman,
		until after the celebration of his
		birthday this weekend.

			     PARRISH
		Thank you for allowing me to save
		face, Drew.

	Joe's eyes are riveted on Drew.

			     DREW
			(to the Board)
		The other motion before us is the
		acceptance of John Bontecou's offer
		to merge this corporation with
		Bontecou International --

	Parrish stands, Drew stops speaking.

			     PARRISH
		Joe?

	Silence, then Joe rises.

			     JOE
			(to the Board)
		Who I am, and my relationship to
		Bill, will be divulged in our own
		good time.

	Joe follows Parrish out of the room.

	INT. HALLWAY, OUTSIDE BOARD ROOM - DAY

	Sloane has pursued Parrish and Joe.

			     SLOANE
			(to Parrish)
		...It's not over, 'til it's over.

			     PARRISH
		Please, Eddie, no 'Fat Lady Sings"
		shit.

			     SLOANE
		I still sense some doubt in this
		group, we could turn it around.
		You'll be up in the country?

			     PARRISH
		Yes, the big 'celebration' of my
		mandatory retirement birthday.
		You're an honored guest, Eddie.

			     SLOANE
		I'm going to stick it out here.  We
		still have a shot.

	The elevator door opens, Parrish and Joe step inside and the
	door closes, leaving Sloane behind.

	INT. HALLWAY, PARRISH COMMUNICATIONS - DAY

	The Board meeting has broken up, clusters of members have
	lingered, exchanging post-mortems.  And enraged Quince has
	cornered Drew, out of earshot of the others.

			     QUINCE
		What have you done?  You've gotten
		the old man fired!

			     DREW
		That we did.  Thanks to you.  He was
		wobbling, mind you, but you stupid
		the coup de grace.

	Quince falls silent, aquiver with this reality.

			     QUINCE
		I'm going to put a stop to this!

			     DREW
		Quince, you can't unscramble
		scrambled eggs.

			     QUINCE
		But I didn't mean to do it!

			     DREW
		The train's left the station, pal,
		and you're aboard.  Would you like
		to hear the silver lining?  Check
		that, gold.  I've been working with
		John Bontecou all along.  We had
		a game plan -- acquire Parrish
		Communications then break it apart
		and peddle it piece-by-piece to the
		highest bidder.  I set it up for
		him, he smacks it out of the park.

	Quince is struck dumb.

			     DREW (cont'd)
		Don't you know what this'll mean?
		You'll be rich.  You'll sell your
		stock, you can stop kissing ass --
		What'll it feel like to be a man?

			     QUINCE
		I don't want to get rich this way --
		I'm going to expose you.

			     DREW
		Go right ahead.  Tell William
		Parrish how you betrayed him at
		a secret Board meeting.  And tell
		Allison how you got her father
		fired -- and he lost his company.

	Quince goes ashen.

			     DREW (cont'd)
		It's just life, Quin-cee.

	Drew hails an employee across the hall.

			     DREW (cont'd)
			(to Quince)
		Wake up and smell the thorns.

	Drew joins the employee as Quince slumps against the wall.

	INT. FOYER, PARRISH TOWNHOUSE - DAY

	Parrish enters, Joe right behind him, Coyle takes their coats,
	disappears.  Parrish hesitates for a moment, shrugs as if he
	has a thought he doesn't want to share, then heads upstairs
	with Joe.  He is trudging a bit, Joe senses his mood.

			     JOE
		I'm sorry, Bill --

			     PARRISH
		That's okay.

			     JOE
		What's okay?

			     PARRISH
		Just a manner of speaking.

	Joe seems puzzled.

			     PARRISH
			(cont'd)
		What 'okay' is, it's 'okay' it's
		over.  We've got bigger fish to fry,
		don't we, Joe?

			     JOE
		'Fish'?

			     PARRISH
		Never mind.  I'm tired.  I'm going
		to take a nap.

	A moment.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		Are you hungry?  Coyle will have
		Luisa fix you something to eat.

			     JOE
		I'm not hungry.

			     PARRISH
		Then I can't help you.

	Parrish turns into his bedroom, closing the door gently
	behind him.  Joe continues down the hall, enters the guest
	wing.

	INT. GUEST SUITE, PARRISH TOWNHOUSE - DAY

	Midday sunlight streams into the sitting room, Joe passes
	through to his bedroom, sits tentatively on the bed, feels
	the edge of the silk spread, touches the pillow, then rises
	again, crosses back to the sitting room.

	Susan appears in the doorway, Joe suddenly senses her, turns
	around.

			     SUSAN
		You're here?

			     JOE
		I am.

	He stands, they regard each other for the moment.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		May I take your coat?

	She doesn't answer, starts to take off the coat herself, Joe
	comes around her to help, Susan senses him breathing in the
	scent at the back of her neck.

			     SUSAN
		I just thought I'd drop by, scrounge
		a little lunch, I was in the neigh-
		borhood --

			     JOE
		How beautiful.

	He starts to hang Susan's coat up.

			     SUSAN
		Just throw it on the chair.

	Joe holds her coat carefully on the chair.  An awkward
	moment, the two of them shifting from foot-to-foot.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		When I called, they said that you
		and Daddy had just left the office.

			     JOE
		He's taking a nap.

			     SUSAN
		He must be tired -- this Bontecou
		thing --

			     JOE
		Yes, he's tired.  I believe so.

	A moment.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		You must be hungry?

	Susan sits on the couch.

			     SUSAN
		No, not anymore.  Are you?

	Joe hears the question but doesn't answer, sits down on the
	couch beside her.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		(after a moment)
		Are you cold?

			     JOE
		...No.

			     SUSAN
		Maybe it's the draft through the
		door.

	She gets up, closes the door, sits back down again next to
	Joe.  A warm, awkward silence, they move closer to each
	other, now they fall into a foreplay which Susan recognizes
	as such, Joe, on the other hand, participates hungrily but
	has no knowledge where it is leading.  His movements are
	instinctive, the smell of her hair, the shape of her fin-
	gers, odd things about her seem to interest him.  This
	excites her because she senses his untutoredness and the
	very sense of that stirs her, their reactions to each other
	are intuitive and spontaneous; even though Joe has no know-
	ledge of how to make love to a woman, ironically his actions
	are such that they never beg the question -- has he done it
	before.

	Strange territory for Joe, not to be 'in control' and exert-
	ing his power, but his inventions and responses in lovemak-
	ing are so real that an emotional exchange between he and
	Susan builds.  Joe has found himself in an unexplored land
	of feeling and passion, he loves what is happening and yet
	at the same time, is terrified by it.  He feels himself being
	lured by some power he has not only never been aware of, but
	is deeply dangerous to partake of; he knows what he is doing
	is putting who he is at great risk, yet he goes right on.
	The powerful contradiction is transmitted to Susan, and in
	the end there is the knowledge they have together made a
	journey, they both have been swept away in a stream of events
	they have created; and they don't care about the consequences.

	Spent, they lie in silence.  Finally Susan speaks:

			     SUSAN
		It's so wonderful to make love to
		you.  It's like making love to some-
		one who has never made love before.

	Joe senses an opportunity not only to admit to what she has
	said, but to tell her more, even the truth about himself.
	He weighs, then resists, the impulse.

			     JOE
		Thank you.

	Her head nestles underneath his arm, she has a sense of his
	comforting her without knowing that he is doing so.

			     SUSAN
		Did you like making love to me?

			     JOE
		I loved it.

			     SUSAN
		More than you love peanut butter?

			     JOE
		Yes!

	She laughs at the earnestness with which he answers.

	Joe seems to drift away now, they lie together as one but for
	the first time, she feels separate from him, sensing him gone
	to some distant, distant land.

			     SUSAN
		Where are you going?

			     JOE
		Nowhere?  I'm...here.

			     SUSAN
		For how long?

			     JOE
		Oh, I hope a long, long time.

	A moment.

			     SUSAN
		Me, too.

	Another moment.

			     JOE
		What do we do now?

	She smiles.

			     SUSAN
		It will come to us.

	INT. FOYER, PARRISH TOWNHOUSE (LATER) - DAY

	Joe and Susan are at the front door, he has helped her
	on with her coat, she turns around, they kiss.  The kiss
	lingers, Susan breaks away, reaches for the door, looks back
	longingly at Joe and then she is gone, Joe closing the door
	softly after her.

	He turns back into the foyer, looks up, Parrish is on the
	balcony, it is clear he has observed Joe and Susan.

			     JOE
		Hello, Bill.

	Parrish, in a state of shock, doesn't answer for a moment.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		Did you have a nice nap?

			     PARRISH
		I couldn't sleep.

			     JOE
		I'm sorry to hear that.

	He starts up the stairs.

			     PARRISH
		No, I'll come down

	Joe waits guardedly at the bottom of the stairs as Parrish
	descends.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		What's going on?

	Joe senses Parrish's tone, doesn't answer.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		I saw you kiss Susan.

			     JOE
		Yes, I saw you see me.

			     PARRISH
		Well, you're at the wrong place at
		the wrong time with the wrong woman.

			     JOE
		I'll be the judge of that.

			     PARRISH
		I'm her father!

			     JOE
		With all due respect, Bill, I'm not
		asking your permission.

			     PARRISH
		Well, you goddam well should.  You
		walk into my life, give me the worst
		news a guy can get, have me dancing
		on the heads of pins with my busi-
		ness and with my family, and now
		you're spooning with my daughter.

			     JOE
		'Spooning'?

			     PARRISH
		Yes, and stop repeating everything I
		sai, and turning it into a question.
		Spooning, fooling around, God knows
		what.  You arrive on the scene -- why
		you picked me, I still don't under-
		stand --

			     JOE
		I picked you for your verve, your
		excellence, and for your ability to
		- how shall I say - instruct.  You've
		lived a first-rate life.  And I find
		it eminently usable.

	Parrish measures Joe.

			     PARRISH
		What do you want?

	Joe doesn't answer, riveted now on Parrish.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		Everybody wants something, Joe.
		You've been taking me from pillar
		to post here.  I thought I knew who
		you were, and it wasn't a whole lot
		of fun, however it was almost bear-
		able.  Now I'm getting something
		else from you, something very, very
		strange -- what is it that you want,
		Joe?

			     JOE
		I'm only following the Parrish
		bywords.  Looking for that 'ounce
		of excitement', that 'whisper of a
		thrill' -- What there is no sense
		living your life without.  You know
		what I mean, Bill.

	Parrish's jaw sets.

			     PARRISH
		You're violating the laws of the
		universe.

			     JOE
		This universe?

			     PARRISH
		Any universe that exists or ever
		existed.  You may be the pro, Joe.
		But I know who you are.  And you're
		all fucked up.

			     JOE
		I don't like your tone, and I don't
		like your references.

			     PARRISH
		And I don't give a shit.

			     JOE
		May I remind you this is not just a
		dispute with a putative suitor, this
		is me.  So watch it...Bill.

			     PARRISH
		Cut the 'Bill' crap out -- you
		sonofabitch.

			     JOE
		I told you, 'watch it'.

	Silence.  Now Joe turns on his heel, heads right out the
	front door.  Parrish is left solitary, confounded, staring
	at the closed door.

	INT. EMERGENCY ROOM AREA, NEW YORK HOSPITAL - DAY

	Joe walks down a hallway, a bouquet of flowers in hand,
	looks around the usual feverish activity, he seems lost for
	the moment, but a Receptionist catches his eye.

			     RECEPTIONIST
		Can I help you?

			     JOE
		Dr. Parrish.

			     RECEPTIONIST
		She comes on at 6.

			     JOE
		Oh.

	He looks at the flowers, regards them for a moment, then
	heads for an elevator.

	INT. EASTER'S ROOM, NEW YORK HOSPITAL - DAY

	Easter is sitting up in bed, hooked up to an TV and moni-
	tors.  She glances over at the doorway, Joe is standing
	there, observing her.  An awkward silence, he looks at
	his flowers again, now sets them respectfully on Easter's
	bedstand.

			     EASTER
		Mistah Bad News.  'Bout time you
		show up.

	Joe speaks to her in the dialect.

			     JOE
		Don' be facety, woman.

			     EASTER
		None facety, mistah.  You come for
		me?  Dat's good news.

			     JOE
		No, I come to see Doctor.

			     EASTER
		Doctor?  What could be wrong wit'
		you?

			     JOE
		Nuthin'.

	Silence, then Easter smiles.

			     EASTER
		Oh, you come to see Doctor Lady?

			     JOE
		Yes.

			     EASTER
		My Doctor Lady?

			     JOE
		Mine, too.

	She thinks about this for the moment, Joe grows uncomfort-
	able.

			     EASTER
		You in love?

	Joe seems slightly tormented by the question, Easter senses
	him trying to frame a respect.

			     JOE
		Yah.

			     EASTER
		You loved back?

			     JOE
			I am.

			     EASTER
		She knows you real self?

			     JOE
		She knows how she feel.

			     EASTER
			(scoffing)
		Rass!

			     JOE
			(irritably)
		Don' need you okayin'.

			     EASTER
		Schoolboy tings is you head.
		Badness for you, badness for her,
		badness for me, lyin' here tumor,
		big as breadfruit, poison my inners
		an' waiting.

			     JOE
		Brung you flowers and all I gettin's
		facety back.

			     EASTER
			(stubbornly)
		Only flowers I wan' see's one's
		over my peaceful self restin' in
		the dutty.

			     JOE
		Can do no right by people.  Come to
		take, you wan' to stay, leave you
		stay, you wan' to go.  Rahtid!

	Silence, Easter waits, watching Joe.

			     EASTER
		You not in you right place, mistah.

	Easter's response stops Joe cold, he looks away and then
	back at her, she had clearly reached him.

			     EASTER (cont'd)
		I ain' either.  No more.  You come
		wi' me now.  Take me.

			     JOE
		But I not lonely here.  Somebody
		want me here.

	Easter considers Joe, she smiles sympathetically.

			     EASTER
		It nice it happen to you.  It like
		you came to Cat Island and you had
		a holiday, sun didn't burn you red,
		just brown, sleep no mosquito eat
		you, rum no poung you head nex' day.
		But trut' is, dat bound to happen,
		you stay long enough.  So tak dat
		nice picture home wi' you, but don'
		be fooled.  We lonely here mostly,
		too.  If we lucky, we got some nice
		pictures.

	Easter drifts into silence, her eyes and Joe's meet, a sense
	they understand each other.  Easter shifts, trying hard to
	ease her discomfort.

			     JOE
			(gently)
		Got enough nice pictured, Easter.

	She looks at him and nods gratefully and closes her eyes.
	Joe watches her, now his eyes close.  Easter exhales
	raspingly, falls still.  The monitors flatline.  A beeping
	alarm sound somewhere down the hall.

	Joe opens his eyes, takes a deep breath, he seems troubled.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		G'bye, sistah.

	She slips out of the room.

	INT. LIBRARY, PARRISH TOWNHOUSE - LATE AFTERNOON

	Parrish is playing solitaire.  The SOUND of the front door
	closing, HEELS crossing the foyer, he looks up, at the foyer
	door is Susan.

			     PARRISH
		Hello, honey.

	He starts to get up, she motions to him to stay, looks
	around now.

			     SUSAN
		Where's Joe?

			     PARRISH
		Joe?

	A silence.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		Joe's not around.

			     SUSAN
		Where is he?

			     PARRISH
		I don't know.

	Susan seems distracted.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		Why are you looking for Joe?

			     SUSAN
		Because I was sitting in a staff
		meeting, incredibly bored, my mind
		kept wandering and the only place it
		landed was -- Joe.

			     PARRISH
		I don't understand.

			     SUSAN
		Love.  Passion.  Obsession, all
		those things you told me to wait
		for.  Well, they've arrived.

	Parrish blinks, stares down at his cards.

			     PARRISH
		This is crazy --

			     SUSAN
		Why?  A man appears at your side,
		almost never leaves it, you clearly
		trust him, depend on him, I sense
		you value him deeply, why aren't
		those things good enough for me?

			     PARRISH
		You don't know anything about Joe --

			     SUSAN
		What are you afraid of, Dad?  That
		I'll fall head over heels for Joe --
		well, I have -- as you did with Mom.
			(a moment)
		That's always been standard,
		whether you like or not.

	Parrish tries to get hold of himself, changes gear now.

			     PARRISH
		Susan, I don't think Joe is going to
		be with us long.

			     SUSAN
		Where's he going?

			     PARRISH
		I don't know, I can't say --

			     SUSAN
		C'mon!  The guy's working with you.
		You always know chapter and verse
		about everyone who works --

			     PARRISH
		In this case, I can't.  I - uh -- I
		just can't help you.  I only would
		tell you -- that with Joe, you are
		on very, very dangerous ground.

	Susan doesn't answer for a moment.

			     SUSAN
		I love him.

			     PARRISH
		I don't care if you love him!  I'm
		telling you he's no good for you!

	A moment.

			     SUSAN
		Of course not, Daddy.  I'm sorry.

	There is something in Susan's tone that lets him know not a
	word has sunk in.  Parrish slumps.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		I love you, too.

	She kisses Parrish, rearranges one of his ranks of cards,
	shuffles through the deck, turns over the top card, lays
	down a card Parrish needs.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		Lightning does strike.

	Parrish watches as Susan turns, disappears out the door.

	EXT. THIRD AVENUE, NEW YORK CITY - TWILIGHT

	Joe walking disconcertedly up the street, bumping shoulders
	with the rush hour crowd, trapped in the life of the city,
	he peers intently at faces, cars, into store windows.  He
	stops now at the window of a Korean grocery, something has
	caught his eye, he steps inside.

	Through the window, Joe can be seen making a purchase, he
	hands the Korean Clerk some money, walks out.

	Joe, back on the street now, unscrews the top of a jar of
	peanut butter, dips a wad out with his fingers.  The Korean
	Clerk runs out after him.

			     CLERK
		Change!  Change!

	Joe stops, uncomprehending.  The Clerk hands Joe bills and
	coins.

			     JOE
		Why are you giving me money?

			     CLERK
		Change.

			     JOE
		I am who I am.  I cannot change.

	Joe tries to hand the money back, but the baffled Clerk
	refuses it.

			     CLERK
		You change!

			     JOE
		That's impossible.  You're wasting
		your money.  I couldn't change even
		if I wanted to.

	The Clerk, exasperated, murmurs something in his language
	and returns to the store.  Joe continues on down the street.

	INT. LIBRARY, PARRISH TOWNHOUSE - NIGHT

	Parrish is sitting in a wing chair staring at the fire.  Joe
	appears in the doorway, Parrish doesn't notice him.  Joe
	waits, finally Parrish looks up.  They regard each other.
	Silence.

			     JOE
		Uh --

			     PARRISH
		Yes?

			     JOE
		-- I have the feeling that, all in
		all, what I made this voyage for --
		has served its purpose.

			     PARRISH
		What are you saying, that it's time
		to go?

	Joe doesn't respond, Parrish and Joe measure each other for
	the moment.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		I'm ready.

			     JOE
		You are?

			     PARRISH
		Yeah.

			     JOE
		Good.  Tomorrow, after the party.

	Parrish nods, Joe nods back.

							CUT TO:

	EXT. HELICOPTER POV, HUDSON VALLEY - AFTERNOON

	A bird's eye view of the Hudson, over the George Washington
	Bridge, past the widest expanse of the river at the Tappan
	Zee, coming in now over the great lawns and old estates of
	the Upper Hudson Valley, down towards Annadale-on-Hudson
	and the Parrish country estate, which commands a beehive of
	activity, tents and workmen and vehicles.

	EXT. PARRISH COUNTRY ESTATE - AFTERNOON

	The Parrish AStar sets down in its roped-off landing area.
	The Butler runs towards it to open the door, Parrish and
	Joe disembark.  Following the Butler, they make their way
	through the maelstrom: tents being raised, platforms for
	music groups, portable pools with clusters of florists
	leaning over the edge to arrange lily pads within.  Parrish
	and Joe move solemnly, observing the activity, not speaking
	to one another.  Although they are shoulder-to-shoulder,
	there is a distance between them.  They walk on past chan-
	deliers in the garden and fake trees with lights woven
	through their branches.  Adding to the confusion, the AStar
	lifts off, the chandeliers rocking and floral pools rippling
	from the blast of the rotors.  May, the housekeeper, appears.

			     MAY
			(to Parrish)
		Telephone call, sir.  Mr. Sloane
		from New York.

	Parrish nods, starts up for a wing off the main house, Joe
	right at his side.  Parrish stops.

			     PARRISH
		Excuse me.

	Joe, not knowing whether to be affronted or not, hesitates,
	and Parrish strides away.  Joe does not follow.

	INT. PARRISH'S STUDY, COUNTRY ESTATE - AFTERNOON

	A low-slung but well-appointed room with a writing table, a
	working fireplace, expensive and appropriate Hudson Valley
	prints.

	Parrish enters, clicks on the SPEAKERPHONE, observes the
	party activity through a wide, bow window.

			     PARRISH
		Eddie?

			     SLOANE (O.S.)
			(speakerphone)
		Yeah - Bill - How are you?  You okay?

			     PARRISH
		Fine, fine.  Big doing up here.  Why
		are you still down here?

			     SLOANE (O.S.)
			(speakerphone)
		The Board's working through the
		weekend, trying up the loose ends
		this damn thing.  But I want to give
		it one more try, I'm still holding
		out some hope.

			     PARRISH
		Eddie, hold out all the hope you
		want but, I promise you, it's hope-
		less, it's over.  Come on up, let's
		get drunk, if I had your shoulder
		to lean on I might actually enjoy
		this --

			     SLOANE (O.S.)
			(speakerphone)
		No, I'm going to stay down here,
		keep my finger in the dike and maybe
		by Monday, the waters could recede.

			     PARRISH
		If you're trying to show me lay-
		down-in-front-of-the-bus loyalty,
		forget it.

			     SLOANE (O.S.)
			(speakerphone)
		Sorry, Bill, have a drink, eat your
		cake, blow out the candles and make
		a wish.  Talk to you Monday.  Okay?

			     PARRISH
		Okay, Eddie -- anyway, thanks for
		the memory.

	Parrish clicks off the SPEAKERPHONE, turns around and looks
	out the window again, the party preparations in full swing,
	colored lights are tested, they flicker on and off.

	EXT. LAWNS, COUNTRY ESTATE - AFTERNOON

	Allison is everywhere, Parrish emerges from his wing, she
	catches his eye immediately, the calm director of a DeMille-
	like epic, politely giving workers instructions, making
	lightning decisions.

	Parrish turns his attention now to an ice-filled fountain
	encircling two giant topiary letters written in faux-
	Cyrillic, a 'B' and a 'P', as rubber-booted delivery men
	carefully arrange giant ice chests of caviar under each
	letter.  A smile creases Parrish's face as, in an unexpected
	lull, Allison backs into him at the fountain.

			     ALLISON
		Hi, Daddy, what do you think?

			     PARRISH
		It's starting to grow on me.  But
		what do the 'B' and 'P' mean?

			     ALLISON
		The fountain is the Caspian Sea and
		the Sea is serving up caviar.  The
		'B's for Beluga, the 'P' for
		Petrossian.  Of course, they also
		stand for 'Bill' and for 'Parrish'.

			     PARRISH
		Do they, m'dear?

			     ALLISON
		-- Plus we've got a baritone with a
		balalaika coming from The Russian
		Tea Room.  I've dressed him in a
		Cossack shirt and he'll sing Nelson
		Eddy songs.

	Parrish shakes his head.

			     PARRISH
		You are amazing.  Why, oh why,
		Allison, are you doing all this?

	But before she can answer, a workman is tugging at Allison's
	sleeve, she turns away from Parrish to give him instructions
	out of Parrish's earshot, and then turns back, they step away
	now, daughter and father, alone.

			     ALLISON
		I do it because I love you.  Because
		everybody I loved you.  Mommy -- wher-
		ever she is -- Susan, Quince, the
		people who work for you, everybody
		who's ever known you.

			     PARRISH
		Yeah?  And what about my enemies?

			     ALLISON
		They respect you.  Isn't that a kind
		of love?

	Unexpectedly, Allison brushes a lock away from Parrish's
	forehead, with a flick she has rearranged his hair, he
	blinks, a little embarrassed, but having liked it.

			     ALLISON (cont'd)
		Above all, you've been a wonderful
		father.

			     PARRISH
		I haven't been the father to you
		that --

			     ALLISON
		That you've been to Susan?

			     PARRISH
		I wasn't going to say --

			     ALLISON
		But that's what you were thinking.
		And that's okay.  Because I know you
		love me.  Not like it is with Susan,
		the way your eyes light up when she
		comes in the room and the way she
		always gets a laugh out of you, as
		opposed to me when I walk in a room
		and that look comes over your face,
		"What does she want now?"

	A weather-beaten military parade ground pennant passes, 24th
	Infantry Regiment  "C" (Charlie) Company.

			     ALLISON (cont'd)
		I already feel I've had everything I
		could have wanted for my birthday --

			     PARRISH
		Hey, there's lots to come.
			(gesturing to me
			 activity)
		A little excess -- like you love.

	The preparations are building to a climax, all the elaborate
	plans coming to fruition.

			     PARRISH
		You know, darling, this is going to
		be a wonderful party.

			     ALLISON
			(gently)
		Yes, it is.

	Allison wades into the maelstrom now, Parrish watches her
	go, swarms of purveyors and caterers following her.

	EXT. WINE BAR, LAWNS, COUNTRY ESTATE - AFTERNOON

	Ambrose, the head caterer, is making a last minute check
	of the bar's stock, Quince ambles up, in the background the
	activity has built to a pitch, waiters adjusting their uni-
	forms, purveyors' trucks pulling out in a cloud of dust.

			     QUINCE
		Give me a Seagrams and '7'.

	Ambrose looks at him blankly.

			     QUICNCE (cont'd)
		No got?  Okay a double V.O., water
		back.

			     AMBROSE
		I'm afraid this is a wine bar, Mr.
		Quince.

			     QUINCE
		Okay, give me a bottle of wine.

			     AMBROSE
		Red or white?

			     QUINCE
		Both.

	Joe appears, looking bewildered, jostled by caterers setting
	up last-minute tables, a drummer from the band rolls his
	traps past on a little cart.  Joe doesn't seem to know where
	he is, when his eyes alight on Quince, he heads for this
	oasis.  Ambrose sets down two bottles of wine and departs.

			     QUINCE (cont'd)
			(to Joe)
		Red or white?

			     JOE
		No, thank you.

	Quince sips the red, now the white, now he pours some of
	each into one glass.

			     QUINCE
		C'mon, have a drink.  You look like
		you need one bad as me.

			     JOE
		Do I?  I'm a little confused.

			     QUINCE
		Confused, huh?  About what?

			     JOE
		Love.

			     QUINCE
		'Love'?  Oh, man, I've got troubles
		of my own.

			     JOE
		You love Allison, don't you?

			     QUINCE
		Oh yes, I do.

			     JOE
		How did you meet?

			     QUINCE
		I was a world-class loser and she
		was a happy, little rich girl --
		and for some reason she took me in.

			     JOE
		But she loves you?

	Quince smiles, nods embarrassedly.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		How do you know?

			     QUINCE
		Because there's nothing we don't
		know about each other and it's okay.
		I mean the deeper, darkest secrets
		-- they don't matter.

			     JOE
		'The deepest, darkest secrets --'?

			     QUINCE
		Yeah, it's like you know every inch
		of each other's souls -- and then
		you're free.

			     JOE
		What do you mean 'free'?

			     QUINCE
		Free to love each other.  Com-
		pletely.  Totally.  No fear.

	Quince seems uncharacteristically within himself.

			     QUINCE (cont'd)
		All that hoopla up there reminds me
		how I will never measure up to a man
		like Bill Parrish - or his daughter.

	He drains his wine.

			     QUINCE (cont'd)
		Do you like me, Joe?

			     JOE
		Oh yes, you are one of my favorites.

			     QUINCE
		What would you say if you knew
		it was me who brought down Bill
		Parrish?
			(a moment)
		I told Drew and the Board that Bill
		depended on you.  Drew led me on,
		but I had no business telling him
		in the first place.  He was setting
		up Bill from day one.  Drew and
		Bontecou are going to chop up the
		company and sell it off for parts.
		Bontecou was outside, Drew was Mr.
		Inside.  And I was the fool who made
		it all happen.  Oh God, what do I do?

	Joe regards Quince.

			     JOE
		Go to Bill Parrish and tell him
		everything.  He'll forgive you.

	Quince drains one more glass of wine.

			     QUINCE
		You think so?  How do you know?

			     JOE
		Because that's the kind of man Bill
		Parrish is.

	A moment.

			     QUINCE
		Well, maybe... I guess you know him
		better than anybody.

	Another moment.

			     JOE
		-- Getting to.

	The orchestra behind them plays a few riffs, sound checks,
	getting close.

			     QUINCE
		Do you think I should wait to tell
		him 'till after the party?

			     JOE
		No.

	Quince nods anxiously, then smiles gratefully.  They look on
	as the pre-party activities swirl on around them.

	EXT. FRONT ENTRANCE, COUNTRY ESTATE - SUNSET (LATER)

	The moment just before sunset, the last pre-party minutes,
	a procession of guests' cars winding up to the guest house,
	being directed into adjacent fields.  Susan cuts past a re-
	ceiving line that files up the stairs, she skirts the house
	and heads straight for the action, the party on the lawns in
	the rear, climbs a terrace where she commands a view of the
	event on which the curtain is just about to rise.

	EXT. LAWN, COUNTRY ESTATE - SUNSET

	Guests milling, emerging from the crowd Susan sees, isolated
	by a fountain, Joe.  He looks up towards her, he knows she
	has seen him, they proceed to a rendezvous that has not been
	prearranged but which they intuit.  Susan slants through the
	guests, stopping here and there, excited greetings and cha-
	tter float on the wind, "He, Susie!",  "What a party",  "You
	look great", she keeps moving, a shimmering wraith.

	Joe is on the right coordinate to meet her, his graceful,
	unfailing step carrying him speedily to a destination he is
	not certain of, but where he knows he will find Susan.

	EXT. GARDEN, COUNTRY ESTATE - SUNSET

	The very last rays of the sun setting over the wide expanse
	of river, the light catching Susan and Joe as they enter the
	garden, the party forming behind them, the river flowing in
	front of them.

			     SUSAN
		I like you in a black tie.

			     JOE
		I love you in an evening gown.

			     SUSAN
		It beats a surgical, doesn't it?

	He smiles.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		Daddy told me you might be leaving?

			     JOE
		Yes.  Your father and I, our time
		together has come to an end.

			     SUSAN
		Where are you going?

	Joe attempts to answer, but nothing comes out.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		You won't tell me?

			     JOE
		Well -- I --

			     SUSAN
		And you can't tell me who you are.

	Again the same indescribable gesture from Joe.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		I'm in love with a man, I don't know
		who he is, where he's going or when.

			     JOE
		I can tell you the when part.  Tonight.

			     SUSAN
		It gets worse.

			     JOE
		No worse than it gets for me.  I'm
		in love with a woman whom I don't
		want to leave.

			     SUSAN
		Then don't.

	A moment.

			     JOE
		We know so little about each
		other --

			     SUSAN
		We know all that we need to know --

			     JOE
		But there's so much to tell you --

			     SUSAN
		Don't.  That will come later.

			     JOE
		Will it?

			     SUSAN
		Lightning struck.  We caught it in
		a bottle.  Don't let it out.  I want
		to be with you, Joe --

	Another moment.

			     JOE
		What will we do?

			     SUSAN
		'Love will find out the way'.

			     JOE
		'Love will find out the way'?

			     SUSAN
		It's a saying.

			     JOE
		I believe that, don't you?

			     SUSAN
		Yes, that's why I said it.

	They are on the brink of some decision, Joe is about to make
	some declaration when Allison is heard --

			     ALLISON (O.S.)
		There you are!

	Allison appears.

			     ALLISON (cont'd)
		What's going on here?  Tete-a-tetes
		on my big night?
			(to Susan)
		C'mon honey, you're needed.
			(to Joe)
		Can it wait?

	But before he can answer --

			     ALLISON (cont'd)
		Glad to hear it!
			(to Susan)
		Let's go.

	She takes Susan's arm and marches her off, Joe, in thrall,
	watches them go as the MUSIC erupts behind them, as 'up'
	dance tune, a lilting, catchy melody envelops them all.  The
	curtain has risen on William Parrish's 65th birthday party.

	INT. PARRISH'S STUDY, COUNTRY ESTATE - NIGHT

	Quince is "on the carpet", sweating through a confession,
	Parrish moroses but  philosophical at his desk.

			     QUINCE
		...what can I say after I say that
		I'm sorry?  I zipped when I should've
		zagged, I opened my big mouth one
		too many times, everything got all
		twisted --

			     PARRISH
		It's okay, Quince.  I understand.
		You've always meant well and I
		appreciate that.  Sometimes things
		just turn out -- wrong.

	A KNOCK on the door, it opens, Joe appears.

			     JOE
		Excuse me --

	He starts to step out.

			     QUINCE
		Come in, Joe -- I want to thank you
		-- okay, Bill?

			     PARRISH
		Sure.

	As Joe enters, Quince flashes a warm smile at him.

			     QUINCE
			(to Parrish)
		Joe knew the whole story.  I told
		him.  It was his idea that I come
		clean.  I mean I wanted to come
		clean but he gave me a pair of
		balls, you know what I mean?

			     PARRISH
		Yes, I believe I do.

	Quince now drifts off.

			QUICHE
		Yeah, well -- I can tell you guys
		got business --

			     PARRISH
		No, I'm out of business, right,
		Quince?  However I do have some
		unfinished business -- with Drew.
		Get him out here.  Get him on the
		chopper and get him out here to-
		night.  I want to tell this guy
		how I feel about him face-to-face.

			     QUINCE
		Oh, that could be a tall order, B.P.
		I doubt that Drew's anxious to see
		you face-to-face.

	Joe steps in.

			     JOE
			(to Quince)
		Tell Drew that Bill acknowledges
		that this was a contest and he's
		lost.  The race is to the swift,
		but could Drew summon a modicum
		of understanding and allow Bill to
		save face.  Tell him Bill wants it
		understood in the business community
		he has merely moved upstairs in his
		own company, and the executive
		continuity is unbroken.  Tonight's
		the night to do it.  He'll introduce
		Drew to his press friends as well as
		some of his close acquaintances from
		Washington and Drew can tell them
		that everything's sailing along just
		fine.

	Parrish is impressed by Joe's acumen, a look of grudging
	admiration.  He nods to Joe, summarizes:

			     PARRISH
			(to Quince)
		All in all, what Bill wants to do is
		build the golden bridge to Drew with
		no hard feelings.

			     QUINCE
		You think Drew will go for it?

			     PARRISH
		Quince, I've got confidence in you.

			     QUINCE
		Sir, I'll deliver the package.

	He heads out, Parrish and Joe fall silent.

			     PARRISH
		Thanks.

			     JOE
		Not at all.

	A moment.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		How are you doing?

			     PARRISH
		What the hell do you care?

			     JOE
		I was just asking, Bill.

			     PARRISH
		You 'want to know', I'll tell you.
		You're looking at a man who tonight
		is not about to walk through the
		Valley of the Shadow of Death, he's
		galloping into it.  And the same time,
		the business he built with his own
		hands and his own head is being
		commandeered by a couple of cheap
		pirates.  And, oh yes, I almost
		forgot, my daughter's fallen in
		love with Death.

	Another moment.

			     JOE
		-- And I'm in love with your
		daughter.

			     PARRISH
		Say again?

			     JOE
		I'm in love with your daughter, and
		I'm taking her with me tonight.

	Parrish is stunned.

			     PARRISH
		You're what?

			     JOE
		I think you heard me, Bill.

			     PARRISH
		You're not taking Susan anywhere.
		And what the hell does that mean
		anyway?

	Joe doesn't answer for a moment.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		I thought we had a deal.

			     JOE
		I'm sorry, Bill --

			     PARRISH
		Susan is my daughter, she has a
		wonderful life ahead of her and
		you're going to deprive her of
		it and you're telling me you're
		sorry?  Well, I'm sorry, apology
		not accepted.

			     JOE
		I love her, Bill.  She is all that
		I ever wanted, and I've never wanted
		for anything because I've never
		wanted anything before, if you can
		understand.

			     PARRISH
		How perfect for you -- to take
		whatever you want because it
		pleases you.  It's not love --

			     JOE
		Then what is it?

			     PARRISH
		Some aimless infatuation in which,
		for the moment, you feel like in-
		dulging.  It's missing everything
		that matters.

			     JOE
		Which is what?

			     PARRISH
		Trust, responsibility, taking the
		weight, for your choices and feel-
		ings and spending the rest of your
		life living up to them.  And above
		all, not hurting the object of your
		love.

			     JOE
		So that's what love is?

			     PARRISH
		Multiply it by infinity and take it
		to the death of forever and you will
		still have barely a glimpse of what
		I am talking about.

			     JOE
		Those were my words, Bill.

			     PARRISH
		Well, they're mine now.

	Joe is silent for a moment, cogitating.

			     JOE
		Susan wants to come.  She says she's
		in love with me.

			     PARRISH
		With you?!  Who is 'you'?  Did you
		tell her who you are?

			     JOE
		No.

			     PARRISH
		Does she know where she's going?

	Joe doesn't answer.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		Susan went, in whatever way she did,
		for that poor sonofabitch whose body
		you took, and everything else since
		has been aftermath.  You say you love
		her but you don't know what love is.
		She 'loves' you but she doesn't know
		who you are.  You make a deal, you're
		breaking it -- the bottom line is,
		Joe, you're conducting a Great
		Romance under false pretenses.

			     JOE
		I don't like what you're saying.

			     PARRISH
		I don't expect you to.

			     JOE
		Are you threatening me?

			     PARRISH
		I certainly hope so -- I loved Susan
		from the moment she was born, and I
		love her now, and every minute in
		between, and what I dream of is a
		man who will discover her and she
		will discover a man who will love
		her, who is worthy of her, who is of
		this world, of this time and has the
		grace and compassion and fortitude
		to walk beside her as she makes her
		way through this beautiful thing
		called life.

	Parrish is beginning to reach Joe.

			     JOE
		Are you telling me I can't be
		part of it?

	A pause, Parrish's posture changes.

			     PARRISH
		Why did you come in here and tell
		me, Joe?  You are the Biggest Shot
		of all, you don't have to ask my
		permission, but that's what you're
		doing.  You know why?  Because you've
		somewhere, somehow, developed into a
		good guy, and you know this is all
		wrong... I don't know what you're
		going to do -- how can this be love?
		She doesn't know who you are.  Why
		don't you tell her?  Try it out on
		her?  See what happens.  Reveal
		everything there is to know about
		yourself and let the chips fall
		where they may.

	Joe has received what Parrish has said.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		Okay? -- I've given it my best shot.
		I wish I could tell you to sleep on
		it but...

	Parrish lets his words drift into silence, he shrugs, Joe
	regards him.

	EXT. LAWNS, COUNTRY ESTATE - NIGHT

	Joe makes his way down the path from Parrish's study, a
	weight on his shoulders, his step measured, within himself
	until he is hit by the lights and laughter and MUSIC of the
	party.  He drifts into the center and runs right into Susan,
	couples swirl about them, the eye of a storm of gaiety.

			     SUSAN
		Hello, Joe.  What'd you know?

	She smiles.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		There's something so indescribably
		sexy about you in a crowd.  I could
		make love to you right here.

	He hesitates, reaches out to take her hand, studies it.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		If you're going to tell my future,
		you're on the wrong side.

	A moment.

			     JOE
		There is something I do want to tell
		you --

	He stammers into silence.

			     SUSAN
		But you can't.

	Joe is about to respond but doesn't.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		Just then -- when you hesitated --
		the way you shift from foot-to-foot,
		I've always found endearing but just
		now -- I got a chill.

	But he drifts again, now she takes his hand.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		Remember that morning in the coffee
		shop?  You said 'What's wrong with
		taking care of a woman, she takes
		care of you --"

			     JOE
		Did I say that?

			     SUSAN
		And I said you'd have a hard time
		finding a woman like that.

	Joe shifts, she smiles at his embarrasement.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		Well, you've found one, Joe.

			     JOE
		The 'coffee shop' --

			     SUSAN
		-- That was the place... and you were
		the guy.

	Joe seems resigned now, the air gone out of him.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		And you said you didn't want me to
		be your doctor because you didn't
		want me to examine you --?
			(a moment)
		Well, I got to examine you after
		all --

	Joe blinks, at a loss.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		I could come with you --

			     JOE
		I - uh --

			     SUSAN
		You want me to wait for you, you'll
		be back --

	Joe doesn't answer, Susan is suddenly anxious.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		Why do I want this night to last
		forever?

			     JOE
		Don't you know, that's what I want
		more than anything.

	He touches her face.

			     SUSAN
		You said before you couldn't tell me
		who or where, only the 'when' -- Is
		when now?

	A moment.

			     JOE
		May I kiss you?

	She waits.  He kisses her, they fall into a deep embrace.

			     SUSAN
		That felt like a goodbye.

	Joe's silence is heavy.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		What's going on, Joe?  I feel like
		we're lifting off --

			     JOE
		I'm still here.

			     SUSAN
		But you're not.  You're somewhere
		else.
			(a moment)
		You're someone else --

	Joe is struggling with a response, finally, inevitably, he
	drifts into a long silence.  Susan is beside herself, her
	emotions tossed in every direction, Joe steadies her.

			     SUSAN
		Tell me you love me -- tell me
		you love me now --

			     JOE
		I love you now, I'll love you
		always --

			     SUSAN
		Hold me --

	He holds on tight to her.  They are desperately entwined
	until finally she releases him.

			     JOE
		Susan --

			     SUSAN
		-- Yes?

			     JOE
		Thank you for loving me.

	She smiles wanly, Joe leaves her.

	INT. PARRISH'S STUDY, COUNTRY ESTATE - NIGHT

	Parrish is seated by the window, lights from the party
	flashing past, the MUSIC and laughter audible but muted,
	the fever of the celebration lost on him, within himself.

	Joe enters, Parrish looks up.

			     JOE
		...We should think about getting
		started, Bill.

	Parrish waits.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		It'll just be us.

	The tension in Parrish's body releases, he takes a breath.

			     PARRISH
		Thank you.

	Joe nods an acknowledgement, but his face reflects his pain.
	Parrish regards him sympathetically.

	The silence is broken by a KNOCK on the door.  Parrish, out
	of politeness to Joe, does not respond.

			     QUINCE (O.S.)
		Bill --?

	After a moment.

			     PARRISH
		Come in.

	Quince appears, flushed with excitement.

			     QUINCE
		-- I got him.  The chopper's two
		minutes away.

	Parrish weighs the information for a moment.

			     PARRISH
			(to Joe)
		How are we on time?

	Joe shrugs, nods gently.

			     JOE
		Okay.

			     PARRISH
			(to Quince)
		Get him in here.

	Quince exits, Parrish presses the button for the speaker-
	phone.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		...May? -- I know you're busy,  but I
		want you to put in a call to Eddie
		Sloane for me --

			     MAY (O.S.)
		At home, sir --?

			     PARRISH
		No, he's at the office.

	EXT. LAWNS, COUNTRY ESTATE - NIGHT

	An area on the fringe of the party, the helicopter blades
	stop spinning.  Quince hurries to the aircraft door, opens
	it and Drew steps out.  Quince leads the way through the
	lights and MUSIC.  Drew, fashioning an imperial entrance for
	himself, hails partygoers as he passes, Quince enjoying the
	irony.

			     DREW
		This is damn big of Bill, I also
		think it's smart.

			     QUINCE
		He had no choice.  You're a
		formidable adversary.

			     DREW
		He said that?

			     QUINCE
		Well, you've got him by the short-
		hairs.

			     DREW
		Yeah, the short, gray hairs.

	He flashes a pleased-as-punch greeting to some unseen
	acquaintance as they press on to Parrish's study.

	INT. PARRISH'S STUDY, COUNTRY ESTATE - NIGHT

	Parrish is at his desk, Joe in a distant corner of the room.

			     SLOANE (O.S.)
			(speakerphone)
		We're all here, Bill --

			     PARRISH
		I appreciate this, Eddie, members
		of the Board, this will just take a
		minute of your time.  As the custo-
		dians of the company, you may re-
		ceive information from what follows
		that is valuable to you --
			(a moment)
		-- or not.  Either way, thanks.

			     SLOANE (O.S.)
			(speakerphone)
		We're all ears.

	Drew enters with Quince, Quince nods, excusing himself, and
	closes the door behind him.

			     DREW
		Hi, Bill, happy birthday --

	A moment.

			     DREW (cont'd)
		I just wanted to say how appre-
		ciative I am of this - uh - grand
		gesture and --

			     PARRISH
		Shut up and sit down.

	Drew takes a seat.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		You're a worthless sack of shit, you
		fucked me over, played footsie with
		John Bontecou, sold my company out
		to line your own pockets.

			     DREW
		I don't know where you get that idea
		-- the Board agreed --

			     PARRISH
		The Board didn't know you're a mole
		who burrowed inside so you could bury
		us all.

			     DREW
		Is this Mr. Black's fantasy?  Another
		one of his whoppers?  Aren't you
		sick of this asshole lurking around?
		No one knows who he is, but one
		thing everyone does know, he somehow
		got your ear and has been pouring
		poison into it ever since.

	Joe can no longer control himself.

			     JOE
		You're the poison, Drew.  You've
		operated behind-the-scenes to suborn
		the trust of a man who has stamped
		you with his imprimatur of class and
		elegance and stature.  I've seen all
		kinds and degrees of deception in my
		time, but Bill Parrish has been on
		the receiving end of machinations so
		Machiavellian that it has rarely
		been my experience to encounter.  And
		yet he has combatted them stoically,
		and selflessly, without revealing my
		identity.  Had he violated the vow
		of secrecy he took, his task would
		have been far easier, he could have
		turned defeat into victory, but he
		is too honorable a man to have done
		that.  And now I must release him
		from that vow.  Because of me, he
		has lost his work, his company, his
		reputation -- and now he's going to
		tell you who I am.

	Parrish is struck dumb.  He looks at Joe pleadingly, shaking
	his head imperceptibly, but Joe nods to him blithely -- and
	then commandingly.

			     DREW
			(to Parrish)
		So tell me, tell me, I'm peeing in
		my pants.

			     JOE
		-- And now you're going to pee some
		more.

			     PARRISH
		Joe, don't do this --

			     JOE
		It's time to put this person where
		he belongs.

			     PARRISH
		It's not necessary, Joe.  Drew's
		going to step aside --

			     DREW
		I'm not stepping anywhere --

			     JOE
		I appreciate your gentlemanliness,
		Bill, but what we need to do here is
		drive the dagger home --

			     DREW
		The dagger --?

			     PARRISH
		I told you to shut up.

			     JOE
			(to Drew)
		Prepare yourself, Drew - I am --

			     PARRISH
		He is --

			     JOE
		I'll take it from here --
			(to Drew)
		I am --

			     PARRISH
		-- An IRS man.

	Drew is stunned, Joe glances at Parrish, hesitates.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		Yes, he is.  He's an -- IRS man.
		Aren't you, Joe?

	Joe is at a loss, Parrish's eyes are glued to his, Joe gets
	the hint.

			     JOE
		Yes, I am.
			(to Drew)
		IRS man.

	Drew's head swivels from Joe to Parrish and back again.

			     PARRISH
		The Treasury Department asked
		my cooperation in his undercover
		investigation of John Bontecou.
		They were convinced that Bontecou,
		on past deals, had structured his
		mergers and acquisitions in sus-
		picious and complicated ways so as
		to evade paying the taxes he is
		liable for.  The IRS wanted to go
		after him, and this deal offered
		them the opportunity.
			(a moment)
		I agreed to cooperate.

			     JOE
			(to Parrish)
		And we're very grateful.

			     PARRISH
		Moreover, Agent Joe Black here --
		of course that's not his real name
		-- smelled out your involvement,
		Drew.  He developed evidence you
		were working both sides of the
		fence.  Unfortunately, that's known
		as a conflict of interest --

			     JOE
		Undisclosed conflict of interest --

			     PARRISH
		An offense --

			     JOE
		An indictable offense.

	Silence.

			     DREW
		I think I'd like to talk to my
		lawyer --

			     PARRISH
		No lawyers, Drew.  We're going to
		offer you a deal.

	Drew is all attention.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		Confess to the Board every details of
		your participation and then submit
		your resignation.

			     DREW
		And what do I get?

			     PARRISH
		You get not to go to jail.

			     DREW
		You're talking through your hat.
		You're offering a deal because
		you've got no proof.

			     PARRISH
		Proof?  We've got plenty of proof.

			     JOE
			(to Drew)
		And he's talking through his lips.

	Joe steps forward.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		Make no mistake, Drew, if you choose
		to test my resolve in this matter,
		you'll be looking at an outcome that
		will have a finality that is beyond
		your comprehension, and you'll not
		be counting the days or the months
		or the years, but millenniums in the
		house with no doors.

	Drew slumps.

			     DREW
		All right, you win.  As soon as I
		get back to the city, I'll meet with
		the Board.

	Sloane's voice erupts over the SPEAKERPHONE.

			     SLOANE (O.S.)
		You're meeting with the Board right
		now, Drew.  Resignation accepted.
		Moreover, I propose a motion to re-
		confirm William Parrish as Chairman
		of the Board of Parrish Communica-
		tions as well as a rejection of the
		merger with Bontecou International.
		How say you, Board?

	A chorus of thunderous "Yes"es resounds through the
	SPEAKERPHONE.

			     SLOANE (O.S., cont'd)
		The motion is passed.

			     PARRISH
		Well, thank you, that's great, but
		it's more than I bargained for.  I
		just wanted to set the record
		straight.

			     SLOANE (O.S.)
		But we want you back, Bill.  Mean-
		while, enjoy your party, celebrate,
		we'll attend to the nasty details.
		And Mr. Black, may we say thank you.

			     JOE
		My pleasure.  This is an IRS Agent's
		dream.  I'll be promoted to Chief of
		Section off of this.

	Parrish clicks the speakerphone off.  Drew is staring at
	Joe, shaking his head.

			     DREW
		Who would've ever believed it?  You,
		an IRS Agent --

	Silence.  Joe shrugs, smiles.

			     JOE
		'Death and Taxes'.

	The door flies open, an anxious Allison appears.

			     ALLISON
		Daddy!  We've been looking all over
		for you - this is your party - what
		are you doing in here?  Never mind.
		You're on.  Let's go.

	She pulls him out of his chair, hustles him out of the room,
	Joe right behind them.

	EXT. LAWNS, COUNTRY ESTATE - NIGHT

	The guests have formed themselves into a huge audience, the
	orchestra strikes up "Happy Birthday" as Parrish appears
	with Allison.  An enormous cake is unveiled with one great,
	lit candle, Parrish beams then laughs.  He pauses over the
	cake, now blows the candle out.  APPLAUSE, cries of "Speech!
	Speech!", Parrish tries to demur but the request becomes
	loud and rhythmic, he holds up his hand, nods, quiets the
	crowd.  Joe observes from the fringe.

			     PARRISH
			(to the guests)
		I thought I was going to sneak away
		tonight...

	YELLS of "No!"  "Never!"

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		...What a glorious night, every
		face I see is a memory.  It may not
		be a perfectly perfect memory --
		sometimes we had our ups and downs
		-- but we're all together, and
		you're mine for a night.
			(a moment)
		-- And I'm going to break precedent,
		and tell you my one-candle wish --
		that you would have a life as lucky
		as mine, where you can wake up one
		morning and say "I don't want
		anything more."
			(another moment)
		Sixty-five years - don't they go by
		in a blink?

	Parrish hesitates, waves and steps away, APPLAUSE that grows
	into CHEERS, the music resumes, another dance tune.  Quince
	grabs him, pumps his hand and claps him on the back.  Now
	Parrish spots Allison, he wraps her in a tight embrace, they
	hold each other close for a moment, but then are separated
	by a surge of guests.  Parrish sees Susan, she smiles but
	there is a tinge of sadness about her.  He heads towards her,
	they are somehow situated as if they were alone in this crowd.

			     SUSAN
		What a night.

			     PARRISH
		I'm having a helluva time.

	A moment.

			     SUSAN
		You were right about Joe, he is
		going somewhere --

			     PARRISH
			(gently)
		I'm sorry.

	Susan is examining Parrish very closely.

			     SUSAN
		Are you relieved?

			     PARRISH
		Yes, but --

	Parrish hesitates.

			     SUSAN
		But what?

			     PARRISH
		I want you to know how much I love
		you.  That you've given a meaning
		to my life that I had no right to
		expect, and that no one can ever
		take from me.

			     SUSAN
		Daddy --

			     PARRISH
		No -- I love you so much and I want
		you to promise me something.  I
		don't want you to ever worry about
		me.  If anything should happen, I'm
		going to be fine and everything's
		going to be all right.
			(a moment)
		-- And I have no regrets.

	Susan is in pain now, she can't summon an answer.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		And I want you to feel that way,
		too.

			     SUSAN
		I love you, Daddy --

			     PARRISH
		That's why it's okay.

	They drift into silence.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		No regrets?

	After a moment.

			     SUSAN
		'No regrets'.

	A long silence, Susan smiles.

			     PARRISH
		It's a good feeling, isn't it?

	Silence again.

			     SUSAN
		Everybody's saying goodbye...

	They regard each other, a long pause, they have reached an
	understanding.

			     PARRISH
		I'm still here.
			(a moment)
		Would you like to dance with me,
		Susan?

			     SUSAN
		Oh, yes --

	He starts to lead her to the floor, immediately stops.

			     PARRISH
		If you don't mind dancing with an
		old fogey like me.

			     SUSAN
		Oh, Dad, you're not old.  You'll
		never be old.

	He takes her in his arms and they dance away.

	ANOTHER ANGLE

	On a distant fringe of the party, a grass terrace that still
	commands a view of the dance floor, is Joe.  His eyes are on
	Parrish and Susan, he watches them admiringly yet ruefully.
	A Waiter passes, catches sight of Joe, stops.

			     WAITER
		Can I get you anything, sir?

	Joe regards the Waiter for a moment.

			     JOE
		Do you have any peanut butter?

	The Waiter hesitates.

			     WAITER
		I don't think so, sir.

			     JOE
		Thank you, anyway.

	The Waiter moves off.  Joe's attention returns to Parrish and
	Susan, the dance number ends, a BOOM.

	ANOTHER ANGLE

	On the dance floor.

			     PARRISH
		What was that?

			     SUSAN
		The fireworks are about to start.

	Parrish looks up, sees Joe up on the terrace, waiting.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
			(to Parrish)
		Shall we?

			     PARRISH
		You go ahead, honey, I'm going to
		catch my breath.

	Suddenly he hugs her, holds her very close.  She looks at
	him, he smiles, nods, but doesn't release her until she
	smiles back.  Now she heads out with the crowd for the
	fireworks.  When Parrish senses she is on her way, he turns
	and heads up towards Joe.

	Joe rises to meet Parrish as he approaches.

			     JOE
		Happy Birthday, Bill.

			     PARRISH
		Thank you.

	They watch the guests gathering to view the fireworks.
	Joe's gaze lingers.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		Did you say goodbye?

			     JOE
		Not exactly.

			     PARRISH
		I guess you have your reasons.

			     JOE
		Yes.

	Silence.

			     PARRISH
		Now that we have a moment, would you
		mind if I expressed my gratitude for
		what you did for Susan?

	Joe waits.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		I never heard her speak of any man
		as she spoke of you -- It was always
		what I wanted for her -- but what
		happens to her now?

			     JOE
		I wouldn't worry about it, Bill.
		These things have a way of working
		out.

	Joe regards Parrish, waits until he has a sense that Parrish
	has accepted what Joe has said, then Joe continues:

			     JOE (cont'd)
		And would you mind if I expressed my
		gratitude...?

	Parrish waits.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		For you.  For the time you've given
		me.  For the person you are.

	A moment.

			     PARRISH
		Don't blow smoke up my ass, you'll
		ruin my autopsy.

	Joe barely manages a smile, now looks back longingly at the
	crowd below, searching.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		It's hard to let go, isn't it?

			     JOE
		Yes.

			     PARRISH
		That's life.  What can I tell you?

	A silence, an understanding there is another more to say.
	Joe looks inquiringly at Parrish as if to say "Shall we?",
	Parrish nods and Joe turns with him.  They set off now away
	from the party, up a meadow that leads to a hill overlooking
	the river.

	ANOTHER ANGLE

	Down below, the party guests' faces are lit by the initial
	fireworks display.  Among them is Susan, but her interest
	isn't there.  Not something pulls her attention, an over-
	powering feeling that compels her to turn and see, at a
	distance, Parrish and Joe walking away up the meadow.  Some-
	thing about the sight saddens and at the same time frightens
	her, she turns back to the party, dazed, tracing on the
	fireworks.

	ANOTHER ANGLE

	Up the hill Parrish's step slows, Joe slowing with him.

			     PARRISH
		I'm getting a little dizzy, I can
		feel my heart pumping --

	But Parrish doesn't wait for a response, just continues on
	up the meadow, towards the rise of the hill, Joe in step
	with him.

			     PARRISH (cont'd)
		Should I be afraid?

	Joe stops, Parrish stops with him.

			     JOE
		Not a man like you.

	Parrish smiles faintly, takes a deep breath, he strides
	out again, Joe right with him.  In tandem they continue
	on and disappear over the crest of the hill.  A barrage
	of fireworks lights up the sky.

	ANOTHER ANGLE

	Down below, Susan, in a pained reflex, again turns and looks
	up towards the hill.  There is nobody there.  She hesitates,
	now glides away from the party, her step quickens as she
	walks up towards the hill.

	Susan halts, in the distance a figure is approaching from
	over the crest of the hill where Joe and Parrish disappeared.
	He is heading straight for her, she tries to make him out,
	seems to recognize him, starts to walk towards him as if
	pulled by a magnet.  Now she stops again.  It is a man, he
	keeps coming, and now that he is close and recognizes him.

			     SUSAN
		Joe...?

	He smiles quizzically, hasn't quite heard her, stands right
	in front of her, loose, smiling, disoriented and yet so
	appealing.  They are riveted on each other, uneasy and yet
	close.

			     SUSAN (cont'd)
		You're here...

	He is trying to get his bearings.

			     JOE
		-- You bet.

	Something about him makes Susan slightly tentative.

			     SUSAN
		Where did you go?

	Joe shrugs, scratches his head endearingly, uncertain of
	time and place.

			     JOE
		I don't know -- y'know, I don't know
		-- it's all blurred up and hazy.  And
		would y'know what I mean if I said I
		don't think it's worth figuring out?

	Some realization is dawning on Susan, it renders her
	lightheaded.

			     JOE (cont'd)
		...But now I'm back.

	Susan regards Joe intently, searching his face for an
	answer.

			     SUSAN
			(gently)
		That's it?

			     JOE
		Well, I don't know what else to say.
		It's a helluva party --

			     SUSAN
		You think so?

			     JOE
		Yeah...and you're the prettier
		thing here.

	Susan blinks, a long silence, she touches the sleeve of his
	jacket, now her hand traces the outline of his face, she
	regards him intently and the dilemma she has been struggling
	with the last moments fades away.

	Susan slowly realizes this is the Young Man. She is shaken,
	a sudden intake of breath.

			     YOUNG MAN
		Hey, you all right?

	His hand politely touches her elbow, courteously lending her
	support.

			     SUSAN
		The coffee shop --

	The Young Man nods, pleased with her recognition.

			     YOUNG MAN
		I asked you if I said something
		wrong and you said it was so right
		it scared you.

	Susan holds herself very still.

			     YOUNG MAN (cont'd)
		And forgive me for saying this --
		but then you said -- and it's been
		with me ever since --

			     SUSAN
		What has --?

	He hesitates.

			     YOUNG MAN
		You said you liked me.

			     SUSAN
		No --

			     YOUNG MAN
		Y'didn't?

	A moment.

			     SUSAN
		I said I liked you so much.

	She falls silent now, overcome by the last moments'
	revelations.  The Young Man senses her discomfort which
	is on the edge of pain.

			     YOUNG MAN
		Hey, everything's going great --
		don't y'think?

	She doesn't answer for a moment.

			     YOUNG MAN (cont'd)
		Don't you feel that way?

			     SUSAN
		...We know so little about each
		other.

			     YOUNG MAN
		But we've got time.

	She searches the Young Man's eyes, his face is open,
	completely vulnerable, waiting for her response.  A long
	silence, the words come out haltingly:

			     SUSAN
		I wish you could've known my
		father...

	Another moment.

			     YOUNG MAN
		Me, too.

	Susan signs, the Young Man smiles gently, they are
	completely intent on each other.

			     SUSAN
		...What do we do now?

	A long silence.

			     YOUNG MAN
		It will come to us.

	Susan smiles, the fireworks finale goes off, the MUSIC comes
	up from below, the night fills with light.  The Young Man
	searches Susan's face, now takes her hand -- and together
	they start back towards the party.

	THE END


Meet Joe Black



Writers :   Bo Goldman  Ron Osborn  Jeff Reno  Kevin Wade
Genres :   Fantasy  Mystery  Romance  Drama


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