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   "Snow Falling on Cedars", early, by Ronald Bass


                         SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS

                                                   Ronald Bass
                                                   First Draft Screenplay
                                                   March 3, 1997


     Fog.  Penetrated only by sound.  The LAPPING of sea at a drifting
     hull.  Tendrils of mist part, revealing...

     ...a face.  Strong and blond and handsome.


     LONG ANGLE...from below, we watch CARL HEINE, high on the cross
     spar of his mast.  He has pulled a SHUTTLE of TWINE from his rubber
     overalls, and is LASHING a LANTERN in the cloud of mist, as MAIN

     ANGLE...the tiny, meticulously neat cabin.  Empty, silent.  A tin
     COFFEE CUP on the counter's edge.  The battery well open, revealing
     two large BATTERIES in place.  PAN to...

     ...the deck of this sturdy stern-picker.  The fishing net stretched
     from the huge DRUM into the sea.  Keep PANNING to the bow, where...

     ...Carl stands with his kerosene lantern and his air horn, watching
     as another BOAT comes slowly out of the mist.  The silhouette of a
     FISHERMAN, holding a long fishing GAFF.  As fragments of fog part,
     we CLOSE on the figure's face, to see...

     ...his eyes.  They are Asian.  SMASH CUT to...


     Blinding sun.  Our boat bobs lifeless on placid water.  As CREDITS
     CONTINUE, two figures slowly reel in the massive net.  SHERIFF ART
     MORAN is painfully thin, unimposing, methodical.  Only the eyes
     reflect his disquiet.  His young deputy, ABEL MARTINSON, cuts
     anxious looks between his mentor and the sea.  As the net brings
     silvered salmon across the gunnel, CUT to...

     ...the cabin.  Tidy as before.  Only two things have changed.
     CLOSE on the tin coffee cup, which now lies OVERTURNED on the
     floor.  PAN above the open battery well, where a third MARINE
     BATTERY now stands next to the wheel.  CUT to...

     ...the stern, as the raveling net LIFTS from the water's surface...

     ...the face of Carl Heine.  Turned to the sun.  SMASH CUT to...


     WHITE fills the frame.  A hand PULLS back the blanket-shroud
     revealing Carl's face.  As CREDITS CONTINUE, tilt up to the
     coroner, HORACE WHALEY, gazing down.  A shading of regret behind
     the professional mask.  A series of QUICK CUTS...

     ...Whaley's hand pulls the SHUTTLE of TWINE from Carl's pocket...

     ...examines the open, empty KNIFE SHEATH at Carl's belt...

     ...Carl's wrist, its WATCH stopped at 1:47...

     Whaley bends over Carl's body, presses on his solar plexus,
     watching pink FOAM rise from Carl's mouth and nose.  And then.
     He sees something more.  His fingers gently pull back the hair
     from above Carl's left ear, to reveal...

     ...a skull wound.  The bone caved in.  Four inches across.


     Snow falling on cedars.


     The heavens descend softly onto our island.  Exquisite, silent,
     hypnotic.  An epic snowfall inspiring awe at our frailness against
     the limitless scope of nature.  As CREDITS CONCLUDE, a series of
     QUICK ANGLES... pirouetting, skating on their tires, past an abandoned
     school bus, where kids throw snowballs at is windows...

     ...Fisk's Hardware Center, its endless queue of orderly citizens
     waiting stoically for their snow shovels and kerosene...

     ...the harbor, with its moored fleet of tiny fishing vessels
     blanketed as if by volcanic ash, a pair of teenage lovers building
     a snowman at the edge of a dock, she pushes the boy into the water,
     and he rises laughing, steam rising from his clothes...

     ...undulating strawberry fields of pure white, untouched and
     flawless as the Sahara...

     Finally, to a public building, cars gathering as best they can,
     people streaming up snow-laden steps to the entrance, and as we
     FOLLOW them, SMASH CUT to...


     CLOSE on impassive EYES.  They are Asian.  We have seen them
     before.  PULL BACK to see...

     KABUO MIYAMOTO.  Early 30's, dark blue suit, clean shirt.  He sits
     ramrod straight, utterly motionless, expressionless, the eye of a
     storm of movement in...

     ...the assembling COURTROOM.  A packed gallery of buzzing locals,
     the scent of anticipation.  A bank of REPORTERS and PHOTOGRAPHERS,
     cosmopolitan in attire, bearing themselves as jaded dignitaries
     from the civilized world.  As we PAN their ranks...

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     It was the first murder trial on
                     the island in thirty-one years.

     ...we look over the right shoulder of ISHMAEL CHAMBERS, early 30's,
     dark, a rugged, somber man jotting notes on a pad which rests on
     his right leg.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Our only newspaper was the San
                     Piedro Review, a four-page weekly
                     that I operated alone.

     He glances blandly at his nonchalant colleagues.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     What, I wondered, could the Seattle
                     boys know of the hearts of these

     To the JURY BOX.  Truck farmers, grocers, fishermen, in sober
     neckties.  A waitress, a secretary, fisher wives in Sunday dresses.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Neighbors, sitting in judgement.
                     On their neighbor.

     To the neighbor.  The ramrod-still defendant.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Kabuo Miaymoto sat with the rigid
                     grace of a Samurai warrior.  As if
                     detached from his own trial.

     Ishmael writing on the pad balanced precariously on his knee,

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Did he know how dangerous his demeanor
                     could be?  With this jury. falls with a CLATTER of pages.  He reaches with his right
     hand, replaces the pad on his thigh.  Around him, CAMERAS are being
     swung to the ready.  Ishmael looks to see...

     ...a slender WOMAN of refined beauty, entering the courtroom.
     A few flashes POP, and Ishmael's right hand retrieves a venerable
     box camera from beneath his seat, as his notepad falls once more,

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Hatsue Miyamoto had been without
                     her husband for 77 days.

     Ishmael pivots, and we understand his struggle with the notepad.
     For he is forced to rest his camera on the stump of his amputated
     left arm, its empty sleeve pinned at the elbow.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     He was in jail.  When his baby son
                     learned to walk.

     Through his VIEWFINDER, we see HATSUE take her place in the first
     row.  And sensing her presence, her husband turns.  Their eyes
     meet.  A string of FLASHES...

     But none from Ishmael.  He hesitates.  As if considering whether he
     will violate this woman's privacy.  The camera lowers.  HOLD on his


     MATCH CUT to Hatsue's face.  Staring, impassive, empty.  PULL BACK
     to see that she sits alone on a wooden bench by the courtroom door.
     Her hands rest delicately on the purse in her lap.  Her demeanor as
     removed from this place as is her husband's.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Earlier, I noticed her in the

     PULL BACK to see him alone, in shadow.  It is more than a notice.
     Ishmael stares with fixed intensity at the motionless woman, as
     she gathers her thoughts.  A moment of decision.  He approaches.
     Stops, respectfully, at a distance which will not invade her
     personal space.  And softer than we might have imagined...

                     Are you all right?

     She turns her head only slightly.  It is enough.  Her voice quiet
     and firm at once...

                     Go away, Ishmael.

     There is no anger.  Only directness and resolve.

                     Please don't be like th...

                               HATSUE (softer)
                     Go away.


     PAN the back of the courtroom.  Twenty-four citizens of Japanese
     ancestry fill the last row, dressed in their most formal clothes.
     Shades of Atticus Finch.  As one, the Japanese-Americans watch...

     ...the prosecutor, ALVIN HOOKS, a crisp, even dapper man.  There is
     a quickness about the eyes, a tendency to sharpness of manner, that
     he works carefully against...

                     ...four inch gash, skull crushed,
                     and your thought was, what...?

     JUDGE FIELDING, tall and gray and rawboned, leans on his elbows,
     his eyelids droop slightly, a deceptive masking of keen attention.

                               HOOKS (O.S.)
                     That he...fell?  Hit his head on
                     the gunnel going over?

     The witness is Sheriff Moran.  He answers as if this were a sincere
     question.  As if he had never heard it before.

                     Well, Carl was six-four, went 235.
                     He was a grizzly bear and an able

     Ishmael watching.  Thinking on that.

                               MORAN (O.S.)
                     For him to just...go over.  Crush
                     his skull like that on the way in...

     HOLD on Ishmael.


     Teenage BOYS in football uniforms.  They ride with their helmets in
     their laps.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     He was a mountain, all right.
                     Anchored the line for us little

     CLOSE on Carl and Ishmael at 18, riding together.  Ishmael, dark
     and rugged even then, is scarcely little.  But dwarfed by the blond
     giant at his side, who glares out the window, at...

                     Chambers.  Y'see the geese?

     ...snow geese landing in low flooded wheat.  The grace of it holds
     both boys.

                     Picture'd be nice.  In your pa's

     Ishmael nods absently.  They stare, side-by-side.

                     Lucky I got the camera in my

     They never look at each other.  They never smile.  But you can
     almost hear one in...

                     Careful, Chambers.  That was almost
                     a joke.


     Hooks now stands with his polished shoe up on the witness podium.
     Like chatting with the Sheriff across the back fence...

                     And you weren't there, when the
                     coroner examined the wound.

                     Nossir.  I'd gone to tell the wid...
                     to tell Mrs. Heine.

     And his glance inevitably goes to the first row behind the
     prosecutor's table.  Taking the glances of the jury with it.
     SUSAN MARIE HEINE is pretty and blonde and full-bodied in her
     modest black dress.  Composure and dignity.  Against her grief.


     Moran climbs from his vehicle, as Carl's young SONS dash around the
     corner of the house.  Seeing the Sheriff, they stop cold.  Silent,
     shirtless, barefoot.

                     Hey there, men.  Is your mother
                     home a-tall?

     He spits his Juicy Fruit into a wrapper.  And as the younger boy
     nods across the distance...

                               SUSAN MARIE (O.S.)
                     Sheriff Moran, hullo.

     She has appeared in the doorway, smiling, spittle-marked baby's
     diaper across her shoulder.  And he smiles back.  Tells the boys...

                     You go on and play, now.

     But they don't.  So he follows into her entryway, closing the door
     behind him.  And at the foot of her curving staircase...

                               SUSAN MARIE
                     What can I do for you, Sheriff,
                     Carl's not home y...


     Too quick.  He stops himself.  And she sees that.

                     It's why I'm here.  I'm afraid I
                     have some...very bad news to tell
                     you, the...worst...kind of news.

     She looks at him, uncomprehending, the smile only beginning to
     fade, before...

                     Carl died last night.  In a fishing
                     accident.  In White Sand Bay.

     She only blinks.  As if translating the words from a foreign

                               SUSAN MARIE
                     No, Carl's fine, h...

                     We found him, Mrs. Heine.  Tangled
                     in his net.

     And with these words, a slack, blank look crosses her face, and she
     stumbles back one step, sitting down HARD on the bottom stair of
     her curved staircase.

     He doesn't know what to do.  She digs her elbows into her lap, and
     begins to rock, very slowly, wringing the diaper in her hands.  Her
     face is more terrible than tears.  It is frightened.  She murmurs
     to herself, so that we can barely hear...

                               SUSAN MARIE
                     I told him this could happen.


     CLOSE on Hooks, nodding.  As if, slowly, digesting something in his

                     So, no...immediate suspicion,
                     no...general talk of enmity
                     between the two.

                     These are fishermen, Alvin.  They
                     don't talk at all to each other
                     and less to me.  Specially gossip.


     Ishmael walking down the sunlit wharf.  Purpose in his stride...

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     A gill-netter works through black
                     nights with only himself to talk
                     to.  And learns to be silent.
                     They were lonely men and products
                     of geography.

     Up ahead, the Susan Marie has been brought to dock.  Moran stands
     chatting with a knot of six or seven FISHERMEN.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
            who, on occasion, realized
                     that they wished to speak, but

     As he arrives, Moran smiles a thin greeting.  Not happy to see him.
     Of course, neither is anyone else.

                     Figure you'da heard by now.

     Ishmael shakes his head in silent helplessness.  WILLIAM GJOVAAG, a
     sunburned, big-bellied, tattooed gill-netter, clamps on his damp
     cigar butt.

                     You go fishing, it happens.

                               ISHMAEL (to Moran)
                     You see Susan Marie?

                     I did.  Boy.

                     Three kids.  What's she going to do?

                               GJOVAAG (disgusted)
                     Well, what can she do?  Jesus Christ.

                     Excuse me, Gjovaag.

                     I don't need to excuse nothin'.
                     Fuck you anyhow, Chambers.

     Everybody laughs.  It is all good-natured, sort of.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Like the Sheriff, I did not work
                     the sea, and could never merit trust.
                     Or respect.

                               MARTY JOHANSSON
                     Sheriff's been askin' which boats
                     followed Carl out last night...

                               MORAN (quickly)
                     Only to see if somebody talked to
                     him out th...

                     So who talked to him?  Out there.

     Staring.  At each other.  Eye contact holds during...

                               JAN SORENSEN (heavy Danish)
                     So far, we figured the guys who went
                     to Ship Channel Bank, was Jim Ferry,
                     Hardwell, Moulton, Miyamoto...

                               GJOVAAG (spits)

                     All right, look, if you see these

                     Never saw you so hard-ass, Art.
                     Ain't this just an accident?

     Moran finds his eyes drifting to Ishmael's.  Which are right there,
     waiting.  Moran looks away.

                     Course it is, but a man's dead,
                     William.  I got to write my report.

     ANGLE...Ishmael and Moran, walking alone back up the wharf.  The
     Sheriff is worried.  Finally...

                     I'm not gonna see some article
                     about an investigation, am I?

                               ISHMAEL (quietly)
                     You want me to lie?

                     No, I wanna be off the damn record,
                     that's what I want.

     No answer.  They keep walking.

                     I mean, if there is a killer, why
                     would you want him all alerted?

     Silence.  Silence.  And slowly...

                     Let's say...someday I need some
                     cooperation from you on this thing.
                     Do I get it?

     And looks over.  Like the guy holding all the aces.


     Moran fidgets on the stand.

                               NELS (O.S.)
                     No sign of a struggle, you say.

     SEE him now.  NELS GUDMUNDSSON, attorney for Kabuo Miyamoto, stands
     beside his impassive client.  Nels is 79, blind in his left eye, a
     little shaky.  His body is winding down.

                     Well, the coffee cup was layin' right
                     in the middle of the floor, like I
                     said.  And with a fella so neat as
                     Carl, that did seem peculiar.

     And Nels begins to walk toward him.  Limping, as he comes.

                     As peculiar as a struggle between
                     a 235 pound man, and an assailant
                     strong enough to subdue him...that
                     leaves only a single overturned cup
                     in its wake?

                               HOOKS (O.S.)
                     Objection, asking the witness to

                     My gosh, Alvin, was I supposed to
                     object every time you did that?

     A real.  Friendly smile.

                               JUDGE (wearily)
                     That's quite enough horseplay,
                     Nels, why don't you act your age?

                     If I did that Your Honor, I'd
                     be dead.

     Some gentle laughter.  Judge Fielding doesn't even bother to look

                     Any more homely loveable tricks,
                     and you'll be worse than that.
                     Proceed, gentlemen.

                     There's an objection, Your H...

                     And it's overruled, answer the
                     question.  If you can recall it.

                     Maybe the assailant straightened
                     the cabin.  And forgot the cup.

                     Right.  In the middle.  Of the floor.


     Nels nods to himself, as if considering that.  So that the jury
     will do the same.

                     I think you testified all the
                     lights were on.  Cabin, mast,
                     net lights, picking lights...

                     Yessir, there'd been real heavy fog.

                     And yet you started the engine
                     right up.  With all those lights
                     drawing all night, the batteries
                     had that much charge.  Did that
                     strike you odd?

                     Didn't think about it at the time.
                     So no, it didn't strike me odd.

                     Does it now?

                     A little.  Yes.  You have to

                     You have to wonder.

     And lets that sit.  Scratches his neck.

                     You found three batteries, you
                     say.  A D-6 and D-8 in the well.
                     And a spare D-8 on the cabin floor.

                     It is.

                     Now I did some measuring down at
                     the chandlery.  A D-6 is one inch
                     wider than a D-8.  It would be too
                     large for the deceased's well.

                     He's done some on-the-spot refit-
                     ting.  You could see the side flange
                     was banged away to make room for
                     the D-6.

                     But he had a spare D-6, you said.
                     Right there.  Why not use that?

                     It was dead.  We had it tested.
                     Maybe the D-6 was the spare and he
                     had to use it.


                     Maybe he carried a spare that
                     was too large to fit.  So he'd
                     have to bang out the flange to
                     squeeze it in?

     No answer to that.  The silence rests.

                     Sheriff, how many batteries and
                     what size did you find on defendant's

                     Two D-6's.  That's the kind his
                     well was fitted for.

                     No spare.


                     So the defendant went out fishing
                     for the night with no spare battery,


                     I'm curious.  The D-6 that was
                     refitted into the deceased's well.
                     Was it exactly the same brand and
                     model as defendant's?

     A beat.

                     I believe so.

                     Now you've testified that the
                     deceased was a heavy man, and hard
                     to bring out of the net.

     Stops.  Thinking.

                     Is it possible his head struck the
                     transom, or the stern gunnel, or the
                     net roller, as you were bringing him

                     I don't think so.

                     You don't.  Think so.

                     He was heavy, but we were real
                     careful.  But I don't remember him
                     hitting anything, anywhere.

                     You don't.  Remember.

     And clears his throat.

                     Operating this winch you'd rarely
                     operated before, doing this awkward
                     job of bringing in a drowned man of
                     235 it possible.  Possible
                     that he struck his head after death.

                     Possible.  But not darn likely.

                               NELS (turns to jury)
                     No further questions.

     And limps back to the defendant's table.  Where Kabuo Miyamoto sits
     watching him.


     Horace Whaley, the county coroner, folds his stork-like limbs
     uncomfortably.  Searching for the appearance of ease.

            when the sheriff returned,
                     you showed him the injury to the
                     deceased's head.

                     He said, 'Could it be somebody hit
                     him?'  And I said, 'You want to play
                     Sherlock Holmes, here?'

     Shakes his head, with a wry, disgusted smile.

                     Did you say more?

                     I said that if I was playing Sherlock
                     Holmes...I'd maybe look for a...
                     Japanese person.  With a bloody gun-
                     butt.  A right-handed fella, to be

                     And why.  Is that?

     Slight shrug.

                     Well, I was a doctor in the Jap
                     theater, in the war.  I saw those
                     kendo wounds, many times.  Looked
                     exactly like this one.

                     Could you tell me what 'kendo' is?

                     Japanese stick-fighting.  They're
                     trained as kids, y'know.  To kill
                     with sticks.

     And the prosecutor's eyes drift to the defendant.  So that the
     jury's will do the same.  HOLD on Kabuo's regal bearing.  His
     neutral mask.

                               HOOKS (O.S.)
                     No further questions.


     Mist of early light.  Two dark figures, little more than
     silhouettes, measuring each other with their lethal bokken staffs.
     We may think of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, for one is a full-
     grown man.  The other, eight years old.  Dialogue plays in
     subtitled JAPANESE...

                     Hips, stomach, cut.  Stomach muscles
                     tighten as stroke advances...

     And STRIKES a fearsome blow, which the child REPELS with startling
     proficiency.  We can see ZENHICHI's stony face, now.  If he is
     impressed by his son, he does not show it.

                     Elbow soft, or there is no follow-
                     through.  You cut your bokken off
                     from the power of your body, unl...

     WHAP!  WHAP!  WHAP!  The boy LASHES fiercely, the man parrying each
     stroke with blinding ease.

                     Hips sink more.  Less weight on the
                     heels, so tha...

     CRASH!  The father has sent a blow in mid-word, FLINGING the child
     like a doll.  The boy BOUNCES up, snatching his bokken into ready

                               ZENHICHI (very quiet)
                     Zenshin.  Is constant awareness.
                     Of dang...

     WHAP!  The child has unleashed a blow at the left side of his
     father's HEAD.  It has been blocked.  The staffs rest against each
     other, just above Zenhichi's ear.  There is no anger in either
     warrior.  That we can see.

                     Elbow soft.  A little better.

     LATER...father and son sit on the ground, eating a small meal.
     The sun has risen, angling light across the undulating fields.
     They are alone in beauty.  A long silence.  Dialogue in subtitled

                     You can be good with the bokken.
                     If you begin to concentrate.

     Eyes on his food.  As if alone, as if speaking to himself.  The boy
     darting glances, unseen, at his father's profile.

                     You must choose now, Kabuo.  At eight
                     years.  If you want this.

                               KABUO (boldly)
                     I want it.

     The father keeps eating.  Never turns.

                     Then speak quietly.  So you may be


     Whaley stares down the end of his needle-nose.  The air of disdain
     of a man playing chess with an unworthy opponent.

                               NELS (O.S.)
                     So this...foam you found in the
                     lungs.  How does it get there?

                     As I testified.  It occurs when
                     water, mucus and air are mixed by
                     respiration.  I believe I said that.

                               NELS (slightly confused)
                     But a drowned person can't breathe.

                     Of course not.  The foam means
                     that he went in breathing.


                     That's why the autopsy report
                     identifies drowning as the cause
                     of death.

                     Meaning that he wasn't murdered
                     first, say on the deck of the boat,
                     and then thrown overboard.


                     Your report says death by drowning,
                     which means he went into the water
                     alive and breathing.  And the report
                     is accurate...?

                               WHALEY (bristles)
                     Of course it's accurate, but...

                     Of course, it is.  Now as to the
                     head injury.  You say made by an
                     object narrow and flat.  That is
                     your inference, correct?

                               WHALEY (really pissed)
                     It's my job to infer, that's what
                     coroners do.  You get hit with a
                     crowbar, or a ball-peen hammer, or
                     fall off a motorcycle, the injuries
                     look different, that's my area of

     Nels nods.  He can be quiet now.  The witness distracted from
     volunteering the opinions Nels did not wish for.

                     In your motorcycle example.  Those
                     injuries are produced by the head
                     being propelled against an object.
                     Rather than the reverse, yes?


                     Can you tell whether an object moved
                     against the head, or the other way
                     around?  Or would both look the same.

                     The same.

                     So if his head struck something
                     narrow and flat, the gunnel of a
                     boat, a net roller, a fairlead,
                     could that have...

                     If the head was moving fast enough,
                     but I don't see how it could be.

                     Is it possible?

                     Sure, anything's poss...

                     Is it fair to say that you do not
                     know for certain which it was.

                     I already said that, b...

                     And that you can't say for
                     certain whether the head injury was
                     sustained before or after death?

     Whaley thinks.

                     For certain, no.

                     But you are certain that he died
                     by drowning.

                     For the third time, yes.

     Nels nods.  Whaley is beyond frustrated.

                     Can I say something, here?

                     Yes, you can tell me about the
                     minor cut you found on the deceased's
                     right hand.  The report says 'recent
                     origin'.  How recent?  As much as 24
                     hours before death?

                     Absolutely not.  Probably one or two
                     hours.  Four at the most.

     A pause.

                     Are you absol...

                     Yes, I'm sure.

     Nels nods.  Silence.

                     Thank you, Horace.  No more

     Horace wants to say more.  Doesn't immediately move.

                     We'll take our luncheon recess.
                     Reconvene at...2 o'clock sharp.

     The gavel CRACKS onto the block.  Judge Fielding stands to leave,
     and the BAILIFF begins to usher the jury from its box.  Abel
     Martinson, the deputy, stands near as Kabuo rises.  As he puts his
     hand gently on Kabuo's arm, the defendant turns smoothly... face a woman.  Standing at the rail.  And beneath the
     courtroom buzz...

                     How are the kids?

     The voice so colloquially American, we are taken back.  Having
     envisioned Kabuo as a silent Samurai.

                     They need their father.

     The look holds.  Abel increasingly uneasy.

                     Well.  Just a few more days.

                               ABEL (coughs)
                     Look, Art's gonna want me t...

                               KABUO (ignoring him)
                     You look beautiful.

     Abel grasps his arm.

                     I look terrible.  Don't sit so
                     straight like Tojo's soldier.  The
                     jury will be afraid of you.

     He thinks about that.  Abel tugs him.

                     Okay, I'll hide under the table
                     from now on.  That make you happy?

     And for the first time.  He smiles.  And seems suddenly very
     American indeed.  She stares back, her heart in her eyes.  Abel
     tugs harder, but he can't budge the defendant.

                     I'm not going until you smile.

     But she doesn't.  So his fades.  One last look.  And he lets Abel
     lead him away.

     HOLD on her.  Watching him go.


     Stars above a desert.  Wind gusts.  PAN barbed wire, rows of dark
     barracks blurred by swirling dust, to...

     ...a fragile tar paper structure, its 'walls' rippling pre-
     cariously.  And inside, to see that it is...


     ...a makeshift sanctuary.  Candles, offerings of fruit.  A young
     COUPLE together before a Buddhist PRIEST.  Kabuo and Hatsue.
     Becoming one.


     A cramped, ramshackle room.  Dust blowing through gaps in the
     flimsy beams.  Kerosene light.  FUJIKO IMADA hangs the last of
     the woolen army blankets to divide the room in half, as her four
     youngest DAUGHTERS watch.  We PUSH THROUGH the blankets to the
     other side, to see...

     ...the newlyweds.  Standing at a window in their wedding clothes.
     Kissing.  Slow and full.  Until she whispers into his ear...

                     They'll hear everything.

     And her young husband turns.  Speaks to the curtain.

                               KABUO (loud)
                     There must be something good on
                     the radio!

     She giggles.  His hands trace her body.

                               KABUO (louder)
                     Wouldn't some music be nice?

     And in a moment.  The MUSIC begins.  Glenn Miller.  A song that
     sent our boys off to war.  And our young American prisoners...

     ...begin to undress each other.  Her slender fingers find the
     buttons of his shirt, deftly undoing it, as he kisses her face.
     He unclasps her dress.  And as it falls from her shoulders, falls
     to the floor, we PUSH INTO her eyes, and...

     INTERCUT her MEMORY of...

     ...a beach.  Two 10-year-old CHILDREN floating on the water.
     Clinging to a wooden box, with a glass bottom for fish-watching.
     The girl is Asian.  The boy is not.

                     Ishmael.  See the yellow one?

     And the boy wriggles around, leans over the box, as if seeking a
     better view.  And KISSES the girl.  Full on her startled mouth.

     BACK TO...the newlyweds.  On their cot now.  Close together.  Naked
     and hungry for each other.

                               KABUO (loud)
                     Can the music be louder, please?
                     We can't hear so good in here!

     The girl laughs soundlessly.  And as the music BLARES, he has slid
     his body above hers.  A whisper...

                     Have you ever done this?

     A whisper back, sure and strong...

                     Never.  You're my only.

     And as he enters her.  As she holds him close with all her
     strength.  Her lips breathe into his ear...



     Hatsue watching her husband disappear through a door.  RACK FOCUS
     to see across the way.  A man stares at her.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Course, we grew up together.


     Hatsue at 12, sits with an OLD WOMAN who guides her silently,
     exquisitely, through the ritual of the tea ceremony.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Her mom had this Mrs. Shigemura
                     come on Wednesdays.  Teach her
                     how to be Japanese.

     The woman turns the cup in her hands.  One-quarter turn.  Bows
     slightly, as she presents the tea.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Dances, calligraphy.  Doing her hair.
                     How to sit without moving...


     Hatsue and Ishmael, both 12, are sprawled on the ground, sheltered
     in the hollowed-out base of a cedar tree.  They watch the rain as
     it pummels the woods around them.  She is speaking, carefully,
     thoughtfully.  He listens with complete attention.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     She would tell me stories of
                     this woman and her lessons.  As
                     if complaining, or at least ex-
                     plaining her world...

     He shifts his position, his body brushing against hers, which makes
     him reflexively pull away.  She seems not to notice.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     But I always fantasized.  The
                     lessons were for me.


     Hatsue sits at a bedroom mirror.  Mrs. Shigemura watching
     analytically, as Hatsue weaves her hair into a thick plait.

                               MRS. SHIGEMURA
                     No.  You must never look at a man
                     directly.  This is part of grace.

     The girl smiles a small sour smile.  Speaks quietly...

                     I don't think the boys on this
                     island.  Are impressed.  By grace.

     The old woman studies her without irritation.

                               MRS. SHIGEMURA
                     Hakujin know nothing of life, Hatsue.

     Apparently, the girl has heard this before.

                               MRS. SHIGEMURA
                     This is why they fear death.  Because
                     life here is separate from Being.

     The girl takes a long pin.  Begins carefully to fasten her hair.
     Breaking eye contact with the mirror.

                               MRS. SHIGEMURA
                     It is why they have no soul.

     Is the girl even listening?  The old woman's voice never rises.
     Remains patient.

                               MRS. SHIGEMURA
                     Life embraces death, includes it.
                     This truth brings tranquility.  You
                     must see yourself...

            a leaf.  On a great tree.

     No irony in the girl's voice.  No disrespect.  The old woman reads
     the young face in the mirror.

                               MRS. SHIGEMURA
                     The pin.  Could be better placed.


     CLOSE on 12-year-old Ishmael.  Neutral eyes.  Eating an apple.  A
     horrific CLANGING surrounds us.  The clash of metal on metal.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     My lessons came from my father.  They
                     were different.  Or seemed so, at the

     See ARTHUR CHAMBERS now, at the printing press, an enormous lime
     green contraption, with rollers and conveyor pulleys in a cast-
     iron housing.  The shrieking of metal and gears recalls an ancient

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     He operated the Review alone, with
                     an integrity and passion for principle
                     that made him a figure of respect.  If
                     slightly larger than life.

     Arthur is a large, rugged man, with round gun-metal rimmed
     spectacles and garters on his shirtsleeves.  He wears the soft,
     perpetual smile of an Oxford Don, as he gracefully ducks in and
     out of the machine, inspecting plates and printing cylinders.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     He never spoke of wanting me to
                     succeed him.  And, in truth, it was
                     the last job on earth I thought I'd
                     ever want.

     The boy rises now.  Sets his apple carefully aside.  And under his
     father's supervision, takes his place operating the press.  His
     arms inches from the fearful clatter of the rollers.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     When I was five, he casually mentioned
                     that if his sleeve got caught in the
                     press, he'd be instantly popped open
                     like a child's balloon, and splattered
                     across the walls.

     Watch Ishmael running the monster, coolly, efficiently, with
     complete concentration.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Even his bones would disappear, to
                     be discovered later on the floor,
                     as strips of white confetti.

     Arthur turns away, lest his son feel a lack of confidence.  Picks
     up the boy's apple.  A crisp BITE.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Which, of course, made me certain that
                     life would have no meaning until I
                     could run that teakettle.


     Arthur and Ishmael, now 17, strolling Main Street in the midst of
     what seems a festive carnival.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     He was, for better or worse, the
                     only God in my life.  I guess it's
                     our nature to resent those we know
                     we can never measure up to...

     They are passing modest parade floats, booths with food and games.
     A genial crowd of farmers, fishermen, families, both races
     heedlessly mingling.  A community.  Arthur unselfconsciously slips
     his arm over the shoulder of his tall son.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     ...which keeps us from accepting
                     the warmth.  The way we should.

     Up ahead, a crowd has gathered at the steps of the courthouse.
     Something's up.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Every summer, after harvest, the
                     Strawberry Festival was Dad's favor-
                     ite story to cover.  Good news was
                     his preference.  Making him an oddity
                     among journalists.

     As we approach, we see a ceremony begin at the top of the
     courthouse steps.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Highlight was crowning the Strawberry
                     Princess.  Always a Japanese girl,
                     sort of an unwitting virgin sacrifice
                     to the concept of racial harmony.

     We are there now.  Arthur pulling down the same box camera Ishmael
     would use years later.  Focusing up at the MAYOR, as he places the
     crown on the radiant young girl...

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Senior Year.  It was Hatsue.

     And as the applause ripples through the crowd.  As the Strawberry
     Princess acknowledges her subjects, her eye falls on...

     ...Ishmael.  She drops him a wink.  And a special wave.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     She winked at me.  In public.
                     Which was unusual.


     Two 14-year-olds alone on a beach.  Digging for clams in the mud.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     I had kissed her once, when we
                     were ten.  Looking at fish through
                     a glass-bottomed box.  It was just
                     an impulse, and no big deal.

     Ishmael pulls back from the deep hole, to make room for Hatsue to
     reach down.  We can see her fingers explore the shell of the dug-in
     geoduck clam.

                     He's still got a good grip.  We
                     need to dig more.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     At school, she kept mostly to the
                     Japanese kids, and sort of ignored
                     me.  As if all of our times alone
            the hollow cedar,
                     everywhere...were a secret.

     They are digging now, together.  Carefully.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     I told myself that was good.  That
                     it made our friendship special.  And
                     didn't mean she was ashamed of it.

                     Easy.  Slow is best.

     Gently, she begins to dislodge the clam from its lair.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     I thought about her.  Sometimes,
                     all the time.  I knew I was unhappy.
                     But I knew if I told her...

     She lifts it clear.  And as she admires its size and roughness with
     her fingertips.  As she washes it in the shallows.  He watches her

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     It might be a mistake.  I could
                     never correct.

                               ISHMAEL (quietly)
                     I like you.

     The words make her turn.  Not startled, exactly.  Alerted.  But
     neutral, without affect.

                     Do you know what I mean, Hatsue?
                     I've always liked you.

     There is no answer.  He leans slightly closer, and she looks
     down.  This is the moment.  Afraid and driven, he moves slowly
     to her face.  And puts his mouth against hers.  She lets him and,
     encouraged, he pushes harder, making Hatsue...

     ...lose her balance, and planting a hand beneath the water to
     support herself, eyes closed too tightly, she kisses Ishmael for a
     long moment, before...

     ...leaping up, snatching her clam pail and running AWAY down the
     beach like a deer.  He stands slowly.  To watch her go.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     I knew in my heart that we would
                     love each other forever.

     His face is slack and unsmiling, but he is helpless with happiness.
     Contemplating this truth.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     The way she kissed me.  She knew
                     it, too.


     Ishmael crouching at the edge of the farm, in near-darkness.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     She avoided me for a week.

     Across the distance, the screen door opens, light slips across the
     porch.  Hatsue appears with a wicker basket, to take the laundry
     from the line.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     So this way, I could see her
                     without...bothering anyone.

     He watches, rapt, as she unpins and folds the clothes, clenching
     the clothespins in her teeth.  Then reeling the line again, elegant
     hand over elegant hand...

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     I was certain everything would
                     work out.

     She corrals the long sweep of her hair, knotting it deftly, before
     heading inside.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     And frightened.


     Children working fields in sunlight.  Kneeling in the rows.  Hatsue
     with a half-dozen Japanese girls, her hair loose, her face lightly
     sheened with sweat.  She works with efficiency and grace, filling
     her flat.

     Three rows away.  Ishmael watches.  The fear not far beneath the
     surface of his quiet, dark features.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     By two weeks, I knew I had made
                     the defining mistake of my life.

     Hatsue's gaze drifts slightly in this direction, and Ishmael looks
     DOWN rapidly at his work.  Cheeks burning, certain she is watching.
     Which she is not.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     I'd ruined everything.

     LATER...end of day.  The young pickers turning in their flats as a
     gentle rain begins.  Hatsue counts her money, slips it into her
     pocket, and...

     ...runs lightly off, into the growing rain.  Ishmael sees.
     Stricken to his soul with longing.  And indecision.


     Hatsue, drenched, alone with her thoughts in the protection of
     the hollow cedar.  The rain is driving now, and she glances up.
     At something we don't see.  And watches it.  Finally...

                     You followed me, huh?

     PULL BACK to see him.  Rain pelting off his poor soaked form.  She
     is waiting for an answer.  So...

                     Sorry.  It sort of...happened, I
                     just...I followed you.  I'm sorry.

     She pulls her hair behind her ears.  A movement which stretches her

                     I'm all wet.

     She starts refastening her hair now, looking away.  He comes
     inside, crouches as respectfully far from her as he can.  Which is
     close.  He watches her, watches her, and...

                     I'm sorry I kissed you on
                     the beach.

     No reaction.  As if she hasn't heard.  Now his heart is beating
     straight through his chest.

                     Let's just forget about it.
                     Forget it happened.

     She picks up her damp straw hat.  And, eyes down, tracing a finger
     around its brim...

                     Don't be sorry.  I'm not sorry
                     about it.

     His heart bursts within him.  And he struggles to keep it from his
     face.  Even though she isn't watching.

                     Me neither.

     She turns her face to him, and offers a small smile.  It is
     genuine, and therefore dazzling to the boy.  She lies back on
     the ground.  Her eyes so unafraid and direct.

                     Do you think this is wrong?

     He swallows.  Staring at her lying there so comfortably.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     The best part was that there was a
                     'this'.  To debate the wrongness of.

                     Your friends would.  Your dad would
                     kill me with a machete.

                     We're Japanese, not Mexican, Ishmael.
                     He'll slice you up with a ceremonial

     Ah.  Better.  They are both grinning now.

                     My mom.  Would be the problem.

                     Why?  We're only talking.

     Her eyes flicker.  The synapse that a woman can offer a man.

                               HATSUE (softly)

     And touches his hand.  With her fingertips.  The barest whisper...

                     I can't hear you.

     Thus invited, he leans down over Hatsue.  Kisses her mouth with all
     the tenderness in him.  This time, her eyes close gently.  And her
     body arches slightly, into his.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     We kissed for half an hour, that
                     first time.  And I knew there would
                     never be another day like it.

     Rain POUNDING now.  A curtain of water, sealing them from the

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     No matter how long I lived.


     CLOSE on Ishmael, once more in the row of reporters.  Absently
     kneading the stump of his amputated arm.  The way some men drum
     their fingers.

                               HOOKS (O.S.)
            were acquainted with the
                     defendant and his family.

     ETTA HEINE is a linebacker in a dress.  Stout and German and wary.
     She is 57, and pulls her hem down tight below her knees.

                     Him and his folks and two brothers
                     and two sisters worked our land.
                     Lived in a picker's cabin at first.

                     So the defendant knew the deceased,
                     your son, even then.

                     They fished t'gether.  Went to school.
                     Carl Junior treated him like a white
                     person.  Like any friend.

     Said not with pride, but regret.

                     But the dispute began.  With the
                     father, yes?


     Etta twenty years younger, watches stoically from the parlor
     window, as her husband CARL SENIOR strools the strawberry fields
     with Kabuo's father Zenhichi.  Carl is a huge rawboned man, and
     puffs a pipe as Zenhichi stops, sweeps his arms this way and that.
     Etta knows trouble when she sees it.


     Etta pours her husband's coffee.  It is very quiet.

                     Don't sell, Carl.  You'll regret it.

                               CARL SR.
                     Only seven acres, and the worst
                     seven, at that.  They're decent
                     folks.  They got five hunnerd to
                     put down now.

                     Don't go wavin' new church clothes
                     at me.  We're not such paupers as
                     sell to Japs, are we?  For what, a
                     pouch of fancy pipe tobacco?

     She walks about the kitchen with her arms folded.  Too upset to
     be still.

                               CARL SR.
                     They work hard, live clean, don't
                     spend nothin'.  Even kind to the
                     Indjuns.  People is people, comes
                     down to it.

     Etta turns sharply.  Glares at the big man.  He just blinks
     blandly, puffs his pipe.  She can see this ship has sailed.

                     You wear the pants, doncha?  Go
                     ahead, sell our land to a Jap and
                     see what comes of it.


     Hooks pacing, slow and calm.  This part needs to be clear.

                     But back in '34, Japanese-born
                     could not own land.  So...?

                     Carl held it for 'em.  Called it
                     a lease.  They make payments every
                     June and December...

                     Why?  If they could never take title.

                     Their kids was born here.  So when
                     the oldest, that one there, was
                     twenty...last payment gets made,
                     and he could own it.

     She folds her hands.  Looks Kabuo square in the eye.

                     But they missed their last two
                     payments.  So that was that.


     Carl Sr. and Zenhichi sit at the table.  There is coffee.  But it
     is untouched.  Etta watches by the stove.

                               ETTA (V.O.)
                     March 1942, orders came down.  Japs
                     had eight days before the Army was
                     gonna cart 'em off.

     Carl lights his pipe.  Compassion in his broad weathered face.

                               CARL SR. (softly)
                     Eight days.  It ain't right.

                     We must leave everything.  If you
                     like, you can work our fields, sell
                     berries, keep the money.  Otherwise,
                     they just rot.

                               ETTA (V.O.)
                     Japs are shrewd.  Offer berries he
                     can't use.  Soften us up about those
                     two payments still to come.

     And sure enough, Zenhichi produces a neat stack of bills.  Puts
     them on the table.

                     Today, I have $120 toward next paym...

                               CARL SR.
                     Absolutely not, Zenhichi.  I'm not
                     gonna take your savings at a time
                     like this.

     The small man spreads the bills out.  On the table.

                     Please, you take.  Then, I send more
                     from where I'm going.  If not enough,
                     you still have seven acres strawber...

                     Thought you was givin' us those.

     And everything.  Stops.

                     Didn't you come in here givin' them
                     away?  Now you want $130, after our
                     labor and fertilizer.  Is that what
                     you come here hopin' on?

     Zenhichi keeps his anger within.  His face is stone.

                               ETTA (V.O.)
                     I spit on him, and he's pretending
                     it didn't happen that way.  How could
                     anyone trust people like that?

                     You want more coffee?

                     No, thank you.  Take money, please.

     But Carl is staring at his wife.  She stares right back.  Carl
     turns, slides the money toward Zenhichi.

                               CARL SR.
                     Etta's been rude to you, and I
                     apologize for that.  You keep this
                     money, and those payments will work
                     out fine.  Somewhere down the road.


     Silence.  Palpable.  Two figures sit at opposite ends of this
     darkening room, each under a lamp.  Carl Sr. is reading the paper.
     His face is stone.  Etta at a small writing desk strewn with bills
     and ledgers.  Her face is angry.

     A screen door opens.  Slams shut.  Big footfalls coming.  No one
     looks up.

                               CARL JR.
                     Look at this!

     He stands in the doorway.  A bamboo fishing road in his giant hand.

                               CARL JR.
                     Kabuo loaned it to me.  Til he
                     gets back.

     And his parents stare back him.

                               CARL JR.
                     It's great for sea-run cutthroat.
                     The ferrules are smooth, silk wrapped.

                     Take that back.  And do it now.

     The big young face is stunned, hurt.

                               CARL JR.
                     I told Kabuo I'd take ca...

                     Those Japs owe us.  I don't want
                     nothin' confusing that.

     The boy looks to his father.  Who says nothing.

                     I said now, boy.  Supper's in
                     forty minutes.

     Crestfallen, defeated, the boy backs away.  Hear his footfalls.
     The screen door SLAM hard.

     And Carl Sr. looks at his wife.  No sound, until...

                               CARL SR.
                     We ain't right together.

     The words are flat and straight.  Etta stoic.

                               CARL SR.
                     You and me.  We just ain't right.


     Hooks settles back.  His butt on the edge of the prosecutor's
     table.  The soul of patience and clarity.

                     You said neither of the last two
                     payments were made.  But your husband
                     told defendant's father that he could
                     pay them...what, 'down the road'.

     And straight back...

                     Road ended October 1944, when my
                     husband passed away.

     She nods.  That's all there was to it.

                     I sold all the land to our
                     neighbor, Ole Jurgensen.  Got
                     a fair price, this time.  And...

     Straightens her spine.  To deliver the clincher...

                     Sent all their equity back to those
                     Japs down in California.  Which I
                     didn't have to do.  Specially since
                     my boy was out in the Pacific, gettin'
                     shot at by Japs at the time.

     Hooks pauses.  As if drinking this in.

                     Now defendant's father had also
                     died by that point.  Where was
                     the defendant?  When you sent
                     his family their equity.

                     In the war.  Europe, I believe.
                     They could hardly send him to the
                     Pacific, could they?

     Kabuo watching the woman.  Eyes as hard as her own.

                     And when he came home.  Did he
                     write you about this?  Or phone,

                     Just showed up at my door, big as
                     life and twice as mean.  Wanted to
                     talk to my son.


     Kabuo stands at the open door.  No one is inviting him inside.

                     He's over the ocean, fighting the
                     Japs.  They're just about licked.

                               KABUO (quietly)
                     Just about.

     And there it sits.

                     When Mr. Heine passed away, I
                     couldn't farm the place myself,
                     could I?  You're gonna have to talk
                     to Ole abou...

                     I just did.  He didn't know we were
                     one payment away.  You didn't tell
                     him Mr. Heine promised my fath...

                     I was s'posed to tell him there's
                     some illegal contract muddling things
                     up?  You folks didn't make your pay-
                     ments.  In America, bank comes in and
                     repossesses your land.  I didn't do
                     anything wrong.

     Kabuo stands.  Calm, unblinking.

                     Nothing illegal.  Wrong is a
                     different mat...

                     Get out of here.

                     You sold our land out from under
                     us, Mrs. Heine.  You took advantage
                     of the fact that we were gone.  You...

     SLAMM.  The door has closed in his face.  And Kabuo stands there.
     As if deciding.

     Whether to break it down.


     Hooks standing at the jury box now.  Looking at them, as he asks...

                     What do you mean by 'dirty looks'?

                     Well.  Every time I see him in
                     town or somewhere, he's starin'
                     at me with these narrow eyes.
                     Givin' me his mean face.

                     When your son came back from the
                     war, what did he say about all this?

                     That he'd keep an eye on Miyamoto.
                     Watch out for him.

                     Did he see some danger from defen...

                     Objection.  Asking witness to
                     speculate about deceased's state
                     of mind.

                     All right.  What did your son say
                     to that effect?

     She looks up.  As if trying to recall.

                     He said he wished Kabuo would forget
                     about his seven acres, and stop
                     lookin' at us cross-eyed.

     Hooks stares at the jury.  Holds the moment.

                     Your witness.

     And goes slowly back to his seat.  Nels waits until his opponent is
     seated.  Then, rises.

                     Just three questions.  The Miyamoto
                     family bought your seven acres for

                     Tried to.  Defaulted on their

                     Second question.  What did Ole
                     Jurgensen pay you per acre?

                     A thousand.

                     So that makes what would have been
                     $4500 into $7000, doesn't it?  If
                     you sent the equity back, you had
                     a profit of $2500.

                     Is that your third question?

                     It is.

                     You done your math right.

     The old man wears a thin, cold smile.

                     You, too.  No further questions.

     HOLD on Kabuo.  As he watches Etta rise heavily from the box.


     Mist of moments before dawn.  As tendrils part, there is enough
     light to see...

     ...eyes.  They are Asian.  They are razor-keen.  PULL BACK to

     ...Kabuo alone in G.I. gear and helmet.  Rifle up high, sweat
     on his face, moving soundlessly, turning in a circle as he goes,

     ...he stops.  A heartbeat of silence.  Then...

     ...the BLAST of automatic tracer TEARS through trees, as he WHIRLS
     and RETURNS FIRE in a single motion, until...


     His heart is pounding.  He waits.  Waits.  Weapon at the ready, he
     pushes THROUGH the dense foliage to see...

     ...the 15-year-old German SOLDIER, splayed on the forest floor, his
     chest torn and bloodied.  Kabuo's gaze LOCKS with the boy's.  The
     young soldier's empty left hand reaches out in a a plea, and as
     Kabuo steps forward, the boy's right hand comes suddenly...

     ...INTO view, metal GLINTING in motion, as Kabuo...

     ...BLOWS the boy AWAY with staccato rifle BURSTS that JUMP the
     already-lifeless body like an electric jolt.  And falling from the
     kid's hand, not a pistol, but...

     ...ID TAGS.

     No expression on Kabuo's face.  None at all.  He moves on.


     OLE JURGENSEN wobbles slightly in the witness box, hands resting on
     the cane planted unsteadily between his frail legs.  His eyes leak
     water, his beard is wispy and unkempt.

                     Were those his exact words?

                               OLE (shaky)
                     He say Mrs. Heine robbed him.
                     Mr. Heine never woulda let no
                     such ting like that hap...

                     Robbed.  He was angry.

                     Oh, yeh.  He said someday he would
                     get his land back.

     Hooks nodding.  Nodding.

                     Mr. Jurgensen.  Did he offer to
                     buy the seven acres from you?

                     Oh, yeh.  But this is nine year
                     ago, I had my healt, I wasn't
                     wantin' to sell.

                     And then your stroke came this
                     summer.  And you put your property
                     on the market, I believe you said
                     September 7.  Which, remember, is
                     eight days before Carl Heine died.
                     And who comes Spetember 7, wanting
                     to buy?

                     Carl Heine came.

     Hooks pauses.  Lets that sink in.

                     But Carl was a fisherman.  And
                     successful at it.

                     He said he didn't want that life
                     no more.  He'd been saving to buy
                     a farm.  He was sorry I got sick.
                     But pretty excited to get back his
                     father's place.

     The old man's head bobs.  Recalling.

                     Liesel and me.  Was happy for him.

     Hooks smiles.  As if he would be happy, too.  Anyone would be.

                     And later, that same day.  Only
                     eight days before Carl Heine died.
                     Did another prospective buyer appear?


     Ole sits in a wicker chair at a wicker table.  His wife LIESEL is
     setting out cold drinks.  But their visitor stands rigid,

                     I'm sorry to tell you, we took his
                     earnest money, he shook Ole's hand.
                     Come November, he'll sell his boat,
                     and take over the farm.

     Kabuo is thunderstruck.

                     But your sign...

                     We din't have no time to take it down.
                     He just come ten o'clock.

     Kabuo nods.  His voice is soft, but his eyes are steel.

                     It's my fault.  I should have come

     He looks so odd, perhaps he's ill.  Liesel looks concerned.

                     If you want t'buy them seven
                     acres.  Carl Heine's the only
                     fella can sell 'em.


     The witness box is empty.  The snow outside the windows is falling
     in darkness.  And Judge Lew Fielding is leaning his frame toward
     the jurors...

                     I apologize for keeping you folks
                     from your families in a storm like
                     this.  I do hope you'll be reasonably
                     comfortable in the hotel tonight.  And
                     one more thing...

     He smiles softly.

                     This Court takes judicial notice of
                     the fact that tomorrow is the 13th
                     anniversary of the attack on Pearl

     Slight pause.  To make sure they are listening.

                     Which has no relationship to this
                     trial.  Which is why I mention it.

     Gavel CRACKS down.

                     10 o'clock tomorrow, folks.  Stay


     Hatsue walks briskly down the crowded hallway, her eyes searching
     the benches lining the corridor ahead.  Her view obscured by the
     crowd hurrying to fight the storm.  Suddenly...

     ...she stops.  Because there.  On a bench.  Sits Ishmael.  Next to
     him, a round Japanese-American baby boy of 11 months.  Before him,
     squat the boy's sisters, eight and four.  All are watching

     ...manipulating a COIN.  It rolls across his knuckles and back
     again, with amazing dexterity.  Then, he snatches it into his palm.
     Holds up his fist.  All little eyes are glued.  The fist...

     ...opens.  It is EMPTY.  There are GASPS.

                     Know where it is?

     They don't.

                     It's in my other hand.

     The four-year-old LAUGHS.  Her big sister socks her.  And Mom steps
     in.  The man looks up, with the sweetest smile.

                     Your mother went to the bathroom.
                     She said I could show them a trick.

                     HE DOESN'T HAVE A OTHER HAND!

     Hatsue is not smiling.  Nor is she angry.  Even awkward comes to
     her in a graceful way.  She scoops up her son.

                     Thank you for your help.
                           (to the girls)
                     Let's go find obaasan.

     And without even glancing at him, she heads off at a brisk pace.
     The girls following.  The four-year-old turning back to wave once.

     And then they are gone.


     Kabuo stands outside the open steel door of his tiny cell, as Abel
     Martinson clumsily unfastens the manacles.  A cot, a toilet without
     a seat, a bare bulb hanging from a wire.  No windows to the outside
     world.  Only the small barred one in the cell door.  As the
     manacles fall away...

     ...Abel removes two objects from his pocket.

                     This is from Nels, I can't see the
                     harm.  Don't tell Art, okay?

     Hands him two CANDY BARS.  A Snickers.  And a Baby Ruth.  Kabuo
     looks at them...

     In spite of himself.  Kabuo smiles.  Remembering...

     INT. JAIL - DAY

     Kabuo sits in jailhouse overalls on the edge of his cot.  Motion-
     less.  On a private journey of the mind.  The door CLANGS open...

                     This here is Nels Gudmundsson,
                     he's your attorney.

     Kabuo looks over.  That flat, unsmiling gaze.  The old man has a
     folded chessboard and a Havana cigar box under his arm.  Their eyes
     lock, as if the Sheriff weren't even here.  And Moran leaves,
     closing the door with respectful quiet.

     Nels doesn't smile, doesn't speak.  Opens the chessboard on the
     cot.  Opens the cigar box filled with chess pieces, two cigars,
     a Snickers and a Baby Ruth.  He puts the candy bars by Kabuo's
     pillow, a silent gift.  Begins to set up the chessboard.

                     What makes you think I play?

                     Your daddy played.  I asked, down
                     at the Japanese Community Center.
                     You smoke cigars?

     And offers one up, rough and black.

                     I'm not sure.  I better check
                     down at the Center.

     Kabuo smiles only with his eyes.  Nels nods, maybe you better.
     Lights his own cigar.  Puts the matches and the other cigar at
     Kabuo's side.

                     White or black?

                     You mean, do I like to take the
                     offensive?  Or hang back and wait.

     That seems answer enough for Nels.  He turns the board around to
     where he has white, and makes the first move.

                     Nice.  When two fellas understand
                     each other.

     Kabuo picks up the cigar.  STRIKES a match.

     white.  Kabuo moves a black bishop.  Nels' eyes shoot around the
     table.  He reaches and KNOCKS OVER Kabuo's black king.  Kabuo
     blinks, studies the board silently.  Then smiles.

     He unwraps the Snickers bar.  Breaks it in half.  Hands one piece
     across to his lawyer.


     RAPID CUTS, different days, Nels in different suits, chess pieces
     in different positions, each time Nels reaching to topple Kabuo's
     king.  The last time...

     Kabuo has to study the board for a beat.  Shakes his head.

                     You must think I like losing.

                     I think you like learning.

     And leans his old bones back against the hard wall.

                     Me, too.  That's why I come.

     Pulls out two cigars.  Kabuo looks at them.

                     Bet there's a few things you
                     could teach me.  Kendo, for one.

                     Sure.  I could take a fishing
                     gaff and split your head open.
                     Right above your left ear.

     No smile.  Steady gaze.

                     You wouldn't even see it move.

                     You're wonderin' come I
                     never ask.  If you did it.

     Hands one cigar.  Across the chessboard.

                     Now, you've told me you killed
                     four men.  In Germany.  So I know
                     you are the kind of man who can
                     kill.  When there's a reason.

                               KABUO (very quiet)
                     Guess I am.

     Takes the cigar.  Rolls it between his thumb and forefinger.

                     You feel guilty.  That you took
                     their lives.  That's in your eyes.

     STRIKES a match.

                               NELS (softly)
                     Jury sees what I see.  More often
                     than not.

     Reaches stiffly.  Kabuo bends toward him.  Accepts the flame.
     Takes a puff.

                     Prosecutor thinks.  What was
                     your reason?  To kill Carl Heine.

     Kabuo says not a word.

                     Well, there is the land itself.
                     Raise your children where you
                     were raised.  Sleep with your
                     wife at night, 'stead of bein'
                     alone on the sea.

     Brings the match to his own cigar.  Careful.  Expert.

                     There's fairness and honor.  You
                     were cheated by that old bitch.
                     Boy, she is something.

                               KABUO (simply)
                     She's not alone.

     Worlds within those words.

                               NELS (a murmur)
                     None of us are.

     And in those.

                     And prejudice, like you say.  Your
                     people locked in a concentration
                     camp.  You go off to fight for our
                     country's freedom.  Come back to this.

     Shakes his head.

                     But Mr. Hooks has missed the one
                     reason.  One reason.  You coulda
                     done it.

     A flicker.  Behind the defendant's eyes.

                     I read you Etta Heine's deposition.
                     So I could watch your mind.  Like I
                     do when you move your rook, or when
                     I move mine.

     A smile now.  Very kind.  Very sad.

                     And you weren't thinking about her.
                     Or about land.  Or about you.

     No, you weren't.  And in the gentlest voice...

                     No, someone cheats you, you can
                     rise above that.  You're a family
                     man.  You put them ahead of you, hmmn?

     He sighs.  But...

                     Wasn't you she dishonored.

     And the old watering eyes are rock steady now.

                     Your father was a strong and
                     tireless man.  Honest to a fault.
                     Kind, and humble as well...

     There is a silence.  And then...

                               KABUO (real quiet)
                     Nice.  When two fellas.  Understand
                     each other.

     They let that sit.

                     Now this jury is gonna be lookin'
                     at the evidence with one eye.
                     And at you with the oth...

                     Mr. Gudmundsson, we know what
                     that jury is looking at.

     He won't let hs eyes lie to this man.

                     Your father needs you.  To return
                     to your family.


                     So every time you think about
                     showing that jury strength.  Or
                     honor or composure.  Or dignity.

                     I should show them an American?

     Nels sees the rage.  It breaks his heart.  It makes him feel old
     and helpless.

                     Show them an innocent man.

     What he stares at now.  Is a neutral mask.  As powerful and opaque
     as the voice is quiet.

                     Shame you couldn't play chess with
                     my dad, sir.  He'd kick your ass.


     Through glass, snow is tumbling in endless cascades, the world
     dwarfed by a descending heaven.  A sound, a strange soft CLICK.
     PAN across...

     ...the small, well-kept bachelor apartment.  Neat stacks of books
     on the floor, catching the overflow of shelves crammed full.
     Someone likes to read.  Another soft CLICK.  To...

     ...the kitchen now, along the floor.  An awkward high-top SHOE, its
     buckled straps above elastic LACES that fasten across the instep.
     The shoe steps on a crude wooden PEDAL.  And we hear another CLICK.
     PAN up along a vertical strip of mesh WIRE to...

     ...a plywood CONTRAPTION, held by a partially closed drawer.  A
     piece of spring steel holding a set of NAIL CLIPPERS.

     Ishmael inserts his pinkie carefully.  CLICK.  Finishes clipping
     the fingernails of his only hand.  And looks out.  At the magic of


     Safe within their haven, the 18-year-olds kiss and hold each other
     urgently.  Their tongues exploring each other's mouth, her legs
     open beneath her skirt, pressing her body up against him.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     I gave her all of my soul to love.
                     I knew someday we would live in
                     France.  Italy.  Somewhere.  Far
                     from the things that upset her.

     ANGLE...later, they lie so quietly.  Her head nestled in the crook
     of his arm, he gently plays with her hair.  Her face so still, so
     thoughtful and grave.

                               ISHMAEL (a murmur)
                     You don't have to be so tragic,
                     you know.

     Ah.  Her dark eyes flicker.

                               HATSUE (dry)
                     Kind of magical, the way you know
                     how to comfort a girl.

     She cuts the irony by sending her fingertips to stroke his.

                     I can just feel my spirits soar.

                     Well, I don't do it for just

     And kisses her head.  But her eyes still stare off into the tangle
     of her worries.  He draws a breath...

                     There can't be any wrong in
                     this, Ha...

                     I lie to my parents every day.
                     And every night.

     His light tone against the fear...

                     Well.  Since I never told your
                     folks, I guess I'm lying to 'em,
                     too.  But you don't hear me
                     complaining about it.

     She winds her fingers with his.  Loyalty against her doubt.
     Very soft with...

                     I'm in awe.  Of your strength.


     Hatsue sits with the Japanese kids.  Ishmael with his friends.  The
     bus filled with stone-faced teenagers listening to the DRIVER, who
     brandishes his newspaper at the Japanese side of the bus...

                     ...not just Pearl, they're attackin'
                     all over the Pacific, the whole
                     fleet's destroyed.  The FBI's in
                     Seattle right now...

     And pauses.  His eyes moving from one Japanese face to the next.
     Are you listening?

                     ...arresting Jap traitors, the
                     spies and everything.  There'll
                     be a blackout tonight, so keep your
                     radios off.  So the Japs don't pick
                     up no signals.  You get the message?

     Stares them down.  Until, from across the bus...

                               ISHMAEL (O.S.)
                     Hey, Mr. Lamberson, over here!

     The driver's eyes snap around.  The tall boy is waiting.

                     I have a radio, too.  Don't you
                     want to be sure I got the message?

     Ishmael sees the anger.  He's not afraid of it.

                     Just checking.


     The horrid CLANGING of the great rattletrap press, Arthur Chambers
     ducking nimbly among the rollers.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     It was a special edition, an extra.
                     My father wrote, 'These people are
                     our neighbors, they have sent their
                     sons to the United States Army...'

     Print flying onto paper as it rolls through the green metal

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     'They are no more an enemy than
                     our fellow islanders of German or
                     Italian descent.'

     Belary-eyed Ishmael, pulling finished copies from the bin.  As
     he stacks them for delivery, he reads aloud, above the CLASH of

                               ISHMAEL (sleepy and loud)
                     LET US SO LIVE THAT, WHEN IT IS OVER,
                     WE CAN LOOK EACH OTHER IN THE EYE.
                     AND KNOW WE HAVE ACTED HONORABLY.

     Big yawn.  It's really late.  He turns, and sees...

     ...his father.  Staring at him.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     I guess courage never inspires the
                     young.  Until the danger of it bites
                     their butt.


     They walk slowly up the path.  An arm around each other's waist,
     their bodies brushing as they go...

                     My father can't get our money from
                     the bank.  We have a few dol...

                     It'll be over soon.  I can get
                     you money.

     She stops.  By a weathered fence, covered in vines.  It's growing

                     It's not going to get better, okay?

     She sighs.  He moves close, looks so grave.

                     They arrested Mr. Shirazaki,
                     because his farm is near a navy
                     transmitter.  And his family can't
                     leave their house.

     What can he say.

                     It's just Pearl Harbor.  People
                     are a little crazy, right n...

                     Look at my face.  It's the face of
                     the people who did that.  My father
                     hardly speaks English.  We're in
                     bad trouble, you have to see that.

     He reaches.  Touches this face that he loves with all his heart.
     Forces up a smile.

                     Maybe we can fix your eyes.

     She leans up.  CROSSES her eyes in a goofy expression.  Then kisses
     his mouth.  When she pulls back...

                     Don't let this hurt us, okay?
                     Whatever happens.

     And she studies this boy.  Knowing more than he can ever
     understand.  And chooses to whisper...

                     It won't.  You'll see.


     Hatsue and her older daughter are setting the farmhouse table, as
     snow drifts down beyond the window.  Plates and flatware.  Glasses
     and napkins.  Slowly, in silence, as if a ritual bonding mother and
     daughter.  She glances to the next room...

     ...her mother Fujiko plays with the babies.  Her father HISAO reads
     the paper.  Smoking his pipe.

     And Hatsue is motionless for a moment.  Watching him.


     CLOSE on Hatsue at 18, staring with silent anger greater than her

                               HISAO (O.S. shaky)
                     We are loyal.

     PULL BACK to see the room.  Hatsue and her sisters side by side,
     staring at the table.  On it rests a shotgun, four boxes of shells,
     a ceremonial sword.  An FBI AGENT, a small man in a dark suit, is
     tagging each item.  He wears a light, perpetual, insincere smile.

                     Everyone on the island has
                     these things.

     Fujiko at her husband's side.  She is quietly indignant.  He is

                               AGENT (overly casual)
                     Well, they'll hold this stuff for
                     a little bit, then ship it back to
                     you.  It's nothing to worry about.

     And walks over to the tansu, a chest of drawers, and begins to
     remove items...

                     You folks have been real polite,
                     and we'll be outta your hair in
                     just a second...

     ...a silk kimono with gold brocaded sash...

                     That's very nice.  From the old
                     country, it appears.  Very high class.

     And lays it on another table.  Next to a bamboo flute, a stack of
     shakuhachi sheet music.

                     These are real nice things.
                     They'll take special care of 'em.

     Hisao sees his wife's sudden alarm.  And, as respectfully as he can

                     The flute is precious.  The kimono,
                     the music.  Must you take th...

                     ...oh yeh, any old country stuff,
                     we have to take.

     And sees on the sofa, an open album.  Strolls over.

                     This is only my daughter's
                     scrapbook.  For her memories.

     So he picks it up.  Doesn't see Hatsue stiffen with repulsion, as
     he wanders, thumbing through it, toward the hallway...

                               AGENT (calling out)
                     Wilson?  Don't go pawing through
                     the underwear!

     And chuckles.  He knows they appreciate a joke.  It means there's
     nothing to be afraid of.  Stops turning pages now.  Looks up, his
     eyes moving until they find Hatsue.

                     Strawberry Princess, huh?  You
                     musta been flattered by that.
                     Looks just like y...

     The soft slamming of a screen door.  Another AGENT, large and
     shambling in his too-small suit, is carrying a crate.  And a
     telling look.

                               AGENT #2 (quiet triumph)
                     Dynamite.  Twenty-four sticks.

     And the crate BANGS onto the table.  Just beside the kimono.  Lifts
     out two sticks and holds them high.  Proof.

                     You must believe.  This for tree
                     stumps.  For clearing land.

     The small man's smile fades now.  First time.  And his eyes fix
     Hisao before he speaks.  As if reading his mind.

                     Maybe.  Maybe.  But this is still
                     bad, y'see.

     Fujiko slips her hand into her husband's.  To give him strength.

                     It's illegal contraband, you were
                     s'posed to turn this stuff in.
                     We, uh...

     Slight shrug.

                     We gotta arrest you.  Have to
                     take you to Seattle.

     Fujiko's breath catches.  One of the daughters whimpers.  The
     silence hangs thick and frightening.  The bigger agent unhooks a
     pair of handcuffs from his belt, but...

                     Naw, you don't need those.  Mister
                     Eee-ma-da-san here is a class act,
                     a real gentleman.

     The younger girls are crying now, clinging to their sisters.  The
     agent regrets this.

                     Please, reconsider.  He has done
                     no bad th...

                     Well, nobody knows that yet, do
                     they?  So, best for an honest man
                     to clear his name for godd and all.

     Ain't that right?

                     Only a few questions in Seattle,
                     okay?  Few questions, few answers,
                     the whole thing is over.

     He puts his hand on Hisao's arm.  Not roughly, but much firmer than
     the ease of his voice...

                     Simple as that.


     Eight pages of a letter, carefully written in Kanji characters,
     folded neatly on a table.

                               FUJIKO (O.S.)
                     Why do I read you this distres-
                     sing letter?  From your father.
                     From this camp, it
                     is called.  In Montana.

     PULL BACK to see mother and five daughters around the table.  Even
     the youngest girls somber, attentive.  As if they have aged these
     past few weeks.

                     Because you need to know the
                     darkness.  In the hearts of the

                               HATSUE (blurts)
                     Not all of them.

     The silent wake of her outburst, her interruption, lingers.  Her
     mother studies her.

                     The whites are enslaved by their egos,
                     Hatsue.  Each believes his aloneness
                     is everything.  We seek union wi...

                     ...the ones seeking union with the
                     Greater Life bombed Pearl Harbor.
                     They are not humble.  I am not part
                     of them, I'm part of here.

     Her voice so loud, so insistent.  Her sisters are afraid for her.
     To have shown such disrespect.  They look down at their hands.  Or
     away, as if not hearing.

                               FUJIKO (quietly, slowly)
                     I see this.  This lack of purity
                     is a mist around your soul.  I see
                     it every day, it haunts your face
                     in unguarded moments.

     The room is still as the grave.  The mother's eyes burn silently.

                     I see it in your eagerness to
                     leave here.  And walk the woods.
                     In the afternoon.

     What does she know?  Hatsue's heart pounding.  And to her surprise,
     her mother's voice softens...

                     If you lose your true self, Hatsue.
                     True self...

     The stern warning, the unrelenting judgement, has become a plea.

                     There is no way back.


     Ishmael washing his supper plate.  His fork and knife.  His coffee
     mug.  His skillet.  Hard labor with one hand.  And as he works, he
     looks at...

     ...the window above his sink.  Darkness and moonlit snow.  And his
     own reflection.  CLOSE on his face in the glass, and MATCH DISSOLVE


     ...Arthur Chambers.  Weary.  Worn behind the smile of knowing ease,
     as he sips coffee from a mug of his own.

     His boy sits across from him in the silent press room.  Feet up,
     reading their paper.  Its headline, ISLAND JAPANESE ACCEPT ARMY

                     See, you bring it on yourself.
                     23 ladies honored by the PTA, you
                     single out three names.  And they're
                     all Japanese.  That isn't journalism.

                               ARTHUR (quietly)

     Ishmael has heard this gently prodding word all his life.  He

                     Because journalism.  Is just the

                     Which facts?  You can't print
                     them all.  Journalism is balance.
                     Finding the facts folks need to know.

     The boy looks dryly at his father.  SLAPS the page with the back of
     his hand.

                     Hence.  The letters.

     Arthur closes his eyes.  Recites from memory...

                     'Seems like you're favoring the Japs,
                     Art.  Writin' all about their
                     patriotism and loyalty with nothin'
                     'bout the treachery.'

     A smile in the voice.  A sad one.

                     'Your newspaper is an insult to
                     all white Americans.  Please cancel
                     my subscription and send refund.'

     Now the smile is on his face.  Even sadder.

                     The calls are better. 'Jap lovers
                     get their balls cut off and stuffed
                     down their...'
                     Missed the rest.  Hanging up will
                     do that.

     Silence.  Two men.  Watching each other.

                     We lost the Price-Rite ads.  And
                     Lottie Opsvig's shop, and Larsen's
                     Lumberyard and the Anacortes Cafe.
                     And 30 percent of our subscribers.

     A deeper silence.

                     Integrity is expensive stuff, huh?

                     Valuable things.  Sometimes are.

     Toasts his son.  With coffee.

                     But.  I've got the answer.

     A wink.  A swallow of Joe.

                     Print four pages.  Instead
                     of eight.


     They lie so close.  Their bodies touching, not moving.  Their faces
     inches apart, so that every word is a murmur...

                     You're like me.  You've learned
                     to be devious.

     He's never seen her this fragile, this scared.  He knows he has to
     be strong for her.

                     It's not devious, it's what we have
                     to do.  You're leaving tomorrow...

     He unties her hair.  So gently.  Tries to keep his smile calm,

                     You write to my house, and put
                     Kenny Yamashita's name on the
                     return address.  It's no big deal.

     He brings his face to her hair.  Kisses it.

                     You smell like cedar.

     Her eyes are wide.  They move over his face.  A murmured...

                     So do you.  It's your smell I'll
                     miss as much as anything.

     He looks in her eyes.  And words come from his heart, before he can
     stop them...

                     Let's get married, okay?

     Her eyes fill with tears.  Are they from happiness?

                     I want to marry you.  Is that okay?

     Her face so still.  One tear falls, and he kisses it.

                               ISHMAEL (a whisper)
                     Just say yes.

     No answer.  Not knowing what to say, she winds an arm behind his
     head, and brings him nearer.  His mouth opens into hers, with more
     force, more of his heart, than he has ever given.  Deep and tender.
     His hands reach beneath her dress...

     ...peel her panties down her thighs...

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     When something that means your
                     whole life.  Is the last time ever...

     And suddenly, he is OVER her, drawing her legs up around him...

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     God should tell you.  Or it's not

     Her head tilts back, her eyes squeeze closed.  And as he enters

                               ISHMAEL (whispers)
                     Please say yes...

     ...her hands GRASP his upper arms.  And push away.

                               HATSUE (softly)

     And he blinks.  As if waking from a dream.  Everything has stopped.
     Her face is strong and yet overflowing with regret.

                     No.  No.  It isn't right.

     So he draws away.  Stunned, uncomprehending.  Watching with blank
     eyes, as she stares up at him.  Then, with dignity and tenderness,
     he helps her dress, his eyes awkwardly away from hers...

                     It felt right to me.  It felt
                     like getting married.

     She draws her legs up.  Kneeling now, putting her hands on his

     But no words come.  No words.  Until...

                     I'll write you.

     And KISSES him fiercely, and BOLTS up before he can grab her,
     RUNNING off like a deer, while he...

     ...kneels.  His mouth open.  Like a silent scream.


     An army truck pulls up behind several others in cold morning air.
     Hesitantly, looking in all directions, Fujiko, Hatsue, and her four
     sisters climb from the truck, to see...

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     On Monday, March 30, 1942, the
                     United States Army graciously
                     transported the Imada women to
                     the docks.

     ...a ferry, the KEHLOKEN, stands waiting.  Soldiers are dis-
     tributing tags for luggage and coats.  The evacuees, mostly women,
     stand in the cold, trying to smile bravely for each other.  And
     lined against the railing...

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Lifelong neighbors came to watch.
                     Curiosity masked as kindness...

     ...a cluster of white islanders gawking as their Japanese neighbors
     file toward the ferry.  A middle-aged woman waves to Fujiko, who
     casts her eyes down, refusing to acknowledge the greeting.  And
     just as they reach the gangway...

     ...Hatsue sees Ishmael, who stands at an unobtrusive distance,
     among a group of students.  She pauses.  Her eyes hold his for a

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     ...with some exceptions.

     The wisp of a smile.  And she is gone.


     Hatsue comes alone onto the white-blanketed porch.  Snow is no
     longer falling.  She takes out a cigarette, lights it impassively.
     The mannerisms make her seem fully American, despite the porcelain
     impenetrability of her Asian exterior.  She closes her eyes, and...

     ...draws deep on the smoke.  The act seems to cause her pain.  When
     the eyes open, they are frightened, unguarded.  Nowhere to turn.
     The next puff looks desperate, and she FLIPS the cigarette out onto
     the snow.  Jams her hands in the pockets of her parka, stamps her
     feet against the cold, the helplessness.  And looks out...

     ...strawberry fields, endless and white, shimmering in filtered
     moonlight, become...


     ...a moonlit DESERT.  PAN the barbed wire, the distant barracks,
     the desolation.  Come to...

     ...two women walking alone.  The younger one glancing at her mother
     as they go.  Fujiko's eyes unreadable, stare implacably ahead.
     The barracks, everything, in distance behind them.

                     You think we're far enough
                     away now?

     No sarcasm in the voice.  She lets the words carry her irony.
     Her mother stops.  Looks at her so directly, so strong.  Even her
     tough-minded daughter flinches slightly.

                     Mom, whatever this is, they don't
                     keep war secrets this carefully.

     Fujiko thinks that over.  Nods.

                     Secrets are hard to keep.

     She goes over to a large, flat rock.  Sits down.  Pulls two sheets
     of paper from her coat.  And waits.  As her daughter comes and
     crouches at her feet.  Fujiko clears her throat.

                     This letter.  Was opened.
                     By mistake.

     And watches.  As the shard of fear penetrates her daughter's mask.
     Silence.  Then...

                               FUJIKO (reads)
                     'My love.  I still go to our
                     cedar tree in the afternoons every
                     day.  I shut my eyes, waiting.'

     Hatsue has turned to stone.  To ice.  Wind blows.

                               FUJIKO (reads)
                     'I smell your smell.  And I dream
                     of you.  And I ache for you to come
                     home.  So I can hold you and feel
                     you near.'

     Fujiko scans the page silently.  Turns to the second...

                               FUJIKO (reads)
                     'After all these years that we've
                     been together, I find you're a
                     part of me.  Without you, I have
                     nothing.  All my love, forever...'

     And looks up.  Her eyes calm, quiet.

                     The neighborhood boy.  Who taught
                     you to swim?

     The look holds.  And holds.

                     You shouldn't have opened that.
                     It was mi...

                               FUJIKO (so quiet)
                     How deceitful of me.

     Anger only at the edges.  Like finely-honed steel.

                     How can I ever hope.  For your

     The wind swirls a cloud of dust between them.  They seem not to

                     I have written this letter to
                     the boy's parents...

     She pulls out a single page.  Hands it down to her daughter.
     Hatsue's eyes move quickly over the words.

                     Attraction is no crime, certainly
                     among children.  The dishonor
                     lies in the concealment.  From
                     your families.

     Watches her daughter reading.  And quietly...

                     I know that you know this.  I know
                     you have suffered.  Even if the
                     hakujin could not.

     Silence.  Hatsue's eyes cast down.  She folds the page.

                     There will be no further letters.
                     No contact of any k...

     And stops.  Because Hatsue is TEARING the page in two.  She looks
     up.  Into her mother's shock.

                     One more letter.  I will write
                     it.  You may read it, and send
                     it for me.

     Her mother's anger fades.  Into interest.

                     I deceived more than you.  I
                     deceived this sweet boy.  And
                     myself.  It was never love.

     Never love.  The mother's face changes.  There is understanding,
     acceptance.  Even pride.

                     I will work hard.  To earn your

     A sigh.  A sadness deep, beyond her years.

                     I can never hope for his.


     Mother and daughter enter their crude quarters.  They find Hatsue's
     sisters sitting on the wooden floor, watching...

     ...a team of young MEN, working with tools and pieces of lumber.
     One is building shelves, two others, a chest of drawers.  Their
     leader kneels tacking scraps of tin over the knotholes on the
     floor.  One girl beams at her mother...

                     These boys are buildings us
                     a mansion!

     The leader grins and rises.  Bows slightly to Fujiko.  He is, of

                     I'm Kabuo Miyamoto, Mrs. Imada.

     The woman smiles.  Bows slightly in return.

                     We are in your debt, Miyamoto-san.
                     How are your parents, your family...?

                     My father is sick with the camp
                     food.  The rest of us are fine.
                     Don't speak of dept, please, we
                     just want to help.

     And glances.  To the eldest daughter.  In the doorway.

                     Hi, Hatsue, remember me?

     She looks back, without expression.  There is much on her mind.
     His smile is handsome, easy.

                     I was a senior when you were a
                     junior.  But I've seen you around.

     She tosses her hair free of the parka.  Gathers it in her hands.
     Saying only...


     Can't win a smile, but he doesn't seem to mind.

                     Nice to see you.


     Ishmael steps from the building onto the rear porch.  He draws from
     his coat a black CIGAR.  Box of matches.  The cigar goes into his
     mouth.  With amazing dexterity...

     ...he slips a single match from the box, turns his face to the
     wall, and still palming the box, STRIKES a match on the buckle of
     his belt, bringing it smoothly to the cigar for a few critical
     puffs before the match dies.  He turns toward...

     ...the fields.  Stretching treeless, endless, seemingly to the
     horizon.  Bathed in filtered moonlight, they become...


     ...the shimmering Pacific.  We are with Ishmael in an LCVP landing
     craft, as his platoon enters Tarawa lagoon.  Bobbing past two
     DESTROYERS firing in waves at the beach.  Ishmael and his platoon
     mates watch with adrenaline-fueled fear as amphibious tractors draw
     fire on the sand, one exploding in flame.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Her letter reached me on the North
                     Island of New Zealand.  So I had a
                     month to think it over...

     Men around him are shouting, cursing, jostling against each other,
     frightened out of their minds, as SHELLS POUND the ocean, horrify-
     ingly huge and near.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     I wrote her four times.  'I hate
                     you with all my heart.  I hate you,
                     Hatsue, I'll hate you always!'

     Suddenly their craft runs AGROUND on the hidden reef.  They are
     still 300 yards from shore.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     I never sent the letters.  I wanted
                     to kill as many Japs as possible.

                               SQUAD LEADER
                     MOVE IT, MOVE IT, MOVE IT,
                     LET'S GO!!

     The SQUAD LEADER goes over the side, Ishmael and others follow,
     struggling with 85 pound packs.  As Ishmael hits the water, the
     squad leader is SHOT in the face, a man five yards from Ishmael has
     the top of his head BLOWN AWAY, men are DROPPING in numbers under
     the WITHERING BURSTS of fire, the deafening ordnance sweeping over
     the SHRIEKS of terror and agony, and Ishmael...

     ...submerges behind his pack, splashing hard, keeping its bulk
     ahead of him as a shield, until he can wade and swim and plunge
     toward shore, as hellfire CRASHES everywhere, dead bodies floating,
     machine-gun blasts WHIPPING the water's surface, Ishmael at...

     ...the shallows now, men rising to make a run at the seawall, being
     CUT DOWN, Ishmael crouching in the water, watching other men draw
     fire, and in a moment's lull, four of them and Ishmael...

     ...GO for it, lungs BURSTING, pounding MADLY up the sand, one
     SHOT DEAD, another SCREAMS as his knee is blown away and goes down
     writhing, as three men...

     ...MAKE IT to the wall.  Gasping, puking, shivering with cold and
     fright.  They have no gear, no weapons.  One of them is Ishmael.
     He looks back to...

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Eric Bledsoe was bleeding to death.
                     Thirty yards away.

     Bullets FLYING everywhere, CHEWING up the sand.  The young man
     twitching, pleading...

                               BLEDSOE (crying)
                     Oh, shit, please, please help me
                     you guys, come on, help me, fucking
                     help me, PLEASE...!

     And flat against the seawall, three men watch.  Not daring to look
     at each other.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     I knew nothing could save him.  Hell,
                     I didn't have so much as a band-aid.
                     I also knew I was a coward.  For not
                     giving up my life to try.


     Ishmael and his companions have been joined by others.  Sixty or
     so men mill in the shadow of the seawall.  The beach is littered
     with dead marines and wounded, calling for help.  As Ishmael
     glances up, a SERGEANT leaps ONTO the seawall, cigarette dangling
     from his mouth...

                     You pussies are the kinda chickenshits
                     deserve to have your balls chewed
                     off real slow when this is over!

     Stands with his hands on his hips.  The men below him properly

                     Any man who won't follow me over
                     this wall is a cornhole-fucker with
                     a half-inch hard-on wh...

     The words CUT OFF by the shell that RIPS THROUGH his spine, OPENING
     his shirt front as he PITCHES forward FLAT upon the sand.

     No one looks.  No one speaks.  It never happened.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     I wanted to live.  And I didn't
                     know why.


     Ishmael has a carbine now and a field machete.  PULL BACK to reveal
     300 MARINES all down the wall, a striking force assembled from the
     survivors of multiple landings.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Some colonel came down the beach.
                     Any man who didn't go over the wall
                     at 2100 would be court-martialed,
                     disgraced and imprisoned...

     Every man lining up now, rifles at the ready.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     The captain who followed said shot
                     on sight.

     They seem more resigned, or is it stunned numb, than terrified.
     There is no interaction.  Each man dealing with his own insides.
     And suddenly...

     ...squad leaders go OVER THE WALL, the firing ERUPTS, and three
     hundred marines SCRAMBLE into the teeth of it, mortar and machine-
     gun BARRAGE lighting the sky from the row of battered palm trees,
     Ishmael SPRINTING, the man next to him goes DOWN, Ishmael TURNS
     instinctively, and a shot...

     ...RIPS into his left bicep, SPINNING him OFF his feet in SLO-MO,
     falling to dirt as all goes...



     Ishmael feverish, writhing unconscious against the straps that
     hold him to a table.  All around him, a hell of men and blood
     and doctors and limbs and shouted curses they never showed us
     on M.A.S.H.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     My arm was dealt with by a
                     pharmacist's mate, whose surgical
                     career was four hours old.

     Ishmael LURCHES, his eyes pop OPEN, wild and bleary...

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     He used a handsaw.

     ...seeing there, in a corner, on a pile of blood-soaked

     ...his left arm.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     I dream of it, now and then.
                     The way my fingers curled.
                     Against the wall.

     He blinks at it.  Realizing at last that the arm is his...

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     ...fucking goddam Jap bitch!

     An ORDERLY turns at the words.  Nods.  As if he knows.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     It was all I could think of to say.

     His eyes squeeze shut.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     There was nothing more to say.
                     For a long while.


     CLOSE on a dark blue suit.  Clean shirt.  Hanging on a hook against
     the green wall.  PAN ACROSS the bars in the cell door's tiny
     window.  All is dark out there, and silent.  Here...

     ...the bare bulb glows.  Its light throws shadows of castles and
     horses across the chessboard.

     Kabuo cross-legged on the floor, alone.  His back erect.  His eyes
     calm.  Stare at the pieces.


     Kabuo at 19 sits on the earth.  By a shovel.  By a lantern.  This
     place is shielded by trees.  PAN across the ground to...

     ...his father.  Slowly, reverently, placing objects into burlap
     sacks, beside a shallow hole in the earth.  Wooden swords, hakama
     pants, a bokken, scrolls written with care.  Dialogue plays in
     subtitled JAPANESE...

                     Your great-grandfather was a
                     samurai, a magnificent soldier.

     The father never looks at the son.  Only at his work.

                     He killed himself.  On the
                     battlefield.  At Kumamoto.

     The boy knows this.  Yet his entire being is focused on every word.

                     He went to battle with a sword.
                     Against rifles, mind you.  Knowing
                     what honor required.

     An elegant SWORD.  Its curved blade gleaming in the lantern light.

                     He was angry.  To the point of
                     being crazy, yes.  But he knew
                     what honor.  Required.

     A separate sack, just for this.  Folded with respect.

                     Honor can require loyalty.
                     Revenge.  Death.

     It goes into the ground.  With the others.  He seems nearly
     overcome now.  By some emotion that sweeps through him.  Prompting
     the boy to murmur...

                     These are safe, father.  The
                     hakujin will never f...

                               ZENHICHI (quietly)
            is the only scale...

     Meaning, be still.  So the boy is still.

                     Only scale.  In which our worth.
                     Is weighed.

     The man gazes into the hole.  At his treasures.

                     Every life ends.  And if it ends
                     dishonored.  It is as if...

     And turns to his son.  To complete the words.

                               KABUO (in English)
                     ...we have never lived.

     There is love.  There is strength.  There is no more to say.


     Sheriff Moran sits in the witness box, blade-thin and fidgeting
     ever so slightly.  Uncomfortable in the limelight.  In his hands
     are four pieces of ROPE.

                     Well, this one here comes off
                     Miyamoto's boat.  Matches all his
                     others, worn equal and so on.  But
                     this one here...

     Holds it up for Hooks.  So the jury can see.

                     ...comes off third cleat from the
                     stern, port side.  And it's brand
                     new.  Unlike the rest.

                     And the next one...?

                     From Carl Heine's boat.  All his
                     were like this one, three-strand
                     manila, new condition, braided in
                     loops.  Not bowlined like Miyamoto's.

                     And the last...?

                     Found on Carl's boat, too.  Starboard
                     side, second cleat from the stern.
                     But it doesn't match Carl's lines.
                     It matches Miyamoto's.  perfect.

     Ah.  Hooks nods.  Significant.

                     So if defendant had tied up
                     to deceased's boat.  With that
                     last one.  Would those cleats
                     have lined up?

                     You bet.  And if Miyamoto there
                     had been in a hurry to cast off,
                     he coulda left this line behind
                     on Carl's boat.

                     And replaced it later with the
                     new one.  That's your inference?

                     Pretty darn clear.

     I see.  Hooks begins to pace.  Toward the jury.

                     And when you visited defendant on
                     his boat.  The evening after Carl
                     Heine's death.  Did it seem pretty
                     darn clear to him?


     Kabuo kneeling at the battery well of his boat.  He is sliding a
     new BATTERY into place.  Beside its older companion.  He bolts it
     down.  Starts his engine.  He is visibly tense.  As he steps onto
     the deck, he sees...

     ...two figures at the pilings.  Sheriff Moran makes a cutting
     motion across his throat, as Abel moves to grasp the mooring line.

                     Cut your engine, we're coming

     Kabuo doesn't move.  The tension has fled beneath the surface.  His
     face now a mask.

                     What for, Sheriff?

                     We have a warrant.  To search
                     your boat.

     He holds it up.  Abel looks uneasy, as if expecting anything.

                     Well, what are you looking f...

                               MORAN (calmly)
                     A murder weapon.  We think you
                     might be responsible for the death
                     of Carl Heine.

     Kabuo blinks.  As if hearing a foreign language.  Words that do not

                     Sheriff, if somebody killed Carl,
                     it sure as hell wasn't me.

     Moran steps from the dock ONTO the boat, Abel awkwardly following.

                     Then let's get this over with, so
                     you can get to fishin'.  Now, cut
                     yor engine.

     And walks ahead into the cabin, shining his flashlight across
     everything.  Kabuo follows, killing the engine.  And in the sudden
     silence, Moran's beam finds...

     ...the still-open battery well.

                     You always run with the well open?

                     I was checking the cables.

     Moran's light moves over the batteries.

                     D-6s, huh?

     And says no more.  Runs his beam once more around the cabin.

                     We'll come back, let's take a
                     look at the stern.

     Off he goes.  Kabuo's glance goes to the open well.  Then follows,
     noticing Abel Martinson prowling around the bow.  But in the stern,
     Moran is shining his light.  Third cleat.  Port side.

                     See you replaced a mooring line,
                     lately.  This one's new.

                     Naw, I had that around for a while.

                     Sure you did.  Help me with this
                     hold cover, willya?

     So Kabuo slides the cover away.  They peer in.

                     There's nothin' to see.  I need to
                     get out there fi...

                               ABEL (O.S.)
                     Art.  Looka this.

     He has the fishing GAFF.  Three-and-a-half feet long.  Steel hook
     at one end.  Hands it to Moran.

                     There's blood on it.

                     Fish blood, I gaff fish with that.

     Moran carefully examines the object.

                     You gaff with the hook end.
                     Blood's on the butt.  Where
                     your hand goes.

                     Sure.  Blood gets all over your
                     hand, Sheriff, ask any fisherman.

     Moran takes out a handkerchief.  Holds the gaff with it.

                     Gonna have this tested.  Now you
                     go home, okay?  Wait til you hear
                     from me.

     Kabuo's heart is racing.

                     Sheriff, I can't afford not to
                     fish toni...

                     Look, no way I'm lettin' you out
                     there.  In a half hour you could
                     be in Canada.

     Kabuo's face has gone dead.  Which makes it seem somehow fierce,
     almost threatening.  And the sheriff is watching that.

                     I'm sorry, son.  But you're under


     Moran still on the stand.  The ropes are gone now.  His hands
     interlock across his narrow thighs.

                               NELS (O.S.)
                     Now your testimony was interrupted
                     yesterday, when that power line
                     set fire to your mother-in-law's

     Art looks really irritated.

                               NELS (O.S.)
                     How is your mother-in-law?

                     She's alright, Nels, thanks
                     for asking.

                               NELS (O.S.)
                     And her farmhouse...?

                     The damage was considerable.
                     But she's insured.  Thanks, again.

     See Nels now.  Avuncular as hell.  Bemused by Moran's annoyance.

                     Well, just to put it back in
                     our minds, could you repeat what
                     you told us.  About the type of
                     batteries you found.  One Carl's boat.

     Moran sighs.  Tries to be patient.

                     One D-6 and one D-8 in the well.
                     And a dead D-8 on the deck.

                     Which you inferred was replaced by
                     the D-6, which must have been a spare.

                     What else could it be?

                     Even though a D-6 is too big, and
                     the flange had to be banged out to
                     squeeze it in.
                     Which makes it a peculiar choice.
                     For a spare.

                     You said that.  That was your

     Everybody laughs.  Including Nels.

                               NELS (chuckling)
                     I guess I'm a pretty smart feller,
                     after all.  And what were the type
                     batteries you found on defendant's

                               MORAN (bland)
                     D-6s.  Like I sa...

                     No further questions.


     DR. STERLING WHITMAN sits in his expensive suit, a giant of a man
     whose towering frame ill fits the witness box.  His eyes are small
     and blue, and carry the weight of superiority with practiced ease.

                               NELS (O.S.)
                     So the blood on the gaff was not
                     fish blood at all.  It was human,
                     yes?  Type B positive.

                               DR. WHITMAN
                     Carl Heine's type.

     Nels nodding.  Seemingly unconcerned by this fact.

                     But you can't say with any certainty
                     that the blood was his.

                               DR. WHITMAN
                     No, but as I say, the type is rare.
                     Ten percent of Caucasian males.

                     And the blood could not have
                     belonged to defendant.  Seeing
                     that his type is O negative.

                               DR. WHITMAN
                     That's obvious.

                     You scraped the dried blood from
                     the butt of the gaff.  Where a fella's
                     hand goes.  And what did you see under
                     your microscope, besides the B positive
                     blood and the wood scrapings...?

     And the witness stops.  A curious question.  But Nels is waiting.
     With an expectant smile.

                               DR. WHITMAN
                     Bits of blood and wood.  What else
                     would there be?

                     No bits of bone, no particles of
                     scalp, no strands of hair?

                               DR. WHITMAN

                     Well, if the blood got onto the
                     gaff by crushing a man's skull...

                               DR. WHITMAN
                     I'm a hemotologist, sir, I was
                     asked only t...

                               NELS (gently persistent)
                     ...would that seem logical?

                               DR. WHITMAN
                     I don't know.

                     You don't.

     Nels lifts the gaff off the table.  Looks at it.

                     The coroner testified that Carl
                     Heine had a cut.  A fresh cut.
                     Probably one or two hours old.

     And grasps the butt end.  Of the gaff.

                     On the palm.  Of his right hand.

     Walks, dragging one leg just slightly, toward the box.  And holding
     the butt of the gaff toward him...

                     With no bone or scalp or hair
                     present.  Would it be more probable
                     that the blood came from crushing
                     a man's skull...

                               DR. WHITMAN
                     I'm a hemotologist, not a detective.

                     ...or from the cut on his hand.
                     Which is more probable?

     Whitman won't be badgered.  His smile carries only a trace of

                               DR. WHITMAN
                     It is not my function.  To weigh
                     those probabilities.

     Nels looks him over.

                     You're right.

     And turns his back.  Walks away.

                     ...that's the jury's job.


     Hooks in pin-stripe serge today.  Pommaded hair, glossy wing-tips.
     He is crisp.

                     Now this regiment you were training,
                     the 442nd, this was all Nisei boys...

     First Sergeant VICTOR MAPLES wears his green dress uniform,
     splashed with decorations.  Thick and powerful, no neck, razor cut.
     The eyes are alive.

                     They were Japanese-American boys,
                     yes sir.

                     And you were generally experienced
                     in training men for hand-to-hand

                     It was my specialty, sir, I trained
                     several thousand over the years.

                     So.  Wide cross-section of men to
                     evaluate.  And the day that the
                     defendant volunteered for this...
                     demonstration.  Did you find him

                     More than eager.  He was out to
                     make a point.

     Hooks finds that interesting.  Begins to pace.

                     And what point.  Was that.


     The squad of Nisei recruits, one hundred young Asian faces,
     surround Sgt. Maples.  He paces before them, holding up a wooden
     staff, looking in their eyes...


     And Kabup steps forward.  Bows slightly.  Then salutes...


     Maples stares.  Hard.

                     You don't salute me, you don't
                     call me 'sir', soldier, I'm an
                     enlisted man.

     Kabuo stares back.  Blank.

                     And nobody bows in this man's
                     Army, you're in America, son.
                     Not Japan.

                     I'm sorry, sir, force of habit.

                     No more 'sir'.  That's the last
                     of that.

     Tosses Kabuo a wooden staff and a helmet.  A little hard.  As Kabuo
     slips the helmet on...

                     The exercise is avoiding thrusts.
                     Now, first y...

                               KABUO (quietly)
                     Ready, sergeant.

     Cut off in mid-word, Maples glares back.  Are you?  THRUSTS
     sharply, but Kabuo moves just enough to slip the blow by no more
     than an inch.  Their eyes lock.  Suddenly, Maples unleashes...

     ...a SAVAGE series of THRUSTS at blinding SPEED, and Kabuo...

     ...SLIPS them all effortlessly, scarcely seeming to move.  As a man
     might toy with a child.  Maples studies the face for any trace of
     mockery.  And sees nothing at all.  STABS out, only to have Kabuo...

     ...SLASH Maples' staff from his grasp, with a move so quick as to
     be nearly invisible.  Maples clearly STUNNED by the display.

                               KABUO (quietly)
                     Excuse me.

     He bends, picks up Maples' staff, hands it to him.  And bows.
     Slightly.  The sergeant is hot.  He looks into the faces of this
     Nisei regiment, searching for a single smirk.  There is none.

                     Are you ready for some simulated
                     combat, soldier?

                     For combat.  Sergeant.

     And Maples LUNGES with surprising speed, to be SWEPT off his feet
     in a BLUR, lying FLAT on the earth, his head PINNED to the ground
     by the tip of Kabuo's staff.

     A hush.  Kabuo withdraws his staff.  Retrieves Maples'...

                               KABUO (just above a whisper)
                     Your weapon, sergeant.

     And bows.


     Maples smiling easily.  Like a guy telling the story in a bar.

                     Well, what then, sergeant?

                     What else?  I had the boy teach
                     me kendo.  Including...the importance
                     of the bow.

     Everyone laughs.  Maples the loudest.  Hooks smiles like a regular

                     And your evaluation of the
                     defendant?  Could he kill a much
                     larger man with a fishing gaff?
                     So quickly, there would be no
                     sign of struggle?

                     Oh, in a heartbeat.

     And the smiles are gone.  All around.

                     Able and willing.  Like few men
                     I've ever seen.


     Hooks sits against the prosecution table.  His demeanor gentle,
     respectful.  His voice soft.

                     So the plan was for your husband
                     to fish through the prime season.
                     Then, in November, sell the boat.
                     And you would move onto the farm.

     In the box, the widow sits in lovely dignity.  Blonde and alabaster
     and modest, in her black dress of mourning.

                               SUSAN MARIE
                     That was his plan, yes.

     In the press row, the boys are attentive.  An angle they know they
     can sell.  Ishmael among them, watching with neutral eyes.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Whatever she said, she was Hooks'
                     star witness.  The jury, especially
                     the men, would not betray this fine
                     lady with a not guilty verdict.  How
                     could they face her?

     Hooks walks slowly toward her.  As if she were a precious object,
     deserving of reverence.

                     Can you think back for me to the
                     morning of September 8?  The day
                     after your husband purchased the
                     farm.  One week before his death.
                     Can you recall that morning?

                               SUSAN MARIE
                     I can.


     A bright bathroom, filled with STEAM, filtering the sunlight.  PUSH
     toward the opaque shower door, TOWARD the sound of rushing water.
     And of breathing.  THROUGH it to...

     ...Susan Marie and her husband.  Her arms are wound about his neck.
     Her legs wrapped around his body, feet locked behind the small of
     his back.  Carl holds her high with his strong hands, so he can
     lick her breasts to the rhythm of the slow, slow thrusts.  Her wet
     blonde hair is pasted across her face, and her eyes are closed.
     The intensity holds us.


     CLOSE on a paint brush.  It rests across the lid of a can of wood
     stain.  See now...

     ...Susan Marie kneeling by the table she is refinishing.  But her
     hands, her body, are motionless.  Her eyes stare out the window...

     ...across the yard.  Her towering husband walks beside a smaller
     man.  Carl is doing the talking.  Kabuo's face is stone.


     Susan Marie sits quietly in a rocker, nursing her baby.  Her hands
     tenderly stroke the feeding infant.  But her eyes are attentive.

                               CARL (O.S.)
                     What could I tell him?  There's
                     my mother to think about.  You
                     know what she'd say?

     Susan Marie knows.  What Etta would say.

                               CARL (O.S.)
                     I said I'd think it over, talk
                     with you.

                               SUSAN MARIE
                     Did he go away angry?

     See Carl now, pacing his own parlor like a caged bear.  Agitated in
     a way we could not have expected.

                     He kept talkin' about those seven
                     acres belonged to his father, and
                     how honorable and decent his father
                     was.  His meaning was pretty clear.
                     And I didn't much like it.

                               SUSAN MARIE
                     You had a scrap.

     Nursing her baby.  Calm, direct.

                     I couldn' to him.  Look,
                     Kabuo's a Jap.  And I don't hate
                     Japs, but I don't like 'em neither.
                     It's hard to explain if you weren't
                     in the war, you know?

                               SUSAN MARIE
                     He's not a Jap.  You don't mean
                     that.  You and he were friends.

     And Carl turns.  Looks at her.  A full beat.

                     We were kids.

     He looks helpless.  Frustrated.  He doesn't want his anger to spill
     onto her.

     He leaves the room.  Without a word.  HOLD on her.


     Susan Marie's cornflower eyes are set.  Wary.

                               NELS (O.S.)
                     So your husband said he's think
                     it over.  Encouraged Mr. Miyamoto
                     to believe he might sell to h...

                               SUSAN MARIE
                     I wouldn't say encouraged.

                               NELS (O.S.)
                     Well, he didn't say 'no', did he?
                     Didn't say no hope existed.

                               SUSAN MARIE
                     Not in those words.

                               NELS (O.S.)
                     So the defendant was encouraged
                     to hope.  Or could have been.

     She thinks about this.

                               SUSAN MARIE
                     I guess so.

     Nels is nodding.  Nodding.

                     I guess you'd have to guess.
                     Not having been there with them.
                     Having to guess whether your husband's
                     report was word for word accurate.

                               SUSAN MARIE
                     Carl never lied.

                     Of course not.  But it was
                     emotional.  A friend's plea set
                     against his mother's attitude.

     And then.  As if it had just occurred to him...

                     Those 'dirty looks'.  Defendant
                     ever aim one of those at you?

                               SUSAN MARIE
                     He had no reason to.

                     Carl ever say he got one?

                               SUSAN MARIE
                     I can't speak for him.

                     You can speak for what he said.
                     Just like you did for Mr. Hooks...

                               HOOKS (O.S.)
                     Objection, badgering the wi...

     CLICK.  All the lights in the courtroom go OUT.  A loud murmur.  A
     FLICKER of light.  Then, they go OUT again.

     The crowd BUZZES, laughs, the gavel RAPS.  The lights come ON.  A
     collective sound of relief.  The gavel AGAIN.  Finally, silence.

                     Sorry about that, Mrs. Heine.
                     Shall I repeat the ques...

                               SUSAN MARIE
                     Carl said he didn't like Kabuo
                     much anymore.

     A silence.  A deep one.

                     The question is more about the
                     defendant's attitu...

                               SUSAN MARIE
                     That's all he said.

     She arches her throat.

                               SUSAN MARIE
                     And we can't ask him anymore.


     Ishmael driving an aged DeSoto through the blanketed strawberry
     fields of Center Valley.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     My father had bought the DeSoto
                     fifteen years before.  Driving it
                     reminded me of him.  Which I
                     considered a neutral fact...

     He turns the wheel, using a cherry wood knob, specially mounted for
     his convenience.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Actually, it was pleasant.

     Following the curve, fields are pure white to the horizon.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Snow made all the fields into one.
                     The notion that one man might kill
                     another for a small patch, made no

     Up ahead, a Willys station wagon has run into a ditch.  A middle
     aged Japanese man is working at a rear wheel with a shovel.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     But I knew such things occurred.
                     Having been to war and all.

     The man is Hisao Imada, and we can now see his eldest daughter
     working with a shovel behind the car.  Ishmael pulls up behind
     them.  And gets out.

     He crunches over to where Hisao works...

                     May I give you folks a lift?

     Hatsue has come around the car now, pulling her snowflaked hair
     from her eyes.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     I didn't look at her.  I thought
                     that would be best.

     Her eyes on Ishmael's profile, Hatsue goes to her father's side.
     Murmurs to him in Japanese.  WHen he answers, she turns to face

                     My father is grateful for your
                     kindness.  But he will free his
                     car, shortly.

     Ishmael smiles softly.  This car isn't going anywhere.  He goes to
     Hatsue, reaching gently for her shovel.

                     Okay, I'll help.


     Ishmael drives with Hisao beside him.

                     I know it's caused you trouble.
                     But don't you think the snow is
                     beautiful, coming down?

     His eyes flick to Hatsue in the rearview mirror.  She stares out
     the side window, concentrating on the world.  Two strands of wet
     hair pasted against her cheek.

                     Yes, very beautiful.

     Suddenly, her eyes SNAP to meet Ishmael's in the mirror.  His dart
     away.  Hers hold.

                     This trial is unfair.  You should
                     write about that in your newspaper.

     He keeps driving.  And he keeps his eyes on the road.

                               ISHMAEL (calmly)
                     What should I say?

                     Just that.  This trial is wrong,
                     they are calling a good man a killer.
                     It is only about prejudice, and that
                     is unfair.

     He thinks.  As he drives.  Hisao Imada silent beside him.

                     We all expect the world to be fair.
                     As if we have some right t...

                     I don't mean everyone.  Just people
                     who can do things because they can
                     arrest people or convict them.  Or
                     run a newspaper.

     And his eyes come up.  Meet hers in the mirror.

                     Maybe I should write a column.
                     What do you think?

     She studies his face.

                     What do you think?

     No smile.  On either side.

                     I think people.  Should be fair.

     His eyes on the road now.  The farmhouse seen through the drifting
     screen of white.

                     Will you write that?

     Her voice is soft.  The difference is palpable.

                     I might just.

     His voice is kindness and friendship.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     I was part of her life again.  I
                     was a person.


     A tower of reinforced concrete, rising a hundred feet above the
     sea.  Ishmael's hand in his pocket.  Trudging toward it.


     Ishmael being led into a cramped room, stacked floor to ceiling
     with wooden crates, file cabinets, duffel bags.  Our host is
     LEVANT, a young Coast Guard radioman nearly six foot six, with a
     huge Adam's apple, and kinky black hair.  He gestures around the
     room at all the records.  Voila.

                     You have the night watch?  On the

                     Since September.  Last guys got

     Ishmael looks around.  There is a lot of stuff.

                     And you keep the records, or
                     contribute to 'em.

                     Shorthard the radio transmis-
                     sions, write 'em up, file 'em
                     in a cabinet.  Nobody ever looks.
                     Just take up space.

     Ishmael nods.  Guess so.

                     All kinds of radio transmissions?
                     Fisherman in trouble, and such.

     Innocent question.  Random example.

                     All kinds.  Make yourself at home.

     And leaves.  Ishmael looks at the task before him.  Then, out
     the window.  Dark now.  His reflection stares back.  As troubled
     as he is.


     Ishmael at 24, carrying milk and crackers down the aisle of a
     grocery store, the empty sleeve of his mackinaw pinned up at the
     elbow.  He turns the corner to see...

     ...three people in line at the register.  The second is Hatsue.  An
     infant carried at her shoulder.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     I'd been back two months.  It was
                     the first time I'd seen her.

     He joins the line.  The CHECKER glances his way, then looks
     awkwardly down.  This makes the others turn.  And Hatsue's eyes.
     Meet his.


     The voice, the face, are cool and formal.  There is no anger, no
     unkindness.  Only the absence of warmth.  Ishmael nods.  His face
     hard, stricken.  His heart pounds in his throat.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     I couldn't say anything.  I just
                     stood there, hating her.

                     I'm sorry about your arm.  Kabuo and
                     I.  Are very sor...

                     The Japs did it.

     No one knows where to look.  Down, away, anything.  But Hatsue
     never blinks.

                     They shot it off.  At Tarawa.

     She holds her ground, her eyes soften, somehow.  Somewhere between
     compassion and pity.  Her slender fingers stroke the baby at her

                     I'm sorry, I'm sorry I said that.

     All the feeling comes to his eyes.  Everything he will never tell
     her.  A murmur...

                     I'm sorry about everything.  All
                     of it.

     He drops his milk and crackers on the counter.

     And walks away.


     Ishmael sits alone.  Beyond the glass, a SEARCHLIGHT sweeps the
     sea, the snow-covered shore.  But Ishmael stares at a folder.  Open
     in his lap.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     September 16.  At 1:42 A.M., the
                     dead of night.  The S.S. West Corona,
                     a Greek-owned freighter, was lost.
                     In heavy fog.

     His finger.  Traces a line of the report.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     They radioed to the lighthouse.
                     They would have to dogleg, bisecting
                     Ship Channel Bank.  And Seaman Philip
                     Milholland wrote that down.  In his

     Ishmael closes his eyes.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Carl Heine drowned.  In Ship
                     Channel Bank.  And his watch
                     stopped.  At 1:47.

     He looks out through the glass.  As if he could watch it happen.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     A huge freighter plowing through.
                     Throwing a wake big enough to fling
                     any man overboard.

     And Ishmael removes the page from the file.  Slowly, he folds it
     into quarters.  Slides it into his coat pocket.

                               ISHMAEL (calls out)

     And closes the file.  Slips it back into the cabinet.  Levant
     appears, vaguely irritated by the summons.  So Ishmael smiles.
     Sorry, nothing important.

                     How long you have this detail?

                     Me and Smoltz came on dogwatch
                     September 16.

     Ishmael's face.  Just to clarify...

                     You mean, early morning the 16th?

                     No, night of the 16th, morning the
                     17th.  We replaced two guys named
                     Miller and Milholland.

     Oh.  Ishmael nods.

                     They got transferred that day.
                     Out to Cape Flattery.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Some seaman's loast report.
                     Stuffed in a cabinet, good as
                     lost forever.  No one knows.

     Ishmael rises, stiffly.  Starts to pull on his coat.

                     You get what you come for?

     And Ishmael looks at the youngster.  A little oddly.  Admits...

                     Guess I'm not completely sure.
                     What that was.


     Ishmael at 24, crouched among trees.  Above a sunlit stretch of

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     I left the grocery, and wrote a
                     letter.  I apologizes from my heart.
                     I should never have said that word
                     to her.  I never would again.

     CLOSE on his face.  Eyes gazing down.  At something.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     It sat in my desk for two weeks.
                     Before I threw it away.

     He sighs.  Rises slowly.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     I knew her car.  And sometimes
                     when I'd see it, I' that
                     way.  At a distance.

     See Hatsue down on the beach.  Alone, raking for steamer clams.
     Her baby beside her on a blanket, beneath an umbrella.

     Ishmael walks down to the sand.  Crosses to where she works.  And
     squats down.  At a respectful distance.

                     Can I talk to you?

     She must have seen who was coming.  Because the words do not
     startle her.  Or slow her work.

                     I'm married, Ishmael.  It isn't
                     right for us to be alone.  People
                     will t...

                     There's no one here, and I've got
                     to talk to you.

     Her back is to him.  She is motionless.

                     Don't you owe me that?

     And she turns.  Her eyes go first to her sleeping child.  Then she
     walks over, and sinks to the sand.  Just before him.  Near enough
     to touch.

     She looks in his eyes.  And waits.

                     I'm like a dying person.

     The words just came out.  His eyes move over her face.  His aching
     for her is naked, beyond his ability to cope.

                     I don't sleep.  I tell myself this
                     can't go on, but it goes on anyway.

     He seems at the edge of insanity.  Or tears.

                     I did a terrible thing, Ishmael.
                     I knew what you felt.  And what I

     Sadness in her voice.  But strength as well.

                     And I never found the courage to
                     tell you.

     His eyes swim with tears.  He chokes them back, he has to.

                     You'll think this is crazy, but all
                     I want is to hold you.  Just once.
                     And smell your hair.

     She absorbs this.  No sign of repulsion or anger.  Her eyes seem
     wise.  And very sad.

                     You have to hear this, I can
                     never touch you, Ishmael.  Not
                     once, not ever.  There's no half-
                     way.  As much as I know it hurts
                     you, you have to let this go.

                     Look, I want to forget you, I do.
                     I think if you hold me, just this
                     once, I can walk away and never
                     speak to you again.

     She just keeps looking at him.  There is a bravery to her steady
     gaze.  Her calm resolve.

                     Please?  As one human being to
                     another, just because I'm miserable
                     and don't know where to turn.  I
                     need to be in your arms.  If it's
                     just for thirty seconds.

     His pleading look holds her for a moment.  In the silence...

                     I hurt for you.  Whether you'll
                     ever believe that or not.

     Feeling behind her eyes.  First time she lets it show.

                     I feel sick sometimes, with the
                     guilt of what I've done to you.
                     And I can't make it right.

     She rises slowly.  Brushes the sand from her skirt.

                     To hold you would be wrong and
                     deceitful.  You're going to have
                     to live without holding me, that
                     is the truth of the way things are.

     She takes one step back.

                     Things end.  They do.  Get on
                     with your life.

     And turns away.  She gathers her baby in her arms.  Takes her
     blanket, her umbrella, her rake and her pail.  He watches, never
     moving, as she gathers her things.  Gathers them as if he wasn't
     there.  And with her back turned...

                     Get on with your life.

     She walks slowly away.  Her baby cries.


     CLOSE on a steaming soup kettle, resting on a woodstove.  A woman's
     hand stirs with a wooden ladle.  PULL BACK to see...

     HELEN CHAMBERS, slender and strong and keen.  She is not yet 60.  A
     code of fairness and self-reliance is written on the fine-boned

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     I drove from the lighthouse to
                     my mother's place.  I brought
                     her some groceries.

     Beyond the window, snow falls more heavily than ever.  Silent.

                     Your father thought that heavy snow
                     was God's kindness.  Despite the
                     hardship, it brought us beauty...

     Ishmael at the rustic table.  Watching her back.

                     ...and reminded us.  Of our place
                     in things.

     Softer.  Not bitter, but regretful that...

                     You don't believe in God anymore.

                     Agnostics don't believe or disbelieve,
                     Ma.  We just don't pretend we know.

     She begins ladling the soup into big porcelain bowls.

                     We don't know God, we feel Him.  You
                     felt Him as a child.  I remember.

     And turns.  Looks at him.

                     That's a long time ago.  What a
                     child feels...that's different.

     She studies him silently for a moment.  Then brings the bowls to
     the table...

                     Spend the night, will you?  Don't
                     go back out into all that snow.

     Sets them down.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     I felt Milholland's report in my
                     pocket.  And wondered why I wasn't
                     telling her.  Telling someone.
                     What I'd found.

                     You've been busy with that trial,
                     I suppose.  Such a travesty...

     She takes her seat.  As he watches her.

                     They only arrested that poor soul
                     because he's Japanese.

                     Seattle boys think he's guilty.  They
                     say the evidence is rock solid.

     She begins to eat.  Eyes on her bowl.

                     They're not his neighbor, like
                     you are.  He is a husband, a father,
                     he risked his life for their country.
                     The same as you.

                     Those aren't the facts that matter.

     She looks up.  Straight to his eyes.

                     Well, folks are pretty cold.
                     And folks who believe in nothing
                     else...they're cold, too.

     No mistaking her meaning.  He swallows.  Uneasy as always, in the
     path of her disapproval.

                     I've tried to understand your
                     unhappiness, all these years.
                     Having gone to war, losing your arm...

     The directness of her gaze.  He can't turn from that.

                     But other boys came back.  And
                     pushed on.  They found girls, and
                     married, had babies...

     He doesn't flinch.  His voice too quiet with...

                     Someday I'll get lucky, too.

     Too quiet to conceal the hurt.  She thinks it is hurt she has
     caused.  It changes her tone to a plea...

                     Your father fought at Belleau
                     Wood, it took him years to get
                     over it.  Nightmares, tears, b...

                     ...but he found you.

     Their eyes locked.

                     It isn't the war, Ishmael.  All
                     those years growing up.  You never
                     had a real girl of your own.

     And now he looks down.  He sees that his fist is tight around the
     handle of his spoon.

                     And I know you have it in you
                     to love.  I know that much.  I
                     wish I knew more.

     His fingers open, and the spoon clatters softly on the wood.

                     I'll stay tonight.  Thanks
                     for asking.


     Ishmael wanders through a silent room.  A bed, a dresser.  Work
     table and lamp.  A room denuded of all decoration, all possessions,
     all sign of life.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     I came back from the war to
                     this room.  I stayed a few
                     months.  Until my father passed.


     Ishmael at 24, the left sleeve of his dark suit of mourning pinned
     at the elbow.  The diggers are filling a grave in distance.
     Mourners mingle, some casting glances back at Ishmael.  Keeping
     their distance out of awkwardness rationalized as respect.

     One man comes to him.  MASATO NAGAISHI is aging and frail.  But his
     voice is clear...

                     The Japanese people of the island
                     are saddened by this loss.  Your
                     father was a man of great fairness
                     and compassion for others...

     He stands at a respectful distance.  Ishmael clears his throat.  He
     nods, thank you.  No words to say.  So the small man adds...

                     A friend to us.  And to all people.

     Silence.  They are a tableau of stone.  Finally...


     And no more.  The man takes a step back...

                     We know you will follow in his
                     footsteps.  And honor his legacy.

     Which changes Ishmael's face.  To something harder.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     I thought it then.  And often since.
                     A balance, he's said.  Finding the
                     facts.  That folks needed to know.


     Ishmael stands at an open closet.  Cardboard boxes have been set
     aside.  One has been searched for treasure.  The page is in his
     hand.  Only slightly discolored by age.

                               HATSUE (V.O.)
                     Dear Ishmael.  These things are
                     very difficult to say.  I can't
                     think of anything more painful
                     than writing this letter.

     He closes his eyes.

                               ISHMAEL (a murmur)
                     Think of reading it.

                               HATSUE (V.O.)
                     I don't love you, Ishmael.  There
                     is no more honest way to say it.

     He carries the letter to the twin bed.  Where he slept alone.
     Thinking of her.

                               HATSUE (V.O.)
                     Whenever we were together, I knew
                     it.  I loved you and I didn't love
                     you at the same moment.

     He sinks slowly.  As if beneath the letter's weight.

                               HATSUE (V.O.)
                     The last time.  At the cedar tree.
                     I knew we could never be right
                     together.  And that soon I would
                     have to tell you.

     His eyes are dry.  The letter has used up his tears long ago.

                               HATSUE (V.O.)
                     This is the last time I will write
                     to you.  I am not yours anymore.

     He sets the letter on the bed beside him.

                               HATSUE (V.O.)
                     I wish you the very best.  Your
                     heart is large and you are gentle
                     and kind.  I know you will do great
                     things in the world.

     He reaches now to his inside coat pocket.  Withdrawing...

                               HATSUE (V.O.)
                     I must say good-bye to you now.
                     Our lives will move on.  The best
                     we can.

     ...a page.  Folded in quarters.  Sets it near the letter.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Milholland's report was like her
                     letter.  Something no one else.
                     Would ever read.

     He stares at them.  Side by side.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Thing about having only one hand.
                     It's hard to tear pages up.  And
                     I wasn't carrying a match.

     He lies back.  Across the bed.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     So I thought of my father.  The man
                     who would have taken this report to
                     Judge Fielding.

     Tears stand in his eyes.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     But every reporter.  Chooses his own
                     balance.  FInds the facts that matter.

     Shuts the eyes.  Against them.  Against everything.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     After all, the freighter was only
                     a theory.  It proved nothing at
                     all.  There were other facts.
                     That mattered.

     We CLOSE on his face.  The tightness of the muscles.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Tomorrow I would write a column.
                     About prejudice.  And she would
                     be grateful.  For my large...and

     The eyes open, they are blank.  Staring...

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Her husband would be judged.  And
                     she would be alone. the future.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Alone.  The past looks different.


     Hatsue Miyamoto in the witness box. Graceful, erect, her porcelain
     beauty accessible, eager to cooperate.  Humble.

                     Hopeful.  Is the word I would use.

     And Nels seems slightly surprised.

                     But Carl didn't say yes.

                     He didn't say no.  That was Kabuo's
                     point.  Given how Carl's mother
                     felt, Carl was still willing to
                     consider selling to us.  It was a
                     good sign.

     Nels considers that.

                     Well, in the week that followed,
                     the week before Carl's death...
                     did your husband pursue him?

                     No.  Kabuo did not wish to beg,
                     he respected Carl's right to
                     reflect.  He was sure Carl would
                     do the honorable thing.

                               NELS (right back)
                     And did he?

     She nods.  Only once.  Her eyes bright.

                     The night of the 15th, Kabuo helped
                     Carl at sea.  With his dead battery.

     Nels raises his eyebrows.  To give the point its weight.

                     Right there, on the boat, they
                     agreed.  $8400 for the seven acres,
                     $800 down.  They shook on it.  Kabuo
                     was so excited when he came home.

     Nels lets that sit.  And sit.

                     And when did you first learn.
                     That Carl had drowned?

     The slightest pause.  As if hesitant to confess...

                     One o'clock, that afternoon, from
                     a clerk at Petersen's.

                               NELS (turning to Hooks)
                     Your witness.

     And Alvin Hooks rises.  Perches on the edge of the prosecutor's
     table.  And looks at the witness with fairness and suspicion.

                     Your husband came home agitated,
                     after his encounter with the

     No impatience across her perfect features.  Only earnestness
     will do.

                     I said 'excited'.  Not agitated,
                     he was excited in the sense of
                     being overjoyed.

                     You were...overjoyed yourself, to
                     hear the news?

                     Happy for him.  And relieved.

                     So, then, you...and your husband...
                     must have called friends, relatives,
                     to tell them the amazing news.  Yes?

                               HATSUE (calm, respectful)

                     Really?  Didn't call your mother,
                     your sisters, about starting a new
                     life.  Your husband never tells
                     his brothers that the family honor
                     is vindicated.

     Hatsue shifts in her chair.  Smooths her skirt.

                     We hear how Carl...passed away.
                     Only a few hours later.

                     Your husband returned at, what,
                     seven o'clock?

                     Closer to eight.

                     So, five hours.  Plenty of time for
                     a call.  He was 'excited', you say.
                     In the sense of being 'overjoyed'.

     She nods, he was.

                     We are...cautious people.  You
                     would say conservative.  There
                     would be time for celebrating
                     with others when a paper was signed.

     Hooks pouts.  He allows himself that.

                     You thought the deceased might...
                     break his promise?

                     Of course not.  We're just not
                     quick to run and boast.  In case
                     something went wrong.

                     And then, something did.  Carl
                     Heine was found dead.  With his
                     head crushed.

     She weathers that last part.  As if taking no notice.

                     Yes, and then, what was there
                     to call about?  Everything was
                     up in the air.

                     Up in the air?  Was that your

     And he rises.  Tastefully indignant.

                     I would suggest that more happened
                     than a land sale evaporating.  A
                     man died, Mrs. Miyamoto.  A husband
                     and father of small children had
                     his skull bashed in!

                               HATSUE (quiet dignity)
                     If you mean to imply that we were
                     callous about Carl's death, that is
                     wrong and insulting.

                     I see.  Well, did you come
                     forward to tell Sheriff Moran
                     what you knew?  The encounter in
                     the fog, the...dead battery, was it?


                     We discussed that.  And decided
                     not to.

                     Why not?

     She looks at him with the directness we've seen before.

                     Because the facts could be
                     misconstrued as murder.

                     But if truth was on your side,
                     whatever were you worried about?

     Her eyes cut to Nels.  He smiles, to blunt the harm she's done by
     looking to him for support.  Her gaze goes down now.  And then...

     ...back up.  Straight to Hooks.

                     Trials aren't only about truth,
                     Mr. Hooks.  Even though they
                     should be.  They're about what
                     people believe is true.

                     So you hid the truth.  Deliberately.

                     We were afraid.  Silence seemed
                     better.  To come forward seemed
                     like a mistake.

                     Well, it seems to me...

                               NELS (gently)
                     Objection.  Mr. Hooks can give
                     his view in his summation.

                     Doesn't it seem to you, Mrs.
                     Miyamoto, that your mistake was
                     in being deceitful?  Concealing
                     information during the course of
                     a sheriff's investigation.

                     It seems human.  To me.

     Oh.  Hooks raises his brows.

                     I suppose that you mean this excuses
                     concealing the truth.  Then why
                     ahouls any of us believe you now?

     And in the silence...

                     Question withdrawn, you may
                     step down.

                     You're implying th...

                     I said.  No further questions.

     Anger flashes across her eyes.  Her face colors.  She draws a

                     That's enough, Mrs. Miyamoto, not
                     another word.  Step down, please.

     She looks to Nels in her desperation and regret for making things
     worse.  he chuckles and waves.  It's quite all right.  She sits for
     a frozen moment.  And as she rises...

     The boys in the reporter's row are scribbling furiously.

     All but one.


     JOSIAH GILLANDERS folds his blunt, thick hands across his belly.
     Nearly 50, sporting a walrus moustache and the watery, dull eyes of
     an alcoholic, he is a man ready to make the most of his fifteen
     minutes of fame.

                               NELS (O.S.)
                     Thirty years fishing alone.  Ever
                     had an occasion to board another
                     man's boat except in an emergency?
                     Maybe to socialize or some such?

                               GILLANDERS (ready for this)
                     Never.  Only boarded some fella's boat
                     five, six times in thirty-one years.
                     Dead engine, broken hip, only in need.

                               NELS (O.S.)
                     Now, Mister Gi...

                     Unwritten rule of the sea.  We don't
                     bother each other, stick to ourselves.
                     Ask anybody.

     Nels is wandering over to the jury box.

                     Now if you wanted to kill a man.
                     Think you'd try boarding against
                     his will, and hitting him with a
                     fishing gaff?

                     It's a joke.  Maneuver up to Carl's
                     boat?  Tie your lines fast?  Come
                     aboard?  All against Carl's will?
                     It's the stupidest suggestion I
                     ever heard of.

                     I'm sorry about that.  It wasn't
                     mine in the first place.

     Gentle laughter.  Even some on the jury.

                     So the fishing gaff method wouldn't
                     make sense?

                     Couldn't get on the boat.  I'd
                     just shoot the feller.  Then tie
                     up, throw him inta th' drink.  And
                     skip bein' the first gill-netter
                     in history to make a successful
                     forced boarding.

     More laughter.  Hooks at his table.  Simply smiles.

                     Now the sheriff believed that the
                     D-6 battery in Carl's well was
                     Carl's own spare.  Even though it
                     was too large f...

                     No sense to have any at all.,
                     even the right size.  It's like
                     having an extra battery in the
                     trunk of your car.  Nobody does.

     Nobody.  No way.

                     Boat has two batteries.  Lose one
                     you run off the other til morning.
                     Carl musta lost both, so Miyamoto
                     there gave him one a his.

                     Course, if Carl lost both batteries,
                     dead in the water, his radio wouldn't
                     work.  So how would he signal for help?

                     Compressed air horn, most likely.
                     Hope to God some man hears you in
                     that fog.

                     All right, what if the defendant
                     heard?  So Carl let him aboard, to
                     help.  And then the fishing gaff?

     Gillanders grins.  Wide.

                     You mean Miyamoto followed him out
                     there, and sucker-punched him?

                     Well, what if?

                     Now, how is Miyamoto gonna know
                     in advance?  That Carl loses two
                     batteries.  Must happen once ever'
                     20 years or so.

     Another chuckle or two from the gallery.

                     Thank you, Mr. Gillanders.  Thank
                     you for coming down, in this cold

                     Well, it does seem mighty warm in
                     here.  Specially for Mr. Hooks.

     And looks at the prosecutor.  Who rises, easily.  A most polite
     fuck-you smile.  Hooks strolls now.  Slow and steady.  Straight to
     the witness box.  Rests his hands on the rail.  Leans in.

                     What if the defendant follows Carl.
                     And pretends his own batteries are
                     dead?  Would Carl tie up and help?

     And the smile on Gillander's face.  Stops.  Cold.

                     Is the word you're groping
                     for...'yes', perha...

                               JUDGE (O.S.)

                     Rephrase.  Do you agree that he
                     might tie up to the defendant's bo...

                     So why's the D-6 in Carl's well?

                     Who's to say?  Maybe it was just
                     a spare, after all.  Or maybe the
                     defendant left it, as a potential
                     alibi.  In case somebody saw him
                     in Ship Channel Bank.
                     In case we put two and two
                     together, knowing of the hostility.
                     Between the families.

     Gillanders.  Actually thinking about that.

                     My question is.  Could Carl have
                     tied up to help the defendant?

     A beat.  A cleared throat.

                     It coulda happened.  And if I start
                     to say it's doubtful, you'd probl'y
                     say 'no further questions', right?

     Once more, laughter.  Enough to bring the gavel DOWN.

                     Right about that.  And right that
                     it 'coulda happened'.

     Turns his back, walks away.

                     Thanks for your help.  Hope the
                     witness box wasn't too warm for
                     your comfort.

     All eyes follow the prosecutor, as he sits.  Except for the
     defendant.  His stare forward.  Recalling...


     Kabuo seated on the concrete floor of his cell, leaning back
     against the wall.  Leaving the cot.  For his guest.

                     But the toughest scenario.  Is the
                     one Hooks will never raise.

     Kabuo watching.  Quiet.  Takes a breath...

                     And what's that?

                     That you came upon Carl by accident.
                     Like you said.  Gave him the battery.
                     Like you said.  Asked him about the
                     seven acres.  Like you said.

     The hardest.  Straightest.  Look.

                     Only.  He said no.


                     And something...happened.  That
                     you'd never planned.  Because
                     you're not a cold-blooded killer.

     Nobody flinches.  Nobody blinks.

                     I'm more a hot-blooded killer, huh?
                     Like a soldier.  Like a samurai.

                     You won't hear that from Hooks.
                     Because the charge is first-degree
                     murder, which requires premeditation.
                     He can't change the charge.

     Do you understand?

                     So if the jury thinks you did kill.
                     but only in the heat of anger.  They
                     have to acquit.

     Do you?

                     And you couldn't.  Be.  Re-tried.

     Kabuo's face is stone.  A warrior's mask.

                     You want me to say that.

                     I want you.  To tell the truth.

     There is no kindly smile tonight.  No candy bars.

                     You think that is the truth.

                     I told your wife.  Trials aren't
                     always so much about actual truth.
                     As about what folks believe is true.
                     That's sad.  And it's real.

                     And what do you believe?

     Nels sighs.  Cocks his head just to one side.

                     A question first.  Why do you want
                     to know?

                               KABUO (straight back)
                     Because you're my friend.

     The old man thinks about that.  Studies his client.

                     I believe you are a good man.  Who
                     belongs with his family.

     And then the feeling comes.  To the watery eyes.

                     And I believe.  You didn't do it.


     Fog.  The sound of water.  Lapping at the hull of a boat.  The mist
     drfits, revealing...

     Eyes.  They are blue.  The heavy brows above them dark gold, matted
     and damp.

                               CARL (O.S.)
                     My batteries are drawed down, both
                     of 'em.  ALternator belts were loose.

     PULL BACK to see him.  With his keroses lantern and his air horn.

                               KABUO (O.S.)
                     No sweat.  We'll pull one a mine,
                     get ya started.

     PULL BACK to see him now, leaning on his gaff.  Squinting up.  At
     the top of Carl's mast.  We follow his gaze to see...

                               KABUO (O.S.)
                     You lashed up a lantern?  'Gainst
                     a fog like this?

     See it now.  SWAYING as the helpless boat bobs in the night.

                               CARL (O.S.)
                     Lantern and a air horn.  That's
                     all I got, without my juice.


     CLOSE on a battery well.  One battery sits in place, one spot is
     empty.  And...

     ...CRASH!  The butt end of a fishing gaff BANGS against the metal
     flange.  Again.  Again.  AGAIN.  And as the next blow is STRUCK,
     the huge hand...

     ...slips, and the soft metal SLICES Carl's flesh across his palm.
     He stops.  Then SMASHES away, twice more.  We PULL BACK to see...

     ...two batteries lie above the well.  Carl sucks the blood from his
     cut.  Then lifts Kabuo's D-6 into place...

                     Don't know how long it's take to
                     get a charge...

                     Keep it tonight.  We'll catch fish.
                     I'll see ya back on the docks...

     Kabuo takes his gaff.  Heedless of Carl's blood on the butt end.
     Carl looks up, still crouching above his well.

                               CARL (quietly)
                     Hold on.  You know as well as
                     I do, we got somethin' to talk

     No response from Kabuo.  He stands above the larger man.  Silent,
     neutral.  Waiting.

                     Seven acres.  I'm wonderin' what
                     you'd pay for 'em.  Just curious,
                     is all.

                     What are you sellin' 'em for?
                     Why don't we start there.

     Which makes the big man smile.  Just a little.

                     Did I say I was selling?  But
                     if I was, I'd have to figure you
                     want 'em real bad.  Oughta charge
                     a sall fortune, maybe...

     A slight shrug.  Of giant shoulders.

                     Then again.  Maybe you'd want
                     your battery back.

     Kabuo doesn't grin back.  His face shows nothing at all.

                     The battery's in, that's done
                     with.  Besides, you'd do the
                     same for m...

                     ...might do the same.  I have to
                     warn you 'bout that, chief.  I'm
                     not screwed together like I used
                     to be.

     Kabuo's face remains impassive.  Patient.  And the big man squints
     up into it.  Holding a handkerchief to his injured hand.

                     Hell, I'm sorry, okay?  About
                     the whole damn mess.  If I'd a
                     been around, my mother wouldn't
                     a pulled it off that way.

     He is sorry.  And with that, Kabuo's face eases.  Becomes like
     Carl's own.

                               CARL (grins)
                     I was out there at sea.  Fightin'
                     you Jap sons-a-bitches.

                               KABUO (no grin)
                     I'm an American.  Did I call you
                     a Nazi, you big Nazi bastard?

                               CARL (softly)
                     Not that I recall.

                     I killed men who looked just like
                     you, pig-fed German bastards.  And
                     their blood don't wash off so easy.

     Still no smile.  Carl staring up.

                     So don't talk to me about Japs,
                     you big Nazi son of a bitch.

     Carl laughs.  And Kabuo chuckles, right along with him.  Having
     kept his poker face the longer.

                     I am a bastard.  I'm a big Hun
                     Nazi son of a bitch.  And I still
                     got your bamboo fishing rod.

                     Oh, yeh?

                     Hid it from my mom.  Caught a mess
                     a sea runs.  Damn thing's still in
                     my closet.

                               KABUO (very softly)
                     You can have it.  The hell with it.

     The look between them now.  Is very wonderful.  In the subtlety of
     its connection.

                     $1200 an acre, that's what I paid
                     Ole, won't take a dime less.  You
                     got no choice on that.

                     Didn't say I was buyin' did I?
                     What you want down?  Just bein'
                     curious, is all.

     The handkerchief comes away from Carl's palm.  And rising, his hand
     extends toward the smaller man.

                     A thousand down.  We'll sign
                     papers t'morrow.

     The hands grip.  And they hold.  And the length of this clasp, and
     the straightness of their gaze, and the silence of the moment.
     Wash years away.

                     Eight hundred.  And it's a deal.


     CLOSE on eyes.  They are Asian.  Unblinking.

                               HOOKS (O.S.)
                     For the life of me, sir, I cannot
                     imagine why you kept this story from
                     the sheriff.

     PULL BACK to see Kabuo in the witness box.  Ramrod straight.  Face

                     As my wife testified, we were
                     considering it.

                     Actually, she said you had decided.
                     Decided not not come forward.

                               KABUO (quietly)
                     I was thinking about it.  Every

                     Except even when Sheriff Moran
                     arrested you.  You said nothing
                     about seeing Carl.

     Turns to the jury.  Openly bewildered.

                     At that point, you were already
                     under suspicion.  The battery story
                     explained things.  If the story was
                     true...and not simply something you
                     thought up later...

     Turns back.  To the defendant.

                     Why.  Didn't you.  Tell it?

     No reaction from the defendant.  Nothing anyone can see.

                     Sheriff said right off, I was
                     under suspicion.  I didn't have
                     a lawyer...

                     But even after you had an
                     attorney.  You still claimed to
                     know nothing.  Claimed not to
                     have seen Carl. Am I correct?

     A beat.

                     Yes.  Initially.

                     Well, 'initially' is an interesting
                     word, sir.  You'd been arrested,
                     you had a lawyer, and you still
                     claimed ignorance!


                     I should have told everything
                     right away.  I know that now,
                     and I regret it.

                     Should have told 'everything'.
                     Meaning, you should have told
                     the truth.

     We can just discern the anger.  At the edge of Kabuo's steady gaze.

                     Nothing to say?

                               KABUO (quietly)
                     I didn't know that was a question.
                     It sounded like a speech.

     And Hooks smiles.  Loving it.  Walks toward the witness, stalking

                     My apologies.  Do you regret
                     not telling the truth?

                     I have told the truth.

                     You mean, this morning.  The
                     new story, the battery story.
                     That one is the truth?  That's
                     a question, sir.

                               KABUO (even quieter)
                     Yes.  And I told it long before
                     this morning.

                     I see.  Now what happened the
                     day Carl Heine was found?  Before
                     your arrest.

                     I slept til one-thirty, when my
                     wife woke me up with the news.  We
                     talked for a few hours.  I left at
                     six and went straight to my boat.

                     Didn't go anywhere else?  No errands,
                     no purchases?  Just straight to the
                     boat.  That's the truth.


     Hooks leans over the box.  Ever so slightly invading Kabuo's space.

                     Well, the sheriff found two batteries
                     in your well.  If you left one with
                     Carl Heine, how is that possible?

                     I had a spare battery in my shed.
                     I brought it down, and put it in
                     just before the sheriff showed up.

     Ah.  I see.

                     Conveniently, in your shed.  Only
                     you didn't mention that a moment ago.
                     Why does this battery story change
                     every time a new question is raised?

     Kabuo looks at him, evenly.

                     You asked if I went straight to the
                     boat.  I did.  With the battery.

     Hooks steps back.  Looks the witness over.

                     You're a hard man to trust, sir.
                     You sit before us, with no expression,
                     keeping a poker f...

                               NELS (O.S.)

                     You know better than that, Mr.
                     Hooks.  Either ask questions
                     that count for something, or sit
                     down and be done with it.

     Silence.  The judge staring hard.  Hooks never flinching.

                     Shame on you.

     Hooks turns his eyes to Kabuo.  Stares him down, so the jury can
     watch Kabuo's implacable stare in return.  And softly...

                     I apologize to the court, for
                     letting my feelings get the
                     better of me.

     Turns away.

                     No other questions.  We'll go to

     As he returns to his table.  As Kabuo steps down from the box.
     We PAN...

     ...reporters' row.  The boys are writing as fast as their hands can
     move.  Only Ishmael is not writing at all.  He stares at the pad
     resting on hsi right knee.  We CLOSE to see...

     One word circled.  The word 'lantern'.


     Alvin Hooks stalks the jury box now.  Prowls before them along the
     rail.  As their eyes follow.

                     ...believing that Etta Heine's son
                     would never sell him the land.  Land
                     that in his mind, filtered through
                     ancient rules of behavior handed down
                     from his ancestors' culture, belonged
                     to his family by right...

     Stops.  To make sure they understand.

                     His only choice to get the land
                     would be to eliminate Carl Heine.
                     So that Ole Jurgensen would need
                     a new buyer.

     Pacing again, hand trailing along the rail...

                     In his mind.  Seen through codes
                     of revenge difficult for us to
                     fathom, this was also the only way
                     to avenge what he felt to be the
                     grievous dishonor brought to his
                     father, his family...

     Raises his finger.  This must be heard...

            a thousand years of ancestry,
                     in a foreign land we still find an
                     enigma.  Despite our recent bitter
                     experience with its ways.

     And stops once more.  Places his hands on the rail.

                     Thus believing cold-blooded murder to
                     be justified...he trailed Carl Heine...
                     could hear his engine in the fog...and
                     sounded his own horn, claiming distress.

     Straightens up.  Shakes his head, ever so slightly.

                     As Carl pulled alongside: 'Please,
                     Carl,' the defendant must have said.
                     'I am sorry for what has come between
                     us, but adrift here in the fog, I
                     plead for your help!'

     Imagine.  Imagine that.

                     And so this good man tied his
                     boat fast, while his enemy leaps
                     aboard, striking the treacherous
                     blow he was trained to strike by
                     his father's hand.

     Counting off the facts.  One finger at a time.

                     The feud over these seven acres
                     had festered for eight years.  He
                     argued with Carl about buying the
                     land one week before Carl was killed.
                     Carl's skull was crushed, and his
                     blood is on a murder weapon with which
                     the defendant is a deadly expert!

     Spreads his arms.  Wide.

                     And after a series of lies.  The
                     defendant at last admits he was
                     there.  Alone on the boat.  In
                     the fog.  Carl Heine's blood on
                     his fishing gaff.

     A hush.  A murmur...

                     My lord.  My lord.

     Looking into the eyes now.  Of each man.  Each woman.

                     Look clearly at the defendant.
                     See the truth self-evident in him.
                     And in the facts of this case.

     And turns.  So that they will follow his eyes to Kabuo's stone-
     hard gaze.

                     Look into his eyes, ladies and
                     gentlemen, consider his face.
                     And ask yourself what your duty
                     is as citizens of this community.


     PAN the jury, slowly, as they hear...

                               NELS (O.S.)
                     ...not a single witness has testified
                     to anything that could suggest pre-
                     meditated murder.  Not in the days
                     before Carl Heine's death...or at
                     any time...has anyone described a
                     murderous rage toward the deceased.

     Nels stands very still.  Hands resting on the rail.  As calm and
     quiet as his adversary had been dramatic.

                     Etta Heine had cheated his family.
                     He had asked his childhood friend
                     Carl to sell him the land.  And
                     Carl was considering it.

     Leans forward.  Just a little.

                     There is no evidence of anger at
                     Carl, much less rage, much less
                     murderous rage.  No reason for
                     premeditation and no evidence of
                     it.  Anywhere.

     He picks out a housewife.  The youngest.  Smiles sadly, wisely.  As
     her grandfather might.

                     And yet the state is required to
                     prove these things.  Beyond.  A
                     reasonable.  Doubt.

     His eyes widen.

                     Can you seriously think there is
                     no reasonable doubt?  Why is Kabuo's
                     D-6 battery in Carl's well, if Carl
                     was helping him?


                     Why isn't the blood on the gaff
                     more consistent with Carl's hand
                     wound than a skull fracture?  Given
                     the absence of bone or brain tissue.

     And now.  he begins to pace, limping slightly, eyes down.

                     What Mr. Hooks asks you to believe
                     is that no proof is needed.  Against
                     a man who bombed Pearl Harbor.

     Slow.  Eyes on his feet.

                     Look at his face, the prosecutor said.
                     Presuming that you will see an enemy
                     there.  Treacherous by nature, by a
                     thousand years of something or other.

     He stops.  Looks at them.

                     An argument I find as despicable as
                     it is dishonest and twisted and
                     insulting to us all.  Mr. Miyamoto
                     is a much-decorated hero of the United
                     States Army.  For God's sake.

     The feeling wells in te old man.  It bleeds through the very
     quietness of his voice.

                     If someone said you should convict
                     Carl Heine.  Or his lovely widow.
                     Of murder.  Without proof.  Because
                     their ancestry is the same as
                     Hitler's.  You would spit in his eye.

     Yes, you would.

                     And every decent American.  Would
                     applaud you.

     He leans his elbows on their rail.  As if confiding to them across
     their backyard fence.

                     Now Kabuo Miyamoto did one thing
                     wrong.  He was afraid to trust us,
                     at first.  Afraid that he would be
                     crucified by prejudice.  As Mr. Hooks
                     is urging you to do.


                     Well, we sent him.  And his wife.
                     And thousands of Americans to
                     concentration camps.  They lost
                     homes, belongings, everything.
                     We did that, folks.  Can we now be
                     unforgiving about his uncertainty?
                     His mistrust?

     Looking in their eyes.  As if waiting for an answer.  They shift
     their weight, fidget beneath his gaze.

                     You may think this is a small trial.
                     In a small place.  Well, it isn't.

     He straightens his spine.  Winces slightly, with the pain of it.

                     Every once in awhile.  Somewhere
                     in the world.  Humanity goes on
                     trial.  And integrity.  And decency.
                     Every once in awhile, common folks
                     get called on to give the report
                     card for the human race.

     The eyes are watering.  But the voice gains strength.

                     Now here in America.  We relish
                     those chances.  Give us that one,
                     we say.  That's why we built this
                     country in the first place.

     One step back.  Just above a whisper...

                     Be Americans.  Make your
                     children proud.


     CLOSE on handcuffs SNAPPING into place.  Sheriff Moran checks their
     snugness about Kabuo's wrists, as the crowd mills through the
     courtroom in the wake of adjournment.  Grasping Kabuo's arm, Moran
     begins leading him toward a small doorway just at the rear of the
     witness box.  But...

     ...someone is there.  In the doorway.  And Moran's grip tightens as
     they approach...

                     I'm awful sorry, Ma'am, but you
                     know I c...

                     What are you afraid of, Sheriff?

     The edge on that, the ballsy undertone, throws him a little.

                     Am I going to slip him a weapon
                     for a mad escape?  Perhaps a kendo
                     staff hidden in my dress?

                     There's rules.

                     Well, please break them, then.
                     I won't keep you a moment.

     And she reaches past him.  To take her husband's hands.  She looks
     in his eyes, as if they are alone.

                     I love you.  And tomorrow, when
                     I make our bed.  I'm setting out
                     your pillow.

     Tears just flood her eyes.  Sudden, unbidden.  She holds tight to
     her smile.  And to his hands.

                               HATSUE (whispers)
                     You better be there.

     He smiles.  A lovely, easy, cowboy-American smile.

                     Only if you ask me nice.

     ANGLE...from the gallery.  One man watches.  Watches as a woman
     brings manicled hands to her lips.  And walks quickly away...

     ...toward us.  Straight toward us, in fact.  And when she stands
     before us, her hands mangle her purse.  The eyes are hollow, flint-

                     Did you write that column?

                     I did.  But the jury won't s...

                     It's not for the.  They only
                     get to convict him.

     She arches her throat.  As if facing a firing squad.

                     It's the judge who decides.  If
                     he'll hang.

     He reaches.  His fingertips find her shoulder.  She does not resist
     his touch.

                               ISHMAEL (gently)
                     None of that is gonna ha...

                     You don't think he did this.

     His hand comes away.  From his heart...

                     I know he didn't.

     She nods.  Nods.  Her eyes filling.  Moving over his face.

                     Come to supper, tonight.  My
                     mother would be proud to have
                     you with us.

     He hears the emotion in her voice.  He swallows hard.

                     I can't.

     No, I can't.

                     Tell your mom.  I want a rain check.


     Kabuo sits on the cot, the way we have always seen him.  Alone in
     his mind.  Footfalls.  Kabuo oblivious, far away.  The door CLANGS

                     You have a visitor, son.

     Turns to the visitor...

                     You said three minutes.

                     Won't take two.

     And Moran leaves.  The door CLANGS shut.  They are alone.  Only one
     man smiling...

                     Please, sit down...

     But the tall man doesn't.  Doesn't move.

                     She told me you're writing a
                     column.  We're very grateful.

     Ishmael nods, awkwardly.  Acknowledging this.

                     She.  Said you two go way back...

     Ishmael stares into Kabuo's earnest smile.

                     That's nice.

                     You said there was a lantern
                     in his hand.  When you found
                     him in the fog.

     Kabuo blinks.  The man's tone is formal.  As if the offer of
     friendliness is somehow rejected.

                     And another one.  Lashed to
                     the mast?

     Kabuo's own smile has faded.  The mask has returned.

                     That's right.

                     Two.  Lanterns.

     And Kabuo grins.  In spite of himself.

                     If I did the math right.

     Ishmael leans back.  Against the door.

                     It's the sheriff's math.  I'm
                     wondering about.


     Blackness.  The sound of wind.  Of water lapping at wood.  CLICK of
     a key, springing a lock.  The SCRAPE of a large PADLOCK sliding
     away.  A door CREAKS open, and from the sound of it, a large one.

     Gray light seeps in.

                               MORAN (O.S.)
                     Blackmail.  That's all it is.

     See them now.  Three SILHOUETTES framed in thr barn's open doorway.
     Against the night sky.

                               ISHMAEL (O.S.)
                     I call it keeping your promise.
                     We said if I ever needed some
                     cooperation from you...

     A soft CLICK, and the LIGHTS go on.  Such as they are.  A few
     bare bulbs strung across the rafters of this towering ramshackle
     enclosure.  A 50-year-old mildewed barn, built of creosoted
     timbers.  This is a place for overhauling boats, with sea doors
     facing the harbor.

     Two BOATS are tied to wide-elbowed piers.  We've seen them before.

                     You threatened me, Chambers, pure
                     and simple.  And what idiot's gonna
                     believe some cock and bull story
                     that I made a deal to keep stuff
                     outta your paper?  Not that anybody
                     reads your paper.

     Abel Martenson leads the way.  Along soaking planks.

                     Same idiots who'll believe you
                     cracked this case.  When I tell
                     'em you did.

     Moran snorts.  Points up to the cross spar, high on the mast of the
     first boat.

                     See, no lantern.

                               ABEL (respectfully)
                     Sheriff?  That's Miyamoto's boat.

     Oh.  Moran swings his gaze up to the second boat.

                               MORAN (quiet triumph)
                     No lantern there, neither.

     Sure enough.  No lantern on the cross spar.  They keep walking.

                     Never shoulda given you that
                     inventory in the first place.

                     It's public record.  If the public
                     cares enough to read it.

     They step across the gunnel.  Onto Carl Heine's boat.  Flashlights
     working against the dim, eerie glow of distant bulbs, they enter
     Carl's cabin.

     Neat as a pin.  Ishmael scans the floor.

                     You said there was a coffee c...

                               ABEL (sorry)
                     I picked it up.

     And points to the cup.  Sitting on the counter.

                     It's the only thing I moved, I
                     swear.  It was right there.

     The sheriff glares at the boy.

                     You wanna see that in the papers?
                     Don't ever touch something at a cri...

     And stops.  Because Ishmael's gaze has gone to a kerosene lantern.
     In the corner.

                     One lantern.  Like the inventory
                     says.  Sorry to disappoint you.

     But Ishmael is out the door.  Shining his flashlight.  Up the mast.

                     Actually.  I was hoping you got
                     it right.  What's that, up there?

     And they all squint up.  Shining their lights together.  Along the
     cross spar.

                     Nothin'.  Bits of string.

     That's what it looks like.  Many of them.

                     Pieces of twine aren't nothing.

     And he steps to the base of the mast.  Puts the flashlight in his
     pocket.  Wraps his arm around the shaft of wood.

                     Here now, what are you fixin'
                     to do?

                     Have a look.  At nothing.

     And wrapping his legs around the mast, he hoists himself up.

                     You can't go up there, touch things...

     With all his strength.  Ishmael begins to climb.

                               ISHMAEL (grunting)
                     Trial's over, Sheriff, it's with
                     the jury now.

     Supporting himself with his legs, he struggles upward.

                     You gonna climb that with one arm?

                     You're right.  I better use two.

     Up he goes, inching his way, Abel shining his flashlight.  Moran
     swings his beam up, too.

                     There's lots of 'em, Art, look.

     And Moran is looking.  Saying nothing.  Now, Ishmael is there.

                     A dozen or more, all figure eights.
                     All cut clean through on an angle.

                     And look at that streak of rust,
                     across the mast.

     His light playing on it.  Bracing his full weight with his legs,
     Ishmael fingers the scraps of rope...

                     It's on the twine, too.  But it's
                     not r...

                     Don't prove there was two lanterns.
                     Coulda been the one in the cabin.

     Still supporting  himself with his legs, Ishmael pulls out his

                     There's a stretch of ground
                     between guessin' and provin',
                     Sheriff.  I'll give you that.

     ...shines it DOWN on the deck.  Along the gunnel.  Just below the
     mast.  And as we watch the circle of light move...

                               MORAN (O.S.)
                     What do you think you're lookin'
                     at now?

     Still moving.  And in the silence, an absent...

                               ISHMAEL (O.S.)
                     Not what I'm looking at.  It's
                     what I'm looking for.


     Eleven citizens around a walnut table.  Eleven.  Glaring at the

                               ALEXANDER VAN NESS
                     Well.  I guess it comes down to
                     a feeling, don't it?  If I feel
                     uncertain, I feel a doubt.  Isn't
                     that it?

     And the boat builder smiles amicably, rubs his gray beard.  No
     other smiles.  Anywhere.

                               HAROLD JENSEN
                     Alex, nobody ain't ever sure about
                     nothin'.  It's unreasonable to be so
                     stubborn that you think you're smarter
                     than eleven folks who all agree!

                               EDITH TWARDZIK
                     The man sat there and admitted he
                     lied, Mr. Van Ness.  Now why isn't
                     that enough for you?

                               ALEXANDER VAN NESS
                     We're not tryin' him for lying.  Lots
                     of us told lies, one time or another.
                     Prob'ly none of us murdered anybody.

                               HAROLD JENSEN
                     But what drives a man to lie?
                     Means he's hiding somethin'.

                               ALEXANDER VAN NESS
                     Not necessarily that he killed
                     Carl.  I'm not sayin' you're wrong,
                     just that I have my doubts.

                               BURKE LATHAM
                     Look, if you changed chairs right
                     now, cos you doubted that maybe a
                     chunk of the moon was gonna fall
                     through the roof, that wouldn't be
                     a reasonable doubt.

     Folks turn to Burke.  What the hell are you talking about?

                               ALEXANDER VAN NESS (laughs)
                     Okay, you win that one.  Now can
                     we all go to bed?

                               HARLAN McQUEEN
                     The mooring line.  Doesn't that
                     tell you something?

                               ALEXANDER VAN NESS
                     I think it does.  Miyamoto was on
                     Carl's boat, or vice-versa.  Not
                     much doubt about th...

                               MARLAN McQUEEN
                     And Carl's blood on the gaff?

                               ALEXANDER VAN NESS
                     There's a chance it came from his

                               BURKE LATHAM
                     There's a chance of everything.
                     But you add a chance from here and
                     a chance from there, the world ain't
                     made a coincidences only.

     Everyone agrees.  Almost everyone.

                               EDITH TWARDZIK
                     Look, if he gave Carl a battery
                     like he said, he'd only a had one
                     left.  Not two.

                               ALEXANDER VAN NESS
                     He explained that.  He replaced it.

                               HARLAN McQUEEN
                     Only he threw that part in when he
                     got cornered.  But first time around,
                     he never mentioned it.

                               ROGER PORTER
                     Alex, stop arguin' just to argue.
                     You can see what really happened,
                     same as us.  Isn't that what we're
                     supposed to do is tell the actual
                     truth?  My God, Carl died, here.

                               ALEXANDER VAN NESS
                     So I don't care Carl died, unless
                     I'm ready to reach for the hangman's
                     rope?  You oughta stop tryin' to
                     bully me into hurrying.

     Little anger in that.  It brings a silence.

                               BURKE LATHAM
                     Been six hours.  You sayin' there's
                     a way to go slower?


     Nels in a ratty, frayed old robe, pouring hot water from a kettle
     into mismatched cups.  His hair is wispy and wild, his eyes puffy.
     He COUGHS horrible.  CLEARS his throat...

                     Well.  It's imaginative...

     And drops tea bags into the cups with a splash.

                     ...I'll give you that.

     Lisps over to the cluttered table.  Where his guest is waiting.

                     It's the way it happened, I know
                     it is.

                     No, you don't.

     Nels sits.  Slowly.  Ishmael removes his bag.  Sips his tea.

                     That report.  About the freighter?
                     You didn't find that tonight, did you?

     No answer.  Ishmael keeps sipping.  Holding eye contact.

                     You went right to the cell.  Then
                     to the boat.  Then here.  How long
                     did you know about the freighter?

                               ISHMAEL (just above a whisper)
                     One day.

     Nels' turn.  To sip his tea.

                     This tastes horrible, hmmn?

                     You're wondering why I held it.

                     I'm wondering how the judge is
                     gonna like my waking up his old
                     bones.  in the middle of the night.

     And he smiles.  A wonderful smile.

                     Your daddy.  Was quite a feller.

                     Yes, he was.

     Another sip.

                     He's looking down.  And he's not
                     thinking 'bout the man you were
                     yesterday.  He's proud of the man
                     you are tonight.  That's what counts.

                     To my father.  Everything counts.

     Nels watches the pain in that.

                     What if I told you he once said
                     to me...don't matter the road we
                     take.  Just so we get there.

                               ISHMAEL (smiles)
                     Then you'd be lying.

                     Doesn't make me wrong.


     The jury once more in the jury box.  PAN their faces.  The faces we
     saw last night.

                               NELS (O.S.)
                     All right, let's say that twine
                     had been there to lash a lantern.
                     That it had come from the shuttle of
                     twine found in the deceased's pocket.

     Edith Twardzik.  Burke Latham.  Alexander Van Ness.

                               NELS (O.S.)
                     Now to re-open a trial that had
                     gone to evidence should
                     be pretty important.

     See Ishmael.  Quiet, intense.  On the witness stand.

                               NELS (O.S.)
                     Tell us why that lantern would be
                     so significant.

                     Well.  It shows the prosecutor was
                     wrong.  It was Carl's boat that was
                     dead in the water.  Or he'd never
                     have put up the lantern.

     Nels thinks about that.  So the jury will, too.

                     Now you believe there were two
                     lanterns when defendant arrived.
                     One in Carl's hand.  The second
                     lashed to the mast.

                     That's what Mr. Miyamoto reported,
                     and he'd have no reason to lie.
                     He couldn't know that it would help
                     his case.

                     Well, why does it?

                     Because the second lantern, the one
                     on the mast.  Was never found.  So
                     we have to ask...

     A slight shurg.  Stating the obvious.

                     ...where did it go?

     And then...

                     Maybe it went.  Where Carl went.
                     Over the side.

                     Objection!  Speculation.

     Nels smiles his grandfather smile.

                     Your Honor, all of this is
                     speculation.  Including Mr. Hooks'
                     dramaturgy about the defendant
                     issuing a false distress call.

                     Tht was summation, Your H...

                               JUDGE (gently)
                     Overruled, Alvin.  Let's hear
                     this, hmmn?

     Nels Gudmundsson nods to himself.  Takes a stroll over to the jury
     box.  No limp today.  Something has put some spring in his step.

                     So how does this fit with what
                     you told us at the start?  The
                     freighter that plowed through
                     Ship Channel Bank...

     And turns.  Leaning his scrawny butt against the jury's rail.
     He'll watch this with them now.

                     That's when he fell.


     Ishmael settles in.  Here we go.

                     Miyamoto gave him the battery, and
                     left.  Carl's boat was running, he
                     goes back to fishing.  But at some
                     point, he thinks of the lantern...

                     Still lashed to the mast.

                     He figures a perfectly good
                     lantern could get banged around
                     up there.  So he climbs up.  To
                     cut it down.

                     Just as the freighter comes through?
                     Isn't that quite a coincidence?

                     Coincidences happen.  You run a
                     yellow light just as a car comes
                     out of nowhere.  Split-second tragedy
                     happens every day.  Or maybe...


                     Maybe Carl picks up something about
                     the freighter on his radio, which is
                     now working.  Same report Milholland
                     heard.  And that makes him get the
                     lantern fast.  Before the freighter's
                     wake can bang it around.

                     But you could be wrong.  He could
                     have climbed up earlier.

                     Then where's the lantern?  And
                     where's the knife?

                     The knife.  What knife?

     As if he really has forgotten.  As if he wants to know.

                     Coroner found an empty knife sheath
                     on Carl's belt.  But they never
                     found the knife.

     He's nodding.  Yes, that's right.

                     He climbs up.  His hand wound still
                     bleeding.  That's the blood I found
                     on the mast.  And the twine.

     Nels' eyes are rapt.  His mouth is shut.  No way he interrupts this

                     He cuts the lantern free, the
                     freighter's wake hits, the boat
                     rolls hard, his bloody hand slips.
                     tracing blood along the mast...

     A hush.

                     He falls.  The lantern, the knife,
                     go into the water.  Same as Carl.

     The words hang there.

                     And inside the cabin, a coffee
                     cup falls off the counter.

     Shakes his head.

                     But there's no one around.  To
                     pick it up.

     Nels ponders.  Puts his hand to his chin.

                     Still a coincidence.  Timing
                     and all.

                     The freighter started through
                     at 1:42.  The sea water seeped
                     into Carl's watch and stopped it.
                     At 1:47.

     CUT to the defendant.  Ramrod straight, nothing revealed in his
     face.  And to his wife.  Elegant, erect.  Her eyes flooded with

                     Still and all.  Carl was a strong
                     swimmer, he m...

                     He hit his head.  On the way in.


                     You think so?

                     The sheriff and the deputy and I
                     inspected the deck closely.  We
                     found a small fracture in the wood
                     of the gunnel.  Just below the mast.

                     Well, anything coulda caused that.

     Ishmael nods.  No smile at all.

                     Anything.  That had a blond hair.

     And Nels is walking now.  Toward the prosecutor's table.  Pulling a
     small cellophane bag from hisinside pocket.

                     Request introduction of Exhibit 18.
                     One single blond hair.  Which Sheriff
                     Moran dug out of that fracture.  Below
                     the mast.  Of Carl Heine's boat.

     Lays the bag on the table.  Just in front of Hooks.  Turns to the

                     We will call Sheriff Moran, who
                     will confirm this.  And Coroner
                     Whaley to testify that the damage
                     to the gunnel is of a size and
                     nature not inconsistent with the
                     deceased's skull fracture...

     Turns to the prosecutor...

                     But for now.  Your witness...

     And just strolls on over to his seat.  Looks in his client's eyes.
     How 'bout them apples?  Kabuo loves this old guy.  And right here,
     he lets a little of that show.

     Across the way, the prosector is rising.  He smiles.  Friendly,
     almost amused.

                     I have to start reading your
                     paper more closely.  You're quite
                     a storyteller.

                               ISHMAEL (straight back)
                     Thank you.  Coming from the man who
                     wrote, 'But here, adrift in the fog,
                     I plead for your help'...that's quite
                     a compliment.

     There is a ripple of laughter.  But no smile on Ishmael's features.
     His game face is on.  Come and get me, sucker.  And Hooks does
     come, one step at a time.  Straight to the box.

                     Everything had to happen just
                     right.  For your little story to
                     fly.  I mean, a blond hair could be
                     on that gunnel for a lot of reasons.

                     I'm sorry, was there a question
                     in there?

     No love lost.  And no pretense about it.  Hatsue Miyamoto sits with
     her hand in her mother's.  Watching these men battle for her
     husband's life.

                     Well, the freighter.  The twine.
                     The blood.  The knife.  The cup.
                     The watch.  The second battery.
                     The phantom lantern.  The fishing
                     gaff.  The cracked gunnel.  The
                     skull wound.  The blond hair.  That's
                     eleven things...


     Hooks smiles.

                     I stand corrected, sir.  And you
                     have a neat explanation for every
                     one of them.

     Hooks nods.  Yes, you do.

                     And since you confess this is
                     all pure guesswork.  What is your
                     expertise, sir, are you a detective
                     of sorts?

                     My expertise.  Is that I'm a

     Right at his eyes.

                     And journalism.  Is balance.  Finding
                     the facts folks need to know.

     The words ring with quiet, heartfelt conviction, that others cannot
     fully appreciate.

                     Then putting them together.  So
                     truth is revealed.

                     But isn't the truth that there are
                     several other ways to explain each
                     of these twelve pieces.

                     Oh, yes.

     And the prosecutor stops.  Confused for an instant by this
     confession.  Until...

                     But no other way.  To explain
                     them all.

     A heart-stopping hush.  As everyone, as Hooks himself, sees the

                     And since they all happened.
                     This is the only explanation
                     that's the truth.

     The prosecutor looks like he's been slapped.  Like every act of
     will is necessary to maintain composure.  To find the easy,
     untroubled smile.

                     Your line of work.  You must meet
                     a lot of men play fast and loose
                     with the truth.

                     Like you couldn't believe.

     Service returned.  Hooks leans in.

                     Well, the defendant is a liar.
                     He's confessed that much.  And his
                     explanation is...he was afraid.

     And leans in some more.

                     Afraid that the good folks of
                     this jury.  Would be too stupid
                     to understand.  Too prejudiced
                     to be fair.

     Shakes his head.

                     You buy that?

                               ISHMAEL (gently)
                     I think he was greedy.

     And once more.  The prosecutor can only blink.  Can only move
     toward the trap.


                     He didn't want to lose any more.

     No smile.  No smile as the trap springs shut.

                     He'd lost a lot in the war, you
                     see.  I had sent him away.  To a
                     concentration camp.  But a nice
                     one.  Far less brutal than the Nazis.
                     Because I'm a civilized person.

     He stops.  Lets Hooks clear his throat.

                     I asked you a question, you're writing
                     a tract, h...

                     That's how journalists.  Answer

     Turns to Judge Fielding.  With all respect...

                     May I answer the question, Your
                     Honor?  Anout the defendant's
                     motivation to lie?

                     I wouldn't miss it for the world,
                     son.  Now, you say you sent the
                     defendant to Manzanar?

                     I didn't say.  I did it alone.

     And things get real quiet.

                     So there he was.  His father lost
                     his health there, finally died.
                     They lost more than Etta Heine's
                     seven acres.  They lost their
                     liberty, their dignity.  Their
                     ideals about this country.

     So much feeling in this.  He has to stop.  Swallow hard.

                     They lost their trust in us.  We
                     had treated them worse than animals.
                     How would we now see tham.  As human

     Tells the jury.  Straight to their faces.

                     This man lost a lot in the war.
                     He didn't want now to lose his
                     babies.  Or the woman who loves him.

     Another level of quiet.  He turns to the prosecutor...

                     And my expertise in this, sir.  Is
                     that I lost a lot in the war myself.

     Words coming from someplace very deep.

                     And the fact that I am the only
                     witness.  Who placed his right hand
                     upon the Holy Bible.  Is the least
                     of it, sir.  I assure you of that.


                     Well, sir.  I hate to spoil the
                     soliloquy, I truly do.  But the
                     fact are not on trial here.
                     Nor is Judge Fielding, or myself.
                     Nor the good people of this jury.
                     For events that took place twelve
                     years ago.

     No sir.

                     And I wouldn't blame these good
                     people if they were a mite resent-
                     ful.  At a tactic that insults
                     their intelligence.

                     That's curious.  I was appealing
                     to their intelligence.

                     Were you, sir?  Can you prove one
                     word of all your fancy story?

                     No, sir, I can't.  Not beyond a
                     reasonable doubt.

     And he smiles.  First time.

                     It's fortunate that the man who
                     needs to prove his fancy story.
                     Beyond a reasonable doubt.  Is
                     someone else.

     There is laughter in the room, so welcome is any chance to relieve
     the tension.  The gavel BANGS.

                     I'm sorry, Mr. Hooks.  I apologize
                     for my tone.  This is not a contest.
                     Between you and me.

     Shakes his head.  No, it isn't.

                     For it is not.  As Mr. Gudmundsson
                     so wisely put it.  A small trial.
                     In a small place.

     His eyes are damp now.  Strangely enough, after all this.  He is at
     last on the brink of losing control.  Because...

                     I lost more in that war than
                     anyone will ever know.  So did
                     a lot of folks.  And what we got
                     back in return...

     His voice breaks slightly.  But it rings with dignity on...

                     ...was a country.  Where a man
                     was innocent.  Until we proved
                     him guilty.

     And the voice drops.  To just above a whisper...

                     Whether we all got cheated.
                     We're about to find out.


     CLOSE on Hatsue Miyamoto, speaking earnestly, her eyes down, her
     purse in her lap, her slender hands expressing the intensity of her
     feelings as she makes her point, and we...

     PULL BACK to reveal that she is on a corridor bench, surrounded by
     a half dozen REPORTERS, who are crouching, standing, scribbling
     away.  Two PHOTOGRAPHERS pop flashes that she does not seem to
     notice, as she continues with refined determination, and we...

     PULL BACK, down the hallway to the POV of a man who sits alone,
     unnoticed.  There is an unopened pack of cigarettes in his only
     hand, turning absently in long, strong fingers that crinkle the
     pristine cellophane.  His eyes are fixed to hatsue, holding court
     at a distance.  Fixed, as if no other sight could ever command this
     level of attention.

                               NELS (O.S.)
                     All things considered...

     Hearing the voice, Ishmael looks down.  Uneasy to have been caught
     staring so intently.

            were adequate.

     No smile accompanies the irony.  For that would be condescending.

                     I could make a few quibbles, but
                     I am loathe to hurt your feelings.

     The old man sits.  Very slowly.


                     I'll take two.  One for later.

     Ishmael tries to tear the cellophane without success.  Nels seems
     not even to notice.

                               NELS (quietly)
                     She is simply.  Beautiful.

     Ishmael's eyes cut to him.  A little quickly.  Confides...

                     I've always thought so.

     There it sits.  His fingers claw absently at the cellophane.  Nels
     makes no move to intervene.

                     If I whistle.  Those boys'll see
                     you, and come runnin'.  You're
                     the story today.

                     You ever been strangled by a
                     single hand?

                     Naw, I've seen what that can do
                     to a pack of cigarettes.

     Comfortable together.  In this hour of discomfort.  Ishmael brings
     the corner of the pack to his teeth, and tears the cellophane away.

                     Better take three...

     Fingers nimbly shred the seal, open the pack.

                     Maybe they'll keep us waiting.

     Shake the tips free.  Holds the pack forward.

                               NELS (very quiet)
                     Maybe they won't.

     The way he said that.  Subtly ominous.  Ishmael watching Nels'
     face, as the old man takes two cigarettes...

                     Prejudice is like any obsession.

     Tucks one in his pocket.  And his eyes slide, unmistakably, to

                     There's a reason why we can't
                     let go.  Even when we want to.

     Ishmael is stone still.  Nels just gazing at Hatsue.  Until...

                     A reason.

                               NELS (simply)
                     We don't want to.

     Looks back to Ishmael.  Very straight.

                     Hate or love.  It works the same.

     In the silence...

                     Your client's wife ever mention?
                     We go way ba...

                               NELS (softly)
                     Her mother.  May have said

     There it is.  Kindness in this old man's face.  He brings the other
     cigarette to his lips.  And Ishmael takes out the match box.  Never
     breaking eye contact.

                     We don't let go, you s...

                     It's a rare thing.  Takes a
                     turning point.

     Expertly, Ishmael's fingers withdaw a match.

                     You gave this jury three chances.
                     To turn.

     Palming the box, Ishmael STRIKES the match.  On his belt buckle...

                     No other way to explain it all.
                     That was one.  I caught some of
                     'em fluttering, waking up, on that.

     Reaches the flame toward the old man...

                     Second.  You sent him to
                     Manzanar, and you didn't do
                     it alone.  I liked that one,
                     they didn't.  No surprise.

     Nels leans to the flame.  Sucks it in.  Savors a drag.

                     Last.  You gave your arm.  To
                     buy this woman back her husband.
                     Are they gonna cheat you out of that?

                               BAILIFF (O.S., calling out)
                     JURY'S COMIN' IN...

     Everywhere, the buzz RISES, there is motion an expectation.  But
     Nels doesn't seem to notice.

                     Some let go, some don't.  Where
                     did you?

     Asked so casually.  Ishmael turns.  Hatsue is standing now,
     surrounded by people, her mother grasping her arm.

                               ISHMAEL (a murmur)
                     Hooks called her deceitful.
                     And I knew she wasn't.

     He's watching her.  Across the way.  So intently.

                     She was an honest person.  Doing
                     the best she could.

     We follow her approach toward the courtroom door.  She has not yet
     turned to us.

                               NELS (O.S.)
                     The prosecutor, the judge, cut
                     her off.  She was desperate.  Her
                     husband helpless...I was helpless...

     Nels rises.  With great effort.

                     You couldn't let her.  Be

     Ishmael's eyes still fixed to Hatsue, grim-faced, listening to her
     mother's murmurings, as she...

     ...disappears through the door.  Never having looked our way.

                     When this verdict is read.  She
                     may look for your face.

     And Ishmael's eyes come up.  Because the voice commands it.

                     Here's what she needs to see:  This
                     is nothing.  We win it on appeal.

     The old man is stern and strong.  He wants a promise.

                     It'll be there.


     The hush of a hundred silences.  We can feel the air crackle in the
     stillness.  Judge Fielding is leafing through papers.  No one
     coughs, no one blinks...

                               JUDGE (clears his throat)
                     Mister foreman, has the jury
                     reached a verdict?

     He looks up.  Across the distance, Harold Jensen rises in the jury

                               HAROLD JENSEN
                     We have, Your Honor.

     And holds out a slip of paper.  Little more than a scrap.  Folded

                     Will the bailiff please bring
                     the verdict to the bench.

     The bailiff does so, walking crisply to minimize his moment in the
     limelight.  He hands the slip to the judge, who unfolds it, and...

     ...stops.  Staring for a hung instant.  As if seeing something
     unexpected.  he folds it again, rather carefully, thoughtfully, and
     as he hands it back to the bailiff...

                               JUDGE (softly)
                     Will the defendant please rise.

     Kabuo and Nels rise together.  But it is only into the defendant's
     eyes that the judge stares.  No expression in the face of either
     man.  But something passes, all the same.

     As the bailiff crosses to return the verdict to the foreman, we
     SNAP TO...

     REVERSE ANGLE...every pair of eyes in the room are on the foreman,
     now opening the slip of paper.

     Every pair.  But one.

                               JUDGE (O.S.)
                     Will the foreman please read the
                     verdict aloud.

     One reporter stares across the grain of all other sight lines.
     Toward a woman who does not see him.  In case she needs his eyes.
     To be waiting.

                               HAROLD JENSEN (reads)
                     We the jury, find the defendant,
                     Kabuo Kenji Miyamoto, to be not
                     guilty of the cri...

     A sharp SCREAM, and the defendant's mother-in-law covers her mouth
     in embarrassment.

                               HAROLD JENSEN (continues)
                     ...of the crime with which he
                     has been char...

     APPLAUSE breaks out from the back row of the gallery, where
     citizens of Japanese ancestry have forgotten custom and decorum,
     as has...

     ...a woman who comes OUT of her seat, tears on her face, not
     even realizing she is standing, Hatsue clings to the railing that
     separates her from her husband.  Throughout the gallery, now...

     ...some of the citizens assembled add their applause.  Others look
     awkward, not knowing how to react.

     The gavel lies untouched, unnoticed, by a jurist who has no problem
     with anything that is taking place right now.  Saying only to the

                     This is your verdict, so say
                     you all?

     As they assent...

                     This Court thanks you for the
                     good work you have done under
                     difficult circumstances...

     Reaches STRONG to the gavel, turns to the defendant...

                     Go home, son.  God bless.

     CRACKS the gavel on its block.  The defendant is OUT of his chair,
     and with one strong grip of gratitude to the frail shoulder of his
     counsel, he is...

     ...AT the rail, through the POPPING of flashbulbs, she is IN his
     arms, the embrace so FIERCE on both sides, everyone crowding around

     An old man's eyes sweep the gallery, looking for someone.  Only
     to find...

     ...Ishmael's back.  As he disappears through the door.


     The Miyamotos holding court, surrounded by nearly twenty reporters
     and photographers, and countless looky-loo's of all persuasions.
     Hatsue's face is flushed and intense, unsmiling, she seems scarcely
     to have caught her breath.  She holds tight to her husband's hand,
     as he...

     ...carries his baby son in the other arm, his 8-year-old daughter
     leaning against him, her 4-year-old sister standing on the bench
     beside her mom.  Kabuo submits to questions with a boyish grin of
     humility and friendliness.  An American family.  Photogenic as

                               REPORTER #1
                     And how about the jury?  You had
                     confidence they'd see justice done?

     Kabuo glances to his lawyer, wanna field this one?  But Nels sends
     it back with a twinkle.

                     Oh, sure.  These are our neighbors,
                     you know.  They've got good
                     hearts.  We could see they were
                     following the evidence real close...

     At his side, Hatsue seems to be scanning the jumble of faces...

                     We're just grateful to every one
                     of them.

     ...looking for something she doesn't find.

                               REPORTER #2
                     And you ma'am?  You felt the same
                     as your husband, I expect?

     Her eyes move to the eager young man.  She reflects for a beat.

                     Honestly, no.

     Which catches everyone.  A little short.

                               HATSUE (quietly)
                     I felt my husband would be found
                     guilty.  Unless proven innocent.

     No apologies for the truth.  That's not her way.

                     And Mr. Chambers did that.


     A vending machine stands in silence.  The eerie strobing glow of
     defective neon.  PULL BACK as...

     Ishmael thinks it over.  Drops in his dime.  Pulls the plunger, to
     watch a Snickers fall.  Scoops the candy from the tray, pins it
     between his body and the machine.

     ...tears the wrapper.


     BACK to the reporters.  The crowd of onlookers has grown.

                               REPORTER #3
                     ...can we get some background on
                     your handsome family?  I understand
                     you two were childhood sweethearts...

     And brings his Parker pen to his notepad.  His subject smiles

                     Well, no sir, not exactly.  We met
                     in the Manzanar camp, you see, so I
                     guess that was the most beautiful
                     place I've ever been.

     There is gentle laughter.  And as Kabuo looks up, he sees something
     in the rear of the crowd.  Something we do not.  And softly...

                     No, her first love was another

     Which brings Hatsue's eyes up, following his gaze.  And there, in
     the back.  A man watches.  Eating a candy bar.

                               KABUO (O.S.)
                     I was the lucky one.

     No one sees their eyes lock.  It is only an instant.

     It is enough.

                               REPORTER #4
                     It all sounds very romantic,
                     ma'am.  Falling in love under
                     those circumstances...

     And as she looks to the reporter, Ishmael begins to walk away...

                     He went off to the Army, right
                     from Manzanar.  And that last
                     night, we danced alone in the

     And somehow, Ishmael catches the eye of Hatsue's 4-year-old
     daughter.  So he pulls a coin from his pocket...

                               HATSUE (O.S.)
                     I told him.  If you don't come
                     back alive, I'll kill you.

     ...Ishmael ROLLS the coin across his knuckles.  And the child

     With her mother's smile.


     Alone on the steps where the Strawberry Princess once winked at
     him.  Snow has begun to fall, soft and altogether beautiful.  He
     squints up...

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     God's kindness, my father said.
                     Despite the reminds
                     us.  Of our place in things.

     Our place in things.  He slides a black cigar between his teeth...

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     What the hell.  Did he mean
                     by that?

     He has the match box.  Manipulating it with the dexterity we've
     come to know.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Things fall on us, I suppose.
                     From the sky.

     STRIKES the match on his belt buckle...

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Wars.  Freighters plowing through...

     Cupping it expertly in a single motion, he brings the flame to the
     cigar.  A single puff.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     And we seem...helpless.  Until we

     One more.  Savors it.  The sky.  The thought.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Accident rules every corner of
                     the universe...

     Down the steps.  Snow swirling between us.  Gone.

                               ISHMAEL (V.O.)
                     Except the chambers.  Of the
                     human heart.



Snow Falling On Cedars

Writers :   Ronald Bass  Scott Hicks
Genres :   Drama

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