A Scene from Madison Station/Madison Hill
EXT: HELICOPTER – MADISON STATION/MADISON HILL – ESTABLISH – DUSK
From high above, the town of Madison Station/Madison Hill fills the screen, washed in the slanted light of a late summer sunset. The view is lush with green maple trees and lawns surrounding classic colonial white clapboard and brick houses. The village green is overseen by a high-spired church, and a small river courses through a valley. The town center is at the bottom of the hill and includes a gas station, village store, post office, and a library, with several made-over Colonial buildings which serve as shops and offices. It looks like an archetypal New England village, a rural paradise.
EXT: HELICOPTER – PASTURE – DUSK
From above, CAMERA PANS from pastures with grazing cows, across more farmland and up the Hill which overlooks the town center. On the crest of the Hill is the town green. Further away are large estates with immaculate grounds, large lawns, tennis courts and pools.
CAMERA FRAMES and ZOOMS DOWN on one of them, an enormous faux chateau with slate roof and Normandy-style exterior.
Under the CAMERA, a helicopter appears and lands on the front lawn. A man in a white jogging suit gets out and walks to the mansion carrying a briefcase.
INT: ZACK MANSION LIVING ROOM – ESTABLISH – DAY
O.S. DIMINISHING ROAR of the helicopter taking off.
MUSIC OVER: UNDECIPHERABLE RAP
Contrary to its exterior, the interior of the mansion has been done to an inch of its wainscoting in current chic. On the white piano are silver framed pictures of theater openings and a Tony Award. The tiger rug, Brunschwig and Fils-covered furniture and Clarence House drapes have been featured inevitably in Architectural Digest, issues of which lay casually on tables. The art is Schnabeleze. The flowers are huge and perfectly arranged. There are several theater posters arranged on one wall.
At the moment, two vile boys, ten and twelve years old are screaming. Their mother, CAMILLA ZACK, wearing dramatic make-up as well as red and white Blass casuals, screams back. Her black hair is in a French braid. From the screaming, the boys’ names are revealed: BUTCH and BOOTH. At 35, Camilla has just had her first face lift and tummy tuck, an she looks fabulous. There are two Puerto Rican maids, both of whom try to help in Spanish, and are tongue lashed in an approximation of that language by an abruptly maternal Camilla. One of the children hits a glass side table and a pre-Colombian dish crashes to the parquet floor. Camilla rages; the two children scream blame at each other; the maids pray hysterically.
Into this domestic scene strolls the master of the house, MARK ZACK, still wearing the white designer jogging suit, but now carrying a blue drink in a martini glass. His hair is coiffed stylishly; the wristwatch on his carrying hand is fifty grand worth of obvious. He wears power eyeglasses, and remains oblivious to the chaos around him as he moves to the sun porch. Involved in their own crises, no one pays attention to him.
“Welcome home, daddy.” “Hello, darling, how was your week?” The sun is going down.. I don’t care about anyone in this room as much as I care about seeing that lucky ‘ol sun sink slowly out of sight.
He opens the glass sun porch door, goes out, and closes it hard behind him.
EXT: SUN PORCH – ESTABLISH – DUSK
The NOISE from inside is muted almost completely.
The sun porch overlooks Madison Station below. The sun is indeed slipping behind a distant hill and after an appreciative sigh, Mark raises his blue drink in homage.
Without warning, a carbon graphite arrow with pink fluorescent vanes shoots in from O.S., and hits Mark directly in the heart. The force knocks him back so that he is leaning against the porch door. Astonished, he looks down at the blood seeping onto his sweat shirt, then at his drink.
Red, white, and blue. – Oh yeah, America, you live all your life dodging muggers in New York City, and you get shot with an arrow in Connecticut!
Losing strength fast, he slides down against the glass door, through which his family is seen screaming, trying to get out to him.
It is enough to gain a moment of silence behind him.
Tell Tom Webster to open the envelope.
The screaming and pounding on the door begin again. He lifts the glass to his lips, but it sloshes with the pounding and he can’t drink before he dies.
EXT: HELICOPTER – ZACK MANSION – DUSK
The CAMERA RISES from the Zack mansion and again takes in the town.
On the town green, opposite the spired white church, is a grand colonial with neat green shutters and a shingle roof, with a columned porch surrounded by a broad lawn.
CAMERA ZOOMS DOWN TO FOCUS on a beat-up truck filled with lawn and tree tools in the back yard. ADAM CROSS is splitting wood with a maul beside a huge old maple he’s cut down, which spreads out across the lawn.
EXT: BACK YARD – ADAM – DUSK
Adam is sweating and the slanted sunlight makes his well-developed body flow. At 18, he’s good-looking if somewhat slack jawed.
In mid-swing, he senses something and turns quickly.
EST: BACK YARD – ADAM’S P.O.V. – DUSK
At the corner of the porch is PHOEBE WALTERS, 16, plain with glasses, her dark hair pulled back in a knot on her head. When she realizes Adam has seen her, she gasps and ducks away.
EXT: BACK YARD – ANOTHER ANGLE – DUSK
Adam watches without reacting, and goes back to work.
EXT: HELICOPTER – BACK YARD – DUSK
CAMERA again RISES above the town and PASSES over to the lush farmland surround it.
As the CAMERA SOOMS DOWN, a car is seen tearing out of the town at top speed. Quickly passing into the rolling farmland of corn and cattle, the car hits a dirt road and raises a trail of dust.
The vehicle is a green Range Rover with a corkscrewed car phone aerial. It approaches several chickens crossing a farm road. The chickens are forced to fly.
EXT: AVERY FARM – FRED – DUSK
Fred is a milk cow. She moos into the CAMERA as it PULLS BACK to reveal DUNCAN AVERY, Fred’s owner, with his arm draped over his cow’s withers He is a swamp-Yankee farmer, in his sixties, with the face and manner of a stonewall. Behind them is a small dairy herd who are mildly attentive to the approaching vehicle.
Yep, its’ her again.
EXT: AVERY FARM – ANOTHER ANGLE – DUSK
The Range Rover pulls up to the split-rail fence behind which Duncan and Fred are watching. GEORGIA SHIPP steps out, talking fast, wearing riding britches, new Italian boots and a tailored jacket with a crest on the breast pocket. Her sunglasses crown her lacquered blond hair; her vivid make-up and smile punctuate her face. Her natural speaking voice is a piercing siren of intruding urgency.
Duncan Avery, Duncan Avery, hi! Georgia Shipp, remember me? I’ve called you every hour all day, and there’s no answer. You really have to get an answering machine, or the world will pass you by. Now remember I told you two months ago at your wife’s funeral that I was going to change your life, make you rich, let you give up milking cows every morning at four A.M., and go down to Florida to sit on the beach. Right? Didn’t I say that? Well, the day is here. I’ve found a buyer for your farm. He’s willing to pay CASH. Here, it’s right here, one hundred twenty thousand dollars, more money than you’ve ever seen in your life, right? And it’s yours, now, and here’s the sales agreement, all you have to do is sign. But my buyer’s in a hurry, he’ll be here this weekend, and I told him I’d do this today.
Still with his arm over the cow, Duncan blinks once.
Don’t have nothin’ to write with.
Here! This is from Mark Cross, solid gold. It was a gift from the head of American Export. I sold him his house up here, he’s a dear friend of mine. You sign this, right here, and you’ll never have to milk a cow again.
Duncan blinks again, comes over, glances at the paper, then takes Georgia’s pen and signs it.
I like milkin’ cows.
This is great, the smartest thing you ever did, leave everything to me…
He gives her the paper, takes the envelope, removes the cash and sticks it in his overalls’ pocket. Then he starts to write on the envelope.
What are you doing?
Receipt for the money. It’ll go into escrow tomorrow morning as a good faith down payment. You know this property’s worth a couple a million. You can negotiate with my attorney, Tom Webster.
You just sold it for a hundred and twenty thousand.
Better check the signature.
“George Washington!” Give me that money back.
You gave it to me, made me an offer. Has to go into escrow. Come on, Fred.
Fred?! You can’t call a cow “Fred!”
Duncan and Fred lead the rest of the herd toward their red listing barn, leaving Georgia to fume as she returns to her Range Rover.
I know Tom Webster. He’s one of my dearest friends. As a matter of fact, I’ll see him tonight at the town meeting and I’ll start negotiating then and there. Being a buyer for Saks for twelve long years teaches two things, Mr. Duncan Avery: class, and negotiation. I’ve sold every million dollar property around Madison Station/Madison Hill for the last six years, and I’m damned if I’m going to let someone else peddle this cruddy farm!
Slamming the Range Rover’s door, Georgia drives away into the sunset.
CAMERA PANS to Duncan and Fred.
A driven woman, Fred.
EXT: HELICOPTER – RANGE ROVER – DUSK
From above, CAMERA FOLLOWS the Range Rover as it tears along dirt roads, then hits asphalt as it nears town.
The CAMERA HOLDS on a pasture and ZOOMS IN SLOWLY, FRAMING a badly spavined horse.
EXT: PASTURE – HORSE – DUSK
Squatting at a distance behind the horse is a small man, WILLIE REARBIT, about 45, wearing a duck-billed cap advertising beer. His jeans are faded and his work boots give him a couple of extra inches of height which he deeply desires.
His friend, BUD, comes strolling across the pasture and stands beside Willie. Bud is lanky, with an ingratiating smile and flaxen hair.
They watch as the old horse collapses for a rest.
Think he’s gonna make it?
Nope. Dead in a week. I’m wiped out, Bud, I may have to sell the place.
Bud shakes his head sympathetically.
Nah, you’ll find a way to get out of trouble. You always have, ever since you drove your daddy’s tractor into Mrs. Luddy’s cesspool.
He built this farm up from nothing, and what the hell have I done? He bred quarter horses, Morgans, Appaloosas, gave lessons to every girl for twenty miles around here. I’ve tried everything and what have I got? Nothing. Nothing!
Well, he was never the First Selectman of the town. That’s not too bad for a local farmer, considering all the fancy folks moving into the neighborhood.
Willie swells with the title, but doesn’t smile along with his friends.
Yeah, as if I didn’t have enough problems. I gotta get re-elected in November. Only income I’ve got to feed the family.
Well, your kids are working, and Beatrice don’t eat much. Nobody’ll run against you. Nobody wants the job.
Thanks. What are we doing tonight?
There’s the town meeting in half an hour.
I know. But afterwards, we’ll go have some beer. I sure as hell deserve that. If I can just finish the perfect day without goddamn Tom Webster shooting the pipe-line down at the town meeting, I’ll be grateful. We can all make some bucks off of that.
I heard they’ll be coming down from the Hill for this one.
Oh you can bet your ass on that. All the grand old gentry preserving their paradise. And we have to have the meetings on Friday night so all these damn weekenders from New York can be here. What the hell do they have to do with anything, using the town for their idle diddling around?
(he turns to gaze up a the hill)
There’s too many New Yorkers in this town!
(turning toward the Hill)
There’s too many New Yorkers on this earth.
EXT: SCHOOL PARKING LOT – WILLIE’S PICKUP – DUSK
Willie’s pickup has an emergency light on the dashboard and a long aerial for a CB radio. With Bud as a passenger, Willie parks in a line of other pickups at the school. Willie gets out wearing a coat and tie uncomfortably, as well as the same duck-billed hat. When Bud joins him, they walk past the line of pickups.
I want to get this vote through, so help me, okay? Let me make a brilliant point, then call the question.
How’ll I know it’s brilliant?
Before turning into the school, Willie and Bud stop to look at another section of the parking lot. Willie scowls.
CAMERA PANS to their P.O.V.
Lined up is a string of Mercedes, Jaguars, Range Rovers, and even an elegant old Bentley – all with New York license plates.
Out of the latter steps a middle-aged couple, the CLOYS, he with thick glasses, wearing a blue blazer, slacks, tasseled shoes and an ascot, she a nervous, snobbish woman in unfortunately snug white tights over an expanded posterior, a patterned blouse and much gold clanking jewelry. Behind them follows HULVA, a tall young beauty in her twenties, simply dressed but an absolutely ravishing blond knock-out.
Mr. Cloy waves airily at Willie as they approach. Willie regards them with distaste, but as voters.
Evening, Mr. Rarebit. Big decision for the Town, eh?
Rearbit. Sure is. Glad you people could come down.
Oh, and this is our new housekeeper, Hulva. Mr. Rearbit’s our First Selectman, (pronouncing with exaggeration) like the Mayor … She just arrived from Finland, doesn’t speak English too well. She lived on a farm, too!
The farmer’s daughter, heh-heh-heh-.
Finns make the best servants, don’t you…?
Realizing that the observation is misplaced, she smiles condescendingly and they hurry into the school, but not before Hulva turns back to give Willie a burningly suggestive smile.
EXT: SCHOOL PARKING LOT – TWO SHOT – DUSK
Privilege of office.
She was looking at me.
Willie shoves him ahead as they walk to the school building.
INT: SCHOOL GYM – ESTABLISH – NIGHT
About two hundred citizens sit in folding chairs in the school gym as an oleaginous ATTORNEY speaks before a large map which his ASSOCIATE tends. It shows a red line coming down from Canada through Connecticut and ending in New York City, the X that marks Madison Station/Madison Hill. In the crowd are the Cloys, Hulva, Adam Cross, Bud, Phoebe Walters and, waiting at the door, Georgia Shipp looking anxious.
Now the pipe-line company isn’t asking for a free-bee. We’re willing to pay for the easement through Madison Station/Madison Hill, to the tune of $200,000 during construction and $37,000 per annum in taxes. For a small town, that might well be helpful, like a silent, unseen tax producing business would be.
(O.S. the crowd reacts.)
I’ll be glad to answer any questions you have.
INT: SCHOOL GYM – HEAD TABLE – NIGHT
O.S. the crowd is still reacting noisily
Willie sits with the other Town Officers behind a table facing the audience. Without his hat, Willie is seen to be balding and combing over.
That sure makes the point clear.
Fills in some holes that the cuts from the state made.
Better hope Tom Webster doesn’t show up to blow it out of the water.
Willie stands up and uses a gavel to quiet the crowd.
When you talk, please rise and identify yourself for the record. I’d like to say as First Selectman that we’ve worked well with these people, and I have no doubt they’ll do things just like they say. They’ve posted a bond that says they’ll come through here, do their work in three weeks and be gone, and it’ll be over. And then the Town will benefit for the rest of the time. The floor’s open for questions.
INT: SCHOOL GYM – ANOTHER ANGLE – NIGHT
JANE BREWSTER is close to 70, white-haired and starchy.
I’m Jane Brewster, Clatter Brook Road. Excuse me, Sirs, but what actually happens in those three weeks is you cut a trench for the pipe line and clear a right-of-way twenty yards on each side of it – forty yards in all – which will also remain for “the rest of time.” And according to your maps, that trench goes right by the old station, under the river, and runs through the length of our Walters Memorial Preserve. Is that correct?
It’ll grow over in one season, be almost invisible.
Among a great deal of disbelieving rumbling, Jane sit down. Her neighbor whispers anxiously.
Shouldn’t we mention that Duncan Avery secretly buried his wife in there a couple of months ago?
Everyone in town knows it, but we keep it to ourselves. Where in the world is Tom Webster?
EXT: TOWN CENTER – BIKE – NIGHT
TOM WEBSTER coasts down a hill at top speed on a bicycle carrying a mailing tube through the handlebars. He leans hard to turn a corner, sees the tube fall and therefore doesn’t see a car back out of a parking space into the town center. The bike hits the car broadside and Tom somersaults over it, landing on the other side in a crumpled heap.
EXT: TOWN CENTER – ANOTHER ANGLE – NIGHT
A young woman, LOUISE BARKER, jumps out of the Jeep and rushes over to him.
You’re alright, aren’t you? Please say yes.
I’ll have to let you know. The bike – ?
Bent in two. The front wheel’s a figure eight. Really destroyed.
Don’t go on. That’s terrible.
What about you?
I’m fairly terrible, too, I dropped a mailing tube on the road. Can you see it?
No, but listen, I’ll go call an ambulance.
Forget it. The volunteers are all at the town meeting. Pull your car on out and see if you can see that tube in the headlights.
I can’t let you lie there and go looking for a tube.
I’m just getting more comfortable.
She hesitates, then goes to the car.
EXT: ROAD – ANOTHER ANGLE – NIGHT
The Jeep pulls out and the tube is visible forty yards away.
Yes! I see the tube! Can you get up?Let me give you a ride at least.
That’d be great.
He starts to get up, gingerly at first, but has no broken bones, His shirt and pants are ripped and his cheek and hands are scraped and bleeding.
Need any help?
Seems I’m okay. Listen, can I throw the bike in the back?
Can you lift it?
It only weighs twenty-six pounds, seven ounces.
He picks up the battered bike fondly, then limps around to the rear of the Jeep.
EXT: ROAD – JEEP TRUNK – NIGHT
When Tom lifts up the hatchback, the Jeep’s interior light goes on and he sees an unstrung fiberglass and graphite target bow, equipped with a slighting apparatus, stabilizers and a quiver holding five target arrows.
Here, put that stuff on the back seat.
As she takes the bow from him, he finally sees what she looks like, and she sees him. He’s in his thirties and very attractive; she’s in her late twenties and as lovely as they come. Both react, then suppress it, and Tom slams the hatchback shut.
Where am I taking you?
The town meeting at the school gym. Weren’t you going?
I just moved here. I don’t know what it’s about.
He looks over at her a moment.
Louise Barker, landscape designer.
You hit your head on my car and now you can read my mind.
I do Jimmy Holling’s legal work. He just sold you your house, didn’t he, sometime last month?
So I guess you know a lot about me.
None of the important things. I’m Tom Webster
(they shake hands)
You bought a great house. As a matter of fact, my great-uncle built it.
There’s a small-town coincidence. I move into my dream house and nearly kill the builder’s great nephew.
Listen, could you go a little faster?
Are you involved?
Everyone is. One thing about living in a New England village, your vote really counts. You better come. We’re voting on a natural gas pipe line coming through.
I never thought I’d care about a pipe line. You’re a native, lived here all your life?
Fourth generation, born and raised in paradise. Of course I had to go off and see what hell was like.
Not much. I cut my life into a very fancy jigsaw puzzle, lucky to have this place to come back to. At least the pieces don’t show anymore.
If I see any cracks, I’ll let you know. What did your family do four generations ago?
Worked in the iron mine.
There’s an iron mine here?
Used to be, before the Civil War. That’s why there’s a Madison Station, for the ore trains. The miners lived down here, the owners and managers lived up on Madison Hill. They say that local iron made the guns at Gettysburg. But the ore gave out.
What’d the family do?
Sheep farming mostly, then one went into law and my mother became a judge.
So you’re a basic small-town boy?
Yeah, like everyone wants to be.
I’d say so. Three quarters of Americans live in cities now, hoping to make more money, living with no space, no air, no time. It’s against the grain. Something fundamentally human attracts people to a small town. Problem is, there aren’t enough of them left to go around. Cities spread out and swamp ’em.
We made it in time, I hope.
We did, along with the other Twentieth Century refugees who’ve turned up. But we’ve gotta watch our backs or it’ll all be gone. You’ll see. Madison Station/Madison Hill has become one strange mix. Here, turn down there. I’ll show you a short cut.
EXT: ROAD – JEEP – NIGHT
The Jeep turns suddenly down another road.
EXT: PARKING LOT – JEEP – NIGHT
The Jeep stops in front of the school entrance. Tom gets out.
I’ll park. You go ahead.
Thanks. Promise you’ll come in?
Would I miss a pipe line vote? Here, you have blood on your cheek. It might distract.
He takes the proffered handkerchief and hustles into the school.
INT: GYM RE-ESTABLISH – NIGHT
The debate, although under control, has heated.
Natural gas burns. That pipe line could explode!
It’s never happened since pipe lines were laid.
Well, in an earthquake.
TED WALTER, Phoebe’s father, wears seersucker and bow ties. He is of the Yankee gentry, distinguished and white-haired. When he rises to speak, he commands respect and gets it. Willie gavels for order, and nods at Ted. Phoebe shrinks in her chair, embarrassed even by peripheral attention.
I’m Ted Walters, I live on the Green. I can just barely remember when my grandfather, Asa Walters donated the Preserve to the town. I think it’s fair to say that those hundred sixty acres have become a part of the soul of our village. It may be the last place in the county where you can still find places to be completely alone to enjoy this earth. What’s been described here tonight is leveling a forty yard wide right-of-way straight through it, along the river, where deer live, raccoons, thousands of birds…
INSERT: The Attorney turns to his Associate.
Oh, god, here come the goddamn deer and the birds.
RETURN TO SCENE
The audience has reacted sympathetically to Ted Walters’ suggestive description. Phoebe chances a look around the room, sees something and gasps.
INSERT: Adam Cross catches Phoebe’s look
RETURN TO SCENE
There’ll always be tax problems. There’ll always be somebody who’ll pay a lot of money to change the basic nature of the town. And it’s a shame to change a dead man’s dream we’ve all shared as our reality for so long.
Ted Walters sits down. Phoebe cringes beside him.
INT: GYM – WILLIE – NIGHT
Through the swelling applause and muttering of agreement, Willie gavels and speaks over it.
It’s hard to tell what a man’s dreams might be sixty, seventy years after he dies, Mr. Walters. If your grandfather knew the problems we face at every financial committee meeting when we have to set the tax rate, I’m not so sure he’d be too bothered. And this chance won’t come again.
There is similar applause.
I’m Bud Wallup, I spoke before. I move to call the question.
As Willie gavels for order and prepares to take the vote, people start turning around to look at a commotion at the back of the room.
INT: GYM – ANOTHER ANGLE – NIGHT
Tom has started in, but has one arm grabbed by Georgia Shipp who talks nonstop, oblivious to the situation.
Oh Tom, hi. Listen, we have to talk, because Duncan Avery took a hundred and twenty thousand dollars from me and won’t give it back and forged a sales agreement for his farm which I want to-.
We’ll talk later, Georgia
He disengages himself, and tries to be recognized. There is a reaction from the audience at his appearance. Several applaud, others call out “Here he is,” and “Tom’s here.” Tom stands in the center aisle and raises his hand.
INT: GYM – ANOTHER ANGLE – NIGHT
Willie gavels for order, then nods begrudgingly toward Tom.
We’ll now watch two hundred thousand sink.
INT: GYM – TOM – NIGHT
Tom immediately takes control of the room. He puts the maps he has in the mailing tube over those of the pipe line company’s Attorney.
I’m Tom Webster, Webster’s Road. I’ve been doing some homework, studying the maps over at the Regional Council, and they have the old railroad right-of-way maps, old railroad beds that haven’t been used for fifty to eighty years, grown over now, but still flat, and real straight, with right-of-ways on each side.
(he turns to the audience)
There’s no point in us trying to stop this pipe line. Even if we vote them down, they can go to the agencies in Washington and the Federal Courts to overcome us. The better way is to show them a better way, a way that will save them a lot of money. Then when we turn them down, they’ll have somewhere else to go, a place that I think they’ll find just as good as digging through Madison Station/Madison Hill, and I suspect better.
(he turns to the map)
Here’s the route they propose. But look at this one, comes down from Massachusetts, right along the old Housatonic Danbury line, and goes fifteen miles to the west of us. It’s better for them, and better for the town. So by voting the pipe line down, we’ll save them probably millions of dollars.
People start to applaud, soon joined by others. The pipe line Attorney and his Associate stand to get a better view of Tom’s map. Tom glances out at the audience, and sees something.
INT: GYM – TOM’S P.O.V. – NIGHT
Louise is standing just inside the door, joining in the applause, smiling and impressed.
INT: GYM – TOM – NIGHT
Tom nods at her, then is tapped on the shoulder by an interested pipe line Attorney. Tom speaks out to Willie Rearbit.
I move to call the question.
INT: GYM – FEATURE WILLIE – NIGHT
It was already called before you started your whiz-bang lecture.
But before there is quiet, a cry is heard from the rear of the gym.
THEY’VE MURDERED MARK!
CAMERA WHIP PANS over the crowd to see Camilla standing between two uniformed state troopers, both embarrassed, and LIEUTENANT GEORGE McDOUGALL of the State Crime Squad, irritated with the outburst. Camilla’s hair is now in a chignon, and she has changed into a casual black Oscar de la Renta.
With a bow and arrow!
Georgia Shipp is the nearest and the first to embrace Camilla.
Oh my god! Camilla! Mark was, you both are, were, my dearest friends! I mean, you still are! I can’t believe it!
Other well-dressed friends rush to comfort Camilla, but are held back by the troopers. The Lieutenant is a grizzled gray-headed man nearing retirement. He has seen it all, and is tired of it.
Which one’s Webster?
Him! Tom, he said you have to “open the envelope!”
Mrs. Zack, would you please let me do this?
He gestures courteously for Tom to come over.
INT: GYM – ANOTHER ANGLE – NIGHT
As Tom goes to the back of the gym, Willie is gaveling hard for order.
We have a motion and it’s been called. Order. All in favor of rejecting the pipe line say aye.
The response is loud and definite. Willie’s disgust is apparent.
No one’s paying attention.
Is there a motion to adjourn? All in favor? Meeting adjourned.
INT: GYM – ANOTHER ANGLE – NIGHT
Lieutenant McDougall goes to speak to Tom, leaving Camilla and Georgia to handle the crowd which surrounds them and the two troopers.
Lt.. McDougall, State Major Crime Squad.
Standing outside on a balcony watching the sunset, someone hits him in the heart with an arrow. Before he died, he said for you to open an envelope. Was Mark Zack a client of yours?
Once in a while.
Do you have an envelope?
The client-attorney privilege has been invoked, Lieutenant.
I figured you’d say that.
(he glances back at Camilla)
Mrs. Zack’s an actress?
Was. Camilla Terrell. Gave it up to have children.
And Mark Zack was a broker of some kind?
Investment banker. Played junk bonds in the 80’s. Heavy hitter in New York.
Good friend of yours?
A professional acquaintance in New York. A weekend acquaintance out here.
Lots of money in junk bonds?
If you didn’t go to jail. You’ve seen the house?
That’s one of four, along with Aspen, New York and the south of France.
Know anyone who’s good with bows and arrows?
Tom remembers Louise. Idly, he looks over the Lieutenant’s shoulder toward the gym entrance.
INT: GYM – TOM’S P.O.V. – NIGHT
Louise is gone, but as the crowd moves out the door, Hulva sees Tom looking in her direction and takes the opportunity to lick her lips provocatively.
CAMERA PANS to Willie as Bud, who note the exchange between Hulva and Tom. Willie looks testy.
INT: GYM – TOM – NIGHT
Tom shrugs as Camilla surges toward him, bringing Georgia and others along.
Tom, Tom, the envelope. What’s in it?
I don’t know, Camilla. He gave it to me for safe-keeping. I can’t get it for you until morning.
The bank doesn’t open until then.
This is going to be the longest night of my life.
Oh my god, I’ve got sixteen people coming to dinner tomorrow! And the kid’s tennis lessons! I’ll have to cancel everything. Oh, god, I’ll never get through this.
Camilla begins to weep.
We’ll move the dinner party to my house. And listen, you leave the funeral to me, Camilla. Your friends are my friends, I’ll handle everything, flowers, caterer – maybe you better give me Mark’s rolodex for the New York people. And do you think you’ll sell the house?
EXT: ZACK MANSION – MARK – NIGHT
Mark Zack’s body is carried out of the mansion on an ambulance gurney, covered in a sheet, which is slit open for the arrow which has not been removed.
Oh, Mark, Mark –
CAMERA PULLS BACK to include Camilla who rushes to the gurney and manages to pull back the sheet in order to kiss the rather blue lips of her dead husband.
Behind her, the two sons watch from the steps of the mansion.
Really gross, Mom.
EXT: ZACK MANSION – FEATURE TOM AND LT. McDOUGALL – NIGHT
Tom and McDougall watch as the gurney is lifted into an ambulance. Around them are police cars, crime scene tape, and various police personnel.
The arrow’s still in him?
The lab people will pull it out. They don’t want anyone to fool with it before they get to it.
Could I look at it?
They move to the ambulance and Tom jumps into the back.
INT: AMBULANCE – TOM – NIGHT
Tom lifts up the sheet, then notes the pink vanes of the arrow.
Pretty good shot.
Any idea where it came from?
McDougall gestures for Tom to come along.
EXT: HILL – MANSION – NIGHT
In the moonlight, CAMERA FRAMES the sun porch of the Zack mansion where Mark had been standing when he was hit with the arrow.
CAMERA ZOOMS BACK to include Tom and McDougall standing on a steep hill opposite the sun porch. Men with “POLICE” printed on their jackets work carefully with large floodlights, searching the ground.
That’s an incredible shot.
The computers are already looking through hunting licenses for a local William Tell. Know anyone?
Funny town, Whole lot of New York license plates in the parking lot.
That’s fairly recent, the last five years. People figured their lives were too desperate and the beach scene was too crowded. Suddenly going out to the country became chic.
Couple of movie types moved in around here, didn’t I read that?
Yeah, along with some political movers and shakers, Kissinge, Mia Farrow, Philip Roth and all their groupies.
Any local resentment?
The justified suspicion of the big world out there, coming in here with too much money and a lot of patronizing. A stretch limo looks pretty out of place on a country road.
Know anyone angry enough to scare people back to New York?
Is that what you think this is?
Don’t know. Don’t know who Mark Zack’s enemies were. Don’t know what’s in the envelope you have, that I hope you’ll share. But I can’t think of anything scarier to city people used to the noise of guns and screams and sirens all night than a very quiet arrow, coming in hard and fast, from anywhere out there in the dark … And after it hits, you can see it sticking in you.
Sure would put a damper on country living.
EST: LOUISE’S BUNGALOW – ESTABLISH – NIGHT
In the moonlight, the bungalow is a small shingled Cape with a screened porch around three sides of it. There is a light in an upstairs window.
Tom gets out of a police car and thanks the driver. Then as the car drives away, he strolls up the stone walkway which leads across the lawn from the road. He stops beside a Japanese maple tree and looks at his wristwatch.
EXT: BUNGALOW – TOM’S P.O.V. – NIGHT
Louise stands about fifty meters away holding the bow with its calibrated sight and stabilizers. Drawn back on the bowstring is an arrow pointing directly at Tom’s head.
She looses the arrow.
EXT: BUNGALOW – TOM – NIGHT
The arrow passes Tom’s head by an inch and lodges in the trunk of the maple tree where it quivers, the fluorescent pink vanes of the shaft brushing against his cheek.
He doesn’t move his head but his eyes glance over at the arrow then back at Louise.
EXT: BUNGALOW – LOUISE – NIGHT
Believe me, I didn’t. I thought you’d better see how good I was.
She’s still wearing jeans and carries her target bow with its bow quiver of arrows. As she walks across the lawn in the moonlight, Tom sees that her hair has been pulled back and is held in place by a leather thong. She has on a protective archery vest which is worn over a T-shirt. As Louise wears it, it’s quite sensual. On her bowstring hand is a shooting glove. On the opposite forearm, is a guard.
EXT: BUNGALOW – TOM AND LOUISE – NIGHT
I’d say you’re pretty good.
She fixes him with a troubled look.
And guess what? I don’t have an alibi.
She goes to the tree and gently works the arrow out of it.
You need one?
I will as soon as you tell them about the equipment you saw in my car.
Have you been out here waiting for me?
Either you or, if you told them, the police. Did you?
No. I figured there’s more than one archer in this country.
She sighs hopelessly.
You’d better come in.
She leads him up the steps to the bungalow.
INT: BUNGALOW – ESTABLISH – NIGHT
Louise comes in, followed by Tom. She turns on a tall halogen floor lamp and adjusts the dimness. The living room is done minimally in a Japanese fashion, with futon and tatami mats. On a low table is a pottery vase with a single lily blossom in it. Stacked around the walls are unpacked cartons of various shapes. She takes him over to an old sideboard.
I haven’t figured out where to hang these yet.
INT: BUNGALOW – SIDEBOARD – NIGHT
Laying flat on the sideboard are three frames, one a photograph of Louise in a red, white and blue uniform, poised at the second before releasing an arrow, the bow string stretched to its extremity. Her concentration is profound, the muscles of her upper body beautiful in their extension. The second photograph shows Louise on the top step between two other women, the three of them standing respectfully, Louise’s eyes brimming with joyous tears. The third frame contains an Olympic gold mental and ribbon.
INT: BUNGALOW – TWO SHOT – NIGHT
So you’re very good.
I’ve gotten better. It won’t take them long to find me.
No, probably not. What will you say?
Well, funny you should ask. I was hoping you’d help me with that.
I’m not sure I can. The dead man was a client. There’s a conflict of interest.
So I shouldn’t have spoken to you at all.
It would’ve been better if I hadn’t seen the bow in the back of your car just after Mark Zack was killed with an arrow, yes. By the way, you still have my bike?
Yes, still there. – How did you know the exact weight?
I made it.
Pretty much. Bought the parts, welded the frame. I race on weekends. I can use a lot of the wreck over again.
A symbol of your life? But you are a lawyer?
Ever do criminal work?
Yes, but I gave it up.
I was too good at getting the guilty off.
Was that here, or back in hell?
Yeah, New York.
I think you’re perfect for me.
Are you guilty?
You tell me what a jury might think. I’m an Olympic Champion archer. I say I was up in the hills by myself today until the sun when down. But nobody saw me. I was nowhere near the Zack place, which no one knows.
That’s not any proof you did anything.
Alright, how’s this? I fletch my own arrows, put the vanes, the plastic feathers on myself. They can be easily traced. Arrows like that take time, so I keep careful track of them. Three days ago, two of them were stolen out of my car in the town center. I’d bet one of them killed Mark Zack.
Did they break into your car?
(shakes her head)
I’ve never locked my car out here. Faith in the small-town dream, I suppose.
Did you report the theft?
No. Didn’t think it was worth it at the time.
That’s too bad, but it’s not the end of the world. Anything else?
The end of the world is nigh.
(takes a deep breath)
I was Mark Zack’s lover three and a half years ago. When he walked out on me, we were at a New York restaurant. I was upset, so I screamed that I’d kill him. There were maybe fifty witnesses. The police were called and made a report … Would you like some green tea?
Tom stares at her, then nods.
You’re really nailing yourself into this, aren’t you?