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California gal
SS senior field agent

USA
8378 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2009 :  09:59:46  Show Profile

WILD WILD WEST
“Night of the Druid’s Blood” #0175
Rev. 2/7/66

THE WILD WILD WEST

“THE NIGHT OF THE DRUID’S BLOOD”

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
MICHAEL GARRISON

PRODUCER
GENE L. COON

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
LEONARD KATZMAN

STORY BY
KEVIN DE COURCEY

TELEPLAY BY
HENRY SHARP

SETS:

INT. PROF. ROBEY’S STUDY
INT. WEST’S RAILROAD CAR
INT. SEN. HUNGERFORD’S LIBRARY
INT. SEN. HUNGERFORD’S DRAWING ROOM
EXT. HUNGERFORD PATIO
EXT. HUNGERFORD RESIDENCE
EXT. SIDEWALK
EXT. CAB
EXT. CAB
EXT. STREET
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM
INT. SILO
INT. SUBTERRANEAN VAULT
EXT. CEMETERY
INT. PASSAGEWAY OF STEPS
INT. Dr. TRISTAM’S LABORATORY
EXT. AT CRYPT ENTRANCE
EXT. HUNGERFORD GROUNDS – AT GAZEBO

CAST:

JAMES WEST ...... Robert Conrad
ARTEMUS GORDON ...... Ross Martin
PROFESSOR ROBEY ......
COL. FAIRCHILD ......
BUTLER ......
SEN. CLAY HUNGERFORD ......
ASTARTE HUNGERFORD ......
ASMODEUS ......
DR. TRISTAM ......
CABBY ......
NURSE ......
PERRY ......
1 ORDERLY ......

SILENT:
1 ORDERLY ......


FADE IN:

1. INT. PROF. ROBEY’S STUDY

This is the working quarters of an archeologist, as indicated by the rich variety of Egyptian sculpture, stone artifacts, pottery shards in cartons, etc., all interlaced with books and fragments of last week’s lunches.

WEST is seated at a littered desk across from a shaggy, rumpled giant of an elderly man. (PROFESSOR ROBEY)who happens to look very much like C. Aubrey Smith--but a very nervous, distraught C. Aubrey Smith doing a bad job of pretending that all’s well with the world.

PROF. ROBEY
I’m so delighted that you just happened to be passing by, James.

WEST
Happened to be? Sir, if you remember, you wrote and asked me to...

He stops as he becomes aware that he has lost his audience; Prof. Robey is listening to something, head cocked, with an almost desperate intensity.

WEST (CONT’D)
(gently)
Professor Robey?

1. CONTINUED

Again West has lost is audience; this time Prof. Robey is absorbed in covertly peering through the drapes covering the window.

WEST (CONT’D)
Is something wrong, sir?

The old man swings back to West, over-compensating in an attempt to pretend that his attention had never wandered.

PROF. ROBEY
Nothing, nothing. Just the toll of advancing age.

WEST
I doubt it, sir.

PROF. ROBEY
What?

WEST
While we’re on that subject, I also doubt that you asked me to make the long detour to the university just so I could chat with my old Professor about his new Chair of Archeology.

PROF. ROBEY
(amused)
James, you’re being very complicated.

WEST
Not really. I just thing you’re -- in trouble.

PROF. ROBEY
Wha-a-at?

He starts to laugh at the preposterous notion, but somehow the laugh dies in his throat and his face suddenly crumples as he presses trembling hands to his eyes.

1. CONTINUED

PROF. ROBEY (CONT’D)
(almost a whisper)
Yes, I’m in trouble all right--black, terrible trouble; I -- I don't know what to do...

WEST
You just did it; you told me.

He pours sherry into a glass and hands it to the old man, who flashes a grateful smile at West, then tremblingly downs the wine.

WEST (CONT'D)
Incidentally, an excellent place to begin would be at the beginning.

PROF. ROBEY
(nods heavily, opens drawer and takes out easel photo)
This was the beginning.

He passes the photograph in its elaborate metal frame to West.

2. INSERT: PHOTO
It’s a beautiful blonde young woman.

3. BACK TO SCENE

West lifts thoughtful eyes from his study of the picture.

WEST
Beautiful. Who is she?

Robey heaves his massive bulk out of the chair and paces the floor as he speaks.

PROF. ROBEY
Her name is -- Lilith.
(a beat)
Last year I was in Mesopotamia, supervising the Sumerian excavations -- perhaps you remember...

WEST
Of course. You wrote me that --
(obviously quoting)
“... the one transcendental experience that some are blessed to encounter -- I have encountered!”

3. CONTINUED

PROF. ROBEY
(with loathing -- lost in thought)
I said that, did I?
(lifts eyes to West)
Can you guess what I had in mind?

West looks at Robey, puzzled, then his eyes stray to the photo of the girl -- then quickly back to Robey, to find the old man nodding.

PROF. ROBEY (CONT’D)
Yes, Lilith was my great experience: Gray-haired September reaching out wrinkled hands for love, golden-haired June --
(a beat)
But do you know what the real marvel was?

WEST
What?

PROF. ROBEY
I thought she wanted me! I might have married this child, if -- if...!

He stops, shuddering, overcome by an inner agitation.

WEST
If what, sir?

PROF. ROBEY
(whispering in horror)
If I hadn’t stumbled onto the discovery that she was evil -- evil far beyond her years...!

3. CONTINUED

There is a knock on the door. (Robey reacts, startled.)
The door OPENS and a handsome blond YOUNG MAN ENTERS,
Carrying an academic robe and mortar board. This is PERRY

PERRY
Excuse me, Professor, but Chancellor Kyle and the others are waiting. It’s time to go.

He helps Robey on with his robe, as Robey mutters.

PROF. ROBEY
Of course, of course. Jim, this is Robert Perry... my prize pupil.

WEST
A pleasure.

PROF. ROBEY
I’ll spare you the horror of listening to the speeches ... but... you’ll wait for me?

WEST
Of course, sir. I’ll be right here.

Robey pats West’s shoulder in a clumsy show of affection, and EXITS. CAMERA HOLDS ON West and Perry.

PERRY
Wonderful man.

WEST
I think so.

PERRY
I’ve been so worried about him, though. Something’s bothering him.

West hands him the photo.

WEST
This, perhaps? Have you ever seen her?

Perry looks at the photo, reacts with appreciation.

3. CONTINUES

PERRY
Professor Robey? With someone like this?

Suddenly his expression changes. Becomes totally incredulous... and he drops the photo to the table top as though it has become red hot... which indeed it has. WHOOF! The photo bursts into a ball of fire.

4. ANOTHER ANGLE

As West and Perry stare in bewilderment at the small conflagration on the table.

PERRY
I’ve heard of girls who could make your temperature rise... but this...

The sentence is never finished, because there is an AGONIZED SCREEAM, OFF...

5. ANOTHER ANGLE AT WINDOW

West and Perry dash to the window, stare out, stunned.

6. THEIR POINT OF VIEW

Two stories down, in a hedge bordered walk leading from the building, a man is reeling about, arms clawing at the air, the entire surroundings illuminated by the leaping flames that are consuming him.

7. WEST AND PERRY

Staring down from the window, paralyzed with horror.

WEST
Professor Robey!

PERRY
Oh, no! NO!

Perry covers his face with his hands, turns away, as West stares down helplessly at the terrible thing below.

FADE OUT

FADE IN:

8. INT. WEST’S RAILROAD CAR – DAY

CLOSE SHOT OF A PICTURE OF WEST FRAMED--only, as CAMERA PULLS BACK, we see that it is not a picture. West, in person, is staring somberly through the fire-blackened metal frame that once framed the photo of Robey’s Lilith...

Standing nearby watching COL. FAIRCHILD as he runs through a game of pocket billiards. The Colonel is hard-looking, mature and military to the core. Throughout scene (until otherwise indicated) he concentrates completely on his game.

COL. FAIRCHILD
I don’t have to tell you how much everyone in the department sympathizes with you about the tragic event.

WEST
Thank you, sir. Professor Robey was an irreplaceable friend.

COL. FAIRCHILD
Yes, of course. West, when was the last time--
(here he waits until a long carom shot is made)
--you took a real vacation? I mean a two-month junket, say...

WEST
(puzzled)
I don't know sir. Why?

COL. FAIRCHILD
Because you’ve got it coming. Checked through your M.O. file the other day -- and you’ve piled up an impressive amount of accrued leave. Ever been to the Vale of Kashmir? Or the Hanging Gardens of...

WEST
(incredulously)
Excuse me, sir -- are you serious about my taking a vacation -- now?

8. CONTINUED

Again the Colonel withholds comment until a long, delicate shot is satisfactorily consummated.

COL. FAIRCHILD
Yes, I am.

WEST
Colonel, a week ago I watched – from a box seat, no less -- a funny, wonderful old man burn to a charred crisp... It was not a case of spontaneous combustion!

COL. FAIRCHILD
I know.

WEST
So somewhere, alive, walking around, are those responsible for the burning -- and you’re suggesting that I study travel folders?

COL. FAIRCHILD
Yes.

West stares incredulously at the rock-like, unmoving figure, so infuriatingly involved in his billiards, and then it is as if a great white light has been turned on. As West gets into the Colonel’s line of sight:

WEST
(softly)
I get the message, sir. I’m being shunted onto a siding--right?

The Colonel turns around to West, his face as expressionless as ever.

COL. FAIRCHILD
West, do you have the idea that our Bureau is a law unto itself? It was created by Capitol Hill -- and it is answerable to Capitol Hill.

WEST
Ah, so that’s where the pressure comes from...

8. CONTINUED

COL. FAIRCHILD
(frowning)
Pressure? I quarrel with that term. We’re both soldiers used to carrying out orders from our superiors. Think of it as a suggestion -- from a higher echelon.

WEST
Yes, sir. Now if you could tell me what echelon that is...

COL. FAIRCHILD
No.

WEST
But don’t you see, maybe I could explain how much it means to me to follow through on this case...

COL. FAIRCHILD
(like the snap of a whip)
Request officially denied!

West’s eyes meet the Colonel’s steely eyes for a beat, then:

WEST
Yes, sir.

Colonel Fairchild picks up his hat and heads for the door, starts to reach for the doorknob, then he turns around abruptly, wearing an exasperated, resigned smile.

COL. FAIRCHILD
But un-officially...

WEST
(eagerly)
Yes, sir?

COL. FAIRCHILD
The pressure -- I mean the suggestion, comes from the Committee in charge of our bureau -- the Senate Surveillance and Operations Committee.

WEST
Specifically?

COL. FAIRCHILD
Specifically from the Committee’s celebrated Chairman, guiding political genius and one of them most influential men on Capitol Hill...

FLIP FRAME TO

9. CLOSE SHOT BUTLER

BUTLER
(making an announcement)
...Senator Hungerford

West turns around from his examination of the richly bound books on the bookshelves as the Butler swings the door wide and SENATOR CLAY HUNGERFORD strides in, after which the Butler exits. The senator is almost a caricature of a successful politician. Handsome, graying, fifty-ish, he has a commanding presence, a quick smile and a magnificent voice. As he advances toward West with one of his choicest smiles and an outstretched hand.

SEN. HUNGERFORD
My dear Mr. West!

WEST
Forgive me for invading your home like this, Senator.

SEN. HUNGERFORD
No, no, my home is an extension of my office -- always open to you.
(going to sideboard loaded with liquor)
May I offer you something?

WEST
Yes, Senator.

SEN. HUNGERFORD
Whiskey? Brandy? Or perhaps...

WEST
Just a simple little answer.

SEN. HUNGERFORD
(turns around)
Answer? To what?

WEST
To this question: why was I taken off the Robey case?

SEN. HUNGERFORD
Ah, of course.
(a beat)
Let me say to begin with that I yield to no one in my admiration for the splendid record you’ve achieved...

10. CONTINUED

WEST

Thank you, Senator, but...

SEN. HUNGERFORD
Please let me finish, Mr. West. But in the final analysis, we are all stewards of the public; we have a moral contract with them, and the terms of that contract are that we confine ourselves to Federal matters...

WEST
Senator, this man was my friend and he was brutally murdered.

SEN. HUNGERFORD
I deeply sympathize with you, sir, but again I must point out: by no stretch of logic can that be your official concern. I’m sorry.

West gets to his feet, his face taut with frustration.

WEST
(moving to door)
I see.

SEN. HUNGERFORD
Must you go? I have some friends over and I’d be honored if you’d join us.

WEST
(elaborately, bitingly polite)
Thank you, but I must get back to my official duties.

ASTARTE’S VOICE
Oh, please forgive me...

West turns around to find Senator Hungerford beaming at a young lady(ASTARTE) framed in the doorway of the other door leading into the room -- dark, slender, with an almost painful perfection of features -- beyond any doubt the original of Prof. Robey’s photo of “Lilith.”

As West stares at her, transfixed:

SEN. HUNGERFORD
Come in, Astarte. I want you to meet Mr. West.
(to West)
May I have the honor to present -- my wife.

West’s eyes never leave the girl’s face during the following.

10. CONTINUED

WEST
Delighted, Mrs. Hungerford.
(to the Senator)
A recent change in your status, Senator?

The Senator goes to Astarte and puts a loving arm about her.

SEN. HUNGERFORD
Astarte and I met in Rome three weeks ago. We came, we saw -- and I was conquered.
(kissing her hand)
I have never stopped blessing that day.

ASTARTE
You approve, Mr. West?

WEST
Oh, I do. I believe everyone should find their own great happiness -- Kings, Senators, chimney sweeps -- evenly lowly professors of archeology.

The Senator laughs politely -- Astarte’s eyes narrow for a beat, then she smiles a mirthless smile as she stares heavy-lidded at West.

ASTARTE
Your Mr. West fascinates me, darling. Do persuade him to stay.

SEN. HUNGERFORD
I’ve tried, dear, but he tells me he cannot.

WEST
Excuse me -- the Senator has amended the record before -- May I?

SEN. HUNGERFORD
(heartily)
Then you will stay? Splendid! You must meet our guests...

The Senator takes West’s arm and all three move toward the door through which Astarte appeared.

11. INT. SEN. HUNGERFORD’S DRAWING ROOM -- NIGHT

Two men are seen to be occupying the room. One is a lean, saturnine individual (ASMODEUS) with an imposing, exaggerated cut. He is a magician, obviously, because we see him wave a wand with a flourish over an upended top hat and immediately following, a great cloud of smoke boils up from the opening...

11. CONTINUED

The other man is a short, pudgy, mature little man (DR. TRISTAM) who should put you in mind of the old Edmund Gwenn. He is watching the magic performance with a disdainful, almost angry expression as the Senator, Astarte, and West emerge from the study and approach. (NOTE: Asmodeus’s back is turned to them as they come up.)

ASMODEUS
(staring into smoke)
Oh, our host and hostess, with a young man -- bearing the name of –
(squinting)
James West, it looks like...

He turns around and bows elaborately at the group. Senator Hungerford chuckles as he applauds, shaking his head admiringly.

SEN. HUNGERFORD
Well, he knows who you are, Mr. West -- meet Asmodeus, Magician and Illusionist Extraordinary.

ASMODEUS
Do you always wear snakes in your collar, Mr. West?

He reaches over and (seemingly) pulls a wriggling, brilliantly marked snake from West’s collar, flips it into the air and, with a flick of his wand: POOF! The snake is transformed into a puff of smoke.

ASTARTE
And now you can see why he’s going to be my star attraction at the Congressional Charity Ball next week.

Asmodeus stoops and kisses Astarte’s hand.

ASMODEUS
I promise to be unforgettable, dear lady.

Sen. Hungerford claps Dr. Tristam on the shoulder affectionately.

SEN. HUNGERFORD
And this is my old friend and physician, Dr. Tristam.

As West and Tristam shake hands, murmuring AD LIB “how-do-you-do’s”:

ASMODEUS
Dr. Tristam is a source of exceedingly hostile vibrations -- he doesn’t believe in black magic. Do you, Mr. West?”

11. CONTINUED

WEST
I have an open mind on the subject.

DR. TRISTAM
(snorting)
Magic! You put on a pretty fancy little show, Mr. -- Whatever-your-name-is...

ASMODEUS
(bowing)
“Asmodeus.” Late of his Satanic Majesty’s Company of the Damned.

DR. TRISTAM
(ignoring him)
... but your efforts to convince me that it’s all done with magic make me tired, sir.

ASMODEUS
(to West)
You see? One of little faith.
(to Dr. Tristam)
What time is it, Doctor?

Dr. Tristam’s eyes narrow suspiciously, then, as he reaches into his vest watch pocket, his eyes open wide.

DR. TRISTAM
My watch -- gone --
(indignantly)
What have you done with it?

ASMODEUS
(shocked)
Doctor! Call me a fraud, a mountebank, a charlatan, a peddler of tired and tarnished tricks purchased second hand from a Hong Kong mail order house -- but a pickpocket? For shame, sir!

DR. TRISTAM
I’m going to start counting ten, and if that watch isn’t...

His voice trails off as he becomes aware of a glittering object slowly drifting down from above, directly overhead--his watch of course. As he waits for the watch to come down to his level, the doctor darts an angry look at Asmodeus.

DR. TRISTAM (CONT’D)
This may be your idea of a joke, Mr. Company-of-the-Damned, but as far as I’m concerned...!

As he speaks he has reached out to grab his watch, which is now within reach--and the watch vanishes...

11. CONTINUED

Quivering with fury the little man advances on Asmodeus, fists clenched and blood in his eye.

DR. TRISTAM
I’ve had all the hanky-panky I’m going to take! I want that watch and I want it right now!

ASMODEUS
But my dear doctor, you’ve never been without it.

DR. TRISTAM
Oh, indeed! Next you’ll be telling me that...

He stops, completely flabbergasted as he becomes aware that the watch and chain are strung through his vest. He looks at the watch, pats it to make sure it’s real, then:

DR. TRISTAM (CONT’D)
(spluttering)
... pack of--confounded nonsense--
(to Senator)
Come along, Clay.

He stamps off and exits into the adjoining library. Senator Hungerford watches him go, grinning, then explains:

SEN. HUNGERFORD
Time for me to be prodded, thumped and listened to... my annual physical check-up. Please excuse me.

And he exits into the library, too. Astarte turns to Asmodeus, who is gathering up a valise of magic paraphernalia.

ASTARTE
You were magnificent, Asmodeus!

ASMODEUS
I do my humble best, dear lady.
(sighing)
Ah, how much more could be done if people really and truly believed in evil.

He takes Astarte’s hand, kisses it again, then bows to West.

ASMODEUS (CONT’D)
And now, if you will give me leave to go, Gelial, Beelzebub, and the others await me a Mephisto’s.

He exits in a swirl of cape. Astarte’s eyes swing to West’s, measuring him coolly, appraisingly.

11. CONTINUED

WEST
Well?

ASTARTE
Well, what?

WEST
Aren’t you going to suggest that we take a turn in the garden?

ASTARTE
(eyes narrowed)
How very sure you are of yourself, Mr. West.”

WEST
Only in the things that matter.

ASTARTE
Such as?

WEST
I’m sure that a snapping turtle never lets go until it thunders -- I’m sure that if you step on a spider it rains –
(a beat; softly)
-- and I’m very, very sure that the murderers of Prof. Robey will dance the minuet from the highest gallows.

ASTARTE
(smiling now)
Yes, why don’t we take a turn in the garden.

12. EXT. HUNGERFORD PATIO -- NIGHT

A patch of light leaps out onto the darkened patio as opens a French door to let Astarte out, then follows after her. CAMERA FOLLOWS as the two saunter down the path of the formal garden.

WEST
How did you do it, Mrs. Hungerford -- with caresses? Tears? Hypnotism, perhaps?

She runs the scales with a burst of carefree laughter.

ASTARTE
What you’re asking is, how did I persuade my husband to remove you from the Robey case--is that it?

WEST
How nice that we understand each other so well.

12. CONTINUED

ASTARTE
What would you do if I told you? Expose me to my husband?

WEST
Of course not. You see, your husband is suffering from a very rare disease...

ASTARTE
Really? What are the symptoms?

WEST
The victim invariably falls head over heels in love--with you.

ASTARTE
What an adorable disease.

WEST
It’s a matter of opinion. You see, for the victim, it’s frequently fatal.
(grimly)
And that’s why I don’t intend to try to explain any of the more unpleasant facts of life to your husband, at this time...

ASTARTE
... because if you did it might turn out to be fatal to your precious career?

WEST
That’s part of it, Mrs. Hungerford.

ASTARTE
(contentedly)
It is nice that we understand each other so well.

13. ANOTHER ANGLE -- AT GARDEN SEAT

Astarte seats herself and leans back, giving West her heavy-lidded, seductive glance.

ASTARTE (CONT’D)
So you’re declaring war on me.

WEST
(nodding)
And I don’t take prisoners.

ASTARTE
What a pity.
(purring)
What are your views about fraternizing with the enemy?

13. CONTINUED

West slowly bends down to Astarte during the following.

WEST
That could be -- dangerous...

ASTARTE
... but exciting ...

West’s lips are very close to Astarte’s at this point. He seems about to kiss her... but suddenly he whirls, his arms flashing into the shrubbery behind him... and he whirls back, bringing over his shoulder Asmodeus, throwing him to the ground in a fast judo flip. Asmodeus lands with a thud!

13. ANOTHER ANGLE

As West stares down at Asmodeus. (Astarte has gotten to her feet, and is watching all this with dismay.)

WEST
(elaborately surprised)
Why, if it isn’t Asmodeus. What a surprise.

Asmodeus slowly gets to his feet, pushing his lank hair back out of his eyes and glaring at West with malevolent fury.

WEST
What happened, did you lose your way?

ASMODEUS
(massaging his arm tenderly)
You make me realize how much I detest excessively muscular young men.

WEST
(shrugging contemptuously)
Fair enough. I don’t particularly care for bushwhackers, even if they are all gussied up in a waiter’s dress suit...

ARTEMUS’S VOICE
James! Are you there?

All eyes turn to Artemus as he looms up in the darkness and approaches. As he spots West:

ARTEMUS
They told me that I could find you here in the...

15. CLOSE SHOT -- ARTEMUS
momentarily reacting in astonishment as he sees Astarte--then the moment is gone and he is composed again.

16. BACK TO SCENE

ARTEMUS
I’m sorry--am I interrupting?

WEST
Not at all, Artie, a minute more and I might have worn out my welcome.
(to Astarte)
Before I go, may I present my friend, Mr. Gordon?
(to Artemus)
The Senator’s lady, Mrs. Hungerford.

Astarte nods coldly as Artemus AD-LIBS “How do you do?”

WEST (CONT’D)
And the ever delightful Asmodeus, Magician and Illusionist extraordinary.
(to Astarte, as Artemus and Asmodeus exchange nods)
Good night, dear lady.

West and Artemus walk out of view. CAMERA MOVES IN to a CLOSE SHOT OF ASTARTE AND ASMODEUS. He turns to her, and in answer to her questioning look, he nods his head with venomous satisfaction...

17. EXT. HUNGERFORD RESIDENCE -- NIGHT

AT FRONT DOOR. It opens (by the Butler, we see) and West and Artemus walk out and down the front steps.

ARTEMUS
... And what a shock it must have been to find Mrs. Hungerford was professor Robey’s little playmate, Lilith!

WEST
(nodding grimly)
Same spider, with a different name--same web--with a different fly. What I wouldn’t give to know what they’re up to.
(a beat)
Artemus, let’s start with the files; see what you can dig up on Mrs. Hungerford and her tricky pal, Asmodeus.

17. CONTINUED

ARTEMU
Meet you back at the car?

West nods, lost in thought, and Artemus moves out of view.

18. ANOTHER ANGLE -- AT SIDEWALK

As West turns into the sidewalk, CAMERA ANGLES to sow a hansom cab parked nearby. The muffled figure of the CABBY leans down as he says:

CABBY
Cab, sir?

West starts to shake his head, then, as if on impulse and makes for the cab.

19. EXT. ANGLE OF CAB
West enters, closes the door behind him. As the door closes... and the door and all the windows are curtained heavily. And the moment the door closes there is a grunt from inside, and a shaking as though some kind of struggle is taking place. Then silence.

20. CLOSE SHOT -- CABBY

He turns, a half-smile on his face. He lifts the little window in the roof behind him, looks inside.

21. P.O.V. SHOT -- INTO INTERIOR OF CAB

There is nothing there. Just the empty seats.

22. ANGLE ON CABBY

He smiles, closes the little door. He looks off toward the house.

23. ANGLE ON ASMODEUS

Sanding by the door, wrapped in his cape, looking rather like Count Dracula. He smiles, gestures with his hand.


24. EXT. ANGLE ON CAB

As the cab driver whips his reins, and the cab moves forward.

25. EXT. SHOT -- STREET -- NIGHT

As the cab comes CLIP CLOPPING into CAMERA, which ANGLES to show two men silently watching it. One of the men is in shadows, and at first is unrecognizable. The second is a man of West’s height and build. What he looks like we do not know, because most of his head and face is covered with bandages. He is smoking a cigar. Now the man in the shadows comes out of the shadows... and light illuminates the shock of blond hair falling across his forehead... and we see that this man is PERRY... but now with a hard look on his face. He gives a peremptory signal. The bandaged man tosses away his cigar, turns and climbs into the back of a wagon parked nearby. The wagon immediately moves into motion, to the accompaniment of a clanging bell. It moves past Perry. As it flashes by we see the large Red Cross and the word “AMBULANCE” lettered on its side. Perry watches it go, eyes hard and cold.

26. INT HOSPITAL ROOM

The bandaged man we just saw is being rolled into the room on a gurney by two ORDERLIES. A NURSE is standing by, reading from a chart.

NURSE
(reading)
... extensive, multiple head injuries, lacerations, possible fracture... what did you say the patient’s name was?

FIRST ORDERLY
West, Nurse. Mr. James West.

We HOLD as they bend to remove the bandaged man from the gurney and put him on the bed.

FADE OUT

END OF ACT ONE


James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: "Thanks Artie"! Is that all you can say to me? I've just come back from the grave, risen like Lazarus, and that's what you say? "Thanks, Artie"?
James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: It's a pleasure.
- TNOT Pistoleros

California gal
SS senior field agent

USA
8378 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2009 :  10:00:33  Show Profile



FADE IN:

29. INT. HOSPITAL ROOM -- NIGHT

CLOSE SHOT -- THE BANDAGED MAN, seen earlier; in bed, motionless. FULL SHOT to show Artemus seated at the bedside, looking down at “West” with a deeply concerned expression.

30. INT. HOSPITAL ROOM -- DAY [the time of day/night in this scene is questioned with a written note]

As [i]COL. FAIRCHILD enters.

COL. FAIRCHILD
Well?

ARTEMUS
(shrugging hopelessly)
Still hasn’t recovered consciousness, sir.

He turns away to hide the fact that he’s very much affected. Col. Fairchild looks helplessly at him.

COL. FAIRCHILD
(awkwardly)
Come, come, Gordon, he’ll be all right...

ARTEMUS
Oh, sure! He’s been out cold for six hours now, but he’ll be all right!

COL. FAIRCHILD
Wasn’t it you who always claimed that West was indestructible?

ARTEMUS
(nodding bitterly)
All it took was one little street car crashing into his cab to dispose of that theory...

31. INT. SILO -- NIGHT

CLOSE SHOT -- WEST, unconscious, as his eyelids flutter and open. He stares around dazed as CAMERA PULLS BACK to show that he is lying sprawled on the ground in what appears to be the bottom of a silo, about eight feet in diameter. West slowly, carefully gets to his wobbly feet, wincing, as if his ribs still hurt from the mauling they took in the cab. As he looks around, we see that, outside of a metal bucket and several sacks of grain, the silo is bare -- without any door or window. West looks up as CAMERA ANGLES UP TO SHOW:

32. ANOTHER ANGLE -- SHOOTING UP

The top of the silo is lost in gloom, but enough is visible to disclose the fact that fifteen feet or so up, a network of girders runs from one side of the silo to the other.

33. BACK TO SCENE

West leans against the side of the silo, shaking his head to clear it, when he becomes conscious of light -- and looks up to see Asmodeus standing off nearby, watching him with his usual saturnine expression -- but an Asmodeus e have never seen before -- an illuminated, transparent Asmodeus, shifting, wavering, distorted, ghostly... (NOTE: This will be simply accomplished by projecting a moving image of Asmodeus on a rising column of steam or smoke.)

ASMODEUS
(bowing sardonically)
Return engagement, Mr. West.

West stares unbelievingly at the sight that meets his eyes, then he lurches forward, hands outstretched -- and they pass right through the ghostly image –

-- and West turns to find that Asmodeus, as shifting and ghostly as every, is now watching him sardonically from the other side of the silo.

ASMODEUS (CONT’D)
Missed me. Care to try again?

West lounges back against the wall, determinedly composed.

WEST
Very neat. I’ll bet you’re a big hit on the junior circuit with that one.

ASMODEUS
But -- not with you?

WEST
Not with me. Sorry.

ASMODEUS
(mock vexation)
Really, I must write a strongly worded letter to that Hong Kong Mail Order House -- they guaranteed that I’d be a smash with it! Oh, well, I’ll have to rummage around and see what else I can come up with.
(bowing)
Don’t go away, Mr. West.

33. CONTINUED

And before our eyes, wavering and shifting, the image of Asmodeus grows dimmer and dimmer -- and finally is gone.

West looks around warily, glancing up into the gloom, waiting -- and we see a puzzled expression come over his face suddenly as he turns and looks around. He places his hands against the walls and now, as if a suspicion has been confirmed, he steps away, staring tensely at them, and finally we see what he has seen and felt earlier...

... the walls are starting to glow! (NOTE: In addition to achieving the effect of incandescent walls through the use of lights, the by-products of smoke and West’s forehead beaded with perspiration will also point up the incandescent walls, as well as the dramatic instance where West touches the wall with a stick and the stick immediately bursts into flame from the fiery contact.)

34. SHOT -- WEST

Crouched in the center of the silo, the target of a murderously effective waves of radiated heat--his face bathed in perspiration, West looks around helplessly, then up...

35. POV

and once again we see the girders running from one side of the silo to the other, but high up, far beyond his reach...

36. BACK TO SCENE

as West slumps to his knees under the barrage of heat, almost out, then crumples flat to the ground, on a level now with the battered metal bucket seen earlier--and suddenly we see a last, desperate glimmer of excitement flare up in his eyes as he stares at the bucket.

37. ANOTHER ANGLE
West manages to lift himself to a sitting position, flips the (hollow) heel off his shoe and removes a doughy mess of material from within -- (plastic explosive, from the way West gingerly handles it) -- then, from his other hollow heel West extracts a length of fuse, one end of which he inserts into the mass of plastic explosive...

... and, panting from the effort, West sets the plastic explosive under the up-ended metal bucket, with the fuse protruding. Plumbing the last of his failing strength, West manages to drag several of the sacks of grain into position against the sides of the bucket, then he grasps a scrap of wood lying nearby, extends it until it has made contact with the incandescent walls (shielding his face as he does so) and the great heat of the walls causes the end of the scrap of wood to burst into flames...

37. CONTINUED

... and now West touches the flaming scrap of wood to the fuse and, swaying and reeling, he climbs onto the bucket, knees flexed and waits for:

... the EXPLOSION! West is hurled into the air... (NOTE: Elastic “Shane” type harness?)

38. ANOTHER ANGLE -- SHOOTING DOWN FROM THE GIRDERS HIGH ABOVE

In a violent quick CUT we see West being hurled up by the explosive charge and making brutally direct contact with the girders as he slams into them -- and when the pall of smoke clears,, we see that he is clinging weakly to them...

39. SHOT -- THE BUCKET

The bottom smashed out by the explosion, a black cloud of smoke still drifting up from its interior...

40. BACK TO WEST

as, hand over hand, he draws himself up until he can lie panting across a beam, perspiration dripping from his lacerated forehead (where he made violent contact with the girder)...

... and then he begins the slow, upward climb from one girder to another, with the darkness increasing as he gains altitude.

41. ANOTHER ANGLE -- AT TOP OF SILO

Darkness is the key to this scene. Faintly picked out by hidden lights we see a well-like stone rim -- and then a hand comes into view from within, grasps the rim, and West laboriously hauls himself up...

... and cautiously extends an exploratory foot -- finds that there is a floor under him and lets himself down from the silo’s rim. And now, as he looks around in the gloom, he becomes aware of a MUTED CHANTING SOUND, as of MANY VOICES, FAR AWAY...

42. ANOTHER ANGLE -- AT DOORWAY

A faint glow leads West to an arched opening set in the masonry wall, and as he approaches, the MASSED CHANTING HEARD EARLIER BECOMES LOUDER.

43. ANOTHER ANGLE -- SHOOTING UP STAIRS

Framed in the doorway high above, West comes into view and begins a cautious descent toward the Camera... [NOTE: One section of stairs, shot from a succession of different angles, should provide the illusion of an interminably wandering downward course.)

44. ANOTHER ANGLE -- AROUND BEND

CAMERA is above West as he advances down the steps, approaching a bend. The CHANTING HAS BECOME LOUDER YET during the descent, and as he tensely peers around the bend, he recoils momentarily.

45. HIS POV -- INT. SUBTERRANEAN VAULT -- NIGHT

OVER THE VERY LOUD CHANTING, we realize that we are in a large, vaulted chamber, crowded with black robed figures cowled, motionless as they stand with bowed heads--the entire group presided over by the figure of a woman up front, her arms up-raised, illuminated by the ring of fire around a large flat stone ... (NOTE: the black-robed figures are dummies.)

46. ANOTHER ANGLE

CLOSER NOW--and we see that the large, flat stone lighted by the flaring ring of fire is the bed of the motionless figure of a YOUNG GIRL covered with a sheet, her arms and legs secured by chains fastened to the stone...

... and the female figure looming before the altar turns out, on closer inspection, to be Astarte -- never more wildly beautiful in her streaming black hair and flowing gown as she stands with her outstretched arms held high –

(NOTE: This scene is furnished and constructed largely of darkness. We see no walls, no floors, no ceiling; many glimmering lights and large quantities of smoking censers should give the illusion of a huge, vaulted room -- for the rest, everything that needs it will be picked out by hidden spots -- all else will be lost in the dark.)

47. CLOSE SHOT -- WEST

Peering out from the shadow of a projecting arch, he watches -- and suddenly we see him tense -- eyes widening...

48. HIS POV

Astarte is standing as before, facing the flat rock, but something new has been added -- a gleaming dagger is now clutched in her hand -- and now she moves closer to her victim, measuring the distance for the dagger’s downward sweep...

49. BACK TO WEST

Involuntarily moving out of place of concealment -- and suddenly he hears something that causes him to whirl around, just as the gowned and cowled figure of Asmodeus looms up behind him, swinging a blunt instrument that comes into violent contact with West’s cranium -- and West does the only thing left to do as he pitches, senseless, to the floor.

FLIP FRAME TO

50. INT. HUNGERFORD DRAWING ROOM -- NIGHT

Senator Hungerford and Dr. Tristam both look on gravely as Col Fairchild scans a couple of sheets of paper. CAMERA ANGLES to show the door being swung open by the Butler and Artemus striding in.

ARTEMUS
Senator, I must apologize for –
(looks off, reacts)
Colonel! I’ve been trying to reach you!

COL. FAIRCHILD
You’ve just received this message –
(reading paper)
“Imperative that you meet me as soon as possible at Sen. Hungerford residence -- signed, James West.”

ARTEMUS
(gaping)
You got one too?

COL. FAIRCHILD
And so did the Senator and Dr. Tristam.

ARTEMUS
Then the messages have to be phony... West is still in the –
(reacts to Colonel’s expression)
You mean -- he isn’t?

COL. FAIRCHILD
West walked out of the hospital an hour ago.

51. EXT. STREET SCENE -- NIGHT
A cab clatters to a stop, the cabbie swings to the ground, opens the door and assists West to the ground -- and from the uncertain, almost comatose manner of West’s, it’s obvious that he needs help...

52. INT. SEN. HUNGERFORD’S FRONT DOOR -- NIGHT

The cabbie comes into view, helping West up the steps; pushing West into leaning against the front door, he rings the door bell and hastily takes off. As the Butler opens the door, West staggers through the doorway...

53. INT. HUNGERFORD DRAWING ROOM -- NIGHT

ON DOOR -- as it swings open and West stumbles in, followed by the worried Butler. (NOTE: an “It’s all right, Bowes” gesture from the Senator and the Butler exits thankfully.) Artemus’s expression is a mixture of huge relief and apprehensiveness as he hastens to West’s side, followed by Col. Fairchild, Dr. Tristam, and the Senator.

53. CONTINUED

ARTEMUS
Jim!

WEST
(squinting)
That you, Artemus? Fancy meeting you here –
(looks around blearily)
--wherever this is...

COL. FAIRCHILD
(with low urgency)
Good heavens man, what’s happened to you?

WEST
T’me? Oh, all sorts of quaint things; f’rinstance...

At this point Astarte and Asmodeus enter the room from another room and as they swim into West’s bleary vision he points a wavering finger at them.

WEST (CONT’D)
Ah, the great Asmodeus!
(bows unsteadily)
My compliments on high en’ertaining show y’put on t’night...

ASMODEUS
(the picture of puzzlement)
Tonight? What is he talking about?

WEST
(to Astarte -- bowing)
And Mrs. Hungerford, the good Senator will be delighted to fin’ out with what grace an’ charm you preside over the witches’ Sabbath...

Senator Hungerford balls his fists and starts for West, but is restrained by Dr. Tristam.

DR. TRISTAM
No, Clay! Can’t you see he’s ill?

He goes to West, places his fingers on West’s wrist (pulse count) while with the other hand he gently tries to examine the white of West’s eye--until West brushes his hand away.

DR. TRISTAM (CONT’D)
(low-voiced to the others)
That’s odd, he seems to be drugged...

53. CONTINUED

Artemus takes West’s elbow and tries to lead him to the door.

ARTEMUS
Come on, James, it’s beddy-bye for you.

West flings off Artemus’s hands, almost falling down in the process.

WEST
Bed? At this early hour?

COL. FAIRCHILD
Listen to me, West. Obviously you don’t remember, but for the past twelve hours you’ve been in the hospital -- unconscious.

WEST
See? Now you’re confused. For the past twelve hours I’ve been having all sorts of fun, but I have not been in...

Artemus suddenly grabs West by the lapels and pleads with him, trying to cut through the fog, somehow...

ARTEMUS
For the past twelve hours, I’ve been sitting at your bedside, praying that you’d pull through! Don’t tell me I dreamed all that!

WEST
But -- but Artie, it can’t be...

ARTEMUS
(gently now)
Would I kid you, old boy?
(an arm around him)
Would I?

And suddenly it’s too much for West. He drops into a chair, his face cradled in his hands -- and as if released from a spell, everybody moves in close: Col. Fairchild, Senator Hungerford, Dr. Tristam, Artemus -- their faces all mirroring concern for West -- only Astarte and Asmodeus hang back long enough to exchange a quick, unnoticed glance of triumph, as we –

DISSOLVE TO

54. INT. WEST’S RAILROAD CAR -- DAY
West -- packing, removing things from drawers, slamming them into a pair of open bags; obviously in a bitter, mordant mood. Artemus passes the time pacing, lost in thought.

WEST
(a take-off on Col. Fairchild)
“West, we all have our fatigue levels; you’ve reached yours and for the good of the service I’m ordering you to take an extended furlough.”

He hurls several pairs of socks into the bag.

ARTEMUS
Try not to be bitter, James. Furloughs can be beautiful.

WEST
Help yourself to mine!
(back to packing)
Oh, it was beautiful the way they went around snookering me!
(slams shirt into bag)
Item: the cab with the built-in blackout... who would have believed it if I had brought it up?

ARTEMUS
I would have.

WEST
Why?

ARTEMUS
Because I know you’re truthful, trustworthy, loyal, reverent...

WEST
You’re the only one!
(slams brushes into bag)
Then the great show Asmodeus put on for me in the pit--designed to make me look like the village idiot if I ever told anyone about it.
(sits down, runs his hands through his hair)
But the capper--the little maneuver that had be hanging on the ropes...

ARTEMUS
... was the way they managed to sneak the bandaged man into the hospital and give him your name.

54. CONTINUED

West looks up, reacting.

WEST
At last! You finally believe he was a phony... a ringer?

ARTEMUS
Now that I’ve had a chance to think the whole thing over, yes.
(a beat)
Tell me about the witches Sabbath again.

WEST
(savagely sardonic)
Oh, it was the usual thing; dozens of black-robed members chanting old Druid ballads while Astarte sacrifices a human victim over a hot altar -- that kind of high-spirited, innocent fun.

ARTEMUS
(nodding thoughtfully)
I did a little researching, James... And I’ve got a theory.

WEST
All right, tell it to me!

Artemus goes to a cabinet and extracts a series of documents that he brings to West.

54. CONTINUED

ARTEMUS
I’ve given it a name too -- “Operations Brain Drain.”
(a beat)
Prof. Robey was a victim of foul play -- but I have a theory that so were many more equally distinguished scientists. Care to hear more?

WEST
Go on!

ARTEMUS
(holding up document)
Austin De Jong, one of our greatest theoretical physicists -- drowned off Norfolk...

WEST
(puzzled)
So?

ARTEMUS
(softly)
Asmodeus the Great happened to be playing a theater in Norfolk when it happened.
(holds up another document)
Peter Kempley, our leading authority on Organic Chemistry -- killed in a traffic accident in Great Neck...

WEST
(tensely)
Asmodeus...

ARTEMUS
By an amusing coincidence was playing an engagement nearby at the time.

Artemus spreads the document out fan-wise.

ARTEMUS (CONT’D)
Pick a dossier -- any dossier -- and you’ll find that it concerns a leading authority in the physical, medical or biological sciences -- who was involved in a fatal accident...

WEST
And Asmodeus was in the vicinity in every case?

54. CONTINUED

ARTEMUS
Asmodeus -- or a blonde, delicate slip of a girl named Astarte.

WEST
(loathingly)
or Lilith –
(as he gathers up Artemus’s dossiers)
Well, don’t just stand there, Artemus! It isn’t polite to keep Col. Fairchild waiting!

FLIP FRAME TO:

55. CLOSE SHOT -- GROUND LEVEL

of a pair of spades digging into the earth, during which CAMERA PULLS BACK to show that we are in a:

56. EXT. CEMETERY -- NIGHT

and that a PAIR OF WORKMEN are engaged in digging at an already existing grave. CAMERA ANGLES through the drifting fog that almost obscures the scene and COMES TO REST OF COL. FAIRCHILD standing nearby, flanked on either side by West and Artemus.

(NOTE: During the following we WILL HEAR THE NOISES associated with digging, but we will see nothing more of the operation.)

COL. FAIRCHILD
(distastefully looking on at unseen digging)
I don't know how I ever let you two sell me on such a fantastic idea.

ARTEMUS
Sir, what is really fantastic is the notion that anyone would go through all the trouble of eliminating one distinguished scientist after another...

WEST
... without making a profit out of it. Merely depriving our country of their great genius is not enough, we believe.

56. CONTINUED

COL. FAIRCHILD
So according to you all these top level scientists are not dead... their genius is being harvested by... persons unknown.

ARTEMUS
That’s right, sir.

COL. FAIRCHILD
And when their graves are opened, we shall find... what?

WEST
I don't know. Perhaps... nothing.

DISSOLVE

56A. ANOTHER ANGLE -- CEMETERY

As workmen slide the coffin onto the ground. CAMERA PANS UP to show West, Artemus, Fairchild waiting.

Col. Fairchild strides toward the CAMERA, followed by West and Artemus. The three halt, Col. Fairchild nods--and we HEAR THE SOUND OF PROTESTING HINGES, as the coffin lid is swung back...

... and Col. Fairchild looks somberly into the (unseen) coffin, then turns back to West and Artemus.

COL. FAIRCHILD
(quietly)
Gentlemen, I’ll admit that I was inclined to be skeptical when you first brought up this matter; however, there was a certain amount of merit to your arguments--that Kempley, De Jong and the others are all buried in this same cemetery –
(voice suddenly crackling)
But I knew Dr. Kempley well--and I can assure you that the remains in that coffin are those of him!
(a beat; sardonically)
Shall we open the rest of the graves, gentlemen?

WEST
(a long beat)
No, sir.

56A. CONTINUED

COL. FAIRCHILD
(shortly)
I’m delighted to hear that.
(turns to go, then:)
And West -- you won’t delay your furlough any further, I take it.

WEST
No, sir.

Col. Fairchild nods frostily and departs. (O.S. SOUNDS of spades being loaded aboard an unseen carriage, then the CARRIAGE IS HEARD TO MOVE OFF.)

57. ANOTHER ANGLE -- AT CRYPT

West and Artemus avoid meeting each other’s eyes as they lean against the old stone crypt, in their depths of their discouragement. West traces a finger along some carved detail on the door, and suddenly yielding to an impulse, he slams the flat of his hand against the door in an effort to relieve his feelings...

... and reacts to find that the door has silently, effortlessly swung in -- and simultaneously we HEAR THE FAINT, MUTED CHANTING and of MANY VOICES, FAR AWAY...

West swings the door open even farther and the VOLUME OF CHANTING INCREASES.

WEST
(quietly)
When was the last time you attended a witches Sabbath, Artemus?

He beckons peremptorily and disappears within the yawning blackness of the crypt opening. CAMERA MOVES IN TO A CLOSE SHOT OF ARTEMUS, registering an enormous lack of enthusiasm as he follows after West.

FADE OUT

END ACT TWO



James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: "Thanks Artie"! Is that all you can say to me? I've just come back from the grave, risen like Lazarus, and that's what you say? "Thanks, Artie"?
James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: It's a pleasure.
- TNOT Pistoleros
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California gal
SS senior field agent

USA
8378 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2009 :  10:01:28  Show Profile



FADE IN:

58. INT. PASSAGEWAY OF STEPS -- NIGHT

Holding aloft a small torch, West comes into view, the fingertips of his free hand brushing the narrow wall as he cautiously negotiates the twisting, downward passage -- followed by the reluctant Artemus. And, as before, each downward step brings an INCREASE IN THE VOLUME OF THE EERIE CHANTING coming from below...

(NOTE: This will be the same section of stairway seen earlier, but re-dressed with the addition of flickering lamps fastened to the walls.)

59. ANOTHER ANGLE -- SHOOTING UP

As West and Artemus make their way down toward the Camera, which PANS them as they continue their descent until they are lost in gloom...

60. ANOTHER ANGLE -- AROUND A CORNER

... and re-appear as they round a corner and come to a halt before a massive, studded door. West gingerly tries the door handle, starts to open it, swings the door open -- and he and Artemus recoil at:

... the FULL-BODIED BLAST OF THE CHANTING that assails their ears...

... but mostly at the startling sight of the huge hooded figure standing before the open door, his back turned to them.

Obviously he is unaware of West and Artemus -- who exchange glances. West makes a pass and comes up with a gun in his hand -- then jerks his head in a “You take him” gesture. Artemus nods, approaches noiselessly, flings an arm around the area of the man’s neck and hauls back hard...

61. ANOTHER ANGLE

Artemus lifts the cowl away from the prone figure sprawled on the floor and he and West react to find it is a mannequin, its store-dummy face returning their bewildered stares serenely...

62. INT. THE “BLACK” CATHEDRAL -- NIGHT

West and Artemus emerge from the stair passageway and stare at the throng of worshippers, in their black, hooded hangman’s gowns -- and now, as if realizing something for the first time, West strides forward and flips back the cowl of one of them...

62. CONTINUED

It’s a mannequin, like the others. Artemus stares closely at it for a moment, then, to the mannequin:

ARTEMUS

Do you have anything to say to the press?

Artemus moves to the next mannequin, and the next, flinging back cowls in each case... exposing a series of sleek, vacuously plastic faces, mannequins all. West turns, stares off, narrow-eyed.

63. ANOTHER ANGLE -- AT ALTAR

West and Artemus come up to the “sacrificial victim,” the sheeted figure chained to the altar that West saw earlier... but now something new has been added in the form of a dagger that is plunged into the “victim’s” heart. West looks around.

WEST
Just the say I saw it... only Astarte was here.

ARTEMUS
(indicating chained figure)
And Miss Dolly Dummy here?

WEST
The same.
(looking around thoughtfully)
In the land of the mannequins... who does all the chanting?

64. ANGLE AT MANNEQUIN

West rips its robes away. Under the robe is what seems to be an early talking machine device. (NOTE: Actually it will be nothing more than a large music box, the kind that employs the perforated round disk, but fancied up for the occasion by a large tulip horn, etc.) West lifts up the disk, and the chanting is immediately cut off.

65. BACK TO SCENE

ARTEMUS
(admiringly)
Neat, eh? No witches Sabbath complete without one!

ASMODEUS’ VOICE
Quite correct, Mr. Gordon.

65. CONTINUED

West and Artemus whirl around, both with guns in their hands. Their view is a dimly seen mass of hooded mannequins facing them -- from which they hear:

ASMODEUS’ VOICE (CONT’D)
Drop the guns and raise your hands, gentlemen!

A beat as West and Artemus try to locate the whereabouts of the voice in the gloom, then West shrugs.

WEST
You heard what the mannequin said, Artemus.

He drops his gun and Artemus follows suit. A beat, then one of the “mannequins” detaches itself from the other and steps forward, the glint of a gun ominously evident as it advances into the light where “it” flips its cowl back and becomes Asmodeus, complete with his glittering smile.

ARTEMUS
(gesturing about)
When is the next show?

ASMODEUS
But my dear skeptical friends... you are the next show... and the curtain is about to rise.
(laughs delightedly... then indicates the area around them)
You like our little ecclesiastical retreat? We have found it... ah... useful for impressing loves of the occult. You understand?

WEST
Lonely rich old ladies?

ASMODEUS
They don’t have to be lonely or old... as long as they are rich. You’d be surprised how many people are reaching out for something beyond...

65. CONTINUED

He reaches into the darkness, and bouquet of flowers blossoms in his hand...

ASMODEUS
... reaching for something more gaudy than their drab lives present.

WEST
That’s pretty corny, pal. Paper flowers...

ARTEMUS
Why not do the Indian rope trick? That I’d like to see.

Asmodeus scowls at them. He makes a couple of passes, opens his clenched fist, and a seemingly endless length of silken scarves float to the ground.

WEST
Very nice. But who’s got a cold?

ASMODEUS
You are insolent, aren’t you. I wonder how insolent you will be after...

WEST
After what?

ASMODEUS
I think I prefer it to be a surprise.

West waves around at their surroundings.

WEST
Is this the whole bag of tricks? The department store dummies, the magic lantern altar, the mumbo jumbo...

ASMODEUS
Ah, no. These are just the innocent trappings. There is more... which you will learn to your sorrow.

He extends his h and, and a black candle appears on the palm, already burning.

ASMODEUS
A mourning candle... appropriate, don’t you think?

WEST
And you ordered it just for us? Ah, Asmodeus, you shouldn’t have.

65. CONTINUED

ASMODEUS
Of course, I will really need two...

ARTEMUS
But your sleeve’s only large enough for one at a time, right.

Asmodeus scowls, gestures with his gun.

ASMODEUS
Enough. You are a poor audience.

WEST
A good audience. A poor entertainer.

ASMODEUS
(furious)
We will see how poor! We will see when you...
(beat... a forced smile)
... no, you won’t force me to tell you. He will do that.

ARTEMUS
(to West, big-eyed with wonder)
He? And all the time I thought Asmodeus was Mr. Big.

WEST
I doubt it. Asmodeus is too fond of applause.

ASMODEUS
Mr. Gordon, if you will please move to that pillar...

He indicates with his gun. Artemus looks to a pillar, from which dangles a chain with a manacle.

ASMODEUS (CONT’D)
Put your hand in the manacle, please...

Artie does so.

65. CONTINUED

ASMODEUS (CONT’D)
And lock it around your wrist. Tightly, Mr. Gordon. I want to hear it click.

Shrugging, Artemus does as requested. The manacle CLICKS around his wrist, locking, holding his arm over his head. Asmodeus looks satisfied. He gestures with his gun to West.

ASMODEUS (CONT’D)
And you, Mr. West... to the other pillar, please.

West starts to back up. We see his eyes flicker off... CAMERA FOLLOWS HIM as he moves backwards to the wall and we see what it is that he is covertly glancing at -- a framed lithographic one-sheet of Asmodeus in a striking theatrical pose--and now as he starts to settle back against the wall his right hand suddenly flashes out, wrenches the lithograph from the wall and scales it at Asmodeus, all in one lightning motion.

66 thru 69. OMIT

70. ON ASMODEUS

... the frame lithograph smacks into his hand in a welter of splintered frame and glass, sending the gun spinning off into the gloomy corner of the room.

71. FULL SHOT

Asmodeus whirls around to a nearby table and snatches up a cutlass from it. As he advances on West:

ASMODEUS
I’m going to make you very sorry you did that, Mr. West.

Asmodeus lunges at West who is forced to fling himself to one side to avoid the murderous thrust--and again Asmodeus *****es at West, who arches his body like a matador to avoid the thrust that whistles by...

72. CLOSE SHOT -- ARTEMUS

tensely watching the conflict going on below--that, as he glances off to one side, with a burst of excitement:

73. BACK TO SCENE

West whirls around in the direction indicated and pounces gratefully on a formidable looking cutlass pegged to the wall. As he wrenches it free and turns to meet Asmodeus: He reacts, astonished, as Asmodeus continues to stalk him like a cat playing with a mouse. He has drawn the cutlass back as he speaks and there is a sudden “SWU-U-U-PP” and the cutlass is magically transformed into a bouquet of flowers. (Magician’s prop, of course.)

West looks wildly at the bouquet for one split second, then hurls it into the face of Asmodeus lunging at him, and again barely escapes the vicious thrust that comes his way. As West continues backing up. West backs up, hits a table on which a magician’s top hat rests. The force of the bump jars something within the hat, and it virtually explodes. Out come snakes, balls, flowers, everything, a great shower flying through the air. Both West and Asmodeus duck them... and West takes advantage of the moment of confusion to leap forward and chop a vicious judo blow at Asmodeus’ wrist... sending his cutlass flying off into the darkness.

74 THRU 75 OMIT

76. ANOTHER ANGLE -- AT TRUNK

Asmodeus is backing up now, wincing as he clutches at his wrist, followed by a baleful West, who is all prepared to spring at his opponent when suddenly Asmodeus flips of the lid of the wicker trunk and dives in, pulling the lid closed. West is after him like a flash, then stops and cautiously kicks the lid open, prepared for anything... then reacts in astonishment to find that the trunk is empty. West is still goggling over this when:

ARTEMUS’S VOICE
Behind you, James!

West whirls around and barely dodges the murderous downward arc of the spear wielded by Asmodeus who has materialized from another direction. (NOTE: standard magician’s trunk with secret escape panels), the blow glancing off West’s up-flung arm; then West lashes out in a desperate kick that tears Asmodeus’ spear from his hand...

... where it lands with a clatter on a table some distance away. And now it is Asmodeus who is backing up again, and West advancing grimly on him...

77. ANOTHER ANGLE

Asmodeus would seem to be cracking up; now, with West free to go after him, he suddenly snatches up several Indian clubs and begins juggling them.

78. CLOSE ON WEST

looking on, astonished, then, as he continues toward Asmodeus...

79. BACK TO ASMODEUS

... Asmodeus starts hurling the Indian clubs at West -- one -- two -- three...

80. BACK TO WEST

... as West ducks an Indian club hurling at him, it passes by, smashing into the wall and erupting into a burst of fire! Another club comes barreling at West. He ducks and the club smashes into the wall, with another burst of fire -- and now the third Indian club -- but this one West snatches out of the air -- undetonated!

81. FULL SHOT

of West advancing toward Asmodeus, Indian club in hand, Asmodeus retreating -- and then suddenly Asmodeus turns and starts to run and stops short his whole body stiffening in a sudden excess of agony.

82. MED. SHOT ASMODEUS

Now we see that in turning to run, Asmodeus has run into the spear lying across the table... the spear that West had kicked out of Asmodeus’s hand earlier. A last convulsive wrench to free himself, then Asmodeus collapses to the floor, sprawled out in the final release. West comes into view, still clutching the final Indian club. He stares down at Asmodeus.

WEST
Well... you ask a pointed question, you get a pointed answer.

He goes over to where Artie is chained. West reaches behind his lapel, brings out a lock pick, starts to work on Artie’s manacle.

ARTEMUS
I guess you know you looked pretty silly there for awhile.

WEST
At least I wasn’t hanging up like a side of beef.

ARTEMUS
Just because I’m agreeable and do what people tell me...

The lock opens, Artemus is released, rubbing his wrists.

83. ANOTHER ANGLE

Artemus, rubbing his writs to restore the circulation, comes up to West and joins him in an inspection of Asmodeus’s sprawled, lifeless figure; they both react to a HIGH-PITCHED WHINING SOUND...

... and whirl around to find that an entire wall is sliding open, to disclose...

84. INT. DR. TRISTAM’S LABORATORY -- NIGHT

A meticulously neat and orderly arrangement of laboratory equipment spread over a series of tables grouped along a long, narrow room--with a long drape running the entire length of one side of the room...

... and seated at a desk at the far end of the room, looking on smilingly, we see Dr. Tristam.

DR. TRISTAM
Dear me. I shall miss Asmodeus. Don’t make a move, gentlemen, if you value your lives.

FADE OUT

END ACT THREE



James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: "Thanks Artie"! Is that all you can say to me? I've just come back from the grave, risen like Lazarus, and that's what you say? "Thanks, Artie"?
James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: It's a pleasure.
- TNOT Pistoleros
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California gal
SS senior field agent

USA
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Posted - 03/12/2009 :  10:01:57  Show Profile





FADE IN

84A. INT. DR. TRISTAM’S LABORATORY -- NIGHT

West and Artemus stare at the pudgy little man behind the desk, then at each other.

WEST
Well, don’t just stand there, Artemus. What do you say?

ARTEMUS
Good evening, Master.

DR. TRISTAM
(pointing at Indian club in West’s hand)
You will set that incendiary device down very carefully, Mr. West. -- then both of you please join me.

West carefully sets the club down, then he and Artemus advance...

85. ANOTHER ANGEL -- IN LABORATORY

... into the room. And now we become aware of the LOW-KEYED HUMMING SOUND emanating from behind the drapes.

DR. TRISTAM
My laboratory. A modest little retreat where I come to putter...

WEST
... and develop charming little devices like that chemical that causes people to burst into flame.

DR. TRISTAM
(modestly disclaiming)
One of my minor efforts. It’s actually a refinement of the ancient Greek Fire. Applied to clothing, the chemical can be “pre-set” to go off at a precise moment.

ARTEMUS
(bitterly)
Yes, we watched the amusing way it worked on Professor Robey.

And suddenly Artemus is striding toward Dr. Tristam, fists clenched.

DR. TRISTAM
Don’t be a fool, Mr. Gordon!
(as Artemus continues)
Stop, I say!

Artemus doesn’t stop, until Dr. Tristam presses one of a series of buttons on a control console on his desk -- and then, over the CRACKLING OF ELECTRICITY, Artemus is writhing as a series of arcing sparks play over his body -- then he drops inertly to the floor. West, crouching to spring restrains himself with an effort as Dr. Tristam raises a warning finger.

DR. TRISTAM (CONT’D)
Your impetuous friend is unconscious, not dead.
(a charming smile)
That will come later, of course. For you as well.

85. CONTINUED

WEST
Before you, ah--nullify me, do you mind explaining what it is you’re reaching your murderous hands for?

DR. TRISTAM
Can’t you guess?

WEST
I know you’ve go an unholy interest in our scientists--the irreplaceable ones.

DR. TRISTAM
Good. Go on...

WEST
I even toyed with a theory once that you were in the business of faking their deaths -- that men like Kempley, De Jong and the others were still alive -- force to work for you as slaves. Fanciful, of course...

DR. TRISTAM
(delightedly)
Is it? And what if I were to tell you that is absolutely correct?

WEST
(narrow-eyed)
I saw Kempley’s remains in his grave...

DR. TRISTAM
Just the dross, Mr. West -- the unimportant husk!

As West stares at Dr. Tristan, trying to grapple with a monstrously disturbing idea forming in his mind, Dr. Tristam pushes a button on the control panel... and the long drape is mechanically drawn back, disclosing an equally long table running the full length, with a series of glass flasks, in each of which a vaguely defined form can be seen--and from each of which a series of delicate wires emerge and run to an impressively complicated tower-like structure built around a shining metal cylinder that rears straight behind all the flasks.

85. CONTINUED

DR. TRISTAM (CONT’D)
(ticking off flasks)
Allow me to present Prof. Kempley, Prof. De Jong, Dr. Lassiter, Prof. Colohan, Byram, Cook, Fogelson, Carlson and Ling!
(as West stares, bewildered)
The essence of these irreplaceable ones, as you put it--their brains!

West stares incredulously at the flasks as Dr. Tristam spreads his arms in a convulsive, grasping gesture, his eyes shining.

DR. TRISTAM (CONT’D)
I have the collective genius of the greatest scientists of the day at my command! And there’ll be more--many more!!

WEST
(calmly--with an effort)
Interesting. But brains--without bodies...?

DR. TRISTAM
Yes! Living on in the electrically charged aqueous environment I have provided for them! Living, hearing, feeling –
(a beat)
-- and most importantly, thinking! Cerebrating! At my command! What do you say to that?

WEST
(shrugging with studied contempt)
Not being a complete fool, I don’t believe it of course.

85. CONTINUED

DR. TRISTAM
You don’t?
(calling off--to flasks)
Professor Colohan--I want those nuclear equations I asked you to formulate--now!

A beat, during which nothing happens, then Dr. Tristam touches a finger to his control panel and a crackling electrical display plays around the top of one of the flasks--this followed by an AUDIBLE INCREASE in the SOUND OF HUMMING emanating from the flasks.

DR. TRISTAM (CONT’D)
They must be prodded, first, before I get what I want.

WEST
You mean--you shock them?
(at Tristam’s nod)
It’s painful to them? That’s how you control them?

DR. TRISTAM
(points to huge tank and tower behind flasks)
This is my achievement--my accumulator: Like a battery, drinking in the tremendous electrical output of all the brains--storing it--keeping it on tap until such time as I need it--as I want to put it to work!

WEST
And that’s where Astarte comes in, eh? Collecting geniuses from time to time...

DR. TRISTAM
Yes, she has been most useful. Not always completely successful of course. Your Prof. Robey was one who became suspicious...

85. CONTINUED

WEST
(thoughtfully)
Why did Astarte marry Senator Hungerford? He’s not a scientist...

DR. TRISTAM
Ah, but he’s a very social animal. We’ve been able to make some splendid contacts through him.
(chuckling)
Yes, he had his uses.

WEST
Had?

DR. TRISTAM
Astarte has tired of him. She gets restless, you know--
(chuckling again)
--so at twelve o’clock tonight the Senator will have an unfortunate accident.

WEST
(forcing a light tone)
More fire?

DR. TRISTAM
(nodding)
Astarte’s idea. She coaxed the Senator into wearing a cape at the Hungerford costume party they’re having and--
(looking at watch)
Dear me, only half an hour till twelve.

West has gotten to his feet automatically, no long pretending to be casual about the whole thing. Dr. Tristam coldly allows his hand to hover over the control panel.

DR. TRISTAM (CONT’D)
You’re not getting any heroic ideas, I trust.

85. CONTINUED

WEST
No, nothing heroic. I was just thinking how much they must hate you.

DR. TRISTAM
They?

West gestures at the long row of brains in their flasks.

WEST
They’re alive--they think--they must know what you did to them--how you plan to use them--how could they not hate you?

DR. TRISTAM
(amused at the idea)
You’re a hopeless sentimentalist.

Dr. Tristam shrugs, amused at the idea.

WEST
What if they were to make a collective effort--one big surge of power! How much damage do you think they could do?

DR. TRISTAM
The idea is too childish to be...

He stops as a SLIGHTLY HIGHER HUMMING NOTE from the flasks becomes evident. Tristam swings around and looks sharply at the flasks.

WEST
Listen!

85. CONTINUED

DR. TRISTAM
(harshly)
You’re an idiot! What you hear are the normal fluctuations of current absorption.

WEST
Is that it? Or, is it possible that for the first time they realized they could hit back at the one they must hate with every fiber of their towering genus!

And now, unmistakably, the HUMMING SOUND RISES IN PITCH--and bubbles begin to form in the flasks and rise to the surface.

DR. TRISTAM
(his voice rising)
Shut up!

WEST
You mean--it is possible, isn’t it?

DR. TRISTAM
No! It’s not!

WEST
Then there’d be no harm if someone were to say--
(turns to flasks)
You can hit back! But you must do it together--one united effort!

Great bubbles are rising to the surface of the flasks and the HUMMING is taking on the SOUND OF A SUSTAINED WHINE.

DR. TRISTAM
(screaming now)
I said shut up!

WEST
(to flasks)
One united, collective effort! Hit back with every ounce of your power... and be free!

DR. TRISTAM
I’ll kill you right now!

He lunges for the control panel but he never makes it--for finally, it happens... a thunderbolt arcs out from the accumulator and CRACKLES around Dr. Tristam, engulfing him in flames, over his AGONIZED SCREAMS--and then the entire room is rocked by a series of explosions.

86. ANOTHER ANGLE

As West comes dashing up to Artemus, now getting groggily to his feet. West forces him into a shambling run toward the door...

87. EXT. AT CRYPT EXIT -- NIGHT

The crypt door swings open and West staggers out, still supporting as still groggy Artemus. West sets Artemus gently down, propping him against a headstone.

WEST
Artemus, listen to me--I’ve got to get to the Senator’s fast! You’ll be all right here--okay?

West is off and running before it soaks into Artemus--who looks around with a distinct lack of enthusiasm for his surroundings.

FLIP FRAME TO

88. EXT. HUNGERFORD GROUNDS -- AT GAZEBO -- NIGHT

A gay, festive air is evident in the many Japanese lanterns strung in the trees and the gazebo. West comes hurrying into the scene, looking around tensely.

WEST
Senator Hungerford!

He looks around despairingly, sees no one and is about to move off hurriedly when:

ASTARTE’S VOICE
(sensuously inviting)
Will lI do?

West halts, looks around and spots Astarte, an elaborately beautiful Marie Antoinette, in the gazebo.

89. ANOTHER ANGLE -- IN THE GAZEBO

As West comes up to Astarte, who moves close to him as she talks.

ASTARTE
Such a gay, lovely night, Mr. West. Don’t you think we might declare a truce?

WEST
It’s an interesting idea, Mrs. Hungerford.

ASTARTE
To begin with, try saying “Astarte”--James.

West slides down on the seat beside her.

WEST
Astarte.

ASTARTE
(moving closer)
You did that very well.

West lowers his head until his lips are very close to hers.

WEST
It’s just a knack, I suppose--
(very close now)
Do you remember the last time we were so close?

ASTARTE
(whispering huskily)
Yes; but don’t worry--Asmodeus isn’t around this time...

WEST
I know; he’s dead.

For a beat Astarte maintains her attitude, then she jerks her head up.

ASTARTE
(sharply)
You’re lying!

WEST
Would I lie about a delightful thing like that?
(casually)
Oh, I almost forgot; the Master is dead, too.

ASTARTE
(licking dry lips)
The--master?

WEST
Dr. Tristam, if you want it spelled out.

89. CONTINUED

For the first time, panic shows in Astarte’s eyes. She reaches her arms up to his shoulders.

ASTARTE
Please, James, listen to me...!

WEST
(shaking his head)
Don’t bother, honey, you’re all washed up.

Astarte takes a backward step, rips the front of her dress and screams:

ASTARTE
No, please, leave me alone, please!

For the space of a beat West is nonplussed--then he get it. He swings around and sees a Spanish Don with a cape round his shoulders standing nearby--who removes his domino mask to reveal the bloodless face of Senator Hungerford.

SEN. HUNGERFORD
West! You’ll die for this!

WEST
I don’t suppose I could convince you that what you’ve just seen...

He stops, shrugging philosophically as Sen. Hungerford takes a gun from his pocket and trains it on West.

WEST (CONT’D)
No. I didn’t think I could--
(a beat, then:)
But before you fire, get out of that cape!

The desperate urgency in West’s voice reaches the senator even as his finger starts to tighten on the trigger; he pauses, bewildered.

SEN. HUNGERFORD
What?

89. CONTINUED

WEST
There’s no time to explain the details, but in a very few minutes your cape is scheduled to burst into flames, thanks to your loving wife!

ASTARTE
Liar!
(to Senator)
He’s mad!

WEST
Indulge a madman, then! Out of that cape--fast! Then drape it around Astarte’s soft, white shoulders--if she’ll let you.

His face working with anger, Sen. Hungerford raises the gun again, just as West ducks, rips the cape from his shoulders and flings it around Astarte’s shoulders--holding her out in front of him so that she is shielding him from the Senator’s gun.

WEST (CONT’D)
(taunting)
Do you feel the little tingle of heat? It’s Greek fire, Astarte--no way to stop it when it begins to flare! It feeds on itself, burning through flesh and bone and...!

Astarte’s nerves give way as she tears the cape from her and flings it to the ground. Sen. Hungerford puts his arm around her as he raises the gun at West.

SEN. HUNGERFORD
You’ve had your tricky little diversion, now you can...

He never finishes, because WITH A ROAR a fireball blazes up where the cape has been lying a second before--a fireball that rages on, lighting up the scene with a hellish glow. Sen. Hungerford stares at it, stunned, his gun still trained on West.

ASTARTE
(pleading)
Shoot him, Clay -- shoot him now!

Still staring at the fire, he shakes his head.

89. CONTINUED

ASTARTE (CONT’D)
Then I will!

She lunges for the gun, but he eludes her, and in a convulsive movement, he hurls her away from him and walks out of the scene.

Astarte is still staring after the Senator when West comes to her side.

WEST
I promised you a dance, Astarte.

ASTARTE
(turns to him; blankly)
Dance? What...”

WEST
The minuet, from the highest gallows we can fine. Remember?

A beat, then Astarte remembers. She sinks to her knees, her face buried in her hands as she sobs wildly--perhaps even genuinely. West stands looking at her impassively as we --

FADE OUT

END OF ACT FOUR

TAG

90. INT. WEST’S RAILROAD CAR -- NIGHT

West emerges from his bedroom compartment knotting his tie. He looks off, reacting interestedly.

91. ANOTHER ANGLE

Artemus is seated before a table strewn with magician’s paraphernalia (trick boxes, cup and ball trick, card decks, etc.), poring over a magician’s handbook.

WEST
Practicing that old black magic, Artemus?

ARTEMUS
To while away the long winter evenings. Watch this, James.

He picks up a magician’s wand and goes to a small, black cabinet nearby as he speaks.

WEST
(edging toward door)
Artemus, I have an engagement...

ARTEMUS
Won’t take a minute and I guarantee you’ll find it richly rewarding.
(turning cabinet around)
Empty, right?

He exposes every corner and angle of the simple little cabinet. It’s empty all right. West agrees, nodding resignedly as Artemus flips the drape, closing the opening in the cabinet.

ARTEMUS (CONT’D)
Here it comes --
(waving wand)
“Ipso, Factor, Habeas, Corpus, Locus, Kalamazoo!”

He flips open the drape triumphantly and reacts, disappointed, as he sees a LOVELY YOUNG LADY peering out at him. She steps out and crosses to West as Artemus returns to his book.

ARTEMUS (CONT’D)
(poring over book)
I don’t get it -- according to the manual it should have been a rabbit.

FADE OUT

THE END





James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: "Thanks Artie"! Is that all you can say to me? I've just come back from the grave, risen like Lazarus, and that's what you say? "Thanks, Artie"?
James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: It's a pleasure.
- TNOT Pistoleros
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