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California gal
SS senior field agent

USA
8373 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2009 :  10:41:53  Show Profile

Production #0421

THE WILD WILD WEST

TEASER]

FADE IN:

1. EXT WINDOW – NIGHT

SHOOTING past the leafless branches of a nearby tree, its swaying movements in the high wind giving it a disturbingly alive, almost malignant quality…

… toward the one lighted window of the otherwise darkened house… where, through the curtained opening, we see the SILHOUETTED FIGURE OF A MAN pacing (his name is DR. WILLIS HANAFORD, we will come to find); then CAMERA STARTS MOVING DOWN…

2. EXT. HANAFORD HOUSE – NIGHT

to show the old, ivy-covered walls…

3. ANORTHER ANGLE – AT GAZEBO

… finally coming to light on the equally weather-beaten old gazebo on the grounds, where, dimply perceived in the gloom, we make out the figure of a MAN (his name is COLLINS, we will learn) --

-- motionless, eyes intently fastened on the lighted window.

4. ANOTHER ANGLE OF GAZEBO

as Collins continues his inspection of the lighted window, ANOTHER DIMLY SEEN FIGURE comes silently INTO VIEW through the back entrance of the gazebo, and silently approaches the other…

… who starts to whirl around, gun in hand, then stops as he HEARS:

WEST
Steady, Collins.

COLLINS put his gun away as JAMES WEST, the dimly seen figure, comes into the illumination from the window, looks up at the pacing figure, then:
4. CONTINUED

WEST (CONT’D)
All serene?

COLLINS
Yes, sir.
(glance at window)
He sure acts nervous, though.

WEST
(somberly)
Dr. Hanaford has something to be nervous about--
(abruptly)
Get yourself some coffee, Collins--I’ll spell you.

Collins nods, turns and fades into the gloom; alone, West continues to stare thoughtfully up at the window--then, again, he swings around--his suddenly alert attitude proclaiming that he has heard something--that we cannot hear…

… and then we finally HEAR it; SOFTLY, then GROWING MORE DISTINCT, the SOUNDS of a WOMAN SOBBING; a beat, then West moves off in the direction of the source--away from the house…

5. EXT. PARK-LIKE UNDERGROWTH – NIGHT

… works his way swiftly through the undergrowth (the WOMAN’S SOBBING MUCH LOUDER, now), finally parts matted shrubbery and peers through, his eyes narrowed at what he sees;

6. HIS POV – THE PLAY AREA

It’s a long-abandoned, overgrown child’s play area--with a ghostly reminder of departed childish voices in the form of a sandbox, scattered toys and a swing suspended from the branch of a towering old tree--

--and in its midst we see a WOMAN, her slender, youthful figure swathed in filmy chiffon garment, her face blurred by a semi-transparent veil, struggling in the grasp of a huge, white-haired individual, his bearded face disfigured by a snarling expression (his name is BLANCO); to the woman’s SOBBING interspersed with REITERATED “Oh, please, please, please…”

6. CONTINUED

… the albino giant plays an obbligato of a WORDLESS, ANIMAL-LIKE, GROWLING SOUNDS as he drags the young woman along, until…

7. ANOTHER ANGLE

… West comes charging out of the underbrush into the clearing…

… simultaneously with Blanco effortlessly flinging the woman over his shoulder and taking a plunging, crashing course into the underbrush; West races after the others, then comes to a crouching stop--

--as THREE GUNSELS emerge from several points, blocking West’s pursuit; West has time only for a small, wry smile before the trio closes in on him, punching and kicking…

… while West ducks, lunges and counter-attacks, utilizing his fists and all the paraphernalia that comes to hand--sand pails, rubber balls and the shrewdly directed arc of the swing to send all three sprawling; with considerable lost time to make up, West continues his race after the hunchback and his captive…

8. ANOTHER CLEARING

… until he bursts through the underbrush, reacting at the sight of the motionless figure of the chiffon-clad woman, now seen sprawled on the ground--

--with something new added in the form of a knife--buried in her back;

9. CLOSER ANGLE

West comes INTO VIEW, sinks to a knee before the inert figure, gently turns her over, lifts her veil--

--and reacts to the sight of a rag-doll face that meets his eyes; a beat, and West rises, drops the full-size doll and races back toward the Hanaford house…

10. INT. HANAFORD’S LABORATORY – NIGHT

… the very moment that Hanaford, intently scrawling calculations on a pad, reacts, his face highlighted by a flash of light; he recoils as CAMERA PULLS BACK …

11. ANOTHER ANGLE

… to show a glowing cloud of saffron smoke boiling up in a corner of the room; on this, and Hanaford’s face now lined with terror,

FADE OUT:

END OF TEASER

ACT ONE

FADE IN:

12. INT. HANAFORD’S LABORATORY – NIGHT

CONTINUING ACTION--Hanaford’s eyes are fastened on the cloud of saffron smoke like that of a bird’s on an advancing serpent--

--and as we watch, the cloud swiftly clears, disclosing an IMPRESSIVE FIGURE OF A MAN wearing a highly theatrical get-up consisting of evening dress, top hat, set off by a crimson-lined opera cloak…

… and, final touch, toying with a gold-headed staff embellished with fanciful, carved snakes that almost seem to be writhing from time to time (the newcomer’s name is DINARCHUS, it will be made clear--and he will never be seen without this snake-twined staff).

Now, with his saffron cloud cover entirely dissipated, Dinarchus moves toward the white-faced Hanaford.

DINARCHUS
It’s Dinarchus, again, Doctor; forgive the intrusion, but with that small army of steely-eyed Centurions guarding your doors---
(an elaborate shrug)
--this is the only way I can visit you.

13. CLOSE SHOT – HANAFORD

darting a barely perceptive glance off to one side…

14. ANOTHER ANGLE – ON ALARM BUTTON

… with CAMERA ZOOMING IN on to follow his glance, and disclosing what is obviously an alarm button set into his side of the table that separates the two men…

15. BACK TO SCENE

without looking at it again, Dr. Hanaford keeps inching toward the alarm button during the following:

HANAFORD
This is the third time you have “visited” me…

DINARCHUS
To be precise, the fourth.

HANAFORD
In heaven’s name, what do you want?

DINARCHUS
Merely to add my portion to the admiration a grateful world has showered upon the eminent Dr. Hanaford!

HANAFORD
(warily – bowing)
The eminent Dr. Hanaford is flattered; but there’s more, isn’t there?

DINARCHUS
More?

As he speaks he passes a canary cage suspended from a wall hook--

--makes a plucking motion through the air, and suddenly…

16. CLOSE SHOT – HIS HAND

… there’s a brilliantly colored snake writhing between his fingertips--and now, also, we can see that the glittering ring on his little finger is a strangely luminous glass eye--

17. BACK TO SCENE

Now, holding the writhing snake, Dinarchus extends it toward the canary in its cage--causing the bird to flutter its wings in terror; Dinarchus smiles happily at the bird’s reaction, then makes a flicking motion causing the snake to disappear...

... after which he turns, seats himself on a corner of the desk and continues:

DINARCHUS
Yes, my dear doctor, there’s more:
(leaning forward)
I want the holy grail--my own, personal holy grail if you please.

HANAFORD
I don’t understand...

DINARCHUS
Listen, Doctor, like you, I, too, am engaged in a ceaseless quest for the truth--a quest that seemed to be hopelessly blocked until I read the paper you presented before the Cavendish Society last month.

HANAFORD
But I still don’t...

DINARCHUS
Wait; in a modest way, I, too, am a chemist; your paper described a new organic catalyst you succeeded in isolating -- a brilliant achievement...

HANAFORD
(shakes head wearily)
Ah, we’re back to DX-24, are we?

DINARCHUS
Yes! If I am ever to find my holy grail I need that catalyst.

HANAFORD
And once again I tell you, you can’t have it!

Dinarchus’ ghastly smile widens as his staff drifts closer to Hanaford.

HANAFORD
You will be paid for it, of course--handsomely.

17. CONTINUED

HANAFORD
(earnestly--his finger almost on alarm button)
No, no, as I told you, since I am employed by the government, technically it owns everything I...

With a CRACKLING SNARL, a flash of electricity leaps from the tip of Dinarchus’ staff to Hanaford’s hand, causing Hanaford to recoil from the alarm button with a cry of pain.

18. ANOTHER ANGLE

... and now, every vestige of his smile gone, Dinarchus gets to his feet, looming menacingly over Hanaford.

DINARCHUS
(harshly)
You pitiful fool! I can open hidden portals to purgatories that Dante himself would have faltered from describing--
(his voice low, crackling)
--and I promise you I’ll lovingly introduce you to every one of them if...!

He whirls around at the SOUND of SHATTERING GLASS...

19. ANOTHER ANGLE

... to see West diving through the windows and landing on the floor amid a welter of glass shards--

--then West picks himself up and advances toward Dinarchus, who slowly retreats into the corner where he first appeared:

DINARCHUS
(continuing)
Another steely-eyed Centurion;
(raising his staff)
more later, doctor.

19. CONTINUED

His timing is superb; again a cloud of saffron smoke boils up, totally obscuring him, just as West starts to leap forward; West retreats before the corrosive cloud, coughing and blinking his obviously smarting eyes--

20. ANOTHER ANGLE – AT WINDOW

--flings wide the windows then turns, reacting as he sees...

21. HIS POV

... nothing! The saffron cloud in the corner has disappeared--and so has Dinarchus; West comes INTO VIEW, slamming his hands against the paneled wall--feeling, listening to the SOUNDS that result, then his hands contact an area that emits a HOLLOWED SOUND; West draws back, then slams his shoulder against the wall, crashes through...

22. INT. PANELED SECRET PASSAGEWAY – NIGHT

... and into a narrow corridor, illuminated by light filtering in through a skylight high on the ceiling; West is off and running toward the bend that lies ahead...

23. ANOTHER ANGLE

... then rounds the corner and barrels right toward the CAMERA--

24. ANOTHER ANGLE

--then is past the CAMERA racing along, toward a narrow set of stairs that he hastily descends;

25. ANOTHER ANGLE

West comes racing up to a cul-de-sac, stops, momentarily perplexed--then looks up and sees the trapdoor trap-door [sic]; he flips it up, hauls himself through it...

26. INT. GAZEBO – NIGHT

... and finds himself in the gazebo seen earlier; West looks around at the darkness ringing the gazebo--starts to head back to the house, then stops, as his food encounters something underfoot that CRUNCHES;

26. CONTINUED

... he stoops, comes up with several objects too small to be identifiable; CAMERA MOVES IN to West’s hand holding the objects...

MATCH FLIP TO:

27. SAME CLOSE SHOT OF HAND HOLDING OBJECT

HOLD, then PULL BACK to show that the objects are now in the hand of ARTEMUS, who is examining them through a hand lens, during which we become aware that we are now in:

28. INT. HANAFORD’S LABORATORY – NIGHT

... and that Hanaford is seated at his desk, wearing a tense expression--

--while West paces the room as he talks.

WEST
Doctor, Mr. Gordon and I are in the business of looking for trouble--and examining coincidences very, very carefully...

HANAFORD
(shaking his head)
I know you’re trying to tell me something, but...

ARTEMUS
(as he scans object)
It’s a two-part statement, doctor; on the one hand, there are half a million acres of wheatland up North that are seriously threatened by the worst blight in our history...

WEST
... for which you are narrowing down a search for an effective pesticide.

28. CONTINUED

ARTEMUS
On the other hand, we are faced with the coincidence of an extraordinarily unwholesome gentleman named Dinarchus who suddenly shows up; why?

HANAFORD
Is it that important? This Dinarchus is annoying, certainly, with his sudden appearances, and his bag of flashy tricks, but...

WEST
(gravely)
No, doctor, believe me, Dinarchus is more than a sideshow performer...

29. SHOT - ARTEMUS

as he continues to study the small objects through his glass:

ARTEMUS
... he’s very badly wanted by the police of Europe, North Africa and Asia Minor for a catalog of crimes that start with murder--
(wryly)
--and works its way up.

30. ANOTHER ANGLE – AT WINDOW

West’s pacing brings him to the window, where he stares out thoughtfully--then, as he turns back to the others his attention is attracted to an easel photograph standing on a corner bric-a-brac stand; he picks it up and studies it...

31. INSERT – PHOTO

it shows an ATTRACTIVE YOUNG MAN smiling into the CAMERA.

32. BACK TO SCENE

West turns, holding the photo as he look inquiringly at Dr. Hanaford.

HANAFORD
My son, Vance.

WEST
Is he home?

HANAFORD
No; he’s vacationing at the Cleary Ranch, twenty miles from here.

WEST
Then, except for your cook, you’re alone here.

Hanaford nods; West sets the photo back on the stand, and resumes his pacing, as:

HANAFORD
How did Dinarchus find out about the secret passages in this old house? Even I didn’t know about it!

WEST
That’s a good question--but there’s an even more important question.

HANAFORD
You mean--my DX-24?

WEST
Right! And why this Dinarchus has such an itch for it!

HANAFORD
I don't know! It’s a crystalline enzyme--one of many I’ve isolated and as far as I can see, without any value...

He stops, frowning; West watching him warily, prompts him:

32. CONTINUED

WEST
Anything else you can tell me?

HANAFORD
I meant to tell you about this before--you remember I reported that someone broke into the lab last week and stole--a small bottle...?

He pauses, and West continues:

WEST
Did it contain DX-24, by any chance?

Hanaford nods, and West’s eyes reflect his gathering excitement as he swings around to Artemus, his eye still glued to the small object.

WEST (CONT’D)
Begins to add up, Artie! Dinarchus swipes a sample of Dr. Hanaford’s enzyme...

ARTEMUS
... runs tests on it, finds it to his liking and returns for more; it’s be interesting to find out what use he plans to put it to--and while we’re on the subject of interesting items, have a peek at this.

West takes the minute object from Artemus, glances at it through the hand lens, then passes both on to Hanaford.

WEST
(thoughtfully)
Cone-shaped limestone fragments--like bits of stalactite and stalagmite.

ARTEMUS
Right! And since friend Dinarchus must have quarters somewhere in this bailiwick, that would seem to add up to--a cave.

32. CONTINUED

WEST
A cave! Of course!
(turning to Hanaford)
Doctor: Where are the limestone outcroppings around here?

West trails off; Hanaford, wearing a puzzled expression, shakes his head as he looks up from the lens.

HANAFORD
I’m sorry, gentlemen--these certainly are stalactite particles, but you can forget your cave theory--there are no limestone outcroppings for miles around!

West and Artemus exchange wry glances.

ARTEMUS
Well, so much for that theory; looks like we’ll have to continue to...

He stops, staring off, then points:

ARTEMUS (CONT’D)
Jim! Look at that photo!

West wheels around as CAMERA ANGLES...

33. ANOTHER ANGLE – AT BRIC-A-BRAC STAND

... to show the easel photo of Vance previously seen--only now there’s a wisp of smoke curling up from it; West comes INTO VIEW, gingerly picks the photo up--

--then flings it away from him, the briefest of seconds before it bursts into a fiercely burning ball of orange fire. CAMERA MOVES to establish West’s and Artemus’s grim reaction as they watch the blaze--and Hanaford’s bewildered expression.

WEST
(grimly)
One of Dinarchus’ playful tricks.

ARTEMUS
(nodding_
Neat, too; delayed action combustion, triggered by human contact...

He and West swing around at the CHOKING SOUND that is wrung from Hanaford, as CAMERA ANGLES to show him staring at the photo (its flames extinguished) lying on the floor; Artemus scoops it up...

34. INSERT – PHOTO

... and sees that in some strange way the photo is changed; it’s still Vance, but now he is no longer smiling--and his eyes are closed--as if in death.

35. BACK TO SCENE

And while all three are staring at the photo, the KNOCKING AT THE DOOR is HEARD...

36. ANOTHER ANGLE - AT DOOR

... and the door opens to disclose an AGED CHINESE HOUSEBOY, who bobs his head. (His name is TANG)

TANG
Came to say dinnah ready, please.

He bobs his head again and disappears.

37. ANOTHER ANGLE

as Hanaford gamely tries to play the gracious host.

HANAFORD

Well, gentlemen, shall we?

The three move off to the door.

FLIP TO:

38. INT. COMBINED STUDY AND DINING ROOM – NIGHT

West, Artemus and Hanaford, are seated at a table, one end of which butts up against a wall, on which a small sconce is positioned. Artemus holds up the photo of Vance (its frame charred by flames) as he speaks:

38. CONTINUED

ARTEMUS
Actually, Dinarchus is very ingenious in achieving the effects he wants--the mere touch of a human hand causes the combustion you saw--which burnt away the top photo...

He stops, as the sconce on the wall flares up, like a signal, then subsides, as a RISING HUM is HEARD--

--and, obviously in response, Hanaford presses a button set into the wall; a panel slides up, disclosing a dumbwaiter bearing a tray containing a wine bottle and glasses; Hanaford removes the tray, the panel slides shut and we HEAR the FAINT HUM of the dumbwaiter descending, as:

HANAFORD
When your kitchen is in the basement, and your cook is an ancient Cantonese with bad feet and an uncertain temper, you are well advised to install a dumbwaiter, as I did.
(to Artemus)
Please, go on, Mr. Gordon.

ARTEMUS
As I was saying, the flames burned away the top photo, exposing the second photo that Dinarchus had planted previously--and of course this photo undoubtedly was coated with a flameproof solution, so that...

Again he stops, as the SOUND of the DUMBWAITER’S HUM is HEARD AGAIN--GROWING LOUDER;

--and the wall sconce flares up again; Hanaford frowns, stops pouring wine, presses the button, the panel slides up and we see a large silver platter with a domed cover--

38. CONTINUED

--that Hanaford removes (the panel closes and the dumbwaiter descends) and sets down on the table between himself and his guest.

HANAFORD
(hand on domed cover’s handle)
Let’s see what delicacy Tang has prepared for...

He has taken the cover off as he speaks, and he and the others recoil before the cloud of smoke that boils up out of the platter, through which we see a skull...

... with glowing eyes, and from whose jaws we HEAR Dinarchus voice:

SKULL
Enjoy your meal, gentlemen, and you, doctor, enjoy your son while you may--because tomorrow, at Cock-crow he will sink into the spell I’ve prepared for him!

Even before the skull has stopped “talking” West and Artemus have leaped to their feet.

ARTEMUS
I’ll take the kitchen, Jim!

39. EXT. WINDOW – NIGHT

Pocketing his derringer, West plunges toward the curtained window...

40. EXT. WINDOW – NIGHT
... swings it wide and FIRES straight up, the gun making an oddly MUFFLED RETORT... The writer must have meant that Jim “produced” the derringer, not pocketed it!

41. SHOT – SKY

... and the star-shell missile West has fired blossoms out into a bright-as-day burst of illumination...

42. INT. HANAFORD DINING ROOM – NIGHT

... then West pockets his gun and dashes for the door leading out of the room, slams through...

43. EXT. FRONT DOOR HANAFORD FRONT DOOR – NIGHT

... and out the front door, swinging wide as he heads for the gazebo--the whole scene eerily illuminated by the star-shell he has put into orbit...

44. INT. GAZEBO – NIGHT

TWO GUNSELS whirl around as West slams into the gazebo--and a THIRD GUNSEL scrambles out of the trapdoor opening as West mixes it up with the two on their feet, dodging, weaving, counterpunching...

45. EXT. GAZEBO – NIGHT

... then, crashing through the lattice work sides, one gunsel is catapulted out from one side, while another is catapulted out from another--

--and the third slams out of the door and takes to his heels, followed by West, who turns to the two gunsels who have risen to their feet, mixing it up again with them...

46. SHOT – STAR-SHELL

drifting down from its tiny parachute--and as we watch its bright descent, it flickers and go out, plunging the scene into unrelieved darkness.

47. BACK TO WEST

and now West can no longer see his opponents; we HEAR them SCRAMBLING THROUGH THE BUSHES as they take to their heels--heels;

A beat, then West turns and heads hastily back to the house.

48. INT. HANAFORD CORRIDOR – NIGHT

West is hustling along the corridor when he comes fact to face with Collins, the agent we saw earlier.

48. CONTINUED

COLLINS
No, sir--got every exit covered, too. something missing here?

West nods grimly, starts to turn around, then pauses, staring...

49. CLOSE SHOT – WALL

... at the small, torn portion of dark material, lined with crimson silk that is snagged on a hinge pin; West bends into VIEW, disengages the piece of material...

50. BACK TO SCENE

... and straightens up, looking his find over.

WEST
In spite of which, a certain gentleman in a top hat and opera cloak passed this way.

He turns, runs back the way he came...

51. ANOTHER ANGLE

... and rounds a corner at high speed to come upon Artemus bending over Tang, sprawled on the ground, blinking dazedly, as if just coming to; he massages his throat, then WHISPERS PAINFULLY in CHINESE--to which Artemus nods soberly as he listens, ending finally with:

ARTEMUS
(in CHINESE)
It is well; rest now.

Artemus looks up to see West:

ARTEMUS (CONT’D)
It seems Tang was preparing dinner when a chopped off hand came floating through the air and fastened itself around his throat; he managed to fight his way out here, then…

Artemus makes an “out-like-a-light” gesture.

51. CONTINUED

WEST
(grimly)
Never a dull moment with Dinarchus hanging around, is there?

A CHOKING SOUNDS causes West and Artemus to look around...

52. ANOTHER ANGLE – AT DOOR

... to find Dr. Hanaford rounding the corner, staring at the scene; CAMERA MOVES IN CLOSE

53. CLOSE SHOT – HANAFORD

... as he covers his face with a pair of trembling hands:

MATCH DISSOLVE TO:

53. SAME CLOSE SHOT OF HANAFORD, HANDS COVERING HIS FACE

then PULL BACK to show we now are in...

54. INT. HANAFORD’S COMBINED STUDY AND DINING ROOM – NIGHT

... that we are now in a book-lined, paneled room. West holds a skull in his hand, as:

WEST
It was all done with tricks, don’t you see? Hiding in the corridors, Dinarchus cleverly projected his voice; the rising smoke helped create the illusion that the skull was actually talking...

Suddenly Hanaford uncovers his face and turns fiercely to West:

HANAFORD
You think you can explain away everything, don’t you? Dinarchus’ shabby little tricks shouldn’t frighten me, I know--but they do ... for my son!

WEST
Dr. Hanaford...

55. CONTINUED

HANAFORD
First the photo of Vance--looking dead--then the skull talking--
(repeating, dread in his voice)
“Tomorrow, at cock-crow, your son will sink into a spell I’ve prepared for him!”

West sets the skull down and moves off to the door, collecting his hat as he goes:

WEST
Dr. Hanaford, it’ll be light enough to pick up Dinarchus trail in a little while, so I’m leaving;
(pausing)
and by the way, Mr. Gordon thought it might be a good idea to go to the Cleary ranch and bring Vance back here where we can keep an eye on him.

Hanaford’s eyes are brimming with gratitude as West swings the door open.

HANAFORD
That takes a big load off my mind! When will Mr. Gordon...?

WEST
(eyeing clock)
He left with the train over an hour ago, so he ought to be arriving at the ranch about now.

He exits: CAMERA HOLDS on Hanaford’s tired, but relieved expression--

FLIP TO.

56. EXT. CLEARY RANCH – DAWN

SHOOTING UP--at a western-type front gate arch constructed out of heavy branches, with the name “CLEARY” worked into the design, through which we see the light-streaked, early dawn sky; HOLD, then TILT DOWNWARD...

57. ANOTHER ANGLE

... to show a WRANGLER-TYPE harnessing a horse near the gate--

--and beyond him, a plume of dust marking the fast pace being set by a horse racing toward the gate--which soon becomes visible as the horse bearing Artemus; as Artemus pulls up beside the wrangler:

ARTEMUS
I’m looking for a Mr. Vance Hanaford.

The wrangler swings around, eyes searching, then he stops, pointing off, as CAMERA ANGLES...

58. ANOTHER ANGLE

... to show a YOUNG MAN (he’s VANCE HANAFORD) and an ATTRACTIVE YOUNG LADY (she’s ROSAMUND TATE) on horses, riding out of a corral and approaching, both LAUGHING and talking animatedly; Artemus dismounts and walks out to meet the two riders.

BAIN [? Obviously should be Artie!]
Mr. Hanaford?
(at the other’s nod)
My name’s Gordon--a friend of your father’s, you might say...

VANCE
(a rush of concern)
Is he all right?

ARTEMUS
Couldn’t be righter; but he’d feel a lot better if you’d return home with me.

The momentary concern in the boy’s eyes drains away, replaced by exasperation, as:

VANCE
But I don’t understand--if he’s all right...?

ARTEMUS
It’s a little complicated; look, I have a train waiting at the siding for the return trip--I’ll to into all the details on the way back, I promise you.

VANCE
All right, Mr. Gordon--
(suddenly remembering)
Oh--may I present Miss Rosamund Tate...

Artemus and the young lady murmur “How-do-you-do’s,” then Vance continues, as he takes her arm:

VANCE (CONT’D)
... who has just consented to marry me.

ARTEMUS
Congratulations--to both of you!

Vance and Rosamund AD-LIB “Thank you’s,” then Vance turns to Rosamund:

VANCE
You’re coming back with me, Rosamund...

59. SHOT – AT FENCE

we see a rooster picking his way along, then flapping himself up onto the topmost fence pole, where he starts the traditional stretching, neck-craning and wing flapping that precedes the crowing...

60. BACK TO SCENE

VANCE (CONT’D)
... after all, you’ve got to meet your future father-in-law some time, and this is as good a time as...

This is the point where the CROWING RINGS OUT--and the effect on Vance is immediate; he freezes, his eyes turn up, then before Artemus or Rosamund can raise a hand, he slips from the saddle and falls inertly to the ground.

On the tableau of Artemus staring downward in shocked horror while Rosamund’s SCREAM is FILLING THE AIR, we

FREEZE SCREAM AND FRAME:

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
8373 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2009 :  10:44:14  Show Profile


ACT TWO

FADE IN:

61. EXT. TERRAIN – DAWN

LONG SHOT--of the rocky, wild terrain, during which CAMERA ANGLES IN A PANORAMIC TURN, finally coming to REST on a tiny rider, far in the distance...

62. CLOSER ANGLE

... who turns out to be West, travel-stained, as if he had been riding far and long; HOLD on him as he rides up, sweeping the terrain with his eyes, obviously looking for a trail--

--then ANGLE to follow him as he rides by…

FLIP TO:

63. INT. WEST’S VARNISH – DAY

CLOSE – on Vance Hanaford--his face waxen, eyes closed--then PULL BACK...

64. ANOTHER ANGLE

... to show that he is stretched out on a sofa in the varnish, with a BACKWOODS-TYPE DOCTOR bending over him...

... while a grave-faced Artemus watches from one side, and on the other, Rosamund Tate hovers, gnawing at her knuckle as she looks on fearfully. The doctor straightens up, unclipping his stethoscope and shaking his head as he rubs the back of his neck:

DOCTOR
Well, I gotta own up to bein’ puzzled; the patient’s heart, respiration, blood pressure is all normal--and yet...

He stops, shrugging his shoulders in puzzlement.

BAIN [Again?]
(thoughtfully)
You might almost say--he’s under a spell, eh?

DOCTOR
How’s that?

64. ARTEMUS
Sorry, an unfortunate figure of speech.

DOCTOR
I could try dosing the boy, if you like...

ROSAMUND
No!

Artemus pats Rosamund’s shoulder comfortingly, then, reacts gratefully to the SOUND of a COUPLE OF BLASTS FROM THE LOCOMOTIVE up front:

ARTEMUS
I think not, Doctor; as it happens, our train’s all set to leave for a fast trip to a Denver hospital...

65. EXT. TERRAIN – DAY

The sun is now high above as West’s horse comes INTO VIEW, topping a rise; West starts to direct his horse off to one side, then he stops, squinting...

66. HIS POV

In a clearing, oddly isolated in the otherwise wooded terrain, we see what is obviously an old, abandoned house. A beat, as West stares off at it, then he spurs his horse toward it.

67. ANOTHER ANGLE – AT HOUSE

West comes riding up, looking over the decrepit weather-beaten old structure--

--with every window shuttered--and the front door looking as if it’s ready to fall from its rusty hinges; West starts to turn away, then stops again, staring hard in the direction of the door--

--then dismounts.

68. ANOTHER ANGLE – AT FRONT DOOR

as West comes up, squinting, as CAMERA MOVES IN...

69. CLOSE SHOT – DOOR HINGES

... to show the hinges, rusty, beat-up, but oiled at the pins!

70. BACK TO SCENE

West tries the door--finds it locked; he removes a gleaming sliver of a lock-pick from his lapel, inserts it in the keyhole and starts probing away...

71. INT. ABANDONED OLD HOUSE – DAY

CLOSE – ON DOOR; we HEAR a CLICK, then the door silently swings open, admitting West, who closes the door shut behind him, stows away his lock-pick and looks around; AS CAMERA PULLS BACK...

72. HIS POV

... he sees a ramshackle, almost barren one-room house, with the only noteworthy feature consisting of a tattered drape covering the entire back wall--

--a drape, through whose tears and worn spots, flickering, dancing light can be seen.

73. ANOTHER ANGLE

West advances toward the drape and parts it--reacting at what he sees--CAMERA ANGLES...

74. ANOTHER ANGLE

... to show that he’s staring at a coffin resting on a draped bier--with a profusion of flowers strewn about on the bier--

--and with a pair of large, flickering candles set in candlesticks at either side of the coffin.

There’s the SOUND OF A DOOR OPENING--West turns--

75. ANOTHER ANGLE – AT SIDE DOOR

to see a young lady entering--disturbingly beautiful, in spite of her wildly streaming hair and her pale face and tense, staring eyes; she’s dressed in a tattered black dress--

75. CONTINUED

--and in her arms she carries masses of wild flowers. (She is Alekh, of course--the same girl seen in teaser.)

ALEKH
You’ve come to take Caleb, like all the others--ain’t you?

She moves to the bier and reverently strews the flowers in her arms, adding them to the others, as:

ALEKH (CONT’D)
Well, I won’t let you--
(whirling around)
Y’hear?

WEST
(gently)
I hear.

ALEKH
He ain’t gone, like Miz Tansey and all the others make out! He’s just--restin’--and you ain’t fixing t’take him from me, are you?

WEST
(gravely)
No--I wouldn’t think of it.

He inclines his head in a small bow, turns and exits from the room...


76. EXT. ABANDONED OLD HOUSE – DAY

... and emerges, wearing a thoughtful expression--

--and that is immediately erased from his face as he glances up at the sky, electrified at what he sees:

77. HIS POV

far in the distance, a signal rocket has arched high into the air and is now flowering into a burst of colored smoke.

78. BACK TO SCENE

West races for his horse, leaps into the saddle and barrels for home.

79. INT. HOSPITAL CORRIDOR – DAY

A tense Dr. Hanaford is seated--Rosamund stands behind him, her hands protectively on his shoulders--while West and Artemus, leaning against a nearby wall, look on--

--during which a NURSE and SEVERAL HOSPITAL VISITORS walk past--

--and then the door opens and a WHITE-GOWNED, IMPRESSIVELY BEARDED DOCTOR EMERGES, closing the door behind him; Hanaford scrambles to his feet and eagerly goes to him, followed by Rosamund:

HANAFORD
Well, Doctor, is he...?

DOCTOR
(slowly--troubled)
I’ve never seen anything quite like it;
(looks at chart in his hand)
Your son is in a state of deep, suspended animation; what caused it--or how we can treat the condition...

His shrug tells everything.

HANAFORD
But surely there’s something that can be done!

DOCTOR
Yes, there is; I’ve spoken to Mr. Gordon about Dr. Maximillian Goff, a specialist who’s had some remarkable results with catatonics...

HANAFORD
Where can I reach him!?

ARTEMUS
I’ve already sent for him, Doctor--he should be arriving any minute now.

DOCTOR
Till then, I suggest you all go home, get some rest...

79. CONTINUED

ROSAMUND
I’m staying here with Vance!

West takes Hanaford’s arm.

WEST
Look, Doctor, we’ve arranged for a telegraph line to be run out to your house; let Rosamund hold down the fort here--she’ll notify us if there’s any change.

A small, internal struggle, then Hanaford, nodding tiredly, allows West to lead him from the room.

FLIP TO:

80. INT. HANAFORD STUDY – NIGHT

Tang is pouring coffee and setting it beside a sandwich on Hanaford’s desk as Hanaford, West and Artemus enter. West and Artemus look on somberly as Hanaford sinks into a chair and buries his face in his hands.

HANAFORD
I appreciate all you’ve done, gentlemen, but I’d like to be alone.

WEST
Of course, doctor.

He and Artemus go to the door as Tang, following, bobs his head and says:

TANG
Excuse, doctah--your package of laboratory supplies came for you while you were gone.

He points to a sizeable package on Hanaford’s desk and exits; Hanaford looks the package over dully, then shakes his head:

HANAFORD
I didn’t order any supplies.

81. CLOSE – ON WEST AND ARTEMUS

almost through the door; they stop, exchange narrow-eyed glances; West closes the door...

82 BACK TO HANAFORD

... then both come up and look over the package.

WEST
With your permission, Doctor.

Quickly, deftly, West strips the wrappings away, lifts the cover off the cardboard box--

--then slowly, carefully lifts out a large, gaudily-colored metal top with a long handle protruding from its top.

WEST (CONT’D)
Someone obviously feels you should have a top, Doctor...

ARTEMUS
(touching handle)
... a fancy one, with a ratchet device; you push down, and the top revolves--
(a beat)
--or blows up, as the case may be.

WEST
(ponders thoughtfully, then:
I don't think so, Artie; for the time being, at least, I’d say Dinarchus wants Dr. Hanaford alive and well;
(a beat)
But just to be on the safe side...

He gestures; Artemus takes Hanaford’s arm and escorts him OUT OF VIEW; now, alone, West pauses briefly, his hand on the ratchet handle of the top--

--this his hand descends, causing the top to spin into a blur of colorful revolutions...

... with an ACCOMPANYING REEDY, ORGAN-LIKE NOTE emerging from the spinning top--RISING, FALLING, then suddenly segueing into:

82. CONTINUED

DINARCHUS’ VOICE
I have suspended your son in Limbo, Doctor; please believe me, he will die...

83. SHOT – DR. HANAFORD

reacting in horror.

HANAFORD
(involuntarily)
No, no!

84. BACK TO TOP

DIMARCHUS’ VOICE
... unless you are prepared to hand over the formula and your complete stock of DX-24--when next I appear.

Artemus and Dr. Hanaford come INTO VIEW, all staring down at the top as its revolutions--and its ORGAN-IKE MOAN--runs down into silence and immobility.

WEST
He seems to think you have some more of this DX-24, doctor.

HANAFORD
(almost too quickly)
I don’t! He’s--he’s mad!
(suddenly drooping)
I’m so tired; I’m going to bed.

He turns and moves OUT of the room. The others watch him go, then Artemus thoughtfully picks up the top resting on its side--depresses the ratchet handle; the top spins into motion, and again we HEAR:

DINARCHES’ VOICE:
I have suspended your son in limbo, Doctor...

Then we cut it short

BY DISSOLVING TO:

85. SHOT – GRANDFATHER CLOCK

a stray beam of moonlight enables us to see that the hands point to four o’clock-then FOUR CHIME-LIKE NOTES are HEARD as the clock strikes the hour; PULL BACK to show...

86. INT. HANAFORD CORRIDOR – NIGHT

... that we are in the long corridor, only small *****es of moonlight from the partially draped windows relieving the darkness--and now we see the figure of a man, his features blurred by the darkness, moving stealthily from the far end, making his way toward us...

... the past us...

87. ANOTHER ANGLE

... and continuing on to a door at the other end; with infinite pains he opens the door...

88. INT. HANAFORD’S LABORATORY – NIGHT

... then enters what we come to realize is Hanaford’s darkened laboratory; there’s enough moonlight filtering in through the windows to enable us to see the figure go to a shelf stacked with bottles, flasks and other containers...

89. CLOSE SHOT – HIS HANDS

we see them shifting bottles from the shelf, then reaching behind them and coming up with a small flask--

--just as the lights go on and the CAMERA PULLS BACK...

90. ANOTHER ANGLE

... to show that the mysterious hands belong to Dr. Hanaford, who has whirled around like a stag at bay as West, holding a torch, approaches--

--while Artemus, on the other side of the room, turns up the glass lamps. West comes up and takes the flask from Hanaford’s unresisting hands.

91. CLOSE SHOT – FLASK

we see that it contains a quantity of white crystals.

92. BACK TO SCENE

WEST
The rest of your DX-24, Doctor?

HANAFORD
(tonelessly)
You know I’d be coming for it, didn’t you?
(passionately, now)
Well, why shouldn’t I let Dinarchus have it? It’s of no value to us, and if he wants it so badly...

ARTEMUS
... you may rest assured that society will be the worse off for it, whatever use he plans to put it to.

HANAFORD
But my boy--his life could depend on it!

He makes a sudden lunge at the flask in West’s hand; West blocks his frantic hands and Artemus pulls him gently bur firmly into a chair nearby.

WEST
Listen Doctor, Dinarchus is as foul as a man can be, but he doesn’t deal in magic!

HANAFORD
(pointing to Artemus)
No? He saw what happened to Vance!

ARTEMUS
I can’t explain that--but I’m certain that it’s a trick, and that when we finally...

With startling suddenness a telegraph key CLATTERS INTO LIFE, causing Artemus to break off.

93. ANOTHER ANGLE – CLOSE ON TELEGRAPH KEY

mounted on a table; Artemus approaches it, taps out an acknowledgment, listens, then reacts with tightened jaw muscles; behind him we see West and Hanaford waiting--

94. ANGLE ON WEST

--with West’s expression assuming a similar expression of frozen horror.

95. FULL ANGLE

Hanaford looks bewilderingly from West to Artemus, who continues to maintain his rigid attitude, without turning around.

HANAFORD
What--what it is, gentlemen?

ARTEMUS
(tightly--not turning around)
It’s the hospital...

He stops; West picks it up:

WEST
... your son just died.

Hanaford covers his face with his hands, and sinks into a chair, while West stares stonily at Artemus, who continues to stare down at the CLATTERING TELEGRAPH KEY, as we

FREEZE CLATTERING AND FRAME:

END OF 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
8373 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2009 :  10:45:06  Show Profile


ACT THREE

FADE IN:

96. INT. VARNISH CARE – DAY

A WHITE-HAIRED GENTLEMAN wearing pince-nez is seen shuffling through papers in an attaché case as he speaks (he is DR. GOFF) while West and Artemus stand nearby--

--and Rosamund, dry-eyed, but with her lovely young face set in grim lines, stares fixedly out of the window.

ARTEMUS
Doctor Goff, I speak for Vance’s father as well when I tell you how much we all appreciate your effort to save the boy’s life.

DR. GOFF
(shrugging)
Actually, I never got a chance to open my bag, so to speak; Vance Hanaford was dead before I even arrived at the hospital.
(extracting a sheet of paper)
About the death certificate--technically it should go to the nearest of kin...

West extends a hand and takes the sheet of paper.

WEST
I’ll take it; Dr. Hanaford is hardly likely to appreciate this at the moment.

Dr. Goff gets to his feet.

DR. GOFF
(sighing)
It’s a sad business.
(extending his hand)
Let me know if I can be of any further service, gentlemen.

96. CONTINUED

West and Artemus shake hands with the doctor, AD-LIBBING “thank you, doctor’s”--the Dr. Goff collects his bag and his hat, and turns to Rosamund, her position unchanged as she stares out of the window.

DR. GOFF (CONT’D)
As for you, young lady, get some rest.

ROSAMUND
Not till I attend to Vance’s burial.

ARTEMUS
Rosamund, there’s no need for you...

ROSAMUND
(fiercely)
Yes, there is! It’s the last thing I’ll ever be able to do for Vance--and I want that! Please, let me take care of it!

A beat, as West and Artemus exchange silent glances, then, in unspoken accord, both nod to the girl--who relaxes tiredly.

ROSAMOND (CONT’D)
Thank you.
(turning to Dr. Goff)
May I ride back to the hospital with you?

DR. GOFF
Of course, my dear.

Without another word Rosamund turns and moves toward the door, and exits, followed by Dr. Goff. Alone, Artemus turns to West.

ARTEMUS
From where I sit, Jim, I say we’re snookered.

WEST
(nodding grimly)
Half a million acres of wheatland threatened with destruction...

96. CONTINUED

ARTEMUS
... and the one man close to perfecting a chemical spray to save them has stopped doing everything--everything but mourning his son, that is.
(wryly)
Dinarchus has done his work very well.

West slams his fist into the palm of his other hand:

WEST
We know so little! Just that Dinarchus is aching to get his hands on Hanaford’s enzyme...

ARTEMUS
... without the vaguest notion why.

WEST
We’ve had one meeting with Dinarchus--been entertained by some of his tricks...

ARTEMUS
(holding up scrap of material)
... and all we have to show for our efforts is this scrap of his opera cloak.

West takes the scrap of material from Artemus as he paces by, crushes it savagely in his hand, then starts to return it to Artemus--and stops, sniffing at it:

WEST
It’s go an odd smell, Artie--what is it?

Artemus puts the scrap of material to his nose, sniffs at it thoughtfully, then:

ARTEMUS
Well, that figures; it’s fennel.

96. CONTINUED

WEST
What do you mean by that?

ARTEMUS
Fennel is the traditional herb that alchemists and necromancers have always favored; in Swann’s book on sorcerers, he says that…

He stops, staring off as CAMERA ANGLES...

97. ANOTHER ANGLE

... to show West lost in thought, a growing excitement in his eyes.

ARTEMUS
(reproachfully)
Jim, you haven’t heard a word I’ve said.

WEST
Check me, Artie--every time Dinarchus has appeared there’s been this distinctive smell of fennel in the air...

Artemus ponders for a moment, then:

ARTEMUS
I think you’re right; so?

WEST
Remember the lady in black I told you about?

ARTEMUS
The one mourning for her departed Caleb?

WEST
(nodding)
Now that I recall--there was a definite smell of fennel about her, too!

West and Artemus look at each other with shining eyes;

97. CONTINUED

ARTEMUS
I’d say another visit to the place of mourning is definitely indicated.

WEST
(as he reaches for his hat)
My sentiments exactly!

ARTEMUS
Me, I think I’ll stick close to home and keep an eye on Dr. Hanaford--and the occasional visitors who drop in on him.

West nods, exits; alone, Artemus picks up the scrap of opera cloak and is sniffing thoughtfully at it, as we:

FLIP TO:

98. EXT. TERRAIN – DAY

SHOT of West riding over broken ground--crouched low in his saddle, traveling fast...

99, CLOSE SHOT – CANARY

hopping about on its perch, WARBLING HAPPILY: PULL BACK...

100. INT. HANAFORD’S LABORATORY – DAY

... to show an ironic contrast; Hanaford, wan and gaunt, obviously the worse for grief, seated at his desk, staring vacantly into the distance of the shade-drawn, darkened room--

--unaware that a little cloud of saffron-colored smoke is rising from the floor; then we HEAR:

DINARCHUS’ VOICE
Well, Doctor, we meet again.

Slowly, Hanaford raises his head and looks up as CAMERA PULLS BACK...

101. FULL SHOT

... to show Dinarchus standing in the corner of the laboratory where he appeared earlier--the center of a pall of saffron smoke that dissipates as we watch; Hanaford slowly gets to his feet, his fists clenched, and moves toward Dinarchus.

HANAFORD
(hoarsely)
Murderer!

Dinarchus bows mockingly, as if tribute has just been paid to him.

DINARCHUS
Thank you; I have spared neither time nor effort to elevate extinction of life to the status of a fine art.

Then, as Hanaford continues to approach, Dinarchus’ brow clouds over and his elegant cadences are gone:

DINARCHUS (CONT’D)
(harshly, now)
No further, old man, or you’ll meet your own shadow, face-to-face!
(Hanaford halts--Dinarchus’ brow clears again)
Now, to business; I want the formula and one hundred grams of your DX-24.

For a beat Hanaford stares unbelievingly at Dinarchus, then he bursts into bitter, mirthless laughter:

HANAFORD
(mockingly)
And if I don’t give it to you, what will you do--kill me? Do you think even your brand of death has any terror left for me?

DINARCHUS
I wouldn’t think of killing you, Doctor.

HANAFORD
Then how can you hope to persuade me to give you want you want?

101. CONTINUED

DINARCHUS
(seating himself on edge of desk)
Because that’s the only way you can have your son back.

Hanaford recoils, his lips automatically forming the words:

HANAFORD
Blasphemer! You killed him!

DINARCHUS
Quite true; but you see--I can also restore him to life.

Hanaford slowly backs away from Dinarchus, the revolted look on his face matching the slow shaking of his head. Dinarchus looks almost amused...

DINARCHUS (CONT’D)
You find that difficult to believe.

He looks around the room, and his eye lights on the canary cage suspended from a wall hook.

DINARCHUS (CONT’D)
Well, then, I’ll show you.

He raises his snake-entwined staff, extends it close to the bars of the canary cage--

102. CLOSE SHOT – HANAFORD

reacting, horrified to the SOUND OF ELECTRICAL CRACKLING--

103. BACK TO SCENE

--then Dinarchus comes up to him and tosses the inert form of the canary onto his desk.

DINARCHUS
Examine it, if you please.

Hanaford picks up the canary tenderly, then sets it down again, turning a look of butter loathing on Dinarchus:

103. CONTINUED

HANAFORD
Dead--like everything else you touch!

Dinarchus bows again, picks up the inanimate bundle of yellow feathers, encloses it in both hands, puts his lips close to his hands, and begin MUTTERING, as if talking to the canary...

... a low LOW-VOICED MUTTERING that becomes MORE AND MORE DEMANDING--

--until Dinarchus stops, smiling horribly at Hanaford over his cupped hands, which he slowly opens...

... permitting the canary to fly out.

104. ANOTHER ANGLE – ON HANAFORD

unbelievingly watching the bird flying about the room--

105. ANOTHER ANGLE – AT WINDOW

--until, finally, it flies outside and is gone.

106. BACK TO SCENE

Dinarchus runs his hands lovingly over the twined snakes on his staff, as he watches Hanaford go to his work bench and tremblingly begin assembling beakers and other apparatus:

HANAFORD
It--it will take me some time to draft the formula, and to prepare that quantity of enzyme...!

DINARCHUS
No hurry; have it ready and with your, when you meet me in your son’s crypt--at twelve, midnight.

HANAFORD
(almost overcome)
You--you mean--that you’ll...?

106. CONTINUED

DINARCHUS
Yes! I’ll cause your son to rise from his coffin and be restored to his grieving father;
(stepping backwards as he talks)
Remember--at the stroke of twelve--in your son’s crypt...

He’s in the corner as he finishes, and again a great cloud of smoke boils up, obliterating him---

--and when it clears, as before, Dinarchus is gone.

107. CLOSE – ON HANAFORD

the look of horror compounded with bewilderment fading away--until he is relaxed and thoughtful; a beat, lost in thought, then he goes across the room to a curtained alcove, draws it gently and stares down at the sleeping figure on the bed that is revealed...

108. CLOSE SHOT – SLEEPER

we see that it is Dr. Hanaford -- but the real article.

109. BACK TO SCENE

as “Hanaford” draws the curtain closed again, goes to a mirror on the wall...

110. CLOSE SHOT – MIRROR

... and starts stripping away all the make-up elements, during which it becomes evident that we have been watching Artemus in action:

ARTEMUS
(soliloquizing)
A beautiful job of palming, Mr. Dinarchus--you destroy a canary--substitute a live one you came prepared with--and a grieving father his swept off his feet by your “miracle.”

As he speaks, we

DISSOLVE TO:

111. EXT. “ABANDONED HOUSE” – DAY

We see a gunsel (seen earlier) come INTO VIEW from one side of the house--

--just as another gunsel comes INTO VIEW from the other side of the house; both turn and start walking back again--and it becomes obvious that the two are sentries guarding against any unauthorized entrance into the old house...

112. CLOSE - WEST, LOOKING THROUGH TELESCOPE

... and that the view we have seen is what West, sprawled out low in some scrub brush, is looking at through his telescope. West takes the scope from his eye, telescopes it down to a narrow, six-inch length of tubing that he pockets--

--then begins the cautious business of crawling closer to the house.

113. ANOTHER ANGLE – AT BOULDER

West is considerably closer to the house now, hidden from view behind the boulder; he flips his derringer into his hand, loads the protruding shaft of a bulky, torpedo-like missile into the barrel of the derringer, pulls the trigger...

... and with a MUFFLED HISS the missile rockets into the air--

114. ANOTHER ANGLE – CLOSE, SOME DISTANCE AWAY AT WOODSHED

--and slams home into a woodshed adjoining the house--and immediately a thick pall of smoke arises from the point where it hit.

115. ANOTHER ANGLE – AT THE HOUSE

from both sides of the house the gunsels come running, staring in amazement at the smoking woodshed, then one snatches a pail of water, the other a gunnysack, and both go running to the woodshed, dousing it with water and beating at it with the gunnysack...

116. ANOTHER ANGLE – ON WEST

... which is all West has been waiting for; he leaps to his feet and covers the remaining distance to the house in a matter of seconds--

117, ANOTHER ANGLE – AT DOOR

--comes up to the door which he tries and finds open; he lets himself in...

118. INT. ABANDONED HOUSE – DAY

... and is relieved to find that there’s no one else in the room; he goes to the tattered drape, slides it back...

... and looks over the same coffin, flower-strewn bier and burning candles; West proceeds to go over the interior of the barren room, looking for hidden doors, or any other means of exist--

--and finds nothing; then his eye falls on the coffin--he surveys it thoughtfully, goes to it--

119. ANOTHER ANGLE – AT COFFIN

--and flips open the coffin lid; we see him peering in, and from the wry smile on his face, he has finally found what he was looking for.

WEST
(quietly--talking to himself)
Rest in peace, Caleb, wherever you are.

120. HIS POV

the coffin, we see, is a dummy, and conceals a flight of narrow steps that plunges down and is lost in darkness; West hoists himself up onto the coffin, then walks down into the flight of stairs, swinging the coffin lid closed after him...

121. INT. “COFFIN” CORRIDOR

... and emerges into a tunnel cut into the rock below the house; this, in turn, leads into a cave--

--a limestone cave that is pierced with stalactites looming down from the ceiling--and stalagmite rising up from the floor--all shimmering and twinkling with iridescence; West moves through the forest of stone icicles, losing himself in its twist and turns...

122. INT. CAVE – DAY

West continues his cautious progress through the cave, CAMERA RETREATING BEFORE HIM, until West starts to negotiate a turn, then stops, peering intently from behind the cover of a glittering stalactite.

123. HIS POV – DINARCHUS’ LABORATORY

the cave empties into a larger clearing--that has been set up as a laboratory; but a laboratory out of medieval times--masses of apparatus, with not a living soul around.

124. ANOTHER ANGLE

West emerges into the area and looks around the great, conically-shaped brick furnace--the crudely blown glass alembic, surrounded by a variety of stoneware glasses, flasks and beakers--

125. ANOTHER ANGLE

--with a variety of zodiacal charts and globes lining the rocky walls...

... and, grisly touch, various dried animals suspended from a high cross-bar running the length of the circular clearing; and it is while he is grimly looking over the weird survival of alchemist’s days that he reacts to the NERVE-WRACKING SOUND!

It’s not so much the TEARING,CRUNCHING, RASPING nature of the NOISES as the scale!

126. ANOTHER ANGLE – AT PIT

covered by a heavy plank lid; West comes up, listens to the SOUNDS coming from the cover pit, starts to tug at the massive lid, then suddenly gets to his feet, listening--and finally we HEAR NEW SOUND--the SOUNDS of FOOTSTEPS ECHOING their way toward West from one of the tunnels emptying into the central area; West hustles into a corner, concealing himself behind a large celestial globe dotted with astronomical symbols...

127. ANOTHER ANGLE

The FOOTSTEPS are very LOUD, now, and then, into the clearing, Dinarchus emerges with Alekh, the funereally dressed beauty previously seen...

127. CONTINUED

... and, as if on cue, from out of another tunnel emerges the powerful shambling figure of Blanco (we recognize him as the one we saw in the Teaser) who goes to Dinarchus and takes his hat and cloak from him, then exits; alone with Alekh now, Dinarchus passes a hand caressingly through the long, flowing hair of the beauty who has sunk into a crouching position at his feet.

DINARCHUS
I’m sorry you won’t be there to see it, Alekh--it may very well be my most magnificent performance!

ALEKH
(wistfully)
Oh, Dinarchus! It will be at midnight, of course?

DINARCHUS
Naturally--that most magic of moments when the human condition is most susceptible--with the mausoleum as a fitting backdrop for my artistry!
(clapping his hands)
But this calls for a celebration, Alekh--fetch a bottle of Veuve Courbier!

With complete, unquestioning obedience, Alekh rises to her feet...

128. SHOT – WEST

crouching behind the cover of the celestial globe, looks around, wryly aware that the wall area behind the globe is the site of a wine cellar, with a display of wine bottle necks protruding from their honeycomb racks...

129. BACK TO ALEKH

... moving toward the celestial globe/wine cellar; as she starts to enter, a wine bottle is extended to her--

--and automatically she takes it, starts to turn away, then reacts in a delayed take, accented by a sharp intake of her breath--

129. CONTINUED

--followed by West emerging from concealment.

WEST
How is dear Caleb these days?

130. ANOTHER ANGLE

Dinarchus swings around in his seat and calmly takes in the picture of Alekh, wine bottle still in her hand, retreating warily before West, who advances toward Dinarchus.

131. CLOSE SHOT – DINARCHUS’ FOOT

cautiously seeking out a small hinged treadle under the table and depressing it…

132. SHOT – CAVE HATCHERY

we see several hard-looking gunsels, one of them adjusting valves on a complex of heating pipes running overhead, above a long series of racks, in which ping-pong ball sized eggs are reposting in enclosures filled with excelsior--

--all of them reacting as (obviously in response to Dinarchus depressing the treadle) a semaphore-like signal suddenly swings down from above, and starts swinging back and forth, in concert with a LOUD, BEEPING SOUND...

133. BACK TO DINARCHUS’ LABORATORY

West has come up to Dinarchus now; a Dinarchus who is playing the role of one elaborately resigned to the inevitable:

DINARCHUS
I thought I detected an alien presence--
(bowing)
You must forgive the disordered appearance of my laboratory...

WEST
Of course; now, on your feet...

Dinarchus rises, sighing.

133. CONTINUED

DINARCHUS
(to Alekh)
I’m afraid we must do as this determined young man says, my dear--
(to West--rising)
And now, sir?

WEST
(indicating tunnel)
To begin with, let’s all start heading down that tunnel.

Dinarchus begins chuckling, continues until he’s laughing helplessly, then, finally:

DINARCHUS
Surely not that tunnel!

Something in Dinarchus’ tone causes West to flick a fast glance at the tunnel and he reacts grimly to what he sees:

134. ANGLE - ON TUNNEL

Blanco and a PAIR OF GUNSELS are emerging menacingly from the tunnel’s depths.

135. BACK TO WEST

flicking a fast glance at the other tunnel opening into clearing...

136. POV

... and he sees that a PAIR OF GUNSELS are emerging from this tunnel, too.

137. BACK TO WEST

causing his derringer to snap down into his hand, then intently watches the gunsels advancing toward him; so intent, in fact, that for a brief period he is unaware that Alekh, behind him, has raised her wine bottle high over his head, then brought it down into a murderous arc--

--that he just barely manages to swing around and block with an upraised arm...

137. CONTINUED

... the shock of which sends his derringer flying across the room; now, wincing momentarily from the pain of the impact, an unarmed West retreats before the four gunsels advancing toward him.

138. SHOT – DINARCHUS AND ALEKH

A tensely smiling Alekh and Dinarchus, smilingly seating himself again, watch the developing situation.

139. BACK TO WEST

As Blanco and the gunsels close in; West blocks, chops, ducks, counter-attacks, sends a pair of them sprawling, utilizing all the aids that come to hand...

... finally sending one of the two remaining gunsels crashing heavily into a shelf containing a fantastic variety of jars and bottles, which go flying and splintering in all direction...

... ducks the punch the other has directed at him, decks him with a one-two that sends his inert figure skidding along the floor...

... then makes the mistake of brushing against the huge, foil-covered cylinder nearby as he stoops to retrieve his gun...

140. SHOT – DINARCHUS

intently watching--his hand darts out, stabbing at a switch mounted on the table...

141. CLOSE – ON WEST

... and now we can see (from the great brass rod and knob rising out of the top of the jar) that it’s a great Leyden Jar--and West, rigidly positioned against the jar’s metallic surface, is helpless; his whole body is highlighted by the CRACKLING sparks pouring into him.

Over the DELIGHTED LAUGHTER of Dinarchus, West lapses into unconsciousness, still transfixed into position against the deadly jar, as we

FREEZE LAUGHTER AND FRAME:

END OF 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
8373 Posts

Posted - 03/12/2009 :  10:45:45  Show Profile




ACT FOUR

FADE IN:

142. BLURRED SHOTS

of grinning faces; several of the gunsels--then Blanco--and finally Alekh; HOLD ON HER as SHOT BECOMES CLEARER, and we come to realize we’re looking at the world through West’s clearing vision as we PULL BACK...

143. INT. DINARCHUS’ LABORATORY – NIGHT

... to find West seated in a throne-like chair, his hands secured behind him, blinking his eyes like one who is just coming to; then, as he stares from Alekh to Blanco, then back to Alekh, again:

WEST
Now I remember where else I saw you--you and your friend here gave that touching performance in the woods...

ALEKH
(to Blanco)
You see? He does remember!

WEST
... and then you went and turned into a rag doll.

Alekh curtseys elaborately; Dinarchus moves INTO VIEW, flourishing his staff.

DINARCHUS
I hope you will forgive Alekh’s deception, sir--
(gesturing off)
--and Gretchen, for her ardent embrace.

West turns as CAMERA ANGLES to include the massive, foil-covered Leyden Jar.

WEST
Gretchen is easily the biggest *Leyden Jar I ever came into contact with.

======
*Pronounced: “Lie-den”
======

143. CONTINUED

Dinarchus picks up a pint-sized version of “Gretchen” and caresses it fondly as he speaks:

DINARCHUS
Yes, I collect Leyden Jars; large ones like Gretchen, small ones like this--
(displays his staff)
--and long, deadly narrow ones!

He lazily extends the staff toward West as he speaks:

DINARCHUS (CONT’D)
I find them most useful in my work; the electrical energy they store up can be put to such good use--like testing the effects of progressively larger and more painful shocks on laboratory specimens.

WEST
(casually--disregarding staff)
All in the interests of science, of course.

DINARCHUS
Of course; my own kind of science, it goes without saying.

Now the staff’s tip is a scant few inches from West’s forehead--who still ignores its presence.

DINARCHUS (CONT’D)
For instance, purely as a scientific experiment, with the stored up electrostatic charge in this staff, I could stun you--perhaps even kill you.

WEST
(casually)
You could--but you won’t.

Dinarchus’s eyes narrow:

143. CONTINUED

DINARCHUS
I won’t?

WEST
It would be much too dull; a carnival showman like you would look for gaudier ways.

Dinarchus chuckles mirthlessly as he stares at West.

DINARCHUS
A carnival showman; that’s you opinion of me?

WEST
(nodding)
A lot deadlier than average, that’s all.

Dinarchus beckons to West; West rises to his feet, and we can see for the first time how securely his hands are tied behind his back.

144. ANOTHER ANGLE – AT PIT

We HEAR the RASPING, CRUNCHING SOUNDS heard earlier as West and Dinarchus approach the covered pit; Dinarchus gestures to the gunsels standing by, who laboriously raise up the stout plank cover as Dinarchus turns to West.

DINARCHUS
Tell me, is this the work of a simple, carnival showman?

The covers of the pit are removed--the NOISES are MUCH LOUDER now, as West steps forward and peers over the age...

145. ANOTHER ANGLE – SHOOTING UPWARD FROM PIT

... so that we have a ringside view of West’s expression as he stares down--fascinated, horrified, almost unbelieving--then CAMERA ANGLES...

146. ANOTHER ANGLE – SHOOTING DOWNWARD

... to show the stag beetles on the bottom of the deep pit--a pair of them, but monstrously sized beetles, about two feet long! Both engaged in rearing themselves on their hind feed as they try to claw their way up the steep sides of the pit with their branched, spiny feet and their formidable, antler-like mandibles--

146. CONTINUED

--occasionally stopping their attempts to scale the walls long enough to turn and clash with each other with a NERVE-WRACKINGLY RASPING SOUND.

147. BACK TO SCENE

West is still staring unbelievably down in to the pit as Dinarchus turns to Blanco, at his side.

DINARCHUS
Blanco, their food supplies are almost gone; fetch a tidbit.

Blanco bobs his head and scuttles into the tunnel as West finally looks up and turns to Dinarchus.

WEST
Interesting; who gets to wind them up?

DINARCHUS
Oh, no, Mr. West, these beauties are alive! Lucanus cervus--the common stag beetle!

West turns another fascinated stare down into the pit:

WEST
Grown some, haven’t they? How did you manage it--if it’s no secret?

DENARCHUS
For that we have to thank our talented friend, Dr. Hanaford; with his special genius, he isolated the enzyme, DX-24...

WEST
With your special genius, you stole it.

DENARCHUS
Quite true! But you see, Hanaford put the enzyme aside as a discovery of little consequence--I not only stole it, I tested it--and discovered the phenomenal effect it has as an accelerator of the somatic cells!
(a deep breath)
And now...

147. CONTINUED

He pauses, as if lost in pleasant contemplation--and West follows through:

WEST
Now you’re going to make it all show a tidy profit, eh?

Dinarchus nods, smiling his ghastly smile as he turns to Alekh, who undulates up at the point.

DINARCHUS
Tell him how, Alekh.

ALEKH
(pointing to tunnel)
That’s our beetle hatchery in there--thousands of lovely eggs waiting to be hatched; and when that happens--
(giggling)
--there’s going to be such a terrible accident...

WEST
(wryly ahead of her)
Let me guess; they’re all going to get away.

Alekh giggles delightedly as she nods her head--and during the above, Blanco has emerged from one of the tunnels, staggering under the weight of a huge side of beef--he goes to the pit, lets it plummet from his shoulder into the yawning opening below--

--and there’s an immediate answering ROARING NOISE from below, a horrifying blend of TEARING, RASPING, and with it all an INCREDIBLY AMPLIFIED HUMMING AND SCREECHING...

148. SHOT – PIT

showing the beetles scrambling over each other as they tear the side of beef to pieces.

149. BACK TO SCENE

Dinarchus gloats as he watches the (unseen) feeding:

149. CONTINUED

DINARCHUS
(flushed with triumph)
Can you imagine a world reeling under the assault of thousands of these ravenous creatures? With every living organism gone to satisfy their insatiable appetites--with human life itself threatened, ultimately!
(moving closer)
And can you possibly imagine the world haggling over the terms of the ransom I will demand to lift this curse from its brow?

West stares down in to the pit where the *****ING, TEARING NOISE has reached a crescendo as Dinarchus finishes--and we should get the idea that his unspoken answer to the question is “No!”

150. INT. HANAFORD’S STUDY – CLOSE ON HANAFORD – NIGHT

HANAFORD
That’s strange--that’s the second time I’ve gotten this attack of sleepiness--I can’t keep my eyes open...

As he speaks, CAMERA PULLS BACK to show we are in:

151. INT. HANAFORD’S STUDY – NIGHT

... and that Artemus is seated across the table from Hanaford; Artemus feigns polite wonder, even as CAMERA MOVES IN AGAIN...

152. CLOSE SHOT – ARTEMUS’ HAND

... to show him surreptitiously stowing a small vial away in his vest pocket.

ARTEMUS
You’re tireder than you realize, Doctor; may I suggest a sovereign remedy--sleep?

152. CONTINUED

HANAFORD
(rising--sighing)
Yes, there’s forgetfulness in that.

He gets up from his chair and makes his way to the curtained alcove, sits down heavily on the bed, yawns, starts to remove his shoes--then suddenly falls back, fast asleep.

153. ANOTHER ANGLE

as Artemus comes up, gently removes the old man’s shoes, straightens him out on the bed, and draws the drapes...

154. ANOTHER ANGLE – AT MIRROR

... after which he goes to the mirror, slipping out of his pocket his make-up kit, and starts going through the preliminaries of starting to make himself up--

--then swings around alertly, at the SOUND OF RAPPING AT THE DOOR.

(NOTE: During the rest of this scene, Artemus will talk like Hanaford, and, as much as he can be seen in the darkness, act and move like Hanaford.)

ARTEMUS
Yes--who is it?

TANG’S VOICE
Sorry, Doctah--Miss Tate here to see you.

Artemus quickly turns down the lamp, so that only its feeble glow augmented by the moonlight through the windows, relieves the darkness, during which:

ARTEMUS
Oh, yes, yes, Rosamund, I--I was resting.

He goes to the door, opens it (without revealing himself), admits Rosamund and closes the door behind her.

154. CONTINUED

ROSAMUND
It’s so dark in here, Doctor--
(starting for lamp)
Here, let me turn up the lamp...

ARTEMUS
No, no, please--ever since Vance died, the darkness has become my friend and comforter;
(sighing)
Sit down, my dear--thank you for coming so quickly, and I hope you will find it in your heart to do me one last favor.

Rosamund sits, dabbing at her eyes, then:

ROSAMUND
Of course; anything.

ARTEMUS
(speaking from the shadows)
You and I--we both loved Vance with a very special love; he’s gone, now, taken from us--
(his voice shaking with gathering excitement)
--and yet--and yet what if I were to tell you that--that...!

He stops, as if unable to frame the enormity of what he was about to speak.

ROSAMUND
Tell me what?

ARTEMUS
No! Never mind! This is the favor I want; come with me tonight to Vance’s crypt.

Rosamund gets slowly to her feet, pity and horror mirrored in her face as she turns to the shadowed bulk of Artemus.

ROSAMUND
You poor darling; why?

154. CONTINUED

ARTEMUS
No, no questions, please! Call it a pilgrimage, if you like--but just come with me!

A long beat, then, in a voice of infinite compassion:

ROSAMUND
All right, if that’s what you want.

ARTEMUS
Thank you, my dear, thank you!

He goes to the door, opens it without revealing himself as:

ARTEMUS (CONT’D)
You’ll have time for one of Tang’s special cups of tea--and then we’ll go.

Rosamund nods, exits--and Artemus goes to the lamp, turns it up, then realizes that the stooped posture of Hanaford’s that he had been assuming is no longer necessary; in an obvious hurry, now, he goes to t he mirror and starts making himself up...

155. CLOSE SHOT - WEST

arms outstretched, wrists bound and fastened to a pair of massive iron rings set into the stone wall--and with both of his ankles secured by lashings to another ring, below him--PULL BACK...

156. INT. DINARCHUS’ LABORATORY – NIGHT

--and that Dinarchus and Alekh are looking down on him from above, while GREAT SCUFFLING AND RASPING comes from the beetle’s side.

DINARCHUS
It’s a communal arrangement, sir; you occupy one half of the pit;
(gesturing)
--the beetles occupy the other--and in between, a fine, sturdy fence.

WEST
(grimly listening to BEETLE SOUNDS)
And how long do you figure that fine sturdy fence will stand up if the beetles decide to pay me a visit?

156. CONTINUED

DINARCHUS
(smiling his ghastly smile)
The fence should survive ten, fifteen minutes of their onslaught--as you will shortly see for yourself!
(taking Alekh’s arm)
Forgive me if we don’t linger to see the spectacle, but there are a few arrangements I have to make before keeping an important engagement.

WEST
In a mausoleum; how appropriate.

Dinarchus reacts with a mirthless smile:

DINARCHUS
Ah, you overheard, didn’t you?

WEST
What puzzles me, is why you go to such elaborate length as to put on a show for the doctor--you could have all his DX-24 without that, surely...

DINARCHUS
Quite right, sir; but you see, what is at stake is much more than this latest product of the doctor’s genius--I want to control everything that comes out of his laboratory.

WEST
I see; and to accomplish that, Dr. Hanaford must be put in your debt...

DINARCHUS
And he will, sir, I promise you that!
(glances at his watch)
And now I will leave you to your very temporary solitude!

He and Alekh move away from the pit and exit into one of the tunnels; West looks of to:

157. CLOSE SHOT – WOODEN PARTITION

to the accompaniment of TEARING, SPLINTERING SOUNDS, the partition quivers in reaction to the stresses being applied from behind.

158. BACK TO SCENE

as West kicks his heels against the stone wall he is fastened to--until, with a CLICK, his toe knife springs into view...

... and now West, painfully twisting his ankle, brings the razor sharp blade to bear against the rope securing his ankles to the ring below, slices it through...

159. ANGLE – ON PARTITION

--just as a great chunk of wood is torn clean away from the partition, and in the large gap now revealed, we can see the fearsome horns and mandibles of the giant beetles beyond.

160. BACK TO WEST

reacting to the beginning of the end of the partition; MORE TEARING, RIPPING SOUNDS are HEARD, then we see West jackknife his legs up into the air...

161. CLOSE SHOT – HIS WRIST

... and then it is the rope binding one of his wrists that is *****ed through by his toeknife.

162. PARTITION

being ripped apart by the mandibles beyond--then we see that the beetles are starting to work their way through the opening...

163. BACK TO WEST

staring horrified at the (unseen) beetles CLATTERING and RASPING their way toward him; with one of his wrists still bound to the rings set in the stone, West reaches into an inside pocket and comes up with what looks like a wallet--which he grasps with his teeth, giving his one free hand the freedom to rip a small leather tab from the “wallet” and, obviously in response to this triggering action, the wallet starts to sparkle and smoke; West slings the “wallet” off toward the approaching (but unseen) insects--and covers his face with his arm--

--just before a great explosion rocks the pit, sending masonry and chunks of loosened stone pattering down from above; a beat, then West slowly takes his arm from his eyes and peers through the dust-filled haze, and his face relaxes as he sees:

164. HIS POV

the ground is still scarred and smoking, and here and there we see remnants of the giant insects that escaped the blast’s disintegration (a portion of a leg, still twitching, or a mandible, etc.).

165. EXT. CEMETERY – NIGHT

CAMERA ROVES over the scene of headstones gleaming palely in the moonlight, then ANGLES...

166. ANOTHER ANGLE – ON VANCE’S CRYPT

... to the small mausoleum on the side of the gravel walk; CAMERA MOVES IN CLOSER AND CLOSER toward the open door...

167. INT. MAUSOLEUM – NIGHT

... and DISSOLVES THROUGH, to show Artemus (now made up to look like Hanaford) and Rosamund standing in the doorway, looking off at the coffin. (NOTE: Artemus will speak as Hanaford until otherwise indicated.)

ROSAMUND
(low-voiced)
Why are we here, Doctor? Can you tell me now?

ARTEMUS
To witness a miracle!
(glances at his watch)
Ten minutes to twelve--let’s start the proceedings early...

He goes to the coffin (raised high on a bier) and swings the hinged lid open;

168. ANGLE ON ROSAMUND

registering horror at what Artemus is doing...

169. BACK TO ARTEMUS

... as he extends his arms commandingly toward the coffin--and suddenly it is Dinarchus’ voice that issues from him, as:

169. CONTINUED

ARTEMUS
Rise, Vance! It is my command that you rise and be restored to your grieving father!

170. ANOTHER ANGLE – ON COFFIN

A fumbling hand comes into view, fastens itself on the edge of the coffin--then the blank, stupefied face of Vance comes into view, as he dazedly rises to a sitting position--then, with Artemus’ aid, climbs down from the coffin--

--and sits heavily on a stone bench off to one side, hardly aware of what is going on, so dazed is his state.

171. ANOTHER ANGLE – TO INCLUDE ROSAMUND

ROSAMUND
(staring wide-eyed at Artemus)
I--I don’t understand; you’re not Doctor Hanaford...!

ARTEMUS
That’s true--and Vance never died, either; right from the beginning he was drugged--so precisely had Dinarchus figured out the drug’s timetable, that he was able to control the exact moment the drug took effect...

VANCE
(thickly--staring at Rosamund)
Rosamund!

Rosamund swiftly goes to Vance and takes his hands, as Artemus continues:

ARTEMUS
... and the exact moment he would come out of it, aided by the effect of the fresh air when the coffin lid was raised.

171. CONTINUED

Rosamund turns her wondering eyes away from Vance to Artemus long enough to say:

ROSAMUND
But Doctor Goff--he examined Vance--certified that he was dead...!

ARTEMUS
He examined--and certified someone--but it wasn’t Vance.
(a beat, casually)
Not that it’s important, but where did you and Dinarchus get the corpse you substituted for Vance?

A beat, as Rosamund stares at Artemus with shocked eyes, then in a twinkling her expression changes to a snarl as she flips a revolver out of her bag...

... but too late; Artemus’s hand flashes toward her wrist, pinions it, then deftly removes her gun.

ARTEMUS (CONT’D)
It was so easy for Vance’s loving fiancée to administer the drug in the first place, wasn’t it? And to keep on administering it, as fast as the effect wore off. Oh you were worth a lot to Dinarchus, all right...

He stops, swinging around, as the door is suddenly slammed shut from outside--and we HEAR the SOUNDS of BOLTS BEING RAMMED HOME to lock it--then:

DINARCHUS’ VOICE
(filtered--as if through a long conduit)
Brilliant, Mr. Gordon--but for that, you are going to die!

ARTEMUS
(calling out)
I doubt that, Dinarchus--you’ve lost your touch for murder!

171. CONTINUED

DINARCHUS’ VOICE
I guarantee you that when this cache of explosives against the door goes off, the blast will destroy everyone inside!

(NOTE: Artemus leaps at the door and immediately busies himself rigging up a thermite device to attempt to cut through the door.)

ROSAMUND
Dinarchus! You’ve forgotten--I’m in here, too!

DINARCHUS’ VOICE
Yes, that’s regrettable, Rosamund, but I’m afraid I must resign myself to losing you...

172. EXT. CEMETERY – AT CRYPT – NIGHT

Dinarchus, with Blanco at his side has lighted the tip of the long fuse linking the three large metal canisters taped together, positioned against the door --

DINARCHUS
... because of unexpected interference; you do understand, I hope...

WEST’S VOICE
There’s more interference than you know, Dinarchus.

Now it’s Dinarchus’ and Blanco’s turn to whirl around as CAMERA ANGLES...

173. ANOTEHR ANGLE

... to take in the sigh of West, advancing swiftly toward the two, his eyes flickering to the lighted fuse sparkling merrily at it races toward the ominous canisters of high explosive...

... then Blanco, making ANIMAL NOISES, lunges at West; West ducks, stops the big man with a one-two that sends him sprawling...

173. CONTINUED

... then advances toward Dinarchus, who swings his staff at West--it whistles over West’s head as he ducks, then viciously straightens up and sends Dinarchus flying with a hard right--and just as West is reaching out to snuff out the perilously short fuse, by now, Blanco is on him again, pinioning his arms, blind to his danger, too, if the explosives detonate, in his animal-like fury...

... and West desperately tries to break the other’s hold, eyeing the racing fuse even as he flips the giant over his head in a convulsive jackknife motion--

--then makes a flying leap toward the explosives.

174. CLOSE SHOT — CANISTERS OF EXPLOSIVES

the sparkling fuse has almost disappeared in to the canisters when West’s hand comes into view, yanks the fuse clean out of the canister.

175. ANOTHER ANGLE – FULL

... just as Artemus’s thermite device burns clean through the door; it swings open and Artemus stumbles out--face to face with West, who has risen to his feet, holding the new harmless canisters.

WEST
(casually)

ARTEMUS
(equally casually)
Hi, Jim.
(taking in the sight of Dinarchus and Blanco)
Well, well, you have a couple of surprises for me.

WEST
Dinarchus you know--
(pointing)
--and that beauty is Blanco, Dinarchus right hand man, who...

175. CONTINUED

He stops, reacting with raised eyebrows as Rosamund emerges from the mausoleum--followed by Vance.

WEST (CONT’D)
Artie, you have a pair of surprises for me, too, haven’t you?

CAMERA PULLS BACK from the scene on West and Artemus looking over the entire group, as we --

FADE OUT:

END OF ACT IV

TAG

FADE IN:

176. INT. WEST’S VARNISH – CLOSE - DAY

on a PRETTY SECRETARY, typing away on a typewriter of the period, then PULL BACK to show Artemus sprawled in an easy chair, sipping a glass of wine, as:

ARTEMUS
... as to Dinarchus mysterious appearances and disappearances, in the Hanaford house, his knowledge of the old secret passages explain them--his so-called resurrection of the canary was, of course, an expert exercise in palming...

As he speaks, CAMERA ANGLES to take in the sight of West, also sprawled in an easy chair, also sipping on a glass of wine, as:

WEST
... and to round out the report, with the arrest of Alekh, and the other accomplices, all members of Dinarchus’ gang are now officially in custody.
(to typist)
The usual three copies, Miss Galt.

ARTEMUS
Hold it, Jim--let’s include a report of the beetle eggs in Dinarchus’ lab.

WEST
Right, Artie--
(to typist)
Finally, with Mr. Gordon’s destruction of all remaining beetle eggs, the case is officially...

ARTEMUS
(smilingly reacting)
Hold it, Jim, don’t give Washington the idea that I destroyed the eggs.

176. CONTINUED

WEST
Why not? After all, you did...

ARTEMUS
(aghast now)
I did? I was given to understand that you would...!

The rest is left unspoken, as West and Artemus scramble to their feet and bolt out the car, with the CAMERA HOLDING on the door they’ve bolted through--

--then returning to HOLD on the bewildered typist, as we--

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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