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California gal
SS senior field agent

USA
8376 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2010 :  15:14:35  Show Profile
(Undated)

THE WILD WILD WEST

“The Night of the Samurai”

PRODUCER:
BRUCE LANSBURY

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER:
LEONARD KATZMAN

STORY CONSULTANT:
HENRY SHARP

WRITTEN BY:
SIMON WINCELBERG

SETS:

EXT. SAN FRANCISCO STREET
EXT. LOUISIANA HOTEL
INT. CREOLE ROOM
INT. ACADEMY OF KENJITSU
INT. ARYAN-PACIFIC CORRIDOR
INT. ARYAN-PACIFIC MEZANINE
INT. HANNIBAL’S PARLOW [sic]
INT. BARBARY COAST STREET
EXT. BUCKET OF BLOOD
EXT. SAUSALITO MILL
INT. MILL
EXT. ALLEY
INT. BUCKET OF BLOOD
INT. SAIGO’S SEDAN CHAIR
INT. SAUSALITO MILL
EXT. MILL DOORWAY
INT. WEST’S VARNISH
EXT. PORTUGUESE WHARF
EXT. WHARF BUILDING
EXT. TRAIL
INT. WAREHOUSE
EXT. HANNIBAL’S WAREHOUSE
INT. FALCONER’S ACADEMY
INT. REAR OF STORE

CAST:
JAMES WEST – ROBERT CONRAD
ARTEMUS GORDON – ROSS MARTIN
CLIVE FINSBURY
PRINCE SHINOSUKE
BARON SAIGO
REIKO O’HARA
FALCONER
SHAVED HEAD (AKI)
HANNIVAL EGLOFF
MADAME MOUSTACHE
SOAPY
SEAMAN
JAPANESE MAIDEN

SILENT:

SAMURAI NOBLES
NUBIAN STEWARDESS
BALINESE STEWARDESS
THUGS

THE NIGHT OF THE SAMURAI

FADE IN:

1. EXT. SAN FRANCISCO STREET – NIGHT

It’s a well-lighted main street with a fair amount of evening traffic. The CAMERA PICKS UP WEST and ARTEMUS and PANS with them as they ride just a bit ahead of the traffic flow. At an intersection, they are forced to halt for –

2. A HEARSE

drawn by four plumed horses who have somehow been induced to balk in the very middle of the intersection.

3. WEST, ARTEMUS

waiting for the obstruction to clear. They suddenly hear the high-pitched Apache-like WHOOPS and YELLS of some old-fashioned HONIN (Vagabond Samurai) horsemen, masked in ancient “menpo” face protectors. They come swooping down on them from behind the hearse with poised lances and wildly swinging sabers.

4. ARTEMUS

sensibly drops off his horse a split-second before one of the swords can remove his head.

5. WEST

manages, virtually barehanded, to parry the thrust of a Samurai lance, appropriate it, and unhorse his attacker.

6. WEST’S POV – ANOTHER ATTACKER

comes at him and lashes out with the sword.

7. WEST

parries the blow with the just-confiscated lance. He then leaps off his horse, draws his gun, in pursuit of the attackers.

8. HEARSE DRIVER

sharply whips his horse into swift escape. The attackers hastily scramble aboard. On the roof of the hearse, one of the attackers (riding “shotgun”) hurls a Japanese lance at –

9. WEST

who manages to flinch aside as the lance misses him by an inch. Artemus comes running INTO SHOT. The two look off toward their vanishing attackers.

ARTEMUS
(shakes his head)
San Francisco traffic’s getting worse every year.

West calmly consults his watch.

WEST
We’re running late.

ARTEMUS
Ever occur to you that that’s the big idea?

WEST
(nodding grimly)
Right – let’s go!

Both hustle themselves aboard their horses and catapult off in their interrupted flight.

10. EXT. LOUISIANA HOTEL – (ESTABLISHED) – NIGHT

11. INT. CREOLE ROOM – NIGHT

we see a Japanese entertainment troupe in action on a remarkably small stage – A JUGGLER, TWO ACROBATS and the Japanese equivalent of a clown – all integrated in a flashing combination of movements punctuated by the EERIE MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT.

12. CLOSE SHOT – A LACQUERED TRAY

on which we see a tantalus, the cut-glass decanter in the middle (containing sake, for the record) girdled by a series of positioned sake cups;

A pair of female hands come into view, starts to lift the tray, when a man’s hand is suddenly interposed—then, very surreptitiously, the man’s hand lifts off the decanter’s top and sifts a packet of powder into the decanter…

… after which the female hands lift the tray and bear it off.

12A. ANOTHER ANGLE

where we see a group seated nearby, watching the performance, with formal attention as cups of sake are handed out to them. As they sip, CAMERA PANS to show CLIVE FINSBURY, who we will learn is State Department Chief of Protocol, flanked by a couple of aides, and REIKO O’HARA, his interpreter, an exquisite porcelain doll in traditional robes and obi. They are seated o the floor in front of low lacquered tables bearing tea, sake, and sweetmeats.

… across from an austere group of JAPANESE DIGNITARIES: PRINCE SHINOSUKE, thin, taciturn, austere, thirtyish (and the Emperor’s Nephew, it will develop) – BARON SAIGO, his Military Attache, whose face, even in repose, is more fear-inspiring than any Bagaku mask—and seated a respectful distance away form Shinosuke and Saigo, are FOUR EXPRESSIONLESS SAMURAI NOBLES, all of them wearing exquisite silk and brocade kimonos.

13. ANOTHER ANGLE

CLOSE on a ceremonial sword resting on a lacquered stand precisely midway between the two delegations. (It should, if possible, be an exquisitely decorated example of 11th-Century craftsmanship.)

14. EXT. HOTEL – WEST, ARTEMUS – NIGHT

as they come thundering up on their horses, leap off, tossing their reins to the startled doorman.

15. INT CREOLE ROOM – NIGHT

OVER the MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT, we see the group looking off at the performers, during which Reiko reaches over to a tray of sweetmeats, lifts it and starts to extend it to Finsbury—then suddenly crumples inertly to the floor; Finsbury reacts, startled, starts to rise, then he crumples to the floor, as CAMERA PULLS BACK to show that the entire company is either sprawled o the floor, unconscious, or in is in the process of doing so—

… and this is the point where the MUSIC CEASES and the performers leap from the stage—the clown has just snatched up the sword when he and the others whirl round…

16. ANOTHER ANGLE

… to the main door, as West and Artemus come bursting in; in the startled beat used up as the two stare at the scrambled scene, Artemus (behind West) is felled by a vicious karate chop from one of TWO JAPANESE who materialize from behind the nearby drapes; unaware of what happened to Artemus, West leaps at the huge, shaven-headed performer who has snatched up the sword, dodges expertly as the other *****es viciously at him, during which we catch a glimpse of his distorted facial expression and the jagged scar stitched across the bridge of his nose..

… then West has leaped in before the other can recover and sent him staggering backward with a murderous, flashing right—and hard on the heals of this West whirls around at the stealthy sound from behind—

… but too late to ward off the karate chop that comes his way from the two bushwhackers at the door. West staggers, sinks to his knees, with his last clear view of the face of the shaven-headed assailant with the scar stitched across the bridge of his nose—then an inky wave pours over him, as we

17 THRU 30 OMIT

FADE OUT.

END OF TEASER

ACT ONE

FADE IN:

31. INT. CREOLE ROOM – TIGHT SHOT – NIGHT

on the sword-rack—empty. We HEAR Prince Shinosuke’s voice making what is clearly a cold and angry statement in JAPANESE.

32. ANOTHER ANGLE

to include West, Artemus, Finsbury, and Reiko. The men are grimly staring at the empty sword-rack. Reiko, alabaster-pale with shock is slowly fanning herself and switching her beautiful, dazed eyes between West and Artemus. Prince Shinosuke finishes his statement.

(NOTE: as evidence of the clouting that occurred, Artemus, from time to time will tenderly touch the traumatized area of his neck where the karate chop landed—and west’s forehead sports a small dressing.)

SAIGO
(reflecting Shinosuke’s cold, menacing tone)
Prince Shinosuke, regrettably, is put to the unpleasant duty of reminding you, as State Department representative, that your Admiral Perry—ah, borrowed, without consent—the sword of celestial worth from our people over 30 years ago. Now, after bitter years of delay, you place it in our hands—and then, sadly, permit it to be stolen again!

FINSBURY
(pleading—harassed—to Reiko)
Please to inform his royal highness

Prince Shinosuke cuts in with a curt statement in Japanese.

SAIGO
(translating)
In the name of his uncle, the Emperor, Prince Shinosuke must regrettably hold you responsible.

FINSBURY
Baron Saigo, speaking for my country…

SAIGO
There are those in my country who will find it easy to assume that you have lured us to this den of thieves only to make sport of us, to make us lose face…

FINSBURY
No, no, Baron, please tell his Royal Highness…

But Prince Shinosuke interrupts again, speaking in JAPANESE to Saigo.

SAIGO
Prince Shinosuke reminds this worthless one that his vessel sails with tomorrow’s tide; if his most august majesty should return to Japanese soil with the bitter taste of failure in his mouth, and without the venerated sword of Kuniyoshi to lay at the feet of the Emperor…

Prince Shinosuke trails off with a MUMBLED REMARK. Saigo listens, bows, silent. West, Artemus, and Finsbury look at Reiko when Saigo doesn’t translate. Reiko, biting her lip, finally blurts out with:

REIKO
Say then, each honor-bound to commit Seppuku!

WEST
Hara-Kiri…?

Reiko bows an affirmative.

33. ANOTHER ANGLE

as Prince Shinosuke bows to West, Artemus and Finsbury, then signals his entourage and the delegation files out with great dignity. The CAMERA MOVES IN on the swords each man wears ominously in his sash at precisely the same Katana-style, with its curved cutting-edge flaring upward.

FINSBURY
West, Gordon, listen to me…

He stops, suddenly aware of Reiko’s presence, then:

FINSBURY (CONT'D)
That will be all, Reiko.

The girl bows to all, then withdraws on little cat’s feet. As soon as she is gone, Finsbury starts striding about, pressing a pair of well manicured hands together during the following:

FINSBURY (CONT'D)
Tai-Nei-No-Wakare*--I don’t suppose that means anything to you, does it?

____
*phonetically, “Tay-Nay-No-Wah-car-ay.”
____

ARTEMUS
(uncertainly)
The bidding of the polite farewell?

Finsbury turns to Artemus, surprised in spite of his perturbation.

FINSBURY
Yes, that’s roughly the meaning of the phrase—it also happens to be the name of a fanatical, highly placed palace group, one of the number that is forever jockeying for power in Japan…

He trails off as he goes to the lacquered sword rack, staring at it as West and Artemus look on.

FINSBURY (CONT'D)
… and the kind of polite farewell they have in mind is a bloody one—the complete elimination of every shred of influence America has managed to acquire in Japan since the bamboo barricades were lowered!

ARTEMUS
Then returning the Sword was more than an act of reparation on our part…

FINSBURY
Most certainly; it was also designed to strengthen the hand of a good, progressive Emperor who wishes us well…

He pauses, and West takes up the thread.

WEST
(softly)
I begin to see it now; with the sword gone the Emperor loses face and will have to yield to the “Foreign Devils” clique…

ARTEMUS
… and then, up goes the bamboo barricades again!

FINSBURY
(nodding)
Gentlemen, the Prince’s ship sails with tomorrow’s tide—I would earnestly hope that you have seen to it that he also has the Sword of Kuniyoshi, by then!

Without a backward glance he turns and exits. West and Artemus exchange a look. West turns his attention back to the prop sword that he has been toying with, throughout.

REIKO’S VOICE
Reiko could help, perhaps?

West and Artemus turn to see the lovely face of Reiko, still touched by the stricken expression she has worn since the incident of the sword—peeking around the corner of a lacquered screen set up near the door.

WEST
(reproachfully)
Tsk, tsk—you didn’t leave when Finsbury dismissed you, did you, Reiko?

REIKO
(softly pleading)
Reiko most earnest desire to be of assistance. Please to forgive!

West and Artemus exchange wry smiles, then Artemus turns to Reiko again:

ARTEMUS
Okay, if you want to be helpful—what was the name of the character who made off with the sword?

REIKO
Not know, Mr. Gordon, but most surely he was a Tatsuejin.*

____
*Phonetically, “Tah-tsoo-jin.”
____

ARTEMUS
(groping)
Tatsue—a master of the Samurai Sword?

REIKO
(nodding)
It is my believe he must have been…

34. OMIT

35. ANGLE – ON WEST

he has been idly listening to Reiko, thoughtfully toying with the mock Samurai sword all the while, and now we see his eyes light up with restrained excitement at her words.

WEST
Of course! There can’t be too many masters of the Hokkaido sword grip!

He tosses the wooden sword aside, tilts Reiko’s chin and plants an enthusiastic kiss on her forehead—then exits. Reiko looks after West, bewildered, then turns to a smiling Artemus.

REIKO
Please, Mr. Gordon, can’t Reiko help?

ARTEMUS
Reiko, my little lotus blossom, idly adrift on sun-drenched waters, I have an idea you just did!

He tilts Reiko’s chin up, plants the mate to West’s kiss on her forehead, then he exits after West—leaving Reiko’s fetchingly blank face staring after them.

DISSOLVE TO:

36. EXT. FALCONER’S ACADEMY – NIGHT

CAMERA MOVES IN on the modest shop window, on which we see the legend, “ACADEMY OF KENJITSU,” the store beyond masked by the surprisingly rich, brocaded half curtain (dragon design) that has been set up—and dominating the window display space is a battered, full-sized replica of a samurai warrior in all his armored glory, a fearsome samurai sword clutched in his hands…

… then ANGLES TO SHOW that West has come up and is idly looking in the window, as if trying to peer beyond the half curtain…

… during which we will become aware of the approach of a picturesquely dressed PORTYGEE SAILOR type dressed in a pea captain’s jacket, striped jersey (colorful bandana at his throat), with one gold earring dangling from an ear, a profusion of curly black ringlets peeking coyly out from the visored captain’s cap he wears so rakishly, a cigar he is trying, with very little success to light and, quite obviously, more than his share of the wine that is red, as we can see from his lurching condition (underneath all that makeup is Artemus, of course). (NOTE: he is also carrying a long, narrow wrapped package.)

37. ANOTHER ANGLE

as he lurches right into West, then becomes elaborately apologetic as only the tipsy can.

ARTEMUS
Senhor, I am desolated—you will do me the honor of forgiving my clumsiness?

WEST
Of course.

ARTEMUS
And the devil himself has entered into a pact with my cigar to keep it unlighted—you have a match, perhaps?

West smilingly ignites a match and holds it to the cigar of the Portygee as he stands there, weaving, during which:

WEST
(softly)
Where are you off to?

ARTEMUS
(sotto, as he puffs)
The length and breadth of Barbary Coast, hopefully, to attract a little lightning—
(back to the Portygee)
Senhor, I am forever in your debt!

And with a flourish and a bow, he staggers on, leaving West free to enter the Academy.

38. INT. ACADEMY OF KENJITSU – NIGHT

CLOSE ON DOOR – which opens to admit West, who almost immediately flips into a lightning duck as a sword blades WHISTLES pat the point that his head was occupying a moment before…

… then CAMERA PULLS BACK, RETREATING before West as he casually advances down the long, narrow store area that presents itself—an area that is, in effect, the battleground between a succession of swordsmen students* lined up on either side, completely absorbed in thrusting and parrying with each other…

____
*The students are of various colorful, nationalities, we see, though mainly oriental—all wear the distinctive padded Kendogi.
____

… which forces West to whirl out of the way of one over enthusiastic sword swing as he advances toward us—then another duck to escape the consequences of another uninhibited mayhem type lunge—then a ballet-like pirouette to stay clear of two blades, first one, then the other in quick succession, that come airing his way…

39. ANOTHER ANGLE

to HOLD ON FALCONER, a tall, gaunt, almost Lincolnesque-like man in his 40s or 50s, sword in hand, exasperatedly addressing a group of STUDENTS clustered about him.

FALCONER
(to students)
By all the scars of Saint Maurice himself, no, no, no!
(snatches a sword out of the hands of a student)
Look! There are sixteen cuts permissible to the true Samurai, and in some extraordinary fashion you are managing to dishonor every one of them! Your sword isn’t your enemy—it is your loved one! You caress it, like…

He looks up, permitting a brief expression of pleasure to illuminate his face as West saunters into view, then the pleasurable expression is immediately replaced by a stern, deadpan expression as he flips the sword he carries to West (who catches it expertly, of course), snatches another sword from yet another student…

FALCONER (CONT'D)
… like so!

… and with a HAIR-RAISING RITUAL SNARL, he lunges at West, who parries the swing and counter-lunge, which Falconer parries…

40. ANOTHER ANGLE

… in which we are treated the awe-inspiring spectacle of a couple of closely matched masters of the Samurai sword going through their highly talented motions of (apparently) trying to decapitate the other with all the other students following after them, open-mouthed, until, as if by some uncannily precise, unspoken agreement, West and Falconer both stop and bend into the elaborate ritual finishing bow.

41. ANOTHER ANGLE

On West and Falconer (who now permits his leathery face to crease in an uninhibited smile of pleasure) as they stroll toward the back of the store area, where we see the entrance to a small office.

FALCONER
Good to see you, Jim—but you haven’t been practicing; your balance is off by a good inch.

WEST
I know, and I’m properly ashamed.
(nodding at the class)
How’s the vintage?

FALCONER
Not bad at all; of course there isn’t one you couldn’t take blindfolded…

These words are spoken as he allows West to precede him toward the rear of the store, where we see:

42. INT. REAR – ANOTHER ANGLE – REAR OF STORE

A desk, cluttered with papers, two chairs, a workbench with a samurai sword held in position in a vise, evidently being given first aid—and the walls covered with a variety of cutting weapons. As West takes a padded chair and Falconer seats himself behind his desk:

FALCONER
I have a feeling you’re not here for a refresher course, Jim.

WEST
Right.
(a beat, then:)
Gideon—can you identify this grip?

He takes up a nearby sword and demonstrates the interlocking grip which had been used against him in the Creole Room.

FALCONER
(eyes raised)
The Hokkaido grip.

WEST
(nodding)
Someone tried the seventh cut on me—know anyone in this city who uses it?

FALCONER
I do indeed.
(a beat)
For the past year and a half I’ve been teaching it to all my students.

West looks disappointed, then we see his frame stiffen almost imperceptibly as he catches a glimpse of a massive, shaven-headed swordsman coming down the stairs toward them, and it is obvious that he hasn’t noticed West yet.

SHAVEN-HEAD
(coming up to Falconer)
Shall I take over, Master?

FALCONER
Yes, Aki—have them work up a sweat on parries and lunges.

The newcomer nods, then, as he turns to leave he glances carelessly at West—and we see that he reacts in spite of himself—and that he has the same jagged scar stitched across the bridge of his nose—like West’s assailant in the Creole room; then he silently withdraws.

WEST
Who’s your instructor?

FALCONER
Aki Sergeiievitch. A Eurasian, I believe. Arrived in town only a week ago. Marvelous teacher. I should have introduced you to him.

WEST
Why not now?

Falconer heaves himself to his feet.

43. ANOTHER ANGLE

as West unceremoniously leaves Falconer’s side and starts walking toward a small group of students who are watching as Aki demonstrate his Hokkaido grip…

44 THRU 47. OMIT

48. CLOSE ON AKI

on him—and as he looks up, spots West’s grim expression as he bears down, breaks and runs. The CAMERA PANS HIM to a [copy missing at bottom of page]

49. EXT. ANGLE UP AT BROKEN WINDOW – NIGHT – AS AKI

comes through, hits the ground with cat-like springiness, and takes off down the alley. A moment later, West comes leaping out the same window. The CAMERA PANS with him as he hits the ground and takes off after Aki.

50. OVERSHOT SHOT – WEST

pursuing Aki down an even darker and narrower alley.

51. AKI

He goes flying PAST CAMERA, which then PAN to PICK UP West, pursuing Aki through a labyrinth of barrels, crates, bales, nets, nautical ropes, etc.

52. CLOSE ON AKI

as he starts to race by a huge stack of crates held together by lashings—Aki brakes to a stop, lashes at the rope, which part with an explosive action, permitting crates to spill out win wild profusion.

53. ANOTHER ANGLE

as West goes into some fancy broken field running to escape the careening crates, then leaping over the dam of crates, he follows after Aki.

54. AKI

now clearly in a funk, lurches around a corner and bursts through a shadowy, dusty, CREAKING old door. As the door closes behind him, the CAMERA ZOOMS IN on the name marking

General Manager – DELIVERIES ONLY

55. WEST

rounds the corner, breathless, gun in hand, and stops, wondering what direction his prey had taken, and whether there might be an ambush in the works. And then he HEARS the CREAK of a door as it CLICKS shut again. He goes to it, cautiously tests the doorknob to see if the door is locked, stands back in case his testing draws any shots, then kicks it open and dives through, gun in hand.

56. INT. ARYAN-PACIFIC CORRIDOR – WEST – NIGHT

comes flying through the door, hits the floor, rolls.

57. CLOSE ON WEST

looking around at:

58. POV SHOT

the corridor to a wooden staircase. The places looks like the hold of a merchant ship which has been beached and converted into a waterfront warehouse. But no sign of Aki…

… and then as he looks around he stiffens, preparing to dive for the ground—then he halts, staring cautiously.

59. HIS POV

a flight of stairs leads up to a mezzanine-like foyer that incomprehensibly terminates in what looks to be a blank wall—and over the edge of the mezzanine, at the head of the stairs, the tip of a samurai sword can be seen protruding; gun drawn, West starts to climb the stairs…

60. ANOTHER ANGLE

as West finally reaches the top—burst onto the mezzanine—and finds that the sword tip he saw is indeed Aki’s sword, held by Aki sprawled out on the floor, and from the delicately lethal dagger seen embedded in Aki’s back, a thoroughly dead Aki…

… and now West becomes alertly aware of MOUNTAINOUS, PUDDING-FACED MAN, standing against the blank wall, arms playing with an astonishing variety of rings that we see adorn his fat fingers as he watches West. (He is HANNIBAL EGLOFF.)

WEST
Your dagger?

HANNIBAL
(with a moue of distaste)
Was, would be more accurate; I wouldn’t dream of taking it back from the gentleman.

WEST
(thoughtfully)
A dead body can be an embarrassing thing to have on your doorstep.

HANNIBAL
Dead body…?

He extends a fat, glittering hand and ever so delicately pulls a wildly improbably red velvet bell cord that we see hanging nearby—and hard on the heels of this the floor opens under Aki, catapulting him into depths unknown—but depths that terminate in an unmistakably watery SPLASH—

-- then the trapdoor silently swings shut again.

HANNIBAL (CONT'D)
what dead body?

On West grimly listening to the GURLING, DELIGHTED LAUGHTER that rolls out of Hannibal Egloff, as we:

FADE OUT

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
8376 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2010 :  15:15:48  Show Profile
ACT II

FADE IN:

61. INT. ARYAN-PACIFIC MEZZANINE – NIGHT

West and Hannibal as last seen; West with his gun in hand, alternating a thoughtful glance at the now invisible trap door through which Aki’s body vanished, then a measured study of the massive, still chuckling mountain of a man who has taken a handkerchief from his pocket, wipes his beringed fingers with it, then tosses the handkerchief to the floor with another move of distaste.

WEST
I must say you keep a tidy charnel house.

Now it’s Hannibal’s turn to study West, as if a great truth is dawning on him.

HANNIBAL
Extraordinary! I suddenly realize that you’re repelled by death…

WEST
Almost as much as you’re fascinated by it.

HANNIBAL
Indeed I am! By its glory and majesty, sir! By its healing powers that eventually cures the most stubborn of ailments—by its unhurried wisdom that solves all problems, in time –
(the inevitable chuckle)
-- why, with its help I shall even accomplish the greatest miracle of all –
(patting his girth)
-- reduce this mountain of flesh!

Quivering with silent laughter, Hannibal reaches out another lazy, glittering hand, pulls another bell cord (green velvet, this time) and with a total absence of SOUND, the dingy wall slides back… to disclose…

62. INT. HANNIBALS PARLOR – NIGHT

… a room dedicated completely to opulence; softly glowing crystal chandeliers—brocaded wall hangings—plush—velvet—billowing silk pillows—dazzling, jewel-like vases, lustres and trinkets—and one oddly disturbing note…

… the thin statues everywhere—Giacometti-like in their long, excessively attenuated dimensions—small, large, medium in size—but all of them caricatures of idealized slenderness.

HANNIBAL (CONT'D)
(one hand to his heart)
Won’t you honor my humble parlor with your presence, Mr. West?

West considers the invitation for a beat, then walks past the gross figure of his host, who follows.

63 THRU 71 OMIT

72. INT. HANNIBAL’S PARLOR – WEST, HANNIBAL – NIGHT

as they enter. The shot is ANGLED PAST an exquisitely articulated toy bird in a glass bell which sits on a table.

73. ANOTHER ANGLE

The room is permeated with the musky presence of two STEWARDESSES—a tall, sinuous NUBIAN and a lovely BALINESE, both of whom, like a pair of genies out of the Arabian Nights, instantly come floating forward to help West out of his coat (politely declined) an into a crystal goblet of Amontillado (also declined).

WEST
(as he toys with one of the long, thin statues)
I’m flattered—you know my name.

HANNIBAL
And why should I not? In many quarters you are not without a certain measure of fame—
(lowering himself into chair)
I, on the other hand, am nobody.
(bowing)
Merely Hannibal Egloff, General Manage of the Aryan-Pacific Trading Company.

Suddenly, we HEAR a bird SINGING. Incredibly clear, flawless WARBLING and TRILLING—too CLEAR, too FLAWLESS: West turns and stares…

74. ANOTHER ANGLE

on the mechanical bird in the glass bell, moving about, singing. West comes into view, studying the bird, followed by Hannibal.

HANNIBAL
Exquisite, is it not? Late T’ang Dynasty workmanship. Look how those spoiled Patricians of yesterday amused themselves…

WEST
(brusquely)
Is it my imagination—or were you expecting me?

Hannibal is incapacitated by a brief spell of delighted chuckling, then, as he seats himself again:

HANNIBAL
There are certain men in the world who are like crossroads—like me; everyone comes to fat, old Hannibal sooner or later.

WEST
And what is it fat old Hannibal wants?

HANNIBAL
To serve, Mr. West—simply that. There is a certain article of great value you are looking for—I can put you in touch with it.

WEST
For a price, of course.

HANNIBAL
Mr. West, is the laborer not worthy of his hire?

WEST
(mockingly)
Forgive me.

HANNIBAL
You want a certain sword. I, for a modest fee, can save your Government the embarrassment of being suspected in Japan of having “staged” this evening’s magnanimous gesture for the sole purpose of stealing the sword a second time. No one likes an “Indian giver.”

WEST
How “modest” a fee?

HANNIBAL
A pittance; twenty-five thousand dollars.

WEST
Such a pity—I don’t happen to have that amount with me.

HANNIBAL
Nor did I expect you to, Mr. west. But I trust you—implicitly.

WEST
And after I turn over this pittance to you?

HANNIBAL
Ah, then I shall fulfill my share of the bargain—
(leaning forward)
--by putting you in touch with the Dutchman.

WEST
(a light dawning)
I see; so it’s the Dutchman we have to reckon with, is it?

HANNIBAL
Who else would dare to pit himself against the formidable might of the U.S. Government? And the even more formidable might of the Barbary Coast underworld?

WEST
How much does he want?

HANNIBAL
I wouldn’t dream of presuming to speak for him on matters of money—but we may confidently assume that his price will be—substantial.

WEST
(a beat, then)
Where and when?

Hannibal gets to his feet with a smile in which his eyes become drowned in an ocean of dimpled fat.

HANNIBAL
“Festina lente,” as the Latins say, Mr. West. “Make haste slowly.”
(moves to wall)
As you may know, the Dutchman is one of the “faceless” ones—one does not “meet” him as one “meets” the Queen of England or the Emperor of China. A trusted middleman negotiates a brief interview, and then on is, rather circuitously, conveyed into his presence… say at two o’clock this morning at the old mill on Sausalito Beach?

WEST
(nodding)
Look for me.

75. ANOTHER ANGLE

as Hannibal extends a hand to the green bell pull nearby—a gentle tug—

--and the same moveable wall slides open to expose the filthy mezzanine and the shadowed gloom of the warehouse beyond.

76. ANOTHER ANGLE – ON STAIRS

as West slowly descends, with the massive bulk of Hannibal at the head of the stairs silhouetted against the light from the parlor.

HANNIBAL
(purring softly)
A small reminder, my friend—before the meeting with the Dutchman, I shall expect a messenger from you—with my fee.

West turns, nods briefly, continues to the foot of the stairs where he turns to Hannibal once again.

WEST
How does the Dutchman know I won’t set a trap?

The shadowy silhouette displacing an amazing amount of space at the head of the stairs goes into silent PAROXYSM OF LAUGHTER—the, finally, when it can speak again:

HANNIBAL
Mr. West, you are undoubtedly brave and resourceful—but you do not strike me as a man who has lost all desire to live.

He bows and withdraws; HOLD on the thoughtful face of West for a beat—then he turns and exits from view.

77 & 78 OMIT

79. EXT. BARBARY COAST STREET – NIGHT

From out the COLORFUL, BRAWLING THRONG, we pick up the glossy, wine-befuddled figure of Portygee (Artemus), still clutching his long, narrow, wrapped package—as he weaves his way towards…

79A. EXT. “BUCKET OF BLOOD” – NIGHT

A sinister-looking, cellar-like bistro that several plunging steps lead down to. Artemus staggers into view and descends, somehow surviving the descent—then enters with his package.

80. SOAPY

A ferrety little creature who has been trailing Artemus, we see, disengages himself from the idlers nearby and follows Artemus down into the bistro.

81. INT. BUCKET OF BLOOD – NIGHT

Artemus weaves his way past an assortment of tables occupied by PATRONS who pay him a slit-eyed appraisal, as if sizing him up as a candidate for “rolling”…



82. ANOTHER ANGLE – AT BAR

where we see MADAME MOUSTACHE presiding as bartender. She is bulky, taciturn, exuding a definite menace, and remarkably unlovely. Unseeing, Artemus makes his way to the bar, against which he leans his package with exaggerated care…

… during which we see Soapy make his way to Madame Moustache’s side and murmur something in her ear; there is only the most imperceptible of nods to indicate that she even heard what he murmured.

83. ANOTHER ANGLE

as Madame Moustache comes up to Artemus, who raises his eyes to her and reacts emotionally:

ARTEMUS
Nina Candida! Flor do Cezimbra!

MADAME MOUSTACHE
I am not Nina Candida, whoever she is…

ARTEMUS
The years have blessed you, Nina! You are more beautiful than ever!

(NOTE: Madame Moustache reacts with increasing annoyance to Artemus’ “drunken” mistaken identification bit, but we should somehow get the idea, also, that she is flattered in spite of herself.)

MADAME MOUSTACHE
(harshly)
Listen you, my name is Madame Moustache—now drink up or ship out?

ARTEMUS
You are not Nina? Amazing! The same eyes, large and velvety, like a Tuna’s…

MADAME MOUSTACHE
(ominously)
Mister…!

ARTEMUS
(resignedly)
Very well, then, a bottle of your best—with two glasses!

MADAME MOUSTACHE
One glass—I don’t drink with customers.

ARTEMUS
(drawing himself up)
Be advised that the second glass is for my friend, Madame.

Artemus points with drunken dignity to the long, narrow package leaning against the bar; Madame Moustache’s eyes flicker to it, then without another word she reaches out for a bottle and two glasses that she sets before Artemus. Artemus pours into both glasses then sets one brimming glass before the package.

MADAME MOUSTACHE
Your friend doesn’t talk much.

ARTEMUS
No, he is a doer, not a talker—
(overcome with enthusiasm as he fondles package)
Listen, Nina Candida, my friend here is going to make me rich! Do you hear! Rich as a thieving nobleman!

MADAME MOUSTACHE
Sure, sure, Portygee.

ARTEMUS
I see it in your lovely eyes, Nina Candida—you do not believe me, eh? Listen, I have owned nine ships—I have sailed the seven seas and run all manner of forbidden, profitable contraband!
(leans across bar—whispering)
Nina—shall I tell you what this is?

MADAME MOUSTACHE
Don’t bother – you bee up and down this stem half the night lookin’ to peddle that pig-sticker.

ARTEMUS
(thunderstruck)
Then you know about the Sword of Kuniyoshi…?

Even as he speaks he becomes aware that, silently and menacingly, one of the thug-like PATRONS has taken his place against the bar, staring hard at the package…

… then Artemus turns to the other side and finds that another THUG has taken up his station there…

… and CAMERA PULLS BACK to make it amply clear that half a dozen of the HARD-BITTEN CUSTOMERS are converging on Artemus, who looks from one to the other, blinking fatuously, as ONE, the MOST CORRUPT-LOOKING of the lot, advances on Artemus with a dagger in his hand:

MADAME MOUSTACHE
I think he wants you to hand over your package before his knife accidentally slips.

Artemus looks terror-stricken as he picks up his package with both hands, starts to extend it to the other—

--then suddenly brings the package down smartly against his knee, snapping it in two—and grasping both halves, Artemus points them at the milling group as bursts of roman-candle fire rocket out, creating panicky confusion where malignantly evil pleasure reigned before.

84. SHOT

A burst of roman-candle fire strikes a thug amidship just as he is raising a knife to throw it at the unseen Artemus…

85. SHOT

A thug picks up a chair and starts to swing it in a lethal arc toward Artemus, who deftly turns his fiery fountain on him—the chair is flung aside with an anguished YELL as the roman candle hits home.

86. SHOT

SEVERAL OF THE PANIC-STRICKEN THUGS scrambling for the steps leading to the safety of the exit, and we see bursts of gaily-colored roman candle fire zeroing in on them even as they frenziedly fight their way out.

87. ANOTHER ANGLE – ON ARTEMUS

All alone, like Horatius at the bridge, standing before the deserted bar; then, as he blows the smoke from the still smoking muzzles of his exhausted roman candle launchers (as if from the muzzles of a pair of guns, after they have been fired) and tosses them aside, the head of Madame Moustache comes into view as she straightens up behind the bar. The look she turns on Artemus is heavily tinctured with respect, we see.

MADAME MOUSTACHE (CONT'D)
Your friend won’t be needing his drink anymore, I’m thinking…

Artemus swings around to her, suddenly as drunk as ever:

ARTEMUS
True, Nina Candida, Flor do Cezimbra—let us share it, then, as we share so many golden memories!

Both raise their glasses, drink, then:

MADAME MOUSTACHE
There is a real Sword of Kuniyoshi, of course…

ARTEMUS
Of course; and I’m told that if one has such an article, and wishes to find a buyer, one need search no further than this blessed, restful spot.

Madame Moustache nods thoughtfully, takes a small handbell from the back of the bar, shakes a TINKLING SOUND out of it…

… and almost immediately the door near the bar is opened, and Soapy, the ferrety, little man we saw trailing Artemus earlier, cautiously pokes his head out, then quickly advances to the bar, eyes on the bartender.

MADAME MOUSTACHE
The gentleman would like to go sightseeing.

Soapy nods obsequiously, and heads for the door.

88. ANOTHER ANGLE

showing Artemus taking the firm, fully-packed arm of Madame Moustache (NOTE: during this, we will notice that there is actually a tattoo on her arm) and raising the back of her hand to his lips:

ARTEMUS
To the cherished moment when next I gaze into the lovely eyes of Nina Candida!

He kisses her hand, then, with a snatch of a PORTUGUESE LOVE SONG on his lips, Artemus weaves his way after Soapy. CAMERA HOLDS on Madame Moustache gazing after Artemus, her face as enigmatic as ever, until she picks up a small mirror from under the bar and studies her eyes, and we see that a trace of archness has miraculously softened her expression…

89. EXT. SAUSALITO MILL – NIGHT

CAMERA PLAYS over the ramshackle pile of buildings, with its clutter of lumber stacked in disordered piles, rusting hulks of machinery half buried in the ground nearby, all of which should combine to indicate a long-abandoned place of industry—and during all this, we will become aware that a shadow has detached itself from a larger mass of shadows…

… and the shadow silently transforms itself into West, as he cautiously, silently approaches the mill—and from the way he freezes and melts into the shadows again, it’s plain that he has HEARD SOMETHING—a beat, listening intently, then he continues his approach to the mill.

90. ANOTHER ANGLE – AT DOOR

West comes into view, starts to reach out a hand toward the door, and gain we see that he is reacting to something he HEARS—again a beat, then West swings the door open and drifts in.

91. INT. MILL – NIGHT

through a far-ranging row of windows, most of them with glass long gone, moonlight pours in and illuminates the cluttered, abandoned mill, with its long roller bed that once drew great logs toward a great circular saw, now rusty and cracked and denuded of much of its teeth.

92. ANOTHER ANGLE

in which we see West swiftly position himself behind beside the door and wait, gun drawn…

… and finally we HEAR what West had detected earlier—the barely imperceptible SOUND OF FOOTFALLS—then, the door silently starts to open…

… and through the doorway Reiko enters, staring around uncertainly. West studies her grimly for a beat, then he reaches out an arm behind her and swings the door closed; Reiko whirls around, a STARTLED “AIE!” escaping from her lips…

… then at the sight of West, tremendous relief floods her countenance as she drops to her knees, hands (as in prayer) held to her lips.

WEST
(soberly)
Reiko better explain why she has been following this worthless one.

Reiko starts to say something, then she shakes her head and puts her hands to her eyes. West reaches down, lifts her to her feet…

93. CLOSE SHOT – WEST AND REIKO

as West gently pries Reiko’s hands away form her eyes then reacts to see that tears are flowing from them.

WEST
Do you always cry, Reiko?

REIKO
Only when happy—as now.

WEST
What makes you so happy?

REIKO
Because you are safe, Mr. West.

West takes out his handkerchief and, during the following, is dabbing at the lovely tear-stained eyes before him.

WEST
I think there is much you can explain; to begin with—why were you tagging along?

REIKO
(simply)
Hai-o-kaburu.*

____
*Phonetically: High-oh-kah-boo-roo
____

WEST
(a beat – sighing)
I’m sorry – what does that mean?

REIKO
“Wearing The Ashes”—it is our national Code of Penance, to make up for shameful wrong that has been done to someone—you like.

West stares at Reiko, puzzled, then a small smile touches his lips.

WEST
The shameful wrong you’re talking about—that has been done to who?

REIKO
To you and to Mr. Gordon; you have been good to me, and now, because some of my countrymen have taken the Divide Blade of Kuniyoshi away from you, you are forced to the dangerous task to recover it;
(a shuddering sigh)
Therefore, Tenuke Hakkiro.

WEST
Of course—that makes sense.
(a beat – smiling)
So you were following to make sure nothing happened to me; I’m touched, Reiko.

REIKO
(a sudden flash of spirit)
You are laughing at me, now! But look…

One of her hands emerges from the huge folds of her kimono, and we see that it clutches a small, but glitteringly effective-looking dagger.

REIKO
It is a small blade, Mr. West, but do you know what we call it, in Japan? Tomadachi-ho-sepun*--the “Kiss of a Friend!”

____
*Phonetically: Toe-moe-datch-chee-no-sep-oon
____

WEST
(more touched than ever)
Reiko, believe me, I’m not laughing at you.

REIKO
Excuse me, but you are! I came well prepared to help you but you are only amused—you treat me as if I were a silly school child, who…

The rest is lost to posterity as West bends down and covers her lips with his lips in a kiss that starts out with Reiko instinctively struggling and winds up with her enthusiastic cooperation.

94. OMIT

95. CLOSE SHOT – WEST AND REIKO

as West reluctantly takes his lips from hers—and waits for her eyes to open; when they do:

WEST
Listen Reiko; if you really want to help out, don’t follow me again.

REIKO
Please let Reiko stay!

96. ANOTHER ANGLE

in which we see West turning toward the door they both entered.

WEST
Absolutely not; I don’t know how you got here, but I want you to go right back to…

He has reached out a hand and opened the door as he speaks, and now his speech trails off—as CAMERA ANGLES to show:

97. ANOTHER ANGLE – INCLUDING OPEN DOOR

and we see that a VILLAINOUS-LOOKING THUG is stationed there, with a gun pointing at West.

98. ANOTHER ANGLE

as West and Reiko turn to find another COUPLE OF THUGS approaching along one aisle, with drawn guns…

then West and Reiko turn again to see TWO MORE THUGS, also with drawn guns, approaching from another quarter of the mill.

WEST
(to Reiko—wryly)
Looks like you get to stay after all.

99. ANOTHER ANGLE

West and Reiko are at the head of the group of thugs as they urge the two along the aisle until they come to the doorway of a room opening out onto the vast mill floor---

--and here West and Reiko are treated to their first glimpse of the high-backed chair in the shadowed interior of the room…

… a chair in which we can see someone is seated, facing away from the door opening—though all we can see of the occupant is a hand holding a cigarette, as he will throughout the scene.

VOICE
(a harsh, penetrating whisper)
I told the fat one that you were to come here alone—didn’t he tell you?

WEST
(elaborately amicable)
You have the advantage of me; my name is West…

VOICE
Never mind what mine is; men call me the Dutchman; will that do?

WEST
Perfectly. As to your question, Egloff did mention something about coming alone, but my friend here dropped by unexpectedly; she’s ready to leave now, and…

VOICE
No! Now that she’s here, she will stay—she serves my purpose very well!

And as if on some unseen signal, two of the thugs grab Reiko’s arms and force her into a sitting position before the darkened doorway. West instinctively starts to lunge forward, then relaxes with a fine show of philosophical resignation.

WEST
It really isn’t all that important to me, but just what is it that you have in mind?

VOICE
You are here to enter into negotiations with me—I have the sword, your government has money…

WEST
Exactly; so why don’t we send the girl off and get down to business?

VOICE
(ignoring West)
You will be interested to know what my price is for the return of the sword; a half million dollars in negotiable United States securities.

WEST
(soberly)
Yes, Egloff indicated that your price would be substantial.

VOICE
Naturally you will want to be assured that the sword is genuine—that is where your friend comes in; perhaps I could convince you by cutting a silk handkerchief in two, a feat that only the Sword of Kuniyoshi can accomplish…

WEST
That would be very impressive proof.

VOICE
… but I intend to give you even more dramatic proof. I’m told that a blade that is keen enough, and is wielded by a sure hand, can perform a decapitation so deft, that the victim herself is not immediately aware what has happened, like so…

One of the thugs suddenly emerges into prominence carrying a glittering Samurai sword that writhes into sudden relief as it whirls into the up-stroke, then:

… West explodes into a typhoon of lethal violence as he pivots, sends one, then the other gunsel at his side flying with a staccato rain of punches, then leaps toward the blade and karate chops the wrist of the wielder of the sword…

… and there is an ANSWERING HARSH CRY OF PAIN as the edge of West’s hand sinks deep into flesh and the sword clatters harmlessly to the ground…

… is immediately scooped up, then West plunges into the room, sword raised, whirls the chair around…

and discovers that it is empty, except for a mannequin’s display arm holding a cigarette, so fixed in place that it had seemed to be part of someone seated in the chair;

And west is still goggling at the fraud when he HEARS HARSH LAUGHTER and swings around to a curtained alcove, from behind which he HEARS:

VOICE
No, don’t waste time talking to a chair—I’m in here.

West makes a move toward the curtain, just as a gun but swung by one of the remaining gunsels crashes against West’s skull, and a giant hand picks up the scene and starts whirling it about; one last impression of Reiko staring at him, her face white and distorted by concern, then all the light is drained away, the scene goes to black, and we

FADE OUT

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
8376 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2010 :  15:17:23  Show Profile
ACT III

FADE IN:

100. EXT. AN ALLEY – NIGHT

HOLD on a ramshackle warehouse, without windows or doors, then we become conscious of the ladder-like arrangement running up the side of the building…

… and that two shadowy figures are seen descending the ladder—two figures who turn out to be Soapy, leading Artemus. As they both reach ground, Artemus clutches as Soapy:

ARTEMUS
Up one alley, down another, in, out, and over buildings—por lo Madre! It is all to make fool of me, perhaps?

SOAPY
Uh, uh; we’re here.

ARTEMUS
We are here? What is here? There is nothing but a filthy alley!
(grabbing Soapy’s collar)
Listen, my little friend…!

The rest is cut off as a SOUND like THO-O-OCKK! coincides with a STRANGLED CRY from Soapy—and he slips out of Artemus’ astonished hands and sprawls on the ground…

… with an arrow buried deep in his back. Artemus goes into a whirling crouch, and in some mysterious way a knife suddenly appears in his hand as he stands there tensely, listening to the GATHERING SOUNDS of SLIPPERED FEET COMING TOWARD HIM…

101. ANOTHER ANGLE

in which we see a strange, bobbing vehicle approaching—only, as it gets close enough, we see that it is a Japanese sedan chair, borne by four HUGE JAPANESE SAMURAI. The Bearers stop some distance away, the chair is lowered to the ground and all wait expectantly. A beat, then Artemus strolls casually toward the little group.

102. ANOTHER ANGLE – AT SEDAN CHAIR

Upon closer inspection, all four Samurai are seen to have Japanese crossbows and quivers of wicked little arrows along across their backs. Artemus turns the most perfunctory of glances at them, gives his attention to the sedan chair window which suddenly becomes a little square of light as a roller shade behind the window opening is suddenly rolled up…

… to disclose the round, inscrutable face of Saigo within.

SAIGO
I prefer not to have any witness around for our little transaction.

ARTEMUS
Are we going to have a transaction?

SAIGO
I think perhaps, yes; I am assured by someone whose judgment I trust that you very likely have a certain sword I want; I, in turn, have money to pay for it. Will you get in?

A beat, then with a fine show of swagger, Artemus opens the sedan chair door and squeezes in.

103 THRU 115 OMIT.

116. EXT. ALLEY – WIDE ANGLE – NIGHT

as the four CHINESE pick up the sedan chair and take off at a full trot.

116A. INT. SAIGO’S SEDAN CHAIR

By the light of a tiny, crystalline Kyoto lamp, we see suspended from the ceiling, a sumptuously brocaded silk interior, into which Artemus squeezes his bulk in the seat opposite Baron Saigo, who looks Artemus over with undisguised interest.

SAIGO (CONT'D)
Of what extraction are you, if one may ask?

ARTEMUS
(proudly)
I am Portuguese, of course.

SAIGO
Ah, so; like ours, a great seafaring nation.

ARTEMUS
Forgive me if I say, the greatest. There is no sea that we were not the first to sail—there is no landfall that we were not the first in history to sight; more than any other nation we are experts of the sea, beautiful women—and the value of a dollar!

SAIGO
(placidly)
Ah, you see, so now we are negotiating.
(leaning forward)
I am told you have in your possession the Sword of Kuniyoshi…

ARTEMUS
I am listening.

SAIGO
You will bring it to me at this same spot seven o’clock tomorrow morning…

ARTEMUS
I am still listening.

SAIGO
… for which I will pay you twenty five thousand gold dollars.

ARTEMUS
(reacting unbelievingly)
Suddenly I cannot hear you; the sword—which I do not even admit to have—is most certainly worth a great deal more than that!

SAIGO
Very true. But you see, I only want to borrow the sword for the space of fifteen minutes…

ARTEMUS
(incredulously)
Just fifteen minutes?

SAIGO
… after which it is yours to sell again, for whatever the market will bring.
(closing his eyes)
It is to be used in an ancient Samurai purification ritual that would have no meaning for you/
(opening his eyes)
Is it agreed?

117. EXT. THE SEDAN CHAIR – NIGHT

as the four samurai bearers come to a stop, set the sedan chair down and Artemus emerges. Through the illuminated open window of the door we can see Baron Saigo leaning forward to speak to Artemus:

SAIGO
(leans forward)
A word of caution. Bring me the true sword and I will pay you. Bring me a false imitation and I will use it to cut off your head.

The edge of his hand, as though acting on its own, demonstrates the appropriate stroke, the door closes, the roller shade is drawn down—and the sedan chair is swiftly borne away. Artemus stares after, as CAMERA ANGLES to show:

118. ANOTHER ANGLE

… that he is back where he started from with the sinister-looking entrance to the “Bucket of Blood” nearby. On Artemus’ thoughtful expression…

119. INT. SAUSALITO MILL – NIGHT

The CAMERA is viewing the scene through West’s eyes—the scene is dim, vacillates between dimmer and brighter, since West’s nearly opened eyes are trying to focus on the scene…

… then finally the scene comes into clear focus and West finds himself facing the same curtained alcove he was starting for when someone’s gun butt made violent contact with his skull, the same as last scene—the same figure of Reiko as last seen huddled on the floor nearby, except that now there is a bruise on her cheek, as if she had been struck when she tried to come to West’s aid—and the same gunsels are seen standing nearby, all looking expectantly at West—but none of them is holding any weapons; the reason for this becomes evident when:

120. OMIT

121. ANOTHER ANGLE

… we see that West is seated in a chair, with his hands tied with a length of rope behind him. West, still shaking his head to clear it of the accumulated rice pudding, looks at the curtained alcove.

WEST
Dutchman—you still there?

VOICE
(the familiar, harsh whisper)
Here and waiting for your return.
(a beat – reproachfully)
Now then, where were we?

WEST
I was making a grab for you, as I recall.

VOICE
Oh yes.
(reproachfully)
You’re a violent man, Mr. West—I’m afraid I’m going to have to return your violence; an eye for an eye, as the book says; not your eye, you understand—you and I have to do business with each other—but the girl’s.

In spite of himself West stiffens as the import of what the other is saying hits him.

VOICE (CONT'D)
Ah, that prospect offends your delicate sensibilities, doesn’t it?

122. Even as he speaks, two gunsels hustle Reiko to her feet and force her into a position before the darkened doorway; West instinctively lurches against the ropes tying him, then with an elaborately casual expression, he settled back into his chair, almost as if bored with it all.

WEST
(shrugging)
If that’s the way it’s got to be, okay…

123. SHOT – REIKO

staring at West, shocked.

124. BACK TO SCENE

WEST
… before you, ah, work her over, I wonder if you’d do me one little favor.

VOICE
Yes, Mr. West?

WEST
Reiko may be a little—changed—by the time you are through with her.

VOICE
(delightedly)
Yes—that’s entirely possible! What is the favor you want?

WEST
To enjoy one last kiss from her.

VOICE
(dripping amused contempt)
How charmingly sentimental!
(sharply—to the gunsels)
Let Mr. West have the last kiss he—or anyone else—will ever want from the girl!

125. SHOT – REIKO

as she is released and shoved roughly toward West—with that numbed look of disbelief still clouding her eyes.

126. CLOSE – ON WEST

WEST
One last kiss, Reiko—
(subtly emphasizing)
--the kiss of a friend.

127. SHOT – REIKO

as the numbed disbelief is whisked away by the understanding that crowds her eyes.

128. BACK TO SCENE

Reiko bends over West and puts her lips to his lips.

129. CLOSE SHOT – REIKO’S HAND

emerging into view from a voluminous fold of her kimono sleeve—clutching “the kiss of a friend”—her dagger; swiftly and efficiently the blade *****es through the ropes binding West…

130. BACK TO SCENE

Reiko’s lips are still pressed to West’s when:

VOICE
(harsher than ever)
Enough—my stomach is sufficiently turned!

Two gunsels step forward, seize Reiko and wrench her away from West…

… who suddenly rises from the chair, hands free, and in one complex motion, reaches into an inside pocket and comes up with a small, gleaming sphere which he tosses high into the air…

131. SHOT

the gleaming sphere arching high into the air, then it suddenly explodes into what we now see is a miniaturized version of a star-shell—a tiny point of incandescence suspended by a small parachute so that it is slowly drifting downward as it gives off its blinding radiance.

132. BACK TO THE SCENE

everyone is reeling back, blinding by the overwhelming radiance that has been let loose—everyone but West, who has had the foresight to shield his eyes, and now, with the ever present derringer flipped out of his sleeve, he leaps forward and jams the butt on the gun into the very solid mass of whoever is behind the curtain.

WEST
(like the crack of a whip)
Dutchman, if one of your boys goes for his gun it’s curtains for you!

THE DUTCHMAN
(calling out hastily)
You heard him!
(to West – a HARSH CHUCKLE then)
I believe this is what is known as a Mexican standoff, is it not?

WEST
Is it? I have the gun on you.

VOICE
True, but by now my boys have their guns on you—and on the charming girl.

WEST
(stepping back warily)
A Mexican standoff is a pretty fair description, Dutchman.

One by one, warily watching West, the gunsels file into the room where the Dutchman is hidden behind his curtain, until the last one has joined him.

THE DUTCHMAN
I’m letting you have your way in this matter, Mr. West—now listen to me; one half million dollars in gilt-edged securities—you will bring it to me at the Portuguese wharf—in exactly two hours--alone!

And the words are hardly out of his mouth before one of the gunsels has slammed the door shut.

West turns and races for the same door that he and Reiko entered originally…

133. OMIT

134. EXT. THE MILL DOORWAY – NIGHT

as West bursts out, races through the yard past the rusting hulks of machinery, then through the crazily-hanging yard gate, where he comes to a halt, staring off at:

135. POV

A carriage drawn by a high-stepping team is swiftly drawing away and disappearing into the gloom of night.

136. BACK TO WEST

still staring off at the disappearing carriage, when Reiko comes INTO VIEW and shyly puts one hand around West’s arm. As West looks down at her with a tired, appreciative smile,

DISSOLVE TO:

137. CLOSE SHOT – REIKO

asleep on a sofa – HOLD on her slumbering form – then PULL BACK to show we are in:

138. INT. WEST’S VARNISH – NIGHT

… and that both West and Artemus* are huddled over a table nearby, both busily engaged in adding packet after packet of securities into a valise-like bag. Finally, as the last of the bundles is stowed away, Artemus snaps the catches on the valise.

____
*NOTE: Artemus is still made up as “the Portygee.”
____

ARTEMUS
(YAWNING)
So much for a half million dollars…

As he speaks, he has upended the valise, pressed a barely visible button on the bottom, that causes a corner to flip open—now, from a nearby group of instruments and bottles, he takes a funnel, sets its spout into the opening…

… and from a purple-colored bottle he pours a stream of dark powder into the valise.

ARTEMUS (CONT'D)
… and so much for the trail.

He has removed the funnel, capped the purple bottle and flipped the opening on the bottom of the bag closed as he speaks.

WEST
Nothing personal, Artie, but let’s run a test, to be sure.

ARTEMUS
Right.

He marches briskly down the length of the car, carrying the bag as he goes…

… then, reaching the end of the car (at the corridor end) he reaches up and turns the lights down from a master valve, so that the car is almost in darkness—and we take in the scene of West and Artemus staring expectantly at the route where Artemus walked…

… and then, before our eyes, a phosphorescent trail slowly starts glowing, until it lies shimmering (or smoking) giving off a clear, cold light.

139. BACK TO SCENE

as Artemus turns the lights up again.

WEST
Check.
(looking at his watch)
One triple play coming up; I pass the securities on to the Dutchman…

ARTEMUJS
… who gratefully turns the sword over to us

WEST
… which, in turn, you pass it on to Baron Saigo, before the deadline has expired—at which point we may find out why he’s so anxious to borrow that sword for fifteen minutes.

As the two turn to go they stop long enough to look down on Reiko’s slumbering form.

ARTEMUS
(admiringly)
Now that should be standard equipment on every railroad car.

West nods, then reaches out to a coat rack, removes a coat and gently lays it over the slumbering form of Reiko—

-- and without another word, he and Artemus exit.

FLIP TO:

140. EXT. PORTUGUESE WHARF – NIGHT

West, valise in hand, is lounging at the wharf, staring off into the sinister darkness that crowds in at every hand, as he turns from side to side, listening and waiting, the silence of the night is rudely shattered by:

141. ANOTHER ANGLE

one of the several waterfront spots where smoky, dimly-lighted windows are all that keep the scene from being in total darkness suddenly erupts as, with a YELL, and a MUFFLED THREAT, a drunken sailor is ejected into the street, where he staggers to the ground, then, MUMBLIG FIERCE THREATS, he laboriously gets to his feet and starts toward West, in typical drunken fashion, SINGING DRUNKENLY, now. As he passes West, Artemus (for of course that’s who it is) waves cheerily at him, almost losing his balance in the process, then continues on until he’s swallowed up by the darkness.

142. ANOTHER ANGLE

SHOOTING UP at West standing on the wharf, from the water below; we see the prow of a longboat come silently into view, then one of the HALF DOZEN FIGURES on it HAILS:

SEAMAN
West!
(as West turns around)
Did you bring what the Dutchman told you?

WEST
(holding up valise)
Did you bring what I get for this?

The seaman silently holds up an elaborately lacquered sword case, then:

SEAMAN
Hand over that bag.

WEST
After you hand up the sword.

A beat, then the seaman extends the long sword to West—who makes the mistake of setting the valise down to grasp a piling with one hand while extending the other for the swordcase…

… and it is that this moment that west HEARS THE RUSH OF FEET FROM BEHIND HIM, makes as if to turn (NOTE: It is all part of West’s plan, of course, to seem to be taken in by Dutchman’s men) to meet their onrush, but before he can, he is hit hard and knocked over the wharf’s side…

143. ANOTHER ANGLE – SHOOTING DOWN

… and into the longboat, where he lies stunned for a beat; then he HEARS:

THE DUTCHMAN’S VOICE
Thank you, Mr. West…

144. … and CAMERA ANGLES up to wharf to show a shadowy figure draped in a cloak, holding West’s valise, and surrounded by two gunsels.

THE DUTCHMAN
… for your most splendid cooperation; I hope my men will try to make you feel welcome, in return.

145. BACK TO WEST IN BOAT

as the grinning seamen close in on hem, swinging viciously…

146. EXT. WHARF – NIGHT

SHOOTING FROM THE WHARF, we see Artemus (who has obviously doubled back swiftly to arrive at this vantage point) staring down at the (unseen) battle raging in the boat below, then we see Artemus’ eyes light up as he stares off…

147. POV

A boom arm, pivoted on the dock, with a length of rope suspended from the long end of the boom, from which a hook suspends.

148. BACK TO BOAT

West is clobbering one after another of the seamen, and taking his share of hard punches in the close quarters, until after a hard right and left knocks two of the men sprawling, he reaches into his pocket, comes up with putty-like substance that he slaps into place on the (outside) gunwale of the boat…

149. CLOSE SHOT – GUNWALE

showing the blob of putty-like substance adhering tenaciously to the side, and as we watch, it starts to sparkle and give off little whiffs of smoke…

150. BACK TO SCENE

West has his hands full again with the viciously swinging seamen, and again he beats them back long enough to pick up the sword case, turn around and SING OUT: and toss it high into the air, onto the wharf, just as:

ARTEMUS
Over head, Jim!

151. SHOT – ARTEMUS IN WINDOW

as he launches himself into the air, seizing one end of the long boom arm…

… causing the other end to swing into a wide arc that carries it over the water…

152. ANOTHER ANGLE – ON WEST

… and directly over West in the boat, who leaps high into the air, seizes the hook as it goes sailing by…

… just as the plastic explosive on the gunwale detonates with a ROAR, hurling the boat over onto its side and scattering its dazed occupants over a large area.

153. ANOTHER ANGLE – ON WHARF

… as West completes the circuit of the boom’s wing by leaping to the wharf, as soon as it is under his feet, it’s the work of a moment to scoop up the sword case, just as Artemus comes pelting out of the building, turning his head from side to side, searching…

… until with an exclamation of triumph he points off;

154. OMIT

155. POV

glowing and shimmering in the darkness, we see the phosphorescent trail that Artemus’ trick valise has provided;

156. BACK TO SCENE

as West and Artemus swiftly and silently take off after their quarry.

MONTAGE OF WEST AND ARTEMUS ON THE TRAIL

157. SHOT – West and Artemus following the shimmering trail along a narrow, crate-littered alley…

158. SHOT – West and Artemus doubling back upon themselves as the shimmering trail leads them through an abandoned shack, through its cobwebby interior, then out again…

159. ARTEMUS

following the trail in full pursuit.

160. CLOSE ON WEST

carefully guarding the sword-case, following the trail.

161. OVERHEAD SHOT – THE TRAIL

comes to a halt at the entrance of a huge, dark warehouse. The CAMERA PANS to Artemus lurking by the door until West arrives.

ARTEMUS
In there.

WEST

Wait –

He puts the sword case down and opens it, then strips back the silken hull of the sword. The “sword” is a curved wooden kendo stave. Artemus briefly and disgustedly examines the kendo stave, then flings it at the nearest garbage can.

ARTEMUS
(nods resignedly)
Phony.

WEST
Phony as our bonds.

ARTEMUS
Some people have no shame.

He points to the phosphorescent trail leading into the warehouse—both move swiftly toward the door.

162. INT. WAREHOUSE – NIGHT

West and Artemus appear around a bend, following the trail; West looks off, as CAMERA ANGLES to show a flight of steps that lead to a mezzanine that seems to end in a blank, unbroken wall; and the way that West takes the steps three at a time, it is obvious he recognizes it.

163. ANOTHER ANGLE – AT WALL

West and Artemus have arrived at the blank wall—West reaches out, yanks at the green bell rope…

… and the wall slides open to disclose the opulent interior previously seen…

… and a pouting Hannibal looking reproachfully at the two as they march in an dup to the table where he has obviously been examining the packets of securities, still littering the table top.

HANNIBAL
Gentlemen, you have wounded me to the heart.

WEST
Make a note of that, Artie.

164. ANOTHER ANGLE

as Hannibal points to his desk on which the bonds lie spread out.

HANNIBAL
From one in my profession, yes, I would not be shocked to have worthless securities foisted on me. But from an official representative of the United States Government –
(more than he can bear)
-- really!!

WEST
(shaking his head)
You were a lousy Dutchman.

Hannibal’s lip quivers and he looks as if he’s about to cry.

HANNIBAL
You’re joking—I thought I carried the masquerade off rather splendidly.
(assuming a harsh whisper)
You see, you never remembered to send me my fee, and since my funds were running low…

ARTEMUS
I wonder how the Dutchman will take it – when he finds out you used his fine old name to feather your own nest?

Hannibal looks deeply concerned, all his flippancy gone.

HANNIBAL
Gentlemen, I implore you! You see before you, the last of the Egloffs—breathe one word of this unfortunate transaction—and the House of Egloff dies out!

WEST
All right, we’ll keep our mouths shut – in return for the sword.

HANNIBAL
But I haven’t got it.

ARTEMUS
That’s your problem.

HANNIBAL
A mutual problem – if you still wish to regain the sword of Kuniyoshi.

WEST
Does the Dutchman have it?

HANNIBAL
Dear sirs, I haven’t the remotest idea.

ARTEMUS
Who is he, anyway?

HANNIBAL
Gentlemen, if I told you that –

WEST
(cutting in)
If you don’t, your masquerade party is going to be common gossip all over San Francisco within the hour.

HANNIBAL
You wouldn’t!
(studies West and Artemus)
Yes, I can see you would
(sighs)
I fear you have me.

He slides open the drawer of his desk, rummages in it, then comes up with an article that he tosses to the desk in front of West and Artemus.

HANNIBAL
Gentlemen, the key to the Dutchman.

West and Artemus look at a magnificently crafted miniature replica of a samurai sword…

… then look up at Hannibal to find that he now has a gun in his fat hand pointed at them.

HANNIBAL (CONT'D)
Do you really think I panic that easily, gentlemen? Now that you two are about to have an unfortunate fatal accident, the Dutchman need never know about my little prank, need he.

ARTEMUS
Make a note of that, Jim.

Hannibal has gotten to his feet and is slowly backing away from West and Artemus, never once relaxing his vigilance, as he raises his gun into line with West…

… and with shocking suddenness, the toy bird nearby blasts into an UNNERVING WARBLING. Hannibal quickly recovers his aplomb.

HANNIBAL
I never finished tell you about this splendid bird—in addition to being a thoroughly unique work of art, it is also a warning of someone approaching; you will forgive me for just a moment, won’t you?

He has been backing up toward a side door as he speaks, again, without once taking his eyes or his gun off West and Artemus.

165. ANOTHER ANGLE – AT DOOR

as Hannibal arrives at the door—fumbles for the catch that releases the small hinged panel set into the door at head height—then Hannibal swings the panel open..

… and is whipped away from the door as a blast of gunfire hits him at short range…

--and almost before his thoroughly lifeless body has slammed to the floor, an unseen hand tosses an article in through the open panel…

166. ANOTHER ANGLE

as the article lands on the floor and plainly reveals itself to be a bomb—but a bomb that is emitting long, dangerous blasts of incandescent flash as it sputters.

167. ON WEST AND ARTEMUS

WEST
Bomb, Artie?

ARTEMUS
(grimly)
Indubitably, Jim—and we’d better get rid of it before it goes off!

He and West both make a rush for the bomb, then hit the ground and roll back out of range as a blast of gunfire from the panel sends them back out of range. On West’s and Artemus' grim faces as they stare unhappily at the spluttering bomb…

FADE OUT

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
8376 Posts

Posted - 03/08/2010 :  15:18:13  Show Profile



ACT IV

FADE IN:

168. INT. HANNIBAL’S PARLOR – NIGHT

CLOSE – on the bomb spluttering in the corner—only, as we LISTEN, a RISING, WHISTLING NOTE is now added, a sound that seems to promise that an explosion is very close at hand.

169. ANOTHER ANGLE

West and Artemus look desperately from side to side in the windowless room, then West makes an exclamation of annoyance.

WEST
Why didn’t I think of it! Artie, if we can’t get rid of the bomb, then let’s just leave!

He leaps for the green bellrope hanging from the ceiling, yanks it…

… and silently and ponderously, wall swings open –

— revealing a handful of gunsels climbing the stairs leading to Hannibal’s parlor; without a word they whip out guns and start blasting away at West and Artemus, who hurriedly retreat back into the parlor.

ARTEMUS
I don’t want to sound peevish, but do you have any more bright ideas?

WEST
(eyes lighting up)
As it happens, yes! Follow me…

He leaps to his feet, yanks at the red bell cord, then even before there is any indication of what is about to happen, he is racing across the mezzanine toward the spot where the trap door opened up for Aki, followed by Artemus, and the rattle of gunfire as the gunsels on the stairs open up…

170. ANOTHER ANGLE – ON MEZZANINE

as the trapdoor flips open, and first West, then Artemus, dive into it without a moment’s hesitation.

171. SHOT – WATER BENEATH HANNIBAL’S PARLOR

two bodies plummet into the water, then West rises to the surface, followed by Artemus; they have only time enough to take a breath, when the RATTLING ROAR shakes the world; West and Artemus both flip under the water again.

172. EXT. HANNIBALS’S WAREHOUSE – NIGHT

as the volcanic force of the bomb sends the walls BLASTING OUT, with fire and smoke suddenly appearing everywhere; HOLD on the dying building as it starts to settle and the flames race through it, then:

DISSOLVE TO:

173. INT. FALCONER’S ACADEMY – NIGHT

CAMERA HOLDS on West placing the artifact that Hannibal had given him in the sculpture display where he had first become aware of an element that was missing; now, beyond any doubt, the missing element has been replaced…

… as CAMERA PULLS BACK to show that we are in Falconer’s Academy, deserted except for West and Artemus and Prince Shinosuke,* who is seen nearby…

____
*NOTE: A COUPLE OF AIDES attend Prince Shinosuke throughout this scene.
____

174. ANOTHER ANGLE

on a “Katana-kate” (lacquered sword stand) holding eight Japanese swords each swathed in its silken bag. A pair of hands picked up one of the swords and strips away the silken bag.

The ANGLE WIDENS to include West and Artemus now industriously stripping and examining other swords.

175. POV SHOT – WEST, ARTEMUS

searching for the sword, uncovering the last of them, and obviously not having found what they’re looking for.

[#176 seems to be skipped]

177. ANOTHER ANGLE

as West turns away, chewing his lip thoughtfully…

… then, as he looks about him, still uncertain, his glance suddenly is riveted off—and we see his eyes narrow, as if an audacious thought has just occurred to him…

178. ANOTHER ANGLE – AT STORE WINDOW

as West comes up, staring hard at the battered, life-sized replica of a Samurai swordsman in the window—

--then he reaches out, takes the sword from the hand of the statue and brings it close for a studied inspection—then looks up, eyes shining to meet Artemus’ incredulous stare. (Artemus and the Prince have followed after West, of course.)

ARTEMUS
Jim, are you trying to tell me that this this the one?

WEST
Prince Shinosuke – if you please.

West holds out the sword to the equally incredulous Prince who studies the blade, hilt and handle with a connoisseur’s growing delight, then turns to West, nodding happily.

179. OMIT

180. WIDE ANGLE

As the gas jets suddenly go on, flooding the room with light, the CAMERA PANS to Falconer standing in the door, dressed in a black kimono. He is backed by six of his kimono-clad students, each of them holding a naked sword, ready for action.

FALCONER
Yes, Your Highness it is the authentic sword. But to be absolutely certain, one should test it in a fight.

WEST
(sick at the thought)
You’re the Dutchman…

FALCONER
Since that doesn’t seem to surprise you, why does it trouble you?

WEST
We were old friends, Gideon.

FALCONER
Friends? That is your word, not mine. A word which epitomizes this flabby, self-indulgent country of ours.

The CAMERA MOVES IN on him as he speaks with subtly heightening fanaticism.

FALCONER (CONT'D)
America is dead, “Old friend.” Morally dead.
(more)
Only the feudal warlords of Asia still understand that even oceans of blood are to be preferred to a national existence without rectitude and discipline. For this country there’s no hope any longer. But if, by the right use of power, I can force a return to the old ways in Japan –

WEST
You? An outsider?

FALCONER
Not openly. But in the coming rebellion, by backing the winner.

He comes face-to-face with West, puts forth his hand.

FALCONER
I’ll take the sword now.

WEST
You were right, Gideon, it should be tested in a fight.

He removes the scabbard. Falconer looks at him, amazed as well as amused.

FALCONER
You really believe you’re ready to take me?

WEST
I had a good teacher. One of the best.
(looking off at Falconer’s “students”)
But as to taking on a half dozen of your talented students to boot…

FALCONER
(with massive irony)
I can promise you that they will not add their weight of numbers—until I have finished with you.

WEST
(bowing with equal irony)
Nothing could be fairer than that.

180A. INTERCUT – SHINOSUKE AND ARTEMUS

looking on tensely. Falconer is ready. The two men exchange ritualistic bows.

181. OVERHEAD SHOT

The noncombatants have moved back to make room for West and Falconer as they move toward one another in a stylized, almost ballet-like ritual. The CAMERA ZOOMS IN on West as, with a ritual snarl, he makes a sharp lunge at –

182. CLOSE ON FALCONER

as he adroitly parries West’s blow and in return takes a violent ***** at –

183. WEST

who just manages to duck the blow.

184. CLOSE ON DUMMY

cut in half by Falconer’s sword.

185. WEST

lunges, feints.

186. FALCONER

taking a deadly swipe at –

185. WEST

who leaps over Falconer’s sword.

188. FALCONER, WEST

as their swords collide with each other.

189. INTERCUT – CLOSE SHOTS

of Artemus, Finsbury, Saigo, and Shinosuke watching intently.

190. OVERHEAD SHOT

as Falconer almost succeeds in severing West’s head, but now is off balance just long enough for West to counterattack and drive him into a corner.

191. TIGHT SHOT – SPIKED SHIELD

as the momentum of Falconer’s backward lunge impales him on its spike – and as West instinctively leaps forward, hand outstretched. Falconer waves him to a halt, even as his other hand clutches the drape covering the wall in barely concealed agony.

FALCONER
So you win, after all – so be it.
(a beat)
But I still say your balance is off by a good…

He never finishes; still clutching the drape, he falls to the floor, tearing the drape from the wall as he goes…

… and exposing an alcove behind the drape… where we see Reiko, her clenched hands to her lips as she stares down at Falconer – then slowly, almost like a sleepwalker, she settles to the floor on her knees beside Falconer, picks up his head and cradles it in her lap.

FINSBURY
(amazed at the sight)
Reiko.

WEST
So now we come to the final truth—and the final masquerade; Reiko, the demure, concerned daughter of Japan; it was all a pose, wasn’t it, Reiko?

REIKO
(voice muffled)
Some of it was – some of it was not;
(lifting a dry-eyed face to West)
My love for Falconer—our dreams of the power we were going to exercise—those were real.

ARTEMUS
It was you, who killed Hannibal, of course.

REIKO
(making a weary gesture)
O course, he was just a fat, bloated slug; why should I have thought twice about doing it…

WEST
(softly)
And the tears I saw in your eyes once—were they real, Reiko?

For a long beat Reiko stares somberly at West, then, as her head slowly sinks back to Falconer’s:

REIKO
(voice muffled)
As to that—you will never know.

A nod from Prince Shinosuke, and two Samurai step forward, raise Reiko to her feet and exit with her.

192. ANOTHER ANGLE

as West turns his eyes to the group of six kimono-clad students armed with Samurai swords, their stricken eyes on the prostrate body of Falconer, their master…

… then, as one, they all turn and exit slowly through the door they came from. West suddenly realizes he’s still clutching the great Sword of Kuniyoshi; with a ceremonial bow, strangely Japanese, he extends the sword to Prince Shinosuke, who goes into an answering bow, as he takes the sword from West; on the two men exchanging bows as the sword is transferred from one to the other.

FADE OUT

THE END

TAG

FADE IN:

193. CLOSE SHOT – THE TOP OF

the top of a man’s shaven skull—then PULL BACK to show that the skull belongs to a Baron Saigo bent forward in a very long bow before Prince Shinosuke, and that we are in:

194. INT. WEST’S VARNISH – DAY

with West and Artemus looking on as Baron Saigo straightens up and Prince Shinosuke says:

PRINCE SHINOSUKE
(in Japanese)
Tell our friends what they should know.

A brief bow, this time to West and Artemus, then:

SAIGO
His august Majesty desires me to acquaint you with the reasons why this unworthy servant attempted to lay contemptible fingers upon the Divine Sword of Kuniyoshi…

He stops, bows his head again, until Prince Shinosuke snaps out.

PRINCE SHINOSUKE
(in Japanese)
Continue!

SAIGO
(raising his head)
Reasons being, briefly—greed.

He reaches off to one side, picks up the Sword of Kuniyoshi which we see now, presses handle in a strategic spot—and the handle comes away from the sword…

… whereupon the Baron upends the handle over the table, and a stream of glittering jewels flows out of the empty handle.

ARTEMUS
(catching his breath)
Shakes of the Kimberly Diamond Mines!

WEST
(awed)
Must be a half million dollars worth!

BARON SAIGO
Respectful correction—closer to three quarter million—in American money.

He reverently scoops up the jewels, replaces them in the handle, which he affixes to the blade.

PRINCE SHINOSUKE
(in Japanese)
Bit our friends the Imperial goodbye.

BARON SAIGO
(to West and Artemus)
I return to Japan to receive richly merited punishment for what I have done—and His August Majesty desires you to believe that his existence has been enriched by your acquaintance.

A series of bows all around, then, with a bowing Baron Saigo leading the way, Prince Shinosuke exits from the car. Alone, West and Artemus indulge in the luxury of relaxing, stretch out on sofas, loosen their ties, etc., during which we HEAR KNOCKING at DOOR. Neither looks up, at first.

ARTEMUS
(hamming it up)
Deign to enter this most unworthy abode, whoever you are…

Neither is aware at first that the door has opened and a breathtakingly beautiful JAPANESE MAIDEN has entered—another exquisite porcelain doll in the traditional robes and obi…

… then West catches a glimpse of their visitor and leaps to his feet, straightening his tie as Artemus leaps to his feet, doing likewise.

WEST
(bobbing a small bow)
May we know how we can exalt ourselves by serving you?

The exquisite porcelain doll looks from one to the other, then:

JAPANESE MAIDEN
(strong Brooklyn accent)
Do you two feel all right? I’m looking for a guy named Finsbury—they told me he could use an interpreter…

On West’s and Artemus’ unbelieving expressions,

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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