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Affliction Movie Script

Writer(s) : Russell Banks, Paul Schrader

Genres : Drama

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                                       "AFFLICTION"

                                      Screenplay by

                                      Paul Schrader

                                   Based on a novel by

                                      Russell Banks

                                           1997

                                      SHOOTING DRAFT

                

               CREDITS

               Still-life tableaus. Lawford, N.H., a town of fifty buildings 
               on a glacial ridge, neither mountain nor plateau. Developed 
               as 1880's forestland, discarded in the Depression. Winter 
               has set in. Halloween day. Snowy fields yield to overcast 
               skies: oppressive, horizonless, flourescent.

               -- Wickham's Restaurant. Where Route 29 bends. 24-hour diner. 
               Margie Fogg works here.

               -- Trailer park in shadow of Parker Mountain. Home of Wade 
               Whitehouse.

               -- Toby's Inn. Roadhouse three miles from town on the river 
               side of Route 29. Everything not tied down ends up here.

               -- Glen Whitehouse farm. White clapboard.

               -- First Congregational Church. North on the Common from 
               City Hall.

               -- LaRiviere Co. Ramshackle well-digging firm embarrassingly 
               near the town center. Wade works here.

               -- Merritt's Shell Station. Cinder-block.

               -- Alma Pittman's house. Like so many others.

               -- Town Hall.

               ROLFE WHITEHOUSE'S VOICE, thirtiesh, articulate, speaks over 
               credit tableaus:

                                     ROLFE (V.O.)
                         This is the story of my older 
                         brother's strange criminal behavior 
                         and disappearance. We who loved him 
                         no longer speak of Wade. It's as if 
                         he never existed. By telling his 
                         story like this, as his brother, I 
                         separate myself from his family and 
                         those who loved him. Everything of 
                         importance -- that is, everything 
                         that gives rise to the telling of 
                         this story -- occurred during a single 
                         deer-hunting season in a small town 
                         in upstate New Hampshire where Wade 
                         was raised and so was I. One night 
                         something changed and my relation to 
                         Wade's story was different from what 
                         it had been since childhood. I mark 
                         this change by Wade's tone of voice 
                         during a phone call two nights after 
                         Halloween. Something I had not heard 
                         before. Let us imagine that around 
                         eight o'clock on Halloween Eve, 
                         speeding past Toby's, Route 29, comes 
                         a pale green eight-year-old Ford 
                         Fairlane with a police bubble on 
                         top. A square-faced man wearing a 
                         trooper's cap is driving the vehicle. 
                         Beside him sits a child, a little 
                         girl with a plastic tiger mask 
                         covering her face. The man is driving 
                         fast --

               -- Route 29 tableau dissolves to night. A pale green police 
               Ford Fairlane drives past.

               END CREDITS

               INT./EXT. POLICE CAR - NIGHT

               WADE WHITEHOUSE, driving, sits beside JILL, his daughter, 
               ten years-old, wearing a black-and-yellow tiger plastic mask.

                                     WADE
                         I'm sorry for the screw-up. But I 
                         couldn't help it it's too late to go 
                         trick-or-treating now. I couldn't 
                         help it I had to stop at Penny's for 
                         the costume. And you were hungry, 
                         remember.

                                     JILL
                         Who's fault is it then if it's not 
                         yours? You're the one in charge, 
                         Daddy.

                                     WADE
                              (shakes cigarette 
                              from pack)
                         Yeah.

                                     JILL
                         Look. Those kids are still trick-or-
                         treating. They're still out.

               Wade watches boys in the headlights, lights cigarette.

                                     WADE
                         Those are the Hoyts.

                                     JILL
                         I don't care. They're out.

                                     WADE
                         Can't you see... look out there. 
                         Nobody's got their porch lights on 
                         anymore. It's too late. Those Hoyt 
                         kids are just out to get in trouble. 
                         See, they put shaving cream all over 
                         that mailbox there. They chopped 
                         down Herb Crane's new bushes. Little 
                         bastards. Jesus H. Christ.

               Wade grimaces, holds his jaw. The Fairlane swerves around 
               broken pumpkins under a caution light.

                                     JILL
                         Why do they do that?

                                     WADE
                         Do what?

                                     JILL
                         You know.

                                     WADE
                         Break stuff?

                                     JILL
                         Yeah. It's stupid.

                                     WADE
                         I guess they're stupid.

                                     JILL
                         Did you do that when you were a kid?

                                     WADE
                         Well, yeah. Sort of. Nothing really 
                         mean. Me and my pals, me and my 
                         brothers. It was kind of funny then. 
                         Stealing pumpkins, soaping windows. 
                         Stuff like that.

                                     JILL
                         Was it funny?

                                     WADE
                         To us it was.

                                     JILL
                         But it's not funny now.

                                     WADE
                         It's not funny now. I'm a cop and I 
                         gotta listen to all the complaints 
                         people make. I'm not a kid anymore. 
                         You change.

                                     JILL
                         I bet you did lots of bad things.

                                     WADE
                         What are you talking about?

                                     JILL
                         I just think you used to be bad.

                                     WADE
                         No. I didn't used to be bad. No sir. 
                         Where do you get this stuff? From 
                         your mother?

                                     JILL
                         No. She doesn't talk about you 
                         anymore.

               Wade looks at her, wanting to lift her mask, see her face.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. TOWN HALL - NIGHT

               The Fairlane approaches Town Hall, a square two-story building 
               on the north side of the Common. Exhaust billows from idling 
               cars as parents and children come and go.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. TOWN HALL - NIGHT

               Clowns, tramps, angels and vampires fill the brightly lit 
               room. Parents watch from the walls as GORDON LARIVIERE, a 
               beefy fiftiesh man with a silver flat-top, announces the 
               costume contest. Wade nods to various townspeople.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         We're looking for the funniest 
                         costume! And the scariest! And the 
                         most imaginative! And the best costume 
                         of all!

                                     WADE
                              (nudges Jill)
                         Got here just in time. Go ahead. 
                         Jump in line. Maybe you'll win a 
                         prize.

               Jill steps forward, retreats. Wade looks at her flaxen hair, 
               her blue sneakers protruding from her pathetic costume. His 
               heart aches he loves her so.

                                     WADE
                         Go on, Jill. Some of those kids you 
                         still know.

                                     JILL
                         I don't want to.

                                     WADE
                         Why? Why not? You know these kids 
                         from when you went to school here. 
                         It hasn't been that long.

                                     JILL
                         It's not that.

                                     WADE
                         What then?

                                     JILL
                         It's stupid.

                                     WADE
                         It's fun.

                                     JILL
                              (voice breaking)
                         I want to go home.
                              (Wade kneels down)
                         I don't like it here.

                                     WADE
                         Oh, Jesus, come on, will you? Don't 
                         mess this up anymore than it's already 
                         been messed up. Join the other kids. 
                         Do that and before you know it you'll 
                         be as happy as a goddamned clam.

               Wade inches her toward the circle of children. Gordon spots 
               them:

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Wade! And who's that tiger? Is that 
                         Jill? Come and join us.

               Jill in the spotlight, joins the costumed children. A former 
               classmate calls her name. Wade, relieved, watches, then steps 
               outside for a smoke.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. TOWN HALL - NIGHT

               Wade steps outside, lights a cigarette. JACK HEWITT, 23, 
               clean-cut, handsome, cocky, stands with CHICK WARD and FRANKIE 
               LACOY, local boys.

                                     WADE
                         What are you boys up to?

                                     CHICK
                         Same old shit.

                                     FRANKIE
                         You see the damage these little sons-
                         of bitches been raising tonight?

                                     WADE
                              (to Jack)
                         You're going to have to move your 
                         pickup.

                                     JACK
                         I know.

                                     CHICK
                              (offers whiskey pint)
                         Take a bite.

                                     WADE
                         Don't mind if I do.

                                     JACK
                         LaRiviere's having a hell of a time 
                         in there. Master of fucking 
                         ceremonies.

                                     WADE
                         Where's that gun you were bragging 
                         on today?

               Jack stops over to his double-parked burgandy pickup, removes 
               a Browning BAR .30/06 with a scope, hands it to Wade.

                                     JACK
                         No brag. Just fact.

                                     WADE
                              (admires gun)
                         Got you for -- 450, 500 bucks?
                              (passes it to Frankie)

                                     FRANKIE
                         Nice.

                                     JACK
                              (to Wade)
                         See you got Jill tonight. How'd you 
                         manage that?

                                     WADE
                              (turns)
                         Don't forget to move your truck.
                              (walks inside)

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. TOWN HALL - NIGHT

               On stage, LaRiviere arranges the contest winners. A fairy 
               godmother with a wand beams while, nearby, a hobo writhes in 
               his mother's grip -- a hard loser.

               Wade looks for Jill, first among the winners, then among the 
               losers; she's nowhere to be found. He heads toward a hall 
               leading to the restrooms.

               Jill stands alone in the corner next to the pay phone, tiny, 
               forlorn. Wade realizes at once he was wrong to leave her 
               before she had found a friend.

                                     WADE
                         Some party, huh? Sorry I lost sight 
                         of you. I had to step outside for a 
                         smoke. You find anybody you know 
                         here? There must be some kids you 
                         used to know from school. You want 
                         to go tomorrow? See your old teachers? 
                         Be more fun than hanging out with me 
                         all day.

                                     JILL
                         No.

                                     WADE
                         No what?

                                     JILL
                              (lifts mask atop head)
                         No I didn't see anybody I know. No I 
                         don't want to go to school here 
                         tomorrow. I want to go home.

                                     WADE
                         You are home. There are lots of kids 
                         you still know here.

                                     JILL
                         I don't want to be here. Don't worry, 
                         I love you, Daddy, I do. But I want 
                         to go home.

                                     WADE
                              (sighs)
                         Jesus. Listen, Jill, tell you what. 
                         Tomorrow morning, you still want to 
                         go home, I'll drive you down. I'll 
                         get off work or something.

                                     JILL
                              (pause)
                         I called Mommy.

                                     WADE
                         What? You called Mommy? Just now?

                                     JILL
                         Yes.

                                     WADE
                         Jesus, why?

                                     JILL
                         I... because I want to go home. She 
                         said she'd come and get me.

                                     WADE
                         Come and get you! Shit! It's a damn 
                         half hour drive each way. Why didn't 
                         you talk to me about it first?

                                     JILL
                         See, I knew you'd be mad.

                                     WADE
                         Yeah. Yeah, right, I'm mad. What'd 
                         you tell her, for Christ sake?

                                     JILL
                         I told her I wanted to come home. 
                         Daddy, don't be mad at me.

                                     WADE
                         Well, I guess I am. I planned this, 
                         I planned all this, you know. I mean, 
                         it's sort of pathetic, but I planned 
                         it. You shouldn't have called your 
                         mother.
                              (takes her arm)
                         C'mon, we're gonna call her before 
                         she leaves.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. POLICE OFFICE - NIGHT

               Wade leads her to a frosted-glass door reading "POLICE", 
               enters. Inside, he flips on flourescent light, dials the 
               desk phone. More utility room than office.

               He waits. There's no answer. Jill looks down.

                                     WADE
                         She's gone already!
                              (hangs up)
                         Gone already! Couldn't wait.

                                     JILL
                         Yes.

                                     WADE
                         That's all you got to say? "Yes".

                                     JILL
                         Yes.

                                     WADE
                         She won't be here for a half hour. 
                         Think you can stand it that long?

                                     JILL
                         Yes.

                                     WADE
                         Where do you expect to wait for her? 
                         Obviously downstairs with the other 
                         kids isn't good enough.

               Jill sits in a chair facing the dark window pane.

                                     WADE
                         Sit right there by yourself if you 
                         want. Wait for her by yourself. That's 
                         fine with me. Just dandy. I'm going 
                         downstairs.

                                     JILL
                         That's fine with me too. When Mommy 
                         comes, tell her I'm up here.

               Wade Whitehouse stalks out.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. TOWN HALL - NIGHT

               Wade steps outside, notices Jack Hewitt and his kewpie-doll 
               girlfriend HETTIE, 20, sitting in the cab of his double-parked 
               pickup, sharing a joint, talking to LaCoy alongside.

                                     WADE
                         I thought I told you to move that 
                         truck!

                                     JACK
                         Relax, Chief. We're leaving. You 
                         wanna toke?

                                     WADE
                              (steps over)
                         You gotta be more careful about that 
                         shit. Gordon or one of those guys 
                         sees you smoking that wacky tabacky 
                         around me they'll expect me to bust 
                         you. And I'll be outta a job.

                                     JACK
                         Some job. Here, have a hit. Don't be 
                         such a hardass. I know you got 
                         problems, but everybody's got 
                         problems.
                              (offers joint)

                                     WADE
                         Not here.

               LaCoy laughs: that Jack Hewitt, some guy. Wade holds his 
               aching jaw. He looks at Jack's young athletic body, his pretty 
               girlfriend, envies him.

                                     JACK
                         Well, c'mon, then. Get in and we'll 
                         take a little ride, my man.

               Wade looks up to the window where Jill waits, walks around 
               the front of the truck, gets in.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT./EXT. JACK'S TRUCK - NIGHT

               Jack's high-bodied pickup growls in low gear as it drives 
               past Merritt's Shell station toward Saddleback Ridge. Jack 
               lowers the radio as Wade asks him about deer season; Hettie 
               leans forward to hear the music.

                                     JACK
                         Got a job first thing in the morning, 
                         first day of season. Saturday I'll 
                         hunt for myself. Twombley something. -
                         Er --

                                     WADE
                         Evan. He's a mucky-muck union official 
                         from Massachusetts. You're lucky.

                                     JACK
                         Don't know about lucky. The guy's a 
                         full-blown asshole. Pay's good, 
                         though. $100 a day. I got to guarantee 
                         a kill, of course. Which I can do. 
                         There's some monster bucks hiding 
                         out up there.

                                     WADE
                         How'd you get the job?

                                     JACK
                         Gordon, he's always got some angle 
                         working. He wants to keep Twombley 
                         happy, I'm his boy.

               Wade grimaces as he passes the joint back.

                                     HETTIE
                         What's wrong with you?

                                     WADE
                         Toothache.
                              (to Jack)
                         You should get close to him. Make 
                         yourself irreplaceable. Guy's loaded.

                                     JACK
                         Like you and Gordon?

                                     WADE
                         Right. The sonofabitch couldn't get 
                         along without me.

                                     JACK
                              (laughs)
                         Yeah, he'd go broke tomorrow if you 
                         quit him.

                                     WADE
                              (laughs)
                         Right!

               A car flashes past.

                                     JACK
                         Bastard's got his high beams on.

                                     WADE
                              (watching)
                         Shit.

                                     HETTIE
                         What?

                                     WADE
                         My ex-wife Lillian and her husband. 
                         That was them in the Audi that just 
                         passed us.

                                     JACK
                         Audi's a good car.

                                     HETTIE
                         What's she up here for?

                                     WADE
                         Aw, shit, she's here to get Jill. Me 
                         and Jill had a little argument. Jack, 
                         I got to get back, get back to town. 
                         Move this thing, will you? See if 
                         you can get back to the Town Hall 
                         before they get there, okay?

                                     JACK
                         Piece of fucking cake.

               Jack brakes, wheels the 4x4 around, heads back to town.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. TOWN HALL - NIGHT

               Most parents have left or are leaving with their costumed 
               children. Hewitt's burgundy pickup breaks alongside the Audi. 
               Wade swings open the passenger door, jumps to the ground:

                                     WADE
                         Lillian!

                                     LILLIAN
                         Where's Jill?

               LILLIAN, 40, attractive in an ankle-length hooded coat. 
               Whatever pose Wade strikes, she strikes the opposite. Her 
               dress and demeanor set her apart.

                                     WADE
                         Me and Jill, we just had a little 
                         spat. She felt kind of left out, I 
                         guess, from not knowing some of the 
                         new kids --

                                     LILLIAN
                         Where is she now? Is she in the truck 
                         with your friends?

               Jack and Hettie neck inside the cab.

                                     WADE
                         She told me she wanted to wait for 
                         you. Inside.

               Jill at the window in her tiger mask. Lillian waves; Jill 
               motions she'll be down.

                                     LILLIAN
                         While you went off for a few beers 
                         with your friends? Is that Hettie 
                         Rodgers there, with whatzizname?

                                     WADE
                         Yeah.

                                     LILLIAN
                         She's grown up some, hasn't she?

                                     WADE
                         Oh, Jesus, lay off, will you? It 
                         looks like you've won this fucking 
                         round already, so lay off a little, 
                         for Christ's sake.

               HORNER, 45, Lillian's new husband, thin with thinning hair 
               and a Tyrolean hat, sees Jill at the entrance and heads toward 
               her.

                                     WADE
                         Horner! Leave her be. This's got 
                         nothing to do with you, so just act 
                         like the chauffeur. Got it?

                                     HORNER
                         Wade. Nobody wants any trouble.

               Horner greets Jill, walks her to the silver Audi. Passing 
               parents, listening, give Wade a wide berth.

                                     WADE
                         I don't want her to go, Lillian.

                                     LILLIAN
                         Don't cause a scene. No one's trying 
                         to win any 'rounds'. Don't make it 
                         any worse.

                                     WADE
                         I'm not making it any worse. You 
                         are. Me and Jill could've worked 
                         this thing out. It's normal, it's 
                         even normal for me to get a little 
                         touchy about it. Believe it or not. 
                         How do you think this makes me look, 
                         treating her like some tragic victim 
                         or something?

               Horner opens the car door for Jill, shuts it. Wade shoves 
               him:

                                     WADE
                         Just wait till we're through, 
                         goddamnit!

               Horner's hat falls. Lillian, icy, stares at Wade. He backs 
               off. Wade sometimes wonders: how'd Lillian Pittman of Lawford, 
               N.H., get so much class?

                                     WADE
                         Don't you say a word. I didn't hit 
                         him. I'm not going to hit anybody.

               Horner sits behind the wheel. Lillian silently stares Wade 
               up and down, gets in the car beside Jill. The automatic locks 
               latch as the Audi drives away. Its taillights merge with 
               vanishing traffic.

               Wade looks down, picks up Horner's dark green Tyrolean hat, 
               examines it, as if unsure of its function.

               Wade walks toward Town Hall. MARGIE FOGG, exiting, greets 
               him:

                                     MARGIE
                         New hat?
                              (no answer)
                         Jill's up, I see.

                                     WADE
                              (vague)
                         For a while.

                                     MARGIE
                         How's she doing?

                                     WADE
                         Okay. She's fine.

                                     MARGIE
                         You two want to do anything tomorrow 
                         and need a third party, give me a 
                         call, okay? I'm off.

               NICK WICKHAM, 45, Marg's boss, passes by:

                                     WICKHAM
                         Like hell you are. Tomorrow's first 
                         day of deer season. I'll need you at 
                         least in the morning.

                                     MARGIE
                              (shrugs)
                         Well, that's that.

                                     NICK
                              (walks off)
                         Take care, Wade.

                                     WADE
                         You be careful of that little bastard. 
                         He's dying to get in your pants, you 
                         know.

                                     MARGIE
                              (laughs)
                         Don't worry. I can protect my virtue. 
                         I mean, c'mon, Wade, give me a break.

                                     WADE
                         See you tomorrow, maybe.

                                     MARGIE
                         You okay?

                                     WADE
                         Yeah.

               Wade, lost in thought, continues toward Town Hall. At the 
               door, LaRiviere, one of the last to leave, eyes him. Wade 
               tosses Horner's hat inside.

                                     WADE
                         Tomorrow, Gordon.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Watch this snow. It's coming down 
                         tonight.

               Wade nods as he lights a cigarette. Alone, he watches the 
               last cars pull out. He holds his jaw.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. WADE'S TRAILER HOME - DAWN

               Pre-dawn light silhouettes a dozen weather-beaten mobile 
               homes set off Route 29. Snow continues to fall. A sheet of 
               white stretches down Parker mountain.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. WADE'S TRAILER - DAWN

               6:40. A clock radio pierces the silence with classic rock. 
               Wade Whitehouse rolls over, runs his tongue across mossy 
               teeth, shuts off the music. He looks out the window, grunts: 
               "Shit!" He steps over to the phone by the frayed plaid couch, 
               dials.

               Wade's trailer is surprisingly neat, considering its owner 
               smokes too much, drinks too much, eats take-out and rarely 
               cleans up.

                                     WADE
                              (on phone)
                         Lugene? Wade. Hoya doin?
                              (fumbles for cigarette)
                         Look, I was wondering, with the snow 
                         and all, if you got school today?
                              (lights cigarette)
                         How the hell do I know? You're the 
                         principal. All I'm supposed to do is 
                         direct traffic from 7:30 to 8:30.
                              (listens)
                         Yeah, okay, I'm sorry -- I only just 
                         now saw it was snowing, that's all. 
                         My whole day is fucked. I gotta plow 
                         all day. If I don't get over to 
                         LaRiviere's early enough, I'm stuck 
                         with the grader. I was just hoping 
                         you'd have called school off.
                              (beat)
                         You check the weather bureau?
                              (acquiesces)
                         Okay, I hear you. I'll be over in a 
                         bit.
                              (hangs up)

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. WADE'S TRAILER HOME EARLY - MORNING

               Jack Hewitt's 4x4 passes Wade's trailer, continues up 29. 
               Tire chains splice the path.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. JACK'S TRUCK EARLY - MORNING

               Jack behind the wheel. Beside him EVAN TWOMBLEY, 60, fleshy, 
               Irish, wearing brand new scarlet wool pants, jacket and cap. 
               He feeds on the misfortunes of others.

                                     TWOMBLEY
                         It's not enough snow, not for tracking 
                         the bastards. No advantage there, 
                         kid.

                                     JACK
                         Don't worry, Mr. Twombley, I know 
                         where those suckers are. Rain or 
                         shine, snow or no snow. I know deer. 
                         We'll kill us a buck today. 
                         Guaranteed. Before ten.

                                     TWOMBLEY
                         Guaranteed, eh?

                                     JACK
                         Yep. Right about now the does are 
                         holing up in the brush piles. The 
                         bucks are right behind them and we're 
                         right behind the bucks.
                              (gestures to gun rack)
                         This gun gets fired before ten 
                         o'clock. Whether it kills a deer or 
                         not is more less up to you. I'll put 
                         you inside 30, 35 yards of a buck 
                         the first four hours of the season. 
                         That's what you're paying me for, 
                         ain't it?

                                     TWOMBLEY
                         Damn straight!

               Hewitt looks at Twombley's rifle: a Winchester M-94 pump-
               action, custom carved stock and not a scratch on it. Never 
               fired, at least not by Twombley.

                                     JACK
                         Done much shooting with that rifle 
                         yet?

                                     TWOMBLEY
                              (eyes him)
                         Tell you what. You get me close to a 
                         big buck by ten, kid, there's another 
                         hundred bucks in it.

                                     JACK
                         If you get it?

                                     TWOMBLEY
                         Yeah.

                                     JACK
                         You might not kill it.

                                     TWOMBLEY
                         You think so.

                                     JACK
                         You might gut-shoot it or cripple it 
                         for somebody else to find and tag. 
                         Can't guarantee that won't happen, 
                         especially with a new gun. I may 
                         have to shoot it.

                                     TWOMBLEY
                         You take care of your end, kid, I'll 
                         take care of mine.

                                     JACK
                         Mmm.

                                     TWOMBLEY
                         You understand what I'm saying? I 
                         want a deer, a dead one, not a cripple 
                         or whatthefuck.

                                     JACK
                         I get it.
                              (disdain)
                         No sweat. You'll get yourself a deer 
                         and you'll get him dead. And you'll 
                         have him by coffee time.

                                     TWOMBLEY
                         And you'll get your extra hundred 
                         bucks.

                                     JACK
                              (smiles)
                         Wonderful!

               The pickup disappears behind a curve of pine and spruce trees.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. SCHOOL - MORNING

               Wade Whitehouse, wearing a reflective vest, waves a district 
               school bus into the parking lot. Noisy, jostling grade 
               schoolers emerge from the bus. Jill's former classmates. 
               Straight as a statue, Wade holds back traffic. Cars and trucks 
               are backed up on the unplowed road. Horns honk and bleat; a 
               woman's voice yells, "Whitehouse, we 'ain't got all day!"

               Wade, daydreaming, seems oblivious to the commotion. Oblivious -- 
               or just plum contrary.

               A shiny black BMW approaches, speeding, passing traffic on 
               the shoulder. A man and a woman in a fur coat sit in front, 
               two children in back. Whitehouse waves for it to stop.

               The BMW accelerates through the intersection, ignoring Wade 
               and the traffic. It whizzes past, spinning Wade, and is 
               quickly up the road, spewing ice and exhaust. Wade slips to 
               one knee. Honking ensues; every car goes where it wishes.

               Wade, brushing off snow, follows the last bus as it pulls 
               in. LUGENE BROOKS, 60, school principal, rushes over:

                                     LUGENE
                         Are you okay, Wade? What was wrong? 
                         Why were you holding everyone up?

                                     WADE
                         Did you see that sonofabitch in the 
                         BMW? He could've killed somebody.

                                     LUGENE
                         Did you get his number?

                                     WADE
                         I know who it is.

                                     LUGENE
                         Good. Who?

                                     WADE
                         Mel Gordon.

                                     LUGENE
                         I still don't understand --

                                     WADE
                         From Boston. Evan Twombley's son-in-
                         law -- he was driving. I know where 
                         they're headed. Up the lake, Agaway. 
                         The old man's out deer hunting with 
                         Jack Hewitt, so they probably got 
                         some big weekend party planned.

               Wade sets his face, thinking.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. WOODS - DAY

               Snowprints lead from Jack's pickup to where he and Twombley 
               walk, guns pointed skyward. They enter a line of trees.

               Jack watches Twombley walk ahead of him, wrapped like a huge 
               infant in red bunting, crunching twigs underfoot. He looks 
               from side to side, checks his gun, returns to watching 
               Twombley. They're alone.

                                     JACK
                         Safety on?

               Twombley nods, slips, thumps to the ground. His rifle lands 
               silently.

               Jack sprints over, helps him up, safety latches the 
               Winchester. Hands it back.

                                     TWOMBLEY
                         I'm okay.

                                     JACK
                         Follow close. We'll cross the next 
                         meadow.

               Jack finds a path, one eye on Twombley:

                                     JACK
                         I used to play ball.

                                     TWOMBLEY
                         Yeah?

                                     JACK
                         Drafted by the Red Sox.

                                     TWOMBLEY
                         You played for the Sox?

                                     JACK
                         Double A. New Britain.

                                     TWOMBLEY
                         Oh.

                                     JACK
                         Pitcher. "Best ballplayer to come 
                         out of New Hampshire since Carlton 
                         Fisk."

                                     TWOMBLEY
                         Really.

                                     JACK
                         They said.

                                     TWOMBLEY
                         Hmm.

                                     JACK
                         The only difference between me and 
                         that Clemens on TV is luck, shit 
                         luck.

                                     TWOMBLEY
                         What happened?

                                     JACK
                         Ruined my arm. Brought me along too 
                         fast. Why'd it have to be my fucking 
                         arm, I used to think. Then I realized 
                         it had to be somebody's fucking arm.

               Jack waits for Twombley as they enter a meadow. Jack aims 
               his rifle at Twombley as he approaches.

                                     TWOMBLEY
                         Hey, Hewitt! Slow the fuck down!

               Jack aims away, following an imaginary bird. Twombley steps 
               alongside.

                                     JACK
                         Safety on?

                                     TWOMBLEY
                         Yeah.

                                     JACK
                         This way.

                                     TWOMBLEY
                              (walking loudly)
                         Sun's gettin high.

                                     JACK
                              (fingers to lips)
                         Deers have ears too.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. LARIVIERE CO. - DAY

               Milky sky flatters LaRiviere Co., a sprawl of well-digging, 
               septic and snow plow equipment. Billboard declaimes: 
               "LARIVIERE CO. -- OUR BUSINESS IS GOING IN THE HOLE!" a motto 
               repeated on every truck and piece of equipment. Wade's green 
               Fairlane is parked outside the office.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. LARIVIERE CO. - DAY

               Wade, puffing a cigarette, passes ELAINE'S (LaRiviere 
               secretary) desk, her large red "No Smoking" sign, eases into 
               an office modum chair. He unzips his jacket, slaps his cap 
               against his thigh, spraying drops of melted snow.

               Gordon LaRiviere, speaking on the phone past a glass 
               partition, calls to Wade:

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Told you the snow was coming down. 
                         Take the grader.

                                     WADE
                         Where's the plow?

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Jimmy took it. Jack's out hunting 
                         with Evan Twombley.

                                     WADE
                         His son-in-law damn near killed me.

                                     LARIVIERE
                              (hangs up)
                         Huh?

                                     WADE
                         At the school crossing. In his BMW. 
                         Coulda hurt some kids. I'm gonna 
                         bust his ass.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Don't go playing policeman.

                                     WADE
                         What am I -- a security guard? You 
                         hired me, you and your Selectman 
                         friends.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         You don't want the extra police pay?

                                     WADE
                         I'm not saying that.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Get the grader. Go out 29 past Toby's. 
                         Don't let Lillian get to you. She 
                         didn't belong here. That's why she 
                         left.

                                     WADE
                         Fuck you.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         That's what I love about a small 
                         town. You know everybody.

               Wade exits toward the blue grader.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. WOODS - DAY

               Jack and Twombley walk through fresh snow. The hillside's 
               thick with pine trees. Twombley, red-faced, puffing, leans 
               to speak to Hewitt. Jack lifts a finger to his lips:

                                     JACK
                         Stay here, stand where I am.

               Twombley peers over a slight cliff at a lumber trail twenty 
               feet below. Jack points:

                                     JACK
                         Fresh tracks.
                              (sniffs)
                         Deer shit. Big one. Here's your buck, 
                         Mr. Twombley. I'll circle around.

                                     TWOMBLEY
                         You only got a little while if you 
                         want your hundred bucks.

               Jack zig-zags down the incline, while Twombley, gun poised, 
               waddles along the edge.

               Jack stops fifty feet away, watches Twombley, a cartoon 
               character. A stag pokes his nose through the pines, steps 
               into a clearing. Jack aims his rifle, looks at Twombley.

               Twombley turns to see the buck, loses his footing, TUMBLES 
               down the twenty-foot cliff.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. TOBY'S INN - DAY

               An open cab grader ("Our Business Is Going In The Hole") 
               sits in the rutted lot outside Toby's, a beer joint with 
               fake wood siding and 24-hour neon sign.

               A four-wheel drive plow with the LaRiviere motto pulls in, 
               parks beside the blue grader. JIMMY DAME, 40, gets out, 
               glances at the grader as he enters.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. TOBY'S INN - DAY

               Jimmy joins Wade at the bar, calls for a beer. Frankie LaCoy 
               bullshits with two long-haired locals at a nearby table; 
               their conversation drifts in and out. Country music plays 
               through a broken juke box speaker. Wade touches his tooth, 
               grimaces.

                                     JIMMY
                         How's it goin?

                                     WADE
                         Cold. How you think?

                                     JIMMY
                         Sorry about that. Why's it every 
                         year, come first snow, you get stuck 
                         with the grader?

                                     WADE
                         School. Traffic crossing.
                              (lights cigarette)
                         I gotta quit these things.

                                     JIMMY
                         What we doing after? Wells?
                              (Wade nods)
                         Don't work too fast. Business the 
                         way it is, Gordon's probably looking 
                         to lay me off earlier than usual 
                         this year. He's got too much money 
                         as it is. Why's it always the little 
                         guy that gets kicked in the butt in 
                         hard times?

               Wade shrugs. LaCoy's conversation has caught his ear. He 
               turns to watch.

                                     LACOY
                         ...That was no pisser. I'll tell you 
                         who was a pisser. Glen Whitehouse. 
                         There was a real pisser. He was mean 
                         normal, but when he drank it was 
                         like he burst on fire. Canadian Club. 
                         Always drank CC. One Christmas there's 
                         this cord of wood out back he forgot 
                         about and he decides to have his two 
                         boys stack it. Except it's been out 
                         back two months and it's snowed and 
                         rained and froze so now the wood's 
                         all iced in. He takes the boys. He 
                         was drunk, of course.

               Wade's face as the story comes to life:

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. WHITEHOUSE FARM - DAY (1964)

               Thirty years before. GLEN WHITEHOUSE ("POP"), 42, pushes his 
               boys, Wade (13) and Rolfe (10), toward snow-covered lumps of 
               firewood behind the barn. He's drunk. The boys carry shovels 
               and a pickaxe.

                                     POP
                         Move it! Daylight in the swamps!

                                     ROLFE
                         Pop, the kids are waiting for us.

                                     WADE
                              (reproving)
                         Rolfe.

                                     POP
                         A lesson in work and its rewards. 
                         You'll thank me for this one day.
                              (to house)
                         Sally, turn off that TV!

               His sons chip at the wood. Hopeless. Frozen solid.

                                     WADE
                              (to Rolfe)
                         Just do it.

                                     POP
                         Atta-go.

                                     ROLFE
                         Please, Pop. Let's go back.

               Wade notices his mother, SALLY, watching from the window.

                                     POP
                         What are you, a quitter?

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. TOBY'S INN - DAY

               LaCoy roars with laughter.

                                     LONG-HAIRED LOCAL
                              (puzzled)
                         So what happened?

                                     LACOY
                         Beats me. That's all I heard. Wade 
                         would know more about it.
                              (calls)
                         Wade! We were just talking about 
                         your Old Man. "What are you, a 
                         quitter!"

               Wade grabs his keys, walks over. Jimmy follows.

                                     WADE
                         Jesus, LaCoy, you got nothing better 
                         to do than sit around and tell 
                         stories. Pity is, some college student 
                         will come some day and believe this 
                         shit cause you're the only one dumb 
                         enough to talk to him. Take care.

               Wade and Jimmy head out.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. BACKROAD - DAY

               Wade, shivering in the open grader, plows a narrow winding 
               road. He lights a cigarette, exhales steamy smoke. LaCoy's 
               laugh triggers a memory:

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. WHITEHOUSE FARM - DAY (1964)

               The flashback continues: Glen Whitehouse pushes his sons 
               inside. Sally steps from sight. Out back, the firewood lies 
               frozen amid futile shovel marks.

                                     POP
                         That was some job.

                                     ROLFE
                         We'll work at it everyday, promise.

                                     POP
                         I think we made the point.

                                     WADE
                              (mumbles)
                         You just needed a drink.

               Pop, swigging Canadian Club, turns:

                                     POP
                         What was that?
                              (no answer)
                         You got something to say, say it! 
                         Say it!

                                     WADE
                              (soft)
                         Nothing.

                                     POP
                         You no-good pup!

               Rolfe runs from the room screaming, "Mom!"

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. WICKHAM'S - DAY

               The town's 24-hour restaurant. A bright new sign reads: "Home 
               Made Cooking." Wade's grader out front.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. WICKHAM'S - DAY

               Wade, eating lunch at the counter, talks with Nick Wickham:

                                     WADE
                         It don't look right.

                                     NICK
                         What?

                                     WADE
                         The sign. It looks like it's spelled 
                         wrong or something.

                                     NICK
                         Fuck. Wade Whitehouse. It's people 
                         like you that keep this fucking town 
                         from prospering. Whatever somebody 
                         does to improve things around here, 
                         you gotta find fault with it.

                                     WADE
                         I'm not finding fault. It's a good 
                         idea, good for you, good for the 
                         town. Real modern too.

                                     NICK
                         This town sucks.

                                     WADE
                         Aw, c'mon, I was only saying there's 
                         something wrong with "Home Made 
                         Cooking", that's all. The sign's 
                         fine. What it says is wrong.

               Margie Fogg heads over, sits:

                                     MARGIE
                         Who needs it? Everybody who comes 
                         here has been coming for years so 
                         what they need a sign for?

               Nick goes back to work.

                                     MARGIE
                         You okay?

                                     WADE
                         Yeah.

                                     MARGIE
                         I'm sorry about what I said.

                                     WADE
                         Said what?

                                     MARGIE
                         About you and Jill and needing a 
                         third person. She went back to 
                         Lillian?

                                     WADE
                         Forget it.

                                     MARGIE
                              (touches his arm)
                         I'm sorry.

                                     WADE
                         I'm going to start one of those 
                         custody suits. I don't give a fucking 
                         shit. You know?

               Wade's eyes well up.

                                     MARGIE
                         You don't mean that.

                                     WADE
                         Yeah. I mean that.

                                     MARGIE
                              (arm around his 
                              shoulders)
                         No you don't. You're pissed, that's 
                         all. You ought to cool off for a few 
                         days then have a long talk with 
                         Lillian. You know? Work it out with 
                         her, tell her how you feel. Lillian's 
                         not out to get you.

                                     WADE
                         The hell she isn't. Lillian's been 
                         trying to nail me to a cross since 
                         the day I met her. I'm gonna hire me 
                         a fucking lawyer from Concord and 
                         get this thing, this divorce thing, 
                         rearranged. I've been thinking about 
                         it a lot. It's like she owns Jill or 
                         something. Nobody owns nobody, 
                         especially not kids. And I pay her.

                                     NICK
                              (calls)
                         Marg!

                                     WADE
                         That goddamned woman. Thinks she can 
                         cart Jill off and leave me alone 
                         like this. I'm more than pissed, 
                         Margie. I'm a whole lot more than 
                         pissed. I been that plenty and I 
                         know the difference. This is 
                         different.

                                     NICK
                         Marg! You got orders!

               Wade and Margie stand. She wants to kiss him.

                                     MARGIE
                         Call me.

                                     WADE
                              (genuine)
                         Tonight. Let's get together.

                                     MARGIE
                         Okay.

               Wade meets Nick halfway to the door.

                                     NICK
                         You talked to Jack?

                                     WADE
                         Not since last night. He took a guy 
                         hunting.

                                     NICK
                         The fucker shot himself. Ker-bang! 
                         That's what it sounds like. Not on 
                         purpose. I assume accidental.

                                     WADE
                              (shocked)
                         Jack?

                                     NICK
                         The other guy.

                                     WADE
                         Where... how'd you hear that?

                                     NICK
                         CB. Little while ago. One of the 
                         boys on the way in picked up Jack on 
                         the CB calling for state troopers. I 
                         figured you'd know what really 
                         happened. The fucking guy kill 
                         himself? This Twombley, who the fuck 
                         is he, anyhow?

                                     WADE
                         No, I... I've been out on the grader 
                         all morning. Twombley's summer people. 
                         Massachusetts. Friend of Gordon's. 
                         It was his idea for Jack to take him 
                         hunting.
                              (suddenly engaged)
                         I gotta go.

               Margie steps over as Wade exits.

                                     NICK
                         He don't care for you.

                                     MARGIE
                         Stop being jealous.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. LARIVIERE CO. - DAY

               Elaine looks up from her desk as Wade pulls the grader into 
               the lot, jumps out, heads for his car. Laviviere stands 
               outside.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         What's the hurry?

                                     WADE
                         A hunting accident. Jack and Twombley.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Huh?

                                     WADE
                         I figured you already heard.

                                     LARIVIERE
                              (urgent)
                         Twombley, Jesus. We got to get moving: 
                         I got to get up there. How would I 
                         know? C'mon, you drive. We'll take 
                         my truck.

               They head for LaRiviere's blue 4x4 Dodge.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT./EXT. LARIVIERE'S PICKUP - DAY

               Gordon and Wade drive up the same road Jack took Twombley. 
               Wade fiddles with the CB. No use: static.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Fuck. Turn it off.
                              (Wade does)
                         All you heard was there was some 
                         kinda accident?

                                     WADE
                         Twombley's shot. I heard that. Not 
                         Jack. He's okay, I assume.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Fuck. You don't know how bad or 
                         anything?

                                     WADE
                         You mean Twombley?

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Yes, Wade, I mean Twombley. Put out 
                         that cigarette. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

               LaRiviere grunts disapproval as Wade slips the butt out his 
               window.

                                     WADE
                         He more than likely just shot himself 
                         in the foot or something. That's 
                         what usually happens.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         I shoulda sent you instead of Jack.

                                     WADE
                         I wish you had. I'd rather be deer 
                         hunting instead of freezing my ass 
                         on that fucking grader.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         You ain't the hunter Jack is. And he 
                         can't drive the grader worth shit.

                                     WADE
                         Like hell.

               Ahead, they see flashing lights and cars. A white emergency 
               vehicle passes, jolting the pickup.

                                     LARIVIERE
                              (frightened)
                         That must've been Twombley. Jesus. I 
                         bet that was Twombley.

                                     WADE
                         You want me to follow them to 
                         Littleton?

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Let's get to the top and talk to 
                         Jack first. He'll know what happened. 
                         He fucking better. If this coulda 
                         been avoided, I'll put that kid's 
                         ass in a sling.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. ACCIDENT SCENE - DAY

               Wade pulls behind three state trooper cars. Jack stands joking 
               with the TROOPERS, one of whom holds a German shepherd on a 
               leash. LaRiviere and Wade jump out. Jack, suddenly serious, 
               turns to LaRiviere:

                                     JACK
                         You heard the news.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         I hear Twombley got shot.

                                     JACK
                         Yeah.

               Wade walks over to trooper ASA BROWN, pets the shepherd.

                                     BROWN
                         Watch the dog, Wade. Takes a mind 
                         to, he'll tear your fucking head 
                         off.

                                     LARIVIERE
                              (to Jack)
                         Bad?

                                     BROWN
                         Thirty-thirty at close range.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Jesus.

                                     WADE
                         Will he make it?

                                     BROWN
                              (shakes head)
                         D.O.A. Blew the bastard wide open. 
                         Had a hole in back you could put 
                         your head into. Pretty big hole in 
                         front too. You could've put your 
                         fist into that one.

                                     LARIVIERE
                              (to Jack)
                         You see it?

                                     JACK
                         Nope. Heard it. We wasn't far apart. 
                         I spotted this buck, then I heard 
                         the gun go off and Twombley was gone. 
                         I looked over the little cliff we 
                         was using for a stand and there the 
                         fucker was, deader'n shit. Called it 
                         right in.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         This is gonna be one fucking mess to 
                         clean up. Twombley's son-in-law and 
                         daughter are up the weekend. Didn't 
                         you say you'd seen him, Wade?

                                     WADE
                         I seen 'em. Near ran me over.

                                     BROWN
                         You wanna tell 'em, Gordon? You knew 
                         the old man.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         What the fuck. My day's already 
                         ruined.
                              (to Wade)
                         Give me the keys. You can go back 
                         with Jack. You still got a shitload 
                         of plowing to do.

                                     WADE
                         It ain't done, if that's what you 
                         mean.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Something bugging you?

                                     WADE
                         Yeah. A few things.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Well, right now we're not too 
                         interested. Finish up what you gotta 
                         do, then you can get bugged on your 
                         own time.

               Brown walks off with shepherd.

                                     LARIVIERE
                              (to Jack)
                         Might as well take the rest of the 
                         day off. You look sort of fucked up. 
                         You've been paid for the day, anyhow, 
                         right?

                                     JACK
                         Not exactly. I mean, he never paid 
                         me.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         You'll get your money. Don't talk to 
                         any newspapers about this. Twombley's 
                         a big deal down in Massachusetts, 
                         you know. Tell them your lawyer says 
                         you shouldn't comment.

                                     JACK
                         Lawyer? I don't need no lawyer, do 
                         I?

                                     LARIVIERE
                         No, of course not. Just say it, that's 
                         all.

               Wade watches LaRiviere get into his pickup, drive off.

                                     WADE
                         Where'd Twombley get shot?

                                     JACK
                         In the chest.

                                     WADE
                              (offers cigarette)
                         No, I mean whereabouts.

                                     JACK
                              (points)
                         A half mile in, along the old lumber 
                         road.

                                     WADE
                         You bring him up yourself? That's a 
                         steep climb.

                                     JACK
                         The ambulance guys lugged him up.

                                     WADE
                         You stayed away?

                                     JACK
                         Yeah.

                                     WADE
                         Where'd you get the blood?

                                     JACK
                         What blood?

                                     WADE
                         On your sleeve.

                                     JACK
                         Musta... How'd I know? What're you 
                         doing, playing cop?

                                     WADE
                         I gotta make a report to Fish and 
                         Game. I was just wondering, that's 
                         all. What'd he do, to shoot himself, 
                         I mean?

                                     JACK
                         Who the fuck knows? Musta slipped or 
                         something. I just heard the gun go 
                         off.

                                     WADE
                         I never seen a man shot before. Not 
                         even in the service. Must be 
                         something.

                                     JACK
                         Well, I didn't actually see him do 
                         it. Like I said.

                                     WADE
                         Sure you did.

                                     JACK
                         What?

                                     WADE
                         Saw him do it?

                                     JACK
                         What the fuck you telling me, Wade? 
                         I never seen the guy get shot, I 
                         told you that.

                                     WADE
                         You musta seen him get shot. I know 
                         you did.

                                     JACK
                         Let's get the fuck outta here. You're 
                         not making any sense, man.

               They walk over to Jack's burgundy pickup. Wade eyes the rifles 
               in the gun rack.

                                     WADE
                         There's your old twenty-gauge, and 
                         that there's the new Browning you 
                         was showing me last night. This must 
                         be Twombley's gun. Brand new. Very 
                         fancy tooling. Probably fired one 
                         time. It's a beautiful piece of work.
                              (touches it)
                         But what the hell, Jack, I guess you 
                         deserve it. Right's right.

                                     JACK
                              (starts engine)
                         Yeah.

                                     WADE
                         Twombley sure as hell won't be 
                         shooting it again.

                                     JACK
                         He sure as hell won't.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. WADE'S TRAILER - NIGHT

               Late. Wade Whitehouse, lying in bed with an icepack on his 
               cheek, talks on the phone:

                                     WADE
                         Rolfe.

                                     ROLFE (O.S.)
                         Wade?

                                     WADE
                         Yeah, brother, look, I was calling 
                         cause -- has there been anything on 
                         TV in Boston about a hunting accident 
                         with a guy named Twombley, Evan 
                         Twombley?

                                     ROLFE (O.S.)
                         There was something. It happened up 
                         your way.

                                     WADE
                         Yeah, I know him -- the kid that was 
                         with him. Maybe you do too. Jack 
                         Hewitt. He works for LaRiviere with 
                         me. He's my best friend.

                                     ROLFE (O.S.)
                         Wade, it's late. I know you're 
                         probably at Toby's, but I'm in bed 
                         reading. We got different habits.

                                     WADE
                         No, not tonight. I'm in bed too. I'm 
                         calling because I need you to listen. 
                         You're supposed to be a smart guy. 
                         You're a professor. I got this theory. 
                         Jack says he didn't see Twombley 
                         shot but he did.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. ACCIDENT SCENE - DAY

               Wade's theory -- in black-and-white: Twombley's footing slips. 
               Jack turns to watch. Twombley's gun hits frozen rocks, fires, 
               blows a hole through his chest.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. WADE'S TRAILER - NIGHT

                                     WADE
                         It'll come out Jack lied and the 
                         kid'll get hung for it.

                                     ROLFE (O.S.)
                         He was scheduled to testify for a 
                         committee investigating organized 
                         crime in New England and the 
                         construction business.

                                     WADE
                         Who?

                                     ROLFE (O.S.)
                         Twombley.

                                     WADE
                         No shit.

                                     ROLFE (O.S.)
                         You think Jack shot him?

                                     WADE
                         Well, it was an accident.

                                     ROLFE (O.S.)
                         They were out deer hunting, right? 
                         Jack probably heard the gun go off, 
                         then came back and found the body.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. ACCIDENT SCENE - DAY

               Another theory: Black-and-white. Jack sees a figure run from 
               Twombley's body.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. WADE'S TRAILER - NIGHT

               Wade shifts the phone from ear to ear:

                                     WADE
                         Lillian was here. In Lawford.

                                     ROLFE (O.S.)
                         Huh?

                                     WADE
                         The night before the shooting.

                                     ROLFE (O.S.)
                         How was she?

                                     WADE
                         Picked up Jill. She was supposed to 
                         visit for the weekend for Halloween. 
                         She wanted to go home.

                                     ROLFE (O.S.)
                         Who?

                                     WADE
                         Jill. I was thinking of getting a 
                         lawyer. Maybe you can help me.

                                     ROLFE (O.S.)
                         What happened?

                                     WADE
                         A divorce lawyer. A custody lawyer. 
                         You know, 'cause of Jill.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. WADE'S TRAILER - NIGHT

               TIMECUT: mobile homes.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. WADE'S TRAILER - NIGHT

                                     ROLFE (O.S.)
                         Don't think about it. You're 
                         exhausted.

                                     WADE
                         Yeah, I guess.

                                     ROLFE (O.S.)
                         Get some sleep.

                                     WADE
                         I get to feeling like a whipped dog 
                         some days, Rolfe, and some night I'm 
                         going to bite back. I swear it.

                                     ROLFE (O.S.)
                         Haven't you already done a bit of 
                         that?

                                     WADE
                         No, no, I haven't. Not really. I've 
                         growled a little, but I haven't bit.

               Sound of GUNSHOT.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. MOUNTAINS - DAY

               Wade's bubble-top Fairlane drives through snow covered hills.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. MEL GORDON'S HOUSE - DAY

               The Fairlane is parked outside a substantial summer house 
               with a wide porch and frozen pond. The "speeding" BMW in the 
               drive. Wade knocks on the front door. An 8 year-old boy 
               answers the door. Wade speaks; the boy goes back inside.

               MRS. GORDON, 30, delicate, beautiful, wearing a dark green 
               robe, comes to the door. Her eyes are red-rimmed. Wade has 
               seen her before, but not this close. He feels awkward.

                                     MRS. GORDON
                         Who are you?

                                     WADE
                         I was... I'm Wade Whitehouse. I was 
                         wondering, is your husband here?

                                     MRS. GORDON
                         He's asleep. We were up very late.

                                     WADE
                         Well, yes, I'm... I want to say that 
                         I'm real sorry about your father, 
                         Mrs. Twombley.

                                     MRS. GORDON
                         Mrs. Gordon. Thank you.

                                     WADE
                         Well, yeah, I suppose. Sure. I just 
                         had a little business to settle with 
                         Mr. Gordon. I'm the local police 
                         officer.

                                     MRS. GORDON
                         Something about my father?

                                     WADE
                         Oh, no. No, it's a... it's a traffic 
                         thing. No big deal.

                                     MRS. GORDON
                         Can't it wait, then?

               MEL GORDON, 40, dark-eyed, wearing a tartan robe, steps behind 
               his wife.

                                     MEL GORDON
                         Whitehouse. Next time, phone ahead.

                                     WADE
                         How's that?

               Mel folds his arms. His wife goes inside.

                                     MEL GORDON
                         I said, 'Next time, phone ahead.'

                                     WADE
                         Jesus Christ. Mr. Gordon, when I 
                         come all the way to serve somebody a 
                         summons, I don't call ahead for an 
                         appointment.

                                     MEL GORDON
                         What the hell are you talking about?

                                     WADE
                         I'm issuing you a ticket. Moving 
                         violation.

                                     MEL GORDON
                         Moving violation! I just got out of 
                         bed and you're telling me you're 
                         giving me a goddamn speeding ticket? 
                         Now? Are you nuts? Is that it, 
                         Whitehouse? You're nuts?

                                     WADE
                              (writing)
                         Yesterday morning, you passed a 
                         stopped school bus, which was flashing 
                         its lights, then you--

                                     MEL GORDON
                              (stops Wade's arm)
                         Hold on!

                                     WADE
                              (wrenches hand free)
                         Don't ever put your hands on me, Mr. 
                         Gordon.

                                     MEL GORDON
                         You're talking about a goddamned 
                         ticket, from when I passed you at 
                         the school where you were deciding 
                         to hold up traffic while dreaming of 
                         becoming a traffic cop or something?

                                     WADE
                         Don't give me a hard time, Mr. Gordon. 
                         I'm just --

                                     MEL GORDON
                         Doing your fucking job. I know. I 
                         watch television too.

                                     WADE
                         Yes. Here's your ticket.

                                     MEL GORDON
                              (refusing ticket)
                         You get the hell out of my house 
                         now, asshole. And know this -- you 
                         are going to be a lucky asshole if I 
                         haven't got you fired before the day 
                         is out. I can do it with one phone 
                         call, and I'm pissed enough to do it 
                         now!

               Mel Gordon moves Wade out of the door, slams it. Wade steps 
               away, looks back at the house. Mrs. Gordon watches him from 
               the window.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. MARGIE FOGG'S HOUSE - NIGHT

               A wood frame house off the main drag. Snowing.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. MARGIE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

               Wade and Margie, post-coital:

                                     MARGIE
                         Jack's sort of sensitive, I guess. 
                         More than most. But he'll be okay in 
                         a few weeks.

                                     WADE
                         There's something funny about that 
                         shooting. There's lots funny about 
                         it, actually.

                                     MARGIE
                         I heard he was drunk at Toby's last 
                         night and got in a fight with Hettie. 
                         He drove off without her...

                                     WADE
                         I'm sure, I'm positive it didn't 
                         happen the way Jack says it did.

                                     MARGIE
                         ...Jack's turned into one of those 
                         men who are permanently angry. He 
                         used to be a sweet kid, but it's 
                         like, when he found out he couldn't 
                         play ball anymore, he changed. Now 
                         he's like everyone else.

                                     WADE
                         I've been wondering if maybe Jack 
                         shot Twombley, instead of Twombley 
                         shooting himself. I've been wondering 
                         maybe Jack shot him on purpose.

                                     MARGIE
                         Wade! How can you even think such a 
                         thing? Why would Jack Hewitt do that, 
                         shoot Twombley on purpose?

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. ACCIDENT SCENE - DAY

               Black-and-white. A further theory: Jack bends over the fallen 
               Twombley, holds a tarp to protect his chest from blood spray. 
               He shoots Twombley with his own gun.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. MARGIE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

                                     WADE
                         Money.

                                     MARGIE
                         Jack doesn't need money.

                                     WADE
                         Everybody needs money. Except guys 
                         like Twombley and that sonofabitch 
                         son-in-law of his. People like that.

                                     MARGIE
                         Jack wouldn't kill for it. Besides, 
                         who would pay him?

                                     WADE
                         Lots of people. Guy like Evan 
                         Twombley, Boston union official, 
                         probably got lots of people want to 
                         see him dead. The Government's been 
                         investigating his links with the 
                         Mafia.

                                     MARGIE
                              (laughs)
                         The Mafia hire Jack Hewitt?

                                     WADE
                         No, I just know Jack's lying about 
                         what happened. He just seemed -- I 
                         know that kid, what he's like inside. 
                         He's a lot like I was at his age.

                                     MARGIE
                         You wouldn't have done anything like 
                         that, shot someone for money.

                                     WADE
                         No. Not for money. But, if somebody'd 
                         given me half a damned excuse -- I 
                         was pretty fucked up, you know.

                                     MARGIE
                              (smiles)
                         But not now.

               Wade sits on the edge of the bed, sighs. Lapses into thought. 
               Margie caresses his back, kisses it. He winces.

                                     MARGIE
                         When you gonna get that tooth fixed?

               Wade looks at her, brushes the hair off her face:

                                     WADE
                         I can see what you looked like as a 
                         kid.

                                     MARGIE
                         You knew me as a kid.

                                     WADE
                         Yeah, but never what you looked like. 
                         Not really. Never really studied 
                         your face, like now. I was never 
                         able to see you as a kid when you 
                         were a kid until now, this way.

                                     MARGIE
                         What way?

                                     WADE
                         After making love. I like it. It's 
                         nice to see that in a grown-up person.

                                     MARGIE
                         It's nice.

               Wade walks naked to the kitchen, returns with two beers, one 
               for Marg. He gets in bed. She, thinking, sips:

                                     MARGIE
                         Don't you think, do you still think 
                         it's a good idea to press this custody 
                         thing -- just now?

                                     WADE
                         I'm her father -- supposed to be, 
                         but I'm not able to. Yes. Yes, I am. 
                         It may be the only thing in my life 
                         I've been so clear about wanting. 
                         Even if it takes a big fight.

                                     MARGIE
                         Then... I guess you have to.

                                     WADE
                              (silence)
                         There's another thing I've been 
                         thinking about. I don't know how you 
                         feel about the idea, Margie, because 
                         we've never talked about it. But 
                         I've been thinking lately, I've been 
                         thinking we should get married 
                         sometime. You and me.

                                     MARGIE
                              (uncertain)
                         Oh, Wade.

                                     WADE
                         I've been thinking about it, that's 
                         all.

                                     MARGIE
                         You've been married twice --

                                     WADE
                         It was to the same woman. I was just 
                         a kid...
                              (Marg looks)
                         It's not like a marriage proposal or 
                         anything, just a thought. Something 
                         for you and me to talk about and 
                         think about. You know?

                                     MARGIE
                         Alright. I'll think about it.

                                     WADE
                         Good.

               He kisses her. His jaw winces in pain.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. WHITEHOUSE FARM - DAYBREAK (1964)

               THE FLASHBACK CONTINUES:

               Glen Whitehouse, plastered, yells at Wade, age 13:

                                     POP
                         I've got sons, Goddamnit, oh my God, 
                         have I got sons! Wade? Rolfe? 
                         Elbourne? You love me boys? Do you 
                         love your Pop? Of course you do!

               Wade, frightened, retreats as Sally enters in her housecoat.

                                     SALLY
                         Glen, stop --

                                     POP
                         Oh, Jesus, Sally, you are such a 
                         Goddamned good person! Capital G. 
                         You are so much better than I am, I 
                         who am no good at all, you who are a 
                         truly good person, like a fucking 
                         saint! Beyond fucking com-pare.

               Glen reaches for the Canadian Club; Sally tries to block his 
               hand. Glen pulls his arm from hers, clipping her cheek with 
               the bottle.

               Sally gasps, grabs her cheek.

               Wade pushes between them, protecting his mother.

                                     POP
                         My big boy bursting out of the seams 
                         of his jeans!

               Pop clenches his fist. Wade vainly looks Rolfe's direction 
               for help.

                                     SALLY
                         Don't!

                                     POP
                         You little prick!

               Pop's fist comes crashing down. Wade raises his arms to 
               protect himself. Wade's arm bone CRACKS with the blow. Wade 
               grimaces in pain.

                                     SALLY
                         Glen, stop!

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. MARGIE FOGG'S HOUSE - DAY

               Margie gets into Wade's idling Ford.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT./EXT. WADE'S CAR - DAY

               Wade, washed and changed, drives; Marg sits beside him. They 
               head north. Deer rifles echo from the woods.

                                     MARGIE
                         Did you tell them?
                              (no answer)
                         That we were coming?

                                     WADE
                         Don't you think it's proper for a 
                         fella to introduce his girl to his 
                         parents?

                                     MARGIE
                         I know your parents.

                                     WADE
                         I just want to pick up my divorce 
                         papers. For the lawyer. It won't 
                         take long.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. WHITEHOUSE FARM - DAY

               Sun slants over Parker Mountain; they pull up. The house, 
               once white, is peeling. Polyurethane flaps over dark windows. 
               The 1960 red Ford pickup sits long frozen in the open barn.

                                     MARGIE
                              (getting out)
                         Are you sure they're home? Did you 
                         call?

                                     WADE
                         The truck's here. Looks like they've 
                         stayed inside since the snow started.

               They stamp their feet on the porch; Wade turns the knob. 
               Locked. It seems abandoned.

                                     WADE
                         Strange.

                                     MARGIE
                         Think they're alright?

                                     WADE
                         Of course! I would've heard.

                                     MARGIE
                         How?

                                     WADE
                         I don't know for Christ's sake!

               They round the house, try the back door. Wade knocks loudly. 
               GLEN WHITEHOUSE, 70, opens the door, stands inside. He wears 
               long underwear, stained woolen trousers, slippers.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. WHITEHOUSE FARM - DAY

                                     WADE
                         Pop, Pop, you okay?

               Glen shuffles toward the stove; they follow. He starts a 
               fire.

                                     WADE
                         Jesus, Pop, how can you stand the 
                         cold, dressed like that? Where's Ma?

                                     POP
                         Sleeping.

                                     WADE
                         You remember Margie Fogg?

                                     POP
                         From Wickham's. Been a while. Like 
                         some coffee?

                                     WADE
                         How you and Ma doing? Haven't seen 
                         you in town for a while.

                                     POP
                         We're alright. Your Ma's sleeping. 
                         You want me to get her?

                                     WADE
                         Yeah.

               Pop goes to the bedroom.

                                     WADE
                              (to Marg)
                         Jesus. Nothing's changed around here.

               Pop returns.

                                     WADE
                         Where's Ma?

                                     POP
                         She's coming.

                                     MARGIE
                         Have you been heating the house? Not 
                         just with the stove.

                                     POP
                         There's a furnace.

                                     MARGIE
                         You're not using it today?

                                     POP
                         It's broke I guess. There's an 
                         electric in the bedroom.

                                     MARGIE
                         Maybe Wade should take a look at it. 
                         Your pipes'll freeze.
                              (Pop nods)
                         Wade, would you do that?

               Wade, concerned, pushes open the BEDROOM door:

                                     WADE
                         Ma? It's Wade. Can I come in?

               He steps inside. On the bed, Sally Whitehouse, wrapped in 
               blankets, lies dead. He walks over, beside the small electric 
               heater, touches her forehead. Her skin is chalk white.

                                     WADE
                         Oh, Lord.

               Margie steps into the doorway. Pop joins:

                                     POP
                         Coffee's perked.

                                     MARGIE
                         When did she die?

                                     POP
                         Is...? She's dead then?

                                     WADE
                         Yeah.

                                     POP
                         I checked on her. She had the electric 
                         heater. Cold don't bother her as 
                         much as me. Which is why I give her 
                         the heater.

                                     WADE
                              (kneels over mother)
                         Is there something wrong with the 
                         phone?

                                     POP
                         In the living room.

                                     WADE
                         Why didn't you call and have the 
                         furnace fixed?

                                     POP
                         Wade. I thought she was alright. 
                         Till this morning she was.

               Pop goes to the dresser, pours himself Canadian Club. Wade 
               opens his mother's mouth, attempts respiration.

                                     POP
                         It makes me sad.

                                     MARGIE
                         Can --?

                                     POP
                              (sits)
                         Makes me sad it was her. Instead of 
                         me. I shoulda froze.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. ROLFE'S CAR - DAY

               ROLFE WHITEHOUSE, 38, drives his four-door Toyota west: 
               through Massachusetts, toward New Hampshire. His face bespeaks 
               tolerance, objectivity -- in short, education. It's also 
               Wade's face.

                                     ROLFE (V.O.)
                         Wade called me, as usual, late at 
                         night. I knew it was Wade -- no one 
                         else calls me at that hour -- and I 
                         was ready to listen to another chapter 
                         in one of his ongoing sagas. There 
                         was the detective story concerning 
                         the shooting of Evan Twombley and 
                         the family melodrama about Wade's 
                         custody fight with Lillian. But not 
                         this time.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. WHITEHOUSE FARM - DAY

               Rolfe's Toyota sits with other cars.

                                     ROLFE (V.O.)
                         Wade was telling a different story, 
                         or so it seemed then, one in which I 
                         myself was a character. He had called 
                         to tell me that sometime the previous 
                         night our mother had died, and he 
                         had discovered the body when he'd 
                         gone over to visit her and our father 
                         with Margie Fogg. Pop was okay, but 
                         kind of out of it. Worse than usual, 
                         maybe, though no drunker than usual.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

               Friends and relatives gather in the living room: Wade, Rolfe, 
               Glen, LaRiviere, Margie, an aging couple, REVEREND DOUGHTY, 
               30, thin, wearing glasses and an avocado-green suit.

                                     WADE
                              (finishing a beer)
                         Shouldn't we get this show on the 
                         road, now that Rolfe's here?

               No one moves. LaRiviere checks his watch. Wade shrugs:

                                     WADE
                         Pointless to stand around in church 
                         with nothing to do, I guess.

                                     ROLFE
                         What about Jill? Is Lillian bringing 
                         her?

               Margie's face tells Rolfe he's touched on a sensitive subject.

                                     MARGIE
                         They'll be at the church and the 
                         cemetery.

               Wade opens the frig, takes out another beer:

                                     WADE
                         Anyone else want one? Rolfe?

                                     ROLFE
                         No thanks. I don't drink.

                                     WADE
                         Yeah. I forgot.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         How you holding up, Wade?

                                     WADE
                         I'm fine, fine.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         You Rolfe?
                              (Rolfe nods)
                         I remember you from high school. 
                         You're a teacher now? Harvard?

                                     ROLFE
                         B.U.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         I haven't seen you around. I don't 
                         suppose there's much reason for you 
                         to come this way.

               Rev. Doughty calls for Glen Whitehouse, who has been sitting, 
               silent, drinking, to join the others:

                                     REV. DOUGHTY
                         Come, Glen, join us. Let's kneel for 
                         a moment of prayer before the service. 
                         Wade? Rolfe?

                                     ROLFE
                         Well...

               Wade, expressionless, looks at Rolfe. Rolfe, embarrassed, 
               trying to do the right thing, helps his father kneel beside 
               Rev. Doughty. The others join the circle.

                                     WADE
                         This is nuts.

                                     MARGIE
                              (reproving)
                         Wade.

                                     REV. DOUGHTY
                         Dear Heavenly Father, Lord of Hosts, 
                         we come to Thee to beseech Thy 
                         blessings and commend to You the 
                         soul of our beloved wife and mother, 
                         Sally Whitehouse, to be one with You 
                         and walk with You --

               Pop mutters something. Wade, Rolfe and Marg exchange glances. 
               He mutters louder:

                                     POP
                         ...goddamned hair on her head.

               He rises over LaRiviere, turns, exclaims:

                                     POP
                         Not a one of you is worth a goddamned 
                         hair on that good woman's head!

               Doughty freezes.

                                     WADE
                         Pop! Don't do this now, Pop.

               Pop knocks back a drink as the others stand.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Maybe I'll head on over to the church.

                                     REV. DOUGHTY
                         This is a difficult time.

               Gordon and the couple file out. Doughty, Glen, Rolfe, Wade 
               and Margie remain.

                                     WADE
                         Listen, it's no big deal, Pop.

                                     POP
                              (raising fists)
                         Come on, smart guy. Tell how it's no 
                         big deal. Tell me how a single one 
                         of you is worth a single hair on 
                         that woman's head.

                                     REV. DOUGHTY
                         Give up this demon.

                                     POP
                         Go fuck yourself!

               Wade, eyes blazing, squares off. Son to father.

                                     ROLFE
                         Wade, just leave it.

                                     POP
                              (mocking)
                         Listen to your little brother. 'Wade, 
                         just leave it.' Candy-asses. All of 
                         you. That's what I've got for 
                         children. Candyasses. 'Wade, just 
                         leave it.' Praise the Lord! 'Just 
                         leave it!'

               Wade stiffens. Pop cocks his fist. Marg, screaming, jumps 
               between them as Pop swings.

               The old man bounces blows off Margie's arms and shoulders.

               Wade pushes Marg aside, grabs his father in a bear hug and 
               walks him backwards, flat against the wall. Wade releases 
               him. Pop, frail, collapses to the floor. Wade kneels over 
               him:

                                     WADE
                         If you ever touch her again, I'll 
                         kill you. I swear it.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. CEMETERY - DAY

               Townspeople and friends cluster around the gravesite: Pop, 
               LaRiviere, Jack and Hettie, LaCoy, Chub Merritt, Nick, Jimmy, 
               Lillian, Jill and Horner, Rolfe, Wade and Margie.

                                     ROLFE (V.O.)
                         The day of the funeral was almost 
                         springlike. The snowline crossed New 
                         Hampshire west to east, retreating 
                         northward to Concord where it melted 
                         by midmorning.

               Rev. Doughty finishes. The mourners exchange farewells. Wade 
               looks at Lillian. Margie and Rolfe, escorting Wade's father, 
               let him be. He walks over, hugs Jill.

                                     JILL
                         Dad.

                                     WADE
                              (to Lillian)
                         I'm glad you're here. Can you stay 
                         for a while?

               Lillian hesitates, shakes her head 'no.'

                                     WADE
                         You ever come to your father's grave 
                         anymore?

                                     LILLIAN
                         No, not anymore. It's too... it's 
                         too far.

                                     WADE
                         We should talk.

                                     LILLIAN
                         We've done all our talking, Wade.

                                     WADE
                         It's just...

                                     LILLIAN
                         Let the past be.
                              (beat)
                         I'm sorry about your mother. I liked 
                         her. You never know how much women 
                         like that suffer. It's like they 
                         live their lives with the sound turned 
                         off -- and then they're gone.

                                     JILL
                              (tugging at Lillian)
                         Mom.

                                     LILLIAN
                         She has an ice-skating lesson at 
                         four.

                                     JILL
                         I'm taking ice-skating, Daddy!

               He kisses Jill, says goodbyes, walks back to Rolfe and Margie. 
               Ahead, LaRiviere walks with Jack.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. WHITEHOUSE FARM - DAY

               Wade and Rolfe leave Margie and Pop in the kitchen as they 
               step out back.

                                     WADE
                         Let's dig out Pop's truck before the 
                         skin of the snow freezes up.

               They grab snow shovels propped against the porch, walk to 
               the barn. Firewood's stacked alongside.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. BARN - DAY

               Shafts of light filter through the ramshackle structure. A 
               snow drift nearly buries Glen's red truck. Wade and Rolfe 
               break away the packed snow.

                                     ROLFE
                         What about Margie?

                                     WADE
                         What about her?

                                     ROLFE
                         Well, do you still plan to get 
                         married?

                                     WADE
                         Yeah. She'll probably quit her job 
                         and stay out here with Pop. We can't 
                         leave him alone here, he'll set the 
                         damn place on fire. With Jill here a 
                         lot, it'll be good to have Margie 
                         around. Things are going to change 
                         in that department, by the way. I 
                         got a custody lawyer in Concord. I'm 
                         gonna see him tomorrow. All hell's 
                         gonna break loose, but it's worth 
                         it.

               They finish clearing the snow. Wade gets in the truck, starts 
               the engine. Rolfe waits for Wade.

                                     WADE
                         I want to let the gas run out. I 
                         don't want the bastard driving drunk, 
                         and he's always drunk now. After, 
                         we'll hide the keys.

                                     ROLFE
                         Anything new about the shooting? 
                         Twombley?

                                     WADE
                              (reluctant)
                         I guess it was an accident, like 
                         everybody thinks.

                                     ROLFE
                         Want to know what I think happened?

               Wade opens the glove compartment, finds a bottle of Canadian 
               Club. He unscrews the cap.

                                     WADE
                         Find them everywhere.
                              (swigs)

                                     ROLFE
                         I think your first response to the 
                         Twombley shooting was the correct 
                         one.

                                     WADE
                         Which is?

                                     ROLFE
                         That it wasn't an accident.

                                     WADE
                         Then who shot him?

                                     ROLFE
                         Well, your friend, I think. Jack 
                         Hewitt.

                                     WADE
                         Motive. You gotta have a motive.

                                     ROLFE
                         Money.

                                     WADE
                         Who'd pay him that kind of money? 
                         Not the mob. They got their own guys. 
                         Specialists.

                                     ROLFE
                              (agreeing)
                         They wouldn't deal with a guy like 
                         Jack. Who else benefits if Twombley 
                         is suddenly dead?

                                     WADE
                              (swigs)
                         I don't know. You tell me.

                                     ROLFE
                         Okay. It's likely there are people 
                         in the union who don't want Twombley 
                         to testify. They probably include 
                         his son-in-law who's vice-president 
                         and will probably be the next 
                         president. I read that in the papers. 
                         What's his name, Mel Gordon?

                                     WADE
                         Yeah, the guy with the BMW I told 
                         you about. I did, didn't I?

                                     ROLFE
                         Here's my theory. Twombley, unaware 
                         of illegal union loans or whatever, 
                         starts nosing around cause of the 
                         investigation and finds out. Finds 
                         out his son-in-law is involved.

                                     WADE
                         So Mel Gordon wouldn't want a 
                         professional hit. That'd make the 
                         feds dig deeper. He wants an accident.

                                     ROLFE
                         A hunting accident is perfect.

                                     WADE
                         Shit, around here, you shoot somebody 
                         in the woods, you say it was an 
                         accident, you get fined fifty bucks 
                         and your hunting license lifted. 
                         Jack's probably saying the guy shot 
                         himself cause he ain't got his deer 
                         yet and don't want his license pulled.

               The truck sputters, stops. Wade pulls the keys.

                                     WADE
                         It's too neat. Things ain't that 
                         neat. It makes me mad. That somebody 
                         can pay to kill somebody, his own 
                         father-in-law, and not be punished 
                         for it. Don't that piss you off?

                                     ROLFE
                         Not particularly.

                                     WADE
                         Right's right, goddamnit! Don't you 
                         care what's right?

                                     ROLFE
                         I care about what happened. The truth. 
                         I'm a student of history, remember?

               The sun is down. Wade tucks the keys in a knotted board.

                                     ROLFE
                         I was thinking about that story you 
                         told me, about Pop and chopping the 
                         firewood out of the ice and after.

                                     WADE
                         Yeah.

                                     ROLFE
                         I hate to disappoint you, but I don't 
                         think it happened.

                                     WADE
                         Of course it happened. Why would I 
                         lie about it?

                                     ROLFE
                         It may have happened, but not the 
                         way you said.

                                     WADE
                         You think I wouldn't remember a thing 
                         like that?

                                     ROLFE
                         It wasn't me. I wasn't there, but I 
                         heard about it. When I heard about 
                         it, it was about Elbourne.

                                     WADE
                         We'd have to go digging in Vietnam 
                         to ask him.

                                     ROLFE
                         And Elbourne and Mom took you to the 
                         doctor and told him you fell from 
                         the hay loft.

                                     WADE
                              (laughs)
                         Well, I never heard that one.

                                     ROLFE
                         I remember clearly cause when I heard 
                         I became real careful around Pop. I 
                         was a careful child and I became a 
                         careful adult, but at least I wasn't 
                         afflicted by that man's violence.

                                     WADE
                              (laughs again)
                         That's what you think.

               Rolfe looks out: the cobalt sky has turned black.

                                     ROLFE
                         I gotta head back. It's a long drive.

               They walk toward the house.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. LARIVIERE CO. GARAGE - DAY

               Wade walks in as Jack and Jimmy prepare to head out, their 
               drilling rig loaded with pipe. Gordon yells at Jack:

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Put out that fucking cigarette!

               Jack opens the truck ashtray.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Not there, asshole. Flush it!

               Hewitt trudges to the john.

                                     WADE
                         Morning, Gordon.

               LaRiviere smiles, goes to his office as Wade hangs his coat 
               in his locker. Jack cruises over.

                                     JACK
                         I'm fucking out of here.

                                     WADE
                         Lawford?

                                     JACK
                         Out of this fucking job. This job 
                         sucks. Working outside in the winter 
                         sucks.

               Jack gets in the cab of the drilling truck. Wade follows.

                                     JACK
                         Open the door, will ya?

                                     WADE
                         Why don't you quit now, you want out 
                         so bad?

                                     JACK
                         Open the door. We're late.

                                     WADE
                         I mean it -- you got enough money 
                         now. Head out for California. Surf's 
                         up, Jack, and you're digging wells 
                         in the snow.

                                     JACK
                         What do you mean I got money? I'm as 
                         broke as you.

               Wade grins, goes to activate the door.

                                     WADE
                         Looney Tunes, Jack. Fucking Looney 
                         Tunes!

               The drilling truck pulls out the garage, onto the road. From 
               the opposite direction a black BMW slows, enters. Mel Gordon.

               Wade, all eyes and ears, watches. Mel Gordon parks in front 
               of the office, gets out. Elaine calls:

                                     ELAINE (O.S.)
                         Mr. Gordon!

                                     MEL GORDON
                         The boss in?

                                     ELAINE (O.S.)
                         Yes indeedy!

               Wade flips the door switch. Mel Gordon and LaRiviere talk. 
               Yeah.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. CONCORD - DAY

               The South Main Street office of J. Battle Hand, lawyer. 
               Concord is a real town, with traffic, stores, people with 
               places to go.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. LAWYER'S OFFICE - DAY

               J. BATTLE HAND, 60, sits in a wheel chair behind his desk. 
               Wade, uncomfortable in work clothes, tries not to show it.

                                     WADE
                         I screwed up the divorce. I agreed 
                         with everything she said. I wanted 
                         her to like me. I just want to be a 
                         good father.

                                     HAND
                         It would help if you were married, 
                         if there was someone at home while 
                         you work.

                                     WADE
                         I plan to. Soon.

                                     HAND
                         How soon?

                                     WADE
                         This spring.

                                     HAND
                         Good. It would help if there were 
                         some drug or alcohol abuse on the 
                         part of your ex-wife. Sexual problems 
                         upsetting to the child.

                                     WADE
                         It looks pretty hopeless, don't it?

                                     HAND
                         No, not exactly. I'll look at the 
                         divorce decree, see if we can get it 
                         redrawn. Interview your daughter. 
                         Jill, right?

                                     WADE
                         Yes.

                                     HAND
                         Fine. I'll need a $500 retainer. You 
                         can mail it.

                                     WADE
                         Jesus. How much... how much will the 
                         whole thing cost?

                                     HAND
                         Hard to say. If we go for custody, 
                         depositions, psychiatric evaluations, 
                         it could drag on. Ten or twelve 
                         thousand dollars. She could win on 
                         appeal. If we just want to get the 
                         visitation rights redrawn, assuming 
                         they're unduly restrictive, it 
                         wouldn't be more than twenty-five 
                         hundred.

                                     WADE
                         Oh.

                                     HAND
                              (sensing situation)
                         You might be better off legally as 
                         well as financially to just go for 
                         the --

                                     WADE
                         Yeah. I know. The custody suit thing 
                         was just my getting back at her. I'm 
                         not as dumb as I look. Whatever you 
                         say. I love my daughter.
                              (Hand nods)
                         I'll send you the five hundred.

               Wade stands; Hand motors to the door. Wade puts his fingers 
               in his mouth. His tooth throbs.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. LARIVIERE CO. - DAY

               Fairlane squad car in its customary spot.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. LARIVIERE'S OFFICE - DAY

               Wade and Gordon speak. LaRiviere is relaxed, open: a "new 
               Gordon."

                                     WADE
                         Sorry about the long lunch. My clutch 
                         is going out again.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         You ever think of getting a new car, 
                         Wade?

                                     WADE
                         On what you pay me?

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Elaine! Call Chub Meritt and have 
                         him pick up Wade's car, fix the 
                         clutch.

                                     ELAINE (O.S.)
                         What!

                                     LARIVIERE
                              (to Wade)
                         Use the pickup. I'll bill it to the 
                         town. You're the town police officer 
                         and the town police officer should 
                         have a decent car. You want a new 
                         car or not?

                                     WADE
                         What do I have to do for it?

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Nothing, Wade, I've been thinking. 
                         You don't get enough appreciation 
                         around here and it's time we changed 
                         things a little.

                                     WADE
                         I saw Mel Gordon in here this morning.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         So?

                                     WADE
                         He say anything about the summons I 
                         tried to give him? Sonofabitch 
                         wouldn't accept it.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Wade, that wasn't smart. Going out 
                         right after the man's father-in-law 
                         shot himself. Let it go. Call it a 
                         favor to me.

                                     WADE
                         You? Why?

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Mel's doing some business with me. 
                         It's nice to do favors for people 
                         you do business with. He was in a 
                         hurry. No big deal.

                                     WADE
                         That was before Twombley was shot. 
                         Before he knew.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         What's the difference? Take my truck, 
                         take a rest -- stop worrying about 
                         Mel Gordon. Have you decided what to 
                         do with your old man's place -- he 
                         going to stay there?

                                     WADE
                              (takes out cigarette)
                         Want to buy?

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Don't light that in here. I'm 
                         allergic.

                                     WADE
                         I won't. You interested?

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Maybe.

                                     WADE
                         You and Mel Gordon?

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Could be.

                                     WADE
                              (voice rising)
                         Always count on old Wade for a good 
                         screwing. Why should I always pay 
                         more, sell cheap? Why should you 
                         guys make all the money. You and Mel 
                         and Jack. Right's right.

               Wade pulls out Bic, lights cigarette.

                                     LARIVIERE
                              (waving arms)
                         Out! Out!

               Wade smiles, exits.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. RT. 29 - NIGHT

               Wade, driving Gordon's 4x4 with running lights and roll bar, 
               takes 29 toward Pop's farm.

               A pickup passes him: Jack Hewitt's burgundy Ford. Wade stops. 
               Jack turns up Parker Mountain -- the road to the accident 
               scene. Something's up.

               Wade turns and follows. Jack's fresh tracks lead the way. 
               Hewitt is driving fast. Wade keeps up.

               Jack, far ahead, approaches the accident scene. Stops. Night 
               has fallen.

               Wade comes over a low rise, spots Jack's pickup. He kills 
               the lights, parks to block Jack's exit.

               Silence. Footsteps in the snow. Wade watches, listens. What's 
               he doing? Looking for evidence?

               The burgundy pickup engine suddenly ROARS -- Jack's back and 
               at the wheel -- the tires squeal, spit snow as he spins past 
               Wade.

               Wade starts his engine, gives pursuit. The pickups gun their 
               engines, bumper to bumper, down mountain roads, lumber roads, 
               rocky trails. Wild headlamps their only guide.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. POND - NIGHT

               A trail turns sharply past a shallow beaver pond -- too 
               sharply for Jack. He crashes through a stand of skinny birches 
               straight out onto the pond. The pickup's momentum carries it 
               across the pond.

               Wade drops into first gear, follows, his headlights reflecting 
               ice. He drives directly to Jack, bumper to bumper, headlight 
               to headlight. Jack sticks his head out:

                                     JACK
                         You crazy sonofabitch! You'll sink 
                         us both! Get off the fucking ice! 
                         Get off!

               Wade doesn't budge. Jack backs away; Wade inches forward.

               Hewitt's trapped. Trees behind him. Neither truck has traction 
               on ice.

               Jack steps out, swinging his fists wildly. Wade gets out. 
               Jacks grabs his rifle, points it:

                                     JACK
                         I'll shoot you, Wade, I swear it! 
                         I'll fucking shoot you dead if you 
                         don't move away from that truck!

               Wade backs off.

                                     JACK
                         Don't move! I'll shoot you dead if 
                         you move!

               Jack gets back in his pickup, maneuvers it slowly around the 
               Dodge, crosses the ice and is gone.

               Wade stands in darkness. The only sound his idling truck, 
               the wind. Then a third sound -- the snap of ice. Ice cracks 
               ripple from the middle of the pond. Ice planes tip around 
               the truck.

               LaRiviere's snazzy Dodge slips, descends, disappears.

               Headlights glow under water, then go out. "Our Business Is 
               Going In The Hole."

               Wade, alone in darkness, plops into the water, paddles to 
               shore. Freezing, he finds Jack's tire tracks in the snow. He 
               bangs his jaw.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. WICKHAM'S - NIGHT

               A car drops Wade off. "Home Made Cooking."

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. WICKHAM'S - NIGHT

               Wade enters the empty diner. His clothes frozen.

                                     NICK
                         Your father's in back, Wade. Marg 
                         had to babysit him. She moved in 
                         with you, huh?
                              (looking closer)
                         What happened?

               Wade goes to the kitchen. Glen Whitehouse, washing dishes 
               with Margie, looks up:

                                     POP
                         Ah, the prodigal son.

                                     NICK
                         About fucking time.

                                     POP
                         Look, got me a new job, second cook 
                         and bottle washer!

                                     MARGIE
                         What happened?

                                     WADE
                         Jesus Christ, Pop, let's go home. I 
                         got waylaid. Sorry.

                                     POP
                         The fuck you got waylaid. You follow 
                         your prick around like it was your 
                         nose.

                                     NICK
                              (enters)
                         Can it, Whitehouse.
                              (to Wade)
                         Get him out of here. It was funny at 
                         first, but I'm tired.

                                     MARGIE
                         There's clothes in the back.

               Wade's old man talks as he dresses:

                                     POP
                         Let's go home? What home is that? 
                         Your home? My home? Let's have a 
                         talk about that. You're fucking sly, 
                         Wade. Your mother's dead so she can't 
                         make any excuses for you anymore! 
                         You gotta deal with me! No more sugar 
                         tit, asshole.

               Wade, redressed, enters:

                                     WADE
                         Pop, for Christ's sake!

                                     POP
                         You think you can take me now? Come 
                         on, try.

               Margie and Nick guide pere et fils to MARG'S CAR. Nick speaks 
               to her:

                                     NICK
                         Marg, get out of this. Fast.

                                     MARGIE
                         I can't.

               Marg drives off.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. MARGIE'S CAR - NIGHT

               Wade leans close to his father, his breath on his:

                                     WADE
                         I wish you would die.

               Pop spits directly into Wade's face, raises his arm. Wade 
               catches it, twists it. Margie shrieks:

                                     MARGIE
                         Stop it! Stop it! Just stop it!

               They do, glaring as they approach the farmhouse.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT

               Wade looks in the bedroom, sees Margie sleeping, goes to the 
               bathroom.

               He peers, stands before the sink, washes his hands slowly. 
               Drying his hands, he looks into the mirror, startled by the 
               image of his own face.

               A phone conversation plays over:

                                     WADE (O.S.)
                         No shit, Rolfe, I glanced up and 
                         there he was, only it was me. But it 
                         was like I had never seen myself 
                         before. It was a stranger's face. 
                         Hard to explain. You fly on automatic 
                         pilot, like I was doing all night, 
                         and you disappear.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

               Wade sits alone in the darkened room, speaking on the phone. 
               His cigarette glows.

                                     WADE
                         Then you accidentally see your body, 
                         or your face, or whatever, and you 
                         don't know who the hell it belongs 
                         to. Strange. It's the business with 
                         the old man, I know, and how 
                         incredibly pissed I was at him, and 
                         also chasing Jack Hewitt like that, 
                         and the Goddamned truck going through 
                         the ice, not to mention Margie's 
                         being so upset -- one thing on top 
                         of another.

                                     ROLFE (O.S.)
                         Wade, are you alright?

                                     WADE
                         But you gotta hear this. You won't 
                         believe it. Mel Gordon had come by 
                         to visit LaRiviere and so now I'm in 
                         his office.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. LARIVIERE'S OFFICE - DAY

               Wade's theory expanded: Jack and Gordon argue in the office. 
               An extension of Scene 55. Like Wade's other theories, in 
               black-and-white:

                                     LARIVIERE
                         He's on to us!

                                     JACK
                         Shit! What are we gonna do?

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Maybe I can buy him off. I gotta 
                         talk to Mel.

                                     JACK
                         You can't buy Wade off.

                                     LARIVIERE
                         We bought you.

                                     JACK
                         That was me.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. ALMA PITTMAN'S HOUSE - DAY

               Wade drives Margie's car toward LaRiviere's. In his rear 
               view window he spots Chick Ward driving Chub Merritt's tow 
               truck, lights blinking, pulling LaRiviere's pickup like a 
               dead fish.

               He pulls over, lets it pass. He's parked in front of Alma 
               Pittman's house. A sign on the lawn reads, "Alma Pittman, 
               Town Clerk."

               He looks at the house, decides to go in. Wade walks up the 
               shoveled steps, knocks on the door. ALMA, 60, wearing plaid 
               shirt and slacks, greets him with a smile:

                                     ALMA
                         Wade! Come in! Have a cup of coffee.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. ALMA PITTMAN'S HOUSE - DAY

               They step into Alma's living room/office. She's been keeping 
               the town secrets for as long as anyone can remember.

                                     WADE
                         You got yourself a computer, Alma.

                                     ALMA
                         Been putting my files into it. You 
                         take sugar and milk?

                                     WADE
                         No. Black.

               They sit by her desk at the bay window. She studies him.

                                     ALMA
                         Are you alright, Wade?

                                     WADE
                         Yeah, sure. Why? I got this damned 
                         tooth, I got a few things bugging 
                         me, like everybody else. But I'm 
                         okay.

                                     ALMA
                         Well, you look... sad. Upset. I don't 
                         mean to pry. I'm sorry about your 
                         mother. It was a nice funeral.

                                     WADE
                         Alma, I think there's some dirty 
                         business going on in this town.

                                     ALMA
                         Always has been.

                                     WADE
                         This is maybe worse than you and I 
                         are used to.
                              (beat)
                         What I'm talking about, I'm talking 
                         about murder. Among other things.

                                     ALMA
                         Who?

                                     WADE
                         Evan Twombley, the union boss who 
                         got shot. Somebody murdered him.

                                     ALMA
                         Who?

                                     WADE
                         You know Jack Hewitt, the kid I work 
                         with?

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. MERRITT'S STATION - DAY

               Gordon LaRiviere examines his damaged pickup outside the 
               Shell station.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. ALMA PITTMAN'S HOUSE - DAY

               Wade finishes:

                                     WADE
                         ...if Jack told the truth, he could 
                         be free by the time he's my age.

                                     ALMA
                         Sometimes things are simpler than 
                         you think. Let me ask you a question.

                                     WADE
                         You don't believe me?

                                     ALMA
                              (crosses to her desk)
                         About Jack? No. Have you checked out 
                         the tax bill on your father's farm 
                         lately?

                                     WADE
                         I know he's due for the last two 
                         years. I was thinking of paying it 
                         when the insurance comes in.

                                     ALMA
                         Has anybody offered to buy it?

                                     WADE
                         As a mater of fact, yes. LaRiviere.

               Alma punches her computer. Dozens of items flash up.

                                     ALMA
                         This is all the real estate 
                         transactions in this town the last 
                         year. Most of it unused land. Most 
                         of it for little more than the back 
                         taxes owed.

               She punches again: only three items.

                                     ALMA
                         This is from three years ago. Some 
                         difference, huh?

                                     WADE
                              (looking)
                         What is the Northcountry Development 
                         Association?

                                     ALMA
                         I went down to Concord to check it 
                         out. The president is Mel Gordon. 
                         The vice-president and treasurer is 
                         Gordon LaRiviere. Those boys are 
                         buying up the mountain, Wade. $364,000 
                         this year. I believe that's out of 
                         LaRiviere's league.

                                     WADE
                         Twombley involved?

                                     ALMA
                         No.

                                     WADE
                         He musta found out. They had to get 
                         rid of him. And Jack'll get blamed.

                                     ALMA
                         All the figures show is that Gordon 
                         LaRiviere is going to be a very rich 
                         man using his position as Selectman. 
                         In a year or two, you won't recognize 
                         this town.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. LARIVIERE'S OFFICE - DAY

               Wade storms in, shouting. Jack and Jimmy choose donuts by 
               the file cabinet. LaRiviere's behind his desk. Wade's tooth 
               makes it hard for him to talk without pain:

                                     WADE
                         You sneaky sonofabitch! I've got 
                         your number now, Gordon! All these 
                         years I actually thought you were a 
                         decent man.
                              (pounds fists on desk)
                         Can you believe that?

               Jack, combative, looks at Wade. Gordon stands before Jack 
               can speak:

                                     LARIVIERE
                         Wade, you're done.
                              (extends hand)
                         Let me have the shop keys.

                                     WADE
                              (to Jack and Jimmy)
                         You two, don't you get it? He's using 
                         you. You're his slaves.
                              (soft)
                         Jesus Christ, Jack, don't you see 
                         that?

                                     LARIVIERE
                         The key, Wade.

                                     WADE
                         Yeah, you can have the key. It's the 
                         key that's kept me locked to you all 
                         these years. I give it to you with 
                         pleasure.
                              (passes key)
                         Now I'm free. See how easy it is, 
                         Jack? All you got to do is give back 
                         what the man gave you, and you're 
                         free of him.
                              (turns to leave)
                         I've got to call my brother.

               Wade's phone conversation plays OVER as he goes to Margie's 
               car.

                                     WADE (O.S.)
                         I know what it means. I'm just running 
                         out of ways to use it.

                                     ROLFE (O.S.)
                         For what?

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. ROUTE 29/MERRITT'S - DAY

               Phone conversation continues as Wade drives to Merritt's 
               Shell station.

                                     WADE (O.S.)
                         To help, Jack, of course -- and to 
                         nail those sonsofbitches, the Two 
                         Gordons. That's what Alma calls them. 
                         Jesus, Rolfe, whose side are you on?

                                     ROLFE (O.S.)
                         Take care of the little things first, 
                         the things that are distracting you 
                         from taking care of the big things. 
                         Call Chub Merritt, get your car back, 
                         call a dentist, for God's sake, and 
                         get your tooth pulled, don't trust 
                         the locals, get your facts straight 
                         and go straight to the state police. 
                         Let them work on this.

               CHICK WARD, 30, Chub Merritt's mechanic, greets Wade outside 
               the station. We join their conversation:

                                     CHICK
                         The good news is we haven't got to 
                         your car yet. The bad news --

                                     WADE
                         Just tell me when you'll have it 
                         fixed.

                                     CHICK
                         -- the bad news is there's a problem 
                         with Gordon's truck what somebody 
                         drove through the ice last night. 
                         Figured you'd know something about 
                         that, Wade.

                                     WADE
                              (beat)
                         Yeah. I know about that.

                                     CHICK
                         LaRiviere says he ain't gonna pay 
                         for the fixin' of your car. A couple 
                         hundred for the clutch. I got some 
                         more bad news. Wanna hear it?

                                     WADE
                         Tell me.

                                     CHICK
                         Chub says you're fired.

                                     WADE
                         He can't fire me. LaRiviere already 
                         did that this morning.

                                     CHICK
                         He's a Selectman. The town. He said 
                         to tell you to turn your badge in 
                         and clean out your office. I'm 
                         supposed to pull the CB and police 
                         light out of your car. They're town 
                         property.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. WHITEHOUSE FARM - DAY

               Wade, open phone book in hand, walks back and forth speaking 
               into the receiver. Margie looks up from the KITCHEN table, 
               an old newspaper in front of her.

                                     WADE
                         What do you mean, you can't take me 
                         today? I told you --

               The other party has hung up. Margie stands, upset. Wade slams 
               the phone down.

                                     MARGIE
                         What on earth is happening to you? 
                         Why are you acting this way?

                                     WADE
                         It's my tooth! My fucking tooth! I 
                         can't even think anymore because of 
                         it.

                                     MARGIE
                         I heard you talking. You got fired 
                         this morning, didn't you?

                                     WADE
                         Look, that's temporary, believe me. 
                         There's so much shit gonna hit the 
                         fan the next few days, my getting 
                         fired by LaRiviere and Merritt won't 
                         matter a bit.

               Pop enters from outside with firewood, passes.

                                     WADE
                         I'll get another job. People are 
                         going to need me. After this is over, 
                         they'll make me into a Goddamned 
                         hero. You wait: you'll see, I'll 
                         deliver. I'll be the best father who 
                         ever lived. You need me, even Pop, 
                         for Christ's sake, he needs me. This 
                         town needs me. Maybe now they think 
                         they can send me howling into a corner 
                         like a kicked dog, but my God, it'll 
                         be different soon.

               Margie's face falls. She retreats from the room as he speaks, 
               taking her coat and pocketbook. Wade and his old man, she 
               thinks: just the same.

               Wade looks out the window and she gets in her car, drives 
               off.

               Wade holds his inflamed jaw; he can hardly see straight. Pop 
               turns on the TV in the living room, boosts the volume.

               Pop comes back in the room, gets the Canadian Club, pours 
               himself a drink.

                                     WADE
                         Leave the bottle out!

               Pop growls, goes back to wrestling on the TV. Wade walks to 
               the cabinet, removes a pair of pliers from the tool drawer, 
               goes toward the bathroom.

               In the BATHROOM, Wade opens his mouth -- it hurts -- takes a 
               bite of whisky, sets the bottle on the toilet tank.

               He looks at the stranger in the mirror, reaches inside his 
               mouth with the pliers. Prying his mouth open, Wade Whitehouse 
               locks the pliers onto a large molar in the back, squeezes 
               and pulls.

               He steadies himself, pulls again, yanking the pliers from 
               his mouth. The bloody rotted tooth clatters in the sink. He 
               takes another bite of whisky.

               Rolfe's voice plays over:

                                     ROLFE (V.O.)
                         You will say I should have known 
                         terrible things were about to happen, 
                         and perhaps I should have. But even 
                         so, what could I have done by then? 
                         Wade never went inside. He lived 
                         almost wholly out there on his skin, 
                         with no interior space to retreat 
                         to, even in a crisis.

               Wade takes another swig, sets the whisky bottle in the LIVING 
               ROOM beside the TV set. Wade and Pop exchange looks.

               Wade exits through the KITCHEN, snatching his coat.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. BARN - DAY

               Wade spits blood into the snow as he grabs a gallon can of 
               gasoline from under the porch.

               He crosses to the barn, prepares to pour the gas into the 
               beat-up red truck.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. CONCORD - DAY

               Wade's Ford pickup passes J. Battle Hand's office, keeps 
               going. Grass peeks through the snow at this lower altitude.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. LILLIAN'S HOUSE - DAY

               Wade parks the truck, walks past leafless bushes to a charcoal-
               gray split-level with pink shutters. He pushes the door bell; 
               the first notes of "Frere Jacques" play.

               Lillian opens the door; Jill's footsteps approach.

                                     LILLIAN
                         Wait there. She'll be right out.
                              (looks back)
                         Is there snow on the ground up in 
                         Lawford?

                                     WADE
                         Yeah, lots.

                                     LILLIAN
                              (to Jill)
                         See. Get your boots.

                                     WADE
                         Hi honey.

                                     JILL
                              (going back inside)
                         Hi.

                                     LILLIAN
                         Have her back tomorrow night by six.

                                     WADE
                         No problem. Look, I...

                                     LILLIAN
                         You make me sick. I can't believe 
                         you've sunk so low.

                                     WADE
                         Low as what? What have I done? It's 
                         bad to want to see your own daughter?

                                     LILLIAN
                         You know what I'm talking about. For 
                         what you're doing to me and to the 
                         child you say you love so much. Love. 
                         You won't get away with it.

               Jill returns, wearing parka and boots, heads out with her 
               father.

                                     LILLIAN
                         Bye, honey! Call me tonight if you 
                         want.

               Wade and Jill approach the truck.

                                     JILL
                         Are we going in this?

                                     WADE
                         Yeah. My car's in the shop. This'll 
                         be fine.

                                     JILL
                         It's pretty old.

                                     WADE
                         It belongs to Pop.

                                     JILL
                         Pop?

                                     WADE
                         Grandpa. My father. It's his.

                                     JILL
                         Oh.

               Wade opens the truck door. Jill climbs in with her overnight 
               bag, looks back to the door where Lillian watches.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT./EXT. WADE'S TRUCK - DAY

               The Ford heads north.

                                     WADE
                              (winking)
                         How about a Big Mac?

                                     JILL
                         Mommy won't let me eat fast food. 
                         You know that. It's bad for you.

                                     WADE
                         C'mon, we can always sneak a Big 
                         Mac. And a cherry turnover. Your 
                         favorite. What do you say?

                                     JILL
                         No.

                                     WADE
                         What do you want, then?

                                     JILL
                         Nothing.

                                     WADE
                         You can't have nothing, Jill. We 
                         need lunch. Mr. Pizza?

                                     JILL
                         Same thing, Daddy. Mommy says --

                                     WADE
                         I know what Mommy says. I'm in charge 
                         today, though.

                                     JILL
                         Okay. So we'll get what you want. 
                         What do you want?

               They stop for a light. Silence.

                                     WADE
                         Nothing, I guess. I guess I can wait 
                         till we get home. Maybe we'll stop 
                         by Wickham's for a hamburger when we 
                         get to Lawford. That suit you? You 
                         always like Wickham's.

                                     JILL
                              (looking ahead)
                         Okay.

                                     WADE
                         Fine.

               Pause. Wade looks over at Jill and realizes she is crying.

                                     WADE
                         Oh, Jesus, Jill, I'm sorry. What's 
                         the matter, honey?

               She shoves her clenched fists hard against her legs.

                                     WADE
                         Please don't cry. Please, honey.

                                     JILL
                              (regains composure)
                         What are you sorry for?

                                     WADE
                         I don't know. For the food business. 
                         I guess. I just thought, you know, 
                         we'd sneak a Big Mac on Mommy, like 
                         we used to.

                                     JILL
                         I want to go home.

                                     WADE
                              (quick)
                         You can't.

               Jill looks away. Wade pulls a six-pack from under the seat, 
               pulls off a beer, takes a swig.

                                     JILL
                              (quiet)
                         That's illegal, you know.

                                     WADE
                         I know.

                                     JILL
                         You're a policeman.

                                     WADE
                         Nope. Not anymore. I'm nothing 
                         anymore.

                                     JILL
                         Oh.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. WICKHAM'S - DAY

               Wade and Jill enter Wickham's, crowded with out-of-state 
               hunters at the end of the deer season.

                                     WADE
                         Jillie, you want a cheese grilled 
                         sandwich?

                                     NICK
                         It's called a grilled cheese sandwich, 
                         you dub.

               Wade, flaring, reaches across the counter and grabs Nick by 
               the shirtfront! Nick's arm knocks over a cup of coffee.

               The diner goes silent. Hunters look up. Jill's face is white; 
               she starts to cry.

               Wade looks over -- it takes him a moment to react -- bends 
               down, comforting her. He wipes her nose with a napkin.

                                     WADE
                         Jill, please, it's alright. Nothing 
                         happened.

                                     JILL
                         I want to go home.

                                     WADE
                              (rigid)
                         Okay, let's go home, then.

               They head for the door. Nick eases over:

                                     NICK
                              (delicate)
                         Wade, I got a message for you.
                              (Wade turns)
                         Jack Hewitt, he's looking for you. 
                         Wants you to clear your stuff out of 
                         his office in Town Hall.

                                     WADE
                         His office. You mean my old office.

                                     NICK
                         Well, I guess -- that's what he said.

                                     WADE
                         He got his deer yet?

                                     NICK
                         No, he's out now. Somewhere on the 
                         mountain. I'd stay away from him if 
                         I were you. He's real pissed.

               Wade takes Jill's hand, exits.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. TOWN HALL - DAY

               Jill waits in the old red truck parked outside.

               Wade emerges with cardboard boxes of office miscellany, rifles 
               laid across top. He shoves the boxes and guns into the back 
               of the pickup, gets in and drives off.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. WHITEHOUSE FARM - DAY

               Wade and Jill pull up the drive, past Margie's car, into the 
               barn. Her trunk and two side doors are open.

               Margie comes out back with a battered suitcase, goes to her 
               car. She's leaving. A plastic bag of clothes sits in the 
               trunk.

               Wade and Jill get out, approach:

                                     WADE
                         Going somewhere, Margie?

                                     MARGIE
                         I'm just cleaning out some of this 
                         stuff that's built up. For the rummage 
                         sale. And some things for the 
                         cleaners. And the laundromat.

                                     WADE
                         Don't lie to me. You're leaving me, 
                         I can see that.

                                     MARGIE
                         Don't be silly. Hi, Jill.

               Jill, suitcase in hand, looking pathetic, tries to smile. A 
               sadness passes over Wade's face.

                                     WADE
                              (hurt)
                         Marg.

               Margie, watching him, quivers, starts to cry. She drops her 
               suitcase, out of nowhere bawling like a baby.

               Wade goes over, puts his arms around her, pats her back. His 
               face is racked. He, too, seems about to cry -- if he could.

               In his arms Margie feels trapped, overwhelmed by Wade's 
               circumstances and terrible sadness. She pushes:

                                     MARGIE
                              (crying)
                         Leave me alone! Leave me alone!

               She struggles in Wade's grasp. Jill, frightened, wildly hits 
               him from behind:

                                     JILL
                         Leave her alone! Leave her alone!

               Wade moves back like a bear, covering his face and arms. 
               Jill, near hysterical, keeps after him, arms and fists flying.

               Wade stumbles backwards into the snow. Jill still swings. 
               Margie dashes to intervene as Wade swings his arms wide.

               Jill flies into Marg. Her nose is bleeding. Wade's caught 
               her across the mouth and nose. She takes cover behind Margie, 
               crying.

               Margie and Jill stand side by side, saying nothing. Wade 
               looks up stunned, as if hit by a rock. Marg slowly backs 
               away, her arms behind her holding Jill.

                                     MARGIE
                              (to Jill)
                         Get in.

               Marg eases Jill into the front seat, closes the door, edges 
               around the car slamming the trunk and gets into the driver's 
               seat. Wade stands.

                                     JILL
                         I want to go home. Will you take me 
                         home?

                                     MARGIE
                         Yes.

               She closes the front door, starts the car. She backs out the 
               drive.

               In her rear view mirror she sees the image of Wade receding, 
               standing frozen, staring down at the snow. Pop emerges from 
               the house, looks at his son, grinning.

               Wade looks at his old man, that dumb devilish grin plastered 
               on his father's face. Glen Whitehouse holds an empty whiskey 
               bottle like a pistol.

               Hunters' gunshots echo in the distance.

                                     POP
                              (Satanic delight)
                         You! By Christ, you -- I know you.
                              (points bottle)
                         Yeah, you goddamn sonofabitch, I 
                         know you. You're a goddamn fucking 
                         piece of my heart!

                                     WADE
                              (dead)
                         You don't know me. You don't know 
                         me!
                              (beat)
                         So fuck you. Fuck you.

                                     POP
                         Nah-nah-naw! You done done finally 
                         done it! Like a man done it. Done it 
                         right. I love you, you mean 
                         sonofabitch!

               Pop holds up the bottle, pretends to fire it at Wade.

                                     WADE
                         Love! What the fuck do you know about 
                         love?

                                     POP
                         Love! I'm made of love!

                                     WADE
                         Call it what you want.

                                     POP
                         Everything you know is from me.

                                     WADE
                         Yeah.

                                     POP
                         Bang!

                                     WADE
                         You and me.

               Wade waves his old man off, trudges toward the barn.

                                     POP
                         Where the Christ you going? You 
                         sonofabitch, you leave my fucking 
                         truck where it is! I need... Give me 
                         the Goddamn keys! I need to get me 
                         to town!

                                     WADE
                         Crawl!

                                     POP
                         Nothing in the fucking house to drink. 
                         Not a fucking thing. My house, my 
                         money, my truck -- stolen!

                                     WADE
                         I don't know you. My goddamn father 
                         and I don't know you.

               Wade walks from the glistening snow into the dark barn.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. BARN - DAY

               Wade unloads the cardboard boxes filled with his office 
               belongings from the back of the truck and sets them on the 
               ground. He gathers up his rifles.

               Suddenly! A whiskey bottle SLAMS against the back of his 
               head. He drops to his knees, the guns scatter. He looks up 
               with child's fear and guilt at his father.

               Glen Whitehouse hovers over him, huge and ferocious: a 
               colossus, lifting the bottle like a jawbone.

               Wade cringes, scrambles for the dropped rifle. He grabs it 
               by the barrel and, twisting around, swings it in a slow motion 
               arc, smashing the edge of the wood stock against his father's 
               head. A cold hard CRACK of bone.

               Glen Whitehouse -- shriveled again, no longer mythic -- flies 
               back like a stuffed dummy. He collapses beside the empty 
               C.C. bottle.

               Wade, bleeding from the head, stands, staggers off Pop's 
               inert body, aims his rifle at the old man's face.

                                     WADE
                         I know you now. I love you too.

               Wade bolts the rifle, flicks off the safety, fires -- a loud 
               CLICK. The gun's empty.

                                     WADE
                              (smiles)
                         Joke. You scared me.

               He kneels down, lovingly touches the old man's face, caresses 
               his lips, cheeks, nose, brows, smoothes back his stiff gray 
               hair.

               Pop's eyes are clouded. Blood suddenly drips from his ear to 
               the ground.

               Wade rests the rifle against the truck. He bends over, slips 
               his hands under his father's body, lifts him up. He carries 
               Pop over to the workbench, lays him out.

               Groping beneath the bench, Wade finds the kerosene lamp. He 
               unscrews it, pours kerosene the length of Pop's body.

               Wade takes out his cigarette lighter, ignites it, holds it 
               for a moment, places it to Glen Whitehouse.

               Fire spreads the length of Pop's body, bursting like a shroud 
               of yellow flame. The oil-stained bench crackles; flames shoot 
               up the old weathered wall.

               Burning flesh and heat drive Wade backwards.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. WHITEHOUSE FARM - DAY

               Wade stands in snow and sunlight. The entire barn is engulfed 
               in flames. Black smoke billows through the clear winter sky. 
               Inside Glen Whitehouse, a pyre, burns.

                                     ROLFE (V.O.)
                         The historical facts are known by 
                         everyone -- all of Lawford, all of 
                         New Hampshire, some of Massachusetts. 
                         Facts do not make history. Our 
                         stories, Wade's and mine, describe 
                         the lives of boys and men for 
                         thousands of years, boys who were 
                         beaten by their fathers, whose 
                         capacity for love and trust was 
                         crippled almost at birth and whose 
                         best hope, if any, for connection 
                         with other human beings lay in an 
                         elegiac detachment, as if life were 
                         over.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               EXT. PARKER MOUNTAIN - DAY

               Pop's red truck is parked behind Jack Hewitt's 4x4 on a snow-
               banked road. Wade, hunting rifle pointed up, traces Jack's 
               footsteps down the slope of the mountain.

                                     ROLFE (V.O.)
                         It's how we keep from destroying in 
                         turn our own children and terrorizing 
                         the women who have the misfortune to 
                         love us; how we absent ourselves 
                         from the tradition of male violence; 
                         how we decline the seduction of 
                         revenge.

               Wade spots Jack poised in a spruce grove, watching for deer. 
               Wade bolts his rifle, releases the safety, aims and FIRES.

               Jack, hit in the chest, falls bleeding between trees. Blood 
               stains the snow.

                                     ROLFE (V.O.)
                         Jack's truck turned up three days 
                         later in a shopping mall in Toronto. 
                         Even without the footprints, the 
                         bullet, Wade's utter disappearance 
                         seemed evidence enough of his guilt.

                                                                    CUT TO:

               INT. WHITEHOUSE FARM - DAY

               Camera glides from room to room, glimpsing details, fragments 
               of former times, as if this were an historical site or 
               memorial. The walls resonate: lives were molded here.

                                     ROLFE (V.O.)
                         LaRiviere and Mel Gordon were indeed 
                         in business. The Parker Mountain Ski 
                         Resort is now advertised all across 
                         the country. Jimmy Dame tends bar at 
                         the lodge. Chub Merritt opened a 
                         snowmobile dealership, Nick Wickham 
                         runs the new Burger King. Margie 
                         Fogg moved to Littleton, nearer her 
                         mother; Lillian and Jill went with 
                         Bob Horner to a new job in Seattle.

               Out a window, workers gather charred timbers from the barn, 
               throw them on a truck.

                                     ROLFE (V.O.)
                         We want to believe Wade died, died 
                         that same November, froze to death 
                         on a bench or a sidewalk. You cannot 
                         understand how a man, a normal man, 
                         a man like you and me, could do such 
                         a terrible thing. Unless the police 
                         happen to arrest a vagrant who turns 
                         out to be Wade Whitehouse -- or maybe 
                         he won't be a vagrant; maybe he will 
                         have turned himself into one of those 
                         faceless fellows working at the video 
                         store and lives in a town-house 
                         apartment at the edge of town until 
                         his mailman recognizes him from the 
                         picture at the post office -- unless 
                         that happens, there will be no more 
                         mention of him and his friend Jack 
                         Hewitt and our father. The story 
                         will be over. Except that I continue.

                                         THE END