Actor Point >> Movie Scripts >> Devil in a Blue Dress Film Script

Devil In A Blue Dress Movie Script

Writer(s) : Carl Franklin, Walter Mosley

Genres : Crime, Mystery, Thriller

Search IMDb : Devil In A Blue Dress




                    DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS


                         Written by

                       Carl Franklin


                     From the novel by

                       Walter Mosley




                                      March 9, 1994 - 3rd Draft



1   INT. CHAMPION AIRCRAFT - BENNY GIACOMO'S OFFICE                1

    A battered wooden desk drawer groans open and light brown
    skinned hands with dirty fingernails twist the cap off a
    pint of rye whiskey and pour liquor into a coffee cup.

                             O.S. VOICE
                You know, when you fire somebody
                you have to stick to your guns.

    They screw the cap back on and lay the bottle in the drawer.

                             O.S. VOICE
                      (continuing)
                The men might get to thinkin' that
                I'm weak if I take you back.

    The cup rises to the face of BENNY GIACOMO, late forties,
    with salt and pepper hair that was once jet black. Skin
    darker than a Louisiana Creole.

    He takes a sip and bares his teeth in a grimace from the
    whiskey. As he talks we gradually see more of him -- feet
    kicked up on the desk, fully in charge.

    A Betty Grable like pin-up girl is giving us background in
    more ways than one in a swimsuit and high heels on a
    calendar tacked to the wall: May, 1948.

                             BENNY
                      (continuing)
                And I didn't tell Dupree that I'd
                give you your job back... All I
                said was that I'd be glad to talk
                to you if you said the right
                thing... Do you have something to
                say?

    A stream of cigarette smoke snakes through as the back of a
    man's head and shoulder nudges in and shifts nervously.

                             MAN
                Mr. Giacomo, when one of the white
                guys has come off a double shift
                and says he's too tired to work
                overtime, you don't fire him.

                             BENNY
                Fella, what'd I tell ya? If you're
                not willing to give a little extra,
                Champion can't use you.

    EASY RAWLINS, thirty, handsome and a much darker brown than
    Giacomo, takes a drag off a Chesterfield cigarette.

                                                                2.

1   CONTINUED:                                                       1

    Through the window behind him, a team of men pour over a
    partly assembled airplane, their voices echoing in the
    hangar that surrounds the office.

    Benny measures out his words one at a time.

                              BENNY (O.S.)
                 Now... Do... you... have...
                 something... to say?

    Easy swallows his frustration in silence and thinks about
    swallowing his pride as well. And then:

                              EASY
                 I want my job back, Mr. Giacomo. I
                 need to work and I need a good job.

                                BENNY (O.S.)
                 Is that all?

    Easy looks down into the smoke and sits up straight to keep
    from bowing his head.

                              EASY
                 No, that's not all... I need money
                 so that I can pay my mortgage and
                 eat... I need a house to live in
                 and a place to raise children... I
                 need to buy clothes so I can--

                              BENNY
                 I'm sorry, fella, but I gotta get
                 back to work...

    And he swings his feet down and stands up to go.   But Easy
    is up too, blocking his way out the door.

                              EASY
                 Ezekiel, Mr. Giacomo.

                                BENNY
                 Hunh?

                              EASY
                 My name is Ezekiel... Ezekiel
                 Rawlins.

    Benny clinches his fists and focuses on Easy's chest like a
    fighter. And Easy rocks back on one foot ready to score a
    field goal with his right knee.

    Slowly, Giacomo's face creases into a plastic grin and he
    shrugs.

                                                                3.

1   CONTINUED:   (2)                                                 1

                              BENNY
                 S'cuse me, Ezekiel.

    And he walks around Easy, shaking his head as if amused.

    Easy watches him go as the low moan of the baritone sax from
    Duke Ellington's "Absinthe" snakes up like sin and we

2   FADE TO BLACK                                                    2

    And watch the titles, the last one reading "Two Weeks
    Later"...

    FADE IN:

3   EXT. JOPPY'S BAR - DAY                                           3

    Black and grey cars, Packards and Buicks from 1928 to 1948,
    come and go on Central Avenue. Two-storied storefronts with
    canvas awnings, above black men and women in hats... all in
    a hurry.

    The Red Car rumbles through and then a white Cadillac
    convertible pulls to the curb in front of a butcher shop.

    Above the shop on the next floor are large partly open
    windows with JOPPY'S BAR in boldface letters. Inside sits
    Easy, back to the window reading the classified ads.

4   INT. JOPPY'S BAR                                                 4

    T-Bone Walker's "Westside Baby" plays on the jukebox as Easy
    takes a final drag off his cigarette and stubs it out.

    THE FRONT PAGE of the LOS ANGELES TIMES lies face up on the
    table beneath the ashtray displaying A PHOTOGRAPH of a
    middle-aged white man and his pretty young woman companion
    smiling and waving.

    Above the happy couple is a headline "CARTER DROPS OUT OF
    RACE"... The caption under the photo reads "Wealthy civic
    leader, Todd Carter, shown here with his lovely bride-to-be,
    Daphne Monet, at a fundraiser last month was unavailable for
    comment on his surprising withdrawal from the Mayor's race."

                              O.S. VOICE
                 Catch ya later, Joppy.

    BACK TO SCENE

    SPLACK! An older black man hitching up his pants underneath
    a bloodstained butcher's apron has slapped his empty beer
    glass down hard on the counter on his way out.

                                                               4.

4   CONTINUED:                                                      4

                              JOPPY
                 Hey, watch the marble!   Dammit,
                 what'd I tell you?

    The fifty-year-old burly bartender leans over his big
    stomach checking for cracks and buffing the veiny marble top
    of the bar with a filthy rag. Behind him is a yellow
    billboard from 1932 with big black letters reading "Fuller
    vs. Shag. 10 ROUND MAIN EVENT." We could make out more of
    the poster and the eight-by-ten framed boxing photos around
    it if it wasn't so smoky in the place.

                              EASY
                 Joppy, how much they payin' out
                 there at McDonell Douglas?

                               JOPPY
                 I don't know.   Don't it say--

    His words hang as his eyes stray toward the door.

    Easy looks up also at

    THE DOORWAY which fills with the large frame of the white
    MAN in an off-white linen suit, his pale eyes surveying the
    room. Satisfied that all but two of the six tables in the
    tiny room are unoccupied, he smiles at Joppy and walks to
    the far end of the bar.

    Easy is surprised to see Joppy, tough ex-heavyweight that he
    is, duck his head and smile as he makes his way over like
    he's answering a summons. The white man extends a friendly
    hand and the two of them shake like old friends and lean in
    close to talk in private.

    Easy finds it hard not to watch their conversation as he
    takes a sip from a short glass of bourbon on the rocks.
    After a moment...

                              JOPPY
                 Easy, come on over here. This
                 here's somebody I want ya to
                 meet... Come on. This here's a
                 friend of mine.

    Easy drains his glass and stands up, then walks over.

                               JOPPY
                 Yeah, Easy.   This here's Mr.
                 Albright.

                              ALBRIGHT
                 You can call me Dewitt, Easy.

                                                             5.

4   CONTINUED:   (2)                                              4

    He extends his hand and Easy shakes it.

                              EASY
                 How ya doin'?

                              JOPPY
                       (bowing and grinning)
                 Mr. Albright and me goes back to
                 before the war when I was still in
                 the fight game.

                              ALBRIGHT
                       (to Easy)
                 Ever seen this guy fight...? Any
                 time Joppy Shag stepped in the ring
                 you knew you were gonna see some
                 real knock-down-drag-out-
                 fisticuffs... Where you from, Easy?

                              EASY
                       (awkwardly)
                 Houston.

                              ALBRIGHT
                 Houston... Joppy's hometown.

    Joppy pours Albright a straight shot of Wild Turkey and the
    big man sips it.

                              ALBRIGHT
                 So I hear you need a job.

    Easy throws a look at Joppy, but Joppy is busy buffing the
    bar and putting more of Easy's business in the street.

                              JOPPY
                 Aw yeah, Easy always tryin' to do
                 better. Got his high school
                 certificate from night school.
                 He's threatenin' up on some
                 college. And he's one of the few
                 colored men around here who owns
                 his own house. Shoot, he pays a
                 mortgage every month just like a
                 white man.

                              ALBRIGHT
                 Property owner, hunh?

    He turns up his drink and sets the empty glass down on the
    counter.

                                                             6.

4   CONTINUED:   (3)                                              4

                              ALBRIGHT
                       (continuing)
                 These big companies, don't give a
                 damn, do they?

    He reaches in his coat pocket and produces a business card
    and scribbles something on it.

                              ALBRIGHT
                       (continuing)
                 If you need a job, drop by this
                 address at seven tonight.

    Easy takes the card and glances at it.

                              EASY
                 What kind of work you do?

                              ALBRIGHT
                 I do favors... I do favors for
                 friends. Drop by.

    He nods to Joppy and walks out the door.

                              EASY
                 Who the hell is that, Joppy?

                              JOPPY
                 Just somebody I know... A bidness
                 man.

                              EASY
                 What kinda business?

                              JOPPY
                 Oh, I don't ask him all that. He
                 comes in here every so often
                 looking for somebody to do a little
                 job for him... He pays good.

                              EASY
                 In other words, he's a gangster.

                              JOPPY
                 I didn't say that... But if there's
                 a dollar laying in the street I
                 don't think he'll let a little dirt
                 stop him from picking it up. If
                 you worried about making that house
                 note this month, maybe you wanna
                 pay him a call. All them pretty
                 girls you be with ain't gonna buy
                 you a house.

                                                                7.

4   CONTINUED:   (4)                                                 4

    Easy cocks his head "Are you crazy?"

                              JOPPY
                       (continuing)
                 Sound like he just wants you to
                 keep your eyes open for somebody...
                 He'll pay you whether you see
                 anything or not... If it was me I'd
                 take that man's money and go on
                 about my bidness... Ain't nothin'
                 to worry about.

    Easy is still suspicious, but can't take his eyes off the
    card.

                              EASY (V.O.)
                 When somebody tells me "Don't
                 worry," I usually look down to see
                 if my fly is open... I noticed
                 Albright didn't bother to pay for
                 his drink.

5   EXT. EASY'S '46 PONTIAC - DAY                                    5

    Little single family houses with tiny yards of St. Augustine
    grass rush toward the amber Indianhead hood ornament on
    Easy's car.

6   INT. EASY'S CAR                                                  6

    Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo" plays on the radio as Easy
    heads for home in thought.

                               EASY (V.O.)
                       (continuing)
                 DeWitt Albright reminded me of
                 somebody I knew back in Houston.
                 His name was Raymond Alexander but
                 we called him Mouse... Mouse called
                 hisself a businessman too. And I
                 found out that I shouldn't be
                 nowhere around when Mouse got down
                 to his business... I learned that
                 the hard way.

    A neighbor sweeps out her front porch and waves at Easy as
    he slows down in front of his house.

7   EXT. EASY'S HOUSE - DAY                                          7

    He gets out of his car and a group of children chasing a man
    giving goat cart rides, washes past him in the street.

                                                                8.

7    CONTINUED:                                                       7

     A MAN with an unruly head of hair and full beard pushing a
     wheelbarrow with a double edged axe wheels up behind Easy as
     he opens his gate.

                               WOODCUTTER
                  Want me to knock down some of them
                  trees back there for you?

                               EASY
                        (irritated)
                  No... Just leave the trees alone.

     Easy continues up his walkway past flower beds of dahlias
     and wild roses and stops on his front porch to check on his
     African violets in a jar next to the front door.

8    INT. EASY'S HOUSE                                                8

     He walks into his tiny living room and tosses his jacket
     onto the sofa. Then moves on through the kitchen and out
     the back door.

9    EXT. EASY'S HOUSE - BACKYARD - DAY                              9

     He picks up a water hose and turns on the faucet, watering
     and admiring his apple, avocado, pomegranate and banana
     trees as he lights a cigarette.

                               EASY (V.O.)
                  I had moved to Los Angeles right
                  after the war with three hundred
                  dollars and the G.I. Bill... And I
                  liked coming home to a place that
                  was mine... According to President
                  Truman I had that comin' to me
                  'cause I had fought in 'the good
                  war' against Hitler in Europe...
                  But that didn't mean a damn thing
                  to a lotta white folks including
                  the foreman on my job... So, here I
                  was out of work needin' thirty-two
                  dollars to pay the mortgage... That
                  was three days pay on my old job --
                  and I had about three days to get
                  it.

10   EXT. OFFICE BUILDING - NIGHT                                    10

     Easy parks in front of a large Spanish-style building.   He
     gets out and walks to the black wrought iron entrance.

                                                                 9.

11    EXT. COURTYARD - NIGHT                                           11

      Easy makes his way through the overgrown patio with roses
      and vines cascading down from office windows on the second
      floor.

A12   INT. OFFICE - NIGHT                                             A12

      Someone is watching Easy as he looks for the right office.

12    EXT. COURTYARD - NIGHT                                           12

      A small white MAN pops out from behind a hedge startling
      Easy. He wears a suit that also serves as a uniform.

                               SECURITY GUARD
                  What are you doing here?

                               EASY
                  I'm looking for, uh...

                               SECURITY GUARD
                  We only take deliveries between
                  nine and six...

                               EASY
                  No, no... I...

                                SECURITY GUARD
                  Yes, we do!   Now you'd better
                  leave.

      He clutches a baton in his hand and swats it into his open
      palm.

                               EASY
                  Uh... Albright!

                                SECURITY GUARD
                  What?

                               EASY
                  I'm here to see Mr. Albright.
                  DeWitt Albright!

                               SECURITY GUARD
                  Where's your delivery?

      He holds out his scrawny hand.

                               EASY
                  I have an appointment -- I'm
                  supposed to meet him.

                                                              10.

12   CONTINUED:                                                     12

                               SECURITY GUARD
                  Did he give you a note to come in
                  here after hours?

     Easy only stares, hating this little man.

                                SECURITY GUARD
                  Well, did he?   Because if he
                  didn't--

                               EASY
                  Forget it, man. Next time I see
                  him I'll just tell him you wouldn't
                  let me in.

     Disgusted, Easy turns to leave.

                                SECURITY GUARD
                  Hold on.

     He sizes up Easy and then points across the courtyard.

                               SECURITY GUARD
                        (like an order)
                  Across that way to the left and
                  down the stairs...

     Easy half nods/half glares and walks away.

13   OMIT                                                           13

     At the other side of the garden Easy turns a corner and
     heads down concrete steps. At the bottom he opens a door
     leading into

14   INT. BASEMENT - CORRIDOR                                       14

     He looks into the boiler room but turns into an empty
     corridor stopping at a heavy steel door at the end.

     He knocks. After a moment a tall and slight MAN with curly
     brown hair and the complexion of an East Indian opens the door.

15   INT. MAINTENANCE ROOM                                          15

     A short and stocky kind of Chinese-looking MAN stands
     against the door at the far end. The Tall Man ushers Easy
     into the clutter of heavy metal tools, cans of paint and
     cleaning solutions. A card table with two chairs sits idly.
     The Tall Man closes the door and holds out his hand. Easy
     reaches to shake it but the man starts to pat Easy on his
     side and Easy pushes him away.

                                                             11.

15   CONTINUED:                                                     15

                                 EASY
                  Hey, man!    What's wrong with you?

     The Chinese Man slips a hand inside his coat and the Tall
     Man smiles.

                               TALL MAN
                        (with an accent)
                  Mr. Rawlins, put your hands up a
                  little from your sides, please.

                               EASY
                  Keep your hands to yourself. I
                  don't let no man feel on me like
                  that.

     The Chinese Man pulls some kind of weapon halfway out and
     takes a step forward, and the Tall Man tries to put his hand
     against Easy's chest but Easy grabs his wrist.

                                TALL MAN
                  Don't worry, Manny. He's okay.
                  Just a little shaky.
                        (indicating the door)
                  Let him know.

     Manny pushes his weapon back in his coat and knocks on the
     door behind him.

     After a moment, DeWitt Albright opens up.

                                 ALBRIGHT
                          (smiling)
                  Easy.

                               TALL MAN
                  He doesn't want us to touch him.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  Leave it, Shariff. I just wanted
                  to make sure he was solo.

                               SHARIFF
                  You're the boss.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  You guys can go now. Easy and I
                  have some business.

16   INT. MAINTENANCE OFFICE                                        16

     Easy follows Albright inside and the big man goes behind a
     big wooden desk and puts his bone-colored shoes up next to a
     half full bottle of Wild Turkey. On the other end of the
     desk a small radio scratches out the Glen Gray Orchestra's
     "Gotta Be This or That."

                                                             12.

16   CONTINUED:                                                     16

     There is a paper calendar hanging on the wall behind him
     with a picture of a basket of blackberries, but other than
     that the room is bare.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  Have a seat, Mr. Rawlins.

     Easy takes a seat in a chair in front of the desk and tries
     not to stare at the tan leather shoulder holster under
     Albright's arm with the muzzle of the pistol almost reaching
     his belt.

                               EASY
                        (gesturing back)
                  Your friends, hunh?

                               ALBRIGHT
                  Like you, Easy. I need a little
                  help? I give 'em a call... Drink?

                               EASY
                  Sure.

     Albright pulls another glass from the desk drawer and pours
     a fresh one for Easy and fresher one for himself.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  One thing I like about working for
                  myself... I always have a bottle on
                  the table... You wanna drink with
                  me? Fine. You don't? Door's
                  right behind you... Joppy tells me
                  you're a war hero... Said you went
                  in with Patton.

     Easy nods, proud but polite, and Albright pushes him a glass
     of whiskey.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  So, you want the job?

                               EASY
                  Depends on what kind of job. I
                  don't want to get mixed up in
                  nothing.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  Walk out the door in the morning,
                  Easy, and you're mixed up in
                  something. Only thing that matters
                  is if you're mixed up to the top or
                  not.

                                                             13.

16   CONTINUED:   (2)                                               16

                               EASY
                  I mean I don't wanna get mixed up
                  with the law...

                               ALBRIGHT
                  Neither one of us wants to get
                  mixed up in that. That's just rich
                  people trying to keep me and you in
                  our place.

     He laughs and takes a healthy swig and Easy takes a drink
     too.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  I'm looking for somebody for a
                  friend.

     He pushes a newspaper across the desk to Easy and Easy holds
     it up.

     NEWSPAPER

     It's the front page with the photograph of the wealthy Todd
     Carter and his beautiful bride-to-be... Despite her smile,
     there's a sadness in the eyes.

                               ALBRIGHT (O.S.)
                  Daphne Monet... fianc´┐Że of Todd
                  Carter, one of the richest men in
                  town... Been gone for two weeks...

     BACK TO SCENE

                               EASY
                  She leave him?

                                ALBRIGHT
                  Evidently... You know how it is
                  with women, Easy... Happens to the
                  best of us...

     He rears back in his chair as if expecting a sign of
     recognition.

                               EASY
                  I ain't never heard of her before.
                  I wouldn't know how to find a woman
                  like that.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  That's a shame.

     He laughs a conspiratorial, lecher's laugh and Easy allows a
     smile.

                                                               14.

16   CONTINUED:   (3)                                                16

                               ALBRIGHT
                  See, Daphne has a predilection for
                  the company of Negroes. She likes
                  jazz and pigs feet and dark meat,
                  know what I mean.

     The insult takes Easy off guard but he should've known.

                               EASY
                  So you think she might be down in
                  Watts.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  I'm sure of it. But I can't go
                  looking for her myself because I'm
                  not of the right persuasion, so to
                  speak. I've been asking Joppy for
                  over a week, but all he could do
                  was introduce me to you.

                               EASY
                  What do you want me to do?

                               ALBRIGHT
                  Just get a location on her. Mr.
                  Carter wants to make up with her...

                                EASY
                  That's all.

                               ALBRIGHT
                        (smiling)
                  That's all.

     He pulls out a brown secretary-type wallet and counts out 10
     ten-dollar bills into a neat stack next to the whiskey.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  One hundred dollars, and I pay in
                  advance.

     Easy eyes the money.   All he has to do is pick it up.

                               EASY
                  I just have to tell you where she
                  is?

                               ALBRIGHT
                  That's right. And keep it, you
                  know, confidential...

     He freshens Easy's drink and Easy eyes the money some more.

                                                             15.

16   CONTINUED:   (4)                                               16

                               ALBRIGHT
                  Joppy tells me you used to frequent
                  an illegal club down on Eighty-
                  ninth and Central. Somebody saw
                  Daphne there a few nights ago. You
                  could start tonight.

     Easy takes a drink and looks again at the money.

17   EXT. JOHN'S PLACE (MARKET) - NIGHT                             17

     Stripped down to its dark, naked self, Central Avenue has
     drawn a crowd from all over town. Neon glistens off slick
     pomade and silk clings to the contours of simmering flesh.

     An outrage to police even before the era of Police Chief
     Parker's personal crusade, a squad car sits idling while two
     dicks in blue manhandle a brother in a grey sharkskin zoot
     suit, prodding and whapping with nightsticks, searching for
     something -- anything -- because his date is a young white
     woman. A few onlookers stand back watching, but since this
     white woman is not Daphne Monet, Easy only glances and walks
     inside.

18   INT. JOHN'S BAR                                                18

     Easy sees his fifth white MAN that day in a disheveled but
     expensive dark blue suit staggering toward him, reeking of
     gin.

                               DRUNK
                  Hey, colored brother. I need you
                  to do somethin' for me--

                               O.S. WOMAN'S VOICE
                  Go on. What'd I tell you about
                  hair-assing my customers.

     Easy looks over to see HATTIE PARSONS, the small, brown-
     skinned manager of the place, glaring daggers at the drunk
     man while watching the commotion out the window.

     Easy starts over toward Hattie and the drunk turns and tries
     to grab Easy's arm. But his desperation causes him to trip
     and he winds up sitting against the wall.

     Easy steps over him and joins Hattie at the window.

                               HATTIE
                  I just paid these damn cops and
                  they still roustin' my customers.
                  Well, that's what he gets for being
                  with that white woman.

                                                             16.

18   CONTINUED:                                                     18

     She walks over to the cash register of this neighborhood
     corner store; and Easy follows, the drunk beckoning him to
     bend down to talk as he passes.

                               DRUNK
                  Come on, brother help me...

                               HATTIE
                  Don't worry 'bout him. I rung
                  Junior ten minutes ago to come get
                  him.

     Easy pulls out two dollars and Hattie deposits them into the
     till.

                               HATTIE
                  I ain't got nobody tonight but Lips
                  and his trio -- Holiday came
                  through here last Tuesday.

                                 EASY
                  Yeah?

                                 HATTIE
                  Yeah.

     Heavy FOOTSTEPS are heard pounding down a stairway in the
     back of the store and big burly JUNIOR FORNAY lumbers in
     with a cigarette hanging from his lips.

                               JUNIOR
                  Where's he at?

     Hattie points to the drunk man as he struggles to get to his
     feet.

                               HATTIE
                  Over there. Let Easy in upstairs
                  and when these cops leave throw his
                  ass out.

                                 EASY
                  Hey, Junior.    What's goin' on?

                                 JUNIOR
                  Not too much.    But stick around.

     Junior leads the way back up the stairs.

19   OMIT                                                           19

                                                                 17.

A20   INT. JOHN'S SPEAKEASY STAIRWELL                                  A20

                               EASY
                  You got a cigarette?

                                 JUNIOR
                  Sure.

      He pulls out his pack and stops to light Easy up.   Easy
      starts coughing as they continue up the stairs.

                              EASY
                  Damn! How do you smoke these
                  things?

                               JUNIOR
                  Don't you hafta work tomorrow?

                                 EASY
                  Naw.    I got fired.

      A hint of a smile appears on Junior's face.

                               JUNIOR
                  The last time I heard these fellas
                  playin' tonight was back in
                  Houston, the night your ole buddy
                  Mouse had to pull me up off your
                  ass.

      Easy grins and shakes his head.

                               EASY
                  That's the way you remember it,
                  hunh?

                               JUNIOR
                  Hell, that's the way it was.

      And he stops to unlock the door.

                               JUNIOR
                        (continuing)
                  When you gonna admit that you
                  helped Mouse kill old man
                  Navrochet?

                               EASY
                  Aw, man, get off that. I ain't had
                  nothin' to do with that.

      Junior opens the door and Lips' alto horn slaps Easy in the
      face. Half of Houston, Texas seems to be jammed into this
      place.

                                                              18.

A20   CONTINUED:                                                     A20

                                EASY
                   Boy, it's happenin' tonight.
                   Where's all the white women at?

                                JUNIOR
                   I don't pay them white girls no
                   mind.

                                EASY
                         (sarcastically)
                   Yeah... I bet you don't.

      And he steps in.

                                JUNIOR
                   That's right. Just like you didn't
                   help mouse kill his stepfather.

                                 EASY
                   Go on, man.

      And he starts away inside.

                                JUNIOR
                   Hey, Easy. Did you help him kill
                   his stepbrother, too?

      Easy turns to glare at Junior and the surly field hand slaps
      his thigh and roars with laughter as he closes the door.
      After all these years the two men still hate each other.

20    INT. JOHN'S SPEAKEASY                                          20

      Easy looks around to see couples trying to dance; finding
      themselves wrestling between tables packed with five and six
      people each.

      He heads for the bar pointing a finger at a man in a black
      silk shirt and a foot-high pompadour hairdo.

                                EASY
                   Alphonso Jenkins!

      ALPHONSO flashes pearls.

                                 ALPHONSO
                   Hey, Easy!

                                EASY
                   Hey, man, you seen a girl named
                   Dahlia or somethin'... White girl
                   supposed to be somethin' to look
                   at.

                                                                19.

20   CONTINUED:                                                       20

                                ALPHONSO
                   Naw, but if I see her I'm gonna
                   keep her to myself.

     Easy claps him on the shoulder and waves at skinny RITA COOK
     who is sitting at a table with five MEN.

                                 RITA
                   Hey, Baby.

                                EASY
                   Hey, Rita!
                         (under his breath)
                   What do they see in you?

     Finally, Easy spots a fifty-year-old MAN in an old grey
     tweed jacket sitting in a corner at a table by himself.
     Looking like the God fearing, all fearing Baptist deacon
     that he is -- he is as out of place as a whore in church as
     he nervously gazes about the room and massacres a plate of
     barbecued ribs.

     Easy leans over the counter to the bartender.

                                EASY
                   Hey, Lewis. Gimme a couple glasses
                   and a pail of ice and send a quart
                   of bourbon over there to Odell's
                   table.

     Lewis scoops up ice into a small bucket and plops it onto
     the bar with two short glasses.

     Easy lays a dollar on the counter and carries the set up
     over to the corner as he watches...

     THE BAND

     burn it up.

     BACK TO SCENE

     Easy stops at Odell's table.

                                 EASY
                   Hey, Odell.

                                 ODELL
                   Easy.

                                EASY
                   How's it going tonight?

     Odell doesn't miss a bite as he scopes the crowd.

                                                             20.

20   CONTINUED:   (2)                                               20

                               ODELL
                        (slowly)
                  Well... It's goin' alright.   It
                  sure is goin'.

                               O.S. VOICE
                  Easy Rawlins, is that you?

     Easy looks up to see

     DUPREE, a big black man with a wide white grin in a white
     suite with blue pinstripes and a ten-gallon hat.

                               DUPREE
                  You ain't jumped outta no windows
                  yet?

                               EASY
                  Not yet, Dupree.

                               DUPREE
                  Miss you down at the plant... You
                  know Coretta, don't ya?

     He has her in tow like a toy wagon and she offers a coy
     smile. Short and roundish with cherry-brown skin, she leads
     with her bosom.

                               EASY
                  Hey, Coretta, how are ya?

     Coretta rests her sloe-eyes on Easy and Odell and the church
     going man almost chokes.

                               ODELL
                  Oh, my goodness.

                               CORETTA
                  Could we sit down with y'all?

                                  EASY
                  Sure.   Sure.

     Dupree and Coretta settle in.

                               DUPREE
                  You know Benny just wants you to
                  say you're sorry, Easy. And he'll
                  give you your job back.

                               EASY
                  I'm a sorry man, all right. Any
                  man without his paycheck is sorry.

                                                                21.

20   CONTINUED:   (3)                                                 20

     Dupree laughs, smacking the table so hard it rattles like an
     earthquake. And Coretta's smile ignites like a slow fuse
     causing Easy to feel it all the way down his spine.

     A man with his hair marcelled back swoops in and pulls a
     quart of Old Crow from his overcoat and sits it on the
     table.

     Easy reaches for his wallet but Dupree beats him to it.

                               DUPREE
                  I got it, Easy. Your money ain't
                  no good up in here.

                                 EASY
                  Naw, Dupree.    This one's mine--

                                DUPREE
                  You sure?   You the one outta work.

     Coretta frowns at Dupree as Easy counts out three dollars.

                               CORETTA
                  And you're the one ain't never got
                  no money.

                               DUPREE
                  Aw, Baby...
                        (to bootlegger)
                  Get us another couple glasses.

     And he peels off a dollar and hands it off.

                               EASY
                  Either one of y'all seen a white
                  girl named Dahlia or somethin' with
                  a 'D'?

     Odell shakes his head "no," and Coretta looks away as if
     insulted leaving silence until

                               DUPREE
                  Hey, Coretta got a new job at the
                  phone company.

     He squeezes his woman in close and Coretta softens up and
     burns that smile again.

     Easy grins and nods "congratulations."

21   THE BOTTLE                                                       21

     It's less than a quarter full now because it's three hours
     later.

                                                                22.

21   CONTINUED:                                                       21

     BACK TO SCENE

     John's is only half full and the band is gone. The jukebox
     echoes Lena Horne's "Prisoner of Love" and Dupree leans back
     in his chair, snoring -- mouth wide open.

     Odell gets up and starts to amble off.

                               EASY
                  Hey, you goin' home, Odell?

     Concentrating totally on keeping his balance, Odell waves
     feebly without looking back.

     Easy is droopy-eyed from the booze but Coretta just looks a
     little sexier. She straightens Dupree's hat on his head and
     twists up her nose.

                               CORETTA
                  He used to play till the cock
                  crowed. But that ole cock don't
                  crow nearly so much now...

     She levels her perpetual "come on" onto Easy and he nods
     sluggishly and lifts himself to his feet.

                               EASY
                  Think I'm gonna head out.

                               CORETTA
                  You be sorry if you go.

     She slides her hand inside her blouse and discreetly lifts
     her bodice to air her breasts.

                               EASY
                  I think I'd be more sorry if I
                  stay...

     He turns to go.

                               CORETTA
                  Daphne sleep by now. You can't get
                  none of that tonight.

     Easy turns and Coretta plays with the ice in her glass.

                               CORETTA
                  You been telling everybody Dahlia,
                  but her name is Daphne.

                               EASY
                  You know her?

                                                             23.

21   CONTINUED:    (2)                                             21

     Coretta leans back and fans her bosom.

22   EXT. CORETTA'S HOUSE - NIGHT                                  22

     Easy struggles with Dupree, and Coretta gives him a hand as
     they drag him from Easy's car to her front door, the big
     man's feet plowing two deep furrows in the lawn.

23   INT. CORETTA'S HOUSE                                          23

     Coretta pushes the door open and Easy hauls him in.

                                CORETTA
                   Throw him in there on the bed,
                   Easy.

     Easy pulls and pushes Dupree's dead weight into

     THE BEDROOM

                                CORETTA
                   Throwed him outta his place, 'cause
                   he couldn't pay the rent. I
                   shouldn't even let him sleep here.

     Finally Easy manages to pile Dupree onto the bed and then
     stands up panting and sweating.

                                EASY
                   Damn...

     Coretta leads him out into

24   THE LIVING ROOM                                               24

                                EASY
                   I need a cigarette.

     Coretta shines her hazel eyes on him.

                                CORETTA
                   That all you need?

     Easy grins nervously and clears his throat.

                                EASY
                   Coretta, sun catch me tip-toein'
                   out your door and no tellin' what
                   your neighbors say...

                                                              24.

24   CONTINUED:                                                     24

                               CORETTA
                  Dupree run through his money, fall
                  asleep on me. And you just gonna
                  walk out on me like I was dog
                  food...

                               EASY
                  You got a man in the other room...
                  Why don't you tell me 'bout your
                  friend Daphne?

     Coretta strolls up to Easy, pressing her body against his.

                               CORETTA
                  Why you keep askin' 'bout her?
                  Colored women ain't good enough for
                  you no more?

     She undoes a button on his shirt and kisses his chest, and
     unbuttons another working her way down. Easy sweats harder
     than when he was lifting Dupree.

                               EASY
                  What if he hears somethin'?

                               CORETTA (O.S.)
                  Way he snorin'?

     ON THE SOFA - MINUTES LATER

                               CORETTA
                  Oh yeah, daddy. You hittin' my
                  spot! Oh yeah... yeah!

     The top of her dress undone, Coretta is straddling Easy who
     is hitting her spot and his too, in a rhythm. Eyes
     closed, he bites his lip to hold in the ecstasy so as not to
     awaken Dupree, who is sawing logs -- shredding 'em -- in the
     bedroom.

     Suddenly Coretta tears herself off of him and sits back on
     his knees. Easy writhes and shakes like a power line
     shorting out.

                               CORETTA
                        (coy, shy)
                  Oooh, that's just too good, Easy.

     Easy tries to pull her back but she twists down to the
     floor.

                               CORETTA
                  I can't give up that much love,
                  daddy, not the way things is.

                                                             25.

24   CONTINUED:   (2)                                               24

                               EASY
                        (out loud)
                  What things?

     She shushes him with a finger and twists her head toward the
     bedroom.

                               CORETTA
                  You know, Dupree's right there in
                  the next room.

                               EASY
                        (full voice)
                  Forget about him! You got me
                  goin', Coretta!

     Coretta quiets him again and he comes back to his senses.

                               CORETTA
                  But it ain't right, Easy. Here I
                  am doin' this right in the next
                  room and all you doin' is nosin'
                  after my friend Daphne...

                               EASY
                  Daphne?
                        (and then remembers)
                  Oh, yeah... I ain't after her,
                  baby. That's just a job.

                               CORETTA
                  What job?

                               EASY
                  Man wants me to find her.

                               CORETTA
                  What man?

                               EASY
                  Who cares, what man?   I don't want
                  nobody but you...

     He pulls her toward him but she pushes him away.

                               CORETTA
                  But Daphne's my friend--

     Frustrated, he sits back against the sofa and Coretta,
     sensing that he is snapping out of her spell, slides forward
     onto him giving him her spot again. And within moments
     they are back at it.

                                                                26.

24   CONTINUED:   (3)                                                 24

                              CORETTA
                  Oh, baby. Oh, daddy, you hittin'
                  my spot! Oh, yeah...

                               EASY (V.O.)
                  I went on hittin' her spot until
                  just before sun-up.

                                                DISSOLVE TO:

25   EXT. CORETTA'S HOUSE - DAWN                                      25

     The sky is light purple as Easy stumbles down Coretta's
     porch. She waves half-heartedly and closes the door as he
     straightens his clothes and looks around for any "witnesses"
     on his way to his car.

                                                DISSOLVE TO:

26   EXT. EASY'S HOUSE - DAY                                          26

     Easy's Pontiac pulls to a stop in front and he gets out.

                               EASY (V.O.)
                  It occurred to me that Coretta had
                  found out a lot more about what I
                  was up to than I had wanted her to.
                  But I had found out that the rich
                  man's woman had a colored
                  boyfriend... It had cost me a
                  sawbuck to get Coretta to give me
                  that information... Well, let's
                  just say somethin' had cost me ten
                  dollars.

27   INT. EASY'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - LATER                              27

     Golden morning light streams in through the window.
     Outside, a dog is barking at a bird on the fence.

     Coffee percolates on the stove and Easy walks over and pours
     himself a cup. He moves to the breakfast table and sits
     down by the window looking out onto the street as he opens
     up a blue envelope in a stack of mail.

     Gradually he begins to silently mouth the words and sits up,
     his eyes getting bigger until he finds himself reading
     aloud.

                               EASY
                  "Since Etta Mae has left me and I
                  am a bachelor I figured I could
                  come out and visit and we burn down
                  the town...
                               (MORE)

                                                             27.

27   CONTINUED:                                                    27

                                EASY (CONT'D)
                  Write me and tell me when's a good
                  time."
                         (looks up)
                  Aw shit.

28   EXT. EASY'S HOUSE - DAY                                       28

     Easy waters his lawn in deep thought.

                               EASY (V.O.)
                  The letter from Mouse was worrying
                  me in more ways than one... All I
                  had to do was call Albright to earn
                  the hundred dollars I already had
                  in my pocket... But the last time I
                  got money that easy I got it from
                  Mouse -- fifty dollars -- And the
                  next day I had to join the Army to
                  leave town.

     FLASHBACK:

29   INT. STOLEN CAR - NIGHT                                       29

     A younger Easy is driving, his hair greased up high in a
     pompadour with a pencil line moustache framing his top lip.

     A man in a wide brim Homburg hat looks away out the
     passenger window.

                               MAN
                  Drive to the trainyard, Easy!
                  Let's dump this damn thing.

                               EASY
                        (suddenly alarmed)
                  This ain't your friend's car?
                  What'd you do Mouse?

                               MOUSE
                        (still looking away)
                  Just drive this sumbitch!

     The drone of the engine takes us

30   BACK TO SCENE                                                 30

     A TRUCK with a whole family's belongings tied down onto a
     flatbed rolls up. A WOMAN and a bunch of KIDS fill up the
     cab.

                               WOMAN
                  Bye, Easy!

                                                                28.

30   CONTINUED:                                                       30

                                EASY
                   Where you goin', Sophie?

                                WOMAN
                   Back to Texas... It's too fast for
                   me out here.

     She waves and keeps on trucking.

     He watches her wistfully and then catches sight of

     THE WOODCUTTER across the street in a neighbor's front yard,
     axe in hand, about to swing on a lemon tree.

                                EASY
                   Get away from there!

     He picks up a rock and throws it, and then chucks another
     sending the scruffy vagabond wheeling his barrow off down
     the street.

     Easy shuts off the water and walks back up on his porch.    He
     picks up a glass of lemonade that sits at the foot of a
     chair on top of

     A NEWSPAPER

     A front page heading reads "CARTER'S WITHDRAWAL LEAVES TERAN
     ON TOP." Below it

     A PHOTOGRAPH of a smiling Matthew Teran, with lips too thick
     for a white man, getting out of a limousine.

31   O.S. THE PHONE IS RINGING.    It's                               31

     LATER - NIGHT

     Easy is asleep on the porch. Finally, he wakes up to the
     ringing and heads into the house.

32   INT. EASY'S HOUSE - BEDROOM                                      32

     Easy flops on the bed and lifts the phone off a cherry wood
     nightstand.

                                EASY
                   Hello?

                                O.S. VOICE
                   Mr. Rawlins, I've been expecting
                   your call.

                                EASY
                   What?

                                                                29.

32    CONTINUED:                                                        32

                                O.S. VOICE
                   I hope you have good news for me.

                                EASY
                   Mr. Albright, is that you?

                                ALBRIGHT
                   Sure is, Easy. What's shakin'?

      Easy clears his head.    He has slept away the day.

                                EASY
                   I got what you want.   She's with--

                                ALBRIGHT
                   Hold on to that, Easy. I like to
                   look a man in the face when we do
                   business. Meet me at the
                   Fisherman's Pier in Malibu at the
                   hamburger stand in an hour.

                                EASY
                   Uh... I don't know about that Mr.
                   Albright -- Mr. Albright?

      He realizes that Albright has hung up, and swears under his
      breath.

33    EXT. PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY - NIGHT                                33

      The headlights from Easy's car illuminate the cliffs that
      fall alongside the winding two-lane highway.

34    INT. EASY'S CAR - NIGHT                                           34

      Easy is cautious, checking the rearview mirror more often
      than usual.

                                EASY (V.O.)
                   I wasn't used to going to white
                   communities, like Malibu, to
                   conduct business. Champion
                   Aircraft was in Santa Monica but I
                   drove out there in the daytime, did
                   my work and came home. I never
                   loitered nowhere except among my
                   own people, in my own neighborhood.

A35   EXT. MALIBU PIER - PARKING LOT - NIGHT                           A35

      The lights from the   pier can be seen in the distance as Easy
      parks his car. And    the voices of teenagers in raucous
      conversation can be   heard above Glenn Miller's big band
      playing "Silhouette   In The Moonlight" on the jukebox.

                                                               30.

A35   CONTINUED:                                                     A35

      Easy gets out and starts toward the pier.

35    EXT. MALIBU PIER - NIGHT                                       35

      Easy walks past the hamburger stand and on to the railing
      that looks out over the ocean.

                                 O.S. VOICE
                   Hi.

      He spins around and sees a chubby 17-year-old white GIRL in
      a tight-fitting skirt.

      He nods respectfully and turns away to look out at the
      water, hoping she'll leave.

                                GIRL
                   It's pretty out here, huh?

                                 EASY
                   Yeah.   It's all right.

                                 GIRL
                   I'm from Des Moines in Iowa.    Where
                   are you from?

                                EASY
                         (without looking back)
                   Huh?... Uh... Texas...

                                GIRL
                   Do they have an ocean in Texas?

                                EASY
                   The Gulf, they have the Gulf.

      She leans on the rail next to Easy and he glances over his
      shoulder, seeing a couple of the young men looking around
      like they've lost someone.

                                EASY
                   I think they're looking for you.

                                BARBARA
                   Who cares? My sister brought me
                   'cause my parents made her. All
                   she wants to do is make out with
                   Herman and smoke cigarettes.

                                 PIMPLY-FACED BOY
                   Hey, you!   What are you doing?

      The five-foot-six-inch twenty-year-old charges straight up
      to Easy.

                                                                31.

35   CONTINUED:                                                       35

                                BARBARA
                        (yelling)
                  Leave him alone, Herman!   We were
                  just talking!

                                HERMAN
                  You were, huh?
                         (to Easy)
                  We don't need you talking to our
                  women.

     Easy braces himself as five of Herman's FRIENDS rush over,
     including one built like a football player.

                                FOOTBALL
                  Hey!   What's wrong?

                               HERMAN
                  Nigger's trying to pick up Barbara.

                               BARBARA
                  Leave him alone! We were just
                  talking about the ocean!

                                BARBARA'S SISTER
                  Barbara!

     Football gets right in Easy's face.

                               FOOTBALL
                  Hey, fella, what's wrong with you?

     A couple of the other boys have picked up sticks and are
     surrounding Easy against the rail.

                               EASY
                  I don't want no trouble.

                               FOOTBALL
                  You already got trouble, boy.

                               EASY
                  Listen... I was just being polite.

                               HERMAN
                  No, you weren't. You were talkin'
                  about the ocean!

                                O.S. VOICE
                  Excuse me.

     Easy sees Albright's Panama hat appear behind Football.

                                                                32.

35   CONTINUED:   (2)                                                 35

                               FOOTBALL
                  What do you want?

     And he whirls around to Albright's smiling face, just in
     time to see him pull that rifle-like pistol from inside his
     coat, leveling it at his eyes.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  I want to see brains.    I want you
                  to die for me.

     Albright cocks the hammer. It sounds like a bone breaking,
     and Barbara starts crying in her sister's arms.

                               FOOTBALL
                        (quickly)
                  I'm sorry, sir.

     Easy nods but Albright is not satisfied.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  The question is: "Are you sorry
                  enough?"

                               FOOTBALL
                  Yessir.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  Then prove it... Show him... Get
                  down on your knees and suck his
                  peter.

     Football starts crying.

                               EASY
                        (to Albright)
                  I think he got the point--

                                ALBRIGHT
                        (to Football)
                  You heard me.

     He presses the barrel to the boy's forehead and Football
     goes down to his knees. The other young men look on in
     horror.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  Son of a gun. You were gonna do
                  it, weren't you?

     THUNK! He slaps the barrel of the pistol into the side of
     the boy's head. Football screams and the others scatter.

                                                                33.

35   CONTINUED:   (3)                                                 35

                               ALBRIGHT
                  Sick bastard.

     THUNK!   He smacks him again, and blood is everywhere.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  Get out of here. You call the
                  cops, I'll kill ya!

     Football manages to stagger to his feet and stumbles away
     into the darkness back out toward the parking lot.

36   Albright wipes his gun with a handkerchief and slides it         36
     back into the holster.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  I don't think they'd dare call the
                  cops.
                        (giggles)
                  But it'll cost me a few bucks if
                  they do.

     He claps Easy on the back as if it's all been in fun and
     giggles like a kid on his way toward the hamburger stand.

     Easy looks at him numbly and tags alongside, clutching his
     anger in tightly clenched jaws.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  What you got, Easy?

                               EASY
                  You sure no harm is gonna come to
                  that woman 'cause of me?

     Albright doesn't break stride.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  Course not. Mr. Carter wants to
                  buy her a gold ring and live
                  happily ever after -- What do ya
                  got?

     Easy exhales, feeling trapped, but he's come this far...

                               EASY
                  Woman told me she's with a man
                  named Frank Green.

     Albright stops; the charm gone, he's all business.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  Where?

                                                             34.

36   CONTINUED:                                                    36

                               EASY
                  He's got an apartment at the Skyler
                  Arms on Skyler and Eighty-third.

     Albright scribbles it down on a note pad.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  Anything else?

                               EASY
                  Frank's a gangster. A hijacker...
                  Liquor and cigarettes. He's real
                  good with a knife.

     Albright is unable to suppress a smile.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  Ever seen him in action?

                                EASY
                  Naw.   I just heard about him.

     Albright, still grinning, pulls out the brown "secretary"
     and counts out more bills.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  Here's another hundred.

     He shoves the money into Easy's hand.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  Buy ya a burger, Easy?

     He starts into the screen door of the hamburger stand but
     Easy declines.

                               EASY
                  No thanks, Mr. Albright.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  How come you let those boys get
                  around you like that? War hero
                  should have been able to pick 'em
                  off one by one before they got you
                  against the rail.

                               EASY
                  I don't kill children.

     For some reason this is hilarious to Albright. He throws
     his head back and wheezes out an almost silent belly laugh,
     then winds down.

                                                                35.

36   CONTINUED:   (2)                                                 36

                                 ALBRIGHT
                  Take it easy.

     He disappears into the hamburger joint and Easy walks away
     back toward his car.

37   EXT. EASY'S HOUSE - NIGHT                                        37

     Easy pulls in front of his house and notices a dark Ford
     parked across the street as he gets out of his car.

     A tall, skinny white MAN in a dark blue suit gets out just
     ahead of his slightly shorter and heavyset FRIEND.

     Easy watches them as he moves toward his walkway.

                                 SKINNY MAN
                  Mr. Rawlins.

                                 EASY
                  Yeah.

     They approach fast but cautiously, the fat one with a hand
     in his pocket.

                               SKINNY MAN
                  Mr. Rawlins, I'm Miller and this is
                  my partner, Mason.

     They both hold out badges. Mason is a slob with grease
     spots on his wrinkled tan suit.

                               MILLER
                  We want you to come with us.

                                 EASY
                  Where?

                                 MASON
                  You'll see.

     And he takes Easy by the arm.

                               EASY
                  You arresting me?

                                 MASON
                  You'll see.

     And he starts pulling Easy toward the street.

                               EASY
                  I got a right to know why you're
                  taking--

                                                               36.

37   CONTINUED:                                                      37

     WHOMP! Easy takes one to the diaphragm, and as he doubles
     over the fat detective slips the handcuffs on behind his
     back.

                                MASON
                  You got a right to fall down and
                  break your face, nigger. You got a
                  right to die.

     The two cops drag Easy to the car and dump him into the back
     seat where he lies gagging as the car whisks away.

38   INT. POLICE STATION                                             38

     Easy's head sags down as he's dragged through the front door
     past blurred blue bodies that talk.

                               POLICEMAN (O.S.)
                  You got 'im, huh, Miller?

                               MILLER (O.S.)
                  Yeah, we got him coming home.
                  Nothing on 'im.

     A door opens and Easy finds himself being flung inside.

39   INT. INTERROGATION ROOM                                         39

     On his knees he hears the door close and looks up at a
     single, bare wooden chair resting on the corroded linoleum
     floor.

     He crawls to one of the urine-stained corners, and looks down
     on a dry, flat corpse of a mouse. He pushes his shoulder
     against the unpainted plaster until he's standing and then
     stumbles over to the chair and sits. He looks up at the
     bare pipes that run along the ceiling, dripping water, and
     at a window with criss-cross chairs instead of glass framing,
     overgrown branches and leaves pushing their way in.

     THE DOOR opens and Miller comes in first carrying a
     notebook.

                               MILLER
                  Ezekiel Rawlins.

                               EASY
                  Yes, sir.

     Mason follows and closes the door.

                               MILLER
                  We can take off the cuffs if you
                  wanna cooperate.

                                                              37.

39   CONTINUED:                                                     39

                               EASY
                  I'm cooperating.

     Miller motions to Mason and he removes the cuffs.

                               MILLER
                  Where were you this morning at
                  about five A.M.?

                               EASY
                        (stalling)
                  What do you mean?

                               MASON
                  He means--

     He plants his foot in Easy's chest and pushes him over
     backwards.

                               MASON
                  --this morning.

     Easy has caught himself and stands back up.

                               EASY
                  I don't know... I was out drinkin'
                  and I helped carry a friend home.
                  I could've been on my way home... I
                  don't know... I didn't look at a
                  clock...

                               MASON
                        (wandering over)
                  He didn't look at a clock.

     WHOCK! Easy takes a fist to the ear and struggles to keep
     his balance, wiping away blood streaming down.

                               MILLER
                  You were drinkin' down on Eighty-
                  ninth and Central... At an illegal
                  club called John's, weren't you?

     Mason moves again but this time Easy turns to face him and
     the fat man looks back with an innocent face, his palms
     turned up.

                               MILLER
                  You may as well answer 'cause you
                  got bigger troubles than us bustin'
                  an illegal bar, Ezekiel.

                               EASY
                  What do you mean?    What's goin' on?

                                                             38.

39   CONTINUED:   (2)                                              39

     Mason has taken off his shoe and is swatting it against the
     palm of his hand.

                               MASON
                  Means we can take your black ass
                  out behind the station and put a
                  bullet in your head.

                               MILLER
                  Now. What time did you leave
                  Coretta James' house this morning?

                               EASY
                  I guess about five... five-
                  thirty...

     Miller and Mason glance at each other, and Mason kicks the
     chair over toward Easy.

                                MASON
                  Sit down.

                               EASY
                  Why, I'm gonna sit down and you
                  keep trying to knock me down?

     But he sits down anyway.

                               MILLER
                  Did you go back and see Miss James
                  later in the day?

                                EASY
                  No, sir.

                               MILLER
                  Did you and Dupree Brouchard have
                  words over Miss James?

                                EASY
                  Huh?

                               MASON
                  You heard 'im. Did you two argue
                  over Coretta James?

                                EASY
                  Naw.   He was asleep.

                               MILLER
                  She went to sleep too, Ezekiel.
                  But she won't be waking up...

     Easy's face goes sick...

                                                               39.

39   CONTINUED:   (3)                                                39

                                MILLER
                        (continuing)
                  Where'd you go when you left Miss
                  James' house?

     Easy is too stunned to answer.

                               MASON
                  You heard him, where'd you go?

     Easy stares into space, answering in barely a whisper.

                               EASY
                  I went home with a hangover...

     CHOONK! CHOONK! Mason fires off two punches and Easy grabs
     his wrists and pulls him down to the floor, swinging around,
     straddling Mason sitting on his ass...

     Miller's police special presses into Easy's temple and
     Miller speaks to him quietly, deadly.

                               MILLER
                  Get up slow... Real fuckin' slow or
                  you know what's gonna happen.

     Easy raises his hands and uncoils to his feet, backing away
     cautiously.

     Mason is winded and furious.

                                MASON
                  Okay.   Let's take him out back.

     He gets to his feet and reaches for his gun, but Miller
     stops his hand.

                                MILLER
                  No.   Let's go.

                               MASON
                  Bullshit, I'm gonna blow his--

                                MILLER
                  Let's go!

     He pushes Mason toward the door.

                               MASON
                  Son-of-a-bitch! Son-of-a-bitch!

     They exit the door and Easy rubs at his bloody ear.

                                                               40.

40   EXT. L.A. CITY JAIL - NIGHT                                     40

     Easy walks down the steps of the station buttoning up his
     top shirt button, his hand cupped to his aching ear to keep
     out the chill of the night air.

     The street is dark and deserted like a giant black alley
     except for the black and white patrol car that sits at the
     curb. A taut-faced officer leans out the window.

                              OFFICER
                 Hey, Buddy!... It's a long walk...
                 why don't you let us give you a
                 ride?

     Easy walks across the street off into the darkness...

41   EXT. FOURTH STREET BRIDGE - NIGHT                               41

     A snatch of MUSIC and LAUGHTER startles Easy as he trudges
     home and a car full of teenagers shoots by. And then...

     A BLACK CADILLAC LIMOUSINE

     cruises up behind and drives alongside.

                               VOICE FROM CAR
                 Hey, you!   Ezekiel Rawlins!

     The window rolls down all the way and a white face in a
     black cap appears in the window.

                              CHAUFFEUR
                 Ezekiel, hold on.

     Easy keeps walking.

                              CHAUFFEUR
                 Come on, fella. Somebody in the
                 back wants to talk to you.

                              EASY
                 I don't have time right now.

     He doubles his pace, almost running.

                              CHAUFFEUR
                 Jump in. We'll take you.    My boss
                 wants to talk to you.

     Easy cuts behind the limo and into the street headed for the
     other side of the bridge but

                                                               41.

41   CONTINUED:                                                      41

     The Cadillac whips a U-turn blocking his way in the middle
     of the street while cars pass, honking, on either side. The
     tall angular chauffeur gets out of the car and holds up his
     hands as if making peace.

     Easy starts to make another move to escape but:

                               CHAUFFEUR
                        (continuing)
                  Come on. If we wanted to hurt you
                  it would have already happened...

     He opens the back door and after a few moments, Easy gets
     in.

42   INT. LIMOUSINE - NIGHT                                          42

     Easy settles into the seat with his back to the driver.

     Edith Piaf's "Parles Moi D'Amour" adds sugar to the strong
     smell of cologne and the portly form of Matthew Teran sits
     across from him with a small MEXICAN BOY in pajamas seated
     next to him holding a small elephant.

                               TERAN
                  I can see that the police roughed
                  you up a bit... That's a terrible
                  practice of theirs which has to
                  change, Mr. Rawlins... Has to
                  change.

     He opens his gold cigarette case and offers Easy a
     cigarette. Easy accepts and Teran lights them both up.

                               TERAN
                        (continuing)
                  She was beaten. And died from a
                  heavy blow to the back of the head,
                  Mr. Rawlins.

     Easy begins to feel nauseous.

                               TERAN
                  The evening's events have caught my
                  adopted son and I quite off
                  guard... My household was asleep
                  when we got the call that the
                  police had a suspect in Coretta
                  James' murder... Did you know that
                  she was a friend of mine, Mr.
                  Rawlins!?

                               EASY
                  No I didn't, Mr. Teran.

                                                             42.

42   CONTINUED:                                                    42

                               TERAN
                  Oh, you know who I am?

                               EASY
                  I read the papers.   You're runnin'
                  for mayor.

                               TERAN
                        (correcting)
                  I am the next mayor, Mr. Rawlins...
                  And luckily for you, a friend of
                  the Negro... When I arrived at the
                  station I knew right off that you
                  were being improperly detained as
                  is Coretta's boyfriend, Dupree
                  Brouchard. It's this sort of thing
                  that my administration will not
                  tolerate, Mr. Rawlins. Absolutely
                  will not...

     He sits back in his seat self righteously and offers a nod
     of assurance and awaits Easy's gratitude... Then after a
     moment...

                               TERAN
                        (continuing)
                  Yes... Coretta answered phones for
                  a while in my campaign office on
                  103rd and Western. In fact my
                  people got her a job in the phone
                  company. So when I heard what had
                  happened I got out of bed
                  immediately, personally because of
                  my concern... Was anyone there with
                  you Mr. Rawlins besides Mr. Dupree
                  Brouchard?... Any... other friends
                  of Coretta's?

                               EASY
                  No, sir...

                               TERAN
                  No young lady perhaps?

                               EASY
                  Nobody...

                               TERAN
                  Of course not, Mr. Rawlins. And
                  why should you tell a man whom
                  you've only just met. But, believe
                  me, Mr. Rawlins. You can trust me.

                                                                43.

42   CONTINUED:   (2)                                                 42

                               EASY
                        (shrugging)
                  There was no one else.

     Teran's face sags with disappointment and then...

                               TERAN
                  Well don't worry, Mr. Rawlins... I
                  won't tolerate your being
                  harassed... You or any of my
                  constituency -- I was a city
                  councilman in the Watts area for
                  two terms with a large contingent
                  of colored -- I value all of my
                  supporters equally... humble though
                  they may be -- where can we drop
                  you, Mr. Rawlins?

                               EASY
                  You can let me out here.

                               TERAN
                  Are you sure, Mr. Rawlins? This
                  must be quite out of your way.

                               EASY
                  It's okay.

     The little boy stares up at Easy through big, dark almond-
     shaped eyes in the silence that follows. And then, Teran
     picks up the ivory horn that hangs next to his head.

                               TERAN
                  Norman, pull the car over.

43   EXT. WAREHOUSE AREA - NIGHT                                      43

     The limousine stops and Easy pushes the door open and gets
     out.

                               TERAN
                  Mr. Rawlins, may I offer you cab
                  fare?

     Teran's stubby fingers hold out crumpled bills.

                               EASY
                  No thanks.

     Easy closes the door and watches the long Cadillac glide
     away.

                                                               44.

43   CONTINUED:                                                      43

                               EASY (V.O.)
                  There had been nights during the
                  war that I still had trouble
                  claiming as part of my life...
                  Insane nights I wasn't sure ever
                  really happened. And here I was
                  again... Had I really just gotten
                  out of a rich man's car who was
                  runnin' for mayor?.. Running
                  against the man I was supposed to
                  be working for... Was he really
                  lookin' for the same woman I was
                  trying to find? My ear was killin'
                  me and the buses had stopped
                  running. And I was feeling sick...
                  Sick from wondering if I had really
                  hard that Coretta was dead.

44   INT. EASY'S HOUSE - BEDROOM                                     44

     The room is a mess; trousers strewn here, shirt and shoes
     over there. And from the corners are haunting, ghostly
     whispers.

                               CORETTA'S VOICE
                  You be sorry if you go...
                        (heavy breathing)
                  I can't give up that much love,
                  daddy, not the way things is.

     A PINT OF BOURBON, 3/4 full, sits atop the cherry wood
     nightstand. Another empty bottle lies next to it on its
     side, in front of a water glass with 1/2 inch of liquor at
     the bottom.

     EASY'S HEAD rests on a pillow on the bed behind it,
     sweating, tossing and turning as the ghost gets louder.

                               CORETTA'S VOICE
                  Oh yeah, daddy. You hittin' my
                  spot... Oh yeah... oh yeah...

     The voice of the ghost is reaching closer for his ear.

                               CORETTA'S VOICE
                  Oh, that's just too good, Easy.   Oh
                  daddy... oh yeah...

     The voice is right up in his face.

                              CORETTA'S VOICE
                  Oh, baby. Oh, daddy, yeah... Oh
                  yeah!! Oh Yea-a-h!!

                                                              45.

44   CONTINUED:                                                     44

     SCREAM. He jerks up, awake, and the phone is RINGING.    It
     jingles a couple more times and Easy almost knocks the
     receiver out of its cradle reaching for it.

                                 EASY
                  Huh?

                               VOICE
                        (a woman's)
                  Hello? Is this Mr. Rawlins?

                                 EASY
                  Who is this?

                               VOICE
                  Daphne... Daphne Monet...

     He sits straight up.

                               DAPHNE
                  You're looking for me.

     A pause on the line.

                               DAPHNE
                  I think you should come and talk to
                  me, Mr. Rawlins... alone.

                               EASY
                  Look, it's late--

                               DAPHNE
                  Mr. Rawlins, Coretta has been
                  killed...

     Another pause.

                               DAPHNE
                  And if you don't want any trouble
                  from the police then you'll come...
                  And you won't tell anyone that
                  you're coming.

                               EASY
                  Now wait a minute, Daphne. I don't
                  know nothin' about all this
                  stuff...

                               DAPHNE
                  I'm at the Sunridge Motel on 112th
                  and Grand, Room 102.

                                                                46.

44   CONTINUED:   (2)                                                 44

     Easy holds his hands up, helplessly -- "what do you want
     from me?" -- but no one can see and she has hung up the
     phone.

45   EXT. SUNRIDGE MOTEL - NIGHT                                      45

     It's a Spanish-style set of rooms with tile roofs set around
     a square parking lot.

     Easy's car pulls into the alley behind it.

     He gets out and scans the area looking down from a rise at
     the back entrance to the parking lot. And then walks down.

46   OMIT                                                             46

47   EXT. SUNRIDGE MOTEL - ROOM 102 - NIGHT                           47

     Before Easy can knock, he hears:

                                 DAPHNE (O.S.)
                  Mr. Rawlins?

                                 EASY
                  Yeah.

     The door opens and she's standing there, more beautiful than
     the photograph. They take each other in for a moment before
     she steps back from the door.

                               DAPHNE
                  Please come in.

48   INT. MOTEL ROOM                                                  48

     It's a regular drab, cheap motel that she has given a warmer
     touch with colorful scarves draped over the two lamps.

                               DAPHNE
                  Would you like a drink?

     She indicates a pint of scotch on the dresser with an empty
     glass and one that she's been drinking from.

                                 EASY
                  No, thanks.

     She indicates the chair.

                               DAPHNE
                  Please sit down.

     She's wearing a blue dress that's plain, cutting just below
     her knee with a ceramic pin just over her left breast.

                                                             47.

48   CONTINUED:                                                     48

                               DAPHNE
                  What happened to you?   Have you
                  been fighting?

     Easy stubs out his cigarette in an ashtray and sits down.

                               EASY
                  Why don't you just tell me what you
                  want?

     She sits down too, her calm but brittle exterior betrayed at
     the hands. She stops wringing them when she sees that he
     notices and takes a drink -- more medicine than pleasure.

                               DAPHNE
                  I should be asking you that
                  question. Why have you been asking
                  about me?

                               EASY
                  I heard about you. Fellas at
                  John's said you were something to
                  see.

                                DAPHNE
                  So...?   You've found me.

                               EASY
                  Uh... yeah... Guess I have. But
                  you got a boyfriend I don't want no
                  part of... Frank Green.

     She lights a cigarette.

                               DAPHNE
                  You can stop pretending, Mr.
                  Rawlins. I know someone hired you
                  to look for me. In fact I had to
                  pay Coretta not to tell you where I
                  was... you know how Coretta is...
                        (forces a weak smile)
                  She told me you two became 'good
                  friends' yesterday...
                        (tears gather in her
                         eyes)
                  I talked to her this morning before
                  she died.
                        (regaining control)
                  I... uh... need to go across town
                  to see someone. It's very
                  important... I can't seem to reach
                  him by phone. I'm afraid I'd
                  better have someone go with me.

                                                                48.

48   CONTINUED:   (2)                                                 48

                               EASY
                  Uh... Miss Monet--

                               DAPHNE
                  Call me Daphne.

                               EASY
                  Daphne--

                               DAPHNE
                  I can understand why you'd be
                  nervous... because I threatened you
                  with Coretta... I'm very sorry, but
                  I couldn't think of any other way
                  to get you to come.

     She takes another drink and stubs out her cigarette though
     it's less than a third gone.

                               EASY
                  I can't -- why don't you ask Frank?

     She gets up and starts to pace nervously about the room.

                               DAPHNE
                  He's out of town -- I... I'm
                  willing to pay you.

                               EASY
                  That's nice of you but, see, I'm
                  not really a detective--

                               DAPHNE
                  --I know that.

                               EASY
                  I was just hired to ask around to
                  try to find you for a man--

                               DAPHNE
                  I know all about that, Mr. Rawlins.

                               EASY
                  But this is a gettin' a little out of
                  hand--

                               DAPHNE
                  --Mr. Rawlins--

                               EASY
                  --Easy.

                                                               49.

48   CONTINUED:   (3)                                                48

                               DAPHNE
                  Easy... If you don't help me, then
                  I'll call the police and tell them
                  that you were with Coretta before
                  she died and that you've been after
                  me too.

     That stops Easy.

                               EASY
                  You'd do that?

                                 DAPHNE
                  Yes, I would.    I don't want to but
                  I would.

     She hates herself for threatening and decides to change
     direction, moving in close.

                               DAPHNE
                  Please let me pay you.

                                 EASY
                  No.    I can't do that.

                                 DAPHNE
                  Why?

                               EASY
                  I don't want no part of all this.

                               DAPHNE
                  Please, I'll pay you twenty
                  dollars.

                                 EASY
                  No dice.

                               DAPHNE
                  Thirty... or even more.    Name your
                  price.

     She moves in closer, massaging with her voice.

                               DAPHNE
                        (continuing)
                  Go ahead. There's gotta be
                  something that you want.

     Her eyes make an offer, but he's a better man than me and
     he's not taking.

                                                              50.

48   CONTINUED:   (4)                                               48

                               DAPHNE
                        (angrily,
                         sarcastically)
                  What? Are you afraid I'll yell
                  rape or something?

     She walks away and turns up her glass, her desperation, raw,
     unguarded.

                               EASY
                  Uh, Miss Monet... Daphne, I'm sorry
                  but I really better be goin'.

     He starts out and she runs to stop him.

                               DAPHNE
                  Easy, don't touch that door--

     He opens it and

     SCREAM!   Like an alarm, she's SHRIEKING all of the scale.

49   He looks out and sees                                          49

     LIGHTS GOING ON in other rooms.

50   BACK TO SCENE                                                  50

     He looks back frantically and grabs her by the shoulders.

                               EASY
                  Crazy assed broad!   What the hell
                  are you doing?!

                               DAPHNE
                  I'm really very sorry.   I really
                  am.

     She pulls on a coat and grabs her purse.

                               DAPHNE
                        (continuing)
                  I didn't want to do this but...
                  Shall we?

     She grabs an already packed suitcase and is out the door.

51   EXT. LAUREL CANYON - NIGHT                                     51

     Easy's Pontiac snakes up the winding road, city lights
     glimmering in flashes below as it rounds the curves.

                                                               51.

52   INT. EASY'S CAR - NIGHT                                         52

     Ben Webster's "I've   Got It Bad" plays on the road as Easy
     shifts nervously in   his seat, his eyes searching in the
     rearview mirror and   all around for headlights that might be
     unfriendly. Daphne    leans back against the passenger door,
     taking him in.

     Easy passes a police car pulled over to the side.

     He looks in the rearview mirror and its headlights go on.
     He takes a deep breath, bracing for the worst and Daphne
     looks back concerned.

     But the lights arch a U-turn and head back the other way.

                              DAPHNE
                 They must not have seen us that
                 well... God, Frank and I have been
                 pulled over so many times I
                 thought--

     She catches herself and looks over at Easy.

                              DAPHNE
                       (continuing)
                 Easy, I'm sorry... Don't be mad at
                 me.

     Easy keeps his eyes on the road.

                              DAPHNE
                       (continuing)
                 Come on.

     She tries to touch his arm and he pulls away.

                              DAPHNE
                       (continuing)
                 You really hate me, don't you?

                              EASY
                 How much further is it?

                               DAPHNE
                 Around the next bend...
                        (she grins)
                 You remind me of Frank when he gets
                 angry.

                              EASY
                 Ain't nothin' about me like Frank.

                              DAPHNE
                 Your jaw sets just like his when--

                                                               52.

52   CONTINUED:                                                      52

                               EASY
                  I don't get no kick outta risking
                  my life for some white woman's
                  entertainment.

                               DAPHNE
                        (sighing)
                  Just park behind the Studebaker.

53   EXT. RICHARD'S CABIN / INT. EASY'S PONTIAC                      53

     The Studebaker is parked at a deadend in the street.    Easy
     pulls in behind.

     The cabin is so overgrown with ivy that all this is visible
     is the mailbox and address.

                               DAPHNE
                  Did you bring a gun or something?

                                EASY
                  What?   No.

                               DAPHNE
                  Easy, that's not very smart.
                  Everybody carries a weapon now a
                  days.

                               EASY
                        (defensively)
                  Well then where's yours?

                               DAPHNE
                  Search me sometime.   You'll find
                  it.

     She gets out of the car.

                                EASY
                  Damn...

     He frowns and gets out of the car.

54   OMIT                                                            54

55   EXT. RICHARD'S CABIN - NIGHT                                    55

     Daphne waits, clutching her suitcase and lets Easy lead the
     way.

     They get to the door and find it ajar.    Easy takes a look
     inside and then cautiously steps in.

                                                                   53.

56   INT. RICHARD'S CABIN - NIGHT                                        56

     He flicks on the wall switch. It's a typical little
     hideaway that the rich kept for summer use. The living
     room, dining room, and kitchen are all in one with a long
     counter separating the kitchen.

     On the left is a wooden couch with a Mexican rug thrown
     across it and a metal chair with tan cushions for the seat
     and back. The opposite wall is all glass with the city
     lights blinking in the distance.

                                 DAPHNE
                  Mr. McGee...

     No answer.   Easy leads them to a door and opens it.

57   BEDROOM                                                             57

     Another wall of glass and

     A DEAD MAN spread out on the king-sized bed, with the
     contents of the dresser and closet strewn all over the room.

                                 DAPHNE
                  Oh, my God!

     She gags and backs out of the room with her hand over her
     mouth in case she throws up.

     Easy takes out a handkerchief and holds it over his mouth
     and nose as he gets a closer look at the body.

     It's the drunk white man he had seen at John's Speakeasy in
     the same blue suit. He's lying on his back like a crucifix
     with a butcher knife buried in his chest. There's blood
     that has drained from his chest and gathered around his face
     and hair so dark and thick you could scoop it up like Jello.

     Easy actually does throw up and doubles over, dropping to a
     knee to keep his balance and some control. He stays there
     for several moments regaining his composure and then spots a
     spilled ashtray and a cigarette butt. He lifts it off the
     floor and smells it. He wipes his mouth with the
     handkerchief and then wraps the butt inside and puts it in
     his pocket. He gets up.

                                 EASY
                  Daphne!

     He hears a CAR ENGINE start up and GEARS SHIFTING.     Then
     runs out the door.

                                                                 54.

58   EXT. RICHARD'S HOUSE - NIGHT                                       58

     A pink Studebaker whips backward out the driveway. Easy
     runs alongside trying to stop Daphne as she screeches into
     the street.

                                EASY
                   Hey, wait a minute!

     She speeds off down the canyon.

                                EASY
                   Dammit!

     He stands in the middle of the street, watching her go.

59   INT. EASY'S CAR - SUNRISE                                          59

     Fiery orange light bounces off the hood of the car into
     Easy's face as he turns the corner onto his block. He is
     surprised to see

     A WHITE CADILLAC parked in front of his house.      And now it's
     his front door that's open.

     BACK TO EASY

     He pulls in behind the Caddy and gets out.

60   INT. EASY'S HOUSE                                                  60

     He pushes open the door. Shariff loiters just inside,
     grinning at him, and Manny stands in the middle of the
     living room looking at the floor. From a RADIO in another
     room Tommy Dorsey plays "Blue Skies" with Frank Sinatra out
     front. And so Easy walks past the two hoods into

     THE KITCHEN

     Albright turns from looking out the backyard window with a
     porcelain coffee cup cradled in his right hand.

                                ALBRIGHT
                   Easy.

     Easy looks at the coffee pot on the stove and again at
     Albright, smiling loose and friendly but looking tired in
     the same clothes he had on at the pier.

                                EASY
                   What you doin' in my house, man?

                                ALBRIGHT
                   I expected you to be home, so Manny
                   used a screwdriver on the door.
                   What happened to your face?

                                                               55.

60   CONTINUED:                                                      60

                               EASY
                  You got no excuse to be breakin'
                  into my house -- What if I broke
                  into your place?

                               ALBRIGHT
                        (still smiling)
                  I'd tear your nigger head out by
                  its root.

     Easy boils inside and then goes over to the counter to pour
     himself a cup of coffee.

                               EASY
                  So what do you want?

                               ALBRIGHT
                  Where have you been this time of
                  morning, Easy?

                               EASY
                  I went to see a girl. Don't you
                  get none, Mr. Albright?

     The smile leaves Albright's face and his eyes turn even
     colder.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  I didn't come here to play, boy.
                  You got my money in your pocket and
                  we've been over at that address
                  waitin' all night for Frank Green
                  and now we've found out that he
                  moved from there over a year ago.

     Easy is scared and confused but he plays it off.

                               EASY
                  So what do you want me to do about
                  it? You don't think I did my job.
                  Shit, I give you the money back.

     And he reaches for his pocket, but Albright reaches too --
     and suddenly, Manny and Shariff are in the room and on Easy
     like a vice. Albright presses the barrel of the .45 against
     Easy's forehead.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  Do you believe in God, Easy?
                  'Cause I'm curious to see if death
                  is any different for a religious
                  man.

     Easy looks down, away from the gun, and swallows hard.

                                                               56.

60   CONTINUED:   (2)                                                60

                                EASY
                  I seen her.

     After a moment, everyone relaxes and Easy sags out from
     under their grip and staggers into

61   THE LIVING ROOM                                                 61

     Manny and Shariff surround him as he sits down in a chair
     and Albright stalks in holstering his gun.

                                ALBRIGHT
                  Where?

                               EASY
                  She called me. Had me drive up to
                  the Hollywood Hills.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  How'd she know about you?

                               EASY
                  I guess Coretta... the girl that
                  told me about Daphne and Frank
                  Green.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  Why didn't you call me?

                               EASY
                  I couldn't. She threatened to tell
                  the cops that I had killed
                  Coretta...

     Albright looks over at his henchmen.

                                ALBRIGHT
                  Where is she?

                                EASY
                  She took off.

                                ALBRIGHT
                        (dangerously)
                  Where is she?

                               EASY
                  I don't know! While I was looking
                  at the body she split.

                               ALBRIGHT
                        (nodding)
                  Uh-hunh.

                                                                57.

61   CONTINUED:                                                       61

     Albright looks around the room as if answers lie in the
     corners, but he is not surprised to hear about a body.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  You call the cops?

                               EASY
                  I tried my best to keep in the
                  speed limit. That's all I did.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  What'd she do, take his car?

                                EASY
                  Hunh?

                                ALBRIGHT
                  McGee.   Did she take his car?

     Easy hesitates, "How did Albright know his name?"

                                EASY
                  Uh... Yeah...

                               ALBRIGHT
                  Where'd you pick her up at?

                               EASY
                  She left that place--

                               ALBRIGHT
                  --Write it down!

     To his shame Easy flinches and gets paper from his end
     table, then scribbles down the address and hands it to
     Albright who takes Easy's seat and examines the note.

                               ALBRIGHT
                  Get me some whiskey, Easy.

     Easy studies Albright who sits knees wide apart, now the
     master of the house, and he can't help himself.

                               EASY
                  Get it yourself... Bottle's in the
                  cabinet.

     Albright looks up and Easy braces himself for Albright to
     bring on the end, all at once. But slowly a smile spreads
     across Albright's face and he laughs, stamping his foot.

                                                             58.

61   CONTINUED:   (2)                                               61

                               ALBRIGHT
                  Well, I'll be damned. Get us a
                  drink, Manny... Easy, you're a
                  brave man. I need a brave man
                  working for me... But you gotta
                  find Frank Green, so he can lead us
                  to her.

                               EASY
                  No, thanks, Mr. Albright. People
                  are gettin' killed all around me...
                  You never said anything about all
                  this...

                               ALBRIGHT
                  Easy, you're connectable to two
                  murders. You'll do whatever I tell
                  you to do.

     Manny brings Albright's drink and the captain turns it up
     and gives Manny back the glass.

                                ALBRIGHT
                         (continuing)
                  Now you got three days to find him.
                  And you make sure you count 'em
                  right.

     He walks out the screen door with Manny and Shariff
     following.

62   KITCHEN                                                        62

     Easy grabs the bottle from the counter, where Manny has left
     it, and pours himself a stiff one. But he only stares into
     the glass.

     FLASHBACK:

63   EXT. BATTLEFIELD - DAY                                         63

     Dense black smoke masks everything but two vague figures in
     a struggle. The BOOM of heavy artillery gives way only to
     the deafening CHATTER of automatic fire.

     We are hurtling forward into a horror-stricken Easy in
     combat gear, repeatedly stabbing an already lifeless German
     soldier. Tears are streaming down Easy's face, his mouth
     gaped open in an inaudible SCREAM.

64   BACK TO SCENE                                                  64

     He studies the glass and pushes it away.   Then looks

                                                               59.

65    OUT THE WINDOW                                                  65

      Albright and his two goons get in the white Caddy and cruise
      away.

66    BEDROOM                                                         66

      He dials the operator.

                               EASY (V.O.)
                  I needed help... Albright didn't
                  flinch at hearing that Coretta was
                  dead and he seemed to know all
                  about Richard McGee too...

                               OPERATOR (O.S.)
                  Number please...

                               EASY
                  Raymond Alexander on...

      He pauses, speechless as

                                 OPERATOR (O.S.)
                  Yes?

                               EASY
                        (after a moment)
                  Forget about it, operator.

      He hangs up, his eyes trained in thought.

A67   EXT. JOPPY'S BAR - DAY                                         A67

      A crowd has gathered along the street to watch a three
      convertible car caravan: the first car bearing a four-place
      band playing "Happy Days Are Here Again"; the second with
      someone who could be Lana Turner holding up a "Teran for
      Mayor" placard with a man in the front passenger seat
      announcing through a megaphone; and last, but hardly least,
      Matthew Teran blowing kisses and waving two small American
      flags.

      Easy looks up for a moment as he closes the trunk of his car
      to watch the parade. Then stuffs a ball peen hammer in the
      waistband at the small of his back, under his jacket.

      He walks with a purpose into the open door next to the
      butcher shop.

B67   INT. JOPPY'S BAR                                               B67

      Easy stops in the doorway, seeing

      JOPPY as usual buffing the marble top of his bar. T-Bone
      Walker's "They Call It Stormy Monday" is on the jukebox.

                                                              60.

B67   CONTINUED:                                                    B67

      BACK TO EASY

      He scans the bar and sees that there are no customers, and
      walks in.

                                 JOPPY
                   Hey, Easy.

      Easy stops at the bar and stares at Joppy.

                                EASY
                   That girl called me last night.

                                JOPPY
                   What girl is that?

                                EASY
                   The one your friend is lookin' for.

                                 JOPPY
                   Uh, huh.   That's pretty lucky,
                   hunh?

                                EASY
                   No, Joppy... Wasn't no luck at all.
                   It was you.

      Joppy inadvertently clenches his fists and notices Easy's
      aggressive stance.

                                EASY
                   You and Coretta was the only ones
                   that had my phone number who knew I
                   was lookin' for her. And Coretta
                   was busy scammin' Daphne so she
                   wouldn't have done it... It was
                   you, man.

                                JOPPY
                   Maybe she looked in the phone book.

                                EASY
                   I ain't in the phone book, Joppy...

      Joppy's eyes narrow.

                                JOPPY
                   What the hell you mean, coming up
                   here all mad like you gonna do
                   something?!...

                                                              61.

B67   CONTINUED:   (2)                                              B67

                                EASY
                         (yelling)
                   You damn right! Coretta's dead!
                   Your friend Albright is on my ass.
                   The cops done brought me down once
                   -- Why didn't you just tell
                   Albright your damn self?

                                JOPPY
                         (yelling back)
                   What did I tell you? To just take
                   that man's money! I didn't tell
                   you to do nothin'! I call myself
                   trying to help you save your
                   house... Don't come up in here
                   startin' no shit with me.

      And he pulls a baseball bat from behind the bar, but Easy
      has pulled his hammer and SMACKS it down hard, cracking the
      beveled wood that frames the marble.

                                JOPPY
                         (continuing; panicked)
                   Easy, wait! Watch my marble! My
                   uncle left me that when he died!

                                EASY
                   And goddammit, he's about to get it
                   back.

      He draws back for the downswing, and Joppy drops the
      baseball bat, holding up his hands.

                                 JOPPY
                   Let's talk.   Let's just talk.

                                EASY
                   What you got me into, Joppy?!

      Joppy inhales, forcing himself to be calm.

                                JOPPY
                   She asked me to help her 'cause I
                   told her that Albright was lookin'
                   for her. And I figured I could
                   help you make a few bucks and throw
                   Albright off the trail too. She
                   wanted to know something about you
                   so I told her... I guess I must've
                   give her your phone number...

                                EASY
                   Where is she, man?

                                                                62.

B67   CONTINUED:   (3)                                                B67

                                JOPPY
                   I don't know...

                                EASY
                   Don't lie to me, Joppy!

                                JOPPY
                   I ain't lyin'... I don't even know
                   her that good. She just asked me
                   to help her. And she asked me not
                   to tell nobody... I guess 'cause of
                   her and Frank Green.

                                EASY
                   What's she runnin' from Joppy?

                                JOPPY
                   I swear I don't know. She didn't
                   tell me. I didn't mean to get you
                   into nothin', Easy... I just... she
                   just... I mean you seen her,
                   Easy... Man, she's something else.

      Easy can see "sucker" written all over Joppy as he fumbles
      for a cigarette with one hand and shakes his head with
      disgust as he lights up.

                                EASY
                   Damn, Joppy. Is there any white
                   woman that ever gave you the time
                   of day that you wasn't a sucker
                   for?

      Joppy frowns painfully and continues to wipe the bar.

67    EXT. T. CARTER FOUNDATION - DAY                                 67

      Easy turns into the winding driveway through the stone
      entrance way that bears the name of this distinguished
      institution on a bronze plate.

      He parks the car and gets   out, adjusting his dark brown
      Stetson which matches his   pin-stripped suit. He looks
      around at the massive and   well manicured grounds and walks
      into a patio area of this   Spanish-style complex.

                                EASY (V.O.)
                   Albright had said that when you're
                   mixed up in something it's best to
                   be mixed up to the top. I could
                   see his point. So that's where I
                   was going... all the way to the
                   top.

                                                              63.

68   EXT. CARTER FOUNDATION PATIO                                   68

     An ELDERLY SECRETARY descends an outdoor curved stairway
     carrying a file. She spots Easy looking around confused and
     immediately becomes annoyed.

                              SECRETARY
                 May I help you?

                               EASY
                 Uh... yes.   I came to see Mr.
                 Carter.

                              SECRETARY
                 Do you have an appointment?

                                EASY
                 No, I don't.

                              SECRETARY
                 Well, I'm sorry, but Mr. Carter is
                 a very busy man.

     Easy pulls out Albright's business card and hands it to her.

                              EASY
                 Well, tell him Mr. Albright sent
                 me, and it's real important.

     She looks at the card and then up at Easy with annoyed
     superiority.

                              SECRETARY
                 May I ask the nature of your call,
                 Mister...?

                              EASY
                 Rawlins. But I'm not so sure he'd
                 want me to tell you.

                              SECRETARY
                 I'm quite sure, Mr. Rawlins, that
                 whatever you know is nothing I
                 can't know as well.

                              EASY
                 Okay. Well, anyway, tell him I'm
                 here with information about that
                 little chippy of his that dumped
                 him.

                              SECRETARY
                 Is this some sort of joke?

                              O.S. VOICE
                 Uh... Excuse me...

                                                             64.

68   CONTINUED:                                                     68

     Easy and the secretary turn to see a TALL MAN in a dark grey
     suit with bushy black hair and thick eyebrows standing in
     the doorway. He forces a smile and comes out.

                               BAXTER
                  Mr. Rawlins was it?

     He holds out his hand and Easy shakes it.

                                EASY
                  Yes.   Mister...

                               BAXTER
                  Baxter.
                        (to the secretary)
                  I'll take care of this.
                        (and back to Easy)
                  Why don't you come with me, sir?

     They walk through the door into

69   A HALLWAY                                                      69

                               BAXTER
                  Not very smart talking about Mr.
                  Carter's business to a secretary.

                               EASY
                  I don't wanna hear it, man. It's
                  too much goin' on for me to give a
                  damn about what you think is smart.

     Baxter bristles up and slows down his walk, about to put
     Easy in his place. But Easy slows down too and squares up
     on him. Baxter reconsiders and leads the way up a stone
     staircase.

70   INT. CARTER'S OFFICE                                           70

     Baxter ushers Easy into a huge elegantly furnished room more
     closely resembling a hall than an office with large arched
     doors and windows leading out onto a stone veranda
     overlooking a canyon.

     Alone looking out at the greenery on the opposite hillside
     is TODD CARTER.

     Baxter walks out and speaks with Carter, while Easy watches
     them from inside the office. The rich man perks up with
     interest and hurries inside with Baxter who throws Easy a
     dirty look on his way out. He pauses uncertainly wearing a
     simple Sears Roebuck-looking tan suit with a plain open-
     collared white shirt. The dark circles under his eyes show
     nights without sleep.

                                                             65.

70   CONTINUED:                                                    70

                                 CARTER
                  Mr. Rawlins.

     He runs a hand through his thinning red hair, and offers an
     overstuffed sofa. They sit on either end.

                               CARTER
                        (distraught)
                  Has something happened to Daphne?

                               EASY
                  The last time I saw her she looked
                  fine.

                                 CARTER
                  You saw her?

                                EASY
                  Yeah.   Last night.

                               CARTER
                  She's still in town?

                               EASY
                  She was last night.

                               CARTER
                  What did she say -- what was she
                  wearing?

                                 EASY
                  A blue dress.    Blue heels.

                               CARTER
                  And a pin on her chest?

                               EASY
                  Yeah, on the left side.

                                CARTER
                         (carried away)
                  Oh yes, that's her. That's her.
                  You know I've never known a woman
                  who could wear perfume so slight
                  that--

                               EASY
                  --Mr. Carter, Mr. Carter--

                               CARTER
                  What did she say? What did she
                  say?... Oh, I'm sorry. Brandy?

                                                             66.

70   CONTINUED:   (2)                                              70

     He points to a crystal decanter near Easy. Easy pours
     himself a drink and takes in Carter as he wrings his hands
     to keep from going to pieces. This guy's got it bad.

                                EASY
                  Mr. Carter. I came here to get
                  some answers.

                               CARTER
                  Yes...?

                               EASY
                  I don't know... I'm takin' a
                  helluva chance...

     Carter runs his hand through his hair again, the suspense
     killing him.

                               EASY
                        (continuing)
                  I guess it's just that when I'm
                  working for somebody, I wanna know
                  what I'm gettin' myself into...

     Carter leans in as if he missed something.

                               CARTER
                  I beg your pardon.

                               EASY
                  Well, I'd like to know the real
                  reason why Mr. Albright hired me.

                                CARTER
                        (after a moment)
                  Mr. Albright?

                              EASY
                  Yeah. The man you hired to find
                  Daphne.

                               CARTER
                  There must be some mistake... I'm
                  sorry, busy... Who are you talking
                  about?

     Easy and Carter stare at each other, not sure how to
     proceed.

                               EASY
                  You didn't hire somebody to find
                  your girlfriend?

                                                                67.

70   CONTINUED:   (3)                                                 70

                               CARTER
                  No... Until just now I was sure
                  that she was hundreds of miles away
                  from here... You say someone is
                  looking for her?

     Easy nods, his brow furrowed in thought. Carter gets up and
     walks to the door, looking out into the canyon.

                               CARTER
                        (half to himself)
                  Someone is looking for her.

                               EASY
                  What's goin' on between you two?

     Carter shrugs and stammers nervously.

                               CARTER
                  Uh... I don't know... We were going
                  to be married... We had a fight...
                        (then recovering)
                  Uh... that's none of your concern,
                  Mr. Rawlins.

     He stops and looks to the floor, the gravity pulling him
     down... way down.

                               CARTER
                        (continuing)
                  Someone's... after her? A Mr.
                  Albright? And he said he's working
                  for me?

                               EASY
                  Yeah... Do you know a man named
                  Richard McGee?

                               CARTER
                  No... I can't say that I do.

                               EASY
                  Why would someone be after her, Mr.
                  Carter?

                               CARTER
                  Uh... I can't say -- I don't
                  know...

     He's lying and Easy knows it.

                                                             68.

70   CONTINUED:   (4)                                              70

                                CARTER
                         (continuing)
                  Do you think you could find her
                  again?

                                EASY
                  I don't know.

                               CARTER
                  It's important, Mr. Rawlins, for
                  her sake... I'm willing to pay you.

                               EASY
                  Mr. Carter, why did she leave?

                               CARTER
                  I can't tell you any more Mr.
                  Rawlins -- I'll pay you to find
                  her...

     Easy thinks about it, and then nods.

                               EASY
                  Okay... a thousand dollars.

                               CARTER
                  A thousand dollars?!

                                EASY
                  Yeah.   I'll take two hundred right
                  now.

                               CARTER
                  Mr. Rawlins. I think you're trying
                  to take advantage of me. But left
                  me inform you that the incumbent
                  mayor and the chief of police eat
                  at my house regularly.

                                EASY
                  Good.   Then they can help us--

                                CARTER
                  --No.   They can't!

     Carter is too emphatic and Easy waits for him to give more,
     but instead he turns and gazes out again at the canyon.

                               BAXTER
                  I'll have Baxter write you out a
                  check.

                                                              69.

70    CONTINUED:   (5)                                               70

                                EASY
                         (after a moment)
                   Mr. Carter, why'd you stop runnin'
                   for mayor?

                                 CARTER
                         (terse)
                   I'll have Baxter write you a check.

                                EASY
                   Why is Matthew Teran looking for
                   her too?

                                CARTER
                         (with finality)
                   Baxter will write you a check!!

      Easy takes him in and then holds out his hand.

                                EASY
                   I'll take cash, Mr. Carter.

      Carter fumbles in his wallet, and too nervous to count the
      money, shoves the wallet at Easy.

                                CARTER
                   Take it all... Just take it all.

      Easy nods and strides out of the room.

71    OMIT                                                           71

A72   EXT. T. CARTER FOUNDATION - DAY                               A72

      Easy walks to his car, gets in and drives away toward the
      entrance.

                                EASY (V.O.)
                   So Albright was working for Matthew
                   Teran. And whatever Teran had on
                   Carter was strong stuff... too
                   strong even for Carter to go to the
                   police... But because Teran was
                   desperate to find the girl too,
                   that gave me the best hand. I had
                   seen her once, and if I played it
                   right, I'd see her again.

72-75 OMIT                                                         72-75

                                                                70.

     MONTAGE SEQUENCE:

76   POOL HALL - THAT NIGHT                                           76

     Easy talks to the short, squat, suspicious woman who runs
     the place. Through the smoke, other distrustful eyes fix on
     him from pool tables and dark corners.

                              EASY (V.O.)
                 Everywhere I went was a familiar
                 place, but different because I was
                 asking about buying hijacked liquor
                 from the man nobody wanted to talk
                 about. Frank Green...

                                                DISSOLVE TO:

77   NIGHTCLUB - NEXT NIGHT                                           77

     Upscale, with a balcony. Billy Eckstine fronts the band.
     Blacks and whites are dressed to impress, including Easy,
     who leans into the bartender.

                              EASY (V.O.)
                 It was actually looking more and
                 more like I might not make it
                 through this little adventure I was
                 having. But I was likin' the chill
                 in my blood, and the freedom of
                 working on my own.

                                                DISSOLVE TO:

78   ABE AND JOHNNY'S LIQUOR - NEXT DAY                               78

     The two JEWISH OWNERS unveil for Easy a case of hijacked
     liquor in a wooden crate.

                              EASY (V.O.)
                 There were times in the war when I
                 had felt like this. When life or
                 death where the only two choices.
                 That made it simple. And that was
                 alright by me.

79   EXT. EASY'S HOUSE - DAY                                          79

     Easy unlatches the gate and pushes it open. He's tired, and
     he trudges up the walkway to the porch. He sees

     THE WOODCUTTER standing on the front lawn of the next door
     neighbor's, waving at him.

                                                               71.

79   CONTINUED:                                                      79

     BACK TO EASY

     He throws a rock and then unlocks the door. But he notices
     THE POT OF AFRICAN VIOLETS lying broken on the cement. He
     looks up just in time to see a TWO-BY-FOUR swing down.
     BONK! And Easy is seeing stars.

     A big man, dressed in black, kicks open the door and drives
     Easy head first into

80   INT. EASY'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM                                 80

     Easy slams to the floor but manages to roll out of the way
     of a lethal CRACK! of the board onto the floor.

     He grabs a lamp and hurls it at the oncoming figure who
     catches it on the arm and keeps on coming, snapping a blade
     from his fist which leaps out like a chrome-colored flame.

     Easy scrambles back, his head butting up against the couch,
     his forehead streaming blood, his eyes wide with the sight
     of sure death advancing.

                               EASY
                        (terrified)
                  Frank! Wait a minute!   I need to
                  talk to you!

     Frank looms over him, his   sinister but handsome brown face
     framed by a short-rimmed,   black Stetson hat and a black
     shirt and coat. He holds    the knife to Easy's neck, letting the
     blade press into the skin   as he talks.

                               FRANK
                  You the reason why she told me to
                  lay low, hunh.

     Easy buries himself back against the sofa.

                               EASY
                        (machine gun quick)
                  Naw. I got five hundred dollars
                  for you. Rich man wants to talk to
                  a white girl you know. Daphne...

     Frank's eyes flame and he presses the knife, drawing blood.

                               FRANK
                  You a dead man--

     WHAP!   WHAP!   WHAP!

                                                             72.

80   CONTINUED:                                                     80

                               O.S. VOICE
                  Easy, you in there?

     Frank's head whips toward the door and Easy knocks the knife
     away and comes up tussling.

     Frank scrambles to get away and Easy tackles him, straining
     to keep Frank from reaching the knife.

     THE FRONT DOOR springs open and SPATS ON PATENT LEATHER
     SHOES clump in, the last one stomping down on Frank's
     outstretched fingers. Frank screams and cradles his hand in
     agony.

     Easy scrambles up to his knees and gawks up at

     MOUSE, dressed in a plaid zoot suit with Broadway suspenders
     down the front of his shirt, a long-barreled .41 caliber
     pistol held loosely in his hand.

                               MOUSE
                  Want me to kill him?

                               EASY
                        (exhaling relief)
                  Mouse! Aw, man naw, it's all
                  right...

                               MOUSE
                  Well, what's happenin'?

     He holds out his hand and helps Easy to his feet.

     Frank makes a slight move towards the knife and Mouse levels
     the pistol at his head, his gold-rimmed teeth glittering
     from a smile that wants Frank to go for it.

                               MOUSE
                  I'll blow your goddamned nose
                  off...

                               EASY
                  No, don't!
                        (to Frank)
                  Where's Daphne Monet?

     Frank just stares up at Easy, his eyes sharp and defiant.

                               EASY
                  Look, if you don't know where she
                  is, maybe we can help each other
                  find her.

     After a moment, Mouse cocks the hammer.

                                                                73.

80   CONTINUED:   (2)                                                 80

                               MOUSE
                  Nigga, you heard him.

                                 EASY
                  No, Mouse.    Don't kill him.

     The phone RINGS next to Mouse and he picks it up, eyes still
     on Frank.

                               MOUSE
                  Huh?... He's busy right now, you
                  gonna have to call back.

     He hangs up.

                               EASY
                  Frank, a rich man she knows is
                  willing to pay a thousand dollars
                  just to talk to her. A thousand
                  bucks, man.

     Frank still won't talk and that does it for Mouse.   He
     releases the hammer.

                               MOUSE
                  Easy, lemme try.

     THUNK!   He slaps Frank upside the head with the pistol.

                                MOUSE
                  You better...
                        (THUNK!)
                  Talk...
                        (THUNK!)
                  You stupid--

     Easy grabs Mouse's arm and Frank slumps to the floor.

                                 EASY
                  Let him go!

                               MOUSE
                  Get out of my way!

                                 EASY
                  Let him be!

     The two friends struggle, and Frank rears up and plows into
     Easy, sending him sprawling to the floor on top of Mouse.
     Then Frank, covered in blood, hurls himself across the room,
     out the door.

                                                              74.

81   Mouse gets to his feet and runs to the door aiming the       81
     pistol, but it's too late. Easy stands up and Mouse points the
     gun at him.

                              MOUSE
                 Damn you, Easy. Don't you never
                 grab me when I got a gun in my
                 hand!

     Easy silently eyes the pistol and gives Mouse a chance to
     calm down. After a moment Mouse looks down at his jacket.

                              MOUSE
                 Look at the blood you done got on
                 my coat. Why you wanna go and do
                 that?

     He looks out the door and grabs a small suitcase. Then
     spots the bathroom and moves to it, taking off his jacket
     and hanging the pistol in his belt.

     Easy holds his fingers to the bump on his forehead and
     catches his breath as Mouse runs water in the bathtub.

                              MOUSE
                 Now we got to find that girl so we
                 can get that money.

                              EASY
                 No, we don't, Mouse. I don't need
                 your kinda help or I would've
                 called you.

     Mouse comes out of the bathroom, scrubbing at a spot on his
     jacket with a washcloth.

                              MOUSE
                 You standing there with a knot on
                 your head the size of a twelve-
                 year-old tittie and you "don't need
                 my kind of help"?

                              EASY
                       (angrily)
                 This is the same shit you pulled
                 five years ago when you asked me to
                 drive you out to your stepfather's
                 house, then come to find out you
                 killed him and your stepbrother.

                              MOUSE
                 Aw, easy, that was a long time ago.

     Easy glares at Mouse and dabs blood from his forehead with a
     handkerchief.

                                                              75.

81   CONTINUED:                                                     81

                               MOUSE
                        (after a moment)
                  Come on, Easy. Cut me in on this.
                  I could help you. I let you run
                  the show. I swear I will.

     He ambles over to Easy apologetically and holds Easy's
     shoulders with both hands.

                               MOUSE
                  I swear, I ain't gonna do nothin'
                  you don't tell me to do.

     Easy knows he can't believe this but

                               EASY
                  Everything I say?

                               MOUSE
                  Everything you say.

     With no choice, Easy nods and walks into

82   THE BATHROOM                                                   82

     He runs cold water onto a washcloth and looks in the mirror,
     dabbing at his forehead.

                               EASY
                  Who was that called?

                               MOUSE (O.S.)
                  I don't know... Sound like some
                  white girl.

     Easy turns toward the door "Aw Man!"

83   INT. EASY'S CAR - DAY                                          83

     Mouse, in a plum colored double-breasted suit and a brown
     felt derby hat, turns on the radio and the Ink Spots' "We'll
     Meet Again" purrs out. He starts to turn the key, but then
     remembers and honks the horn.

84   EXT. EASY'S HOUSE - DAY                                        84

     Easy opens the door and stands on the porch.

                               MOUSE
                  Hey, Easy, was it a left on
                  Richland or a right?

                                                             76.

84   CONTINUED:                                                     84

                               EASY
                  A right. And if Dupree ain't over
                  there in Compton, just come on back
                  'cause I might have heard from the
                  girl.

     Just then a car cruises around the corner and Easy watches
     MASON AND MILLER pull up across the street and get out. He
     glances over at Mouse.

85   INT. EASY'S CAR - DAY                                          85

     Mouse shuts off the radio and slumps down in the seat out of
     view.

86   EXT. EASY'S HOUSE - DAY                                        86

     Easy watches them stroll up the walkway.

                               MILLER
                  Mr. Rawlins... We came to ask you a
                  few more questions.

                               MASON
                        (grinning)
                  So why don't you just invite us
                  inside...
                        (holding open the door)
                  After you.

     And Easy and Miller go in.

                               MASON
                  What happened to your head? I
                  don't remember doing all that.

     He laughs and closes the door behind them.

87   INT. EASY'S HOUSE                                              87

     Miller looks around suspiciously. The room still shows
     signs of the struggle with Frank Green. He exchanges a look
     with Mason.

                               MILLER
                  Been having a party, Ezekiel?

     Mason pushes Easy into the chair and Miller plants his foot
     on the seat between Easy's legs and leans in.

                               MASON
                  You got a lotta cuts and bruises to
                  be an ordinary working stiff.

                                                             77.

87   CONTINUED:                                                    87

                               MILLER
                  It's looking worse and worse for
                  you, my friend. What do you know
                  about Richard McGee?

                               EASY
                  Who?

     On the other side of the room Mason picks up a chunk of the
     broken lamp from the fight.

                               MILLER
                  A dead white man in a cabin in
                  Laurel Canyon.

     Mason comes over and stands over Easy next to his partner.
     He fingers the sharp porcelain shard of the lamp,
     threatening.

                               MASON
                  He hangs out with some of those
                  same nigger friends of yours down
                  on Central Avenue.

     Easy eyes the sharp edge, making up his mind to kill this
     fat son-of-a-bitch if he gets too creative, and die with
     him.

                               MILLER
                  He just happened to have a note in
                  his pocket with 'C. James' written
                  on it.

     He holds the slip of paper up for Easy to see.

                               MASON
                  Any of this making you feel
                  talkative at all, 'cause I'll bet
                  ya six bits to a bottle of piss
                  that we're looking at a double
                  here... All we need is to place you
                  in the dead man's house.

                               EASY
                  I ain't been there.

                               MILLER
                  Where?

                               EASY
                  I ain't been in no dead man's
                  house.

     Miller stands back and pats his pockets for a smoke.

                                                              78.

87   CONTINUED:   (2)                                               87

                               MILLER
                  How 'bout a smoke, Ezekiel?

     Easy taps out one and Miller places it in his mouth.

                                 MILLER
                  Got a light?

     Easy pulls out his lighter and sparks the flame.

                                 MILLER
                  May I?

     Easy shrugs and passes the lighter to Miller who fires
     himself up.

                               MILLER
                  Nice lighter...

     He holds the lighter out of Mason who wraps it up in a
     handkerchief.

                               MILLER
                  And we got our print.

                               EASY
                  What do you mean?

                               MASON
                  Oh, hadn't you heard? We found a
                  cigarette lighter in the dead man's
                  house with the killer's
                  fingerprints on it.

                               EASY
                        (total disbelief)
                  Naw, man. I didn't do it.

                               MASON
                  Course you did, we got evidence.

                               EASY
                        (frantic)
                  I didn't do it. You know I
                  didn't...

     And Miller leans in hard.

                               MILLER
                  We know that you know more than
                  you're lettin' on. And now a white
                  man's been killed.
                               (MORE)

                                                                79.

87   CONTINUED:   (3)                                                 87

                               MILLER (CONT'D)
                  Now you better tell us what you
                  know, or you're goin' down for the
                  murder of Richard McGee and Coretta
                  James.

     He straightens up and Easy stands up, too.

                               EASY
                        (shouting)
                  I don't know nothin'.

                               MILLER
                        (to Mason)
                  Put the cuffs on. Let's take him
                  down.

     As Mason reaches for the cuffs, Easy sees Mouse peek out
     from the kitchen doorway then disappear inside.

                                 EASY
                  Uh, listen!    I don't know who did
                  it!

                                 MILLER
                  But we do...

     He sees Mouse draw his gun, his eyes trained on Miller's
     back.

                               MASON
                  And that's all that counts.

                               EASY
                  Dammit, I didn't do it.

                               MILLER
                  Tell it to the D.A.

     Mouse is trained with the hammer cocked and Easy is about to
     give the signal, but then:

                               EASY
                  Look, gimme some time to find out.

                                 MILLER
                  Forget it.

                               EASY
                  Gimme till tomorrow... Tomorrow
                  mornin'...

     Miller thinks about it and then--

                                                                 80.

87    CONTINUED:   (4)                                                  87

                                 MILLER
                   Okay.   Tomorrow morning, that's it.

      He nods to Mason and Easy looks up to see Mouse raise the
      gun and slide back into the kitchen.

      Mason unlocks the cuffs.

                                MASON
                   Have a nice evening, Ezekiel.

      And he and Miller walk out.

      Easy looks out the doorway watching

A88   EASY'S POV                                                       A88

      MILLER AND MASON

      get in their squad car and drive away.

      BACK TO SCENE

B88   He turns back to see Mouse standing in the living room.          B88

                                EASY
                         (wearily)
                   I guess you know what would have
                   happened if you had shot them two
                   cops in my house?

                                MOUSE
                         (shrugging)
                   Hell yeah. They'd be dead.

      Easy shakes his head.

                                EASY
                   Come on, let's go.

      He grabs a jacket.

88-91 OMIT                                                         88-91

A92   EXT. EASY'S HOUSE - DAY                                          A92

      Easy hurries out of his house pulling on his jacket with
      Mouse right behind.

                                MOUSE
                   What they tryin' to pin on you?

                                                                 81.

A92   CONTINUED:                                                       A92

                                EASY
                   I'll tell you on the way.   You got
                   the keys?

                                 MOUSE
                   Yeah.

      And he hurries around to the driver's side.

                                EASY
                   Before we run out to Compton we got
                   one other place to stop by...

      He freezes seeing the Woodcutter watching and listening.

                                EASY
                         (to Woodcutter)
                   Man, don't you mess with my trees
                   while I'm gone.

      He gets in as Mouse cranks the engine.

                                 EASY
                   You heard me.   Leave my trees
                   alone.

      As Mouse starts away the old man smiles mischievously and
      starts to sharpen his axe.

      Easy leans out the car window, yelling back as the car pulls
      away.

                                EASY
                   I mean it now. Don't you mess with
                   my trees!!

92    EXT. PORTLAND COURT - DAY                                        92

      It's a horseshoe of tiny apartments with over a dozen little
      porches and doorways staggered in a semi-circle around a
      small yard that has a half-dozen stunted magnolia trees
      growing in brick pots.

      Easy and Mouse step into the courtyard, passing elderly
      tenants sitting inside screened doors. Jimmy Lunceford's
      "I'm Walking Through Heaven With You" floats out into the
      yard.

      They arrive at the closed door of number eight. Easy knocks
      and then knocks again, hard. Something CRASHES on the
      inside and heavy FOOTSTEPS pound to the door.

                                 VOICE BEHIND DOOR
                   Who's that?

                                                                82.

92   CONTINUED:                                                       92

                                EASY
                  Easy!

     The door opens and JUNIOR FORNAY stands there behind the
     screen door in blue boxer shorts and a white T-shirt.

                               JUNIOR
                  What you want?

                               EASY
                  It's private, Junior.   Lemme in.

     And he reaches to pull open the door, but Junior throws the
     latch.

                               JUNIOR
                  I ain't got time now.   I'm tryin'
                  to get some sleep.

                               MOUSE
                  Why don't you open the door,
                  Junior, 'fore I have to shoot it
                  down.

     Mouse steps out into the doorway, in plain view.

                                JUNIOR
                  Mouse.

                                MOUSE
                  Open up.   We ain't got all night.

     Junior forces a smile and lets them in.

93   INT. JUNIOR'S APARTMENT - DAY                                    93

     Filthy and junky, with old car parts scattered amongst old
     furniture, the room is unpleasant with only the benefit of a
     dim light -- just like Junior.

                               JUNIOR
                  Y'all want a beer?

     He nods at a card table with one folding chair and throws
     two others into place on his way to the refrigerator.

     Easy and Mouse sit down and Junior brings over a quart of
     PABST BLUE RIBBON BEER and two glasses that he wipes out
     with a rag.

                               EASY
                  What ya smokin'? Zapatas?

                                                             83.

93   CONTINUED:                                                     93

     Junior tosses his pack onto the table and pours beer into
     the glasses for Easy and Mouse, and drinks from the bottle.

     Easy unfolds the handkerchief in his pocket on the table,
     uncovering the cigarette butt from Richard McGee's house.

                               EASY
                        (to Junior)
                  This is one of yours, ain't it?

     Junior looks at the butt and shrugs.

                               EASY
                  You the only one I know cheap
                  enough to smoke this shit... Why'd
                  you kill Richard McGee?

                                JUNIOR
                  Huh?   What you talkin' 'bout?

                               EASY
                  Ain't no time to play, Junior.    I
                  know you the one killed him.

                               JUNIOR
                  You crazy, man. You crazy!

     And he stands up to emphasize his indignation.

                               MOUSE
                  Sit down, Junior.

     Junior shifts awkwardly from side to side and then sits back
     down.

                               EASY
                  Tell me what happened, Junior.

                               JUNIOR
                  I don't know what you talkin'
                  'bout.

                               EASY
                  Well, the police will. When they
                  find out that they got your
                  fingerprints up there in that man's
                  house.

                               JUNIOR
                  What fingerprints? What house?

                                                              84.

93   CONTINUED:   (2)                                               93

                               EASY
                  Hattie had you pull that man out of
                  John's the night I was there. And
                  he was laying up there dead with
                  the same suit on and a knife in his
                  chest.

                               JUNIOR
                  I ain't killed nobody.

                               EASY
                  Quit lyin', you big ole sweaty-
                  thick headed-cornbread eatin'--

     Mouse can't keep from laughing and Junior starts up after
     Easy.

                               JUNIOR
                  You thick-headed, ya damn self!!

     But Mouse is up, still laughing with the pistol in his hand.

                               MOUSE
                  Sit down, man... 'fore I blow your
                  brains out.

                               JUNIOR
                  What kinda shit y'all trying to
                  pull here?

                               MOUSE
                        (last warning)
                  Sit down.

     Junior sits down and throws himself around in the chair like
     a child throwing a fit.

                               EASY
                  You better tell it the way it
                  happened. And maybe I'll forget
                  what I know... Otherwise, I'm gonna
                  tell Mouse to shoot ya 'cause you
                  know I don't like your ass and he
                  don't like you either.

     Mouse slaps the table, laughing so hard he's in tears.

                               MOUSE
                  Aw, man...

     And he aims the pistol and cocks the hammer, causing Junior
     to throw himself around some more.

                                                               85.

93   CONTINUED:   (3)                                                93

                               EASY
                  You killed him to take his money,
                  didn't ya?

                               JUNIOR
                  I don't even know who you--

                               EASY
                  You just had to rob him, didn't ya!

                                JUNIOR
                  I didn't! I didn't touch nothin'
                  in his house!

     SILENCE. But it's in the open now and Junior frowns and
     shakes his head.

                               JUNIOR
                  Hattie had me take him out to his
                  car. And he say he give me ten
                  dollars to drive him home.

     Mouse is busy working a toothpick between his front teeth.

                               MOUSE
                  I know you took that.

                               JUNIOR
                  Hell, yeah. Then he asked me about
                  that white girl you was askin'
                  everybody about at the club. And I
                  told him I seen her with Coretta...
                  What the hell I care if he know?

                               EASY
                  You tell him but you won't tell me.
                               JUNIOR
                  I don't like your ass, Easy.   And
                  he gimme fifty dollars.

                               EASY
                        (disbelievingly)
                  Fifty dollars? Just to tell him
                  you seen her with Coretta?

                                JUNIOR
                  Naw.   To deliver a letter.

     Easy is stopped for a moment.

                                 EASY
                  What letter?

                                                                 86.

93    CONTINUED:   (4)                                                 93

                                JUNIOR
                   How should I know? He just said to
                   give it to her.

                                EASY
                   And you knew where she was?

                                JUNIOR
                   I didn't say that! I give it to
                   Coretta to give it to her the next
                   mornin'!

                                EASY
                   You 'spect me to believe that? Why
                   would he trust you to give it to
                   the girl if it was worth fifty
                   dollars?

                                JUNIOR
                   'Cause he had to blow town, fool!

      Easy stops to make the connection.

                                EASY
                   Why?

                                JUNIOR
                   He didn't say!

                                EASY
                         (after a moment)
                   You better be tellin' the truth.
                   Let's go, Raymond.

      He and Mouse get up.

                                JUNIOR
                   I'm tellin' the truth. I ain't
                   killed nobody. That man was alive
                   when I left him!

      Easy opens the door, looking back at Junior, who's still
      going on and walks out.

94-95 OMIT                                                         94-95

96    INT. EASY'S CAR - DUSK                                           96

      Compton looks a lot like Texas, with unpaved streets and
      little country-styled houses set back away from the road
      behind vegetable gardens and chicken coops and small sheds
      with a horse or a cow tied up.

                                                                87.

96   CONTINUED:                                                       96

     Easy and Mouse pull into    the gravel driveway of a little
     house and are met by the    usual barking dog you find in the
     country -- part Spaniel,    part Shepherd, and some kind of
     Retriever. It dogs Easy     and Mouse's heels as they get out
     of the car.

97   EXT. DUPREE'S SISTER'S HOUSE - DUSK                              97

     They notice the light in the front window go out and the
     shade pull back slightly as they walk toward the front door.
     Moments later the door opens and the dark figure of Dupree
     Brouchard appears.

                               DUPREE
                        (to the dog)
                  Go on. Go on in the back.

     The dog obeys and Easy and Mouse walk up the walkway.

                                 EASY
                  Hey, Dupree.    Been trying to call
                  you.

                               DUPREE
                  Yeah, Easy! Cops just let me out
                  today. My sister gone to work and
                  I didn't feel much like talking...
                  Raymond...

                                 MOUSE
                  Hey, big man!    Them pigtails I
                  smell?

                                DUPREE
                  Yeah. Lula Mae made some 'fore she
                  went to work.

     Dupree ushers them in.

98   INT. DUPREE'S SISTER'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - DUSK                    98

     Dupree's face under the kitchen light shows two swollen
     black eyes from a brutal police "questioning." His eyes are
     heavy with liquor and tears glisten down his cheeks.

                               DUPREE
                  Why somebody wanna kill her like
                  that? Why?

                               EASY
                  I don't know, Dupree... I don't
                  know...

                                                                88.

98   CONTINUED:                                                       98

     Dupree pours rye whiskey into a water glass in front of
     Mouse, who swallows half the shot without looking up from
     his plate of food.

     Easy declines when the bottle comes his way, feeling the
     pressure of time running out.

                               EASY
                  Did Coretta ever say anything to
                  you about a letter she was keeping?

                                DUPREE
                  Letter?   What kinda letter?

                               EASY
                  For that white girl...

                               DUPREE
                  Naw. But I know it was on account
                  of her that Coretta got killed.

     Easy rears back in his chair with keen interest and Mouse
     looks up from his pigtails.

     Dupree takes a drink and his eyes narrow in anger.

                               DUPREE
                        (continuing)
                  Everything between Coretta and that
                  Daphne was always such a damn
                  secret... I mean that ole girl
                  didn't think nothin' about two-
                  timin' on Frank... She probably
                  'innerduced' Coretta to one of them
                  ole guys she knew... And when he
                  came to the house after Coretta...
                        (starting to break)
                  ...he found out she wasn't that
                  kinda woman... Cops said she fought
                  him... aw my Gawd... fought him
                  'cause she wouldn't have nobody but
                  me-e-e...

     He buries his face into his hands and Easy throws a sad but
     frustrated look to Mouse.

                               DUPREE
                        (continuing)
                  Aw Gawd, I can't even go to
                  sleep... 'cause I can still see her
                  face that mornin' 'fore I went to
                  work...
                               (MORE)

                                                                89.

98    CONTINUED:   (2)                                                 98

                                DUPREE (CONT'D)
                   Junior had been by and just left
                   the house... and she came runnin'
                   out to the car carrying her
                   bible... And she said, 'Keep this
                   for me, baby.'

      Easy and Mouse exchange looks.   JACKPOT!   And Dupree falls
      apart.

                                DUPREE
                         (continuing)
                   Police won't even let me go near
                   her house. So it's the only thing
                   I got left from her. It was a
                   sign... I know it was a sign,
                   'cause she was so religious...

                                MOUSE
                   It's all right, big man... it's all
                   right...

      And he pours Dupree a half glass of rye.

99    THE BOTTLE - LATER, NIGHT                                        99

      Barely a "corner" of whiskey lies at the bottom and

      DUPREE is snoring like a buzzsaw, sound asleep.

      MOUSE squints into his glass, wondering why it's empty, and
      looks down the length of the kitchen leading into

100   THE BEDROOM - NIGHT                                             100

      Drawers are pulled out on the dresser, and Easy is rifling
      through another until he pulls out a bible. He fans the
      pages, finding

      THE LETTER

      already opened.    His fingers pull out a photograph and then
      two more.

      BACK TO EASY

      His excited face goes sick, and he silently mouths:

                                EASY
                   Holy shi-it...

                                                                 90.

100   CONTINUED:                                                       100

                                EASY (V.O.)
                   I was as nauseated from fear as I
                   was from what I saw... Pictures of
                   a much younger Matthew Teran and
                   children... innocent, helpless,
                   naked children...

101   KITCHEN                                                          101

      Easy hurries in holding up the letter.

                                EASY
                   I got it. Come on, I think that
                   girl is gonna call again.

                                MOUSE
                   That Dupree is a good man, but he
                   sure can't hold his liquor.

      Easy grabs his coat off a chair and starts to put it on,
      stuffing the letter in his coat pocket.

                                 EASY
                   You got your sails up pretty far
                   too, Raymond.

                                MOUSE
                   You callin' me drunk?

                                EASY
                   Well, you been puttin' it away
                   along with him and--

                                MOUSE
                   If I was drunk could I do this?

      And in less than a heartbeat he has pulled that long-
      barreled pistol and is aiming it at Easy's forehead.

                                MOUSE
                   Ain't a man in Texas can outdraw
                   me!

                                EASY
                         (forced calm)
                   Put it down.

                                MOUSE
                   Go on.

      And he puts the gun back in his shoulder holster.

                                                              91.

101   CONTINUED:                                                    101

                                MOUSE
                   Go for your gun. Let's see who
                   gets kilt.

                                 EASY
                   I don't have a gun, Raymond.   Come
                   on, let's go.

                                MOUSE
                   You fool enough to go without a
                   piece then you must wanna be dead.

      He lays the pistol on the table then draws a .32 automatic
      from his waist, this time cocking the hammer, the muzzle
      only inches from Easy's head.

      Easy can tell from the glazed look in Mouse's eye that
      instead of seeing him, his friend is glaring at some demon
      he carries around in his head. So he stands stock still.

                                EASY
                         (quiet, soothing)
                   Let him go, Raymond... He done
                   learned his lesson. If you kill
                   him then he won't have got it.

                                MOUSE
                   He fool enough to call me out and
                   he ain't even got no gun? I'll
                   kill the motherfucker.

                                EASY
                   Let him live, Raymond, and he be
                   scared whenever you walk in the
                   room.

                                MOUSE
                   Motherfucker better be scared. I
                   kill a motherfucker. I kill him!

      Easy stares down the barrel of the gun for a long moment
      until Mouse blinks, then nods and lets the pistol fall down
      into his lap. His head on his chest, he's sound asleep.

      Easy takes the gun and puts it on the table with the other.
      Then walks to the doorway and turns out the light.

102   INT. EASY'S CAR - NIGHT                                       102

      The dim street lamps of Easy's neighborhood streak past as
      Easy scans the streets and sidewalks, wary for anybody who
      might be staking him out.

                                                              91.

102   CONTINUED:                                                     102

                                EASY (V.O.)
                   The pictures were burnin' a hole in
                   my pocket... I had no doubt that
                   Albright had killed McGee... and
                   that he had done it for Matthew
                   Teran... But Teran hadn't known who
                   killed Coretta. I was sure of
                   that, too.

103   EXT. EASY'S HOUSE - NIGHT                                      103

      Easy's car pulls up and he gets out and looks around
      cautiously before starting up the walkway.

                                EASY (V.O.)
                         (continuing)
                   For the first time I hated walking
                   up to my house... I still didn't
                   know if I could go to the police.
                   But Albright was liable to be
                   showing up in a few hours asking
                   about Frank Green. I was thinking
                   I oughta forget the girl and leave
                   town, back to Houston or Galveston
                   where they didn't know me too good.

      Easy gets to the door, still literally looking over his
      shoulder, and hears the phone RINGING inside. He unlocks
      the door and bursts in.

104   INT. EASY'S HOUSE                                              104

      He races through the dark living room and into

105   INT. BEDROOM                                                   105

      And picks up the phone but the dial tone DRONES on the other
      end.

                                   EASY
                   Shit!   Damn!

      He whacks the nightstand with the receiver, dying with
      frustration. And SOMETHING MOVES in the dark. He lunges
      and grabs

      DAPHNE MONET

      and pulls her into the light, then sits down onto the bed
      before the shock can knock him down.

                                DAPHNE
                   Are you all right?

                                                                93.

105   CONTINUED:                                                      105

      Easy shakes his head in disbelieving relief and she reaches
      to touch the bump on his forehead.

                                DAPHNE
                   What happened?

                                EASY
                   Your boyfriend, Frank Green, threw
                   a surprise party for me.

                                DAPHNE
                   I'm sorry, Easy...

      He pulls away.

                                DAPHNE
                         (continuing)
                   Easy, Coretta's boyfriend, Dupree,
                   got out of jail today. And...

                    DAPHNE                          EASY
               (continuing)                    (he joins her)
          I need you to help me           You need me to help you
          find him.                       find him.

      Easy shakes his head, amused, and lights a cigarette.

                                EASY
                   --I already have the pictures...

      Daphne stiffens, as if from an electrical shock, and then:

                                DAPHNE
                   Easy, I paid seven thousand dollars
                   for those pictures. They belong to
                   me.

                                EASY
                   Oh yeah? Matthew Teran may have
                   somethin' to say about that.

                                DAPHNE
                   Easy, you wouldn't dare.

                                 EASY
                   Try me.   Who killed Coretta?

                                DAPHNE
                   I don't know -- I'll pay you for
                   them. I'll give you a thousand
                   dollars.

                                EASY
                   You gave Richard seven.

                                                        94.

105   CONTINUED:   (2)                                        105

                                DAPHNE
                   Okay, I'll give you seven.

                                 EASY
                   Where'd you get seven thousand
                   dollars from?

                                DAPHNE
                   Never mind. I'll give it to you.
                   Easy, please. They're very
                   important to me.

                                EASY
                   Coretta's life was important to a
                   few people too. What's say you
                   tell me who killed her?

                                DAPHNE
                   Easy, honey, I don't know.

                                EASY
                   'Honey?' Do Frank and Carter
                   really fall for that stuff? Come
                   on... You and Todd Carter have a
                   fight and all of a sudden he
                   doesn't wanna be mayor no more...
                   You leave, he's worried but he
                   can't even get his buddies in the
                   police department to help him find
                   you... And now you wanna buy some
                   pictures of Teran. Why? 'Cause
                   he's got some dirt on you.

      She gets up and walks away.

                                DAPHNE
                   Easy, why don't you just take the
                   money!

                                EASY
                   Is that what Frank told Coretta?

      She whirls around to face him.

                                EASY
                         (continuing)
                   Was she being too nosy? Or was she
                   just being Coretta and trying to
                   bargain up the price?

                                DAPHNE
                   Easy, please.  How much do you
                   want?

                                                             95.

105   CONTINUED:   (3)                                              105

                               EASY
                   Tell me. Is Frank your husband or
                   your pimp?

      SMACK! She swings and open hand across his face, and SMACK!
      He returns the gesture, sending her back onto the bed...

      He picks up the phone and dials "O."

                                DAPHNE
                   Easy, put the phone down.

                                EASY
                   Why don't you try screaming again?
                   'Cause I bet police like white
                   women with Negro boyfriends who
                   hijack trucks...

                                DAPHNE
                   Easy, please.

      She reaches for the phone and he pushes her away.

                                EASY
                   I bet they like pimps, and whores,
                   too, who scam rich white men like
                   Carter runnin' for mayor.

                                DAPHNE
                   Easy, please, put it down...

                                EASY
                   And I'm sure they like it when
                   these white girls tell their
                   colored men to lay low 'cause they
                   killed a woman over some pictures
                   of another rich white man.

      She gathers herself, just as:

                                OPERATOR'S VOICE
                   Number please...

                                DAPHNE
                         (soberly)
                   Frank is my brother.

      Easy is about to speak, but then stands still.

                                OPERATOR'S VOICE
                   Number please?

      He hangs up.

                                                              96.

105   CONTINUED:   (4)                                              105

      She looks away, worn out, tired.

                                DAPHNE
                   We have different fathers. Mine is
                   white... Frank doesn't even know
                   that Todd and I broke up. So far
                   I've kept him out of all this.

      She gets up and takes Easy's cigarettes and taps one out.

                                DAPHNE
                   See, Coretta's the only one out
                   here in L.A. besides my brother who
                   knew about me...
                         (she lights up)
                   And about a month ago she took a
                   job working for, of all people,
                   Matthew Teran. She made friends
                   with one of the girls in the office
                   who told her that she'd heard that
                   Teran was a pedophile. And Coretta
                   got carried away and told her that
                   Todd Carter was engaged to a
                   colored woman. She was sorry and
                   didn't think it would get to
                   Teran... but it did and he got a
                   hold of my birth records.

                                EASY
                   Who killed her, Daphne?

      Daphne exhales smoke and brushes hair out of her face
      ignoring the question.

                                DAPHNE
                         (continuing)
                   Todd and I broke up and I paid a
                   guy for the pictures of Teran. But
                   somehow Coretta got them.

                                EASY
                   Who killed her?

                                 DAPHNE
                   It was an accident. Coretta and I
                   were still mad at each other. I
                   mean, she threatened to sell Teran
                   the pictures.

                                EASY
                   Who killed her goddammit!?

                                                              97.

105   CONTINUED:   (5)                                               105

                                DAPHNE
                   I just asked Joppy to go over and
                   put a scare in her... It was an
                   accident.

      FLASHBACK:

106   INT. KITCHEN - CORETTA'S HOUSE                                 106

      Joppy points a finger in Coretta's face, backing her against
      the counter. She grabs a knife from a rack of dishes left
      out to dry.

                                DAPHNE (V.O.)
                   Joppy said she pulled a knife and
                   tried to dump hot water on him...

      She swipes at Joppy and he backhands her against the
      stove... She struggles to grab a pot of boiling water, but
      he wrests it from her and slings her across the room against
      the counter, her head striking the tile on the way down.

107   BACK TO SCENE                                                  107

      Daphne looks down at her hands.

      She stubs out her cigarette and sits on the bed.

                                DAPHNE
                   God, I didn't mean to hurt
                   anybody... It's just that with the
                   pictures I can--

                               EASY
                   What? Marry Carter?   Be white
                   again?

                                DAPHNE
                   Don't judge me, Easy! Do you think
                   I like pretending that I'm someone
                   else? Do you know how I've been
                   treated by people, colored and
                   white, when I've tried to live as a
                   colored woman in a colored
                   community. Do you have any idea
                   what any colored man whose ever
                   been with me has had to go through?
                   Don't you dare judge me!

      She sees Easy hesitate and she stands up.

                                DAPHNE
                         (continuing)
                   Come on, Easy. Help me.

                                                              98.

107   CONTINUED:                                                     107

      She moves in close, caressing.

                                DAPHNE
                         (continuing)
                   Come on, you know it's the right
                   thing to do... You know if things
                   were different what would happen
                   between us.

                                EASY
                   I'll tell you what can happen
                   between us. You get Carter to
                   clear me up from all this and you
                   can have your pictures. That's all
                   that could have ever happened
                   between us.

                                 DAPHNE
                         (genuinely hurt)
                   Sure, baby. Of course,
                   sweetheart...

      The sound of the front door pushing open startles them, and
      Albright knocks on his way in.

                                ALBRIGHT
                   Well I'll be damned. You found
                   her.

      And Manny and Shariff step in, too, carrying baseball bats.

                                EASY
                   Wait a minute, Albright.

      Daphne breaks for the back way and Easy tries to bar Shariff
      from going after her.

                                EASY
                   Hey!

      Manny swings the baseball bat into Easy's side. and Easy
      yells and plows into him, wrestling him against the wall.

      Albright grabs Easy from behind and pries him free enough
      for Manny to uppercut him to the chin with the fat end of
      the bat.

      Easy sinks to his knees seeing double.

      Shariff leads Daphne back into the room, her face contorted
      into tears, her arm twisted up behind her in a hammerlock.

                                                              99.

107   CONTINUED:   (2)                                               107

                                ALBRIGHT
                         (to Daphne)
                   Where are the pictures?

                                 DAPHNE
                         (terrified)
                   I don't know.

      SMACK!   He backhands her.

      Easy grabs for the wall to get to his feet and Manny swings
      the bat down into his kidney.

                                ALBRIGHT
                   Where are they?

                                DAPHNE
                         (indicating Easy)
                   I wouldn't tell him! And I won't
                   tell you!

                                ALBRIGHT
                   Sure you will.
                         (to Shariff)
                   Let's go.

      Shariff leads Daphne outside and Manny draws his forty-five
      automatic and trains it on Easy, cocking the hammer.

                                ALBRIGHT
                   What're you doin'? Who are we
                   gonna give 'em to cover this shit,
                   hunh?... Use your head.

      He shoves Manny through the door and pushes Easy onto his
      side with his foot and he's out the door.

      Easy strains to get back to his knees as car doors slam and
      the sound of a car engine growls to life.

      He thrusts himself up from the floor and stumbles toward the
      front door like a boxer who should have stayed down for the
      count. He gets it open in time to see...

108   EXT. EASY'S HOUSE - NIGHT                                      108

      The blurred white form of Albright's Caddy screaming away,
      shattering the dark, shrieking in flight.

      Dogs are barking and a baby is screaming somewhere in the
      neighborhood while lights are going on up and down the
      block.

      Easy stumbles back inside and into

                                                                 100.

109   THE BEDROOM                                                       109

      Where he manages to dial the phone.      It RINGS several times
      on the other end, and finally:

                                   MOUSE'S VOICE
                            (groggy)
                    Yeah.

                                   EASY
                    Mouse...

                                   MOUSE'S VOICE
                    Hey, Easy?

                                 EASY
                          (slurring)
                    Get Dupree's car. Drive it to 78th
                    and Central... The butcher shop.

                                   MOUSE'S VOICE
                    You alright?

                                   EASY
                    Hurry up.

      He puts down the receiver, missing the cradle, and staggers
      out of the room.

110   INT. EASY'S CAR - NIGHT                                           110

      Easy is ripping through the night, the streetlights flashing
      by in blurs of light. The windows down, he's coming to.

                                 EASY (V.O.)
                    It had come to me in less time than
                    it takes to think that Albright was
                    taking Daphne someplace more
                    isolated than that office building
                    downtown... Someplace where there
                    would be no witnesses... And I was
                    being left alive to take the fall.

111   EXT. BUTCHER SHOP/JOPPY'S BAR - NIGHT                             111

      The street is still alive. A couple of late night juke
      joints are coughing up the last drunken bits of the party
      onto the sidewalk to straggle home. Easy's car screams
      around the corner, and then skids in, sending a heavy-hipped
      young sister, about to cross the street, scrambling for
      cover.

      He jumps out just as Mouse scorches the tires on Dupree's
      '38 Packard in behind him.

                                                              101.

111   CONTINUED:                                                     111

                                EASY
                         (to the woman)
                   Sorry, baby... Lemme give you
                   twenty bucks for them stockings you
                   got on.

      It takes a moment to register, but when she sees him pull
      a twenty from his pocket, she gets busy.

      He runs back to Mouse.

                                EASY
                   Gimme one of them guns you got.

      Mouse smiles, loving this side of Easy, and trades him a set
      of car keys for a .32 automatic.

                                EASY
                         (continuing)
                   Start up my car. I'm comin' out
                   fast.

      He runs back to the woman he almost hit and hands off the
      twenty, grabbing one of the nylons, leaving her still
      stripping as he runs into

112   INT. STAIRWAY                                                  112

      He takes the steps two at a time, pulling the stocking down
      over his face as he reaches the top and bursts through the
      open door leading into

113   INT. JOPPY'S BAR                                               113

      He charges through the raucous laughter of the half-full
      room right up to the bar.

      Joppy nearly drops the glasses he is clearing away as he
      looks down the barrel of the pistol aimed at his face.

                                EASY
                   Come on, Joppy. Let's go!

      Joppy hesitates, recognizing the voice.

                                EASY
                   You heard me.  I'll blow your head
                   off!

      And he cocks the hammer, causing Joppy to get a move on from
      behind the bar.

      Easy shoves him through the door, calling back to the
      startled crowd on his way out.

                                                              102.

113    CONTINUED:                                                     113

                                 EASY
                    Don't follow me, goddammit!

       And he's gone.

114    INT. JOPPY'S BAR - NIGHT                                       114

       Easy hides the piece in his coat pocket as he bum rushes
       Joppy to the car.

                                 JOPPY
                    Easy, what the hell you--

                                  EASY
                    Shut up!

       And he shoves Joppy into the back seat, getting in next to
       him.

                                 EASY
                    Drive this damn thing, Mouse!

       Mouse pulls off, around the corner, down the street into an
       alley.

A115   INT. EASY'S CAR - IN THE ALLEY                                A115

       Mouse pulls to a stop.

                                  EASY
                           (to Joppy)
                    Albright's got the girl. He's
                    gonna kill her. Where would he
                    take her? And you better get it
                    right.

                                 JOPPY
                    Man, I don't--

                                 EASY
                          (screaming, pressing
                           the gun)
                    Don't fool with me, man!

                                 JOPPY
                    There's a cabin out in Malibu on
                    Route 9...

                                 EASY
                    Make a right, Mouse!

                                                               103.

B115   EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT                                             B115

       The car roars down the alley and turns right onto the
       street.

115    INT. CAR - INDUSTRIAL STREET - NIGHT                           115

                                 EASY
                          (to Joppy)
                    You sure 'bout this place?

                                 JOPPY
                    I guess so. He's done this kinda
                    thing out there before.

                                 MOUSE
                    Easy, what's done got into you?
                    Thought y'all was friends.

                                 EASY
                    He killed Dupree's girlfriend.

                                  MOUSE
                    You lyin'.

                                  EASY
                    Naw.

                                 MOUSE
                    Son-of-a-bitch!

       And he pulls out his pistol, aiming it back over the seat at
       Joppy as he drives. KABLAAM! The bullet slams through the
       rear window just to the side of Joppy's head.

                                  EASY
                    Mouse!   What're you doin'?

       KABLAAM! This one digs out a chunk of upholstery between
       Joppy and Easy.

                                  EASY
                    Hey!   Watch out!

       The car screeches to a halt and Mouse tries to aim again.
       But Easy struggles with Mouse's gun hand still holding a
       pistol on Joppy.

                                 EASY
                    Mouse, we need him to lead the way!

       KABLAAM!   This one rips through the roof.

       Joppy's yelling, afraid that Easy's gun will go off.

                                                             104.

115   CONTINUED:                                                    115

                                EASY
                   Mouse, the girl offered me seven
                   thousand dollars for the pictures.

      Mouse glares into the rearview mirror.

                                 MOUSE
                   You lyin'!

                                EASY
                   No, I swear I'm not.

                                 MOUSE
                   Aw shit!

      And he fumbles with the ignition and shifts gears.

                                MOUSE
                   Oh, my God!... Oh, my goodness!

116   EXT. L.A. STREET - NIGHT                                      116

      The engine roars from a punch to the accelerator, and
      Mouse's voice can be heard cutting through the darkness as
      the car powers off down the street.

                                MOUSE (O.S.)
                   Oh, my goodness!

117   INT. EASY'S CAR - NIGHT                                       117

      Easy, with the gun on Joppy, strains to see the dimly lit
      road in front of them.

                                EASY
                   Is that it up there?

                                JOPPY
                   Yeah, that's it.

118   THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD                                        118

      The headlights bounce off a signpost: "Route 9."

119   EXT. ROUTE 9 - NIGHT                                          119

      The Pontiac makes the turn onto a graded dirt road.

120   INT. EASY'S CAR - NIGHT                                       120

      A ranch-style cabin emerges up off the road, drawing nearer
      in the headlight beams.

                                                                 105.

121   BACK TO SCENE                                                     121

                               EASY
                  Shut off the headlights, Mouse.

      Mouse kills the lights.

                                 EASY
                  Is that it?

                                JOPPY
                  Naw.   It's farther up.

                               EASY
                  How much farther?

                               JOPPY
                  Another ten minutes, I guess.
                  Easy, I swear, I ain't done nothin'
                  to nobody. I swear, I ain't.

122   EXT. ROUTE 9 - NIGHT                                              122

      THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD:    House lights show through thick
      shrubbery.

                                 JOPPY
                  There it is.

      Mouse pulls to a stop and kills the engine.

                               EASY
                  There's some rope in the trunk,
                  Raymond.

      Mouse gets out of the car and is heard opening the trunk.

                               JOPPY
                  Easy, come on, man. That girl is
                  lying if she told you I killed them
                  folks.

                               EASY
                  Who said she told me?

      SCREAM! It's muted and distant.     But it's a woman all
      right. SCREAM!

      Easy pushes out of the back door on the right as Mouse opens
      the opposite door on the driver's side.

                                EASY
                  Stuff this in his mouth.    I gotta
                  get up there.

      He tosses Mouse the stocking.

                                                               106.

122   CONTINUED:                                                      122

                                MOUSE
                   Let's just shoot him.

                                EASY
                         (on the run)
                   No, Mouse. And they'll hear it.

123   EXT. ALBRIGHT'S CABIN - NIGHT                                   123

      The cabin draws nearer as Easy scrambles up the hill. He
      can hear Daphne crying out something, but he can't make out
      the words.

      It quiets down as he nears and sees shadows crossing a
      window with the shade pulled down.

      He moves cautiously, quietly to the window and peers through
      the crack between the shade and the windowsill. He can make
      out a sliver of what looks like a large room with a low
      ceiling. SMACK! And Daphne screams again.

                                ALBRIGHT'S VOICE
                   Come on, talk to me. Talk to me
                   while you still can.

                                DAPHNE'S VOICE
                         (sobbing)
                   Please! I don't have them!     Easy
                   has them!

      Easy can barely make out Shariff passing the window.   He
      strains to see more.

                                ALBRIGHT'S VOICE
                   You said he didn't know anything.

                                 DAPHNE'S VOICE
                   I was lying!!

                               ALBRIGHT'S VOICE
                   Okay. Grab that for me, Shariff.
                   It's ready.

      And then SCRE-E-EAM!! The kind that drops the bottom out of
      your stomach. The kind more akin to fear than the word
      itself... The kind that fries your skin with the cold chill
      of horror. S-C-R-E-EAMS again!!

                                 DAPHNE'S VOICE
                   No-o-o-o!   Please. No-o-o!

                                ALBRIGHT'S VOICE
                   Now talk to me, goddammit!

                                                                  107.

123   CONTINUED:                                                         123

                                DAPHNE'S VOICE
                   No-o-o!

124   Easy's gotta make a move. KABLANGALANGLE! He smashes the           124
      window with the gun and the shade rattles all the way up.

      Manny looks right up at his face as Daphne arches and
      flails, trying to get free from his hands that are pinning
      her down on a battered old sofa.

      Albright is holding a glowing red poker that Shariff,
      standing in front of the fireplace, has just handed him.

      Easy starts blasting.   KABLAAM!   Manny takes one to the
      throat. KABLAAM!

      Albright and Shariff lunge for cover, and Daphne ducks down
      behind the back of the sofa, screaming and screaming.

      Manny, hand to his throat, pulls his gun on reflex, firing
      into the floor and then half runs, half staggers out the
      side door just ahead of another KABLAAM! that digs out a
      chunk of the wall.

      Easy hears the screen door open and then ducks down, getting
      ready for Manny who should be coming his way from the side
      door. He HEARS more steps stumble out and then... SILENCE.

      And then, KABLAAM! BLAAM! Two huge blasts rip right
      through the wall next to Easy's head, and he scrambles to
      the side of the house, underneath another window with the
      shade pulled down.

                                ALBRIGHT (O.S.)
                         (to Shariff)
                   Who the hell's out there?

                                 SHARIFF
                         (getting frantic)
                   I don't know!

                                ALBRIGHT (O.S.)
                   That you, Easy?
                         (SILENCE)
                   Tell us what you want, buddy.   See
                   what we can work out.

      Easy HEARS footsteps coming alongside the house where he had
      been moments ago. KABLAAM! BLAAM! Albright has fired from
      the inside again, thinking it's him.

                                EASY
                         (whispering)
                   Mouse?

                                                                108.

124   CONTINUED:                                                       124

      But it's Manny, clutching his throat, gurgling for air,
      stumbling aimlessly off down the hill. A walking dead
      man... EASY hears him tumble into some shrubbery and after a
      moment the gurgling stops.

                                ALBRIGHT (O.S.)
                   Easy... Hey, Buddy
                         (then to Shariff)
                   Come on, goddammit!

      Daphne cries out and KLABLANGLE! Easy breaks the window
      with the gun but KABLAAM! BLAAM! BLAAM! The windowsill
      tears out above his head and Daphne screams again.

      Easy looks up to see Shariff, holding her in front of him as
      a shield. He's headed straight for Easy, drawing a bead on
      him for the kill. And then KABLAAM! the back of Shariff's
      skull flies off and

      MOUSE is in the side door, blasting.     BLAAM!

      Albright breaks for the window. BLAAM! The slug spins him
      halfway around but he hurls himself through the window
      backwards.

      Easy scurries to the front of the house and BLAAM! The
      bullet goes wide and Albright manages to get into his car
      and returns fire. BLAAM! BLAAM!... Easy hits the deck.

      Albright's engine roars to life and he SQUEALS out on the
      gravel. Mouse appears on the other side of the house and
      CLICK! CLICK! he's out of ammo. He pulls out the other
      pistol, but it's too late.

                                MOUSE
                   Damn, damn, damn! I hit him!     I
                   hit him!

      Easy gets up from the ground and trudges into the front
      door.

125   INT. ALBRIGHT'S CABIN                                            125

      Easy finds Daphne standing in the middle of the room, her
      whole body quaking in shock. He takes off his jacket and
      drapes it around her.

                                EASY
                   Come on... You all right?

      Her top lip is swollen and bloody and she has a dark bruise
      on her cheek... She jerks her head, nodding "yes."

                                                             109.

125   CONTINUED:                                                     125

      As he leads her through the doorway, he stops to look back
      at Shariff's legs sprawling out on the floor from behind the
      sofa.

126   EXT. ALBRIGHT'S CABIN - NIGHT                                  126

      He leads her down the front porch and hears.

                                MOUSE
                   There's blood all over here... I
                   got him.

      Mouse gets up from squatting down, grinning, the gold rims
      of his teeth catching a glint from the light coming through
      the door. He looks Daphne over, admiring.

                                 MOUSE
                   Damn.   Sweetheart.

      Easy leads her past, quickly.

                                 MOUSE
                   She okay?

                                 EASY
                   Yeah.   Let's go.

127   EXT. ROUTE 9 - NIGHT                                           127

      Mouse opens the back seat door of the car and Easy sees that
      there's no one there.

                                EASY
                   Where's Joppy?

      And then he looks around quickly, seeing

      JOPPY'S BODY lying off on the side of the road.

                                EASY
                   What happened?

      Mouse shrugs.

                                MOUSE
                   I didn't have time to be tying him
                   up.

      Daphne sees the body too and starts gagging. Easy's face
      twists into helpless pain and he holds a handkerchief to
      Daphne's mouth.

                                 EASY
                   Why, man?   Why?

                                                                 110.

127    CONTINUED:                                                        127

                                 MOUSE
                    Why what? You just said don't
                    shoot him. And I didn't... I
                    choked his ass...

       Easy helps Daphne into the car and closes the door.

                                  EASY
                    Damn Mouse!   Why?

                                 MOUSE
                    How I'm gonna help you back there
                    foolin' 'round with him?

                                 EASY
                    He was tied up! Why?!

                                 MOUSE
                    Aw, man. If you didn't want him
                    kilt you shouldn't have left him
                    with me.

       And he goes around to the passenger side of the car to get
       in.

       Unlike up at the house this was murder -- the same as it had
       been in Texas with Mouse's stepfather and brother. Tears of
       rage well up in Easy's eyes as he hears the car door close.

                                                  DISSOLVE TO:

A128   EXT. GLENDALE TRAIN STATION - NIGHT                              A128

       Daphne sits in the car, her eyes staring straight ahead,
       still in shock.

128    EXT. PLATFORM - NIGHT                                             128

       A few people hurry to board the train, Easy and Mouse among
       them.

                                 EASY (V.O.)
                    I convinced Mouse to take the two
                    o'clock train to Pomona and to let
                    me handle everything else. He
                    could get a train back to Houston
                    later that morning... He was fine
                    with that but only because he was
                    seven thousand dollars richer.
                    Daphne had gotten the money out of
                    a locker at the YMCA without a
                    word...
                                 (MORE)

                                                                111.

128   CONTINUED:                                                       128

                                EASY (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                   Because she was still in shock and
                   couldn't really talk... Maybe too
                   because she had stolen about four
                   times that much from Carter.

                                MOUSE
                   Listen, if you think you gonna have
                   trouble with that dude Frank, I can
                   run by and kill him and take that
                   evening train to Houston.

                                 EASY
                   Naw, man.

      He has had enough of Mouse for a while.

                                 MOUSE
                   Oh.   This is for you.

      And he pulls out something wrapped up in a brown paper bag
      from his coat.

                                MOUSE
                   I cut you in for half 'cause I knew
                   you was too big a fool to take your
                   share from that white girl
                   yourself.

      Easy stares numbly at the package and then takes it.

      The conductor gets on board and the train starts making
      those metal on metal sounds.

                                MOUSE
                   Send my grip to Etta Mae. I'm
                   gonna see if she'll take me back
                   now that I'm flush.

      He slaps Easy on the shoulder and boards the train.

                                MOUSE
                   Oh, here's the keys to Dupree's
                   car.

      He tosses them, and the train starts moving.

                                MOUSE
                   And if you need somebody to run
                   them streets with ya, gimme a call.
                   You know how to put some money in a
                   nigga's pocket.

      And he laughs, flashing gold teeth pulling away.

                                                             112.

128   CONTINUED:   (2)                                               128

      Easy watches.

                                EASY (V.O.)
                   I knew I would see him again and I
                   didn't know how I felt about
                   that... 'cause, unlike Mouse, my
                   legs were like rubber... the way
                   they had been in the war the whole
                   two years I was there.

129   EXT. GRIFFITH PARK OBSERVATORY - NIGHT                         129

      Easy sits in his car smoking a cigarette, rubbing his aching
      chin, looking out at

      DAPHNE AND CARTER

      standing on the lawn in front of the planetarium. Carter
      wanders after Daphne, explaining while she paces back and
      forth in anger.

                                EASY
                   I could tell how it was gonna go
                   when Carter asked us to meet him at
                   the Observatory instead of at his
                   house... She knew it, too. But she
                   had come this far and she had to
                   play it out.

      Suddenly, Daphne stops abruptly and strides hurriedly back
      toward the car. Carter follows behind.

                                 CARTER
                   Daphne!   Daphne, sweetheart!

      He starts over, too, but then stops, knowing here's no use.

130   INT. CAR - NIGHT                                               130

      She gets in.

                                DAPHNE
                   Come on, Easy. Let's go.

      Easy throws a look over at Carter.

                                DAPHNE
                         (continuing)
                   Don't worry, you can give him the
                   pictures yourself.

      And she throws them down on the seat.

                                                             113.

131   OMIT                                                           131

132   Easy fires up the engine and pulls away with Daphne            132
      looking straight ahead.

                               EASY
                  Hey, I'm sorry.

      The slight twist of her head amounts to a shrug and then the
      tears flow. The sun is coming up over the city below...

                               EASY (V.O.)
                  For the first time I felt that I
                  could fall in love with her, too...
                  I was even wondering if it was
                  starting to happen when I dropped
                  her off at 63rd and Dinker where
                  her brother, Frank, was waiting...
                  Then it occurred to me that she
                  still had Carter's money... and I
                  felt like a fool.

133   INT. CITY HALL                                                 133

      Easy walks onto the rotunda holding a hand to his aching
      kidney. A secretary comes out to meet him and as she
      leaves, Todd Carter and a group of men in business suits
      converge on him, shaking hands.

                               EASY (V.O.)
                  Evidently Carter had told all his
                  cronies about the pictures because
                  they were all smiles and handshakes
                  and "how do ya do"... The Mayor,
                  the police chief... The newspaper;
                  land developers. All the men who
                  ran the City, and who really stood
                  to gain by who was the Mayor for
                  the next six years.

      The group fans out leaving Carter and Easy alone to walk off
      down a hallway.

134   OMIT                                                           134

135   OMIT                                                           135

136   INT. MAYOR'S OFFICE                                            136

      Spacious and heavy in leather and wood with a not-so-
      spectacular view of the mountains. It's cold and official
      like the job itself.

      Carter pulls a brown envelope from inside his coat pocket,
      not unlike Albright.

                                                             114.

136   CONTINUED:                                                    136

                                CARTER
                   Here's the remaining eight hundred
                   that I owe you... in cash... And
                   another thousand which I hope will
                   keep this whole thing... you know.

      Easy nods a tentative "sure."

                                CARTER
                         (continuing)
                   And I've taken care of your
                   problems with the police. You'll
                   have no more trouble there. And
                   that's a promise.

      Easy nods and starts to go, but...

                                CARTER
                         (continuing; to Easy)
                   Mr. Rawlins... did Daphne ever
                   say... she loved me?

      Easy shrugs, not knowing how to answer.

                                EASY
                   Would it really matter if she did,
                   Mr. Carter?

      Carter nods sadly and Easy walks away leaving him a lonely
      figure amidst all his power.

137   EXT. CITY HALL - DAY                                          137

      Easy holds his kidney and lowers himself gingerly down the
      granite steps.

                                EASY (V.O.)
                   I'd been thinking about Daphne,
                   too... wondering if she meant what
                   she said about what could have
                   happened between us... But at the
                   moment I was wondering if there was
                   any such thing as a sprained chin.
                   But other than that and a headache,
                   a loose tooth and a kidney that a
                   doctor would need to look at, I
                   felt like five thousand, three
                   hundred dollars... And unless
                   Albright was alive somewhere, that
                   feelin' was gonna last a while.

                                O.S. VOICE
                   Hey, Ezekiel.

                                                             115.

137   CONTINUED:                                                    137

      Miller and Mason are waiting outside their car at the curb.
      They come over.

                                MILLER
                   You got some mighty powerful
                   friends up there... mighty
                   powerful. But, see, we got a
                   problem.

      Easy listens disinterestedly.

                                MILLER
                         (continuing)
                   With the Chief sealing these things
                   up like this, it doesn't do much
                   for the morale of the men who've
                   been working on these cases.

                                 MASON
                   Yeah.   Makes 'em feel like shit.

                                MILLER
                   There's a guy who's been callin' on
                   the phone. And we're pretty sure
                   that he was up there with McGee.

                                 MASON
                   A... uh... colored guy... sounds
                   kinda dumb...

                                MILLER
                         (correcting)
                   Not very bright... But he said you
                   accused him of the murder. And he
                   swears you were up there, too...

                                MASON
                   In fact, he's out and out pointing
                   the finger at ya.

                                MILLER
                   How about a name?

                                MASON
                   He'd do it to you...

      Easy waits to make sure they're finished, and...

                                EASY
                   Sorry, fellas. But I gotta go.

      He starts away.

                                                             116.

137   CONTINUED:   (2)                                              137

                                EASY
                         (continuing)
                   Why don't you go back to the
                   station and, uh... wait around for
                   my call.

                                MASON
                   You son-of-a-bitch... You watch
                   yourself, you hear! Don't you even
                   spit on the fucking sidewalk... I
                   better not even--

      Mason's voice fades under.

                                EASY (V.O.)
                   It might be the last moment of my
                   adult life spent free was walking
                   away from City Hall.

138   EXT. EASY'S HOUSE - DAY                                       138

      A NEWSPAPER HEADLINE reads: "Carter Back In Race."

      The subheading reads: "Quiet Civic Leader Returns As
      Flamboyant Teran Quits."

                                EASY (V.O.)
                   The paper treated the mysterious
                   flip-flop like it happened every
                   day. And I could tell that Matthew
                   Teran wouldn't spend a day in
                   jail... Back in the second section
                   of the paper was a small article
                   about an unidentified man found
                   dead, slumped over the steering
                   wheel of a white Cadillac just
                   north of Malibu...

      FURTHER BACK, we see that Odell is reading the newspaper,
      nursing a can of ale.

                                EASY (V.O.)
                   It scared me to think about a world
                   that could kill a man like DeWitt
                   Albright... What could a world like
                   that do to me?

                                ODELL
                   Hey, Easy, where's your car?

      Easy looks up from pulling weeds.

                                                         117.

138   CONTINUED:                                                138

                                EASY
                   In the shop... I'm havin' it fixed
                   up a little.

                                ODELL
                   Yeah. Man can't get no decent job
                   in this town without a car.

                                 EASY
                   Shoot.   I ain't studyin' no job.

                                ODELL
                   Ain't thinkin' 'bout no job?   How
                   you gonna live?

                                EASY
                   I'm gonna go to work for myself.
                   Take a little money I got saved up
                   and go into real estate... Start
                   fixin' up folks' gardens again...
                   and do a few favors on the side...
                   Favors for friends.

                                ODELL
                   What you talkin' 'bout, 'favors'?

                                EASY
                   Well, like a woman offered me
                   thirty dollars to go track down her
                   husband for her.

                                ODELL
                   You talkin' about private
                   investigatin' or somethin'... You
                   could get in trouble doin' that.

      Easy keeps working.

                                EASY
                   Like a man once said to me, Odell:
                   'Walk out your door in the morning
                   and you're already in trouble'...
                   It's just how you're mixed up in
                   that trouble that counts.

      Easy gets up and turns on the water hose.

                                EASY
                         (continuing)
                   Odell?

                                 ODELL
                   Yeah, Easy...

                                                             118.

138   CONTINUED:   (2)                                               138

                                EASY
                   If you got a friend that does bad
                   and you still keep him as your
                   friend, even though you know what
                   he's like... Do you think that's
                   right?

                                ODELL
                   All you got is your friends,
                   Easy...

      Easy starts to nod, but then spots

      THE WOODCUTTER

      hovering over a rosebush in a neighbor's yard across the
      street, his shears ready to cut.

                                EASY
                         (calling out)
                   Get out of that yard!
                         (to Odell)
                   Bastard cut down two of my trees.

      Easy picks up a rock and sails it. Odell comes off the
      porch and does the same. Then a neighbor from across the
      street joins in.

      THE WOODCUTTER ambles off toward another block, leaving
      Easy, Odell and the neighbor gathered in the middle of the
      street.

139   UP THE BLOCK                                                   139

      a man with a pony is setting up a camera. A few children
      have gathered, and more are running over from other parts of
      the neighborhood.

      The man props up a hand-painted sign, "Cowboy Pictures -- 15
      Cents," and lifts the first customer onto the pony
      positioning a cowboy hat on the child's head.

140   BACK TO SCENE                                                  140

      Another neighbor joins Easy and company, and they continue
      to laugh and talk, looking up from time to time to wave at
      friends in passing cars.

                                EASY (V.O.)
                   I thought about what Odell had said
                   about friends and it made sense to
                   me...
                                (MORE)

                                                             119.

140   CONTINUED:                                                    140

                                EASY (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                   Odell goes to church every Sunday,
                   so he would know... Later on, he
                   challenged me to a game of
                   dominoes. And what'd he do that
                   for? We got to talkin' 'bout Texas
                   and fooled around and drunk almost
                   a quart of whiskey... And I forgot
                   about Daphne Monet, DeWitt Albright
                   and Carter and them... And sat with
                   my friend, on my porch at my
                   house... and we laughed a long
                   time...

                                                 FADE OUT.



                                THE END