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Get Low Movie Script

Writer(s) : Chris Provenzano, Scott Seeke, C. Gaby Mitchell

Genres : Drama, Mystery

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                                    GET LOW



                                   Written by

                Chris Provenzano, Scott Seeke & C. Gaby Mitchell

                         

                         

          1 EXT. HOUSE - NIGHT 1

          From a distance and through the trees we see a raging hell
          fire engulfing a small two story house. It burns and burns.
          Out of nowhere a man bursts through a second story window,
          lands hard and rolls to smother his burning clothes.
          He crawls away and staggers up and for a moment looks as if
          he might run back into the flames. But the heat is
          unbearable. He runs toward us then past us through black
          shadows. We cannot see his face,

          1A EXT. WINDOW - EARLY MORNING (WINTER 1930S) 1A

           Glass in a weathered window glitters with early morning sun.
           A rock shatters one of the remaining glass panes!

          2 EXT. YARD - EARLY MORNING/CONTINUOUS 2

           The rock thrower, TOM ( 10) is hightailing it away from an
          isolated Appalachian SHACK as the door bangs open, a shotgun
          barrel appears, and a chicken comes SQUAWKING out from under
          the porch!
          Thinking he's sure to be shot, Tom runs into the old barn!

          3 INT. BUSH'S BARN - EARLY MORNING/CONTINUOUS 3

          Panting in terror, Tom is hunkered down in strips of light,
          trying to see through the cracks. There is a loud SNORT and
          the huge face of some kind of beast suddenly appears at his
          shoulder.
          Tom jumps, panicked, just as a SHADOWY FIGURE creeps into the
          barn and levels a glinting shotgun at him!
          Tom freezes, bends over, and throws up!
          When Tom looks up, a ray of light reveals the half face of a
          fierce gray bearded man, FELIX BUSH. He is holding out a
          handkerchief to the boy. Shaking hard, Tom hesitates then
          takes it and wipes his mouth.
          Bush pushes open the door and gives Tom a sad look that the
          boy will never forget before waving him away.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          2.

          4 EXT. BUSH'S BARN - MORNING 4

          Looking back over his shoulder, Tom runs for the road. Two of
          his BUDDIES are already kicking up dust.
          BUSH (72) steps into the sun and watches the boy run off with
          a look of muted anger, sadness, and something much deeper.

          5 INT. BUSH'S BARN - DAY 5

          Bush enters the barn to check on his companion. MULE is older
          than Bush in mule years and just as gray. He wears an old
          mule blanket everywhere to keep out the cold. He fidgets
          nervously from all the excitement. Bush comforts him.

                         BUS H
          Just a boy, that's all.

                         6 SERIES: 6
          7 Bush rips down an old faded sign at the road and posts a 7
          fresh one:'No Damn Trespassing/Beware of Mule'. Bush checks
          the road in both directions. All clear for now.
          8 Bush splits firewood with powerful cleaving strokes. Mule 8
          dozes in the shade. Bush sees a Model-T approach and turn
          into his road, right past his new sign. He glances at his
          shotgun leaning against the shack.
          The Model-T comes to a shaky stop. A MAN climbs out, sees
          Bush swinging the axe and approaches with trepidation.

                         HORTON
          Mornin', sir.

                         BUSH
          Hard life if you can't read..

                         HORTON
          Pardon? I'm uh, Reverend Gus
          Horton, sir, how you doing?
          Bush stops his swing and turns and stares coldly at Horton.

                         BUSH
          Don't need saving, preacher.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          3.

                         HORTON
          Uh, well, Mr. Wiley Starke has
          passed on, sir. His funeral is
          tomorrow and I thought you might
          want to know since..

                         BUSH

                         (SOFTLY)
          What got him?

                         HORTON
          Just got old, sir.

                         BUSH
          Yeah, well..
          Bush returns to chopping wood.
          Feeling awkward, Horton hesitates, starts for his car, stops.

                         HORTON
          Mr. Starke told me that you and him
          ran away from home when you were 6
          years old. Is that true?

                         BUSH
          I talked him into it.
          Bush doesn't turn, just keeps chopping.

                         HORTON
          Well.. anyway.. I.. alright..
          Horton shrugs, get in his car, and leaves.
           Bush strikes the log hard and a cleaved piece goes flying.

          9 EXT. CEMETERY - EVENING 9

          The loneliness of the empty cemetery is broken by Wiley
          Starke's fresh grave. The mounded earth is covered with
          beautiful flowers and wreathes, a loving send off from his
          family and friends. As we pan past the flowers and cards..
          we realize that the cemetery is not quite empty.
          Hunkered down nearby, Bush is as still as a gravestone,
          staring at the last resting place of his old friend.
          As Bush gets up to leave he stops abruptly and stands frozen,
          staring at a pot of YELLOW FLOWERS on a distant grave. Now he
          turns and walks quickly away in the opposite direction.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          4.

          10 INT. BUSH'S SHACK - NIGHT 10

          Rain drums hard on the tin roof as Bush, soaked to the bone
          and shaking with chills, rummages through an old hat box by
          lamp light: Letters, news clippings and keepsakes. He finds
          what he's looking for: A PICTURE of a BEAUTIFUL YOUNG WOMAN.
          She smiles at us from happier days. Realizing that he is
          raging with a serious fever, he tries to stand up only to
          collapse back on the bed.

                         11 OMIT 11/12/13 11

          14 EXT. BUSH'S SHACK - NIGHT 14

          Wrapped in his quilt and carrying the oil lamp, Bush moves
          slowly toward the barn. But he is so wracked with fever he
          has to stop. It stuns him that he can't go on. He never
          thought anything could stop him. Stuck in the rain with the
          shaking lamp sizzling, he stares into the forever darkness,
          the muscles in his jaw rippling in the pale light.

                         BUSH
          Well hell..

          15 INT. BUSH'S BARN - NIGHT 15

          Somehow he has made it. Sopping wet and shivering, Bush is in
          bad shape and knows it.
          Mule sees Bush and grunts anxiously as he rises.
          Bush blindly pours Mule some feed and the poor old thing
          snatches his first meal in days.
          Bush tries to think through the fever. He stumbles back to
          the door and swings it wide open so Mule can get out if Bush
          doesn't make it. Satisfied, he comes back and drops hard onto
          a pile of hay near Mule.

                         BUSH
          Always thought you'd go first..
          White as cotton, Bush stares into the lamp that is running
          out of oil, the light fading fast to darkness. Thoughts
          tumble through his mind, troubling him, stirring the dark
          waters of memory.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          5.

          16 EXT. BUSH'S BARN - MORNING 16

          PAN across the stillness of the foothills to the barn. The
          door is still swung wide open.
          Back from the brink of death, Bush emerges into the blinding
          sunlight. Mule is dozing in his favorite spot. He swings his
          big gray head over at Bush.

                         BUSH
          Ahh, don't look so disappointed.

                         17 OMITTED 17

          18 EXT. BUSH'S BARN - MORNING 18 

          Mule watches Bush heave a creaky old wagon out from behind
          the barn. Mule climbs up on all fours. Bush gets a set of
          reins and walks toward him. Mule starts to take a stroll,
          knowing what the reins mean.

                         BUSH
          You better not.
          Mule looks back, sees an apple in Bush's hand, and stops.

                         BUSH
          And coffee when we get there.

          19 EXT. MAIN STREET - DAY 19

          Old wheels creak and moan. Bush and Mule ease up Main street
          with the cart. PEOPLE try to catch a glimpse of the infamous
          recluse.
          Mule comes to a wearied stop, breathing hard. Bush climbs off
          the cart and walks Mule, ignoring the eyes upon him.

          20 INT. CHAPEL - DAY 20

          Reverend Horton, stoking the wood stove, hears FOOTSTEPS.

                         HORTON
          Buddy?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          6.
          But as he turns he sees Bush silently looking around.

                         HORTON
          Oh! Hello..
          Horton comes to Bush but Bush ignores him and keeps
          critically looking around.

                         HORTON
          What can I do for you, sir?
          Suddenly BUDDY and KATHRYN ROBINSON (20's) enter from the
          vestibule with their new BABY. In their own world, and not
          realizing that there is anyone in the chapel, Kathryn picks
          some lint from Buddy's jacket. He catches her fingers and
          kisses them.
          Bush is transfixed by the loving moment.

                         BUSH
          I can wait.
          Buddy and Kathryn see Horton and double-take Bush. Buddy nods
          to Horton and he and Kathryn step back into the vestibule to
          give Bush and Horton privacy.

                         HORTON
          It's alright, have a seat.
          Bush sits down uneasily in a pew. Horton sits down in the pew
          in front of him and twists around to face him. The wintry
          light from the near window washes over them.

                         HORTON
          What's on your mind, sir?

                         BUSH
          Bout time for me to get low.

                         HORTON
          Get what?

                         BUSH
          Down to business
          Bush reaches into his overalls and puts a balled-up wad of
          MONEY on the pew. Horton's eyes bulge.

                         BUSH
          Need a funeral.
          Horton looks up from the money.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          7.

                         HORTON
          For who?

                         BUSH
          Me.
          Buddy peers around from the vestibule, listening, curious as
          hell, until Kathryn pulls him back.

                          HORTON
           For you?
          (off Bush's impatient nod)
          You want to buy a funeral for you?

                         BUSH
          Am I not talking right?

                         HORTON
          No, yes, I'm sorry. Are you sick
          sir?

                         BUSH
          Everybody dies.

                         HORTON
          True, but..

                         BUSH
          I don't take care of my bones it
          won't get done, will it?

                         HORTON
          All right, I see. Well the church
          can help you get your affairs in
          order, arrange a service..
          Horton glances at the strange wad of money again.

                         BUSH
          What would you say?

                         HORTON
          About what?

                         BUS H
          Me.

                         HORTON
          A eulogy? I.. don't know. What do
          you want me to say?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          8.

                         BUSH
          Say what you'd say right now to my
          face.

                         HORTON
          Well. I uh, I don't know much about
          you, Mr. Bush. I mean, I've heard
          stories but..

                         BUSH
          What stories?
          Bush leans in and stares into Horton. It feels like
          everything in the world stops dead.
          Buddy peeks in again, this time Kathryn peeks too.

                         HORTON
          Just stories..
          (off Bush's intense look)
          .you know, people talking.

                         BUSH
          What kind of stories? Say one.

                         HORTON
          Sir.. my mother used to say that
          gossip is the devil's radio..

                         (UNFORTUNATE ASIDE)
          .not that she didn't play that
          radio at full volume now and then,
          bless her heart, but..
          (back to business)
          .what matters when you come to the
          end of your life is that you're
          ready for the next one. Have you
          made peace with God, sir?

                         BUS H
          I paid.
          Horton has no idea what Bush means. He looks at the money,
          back at Bush.

                         HORTON
          Well.. you can't buy forgiveness,
          Mr. Bush. It's free. But you do
          have to ask for it.

                         BUSH
          Nothing in this world is free,
          preacher.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          9.
          Bush abruptly grabs his money and starts out. His hand bangs
          into the pew and the money FALLS.
          Buddy stares wild-eyed at the big wad of money then drops
          back into the vestibule.
          Bush storms past Buddy, Kathryn and the baby like a hot wind.

          20A EXT. CHURCH - DAY 20A

          Bush heads off down the road on his wagon. Horton, Buddy, and
          Kathryn appear at the door and watch him go.

                         HORTON
          That was, uh, different.

                         KATHRYN
          I heard such awful things about him
          when I was a kid.

                         HORTON
          My mother probably told you some of
          them.
          Kathryn goes back into the church with Horton who is cooing
          at the baby. Buddy lingers, staring at Bush, thinking..

          21 EXT. MAIN STREET - DAY 21

          Bush's wagon loaded with bags of feed and supplies, sits in
          front of the Diner.
          Bush is holding a big tin cup of coffee for Mule who is
          drinking it and loving it.
          Tom (the kid who threw the rock) comes from behind the diner
          with a full garbage can to empty into the big trash barrels
          on the back of an old pick-up truck. He sees Bush and
          freezes.
          Bush looks up and stares at him.
          The diner door snaps open and BONNIE (30's), Tom's mother,
          steps out. She sees Tom and Bush staring at each other.

                         BONNIE
          What are you doing, son?
          Now Tom is scared to death that Bush is going to tell on him.
          Bonnie doesn't like this staring match at all.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          10.

                         BONNIE
          Empty those cans in your daddy's
          truck and get back in here. Now.
          Finally Bush drops his gaze and lets Tom off the hook.
          Relieved, Tom heaves the can up into the truck. Bonnie
          hesitates then goes back into the diner just as...
          .CARL (30s), his sidekick, GARY, and two other MEN come
          across the street toward the diner. Gary sees Mule slurping
          coffee from the big tin cup.

                         GARY
          Look at that. A mule drinking
          coffee!

                         CARL
          Finally found somebody that likes
          Bonnie's coffee.
          As they move past, they see Bush standing there..

                         WORKER
          Ya'll better hush, that's old Bush.
          Carl eyes him. Gary and the others throw curious glances as
          they head into the diner. Carl stops.

                         CARL
          Hey..

                         (NO RESPONSE)
          I'm talking to you..
          Carl picks up a handful of gravel, tosses some over
          nonchalantly in Bush's direction. Bush ignores it.

                         CARL
          We know about you. You stay out of
          this diner. There's women and
          children here and we don't want you
          around them.
          Bush stands to mount up, never turning around.

                         CARL
          You better hear me. I see you here
          again, I'll.. Hey! Hey!
          Hearing the hollering, Tom looks up from the pick-up.
          Carl throws a stone, harder this time to get Bush's
          attention.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          11.
          But the rock misses Bush and hits Mule, startling him. Old
          instincts kick in and he has a VIOLENT FIT.

                         CARL
          Shit..
          Carl moves up to try and calm him..
          .as Bush tries to ease Mule down the cart hitch grinds a
          GASH in Mule's hind-quarter. Mule whinnies painfully, slowly
          surrendering.
          As Carl steps up, Bush yanks the BRAKE HANDLE off the cart
          and hits Carl in the chest. Air explodes from Carl as he
          gasps with pain. Before he can move, Bush hits him again in
          the same place. Carl wants to hit back but he has no air.
          Lightning quick, Bush steps back and hits Carl again in the
          exact same place.
          Carl falls like a bag of bones. He looks up and sees Bush
          towering over him with a terrible bottled up darkness in him.
          It has all happened so fast it feels like an awful dream to
          Carl.

                         TOM
          Daddy!
          Wild with fear, Bonnie and Tom run toward Bush.

                         BONNIE
          Stop it!! Get away!
          Gary, the Worker burst from the diner but see the brake
          handle in Bush's hand and slow down.
          Bush comes to himself, sees everyone staring, sees Carl in
          tears, and now Tom and Bonnie, trying to get him away..
          Gary and the others slowly move toward Bush. More patrons
          step out from the diner.
          Buddy races up, sees Mule bleeding, and eyes Bush as he grabs
          the reins and leads Mule down Main street, still holding the
          brake handle.

                         CARL

                         (GASPING)
          I'll kill him!
          Bonnie shushes him softly as Carl moans in pain.
          Tom stares after Bush, mirroring his father's hatred.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          12.

                         22 OMITTED 22

          23 INT. FUNERAL HOME - DAY 23 

          An EMPTY CASKET, awaits its passenger in a small but
          serviceable funeral hall. Through the office door, FRANK
          QUINN sits at his desk, his head completely buried behind a
          paper that he shakes hard every few seconds. His feet are up
          on the desk revealing a pair of lovely burgundy silk socks.

          24 INT. FUNERAL HOME/OFFICE - SAME 24

           Frank's hand slips the flask next to his coffee cup into a
           drawer when he HEARS the front door open. But his face
           remains hidden as Buddy enters. Buddy is troubled by the
          fight.

                         BUDDY
          Frank?
          (off Frank's grunt)
          There was a fight. It was..

                         FRANK
          .let me guess. Hmm. Carl?

                         BUDDY
          Well yeah but this time it was with
          that old man Bush.

                         FRANK
          Old man?

                         (DISTANTLY HOPEFUL)
          Is there a body?

                         BUDDY
          No, the old man did the beating.
          Never seen anything like it.

                         FRANK
          Social event of the year and I
          missed it.
          Frank lowers the paper so just his eyes appear. He has no
          southern accent and doesn't look small town.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          13.

                         FRANK
          Read the paper today?
          (off Buddy's no)
          Something strange is happening in
          the world right now.

                         BUDDY
          What?

                         FRANK
          People are dying in bunches.
          (off Buddy's look)
          Everywhere. But here.
          He puts the paper down and studies his socks.

                         FRANK
          I wonder what the odds are of a
          funeral home going broke? I mean
          you have a business everybody on
          earth needs, you can't make that
          work, it's got to be you right? And
          yet.. I don't know.. what do you do
          when people won't die?

                         BUDDY
          Well..

                         FRANK
          Onethingabout Chicago, people
          knowhowto die; they drown, get
          runover,shot, whatever it takes.

                         BUDDY
          We get it done down here, we're
          just not in a hurry about it.

                         FRANK
          It's them or us.
          Frank sighs and stares forlornly out at a casket.

                         BUDDY

                         (QUIETLY)
          I might know someone who is looking
          for a funeral.
          Frank's eyes crawl over to him.

                         25 OMITTED 25

                         

                         

                         

                         

          14.

          30 EXT./INT. FRONTAGE ROAD/FRANK'S CAR - DAY 30

          The Quinn Funeral Home Packard Hearse makes it way down the
          road. Frank drives as Buddy searches ahead.

                         FRANK
          How much did he have?

                         BUDDY
          It was all wadded up.

                         FRANK
          Ooo, hermit money. That's good.
          Buddy sees Bush's signs.

                         BUDDY
          There it is..

          31 INT/EXT. FRANK'S CAR/FRONTAGE ROAD - DAY 31

          They stop at Bush's sign: 'No Damn Trespassing." Frank
          squints up at the old shack and doesn't like what he sees at
          all. Buddy opens his door but Frank doesn't.

                         BUDDY
          What are you doing?

                         FRANK
          You've been wanting a shot at
          sales..

                         BUDDY
          But..

                         FRANK
          As of right now, you're on
          commission.
          (off Buddy's look)
          Remember; foot in the door,
          establish trust, and drop the
          hammer.
          Buddy hesitates, crawls out, and eyes the shack.

                         BUDDY
          I'd feel better if you'd go too.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          15.

                         FRANK
          No doubt but if you don't do this
          by yourself, you won't know if
          you're any good. And you'll never
          be any good if you don't know you
          are. Go get him!

          32 EXT. BUSH'S SHACK - DAY 32

          As Buddy uneasily approaches the shack, he feels the
          beautiful stillness and mystery of the place. He KNOCKS
          timidly on the door, pressing an ear to listen.

                         BUDDY
          Hello?
          Nothing. He shoots a look back to the hearse - miles away,
          and knocks a little louder. Nothing. He inches to the window
          and peeks in one of the remaining glass panes then starts to
          slide away..

          CLICK.
          Buddy spins and discovers Bush standing on the ground behind
          him, his shotgun barrel pointed between Buddy's eyes.

                         BUSH
          Want to see in my house, do you?
          BOOM! Bush blows away several windowpanes and re-aims at
          Buddy's head.

                         BUSH
          How's it look?
          Buddy closes his eyes, his last words are for his wife..

                         BUDDY
          Oh, Katie..
          It makes Bush peek out from behind the barrel.

                         BUS H
          You was at the church with your
          wife and baby.
          Buddy opens his eyes and can't believe he is still alive.

                         BUDDY
          Yes, sir.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          16.

                         BUSH
          What the hell you doing here?

                         BUDDY
          I can't remember.

                         BUSH
          What?
          They stand there while Buddy thinks..

                         BUDDY
          Oh yeah, I heard.. you wanted a
          funeral.

                         BUSH
          Funeral?

                         BUSH
          Yes sir. I work at uh.. I work at..
          (tries to think of it)
          .Quinn Funeral Home. I thought I
          could help you.
          Bush glances at his blown out window: 'Damn'. He lowers his
          gun, walks up onto the porch.

                         BUS H
          You like rabbit?

                         BUDDY
          What?
          Bush goes inside.
          Buddy looks desperately back at the hearse but can't see
          Frank. He doesn't know whether to run for it or not.

          33 INT. BUSH'S SHACK - DAY 33

          The shack is spare as a monk's chamber but has wonderful HAND
          MADE FURNITURE in it.

                         BUSH
          Sit down.
          There is only chair at the table so Buddy dumps the glass off
          a small stool under the window and sits down low. The wonder
          of not being dead makes him look at everything with new eyes.
          On a window sill he sees a beautiful little CARVED MULE
          emerging from a block of wood.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          17.
          Bush is at the stove tending to a iron skillet of rabbit
          pieces covered with bacon and white gravy.

                         BUSH
          It's how you put things together,
          see? Some things go, some things
          never will. Indians said that
          everything spoke to them. That's
          how they made medicine and knew
          what to eat. Things talked to them
          clear as we talk. You believe that?

                         BUDDY
          I.. I don't know, sir.

                         BUSH
          If you don't listen you won't hear
          nothing.
          Bush puts the big skillet on the table and sits down.
          Buddy is so low he can look under the table and sees how the
          table legs run right into the top without screws or nails.

                         BUDDY
          Did you make this furniture, sir?
          Never seen any like it. Can't even
          tell what's holding it up.

                         BUSH
          Magic.
          Buddy looks up. Bush is dead serious. The word lingers.
          Finally..

                         BUDDY
          Alright. Well. Sir, if you do want
          to plan for a funeral service,
          which I hope will be a long long
          time away, we'd treat you with
          respect and offer a good..

                         BUSH
          What'd everybody say about what
          happened in town?

                         BUDDY
          I don't..

                         BUSH
          That crazy old son of a bitch tried
          to beat a man to death for no
          reason? That it?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          18.
          Buddy is caught off guard by Bush's lucid candor and finds
          himself automatically responding differently to him.

                         BUDDY
          There's two sides to every story.
          As Bush puts some rabbit on Buddy's old yellowed plate..

                         BUSH
          People say that. But they don't
          mean it. They think what they think
          and they don't want to know
          anything else.

                         BUDDY
          Yes, sir, but I think people are so
          scared of what they don't know that
          they make things up to feel better
          about it.

                         BUSH
          Like life after dying. Heaven.

                         BUDDY

                         (THINKS)
          I hope that part's true, don't you?

                         (BEAT)
          But I don't think we know the
          actual truth about much of
          anything. I know I don't. I'm just
          guessing most of the time.
          Bush gives Buddy a closer look and motions for him to try the
          rabbit. Fearing the worst, Buddy bends into the steam, takes
          a cautious bites and mutters with shocked surprise..

                         BUDDY
          Lord, that's good..

                         BUS H
          You boys been coming out here to
          throw rocks through my window for
          20-30 years.

                         BUDDY
          I never..

                         BUSH
          Ya'll know lots of stories about
          me?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          19.

                         BUDDY

                         (SQUIRMS)
          Yes, sir, I guess, but..

                         BUSH
          Tell one.

                         BUDDY
          I'd rather not.
          Bush eases forward, his eyes slit. The old Bush is back.

                         BUSH
          I rather you did.

                         BUDDY
          (startled/leans back)
          Well. When I was kid I heard you
          killed some men in a fist fight.

                         BUSH
          Is that all?
          Bush leans back stone-faced.
          In the silence, Buddy looks over again at the wondrous
          carving of the mule on the window sill, at the big ears and
          long face that are being born from the rough block. It makes
          him smile. But when he glances back, Bush is staring a hole
          through him.

                         BUS H
          What's your name again?

                         BUDDY
          Buddy Robinson, sir.

                         BUS H
          Well, if I need you -- I know where
          you are.
          It sounds almost like a threat. It shorts Buddy out. He stops
          eating and realizes that Bush has taken another turn and that
          he's been dismissed.

          34 EXT. BUSH'S SHACK - DAY 34

          Buddy heads to the hearse, glancing back over his shoulder.
          As he recalls his encounter, he stops, looking back at the
          shack. The old legend has gotten deep under his skin.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          20.

                         35 OMITTED 35

          35A EXT. BUSH'S LAND/FIELD 35A

          The morning sun breaks over the mountains.

          36 EXT. BUSH'S SHACK - MORNING 36

          Bush is on the porch, straining boiled herbs, grass, and bark
          into a jar. There is something not right with him and he
          knows it. While the medicine cools he looks out across the
          mountain and draws a deep breath.

          37 EXT. FUNERAL HOME - MORNING 37

           A well crafted live-in home doubling as a funeral parlor. A
          sign, 'QUINN FUNERAL HOME', hangs from the porch.

          FRANK (O.S.)
          Oh yes Ma'am, I do respect your
          wishes but you see..

          38 INT. FUNERAL HOME/FRANK'S OFFICE - SAME 38

          Frank is looking a little hung over. Buddy walks in. Frank
          points at the phone and rolls his blood shot eyes.

                         FRANK
          .state law requires.. No ma'am, we
          can't bury him under the house..
          There is a loud KNOCK at the door. Buddy goes to get it.

          39 EXT. FUNERAL HOME/FRONT DOOR - DAY 39

          Buddy swings the door open. Bush is standing there. Buddy
          leans back unconsciously, not knowing what to expect.

          FRANK (O.S.)
          Well just for argument's sake,
          Ma'am, how would we get the casket
          under the house? No casket?

                         BUDDY

                         (TO BUSH)
          Would you like to come in, sir?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          21.
          Bush stares suspiciously into the room then back at Buddy.

          FRANK (O.S.)
          But you have to have a container of
          some kind, Ma'am for decency and
          uh, sanitation.
          Bush enters the Funeral Home. As Buddy starts to close the
          door, Bush catches it.

                         BUSH
          Leave it.

          40 INT. FUNERAL HOME - CONTINUOUS 40

          Frank is still on the phone and pouring himself a drink from
          the flask into his coffee cup in the drawer.

                         FRANK
          Yes, Ma'am, but there's lots of
          natural things that aren't decent.
          (listens, eyes widen)
          He did what?! Good God. No, Ma'am,
          I didn't know that about your
          husband. Well, yeah now I
          understand why you want him under
          the house but still..
          The phone goes dead. FRANK sighs as Bush walks in.

                         BUDDY
          Frank Quinn, Mr. Bush.
          Frank takes a quick swallow from his cup to fortify himself,
          then jumps up, smiling, and goes to Bush with his hand out.

                         FRANK
          Come in, come in, pleasure. Coffee?
          As Bush shakes Frank's hand, he stares into him, taking
          everything in, his bloodshot eyes, the wrinkled shirt beneath
          his suit, his breath. Frank feels downright naked.

                         BUSH
          You from anywhere?

                         FRANK
          A little bit of everywhere, I
          guess. Get him a chair, Buddy!
          Buddy stands behind the waiting chair.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          22.
          Bush scrapes up a different chair. Frank goes behind the
          desk. Buddy pulls up a chair.
          Bush reaches into his coat and pulls out the wad of hermit
          money and lays it on the desk. Frank does something
          phenomenal. He ignores the money.

                         FRANK
          How can we help you, sir?
          Bush gives Buddy a look, then looks back at Frank who
          steadfastly refuses to look at the ball of money.

                         BUSH
          I'm after a funeral.

                         FRANK
          Boy, are you in luck.

                         (GETTING UP)
          Follow me.

          41 INT. FUNERAL HOME - DAY 41

          Frank and Buddy stand with Bush in a room dedicated to sales.
          Three caskets are lined up for display. All tanks.
          Bush steps up to a cheap cloth covered box, bangs it with his
          knuckles, and scowls. Frank points to a wooden casket.

                         FRANK
          Solid pecan, steel handles..
          Bush eyes it, repulsed.

                         BUDDY
          Mr. Bush is an amazing carpenter.

                         BUSH
          Forget the box. What else?

                         FRANK
          Whatever you want, flowers..

                         BUSH
          No.

                         FRANK
          Burial plot..

                         BUSH
          Got it.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          23.

                         FRANK
          A service?

                         BUSH
          Party.

                         FRANK
          A what?

                         BUSH
          A party.

                         BUDDY
          What kind of party?

                         BUSH
          Funeral party.
          Stumped for once in his life, Frank looks at Buddy. Then
          years of honed instincts surge back to life.

                         FRANK
          We can do that.

          42 INT. FUNERAL HOME/OFFICE - DAY 42

          As they come back into the office..

                         BUSH
          And I want to be there.
          Frank goes behind his desk. Buddy and Bush start to sit..

                         FRANK
          You will be, I guarantee it.

                         BUSH
          I want to be there now.

                         BUDDY
          You want to be at your funeral..
          party.. alive?
          (off Bush's nod)
          But.. it's not a funeral if you're
          not, you know, deceased..

                         FRANK
          Hold on now, it's a detail, we can
          look at it.

                         BUDDY
          Pretty big detail.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          24.
          Frank cuts Buddy a look then smiles at Bush.

                         FRANK
          So you'd like to have a funeral
          party while you're alive so you can
          go?

                         BUSH
          Yes or no?

                         FRANK
          Yes.
          Buddy is lost.

                         FRANK
          Buddy, get some paper. We need to
          make of list of who Mr. Bush wants
          to invite..
          As Buddy starts to get up.

                         BUSH
          Sit down.
          Buddy sits right down.

                         BUSH
          I want everybody to come who's got
          a story to tell about me.

                         FRANK
          Say again.

                         BUDDY
           That probably covers 4 counties..
           Bush shoots him a look. Frank shoots him a look. Buddy thinks
           about how great an outdoor life would be.

                          BUSH
          Then I want 4 counties worth of
           people at the party.

                         FRANK
          Well, sir, the thing is, how would
          you get people to come and tell
          stories about you that I'm guessing
          might get them, you know.. shot?
          Bush scoops up the ball of money and heads out. Now all Frank
          can see is the money, leaving.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          25.

                         FRANK
          You know what, you go ahead, don't
          worry about it, we'll think of
          something. A couple of ideas just
          came to me.

                         BUDDY
          Like what?

          43 EXT. FUNERAL HOME - DAY 43

          As Bush starts out the open door, he nearly bumps into
          Buddy's wife, Kathryn, and MATTIE DARROW. Mattie is carrying
          Kathryn and Buddy's baby boy.
          Frank sees Mattie and flicks his hair back nervously and
          quickly brushes his teeth with his finger as..
          .Bush gives Mattie a glance and tries to be invisible.

                         MATTIE
          Felix?!
          Feigning deafness, Bush walks on. Sensing something, Kathryn
          takes the baby so Mattie can go after him.

                         MATTIE
          Felix! Say hello to me!
          Frank, eyes wide with surprise, mouths, "Felix?".
          Bush's shoulder hunch then fall as he turns. He looks into
          her, taking everything in. When he speaks his eyes and voice
          are soft.

                         BUSH
          Hey Mattie.
          Buddy comes out, surprised to see Mattie and Bush together.
          Frank walks up behind him and scowls. Kathryn steers them
          back inside to give Mattie privacy.

                         BUSH
          Heard you moved off.

                         MATTIE
          I've been back a while.

                         BUSH

                         (LOOKING AWAY)
          Well.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          26.

                         MATTIE
          How are you?

                         BUSH
          You look like you always did.
          He abruptly rips himself away and is gone.

          44 INT. FUNERAL HOME - DAY 44

          Buddy and Frank are peeking out the window. They see Mattie
          standing alone as Bush walks away.

                         FRANK
          How would she know him?

          KATHRYN (O.S.)
          It's none of our business.

                         FRANK
          So? We got to know.
          Kathryn shakes her head and goes back outside. FRANK has
          another look at Mattie then lets the curtain fall back.

                         FRANK
          See the size of that thing?

                         BUDDY
          What?

                         FRANK
          What do you mean, what? Goddamn
          ball of money! He wants a party
          with pink balloons on his ears,
          we're gonna give it to him.

                         BUDDY
          But..

                         FRANK
          I sold 26 of the ugliest cars ever
          made one December, in Chicago, with
          wind blowing so hard up my ass I
          was farting snow flakes in July so
          don't tell me we can't do this.

                         BUDDY
          But..

                         

                         

                         

                         

          27.

                         FRANK
          That's the last "but" I want to
          hear out of you. You're a salesman
          now, sell!

                         FRANK
          (looking out again)
          She called him Felix.

          45 EXT. FUNERAL HOME - DAY 45

           Kathryn rocks the baby in a carriage. Mattie is beside her.

                         MATTIE
          A thousand years ago he was the
          most interesting man I'd ever met.

                         KATHRYN
          Get out of here.

                         MATTIE
          He was. And I don't mean just the
          way he looked.

                         KATHRYN
          I hope not.

                         MATTIE
          Oh no, listen, he was beautiful.

                         KATHRYN
          Are you serious?

                         MATTIE

                         (SIGHS/THINKS)
          Most people are just laid out nice
          and simple, you know? You always
          know what they're thinking and
          where you are with them. But he was
          this.. big old cave that went
          deeper and deeper. You'd never get
          to the end of him.

                         KATHRYN
          Good Lord, you had a crush on him!

                         MATTIE
          All the girls did. I know he's
          something wild that crawls out of
          the hills once in a while and gets
          into trouble now but there's still
          nobody like him.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          28.

          46 EXT. BUSH'S BARN - MORNING 46

           Bush comes out of the barn. Frank and Buddy are there.

                         FRANK
          We have a plan. All we need is a
          little bit of your time.

                         BUSH
          What for?

                         BUDDY
          Seeing it is better than hearing
          about it.
          Bush looks at the hearse, back at Buddy and Frank.

                         BUSH
          How much is it gonna cost?

                         FRANK

                         (TO BUDDY)
          Did you say anything about money?
          (touches his own chest)
          I didn't say anything about money.

                         (TO BUSH)
          If we can't get you what you want
          you don't owe us anything.

          47 INT. HEARSE - DAY 47

          Frank, Buddy, and Bush ride in the front seat of the hearse.
          They are together but in very different worlds. They don't
          even look at each other when they talk.
          Buddy is lost in serious thought.
          Frank is preoccupied about the deal and driving too fast.
          Bush is scrunched up to the door. He is going much faster
          than he is used to going. He kinda likes it and kinda
          doesn't.

                         BUSH
          It moves, don't it?

                         FRANK

                         (DISTRACTED)
          This is nothing.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          29.

                         BUSH
          Fancy car for the dead.

                         FRANK
          Didn't buy it for them.

                         BUDDY
          (out of nowhere)
          We say that funerals are "For the
          Living" but we forget what that
          means sometimes, I guess.
          (to Bush but almost to

                         HIMSELF)
          I was thinking about your funeral
          party before I went to sleep last
          night and I think I understand it a
          little now. When I was a kid, my
          folks where killed in a bad car
          wreck and the people at the funeral
          home... they did the impossible as
          far as I was concerned. I don't
          know what I would've done without
          them. And I remember wishing that
          my mother and daddy were there to
          see how beautiful they made
          everything.
          Frank is hearing this for the first time and is shocked. Bush
          glances softly at Buddy then looks out the side window at the
          world rushing by too fast. All at once he gives in to it.

          48 EXT. TOWN STREET - DAY 48

          The hearse pulls up on main street. Frank, Buddy, and Bush
          get out and head toward Feldman's Clothing Store.

          48A INT. FELDMAN'S CLOTHING STORE- DAY 48A

          Frank and Buddy enter the store and find MR. FELDMAN and a
          PHOTOGRAPHER setting up a large camera and backdrop. As they
          turn to show Bush what is happening they see him go by the
          window outside.

                         FRANK
          Where's he going?

                         49 OMIT 49

                         

                         

                         

                         

          30.

          50 INT. TOLLERUDE'S BARBER SHOP - DAY 50

           A barber's drape falls over BUSH who is seated in a chair.
          Frank and Buddy rush in. The barber, an anxious Mr.
          Tollerude, pumps Bush's chair upward.

                         FRANK

                         (TO BUSH)
          I wish you wouldn't do that yet.
          Bush gives him the hairy eyeball then speaks to Mr.
          Tollerude, a clear threat.

                         BUSH
          Don't leave me naked.

                         FRANK
          Mr. Bush, you can get all the hairs
          cut you want after we take your
          picture, I'll pay for it.
          Mr. Tollerude doesn't know whether to cut or not.

                         BUSH
          Why you want my picture made?

                         BUDDY
          That's what we're trying to tell
          you. We're gonna run an ad in some
          papers about your party and put up
          posters of you.

                         BUSH
          And you want me to look like this?

                         FRANK
          Yes.

                         BUSH
          Why?

                         FRANK
          Why?

                         BUDDY
          It's how people recognize you, sir.

                         FRANK
          And you want as many people to come
          as possible so..

                         

                         

                         

                         

          31.

                         BUSH
          So a crazy old nutter draws more.

                         FRANK
          Basically. Don't you think?

                         BUSH
          Do you ever say what you mean?
          Bush rips the bib off as Tollerude whooshes him to the floor.

          51 INT. FELDMAN'S CLOTHING STORE 51

          Bush is seated in front of a backdrop painted with a bridge,
          a swan, and a pond. The Photographer is trying to tidy up
          Bush without offending him. As he walks back to camera, Bush
          roughs himself up and looks truly wild.
          Buddy snickers. When the Photographer gets back to the
          camera, he cocks his head, what?!

                         FRANK
          Take it.
          (leans in to Buddy)
          I'd go see that.

          52 INT. TOLLERUDE'S BARBERSHOP - DAY 52

          Mr. Tollerude, nervous as hell, brings Bush up from his
          reclining position and turns the chair to the mirror.
          Bush studies his well trimmed hair and beard for a moment.
          It's impossible to tell what his thoughts are as he looks
          into his own eyes.
          Buddy and Frank are in the mirror too, staring at him.

                         BUDDY

                         (GENUINELY SURPRISED)
          Damn. You look pretty good..
          Bush suddenly gets up and nods at Frank.

                         BUSH
          He's paying.
          As Bush blows out the door, Mr. Tollerude leans against the
          chair with relief.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          32.

          53 INT. FELDMAN'S CLOTHING STORE - DAY 53

          Bush stands in front of a full length mirror. He has on a
          decent black suit, pinned to be hemmed, and a plain white
          shirt, open at the collar. It is a startling change. But we
          still can't tell what he is thinking.
          Buddy is staring at him with honest disbelief.
          Frank is quietly trying to get Mr. Feldman to lower the price
          for the suit. He looks over and double-takes Bush.

                         FRANK
          Son of a bitch, it's almost worth
          it.

                         BUSH

                         (TO BUDDY)
          What do you think?

                         BUDDY
          I wouldn't know you, sir.

                         BUSH
          Maybe the Devil won't either. Might
          work out.

                         (TO FRANK)
          Where's the shoes?

                         FRANK
          Well, normally people don't wear
          shoes in a casket so..
          (off Bush's scowl)
          .what are you, about a 10D?

          54 INT. FELDMAN'S CLOTHING STORE - MOMENTS LATER 54

          Buddy stands beside Frank who is still trying to get a deal
          on the clothes. Bush walks up with two pairs of pants and two
          new shirts, puts them on the counter, gives Frank a hard
          look, and walks away. Frank looks down at the clothes, over
          at Buddy.

                         FRANK
          Pretty optimistic taking a change
          of clothes to the grave.
          (calls over his shoulder)
          How you set for underwear?

          BUSH (O.S.)
          Don't wear none.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          33.

                         FRANK
          One question too many.

                         55 OMIT 55

          56 INT. HEARSE - DAY 56

          Everyone is back in the hearse. Something is eating at Frank.

                         FRANK
          I don't mean to be nosey but uh..
          how do you know Mattie?

                         BUSH
          She's a peach.
          Frank and Buddy cut Bush a look. He looks ahead.

                         BUSH
          We had a go.
          Frank nearly drives off the road.

          57 INT. FUNERAL HOME/ FRANK'S ROOM - NIGHT 57

          Late night Poker. Cigarette smoke drifts into the air.
          Frank, Carl, Rev. Horton, Mattie, and RAY, a banker, are at
          the table. Ray has the untouchable presence of someone
          privileged which appears to be driving Frank up a tree
          tonight. Horton gathers up his winnings.

                         HORTON
          "The Lord loves a cheerful giver.."

                         MATTIE
          Oh please.. you think the Lord's
          taking sides in a poker game in a
          funeral home?
          Horton shrugs and points to the divine evidence.

                         FRANK
          If He is, the Divine's cheating.

                         RAY
          Exactly.

                         FRANK
          Don't agree with me Ray, it makes
          me doubt myself.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          34.
          Ray sighs and studies his perfectly cut nails.

                         RAY
          I would have turned down your loan
          if you were my own dear mother,
          Frank.

                         FRANK
          You made my point and don't even
          know it.

                         MATTIE
          Jesus, would you two stop it!
          You're worse than two old women..
           Ray shrugs, sweetly blase. Frank tries to rein in his temper
           for her. The loss of the hand is especially hard on Carl who
          has only a couple of dollars left.

                         CARL

                         (TO FRANK)
          What were you doing with that old
          bastard in town today, anyway?

                         RAY
          Oh yes. Buying him clothes, getting
          him a haircut..on credit.
          Frank shoots him a look.

                         HORTON
          Took out ads in a bunch of papers
          too, something about a party?

                         FRANK
          God, I love small towns.

                         MATTIE
          Who are you talking about?

                         RAY
          That hermit, what's his name..

                         FRANK
          (a knowing look at Mattie)
          "Felix" Bush.

                         MATTIE
          You're giving him a party?

                         FRANK
          A funeral party.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          35.

                         MATTIE
          Whatever you're drinking is not
          being good to you at all.

                         CARL
          What the hell is a funeral party?

                         FRANK
          Hey, the man wants to be at his own
          funeral. What can I say? I'd like
          to be at my funeral so I could tell
          my ex-wife to kiss my..

                         MATTIE
          What makes you think she'd show up
          for you?

                         FRANK
          Because, Dear, vultures are
          constitutionally unable to ignore
          the dead.
          Mattie grins which delights Frank, no end.
          Horton stops counting his money and stares at Frank.

                         HORTON
          It's that big wad of money of his
          you're after.
          There is a crack in Ray's disinterest that he tries to hide.

                         RAY
          What money is that?

                         MATTIE
          Felix has money?
          Everyone is looking at Frank but he shuffles the cards.

                         HORTON
          He came to see me, wanting a
          funeral, had a big old greasy ball
          of money. Talked like he thought he
          could buy his way to heaven with
          it.

                         RAY

                         (SERIOUSLY)
          How much has he got? Maybe he can.
          Hearing that Bush wants or needs a real funeral Mattie is
          suddenly truly concerned.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          36.

                         MATTIE
          Is he sick, Gus?
          Horton shrugs. Frank notes the concern and doesn't like it.
          Carl coughs and his ribs make him break out into a sweat.

                         CARL
          I'll tell you one damn thing, ain't
          nobody gonna go to a funeral for
          that son of a bitch.
          Mattie gives Carl a look

                         HORTON
          Language..

                         FRANK
          They might. He's inviting everyone
          who has a story about him to come.
          You could tell about him kicking
          your ass, Carl.
          Carl looks at Frank as if he wants to cold cock him.

                         RAY
          Old man is going to ride the Weird
          Train right into the ground, isn't
          he?

                         FRANK
          Wouldn't you like to know what
          everybody says about you behind
          your back, Ray?
          (off his look)
          Yeah, probably not.

                         HORTON
          I already know way more about
          people than I need to.

                         MATTIE
          Or want to.

                         HORTON
          Amen.

                         FRANK
          Let's play some cards.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          37.

                         RAY
          Oh for God's sake, face it Frank,
          you're broke.
          This is not about cards. It's a declaration meant to
          embarrass Frank in front of everyone. Frank feels their eyes
          on him as he starts to pull off his watch. Ray waves it off.

                         RAY
          Please. I've won that 4 times
          already.

                         FRANK
          It's who has it last that counts.

                         CARL
          Say what you want but if there
          hadn't been anybody there the other
          day he would've killed me. And I
          guarantee you it wouldn't have been
          his first time.
          It sounds true and everyone is quiet except Mattie.

                         MATTIE
          Everybody knows you started it.
          (off his glare)
          Don't look at me like that. I
          remember when you were born. You
          were the sweetest little boy. What
          is wrong with you?
          Momentarily shamed, Carl's face softens and we can see a
          better man there. He struggles to hold on to it but..

                         CARL
          I made a mistake. But there's a
          line.. and he crossed it.. and
          everybody knows that too. Ya'll go
          on and have a party with the devil
          for his money but I'll dance on his
          grave someday.
          Carl snatches his few dollars up and heads out.

                         HORTON
          You kind of hate to admit it when
          it comes to Carl but he's got a
          point. You don't know what Bush is
          doing. What if he just wants to get
          everybody in one place so he can
          turn his shotgun on them?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          38.

                         MATTIE
          He wouldn't..

                         HORTON
          I looked in his eyes. The truth is
          nobody knows what he's capable of.
          Maybe even he doesn't know.
          She looks into him. Frank starts to deal the cards.

                         RAY
          Go ahead and lay your watch down,
          Frank. But I am going to keep it
          this time, alright, on principle.

                         FRANK
          I got an idea. Let's try something
          different.

                         (TO RAY)
          The cards in your sock? Leave'em
          there.
          Everyone freezes. Ray shakes his head.

                         RAY
          What are you trying to pull now?

                         FRANK
          You really think you're that good
          that nobody sees?

                         RAY
          Sees what?

                         FRANK
          You cheat at everything you do.
          Even at the bank, you loan people
          just enough to get'em deeper in so
          you can foreclose on them.

                         RAY
          You are a pathetic man. And a
          goddamn..

                         FRANK
          Am I? Then stand up and roll down
          your socks.
          (a deep dark look)
          Stand up or I'll stand you up.
           Ray looks around the table and suddenly realizes that he is
           irreversibly exposed and alone. The sound of Frank's chair
          scraping the floor makes him jerk up.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         39
          He walks out, trying to find his old confident rhythm and
          failing. Everyone sits in uneasy silence.

          58 INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT 58

           Horton waves and walks out, leaving the door open. Frank
           walks Mattie to the door, helping with her coat, trying to
          work up his nerve to say..

                         FRANK
          I'll walk you home.

                         MATTIE
          No. Thank you.

                         FRANK

                         (HURT)
          You sure?
          (off her firm nod)
          You're not going to play anymore,
          are you?

                         MATTIE
          Oh, I don't know. Thank you for
          inviting me though.

                         FRANK
          I'm sorry about the..we don't
          always fight, okay, we do, but he's
          had that coming for..

                         MATTIE
          It's not that. I just..(trails off)

                         FRANK
          You came because you don't know
          what to do with yourself.
          (off her look)
          I slept on the same side of the bed
          my whole life, right? But after my
          wife left me, I switched sides,
          just like that, and never been able
          to go back.

                         MATTIE
          When someone you love is gone, you
          can pour everything, even a
          lifetime of things into the place
          where they were but it's still
          always empty.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          40.
          He sees that her thoughts are not with him at all but a
          million miles away. She hardly glances up when she says..

                         MATTIE
          'Night.
          He stares after her, wishing that she could see him the way
          he sees her.

                         59 OMIT 59

          60 INT.BUSH'S SHACK - NIGHT 60

          Dim lamp light glows. We see Bush sitting on the edge of the
          bed wiping the sweat from his face with a sheet. He looks up
          at the picture of the beautiful woman.

          61 INT.BUDDY'S HOUSE - NIGHT 61

          Buddy sits in the dark, rocking his son who is asleep. A
          small lamp casts a shadow across them. Kathryn comes in.

                         KATHRYN
          I didn't hear him wake up.

                         BUDDY
          He didn't.

                         KATHRYN

                         (KNEELING DOWN)
          Everything's all right, hon.

                         BUDDY
          I'm glad you don't know how quick
          it can change.
          She gently kisses his arm and the baby's head. Buddy looks at
          her, haunted by the very possibility of their absence.

          62 EXT. STREET - DAY 62

          Mattie is standing on the sidewalk at Feldman's store with
          her coat collar pulled up against the cold, giving someone we
          can't see a bemused affectionate scolding..

                         MATTIE
          Good Lord. Have you completely lost
          your mind?

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          40A.
          MATTIE (cont`d)
          Straighten up for heaven's sake
          before somebody throws a net over
          you! 
          But she smiles in spite of herself, glances around to see if 
          anyone was watching and moves discretely on. As she does we 
          see that she was talking to a striking WANTED POSTER of a 
          wild man sitting in front of a pond, a swan, and a bridge.
          The text reads: 

                         

                         

                         

                         

          41.

          MYSTERIOUS HERMIT OF CALEB COUNTY THROWS A FUNERAL PARTY!

          EVERYONE IS INVITED. MUSIC! FOOD! STORIES! DANCING!

                          

          63 INT. WCGM RADIO STATION - NIGHT 63

          A tiny PLACE, cramped with radio gear.
          Buddy and Frank peer through a glass window into a small
          control booth.(We will cut back and forth between the glass)
          Buddy is having misgivings about being here. But Frank gives
          the thumbs up to the young WCGM ANNOUNCER in the booth, a
          hopeful kid with a smooth voice and dreams of the big-time.
          The Announcer hands Bush a set of headphones. Bush is wearing
          his new clothes and truly looks like a different man.
          Bush is puzzled by the headset. The kid takes it and clamps
          it onto Bush's head. He starts to yank them off then hears a
          song playing inside his head and loves it. But now the
          announcer cuts the record off and Bush scowls.

                         ANNOUNCER
          Friends, we have a treat for you
          today on WCGM. Our special guest is
          going to tell us about an event
          that everyone is talking about. And
          here he is, Mr. Felix Bush, the
          mysterious hermit of Caleb County!
          How are you today, sir?

                         BUSH
          I am.
          Bush is surprised by the sound of his own voice.

                         ANNOUNCER
          So tell us, sir, exactly how did
          you come up with the idea of having
          a funeral party before you die?

                         BUSH
          I dreamed it.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          42.

                         ANNOUNCER
          Really?

                         BUSH
          Why would I make that up?
          Two seconds of dead air as the announcer finds his feet.

                         ANNOUNCER
          Okay. Now I have to say that you
          don't look quite like you do on the
          posters.

                         BUSH
          I got pruned.

                         ANNOUNCER
          Well, you're a bit of a local
          legend, sir. I was a little nervous
          about our interview. I've heard
          some pretty wild stories..

                         BUSH
          Like what?

                         ANNOUNCER
          Well uh, just.. from what I
          understand, you want everyone who
          has a story about you to come and
          tell it. Is that right?

                         BUSH
          You come and tell yours.

                         ANNOUNCER
          Thank you. Now how long have you
          been living out there by yourself?

          64 INT. MATTIE DARROW HOUSE - NIGHT/CONTINUOUS 64

          Mattie is cutting the stems of some lovely yellow flowers and
          arranging them in a vase.

           BUSH (O.S.)
          40 some years.

           ANNOUNCER (O.S.)
          40 years with nobody to talk to?

           BUSH (O.S.)
          First 38 are the hardest.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          43.
          Mattie grins.

          65 INT. WCGM - CONTINUOUS 65


                         ANNOUNCER
          But why would you do that, Mr.
          Bush, shut yourself off like that?
          Frank isn't happy with this but Buddy wants to hear.

                         BUSH
          Come to the funeral and maybe
          you'll find out.

                         ANNOUNCER
          You heard it here on WCGM, folks,
          find out the answer to the mystery
          February 16..

                         BUSH
          One more thing, boy.
          FRANK and Buddy tense. What's this?

          66 INT. DARROW HOUSE - CONTINUOUS 6 6

          Mattie tenses at the sound in Bush's voice.

          BUSH (O.S.)
          Gonna be a drawing.

           ANNOUNCER (O.S.)
           What kind of drawing, sir?

                          BUSH
           You buy a ticket for $5.00 The day
           of the funeral we draw names. Then
           when I die, the winner gets my
           place, 300 acres of timber that
           hasn't been touched in 40 years.
           Mattie accidentally cuts a bloom off of a flower.

          67 INT. WCGM - SAME 67

           Dead air. The kid, Frank, and Buddy are all staring at Bush.

                          ANNOUNCER
          For 5 dollars?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          44.

                         BUSH
          Send it to the Quinn Funeral Home.
          Frank's eyes light up like fiery pinwheels and he almost
          yelps! Buddy looks oddly perplexed and sad.

                         ANNOUNCER
          You heard him! If you want a chance
          to win 300 acres of virgin timber
          worth thousands and thousands of
          dollars, send 5 dollars along with
          your name and address to..
          (off Frank waving and
          pointing to himself)
          Frank Quinn at Quinn Funeral Home.
          As the Announcer begins a song, Bush moves his head in time
          with the music. Frank and Buddy rush into the control booth.

                         FRANK

                         (TO BUSH)
          I could almost kiss you on the
          mouth!

                         ANNOUNCER
          I'll take a ticket.

                         BUDDY
          You're betting on a man dying..

                         ANNOUNCER
          I didn't mean it like..

                         FRANK
          Hey, it's his idea!
          They look at Bush who has taken off the headset and looking
          at it like he wants to take it home.

                         FRANK
          It's what you want, right?

                         BUSH

                         (TO BUDDY)
          Buy a ticket, son.

          68 INT. DARROW HOUSE - SAME 6 8

          Mattie puts the vase of flowers on table with a group of
          family photographs. The picture beside the vase is the SAME
          PHOTOGRAPH of the beautiful woman that Bush has. Is it
          Mattie? It looks a little like her.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          45.
          INSERT PHOTO: The BEAUTIFUL YOUNG WOMAN stares at us as we
          PULL BACK TO REVEAL that we are now looking at the identical
          photo tacked to Bush's wall.

                         69 OMIT 69

          70 EXT. BUSH'S BARN - LATE DAY 70

          Bush starts out of the barn, draws back, and peeks through
          the wall boards: A FIGURE approaches. He jerks..
          REVEAL Mattie walking

                         BUSH
          Mattie?

                         MATTIE
          Felix?
          Mattie enters, straining to see into the barn. Her eyes
          adjust to find him standing near Mule. She is startled and
          pleased by his new do.

                         MATTIE
          Look at you. I wondered if you were
          still under that beard.

                         BUSH
          Wasn't nowhere else to go.

                         MATTIE
          I heard you on the radio.

                         BUSH
          Well.

                         MATTIE
          You've gotten downright chatty.

                         BUSH
          I reckon so.

                         MATTIE

                         (GLANCING AROUND)
          This is nice. I drove by a few
          times after I got back but..

                         BUSH
          You want to see it?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          46.

                         MATTIE
          Do you want me to?

          71 EXT. BUSH'S LAND - DAY 71

          The first stop on the tour is a small fenced grave site near
          the shack. Three grave markers with names carved into them:

          KEEPER, CHARLIE, MAUDE.
          Bush is squatting down staring at the markers. Mattie stands
          close beside him. Since his attention is elsewhere she looks
          at him in an unguarded way. Her mind is full of questions,
          old and new.

                         BUSH
          You always know where you stand
          with a dog. Want to lay here with
          them someday if they'll have me.

                          

          72 EXT. BUSH'S LAND - DAY/LATER 72

          Mattie and Bush walks side by side through the last of the
          glimmering light and shadows beneath the trees. It is a
          chilly and Mattie's cheeks are flushed. She is enchanted by
          the place. Bush tries to hide how winded he is..

                         MATTIE
          It really is beautiful. Probably
          looked like this everywhere a
          hundred years ago.

                         BUSH
          You leave things alone, they know
          what to do.

                         MATTIE
          Like you?

                         BUSH
          No, Ma'am. I don't know what to do
          about anything much.

                         MATTIE
          You've been alone a long time.

                         BUSH
          Some people are more suited to it
          than others, I reckon.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          46A.

                         MATTIE
          That's funny cause I never thought
          that it'd suit you. I knew you
          wouldn't be like anybody else but..
          no one to talk to, no one to.. be
          with.. never.
          He looks into her then looks away at something.

                         BUSH
          How you sleeping these days, girl?

                         MATTIE
          How am I what?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          47.

                         BUSH
          You sleep good?

                         MATTIE
          No, not lately. How'd you know?
           He veers off the path and pulls up a plant and brings it back
           to her.

                          BUSH
           Chamomile, it's good when the 
           nights get long. Helps you nod off.
           She takes it and smiles up at him.

                          BUSH 
           Want to go on a ways? 

                          MATTIE 
           Yes. 

                          BUSH 
           Would you stay for supper? 

                          MATTIE 
           I don't want to be any trouble. 

                          BUSH 
           A supper guest every 30-40 years is 
           not much trouble, Girl. 

                          MATTIE 
           Alright then. 
           He holds out his arm. 

                          BUSH 
           Better stay close, some big old 
           wild cats been eating my chickens.. 
           She looks around and takes his arm. 

                          BUSH 
           .or maybe it was me.. 
           She snorts and slaps his arm but doesn't let go.. 

                         73 OMITTED 73

                         

                         

                         

                         

          48.

          74 INT. BUSH'S SHACK - NIGHT 74

          They enter the dark room together. Bush lights a lantern,
          gets a chair from a corner and holds it out for her. She sits
          and watches him check a cast iron pot on the warm stove and
          put a log on the fire. She notices the beautiful table.

                         MATTIE
          You always were good with your
          hands.
          He puts a glass of tea in front of her and sits down.

                         BUSH
          You still play the piano?

                         MATTIE
          I teach a few girls.

                         BUSH
          I got a good feeling when you
          played. Remember that time you was
          playing and the lamp burned out?
          And you went right on in the dark?
          I hear that song sometimes at
          night.
          She shrugs shyly and sips the tea. Seconds tick by.

                         MATTIE
          Sure is quiet out here.

                         BUSH
          (cocks his head)
          What?

                         MATTIE
          I said it's..
          (stops/gets the joke)
          I tried to write you at times but I
          didn't know what to say.

                         BUSH
          Well. I heard you married.

                         MATTIE
          He was a Doctor; a real good man.
          We lived in St. Louis for awhile.
          He died unexpectedly about a year
          ago. I came back here because.. I
          have no idea why.
          (sips tea/thinks)

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         49

                         MATTIE (CONT'D)
          The list of people who are gone is
          getting longer and longer and
          sometimes I feel like all I'm doing
          is waiting for my name to come up.

                         BUSH
          You have a tender heart, always
          did.
          She gives him a curious look.

                         BUSH
          You can't wait for anything,
          Mattie. Close your eyes, hold your
          breath.. stay in one spot your
          whole life, but you're still
          moving, like the world's moving
          under you. There's no waiting.

                         MATTIE
          And there's no getting over some
          things either, is there?

                         BUSH
          Reckon not, Little Bit.

                         MATTIE
          Little Bit?! Oh my God, nobody's
          called me that in..
          But suddenly she is lifted from the chair as if by strong
           ropes. She stares at the wall as she walks toward Bush's bed.
          Bush is stricken and white. He would stop her if he could but
          it is too late.
          She walks right up to the picture at the edge of the lamp
          light and stares into it as if it is a mirage that will
          disappear if she blinks.
          Finally she whirls and looks at him, her face a tortured
          mask. A strangled sob escapes her.
          He gets up and stands there staring at the floor.
          Suddenly she is moving toward him and then past him and out
          the door. Her shadow merges with the darkness. Bush stands
          with his head down, staring into oblivion.

                         75 OMIT 75

                         

                         

                         

                         

          50.

                         76 OMITTED 76

          78 INT. FUNERAL HOME/OFFICE - DAY 78 

          Buddy comes in frowning and lugging a heavy mail sack. What
          the hell? He looks up and sees more sacks dumped on the desk.
          Frank is grinning and ripping open envelopes from the sacks
          and each one has 5 dollars in it! Buddy looks down and sees
          even more mail sacks on the floor!

                         FRANK
          Jesus, kid!

                         BUDDY
          Yeah! But, but it's not our money.

                         FRANK
          Well yeah, no, but some of it's
          gonna be! We're putting this thing
          on!
          Frank rips open two more envelopes and dollar bills rain down
          to the floor. He's beside himself. Buddy eyes him warily.

                         BUDDY
          He should be here. I'm gonna go get
          him.
          They lock eyes. Frank finally tosses him the hearse keys.

                         79 OMITTED 79

          80 INT. FUNERAL HOME/OFFICE - DAY 80

          Buddy, Frank, and Bush are staring reverently at the money
          stacked across the desk and the full paper sacks all around
          the desk. Bush eyes Buddy who is still quiet.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          51.

                         FRANK
          I don't know exactly how much your
          land's worth but looks to me like
          you could get maybe 10 times that
          or more. I don't know what to do
          with it. I mean it's yours to do
          with what you want but I'm getting
          a little nervous about it. Never
          thought I'd see enough money to
          make me nervous. We should probably
          talk about the price for
          everything, the clothes, the ads,
          the food and drink for the party,
          the music.. our fee for everything,
          we'll be fair about that, I'm not
          worried about it.
          Bush is looking at Buddy who is looking across the room.

                         BUSH
          What do you think, boy?
          Buddy jerks, looks at Frank, at Bush.

                         BUDDY
          Money makes people do funny things.
          Frank scowls.

                         BUDDY
          I think you should probably put it
          in the bank, sir.

                         FRANK
          No! Ray is not..
          (off Bush's look)
          I mean, if it was my money I'd put
          it in a bank out of town so
          everyone didn't know my business.
          This bank here, you can't trust,
          that's all I'm saying.

                         BUSH
          Can I trust you?

                         FRANK
          Every name, every dollar, is right
          there!

                         BUSH
          Not what I asked.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          52.

                         FRANK
          I've done a hell of a job for you.
          I don't see why..

                         BUDDY
          Mr. Bush, I didn't mean to imply..

                         BUSH
          Hush.

                         FRANK
          I've sold horses, cars, houses,
          hell, pocket watches pinned to the
          inside of my coat. I'm not ashamed
          of it. I don't rob banks, don't
          cheat at cards, and I sleep all
          right the nights I sleep. What was
          the question..?

                         BUSH
          They goddamn..
          He nods at the money and suddenly becomes the "other" Bush.

                         BUSH
          Take out for the expenses you've
          already had and give me the
          receipts. As the bills come in for
          things, give them to me and I'll
          pay them. Put this money in a box
          and the boy and I'll take it
          someplace in the morning. Whatever
          new comes in, keep it in the bottom
          of one of them ugly caskets in
          there 'till I come get it. After
          the party, name a fair price for
          what you've done and we'll settle
          up.

                         (WALKING OUT)
          I'll be at the car.
          After he's gone, Frank and Buddy stare at each other.

                         FRANK
          Is it just me or is he extremely
          fucking articulate when he wants to
          be?

                         BUDDY
          I don't know who's selling who what
          anymore.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          53.

                         FRANK
          It's not clear, is it?

                         BUDDY
          Not only that but something feels
          really wrong.

                         FRANK
          Hold on. I told you that you were
          working on commission..

                         BUDDY
          Yeah, but..

                         FRANK
          So whatever our end of this is, you
          get a piece.

                         BUDDY
          A piece?

                         FRANK
          Half. It could help set you up,
          Buddy. So whatever feels wrong is
          gonna feel right pretty damn
          quick,okay? We just have to close
          it out. From here on, watch me, do
          what I do, and we'll be fine.

                         BUDDY
          But..

                         FRANK
          He wants you to go with him to take
          this money somewhere which means
          that it's you he trusts. And that's
          fine because I trust you too. Just
          don't trust him, okay?

                         BUDDY
          I'm lost again.

                         FRANK
          Look, that funny feeling you have..
          I have it too. And it's not funny.
          So go along, be friendly, but
          that's it.

                         (BEAT)
          There's a euphoria that comes with
          closing a deal, Buddy, and the
          bigger the deal, the higher you
          get. It's better than anything.

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         54

                         FRANK (CONT'D)
          But the critical time is just
          before it closes. It's like a
          witching hour and everything tries
          to come apart. We're not going to
          let that happen.

                         BUDDY
          All right.

                         FRANK
          Now go.
          (as Buddy starts out)
          You know.. I always wondered why
          you wanted to work here. I thought
          you could do a lot better.
          (off Buddy's look back)
          I didn't know about your folks, I'm
          really sorry.

                         BUDDY
          Thank you.
          He goes on.
          Frank turns and flips through a large stack of bills,
          hungrily entranced.

          81 INT. BUDDY'S HOUSE/BEDROOM - NIGHT 8 1

          Buddy's son is crying his heart out. Kathryn comes in
          unbuttoning her blouse, picks him up, sits down, slips her
          blouse off her shoulder, brings the boy to her breast and
          voila, his sorrow miraculously vanishes.
          Buddy appears in the doorway, his eyes soft with love.

                         BUDDY
          I might have a crying fit coming on
          too.

                         KATHRYN
          Is that right?

                         BUDDY
          Feeling a little weepy.

                         KATHRYN
          You boys..

                         BUDDY
          (leans against door frame)
          I can maybe do something really
          good for us, Katy.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          55.

                         KATHRYN
          You already have.

                         BUDDY
          I mean, money wise.

                         KATHRYN
          About Mr. Bush?

                         BUDDY
          Yeah. I'm getting half of whatever
          we make off of him.

                         KATHRYN
          So why aren't you happy about it?

                         BUDDY
          Didn't know I wasn't.
          (off her look)
          I was happy for a minute. And then
          the whole thing of making a
          carnival out of a person's death, I
          don't know if it's right.

                         KATHRYN
          Is it what he wants?

                         BUDDY
          He says it is.

                         KATHRYN
          You are not responsible for what
          other people do, Buddy, just you.

                         BUDDY
          You're right. You're always right.

                         KATHRYN
          At least I am when I'm half naked.

                         BUDDY
          Right.

          82 INT. MATTIE'S HOUSE - NIGHT 82

           A very determined little GIRL is working her way through a
           song on the piano that is unrecognizable in this form, even
           to her.
          Mattie sits just behind the girl with tears in her eyes, not
          really listening. On the table beside the piano is a stack of
          picture albums and old yellowed newspaper articles.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          56.

          83 EXT/INT BUSH'S SHACK/HEARSE - MORNING 83
          Sitting in the hearse outside of Bush's shack, Buddy watches
          Bush get in the car with his shotgun. There is a big wooden
          box of money on the seat between them. Bush props his shotgun
          against it.

                         BUDDY
          Where to, sir?

                         BUSH
          North.

                         BUDDY
          (starting the hearse)
          How far?

                         BUSH
          Till I say, son.
          Buddy gives him an uneasy look and pulls off down the tree-
          lined path.

          84 EXT. ROAD - DAY 84

          The hearse slips around the narrow road that cuts through
          miles of farm land lying fallow in the winter.

          85 INT. HEARSE - DAY 85

          Buddy looks out at the highway. He is driving slow. Bush is
          leaning against the money, thinking.

                         BUDDY
          How much further now?
          Bush waves him on. Buddy scowls then decides to get serious
          about this. He presses on the accelerator and the hearse
          takes off down the highway.

          86 INT. FUNERAL HOME - DAY 86

          Frank is hopelessly lost in a sea of envelopes. The phone is
          ringing off the hook, there are full sacks around him, and
          some Reporter is trying to take a picture through the front
          window. Frank scowls and lowers the blinds.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          57.

          87 EXT. MATTIE'S HOUSE - DAY 87

          Frank is at Mattie's door entranced by the troubled but
          beautiful piano music coming from inside. It stops abruptly
          when he knocks. In seconds, Mattie appears.

                         FRANK
          Hey Mattie.
          He looks almost boyish and bashful as he drinks her in.

                         FRANK
          Was that you? It was really..

                         MATTIE
          This is a surprise.

                         FRANK
          Yeah, sorry.
          He stands, loving the view, forgetting why he is here.
          She waits it out as long as she can, not sure how she feels
          about this adoring look.

                         MATTIE
          Was there something you..?

                         FRANK
          Uh, yeah.. Help!

                         MATTIE
          What?

                         FRANK
          I'm up to my ears with this funeral
          and I thought, you know, we haven't
          had time to talk much lately so
          maybe you'd like to come over and
          rip open envelopes with me and

                         MATTIE
          I'm sorry, I have lessons all
          afternoon. I have to get back in.

                         FRANK
          Oh, okay, I just..

                         MATTIE
          Sorry.
          She slips back inside. Frank stares at the door.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          58.

          88 INT. MATTIE`S HOUSE - CONTINUOUS 88

           Mattie leans against the door with her eyes closed. There is
           no student at the piano.

                         89 OMITTED 89/90 89

          91 EXT. CHURCH/SOUTHERN ILLINOIS - AFTERNOON 91

          The hearse is parked in front of a beautiful white board
          church.

          91A INT. HEARSE - AFTERNOON 91A

          Close on Bush and Buddy.

                         BUSH
          Don't say nothing.

                         BUDDY
          To who?

                         BUSH
          You can say "hi".
          Bush gets out. Buddy sighs, mimes "Hi" and gets out.

          92 INT. ILLINOIS CHURCH ENTRY - AFTERNOON 92

          Buddy quietly creeps in through the front door, looks back
          over his shoulder, scowls, and enters the church.
          93 He stops and looks around, awed by the beautifully serene 93
          sanctuary.
          Now he sees a tall BLACK MAN (70) come out of an office door
          behind the pulpit, walk up the aisle, glancing out the window
          at the driveway, and then at Buddy.

                         BUDDY
          Hi.

                         CHARLIE
          Hello.
          Buddy is out of words that he is allowed to say. He glances
          at the door but Bush is not coming in.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          59.

                         BUDDY
          Hi.
          Charlie holds out his hand, Buddy shakes it.

                         CHARLIE
          Are you sure you're in the right
          place? Not expecting a funeral.
          Suddenly Bush steps into the church. Charlie squints over
          then stares at Bush with utter disbelief.

                         CHARLIE
          Felix?!

                         BUSH
          Hey, Charlie.
          They shake hands, then hug. Buddy is blown away that Bush
          would hug anyone. Bush looks up at the church rafters.

                         BUSH
          Still standing.

                         CHARLIE
          Yes.
          Charlie give Bush a look then holds out his hand to Buddy
          again.

                         CHARLIE
          Reverend Charlie Jackson.

                         BUDDY
          Hi!

                         BUSH
          That's Buddy Robinson, he don't
          talk much.

                         CHARLIE
          Someone better talk. A ghost pulls
          up in the driveway in a hearse, you
          expect a little bit of a story.

          94 INT. CHURCH - LATER 94

          Bush, Buddy and Charlie, sit in pews near a lovely altar.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          60.

                         CHARLIE
          My hearing is not what it was. It
          sounded like you said you want me
          to preach at your funeral party
          with you sitting there?

                         BUSH
          Yes, sir.

                         CHARLIE
          (shaking his head)
          You know I've talked to God a lot
          about you over the years and he
          said he broke the mould when he
          made you. Said you were sure
          entertaining to watch but way too
          much trouble.
          Buddy grins.

                         BUSH
          Well.

                         CHARLIE
          What would you want me to say at
          this funeral?

                         BUSH
          Whatever you want to, Charlie.

                         CHARLIE

                         (TO BUDDY)
          Could you give us a minute?
          Buddy starts to get up.

                         BUSH
          Sit still.
          Buddy plops back down.

                         CHARLIE
          What's the matter? You scared to be
          alone with me?

                         BUSH
          He can hear what's said.
          Buddy is surprised again. So is Charlie.

                         CHARLIE
          All right. After you left here..
          did you do the right thing?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          61.
          Felix looks up at the beautifully crafted pulpit.

                         BUSH
          I did.. what I thought was right.

                         CHARLIE
          You confessed? Asked forgiveness?
          Bush looks off and the muscles jump in his jaw.

                         CHARLIE
          Did you tell her, Felix?
          Charlie sighs, leans on his knees, and drops his head.

                         CHARLIE
          You came a long way for nothing
          then.
          Bush's eyes jerk back to Charlie and they are hot.
          Buddy tenses.

                         BUSH
          You self-righteous..

                         CHARLIE
          Don't you dare..

                         BUSH
          I built my own jail and put myself
          in it! And I stayed in it for 40
          goddamn years! No wife, no kids, no
          friends! That's not enough?

                         CHARLIE
          You know it isn't.

                         BUSH
          (tears welling up)
          Well. Why don't you come and say
          that then, Charlie? Hell, say it
          all! I don't care.

                         CHARLIE
          Not on your life.
          The air is so heavy you can't breathe it. Bush suddenly gets
          up and leaves. Buddy starts to follow. Charlie puts his hand
          on him to stay. They sit in silence a moment.

                         CHARLIE
          How much do you know about him?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          62.

                         BUDDY
          Almost nothing, sir. I just work at
          the funeral home.

                         CHARLIE
          Do you know he built this church?

                         BUDDY
          No?!

                         (LOOKING AROUND)
          How's a man like him make something
          like this? I mean, I know he's a
          good carpenter but this is..

                         CHARLIE
          Magic?
          (off Buddy's look)
          Maybe it's the best of him, maybe
          he put his soul into it, I don't
          know.

                         BUDDY
          What ya'll were talking about..
          what did he do? Who was he supposed
          to tell?

                         CHARLIE

                         (THINKS)
          For him and God to know I guess. I
          wish I'd never been put between
          them, that's for sure.

                         (BEAT)
          I will tell you that he showed up
          here half dead. I had just started
           preaching. Over the next 4 years we
           built this.

                          BUDDY
           Are you coming to the funeral?
           Charlie sighs and looks around.
          94A Omitted 94A

          95 INT. HEARSE/MOVING/PMP - NIGHT 95

          Buddy and Bush are both lost in thought. Finally..

                         BUDDY
          Can I ask you something?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          63.

                         BUSH
          Do you have to?

                         BUDDY
          Yes. What are we doing? Since the
          day you came into the funeral home,
          I don't think anything has happened
          that you didn't want to happen. I
          just don't know where it's going.

                         BUSH
          There's a whole lot of things that
          you don't know. Like what a dog
          dreams. You can make up a story
          about him chasing rabbits but you
          don't know if there's rabbits in
          there or not. And he can't tell
          you, can he?

                         BUDDY
          Not unless he's a very special dog.
          They snort together.

                         BUSH
          People don't say what they mean
          either so you don't really know any
          more about them then you do about
          that dog's dream.

                         BUDDY
          But what..?

                         BUSH

                         (LOOKING AWAY)
          That time you left my house I saw
          you stop and look back. You wanted
          to know what could make somebody
          like me.
          (off Buddy's uneasy look)
          Well here you are, son, here you
          are.

          96 INT. FUNERAL HOME - EVENING 9 6

           Frank is putting money into a casket. He checks his watch.

                         FRANK

                         (MUTTERS)
          Where are you..?
          Lighting flashes and the lights suddenly go out.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          64.

          97 EXT.OUTSIDE OF TOWN - NIGHT 97

          The hearse creeps down the road

          98 INT.HEARSE - NIGHT 9 8

          Buddy looks tired. Bush is sitting up ramrod straight,
          thinking hard about something.

                         BUDDY
          I better stop and tell Frank we're
          back. He's probably had 2 or 3
          hissy fits by now.
          (looks out at the rain)
          Why don't you stay the night at the
          house and I'll take you home in the
          morning?
          The simple kindness seems to short Bush out. Buddy doesn't
          notice, he's still looking ahead.

                         BUSH
          Well, I... I ain't stayed with
          nobody in a.. in a long while.

                         BUDDY
          It's fine if you want to.
          Bush looks as if he might say yes but he NOTICES where the
          car is passing through and..

                         BUSH
          Let me out.

                         BUDDY
          What?

                         BUSH
          Stop the car.
          Bush starts to open the door. Buddy stops abruptly.

                         BUDDY
          You can't walk. It's too far..
          Bush climbs out with his shotgun.

                         BUSH
          Put the money in a casket.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          65.

                         BUDDY
          You might as well get back in, I'll
          follow you all the way.

                         BUSH
          (snaps the gun closed)
          Get the hell out of here, boy!
          Buddy's eyes are defiant. Bush slams the door and walks away,
          crossing over a fence and out into a dark field.

                         BUDDY
          Not responsible. Not responsible.
          Shit.
          He slams the steering wheel.

                         99 OMITTED 99

                         100 OMITTED 100

          101 INT. FUNERAL HOME - NIGHT 101

          Buddy is putting the money into the foot of a casket. A lit
          candelabra sits nearby. There is NOISE, like the muted sound
          of something breaking. Buddy jerks and listens.

                         BUDDY
          Frank? Hello? Mr. Bush?
          He stuffs the money into the casket, grabs the candelabra,
          comes back, seals the lid, and starts into the office.

          102 EXT. CEMETERY - NIGHT 102

          Under the trees crooked rows of cold ghostly headstones
          glisten in the darkness. An old pocket lighter flares to
          reveal Bush staring at a pot of yellow flowers. He holds the
          lighter to a tombstone and brushes away the debris. It reads:
          MARY LEE STROUP B. 1874 D. 1894. THUNDER rolls.
          Close on Bush's face as rain begins to fall..

                         BUSH
          They keep talking about
          forgiveness.. ask Jesus for
          forgiveness.. I never did nothing
          to Him..

                         

                         

                         

                         

          66.

                         103 OMIT 103/104/105 103

          106 INT. FUNERAL HOME - NIGHT 106

          Frank enters with a flashlight. He sees that his desk and
          files have been ransacked. He rushes into the casket room.
          Several caskets have been thrown to the floor. He goes to the
          one where the money is, finds that it is sealed tight, and
          sighs with relief. Hearing something he whips the light
          around and sees Buddy on the floor.

          107 INT. FUNERAL HOME - NIGHT/LATER 107

           Frank examines a cut and bump on top of Buddy's head by
           flashlight and dabs it gently with a cloth.

                          FRANK
           The cut's not bad but how's the 
           head? 
          He moves his finger across Buddy's eyes.

                         FRANK
          Follow it.
          He looks him over carefully. He's had experience.

                         FRANK
          Dizzy? Double vision? Nauseous? 
          (off Buddy's no) 
          You'll be okay. Did you see who it 
          was?

                         BUDDY
          No. I was putting the money in..
          heard glass breaking.. locked up
          the casket quick and.. boom..

                         FRANK
          You did good.

                         BUDDY
          Doesn't feel good. 

          108 INT. DARROW HOUSE/LIVING ROOM - LATER 108

          Mattie sits beside a fire, knitting a baby blanket by an oil
          lamp. All at once the lights sputter on, the radio lights up,
          warms, and begins to PLAY, as a KNOCK at the door..

                         

                         

                         

                         

          67.

          109 INT./EXT. FRONT DOOR/DARROW HOUSE - CONTINUOUS 109

          Mattie pulls the door open. Bush is standing there soaking
          wet, breathing hard, holding his shotgun. She draws back
          reflexively. He looks into her.

                         BUSH
          Please, Ma'am.

          110 INT. DARROW HOUSE/BEDROOM - NIGHT 110

          Bush stands with a towel around him, shivering.
          Mattie opens a dresser drawer. Inside the drawer, is the
          carefully arranged tableau of a watch, a ring, a stethoscope,
          and some clothes. She hates to disturb the drawer but pulls
          out a pair of black pants and a white shirt, lays them on the
          bed, and walks out.

          111 INT. DARROW HOME/LIVING ROOM - NIGHT 111

          Mattie steps from the kitchen with a steaming mug as Bush
          comes down the stairs in clothes that are too loose.
          Still shivering, Bush steps uneasily in front of the fire.
          Mattie hands him the hot mug. He looks uneasily at the yellow
          flowers on the table nearby.

                         BUSH
          Thank you.

                         MATTIE
          What are you doing here?
          Burned through, a log falls in the fire. Bush jerks oddly and
          moves away.

                         BUSH
          Can I sit a minute?
          She stares at him then nods at a chair. She keeps standing
          behind the other chair.
          He bends over the mug and seems to lock up inside.

                         BUSH
          You want to know why I have your
          sister's picture on my wall?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          68.

                         MATTIE
          I'm not stupid, Felix. No, I take
          that back. How long was it going
          on? She was already married when I
          met you. Were you just making up to
          me to get to her?
          Bush is so still he looks like a gargoyle.

                         MATTIE
          If you're not going to talk, leave.

                         BUSH
          Can you help who you love?
          Mattie's face tells us that she has asked herself that
          question many times.

                         BUSH
          I've had 40 years to think about it
           and I still don't know.

                         MATTIE
          I don't know either, so..
          Slowly the gargoyle unfolds. His eyes drill into her.

                         BUSH
          I want to tell you how it was. If
          you don't want me to, I'll go.
          Mattie sighs from down deep in her shoes then comes around
          and sits down.

                         MATTIE
          Don't lie to me. When did you take
          up with her?

                         BUSH
          I came to see you and she was
          there, hanging clothes on the line
          with your mama.
          Bush stares out the window so hard, Mattie turns to see what
          he is looking at..

                         BUSH
          She turned around..
          (as Mattie turns back)
          .and.. I promise you that I did
          not know that I had a heart till
          right then.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          69.
          Tears well up in Mattie's eyes.

                         BUSH
          You were a fine fine girl. I didn't
          know why you wanted anything to do
          with me but I was gonna keep coming
          to see you 'till my luck ran out.

                         (BEAT)
          And then I saw her.

                         MATTIE
          She was married! And she wasn't
          just my sister, she was my best
          friend. We told each other
          everything. I can't.. how long did
          it go on?!
          Bush's face is so white it looks like a death mask.

                         MATTIE
          How long?

                         BUSH
          It's still going on, Little Bit.
          Mattie tries to absorb that. The truth and tragedy of it
          touches her in way that she is not prepared for. They sit
          there in silence. She suddenly wipes her face and scowls.

                         MATTIE
          Did you have anything to do with
          her death?
          The mug trembles. She sees it.

                         MATTIE
          Tell me.
          Like a fish jerked from the water, he mouth opens and closes,
          but nothing comes out.

                         MATTIE (CONT'D)
          Felix!
          (off his haunted silence)
          Get out of my house! NOW!
          Bush stands up quickly and starts for the door.

                         MATTIE
          And go to hell!

                         BUSH
          Been there.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          70.
          He staggers, tries to catch himself but slides down against
          the wall.
          Despite her anger, Mattie starts toward him.

          112 INT. DARROW HOME/LIVING ROOM - NIGHT/MOMENTS LATER 112

          Bush sits on the floor, pale as moonlight. Mattie is beside
          him with a stethoscope in her lap.

                         MATTIE
          You need to see a doctor..
          He raises his eyes to her but says nothing. They look into
          each other for a long moment.

                         MATTIE
          Just tell me, Felix. Did you hurt
          Mary or not?
          Bush stares into her then suddenly gets up, picks up his
          shotgun and goes out the door without a word.

          113 INT. FUNERAL HOME/FRONT DOOR - NIGHT 113

          Frank is putting the files back in the drawers when he hears
          a NOISE. He reaches into the drawer and turns with a pistol
          in his hand.
          Bush is standing in the doorway with his shotgun.

                         FRANK
          What the hell?!
          Bush glances at the pistol, at the open drawers of the
          cabinet and desk.

                         BUSH
          They get it?

                         FRANK
          No. Buddy sealed it up in a casket.
          Took a crack on the head, but..

                         BUSH
          (cold dark look)
          Is he all right?

                         FRANK
          Yeah.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          71.

                         BUSH
          You sure?

                         FRANK
          I was an army medic. He'll be fine.
          But Bush is still dark.

                         FRANK
          But you ought to take those clothes
          back and get something in your
          size.

                         BUSH
          They get the whiskey?

          114 INT. FUNERAL HOME/OFFICE - NIGHT/LATER 114

           Frank sits with his feet on the desk. Bush sits across from
           him. They each have a cup of whiskey.

                         FRANK
          Brought the money back, huh?
          (off Bush's absent nod)
          Listen, I've been thinking.. What
          if we had the party at your place?
          People are going to want to see the
          land they're getting so..

                         BUSH
          Don't know.

                         FRANK
          Well, think about it, we could..

                         BUSH
          Don't know that I'm doing it.

                         FRANK
          What?!

                         BUSH
          Thinking to call it off.

                         FRANK
          You can't!

                         BUSH
          Damn well can if I want to.

                         FRANK
          No no no, it's in motion!

                         

                         

                         

                         

          72.

                         BUSH
          If I say no, it's no. Send the
          money back.

                         FRANK
          You're killing me! I bought things,
          hired people.. promised money,
          everybody in town is hoping to..

                         BUSH
          I care about this town as much as
          they care about me.

                         FRANK
          It's what you said you wanted and
          I've busted my ass for you. So why
          don't you want it anymore? You owe
          me that.

                         BUSH

                         (LONG BEAT)
          It was the end of the line, tell it
          all, get out of jail party. But I
          guess I ain't got the goddamn guts
          to open my own mouth and I can't
          get nobody to talk for me so the
          hell with it. And to hell with me.
           Bush grabs his shotgun and goes. Frank sits, stunned.

          115 INT. BUDDY'S HOUSE-EARLY MORNING 115

          Buddy sits at the breakfast table, holding his son. He opens
          and closes his eyes, checking out his vision. Kathryn, at the
          stove, sees him out of the corner of her eye.

                         KATHRYN
          Are you having trouble seeing? 

                         BUDDY
          I see you're mad.

                         KATHRYN
          I'm not mad. I'm concerned
          She shoves the skillet off the burner and comes to him.

                         BUDDY

                         (SQUINTS UP)
          No, you're mad.
          She tenderly touches his head.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          73.

                         KATHRYN
          If I could get my hands on whoever
          did this, you'd see mad.

           FRANK (O.S.)
           Buddy! You up?!
          Frank rushes in, lifts a phantom hat to Kathryn, scrapes up a
          chair, pulls on the baby's toe, and looks at Buddy.

                         FRANK
          Trouble.

                         BUDDY
          What's the matter?

                         FRANK
          Bush is pulling out.

                         BUDDY
          What?

                         FRANK
          What happened yesterday?

                         BUDDY
          I told you, we went up to Illinois
          and met a preacher.

                         FRANK
          But what happened?

                         BUDDY
          He asked the preacher to come to
          the funeral. He said no.

                         FRANK
          Son of a bitch, that's got to be..

                         (TO KATHRYN)
          Sorry.
          (to the baby)
          Sorry. Where's the preacher?

                         BUDDY
          It won't do you any good.

                         FRANK
          Why not?

                         BUDDY
          He knows something about Bush,
          something bad, I think.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          74.

                         FRANK
          What is it?

                         BUDDY
          Wouldn't say but..

                         FRANK
          Well if Bush wants him, by God,
          Bush is gonna get him.

                         KATHRYN
          (slams the skillet down)
          You want eggs, Frank, or will the
          skillet do?

                         FRANK
          What? What's wrong?

                         KATHRYN
          What's wrong? My husband has his
          head bashed in and all you care
          about is this party!

                         FRANK
          It's not like that, Katie, this is
          for all of us. You're like.. family
          to me.. I..

                         KATHRYN
          This is not how family acts!

                         FRANK
          Well, I'm sorry. I've never had any
          practice.
          (gets up/to Buddy)
          You okay?
          Buddy nods. Frank leaves. Buddy mutters to the baby.. 

                         BUDDY
          Stay out of her way today, partner.

          116 EXT. MATTIE'S HOUSE - MORNING 11 6

          Mattie is on her knees trying to plant bulbs in the hard cold
          ground. Her trowel barely gouges the earth. She stabs it
          again and again into the ground.

                         MATTIE
          Fool, it's too late for bulbs..

                         

                         

                         

                         

          75.
          Suddenly she hurls the trowel as far as she can, then a
          handful of bulbs.. then her hat.

                         MATTIE
          .too goddamn late..

          117 INT. FUNERAL HOME/OFFICE - DAY 117

           Buddy is surrounded by bags. He is copying down names onto
           raffle tickets and putting them in bin for the drawing. There
           is a MAN standing guard by the front door with a rifle.

          118 INT. BUSH'S BARN - DAY 118

           Mule stands with his ears back, upset. Bush, back in his old
           clothes, is angrily planing a board. The box of his casket
           minus the lid is on sawhorses behind him.

                         119 OMITTED 119

          120 INT. CHARLIE'S HOUSE/SOUTHERN ILLINOIS- LATE DAY 120

          A blurred image becomes clear as a magnifying glass lowers
          to a page of a stamp collection book. Fingers fill an empty
          space with a prized addition. A LOUD KNOCKING startles him
          and the stamp is placed slightly crooked..
          Reveal Charlie Jackson scowling at the crooked stamp. He gets
          up, does a double-take out the window. MORE LOUD KNOCKING.

          121 INT. CHARLIE'S HOUSE - LATE DAY 121

          Charlie opens the door, sees Frank standing there. The hearse
          is parked outside.

                         FRANK
          Reverend Jackson?
          (Charlie looks at hearse)
          Frank Quinn, Quinn funeral home.

                         CHARLIE
          How'd you find me?
          Frank just smiles, takes off his hat, and offers his hand.
          Charlie gives him a long look and reluctantly motions him in.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          76.
          Frank enters, noting the clean simple home of man with an
          orderly mind. Charlie motions for Frank to sit down.

                         CHARLIE
          I was going to play some dominos
          this afternoon. But something told
          me to stay home. I should have
          played dominos. Is he out there?

                         FRANK
          Bush? No, sir.

                         CHARLIE
          You sure?

                         FRANK
          Pretty sure.

                         CHARLIE
          Did you check the back?
          Frank snorts, liking Charlie immediately.

                         FRANK
          You told Bush that you wouldn't
          come to the funeral?

                         CHARLIE
          If he got that, why are you here?

                         FRANK
          To help you rethink it.

                         CHARLIE
          I don't need any help.

                         FRANK
          Have you rethought it?
          (off Charlie's look)
          So there is a need.

                         (BEAT)
          First off, Bush doesn't know I'm
          here.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          77.

                         CHARLIE
          I wouldn't be so sure about that.
          (off Frank's look)
          He's got a way of making people do
          what he wants them to.
          Frank squirms, knows it true.

                         CHARLIE
          Is he really a hermit?
          Frank whistles and takes Bush's poster out of his coat.
          Charlie jerks at the picture of the wild man.

                         FRANK 
          He came to see me after he'd been 
          here, wants to call the party off.

                         CHARLIE
          I don't care.

                         FRANK
          Said he'd meant it to be a.. end of
          the line, tell it all, get out of
          jail funeral but that he didn't
          have the guts to open his mouth and
          he couldn't get anybody to talk for
          him. You know anything about that
          part?
          (off Charlie's sigh)
          At first he said he wanted
          everybody to come who had a story
          about him. But he didn't want to
          hear their bullshit stories, did
          he? Pardon my language. He wants to
          tell one, doesn't he?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          78.

                         CHARLIE
          About time.

                         FRANKFRANK
           Whatever he did, it's been locked
          up in him for 40 years and he can't
          get it out.
          (off Charlie's look)
          I think he told you. You may be the
          only person he told. And now he
          wants you to tell it for him.

                         CHARLIE
          Because he won't.

                         FRANK
          Or can't.

                         CHARLIE
          Or won't.

                         FRANK 
          Or can't. 

                         (BEAT)
          At least he wants the truth to come 
          out, give him that.

                         CHARLIE

                         (LONG STARE)
          I'll think about it.

                         FRANK
          Is there a boarding house around
          here?

                         CHARLIE
          I said I'd think.

                         FRANK
          Yeah but if you're not coming, I'm
          not going back. I made promises I
          can't keep to people I care about.
          This falls apart they won't blame
          Bush. Bank will take my business..
          If I'm gonna have to start over
          again, might as well be from here.
          Charlie scowls at him.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          79.

          122 INT. FUNERAL HOME - DAY 122

           Using a tool, Buddy unseals the casket to put the new money
           in it and discovers that the rest of the money is gone? He
           can't believe it. He yanks back the casket bed lining..

                         123 OMITTED 123

          126 INT. BUSH'S BARN - DAY 126

          Bush is sanding the beautiful lid of his casket. It is
          leaning against the wall and sawdust is drifting down all
          over him. He suddenly stops, rubs the wood tenderly, muscles
          up the heavy top to put it on the box and staggers back. It's
          not the weight, something is wrong. Sweat pops out on his
          forehead. He forces himself to the casket and drops the top
          down hard, staggers back against the loft ladder, slides down
          to the ground, and stares at the casket. Is this it?

          127 EXT. CROSS ROADS - DAY 127

          The hearse sits on the side of the road. Road signs give the
          mileage to different destinations.

          127A INT. HEARSE - DAY 127A

          Frank is lying in the back of the hearse, his head propped up
          on an old suitcase. He sips from his flask and stares out the
          window, thinking.

          128 INT. BUSH'S BARN - LATE DAY 128

          Bush is still on the ground propped against the ladder. His
          eyes are closed and the fading light steals across his face
          that is as still as it can be. The sawdust makes him look
          almost wooden. A shadow crosses then comes closer.
          Buddy is sure he is dead but Bush's eyes open.

                         BUDDY
          What are you doing, sir?

                         BUSH
          Getting a suntan.
          Bush starts to get up then falls back against the ladder.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          80.

                         BUDDY
          Are you stuck?

                         BUSH
          You have no goddamn idea how right
          you are, son.
          Buddy moves to help him up but Bush waves him off.

                         BUSH
          I'll sit here a minute.
          Bush looks at the butterfly bandage on Buddy's head.

                         BUSH
          We're a pair, ain't we?

                         BUDDY
          Are you sick?

                         BUSH
          Just going through the motions.

                         BUDDY
          What does that mean?

                         BUSH
          There's Alive and there's Dead.
          And there's a worst place in
          between them that I hope you never
          know nothing about.

                         (DARKENING)
          Do you know who hurt you?

                         BUDDY
          No, sir.

                         BUSH
          Sonsabitches.

                         BUDDY
          It doesn't matter. Listen. Frank
          went somewhere and the raffle money
          is gone.

                         BUSH
          You figure he took off with it?

                         BUDDY
          I don't know. I don't want to think
          that. But the money's not here and
          I don't know where it is. He said
          he'd call and he never did.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          81.
          Buddy glances into the shadows and sees the casket looming on
          the sawhorses. He stares at it..

                         BUSH
          Well.. what do you want to do?
          Buddy looks back at Bush.

                         BUDDY
          I don't..
          (realizing just then)
          I want to make this funeral for you
          if you want it.

                         BUSH
          (a long look)
          Hell. Do it if you can.

                         (BEAT)
          I guess for everyone like me,
          there's one like you, son. I about
          forgot that.
          Buddy holds out his hand to help Bush up but Bush forces
          himself up on his own and walks out.

                         129 OMITTED 129

          130 INT. CHARLIE'S HOUSE/SOUTHERN ILLINOIS - EVENING 130

          Charlie sits at his desk, staring blankly at his crooked
          stamp. Suddenly Fate in the form of Frank Quinn looms at the
          window. Charlie knows he is there but he won't look at him.

          131 INT. BUDDY'S HOUSE/BEDROOM- DAWN 131

          Buddy, Kathryn, and the baby are sleeping soundly. There is a
          SCRATCHING NOISE. Buddy sits up, grabs a baseball bat and
          falls back asleep. The scratching starts again. He opens his
          eyes, surprised to see the bat in his hand. He hears the
          scratching. He looks around, sees something at the window. He
          slides to the floor, crawls on his knees, and looks out.
          Frank is standing there, scratching on the screen. Behind him
          is Charlie, looking very unhappy about standing in the near
          dark in a small southern town, scratching on a screen.
          Buddy realizes what he is seeing and starts to smile.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          82.

          132 EXT. BUDDY'S HOUSE - DAWN 132

           Frank, Buddy, and Charlie are on the porch, watching the
           world come to life. Charlie looks as if he is hoping for some
           kind of sign from above.

                         BUDDY
          I'm glad you decided to come, sir.

                         CHARLIE
          Free will is not all that it's
          cracked up to be.

                         BUDDY

                         (AT FRANK)
          Did you take the money out of the
          casket?

                         FRANK
          Yeah.

                         BUDDY
          Why didn't you tell me?!

                         FRANK
          I forgot.

                         BUDDY
          You forgot?! Where is it?

                         FRANK
          In the hearse, under the
          floorboards.
          Charlie remembers that Frank said he wasn't coming back and
           gives him a look. Buddy is giving Frank the same look.

                         FRANK
          What? Nobody steals a hearse. Now
          all we got to do is take the
          Reverend here to Bush and..

                         BUDDY
          I forgot to tell you, Mr. Bush
          already said he would do it.

                         FRANK
          You're shittin' me?!
          Charlie gets up and starts walking away..

                         

                         

                         

                         

          83.

                         CHARLIE
          Where can I catch a train?

                         FRANK
          You can't leave you just got here.

                         CHARLIE
          Watch and learn.

                         FRANK
          Hold on..

                         CHARLIE
          Where's the station?

          133 EXT - BUSH'S LAND/ROAD - MORNING 133
          A tractor pulling a trailer with a big old honking generator
          on it, a truck loaded with equipment and workers for the big
          event rumbles down a dirt road. The Quinn Funeral home hearse
          completes the unlikely parade.

          134 INT. BUSH'S SHACK - MORNING 134

          Bush, dressed in his new suit, shirt, and shoes is a striking
          figure. The old hermit is gone. He looks into the mirror.

          135 EXT. MATTIE'S HOUSE - MORNING 135

          Horton hold the car door open for Kathryn who is holding the
          baby and looking back puzzled at Mattie's house. Finally she
          sighs and gets into the car.

          135A INT. MATTIE'S HOUSE - MORNING 135A

          Mattie stands staring out the window. She is not going.

          136 EXT. BUSH'S LAND/FIELD - MORNING 136

          At the top of a wide clearing, a truck with a Circus Ad on
          the door is being set up to become a stage.
          The tractor and truck pull into the clearing and drive to the
          circus truck.
          The hearse pulls in and parks. Frank, Buddy, and Charlie
          climb out of the hearse, look around, and stand frozen.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          84.
          Trucks and cars are parked everywhere around the big
          clearing! Many PEOPLE have been here all night with fires,
          tents and lean-tos. Many MORE PEOPLE are arriving now.

                         CHARLIE
          Expecting a crowd?
          Frank and Buddy give each other a look.

                         FRANK
          Honestly? We don't have a clue
          about what's going to happen here.

                         SET-UP SEQUENCE:
          The big old honking generator is unloaded. Holes are dug. 10
          foot poles are slid from the truck and huge speaker horns are
          attached. Speaker poles are pulled up and set into holes.
          Frank directs a gang of 6 KIDS who are selling raffle tickets
           making sure they know that he has his eyes on them.
           A BAND arrives on the back of pick-up truck.
           The Generator kicks on belching smoke everywhere. Frank is
           yelling Whoa Whoa! Disaster in the making.

          136A OMITTED 136A

                         137 OMITTED 137

                         138 OMITTED 138 

          138A OMITTED 138A 

                         

                         

                         

                         

          85.

                         139 OMIT 139 

          140 INT. BUSH'S SHACK - DAY 140

          Bush stands staring out the checkerboard window. He sees
          Charlie approaching and opens the door for him. Charlie
          climbs the steps, appraises the shack, and stares at Bush.

                         CHARLIE
          Pretty nice jail.
          Charlie enters and looks around the little room.

                         BUSH
          Why did you change your mind?
          Charlie just looks at him, the unspoken words louder than any
          reason he could give.

                         BUSH
          Thank you.

                         CHARLIE
          How do you want to do this?

                         BUSH
          I don't.
          He gets a haunted look that catches Charlie off guard.

                         BUSH
          I'm gonna try and tell it, Charlie,
          I really am. But if I can't get it
          done, would you do it? I want it
          said. Please, sir.
          Charlie sighs from down in his shoes and starts for the door.

                         BUSH
          Tell'em the box is in the barn.

                         141 OMIT 141

          142 EXT. BUSH'S LAND/BACK ROAD - DAY 142

          Carl's truck is half hidden off the road. Carl, Gary and
          THEMAN get out of the truck.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          86.
          Carl tucks an old 45 in the back of his pants. Gary and
           Theman grab three gas cans off the truck, give one to Carl, 
          and clamber down a deep gully and start up the other side.
          Tom peeks out from behind the big garbage barrels.

          143 EXT. BUSH'S LAND/FIELD - DAY 143

          The generator is working! And standing on the flat bed truck,
          which is now a stage, an ANNOUNCER introduces a hot blue
          grass group The crowd is huge now and listens as the group
          kicks off a song.
          Behind the stage Frank is collecting money from the boys who
          are selling the raffle tickets, making them turn their
          pockets inside out. The generator makes a strange noise,
          Frank eyeballs it, and it labors on.
          Buddy walks up, nudges Frank, and nods out at the huge crowd.
          Can you believe this?! Charlie walks up and says something
          that we cannot hear.

          144 INT. BUSH'S SHACK - DAY 144

          Pacing the cage, Bush peeks out the window.

                         BUSH
          You asked for it you old ornery
          sonofabitch, now what are you gonna
          do?

          145 INT. BUSH'S BARN - DAY 145

          Frank, Buddy, and Charlie enter the barn and see Mule hitched
          to the wagon. On the back of the wagon is a simple and
          rustically elegant casket with the initials FB carved into
          the center board. It sobers them all.

          146 EXT. BUSH'S LAND/GULLY - DAY 146

           Carl, Gary, and Theman hide and watch Frank, Buddy and 
          Charlie walk Mule and the wagon away from the barn and down
          the road. Carl eyes Bush's shack and starts for it.

                         GARY
          Hey, hey, where you going? He said
          the woods..

                         CARL
          Closer.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          87.
          And he takes off.

                         THEMAN
          He's crazy!

                         147 OMITTED 147

                         148 OMIT 148

          149 EXT. BUSH'S LAND/FIELD - DAY 149

          The bluegrass fiddle player nods to the others to quickly end
          the song. Now we see why. Frank, Buddy, and Charlie have
          brought the wagon with the coffin into the field. Everyone
          quiets, remembering why they are here. They park the wagon
          behind the hearse.
          Frank and Charlie walk toward the stage. Buddy peels away.
          Frank calls after him to come with them to the stage but
          Buddy waves them away. He wants no part of that. He sees
          Kathryn and Horton threading their way through the crowd and
          moves toward them instead.
          Frank and Charlie climb the makeshift stairs up to the stage.
          Charlie sits down on a folding chair while Frank goes to the
          big microphone and stares with satisfaction at the huge
          Depression-era Woodstock crowd.

                         FRANK
          Good afternoon ladies and
          gentlemen. I'm Frank Quinn of Quinn
          Funeral Home. Welcome to the live
          funeral party of Mr. Felix Bush!
          People don't know whether to clap or not. Some do and the
          rest of them pick it up.
          Buddy gets to Kathryn and hugs her and the baby.

                         BUDDY
          Where's Mattie?

                         KATHRYN
          She wouldn't come. I don't..

                         FRANK
          I've done some things in my life,
          but never this. Bet you haven't
          either, bet no one has.

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          88.

                         FRANK (CONT'D)
          (winks back at Charlie)
          We try to make things predictable
          and safe but if we don't risk
          everything to get what we want, we
          don't want it enough.

                         150 OMIT 150

          151 EXT. BUSH'S LAND/FIELD - CONTINUOUS 151

          Frank finds Buddy in the crowd.

                         FRANK
          The person who made all of this
          happen for us doesn't like the
          spotlight but Buddy Robinson is the
          heart of Quinn Funeral Home and I'm
          proud to know him.
          Buddy is embarrassed and moved. Kathryn's eyes soften.

          152 EXT. BUSH'S SHACK - DAY 152

           Carl is sloshing gasoline onto the back porch while Gary and
           Theman keep nervous watch at the farendof porch. Suddenly
           Carl feels a shotgun's cold metal on his neck and the 45
           being ripped from his belt and thrown to the ground.

                         BUSH
          Sonsabitches.
          Carl drops his can. The other men drop their cans but Gary
          starts to pull a pistol from his back pocket.

                         BUSH
          Go on, I'll paint the porch with
          his head.

                         CARL
          Don't do it!
          Gary drops the pistol.

                         BUSH
          Now pick up them cans and keep
          pouring.

                         CARL
          What?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          89.

                         BUSH
          You heard me.
          The men cautiously pick up the cans..

                         BUSH
          Pour it on your head. All of it.
          The men look at each other. Bush cocks the other barrel of
          his shotgun.

                         THEMAN
          I won't! 

                         BUSH
          Pour it or die, I don't care which.
          The men hoist the cans and start to pour the gasoline over
          them. Burning and spitting they empty the cans. Suddenly
          Theman bolts, moaning and running blind with gas in his eyes. 

                         BUSH
          I got two barrels, anybody else
          wants to rabbit, now's the time.

          153 EXT. BUSH'S LAND/FIELD - DAY 153


                         FRANK
          I know many of you have heard
          stories about Mr. Bush. But today
          I've been told that we're going to
          hear another kind of story, his.
          A murmuring moves in a wave across the crowd as they see..
          .Bush enters the field with his shotgun pointed at Carl and
          Gary's backs. They are drenched with gas and it is burning
          them through their clothes.
          Buddy, Kathryn, and Horton see Bush.
          Quinn and Charlie follow the crowd's eyes to Bush.

                         QUINN
          Holy Mother of..
          SHERIFF DEPUTIES beside the stage see Bush.
          But everyone remains frozen, not knowing what has happened or
          what to do now. Is this the crazy Bush of the legends?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          89A.
          Buddy starts toward Bush. Kathryn tries to stop him but he
          pulls free and walks slowly toward Bush.
          A shot rings out!

                         

                         

                         

                         

          90.
          Carl and Gary hit the ground like dead men.
          The crowd hunkers and scatters.
          Horton steps in front of Kathryn and the baby. Buddy freezes.
          Charlie rushes up beside Frank at the microphone.
          Carl rolls up and turns to Bush and sees blood seeping out
          onto his shirt beneath his coat.
          Bush whirls and sees..
          .Carl's old 45 still smoking.
          The gun is in Tom's small shaking hands..

                         CARL
          Don't hurt him! It's my fault.

          PLEASE, PLEASE..
          Bush cracks his shotgun, walks slowly to the boy, gently
          takes the 45, empties the shells, and hands the gun back.

                         BUSH
          A second chance is a precious
          thing, son. Don't waste it.
          The boy plops down, overwhelmed.
          And suddenly everyone is in motion.
          The Deputies run toward Bush. Frank and Charlie rush from the
          stage. Kathryn and Horton are going.
          Buddy arrives at Bush first and sees the blood weeping onto
          his shirt.

                         BUDDY
          Are you alright, sir?!
          Without turning Bush glances at the Deputies.

                         BUSH
          Tried to burn me out. Let the boy
          be, he didn't mean nothing.
          As the Deputies get a hold of Carl and Gary, Frank, Charlie,
          Kathryn and Horton arrive. Carl looks at Horton with pleading
          eyes and nods to Tom.

                         CARL
          Help him, Gus, please..

                         

                         

                         

                         

          91.
          Horton goes to the trembling boy and picks him up.
          Bush suddenly walks into the trees without looking back.

          153A INT. WCGM RADIO STATION - DAY 153A

          The Announcer hangs up the phone on the wall, rushes to the
          turntable and lifts the tone arm from the record that is
          playing.

                         ANNOUNCER
          Folks, I've just received word of a
          tragic turn of events at the Bush
          Funeral Party. It seems that Mr.
          Bush has been shot. I repeat, Mr.
          Felix Bush has been shot. There is
          no word of condition..

          153B INT. MATTIE'S HOUSE - DAY 153B

          The radio is playing but we don't know where Mattie is.

          ANNOUNCER (O.S.)
          When I know more I will let you
          know. I'm sure he would appreciate
          your prayers..

          154 INT. BUSH'S SHACK - DAY 154

          Bush stands at the mirror, his shirt unbuttoned and pulled
          back. The bullet caught the muscle just above his clavicle.
          Buddy, Frank and Charlie rush in.

                         BUSH
          Close the door.
          Charlie slams the door. Frank examines the wound. Buddy
          stares in shock at the old roping burns scars on Bush's
          chest.

                         FRANK
          Missed the bone. Got any alcohol
          and clean rags?
          Bush nods at the cabinet. Charlie finds an amazing assortment
          of herbs and roots, alcohol and old sheets ripped into rags.

                         BUDDY
          Why don't you sit down, sir?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          92.

                         BUSH
          Boil some water and I'll tell you
          how to make me a poultice.
          Frank takes the rags and alcohol from Charlie

                         FRANK
          This is gonna hurt.

                         BUSH
          Don't sugar coat it.

          155 EXT. BUSH'S LAND/FIELD - DAY 155

          Everyone is standing around in shock.

          156 EXT. BUSH'S SHACK - DAY 156

          Kathryn waits anxiously near the porch with the baby.

          157 EXT. BUSH'S LAND/FIELD - DAY 157

          Horton steps up to the microphone. The shocked crowd turns to
          him. He closes his eyes and bows his head.

                         REVEREND HORTON
          Lord, you say you move in
          mysterious ways and we believe you
          because we don't understand much of
          anything. And so we come to you
          today not seeking answers to what's
          happened here but asking you to
          help us open our hearts a little
          more to each other and find some
          forgiveness and understanding.

          158 INT. BUSH'S SHACK - DAY 158

          Frank has cleaned the wound. Buddy has made a poultice that
          Bush is pressing onto the wound as he hears the last of
          Horton's prayer over the loudspeakers.

                         BUS H
          Pretty good prayer. Mighta been
          wrong about that preacher.

                         CHARLIE
          Why don't you lay down, Felix?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          93.
          Bush thinks about it, sees a way out. For a second he looks
          like he might take it. Then he shakes his head, puts a rag
          over the poultice and pulls his shirt up.

                         BUSH
          Let's go 'fore I lose my nerve.

                         BUDDY
          Are you sure?
          Bush scowls at the huge blood stain on his shirt. He looks at
          Frank's white shirt. Frank just stares at him. Bush keeps
          looking. Finally Frank sighs and starts loosening his tie.

          159 EXT. BUSH'S LAND/FIELD - DAY 159

          The bluegrass band sings a good hymn. The crowd is still
          stunned and talking, not knowing what to do.

          160 INT. BUSH'S SHACK - DAY 160

          Buddy gently helps Bush into his jacket, which has a bullet
          tear in it along the shoulder but Bush seems okay with it, to
          Frank's relief.
          Frank is putting on an old faded shirt of Bush's. As Bush
          starts for the door, he comes up beside Charlie.

                         BUSH
          You ain't nervous? All them white
          folks out there?

                         CHARLIE
          There's white folks here?!

                         BUSH
          Stick with me, you'll be all right.

                         CHARLIE
          You're the one they're shooting at.
          As Charlie opens the door, Bush stops, all his misgivings
          flooding in with the light. He looks at Buddy.

                         BUSH
          Pretty interesting day so far, huh
          boy?
          Bush straightens himself up and goes out the door.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          94.

          161 EXT. BUSH'S LAND/FIELD - DAY 161

           Charlie, Bush walk through the murmuring parting crowd toward
           the stage. Frank and Buddy are close behind. Buddy is looking
           for Kathryn. She spots him and moves toward the stage.

          162 EXT. BUSH'S LAND/FIELD - DAY 162

          Bush and Charlie go up the steps to the stage.
          At the last second, Bush stares at the big microphone and
          stops, unable to go on.
          Charlie gives him a look then goes on up to the microphone
          and looks out a the sea of white folks.

                         CHARLIE
          I'm Reverend Charlie Jackson. Felix
          wants to continue with his funeral.
          And he's asked me to say a few
          words.
          Just below the stage, Buddy and Frank are joined by Kathryn.
          Charlie glances back at Bush, turns inward, searching for the
          words. Finally he holds his hands out, wide apart.

                         CHARLIE
          We like to imagine that good and
          bad, right and wrong, are miles
          apart. But the truth is, very often
          they're..
          (brings his hand together
          and laces his fingers

                         TIGHTLY)
          .all tangled up with each other.
          Bush raises his head and looks at Charlie's back.

                         CHARLIE
          Some 40 years ago Felix Bush
          dropped into my life and then
          dropped out. In between he built
          the most beautiful sanctuary that
          I've ever seen. A lot of wonderful
          things happened in that church.
          Suddenly Bush breaks away, moves up beside Charlie, and puts
          his hand on his shoulder.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          95.

                         BUSH
          Thank you, Charlie. Thank you.
          Charlie gives him a long look then steps away from the
          microphone and moves back to where Bush was standing.
          Bush stares at the microphone, takes a breath, and walks up
          to it, and looks out over the huge crowd.

                         BUSH
          Had to go clear to Illinois to find
          somebody that had anything good to
          say about me. Hell of a thing.
          His voice booms out over the crowd, startling him. He looks
          down, sees Buddy, Kathryn, Frank and Horton.
          He looks closer for someone most important but she is not
          there. The crowd murmurs. Finally..

                         BUSH
          I'm not a smart man or a wise one.
          I don't know what kind of man I am.
          I was always restless, thought I'd
          see the world. But I didn't hardly
          go nowhere.. on purpose..

                         (BEAT)
          Because.. because I did something
          that I was ashamed of. Something I
          couldn't ever fix.

                         (GLANCES AROUND)
          Ya'll probably think you know what
          you'd do or what you wouldn't. And
          I wish you good luck with that. I
          really do.

                         (BEAT)
          When I told Charlie what I'd done,
          he told me to confess to God and
          the law and to.. to someone else..
          so I could get forgiveness. But I
          didn't want forgiveness.

                         (BEAT)
          I needed to hold on to what I did..
          to be sick from it every day of my
          life. So I never told nobody else.
          He stops, not knowing how to go on. The crowd has quieted
          completely.
          As as his eyes sweep over the sea of expectant faces, he
          suddenly SEES HER coming through the crowd.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          96.
          Mattie's here. Seeing that Felix appears to alright, her face
          changes from conflicted concern to open unbridled hatred.
          The look takes Bush's breath away. But he suddenly seems to
          accept it as his due and when he talks, it is only to her.

                         BUSH
          I fell in love with a married lady.
          And somehow she fell in love with
          me. It was the only time that I
          have been in love.

                         (GATHERS HIMSELF)
          We made a plan to run off and start
          a new life but she didn't show up
          at the time that we said we'd meet.
          I got a funny feeling and I went to
          her house.
          Buddy, Kathryn and Frank all see Mattie now, see Bush talking
          just to her.

                         BUSH
          Her husband answered the door.

                         (BEAT)
          He had blood on him.
          For Mattie all of this is like window into the past being
          suddenly thrown open and she is haunted and mesmerized.

                         BUSH
          I hit him pretty hard, knocked him
          down. Can't remember going upstairs
          but I remember I saw a hammer on
          the steps and it had blood and hair
          on it.
          The crowd gasps. Mattie is trembling.

                         BUSH
          I found her in the bedroom. She was
          crawling across the floor.

                         (BEAT)
          But before I could get to her and
          help her up.. a kerosene lamp hit
          the wall. And then her husband
          jumped on my back. Funny what
          happens sometimes when things go
          wrong. It's like the clock stops
          and you have all the time in the
          world to think. I could see that
          her husband had set the downstairs
          on fire before he came up.

                         (BEAT)

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          97.

                         BUSH (CONT'D)
          And as I was slamming his head into
          the wall, trying to get shed of
          him, I could see clear as anything
          that it was all my fault. If I'd
          just never spoke to her..

                         (BEAT)
          And as I was thinking about that, I
          saw that the lamp he threw had set
          the room we were in on fire too.
          Bush forces himself to keep looking into Mattie.

                         BUSH
          And then I realized that I was on
          fire. I tried to put myself out but
          I couldn't, everything was..

                         (BEAT)
          I dropped him, turned around and
          saw her lying on the floor and
          called her name. She looked up at
          me..

                         (BEAT)
          .and the next thing I knew, I was
          flying..
          A loud roar of fire and crushing timbers..

          163 EXT. BURNING HOUSE - NIGHT 163

          A man on fire bursts through the second story window of a
          burning house. He lands hard and rolls across the yard to
          smother the flames.
          With his clothes still smoking, he unbelievably tries to run
          back into the hell. But the fire is too hot and he cannot. He
          screams like a mad man and runs into the trees..

          164 EXT. BUSH'S LAND/FIELD - DAY 164

          The crowd is motionless. Nothing is moving. It is as if the
          whole world has stopped. Frank, Buddy, and Kathryn are
          frozen.
          Bush and Mattie are looking into each other, one anguished
          soul to another.

                         BUSH
          I don't know how I got out the
          window.

                         (BEAT)

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          98.

                         BUSH (CONT'D)
          No matter how many times I play it
          in my mind, I can't remember
          jumping. I thought I killed him,
          but maybe he pushed me, I don't
          know...
          (lost as ever..)
          I swear to you, if I left her in
          there.. everything I know about
          myself is a lie. But that don't
          matter.

                         (BEAT)
          I didn't get her out, Little Bit, I
          didn't. I'm sorry.

          165 INT. BUSH'S SHACK - DAY 165

          Bush sits on the edge his bed. His face is drawn and haunted.
          The door open and closes. He doesn't look up.
          Mattie sits down beside him. Tears are streaming down her
          face. She lays her head gently on his shoulder.

                         MATTIE
          Oh, Felix..
          He sniffs her hair and tenderly touches it.

                         BUSH
          Wonder if her hair would be white?

          166 EXT. BUSH'S LAND/FIELD - END OF DAY/MONTAGE 166

          A MAN chooses a winning raffle ticket from a wire cage.
          A poor YOUNG COUPLE with SEVERAL CHILDREN win the raffle! The
          promise of a new and better life begins for them.
          The big funeral party breaks up people wind their way home.
          The big old honking generator coughs off.
          Mule is lead back to the barn.
          The equipment is disassembled and loaded back on the truck.
          The microphone stands alone on the stage. He got it said.

          167 EXT. BUSH'S SHACK - DAY 167

          Buddy, Frank, Horton, Charlie, and Kathryn and the baby wait
          outside, giving Bush and Mattie time. Buddy takes the baby
          and holds it close.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          99.
          Finally Mattie and Bush come out of the shack and walk down
          to the others. No one knows what to say. Finally..

                         BUDDY
          How you doing, sir?

                         BUSH
          Just fair, son.

                         HORTON
          Carl said Ray paid them to set the
          fire. Paid them to break into the
          funeral home too.

                         FRANK
          Can't stop pulling Aces out of his
          ass, can he?

                         HORTON
          Spend his money on lawyers now. You
          know how thrifty they are.
          Frank motions to Buddy and they go to Bush. Buddy is still
          holding the baby, Bush looks tenderly at Buddy and the baby.

                         BUSH
          What's his name?

                         BUDDY
          Larry, Lawrence, after my dad, sir.

                         BUSH
          He ain't gonna throw rocks at me,
          is he?

                         BUDDY
          Not if knows what's good for him.

                         BUSH
          You boys did good. Real good.
          Let's settle up.

                         BUDDY
          We don't have to do that now. You
          get some rest.

                         FRANK
          (a look/ then)
          Yeah. We'll come out tomorrow.

                         BUSH
          Bring my shirt back, I just got it
          broke in.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          100.
          Bush pulls Buddy aside. Frank stares over at them but can't
          hear what they are saying. He moves over beside Mattie.

                         FRANK
          Are you alright, Mattie?
          She looks up at Frank for a long moment, her face softening.

                         MATTIE
          Oh, I don't know. I'm still moving,
          I guess..
          He doesn't know what that means but she has finally really
          looked at him and that's something he'll hold onto.
          Kathryn comes and hugs Mattie as.. Bush and Buddy come back.
          Bush goes to Charlie.
          Frank is staring at Buddy, looking for a clue as to what Bush
          said. Buddy gives him nothing,

                         BUSH
          Thanks again for coming, Charlie.

                         CHARLIE
          I'm proud of you.

                         (MEANING IT)
          Thank you for my church.

                         BUSH
          Did you ever get my bill?

                         HORTON
          Can we get a ride our car's about 2
          miles down the road.
          Everyone piles into the hearse. There is no back seat so they
          all have to crawl in the back door and sit along the sides.
          It makes everyone smile. Mattie gives Bush one last fleeting
          embrace then climbs in. Bush looks in on them all for a long
          moment all then closes the door.
          As the hearse moves out, he waves to Buddy who is looking out
          the back window. Buddy waves back.

                         BUSH

                         (TO HIMSELF)
          Look at that. My funeral and
          everybody's in there but me.
          The hearse pulls onto the road and drives away.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          101.
          The place is suddenly quiet and beautiful. He looks down the
          road through the fading dust and sees a WOMAN walking slowly
          toward him. He squints, recognizes her, and his face fills
          with a timeless love.

          168 EXT. BUSH'S LAND - DAY - TWO MONTHS LATER 168

          It's a cold day beneath the spreading pecan tree. Mule stands
          hitched to the wagon. The three dog grave markers are
          frosted.
          A fourth grave marker just like the others leans against the
          tree. It is freshly carved with: Felix Elijah Bush. A pot of
          fresh yellow flowers sit beside the marker.
          Bush's beautiful handmade casket is inside his grave.
          Frank, Mattie, Charlie, Buddy, Kathryn, and Horton stand
          beside the grave. Several MEN with shovels wait near the
          tree. Charlie's eulogy is more of a one-sided conversation
          which Bush would probably love.

                         CHARLIE
          Well, Felix, this one's for real, I
          guess. I didn't actually see them
          put you in the box so..
          Charlie glances over and notices "Charlie" on one of the
          dog's grave markers. He snorts and shakes his head.

                         CHARLIE
          Wherever you are, you're probably
          giving someone a hard time or
          something wonderful and priceless
          just to confuse them. Not
          everything can be figured out, nor
          everybody. I wish you peace from
          the burdens of your mind and heart.
          I wish it for us all.
          Mattie moves toward the edge of the grave. Frank puts a hand
          out to catch her should she should stumble. She stares down
          at the FB on the coffin, opens her hand, and lets the picture
          of her sister drift down onto the coffin.

          169 EXT. HILLSIDE - LATER 169

          Everyone moves away as the men fill in the grave. Buddy and
          Kathryn move up beside Frank and Mattie and Charlie. Buddy
          tosses the ball of hermit money to Frank.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          102.

                         BUDDY
          A 50 on the outside, all ones
          inside. Less than $100.

                         FRANK
          What?!

                         CHARLIE
          I told you. Nobody listens to the
          preacher.
          Buddy pulls some papers from his coat.

                         BUDDY
          The day of the party he told me
          about the will he had in the secret
          drawer of his table. He left the
          raffle money to all of us.
          Everyone is shocked, touched.

                         BUDDY

                         (TO FRANK)
          But you have to pay for Mule's
          upkeep for the rest of his life.
          Charlie grins and Buddy flaps the papers at him.

                         BUDDY
          And he set up a fund for the
          upkeep of your church.

                         CHARLIE
          What's the catch?

                         BUDDY
          No catch, sir.

                         CHARLIE
          Still don't get it, do you? With
          Felix, there's always a catch.

                         BUDDY
          Maybe he just knew you'd go crazy
          wondering what it was.
          They all laugh and move down the hillside. As the laughter
          fades we see in their faces the impact that Felix Bush has
          had upon them. Buddy feels the comfort of this odd but
          growing family and stops and looks back at the grave and the
          pot of yellow flowers. His curiosity about the fearsome old
          man has not abated. Nor will it ever.


          THE END