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Lone Star Movie Script

Writer(s) : John Sayles

Genres : Crime, Drama, Mystery

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                               "LONE STAR"

                                   By

                               John Sayles

                

	EXT. TEXAS SCRUB -- DAY

	Two men in shorts and Hawaiian shirts are poking around a 
	sandy section in the middle of scrub flats. SERGEANT CLIFF 
	POTTS is in the f.g., a plant-and-tree guidebook in hand, as 
	SERGEANT "MIKEY" HOGAN works a metal detector over a large, 
	sandy bank in the b.g.  Both are Army career men with a 
	morning off to pursue their hobbies.

				CLIFF
		We got ocotillo, devil's walking 
		stick--what's this stuff--it's that 
		whattayoucallit--horse-crippler.

	Mikey bends to scoop something out of the sand, putting it 
	in a canvas bag slung on his hip.

				MIKEY
		This place is a gold mine.

				CLIFF
		Lead mine.

	MIKEY sees that Cliff is talking, pulls his headset off.

				MIKEY
		What?

				CLIFF
		It's a lead mine.

				MIKEY
		Right.

				CLIFF
		I don't know why I'm talking to you, 
		you've got that thing on your head.

				MIKEY
		You finding lots of cactus and shit?

				CLIFF
		It's not just cactus.  There's the 
		nopals, the yuccas--

				MIKEY
			(Puts headset on)
		Looks like a lot of cactus to me.

				CLIFF
			(Grumbles)
		Man knows a hundred-fifty varieties 
		of beer, he can't tell a poinsettia  
		from a prickly pear.

				MIKEY
			(Troubled)
		Cliff--

				CLIFF
		You live in a place, you should know 
		something about it. Explore--

				MIKEY
		Cliff--

	CU MIKEY

	MIKEY in the f.g. now, looking down at something as he pulls 
	his headset off again--

				MIKEY
		Cliff, you gotta look at this--

	Cliff wearily turns and approaches from the b.g.

				CLIFF
		Don't tell me--Spanish treasure, 
		right?  Pieces of eight from the  
		Coronado expedition--

	He stops by Mikey and looks down, his expression changing

				CLIFF
		Jesus--

	GROUND -- CU BONES

	Sticking out from the sand bank are the SKELETAL BONES of a 
	MAN'S HAND.  There is a ring on one finger.

				MIKEY (O.S.)
		Was Coronado in the Masons?

	EXT. ROAD -- DAY

	A distant cloud of DUST appears on the horizon MUSIC 
	underscores that we are in Texas, and we SUPERIMPOSE the 
	OPENING CREDITS as the dust takes form around an APPROACHING 
	CAR.  The car comes close enough to see it has a County 
	Sheriff's insignia on the side.

	INT. CAR

	We see SAM DEEDS, the Sheriff, driving. Sam is 40, quietly 
	competent to the point of seeming a bit moody. He sees 
	something up ahead.

	MUSIC, CREDITS END as Sam pulls off the road and we see the 
	sergeants standing in the scrub.

	EXT. SCRUB -- DAY -- BONES

	The hand and forearm down to the elbow of the skeleton are 
	visible now.

	WIDER

	Cliff stands looking at the arm with Sam. MIKEY is a few 
	yards behind them, playing with his metal detector. Beyond 
	him we see the Sheriff's car parked.

				SAM
		I was driving back from Apache Wells 
		when they got me on the radio.

				CLIFF
		This was a rifle range way back when. 
		But we figured it isn't Army land 
		anymore, it's your jurisdiction.

				SAM
			(Nods)
		I've got the forensics fella coming 
		down from the Rangers. No way to  
		know how old the body is without 
		some lab work.

				CLIFF
		That ring--

				SAM
		Masons been around a long while.

	Mikey has come up to them, still sweeping with the metal 
	detector.

				SAM
		Treasure hunter?

				CLIFF
			(Apologetic)
		Old bullets.  He uhm-- makes art 
		with them.

	Sam just nods. Mikey frowns, goes down on one knee and 
	scratches something out of the dirt at their feet--

				CLIFF
		The Sheriff says we shouldn't touch 
		anything,

				MIKEY
			(To Sam)
		He can't hear with that rig on-- 
		Mikey!

	Mikey comes up with something, holds it before them. An 
	encrusted piece of metal--

				MIKEY
		What've we got here?

	Sam takes the thing, lays it back down where Mikey found it.

				SAM
		S'posed to leave everything right 
		where we found it. They're real 
		particular about that.

				MIKEY
		The scene of the crime.

				SAM
		No telling yet if there's been a 
		crime.

	Sam frowns down at the piece of metal as he rubs the face of 
	it.

	CU METAL

	Sam's thumb wipes across the face of the encrusted metal. It 
	is roughly star-shaped.

				SAM (O.S.)
		But this country's seen a good number 
		of disagreements over the years.

	INT. HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM -- DAY -- TEXAS MAP

	We look at a beautiful old pull-down map of Texas.

				PILAR (O.S.)
		We do the best we can here--

	A teacher in her late 30s, PILAR CRUZ, steps in front of the 
	map and we FOLLOW her across the room, carrying a poster

				PILAR
		--but hey, public education these 
		days is a bit of a battleground.

	Posters hung on the walls beyond her show luminaries from 
	Texas history-- Sam Houston, Stephen Austin, Juan Seguin. A 
	new parent, CELIE PAYNE, stands in the middle of the otherwise 
	empty classroom.

				CELIE
		He went to school on base when we 
		were in Okinawa. It's all--you know--
		kids in the same boat--Army brats.

				PILAR
		His record shows that he's a good 
		student.

				CELIE
		I'm more worried about the social 
		thing. Are therelike--gangs, or...?

	PILAR starts to put the poster up. CELIE moves to hold it in 
	place for her.

				PILAR
		We haven't had any serious violence, 
		if that's what you mean. We've got a 
		pretty lively mix though--you walk 
		into the cafeteria and the Anglo 
		kids are in one section, the Mexican 
		kids in another and the Black kids 
		have a table in the back--thanks--

				CELIE
		So Blacks are--

				PILAR
		They're the smallest group except 
		for a couple Kickapoo kids. Look, 
		you're obviously a concerned parent. 
		Chet has no history of getting into 
		trouble--I'm happy to have him in my 
		class.

	She steps back to see if the poster, an old photo of Geronimo, 
	looks straight. Another teacher, MOLLY sticks her head in 
	the door--

				MOLLY
			(Uncomfortable)
		Pilar, is uhm--is Amado okay?

				PILAR
		Okay? He's not here?

				MOLLY
		No. Is he sick?

				PILAR
			(Mutters)
		He's going to wish he was dead.

	EXT. STREET -- DAY -- CU VAQUERO PICTURE

	On the door of a deluxe pickup truck is an airbrushed picture 
	of a Pancho Villa-looking vaquero with bandoliers crossing 
	his chest and a gun blazing in each hand. We hear LOUD MUSIC--

				AMADO (O.S.)
		Luis! Give me that Phillips-head 
		back--

	WIDER

	A small group of teenage Chicano BOYS hang around the truck 
	in the bed, on the hood, leaning against it. A BOOMBOX placed 
	on top of the cab blasts RANCHA MUSIC out at the neighborhood. 
	Somebody's legs are hanging out the open passenger-side door. 
	The kids suddenly look as a Sheriff's Department car slides 
	into the f.g.  A Deputy Sheriff, TRAVIS, gets out.

	KIDS

	Trying to look tough and unworried as we TRACK across the 
	street toward them. Travis's hand reaches out from behind 
	the camera to flick the MUSIC OFF.

	INT. PICKUP

	AMADO CRUZ, Pilar's 15-year-old son, lies on the front seat 
	installing a compact disc player into the dash slot. He 
	reaches up to the dash, can't find what he wants.

				AMADO
		Somebody hand me the CD player-- 
		damelo pendejos--

	He looks up and we TILT to see Travis leaning in the window,	
	examining the new radio

				TRAVIS
		They come a long way from those old 
		8-track jobs, haven't they?

				AMADO
		Something wrong?

				TRAVIS
			(Waves radio)
		This is stolen property. Alla you 
		fellas are coming down to the station.

	INT. CAFE SANTA BARBARA -- AFTERNOON -- ENRIQUE

	Sweat beads the forehead of a thin, tired-looking recent 
	immigrant, ENRIQUE, as he delivers platters of chile rellenos 
	to a booth. MEXICAN MUSIC plays on a jukebox in the b.g. We 
	HOLD on the booth, where HOLLIS POGUE, in his 60s entertains 
	two GOOD OLD BOYS--

				HOLLIS
		So Buddy walks up to the porch and 
		there's old Fishbait McHenry, cleanin' 
		the dirt out his toenails with a 
		pocketknife--he was the most hygienic 
		of all the McHenrys--

	The breakfast companions are laughing already--

				HOLLIS
		"Fishbait," says Buddy, in that quiet 
		way of his, "What you know about 
		them tires that went missing from 
		markets?" Fishbait thinks for a 
		minute, then he lifts up a loose 
		board from the porch floor and calls 
		down into it, "C'mon out, Pooter, 
		they caught us!"

				FENTON
			(Laughing)
		Buddy Deeds. He had a way.

				HOLLIS
		He known who it was onnacouna the 
		tire tracks in the dirt from the 
		back of the garage to where they 
		loaded up. "Old Fishbait," he says, 
		"never lifted a thing in this world 
		if there was a way he could roll 
		it."

	More laughter--

				FENTON
		Won't be another like him. That boy 
		of his doesn't come near it. You ask 
		me, he's all hat and no cattle

				SAM (O.S.)
		Fellas--

	We WIDEN to see Sam standing by their booth. No telling how 
	long he's been listening, Fenton is embarrassed.

				HOLLIS
		Sam! I was just telling a few about 
		your old man.

				FENTON
		He was a unique individual.

				SAM
		Yeah, he was that.

	We sense a little strain when Sam has to talk about his father--

				HOLLIS
		Big day coming up--I wish we'd have 
		thought of it while he was still 
		living. But he went so unexpected.

				FENTON
		Better late than never. Korean War 
		hero, Sheriff for near thirty years-- 
		Buddy Deeds Memorial P--

				SAM
		I heard there was a bit of a fuss.

				HOLLIS
		Oh, you know, the usual troublemakers. 
		Danny Padilla from the Sentinel, 
		that crowd.

				FENTON
		Every other damn thing in the country 
		is called after Martin Luther King, 
		they can't let our side have one 
		measly park?

				HOLLIS
		King wasn't Mexican, Fenton--

				FENTON
		Bad enough all the street names are 
		in Spanish--

				SAM
		They were here first.

				FENTON
		Then name it after Big Chief 
		Shitinabucket! Whoever that Tonkawa 
		fella was. He had the Mexes beat by 
		centuries.

				HOLLIS
		There was a faction pulling for that 
		boy who was killed in the Gulf War-- 
		Ruben--

				SAM
		--Santiago.

				HOLLIS
		Right. But nobody here ever noticed 
		him till they read his name on the 
		national news--

				FENTON
		They just wanted it to be one of 
		theirs--

				HOLLIS
		That's not the whole story. The 
		Mexicans that know, that remember, 
		understand what Buddy was for their 
		people.  Hell, it was Mercedes over 
		there who swung the deciding vote 
		for him.

	Sam looks to the register where Pilar's mother, MERCEDES 
	CRUZ, whacks rolls of change apart on the counter. She seems 
	to be avoiding looking toward him.

				SAM
		That so?

				HOLLIS
		She put it even at three to three, 
		so as the Mayor I get to cast the 
		tiebreaker. The older generation 
		won't have any problem with it. They 
		remember how Buddy come to be Sheriff, 
		that it was all 'cause he took their 
		part.

				FENTON
		Tell that one, Hollis--

				HOLLIS
		Hell, everybody heard that story a 
		million times.

				SAM
		I'd like to hear it. Your version of 
		it.

	Something about the way Sam says it puts Hollis on guard.

				FENTON
		Go ahead, Hollis.

	CU HOLLIS

	Hollis is hooked into it now--

				HOLLIS
		The two of us were the only deputies 
		back then me and Buddy--it's what--
		'58--

				FENTON (O.S.)
		'57, 1 believe--

				HOLLIS
		And the Sheriff at the time was Big 
		Charley Wade. Charley was one of 
		your old-fashioned bribe-or-bullets 
		kind of Sheriffs, he took a healthy 
		bite out of whatever moved through 
		this county.

	He looks down at the table--

				HOLLIS
		It was in here one night, back  when 
		Jimmy Herrera run the place.   Started 
		right here in this booth.

	We PAN down to the table, The food has changed. The tortillas 
	are in a straw basket instead of plastic. The jukebox changes 
	to ANOTHER SONG and the LIGHT DIMS slightly. A hand with a 
	big Masonic ring on one finger appears to lift a tortilla--
	underneath it lie three ten-dollar bills.  The hand lifts 
	them up and we TILT to see the face of SHERIFF CHARLEY WADE, 
	a big, mean redneck with shrewd eyes. It is 1957--

				WADE
			(Grins)
		This beaner fare doesn't agree with 
		me, but the price sure is right.

	WIDER

	Wade sits across from his young deputies, YOUNG HOLLIS (30s) 
	and BUDDY DEEDS (20s). A chicken-fried steak sits untouched 
	in front of Buddy. Hollis has the anxious look of an errand 
	boy, while Buddy is self-contained and quietly forceful for 
	his age.

				BUDDY
		What's that for?

				WADE
		Jimmy got a kitchen full of wetbacks, 
		most of 'em relatives. People breed 
		like chickens.

				BUDDY
		So?

				WADE
		I roust some muchacho on the street, 
		doesn't have his papers, all he got 
		to say is "Yo trabajo para Jimmy 
		Herrera."

	Wade folds the money and stuffs if in his pocket--

				WADE
		You got to keep the wheels greased, 
		son. Sheriff does his job right, 
		everybody makes out. Now this is 
		gonna be one of your pickups, Buddy. 
		First of the month, just like the 
		rent. Get the car, Hollis.

	Wade and Hollis slide out of the booth to stand.

				BUDDY
		I'm not doing it.

	Hollis stops a few feet away, shocked. Wade just stares down 
	at Buddy.

				WADE
		Come again?

	Buddy looks Wade in the eye, seemingly unafraid.

				BUDDY
		It's your deal. You sweated it out 
		of him, you pick it up.

				WADE
		There's gonna be some left over for 
		you, Buddy. I take care of my boys.

				BUDDY
		That's not the point.

				WADE
		You feeling bad for Jimmy? Have him 
		tell you the size of the mordida 
		they took out of his hide when he 
		run a place on the other side. Those 
		old boys in Ciudad Leon--

				BUDDY
		I'm not picking it up.

				WADE
		You do whatever I say you do or else 
		you put it on the trail, son.

	The CUSTOMERS are all watching now, nervous. Buddy thinks 
	for a moment, not taking his eyes off Wade.

				BUDDY
		How 'bout this--how 'bout you put 
		that shield on this table and  vanish 
		before you end up dead or in jail?

	Wade rests his hand on his pistol.  It is dead silent but 
	for the MUSIC on the box.

				BUDDY
		You ever shoot anybody was looking 
		you in the eye?

				WADE
		Who said anything about shootin' 
		anybody?

	Buddy has his gun out under the table.  He slowly brings it 
	up and lays it flat on the table, not taking his hand off it 
	or his eyes off Wade.

				BUDDY
		Whole different story; isn't it?

				WADE
		You're fired. You're outta the 
		department.

				BUDDY
		There's not a soul in this county 
		isn't sick to death of your bullshit, 
		Charley. You made yourself scarce, 
		you could make a lot of people happy.

				WADE
		You little pissant--

				BUDDY
		Now or later, Charley. You won't 
		have any trouble finding me.

	Wade feels the people around him waiting for a reaction.  He 
	leans close to Buddy to croak in a hoarse whisper.

				WADE
		You're a dead man.

	He turns and nearly bumps into Hollis. He gives the Deputy a 
	shove.

				WADE
		Get the goddamn car. We're going to 
		Roderick's.

	CU BUDDY

	He watches till the screen door shuts behind them, then 
	holsters his gun and begins to saw at the steak as if nothing 
	had happened. He calls softly--

				BUDDY
		Muchacho--mas cerveza por favor.

	He looks up at somebody and we PAN till we see Sam, still 
	standing over the booth, listening. We are back in 1995--

				HOLLIS (O.S.)
		"Mas cerveza por favor."

				FENTON (O.S.)
		That Buddy was a cool breeze.

	We PULL BACK to see Hollis and his buddies at the table, 
	eating their lunches as they listen.

				FENTON
		Charley Wade were known to have put 
		a good number of people in the ground, 
		and your daddy gets eyeball to eyeball 
		with him.

				HOLLIS
		We made our collection at Roderick's 
		place and that was the last anybody 
		seen hide nor hair of him.  He went 
		missing the next day, along with ten 
		thousand dollars in county funds 
		from the safe at the jail.

				SAM
		Never heard from him again?

				HOLLIS
		Not a peep. Buddy run the man out of 
		town.

				FENTON
		Buddy Deeds said a thing, he damn 
		well backed it up. Won't be another 
		like him.

				SAM
		So he arrested all of Jimmy Herrera's 
		people and sent 'em back to the other 
		side?

	Hollis sees what Sam is getting at, grins--

				HOLLIS
		Oh--he come to an accommodation. 
		Money doesn't always need to change 
		hands to keep the wheels turning.

				SAM
		Right.

				HOLLIS
		Look, I know you had some problems 
		with your father, and he and Muriel-- 
		well--

				FENTON
		Your mother was a saint.

				HOLLIS
		--but Buddy Deeds was my salvation.

	Sam nods, speaks softly--

				SAM
		Won't be another like him.

	EXT. ARMY INSTALLATION -- DAY -- CU DEL PAYNE

	COLONEL DELMORE PAYNE (DEL), a very direct, by-the-book Black 
	officer, addresses them. Artillery pieces angle toward the 
	sky behind him--

				DEL
		--it's an honor for me to assume 
		command of this unit, and I look 
		forward to working with all of you.

	OFFICERS Cliff and Mikey, in uniform now, flank SERGEANT 
	PRISCILLA WORTH, a Black woman in her early 40s, as they 
	stand in formation--

				DEL (O.S.)
		I'm sure you're all aware of the 
		Army's decision to close this 
		installation under the Reduction in 
		Force plan. That does not mean, 
		however--

	REVERSE

	We look over the shoulders of assembled OFFICERS and NCOs 
	toward Del.

				DEL
		--that we've been sent here to mark 
		time until we are absorbed by another 
		unit.

	CU DEL

				DEL
		You may have heard rumors that I run 
		a very tight operation. These rumors 
		are not exaggerated.

	INT. SHERIFF'S OFFICE -- AFTERNOON -- BUDDY PHOTO

	We are looking through a magnifying glass at an old photo. 
	Buddy's face is slightly distorted by the glass.

				SECRETARY (O.S.)
		Sam? I got Danny Padilla from the 
		paper for you--

	Sam sits at his desk in the Sheriff's office, looking down 
	at the photo--

				SAM
		Tell him I'll catch him later.

	CU PHOTOGRAPH

	An old photo of the 1957 Sheriff's Department officers on 
	the courthouse steps. Wade, Hollis, Buddy, a few others, all 
	in uniform.

				SECRETARY (O.S.)
		He says he needs to talk to you before 
		the ceremony, Sam.

	Sam puts a magnifying glass over the photo and bends close 
	to look.

				SAM
		Tell him to try me tomorrow.

	EXTREME CU PHOTO -- BADGE

	MAGNIFIED POV of the badge on Wade's chest swims into view. 
	A metal star. We hear the secretary getting rid of the caller.

				SECRETARY (O.S.)
		He thinks you're trying to duck  
		him.

	CU SAM

	Looking at the photo, troubled--

				SAM
			(Mutters)
		He's right.

	EXT. BIG O'S ROADHOUSE -- NIGHT -- NEON SIGN

	We start on a BLINKING SIGN--BIG O'S, then PAN to see a full 
	parking lot outside the low, neon-lit roadhouse. R&B MUSIC 
	blasts from inside.

	EXT. DOORWAY -- CHET

	CHET, a Black kid around 15, stands nervously at the door 
	building up his courage.  He takes a deep breath, plunges 
	in.

	INT. BIG O'S

	We TRACK with Chet, very nervous, as he makes his way through 
	the crowded roadhouse. The customers are all Black, many 
	from the nearby Army post, SHOUTING and LAUGHING over the 
	loud MUSIC. Chet, edgy, is looking for somebody.  He sees...

	CHET'S POV -- OTIS

	Seen through the crush is OTIS "BIG O" PAYNE, a large man in 
	his early 60s, laughing as he stands behind the bar.

	CHET

	He nervously puts his hand under his jacket. A gun? He pushes 
	forward to get a better view.

	CHET'S POV -- OTIS

	Moving in on him. Otis looks over, sees the boy, frowns--

	CHET

	Reaching under his jacket, he pulls out--a photograph. He 
	looks at it--suddenly there is a SCREAM from behind, then 
	GUNSHOTS, patrons diving for the floor.

	Chet whirls around and we WHIP PAN to see a young man, SHADOW, 
	emptying his pistol into RICHIE, a young soldier, as a young 
	woman, ATHENA, screams and tries to pull the gun away. With 
	the last shot, Shadow turns and heads for the door, but is 
	tackled and swarmed by angry men, SHOUTING.

	We PAN to Athena, kneeling over the bleeding, twitching body 
	of Richie--

	CHET

	Chet backs up, horrified. A large hand grasps him on the 
	shoulder from behind. He turns to see Otis standing over 
	him, strangely calm amid the chaos

				OTIS
		You weren't in here tonight, were  
		you?

				CHET
		No sir.

				OTIS
			(Points)
		Go out through the back.

	Chet hurries away.  Otis watches him for a moment, then turns 
	to the mess in his club.

	INT. AUDITORIUM -- NIGHT -- CU ANGLO MOTHER

	An angry woman stands from her auditorium chair--

				ANGLO MOTHER
		You're just tearin' everything  down!  
		Tearin' down our heritage, tearin' 
		down the memory of people that fought 
		and died for this land.

				CHICANO FATHER (O.S.)
		We fought and died for this land, 
		too!

	We WHIP PAN to see another standing parent--

				CHICANO FATHER
		We fought the U.S. Army, the Texas 
		Rangers--

				ANGLO FATHER (O.S.)
		Yeah, but you lost, buddy!

	We WHIP PAN to a man in the rear--

				ANGLO FATHER
		Winners get the bragging rights, 
		that's how it goes.

				PRINCIPAL (O.S.)
		People--people--

	WIDER

	We are in the High School auditorium, a hot-and-heavy teachers-
	and-parents meeting in progress. Pilar sits at the end of a 
	long table facing the agitated parents, taking some heat. 
	DANNY PADILLA, a young, long-haired reporter, sits in the 
	front taking notes, enjoying the show.

				PRINCIPAL
		I think it would be best not to put 
		things in terms of winners and losers--

				ANGLO MOTHER
			(Points at Pilar)
		Well, the way she's teachin' it has 
		got everything switched around. I 
		was on the textbook committee, and 
		her version is not--

				PRINCIPAL
		We think of the textbook as kind of 
		a guide, not an absolute--

				ANGLO MOTHER
		--it is not what we set as the 
		standard! Now you people can believe 
		what you want, but when it comes to 
		teaching our children--

				CHICANO MOTHER
		They're our children, too!

				ANGLO FATHER
		The men who founded this state have 
		a right to have their story--

				DANNY
		The men who founded this state broke 
		from Mexico because they needed 
		slavery to be legal to make a fortune 
		in the cotton business!

				PILAR
		I think that's a bit of an 
		oversimplification--

				ANGLO FATHER
		Are you reporting this meeting or 
		runnin' it, Danny?

				DANNY
		Just adding a little historical 
		perspective--

	REAR OF AUDITORIUM

	PALOMA CRUZ, Pilar's teenage daughter, peeks into the room, 
	then moves down the side toward the stage.

				ANGLO FATHER
		You may call it history, but I call 
		it propaganda. I'm sure they got 
		their own account of the Alamo on 
		the other side, but we're not on the 
		other side, so we're not about to 
		have it taught in our schools!

				PILAR
		There's no reason to be so threatened 
		by this--

	Pilar is trying to stay calm despite her anger.

				PILAR
		I've only been trying to get across 
		some of the complexity of our 
		situation down here--cultures coming 
		together in both negative and positive 
		ways.

				ANGLO MOTHER (O.S.)
		If you mean like music and food and 
		all, I have no problem with that.

	REVERSE

	We shoot past Pilar toward the parents in their seats. PALOMA 
	steps up to whisper to her.

				ANGLO MOTHER
		--but when you start changing who 
		did what to who.

				TEACHER
		We're not changing anything, we're 
		presenting a more complete picture.

				ANGLO MOTHER
		And that's what's got to stop!

	Pilar looks troubled by what she's heard. She shoots a look 
	toward the others at the table, then slips away with Paloma--

				TEACHER
		There's enough ignorance in the world 
		without us encouraging it in the 
		classroom--

				ANGLO MOTHER
		Now who are you calling ignorant?

				PRINCIPAL
		Folks, I know this is a very emotional 
		issue for some of you, but we do 
		have other business to attend to--

				CHICANO FATHER
		We're not going to get some resolution 
		on this?

	CU PRINCIPAL

	Weary--

				PRINCIPAL
		Would you people like to form another 
		committee?

	GROANS from the parents--

	INT. SHERIFF'S OFFICE -- NIGHT -- SHADOW

	Shadow, face bruised, hands cuffed behind him, is pushed in 
	through the door to be booked.

				SHADOW
		I hope the sucker does die, man! 
		Mess with me, that's what you get!

	Sam steps in behind him and meets his Chief Deputy RAY 
	HERNANDEZ, coming from the other direction.

				RAY
		Hospital says the other kid is in 
		bad shape--

				SAM
			(Glances ahead)
		The shooter local?

				RAY
			(Shakes his bead)
		Down from Houston. I think he knew 
		the girl before.

				SAM
		Okay--we'll take a statement from 
		all the GIs before they go back to 
		post. You can get the story from 
		Otis over at the club.

				RAY
		Any poop on the John Doe you found 
		out there today?

				SAM
		Nothin' much. The Rangers put Ben 
		Wetzel on it. Catch you later.

	As Ray steps out, Pilar looking distraught, walks into the 
	station, passing right by Sam without seeing him.

	CU SAM

	Wonders what she's doing there--

	SAM'S POV -- PILAR

	She stands by an unoccupied reception desk, very upset, unable 
	to attract anyone's attention because of the activity around 
	the shooting.  She looks tired and a bit scared under the 
	harsh overhead light.

				SAM (O.S.)
		Pilar.

	PILAR AND SAM

	Pilar looks around. Sam is standing by her. We can tell there 
	is some history between these two.

				SAM
		Something wrong?

				PILAR
		They've got my Amado.

				SAM
		Got him here?

				PILAR
		Somebody called--something about an 
		electronics store.

				SAM
		I'll see what's going on.

	He starts away, stops, comes back--

				SAM
		I was--I was real sorry about Nando. 
		He was a good fella. We haven't talked 
		since.

				PILAR
		We haven't talked since high school.

				SAM
		Yeah. I'll go check on your boy.

	Pilar watches Sam go--

	REAR OF OFFICE

	Travis sits typing away at a word processor as Athena, in 
	tears, gives testimony.

				ATHENA
		--so Richie just didn't say nothin' 
		'cause he didn't want to get into 
		it, see, and the next thing I know 
		there's shots and Richie is down. It 
		happened so fast--

				SAM (O.S.)
		Excuse me--

	We WIDEN to see Sam standing over the desk--

				SAM
		We got some boys you run in earlier 
		today?

				TRAVIS
		Yeah. I pulled the bunch that hangs 
		at Pico Bernal's place. We finally 
		caught them with something.

				SAM
		You got a juvenile with 'ern--Amado 
		Cruz?

	Travis looks at his booking sheets--

				TRAVIS
		Yeah--let's see--the other ones say 
		he wasn't in on the theft, he just 
		knows how to hook things up. We've 
		been trying to contact a parent.

	INT. JAIL HALLWAY

	Sam walks with Amado, who is trying to look defiant--

				SAM
		They tell me you're good at fixing 
		things.

	Nothin--

				SAM
		Your father was a hell of a mechanic.

	Still nothing--

				SAM
		You know, if you figure minimum wage 
		on the time most thieves spend in 
		jail, they could have bought most 
		everything they stole.

				AMADO
		I didn't steal anything.

				SAM
		I didn't say you did. My name is 
		Sam, by the way.

	Amado just gives him a look--

	INT. SHERIFF'S OFFICE

	Sam and AMADO step out into the office, where Pilar stands 
	waiting.

				SAM
		He's all yours.

				PILAR
		Are you okay?

				AMADO
		I don't know what the big deal is.

				PILAR
		You'll find out when I get you home. 
		Thanks, Sam.

				SAM
		No problem.

	Pilar yanks AMADO outside by his arm. She turns to shoot a 
	look back at Sam, then steps out through the glass door.

	CU SAM

	Watching her go--

				SAM
		Any time.

							 FADE OUT:

	EXT. OBSTACLE COURSE -- MORNING -- PIT

	We shoot up from a pit in the ground. WHUMP! WHUMP! WHUMP! 
	Three men leap over, landing on the far side and running 
	away from us.

	MEN

	Del Payne runs with Cliff and Mikey on a pathway along a 
	security fence, the two sergeants struggling to keep up, 
	occasionally vaulting or scaling some mild obstacle.

				MIKEY
		There's not that much down here, 
		Colonel. Big O's is the only place 
		in the county that our African 
		American soldiers are uhm--that they 
		feel comfortable in.

				DEL
		Have we had trouble there before?

				CLIFF
		Since I've been stationed here? A 
		fistfight now and then--

				MIKEY
		We had a kid pass out in the men's 
		room. The town isn't much.

				DEL
		They didn't come for a vacation.

				CLIFF
		Yes sir.

				MIKEY
		You know how it is, Colonel--first 
		time away from home, dealing with 
		new people--I remember my first hitch--

				DEL
		Substance abuse?

				MIKEY
		Well, yeah, but I went through the 
		Program. I haven't had a drink since--

				DEL
		I meant on the post. In general. How 
		are you dealing with it?

				CLIFF
		We throw a urine test at them once a 
		month. Random numbers, maybe a hundred 
		people at a time

				DEL
		Why don't we make it once a week for 
		a while?

				CLIFF
		No problem, sir.

	Del notices bow hard they are breathing--

				DEL
		I sprint the last quarter mile. You 
		gentlemen don't have to keep up if 
		you don't care to.

				MIKEY
		Appreciate it, sir.

	Del accelerates and we HOLD with the sergeants, slowing to a 
	near-walk.

				MIKEY
		Guy cracks walnuts with his asshole.

				CLIFF
			(Grins)
		You get the feeling he doesn't want 
		to be here?

	INT. FORENSICS LAB -- VARIOUS SHOTS

	We hear Hank Williams' gospel song "I'll Have a New Body 
	(I'll Have a New Life)" as we see the gathered bones of the 
	skeleton tagged and photographed and measured, impressions 
	made of the dental work in the skull, photographs of the 
	excavation of the body at various stages marked with red 
	grease pencil, the piece of metal laid in a de-tarnishing 
	dish, the ring put under a microscope.

	CU METAL

	MUSIC CONTINUES as we TIGHTEN on the piece of metal, a pair 
	of tongs pulling it from the de-tarnishing solution. It is a 
	star-shaped badge, bearing the words "SHERIFF--RIO COUNTY."

	INT. COUNTRY AND WESTERN BAR -- AFTERNOON

	C&W MUSIC playing, the regulars starting to show up. Sam 
	makes his way to a table where BEN WETZEL, a Texas Ranger, 
	sits with a file of forensic reports.

				BEN
		Sam the Man.

				SAM
		Hey, Ben. Thanks for coming down.

	They shake, Sam sits.

				BEN
		How's business?

				SAM
		Business is booming. Got your drugs, 
		got your illegals--had a shooting 
		the other night at Big O's--Soldier 
		got ventilated.

				BEN
		I hear they're closing that post 
		down.

				SAM
		September '97, that's all she wrote.

				BEN
		Gonna pull a lot of jobs out of this 
		county.

				SAM
		Yeah, we'll have folks swimming over 
		to Mexico to work in the sweatshops.

	Sam looks at the folder of reports.

				SAM
		That the word on our boy?

				BEN
		Yeah, this is Skinny.

				SAM
		Skinny?

				BEN
		We find a body, it's either Skinny 
		or Stinky, depending on how much 
		meat there is on the bones.

				SAM
		Nice job.

				BEN
			(Opens folder)
		Male, 40 to 50 years old, five-foot-
		eleven, chewed tobacco--then we get 
		into the dental records--

				SAM
		Charley Wade.

				BEN
			(Nods)
		That badge--

				SAM
		--it didn't come out of a cereal 
		box.

				BEN
		Yeah.

				SAM
		You know the popular version of how 
		he left town.

				BEN
		Everybody on the border knows that 
		story.

				SAM
		You got a cause of death?

				BEN
		Skull was intact, no soft tissue 
		left--not much to go on.

				SAM
		So he could have gone out to the 
		base, hopped the fence, dug down 
		into the dirt on the old rifle range 
		and had a heart attack.

	Ben smiles, closes the folder--

				BEN
		You uhm--you remember what old Buddy 
		carried for a side arm?

				SAM
		Colt Peacemaker.

				BEN
		A .45--

				SAM
		He swore by it.
			(Ben frowns)
		What?

				BEN
		Just wondering.

				SAM
		So is Buddy on your short list?

				BEN
		If it was some poor mojado, swam 
		across at night, got lost in the 
		scrub and starved out there, we 
		wouldn't go any further. But this is 
		a formerly prominent citizen.

				SAM
		You got to investigate. No question 
		about it.

				BEN
		What I will do is keep names out of 
		it till we got some answers or hit a 
		dead end. You know how the press is 
		with a murder story--even if it's 
		forty years old.

				SAM
		Yeah, it's a pretty cold trail.

	They sit in awkward silence for a moment. Ben feels bad about 
	it.

				BEN
		I remember Charley Wade come to my 
		father's hardware store once when I 
		was a little boy. I'd heard stories 
		how he shot this one, how he shot 
		that one--man winked at me and I 
		peed in my pants.
			(Shakes his head)
		Winked at me.

	INT. CLASSROOM -- DAY

	Pilar stands at the blackboard by her outline of 19th century 
	Texas history.

				PILAR
		Okay, we have the fight against the 
		Spanish with bloody conflict for 
		dozens of years till they're finally 
		defeated in 1821 and Mexican 
		independence is declared. Anglo 
		settlers are invited--

	CU DRAWING

	Somebody making a skillful pencil drawing on the corner of a 
	sheet of lined notebook paper. A bald, muscular shotputter 
	after releasing the shot, his hand large in the f.g.

				PILAR (O.S.)
		--to colonize the area and by the 
		time they begin the movement against 
		Santa Anna they outnumber the Mexicans 
		here by four to one. The war between 
		Mexico--

	CHET

	Drawing intently. He takes the notebook and lays his thumb 
	over the corner.

				PILAR (O.S.)
		and the Anglo forces ends in 1836 
		with the formation of the Texas 
		Republic. Texas joins the United 
		States as a state where slavery is 
		legal in 1845--

	NOTEBOOK

	Chet "flips" the corner of the notebook and the series of 
	drawings he's made form a brief cartoon of the shot-putter 
	blowing his cheeks out and heaving the shot right past us. 
	Extremely well-drawn--

				PILAR (O.S.)
		after the so-called Mexican war and 
		then secedes to join the Confederacy 
		in 1861. The Confederacy is beaten, 
		and the Reformation period here is 
		marked by range wars and race wars--

	PILAR

	Looking out at the class--

				PILAR
		--and all this paralleled by constant 
		battles between both the Mexican and 
		Anglo settlers and the various Indian 
		nations in the area. What are we 
		seeing here? Chet?

	CHET

	Startled, he hides the notebook under his hands --

				CHET
		Uhm--everybody is killing everybody 
		else?

	EXT. LAKE -- DAY -- CU FISHING LURE

	A nasty-looking thing. Only a bass would want to eat this. 
	Hollis leans in to peer at the thing dangling before his 
	face.

	WIDER

	Hollis sits in the swivel chair of a bass boat tied to a 
	dock at the lake, going through his box of lures. Sam appears 
	on the dock and steps down.

				SAM
		I always wondered what you Mayors do 
		when you're not cutting ribbons.

				HOLLIS
		Sam! Hey podner! You caught me playing 
		hooky--

				SAM
			(Looks across lake)
		Floating around out here, playin' 
		hell with them bass--play a little 
		cards, play a little golf, drink 
		some beer--

				HOLLIS
		Sounds great. Where do I sign up?

				SAM
		I haven't been out here for a while.

				HOLLIS
		You go by your old house?

				SAM
		No.

				HOLLIS
		Just as well. The new people just 
		painted it some God-awful color--

				SAM
		We found a body out by the Army base 
		yesterday. Been there for a long 
		time.

	Hollis squints at a rubber lure, rejects it--

				HOLLIS
		Was it Davy Crockett or Jim Bowie?

				SAM
			(Smiles)
		You recall if Charley Wade was a 
		Mason?

				HOLLIS
		Charley? I believe he was. Used to 
		go for lodge meetings over to Laredo. 
		What's he got to do with your body?

				SAM
		All it was wearing was a big old 
		Masonic ring and a Rio County Sheriffs 
		badge.

	Hollis reacts. Sam puts a foot on the gunwale of the boat.

				SAM
		You don't remember anything else 
		from that last night you saw him, do 
		you?

				HOLLIS
		I told the story enough times--hell, 
		we were just in the car, he was 
		stewing about the fight with Buddy 
		while we drove over to Roderick 
		Bledsoe's--

				SAM
		Bledso

				HOLLIS
		He owned the colored roadhouse before 
		Big O--

				SAM
		He still living?

				HOLLIS
		No. I think his widow's still in 
		their place in Darktown, though.
			(Shakes his bead)
		You think it's Charley Wade, huh?

				SAM
		Forensics people are sure of it. You 
		have any idea who might have put him 
		there?

	Hollis makes a great show of considering--

				SAM
		Besides my father, I mean.

				HOLLIS
		There's no call for that, Sam. Fella 
		made himself a pile of enemies over 
		the years.

				SAM
		And Buddy was one of them.

				HOLLIS
		We got that dedication tomorrow. 
		This is a hell of a time to be 
		draggin' up old business.

				SAM
		People have worked this whole big 
		thing up around my father. If it's 
		built on a crime, they deserve to 
		know. Now I understand why you might 
		want to believe he couldn't do it.

				HOLLIS
		And I understand why you might want 
		to think he could.

	This is a low blow, but accurate enough to shake Sam.

				SAM
		Thanks for your time, Hollis.

	Hollis holds up a double handful of lures--dozens of rubber 
	and plastic worms and shiners and frogs and spinners--

				HOLLIS
		Look at all this, would you? My 
		tackle, the boat, all to catch a 
		little old fish just minding its 
		business on the bottom of the lake.

	He gives Sam a look--

				HOLLIS
		Hardly seems worth the effort--does 
		it, Sam? Sam walks away--

	INT. CLASSROOM -- ARMY BASE -- DAY -- CU ATHENA

	Athena stands at attention, trying to keep her composure--

				CLIFF (O.S.)
		So you knew this young man before?

				ATHENA
		From back in Houston. We both come 
		up on Fifth Street.

				PRISCILLA (O.S.)
		Did you know he was going to be there 
		last night?

				ATHENA
		If I had I wouldn't have gone in.

				PRISCILLA (O.S.)
		And you and Private Graves--

				ATHENA
		We were just dancing--

	WIDER

	Cliff leans against a desk, a blackboard covered with radar 
	diagrams behind him. Priscilla sits nearby, both of them 
	focused on Athena.

				PRISCILLA
		We're not running a dating service 
		here.

				ATHENA
		I know that, Sergeant. We were just 
		dancing. There was a bunch of us 
		there. Shadow just come down looking 
		for trouble.

				CLIFF
		It's not our job to get involved in 
		your personal life, but when it 
		interferes with the training here--

				ATHENA
		I'm sorry, Sergeant Major. There 
		wasn't anything I could do. Shadow 
		gets crazy--

	A silence as the sergeant lets her stew for a moment. She 
	works up her courage--

				ATHENA
		Sergeant Major? How is Richie doing? 
		Private Graves?

				CLIFF
		He'll live.

				PRISCILLA
		He'll be transferred to a military 
		hospital as soon as he's stabilized--

				CLIFF
		He'll probably be getting a medical 
		discharge--

				ATHENA
		Out of the Army?

				CLIFF
		He's going to lose a lung. This is 
		not good news for Athena--

				ATHENA
		Will this go on my record?

	Cliff considers for a long moment--

				CLIFF
		If the incident happened the way you 
		say it did, there hasn't been an 
		infraction.

				ATHENA
		Thank you, Sergeant Major.

				CLIFF
		You're dismissed.

				ATHENA
		Thank you, Sergeant Major.

	Athena steps out of the room. Cliff sits on the desk--

				PRISCILLA
		You spoil 'em, Cliff.

				CLIFF
		Hey--she's in a tough situation. I 
		cut her some slack--

				PRISCILLA
		But I'm the one in charge of her 
		sorry ass.

				CLIFF
		She's pulled herself out of a pretty 
		rough neighborhood.

	Crossing to the door--

				PRISCILLA
		And if she isn't careful she's gonna 
		slide right back into it.

	EXT. BLEDSOE HOUSE -- DAY -- ROCKER

	We start on a CU of a rocker creaking back and forth on an 
	old wooden porch. A WOMAN HUMS.

	MINNIE

	MINNIE BLEDSOE, in her 60s, sits on her porch in the old 
	Black section of town, playing with a Gameboy. She has very 
	thick glasses on. Sam walks up to her from his car--

				SAM
		Mrs. Bledsoe?

				MINNIE
		That's me.

				SAM
		I'm Sheriff Deeds--

				MINNIE
		Sheriff Deeds' dead, honey--you just 
		Sheriff junior.

				SAM
			(Smiles)
		Yeah, that's the story of my life.

				MINNIE
		You ever play one of these?

				SAM
		I've seen 'em.

				MINNIE
		Well, don't ever start up on 'em, 
		cause once you do you can't stop. I 
		tell myself I'm gonna play just three 
		little games after breakfast, and 
		here I sit with half the day gone.

				SAM
		You mind if I ask a few questions 
		about your husband? Roderick?

				MINNIE
		I won't say nothing bad about the 
		man, but you can ask away.

				SAM
		He had the club out on the old trail 
		road--

				MINNIE
		We run that twenty-odd years. Give 
		it over to Otis Payne in 1967. April.

				SAM
		So you must remember Sheriff Wade.

				MINNIE
		Not if I can help it.

				SAM
		You had to deal with him in running 
		the club.

				MINNIE
		Them days, you deal with Sheriff 
		Wade or you didn't deal at all. First 
		of the month, every month, he remind 
		you of who you really workin' for.

				SAM
		He squeezed money out of you?

				MINNIE
		Wasn't legal to sell liquor in a 
		glass back then unless you was a 
		club, see. Roderick used to say, 
		"Buy yourself a drink, you get a 
		free membership." But Sheriff Wade, 
		he could shut you down anytime.

				SAM
		And my father?

				MINNIE
		Sheriff Buddy was a different story. 
		Long as Roderick throw his weight 
		the right way on election day, make 
		sure all the colored get out to vote-
		we was called colored back then, if 
		you was polite--maybe throw a barbecue 
		for the right people now and then, 
		things was peaceful. That Sheriff 
		Wade, though, he took an awful big 
		bite.

				SAM
		People didn't complain?

				MINNIE
		Not if they was colored or Meskin. 
		Not if they wanted to keep breathin'.

				SAM
		Do you remember the last time you 
		saw him?

	Minnie thinks, puts down the Gameboy--

				MINNIE
		I seen him in our place the last 
		week before he gone missin'.

	We TRACK in to a close-up of her. R&B MUSIC FADES UP slowly--

				MINNIE
		He used to come in whilst we was in 
		full swing, make people nervous. Had 
		him a smile like the Grim Reaper--

						 DISSOLVE TO:

	INT. ROADHOUSE --

	The joint is crowded, people drinking, talking, laughing, a 
	few dancing, all trying to avoid locking eyes with Sheriff 
	Wade, who sits with his legs stretched out at a table.

	Young Hollis sits by him, smiling uncomfortably. Sax-wailing 
	R&B blasts from the jukebox. YOUNG OTIS, a slick, confident 
	character with straightened hair and a silk shirt on, in his 
	early 20s, stops to talk with a MAN on his way to bring a 
	tray with a couple beers and glasses over.

				MINNIE (V.O.)
		--just sit back with his hand on 
		that big ol' gun and act the kingfish 
		with everybody. Otis Payne had come 
		to work for us by then, and that boy 
		had him some attitude--

	CU WADE

	Watching Young Otis with narrowed eyes--

	CU WADE'S POV -- OTIS

	A man puts a slip of paper in Otis's pocket, pats his back. 
	Otis winks to acknowledge the bet, turns, makes eyes at a 
	PRETTY WOMAN sitting at the bar, who is eyeing him back.  He 
	lays the beers and glasses on the table, starts away.

				WADE
		Pour it.

	OTIS TURNS, CUPS HIS HAND AROUND HIS EAR-

				WADE
		Pour it.

	Expressionless, he starts to pour the beer into Wade's glass. 
	The Sheriff looks up into his face--

				WADE
		I know you?

				YOUNG OTIS
		Name's Otis.

				WADE
		Otis what?

				YOUNG OTIS
		Payne.

				WADE
		One of Cleroe Payne's boys?

				YOUNG OTIS
		Uh-huh.

				WADE
		I sent your Daddy to the farm once.

				YOUNG OTIS
		I know that.

				WADE
		Why you think that was?

	Otis feels people watching.  He doesn't want to lose face--

				YOUNG OTIS
		Some crop needed pickin' and the man 
		was shorthanded.

	A very insolent answer for the time and place--

				WADE
		As I remember it was because he had 
		a sassy mouth on him. Must run in 
		the family--You wouldn't be runnin' 
		numbers out of this club, now, would 
		you, son?

				YOUNG OTIS
		Runnin' numbers illegal.

				WADE
		Runnin' numbers without I know about 
		it is both illegal and unhealthy. 
		You remember that.

	The beer is poured. Otis starts away--

				WADE
		Whoah, son. You're not finished. 
		Pour his.

				YOUNG HOLLIS
		I prefer it in the bottle--

				WADE
		Shut up, Hollis. Pour.

	Otis meets Wade's look now, pours the other beer--

				WADE
		How come you don't took familiar?

				YOUNG OTIS
		Been away. Up to Houston.

				WADE
		Houston, huh? I hear they let you 
		boys run wild up there.

	No response. Wade deliberately pushes the glass away so beer 
	splashes on the table and drips into Hollis's lap--

				WADE
		Aw--look what you done now. Better 
		get something to wipe it up, son.

	Half the people in the room are watching now, the other half 
	moving away to relative safety. Otis tries to keep a lid on 
	his temper, looks around the room--

				YOUNG OTIS
		You spilt it, you wipe it up.

	Wade stands, steely-eyed, and looks at Otis nose to nose--

				WADE
		I told you to do something. Are you 
		gonna hop to it, or are we gonna 
		have a problem?

	Otis is starting to shake, but holds his ground--

				WADE
		Don't want to turn tail in front of 
		your people. I understand.

	He starts to turn away then WHAP! brings the butt of his 
	pistol up under Otis's chin, knocking him to the floor. A 
	woman SCREAMS and Otis, enraged, grabs the chair he has fallen 
	over, starts to get up--but Wade has the pistol levelled at 
	his face--

				WADE
		Come on, Houston, give it a try! 
		Come to Poppa--

	RODERICK is out on the floor now, hands held out in a gesture 
	of peace, as YOUNG MINNIE watches from behind the bar, 
	petrified--

				RODERICK
		Don't mind him, Sheriff. Boy's just 
		a bit slow, is all. He don't mean 
		nothin' by it--

				WADE
		That the problem, son?  You Slow?

				RODERICK
		Otis, apologize to the Sheriff--

	Otis eases the chair down but doesn't say anything--

				RODERICK
		You got him too scared to peep, 
		Sheriff. Maybe if you put that gun 
		up--

				WADE
		You telling me what to do, Roderick?

				RODERICK
		No, Sheriff, I'm just--

	Wade looks around, widens his eyes in mock surprise--

				WADE
		What's this I see? Is that whiskey 
		in them glasses on the Bar? Roderick, 
		I'm gonna have to cite you for a 
		violation of state law--

				RODERICK
		This is a club, Sheriff--you been in 
		here--

				WADE
		And people better clear out of here! 
		Now!

	A few people start for the exit.  Wade swivels and BLAM sends 
	a bullet past Minnie that shatters a crystal decanter behind 
	the bar.  People run for the door. Wade squats down to look 
	Otis in the face--

	CU WADE

				WADE
		You learn how to act your place, 
		son. This idn't Houston.

	He stands and we FOLLOW him toward the bar--

				OTIS (V.O.)
		'Course I was young and full of beans 
		then--

	The camera passes Wade and instead of Minnie there stands 
	Otis, PRESENT DAY, reminiscing. We are back in '95--

				OTIS
		I didn't understand the spot I was 
		putting Roderick in.

				SAM
		And that was the last time you saw 
		him?

	We SHIFT to see Sam sitting where Wade was headed--

				OTIS
		Oh--I think he came in one more time 
		with Hollis and--naw, your Daddy 
		wasn't with them. Made their monthly 
		pickup. Roderick wasn't in so I just 
		kept my mouth good and shut and handed 
		over that envelope.

				SAM
		That was the night he disappeared?

				OTIS
			(Shakes his head)
		Could of been. That was white people's 
		business.

				SAM
		And when my father was Sheriff?

				OTIS
		What about it?

				SAM
		What was your deal with him?

	Otis smiles, chooses his words carefully--

				OTIS
		Buddy was more a part of the big 
		picture--county political machine,  
		chamber of commerce, zoning board if 
		I kept those people happy, he was 
		pretty much on my side.
			(Smiles)
		Whenever somebody thought--they start 
		up another bar for the black  folks, 
		they'd be--how should I put this? 
		They'd be officially discouraged.

				SAM
		He ever accept cash for a favor?

	Otis smiles, looks away to ponder his response--

				OTIS
		I don't recall a prisoner ever died 
		in your father's custody. I don't 
		recall a man in this town--Black, 
		White, Mexican--who'd hesitate a 
		minute before they'd call on Buddy 
		Deeds to solve a problem. More than 
		that I wouldn't like to say.

	INT. CAR -- LATE AFTERNOON

	Pilar drives Amado and her daughter Paloma home--

				AMADO
		If you had your way I wouldn't have 
		any friends.

				PILAR
		Oh, come on, Amado--

				AMADO
		Just 'cause I'm not like Little Miss 
		Honor Roll here--

				PILAR
		Leave your sister out of it.

				AMADO
		You and all of the teachers in this 
		dump--your story's over, so you don't 
		want anybody else to have fun.

	We see on PILAR's face that he has scored--

				PALOMA
		You jerk--

				AMADO
		I'm not talking to you. You don't 
		have any friends.

	PILAR eases the car down San Jacinto street, seeing something 
	on the street and she's tuning her kids' conversation out--

				PALOMA
		Who'd want to be friends with that 
		bunch of pachuco wannabes?

				AMADO
		I don't pretend I came over on the 
		Mayflower--

				PALOMA
		And those stupid girls who hang out 
		with them--

				AMADO
		Just shut up.

	PILAR'S POV -- SAM

	Sam walks on the sidewalk parallel to them, talking with 
	three other MEN--

				PALOMA (O.S.)
		Joanie Orozco's telling the whole 
		school she's like desperately in 
		love with Santo Guerra.

				AMADO (O.S.)
		So?

				PALOMA (O.S.)
		It's pathetic. You can't be 
		desperately in love when you're 14 
		years old.

	INT. PILAR'S CAR

	Pilar is still looking fixedly out the window--

				PALOMA
		Not if you have half a brain in your 
		head.

				PILAR
		Of course you can.

				PALOMA
		What?

				PILAR
		It doesn't have anything to do with 
		being smart.

	EXT. SAN JACINTO STREET -- LATE AFTERNOON

	Danny Padilla is arguing with H.L. BRIGGS, a construction 
	company big shot, and JORGE GUERRA, a Council member in his 
	40s and Sam, as they walk down the sidewalk of the main street--

				JORGE
		What I'm saying is, I don't see the 
		point. You had your chance when the 
		dedication committee was meeting--

				DANNY
		I've got new information--

				H.L.
		It's ancient goddarn history, Danny--

				DANNY
		1963, they dam up the north branch 
		to make Lake Pescadero. A whole little 
		town disappears--

				H.L.
		Squatter town--

				DANNY
		People had been living in Perdido 
		for over a hundred years. Mexicans 
		and Chicanos are deported, evicted, 
		moved forcibly out of their houses 
		by our local hero, Buddy Deeds, and 
		his department--

				JORGE
		There was a bill from the state 
		legislature--

				DANNY
		Families were split apart, a whole 
		community was destroyed--

				H.L.
		They were trespassing, Danny--

				DANNY
		--and who ends up with lakefront 
		property bought for a fraction of 
		the market price? Buddy Deeds, Sheriff 
		of Rio County, and his Chief Deputy, 
		Hollis Pogue.

	They all look at Sam, who has been listening patiently the 
	whole while.  They've reached his office.

				SAM
		You finished?

				DANNY
		Look, I'm not after you, Sam.  I 
		just think people in town ought to 
		know the full story on Buddy Deeds.

				SAM
			(Nods)
		That makes two of us.

	Sam steps into his office, leaving H.L. shaking his head--

				H.L.
		You best be thankful that's the son 
		and not the father. Buddy woulda 
		kicked your ass from here to sundown.

	INT. HALLWAY -- DEL'S HOUSE -- LATE AFTERNOON

	We TRACK down a hallway as Celie walks toward us, calling 
	ahead. Chet stands in the middle of the hall behind her.

				CELIE (O.S.)
		I don't see what the big deal is. Go 
		back over, talk to the man, and bury 
		the hatchet, Del--

	CELIE passes us and Del crosses back in the other direction 
	from behind the camera, carrying boxes of their belongings. 
	We continue our SLOW TRACK forward--

				DEL
		Otis Payne was never embarrassed 
		about a thing in his life.

				CHET
		Dad--

				CELIE (O.S.)
		You were 8 years old when he left--

				DEL
		He didn't leave, he moved three houses 
		down with one of my mother's best 
		friends.

				CHET
		Dad--?

				DEL
		"Hey, Delmore, where's your Daddy?"

	Del disappears into the bedroom at the end of the hall--

				DEL (O.S.)
		Everybody else's business. And 
		everybody loved Big O--

	DEL comes back out, empty-handed--

				DEL
		Big O was always there with a  smile 
		or a loan or a free drink.

				CHET
		Dad, can I talk to you about track?

				CELIE (O.S.)
		People change.

				DEL
		Not that much.

				CHET
		Dad, I talked to the track coach--

				DEL
		I thought we already had this out?  
		Next year, if your grades are high 
		enough--

				CHET
		I have a B average.

				DEL
		How many B-average students do you 
		think they take at West Point?

				CELIE (O.S.)
		We're going to have to see him.

				DEL
		No, we don't.

	Del steps away past us, leaving Chet, defeated--

	INT. CAFE -- NIGHT -- ENRIQUE

	We start on Enrique, talking surreptitiously on the pay phone 
	on the way to the kitchen.

				ENRIQUE
		Sabado por la noche--Is, es el  mas 
		seguero--a cruzar por la  manana y 
		pues tendremos que esperar--[Friday 
		night--Yes, that's the safest--I'll 
		cross in the morning and then we'll 
		have to wait--]

	Mercedes bustles by, snapping her fingers--

				MERCEDES
		Off the phone, by we've got people 
		waiting. Andale!

	We FOLLOW Mercedes back into the kitchen, where she moves 
	through, kibbitzing the operation--

	WAITRESS

	Mercedes stops by a young girl prepping a pork loin to be 
	cooked. She isn't wearing gloves.

				MERCEDES
		Donde estan sus guantes? Tonta! Quiere 
		matar a mis clientes? [Where are 
		your gloves? Stupid! You want to 
		kill my customers?]

	She continues past, shaking her bead, bringing us to Pilar, 
	who is trying to stay out of the way--

				MERCEDES
		These ones coming up are getting 
		stupider every year.

				PILAR
		Maybe you're just getting less 
		patient.

				MERCEDES
		If they're going to survive here, 
		they have to know how to work, Elalco! 
		Adelante! Los clientes esperan!

				PILAR
		Well, you hire illegals--

				MERCEDES
			(Indignant)
		Nobody is illegal in my cafe! They've 
		got green cards, they've got relatives 
		who were born here--if they only had 
		a little common sense I'd be very 
		happy.

				PILAR
		If you spent a little more time 
		training them--

				MERCEDES
		Did you come here to tell me how to 
		run my business?

				PILAR
		No. I was wondering if you'd like to 
		take a trip down south with us. Maybe 
		see where you grew up--

				MERCEDES
		Why would I want to go there?

				PILAR
		Oh, come on--you must be curious how 
		it's changed. Amado is into this big 
		Tejano roots thing and I've never 
		been further than Ciudad Leon--

				MERCEDES
		You want to see Mexicans, open your 
		eyes and look around you. We're up 
		to our ears in them.

	Pilar gives up on the trip. She watches her mother poking at 
	the plates of chips and salsa ready to go out--

				PILAR
		Mami, how old were you when my father--

				MERCEDES
		He was killed.

				PILAR
		Right. When he was killed.

				MERCEDES
		A little older than Paloma is now.

				PILAR
		How come you never got married again?

	Mercedes just glares at her--

				PILAR
		There must have been somebody.

				MERCEDES
			(Mutters)
		I was too busy.

				PILAR
		Nobody's too busy.

				MERCEDES
		Maybe now. It was different back 
		then. I had this place, I was doing 
		all the shopping, all the cooking. 
		What do I need some chulo with grease 
		under his nails to drink up the 
		profit?

				PILAR
			(Pissed off)
		Thank you.

				MERCEDES
		I don't mean Fernando.

				PILAR
		Mami, the first time I brought him 
		home, those were your exact words-- 
		"some chulo with grease under his 
		nails."

				MERCEDES
		I never said that.

				PILAR
		You made it pretty damn clear you 
		thought he was nobody.

				MERCEDES
		I felt that you could do better for 
		yourself--

				PILAR
		What? Become a nun? You didn't want 
		me going out with Anglos--

				MERCEDES
		I never said that. It was just that 
		boy--

				PILAR
		"That boy"--Mami, say his name for 
		chrissakes!

	The employees are staring. Mercedes won't look at her daughter 
	as she steps out of the kitchen, banging into Enrique on his 
	way back in--

				MERCEDES
		You people are stealing my money-- 
		Entiende? Robandome?

	Mercedes is gone. The young girl, pulling plastic gloves on, 
	looks to Pilar.

				GIRL
		Su madre? [Your mother?]

				PILAR
		Si.

	The girl puts her hand on her heart in sympathy--

				GIRL
		Lo siento [My condolences.]

	INT. COUNTRY AND WESTERN BAR -- NIGHT

	A crowded room, C&W MUSIC plays on the box. Sam sits behind 
	a bottle of beer as the bartender, CODY, in his early 50s 
	philosophizes.

				CODY
		Now I'm just as liberal as the next 
		guy--

				SAM
		If the next guy's a redneck.

				CODY
		--but I gotta say I think there's  
		something to this cold climate  
		business. I mean, you go to the beach-
		what do you do? Drink a few beers, 
		wait for a fish to flop up on the 
		sand. Can't build no civilization 
		that way. You got a hard winter 
		coming, though, you got to plan ahead, 
		and that gives your cerebral cortex 
		a workout.

				SAM
		Good deal you were born down here, 
		then.

				CODY
		You joke about it, Sam, but we are 
		in a state of crisis. The lines of 
		demarcation has gotten fuzzy--to run 
		a sucessfull civilization you got to 
		have lines of demarcation between 
		right and wrong, between this one 
		and that one--your Daddy understood 
		that. He was like the whatchacallit--
		the referee for this damn menudo we 
		got down here. He understood how 
		most people don't want their sugar 
		and salt in the same jar.

				SAM
		You mixed drinks bad as you mix 
		metaphors, you be out of a job.

				CODY
		Take that pair over in the corner--

	Sam swivels to look where Cody points--

				CODY
		Place like this, twenty years ago, 
		Buddy woulda been, on them two--

	SAM'S POV -- CORNER BOOTH

	Cliff and Priscilla talk across a table--

				CODY (O.S.)
		--warning. Not 'cause he had it in 
		for the colored

	SAM AND CODY

				CODY
		--but just as a kind of safety tip.

				SAM
		Yeah. I bet he would.

				CODY
		Old Sam stood for somethin', you 
		know? The day that man died they 
		broke the goddamn mold.

	BOOTH -- CLIFF AND PRISCILLA

	Things are obviously more than professional between these 
	two--

				PRISCILLA
		So where does that put us?

				CLIFF
		Well--I don't see what's changed. No -
		PDA's, no necking on the obstacle 
		course.

				PRISCILLA
		Seriously.

				CLIFF
		Seriously, I think we should get 
		married.

				PRISCILLA
		We been through this before--

				CLIFF
		We should just do it.

				PRISCILLA
		And if I get a shot at a promotion 
		somewhere--

				CLIFF
		You could take it--

				PRISCILLA
		It's up or out these days, Cliff. 
		Say I get transferred to a different 
		post--

				CLIFF
		I'd quit the Army for you, if it 
		came to that.

				PRISCILLA
			(Grins)
		Man's gonna retire in two years and 
		he offer to quit. Big goddamn deal.

				SAM (O.S.)
		Excuse me--

	They look up to see Sam standing over them--

				CLIFF
		Sheriff--hi--this is Sergeant--this 
		is Priscilla Worth.

				SAM
		Pleased to meet you.

				CLIFF
		Sheriff Deeds was in on our 
		archeological find yesterday.

				PRISCILLA
		It true they gonna build a shopping 
		mall out there?

				SAM
		If certain people have their way, 
		it's going to be a new jail.

				PRISCILLA
		Damn. Maybe we got in the wrong 
		business. They closin' down military 
		bases left and right, puttin' up 
		jails like 7-11 stores.

				SAM
		Do either of you have any idea when 
		they stopped using that site as a 
		rifle range?

				CLIFF
		They stopped training infantry there 
		in the late '50s. It was just a 
		playground for the jackrabbits till 
		they gave it to the county last year.

				PRISCILLA
		You know who it was they dug up?

				SAM
		Not for sure yet. But I kind of wish 
		they hadn't.

	EXT. CAFE -- NIGHT

	Enrique steps out of the darkened cafe, followed by Mercedes, 
	who locks up. Mercedes steps over to an expensive-looking 
	car--

				ENRIQUE
		Es muy lindo, su coche--

				MERCEDES
		En ingles Enrique. This is the United 
		States. We speak English.

				ENRIQUE
		Is very beautiful, your car.

				MERCEDES
		Good night, Enrique. She slides into 
		the car--

				ENRIQUE
		Buenas noches, Senora Cruz. Enrique 
		walks in the opposite direction--

							FADE OUT

	EXT. BIG O'S ROADHOUSE -- DAY -- CU DEL

	Del, in uniform, approaches the front door of Big O's, not 
	open for business yet. We TIGHTEN as he stops to read a 
	handlettered sign next to it: "BLACK SEMINOLE EXHIBIT REAR 
	ENTRANCE." He steps in--

	INT. ROADHOUSE

	Late-50s R&B plays on the JUKEBOX. Otis stands behind the 
	counter hooking the beer taps up. Del steps in and sits on a 
	stool at the far end of the bar, tense, looking around the 
	place. When Otis sees him, he stops dead. They lock eyes for 
	a moment, then Otis turns to call.

				OTIS
		Carolyn--knock that off for a minute.

	CAROLYN

	CAROLYN SYKES, an attractive woman maybe ten years younger 
	than Otis, pulls the plug from the jukebox near where she's 
	scrubbing bloodstains off the floor. She turns to look at 
	the newcomer--

	BAR

	Del doesn't move to come closer--

				DEL
		Black Seminoles?

				OTIS
			(Shrugs)
		Hobby of mine. Got some artifacts, 
		couple pieces one of your men out at 
		the base made. Free admission.

	Del nods toward where Carolyn is mopping--

				DEL
		That where he was shot?

				OTIS
		That's where he fell.

				DEL
		You get much of that in here?

				OTIS
		It's a bar. People come together, 
		drink, fall in love, fall out of 
		love, air their grudges out--

				DEL
		Deal drugs in the bathroom--

				OTIS
		If I thought it would help I'd put 
		up a sign telling them not to. Right 
		under the one about the employees 
		washing their hands.

	Carolyn has come over by Otis, lugging the bucket and mop--

				OTIS
		This here's Carolyn. Honey, this is 
		my son, Delmore.

				DEL
		Nice to meet you, Ma'am.

	Carolyn nods, shoots a look to Otis--

				CAROLYN
		I'll be in back waiting for that 
		delivery.

	They wail till she is gone to start again--

				OTIS
		So.

				DEL
		So tell me why I shouldn't make this 
		place off-limits.

				OTIS
		This is an official visit, then--

				DEL
		I assume a lot of your business is 
		from our people.

	Otis pulls a tap back and it coughs before squirting beer.

				OTIS
		Your boys out there cooped up 
		together, need somewhere they can 
		let the steam out. If they're Black, 
		there's not but one place in this 
		town they feel welcome. Been that 
		way since before you were born.

				DEL
		We have an enlisted man's club at 
		the post.

				OTIS
		Well, you're the Man out there now, 
		aren't you? It's your call.

				DEL
		That's right.

				OTIS
			(Smiles)
		I been hearing rumors about this new 
		commander coming for a couple weeks 
		now. Boys say they heard he's a real 
		hard case. Spit-and-polish man. Full-
		bird colonel name of Payne, they say-- 
		Bet you never figured you end up 
		back here.

				DEL
		The Army hands you a command, you go 
		wherever it is.

				OTIS
		Right.

				DEL
		I hear things, too.  People call  
		you the Mayor of Darktown.

				OTIS
			(Shrugs)
		Over the years, this is the one place 
		that's always been there. I loan a 
		little money out, settle some 
		arguments. Got a cot in the back- 
		people get afraid to go home they 
		can spend the night. There's not 
		enough of us to run anything in this 
		town- the white people are mostly 
		out on the lake now and the Mexicans 
		hire each other. There's the Holiness 
		Church and there's Big O's place.

				DEL
		And people make their choice--

				OTIS
			(Smiles)
		A lot of 'em choose both. There's 
		not like a borderline between the 
		good people and the bad people--you're 
		not either on one side or the other--

	Del looks away, not wanting to believe this--

				OTIS
			(Softly)
		I gonna meet that family of yours?

				DEL
		Why would you want to do that?

				OTIS
		Because I'm your father.

	Del gives him a dark look and lets the statement hang between 
	them. He gets up and heads for the door--

				DEL
		You'll get official notification 
		when I make my decision. He is out 
		the door--Otis pulls himself a beer 
		as Carolyn steps back out--

				CAROLYN
		So that's him--

				OTIS
		Yeah--that's him. Got two, three 
		thousand people under him out there, 
		you count the civilians.

				CAROLYN
		That must be a laugh a minute.

	EXT. SAN JACINTO STREET -- DAY

	Sam walks down the main street of town. A CROWD is gathering 
	at the other end for the ceremony--

				H.L. (O.S.)
		Sheriff!

	We WIDEN as H.L. and Jorge catch up to him. H.L. slaps Sam 
	on the back--

				H.L.
		Historic occasion, isn't it?

				SAM
		Seems like we have another one every 
		week.

				H.L.
		Jorge and his Chamber of Commerce 
		boys got to keep things hummin'--

				JORGE
		We're building up tourism, Sam--

				SAM
		People come here to catch bass and 
		to get laid at the Boy's Town in 
		Cuidad Leon--

				JORGE
		Sam--

				SAM
		You ought to put up a banner--
		"Frontera, Texas: Gateway to Cut-
		Rate Pussy"--

				H.L.
		That kind of talk doesn't help, Sam.

				SAM
		Rather have that than the ten-foot-
		high catfish statue--

				JORGE
		I got Eddie Richter at the Sentinel 
		to kill that story.

				SAM
		The Perdido thing?

				JORGE
		He agreed it wasn't exactly news--

				SAM
		Danny's gonna be out for blood the 
		next time.

				H.L.
		Which is why we need to talk to you 
		about the new jail--just so we're 
		all on the same page.

				SAM
		We don't need a new jail.

				H.L.
		That's a matter of interpretation--

				SAM
		We're already renting cells to the 
		Feds for their overflow--

				JORGE
		There was a mandate in the last 
		election--

				SAM
		It wouldn't happen to be your 
		construction company gonna get the 
		bid on building this thing, would 
		it, H.L. And Jorge, you wouldn't be 
		thinking about a couple dozen new 
		jobs to dangle in front of the voters--

				H.L.
		Dammit, Sam, the people are concerned 
		about crime--

				SAM
		We need a drug rehab program, we 
		need a new elementary school--

				JORGE
		There isn't money allocated for that. 
		But a jail--

				SAM
		Look, I'm not gonna campaign against 
		your deal here, but if anybody asks 
		me, I got to tell them the truth. We--
		don't--need--a new jail.

				H.L.
		When we backed you--

				SAM
		When you backed me you needed  
		somebody named Deeds to bump the  
		other fella out of office.  Hey,  
		folks--

	Sam and the others smile as they reach the CROWD of 
	townspeople, mostly small business owners and retired people. 
	Photographers from the paper and a local TV news crew wait 
	by a veiled Statue roped off in a little traffic island. 
	Mercedes, dressed to kill, stands waiting next to Hollis 
	with a huge pair of scissors in her hand.

	CU MERCEDES

	Slowly working the blades of the scissors, she looks coldly 
	at Sam--

	CU SAM

	He nods to her as the crowd opens a path for him.

				SAM
		Let's get this thing over with.

	INT. MIKEY'S WORKSHOP -- MORNING

	We start on a two-foot-high statue of a cowboy made from old 
	bullets and shell casings. We PAN past a few others, the 
	poses lifted from Frederic Remington paintings, till we see 
	Mikey, gluing together a work in progress, a Remington book 
	propped open in front of him. Cliff sits at the worktable 
	playing absently with the old bullets spilled out from MIKEY'S 
	bag

				MIKEY
		Never thought I'd see the day a buddy 
		of mine was dating a woman with three 
		up and three down on her shoulder.

				CLIFF
		I think it's beyond what you'd call 
		dating.

				MIKEY
		You going to get married?

				CLIFF
			(Shrugs)
		Maybe.

				MIKEY
		You met her family? They gonna be 
		cool about you being a white guy?

				CLIFF
		Priscilla says they think any woman 
		over 30 who isn't married must be a 
		lesbian. She figures they'll be so 
		relieved I'm a man--

				MIKEY
		Always heartwarming to see a prejudice 
		defeated by a deeper prejudice.  But 
		marriage, man--I did two tours in 
		Southeast Asia and I was married for 
		five years--I couldn't tell you which 
		experience was worse.

	Cliff picks up a slug--

				CLIFF
		Hey, Mikey--

				MIKEY
		I knew she was Japanese going into 
		it, but she didn't tell me the ninja 
		assassin part--

				CLIFF
		Mikey--

				MIKEY
		Her parents acted like I was gonna 
		blow my nose on their curtains--

				CLIFF
		Mikey--

				MIKEY
		If I stayed out past ten with the 
		guys she'd go into her Madame 
		Butterfly routine--

				CLIFF
		Mikey look at this--

				MIKEY
		What--it's a bullet. I'm lousy with 
		bullets here.

				CLIFF
		It's a .45.

				MIKEY
		Yeah?

				CLIFF
		This is the stuff we picked up the 
		other day, right? The rest of this 
		is all .30 caliber--

				MIKEY
		They were using M-1's, yeah--

				CLIFF
		What's it doing on a rifle range?

	MIKEY holds the slug in front of his face--

				MIKEY
		We better call that Sheriff.

	EXT. SAN JACINTO STREET -- DAY

	Hollis is finishing his oration, having put the crowd in a 
	good mood.

				HOLLIS
		Sometime in the early '70s a reporter 
		from a national magazine was talking 
		to the governor of our Lone Star 
		state, and he asked him, "Governor, 
		what's your ideal of what a real 
		Texan ought to be?" Governor said, 
		"That's easy, son- you just go down 
		to Rio County and get a look at 
		Sheriff Buddy Deeds."

	Applause--

	SAM

	Watching the crowd--

	SAM'S POV

	We PAN with his gaze across smiling faces, till he comes to 
	Danny and a couple of Chicano friends, looking grim. We RACK 
	FOCUS beyond them to see Pilar, watching the ceremony from a 
	few yards back--

				HOLLIS (O.S.)
		Thank you. We've got one more person 
		to hear from--

	HOLLIS

				HOLLIS
		--and he's somebody who probably 
		knew Buddy better than any of us, 
		Sam--would you say a few words?

	SAM

	Not thrilled to be called on. He steps forward reluctantly 
	to APPLAUSE--

				SAM
		You folks who remember my father 
		knew him as Sheriff. But at home he 
		was also judge, jury

	He looks to Hollis--

				SAM
		--and executioner.

	LAUGHTER. Sam holds Hollis's eyes for a moment before 
	continuing--

				SAM
		This is a real honor you're doing 
		him today, and if Buddy was around 
		I'm sure his hat size would be gettin' 
		bigger every minute.

	PILAR

	Watching--

				SAM (O.S.)
		I used to come to this park to hide 
		from him. Now that you're putting 
		his name on it--

	SAM

				SAM
		I'll have to find someplace new to 
		duck out.

	More LAUGHTER--

				SAM
		I do appreciate it, and wherever he 
		is, Buddy's puttin' the beer on ice 
		for the bunch of you. Thank you.

	APPLAUSE--

	Sam steps back and Mercedes steps forward with her scissors 
	without looking at him--

				HOLLIS
		And now my fellow Council member and 
		one of Frontera's most respected 
		businesswomen, Mrs. Mercedes Cruz, 
		will do the honors for us.

	MERCEDES

	She freezes, smiling, till the still photographers have gotten 
	their shots, then snips the cord to a pulley system that 
	lets the cloth drop--

	STATUE

	The cloth drops to reveal a bas-relief in brass set in a 
	block of smooth limestone.  A decent likeness of Buddy in 
	uniform, his hand on the shoulder of a small Chicano-looking 
	boy who stands beside him, eyes raised worshipfully.

	APPLAUSE from the gathering--

	SAM

	Watching, a bit removed, as Mercedes shakes hands with Jorge 
	and H.L. and Hollis for the cameras. He overhears a pair of 
	BYSTANDERS who are checking out the statue--

				BYSTANDER 1 (O.S.)
		It does look like old Buddy.

				BYSTANDER 2 (O.S.)
		Runnin that kid in for loiterin'--

	The bystanders LAUGH--Sam steps away, intercepting Mercedes 
	as she steps away--

				SAM
		Nice to see you, Mrs. Cruz.

	Mercedes just looks at him, keeps going. His gaze brings him 
	to Pilar, standing on the sidewalk, watching.

	SAM

	Steps over from the dispersing crowd--

				SAM
		Field trip?

				PILAR
		Lunch hour. My next class isn't till 
		nine-thirty.

				SAM
		Want to take a walk?

	EXT. RIVERSIDE -- DAY

	Sam and PILAR walk together alongside the Rio--

				SAM
		Your mother still doesn't like me.

				PILAR
		I can't name anybody she does like 
		these days.

				SAM
		I see she built a place up here by 
		the river.

				PILAR
		A real palace. She rattles around 
		alone in that thing--

				SAM
		She's done well for herself--on her 
		own and all--

				PILAR
		So she tells me three times a week.

	She looks at him--

				PILAR
		I thought you got through that pretty 
		well.

				SAM
		They cooked the whole thing up without 
		asking me.

				PILAR
		People liked him.

				SAM
		Most people did, yeah.

				PILAR
		I remember him watching me once. 
		When I was little--before you and I--

	She shrugs.

				PILAR
		I was on the playground with all the 
		other kids, but I thought he was 
		only looking at me. I was afraid he 
		was going to arrest me--he had those 
		eyes, you know--

				SAM
		Yeah.

				PILAR
		Weird what you remember.

	They walk in silence a moment--

				SAM
		Your boy, there--

				PILAR
		Amado.

				SAM
		Nice-looking kid.

				PILAR
		He hates me.

				SAM
		No--

				PILAR
		With Paloma, it's more like she pities 
		and tolerates me- totally age-
		appropriate. But Amado--he's--he's 
		never been book-smart. Had a hard 
		time learning to read. Me being a 
		teacher and caring about those things 
		is like an embarrassment--like a 
		betrayal.

				SAM
		Fernando did okay, and he dropped 
		out--

				PILAR
		Fernando wasn't pissed off at 
		everybody. He just wanted to fix 
		their cars.

				SAM
		It might just be the age. I spent my 
		first fifteen years trying to be 
		just like Buddy and the next fifteen 
		trying to give him a heart attack.

	She looks at him--

				PILAR
		So why did you come back here, Sam?

				SAM
		Got divorced, I wasn't gonna work 
		for my father-in-law anymore. The 
		fellas down here said they'd back me--

				PILAR
		You don't want to be Sheriff.

				SAM
		I got to admit it's not what I thought 
		it'd be. Back When Buddy had it--
		hell, I'm just a jailer. Run a 60-
		room hotel with bars on the windows.

				PILAR
		It can happen so sudden, can't it? 
		Being left out on your own.

				SAM
		You've got your mother, your kids--

				PILAR
		They've got me. Different thing.

	They stop at a spot where you can climb down the bank--

				SAM
		Remember this?

	Pilar looks at the spot. She isn't ready to deal with whatever 
	memory it brings back--

				PILAR
		I should get back.

				SAM
		Pilar--

				PILAR
		Looks real bad if the teacher's late 
		for class. It's really nice to talk 
		with you, Sam.

	She waves and walks away, feeling awkward. Sam watches for a 
	minute, then turns and steps down to the bank, He looks at 
	the water.

	RIVER SURFACE

	A little piece of tree bark is tossed onto the water and 
	drifts away with the current. We TILT UP to see YOUNG PILAR 
	tossing bark into the river as YOUNG SAM sits on the bank 
	beside her. They are 14 and 15 years old--It is 1972--

				YOUNG SAM
		You going to tell her?

				YOUNG PILAR
		You going to tell him?

				YOUNG SAM
		He doesn't need to know all my 
		business.

				YOUNG PILAR
		He's gonna find out.

				YOUNG SAM
		So? What's he gonna do, arrest us?

	Young Pilar frowns, tosses more bark--

				YOUNG PILAR
		It's supposed to be some big sin, 
		even if you love each other.

				YOUNG SAM
		You believe that?

	CU YOUNG PILAR

	She turns to look at him--

				YOUNG PILAR
		No.

	We PAN with her gaze to see Sam, PRESENT DAY, sitting on the 
	bank, lost in thought--

				SAM
		Me neither.

	EXT. ARMY POST -- DAY

	Athena walking between buildings, looking a bit out of it. 
	Sergeant Worth cuts into her--

				PRISCILLA
		Private Johnson!

				ATHENA
		Sergeant?

				PRISCILLA
		Report to Dr. Innis at the clinic.

				ATHENA
		I'm feeling okay--

				PRISCILLA
		I'm very happy to hear that, Private. 
		Now you go put some pee-pee in a cup 
		for Dr. Innis and I'll be feeling 
		okay, too.

				ATHENA
			(Reacts)
		You're testing me?

				PRISCILLA
		You and one hundred nineteen other 
		fortunate individuals. Put it in 
		gear.

				ATHENA
		Yes, Sergeant.

	Sergeant Worth watches Athena go, suspicious--

	INT. SHERIFF'S OFFICE -- AFTERNOON

	Ray Hernandez and another DEPUTY guide Shadow back in from 
	the courthouse in handcuffs--

				RAY
		Excellent performance, my friend. 
		The judge was very impressed.

				SHADOW
		You don't need to cuff me.

				RAY
		You been talking so much trash today, 
		you made us think you're a dangerous 
		criminal. Be a good boy, now--

	They guide him past Sam's desk--

				SHADOW
		You're the one who's a good boy. Man 
		say "fetch" and you fetch--

				RAY
		Just doing my job.

				SHADOW
		White man just using you to keep the 
		Black man down.

				RAY
		This isn't Houston, my friend. We 
		pretty much running things now. Our 
		good day has come.

				SHADOW
		You suckers haven't had a good day 
		since the Alamo.

	Ray smiles, pushes him out--

				RAY
		Andale, amigo,

	We HOLD on Sam at his desk, TIGHTENING as he holds the .45 
	slug from the sergeants in front of his eyes--

				SAM
		Lupe? Get me the rangers up in Austin--

	INT. MERCEDES' KITCHEN -- NIGHT -- CU GLASS

	We hear old MEXICAN MUSIC. Ice cubes plunk into a glass.

	WIDER, MERCEDES

	Mercedes, exhausted from a day at the cafe, pours herself a 
	Scotch and soda--

	EXT. BACK PATIO -- NIGHT

	The back LIGHT is flicked on and Mercedes steps out with her 
	drink in hand, the MUSIC audible from inside. She sinks into 
	a recliner. We TIGHTEN as she closes her eyes. Something 
	RUSTLES out In the dark. Mercedes opens her eyes. There is 
	WHISPERING. Mercedes sits up and suddenly two MEN run past 
	the edge of the patio toward the front of the house. Mercedes 
	sighs--

				MERCEDES
		Otra vez los mojados--[Wetbacks  
		again--]

	Mercedes searches to find a portable phone on the patio table, 
	punches a number in--

				MERCEDES
		Hello? Border Patrol?

	EXT. SAM'S HOUSE -- NIGHT

	Sam, out of uniform, stands behind his little house chucking 
	fallen pecans out into the dark, thinking, listening to the 
	night sounds.

	CU SAM

	Working something out in his head. He looks off into the 
	dark and we PAN with his gaze--A MAN steps toward us, barely 
	visible in the darkness. It is Charley Wade--We're in Sam's 
	REVERIE, in 1957--

				WADE
		Who is that? Come out here where I 
		can see you!

	BLAM! A GUNSHOT, and Wade falls to his knees--

				WADE
		You sonofabitch--

	Wade falls on his face. A FLASHLIGHT BEAM flicks ON and plays 
	over his body. We PAN back along the be to see Buddy, 
	holstering his Pistol. He hears something, swings the 
	flashlight up.

	SAM

	We are back in 1995. Sam is blasted in the face with a 
	FLASHLIGHT BEAM--

				PATROLMAN (O.S.)
		Hold it right there! Brazos  arriba! 
		Sam, squinting toward the light to 
		see who it is, raises his hands over 
		his head--

				ZACK (O.S.)
		Get that thing off 'im! He's one of 
		ours--

				SAM
		Zack?

	The FLASHLIGHT BEAM PANS AWAY and ZACK POLLARD, a Border 
	Patrol agent, steps out of the dark to Sam--

				ZACK
		Hey Sam. Sorry 'bout that.

				SAM
		What's up?

				ZACK
		We had about a dozen wets come over 
		just upriver. They ran into one of 
		our posts--it was like a breakshot 
		on a pool table, illegals runnin' 
		every which way.

				SAM
		I haven't seen anybody come by.

				ZACK
		We'll get 'em--
			(Looks around)
		So you livin' out here now?

				SAM
		Yeah. It's quiet--

				ZACK
		I heard about that deal for your 
		father--You must be real proud.

				SAM
		Sure.

				ZACK
		The stories people tell, he was a 
		real colorful fella--

				PATROLMAN (O.S.)
		Zack! We got one!

				ZACK
		Well--back on the clock. You see any 
		of our neighbors from the south, let 
		'em know I'm lookin' for 'em.

				SAM
		'Night--

	Zack steps away.  Sam shakes the pecans still in his band, 
	goes back to chucking them--

	EXT. COURTYARD -- DANCERS

	Older CHICANO COUPLES dance to Mexican Music playing from 
	speakers set up in the apartment complex courtyard.  We TILT 
	UP to see Enrique watching from his window--

	INT. APARTMENT -- NIGHT

	MUSIC still blasting.  Enrique steps away from the window, 
	and sits on the bed of his drab furnished apartment. He goes 
	back to tying knots in a length of clothesline splicing it 
	to another. On the bed beside him are new flashlights and 
	the batteries, still in their packaging. He begins to coil 
	the rope--it is hundreds of feet long.

	EXT. FRONT PORCH, PILAR'S HOUSE -- NIGHT

	Pilar sits on her front Porch, listening to the MUSIC in the 
	distance. A woman singing a MEXICAN LOVE BALLAD. After a 
	while we hear Paloma open the screen door behind her--

				PALOMA (O.S.)
		Mom?

				PILAR
		Yeah?

				PALOMA (O.S.)
		You gonna stay out here?

				PILAR
		For a while.

	A silence. They listen to the RECORD--

				PALOMA (O.S.)
		What's she singing about?

				PILAR
			(Smiles)
		What do you think?

							FADE OUT

	INT. SHERIFF'S OFFICE -- EARLY MORNING

	Sam has been up since dawn, searching through piles of old 
	department records. Papers cover his desk and the chairs 
	he's dragged over next to it. He reads out loud himself from 
	a report in front of him--

				SAM
		First bullet entered beneath the 
		left eye, severing the optical nerve 
		and exiting from top rear of skull 
		causing tissue damage

	DOCUMENTS -- VARIOUS SHOTS

	As Sam reads, we see quick pops of various records-- 
	Certificates of death. An old Sheriff's Department payroll. 
	An autopsy report. Eviction notices.

				SAM (O.S.)
		--and severe cerebral hemorrhaging. 
		Second bullet entered left cheek  
		driving fragment of upper and lower 
		molars into base of skull. Third 
		bullet--

	Real estate transfers. A map of the Proposed Lake Pescadero. 
	Another autopsy report. A FAX COPY of the forensics dental 
	report on Charley Wade. Another autopsy report--

	CU SAM

	Intent as he pores over the paperwork--

	LEGAL PAD

	We TILT DOWN to read various notes Sam has written--Reynaldo 
	Garcia killed by Shf Wade--3/49 Hollis Kinney hired by Shf 
	Dep.--9/51 Lucas Johnson k. by Shf Wade--7/53 Horace Gaines 
	k. by Shf Wade--1/54 Santiago Huerta k. by Shf Wade--4/54 
	Rifle range closed--9/56 Eladio Cruz k. by Shf Wade--12/56 
	Buddy Deeds hired by Shf Dep.--2/57 Shf Wade disappears--
	3/57 $10,000 cnty funds missing Buddy Deeds new Shf

	We come to Sam's hand, writing, when it clears we can read 
	the last entry--

	Mercedes Cruz hired as cook, Rio Co. jail--4/57 ?????

	CU SAM

	Trying to put it all together.

	PETE ZAYAS, a skinny, older man in trustee's coveralls, 
	wanders in, emptying the trash baskets in the front office--

				PETE
		Morning, Sheriff.

				SAM
		Hey, Pete. How's it going?

				PETE
		Time marches on.

				SAM
		How much you got left?

				PETE
		Three months.

				SAM
		You stop growing that loco weed at 
		your place, you'd see a lot more 
		daylight.

				PETE
		It was for personal consumption.

				SAM
		You're going to smoke an acre and a 
		half of marijuana?

				PETE
		I got a bad stomach. It helps me 
		digest.

	Pete dumps out the basket by Sam--

				PETE
		Your father never bothered me about 
		it. Leastways not till the drug people 
		got on his back in the late '60s.

				SAM
		I thought he busted you a couple 
		times.

				PETE
		Different charge. I had a still. 
		Made my own mescal.

	Sam looks up at him.

				PETE
		That's how I ruined my stomach.

				SAM
			(Smiles)
		I'm surprised he bothered with it.

				PETE
		He was afraid I was going to poison 
		somebody. Your father tried to do 
		good for people--

				SAM
		So I've heard--

				PETE
		And your mother was a saint. That 
		summer I built the patio at your 
		house? She made me lunch every day.

				SAM
		Well, you were working there--

				PETE
		It could have just been a box lunch 
		from the jail.

	Sam looks up again, troubled.

				SAM
		You built our patio while you  were 
		on the county?

				PETE
		Out in the fresh air, nice gringo 
		lady making you pies--who's gonna 
		sit back in a little jail cell all 
		day? Sheriff Buddy, man. Como el no 
		hay dos. And after that cabron Charley 
		Wade--

				SAM
		I've heard Wade was a bit tough on 
		the Mexicans--

				PETE
		He murdered Eladio Cruz. That tough 
		enough for you?

				SAM
		Murdered him?

				PETE
		Chucho Montoya saw it with his own 
		eyes. Shot him in cold blood.

	EXT. SAN JACINTO STREET -- MORNING

	Ray Hernandez, heading in to work, comes upon Sam getting 
	into his car--

				RAY
		You're out early.

				SAM
		Yeah.

				RAY
		Haven't seen much of you at the jail 
		lately.

				SAM
		I been working on a few things.

				RAY
		Uh-huh.

				SAM
		I'm going over to the other side.

				RAY
			(Concerned)
		The Republicans?

				SAM
		No--to Mexico. I've got to talk to 
		somebody.

				RAY
		They got telephones.

				SAM
		Gotta be in person.

				RAY
		Oh.

	An awkward silence. Sam sits into the driver's seal and Ray 
	leans down to talk--

				RAY
		Sam? I--the Committee--you know Jorge 
		and H.L. and all--they asked me--

				SAM
		They want you to stand for Sheriff 
		next election.

				RAY
		Yeah.

				SAM
		You'd do a good job.

				RAY
		How 'bout you?

				SAM
		Don't know if I'll still want it.

				RAY
		I didn't want to be going around 
		your back.

				SAM
		I appreciate you telling me.

	Sam looks at his Chief Deputy--

				SAM
		You think we need a new jail?

				RAY
		Well, it's a complicated issue--

	Sam smiles, turns the engine on--

				SAM
		Yeah, Ray, you'd be a hell of a 
		Sheriff.

	EXT. SCHOOL -- MORNING

	Pilar sits with Amado on the football field bleachers before 
	school starts--

				PILAR
		I'm only going to have you for two 
		more years. If you decide not to go 
		on to college--

				AMADO
		I can't take any more school.

				PILAR
		--you're going to be on your own.

				AMADO
		So?

				PILAR
		So I'm worried about you. I don't 
		want you to end up in jail like your 
		friends.

				AMADO
		They're not going to jail.

				PILAR
		Don't try to con me, Amado. You knew 
		how they got all those things.

				AMADO
		Just some rich Anglo out on the lake. 
		Don't even live here all year.

				PILAR
		That makes it okay?

				AMADO
		They stole our land--

				PILAR
		Save your breath. That line doesn't 
		cut it with me.

	A silence. Amado sulks.

				PILAR
		How do you think you're going to 
		make a living?

				AMADO
		I can fix cars.

				PILAR
		You can fix old cars. Mr. Washburn 
		told me that the cars they're making 
		now are all computerized--

				AMADO
		You think I can't learn that?

				PILAR
		I think you can learn whatever you 
		want to. I just don't see you doing 
		it. If you want to settle for--

				AMADO
		I'm not settling for anything. I 
		like cars, it's just not a move up 
		the ladder to you, so you think it's 
		a waste.

				PILAR
		That isn't true.

				AMADO
		Oh, come on--you and Grandma think 
		anybody who works with their hands 
		is a peasant. When Dad--

				PILAR
		If you grew up to he anywhere near 
		as good a man as your father was, I 
		would be happy! I would be thrilled.

	They look, at each other for a long moment.

				AMADO
		It's my life. If I want to fuck it 
		up, that's my business.

				PILAR
			(Nods)
		I said pretty much the same thing to 
		my mother when I was your age.

				AMADO
		And what did she do?

				PILAR
		Two years at hard labor, Our Lady of 
		Perpetual Help.

				AMADO
		Catholic school, nasty.

	Pilar is nearly in tears.

				PILAR
		Honey, I think you're smart and you're 
		good and I love you. So don't act 
		like an idiot, all right?

	EXT. BORDER CROSSING -- DAY

	We see Sam's car roll through the "express lane" as other 
	cars in both directions stop by the inspection booths. Sam 
	drives across the bridge over the Rio--

	EXT. STREETS -- CIUDAD LEON -- VARIOUS SHOTS

	Sam drives slowly through the sprawling, more populous town 
	on the other side.  Lots of the streets are unpaved.  We PAN 
	with the car till we HOLD on ANSELMA, a country girl of 15, 
	aimlessly walking the streets--

	EXT. LLANTERIA (TIRE REPAIR SHOP) -- DAY

	We watch a KID about Amado's age pulling a tire off its rim 
	to put a patch on it--

				CHUCHO (O.S.)
		Over here we don't throw everything 
		away like you gringos do.

	CHUCHO AND SAM

	CHUCHO MONTOYA, in his mid-50s, stands by Sam drinking a 
	Coke as they watch the kid work.

				CHUCHO
		Recycling, right? We invented that. 
		The government doesn't have to tell 
		people to do it.

				SAM
		You own this place?

				CHUCHO
		This place, the one across the street, 
		four other ones around Ciudad Leon-- 
		soy el Rey de las Llantas. King of 
		the Tires. Lots of your people rollin' 
		back over that bridge on my rubber.

				SAM
			(Nods)
		You lived in the States for a while?

				CHUCHO
		Fifteen years in El Paso.

				SAM
		Made some money, came back here--

				CHUCHO
		Something like that.

				SAM
		You ever know a fella named Eladio 
		Cruz?

	CHUCHO smiles, draws a line in the dirt with his heel--

				CHUCHO
		You the sheriff of Rio County, right? 
		Un jefe muy respetado. Step over 
		this line.

	Sam obliges--

				CHUCHO
		Ay, que milagro! You're not the 
		Sheriff of nothing anymore- just 
		some tejano with a lot of questions 
		I don't have to answer.

	Sam smiles, plays with the line with his toe--

				CHUCHO
		Bird flying south-you think he sees 
		that line? Rattlesnake, javelina--
		whatever you got--halfway across 
		that line they don't start thinking 
		different. So why should a man?

				SAM
		Your government always been pretty 
		happy to have that line. The 
		question's just been where to draw 
		it

	CU CHUCHO

				CHUCHO
		My government can go fuck itself, 
		and so can yours. I'm talking about 
		people here--men. Mi amigo Eladio 
		Cruz is giving some friends of his a 
		lift in his camion one day--

	We PAN from CHUCHO to the FLAT TIRE on a battered old pickup 
	truck--

				CHUCHO (V.O.)
		--but because he's on one side of 
		this invisible line and not the other, 
		they got to hide in the back like 
		criminals--

	Eladio CRUZ, young and good-looking, squats into the shot to 
	examine the tire, jack in hand. It Is 1956--

				CHUCHO (V.O.)
		And because over there he's just 
		another Mex bracero, any man with a 
		badge is his jefe--

	CONJUNTO MUSIC comes from the truck RADIO. YOUNG CHUCHO steps 
	past Eladio--

				ELADIO
		Donde vas, Chucho, Tienes que quedar 
		escondido! [Shit, CHUCHO you got to 
		stay hidden!]

				YOUNG CHUCHO
		Voy a romper las rinones si no hago 
		pipi--[I'm gonna bust my kidneys if 
		I don't pee--]

	We TRACK back with Young CHUCHO to see we are at the side of 
	a dirt road on the scrubby flatland near the border. Eladio's 
	battered pickup truck has wood-slat sides and a canvas top. 
	Eladio begins to undo the nuts on the flat tire as Young 
	CHUCHO climbs down into a dry creek bed to relieve himself--

				YOUNG CHUCHO
		Los demas son tan espantados que 
		prefieran mojar sus pantalones. [The 
		other guys are so scared they'd rather 
		wet their pants.]

	CHUCHO tightens as he sees something, ducks down--

				YOUNG CHUCHO
		Mira, Eladio [Look!]

	We PAN to see the Sheriff's car approaching in a cloud of 
	DUST--

				ELADIO
			(Calling from where 
			he lies changing the 
			tire)
		Muchachos! Escondases! [Boys! Hide 
		yourselves!]

	INT. REAR OF TRUCK

	Eight illegal WORKERS hear this and lie down, pulling a canvas 
	tarp over themselves. We hear the CAR STOP behind them--

	EXT. ARROYO -- CU CHUCHO

	He makes the sign of the cross as he presses his back against 
	the dirt of the arroyo--

	ROAD

	Sheriff Wade and Deputy Hollis get out of their car and start 
	toward Eladio--

	ELADIO

	He stands, takes a deep breath--Wade steps up to him with 
	his hard-eyed smile--

				WADE
		Hola, amgio. Problemas de llanta? 
		[Hey, friend. Tire problems?]

				ELADIO
		No hay de que. Tengo otra. [No  
		problem, I've got another.]

				WADE
		What's in the back?

	EXT. TRUCK

	Young Hollis strolls around the truck as if he's considering 
	buying it.  He reaches in and flicks the RADIO OFF--

				ELADIO
		Not much, jefe. Some watermelons.

				WADE
		I heard somebody been haulin' wets 
		on this road.

				ELADIO
		I haven't seen anybody doing that.

				WADE
		This same person been bragging all 
		over the county how he don't have to 
		cut that big gringo Sheriff in on it--
		he can run his own operation 'thout 
		any help. Como se llama, amigo?

				ELADIO
		Eladio Cruz.

				WADE
		You know this road got a bad 
		reputation, Eladio--

	ARROYO -- CHUCHO

	Young CHUCHO pecks over the edge to see what's happening.

				ELADIO
		Reputation?

				WADE
		Bandidos, Injuns--

	CLOSER -- MEN

	Hollis wanders over to stand by Wade--

				WADE
		There's many an unfortunate soul 
		been ambushed out on this stretch. 
		Hope you're carrying some protection.

				ELADIO
		Protection?

				WADE
		You carryin' a firearm, son?  Don't 
		lie to me now.

				ELADIO
		Si--tengo escopeto--just a shotgun--

				WADE
		Just a shotgun, huh? Better let me 
		take a look at that.

	ELADIO opens the truck door and digs under the seat. Wade 
	winks to Hollis, then turns and BLAM! shoots ELADIO through 
	the head. Hollis jumps back startled and horrified--

				YOUNG HOLLIS
		Oh no--oh Jesus--oh my Lord--

				WADE
		Little greaser sonofabitch been 
		running a goddarn bus service. Think 
		he can make a fool out of Charley 
		Wade! Get them wets outta the back, 
		Hollis, see what we've got--

	CU CHUCHO

	Squatting in a ball to make himself as small as possible, 
	eyes covered with his hands.

				YOUNG HOLLIS (O.S.)
		You killed him--

				WADE (O.S.)
		You got a talent for statin' the 
		obvious, son Muchachos! Venga 
		afuera!Brazos arribas! [Come on out! 
		Hands up!]

	Young CHUCHO hears FOOTSTEPS approaching. We PAN as he looks-- 
	a man's BOOTS appear at the top of the arroyo. We TILT UP to 
	see a Sheriff, BACKLIT, then CRANE to see it is Sam, back in 
	the PRESENT looking over the site, troubled. His car sits on 
	the empty road behind him. He frowns, turns to go--

	EXT. PARK -- DAY -- PLAQUE

	Somebody has spray-painted "PERDIDO!" over the plaque of 
	Buddy and the little boy--

				HOLLIS (O.S.)
		Hooligans--

	WIDER

	Hollis and a couple of MEN from the Public Work Department 
	look at the damage.

				HOLLIS
		It happens again, we build a fence 
		around it.

	INT. CAFE -- DAY

	Enrique steels himself, trying to cover his nerves. We CROSS 
	with him to a booth.

				ZACK
		Podemos ganar muchas batallas pero 
		la guerra ya es perdido--[We can win 
		a lot of battles but the war's already 
		been lost--]

	Zack and another BORDER PATROLMAN look up at him--

	CU ENRIQUE

	Eyes glued to his notepad--

				ENRIQUE
		You wan' something to drink?

	EXT. ROADSIDE STAND -- DAY -- CU CATTLE SKULL

	A Georgia O'Keefe-looking cattle skull sits on a pedestal 
	against the Western sky--

				WESLEY (O.S.)
		The longhorns go for ten times the 
		price--

	We WIDEN as the skull is lifted by WESLEY BIRDSONG, a Native 
	American man in his 70s who wears extremely thick glasses. 
	Sam tags along as the old man rearranges the display of Texas 
	curios laid out in front of his trailer. Empty scrubland 
	surrounds them.

				WESLEY
		--but longhorns are hard to come by 
		these days.

				SAM
		You sell much out here?

				WESLEY
		How am I gonna sell things if nobody 
		comes by? This stretch of road runs 
		between Nowheres and Nothin' Much.

				SAM
		Hell of a spot to put a business.

				WESLEY
		But you don't see much competition, 
		do you?

	He winks at Sam, picks up a wooden radio carved to resemble 
	the Alamo--

				WESLEY
		These things used to sell like 
		hotcakes. Now, if it can't play those 
		discs, they won't look at it.

	He puts the radio on, looks out at the emptiness around--

				WESLEY
		I like it here. Once I tried going 
		onto that reservation to live. 
		Couldn't take the politics. Damn 
		Indian'll drive you crazy with that, 
		Now your father--this wasn't what he 
		had in mind at all. He come out of 
		Korea, he had this Chevy with too 
		much engine in it. He'd come roarin' 
		up and down this road all hours of 
		the day and night,looking for somebody 
		to race.

	He lifts a jar with a leathery brown thing in it--

				WESLEY
		Buffalo chips. Fella in Santa Fe 
		told me he sells these as fast as 
		the buffalo can squeeze 'em out.

				SAM
		So when did Buddy leave?

				WESLEY
		For Frontera? Hell, I can't remember 
		dates no more. I do recall it was 
		after an affair of the heart had 
		gone sour on him. He almost took 
		some poor fella's head off at the 
		Legion in Arroyo Grande, and figured 
		it was time to move on.

				SAM
		You think he killed anybody in Korea?

				WESLEY
		They don't hand those medals out for 
		hidin'in your foxhole. Would you buy 
		this?

				SAM
		No--

				WESLEY
		Me neither.

	He searches for something among the curios--

				WESLEY
		If he hadn't found that Deputy job, 
		I believe Buddy might've gone down 
		the other path, got into some serious 
		trouble. Settled him right down. 
		That and your mother. 'Course he had 
		that other one later.

				SAM
		Another woman?

				WESLEY
		Your mother wasn't one to get chased 
		off her patch. Half the damn county 
		knew and nobody thought the worse of 
		her for seein' it through.

				SAM
		You know who it was?

				WESLEY
		The other one? Hell, at my age, every 
		time you learn a new name you got to 
		forget an old one. Your head's all 
		crowded up--here it is--

	Wesley stretches out a four-foot rattlesnake skin, rattles 
	still attached--

				WESLEY
		This big fella was sleepin' in a 
		crate at Cisco's junkyard right when 
		I looked to see what was in it. Jumped 
		up at my face--scared me so bad I 
		killed him without thinkin'.

	He shakes the rattles at Sam--

				WESLEY
		Gotta be careful where you're pokin'--
		who knows what you'll find.

	INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY -- DAY

	PILAR talks with Molly as they near the administration office--

				PILAR
		I don't think you can take it 
		personally--

				MOLLY
		I'd like to see them spend a day 
		pulling 14-year-olds off of each 
		other--I should get combat pay--

				PILAR
		I have new respect for some of my 
		kids, meeting the parents they've  
		been dealt--

	Molly keeps going as Pilar ducks into the office--

				PILAR
		See you, Molly.

	INT. OFFICE

	PILAR crosses past the principal's secretary, MARISOL--

				MARISOL
		Steve called for you.

				PILAR
		Steve?

				MARISOL
		Steve. Board of Education Steve who 
		likes you? He goes for us hot-blooded 
		Mexican girls, I can tell.

				PILAR
		Spanish, please. My mother would 
		have a heart attack.

				MARISOL
		Your mother's family is Spanish?

				PILAR
		Sure, they go back to Cortez. When 
		he rode by, they were squatting in a 
		hut cooking hamsters for dinner.

				MARISOL
		You got to be interested in somebody. 
		All you do is work.

				PILAR
		All my mother does is work. That's 
		how you get to be Spanish.

				MARISOL
		How 'bout the Sheriff?

				PILAR
		The Sheriff.

				MARISOL
		The old-high-school-heartthrob 
		Sheriff. I thought you were crazy 
		about each other. He's available, 
		you're available--

				PILAR
		I'm unmarried. I'm not available.

				MARISOL
		You told me one time it was true 
		love.

	PILAR takes the pile of mimeos and mail from her slot and 
	turns to go--

				PILAR
			(Mutters)
		Nobody stays in love for twenty-three 
		years.

	EXT. DRIVE-IN MOVIE -- NIGHT

	It is 1972. An early-'70s cheezy action picture (Filipino 
	women-in-chains or biker flick is playing. We TILT DOWN to a 
	man's BOOTS crunching across the gravel of the parking area. 
	Now and then, the man turns a FLASHLIGHT BEAM on a license 
	plate. The cars are all pre-'72, lots of pickups, and the 
	patrons are almost all TEENAGERS. Some have turned their 
	pickups around to sit on the tailgate and watch, while others 
	have set lawn furniture out to sit on. We TILT UP slightly 
	to see the glint of a Rio County Sheriff's badge pinned on 
	the man's shirt. He meets a DEPUTY coming in the other 
	direction. Both train their FLASHLIGHTS on the license of 
	the car we see in the b.g. between them.  We TILT and RACK 
	to see that nobody is visible through the window--

				BUDDY (O.S.)
		Let's go.

	We FOLLOW Buddy up to the driver's side of the car as the 
	Deputy goes to the passenger side. We PAN with Buddy's hand 
	down to the door handle--he grabs it, flings it open--the 
	overhead LIGHT flicks ON and there lie YOUNG SAM and PILAR, 
	teenagers, half their clothes off and just about to close 
	the deal. PILAR SCREAMS and the Deputy throws the door open 
	by their heads--

				BUDDY
		Goddammit!

	Buddy grabs Sam's ankles and yanks him out of the car onto 
	the ground as the Deputy awkwardly pulls PILAR, out the other 
	side--

				YOUNG SAM
		What the hell are you doing? You 
		fucking asshole!

				BUDDY
		How old is that girl? Goddammit, 
		where's your goddam sense?

				YOUNG PILAR (O.S.)
		Let me go!  Pendejo!

				YOUNG HOLLIS (O.S.)
		Come on now, Missy, get your clothes 
		in order--

	Sam is trying to kick and punch at his father, pausing in 
	between to pull his pants up. People are BOOING and HONKING 
	their HORNS all around--

				YOUNG SAM
		You got no fuckin' right! You stay 
		out of my fuckin' life!

				BUDDY
		Gimme the keys--gimme the goddamn 
		car keys, son--

				YOUNG HOLLIS (O.S.)
		What am I s'posed to do with her, 
		Buddy?

				BUDDY
		You drive her home and tell her mother 
		where we found her--

				YOUNG PILAR (O.S.)
		Sam!

	The kids are dragged forward into the HEADLIGHTS that are 
	being turned on to see what the ruckus is. Both are crying, 
	struggling--

				YOUNG SAM
		You leave her the fuck alone!

				BUDDY
		You just shut that filthy mouth, 
		son. I'll deal with you when we get 
		home--

				YOUNG PILAR
		Please, don't tell my mother! She's 
		gonna kill me!

	They step closer into the glaring HEADLIGHTS which WHITE OUT 
	the scene, then FADE.

	EXT. RUINED DRIVE-IN -- DUSK

	It is DUSK, PRESENT DAY. Our eyes readjust to see Sam, 
	standing by his car in the lot of the long-abandoned drive-
	in. The ruined screen rises in the b.g.

	CU SAM

	Remembering. MUSIC BEGINS as he gets back into the car, pulls 
	away.

	MARQUEE -- DUSK

	MUSIC CONTINUES as the car cruises out past the old marquee, 
	a few letters still jumbled on it, several bullet holes around 
	them.

	INT. CAR

	MUSIC CONTINUES as Sam drives, thinking--

	EXT. ROADS -- VARIOUS SHOTS -- DUSK/NIGHT

	MUSIC CONTINUES as the car crosses the scrubland back toward 
	town. DUSK turns to NIGHT--

	EXT. PILAR'S HOUSE -- NIGHT

	MUSIC CONTINUES as Sam cruises past Pilar's house. The car 
	is not in the driveway: Paloma hangs out with a couple FRIENDS 
	under the porch light, laughing--

	EXT. HIGH SCHOOL -- NIGHT

	MUSIC CONTINUES as Sam's car pulls into the high school lot. 
	He looks up toward the school--

	EXT. WINDOW, PILAR, -- SAM'S POV

	MUSIC CONTINUES. We can see PILAR, through the lighted window 
	of her classroom, preparing something on the blackboard--

	INT. CAR

	MUSIC ENDS as Sam leans back to wait--

	EXT. PARKING LOT

	PILAR digs in her bag for her car keys as she makes her way 
	across the lot. She sees something, slows, reacting, then 
	brings us to Sam in his car. He has parked head-to-foot next 
	to hers. They look at each other for a long moment

				PILAR
			(Softly)
		Follow me.

	EXT. MAIN STREET -- NIGHT

	Nothing stirring. Pilar's car appears, closely followed by 
	Sam's. The cafe has closed for the night.

	INT. CAFE -- NIGHT

	Sam and Pilar sit on chairs next to each other, facing the 
	window, talking softly. The STREETLIGHT shining through the 
	letters in the front window makes patterns on their faces

				PILAR
		We thought we were something, didn't 
		we?

				SAM
		Yeah.

				PILAR
		I look at my kids in school--tenth, 
		eleventh graders. That's who we were. 
		Children.

				SAM
		Yeah.

				PILAR
		I mean what did we know about 
		anything?

				SAM
		Nothing.

	Pilar looks at him--

				PILAR
		When Nando died--it was so sudden--I 
		was kind of in shock for awhile.   
		Then I woke up and there was the 
		whole rest of my life and I didn't 
		have any idea what to do with it.

				SAM
		You know the other day, you asked 
		why I came back?

				PILAR
		Yeah?

				SAM
		I came back 'cause you were here.

	PILAR nods. She gets up and we FOLLOW her across the dark 
	room to the jukebox. She looks at the selections--

				PILAR
		My mother hasn't changed the songs 
		since I was 10.

	She puts in a quarter, punches some numbers. A Mexican BALLAD 
	comes on. She crosses back to Sam, holds her hand out. He 
	stands to greet her. They slow-dance in the empty cafe--

	INT. SAM'S APARTMENT -- BEDROOM

	Sam and Pilar finish making love. They lie beside each other, 
	shaking a little--

				PILAR
		Wow.

				SAM
		Yeah.

				PILAR
		How come it feels the same?

				SAM
		I don't know. It just feels good. 
		Always did.

				PILAR
		So what are we gonna do about this?

				SAM
		More, I hope.

	PILAR smiles, looks around the room--

				PILAR
		How long have you lived here?

				SAM
		Two years.

				PILAR
		There's nothing on the walls. No 
		pictures--

				SAM
		Don't have kids. Other pictures--I 
		don't know--it's nothing I want to 
		look back on.

				PILAR
		Like your story is over.

				SAM
		I've felt that way, yeah.

	Sbe puts her head on his cbest--

				PILAR
		It isn't. Not by a long shot. He 
		holds her and they lie silently for 
		a moment--

				SAM
		Pilar--

				PILAR
		Yeah?

				SAM
		What was your father's name?

				PILAR
		Eladio. Eladio. Cruz.

							 FADE OUT:

	EXT. PILAR'S HOUSE -- MORNING

	Paloma sits on the top step of the porch, reading teen 
	magazines. PILAR steps out behind her, dressed casually, and 
	squints at the day--

				PALOMA
		She finally got in--

				PILAR
		It's Saturday.

				PALOMA
		You got in late last night.

				PILAR
		Yeah. I had uhm--school business.

	Paloma gives her a look, then holds a fashion page up for 
	her to see--

				PALOMA
		Can I get this?

				PILAR
		Nobody really wears that stuff, 
		Paloma.

				PALOMA
		I could name five girls at school 
		who have one just like it--

				PILAR
		Enough with the clothes--

				PALOMA
		Just 'cause you went to Catholic 
		school and wore a uniform.

				PILAR
		I only went for my last two years.

				PALOMA
		How come?

				PILAR
		Oh, my mother wanted to keep me away 
		from away from boys.

	PILAR steps out into the sun--

				PALOMA
		Did it work?

	INT. CAFE -- MORNING

	Hollis is sitting alone in a booth, working on some heuvos 
	rancheros.  Sam slides in across from him--

				SAM
		Morning, Hollis.

				HOLLIS
		Sam! Quite a do the other day. It 
		meant a lot to folks that you said 
		something.

				SAM
		You thought any more about our murder?

				HOLLIS
		We have a murder?

				SAM
		Charley Wade.

				HOLLIS
		I wish I could tell you I remembered 
		something new, but I can't.

				SAM
		I got an idea what happened.

				HOLLIS
		Do you?

				SAM
		I think somewhere between Roderick 
		Bledsoe's club and his house, Wade 
		ran into Buddy Deeds. I think Buddy 
		put a bullet in him, waited for him 
		to die, threw him in the trunk of 
		the Sheriff's car and drove him out 
		by the Army post, I think he buried 
		him under four feet of sand and never 
		looked back.

	Hollis sits back to look Sam in the eye--

				HOLLIS
		You lived in the man's house what--
		seventeen, eighteen years? And you 
		didn't get to know him any better 
		than that?

				SAM
		I got to go see somebody in San 
		Antonio today. Your memory gets any 
		better, I'll be back tonight.

	Sam stands and walks away. We HOLD on Hollis, his appetite 
	gone--

	EXT. BIG O'S -- MORNING

	Chet steps around to the side entrance--

	INT. BLACK SEMINOLE EXHIBIT -- DAY -- CU STATUE

	We start on a statue of a BUFFALO SOLDIER made from spent 
	bullets and shell casings, then PAN to another, then WIDEN 
	to see Chet as he pokes his head in, the BELL of the door 
	ringing.  He steps in cautiously, looking around the room. 
	On the walls there are photo-blowups, some artifacts, 
	handlettered information on cardboard. Chet stops to look up 
	at a picture of a barechested Black man with a couple of 
	feathers stuck in his headband

				OTIS (O.S.)
		That's John Horse.

	Chet turns to see Otis standing back by, the door from the 
	bar--

				OTIS
		Spanish in Florida called him Juan 
		Caballo. John Horse.

				CHET
			(Looks at picture)
		He a Black man or an Indian?

				OTIS
			(Steps in)
		Both.

	Otis crosses to the poker table, begins to clean up--

				OTIS
		He was part of the Seminole Nation, 
		got pushed down into the Everglades  
		in pioneer days. African people who 
		run off from the slaveholders hooked 
		up with them, married up, had 
		children. When the Spanish give up 
		Florida, the U.S.Army come down to 
		move all them Indian peoples off to 
		Oklahoma--

				CHET
		The Trail of Tears.

				OTIS
			(Smiles)
		They teaching that now?  Good. Only 
		a couple of 'em held out--this man, 
		John Horse, and his friend Wild Cat, 
		and a fella name of Osceola. Army 
		put all of them in prison and Osceola 
		died, but them other two escaped and 
		put together a fighting band and 
		held out another ten, fifteen years. 
		Beat Zach Taylor and a thousand troops 
		at Lake Okeechobee.

				CHET
		So they stayed in Florida?

				OTIS
		They got tired of fighting, went to 
		the Indian Territories for a while. 
		But the slave-raiders were on 'em 
		even there, and one night they packed 
		up and nearly the whole band rode 
		down to Mexico. Crossed at Eagle 
		Pass.

	They move on to some photos of very African-looking people 
	dressed in beautiful Seminole clothing--

				OTIS
		Men worked for Santa Anna down there, 
		waited out the Civil War. The land 
		wasn't much to feed people on, so in 
		1870 they come north and put up at 
		Fort Duncan and the men joined up 
		what was called the Seminole Negro 
		Indian Scouts. Best trackers either 
		side of the border. Bandits, rustlers, 
		Texas rednecks, Kiowa, Comanche--

				CHET
		They fought against the Indians?

				OTIS
		Same as they done in Mexico.

				CHET
		But they were Indians themselves.

				OTIS
		They were in the Army. Like your 
		father.

				CHET
			(Surprised)
		You know who I am?

				OTIS
		I got a pretty good guess.

				CHET
		That guy who got shot--

				OTIS
		You didn't go telling your father 
		you were here?

				CHET
		Are you kidding? And face a court-
		martial?

				OTIS
			(Smiles)
		He's a pretty tough old man, huh?

				CHET
		No sports if I don't keep a B average, 
		no TV on school nights, no PDA's--

				OTIS
		PDA?

				CHET
		Public Display of Affection. Every 
		time he moves up a rank, it's like 
		he's got to tighten the screws a 
		little more--

				OTIS
		Well--

				CHET
		I mean, just 'cause he didn't--you 
		know--

				OTIS
		Didn't have a father?

				CHET
			(Shrugs)
		He's still pissed off about it.

				OTIS
		When you're his age you'll still be 
		pissed off about him.

	Chet nods, looks around--

				CHET
		So how come you got into all this?

				OTIS
		These are our people. There were 
		Paynes in Florida, Oklahoma, Piedras 
		Negras--couple of 'em won the whatsit--
		Congressional Medal Of Honor--

				CHET
		So I'm part-Indian?

				OTIS
		By blood you are. But blood only 
		means what you let it.

				CHET
		My father says the day you're  born 
		you start from scratch, no breaks 
		and no excuses, and you got to pull 
		yourself up on your own.

				OTIS
			(Sad)
		Well, he's living proof of that, 
		son. Living proof.

	INT. DEL'S OFFICE -- DAY

	Athena stands at attention as Del sits at his desk, reviewing 
	her record. He lets her stand for a long time before speaking--

				DEL
		Private Johnson, are you unhappy in 
		the Army?

				ATHENA
		No, sir--

				DEL
		Then how would you explain the fact 
		that out of one hundred twenty people 
		we tested, you're the only one who 
		came up positive for drugs?

				ATHENA
		I'm sorry, sir.

				DEL
		When you were given the opportunity 
		to enlist, a kind of contract was 
		agreed upon. I think the Army has 
		honored its part of that agreement.

				ATHENA
		Yes, sir--

				DEL
		Do you believe in what we're doing 
		here, Private Johnson?

				ATHENA
		I-I can do the job, sir.

				DEL
		You don't sound too enthusiastic.

				ATHENA
		I am, sir.

				DEL
		What exactly do you think your job 
		is, Private?

				ATHENA
		Follow orders. Do whatever they say.

				DEL
		Who's "they"?

				ATHENA
		The--the officers.

				DEL
		And that's the job? Nothing about 
		serving your country?

	Athena is confused, hesitates to speak--

				DEL
		These aren't trick questions, Private. 
		You'll be given an Article 15 and be 
		going into the ADCAP Program one way 
		or the other. What happens after 
		that is up to you. I'm just trying 
		to understand how somebody like you 
		thinks.

	Silence--

				DEL
		Well?

				ATHENA
			(Hesitant)
		You really want to know, sir?

				DEL
		Please.

				ATHENA
		It's their country. This is one of 
		the best deals they offer.

	Del knows he asked for it, but doesn't like the answer--

				DEL
		How do you think I got to be a 
		colonel?

				ATHENA
		Work hard, be good at your job. Sir. 
		Do whatever they tell you.

				DEL
		Do whatever they tell you--

				ATHENA
		I mean, follow orders, sir.

				DEL
		With your attitude, Private, I'm 
		surprised you want to stay in the 
		service.

				ATHENA
		I do, sir.

				DEL
		Because it's a job?

				ATHENA
			(Struggling)
		Outside it's--it's such a mess--it's--

				DEL
		Chaos.

	Athena is sure she's overstepped her rank--

				DEL
		Why do you think they let us in on 
		the "deal"?

				ATHENA
		They got people to fight. Arabs, 
		yellow people, whatever. Might as 
		well use us.

				DEL
		Do you think you've been discriminated 
		against on this post?

				ATHENA
		No, sir. Not at all.

				DEL
		Any serious problems with your 
		sergeant or your fellow soldiers?

				ATHENA
		No, sir. They all been real straight 
		with me.

	Del stands, thinking, trying not to bullshit her--

				DEL
		It works like this, Private--every 
		soldier in a war doesn't have to 
		believe in what he's fighting for.  
		Most of them fight just to back up 
		the soldiers in their squad--you try 
		not to get them killed, try not to 
		get them extra duty, try not to 
		embarrass yourself in front of them.

	He is right in her face now--

				DEL
		Why don't you start with that?

				ATHENA
		Yes, sir.

				DEL
		You're dismissed, Private.

				ATHENA
		Thank you, sir.

	Athena salutes, steps out. Del looks out the window, troubled 
	by the encounter.

	EXT. BORDER CONTROL

	A battered car full of Mexican DAY WORKERS rolls toward the 
	Mexican side checkpoint--

	INT. CAR

	Enrique sits squeezed between workers in the back. The driver 
	never stops talking as the officer waves them through.

				DRIVER (O.S.)
		--Julia es demasiado flaca para mime 
		gusto mas mujeres con algo en frente-- 
		o muy altas como Cindy Crofor. 
		Quisiera montar esa caballa--[Julia's 
		too skinny for me--I like women with 
		something up front--or really tall 
		like Cindy Crawford. I'd like to 
		ride that horse--]

	EXT. KINCAID HOUSE -- DAY

	Sam's car is parked on the street in front of an expensive-
	looking house in a tree-lined neighborhood--

	INT. LIVING ROOM

	Sam's ex-wife, BUNNY KINCAID, shuffles across her living 
	room in slippers, crossing to turn off a big-screen TV playing 
	football highlights. Bunny wears shorts, a Houston Oilers 
	sweatshirt and a Dallas Cowboys cap. The living room is like 
	a sports museum-- signed footballs, team posters, a bookcase 
	filled with tapes of Texas pro and college football games--

				BUNNY
		The Longhorns gonna kick some serious 
		butt this Saturday, you just watch. 
		We got a kid at tailback from down 
		your way--outta El Indio--

				SAM (O.S.)
		That's in Maverick County.

	She brings us to Sam, sitting uncomfortably, beneath a full-
	sized blowup of Tony Dorsett hurdling a tackler--

				BUNNY
		Oh. Right. And you're in--?

				SAM
		Rio. BUNNY Right. This kid, Hosea 
		Brown? Does tire 40 in 3.4, soft 
		hands, lateral movement--the whole 
		package. Only a sophomore--

				SAM
		You still going to all the home games?

				BUNNY
		Well, Daddy's got his box at the 
		stadium, of course, and I'll fly to 
		the Cowboy away games when they're 
		in the Conference. Then there's the 
		high school on Friday' nights. West 
		Side got a boy 6'6", 310, moves like 
		a cat. High school, we're talkin'. 
		Guess how much he can bench-press?

				SAM
		Bunny, you--uhm--you on that same 
		medication?

				BUNNY
		Do I seem jumpy?

				SAM
		No, you look good. I was just 
		wondering.

				BUNNY
		Last year was awful rough--Mama 
		passing on and the whole business 
		with O.J.--I mean it's not like it 
		was Don Meredith or Roger Staubach 
		or one of our own boys, but it really 
		knocked me for a loop--

				SAM
		You look good--

				BUNNY
		--and that squeaker the Aggies dropped 
		to Oklahoma-sonofabitch stepped in 
		some lucky shit before he kicked 
		that goal--

				SAM
		Yeah, well--

				BUNNY
		--they hadn't pulled me off that 
		woman I would have jerked a knot in 
		her.

				SAM
		You were in a fight--

				BUNNY
		Daddy calls it an "altercation." How 
		you doing, Sam? You look skinny.

				SAM
		Same weight I always was.

				BUNNY
		You look awful good in that uniform, 
		though.

				SAM
		Best part of the job.

				BUNNY
		Daddy hired a pinhead to take your 
		job. He says so himself. Says "Even 
		my son-in-law was better than this 
		pinhead I got now".

				SAM
		Bunny, is that stuff I left in the 
		garage still there?

				BUNNY
		Least he never called me that. With 
		me, it was always "high-strung." "My 
		Bunny might have done something with 
		her life, she wasn't so high-strung." 
		Or "tightly wound," that was another 
		one. You seeing anyone?

				SAM
		No. You?

				BUNNY
		Yeah. Sort of. Daddy rounds 'em up. 
		You aren't talking about money, their 
		beady little eyes go dead.

				SAM
		You didn't--uhm--you didn't have one 
		of your fires, did you? The stuff I 
		left in the garage--some of it was 
		my father's--

				BUNNY
		You watch the draft this year? 'Course 
		you didn't, idiot question. They try 
		to make it dramatic, like there's 
		some big surprise who picks who in 
		the first round? Only they been 
		working it over with their experts 
		and their computers for months. 
		Doctor's reports, highlight reels, 
		coaches' evaluations, psychological 
		profiles--hell, I wouldn't be 
		surprised if they collected stool 
		samples on these boys, have 'em 
		analyzed. All this stuff to pick a 
		football player for your squad. 
		Compared to that, what you know about 
		the person you get married to don't 
		amount to diddly, does it?

				SAM
		Suppose not.

				BUNNY
		You kind of bought yourself a pig in 
		a poke, didn't you, Sam? All that 
		time we were first seeing each other 
		you didn't know I was tightly wound--

				SAM
		It wasn't just you, Bunny.

				BUNNY
		No, it wasn't, was it? You didn't 
		exactly throw yourself into it heart 
		and soul, did you?

	She looks at him for an uncomfortably long moment--

				BUNNY
		Your shit's still in the garage if 
		that's what you came for.

	Sam nods, stands. Bunny is in tears--

				BUNNY
		350 pounds.

				SAM
		What?

				BUNNY
		This boy from West Side, plays tackle 
		both ways. Bench-presses 350 pounds. 
		You imagine having that much weight 
		on top of you? Pushing down? Be hard 
		to breathe. Hard to swallow.

				SAM
		I think they have another fella there 
		to keep it off your chest. A spotter.

				BUNNY
		"I only got my little girl now," he 
		says, "she's my lifeline." Then he 
		tells me I can't be in the box anymore 
		if I can't control myself. Sonofabitch 
		don't even watch the damn game, just 
		sits there drinking with his bidness 
		friends, look up at the TV now and 
		then. I do better to sit in the cheap 
		seats with some real football people.

				SAM
			(Edging out)
		You look good, Bunny. It's nice to 
		see you.

				BUNNY
			(Smiles)
		Thanks. I like it when you say that, 
		Sam.

	EXT. STREET -- CIUDAD LEON

	Enrique looks nervously over his shoulder before stepping 
	into a funky apartment building. We TILT up to the second 
	floor balcony, where a LITTLE BOY is watching the street--

	INT. APARTMENT

	There are eight PEOPLE not including the little boy on the 
	balcony. All are securing their possessions--rolling things 
	in blankets, filling shopping bags and grain sacks. Enrique 
	steps in--

				ENRIQUE
		Todos estamos? [Everybody here?]

	Anselma reaches up from the floor to take his hand--

				ANSELMA
		Van a disparar a nosotros? [Are they 
		going to shoot at us?]

				ENRIQUE
		Nadie nos veran. Seramos invisibles. 
		Nobody's going to see us. We'll be 
		invisible.]

	INT. GARAGE -- KINCAID HOUSE -- DAY

	A mess. We start on a campaign poster with Sam's face on it 
	and the legend--"ONE GOOD DEEDS DESERVES ANOTHER--VOTE SAM 
	DEEDS FOR COUNTY SHERIFF". We PAN to see Sam, who has been 
	digging through piles of old junk, set down the box he was 
	looking for--

	CLOSER

	Sam pulls out an old holster, a sheaf of real estate and 
	insurance forms, a couple of old paperback Zane Grey westerns. 
	He pulls out a cracked leather pouch, turns it over--letters 
	fall out. He examines an envelope--no stamp or postmark--
	pulls a letter out, reads--

				SAM
		"Dearest Buddy--"

	He puts the letter down for a moment, thinks. He needs to 
	know. He picks the letter up again, reads.

	INT. OTIS'S HOUSE -- EVENING

	Carolyn crosses the living room to answer the RING at the 
	front door.  Del stands there--

				CAROLYN
		Hey, it's the General.

				DEL
		Colonel. Is uhm--is Otis in?

				CAROLYN
		Come on in--

				DEL
		If it's too late--

				CAROLYN
		Come on in.

	Del enters the house as if walking into an AMBUSH--

	INT. OTIS'S LIVING ROOM -- EVENING

	Carolyn sits back in the couch, drink in hand, checking Del 
	out--

				CAROLYN
		Otis sittin' up with some people at 
		the club. I don't think he'll be 
		long.

	CU DEL

	Uncomfortable, sitting at the edge of an easy chair. He looks 
	at a mounted magazine photo of Otis smiling as he pours hot 
	sauce on a rack of ribs--

				CAROLYN
		His hot sauce recipe won a contest 
		last year. They sellin' it far away 
		as San Antonio. He got a lot of 
		talent, your father.

	Del squirm a bit at the word "father"--

				DEL
		You've been in this house for a while?

				CAROLYN
		I been here with him eight years 
		now. He built it when he was with 
		Leora.

				DEL
		I never met her.

				CAROLYN
		There was a bunch of 'em You never 
		met. Me neither.

	Del looks around the living room--

				CAROLYN
		Let me show you around--

	INT. DEN -- PHOTOGRAPH

	A blowup of a photo of a squad of Buffalo Soldiers is mounted 
	on the wall--

				CAROLYN (O.S.)
		He got into all this cowboys and 
		Indians stuff awhile back. Spend 
		half his time pokin' around in the 
		library way up to Austin.

	CU DEL

	He looks at something below --

	DEL'S POV -- CLIPPINGS

	We PAN slowly over laminated newspaper clippings mounted 
	behind a picture of young Del in a track uniform, holding a 
	vaulting pole. The clippings are about Del making honor rolls, 
	winning a Silver Star in Vietnam, graduating from Officer 
	Candidate School, being named head of this and that in the 
	Army--

				CAROLYN (O.S.)
		Kind of like a shrine, isn't it?

	DEL, CAROLYN

	Carolyn stands behind, watching Del's face as he looks at 
	the stuff--

				DEL
		Where'd he get all this?

				CAROLYN
		Your mother got a brother--Alphonse--

				DEL
		Uncle Al--

				CAROLYN
		Otis stood on good terms with the 
		man. Whenever you do something makes 
		the news, he sends it on. When they 
		made you General, Otis just about 
		drove away all our customers going 
		on about it.

				DEL
		I'm a colonel.

				CAROLYN
		Yeah, I know--Man made me memorize 
		the whole damn Army chain of command 
		before he'd marry me. So this is a 
		big deal, commander and  all?

				DEL
		It's a small post and they're phasing 
		it out in two years, but I moved up 
		in rank and--well, a command is a 
		command.

				CAROLYN
		Otis went on like you were that guy 
		who won the Gulf War. Colin whatsit.

				DEL
		My mother said he never asked about--

				CAROLYN
		He never asked her.

	It's a bit too much for Del--

				DEL
		Listen, I uh--tell him I came by. 
		Thanks--

	We HOLD on Carolyn as he hurries out. She salutes--

				CAROLYN
		Catch you later, Colonel.

	EXT. RIVER -- NIGHT

	PEOPLE, crouching low, wade across the river toward us. When 
	he gets close enough to us, we recognize Enrique, nervously 
	leading a group of Mexican men, women and children to the 
	U.S. side. They are spaced out in the dark, loosely holding 
	the line Enrique made in one hand and holding their bundles 
	high away from the water with the other. Enrique turns as he 
	hears a WOMAN'S CRY.  The line goes slack, then NESTOR steps 
	out of the darkness to join him--

				ENRIQUE
		Que Paso? [What happened?]

				NESTOR
		Anselma cayo en las rocas. Creo que 
		la pierna ha sido root--[Anselma 
		felt on the rocks. I think her leg's 
		broken--]

	Two men struggle forward supporting Anselma, trying to hold 
	her leg out straight in front of her. She is in a lot of 
	pain--

				NESTOR
		No podemos alcanzar el camion llevando 
		a ella. Hay lugar para esconderla? 
		[We can't reach the truck if we're 
		carrying her. Is there somewhere to 
		hide her?]

	Enrique thinks, trying not to panic, as the others come up 
	around him--

				ENRIQUE
		Conozco solamente una persona con 
		casa--[I only know one person with a 
		house--]

				ANSELMA
			(In pain)
		Esta lejos? [Is it far?]

	EXT. PATIO -- NIGHT

	Mercedes sits on her recliner, drink in hand. An old RECORD 
	plays from inside. She is startled by the voice from the 
	dark--

				ENRIQUE (O.S.)
		Senora Cruz?

				MERCEDES
			(Standing)
		Quien es? [Who is it?]

				ENRIQUE
		Soy yo, Enrique! No tiene miedo-- 
		[It's me, Enrique. Don't be afraid]

	Enrique steps out into the light. His pants are wet and he's 
	scared--

				MERCEDES
		What are you doing out there? Are 
		you crazy?

				ENRIQUE
		Hay pasado un accidente muy grave-- 
		[There's been a bad accident--]

				MERCEDES
		In English, Enrique. We're in the 
		United States--

				ENRIQUE
		I have some friends who have had a 
		accident--

				MERCEDES
		You have somebody else out there?

				ENRIQUE
		We was by the river? And I hear my 
		friend callin' for help, and I look 
		and she has falling in the water--

				MERCEDES
		Don't tell me lies, Enrique. Que 
		paso?

				ENRIQUE
		We was crossin' the river--

	Nestor appears in the light now, supporting Anselma, who 
	hops awkwardly to move forward--

				MERCEDES
		Enrique! Quienes son estos? How could 
		you bring them here?

				ENRIQUE
		They need help. Jaime, Anselma-- 
		esta es mi jefa--

				NESTOR
		Senora--

				MERCEDES
		I'll call the Border Patrol, they'll 
		get her to the hospital.

				ENRIQUE
		No! No puede hacer esto--[You can't 
		do that--]

				MERCEDES
		You think you're doing these people 
		a favor? What are they going to do? 
		Either they get on welfare or they 
		become criminals--

				ENRIQUE
		No es la verdad--[That isn't true--]

				NESTOR
		Con permiso, Senora, la muchacha 
		tiene mucho dolor--[Please, Senora, 
		the girl is in a lot of pain--]

	Mercedes grudgingly indicates the lounge chair--

				MERCEDES
		Sientase. [Sit.]

				NESTOR
		Es muy amable. [You're very kind.]

	He and Enrique help Anselma into the chair. The Girl looks 
	up at Mercedes, frightened--

				ANSELMA
		Ayudanos, Senora, por favor no podemos 
		regresar--[Help us, Senora, please. 
		We can't go back]

	Mercedes looks at ANSELMA disapprovingly. The girl can't be 
	more than 14--

				MERCEDES
		This girl is a friend of yours?

				ENRIQUE
		Es mi novia. [She's my girlfriend.]

				MERCEDES
		I thought you were married!

				ENRIQUE
		I am marry to the cousin of a friend--
		but only to be able to live here. 
		This is the mother of my child--

				MERCEDES
		This girl has a child?

				ENRIQUE
		We have a daughter.

				MERCEDES
			(Scornful)
		Tipico.

	EXT. HOUSE -- NIGHT

	Sam stands at the front door of a house on the lake, banging 
	on the door--

				SAM
		Hollis? You in there? Hollis?

	EXT. RIVER -- NIGHT

	Moonlight kicks off the surface of the water.  We hear 
	SPLASHING, the frightened VOICE of a young woman--

				YOUNG MERCEDES (O.S.)
		Donde esta? Estoy perdido--[Where 
		are you? I'm lost--]

				ELADIO (O.S., DISTANT)
		Aqui! [Here!]

	The girl flounders into the shot, wet and scared. Young 
	Mercedes, a teenager not unlike ANSELMA is wading thigh-deep 
	in the Rio, lost, scared--

				YOUNG MERCEDES
		No puedo ver la orilla! [I can't see 
		the bank!]

				ELADIO (O.S.)
		Aqui! Venga por aqui! [Over here! 
		Come this way!]

	Mercedes struggles toward the voice and suddenly a young man 
	becomes visible, standing in the water, holding his band out 
	for her, ELADIO--

				YOUNG MERCEDES
		Vi a Rosaria arastrado para el  
		corriente--[I saw Rosaria taken away 
		by the current--]

				ELADIO
		No te molestas. Tenemos a ella. [Don't 
		worry. We've got her.]

	He takes her arm, pulls her toward the far shore--

				ELADIO
		Como se llama? [What's your name?]

				YOUNG MERCEDES
		Mercedes Gonzales Ruiz.

				ELADIO
			(Smiles)
		Me llama Eladio Cruz--Bienvenido a 
		Tejas. [Welcome to Texas.]

						 DISSOLVE TO:

	EXT. MERCEDES' HOUSE -- MERCEDES

	Mercedes is lost in thought as she recalls. She steps into 
	the light by the carport. Enrique and Nestor are propping 
	Anselma's leg up on pillows in the back of Mercedes' old 
	station wagon--

				MERCEDES
		Rapidamente! Everybody in the world 
		is going to see!

				ENRIQUE
		Donde vamos? [Where are we going?]

				MERCEDES
		A casa de Porfirio Zayas. He used to 
		be a doctor on the other side.  
		Gunshot wounds, fixing babies--if 
		you can pay he can handle it.

				ENRIQUE
		Senora, anything it costs, I can 
		work--

				MERCEDES
		Don't worry about it. He owes me 
		some favors.

	Enrique turns to ANSELMA still frightened in the rear of the	
	station wagon--

				ENRIQUE
		Seas tranquila, mija.
			(Nods to Mercedes)
		Estamos en las manos de Senora Cruz. 
		[Just relax, honey. We're in the 
		hands of Senora Cruz.]

	Mercedes starts the car--

				MERCEDES
		In English, Enrique. In English--

	INT. DEL'S HOUSE -- DINING  ROOM

	Del steps in. Chet sits at the table, drawing a cartoon in 
	panels. Del looks over his shoulder for a moment--

	CARTOON

	A tank rolling over barbed wire, cannon and machine gun 
	blasting away--

				DEL (O.S.)
		Homework?

	DEL AND CHET

				CHET
		I finished that. I'm just messing 
		around.

				DEL
		Tanks, huh?

				CHET
		You got to be in the Army, you might 
		as well have something slick to drive.

				DEL
		So you're going into the Army?

	Chet looks at him, not in a good mood, then goes back to his	
	drawing--

				CHET
		That's the general plan, isn't it?

	Del watches for a long moment, thinking--

				DEL
			(Softly)
		That's up to you.

	Chet looks at his father again. All this is news to him--

				DEL
		The Army isn't for everybody.

	Chet can't quite believe he is hearing this. Del crosses to 
	the refrigerator--

				DEL
		Not that I don't think you'd be good 
		at it, but--you know--I wouldn't be 
		disappointed if you decided to do 
		something else with your life.

				CHET
		You wouldn't?

				DEL
		No.

	Chet nods, begins to play again, considering the 
	possibilities. Del is making an effort and he doesn't have 
	much practice--

				DEL
		How's your room shaping up?

				CHET
		Fine. I'm pretty much moved in.

				DEL
		Good.

	An awkward silence--

				CHET
			(Tentative)
		Are we going to ever see your father?

				DEL
		My father.

				CHET
		Yeah. He lives here, right?

				DEL
		He does.

	Del pulls some food out, watching Chet as he draws--

				DEL
		Maybe we'll clean that thing out 
		back up, have a barbecue next weekend. 
		We could invite him and his wife 
		over.

				CHET
		Cool.

	Chet flips the page of his sketchbook--

				CHET
		He makes his own sauce.

	EXT. PARKING LOT, BIG O'S -- NIGHT

	The neon's off, but there are a couple cars in the lot and a 
	light within. Sam pulls into the lot, steps out, approaches 
	the door--

	INT. CLUB

	The door opens. The place is empty now except for Otis, 
	standing behind the bar, deep in conversation with Hollis, 
	sitting on a stool. Both swivel to look around guiltily as 
	they hear Sam step in--

	REVERSE

	Sam walks in slowly, crossing the floor to bring us back to 
	the two men--

				SAM
		Fellas.

				HOLLIS
		Hey, Sam.

				SAM
		Open late.

				OTIS
		I'm not open. We were just talking.

				SAM
		Hollis probably told you we found 
		Charley Wade.

				OTIS
		Yeah. How about that? People start 
		digging holes in this county, there's 
		no telling what'll come up.

	He sits a few stools away from Hollis--

				SAM
		You two saw it, didn't you? You two 
		saw it when Buddy killed him.

	Hollis and 0tis look at each other--

				SAM
		Imonna find out one way or the other.

				HOLLIS
		Your father had the finest sense of 
		justice of any man I ever met--

				SAM
		Yeah, and my mother was a saint. For 
		fifteen years the whole damn town 
		knew he had another woman on the 
		side. Stole ten thousand dollars to 
		set her up in business. But hell, 
		what's that? You got a problem?  
		Buddy'll fix it. Facing some time in 
		jail? Buddy'll knock half of it off--
		if you do what he says, when he says. 
		You got some business that's not 
		exactly legal? Talk to Buddy--

				HOLLIS
		Buddy Deeds--

				SAM
		Buddy Deeds was a murderer.

	He looks at the two older men for a long moment--

				SAM
		That night in the cafe--he didn't 
		stay long after you left, did he, 
		Hollis? Maybe he decided he'd gone 
		too far with Wade, maybe he figured 
		he better not wait for the Sheriff 
		to get behind him. So he stepped out 
		to see if he could catch up--and you 
		were here at the club that night, 
		weren't you, O?

	Otis sighs, begins to speak softly--

				OTIS
		I was here.

	CU OTIS

	He turns to look toward the door as he reminisces, and we 
	PAN away with his gaze--

				OTIS (O.S.)
		I'd been running a game on the side 
		after hours craps, draw poker on the 
		weekends. Roderick didn't know about 
		it. More important, Charley Wade 
		didn't know about it, 'cause I didn't 
		want to cut him in. I suppose I'd 
		been drinking some, and I was pretty 
		full of myself in those days--but 
		hell, I just didn't expect the man 
		so early--

	Sheriff Wade and Young Hollis step in the door and we are 
	back in 1957. BLUES HARMONICA FADES UP, wailing from the 
	jukebox. They stop and look at the place--

	THEIR POV -- CLUB

	MUSIC CONTINUES. The club is empty, dark. A LIGHT shines 
	from the back room.

	INT. BACK ROOM

	MUSIC CONTINUES. Smoke fills the air and Young Otis sits 
	back laughing, a large pile of money on the table in front 
	of him. The other four BLACK MEN at the table aren't doing 
	so well. One by one they all look up past the camera to the 
	door--

	CU OTIS

	MUSIC CONTINUES. Young Otis doesn't see at first, engaged in 
	dealing the cards. Finally, he senses the presence, looks up--

	WADE AND HOLLIS -- YOUNG O'S POV

	MUSIC CONTINUES. Wade stands over the table in the f.g., 
	Young Hollis hanging back in the doorway. Wade is smiling 
	his cold smile, cursing--

	CU YOUNG OTIS

	MUSIC CONTINUES. Trying to look unimpressed--

	EXTREME CU WADE'S EYES

	Cold and unblinking. MUSIC CONTINUES--

	EXTREME CU WADE'S MOUTH

	Twisted in a snarl as he curses. MUSIC CONTINUES--

	MEN, TABLE

	MUSIC CONTINUES. We shoot past Wade's body as the other men 
	step away from the table, grab their hats, and hurry out the 
	side door. Young Otis is left sitting at the table. Wade 
	starts walking toward him--

	CU YOUNG OTIS

	MUSIC CONTINUES. His eyes following as Wade comes to stand 
	over him--

	WADE, YOUNG OTIS

	MUSIC CONTINUES. Wade grabs the table and violently jerks it 
	over onto Young Otis, cards and money flying--

	YOUNG HOLLIS

	MUSIC CONTINUES. Watching squeamishly as Wade goes to work 
	on young Otis, the overhead light swinging wildly--

	INT. BARROOM

	MUSIC CONTINUES. Young Otis is hurled out of the back room, 
	face bruised and bleeding. Wade follows, then Young Hollis--

	CLOSER

	MUSIC CONTINUES.

	CLOSER

	Wade puts his gun next to Young Otis's ear, cursing at him. 
	Young Otis gets to his feet, goes behind the bar--

	BAR COUNTER

	MUSIC CONTINUES. Young Otis slaps an envelope full of cash 
	onto the counter--

	WADE

	MUSIC CONTINUES. He waves his pistol, indicating something 
	behind Otis--

	INT. BAR

	MUSIC CONTINUES. We shoot past Wade at the counter as Otis 
	turns and reaches for a cigar box on the shelf behind--

	CIGAR BOX

	MUSIC CONTINUES. Lying open, an old pistol inside of it. 
	Young Otis reaches--

	CU YOUNG HOLLIS

	MUSIC CONTINUES. Frowning as he senses something wrong--

	WADE

	MUSIC CONTINUES. Wade levels his gun at Young Otis's back, 
	then turns to wink at Hollis like he did before he shot Eladio--

	WADE'S HAND

	MUSIC CONTINUES. Finger closing around the trigger of the 
	.45--

	HOLLIS

	MUSIC CONTINUES. Mouth open in horror--

	WADE

	MUSIC CONTINUES. Eyes burning as he aims--

	BUDDY

	MUSIC CONTINUES. Stepping in the door, seeing, CALLS OUT--

	YOUNG OTIS

	MUSIC CONTINUES. Turning to see Buddy--

	WADE

	BLAM! THWAP! A bullet plows through his neck, knocking him 
	back against the bar.

	MUSIC CONTINUES. His gun falls from his hand--

	YOUNG OTIS

	Horrified, splattered with the Sheriff's blood. MUSIC 
	CONTINUES--

	BAR COUNTER

	MUSIC CONTINUES. Twenty-dollar bills have spilled out of the 
	envelope and are soaking up blood--

	CU BUDDY

	Calm and hard-eyed. MUSIC CONTINUES. As he steps forward, we 
	see his pistol is still in its holster. He reaches out and 
	takes the .45 from Young Hollis's shaking hand, looks him in 
	the eye till Hollis looks back, then looks toward Young Otis--

	We PAN with his gaze to a CLOSE-UP of Otis, back in the 
	PRESENT. The MUSIC FADES--

				OTIS
		Sheriff Charley had some real big 
		friends in politics then, and if the 
		truth come out it wasn't going to go 
		easy on Hollis.
			(He shrugs)
		I don't know why I trusted Buddy 
		with it--don't know why he trusted 
		me. The first time I ever talked 
		with him was right there, and then 
		with a dead white man leakin' blood 
		on the floor between us. He could 
		charm the scales off a rattler, Buddy 
		Deeds.

	WIDER

	This isn't what Sam was expecting. Hollis watches his face--

				HOLLIS
		The three of us cleaned up and took 
		him to the post and put him under. 
		Can't say I was much help.

				SAM
		And the ten thousand?

				HOLLIS
		Widow's benefits. He figured it would 
		make the disappearance look better, 
		and that Mexican gal was just scrapin' 
		by after Charley killed her man. 
		They didn't get hooked up till late--

				OTIS
		Time went on, people liked the story 
		that we told better than anything 
		the truth might have been.

	Sam swivels around on his seat to took at the spot where 
	Charley fell. He has a lot of information to deal with--

				HOLLIS
		What's the call, Sam?

	Sam rolls it over in his mind before answering--

				SAM
		Don't think the Rangers are likely 
		to find out any more than they  
		already have.

				HOLLIS
		Word gets out who that body was, 
		people are gonna think Buddy done 
		it.

	Sam gets up--

				SAM
		Buddy's a goddamn legend. He can 
		handle it.

	He heads for the door--

				SAM
		'Night, fellas.

	Hollis and Otis watch him go--

							 FADE OUT:

	EXT. DRIVE-IN, WIDE SHOT -- MORNING

	We see Sam sitting on the hood of his car parked in the 
	deserted drive-in lot, staring up at the ruined screen. 
	Pilar's car rolls in, parks beside him--

	CLOSER

	Pilar gets out, kisses Sam, sits by him on the hood--

				PILAR
		When's the picture start?

	Sam looks at her for a moment--

				SAM
		You gonna tell your mother we been 
		seeing each other?

				PILAR
		She'll figure it out sooner or later. 
		I don't have to ask permission 
		anymore, if that's what you mean.

				SAM
		You have any idea when your father 
		died? Eladio?

				PILAR
			(Shrugs)
		Couple months before I was born--

				SAM
		Try a year and a half. He bands her 
		an old snapshot. PILAR looks at it--

	CU PHOTO

	Buddy and Young Mercedes on the lake. Buddy with his shirt 
	off on one end of a sailboat, Mercedes in a bathing suit, 
	both smiling for the camera--

	SAM AND PILAR

	Pilar hands the photo back to him, tries to be calm--

				PILAR
		I've never seen my mother in a  
		bathing suit before.  Didn't know 
		she owned one.

				SAM
		Buddy bought the cafe for her with 
		money he took from the county.    
		Pilar looks away, struggling not to 
		cry--

				PILAR
		They can't pull this on me. It isn't 
		fair--I don't believe this--

				SAM
		He paid the hospital bill when you 
		were born. Your mom always calls you 
		"our beautiful daughter" in the 
		letters she wrote to him.

				PILAR
		From the first time I saw you at 
		school--all those years we were 
		married to other people I always 
		felt like we were connected.

				SAM
		I remember thinking you were the one 
		part of my life Buddy didn't have a 
		piece of--

	A silence, both of them wondering what the next move should 
	be--

				PILAR
		So that's it? You're not going to 
		want to be with me anymore?

	Sam knows what he feels but doesn't have the words--

				PILAR
		I'm not having any more children. 
		After Amado, I had some complications-- 
		I can't get pregnant again, if that's 
		what the rule is about--

				SAM
		If I met you for the first time today, 
		I'd still want to be with you.

	It is what Pilar needed to hear--

				PILAR
		We start from scratch--

				SAM
		Yeah--

				PILAR
		Everything that went before, all 
		that stuff, that history--the hell 
		with it, right?

	PILAR takes Sam's hand, kisses him--

				PILAR
		Forget the Alamo.

	WIDE SHOT, DRIVE-IN

	Sam and Pilar sit by each other holding hands, looking at 
	the empty screen--

	MUSIC, ROLL CREDITS

					 THE END