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To Sleep With Anger Movie Script

Writer(s) : Charles Burnett

Genres : Drama

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INT. ROOM - DAY  (EFX)

GIDEON, a strongly built elderly black man, is sitting at a
table. On the table is a large bowl of fruit. A crocheted
tablecloth hangs over the side of the table. Gideon is
dressed in a white suit and wearing a pair of well-polished
wing-tip shoes. His hat almost covers his eyes, which are two
points of greenish coals. The fruit in the bowl is engulfed
in flames.

The flames look as if they are DRIPPING from the tablecloth
to the floor. Gideon's shoes start to SMOULDER. His shoes
BURST INTO FLAMES which spread up his pants leg. His head
falls forward as if he had suddenly fallen to sleep. He
twiddles his thumbs very slowly in a circle. He crosses his
legs as if to get comfortable.

The camera moves to a CLOSE UP of his burning shoes. The
image of his feet begins to appear through his shoes; the
flames fade; the background changes as we

							DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. GIDEON'S BACKYARD - DAY

Gideon's bare feet are resting on reddish dry earth. Gideon
is sitting in his backyard under a fruit tree with a Bible
resting in his hands.

His house is a small, neatly painted bungalow in South
Central Los Angeles. Corn, tomatoes, other vegetables grow in
the yard. Chickens scratch around.

He slowly awakens; his hands are trembling. He looks around
and sees the chickens. He looks up at the sky and sighs, with
some relief.

SUNNY, Gideon's grandson, five years old, has been watching
him from the back window of the house. He leaves the window.

INT. HALLWAY - DAY

DOLLY SHOT OF SUNNY

Sunny peeps in the workroom. Through the crack in the door, a
Woman waves to Sunny. 

INT. WORKROOM - DAY

The room is nearly filled with pregnant women and their
husbands. SUZIE, Gideon's wife, late 60's or early 70's, a
picture of health, is giving a last bit of instruction before
the class ends. Some of the people are already preparing to
leave.

			SUZIE 
	Remember, especially you men, that
	working together now will already
	have formed a bond before the child
	arrives. The woman is very
	sensitive.

Somewhere in the room a Male Voice booms out.

			VOICE (O.S.) 
	Tell me about it.

There is a bit of LAUGHTER as all start putting away their
things.

EXT. BACKYARD - DAY

Gideon looks over at the chickens, scratching around in the
garden. He calls to them, but they don't respond. He puts his
shoes on and walks towards the back door of the house.
Entering the house, he stops and waits inside the door
peeping out. In a sort of devilish manner he talks to
himself.

			GIDEON 
	Spoiling the little foxes that
	spoil my vines.

EXT. BACKYARD - DAY 

Shot of the backyard. Nothing. Suddenly, with the grace and
suspicion of alley cats, kids jump over Gideon's back fence,
look around timidly, and start climbing up his fruit tree.

Gideon walks down the steps slowly while humming in a deep
voice. He turns the water on and walks over to the tree,
trapping the kids. Dangling legs, hanging from the tree, try
to scurry up the tree to safety. Gideon sprays the tree with
water. Wet kids fall out of the tree and in one motion leap
the fence. Gideon cuts the water off and slaps the dirt off
his hands. He is quite pleased with himself.

EXT. ALLEYWAY - DAY

One of the wet kids is watching Gideon as he goes back inside
the house. The boy signals the others who slowly follow in
single file. They jump the fence and climb back up the tree.
They let their half-eaten fruit fall to the ground.

INT. BEDROOM - DAY

Suzie opens a letter and a picture of a baby falls out. Suzie
looks at the picture before reading the letter.
She tries to find a place for it among the other baby
pictures that cover the entire mirror on the dresser. Gideon
comes in and starts to undress.

			GIDEON 
	My mind plays tricks on me. Is it
	okay if I take a bath now?

			SUZIE 
	Everyone is gone. Rhonda is in the
	bathroom.

RHONDA, Gideon's granddaughter, 13 years old, comes out of
the bathroom.

			GIDEON 
	I was looking through my trunk and
	I can't find my toby.

			RHONDA 
	What's that?

			GIDEON 
	It is a charm that my great
	grandmother made me.

Everyone notices the worried look on Gideon's face.

			SUZIE 
	It will show up.

			RHONDA 
	If my daddy calls, tell him I
	walked home.

			SUZIE 
	You be careful and thank you for
	looking after Sunny.

Sunny is asleep on the sofa with a half-eaten apple ready to
fall out of his hand.

			GIDEON 
	Babe Brother and his wife are
	taking advantage of a situation. I
	hate to be mean to people but
	picking Sunny up when they feel
	like it has to come to an end. Now
	I'm going to ask him how come he
	couldn't be at your birthday.

			SUZIE 
	Don't bother the poor boy. It just
	takes some people a little longer
	to figure out who they are.

			GIDEON 
	I don't know how two brothers can
	be so different.

EXT. MRS. BAKER'S BACKYARD - DAY

SKIP BAKER, who is thirteen, crawls out of his pigeon cage,
holding two birds that he throws up in the air. He climbs
upon the garage roof and throws rocks at the birds to keep
them flying. He WHISTLES and YELLS at them.

CLOSE UP OF BIRDS FLYING

As the birds circle Skip's house, they do backward rolls and
death grips. Skip throws more rocks to keep them flying. The
rocks land on Gideon's roof.

The SOUND of a person trying to learn how to play a TRUMPET
breaks the pleasant SOUNDS of the pigeons popping their wings
and flying in circles over the house.

INT. MRS. BAKER'S HOUSE, RODNEY'S BEDROOM - DAY

RODNEY BAKER is about nine. He stands next to a shaded
window, trying to finger the right valves on his trumpet. He
tries to hit a high note, but only succeeds in making an
awful screeching sound.

EXT. MRS. BAKER'S HOUSE - DAY

A group of kids walking by Rodney's window shout insulting
things about his horn playing.

			KIDS 
	Shut up! Go help your mama wash
	dishes!

INT. GIDEON'S KITCHEN - DAY

Suzie is standing over an egg that just fell on the floor.
The SCREECHING SOUND of the trumpet from next door is
interrupted by the doorbell. Suzie cannot decide on what to
do, to clean the egg up or answer the door. The doorbell
keeps RINGING.

EXT. FRONT PORCH - DAY

Two uniformed Police Officers stand impatiently at the door.

INT. FRONT ROOM - DAY

Suzie invites OFFICER SCOTT and OFFICER DAVIS in. Both men
are white and are in their mid-twenties. Officer Davis does
most of the questioning.

			DAVIS 
	We have a complaint from one of
	your neighbors about a rooster
	crowing in the mornings.

INT. BATHROOM - DAY

Gideon is shaving with a straight razor and humming to
himself, obviously in a good mood. Suzie sticks her head in.

			SUZIE 
	The police are here to talk to you
	about the chickens.

The good mood that Gideon was in dissolves quickly. Gideon
wipes the soap off his face and throws the towel down. Suzie
leaves. Gideon brushes his hair and adjusts his bathrobe.

INT. FRONT ROOM - DAY

Gideon comes in, still adjusting his bathrobe.

			GIDEON 
	What can I do for you, Officer?

Suzie returns to the kitchen to clean the egg on the floor.
Officer Scott keeps her in view.

			DAVIS 
	You know it is against the city
	ordinance to keep chickens or live
	stock.

			GIDEON 
	I always had chickens, ducks and
	whatnots.

			DAVIS 
	Not anymore, not in the city.

			GIDEON 
	We grow most of our own food. The
	money I get from social security,
	my pension and my wife's work,
	keeps us living on the edge. What
	choice do people like us have.

			DAVIS 
	Well, you just have to move further
	out.

			GIDEON 
	Now how far would further out be?

			DAVIS 
	I'm not here to argue, sir.

			SCOTT 
	You guys don't make anything
	illegal, do you?

			GIDEON 
	Like what may I ask?

			SCOTT 
	You might have a distillery pumping
	out barrels of moonshine.

Suzie looks at Scott for a moment and goes into the kitchen.
Gideon is about to lose control. Davis heads off the
confrontation.

			DAVIS 
	Look, just get rid of the chickens
	and you all have a nice day.

Gideon stands in the doorway watching the Police go down the
steps.

			GIDEON 
	I'll be damned if I get rid of my
	chickens. I ought to get some hogs
	and put them out there.

INT. FRONT ROOM - NIGHT

There is soft knocking on the door. Suzie enter frame wearing
a robe.

			SUZIE 
	Who is it?

			BABE BROTHER (V.O.) 
	Babe Brother.

Suzie opens the door. BABE BROTHER, Gideon's youngest son,
about 31, handsome, wearing an expensive suit, comes in,
beating the cold off of him and blowing in his hands.

			BABE BROTHER 
	I was hoping you came to the door
	instead of him. It gets cold at
	night.

			SUZIE 
	This doesn't make any sense; you
	are going to drag that poor boy out
	in the cold air.

			BABE BROTHER 
	He will be alright.

The camera follows Babe Brother. He passes Gideon's room
where Gideon is asleep, snoring loudly.

INT. GIDEON'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Suzie and Babe Brother enter the bedroom where Sunny is
sleeping. Suzie gives Babe Brother a blanket to wrap Sunny up
in.

			BABE BROTHER 
	Thanks for taking care of him. I
	will try not to be so long next
	time.

Babe Brother gives his mother a good-night kiss. Gideon comes
to the door.

			GIDEON 
	What time is it? Do you think you
	can just treat us like your slave?
	It's after one.

			BABE BROTHER 
	I tried to call to let you know I
	was going to be late.

			GIDEON 
	That's a lie.

			SUZIE 
	Let us settle this tomorrow.

			GIDEON 
	Look! Don't try to get ahead by
	riding our backs.

			BABE BROTHER 
		(shouts)
	I pay my own way.

			GIDEON 
	Since when?

He reaches for Babe Brother but Suzie comes between them.

			SUZIE 
	Take Sunny home, please.

She pushes Babe Brother away. Babe Brother walks away,
staring back at his father.

INT. GIDEON'S BEDROOM - SAME NIGHT

Gideon is lying in bed. Suzie gets in beside him.

			GIDEON 
	Your feet are cold.

			SUZIE 
	Go back to sleep.

			GIDEON 
	I asked you to wake me when Babe
	Brother comes.

			SUZIE 
	You all act like two roosters.

			GIDEON 
	I'm not going to let him get away
	with murder.

			SUZIE 
	You and Babe Brother are so much
	alike...

			GIDEON 
	He ain't nothing like me. How come
	a man has to have sons that are day
	and night apart? You ought to stop
	protecting him.

			SUZIE 
	Hush.

			GIDEON 
	You're always taking his side.

			SUZIE 
	Hush.

			GIDEON 
	I'm trying to make him a man but
	you keep babying him.

			SUZIE 
	You're going to find yourself on
	the floor.

INT. BABE BROTHER'S BEDROOM - MORNING

The bedroom is tastefully furnished with modern art and
paintings by Barns.

Babe Brother wakes up with Sunny standing in the doorway
looking at him. It takes Babe Brother some time to fully wake
up.

Finally he sits reluctantly on the side of the bed and Sunny
comes over and sits next to him, trying to get his weary
father interested in his remote-control racing car.

			BABE BROTHER 
	I want you to be the richest man in
	the world so I can be the richest
	father in the world.

			SUNNY 
	I don't want to be rich. I want to
	work on the railroad like
	grandfather.

			BABE BROTHER 
	Son, if you are going to have a
	family, you can't always choose a
	job just because you like it. 
		(beat)
	I don't want you to shine anybody's
	shoes or be a porter. You let
	somebody else carry your bags.

Sunny quietly gets up and follows his car out of the room.

INT. BABE BROTHER'S HOUSE - DAY

Babe Brother, having showered but still wearing his pajamas,
drags himself to the kitchen table where his wife LINDA has a
huge coffee mug with the inscription, "I'm the boss", waiting
for him.

Linda is about thirty years old and materially oriented like
her husband. She is wearing a conservatively cut business
dress.

Sunny stops playing with his car and gets himself an empty
cup. Babe Brother is about to pour him some of his coffee
when Linda objects.

			LINDA 
	NO.

Sunny pleads with her in silence but Linda refuses to yield.

			BABE BROTHER 
	He wouldn't want any if you didn't
	try to keep it away from him.

Linda leaves the table but stops for a moment and looks down
at her husband.

			LINDA 
	Because you were spoiled, don't try
	to spoil Sunny.

			BABE BROTHER 
	My daddy never gave me anything
	without my having to sweat for it.
	Every summer, the way they kept me
	and Junior out of trouble was to
	send us to Big Daddy's farm. We
	would get up with the chickens.
	Every summer the fence had to be
	repaired. The barn needed a coat of
	paint. We had to pip all of Big
	Mama's hundred laying hens and go
	to church all day on Sunday. For
	Big Daddy, calluses and sweat were
	the mark of a man. Sunny will never
	have to bust his knuckles like we
	did.

			LINDA 
	I want Sunny to have an advantage
	that you and I never had, but he
	needs discipline, and you are not
	helping when I tell him to do
	something and you allow him to get
	out of it.

			BABE BROTHER 
	What is a sip of coffee going to
	do?

			LINDA 
	Coffee is bad for anybody,
	especially for a child.

			BABE BROTHER 
	I don't see you crying about my
	drinking it.

			LINDA 
	How old are you?

EXT. BACKYARD - DAY

A SLOW CLOSE UP DOLLY SHOT OF SUZIE'S HANDS DROPPING SEEDS IN
THE GROUND.

Gideon is raking out the chicken coop. He puts the rake down
and walks over to the garden and watches Suzie plant seeds
for a while.

			GIDEON 
	Instead of standing here doing
	nothing, I better give those
	chickens some scratch before they
	start cackling.

EXT. ALLEYWAY - DAY

OLD JOHN is pushing his cart up the alley. Old John's face is
washed so clean that it shines. His pants are dirty and his
cart is full of odds and ends of no value. He looks to be
about seventy and fit. Old John throws a sack on Gideon's
fence.

EXT. BACKYARD - DAY

Suzie,is bent over a plant that she is tying to a stick. She
looks up and sees the sack on the fence. A smile appears on
her face. She goes over to the fence.

EXT. ALLEYWAY - DAY

Old John is about to take up his journey when Suzie sticks
her head over the fence.

			SUZIE 
	How are you?

			OLD JOHN 
	Tolerably well. I brought you some
	more rabbit manure for your roses.

			SUZIE 
	It is so considerate of you.

Gideon sticks his head over the fence.

			GIDEON 
	Well, well, look who is taking up
	all the sunshine. Brother John, how
	are you doing?

			OLD JOHN 
	I'm still here.

Suzie leaves the two men talking.

			GIDEON 
	Tell me something. How do you get
	energy to stay on the move all day?

			OLD JOHN 
	You couldn't sit on your rump under
	my daddy's roof. No sir. If you
	couldn't outwork his mule, you
	wasn't worth the salt you put in
	greens. You had to wake up looking
	for something to do. I was raised
	as a mule and now I'm a rolling
	stone.

Suzie sticks her head over the fence and hands a bag of red
tomatoes to Old John.

			OLD JOHN (CONT'D)
	I didn't mean for you to pay me for
	that.

			SUZIE 
	I know you didn't but you have been
	so thoughtful.

			OLD JOHN 
	But when your sunflowers come up,
	I'll pay you for them.

			SUZIE 
	I planted a row just for you and
	you don't owe me anything.

EXT. NEIGHBORHOOD - DAY

HIGH ANGLE SHOTS

off in the distance, a man is cutting his lawn. Gideon and
Suzie are working in their garden. Other couples working
their gardens. Two young men are working on their car, which
is creating a lot of smoke. A group of girls are sitting on a
porch trying to sing while one of the smaller ones is trying
to learn a step.

Skip is on the roof with his radio listening to rap music
while his birds circle over head. From time to time he throws
a rock at them.

INT. DELIVERY ROOM - DAY

THE CAMERA IS OUTSIDE OF THE ROOM. THE SCENE IS SHOT THROUGH
THE PARTLY OPEN DOOR.

It is hard to see the woman giving birth. There are people
blocking the view of the camera. Suzie is facing the camera
and the woman has her back to the camera.

			MOTHER
	It hurts.

			SUZIE
	Don't push too fast! Breathe! The
	hard part is over. You can see the
	top of the head.

			MOTHER
	It hurts. The pain. 
		(scream)
	It's tearing me.

			SUZIE
	Father, give her a hand.

			FATHER
	Hey, this is too much.

			SUZIE
	You do your part.

			MOTHER
	Can you tell what it is?

			SUZIE
	Almost there.

			FATHER
	It's a junior.

			MOTHER 
	Ah, I wanted a girl.

Suddenly the baby begins to SCREAM.

EXT. BACKYARD - DAY

A sack appears on Gideon's fence. The sound of Old John's
cart is heard rattling off.

INT. CHURCH - DAY

Suzie, Gideon, JUNIOR (Gideon's elder son, 35 years old and
dark skinned), PAT (Junior's wife, who is expecting, about
32) and Rhonda are all seated next to one another in the same
row. The PREACHER is knee-deep in water. He is baptizing a
group of young people. The members of the church are singing
"Take Me To The Water". An Elderly Man who can hardly walk
without help is being led down to the pool.

INT. KITCHEN - DAY

Suzie, Gideon, Junior, Pat and Rhonda are all seated at the
table eating. Babe Brother is standing up. He looks in the
pot but doesn't find it to his liking. Junior is irritated at
his brother.

			JUNIOR 
	When are you going to find time to
	help me fix the roof?

			BABE BROTHER 
	You all don't believe me when I
	tell you I'm afraid of heights.

			JUNIOR 
	You used that excuse to get out of
	the army.

			BABE BROTHER 
	You always got something to say.

			GIDEON 
	Your mother asked me not to mention
	it but your mother's birthday was
	last week.

			BABE BROTHER 
	I hadn't forgotten. I ordered some
	cloth but it didn't come in and I
	felt so bad if I would have come to
	her birthday without that, I just
	stayed at home.

			GIDEON 
	What did your wife get her?

			BABE BROTHER 
	We got the same thing.

Junior laughs at Babe Brother's story.

			GIDEON 
	Boy, go tell your wife to come in.

EXT. STREET - DAY

Babe Brother's car, a new Audi, is parked out front.

Linda is in the front seat reading a magazine while Sunny is
asleep in the back seat. Babe Brother sticks his head in the
window.

			BABE BROTHER
	Why don't you come in for a while?

			LINDA 
	I would like to finish reading
	this. What would I talk about? I
	haven't read this month's almanac.
	I don't care to hear about how the
	corn was this fall or how to get
	rid of gophers by putting garlic in
	their holes. They pride themselves
	in making life hard and that's not
	my cup of tea.

INT. KITCHEN - DAY

Suzie, Gideon, Junior, Pat and Rhonda are still at the table
eating.

			SUZIE 
	You know, Babe Brother's wife just
	dumps greens in the pot without
	washing them.

			GIDEON 
	Babe Brother is a poor boy.

			JUNIOR 
	You all should have been hard on
	him like you were me and he
	wouldn't be the way he is.

			SUZIE 
	Everybody got the same. I breast
	fed him like I breast fed you.

			PAT 
	Junior, you are wrong.

INT. CAR - DAY

			BABE BROTHER 
	Just for a minute.

A dirt rock HITS the front windshield. Linda lets out a
little scream. Babe Brother looks around. Skip is on top of
the roof next door.

			SKIP 
	I didn't mean to hit your car. I
	was throwing at my birds.

INT. FEED STORE - DAY

Gideon is looking at the price of laying mash. He digs his
hand into a barrel of scratch. Sunny also digs his hand in
the barrel.

Suzie is looking at new young plants. She gives the
vegetables a thorough going-over.

Gideon is standing in line waiting to place his order.

			GIDEON 
	I need about five pounds of laying
	mash and you better give me about
	the same of scratch.

While at the counter, Gideon turns and looks around at the
prices of different items. Suzie brings her plants and puts
them on the counter.

			GIDEON (CONT'D)
	When are you going to have a sale
	on weed killer?

			CASHIER 
	You missed it. We had a two-day
	sale last week.

			GIDEON 
	What kind of a sale is a two-day
	sale? I thought sales last a week
	or two.

			CASHIER 
	Every day we have something
	different. Today's sale is hay. 25%
	off. If you have a horse or cow,
	you're in business.

INT. CAR - DAY

Sunny looks at the Little Girl in the next car; she has her
mouth pressed against the window. She is missing a tooth.
Gideon is behind the wheel while Suzie holds her new plants
up to the sun, carefully looking at them.

Sunny, seated in the back, pokes a hole in the sack of feed.
The mash trickles to the floor as if from an hour glass.

INT. KITCHEN - DAY

Suzie is sitting in front of a table full of jars. Each jar
has a shoot and is half-filled with water. Gideon is on his
knees trying to fix the hinge to a cabinet. Sunny is sitting
almost under him listening to him tell stories. Sunny has a
coffee can full of marbles.

			GIDEON 
	All of the preachers were down in
	the basement of the church
	confessing their sins to one
	another. They were way down in the
	basement 'cause they figured no one
	would hear them. One of the
	preachers said, it makes me feel
	too shame to tell how bad I have
	been. You know them young gals that
	sit up in the first row. I can look
	at them and forget my text. I'm
	just lost when it comes to women,
	even them middle age sisters. Then
	another preacher said, I don't
	think I can tell you what my sin is
	'cause it's bad. Another preacher
	said, Brother, we all amongst
	friends. Tell us what's troubling
	your soul. Clear your conscience.

Gideon takes a sip of water.

			GIDEON (CONT'D)
	So the preacher said, we all got a
	bond 'cause we confessed to one
	another. So let me tell you, my sin
	is corn liquor. I just acts a fool
	behind that spirit water. I loves
	it more than preaching. Now ain't
	that a sin, lord. So all the
	preachers went on confessing, each
	one worst than the last. Finally
	they came to the last preacher who
	had been very quiet and listening
	to every word that fell. One of the
	preachers said to him, it's your
	turn. Confessing will lift you
	burden, Brother. Bare us your soul.
	We did. The last preacher said, no,
	my sin is the worst among all of
	you. One of the preachers said, ah
	go on man and stop all this
	suspense. So the last preacher
	said, like I told you my sin is the
	lowest. 
		(beat)
	My sin is gossiping and I can't
	wait to get out and tell what I
	heard.

Sunny does not get the humor of the story. He is more
interested in picking up his marbles that Gideon's foot
kicked over.

			SUZIE 
	You oughtn't tell him stories like
	that.

			SUNNY 
	Tell me another story.

			GIDEON 
	I'll you a story about the terrapin
	and the rabbit. No, you tell me a
	story. Come on.

			SUNNY 
	Once upon a time, my mommy and
	daddy lived in this big house that
	I bought for them. I got them this
	big car.

A strong wind causes the broom handle to knock against the
china teapot, KNOCKING IT TO THE FLOOR. Suzie stops Sunny
from trying to help pick up the pieces.

			SUZIE 
	You stay back. You might cut your
	fingers.

Suzie looks down sadly at her broken tea pot.

			GIDEON 
	I looked everywhere for my toby.

EXT. APPLE ORCHARD - DAY

The trees are barren, which gives them an unfriendly look. As
we LOOK at the ground, a man's distorted shadow stops in the
frame.

							DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. FRONT PORCH - DAY

A shadow of a man appears on Gideon's porch. The camera tilts
up to HARRY MENTION, a very dark-looking, ageless old man
carrying several boxes held together by a cord. He looks
exhausted from his journey. He looks in his address book and,
satisfied that he reached the right house, he rings the
doorbell.

INT. FRONT ROOM - DAY

Suzie comes to the front door; she recognizes Harry right
away. She invites him in. Harry stumps his feet on the porch
several times and then enters.

			SUZIE 
	Harry, I can't believe it is you.
	Gideon, look who is here.

Gideon comes in, wiping his hands. Sunny, carrying the broom,
follows behind.

			GIDEON 
	Harry, good God Almighty, man! It's
	been, what, thirty years or more.
	Suzie, we haven't seen Harry since
	we left home.

Harry is more interested in the boy, but Sunny doesn't want
to come near Harry. It is Gideon's arm that is keeping him
within close range of Harry.

			GIDEON (CONT'D)
	This is my grandson, Sunny. He is
	my youngest son's child.

			HARRY 
	He kind of favors one of my boys
	when he was about his age.

Sunny, playing with the broom, accidentally touches Harry's
shoe with it. Harry hides his anger about being touched with
the broom. Harry takes the broom from Sunny and spits on the
bottom of it.

			HARRY (CONT'D)
	Boy, that is bad luck to touch a
	fellow with a broom.

			GIDEON 
	He knows better. Sunny, apologize
	to Harry.

			SUNNY 
	I'm sorry.

			GIDEON 
	What are you doing in these parts?

			HARRY
	I came all the way from Detroit by
	bus going to Oakland. The bus
	stopped in Los Angeles. I had to
	get off and take a rest. I'll catch
	the last bus leaving at midnight.
	I'm just too tired to go on.

			GIDEON 
	Why didn't you catch a plane?

			HARRY 
	My feet have never been on anything
	that wasn't directly attached to
	the ground.

			GIDEON 
	Stay until you feel better? I would
	like to hear all the news.

			HARRY 
	I'm worn out but won't you feel
	like you are taking in a stranger?

			SUZIE 
	Stranger my foot, it was my
	grandmother who helped you into
	this world.

			HARRY 
	Well, I don't want to put you out.

			GIDEON 
	Man, put your boxes down and stay
	as long as you like. We have empty
	rooms since the boys got their own
	families and moved out.

			HARRY 
	Well if you're sure, I won't be a
	bother. Oh, I don't sleep on no
	spring mattress. I always make
	myself a pallet on the floor.

INT. BEDROOM - DAY

The bedroom door to Harry's room is cracked open. Peering
through the cracked door, we SEE Harry asleep on his pallet.
His back is turned to the camera. It is dead silent. There
does not seem to be any sign of life. On the floor is a plate
that has water in it. It looks like it is for a dog.

INT. KITCHEN - DAY

Suzie is peeling potatoes and Gideon is ironing.

			SUZIE 
	Poor old Harry, he really must have
	been worn out. He has been asleep
	all day.

Without anyone being aware, Harry has been standing in the
doorway for some time.

			HARRY
	Good evening. It must be all the
	different time zones I crossed that
	makes me feel this weary.

			SUZIE 
	You should go back and rest.

			HARRY 
	No, if I rest any longer, I won't
	sleep tonight. May I use your
	bathroom to wash up a bit?

			GIDEON 
	Man, act like this is your home.

			HARRY 
	That's awful generous of you. I
	always ask to keep from wearing out
	welcome.

			SUZIE 
	One can tell you are from back
	home. These people nowadays don't
	know what manners are.

			HARRY 
	Where we come from, you had to know
	how to act right. You had to know
	how to say yes sir and no sir. You
	had to know your place.

			GIDEON 
	You had to tread softly.

The doorbell rings and Gideon goes to answer it.

			SUZIE 
	Those days you could always find
	something redeeming about even the
	worst person.

			HARRY 
	You remember that boy who lost his
	mind, Joe? You could hear him
	pitching horseshoes at night in the
	dark. He wouldn't miss a one. Make
	him mad and call yourself running
	in the house to be safe. He would
	pick up a brick and say "go on in
	there brick and hit somebody" and
	it would find its mark.

			SUZIE 
	I was afraid to go to Marcus Bottom
	because of him.

			HARRY 
	All those places that us coloreds
	lived, that we used to call
	Bottoms, have all been changed to
	Drives and Heights. Everything is
	in what you call it, not in what it
	is.

Gideon comes back with Junior, Pal and Rhonda.

			GIDEON 
	Harry, I would like for you to meet
	my oldest son, his wife and
	daughter.

			JUNIOR 
	Pleased to meet you. So you're from
	back home, too.

Harry and Junior shake hands, but Rhonda gives Harry only a
nod of her head and a smile.

Pat, who is pregnant, attempts to shake hands with Harry, but
is forced to withdraw her hand because of a sudden pain in
her stomach.

			PAT 
	This boy must be turning over. Oh,
	he just kicked me again.

Junior feels her stomach. Pat again tries to shake Harry's
hand and again gets a jolt from her stomach. She finds a
chair to sit down in.

The SOUND of rocks hitting the roof causes everyone to look
up.

			GIDEON 
	It's the boy next door throwing at
	his birds. I'm just waiting on him
	to hit a pane in the window

			HARRY 
	I'm going to wash up now. You all
	please excuse me.

INT. GIDEON'S HOUSE - BATHROOM - DAY

Harry is wiping off his face with a washcloth. He stares at
himself in the mirror for a long time. The sudden sound of
the boy next door starting to play his trumpet startles him.
He smiles at the trumpeter's efforts.

He wrings the wash cloth out. A reddish oil-like liquid DRIPS
into the face bowl.

EXT. GIDEON'S HOUSE - EARLY MORNING

A few of the houses have lights on. Suddenly, Gideon's
rooster starts to CROW. A dog starts to bark and a garbage
can is knocked over. Bedroom lights in almost all the houses
in the neighborhood pop on. The voices of neighbors
complaining are heard.

INT. BEDROOM - EARLY MORNING

Harry is just waking up. He listens to the voices of Suzie
and Gideon as they get ready for church.

INT. FRONT ROOM - MORNING

Gideon is paging through the Bible as he stands by the door,
waiting for Suzie who is watering her plants. Harry comes in.

			HARRY 
	Good morning.

			GIDEON 
	You ought to come hear our
	preacher. Remember old Cat Iron?
	Well, our preacher is just as
	strong.

			HARRY 
	Next time when I feel a little
	better perhaps.

			GIDEON 
	I was going to get up and get a hen
	out there for dinner, but time got
	away.

			HARRY 
	Oh, I would feel much at home if
	you let me get one for you. I
	haven't wrung a chicken's neck in a
	month of Sundays. You know, folks
	would call my daddy to kill their
	hogs. That used to be my trade from
	time to time.

			GIDEON 
	Well, I would appreciate that.

EXT. HOUSE - DAY

Gideon and Suzie are stepping off the porch. Harry is
standing behind the screen door.

Gideon and Suzie get in Junior's car. Junior, Pat and Rhonda
wave to Harry as the car pulls away.

INT. LIVING HOUSE - DAY

IT IS A TRACKING SHOT, FOLLOWING HARRY THROUGH THE HOUSE.

Harry looks through Gideon's and Suzie's private things. He
looks at the baby pictures that fill the mirror. He reads
Suzie's letters that are dated years ago. In one of the
letters, he finds a picture of a man standing behind a
plough. "Uncle Joe after Ella's death" is written on the
back. A picture of a mule holds his interest. He looks at it
for a long time and carries it with him as he continues his
search.

EXT. BACKYARD - DAY

Harry slowly walks along the rows in Suzie's garden. He
stands by the chicken cage. Suddenly, the chickens start to
run about and CACKLE as if a dog had gotten in.

Harry turns from the chicken coop. He stands still. Sunny is
hiding behind a bush.

Sunny steps around the bush. Harry looks at Sunny with such
concentration that Sunny takes a step backward as if getting
ready to defend himself.

MRS. BAKER, a black woman in her early thirties, comes out on
the back porch. She shakes out a rug. She stops shaking the
rug and stares at Harry.

Harry becomes aware of Mrs. Baker's stare. He comes to
himself and smiles at her.

INT. GIDEON'S KITCHEN - DAY

Harry and Babe Brother are playing cards while Linda watches
and Sunny plays by himself on the floor. In the sink is a
newspaper full of bloody feathers. A small flame is under a
pot on the stove. Harry looks at the chicken in the pot and
sits back down.

			LINDA 
	You don't act like the rest of
	Gideon's friends. They believe if
	you are not hard at work, you are
	hard at sin.

			HARRY 
	Oh, I'm more modern in my ways. I
	don't believe in sin, though there
	is good and evil. 
		(beat)
	And evil is a thing you work at.

Harry takes his knife, a crab apple switch, out. It has a
rabbit foot attached to it. Harry cleans his fingernail with
the knife. Sunny is interested in the rabbit foot. He reaches
for the knife.

			HARRY (CONT'D)
	Not you mustn't touch. Your mama
	might not like you handling knives.

			LINDA 
	I think he wants to see your rabbit
	foot.

			HARRY 
	I let this rabbit foot do in place
	of my toby that I lost years ago.

			LINDA 
	What's a toby?

			HARRY 
	You don't want to be at crossroads
	without one. It's a charm that old
	people teach you how to make. I had
	one for a long time that belonged
	to my grandmother who had it ever
	since she was a child. 
		(beat)
	In my travels I misplaced it. I
	have been looking over my shoulder
	ever since.

			LINDA 
	I thought you weren't old
	fashioned.

			HARRY 
	In some things. When we were
	children, there used to be an old
	man that came around and would
	snatch your soul if you didn't have
	something on you that didn't make a
	X.

Harry is aware that Babe Brother is interested in the knife.
After cleaning his last fingernail, he hands the knife to
Babe Brother.

Harry looks at the cards in his hand. He smiles to himself.

			HARRY 
	Did you have your child at home?

			LINDA 
	No. No. No. No. I had my Child at
	Cedars and Sinai. And that ain't no
	county hospital. You have to have
	cash or check before you come in
	the door.

			HARRY 
	Some folks take that natural stuff
	too far.

			LINDA 
	Junior's wife kept her afterbirth'
	in the refrigerator. That's why I
	do not eat over there now.

			HARRY 
	Country people got so many strange
	ways,

Harry looks again at the chicken that he is boiling.

			BABE BROTHER 
	Did you ever have to use this
	thing?

			HARRY 
	That is called a crab apple switch.
	It's for those bad acting monkeys
	and just the thing for a mean dog.
	Now I don't know if I actually did
	what I did or got my life and story
	mixed in with other folk's stories
	but I seem to recall that I had to
	use my crab apple on a boy from
	back home. I was up in Memphis
	working on the railroad, like your
	daddy who had an easy job. He would
	sing a song that had a cadence and
	we would lay track. Anyway I was
	coming down Beale Street and I
	heard this music coming from a
	saloon. Sure enough it was Emory.
	My daddy taught both of us to play
	but Emory was natural at it. Got in
	a blues band and what not. He and
	another boy had killed a boy named
	Hocker sometime back and they
	balled the Jack leaving town. Emory
	had lost one eye and had a scar
	running down his face. Bad luck I
	would say. He got to drinking that
	corn liquor. We went to his girl's
	room and he wouldn't stop drinking.
	He started talking about the old
	days and he went mad. He pulled his
	knife and I got to mine first. The
	lights went out.

Linda picks up a card and looks at it. There is a naked woman
on the back.

			BABE BROTHER
	Don't pick up the cards if you are
	not in the game. Did he die?

			HARRY 
	I don't know what happened to him.
	He just ran out into the streets. 
		(beat)
	I got some old records I want you
	to hear. I like the blues sung
	simply, man and a guitar. Or sung
	by a woman who had bad luck all her
	life. Don't ever let anyone tell
	you his life's story if it is of a
	weary life full of sadness. When I
	was a boy, a man told me a story of
	how he lost all of his sons and
	I'll be damned if the same thing
	didn't happen to me.

Sunny is busy playing in the curtains.

The SOUND of Gideon and Suzie arriving makes them scurry to
get the cards put away. Harry puts his knife away just as
Suzie and Gideon enter. Linda feels a little embarrassed.

			LINDA 
	How was church?

Gideon and Suzie are surprised to see Linda. They don't know
what to say.

EXT. MRS. BAKER'S BACKYARD - DAY

Rodney walks around in the yard BLOWING his trumpet as loud
as he can. The SOUND of the trumpet frightens Skip's birds.

INT. BATHROOM - DAY

Gideon is repairing the pipes under the face bowl. Harry is
leaning against the door.

			HARRY 
	How often is your wife called to
	help delivery?

			GIDEON 
	It was slow. Now it seems like
	everyone is having births at home.

Gideon takes the pipe off. It has rotted. Gideon cannot
believe it.

			GIDEON (CONT'D)
	What could have caused this? I just
	changed this damn thing.

			HARRY 
	Everything these days is made
	overseas.

			GIDEON 
	You and Babe Brother hit it off so
	well.

			HARRY 
	Course, it is your business, but I
	feel obliged to tell you that maybe
	you have not been fair with the
	boy.

			GIDEON 
	I tried to teach him right from
	wrong just like I did his Junior.

			HARRY 
	Everyone has to follow his own
	plough. A man doesn't have to know
	how to cut a wick and clean a
	chimney nowadays. City people don't
	give a hoot and a holler about the
	shape of the moon nowadays. You
	don't plant old ways...
		(beat)
	... but, at the end, you find
	yourself doing what your father did
	but you have to have the land in
	you.
		(beat)
	It's when you want to give the
	house or farm to the kids and they
	don't want it. You sell it to a
	stranger. You worked your whole
	life, for what?
		(beat)
	I doubt if people nowadays have
	knowledge of a victory garden or
	seen an inch worm. All what we've
	experienced has no meaning.

			GIDEON 
	You're suppose to teach your
	children what you know. Junior, I
	don't have to worry about. Babe
	Brother is a different story.

			HARRY 
	You still call him boy. You call
	Babe Brother boy in front of his
	wife and son.

			GIDEON 
	My daddy called me boy up to the
	time he died. I was always boy to
	him.

			HARRY 
	'Course, you could be right. Your
	sons are alive. All my sons are
	dead.

Off-screen, Rodney starts to practice on his HORN.

INT. BABE BROTHER'S LIVING ROOM - EVENING

Babe Brother is sitting with Sunny by the screen door blowing
giant bubbles. The bubbles drift past Linda, who is sitting
at the table with real estate papers all over the table. She
is talking on the phone with a client and signals them to
stop disturbing her.

Babe Brother sends more bubbles floating by, causing her to
shake the water off her papers while she talks to a first
time buyer.

			LINDA 
	It has three bedrooms, one and a
	half baths. Well, yes, that means
	two toilets and one bath. Well...
	Yes, by appointment... Call me back
	if you decide.

She hangs up the phone.

			LINDA 
	You would think people never lived
	in a house if they have to ask what
	does 1 1/2 baths mean.

			BABE BROTHER 
	Will you still get the money from
	your father?

			LINDA 
	I told him we might not need it, if
	you can talk your parents into
	giving you your share of the
	property.

			BABE BROTHER 
	Pops put Big Daddy's farm in
	Rhonda's and Sunny's name and fixed
	it so no one can borrow on it.

			LINDA 
	We could borrow on that land and
	put the money to work.

			BABE BROTHER 
	I preached to Mom and Dad about it
	but they are stuck in their ways,
	it's like talking to a brick. But
	if there is a way...

Babe Brother is lost in his thoughts. He stares down at his
hands resting on his knees. He picks up the telephone.

INT. JUNIOR'S HOUSE - DAY

Junior is on the phone with Babe Brother. Pat crosses in
front of the camera shaking her head in a negative manner.
Babe Brother's voice is just audible.

			JUNIOR 
	You want me to mortgage my house to
	invest in a scheme of yours? You
	know the last time we went into
	something together Daddy had to go
	in his savings to keep us from
	ending on the street.

			BABE BROTHER (O.S.) 
	Why are you always afraid to get
	somewhere?

			JUNIOR 
	This is not a good time to take
	chances. Your best friend, Robert,
	an accountant, lost his home and is
	out on the street. We see him from
	time to time. He comes down to
	church for a free meal.

			BABE BROTHER (O.S.) 
	This is what it is all about,
	trying to keep from being out on
	the street.

			JUNIOR 
	Robert asks about you. When are you
	going to do something to help him?

			BABE BROTHER (O.S.) 
	Maybe I can get down there next
	week.

Junior turns to his wife, who is off-camera.

			JUNIOR 
	Babe Brother always acts like a
	gambler who is in the biggest game
	of his life and don't know about
	playing cards.

EXT. RAILROAD TRACKS - HOT AFTERNOON

Harry and Gideon are walking along a railroad track. The sun
is blinding. The heat makes the asphalt Appear to turn into a
lake off in the distance. Gideon appears exhausted; beads of
sweat continually form on his forehead. He fans himself with
his hat. Harry is unaffected by the hot temperature.

			HARRY 
	I can sit here and look at train
	tracks all day. We laid enough of
	them, didn't we? So many memories
	are stretched along tracks like
	these.

Gideon looks down the tracks. A bowl of dust stirs off in the
distance. The hot temperature makes the tracks appear liquid.

EXT. RAILROAD TRACKS - HOT AFTERNOON (EFFECT)

The tracks begin to twist and bend. Off in the distance,
faint images of men laying track to a song.

EXT. RAILROAD TRACKS - HOT AFTERNOON

Gideon is standing with his hat in his hand. His posture is
that of an extremely old man.

			GIDEON 
	In weather like this, you cannot
	walk around bare-headed.

He wipes the sweat from his hat band.

			HARRY 
	We'll go a little farther. The walk
	will do us some good.

INT. KITCHEN - DAY

Suzie is peeling apples while Sunny, standing next to her,
catches peelings in his mouth. Pat is sitting next to the
window. She is uncomfortable. She loosens her pants, giving
her stomach more room. Rhonda is leaning over the back of the
chair with her arms around Pat's neck. They are in
silhouette.

			PAT 
	Did you do your homework?

			RHONDA 
	Yes.
		(beat)
	Mama?

			PAT 
	What?

			RHONDA 
	Can I name the baby?

INT. HARRY'S BEDROOM - DAY

Suzie knocks on the door. Harry comes to the door still
buttoning his shirt.

			SUZIE 
	I have someone I want you to meet.

			HARRY 
	I'll be right there.

INT. FRONT ROOM - DAY

Gideon in the background in the kitchen washing off the
vegetables. Suzie and HATTIE are sitting at the table. Harry
comes in and is surprised to see Hat tie. Hattie is in her
late sixties but looks well. She makes a conscious effort to
dress plainly.

			HATTIE 
	I couldn't believe it when Suzie
	called and said you were staying
	here. How have you been?

			HARRY 
	Girl, do you still sing and dance?

			HATTIE 
	No, I'm a different person now,
	Harry.

Hattie has a nervous condition that causes her to squint from
time to time. Gideon comes in from the kitchen.

			GIDEON 
	Haven't the years been good to
	Hattie?

			HARRY 
	It hasn't been the years; it's been
	the men in her life.

			HATTIE 
	Harry, that's not nice. I'm in
	church now.

			HARRY 
	Why run out and close the barn door
	when the horse is gone? I remember
	when you weren't saved. That was
	way back yonder when the Natchez
	Trace was just a dirt road.

			HATTIE 
	Some people grow up and change
	their ways.

			HARRY 
	I know your mother ain't still
	operating that house of hers.

			HATTIE 
	My mother passed on years ago.

EXT. STREET IN FRONT OF HOUSE - DAY

M.C. slams the door to his car and hurries up the steps,
leaving HERMAN, in spite of his bad condition, to get out of
the car the best he can. The car door almost knocks poor
Herman over. M.C. seems rather youthful because of his energy
and awkwardness. He is a large muscular man.

Herman is a dried-up man with nothing, not even a shadow. He
has a racking COUGH.

INT. FRONT ROOM - DAY

M.C. gives Gideon a bear hug, lifting him off his feet. On
seeing Suzie, he drops Gideon and rushes over to lift her up
off her feet.

EXT. STREET - DAY

Herman is still trying to get out of the car.

INT. FRONT ROOM - DAY

M.C. lifts Suzie off the ground twice. He runs over to Hattie
who does not want to be handled, tries to withdraw but M.C.
forces her to her feet and gives a big bear hug. Hattie has a
series of squinting attacks. M.C. squints in return.

			HATTIE 
	M.C., you still ain't house broken.

			GIDEON 
	Good God Almighty, if it ain't like
	a parade of people from out of the
	past. M.C., where did you come
	from?

			M.C.
	I live here.

There is a TAPPING on the door.

			M.C. (CONT'D)
	That's old Herman.

			HATTIE
	Harry, what did you do, rob the
	graveyard?

Herman hobbles in and, after a minute of COUGHING, a smile
forms on his face.

INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Suzie, Gideon and Hattie are seated at the table while M.C.
bounces from one end of the table to the other. One moment he
is on his knees and next moment he is leaning over someone to
flick his ashes in the ashtray on the table. Hattie hates it
when he comes near her.

Harry and Herman sit together in the corner chewing on
starch.

			M.C. 
	Hattie, do you still dance?

			HATTIE
	I'm in church.

			M.C.
	What does that got to do with it?

			HATTIE
	Suzie, you still have Joe's number?

			SUZIE
	I will have to look for it.

			M.C.
	Who's Joe?

			HATTIE
	None of your business.

			HARRY
	That is a boy from home, Lulla's
	brother.

Suzie is surprised.

			SUZIE 
	Harry, you know everything.

			HARRY 
	You got to know everything, do
	everything, and be everything.

Gideon brings a fresh pot of coffee. Gideon tries to signal
M.C. to stop harassing Hattie. M.C. leans over Hattie again
to use the ashtray.

Harry is helping Herman to his feet. Herman starts to cough.
They come over and join the rest of the crowd at the table.
Harry seats Herman next to Gideon and pours Herman a cup of
coffee. He puts the sugar and cream in the coffee for Herman.
Suzie comes back with Joe's number and hands it to Hattie.

			HERMAN 
	M.C., I'm worn out. You ready to
	go?

			M.C. 
	If you are tired, go sit in the
	car.

			HERMAN 
	Suzie, do you have any Swamp Root?

			SUZIE 
	No, but I might have some Indian
	Chief Tonic.

			HATTIE 
	I haven't heard anyone mention
	Swamp Root since button-up shoes
	went out.

			HARRY 
	You can certainly tell how old you
	are, my dear.

Hattie is angered.

			HATTIE 
	You know the saying, "your heart is
	in your left hand."

			HARRY 
	Now I was trying to be nice, to
	make conversation, since we go back
	some.

			HATTIE
	I was quoting from the Bible. If
	the shoe fits, wear it.

			HARRY 
	"Out of weariness, I spoke to my
	own heart; to leave it all and to
	die. And I gave my heart to know
	madness and folly."

			M.C. 
	You ain't going to win playing the
	dozens with Harry.

			HERMAN 
	You all ought to get along.

			HATTIE 
	Harry, you know you remind me of so
	much that went wrong in my life.
	When I heard you were here, I made
	a special effort to come and see
	you. I see you are still a pile of
	wet chicken feathers.

			HERMAN 
	Oh Lord.

			HARRY 
	My sister, women can get away with
	so much. I don't have any enemies
	'cause I don't live in the past. As
	Pushkin, you don't know him, said,
	"In the hope of glory and good, I
	look without fear ahead."

			M.C. 
	Harry has got your number.

			HATTIE 
	An empty wagon makes a lot of noise
	and you, tappy head, you ain't
	worth the salt you put in greens.

			HARRY 
	Speaking of tappy heads, we ought
	to have an old fashion fish fry.

			HERMAN 
	I don't have too many fish fries
	left.

			HARRY 
	We can have it here next week.

			HATTIE 
	Is this your house?

			HARRY 
	Oh. I'm sorry. Gideon, what do you
	say?

			GIDEON 
	Well, it's up to Suzie.

			SUZIE 
	It would be nice.

			HATTIE 
	In the meantime Harry can slaughter
	us a hog.

			HARRY 
	I already have, my dear.

			HERMAN 
	Please, M.C., take me home.

INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

The children of the women in Suzie's natural birth group are
huddled together SINGING "Ashiine Ca Chew". The voices of the
women in the next room are audible. The kids go outside to
sit on the porch.

INT. HOUSE, WORK ROOM - DAY

Most of the women have their newborns with them and are
engaging in talk about how their other children had to adjust
and etc.

A young white mother, REBECCA WILSON, with both her children,
a four year old and one just a few months old, talks with a
deep southern accent.

			WILSON 
	No one in my family ever been to a
	hospital to give birth. My sister
	has four children and all were born
	at home. My mother and her mother,
	it just goes on and on.

EXT. FRONT YARD - DAY

A mother leaves with her baby wrapped in a blanket. The kids
surround her, wanting to see the baby.

INT. GIDEON'S BEDROOM - DAY

Pat is looking at a book of baby names. Harry passes the door
and stops.

			HARRY 
	A woman in family way just reminds
	of spring and my younger days.

			PAT 
	That's nice.

			HARRY 
	Well, you and your husband are
	special. Ya, Gideon tells me you do
	volunteer work to help feed the
	poor.

Pat beams with joy because Harry recognizes the important
work she is doing.

			HARRY
	How many people do you all feed?

			PAT 
	Last Saturday we handed out over
	two hundred meals.

			HARRY 
	Good God Almighty, bless your
	bones.
		(pause)
	But the problem grows.

			PAT 
	Week by week the crowds at the door
	keeps getting larger. We can't feed
	all the hungry.

			HARRY 
	Of course not. Have you ever heard
	of a man jumping in the river to
	save five hundred drowning people?
	No you ain't.
		(pause)
	You have to take just one and
	fatten him up. When you spread help
	too thin, you , you just nickel and
	dime the situation. If you try to
	save all, all die but if you save
	one life, life goes on. You just
	have to remember, medicine that
	works leaves a bitter taste.

Harry looks at the baby picture pasted over the mirror. He
takes the picture of his children from his old black dusty
wallet and compares the faces of his kids with those on the
mirror. He talks to himself more than to Pat.

			HARRY (CONT'D)
	You just take one; you thaw out the
	cold and hunger in his bones from
	sleeping on the bare ground.

Pat watches him and loses herself in what he is doing. She
responds automatically

			PAT
	I don't know if we could take one
	in with Rhonda and me at home alone
	at times.

			HARRY
	Oh, I wasn't pointing my finger at
	you. Hey, you have to think of
	yourself. A lot of them have all
	kinds of diseases and will cut your
	throat while you sleep. There are
	too many bad people out there.

EXT. GIDEON'S BACK PORCH - DAY

Junior is taking the back door off to paint. Harry helps him
carry the door and lay it on a saw horse.

			JUNIOR
	I appreciate you lending me a hand.
	That lazy ass brother of mine was
	suppose to help me.

			HARRY
	Well some folks are still waiting
	for their comeuppance. Don't take
	me wrong but you can't judge people
	by how you act. You're a caring
	person.

			JUNIOR 
	He should be caring. That is not
	too much to ask.

			HARRY 
	Ya, but you can't do the shuffle
	with one leg. You and your wife, in
	your spare time, work with the less
	fortunate. Now I'm not talking
	about you and what you do but some
	folks that always run to help the
	victim, deep down are attracted to
	pain and suffering and love to be
	near the dying.

			JUNIOR 
	All the people working with us are
	really doing it 'cause they hate to
	see suffering.

			HARRY 
	You never know what's in the heart
	and just because you can cry
	doesn't make you human.

INT. JUNIOR'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Rhonda is in the background washing dishes. Pat and Junior
are sitting at the dining room table, arguing.

			JUNIOR 
	We can't really bring another
	family in here with us.

			PAT
	Why not? Harry says that's the only
	way to do good.

			JUNIOR 
	When did you talk to Harry?

			PAT 
	Don't shout!

EXT. BACKYARD - DAY

Gideon and Sunny are in the garden digging for worms. The
chickens

			GIDEON 
	I think we have enough. So now tell
	me a story.

EXT. BALDWIN HILLS LAKE - LATE AFTERNOON

Gideon is sitting on a rock by the lake. His image is
reflected in the lake. He is asleep. Sunny is putting new
bait on one of the reels and with a whip of the pole, he
casts to the center of the lake. He leans against a tree.
Sunny looks at his sleeping grandfather. Gideon has his pant
legs rolled up. His socks have lost their elastic. His head
is resting on his chest.

Sunny goes near the water.

			GIDEON 
	Be careful of the water.

Sunny looks back at his grandfather, who appears to be
asleep.

							DISSOLVE TO:

There is one fish in the bucket.

							DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. LAKE - SUNSET

WIDE ANGLE SHOT FROM HIGH ANGLE

Gideon and Sunny are sitting next to each other. The lake
reflects the sky: a deep red. The eerie sound of a long train
whistle breaks the silence.

INT. LIVING ROOM - MORNING

Harry, Babe Brother and Linda come in after staying out all
night. Linda looks as though she is about to fall asleep
standing up. She awakes and looks at Harry. There is dislike
in her stare. Suzie and Gideon notice Linda fading away.

			SUZIE 
	Are you feeling well?

			LINDA 
	I've never been so tired in my
	life. Where is Sunny?

			SUZIE 
	He is getting his things together.
	Babe Brother, you ought to take
	your wife home so she can get some
	rest.

			BABE BROTHER 
	In a minute.

Sunny comes in carrying his night-clothes folded neatly. He
stands next to Linda. Harry, in a mild but demanding way,
ushers Babe Brother out of the door.

			HARRY 
	Take your wife and child home, boy.

Babe Brother seems all too happy to obey Harry. After Harry
closes the door behind Babe Brother, he turns with a wide
smile.

			HARRY (CONT'D)
	I got a surprise for you tonight.

Harry flops down on the couch and kicks his shoes off.

			HARRY (CONT'D)
	This old buffalo has been in the
	sun too long.

INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Suzie and Gideon are getting the food ready while Harry,
wearing a shirt that looks like it is made of shiny
snakeskin, sits in a darkened corner of the room, cutting his
fingernails with his knife.

The door bell rings and Harry slowly walks over to answer the
door. Suzie puts the punch bowl down and hurries over to meet
the first guests, FRED JENKINS, an elderly black man whom she
hasn't seen in years, and Esme Jenkins, his wife.

			SUZIE 
	Fred Jenkins.

			JENKINS 
	Suzie, you haven't changed and you,
	Gideon, if you don't look like John
	Henry. Oh, this is my wife, Esme.
	My first wife Lulie died.

More people arrive, bottle-necking the doorway. Gideon helps
the Jenkinses to a chair. Hattie comes with her brother
MARSH, who is not too pleased to see Harry. OKRA TATE, an
elderly black man with dark circles under his eyes, comes in
limping badly with an old Polaroid camera hanging from his
neck.

Babe Brother, Linda, Junior, Pat and Rhonda, who is holding
Sunny's hand, all come in together. M.C. drags Herman through
the door coughing. FLIM ANDERSON and his son DOUG are
followed by the twins, WILLIAM and LOVIRAY NORWOOD, who are
in their late 70's.

Babe Brother leaves Linda standing by herself to be next to
Harry.

Zenia Dent, an elderly white woman with a strong Southern
accent, arrives with her husband, Howard Dent, a black man,
who is in a wheelchair. The Twins and Howard are the center
of attention.

Okra comes over and whispers into Harry's ear. Okra leaves
through the front door. Okra comes back in with a bag. Harry,
Babe Brother, M.C. and Herman follow Okra to the kitchen.

INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT

Okra sets the bag on the table and steps back to allow Harry
to unveil the bottle of corn liquor.

			BABE BROTHER
	What is that?

			HARRY
	Boy, that is the real South. That
	is real corn liquor.

A crowd starts to gather around.

			FLIM
	What is in the bottle?

			M.C.
	It ain't Geritol.

M.C. starts to hand out tea cups while Harry pours everyone a
drink.

			HERMAN
	There is a fight in every bottle.

			GIDEON
	You tappy heads better not tear
	down my house.

INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

An attractive Woman, in her younger days a knockout, puts on
a record and starts to pop her fingers to the music as she
moves towards the center of the floor dancing by herself,
inviting anyone bold enough to join her.

A group of Men who haven't seen each other in years are
asking questions about news of old friends.

Okra is trying to get his camera working.

Herman is following M.C. through the crowd with his hand
resting on M.C.'s shoulder as if he were a blind person. His
racking COUGH is frightening.

An older couple dancing attract the attention of the crowd.
The man is wearing Stacy Adams shoes polished to see one's
face in them. He gives expression to his moves as if he and
the woman are talking with their bodies.

Junior and Pat try to bring in something more modern to outdo
the older couple.

Herman corners Hattie, trying to get her to sing.

			HATTIE 
	Look, you better get out of my face
	before I slap the living daylights
	out of you.

Harry stops the music.

			HARRY 
	You folks excuse me but you know we
	have a celebrity from out of the
	past, our own nightingale. If you
	had any good times in your life,
	you remember Hattie. She use to
	keep those juke joints steaming. If
	Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith were the
	stars, she was the sun. Let's get
	Hattie to sing something from the
	old days.

Hattie has started her nervous twitch again. She is so mad
that she bites her lip to keep from exploding.

			HATTIE 
	Harry always tries to be the king
	fish. I told him I'm a new person.
	I'm saved.

Harry signals an old man, PERCY, to start playing his guitar.
Percy starts to play but Hattie doesn't join him. He looks to
Harry for a sign of what to do. Hattie walks away.

Percy starts to SING by himself but someone puts a record on,
interrupting his singing. People are back to dancing.

A YOUNGER WOMAN is dancing with an OLDER MAN with such vigor,
forcing the old man to try to keep up, that people grow
concerned. People near him try to make him slow down but his
pride forces him to be ridiculous.

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

Linda sits with Sunny and Rhonda watching TV.

INT. FRONT ROOM - NIGHT

The noise has gotten louder, everyone talking at the top of
his voice.

Gideon is busy going around to everyone seeing if everything
is okay. Gideon and Suzie have worked up a sweat trying to
attend to everyone's needs.

Linda rejoins the party. She moves through the crowd and sees
Babe Brother standing next to Harry. She is disappointed and
stays at a distance.

Harry is with a group of people. Marsh tries to get Harry's
attention.

			MARSH 
	Harry, you will not remember me but
	we go back quite a ways. I'm glad
	Hattie told me that you will be
	here 'cause there is a matter that
	has been troubling me all these
	years that maybe you can help me
	clear it up.

Harry stares into Marsh's eyes, then looks him over from head
to toe.

			HARRY 
	Man, I can't talk to you now. I'm
	filling in the gaps with these
	folks.

Harry turns his back on Marsh. Marsh stands there looking at
Harry's profile. He turns and walks away.

The record ends. The Younger Woman and the Older Man wait for
the next record.

			YOUNGER WOMAN 
	How do you manage to keep in step
	and move around so like one of them
	young boys?

			OLDER MAN 
	Get yourself a pace-maker like me.

Linda is standing by herself. She watches Babe Brother and
Harry walk towards the kitchen. Pat comes to talk to her.

			PAT 
	These old folks can dance better
	than I can. Get rid of that long
	face. Get one of these old farts to
	show you how to do the Black
	Bottom.

Okra, holding his camera, all of the attachments in one hand
and a glass in his other hand, tries to offer Hattie a drink.

			OKRA 
	Don't be so stand-offish.

Hattie pushes him away. The drink spills on him. She turns
and walks away. He follows her.

INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT

Marsh sits in a chair opposite Harry. Babe Brother stands
behind Harry. Harry, knowing that Marsh is going to bring up
unpleasant things of the past, feels the need to get rid of
Babe Brother.

			HARRY 
	Son, you haven't danced with your
	wife all night.

Babe Brother is reluctant to leave, but Harry gives him a
nudge. He goes looking for Linda.

			MARSH 
	There is something that I always
	wanted to know. Tell me, how did
	those boys die?

			HARRY 
	Now who are we talking about?

			MARSH 
	Miss Clara's boy, Emory, to start
	with. The Johnson's Hocker was
	another one...

			HARRY 
	Wasn't Hocker lynched?

			MARSH 
	You know as well as I do that it
	was made to look like he was
	lynched. Now who would hang someone
	from a persimmon tree?

			HARRY 
	What difference does it make if
	it's persimmon, oak tree or
	huckleberry bush?

INT. FRONT ROOM - NIGHT

Gideon, Babe Brother, and Linda go outside.

EXT. FRONT YARD - NIGHT

The sounds of the party drift out from the house as Gideon,
Linda and Babe Brother talk.

			GIDEON 
	Tell me, how come me and Suzie have
	to be mother and father to your
	child? You never take the boy to
	the park, circus or anything. If we
	did not take him to church, he
	wouldn't have any sense of
	religion.

			LINDA 
	I think forcing him to go to church
	when he really doesn't understand
	is not saving his soul. When he
	gets old enough to make up his own
	mind about religion, that will be
	better. It will be his intellectual
	decision.

			GIDEON 
	Is that the way your parents raised
	you?

			BABE BROTHER 
	Why, you don't want us to bring him
	over?

			GIDEON 
	No, it's that when do you have time
	to be parents to him? You guys
	don't pick him up until nine, ten
	at night. You are into yourselves,
	as the saying goes. Spend some time
	trying to be parents. Take him to
	the mountains, fishing. You ought
	to let him get to know nature.

			BABE BROTHER 
	Well, you are his grandfather. He
	is supposed to spend some time with
	you. You're supposed to show him
	those woodsy things and this and
	that.

			GIDEON 
	Junior spends time with his child.

			BABE BROTHER 
	Oh here we go with that.

INT. FRONT ROOM - NIGHT

Okra is trying to get enough light for his old Polaroid
camera. M.C. takes a shade off a lamp and holds it next to
the Twins, nearly blinding them.

			WILLIAM 
	Hurry up and take this picture.

			FRED 
	If it wasn't for the NRA, colored
	people would have been the lost
	tribe.

			FLIM 
	Remember what they use to call the
	NRA? Negro Raggedy-ass Army.

M.C. is still holding the naked lamp while Okra tries to take
pictures.

INT KITCHEN - NIGHT

			MARSH 
	Hocker's death almost caused a race
	riot. A lot of innocent people
	could have been hurt behind that.

			HARRY 
	Strange as it may seem, it might
	have cleared the waters. Sometimes
	the right action comes from the
	wrong reason.

EXT. FRONT YARD - NIGHT

Gideon, Babe Brother and Linda are just standing, facing one
another. Suzie comes out on the porch.

			SUZIE 
	Do you want your coat? It's cold
	out here.

			GIDEON 
	No, I'm too hot now.

			SUZIE 
	You better be careful. You'll get a
	stroke arguing.

			GIDEON 
	I wouldn't care if I drop dead if
	he learn something from it. 
		(beat)
	Son, you make me wish I was dead.

			SUZIE 
	Gideon, don't say things like that.

			BABE BROTHER 
	Why does he always pick on me?

			LINDA 
	He is just being like all parents,
	concerned about the ones they love.

			BABE BROTHER 
	I don't need that kind of love. And
	I don't want to be reminded all the
	time that Big Mama's grandmother
	was born in slavery. If you really
	care about me, just tell me how I
	can make money.

			SUZIE 
	Babe Brother, I'm going to take my
	hand and hit you across your mouth.

			LINDA 
	He doesn't mean what he says.

			GIDEON 
	Let us go back in before the night
	of celebration becomes a night of
	me killing my son.

			SUZIE 
	No. Before anyone moves, you two
	shake hands and don't carry it any
	further.

Linda gives Babe Brother a jab with her elbow. His hand
reaches out to Gideon.

INT. FRONT ROOM - NIGHT

M.C. and Herman put the unshaded lamps next to Hattie so okra
can get a better picture. Percy starts to play his guitar.
Herman stands behind Percy.

			HATTIE 
	Don't make me say something nasty
	now.

Percy starts to play an old religious number and Hattie
STARTS TO SING. Everything stops for a moment as her VOICE
fills the room.

Then most of the guests pick up and join in. M.C. moves the
lamp next to Percy so Okra can take his picture.

INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT

Marsh and Harry are getting quite loud in their argument. It
has become a kind of controlled anger.

			HARRY 
	I think if anybody had a hand in
	killing Hocker, you ought to ask or
	you should have asked Emory and
	Chick.

			MARSH 
	Chick was outright killed by a mob.
	He killed a white man that owed him
	some money and when they caught up
	with him, they tied him behind a
	car and dragged him from out of the
	hills back to town.

			HARRY 
	Those boys never did have good
	luck.

			MARSH 
	You damn right they didn't,
	especially Emory, my cousin.

			HARRY 
	Emory had made a lot of enemies. He
	had a big mouth.

M.C. and Okra come in wanting to take pictures. Marsh is
pretty mad about them intruding. M.C. sets the naked lamp in
front of Marsh, on the floor, almost between his legs.

Before Okra can get his camera set to shoot, Marsh leaves.
Harry smiles as if he had won a major victory. Herman flops
down in the empty chair and starts to COUGH.

Suddenly Suzie and Gideon burst into the kitchen holding up
one of the twins, Loviray. They carry the twin towards
Herman's seat. Herman is slow to react. Herman gets up very
slow. Finally, they are able to seat the twin.

			HARRY (CONT'D)
	What's the problem here?

			SUZIE 
	She has a fish bone caught in her
	throat. Could all of you go in the
	other room? Gideon, get some bread
	and toast it quickly and find me
	the cod liver oil.

The twin is holding her throat and PANTING like a fish out of
water. She is in a lot of pain. William, the twin brother, is
standing at the door with a tragic face.

INT. GIDEON'S BEDROOM - MORNING

Gideon is trying to get out of bed. He sits on the side of
the bed and starts to COUGH.

INT. HARRY'S BEDROOM - MORNING

Harry has his back to the camera, sitting in a chair facing a
wall. He is naked from the waist up. An empty plate is placed
not too far from where he is sitting. He is cutting an apple.
He licks the blade of his knife.

INT. BABE BROTHER'S BEDROOM - MORNING

Babe Brother is asleep. Linda is dressed to go to work. She
throws his suit on the foot of the bed.

			LINDA 
	Are you going to work or sleep all
	day?

He snores louder. She opens the window and pulls back the
cover. The cold air makes him draw up. On walking out, Linda
says in a rather hurt voice:

			LINDA 
	Remember, you promised to take
	Sunny to Magic Mountain today.

Babe Brother slowly gets up holding his chest as if his heart
is bothering him.

INT. GIDEON'S BEDROOM - MORNING

Gideon tries to put his pants on. He is too weak and sits
back on the bed with his pants only up as far as his knees.

INT. KITCHEN - MORNING

Suzie gets up to turn off the coffee kettle. When the kettle
WHISTLE dies away, the sound of Gideon's VOICE is heard
calling Suzie for help. The sound of his voice frightens her.

INT. BEDROOM - DAY

Suzie bursts into the room and then moves very slowly to
Gideon, who is sitting on the bed out of breath.

			GIDEON 
	I'm worn out.

			SUZIE 
	Just stay in bed and rest.

			GIDEON 
	I have to feed the chickens before
	they wake everybody up.

			SUZIE 
	You stay inside. I will see to
	them.

			GIDEON 
	I will appreciate that.

INT. DINING ROOM - EVENING

Suzie and Junior are sitting at the dining room table. Harry,
looking like he has just gotten out of bed, drags himself in.

			HARRY 
	How is everybody?

			SUZIE 
	Tolerable well.

			JUNIOR 
	How did you sleep last night?

There is obvious hostility in Junior's tone. Harry senses
Junior's hostility and chooses to ignore it.

			HARRY 
	Ah, you young folks don't know how
	it is. How is Gideon today?

			SUZIE 
	He wasn't able to get out of bed
	today.

			HARRY 
	I hope that it's nothing serious.

			SUZIE 
	He has never gotten rid of the
	malaria. He is usually up and at it
	the next day. I'm going to make him
	fresh chicken broth.

			HARRY 
	Let me earn my keep. I'll go out
	and get a hen and have it picked
	and ready for the pot. Try to make
	him some cow tea next time.

Junior stares at Harry. Harry returns Junior's stare and
Junior finds himself embarrassed. Junior looks down at his
pants leg and attempts to fix the crease in his pants by
making a wedge with his fingers and running his fingers along
the old crease.

As Harry walks towards the back door, he looks back at
Junior.

EXT. BACKYARD - EVENING

The pigeons take to the air like an explosion. The chickens
start to CACKLE and run about as Harry reaches for one with
his cane. The SOUND of the boy next door practicing with his
trumpet adds to the bedlam.

Suzie is standing on the steps, shouting to Harry. The noise
of the panicked chickens and the boy playing the trumpet next
door drown out Suzie's voice. Not getting Harry's attention,
she hurries down the steps.

Harry has caught a hen that is SCREAMING her head off. He
looks around and finds Suzie hurrying towards him.

			SUZIE 
	Can you watch Gideon for a while?
	One of the girls is going into
	labor. Junior is going to drive me
	over.

			HARRY 
	You just run along. I'll fix him
	his soup. He will be all right.

INT. ROOM - NIGHT

Suzie and another woman who will be helping her are asleep.
Suzie is in the chair and the woman is asleep on the floor.
The woman who is in labor is reading a magazine and seems
somewhat bored.

INT. GIDEON'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Harry opens the door and slowly walks in. Gideon is asleep.
Harry picks up Gideon's pants from the back of the chair.
Gideon's false teeth fall to the floor.

INT. ROOM - NIGHT

There is a flurry of activity; the woman is contracting.

INT. BEDROOM - MORNING

The untouched chicken broth sits on the night stand. Gideon
is TALKING in his sleep. Morning light filters through the
window shade. The room takes on a brownish tint. Gideon has
dark rings under his eyes and looks like he has aged
considerably.

INT. HARRY'S BEDROOM - MORNING

Harry is reading the Bible. He runs his finger over the print
of the Bible. After reading the passage, he stares at the
empty plate on the floor for what seems like a long time. He
claps the Bible shut, causing a loud NOISE to ECHO through
the house.

EXT. FRONT OF HOUSE - MORNING

Suzie is walking slowly up the steps.

INT. BEDROOM - MORNING

Suzie raises the window shade and is shocked to see the state
that Gideon is in.

			SUZIE 
	Oh my Lord!

INT. BEDROOM - DAY

The room is crowded with people. Suzie is putting Gideon's
shirt on. Harry is leaning against the door. After having put
his shirt on, Suzie puts his house shoes on and directs Babe
Brother and Junior to hold him up while she tucks his shirt
in and puts on his suspenders.

It takes almost everyone to hoist Gideon. Linda and Pat push
the bed and night-stand out of the way as Babe Brother and
Junior struggle to lift Gideon. They almost stumble at the
door. Harry is left standing in the room alone.

EXT. BACKYARD - DAY

Harry, Okra and Herman are trying to catch another chicken.
Herman is COUGHING badly and Okra is out of breath.

			OKRA 
	You think old Gideon is going to
	live to see this month out?

			HARRY 
	When I came upon the valley of
	bones, the serpent said, "Make this
	your home. Dry as my soul be,
	heaven is lost to thee." We all got
	to make way.

Harry puts the rooster face to the ground and draws a
straight line. Harry lets the rooster go, but the rooster
stays motionless, unable to move.

			HARRY (CONT'D)
	A chicken hates to see the preacher
	coming to dinner.

Herman hands Harry the ax. Harry is poised over the chicken
with the ax, appreciating the moment. Harry raises the ax.
The SOUND of Rodney starting to practice his trumpet brings
the rooster out of the trance.

Before Harry can react, the rooster jumps away.

			OKRA 
	Herman, you will have to catch the
	next one 'cause I'm out of breath.

			HERMAN 
	If I have to chase after one, we
	won't eat.

A sack drops over the fence. Okra limps over to see what is
in the bag. He uses a stick to open the bag. He doesn't like
what he sees and throws the bag back over the fence.

INT. VETERAN'S HOSPITAL, WARD - DAY

Suzie, Junior and Pat are standing around Gideon's bed. He is
in a room full of old veterans who are apparently nearing the
end.

Two old veterans, one white and the other black, sitting
opposite each other wearing medals, sit in silence staring
into each other's eyes.
A nurse empties an old man's urine bag. The old man doesn't
show any embarrassment about his predicament. Gideon looks at
how the patients are treated.

			GIDEON 
	I don't want to stay here. 
		(beat)
	Where is Babe Brother?

INT. HERMAN'S ONE ROOM HOUSE - DAY

M.C. is sitting on the bed, reading the job section of the
paper. Herman is putting Vicks Vapo-Rub in a bowl of boiling
water. He covers his head over the bowl with a towel. Okra is
sitting at the table examining his gun. He points it at the
floor, seeing if the sight is straight.

Harry is sitting at the table with Babe Brother. Harry is
showing him how to cheat at cards.

			HARRY 
	Never play with someone's else's
	cards. You always get a new deck.
	Look at this card. See anything?

			BABE BROTHER
	It is just a regular card.

			HARRY 
	Son, I can take everything you got
	with that deck. It is marked. Now
	I'm going to show you how to make
	some money in case you get stuck
	somewhere.

INT. FRONT ROOM - NIGHT

A moth flies around the light casting a shadow that floats
over everything. Suzie turns out the kitchen light and then
turns out the dining-room light. She goes to her room and
closes the door, leaving the room dark. A car headlight
passing outside casts a moving pattern that moves along the
wall.

The light reveals Harry's presence standing in the hall
doorway.

EXT. HOUSE - DAY

Gideon is being helped up the steps by his sons.

INT. FRONT ROOM - DAY

Suzie is holding the door open while Gideon is carried in by
Junior and Babe Brother. Gideon is led to a chair. He still
looks awful.

			BABE BROTHER 
	Doesn't he look a whole of lot
	better?

			SUZIE 
	Well, you look better than you did
	yesterday.

			GIDEON 
	Next time, I don't care how sick
	I'll be, don't take me back to the
	Veteran's Hospital.

Harry comes out of the bathroom, having just taken a bath.
Harry seems delighted to see Gideon again.

			HARRY 
	Boy, I thought you were about to
	cross the river.

			GIDEON 
	I tell you, I feel like a ghost.

Harry signals Babe Brother to come over to him.

			HARRY 
	Son, would you do me a favor and
	see if you could turn off that tap
	in the bathroom. My hand is too
	weak. And would you do me another
	favor? I don't like asking this but
	would you clean the tub for me? I
	have trouble bending over.

			BABE BROTHER 
	Anytime you need someone to do
	something for you, just let me
	know.

Harry flops down on the couch. Suzie sets a cup of coffee on
the table for Gideon. Harry looks up from sharpening his
knife on a hand sharpening stone. He spits on it.

			HARRY 
	That smells like fresh coffee.

			SUZIE 
	Let me get you a cup?

			HARRY 
	Only if you can spare it.

Junior stands over Harry's shoulder looking at him sharpening
his knife. Harry feels uncomfortable with Junior standing
behind him. Harry looks up at him.

			HARRY (CONT'D)
	Son, would you get me an old piece
	of newspaper?

Suzie sets a cup of coffee in front of Harry.

			HARRY (CONT'D)
	Lord if you ain't an angel.

Junior hands Harry the newspaper. Harry puts the paper under
his foot and trims his toenails with it. Harry is aware of
Junior standing over him.

			HARRY (CONT'D)
	I will leave you something in my
	will.

INT. BATHROOM - DAY

Junior looks in but Babe Brother is too busy trying to clean
the bathtub to notice anyone. Babe Brother complains to
himself.

			BABE BROTHER 
	What in the hell...

INT. FRONT ROOM - DAY

Gideon and Suzie are in silhouette against the window.

The SOUND of the boy trying to play his horn next door
startles Gideon. Gideon turns to look out of the window
towards Mrs. Baker's house.

			GIDEON 
	It's good to be able to hear that.

			SUZIE 
	You must have been really sick.

			GIDEON 
	How is the garden doing?

			SUZIE 
	I need to get out there and get
	those weeds out.

			GIDEON 
	How is that hen doing? I was
	meaning to pip her before I fell
	sick.

He takes a deep breath and blows it out.

			GIDEON (CONT'D)
	I'm going to lie down. Take my,
	hand and help me up, lest I fall.

INT. BEDROOM - DAY

Suzie helps Gideon to undress. Gideon loses hit balance but
catches himself on the side of the bed.

			GIDEON 
	Oh, I couldn't have last another
	day in that hospital. You get weary
	being in the old soldiers home, old
	soldiers and war stories. They wait
	to tell you their last story; the
	next morning the nurse pulls a
	sheet over their face.

INT. DINING ROOM, JUNIOR'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Junior is putting up a new light fixture. Pat hands him a
tool. Rhonda is washing dishes in the kitchen.

			PAT
	He just leeches off your parents.
	He is a master at wearing out
	welcome. 

			JUNIOR
	Harry is the kind of guy you would
	love to take out in the woods and
	leave under a rock. 

			PAT
	Where does her get the power to
	summon all his old raffish friends?
	They all smell of moth balls. 

Junior slips on the ladder and the wires touch. There is a
big spark. All the lights in the house go out. 

INT. BABE BROTHER'S KITCHEN - NIGHT

Linda is standing over the stove, sweating as she stirs a hot
pot of boiling soup.
Babe Brother and Harry are seated at the table playing cards.
Sunny is on the floor near his mother. Every time she move,
he follows her. Harry notices Sunny has his shoes on the
wrong foot and adds in a sarcastic way:

			HARRY
	How old is that boy?

Babe Brother looks at Sunny's shoe.

			BABE BROTHER
	Linda, how come you don't see that
	Sunny puts his shoes on right?

			LINDA 
	Why in the h...

Close to tears, she turns and with exaggerated care, puts the
spoon down and gently puts Sunny in a chair. She starts to
untie his shoes. Sunny stares at her while she keeps wiping
her eyes.

			HARRY 
	Let's give Dry Bones a call to see
	if he is coming or not. Okra likes
	to exaggerate, keep you waiting all
	night.

Harry slowly gets to his feet and goes in the other room to
use the phone. Linda watches him go. She is deep in thought.

Babe Brother, attempting to cut the roast before it is ready,
is pushed aside by Linda, who is almost out of control with
rage.

			LINDA
	Why don't you wait?

Babe Brother, attempting to forcibly cut a piece of roast,
slings Linda's arm away. His hand accidentally hits her in
the eye.

Linda grabs the fork, poised to strike, but gains control of
herself She looks like a person who is on the verge of having
a breakdown. She goes back to putting the shoes on Sunny.

Babe Brother, feeling sorry, doesn't know what to do. He
automatically picks up the fork and washes it off. Linda
picks up Sunny.

INT. DINING ROOM - BABE BROTHER'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Linda is standing at the door, with a red eye, welcoming
Harry's friends, which seem to be a long line of sickly
people.

							DISSOLVE TO:

INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT

Linda is busy serving everyone, running in and out of the
kitchen bringing more things, and removing used plates, etc.
Linda's eye is swollen and discolored. The guests look at
Linda's eye and then cast a naughty-boy glance at Babe
Brother.

Linda stops serving to pay attention to an elderly man, who
deliberately bends one of her spoons. She catches another man
putting a fork in his pocket and an elderly lady putting a
cigarette out in one of her plates.

As she is about to confront the man about pocketing her
spoon, a peal of LAUGHTER forces her to turn around only to
witness a lady knocking over a glass filled with a green
drink with her elbow. The stain spreads across the table
cloth in an even manner like a single wave. She watches it
move from one end of the table to the other.

Harry is seated in the middle. The composition hints at The
Last Supper.

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

Linda is reading a book to Sunny, who has his coffee can of
marbles emptied on the bed. The NOISE from the party in the
next room is clearly heard. Every time she hears something
CRASHING to the floor, she wrenches. Babe Brother comes in
and stands in the doorway. Linda's eye is still swollen.

			BABE BROTHER 
	You okay?

			LINDA 
	I'm okay. Go back to your friends.

Babe Brother closes the door and leaves Linda reading stories
of Brer Rabbit to Sunny. She stops reading to look at him
playing marbles on the bed. She smiles.

EXT. GIDEON'S HOUSE - DAY

Five weighty Women, dressed in church robes, and the Preacher
walk up Gideon's steps.

Suzie invites the church members in.

			PREACHER 
	Sister, we've come to see how you
	were doing. We came to ask if we
	could pray over Gideon.

INT. GIDEON'S BEDROOM - DAY

Gideon is asleep. The church members gather around his bed.
The Preacher puts his hand on the foot of the bed and
discovers that there is something strange under the covers.
Suzie looks at him and lifts the covers at the foot of the
bed. Gideon's feet are resting on dead leaves.

			SUZIE 
	I put some Plummer Christian Leaves
	under his feet to draw the fever
	out.

			PREACHER 
	What else have you been giving him?

			SUZIE 
	I crossed his stomach with cold oil
	and gave him some cow tea.

			PREACHER 
	Suzie, I would think you would
	depend on prayer rather than these
	old fashion remedies. Let us read
	from the Bible.

The Preacher opens his Bible and reads silently. The choir
HUMS and begin to sway. Gideon's SNORING is very competitive.
The choir becomes louder. Gideon starts to TALK in his sleep.
Suzie is alarmed.

CLOSE UP GIDEON'S EAR.

THE SOUND OF A TRAIN WHISTLE IS HEARD.

							DISSOLVE TO:

INT. PHOTO STUDIO, 1930 - DAY (DREAM EFX)

A lady steps upon the stage which has different backdrops.
She is the same lady in a photo that Gideon has hanging in
one of the kid's rooms. The photographer, who is off-screen,
asks about the background.

			PHOTOGRAPHER (O.S.) 
	What scene would you like in the
	background?

			LADY 
	Something pleasant.

			PHOTOGRAPHER (O.S.)
	We have plantations.

The woman shakes her head.

			PHOTOGRAPHER (O.S.) (CONT'D)
	Natchez, cotton fields, Harlem,
	sunflowers, the Mississippi River.

			LADY 
	Put the river behind me.

A large picture of the Mississippi appears behind the lady.
It changes from a painted backdrop to a moving picture. There
is a storm developing off in the distance. The SOUND of
thunder is heard. The picture in the background then changes
to a boy on a mule.

EXT. WET DIRT ROAD - DAY (RAINING) (DREAM EFX)

The boy on the gray mule doesn't have a shirt on. A light
mist like rain covers him. Gideon walks along the picket
fence towards the boy on the mule.

Ahead of Gideon seems to be a puddle but as he approaches, he
discovers that it is an abyss. The boy and the mule on the
other side fade away. Everything FADES TO BLACK.

INT. GIDEON'S BEDROOM - DAY

The Preacher turns a page in the Bible. Gideon has his mouth
open like a fish trying to get air. The Choir continues to
SING. The Preacher gets down on his knees and holds Gideon's
hand; he bows his head. The Choir stops singing. The Bessie
Smith recording of "Muddy Water" is coming from somewhere in
the house. The Preacher looks around. Suzie is more puzzled.
She goes to find where the music is coming from.

INT. HARRY'S BEDROOM - DAY

Suzie knocks on the door. No one answers. She peeps in. No
one is in the room.

INT. GIDEON'S BEDROOM

The Preacher and the choir all have their hands on Gideon.
Suzie enters the room.

			SUZIE 
	I don't know where that music is
	coming from.

INT. JUNIOR'S HOUSE - DAY

Junior and Pat are helping Linda carry her baggage inside as
Sunny reluctantly follows. It is obvious that Linda has left
Babe Brother.

			SUNNY 
	I want my daddy.

			JUNIOR 
	Boy, hush that noise and get in
	this house. Make haste.

			SUNNY 
	I want my daddy; I told you.

			JUNIOR 
	Rhonda, drag him in here. If you be
	nice, I will take you to
	Disneyland.

Pat, Linda and Junior put the suitcases down.

			PAT 
	Now you don't have to say anything
	if you don't want to.

			JUNIOR 
	I want to hear what happened. My
	brother is a jackass and a damn
	fool. The both of you have been as
	scarce as hen's teeth.

Linda looks down, embarrassed.

			PAT 
	Rhonda, take Sunny in the backyard.
	Take a bowl so you can pick some
	strawberries. Sunny will enjoy it.

Rhonda and Sunny leave. Pat turns on Junior about talking bad
about Babe Brother and Linda in front of Sunny.

			PAT 
	You shouldn't talk about the boy's
	father in front of him. This is
	family business and we have to pull
	together.

			JUNIOR 
	Whether the boy hears it or not,
	the man is still a jackass.
	Everyone should have some mother
	wit.

			LINDA 
	Something just took control of him.
	He stays out all night and comes
	home with a pocket full of money.

			PAT 
	It's probably Harry, but I hate to
	mention his name, because every
	time we say something about him
	something bad happens.

EXT. BACKYARD - DAY

Rhonda and Sunny are looking under a strawberry plant. Sunny
has strawberry stains around his mouth and on his shirt.
Rhonda is putting her strawberries in the bowl. After getting
a bowl full, they lay on the grass, eating strawberries while
looking up at the clouds slowly drifting by.

EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - DAY

Babe Brother is driving along a country road while Harry,
sitting in the front seat next to him, yawns. Harry is tired.

			HARRY 
	Let us walk awhile. I grow weary
	when I sit still too long.

Babe Brother's car stops in an orchard-like area.

EXT. ORCHARD - DAY

Babe Brother and Harry get out of the car. They walk on a
path that takes them under low hanging tree limbs. It gets
darker as they go deeper into the orchard. Babe Brother finds
the going rough and loses his footing.

			HARRY 
	Give me your arm lest you fall.

Harry has to help him stay on his feet. Babe Brother finds it
necessary to take Harry's arm. Babe Brother stops and Harry
walks a few more steps ahead and waits for Babe Brother. Just
ahead sitting on a branch is a huge white owl camouflaged by
tree branches.

			BABE BROTHER
	I could swear I heard my son call
	me.

			HARRY 
	You probably heard the wind
	stirring up those dead leaves over
	there.

			BABE BROTHER 
	I heard his voice as clear as day.
	I better get back. Maybe something
	is wrong.

Babe Brother turns and starts hurrying back before Harry can
object. He walks slowly after Babe Brother who is doubling
the distance between himself and Harry as he runs through the
orchard to his car. Harry stops and looks around.

INT. FRONT ROOM - DAY

Pat, Linda and Junior are seated at the table. The suitcases
are in the middle of the floor.

			LINDA 
	I told Babe Brother that if Harry
	sets foot in our house again, I'm
	taking Sunny and leaving. Just as I
	said that, here come Harry and his
	old resurrected friends, hobbling
	up the steps.

			JUNIOR 
	Is that how you got that black eye?

			PAT 
	Don't ask that.

			LINDA 
	No, this was an accident.

			JUNIOR 
	Sure.

			LINDA 
	It was unintentional.

			JUNIOR 
	Babe Brother reminds me of the
	story of the man who wanted to be
	sizable. He wanted to be tall but
	what he was really short on was
	brains. There was a time when
	people had moon fever were treated
	with leeches.

The phone rings and Junior goes to pick it up. Linda's and
Pat's attention is focused on the phone. Junior hands the
phone to Linda.

			JUNIOR (CONT'D)
	It's that nut of yours.

Linda hesitates but Pat takes the phone from Junior and puts
it in her hand.

			LINDA 
	What do you want? 
		(beat)
	No. Nothing happened to him.

Sunny and Rhonda enter. Linda turns to look. Sunny's hands
and face look bloody from eating strawberries. She puts the
phone down and examines his dirty face. Pat brings Linda a
wet towel.

INT. THE BAKERS' GARAGE - NIGHT

MR. BAKER, a well built black man in his late 40's, is making
a new fishing pole. He is very involved. Mrs. Baker is
standing beside him with her arms folded. She stares at him.
Mr. Baker glances at her. 

			MR. BAKER
	What are you doing?

			MRS. BAKER 
	Counting the gray hairs in your
	head.

			MR. BAKER 
	Counting the what? What does that
	have to do with the price of
	butter?

			MRS. BAKER 
	I was just trying to make
	conversation.

			MR. BAKER 
	Where is Skip?

			MRS. BAKER 
	He is in his pigeon cage.

			MR. BAKER 
	I'm sorry he got those birds.

			MRS. BAKER 
	You know the man next door is near
	death.

Mr. Baker doesn't answer. He pauses for a moment of thought.
Mrs. Baker sees that she is not going to get a response from
her husband. She picks up an eyelet and Mr. Baker looks at
her as if to say, keep your hands off. She gets the message
and lays the eyelet back on the work bench.

			MRS. BAKER (CONT'D)
	He must have gotten rid of those
	chickens. You don't hear them
	crowing anymore... I kind of miss
	it now.

Mr. Baker admires his pole. He looks very closely at the
details of his work.

Rodney comes in, polishing his horn. Mr. Baker's expression
changes as he watches Rodney out of the corner of his eye.
Mrs. Baker gives Rodney a motherly pat on the head. Rodney
puts the trumpet to his mouth.

			MR. BAKER 
	Don't blow that thing in here. You
	blow that thing when I'm at work.

EXT. STREET - DAY

There is a man lying on a bus bench with his belongings. A
spotted dog is standing guard next to the bench. The dog's
reflection is caught in a puddle of water. The dog has
circles and sixes painted over his body.

Old John taps on the bench with his pipe. The man lying on
the bench stirs and gives Old John a wave to indicate that he
is alright. Old John slowly gets his cart moving again.

EXT. JUNIOR'S HOUSE - DAY

Babe Brother drives around the block past Junior's house.

INT. JUNIOR'S HOUSE - DAY

Junior is at the window, looking out.

			JUNIOR 
	Why doesn't he just park his car
	and come in and apologize?

EXT. JUNIOR'S HOUSE - DAY

Babe Brother sits in his car with the windows up. Junior
tries to talk to him but Babe Brother will not roll down the
windows. He just stares at Junior, who is getting angry.

			JUNIOR 
	Roll down the window and let me
	talk to you.

Babe Brother only stares at him. Junior gets more violent and
starts to shake the car.

Pat calls from the doorway.

			PAT 
	Stop it Junior!

INT. PREGNANT WOMAN'S ROOM - DAY

A woman is in a squatting position. Suzie and her aide are
holding the woman by the arms.

EXT. JUNIOR'S HOUSE - DAY

Rhonda is painting her fingernails. Sunny watches her. She
looks around to see if any adult is watching. She tries to
talk Sunny into letting her paint his nails. He refuses but
she tries to pull his hand towards her. He fights his way
free and stands up and kicks the bottle of nail polish over.

			RHONDA 
	Mama, come see what Sunny did.

INT. GIDEON'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Suzie is sitting in a chair; her head is bent forward. Gideon
is TALKING in his sleep. She awakes and nods off again. Harry
sticks his head in.

			HARRY 
	How is he doing?

			SUZIE 
	As long as he keeps his throat
	clear, he is able to get some rest.

			HARRY 
	I made a fresh pot of coffee. Okra
	and I thought you need a rest. I'll
	stand guard. Okra wants to talk to
	you anyway.

Harry helps Suzie to her feet.

INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT

Okra is painfully standing on his bad feet. He is in his
security-guard uniform, holding a bouquet of greens. As Suzie
comes in, Okra tries to stand upright at attention.

			OKRA 
	I brought you these greens and some
	salt meat.

			SUZIE 
	That is very thoughtful of you. I
	haven't had time to tend to my
	garden like I should.

Suzie takes the greens and puts them on the counter. She
squeezes Okra's hand as a thank you. She pours him a cup of
coffee. Okra eases down into the chair. He crosses his legs
and starts massaging his feet.

Suzie get herself a cup of coffee and sits opposite him. She
stretches and tries to hold back a yawn. Okra looks at her in
a slightly desirous way.

			OKRA 
	You know Gideon and I are lodge
	brothers and it has always been a
	policy to take care of the wives if
	something happens to our brother.

			SUZIE 
	You are very sweet, but Gideon has
	already taken care of everything in
	case something happens to him. He
	has a policy.

			OKRA 
	If you become a widow, you will
	need someone around to fix the
	whatnots. We like for the widow to
	marry someone in the lodge. I know
	Gideon ain't gone yet, but there
	will be a lot of his old friends
	coming around to get in line. I
	just want you to consider this as a
	kind of a conditional proposal, to
	be first in line so to speak.

Suzie keeps herself under control; she tries to find words to
say. She stands up.

			SUZIE 
	Excuse me. I have to go feed my
	dog.

She turns the fire out from under the coffee pot and exits
the back door.

Okra unties his shoes and begins to massage his feet.

INT. BEDROOM / EXT. YARD - NIGHT

Harry is sitting by the bed, just visible through the window.
He seems restless.

EXT. GIDEON'S BACKYARD - DAY

There is only one hen left in the coop. The garden is full of
weeds. The sunflowers are bent by the force of the wind. A
bag is thrown over the fence.

The shadows of pigeons flying overhead race along the ground.

							DISSOLVE TO:

INT. KITCHEN - DAY

Two shadows on the wall are facing each other. The shadows
are the heads of two women, Suzie and Hattie.

			HATTIE 
	You know Harry lied about how that
	boy Hocker got kilt. And it was
	Harry who saw Emory last before
	they found him hanging over a levee
	like someone would hang a hog.

			SUZIE 
	I remember Harry always trying to
	help someone. He got Lulla's
	daughter out of trouble. He was
	always running to the store for
	someone who couldn't leave the
	house.

			HATTIE 
	Harry always shows his good side
	and, like the moon, the other side
	is black. Back home he always did
	try to act like the colored
	gentleman. I'm telling you Harry is
	nothing but evil. I'm warning you --
	you can't keep a wild animal as a
	pet around children.

INT. HARRY'S ROOM - DAY

Harry has a plate of food in his hand. He stands facing
himself in the mirror, staring at himself while he eats. He
opens the door to leave but Sunny is in the hallway with his
back turned sweeping. Harry stares at him and decides to go
back in his room.

INT. KITCHEN - DAY

			SUZIE 
	You know Okra asked me to marry him
	the other evening.

			HATTIE 
	Rush your mouth, girl. No, he
	didn't. He cannot be that big of a
	damn fool.

			SUZIE 
	I asked Harry about it. He didn't
	own up to it. He said he didn't
	know what got into Okra.

			HATTIE 
	He's just raffish. Harry put him up
	to it. Before evening sun sets, I
	would have his belongings back on
	Route 55, that old fox.

			SUZIE 
	I can't accuse him just dry long
	80.

			HATTIE
	Everybody who have been associated
	with Harry end up with pennies over
	their eyes.

			SUZIE 
	What must I do?

			HATTIE 
	If it was left up to me, I would
	poison him.

INT. HALLWAY - DAY

Harry sees that it is safe to leave. He sees Sunny sweeping
in Gideon's room. Gideon is sound asleep. Sunny is sweeping
around the bed.

INT. KITCHEN - DAY

Harry comes in and Hattie and Suzie stop talking. Harry is
aware that he was the subject. The SOUND of the boy next door
playing his horn is heard.

			HARRY 
	Good afternoon, ladies.

			SUZIE
	Good afternoon to you.

Harry waits for Hattie to respond but it is obvious that
Hattie isn't about to speak to him.

			HATTIE 
	I'm going to check on Gideon.

Harry moves out of her way to let her go by. Hattie doesn't
even give him a glance. Harry continues to look at her as she
disappears into Gideon's room.

			HARRY 
	As God is my witness, I have never
	done anything to that woman.

			SUZIE 
	You must have done something to
	her.

			HARRY 
	Since she has repented, all she
	does is throw stones.

			SUZIE 
	Hattie is a different person now.

			HARRY 
	I don't make no bones about where
	I'm going to spend eternity. I have
	always been wild and you know that.
	If you are made to feel half a man,
	what do you think the other half
	is?

			SUZIE 
	I'm glad you brought that up as to
	who you are. I have to know who is
	in my house.

			HARRY 
	You invited me.

			SUZIE 
	Only if you are a good man, a
	friend. Are you a friend?

Harry takes his time in looking for an answer.

			HARRY 
	Like that boy next door playing
	that his horn. If he was a friend,
	he would stop irritating people,
	but if he stops practicing, he
	wouldn't be perfect in what he does
	someday.

INT. HARRY'S BEDROOM - DAY

Hattie enters Harry's room. She goes through his things. She
reads one of his letters. As she walks over to the window
reading his letter, she steps on the plate, cracking it.

INT. KITCHEN - DAY

			SUZIE 
	I want you to leave.

Harry looks sad and suddenly a lot older as if what she said
has taken away some of his life.

			HARRY 
	Okra, M.C. and Herman want to go
	back home with me. 
		(beat)
	Suzie, I'm not a bad fellow; I just
	like to have a good time. 
		(beat)
	M.C. is coming by to pick me up
	tonight. I'll come back to get my
	things. Well, I hope Gideon
	recovers. You know I have an extra
	picture of one of my sons that I
	would like for you to put with
	those baby pictures over your
	dresser. It's better than being in
	my dusty wallet with addresses and
	names of people who are no longer
	on this earth.

Suzie takes the picture. She seems as if she has doubts about
having asked Harry to leave.

			HARRY (CONT'D)
	I'll say my so-longs to Gideon
	before I leave and I truly wish
	that he will get well.

Suzie continues to look at the picture.

INT. HARRY'S BEDROOM - DAY

Hattie is reading Harry's letters when he appears behind her.
Hattie turns but is not surprised or concerned about Harry.
She hands him back his letters, looks at him for a moment and
goes. Harry looks down at the cracked dish.

INT. HERMAN'S HOUSE - EVENING (RAIN)

M.C. and Herman are packing. Okra is all dressed up with a
pair of Stacy Adams shoes that make his feet look
exaggeratedly long. Babe Brother and Harry are sitting at a
table playing blackjack. Okra picks up one thing at a time,
making the packing much harder. There is a stack of old dusty
78 record; Okra, trying to step over the records, kicks over
a box of mothballs that roll across the floor. Okra has to
step over boxes of toilet paper.

			OKRA 
	Why did you buy so much toilet
	paper?

			M.C.
	I got that on the job when I was a
	janitor. They didn't pay me.

Harry picks up an old cigar box that falls opens. Dice,
shotgun shells, some spent .38 slugs and an old rusty knife,
a crab apple switch, land on the floor. Harry picks up the
knife.

			HARRY 
	Whose old piece of knife is this?

			HERMAN 
	That was my brother's knife.

Harry gives the knife to Babe Brother and signals him to put
it in his pocket.

The SOUND of the thunder has an unreal violence to it.

			HARRY 
	I don't want to wear out welcome,
	but you can stay in someone's heart
	longer than you can stay in their
	house. Come with us, boy. We are
	going to have a good time.

			BABE BROTHER 
	This would be a bad time for me to
	leave.

			HARRY 
	We are going where the action is.
	Ain't that right, Okra?
		(then back to Babe
		Brother)
	Let's play for a couple of bucks
	unless you want to start off with
	two bits and work our way up.
		(beat)
	What would you give to be rich?

Babe Brother humps his shoulder. Babe Brother looks at his
hand.

			BABE BROTHER 
	Had Moms and Pops given me my share
	of what was mine, I could have been
	rich by now. Linda and I had it all
	worked out.

Harry wins the first hand.

			HARRY 
	I know your mind is on your wife
	but you should never treat a woman
	as an equal. You want to get your
	wife back, get another woman, one
	of those big hip women that will
	ride you till you sweat.

Harry wins another hand. M.C. and Okra are still packing
while Herman is eating Argo Starch.

			HARRY (CONT'D)
	Double the stakes?

Babe Brother agrees but his thoughts are obviously somewhere
else. Harry studies his hand and looks at Babe Brother; he
puts down his hand. Babe Brother wins and is quite pleased.
The next series of hands are won by Babe Brother.

			HARRY (CONT'D)
	M.C., you ever heard of a real man
	having one woman?

			M.C. 
	No, lord!

			HARRY 
	When one woman puts you out, you
	have another to take you in. You
	don't drive around without a spare
	tire, do you? The more mules you
	have hitched, the easier it is to
	plough.

Harry loses another hand and Babe Brother suddenly has a pile
of money.

			HARRY 
	Herman, let me borrow a few bucks.

Herman stand over him with a roll of bills and peels off
several.

			HARRY (CONT'D)
	Bless you. Bless you.

Herman is standing behind Babe Brother, SINGING to himself.

			HERMAN 
	In the ground there is a hole and
	green grass growing around the
	hole. Now in the hole there is tree
	and green grass growing all around
	the tree. Now there is a hole in
	the ground, a tree in the hole and
	green grass growing around the
	hole.

			HARRY 
	Let me share something with you.

Harry stops and thinks for a while.

			HARRY (CONT'D)
	Hattie is a snake. That woman broke
	up so many homes and caused a lot
	of misery and because she calls
	herself getting religion everything
	is put right.

Okra is taking several shotguns out of the closet.

			OKRA 
	These damn things are unloaded,
	ain't they?

			HARRY 
	It's important to know the
	difference between the incoming
	fire and the outgoing fire. As Amos
	and Andy might say, "We is the
	outgoing fire." Come with us, son.
	We'll show you some steaming hot
	juke joints, steaming hot women.

			M.C. 
	A pot full of chitlins and a good
	time.

			BABE BROTHER 
	Let me go by the house first.

			HARRY 
	We will wait for you as long as we
	can. I got to get my things from
	your mother's house.

Babe Brother hurries out. M.C., Herman and Okra flop down in
chairs and on the bed and look at their watches.

Harry sits at the table tapping out a rhythm on the table and
WHISTLING very softly to himself. Suddenly Harry sees that
Babe Brother left the pile of money on the table. A look of
concern comes over his face.

EXT. GIDEON'S HOUSE - NIGHT (RAIN)

It is raining hard. Babe Brother gets out of the car. Running
to get out of the rain, he slips and falls; he tries to get
up but slips and falls again. He gets up and walks slowly up
the steps as if he doesn't care whether he gets wet or not.

INT. FRONT ROOM - NIGHT (RAIN)

Suzie helps him to take his wet coat off. She goes into the
kitchen, puts his coat in front of the stove. The knife falls
out. She picks it up and looks at it like she would throw it
away but Babe Brother takes it.

			BABE BROTHER 
	I need to get my suitcase out of
	the garage.

			SUZIE 
	What for?

			BABE BROTHER 
	I'm going back home with Harry.

			SUZIE 
	I've heard some foolish things in
	my life.

			BABE BROTHER 
	Harry is coming to pick me up.

			SUZIE 
	Have you lost your mind? Have you
	thought about your wife and child,
	not to mention your sick father?
	And I need your help to move his
	bed from under the leak in the
	ceiling.

			BABE BROTHER 
	I'm busy.

			SUZIE 
	Don't make me raise my hand to you.
	You have to see for yourself that
	you are going in the wrong
	direction.

			BABE BROTHER 
	Can't I be myself without you
	jumping in with your right and
	wrong? The world is not black and
	white. Show me one perfect person.
	If you can't, don't ask me to be.

			SUZIE 
	I do have a right to ask you to be
	a little bit better than me and
	your father because we gave you a
	better head start. You have no
	right to complain to us about your
	not having enough. 
		(forcefully)
	You sit right there with your no
	manners self.

EXT. HOUSE - NIGHT (RAIN)

Junior is carrying a roll of roofing paper. Pat, Rhonda,
Linda and Sunny run to the porch to get out of the rain.
Junior stacks the roofing paper in the corner of the porch
and stamps the mud off his shoes.

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT (RAIN)

Junior, Pat, Linda and Rhonda come in to help Suzie move the
bed from under the rain dripping through the hole in the
ceiling.

INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT (RAIN)

Sunny stands in the doorway watching his father sharpen his
knife that he got from Harry. Babe Brother is unaware that
his son is watching him.

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT (RAIN)

			JUNIOR 
	Where is Babe Brother?

			SUZIE 
	Brother is in the kitchen.

			JUNIOR 
	How come you didn't ask Babe
	Brother to help you?

			SUZIE 
	He said he was busy. He is mad
	'cause he wanted to get in the
	garage to get his things so he
	could go with Harry.

Linda has a surprised look on her face.

			JUNIOR 
	So he is busy?

INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT (RAIN)

Babe Brother is preoccupied sharpening his knife with a
sharpening stone. He is almost in a trance. Junior comes in
rather angrily. Sunny goes and sits in the shadows in the
dining room.

			JUNIOR 
	Why in the hell didn't you help
	mama?

			BABE BROTHER 
	I told her I would if she would
	give me time.

			JUNIOR 
	I bet you if your master would have
	told you to fix the hole in the
	roof, you would have rebuilt the
	whole damn house.

			BABE BROTHER 
	You always got the best of it
	around here and when Dad always
	talks about my son, it is always
	you, so you fix the roof.

			JUNIOR 
	That is a damn lie and you know it.
	Every time father asks you to do
	something, you either half-ass do
	it or run off and hide. Mama asked
	you to turn the dirt in her garden
	and you told her, with your smart
	ass self, that you weren't a
	farmer; get Junior to do it. Every
	time someone asks you to do
	something, you always say, tell
	Junior to do it. Boy, you ought to
	grow up.

			BABE BROTHER 
	I told you about calling me boy. I
	ain't no boy. See, you and Dad got
	a bad habit of calling me boy. You
	call me boy in front of my wife.
	You think I'm going to fix the
	roof? I hope the wind blows the
	whole damn thing off and it pours
	down rain.

			JUNIOR
	I ought to break your damn neck.

INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT (RAIN)

Sunny is sitting in a chair listening to his father and uncle
argue in the kitchen. A car outside passes and the lights
from the car form a crochet-like moving pattern on the wall
behind him. Sunny is only lit for a moment.

INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT (RAIN)

Babe Brother starts gathering up his things to leave.

			BABE BROTHER 
	I'm leaving and don't even call me
	when the shoe falls 'cause all he
	did for me was to try and run my
	life. I'm tired of people saying
	Babe Brother this, Babe Brother
	that. What's my name?

			JUNIOR 
	You dumb ass, it's Babe Brother.

			BABE BROTHER 
	My name is Sam. Samuel.

Babe Brother attempts to get up but Junior pushes him down.

			JUNIOR 
	Sit down!

Babe Brother hits Junior on the jaw, driving him backwards,
causing the overhead lamp to sway violently.

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT (RAIN)

Suzie, Pat and Linda hear the noise coming from the kitchen
and rush to see what is going on.

INT. KITCHEN - RAINY NIGHT

Babe Brother and Junior are both reaching for the knife.
Junior is on top of Babe Brother, who is stretched out on the
table trying to reach the knife. Junior grabs the knife first
and Babe Brother flips over to defend himself. Babe Brother
grabs Junior's wrist as Junior tries to push the knife
against his throat.

Suzie comes in and grabs part of the knife with her hand and
Junior's wrist with her other hand. Pat and Linda try to pull
the two men apart while pleading with Junior.

Blood drips from Suzie's hand to the table, forming a pool
under Babe Brother's head.

			PAT 
	Stop it! Stop it! Look what you are
	doing!

Babe Brother's eyes are rolled to the back. Junior's eyes are
huge; he has an animal look on his face. The SOUND of
struggling people breathing heavily is amplified. The pool of
blood on the table grows larger.

Junior slowly becomes aware of the blood and his body
relaxes. He calmly releases the knife.

Junior takes his mother's hand.

			JUNIOR 
	Someone get some lard out of the
	ice box.

Pat attempts to get the lard but pain in her stomach forces
her to sit down. Linda gets the lard out and hands it to
Junior. Babe Brother raises himself. The blood from Suzie's
dripping from his head. Rhonda is trying to hold Sunny back.

Junior holds his mother's hand under the faucet. It is a deep
cut. The bleeding won't stop.

Pat is sitting at the blood-stained table unable to move. She
is PANTING, sweating, and holding her stomach. Linda is
caught between trying to help Suzie and attending to Pat.

Babe Brother helps to make a wad of cloth to press in her
hand to Stop the bleeding.

			LINDA 
	You are going to need some
	stitches. We better take her to the
	emergency hospital.

Babe Brother is shamefully calm now and very humble.

			BABE BROTHER 
	I'll drive her to the hospital.

			JUNIOR 
	We will take her. You all stay here
	and watch Dad.

			LINDA 
	What about Pat?

			PAT 
	I'm okay now.

Suzie attempts to go see Gideon but Babe Brother and Junior
turn her to the door. Going through the kitchen door, Junior
intentionally turns his back to Babe Brother. Babe Brother
stares at Junior's back as he walks ahead.

INT. HOSPITAL, EMERGENCY RECEPTION ROOM - NIGHT (RAIN)

The automatic doors open and Junior, Babe Brother and Suzie
enter. There is a long line of people waiting at the
registration window as well as groups of people filling out
forms. Other patients are seated and waiting patiently to see
the doctor.

Suzie finally gets to the registration window. A NURSE,
white, 25, with extremely long fingernails that curve back
around, is surprisingly sympathetic.

			NURSE 
	What sort of emergency are you here
	for?

			SUZIE 
	I cut my hand.

			NURSE 
	Let me take a look at it.

Suzie puts her hand through the window. The Nurse stands up
to get a better look. The Nurse takes the wad out of her
hand. The bleeding has stopped.
The Nurse takes a deep breath. The Nurse glances up to notice
the blood stains on the back of Babe Brother head.

			NURSE (CONT'D)
	Are you all together?

			JUNIOR 
	Yes.

			NURSE 
	The bleeding has stopped but it
	will need stitches. You will have
	to fill out this form. How will
	this be covered, insurance, cash or
	check?

			JUNIOR 
	Don't worry about it. It will be
	paid. Just let her see a doctor.

			SUZIE 
	I have Medicare.

The Nurse hands Suzie a form, but Babe Brother takes the
form. The Nurse looks again at Babe Brother's head.

			NURSE 
	Do you need to see the doctor too?

			BABE BROTHER 
	No, just my mother.

Babe Brother fills out the form with Suzie's help and hands
the form back to the Nurse.

They find a seat all together.

							DISSOLVE:

INT. HOSPITAL, EMERGENCY RECEPTION ROOM - NIGHT (RAIN)

The room slowly fills with people and Babe Brother and Junior
offer their seats to those there for medical care.

							DISSOLVE:

INT. HOSPITAL, EMERGENCY RECEPTION ROOM - NIGHT (RAIN)

Two Police Officers bring in a man handcuffed to a bed. The
woman officer carries a shotgun. The male police officer
carries a clip board. The Prisoner is obviously in no
condition to escape or cause trouble. They are allowed to go
directly to the emergency room without waiting.

							DISSOLVE:

INT. HOSPITAL, EMERGENCY RECEPTION ROOM - NIGHT (RAIN)

More injured people come but in spite of their condition they
are told that they have to wait. There is only standing room.

Junior and Babe Brother are standing next to the wall.

On the other side of the room, Suzie is looking quietly at
them as if she is in deep thought.

Junior walks over to the reception desk.

			JUNIOR 
	Why is it so crowded?

			NURSE 
	Well, it is Friday night and a full
	moon.

Junior whispers to Babe Brother. They both start to laugh.

Suzie looks up and finds them in a fit of laughter. A faint
smile appears on her face.

INT. GIDEON'S BEDROOM - NIGHT (RAIN)

Gideon is slowly getting up. He looks around. He calls for
Suzie. He slowly gets to his feet.

			GIDEON 
	Suzie, I'm hungry.

INT. FRONT ROOM - NIGHT (RAIN)

He walks by Linda, Pat, Rhonda, and Sunny, who are sleeping
in chairs, on the floor and on the sofa.

			GIDEON 
	Suzie.

INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT (RAIN)

Gideon opens the refrigerator and starts taking out bowls of
food and placing them on the table. He puts on a pot of
coffee.

			GIDEON 
	Suzie.

INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT (RAIN) (LATER)

Gideon is busy eating almost everything in sight. A group of
mystified and sleepy faces appear at the door. Pat, Linda,
Rhonda and Sunny are all looking rather dumbfounded.

EXT. BACKYARD - MORNING

Everything is wet from the night's rain. The garden looks
more like a graveyard. Moisture drips from the sunflowers.

Gideon's nervous looking rooster jumps the fence and starts
to CROW.

Skip is out early throwing rocks at his birds. The rocks land
on Gideon's roof.

EXT. HOUSE - MORNING

Babe Brother and Junior help Suzie out of the car. She has
her left hand bandaged. They are extremely exhausted. They
walk up the porch to find Harry holding the door open.

			HARRY 
	I can't believe what I heard took
	place.

INT. FRONT ROOM - DAY

On seeing Suzie, Sunny jumps up, knocking the can of marbles
over the kitchen floor. He runs to give Suzie a hug. Sunny
wants to touch her bandaged hand, but Linda stops him.

			SUZIE 
	How is Gideon doing?

			RHONDA 
	He is asleep now, but he was up all
	night eating.

As Suzie goes to Gideon's room, she comes face to face with
Harry. She doesn't say anything.

			HARRY
	I came to pick up my things.

INT. GIDEON'S BEDROOM - DAY

Gideon is SNORING loudly. On the night-stand is a plate with
food left on it. Suzie feels his forehead.

INT. FRONT ROOM - DAY

Harry sadly gets up. He looks at Babe Brother. Linda steps in
front of Babe Brother.

			LINDA 
	You ought to go see how your father
	is doing and then wash that blood
	off you and change shirts.

Babe Brother is surrounded by Linda and Sunny who has his
eyes fixed on Harry. They move as one heading for the
bedroom.

Harry seems a lot older. He sadly walks towards the kitchen
with his coffee cup.

LOW ANGLE SHOT: Harry is slowly walking towards the MARBLES
that are scattered over the kitchen floor.

INT. BEDROOM - DAY

Pat, Linda, Junior, Rhonda, Babe Brother, Sunny and Suzie are
all standing around waiting for Gideon to wake up.

			SUZIE 
	Gideon.

Gideon's only response is to SNORE louder.

			PAT 
	How long is Harry going to hang
	around?

Babe Brother is in a corner all by himself. He looks down
when Pat asks the question about Harry.

A loud CRASHING SOUND comes from the kitchen.

INT. KITCHEN - DAY

Harry is trying to raise himself from the floor. He pauses
for a moment and then collapses. Harry is in a lot of pain.
Harry's body contorts and then remains still.

Babe Brother, Junior, Pat, and Linda, Suzie run in. Suzie
tries to see if he is alive. Babe Brother tries to give him
mouth to mouth resuscitation but Linda pulls him away. Junior
tries to push down on Harry's chest.

Babe Brother stares down at Harry and then goes slowly back
into the living room. Pat is on the phone dialing the
paramedics. Everyone stands around Harry.

INT. KITCHEN - DAY

Two PARAMEDICS work on Harry. One of the paramedics is a
young Asian. The other is white with red hair. They listen
for a heart beat and shake their heads in a negative manner.
They pack up their medical case. The Asian's accent is very
difficult to understand.

			WHITE PARAMEDIC 
	There is nothing we can do for him.

The Paramedics start to leave without the body.

			JUNIOR 
	Well, aren't you going to take him
	with you?

			ASIAN PARAMEDIC 
	If he had died in our care, we
	would be required to take him.
	Since we found him dead, you will
	have to wait for the county to pick
	him up.

			JUNIOR 
	How long will that take?

			WHITE PARAMEDIC 
	That would depend on how busy it
	is. I'm sorry.

							DISSOLVE:

INT. KITCHEN - DAY

Harry is stretched out on the floor. A blanket covers
everything except his shoes.

INT. FRONT ROOM - DAY

Hattie, Marsh, Okra, Herman, and M.C. all come in. Marsh
looks cheerful.

			MARSH 
	What happened?

			JUNIOR 
	He slipped on some marbles that
	were on the floor. Then his heart
	gave out.

			LINDA 
		(to Sunny)
	I told you to always put those
	marbles up and not to leave them
	just anywhere.

			PAT 
	The poor thing is not to blame.
	Rhonda, take Sunny for a walk.

Marsh hands Rhonda several dollars.

			MARSH 
	Here, go around to the store and
	buy what you want.

			HATTIE 
	Would anybody object if I take a
	look at him?

			HERMAN 
	I don't think Harry would like it.

Hattie goes over and pulls the blanket back. Okra, M.C. and
Herman hurry over to take a quick glance. They huddle behind
Hattie, peeping over her shoulder.

			HATTIE 
	I never noticed how big his eyes
	were.

							DISSOLVE:

INT. BATHROOM - EVENING

Linda is helping Babe Brother wash Suzie's blood out of his
hair. She dries his hair with a towel. Sonny hands Babe
Brother a clean shirt, Gideon's shirt. He puts it on.

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

Gideon is sitting on the edge of his bed looking through the
scraps of leftovers on his plate. He puts his pants on. As he
moves about, his joints SNAP and POP. He picks up the empty
plate.

INT. FRONT ROOM - NIGHT

Babe Brother is on the phone with the county morgue. He gets
into an argument with the people on the other end of the
phone.

			BABE BROTHER 
	Mister... Mister... Excuse me for
	cutting you off but we pay taxes
	too. We should not have to pay you
	to take a 24-hour lunch break.

Babe Brother hands the phone to Linda.

			BABE BROTHER (CONT'D)
	The coroner said that he was out
	here, and knocked on the door and
	no one was here.

Junior steps over the body, holding a pot of coffee in his
hand.

The Preacher is sitting with Suzie talking in a low voice.

Pat, Rhonda and Sunny come in with boxes of chicken snack.

Linda hangs up the phone.

			LINDA 
	He doesn't know when he will be out
	this way again. Somebody downtown
	is going to hear about this.

			M.C. 
	They just do that in the colored
	neighborhood. If he had been white,
	they would had him on his feet and
	out of here.

			PAT 
	I got white meat and I got dark
	meat. I know it sounds cruel but we
	have to eat.

Gideon comes in walking very slowly, holding his plate out.
Everyone is shocked. Gideon is completely unaware of the
period that he has been sick.

			GIDEON 
	What, are you having another party?

			SUZIE 
	You better come sit down. You are
	still sick.

			GIDEON 
	Gal, you're talking to John Henry.
	When was I sick?

			JUNIOR 
	You have been out for almost three
	weeks.

The Preacher gives him a pat on the back and shakes Gideon's
hand.

			PREACHER 
	We had long conversations with the
	Lord about you. Didn't we, Sister
	Suzie? I said we need him down
	here, Lord.

Gideon smiles in appreciation. He pushes his plate out to
Pat, indicating that he wants it filled with chicken. Gideon
is about to bite into the chicken when he notices Harry's
feet sticking out. He points with the chicken in his hand. He
has a mystified look on his face.

			OKRA 
	That's our friend Harry.

			GIDEON 
	Not our Harry?

			OKRA 
	I wish it wasn't.

Gideon seems to weaken for a moment.

			GIDEON 
	What happened to him?

			HATTIE
	He dropped dead.

			HERMAN
	Hattie, you can be so mean.

			GIDEON
	How long has he been dead?

			SUZIE
	Since this morning.

			GIDEON
	What happened to your hand?

			SUZIE
	I cut it on an old rusty knife.

Gideon is deeply concerned.

			GIDEON
	What did you put on it?

			SUZIE
	It's healing now.

Gideon looks over at his two sons as if to ask them about it.

			GIDEON
	I hope you will take care of your
	mother better than that when I'm
	gone.

Junior and Babe Brother both have their heads down. Linda and
Sunny move closer to Babe Brother.

			GIDEON (CONT'D)
	Babe Brother, is that my shirt that
	you're wearing?

			BABE BROTHER
	Yes.

			GIDEON
	How come you're not wearing my
	shoes?

			BABE BROTHER
	They're too big.

Gideon stares at Babe Brother and then looks around towards
Harry.

			GIDEON 
	When is the undertaker coming?

			LINDA 
	They can't say. I'll try calling
	them again.

Hattie moves closer to Herman and speaks so only he can hear.

			HATTIE 
	Why don't M.C. and you drag him to
	your house?

Herman moves away with a look of disdain.

			MARSH 
	Harry didn't have any relatives
	living, did he?

			M.C. 
	Harry was in the world by himself.

			MARSH 
	Somebody has to take responsibility
	for him.

			PAT 
	Why don't you look through his
	things to see if you can find a
	number?

Okra, Marsh, Hattie, Herman, and M.C. go to Harry's room,
leaving Suzie and Gideon sitting opposite each other with the
door to the kitchen separating them. Junior, the Preacher and
Pat are eating chicken. Linda is on the phone trying to get
through to the morgue.

			LINDA 
	How do you like that? They hung up
	in my face. I'll fix them. I'll
	show them just how mean I can get.

She rapidly dials the number. There is a BUSY SIGNAL.

			LINDA (CONT'D)
	This has been a nightmare.

INT. BEDROOM - RIGHT

M.C. and Marsh are going through Harry's boxes. They take out
old blues records, books, a big Bible, and books on Dunbar.

			MARSH 
	These are letters to his son.

Hattie reads the letters in a corner by herself. She stops
reading for a moment.

			HATTIE 
	I still don't know if I was right
	about Harry.

She seems frustrated with herself not being able to come to
terms about who was Harry.

EXT. FRONT YARD - NIGHT

A crowd of people are standing around looking at Gideon's
house.

INT. FRONT ROOM - NIGHT

The Preacher is sleep in his chair, SNORING loudly. Babe
Brother and Linda are sitting together, talking in almost a
whisper. Sunny is asleep in his lap. Babe Brother is finding
it difficult to apologize for his recent behavior.

			BABE BROTHER 
	I have more sense than to give up
	everything, my family, you and
	Sunny. It wasn't me, I mean the
	real me inside my body. I'm glad
	it's over. It's like a veil has
	been lifted.

			LINDA 
	Like a veil has been lifted?

			BABE BROTHER 
	It's like I've been swimming in
	muddy waters.

			LINDA 
	Like muddy waters?

			BABE BROTHER 
	It was like all those things old
	country people try to tell you what
	hell is like.

			LINDA 
	You were in hell?

			BABE BROTHER 
	I couldn't believe the things I was
	doing. It was like an internal
	struggle going on inside my body.

			LINDA 
	Do you think you won?

			BABE BROTHER 
	It was nip and tuck.

			LINDA 
	And what lesson have we learned
	from all of this, Babe Br... Sam...
	I mean Samuel?

			BABE BROTHER 
	I guess it proves you really care
	about me. You hung in there.

Linda looks at Babe Brother for a length of time.

			GIDEON 
	When are you boys going to fix that
	roof?

			BABE BROTHER 
	Soon as I rest a bit. 
		(beat)
	I meant as soon as we are back to
	normal again, anytime.

			GIDEON 
	Here I am thinking about myself
	when poor Harry is resting on the
	floor of the kitchen.

INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT

Harry's body lies there motionless.

INT. FRONT ROOM - DAY

The Preacher is SNORING violently.

Babe Brother is asleep on the floor. Sunny is asleep sitting
on Linda's lap. Linda's feet rest on Babe Brother's chest.

Junior and Pat are looking at the baby pictures. Pat is
holding her hand across her stomach feeling the baby kick.
Rhonda is asleep in a chair.

Suzie and Gideon are sitting at the dining room table. Suzie
is cutting the dead leaves off of a small potted plant.

			SUZIE 
	It feels like a storm has passed...
	Hattie read some of Harry's letters
	to a woman he had a child by. The
	child had died and he was writing
	to give her some comfort. Hattie
	didn't know that deep down at the
	bottom of Harry's hate, there was
	some love.

The SOUND of Rodney's trumpet is heard but is no longer
irritating.

			GIDEON 
	Did I ever tell you the story about
	the man who wanted to make his own
	mind up about heaven and hell? He
	didn't want nobody's opinion but
	his own.

Suzie doesn't pay any attention; she is involved with her
potted plant. Gideon looks over at the Preacher, who is still
asleep.

			GIDEON (CONT'D)
	He's going to check out heaven
	first. He gets a round trip ticket
	to heaven. He gets in heaven and
	finds it just like back home.
	People dripping with sweat, working
	in the fields, hardly surviving. He
	asked a man who was getting a drink
	of water, "I thought the streets
	were paved with gold." "They are
	but you won't see them," he said.
	"Boy, you got to work day and night
	cause idleness is sinfulness." So
	he takes the other half of his
	ticket and takes the express to
	hell. He sees people stretched out
	on their backs kicking back,
	picking their teeth. "Man, this is
	a dream." He asked, "What's you'll
	doing?" They all hollered back,
	"Sinning." The devil was shaking
	hands with everyone and came up to
	him and said, "Please to meet you."
	He asked, "I thought you'll was
	supposed to be burning in fire."
	Someone said, "Man, ain't no fire
	down here except under that pot of
	chitlins." The man was going go ask
	the preacher back on earth...

			SUZIE 
	I don't want to hear any joke about
	colored people being in hell.
	You're being irreverent.

			GIDEON 
	I'm almost finished. I'm about to
	come to the punch line.

			SUZIE 
	I don't want to hear any tales
	about colored people...

			GIDEON 
	But these are white people,
	anybody. The punch...

			SUZIE 
	I don't care to hear any jokes
	about people being in hell. This
	cut on my hand reminds me that it
	is nothing to laugh at.

			GIDEON 
	It's only a tale.

The RATTLING of pots and dishes starts suddenly. Harry's body
starts to sway gently as if he were about to get up.
Everyone is frozen. Babe Brother and Linda remain asleep. The
rocking caused by the earthquake doesn't wake them.

M.C., Herman, Okra and Hattie and Marsh enters the dining
room. Harry's feet are seen in the kitchen still swaying.

			M.C 
	Is that an earthquake?

			HERMAN 
	It's something.

Babe Brother wakes in a sweat and sits next to Linda like a
child needing protection.

			BABE BROTHER 
	I'm cold. I need to get out into
	the sunlight.

			JUNIOR 
	What is it, noontime?

			PREACHER
	I wonder how they going to bury
	this man.

			HATTIE 
	Plant him in Potter's Field. He
	doesn't need a marked grave.

			HERMAN
	Hattie, your true colors are
	unbearable. You got some mean ways.
	Don't worry about the boy getting a
	burial. He still has some friends
	left on this earth.

			HATTIE 
	His winter has come and gone and I
	know right now he is answering for
	a lot of things.

M.C., Okra and Herman move away from Hattie.

			PREACHER 
	It is my job to pray for his soul
	and I would like to do that.

EXT. GIDEON'S HOUSE - DAY

Rhonda is sitting next to Sunny on the front porch. She has
an angry expression. Sunny is trying to please her by
offering her his airplane.
He pushes the airplane near her and she pushes it back with a
violent shove. He persists in offering her his airplane.

A crowd of people is still standing around in front of
Gideon's house.

			MAN 
	Hey boy, you still got that dead
	man in your house.

Sunny and Rhonda don't respond. A middle-aged woman,
VIRGINIA, one of Gideon's neighbors, passes Sunny and Rhonda,
knocks on the screen door and goes in.

INT. FRONT ROOM - DAY

			VIRGINIA 
	I know you all haven't had a chance
	to cook or do anything with that
	dead man in your kitchen. You must
	be starved to death. Some of your
	neighbors have got together and we
	set up a picnic table in my
	backyard with food and everything
	to feed all you all.

			SUZIE 
	Virginia, that is so wonderful of
	you all!

			MARSH 
	If the dead wagon comes, we ought
	to leave a note telling them we'll
	be down the street at a picnic.

Gideon comes back in with Suzie, who is helping tie his tie.
They all line up and file out the front door with Suzie and
Gideon leading the way. Pat is holding her stomach with a
thoughtful look on her face.

			PAT 
	I think we better be ready.

Junior looks concerned as he follows Pat out the door. Sunny
follows Rhonda, who is still mad at him. Babe Brother and
Linda are the last ones out. Babe Brother takes a long look
in the direction of Harry as Linda pulls him out. She slams
the door.

INT. KITCHEN - DAY

Harry's body lies on the floor. On the kitchen sink are
Suzie's jars of cuttings, which have developed a maze of
roots.

				 THE END