As You Desire Me

MAIN TITLES over the gates of the luxurious Varelli estate in Italy. A snappy 
Italian folk melody gives way to the opening piano chords of a ballad as we

						FADE OUT

FADE IN

INT. CAFE - NIGHT

Musicians, in a Hungarian cafe, play the ballad.

SUPERIMPOSED TITLE: Budapest 1925

We hear but do not see a singer, a woman with a heavy accent, as she begins a 
chorus of the song. Her name, at the moment, is ZARA.

				ZARA
			(sings)
		Oh, I never shall impart ...

We PAN OFF the musicians to take in a LONG SHOT of the cafe, filled with a 
well-dressed audience seated at many tables, all eyes riveted on the stage as 
they listen to the unseen singer.

				ZARA
			(sings)
		That secret deep in my heart
		Though I feel emotion, that's true
		Is it fate or devotion to you? ...

We PAN OVER to one side of the cafe where a tuxedoed man we will come to know 
as TONY enters and looks around casually. We FOLLOW as the maitre d' arrives 
and leads him to a table. Along the way, Tony glances appreciatively in Zara's 
direction.

				ZARA
			(sings)
		My smile often hides a tear ...

				MAITRE D'
			(to Tony)
		I'll send your waiter, sir.

We PAN WITH the maitre d' as he departs, then PAUSE for a CLOSE VIEW of 
another table with three officers in military uniform. A distinguished middle-
aged man, whom we will come to know as the CAPTAIN, sits with two other 
officers.

				ZARA
			(sings)
		Perhaps I pretend I'm sincere ...

				OFFICER
			(whispers to the Captain)
		I'm quite sure it is.

The Captain, irritated, rises and exits. We PAN OVER the well-dressed crowd to 
the balcony where the less affluent patrons sit and discover some college 
students drinking, laughing and talking among themselves. One of them, whom we 
shall call ALBERT, stares dreamily down at Zara, clearly infatuated with her. 
Annoyed by his friends' noisemaking, he shushes them. But they only laugh at 
him.

				ZARA
			(sings)
		So vainly you're seeking to know I love you ...

We PAN OVER to a balding old man whom we will come to know as the BARON. He 
sits at a table alone, smiling in delight at Zara as he drinks. 

				ZARA
			(sings)
		But I'll never, ever tell you, dear.

The song ends and we PULL BACK for a LONG VIEW of the cafe as everyone bursts 
into applause and hollers, "Bravo! Bravo!" Everything we've seen since the 
fade in has been in one lengthy traveling shot, without a cut. But now we

						CUT TO

BEHIND THE STAGE CURTAINS - CONTINUOUS

The cheers and applause continue. We catch our first glimpse of the glamorous 
Zara, hair dyed blonde and wearing a futuristic black outfit, as she staggers 
through the curtains from the stage, obviously drunk. The musicians play an 
uptempo tune. Dizzy and pleased with herself, Zara collects her wrap from atop 
some theatrical equipment and exits.

						CUT TO

BACKSTAGE

Zara enters and calls to a nearby waiter.

				ZARA
		Say, Fritz. Bring me a glass of 
		champagne.

				FRITZ
		Oh, but you had three before you 
		sang.

				ZARA
		Did I? Well, you run as fast as you 
		can and bring me another.

She sends Fritz on his way and heads up the stairs to her dressing room. But, 
halfway up, she pauses when approached by the infatuated college student we 
saw earlier.

				ALBERT
		Hello.

				ZARA
		Oh. Do I know you?

				ALBERT
		Why, last night, don't you remember? 
		That crowd of students outside. I - 
		I opened your car door for you.

				ZARA
			(amused)
		I should remember, shouldn't I?

They share a chuckle. Fritz arrives with a drink but Zara is not satisfied.

				ZARA
			(to Fritz)
		Bring a bottle.

Zara swallows some of the drink and hands it back to a disapproving Fritz who 
exits.

				ALBERT
		I - I thought perhaps, uh, perhaps 
		you'd have supper with me, huh?

				ZARA
			(starts up the stairs)
		I'm not hungry.

				ALBERT
		Awwww ...

				ZARA
			(pauses, with a wry smile)
		But I'm thirsty.

Emboldened, Albert follows her up the stairs. Zara leads him to her dressing 
room, pausing at the door.

				ZARA
		Well, are you sure your intentions 
		are honorable?

				ALBERT
		Oh, madame.

Albert bends low and kisses her hand. When he straightens, she gives him a 
playful tap on the cheek and enters her dressing room. Inside, the middle-aged 
Captain waits anxiously for Zara and greets her with a more formal kiss on the 
hand.

				CAPTAIN
		Oh, my dear.

				ZARA
		Fancy seeing you here tonight.

				CAPTAIN
		But, uh, Zara, I, er-- 

The Captain notices Albert slinking away in embarrassment.

				CAPTAIN
			(to Albert)
		I don't believe I've met you.

				ZARA
			(with a shrug)
		Neither have I. But he's rapidly 
		becoming my oldest friend.

				ALBERT
			(laughs in relief) 
		Bravo, Zara. 
			(laughs) 
		Bravo.

Zara takes a cigarette from a nearby box and Albert lights it for her.

				CAPTAIN
			(irritated, to Zara)
		You said that you would have supper 
		with me!

				ZARA
		No? Did I? 
			(frustrated)
		Oh, where is that waiter? Waiter!

				ALBERT
		I'll get him.

But Fritz enters with glasses and a bottle in an ice bucket.

				ZARA
		What has been keeping you all this 
		time?

				FRITZ
		Oh, you're always scolding me.

				ZARA
		Hurry up, now, hurry up.

				CAPTAIN
			(disapproving)
		Zara. You've been drinking.

				ZARA
		Captain. You're perfectly right. 
		I'll tell you something else. I'm 
		gonna keep it up!

				ALBERT
			(laughs) 
		Good for you!

Albert pops the cork on the bottle and pours, to Zara's delight.

				ZARA
		Hooray, hooray, hooray. 

The Captain looks on with disapproval. Albert wants to toast his beloved.

				ALBERT
			(passionately)
		Zara.

Zara clinks her glass on his but clearly couldn't care less about ceremony and 
downs her drink as if it were desperately needed medicine. A knock at the 
door. Fritz answers and the smiling old Baron enters in tux and top hat. He 
removes the hat and bows to Zara who reclines casually in her chair, drink in 
hand.

				BARON
		I hope you don't mind this rather 
		informal visit but I've wanted for 
		so very long to meet you that 
		tonight I--

				ZARA
		Don't keep us in suspense. Who are 
		you?

				BARON
		My card.

Zara peers at the card as she drinks. Her eyes pop.

				ZARA
		Mmm. You're a baron? 
			(with a grand gesture, 
			to no one in particular)
		Glass of wine for His Excellency. 
			(introductions)
		Baron, this is the Captain. 
			(points to Albert)
		And that is my oldest friend - whose 
		name always escapes me. But I must 
		add that his intentions are not 
		honorable. 

Albert and the Baron laugh.

				ZARA
		Waiter, another bottle.

				BARON
		Allow me, madame. 
			(to Fritz)
		Cordon Rouge, '11. Bring a dozen 
		bottles.

Fritz exits.

				ZARA
			(wryly, to the Baron)
		Intend to stay all evening?

				BARON
		Whatever I have is yours, madame -- 
		my purse or my person.

				ZARA
		Ooh la la. 
			(clutches her head in pain)
		Ohhh ...

				CAPTAIN
		Zara, why do you treat me like this?

				ZARA
		Oh, please, don't be tiresome.

				CAPTAIN
		Get rid of these men.

				ZARA
		I'll do nothing of the sort. They 
		amuse me.

				CAPTAIN
		Can't you ever be serious?

				ZARA
		Why should I? 

				CAPTAIN
		Well, perhaps you don't care to 
		remember our--

				ZARA
		I don't care to remember anything -- 
		all I want is to forget.

				CAPTAIN
		Oh.

				ZARA
		I'm sorry. You're sweet. But such a 
		fool.

				CAPTAIN
		But, Zara, I--

Fritz returns with a trio of waiters and much booze. The little dressing room 
is bustling and crowded now.

				ALBERT
		Aha!

				ZARA
		Ah, now life is looking brighter.

				BARON
			(directs the waiters)
		Over there. Hurry up, open it.

				ZARA
		Open them all! I want to hear the 
		corks pop!

QUICK CUTS of waiters popping the corks. Fritz's bottle sprays him good. 
Zara's guests crowd around her as she sits and they all enjoy their drinks. 
Tony appears in the doorway and the waiters exit over the following dialogue: 

				ZARA
		Sweet.

				BARON
		My dear, to your health.

				ALBERT
		Zara, to you.

				ZARA
			(a little sadly)
		I don't like champagne. Nobody 
		really likes it. 
			(with another 
			grand gesture)
		But it looks gay.

				CAPTAIN
		Zara, let me talk to you alone.

Zara waves off the Captain and turns away, pausing when she sees Tony at the 
door.

				TONY
			(gently, with a grin)
		Maria.

Zara looks uncomfortable and holds out her glass to the Baron.

				ZARA
		Some more, please.

				TONY
			(quiet, insistent)
		Maria.

The Baron pours as the others face Tony.

				CAPTAIN
			(to Zara, off Tony)
		Who is this man?

				ZARA
			(smiles)
		I don't know him. 
			(rises, defiantly)
		And, if I ever did, I don't care to 
		recall it.

				BARON
			(to Tony)
		You heard what the lady said.

				TONY
			(amused) 
		But she HAS recalled it. Haven't 
		you, Maria?

				ZARA
		Why do you persist in calling me 
		"Maria"?

				TONY
		Because you ARE Maria.

				CAPTAIN
		Don't you know him, Zara?

Zara swaggers over to Tony.

				ZARA
		Of course I know him. He's the old 
		man of mystery. Been hanging around 
		here for three nights. 
			(cruelly, to Tony)
		I'm tired of your face!

Zara shuts the door on Tony. He stands outside the dressing room door as 
Zara's guests laugh, then turns, smiles, shrugs, and puts on his hat.

						DISSOLVE TO

EXT. AUTOMOBILE - LATER THAT NIGHT

A limousine rolls along. Zara and her guests sit in the rear having a lively 
exchange which we cannot hear over the car engine. All are drunk and having a 
good time, except for the Captain. Zara removes the Captain's cap and puts it 
on the Baron's head, then puts the Baron's top hat on the Captain, much to 
Albert's delight. 

						DISSOLVE TO

EXT. STREET - NOT LONG AFTER

The limo pulls up in front of a house. Albert and the Captain emerge. But the 
Baron lingers with Zara a moment.

				BARON
		Get rid of these other swine.

				ZARA
			(amused)
		Other?

				BARON
			(doesn't get the joke)
		Mm-mm. Yes.

But Zara ignores the Baron and joins Albert and the Captain on the sidewalk.

				CAPTAIN
		Zara, I've got to speak to you alone. 

Zara waves him off.

				ALBERT
		Oh, don't say good night -- just the 
		shank of the morning.

Albert gestures skyward. Zara comically pauses to look up at the sky, then 
heads into the house.

						DISSOLVE TO

INT. HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER

A lavishly appointed drawing room. A manservant holds the door open as Zara 
and her guests enter laughing boisterously. We see that Zara now wears a black 
dress.

				ZARA
			(happily, to 
			the manservant)
		Champagne, Caesar!

Albert impudently puts his hat on the manservant's head. The Baron and the 
Captain follow.

				ALBERT
		Well, well, well, here we are.

				ZARA
			(turns on a lamp)
		Here's where I live.

				ALBERT
		Anything that plays music around 
		here?

Zara points off screen and Albert disappears to crank up the music.

				BARON
		My dear--

				ZARA
		Now, Baron, you - you go and fix the 
		fire.

				BARON
		Huh? But I've never fixed a fire.

Zara pushes him toward the fireplace.

				CAPTAIN
		Zara, I - I cannot stand this any 
		longer.

				ZARA
		Then why don't you go home?

				CAPTAIN
		But you need someone to look after 
		you.

				ZARA
		Ohhh. You want to protect me?

				CAPTAIN
		Yes.

				ZARA
		You think I'm a lost soul? Well, 
		maybe I am.

				CAPTAIN
		Zara, I'm so much in love with you, 
		I--

				ZARA
		There is no such thing as love.

				BARON
			(o.s.)
		The beastly thing won't work!

Zara joins the Baron at the fireplace.

				ZARA
		Oh, Baron, you're so useless.

As Zara bends over the fire, the Baron leans over and kisses her on the 
shoulder. She straightens up, indignant.

				BARON
		You and I could be very good friends.

				ZARA
		Yes? What is it you like about me? 
		My mind?

He laughs and leans in for another kiss.

				ZARA
		Mmm, no. 

She pushes him away and he stumbles against the fireplace tools.

				ZARA
		Oh, did I hurt you?

				BARON
		Oh, no, darling. Ha ha ha.

				ZARA
			(darkly)
		Well, the next time, I will.

Zara, cigarette in hand, looks around for a light.

				BARON
		What? What do you want? Oh, here you 
		are. Here's a light.

The Baron lights a match and holds it out to Zara but she weaves back and 
forth drunkenly, unable to put the cigarette to the flame.

				ZARA
		Say, Baron, why don't you stand 
		still?

They laugh. Suddenly: music, a waltz. Zara gestures grandly with delight.

				ZARA
		Ohhh!

She and Albert rush from opposite sides of the room and dance together, 
remarkably well. But the manservant arrives with a tray of drinks and Zara 
instantly breaks off the dance.

				ZARA
			(to the manservant)
		You, come, come.

The manservant sets the tray on a central table as Zara and the guests gather 
around. The Captain seems to have finally relented to the party atmosphere.

				CAPTAIN
		Ah, it's breakfast.

If we are paying attention, we might notice the figure of a man who appears on 
the spiral staircase in the rear of the room.

				CAPTAIN
		Breakfast! Breakfast!

				ZARA
		Oh, those glasses are too small. I 
		like my champagne in steins.

				CAPTAIN
		To love. To love!

				ZARA
		Oh, again?

We PAN UP off the guests to the man on the staircase above as he calls out:

				SALTER
		Zara!

The waltz music ends abruptly. Surprised, Zara and her guests peer up at the 
man. It is KARL SALTER, an intense, satanic little man in an elegant robe. His 
voice drips with irony.

				SALTER
		Won't you and your friends have 
		something to drink?

Zara laughs.

				SALTER
		I hope I'm not intruding.

				ZARA
		You don't object to my bringing my 
		friends, do you?

Salter descends the stairs and joins them.

				SALTER
		I'm extremely anxious to meet your 
		friends.

				ZARA
		Allow me to present the nobility ...

The Baron bows to Salter.

				ZARA
		... the army ...

The Captain bows to Salter.


				ZARA
		... and the nursery. 

Albert nods nervously, clearly out of his depth.

				ZARA
		All very representative citizens. 
			(rises, joins Salter)
		That's me, Salter -- the highest ...
			(gestures to the guests)
		... and the lowest.

She puts a hand on Salter and laughs. Salter merely grins evilly.

				ZARA
			(to her guests) 
		Do any of you happen to know who our 
		distinguished host is? Nooo? 
			(clicks her tongue) 
		You are in the presence of the mighty 
		Salter.

				BARON
		Karl Salter! I - I should have 
		realized, of course.

				CAPTAIN
		How do you do?

				BARON
		I enjoyed your last novel very much.

				ZARA
		Didn't you recognize me in it? The 
		woman without a soul. Yes. Salter 
		sticks a pin through me -- as he 
		would a fly -- watches me struggle, 
		analyzes my emotions and, out of 
		that, a great novel is born.

				SALTER
			(chuckles) 
		Of course, she exaggerates, but, uh, 
		gentlemen, won't you have a drink?

				CAPTAIN
		No, really, I--

Salter lays on the irony thickly.

				SALTER
		Gentlemen, you are putting me in a 
		most embarrassing position. I can't 
		help thinking - that - that you 
		think - that I think - that you 
		gentlemen have an unmitigated gall--

				BARON
		What?! I mean, uh--

				SALTER
		--invading my house, making love to 
		my charming, uh, friend.

				CAPTAIN
		Sir, sir! Now, look here--!

				SALTER
		Not at all, gentlemen! Really! Not 
		at all. Not at all.

				ZARA
			(highly amused)
		Salter, you're priceless!

				BARON
		Do you mean to infer--?

				SALTER
		Ridiculous. How could I possibly 
		object to your being here?

				BARON
		But, Mr. Salter--

				ZARA
		No use, Baron. He's too clever for 
		you.

				CAPTAIN
		I'm sorry. 

				SALTER
		Of course, if you MUST go--

				BARON
		We must. 

				ALBERT
		Yes, we, uh--

				BARON
		Good night, sir.

				ZARA
			(merrily) 
		Ha! Good night! 

The guests, one after another, bid Zara adieu and head for the door.

				BARON
		Madame.

				ZARA
		Good night, good night.

				CAPTAIN
		Madame.

				ALBERT
		Madame.

				SALTER
		At least, gentlemen, let me see you 
		to the door.

Salter follows them to the door.

				SALTER
			(to Albert)
		I'm sure it's past YOUR bedtime.

Albert nods and exits with the others as Salter glances disapprovingly at 
Zara. Zara, drink in one hand and cigarette in the other, wanders across the 
room and sits as Salter closes the door. He shuts off a light, plunging the 
room into near darkness except for the small lamp Zara had lit earlier. 
Joining Zara, he picks up one of the guests' glasses, throws its contents on 
the floor and pours himself a fresh drink.

				SALTER
		Trifle drunker than usual, aren't you?

				ZARA
		Why not?

Salter downs the entire contents of his drink in one swallow, wipes his lips 
neatly with a handkerchief, takes Zara's glass out of her hand, and throws the 
contents of her glass on the floor. She takes this in stride but then leans 
back and puts a hand to her aching head. 

Salter, standing over her, stares down at her upturned face, throws his 
cigarette away, and slowly bends to plant a fierce kiss on her lips. The two 
are silhouetted in the lamp. She tries to push him off but he takes her wrists 
in his hands and pulls her arms away. The kiss continues until she twists out 
from under him and stares him down. He keeps a firm grip on her wrists.

				SALTER
		Thinking of those other men.

Zara says nothing. He twists her arms painfully.

				SALTER
		You'd rather be with one of them. Go 
		on, admit it!

				ZARA
		Don't be so vile.

				SALTER
		Since when do you mind anything 
		vile?

The doorbell rings. Distracted, Salter lets go of Zara's wrists.

				MANSERVANT'S VOICE
		You can't come in. Everyone's 
		retired for the night.

				TONY'S VOICE
		Then I'll wait till they get up again.
		Come, come, get away from that door.

Salter turns on the light as Tony enters, followed by the manservant.

				SALTER
		What do you want?

Tony looks from Salter to Maria who sits with her head in her hands. Salter 
dismisses the manservant.

				TONY
			(the same gentle grin)
		Maria.

				ZARA
		Oh, is that you again? 
			(rises, turns her back 
			on him defiantly)
		Who in the world's name is Maria?

				SALTER
			(angry, to Tony)
		And, for that matter, who are you?

				TONY
		Hm. Ask Maria. She knows. She 
		pretends not to remember. But ten 
		years ago in Italy a fellow by the 
		name of Tony painted her portrait. 
		Hm. I can see her now as though she 
		were standing before me. She was 
		wearing a little white dress. With a 
		knot of wildflowers in her belt.

Salter busts out laughing in disbelief.

				SALTER
		Zara?! 

				ZARA
			(to Tony)
		I wish you'd go home. I'm tired.

				SALTER
		Don't you see that you are boring 
		the lady?

				TONY
		On the contrary. She's very much 
		interested.

				ZARA
		I don't know who you are or what you 
		want but I'm tired of the sight of 
		you. Goodbye.

				TONY
		Not till we've settled this.

				ZARA
		Salter, he's insane. And I'm-- 
			(tired and drunk)
		Oohhh.

Tony takes off his coat.

				SALTER
		Suppose we postpone this interesting 
		discussion until morning.

				TONY
		Sorry, it's too important. See, I've 
		come to take Maria back to her 
		husband.

				ZARA
		My husband?

				SALTER
		Obviously, you're a psychopathic 
		case.

				ZARA
		Is it out of order to inquire my 
		husband's name?

				TONY
			(chuckles) 
		Same delightful sense of humor.

				SALTER
		Why don't you answer the lady's 
		question?

				TONY
		Why, of course. Her husband is my 
		best friend, Count Bruno Varelli.

Zara looks thoughtful. Salter confronts her.

				SALTER
		You know there's not a word of truth 
		in this!

				TONY
		What makes you so sure?

				SALTER
		I know all about her. She's told me 
		everything about herself.

				ZARA
		Perhaps not quite ... everything.

				SALTER
		Well-- Everything's that happened to 
		you in the past eight or nine years.

				TONY
		But this happened ten years ago.

				ZARA
			(lost in thought)
		During the war.

				TONY
		Yes, during the war. When Bruno came 
		back and found his home burned to 
		the ground. And you -- gone. He went 
		mad, quite mad, for over a year. You 
		can understand that, knowing how he 
		loved you.

				SALTER
		It's a most amusing story but, uh, 
		might I suggest it's getting awfully 
		late--

				ZARA
		You go to bed, Salter. 
			(pointedly, to Tony)
		I'd like to hear the rest of the 
		story.

Salter chuckles and waves dismissively.

				TONY
		What can I tell you that you don't 
		already know better than I? You are 
		Maria.

				ZARA
		What makes you think that?

				TONY
		What makes us sure of anything? 
			(a hand to his heart)
		Something in here. I would have 
		known you anywhere. You see, for the 
		past ten years, I've been looking 
		for you, too.

				ZARA
		Ten years is a long time. This Maria 
		would have changed, wouldn't she?

				TONY
		Hm. I knew her the moment I saw her. 
		Maria--

				ZARA
		Maria? I wonder. Maybe I am -- maybe 
		I'm not. It's all so mixed up. 
		Noises, blinding lights, pictures 
		that fade before I can catch them. 
		Soldiers, soldiers. Walking the 
		streets, hungry and cold. And men, 
		men, men, until I don't know who I 
		am or where I am from. 
			(takes a breath) 
		Nothing. Nothing.

				TONY
			(sits with her)
		But you do remember the war, the 
		invasion.

				ZARA
		Invasion? Was that Maria in an 
		invasion, too?

				TONY
		The story that was told from the 
		few people left on the estate 
		couldn't begin to describe the 
		horror of it all. Those drunken 
		soldiers invading your home, 
		pillaging, burning, destroying. How 
		you lived through it all--

				ZARA
		Many women lived through it.

				TONY
		Hm. But you were so young, so 
		lovely, so fresh -- and just a 
		bride of a few weeks. And to think 
		of those beasts daring to lay hands 
		on you and carrying you off - Heaven 
		knows where.

				ZARA
		Heaven knows where.

Salter, who has been chuckling silently throughout, now laughs sardonically.

				SALTER
		That's one of her favorite stories! 
		The invasion! Every time she 
		describes it, it's, uh, quite 
		different. There's the invasion 
		where the house was burned over her 
		head. And there was the invasion 
		where a shell blew her up. And 
		there was the invasion where the--

				ZARA
			(rises, dismissive)
		Ohhhh, I - I may describe it 
		differently -- because I don't 
		remember how I described it the last 
		time but -- it's always the same 
		invasion.

				SALTER
		Ha ha ha ha!

				ZARA
		Or was it another invasion? 
			(a hand to her head)
		I don't know - my mind doesn't work.

				SALTER
		I've had enough of this now, Zara. 
		You know you're not this Countess 
		What's-her-name! 
			(off Tony)
		And you haven't got the remotest 
		idea who HE is.

				TONY
		But she has.

				SALTER
		Just now she laughed at you.

				TONY
		Well, that's because she didn't want
 		me to recognize her.

				ZARA
		I don't want to remember anything.

				SALTER
		Ha ha ha!

				TONY
		But you must forget these past ten 
		years. You'll put it all behind you 
		when you're back home in familiar 
		surroundings, when you're back in 
		Bruno's arms again.

				ZARA
		Back? Oh, no. No, no. That's 
		impossible. Impossible.

				SALTER
		And now it's time to say good night.

				TONY
		Gladly. Come, Maria.

				ZARA
			(chuckles) 
		You didn't seriously think I was 
		coming with you?

				SALTER
		I'm afraid he did, Zara. He didn't 
		know that this is your life -- the 
		only life you've ever known -- and 
		that you love it.

				ZARA
			(savagely, to Salter)
		I loathe it! I loathe you and I 
		loathe everything I've been! Oh, 
		you'll never know how I've prayed 
		for a chance to get out of it all.

				SALTER
			(clicks his tongue at her) 
		Then why didn't you?

				ZARA
		I was a coward! Afraid to give up 
		something sure for something 
		uncertain. We hate our lives but 
		we're too cowardly to take it.

				SALTER
		Well! This is your chance.

				ZARA
		Well, I'm not going to take it.

Salter laughs at her.

				ZARA
		Even if I was sure, I wouldn't -- 
		knowing what I've been.

				TONY
		Maria--

She puts a sympathetic hand on Tony's shoulder.

				ZARA
		No, my friend. This is final. Good 
		night.

She heads for the stairs. Tony trails after her.

				TONY
		Maria! But you must!

				ZARA
		I'm not Maria. Go away. Don't try to 
		speak to me again -- I won't hear 
		you.

She heads up the stairs.

				SALTER
		You heard her. Get out.

				TONY
		Good night, Maria.

She pauses on the staircase. She turns. A long pause. She decides.

				ZARA
		No, wait!

She joins Tony, gripping him by the shoulders.

				ZARA
		I can't let you go! If I do, the 
		last chance to save myself is gone.

				SALTER
		Stop playing the fool!

				ZARA
		Others have pulled themselves out of 
		the mud. Maybe it isn't too late. 
		I'm going with you.

Tony grabs his coat and they head for the door. Furious, Salter pulls a pistol 
from a nearby drawer.

				SALTER
		You're not going with him!

Zara and Tony pause in the drawing room doorway as Salter approaches, gun in 
hand.

				SALTER
		Come back here. 

				TONY
		Must you be so melodramatic?

				ZARA
			(to Tony)
		Come. He hasn't got the courage to 
		shoot.

Instantly, a gunshot. Zara clutches her arm. Tony knocks the gun from Salter's 
hand and kicks it across the room. Salter scrambles after it as Zara and Tony 
rush out the door.

						CUT TO

EXT. STREET - A MOMENT LATER

Tony's taxicab waits outside. He hustles Zara into the vehicle.

				TONY
			(to the driver)
		Hotel Imperiale!

The cab speeds off. We catch a glimpse of Salter at the front door as his 
manservant wrestles the gun away from him.

						FADE OUT

FADE IN

EXT. VARELLI ESTATE - DAY

A luxurious, sun-drenched Italian estate.

						DISSOLVE TO

EXT. TERRACE - DAY

Maria's cosmopolitan sister INEZ MONTARI stands on the estate's terrace, 
chatting with a local priest. One of the servants, an older woman named LENA, 
arrives with a tea tray and sets it on a nearby table.

				INEZ
			(to the priest)
		You know, I was brought up in this 
		old place and I've loved coming back 
		to it every summer. Thank you, Lena.

				LENA
			(hands paper to Inez)
		A telegram for the master.

				INEZ
		I'll see he gets it as soon as he 
		returns.

Lena nods and exits as Inez and the padre sit down to tea.

				FATHER
		I can't reconcile myself to all that 
		you've told me. That Count Varelli 
		should be giving up this paradise, 
		so full of memories of your poor 
		sister. And so soon! Next month.

				INEZ
		Poor Bruno. I don't think any of us 
		realize how terribly unhappy he is 
		underneath all this reckless bravado 
		he affects.

				FATHER
		My dear Madame Montari, his every 
		thought, his every conversation, is 
		about your sister. 
			(shakes his head)
		Hm. Ten years. It's a long time in 
		this cynical age for a man to remain 
		faithful to a woman's memory.

				INEZ
		Mine remained faithful to me for two 
		months.

				FATHER
		Oh, well...

				INEZ
		I really didn't want to take over 
		this estate but Bruno insisted. You 
		see, it was left to me in the event 
		of my sister's death.

The padre nods as we

						DISSOLVE TO

EXT. RIDING MONTAGE - COUNTRYSIDE - DAY

Tall, handsome, dashing COUNT BRUNO VARELLI, on horseback, tears up and down 
various hills, recklessly, at a fast, almost out-of-control gallop. He is a 
distant blur in an otherwise peaceful landscape. He and the horse jump a 
fallen tree and a shallow stream before disappearing into a thick forest.

						DISSOLVE TO

EXT. ESTATE - DAY

Some time later, having worked up a good sweat, Bruno pulls up beside a couple 
of stable boys, one of whom takes his horse as he dismounts.

				STABLE BOY
		You have a nice ride, sir?

				BRUNO
		Yes.

Bruno pats the horse and the boy leads the animal away. Bruno pats a second 
horse held by another boy, then walks off, fanning himself with his hat and 
pulling a handkerchief from his pocket.

						DISSOLVE TO

EXT. TERRACE - DAY

Inez and the padre continue to sit and drink their tea.

				INEZ
		Another cup, Father?

				FATHER
		The tea will serve as a sop to my 
		conscience.

Bruno enters restlessly and joins them, shaking the padre's hand.

				BRUNO
		How are you, Father? Hello, Inez.

				INEZ
		What? No bones broken?

				BRUNO
		No.

				INEZ
		Here's a telegram for you.

				BRUNO
		Thank you.

				FATHER
		You'll kill yourself. Poor Lena 
		always says her beads every time you 
		start out.

				BRUNO
			(opens the telegram)
		Hm. Lena ought to save her prayers 
		for something more important.

				INEZ
		Tea, Bruno?

				BRUNO
		No, thank you.

A long pause as Bruno reads the telegram, riveted.

				BRUNO
		Mother of God!

				INEZ
		What is it, Bruno?

				FATHER
		Bad news?

				BRUNO
		Maria!

				FATHER
		Maria?

				INEZ
		What do you mean, "Maria"?

				BRUNO
		They've found her. Maria. Tony's 
		found her.

				INEZ
		Bruno, what are you saying?

				FATHER
		Son!

				BRUNO
		It's - it's from Budapest. Oh, no. 
		No, no, no. I can't believe it. He's 
		seen her. She's alive!

				INEZ
			(astonished)
		Maria.

				BRUNO
			(consults the telegram)
		They're leaving Budapest at-- 
		They'll be here tomorrow afternoon. 
		Inez, do you realize--? Tomorrow 
		afternoon! Lena! Pietro! Lena!

Bruno runs off in excitement. 

				INEZ
		Wait!

Inez tries to follow but the padre stops her.

				FATHER
		No, no, no. Leave him alone. Great 
		happiness is as hard to bear as 
		grief.

Inez snatches up the telegram and reads it as we

						CUT TO

EXT. COURTYARD - MOMENTS LATER

Two servants, Lena and an elderly man named PIETRO, join Bruno at the foot of 
the courtyard stairs.

				BRUNO
		Pietro!

				LENA & PIETRO
		What is it? Yes, sir? What's happened?

				BRUNO
		Oh, here. Countess Varelli is coming 
		back home to us tomorrow, that's 
		what's happened! 

Lena and Pietro stare at each other in disbelief.

				BRUNO
		Well, do you hear me? Can't you 
		understand? She's coming back home 
		to us, tomorrow! Tomorrow, Lena!

				PIETRO
		Tomorrow?

				LENA
		Oh, merciful heavens!

Pietro is ecstatic but Lena begins to cry and hugs Bruno who comforts her.

				BRUNO
		Oh, Lena. Ssshhhh! No more tears, 
		Lena. No, no, no, we've had enough 
		tears around here. Now, we can 
		laugh, Lena. 

				PIETRO
		Yes, yes, yes.

				BRUNO
		Hurry, Pietro. We must get her room 
		ready.

				PIETRO
		Yes, yes.

				BRUNO
		And you hurry to the station and 
		find out what time the train arrives. 
		And flowers, Lena, fresh flowers 
		everywhere! But hurry, Pietro! Don't 
		stand there! 

Pietro exits as Bruno hurries to a double door, followed by Lena. 

				BRUNO
		Come on, Lena. Lena, come! Hurry, Lena!

Bruno pulls out some keys, unlocks half the door and enters.

						CUT TO

INT. DRAWING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

A dark room. Daylight pours in from the open door as Bruno and Lena enter. 
Bruno opens curtains and a side door while Lena opens the other half of the 
double door, letting in more light.

				BRUNO
		Open the windows, Lena. Open all the 
		windows.

				LENA
		Yes, sir, yes, Mister Bruno.

Lena hurries away as Bruno happily tears the white covers off of the room's 
furniture. Inez enters worriedly, telegram in hand, and joins him.

				INEZ
		Bruno! I can't understand this. 
		Tony seems to imply that her mind is 
		affected, that her memory's gone.

				BRUNO
		Well, isn't that natural? After all 
		she's been through? 

				INEZ
		Yes, but what does he mean by this? 
			(reads)
		"Remember that for the present she's 
		to see no one. Not even Inez." 
		That's heartless. Am I not to be 
		allowed to see my own sister?

				BRUNO
		Tony knows best. He's probably 
		afraid of the shock of bringing back 
		too many memories at once. Oh, surely 
		you wouldn't do anything now to set 
		her back. You couldn't. 
			(darkly)
		I don't think either one of us could 
		stand any more disappointments.

				INEZ
			(pause)
		Of course not, Bruno. I understand. 
			(another pause)
		I'll take the same train to Rome that 
		she arrives on. And I'll make sure 
		that she doesn't see me. After all, 
		I love her, too.

				BRUNO
		As if I didn't know that.

Bruno looks up and leaves Inez, crossing to a darkened corner. He pulls a 
white sheet off of the wall to reveal a huge painting of a woman. He regards 
it for a moment, then opens a nearby shade to flood the portrait with 
daylight. It's Tony's painting of Maria, as she was ten years ago: young, 
radiant, wearing a simple but beautiful gown, smiling in springtime. 
Superficially unlike Zara and yet -- there is clearly some resemblance.

CLOSEUP - BRUNO

He stares up at the portrait, rapt.

				BRUNO
			(to himself)
		How I prayed that it might come to 
		life again.

						FADE OUT

FADE IN

EXT. TRAIN - NEXT DAY

The train's whistle blows as its wheels roar along the track.

						DISSOLVE TO

INT. DINING CAR - TRAIN 

A crowded car. Diners eat, a waiter walks by with a tray. 

A noisy Italian family passes through, kids screaming, father bellowing at 
them. Zara and Tony, seated at a nearby table, watch with amusement.

				TONY
			(wryly, off the kids)
		The opera singers of tomorrow.

Zara lights a cigarette. A few weeks have passed since we saw her last: her 
injured arm is still in a sling but has nearly healed. She is no longer a 
blonde: she's let her hair grow and washed the dye from it. She is not only 
less glamorous but less self-assured: she fidgets, filled with uncertainty.

				ZARA
		What time will we be there?

				TONY
		Four.

				ZARA
		That's just two more hours.

				TONY
		Nervous?

				ZARA
		Terrified.

				TONY
		No need to be. 

Tony takes her hand but realizes he shouldn't pull at her wounded arm.

				TONY
		Oh, I'm so clumsy. Did I hurt you?

				ZARA
			(fusses with her sling)
		Not at all. It's all well. I'll take 
		this off before--  
			(pause, concerned)
		Tell me. Has Bruno changed much? 
		That is, will I know him?

				TONY
		He's older, naturally.

				ZARA
		You know, it's been so long. 
		Sometimes, I can't picture what he's 
		like. Of course, I remember he's not 
		very tall and--

				TONY
		Very tall? 

				ZARA
			(uncertainly)
		I suppose - I suppose YOU would 
		call him tall.

				TONY
		I would, yes. Your husband, madame, 
		is, I regret to say, one of the 
		tallest and handsomest officers in 
		the Italian army.

Zara smiles, deeply pleased. She lowers her eyes.

				ZARA
		You're sweet, Tony. 
			(meets his eyes)
		And I'm so grateful.

				TONY
			(lightly)
		Never be grateful till you're past 
		forty.

				ZARA
		What time is it now?

				TONY
		Five minutes past two.

				ZARA
			(stares out the window)
		An hour and fifty-five minutes more.

						FADE OUT

FADE IN

EXT. TRAIN STATION SEQUENCE - DAY

INEZ AND BRUNO  

ride in a horse-drawn carriage which pulls up to the busy station. They 
disembark, are greeted by villagers, and exchange goodbyes under the noisy 
crowd.

				BRUNO
		I'm sorry, Inez.

				INEZ
		It doesn't matter. Goodbye.

				BRUNO
		Goodbye.

Inez walks off as a station employee joins Bruno.

				STATION EMPLOYEE
			(to Bruno)
		May I show you to the train?

Bruno and the employee head through a gate toward the tracks.

						CUT TO

LENA AND PIETRO

holding bouquets of flowers, standing among the crowd. Lena adjusts Pietro's 
bow tie. They bicker to cover their nervousness:

				LENA
		Your necktie - always crooked.

				PIETRO
		Crooked? How 'bout your hat? It's 
		not crooked? Huh?

				LENA
		Oh, but I'm so nervous.

				PIETRO
		Ah, nervous, nervous. How 'bout me? 
		I'm no' nervous?!

				LENA
		You're all right, you're all right!

						CUT TO

ZARA AND TONY 

standing together on the train as it pulls slowly into the station. He gives 
her a comforting pat on the arm. She turns and suddenly panics, fear in her 
eyes, gripping his arm.

				ZARA
		I can't go through with it!

				TONY
			(soothing)
		Steady. Steady, now. It's going to 
		be all right. That's the girl. 
		Nothing to be afraid of, really. 
		Nothing at all. Now, then, come on. 
		Come on.

The train stops and she reluctantly allows him to lead her onto the platform.

						CUT TO 

LENA AND PIETRO

watching expectantly.

				PIETRO
		Here they are. Here they are.

						CUT TO 

ZARA AND TONY

walking through the crowd, parallel to the train. The uniformed station 
employee bows to Zara who peers at him uncertainly and glances at Tony.

						CUT TO 

BRUNO

standing farther along. He turns and steps in their direction, unsure.

						CUT TO

ZARA AND TONY

as they join Lena and Pietro. Lena offers her bouquet to Zara who clearly does 
not recognize her but accepts the flowers with a hesitant nod. Lena and Pietro 
watch with surprise as Tony and Zara move on. The older couple exchange 
glances of disbelief that their Maria should not recognize them.

						CUT TO 

BRUNO

also surprised at this. He strides forward to meet Tony and Zara.

						CUT TO 

ZARA AND TONY

Tony points out Bruno to Zara.

				TONY
		Here he comes.

Bruno joins them, staring raptly at Zara. He and Tony remove their hats. Zara 
stares at Bruno apprehensively, clutching at Tony's arm. In the background, 
the crowd looks on with interest.

Bruno is overcome. He moves his face close to hers.

				BRUNO
		Maria. 

Bruno takes her in his arms. 

				BRUNO
		Maria. 

Zara shows no sign of recognition - has trouble meeting his eyes.

				BRUNO
		There were so many things I was 
		going to say to you but - I've 
		forgotten them all. You're more 
		beautiful than ever.

Bruno kisses her full on the lips. She pulls away first, uncomfortable.

				ZARA
		I--

				BRUNO
		Oh, I know what you're going to say 
		but it doesn't matter. The only 
		thing that matters now is that I 
		have you. Come. 

Zara, terrified, looks to Tony for help. So does Bruno, more congenially.

				BRUNO
		Coming along, old man?

				TONY
			(amused, satisfied)
		Mm mm, no, no. This is the moment 
		for Tony to exit smilingly. I'll 
		join you later. Bon soir!

Tony moves off gallantly. Zara lowers her eyes to the ground as Bruno puts his 
arm around her shoulder and leads her through the chattering crowd and out the 
gate.

						CUT TO

INEZ AND TONY

Tony joins a skeptical Inez who has watched everything from a distance.

				TONY
		Going back to Rome by the same 
		train?

				INEZ
		Hello, Tony.

				TONY
		Hello, Inez.

				INEZ
		Yes, of course. I only caught a 
		slight glimpse but I'm afraid I saw 
		very little resemblance.

				TONY
		Oh ho, come, come, my dear. Think of 
		the scars of life. To say nothing of 
		twenty-four hours of train dust.

				INEZ
		I hope you're right, Tony -- for 
		Bruno's sake.


						FADE OUT

FADE IN

EXT. THE GATES OF THE VARELLI ESTATE - LATER THAT DAY

Zara and Bruno ride in the horse drawn carriage as it passes through the front 
gate of the estate. A crowd of friendly villagers wave and cheer them on.

						DISSOLVE TO

INT. DRAWING ROOM - LATER THAT DAY

Pietro watches as Lena fusses with one of several displays of flowers. 

				PIETRO
		Well? You make up your mind?

				LENA
		I thought a few flowers--

				PIETRO
		Few?! Why, this place look like a 
		funeral.

				LENA
		But she always loved flowers.

				PIETRO
		I can't get over she did not 
		remember us today.

				LENA
		Are you going to begin THAT again?

Abruptly, Lena begins to weep and dabs her eyes with a tissue.

				PIETRO
		Well-- Why you crying? You crying 
		again? Aw, you cry at everything. 
		You cry at weddings, at funerals, 
		I--

				LENA
			(snaps at him)
		Well, there's one funeral I won't 
		cry at!

				PIETRO
		Who?!

Lena turns away from him in disgust. Bruno enters and joins them.

				BRUNO
		Lena?

				LENA
		Yes?

				BRUNO
		Pietro? There's something I should 
		like to say to you. 

The three of them confer. Bruno pauses and looks around to make sure he is not 
overheard. The portrait of Maria hangs visible on the wall in the background.

				BRUNO
		Because you've known her longer than 
		any of us, I'm depending upon you to 
		help me. We must do everything we 
		can to make it easy for her.

				LENA
		Oh, yes, sir. Yes, sir.

But Tony's voice interrupts.

				TONY'S VOICE
		Could a thirsty traveler have some 
		tea?!

The threesome turn to see a jovial Tony enter.

				BRUNO
		Well, hello, there, old man.

				TONY
		When I say "tea," I don't necessarily 
		mean tea.

				BRUNO
			(amused, to Pietro)
		A whisky and soda for Mister Tony.

				PIETRO
		Si.

				LENA
			(smiles, to Tony)
		With a lot of whisky, eh?

				TONY
		Ah, and not too much soda -- you bad 
		girl. 

Tony pinches Lena's cheek. She laughs and she and Pietro exit, leaving Tony 
and Bruno by themselves.

				TONY
		Uh, where's the lady?

				BRUNO
		In her room. 
			(uncomfortably)
		She, uh, she wanted to be alone.

				TONY
		Mm, naturally.

Bruno earnestly puts a hand on his friend's shoulder.

				BRUNO
		Forgive me, old man. In the 
		excitement at the station today, I 
		had no chance to tell you -- to try 
		to tell you -- how deeply grateful 
		I am. 

				TONY
		Hm. I know. Everything all right?

				BRUNO
		Well, yes, of course. Only-- I don't 
		know if I can explain it to you. We 
		- it's as if we'd met today for the 
		first time.

				TONY
		My dear fellow, you are both under 
		tremendous strain.

				BRUNO
		Yes, I know. But there's something I 
		don't understand. Tony, she's almost 
		a stranger. She scarcely said a word 
		to me. She seems to want to avoid me. 
		I can't seem to be able to - to get 
		to her.

				TONY
		You can't bridge ten years in an 
		hour.

				BRUNO
		Oh, naturally, I expected to find 
		her changed but - not--

				TONY
		Her ten years haven't been like 
		yours. She's been through what we 
		inadequately call hell. She's been 
		dragged through the mud. She's had 
		the soul beaten out of her.

						DISSOLVE TO

INT. MARIA'S BEDROOM - DAY

Luxurious, well-lit, filled with flowers. Zara sits at the end of the bed by a 
table, her face morose and downcast. She starts and fidgets nervously as Lena 
enters with yet another bunch of flowers and sets them beside her.

				LENA
		There. You remember? The Count 
		always liked gardenias in your room.

				ZARA
		Thank you.

				LENA
		Isn't there anything I can do for 
		you?

				ZARA
		No, nothing.

				LENA
		All your things are here -- just as 
		you left them. All the things you 
		used to love. Even your poor old 
		Lena.

Zara, startled to realize that Lena had some sort of personal relationship 
with Maria, glances at her uneasily, then grows thoughtful.

				LENA
		But maybe I'm talking too much. 
		Maybe you'd rather be alone.

				ZARA
		Thank you.

Lena exits hesitantly as Zara sits lost in thought, hand to her mouth. At the 
sound of the door closing, Zara glances at it worriedly and puts a hand to her 
head.

						DISSOLVE TO:

INT. DRAWING ROOM - DAY

Some time later, Tony finishes filling in Bruno on Zara's life.

				TONY
		And I could tell you worse things. 
		But none of it was her fault. And 
		you mustn't let it interfere with 
		your love for her.

				BRUNO
		Oh, no. It only makes me doubly 
		anxious to take care of her. I want 
		more than ever to make up for what 
		she's been through.

				TONY
		Be gentle with her. I hope you won't 
		misunderstand me, Bruno. But don't 
		let anything frighten her. Not even 
		your own love.

				BRUNO
		I'll try. 

Bruno starts off decisively.

				TONY
		Where are you going?

				BRUNO
		I'm going to find her now.

Tony chuckles, pleased, as Bruno exits.

						DISSOLVE TO:

INT. THE DRAWING ROOM - LATER THAT DAY

Pietro serves a drink to Tony who toasts him.

				TONY
		Well, heigh ho, Pietro -- or words 
		to that effect.

Tony drinks as Lena appears in the background and calls quietly to him.

				LENA
		Here they come, here they come.

Pietro moves off as Lena and Tony watch Bruno lead a hesitant Zara from the 
courtyard into the drawing room. 

				TONY
			(pleasantly, to Zara)
		Well, how does it seem to be home?

Zara glances around at the unfamiliar room with an ironic nod and grin.

				ZARA
		Home.

She walks forward and inspects the room unhappily. Bruno tags along beside her 
trying to remain upbeat.

				BRUNO
		It isn't much changed, is it? When 
		I rebuilt the house, I tried to 
		restore everything just as you had 
		it.

Zara stalks around the room, searchingly, then turns and stops dead at the 
sight of the huge portrait of Maria hanging on the wall.

				BRUNO
		Your portrait. Thank heaven, it's 
		come to life.

				ZARA
			(incredulous)
		Do you mean - that that lovely 
		creature - and I - ? 

She steps forward for a better look.

				ZARA
		Is that what she looked like ten 
		years ago? 
			(turns to Bruno, upset)
		Is that who I'm supposed to be?

				BRUNO
		Why, darling, I--

Distraught, Zara rushes away from Bruno and the portrait to join Tony on the 
other side of the room.

				ZARA
		I can't stand it. Tony?

Bruno follows, confused.

				BRUNO
		Maria?

The three stand together. Zara clearly wants Tony to take her away, to leave 
the estate.

				ZARA
		I'm not Maria! I'm not that woman.

				BRUNO
		You're not - ? Tony, what does she 
		mean?

				TONY
		Don't you understand? After all 
		she's been through - she feels she's 
		not the same. She's no longer the
		girl in the portrait. 

				ZARA
			(shakes her head)
		No, no, that's not what I mean! I 
		couldn't EVER have been that woman. 
			(grasps at Tony)
		Let's go, Tony.

				TONY
		Maria, dear, don't let yourself go 
		to pieces.

				ZARA
		Oh, what a fool I've been to ever 
		try this, to ever come here. 
			(genuinely, to Bruno)
		Forgive me, I'm sorry.

				BRUNO
		Maria, my dear...

				ZARA
		You know I'm not Maria, don't you? 

Bruno glances in the direction of the portrait. Zara gestures helplessly at 
it.

				ZARA
		Look for yourselves. There is 
		nothing of that girl in me.

				BRUNO
		Yes, of course there is.

Zara moves quickly to the portrait and, facing Tony and Bruno, stands beneath 
it, arms outstretched.

				ZARA
		Is there? Look at us both! 

A slight pause as Bruno stares at Zara and the portrait. Zara slumps weakly 
against the back of a nearby chair, clutching a hand to her head.

				ZARA
		Oh, Tony. He sees the truth now.

				TONY
		Bruno. You can't let her think you 
		doubt her.

Bruno moves close to Zara.

				BRUNO
		Maria, try to understand. Be patient 
		with me. 

Bruno stares up at the portrait as Zara listens.

				BRUNO
		For ten years, I've waited for her. 
		No one can know how much I've loved 
		her. Even when she became a memory, 
		I was faithful to that memory. 

Zara's eyes have widened in surprise. Bruno turns his face to hers.

				BRUNO
		And then suddenly to - to see her 
		come to life - to realize that she's 
		flesh and blood. You think I doubt 
		you - but I can't doubt you and 
		keep my sanity. I've got to believe 
		you're Maria.

Zara faces him, looks him in the eyes, stunned.

				ZARA
		I didn't know that there was love 
		like this. That there were men like 
		you. 
			(suddenly unsure)
		But I - I couldn't just be the 
		woman who has come back. Would you 
		help me to create HER again?

As she says this, Zara nods toward the portrait that looms behind them.

				BRUNO
		If you'll trust me.

				ZARA
		But you can only do it by - by 
		believing in me. Then perhaps I can 
		be - 
			(lowers her eyes)
		- as you desire me.

Their eyes meet.

						FADE OUT

FADE IN

INT. A ROOM IN PARIS - DAY

Inez sits and reads an issue of Le Miroir du Monde as her maid presents her 
with a visitor's calling card. Inez reads the card.

				INEZ
		I don't believe I know him. Say I'm 
		not at home.

				MAID
		But the gentlemen said it was urgent.

				INEZ
			(rereads the card)
		Salter?

				MAID
		He said he must see you, madame.

				INEZ
			(with a grin)
		How much does he tip you?

				MAID
			(shyly)
		Ten lire.

				INEZ
			(amused)
		Give it back to him. But show the 
		gentleman in.

The maid heads out the door, takes Salter's hat, and closes the door behind 
him as he enters and joins Inez.

				SALTER
		Madame Montari?

				INEZ
		Karl Salter. The novelist?

				SALTER
		Yes, madame.

				INEZ
		Sit down.

				SALTER
			(remains standing)
		Ah, the reason for my coming is 
		rather important to both of us.

				INEZ
		Oh?

				SALTER
		You are the sister of Countess 
		Varelli, aren't you?

				INEZ
		Yes.

Inez gestures to a small framed photo of Maria on a nearby table. Putting a 
monocle to his eye, Salter inspects it closely. Inez watches him, puzzled.

				SALTER
		Remarkable likeness! But, um-- 
			(clears throat) 
		To come to my story...

Salter pulls a chair over and sits down opposite Inez.

				SALTER
		You see, about a month ago, the 
		Countess Varelli, after having been 
		missing for ten long years, suddenly 
		returned to her husband.

				INEZ
		May I ask--?

				SALTER
		Don't you think it is rather strange, 
		madame, that the Countess should
		have refused to see even you, her 
		own sister?

				INEZ
		Now, really, I must--

				SALTER
		I happen to know that there is an 
		estate involved, a rather 
		considerable amount of money, which 
		would have gone to you in the event 
		that the Countess were never found.

Indignant, Inez rises. Salter rises, too.

				INEZ
		And how could this possibly concern 
		you?

				SALTER
		Because the woman you believe to be 
		the Countess Varelli is an impostor.

				INEZ
		What do you mean?

				SALTER
		Suppose that I were to tell you that 
		I know where your sister is. The REAL 
		Countess Varelli.

Inez looks away, eyes wide with distress.

						FADE OUT

FADE IN

EXT. BY THE ADRIATIC SEA - DAWN

Lively Italian guitar music. A beach crowded with people sits alongside a sea 
crowded with sailboats, just before sunrise. 

Down by the shore, on a beached vessel, a group of sailors smoke cigarettes 
and listen as one of their fellows strums his guitar. A car horn honks and 
another sailor points in its direction. The sailors wave up to

THE CAR

A sporty roadster parked on a bluff overlooking the beach. The driver, Bruno, 
waves down to the sailors and calls out:

				BRUNO
		Hello, Andreas!

Bruno and Zara happily get out of the car and admire the view. 

				BRUNO
		The Adriatic, my darling, by 
		moonlight. In a moment, we're about 
		to show for your especial benefit, 
		one of our celebrated sunrises.

				ZARA
			(chuckles)
		It was worth driving all night for.

				BRUNO
		Well, there's our boat waiting for 
		us.

Bruno points and leads Zara down to the beach. A servant follows, carrying 
their luggage.

						DISSOLVE TO

EXT. THE BOAT - MOMENTS LATER

Accompanied by the upbeat guitar music, Bruno and Zara thread their way along 
the crowded shore to their boat. Bruno waves to onlookers and a small crowd 
follows and gathers 'round them to help push the boat into the water.

Bruno lifts Zara into the boat, then climbs in. Sailors busy themselves for 
departure. Zara watches all the activity with delight.

With help from the crowd, the boat casts off. The sail is raised.

Zara sits on deck, rubbing her arms in the cool breeze. Bruno joins her.

The boat, one among many on the water, sails out to sea.

						DISSOLVE TO

EXT. THE BOAT - SOME TIME LATER

Bruno and Zara sit on deck. Bruno watches as other boats keep pace with 
theirs, the sun low on the distant horizon. He turns his attention to Zara who  
seems lost in thought.

				BRUNO
		Cold?

				ZARA
		No. 
			(genuinely)
		You don't know what it means to me. 
		All this beauty and peace.

						DISSOLVE TO

INT. BEDROOM (BY THE SEA) - NIGHT

That evening, Zara, readying for bed, sits quietly in the candlelight. The 
background music is sadder, slower but romantic. A knock at the door. She 
grows uncomfortable.

				ZARA
		Come in.

The doorknob rattles but the door doesn't open. Realizing it's locked, Zara 
rises, crosses to the door and opens it. She smiles as Bruno appears in the 
doorway wearing a robe.

				BRUNO
		Don't you remember me? I'm the 
		young man who went sailing with you 
		this morning.

They laugh. She lowers her eyes shyly.

				BRUNO
		Aren't you going to ask me in to say 
		good night?

Smiling, she backs away to let him enter.

				ZARA
		Yes.

He follows her into the room. As if on cue, a harpist plays a glissando. 
Amused, Zara moves to a large window overlooking the sea and pushes it open. 

Somewhere in the night, someone plays the Italian melody "Sorrento" as Zara 
turns with a smile to Bruno who has followed her. She turns back to the open 
window, bends down, plucks a flower blossom from a bush and shows it to Bruno 
before pressing it to her face. He takes her wrist and kisses her hand. She 
swoons uneasily. Abruptly, he presses his lips to hers in a full kiss. After a 
moment, she resists, breaks away from him, and leans against a nearby wall, 
looking at him with a mixture of sympathy and uncertainty.

				BRUNO
		Darling?

				ZARA
			(apologetic)
		I don't know-- I can't explain.

She offers him a halfhearted smile and he lowers his eyes. After a moment, he 
takes her hand, presses it against his face, kisses it, pats it with 
affection, and looks her in the eyes steadily and reassuringly.

				BRUNO
		Good night.

She watches as he pulls away from her reluctantly and exits. She presses the 
flower to her lips as we hear the bedroom door close.

						CUT TO

INT. BRUNO'S BEDROOM (BY THE SEA) - MOMENTS LATER

Bruno opens a case and takes out a cigarette. He lights it with a candle, then 
blows out the candle and sits in the semidarkness on the edge of his bed, 
smoking thoughtfully. "Sorrento" and moonlight enter the room through an open 
window behind him. 

Suddenly, his eyes widen with the realization that someone else is in the room 
with him. He rises and turns to see Zara standing in the open doorway. She 
crosses toward him, looking ethereal in the moonlight, and casually leans on 
the bedpost at the end of his bed.

				ZARA
		May I have a cigarette?

Stunned, he puts his cigarette in his mouth and opens his case. She reaches in 
and takes a cigarette, puts it to her mouth, then moves seductively close to 
him, pressing the end of her cigarette to his, lighting it. 

They eye one another hungrily. 

He removes his cigarette and drops it to the floor. 

She lets hers slip out of her hand as they draw close to one another and join 
in a slow, powerful kiss.

						FADE OUT

FADE IN

INT. DRAWING ROOM - VARELLI ESTATE - ANOTHER DAY

Tony sits in front of Maria's portrait, sketchpad in hand, working on a 
drawing. 

Zara enters quietly through the double doors from the courtyard, wearing a 
dress that looks exactly like the one Maria wears in the painting. She 
approaches Tony who does not notice her until she speaks.

				ZARA
		Tony?

Tony looks up, then rises, stunned.

				TONY
		In heaven's name, say something so I 
		know I'm not dreaming.

Zara sits in the chair before the painting, adopting the same pose as Maria.

				ZARA
		Tell me, Tony, am I right?

We PAN OFF Zara to the similarly-posed portrait.

				TONY
		Why, I'm - I'm aghast. I can't speak. 
		Why, it's - it's too perfect for 
		words!

He kneels before her for a closer look as she breaks the pose and laughs 
happily.

				ZARA
		Oh, Tony, I want to stay and make 
		him happy. I've changed. There's 
		nothing left in my heart but him.

Bruno appears in the double doors. Tony raises a hand to stop him.

				TONY
		Don't move! 

Tony rises as Zara quickly adopts the pose again.

				TONY
		This is the big moment of my life! 

Tony leads Bruno over to see the new Zara.

				TONY
		Bruno - look! What an artist! 

Bruno looks. Zara breaks the pose again and smiles at him as Tony calls out:

				TONY
		Lena! Pietro! What an artist!

				BRUNO
			(impressed, to Zara)
		Why, you're lovely.

Lena enters and joins them. 

				TONY
		Why, of course it's lovely. Am I not 
		the artist? There she is and there 
		she is! God made one and I made the 
		other. Now, which is which?

Zara laughs and searches Bruno's face.

				ZARA
		Am I really like her?

				BRUNO
		Oh, my beautiful one. 

				TONY
		Lena, do you hear these foolish 
		questions? Why, they're as much 
		alike as two peas in a pod. Even the 
		love light in her beautiful blue 
		eyes--

				LENA
		Yes, but, uh, but the eyes are gray.

Zara's face falls.

				TONY
		Gray? No, no, Lena, they're blue - I 
		know, I painted the portrait.

Zara grows tense. But Bruno is too delighted to notice.

				BRUNO
			(to Zara)
		When did you think of this?

				ZARA
			(recovers slightly)
		Oh, I've put this dress on many 
		times. I've studied myself and looked 
		at myself--

				LENA
			(to Zara)
		Oh, I'm so happy! 

				ZARA
		Sweet Lena.

				LENA
		Yes.

Pietro enters with a tray of drinks. Tony watches anxiously for his reaction.

				PIETRO
		Mama Mia! I thought the picture 
		had-a come to life.

				TONY
			(pleased)
		There you are! Pietro appreciates me.

Bruno draws Zara to the center of the room to admire her.

				BRUNO
		Oh, it's a miracle, I tell you, a 
		miracle. The same - that same tilt 
		of the head. That same hint of a 
		smile.

Zara hugs Bruno warmly.

				TONY
		Oh, that's only superficial. But 
		look at the soul, shining out of her 
		blue eyes.

				PIETRO
		Blue eyes? Mister Tony, you will 
		have your joke. Imagine, painting 
		brown eyes and calling them blue.

				LENA
		They are gray eyes.

				TONY
		Blue eyes.

				BRUNO
			(amused, to Lena, off Pietro)
		Ohhh, take him outside. 

				LENA
		But they are gray.

Lena and Pietro exit together arguing.

				BRUNO
			(reassuring, to Zara)
		Gray, brown, blue. They're beautiful 
		eyes. 

				TONY
			(to Zara)
		My dear, would it be stupid to say 
		you are born again?

				ZARA
			(to Bruno, with 
			a great smile)
		And what do you say? Am I born again?

				TONY
		What a pity you weren't born last 
		week on your birthday. Bruno and I 
		were dying to celebrate.

				BRUNO
			(nods)
		Mm.

				ZARA
		I wasn't ready then, Tony.

				BRUNO
		We'll celebrate tonight. 

				TONY
		The three of us. As we did once, eh--

				ZARA
		Yes! Yes, in Monte Carlo.

				BRUNO
		Maria, you remember?!

				ZARA
		Tony had a marvelous new system of 
		roulette to break the bank.

				TONY
		Go on.

				ZARA
		Marvelous system -- you lost thirty 
		thousand francs.

				BRUNO
		Tony! She remembers. And then we 
		left Tony at the casino...

				ZARA
		To console himself with a Russian 
		lady with beautiful jewels and 
		beautiful teeth.

				TONY
		Right. And they were both false. 

Zara and Bruno laugh.

				TONY
		That's all you need to remember 
		about me today. Tell the rest to 
		Bruno.

Tony exits with a grin, leaving Zara and Bruno alone.

				BRUNO
		Maria, do you remember anything else 
		about that night in Monte Carlo?

				ZARA
		Yes. We drove along for hours by the 
		sea.

				BRUNO
		I was trying to get up enough 
		courage to propose to you.

				ZARA
		And I made up my mind you'd drive on 
		till you did.

				BRUNO
		My darling.

				ZARA
		And afterwards, that night, we drove 
		for miles, do you remember?

				BRUNO
		Every second of it.

				ZARA
		And the coachman who wept because 
		his sweetheart was in America.

				BRUNO
		Oh, darling. If you knew what this--

				ZARA
		We were so happy we bought the horse 
		and the cab so he go to America and 
		join his sweetheart.

				BRUNO
		Mmm.

They laugh. A dog barks. Bruno looks up to see

PIETRO AND A DOG

in the courtyard. It is a big dog, dragging Pietro behind him.

				BRUNO
		Oh, there's Rex. Maria, you remember 
		him.

				TONY'S VOICE
			(from the courtyard)
		Bruno! Hold on to the dog!

But Pietro lets go and Rex races toward the drawing room, barking angrily.

				BRUNO
		Rex! Stop!

Rex pauses obediently at the double doors, glaring at Zara who stares at him 
nervously. Rex growls at her. Confused, Bruno stands with Zara. Rex barks at 
her. Bruno leaves Zara's side and crosses to Rex as an apprehensive Tony 
appears in the doorway beside the dog.

				TONY
		He's dangerous. 

				BRUNO
		Why, only to strangers. He hasn't 
		forgotten Maria. 

But Zara doesn't look so sure.

				BRUNO
			(to Zara)
		Speak to him, darling.

				ZARA
			(darkly)
		Let him come to me.

				BRUNO
			(uncertain)
		Perhaps I'd better hold on to him.

But she shakes her head tensely and steels herself.

Bruno lets go of Rex and points to Zara. Rex walks forward, but instead of 
attacking, the dog jumps up and puts his paws in her arms, suddenly very 
friendly.

				BRUNO
		Well, there! You see, I knew he'd 
		remember her. Come on, boy. Come on, 
		Rex, that's enough for one day.

Bruno and a much-relieved Zara pet Rex as Tony joins them.

				TONY
		Hm. Smart dog but not very tactful.

				BRUNO
		He remembers her.

				TONY
		He should know when people want to 
		be alone. Come on, Rex, you and I 
		are going for a walk. And I want to 
		ask you, as man to dog, "what color 
		are her eyes?" Come on, boy. 

With a gesture toward the painting, Tony exits with Rex, leaving Zara and 
Bruno alone again.

				ZARA
		I've given you a bad time of it, 
		haven't I? 

				BRUNO
		Ssshhhh.

				ZARA
		I'm sorry. Shall we begin - from 
		now?

				BRUNO
			(nods)
		From this moment.

Zara looks at the portrait.

				ZARA
		You know, that girl up there - and 
		this one here - we think that life 
		can be very sweet, don't we?

Zara and Bruno kiss deeply, happily.

After a moment, Lena enters from the side door and knocks for their attention. 
The couple break their clinch.

				LENA
		A gentleman here to see the Countess.

Zara and Bruno exchange surprised looks. Lena offers the visitor's card. Zara 
reads it and looks at Bruno with concern.

				ZARA
			(weakly) 
		Salter.

				BRUNO
		What excuse could he possibly have 
		for coming here?

				ZARA
			(her old self 
			for a moment)
		Salter never needs an excuse.

				BRUNO
		I'll speak to him.

Bruno starts to go but Zara stops him.

				ZARA
		It's better if I see him. I want to 
		end that chapter once and for all.

				BRUNO
		All right, darling. I'll be on the 
		terrace.

				ZARA
		I love you.

She kisses him lovingly on the hand and they break away reluctantly. Bruno 
exits. Zara watches him go unhappily. Lena gestures to the courtyard and 
exits. Zara moves through the double doors and into 

THE COURTYARD

as the malevolent figure of Salter walks into view. He pauses at the sight of 
her, then laughs darkly before striding toward her.

				SALTER
		I'm so glad to see you. How are you? 

Zara backs away and refuses to take his offered hand.

				SALTER
		Come, come, don't be childish. I 
		expected you to laugh and say, 
		"Hello, Salter! How do you like me 
		in my fool's paradise?"

				ZARA
			(firmly)
		I'm back where I belong.

				SALTER
			(more dark laughter) 
		You don't have to act for me. 
			(glances around)
		Aren't we alone?

Zara sighs and starts to walk off but Salter brusquely catches her by the 
wrist and presses himself angrily to her.

				SALTER
		How I hated you - those first days 
		after you'd left. I cursed you. I 
		couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, I 
		couldn't work, I couldn't even 
		drink. You've gotten me where no 
		other woman could ever get me.

He tries to kiss her, she tries to break away.

				ZARA
			(struggling)
		Salter.

				SALTER
		You're going back with me.

				ZARA
		Salter! 

She breaks free and rubs her wrist in pain.

				ZARA
		I don't want to see you any more. I 
		don't even want to think of you 
		again.

				SALTER
		And the noble husband? Will he never 
		think of me again?

				ZARA
		That's all, Salter.

Zara has had enough. She moves away and picks up a bell to ring for a servant 
to throw him out.

				SALTER
		If you want to play this silly game, 
		to save a man's property, all right!

				ZARA
		To save his property?

				SALTER
		Oooh, I see. You don't know about 
		that. He must be clever, this 
		husband.

				ZARA
		What are you talking about?

				SALTER
		One week from tomorrow, Countess 
		Varelli would have been missing ten 
		years and legally dead. And the 
		noble Count would have lost all 
		these lovely acres. Ha ha ha! This 
		is magnificent. They find you 
		singing in a cheap cafe, a casualty 
		of the war, without a memory, a 
		convenient resemblance and, uh, you 
		save the property.

				ZARA
		Now, that's not true.

				SALTER
		Well, we can easily find out. Where 
		is this honorable gentleman?

				ZARA
		Will you wait?

Zara sets the bell down and heads off into 

THE DRAWING ROOM

Zara looks around for a sign of Bruno and calls out:

				ZARA
		Bruno?

Bruno enters from the terrace and joins her.

				ZARA
		I'm sorry, Bruno, I couldn't quite 
		settle this without you. 

Bruno makes a move in Salter's direction but Zara stops him. 

				ZARA
		Er, Salter says that I'm here with 
		you as a - sort of a legal 
		convenience. Of course, it's 
		something that he's manufactured 
		but he dared me to ask you about 
		it.

				BRUNO
		What did he tell you?

				ZARA
		That all this property was this 
		girl's dowry - that, in a week, she 
		would have been legally dead and 
		you would have lost your property. 

Bruno turns away from her.

				ZARA
		It isn't true what he says, is it, 
		Bruno?

				BRUNO
		Maria, what difference can it make? 
		Ten years ago, you knew I loved you. 
		You recalled it a few moments ago. 
		Things have been clearing up in 
		your mind, one by one. If this 
		business about the estate isn't 
		clear yet, it will be in time. 

Zara stares at him in disbelief.

				BRUNO
		Oh, darling, don't you see? It 
		couldn't mean anything.

She backs away from him uncertainly.

				ZARA
		If I hadn't appeared - if your wife 
		hadn't come back, would you have 
		lost this estate?

				BRUNO
		Yes.

She walks away from him, staggered.

				ZARA
			(darkly)
		How fortunate for you that I was 
		found.

Bruno follows her.

				BRUNO
		Well, surely you don't think that--?

Zara sinks down to a sofa. In the background, through the open double doors, 
we see Salter in the courtyard pacing nonchalantly, twirling his cane.

				ZARA
		Now I understand why you were so 
		willing to forget the life I had 
		led.

				BRUNO
		Well, it wasn't a matter of 
		forgetting or forgiving. I only 
		wanted the estate for you. Because 
		it was yours.

				ZARA
		Mine? You've always doubted me. 
		You've never been sure.

				BRUNO
		You're wrong.

				ZARA
		Who am I, then? Am I Maria? Or any 
		woman you're willing to accept as 
		Maria? Just to be able to hold on to 
		all this?

				BRUNO
		But, my dear, this estate has never 
		been important to me. The only thing 
		I've ever cared about was finding 
		that girl again.

				ZARA
		And do you believe - down in your 
		heart - that I am that girl?

				BRUNO
		Absolutely. Beyond the shadow of a 
		doubt.

Struck, she turns away from him

				ZARA
		And what would you think if I told 
		you that I don't remember Monte 
		Carlo - I don't remember anything 
		that happened there. You see, that 
		girl left a diary - a very complete 
		diary, in which she told about 
		everything she loved.

Now, it is Bruno's turn to be struck.

				ZARA
		So, you see, there is nothing to 
		hold us together, Bruno. Only faith.

						CUT TO

THE COURTYARD

An extremely confident Salter jauntily twirls his cane. Lightning flashes and  
and he looks up at the sky. Thunder roars overhead as Salter checks his watch, 
tosses away his cigarette, collects his hat and gloves from a nearby table, 
and stands in the doorway to the drawing room. Twirling his cane, he stares at 
Zara and Bruno who are still seated on the sofa in

THE DRAWING ROOM

Zara and Bruno rise from the sofa. Lena enters with two lit candlesticks as 
Bruno strides over to confront Salter.

				BRUNO
		Mr. Salter?

				SALTER
		Count Varelli.

				BRUNO
		My wife and I won't waste any more 
		of your time.

				SALTER
		Thank you. But I haven't yet 
		explained the reason for my visit.

				BRUNO
		Well?

				SALTER
		I have brought your real wife with 
		me. 

Zara and Bruno stare at him.

				SALTER
		I found her in a sanitarium in 
		Trieste. She's been there ever since 
		the war. 

Zara and Bruno exchange glances.

				SALTER
			(to Zara)
		Her mind is, er, somewhat more 
		shattered than yours. So her doctor 
		is attending her. 

				BRUNO
		Whatever nonsense you're talking, 
		I'm not in the least interested. Now, 
		get out.

				SALTER
		It isn't as simple as all that. 
		There are proofs beyond any 
		question.

				BRUNO
		Proofs? 

Salter nods stiffly.

				BRUNO
		What are you talking about?

				ZARA
		Bruno. Why don't you let him show 
		you this woman?

				SALTER
			(nods, to Zara)
		I admire your courage.

Salter deposits his hat and gloves on the sofa and moves to the side door.

				SALTER
		Oh, doctor?

Thunder reminds us of the gathering storm. Pietro lights more candles as a 
distinguished-looking doctor enters.

				SALTER
		This is Dr. Rheinhart from Vienna. 
		He attended Countess Varelli for 
		some time.

				DOCTOR
		Very unfortunate case of amnesia. 
		We've had so many of them since the 
		war.

Bruno appears skeptical. Zara appears resigned.

				BRUNO
		Look here, let's get this over. 
		Where is this - this woman?

Salter nods to the doctor who nods in return, then exits. Lightning flashes. 
Thunder roars. Bruno turns and puts a comforting hand to Zara's shoulder. She 
summons a sad grin. He turns back to the side door but she keeps her eyes on 
him, as if she were about to lose him forever.

Salter holds the door as the doctor enters slowly, escorting a woman dressed 
all in black and wearing a black veil so that we cannot see her face very 
clearly (though it is certainly visible). She moves very slowly as if in a 
trance. Bruno eyes her skeptically. Zara looks at her searchingly.

The woman peers slowly around the room and then right at Bruno. She starts at 
the sight of him and staggers. Salter and the doctor quickly lend support, 
taking her by the arms. 

Lightning and thunder. Bruno, Zara, Pietro and Lena (who now enters from the 
courtyard) watch as the doctor and Salter lead the woman in black to the sofa 
and carefully seat her. The doctor lifts the woman's veil so that all may see 
her face (all but us -- we never actually see the woman's unveiled face).

After a pause, the woman, looking in the direction of the courtyard, sees Lena 
standing with Pietro -- and recognizes her.

				WOMAN
			(an eerie voice,
			resembling Zara's)
		Lena?

Zara stares impassively at the woman in black. Lena looks searchingly from 
Zara to the woman in black who sits on the edge of the sofa, arms reaching out 
to her. Lena moves hesitantly toward the woman, repeatedly glancing in 
confusion at Zara as she does. All eyes in the room are riveted on Lena as she 
joins the woman in black and takes her hands.

				WOMAN
		Lena!

Lena glances at Zara, then stares into the woman's face, incredulous.

				LENA
		La - la contessa?

Lena breaks down and cries hysterically, joyously, burying her head in the 
woman's lap. Zara looks shaken. Bruno stares, disbelieving. 

				SALTER
		See? Childhood memories coming back.

Zara, convinced, and Bruno, unconvinced, exchange glances.

				BRUNO
			(skeptical, to the doctor)
		Strange that this was never 
		mentioned before.

				DOCTOR
		Only in the last six months has 
		she shown improvement. Remembering 
		her name, her husband's name.

						CUT TO

EXT. COURTYARD - CONTINUOUS

Lightning and thunder overhead, Tony leads a nervous Inez across the dark, 
windswept courtyard. He points to the well-lit drawing room.

				TONY
		You'll find your sister in the 
		drawing room.

Inez gratefully shakes Tony's hand. He shrugs and she moves hesitantly away.

						CUT TO

INT. DRAWING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Inez arrives at the double doors and enters to find everyone as we left them: 
Lena kneels by the seated woman in black as Zara, Bruno, Salter and the doctor 
stand around the room. Pietro shuts the double doors behind Inez to keep out 
the increasingly noisy storm. 

Inez looks around uncertainly. 

Abruptly, at the sight of Inez, the woman in black attempts to rise. Lena 
helps her up.

				WOMAN
		Inez!

Zara's eyes widen. Bruno's faith is eroding. Salter looks on expectantly. Lena 
helps the woman in black slowly over to Inez. The woman suddenly embraces a 
startled Inez who looks at the others, confused. The two women clutch one 
another for a moment before Inez pulls back a little to peer into the woman's 
face.

				WOMAN
		Inez.

They embrace again.

				INEZ
		Oh, you poor thing.

Bruno glowers. Salter tries to suppress a grin. Zara merely stares. Inez and 
Pietro help escort the woman in black to a nearby chair.

				INEZ
			(to Pietro)
		Help her.

Tony, who has entered unnoticed from the side door, exchanges glances with 
Zara and takes her hand sympathetically but she brushes past him to confront 
the group who are arranged around the seated woman who is again veiled.

				ZARA
		Have you finished, Mr. Salter?

				BRUNO
		Surely you don't think we're taken 
		in by this merely because of some 
		resemblance.

But Zara puts a hand on Bruno's shoulder.

				ZARA
		Ohhh. Whistling in the dark.

				BRUNO
		But - ?

				ZARA
		Don't deny it. The doubt is there. 
		You can see it on all their faces.

Lena sobs sorrowfully. Zara entreats her with great sympathy.

				ZARA
		Poor Lena, don't cry. I'm not 
		blaming you. It's only natural. One 
		atom of doubt and the strongest 
		faith is destroyed. 
			(in Salter's direction)
		Salter knows that. He's clever.

				SALTER
		So you admit you ... might not be 
		Maria?

				ZARA
		Oh, I admit that even this poor soul 
		might be Maria - if you wish to 
		believe she is.

				TONY
			(arms folded, 
			with a grin)
		Hm! A cruel blow for an ambitious 
		portrait painter.

				ZARA
		Be sensible, Tony. Could you expect 
		anyone who has been through the 
		tortures of the past ten years to 
		remain the same? The very fact that 
		I am like her now should prove that 
		I'm not she.

				BRUNO
			(upset, to Zara)
		But if they doubt you, it's only 
		because you yourself are making them 
		doubt you.

				ZARA
			(evenly, to Bruno)
		That's what I mean to do. Either I 
		am that woman or she is. You don't 
		think she has proof? She has. 

Zara moves to Lena and puts a sympathetic hand on her arm.

				ZARA
		When I first met you, Lena, I had 
		nothing to say to you. 

Lena shakes her head, remembering. Zara gestures to the woman in black.

				ZARA
			(to Lena)
		The minute she came into the room, 
		she called you. 

Lena nods reluctantly in agreement. Zara shrugs with a wry grin. Lena turns 
away in tears. Zara now turns to Inez.

				ZARA
		You have wondered why I avoided you, 
		Inez, my own sister. Wasn't it 
		because I couldn't trust myself to 
		talk to you about the days when we 
		were children together? 

Inez does not meet her gaze.

				ZARA
		I see you've thought of all that. 
		Well, today, I was ready for you - 
		perfect in my part, even to the 
		dress I had copied - to complete the 
		illusion. Then Salter must ruin it 
		all by bringing--

Zara makes a helpless gesture to the woman in black.

				SALTER
		The real wife.

Zara looks around at the silent room.

				ZARA
		I'm surprised. No protests? 

Zara moves to Bruno.

				ZARA
		Poor Bruno. You don't believe. And it 
		would've been so simple to make you 
		believe. All of you.

				TONY
		I've never doubted you, Maria.

Zara, full of wisdom, moves to Tony.

				ZARA
		That's because - because you are one 
		of the rare few who always believe. 

She turns back to Bruno as Tony walks off, disappointed.

				ZARA
		Oh, Bruno! You've held me in your 
		arms, close to you. You still don't 
		know? If I'm hurting you, I'm sorry. 
		I wanted to be - I tried so hard to 
		be that woman. Don't hate me too 
		much for stealing your love. If I 
		could return it to you, I would. 
		I can't. It's locked up ...
			(hands to her heart)
		... in here.

Abruptly, Zara turns and tries to exit. Bruno follows.

				BRUNO
		No! No, I can't let you go.

Bruno grabs her and pulls her to him. She nods at the woman in black.

				ZARA
		What about her?

				BRUNO
		If-- No, I don't believe it. Why, 
		my love for you is the same I've had
		all these years for the Maria I'd 
		lost. You MUST be Maria. They can 
		call her my wife but I know it's you 
		I love.

				ZARA
		But if they prove to you, beyond 
		doubts, that she is your wife?

				BRUNO
		I want you.

Zara laughs joyously, overcome by his love. She kisses his hand, then turns to 
Salter smiling broadly.

				ZARA
		Salter! You have lost.

				SALTER
			(unmoved)
		Oh, no. Fact still remains, this 
		woman is his wife. 

				ZARA
		Is she? What makes you so sure?

				SALTER
		Proofs. Records. Going back ten 
		years. She was picked up only a few 
		miles from this place, the insane, 
		lost creature you see now.

				DOCTOR
		The knapsack of a soldier of the 
		same regiment who raided this place 
		was slung across her shoulder. When 
		we questioned her, she could tell us 
		nothing. Only the horror of that 
		invasion remained fixed in her 
		shattered mind. And a few words, 
		which she repeated over and over 
		again.

				SALTER
		And those few words were "Varelli" 
		and "Maria" ...

				WOMAN
			(in response)
		Varelli ... ? Maria ... ?

Salter gestures to the woman, pulls a sheaf of papers from his pocket and 
drops them triumphantly on a table.

				SALTER
		It's all here, if you care to see it.

				ZARA
		Is that all the proof you have?

				SALTER
			(laughs) 
		What more do you want?

				ZARA
		Hasn't it occurred to you that there 
		- there might have been other women 
		on this estate that night? 

Salter chuckles.

				ZARA
		Why, surely Maria was not alone, was 
		she, Lena?

				LENA
		No. There were many women on the 
		estate that night.

				ZARA
		Wouldn't they have known of Count 
		Varelli and of Maria? Mightn't one 
		of them be this poor woman?

				SALTER
		Now you're quibbling! You're 
		sparring for time.

Zara kneels before the seated woman in black.

				ZARA
		Oh, if only you could speak. 

Zara raises the woman's veil and peers into her face.

				ZARA
		Let me look at you. Is there 
		anything in your face, anything in 
		those vacant eyes, that ...
			(glances at the portrait)
		... that resembles that woman's? Is 
		there-- ? 
			(turns to Lena)
		Oh, Lena, help me. You must know. 
		The others - the other women who 
		were here that night - who were 
		they?

				LENA
			(thinking)
		There - there was Margarita. Anna. 
		Er, Lucia. And--

				WOMAN
		Lucia! ... Lucia ...

				ZARA
		She's knows that name!

				DOCTOR
		Madame, she's my patient. I insist 
		that--

Bruno puts a hand to the doctor's shoulder and hushes him.

				BRUNO
		Sssshhh!

				ZARA
			(to the woman in black)
		Oh, you must remember more. Lucia 
		what? Oh, try to remember more. 
		Lucia ... Lucia ...

				WOMAN
		Lucia ... Marco ...

				LENA
		Lucia Marco! 
			(crosses herself)
		There WAS a Lucia Marco!

				BRUNO
			(remembering)
		Yes, of course there was. Lucia 
		Marco. Old Marco, the head 
		gardener's daughter - they grew up 
		together.

				SALTER
		Why, this is absurd--

				BRUNO
			(cuts him off)
		Mr. Salter!

				LENA
			(peers hard 
			at the woman)
		Oh, merciful heavens, it looks like-- 
			(calls to Inez)
		Madame Montari!

Inez pushes forward and kneels for a closer look at the woman's face.

				WOMAN
		Lucia ... Marco ...

				INEZ
		Lena! This IS Lucia Marco.

				LENA
		I knew the moment I looked close at 
		her. 
			(to Zara, in tears)
		Oh, oh, my countess - how could I 
		have been so blind to doubt--?

Lena, still on her knees, sobs and buries her face in Zara's gown. Zara 
comforts her soothingly.

				ZARA
		Lena. It's much easier to doubt than 
		to believe.

Zara, suddenly drained by the emotional stress, glances at Bruno and staggers 
away, hand to her head, and leans against the piano. Bruno takes charge of the 
woman in black.

				BRUNO
		Inez, Lena, take care of her, will 
		you please?

				LENA
		Of course.

				INEZ
		Come.

Lena and Inez help the woman to her feet and escort her slowly from the room 
as Salter explodes.

				SALTER
		Why, this whole thing is a farce! 
		Granted, this woman is not your wife 
		-- but neither is the other! Zara's 
		no more the contessa than I am.

				BRUNO
		I'll be the best judge of that, 
		Salter. You've quite finished here, 
		haven't you? 
			(turns to the doctor)
		We'll see that this poor woman is 
		given the best of care, Doctor. Thank 
		you. 

The doctor nods solemnly. Bruno turns back to Salter.

				BRUNO
		Goodbye, Salter.

				SALTER
		Why, you blind--!

				BRUNO
		Goodbye, Salter!

Bruno brusquely snatches up Salter's hat and gloves and hands them to him.

				SALTER
		You think this is the end, don't 
		you? But it isn't. The doubts that I 
		have planted here today will always 
		stand between you.

				TONY
			(to Salter, with his
			usual good humor)
		If you write a book about it, don't 
		forget to send us an autographed 
		copy.

Salter stalks out angrily and the doctor exits after him. Bruno watches them 
go, then turns, strides over to Zara at the piano and takes her lovingly in 
his arms. Maria's portrait looms behind them.

				ZARA
			(sadly)
		He's right, Bruno. There will 
		always be doubts between us.

				BRUNO
			(shakes his head)
		There'll never be another doubt - as 
		long as we live, Maria.

				ZARA
		Oh, not Maria. I don't know if I 
		have the right to that name. You're 
		not sure who I am. I don't know 
		myself. You see, there isn't enough 
		left of my memory. It may come back. 
		Perhaps we'll never know.

				BRUNO
		And what if we don't? What does it 
		matter? I'll simply call you my 
		beloved. Oh, don't you see? My love 
		for you and my devotion to her 
		memory have - have become fused into 
		one. All that I lost, I found again 
		in you. I love you. For yourself 
		only.

They embrace deeply, her face pressed to his.

				ZARA
		I love you. I do.

A lyrical Italian melody plays as we

						FADE OUT


1