Dangerous Corner

FADE IN on a TITLE CARD:

		This is a story of what really happened ..... 
		and what might have happened.

					CUT TO:

INT. ANN BEALE'S APARTMENT - MORNING

A woman's hand organizes and lines up a series of books on a table. We see 
from the spines that the titles are pretty cheesy ("Paradise for Two," "Burnt 
Wings," etc.) and the author's name is Maude Mockridge. We PULL BACK to 
reveal ANN BEALE doing the organizing, in the living room of her small but 
comfortable high-rise Manhattan apartment. 

Ann is a pretty, sophisticated blonde who possesses a good deal of humor and 
self-confidence, but very little outward passion for anything other than her 
work. She straightens the books and turns to call to her maid.

				ANN BEALE
		Is breakfast nearly ready, Catherine?

				THE MAID
		Yes, Miss Beale.

Ann checks her watch as she moves toward the apartment's balcony (overlooking 
a New York City skyline) where the maid lays a table for two.

				ANN BEALE
		Miss Mockridge will be here any minute now. 
		She's terribly prompt.

				THE MAID
		I'm just going to get the kippers now.

				ANN BEALE
		Don't forget the marmalade in the cupboard -- 
		and the strong black English tea.

				THE MAID
		Yes, Miss Beale.

				ANN BEALE
			(dryly)
		And the thin, blue English milk.

				THE MAID
			(laughs) 
		Yes, Miss Beale.

CHARLES STANTON, a handsome, mustachioed man who can't resist a wisecrack 
even in the darkest situation, arrives at Ann's front door with a manuscript 
under his arm and a bouquet in his hand. He presses the doorbell which 
BUZZES.

				ANN BEALE
			(to the maid)
		There she is now.  

The maid hurries to answer the door. Ann follows, pausing only to check her 
hair in the mirror. The maid starts to open the door. 

				ANN BEALE
		Oh, Miss Mockridge, how nice to see you.

The door opens, revealing a grinning Charles.

				ANN BEALE
			(surprised, but also grinning) 
		Oh... Charles.

Charles enters and hands Ann a small bouquet.

				CHARLES STANTON
		How nice to see you.

				ANN BEALE
			(sniffs the bouquet)
		Oh, how lovely.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Well, aren't you going to ask me in?

				ANN BEALE
		Hardly seems necessary. What brings you here so 
		early?

				CHARLES STANTON
		Oh, now don't worry. I have an excuse. There's 
		a kid who thinks he wrote a book.  The 
		manuscript's been lying on my dresser for about 
		a month but this morning I said to myself, 
		"Charles Stanton, you promised to read that 
		poor boy's manuscript."  
			(hands Ann the manuscript) 
		So here it is -- read it.

				ANN BEALE
		Huh!  Thanks so much.
			(sets the manuscript on table)
		Seems to me you might have waited and brought 
		it to me at the office.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Oh, now.

				ANN BEALE
		Well, haven't I enough homework?

Charles takes Ann's arm and leads her to the balcony.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Now stop scolding... and walk with me into the 
		friendly sunshine.

				ANN BEALE
		Oh, really, Charles, I can't--

				CHARLES STANTON
		Now, let's not argue, it's much too early in 
		the day.
			(sees the table laid for two)
		Ah, breakfast for two!  You were expecting me. 
		How nice.

				ANN BEALE
		As a matter of fact, I wasn't. 

				CHARLES STANTON
		Hmm?

				ANN BEALE
		But do stay. I'm having a lady novelist to 
		breakfast.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(disappointed) 
		Oh.

				ANN BEALE
		An English lady novelist.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(even more disappointed) 
		Oh. 
			(chuckles)
		Who is she?

				ANN BEALE
		Maude Mockridge.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(suddenly interested) 
		Maude Mockridge? Author of "The Scarlet 
		Flower," "Paradise for Two," et cetera, et 
		cetera, et cetera?

				ANN BEALE
		Yes. Will you stay?

				CHARLES STANTON
			(suddenly uninterested) 
		No.

				ANN BEALE
		Her last book sold into six editions, you know. 
		Our firm could stand another author like that.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(insistent) 
		No.

				ANN BEALE
		If we handle her right, she might sign with us 
		today. Why don't you stay and lend a note of 
		masculine charm?

				CHARLES STANTON
		Ah. I refuse to interfere. 
			(ironic) 
		Besides, I want you to get all the credit for 
		this.

				ANN BEALE
			(matching his irony) 
		Oh, yes, that's very sweet of you.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Hmm. 
			(clears his throat) 
		What are you going to do after Mockridge?

				ANN BEALE
		Go to the office, of course.

				CHARLES STANTON
		What? Spend a beautiful day like this in a 
		stuffy office? Well, you're not. You and I are 
		going to forget all about business and drive 
		out somewhere. Out among the daffodils and 
		detours.

				ANN BEALE
		Oh, Charles, I'd love to. But I can't. I've got 
		a million people to see today.

				CHARLES STANTON
		So have I. That makes two million. But I must 
		see you.

				ANN BEALE
		Well, we see each other every day at the office 
		and at lunch--

				CHARLES STANTON
		I'm tired of sharing you with office boys and 
		busboys. You spend your days with authors and 
		your nights with books. You're burning the 
		publishing business at both ends.

				ANN BEALE
		Really, Charles, if you're not going to stay 
		for breakfast, I think you ought to run along 
		now.

				CHARLES STANTON
		That's right. Throw me out.

				ANN BEALE
		No, but it wouldn't do for Miss Mockridge to 
		come to my apartment and find a man leaving 
		before breakfast. You know her books.

				CHARLES STANTON
		But, darling, I'm under your spell. I can't go.

				ANN BEALE
		You've got to go.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(reluctant but wry) 
		Well, if you've gotta go, you've gotta go.

The maid brings a covered dish of kippers, sets them on the table, and 
departs.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(lifts the cover)
		Ooh -- what are those nasty little brown 
		things?

				ANN BEALE
		They're kippers. Kippers for breakfast. Isn't 
		it awful?

				CHARLES STANTON
			(replaces the cover)
		Don't spurn the humble kipper. He's put the 
		British Empire where it is.

				ANN BEALE
			(pushing him toward the door)
		Hurry, Charles, now, please, really ...

				CHARLES STANTON
		Huh?

But the doorbell has already begun to BUZZ. The maid heads for the door.

				ANN BEALE
		There now, you see? Oh, well. Stand in the 
		middle of the room and look innocent.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Yeah, that's our great trouble. We are 
		innocent. All we ever do is stand in the middle 
		of a room.

Ann waves at him dismissively and turns to greet MAUDE MOCKRIDGE, everyone's 
image of a successful but eccentric English romance novelist, who enters and 
shakes hands vigorously.

				ANN BEALE
		Miss Mockridge, how nice to see you.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		How nice to see you.

Miss Mockridge catches sight of handsome Charles and shows immediate 
interest.

				ANN BEALE
		Uh, may I present Mister Stanton? Miss 
		Mockridge.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		How d'you do? 
			(shakes hands)
		Husband?

				CHARLES STANTON
		No. Just trying.

				ANN BEALE
		Mister Stanton is a partner in the firm of 
		Whitehouse-Chatfield. He sometimes drops in for 
		early morning conferences.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		Oh, how fortunate for Whitehouse-Chatfield to 
		have such an enterprising young partner, up so 
		early, working so hard.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(amused, gives Ann a look)
		Yes.

				ANN BEALE
			(averts her eyes)
		Hm, yes.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
			(sensing their uneasiness)
		Never mind, children, never mind. I quite 
		understand. 
			(grandly) 
		I came in a moment too early -- he lingered a 
		moment too late in fond farewell.

				ANN BEALE
			(appalled; protests)
		No, really, Miss Mockridge--

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		You Americans! You make such a fuss about 
		nothing. 
			(a little too enthusiastically) 
		I simply adore emotional experiments. 

Charles wrinkles his brow at this outburst. Miss Mockridge calms down a bit.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		Oh, of course, I-I have my own moral code. It's 
		quite simple: "Two baths a day and mind your 
		manners."

Ann and Charles laugh.

				ANN BEALE
		Well!

				CHARLES STANTON
		That's a good line, Miss Mockridge. I'd use it 
		if I were you.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
			(dead serious)
		Oh, I have used it, Mister Stanton.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Oh. Oh, well, excuse me, I-I must be on my way.

				ANN BEALE
		Won't you stay to breakfast, Mister Stanton?

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		Oh, yes. Do stay.

				CHARLES STANTON
		No, really, I can't. There's a manuscript I've 
		been promising to read for a month. You know 
		how it is.

				ANN BEALE
		That's right, Charles. Here it is. 
			(hands manuscript back to Charles)
		You almost forgot it.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Huh? Oh. Oh, yes, yes. 
			(ironic)
		Thanks awfully.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(shakes hands)
		Goodbye, Miss Mockridge.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		Goodbye, Mister Stanton.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(mock stern)
		I'll see you later, Miss Beale.

				ANN BEALE
			(mock pleasant)
		Goodbye.

Charles exits.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		My dear, what an attractive man. I do 
		congratulate you.

				ANN BEALE
		Yes, isn't he? 
			(leads her to the balcony)
		Shall we go to breakfast and discuss your new 
		novel?
			(points out a chair)
		Won't you sit there, Miss Mockridge?

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		Thank you. How enchanting.

They sit and the maid brings some more food.

				ANN BEALE
		Yes, isn't it? By the way, what are you calling 
		your new novel?

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		"Ecstasy." Oooh -- kippers!

				ANN BEALE
		Yes. Do you like them?

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		I adore them. Don't you?

				ANN BEALE
		Oh, I'm simply lost without them.
			(takes a gulp of water)
		Do you know, Miss Mockridge, we've been 
		tremendously interested in your work for years? 
		My firm of Whitehouse-Chatfield is prepared to 
		make you a proposition that I feel sure ...

					DISSOLVE TO:


INT. OFFICES OF WHITEHOUSE-CHATFIELD - LATER THAT MORNING

The sign on the door reads "ROBERT CHATFIELD" -- Charles arrives and KNOCKS 
before immediately entering and moving toward a man seated at a desk: ROBERT 
CHATFIELD, a successful, fair-haired executive, lacking in self-awareness and 
perspective but otherwise an intelligent guy.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Hello, Robert.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Morning, Charles.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(shakes hands)
		Congratulations.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(puzzled)
		I've been elected something?

				CHARLES STANTON
		Well, just five years ago today you were 
		elected Freda's husband.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(stunned) 
		That's right. My anniversary. 
			(wryly) 
		I was thinking about it only last week.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(amused) 
		I'll bet Freda's thinking about it right now.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Gee, this is serious. What am I going to do?

				CHARLES STANTON
		Well, here's an out. Just tell Freda you 
		pretended to forget. I'll get Betty and Gordon 
		and Martin and we'll give a surprise party for 
		Freda here this afternoon. You leave it to me. 
		I'll attend to everything. You're no man to be 
		trusted alone with an anniversary.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Maybe you're right.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(laughs) 
		By the way, have you got a present?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Well, as a matter of fact, I was thinking of 
		getting her, uh, er, a wristwatch.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Well, don't just think about it. Go and go get 
		it.

Charles exits while Robert rises urgently.

					DISSOLVE TO:


INT. OFFICES OF WHITEHOUSE-CHATFIELD - THAT AFTERNOON

A wristwatch on a lady's hand. We PULL BACK to reveal that we are in ROBERT'S 
OFFICE (now gaily decorated with flowers for the occasion) and that the watch 
is worn by Robert's wife, FREDA CHATFIELD. She and BETTY WHITEHOUSE admire it 
while Charles and Robert look on. Freda, a dark-haired beauty and a shrewd 
judge of character, contrasts with Betty, a younger and less wise blonde.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
			(off the watch)
		Freda, darling, it's simply adorable.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		It's ideal. Beautiful, expensive-looking. You 
		can take it everywhere you go.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Except in swimming.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(grinning)
		Idiot.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		I'm glad you like it, dear.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Oh, I do. 
			(to Gordon who is not present)
		Gordon, look. 
			(realizes Gordon is 
			not in the office)
		Oh, where is he?

				CHARLES STANTON
			(points)
		You'll find your handsome brother in Martin's 
		office doing things with a cocktail shaker.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(she should have known)
		Ohhh. Heh.

Freda heads into MARTIN'S OFFICE where her younger brother (and Betty's 
husband), GORDON WHITEHOUSE, mixes drinks at a well-stocked bar. His hair is 
as dark as Freda's but he lacks her maturity and is, frankly, the kind of 
shallow, obnoxious jerk that gives former frat boys a bad reputation.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Oh, hello, sis.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(shows off her new watch)
		Look, I'm overcome.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Ohhh, nice.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Mm hmm. 

Gordon starts to mix drinks in an oversized carafe.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Easy. We have a long, gay evening ahead of us 
		at the country club.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Uh huh.  

A secretary, Miss Clark, enters with a container of ice and brings it to 
Gordon.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Oh, thanks, Miss Clark.

Gordon takes the ice and Miss Clark turns to leave. Freda stops her.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Oh, Miss Clark, will you let us know when it's 
		quarter to six? We're taking the six ten home.

				MISS CLARK
		Yes, Mrs. Chatfield.

Miss Clark exits. Robert and Betty watch as a mildly annoyed Charles joins 
Freda and Gordon in Martin's office.

				CHARLES STANTON
		I say, the party's in Robert's office.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		I'd say the party's in here where the liquor's 
		handy. 
			(pours a glass and 
			hands it to Freda)
		Here, sis. Try this. Not bad?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Not bad for me, I hope.

Gordon chuckles as Freda drinks. Charles returns to Robert and Betty in 
ROBERT'S OFFICE.

				CHARLES STANTON
		They want to have the party in Martin's office.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Well, why not?

				CHARLES STANTON
		'Cause I just finished decorating this one.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Well, let's begin to decorate that one.

Betty grabs a flower-filled vase and hands it to Robert.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Don't do that, Betty. You're spoiling the 
		effect.

Betty grabs a humongous bunch of flowers and moves toward Martin's office.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		You shouldn't get set in your ways, Charles. 
		Come on, we're keeping my husband waiting. It 
		wouldn't matter but he's got the gin.

Robert obediently follows Betty out of the room.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(deadpan, to Charles)
		Come along.

Charles resignedly snags a tiny vase and shuffles behind the others into 
MARTIN'S OFFICE to join Freda and Gordon.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Hello, Betty, my pet.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
			(off the flowers in her hands)
		Just a little nosegay I picked for you as I 
		came through the fields, my sweet.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		How thoughtful.

Gordon leans over to kiss Betty but the massive bunch of flowers between them 
make this difficult. After a moment, they manage to lock lips. Betty sets the 
flowers down.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
			(hands her a drink)
		Here's something for you to spend on yourself, 
		my child.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
			(accepts the drink happily)
		Ahhh.

Gordon sees Robert and Charles arriving, flowers in hand.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Well, can I do something for you gentlemen or 
		are you with the little girl?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(sets his flowers down)
		No. We're on our own.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
			(hands Robert a drink)
		Try this, Robert.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Thank you.

Charles quickly joins Gordon at the bar.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(trades flowers for a drink)
		I'll give you this for that.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Well, who wouldn't?

We catch a only glimpse of Miss Clark as she opens a door to let Ann Beale 
into Martin's office.

				ANN BEALE
			(to all)
		Hello, there.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
			(to Ann)
		Where on earth have you been?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(to Ann)
		Well, how did you make out with the Mockridge?

				ANN BEALE
		I made out an agreement -- and she signed it. 
		Here it is.

Ann brings the agreement to Robert.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		You mean it?

				ANN BEALE
		If you behave yourselves, you'll have all Maude 
		Mockridge's purple masterpieces for the next 
		three years.

				CHARLES STANTON
		What?

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Grand!

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Great!

				ANN BEALE
		"Ecstasy" delivered next month. "Embers of 
		Passion" in six months. And "Sleeping Dog" in a 
		year.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Whoooo!

				ANN BEALE
		What a day I've had! Well, do I rate a drink?

				CHARLES STANTON
			(grabbing a glass for her)
		Do you rate one?!

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
			(off the giant carafe)
		It's all yours.

Ann flops in a chair. Charles holds the glass while Gordon pours the drink.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		We'll just sit back and admire you.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Good girl, Ann!

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Grand!

				ANN BEALE
			(takes drink from Charles)
		By the way, where's Martin? It's not like him 
		to miss any fun.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Oh, Martin has an appointment. He's going to 
		join us later at the country club. It's lucky 
		I had the keys to his bar.

Miss Clark enters and approaches Robert with a telegram.

				MISS CLARK
		Excuse me, Mister Chatfield. 
			(hands Robert the telegram)
		Here's a cable from Mister McIntyre. He wants 
		us to send him his money.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Oh, yes. I'll get it right away. It's in the 
		safe.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Oh, do it tomorrow. We haven't time now.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		No, no, dear. This thing's been lying around 
		here too long. Get it for me, will you, 
		Charles?  I want to send it off now.

Charles nods, pulls a set of keys from his pocket, and heads off for Robert's 
office.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Well, how'd you get the old girl to sign, Ann?

				ANN BEALE
		Charles dropped in at my place this morning -- 
		and she fell in love with him!

Everyone laughs.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
			(to Ann)
		That's something you ought to try sometime.

Ann makes a face, then turns serious, and addresses Freda.

				ANN BEALE
		Freda, you should be very happy today.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(beaming)
		I am, my dear.

Freda and Robert exchange loving looks.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
			(mock serious)
		Betty, smile and show your teeth so they'll 
		know there's nothing wrong with our marriage.

Betty and Gordon grin like idiots, to everyone's amusement. Charles returns 
from Robert's office.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Robert!

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		What is it, Charles?

				CHARLES STANTON
		Did you say that bond was in the safe?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Yes.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Well, it's not there now.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Why, it's got to be there.

				CHARLES STANTON
		I can't find it.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		The devil you can't. 

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Well, it's got to be there.

				CHARLES STANTON
		All right. Look for yourself.

The three men exit into Robert's office leaving the three women behind.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Well, that's where we stand, girls. 

				ANN BEALE
		Where?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Men may have wine, women and, well, flowers -- 
		but mention money and the party's over.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Not for me.

Betty heads for the bar and starts to pour another drink.

Meanwhile, in ROBERT'S OFFICE, the three men stand next to an open wall safe.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Well, it was lying right there on top in plain 
		sight.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Well, look underneath. It might have slipped 
		down.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		I'll take everything out.

Robert starts to remove items from the safe.

				CHARLES STANTON
		What about your desk, Robert?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		It's never been in my desk.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Well, we'd better be sure.

Charles and Gordon move to the desk and rifle through the drawers. Robert 
empties the safe.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Nothing here.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Must be here.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(joins them at the desk)
		Well, it's no use, boys -- it's gone.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Why, Robert, that's impossible.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Well, no one's ever had a key except us.

				CHARLES STANTON
		And Martin.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		That's so. He might have taken it to the bank.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Right. 
			(picks up phone, speaks into it)
		Uh, get me Mister Martin Chatfield at the [?] 
		Club.

The three women enter.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Aren't you men ever--? 

The women stop when they see Robert sitting at his desk, phone to his ear, 
flanked by Charles and Gordon. All wear grim expressions. The light-
heartedness that characterized the early scenes has entirely vanished.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(sees their faces)
		Oh... [?]

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Sh! He's phoning Martin.

Betty confers quietly with Gordon.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		What's it all about?

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		The Goldsmith Prize. It was awarded to one of 
		our authors.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Well?

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		We were holding it for him while he's in the 
		South Seas.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		But Robert said something about a bond.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Yes, I know. He had us convert the cash into a 
		government bond and now we can't find it. The 
		financial wizard didn't believe in banks.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Oh.

Robert waves at them for silence. Everyone looks on with concern as the phone 
call progresses:

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(into the phone)
		Hello, Martin? Robert. You don't know anything 
		about McIntyre's bond, do you? 
			(beat) 
		Yes, I know. Well, it's not in the safe. Have 
		you ever seen it anywhere else? 
			(beat) 
		No, we've looked everywhere. 
			(beat) 
		Well, it's gone. 
			(beat) 
		Have you your key to the safe? 
			(beat) 
		All right. All right.

Robert hangs up the phone.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		He doesn't know anything about it.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Martin said he had his key, didn't he?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Yes, he's got it with him.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Could one of us have lost his key?
			(pulls his key from his pocket)
		Here's mine.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Mine's always with me. 
			(puts his key on the desk)
		There it is.

Robert and Gordon look at Charles.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(gestures toward the safe)
		Mine's in the lock.

				ANN BEALE
		It'll surely turn up. It's just been misplaced.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Bonds don't walk out of locked safes.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Mmm, not even government bonds.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
			(upset, to Charles)
		There's nothing funny about this! Only four of 
		us have keys to that safe!

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Oh, stop it. Don't be ridiculous, Gordon. No 
		one of us could have taken that bond.

Miss Clark enters.

				MISS CLARK
		It's after six, Mrs. Chatfield. You'll miss 
		your train if you don't hurry.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(worried, distracted)
		Never mind. Doesn't matter now.

Everyone slumps tensely into office chairs as we

					FADE OUT


FADE IN

EXT. CHATFIELD MANSION - TERRACE - SUNDAY MORNING - FOUR DAYS LATER

A secluded, finely-appointed back yard, out in the country -- lots of tall 
trees, etc. Betty and Freda sit at a handsomely-laid breakfast table. Gordon 
is in the distance playing a solitary game of croquet.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Coffee, Betty?

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		No, thanks. We had breakfast at home. 

Betty checks to make sure Gordon can't hear, then turns urgently to Freda.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Freda, who took that money?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Please, Betty...

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		But the last four days have been frightful. I 
		can't stand it much longer.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Seems to me you'll have to stand it. We'll all 
		have to stand it, until...

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Until we find out which one of the men we love 
		and trust is a liar and a thief. 

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Don't, Betty.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		But I don't even see how--

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(hears someone coming)
		Sh!

Robert enters from the house, tiredly rubbing the back of his head.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Oh, morning, Betty.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Good morning.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(kisses Freda)
		Good morning, dear.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Morning, Robert. 

Robert picks up the morning paper from the table.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Eggs, Robert?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(uninterested, as he sits)
		Anything.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
			(joining them at the table)
		Hello, Robert.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Morning, Gordon. What, haven't the others come 
		yet?

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Not yet.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Who's coming?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Charles is bringing Martin. There's, well, 
		there's something we have to talk over.

					DISSOLVE TO:

EXT./INT. MARTIN'S COTTAGE - DAY

Charles gets out of a car parked outside of Martin's cozy cottage in the 
country. Charles goes up to the front door and KNOCKS. No answer. He KNOCKS 
again. Still no answer. Charles tries the door. It's unlocked. He steps 
inside and calls out:

				CHARLES STANTON
		Martin?! Oh, Martin! 

Charles takes a few more steps into the living room and calls up to the 
second floor.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Martin, Robert said ten-thirty -- we're late! 

No answer. Charles laughs at the thought of fun-loving Martin sleeping off 
the last night's partying and starts up the stairs. Suddenly, Charles stops 
at the sight of something on the living room floor. Evidently, it's Martin.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Martin?  

Charles moves forward, then pauses, staring wide-eyed in disbelief.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Martin...!

					DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. CHATFIELD MANSION - TERRACE - A FEW MINUTES LATER

Robert and Freda and Betty and Gordon sit in silence around the breakfast 
table. Freda drinks coffee. Robert reads the paper. Gordon breaks the silence 
abruptly.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Robert?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(startled) 
		What?

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Oh, I'm sorry. I was just going to ask you for 
		part of your paper.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Oh. 'Fraid I'm a little nervous. 
			(tosses part of paper to Gordon)
		Not enough sleep lately, I guess. 
			(checks his pocket watch)
		It's ten thirty-five. They ought to be here 
		now.

Robert's butler enters with a telephone which he places on the table and 
plugs into a handy wall jack.

				THE BUTLER
		You're wanted on the telephone, Mister 
		Chatfield. It's Mister Stanton. He says it's 
		very urgent.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(into the phone)
		Hello? Oh, yes, Charles. 
			(beat) 
		Well? 

Robert listens intently, then drops his paper.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		What did you say? 
			(beat) 
		What?!

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Robert, what is it?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(into phone)
		Oh, it can't be true -- can't be! 
			(beat) 
		Where are you?

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		What is it?

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		What's he saying?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Oh, yes. Right away. 
			(hangs up, to the others)
		It's Martin.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(rises, already hysterical)
		Martin? Something's happened. What is it?

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
			(rises)
		Robert, tell us what's happened.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(finds it hard to believe)
		Martin shot himself. He's dead.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(devastated)
		Oh, no! No!

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Charles found him when he went to get him.
			(starts to lose it)
		I don't believe it! He wouldn't do that! He 
		couldn't!

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Robert, get hold of yourself.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		We must go to him.  Maybe we can still do 
		something -- maybe --

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		No, no, Freda, you stay here with Betty. Come 
		on, Gordon.

Robert and Gordon exit, leaving Betty and Freda behind.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(as much to herself as Betty)
		Oh, Martin! I can't stay here. I must go.

Freda rushes off, leaving Betty alone. An odd look crosses Betty's face.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
			(darkly, to herself)
		So Martin took that money.

Betty picks up the phone and speaks into it.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Plaza-three-nine-seven-four-oh.

					DISSOLVE TO:

INT. ANN'S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - MOMENTS LATER

Ann lies in bed looking as though she hadn't slept a wink all night. She 
talks listlessly into a telephone.

				ANN BEALE
		Yes, Betty? 
			(beat) 
		I'll come right out. 
			(beat) 
		All right, dear. 
			(beat) 
		Goodbye.

Ann, looking distraught, slowly hangs up the phone.

					FADE OUT


FADE IN

NEWSPAPER MONTAGE

A newspaper headline reads:

			JURY FINDS 
			PUBLISHER 
			SUICIDE

		VERDICT IS RETURNED AFTER 
		   WITNESSES TESTIFY TO 
			FINDING BODY

The date above the headline reads:

		Friday, Sept. 15, 1933.

SUPERIMPOSE flipping newspaper pages as we DISSOLVE TO another paper's date, 
one year later:

		Sept. 15, 1934.

In the paper's "quote-of-the-day" box we read:

		"TIME is the great physician; it 
		dissolves all troubles, and tames 
		the strongest grief."

					-- Aristotle

					FADE OUT

FADE IN

INT. CHATFIELD MANSION - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

A mostly unassembled jigsaw puzzle lies on a small table. A woman's hands try 
to fit two pieces together unsuccessfully. We PULL BACK to reveal that the 
woman is Betty. Ann, reading a magazine, and Maude Mockridge, eating a 
buttered pastry, sit nearby. 

After the grimness of the last few scenes, the lighthearted gaiety that 
characterized the earlier scenes has returned.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Oh, dear, I wonder if there are two pieces that 
		fit together.

Ann laughs.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
			(off her food)
		Mmmm. Good. Can't I persuade someone to share 
		this European dainty?

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		No, thanks. Freda's dinner's put me beyond 
		temptation.

Freda enters from the dining room.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Aren't the men ever coming in?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		They're sampling Robert's old brandy.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Then I ought to rescue Gordon.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		My dear, no. Don't ever come between a man and 
		his brandy.

The women laugh.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		Oh, this place is so enchanting. I shall 
		remember you when I get back to England. Just 
		as you are tonight. Such a snug little group. 
		Everybody so happy.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Are we? I wonder.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		Well, aren't you?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(smiling a meaningless smile)
		Yes, I guess so.

				ANN BEALE
		Is there anything I can do to help before you 
		sail, Miss Mockridge?

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		Thank you, dear, no. Well, yes. You might do 
		something about Charles. He seems so, um, so at 
		loose ends. Couldn't you marry him or 
		something?

				ANN BEALE
			(taken aback)
		Oh, well...

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		But, my dear, I find him so utterly charming. 
		Why don't you?

				ANN BEALE
		Well, the world's full of charming people.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		Ah, you're entirely mistaken. It isn't. 
		Besides, I like a neat pattern. Now, there's 
		Freda and Robert, Betty and Gordon -- and if 
		you'd interest yourself in Charles, there'd be 
		perfect symmetry.

				ANN BEALE
		Well, right now I'm interested in that 
		mysterious white bird you were telling us 
		about, Freda. Any chance of seeing it?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Yes, I-I think we might get a glimpse of him. 
		Comes into the garden every night about this 
		time.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		What mysterious white bird? What do you mean? 
		What does it look like?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Well, I suppose it's a white owl but it looks 
		like a ghost of a bird.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		A ghost bird! Oh, my dear. How thrilling.

Miss Mockridge rises and the the women move toward the terrace.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Come along, Betty.

Freda opens a door to reveal the Chatfield's terrace. The women stand in a 
group at the doorway looking out into the back yard.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Wait, I'll turn the lights down.

Freda turns off the lights. The room darkens. We PUSH IN toward the backs of 
the four women, silhouetted in the doorway, as they peer out into the night 
at the moonlit terrace. Time itself seems to slow down for a few seconds 
thanks to a subtle and momentary SLOW MOTION effect.

Suddenly, a GUNSHOT rings out.

One of the women SCREAMS. All four turn in terror to their right, to the 
sound of the shot which seems to them unnervingly close by. 

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Robert!

Freda runs off to the right, through the darkened room, and pushes open a 
door to reveal a well-lit DINING ROOM. She enters and looks in the direction 
of the terrace.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Robert! What on earth are you doing?

Robert, Charles, and Gordon stand at another wide-open terrace door. Robert 
has a pistol in his hand. The men appear mildly surprised at Freda's arrival.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(casually, approaching Freda)
		Hm? Oh. I was just showing the boys this new 
		gun, dear. Took a crack at that flower pot.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		You must be crazy, firing a gun out the window! 
			(laughs in relief)
		You might hit someone.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(with an embarrassed grin)
		Yes, it was stupid of me, wasn't it? 
			(genuinely)
		Hope I didn't frighten anybody.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(completely relieved)
		Oh, that's all right. As long as no one's hurt.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Sorry, darling.

Freda returns to the LIVING ROOM, turns on the lights, and adopts a "boys-
will-be-boys" attitude with Ann, Betty, and Miss Mockridge:

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(laughing, to the women) 
		Those idiots. Firing a revolver out the window!

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		Oh, dear.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Frightened the life out of me. I hate guns.

Betty and Ann move off but Miss Mockridge confers with Freda.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
			(to Freda, impulsively)
		You must miss your brother-in-law.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(a little startled)
		What made you think of Martin?

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		Oh, just being here, I suppose. 
			(sorry to have mentioned Martin)
		Oh, I am sorry.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(realizes what led to Martin)
		It was the pistol shot.

Miss Mockridge is aghast at having been so insensitive.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		No, no. 

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Oh, you needn't feel upset, Miss Mockridge. We 
		talk about Martin a lot. Surely you remember 
		him? There's his picture.

A framed photo of a grinning Martin Chatfield sits on a nearby table.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		Why, dear, of course.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		One can't afford to forget anyone so gay and 
		charming and handsome. 
			(quietly, with feeling)
		Yes. We do miss him.

Gordon and Charles enter and hear these last few words.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Miss whom?

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Not you, sweetheart.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Ha! You liar.

Gordon goes to Betty (who has returned to her jigsaw puzzle) and kisses her. 
Charles goes to Ann, wishing he could get the same kind of action.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(to Ann)
		Did you miss me?

				ANN BEALE
			(mockingly)
		If it pleases you, my dear.

				CHARLES STANTON
		It does, very much.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
			(idly)
		I wonder if there's any good dance music on.

Gordon heads over to a huge radio in a corner of the room. Robert, who has 
followed Charles and Gordon into the living room, grabs a seat next to Betty 
and her jigsaw puzzle.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(to Gordon)
		Well, I hope not. Let's have a little quiet. 
			(to the women)
		What have you people been talking about?

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Wouldn't you like to know?

				CHARLES STANTON
			(straightens a pillow 
			for Miss Mockridge)
		I do know. Either you've been talking about us 
		or Miss Mockridge's new novel, "The Sleeping 
		Dog."

				ANN BEALE
		Wrong, both times. It was a bird instead.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		"The Sleeping Dog." That's a curious title. 
		What does it mean?

				ANN BEALE
		It was taken from an old proverb, Betty: "Let 
		sleeping dogs lie."

Ann rolls her eyes -- either at Betty's lack of knowledge or Miss Mockridge's 
choice of inspiration or both.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(to Miss Mockridge)
		Great book.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		Thank you.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Even though I don't agree with its premise.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		And what is its premise?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Well, the "sleeping dog" is the Truth -- which 
		the chief character, the husband, insisted on 
		disturbing. 
			(chuckles) 
		With strange and disastrous results.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Truth's always strange. It's never what you 
		expect.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Well, strange or not, I'm all for its coming 
		out. It's healthy.

				CHARLES STANTON
		I think telling the truth's about as healthy 
		as skidding around a corner at sixty -- and 
		life's got too many dangerous corners. 
			(turns to Ann, sitting nearby)
		You're looking awfully wise, Ann. What do you 
		think?

				ANN BEALE
		Truth is something that ... well, there's 
		truth and truth.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
			(obnoxiously)
		I see. Something and something.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Go on, Ann.

				ANN BEALE
		Well, the real truth -- that is, every single 
		little thing with nothing missing at all -- 
		wouldn't be dangerous. I suppose that's God's 
		truth. But what most people mean by truth is 
		only half the real truth. It doesn't tell you 
		all that went on inside everybody, everything 
		they really thought and felt. It simply gives 
		you a lot of facts that were hidden away. And 
		perhaps... were a lot better hidden away.

Gordon finds some dance MUSIC on the radio.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(to Ann)
		Right you are. It's treacherous stuff.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		I don't agree. I'm always ready to welcome what 
		you call the truth. The facts.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		You would be, Robert.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		What do you mean by that, Freda?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(smiling her meaningless smile)
		Anything, nothing.

Gordon stands by the radio, reading a program guide.

				RADIO ANNOUNCER
		This is station BPFY! Time signal! 
			(a tone sounds)
		It is now one minute past nine o'clock!

Suddenly, the radio makes a hideous SCREECHING noise. Everyone glances over 
at it. Gordon checks the rear of the radio cabinet and sees one of the 
radio's tubes burning out. There's a massive CLOSE-UP of the tube as the 
sparks fly.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Gordon, what is the matter?

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		The tube's burnt out. You have any spares?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Look and see. There may be one in the cabinet.

Gordon opens a cabinet drawer. Empty. He opens a second drawer. Also empty. 
He turns back to Freda.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Nothing doing. Well, no tubes, no music. I 
		guess we'll have to talk.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Who wants a drink? Robert, fix some highballs, 
		will you?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(rises, moves to fix drinks)
		All right.

Freda offers an oddly-shaped cigarette box to Miss Mockridge.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Cigarette, Miss Mockridge?

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		No, thanks. I'm a slave to my own brand.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Ann?

				ANN BEALE
		Oh, I've seen that box before. Plays a tune, 
		doesn't it?

Freda lifts the top of the box revealing some cigarettes. The box plays a 
tinkly version of a highly recognizable tune.

				ANN BEALE
		Oh, yes, it's "The Wedding March."

Ann and Charles each take a cigarette.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
			(still fussing with the radio)
		Well, I'm glad something around here plays.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(to Ann)
		It can't have been this box you remember. It's 
		the first time I've had it out.

				ANN BEALE
		It belonged to Martin, didn't it? He showed it 
		to me.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Martin couldn't've shown you this box. He 
		hadn't it when you saw him last.

				CHARLES STANTON
		How do you know, Freda?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Well, that doesn't matter. I know. Martin 
		couldn't've shown you this box.

				ANN BEALE
		Couldn't he? Perhaps I'm mistaken. 
			(not too convincingly)
		I must have seen a box like this somewhere else 
		and thought perhaps...

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Ann, I'm going to be rather rude. You know, 
		you suddenly stopped telling the truth then, 
		didn't you? You're absolutely sure that's the 
		box Martin showed you, just as Freda's equally 
		sure it isn't.

				ANN BEALE
		Oh, well, does that matter?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Oh, perhaps not. But I'm still curious.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Well, as a matter of fact, Robert, the box was 
		Martin's. 
			(turns to Ann) 
		But Martin couldn't have shown it to you, Ann, 
		because you said at the inquest last time you 
		were at his cottage was that Saturday afternoon 
		about week before he passed away. And Martin 
		didn't have the box then.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Well, you seem to know a lot about the box, 
		Freda.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
			(to Freda)
		Yes, that's just what I was going to say. Why 
		are you so grand and knowing about it all?

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
			(to Freda)
		I know why. You gave it to him.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Did you, Freda?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(long beat)
		Yes, I gave it to him.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Well, that's queer. I don't mean it's queer 
		your giving him the box. After all, why 
		shouldn't you? But your never mentioning it. 
			(friendly, but very curious)
		When'd you give it to him? Where'd you get it?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(increasingly uneasy)
		Oh, I saw it in a shop one day. It was amusing 
		and rather cheap so -- so I bought it and sent 
		it parcel post to Martin. That was on a ... 
		Friday. Just two days before--

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Oh. Oh, so he never got it till that last 
		Saturday then?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Yes.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Oh. Well, that's that. 
			(hands a drink to Betty)
		Betty, my dear.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
			(after a thoughtful pause)
		I'm sorry, Freda, but it's not quite so simple. 

Robert gives Gordon a puzzled look.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		You see, I was with Martin at the cottage that 
		very Saturday morning.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Well, what about it?

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		I was there when the mail came. I remember he 
		received a package of books. I don't forget 
		anything about that morning. You wouldn't 
		either if you were dragged through that 
		hellish inquest as I was. But no cigarette box 
		came that morning and there is no afternoon 
		mail out there. Freda, I don't think you sent 
		that box at all. You took it to Martin 
		yourself. You did, didn't you?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(realizes she's trapped)
		Well, if you must know... I did.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Freda!

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		I thought so.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Freda, if you went to the cottage to give 
		Martin that box, after Gordon had left, you 
		must have seen him later than anybody, only a 
		few hours before he shot himself.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(flatly)
		I did. I saw him shortly before dinner.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		But why have you never said anything about it? 
		Why didn't you come forward at the inquest? 
		You could have testified.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		But why? If it would have helped Martin, I'd 
		have gone gladly. But what good would it have 
		done?

				CHARLES STANTON
		No good at all. You were quite right.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Yes, but why have you never said anything to 
		me about it? Why'd you keep it to yourself all 
		this time? You were the last person to see 
		Martin.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Was I the last person?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		You must have been.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Well, what about Ann?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Ann? 

Freda points. Robert looks down to see the oddly-shaped musical cigarette box.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Oh, yes. The cigarette box.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Yes, of course. The cigarette box. I only gave 
		Martin that box late Saturday afternoon. And 
		Ann admitted that he showed it to her. 
			(to Ann) 
		So you must have been at the cottage that 
		Saturday night.

				ANN BEALE
			(reluctantly)
		Yes. He did show it to me. It was after dinner, 
		about nine o'clock.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(completely floored)
		You were there?! Oh, but this is crazy. First 
		Freda, now you. And neither of you said 
		anything about it.

				ANN BEALE
		I'm sorry, Robert. But I couldn't.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Why were you there?

				ANN BEALE
		I'd been worrying about something for days. I 
		felt I had to see Martin to ask him about it. 
		Nobody saw me come and nobody saw me leave. 
		And, like Freda, I thought it would serve no 
		good purpose to tell it -- so I didn't. That's 
		all.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		But you can't dismiss it like that. You were 
		the last person to talk to Martin. You must 
		know something about it.

				ANN BEALE
			(rises, upset)
		Please, Robert, let's leave it alone. It's all 
		over.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		I'm sorry, Ann. I don't like mysteries. You 
		said you were worried about something. Had 
		that something to do with the missing money?

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
			(loses his cool)
		Oh, must we go over all that again?! Martin's 
		gone! Let him alone, can't you?! And shut up 
		about the rotten money!

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Gordon! I'm sure we must be boring Miss 
		Mockridge with all this.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		Oh, no, no. I'm enjoying it very much.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
			(composing himself)
		I'm sorry. I beg your pardon, Miss Mockridge.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		I think we'd better change the subject, Robert.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		No, no. Not at all, not at all. I think I'd 
		better be going. It must be late.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Oh, no.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		Oh, yes, I really must. It's getting quite 
		late.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(exiting)
		I'll have the chauffeur bring your car.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		Thank you. Thank you, very much. 
			(to all)
		It's been delightful seeing you all again. 
		Goodbye.

Miss Mockridge and the others exchange "Goodbyes" and "Good Nights."

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		I'll get your wrap for you.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		Thank you.

Freda and Miss Mockridge exit. Ann, hand to her head, moves unsteadily to an 
adjacent room, watched by a sympathetic Charles. Gordon moves near Betty and 
takes a needed drink.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
			(to Betty)
		I'm glad she's gone.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		So am I. I can't stand that woman. She reminds 
		me of a geometry teacher I used to have.

				CHARLES STANTON
		I've always suspected your geometry, Betty.

At this, Betty chokes on her drink, to Gordon's amusement. Charles wanders 
away into the ADJACENT ROOM to look after Ann. He finds her at a door to the 
back yard, staring sullenly up at the night sky. He sticks his nose in her 
face to provoke her into smiling. She manages a weak grin.

				ANN BEALE
		Doesn't seem quite real, does it?

				CHARLES STANTON
			(glancing at the moonlit yard)
		But what a perfect setting for a romantic 
		scene.

				ANN BEALE
		Oh, don't be silly, Charles. I meant, I feel as 
		though none of us were quite real tonight... as 
		though we might wake up any minute ... to find 
		that all the things we're doing and saying ... 
		are just a dream. Did you ever feel that way?

				CHARLES STANTON
		Once or twice... when you've smiled at me.

				ANN BEALE
			(laughs) 
		Oh, Charles, you're hopeless.

Betty and Gordon, drinks in hand, join Ann and Charles.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
			(to Ann and Charles)
		Star-gazing?

				CHARLES STANTON
		Yes.

				ANN BEALE
		No!

Betty and Gordon grab a seat together on a chair in one corner of the room. 
Robert and Freda enter. Freda stands apart, looking distinctly uncomfortable.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Well, now we can thrash this thing out.

				ANN BEALE
		Oh, no, please, Robert.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(confronts Ann)
		I'm sorry, Ann. There's something very queer 
		about all this. First Freda going to see 
		Martin and never saying a word about it, then 
		you. It won't do. You've both been hiding 
		things. It's about time some of us began 
		telling the whole truth for a change.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Is this going to be another inquest?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Well, it wouldn't be necessary if we'd heard 
		more of the truth when there was one. It's up 
		to you, Ann. You were the last person to see 
		Martin. Why did you go? Was it about the 
		missing money?

				ANN BEALE
		Yes, it was.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Did you know then that -- that Martin had taken 
		it?

				ANN BEALE
		I thought there was a possibility he had.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		You were all pretty ready to think that.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Gordon, I want to go home now.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		So soon, Betty?

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
			(rises)
		I'm going to have an awful headache if I stay 
		any longer. 
			(insistent) 
		I'm going home.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
			(rises)
		All right, dear. Just a minute.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		What's the matter, Betty?

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		I don't know. I'm just stupid, I suppose.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		All right, then, sweet. We'll go now.

Betty bolts from the room. Gordon looks around at the group, puzzled.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Well, good night, everybody.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(to Gordon)
		I'll go along with you.

The group exchanges "Good nights," then Charles and Gordon exit together, 
leaving just Ann, Freda, and Robert. Robert confronts Ann again.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Now, Ann, you can tell me just why you rushed 
		off to see Martin that way about the missing 
		money.

				ANN BEALE
			(hesitates)
		We're all being truthful now, aren't we? You 
		too, Robert?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Great heavens, yes, of course. I loathe these 
		silly mysteries. But you haven't answered my 
		question.

				ANN BEALE
		But, first, I'm going to ask you a question. 
		I've been waiting to do it for some time and I 
		never quite dared to. Now I don't care -- it 
		might as well come out. Robert. Did you take 
		that money?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Did I take it?

				ANN BEALE
		Yes.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Why, of course not, Ann. You must be crazy.
		Martin took it, of course. We all know that.

				ANN BEALE
		Oh... 
			(deeply relieved)
		Oh, what a fool I've been.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		But I don't understand. You -- you can't have 
		been thinking all this time that I did it.

				ANN BEALE
		Yes, I have. I've been torturing myself with 
		it.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		But I -- why, it doesn't make sense. I suppose 
		I might have taken that money. We're all 
		capable of that under certain circumstances. 
		But how on earth did you think I'd be capable 
		of letting Martin take the blame for it? I 
		thought you were a friend of mine, Ann. One of 
		my best and oldest friends.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(cold as ice)
		You might as well know, Robert -- and how you 
		can be so dense baffles me -- that Ann is not 
		a friend of yours.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Why, of course she is.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		She's not. She's a woman who's in love with 
		you. A very different thing. She's been in 
		love with you for ages.

				ANN BEALE
		Oh, Freda, that's unfair. It's cruel.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		He wanted the truth. Let him have it.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		I'm terribly sorry, Ann. I--

				ANN BEALE
			(rises, turns her back on Freda)
		Oh, it's unforgivable. You've no right to say 
		that.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		But it's true, isn't it? I've been aware of it 
		for the last eighteen months. Wives are always 
		aware of these things. And I think you're a 
		fool, Robert, for not being aware of it 
		yourself -- and not having responded to it. 
		It's not given to many people to really love 
		someone -- and I think they're fools not to 
		cherish it... before it's too late.

				ANN BEALE
			(turns to Freda)
		Freda. I understand now.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Understand what?

				ANN BEALE
		About you. I ought to have understood before.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		If you mean by that that Freda doesn't care 
		for me very much, you're right. We haven't 
		been very happy together. Somehow our marriage 
		hasn't worked out. But nobody knows.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(amused)
		Of course they know. People don't have to be
		told such things.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		But Ann has just said that she understood 
		about it for the first time.

				ANN BEALE
		Oh, no. I knew about that before, Robert. It's 
		something else I've just--

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Well, what is it?

				ANN BEALE
		I'd rather not explain.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		No, you needn't be noble now, Ann. We're past 
		that. But you've got to go on about the money. 
		You said you believed all along that Robert had 
		taken it.

				ANN BEALE
		I thought he must have.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Why didn't you say something?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Oh, Robert, can't you see why? She was 
		shielding you.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(beat)
		Ann, I had no idea. Though it's fantastic you 
		could think I was that kind of man and yet 
		care enough not to say anything.

				ANN BEALE
		Oh, no. It's not fantastic at all.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		If you're in love with somebody, you're in love 
		with them -- and they can do anything to you 
		and you'll forgive them... Or just not bother 
		about it. At least, some women will.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		But I don't see that in you, Freda.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Don't you? 
			(chuckles)
		But there are a lot of things about me you 
		don't see.
			(to Ann)
		But if you thought Robert had taken the money, 
		then you knew all along that Martin hadn't. And 
		yet you let us go on thinking he had.

				ANN BEALE
		It didn't seem to matter then. It couldn't hurt 
		Martin anymore.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Martin must have taken it. That's why he shot 
		himself.

				ANN BEALE
			(unusually insistent)
		No, it wasn't. You must believe me. I'm positive 
		Martin never touched that money. 

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		I always thought it strange that he should. I 
		knew he could be wild and rather cruel 
		sometimes but it wasn't like him to steal.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		He was pretty badly in debt.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		He didn't mind owing money. He could have 
		cheerfully gone on being in debt. Money simply 
		didn't matter. 

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		But, Ann, how could you think that I did it?

				ANN BEALE
		From Martin himself.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		From Martin? But, hang it all, how would he 
		think that?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		You thought he'd been the thief.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		We were all convinced of it when he shot himself.

				ANN BEALE
		Charles wasn't. He and Martin had talked it 
		over. Martin told me so himself.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Charles! So Stanton was in on this. He had to 
		put in his oar. Why, he may even have told 
		Martin I was the thief.

				ANN BEALE
		Why, I didn't say that.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		But it looks that way. Where else would Martin 
		get the idea? Besides, from what you've just 
		said, Stanton knew all along that Martin hadn't 
		taken the money. And yet he let me go on 
		thinking that he had.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Then it may have been Charles himself who took 
		that money.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		It must have been.

				ANN BEALE
		That doesn't follow. 

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Then why was he willing for Martin and Robert 
		to suspect each other? Because it was a way of 
		covering his own tracks.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		No wonder he objected to all this questioning. 
		He had too much to hide.

				ANN BEALE
		Oh, we've all got too much to hide.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Then we're going to let some daylight into this 
		for once, even if it kills us. Stanton's got 
		to explain this.

Robert moves toward the telephone.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Not tonight, Robert!

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Tonight.

Robert walks to the phone, lifts the receiver, and begins to dial.

					FADE OUT


FADE IN

INT. CHATFIELD MANSION - LIVING ROOM - A FEW MINUTES LATER

Freda turns mischievously from the fireplace to try to lighten the mood as 
Ann and Robert sit somberly nearby.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		I wish I knew what to do.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		About what?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(deadpan)
		You'd hardly understand, Robert, but I'm now 
		facing the most urgent problem. The sort of 
		problem that only women have to face. If a man 
		has been dragged back to your house to be told 
		he's a liar, a cad, and a possible thief, 
		oughtn't you make a few sandwiches for him?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		He'll get no sandwiches from me.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		"No sincerity, no sandwiches." That's your 
		motto, is it? No? Oh, dear, how heavy we are 
		without Martin. And how he'd have adored all 
		this. He'd've invented the most extravagant and 
		incredible things to confess to. Oh, don't look 
		so dreadfully solemn, you two.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		I'm afraid we haven't your light touch, my dear 
		Freda.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		I suppose--

The doorbell RINGS.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		There they are. You'll have to let them in 
		yourself, Robert.

Robert exits to answer the door, leaving Freda and Ann alone.

				ANN BEALE
		Freda?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Yes.

				ANN BEALE
		How long have you really known?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		A long time. And I've often wanted to say 
		something to you about it.

				ANN BEALE
		What would you have said?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		I don't quite know. Something idiotic. But 
		friendly. Very friendly.

				ANN BEALE
		This is all quite mad, isn't it?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Yes, and rapidly getting madder. But I don't 
		care, do you? It's rather a relief.

				ANN BEALE
		Yes, it is, in a way. Rather frightening, too. 
		Like being in a car when the brakes are gone.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(nods)
		Mmm.

Ann and Freda see Gordon, Charles, and Robert entering the room.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Well, what's it all about?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Chiefly about the money.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		I thought as much. Why can't you let Martin 
		alone?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Now, wait a minute, Gordon. Martin didn't take
		that money.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		What? Are-are you sure? Is that true?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Yes.

				CHARLES STANTON
		You really believe Martin didn't take that 
		money? Well, if he didn't, who did?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		We don't know. We're hoping that you can tell 
		us, Stanton.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Being funny, Robert?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Not a bit. I wouldn't have dragged you back 
		here to be funny. You let me believe Martin 
		took that bond, didn't you?

				CHARLES STANTON
		Let you?  You believed it yourself, didn't you, 
		after what happened?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		But you knew it wasn't true.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Did I?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		If you didn't, why did you tell Martin you 
		thought Robert had done it?

				CHARLES STANTON
		Don't be ridiculous, Freda. Of course I didn't.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Martin told Ann.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Ann? 
			(to Ann)
		Are you in this too, Ann?

				ANN BEALE
		Yes. Yes, I am. I told Robert what Martin had 
		said. That you and he thought Robert had taken 
		the money.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		You better tell the truth now, Stanton. You let 
		Martin and me suspect each other. Now, why?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		There can be only one explanation. Because he 
		took it himself.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		You didn't, did you, Stanton?

A long pause as Charles looks the group over. Finally, he speaks.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(casually)
		Yes, I did.

The group reacts in shock.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
			(upset)
		Then you're a rotten swine. Not that I care 
		about the money but you let Martin take the 
		blame! You let us all believe that he was a 
		thief!

				CHARLES STANTON
		Don't be a young fool.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Keep quiet, Gordon.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		I won't keep quiet. You let--

				CHARLES STANTON
		I didn't let Martin take the blame, as you call 
		it. He wasn't the sort to take the blame. You 
		ought to know that. It happened that in the 
		middle of all this fuss about the money Martin 
		shot himself. You all jumped to the conclusion 
		that it was because he had taken the money and 
		was afraid of being found out. I let you go on 
		thinking it, that's all. You might as well 
		think he shot himself for that as for anything 
		else. Besides, where he's gone, it doesn't 
		matter whether people here think you've stolen 
		money or not.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		But you deliberately told Martin that I--

				CHARLES STANTON
		No, I didn't. You were holding your daily 
		conferences and investigations and we were 
		pretty fed up. One day, I made some remark 
		about them to Martin. I don't even remember 
		what I said but he took it to mean I had 
		something on you which I wasn't divulging. He 
		inferred that because he wanted to, because it 
		struck his fancy. I was in too tight a spot to 
		explain.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		A low, sneaking trick.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Maybe it was. But I took that bond because I 
		needed some money quickly. And I didn't know 
		where to turn. I knew I could square it up in a 
		week.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Then why didn't you?

				CHARLES STANTON
		Well, it -- it all came up so unexpectedly I 
		had to play for time. But I hadn't the least 
		intention of letting you or Martin or anyone 
		else be punished for what I'd done. If it had 
		come to a showdown, I was prepared to tell the 
		truth. As it happened, it was unnecessary. 
		Until tonight.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		I don't believe that.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Oh, don't go thinking there was any deep-laid 
		plot. There wasn't. It was all improvised, 
		and haphazard, and stupid.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Then why didn't you confess to all this before?

				CHARLES STANTON
		Why the devil should I? After Martin's suicide, 
		you all wanted to drop the whole thing. "Dear 
		Martin must have done it, so we won't mention 
		it." But if I'd confessed you would have kicked 
		me out in a minute and yelled for the police.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Huh! You're right.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Of course I am. I didn't get into the firm 
		because I had the right university and social 
		background. I had to work my way up from the 
		bottom. Don't forget, I used to be a clerk in 
		the office. It makes a difference I can tell 
		you.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		But to let us go on believing--?

				CHARLES STANTON
		Why not? It was all over. Why open it up again? 
		Robert, Gordon, and I were all doing well 
		together in the firm. Where are we now? Who's 
		better off because of this?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(passionately)
		You're not. But Martin is. And the people who 
		cared about him.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Are they?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		At least we know now he wasn't a thief.

				CHARLES STANTON
		He must have had some reason for doing what he 
		did. And you're probably a lot better off not 
		knowing what that reason was.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Perhaps he did it because he felt I'd taken the 
		money.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(chuckles) 
		If you think Martin shot himself because he 
		thought you'd taken some money, then you didn't 
		know Martin. It amused him to think you a 
		thief. A lot of things amused that young man.

				ANN BEALE
		That's true -- I know. He didn't care -- he 
		didn't care at all.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Look here, do you know why Martin did shoot 
		himself?

				CHARLES STANTON
			(choosing his words carefully) 
		I can imagine reasons.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(offended)
		What do you mean by that?

				CHARLES STANTON
		I mean, he was that sort. He'd got his life 
		into a mess and I don't blame him.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(angrily)
		You don't blame him! Who are you to blame him 
		or not to blame him?!

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(darkly, to Charles)
		Yes. The less you say now, the better.

				CHARLES STANTON
		The less we all say, the better. I told you as 
		much before you began dragging out all this 
		stuff. Like a fool, you wouldn't leave well 
		enough alone. And now you've got what you asked 
		for.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		One thing more we'll ask for is to be rid of 
		you.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Yes. Do you think you'll stay on with the firm 
		after this?

				CHARLES STANTON
		No, I suppose not. At least I'll be leaving a 
		lot of hard work. For the last few years the 
		burden of running this business has been on 
		Ann and me. Well, now you can find someone 
		else to elevate to a partnership to relieve 
		you of the necessity of working.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Well, at least it'll be a pleasure to try. 
		You've never liked us and you hated Martin. I 
		knew it.

				CHARLES STANTON
		I had my reasons.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(fiercely)
		Reasons? You're not fit to mention his name. 
		You never even knew the real Martin--

				CHARLES STANTON
			(to Freda)
		Not as well as you did, perhaps, but well 
		enough.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(sharply)
		Does that mean anything?

				CHARLES STANTON
		It means exactly what I said.

				ANN BEALE
		Robert, Charles, let's have no more of this!

				CHARLES STANTON
		I'm sorry, Ann. I've tried to stay out of this.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		I'm waiting for your explanation, Stanton.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Don't you see? He's getting at me.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Is that true? Were you trying to imply--?

				CHARLES STANTON
		No, I'm not trying to get at anybody, even 
		though it seems to be the fashion this evening.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Then you'd better take that back--

				CHARLES STANTON
		I'll take nothing back. If there's any more 
		explaining, Freda will have to do it.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Robert, please! Leave him alone. Don't push 
		this thing any further.

Freda sinks into a chair.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(confronting Freda)
		Freda, what's the matter? It isn't true, is it? 
		I must know -- because if it isn't, I'm going 
		to kick Stanton out of the house.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Don't talk like a man in a melodrama. You're 
		not going to kick me out of the house. I'll go 
		out in the ordinary way, thank you.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Freda, is this true?

A pause.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(weakly, but with relief)
		Yes.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(after a pause, quietly) 
		Has that been the trouble, all along?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Yes. All along.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(tenderly)
		When did it begin?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		A long time ago. It seems a long time ago. Ages.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Before we were married.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Yes. I thought I could get him out of my mind 
		then. And I did for a little time. But the old 
		feeling was always there.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(genuinely)
		I wish you'd told me. Why didn't you?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		I tried to, hundreds of times. I said the 
		[opening?] words to myself so often 
		sometimes I've hardly known whether I didn't 
		actually say them out loud to you.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		I wish you had. Why didn't I see it for myself?
		All seems so plain now. It began when we were 
		all up at the lake that summer, didn't it?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Yes. That lovely, lovely summer. Nothing's ever 
		been quite real since then. But it didn't mean 
		much to Martin. A sort of experiment, that's 
		all.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Didn't he care?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		No. Not really. I tried to forget him, in 
		fairness to you. And I thought it would be all 
		right. But it wasn't. It was hopeless. You 
		don't know how hopeless it was. Oh, Martin. 
		Martin.

Freda turns away, breaks down and cries. The room is quiet except for her 
sobbing. After a moment, Ann can take no more.

				ANN BEALE
		Oh, Freda, don't!

Ann walks away from the group and goes to a window.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(sadly)
		That's how it goes on, you see? A good 
		evening's work.

				ANN BEALE
			(turning from the window)
		Robert! Somebody's out there!

Charles and Robert join Ann in peering out into the darkness. But there's no 
one in sight.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		There's no one there now.

				ANN BEALE
		I'd swear there was somebody there. They've 
		been listening.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Well, they couldn't've chosen a better night 
		for it.

The doorbell RINGS.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(standing at the fireplace)
		See who it is. And don't let them interrupt us, 
		whoever they are.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(wryly) 
		The interruption's about an hour late.

Robert exits to answer the door. The room is silent. Freda keeps her back to 
the group. After a long pause, Robert returns with Betty, much to everyone's 
surprise.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
			(to all)
		You've been talking about me. Haven't you?

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
			(concerned)
		Betty, I thought you'd gone to bed. What's the 
		matter?

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		I wanted to go to bed. I started to -- but I 
		couldn't. I had to come back.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		You're wrong. As a matter of fact, you're the 
		one person we haven't been talking about.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Is that true?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Of course, Betty.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
			(confused)
		Well, then, what have you been talking about?

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		The money. Martin didn't take it. Stanton did. 
		He's admitted it.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Admitted it? Charles. Surely, that's impossible.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Sounds impossible, doesn't it, Betty? But it 
		isn't.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
			(slowly) 
		If Martin didn't take the money, then why did 
		he shoot himself?

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		That's what we want to know.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Haven't you dug up enough muck? Why go on and 
		on?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		You can stand there and talk like that when 
		you're really responsible?

				CHARLES STANTON
		It's all nonsense.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		It isn't! Don't you see what you've done?

				CHARLES STANTON
		No. Because I don't know what you're talking 
		about.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		You don't want to, that's all.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Oh, talk sense, man! Can't you see that Martin 
		must have had his own reasons?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		No. What drove him to suicide was my stupidity 
		and your letting him think I'd taken that 
		money. There couldn't've been anything else. 
		So that settles it once and for all.

				CHARLES STANTON
		You're not in a state now to settle anything.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(confronts Charles)
		Now, listen to me, Stanton--

				CHARLES STANTON
		Oh, drop it, man!

Robert and Gordon raise their voices and gang up on Charles.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		You've got to [?] -- !

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		I'll never forgive you for telling Martin what 
		you did!

				CHARLES STANTON
		You've got it all wrong!

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		No, we haven't, you liar! You made Martin shoot 
		himself!

				ANN BEALE 
			(interrupts, o.s.)
		Wait a minute, Gordon!

A long pause as Ann looks the group over.
 
				ANN BEALE 
			(quietly)
		Martin didn't shoot himself.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Martin didn't shoot himself?

An eerie moment as Ann turns her head ever so slowly, as if in a trance, and 
steels herself.

				ANN BEALE
		No. 
			(coolly) 
		I shot him.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Ann!

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		That's impossible. She must be hysterical.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Ann's not hysterical. She means it. 
			(moves to Ann, tenderly)
		You might as well tell us exactly what happened 
		now, Ann. And I might as well tell you before 
		you begin, I'm not at all surprised. I 
		suspected this from the first.

				ANN BEALE
		You suspected I'd done it?

				CHARLES STANTON
		Yes. 

				ANN BEALE
		But why?

				CHARLES STANTON
		Never mind now. It was an accident, wasn't it?

				ANN BEALE
		Yes. It really was an accident. But it's all 
		so muddled and horrible. But I'll try to tell 
		the complete truth. I went to see Martin about 
		the money. I don't think I'd ever seen him as 
		bad as he was that Saturday night. He wasn't 
		really sane. I arrived there about nine-
		thirty...

Ann FLASHES BACK to the night of Martin's death, over a year ago.

					DISSOLVE TO:

INT. MARTIN'S COTTAGE - FLASHBACK - NIGHT

MARTIN CHATFIELD looks like his photograph -- a handsome, grinning, partying 
kind of a guy. He answers the front door and lets Ann in. He is energetic, 
too energetic. In fact, he's wired -- a combination of alcohol and an illegal 
substance or two. Ann senses he's drunk but, preoccupied with the money, she 
doesn't realize at first how far gone he is.

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
		This is an unexpected honor. A charming young 
		lady calling at this time of night.

Martin takes Ann's coat and they walk into the living room.

				ANN BEALE
		I came to talk to you seriously, Martin.

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
		I was afraid there was a catch. What have I 
		done this time?

				ANN BEALE
		I don't know. Have you done something?

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
		Huh! Many things. Should you like to hear about 
		them? 
			(drops her coat on a chair)
		Or can I offer you a drink first?

				ANN BEALE
		No, thanks.

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
		Cigarette?

				ANN BEALE
		Yes.

Martin offers Ann the oddly-shaped cigarette box. He opens it and it plays 
"The Wedding March." Ann takes a cigarette.

				ANN BEALE
			(delighted at the tune)
		Oh!

Martin closes the box. The music stops.

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
		Amusing, isn't it?

Martin opens the box again. More music.

				ANN BEALE
		Where'd you get it?

Martin closes the box with finality.

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
			(nonchalant) 
		Present.

Martin lights Ann's cigarette, then picks up a half-full glass.

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
		Sure you won't have a drink?

				ANN BEALE
		Don't drink that yet.

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
		I need it. You look as though you were going 
		to stand me in a corner and ask impertinent 
		questions. Are you?

				ANN BEALE
		I want to ask you one question. Martin, who 
		took that money? At the office, I mean. The 
		Goldsmith award.

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
			(cheerfully) 
		Who do you think took it?

				ANN BEALE
			(dead serious) 
		I think you did.

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
			(laughs heartily) 
		You're all wrong, Ann. But then you always 
		were. Why, you don't have to try to dodge me.

				ANN BEALE
		Are you all right? You seem strange -- 
		different -- tonight.

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
		I feel great. It's you. You seem so sad. So 
		ordinary. I could do something about that look 
		of yours if you'd let me.

				ANN BEALE
			(turning her face from him)
		Martin!

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
		Ann, how do you manage to live without ever a 
		thrill? I'm sorry for you. You seem so bleak. 
		Ann, wouldn't you like just once to lose 
		yourself? To break out of that -- that hard 
		little shell of yours and become a happy pagan?

				ANN BEALE
		Are you crazy?

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
		Ann, life offers you fun and you won't take it. 
		Foolish, stupid, ungrateful Ann.

				ANN BEALE
			(moves to leave)
		Perhaps I'd better go.

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
		I'll be good. Let me show you some new etchings 
		I've bought.

				ANN BEALE
		You've been buying a lot of things lately. 
		Where did you get all this money?

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
		Ha ha! I didn't steal it.

				ANN BEALE
		If you didn't, who did?

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
		Robert.

				ANN BEALE
			(offended)
		How dare you accuse Robert? You all had keys to 
		that safe.

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
		But nobody ever opened it but Robert. Robert 
		takes care of all the money. Always has. Ask 
		Stanton if you don't believe me. 
			(rubs it in, with a sneer) 
		Robert, your idol, is a sneak thief. And 
		Martin, the bad boy, is shielding him. Isn't 
		that amusing? Huh? 
			(laughs hysterically) 
		Huh? Yes, Robert -- your little tin god hero -- 
		is a thief! And I, Martin, am shielding him! 

Martin and his laughter are out of control. Ann looks on, horrified and hurt.

				ANN BEALE
		Stop it!

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
		You came here to get a confession. Instead, you 
		got the truth. Well, how do you like it?

				ANN BEALE
		Why would -- why would Robert do such a thing?

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
		How should I know? 
			(chuckling) 
		Perhaps he's got a girl somewhere.

Ann scoffs.

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
		Well, he doesn't have much fun at home, does 
		he? Or did you think your schoolgirl crush 
		would satisfy him?

				ANN BEALE
		My what?

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
		Oh, you've been in love with him since you were 
		a kid. Too engrossed in worshiping the dream of
		a plaster saint to be aware of the flesh-and-
		blood men who could love you and make you 
		happy.

				ANN BEALE
			(he has struck an nerve)
		Oh, how I hate you!

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
			(closing in on her)
		Marvelous! You have feelings! Spinster of the 
		parish! Beautiful, beautiful spinster!

				ANN BEALE
			(savagely)
		Don't come near me! I could kill you!

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
		You could?!

Martin freezes. A sick idea enters his head. He silently wags a finger at Ann 
and moves to a nearby table from which he pulls a pistol. Ann looks on 
worriedly.

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
			(talks to himself in a daze)
		It would be so easy. Martin all alone except 
		for Ann. Nothing nearer than Stanton's house. 
		Stanton would do anything to protect Ann. 
			(to Ann, off the gun)
		But first you'd have to take the gun away from 
		me. 
			(insistent)
		Take the gun away from me, Ann. 

Martin holds the gun only inches from a nervous Ann. She breathes hard.

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
		It'll be exciting. Almost anything might happen. 
			(insistent) 
		Try to take it away from me!

				ANN BEALE
		Oh, you're insane!

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
		It's so difficult to find a new thrill. It's 
		loaded. Honestly, it is.

				ANN BEALE
			(trembling)
		Martin, you're frightening me!

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
		Good! I'm frightened too. But only a little. I 
		wonder how it would feel to be dead.

				ANN BEALE
		No, don't! Don't!

Ann tries to pull away but Martin stops her and pulls her back.

				MARTIN CHATFIELD
		Oh, it's too soon for you. I don't think I 
		should mind. But first, Ann... you shouldn't 
		die young...

Martin presses himself up against Ann. She panics.

				ANN BEALE
		Oh, Martin! Leave me alone! Leave me alone!

They struggle violently. Ann SCREAMS. The gun FIRES. Ann SCREAMS again. 
Martin SLUMPS to the floor dead.

				ANN BEALE
		Martin! Martin!

Ann runs away from Martin's body and tries to compose herself. She moves to 
the chair where her coat lies, grabs the coat, and hurries for the door as 
the FLASHBACK ENDS and we 

					DISSOLVE TO:

INT. CHATFIELD MANSION - RESUME SCENE

Ann finishes recounting the night's events. The group listens solemnly.

				ANN BEALE
		When I realized what had happened, I rushed 
		out and sat in my car for I don't know how 
		long. I couldn't move a finger. I just sat on 
		and on in the car... shivering. And it was so 
		quiet in the cottage. So horribly quiet.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(after a pause)
		You can't be blamed, Ann.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Of course she can't be blamed.

				ANN BEALE
		May I have a cigarette, Robert?

Robert gives Ann a cigarette. Charles lights it.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		It's a pity we can't all be as calm and 
		businesslike about this as you are, Stanton.

				CHARLES STANTON
		I suspected long ago that something like this 
		happened.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		I don't see how you could. All the evidence 
		pointed to suicide.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Not quite all. You know I went over to Martin's 
		cottage early the next morning -- before 
		anybody else had arrived. And I found something 
		on the floor. 
			(pulls out his wallet)
		I've kept it ever since.

Charles takes out a small piece of ripped fabric. Ann recognizes it.

				ANN BEALE
		Yes. That's part of the dress I was wearing. 
		Must have been torn in the struggle we had. So 
		that's how you knew.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Yes.

				ANN BEALE
		But why didn't you say something?

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		He didn't say anything because he wanted 
		everyone to think that Martin shot himself.

				CHARLES STANTON
		No. There happened to be another reason. I knew 
		that if Ann had been connected with Martin's 
		death, something like this must have happened. 
		And so Ann couldn't be blamed. You see, I knew 
		her better than any of you... and I ... I 
		trusted her. She's about the only person I 
		would trust. She knows all about that. I've 
		told her often enough. She's not interested -- 
		but there it is.

				ANN BEALE
			(seeing Charles in a new light)
		And you never even hinted about it to me.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Surprising, isn't it? 
			(wryly) 
		What a chance I missed to capture your interest 
		for a few minutes. 
			(serious again) 
		But I couldn't take that line with you, Ann.

				ANN BEALE
		You know, I nearly did take you into my 
		confidence.

				CHARLES STANTON
		When?

				ANN BEALE
		When I left Martin's house that night. I felt I 
		had to tell somebody.

				CHARLES STANTON
		But you didn't come to my place that night.

				ANN BEALE
		Yes, I did. 

Freda watches Betty grow increasingly agitated as Ann says:

				ANN BEALE
		It was about eleven o'clock. I left my car at 
		the bottom of the hill. Then I walked up to the 
		cottage. And then ... I walked back again.

Robert notices the uneasy expression on Betty's face, too.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		What's the matter, Betty?

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Why ... nothing.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Betty, what do you know about this? Were you 
		there? 

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Betty? Why, that's impossible. 
			(to Betty)
		Tell him it's a lie.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		It's true, isn't it? See? She can't deny it!

				ANN BEALE
		Leave the child alone!

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		That's just the mistake you've all made. I'm 
		not a child.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(incredulous)
		You weren't there...

Freda watches Robert with concern.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
			(nods grimly)
		Yes. I was. Now I'll tell you the rest of it. 
		I went there all right. But he wouldn't let me 
		stay. A good joke on me, wasn't it? 
			(to Ann) 
		If you'd waited a few minutes longer, you would 
		have seen him show me the door.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		You little liar.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		It's true. He played a perfectly beautiful Sir 
		Galahad. You know, Charles, I've never really 
		quite forgiven you for that.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(in disbelief) 
		Betty...

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		I don't think you need be quite so shocked, 
		Robert.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		But why?

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Because Gordon was driving me mad. This 
		marriage of ours that you all get so 
		sentimental about -- it's the biggest sham 
		that's ever been. It's nothing but pretense, 
		pretense, pretense. "Betty, darling" and 
		"Gordon, darling" -- our marriage was all a 
		mistake. 

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		It seems to be the sort of mistake we 
		make in our family. 

Gordon holds his head in his hand, listening.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		I was in love with him when we were married. I 
		thought everything was going to be marvelous. 
		Gordon and I have nothing in common. And 
		Charles was the one person who understood it 
		all. If I presumed too much on his sympathies, 
		then that's my mistake. He's been a good 
		friend to me.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
			(sneering) 
		A fine friendship.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Well, at least when I got in a jam he was ready 
		to help me out.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Help you?

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Yes. I lost a lot of money at a gambling place. 
		Not a very nice one. I had to pay up quickly or 
		there'd've been a scandal. And Charles gave me 
		the money.

Robert can't take it anymore. He moves to the bar to mix a drink.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
			(to Betty)
		Why didn't you come to me?

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		A lot of good that would've done. You couldn't 
		even be generous.

A pause as something finally dawns on Betty. She confronts Charles.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Ohhh... Charles! That was why you took the 
		money, wasn't it?

Charles nods and tries to suppress a smile.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(quietly philosophical)
		Queer how it all works out, isn't it?

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Charles, I didn't know. I'm terribly sorry.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Oh, that's all right, Betty.

Betty sees Robert drinking by the bar. She moves to him and tries to force 
some cheerfulness into her voice.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
			(to Robert)
		I could do with a drink myself.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(regards Betty coldly)
		I thought you were better than the rest of us. 
		Something fine and real. I even thought you and 
		Gordon were happy together.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Yes. We put up a good show, didn't we?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		You did.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
			(to Betty)
		We'd go on pretending long enough, we might 
		have been happy together sometime. It often 
		happens like that.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
			(bitterly)
		Never.

				ANN BEALE
			(despairingly)
		Yes, it does. That's why all this is so wrong, 
		really. The real truth is something so deep 
		you can't get at it this way. And all this 
		half-truth does is to blow everything up. Oh, 
		it isn't civilized.

				CHARLES STANTON
		I agree.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		You agree! You might as well!

				CHARLES STANTON
		You'll get no sympathy from me.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Sympathy from you! I never want to set eyes on 
		you again, Stanton. You're a liar and a thief.

				CHARLES STANTON
		And you're a fool! You won't face things. 
		You've been living in a fool's paradise. And 
		now having gotten yourself out of it by 
		tonight's efforts, all you're doing -- you're 
		busy building yourself a fool's hell to live 
		in.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		We've heard enough from you, Stanton. Get out!

Charles starts to head out but stops and turns to Ann.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Good night, Ann. I'm sorry about all this.

				ANN BEALE
		So am I. Good night.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Good night, Freda.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Good night.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Remember, we expect your resignation, Stanton.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(to Gordon)
		With pleasure. Good night.

Charles looks at Robert, then at the others -- and realizes that no one is 
going to show him to the door.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(mock polite, to all)
		Oh, don't bother. I can find my way out.

Charles exits the room and the house.

				ANN BEALE
			(after a pause)
		If Charles goes, the firm will suffer.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Don't worry, the firm's smashed to bits now.

Robert moves to the bar and pours himself yet another drink. Gordon brings 
Betty her wrap.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
			(darkly ironic) 
		Come on, Betty, darling. I think we'd better 
		return to our happy little home.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Oh, don't, Gordon.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(to Gordon)
		I'll let you out.

Gordon exits.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
			(moves to Robert)
		Goodbye, Robert.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(shakes his head, coldly)
		I can't say goodbye to you. I don't know you.

Hurt, Betty walks off. She and Freda exit, leaving Ann alone with Robert. He 
slumps in a chair and keeps right on drinking.

				ANN BEALE
		Don't drink any more tonight, Robert. I know 
		how you feel but it'll only make you worse.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		What's it matter? I'm finished anyway.

				ANN BEALE
		It won't seem so bad tomorrow. It never does.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		No, this isn't going to be any better tomorrow. 
		Then again, you see, I don't care anymore. 
		Nothing happens ... 
			(touching his chest)
		... here inside. That's the awful, cruel thing. 
		Nothing happens.

Freda breezes into the room.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		I'm sure it's not at all the proper thing to 
		say at such a time but the fact remains that 
		I'm rather hungry. What about you, Ann? 
			(Ann looks away)
		Robert? Or have you been drinking too much?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(nods)
		Yes, I've been drinking too much.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(takes his glass away from him)
		Well... it's very silly of you.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(absently)
		Yes.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		And you did ask for all this, you know.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		I asked for it.
			(bitterly) 
		And I got it.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Though I doubt if you minded very much until it 
		came to Betty.

Robert and Freda sit in chairs next to the unfinished jigsaw puzzle.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		No, that isn't true. Though I can understand 
		your thinking so. You see, as more and more of 
		this stuff came out ... well, there was only 
		one person left I felt I could depend on. Heh. 
		Betty. And some lovely quality of life she 
		stood for.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		You can always build up another image to fall 
		in love with.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(rises)
		No, you can't. That's the trouble. You lose 
		the capacity. You run short of the stuff that 
		creates beautiful illusions. Just as if a 
		gland stopped working.

				ANN BEALE
		You'll have to learn to live without illusions.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Can't be done. I've lived too long among them.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Then why didn't you leave them alone?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Because I'm a fool. Stanton was right. I had 
		to meddle. I began this evening with everything 
		to keep me going. And now I ...

He is completely shaken and the women sense it.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Robert, please... 

				ANN BEALE
		No, no, Robert. It won't seem like this tomorrow.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Tomorrow, tomorrow... I'm through, I tell you. 
		I'm through. There can't be a tomorrow.

Robert stares in horror at Ann and Freda, then abruptly bolts from the room. 
The women panic as he disappears into the dining room.

				ANN AND FREDA
		Robert! Robert!

There is a FAST FADE TO BLACK ...

And then the crack of a GUNSHOT.

A huge puff of gun smoke clears to reveal a CUT TO a TITLE CARD:

		This is what might have happened .....
		this is what did happen .....

CUT BACK TO the clearing gun smoke. We quickly IRIS OUT of the smoke to 
reveal a darkened, familiar scene: 

INT. CHATFIELD MANSION - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

We PUSH IN toward the backs of four women, silhouetted in a doorway, as they 
peer out into the night at a moonlit terrace. One of the women SCREAMS. All 
four turn in terror to their right, to the sound of a shot which seems to 
them unnervingly close by. 

We have FLASHED BACK to the moment earlier in the evening when Robert had 
fired his gun harmlessly at a flower pot. The same events now play themselves 
out again with minor differences in dialogue, staging, and camera placement.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Robert!

Freda runs off to the right, through the darkened room, and pushes open a 
door to reveal a well-lit DINING ROOM. She enters and looks in the direction 
of the terrace.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Robert! What are you doing?

Robert, Charles, and Gordon stand at another terrace door. Robert has a 
pistol in his hand. The men appear mildly surprised at Freda's arrival.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(casually, approaching Freda)
		Oh, I'm sorry, dear. I was just showing the 
		boys this gun. I took a crack at one of the 
		flower pots.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		You must be crazy, firing a gun out the window! 
		You might hit someone.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(with an embarrassed grin)
		Yes, it was stupid of me, wasn't it? Well, I 
		hope I didn't frighten anybody.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		It's all right. Long as no one's hurt.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Sorry, darling.

Freda returns to the living room.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(to Charles and Gordon)
		I guess that was a mistake.

In the LIVING ROOM, Freda turns on the lights, and adopts a "boys-will-be-
boys" attitude with Ann, Betty, and Miss Mockridge:


				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(laughing, to the women) 
		Those idiots. Firing a revolver out the window.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		Oh.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Frightened the life out of me. I hate guns.

Betty and Ann move off but Miss Mockridge confers with Freda.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
			(to Freda, impulsively)
		You must miss your brother-in-law.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		What made you think of Martin?

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		Just being here, I suppose. 
			(sorry to have mentioned Martin)
		Oh, I am sorry.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Oh, you needn't feel upset Miss Mockridge. We 
		talk about Martin a lot. One can't afford to 
		forget anyone so gay and charming and handsome. 
			(quietly, with feeling)
		Yes. We do miss him.

Gordon and Charles enter and hear these last few words.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Miss whom?

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Not you, sweetheart.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
			(laughs) 
		Liar.

Gordon goes to Betty (who now sits by her unfinished jigsaw puzzle) and 
kisses her. Charles goes to Ann, wishing he could get the same kind of 
action.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(to Ann)
		Did you miss me?

				ANN BEALE
			(mockingly)
		If it pleases you, my dear.

				CHARLES STANTON
		It does, very much.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
			(idly)
		I wonder if there's any good dance music on.

Gordon heads over to a huge radio in a corner of the room. Robert, who has 
followed Charles and Gordon into the living room, grabs a seat next to Betty 
and her jigsaw puzzle.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(to Gordon)
		I hope not. Let's have a little quiet. 
			(to the women)
		Well, what have you people been talking about?

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Wouldn't you like to know?

Gordon finds some dance MUSIC on the radio.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(straightens a pillow 
			for Miss Mockridge)
		I do know. Either you've been talking about us 
		or Miss Mockridge's new novel, "The Sleeping 
		Dog."

				ANN BEALE
		Wrong, both times. It was a bird instead.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		"Sleeping Dog." That's a curious title. What 
		does it mean?

				ANN BEALE
		It was taken from an old proverb, Betty. "Let 
		sleeping dogs lie."

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(to Miss Mockridge)
		Great book.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		Thank you.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Even though I don't agree with its premise.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		And what is its premise?

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
		Well, the "sleeping dog" is the Truth -- which 
		the chief character, the husband, insisted on 
		disturbing. 
			(chuckles) 
		With strange and disastrous results.

				CHARLES STANTON
		I think telling the truth's about as healthy as 
		skidding around a corner at sixty. 
			(turns to Ann, sitting nearby)
		You're looking awfully wise, Ann. What do you 
		think?

				ANN BEALE
		I agree with you. I think telling everything is 
		dangerous because what most people mean by 
		everything is only half the real truth. 

Gordon stands by the radio, holding a program guide.

				RADIO ANNOUNCER
		This is station BPFY! Time signal! 
			(a tone sounds)
		It is now one minute past nine o'clock!

Suddenly, the radio makes a hideous SCREECHING noise -- one of the radio's 
tubes is burning out. There's a massive CLOSE-UP of the tube as the sparks 
fly.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(rises, hands over her ears)
		Gordon, what is the matter?

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
			(pulls tube from rear of radio)
		The tube's burnt out. Do you have any spares?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Look and see. There may be one in the cabinet.

Gordon turns to look in the cabinet. Freda offers an oddly-shaped cigarette 
box to Ann.

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Cigarette, Ann?

				ANN BEALE
		Oh, I remember that box. Plays a tune, doesn't 
		it?

Freda lifts the top of the box revealing some cigarettes. The box plays a 
tinkly version of a highly recognizable tune.

				ANN BEALE
		Oh, yes, it's "The Wedding March."

Gordon opens a cabinet drawer. Empty. He opens a second drawer. Inside are a 
couple of spare tubes. "The Wedding March" abruptly ends... Gordon pulls out 
one of the spare tubes.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Ah, here we are. The fates are with us. Now 
		we'll have music and laughter.

Gordon inserts the tube and the dance MUSIC resumes.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		There you are.
			(to Betty)
		How 'bout a dance, sweetheart?

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		Love to.

Betty and Gordon dance. Robert brings drinks.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(hands a drink to Miss Mockridge)
		Miss Mockridge?
			(hands a drink to Freda)
		Darling?

				FREDA CHATFIELD
			(hands Robert the cigarette box)
		Thank you.

Robert kisses Freda's free hand lovingly. Miss Mockridge watches Betty and 
Gordon dancing. They seem very happy together.

				ROBERT CHATFIELD
			(proposing a toast)
		Miss Mockridge? Here's to the success of "The 
		Sleeping Dog."

				FREDA CHATFIELD
		Yes.

				MAUDE MOCKRIDGE
		Thank you so much.

They drink. Meanwhile, Gordon and Betty chat quietly as they dance.

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Well, if Freda hadn't had that spare radio 
		tube, there wouldn't've been any dance music 
		and then... 
			(chuckles) 
		Well, anything might have happened.

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		What, for instance?

				GORDON WHITEHOUSE
		Oh, we might have had to listen to Mockridge 
		tell about the time she was a guest in the 
		harem of the Sultan of [Baldebon?].

				BETTY WHITEHOUSE
		For the twentieth time. I don't believe yet he 
		was that anxious to have her stay.

They both laugh.

					CUT TO:

EXT. CHATFIELD MANSION - TERRACE - CONTINUOUS

Ann stands on the terrace staring up at the night sky. Charles joins her.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Hello. Aren't we dancing?

				ANN BEALE
			(sadly)
		No. I don't feel like dancing tonight.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(looking up)
		Oh, there's a full moon tonight. Well, I'm 
		afraid I'll have to propose to you again. The 
		moon, you know. By this time it's become a 
		tradition with us.

				ANN BEALE
		Again, Charles?

				CHARLES STANTON
		For the last time -- again -- Ann, what's the 
		answer? This time?

A long pause. Then, finally:

				ANN BEALE
		Yes.

				CHARLES STANTON
			(stunned)
		What did you say?

				ANN BEALE
		I said, "yes."

				CHARLES STANTON
		But... But this is so sudden. I mean, you can't 
		do things like that to me. Don't you know I've 
		got a weak heart?

				ANN BEALE
			(grinning at his reaction)
		You brought it all on yourself.

				CHARLES STANTON
		But, Ann, for years and years and years, every
		time there was a lull in the conversation, I 
		proposed to you. I've come to depend on it. 
		Now I'll have nothing to talk about for the 
		rest of my life. What shall I do?

				ANN BEALE
		Well, some men kiss you. At least they do in 
		books.

Charles takes Ann in his arms and is about to kiss her when he stops.

				CHARLES STANTON
		Thank goodness you can read. 
			(beat, dead serious)
		But, Ann, what made you change your mind like 
		that?

				ANN BEALE
			(emotionally)
		Tonight that cigarette box brought back-- Well, 
		I really seemed to see you first the time.

				CHARLES STANTON
		"The Wedding March" did that?

				ANN BEALE
		Perhaps. Or something it reminded me of. It 
		made me see what a fool I'd been all these 
		years -- wasting my life and yours.

				CHARLES STANTON
		I don't understand.

				ANN BEALE
		Never mind now. Charles, are you happy?

				CHARLES STANTON
			(overcome with emotion)
		Oh, darling-- I'd better not try to tell you, 
		Ann. I might cry or do something silly. I've 
		waited for you so long. I'd really given up 
		hope.
			(beat)
		Hey, you're not doing this for the sake 
		of the firm, are you?

				ANN BEALE
			(matching his irony)
		No, I'm doing it just to please Miss Mockridge.

They laugh and kiss. We hear a few notes of "The Wedding March" before we

					FADE OUT


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