This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Screenplay by Alan Trustman
New York, late winter. Some snow on the ground. Dusk outside the New York Hilton. Crowds in the lobby at check-in time. Erwin notes the time. He pushes through the stacked baggage, and takes the elevator to a room on an upper floor. The room number direction sign, the silent corridor, the red corridor carpet, the number on the room door. Erwin checks the corridor; it is empty. Softly he knocks. CROWN’S VOICE: Yes? The inflection is odd, somewhat southern. ERWIN: Erwin. Like you said. CROWN’S VOICE: Come in. Erwin turns the knob, and steps in. The room is dark, without lights. CROWN’S VOICE: Don’t touch the lights, lock the door, hook the chain. The voice is harsh, imperious; there is an unmistakable southern accent, but it is slightly wrong. Erwin obeys. The silence is uncomfortable. Erwin peers at the black shapes before him. The city lights glow outside the window. Erwin blinks. Suddenly overwhelming light strikes Erwin’s face. His forearm shields his eyes. Just in front of him is a small chair, facing him. Beyond it is a coffee table, on it a highball, a brown envelope, and a Smith and Wesson five shot .38, pointing toward the door. Crown looms on the couch beyond the coffee table, a silhouette, his face unseen. The 300 watt lamp behind him shines full on Erwin’s face, blotting out everything else in the room. CROWN: Sit there. (the chair) Erwin obeys again. He speaks carefully. ERWIN: Why the gun? He is ignored. CROWN: Listen carefully. This is your last chance to get out. If you don’t want it, you know nothing now. Now I’d let you go. ERWIN: Can you tell me more? CROWN: You work an hour. You drive a car. You do an errand. You drive away. ERWIN: Any passengers?
CROWN: No passengers. Relief shows on Erwin’s face. CROWN: No passengers and no gun. Erwin is pleased. ERWIN: Illegal? Crown snickers. ERWIN: Dangerous? CROWN: Possible. It shouldn’t be. If anyone shoots, you’re on your own; do what you want to, quit or run. Erwin nods agreement. ERWIN: The money—what’s in it? What’s in it for me? CROWN: 50,000, maybe more if I like your work, but 50,000 anyhow. Slowly, in installments, so no Cadillacs, no splash. Erwin is wary. ERWIN: How do I know I’ll get— CROWN: You don’t. In a hurry? Going to worry? Drop it. Get out now. Silence from Erwin. CROWN: Are you in or out? ERWIN: I’m in. Crown chuckles. CROWN: Go celebrate and buy a car. Erwin is puzzled. ERWIN: I don’t— He flinches, ducks. The envelope hits his shoulder, the floor. He fumbles, money spills. He collects it awkwardly, on his knees. CROWN: A black Ford wagon, the biggest one, the one with wood on the sides. ERWIN: Gee. Gee, thanks. CROWN: Goodbye. Erwin rises uncertainly. CROWN: I’ll call you when. It’ll be a while. But stay home till you hear from me. No vacations, no trips but your selling. I’ll come back and give you the drill. Erwin turns at the door— CROWN: Goodbye, no questions. What you don’t know can’t hurt you, you or me, Erwin, boy.
Erwin exits. As he closes the door, the room light is turned off. Erwin frowns, but then he thinks of the money. He is pleased. He walks down the red-carpeted corridor. Inside the door, Crown is listening to Erwin’s footsteps. Crown grins in the dim light from the street. He switches on a single table lamp. Carefully he puts the Smith & Wesson in a small, flat, black attache case. He closes it, and puts it on the floor beside a chair by the window. He takes the highball glass into the bathroom, empties it into the sink, rinses it lightly with soap, dries it lightly with a towel, brings it back to the table, wipes the two lamp switches and doorknob with the towel, returns to the bathroom, wipes the light switch and sink knobs, and drops the towel into the basket. He returns to the bedroom, puts on a dark overcoat and gloves, and sits in the chair by the window. He pulls a United Airlines ticket to Chicago and Salt Lake City from his inside breast pocket and rechecks the evening departure time. He looks at his watch, a small, flat, gold Patek Phillipe. He is in no hurry. He is still grinning.
Titles and Credits. These are shown over the first part of #3.
Boston, seen from the Prudential tower. Springtime, a sunny May afternoon. Crews are rowing on the Charles. Girls in bikinis are sunning on the banks, disturbing the drivers on Storrow Drive nearby. The flowers are bright against the green shrubs on Beacon Hill. Swanboats and children are on the Common. Happy people are shopping. High heels click on the cobblestones.
The Crown building is modern concrete in the bright sunlight; the flat off white of the upper floors stand out sharply against the blue sky. The building name plate is bronze. Thomas Crown’s personal offices are on the top floor. An alert, attractive Irish girl, and two other secretaries share the outer office. Inside, Crown’s own room is spacious, tastefully furnished with mellow oak panels, orientals and antiques. On the wall are Harvard and Harvard Business School diplomas, a few of the more grotesque Goya Sketches of War, the Daumier Rue Transnonain, and two large, gloomy, red and black oils suggesting destruction and death. His desk is a long table, on it an electric number clock. In a corner are two photographs of attractive children in their teens, inscribed “To Father”; these are turned slightly toward the wall. The ivory telephone contrasts with the deep brown of the wood.
Crown’s strong fingers are strumming on the table. Before him is a neatly handwritten list, beside it a gold Cross pencil. He is handsome, immaculate, but both hands show he is edgy, impatient, a little nervous. He pushes the intercom button on the telephone, then the buzzer. Outside Miss Sullivan hears the buzzer with pleasure and anticipation. Her voice is slightly impertinent, almost mocking, as she picks up the telephone. MISS SULLIVAN: Yes, sir. CROWN’S VOICE: (loudly and harshly) No calls, Miss Sullivan, no exceptions. She starts, and holds the instrument away from her ear. CROWN’S VOICE: Tell everyone I have gone for the day. MISS SULLIVAN: Yes, sir! She shakes her head, a little puzzled. Inside, unexpectedly, Crown is smiling slightly as he neatly crosses off the first item on the list with the gold pencil. He frowns as he concentrates on the list. CROWN: Confirm me on Swissair Tuesday morning, New York to Geneva, cable the Richemond to meet the plane, tell Franz to meet me Wednesday, 10:00 o’clock. Please. MISS SULLIVAN’S VOICE: Yes, sir. Crown hangs up, gently. Then he walks to the door and locks it. He returns to the desk and crosses off the second, third, fourth and fifth items on the list. The clock shows 3:00 p.m. Crown adjusts the clock and the phone exactly perpendicular, right in front of him on the desk. He is excited, a little nervous, but still in a good humor.
A T.W.A. 727 from Chicago lands at Logan Airport. Inside the terminal, the loudspeaker calls the arrival of the flight. Abe walks off the plane right to a pay phone bank. His watch, an Accutron, shows 3:09 p.m. Abe dials the weather. (You can hear the weather report over the instrument, slightly below Abe’s voice.) ABE: Hello, Charlie? Is Charlie there?... Well, when’ll he be in?... Okay... I’ll wait... Take my number, please, pay phone, 567-9634? Have him call me just as soon as.. yeah... yeah, thanks. Abe continues to look at his watch; then he hangs up the phone. He takes a piece of paper from his pocket. It is a diagram, a floor plan of a building bounded by Devonshire, Milk and Federal Streets. Rrringg!
ABE: Hello, Charlie, how are you, boy! CROWN: (drily) Welcome. Your plane was late. ABE: Yes, some. CROWN: All clear. It’s ten past three. Check in again from Post Office Square. He crosses another item off the list. ABE: Gee, thanks. Click! Abe’s watch is right on time. Abe adjusts his hat. Out of his left breast pocket he pulls a pair of wrap-around sunglasses, and puts them on as he walks down the airport corridor. He looks decidedly sinister. The airport corridor is reflected in the dark green lenses of the sunglasses.
Benjy leaves his green four-door Chevrolet with Florida plates at the elevator parking garage at Province Street, opposite the Parker House. He crosses to the Parker House, and enters the School Street door. It is dim inside the hotel, a little drab. Benjy looks around with a slight sneer. He walks downstairs to the pay phone bank. His watch is ticking. He looks at it and waits. Then he dials the weather. Again, you hear the weather report, under Benjy’s voice. BENJY: Is Charlie there? How long will he be? Pay phone at the Parker House, RI 2-4641. Okay. I’ll wait for him here. He continues to look at his watch as the second hand passes 3:14 p.m. Then he hangs up the phone. He opens the door, but sits inside. His watch ticks away, as he continues to look at the second hand approach 3:15 p.m. Rrringg! BENJY: Charlie? CROWN: All clear, boy. It’s 3:15. (pause) Start in 20 minutes, unless I call you there. BENJY: Okay, I’ll wait. Click! Benjy stands and stretches. He pushes his hat back on his head, pulls a pair of wrap-around sunglasses from his pocket, and puts them on. Immediately his face looks cruel. The hall outside the phone bank is an eerie dark brown through the sunglasses.
South Station is ugly in the sunlight. Inside, the loudspeaker calls the arrival of a New York train. Carl, who is colored, medium height, leaves the coach car with the crowd.
He checks his watch, and walks to a pay phone bank. The first booth is out of order. Carl is rattled. He moves along. The second booth is busy. Carl hesitates; he waits. He is nervous. He looks back at the first booth. Then he enters the third booth and picks up the phone. He pauses to check on booth number two. Then he dials the weather, and again looks at booth number two. You can hear the weather report begin. CARL: Charlie there? I’ll wait here. (he starts to hang up, then snatches back the phone) Okay, 338-7392. Silence. He finally hangs up. He checks again on booth number two. It is still busy. He wipes his forehead with his sleeve. From his pocket he takes a similar diagram. It shows a long corridor off Devonshire Street. Rrringg! Carl starts. He reaches for the phone, fumbles with the paper, and finally gets it back in his pocket. CARL: Hello? Charlie? Charlie? Crown breathes a little heavily. He clears his throat. CROWN: Both busy? CARL: (sighs) Yeah. And out of order. One of them. CROWN: So? I had all the numbers. (warmer, more pleasant) Steady, steady, boy. Carl nods. His face hardens. CROWN: All clear, it’s 3:25. Start in 15 minutes, unless I call you there. He crosses another line off the list. CARL: I’ll be here. His voice is unpleasant. There is a short pause, then the click of the phone. Carl is sweating. He looks at the second hand on his watch. Then he wipes his forehead again with his sleeve. He pulls his hat down over his eyes, and puts on a pair of wrap-around sunglasses. He looks mean, almost frightening. He has an angry mouth. He puts on a pair of light, black gloves.
Dave is on the phone in a pay booth, the first in a row of booths. He is wearing a hat and wrap-around sunglasses. CROWN’S VOICE: Ten minutes. Dave nods.
His watch says 3:30 p.m.
Abe is on the phone in a pay booth, the last in a row of booths. CROWN’S VOICE: Five minutes. ABE: Okay. His watch says 3:35 p.m.
Erwin is in a gas station pay phone booth, the first in a row of booths, talking on the phone. CROWN: Go. He crosses off another item, the last in the first section of the list. Then he draws a large “X” through the entire first section. He stands up. Erwin nods. He hangs up. He checks his watch. You see a flash of Erwin driving in the black Ford station wagon with wood on the sides and orange New York plates. You follow Erwin in the wagon. He is watching the street signs. A school looms on the right. He drives into the yard. His watch shows 3:40 p.m. The schoolyard is deserted. Erwin turns behind the school building, and stops at a sand shed. He puts his sample cases and a suitcase in the back of the shed. He picks up some Massachusetts plates from behind the door. He takes a screwdriver from the glove compartment and quickly changes the plates. He leaves the New York plates in the shed, behind the door. He stands for a moment with the screwdriver in his hand. He starts to put it in the shed. Then he hesitates. He finally puts the screwdriver back in the glove compartment. Then Erwin drives away. His watch shows 3:46 p.m.
Abe walks down the north side of Federal Street, leaving the Milk Street corner behind. He has a newspaper under his arm. He is now wearing gloves. He checks his watch; it shows 4:07 p.m. Twelve stories above, and across the street, Crown is watching Abe through ten power binoculars. Crown is wearing a hat and coat. Crown checks his own watch. Down below, outside One Federal Street, Abe waits till the second hand on his watch passes 4:08 p.m. Then he enters the bank. He bumps a woman just inside the door. She snarls at him. He looks apologetic. ABE: Sorry.
She is mollified. He pushes past her to the elevators. He takes the elevator to the sixth floor. He turns left, west, and walks past the cafeteria, to the elevators at the west end of the building. He stops by the first elevator. He pretends to push the button, but does not. He looks about to be sure no one notices him. No one does. He reads the paper and waits. It is late in the day, and there is practically no one on the sixth floor.
Carl enters the employee entrance of the bank at the Devonshire Street end of the corridor. The entrance is low, less than seven feet. Inside the doorway, the dimly lit corridor contrasts with the strong sunlight outside. The corridor is about 12 feet wide. There is a booth with a uniformed Booth Guard on the left just inside the door. The corridor slopes down a very slight curve. About half-way down the corridor is a door to the lower bank floor cashier section on the left; opposite it is elevator number one, the first of three elevators. Opposite the third elevator, on the left, is a cash room door with a wire mesh and bars. Two armed cash room guards are behind the door. Just beyond, the corridor ends in a wall. The corridor is about 150 feet long and dimly lit over its entire length. Carl walks all the way down the corridor to the number three elevator at the end on the right. He keeps his eyes down, and he does not attract attention, but he is tense. The two cash room guards in uniform are busy with big sacks of currency in the cash room right behind Carl. You can see them through the grille work on the door. Elevator number three opens. The operator steps out, Carl enters, others enter, too. FIRST GUARD: (to operator) Okay—last car, we’ll buzz you to come down. The operator returns. OPERATOR: Floors, please? VOICES: Two, five, three, eight. CARL: Six. The door closes. The elevator rises. OPERATOR: Two out. (several people leave) Three out. Several more leave, and one man enters. MAN: Eight, please. OPERATOR: Five out. One passenger leaves. The door closes behind him. Two other passengers and Carl are left. Carl whips a black Colt Cobra with a square grip and a silencer into the operator’s terrified face! CARL: (very tough, very hard) Stop at six, boy. When I push you in the back, close the door and take it up to seven.
(to the others) Back in the car! Freeze! Quiet, and you may live! The elevator reaches the sixth floor. The door opens. Abe enters with his newspaper. He turns to face the door. Carl shoves his gun into the operator’s back. The door closes. The car starts up. Carl shoves the operator into Abe and slams the “Stop” button. (There are separate “Up,” “Down,” “Express,” and red “Call” buttons which he does not push.) Silence. Abe pushes the operator away and quietly takes out another black, snub-nosed .38 with a silencer. Carl carefully puts his gun in his shoulder holster and takes some picture wire out of his pocket. CARL: (to the operator) That’s a good boy. Grab your ankles. Yeah, down on your knees. (he ties the operator’s wrists to his ankles) You two next... then we wait... Their frightened faces are watching Abe’s gun.
Benjy checks his watch outside the Milk Street bank entrance. It is 4:10 p.m. Benjy adjusts his hat. Then he enters the bank. He stops at the first counter. He adjusts to the light, then takes a deposit slip and writes. He puts the slip in his breast pocket. He walks straight through the bank, through the cashier section, out to the employee entrance corridor. He pauses outside the number one elevator. Down the corridor, no one pays any attention to him.
Erwin is in the black Ford wagon, on the Massachusetts Turnpike. Near the east end of the turnpike, he puts on his hat, and adjusts it. He takes the expressway north, through the tunnel at South Station. He takes the High Street exit, and puts on wrap-around sunglasses. He turns left on High Street... right on Oliver Street... and left on State Street... He takes out a handkerchief, sneezes, blows his nose hard, readjusts his hat, squints hard in the sunlight at the street signs. Then he turns left on Devonshire Street... The Federal Building is on the left... The wagon slows... The Federal Building slants up, gray against the blue sky.
Dave enters the employee entrance. His hat is back on his head. He stops inside the door, to get used to the light. His watch shows 4:15 p.m.
Down the corridor, you can see the two cash room guards starting to wheel out two dollies. There are six large gray cash bags on the two dollies. There are only the two guards, but both guards have drawn guns, long-barrelled police special .38's. Benjy enters the corridor from the lower bank floor to the left, and patiently waits in front of elevator number one. Dave clears his throat. He crosses to the guard booth to the left of the entrance at the head of the corridor. DAVE: (to Booth Guard) Could you please give a message to Joe Meagher—(he pronounces it “Mar”)—for me— General Settlement Department—Joe M-E-A-G-H-E-R. BOOTH GUARD: Surely—who shall I say— He starts to thumb the bank directory. DAVE: Horan—Michael Horan—tell him I’m waitin’ here. Dave steps closer. Booth Guard studies the directory; he runs his forefinger down a page, up the next. Dave steps just inside the booth, peering around to look at the directory. As he does so, he draws a Colt Cobra .38, with a silencer, from a waist holster, and presses it flat against Booth Guard’s desk, where it can’t be seen from the corridor. Booth Guard notices the revolver, flat to the desk, the silencer. He reacts slowly. He completely stops. DAVE: (almost playfully) Show me your feet, now—quick— your hands... now stand.... come near me... show me the book ... watch the book... good man... turn pages... there, that’s fine... He holds the revolver against Booth Guard’s side. His own body blocks the gun from the corridor. Then he looks over his shoulder down the corridor. The cash room guards are ready to move the cash bags onto the elevator and down to the vault. The dollies are out, in position, before elevator number three. There are six bags, three on each dolly. The two guns cover the corridor, one held by each cash room guard. Benjy is still watching elevator number one. DAVE: (mutters to Booth Guard) In a moment, step past me in front of me, and walk down the corridor to the elevators. Down the corridor, one of the cash room guards pushes the button to call elevator number three. As his finger touches the buzzer, the “Down” light behind it turns red.
Buzzzzzz! The call buzzer shatters the tension up in elevator number three, just above the sixth floor. The operator is on his knees. His wrists are wired to his ankles. The two panicky passengers cower, similarly tied.
Carl pushes the “Down” and “Express” buttons together, carefully. Abe drops his newspaper on the head of the operator, checks his silencer, breaks his 38, spins the chamber, closes it. He straddles the entrance, in a slight crouch. He adjusts his glasses. He levels his gun. Behind him, Carl levels his black Colt Cobra. The elevator lights show 4-3-2-1...
In the employee corridor, outside and facing the doors to elevator number three. The two cash room guards, with their backs to the dollies, cash bags and elevator, cover the corridor with drawn guns. Behind them are the dollies and cash bags. One guard checks the elevator over his shoulder. The signal lights show 2-1-L. The elevator door opens. ABE: DROP THE GUNS! The two cash room guards start. CARL: ON THE FLOOR. The two cash room guards obey. They put their guns on the floor. ABE: YOU—BACK IN THE ELEVATOR. STOP THERE. GRAB YOUR ANKLES. DOWN ON YOUR KNEES. The guard kneels on the elevator edge. His wrists and ankles are wired by Abe. The second guard watches Benjy, hoping for help. With a slight jerk of his head, he signals Benjy to duck back into the cashier section. Benjy is amused. He draws his gun from a shoulder holster, another snub-nose with a silencer. He covers the middle of the corridor. CARL: (to the second guard) NOW YOU! The sweaty face of the second guard shows panic as he backs toward the elevator.
Back up at the booth, Dave steps back to let Booth Guard pass him into the corridor. DAVE: Now. Booth Guard watches Dave. He steps past him and starts slowly down the corridor, looking back at Dave over his shoulder. He is thinking of running. DAVE: Slowly, easy there. Dave covers the corridor from the corner of the booth entrance, inside it, out of sight from the doorway to the street. Booth Guard turns down the corridor, and stops. Benjy is covering Booth Guard coming down. Booth Guard walks slowly down toward the elevator. Benjy motions him over to the wall by elevator number three; Booth Guard obeys.
A man enters the corridor, sees Benjy, stops. DAVE: (behind the man) Keep walking, Buster, right on down. Buster sees Dave, and keeps walking, right on down, toward Benjy. He flattens his back against the elevator wall.
Erwin is driving down Devonshire Street. He pulls his hat brim a little lower over his face. The wagon moves past the Federal Building. The bank is the next block on the left, most of the block. The employee entrance is at the end of the bank. Erwin parks carefully by the red and yellow curb. He waits. The red and yellow curb is freshly painted.
The number two elevator door opens. A crowd starts to pour out. The noise hits the corridor. Benjy is directly in front of the door with his gun leveled. BENJY: (menacing) STOP! The people stop. They gape at Benjy. BENJY: Back inside. The people stumble back. BENJY: You—operator—come out here! Slowly the operator obeys. BENJY: Sit down inside... legs outside... (to Booth Guard) ... now you, too... (to the man beside Booth Guard) ... you the same... A pretty girl in a sweater and skirt enters the corridor from the cashier section. She hesitates. BENJY: In the elevator, sweetheart... right over all of ‘em. She obeys. Behind Benjy, one dolly moves past up the corridor, pushed by Carl. There are three cash bags on the dolly. Carl is pushing it fast. Benjy ignores the dolly and Carl. He covers the elevator, and moves slightly to the right. Abe also moves over slightly to cover both elevator number three and elevator number two. Benjy has noticed that the number one elevator signal light indicates it is down to the second floor. Benjy is starting to sweat.
The first dolly approaches the exit to the street up at the top of the ramp. Down the corridor, the number one elevator opens. BENJY: GET BACK!
No one comes out of the elevator. The dolly stops by the door. Carl carries one bag outside. Erwin has the Ford tailgate open. As Carl comes out into the street, Erwin enters the bank. Carl loads the first bag. Erwin returns with the second bag, and Carl returns to the bank. Erwin loads the second bag. Carl returns with the third bag, and loads it. Erwin watches two men enter the bank. Carl pays no attention. He looks over at Erwin briefly, professionally, then crosses the street. His feet are silent on the asphalt. Above him, the bank bridge projects eerily across Devonshire Street.
The two men who have just entered the bank are talking to each other. Benjy covers them as they approach him, but they do not notice Benjy. They do not notice Abe covering elevator number three and elevator number two. Then they see Benjy. They stop. Suddenly one bolts! Dave steps out of the booth doorway into the corridor! The man doesn’t stop. He tries to charge past Dave! Dave’s gun nearly touches the man’s leg. WHUNK! The silencer kicks! The smashed leg crumples! The man falls, his face contorted. DAVE: (to the second man) Keep walking, down the corridor. Dave shoves the wounded body against the wall with his foot. DAVE: It could have been your head. Dave retreats to the booth, just inside the entrance, out of sight from the street. He covers the corridor. His black gun slants, pointing across and down.
All three elevators are now open. Benjy is now covering all three. The operators and two men sit just inside the doorways to number two and number one, their legs outside. The two cash room guards, bound, sit in the doorway of number three. Abe pushes the second dolly up the corridor, past Benjy and behind him. There are three more bags on the second dolly. Abe pushes it up the ramp, to the street door. He picks up the fourth bag, and carries it outside. Even through his glasses, there is a burst of sunlight as he goes through the door.
Abe coming out passes Erwin going in. Abe loads the fourth bag, and returns. Erwin comes out and loads the fifth bag. Erwin closes the wagon tailgate, and opens the rear door. Abe comes out and loads the sixth bag into the back seat of the wagon.
Erwin enters the driver door. Abe closes the rear door. Erwin presses the switch closing the rear window as Abe crosses Devonshire Street behind the car. At the Franklin Street corner facing Devonshire Street, Erwin in the wagon turns east on Franklin Street, the short block to Federal Street, as Abe turns west up Franklin Street toward Filene’s. Abe takes off his sunglasses. He puts them in his coat pocket. He looks up at the face of the new, modern savings bank front on Franklin Street, the colored lacquer red and blue squares rising up to the sky.
Looking down the corridor, Benjy backs up toward the street door. He covers the faces in the first elevator. He covers the faces in the second elevator. He covers the faces in the third elevator. BENJY: (cheerfully) Okay, everybody, keep your faces down, near the floor and you won’t get hurt. Behind him, Dave covers the door to the street. BENJY: (carefully) Faces down, on the floor, if you want to breathe! (Benjy throws a blue smoke bomb) Gas rises, keep your faces down! The faces go down on the floor. Confusion, a jumble of bodies in each elevator, as people tumble out and down, pushing the guards and the operators over on the floor. Benjy throws a second blue smoke bomb. Dave exits. Benjy turns and sprints to the street. He passes a startled spectator outside the door. Inside, the sprawling bodies squirm in the blue smoke.
Benjy walks quickly across Devonshire Street. He enters 185 Devonshire Street. He walks through the building. Outside again, he turns right on Arch Street. He turns up Milk Street to the Old South Church and pauses, a tourist admiring it all. Across Washington Street is the Old Corner Book Store building, old red brick against the sky.
Traffic stops Erwin on Congress Street, as he comes out of the alley behind the High Street garage. Crown is watching the rear of the wagon from the front seat of a Rolls Royce coming out of the High Street garage. Erwin puts his hat on the seat beside him, drops his glasses in the hat. He looks much less sinister; he looks like Erwin.
A policeman stops him crossing High Street. A red light stops him before the Expressway. Crown is still following, about five cars behind; you see the rear of the Ford wagon from the front seat of the Rolls. The light changes. Carefully Erwin heads down the ramp, onto the expressway. Just as carefully, Crown follows; you see the wagon from the Rolls again. Coming out of the South Station tunnel, Erwin turns onto the Turnpike. Through the windshield of the Rolls, you see the wagon accelerating onto the Turnpike. The river view is spectacular, Boston University on the left, then Harvard across the Charles. The Allston toll gate approaches. Erwin is in the automatic collection lane. He tosses his quarter in the basket. He drives right through. The Rolls gets into the change lane; Crown waits patiently in line as Erwin drives away. The Rolls radiator cap flashes silver in the sun.
Abe, without glasses, is in a red and black I.T.O.A. cab. It passes the Oriental Tea copper kettle, the new government center, the rubble, the federal office building, state office building, city hall, the market, Fanueil Hall. The Callahan Tunnel approaches. CAB DRIVER: What airline, sir? ABE: Eastern, the shuttle, please. Abe is reading the Traveler funnies, Dick Tracy in the middle of the page.
Dave is riding the subway to Riverside. He is standing, hanging on a strap, reading the paper. A stunning young blonde in a sleeveless yellow sheath dress is looking at him. He forces himself not to look at her.
Erwin drives back in to the schoolyard. He is nervous, and keeps looking about. He puts the six cash bags in the sand shed, and takes his sample cases and suitcase from the shed and puts them back in the wagon. Then he takes the license plates off, and puts them back in the sand shed behind the door where he found them. He puts his hat and the sunglasses down carefully on top of the license plates. He takes his New York plates from the shed and puts them back on the wagon. He puts the screwdriver back in the glove compartment. He sits in the front seat of the wagon. He thinks; he bites his lip. He goes back into the sand shed, takes out a handkerchief, and wipes off the license plates, glasses, and the sweat band of the hat.
Then he gets back in the wagon and drives out of the schoolyard. He sits back in the seat and takes a deep breath. You see him drive away in the distance through the windshield of the Rolls Royce. Crown is absolutely still. It is 4:45 p.m. by the Rolls Royce dashboard clock.
The Rolls Royce dashboard clock now shows 4:50 p.m. Crown slips it in gear. Through the windshield, you see the Rolls Royce enter the schoolyard, and stop by the sand shed. Crown opens the car door. He adjusts his grey hat. He steps out, easily, unhurried, and looks about. He is the image of calm, in a light-weight, tweedy grey top coat, and grey calfskin gloves. He opens the sand shed door. The six cash bags are in the shed. CROWN: (with a smile of greeting to the cash bags) Well, hello. He loads the cash bags in the Rolls Royce, one in the trunk, four in the back seat, one on the front seat floor. He places the license plates, the hat and the sunglasses on the front seat beside him. He adjusts the venetian blinds over the rear and back windows of the Rolls Royce. He is thoroughly enjoying himself now. The dim interior of the sand shed is quiet. He checks to be certain; there is not a trace of anything there. He closes the sand shed door. The Rolls leaves the schoolyard and blends with the traffic.
Traffic thins. The Rolls enters an estate. Crown looks about with pleasure and pride. At the end of a long driveway, the Rolls enters a garage. A button on the dashboard opens and closes the garage doors. Crown unlocks the garage tool room door, a heavy bolt lock. Swiftly, gracefully, with no waste motion, he brings the six cash bags into the small tool room, then the license plates, and Erwin’s glasses and hat. He changes his gloves for a heavy pair of work gloves on a work bench, and slowly, with extreme care, opens a small metal vat. He takes some tongs from the work bench, and into the acid of the vat he drops the license plates, glasses and hat. Then he puts the tongs back on the work bench, and just as slowly and carefully he replaces the cover on the vat. He breathes a little heavily. Then he changes his gloves, and walks out of the tool room. Crown locks the tool room door behind him. Slowly he walks out the garage door and into the house. He hangs up his coat, leaves his gloves and hat on a closet shelf. He is grinning now from ear to ear. He looks about lovingly as he enters the library, a man’s room, richly furnished with comfortable leather chairs, a couch, a deep rug, floor to ceiling bookcases full of superb bindings, several pieces of antique furniture, an ivory and ebony inlaid chess table with ivory chess men in a corner. On the wall, the only pictures are some death-theme prints in heavy dark frames, and a companion to the morbid black and red grotesques in the office, obviously by the same artist.
The houseman is waiting for him. HOUSEMAN: (mildly) Good evening, sir. CROWN: Good evening, John. I’m dining out tonight. JOHN: Very good, sir. He withdraws, closing the library doors behind him. Crown presses a touch release, which opens the panelled door over a small bar, and pours a double martini from the waiting pitcher onto rocks in the frosted glass. He switches off the light and presses the bar door shut. He presses another panelled door touch release below, and switches on the Hi Fi. It is classical, sentimental and quiet. He shuts that door. He relaxes in the most comfortable chair, his martini in a Harvard Club coaster on the table next to the chair. He draws the list and his gold Cross pencil from his inside breast pocket, and neatly draws a line through the last four items on the list. Then he puts the pencil away and crumples the list into a ball. He drops the ball in the large ashtray, takes a match from the elaborate holder, scratches it into flame with one wipe off his thumbnail, and incinerates the list. He takes a cigar from the inlaid humidor, a dark Dannemann Breves Populares, cuts the end on his Hoffritz cutter, lights it with another match, and blows rings at the last ashes of the list. He stirs the ashes with the match. He smokes and sips the martini for a good 30 seconds. He finishes the martini. Then he rises, with the cigar and the glass. He returns to the bar and pours himself another double martini. He crosses to the chess table. He examines the problem on the board, and moves the white king, which is in check from the black queen. Then he moves the black queen again; again the trapped white king is in check. He shrugs. He returns the white king to the original square, then returns the black queen to the original square. Check. Smoke filters down through the chessmen. He is suddenly bored. The martini is mostly drained, much too fast. He places the nearly empty glass beside the white king. The white king, the martini, and the black queen stand with the cigar smoke all around. Crown picks up the phone, and dials. You hear the phone ring. GWEN: (sleepily) Hello? CROWN: Nine o’clock? GWEN: Yes, my lord. CROWN: The Ritz upstairs. GWEN: Good, I’m starved! CROWN: That’s my girl. (he hangs up) He returns to the comfortable chair with the martini, and puffs contentedly on his cigar. The house is still.
Pandemonium in the Federal Building! The scene is dominated by Eddy Rock, big, rugged, forceful and very sharp. Uniformed police, plainclothesmen, witnesses and secretaries, mill madly around. Typewriters clack; frenzied detectives are shouting at witnesses. EDDY: (shouting) Every witness you can get! Tonight! Tape it all! Bring food in! Hold ‘em here, don’t let ‘em go home, get it fresh, get all details, get every single, little thing they saw! Any numbers on those bills? ASSISTANT: No, sir, Mr. Rock, no numbers, a lot of it small bills. Eddy makes a face. EDDY: We’re going to want descriptions, get those artist types up here! Check for prints, check everywhere and thing! The silencer study, call Washington, have the artists bring it up! Assistants are nodding; an attractive brunette secretary is looking at Eddy with admiration, and writing profuse notes. EDDY: It’s insured? What company? Who’re they sending in? Check all airports, trains and roads! Look for baggage, that stuff is big! Watch for wagons and groups of men! Anything yet on the car? Get those statements, damn it, start right now! Everyone who saw those men! The face of the brunette is rapt.
Another aerial view of Boston, and then a fast, rushing transportation montage, with superimposed faces of Abe, Benjy, Carl, Dave and Erwin. A jet roars off into the sky (Abe). A traffic jam on the Southeast Expressway (Benjy). A diesel train blasts past Route 128 (Carl). A MBTA car roars out the Riverside line (Dave). Traffic pours north over Route 95 at the bridge at Newburyport (Erwin).
There is a roadblock just over the bridge in Newburyport on Route 95. Red lights are flashing, police whistles sound, spotlights bracket the black Ford wagon, as Erwin crosses the bridge and the police excitedly cut him out of line and flag him down! POLICEMAN: Open up those bags, please! License and registration, give ‘em here. ERWIN: Whatsamatter, officer? POLICEMAN: Read the papers, fella! Four policemen search the sample cases. Others examine the car. The cases contain cosmetic samples. Erwin’s bag contains his clothes. In front, the policeman questions him. POLICEMAN: Where you going? ERWIN: Portland—the Charterhouse.
The policeman writes it down.
Darkness has fallen. Erwin is in a phone booth in the lobby of the Portland Charterhouse. ERWIN: Hi, Honey. I’m in Portland. HONEY: Where? ERWIN: Where? At a motel. HONEY: Which motel? Phone number? ERWIN: Honey—you checking on me? HONEY: (angry) What if the kid gets sick, I got a right to know! ERWIN: (reading off a matchbook) 207-775-3711. Portland Charterhouse Motel. HONEY: Oh. (disappointed, then suspicious) Whatcha doin’ tonight? Erwin looks at the phone, disgusted. ERWIN: Got dates with three gorgeous girls. HONEY: (screaming) Don’t get wise with me! I stay here cleaning up for you, I ask you what you’re doin’, I want to know! ERWIN: Okay, Okay. (he starts to reason) A customer is coming for dinner with me, 8:00 o’clock, here at the motel, he’s 62 years old. I’m having steak, french frieds, salad, coffee, and maybe two, three drinks. You got a detective watching, he’s a big one with white hair. Have me bed-checked at half past ten, he’ll leave for sure by then. Now let me speak to Jimmy, huh? All right? Honey? Please?
Midnight at the Federal Building: the first press conference. The microphone held by Eddy Rock gleams in the flashing lights. Eddy’s five o’clock shadow and rumpled clothes contrast with the trimness of the brunette secretary, who gives him another steaming black coffee in a paper cup. REPORTER: Have you figured out the take? Eddy consults a piece of paper. EDDY: One million four hundred thousand—four hundred sixty thousand, five-two-seven point six-two. Another reporter whistles. ANOTHER REPORTER: Jesus Christ. EDDY: Thirty-two eye witnesses saw it all, we’ve talked to every one, we’ve taken all their statements, we’re
evaluating now, we’ve lots and lots to go on, lots of helpful stuff. REPORTER: How’s cooperation? EDDY: Great, great from everyone—state city—they’re helping all they can. police and
REPORTER: They’re blocking all the roads as well—how long’ll you keep that up? Laughter. EDDY: No comment there. ANOTHER REPORTER: The fella they shot, how’s he gettin’ on? EDDY: Lucky, he’ll get off with a scar. ANOTHER REPORTER: Arrests—are they expected soon? EDDY: Tell you afterwards. ANOTHER REPORTER: How long— EDDY: Days, weeks, I don’t yet know. But here’s what you can do: we’ll give you all descriptions—ask your readers if they saw those men, or the loaded black Ford wagon, or the money bags. We’re making real good progress, with luck we’ll break it soon!
The dollies and Abe’s newspaper are thoroughly dusted for fingerprints. The results are projected on a screen—mostly smudges, a few palm prints. The detectives look discouraged. The projected prints are graceful whorls.
Typewriters are clacking, and tape recorders whirling silently. WITNESS: Yeah, I saw him. He looked like—he looked—he had a hat. He had sunglasses, see? Piles of transcripts in blue covers are growing on a table. DETECTIVE: What did he do next? WITNESS: He shot him in the leg. The transcripts are dated in late May. More are added, bearing dates in early June.
Crown is coming off a plane at the Geneva airport. He is met by an excitable little man with gold teeth in the uniform of the Hotel Richemond, wildly waving his arms. GEORGES: Monsieur Crown! Monsieur Crown! It is good to have you back!
CROWN: (hurrying) How kind of you to meet me, Georges, I’m a little late tonight. GEORGES: Always the good friends I meet myself, Monsieur, and the bagages? CROWN: Just two. (he holds out the baggage checks) Will it be very long? GEORGES: A moment. I get them while you clear the passeporte. He steers Crown to the immigration counter, and dashes off waving the checks at a customs inspector. IMMIGRATION OFFICER: Good evening again, sir, business again? (he stamps the passport) Crown nods. The immigration inspector waves at the customs inspector. Georges charges back with the two huge blue bags, and holds them out to the customs inspector who casually marks them in chalk, and Georges exits, with Crown in tow. CROWN: You are so efficient, Georges. GEORGES: (pleased) With pleasure, Monsieur Crown!
Police artists are sketching five huge figures on a white blackboard. They are designated “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” “E,” and they bear only the slightest resemblance to Abe, Benjy, Carl, Dave and Erwin. Abe, complete with hat and wrap-around sunglasses, is taking shape on a large screen. He is completely undistinguished. Three witnesses are arguing. FIRST WITNESS: His face was longer, he had a smaller nose! SECOND WITNESS: The nose is all right, the glasses made it look that way, big! THIRD WITNESS: He’s absolutely right! The artists are helpless and harassed. One throws his crayon down.
The spectrum analysis through the microscope has most of the rainbow. CHEMIST: Standard type of picture wire, like any hardware store. EDDY: (to other detective) Do what you can to trace it, manufacturer, outlets, brand. Eddy looks through the lens at the colors of the spectrum there.
On the other side of the world, in Geneva, Crown is in a Swiss bank inner sanctum, a heavily panelled dark office with deep red drapes. The two suitcases are open on the floor. Stacks of currency are meticulously stacked on the table.
BANK OFFICER: (sitting down at a typewriter) And to whom, sir, should the confirmation, should it be addressed? CROWN: Bearer, no address. BANK OFFICER: But where should we confirm deposits? To whom should we report? It is irregular... We do not know who you are. CROWN: But you will do it... Deposits will be made in person, no confirmation will be sent. The bank officer types away. He pauses, and looks up over his spectacles. BANK OFFICER: A code name, or just a number? CROWN: Both... No, three codes here. All three must be used. A number, a name, and all instructions must be dated the 5th of any month. BANK OFFICER: (typing) Any signature required? CROWN: (thinking) No... just all three codes. BANK OFFICER: (still typing) You have great confidence. CROWN: (amused) Let us say I will take the chances. The bank officer smiles, shrugs. He signs the original confirmation of instructions with a flourish and hands it to Crown. CROWN: (studying it) Many thanks. Enjoy my money. He rises, and looks briefly about the room.
On the screen is a ballistic marking projection. The ballistic specialist is pointing to some of the lines. It is hot, another summer day. EDDY: Wrap it up as best you can, at least we’ll know if we find the gun. Happy Fourth of July. The specialist nods and turns back to the ballistic picture, shrugging and resigned.
Another interview. It is terribly hot, a summer scorcher. DETECTIVE: What do you mean, he walked away? WITNESS: He just walked across the street. DETECTIVE: And then? WITNESS: He went into the building. DETECTIVE: Which one? WITNESS: The one across the street! Nearby, transcripts, transcripts, transcripts, dated July, then August. Eddy turns the pages, discouragement all over his face.
The attractive brunette secretary gives him a paper cup of black coffee. She radiates sympathy. He doesn’t notice her and mumbles thanks as he continues to read.
Coffee is steaming in a sterling pot on a sterling tray, with a gleaming white china cup and saucer beside. It is cool and air-conditioned. Crown pours the coffee and pushes the intercom, then the buzzer. CROWN: ... Another thing, Miss Sullivan, I’m going back to Geneva again, on Friday afternoon. Please cable the Richemond to meet the plane, and book me again on Swissair...
Eddy and his men have had it. There is disgust on every face. EDDY: Nothing—a great big nothing. Zero is where we are. We never got there quicker. Organization?—it was great. Every witness talked to us, gave us every lousy fact. We know just what they looked like. We know just what they did. One drove off with the money. The others just walked away. Nobody else is talking. The brunette looks on with sad eyes. EDDY: What’ll we tell the papers this time? Any bright ideas? The silence is depressing. EDDY: See you Monday morning. I’m for shower, shave and bed. The brunette picks up her purse and follows him out the door. Her high heels click in the corridor. The typewriters still are clacking away, but the tempo is slowing down. The girls are clearly weary. The men are checking papers, all bleary eyes and open collars, stubble and dirty shirts. Quiet has settled over the hot, summer night. The Federal Building lights silhouette it against the August evening. It is pretty, seen from the air, with the harbor and airport beyond. Eddy silently waits for the brunette outside, down on the corner in Post Office Square.
It is August 20 by the calendar on Eddy’s office wall. The office is simple and uncomfortable, cluttered with papers, reports and coffee cups. The blue transcripts in several piles cover a table by the far wall. Buzz! The telephone buzzes. Eddy picks up the phone. SECRETARY’S VOICE: Mr. Walker from the bank, sir, and the insurance man.
EDDY: Send ‘em right on in. In they come together; greetings all around. James MacDonald, the insurance man, is very, very polite. JAMIE: Today we paid the bank, sir, that’s a sad, sad day for us... I’m returning to Chicago with my report, should I give them any hope? EDDY: (considering) No. You can’t. We’ve been on it three full months by now, and we know all there is to know. Except three simple little things. (pause) We don’t know who they are, where they are, or what they did with the money... We’re nowhere, we’re dead... Or at least we are today. JAMIE: Pity. Any new information? Any helpful clues? Eddy picks up a wicked-looking long-bladed silver knife. He slits the morning mail. EDDY: Not in my opinion. No. Not a single clue... We’ve run it dry. Fingerprints—nothing. Sketches—nothing. Silencers—nothing. The car—nothing. The wire—nothing... No sign of the guns. No sign of the money. No tips, no rumors, no information from any usual source. No sign of any known bank man. Unlike all other jobs. Well-planned, well-done. They win. We lose. Unless we’re lucky, I don’t know how. JAMIE: Thank you for your candor... Is ... is there anything we can do? Silence. EDDY: Jamie, we’re not proud here, you want something done, just say it. JAMIE: No, you’ve done it all, it’s not... EDDY: Say it. Pause. JAMIE: ... There’s someone, a special, we like to send in, when we hit a blank stone wall. (Eddy is silent) You won’t like her. EDDY: Her? JAMIE: A girl... Clever and intuitive, but difficult, a witch... The whole approach is different... Not very nice, but she gets results. He looks at Eddy carefully. Eddy’s face is rugged. His eyes are blue and clear. EDDY: Send her. JAMIE: Yes, she might be perfect. I suppose, I won’t be here. Your phone?
He reaches for the telephone.
Logan Airport in Boston. MacDonald and Rock are at T.W.A. to meet Vicky, the following afternoon. She is absolutely stunning. VICKY: Jamie! How very, very nice. And who’s your chaperone? Her hand is beautifully gloved. JAMIE: Vicky—it’s nice to see you. This is Edward Rock. VICKY: Hello. It’s nice to meet you. I’m looking forward to working with you. EDDY: (carefully) Likewise—that is, I think I am—from everything I’ve heard. VICKY: Jamie, why you’ve talked! That’s bad, that’s very, very bad. JAMIE: Fair warning to my friend here... and a good defense for me. Her baggage is collected, then they’re off to a taxicab. Both men are alert, self-conscious, and uncomfortable. And she is aware of her impact on them, if not actually reading both their minds. All three sit in the back of the cab, and she nestles comfortably between the two men. She all but purrs as the cab heads into the Sumner Tunnel. The more sure of herself she seems to be, the more prickly the atmosphere. VICKY: (to Jamie) You couldn’t have told him everything. Eddy is wary. JAMIE: Enough. VICKY: You know what that does— JAMIE: To you and me?... I’ve had it, long ago. VICKY: Bragging again, my Jamie. No wonder he’s impressed. EDDY: With both of you. VICKY: How tactful! The cab emerges from the Tunnel, and hesitates in the market district by the pushcarts. EDDY: I think I’ll get off here, right here. The two of you, you surely have some catching up to do. A pleasure meeting you, Miss— Vicky—Jamie, call me ‘fore you leave. Goodbye. Eddy leaves the taxicab. Vicky is quizzical. Jamie stares stolidly straight ahead. They check in at the Somerset Hotel, and send her baggage to her room. The elevator door closes on the two of them, her baggage and the bellhop in the rear.
In her hotel room. VICKY: Sit down, sit down now, Jamie. Please take off your coat. She sinks luxuriously into a deeply cushioned chair. JAMIE: No, no thank you, kindly. I think I’ll keep it on. VICKY: Afraid? JAMIE: No, just sensible. VICKY: Good man, Jamie, sensible, a good strong family man. JAMIE: I try. VICKY: Alone up here for six whole weeks? JAMIE: I said I try... VICKY: A drink? Perhaps a cup of tea? JAMIE: No, thanks. She laughs. JAMIE: This Rock— VICKY: Hard as? JAMIE: I think he is, but I don’t really know... I’m sure you’ll find out in your usual way, he seems to have no wife. VICKY: How kind you are. JAMIE: Just practical. She rises. VICKY: Good trip, too bad. I’d hoped you’d be here. JAMIE: No, thanks, goodbye, and all sorts of good luck, we’re counting hard on you. He turns and leaves.
Inside her hotel room, it is quiet now that Jamie has left. She thinks, she shrugs, she hums. Her shoes come off. She stretches, sits down by the phone. VICKY: Room service? May I have some oysters, please? Cold boiled lobster, salad, vinegar and oil. No hurry please. Room is six-two-two. She settles down to read a bound report. The title on the cover is “Report on Boston Bank Robbery May 20 Edward Rock.” Her forefinger scratches on the name. She has blood red fingernails.
The eighteenth hole at The Country Club. Crown’s ball is imbedded below the lip of the trap to the right of the green, almost entirely under the sand. Crown stands over it, studying the shot, his caddy outside the trap to his right. Sandy, gleeful, is on the top of the bunker, his own ball on the front of the green. Sandy’s caddy holds the flag. SANDY: Front, back, eighteen and the press, I like the way I sit! Crown concentrates. The boy hands him a wedge. Crown slices a beautiful, upright explosion shot, it clears the bunker, and heads for the flag. CROWN’S CADDY: (shouting) Good shot! Great one, Mr. Crown! SANDY’S CADDY: (shouting) Beauty! Boy! Oh boy, oh boy! (together) The ball hits two feet beyond the hole, bites, and stops six inches away. SANDY: (shouting) Damn it to hell! Only you! Sandy waves at Crown to take it away. Crown picks up his ball and steps back. Sandy studies his putt, and disconsolately strokes it; his putt is short. CROWN: The back side, the eighteen and the press, less the front, that makes twenty bucks. SANDY: (morose, tapping his putt toward the hole) It’s the money, not the principle, you couldn’t get down in two from there more than once in fifty tries! CROWN: (suddenly excited, alert) Fifty to one? He takes two tens from Sandy’s hand, and stuffs them in the cup. He looks at Sandy expectantly. SANDY: Down in two, same lie, I place it, an even thousand bucks? (Crown nods; savagely) I’ll take it! CROWN: Bury it. He flips the ball to Sandy. Sandy does bury it, just as deeply, back in the trap, if anything nearer the lip. He steps away. The boy hands Crown his wedge, Crown circles the trap. Long silence. Crown takes a practice swing. Sandy grows more and more tense. Crown swings, and again lofts the shot up toward the flag. SANDY: No! Oh, no! CROWN’S CADDY: Beauty! (groan) Oh, too bad! The ball lands long, rolls up the slope, stops a dozen feet from the cup. SANDY: Whew! You almost – CROWN: Almost? You have another grand? SANDY: Even? (Crown nods) You’re faded, a sucker bet!
Crown takes his putter, hitches up his pants, lines up the putt, a curling twelve feet across the grain, down-hill. Crown takes his time. SANDY: (nervous) Two grand for you if you drop it in, one and twenty for me if you miss. Crown strokes the putt, high on the right side, it breaks down straight toward the cup. CROWN’S CADDY: Drop! Drop! DROP!—Oh! The ball rims and stops outside. SANDY: (delighted and relieved) Mad as a hatter—utterly mad! CROWN: (gently, as he takes out a check) What else have we got to do? The grinning caddies shake their heads.
Eddy’s office in the morning. He is playing with the silver-long-bladed knife. Vicky greets him at his desk. VICKY: Hello. EDDY: Hello, sleep well? She promptly treats it as suggestive, and she grins. VICKY: Yes, yes quite. (she is amused) EDDY: All right, you tell me where you start, and what you want to do. You want to see the bank, I’ll set it up, what else? She shakes her head. VICKY: No, I’ll start here... (she seems to mean with him) ... with those... (she indicates the transcripts) ... I want to get the feel of it, the mind that thought it out, and then I’ll have some things to ask, give me a couple of days. EDDY: I’ll give you a room. VICKY: Why, thank you, thank you, sir. She gives him a lovely smile.
They are having dinner later, in Warmuth’s. Vicky is lost in thought. He watches her intently. She smiles, but mostly she just dreams. They are in a booth with a tablecloth, sitting on opposite sides. The waiter appears beside her. VICKY: Gimlet here. WAITER: With vodka? VICKY: Heavens, thank you, no.
EDDY: For me some bourbon, ice. The waiter leaves. EDDY: Tell me something about yourself ... how’d you get into this? She smiles, and doesn’t answer; she pulls a cigarette from her purse. He strikes a light. She fusses for a moment, then smiles. VICKY: I like the money... It’s excellent. They pay me ten per cent. EDDY: That’s frank. (respectfully) They must think you’re very good, one score and you’d be set. VICKY: (brightly) There’ve been a few. Eddy grunts. VICKY: You’re not having much fun with this, are you? I read your report. EDDY: I’m stuck. No tips. No clues, no hope. Go ahead, you show me how. VICKY: (slight hesitation) They knew the bank, the layout, the routine. EDDY: Employee or customer? VICKY: Must be. Did you bother to get a list? EDDY: List? List, hell—full files. The bank has all the records you want, everyone who ever worked there, every customer they have, must be 40,000 different names. We’ve been through every folder twice and haven’t found a thing, you want to read them all? VICKY: That’s not quite what I meant, though, what did you look for? (silence) Any special sort of things? EDDY: What sort of things? VICKY: I don’t know, not yet I don’t, but what did you expect to find—a criminal record? You wasted time! EDDY: (pleasant, but needling her) Okay, you tell us... what should we do? VICKY: For one thing, forget the women files. This one is a man. EDDY: A man? Brilliant! All five of them, good to know they’re really men! VICKY: (impatient) The one who planned it, you know what I mean, it’s a man. I know it is. EDDY: Come off it, how can you know it is? Suppose a woman thought of it, and then she told the man?
VICKY: (stubbornly) I’m sure of it. Look, every crime has a personality, a something like the mind that planned it, this one has, and it’s a man. EDDY: Great! We won’t look for a woman then. What else? VICKY: (making a sincere effort to be pleasant and control herself) Look, forget it, you work your way, lay off, and I’ll work mine. EDDY: We’re in it together, you wanted in, so earn your ten per cent. Tell me more, what sort of special things you think we ought to check. VICKY: (calmly) I don’t know yet, but I will know soon. (he chuckles, clearly skeptical) Another thing, the money—that’s the best single clue you have. EDDY: I don’t have it, and I don’t get it. VICKY: What would you do with a million, six if you had it in bags, in cash? EDDY: How should I know, that’s a funny— VICKY: Is it? Suppose you think it through. Or better still, ask your Washington boys to write you a nice report. Let’s have them think about what to do with a million, six in cash. EDDY: I don’t know. VICKY: (eagerly) Will you do it? Please?... Please? (very feminine) EDDY: Pretty please? He takes the paper matchbook from the table ashtray, cups them in his hands, and lights his cigarette. He studies her through the smoke.
In Vicky’s tiny, bare office. Vicky, in a light, soft, powder-blue sweater and matching-color, tweedy skirt is standing, reading a transcript, facing out a window, lost in thought. She does not see or hear Eddy enter. He walks up behind her, and traces his forefinger lightly down her spine. She shivers and half turns. EDDY: How’s the big think coming along? You’ve been reading for more than a week. You got those brilliant questions yet about people in the bank? VICKY: I’m almost ready, but not quite yet. I’ll have ‘em later today... but— EDDY: But what? VICKY: There’s something else... you probably should do first.
EDDY: What’s that? VICKY: The money again. The more I think, the more it feels like Switzerland ... in numbered accounts. It almost has to be. EDDY: (hesitates) It’s possible, but ‘has to be?’ VICKY: Suppose it’s there, the perfect place. It’s safe, it’s useable. Investable, untaxable, anonymous... EDDY: Okay, go ahead, you tell me more, my people aren’t so sure. VICKY: What else could you do with it? Bank it or spend it here, you make a record, you’re subject to tax. A safe deposit box? You can’t use it, a court can drill a box. A mattress or a hole in the ground? No better, they’re not even safe. Bermuda, the Bahamas, Central, South America? The rest of Europe? I say `no’. Taxes, records, people to trust, and shaky currency. EDDY: So Switzerland? VICKY: Once you’ve got it there, you’re home, you’ve got it, you’ve got everything. EDDY: By plane? By boat? Transfer it by banks? VICKY: Banks mean records. Boats mean customs, maybe several times. But airplane luggage, that might make it, it isn’t always checked. EDDY: But suppose they did check it? What would he say? VICKY: (reluctant) I don’t know... I just don’t know, but it’s still a good idea. EDDY: I see, we need an airline list of transatlantic names? To Europe, every one since May, out of Boston and New York— VICKY: And check it back against the list, the bank’s own list. See who travels, it’ll narrow the field, then look for all the other things I’ll give you later today. EDDY: Tonight, you mean. We’re having dinner tonight. VICKY: You don’t have to do it, you know, not every single night. EDDY: Yes I do have to. I do all right. I want to know where you are. She laughs.
Downstairs at the Harvard Club. Crown and Sandy are playing chess, cigars and drinks beside them. CROWN: You’re stronger tonight, old buddy boy. SANDY: That usually means I’m licked... but I don’t see it yet. He moves. Crown promptly moves. SANDY: Now I do... He sits back in his chair. Crown chuckles, puffs, and sips his drink. He sighs. SANDY: This Geneva business is wearing you out. CROWN: I’ve got to get it to run by itself, otherwise it doesn’t make sense. SANDY: A trap. Crown nods. A few thoughtful moments pass. CROWN: S’pose I retire, go around the world, to liquidate would take a year, that’s starting to bother me. Sandy nods. SANDY: Mobility? Hell, you’ve got more than most. CROWN: I still feel trapped... you could do it for me. SANDY: Power of attorney, I already have, but I wouldn’t know what to do. CROWN: It’s here. The program. (he puts an envelope on the table) All laid out. What to hold, what to let go, to be opened if I leave. Sandy regards it with curiosity. SANDY: The things you think of. You are strange. CROWN: Because I plan? You never know. SANDY: I suppose... What’s in there anyhow?—a list of what you have? CROWN: You really want to know? SANDY: (quickly) No, I don’t. Forget I asked. CROWN: Forgotten... I’ll take my chances on you, old buddy, but no one else is ever to know... So have one envelope. He picks it up and hands it over. SANDY: Real red sealing wax. CROWN: An old-fashioned boy. Silence. SANDY: Tell someone I’ve got it. You should, you know. You’d be safer by far that way. CROWN: There’s no one else. There’s only you.
SANDY: Stout fella. Good old Sandy, boy— CROWN: Can it—let’s go find the girls. They move through the Club past the desk to the ladies dining room. Sandy’s wife is there, he greets her, kisses her; Gwen, slightly mocking, raises her cheek to Crown, he pauses, kisses her crisply, Gwen chuckles, Sandy and his wife watch them speculatively.
Dinner at Polynesian Village. Exotic drinks on the table. And lots of food, too much food. VICKY: I’ll want to know five more special things when you’ve checked the airline list. For one—the work they’ve done. Number two —their contacts with money and banking, internationally. Three —their army service, how long and what they did. Four—their hobbies, how they think, the chances they take. And five—net worth and income. That’s it, the whole of it. Is that too much? EDDY: No, but it could be a job... If I decide to have it done, the people work for me... Depends how many you’re going to want checked ... Tell me what you think you’ll find. VICKY: (rapid, excited) My man... He’s older, successful, careful, a planner, everything organized. Army rank, and maybe personnel, he travels to meet them and make the deal... He has money, takes chances for all his care, knows guns, knows banking here and abroad, he’s using the money overseas, he— EDDY: Whoa! Just who is your mastermind? Our A, B, C? Our D or E? Vicky takes a drink. She is flushed. VICKY: My man? He wouldn’t do a thing himself, why should he anyhow? EDDY: That’s very helpful, that’s just great. We can’t find even one of the five, so you invent a sixth. Jamie said you’re original... Anyway, if your man has money, would he try a thing like this? VICKY: That’s hard. I don’t know. But it feels like money. Doesn’t it to you? It’s hard to believe the man who did it wouldn’t have had some great success. And money would give him places to use the cash he got from this. Maybe he’s bored, or wanted a thrill, I don’t know... Let’s start on the airline lists.
Outside the hotel window, the city lights shine low, then vanish in the table lamp’s glare.
A crew of F.B.I. agents are supervising a dozen punch card operators who are preparing IBM punch cards from airline passenger lists, and sending them into a sorter and magnetic tape computer.
Back in Eddy’s office. Vicky is reading a pile of reports. Eddy stands behind her. VICKY: You know, right after they left the bank, the road blocks, the airport, the baggage search, my man expected that. EDDY: And so? She rises and walks to the blackboard on the wall. VICKY: And so it wasn’t there, I’ll bet, no baggage to find at all. Look—this plan of the bank—you’ll laugh, this one really is far out. EDDY: Try me. I’m listening. He watches her face. VICKY: These four red lines, the way they came in. All different. These four blue lines, the way they left, all different as well. The driver in the car comes here, leaves here. All deliberately. EDDY: Yes. So? VICKY: So—suppose my man took the same idea and carried it all the way, five men, five different entrances, five different exits, meeting here just one, just for the moment of the crime, that’s all! It’s beautiful! A puzzle! It’s pure geometry! EDDY: (slowly) You mean, you mean they never— VICKY: (emphatically) Never, never, before, after, ever, met again. Just think how absolutely perfect, marvelous, lovely that would be! EDDY: Lovely. (he looks at her) Also quite impractical. How do they know what to do? VICKY: (impatient) He could have met them separately, each one, one at a time! They don’t know who the others are! It’s gorgeous! Silence. Eddy thinks it through. EDDY: All right, it was gorgeous, if it happened, but where does it leave us now?
VICKY: They might not even be criminals. Eddy sits down. She sits down on the arm of his chair. EDDY: That’s perfect, that’s great, you’re a wonderful help. Then how do we find them now? Five non-criminals who don’t know each other, who’ve never met, and this genius you’ve conjured up? VICKY: We advertise. EDDY: That did it. I get off here, goodbye. VICKY: No, listen, you figure it out, they’re vulnerable, there’s something the five don’t have. EDDY: The money. In your great scheme, genius flew it all to Switzerland. VICKY: Right, the money. Yes, that’s it. They never met again. They don’t know each other. They don’t know him. Why should he pay them all at once? Why not dribble it out? EDDY: The installment plan? Maybe once a week? VICKY: Why not? They’d be under control. EDDY: Nervous, too. VICKY: And nervous, too. So I mean it, we advertise. Put pressure on. EDDY: And that’s your first-class specialty, putting pressure on the men. So go ahead. But the copy gets cleared by me. He hunches forward, his hands dangling between his knees.
A U.S. L off Marblehead. The weather is windy and hot but turning cold. Crown wrestles madly with the spinnaker and sheets. Gwen at the tiller is getting soaked. GWEN: You take it, I want to change. Crown nods, takes the tiller. She moves forward and stands. She strips off the top, right in front of him. He looks her up and down. GWEN: You like it? Buy it, marry it quick. CROWN: You know the old Maine proverb. GWEN: What? CROWN: Why buy the cow if milk is free. Gwen is angry. She pulls on a sweat shirt, jeans, a slicker, heavy socks and boots. GWEN: That will teach me to ask. She kisses him, hard. He doesn’t respond. CROWN: It’s not you, it’s me, it’s everything, oh hell, I don’t know what it is.
GWEN: She gave it to you, didn’t she? You have rotten luck with the girls! Crown shakes his head, savagely. The wind howls. The boat heels. CROWN: (shouting) I’m flying back on Wednesday, another two-three days. GWEN: (shouting) Now you see him, now you don’t. And don’t ask what’s going on. She hangs on for dear life. CROWN: (shouting) Just business there—I’m nearly set. (he laughs and musses her hair) I like toys and games. Girls don’t. She didn’t. She didn’t, and neither do you. GWEN: (shouting) You bastard, I hope you drown! Crown laughs wildly and smashes the bow over into the waves. CROWN: (shouting) See you Sunday, late afternoon.
Flashes of presses, newsstands, ads. $25,000 reward! $25,000! “For a man with a black Ford 1966 Country Squire who could have been in Boston on May 19, and may have more money than he should. “$25,000 reward for information leading to the apprehension of any of the men involved in the May 19 Boston bank robbery. “CONTACT YOUR FBI Boston, Massachusetts 02110 “Telephone 617-LI 2-5533 “ALL INFORMATION STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.”
The Sunday paper is open to the ad on the table beside Honey’s sink. HONEY: Erwin! Erwin! We’re late again! Please hurry! Mama’s cooking for us! ERWIN: Yes, Honey. Erwin, in a dirty T shirt and chinos, releases the new bicycle, and Jimmy promptly falls in the mud. Erwin and Jimmy try again; Jimmy falls in the mud again. HONEY: Erwin! Erwin! Look at him! He’s filthy! He needs another bath! Erwin, dammit, so do you! Erwin sighs. ERWIN: Okay, champ, in you go. Jimmy does. HONEY: Erwin, that Raleigh bicycle, it’s new!
No answer. HONEY: Answer me! No sense of proportion! Mama’s right! Our budget, you’re crazy! New bicycles! He kisses her, walks into the house. She follows him talking with her hands. HONEY: The fridge is gone, it’s on the bum, I need a new one for your food and his, I need it and need it now! ERWIN: (walking out of the kitchen absently) Yes, dear. HONEY: (screaming) Yes, dear, yes, dear, yourself. I haven’t had a dress in two whole years, Papa’s money, you spent it all, you’ve always enough for Jimmy and you, but not me, and not the house, Erwin, I want my fridge, and now! The paper is open to the ad. She bites her lip, she thinks, then panics. HONEY: Erwin, my new fridge now! The ad rests on the table beside the dirty dishes in the sink.
Eddy is taking Vicky to lunch at Stauffer’s on top of the Prudential. She is slender and absolutely devastating. EDDY: Well, you great man-hunter. VICKY: Any responses to my ads? EDDY: (gleeful) Yes, they’re in, a big fat blank, jealous neighbors, several nuts, trouble makers, old girl friends, two former wives, a hausfrau with sex fantasies. VICKY: The lady from New York? Eddy nods. EDDY: (very precise) Hubby checks out perfectly, everything but the car. He did go to Portland, he did have dinner, he met the customer. He stayed at the motel, the wagon was parked outside, he called home on his credit card, no girls. They stopped him up on 95, our roadblock there, they even searched the car. VICKY: Everything but the car? EDDY: The money for it, that was odd, he has a safe deposit box. VICKY: No crime in that. Let’s see the file. (he hands it to her) Too bad, he’s perfect all around. Drove a truck in World War II, Bronze Star, all sorts of battle stuff, reliable, good salesman, loves his boy, travels New England all the time. (sudden excitement) He bought
that car on March 15, took the box the very next week! Let’s go over the car with a microscope! Can we drill the box? EDDY: (eyes narrow) We could ask for a warrant to search it all right, but we clearly don’t have enough. VICKY: Would the bank— EDDY: They would not. He pays the check. They rise to leave. They are alone in the elevator on the way down. VICKY: Couldn’t we just pick up the car? EDDY: No, we couldn’t, and you won’t. VICKY: May he— EDDY: Pick him up and question him? Your wife thinks you robbed a bank? VICKY: Maybe if I could talk to him. EDDY: I’m willing to talk to him. VICKY: No, please let me try it first, I have a way with men. (kittenish) EDDY: You don’t trust me, do you now, you can’t! She doesn’t answer. They leave the lobby, and start down the long outside stairs to the street. She pauses above him. He looks up at her. VICKY: When I was six my daddy put me on the stairs, I jumped, he caught me, kissed me, put me back, we did it all again. The third time I jumped, he stepped away, I fell on my head and cried. `Never trust men, sweetheart, starting with me!’—that’s what he said to me. EDDY: A lovely story, a wonderful man. VICKY: He taught me all I know. EDDY: He made you what you are today. VICKY: I hope you’re satisfied. EDDY: (firmly) You stay away from Erwin, I’ll think it through, I’ll tell you first of the week. VICKY: No hurry, no hurry, take your time. Eddy turns and walks away.
Erwin is driving the wagon. Three beatles are following him in leather jackets and a beat-up car. Erwin is cheerful. He pulls into the crub. He whistles, trots into the corner drug store.
The heap pulls in behind. One beatle sprints to the corner, another to the wagon driver door. He pulls open the door, flops down in front of the wheel, reaches under the dash and yanks. Swiftly he ties the ignition wires together with jump wires from his pocket, and twists them tight with pliers. He hums, sits erect in the seat, pulls the solenoid wire forward and twists it up to touch the metal trim. The engine turns over and catches; he races it, slips into gear and roars off! Erwin comes out of the drug store as the wagon screeches away! ERWIN: (startled) Hey! He starts to run. The sidewalk beatle promptly trips him up. Erwin falls hard on the curb and sits in the gutter stunned. SIDEWALK BEATLE: (cheerfully) Sorry, sir! He jumps in the heap and off it roars. Erwin watches it drive away.
Honey is smoking, doing dishes. She looks at Erwin with astonishment. HONEY: Mr. Good-in-crisis! You didn’t call the police! ERWIN: I didn’t—I didn’t think of it, he was only a kid. HONEY: A kid! You completely off your head? A punk who stole your car? And where is your kid anyhow? He shoulda been back an hour ago, he knows we’re goin’ to the beach! ERWIN: (philosophically) So scream at him and scream at me. HONEY: (she does) Erwin! ERWIN: That’s what I mean. The phone rings. Rrrinngg! Honey answers the kitchen extension phone. HONEY: Yes, this is she. Yes. (her face goes white) Who, who is... Erwin, Erwin, where is my boy! (she is hysterical) Erwin takes the phone. ERWIN: Yes... Where, where is he? Where would I get ten thousand bucks? Who is this? Yes... at eleven o’clock... I know where it is, the third one down, I don’t have that kind of money, I can’t—(click!) He has Jimmy. He wants ten grand. Erwin stands there, holding the phone. HONEY: WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO? CALL THE POLICE! THE POLICE WILL KNOW— ERWIN: No! He said if we call the police ... he gave us an hour and a half ... Honey, there’s one place, but don’t ever ask me, and Honey, we can’t ever tell, ever... Honey?
HONEY: (sobbing) I WANT MY BOY! Erwin pulls a brown paper bag from the cupboard under the sink, and leaves.
Erwin is shown in a bank safe deposit vault, putting the money in the brown paper bag.
Down the block from the house are a group of stores, an alley with trash cans alongside. Erwin leaves the paper bag with the money in the third of the cans.
Back with Honey in the kitchen. Erwin’s face is stark with the memory. They sit and wait by the phone. A car door slams, you hear running feet, a racing motor. The door bell rings. It is Jimmy with an ice cream cone. They greet him with hugs and tears. ERWIN: (huskily) Where were you, son, are you all right? JIMMY: Sure, Dad, the lady, she got lost, we drove around, we had hot dogs, she was nice. ERWIN: She was nice? JIMMY: Real nice, can we go to the beach, can we now, Dad? Huh? ERWIN: Was there a man, son? JIMMY: No, Dad, why? ERWIN: I just thought there would... HONEY: You thought there what? Her face is a study in strain.
In the Ritz bar, Crown is drinking, waiting. Gwen enters, somewhat overdressed, elaborate in chiffon. Crown rises with warmth. He kisses her on the cheek. She is pleased. She pirouettes to show the dress. GWEN: You like it? All Bonwit, even the shoes. CROWN: Last Sunday was better. GWEN: But you didn’t buy. This time you’ll have to work for it. CROWN: Old numble fingers won’t mind. She stares at him. GWEN: That’s an improvement. Something has changed. Crown is very, very relaxed, almost tender.
CROWN: The world traveler is home for good. I’m all set on the other side. It’ll run by itself for a while. The waiter brings Gwen a martini without asking. Neither she nor Crown seem to notice him. GWEN: Welcome home, Tommy, welcome home. (she is slightly flushed as she sips her drink; she coughs) What does it do when it runs? Pause. CROWN: (chilly) Over there? Same as here: It buys and it sells and it lends and invests and it wins and loses and stuff and things. GWEN: What a fascinating, detailed informative story. CROWN: Yes. I guess it is. Silence. GWEN: I’ve done it again. Do I really do it, all by myself, or is it your way of making things clear? CROWN: Now you’ve lost me. GWEN: Don’t you wish it. Not lost, not yet. Some girls love to get hit. CROWN: (apologetic, sincere) I’m just sentimental, that’s all. Too bad, I’m the only one who is. He waves for another drink.
Erwin is in a New York hotel bar. It is a small, expensive bar, with lots of dark wood, red leather, brass buttons, and red-checked tablecloths. Erwin is hunched on his elbows over the bar. There are three highball glasses in front of him, empties. The bartender fills a fourth with Canadian Club, ginger ale, and soda. MAN: (to Erwin) Hey, old buddy, you’ll miss your train! ERWIN: (without looking up) Hear, oh, Erwin, thy train is gone! Blessed be thy train! MAN: Boy, are you gone. He leaves. ERWIN: Poor old Erwin, he missed his train. (he smiles at a brown-haired girl at a table nearby) Hello to you. (she seems to smile, but it is not quite certain) Am I disgusting? LESLIE: No, not yet. ERWIN: I love my wife. LESLIE: How wonderful.
ERWIN: She hates my guts. LESLIE: Oh, my, how sad. ERWIN: You don’t look sad. LESLIE: I just came in. ERWIN: Where are you from? LESLIE: Chicago, Illinois. ERWIN: Here all alone? LESLIE: Except for you. ERWIN: Oh-ho! That I like! I s’pose if I told you my wife doesn’t listen, you’d think I was trying to pick you up. LESLIE: I like to listen. Erwin moves over to her table and looks at her. She is attractive, the looking is good. He examines her over the red-checked tablecloth.
They are obviously upstairs in the same hotel, lots of liquor and lots of smoke. They are wearing most but not all of their clothes. Erwin is coatless, tie-less, shoe-less, his sleeves rolled up; Leslie’s nylons are rolled in her pumps by the bed. Erwin is sitting on the foot of the bed. Leslie is beside him, listening. He is rumpled, she is relaxed. What has happened is suggested, but not too clear. ERWIN: She just doesn’t trust me, I can’t leave town, she thinks I got a girl somewhere, and now it’s money I got socked away, millions and millions I’m hiding from her, oh, we’re having the greatest time! (as he talks he punctuates with a highball glass) Leslie does not reply. KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK! on the door. Silence. ERWIN: Who is it? (silence) Who is there? Erwin shifts, uneasily, then opens the door a bit. It is Honey! ERWIN: Honey! My God! What’re you doin’ here! HONEY: I wish you were dead, you sonofabitch, you come near Jimmy I WILL KILL YOU! She flees. Erwin is stunned. He sits on the bed, his face in his hands. Leslie rises slowly, fills his glass, dons her nylons and pumps, and tactfully leaves the room.
Her legs could not be more lovely as she walks quietly out the door.
Erwin is in the same place and position, when he hears the knock on the door again. Erwin opens the door. It is a detective and Vicky. The detective has a small briefcase. DETECTIVE: Hello, Erwin, happy day? May we come in? They do. VICKY: Honey’s seeing her lawyer at 9 a.m. That gives you lots of time. ERWIN: Time for what, and who are you? DETECTIVE: I’m your friendly insurance man, the one who paid your bank. You know, the bank you robbed in Boston? We’re going to get our money back, or we’re going to ruin you! Comprehension slowly begins to dawn; Erwin shakes his head from side to side. ERWIN: I—you—what—this is stupid. DETECTIVE: You’re lucky, we’ll give you a choice. Two witnesses saw you drive away. Where’d you get the ten grand for us? the money for the car? You’ll go to jail for 20 years, your wife’ll divorce you in 60 days, you’ll never see the boy. Or else... Silence. ERWIN: Keep talking, what else? DETECTIVE: Or else you talk to us. We tell the court to please go light, we tell Honey we framed you here, she may take you back, who knows? VICKY: We may even give you back your ten, and maybe another five. ERWIN: (slowly) And her. LESLIE: Her? DETECTIVE: She works for us. ERWIN: The car? And Jimmy, too? VICKY: Of course. He’s sweet. He’s proud of you. Erwin’s eyes mist slightly. DETECTIVE: Stand pat and you lose everything. VICKY: Talk to us, you have a chance. Silence. ERWIN: What do you want to know?
Vicky takes a deep, deep breath. The detective takes a tape recorder out of the briefcase and starts it; he lays the microphone gently down. All you see is the rotating tape for the remainder of the scene. DETECTIVE: How did you meet him? ERWIN: He called me up. I never knew why me. VICKY: What did he tell you? ERWIN: ‘How would you like to make fifty grand, fifty grand, tax-free.’ VICKY: Tax-free! You’re sure? ERWIN: So what? I was, he said he’d call me back, he did, I went and met him here, right here in this hotel...
Vicky is playing the tape to Eddy in his office. VICKY: Well! EDDY: All right, you called it. Hooray for you. VICKY: Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. EDDY: Beautiful. VICKY: The conception, the idea! EDDY: That’s what you said. VICKY: What a mind, what a man! EDDY: What a mind, what a man. VICKY: Not knowing the others, not seeing them, the right men, the right place, the right time, no way even they can trace anything back. EDDY: Yeah, it’s quite an idea. VICKY: The money? EDDY: We traced it as far as we could. His checks come in from the Chase in New York, they get the funds from a bank in Geneva, a numbered account, just like you said, probably more beyond that. Can’t you bribe your way through to the end? VICKY: No, I can’t. I’ve tried before. EDDY: I believe it. How sad. VICKY: What’s the matter with you? So bitter today? EDDY: I’m good and jealous of your success. VICKY: You’d better explain, I don’t like what I hear. He grabs her arms, holds them tight to her sides.
EDDY: You lied to me, you stole the car, you kidnapped a child, had the father framed, blackmailed him till he was willing to talk, the banks you tried to bribe. VICKY: That hurts. (he relaxes his grip) I do my job. EDDY: (savagely) That’s no answer, you know it, too. VICKY: (voice rising) All right, I’m immoral, so is the world, is that what you wanted to hear? I’m here for the money, that’s all I want, I told you months ago! He turns away. EDDY: I ought to call, get rid of you. VICKY: They’d only laugh at you. Do me one favor, my biographies, the repeats on the airline list, you’ve done all the hard work, it all looks good, have the repeats done in depth, will you please? EDDY: (voice flat) Why only the repeats, more than one trip? One trip is all he would need. VICKY: (impatient) Too much baggage, too risky. EDDY: (practically shouting) And why not a messenger, somebody else? VICKY: (shouting back) Because he’s a loner, that’s why! (more calmly) Will you please, will you please, will you do it for me?
An IBM computer prints out a list of names, the number of transatlantic trips since May, the dates and airlines and times. The first five names have taken more than one flight; the remaining names have taken only a single flight. Included in the five names is Crown’s name and a description of his eleven flights. Nearby, an IBM punch card sorter drops piles of cards, including Crown’s eleven cards in one pile. There are only five piles with more than one card.
In Vicky’s hotel room, clearly at night. There are five folders on the table. Eddy is reading them, one by one. EDDY: One bank vice president, age 52, eight trips to Europe on some sort of deal— VICKY: That’s what we want! But she looks at the picture, and puts it aside. EDDY: (patiently) This is a lawyer, four years at the bank, army intelligence, World War II, all sorts of investments, foreign trade, three trips across in the last 90 days—
VICKY: Don’t like his looks at all. He puts the picture aside. EDDY: Just what is it you’re going to do? VICKY: I want to meet them socially. Can you arrange it for me? Eddy nods. EDDY: And when you have met them? How will you know? VICKY: My man, I’ll know him, I know I will. All right, I hope I will. EDDY: Make up your mind where you want to begin. VICKY: I’ll start with this one here. EDDY: Let’s see the file. She hands it over. EDDY: He once spent six months at the bank, imports, investments and arbitrage. VICKY: What in the world is arbitrage? EDDY: Buying and selling of currencies ... I thought that’s the reason you made the choice... (she doesn’t answer, he reads on) Army supply and personnel, golf, skiing, and sailing, smart as a whip, travels like crazy all over the place, has a Swiss office, makes two trips a month, three trips in August. Why him? VICKY: He’s cute. EDDY: (he taps the folder for emphasis with a bright yellow pencil) He’s cute Thomas Crown, he has three million bucks, 42 years of age, a messy divorce, he’s mad for the girls, he’s perfect for you! VICKY: (slowly) A man who is dealing in currency ... he’d have something to say to customs, Swiss customs, if they happened to open his bags.
A waltz-type evening at the Sheraton Copley. Vicky is dancing with a tall man with a long red face. He moves determinedly toward another couple, and addresses the young woman in a loud voice. VICKY’S ESCORT: Gwendolyn, dear, and how are you? They double-cut. VICKY’S ESCORT: Vicky Burns from Chicago, meet Thomas Crown. Crown is surprised, but pleasantly. He holds her out at arm’s length. He looks as if he feels faintly ridiculous.
VICKY: I’ve heard so much about you, my dear Mr. Crown. CROWN: All good things? VICKY: Fascinating. CROWN: To you?... What brings a lady from Chicago here? VICKY: Work. CROWN: An original answer, what sort of work? VICKY: Insurance work. I investigate. CROWN: Investigation? What and who? VICKY: The bank affair—caper, you call it here. CROWN: The bank—a girl? VICKY: Why not? CROWN: How can a girl, why, I never thought— VICKY: Do you do lots of thinking about the affair at the bank? CROWN: That’s a strange question. VICKY: Yes, I am strange. CROWN: How is— VICKY: Same subject? Why, we’re coming right along. Better and better and all the time. CROWN: And when do you think you’ll be finding your man? VICKY: I just did. CROWN: You—oh, what a provocative remark. Be careful, I may take you seriously. VICKY: That’s the right way to take me, seriously. Crown hesitates. CROWN: Where— VICKY: At the Somerset. CROWN: Seven, tomorrow night? VICKY: That’s seriously. CROWN: You wanted me serious. Tell me now, are you always so sure that you’re right? VICKY: I think I’ll let you keep worrying about that. A gold trumpet mouth brays a laugh.
Eddy’s office in the morning. Black coffee is being served in paper cups. VICKY: (all excited) Follow him, follow him everywhere, twenty-four hours a day! EDDY: Do you think?
VICKY: Think? I know. I know that’s my man! He must be the one; it all fits together! EDDY: Boy, are you up and enjoying yourself. VICKY: Since when don’t you like my enjoying myself? EDDY: Since I’m not around to share in the fun. VICKY: I am all excited, I jumped the whole night. EDDY: So did your man, he got up at four, that’s the earthshaking report from his tail. VICKY: I knew it, I knew it, he couldn’t sleep, he’s wondering if we really know. EDDY: Or maybe he’s just sex-starved. She shrugs it off. VICKY: Keep following him, closer, all the time, squeeze, keep the pressure on! Cover his mail, his telephones! EDDY: I squeeze, you squeeze, and so will he. Remember, tonight they’ll be following you, they’ll give me a full report. VICKY: I’ll remember. EDDY: I’ll bet you will. Her face shows rapture.
Pier 4 restaurant, by the windows at the back. The water gleams outside. The waiter then appears. CROWN: A beefeater gibson, a double, on the rocks, with four little onions, the copper pot. VICKY: Same beefeater, same double, same rocks, onions, pot. CROWN: You haven’t the slightest idea what’s in the pot. VICKY: Fish? I’ll take my chances. CROWN: You like to. VICKY: And you? Pause. The waiter reappears with the drinks. Crown looks at her through his drink. CROWN: Last night you said— VICKY: Aha! Now to business! CROWN: —some rather wild things. VICKY: Wild. CROWN: And a little ridiculous.
VICKY: But only a little. CROWN: Look—it’s very enticing and all of that, but you practically said I had something to do— VICKY: I said it, and not just practically, you had more than something to do with it, too. CROWN: Just what is it you think you’ve got. VICKY: Oh, I can’t tell you that, it would spoil the fun. CROWN: Fun? VICKY: Yours, mine, ours, your finding out just what I’ve got. CROWN: What a funny, dirty little mind. VICKY: It’s a funny, dirty, little job, so shoot me in the leg. The two copper pots have arrived. He is fastidious with the clams; she copies him. CROWN: I suppose you think you’re good at it, your job, I mean. VICKY: I know I am... CROWN: Always catch your man? VICKY: Why, yes, of course. CROWN: Of course means lots of men? VICKY: (provocative) Mm, now you are curious... CROWN: The royal mounted. VICKY: What? CROWN: Always catches her man. VICKY: That’s progress—now you want to be caught. Dissolve on the bright copper pots.
Back in the rain, in Crown’s Rolls Royce outside of her hotel. The Rolls radiator cap silver wings shine. VICKY: What a beautiful car! She caresses the walnut. CROWN: You like it? VICKY: All nice and expensive things. Crown is surprised by the candor. He shrugs. CROWN: Tomorrow evening? VICKY: I would love it. Come and get me at the office. (suddenly enthusiastic) I know, I’ll have Erwin in! Silence. CROWN: He is someone you’re working with?
VICKY: (laughing) Good man, you’re perfect. I’m mad for you! Your Erwin, from Manhattan, with the wagon you bought! You’ll want to say ‘hello!’ CROWN: I’m supposed to know what you’re talking about? The rain drives into the front windshield of the Rolls.
Crown enters his home. It is rainy and sloppy outside. He violently kicks his rubbers off. JOHN: Good evening, sir. CROWN: Evening, John, all quiet? JOHN: Yes, sir. Oh, the rug men came. CROWN: The rug men? JOHN: Yes, the ones you sent over to measure the house, for the carpet, the wall-to-wall. Crown stares at him, thoughtfully. CROWN: Did they leave any papers? JOHN: Not today, they made sketches and took them along. They’ll send you an estimate. Crown nods. He walks into the library. The lights are off inside. Rain hits the window, blurring the view. A car is parked on the street by the light. He watches the car, out by the light, and his reflection in the window glass.
Four heads are grouped around the desk in Eddy’s office, Eddy, Vicky, Alfie and another detective. They are studying a floor plan of Crown’s house. EDDY: Sure they’ll tell him? ALFIE: You betcha life—we talked much too much. EDDY: And the car—he could see it? ALFIE: Parked under the light. VICKY: Good, that’ll shake him! You should’ve seen his face, when I mentioned Erwin’s name. EDDY: What else happened, what did he do? Vicky stares at him. Eddy looks uncomfortable. VICKY: We made love in the parking lot. EDDY: (more relaxed) With Alfie in the very next car? VICKY: Sure, didn’t we, Alfie?
Alfie is uncomfortable. ALFIE: Erwin is out in the waiting room. VICKY: What does he know? EDDY: He don’t know nothing—he’s waiting for me. The other chair’s right across from him. VICKY: (pensively) It’ll rattle him good, but he’ll recover. He’s not about to break. The telephone rings. Eddy answers it quickly. VOICE ON TELEPHONE: Mr. Crown is here. EDDY: He’s right on time. The wall clock is ticking. She watches it a moment. Then she walks to the door. She half opens it, and surveys the scene. Erwin is sitting, reading “Time.” Crown is opposite, sitting absolutely still. Crown’s shoes have a brilliant shine; his feet are placed neatly before him; his pants are perfectly creased. He is immaculate. He rises to greet Vicky. Erwin looks up at the same time. VICKY: Hello, Erwin, and how are you, let me present Mr. Thomas Crown. CROWN: How do you do. ERWIN: ’Lo to you, too, is Rock in, I’ve been waiting here a while. Erwin has no interest in Crown. Crown has no interest in him. They both look at Vicky. She looks from one to the other. VICKY: (to Erwin) I’ll tell him you’re here... (to Crown) Just a minute, Tommy, I’ll get my coat... She steps back into the office for a second or two, then emerges with her coat. VICKY: All set now? Then off we go. Say `goodbye’ to Erwin, dear. CROWN: Goodbye, Erwin, dear. Crown opens the door. A grunt from Erwin as they leave. Crown is deadpan in the hall. Peals of laughter ring from her. VICKY: And where’s your southern accent, dear? You were marvelous! Crown is nerveless, controlled and calm, totally unconcerned. They reach the elevators, he presses the button. VICKY: Or maybe you just don’t care... Crown looks at her swiftly, without expression, then looks back at the elevator doors.
The Rolls Royce slices through the darkness on Storrow Drive. The river reflects Tech and the Carter signs. The neon is colorful under the blue black sky. VICKY: Where shall we go to celebrate? The battle I know you won? Crown is moody; he glances at her briefly, then back to the road ahead. CROWN: How about dinner at my home? VICKY: Home to meet mother? CROWN: (slowly) No mother, no wife. A big, empty house, and all of it for me... But my man is an excellent cook. VICKY: May heaven protect the working girl. Crown looks at her for several seconds, then back ahead to the road. CROWN: You knew it all, all of that, didn’t you? Admit it to me for once. She smiles. But she neither looks at him nor answers. Crown drives carelessly, indifferently, and much too fast. The big car’s lights pick up the Massachusetts Avenue bridge; it flashes overhead; the car squeals into a hard left turn out Charlesgate, and under the Fenway trees.
The Rolls is parked in the curved driveway outside Crown’s heavy front door. They enter; John opens the door; Crown does not introduce her to John. VICKY: What a lovely hall, I love parquet, and French doors, I love them, too. CROWN: You can see the garden, it’s right through there. She walks ahead and looks out the French doors; Crown switches on the outside lights. VICKY: My, it’s beautiful. (she hums) Crown moves toward the stairs. CROWN: Down in a minute, the library, the drinks are all prepared. Crown trots most of the way up the stairs, then silently turns to watch her from near the top. She walks straight to the library; she stops outside the panelled doors. Crown is grinning down at her. CROWN: Sold any pretty rugs today? She enters, without looking back at him, smiles and opens the bar. Her gimlet is mixed, she pours it out. She stirs the martini pitcher, sniffs it delicately, and wrinkles her nose in distaste. She crosses to the chess set, studies it well; she looks at the pictures, then the books. Then she moves to the window and looks outside.
Her gimlet glistens yellow and green.
Much, much later, they are having coffee and brandy, back in the library again. John pours a second cup; Crown dismisses him. VICKY: Good night, John, and thank you. JOHN: And thank you, thank you, Miss. John closes the library doors discreetly; his footsteps are lost in the house. Vicky is most appreciative, she drinks in the scene. She hums along with the Hi Fi. She enjoys the leather, books and candlelight. She enjoys everything. She moves to the chess set, and exclaims with pleasure. VICKY: Look what I found—an ivory set! CROWN: Chess men, you play it? VICKY: Try me and see. CROWN: A girl? I’m very good. VICKY: Mm, yes, you’ve said it, now prove it to me. Let’s see how good you are. The play begins, chess with sex. She excels at both. Good as Crown is, the combination is formidable. Crown has the white men, she has the black. Crown soon has trouble concentrating. Presently, he is in trouble on the board. She is glowing, and he’s much too conscious of her. She doesn’t touch him, but she has him conscious of every mover her body makes. He watches her hands, her arms, her shoulders, and, of course, her chess men as well. It gets harder and harder to concentrate. Respect for the performance begins to grow, he struggles to concentrate. Then he realizes it is hopeless. Methodically he reviews the board, looking for an escape. The black queen dominates the board, blocking his every move. VICKY: (quietly) If I were you, I think I’d resign. Moodily, Crown stares at the board. CROWN: Let’s play another game. He seizes her, first gently, then holding her hard. He pulls her roughly toward him. Chess men scatter all over the floor. Candlelight flickers; it starts to rain.
Much later, he rises. By the sputtering candles, he goes to the window. The car is out there once again, parked below the light.
Crown looks from Vicky to the car, puzzled. He shrugs and turns back to her.
In Eddy’s office, the following day, an indignant Eddy is dressing her down. EDDY: You had to do it, didn’t you? You had to show me, everything, right in Alfie’s report! He slaps it down before her. VICKY: My job. EDDY: Your job, as if you had— VICKY: He’s hooked. I did it. What more do you want? He’s in trouble, way over his head. He’s got nothing else in his life. EDDY: You are nothing— VICKY: I know what I am... Look, it won’t be easy, it won’t be fast, either take it, or get off the case... He’s my man. EDDY: You really meant it, your all for the cause. He shakes his head.
The courtship is shown in fragments, snapshots here and there. Sailing in the Indian summer, a restaurant, a Symphony, a quiet evening in Crown’s library, a walk in the Public Garden, by the Statehouse statue of the witch. They are followed, everywhere. Breakfast together, dancing, a football game; Hallowe’en, he gives her a pumpkin and witch. A drive in Crown’s car. The days go by, all the romance and sentiment he wants. Eddy is watching all the time, a brown overcoat in the turning leaves.
Intermission in a theatre box, with Sandy and his wife. Crown is just excusing himself. Sandy is terribly nice to Vicky. SANDY: (to Vicky) A wonderful person, the things I could tell you. VICKY: Please tell me, I’d like to hear. Sandy leans forward.
Walking in the autumn, Crown and Vicky are on the De Cordova grounds. CROWN: Did you ever figure what they’re costing you, those men following all the time? VICKY: (mildly) That would be silly, I don’t know what you mean, following you would be following me.
CROWN: (irritated) Don’t be stupid. I don’t like pretense. VICKY: I still don’t know what you mean. CROWN: You’re a jealous woman—Maybe that’s it. (needling) VICKY: Me—jealous! Why, that’s a laugh! CROWN: Is it? Or could I be partially right? Oh, I forgot—I’m dreaming it all. She shrugs her shoulders, dismissing it, but her eyes narrow uncertainly. Crown skips a rock in the pond.
Back in the office, with Eddy again. EDDY: Making progress? VICKY: No, are you? EDDY: You’re feeling delightful today. VICKY: I’m sorry, Eddy, I’m making mistakes. EDDY: Goodness, now humility. VICKY: He knows we’re following him. Eddy is puzzled. EDDY: So what? you wanted him to know. It’s part of the pressure, Victoria style. VICKY: That’s not it, according to him, I’m a jealous woman, he says. EDDY: You jealous? Ha! Hilarious! VICKY: Or is it, is it now... EDDY: Oh, my, you’re in trouble... Here’s where you learn—look where he went last night! He holds out the report. VICKY: Let me see it. (she snatches it away; then lightly, almost admiringly) Her again! The dirty old man. Right after leaving me, too. (she laughs) I should have known! She throws the report on the table and turns away; behind her Eddy grins.
Crown’s alarm clock is glowing. It is half past three. He listens: the crickets, the bushes, the trees, a crackle, a rustle in the leaves. Silently, he gathers his clothes, a black turtleneck sweater, crepe soled shoes, dark pants, a belt, a long black sap, a leather flask in the right rear pocket on his hip. He grins and listens—again it’s the leaves. Athletic and silent, he glides down the stairs. Outside and careful, he crouches low, eyes widen, and then he is used to the dark.
Alfie is careless, by the garage. Crown stalks him slowly, far away, then close. As Crown starts to sap him, Alfie turns, Alfie’s arm slightly breaks the blow, Whack! The sap hits Alfie, over the ear. Alfie sags, on his knees. Crown saps him again, three, four times. Then, sap in the pocket, he lifts Alfie up; he shoulders him over to the car, opens the door, dumps Alfie in behind the wheel. Crown sprinkles the whisky, and starts the car. He flicks it in gear, then steps out the door. He watches it hit a lamppost and stall. Cheerfully Crown goes back to bed, a good time had by all. Outside a car stops, then another, the police. The red lights flash, round and round.
A flash of Salem, the following day. The weather is cold, Crown and Vicky are picnicking; they watch the ocean from the rocks. With heavy sweaters and ale to warm them, Crown is in a rare good mood. VICKY: Damn you, oh damn you! He kisses her hard. Horizontal sex and the sound of the waves. CROWN: (murmuring) Blood excites you. VICKY: Men also, especially you. CROWN: How is he? VICKY: Who, Alfie? He’s cheerful enough. He got careless, you slugged him. He thinks that’s fair. You could have shot him, you know. CROWN: You like him. VICKY: He’s nice. But Eddy is not. He’s burning, screaming mad. He’s mad enough to kill. Crown laughs. CROWN: He must hate you. VICKY: No, not really. She shakes her head, she plays with a shell. VICKY: When will you tell me? Passion and sex. CROWN: When I want you to leave me. Tenderness and salt spray.
With Eddy in his office, as the first snow falls. Eddy is pacing the floor. EDDY: Of course, you’ve lots to tell me today. VICKY: Nothing you want to hear or don’t know. EDDY: This case is the greatest in history, a fiasco to end them all. A sex-crazy lady, a two-month orgy, and we run a peep show, at government expense. Do you have a shred of evidence? What does he have to say? VICKY: We do talk about it, or rather I talk about it, and he talks around it. EDDY: It must be quite a conversation. You’re sure you find time to talk. She shrugs. VICKY: All I can take. EDDY: How long will Chicago keep on paying your bill? What happens next, anyhow? VICKY: I hit his business, and he takes me skiing. EDDY: Skiing? VICKY: Skiing, in the snow. She gestures out at the snow.
Ski flashes of color, in Sugarbush clothes. Sunlight and tanning, the spectacular view, wine on the mountain, Chez Henri, Orsini’s and Go-Go. Crown skis like a madman, all over the place, careless, a racer, straight downhill, he cartwheels and shakes off the snow. He passes a crashed skier, blanket-covered, riding down in a sled, and pays no attention at all. Yet there is gondola kissing, playing in the snow, he does warm when he looks at her. Hot buttered rum by a fireplace. Later, their room, on a deep rug, their own private fire burning low. A glorious moment of intimacy in the snow-cold glow. VICKY: Guess what I did to you yesterday. CROWN: Go on and tell me, it doesn’t sound good. VICKY: I had a long meeting about money and you. Internal Revenue has joined in the search. CROWN: Why—am I spending too much on you? She kisses him on the nose.
VICKY: No, but I asked for your known net worth, and told them what we thought you have. CROWN: They won’t find a thing, it’ll be a big waste. VICKY: No, much worse... Think, darling, think it through. CROWN: How can I think with you lying on me? VICKY: (explaining) You can’t ever spend all that lovely loot. Every dime you spend, they’ll want to trace. Show where you got it, or you go to jail, a tax case every year! CROWN: You witch, now you’ve done it, that’s low, even for you, can’t I tempt you to leave me alone? VICKY: Tempt me—temptation, that’s what I need. He tempts her well; a short personal interlude. CROWN: (with feeling) I built up my business. I like what I do, but I want to run it my way. If they bug me, I’ll quit. I worked hard for my money, I’m due for a rest. I have all I need now. His head is cushioned on her lap. He grins up at her. VICKY: I thought you’d enjoy it, I gather you do. She rumples his hair. He reaches up, seizes her, pulls her down for a kiss. He holds her close to him. CROWN: You don’t know the trouble they can make for a man, nagging and prying with more and more forms, they really go after you. They’ll block my business next thing you know, all of it thanks to you. VICKY: (sweetly) Just pay your taxes, Tommy, dear. Another interlude. By their personal fire, it is growing hot; she starts to loosen her clothes.
Eddy shoves up the thermostat in his freezing office. EDDY: You’re losing your grip. VICKY: I wouldn’t say that. EDDY: Nothing, nothing, nothing is new... Where is that lightning mind? VICKY: Some things are fast and some are slow. EDDY: You—slow? Don’t make me laugh! VICKY: I’m getting to know him— EDDY: Hah!
VICKY: —better and better, and to like him more and more... He’s done some pretty kooky things, I have sort of an idea. EDDY: Meanwhile, I’m having a few of my own... I still think you’re losing your grip... The daylight is fading outside.
Back in Crown’s library. There is snow outside on the ground. VICKY: You look worried. CROWN: I’m tired. She putters and purrs, it is irritating to him. CROWN: I’m going to take a sauna downstairs. VICKY: That’s good, I’ll go with you. CROWN: No, you mustn’t, John— VICKY: He’s asleep. CROWN: Suit yourself. I’m going now.
Red wooden benches, dim lights and heat. CROWN: I think I should go to Brazil. She moves over closer to him. The stove is glowing, the coals are red. VICKY: Ha, you’re quitting. CROWN: They can’t extradite. VICKY: You couldn’t be happy in Rio at all. Not for more than a month. CROWN: So think of another and cleverer plan. VICKY: I have. CROWN: I believe it, I’m not surprised. Go on, tell me all. VICKY: Make a deal. His eyebrows have lifted. He turns away. VICKY: Give us the money, that’s all that we want. CROWN: ... And you’d be a heroine, wouldn’t you now? Another notch in your brilliant career? VICKY: I’d be so happy while you’re away, what a fling I’d have waiting for you. He turns back to her, musing.
CROWN: It would cost me at least ten years. VICKY: Maybe so, but maybe less, with the money returned, and nobody hurt. CROWN: Five to seven is the least I’d do. VICKY: (joking) Write a book about it. You’ll earn it all back... (turning serious) No, go to Rio, go, go now, I don’t know what you should do... Maybe they wouldn’t prosecute... CROWN: (softly) Your people aren’t the ones who decide. VICKY: But if we have the money, it’ll come from a bank, that’s all they’ll ever know... They can’t make you testify... CROWN: (lightly) Nor you if I marry you. She nods: she is not quite sure how to take it. Crown thinks, he hesitates. CROWN: Eddy would never go for it. But see if he’ll make a deal. Her hand reaches out for the wall telephone. She dials and waits for the ring. VICKY: Eddy?—it’s me, that grip I’m losing... A rustle from the bench. VICKY: He’s thinking about a deal... She looks at Crown. EDDY’S VOICE: (muffled on phone) It’s out of the question, you know better... She shakes her head, and puts the phone back on the hook. CROWN: (whimsical) Like I say, I should go to Brazil. A touch of sentiment in her eyes. VICKY: Take me to Rio, take me please, please take me, take me with you! CROWN: I think I’ll take an ice cold shower. She watches him go, out the red wooden door. She listens, hears water, she follows him out, and into the shower as well. Water, passion, tenderness. VICKY: Take me with you, take me along. CROWN: I love you, I’d take you anywhere ... but I’m just not ready to go. A kiss; she commits herself in full. The shower runs cold off their feet. The water runs down the drain.
In Crown’s bedroom, later that night. Vicky is tangled in the sheets. Crown is flushed, in pajamas, straddling a chair, his arms on the back of it, his chin on his hands, studying her, in a mood. VICKY: (reasoning) We are getting closer, to date you’ve been lucky, but sooner or later we’ll win. Crown is quizzical. CROWN: Lucky? VICKY: You have been lucky, it was one in a million, you could never – (her voice trails off) Crown sits suddenly up in the chair, with a sudden devilish look. He rises, excited, he paces the floor, he looks out the window, his back to Vicky, delight all over his face. CROWN: (pixily) Tell me, if I could do it again, would you marry me? Vicky sits up straight. VICKY: Oh, no!... You’re joking! CROWN: Of course. Rio for the honeymoon. Crown continues to look out the window, now grinning from ear to ear. VICKY: You’re mad, you’re totally insane! CROWN: It’s irresistible... VICKY: The very same bank? CROWN: Why not? VICKY: It can’t be done... (relieved) They’ve changed the procedures. CROWN: —I’ve seen what they do. Silence. She cannot believe he is serious. VICKY: You don’t need the money. CROWN: To you, it’s money. To me, it’s the way I keep score. Pause. VICKY: Did you— CROWN: I meant it. Will you marry me? But only on my terms. VICKY: Your terms are silence? I should let you try— CROWN: That’s it exactly. He turns and looks at her, he smiles. She flushes. He crosses to the bed. VICKY: I must be dreaming, it just can’t be. CROWN: It is, and yes or no? VICKY: (softly, desperately) I want to marry you, but— He puts a finger to her lips. She stops. He kisses her lightly. Vicky swallows.
VICKY: When? CROWN: Not long, long engagements are silly. VICKY: Engagement? Probation!—How do I know— CROWN: (laughs) If I don’t, you can testify. VICKY: You’ll never— CROWN: (suddenly serious) If not, it’s my funeral, my beau geste, my Viking’s funeral... He teases. She is perplexed. He laughs.
A hotel room, a commercial hotel. Crown, the glaring light behind him, straddles a chair, facing Arnie, a heavy-set, obvious pro. ARNIE: But somebody did get shot in the leg, no thanks, it’s not for me. CROWN: (tough, taunting, with the fake southern accent again) I want a pro. I’ll pay the price. ARNIE: (stubbornly) No, thanks. CROWN: (challenging) Money talks, here’s ten grand in advance. Arnie catches the envelope. He counts the money. He licks his lips. CROWN: Forty more if we pull it off. Silence. ARNIE: Who do I have to kill?
Another room, another commercial hotel. Another glaring light. Bert is a wizened, dirty little man. BERT: A character actor! Boy, would I ever, it’s been a long time between! Crown chuckles. CROWN: Don’t hurry, take your time, there’s more to it than you think.
Anthony’s, by the window again, again the copper pots. Vicky is tense, and showing the strain. Crown is cheerful, relaxed. CROWN: (looking about him) I love this madhouse, the food is delicious, and I do love being with you. He is tender, affectionate. Vicky looks like she has a lump in her throat. VICKY: The last supper.
CROWN: You’re sweet, but please don’t worry so. If I lose, you’ll get ten per cent! He chuckles; she seems to shrink.
Logan Airport, snow on the ground, Ernie comes out of T.W.A., and crosses to the parking lot, the section where they stack the Fords. He picks out a white wagon, with wood on the sides, opens the door, steps in, reaches under the dash and yanks once, twice. Expertly he binds the jump wires together, grounds the solenoid wire to the metal key hole to start the engine, checks the rear window control, and drives off. He stops at Logan International Motel, and walks swiftly toward the pay phones. He puts on clear glasses with horn rims.
Curley is in the pay booth in South Station, on the phone. CROWN: 15 minutes. He crosses a line off his list. CURLEY: I’ll be here. The phone clicks. He wears horn-rimmed glasses, too.
Danny in a pay phone booth, with a hat and horn-rimmed glasses. CROWN: Ten minutes. Danny nods. His watch says 3:30 p.m.
Ernie is in one of the Logan International Motel phone booths. CROWN: Go. He crosses off another item, the last in the first section of the list. Then he draws a large “X” through the entire first section. He stands up. Ernie nods and hangs up.
Arnie is outside One Federal Street. Twelve stories above and across the street, Crown watches Arnie through the ten-power binoculars. Crown is now wearing a hat and coat. Crown smiles, and picks up the phone.
Curley enters the employee entrance of the bank at the Devonshire Street end of the corridor. He walks slowly down the corridor, toward the number two elevator door near the end on the right. He keeps his eyes down, and he does not attract attention, but he is tense. Part way down, he stops and checks his watch. Elevator number two opens, discharges passengers, loads, closes, and returns upstairs. Curley walks toward the closed door. As he does so, elevator number three opens, the operator steps out. There is a flurry of activity behind the cash room door across the corridor. Arnie enters from the left, from the lower bank floor, and joins Curley waiting for elevator number two.
A flash of Ernie in the white Ford wagon, leaving the Callahan Tunnel behind, horn-rimmed glasses and a hat.
Danny enters the employee entrance, his hat is back on his head; he stops. His watch shows 4:15 p.m. He waits by the guard booth inside the door. Down the corridor, Arnie and Curley are waiting outside elevator number two. Beyond them the cash room door clangs open and three cash room guards step briskly out with drawn guns, two with long-barrelled police special .38's, the third with a riot gun. Bert enters the corridor from the lower bank floor to the left, a wizened little man in workman’s clothes, with a paper bag full of toys, a cherub smile, he shuffles toward elevator number two.
The three armed guards block the corridor just above elevator number three, guns covering the corridor. Behind them the operator steps across and opens the cash room door wider, and he and a fourth guard trundle out the two dollies, on them the six large, gray cash bags. It all looks quite secure.
In front of elevator number two, Curley suddenly steps back a foot, bumping into Bert, who promptly drops the paper bag of toys, including several large red and blue plastic balls which roll down the corridor past the guards. BERT: Oh! CURLEY: I’m sorry! Bert stoops to retrieve the paper bag and nearby toys. Curley steps forward after the balls, and stops, pointing at them apologetically. One guard turns. The second is rattled. The third shakes his head “no.” A puff of blue smoke from one of the plastic balls! Then a second! The guards have turned!
Curley and Arnie whip black Colt Cobra .38's with square grips and silencers out of their coats and charge forward against the guards! ARNIE: DROP THE GUNS! ON THE FLOOR! ALL THREE OF YOU! The incredulous, furious guards obey. GUARD: You crazy bas— ARNIE: Grab your ankles! Down on your knees! Curley gives his gun to Arnie and rushes to collect the three guard guns, a fourth from the fourth guard, and drop them on the dollies. Bert whips out picture wire, and swiftly ties one guard, then a second, then the third, as Curley ties the fourth.
Danny is outside the guard booth just inside the entrance. He looks down the corridor at Arnie. DANNY: (to the Booth Guard) Good heavens, look at that! Danny looks at the Booth Guard. Startled, the guard leans forward, cranes his head to see, then backs up sharply as Danny forces him to the side of the booth with a black Colt Cobra .38 with silencer. BOOTH GUARD: (frantic) Oh, no! DANNY: Oh, yes, and hurry! He shoves Booth Guard sideways out of the booth, then down the corridor. Booth Guard stumbles ahead.
Booth Guard, stumbling down toward Arnie, passes Bert and Curley rushing up the corridor toward the entrance with the dollies and cash bags. Arnie back pedals, swiftly, with both guns covering the bound guards, the elevator operator, and Booth Guard coming down. He stops across from elevator number two and elevator number one. Booth Guard flattens against the wall. Elevator number two opens. Three men start out. Arnie levels his gun menacingly. ARNIE: BACK! They stumble back inside. ARNIE: (to the operator) Down on the floor and legs outside! You remember what to do! The operator obeys. Arnie is starting to sweat.
Out on the street, the tailgate is open. Bert and Curley stuff five bags in the rear, one in the back seat.
Curley slams the tailgate up. Ernie presses the switch closing the rear window; the wagon starts forward. Bert flees south toward Franklin Street. Curley crosses Devonshire Street, his feet silent on the asphalt, above him the bank bridge projecting eerily across.
Arnie backs up toward the street door, Danny behind him, covering him. ARNIE: All right, this will be gas this time, so keep your faces down! He throws a red smoke bomb. Danny exits. Arnie throws a second red smoke bomb. A bank alarm goes off! Arnie flees. The bodies squirm in the smoke.
Ernie, in the wagon, turns into Congress Street from the alley behind the High Street garage. He crosses High Street, turns right on the green arrow, down the ramp to the Expressway. Out of the South Station tunnel, the wagon accelerates onto the Turnpike. Below the Prudential. Past Cadillac-Olds on the left. The river on the right. The Allston toll. Then Newton, quiet, residential. The school looms on the right. Slowly, Ernie drives into the yard, around the building, and to a gentle stop by the shed. The shed is deserted. Quietly, Ernie stows the six cash bags in the shed. He is nervous. He looks about. Then he gets back in the wagon. He picks out the solenoid wire and grounds it to the key hole. The car will not start. He grounds it again; it still will not start. Nervously, he pumps the accelerator. The car still will not start. He checks the jump wires. One is loose. He tightens it with pliers from his pocket. He puts the pliers away, and tries again. The wagon starts. Ernie sighs. The wagon starts to roll.
You see the wagon through binoculars, first close, then far away. Eddy and Vicky are in a car with two other men, on the street beyond the far side of the yard, Eddy in front, Vicky in the back.
EDDY: (quietly, into the dashboard transmitter) Drop is completed. Pulling out. Let him go. (to Vicky, muttering) Now what? VICKY: Now we wait till he picks it up. EDDY: Yes, Miss Double-double-cross... Crown hasn’t been seen since half past one, you’re sure he’ll come? VICKY: I’m sure. Silence, tension. EDDY: (grudging respect) I hand it to him. It’s hard to believe. VICKY: He’s good. He’s quite a boy. More silence. Tension grows. EDDY: (suspiciously) You’re sure you told me everything... VICKY: (sharply) Don’t be stupid, the money’s there. Eddy starts to say something, but stops. He shakes his head. He studies the sand shed through the binoculars. A tic in Vicky’s cheek. Eddy checks his watch. VOICE ON POLICE CAR RADIO: Car coming... I’ll be damned, a black Rolls Royce!... One man, in the front. Eddy licks his lips. He looks at Vicky for a moment or two. EDDY: (into the transmitter) Okay... move in. The driver starts the engine.
Aerial view of the schoolyard. The Rolls Royce enters. Down the street, far behind it, two black cars approach. There are two other entrances to the schoolyard. Two cars approach one of the entrances. One car enters the other entrance, a second moves in behind, blocking it off. The Rolls rolls steadily past the side of the school, into the yard at the rear. As it turns behind the building, the two cars following enter the schoolyard, blocking that escape. The Rolls rolls gently to a stop by the shed. Three other cars approach. The other three turn sideways, blocking off the three entrances to the yard; policemen step out of these three cars.
You approach the Rolls and shed from inside Eddy and Vicky’s car. Through the windshield you watch as you come closer. Eddy is in front with the driver, his gun is drawn.
Vicky, in back, clears her throat. VICKY: I’ll go with you. EDDY: Suit yourself.
Their car pulls up right behind the Rolls cutting off the rear. Eddy and Vicky step out and approach. The other two cars flank each side. Police pour out, surrounding the Rolls, and some of them enter the shed. Eddy and Vicky approach the Rolls driver door. Vicky manages a smile. She pulls open the door. VICKY: Some Viking fu--! She gasps. It is a Western Union messenger. MESSENGER: (smiling agreeably) Miss Vicky Burns? A telegram, sign here if you please. He holds the receipt tray and envelope out to her. Numbly Vicky takes them. EDDY: (to the messenger) Where’d you get the car? MESSENGER: Mr. Crown left it, it goes with the telegram, I hope there’s nothing wrong? EDDY: No... He struggles to regain a straight face. He looks at the sand shed. A policeman comes out and nods his head. POLICEMAN: Looks like it. EDDY: It’ll all be there. Lips twitching, he watches Vicky open the envelope. Vicky reads the telegram, her face ashen. It reads: LEFT EARLY FOR RIO PLEASE COME WITH THE MONEY OR FORGET IT AND YOU KEEP THE CAR LOVE TOMMY A pause. VICKY: He’s had a couple of hours. Eddy looks at her face, then turns and starts back to his car. EDDY: I’ll give it a whirl. For what it’s worth. VICKY: Not much. Eddy enters the car, sits in the driver seat with the door open, starts the engine, and picks up the transmitter. As he starts to talk, he beckons the Western Union messenger who turns, leaves the keys in the Rolls ignition, then trots over and enters the back seat of Eddy’s car.
Vicky looks up in the sky.
Once again, an aerial view. The cash bags are loaded in one of the cars. All six police cars move away from the school. Vicky stands alone with the Rolls.
In an airplane, by the window, a young man with black hair and a crew cut is sleeping contentedly. It is Crown. One eye half opens, glints, the corner crinkles in a smile. The eye closes. Crown stretches, luxuriously, and turns on his side toward the window. He goes back to sleep. It is a happy face, a youthful face, a face without any lines.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.