EXT. REDDINGTON ROAD, HAMPSTEAD. LONDON. LATE AFTERNOON.
FADE IN... THE PURR OF A CAR ENGINE, idling. WINTER TWILIGHT.
HEAVY RAIN... A leafy avenue bordered with somber mansions...
A HAND FLICKS a cigarette out the car’s window... It flies through
HITS THE WET TARMAC WITH A SPRAY OF SPARKS.
IN AND HOLD ON XAVIER LOMBARD, at the wheel of a TRIUMPH 2000.
Late 30s, dark, short hair, stony-faced, in a conservative dark
suit and white shirt - collar button undone... Through the open
window his eyes survey...
BEYOND OPEN GATES FLANKED WITH A SECURITY CAMERA: the lit- up
facade of a white mansion fronted by a gravel drive; parked there:
A BLUE ASTON MARTIN, TWO FERRARIS AND A DAIMLER...
INT. TRIUMPH. LATE AFTERNOON.
IN ON Lombard as he glances at... The passenger seat: A SCRIBBLED
NOTE beside an OPEN PACK OF PLAIN GITANES and A SPORTS BAG:
“Spitz, 46 Reddington Road, NW6... 5pm...”
HIS WATCH (leather strap, flat with hands): 17:07...
Lombard swallows without parting his lips...
QUICK SEQUENCE... His left foot (FINE BLACK LEATHER SHOE) pushing
the clutch pedal; His left hand (GOLD WEDDING BAND) shifting the
car into gear; His right hand spinning the wheel (SILVER
CUFFLINKS); His right foot pushing the rev pedal...
EXT. DE MORAES DRIVEWAY. LATE AFTERNOON.
The Triumph wheel crunches to a stop on the gravel next to the
Aston Martin’s polished spoked wheel...
INT. TRIUMPH. LATE AFTERNOON.
Eyeing up the Aston Martin, Lombard turns his engine off, starts
winding up his window and catches sight of...
A UNIFORMED BUTLER under a huge umbrella heading his way...
EXT. DE MORAES’ DRIVEWAY. LATE AFTERNOON.
The butler - stiff, sour, middle-aged - opens the Triumph door.
Mister Xavier Lombard?
Lombard eyes him coldly, then, unfastening his seatbelt:
Will you please come with me?
That might depend on where you’re going.
I am Lawrence, sir. Mr and Mrs De Moraes’
majordomo. They are expecting you.
(a beat; he looks him up and down)
De Moraes? I was asked here by a Mrs
That would be Mrs De Moraes mother, Sir.
Mr and Mrs Spitz are here with their
Lombard eyes him a while longer, pockets his Gitanes and steps out
the car under the butler’s umbrella... The butler shuts the door.
INT. DE MORAES’ MANSION, HALLWAY. LATE AFTERNOON.
Footsteps echoing... Grand white marble floor, broad staircase,
modern art... Lombard peers around, following close behind the
butler who heads for...
Huge double doors; The butler opens them, stands aside, announces:
INT. DE MORAES’ DRAWING ROOM. LATE AFTERNOON.
Lombard steps in past the butler - who backs out, closing the
doors - and stops... taking in...
A BLACK AND WHITE NIGHTMARE of modern Italian interior decorating:
lots of marble, chrome, glass, steel and leather; more modern art.
An old couple, THE SPITZES, sit side by side at a glass table,
strangely upright, she dark, intense, her hands on a large
envelope, he morose and bespectacled, with a coffee mug and half-
eaten DOUGHNUT... DEBORAH (stunning, in a crimson tweed suit, its
jacket low cut, baring her cleavage and pearl necklace) stands
behind them, arms crossed, a cigarette between her fingers... And,
deep in the room by a blazing fire, CARLOS (dark, handsome, Latin
manhood in all its carnal glory) and MR BANI (50s, very Italian)
sit in armchairs studying huge technical diagrams and EYEING
LOMBARD ABSENT-MINDEDLY. Mrs Spitz motions to the chair of twisted
metal opposite her, saying, in a strong, rasping GERMAN ACCENT:
You are late, Mr Lombard. I very much hope
you are better at your job than at keeping
time. Anyway, come and sit down.
Lombard peers at her; a flicker of irritation behind his eyes...
Good afternoon, Mrs...?
Spitz. We spoke on the telephone.
(perfunctorily introducing the others)
(Mr Spitz nods at Lombard)
My daughter, Deborah, whose house this is.
(Deborah just looks back at him)
My son-in-law, Carlos...
(he shows a few white teeth)
The gentleman is a business partner of
(Mr Bani looks blankly at Lombard)
Now are you going to sit down or is it your intention to remain
standing, Mr Lombard?
Come, come, give the man time to probe,
Mummy. Don’t you know private detectives
like to appraise people?
(looking Lombard up and down)
Aren’t I right, Mr Lombard?
IN ON Lombard; a frown... He APPRAISES Deborah... rests his gaze
on her cleavage... SMILES... glances towards... Carlos and Mr Bani
have begun to whisper IN ITALIAN over their diagrams (THEIR KEEN
WHISPERED CHAT WILL GO ON THROUGHOUT THE SCENE)... turns back to
Deborah, sends her a charming smile and starts for the table...
The pleasure is mine, Mrs De Moraes.
Deborah purses her lips, takes a drag of her cigarette and sneers
as... Lombard sits, grimaces, twists to inspect his chair’s
tortuous back, turns back to the Spitzes and, now appreciating why
they sit so stiffly, grins, pushes his chair back, settles on its
edge and reaches for his Gitanes...
(she waves a hand: ‘If you must’)
May I ask if you are Jewish, Mr Lombard?
IN ON Lombard; a fed-up frown as he lights his cigarette...
Lombard, this is not a Jewish name, is it?
(pocketing his Gitanes, with a SMILE)
I hope it’s not too significant.
What if it is?
Well, I would have to point out that we
could have dealt with that question when
you called this morning, Mrs Spitz. I
wouldn’t like to think I’d kept you
waiting for nothing.
IN ON Mrs Spitz... Displeasure darkens her eyes... She appraises
Whatever, you come recommended. We...
Must I speak to you in French?
Didn’t you say I came recommended?
(off her look: ‘Yes’)
That’s what I thought. May I know by whom?
You may not. And besides, it is
(after a beat, deciding to yield)
Good. Now, as I trust you may have
guessed, we are looking for someone to
work for us. Someone whose discretion can
be relied upon. Someone who while in our
employ would give us full commitment. Do
you think you could be that person, Mr
(he peers at her, then at his
Look Mrs Spitz... I don’t know to whom I’m
indebted for the recommendation but... I’m
not in the business of making oaths of
allegiance or giving myself character
references. What I do is listen to what
the people who care to call me have to say
and judge whether or not I can be of help.
I hope you can appreciate that, Mrs Spitz.
What I can appreciate is insolence, Mr
Lombard scowls, turns to... Mr Spitz, eyes fixed on his cup, says
a few words in YIDDISH... his hand squeezing his wife’s arm, a
gesture firm but appeasing.
Would you like a doughnut, Mr Lombard?
Lombard looks up... IN ON Deborah; a provocative smile, gleeful
Lombard stands, leans across the table, stamps out his cigarette
in her ashtray.
Don’t disturb the butler. I remember the
(softly; MILD GERMAN ACCENT)
Sit down, please, Mr Lombard. Sit down...
Lombard turns to Mr Spitz... uneasy eyes in a patchwork of deep
Please, forgive us. We did not mean to
offend you. It’s just that...
Let him go, Daddy. This is pointless
anyway. Wonder boy’s soon enough going to
run out of cash and stagger back to the
Shut up, Deborah!
UNEASY SILENCE. Deborah sighs, sneers, stamps out her cigarette.
We were hoping to ask you to look for our
son, Mr Lombard. He...
(off Lombard’s look)
He has been missing for three weeks now.
We are worried he might be in trouble...
Oh, come on! If you must go ahead with
this you might as well get to the point.
As for you, if you’re determined to stay
and hear about my dear brother’s riveting
personality, you might as well sit down
again. Boredom is easier handled that way.
And by the way, before you ask, the boy
Leon is 31 years old.
SILENCE AGAIN. Mrs Spitz glares at Deborah, who lights a new
cigarette... Mr Spitz fixes his pained eyes on his clasped
Lombard decides to sit down, saying helpfully to the Spitzes:
I take it your son is called Leon?
Leonard. What my daughter is on about, Mr
Lombard, is that Leonard is somewhat of a
Bohemian. You might as well know that...
For Bohemian read ex-university drop-out
and ex-failed rock star recently turned
Artist Photographer. Oh yes, and a most
likely relapsing ex-heroin addict.
We do not know that for certain, Deborah!
I said ‘likely’, Mummy.
(to Lombard, irritated)
Leonard is a good boy, but sadly he likes
bad company and is susceptible... Two
years ago we sent him to a... a
detoxification clinic. It has had the
desired effect. He has since been very
content living in the apartment I bought
him here in London and, until three weeks
ago, he called every fortnight to our home
Money doesn’t grow on trees...
(to Lombard, with irate defensiveness)
Leonard is now devoting his time to
photography. It is good for him. My
husband and I have chosen to support him
in this. He also works, though. In a
(quickly, preempting Deborah)
He washes the dishes. Three evenings a
week he washes the dishes.
TENSE SILENCE; Lombard surveys the opulent room, comes across...
A FRAMED PHOTOGRAPH: Carlos, triumphant in racing driver’s
overalls, on a podium - Magnum of Champagne in one hand, garland
around his neck...
What do you think has happened to your
son, Mrs Spitz?
You wouldn’t be here if I knew, Mr
Lombard. What I do know is that he has not
been at work for three weeks. That
enquiries to the police and London
hospitals have borne no results. And that
a check with his bank revealed he has not
used his account for four weeks now.
How did you do that, Mrs Spitz?
Do what, Mr Lombard?
Check with your son’s bank. Banks don’t
usually give out information about their
I said earlier that my husband and I are
supporting Leonard in his photography, Mr
Lombard. By this I mean that since his
return from America I have been depositing
for him a monthly allowance in an account
we jointly hold. So as you see, I did not
have to break the law to find out if he
used the account.
I didn’t mean to imply you did, Mrs Spitz.
Then you should not have sought an
(after a beat, grinning)
I presume you checked your son’s
Yesterday. It all looked normal.
Did you look for his passport, driving
Leonard does not hold a driving licence.
As for his passport, I do not know where
he keeps it.
So he could have decided to go on a
He could indeed, Mr Lombard. But had he
done so I think he would have let us know
Then why aren’t you asking the police to
look for your son, Mrs Spitz?
At last! A pertinent question. Come on,
Mummy: answer the detective.
(looking up sadly into Lombard’s eyes)
Leonard used to disappear like this before
his treatment, Mr Lombard. Whether he has
reverted to his former habit is something
we would rather not find out through the
police. I’m sure you can understand...
(with a scolding glance at her
I am categorical Leonard has had no
interest in drugs since he came back from
The Spitzes eye each other somberly...
Now you know why you’re here, Mr Lombard.
(enjoying herself now)
It might be difficult for someone like you
to discern, but we are people of a certain
Appearances can be deceptive, Mrs De
That depends what you’re looking at.
IN ON Deborah; cold defiance in her eyes... IN ON Lombard; a cruel
flicker in his... He softens, smiles, asks, only slowly moving his
eyes away from hers...
I take it your son is not married, Mrs
No. And before you ask, no, he’s not gay!
He has had girlfriends, but nothing
The proprietor of his workplace is the
only friend of his we know about.
(she slaps the envelope on the table)
His address is in this envelope with
Leonard’s address, keys and other things
you might need.
(she glances impatiently at her watch)
I’m sure... As far as you know, when and
where was your son last seen?
When... I’m told he came here...
Three weeks ago. To borrow money. I wasn’t
here but he got to my husband, sold him
some fancy story about an exhibition of
his work and needing money to get new
prints made. Carlos handed over £1,000 to
get rid of him.
And that is the last time any...
Well, Leon does not need money for prints,
Mr Lombard. Does his own printing.
Wouldn’t want anyone to interfere with his
(after a beat, perversely)
Which, as he subsequently vanished, raises
the question: what was the money for?
Perish the thought.
IN ON Mrs Spitz - this has hit home; she scowls at the envelope
under her fingers... slides it across the table towards Lombard...
The £1,000 is on account.
(he peers at the envelope, then off
We are aware of your rates, Mr Lombard. We
will pay you double your rates plus
expenses. In return, need I say it again,
we expect discretion and undivided
(a long beat; then, grinning)
Why do you think your son chose not to
come to you for funds for his photography,
Ha... No, Mr Lombard. His monthly
allowance is all he is to expect from us.
He knows it and we feel the amount is more
Lombard nods... thinks... reaches for the envelope and stands...
My husband and I will be leaving tomorrow
for a short stay in Israel. Deborah will
be here if you need anything before our
Fine. One more thing, Mrs and Mr Spitz;
may I ask what is or was your occupation?
We make and sell shoes and leather
Lombard peers briefly at him, nods, then turns to Deborah:
What about you, Mrs De Moraes?
(taken aback, after a beat...)
I have too much money to work, Mr Lombard.
Is that why your brother braved coming
here to ask you for a loan?
(she eyeballs him, then, calmly:)
Perhaps it wasn’t so brave of him. Had I
been here I just might have given him his
money, Mr Lombard. One can reap rewards
from the strangest of conduct, as someone
in your line of work ought to know.
(he grins, nods, turns to Carlos,
Was it cash, Mr De Moraes?
(Carlos looks back, baffled)
The £1,000. You gave it to him in cash?
(SUAVE BRAZILIAN ACCENT)
Oh. Leon. Yes. We’ve always got cash in...
We always keep money in the house.
De Moraes. That’s a Brazilian name, no?
(flashing white teeth)
That’s right. Do you know Brazil?
No. Do you work, Mr De Moraes?
Work? Oh yes. I race motorcars, you
(waving towards the diagrams)
That is what this is all about, ha ha...
IN ON Lombard... A polite smile.
EXT. FOOTBALL PITCH, MARKET ROAD. EARLY EVENING.
POURING RAIN on a floodlit pitch. A match is in progress, a LOCAL-
SHOPKEEPERS-KEEP-FIT kind of affair; men of all shapes, ages and
races run, puff and yell in disparate shirts divided into YELLOWS
The ball is kicked into the air... drops to... Lombard (LIVERPOOL
SHIRT) kills its fall on his chest, proceeds upfield... past one
YELLOW PLAYER... another... goes for a third, slips and falls...
“FOUL!” screams someone... Lombard picks himself up, grins at...
A player with a crew cut: MARK OAK.
EXT. UPPER STREET, NORTH LONDON. EARLY EVENING.
MORE RAIN. CARS CRAWL in the halos of their headlights, crowds
scurry along the pavements, between the cars...
IN ON A GOOD-LOOKING BRUNETTE, a striking figure, umbrella held
high; she saunters around the front of...
LOMBARD’S TRIUMPH, at the kerb, engine idling... Through swishing
wipers, Lombard, in tracksuit top, watches her impassively, a
cigarette between his lips... His passenger door is open, a man,
Mark Oak, in a raincoat, is leaning into the car, eyes greedily
following the brunette as he talks (HIS DIALOGUE COVERING ALL THE
MARK OAK (ON/OFF SCREEN)
‘So what’s your problem?’ I says; ‘I mean,
if she’s beautiful and great in bed,
huh?!’ ‘Well, she’s kind of psychic,’ he
says; ‘You know - precognitive.’ ‘Well,
if she’s a good fuck,’ I says, ‘who cares,
huh?’ ‘That’s just it,’ he says; ‘Whenever
we’re at it, she keeps yelling “Anthony!
Anthony!”’ The guy’s called Steve, right?
‘Sorry?’ I says. And you know what the
poor bloke says? He says: ‘She says she
can’t help it. She’s got to yell the name
of the next bloke she’s gonna lay.’
Honest to God, ha-ha...
INT. TRIUMPH. EARLY EVENING.
IN ON Lombard; a polite smile... then a frown as he sees...
Arriving beside Mark Oak: JANE (young, bubbly, shamelessly
flirtatious, in a puffa jacket) panting but beaming through her
drooping wet blond hair...
Oh Dear! Here’s my other tenant...
(keeping her eyes on Lombard)
Hello, Mr Oak. Hi, Savieer. You’re going
(before Lombard can speak, gesturing
He is. If you would, mademoiselle.
Jane sends Lombard a searching glance... He nods... She beams,
gets in, noticing... Lombard’s eyes on her hands holding something
under her jacket...
Fish and chips. Keeping it warm.
(leaning in again, winking at Lombard)
Better rush. Just saw a brunette going my
(sniffing the air above Jane)
Ah, the smell of warm, moist fish... Too
He grins at Jane and shuts the door. Jane watches him walk away
with a disgusted look on her face, then, as Lombard pulls away,
Hello again, neighbour. I didn’t intrude,
How are you, Jane?
Fine. How was the match? Did you loose?
Must be your lucky day then. I’ve got your
accounts - you don’t owe much tax for last
Yes. But my boss reckons you’d still be
better off as a limited company. For
expenses and all that, you know? It’d cost
you about £100 but he said it’d be worth
(off Lombard’s silence)
Of course, you’d need a partner to
register. But that’s a formality. I mean,
I could be your partner. I mean, just as a
Lombard grins; this is all too familiar... He pulls into quiet
ESSEX ROAD, revs-up... Jane gazes pensively at his hand on the
gear stick, looks away...
Have you heard of a French film called “La
“La collectionoose”. It’s about a young
girl in the south of France who seduces a
different man every night and then meets
one who resists her. It’s on TV tonight
and as I’m in I thought we could perhaps
look at your accounts and... The review
says it’s about the conflict between
intellect and instinct. And witty. The
director’s supposed to be famous. Rommel
or something. French. You must know him?
I don’t know. How many famous French film
directors can there be?
That are called Rommel or something, I
guess not that many.
(he pulls up at the kerb)
So you haven’t seen the film, then?
It’s Friday night, Jane. What happened to
your latest boyfriend?
Oh... We split up.
(switching his engine off)
Well, I hope you’re not too heartbroken
Oh no. I’m all right. He was a jerk,
really. Another boy, you know? All I meet
is boys. When I think of all the fuss
about older men fancying young girls. I
mean, is it true?
Lombard shakes his head, picks up his sportsbag and gets out...
Your fish and chips must be getting cold,
EXT. ESSEX ROAD. EVENING.
Jane gets out INTO THE RAIN, asking across the Triumph roof:
No. Seriously. I mean, what about you,
Savieer? Do you think older men like
He peers at her... Mild despair... He flicks his Gitane away,
locks his door...
What about Mr Oak, Jane?
(looking up, off her puzzled look:)
He might even give you a rent rebate.
IN ON Jane; she understands... A stung young animal... she glares
and... storms off to a door beside the screened shop front of a
building... IN ON Lombard; a touched smile as he watches her
struggle angrily with her keys...
I’ve got work tonight, Jane.
(too hurt and angry for cleverness)
Oh yeah! Better be good and hurry away
then! Who knows? We might be being
watched! Maybe one of your stupid French
companies has got a detective prying into
your life - after all, that’s what they do
to their employees, isn’t it? Huh! Hope
you enjoy ruining people’s lives. Thanks
for the lift!
She goes in, slams the door... Standing in the rain, Lombard peers
coldly at the door then... makes for it, puts his key in the
lock... As he struggles with the lock we see.. A sign above the
shop: M. OAK & SONS, FAMILY BUTCHER.
INT. LOMBARD’S OFFICE, LOMBARD’S FLAT. EVENING.
SILENCE BUT FOR SOME SOFT SHUFFLING MOVEMENTS... The room is BARE
- four chairs, a desk with computer, telephone and answering
machine and TWO GOLDFISH in a large aquarium.
IN ON the desk; on and around MRS SPITZ’S ENVELOPE: a wad of £50
notes, a set of Yale keys, an A4 sheet with, in neat handwriting:
Deborah’s phone number... the Spitzes Scottish number... and:
-“Leonard’s Address: 14b, Drake Avenue, NW2. (top floor)”
-“Philip Smith (Leonard’s Employer): The Four Seasons, Holmes
Road, NW5. Tel: 0171...”
INT. LOMBARD’S BEDROOM, LOMBARD’S FLAT. EVENING.
DIFFUSED LIGHTING. In front of a mirror, Lombard finishes dressing
in a clean suit, fastening his cufflinks... WE MOVE ON TO...
LOMBARD’s football kit strewn on a chair... A TV set on a stool...
An open wardrobe... A roughly made bed with a dry-cleaner’s
wrapper and a dark suit jacket on it... A half-full ashtray and
Gitanes pack on the bedside-table...
EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET, NORTH LONDON. EVENING.
RAIN. In a raincoat, smoking, Lombard leans against his Triumph,
Across the street: A MODERN APARTMENT COMPLEX... He flicks his
INT. LEON SPITZ’ APARTMENT. EVENING.
SILENCE. Lombard stands in the doorway, against the lit
corridor... IN ON his gold-banded hand feeling the wall, finding
the lightswitch... LIGHT! He is looking into a HALLWAY. He goes
in, shuts the door and steps into...
THE LIVING ROOM (spacious, all mod-cons, noticeably CLEAN AND
TIDY). Lombard surveys the room, eyes scanning the walls hung
Large BLACK & WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS: A naked girl in a coffin as if
dead ; A scantily clad girl in contorted pose with blood and
wounds (after-rape scene?) ; A girl pierced with arrows (fallen
angel?) ; A girl in nightgown impaled on railings (broken
innocence?) ; A girl in a foggy landscape, dressed as death, with
scythe and all, mouth wide in a scream - an explanatory caption
here: “DOES DEATH FEAR DEATH?”.
Lombard shakes his head, proceeds around the room, past...
Bookshelves... A few spines... many books about the holocaust.
Tape and CD collection - Bob Dylan, The Doors, Nirvana...
Video shelf... old B&W thrillers, ‘noir’ titles like ‘DOA’, ‘The
Big Heat’ etc... A Disney tape: ‘Sleeping Beauty’... LOMBARD
RAISES AN EYEBROW...
Now he rifles through a pile of magazines... ‘Time Out’, ‘Sight &
Sound’... a book of photographs by Bill Brandt...
He glances at the FLASHING LIGHT of an Answerphone and goes out
THE KITCHEN (tidy, but for a dirty bowl and spoon by the sink).
He lifts the dustbin lid, looks inside...
Empty cereal box, milk carton, Ravioli cans...
THE BEDROOM (Spartan, a double bed, messed up on one side only).
Lombard scans the room from the doorway, moves to...
The bedside table... A box of tissues, an open book, cover facing
up: “OCCULT BONDAGE AND DELIVERANCE”...
Lombard opens the drawer... a COLOUR PHOTO in a perspex stand...
He reaches for it... A COUPLE arm in arm by a mountain stream -
she, good- looking, blond, late 20s, jeans, country type; he,
early 30s, thin, with long black curly hair, roughly dressed.
He replaces the snapshot, moves to... A chest of drawers; he pulls
open the top drawer, glances in...
THE BATHROOM (bare except for a bar of soap, toothbrush,
toothpaste, shampoo, towel, pack of disposable razors and can of
Lombard opens a medicine cabinet; box of Q-tips, aspirins...
Looks into the small dustbin; a twisted toothpaste tube...
Gazes at the toothpaste tube on the sink... half used, lid on...
A DARKROOM (wealth of equipment, hanging negs, dry developing
trays; piles of contact sheets and prints). Lombard leafs through
some prints... More girls in macabre poses... Checks the
enlarger’s neg carrier... empty... Leafs through a pile of contact
sheets... shots of London scenes: market crowds, STROLLERS IN
Leaving the room he distractedly glances at... A wall-mounted
phone, NUMBERS SCRAWLED ON THE WALL around it.
BACK IN THE SITTING ROOM.
A DESK DRAWER... Lombard leafs through a pile of papers... Leon’s
last bank statement:... in credit by around £20... Access card
statement: credit limit £1,000. Leon owes £997,50... Bills...
Another drawer... among personal effects - silver lighter, cheap
watch, Donald Duck keyring, pens - an ADDRESS BOOK and a BRITISH
Lombard flips through the address book: mostly blank pages...
Opens the passport: the same man as in the colour photo; eyes dark
and haunted, long black hair plastered to his skull, mouth tightly
NAME: LEONARD JOZEF SPITZ...
Lombard glances out the dark window to the streetlamps below,
pockets the address book, replaces the passport, shuts the drawer,
PUSHES THE ANSWERING MACHINE PLAY BUTTON and moves back to...
THE BEDROOM... Lombard returns to the bedside cabinet, retrieves
the colour photo and removes it from its perspex stand...
MAN: Yeah. Phil here, man. What the fuck
you doing, eh? It’s 8:30, the place is
full and I’m doing the bloody washing-up.
Get your arse over here, got it - beep.
PHIL: Thanks for shit, Leon. You better
have a good reason for this when I see
your face tomorrow - beep.
GIRL WITH A WELSH ACCENT: Hi Leon... It’s
me. I’ll call again... - beep.
MRS SPITZ: Leonard, this is your mother.
Call me when you get home, all right -
PHIL: What the fuck are you playing at,
you bastard. If I don’t see your arse here
in the next hour you’re through,
understood? - beep...
WELSH GIRL: Leon? (long pause) Are you
there? (long pause)... - beep.
PHIL: Son of a... - beep.
MRS SPITZ: Leonard! It is Tuesday now.
What is happening? I have been calling
your work and they tell me you have not
been there. I am in London next week and I
hope to hear from you before then - beep.
WELSH GIRL: I, er, I tried to reach you at
work but Phil said you’d left... I hope
you - I hope everything’s all right...
-Long beep. Rewind.
Thoughtful, Lombard pockets the photo and checks his watch....
INT. THE FOUR SEASONS RESTAURANT. EVENING.
Small, seedy, ‘cool’ place. LOUD ROCK MUSIC. A foursome talking
animatedly; couples eating quietly; a gay couple; a lone WAITRESS
moving between the tables, some empty. WE FIND...
Lombard, out of place, waits for attention just inside the door,
COLD EYES ASSESSING... By the kitchen door behind the bar: PHIL
(pony-tailed) chats with a young CHEF (messy uniform, smoking,
rocking to the music). BOTH ARE CLEARLY HIGH ON DOPE.
Evening. Table for one?
(charming, milking his French accent)
No. Thank you. Could you tell me if Leon
Spitz is here, please?
(she eyes him up and down, surprised)
Leon? No. I’m afraid he left.
Left? When? I just come from his place and
there was no one there. A neighbour of
No. I meant he left as in no longer works
(he affects a worried frown)
Oh. This is... We’d arranged to meet
tonight and I’m due to return to Paris
Yes. You wouldn’t know where I could reach
him? We had to discuss an exhibition of
his photographs at my Paris gallery, you
see? I really need to see him before I
After a beat, she shrugs, gestures for him to wait...
She makes for the bar where she speaks to Phil who eyeballs
Lombard over her shoulder before striding across the room... He
stops in front of Lombard, hands in pockets, with a pissed-off
Welcome to the club.
I hear you’re looking for Leon. That
makes me, his old-lady, and now you,
looking for the little bastard. Leon’s
gone, man. Vanished. You interested in his
No shit... Well, I’m afraid I can’t help
I take it you don’t know where he is,
Huh! You could always try Suicide Bridge.
(off Lombard’s puzzled look)
You don’t know Leon, do you?
I know his work better than I know him.
Let me put it this way then; the
photographs and the man? One and the same,
man, one and the same. At best fucking
weird, at worst fucked-up fucking weird.
Maybe you should think yourself lucky.
Some folks just ain’t worth getting
involved with. And Leon sure is one of
What about his girlfriend?
What about which girlfriend?
(describing the girl from the photo)
Small, blond, good-looking. She was with
him when we met. She had a funny English
Oh. That’d be Rhian, a Welsh chick he used
to lay at weekends. She got wise and
dumped him months ago...
Would you know where I might reach her?
Yeah! Somewhere in Wales. I don’t really
know her. Used to turn up in a Transit van
on weekends, sell old furniture at Camden.
That’s how come he only laid her at
weekends, ha ha...
Could that be Camden Market?
Yeah. Why? You’re going to look for her...
Shit! You really think his pictures
are that good?
(his cold eyes focused on Phil)
Fucked-up fucking weird.
IN ON Phil; a confounded frown... Should he laugh?
EXT. OUTSIDE THE FOUR SEASONS. NIGHT.
RAIN. Under a streetlamp, Lombard leafs through... LEON’S
ADDRESS BOOK: ‘R’ page... It is blank... He frowns, pockets the
book, turns to...
EXT. CAMDEN MARKET. DAY.
A GREY DAY. A CACOPHONY OF 60S AND 70S TRACKS AS WE SEE... A slow
moving sea of trendiness drifts between the market stalls... WE
SEQUENCE of Lombard searching the faces of ‘antiques’ stall-
holders through the market... Now peering at A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN...
Glaring at a group of impeccable YOUNG PUNKS, as if preserved from
the 70’s, but French; their voices drift across: ‘Hey, c’est cool
ça, non?’... Looking over an AGEING WOMAN in fishnet tights
swaying to a Bob Dylan song... Walking calmly on as people hurry
from the RETURNING RAIN... and on until, drenched and weary, he
stops to light a cigarette near...
A GUY with a plastic hood hops up and down behind his sorry
display of wet cigarette lighters on a box. A sodden handwritten
sign reads: ‘5 LIGHTERS £1’
(eyeing the sign, without malice)
Is there really a living in this?
The young guy looks back at him, vexed, looks away...
Blowing the smoke from his cigarette, Lombard eyes him, confused,
then turns away to... A TRAMP rummaging through a bin...
INT. LEON’S FLAT, SITTING ROOM. DAY.
Lombard is listening to the messages again...
MRS SPITZ: ... in London next week and I
hope to hear from you before then - beep.
WELSH GIRL: I, er, I tried to reach you at
work but Phil said you’d left... I hope
you - I hope everything’s all right - long
Lombard picks up the receiver, is about to dial, changes his mind,
presses the LAST RECALL BUTTON. A few rings... No answer. He
PHONE COMPUTERIZED VOICE
Call box number 01766 770 471 called on
Thursday the 9th of Novem...
He hangs up, peers out the window... a flicker of thought...
INT. LEON’S DARKROOM. DAY.
A RINGING TONE. Lombard is on the wall-mounted phone, waiting, his
eyes on... THE NUMBERS SCRAWLED ON THE WALL: Amongst a few London
numbers, several six digit numbers, WITH THE CODE 01766...
No answer. He redials... After a few rings a little girl’s voice:
LITTLE GIRL #1 (OS)
Hello. Who is this?
(A giggle... whispers... several girls
giggling; Lombard frowns...)
Hello? Can I speak to your mother?
LITTLE GIRL #1 (OS)
You have reached the wrong number... This
is the speaking sheep. At the third baa it
will be time to have a pee - baa, baa,
(roars of girlish laughter)
LITTLE GIRL #2 (OS)
(speaking very fast, laughing)
This is the speaking sheep. At the third
baa it will be time for a pooh - baa, baa,
(she laughs and hangs up)
IN ON Lombard staring at the handset, incensed; he dials again.
DIRECTORY ENQUIRIES OPERATOR (OS)
Directory enquiries. Can I help you?
Yes. I’m trying to reach a friend but I
can’t get through. The number is 01766 770
DIRECTORY ENQUIRIES OPERATOR (OS)
01766 770 471. Let me check it for you,
Waiting, Lombard takes out a pen, reaches for a CONTACT SHEET,
absent- mindedly scans it... STROLLERS IN A PARK... He flips it
DIRECTORY ENQUIRIES OPERATOR (OS)
There’s nothing wrong with the line, sir.
Are you sure you have the right number?
770 471 is the number of a call box.
A call box? That’s odd. Where exactly?
DIRECTORY ENQUIRIES OPERATOR (OS)
Penrhyndeudraeth, North Wales.
Can you tell me how you spell...
INT. STATIONARY TRIUMPH OUTSIDE LEON’S FLAT. DAY.
RAIN DRUMS ON THE CAR. Lombard scans a road map...
IN ON A ROAD MAP: up along the M1... onto the M6...blue lines
snaking... move to another page... M54... A5... And on until...
EXT. WELSH ROAD. AFTERNOON.
Rain: A road sign: ‘PENRHYNDEUDRAETH’... The Triumph speeds
EXT. PENRHYNDEUDRAETH, MAIN SQUARE. DAY.
His back to a red phone box, Lombard scrutinizes... The village
square: police station, Post Office, Pub, ‘Spar’ grocer.... It’s
quaint, quiet and dull.
INT. SPAR GROCER. DAY.
A couple of CUSTOMERS (country housewife types). Lombard is
talking to the GROCER (red-faced, lovable type)...
... She sold me a couple of chairs in
London and I’ve come to collect the
matching pair. Unfortunately, I seem to
have mislaid her address. She’s small,
blond, attractive. I think she drives a
(cutting in behind him; Welsh accent)
Rhian Gelli is the one he must be looking
EXT. SMALL COUNTRY ROAD. AFTERNOON.
The rain has stopped. No houses in sight. The Triumph crosses a
small bridge... pulls over by a cattle grid leading to A DIRT
TRACK along a river...
INT. TRIUMPH. Lombard checks a roughly drawn map on a paper
EXT. The TRIUMPH bounces through puddles along the TRACK...comes
A SMALL CLEARING; A battered blue TRANSIT VAN stands there, alone.
INT. TRIUMPH. Lombard parks by the Transit... lights a cigarette,
Up ahead, A FOOTPATH WINDS UP RIVER INTO THE WILDS...
EXT. FOOTPATH. AFTERNOON.
UNDER DRIPPING TREES, Lombard walks along the footpath...
EXT. RHIAN’S COTTAGE. AFTERNOON.
The bottom of a field with grazing sheep leading to a STONE
COTTAGE, smoke rising from its chimney. Out front RHIAN (in
gumboots) splits logs with an axe. An Asian boy, SHIVA, about 10,
and a blond girl, CARYS, about 6, play football near her.
Lombard stops, observes them... starts upfield...
IN ON the Asian boy; he spots Lombard, FREEZES WITH DEAD EYES.
IN ON the blond girl; she turns to Lombard; cries out to...
IN ON Rhian; she follows the girls gaze... DREAD IN HER EYES...
IN ON Lombard; he stops, frowns as...
Yelling in WELSH, Rhian herds the two children into the cottage...
Lombard peers at the empty field for a moment, flicks his
cigarette away and resumes walking... He stops again, STIFF.
Rhian is back, heading his way, holding a DOUBLE-BARREL SHOTGUN.
This is private property. The public
footpath is back to the left of the
(as she stops ten yards from him)
How are you, Rhian?
IN ON Rhian; something’s wrong... She dithers... RAISES THE
On-on the ground! Lie down on the ground!
Lombard scowls. She FIRES ABOVE HIS HEAD. He ducks... glares...
Lie down on the ground, I said!
Lombard reluctantly kneels down on the wet grass, hands up...
It’s wet. Will this do?
(a beat as she hesitates)
Where’s your wallet? Have you got a
Is this some kind of mugging? Because...
Shut up! Where’s your wallet?
In my jacket. Left inside pocket.
Reach for it and throw it to me. And... My
finger’s on the trigger, you hear!
Lombard groans, reaches for his wallet, tosses it to her... She
picks it up and, struggling to keep the shotgun on him, searches
A FRENCH DRIVING LICENCE, BUSINESS CARD... She frowns, reading:
“XAVIER LOMBARD, PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR...”
A private investigator... You’re not
Should I be?
(she tosses his wallet back)
What’s a French private investigator doing
(reaching for his wallet)
Can I get up now?
No! What do you want here? How do you know
As you know from speaking to Phil, your
friend Leon has disappeared, Rhian. His
family have hired me to find him.
...Leon’s not here. How did you get here?
Phil doesn’t know where I live.
Well, I obviously do. And I also know that
Leon’s not here, Rhian. But I thought that
you might know where I should look for
You thought wrong. I haven’t seen Leon for
Haven’t you? Then why the worried messages
on his answering machine, Rhian? I’d have
sworn you expect him to be in trouble.
You-you’re wrong. I just called to ask if
I could stay with him next time I’m in
London. That’s all.
Lombard peers at her. She looks away, uneasy... He pockets his
Well, since you have a gun, I’ll take your
word for it. Now, I’m going to stand up
and quietly return to my car, all right?
Rhian stays silent... He gets to his feet and, with a pissed-off
frown, inspects his wet trouser legs, sweeps the dirt from them,
By the way. Does your friend Leon employ a
cleaner? His flat seems remarkably clean,
for a single man suspected of being back
He peers at her... She stares, too perturbed to speak... He looks
Never mind. You were my best hope of
locating him, so I guess I’m now out of a
job. I expect his family will relay my
findings to the police.
(he turns to her again... grins)
I trust you have a shotgun licence. My
apologies forsounding Austrian. Goodbye,
He turns and starts walking away, pulling his Gitanes from his
Lombard stops, turns back... IN ON Rhian; SHE IS CRYING,
INT. RHIAN’S COTTAGE, FIRST FLOOR LANDING. AFTERNOON.
Lombard stands behind... Rhian leans against a closed door, calls
Carys? Tell Shiva not to be scared. The
man’s not going to come in, all right?
(she stares at Lombard, takes a deep
breath, opens the door and moves
My daughter Carys and her friend Shiva, Mr
Lombard looks into...
A CHILDREN’S BEDROOM: deep inside, Carys stands protectively in
front of Shiva, her arms hugging him behind her, sullen eyes on
Lombard. Shiva, much taller, cowers behind her, DEAD-EYED.
Shiva doesn’t speak English so we don’t
know where he’s from or what his name is.
But we have to call him something, so
Shiva it is.
(a beat; she goes on, in bursts)
He cost £15,000. Leon bought him. From an
Austrian who sells children to perverts.
Aren’t you glad you came, Mr Lombard?
IN ON Lombard; a puzzled frown... He turns to...
Rhian, lips trembling, through her tears, she eyes him
What are you going to do now? Call the
police? Take him away? I must warn you
he’s terrified of men, so...
Lombard turns to the children again... SMILES REASSURINGLY...
INT. RHIAN’S LIVING ROOM. AFTERNOON.
Cave-like but welcoming. SOUND OF CHILDREN PLAYING UPSTAIRS.
Lombard sits by a log fire, sombre, smoking, a cup in his hand,
Rhian, on the edge of an armchair, clasping a tea-mug, fighting
tears - beautiful with fire-light reflected in her tearful eyes...
... I thought I’d call the social services
but... He took to my daughter, started to
come out of his shell, so... He needs
care. They don’t...
(a beat, she sighs)
Anyway, that’s all I know. Six weeks ago
Leon turned up with Shiva, said he bought
him in London from an Austrian, gave me
£3,000 for his keep and left saying he was
going to try to rescue another child...
Apparently, there’s plenty more where
Shiva came from.
Lombard scrutinizes her... He drinks - she has a heavy heart,
needs time, no point in harassing her. His eyes roam the walls...
She follows his gaze to... A B&W PORTRAIT of her - it’s pleasant,
sensual even, unlike Leon’s other work... She nods. He smiles.
She looks away.
We didn’t quite make it as lovers... Leon
is a good man, though...
Did Leon tell you why he didn’t want the
police involved, Rhian?
He just said he had good reasons.
That’s what he said. I tried to dissuade
him... Told him I couldn’t take on another
child, that he’d get into trouble... I
mean, people who sell children... But he
wasn’t listening... I guess he finally
found himself a crusade... His family
think he’s back on drugs, eh?
(off Lombard’s smile: ‘I’m afraid so’)
Huh... Leon did drugs. A lot of drugs.
Went through his self-destruct phase, you
know? Things to come to terms with.
Demons to fight... Some people’s minds are
gloriously uncomplicated. Not Leon’s. He
did beat the drug, though. He did.
His mother would be pleased to hear that.
Yeah... But he didn’t beat the demons...
(off Lombard’s look)
A quarter of all the shoes sold in Europe
are made by or retailed through his
parent’s leather empire. All started from
a small shop in the East End of London and
war reparation money for holocaust
I’m afraid I don’t understand.
They’re German Jews. Came here before the
war. They both lost all their families in
extermination camps, but they themselves
never went near one. The idea that his
family wealth was started with money he
believes should have gone to camp
survivors has been haunting Leon. It’s not
guilt, more of a curse...
And then there’s something about his
parents being involved with Nazi
hunters... But I think that’s just one of
Leon’s dark delusions...
(after a beat, thoughtful)
Do you know Leon’s parents names?
Albert... Albert and Ethel. Why?
Lombard stays silent... CHILDISH LAUGHTER from upstairs... Rhian
glances up, down again, sends out a tense sigh, turns to Lombard
and looks away again, gently drying her tears on her sleeve.
What happens now, eh?
Lombard drags his cigarette, flicks it into the fire, pensive...
Who else knows about the boy?
My sister... She lives in the next valley.
Is she on the phone?
Yes...You-you’re not going to take Shiva
Lombard takes out his wallet and a pen, finds his card and holds
it out to her.
I can’t think of a good reason for it -
for now anyway. My number if anything
happens. What’s your sister’s number?
(incredulous, reaching for the card)
Oh, I... She just moved. I’ve got her
new... It’s in my book in the kitchen.
Wait... Thank you.
Lombard watches her hurry out... He sighs, scans the room, rests
his gaze on... Rhian’s shotgun against a wall... and stands,
pocketing his wallet and pen...
And you better stop greeting strangers
with a shotgun. If Leon’s Austrian was
looking for you I reckon he’d have found
you before I did.
I’m sorry. It’s just you don’t look
No sick people in the country, huh?...
Just tell me one thing, Rhian. Leon’s
story about the boy? You just took his
word for it?
(staring at him from the kitchen
He’d come prepared. He had something
besides Shiva... ‘Sleeping Beauty’. The
(a beat, off his look)
Well, it looked like the Disney film. It
was something else. I couldn’t watch...
IN ON Lombard; a thoughtful frown...
EXT. PENRHYNDEUDRAETH, MAIN SQUARE. DUSK.
Lombard is in the phone box, his Triumph parked beside it.
Moreau? Laurent... Yeah. And you?... Good.
Listen, I wonder if you could check some
people in the computer... Yes, again...
No, they’re new clients of mine, Albert
(an approaching car drowns his words)
INT. LEON’S FLAT, SITTING ROOM. EVENING.
Lombard reaches for the ‘SLEEPING BEAUTY’ video box from the
shelf... It looks like the real thing... He opens it, pulls the
IN ON... Lombard turns it over in his hands; it is properly
He slots it into the VCR, presses PLAY... The arrow lights up...
IN ON THE TV SCREEN: A LITTLE GIRL’S HEAD ON A PILLOW, ASLEEP...
CUT TO: TWO MEN LAUGHING AT A RESTAURANT TABLE. THEIR DIALOGUE, IN
STIFF DUBBED ENGLISH: “Renatta assures me she’s got something
special in store for us this weekend.” “Well, after last time
there can only be one thing: the perfect love machine, ha-ha...”
INT. A BRASSERIE, SOHO. NIGHT.
Lombard stands in the doorway, eyes searching... A late night hang
out; tired, lonely people, whispered conversations... NATHALIE
(young, elegant, very French) sits at a table over a coffee,
reading a “Le Monde”, smoking...
Lombard settles opposite her. She looks up, eyeballs him,
You look like shit, Xavier.
IN ON Lombard; HE DOES, THERE IS ANGER IN HIS EYES.
Comment vas-tu, Nathalie?
Nathalie just stares; a lot of things flow between their eyes,
things they don’t need to speak about. She frowns...
Qu’est-ce que tu veux?
Un Autrichien. Negociant en pré-
Nathalie raises her brows, sneers, turns back to her newspaper.
Les histoires d’enfants ne m’intéressent
Lombard grins - he knew she was going to say something like that.
What’s an hour of your time worth these
(she looks up again, softly blows out
As Lombard stands, Nathalie looks beyond him... He looks back,
IN THE DOORWAY: TWO MEN (middle-aged, well-groomed) stand
searching the room. On seeing Nathalie one of them beams.
J’ai bien peur qu’il te faudra attendre.
(off Lombard’s look: ‘When?’)
Pas avant la matinée.
Tu sais où me trouver.
Lombard turns and makes for the door, SCOWLING AT THE TWO MEN now
making for Nathalie’s table... “Michelle! Long time no see, ha-
INT. LOMBARD’S OFFICE. MORNING.
Lombard, asleep, slumped at his desk, head on the table between a
glass, a bottle of Cognac, the ‘Disney’ tape, a wad of £50 notes.
BANG! A red folder hits the desk. Lombard starts, sits up, bleary-
eyed... Jane (coat, handbag) gazes at him, frowning.
Your door was open. This... This women was
downstairs, ringing your bell.
Lombard looks past her... Nathalie is in the doorway, a laconic
smile on her lips... Their eyes lock... Silence... Jane waits,
then, indicating the red folder:
Your accounts. They just need your
signature. I’ve got to go to work.
And she edges her way to the door... IN ON Jane as she passes
Nathalie; threatened, searching eyes... IN ON Nathalie; a smirk.
Bye. And thanks...
Nathalie gently closes the door, eyes Lombard who shakes himself
awake... rolls her eyes and surveys the room...
Où est passé ton salon?
Mon bureau coûtait trop cher.
Eh bien... T’es sûr que t’as besoin de
(off Lombard’s look: ‘What?’)
La petite m’a l’air assez bien foutue,
Lombard frowns, grabs the £50 notes and videotape from his desk
and starts across the room... Barely stopping, he grabs her hand
and pushes the money into it, then goes on towards the kitchen.
Lombard leans against the window, smoking, a coffee in his hands,
Through the kitchen doorway: Nathalie sits at the table, smoking,
watching the TV screen above the fridge...
IN ON her profile; her eyebrows twitch, her cheek muscles tense...
IN ON Lombard; quiet satisfaction in his eyes...
INT. LOMBARD’S KITCHEN. MORNING.
He switches the TV off, turns to Nathalie... She gazes at the
‘Sleeping Beauty’ box on the table, her hand trembling just a
little as she lights a new cigarette.
Le montage, l’emballage. Not your regular
street muck, is it? This is collectors’
stuff. How much would it cost me?
A l’achat, trois ou quatre mille. En
location, cinq cent. Mais ça pourrait
faire plus. Je ne sais pas. C’est pas
vraiment mon truc.
(off his look: ‘And...?’)
I don’t know any Austrian, Xavier.
But maybe you know someone who does. An
Austrian, in London, dealing in kids and
snuff videos. How many can there be? These
people supply to order. He has to be
Then why don’t you reach him?
I don’t have your credentials, Nathalie.
He looks hard into her eyes... She looks back, coldly, then takes
a drag from her cigarette, eyes on the video box again... She
looks up, sneers, then grins:
Can you afford a room in a proper hotel?
(off his look)
It will look better. I also need more
money; five hundred in an envelope and the
same again for my time.
INT. WEST END NIGHTCLUB. NIGHT.
LOUD MUSIC. Happy groups around tables... Sweaty people writhing
on the dance floor... Couples snogging... We FIND...
At a table near the bar: Lombard sits, smoking, watching as...
Nathalie works her way across the room to a table where a MIDDLE-
AGED MAN (suit) and a YOUNG WOMAN (a prostitute) sit. The man
eyes Nathalie, grins, signals the young woman... She scowls at
Nathalie, stands and makes for the bar. Nathalie sits, pulls an
envelope from her handbag and puts it in front of the man as...
Passing Lombard’s table, the young woman turns, stops, smiles,
steps towards him. He smiles, politely...
I’m afraid I’m otherwise engaged.
EXT. WEST END NIGHTCLUB/PICCADILLY CIRCUS. NIGHT.
Lombard and Nathalie emerge from the club... walk into the dark...
You’re a trustworthy sicko of mine who’s
heard only good things about the
Austrian’s products and doesn’t want
anything else. He claims not to know of
any Austrian but he’ll call around.
There’s no refund if he fails to deliver.
You should get a call tonight.
They go on walking in heavy silence... reach PICCADILLY CIRCUS.
Nathalie stops, flags down a BLACK TAXICAB.
Is he your pimp?
She looks straight into his eyes. He smiles, sadly, as the cab
pulls up beside them and the CAB DRIVER opens his window.
We are so alike, Xavier. Still, sometimes
I wonder which one of us is the ugliest.
(after a beat, opening the cab door)
If you can, send me a receipt.
Nathalie smirks, gets into the cab, says to the driver:
Clarence Square. And hurry, I’m late.
Lombard shuts the door and the cab pulls away...
He stands for a moment, gazing at... EROS, silhouetted against
neon; homeless youths on the steps around it... He turns away,
down Piccadilly, towards...
‘LE MERIDIAN’ HOTEL, glistening expensively in the dark night...
INT. LE MERIDIAN, ROOM 142. NIGHT.
Lombard lies on the bed, shoes and jacket off, the phone on his
Moreau? C’est moi. Alors...
Salut, Laurent. Ouais. It wasn’t easy but
I got what you wanted through Interpol.
Say, what’s your business with these
They lost their son. Why?
It appears that in their younger days they
were actively involved with a shady German
group of Nazi hunters known as “Never
Forget”. Over the years we’re talking
about a dozen or so execution-type
Are they still operative?
Their last suspected kill occurred two
years back, though your Spitzes now
probably do no more than bankroll the
group. Still, I’d watch my step. These
people are well-connected, Laurent; former
Israeli prime minister, etc. The lady’s
also president of an international Zionist
organisation... Anyway, you get the
It’s a good guess...
Lombard frowns... Mutters a ‘Thanks, Moreau’... and replaces the
handset, thoughtful... The phone RINGS almost immediately. He
picks it up: ‘Hello?’.
I met your friend earlier. You got a pen?
(grabbing a pen from the bedside
You want Mr Friedman - 0171 435 6268. Say
you’re calling about the puppies.
Friedman - 0171 435 6268. The puppies...?
Yeah. You saw the ad at George’s, alright.
The man has gone. Lombard dials... A few rings... a woman
Can I speak to Mr Friedman?
A few clicks, as if the line is being diverted... a few rings...
then AN OLD MAN’S VOICE, with a GERMAN ACCENT: ‘Yes?’
I’m calling about the puppies.
Have we done business before?
I saw the ad at George’s.
I’m passing through town and I’m in a
May I have your phone number?
This is a bad line.
Lombard sits on the edge of the bed, lighting a Gitane, the phone
on his lap. It rings. He answers: “Yes?”
What sort of puppy are you looking for?
What sort have you got?
Pups. Bitches. From three to twelve
months. Trained and untrained ones. White
and brown ones. You understand?
(after a beat, voice calm)
We also provide 24-hour after-sale
service. Were the puppy to fall sick or
accidently die, we would unburden you, you
Yes... Good, good...
So, what are you looking for?
What about an untrained pup, white...
How much of a hurry are you in?
I’m afraid the only pups currently
available at such notice are brown and
trained. But they are all very cheerful
and have been thoroughly checked for
I see. How much?
Fifteen for a straight delivery. Twenty
with the provision of a safe place.
Visitors tend to find the second option
... Fine. I’ll go for the safe place.
Have the money ready by 11am. We’ll call
Lombard puts the receiver down, checks... HIS WATCH: 00:10...
INT. DE MORAES DRAWING ROOM. NIGHT.
The butler, in his dressing gown, waits in the open doorway
Lombard, holding a briefcase, stands staring into the cold
Deborah - clinging robe, eyes puffy with sleep but still made up
(she’s clearly been drinking) - comes in past the butler (who
closes the door behind her), glowers at Lombard and makes for the
sofa. In a croaking voice:
I won’t comment on the time but you’ll
understand if I don’t tell you to sit
down. Now, spare me the apology and get to
the point, will you, Mr Lombard.
(she sits down and lights a cigarette)
I’m afraid I have bad news, Mr De Moraes.
I have reason to believe your brother’s in
For your information, Mr Lombard, trouble
is possibly the one thing Leon is capable
of getting into all by himself. Though I
doubt he will not ultimately fail even at
(smiles, sighs, retaliates:)
I don’t know. He seems to delight in so
much sisterly love, he might become
Oh-oh! Touché, Mr Lombard! But tell me,
what would you know about sisterly love,
(a beat, with an icy glare)
No. Don’t. You might get confused speaking
of things you don’t understand and we need
you clear- headed, at least until you’ve
done what we are paying you for.
Now you are confusing me, Mrs De Moraes.
Can it be that easy?
Can it be that you want your brother
Anything is possible.
Lombard peers at her... chooses not to bother... He opens his
briefcase... throws ‘SLEEPING BEAUTY’ onto the low table in front
I found this at your brother’s.
(she glances at the cover, then:)
Disney! How inter...
It’s a snuff movie. Prime paedophile
material. I’m told it retails at around
(as Deborah frowns at the tape, rigid)
I see you don’t require a definition.
You... You found that at Leon’s?
There’s more. Your brother also purchased
a young boy for £15,000.
Deborah looks back at him, confounded... LOST FOR WORDS for once.
You seem surprised. Could it be you don’t
think that badly of him after all?
(off her silence)
You needn’t worry. It seems his motives
were pure. From what I can make out he
bought the boy to rescue him from further
What... What are you talking about?
Your brother got mixed up with child
procurers and tried to make this world a
better place, Mrs De Moraes. And having
rescued one little life he unwisely set
out to repeat the exercise.
You don’t mess around with child
procurers. Right now my guess is he’s
either on the run, held captive, or dead.
(off her horrified frown)
I understand your misgivings, Mrs De
Moraes. But I’ve seen the boy and made
telephone contact with the man Leon bought
him from. If anyone knows what happened to
your brother it will be that man. Which
leads me to why I’m here at such a late
hour. I need £20,000, in cash, by 11 this
I need the money to smooth my way, you
understand? Now, have you got that sort of
cash here or do we need to meet in the
Deborah stares at him, thinking hard... her amazement turns into
indignation... Lombard pre-empts what he thinks is coming:
I will of course do my best to hang onto
Where is it?
(off his look: ‘What?’; shouting)
He. The boy you said my brother bought!
Where is he?
I can’t tell you that yet. But he’s being
well looked after.
Oh no. You’ll have to do better than that,
Look, Mrs De Moraes, however much of a let
down it might be, your brother’s not back
to his old weekend tricks! Impressionable
as he is, he probably grew tired of
healthy girls in grisly poses, tried
moving on to bigger things, came upon more
than he’d bargained for and somehow
fancied he could take on the real world.
Which he no doubt chanced upon on his way
to that thing now sitting on your table...
Have a look at it, Mrs De Moraes. I told
you I had bad news...
Deborah scowls... Lombard waits, giving her time to calm down
but... It seems too much for her... She laughs nervously, looks
at the video, shakes her head:
IN ON Lombard; a puzzled frown...
How dare you...
(a beat, eyeing the tape again)
You don’t know this tape belongs to my
brother, do you, Mr Lombard?
The question now is whether or not your
brother still owns anything, Mrs De
(glaring at him)
No. The question now is how long it’s
going to take you to get out of here, Mr
Get out of my house. You’re fired, Mr
(an angry frown... Then, calmly:)
Perhaps I should come back when you’re...
(cutting in, getting to her feet)
No. You’re fired! Get out of my house. And
take your sick tape with you...
And she picks up the videotape and hurls it at him... He ducks,
turns to see... THE TAPE CRASH AGAINST THE WALL... turns back,
Deborah now watches him in cold disdain. She calls to the door:
(peering hard at her)
I was hired by your parents, Mrs De
The family hired you and I have just fired
you, Mr Lombard.
(long beat as he looks back at her,
Why me, Mrs De Moraes? Why should such
well-connected people as you hire a small-
time French detective to look for their
missing son, Mrs De Moraes?
Huh! Who do you think we are, Mr Lombard?
Couldn’t Nazi hunters do the job?
Deborah sizes him up, surprised, then... To the butler in the
See Mr Lombard to the door, Laurence. He
Lombard peers at her, realises he won’t get anywhere now... He
holds up a hand appealing to the butler to wait, searches his
pockets, pulls out a ‘LE MERIDIAN’ MATCHBOOK, throws it on the
table and turns for the door.
I’ll be in room 142 until 11am. Keep the
EXT. DE MORAES DRIVEWAY. NIGHT.
‘Merde!’ In the rain, Lombard throws his briefcase into his
INT. LE MERIDIAN, ROOM 142. MORNING.
THE EMPTY BRIEFCASE OPEN on the undisturbed bed... A full ashtray
by the phone and... Lombard leans against the window, smoking,
staring through rain streaked glass...
BELOW: traffic and pedestrians swarming over wet Piccadilly...
The phone rings.... Lombard turns and snatches it up: ‘YES?’
MAN’S VOICE (OS)
(with a YORKSHIRE ACCENT)
It’s about the puppy. You got the money?
(a beat, he glances at the briefcase)
MAN’S VOICE (OS)
At what time will you be available?
(glancing at his watch: 11am)
MAN’S VOICE (O.S.)
‘Le Mercury’. Newman street. Ask for
INT. LOMBARD’S BANK. DAY.
Lombard empties his Safety Deposit Box, pockets bundles of used
The box is almost empty now. Lombard looks over the remaining
More money (mostly French)... AN OLD BLUE FRENCH PASSPORT...
IN ON Lombard; hurt in his eyes... He slams the box shut: CLANG!
INT. LOMBARD’S OFFICE. DAY.
Lombard reaches into the pebble bottom of his aquarium, pulls out
a flat plastic- wrapped bundle... THE DOORBELL RINGS... He shakes
the bundle dry... shoves it in a desk drawer... looks out the
Through the rain: A BLUE ASTON MARTIN is doubleparked down below.
INT. FIRST FLOOR LANDING, LOMBARD’S FLAT. DAY.
Lombard stands in his doorway, looking down into...
The Stairwell: Deborah, looking rough, but in an attractive suit,
climbs the stairs... She stops on the landing, silently holds out
a Marks & Spencers bag...
Lombard takes it, glances inside: BUNDLES OF PRISTINE £50 NOTES...
I still don’t buy your story but I figured
it can’t do any harm to let you go on with
your enquiry. Besides, if you do turn out
to be nothing but a cheap little
extortioner, we could always get the right
people onto you. I trust you know who I am
You drive a hard bargain.
Deborah opens her mouth, wavers, turns and starts down the stairs.
You’ve got your money. Do your work.
INT. LOMBARD’S OFFICE. DAY.
Lombard at his desk, writing; over his shoulder we glimpse a few
‘Rhian... Penrhyndeudraeth... Friedman...’
IN ON a wastepaper bin; the wrapping from the aquarium bundle...
IN ON a corner of the desk; A HANDGUN AND SILENCER...
Lombard folds the note, puts it into an envelope addressed to...
Deborah De Moraes... inserts this envelope into another
INT. JANE’S FLAT. DAY.
A square of floor just inside Jane’s door... an envelope is slid
under the door - WE HOLD on the message scrawled on it:
‘Dear Jane, a little favour. If I’m not
back by the time you leave for work
tomorrow please send the enclosed letter
by express messenger. Xavier.’
EXT. WEST END STREET. AFTERNOON.
HEAVY RAIN. A smart, busy street lined with restaurants and
cafes... A black cab halts the traffic as it pulls up...
Lombard, with his briefcase, gets out and, as the cab drives on,
stands on the kerb, peering at...
Across the road: ‘LE MERCURY’ restaurant - elegant facade, tinted
windows. A WHITE MERCEDES sits in front; inside a YOUNG DRIVER
reads a paper.
Lombard checks his watch: 14:52.
INT. ‘LE MERCURY’. AFTERNOON.
Dim lighting. Empty tables. A MUSCLY BARMAN in a white shirt
polishes wine glasses... He looks up...
Lombard stands inside the door, eyeing across the room...
The only customer: PETER (fat, grey-hair, smart suit) looks back
at Lombard while talking into a mobile phone, a half-eaten ice
cream sundae of him.
We open at six.
The barman eyeballs Lombard... nods towards Peter... Lombard sends
him a stony grin and makes for...
Peter, keeping his eyes on Lombard, pockets his phone and... as
Lombard reaches his table, checks his watch.
Five to three. You’re early.
Should I come back in five minutes?
IN ON Peter; he scoffs... glances at the briefcase, indicates the
May I offer you a drink?
Lombard slips into the seat, putting the briefcase on the table.
No. I’d like to see what I’m buying.
Peter raises his brows... then casually resumes eating his
I gather we’ve done business with a friend
(a beat; then deadpan)
(swallowing ice-cream, perplexed)
The person who put us in touch seems to
I don’t recollect mentioning a friend.
Peter swallows more ice-cream, puts his spoon down, dabs his lips
with a napkin, reaches for the briefcase, turns it round, opens it
just enough to look inside... He shuts it again, turns it back to
Lombard and lights a cigarette.
Your lady friend did.
The lady’s not a friend. She’s a whore.
(he pauses, staring at Peter)
Someone at a special screening I attended
mentioned certain goods could be got from
an Austrian here in London. And not just
Peter scrutinizes Lombard, calmly, then breaks into a smile.
And while visiting our fair city you...
(off Lombard’s look: ‘That’s right’)
An Austrian... Not much to go on, is it?
Questions can amount to revelations. Now,
I’d hate to think I was made to come here
carrying a substantial amount of money in
order to be subjected to a cross-
examination. Mr Friedman led me to believe
we had a deal. Do we?
Peter eyes Lombard, takes a drag from his cigarette, peering at...
LOMBARD’S WEDDING BAND... He nods his head in agreement...
Will you be alone?
(off Lombard’s frown: ‘What?’)
The merchandise. Is it just you or...
I’ll be alone.
(a beat; he grins)
You must agree to be blindfolded...
(off Lombard’s look: ‘What?’)
Just for the journey. It might appear
unseemly - you’re the paying customer -
but ordinarily clients come with some kind
Lombard glances at his briefcase... Peter follows his eyes...
Lombard looks up, eyes hard... Peter gestures he is sorry but...
EXT. ‘LE MERCURY’. AFTERNOON.
RAIN. Lombard gets into the back of the Mercedes... Peter behind
INT/EXT. MOVING MERCEDES/AROUND LONDON. AFTERNOON.
IN ON Lombard; tight-lipped, he looks down at...
In his hands: a deck of POLAROIDS... He shuffles them slowly...
SIX SHOTS OF SIX YOUNG BOYS, each with a number on the top left
corner; all aged between 7 and 11, all naked, all standing limply
before the same dark backdrop.
Lombard hands the polaroids to Peter without looking at him...
Peter pockets the photos, dials on his mobile...
Lombard turns to the window to watch LONDON’S RAINY STREETS pass
by... We HOLD on his grim face as...
Number six. We’re on our way...
(a beat, then, to the driver)
Stop in a quiet spot when you can, Jack...
Lombard turns... Peter is unfolding a black hood...
EXT. THE MERCEDES IS STATIONARY IN A QUIET STREET...
INT. MERCEDES. Lombard stretches out on the floor between the
front and rear seats, holding the hood... Peter, sitting in the
front now, looks back...
IN ON Lombard; he peers at Peter, then, as he puts the hood on:
DISSOLVE TO BLACK as Lombard’s face disappears into the hood.
INT. ROOM 40. AFTERNOON.
IN ON Lombard (standing) as the hood is removed from his head...
MAN’S VOICE (OS)
(Yorkshire accent, as on phone
I hope your journey wasn’t too unpleasant.
Lombard squints in the neon light... looks down...
MARTIN (burly, 50s, in shirtsleeves) sits behind a table, looking
Lombard turns to survey... AN AUSTERE, IMPERSONAL BEDROOM...
On a single bed a muscly GIANT in a tight suit sits FOLDING THE
HOOD... He greets Lombard’s gaze with a stony nod and tucks the
hood into his pocket... Lombard turns back to Martin:
What happens now?
We conclude our transaction.
IN ON Martin; he peers at Lombard... Lombard steps forward, puts
the briefcase on the table, opens it, swivels it towards...
Martin looks inside, picks up a bundle of £50s, pulls one note
out, examines it, then proceeds to transfer the rest from
briefcase to table, saying tonelessly:
The room’s yours for 24 hours. It’s sound-
proofed, stocked up with food, drink and
other things you might find useful. You
can do anything you like.
Anything at all?
Anything at all. I presume you won’t want
to take the boy with you when you’re
(he shuts the briefcase, pushes it
back towards Lombard, looks up)
There’s a £500 fee for disposal. The boy
is yours, you understand?
Lombard nods, jaw clenched... Martin’s eyes linger on him...
Vous êtes Français?
Does it matter?
MARTIN scrutinizes Lombard a little longer, then motions towards
the Giant and turns his attention back to the money.
He’ll take you to the boy. Don’t forget
And Martin starts counting the money, his fingers expertly racing
through the notes... Lombard turns to the giant who stands up...
INT. CORRIDOR. AFTERNOON
IN ON A GOLD NUMBER 40 as the door is slammed shut.
And Lombard, briefcase in hand, follows the giant down a
windowless corridor, past more doors... 41... 42... 43... until...
DOOR NUMBER 46... “DO NOT DISTURB” on the handle...
The giant unlocks the door with his back to Lombard who frowns
Through the giant’s tight jacket: THE LINES OF A HOLSTER STRAP...
The giant opens the door and steps aside to let Lombard through:
I’ll lock behind you. Pick up the intercom
when you’re finished or if you need
Lombard pauses, then steps into...
INT. ROOM 46, INNER CORRIDOR. AFTERNOON.
A narrow passage to a PADDED DOOR... Lombard waits as the outer
door is locked... turns to the padded door, opens it... THE SOUND
OF A BUGS BUNNY CARTOON...
INT. ROOM 46. AFTERNOON.
Lombard stands just inside the padded door, peering at...
In an armchair: BOY NUMBER 6 (T-shirt, short trousers, plimsolls)
looks back at Lombard, apprehensive but docile... ‘Bugs Bunny’ is
on the TV in front of him. Lombard raises his voice above the TV:
Do you speak English?
(the boy frowns)
No reaction. Lombard sighs... scans the room... Padded walls,
mirrored ceiling, a huge bed, small drinks bar, a hifi, video
player, fridge, shelves of porn videos and literature, a dark
doorway... And the boy again, still gazing at him... Lombard
smiles, shuts the padded door and crosses to...
The dark doorway: he turns on the light; A WINDOWLESS BATHROOM.
He walks to the fridge... stocked with food and drinks...
Opens a cupboard: S&M paraphernalia, sex aids, aphrodisiacs,
tranquillizers, a still camera, video camera, etc... all neatly
He eyes the boy again... turns to the fridge, opens it, reaches
for a chocolate bar... makes for the boy, squats and hands it to
him with a reassuring smile... The boy warily reaches for it. IN
ON Lombard as he peers with a frown into...
THE BOY’S EYES: dilated pupils - he’s obviously been sedated.
(pointing to the bathroom)
You go in there. In there, yes....
The boy frowns, stands... docilely walks into the bathroom and out
Lombard peers after him, then straightens up and follows him...
THE BATHROOM: the boy stands by the bath eyeing Lombard in the
(pointing to a stool)
It’s all right, huh. You sit down. Sit.
(the boy timidly sits down)
Good. You eat your chocolate. It’s yours.
He points at the chocolate in the boys hand, makes eating
motions... The boy doesn’t seem to want to eat... Lombard brings
his finger to his lips...
You stay here and be quiet, okay. Shhh...
And he slowly and softly shuts the door.
Now Lombard switches the TV off, puts his briefcase on the bed,
picks up the intercom and, with it wedged between his shoulder and
ear, pulls his handgun and a silencer from his pocket and calmly
starts screwing one onto the other.
There’s no toilet paper.
There’s no toilet paper.
Uh-huh. I’m sure. And hurry, will you.
Lombard stands behind the open padded door, gun at the ready, a
cigarette between his lips, listening... The outer door is being
unlocked... slams shut... footsteps... The giant steps in with a
pack of toilet rolls: ‘Here’s the...’
Lombard sticks the gun into the nape of his neck and kicks the
On the bed!
Lombard whacks him across the face with the gun, shoves him
hard... The giant drops the toilet rolls, stumbles back onto the
edge of the bed... He puts his hands to his face, takes them away -
they’re red with blood from his nose.
He starts to rise, furious, reaching under his jacket... Lombard
sends him back down with another crack across the face...
Where is the Austrian?
You... Fuck you!
Lombard aims at one of the giant’s knees, SHOOTS... THE GIANT’S
LEG JERKS, FALLS STILL... The giant gapes at his knee.
You’re not playing with little boys now,
scumbag. Where is the Austrian?
Jee... Fuck... You’re fucking mad!
Lombard SHOOTS HIS OTHER KNEE... Stunned - though still showing no
pain - the giant gapes at the blood cascading onto his polished
shoes... looks up:
Who are you?
(aiming the gun at the giant’s crotch)
Where is the Austrian? Is Friedman the
(grabbing his crotch)
Yes. Friedman’s the fuckin’ Austrian!
Where is he?
I don’t know. He’s gone!
(Lombard slaps him)
He’s gone. I don’t fucking know where, I
swear... He’s gone. On holiday...
Yeah... This morning. He left this fucking
bloody morning... Jesus, man, my knees...
And the giant begins to sob with his trembling hands suspended in
mid-air above his knees... Lombard watches him, thoughtful, then:
Who’s the money man?
(Lombard aims at his crotch again)
Martin... He’s Martin...
Lombard pulls out the SNAPSHOT OF LEON - with Rhian torn off, only
her arm around Leon’s waist visible.
Ever seen him before?
(he peers at the snapshot)
(off Lombard’s look: ‘Are you sure?’)
What’s this place? A hotel of some kind?
Yeah... The Diplomat.
Where are we?
Finsbury Park. We’re in Finsbury Park.
Where are the kids?
There were six on offer, you scumbag.
Where are the other five?
I don’t know...
(Lombard whacks him across the face)
This is just a delivery place, man! I
swear I don’t know where the kids are... I
work for Martin, that’s all. Martin knows.
He works for Friedman. He knows...
And who does Friedman work for?
The company. We all work for the company.
I don’t know. I don’t know, man. I don’t
even know Friedman that well... I...
(he stares at his bloody knees again)
Man, you’ve got to get me out of here...
How many of you scumbags are here?
(off Lombard’s look)
Martin’s gone back to the Ambassador.
What’s the Ambassador?
Another hotel. Down the road. Martin lives
there. He took your money. He’s got a
(staring at his bleeing knees again)
I need a doctor...
What about the staff?
(off the giant’s look:’What about
They’re in on what’s going on, aren’t
they? How many of them?
F-five. The Wilsons and their three kids.
They run the place. Look, man, I’ve got to
Lombard knocks him out with a gun blow to the back of the head...
INT. CORRIDOR. AFTERNOON.
ROOM 40... Gun at the ready, Lombard knocks at the door... No
answer. He tries the handle; it’s locked... He frowns, thinks,
INT. SEQUENCE. STAIRWELL/CORRIDORS. AFTERNOON.
Stairwell. Lombard hurries down the stairs, hand gripping his gun,
A SIGN: ‘SECOND FLOOR’... DULL SOUND OF TELEVISION from behind a
door. Lombard goes on down the stairs... ‘FIRST FLOOR’... VOICES
drift up from the lobby... Lombard listens... The voice of a YOUNG
GIRL is drowned by a loud DRUNK IRISH MAN...: ‘Because I’m telling
you, woman. I’ll be home next Sunday...’ Lombard turns, looks
The corridor: at the end, A WINDOW shows cold twilight... He makes
THROUGH THE WINDOW: in heavy rain, cars crawl in their headlights
along the dark expanse of FINSBURY PARK...
INT. ROOM 46. AFTERNOON.
Lombard squats over the groaning giant (now tied to a radiator, A
POOL OF BLOOD around his legs), searching him... He tosses the
giant’s gun away, disregards his wallet, mobile phone... finds THE
ROOM KEY - pockets it - and KEYS ON A BMW KEYRING. He examines
them... pockets them... stands, kicks the giant...
The giant groans... opens dazed eyes to see... LOMBARD’S SHOES
STANDING ON THE BLOOD SOAKED CARPET...
What colour is your car?
(off the giant’s dazed look: ‘Huh?’)
What colour is your car?
Where is it?
Downstairs... At the front... Jesus...
The giant looks up, hopefully... Lombard knocks him out again with
THE BATHROOM: boy #6 still sits with his untouched chocolate
INT. CORRIDORS/STAIRWELLS/LOBBY. THE DIPLOMAT.
IN ON LOMBARD’S BLOODY SHOE stepping onto the corridor carpet...
STAIRWELL: Lombard, his gun in one hand - concealed beneath the
raincoat over his arm - his briefcase and the boy’s arm in the
other hand, hurries down the stairs towards the SOUND OF MUFFLED
VOICES from below...
He tugs the boy past the ‘SECOND FLOOR’ sign and on down the
SOUND OF A DOOR OPENING and LAUGHTER below... Lombard stops,
tightens his grip on the gun, peers over the bannister...
FIRST FLOOR CORRIDOR: AN EMBRACING YOUNG COUPLE steps into the
stairwell and starts slowly down, exchanging kisses and
Lombard frowns, glances at the boy, decides to... He picks up the
boy, sits him on his arm, and hurries down after...
The couple... Lombard slows, follows close behind them as they
near the lights and noise of the lobby, eyeing over their heads...
AN ORDINARY 2 STAR HOTEL LOBBY. A DRUNK leans against the wall
with a bag at his feet... Beyond, at THE DESK, by a flickering
TV, a PRETTY RECEPTIONIST is giving directions to TWO MEN bent
over an ‘A to Z’. Further, a WOMAN shakes her wet umbrella by the
glass front door...
The couple skirt the drunk... Lombard follows, speeding up... He
catches up with the couple as... The man puts his room key onto
the desk without stopping... As the receptionist looks up and
smiles mechanically, Lombard hurries ahead... past the couple...
past the umbrella girl and...
EXT. THE DIPLOMAT/STREETS, FINSBURY PARK. DUSK.
...Out, into POURING RAIN. Hugging the boy to him, Lombard turns
right outside the door and hurries away... He looks back over his
shoulder just once before... He turns the corner... Crosses the
road... Strides past shops... Turns another corner... stops and,
pocketing his gun, searches the street... Sees...
EXT. BUS SHELTER. DUSK.
TWO WOMEN wait for a bus... IN ON WOMAN #1: an instinctive smile
as... IN ON WOMAN #2: a frown as... Lombard steps into the shelter
still hugging the boy... He returns woman #1’s smile, puts the boy
down, scrutinizes him...
The boy stands in his plimsolls, wet and shivering, clasping his
sodden chocolate bar to his chest, staring at the ground...
Qu’est-ce que je vais faire de toi, hein?
He turns to... Woman #1’s smile has gone; she stares at the boy
with a worried scowl... Feeling Lombard’s gaze, she looks up...
Lombard grins, contritely:
I just found him standing all alone in the
rain. I’d be grateful if one of you would
be kind enough to take him to the local
police station. His parents are probably
looking for him.
Sorry. I’m in a hurry. Thank you.
And he hastens away into the rain... The two women frown at each
EXT. ROAD ALONG FINSBURY PARK. DUSK.
Dripping wet, smoking, Lombard stands with his back to the park...
Facing him across the street: NONDESCRIPT HOTELS - one lit up neon
sign reads ‘THE DIPLOMAT’; another, 50 yards away: ‘THE
AMBASSADOR’. Lombard flicks his cigarette away towards...
A SHINY BLACK BMW parked along the kerb...
INT. LOBBY. THE AMBASSADOR. DUSK.
Similar to the Diplomat. A harassed-looking MALE RECEPTIONIST
argues over a bill with a SCOTTISH FAMILY checking out...
Dripping onto the carpet, Lombard peers past the receptionist
AN OPEN DOORWAY behind the desk: TWO FILIPINO-LOOKING WOMEN
(raincoats, handbags) sit silently at a table over tea mugs. A
BALD MAN (English, shirtsleeves) reads a tabloid in an armchair
(curtly, interrupting the
Hello there. Martin around?
The receptionist frowns, looks Lombard quickly up and down,
glances at his briefcase, hesitates, then, off Lombard’s stony
Er, Mr Martin’s gone to the dentist. He
should be back soon.
(pointing to an armchair by a potted
If you want to wait...
Lombard turns to...
The entrance; TWO MEN (one middle-aged,coat, scarf; the other
young, long-hair, leather jacket) walk in, wave at the
receptionist, cross behind Lombard and the family and go through
another door past the desk... to reappear in the room with the
Filipino women and the bald man who, seeing them, stands up to
close the open door, absent-mindedly peering at Lombard as he does
Thank you. I’ll come back later.
The receptionist nods and turns back to the family with a sigh...
EXT. THE AMBASSADOR/FINSBURY PARK. DUSK.
RAIN. A few yards from the Ambassador, Lombard shelters in a dark
doorway, eyes searching the pavements left and right and across
the traffic packed road... He focuses on the BURLY SILHOUETTE of a
coated man with an umbrella heading his way... It’s not Martin...
Turns to A VOLVO parking nearby... A woman and two children get
out... Turns as A TAXI stops across the road...
MARTIN - coat, gloves, scarf - gets out and starts to cross
Lombard blocks Martin’s way as he steps onto the kerb...
How are you, Martin?
IN ON Martin as he stops dead with a tight-lipped frown; his LEFT
CHEEK IS SWOLLEN, it takes him a moment to recognise Lombard... He
glowers, instinctively lowers his eyes to... the pocket in which
Lombard conspicuously holds a gun... peers at his briefcase...
Then, WITH A SLIGHT SLUR:
(nodding back at the Ambassador)
Is my money in there?
(a beat, a bit reassured, foxy eyes
Uh-huh. You could’ve waited for me inside.
Lombard nods, gently... grins an icy grin... signals towards the
(not moving, still smiling)
I don’t know what your problem is, but...
Right now your big friend at the Diplomat
is bleeding fast, Martin. He might still
possibly survive if attended to soon. And
he did cooperate.
IN ON Martin; incredulity and fear... He automatically glances at
the Ambassador’s lit up entrance behind Lombard... Then... a
EXT. BLACK BMW NEAR DIPLOMAT, FINSBURY PARK. DUSK.
Lombard shoves Martin into the BMW driver’s seat, slams the door
INT. STATIONARY BMW, FINSBURY PARK. DUSK.
Martin, pissed-off, watches Lombard settle behind him in the
If it’s money you want you’re making a
Ignoring him, Lombard opens his coat, pulls the snapshot from his
jacket pocket, holds it out over Martin’s shoulder...
Ever seen him before?
Martin squints in the semi-dark, turns, signals Lombard that he’s
going for his inside pocket... slowly takes out spectacles, puts
Am I supposed to know him?
Six weeks ago. He bought a boy of yours.
Clients come and go.
This one came back and was never seen
again. I understand Friedman looked after
(squinting at the snapshot, sceptical)
Huh, I doubt it...
(he trails off, takes his glasses
Friedman only deals directly with select
customers. I handle the rabble...
IN ON Lombard; a frown... He pockets the snapshot...
Where is Friedman?
(eyeing Lombard in the rearview
Look, I don’t think you’re fully aware of
what you’re playing with here, Mister.
Whoever put you up to this either pays too
well or misinformed you. Why don’t you
just tell me what it is you want so we can
do business in a civilized manner, eh?
IN ON Lombard; his eyes darken... In one swift movement he whacks
Martin’s swollen cheek. Martin screams in pain... Lombard watches
calmly as he buries his cheek in his hands, moaning... Then:
If I were you I’d stop acting dumb and
narrow down my thoughts to speculating on
whether I’m going to kill you even if you
do answer my questions, Martin. Now, where
(he waits for Martin’s moans to
Where is Friedman, Martin?
As Martin glares ahead without answering, Lombard sticks the gun
into the nape of his neck... “Where is...”
(nervous, he peers in the rearview
You’re not gonna like it... Right now
Friedman must be landing in Los Angeles.
Not due back for a month.
IN ON Lombard; a flicker of dismay. Martin sees it... Sneers...
What’ll you do now, eh? Fly to the U.S. or
make an appointment for next month?
Lombard thinks, staring at the gun still stuck in Martin’s neck...
Friedman lives with you at the Ambassador?
No. In Hampstead... Why?
(holding out the BMW keys)
Don’t jump any red lights.
EXT/INT. HAVERSTOCK HILL/BMW. DUSK.
Rain and heavy traffic. The BMW climbs towards Hampstead...
This car needs petrol.
(whacking him across the back of the
Shut up and drive!
The car coughs, jolts... Runs smoothly again as Martin turns into
a level road...
EXT. HAMPSTEAD RESIDENTIAL ROADS. EVENING.
The BMW cruises past a few opulent houses...
Through the rear WINDOW: IN ON Lombard peering at...
A STREET SIGN: ‘Reddington Road, NW6’... Lombard looks back at it
over his shoulder as the BMW continues on and disappears around a
INT. STATIONARY BMW. EVENING
The car is idling. Martin peers across the road...
Lombard eyes... A quaint HAMPSTEAD COTTAGE (ALARM SIREN BOX
conspicuous on facade); the diamond-paned windows are dark, a car
under a tarpaulin sits in the drive, A SIDE GATE visible in the
darkness behind it...
So this is Friedman’s... How many kids is
that worth, eh?
Pull across and park in front of the
EXT. ROAD BY DRIVEWAY, FRIEDMAN’S COTTAGE. EVENING.
Rain hammers onto the gun and silencer in Lombard’s hands...
Through the BMW’s open rear window, Lombard takes aim... pulls the
trigger: four flashes in quick succession... PHEWT, PHEWT, PHEWT,
IN ON THE ALARM BOX; THUD, THUD, THUD, THUD.... Four holes, smoke,
sparks... The LOW WHINE of a starting siren... It dies. SILENCE.
INT. BMW. EVENING
You’re out of your mind. What’s the idea?
(peering out at the nearest house; no
sign of life)
Maybe the thought of people like you going
on holiday bothers me. Come on, let’s
EXT. FRONT DRIVE, FRIEDMAN’S COTTAGE. EVENING.
Lombard pushes Martin up the wall by the side gate...
EXT. BACK GARDEN, FRIEDMAN’S COTTAGE. EVENING.
CRASH... LOMBARD’S FIST (wrapped in his coat) punches out a pane
of the FRENCH WINDOWS... Dripping wet, Martin watches sternly...
Now Lombard has the door open, gestures Martin inside...
INT. FRIEDMAN’S DRAWING ROOM. EVENING.
SILENCE, DARKNESS. Lombard waits just inside, watching... Martin
moves through the dark, stops, reaches for... CLICK; a chandelier
Lombard scans the room... Regency furniture, oil paintings, bronze
statuettes... He frowns at... A PICASSO NUDE... then turns to...
Martin, hands in pockets, gazes grimly at the muddy footprints
he’s left across the carpet... Lombard nods towards the Picasso...
Is it real?
You people are sick.
Huh. I’d have thought a tough guy like you
would know better. The sick ones are out
there, friend. They make up the clientèle.
Get rid of them and we’re out of business.
Only feeding the disease, eh, Martin?
Money talks, bullshit walks, whether you
like it or not.
Maybe I don’t.
Maybe you should. Think about it. Those
who can afford our goods do their thing
without upsetting anyone. Those who can’t
do it to kids from the streets or their
own family and it makes upsetting
I’m overcome by your public-spiritedness.
Boys like the one you met today are
surplus. Commodities worth a handful of
notes in whatever arsehole of the world
they happen to be born into. We improve
some lives buying them where they’re not
wanted, improve still more selling them
where they are. Is that too hard for you?
IN ON Lombard; loathing burns in his eyes.
You know what, Martin? I ought to tie you
down with your old arse up in the air and
advertise the hole in the middle of it to
the world. Free. And hope you never die.
Huh... I’m sure there’d be lots of takers.
Could someone have hurt you that bad?
They eyeball each other... Lombard waves his gun towards a door...
Come on. Let’s find somewhere to keep you
out of sight.
INT. KITCHEN, FRIEDMAN’S COTTAGE. EVENING.
Lombard shoves Martin through a door into... A WINDOWLESS LAUNDRY
ROOM; Martin crashes into a washing machine... Lombard slams the
INT. FRIEDMAN’S COTTAGE. EVENING.
UPSTAIRS CORRIDOR: walking, gun in hand, Lombard opens doors,
switches on lights, glances into...
A BEDROOM: Double bed, impersonal, obviously a spare bedroom...
A BATHROOM: carpeted, antique bathtub, gold taps...
A LAVATORY: Wooden toilet lid, gold toilet roll holder...
THE MASTER BEDROOM: Spacious, oil landscapes, bay window...
Lombard steps in, frowning at... The single bed with silk spread;
A MAN’S LEATHER SLIPPERS on the carpet, square to the bed...
He peers into the closet... Men’s clothes and shoes, neatly
arranged and hung...
The bedside cabinet. He pulls open the drawer... A handkerchief,
neatly folded, a leather bound book... He picks it up... A BIBLE,
INT. OFFICE, FRIEDMAN’S COTTAGE. EVENING.
Lombard sits in a swivel chair at a leather-topped desk, its
drawers pulled open. Lighting a Gitane he solemnly surveys...
THE DESK: a mat, lamp, pen-set, three telephones in line and his
gun, next to a pile of papers... IN ON the top sheet: a gas bill
made out to OTTO GLUCK.
Lombard sighs, scans the room... panelled walls, leather bound
Opposite the desk; AN OIL PORTRAIT OF A MAN, about 40, dark and
handsome, sitting legs crossed before a fireplace... Lombard
focuses on it... frowns... sticks his cigarette between his lips
and makes for it...
IN ON the painting: beyond the man, hung above the fireplace, a
SKETCH OF THE PICASSO NUDE FROM FRIEDMAN’S DRAWING ROOM...
Lombard peers at the painter’s signature... illegible... The man’s
eyes... intense and dark... He unhooks the painting, turns it
In small letters on the canvas we read: “O.G. WIEN, 1979”.
INT. KITCHEN. EVENING.
With the painting and gun in one hand, Gitane in his mouth,
Lombard unlocks the laundry room door, pushes it open, frowns and
freezes, looking into...
DARKNESS... A SCREAM. Lombard starts, sees... MARTIN COMING AT
HIM, face contorted in a scream... Lombard bites on his Gitane,
drops the painting, drops to a squat, aims and... FIRES! Martin
crashes hard into his shoulders, stumbles over him and Lombard
springs up, sending him tumbling into the kitchen where...
Martin’s body hits the floor with a loud thud. Lombard spins
round, trains his gun on him. Face up, Martin lies still...
SILENCE. Lombard waits... moves to Martin... inspects his chest:
BLOOD GURGLES through his shirt... Martin’s face; a grin... In a
Thought I might as well have a go. You
were going to bump me off anyway, weren’t
Lombard stays silent, flicks his cigarette into the sink, looks
around, picks up the painting and holds it above Martin.
Is this Friedman?
Who are you? Who are you working for, huh?
Is this Friedman, Martin?
(Martin glances at the painting,
Come on, scumbag. You’ve reached your sell-
by date. Tell me if this is Friedman,
where he is in Los Angeles and what name
You’re making a mistake, tough guy.
Whoever he is, your guy’s not one of
You seem very sure about that.
I told you... The rabble, it’s me...
(a beat; he looks away... distant)
Huh... It’s sad.
Dying without ever reaching the top...
And he goes off into rasping laughter... Lombard stares, A
CRAZED, CRUEL GRIN on his face... He drops the painting, gets
hold of Martin, drags him to the wall, sits him up and rips his
bloody shirt open as Martin dazedly protests.
Lombard eyes his bleeding chest, looks back into his eyes... IN ON
LOMBARD’S FIST, THROWING A PUNCH AT THE WOUND...IN ON Lombard;
BLOOD SPLATTERS his face...IN ON Martin; eyes wide, mouth open in
a harrowing yell...
IN ON Lombard; a grin as he stares at Martin...
Feel the invigorating tonic of pain,
Martin? It’s amazing how long a dying man
can be kept alive. Sometimes it’s just a
matter of keeping his adrenalin flowing.
I’m going to keep yours swirling until you
wish you’d never turned bad.
He throws another punch at the wound - more blood splatters
Lombard, Martin becomes mute with pain - then stands, turns, opens
kitchen drawers; another, and another, until he finds... A BONING
KNIFE... He turns back...
IN ON Martin: dread... He tries to speak, can only gasp and
Trying to say something, Martin?
Hyatt... Friedman’s... at the Hyatt...
The Hyatt...? What’s that?
Ho-hotel... Los Angeles... He...
THE SOUND OF FAST APPROACHING POLICE SIRENS... Lombard turns,
frowns... turns back to Martin, hesitates... picks up his gun and
INT. OFFICE, FRIEDMAN’S COTTAGE. EVENING.
Lombard switches off the light, hurries to the window...
BEYOND THE FRONT DRIVE: all is peace in the road as the police
siren nears and... A POLICE CAR SPEEDS PAST THE BMW AND AWAY...
INT. KITCHEN. EVENING.
IN ON Lombard: a thwarted frown as he lights a Gitane eyeing...
Martin, eyes and mouth open, still hugging his chest... DEAD.
Lombard turns to the wall-mounted phone by the fridge, picks it
up, starts dialling, changes his mind...
EXT/INT. BMW/STREET, FRIEDMAN’S COTTAGE. EVENING.
EXT. HOWLING WIND AND RAIN, A STARTER MOTOR TURNING OVER..
Lombard, in the BMW, trying and trying to start the engine...
INT. Lombard gives up, scowls at... IN ON the GLOWING FUEL WARNING
LIGHT on the dash... He inspect his blood spattered coat, peers
through the pouring rain to Friedman’s cottage... turns to... In
the wet distance, the halo of a phone box... He swallows without
parting his lips and...
EXT. Through the deluge, Lombard strides away from Friedman’s
It’s me. Be at my office in one hour.
EXT. ESSEX ROAD. EVENING
RAIN. Deborah’s Aston Martin pulls up in front of the butcher
INT. BATHROOM, LOMBARD’S FLAT. EVENING.
THE HISS OF A SHOWER. THROUGH STEAM: Lombard’s wet coat and
clothes in a heap on the floor... THE DOORBELL RINGS.
INT. LOMBARD’S OFFICE. EVENING.
Naked, drying his hair with a towel, Lombard buzzes the street
door open, opens his door and makes for his desk, wrapping the
towel around his waist...
He’s lighting a Gitane when... Deborah - radiant, low cut evening
dress, fur coat - stops in the door... She looks him over,
coldly... examines the room...
Thank you for coming. Come in and close
the door, will you?
(without moving from the doorway)
Last night you upset my sleep. Tonight my
social life. We have two minutes. My
dinner guests are waiting.
Lombard looks her over, sullen... He opens his briefcase, swivels
it towards her and sits down, saying:
It may not look as good as yours but I
guess you won’t mind. The envelope
contains what I know. Plus the location of
your brother’s boy.
Deborah frowns... Glances at...
In the briefcase: the bundles of USED NOTES from Lombard’s safety
deposit box and the envelope he’d left with Jane earlier (torn
IN ON Deborah; disquiet in her eyes... She quickly composes
You lost my money?
You could say that. And Friedman left this
morning for Los Angeles.
Who is Friedman?
The man who sold the boy to your brother.
I’m impressed. That information could have
cost me £20,000.
Well, I found a little more than that. Let
me put it this way:...
(deliberately using her earlier
Last night I thought your brother might be
dead, tonight I’m convinced he is. That
said, I have no evidence and I advise you
to let the police deal with it.
Deborah peers at him... runs her eyes over his bare chest...
focuses on... HIS SHOULDER, BADLY BRUISED (from Martin’s
I’m beginning to think you want my brother
dead, Mr Lombard. What happened? Did
someone frightened you?
(a beat, looking up into his eyes
Or is the job too formidable for you?
IN ON Lombard; irritation... Deborah sneers... glances at her
No police, Mr Lombard. You talk of strange
and unpleasant things. You found a
loathsome tape. Perhaps even a poor little
boy. But as yet, you’ve not found my
brother. When you have, we’ll ascertain
whether or not to contact the police and
break my parents’ hearts with the news
that their son is involved with...
Your Mr Friedman could shed some light on
the matter, you say. Well, find him.
Didn’t I hear you say he was in Los
SILENCE. They outstare each other for a moment... Lombard runs his
eyes over her rings, earrings, bracelets... (she’s wearing her
Are we understood?
You watched the tape?
(off her look; ‘Maybe I did.’)
Friedman and his people don’t just provide
little kids and videotapes, Mrs De Moraes.
They’re in the import-export business.
They run hotels here in London which they
probably use as ware- houses and ports of
call for their merchandise.
(after a beat, uneasy, then
Huh! Really? Hotels?
The hotels are useful capital investments.
The kids liquid assets. My guess is they
own hotels across the globe, and travel
agencies specialising in flights from the
third world to boot.
Deborah gets the picture, but she’s sceptical, and baffled...
Minimizes the risks. Children can be moved
across borders using reliable businesses.
These can also be used to move women and
drugs... Anything that makes money really.
(after a beat, still sceptical)
W-why are you telling me all this, Mr
Lombard looks at her for a moment... sighs...
This has become dangerous. I’ll have to
double my fee.
Deborah peers at him... GLANCES AT THE MONEY IN THE BRIEFCASE,
then up at Lombard again, focusing again on his bruised
You drive a hard bargain, Mr Lombard.
You do want me to keep the job, don’t you,
Mrs De Moraes?
She sends him a rueful smile... thinks... turns AND WALKS AWAY...
Let me know where you’re staying when you
get to L.A. Just in case Leon does turn
Stony-faced, Lombard eyes the door she has left open behind her,
listening to her footsteps as she starts down the stairs... HE
By the way, did I mention that Mr Friedman
lives just around the corner from you?
DEBORAH’S STEPS STOP... quickly start again... Lombard grins, a
cruel grin... reaches for the envelope from the briefcase, snaps
the briefcase shut, pulls open his desk drawer, shoves the
envelope inside and shuts it: Slam!
INT. BEDROOM, LOMBARD’S FLAT. MORNING.
IN ON Jane; a sulky pout... Dressed for work, she stands in the
bedroom doorway fingering her handbag, watching Lombard pack a
small case (a spare suit, a few essentials)... Lombard makes for
Why won’t you tell me where you’re going?
No reply. She gazes around the room: forbidden territory...
Lombard comes back in, zipping up a sponge bag with a weary
When I’m back. If you look after my fish
She guffaws, nervously, then - she’s obviously been dying to ask
Who was that woman? She’s French, isn’t
Lombard frowns, shuts the case, takes a key from his bedside
She used to be my girlfriend, Jane.
(he throws her the key)
Here. You’ll be late for work. And you can
pick up my accounts from the desk. They’re
She catches the key, slightly stunned...then smiles...
She’s pretty... See you, huh?
Bye bye, Jane. And don’t be naughty.
She nods - ‘Yeah, yeah...’ - waves a hand, turns away...
Actually, I’m thinking of becoming a
INT. LOMBARD’S KITCHEN. MORNING.
Rain outside the window... Lombard sits at the table, the phone
held in the crook of his neck... On the table: a MICROWAVE OVEN,
its back panel removed, a screwdriver, his gun, silencer and the
money from his briefcase...
As he speaks on the phone he reaches into a large brown padded
envelope, pulls out... TWO RED EUROPEAN COMMUNITY PASSPORTS.
Hello. This is Mr Lombard - I...
WOMAN’S VOICE (O.S.)
Ooh, yes. Rhian said you might call. She’s
fine. I saw her this morning...
Good. Tell her I called, all right.
Holding the passports, Lombard dials again, replaces the phone in
the crook of his neck and, as the PHONE RINGS, inspects...
The passports: ONE ITALIAN, ONE BRITISH... He puts the British
one down, replaces the other in the envelope, adding his gun,
silencer and money...
INT. SITTING ROOM, NATHALIE’S FLAT. MORNING.
A RINGING PHONE. IN ON a vase: a bunch of flowers still in their
wrapper... A tastefully furnished room... An ANSWERPHONE
NATHALIE’S ANSWERING MACHINE
CLICK... I am not here. Leave a message
after the beep or try again later. Thank
INT. BEDROOM, NATHALIE’S FLAT. MORNING.
IN PROFILE: Nathalie, on her bed wrapped in a duvet, her bedside
table crowded with cold remedies, the floor around her strewn with
tissues. She gazes at a silent flickering TV screen, a cigarette
between her fingers...
C’est moi. Réponds si t’es là, Nathalie...
IN ON Nathalie; she turns towards us, frowning, her nose red, eyes
Your friend... (he corrects himself) ...
your man called with what I needed but
things got a bit messy. I think you’d be
wise to go away for a while. They don’t
know who I am but they know you led me to
them... (long silence) ...I’ll be away a
few days. Look after yourself, okay.
CLICK. Silence... Nathalie stares in front of her, SNEERS...
EXT. ESSEX ROAD. MORNING.
Standing in HEAVY RAIN holding his case, Lombard looks grim as he
flags down a BLACK TAXI and stands back as it pulls in.
IN ON the taxi wheel sending up a splash from the streaming
EXT. THE HYATT, SUNSET BOULEVARD, LOS ANGELES. DAY.
LYNYRD SKYNYRD ON A CAR RADIO. BRILLIANT BLUE SKY... A HUGE
MARLBORO COWBOY erected on a rooftop displays his virility to...
‘THE HYATT’, a chic multi-storey hotel. A YOUNG GUY (shirt,
sneakers) comes out the entrance and, chewing gum, grinning,
passes TWO DOORMEN and A CHAUFFEUR fussing around a stretch limo
in the FORECOURT...
A GITANE HITS THE PAVEMENT WITH A SPRAY OF SPARKS.
THE MUSIC CARRIES OVER...
INT. STATIONARY TAXI CAB. DAY.
(settling at the wheel)
They have a guest by the name of Gluck but
no Friedman, sir.
In the back, unshaven, Lombard squints tiredly in the bright
Did you get Mr Gluck’s room number?
Three three seven, sir.
You in the entertainment business?
No. And turn that radio down, will you?
And Lombard turns to the Hyatt, thinking... The cab driver pulls a
face, turns away, shuts the radio and, glancing in his mirror
while starting the engine, asks:
Right. Where to now, sir!
Lombard thinks... turns, peers across the boulevard towards...
A multicoloured tower block: ‘THE MONDRIAN HOTEL’.
INT. ROOM 504, MONDRIAN. DAY.
A RINGING TONE. IN ON “Mondrian, Hotel De Grande Classe” on the
matchbook in Lombard’s hand... A Gitane in his mouth, showered, a
towel around his waist, the phone under his chin, he gazes out his
5th floor window...
SUNSET BOULEVARD snakes up and away into the Hollywood hills...
Across the boulevard, the Hyatt doormen chat in the shade of the
HYATT OPERATOR (OS)
I’m sorry but Mr Gluck is not answering,
sir. Would you like to leave a message?
I’ll call again.
Lombard hangs up, stays at the window, eyeing with a puzzled
frown... THE EMPTY PAVEMENTS... He raises his brows, redials...
HYATT OPERATOR (OS)
The Hyatt. Good afternoon. May I help you?
(in a SLIGHT GERMAN ACCENT)
Can I have the reception desk, please.
A click. The ringing tone, then: ‘Reception...’
This is Mr Gluck, room 337. I am expecting
delivery of a parcel at the hotel in the
next hour or so. Could you see to it that
it is taken to my room immediately.
HYATT RECEPTIONIST (OS)
Fine, Mr Gluck. Room 337. No problem.
INT. THE MONDRIAN BOUTIQUE. DAY.
The LADY ASSISTANT gift-wraps A BOX OF CHOCOLATES while... Lombard
tries on SUNGLASSES, looking at himself in the display mirror...
He selects a plain pair, takes them to the desk.
I’ll have them too.
LADY SHOP ASSISTANT
(pushing the box to him, sweet smile)
How will you be paying, sir.
(pulling out his wallet)
Cash. You wouldn’t happen to have a sticky
label and a pen. I need to send the
She sends him a knowing smile - a gift for a lady? - but then:
We have packs of ten labels for two
dollars and pens...
(she breaks off, perhaps encouraged by
Lombard’s enticing smile...)
Well, I guess I could lend you a pen.
(a beat, grinning)
That’s very kind. I guess I better buy a
pack of labels then.
INT. MONDRIAN RECEPTION DESK. DAY.
Lombard hands the LABELLED PARCEL - we glimpse: “Mr O. GLUCK...” -
to the RECEPTIONIST.
Would you please see this is delivered to
the Hyatt in ten minutes...
EXT. MONDRIAN, SUNSET BOULEVARD. DAY.
Lombard stands just outside the entrance. He peers up at the sky,
puts on his SUNGLASSES as... A GORGEOUS BLOND (starlet type, low-
cut top, shades) in a convertible Porsche pulls up in front of
him... In a flash a PORTER holds her door open, beaming... “Hello,
The Blond flashes her teeth, climbs out the car, proceeds to the
entrance, past Lombard... IN ON Lombard... IN ON the porter; both
follow... CLIP CLOP... every curve moving beneath her mini skirt
and along her LONG LEGS ON STILETTOES... She slithers through the
door and out of sight...
The porter wiggles his brows at Lombard, hops into the Porsche,
Lombard starts across Sunset Boulevard...
INT. THE HYATT, LOBBY. DAY.
Eyeing the HOTEL GUESTS around him, Lombard makes for the lifts...
INT. 3RD FLOOR CORRIDOR, HYATT. DAY.
IN ON a door: ROOM 337... The corridor is quiet, then...
The LIFT DOORS slide open, a PORTER gets out holding Lombard’s
parcel and hurries along to...
DOOR 337. He knocks... No answer... He lets himself in with a
Lombard steps out from behind a corner, makes for the door, goes
on in and...
INT. ROOM 337, HYATT. DAY.
...almost bumps into the porter hurrying back out.
Oh. Hi there. Mr Gluck...?
(signals towards the parcel on the
That packet just came for you, sir. I was
told to bring it to your room.
That’s right. Thank you...
Lombard dips into his pocket, pulls out a $5 bill...
Thank you, sir. Have a nice day...
And he backs out, bowing, grinning, closing the door... And
Lombard turns into the room...
No bags or personal belongings to be seen...
He peers through the BATHROOM DOOR; same... Opens the wardrobe;
empty but for... a HEATHROW DUTY FREE BAG and a SMALL LEATHER
TRAVELLING BAG with a VIRGIN AIRWAYS tag... He looks inside...
In the duty free bag: a bottle of Armagnac... In the travelling
bag: LEATHER SLIPPERS, like those in Friedman’s London bedroom...
IN ON Lombard; he doesn’t like it... He makes for the window...
Across Sunset, the ‘Mondrian’... In the sidestreet alongside the
hotel, the Blond drives her Porsche out of the underground
Lombard scans Sunset a moment longer, turns back into the room,
sees a bright HOTEL BROCHURE on a table... Picks it up, PROPS IT
UP AGAINST THE WINDOW, draws the curtain over it and...
INT. 3RD FLOOR CORRIDOR, HYATT. DAY.
...places a ‘DO NOT DISTURB’ sign on the handle of door 337.
INT. ROOM 504, MONDRIAN. DAY.
THE RINGING TONE. Lombard sits back in an armchair, smoking, his
bare feet up on the DOUBLE BED beside his case, waiting for his
call to be answered while gazing gloomily out the window at...
The Hyatt; THE BROCHURE IN THE WINDOW OF ROOM 337 IS CLEARLY
VISIBLE AGAINST THE DARK CURTAIN.
He is about the hang up when... ‘Hallo?’
How are you, Mrs De Moraes?
(after a beat, hesitant)
Have you got a pen?
Just a moment... Go ahead.
The Mondrian, room 504. The number is 266
7548, plus the L.A. code...
...7548. Have you... Have you found him
Lombard frowns - this hesitant woman doesn’t sound like Deborah.
Are you all right?
Yes... You woke me up... It’s the middle
of the night here. Have you found Mr
Not yet. The place I hoped to find him
turns out to be little more than a contact
address. I’ll give it 24 hours. He just
might show up.
(after a beat, off her silence)
If you need to reach me ask for Mr Lamont.
Paul Lamont, all right?
Yeah. Goodnight, Mrs De Moraes.
Lombard hangs up, sighs, stamps his cigarette...
EVENING. Through the open window; A FLAME RED SUNSET... Down in
the Hyatt forecourt, a steady stream of limousines pull in...
On the table, in red light, the remains of a meal, a half-empty
bottle of wine... On the floor, a pack of Gitanes, a full ashtray,
Lombard’s watch... Then...
LOMBARD, SOUND ASLEEP in his armchair by the window...
NIGHT. SILENCE. A TV flickers in the dark... Lombard stands at
his open window... Across Sunset, Friedman’s window is dark...
SWISHHH... Lombard strikes a match, lights a cigarette, flicks the
match out the window...
DAWN. Lombard is lying on the bed, eyes closed... A SHUFFLING
SOUND... He opens his eyes, alert, turns to the door...
On the carpet inside the door; ‘THE LOS ANGELES TIMES’...
Now Lombard is back at the window... L.A. IS WAKING UP: shapes
move in many of the Hyatt’s windows... A ROADSWEEPER with an air
blower blasts dust away from the hotel entrance...
EXT. MONDRIAN RESTAURANT TERRACE. MORNING.
BRIGHT SUN, a terrace overlooking L.A. Lombard sits by a sky blue
pool, smoking, leafing through ‘The LA Times’... A bustling
EFFEMINATE HISPANIC WAITER turns to him.
Good morning, sir. How can I help you?
A coffee and a couple of croissants.
I’m sorry, sir. Could you try that again?
(after a beat, irritated)
Croissants. Like that...
And he points to the croissants at A YOUNG COUPLE’s table.
Lombard looks the waiter up and down, raises his brows:
The word for those things is croissants.
Not in America, sir. You must be from
(off Lombard’s frown; smiling)
So, black coffee and a couple of
Incredulous, Lombard watches the waiter strut away, then turns
back to his newspaper. His eyes fall on...
A HEADLINE: “Child Agency Chief In Attack On Defense ‘Expert’.”
Lombard’s gaze shifts to... A B&W PHOTOGRAPH: A WOMAN PUSHING PAST
REPORTERS, hair wild, eyes blazing in fury...
The CAPTION reads: “MS Emily Stewart, Leaving Court.”...
Back to the article... WE READ: “Ms Emily Stewart, Chief Executive
of the Orlando Bright Child Foundation, gave evidence today in the
case that has...”
Reading, Lombard pulls his Gitane stub from his lips and flicks it
absent- mindedly away behind him...
HISSS... IT LANDS IN THE POOL...
INT. ROOM 405, MONDRIAN. DAY/DUSK.
Lombard is back at his window, scanning the Hyatt again, on the
Does Mr Gluck call for his messages?
HYATT OPERATOR (OS)
Absolutely, sir. As a matter of fact he
called this morning, sir.
Next time he calls tell Mr Gluck he better
be there to take his calls at 9 tonight or
at 9 in the morning if he cares about his
puppies. Got that?
HYATT OPERATOR (OS)
Got it. Puppies.
Lombard hangs up... looks at his watch - 14:30... sighs...
DUSK. SILENCE. Lombard is sound asleep on the bed, his head on
the crumpled LA Times...
IN ON THE DOOR - A KNOCK... IN ON THE PHONE - RING RING... Lombard
opens his eyes, sits up, groggy... The phone goes on ringing.
Another knock at the door... He checks his watch - 20:15 - frowns,
clears his throat, stands, picks up the receiver; ‘Hallo?’
Mr Lombard. Mrs De Moraes...
Uh... Wait a moment, Mrs De Moraes...
And he puts the receiver down and makes for the door...
What is it?
MAN’S VOICE (O.S.)
This is the hotel supervisor, Mr Lamont.
I’m terribly sorry to disturb you but
there’s been a mix-up with our bookings
which you might be able to help us
What are you talking about?
MAN’S VOICE (O.S)
We need a double-room and as I understand
you’re here alone we’d be much obliged if
you’d agree to move to a single room...
Annoyed, Lombard peers at... HIS DOUBLE BED... Opens the door...
I asked for a room facing...
TWO MEN IN PORTER UNIFORMS, a small HISPANIC, a big BLOND... The
Hispanic grins, steps forward... Lombard frowns... The Hispanic
JABS A STUN GUN INTO HIS STOMACH... A CRACKLE... Lombard cries
out, is shoved back... hardly sees the TRUNCHEON in the big
It CRACKS against his skull - BLACK OUT...TOTAL SILENT BLACK OUT.
INT. CAR TRUNK. NIGHT.
RISING, THE ROAR OF A CAR IN LOW GEAR. BAD SUSPENSION THUMPS OVER
ROUGH GROUND. In the darkness, becoming visible, Lombard’s head
pounding against car metal... blood glistens... his eyes glint...
Moaning, he wraps his arms around his head, enduring until...
THE CAR COMES TO AN ABRUPT HALT. Lombard crashes into the metal
with a cry... THE ENGINE DIES... A COUPLE OF DOORS OPEN AND SLAM
SHUT... THE SOUND OF MUFFLED CONVERSATION...
The trunk swings open... A BLINDING TORCH BEAM hits Lombard... He
shields his eyes behind bloody hands, his face and hair also wet
with blood... We hear FRIEDMAN’S VOICE (the German-accented
What is this blood? I told you not to
HISPANIC MAN (OS)
We didn’t do that. He must have gotten
thrown around on the last stretch of road.
Huh! Do you have his belongings?
BIG MAN (OS)
Get him out.
Two pairs of hands grab hold of Lombard, lift him out and...
EXT. NIGHT. ...he hits the sandy ground in front of a pair of
Lombard tries to look up from the shoes, is blinded by a torch
beam, lifts his hands to shield his eyes... Above, through the
dazzle of the torch, against the dark sky, the shape of a head and
shoulders... He groans:
The torch is thrust closer to his face... Now, at the edge of its
beam, Lombard sees... A MAN’S MOUTH, tight-lipped. The lips
move... a throat clearing sound... the lips open...
SPLATTT... A thick spurt of spittle lands on Lombard’s hand...
A kick in the head sends Lombard onto his front, face in the sand.
And someone sits on Lombard’s back, pins down his arms... LOMBARD
CRIES OUT... IN ON Lombard as, teeth gritted, winded by the
weight on his back, he cranes his head up and around to see...
In the torchlight - A NEEDLE STUCK INTO HIS ARM through his shirt,
the brownish liquid in the syringe slowly being emptied into him.
His eyes fill with horror... He wails: ‘Non...’
The syringe is empty, the needle yanked out of his arm...
A DEAFENING HUM AS WHITE LIGHT FLOODS THE SCREEN... Lombard cries
out again: ‘Nonnnn...’ his voice A DISTANT CRY...
INT. PARKED RENAULT, PARIS. DAWN.
A DAWN NIGHTMARE... ALL SOUNDS ECHOING...
A SUDDEN HUSH... THEN, COMING CLEAR... FOOTSTEPS PATTERING... THE
SOUND OF BREATHING...
SNAP! Red fingernails snap an elastic band around a pony-tail of
A goodlooking woman, MARTINE, checks her lipstick in the rearview
A GROAN... On the back seat: TWO CHILDREN, a boy and a girl, sleep
under a white blanket...
CLATTER... Martine’s hands clear the cluttered dashboard of maps,
sunglasses, cigarettes... CLICK... She opens the glove
IN ON Martine... A PISSED OFF FROWN....
EXT. RENAULT. Martine’s arm is out the passenger window, a
HANDGUN hanging limp from between her thumb and forefinger...
IN ON a man’s hand, WITH WEDDING BAND, clasping a rope...
IN ON the man, Lombard - a different man, younger, softer, with
longish hair. A Gitane burns in his mouth as... with his hands on
the ropes that fasten the canoes and fishing rods to the car’s
roofrack, he peers stoically at the gun...
EXT. AVENUE. FOOTSTEPS ECHOING. Lombard carries the gun into an
apartment building 20 yards along from the Renault...
INT. RENAULT. CLACK... as Martine pushes a tape into the cassette
player: SINATRA SINGS: #... Let’s take it nice and easy...#
INT. FOYER. SWISHH... The lift doors slide open... Lombard gets
in... reaches for button 5, as...
THE ERRATIC PURR OF A CRUISING CAR OUTSIDE... IN ON Lombard; a
frown... a thought... a look of dread...
EXT. AVENUE. Lombard bursts out into the street and stops dead...
Sinatra sings: #...The problem now of course is, to simply hold
A PEUGEOT, coming towards Lombard, nears the Renault with its
passenger door SLIGHTLY OPEN...
SILENCE as Lombard stares at.... A man’s hand clutching an object
under the door... The fingers let go... TOC, TOC, TOC... A GRENADE
GENTLY BOUNCES ON THE TARMAC AND ROLLS UNDER THE RENAULT...
SINATRA SINGS ON. Lombard looks up... Martine is reaching into
the back of the Renault, unaware... THE PEUGEOT TYRES SCREAM...
Lombard turns... IN ON THE TWO MEN LOOMING BEHIND THE WINDSCREEN
of the fast approaching Peugeot... GRINNING AS THEY LOCK EYES WITH
LOMBARD who... throws himself between parked cars to avoid being
hit... The Peugeot roars past and away... Lombard jumps back to
IN ON Martine through the windscreen; bewildered, she gapes at...
MARTINE! Get out! Get the Hell out!
Martine understands, moves as if to open her door and...
BOOM... SHE IS ENGULFED IN A BALL OF FIRE. SILENCE AGAIN.
EXT. DESERT. DAY. IN ON Lombard; head against sun-baked sand,
shaggy-haired, lips cracked and sand-caked, he gazes up at...
A HAZY VISION: a YOUNG BOY peering down in fascination... A YOUNG
GIRL appears beside him; a scowl of fear and disgust...
Lombard’s lips move as he tries to speak... He cannot... IN ON his
WEDDING-BAND HAND; he lifts it from the sand. It flops back...
Now, WIDE FROM ABOVE - Lombard, dressed in BAGGY JEANS, A
‘BUDWEISER’ T-SHIRT AND WORN-OUT SNEAKERS, lies prostrate, lost in
the wilderness. The two children stand over him...
EXT. STREETS, PARIS. DAWN. SOUND OF SOBBING THROUGH RUNNING
FOOTSTEPS. Lombard, CRYING, runs along an empty street... Now
along a boulevard... Running... Running...
EXT. ‘LA SANTÉ’ PRISON. DAWN. PANTING AND RUNNING FOOTSTEPS. The
prison, peaceful in the dawn... Lombard runs into shot...
INT. PRISON RECEPTION. DAWN. SILENCE. With a shaky hand but his
face dead calm, Lombard signs a form, pushes it to a WARDER...
INT. PRISON CORRIDOR. FOOTSTEPS ECHOING, GATES CLANGING SHUT.
Lombard follows ANOTHER WARDER...
INT. PRISON VISITING ROOM. SILENCE. Lombard peers at... Across a
sea of empty tables, an INMATE, in pyjamas, a sneer on his sleepy
face... Lombard waits for the warder to leave, pulls out his gun
and makes for the inmate, the gun held out in front in both
EXT. DESERT. DAY. IN ON Lombard; HATRED, as he murmurs:
I should’ve killed you when I first laid
hands on you, scumbag! Your little brother
just missed me! Your little brother just
IN ON A CHILD HANDS prising the wedding band from Lombard’s
INT. PRISON VISITING ROOM. The inmate sits petrified, eyeing...
Lombard’s gun nearing him... A COMMOTION from the doorway...
Lombard stops, looks back over his shoulder...
In the doorway, INSPECTEUR MOREAU, in a sweat, looks straight back
at him, eyes pained: ‘Don’t do it...’
IN ON Lombard staring at Moreau; DEAD EYES...
Je sais, Moreau. But I can’t die. I
IN ON his finger, pulling the trigger. BANG!... THE SCREEN FLOODS
RED... FLAMING RED... A FLAMING SUN... BEATING DOWN...
END OF SEQUENCE
INT. BEDROOM, RANCH. DAY/EVENING.
A SPEAR OF SUNLIGHT FALLS ACROSS COLD BLUE ADOLESCENT EYES
WATCHING... Lombard’s head against a white pillow, cleaned up and
shaven but covered in sweat, muttering wildly to himself with his
eyes closed... Now he opens his eyes, stares, sits up
(barechested) and sees...
The adolescent (jeans, T-shirt), a rifle across his lap, eyes him
from a chair... He stands, hurries out, leaving the door open. We
hear his feet on the stairs...
Lombard scans the room... He’s in an old timber bed with a home-
made quilt... bare floorboards, patterned fabrics, papered walls,
a jug and bowl, an oil lamp beside the bed - all old and clean, as
if he’d arrived in the past... He examines his arm... A bruise
where he was stabbed with the needle... He turns to...
The window; a FEW CHILDREN play by a shabby PICK-UP TRUCK parked
near a stone well... A donkey and some bony cattle graze lazily in
pasture... Beyond, a colourless desert landscape... WE HEAR a
MAN’S VOICE (OS)
You’re no citizen of these United States,
Lombard turns... AN OLD COWBOY in a leather waistcoat eyeballs him
from the doorway, a rifle hanging at the end of his arm...
And you ain’t neither one of those damned
Mexicans who end up littering the
landscape after getting ripped-off by
their friendly cross- border guides, are
(he clears his throat, then:)
(walking into the room)
I didn’t think so. The rags on their sorry
backs are the only wordly possessions
those wretched creatures are ever found
(he stops by the bed, searching his
I don’t wanna know who you are or how come
you ended up roasting in Owl Canyon. But
you might as well know I’d have let you
fry to a buzzard meal if not for this...
And he tosses... LOMBARD’S WEDDING BAND lands on the quilt...
Now, can you stand up?
(off Lombard’s puzzled look: ‘What?’)
Can you use your legs and stand up?
I... How long have I been here?
Three days and that’s three days too
many.Come on. Get your ass up.
Lombard frowns, then proceeds to get out of bed, slowly,
grimacing... until he stands on shaky legs, in a pair of shorts...
Huh... I guess you ain’t quite ready for
civilisation yet... I’ll give you one more
day, a meal, and then you’re on your way.
(a beat, he raises his brows)
Los Angeles is 100 miles away.
(he frowns, sits back on the bed)
I’d appreciate it if I could use your
I’m sure you would. But if I had one, I
wouldn’t let you near it. Now you tuck
back in and rest until you’re told
(he turns, makes for the door)
And for what it’s worth, I wouldn’t try
anything that might be construed as
unappreciative of my hospitality. I’d
sooner shoot you than have you upset me...
And the Old Cowboy leaves, closing the door behind him... Lombard,
sombre, picks up his wedding band, puts it back on his finger,
eyeing... ON A WICKER CHAIR, a neat pile; the jeans, T-Shirt and
sneakers he was found in...
EVENING. By the light of the oil lamp (a half-eaten steak on a
plate beside it) Lombard sits up in bed, trying to roll a
cigarette...from below WE HEAR...
OLD COWBOY, WOMAN & CHILDREN (OS)
...For what we are about to receive, may
the Lord make us truly thankful...
EXT. DESERT. DAY.
The shabby pick-up truck travels in a cloud of dust along A DIRT
EXT. ROADSIDE. DAY.
A straight Tarmac road cuts through the desert. The pick-up truck
idles where the dirt track meets the road, the Old Cowboy at the
wheel. Lombard (back in Bud T-shirt, jeans, sneakers) stands in
the open passenger door...
Barstow’s 30 miles to the left. Los
Angeles a hundred to the right. Wherever
you’re heading, I reckon somebody’ll pick
(squinting in the direction of LA)
Huh... I suppose the idea of a one day
trip to Los Angeles doesn’t appeal to
Is that where lawyers toil for an industry
that turns serial killers into heroes who
give thrills to young women who write
erotic novels about psychopaths and
(off Lombard’s look: ‘Is it?’)
You go to your world, I’ll stay in mine.
So long, Mister.
Lombard peers at the old cowboy... grins and slams the door... The
old cowboy revs away, does a U-turn and drives back along the
track in a cloud of dust... Lombard sighs... peers right where
the road joins the horizon...
Los Angeles, à droite...
EXT. HYATT/MONDRIAN, SUNSET BOULEVARD. DAY.
Lombard stands at the kerb peering up at... The Hyatt, across the
boulevard... The BROCHURE is still there in Friedman’s window...
INT. RECEPTION/LOBBY, MONDRIAN. AFTERNOON.
Lombard waits at the desk, ignoring the looks from GUESTS and
STAFF around him, his eyes on... A YOUNG RECEPTIONIST, on the
phone... He mutters a ‘Thank you’, hangs up, turns to Lombard with
a tight smile.
I’m sorry, Mr Lamont. According to our
records no personal property was found in
room 504 after settlement of the account.
Lombard nods, put out but not surprised... asks:
Could you tell me who settled my bill?
The receptionist pulls a face, taps into the desk’s terminal...
No. It was a cash payment. I’m sorry.
(a beat; he nods again)
Let me see your phone directory, will you?
(off the receptionist’s look,
Your phone directory!
CUT TO: Lombard’s hand ripping a page from a telephone directory.
EXT. OCEAN AVENUE, SANTA MONICA. AFTERNOON.
Santa Monica pier stretches out into the Pacific... Strollers
stroll... A cluster of scheming YOUNG MALES... VAGRANTS watch
rollerblading TEENAGERS display their skills around cones along
the promenade... WE FIND...
Lombard, on the kerb, peering at... A SMALL MULTI-STOREY
BUILDING... IN ON A PLAQUE by the door;
“... 4th Floor: ORLANDO BRIGHT CHILD FOUNDATION...”
INT. CORRIDOR. AFTERNOON.
ANOTHER PLAQUE, on a metal door: “ORLANDO BRIGHT CHILD...”
A SECURITY GUARD dozes at a desk beside it (a desk clearly not
meant to be there: it restricts access to further down the
corridor)... THE SOUND OF LIFT DOORS OPENING... The Guard looks
up... Lombard steps out... peers at the guard (already
suspicious)... sees the plaque... makes for the desk...
You got an appointment?
Lombard glances at the door... NO HANDLE... it can only be opened
with a key or electrically perhaps... He grins at the guard...
Could you tell Mrs Stewart that Mr Paul
Lamont wants to see her. It’s important.
The guard eyeballs Lombard... pushes an intercom button...
There’s a Mr Lamont out here for Ms
Stewart. Says it’s important but no
Silence as Lombard and the guard eyeball each other, waiting...
The door opens, revealing... a BESPECTACLED YOUNG MAN (genial
type); he smiles at the guard, turns to Lombard; a sceptical frown
forms on his face...
BESPECTACLED YOUNG MAN
Er, good afternoon, Mr Lamont... Ms
Stewart is in a meeting right now. Perhaps
if you could let me know what you wish to
discuss I could arrange an appointment for
you to see her.
Lombard peers over the young man’s shoulder through the door...
A BRIGHTLY COLOURED RECEPTION - cheerful posters and children’s
drawings on the walls... Jars of sweets...
Lombard eyes the young man... the guard... turns to the lift...
Tell Ms Stewart I’ll be outside. And she
better come if the purpose of this set-up
of yours is to help kids rather than to
provide you with an easy living.
EXT. PROMENADE, SANTA MONICA. AFTERNOON/EVENING.
Lombard sits on a bench, gazing pensively across the beach...
Beyond the rollerblading teenagers, A YOUNG COUPLE IN SWIMSUITS
argue near the ocean...
Lombard looks up, squinting in the sun...
EMILY (30s, attractive, well-dressed, a huge battered handbag over
her shoulder) stands above him, the Security Guard beside her...
IN ON Emily; she frowns, not liking what she sees... Then, hard,
Emily Stewart. The ‘easy living’ lady. If
this concerns a child or children’s well-
being, I suggest you contact the police.
The foundation is not a law enforcement
Lombard smiles his charming smile... gets to his feet, holds out a
I’m afraid it’s not that simple. Good
afternoon, Miss Stewart.
She hesitates, grabs his hand, shakes it with a nod, pulls her
(to the security guard)
I’d rather speak to Miss Stewart alone.
You can watch from the next bench if you
The guard turns to... Emily eyeballs Lombard... decides to... She
signals to the guard it’s okay... The guard scowls at Lombard and
Lombard and Emily watch him cross the street back towards the
building, then turn back to face each other... He smiles... She
sends him an icy grin...
May I ask where you’re from, Mr Lamont?
(off her look)
France. I’m French but I live in London...
(surprise, then scepticism in her
You’re a long way from home...
Lombard nods, grins... indicates the bench and sits down himself,
You wouldn’t have a cigarette, would you?
I don’t smoke. If you could get to the
Lombard grins again... peers at her, thinking... He glances at...
Her hands, clutching her handbag to her skirt...
You’re sure you won’t sit down, Miss
I’m fine standing, thank you.
Lombard nods... goes for for it...
Am I right in thinking someone in your
line of work is aware of the existence of
child traffickers, Miss Stewart?
Emily stares down at him, intrigued... She nods...
I’m a private investigator. I’m here on
the trail of an Austrian child procurer. I
cannot say if his operation extends to
your country but I doubt he’s here to
enjoy the sunshine.
(pauses to let her take in his words)
I believe he killed a man I was hired to
find back in London. A few days ago he
also tried to kill me. He didn’t succeed
but it’s left me stranded without money,
passport or a decent wardrobe in this
distant land... I need help to finish what
I came here to do, Miss Stewart - to find
him and, perhaps, see to it that he
doesn’t hurt anyone again... Your help,
IN ON Emily; her expression shifting with conflicting thoughts...
Her eyes move down to his T-shirt... She glares...
Is this some kind of sick stunt? Let me
guess. You want money, right?
A small loan would be welcome. More
urgently, I need access to a telephone and
an address where things can be sent to me.
IN ON Emily, something close to hate in her eyes... She turns to
the ocean, as if to shake her thoughts, muttering angrily:
I can’t believe this...
(back to Lombard)
What’s coming now, eh? If I don’t pay all
Hell’s gonna break loose, is that it?
(with a mystified frown)
Well, I’d sooner mug an old lady...
You... (She screams:) Jesus Christ!
The rollerblading kids nearby stop and turn to them as Emily leans
forward, pointing a finger in Lombard’s face:
Listen and listen well, Mister! I don’t
care if you’re just sick or if some other
sick mind put you up to this. Either way,
don’t you ever come to my office or cross
my path again, you hear? Ever!
And, as she turns to go, Lombard swiftly grabs hold of her wrist,
pulls her back, glares into her eyes...
Maybe you didn’t hear me right, so I’ll
say it again; I need help, Emily. Maybe my
creep’s kids don’t come from your streets.
And maybe you don’t care much about boys
and girls in faraway places being
sodomised and killed. Hey, this is
America, right! But just now the man is
here. Amongst your children. And wherever
he goes, his poison follows. Have a nice
walk back to your office, Emily.
And Lombard let’s go of her... The rollerblading kids stand
gawking around them... IN ON Emily; a flustered stare... IN ON
Lombard; a flicker of hope...
Emily grimaces, something almost grotesque, turns and storms
away... Lombard watches her go... turns back towards the
(to the gawking teenagers)
Keep on playing, you little shits!
And he glares beyond them to... The couple on the beach, still
We see him briefly from behind, perhaps from Emily’s POV, his bent
back as he slumps forwards, bringing his hands up to his face...
(wearily rubbing his eyes)
Merde, merde et remerde...
A RUSTLING NOISE; Lombard looks sideways through his fingers...
Emily sits on his bench, rummaging in her bag... He lowers his
hands, prepares to speak but... from the resolve in her face he
decides to let her lead...
Okay. The woman just can’t walk away...
I want straight answers. No hesitation or
I walk for sure. Why can’t you go to your
French people need a visa to enter this
country. That takes time and I didn’t have
any. I used a British passport. My name’s
not Lamont but Lombard. Xavier Lombard.
Emily stops searching her overflowing handbag, turns to him,
guffaws: ‘Huh!’... then resumes her search...
Where were you staying before the attempt
on your life and why can’t you go back
The Mondrian, room 504. I was checked out
in my absence.
By your Austrian?
At last she pulls A PEN AND NOTEPAD from her bag... turns to
Lombard, scrutinizes him, and...
You don’t know why he’s come to Los
(off Lombard’s look; ‘No’)
The man you say he killed? Who was he? A
colleague of his?
No. A poor little rich boy who thought
he’d save a few kids from their retailer.
He disappeared on his second shopping
Emily tightens her lips; she finds his choice of words
distasteful... She holds out the pen and notepad...
I need a few numbers where I can check you
out. And don’t tell me you can’t.
Lombard nods, grins, takes the notepad... opens it on his lap and
starts writing... Emily watches him writing for a moment, then...
Have you never heard of collect calls,
(he understands, grins...)
It will take a few days for the things I
need to get here. Meanwhile I’d sooner not
draw police attention walking the streets
like a hungry dog...
There are over 4 million people in this
city - why me?
I thought you’d never ask... As I was
having my coffee and crescents at the
Mondrian the other morning I spotted your
photograph in the Los Angeles Times...
There’s a tough lady, I thought. Just the
kind who might help me...
Emily frowns. Lombard hands back the notepad... As she looks over
Jane’s infatuated with me, so try not to
shatter her dreams. Mr Oak’s my landlord,
so I’d rather you didn’t call him.
Nathalie is... Nathalie is Nathalie. And
Moreau is a cop. He’s in Paris, the others
in London. Sorry, that’s all I can do. I
don’t have that many friends...
Emily raises her brows - ‘Really!’- shoves the notepad into her
You know where to look for your Austrian,
I know where to look.
(she gets to her feet)
I might come back, I might not. But if I
do, it won’t be for a couple of hours.
Lombard grins... She turns away and starts towards her
building... Lombard turns back towards the ocean, frowns, turns
and calls after her:
(she turns back)
I could do with a cigarette and something
to eat... I’ll pay you back.
IN ON Emily; she hesitates... sighs... starts searching her
EVENING. MOONLIGHT plays on the choppy sea... SWISH: A MATCH FLAME
HELD TO A CIGARETTE BETWEEN A VAGRANT’S LIPS... ‘Thanks, man’.
Lombard, on his bench, a cigarette between his lips, waves bye
to... the vagrant strolls away tugging a loaded trolley behind
him... A SHOUT:
Lombard looks back... then up... A FOURTH FLOOR WINDOW: Emily...
INT. SEQUENCE. ORLANDO BRIGHT FOUNDATION. EVENING.
THE RECEPTION AREA - dimly lit and deserted at this hour...
Lombard follows Emily who talks in rapid, professional mode...
The foundation was set up 8 years ago by
Orlando Bright’s parents. Orlando died as
a result of repeated sexual abuse and a
systematic draining of his blood in what
pathologists could only describe as a
ritual sadistic killing. He’d vanished
while riding his bike to school...
A CORRIDOR - more cheery posters and children’s drawings... Emily
goes on walking, Lombard following behind her...
When his body was found in a wood four
weeks later, his ankle was broken and bore
the scar of a tight shackle. He was
She pauses at a door marked: ‘INTERVIEW ROOM’, calls inside:
I’ll be in my office...
Over her shoulder Lombard glimpses... A brightly painted
conference room... A BOY sits on a carpet scattered with toys.
WHITNEY (young, tired-looking) kneels beside him... She nods...
Emily shuts the door and walks on...
Our team includes doctors, therapists,
social workers and volunteers. We try to
help abused kids cope with their
ANOTHER CORRIDOR, similar to the last.
...Offer what support we can to the
families of disappeared children. Monitor
court cases. Compile dossiers of
disturbing information that comes in, and
spend way too much time trying to raise
funds and convince law enforcement
agencies of the reality of the perverse
practices that go on in this beautiful
She opens a door, switches on the light, motions for Lombard to go
Fortunately some corporations think it’s
good PR to be associated with a child-care
agency. Their support allows us to go on
waging our war. And a war it is...
END OF SEQUENCE
INT. EMILY’S OFFICE. EVENING.
Crammed with filing cabinets. One large desk, computer
terminal... Emily shuts the door, makes for a coffee machine,
There’ve been 7 international treaties
since 1904 aimed at preventing child
slavery. But still no worldwide body
dedicated to investigating the
maltreatment of children used in sexual
exploitation. Officially, it’s just not
called for. Sit down. Can I offer you some
I wouldn’t mind. Thank you.
As Emily busies about the coffee machine, Lombard settles in a
chair in front of the large desk, scanning the walls...
POSTERS everywhere: one lists the center’s sponsors: McDonalds,
Toshiba, Disney... Another advertises the Anti-Slavery Society...
A wall is papered with posters of MISSING CHILDREN, issued by The
National Center For Missing And Exploited Children; each with
about 30 SMILING LITTLE FACES...
Sitting at the desk with a coffee in a DISPOSABLE CUP, Emily
follows Lombard’s gaze towards... A HUGE SAFE with a combination
A recent acquisition. We’ve had four break-
ins this year alone; files stolen,
computers wrecked, faeces smeared on
walls. The good guys dismiss us as
alarmist do-gooders; the bad guys will
risk prison to intimidate and rob us. An
easy living indeed, Mr Lombard.
(she grins, pushes the coffee to
I got through to Moreau and Jane. I left
your landlord out of it. Your flat’s been
broken into. Jane wants you to call her
Hah... What about Nathalie?
No answer. You have no passport and your
Embassy’s out. How do you plan to leave
the U.S., Mr Lombard?
(a beat as he is taken aback; then:)
I’m sure I’ll find a way.
Like you’ll find a way to stop your
Austrian killing you a second time round?
Lombard grins, but there’s irritation in his eyes... He reaches
for the coffee...
Thank you for the guided tour, but would
you mind telling me what we’re doing here?
How come you’re alive? Child traffickers
usually achieve what they set out to do.
(off Lombard’s frown)
What am I really looking at here, huh?
(off Lombard’s scowl)
Are you really not just a lousy private
eye? Am I really looking at some kind of
cunning dispenser of justice in disguise?
(after a beat, peering into her eyes)
Did you call me up here to enjoy yourself,
Emily, or to let me use your phone?
Because we seem to have a slight
We’re the ones with a problem, Mr Lombard.
Lombard turns to... Whitney eyes him from the doorway...
You and you alone know of a child
trafficker who you say might be here
plying his trade. We don’t think that’s
right. We want his name, his addresses in
LA and London, and anything you have on
any of his associates... In short,
everything you know.
IN ON Lombard; a bemused frown... He turns back to Emily...
Whitney Armstrong, my deputy. What
Whitney’s trying to say is that you might
not live to tell the tale next time you
meet your Austrian...
And losing you, we’d lose him. And that
would be a shame, don’t you agree?
Scowling, Lombard watches Whitney settle onto the chair beside
If you have hard evidence about a child
trafficker, we want it, Mr Lombard. And we
want it before you get yourself killed...
Most of our information comes out of the
mouths of babes, Mr Lombard - confused and
frightened victims. It’s all too easily
discredited, you understand. Now, you
might be just what we’ve been waiting for.
Your information could be enough to make
‘em sit up and listen.
Lombard peers at Whitney, teeth clenched...
It’s give and take time, Mr Lombard. You
need help, we need information. You didn’t
really expect me to put my ass on the line
helping a criminal just for the thrill of
it, did you?
(a beat; he swallows hard)
Did you not enter this country illegally?
Lombard glares... Then, between clenched teeth, screwing up his
Huh... I have no... (a beat)... hard
Come on, Mr Lombard. You tailed your man
all the way here from Europe. You told me
you knew where to find him, remember? Or
didn’t I hear you right?
IN ON Lombard; rage... IN ON his fingers tightening around the
paper cup in his hand. It caves in: COFFEE SPILLS OVER HIS T-SHIRT
AND LAP... He curses... ‘Nom de...’
He turns to Emily, grinning, doing his best to sound calm...
As I recall, you asked if I knew where to
look for him, Emily. I said I did. Even in
English that doesn’t mean ‘I know where he
(he slams the crushed cup on her desk)
Now, I appreciate what you ladies are
doing here. But I have nothing for you. I
wouldn’t worry, though. The man is slimy.
I reckon when I find him I’ll find slime.
I promise I’ll share it with you...
Before I die...
SILENCE. Emily and Whitney exchange a heavy glance... Emily is not
convinced, turns back to Lombard, unflinching... IN ON Lombard; a
rueful grin... Now Emily gently rocks her head to and fro...
glances back at... Whitney purses her lips, shakes her head - ‘I
Don’t know’ - ... and Emily turns back to Lombard, opens a drawer,
pulls out a box of tissues, tosses it to him...
Dry yourself up...
(she turns the phone and a notepad to
The address is my home. Which I guess is
also where you’ll be sleeping tonight.
(she stands, signals Whitney to
You’ll find us next door when you’re done.
(off Lombard’s furious look: ‘Is that
Huh. We wouldn’t want you to go out and
mug an old lady, would we?
Lombard is on the phone...
... OK, Moreau. Bon, écoute, j’ai besoin
INT. SPARE BEDROOM, EMILY’S HOUSE. NIGHT.
Lombard’s phone calls carry over:
LOMBARD (VOICE OVER)
Uh huh... Yes, Jane... Thank you... My
microwave is still there?... Good. Now
calm down and listen...
Lombard, in TIGHT PYJAMAS, looking tired, hair wet from a shower,
slowly buttons his pyjama top, his eyes idly scanning...
Against a wall: BOXES AND BOXES OF LITERATURE, JOURNALS AND
PAMPHLETS... SOME ARE LABELLED... ‘PAEDIKA’... ‘NAMBLA’...
Nambla - North American Man Boy Love
Lombard turns... Emily is in the doorway, nods towards the boxes:
Fund raising material. Some people will
only believe what they see... And some
won’t even believe that. Too decent, I
Lombard smiles... She looks him up and down, smiling sadly.
A little too tight, eh?
(off his shrug: ‘They’re okay.’)
...They were my son’s. Only thirteen and
already six feet tall. A real lanky boy...
(she breaks off, smiles nervously)
I... There’s some cold chicken salad in
the fridge if you’re hungry.
Thank you. But I think I’ll go to bed.
It’s been a long day.
(she nods; a beat, then:)
Right... Well, I’ll get your money first
thing in the morning, okay?
(off Lombard’s smile: ‘Okay’)
Okay. Goodnight then.
(smiling kindly rather than warmly)
Yeah. Goodnight, Emily.
Don’t fall asleep with your hair wet.
Alone, Lombard reaches for a booklet from a box...
OVER HIS SHOULDER, the booklet in his hands: titled ‘WONDERLAND’,
printed by ‘THE LEWIS CAROLL COLLECTOR’S GUILD’... He leafs
through it... DRAWINGS OF CHILDREN... he pauses...
IN ON... ‘THE FAMILY THAT PLAYS TOGETHER STAYS TOGETHER’.
Lombard tosses it back in its box and peers at a glossy
publication in another:
‘SEX BY AGE EIGHT - OR IT’S TOO LATE’ by THE RENÉE GUYON SOCIETY,
Los Angeles, 5,000 members.
IN ON Lombard...
EXT. EMILY’S HOUSE. NIGHT.
A suburban street. Emily stands in her doorway under a starry
Kitty, Kitty, Kitty... Come on, Kitty...
WRAAOWWW. IN ON A CAT, all claws and teeth, fighting another
EXT. CENTURY CITY SHOPPING MALL. MORNING.
BRIGHT SUNSHINE... A PONTIAC pulls up outside the gleaming mall.
The passenger door swings open... Lombard (still in T-shirt and
sneakers, now with a two-day stubble) climbs out, shuts the door
and leans in the window:
If the cops get to you, don’t get into
trouble denying you know me. I picked you
up in a restaurant and you fell for my
Gaelic charm. You thought I was a
businessman and had no idea I’d used your
address as a mail box. Could you live with
(Emily nods, worried...)
My money should get here tomorrow. The
passport might take a little longer. I
have to send a photograph...
Emily just looks back at him, not knowing what to say.
Well... I’ll be in touch.
Lombard turns, squints into the sun, starts towards the crowds of
(leaning out the car window)
What am I to do with the packages if...
(he stop, thinks, turns...)
Burn the passport and keep the money.
Think of it as a donation to the cause...
INT. CUBICLE, MEN’S ROOM. SHOPPING MALL. MORNING.
The floor around the toilet, strewn with... LOMBARD’S OLD CLOTHES,
EMPTY SHOPPING BAGS, TORN PRICE TAGS AND LABELS, THE OLD SNEAKERS
IN A NEW SHOEBOX... Through the open door, WE SEE...
By the sink; A DISPOSABLE RAZOR, SHAVING FOAM, abandoned...
INT. CENTURY CITY SHOPPING CENTER. MORNING.
A PHOTO BOOTH. A soft ‘CLUNK’... A strip of photos drops into the
tray... IN ON Lombard’s hand picking them up; a new watch on his
Lombard - SHAVED, IN A NEW BLACK SUIT, WHITE SHIRT - looks deadpan
at the four shots of his grim face... pockets the strip... puts on
a NEW PAIR OF SUNGLASSES and turns into the stream of shoppers...
EXT. SECOND-HAND CAR POUND, LOS ANGELES. DAY.
WIDE VIEW. Lombard stands over an OLD BLUE FORD MUSTANG, watching
A CAR SALESMAN demonstrate the wipers, etc...
EXT. STREET, DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES. DAY.
WIDE VIEW. A rough part of town, figures loiter in doorways...
The Blue Mustang and... Lombard stands with a gang of young
HISPANICS, chatting relaxedly with a dry grin... Another YOUTH
joins them... holds out a paper bag to Lombard... He peers inside,
reaches into his pocket, holds out money...
EXT. STREET OFF SUNSET BOULEVARD. DAY.
The Mustang wheel screeches to a stop along a kerb...
INT. PHONE BOOTH, SUNSET BOULEVARD. DAY.
LOMBARD (ON THE PHONE)
Tell Mr Gluck the needle man still wants
to talk and will get his puppy farm closed
down unless he answers his next call at
EXT. PHONE BOOTH, SUNSET BOULEVARD. DAY.
Lombard steps out the phone booth, puts on his sunglasses...
WIDE VIEW as he lights a cigarette... The phone booth is on the
same side as the Hyatt, which stands 50 yards away... The Mustang
is parked at the end of a small sidestreet OPPOSITE THE HYATT, a
block along from the Mondrian...
Lombard stands there, surveying his surroundings, as if this
section of Sunset is now his own, the cars rolling up and down
just meaningless intruders...
INT/EXT. MUSTANG/SUNSET. SEQUENCE. DAY/NIGHT/DAY.
INT. STATIONARY MUSTANG. DAY. Lombard is at the wheel, looking
down at... In his hand; A SEMI-AUTOMATIC HANDGUN...
EXT. MUSTANG/HYATT. DUSK. A spectacular SUNSET... A lonely
DOORMAN paces in front of the Hyatt, gloved hands behind his
INT. MUSTANG. NIGHT. The RADIO is on: late night babble about
sex... Two takeaway cups of coffee on the dash... A burger bag on
the passenger seat... Lombard, head against his shoulder, stares
out from hooded eyes at... Through the windscreen, a couple of
staggering HOOKERS and their PIMP...
INT. PHONE BOOTH. NIGHT.
You sure you passed on my message?
HYATT OPERATOR (OS)
I certainly did, sir...
Lombard hangs up, freezes as... A lone POLICE CAR cruises past...
EXT. HYATT. DAWN. A ROADSWEEPER blasts dust off the pavement
around the hotel entrance...
INT. MUSTANG. DAY. THE SUN BEATS DOWN. Lombard, looking rough
now, searches the radio - Pop, rap, rock, inane talk, news,
country music - settles for LOUIS ARMSTRONG: ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’...
He checks his watch - 11:20 - sighs, peers out, lights a Gitane,
reaches for a cup, gulps some cold coffee with a grimace, leans
back in his seat, peers out again... stiffens...
Through the windscreen: TWO MEN (dark, ITALIAN-LOOKING, in
immaculate suits) walk away from the Hyatt’s door...
IN ON Lombard; a frown as he peers at... Swaying at the end of
one of the men’s arms; THE LEATHER TRAVELLING BAG AND HEATHROW
DUTY-FREE BAG FROM FRIEDMAN’S ROOM...
The men climb into a waiting 4x4 JEEP with tinted windows...
Lombard throws his coffee out the window, puts on his sunglasses,
starts the engine... THE MUSIC carries over...
INT/EXT. TAILING SEQUENCE. DAY.
EXT. A road sign: “SAN BERNARDINO”... The Jeep with the Mustang
in tow cruise past...
Now the two cars drive through rich fields with sprinklers...
Another road sign: FREEWAY 215 - Victorville: 30; Barstow: 62; Las
INT. MUSTANG. Ahead, the Jeep changes lane... Lombard peers at a
road sign: ROUTE 395... EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE: 40 miles...
EXT. Scrub and dried-up lakes... a straight road through this
lifeless landscape... A lizard basks in the sun... The Jeep drives
past... then, AFTER WHAT FEELS LIKE AN ETERNITY, the Mustang...
INT. MUSTANG. A frown on Lombard’s face as he eyes... A sign
where a track cuts through the HIGH CHAIN-LINK FENCE flashing past
“CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC”
EXT. The Jeep and Mustang (now separated by another car) cruise
along yet more chain-link fencing, stretching forever...
INT. MUSTANG. Lombard slows... Far ahead, the Jeep takes a
Lombard slows right down now, peering after... The Jeep, rolling
away along a dusty road into the desert... No fence here, just an
old weatherbeaten sign:
“CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC”...
Lombard turns to the road ahead... In the far, far distance, on
the other side of the road... A SMALL CLUSTER OF BUILDINGS...
END OF SEQUENCE
EXT. GAS STATION/RED MOUNTAIN MOTEL-BAR. AFTERNOON.
IN ON a dusty sign: ‘RED MOUNTAIN MOTEL-BAR’... The old PUMP
ATTENDANT fills up the Mustang’s tank... Lombard takes off his
sunglasses... mops his brow, put his dumb face on.
(the attendant nods: ‘Sure is.’)
These roads all round here, closed to the
public... Why’s that? Military bases?
(the attendant grunts)
Huh. I guess there’s space enough for war
games... Must be good for business.
All those soldiers out there... getting
bored, thirsty. Come out here for
refreshment or female company perhaps?
Ain’t nobody out there, Mister.
Nobody? Huh!... How come?
Maybe for the same reason that made
someone somewhere not consider this a spot
to build the Getty Museum...
(motioning to where the jeep went)
What about that road back there, though?
It says ‘closed to the public’, doesn’t
You a tourist?
Lombard nods with a grin... The attendant shakes his head, pulls
the nozzle out of the Mustang and hooks it back on the pump.
Used to lead to a detention camp for
Japanese Americans, but that was during
world war two. Whatever’s down there now,
I’m sure it ain’t worth a detour...
That’ll be 11 dollars and 34 cents.
Anything else I can do for you, Mister?
INT. MOTEL BAR. LATE AFTERNOON.
A JUKEBOX plays TONY BENNETT... Lombard, holding a cold beer
bottle to his neck, is at the PAYPHONE by the door, waiting for an
answer, looking out at the desert beyond the parking bay where his
Mustang sits... No answer. He hangs up, picks up a piece of paper
from above the phone, folds it, puts it in his breast pocket,
drains his beer, turns and peers at...
TWO GIRLS (rucksacks, sparkling country eyes, on their way to LA
in search of decadence) scribble letters over sodas...
EXT. DESERT SEQUENCE. DAY/DUSK/NIGHT.
THE SIGN: ‘Closed to the Public’... Lombard, jacket slung over his
shoulder, walks past and onto the track where the jeep pulled
THE SUN BEATS DOWN... Lombard marches on, shirt soaked with sweat.
Now the road narrows to a rough DIRT TRACK over ridges of rock and
sand... Lombard plods on, the only living thing in sight in the
vast sandy landscape...
FOOTPRINTS, clear against tyre marks in the sand... Lombard,
following the tyre marks past a dried-up river bed...
IN ON Lombard; sunburnt, pouring sweat, he stands peering at...
A DERELICT GUARDHOUSE, no door, but a new painted sign:
‘RESTRICTED AREA. DO NOT PASS BEYOND THIS POINT’... Lombard wipes
the sweat from his face, sets off again, past it...
Now the track climbs a small ridge... Lombard reaches the top,
40 yards ahead, A GATE through a 15ft CHAIN-LINK FENCE topped with
RAZOR WIRE that cuts through the desert. The gate is shut, fitted
with a SECURITY CAMERA and INTERCOM. Beyond, the track
Lombard ducks back beneath the brow of the ridge and...
Reappears 40 yards to the side of the gate, out of camera range...
THE FENCE. Lombard eyes the razor wire above... the dry sand
beneath... He gets on his knees and starts digging... IN ON HIS
hands shifting the sand and...
DUSK. A MAGNIFICENT SUNSET SKY paints the landscape... We find...
Lombard, covered in sand, is THROUGH THE FENCE, dusting his jacket
off... He puts it on, spits, lights a cigarette... starts for the
IN ON... the burrow under the fence... HUGE; the fence is buried
deep - about 4 feet - and LOMBARD has had to shift a veritable
mountain of sand, which now stands outside the fence...
NIGHT. AN INKY BLACK SKY PEPPERED WITH STARS... A BRIGHT MOON...
And Lombard, back on the track, marching on, following the tyre
marks still visible in the moonlight...
Now he climbs yet another ridge, reaches its brow, stops...
Below, in a crater-like hollow... AN EERIE SIGHT, light in the
darkness (we hear the distant hum of a GENERATOR and throb of ROCK
Lombard frowns, as if needing time to interpret the sight...
A SPRAWLING RANCH within a HIGH PERIMETER FENCE marked with
SPOTLIGHTS. Light shines from every window of the MAIN BUILDING
which overlooks a courtyard filled with a FLEET OF LUXURY CARS.
Light also shines from the windows of SMALLER BUILDINGS; a HUGE
SATELLITE DISH dwarfs one; another, a BARRACKS-LIKE BUILDING, is
FENCED OFF. Out-buildings - sheds, stables, are in darkness...
Lombard peers along the track... It snakes sharply down to a
brightly lit ENTRY GATE - the only way into the enclosure. TWO
MEN guard it, small figures in army fatigues armed with rifles...
Lombard grips his gun, starts down the slope, away from the
EXT. THE RANCH. NIGHT.
The Rock Music is loud now... In the DARKNESS BEHIND A STABLE
BUILDING WE FIND... Lombard drags himself through a burrow beneath
the perimeter fence, gets to his feet and peers around the
building’s corner to....
The entry gate: the guards quietly smoke and chat... The main
building 60 or so yards away across a clear expanse: dancing
figures in the open windows...
Gun at the ready, he makes a dash for...
THE MAIN BUILDING (Music very loud now)... He flattens himself
against the wall between two windows, looks inside...
A GAMES ROOM: ARMED MEN dance with a dozen TEENAGE GIRLS between
slot machines and gambling tables. The girls are of various races
and types but all are at various stages of PREGNANCY and all look
Lombard moves on, ducks beneath another window giving into the
games room and along to the next...
A BUSY KITCHEN: A UNIFORMED CHEF puts the final touch to a tray of
canapés in the hands of a NAKED TEENAGE GIRL. Around them, COOKS,
PORTERS and more NAKED GIRLS busy about with drink trays, etc...
IN ON Lombard; a bemused frown... He moves on, around a corner,
stops at another window...
AN EMPTY OFFICE... We hear A ROAR OF GENERAL LAUGHTER... Lombard
turns... It comes from another window... He makes for it...
A HUGE HALL. Cigarette smoke. A CROWD OF ABOUT 30 MEN (suits,
polished shoes) and A HANDFUL OF WOMEN (sharp, executive-type).
From sofas and armchairs scattered around, some accept drinks and
canapés from the trays being offered by more naked teenage girls.
Most faces are turned towards A MAN ON A DAIS (shirtsleeves,
MAN ON DAIS
... Okay! So there we are, folks. As our
Russian friends kindly explained, soon
even white kids won’t be worth their skin
now those sons of bitches from Eastern
Europe are flooding the market...
(bawling in a strong Russian accent)
Competition is the blood of business. Thus
spoke the Americans, no?
Mild laughter around the room.
MAN ON DAIS
Ha ha... Yes. With prices reaching an all
time low, the name of the game has become
‘have-it- where-it’s-at’... As we all
know, transportation has always been the
costliest and trickiest part of this
MAN WITH ITALIAN ACCENT
MAN ON DAIS
MAN WITH ITALIAN ACCENT
What’s that? A word?
MAN ON DAIS
What do you think?
MAN WITH ITALIAN ACCENT
I don’t know. Could be the sound of
jewellery hitting a parquet floor, huh?
MAN ON DAIS
Very funny. Can I go on now?
MAN WITH ITALIAN ACCENT
Sure. But speak English, will ya, ha ha...
As this is going on, Lombard scrutinizes the faces... - most of
the males are 40- plus, a lot are LATINS, a few clearly look
RUSSIAN or EAST-EUROPEAN...
MAN ON DAIS
I’ll try... The future, ladies and
gentlemen, is in doing away with
transportation. Breeding babies in safe
houses in the countries where they’re most
wanted not only reduces costs... By doing
away with cross-border smuggling of live
children and organs it also greatly
reduces the risks. This pilot-farm we’ve
invited you to is now one year old...
IN ON Lombard; he frowns, peering at... ONE OF THE MEN he followed
from the Hyatt; he sits in a corner, listening wearily... Then
goes on searching the room (he’s looking for Friedman)...
MAN ON DAIS
...And let me tell you, in that short
period both profit margins and demand for
our products have increased far beyond our
best forecast. By guaranteeing faster,
cheaper, more reliable delivery, we’ve
begun to wipe out the competition. Word’s
getting round. The long term potential is
simply huge. In this country alone on any
one day in excess of 20,000 good folks are
waiting for a replacement organ... Just
multiply five percent of this by say
$10,000 per kidney, $40,000 per heart,
$100,000 per liver, and you might begin to
get the picture...
Now Lombard peers at... THE SECOND MAN from the Hyatt; reclining
in a sofa, he observes the bare bottom of a naked waitress...
MAN ON DAIS
...Bringing third-world kids to where the
money is is out-of-date. Trying to beat
the cops and the clock by smuggling kids
and parts across borders is at best
haphazard. Trafficking is yesterday’s
news, ladies and gentlemen, breeding is
Lombard moves to another window, hoping for a better view.
MAN ON DAIS
... A safe house, an in-house doctor or
surgeon, a hot-line to a carefully
selected network of doctors, surgeons and
lawyers, and a few fuckable girls...
(laughter from his audience)
Lombard moves swiftly away, past the fleet of parked cars to...
THE SATELLITE DISH BUILDING. Through a lit window: computer
terminals... A MAN engrossed in a computer game (DOOM)... a
flickering TV (a HOLIDAY PROGRAMME)... Through a dark window: more
computers... TELEPHONES and, through an open door, the man playing
in the next room...
Lombard moves on... creeps around the ranch and through a gate in
the fence enclosing...
EXT. BARRACKS BUILDING, RANCH. NIGHT.
Light behind the curtains of BARRED WINDOWS spaced along the
wall... From inside, SOUNDS OF WOMEN CHATTING, BABIES CRYING...
Lombard moves swiftly along the narrow alley between the building
and its fence, searching for a window with open curtains...
A PANTING SOUND... A GROWL somewhere behind him... He turns...
A TOOTHY DOBERMAN looks back at him, ready to pounce, growling...
IN ON Lombard; FEAR, there’s no escape... Eyeballing the
Doberman, he starts to slip off his jacket, softly hushing the
dog... ‘Chut, petit chien...’
He drops gently to his knees, holding his jacket open in front of
him, eyes on the dog... takes a deep breath, jerks his jacket...
THE DOBERMAN LEAPS, going for the throat... Lombard catches its
head in his jacket, falls to the ground holding the dog by the
neck... The dog thrashes, wrestles... Lombard cracks its skull
through his jacket with his gun butt; once, twice, three times...
The Doberman WHINES... weakens...
A SHAFT OF LIGHT SPEARS FROM THE WINDOW ABOVE... Lombard freezes,
looks up... The curtain above him is open... Through the bars,
the top half of A YOUNG WOMAN’s FACE looking out... The Doberman
in Lombard’s grip WHIMPERS, shudders violently...
IN ON the woman searching the darkness... She flicks the curtain
DARKNESS AGAIN. Lombard turns to... The main gate: the guards
haven’t moved... The dog: it’s dead...
IN ON Lombard’s hands peeling the jacket from the dog’s head...
his jacket glistens with blood... He yanks it out from under the
dog, sits up, puts it back on, turns to... The main building: the
pregnant girls are still dancing...
His eyes move to...
Away, against the perimeter fence: a SMALL STONE BUILDING flanked
with STACKS OF OIL DRUMS; it seems to be the source of the
generator hum... Lombard turns back to the main building,
INT. GENERATOR SHELTER, RANCH. NIGHT.
IN ON the roaring GENERATOR lit by... Lombard stands inside the
door, holding a match, the dead Doberman under one arm, surveying
the small interior... OIL DRUMS AGAINST THE WALLS...
He dumps the dog...
EXT. THE SATELLITE DISH BUILDING, RANCH. NIGHT.
Lombard looks in window #1... The man’s still playing on his
computer, the TV’s still on... He moves to window #2... Eyes the
phones and, keeping his eyes on the man playing in the next room,
climbs through the window...
INT. SATELLITE DISH BUILDING, RANCH. NIGHT.
...tiptoes to the phones, picks one up, squats to keep the man
next door in sight and starts dialling... He stops, frowning...
pulls the paper from his breast pocket... It’s soaked in blood.
He peels it open and, squinting to decipher the numbers, dials...
HE TRAINS HIS GUN ON THE MAN NEXT DOOR... RINGING TONE... Then:
Get a pen and don’t ask any questions.
Oh. What... Yeah. Okay.
Route 395. Past Edwards Air Force base and
about half a mile before a place called
the Red Mountain Motel. There’s a dirt
track with a ‘Closed to the public’ sign.
It leads to some kind of ranch in the
middle of nowhere. If you haven’t heard
from me by morning send the cavalry, okay?
But not before, you hear?
Have you found your man? Is that where he
I think so. And if it comes to it, tell
the cops anything you think will make them
move. Whatever you came up with couldn’t
come close to how bad it is. Bye now.
And he hangs up, eyes still firmly on the game player. “...For
seekers of sun, sea and fun on a tight budget, Brazil is...” says
the woman on the TV screen...
EXT. GENERATOR SHELTER, RANCH. NIGHT.
(This building is 60 yards behind the main building, out of view
of the gate.)
Lombard walks backward from the door pouring petrol from a drum...
After 30 yards, he puts the drum down, looks around as he lights a
cigarette... focuses on... A dark SHED, to one side, half-way to
the main building...
He takes a few steps towards the shed, stops, takes a deep drag of
his cigarette, flicks it away... THE CIGARETTE FLIES THROUGH THE
Lombard sprints towards the shed... The cigarette hits the petrol -
WHOOSH... Lombard reaches the shed... A RIVER OF FIRE rushes
towards the shelter... Lombard throws himself to the ground
beyond the shed... ‘WHOOMPH’... Flames engulf the shelter...
Lombard curls up, head in his arms...
BOOM.... The shelter blows up in a deafening conflagration... The
MUSIC STOPS, all over the ranch the LIGHTS GO OFF...
Lombard looks up... A ball of fire roars into the night sky... WE
HEAR SCREAMS... He turns to...
The main building: SEVERAL MEN, guns at the ready, gape at the
Now Lombard again buries his head in his arms... BOOM...
WHOOMPH... as the petrol drums outside the Generator shelter
blow... The men outside the main building are thrown to the
ground... WINDOWS SHATTER...
Lombard hurriedly crawls to the door of the...
INT. SHED. NIGHT.
IN ON Lombard as he crawls in; a grimace... He stops, sniffs the
air, peers into the shed... In the fire-light coming through the
shattered window: a BATHTUB... BAGS OF LIME... GALLON
He goes on in, kicks the door shut, stands, buries his nose in the
crook of his elbow and makes for the bathtub... IN ON Lombard;
IN THE BATH: the floating remains of A BODY, gruesome, half-
dissolved, face up; could it be Friedman... IN ON Lombard; he
scowls... ‘Nom de...’
He turns to... The gallon containers: ‘SULPHURIC ACID’ read the
He glances back at the body, crosses to the window, looks out,
Outside: A strange sight. A SILENT, 60 STRONG CROWD. Men in
suits, naked waitresses, pregnant girls, YOUNG MEN IN ARMY
fatigues and jeans, men and women in night-clothes, in servant or
cook uniforms... A mass of speechless faces all glowing in fire-
light, mesmerised by the gigantic flames...
Lombard runs his eyes over the faces... FINDS...
At the back of the crowd: one of the men he followed from the
EXT. MAIN BUILDING, RANCH. NIGHT.
Lombard runs to the front of the main building... Hurries across
the yard packed with cars... Turns and...
EXT. RANCH. NIGHT.
IN ON the Italian from the Hyatt; hard, dark...
Behind him... Lombard stops, one of the crowd, listening...
MEN’S VOICES ABOVE THE FIRE’S ROAR
MAN #1: What about back-up? You got back-
MAN #2: Sure, we got a spare generator.
But it ain’t much use without fuel, is it?
MAN #3: Are you guys saying we got no
MAN #4: Who cares, huh! We’ll use candles.
It’ll be romantic.
MAN #5: Yeah? What kind of romance you got
in mind, eh? Fuck me in the dark?
MAN #4: Huh! Fuck you? I wouldn’t fuck you
if I was blind and had a paper bag over my
MAN #5: Great. That’s all right then...
MAN #1: Hey! Can the funny guys shut up?
Okay. What we’re gonna do is syphon gas
out the cars to get the spare generator
going. Frank, John, get to the gate. Pedro
and Stan, take some men to patrol the
outer fence. If this fire’s visible from
the road some assholes might decide to
come this way... Right, everybody,
scatter. And someone see if we got
The crowd begins to ripple, small clusters form...
Lombard jabs his gun into the Italian’s back. Between clenched
You make a sound and we both die.
(the man turns; he jabs him again)
The Italian dithers, glances at Lombard’s bloody jacket, frowns...
then grins and shrugs, obviously not giving Lombard much chance...
Sure. Where to, huh?
Lombard jabs the Italian again, steers him towards...
And keep your head down.
WIDE VIEW; Lombard steers the Italian towards THE STABLE BUILDING
behind which he dug his way in, through clusters of slowly moving
people all still too mesmerised with the fire to pay them any
EXT. STABLE BUILDING, RANCH. NIGHT.
Lombard shoves the Italian round the corner, grabs him by the
collar, rams him against the wall, digs the gun into his belly:
Okay, shitbag. I’m only going to ask you
this once. Where is Friedman?
(off Lombard’s black look)
I don’t know who the fuck you’re talking
(after a beat, he grins)
Figlio di puttana. You’re the French
asshole who bumped off the London guys...
Five seconds. Then you die.
(his pride hurt, glaring)
(he slaps him again)
(fighting not to retaliate)
Gluck’s dead, you sonofabitch!
IN ON Lombard; dread in his eyes...
You’re the lantern man, huh?
(as Lombard just goes on staring)
If you wanna see what’s left of him...
The acid bath?
Huh! You’ve been around, eh?
Lombard looks down, dispirited... He looks up again, eyeballs the
Italian, slaps him again and, holding him against the wall, peers
around the corner...
The entry gate: TWO GUARDS, caught in a Jeep’s headlights as it
leaves... The dazed crowd moving towards the main building...
and... The barracks building: FRIGHTENED GIRLS gaze out through
the barred windows...
Lombard again eyeballs the Italian - who glares back - quickly
searches him... and thrusts him to the ground by the burrow under
the fence and kicks him.
EXT. THE DESERT. NIGHT.
In the distance, flames lick the night sky... Across moonlit
sands, WE FIND...
Lombard, sombre, his gun arm tensed and ready, trudges a few yards
behind the Italian who stares ahead with murderous eyes.
Why did you kill Friedman?
Let me give you a tip, asshole - no one
pulls stunts like what you pulled in
London and here tonight and hopes to get
away with it. It upsets people. It’s
wrong. Fucking wrong.
Why did you kill him?
Huh! You turned him into a liability,
didn’t you know?
Nice way to help a colleague in trouble.
That’s just it. The sonofabitch didn’t ask
for help from his colleagues...
(a beat, then to himself)
Testa di cazzo! Hiring some amateur
outsiders to fix you... He hasn’t gone to
hell too soon... And neither will you, Mr
IN ON Lombard trudging along; a perplexed frown...
Are you telling me Friedman didn’t tell
you I was here looking for him?
If he had, you’d be dead.
So why didn’t he?
What do you think, huh?
I think you’d rather not know what I
Huh. Maybe he figured the news our London
bureau got a visit from a hitman on behalf
of a pissed off client wouldn’t go down
too well. He only shared his guilty secret
last night. And then only ‘cause he was so
fucking edgy after calling his hotel we
persuaded him to talk.
(a beat; more and more intrigued)
So you killed him and went to clean out
his hotel room... How did Friedman say he
got to know where to find me?
That’s the beauty. An anonymous call.
Makes you wonder how many people know what
you’re up to, eh, French-fuck?
Lombard glares, hurries after the Italian, grabs him by the
collar, pulls him close, puts his gun against his head.
Try again, and this time be polite.
(with a snigger)
I can only tell you what he told us...
Not even scum like Friedman would go to
the trouble of killing a stranger on the
strength of one anonymous call.
Some guy called to let him know the
Frenchman who’d called the night before he
left London was in L.A. looking to kill
him. He did his sums and decided to take
the call seriously.
Two stiffs and a missing kid followed your
visit to one of the London hotels. He
didn’t need your confession...
You’re sure he said his caller was a man?
That’s what he said...
Lombard, thinking hard, holds him a moment longer, then shoves him
forward... The Italian stumbles, regains his balance, and resumes
When they realise I’m missing...
Shut up and walk...
EXT. OUTER PERIMETER FENCE. NIGHT.
The fire is just a distant glow now. Lombard and the Italian near
the FENCE... THE ROAR OF AN ENGINE... Lombard turns...
In the near distance along the fence; CAR HEADLIGHTS, coming...
Lombard thrusts the Italian down and lies beside him, the gun
pointed right in his face... As the car nears, their faces close,
Lombard and the Italian stare hard at each other... IN ITALIAN:
What you gonna do? Kill me?
Don’t tempt me. The last scumbag who
thought I might kill him died soon
Huh. I’m a businessman. What are you, eh?
IN ON Lombard; hatred... IN ON the Italian; hatred... Lombard
looks up... A jeep patrolling the fence rolls past...
EXT. DESERT. DAWN
FIRST LIGHT. Two weary figures plod through the silent sands...
EXT. DESERT/MAIN ROAD. DAWN.
The Italian drags himself over the last sand before the road,
stops and peers away to... Coming up behind, Lombard follows his
IN ON Lombard; alarm as he sees... 70 yards away: EMILY’S PONTIAC
near the track entrance... The door opens... Emily climbs out,
looking his way.
Lombard yanks the Italian around, forces him to the ground and,
holding him down, looks back... Emily is trotting towards him...
Get the hell out of here!
(Emily stops in the road)
(he waves his gun at her)
Damn it! Go on, clear off! Wait for me a
few miles back, all right? Go! Now!
IN ON Emily; she wavers, mutters: ‘Shit,’... runs back to her car.
Lombard turns, rams the Italian’s face in the sand, turns back...
Emily gets into her car, does a U-turn and drives away...
Lombard let’s go of the Italian and kicks him angrily...
EXT. RED MOUNTAIN MOTEL. DAWN.
Lombard’s Ford pulls out of the silent motel forecourt...
EXT. MAIN ROAD, DESERT. DAWN.
The Italian lies trussed up with his own tie and belt, in a ditch
near the road, his bare-feet strapped to his wrists behind his
back, socks stuffed into his mouth...
The Mustang screeches to a halt... Lombard climbs out, OPENS THE
TRUNK... IN ON the Italian in his ditch; he looks worried now...
INT. MUSTANG. DAWN.
THUMP! Driving fast, muttering unintelligibly between clenched
teeth, Lombard repeatedly smashes his fist into the dash...
EXT. MAIN ROAD, DESERT. DAWN.
The Mustang pulls up behind Emily’s Pontiac. Lombard gets out,
INT. EMILY’S PONTIAC. DAWN.
...slams the door shut behind him, screaming:
What’s wrong with you, woman!
IN ON Emily (she looks tired, has obviously not slept); she
returns Lombard’s stare, unperturbed but angry inside...
Look, you don’t tell me about some
Godforsaken place where stuff so bad even
I couldn’t imagine it goes down and expect
me to go quietly to sleep! What happened?
Who’s the guy? The Austrian?
Who’s the guy? Who’s the guy! Nom de Dieu!
(he turns away, seething)
Had the guy got a closer look at you or
your number plate I’d have had to kill
Emily frowns, unsure... frightened for a moment...
Lombard glares into her eyes... turns away, taking deep breaths,
calming himself down... Emily looks him up and down, uneasy, her
eyes lingering on... His two-day stubble... His blood-caked
jacket... The GUN in his belt...
Where did you get...
(a beat; she better not...)
What-what did you find out?
Lombard goes on frowning out the window, exhausted features
haunted, AS IF ONLY NOW TAKING IN THE HORROR OF HIS NIGHT...
(a beat; he goes on staring out...)
Some kind of organ factory... Pregnant
girls doped up. Babies. There’s a lot of
people back there. They’re holding a
seminar. Trafficking’s the past, breeding
Emily just stares at him, speechless.
Friedman’s dead... They killed him...
(not interested in Friedman)
So who... Who’s the man? Where is he?
Some Italian I picked up back there. He’s
in the boot of the Mustang.
(looking back at the Mustang)
Italian? The Mafia...?
Who knows. Who cares...
(a beat, he turns to her)
You wanted slime. You got slime.
SILENCE. They look at each other, thoughts passing between their
eyes... She opens her mouth to speak but... Lombard pre-empts
No one saw me but the Italian and a dog. I
blew up their generator. They thought it
was an accident but by now they must have
realised one of their party is missing. It
might make them feel insecure enough to
decide to pack up...
We’re both thinking the same thing, right?
Do you know a friendly cop?
She nods... They look at each other, briefly,
Call from the motel and tell him if he
moves fast enough there might be something
left of a body dissolving in acid.
(he opens his door)
Can I have the keys to your house?
(after a beat, understanding)
That-that won’t do. That’s not the way it
goes. You saw it, you tell it, that’s the
I’m finished here and I’m tired, Emily.
You shouldn’t be here. Now don’t make it
A seminar in a baby breeding farm! Bodies
in acid! You think I’ll get anywhere with
that? Jesus! With luck I might raise a
laugh. They might even send a patrol car
to check the place out. Whatever, it’ll be
Then find another way.
Look! Either you talk or the creeps are
gonna walk. For god’s sake. What am I
supposed to say? I got this from a French
guy from England who broke in there to
have a chat with an Austrian child
trafficker? Is that it?
I’ll be waiting outside your place.
And he gets out...
EXT. MAIN ROAD. MORNING.
...slams the door, makes for the Mustang. Emily gets out after
Damn it! You can’t fucking walk away from
It’s up to you whether they walk or not.
As he makes his way around the back of her car towards the Mustang
driver’s door, Emily blocks his way between the two cars.
Me! Me! Do you know who I am, Mr...
Before she can finish Lombard is on her, his hand over her mouth:
You’re turning into a nuisance, Emily.
We’ve got company, remember?
He looks hard at her. She frowns, understands, glances at the
Mustang... He holds her a moment longer then lets go. She goes
on, whispering now...
...I’m Emily Stewart. The hysterical
female who sees evil everywhere since the
day her thirteen year-old boy disappeared.
The pain in the ass who cries wolf at the
drop of a hat. However I go about this
that’s who I am. Do you get what I’m
fucking saying, Mr Lombard?
What about your friendly cop?
My ex-husband. My work drove him away.
Made his life a misery. He thinks I’m
obsessed, punishing myself for what
happened to our son.
But he’s a good guy. He’ll listen to you.
He won’t turn you in if I ask him not to.
I can pretty much guarantee that. Okay?
Lombard peers at her, thoughtful, then turns to...
THE QUIET EXPANSE OF DESERT towards the ranch...
IN ON Emily; she waits... IN ON Lombard; he thinks hard... A WAVE
OF SADNESS crosses his face...
I always wanted to come to America... La
Nouvelle-Orléans; Baton Rouge; Le Pays
Cajun... Those were magic names to a Paris
kid... The far-west, wild and French...
IN ON Emily; What?... IN ON Lombard; he swallows, tight-lipped...
They’d never let me go. And you’d end up
in more trouble than you know for helping
You cannot walk away from this. You
I can... The question is, can you lie to
your ex- husband?
IN AND HOLD ON Emily; probing eyes... DISSOLVE AS...
RISING: THE WHIRRING OF A HELICOPTER... continues rising over...
EXT. DESERT. DAY.
A convoy of POLICE CARS charges in a cloud of dust through the
GAPING GATE of the outer perimeter fence... Through the helicopter
whirr WE HEAR:
He’ll come. If he ever loved you he’ll
come. You tell him you saw it. You tell
him you went in there. You had to. You got
a letter at the foundation. You had to
I’ll draw you a map...
Now, A HELICOPTER blots out the blue sky, swoops away towards...
What about the Italian. He knows...
I’ll look after the Italian...
INT. POLICE HELICOPTER. DAY.
A DEAFENING WHIRR NOW. IN ON A ROUGHLY DRAWN MAP OF THE RANCH AND
VICINITY HELD IN A MAN’S HAND...
Emily sits in the back, behind the PILOT and a police LIEUTENANT
(suit, sunglasses, communication headset, holding the map)...
IN ON Emily, frowning at...
In the distance, A PLUME OF SMOKE GENTLY RISES INTO THE SKY...
EXT. RANCH. DAY.
SILENCE as we see from above: the ranch in its crater, a WAR
ZONE... Police cars and CLUSTERS OF COPS move slowly around the
CHARRED RUINS of the main building and burnt-out remains of the
wooden outbuildings... Only THE BARRACKS and satellite dish
building still stand, blackened but intact, smoke billowing from
their broken windows...
EXT. BARRACKS. DAY.
SILENCE but for... THUMP, THUMP... Emily, the Lieutenant and two
COPS stand grimly watching a third COP axing through the barracks’
INT. DORMITORY, BARRACKS. DAY.
Shafts of smoky sunlight: BEDS AND BABY-COTS, blackened but still
standing, arranged in military style rows along the length of the
room to a badly charred far wall with a GAPING BLACK HOLE in it -
once a doorway. The fire was clearly lit beyond it and never quite
caught in the dormitory.
NOW WE SEE... Emily, the Lieutenant and the two cops, just inside,
gazing at the cots and beds... The Lieutenant sends Emily a ‘Stay
here’ look and starts down the centre aisle with the other cops in
We stay with Emily, standing transfixed, watching them head for...
...The Lieutenant reaches the burnt out door, peers in, steps
back, exchanges A HEAVY GLANCE with the other cops, pulls out a
handkerchief, brings it to his mouth and nose and moves on
through, the others in tow...
SILENCE. EMILY IS ALONE... She turns to look at...
A TALL CUPBOARD in the corner of the far wall... She slowly walks
towards it... PULLS OPEN ITS DOUBLE DOORS...
IN ON Emily; a tremor in her cheek, awe in her eyes...
Inside: STACKS OF COLOURFUL PACKS OF BABY NAPPIES...
FOOTSTEPS... Emily starts, turns... The lieutenant, peering grimly
ahead, and his cops, emerge from the charred doorway, march past,
not seeing her in her dark corner... Emily watches them go on out,
turns to the charred doorway...
INT. INNER HALLWAY, BARRACKS. DAY.
All soot and smoke, three gaping doorways...
IN ON Emily; she retches, brings her hand to her nose, turns to...
One of the doorways: through smoke, A BURNT-OUT SURGERY. Debris,
AN OPERATING TABLE, SURGICAL INSTRUMENTS, twisted by the heat...
IN ON Emily; horrified, she now peers towards...
The open door of a cold-store: a bare foot sticks out from what
COULD BE an entangled mass of CHARRED ADULT BODIES. WE HEAR a
Emily starts, retches, throws up...
INT. BATHROOM, EMILY’S HOUSE. AFTERNOON.
Lombard’s suit and clothes, washed, hang to dry above the bath...
Acting on a tip-off, police today raided a
burnt- out ranch containing the charred
INT. LOUNGE, EMILY’S HOUSE. AFTERNOON.
IN ON the television set...
... around a dozen bodies near a disused
military base in a remote area of Barstow
county. In what is so far believed to have
been the home of yet another extremist
religious or survivalist cult group, it is
not yet clear what occurred or whether the
deaths are the result of foul play, but
early indications are that the ranch was
deliberatly set alight and the deceased
shot dead before...
Emily, DRUNK, looking awful, slumped on the sofa with a bottle of
beer, SWITCHES THE TV OFF with the remote (the room is messy - a
heap of newspapers in a corner, a vacuum cleaner against a wall).
She raises her beer in a toast, slurring...
Hallelujah... Thank God for convenient
Lombard (in pyjamas), sombre, holding a cup of coffee, sits in the
armchair opposite, eyes on...
On the table; a couple of FED-EX packages, A EUROPEAN PASSPORT, A
WAD OF POUND NOTES and a HANDWRITTEN NOTE - we glimpse a girlish
signature: ‘Love, Jane’...
(standing grimly by the window)
We’ve still got the Italian...
That’s right. Where’s the fucking Italian,
eh, Mr French hero?
(after a beat, scowling at Emily)
I left him in the Mustang outside a police
station, with a covering note tying him to
the ranch. Not that he’ll talk.
IN ON Whitney; fear in her eyes as she peers at Lombard...
Of course not. Nothing sticks to slime and
what’s new, huh?
She gulps down more beer, eyeing Lombard, confrontational...
Lombard ignores her, starts counting his money...
Look at him, Whitney. Come all the way
from England to clean up California. Huh!
No. You’re looking at a real Musketeer
here, Whitney. Brave and rash. Had to dash
in there. Take a prisoner... Might as
well have sent them a notice to quit...
(off Lombard’s silence)
Come on, Musketeer! Got anything to say?
Nothing sticks to slime, Emily.
(tossing money towards her)
This should cover what you lent me.
Huh! And they say charity’s only rewarded
in Heaven... Hallelujah...
(she drinks, retches, staggers to her
Lombard and Withney watch her stagger out the room... WE HEAR a
door open... A clatter... hear Emily being sick... Then silence...
Whitney sighs, peers at Lombard, who is swallowing coffee and
peering in the passport...
Are you going back home, Mr Lombard?
(off his look)
Aren’t you... Won’t they be looking for
I doubt it. The Italian called me
Lamont... Whoever tipped off Friedman told
him I was a hitman called Lamont.
Whitney peers at him, not sure she understands... Turns to... The
SOUND OF GLASS SHATTERING in the bathroom... WE HEAR:
Shit! Fuck! What’s fucking wrong with
(sound of footsteps)
I’m going to bed. And sweet dreams to you
(door slams shut)
She’ll be alright. She’s tough...
(a beat, then, grimly:)
Yeah. The tough ones can only break.
IN ON Whitney; she peers back at him, unsure...
THROUGH HUSHED SILENCE, THE SOUND OF A TAP RUNNING... The table is
now clear except for a Gitane-stub in a saucer... The sofa
empty... Through the open kitchen door: Whitney, glum, washes-up
at the sink...
The sound of running water merges into...
EXT. RIVERSIDE FOOTPATH/FIELD TO RHIAN’S COTTAGE. DAY.
THE SOUND OF POURING RAIN, A ROARING RIVER... IN ON a plastic
football bouncing with a splash a few times on the grass, rolling,
Lombard, standing by the swollen river at the bottom of the field
leading to Rhian’s cottage watches the ball come to a stop near
He looks up... Upfield, the Asian boy (gumboots, in a waterproof
much too big for him) stands still, staring at him... HE BOLTS for
the cottage door...
INT. KITCHEN, RHIAN’S COTTAGE. DAY.
IN ON a NEWSPAPER ITEM in the ‘NEWS IN BRIEF’ COLUMN:
“The body of Leonard Spitz, 31, was found
hanging from a tree by a man walking his
dog north of High Beach in Epping Forest,
Essex, yesterday. The body was in an
advanced state of decay. High Beach police
are treating the death as suicide...”
Lombard, standing, peers at ‘The Guardian’ in his hands, checks
its date... NOVEMBER 15 199... then up at... Rhian standing
across the table...
What’s the date?
The nineteenth... How come you didn’t
I’ve been away.
(a beat, he turns to Rhian)
Did Leon speak to you about his sister?
Did he ever refer to the hostility between
He... Apparently the hostility was all
hers. Leon didn’t... It hurt him. They
used to be close...
(off Lombard’s look: ‘Is that so?’)
Their parents were in their forties when
they were born, you see. And mostly away.
They grew up in a Scottish mansion with
old nannies and servants. He... “Our world
was so old and cold, we shone for one
another,” Leon used to say. His sister cut
him off after she got married. He never
understood why but thought it was because
she had no children. Was bitter...
Lombard looks at her, thoughtful, throws the paper down.
The money Leon left for the boy, was it
Yes. Three thousand pounds. I still...
Did he mention anything about having an
exhibition of his work?
You sure? What about before he turned up
with the boy?
... No. In fact, I’d seen him a couple of
months earlier. He was quite depressed.
His work wasn’t getting anywhere. He said
he was going to try something new,
realism, London in the nineties -
documentary stuff, you know...
IN ON Lombard; a flicker of thought... Rhian goes on, smiling
He showed me a book with a picture of a
couple caught kissing in a street...
How’s the boy doing?
Good. You needn’t worry about the Austrian
anymore. He’s dead. I’ll be in touch.
And Lombard turns to leave... IN ON Rhian; a quizzical frown...
EXT. LEON’S STREET. AFTERNOON.
Lombard’s Triumph, parked outside Leon’s apartment building...
INT. LIVING ROOM, LEON’S APARTMENT. AFTERNOON.
Lombard stands inside the door, surveying... Leon’s life has been
packed away: a heap of boxes in the middle of the floor, the walls
and shelves bare...
He makes for the Darkroom door, opens it, switches on the light...
THE DARKROOM: stripped bare... He turns off the light.
SITTING ROOM. The boxes now sit scattered around, their contents
littering the carpet; books, records, photographic equipment... WE
Lombard, emptying another box - more photographic stuff, prints,
rolls of film, chemicals... He pulls out A BOX-FILE, opens it...
Inside: CONTACT SHEETS, SHOTS OF LONDON SCENES... He leafs
through, stopping now and then to scrutinize one or the other...
STROLLERS IN PARKS... MORE PARK SCENES... Finally, he pulls one
sheet out and brings it close to his eyes.
IN ON the contact sheet: more park scenes; two strips of shots
follow A TRAMP carrying bulging bags along a park fence with a
busy road beyond...
Lombard scowls, seeing... THREE SEQUENTIAL SHOTS: BEYOND THE
ADVANCING TRAMP, THE FAMILIAR FACADE OF THE DIPLOMAT, its sign
clearly readable, first to the tramp’s left, then half concealed
behind his head, then to his right...
IN ON Lombard glaring at... the strips of shots of the tramp’s
progress along the fence... HIS FACE STIFFENS AS HE SEES... A
shot of the tramp, now facing the camera, angry, swearing at the
Lombard brings the sheet even closer, peers hard at it, turns,
scans the floor... picks up a photographer’s magnifying block from
the carpet, makes for the window, places the magnifying block on:
THE SWEARING TRAMP THROUGH THE MAGNIFYING BLOCK: to the right of
the tramp’s head, parked cars in a side street; among them, the
distinct contours of an ASTON MARTIN...
Lombard flicks the contact sheet over...
‘PENRHYNDEUDRAETH’, in his handwriting...
Lombard is livid. “Merde...”
INT. OFFICE, LOMBARD’S FLAT. DUSK.
The gold fish swim serenely in their aquarium... Still in his
jacket, smoking, angry, Lombard is at his desk, on the phone:
...Je vous remercie, Charles.
He hangs up, crosses a name from a long handwritten LIST OF NAMES
AND PHONE NUMBERS - a third are already crossed out - and dials
the number beside the next name - JEAN PROVOST.
Waiting for an answer, he stubs out his cigarette, lights another,
blows out smoke and rubs his eyes peering at... the contact sheet
on his desk. THE SOUND OF A KEY IN THE LOCK... Lombard
The door opens... Jane stands in the doorway holding a white
bundle - A BABY. She beams, comes in...
Savieer! You’re back!
Lombard sends her a stony smile, signals her to be quiet... Jane
quickly murmurs something to a young man who has appeared beside
her - TIM - then calls in a whisper:
I came to feed your fish. I didn’t know...
(signalling her to shut up again)
Oui, bonjour, Jean... Oui, très bien,
merci. Dites-moi, pourriez-vous me dire si
vous avez recommandémes services
àquelqu’un récemment... Vous êtes
certain... Non, non... Je vous
(hangs up, crosses out Provost’s
Hello there. How’s the flat. I cleaned...
Jane, there was an envelope in my desk.
The one I’d given you and then got back,
remember? I can’t find it. Do you know
where it is?
(she stares, thrown by his briskness,
No... I told you on the phone. Whoever
broke in messed-up all your papers. I put
everything back where I thought it ought
(nodding to a pile of papers)
Maybe it’s there with...
Well, I’m sorry. I...
(a cry from the baby in her arms; she
smiles at it, then at Lombard)
This is my nephew... And my brother, Tim.
I’ve got the week off and he’s come to
Tim waves a hand, mutters ‘Hello’, Lombard ignores him, staring
instead at the baby in Jane’s arms... Jane sends him a nervous
Anyway. You see, your lock’s fine. I don’t
know how they got in. So, how was L.A.,
Lombard just goes on eyeing the baby... Jane looks more and more
I-I’m sorry about your envelope, okay?
Now he glances quickly at her, then back at his list, saying:
Thank you, Jane. I’m busy.
And he starts dialing... FLUSTERED, Jane retreats to the doorway,
where Tim is already moving away.
Well, excuse me!
She slams the door behind her... Waiting for his call to be
answered, Lombard once again peers at THE CONTACT SHEET... A
FROWN... He looks up...
He slams the phone down, thinks hard... eyes the contact sheet
again, dials again...
Good afternoon. De Moraes’s residence.
Could I speak to Carlos or Deborah?
I’m afraid they are out at the moment,
When will they be back?
Mr De Moraes is due back from Brazil late
this evening. Mrs De Moraes is out and not
expected before eight. Do you wish...
Lombard hangs up, thinks hard again... checks his watch: 18:35...
INT. LANDING, LOMBARD’S FLAT. DUSK.
(calling up from his doorway)
(no reply; he moves to the stairs)
Come on, Jane!
We hear A DOOR OPENING, then a shout:
(he frowns, then:)
Thanks for cleaning my flat and sending my
money, all right?... Come on, I need you.
Silence. Lombard waits... SOUND OF FOOTSTEPS UPSTAIRS...
INT. OFFICE, LOMBARD’S FLAT. DUSK.
Lombard puts on his coat talking to Jane who stands at his desk
eyeing his list...
Just ask if they can recall recommending
my services to anyone in the recent past.
Say you’re my secretary, all right?
Your secretary, huh!
(picks up the contact sheet, walks
I’d appreciate it if you could do this for
me. If you can’t, don’t worry about it.
I’ll call in about an hour anyway. Sorry
but I’m in a hurry.
(he steps out the door)
(alone, shouting after him in
What are you up to, eh, Savieer? I mean,
not this but... Money, passports, a gun in
a microwave? Who are you, eh? Who are you?
EXT/INT. REDDINGTON ROAD, HAMPSTEAD/TRIUMPH. DUSK.
EXT. TWILIGHT. HEAVY RAIN. THE PURR OF AN IDLING CAR ENGINE... A
cigarette hits the wet tarmac with a spray of sparks...
INT. STATIONARY TRIUMPH. Lombard peers out through his swishing
wipers at... THE DE MORAES’ MANSION... NO CARS IN THE DRIVE... He
checks his watch... 19:10...
EXT. DE MORAES’ MANSION DRIVEWAY. DUSK.
The Triumph crunches across the gravel into the empty drive... CUT
The butler stands in the doorway, frowning at... Lombard, climbing
the steps with a tired grin...
Good afternoon, Mr Lombard. I’m afraid...
I know, Laurence. Your Mistress isn’t
expecting me ‘till eight. But as I was in
the area I thought I might as well wait.
And he pushes his way in past the butler,...
INT. HALLWAY, DE MORAES MANSION. DUSK.
...wipes his feet on the mat, makes for the drawing room and stops
as the butler reluctantly closes the front door...
By the way, Laurence, were you here last
time your mistress’s brother came over?
You know, just before he disappeared?
(heading stiffly for the drawing room)
I work here, sir. I’m here most of the
(following the butler)
You wouldn’t recall if the brothers-in-law
left together, would you?
You will have to ask Mr De Moraes that,
(opens the drawing room door, steps
Would you like a drink while you wait?
No. Thank you. I’ll be fine...
And Lombard steps into the...
INT. DRAWING ROOM, DE MORAES MANSION. DUSK.
Mrs De Moraes must have taken it hard, eh?
(off the butler’s blank look)
Her brother’s death.
Dial O-O-O on the telephone if you change
your mind about the drink, sir.
And the butler shuts the door... Lombard puts his ear to the door
... FOOTSTEPS LEAVING... carefully opens the door...
The hall is empty, distant sounds of kitchen activity from a
INT. HALLWAY/STAIRWELL. DUSK.
Lombard hurries across the hall and up the curving carpeted
INT. FIRST FLOOR CORRIDOR. DUSK.
Moving fast, he barely pauses as he opens and peers into the doors
along his way, turning the lights on and off, searching for...
Now he turns on the light in yet another room... goes in...
INT. DEBORAH’S BEDROOM. DUSK.
...Carefully closes the door behind him, surveying...
A feminine bedroom (RED PREDOMINATES): fourposter bed, dressing
table, a Constable landscape, an oil portrait of Deborah,
majestic; two doors...
Lombard opens one: A MARBLE BATHROOM... The other: a masculine
bedroom (pastel colours, modern, spacious) - CARLOS’S BEDROOM...
Now he searches Deborah’s bedside table drawer (Marlboro packs,
ear plugs, tissues, sleeping pills, etc.)...
Rifles through the drawers of the dressing table covered with
expensive cosmetics; in the drawers, more cosmetics; one contains
nothing but LIPSTICKS (ALL THE SHADES OF RED), another jewellery..
Steps into a WALK-IN CLOSET: fur coats, suits, lots of shoes...
Opens the wardrobe: a lot of seductive LINGERIE, SOME STILL WITH
PRICE TAGS, NEVER WORN... IN ON Lombard; an intrigued frown.
INT. EN-SUITE BATHROOM. DUSK.
Lombard scans the contents of the medecine cabinet: the usual
household medecines, plus TEMAZEPAM... NITRAZEPAM... VALIUM...
Now he opens and closes the drawers of a dresser... One, two,
three... He keeps the last one open, focusing inside...
Boxes of tampons and panty liners...
INT. DRAWING ROOM, DE MORAES MANSION. DUSK.
Lombard is at the phone, dialling... A ring then: ‘Hallo’.
Hello, Jane. It’s me.
Really? And how are you, eh?
(Lombard sighs, waiting...)
Someone called Pierre Dreyer said that a
month ago he had dinner with a Brazilian
Carlos De Moraes?
Yes. How did...
Thank you, Jane.
He hangs up, stares thoughtfully in front of him for a moment,
drawn and dispirited, all of a sudden looking VERY, VERY TIRED...
He turns to...
THE PHOTOGRAPH OF THE TRIUMPHANT CARLOS ON THE WALL...
EXT. DE MORAES DRIVEWAY. EVENING.
Deborah’s Aston Martin pulls up beside the Triumph...
INT. DRAWING ROOM, DE MORAES MANSION. EVENING.
Lombard sits placidly peering ahead, his back to... Through the
window: the butler escorts Deborah from her car, sheltering her
with his umbrella, talking...
HOLD ON Lombard, expressionless as... WE HEAR the front door
close, heels move quickly across the hall... The door opening...
IN ON Lombard; a stony grin... Deborah stands stiffly in the
doorway, in black, wearing sunglasses, with a new hairstyle (A
FRINGE covers most of her forehead), holding a handbag and a
HARRODS SHOPPING BAG...
How are you, Mrs De Moraes?
When did you get back?
Why don’t you ask when I left the
She hesitates... steps in, makes for the table and... keeping her
back to Lombard, reaches for her cigarettes, doing her utmost to
I was going to phone you. We...
(a beat as she lights her cigarette)
Leon is dead. He hung himself... They
found him in Epping Forest... Five days
Lombard stays silent... She turns to face him, sends him a
nervous grin, sits at the table and starts searching her handbag
with jerky movements...
I can’t say it came as much surprise.
(she seems lost for words)
I’m sorry no one called you. You must have
come for your money. How much do we owe
She pulls a cheque book and pen from her bag, opens the cheque
book, looks up at Lombard... He just looks at her, coldly.
I’m really sorry you were not called...
You’re repeating yourself, Mrs De Moraes.
I... Well, we’re burying Leon tomorrow
and... Look, I wish I had more time, but
it’s late and with the funeral...
Aren’t you curious to know about Friedman?
I... If you don’t mind, I do not think he
matters now. It... Things turned out to be
as we thought; Leon was weak. There’s no
point in delving into his sad life
anymore. Now, will you please tell me how
much we owe you?
IN ON Lombard; a cruel glimmer as he peers at... The pen in her
hand: she’s so tense she’s burying its tip in the cheque book...
He looks up again...
Black suits you.
(signalling towards the Harrods bag)
What’s in the bag? Underwear? To seduce
your husband? Or is it for your own
(off her mystified silence)
Tell me, how come such a handsome couple
sleep in seperate bedrooms? Is it because
he does it with little children?
He glances at... she holds the pen so tight her fingers have gone
white... He looks up, giving her no time...
Or is it the other way round? The children
are needed because you can’t satisfy him?
You... You are out of order, Mr Lombard.
(jumping to his feet, SHOUTING)
You what, Mrs De Moraes? YOU WHAT?
She just sits, startled... He glares at her, calms himself down...
How did you break into my office, Deborah?
Ladies of your standing don’t learn to
pick locks between shopping trips.
(off her startled silence)
Come on, Deborah! Acting dumb doesn’t suit
you! Who knew I’d found dirt on your
brother, huh? Who knew it was in an
envelope? Taking me for dead, who’d want
to make sure it didn’t fall into the wrong
I’ve had a long and unpleasant day. I’m
tired and I’m angry. But mad? Not yet.
I paid Leon’s boy a visit this morning.
Found him alive and well. Why haven’t you
told your husband where he is since
reading my note, eh?
Why... I don’t know what you’re talking
You know he’d have had him killed, don’t
you? Does a conscience still burn
somewhere inside your sore mind, Deborah?
Or is it just cold expediency? Could the
boy perhaps come in useful when and if the
day ever comes for you to face up to the
man you married?
Have you finished?
When did you learn about his taste for
kids, huh? On your honeymoon? Or was it
later, when bitterness set in and you
turned against your beloved but weak
little brother? How did you find out? Did
he confess? Try to convert you perhaps? Or
was it woman’s intuition? Or just the way
he fucked you?
Deborah whips off her glasses - ONE OF HER EYES IS BRUISED... She
says, haughtily, too haughtily:
You do have a vivid imagination, Mr
Lombard. I only wish you’d use it
fruitfully instead of in being obnoxious.
I fail to understand your purpose in this.
Still, say what you’re owed if you still
wish to be paid or get out, all right?
(peering at her bruised eye)
I guess the news you’d sent me after
Friedman didn’t go down too well, eh?
She glares... replaces her cheque book and pen in her bag.
Why did you send me after Friedman,
She stubs out her cigarette, RISES TO HER FEET.
Whatever the reason, I’m sorry I did.
Goodbye, Mr Lombard. I believe you know
your way out.
You knew he had nothing to do with your
brother’s disappearance, didn’t you?
Huh! Don’t you recall convincing me he
had? You should learn to live with your
mistakes, Mr Lombard. There is some merit
I take it you learnt to live with yours
then. Take it all the mind-dulling pills
in your medicine cabinet are surplus to
How... When did you...
It must be tough being married to Adonis
to end up sleeping alone every night.
Sleep must be hard coming. What’s harder?
The thought of the fine litter you two
could have bred if? Or imagining what he
does with his children?
IN ON Deborah; HATRED in her eyes. Her lip twitches, she opens her
mouth to speak... but holds back...
SILENCE. They eyeball each other, Deborah filled with scorn,
Lombard with disgust... She takes a deep breath...
What exactly did you come here for, Mr
IN ON Lombard; a frown of disbelief... He shakes his head, pulls
the contact sheet from his pocket, makes for her unfolding it,
flattens it on the table, turns it round, pushes it towards her:
What were you satisfying? Morbid
curiosity? Was it gratifying?
She stares at the contact sheet... Looks up, mystified.... He puts
his finger onto the shot with the Aston Martin...
Look closely, Deborah! How many Aston
Martin DB6 do you think there are in
IN ON Deborah; DREAD IN HER EYES... She looks down again...
Lombard takes a couple of steps back to watch her peer at the
Tell me, did he kill his little victims
SILENCE. She looks towards him but not at him... Lombard snarls,
watching her realise she has slipped...
What do you mean, ‘No’, Mrs De Moraes?
My brother hung himself.
Does the name Pierre Dreyer mean anything
to you? He’s a client of mine and a friend
of your husband.
Leon hung himself.
Adonis thought your brother’s body’d be
found reasonably quickly when he hung it
in Epping Forest, didn’t he? Seemed like a
good idea. An ex-junkie, obsessed with
death; the perfect candidate for suicide.
He just forgot one thing: forest ramblers
are rare during your average blustery
English November. An Englishman might have
thought of that, but a Brazilian...
Leon hung himself...
Leon’s not found, your parents worry, talk
of hiring help to find him, even mention
their manhunter friends perhaps... and
Adonis panics, takes control, brings me in
reckoning a small- time detective is
unlikely to dig up anything awkward, not
before Leon’s found anyhow. He must have
kicked himself when he learned I’d
exceeded his expectations.
Leon hung himself...
Leon didn’t hang himself, Deborah. Your
husband killed him and made his death look
like suicide. How did he do it, eh?
Strangulation? Drugs? No doubt an autopsy
IN ON Deborah; FEAR...
Maybe... If Leon didn’t hang himself,
maybe Friedman killed him. Maybe Friedman
has your envelope....
IN ON Lombard; amazement... She can’t help fighting.
I doubt Friedman ever even met Leon,
Deborah. Friedman dealt with select
customers. As for my envelope, had he know
where it was he wouldn’t have mistaken me
for a hitman called Lamont when we met in
...You-you spoke to him?
Not in the strict sense of the word, no.
He was in too much of a hurry to kill me
when we first met and too wasted in acid
when I caught up with him later.
SILENCE. Deborah sends him a long look... IN ON her; a flicker of
relief... IN ON Lombard; he scowls, understanding...
Yes. You’re safe. He swallowed the bait
and paid for it by dying. Was the hitman
story your idea or Adonis’s, huh?
(off Deborah’s silence)
What was the trouble? Friedman might have
told me he didn’t know your brother? I
might have told him who I worked for...?
SILENCE... Deborah stares at him, expressionless.
Your brother stumbled upon Adonis’s little
secret, didn’t he? And traded his silence
for a kid and some cash. And Adonis fell
for it, bought him his kid, sent him away,
and then killed him when he came back for
Leon didn’t come here to borrow money for
prints. He came to extort a second kid’s
life. Your flunkey let him in, so his
visit couldn’t be concealed, hence the
exhibition story. There was no exhibition.
Just as you suspected. Remember, Deborah?
“Leon does his own prints. Wouldn’t want
anyone to interfere with his ‘Art’”.
(off her silence)
I should have paid more attention to your
words. Perhaps it’s the way you say
(turning to the contact sheet)
If-if my car is there, I could be the one
who... Why don’t you accuse me of killing
Kids are not your thing, Deborah. You’d
have been ready for me when I turned up
with ‘Sleeping Beauty’. Damn it! Then too
I should have paid more attention. “Not
Leon,” you said. It struck me at the time,
but obviously not hard enough. You didn’t
say ‘My God!’, or whatever else well-bred
ladies squeak on hearing Uncle Henry
misbehaved. “Not Leon.” Who then?
You sure were right about one thing,
Deborah, the job was too formidable for
me. I should have thought a little more
before I left for Los Angeles. But there I
was focused so hard on Friedman I’d
stopped thinking. Nothing added up - Leon
soliciting money for prints while buying
kids at £15,000 a go; infiltrating the
world of child traffickers; duping
Friedman into selling him a little boy...
You sure were right. The job was too
formidable for me. But you knew that,
Leon could still have hung himself.
Oh no. At long last Leon had found a
mission. He’d never have killed himself
when glory beckoned. Your husband killed
your brother. And thanks to you, almost
got me killed too.
SILENCE. Deborah stares at him... and... as if suddenly drained,
falls back in her chair... She lights a cigarette with a trembling
hand, takes a deep drag...
Poor Leon... How typical of him to be in
the wrong place at the wrong time...
When I called you in Los Angeles... I
wanted to warn you. Maybe I would have if
you hadn’t left me waiting on the line. I
IN ON Deborah; tears well up her eyes... IN ON Lombard; a cold,
mean spark deep in his eyes... IN ON Deborah; she goes on looking
up at him, resolute...
Lombard pushes his hands deep into his pockets, turns, makes for
the window, and says, staring into the darkness outside:
Don’t cry. I might become nasty...
Deborah eyes him through tearful eyes... then turns to the contact
You’re wrong about my being there, though.
Carlos borrowed my car that day, his had
(a beat, she wipes away a tear)
Leon saw it, like you, assumed I was
there, thought he’d wait to ask for a
lift. But Carlos turned up, with the tape
(she wipes away another tear)
Leon got his lift, and accidentally picked
up the tape with his photo equipment when
he got out. He watched it, confronted
Carlos, threatened to tell the police
about the hotel... I don’t know how he
knew about the hotel. Perhaps Carlos
talked too much... My husband did not tell
me... You more or less guessed the rest...
(looks up, peers hard at Lombard’s
I didn’t know any of this before you left
for Los Angeles.
(keeping his back to her)
You don’t say.
That my brother, my husband and your Mr
Friedman were linked, that much I had
guessed. But that my husband had killed
IN ON Lombard; he could kill her... but keeps his back to her...
Why did you send me after Friedman? To
atone for your sins?
I didn’t know my husband and Friedman knew
each other. I just...
(off his silent back)
Do you think we spoke about it? I’ve known
for five years. He’s known I’ve known for
five years... But not once have we spoken
about it. There are things one just
doesn’t speak about...
(turning to her, sickened)
One just doesn’t... Tell me, what does one
speak about, huh?
Think what you like. But don’t presume to
Is there anything to understand?
Why do I feel I needn’t answer that?
Rich. Young. Beautiful. You must at least
get a kick out of what he does to his
Five years of it. Surely, you’d have
divorced him if he disgusted you?
You splendid bastard...
Are there truly no extenuating
...We’re turning in circles.
And you still haven’t told me why you sent
me after Friedman.
Maybe I wanted to give my husband a
A fright?... Five years of cowardice led
to your brother being murdered and you
wanted to give his murderer a fright?
I didn’t know who or what had happened to
my brother yet, Mr Lombard!
What was the idea? Husband is filled with
fear when he learns his child supplier’s
Something like that.
Something like that?
Something like that.
What happened? Adonis slapped you about a
little and you reverted to cowardice?
Here we go again.
Where is that?
Simplify and damn.
Don’t you believe in simplicity?
We all have to like what we become.
Cowards included. We achieve this by
complicating things a little. But it’s
never that complicated really.
You seem to know what you’re talking
Perhaps it came to me while dying in a
Californian desert because a woman set
upon giving her husband a fright got
slapped about a little.
My husband didn’t need to slap me about,
Mr Lombard. I volunteered...
To get me killed...?
I didn’t intend it that way... It just
(off his look: ‘Just happened...?’)
He heard from Laurence that you’d been
back. That we’d argued. He asked why and
it just happened; I told him everything...
I couldn’t help it. Wanted to see him
scared. I had never seen him scared
before, you see...
Well, I hope you enjoyed yourself.
Perhaps I did... Until fear turned into
panic. That’s when he hit me, and told me
he’d killed my brother... “You don’t know
what you’ve done,” he said. “We’re in
deep trouble,” he said. “We,” he said.
(a beat as she sneers)
We’d both be killed if Friedman ever found
out you were working for us, he said. We
had to stop you and Friedman meeting...
IN ON Lombard; sickened... She sends him a proud, contemptuous
Fear is contagious. I don’t know if you
can or want to understand, but I didn’t
want to die because of what he’d done...
It was you or us...
SILENCE. They stare at each other... She finally says, somewhat
Well, now you know, what do you propose we
do, eh, Mr Lombard?
(off Lombard look of incredulity)
My brother and Friedman are dead.
(nodding towards the contact sheet)
That proves nothing. Indeed, you have no
proof of anything. And even if you did,
you wouldn’t really go to the police,
would you, Inspecteur Laurent Delfosse?
IN ON Lombard; his eyes darken...
The real Xavier Lombard died six years ago
in a car accident in Southern France... As
you know we have friends. We asked them to
do some research, for just such a
contingency as this.
You could have been more imaginative in
your choice of a new profession.
Especially since you made the front page
for shooting dead a convict in a prison
She eyeballs him... Lombard scowls, then grins, a sickened grin.
You know something? I’ve just seen so much
ugliness I don’t think I’d mind four walls
and dinner served every night at a regular
(he turns and makes for the phone)
I’d hoped to have a private word with
Adonis, but if that’s the way you want it.
What are you doing? You can’t. I...
(starting to dial)
Do you think the boy you saved might
identify your husband as his purchaser,
Deborah? And then, your brother’s not
buried yet. As I said earlier, an autopsy
He... He is dead!
(he goes on dialling; SHE STANDS...)
MY HUSBAND IS DEAD!
(Lombard turns to her, sceptical)
Call my parents. They’ll tell you. Call
Lombard hesitates, hangs up... IN ON Deborah; she suddenly looks
gaunt and tired... Tears once again well-up in her eyes...
Do you think we’d let him get away with
the murder of my brother?
We? You and your parents killed your
No. Not us...
She looks dazed for a moment, reaches for a new cigarette, lights
it with a trembling hand... Lombard just peers at her, waiting...
They found his body yesterday. In the pool
at our house in Sao Paulo. He drowned.
Drank too much, went for a swim and
(with a frown of disbelief)
Your flunkey said he was expected back
The staff don’t know yet...
(off his baffled look)
I called my parents, told them
(she sits down again, too weak to
I just couldn’t take any more...