(Sunlit office. Camera focuses on a glass case, containing shelves of different gems. BRISBANE speaking.)
BRISBANE Dr. Kelly, I know why you're here. You need money. You can't complete your research with a frozen budget.
KELLY That's right. (Camera pans toward her, revealing a slender young woman with copper hair facing a well-groomed 30-something man across the Bauhaus desk.) There's no way I can establish Anasazi-Aztec connection without a good series of carbon-14 dates.
BRISBANE How much are we talking about?
KELLY (Deep breath.) Eighteen thousand dollars.
BRISBANE (Shakes his head, leans forward, supports chin with tented hands.) Eighteen thousand. (Pauses.) What a coincidence. (KELLY frowns, begins to say something.) It just happens to be exactly what you have to cut out of your budget.
KELLY You're cutting my budget?
BRISBANE (Leans back.) Ten percent cuts across the board. The cost of the new dinosaur halls turned out to be more than anticipated. (KELLY again begins to speak, but BRISBANE cuts her off sharply.) Scientific research is only a small part of the Museum, Dr. Kelly. If you were digging up dinosaurs, it would be different.
KELLY (Rising slightly.) I won't stand for these cuts!
BRISBANE (Stands and strolls to the gem case.) Have you ever seen the Tev Mirabi emerald?
KELLY The what?
BRISBANE (Unlocks case, slips out an enormous emerald.) The Tev Mirabi emerald. It's flawless. Emeralds this size are never flawless. Except this one. (Returns it to its case, locks it, turns back to KELLY.) What do you think it's worth? A million? Five? If we sold it all our money worries would be over. But we can't, of course.
KELLY I'm sorry, Mr. Brisbane, but what does this have to do with my research?
BRISBANE Show, Dr. Kelly, is the lifeblood of this museum. (Paces office.) People come here to see dazzling exhibitions, colossal planetariums-and your work doesn't fall into those categories.
KELLY But my work is interesting!
BRISBANE (Turning his back to her, gazing out the window.) My dear, everyone thinks their work is interesting. I've said what I have to say. For those curators who are unable or unwilling to find the cuts, there's no problem-I'm more than happy to do it myself. (Scene closes with a side shot of his face.)
Act 1, Scene 2
(KELLY enters her office, only to find a strange man standing in it, examining a monograph. Tall, thin, very pale, white blond hair, aquiline nose.)
KELLY Excuse me, but what are you doing in my office?
PENDERGAST (Southern accent.) Interesting, isn't it, that only whole Folsom points were found above the Sandia level. Highly suggestive, don't you think?
KELLY (Strides forward, yanks monograph out of his hands and jams it back on the shelf.) I'm busy. If you'd like to make an appointment, call. (Turns her back on him.)
PENDERGAST I'd like to speak to you now. Dr. Kelly, may I be so bold as to trouble you with a vexatious little problem?
KELLY (Turns, sees a small brown skull nestled in PENDERGAST'S hand. Looks up, examines man.) Who are you?
PENDERGAST (Withdraws badge from suit.) Special Agent Pendergast.
KELLY Well, Mr. Pendergast, bones aren't my field. I'm an archeologist, not an anthropologist.
PENDERGAST Just the same, I'd like to hear your thoughts on this skull. (PENDERGAST offers her the skull. Intrigued, KELLY accepts it after a moment. She walks behind her desk and examines it.)
KELLY Well, to start with, I'd say this child had a pretty sad life. The second molar is only just erupted, which would put her around thirteen years old. Very bad teeth-
PENDERGAST I need you to accompany me downtown. (Strides out of the office door. KELLY pauses, then follows him, still holding the skull.)
KELLY Downtown? You mean headquarters?
PENDERGAST A rather interesting site has been discovered in lower Manhattan. You'll be the supervising archaeologist.
KELLY Me? Why? I don't have the authority-
PENDERGAST You've had some experience in this particular kind of site.
KELLY And what kind of site is that?
PENDERGAST A charnel.
Act 1, Scene 3 (PENDERGAST holds the door of a Rolls-Royce open. KELLY steps out. They are at a construction site. A fat police officer approaches: the audience's first glimpse of SHERWOOD CUSTER, precinct captain.)
CUSTER Move on! Nothing to see!
PENDERGAST (Withdraws badge.) On the contrary.
POLICE OFFICER FBI?
PENDERGAST Those are the three letters, yes. (Puts badge away again. A group of men watches him. Suddenly one breaks away and approaches. PENDERGAST sees him coming.) And you are?
SHENK I'm Ed Shenk. I'm the construction manager for Moegen-Fairhaven. This is a very important project, and progress has been slower than anticipated. Mr. Fairhaven visited the site in person yesterday. The last thing he wants is more delays. The FBI has no jurisdiction here.
PENDERGAST (Pulls cell phone out, dials.) Sally? Agent Pendergast here. May I speak with the Commissioner?
CUSTER Now, look-
PENDERGAST If you would kindly interrupt him for me?
SHENK There's no need for this! (Unlocks gate to the construction site.)
PENDERGAST Sally? I'll call back. (Snaps phone shut and pockets it, before striding past SHENK and CUSTER towards the site. KELLY follows.)
CUSTER Mr. Pendergast-
PENDERGAST (Climbs up to the entrance to the charnel. Followed closely by KELLY, he enters the site. Dim, dusty, dark.) I've bought us an hour, maybe less, so make the best of it.
KELLY The best of what? I don't know how-
PENDERGAST Survey the site. Help me understand what happened. You're trained in ways I'm not. I need the maximum amount of information in the minimum amount of time. (Turning away, he bends to examine some bones. KELLY goes to survey the six niches in the wall, each containing three dismembered bodies. She sorts through skulls, clothes, rib cages, shoes, and femurs. She writes her findings down in the pocket notebook she always carries. She finds a dress that has a piece of paper sewn into the lining. PENDERGAST is suddenly behind her.) We're out of time, I'm afraid. (Police officers carrying evidence lockers are coming into the site. KELLY stuffs the dress into her handbag.) It's time for us to take our leave.
Act 1, Scene 4
KELLY (Riding in the Rolls-Royce. KELLY speaks furiously). How can they destroy that site? It's of enormous archeological importance! (She pulls out the dress and hands it to PENDERGAST, along with her notebook.)
PENDERGAST Of course it is. But if the site were declared to be of value, Moegen- Fairhaven would be shut down for weeks. Which they would never allow to happen.
KELLY So why didn't you try your friend the Commissioner again?
PENDERGAST Why, I don't have the pleasure of his acquaintance.
KELLY Then who were you calling back there?
PENDERGAST My apartment.
Act 1, Scene 5 SMITHBACK stands in the doorway of a restaurant. A waiter leads him to his table, at which KELLY is seated. SMITHBACK drops a light kiss on her lips before sitting down next to her.
KELLY You won't believe the day I had.
KELLY Yeah. First, that scumbag Brisbane cut my budget by ten percent. (SMITHBACK makes a sympathetic noise.) And then I found this really weird guy in my office. Looked like a caretaker. He said he was from the FBI, and he dragged me downtown to this site-
SMITHBACK Did you say FBI?
KELLY Yes, the FBI. Special Agent-
KELLY You know him?
SMITHBACK Know him? He was in my book on the Museum murders. That book of mine you said you read.
KELLY Oh yeah, right. Right. So tell me about him.
SMITHBACK He's . unorthodox. Charming, a southern aristocrat, lots of dough. I really don't know what his relationship is with the FBI. He seems to have free rein to poke into anything he likes.
KELLY Hm, including charnel sites he has no jurisdiction in.
SMITHBACK A charnel? Where?
KELLY Remember, this is off the record.
SMITHBACK Nora! Everything between us is off the record!
KELLY It was the new site that Moegen-Fairhaven is working on.
SMITHBACK Nasty bunch. Weren't they the guys that got in trouble for ripping down some apartments without a permit? When there were still people living there?
KELLY I think so.
SMITHBACK Speaking of the devil-there's Fairhaven now. (Fairhaven is being escorted to a table where a group of business associates await him.) Nora, I'm not sure I want you involved in the investigation.
KELLY Why not?
SMITHBACK Well, first of all-
KELLY Don't worry, after I get my report on the site to Pendergast, I'm telling him that I don't wish to be involved further.
Act 1, Scene 6 KELLY and PENDERGAST are in her office.
PENDERGAST A cabinet of curiosities once stood above the tunnel the bodies were found in. J.C. Shottum's Cabinet of Curiosities, to be precise. The building burned in 1881. It remained a vacant lot until the row of tenements was built in 1897.
KELLY Mr. Pendergast, as interesting as this all is, I have work to do. My boss doesn't approve of me spending my time here on outside projects.
PENDERGAST Don't worry about Mr. Brisbane. We had a nice little chat, and he came to see how invaluable your expertise would be for the FBI.
KELLY He did?
PENDERGAST The next step to be taken is procuring more information about Shottum's cabinet. I would ask you to go to the Archives and catalogue Shottum's materials. (Before KELLY can protest further, he strides from the room.)
Act 1, Scene 7 PUCK leads KELLY between the tall, dimly lit shelves full of artifacts and paraphernalia that comprise the museum Archives.
PUCK Cabinets of curiosities, one of my favorite subjects. Many educated men of the eighteenth century collected strange artifacts while roaming the globe, which they later displayed for those who could afford to see them. Of course, when the Museum opened, we put a lot of them out of business. (Stops by a stuffed woolly mammoth.) Those old cabinets would do anything to draw the paying public. Take a look at this woolly mammoth. (Reaches underneath its belly and pushes a spring. A trap door falls open.) This was part of a sideshow routine. Before the show began, a man would crawl inside of it-
KELLY Yes, yes. This is very interesting, Mr. Puck, and we appreciate the tour, but we're pressed for time. We would really like to see the Shottum material now.
PUCK Of course, of course! (Closes trapdoor, shuffles off again.) Here's your Mr. Shottum. Since it burned, we don't have much of it, I'm afraid. It wasn't the most interesting cabinet, although it seems to be quite popular these days. Very disorganized. If you're interested in cabinets, perhaps you'd like to see Delacourte's or McFadden's-
KELLY Thank you, Mr. Puck.
PUCK Yes, well.I'll be right around the corner if you need me. (Heads off, leaving KELLY alone in front of box.)
KELLY (Deep breath, begins to go through papers. After a few moments she throws them back on the shelf and looks through the rest of the material. Suddenly, her hands knock an elephant foot box off the shelf. She goes to pick it up, only to discover that several sheets of faded brown paper have fallen out.) My esteemed colleague-
PUCK Everything alright?
KELLY (Jumps in surprise, conceals papers behind her back.) Yes, thank you. I'm almost done here. (She snatches her briefcase, turning away from PUCK. She slides the papers in.) In fact, I'm out of time. Thank you again. (Shakes PUCK'S hand before striding away. PUCK watches her go.)
Act 1, Scene 8 (KELLY is in an empty apartment with SMITHBACK. MILLIE, the broker, is telling them about the rent.)
MILLIE You're the first to see it. I guarantee it will be gone by sunset. (Steps back to give the couple some privacy.)
SMITHBACK So what do you think?
KELLY It's nice.
SMITHBACK Nice? Eighteen hundred bucks a month for an upper West side two bedroom? It's awesome. (KELLY frowns, bites lip.) You did talk to your landlord about moving out, didn't you? (KELLY shakes her head.) I thought we'd decided on this.
KELLY This is a big move for me, Bill. It's not exactly coming at the best time, either. I found a letter in the Archives-
SMITHBACK Can't we talk about this later? I really think this apartment-
KELLY Didn't you hear what I said? I found a letter. I know who murdered those thirty-six people!
SMITHBACK You do?
KELLY He's an extremely shadowy figure named Enoch Leng. He rented rooms from Shottum and performed experiments in them. Shottum grew suspicious, broke into Leng's lab. He discovered that Leng had been kidnapping people, killing them, and then dissecting out part of their central nervous system. He then processed it-apparently for self-administered injections.
SMITHBACK Good God. What for?
KELLY You're not going to believe this. He was trying to extend his own life span.
SMITHBACK That's incredible. (Pauses, then speaks as if to himself.) This would make one hell of a story.
KELLY (Ignores him.) God, I just can't get that letter out of my head. And Pendergast-you should've seen how grim his face was when I showed it to him. Like he was reading his own obituary or something. Then this morning, I went down to check out some more Shottum material that had turned up. Except someone in the administration had them removed-probably Brisbane or the Director. You can't tell me that's a coincidence.
SMITHBACK Can I see the letter?
KELLY (Nodding.) I was going to give it you for safekeeping-I don't dare bring it back to the Museum. But I want it back tonight. (She hands him a large brown envelope which he slides into his briefcase. Suddenly, the buzzer to the apartment rings.)
MILLIE That's my next appointment. Should I tell them you're taking it or what?
KELLY We're not. (MILLIE shrugs, opens the door to reveal two men who begin to circle the apartment.)
SMITHBACK Nora! We are taking it.
KELLY I'm sorry, Bill, I'm just not ready.
SMITHBACK But you said-
KELLY I know what I said. But I can't think about an apartment at a time like this, okay?
SMITHBACK No, it's not okay.
MAN #1 Eighteen percent broker's fee, right? (Begins to write a check.)
SMITHBACK Now wait just a minute! We were here first!
MAN #1 (Looks up, surprised.) I'm so sorry.
MILLIE Don't mind them, those people are on their way out.
KELLY and SMITHBACK exit into the elevator.
KELLY I have to get back to work. We'll talk about this tonight.
SMITHBACK We certainly will!
Act 1, Scene 9 ANTHONY FAIRHAVEN sits at his breakfast table, sipping a cup of tea. Two newspapers are before him. Slowly, he selects the New York Times, scans the paper above the crease. He sips his tea. He looks below the crease and sets his tea down abruptly. Camera zooms in.
NEWLY DISCOVERED LETTER SHEDS LIGHT ON 19TH CENTURY KILLINGS BY William Smithback, Jr.
NEW YORK-October 8. A letter has been found in the archives of the New York Museum of Natural History that may explain the grisly charnel discovered in lower Manhattan early last week. Dr. Kelly discovered the letter, which was written by John Cannady Shottum shortly before his death. In the letter, Shottum describes his uncovering of the medical experiments performed by his lodger, a taxonomist and chemist by the name of Enoch Leng. In the letter, Shottum alleged that Leng was conducting surgical experiments on living human subjects, in an effort to prolong his own life.
FAIRHAVEN Get the mayor on the phone!
Act 2, Scene 1 DOREEN HOLLANDER, a young, slightly pudgy blond woman, stands in Central Park, examining her guidebook. Her finger settles on an area titled The Ramble. She begins to walk. Soon, she is off the sunny cement paths and away from the sunbathers and bikers. As the woods get darker and darker, it become more and more obvious that she is lost. She looks around for someone to help her.
HOLLANDER Ha-llo? Ha-llo? Well goshdarn it, if this don't beat all.
Suddenly, a shadow behind her slowly emerges into a stooped figure in a long black coat and a bowler hat pulled low over the face.
HOLLANDER Oh, hi! Maybe you can help me. (Her words trail off as she sees the metal scalpel gleaming in his gloved hand. She backs away slowly, eyes held by the gleaming instrument) Oh-oh my God! (She turns to flee. The man catches her after only a moment and slides a chloroformed black cloth bag over her head. She struggles before sinking onto the ground. The camera blurs.)
Act 2, Scene 2 KELLY once again finds herself in front of BRISBANE'S office. She pats her hands over her suit, runs a hand through her hair, then knocks. BRISBANE yanks the door open. He turns away without a word. She follows him in and stands awkwardly. BRISBANE goes to the glass case and puts on his tie, fixing it as he speaks.
BRISBANE Over the past few hours, I've learned a great deal about you, Dr. Kelly. About a disastrous field expedition, for example, in which your leadership and even scientific abilities were called into question. And about a certain William Smithback. I didn't realize you were quite so friendly with this William Smithback of the Times. Furthermore, you've been doing outside work on Museum time, assisting this FBI agent. Finally, it's a violation of the Museum rules to have contact with the press without clearing it with me first. Your conduct has caused a great deal of anxiety.
KELLY Look, if you're going to fire me, get it over with.
BRISBANE Not only are you not fired, you are forbidden to resign, thanks to that self-serving newspaper article. You're bulletproof-for now. (A knock comes on the door.) And that would be Director Collopy.
COLLOPY (Enters and strides over to KELLY, taking her hands in his.) I know your work, Nora, and I've been following it with tremendous interest. I wasn't aware of the cuts in your department. We've all had to tighten our belts, but fortunately, we're in a position to restore your funding and on top of that, the eighteen thousand for your carbon-14 dates.
KELLY Thank you, but-
COLLOPY Please, don't thank me. Mr. Brisbane was kind enough to bring the situation to my attention. If you need anything else, call me. Call me. (Squeezes her hands one last time, exits.)
BRISBANE Now you know what will happen if you get with our program. I'd rather not go into what will happen if you don't.
Act 2, Scene 3 The museum is having a party. PENDERGAST sees SMITHBACK by the buffet and approaches him warmly.
SMITHBACK Agent Pendergast. What a surprise.
PENDERGAST Indeed. How many years has it been?
SMITHBACK Long time. What are you doing in New York?
PENDERGAST I keep an apartment here. I read your article, by the way.
SMITHBACK Made a splash, don't you think? Nineteenth century serial killer, kidnapping and murdering helpless kids, all in the name of some experiment to extend his own wretched life. They've awarded Pulitzers for less than that, you know.
PENDERGAST The Society for American Archaeology is demanding an investigation into how the site came to be destroyed. With this upcoming election, the mayor's on the defensive.
SMITHBACK There he is now.
PENDERGAST Along with friend Fairhaven.
COLLOPY (Over the PA, begins to speak.) Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. When I was a young man, I undertook the reclassification of the Great Apes.
PENDERGAST Here comes Dr. Kelly. (KELLY sweeps past the pair, heading toward the food table. SMITHBACK follows her, only to return a moment later with food all over his tuxedo.) Have an accident?
SMITHBACK You might call it that. (KELLY comes up behind him.)
KELLY How could you? I gave you that information in confidence.
SMITHBACK But Nora, I did it for you! Now they can't touch-
KELLY You moron! My long-term career here is ruined. This job was my last chance. And you ruined it! (Turns to PENDERGAST, ignoring SMITHBACK'S protests.) And you! You started all this.
PENDERGAST If I have caused you any distress, I regret it deeply.
KELLY Distress? They're going to crucify me! And there it all is, in today's paper. I could kill you! (KELLY'S voice rises; people began to ignore COLLOPY and watch the three of them.)
PENDERGAST Smile. Brisbane is watching.
KELLY I'm not even supposed to be seen talking to you. I can't believe the position you've put me in.
PENDERGAST However, Dr. Kelly, you and I do need to talk. Meet me tomorrow evening at seven in front of Water Street. (KELLY glares at him, then SMITHBACK, before sweeping away.)
Act 2, Scene 3 DOCTOR BILL DOWSON leans against a sink, sipping a cup of coffee. A NURSE wheels in a gurney with a covered body on it.
DOWSON What have we here?
DOWSON Fourth one today. Gunshot or stab wound?
NURSE (Reads from clipboard.) Some kind of multiple stabbing. Found in the Ramble.
DOWSON Figures. (NURSE hands clipboard to DOWSON, who turns on the tape recorder and begins to read.) Says here we have a 27-year-old Caucasian woman, identified by her husband as Doreen Hollander, from Pine Creek, Oklahoma. (PENDERGAST enters.) And you are?
PENDERGAST Special Agent Pendergast. May I observe?
DOWSON Do you have clearance?
DOWSON Then get the necessary paperwork and come back.
PENDERGAST (Advances towards DOWSON.) That will be time-consuming. I would appreciate your courtesy in letting me observe.
DOWSON Look, Mister-
PENDERGAST I'm in no mood to bandy civilities with you, Doctor. Proceed with the autopsy. (DOWSON hesitates, then backs away.) I suggest you turn the body over before making the Y-incision.
DOWSON Oh yeah? And why is that? (PENDERGAST remains silent.) Nurse, help me turn her over. (HOLLANDER is now lying on her stomach. A huge gaping hole is at the base of her back.) Looks like she died on the operating table. Nurse, sponge along here.
PENDERGAST Was this dissection the cause of death?
DOWSON If the subject were alive when the dissection began, then yes.
PENDERGAST Was the subject alive when the operation began?
DOWSON It seems she was. However, it seems no effort was made to keep the subject alive while the, ah, dissection was taking place. (The phone rings shrilly. NURSE gets it.)
NURSE Hello?.We already have an autopsy taking place. What do you mean, there's a body with similar stab wounds? (DOWSON takes the phone from her, listens for a minute, hangs up.)
DOWSON They just found another one. I'm not sure I can let you stay much longer.
PENDERGAST I understand. Thank you for your time. (He leaves, joins KELLY in the waiting room.)
KELLY What did you see?
Act 2, Scene 4 PENDERGAST and KELLY stand in front of a shabby row of apartments. It is almost dark; except for them, the street is deserted.
PENDERGAST You recall, Dr. Kelly, the dress from the charnel? (KELLY nods.) That dress belonged to a teenage girl named Mary Green. She wrote a note which identified her, her address, and her age. Mary wrote it in her own blood. (He pauses, faces the apartment.) Mary Green came from a working-class family. Her father worked as a stevedore on the docks and made a living wage. But both he and Mary's mother died in a miner cholera epidemic, leaving Mary to take care of her younger siblings, Joseph and Constance. Mary Greene tried to take in washing and sewing, but it wasn't enough to pay the rent. They were evicted. Mary finally did what she had to do to support her brother and sister. She became a prostitute.
KELLY How awful.
PENDERGAST That's not the worst. She was arrested when she was sixteen. Joseph and Constance became guttersnipes, street children. There's no more record of them; they probably starved to death. Mary was sent to a workhouse known as the Five Points Mission. On the surface, that would have seemed to be her lucky break. (Pauses.)
KELLY What happened to her then?
PENDERGAST Enoch Leng-Doctor Enoch Leng-placed himself and his medical expertise at the service of the Five Points Mission. Mary disappeared soon after.
KELLY This is very interesting, Mr. Pendergast, but why do you need my help?
PENDERGAST There's almost nothing on record about Leng anywhere. I believe there may be papers in the Museum regarding him and his work.
KELLY But why me? Why don't you just subpoena the files?
PENDERGAST Files have a way of disappearing as soon as they're officially requested. I've seen the way you work; that kind of competence is rare.
KELLY You've never explained why you're so interested in the case.
PENDERGAST That's not important. What is important is that a human being should not allowed to get away with a crime like this, even if that person is long dead. The past is part of the present. At the moment, in fact, it's all too much a part of the present.
KELLY You're talking about the new murders. Do you really think the cases are connected?
PENDERGAST Now is not the time.
KELLY Well then I'm sorry, but the bottom line is that I simply can't put my job in any more jeopardy. Especially without more information.
PENDERGAST (Bowing slightly.) I understand.
Act 2, Scene 5 PENDERGAST walks slowly down the dark, empty street towards his apartment building. He is deep in thought. Suddenly, a little girl-MARY-darts across the cobblestones, giggling. PENDERGAST watches her and fails to see the shadow in a bowler hat that comes up behind him, scalpel raised.
Act 2, Scene 6 KELLY is working behind her desk. She hears a strange scratching at the door, and the handle rattles.
KELLY Who's there? (Muffled whisper.) Who?
SMITHBACK It's me, Bill!
KELLY (Rises.) What are you doing here?
SMITHBACK Open up, it's important.
KELLY It's important that you stay the hell away from me. I'm calling security.
SMITHBACK No, Nora. Wait!
KELLY (Dials.) There's an intruder outside my office.
SMITHBACK Nora! You have to listen to me! (Heavy footfalls approach.)
GUARD #1 Sir, you're in an off-limits area.
SMITHBACK Unhand me, oaf! I'm a reporter for the-
GUARD #2 You will come with us, please, sir.
SMITHBACK Nora! Nora, you have to listen! (She goes to the door, unlocks it, and sticks her head out.) Nora, I can't believe you called security.
GUARD #2 Are you alright, miss?
KELLY I'm fine. But that man shouldn't be here.
SMITHBACK (GUARDS drag him down the hall.) Nora! Pendergast was attacked! He's in St. Luke's-Roosevelt hospital- (Disappears through a door.)
Act 2, Scene 7 St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital. KELLY sits in the waiting room. She jumps to her feet when the DOCTOR approaches.
KELLY How is he?
DOCTOR He's in excellent spirits. An odd fellow, Mr. Pendergast. Refused any anesthetic whatsoever. He must be in terrible pain but he doesn't show it. The assailant missed his heart by less than an inch.
KELLY Can I see him?
DOCTOR Room 1501.
KELLY (KELLY heads down the hallway. She enters Room 1501. PENDERGAST is lying on the bed surrounded by books and papers. He is watching an autopsy on the TV.) What happened?
PENDERGAST I was careless.
KELLY But who did it? Where? When?
PENDERGAST (Turns off TV.) Outside my residence last night. A man in black, with a cane, wearing a derby hat. He stabbed me, then escaped.
KELLY You could have been killed!
PENDERGAST That was the intention. Dr. Kelly, I'm convinced he was the same man who killed Doreen Hollander and Mandy Eklund.
KELLY What makes you say that?
PENDERGAST I caught a glimpse of the weapon-a surgeon's scalpel.
KELLY But why you?
PENDERGAST Somewhere along the way, I brushed up a little too close to the truth. We flushed him out. This is a very positive development.
KELLY You could still be in danger!
PENDERGAST I am not the only one. You and Mr. Smithback must also take precautions. I'd appreciate it if you spoke with him-
KELLY No. Thanks to him and that goddamn article, two people are dead and you're wounded.
PENDERGAST Dr. Kelly, I am not at all convinced that these are the doings of a copycat killer.
KELLY (Laughing.) Oh yeah? Then who do you think it is, Leng? (PENDERGAST looks at her.) Maybe you should've taken that anesthetic, after all.
Act 2, Scene 8 The basement room was small and silent. In its simplicity it resembled a monk's cell. A man sits at the table and slowly turns the faded, rotting pages of an old journal. Suddenly a beeper sounds. The man rises and lifts the serum out of the machine before transferring it into a needle. He rolls up his sleeve and taps the vein before sliding the needle into it.
Act 3, Scene 1 KELLY enters the Archives. The lights are off.
KELLY Mr. Puck? (She approaches the desk. A typewritten note sits on it: I'M IN THE TRICERATOPS IN THE BACK. KELLY shakes her head, annoyed.) Mr. Puck! (She turns on some lights and makes her way into the aisles. She hears a faint cough.) Mr. Puck? (There is no reply. KELLY steps in a dark puddle. She withdraws a handkerchief and wipes the side of her shoe. It comes away glistening and red. KELLY freezes. Once again, she hears a noise.) Mr. Puck? Is that you? (She sees a dark shape on the other side of the shelves. She takes a few steps forward and it follows, keeping pace with her.) Who are you? (There is an almost silent laugh. Suddenly KELLY is sprinting. She reaches the end of the aisle and darts through the gap. From the corner of her eye, she sees a huge dark figure wielding a scalpel. She runs through several more aisles, but the figure remains always one shelf away. Several petrified animals are in a group ahead of her. With relief, KELLY realizes that PUCK will be around here. She sees the triceratops-and PUCK'S body hoisted on top of it. The horns have gored through his back. The camera flashes back to the note: I'M IN THE TRICERATOPS IN THE BACK. KELLY screams and runs. Suddenly, she is at a dead end. She spins around-only to find a black-coated figure at the end of the aisle. KELLY shimmies up the shelves, gets to the top. The SURGEON begins to climb below her. She swings over to the other side and begins her descent. The scalpel darts through the shelves and stabs her in the shoulder. She falls the rest of the way down. KELLY jumps to her feet and runs. She finds herself at a junction of several aisles. Then she sees the wooly mammoth. Switching off the lights, she opens the trap door and climbs inside. The SURGEON switches the light back on. He looks around, then turns to the mammoth. Footsteps are heard; the SURGEON vanishes)
GIBBS Mr. Puck? Mr. Puck, I'm here! (KELLY remains in the mammoth.) Mr. Puck?
KELLY (Opens the trapdoor and climbs out.) Did you see him? Did you see him?
GIBBS Who? What were you doing in there? Hey, you're bleeding!
KELLY Oscar, you have to call the police. Mr. Puck-Mr. Puck's been murdered. And the murderer is right here. In the museum.
Act 3, Scene 2 Press conference at One Police Plaza. The room is packed with reporters. SMITHBACK has a front-row seat. Several people crowd the stage: MARY HILL, MAYOR EDWARD MONTEFIORI, CAPTAIN SHERWOOD CUSTER, DIRECTOR COLLOPY, ROGER BRISBANE, POLICE COMMISSIONER KARL ROCKER.
MONTEFIORI Ladies and gentlemen of the press, from time to time our great city has been stalked by serial killers. Thankfully, it has been many years since the last plague. Now, however, it appears we have a new killer, a true psychopath. Three people have been violently murdered within the past week. Clearly, this is three murders too many. I called this press conference to share with the public the strong and effective measures we are taking to find this killer, and answer as best we can questions you might have about this case. My spokesperson, Mary Hill, will field the questions. But first, Commissioner Rocker will give you a briefing.
ROCKER Thank you, Mayor Montifiori. Last Thursday, the body of a young woman, Doreen Hollander, was discovered in Central Park. A peculiar kind of dissection was performed on her lower back. While the official autopsy was taking place, another body was found. The second victim, Mandy Eklund, was found in Tompkins Square Park. Forensic analysis indicated that the violence done to her person was similar to that of Mrs. Hollander's. Yesterday, Reinhart Puck's body was discovered in the Archives of the New York Museum. His body showed mutilations consistent with the over victims. (PRESS shouts.) A letter was discovered in the Archives prior to the murders.
MONTIFIORI This article appeared in last week's New York Times. It described, in detail, the work of Dr. Enoch Leng. The article appears to have stimulated a copycat killer, nicknamed the Surgeon. Police experts have advised me that the Surgeon thinks he can accomplish what Leng tried to-that is, extend his own life. The, er, sensationalistic approach of the Times article inflamed the modern killer to act. I would ask you, the press, to please show restraint in your coverage. Ms. Hill will now take questions.
REPORTER #1 You said the murderer performed an operation on the lower back. Can you elaborate?
HILL Basically, the lower portion of the spinal cord has been removed in all three victims. (SMITHBACK attempts to get her attention but HILL ignores him.)
REPORTER #2 Is it true that the third body was found impaled on the horns of a dinosaur?
HILL Yes. Clearly we are dealing with a very deranged individual.
REPORTER #3 Do you have any suspects?
ROCKER A tall, slender Caucasian male, between six foot and six foot two, wearing an old-fashioned black coat and bowler hat.
HILL Ms. Epstein of WNBC!
SMITHBACK Excuse me! Ms. Epstein, since I have been personally attacked, may I respond?
EPSTEIN Of course.
SMITHBACK Mr. Brisbane, isn't it true that Moegen-Fairhaven, which gave the Museum two million dollars last year, has put pressure on the Museum to stop the investigation?
BRISBANE (Coloring.) That is an irresponsible allegation.
SMITHBACK So you deny threatening your employee, Dr. Nora Kelly, forbidding her to work on the case? Keep in mind, Mr. Brisbane, that we have yet to hear from Dr. Kelly herself, who just yesterday was chased and almost caught by the Surgeon.
BRISBANE I will not answer these heckling questions. (COLLOPY looks grim.)
HILL Mr. Smithback, are you quite finished monopolizing the press conference? Clearly, the nineteenth century homicides have nothing to do with the current killings, except as inspiration.
SMITHBACK And how do you know that?
MAYOR Are you suggesting, sir, that Dr. Leng is still alive and practicing his business? (Laughter.)
SMITHBACK Not at all-
MAYOR Then I suggest you sit down, my friend.
Act 4, Scene 1 KELLY rings the doorbell of a brownstone apartment in Chinatown.
KELLY I'm the one interested in the basement apartment. (She is buzzed inside, where a Chinese man waits.) Mr. Ling Lee? (He nods and gestures to a seat.)
LEE How you hear about apartment?
KELLY My uncle Huang told me about it. He's with the DHCR. (MRS. LEE hovers in background, scowling at KELLY.) Over the phone, you said the apartment was available. I'm prepared to take it right away.
LEE Follow me. (Leads KELLY back outside, unlocks door to basement. It is a small, plain, dismal place with only one window and four locks on the door. While KELLY looks around, LEE eyes her with dislike.) Many rule for apartment.
KELLY Is that right?
LEE No loud music. No noise. No man at night. No smoke, no drink.
KELLY That sounds fine. I like a clean place, and I don't have a boyfriend. (Scowls.)
LEE After suicide, no allow gun.
LEE Young woman hang herself.
KELLY A hanging? I thought you mentioned a gun.
LEE She hang, but it no work. Then use gun. Like you, she no have boyfriend.
KELLY I see. She favored the comprehensive approach. However, the apartment is perfect. I'll take it.
Act 4, Scene 2 PENDERGAST is lying on a mattress in the basement apartment. KELLY paces.
KELLY Now will you explain why I had to rent this dump?
PENDERGAST Did you bring the digging tools?
PENDERGAST Excellent. The floor you are standing on, Dr. Kelly, hides invaluable clues. I want you to uncover them.
KELLY Is this.
PENDERGAST (A knock comes on the door.) Ah, that would be Sergeant O'Shaughnessy. Open it for him, please. (KELLY obliges.) Patrick, I'd like you to meet Dr. Nora Kelly. And now, to the business at hand. This apartment stands on what was once Enoch Leng's secret laboratory. I need you to work together to reveal it in its entirety.
KELLY nods and without another word begins unloading her tools. Camera pans in on PENDERGAST'S pale face and when it pulls away, KELLY has dug several feet into the earth. Suddenly, her trowel bangs against something. O'SHAUGHNESSY stiffens.
PENDERGAST You've found something?
O'SHAUGNESSY A skull.
PENDERGAST Please describe.
KELLY Give me a minute. (Continues digging.) All right. We have a skull of an older adult male, with some hair and soft matter remaining. There are two silver teeth attached to some old bridgework.
PENDERGAST Ah. You have found Tinbury McFadden. You must keep going. Still to be discovered are James Henry Perceval and Dumont Burleigh, Dr. Leng's colleagues who were unlucky enough to receive Shottum's confidences. The circle is complete.
KELLY That reminds me of something. When Puck showed me the Shottum material, he mentioned that Shottum was quite popular these days. After what happened, I began to wonder..
PENDERGAST Who made that particular journey before us.
Soon three skeletons are uncovered from their shoulders up. Suddenly, someone pounds on the door.
MRS. LEE What go on here? What that smell? What you do? Open up!
KELLY There's no smell in here! It must be coming from somewhere else!
MRS. LEE It come up, through floor! Smell like shit! This nice apartment building! I call police!
KELLY What should I do?
O'SHAUGHNESSY She wants the police. (Opens door.) Mrs. Lee, I'm a police officer. I need you to do nothing, say nothing, to anyone. Do you understand?
MRS. Lee Wha-?
O'SHAUGNESSY Please go back to your apartment quietly. (Shuts the door.)
KELLY How much time do we have left?
PENDERGAST Not enough.
Act 4, Scene 3 SHERWOOD CUSTER pulls his porcine frame out of the squad car. His aide, NOYES, follows him. Around him are several more police cars, lights flashing, sirens blaring. A crowd of reporters, including SMITHBACK, are clustered around the brownstone.
SMITHBACK It's not fair! You let him in, so you have to let me in! (Turns, sees CUSTER.) Captain Custer! The Commissioner has refused to speak with the press. Will you comment on the case?
CUSTER (Walks right past SMITHBACK.) The commissioner himself is here. Shit. (He enters the basement apartment, NOYES at his heels. ROCKER sees him.)
CUSTER Yes sir?
CUSTER Sir, I'm very sorry that O'Shaughnessy-
ROCKER (ROCKER wraps an arm around CUSTER and steers him into a corner.) The mayor has called me twice this evening. He's delighted.
ROCKER Delighted. The more attention deflected from the copycat murders, the better. New murders are bad for approval ratings. Thanks to this discovery, you're the cop of the hour. For the mayor, at least. So this is now your case.
CUSTER What case?
ROCKER The Surgeon case. This is nothing. This is archaelogy. But it will buy you breathing space.
CUSTER Thank you, sir.
ROCKER Custer? Get right to work on this case of yours. Right to work. You don't want a fresh stiff turning up on your watch, do you? Then get to it.
Act 4, Scene 4 PENDERGAST'S apartment. KELLY and O'SHAUGHNESSY stand around a table while PENDERGAST paces.
PENDERGAST We know where Dr. Leng did his work. But now we are confronted with an even more difficult question. Where did the good doctor hide himself on this teeming island? Thanks to you two, we now have some clues from the site to narrow our search. The tram ticket you unearthed was punched for the West Side Lateral. It is safe to assume that Leng was a West Sider. (He uncaps a marker and turns to a map on the wall, draws a line dividing Manhattan into two sections.) Now for the umbrella. Silk is a fiber that traps particles, particularly pollen. Microscopic examination of the umbrella showed it to be heavily impregnated with marsh dropseed. By 1900, this plant grew only along the banks of the Hudson river. (Another line is added to the map.) Thus we can assume our Dr. Leng lived on Riverside Drive between 110th street and 139th street, or between Broadway and Riverside Drive.
O'SHAUGHNESSY You're still talking hundreds, maybe thousands of houses.
PENDERGAST Thirteen hundred and five, to be exact. However, I am convinced that Dr. Leng lived on Riverside Drive itself. That would narrow our search down to under a hundred houses.
O'SHAUGHNESSY How do you know that?
PENDERGAST This man had a great deal of money. Do you think Leng would have lived on a side street, in middle-class housing? He wouldn't want a place that could be walled in by future construction. He'd want light, a healthy flow of fresh air, and a pleasant view of the river. A view that could never be obstructed.
O'SHAUGHNESSY But how do you know?
KELLY Because he expected to be there for a very, very long time.
PENDERGAST (Smiles slowly.) Bravo. (He goes to the map and draws one more line down Riverside Drive.) Here is where we must look for Dr. Leng.
O'SHAUGHNESSY You mean, Dr. Leng's house.
PENDERGAST No. I mean, Dr. Leng.
Act 5, Scene 1 O'SHAUGHNESSY is seated at the bar. SMITHBACK wanders in.
SMITHBACK I'd like a twelve year old Glen Grant. Hey, weren't you one of the officers involved in the excavation in Chinatown?
O'SHAUGHNESSY What of it?
SMITHBACK Could you tell me what prompted the investigation and discovery of the three skeletons?
O'SHAUGHNESSY You're a reporter.
O'SHAUGHNESSY So no, I can't tell you a damn thing.
SMITHBACK You work with Pendergast.
O'SHAUGHNESSY I work for him now.
SMITHBACK Whaddya mean?
O'SHAUGHNESSY Got a little too independent for Captain Custer. They put me on administrative leave.
SMITHBACK So does Pendergast have any theories regarding Enoch Leng and the Surgeon?
O'SHAUGHNESSY If I tell you Pendergast's theory, do you think you could find some information for me?
SMITHBACK What kind of information?
O'SHAUGHNESSY If I tell you the theory, you have to use your resources to prove it's not true. (They shake hands.)
SMITHBACK So what's the theory?
O'SHAUGHNESSY It's not like you could print it. It's totally unpublishable. (SMITHBACK nods, intrigued.) See, I worry the injury may have hit Pendergast harder than we thought. He thinks this Leng guy is still alive, that he succeeded in his work.
SMITHBACK Shit, that is absurd!
O'SHAUGHNESSY Pendergast believes that the examination of the bones on Doyers Street, the Catherine Street autopsy report, and the newest murders, all show the same exact pattern of marks.
SMITHBACK So he thinks Leng's been killing all this time-what, 130 years?
O'SHAUGNESSY He thinks he's living up on Riverside Drive somewhere. He's got Nora examining old deeds.
O'SHAUGHNESSY Why, you know her?
SMITHBACK (Gulps drink down and rises.) I'll start with the newspaper morgue, then check the Museum files for information. When I have it, I'll give it you. Put in a good word for me with Nora?
O'SHAUGHNESSY Here's my cell number. Good luck.
Act 5, Scene 2 SMITHBACK enters the Museum and paces by Old Records. Through the door, he sees two GUARDS. He heads towards the Selous Memorial Hall and stops at the desk.
SMITHBACK I'm Professor Smithback.
VOLUNTEER Yes, Professor? What can I do for you?
SMITHBACK May I use your phone?
VOLUNTEER Of course.
SMITHBACK (Speaks gruffly into the phone.) Is Rook on duty there?.Who's on in Records, then?.Bulger, you're just the man I need to talk to. This is Mr. Hemrehem in Human Resources. There's a problem here with certain, ah, asseverations in your personal file. We'll discuss it when you get , of course. And tell O'Neal I'm sending someone down to review your procedures in the meantime. (Hangs up.)
VOLUNTEER What was all that about, Professor?
SMITHBACK Just a little prank on a coworker. We've got a running joke, you see. (He heads off towards Records, passing BULGER on his way, and knocks imperiously on the door. O'NEAL opens it.) O'Neal? I'm Maurice Fannin. They sent me down here to straighten things out.
O'NEAL Straighten things out?
SMITHBACK This is a disgrace. We've been doing a little looking into your area here, O'Neal, and we are not pleased. Not pleased at all. When was the last time you did a file check, for instance?
O'NEAL File check?
SMITHBACK We'll begin with 1880. Unlock the drawer, if you please. Now, you take this index card. It lists every file in the drawer. You check if they're in there. Simple. Now, 1875. 1870. (He finds Leng's file and slides it into his jacket.) Listen, O'Neal, other than the file check, you're doing a fine job down here. Keep it up. (SMITHBACK leaves, pulling out his cell.) Patrick? Bill here. I have the address. It's 891 Riverside Drive.
Act 5, Scene 3 O'SHAUGHNESSY heads toward the Dakota. The doorman watches his approach.
O'SHAUGHNESSY Is Mr. Pendergast in?
DOORMAN No. Would you like to leave a message?
O'SHAUGNESSY Would you give him this? (He hands the DOORMAN a piece of folded paper. He walks off to visit Mary Green's Water street. He is turning to head home when he hears a cough. He reaches for his gun. Suddenly a shadow moves toward him. O'SHAUGNESSY sprints down the street and ducks into a doorway. After a moment, he steps back out. A chloroformed cloth comes down over his head. He manages to squeeze out a shot before passing out. It echoes crazily down the abandoned street.)
Act 5, Scene 4 Smithback approaches an abandoned house. It is 891. He walks around the outside, trying to find a way in. He starts to climb the side instead. Soon he is at a second floor window. He breaks it and enters. Camera pans away to include the black-coated figure watching him from under a nearby tree.
Act 5, Scene 5 Custer's office. Custer hangs up the phone. He sits and ponders. His head snaps up and his hand hits the intercom button.
CUSTER Noyes, get in here!
NOYES (Pokes his head in.) Captain?
CUSTER I've got it. I've figured it out. The key to the Surgeon killings is in the Museum. We're going in there hard and fast. They're not going to know what hit them!
Act 5, Scene 6 SMITHBACK opens the door of the room he came in through. He begins walking down the stairs when it slams shut. He is surrounded by draped objects. Pulling one off, he reveals a small carnivorous dinosaur. He pulls off many sheets to reveal many wonders. Finally he decides to leave. He goes back up the stairs only to discover all the doors are locked. He finds a piece of paper stuck into a door with a list of names on it. PENDERGAST, KELLY, SMITHBACK, O'SHAUGHNESSY, PUCK. The last two names have been crossed out.
SURGEON My dear fellow, leaving so soon? You've only just got here.
SMITHBACK Are you the caretaker? Can you believe it? I've locked myself in. Well all I can say is, I'm glad you happened by. If you could help me find my way-
SURGEON (Steps out of shadows, caressing a scalpel in one gloved hand.) An unexpected pleasure to see you here. But convenient. In fact, you've arrived just in time.
Act 6, Scene 1 CUSTER screeches up to the Museum. Other detectives and police officers pile out of their cars. He shoves a warrant in the security guards' faces.
CUSTER Direct me to the Archives!
Act 6, Scene 2 KELLY sits across from two officers, FINESTER and O'GRADY.
O'GRADY Dr. Kelly, please make yourself comfortable. I am Sergeant O'Grady, and this is Sergeant Finester. Do we have permission to tape record you?
KELLY If it's necessary.
FINESTER What is your relationship to Mr. William Smithback, Jr?
FINESTER And when was the last time you spoke to him?
KELLY Maybe a week ago.
O'GRADY We have a report here that earlier today, Mr. Smithback impersonated a security office and gained access to some Museum files. Any idea why?
FINESTER Under what circumstances did you last speak to Smithback?
KELLY He was harassing me in my office.
FINESTER You have no idea what Smithback was looking for today? Or why he left his car parked up on Riverside Drive?
KELLY I believe I just said that. (She pauses.) What files did he gain access to?
O'GRADY It says here it was an old personal file on that serial killer-
KELLY Enoch Leng? (She sits bolt upright.) I have to go.
O'GRADY We'll be done when we get to the end of the questions.
KELLY (Pulls out her cell, dials PENDERGAST 911.) I've got to go. Go to the bathroom.
O'GRADY Then we'll accompany you.
KELLY Better hurry. I've really got to go. Bad kidneys. (She rises and hurries towards the door. O'GRADY and FINESTER follow. As soon as KELLY reaches the door, she sprints through it and slams it in their faces. She runs through the Museum and gains the outside pavement. Her phone rings.) Hello? Thank God! Pendergast I'm outside the Museum. Hurry the hell up. Bill figured out where Leng lives.
Camera flashes on PENDERGAST'S face in his Rolls.
KELLY I think he went up there. I think he went into the house.
The Rolls careens to the front of the Museum just as FINESTER and O'GRADY come sprinting out of the doors.
PENDERGAST (Throws open door.) Get in!
KELLY I tried reaching Bill on his cell phone. He isn't answering. You really believe Leng's still alive?
PENDERGAST I know so.
KELLY Do you think-do you think he's got Bill?
PENDERGAST The voucher he filled out for the rental car stated that he would return it by five this afternoon.
KELLY He's six hours overdue!
PENDERGAST We would have known Leng's address in 48 hours. A little more care, a little more method was all it would have taken. Now, we don't have 48 hours.
KELLY How much time do we have?
PENDERGAST I'm afraid we don't have any.
Act 6, Scene 1 SMITHBACK lies chained in a cell. The door opens, THE SURGEON silhouetted against the light.
THE SURGEON Please do not discompose yourself. All this will be over soon. Struggle is unnecessary.
SMITHBACK throws himself against the chains in a frenzied panic. The SURGEON advances, a syringe in one hand.
This is merely an injection to make your muscles relax. It's a paralyzing agent; you'll find it tends to render the sort of weakness one feels in dreams. But this, Mr. Smithback, is no dream.
Act 6, Scene 2 CUSTER watches his detectives pillaging the Archives. Suddenly BRISBANE storms in.
CUSTER Ah, Mr. Brisbane. Just the man I wanted to see.
BRISBANE You can't just come in here and turn the place upside down! All of this is Museum property!
CUSTER You've seen the warrant.
BRISBANE Yes I have. And it's not worth the paper it's written on. As the Museum's legal counsel, I'm authorized to speak for Director Collopy. And I refuse to allow this to continue!
CUSTER Mr. Brisbane, perhaps we can discuss this in your office. My men are almost finished here.(Crooks a fat finger at NOYES.) Stand by me.
Act 6, Scene 3 SMITHBACK lies facedown on a metal gurney. Green plastic sheets cover his legs and upper back, exposing only his spine.
THE SURGEON There will be some pain, I'm afraid. Rather a lot of pain, in fact. But good science is never really free from pain. If I may offer a word of advice? Be like the gazelle in the jaws of the lion: limp, accepting, resigned. Trust me. That's the best way. (Begins to gather tools from the sink.)
Act 6, Scene 4 PENDERGAST leads KELLY up the driveway. He pulls out an electronic lock- pick and opens the door to Leng's house. The pair enters the house silently. PENDERGAST looks at the floor, at the footprints. They walk between strange exhibits until they come to a case in front of which PENDERGAST stops and stares. Inside the case is an elderly man dressed in a long black 19th century coat and pinstriped pants. His fingernails have been removed, as well as his eyes. His nose is arched, his lips and chin delicately molded.
KELLY The face. It looks just like-it looks just like you.
PENDERGAST Yes. Very much like me.
KELLY But who-?
PENDERGAST Enoch Leng.
KELLY Leng? But I thought you said he was alive.
PENDERGAST He was, until recently. Someone appears to have tortured him to death. We are now dealing with that other someone. (KELLY begins to say something. PENDERGAST raises his hand.) I cannot speak of it now. (They continue through the house, following the footprints until they lead to an elevator. They approach slowly. A soft moan comes out of the elevator. PENDERGAST moves forward sharply and pulls open the door. The inner brass door springs open. A figure hangs in the elevator. Its noose relaxes and it comes out, falling on them. There is a gaping hole in its lower back.)
KELLY It's O'Shaughnessy!
Yes. And he's still alive. (They tear the man free from the rope. The elevator lurches, then crashes.)
Act 6, Scene 5 CUSTER is seated in BRISBANE'S office. NOYES hovers in the background.
BRISBANE Shall we get on with it, Captain?
CUSTER I understand you're the Museum's general counsel?
BRISBANE That's right.
CUSTER I understand your feelings of invasion here.
BRISBANE That's reassuring.
CUSTER To a certain extent, you feel it's your place. You are protective of the Museum.
BRISBANE I do.
CUSTER I imagine this whole thing's been very hard on you. First there was the discovery of all those skeletons. Then there was that letter discovered in the Museum's collections. Very unpleasant.
BRISBANE The adverse publicity could easily have harmed the Museum.
CUSTER Then there was that curator-?
BRISBANE Nora Kelly.
CUSTER The same one who found the skeletons-and the hidden letter, correct? You didn't like her working on the case.
BRISBANE She was being paid to do her research.
CUSTER Of course. And then she was chased in the Archives, almost killed by the Surgeon. Do you visit the Archives often, Mr. Brisbane?
BRISBANE Not so much. Boxes of paper and moldy specimens don't interest me.
CUSTER And yet you visited there-(consults pad)-let's see, no less than eight times in the past ten days.
BRISBANE I doubt it was that often.
CUSTER And then there's Smithbutt, that annoying reporter? Didn't want him around, did you? Then again, who would?
BRISBANE My thoughts exactly. You've heard, of course, about his theft of Museum files earlier today?
CUSTER I heard. Fact is, we're looking for the man, but he seems to have disappeared. You wouldn't happen to know where he is, would you?
BRISBANE Of course not.
CUSTER (Gets up and begins to pace around office, picking up knickknacks.) And then there's that FBI agent who gets attacked. Didn't much like him, either, did you?
BRISBANE We had enough policemen crawling over the place.
CUSTER And finally, Reinhart Puck. Why exactly did you try to fire Mr. Puck two days before his murder? Interesting timing there, wouldn't you say?
BRISBANE The Museum is having financial difficulties, Captain. There's nothing interesting about it.
CUSTER (Opens closet door. A derby hat rolls out. CUSTER looks up in surprise. He reaches in the closet and pulls out a cane.) Cuff him.
Act 6, Scene 6 PENDERGAST and KELLY are in the cell formerly occupied by SMITHBACK. Distant screaming reaches their ears. The door opens.
THE SURGEON Please do not discompose yourself. All this will be over soon. Struggle is unnecessary. (Door closes.)
THIS IS BASED ON A BOOK BY DOUGLAS PRESTON AND LINCOLN CHILD TITLED THE
CABINET OF CURIOSITIES. THE SCRIPT I WROTE WAS BASED ON THEIR BOOK AND INCORPORATED THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN THEIR CHARACTERS. IT IS NOT FINISHED.