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Lone Star (1996) script

by John Sayles

 
EXT.  TEXAS SCRUB -- DAY

Two men in shorts and Hawaiian shirts are poking around a
sandy section in the middle of scrub flats.

SERGEANT CLIFF POTTS is in the f.g., a plant-and-tree
guidebook in hand, as SERGEANT "MIKEY" HOGAN works a metal
detector over a large, sandy bank in the b.g.  Both are Army
career men with a morning off to pursue their hobbies.

			CLIFF
	We got ocotillo, devil's walking
	stick--what's this stuff--it's
	that whattayoucallit--horse-
	crippler.

Mikey bends to scoop something out of the sand, putting it
in a canvas bag slung on his bip

			MIKEY
	This place is a gold mine.

			CLIFF
	Lead mine.

MIKEY sees that Cliff is talking, pulls his headset off.

			MIKEY
	What?

			CLIFF
	It's a lead mine.

			MIKEY
	Right.

			CLIFF
	I don't know why I'm talking to
	you, you've got that thing on
	your head.

			MIKEY
	You finding lots of cactus and
	shit?

			CLIFF
	It's not just cactus.  There's
	the nopals, the yuccas--

			MIKEY
		(Puts headset on)
	Looks like a lot of cactus to me.

			CLIFF
		(Grumbles)
	Man knows a hundred-fifty varieties
	of beer, he can't tell a poinsettia
	from a prickly pear.

			MIKEY
		(Troubled)
	Cliff--

			CLIFF
	You live in a place, you should
	know something about it.  Explore--

			MIKEY
	Cliff--

CU MIKEY

MIKEY in the f.g.  now, looking down at something as he pulls
his headset off again --

			MIKEY
	Cliff, you gotta look at this--

Cliff wearily turns and approaches from the b.g.

			CLIFF
	Don't tell me--Spanish treasure,
	right?  Pieces of eight from the
	Coronado expedition--

He stops by Mikey and looks down, his expression changing

			CLIFF
	Jesus--

GROUND -- CU BONES

Sticking out from the sand bank are the SKELETAL BONES of a
MAN'S HAND.  There is a ring on one finger.

			MIKEY (O.S.)
	Was Coronado in the Masons?

EXT.  ROAD -- DAY

A distant cloud of DUST appears on the horizon MUSIC
underscores that we are in Texas, and we SUPERIMPOSE the
OPENING CREDITS as the dust takes form around an APPROACHING
CAR.  The car comes close enough to see it has a County
Sheriff's insignia on the side.

INT.  CAR

We see SAM DEEDS, the Sheriff, driving.  Sam is 40, quietly
competent to the point of seeming a bit moody.

He sees something up ahead.  MUSIC, CREDITS END as Sam pulls
off the road and we see the sergeants standing in the scrub

EXT.  SCRUB -- DAY -- BONES

The hand and forearm down to the elbow of the skeleton are
visible now.

WIDER

Cliff stands looking at the arm with Sam.  MIKEY is a few
yards behind them, playing with his metal detector.  Beyond
him we see the Sheriff's car parked.

			SAM
	I was driving back from Apache
	Wells when they got me on the
	radio.

			CLIFF
	This was a rifle range way back
	when.  But we figured it isn't
	Army land anymore, it's your
	jurisdiction.

			SAM
		(Nods)
	I've got the forensics fella coming
	down from the Rangers.  No way to
	know how old the body is without
	some lab work.

			CLIFF
	That ring--

			SAM
	Masons been around a long while.

Mikey has come up to them, still sweeping with the metal
detector.

			SAM
	Treasure hunter?

			CLIFF
		(Apologetic)
	Old bullets.  He uhm--makes art
	with them.

Sam just nods.  Mikey frowns, goes down on one knee and
scratches something out of the dirt at their feet--

			CLIFF
	The Sheriff says we shouldn't
	touch anything,

			MIKEY
		(To Sam)
	He can't hear with that rig on--
	Mikey!

Mikey comes up with something, holds it before them.  An
encrusted piece of metal--

			MIKEY
	What've we got here?

Sam takes the thing, lays it back down where Mikey found it.

			SAM
	S'posed to leave everything right
	where we found it.  They're real
	particular about that.

			MIKEY
	The scene of the crime.

			SAM
	No telling yet if there's been a
	crime.

Sam frowns down at the piece of metal as he rubs the face of
it.

CU METAL

Sam's thumb wipes across the face of the encrusted metal.
It is roughly star-shaped.

			SAM (O.S.)
	But this country's seen a good
	number of disagreements over the
	years.

INT.  HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM -- DAY -- TEXAS MAP

We look at a beautiful old pull-down map of Texas.

			PILAR (O.S.)
	We do the best we can here--

A teacher in her late 30s, PILAR CRUZ, steps in front of the
map and we FOLLOW her across the room, carrying a poster

			PILAR
	--but hey, public education these
	days is a bit of a battleground.

Posters bung on the walls beyond her show luminaries from
Texas history--Sam Houston, Stephen Austin, Juan Seguin.  A
new parent, CELIE PAYNE, stands in the middle of the otherwise
empty classroom.

			CELIE
	He went to school on base when we
	were in Okinawa.  it's all--you
	know--kids in the same boat--Army
	brats.

			PILAR
	His record shows that he's a good
	student.

			CELIE
	I'm more worried about the social
	thing.  Are there like--gangs,
	or...?

PILAR starts to put the poster up.  CELIE moves to hold it
in place for her.

			PILAR
	We haven't had any serious
	violence, if that's what you mean.
	We've got a pretty lively mix
	though--you walk into the cafeteria
	and the Anglo kids are in one
	section, the Mexican kids in
	another and the Black kids have a
	table in the back--thanks--

			CELIE
	So Blacks are--

			PILAR
	They're the smallest group except
	for a couple Kickapoo kids.  Look,
	you're obviously a concerned
	parent.  Chet has no history of
	getting into trouble--I'm happy
	to have him in my class.

She steps back to see if the poster, an old pboto of Geronimo,
looks straight.  Another teacher, MOLLY sticks her head in
the door---

			MOLLY
		(Uncomfortable)
	Pilar, is uhm--is Amado okay?

			PILAR
	Okay?  He's not here?

			MOLLY
	No.  Is he sick?

			PILAR
		(Mutters)
	He's going to wish he was dead.

EXT.  STREET -- DAY -- CU VAQUERO PICTURE

On the door of a deluxe pickup truck is an airbrushed picture
of a Pancho Villa-looking vaquero with bandoliers crossing
his chest and a gun blazing in each hand.  We hear LOUD MUSIC --

			AMADO (O.S.)
	Luis!  Give me that Phillips-head
	back--

WIDER

A small group of teenage Chicano BOYS hang around the truck
in the bed, on the hood, leaning against it.  A BOOMBOX placed
on top of the cab blasts RANCHA MUSIC out at the neighborhood.
Somebody's legs are hanging out the open passenger-side door.
The kids suddenly look as a Sheriff's Department car slides
into the f.g.  A Deputy Sheriff, TRAVIS, gets out

KIDS

Trying to look tough and unworried as we TRACK across the
street toward them.  Travis's hand reaches out from behind
the camera to flick the MUSIC OFF.

INT.  PICKUP

Amado CRUZ, Pilar's 15-year-old son, lies on the front seat
installing a compact disc player into the dash slot.

He reaches up to the dash, can't find what he wants

			AMADO
	Somebody hand me the CD player--
	damelo pendejos--

He looks up and we TILT to see Travis leaning in the window,
examining the new radio

			TRAVIS
	They come a long way from those
	old 8-track jobs, haven't they?

			AMADO
	Something wrong?

			TRAVIS
		(Waves radio)
	This is stolen property.  Alla
	you fellas are coming down to the
	station.

INT.  CAFE SANTA BARBARA -- AFTERNOON -- ENRIQUE

Sweat beads the forehead of a thin, tired-looking recent
immigrant, ENRIQUE, as he delivers platters of chile rellenos
to a booth.  MEXICAN MUSIC plays on a jukebox in the b.g.
We HOLD on the booth, where HOLLIS POGUE, in his 60s
entertains two GOOD OLD BOYS--

			HOLLIS
	So Buddy walks up to the porch
	and there's old Fishbait McHenry,
	cleanin' the dirt out his toenails
	with a pocketknife--he was the
	most hygienic of all the McHenrys--

The breakfast companions are laughing already--

			HOLLIS
	"Fishbait," says Buddy, in that
	quiet way of his, "what you know
	about them tires that went missing
	from markets?" Fishbait thinks
	for a minute, then he lifts up a
	loose board from the porch floor
	and calls down into it, "C'mon
	out, Pooter, they caught us!"

			FENTON
		(Laughing)
	Buddy Deeds.  He had a way.

			HOLLIS
	He known who it was onnaconna the
	tire tracks in the dirt from the
	back of the garage to where they
	loaded up.  "Old Fishbait," he
	says, "never lifted a thing in
	this world if there was a way he
	could roll it."

More laughter--

			FENTON
	Won't be another like him.  That
	boy of his doesn't come near it.
	You ask me, he's all hat and no
	cattle

			SAM (O.S.)
	Fellas--

We WIDEN to see Sam standing by their booth.  No telling how
long he's been listening, Fenton is embarrassed.

			HOLLIS
	Sam!  I was just telling a few
	about your old man.

			FENTON
	He was a unique individual.

			SAM
	Yeah, he was that.

We sense a little strain when Sam has to talk about his father--

			HOLLIS
	Big day coming up--I wish we'd
	have thought of it while he was
	still living.  But he went so
	unexpected

			FENTON
	Better late than never.  Korean
	War hero, Sheriff for near thirty
	years--Buddy Deeds Memorial P---

			SAM
	I heard there was a bit of a fuss.

			HOLLIS
	Oh, you know, the usual
	troublemakers.  Danny Padilla
	from the Sentinel, that crowd.

			FENTON
	Every other damn thing in the
	country is called after Martin
	Luther King, they can't let our
	side have one measly park?

			HOLLIS
	King wasn't Mexican, Fenton--

			FENTON
	Bad enough all the street names
	are in Spanish--

			SAM
	They were here first.

			FENTON
	Then name it after Big Chief
	Shitinabucket!  Whoever that
	Tonkawa fella was.  He had the
	Mexes beat by centuries.

			HOLLIS
	There was a faction pulling for
	that boy who was killed in the
	Gulf War--Ruben--

			SAM
	--Santiago.

			HOLLIS
	Right.  But nobody here ever
	noticed him till they read his
	name on the national news--

			FENTON
	They just wanted it to be one of
	theirs--

			HOLLIS
	That's not the whole story.  The
	Mexicans that know, that remember,
	understand what Buddy was for
	their people.  Hell, it was
	Mercedes over there who swung the
	deciding vote for him.

Sam looks to the register where Pilar's mother, MERCEDES
CRUZ, whacks rolls of change apart on the counter.  She seems
to be avoiding looking toward him.

			SAM
	That so?

			HOLLIS
	She put it even at three to three,
	so as the Mayor I get to cast the
	tiebreaker.  The older generation
	won't have any problem with it.
	They remember how Buddy come to
	be Sheriff, that it was all 'cause
	he took their part.

			FENTON
	Tell that one, Hollis--

			HOLLIS
	Hell, everybody heard that story
	a million times.

			SAM
	I'd like to hear it.  Your version
	of it.

Something about the way Sam says it puts Hollis on guard.

			FENTON
	Go ahead, Hollis.

CU HOLLIS

Hollis is hooked into it now --

			HOLLIS
	The two of us were the only
	deputies back then me and Buddy--
	it's what--'58--

			FENTON (O.S.)
	'57, 1 believe--

			HOLLIS
	And the Sheriff at the time was
	Big Charley Wade.  Charley was
	one of your old-fashioned bribe-
	or-bullets kind of Sheriffs, he
	took a healthy bite out of whatever
	moved through this county.

He looks down at the table--

			HOLLIS
	It was in here one night, back
	when Jimmy Herrera run the place.
	Started right here in this booth.

We PAN down to the table, The food has changed.  The tortillas
are in a straw basket instead of plastic.  The jukebox changes
to ANOTHER SONG and the LIGHT DIMS slightly.  A hand with a
big Masonic ring on one finger appears to lift a tortilla --
underneath it lie three ten-dollar bills.  The hand lifts
them up and we TILT to see the face of SHERIFF CHARLEY WADE,
a big, mean redneck with shrewd eyes

It is 1957 --

			WADE
		(Grins)
	This beaner fare doesn't agree
	with me, but the price sure is
	right.

WIDER

Wade sits across from his young deputies, YOUNG HOLLIS (30s)
and BUDDY DEEDS (20s).  A chicken-fried steak sits untouched
in front of Buddy.  Hollis has the anxious look of an errand
boy, while Buddy is self-contained and quietly forceful for
his age.

			BUDDY
	What's that for?

			WADE
	Jimmy got a kitchen full of
	wetbacks, most of 'em relatives.
	People breed like chickens.

			BUDDY
	So?

			WADE
	I roust some muchacho on the
	street, doesn't have his papers,
	all he got to say is "Yo trabajo
	para Jimmy Herrera."

Wade folds the money and stuffs if in his pocket--

			WADE
	You got to keep the wheels greased,
	son.  Sheriff does his job right,
	everybody makes out.  Now this is
	gonna be one of your pickups,
	Buddy.  First of the month, just
	like the rent.  Get the car,
	Hollis.

Wade and Hollis slide out of the booth to stand.

			BUDDY
	I'm not doing it.

Hollis stops a few feet away, shocked.  Wade just stares
down at Buddy.

			WADE
	Come again?

Buddy looks Wade in the eye, seemingly unafraid.

			BUDDY
	It's your deal.  You sweated it
	out of him, you pick it up.

			WADE
	There's gonna be some left over
	for you, Buddy.  I take care of
	my boys

			BUDDY
	That's not the point.

			WADE
	You feeling bad for Jimmy?  Have
	him tell you the size of the
	mordida they took out of his hide
	when he run a place on the other
	side.  Those old boys in Ciudad
	Leon--

			BUDDY
	I'm not picking it up.

			WADE
	You do whatever I say you do or
	else you put it on the trail,
	son.

The CUSTOMERS are all watching now, nervous.

Buddy thinks for a moment, not taking his eyes off Wade.

			BUDDY
	How 'bout this--how 'bout you put
	that shield on this table and
	vanish before you end up dead or
	in jail?

Wade rests his hand on his pistol.  It is dead silent but
for the MUSIC on the box

			BUDDY
	You ever shoot anybody was looking
	you in the eye?

			WADE
	Who said anything about shootin'
	anybody?

Buddy has his gun out under the table.  He slowly brings it
up and lays it flat on the table, not taking his hand off it
or his eyes off Wade.

			BUDDY
	Whole different story; isn't it?

			WADE
	You're fired.  You're outta the
	department.

			BUDDY
	There's not a soul in this county
	isn't sick to death of your
	bullshit, Charley.  You made
	yourself scarce, you could make a
	lot of people happy.

			WADE
	You little pissant--

			BUDDY
	Now or later, Charley.  You won't
	have any trouble finding me.

Wade feels the people around him waiting for a reaction.  He
leans close to Buddy to croak in a hoarse whisper

			WADE
	You're a dead man.

He turns and nearly bumps into Hollis.  He gives the Deputy
a shove.

			WADE
	Get the goddam car.  We're going
	to Roderick's.

CU BUDDY

He watches till the screen door shuts behind them, then
holsters his gun and begins to saw at the steak as if nothing
had happened.  He calls softly--

			BUDDY
	Muchacho--mas cerveza por favor.

He looks up at somebody and we PAN till we see Sam, still
standing over the booth, listening.

We are back in 1995 --

			HOLLIS (O.S.)
	"Mas cerveza por favor."

			FENTON (O.S.)
	That Buddy was a cool breeze.

We PULL BACK to see Hollis and his buddies at the table,
eating their lunches as they listen

			FENTON
	Charley Wade were known to have
	put a good number of people in
	the ground, and your daddy gets
	eyeball to eyeball with him.

			HOLLIS
	We made our collection at
	Roderick's place and that was the
	last anybody seen hide nor hair
	of him.  He went missing the next
	day, along with ten thousand
	dollars in county funds from the
	safe at the jail.

			SAM
	Never heard from him again?

			HOLLIS
	Not a peep.  Buddy run the man
	out of town.

			FENTON
	Buddy Deeds said a thing, he damn
	well backed it up.  Won't be
	another like him.

			SAM
	So he arrested all of Jimmy
	Herrera's people and sent 'em
	back to the other side?

Hollis sees what Sam is getting at, grins--

			HOLLIS
	Oh--he come to an accommodation.
	Money doesn't always need to change
	hands to keep the wheels turning.

			SAM
	Right.

			HOLLIS
	Look, I know you had some problems
	with your father, and he and Muriel--
	well--

			FENTON
	Your mother was a saint.

			HOLLIS
	--but Buddy Deeds was my salvation.

Sam nods, speaks softly--

			SAM
	Won't be another like him.

EXT.  ARMY INSTALLATION -- DAY -- CU DEL PAYNE

COLONEL DELMORE PAYNE (DEL), a very direct, by-the-book Black
officer, addresses them.  Artillery pieces angle toward the
sky behind him--

			DEL
	--it's an honor for me to assume
	command of this unit, and I look
	forward to working with all of
	you.

OFFICERS

Cliff and Mikey, in uniform now, flank SERGEANT PRISCILLA
WORTH, a Black woman in her early 40s, as they stand in
formation--

			DEL (O.S.)
	I'm sure you're all aware of the
	Army's decision to close this
	installation under the Reduction
	in Force plan.  That does not
	mean, however--

REVERSE

We look over the shoulders of assembled OFFICERS and NCOs
toward Del.

			DEL
	--that we've been sent here to
	mark time until we are absorbed
	by another unit.

CU DEL

			DEL
	You may have heard rumors that I
	run a very tight operation.  These
	rumors are not exaggerated.

INT.  SHERIFF'S OFFICE -- AFTERNOON -- BUDDY PHOTO

We are looking through a magnifying glass at an old photo.
Buddy's face is slightly distorted by the glass.

			SECRETARY (O.S.)
	Sam?  I got Danny Padilla from
	the paper for you--

Sam sits at his desk in the Sheriff's office, looking down
at the photo--

			SAM
	Tell him I'll catch him later.

CU PHOTOGRAPH

An old photo of the 1957 Sheriff's Department officers on
the courthouse steps.  Wade, Hollis, Buddy, a few others,
all in uniform

			SECRETARY (O.S.)
	He says he needs to talk to you
	before the ceremony.

SAM

Sam puts a magnifying glass over the photo and bends close
to look.

			SAM
	Tell him to try me tomorrow.

EXTREME CU PHOTO -- BADGE

MAGNIFIED POV of the badge on Wade's chest swims into view.
A metal star.  We hear the secretary getting rid of the
caller.

			SECRETARY (O.S.)
	He thinks you're trying to duck
	him.

CU SAM

Looking at the photo, troubled--

			SAM
		(Mutters)
	He's right.

EXT.  BIG O'S ROADHOUSE -- NIGHT -- NEON SIGN

We start on a BLINKING SIGN -- BIG O'S, then PAN to see a
full parking lot outside the low, neon-lit roadhouse.  R&B
MUSIC blasts from inside

EXT.  DOORWAY -- CHET

CHET, a Black kid around 15, stands nervously at the door
building up his courage.  He takes a deep breath, plunges in

INT.  BIG O'S

We TRACK with Chet, very nervous, as he makes his way through
the crowded roadhouse.  The customers are all Black, many
from the nearby Army post, SHOUTING and LAUGHING over the
loud MUSIC.  Chet, edgy, is looking for somebody.  He sees

CHET'S POV -- OTIS

Seen through the crush is OTIS "BIG O" PAYNE, a large man in
his early 60s, laughing as he stands behind the bar

CHET

He nervously puts his hand under his jacket.  A gun?  He
pushes forward to get a better view.

CHET'S POV -- OTIS

Moving in on him.  Otis looks over, sees the boy, frowns --

CHET

Reaching under his jacket, he pulls out -- a photograph.

He looks at it -- suddenly there is a SCREAM from behind,
then GUNSHOTS, patrons diving for the floor.

Chet whirls around and we WHIP PAN to see a young man, SHADOW,
emptying his pistol into RICHIE, a young soldier, as a young
woman, ATHENA, screams and tries to pull the gun away.  With
the last shot, Shadow turns and heads for the door, but is
tackled and swarmed by angry men, SHOUTING.  We PAN to Athena,
kneeling over the bleeding, twitching body of Richie --

CHET

Chet backs up, horrified.  A large hand grasps him on the
shoulder from behind.  He turns to see Otis standing over
him, strangely calm amid the chaos

			OTIS
	You weren't in here tonight, were
	you?

			CHET
	No sir.

			OTIS
		(Points)
	Go out through the back.

Chet hurries away.  Otis watches him for a moment, then turns
to the mess in his club.

INT.  AUDITORIUM -- NIGHT -- CU ANGLO MOTHER

An angry woman stands from her auditorium chair --

			ANGLO MOTHER
	You're just tearin' everything
	down!  Tearin' down our heritage,
	tearin' down the memory of people
	that fought and died for this
	land

			CHICANO FATHER (O.S.)
	We fought and died for this land,
	too!

We WHIP PAN to see another standing parent --

			CHICANO FATHER
	We fought the U.S.  Army, the
	Texas Rangers--

			ANGLO FATHER (O.S.)
	Yeah, but you lost, buddy!

We WHIP PAN to a man in the rear --

			ANGLO FATHER
	Winners get the bragging rights,
	that's how it goes.

			PRINCIPAL (O.S.)
	People--people--

WIDER

We are in the High School auditorium, a hot-and-heavy teachers-
and -parents meeting in progress.  Pilar sits at the end of
a long table facing the agitated parents, taking some heat.
DANNY PADILLA, a young, long-haired reporter, sits in the
front taking notes, enjoying the show

			PRINCIPAL
	I think it would be best not to
	put things in terms of winners
	and losers--

			ANGLO MOTHER
		(Points at Pilar)
	Well, the way she's teachin' it
	has got everything switched around.
	I was on the textbook committee,
	and her version is not--

			PRINCIPAL
	We think of the textbook as kind
	of a guide, not an absolute--

			ANGLO MOTHER
	--it is not what we set as the
	standard!  Now you people can
	believe what you want, but when
	it comes to teaching our children--

			CHICANO MOTHER
	They're our children, too!

			ANGLO FATHER
	The men who founded this state
	have a right to have their story--

			DANNY
	The men who founded this state
	broke from Mexico because they
	needed slavery to be legal to
	make a fortune in the cotton
	business!

			PILAR
	I think that's a bit of an
	oversimplification--

			ANGLO FATHER
	Are you reporting this meeting or
	runnin' it, Danny?

			DANNY
	Just adding a little historical
	perspective--

REAR OF AUDITORIUM

PALOMA CRUZ, Pilar's teenage daughter, peeks into the room,
then moves down the side toward the stage.

			ANGLO FATHER
	You may call it history, but I
	call it propaganda.  I'm sure
	they got their own account of the
	Alamo on the other side, but we're
	not on the other side, so we're
	not about to have it taught in
	our schools!

			PILAR
	There's no reason to be so
	threatened by this--

Pilar is trying to stay calm despite her anger.

			PILAR
	I've only been trying to get across
	some of the complexity of our
	situation down here---cultures
	coming together in both negative
	and positive ways

			ANGLO MOTHER (O.S.)
	If you mean like music and food
	and all, I have no problem with
	that.

REVERSE

We shoot past Pilar toward the parents in their seats.

PALOMA steps up to whisper to her.

			ANGLO MOTHER
	--but when you start changing who
	did what to who.

			TEACHER
	We're not changing anything, we're
	presenting a more complete picture

			ANGLO MOTHER
	And that's what's got to stop!

Pilar looks troubled by what she's heard.  She shoots a look
toward the others at the table, then slips away with Paloma--

			TEACHER
	There's enough ignorance in the
	world without us encouraging it
	in the classroom--

			ANGLO MOTHER
	Now who are you calling ignorant?

			PRINCIPAL
	Folks, I know this is a very
	emotional issue for some of you,
	but we do have other business to
	attend to--

			CHICANO FATHER
	We're not going to get some
	resolution on this?

CU PRINCIPAL

Weary --

			PRINCIPAL
	Would you people like to form
	another committee?

GROANS from the parents--

INT.  SHERIFF'S OFFICE -- NIGHT -- SHADOW

Shadow, face bruised, hands cuffed behind him, is pushed in
through the door to be booked.

			SHADOW
	I hope the sucker does die, man!
	Mess with me, that's what you
	get!

Sam steps in behind him and meets his Chief Deputy RAY
HERNANDEZ, coming from the other direction.

			RAY
	Hospital says the other kid is in
	bad shape--

			SAM
		(Glances ahead)
	The shooter local?

			RAY
		(Shakes his bead)
	Down from Houston.  I think he
	knew the girl before.

			SAM
	Okay--we'll take a statement from
	all the GIs before they go back
	to post.  You can get the story
	from Otis over at the club.

			RAY
	Any poop on the John Doe you found
	out there today?

			SAM
	Nothin' much.  The Rangers put
	Ben Wetzel on it.  Catch you later.

As Ray steps out, Pilar looking distraught, walks into the
station, passing right by Sam without seeing him.

CU SAM

Wonders what she's doing there --

SAM'S POV -- PILAR

She stands by an unoccupied reception desk, very upset, unable
to attract anyone's attention because of the activity around
the shooting.  She looks tired and a bit scared under the
harsh overhead light

			SAM (O.S.)
	Pilar.

PILAR AND SAM

Pilar looks around.  Sam is standing by her.  We can tell
there is some history between these two.

			SAM
	Something wrong?

			PILAR
	They've got my Amado.

			SAM
	Got him here?

			PILAR
	Somebody called--something about
	an electronics store.

			SAM
	I'll see what's going on.

He starts away, stops, comes back--

			SAM
	I was--I was real sorry about
	Nando.  He was a good fella.  We
	haven't talked since.

			PILAR
	We haven't talked since high
	school.

			SAM
	Yeah.  I'll go check on your boy.

Pilar watches Sam go--

REAR OF OFFICE

Travis sits typing away at a word processor as Athena, in
tears, gives testimony.

			ATHENA
	--so Richie just didn't say nothin'
	'cause he didn't want to get into
	it, see, and the next thing I
	know there's shots and Richie is
	down.  It happened so fast--

			SAM (O.S.)
	Excuse me--

We WIDEN to see Sam standing over the desk --

			SAM
	We got some boys you run in earlier
	today?

			TRAVIS
	Yeah.  I pulled the bunch that
	hangs at Pico Bernal's place.  We
	finally caught them with something.

			SAM
	You got a juvenile with 'ern--
	Amado Cruz?

Travis looks at his booking sheets--

			TRAVIS
	Yeah--let's see--the other ones
	say he wasn't in on the theft,
	lie just knows how to hook things
	up.  We've been trying to contact
	a parent

INT.  JAIL HALLWAY

Sam walks with Amado, who is trying to look defiant --

			SAM
	They tell me you're good at fixing
	things.

Nothin--

			SAM
	Your father was a hell of a
	mechanic

Still nothing--

			SAM
	You know, if you figure minimum
	wage on the time most thieves
	spend in jail, they could have
	bought most everything they stole.

			AMADO
	I didn't steal anything.

			SAM
	I didn't say you did.  My name is
	Sam, by the way.

Amado just gives him a look--

INT.  SHERIFF'S OFFICE

Sam and AMADO step out into the office, where Pilar stands
waiting.

			SAM
	He's all yours.

			PILAR
	Are you okay?

			AMADO
	I don't know what the big deal
	is.

			PILAR
	You'll find out when I get you
	home.  Thanks, Sam.

			SAM
	No problem.

Pilar yanks AMADO outside by his arm.  She turns to shoot a
look back at Sam, then steps out through the glass door.

CU SAM

Watching her go--

			SAM
	Any time.

						FADE OUT:

EXT.  OBSTACLE COURSE -- MORNING -- PIT

We shoot up from a pit in the ground.  WHUMP!  WHUMP!  WHUMP!
Three men leap over, landing on the far side and running
away from us.

MEN

Del Payne runs with Cliff and Mikey on a pathway along a
security fence, the two sergeants struggling to keep up,
occasionally vaulting or scaling some mild obstacle

			MIKEY
	There's not that much down here,
	Colonel.  Big O's is the only
	place in the county that our
	African American soldiers are uhm--
	that they feel comfortable in.

			DEL
	Have we had trouble there before?

			CLIFF
	Since I've been stationed here?
	A fistfight now and then--

			MIKEY
	We had a kid pass out in the men's
	room.  The town isn't much.

			DEL
	They didn't come for a vacation.

			CLIFF
	Yes sir.

			MIKEY
	You know how it is, Colonel--first
	time away from home, dealing with
	new people--I remember my first
	hitch--

			DEL
	Substance abuse?

			MIKEY
	Well, yeah, but I went through
	the Program.  I haven't had a
	drink since--

			DEL
	I meant on the post.  In general.
	How are you dealing with it?

			CLIFF
	We throw a urine test at them
	once a month.  Random numbers,
	maybe a hundred people at a time

			DEL
	Why don't we make it once a week
	for a while?

			CLIFF
	No problem, sir.

Del notices bow hard they are breathing--

			DEL
	I sprint the last quarter mile.
	You gentlemen don't have to keep
	up if you don't care to.

			MIKEY
	Appreciate it, sir.

Del accelerates and we HOLD with the sergeants, slowing to a
near-walk.

			MIKEY
	Guy cracks walnuts with his
	asshole.

			CLIFF
		(Grins)
	You get the feeling he doesn't
	want to be here?

INT.  FORENSICS LAB -- VARIOUS SHOTS

We hear Hank Williams' gospel song "I'll Have a New Body
(I'll Have a New Life)" as we see the gathered bones of the
skeleton tagged and photographed and measured, impressions
made of the dental work in the skull, photographs of the
excavation of the body at various stages marked with Fed
grease pencil, the piece of metal laid in a detarnishing
dish, the ring put under a microscope

CU METAL

MUSIC CONTINUES as we TIGHTEN on the piece of metal, a pair
of tongs pulling it from the detarnishing solution.  It is a
star-shaped badge, bearing the words "SHERIFF -- RIO COUNTY."

INT.  COUNTRY AND WESTERN BAR -- AFTERNOON

C&W MUSIC playing, the regulars starting to show up.  Sam
makes his way to a table where BEN WETZEL, a Texas Ranger,
sits with a file of forensic reports

			BEN
	Sam the Man.

			SAM
	Hey, Ben.  Thanks for coming down.

They shake, Sam sits.

			BEN
	How's business?

			SAM
	Business is booming.  Got your
	drugs, got your illegals--had a
	shooting the other night at Big
	O's--Soldier got ventilated.

			BEN
	I hear they're closing that post
	down.

			SAM
	September '97, that's all she
	wrote.

			BEN
	Gonna pull a lot of jobs out of
	this county.

			SAM
	Yeah, we'll have folks swimming
	over to Mexico to work in the
	sweatshops.

Sam looks at the folder of reports.

			SAM
	That the word on our boy?

			BEN
	Yeah, this is Skinny.

			SAM
	Skinny?

			BEN
	We find a body, it's either Skinny
	or Stinky, depending on how much
	meat there is on the bones.

			SAM
	Nice job.

			BEN
		(Opens folder)
	Male, 40 to 50 years old, five-
	foot-eleven, chewed tobacco--then
	we get into the dental records--

			SAM
	Charley Wade.

			BEN
		(Nods)
	That badge--

			SAM
	--it didn't come out of a cereal
	box.

			BEN
	Yeah.

			SAM
	You know the popular version of
	how he left town.

			BEN
	Everybody on the border knows
	that story.

			SAM
	You got a cause of death?

			BEN
	Skull was intact, no soft tissue
	left--not much to go on.

			SAM
	So he could have gone out to the
	base, hopped the fence, dug down
	into the dirt on the old rifle
	range and had a heart attack.

Ben smiles, closes the folder--

			BEN
	You uhm--you remember what old
	Buddy carried for a side arm?

			SAM
	Colt Peacemaker.

			BEN
	A .45--

			SAM
	He swore by it.
		(Ben frowns)
	What?

			BEN
	Just wondering.

			SAM
	So is Buddy on your short list?

			BEN
	If it was some poor mojado, swam
	across at night, got lost in the
	scrub and starved out there, we
	wouldn't go any further.  But
	this is a formerly prominent
	citizen.

			SAM
	You got to investigate.  No
	question about it.

			BEN
	What I will do is keep names out
	of it till we got some answers or
	hit a dead end.  You know how the
	press is with a murder story--
	even if it's forty years old.

			SAM
	Yeah, it's a pretty cold trail.

They sit in awkward silence for a moment.  Ben feels bad
about it.

			BEN
	I remember Charley Wade come to
	my father's hardware store once
	when I was a little boy.  I'd
	heard stories how he shot this
	one, how he shot that one--man
	winked at me and I peed in my
	pants.
		(Shakes his head)
	Winked at me.

INT.  CLASSROOM -- DAY

Pilar stands at the blackboard by her outline of 19th century
Texas history.

			PILAR
	Okay, we have the fight against
	the Spanish with bloody conflict
	for dozens of years till they're
	finally defeated in 1821 and
	Mexican independence is declared.
	Anglo settlers are invited--

CU DRAWING

Somebody making a skillful pencil drawing on the corner of a
sheet of lined notebook paper.  A bald, muscular shotputter
after releasing the shot, his hand large in the f.g.

			PILAR (O.S.)
	--to colonize the area and by the
	time they begin the movement
	against Santa Anna they outnumber
	the Mexicans here by four to one.
	The war between Mexico--

CHET

Drawing intently.  He takes the notebook and lays his thumb
over the corner

			PILAR (O.S.)
	-and the Anglo forces ends in
	1836 with the formation of the
	Texas Republic.  Texas joins the
	United States as a state where
	slavery is legal in 1845--

NOTEBOOK

Chet "flips" the corner of the notebook and the series Of
drawings he's made form a brief cartoon of the shot-putter
blowing his cheeks out and heaving the shot right past us.
Extremely well-drawn--

			PILAR (O.S.)
	-after the so-called Mexican war
	and then secedes to join the
	Confederacy in 1861.  The
	Confederacy is beaten, and the
	Reformation period here is marked
	by range wars and race wars--

PILAR

Looking out at the class --

			PILAR
	--and all this paralleled by
	constant battles between both
	the Mexican and Anglo settlers
	and the various Indian nations in
	the area.  What are we seeing
	here?  Chet?

CHET

Startled, he hides the notebook under his hands --

			CHET
	Uhm--everybody is killing everybody
	else?

EXT.  LAKE -- DAY -- CU FISHING LURE

A nasty-looking thing.  Only a bass would want to eat this.
Hollis leans in to peer at the thing dangling before his
face.

WIDER

Hollis sits in the swivel chair of a bass boat tied to a
dock at the lake, going through his box of lures.  Sam appears
on the dock and steps down.

			SAM
	I always wondered what you Mayors
	do when you're not cutting ribbons.

			HOLLIS
	Sam!  Hey podner!  You caught me
	playing hooky--

			SAM
		(Looks across lake)
	Floating around out here, playin'
	hell with them bass--play a little
	cards, play a little golf, drink
	some beer--

			HOLLIS
	Sounds great.  Where do I sign
	up?

			SAM
	I haven't been out here for a
	while.

			HOLLIS
	You go by your old house?

			SAM
	No.

			HOLLIS
	Just as well.  The new people
	just painted it some God-awful
	color--

			SAM
	We found a body out by the Army
	base yesterday.  Been there for a
	long time.

Hollis squints at a rubber lure, rejects it--

			HOLLIS
	Was it Davy Crockett or Jim Bowie?

			SAM
		(Smiles)
	You recall if Charley Wade was a
	Mason?

			HOLLIS
	Charley?  I believe he was.  Used
	to go for lodge meetings over to
	Laredo.  What's he got to do with
	your body?

			SAM
	All it was wearing was a big old
	Masonic ring and a Rio County
	Sheriffs badge.

Hollis reacts.  Sam puts a foot on The gunwale of die boatSAM
You don't remember anything else from that last night you
saw him, do you?

			HOLLIS
	I told the story enough times--
	hell, we were just in the car, he
	was stewing about the fight with
	Buddy while we drove over to
	Roderick Bledsoe's--

			SAM
	Bledso

			HOLLIS
	He owned the colored roadhouse
	before Big O--

			SAM
	He still living?

			HOLLIS
	No.  I think his widow's still in
	their place in Darktown, though.
		(Shakes his bead)
	You think it's Charley Wade, huh?

			SAM
	Forensics people are sure of it.
	You have any idea who might have
	put him there?

Hollis makes a great show of considering--

			SAM
	Besides my father, I mean.

			HOLLIS
	There's no call for that, Sam,
	Fella made himself a pile of
	enemies over the years.

			SAM
	And Buddy was one of them.

			HOLLIS
	We got that dedication tomorrow.
	This is a hell of a time to be
	draggin' up old business

			SAM
	People have worked this whole big
	thing up around my father.  If
	it's built on a crime, they deserve
	to know.  Now I un derstand why
	you might want to believe he
	couldn't do it

			HOLLIS
	And I understand why you might
	want to think he could, This is a
	low blow, but accurate enough to
	shake Sam.

			SAM
	Thanks for your time, Hollis.

Hollis holds up a double handful of lures--dozens of rubber
and plastic worms and shiners and frogs and spinners--

			HOLLIS
	Look at all this, would you?  My
	tackle, the boat, all to catch a
	little old fish just minding its
	business on the bottom of the
	lake.

He gives Sam a look--

			HOLLIS
	Hardly seems worth the effort--
	does it, Sam?

Sam walks away--

INT.  CLASSROOM -- ARMY BASE -- DAY -- CU ATHENA

Athena stands at attention, trying to keep her composure --

			CLIFF (O.S.)
	So you knew this young man before?

			ATHENA
	From back in Houston.  We both
	come up on Fifth Street.

			PRISCILLA (O.S.)
	Did you know he was going to be
	there last night?

			ATHENA
	If I had I wouldn't have gone in.

			PRISCILLA (O.S.)
	And you and Private Graves--

			ATHENA
	We were just dancing--

WIDER

Cliff leans against a desk, a blackboard covered with radar
diagrams behind him.  Priscilla sits nearby, both of them
focused on Athena

			PRISCILLA
	We're not running a dating service
	here.

			ATHENA
	I know that, Sergeant.  We were
	just dancing.  There was a bunch
	of us there.  Shadow just come
	down looking for trouble.

			CLIFF
	It's not our job to get involved
	in your personal life, but when
	it interferes with the training
	here--

			ATHENA
	I'm sorry, Sergeant Major.  There
	wasn't anything I could do.  Shadow
	gets crazy--

A silence as the sergeant lets her stew for a moment.  She
works up her courage--

			ATHENA
	Sergeant Major?  How is Richie
	doing?  Private Graves?

			CLIFF
	He'll live.

			PRISCILLA
	He'll be transferred to a military
	hospital as soon as he's stabilized--

			CLIFF
	He'll probably be getting a medical
	discharge--

			ATHENA
	Out of the Army?

			CLIFF
	He's going to lose a lung.

This is not good news for Athena--

			ATHENA
	Will this go on my record?

Cliff considers for a long moment--

			CLIFF
	If the incident happened the way
	you say it did, there hasn't been
	an infraction.

			ATHENA
	Thank you, Sergeant Major.

			CLIFF
	You're dismissed.

			ATHENA
	Thank you, Sergeant Major.

Athena steps out of the room.  Cliff sits on the desk--

			PRISCILLA
	You spoil 'em, Cliff.

			CLIFF
	Hey--she's in a tough situation.
	I cut her some slack--

			PRISCILLA
	But I'm the one in charge of her
	sorry ass.

			CLIFF
	She's pulled herself out of a
	pretty rough neighborhood

Crossing to the door--

			PRISCILLA
	And if she isn't careful she's
	gonna slide right back into it.

EXT.  BLEDSOE HOUSE -- DAY -- ROCKER

We start on a CU of a rocker creaking back and forth on an
old wooden porch.  A WOMAN HUMS

MINNIE

MINNIE BLEDSOE, in her 60s, sits on her porch in the old
Black section of town, playing with a Gameboy.  She has very
thick glasses on.  Sam walks up to her from his car--

			SAM
	Mrs. Bledsoe?

			MINNIE
	That's me.

			SAM
	I'm Sheriff Deeds--

			MINNIE
	Sheriff Deeds' dead, honey--you
	just Sheriff junior.

			SAM
		(Smiles)
	Yeah, that's the story of my life.

			MINNIE
	You ever play one of these?

			SAM
	I've seen 'em.

			MINNIE
	Well, don't ever start up on 'em,
	cause once you do you can't stop.
	I tell myself I'm gonna play just
	three little games after breakfast,
	and here I sit with half the day
	gone.

			SAM
	You mind if I ask a few questions
	about your husband?  Roderick?

			MINNIE
	I won't say nothing bad about the
	man, but you can ask away.

			SAM
	He had the club out on the old
	trail road--

			MINNIE
	We run that twenty-odd years.
	Give it over to Otis Payne in
	1967.  April.

			SAM
	So you must remember Sheriff Wade.

			MINNIE
	Not if I can help it.

			SAM
	You had to deal with him in running
	the club.

			MINNIE
	Them days, you deal with Sheriff
	Wade or you didn't deal at all.
	First of the month, every month,
	he remind you of who you really
	workin' for.

			SAM
	He squeezed money out of you?

			MINNIE
	Wasn't legal to sell liquor in a
	glass back then unless you was a
	club, see.  Roderick used to say,
	"Buy yourself a drink, you get a
	free membership." But Sheriff
	Wade, he could shut you down
	anytime.

			SAM
	And my father?

			MINNIE
	Sheriff Buddy was a different
	story.  Long as Roderick throw
	his weight the right way on
	election day, make sure all the
	colored get out to vote-we was
	called colored back then, if you
	was polite--maybe throw a barbecue
	for the right people now and then,
	things was peaceful.  That Sheriff
	Wade, though, he took an awful
	big bite.

			SAM
	People didn't complain?

			MINNIE
	Not if they was colored or Meskin.
	Not if they wanted to keep
	breathin'.

			SAM
	Do you remember the last time you
	saw him?

Minnie thinks, puts down the Gameboy--

			MINNIE
	I seen him in our place the last
	week before he gone missin'.

We TRACK in to a close-up of her.  R&B MUSIC FADES UP slowly --

			MINNIE
	He used to come in whilst we was
	in full swing, make people nervous.
	Had him a smile like the Grim
	Reaper--

						    DISSOLVE TO:

INT.  ROADHOUSE --

The joint is crowded, people drinking, talking, laughing, a
few dancing, all trying to avoid locking eyes with Sheriff
Wade, who sits with his legs stretched out at a table.  Young
Hollis sits by him, smiling uncomfortably.  Sax-wailing R&B
blasts from the jukebox.  YOUNG OTIS, a slick, confident
character with straightened hair and a silk shirt on, in his
early 20s, stops to talk with a MAN on his way to bring a
tray with a couple beers and glasses over

			MINNIE (V.O.)
	--just sit back with his hand on
	that big ol' gun and act the
	kingfish with everybody.  Otis
	Payne had come to work for us by
	then, and that boy had him some
	attitude--

CU WADE

Watching Young Otis with narrowed eyes--

CU WADE'S POV -- OTIS

A man puts a slip of paper in Otis's pocket, pats his back.
Otis winks to acknowledge the bet, turns, makes eyes at a
PRETTY WOMAN sitting at the bar, who is eyeing him back.  He
lays the beers and glasses on the table, starts away

			WADE
	Pour it.

OTIS TURNS, CUPS HIS BAND AROUND HIS EAR-

			WADE
	Pour it.

Expressionless, he starts to pour the beer into Wade's glass.
The Sheriff looks up into his face--

			WADE
	I know you?

			YOUNG OTIS
	Name's Otis.

			WADE
	Otis what?

			YOUNG OTIS
	Payne.

			WADE
	One of Cleroe Payne's boys?

			YOUNG OTIS
	Uh-huh.

			WADE
	I sent your Daddy to the farm
	once.

			YOUNG OTIS
	I know that.

			WADE
	Why you think that was?

Otis feels people watching.  He doesn't want to lose face--

			YOUNG OTIS
	Some crop needed pickin' and the
	man was shorthanded.

A very insolent answer for the time and place--

			WADE
	As I remember it was because he
	had a sassy mouth on him.  Must
	run in the family--You wouldn't
	be runnin' numbers out of this
	club, now, would you, son?

			YOUNG OTIS
	Runnin' numbers illegal.

			WADE
	Runnin' numbers without I know
	about it is both illegal and
	unhealthy You remember that.

The beer is poured.  Otis starts away--

			WADE
	Whoah, son.  You're not finished.
	Pour his.

			YOUNG HOLLIS
	I prefer it in the bottle--

			WADE
	Shut up, Hollis.  Pour.

Otis meets Wade's look now, pours the other beer--

			WADE
	How come you don't took familiar?

			YOUNG OTIS
	Been away.  Up to Houston.

			WADE
	Houston, huh?  I hear they let
	you boys run wild up there.

No response.  Wade deliberately pushes the glass away so
beer splashes on the table and drips into Hollis's lap--

			WADE
	Aw--look what you done now.  Better
	get something to wipe it up, son.

Half the people in the room are watching now, the other half
moving away to relative safety.  Otis tries to keep a lid on
his temper, looks around the room--

			YOUNG OTIS
	You spilt it, you wipe it up.

Wade stands, steely-eyed, and looks at Otis nose to nose--

			WADE
	I told you to do something.  Are
	you gonna hop to it, or are we
	gonna have a problem?

Otis is starting to shake, but holds his ground--

			WADE
	Don't want to turn tail in front
	of your people.  I understand.

He starts to turn away then WHAP!  brings the butt of his
pistol up under Otis's chin, knocking him to the floor A
woman SCREAMS and Otis, enraged, grabs the chair he has fallen
over, starts to get up -- but Wade has the pistol levelled
at his face--

			WADE
	Come on, Houston, give it a try!
	Come to Poppa--

RODERICK is out on the floor now, hands held out in a gesture
of peace, as YOUNG MINNIE watches from behind the bar,
petrified--

			RODERICK
	Don't mind him, Sheriff.  Boy's
	just a bit slow, is all.  He don't
	mean nothin' by it--

			WADE
	That the problem, son?  You Slow?

			RODERICK
	Otis, apologize to the Sheriff--

Otis eases the chair down but doesn't say anything--

			RODERICK
	You got him too scared to  peep,
	Sheriff.  Maybe if you put that
	gun up--

			WADE
	You telling me what to do,
	Roderick?

			RODERICK
	No, Sheriff, I'm just--

Wade looks around, widens his eyes in mock surprise--

			WADE
	What's this I see?  Is that whiskey
	in them glasses on the Bar?
	Roderick, I'm onna have to cite
	you for a violation of state law--

			RODERICK
	This is a club, Sheriff--you been
	in here--

			WADE
	And people better clear out of
	here!  Now!

A few people start for the exit.  Wade swivels and BLAM!
sends a bullet past Minnie that shatters a crystal decanter
behind the bar.  People run for the door.  Wade squats down
to look Otis in the face--

CU WADE

			WADE
	You learn how to act your place,
	son.  This idn't Houston.

He stands and we FOLLOW him toward the bar--

			OTIS (V.O.)
	'Course I was young and full of
	beans then--

The camera passes Wade and instead of Minnie there stands
Otis, PRESENT DAY, reminiscing.

We are back in '95--

			OTIS
	I didn't understand the spot I
	was putting Roderick in.

			SAM
	And that was the last time you
	saw him?

We SHIFT to see Sam sitting where Wade was headed--

			OTIS
	Oh--I think he came in one more
	time with Hollis and--naw, your
	Daddy wasn't with them.  Made
	their monthly pickup.  Roderick
	wasn't in so I just kept my mouth
	good and shut and handed over
	that envelope.

			SAM
	That was the night he disappeared?

			OTIS
		(Shakes his head)
	Could of been.  That was white
	people's business.

			SAM
	And when my father was Sheriff?

			OTIS
	What about it?

			SAM
	What was your deal with him?

Otis smiles, chooses his words carefully--

			OTIS
	Buddy was more a part of the big
	picture--county political machine,
	chamber of commerce, zoning board
	if I kept those people happy, he
	was pretty much on my side.
		(Smiles)
	Whenever somebody thought--they
	start up another bar for the black
	folks, they'd be--how should I
	put this?  They'd be officially
	discouraged.

			SAM
	He ever accept cash for a favor?

Otis smiles, looks away to ponder his response--

			OTIS
	I don't recall a prisoner ever
	died in your father's custody.  I
	don't recall a man in this town--
	Black, White, Mexican--who'd
	hesitate a minute before they'd
	call on Buddy Deeds to solve a
	problem.  More than that I wouldn't
	like to say.

INT.  CAR -- LATE AFTERNOON

Pilar drives Amado and her daughter Paloma home--

			AMADO
	If you had your way I wouldn't
	have any friends.

			PILAR
	Oh, come on, Amado--

			AMADO
	Just 'cause I'm not like Little
	Miss Honor Roll here--

			PILAR
	Leave your sister out of it.

			AMADO
	You and all of the teachers in
	this dump--your story's over, so
	you don't want anybody else to
	have fun.

We see on PILAR's face that he has scored--

			PALOMA
	You jerk--

			AMADO
	I'm not talking to you.  You don't
	have any friends.

PILAR eases the car down San Jacinto street, seeing something
on the street and she's tuning her kids' conversation out--

			PALOMA
	Who'd want to be friends with
	that bunch of pachuco wannabes?

			AMADO
	I don't pretend I came over on
	the Mayflower--

			PALOMA
	And those stupid girls who hang
	out with them--

			AMADO
	Just shut up.

PILAR'S POV -- SAM

Sam walks on the sidewalk parallel to them, talking with
three other MEN--

			PALOMA (O.S.)
	Joanie Orozco's telling the whole
	school she's like desperately in
	love with Santo Guerra.

			AMADO (O.S.)
	So?

			PALOMA (O.S.)
	It's pathetic.  You can't he
	desperately in love when you're
	14 years old.

INT.  PILAR'S CAR

Pilar is still looking fixedly out the window--

			PALOMA
	Not if you have half a brain in
	your head.

			PILAR
	Of course you can.

			PALOMA
	What?

			PILAR
	It doesn't have anything to do
	with being smart.

EXT.  SAN JACINTO STREET -- LATE AFTERNOON

Danny Padilla is arguing with H.L.  BRIGGS, a construction
company big shot, and JORGE GUERRA, a Council member in his
40s and Sam, as they walk down the sidewalk of the main street--

			JORGE
	What I'm saying is, I don't see
	the point.  You had your chance
	when the dedication committee was
	meeting--

			DANNY
	I've got new information--

			H.L.
	It's ancient goddarn history,
	Danny--

			DANNY
	1963, they dam up the north branch
	to make Lake Pescadero.  A whole
	little town disappears--

			H.L.
	Squatter town--

			DANNY
	People had been living in Perdido
	for over a hundred years.  Mexicans
	and Chicanos are deported, evicted,
	moved forcibly out of their houses
	by our local hero, Buddy Deeds,
	and his department--

			JORGE
	There was a bill from the state
	legislature--

			DANNY
	Families were split apart, a whole
	community was destroyed--

			H.L.
	They were trespassing, Danny--

			DANNY
	--and who ends up with lakefront
	property bought for a fraction of
	the market price?  Buddy Deeds,
	Sheriff of Rio County, and his
	Chief Deputy, Hollis Pogue.

They all look at Sam, who has been listening patiently the
whole while.  They've reached his office

			SAM
	You finished?

			DANNY
	Look, I'm not after you, Sam.  I
	just think people in town ought
	to know the full story on Buddy
	Deeds.

			SAM
		(Nods)
	That makes two of us.

Sam steps into his office, leaving H.L.  shaking his head--

			H.L.
	You best be thankful that's the
	son and not the father.  Buddy
	woulda kicked your ass from here
	to sundown.

INT HALLWAY -- DEL'S HOUSE -- LATE AFTERNOON

We TRACK down a hallway as Celie walks toward us, call ing
ahead.  Chet stands in the middle of the hall behind her

			CELIE (O.S.)
	I don't see what the big deal is.
	Go back over, talk to the man,
	and bury the hatchet, Del--

CELIE passes us and Del crosses back in the other direction
from behind the camera, carrying boxes of their belongings.

We continue our SLOW TRACK forward--

			DEL
	Otis Payne was never embarrassed
	about a thing in his life.

			CHET
	Dad--

			CELIE (O.S.)
	You were 8 years old when he left--

			DEL
	He didn't leave, he moved three
	houses down with one of my mother's
	best friends.

			CHET
	Dad--?

			DEL
	"Hey, Delmore, where's your Daddy?"

Del disappears into the bedroom at the end of the hall--

			DEL (O.S.)
	everybody else's business.  And
	everybody loved Big O--

DEL comes back out, empty-handed--

			DEL
	Big O was always there with a
	smile or a loan or a free drink.

			CHET
	Dad, can I talk to you about track?

			CELIE (O.S.)
	People change.

			DEL
	Not that much.

			CHET
	Dad, I talked to the track coach--

			DEL
	I thought we already had this
	out?  Next year, if your grades
	are high enough--

			CHET
	I have a B average.

			DEL
	How many B-average students do
	you think they take at West Point?

			CELIE (O.S.)
	We're going to have to see him.

			DEL
	No, we don't.

Del steps away past us, leaving Chet, defeated--

INT.  CAFE -- NIGHT -- ENRIQUE

We start on Enrique, talking surreptitiously on the pay phone
on the way to the kitchen

			ENRIQUE
	Sabado por la noche--Si, es el
	mas seguero-- a cruzar por la
	manana y pues tendremos que esperar--
	[Friday night--Yes, that's the
	safest--I'll cross in the morning
	and then we'll have to wait--]

Mercedes bustles by, snapping her fingers--

			MERCEDES
	Off the phone, by we've got people
	waiting.  Andale!

We FOLLOW Mercedes back into the kitchen, where she moves
through, kibbitzing the operation--

WAITRESS

Mercedes stops by a young girl prepping a pork loin to be
cooked.  She isn't wearing gloves

			MERCEDES
	Donde estan sus guantes?  Tonta!
	Quiere matar a mis clientes?
	[Where are your gloves?  Stupid!
	You want to kill my customers?]

She continues past, shaking her bead, bringing us to Pilar,
who is trying to stay out of the way--

			MERCEDES
	These ones coming up are getting
	stupider every year.

			PILAR
	Maybe you're just getting less
	patient.

			MERCEDES
	If they're going to survive here,
	they have to know how to work,
	Elalco!  Adelante!  Los clientes
	esperan!

			PILAR
	Well, you hire illegals--

			MERCEDES
		(Indignant))
	Nobody is illegal in my cafe!
	They've got green cards, they've
	got relatives who were born here--
	if they only had a little common
	sense I'd be very happy.

			PILAR
	If you spent a little more time
	training them--

			MERCEDES
	Did you come here to tell me how
	to run my business?

			PILAR
	No.  I was wondering if you'd
	like to take a trip down south
	with us.  Maybe see where you
	grew up--

			MERCEDES
	Why would I want to go there?

			PILAR
	Oh, come on--you must be curious
	how it's changed.  Amado is into
	this big Tejano roots thing and
	I've never been further than Ciudad
	Leon--

			MERCEDES
	You want to see Mexicans, open
	your eyes and look around you.
	We're up to our ears in them.

Pilar gives up on the trip.  She watches her mother poking
at the plates of chips and salsa ready to go out--

			PILAR
	Mami, how old were you when my
	father--

			MERCEDES
	He was killed.

			PILAR
	Right.  When he was killed.

			MERCEDES
	A little older than Paloma is
	now.

			PILAR
	How come you never got married
	again?

Mercedes just glares at her--

			PILAR
	There must have been somebody.

			MERCEDES
		(Mutters)
	I was too busy.

			PILAR
	Nobody's too busy.

			MERCEDES
	Maybe now.  It was different back
	then.  I had this place, I was
	doing all the shopping, all the
	cookingwhat do I need some chulo
	with grease under his nails to
	drink up the profit?

			PILAR
		(Pissed off)
	Thank you.

			MERCEDES
	I don't mean Fernando.

			PILAR
	Mami, the first time I brought
	him home, those were your exact
	words--"some chulo with grease
	under his nails"

			MERCEDES
	I never said that.

			PILAR
	You made it pretty damn clear you
	thought he was nobody

			MERCEDES
	I felt that you could do better
	for yourself--

			PILAR
	What?  Become a nun?  You didn't
	want me going out with Anglos--

			MERCEDES
	I never said that.  It was just
	that boy--

			PILAR
	"That boy"--Mami, say his name
	for chrissakes!

The employees are staring.  Mercedes won won't look at her
daughter as she steps out of the kitchen, banging into Enrique
on his way back in--

			MERCEDES
	You people are stealing my money--
	Entiende?  Robandome?

Mercedes is gone.  The young girl, pulling plastic gloves
on, looks to Pilar

			GIRL
	Su madre?  [Your mother?]

			PILAR
	Si.

The girl puts her hand on her heart in sympathy--

			GIRL
	Lo siento [My condolences.]

INT.  COUNTRY AND WESTERN BAR -NIGHT

A crowded room, C&W MUSIC plays on the box.  Sam sits behind
a bottle of beer as the bartender, CODY, in his early 50s
philosophizes

			CODY
	Now I'm just as liberal as the
	next guy--

			SAM
	If the next guy's a redneck.

			CODY
	--but I gotta say I think there's
	something to this cold climate
	business.  I mean, you go to the
	beach-what do you do?  Drink a
	few beers, wait for a fish to
	flop up on the sand.  Can't build
	no civilization that way.  You
	got a hard winter coming, though,
	you got to plan ahead, and that
	gives your cerebral cortex a
	workout,

			SAM
	Good deal you were born down here,
	then,

			CODY
	You joke about it, Sam, but we
	are in a state of crisis.  The
	lines of demarcation has gotten
	fuzzy--to run a sucessfull
	civilization you got to have lines
	of demarcation between right and
	wrong, between this one and that
	one--your Daddy understood that.
	He was like the whatchacallit--
	the referee for this damn menudo
	we got down here.  He understood
	how most people don't want their
	sugar and salt in the Same jar.

			SAM
	You mixed drinks bad as you mix
	metaphors, you be out of a job.

			CODY
	Take that pair over in the corner--

Sam swivels to look where Cody points--

			CODY
	Place like this, twenty years
	ago, Buddy woulda been, on them
	two--

SAM'S POV -- CORNER BOOTH

Cliff and Priscilla talk across a table --

			CODY (O.S.)
	--warning.  Not 'cause he had it
	in for the colored

SAM AND CODY

			CODY
	--but just as a kind of safety
	tip.

			SAM
	Yeah.  I bet he would.

			CODY
	Old Sam stood for somethin', you
	know?  The day that man died they
	broke the goddam mold.

BOOTH -- CLIFF AND PRISCILLA

Things are obviously more than professional between these
two--

			PRISCILLA
	So where does that put us?

			CLIFF
	Well--I don't see what's changed.
	No PDA:s, no necking on the
	obstacle course

			PRISCILLA
	Seriously.

			CLIFF
	Seriously, I think we should get
	married.

			PRISCILLA
	We been through this before--

			CLIFF
	We should just do it.

			PRISCILLA
	And if I get a shot at a promotion
	somewhere--

			CLIFF
	You could take it--

			PRISCILLA
	It's up or out these days, Cliff.
	Say I get transferred to a
	different post--

			CLIFF
	I'd quit the Army for you, if it
	came to that.

			PRISCILLA
		(Grins))
	Man's gonna retire in two years
	and he offer to quit, Big goddam
	deal.

			SAM (O.S.)
	Excuse me--

They look up to see Sam standing over them--

			CLIFF
	Sheriff--hi--this is Sergeant-
	this is Priscilla Worth

			SAM
	Pleased to meet you.

			CLIFF
	Sheriff Deeds was in on our
	archeological find yesterday.

			PRISCILLA
	It true they gonna build a shopping
	mall out there?

			SAM
	If certain people have their way,
	it's going to be a new jail.

			PRISCILLA
	Damn.  Maybe we got in the wrong
	business.  They closin' down
	military left and right, puttin'
	up jails like 7-11 stores.

			SAM
	Do either of you have any idea
	when they stopped using that site
	as a rifle range?

			CLIFF
	They stopped training infantry
	there in the late '50s.  It was
	just a playground for the
	jackrabbits till they gave it to
	the county last year.

			PRISCILLA
	You know who it was they dug up?

			SAM
	Not for sure yet.  But I kind of
	wish they hadn't.

EXT.  CAFE -- NIGHT

Enrique steps out of the darkened cafe, followed by Mercedes,
who locks up.  Mercedes steps over to an expensive-looking
car--

			ENRIQUE
	Es muy lindo, su coche--

			MERCEDES
	En ingles Enrique.  This is the
	United States.  We speak English.

			ENRIQUE
	Is very beautiful, your car.

			MERCEDES
	Good night, Enrique.

She slides into the car--

			ENRIQUE
	Buenas noches, Senora Cruz.

Enrique walks in the opposite direction--

						 FADE OUT

EXT.  BIG O'S ROADHOUSE -- DAY -- CU DEL

Del, in uniform, approaches the front door of Big O's, not
open for business yet.  We TIGHTEN as he stops to read a
handlettered sign next to it: "BLACK SEMINOLE EXHIBIT REAR
ENTRANCE." He steps in--

INT.  ROADHOUSE

Late-50s R&B plays on the JUKEBOX.  Otis stands behind the
counter hooking the beer taps up.  Del steps in and sits on
a stool at the far end of the bar, tense, looking around the
place.  When Otis sees him, he stops dead.  They lock eyes
for a moment, then Otis turns to call

			OTIS
	Carolyn--knock that off for a
	minute.

CAROLYN

CAROLYN SYKES, an attractive woman maybe ten years younger
than Otis, pulls the plug from the jukebox near where she's
scrubbing bloodstains off the floor.  She turns to look at
the newcomer--

BAR

Del doesn't move to come closer --

			DEL
	Black Seminoles?

			OTIS
		(Shrugs)
	Hobby of mine.  Got some artifacts,
	couple pieces one of your men out
	at the base made.  Free admission.

Del nods toward where Carolyn is mopping--

			DEL
	That where he was shot?

			OTIS
	That's where he fell.

			DEL
	You get much of that in here?

			OTIS
	It's a bar.  People come together,
	drink, fall in love, fall out of
	love, air their grudges out--

			DEL
	Deal drugs in the bathroom--

			OTIS
	If I thought it would help I'd
	put up a sign telling them not
	to.  Right under the one about
	the employees washing their hands.

Carolyn has come over by Otis, lugging the bucket and mop--

			OTIS
	This here's Carolyn.  Honey, this
	is my son, Delmore.

			DEL
	Nice to meet you, Ma'am.

Carolyn nods, shoots a look to Otis--

			CAROLYN
	I'll be in back waiting for that
	delivery.

They wail till she is gone to start again--

			OTIS
	So.

			DEL
	So tell me why I shouldn't make
	this place off-limits.

			OTIS
	This is an official visit, then--

			DEL
	I assume a lot of your business
	is from our people.

Otis pulls a tap back and it coughs before squirting beer

			OTIS
	Your boys out there cooped up
	together, need somewhere they can
	let the steam out.  If they're
	Black, there's not but one place
	in this town they feel welcome.
	Been that way since before you
	were born.

			DEL
	We have an enlisted man's club at
	the post.

			OTIS
	Well, you're the Man out there
	now, aren't you?  It's your call.

			DEL
	That's right.

			OTIS
		(Smiles)
	I been hearing rumors about this
	new commander coming for a couple
	weeks now.  Boys say they heard
	he's a real hard case.  Spit-and-
	polish man.  Full-bird colonel
	name of Payne, they say-- Bet you
	never figured you end up back
	here.

			DEL
	The Army hands you a command, you
	go wherever it is.

			OTIS
	Right.

			DEL
	I hear things, too.  People call
	you the Mayor of Darktown.

			OTIS
		(Shrugs)
	Over the years, this is the one
	place that's always been there.
	I loan a little money out, settle
	some arguments.  Got a cot in the
	back-people get afraid to go home
	they can spend the night.  Ther-
	e's not enough of us to run
	anything in this town-the white
	people are mostly out on the lake
	now and the Mexicans hire each
	other.  There's the Holiness Church
	and there's Big O's place.

			DEL
	And people make their choice--

			OTIS
		(Smiles))
	A lot of 'em choose both.  There's
	not like a borderline between the
	good people and the bad people--
	you're not either on one side or
	the other--

Del looks away, not wanting to believe this--

			OTIS
		(Softly)
	I gonna meet that family of yours?

			DEL
	Why would you want to do that?

			OTIS
	Because I'm your father.

Del gives him a dark look and lets the statement hang between
them.  He gets up and heads for the door--

			DEL
	You'll get official notification
	when I make my decision.

He is out the door--

Otis pulls himself a beer as Carolyn steps back out--

			CAROLYN
	So that's him--

			OTIS
	Yeah--that's him.  Got two, three
	thousand people under him out
	there, you count the civilians.

			CAROLYN
	That must be a laugh a minute.

EXT.  SAN JACINTO STREET -- DAY

Sam walks down the main street of town.  A CROWD is gathering
at the other end for the ceremony--

			H.L. (O.S.)
	Sheriff!

We WIDEN as H.L.  and Jorge catch up to him.  H.L.  slaps
Sam on the back --

			H.L.
	Historic occasion, isn't it?

			SAM
	Seems like we have another one
	every week.

			H.L.
	Jorge and his Chamber of Commerce
	boys got to keep things hummin'--

			JORGE
	We're building up tourism, Sam--

			SAM
	People come here to catch bass
	and to get laid at the Boy's Town
	in Cuidad Leon--

			JORGE
	Sam--

			SAM
	You ought to put up a banner--
	"Frontera, Texas: Gateway to Cut-
	Rate Pussy"--

			H.L.
	That kind of talk doesn't help,
	Sam.

			SAM
	Rather have that than the ten-
	foot-high catfish statue--

			JORGE
	I got Eddie Richter at the Sentinel
	to kill that story.

			SAM
	The Perdido thing?

			JORGE
	He agreed it wasn't exactly news--

			SAM
	Danny's gonna be out for blood
	the next time.

			H.L.
	Which is why we need to talk to
	you about the new jail--just so
	we're all on the same page.

			SAM
	We don't need a new jail.

			H.L.
	That's a matter of interpretation--

			SAM
	We're already renting cells to
	the Feds for their overflow--

			JORGE
	There was a mandate in the last
	election--

			SAM
	It wouldn't happen to be your
	construction company gonna get
	the bid on building this thing,
	would it, H.L.  And Jorge, you
	wouldn't be thinking about a couple
	dozen new jobs to dangle in front
	of the voters--

			H.L.
	Dammit, Sam, the people are
	concerned about crime--

			SAM
	We need a drug rehab program, we
	need a new elementary school--

			JORGE
	There isn't money allocated for
	that.  But a jail--

			SAM
	Look, I'm not gonna campaign
	against your deal here, but if
	anybody asks me, I got to tell
	them the truth.  We--don't--need--
	a new jail.

			H.L.
	When we backed you--

			SAM
	When you backed me you needed
	somebody named Deeds to bump the
	other fella out of office.  Hey,
	folks--

Sam and the others smile as they reach the CROWD of
townspeople, mostly small business owners and retired people.
Photographers from the paper and a local TV news crew wait
by a veiled Statue roped off in a little traffic island.
Mercedes, dressed to kill, stands waiting next to Hollis
with a huge pair of scissors in her hand.

CU MERCEDES

Slowly working the blades of the scissors, she looks coldly
at Sam--

CU SAM

He nods to her as the crowd opens a path for him.

			SAM
	Let's get this thing over with.

INT.  MIKEY'S WORKSHOP -- MORNING

We start on a two-foot-high statue of a cowboy made from old
bullets and shell casings.  We PAN past a few others, the
poses lifted from Frederic Remington paintings, till we see
Mikey, gluing together a work in progress, a Remington book
propped open in front of him.  Cliff sits at the worktable
playing absently with the old bullets spilled out from MIKEY'S
bag

			MIKEY
	Never thought I'd see the day a
	buddy of mine was dating a woman
	with three up and three down on
	her shoulder.

			CLIFF
	I think it's beyond what you'd
	call dating.

			MIKEY
	You going to get married?

			CLIFF
		(Shrugs)
	Maybe.

			MIKEY
	You met her family?  They gonna
	be cool about you being a white
	guy?

			CLIFF
	Priscilla says they think any
	woman over 30 who isn't married
	must be a lesbian.  She figures
	they'll be so relieved I'm a man--

			MIKEY
	Always heartwarming to see a
	prejudice defeated by a deeper
	prejudice.  But marriage, man--I
	did two tours in Southeast Asia
	and I was married for five years--
	I couldn't tell you which
	experience was worse.

Cliff picks up a slug--

			CLIFF
	Hey, Mikey--

			MIKEY
	I knew she was Japanese going
	into it, but she didn't tell me
	the ninja assassin part--

			CLIFF
	Mikey--

			MIKEY
	Her parents acted like I was gonna
	blow my nose on their curtains--

			CLIFF
	Mikey--

			MIKEY
	If I stayed out past ten with the
	guys she'd go into her Madame
	Butterfly routine--

			CLIFF
	Mikey look at this--

			MIKEY
	What--it's a bullet.  I'm lousy
	with bullets here.

			CLIFF
	it's a .45.

			MIKEY
	Yeah?

			CLIFF
	This is the stuff we picked up
	the other day, right?  The rest
	of this is all .30 caliber--

			MIKEY
	They were using M-1's, yeah--

			CLIFF
	What's it doing on a rifle range?

MIKEY holds the slug in front of his face--

			MIKEY
	We better call that Sheriff.

EXT.  SAN JACINTO STREET -- DAY

Hollis is finishing his oration, having put the crowd in a
good mood.

			HOLLIS
	Sometime in the early '70s a
	reporter from a national magazine
	was talking to the governor of
	our Lone Star state, and he asked
	him, "Governor, what's your ideal
	of what a real Texan ought to
	be?" Governor said, "That's easy,
	son-you just go down to Rio County
	and get a look at Sheriff Buddy
	Deeds."

Applause--

SAM

Watching the crowd --

SAM'S POV

We PAN with his gaze across smiling faces, till he comes to
Danny and a couple of Chicano friends, looking grim.  We
RACK FOCUS beyond them to see Pilar, watching the ceremony
from a few yards back--

			HOLLIS (O.S.)
	Thank you.  We've got one more
	person to hear from--

HOLLIS

			HOLLIS
	--and he's somebody who probably
	knew Buddy better than any of us,
	Sam--would you say a few words?

SAM

Not thrilled to be called on.  He steps forward reluctantly
to APPLAUSE--

			SAM
	You folks who remember my father
	knew him as Sheriff.  But at home
	he was also judge, jury

He looks to Hollis--

			SAM
	--and executioner.

LAUGHTER.  Sam holds Hollis's eyes for a moment before
continuing--

			SAM
	This is a real honor you're doing
	him today, and if Buddy was around
	I'm sure his hat size would be
	gettin' bigger every minute.

PILAR

Watching --

			SAM (O.S.)
	I used to come to this park to
	hide from him.  Now that you're
	putting his name on it--

SAM

			SAM
	I'll have to find someplace new
	to duck out.

More LAUGHTER--

			SAM
	I do appreciate it, and wherever
	he is, Buddy's puttin' the beer
	on ice for the bunch of you.
	Thank you.

APPLAUSE -- Sam steps back and Mercedes steps forward with
her scissors without looking at him--

			HOLLIS
	And now my fellow Council member
	and one of Frontera's most
	respected businesswomen, Mrs.
	Mercedes Cruz, will do the honors
	for us

MERCEDES

She freezes, smiling, till the still photographers have gotten
their shots, then snips the cord to a pulley system that
lets the cloth drop--

STATUE

The cloth drops to reveal a bas-relief in brass set in a
block of smooth limestone.  A decent likeness of Buddy in
uniform, his hand on the shoulder of a small Chicano-looking
boy who stands beside him, eyes raised worshIpfully.  APPLAUSE
from the gathering--

SAM

Watching, a bit removed, as Mercedes shakes hands with Jorge
and H.  L.  and Hollis for the cameras.  He overhears a pair
of BYSTANDERS who are checking out the statue--

			BYSTANDER 1 (O.S.)
	It does look like old Buddy.

			BYSTANDER 2 (O.S.)
	Runnin that kid in for loiterin'--

The bystanders LAUGH -- Sam steps away, intercepting Mercedes
as she steps away--

			SAM
	Nice to see you, Mrs. Cruz.

Mercedes just looks at him, keeps going.  His gaze brings
him to Pilar, standing on the sidewalk, watching.

SAM

Steps over from the dispersing crowd--

			SAM
	Field trip?

			PILAR
	Lunch hour.  My next class isn't
	till nine-thirty.

			SAM
	Want to take a walk?

EXT.  RIVERSIDE -- DAY

Sam and PILAR walk together alongside the Rio --

			SAM
	Your mother still doesn't like
	me,

			PILAR
	I can't name anybody she does
	like these days.

			SAM
	I see she built a place up here
	by the river.

			PILAR
	A real palace.  She rattles around
	alone in that thing--

			SAM
	She's done well for herself--on
	her own and all--

			PILAR
	So she tells me three times a
	week.

She looks at him--

			PILAR
	I thought you got through that
	pretty well.

			SAM
	They cooked the whole thing up
	without asking me.

			PILAR
	People liked him.

			SAM
	Most people did, yeah.

			PILAR
	I remember him watching me once.
	When I was little--before you and
	I--

She shrugs.

			PILAR
	I was on the playground with all
	the other kids, but I thought he
	was only looking at me.  I was
	afraid he was going to arrest me--
	he had those eyes, you know--

			SAM
	Yeah.

			PILAR
	Weird what you remember.

They walk in silence a moment--

			SAM
	Your boy, there--

			PILAR
	Amado.

			SAM
	Nice-looking kid.

			PILAR
	He hates me.

			SAM
	No--

			PILAR
	With Paloma, it's more like she
	pities and tolerates me-totally
	age-appropriate.  But Amado--he's--
	he's never been book-smart.  Had
	a hard time learning to read.  Me
	being a teacher and caring about
	those things is like an
	embarrassment--like a betrayal.

			SAM
	Fernando did okay, and he dropped
	out--

			PILAR
	Fernando wasn't pissed off at
	everybody.  He just wanted to fix
	their cars.

			SAM
	It might just be the age.  I spent
	my first fifteen years trying to
	be just like Buddy and the next
	fifteen trying to give him a heart
	attack.

She looks at him--

			PILAR
	So why did you come back here,
	Sam?

			SAM
	Got divorced, I wasn't gonna work
	for my father-in-law anymore.
	The fellas down here said they'd
	back me--

			PILAR
	You don't want to be Sheriff.

			SAM
	I got to admit it's not what I
	thought it'd be.  Back When Buddy
	had it--hell, I'm just a jailer.
	Run a 60-room hotel with bars on
	the windows.

			PILAR
	It can happen so sudden, can't
	it?  Being left out on your own.

			SAM
	YOu've got your mother, your kids--

			PILAR
	They've got me.  Different thing.

They stop at a spot where you can climb down the bank--

			SAM
	Remember this?

PILAR looks at the spot.  She isn't ready to deal with
whatever memory it brings back--

			PILAR
	I should get back.

			SAM
	Pilar--

			PILAR
	Looks real bad if the teacher's
	late for class.  It's really nice
	to talk with you, Sam.

She waves and walks away, feeling awkward.  Sam watches for
a minute, then turns and steps down to The bank, He looks at
the water

RIVER SURFACE

A little piece of tree bark is tossed onto the water and
drifts away with the current.  We TILT UP to see YOUNG PILAR
tossing bark into the river as YOUNG SAM sits on the bank
beside her.  They are 14 and 15 years old--

It is 1972 --

			YOUNG SAM
	You going to tell her?

			YOUNG PILAR
	You going to tell him?

			YOUNG SAM
	He doesn't need to know all my
	business.

			YOUNG PILAR
	He's gonna find out.

			YOUNG SAM
	So?  What's he gonna do, arrest
	us?

Young Pilar frowns, tosses more bark--

			YOUNG PILAR
	It's supposed to be some big sin,
	even if you love each other.

			YOUNG SAM
	You believe that?

CU YOUNG PILAR

She turns to look at him --

			YOUNG PILAR
	No.

We PAN with her gaze to see Sam, PRESENT DAY, sitting on the
bank, lost in thought--

			SAM
	Me neither.

EXT.  ARMY POST -- DAY

ATHENA WALKING BETWEEN buildings, looking a bit out of it.
Sergeant Worth cuts into her--

			PRISCILLA
	Private Johnson!

			ATHENA
	Sergeant?

			PRISCILLA
	Report to Dr. Innis at the clinic.

			ATHENA
	I'm feeling okay--

			PRISCILLA
	I'm very happy to hear that,
	Private.  Now you go put some pee-
	pee in a cup for Dr. Innis and
	I'll be feeling okay, too.

			ATHENA
		(Reacts)
	You're testing me?

			PRISCILLA
	You and one hundred nineteen other
	fortunate individuals.  Put it in
	gear.

			ATHENA
	Yes, Sergeant.

Sergeant Worth watches Athena go, suspicious--

INT.  SHERIFF'S OFFICE -- AFTERNOON

Ray Hernandez and another DEPUTY guide Shadow back in from
the courthouse in handcuffs--

			RAY
	Excellent performance, my friend.
	The judge was very impressed.

			SHADOW
	You don't need to cuff me.

			RAY
	You been talking so much trash
	today, you made us think you're a
	dangerous criminal.  Be a good
	boy, now--

They guide him past Sam's desk--

			SHADOW
	You're the one who's a good boy.
	Man say "fetch" and you fetch--

			RAY
	Just doing my job.

			SHADOW
	White man just using you to keep
	the Black man down.

			RAY
	This isn't Houston, my friend.
	We pretty much running things
	now.  Our good day has come.

			SHADOW
	You suckers haven't had a good
	day since the Alamo.

Ray smiles, pushes him out--

			RAY
	Andale, amigo,

We HOLD on Sam at his desk, TIGHTENING as he holds the .45
slug from the sergeants in front of his eyes--

			SAM
	Lupe?  Get me the rangers up in
	Austin--

INT.  MERCEDES' KITCHEN -- NIGHT -- CU GLASS

We hear old MEXICAN MUSIC.  Ice cubes plunk into a glass

WIDER, MERCEDES

Mercedes, exhausted from a day at the cafe, pours herself a
Scotch and soda--

EXT.  BACK PATIO -- NIGHT

The back LIGHT is flicked on and Mercedes steps out with her
drink in hand, the MUSIC audible from inside.

She sinks into a recliner.  We TIGHTEN as she closes her
eyes.  Something RUSTLES out In the dark.

Mercedes opens her eyes.  There is WHISPERING.

Mercedes sits up and suddenly two MEN run past the edge of
the patio toward the front of the house.

Mercedes sighs--

			MERCEDES
	Otra vez los mojados-- [Wetbacks
	again--]

Mercedes searches to find a portable phone on the patio table,
punches a number in--

			MERCEDES
	Hello?  Border Patrol?

EXT.  SAM'S HOUSE -- NIGHT

Sam, out of uniform, stands behind his little house chucking
fallen pecans out into the dark, thinking, listening to the
night sounds

CU SAM

Working something out in his head.  He looks off into the
dark and we PAN with his gaze--

A MAN steps toward us, barely visible in the darkness.  It
is Charley Wade--

We're in Sam's REVERIE, in 1957 --

			WADE
	Who is that?  Come out here where
	I can see you!

BLAM!  A GUNSHOT, and Wade falls to his knees--

			WADE
	You sonofabitch--

Wade falls on his face.  A FLASHLIGHT BEAM flicks ON and
plays over his body.  We PAN back along the be to see Buddy,
holstering his Pistol.  He hears something, swings the
flashlight up.

SAM

We are back in 1995.  Sam is blasted in the face with a
FLASHLIGHT BEAM--

			PATROLMAN (O.S.)
	Hold it right there!  Brazos
	arriba!

Sam, squinting toward the light to see who it is, raises his
hands over his head--

			ZACK (O.S.)
	Get that thing off 'im!  He's one
	of ours--

			SAM
	Zack?

The FLASHLIGHT BEAM PANS AWAY and ZACK POLLARD, a Border
Patrol agent, steps out of the dark to Sam--

			ZACK
	Hey Sam.  Sorry 'bout that,

			SAM
	What's up?

			ZACK
	We had about a dozen wets come
	over just upriver.  They ran into
	one of our posts--it was like a
	breakshot on a pool table, illegals
	runnin' every which way

			SAM
	I haven't seen anybody come by.

			ZACK
	We'll get 'em--
		(Looks around)

So You livin' out here now?

			SAM
	Yeah.  It's quiet--

			ZACK
	I heard about that deal for your
	father--You must be real proud.

			SAM
	Sure.

			ZACK
	The stories people tell, he was a
	real colorful fella--

			PATROLMAN (O.S.)
	Zack!  We got one!

			ZACK
	Well--back on the clock.  You see
	any of our neighbors from the
	south, let 'em know I'm lookin'
	for 'em.

			SAM
	'Night--

Zack steps away.  Sam shakes the pecans still in his band,
goes back to chucking them--

EXT.  COURTYARD -- DANCERS

Older CHICANO COUPLES dance to Mexican Music playing from
speakers set up in the apartment complex courtyard.  We TILT
UP to see Enrique watching from his window --

INT.  APARTMENT -- NIGHT

MUSIC still blasting.  Enrique steps away from the window,
and sits on the bed of his drab furnished apartment.

He goes back to tying knots in a length of clothesline
splicing it to another.  On the bed beside him are new
flashlights and the batteries, still in their packaging.

He begins to coil the rope -- it is hundreds of feet long.

EXT.  FRONT PORCH, PILAR'S HOUSE -- NIGHT

Pilar sits on her front Porch, listening to the MUSIC the
distance.  A Woman singing a MEXICAN LOVE BALLAD.

After a while we hear Paloma open the screen door behind her --

			PALOMA (O.S.)
	Mom?

			PILAR
	Yeah?

			PALOMA (O.S.)
	You gonna stay out here?

			PILAR
	For a while.

A silence They listen to the RECORD--

			PALOMA (O.S.)
	What's she singing about?

			PILAR
		(Smiles)
	What do you think?

						 FADE OUT

INT.  SHERIFF'S OFFICE -- EARLY MORNING

Sam has been up since dawn, searching through piles of old
department records.  Papers cover his desk and the chairs
he's dragged over next to it.  He reads out loud himself
from a report in front of him--

			SAM
	First bullet entered beneath the
	left eye, severing Optical nerve
	and exiting from top rear of skull
	causing tissue damage

DOCUMENTS -- VARIOUS SHOTS

As Sam reads, we see quick pops of various records--

Certificates of death.

An old Sheriff's Department payroll.

An autopsy report.

Eviction notices.

			SAM (O.S.)
	--and severe cerebral hemorrhaging.
	Second bullet entered left cheek
	driving fragment of upper and
	lower molars into base of skull.
	Third bullet--

Real estate transfers.

A map of the Proposed Lake Pescadero.

Another autopsy report.

A FAX COPY of the forensics dental report on Charley Wade.

Another autopsy report --

CU SAM

intent as he pores over the paperwork --

LEGAL PAD

We TILT DOWN to read various notes Sam has written --

Reynaldo Garcia killed by Shf Wade -- 3/49

Hollis Kinney hired by Shf Dep.  -- 9/51

Lucas Johnson k.  by Shf Wade -- 7/53

Horace Gaines k.  by Shf Wade -- 1/54

Santiago Huerta k.  by Shf Wade -- 4/54

Rifle range closed -- 9/56

Eladio Cruz k.  by Shf Wade -- 12/56

Buddy Deeds hired by Shf Dep.  -- 2/57

Shf Wade disappears -- 3/57 $10,000 cnty funds missing

Buddy Deeds new Shf

We come to Sam's hand, writing, when it clears we can read
the last entry--

Mercedes Cruz hired as cook, Rio Co.  jail -- 4/57 ?????

CU SAM

Trying to put it all together.

PETE ZAYAS, a skinny, older man in trustee's coveralls,
wanders in, emptying the trash baskets in the front office --

			PETE
	Morning, Sheriff.

			SAM
	Hey, Pete.  How's it going?

			PETE
	Time marches on.

			SAM
	How much you got left?

			PETE
	Three months.

			SAM
	You stop growing that loco weed
	at your place, you'd see a lot
	more daylight.

			PETE
	It was for personal consumption.

			SAM
	You're going to smoke an acre and
	a half of marijuana?

			PETE
	I got a bad stomach.  It helps me
	digest.

Pete dumps out the basket by Sam--

			PETE
	Your father never bothered me
	about it.  Leastways not till the
	drug people got on his back in
	the late '60s.

			SAM
	I thought he busted you a couple
	times.

			PETE
	Different charge.  I had a still.
	Made my own mescal.

Sam looks up at him.

			PETE
	That's how I ruined my stomach.

			SAM
		(Smiles)
	I'm surprised he bothered with
	it.

			PETE
	He was afraid I was going to poison
	somebody.  Your father tried to
	do good for people--

			SAM
	So I've heard--

			PETE
	And your mother was a saint.
	That summer I built the patio at
	your house?  She made me lunch
	every day.

			SAM
	Well, you were working there--

			PETE
	It could have just been a box
	lunch from the jail.

Sam looks up again, troubled.

			SAM
	You built our patio while you
	were on the county?

			PETE
	Out in the fresh air, nice gringo
	lady making you pies---who's gonna
	sit back in a little jail cell
	all day?  Sheriff Buddy, man.
	Como el no hay dos.  And after
	that cabron Charley Wade--

			SAM
	I've heard Wade was a bit tough
	on the Mexicans--

			PETE
	He murdered Eladio Cruz.  That
	tough enough for you?

			SAM
	Murdered him?

			PETE
	Chucho Montoya saw it with his
	own eyes.  Shot him in cold blood.

EXT.  SAN JACINTO STREET -- MORNING

Ray Hernandez, heading in to work, comes upon Sam getting
into his car--

			RAY
	You're out early.

			SAM
	Yeah.

			RAY
	Haven't seen much of you at the
	jail lately.

			SAM
	I been working on a few things.

			RAY
	Uh-huh.

			SAM
	I'm going over to the other side.

			RAY
		(Concerned)
	The Republicans?

			SAM
	No--to Mexico.  I've got to talk
	to somebody.

			RAY
	They got telephones.

			SAM
	Gotta be in person.

			RAY
	Oh.

An awkward silence.  Sam sits into the driver's seal and Ray
leans down to talk--

			RAY
	Sam?  I--the Committee--you know
	Jorge and H.L.  and all--they
	asked me--

			SAM
	They want you to stand for Sheriff
	next election.

			RAY
	Yeah.

			SAM
	You'd do a good job.

			RAY
	How 'bout you?

			SAM
	Don't know if I'll still want it.

			RAY
	I didn't want to be going around
	your back.

			SAM
	I appreciate you telling me.

Sam looks at his Chief Deputy--

			SAM
	You think we need a new jail?

			RAY
	Well, it's a complicated issue--

Sam smiles, turns the engine on--

			SAM
	Yeah, Ray, you'd be a hell of a
	Sheriff.

EXT.  SCHOOL -- MORNING

Pilar sits with Amado on the football field bleachers before
school starts--

			PILAR
	I'm only going to have you for
	two more years.  If you decide
	not to go on to college--

			AMADO
	I can't take any more school.

			PILAR
	--you're going to be on your own.

			AMADO
	So?

			PILAR
	So I'm worried about you.  I don't
	want you to end up in jail like
	your friends.

			AMADO
	They're not going to jail.

			PILAR
	Don't try to con me, Amado You
	knew how they got all those things.

			AMADO
	Just some rich Anglo out on the
	lake.  Don't even live here all
	year.

			PILAR
	That makes it okay?

			AMADO
	They stole our land--

			PILAR
	Save your breath.  That line
	doesn't cut it with me.

A silence.  Amado sulks.

			PILAR
	How do you think you're going to
	make a living?

			AMADO
	I can fix cars.

			PILAR
	You can fix old cars.  Mr. Washburn
	told me that the cars they're
	making now are all computerized--

			AMADO
	You think I can't learn that?

			PILAR
	I think you can learn whatever
	you want to.  I just don't see
	you doing it.  If you want to
	settle for--

			AMADO
	I'm not settling for anything.  I
	like cars, It's just not a move
	up the ladder to you, so you think
	it's a waste.

			PILAR
	That isn't true.

			AMADO
	Oh, come on--you and Grandma think
	anybody who works with their hands
	is a peasant.  When Dad--

			PILAR
	If you grew up to he anywhere
	near as good a man as your father
	was, I would be happy!  I would
	be thrilled.

They look, at each other for a long moment.

			AMADO
	It's my life.  if I want to fuck
	it up, that's my business.

			PILAR
		(Nods)
	I said pretty much the same thing
	to my mother when I was your age,

			AMADO
	And what did she do?

			PILAR
	Two years at hard labor, Our Lady
	of Perpetual Help.

			AMADO
	Catholic school, Nasty.

Pilar is nearly in tears.

			PILAR
	Honey, I think you're smart and
	you're good and I love you.  So
	don't act like an idiot, all right?

EXT.  BORDER CROSSING -- DAY

We see Sam's car roll through the "express lane" as other
cars in both directions stop by the inspection booths.

Sam drives across the bridge over the Rio--

EXT.  STREETS -- CIUDAD LEON -- VARIOUS SHOTS

Sam drives slowly through the sprawling, more populous town
on the other side.  Lots of the streets are unpaved.  We PAN
with the car till we HOLD on ANSELMA, a country girl of 15,
aimlessly walking the streets--

EXT.  LLANTERIA (TIRE REPAIR SHOP) -- DAY

We watch a KID about Amado's age pulling a tire off its rim
to put a patch on it--

			CHUCHO (O.S.)
	Over here we don't throw everything
	away like you gringos do.

CHUCHO AND SAM

CHUCHO MONTOYA, in his mid-50s, stands by Sam drinking a
Coke as they watch the kid work

			CHUCHO
	Recycling, right?  We invented
	that.  The government doesn't
	have to tell people to do it.

			SAM
	You own this place?

			CHUCHO
	This place, the one across the
	street, four other ones around
	Ciudad Leon--soy el Rey de las
	Llantas.  King of the Tires.
	Lots of your people rollin' back
	over that bridge on my rubber.

			SAM
		(Nods)
	You lived in the States for a
	while?

			CHUCHO
	Fifteen years in El Paso.

			SAM
	Made some money, came back here--

			CHUCHO
	Something like that.

			SAM
	You ever know a fella named Eladio
	Cruz?

CHUCHO smiles, draws a line in the dirt with his heel--

			CHUCHO
	You the sheriff of Rio County,
	right?  Un jefe muy respetado.
	Step over this line

Sam obliges--

			CHUCHO
	Ay, que milagro!  You're not the
	Sheriff of nothing anymore-just
	some tejano with a lot of questions
	I don't have to answer.

Sam smiles, plays with the line with his toe--

			CHUCHO
	Bird flying south-you think he
	sees that line?  Rattlesnake,
	javelina--whatever you got--halfway
	across that line they don't start
	thinking different.  So why should
	a man?

			SAM
	Your government always been pretty
	happy to have that line.  The
	question's just been where to
	draw it

CU CHUCHO

			CHUCHO
	My government can go fuck itself,
	and so can yours.  I'm talking
	about people here--men.  Mi amigo
	Eladio Cruz is giving some friends
	of his a lift in his camion one
	day--

We PAN from CHUCHO to the FLAT TIRE on a battered old pickup
truck--

			CHUCHO (V.O.)
	--but because he's on one side of
	this invisible line and not the
	other, they got to hide in the
	back like criminals--

Eladio CRUZ, young and good-looking, squats into the shot to
examine the tire, jack in hand.

It Is 1956 --

			CHUCHO (V.O.)
	And because over there he's just
	another Mex bracero, any man with
	a badge is his jefe--

CONJUNTO MUSIC comes from the truck RADIO.

YOUNG CHUCHO steps past Eladio--

			ELADIO
	Donde vas, Chucho, Tienes que
	quedar escondido!  [Shit, CHUCHO
	you got to stay hidden!]

			YOUNG CHUCHO
	Voy a romper las rinones si no
	hago pipi-- [I'm gonna bust my
	kidneys if I don't pee-]

We TRACK back with Young CHUCHO to see we are at the side of
a dirt road on the scrubby flatland near the border.

Eladio's battered pickup truck has wood-slat sides and a
canvas top.  Eladio begins to undo the nuts on the flat tire
as Young CHUCHO climbs down into a dry creek bed to relieve
himself--

			YOUNG CHUCHO
	Los demas son tan espantados que
	prefieran mojar sus pantalones.
	[The other guys are so scared
	they'd rather wet their pants.]

CHUCHO tightens as he sees something, ducks down--

			YOUNG CHUCHO
	Mira, Eladio [Look!]

We PAN to see the Sheriff's car approaching in a cloud of
DUST--

			ELADIO
		(Calling from where
		he lies changing the
		tire)
	Muchachos!  Escondases!  [Boys!
	Hide yourselves!]

INT.  REAR OF TRUCK

Eight illegal WORKERS hear this and lie down, pulling a canvas
tarp over themselves.  We hear the CAR STOP behind them--

EXT.  ARROYO -- CU CHUCHO

He makes the sign of the cross as he presses his back against
the dirt of the arroyo--

ROAD

Sheriff Wade and Deputy Hollis get out of their car and start
	toward Eladio--

ELADIO

He stands, takes a deep breath -- Wade steps up to him with
his hard-eyed smile--

			WADE
	Hola, amgio.  Problemas de llanta?
	[Hey, friend.  Tire problems?]

			ELADIO
	No hay de que.  Tengo otra.  [No
	problem, I've got another.]

			WADE
	What's in the back?

EXT.  TRUCK

Young Hollis strolls around the truck as if he's considering
buying it.  He reaches in and flicks the RADIO OFF--

			ELADIO
	Not much, jefe.  Some watermelons.

			WADE
	I heard somebody been haulin'
	wets on this road.

			ELADIO
	I haven't seen anybody doing that.

			WADE
	This same person been bragging
	all over the county how he don't
	have to cut that big gringo Sheriff
	in on it--he can run his own
	operation 'thout any help.  Como
	se llama, amigo?

			ELADIO
	Eladio Cruz.

			WADE
	You know this road got a bad
	reputation, Eladio--

ARROYO -- CHUCHO

Young CHUCHO pecks over the edge to see what's happening

			ELADIO
	Reputation?

			WADE
	Bandidos, Injuns--

CLOSER -- MEN

Hollis wanders over to stand by Wade --

			WADE
	There's many an unfortunate soul
	been ambushed out on this stretch.
	Hope you're carrying some
	protection.

			ELADIO
	Protection?

			WADE
	You carryin' a firearm, son?
	Don't lie to me now.

			ELADIO
	Si--tengo escopeto--just a shotgun--

			WADE
	Just a shotgun, huh?  Better let
	me take a look at that.

ELADIO opens the truck door and digs under the seat.  Wade
winks to Hollis, then turns and BLAM!  shoots ELADIO through
the head.  Hollis jumps back startled and horrified--

			YOUNG HOLLIS
	Oh no--oh Jesus--oh my Lord--

			WADE
	Little greaser sonofabitch been
	running a goddarn bus service.
	Think he can make a fool out of
	Charley Wade!  Get them wets outta
	the back, Hollis, see what we've
	got--

CU CHUCHO

Squatting in a ball to make himself as small as possible,
eyes covered with his hands

			YOUNG HOLLIS (O.S.)
	You killed him--

			WADE (O.S.)
	You got a talent for statin' the
	obvious, son Muchachos!  Venga
	afuera!  Brazos arribas!  [Come
	on out!  Hands up!]

Young CHUCHO hears FOOTSTEPS approaching.  We PAN as he looks --
a man's BOOTS appear at the top of the arroyo.  We TILT UP
to see a Sheriff, BACKLIT, then CRANE to see it is Sam, back
in the PRESENT looking over the site, troubled.  His car
sits on the empty road behind him.

He frowns, turns to go--

EXT.  PARK -- DAY -- PLAQUE

Somebody has spray-painted "PERDIDO!" over the plaque of
Buddy and the little boy--

			HOLLIS (O.S.)
	Hooligans--

WIDER

Hollis and a couple of MEN from the Public Work Department
look at the damage.

			HOLLIS
	It happens again, we build a fence
	around it.

INT.  CAFE -- DAY

Enrique steels himself, trying to cover his nerves.  We CROSS
with him to a booth.

			ZACK
	Podemos ganar muchas batallas
	pero la guerra ya es perdido--
	[We can win a lot of battles but
	the war's already been lost--]

Zack and another BORDER PATROLMAN look up at him--

CU ENRIQUE

Eyes glued to his notepad--

			ENRIQUE
	You wan' something to drink?

EXT.  ROADSIDE STAND -- DAY -- CU CATTLE SKULL

A Georgia O'Keefe-looking cattle skull sits on a pedestal
against the Western sky--

			WESLEY (O.S.)
	The longhorns go for ten times
	the price--

We WIDEN as the skull is lifted by WESLEY BIRDSONG, a Native
American man in his 70s who wears extremely thick glasses.
Sam tags along as the old man rearranges the display of Texas
curios laid out in front of his trailer.  Empty scrubland
surrounds them

			WESLEY
	--but longhorns are hard to come
	by these days.

			SAM
	You sell much out here?

			WESLEY
	How am I gonna sell things if
	nobody comes by?  This stretch of
	road runs between Nowheres and
	Nothin' Much.

			SAM
	Hell of a spot to put a business.

			WESLEY
	But you don't see much competition,
	do you?

He winks at Sam, picks up a wooden radio carved to resemble
the Alamo--

			WESLEY
	These things used to sell like
	hotcakes.  Now, if it can't play
	those discs, they won't look at
	it.

He puts The radio do", looks out at the emptiness around--

			WESLEY
	I like it here.  Once I tried
	going onto that reservation to
	live.  Couldn't take the politics.
	Damn Indian'll drive you crazy
	with that, Now your father--this
	wasn't what he had in mind at
	all.  lie come out of Korea, he
	had this Chevy with too much engine
	in it.  He'd come roarin' up and
	down this road all hours of the
	day and night, looking for somebody
	to race.

He lifts ajar with a leathery brown thing in it--

			WESLEY
	Buffalo chips.  Fella in Santa Fe
	told me he sells these as fast as
	the buffalo can squeeze 'em out.

			SAM
	So when did Buddy leave?

			WESLEY
	For Frontera?  Hell, I can't
	remember dates no more.  I do
	recall it was after an affair of
	the heart had gone sour on him.
	He almost took some poor fella's
	head off at the Legion in Arroyo
	Grande, and figured it was time
	to move on.

			SAM
	You think he killed anybody in
	Korea?

			WESLEY
	They don't hand those medals out
	for hidin' in your foxhole.  Would
	you buy this?

			SAM
	No--

			WESLEY
	Me neither.

He searches for something among the curios--

			WESLEY
	If he hadn't found that Deputy
	job, I believe Buddy might've
	gone down the other path, got
	into some serious trouble.  Settled
	him right down.  That and your
	mother.  'Course he had that other
	one later.

			SAM
	Another woman?

			WESLEY
	Your mother wasn't one to get
	chased off her patch.  Half the
	damn county knew and nobody thought
	the worse of her for seein' it
	through.

			SAM
	You know who it was?

			WESLEY
	The other one?  Hell, at my age,
	every time you learn a new name
	you got to forget an old one.
	Your head's all crowded up--here
	it is--

Wesley stretches out a four-foot rattlesnake skin, rattles
still attached--

			WESLEY
	This big fella was sleepin' in a
	crate at Cisco's junkyard right
	when I looked to see what was in
	it.  Jumped up at my face--scared
	me so bad I killed him without
	thinkin'.

He shakes the rattles at Sam--

			WESLEY
	Gotta be careful where you're
	pokin'---who knows what you'll
	find.

INT.  SCHOOL HALLWAY -- DAY

PILAR talks with Molly as they near the administration office--

			PILAR
	I don't think you can take it
	personally--

			MOLLY
	I'd like to see them spend a day
	pulling 14-year-olds off of each
	other--I should get combat pay--

			PILAR
	I have new respect for some of my
	kids, meeting the parents they've
	been dealt--

Molly keeps going as Pilar ducks into the office--

			PILAR
	See you, Molly.

INT.  OFFICE

PILAR crosses past the principal's secretary, MARISOL--

			MARISOL
	Steve called for you.

			PILAR
	Steve?

			MARISOL
	Steve.  Board of Education Steve
	who likes you?  He goes for us
	hot-blooded Mexican girls, I can
	tell.

			PILAR
	Spanish, please.  My mother would
	have a heart attack.

			MARISOL
	Your mother's family is Spanish?

			PILAR
	Sure, they go back to Cortez.
	When he rode by, they were
	squatting in a hut cooking hamsters
	for dinner.

			MARISOL
	You got to be interested in
	somebody.  All you do is work.

			PILAR
	All my mother does is work.  That's
	how you get to be Spanish.

			MARISOL
	How 'bout the Sheriff?

			PILAR
	The Sheriff.

			MARISOL
	The old-high-school-heartthrob
	Sheriff.  I thought you were crazy
	about each other.  He's available,
	you're available--

			PILAR
	I'm unmarried.  I'm not available.

			MARISOL
	You told me one time it was true
	love.

PILAR takes the pile of mimeos and mail from her slot and
turns to go--

			PILAR
		(Mutters)
	Nobody stays in love for twenty-
	three years.

EXT.  DRIVE-IN MOVIE -- NIGHT

It is 1972.  An early-'70s cheezy action picture (Filipino
women-in-chains or biker flick) is playing.

We TILT DOWN to a man's BOOTS crunching across the gravel of
the parking area.  Now and then, the man turns a FLASHLIGHT
BEAM on a license plate.  The cars are all pre-'72, lots of
pickups, and the patrons are almost all TEENAGERS.  Some
have turned their pickups around to sit on the tailgate and
watch, while others have set lawn furniture out to sit on.

We TILT UP slightly to see the glint of a Rio County Sheriff's
badge pinned on the man's shirt.  He meets a DEPUTY coming
in the other direction.  Both train their FLASHLIGHTS on the
license of the car we see in the b.g. between them.  We TILT
and RACK to see that nobody is visible through the window--

			BUDDY (O.S.)
	Let's go.

We FOLLOW Buddy up to the driver's side of the car as the
Deputy goes to the passenger side.

We PAN with Buddy's hand down to the door handle -- he grabs
it, flings it open -- the overhead LIGHT flicks ON and there
lie YOUNG SAM and PILAR, teenagers, half their clothes off
and just about to close the deal.  PILAR SCREAMS and the
Deputy throws the door open by their heads --

			BUDDY
	Goddammit!

Buddy grabs Sam's ankles and yanks him out of the car onto
the ground as the Deputy awkwardly pulls PILAR, out the other
side--

			YOUNG SAM
	What the hell are you doing?  You
	fucking asshole!

			BUDDY
	How old is that girl?  Goddammit,
	where's your goddam sense?

			YOUNG PILAR, (O.S.)
	Let me go!  Pendejo!

			YOUNG HOLLIS (O.S.)
	Come on now, Missy, get your
	clothes in order--

Sam is trying to kick and punch at his father, pausing in
between to pull his pants up.  People are BOOING and HONKING
their HORNS all around--

			YOUNG SAM
	You got no fuckin' right!  You
	stay out of my fuckin' life!

			BUDDY
	Gimme the keys--gimme the goddam
	car keys, son--

			YOUNG HOLLIS (O.S.)
	What am I s'posed to do with her,
	Buddy?

			BUDDY
	You drive her home and tell her
	mother where we found her--

			YOUNG PILAR, (O.S.)
	Sam!

The kids are dragged forward into the HEADLIGHTS that are
being turned on to see what the ruckus is.  Both are crying,
struggling--

			YOUNG SAM
	You leave her the fuck alone!

			BUDDY
	You just shut that filthy mouth,
	son.  I'll deal with you when we
	get home--

			YOUNG PILAR
	Please, don't tell my mother!
	She's gonna kill me!

They step closer into the glaring HEADLIGHTS which WHITE OUT
the scene, then FADE.

EXT.  RUINED DRIVE-IN -- DUSK

It is DUSK, PRESENT DAY.  Our eyes readjust to see Sam,
standing by his car in the lot of the long-abandoned drive-
in.  The ruined screen rises in the b.g.

CU SAM

Remembering.  MUSIC BEGINS as he gets back into the car,
pulls away.

MARQUEE -- DUSK

MUSIC CONTINUES as the car cruises out past the old marquee,
a few letters still jumbled on it, several bullet holes around
them.

INT.  CAR

MUSIC CONTINUES as Sam drives, thinking--

EXT.  ROADS -- VARIOUS SHOTS -- DUSK/NIGHT

MUSIC CONTINUES as the car crosses the scrubland  back toward
town.  DUSK turns to NIGHT--

EXT.  PILAR'S HOUSE -- NIGHT

MUSIC CONTINUES as Sam cruises past Pilar's house.  The car
is not in the driveway: Paloma hangs out with a couple FRIENDS
under the porch light, laughing--

EXT.  HIGH SCHOOL -- NIGHT

MUSIC CONTINUES as Sam's car pulls into the high school lot.
He looks up toward the school--

EXT.  WINDOW, PILAR, -- SAM'S POV

MUSIC CONTINUES.  We can see PILAR, through the lighted window
of her classroom, preparing something on the blackboard--

INT.  CAR

MUSIC ENDS as Sam leans back to wait--

EXT.  PARKING LOT

PILAR digs in her bag for her car keys as she makes her way
across the lot.  She sees something, slows, reacting, then
brings us to Sam in his car.  He has parked head-to-foot
next to hers.  They look at each other for a long moment

			PILAR
		(Softly)
	Follow me.

EXT.  MAIN STREET -- NIGHT

Nothing stirring.  Pilar's car appears, closely followed by
Sam's.  The cafe has closed for the night

INT.  CAFE -- NIGHT

Sam and Pilar sit on chairs next to each other, facing the
window, talking softly.  The STREETLIGHT shining through the
letters in the front window makes patterns on their faces

			PILAR
	We thought we were something,
	didn't we?

			SAM
	Yeah.

			PILAR
	I look at my kids in school--tenth,
	eleventh graders.  That's who we
	were.  Children.

			SAM
	Yeah.

			PILAR
	I mean what did we know about
	anything?

			SAM
	Nothing.

Pilar looks at him--

			PILAR
	When Nando died--it was so sudden--
	I was kind of in shock for awhile.
	Then I woke up and there was the
	whole rest of my life and I didn't
	have any idea what to do with it.

			SAM
	You know the other day, you asked
	why I came back?

			PILAR
	Yeah?

			SAM
	I came back 'cause you were here.

PILAR nods.  She gets up and we FOLLOW her across the dark
room to the jukebox.  She looks at the selections--

			PILAR
	My mother hasn't changed the songs
	since I was 10.

She puts in a quarter, punches some numbers.  A Mexican BALLAD
comes on.  She crosses back to Sam, holds her hand out.  He
stands to greet her.

They slow-dance in the empty cafe--

INT.  SAM'S APARTMENT -- BEDROOM

Sam and Pilar finish making love.  They lie beside each other,
shaking a little--

			PILAR
	Wow.

			SAM
	Yeah.

			PILAR
	How come it feels the same?

			SAM
	I don't know.  it just feels good.
	Always did.

			PILAR
	So what are we gonna do about
	this?

			SAM
	More, I hope,

PILAR smiles, looks around the room--

			PILAR
	How long have you lived here?

			SAM
	Two years.

			PILAR
	There's nothing on the walls.  No
	pictures--

			SAM
	Don't have kids.  Other pictures--
	I don't know--it's nothing I want
	to look back on.

			PILAR
	Like your story is over.

			SAM
	I've felt that way, yeah.

Sbe puts her bead on his cbest--

			PILAR
	It isn't.  Not by a long shot.

He holds her and they lie silently for a moment--

			SAM
	Pilar--

			PILAR
	Yeah?

			SAM
	What was your father's name?

			PILAR
	Eladio.  Eladio.  Cruz,

						FADE OUT:

EXT.  PILAR'S HOUSE -- MORNING

Paloma sits on the top step of the porch, reading teen
magazines.  PILAR steps out behind her, dressed casually,
and squints at the day--

			PALOMA
	She finally got in--

			PILAR
	It's Saturday.

			PALOMA
	You got in late last night.

			PILAR
	Yeah.  I had uhm--school business.

Paloma gives her a look, then holds a fashion page up for
her to see--

			PALOMA
	Can I get this?

			PILAR
	Nobody really wears that stuff,
	Paloma.

			PALOMA
	I could name five girls at school
	who have one just like it--

			PILAR
	Enough with the clothes--

			PALOMA
	just 'cause you went to Catholic
	school and wore a uniform.

			PILAR
	I only went for my last two years.

			PALOMA
	How come?

			PILLAR
	Oh, my mother wanted to keep me
	away from away from boys.

PILAR steps out into the sun--

			PALOMA
	Did it work?

INT.  CAFE -- MORNING

Hollis is sitting alone in a booth, working on some heuvos
rancheros.  Sam slides in across from him--

			SAM
	Morning, Hollis.

			HOLLIS
	Sam!  Quite a do the other day.
	It meant a lot to folks that you
	said something.

			SAM
	You thought any more about our
	murder?

			HOLLIS
	We have a murder?

			SAM
	Charley Wade.

			HOLLIS
	I wish I could tell you I
	remembered something new, but I
	can't.

			SAM
	I got an idea what happened.

			HOLLIS
	Do you?

			SAM
	I think somewhere between Roderick
	Bledsoe's club and his house,
	Wade ran into Buddy Deeds.  I
	think Buddy put a bullet in him,
	waited for him to die, threw him
	in the trunk of the Sheriff's car
	and drove him out by the Army
	post, I think he buried him under
	four feet of sand and never looked
	back.

Hollis sits back to look Sam in the eye--

			HOLLIS
	You lived in the man's house what--
	seventeen, eighteen years?  And
	you didn't get to know him any
	better than that?

			SAM
	I got to go see somebody in San
	Antonio today.  Your memory gets
	any better, I'll be back tonight,

Sam stands and walks away.  We HOLD on Hollis, his appetite
gone--

EXT.  BIG O'S --- MORNING

Chet steps around to the side entrance--

INT.  BLACK SEMINOLE EXHIBIT --- DAY --- CU STATUE

We start on a statue of a BUFFALO SOLDIER made from spent
bullets and shell casings, then PAN to another, then WIDEN
to see Chet as he pokes his head in, the BELL of the door
ringing.  He steps in cautiously, looking around the room.

On the walls there are photo-blowups, some artifacts,
handlettered information on cardboard.  Chet stops to look
up at a picture of a barechested Black man with a couple of
feathers stuck in his headband

			OTIS (O.S.)
	That's John Horse.

Chet turns to see Otis standing back by, the door from the
bar--

			OTIS
	Spanish in Florida called him
	Juan Caballo.  John Horse.

			CHET
		(Looks at picture)
	He a Black man or an Indian?

			OTIS
		(Steps in)
	Both,

Otis crosses to the poker table, begins to clean up--

			OTIS
	He was part of the Seminole Nation,
	got pushed down into the Everglades
	in pioneer days.  African people
	who run off from the slaveholders
	hooked up with them, married up,
	had children.  When the Spanish
	give up Florida, the U.S.Army
	come down to move all them Indian
	peoples off to Oklahoma--

			CHET
	The Trail of Tears.

			OTIS
		(Smiles)
	They teaching that now?  Good.
	Only a couple of 'em held out-
	this man, John Horse, and his
	friend Wild Cat, and a fella name
	of Osceola.  Army put all of them
	in prison and Osceola died, but
	them other two escaped and put
	together a fighting band and held
	out another ten, fifteen years.
	Beat Zach Taylor and a thousand
	troops at Lake Okeechobee.

			CHET
	So they stayed in Florida?

			OTIS
	They got tired of fighting, went
	to the Indian Territories for a
	while.  But the slave-raiders
	were on 'em even there, and one
	night they packed up and nearly
	the whole band rode down to Mexico.
	Crossed at Eagle Pass.

They move on to some photos of very African-looking people
dressed in beautiful Seminole clothing--

			OTIS
	Men worked for Santa Anna down
	there, waited out the Civil War.
	The land wasn't much to feed people
	on, so in 1870 they come north
	and put up at Fort Duncan and the
	men joined up what was called the
	Seminole Negro Indian Scouts.

Best trackers either side of the border.  Bandits, rustlers,
Texas rednecks, Kiowa, Comanche--

			CHET
	They fought against the Indians?

			OTIS
	Same as they done in Mexico.

			CHET
	But they were Indians themselves.

			OTIS
	They were in the Army.  Like your
	father.

			CHET
		(Surprised)
	You know who I am?

			OTIS
	I got a pretty good guess.

			CHET
	That guy who got shot--

			OTIS
	You didn't go telling your father
	you were here?

			CHET
	Are you kidding?  And face a court-
	martial?

			OTIS
		(Smiles)
	He's a pretty tough old man, huh?

			CHET
	No sports if I don't keep a B
	average, no TV on school nights,
	no PDA's--

			OTIS
	PDA?

			CHET
	Public Display of Affection.
	Every time he moves up a rank,
	it's like he's got to tighten the
	screws a little more--

			OTIS
	Well--

			CHET
	I mean, just 'cause he didn't--
	you know--

			OTIS
	Didn't have a father?

			CHET
		(Shrugs)
	He's still pissed off about it,

			OTIS
	When you're his age you'll still
	be pissed off about him.

Chet nods, looks around--

			CHET
	So how come you got into all this?

			OTIS
	These are our people.  There were
	Paynes in Florida, Oklahoma,
	Piedras Negras-couple of 'em won
	the whatsit--Congressional Medal
	Of Honor--

			CHET
	So I'm part-Indian?

			OTIS
	By blood you are.  But blood only
	means what you let it.

			CHET
	My father says the day you're
	born you start from scratch, no
	breaks and no excuses, and you
	got to pull yourself up on your
	own.

			OTIS
		(Sad)
	Well, he's living proof of that,
	son.  Living proof.

INT.  DEL'S OFFICE --  DAY

Athena stands at attention as Del sits at his desk, reviewing
her record.  He lets her stand for a long time before speaking--

			DEL
	Private Johnson, are you unhappy
	in the Army?

			ATHENA
	No, sir--

			DEL
	Then how would you explain the
	fact that out of one hundred twenty
	people we tested, you're the only
	one who came up positive for drugs?

			ATHENA
	I'm sorry, sir.

			DEL
	When you were given the opportunity
	to enlist, a kind of contract was
	agreed upon.  I think the Army
	has honored its part of that
	agreement

			ATHENA
	Yes, sir--

			DEL
	Do you believe in what we're doing
	here, Private Johnson?

			ATHENA
	I-I can do the job, sir.

			DEL
	You don't sound too enthusiastic.

			ATHENA
	I am, sir.

			DEL
	What exactly do you think your
	job is, Private?

			ATHENA
	Follow orders.  Do whatever they
	say.

			DEL
	Who's "they"?

			ATHENA
	The--the officers.

			DEL
	And that's the job?  Nothing about
	serving your country?

Athena is confused, hesitates to speak--

			DEL
	These aren't trick questions,
	Private.  You'll be given an
	Article 15 and be going into the
	ADCAP Program one way or the other.
	What happens after that is up to
	you.  I'm just trying to understand
	how somebody like you thinks.

Silence--

			DEL
	Well?

			ATHENA
		(Hesitant)
	You really want to know, sir.

			DEL
	Please.

			ATHENA
	It's their country.  This is one
	of the best deals they offer.

Del knows he asked for it, but doesn't like the answer--

			DEL
	How do you think I got to be a
	colonel?

			ATHENA
	Work hard, be good at your job.
	Sir.  Do whatever they tell you.

			DEL
	Do whatever they tell you--

			ATHENA
	I mean, follow orders, sir.

			DEL
	With your attitude, Private, I'm
	surprised you want to stay in the
	service.

			ATHENA
	I do, sir.

			DEL
	Because it's a job?

			ATHENA
		(Struggling)
	Outside it's--it's such a mess--
	it's--

			DEL
	Chaos.

Athena is sure she's overstepped her rank--

			DEL
	Why do you think they let us in
	on the "deal"?

			ATHENA
	They got people to fight.  Arabs,
	yellow people, whatever.  Might
	as well use us.

			DEL
	Do you think you've been
	discriminated against on this
	post?

			ATHENA
	No, sir.  Not at all.

			DEL
	Any serious problems with your
	sergeant or your fellow soldiers?

			ATHENA
	No, sir.  They all been real
	straight with me.

Del stands, thinking, trying not to bullshit her--

			DEL
	it works like this, Private--every
	soldier in a war doesn't have to
	believe in what he's fighting
	for.  Most of them fight just to
	back up the soldiers in their
	squad--you try not to get them
	killed, try not to get them extra
	duty, try not to embarrass yourself
	in front of them.

He is right in her face now--

			DEL
	Why don't you start with that?

			ATHENA
	Yes, sir.

			DEL
	You're dismissed, Private.

			ATHENA
	Thank you, sir.

Athena salutes, steps out.  Del looks out the window, troubled
by the encounter.

EXT.  BORDER CONTROL

A battered car full of Mexican DAY WORKERS rolls toward the
Mexican side checkpoint--

INT.  CAR

Enrique sits squeezed between workers in the back.  The driver
never stops talking as the officer waves them through

			DRIVER (O.S.)
	--Julia es demasiado flaca para
	mime gusto mas mujeres con algo
	en frente--o muy altas como Cindy
	Crofor.  Quisiera montar esa
	caballa-- [Julia's too skinny for
	me--I like women with something
	up front--or really tall like
	Cindy Crawford.  I'd like to ride
	that horse--]

EXT.  KINCAID HOUSE -- DAY

Sam's car is parked on the street in front of an expensive-
looking house in a tree-lined neighborhood--

INT.  LIVING ROOM

Sam's ex-wife, BUNNY KINCAID, shuffles across her living
room in slippers, crossing to turn off a big-screen TV playing
football highlights.  Bunny wears shorts, a Houston Oilers
sweatshirt and a Dallas Cowboys cap.  The living room is
like a sports museum -- signed footballs, team posters, a
bookcase filled with tapes of Texas pro and college football
games--

			BUNNY
	The Longhorns gonna kick some
	serious butt this Saturday, you
	just watch.  We got a kid at
	tailback from down your way--outta
	El Indio--

			SAM (O.S.)
	That's in Maverick County.

She brings us to Sam, sitting uncomfortably, beneath a full-
sized blowup of Tony Dorsett hurdling a tackler--

			BUNNY
	Oh.  Right.  And you're in--?

			SAM
	Rio.

			BUNNY
	Right.  This kid, Hosea Brown?
	Does tire 40 in 3.4, soft hands,
	lateral movernent--the whole
	package.  only a sophomore--

			SAM
	You still going to all the home
	games?

			BUNNY
	Well, Daddy's got his box at the
	stadium, of course, and I'll fly
	to the Cowboy away games when
	they're in the Conference.  Then
	there's the high school on Friday'
	nightsWest Side got a boy 6'6",
	310, moves like a cat.  High
	school, we're talkin'.  Guess how
	much he can bench-press?

			SAM
	Bunny, you--uhm--you On that same
	medication?

			BUNNY
	Do I seem jumpy?

			SAM
	No, you look good.  I was just
	wondering.

			BUNNY
	Last year was awful rough--Mama
	passing on and the whole business
	with O.J.--I mean it's not like
	it was Don Meredith or Roger
	Staubach or one of our own boys,
	but it really knocked me for a
	loop--

			SAM
	You look good--

			BUNNY
	--and that squeaker the Aggies
	dropped to Oklahoma-sonofabitch
	stepped in some lucky shit before
	he kicked that goal--

			SAM
	Yeah, well--

			BUNNY
	--they hadn't pulled me off that
	woman I would have jerked a knot
	in her.

			SAM
	You were in a fight--

			BUNNY
	Daddy calls it an "altercation."
	How you doing, Sam?  You look
	skinny.

			SAM
	Same weight I always was.

			BUNNY
	You look awful good in that
	uniform, though.

			SAM
	Best part of the job.

			BUNNY
	Daddy hired a pinhead to take
	your job.  He says so himself.
	Says "Even my son-in-law was better
	than this pinhead I got now".

			SAM
	Bunny, is that stuff I left in
	the garage still there?

			BUNNY
	Least he never called me that.
	With me, it was always "high-
	strung." "My Bunny might have
	done something with her life, she
	wasn't so high-strung."  Or
	"tightly wound," that was another
	one.  You seeing anyone?

			SAM
	No.  You?

			BUNNY
	Yeah.  Sort of.  Daddy rounds 'em
	up.  You aren't talking about
	money, their beady little eyes go
	dead.

			SAM
	You didn't--uhm--you didn't have
	one of your fires, did you?  The
	stuff I left in the garage-some
	of it was my father's--

			BUNNY
	You watch the draft this year?
	'Course you didn't, idiot question.
	They try to make it dramatic,
	like there's some big surprise
	who picks who in the first round?
	Only they been working it over
	with their experts and their
	computers for months.  Doctor's
	reports, highlight reels, coaches'
	evaluations, psychological profiles-
	hell, I wouldn't be surprised if
	they collected stool samples on
	these boys, have 'em analyzed.
	All this stuff to pick a football
	player for your squad.  Compared
	to that, what you know about the
	person you get married to don't
	amount to diddly, does it?

			SAM
	Suppose not.

			BUNNY
	You kind of bought yourself a pig
	in a poke, didn't You, Sam?  All
	that time we were first seeing
	each other you didn't know I was
	tightly wound--

			SAM
	It wasn't just you, Bunny.

			BUNNY
	No, it wasn't, was it?  You didn't
	exactly throw yourself into it
	heart and soul, did you?

She looks at him for an uncomfortably long moment--

			BUNNY
	Your shit's still in the garage
	if that's what you came for.

Sam nods, stands.  Bunny is in tears--

			BUNNY
	350 pounds.

			SAM
	What?

			BUNNY
	This boy from West Side, plays
	tackle both ways.  Bench-presses
	350 pounds.  You imagine having
	that much weight on top of you?
	Pushing down?  Be hard to breathe.
	Hard to swallow.

			SAM
	I think they have another fella
	there to keep it off your chest.
	A spotter.

			BUNNY
	"I only got my little girl now,"
	he says, "she's my lifeline."
	Then he tells me I can't be in
	the box anymore if I can't control
	myself.  Sonofabitch don't even
	watch the damn game, just sits
	there drinking with his bidness
	friends, look up at the TV now
	and then.  I do better to sit in
	the cheap seats with some real
	football people.

			SAM
		(Edging out)
	You took good, Bunny.  It's nice
	to see you.

			BUNNY
		(Smiles)
	Thanks.  I like it when you say
	that, Sam.

EXT.  STREET -- CIUDAD LEON

Enrique looks nervously over his shoulder before stepping
into a funky apartment building.  We TILT up to the second
floor balcony, where a LITTLE BOY is watching the street--

INT.  APARTMENT

There are eight PEOPLE not including the little boy on the
balcony.  All are securing their possessions -- rolling things
in blankets, filling shopping bags and grain sacks.

Enrique steps in--

			ENRIQUE
	Todos estamos?  [Everybody here?]

Anselma reaches up from the floor to take his hand--

			ANSELMA
	Van a disparar a nosotros?  [Are
	they going to shoot at us?]

			ENRIQUE
	Nadie nos veran.  Seramos
	invisibles.  [Nobody's going to
	see us.  We'll be invisible.]

INT.  GARAGE -- KINCAID HOUSE -- DAY

A mess.  We start on a campaign poster with Sam's face on it
and the legend -- "ONE GOOD DEEDS DESERVES ANOTHER -- VOTE
SAM DEEDS FOR COUNTY SHERIFF".  We PAN to see Sam, who has
been digging through piles of old junk, set down the box he
was looking for--

CLOSER

Sam pulls out an old holster, a sheaf of real estate and
insurance forms, a couple of old paperback Zane Grey westerns.
He pulls out a cracked leather pouch, turns it over -- letters
fall out.  He examines an envelope -- no stamp or postmark --
pulls a letter out, reads--

			SAM
	"Dearest Buddy--"

He puts the letter down for a moment, thinks.  He needs to
know.  He picks the letter up again, reads.

INT.  OTIS'S HOUSE -- EVENING

Carolyn crosses the living room to answer the RING at the
front door.  Del stands there--

			CAROLYN
	Hey, it's the General.

			DEL
	Colonel.  Is uhm--is Otis in?

			CAROLYN
	Come on in--

			DEL
	If it's too late--

			CAROLYN
	Come on in.

Del enters the house as if walking into an AMBUSH--

INT.  OTIS'S LIVING ROOM -- EVENING

Carolyn sits back in the couch, drink in hand, checking Del
out--

			CAROLYN
	Otis sittin' up with some people
	at the club.  I don't think he'll
	be long.

CU DEL

Uncomfortable, sitting at the edge of an easy chair.  He
looks at a mounted magazine photo of Otis smiling as he pours
hot sauce on a rack of ribs--

			CAROLYN
	His hot sauce recipe won a contest
	last year.  They sellin' it far
	away as San Antonio.  He got a
	lot of talent, your father.

Del squirm a bit at the word "father" --

			DEL
	You've been in this house for a
	while?

			CAROLYN
	I been here with him eight years
	now.  He built it when he was
	with Leora.

			DEL
	I never met her.

			CAROLYN
	There was a bunch of 'em You never
	met.  Me neither.

Del looks around the living room--

			CAROLYN
	Let me show you around--

INT.  DEN -- PHOTOGRAPH

A blowup of a photo of a squad of Buffalo Soldiers is mounted
on the wall--

			CAROLYN (O.S.)
	He got into all this cowboys and
	Indians stuff awhile back.  Spend
	half his time pokin' around in
	the library way up to Austin.

CU DEL

He looks at something below --

DEL'S POV -- CLIPPINGS

We PAN slowly over laminated newspaper clippings mounted
behind a picture of young Del in a track uniform, holding a
vaulting pole.  The clippings are about Del making honor
rolls, winning a Silver Star in Vietnam, graduating from
Officer Candidate School, being named head of this and that
in the Army--

			CAROLYN (O.S.)
	Kind of like a shrine, isn't it?

DEL, CAROLYN

Carolyn stands behind, watching Del's face as he looks at
the stuff--

			DEL
	Where'd he get all this?

			CAROLYN
	Your mother got a brother--Alphonse--

			DEL
	Uncle Al--

			CAROLYN
	Otis stood on good terms with the
	man.  Whenever you do something
	makes the news, he sends it on.
	When they made you General, Otis
	just about drove away all our
	customers going on about it.

			DEL
	I'm a colonel.

			CAROLYN
	Yeah, I know--Man made me memorize
	the whole damn Army chain of
	command before he'd marry me.  So
	this is a big deal, commander and
	all?

			DEL
	It's a small post and they're
	phasing it out in two years, but
	I moved up in rank and--well, a
	command is a command.

			CAROLYN
	Otis went on like you were that
	guy who won the Gulf War.  Colin
	whatsit.

			DEL
	My mother said he never asked
	about--

			CAROLYN
	He never asked her.

It's a bit too much for Del--

			DEL
	Listen, I uh--tell him I came by.
	Thanks--

We HOLD on Carolyn as he hurries out.  She salutes--

			CAROLYN
	Catch you later, Colonel.

EXT.  RIVER -- NIGHT

PEOPLE, crouching low, wade across the river toward us.
When he gets close enough to us, we recognize Enrique,
nervously leading a group of Mexican men, women and children
to the U.S.  side.  They are spaced out in the dark, loosely
holding the line Enrique made in one hand and holding their
bundles high away from the water with the other.

Enrique turns as he hears a WOMAN'S CRY.  The line goes slack,
then NESTOR steps out of the darkness to join him--

			ENRIQUE
	Que paso?  [What happened?]

			NESTOR
	Anselma cayo en las rocas.  Creo
	que la pierna ha sido roto--
	[Anselma felt on the rocks.  I
	think her leg's broken--]

Two men struggle forward supporting Anselma, trying to hold
her leg out straight in front of her.  She is in a lot of
pain--

			NESTOR
	No podemos alcanzar el camion
	llevando a ella.  Hay lugar para
	esconderla?  [We can't reach the
	truck if we're carrying her.  Is
	there somewhere to hide her?]

Enrique thinks, trying not to panic, as the others come up
around him--

			ENRIQUE
	Conozco solamente una persona con
	casa-- [I only know one person
	with a house--]

			ANSELMA
		(In pain)
	Esta lejos?  [Is it far?]

EXT.  PATIO -- NIGHT

Mercedes sits on her recliner, drink in hand.  An old RECORD
plays from inside.  She is startled by the voice from the
dark--

			ENRIQUE (O.S.)
	Senora Cruz?

			MERCEDES
		(Standing)
	Quien es?  [Who is it?]

			ENRIQUE
	Soy yo, Enrique!  No tiene miedo--
	[It's me, Enrique.  Don't be
	afraid]

Enrique steps out into the light.  His pants are wet and
he's scared--

			MERCEDES
	What are you doing out there?
	Are you crazy?

			ENRIQUE
	Hay pasado un accidente muy grave--
	[There's been a bad accident--]

			MERCEDES
	In English, Enrique.  We're in
	the United States--

			ENRIQUE
	I have some friends who have had
	a accident--

			MERCEDES
	You have somebody else out there?

			ENRIQUE
	We was by the river?  And I hear
	my friend callin' for help, and I
	look and she has falling in the
	water--

			MERCEDES
	Don't tell me lies, Enrique.  Que
	paso?

			ENRIQUE
	We was crossin' the river--

Nestor appears in the light now, supporting Anselma, who
hops awkwardly to move forward--

			MERCEDES
	Enrique!  Quienes son estos?  How
	could you bring them here?

			ENRIQUE
	They need help.  Jaime, Anselma--
	esta es mi jefa--

			NESTOR
	Senora--

			MERCEDES
	I'll call the Border Patrol,
	they'll get her to the hospital.

			ENRIQUE
	No!  No puede hacer esto-- [You
	can't do that-]

			MERCEDES
	You think you're doing these people
	a favor?  What are they going to
	do?  Either they get on welfare
	or they become criminals--

			ENRIQUE
	No es la verdad-- [That isn't
	true--]

			NESTOR
	Con permiso, Senora, la muchacha
	tiene mucho dolor-- [Please,
	Senora, the girl is in a lot of
	pain--]

Mercedes grudgingly indicates the lounge chair--

			MERCEDES
	Sientase.  [Sit.]

			NESTOR
	Es muy amable.  [You're very kind.]

He and Enrique help Anselma into the chair.  The Girl looks
up at Mercedes, frightened--

			ANSELMA
	Ayudanos, Senora, por favor No
	podemos regresar-- [Help us,
	Senora, please.  We can't go back]

Mercedes looks at ANSELMA disapprovingly.  The girl can't be
more than 14--

			MERCEDES
	This girl is a friend of yours?

			ENRIQUE
	Es mi novia.  [She's my
	girlfriend.]

			MERCEDES
	I thought you were married!

			ENRIQUE
	I am marry to the cousin of a
	friend--but only to be able to
	live here.  This is the mother of
	my child--

			MERCEDES
	This girl has a child?

			ENRIQUE
	We have a daughter.

			MERCEDES
		(Scornful)
	Tipico.

EXT.  HOUSE -- NIGHT

Sam stands at the front door of a house on the lake, banging
on the door--

			SAM
	Hollis?  You in there?  Hollis?

EXT.  RIVER -- NIGHT --

Moonlight kicks off the surface of the water.  We hear
SPLASHING, the frightened VOICE of a young woman--

			YOUNG MERCEDES (O.S.)
	Donde esta?  Estoy perdido-- [Where
	are you?  I'm lost--]

			ELADIO (O.S., DISTANT)
	Aqui!  [Here!]

The girl flounders into the shot, wet and scared.

Young Mercedes, a teenager not unlike ANSELMA is wading thigh-
deep in the Rio, lost, scared--

			YOUNG MERCEDES
	No puedo ver la orilla!  [I can't
	see the bank!]

			ELADIO (O.S.)
	Aqui!  Venga por aqui!  [Over
	here!  Come this way!]

Mercedes struggles toward the voice and suddenly a young man
becomes visible, standing in the water, holding his band out
for her, ELADIO--

			YOUNG MERCEDES
	Vi a Rosaria arastrado para el
	corriente-- [I saw Rosaria taken
	away by the current--]

			ELADIO
	No te molestas.  Tenemos a ella.
	[Don't worry.  We've got her.]

He takes her arm, pulls her toward the far shore--

			ELADIO
	Como se llama?  [What's your name?]

			YOUNG MERCEDES
	Mercedes Gonzales Ruiz.

			ELADIO
		(Smiles)
	Me llama Eladio Cruz--Bienvenido
	a Tejas.  [Welcome to Texas.]

						    DISSOLVE TO:

EXT.  MERCEDES' HOUSE -- MERCEDES

Mercedes is lost in thought as she recalls.  She steps into
the light by the carport.  Enrique and Nestor are propping
Anselma's leg up on pillows in the back of Mercedes' old
station wagon--

			MERCEDES
	Rapidamente!  Everybody in the
	world is going to see!

			ENRIQUE
	Donde vamos?  [Where are we going?]

			MERCEDES
	A casa de Porfirio Zayas.  He
	used to be a doctor on the other
	side.  Gunshot wounds, fixing
	babies-if you can pay he can handle
	it.

			ENRIQUE
	Senora, anything it costs, I can
	work--

			MERCEDES
	Don't worry about it.  He owes me
	some favors.

Enrique turns to ANSELMA still frightened in the rear of The
station wagon--

			ENRIQUE
	Seas tranquila, mija,
		(Nods to Mercedes)
	Estamos en las manos de Senora
	Cruz.  [Just relax, honey.  We're
	in the hands of Senora Cruz.]

Mercedes starts the car--

			MERCEDES
	In English, Enrique.  In English--

INT.  DEL'S HOUSE -- DINING  ROOM

Del steps in.  Chet sits at the table, drawing a cartoon in
panels.  Del looks over his shoulder for a moment--

CARTOON

A tank rolling over barbed wire, cannon and machine gun
blasting away--

			DEL (O.S.)
	Homework?

DEL AND CHET

			CHET
	I finished that.  I'm just messing
	around.

			DEL
	Tanks, huh?

			CHET
	You got to be in the Army, you
	might as well have something slick
	to drive.

			DEL
	So you're going into the Army?

Chet looks at him, not in a good mood, then goes back to his
drawing--

			CHET
	That's the general plan, isn't
	it?

Del watches for a long moment, thinking--

			DEL
		(Softly)
	That's up to you.

Chet looks at his father again.  All this is news to him--

			DEL
	The Army isn't for everybody.

Chet can't quite believe he is hearing this.  Del crosses to
the refrigerator--

			DEL
	Not that I don't think you'd be
	good at it, but--you know--I
	wouldn't be disappointed if you
	decided to do something else with
	your life.

			CHET
	You wouldn't?

			DEL
	No.

Chet nods, begins to play again, considering the
possibilities.  Del is making an effort and he doesn't have
much practice--

			DEL
	How's your room shaping up?

			CHET
	Fine.  I'm pretty much moved in.

			DEL
	Good.

An awkward silence--

			CHET
		(Tentative)
	Are we going to ever see your
	father?

			DEL
	My father.

			CHET
	Yeah.  He lives here, right?

			DEL
	He does.

Del pulls some food out, watching Chet as he draws--

			DEL
	Maybe we'll clean that thing out
	back up, have a barbecue next
	weekend.  We could invite him and
	his wife over.

			CHET
	Cool.

Chet flips the page of his sketchbook--

			CHET
	He makes his own sauce.

EXT.  PARKING LOT, BIG O'S -- NIGHT

The neon's off, but there are a couple cars in the lot and a
light within.  Sam pulls into the lot, steps out, approaches
the door--

INT.  CLUB

The door opens.  The place is empty now except for Otis,
standing behind the bar, deep in conversation with Hollis,
sitting on a stool.  Both swivel to look around guiltily as
they hear Sam step in--

REVERSE

Sam walks in slowly, crossing the floor to bring us back to
the two men--

			SAM
	Fellas.

			HOLLIS
	Hey, Sam.

			SAM
	Open late.

			OTIS
	I'm not open.  We were just
	talking.

			SAM
	Hollis probably told you we found
	Charley Wade.

			OTIS
	Yeah.  How about that?  People
	start digging holes in this county,
	there's no telling what'll come
	up.

He sits a few stools away from Hollis--

			SAM
	You two saw it, didn't you?  You
	two saw it when Buddy killed him.

Hollis and 0tis look at each other--

			SAM
	Imonna find out one way or the
	other.

			HOLLIS
	Your father had the finest sense
	of justice of any man I ever met--

			SAM
	Yeah, and my mother was a saint.
	For fifteen years the whole damn
	town knew he had another woman on
	the side.  Stole ten thousand
	dollars to set her up in business.
	But hell, what's that?  You got a
	problem?  Buddy'll fix it.  Facing
	some time in jail?  Buddy'll knock
	half of it off--if you do what he
	says, when he says.  You got some
	business that's not exactly legal?
	Talk to Buddy--

			HOLLIS
	Buddy Deeds--

			SAM
	Buddy Deeds was a murderer.

He looks at the two older men for a long moment--

			SAM
	That night in the cafe--he didn't
	stay long after you left, did he,
	Hollis?  Maybe he decided he'd
	gone too far with Wade, maybe he
	figured he better not wait for
	the Sheriff to get behind him.
	So he stepped out to see if he
	could catch up--and you were here
	at the club that night, weren't
	you, O?

Otis sighs, begins to speak softly--

			OTIS
	I was here.

CU OTIS

He turns to look toward the door as he reminisces, and we
PAN away with his gaze--

			OTIS (O.S.)
	I'd been running a game on the
	side after hourscraps, draw poker
	on the weekends.  Roderick didn't
	know about it.  More important,
	Charley Wade didn't know about
	it, 'cause I didn't want to cut
	him in.  I suppose I'd been
	drinking some, and I was pretty
	full of myself in those days--but
	hell, I just didn't expect the
	man so early--

Sheriff Wade and Young Hollis step in the door and we are
back in 1957.

BLUES HARMONICA FADES UP, wailing from the jukebox.

They stop and look at the place--

THEIR POV -- CLUB

MUSIC CONTINUES.  The club is empty, dark.  A LIGHT shines
from the back room

INT.  BACK ROOM

MUSIC CONTINUES.  Smoke fills the air and Young Otis sits
back laughing, a large pile of money on the table in front
of him.  The other four BLACK MEN at the table aren't doing
so well.  One by one they all look up past the camera to the
door--

CU OTIS

MUSIC CONTINUES.  Young Otis doesn't see at first, engaged
in dealing the cards.  Finally, he senses the presence, looks
up--

WADE AND HOLLIS -- YOUNG O'S POV

MUSIC CONTINUES.  Wade stands over the table in the f.g.,
Young Hollis hanging back in the doorway.  Wade is smiling
his cold smile, cursing--

CU YOUNG OTIS

MUSIC CONTINUES.  Trying to look unimpressed --

EXTREME CU WADE'S EYES

Cold and unblinking.  MUSIC CONTINUES--

EXTREME CU WADE'S MOUTH

Twisted in a snarl as he curses.  MUSIC CONTINUES--

MEN, TABLE

MUSIC CONTINUES.  We shoot past Wade's body as the other men
step away from the table, grab their hats, and hurry out the
side door.  Young Otis is left sitting at the table.  Wade
starts walking toward him--

CU YOUNG OTIS

MUSIC CONTINUES.  His eyes following as Wade comes to stand
over him--

WADE, YOUNG OTIS

MUSIC CONTINUES.  Wade grabs the table and violently jerks
it over onto Young Otis, cards and money flying--

YOUNG HOLLIS

MUSIC CONTINUES.  Watching squeamishly as Wade goes to work
on young Otis, the overhead light swinging wildly--

INT.  BARROOM

MUSIC CONTINUES.  Young Otis is hurled out of the back room,
face bruised and bleeding.  Wade follows, then Young Hollis--

CLOSER

MUSIC CONTINUES.

CLOSER

Wade puts his gun next to Young Otis's ear, cursing at him.
Young Otis gets to his feet, goes behind the bar--

BAR COUNTER

MUSIC CONTINUES.  Young Otis slaps an envelope full of cash
onto the counter--

WADE

MUSIC CONTINUES.  He waves his pistol, indicating something
behind Otis--

INT.  BAR

MUSIC CONTINUES.  We shoot past Wade at the counter as Otis
turns and reaches for a cigar box on the shelf behind--

CIGAR BOX

MUSIC CONTINUES.  Lying open, an old pistol inside of it.
Young Otis reaches--

CU YOUNG HOLLIS

MUSIC CONTINUES.  Frowning as he senses something wrong--

WADE

MUSIC CONTINUES.  Wade levels his gun at Young Otis's back,
then turns to wink at Hollis like he did before he shot Eladio--

WADE'S HAND

MUSIC CONTINUES.  Finger closing around the trigger of the
.45--

HOLLIS

MUSIC CONTINUES.  Mouth open in horror--

WADE

MUSIC CONTINUES.  Eyes burning as he aims --

BUDDY

MUSIC CONTINUES.  Stepping in the door, seeing, CALLS OUT--

YOUNG OTIS

MUSIC CONTINUES.  Turning to see Buddy--

WADE

BLAM!  THWAP!  A bullet plows through his neck, knocking him
back against the bar.  MUSIC CONTINUES.  His gun falls from
his hand--

YOUNG OTIS

Horrified, splattered with the Sheriff's blood.  MUSIC
CONTINUES--

BAR COUNTER

MUSIC CONTINUES.  Twenty-dollar bills have spilled out of
the envelope and are soaking up blood--

CU BUDDY

Calm and hard-eyed.  MUSIC CONTINUES.  As he steps forward,
we see his pistol is still in its holster.  He reaches out
and takes the .45 from Young Hollis's shaking hand, looks
him in the eye till Hollis looks back, then looks toward
Young Otis--

We PAN with his gaze to a CLOSE-UP of Otis, back in the
PRESENT.  The MUSIC FADES--

			OTIS
	Sheriff Charley had some real big
	friends in politics then, and if
	the truth come out it wasn't going
	to go easy on Hollis.
		(He shrugs)
	I don't know why I trusted Buddy
	with it--don't know why he trusted
	me.  The first time I ever talked
	with him was right there, and
	then with a dead white man leakin'
	blood on the floor between us.
	He could charm the scales off a
	rattler, Buddy Deeds.

WIDER

This isn't what Sam was expecting.  Hollis watches his face--

			HOLLIS
	The three of us cleaned up and
	took him the post and put him
	under.  Can't say I was much help.

			SAM
	And the ten thousand?

			HOLLIS
	Widow's benefits.  He figured it
	would make the disappearance look
	better, and that Mexican gal was
	just scrapin' by after Charley
	killed her man.  They didn't get
	hooked up till late--

			OTIS
	Time went on, people liked the
	story that we told better than
	anything the truth might have
	been.

Sam swivels around on his seat to took at the spot where
Charley fell.  He has a lot of information to deal with--

			HOLLIS
	What's the call, Sam?

Sam rolls it over in his mind before answering--

			SAM
	Don't think the Rangers are likely
	to find out any more than they
	already have.

			HOLLIS
	Word gets out who that body was,
	people are gonna think Buddy done
	it.

Sam gets up--

			SAM
	Buddy's a goddam legend.  He can
	handle it.

He heads for the door--

			SAM
	'Night, fellas.

Hollis and Otis watch him go--

						FADE OUT:

EXT.  DRIVE-IN, WIDE SHOT -- MORNING

We see Sam sitting on the hood of his car parked in the
deserted drive-in lot, staring up at the ruined screen.
Pilar's car rolls in, parks beside him--

CLOSER

Pilar gets out, kisses Sam, sits by him on the hood--

			PILAR
	When's the picture start?

Sam looks at her for a moment--

			SAM
	You gonna tell your mother we
	been seeing each other?

			PILAR
	She'll figure it out sooner or
	later.  I don't have to ask
	permission anymore, if that's
	what you mean.

			SAM
	You have any idea when your father
	died?  Eladio?

			PILAR
		(Shrugs)
	Couple months before I was born--

			SAM
	Try a year and a half.

He bands her an old snapshot.

PILAR looks at it--

CU PHOTO

Buddy and Young Mercedes on the lake.  Buddy with his shirt
off on one end of a sailboat, Mercedes in a bathing suit,
both smiling for the camera--

SAM AND PILAR

Pilar hands the photo back to him, tries to be calm--

			PILAR
	I've never seen my mother in a
	bathing suit before.  Didn't know
	she owned one.

			SAM
	Buddy bought the cafe for her
	with money he took from the county.

Pilar looks away, struggling not to cry--

			PILAR
	They can't pull this on me.  It
	isn't fair--I don't believe this--

			SAM
	He paid the hospital bill when
	you were born.  Your mom always
	calls you "our beautiful daughter"
	in the letters she wrote to him.

			PILAR
	From the first time I saw you at
	school--all those years we were
	married to other people I always
	felt like we were connected.

			SAM
	I remember thinking you were the
	one part of my life Buddy didn't
	have a piece of--

A silence, both of them wondering what the next move should
be--

			PILAR
	So that's it?  You're not going
	to want to be with me anymore?

Sam knows what he feels but doesn't have the words--

			PILAR
	I'm not having any more children.
	After Amado, I had some
	complications--I can't get pregnant
	again, if that's what the rule is
	about--

			SAM
	If I met you for the first time
	today, I'd still want to be with
	you.

It is what Pilar needed to hear--

			PILAR
	We start from scratch--

			SAM
	Yeah--

			PILAR
	Everything that went before, all
	that stuff, that history-the hell
	with it, right?

PILAR takes Sam's hand, kisses him--

			PILAR
	Forget the Alamo.

WIDE SHOT, DRIVE-IN

Sam and Pilar sit by each other holding hands, looking at
the empty screen--

MUSIC, ROLL CREDITS

			    THE END

 
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