Another extract from a script that I lost for 24 years. To get the backstory on this publishing phenomenon please start reading here.


The detectives Jean Pool and Max Cope, with their client Anna Domino (rhymes with casino), arrive in Australia in the middle of the night. The have flown there in order to locate Mister Cook, whose name has been found at the top of a chain letter circulated to, amongst others, Anna. Anna has engaged the services of Max and Jean in order to locate Peter, with whom she is in love. Peter has disappeared but is mentioned in the chain letter and Anna is convinced he may be its instigator. Mister Cook may know his whereabouts.


Jean, Max and Anna have been given a car because they needed a car. It was given to them by an Australian man called Tom. They find a pleasant, empty house well stocked with food. They stay in the house. Despite the great heat, one night it snows and


WE SEE THROUGH THE KITCHEN WINDOW INTO THE NIGHT, WHERE LARGE SNOW FLAKES SWIRL IN THE PURPLE DARKNESS.
ANNA I love snow. It’s like a great white carpet.
MAX I’d never thought of that.
JEAN Go and get some, Max.
MAX What for?
JEAN It’ll look nice on the table.
MAX Okay.
MAX GETS UP AND LEAVES THE KITCHEN.
ANNA Have you had any experiences with snow, Jean?
JEAN I spent many of my earliest years in temperate zones and as a consequence was no stranger to the flurries. We couldn’t leave the house for days sometimes. I used to stand in the garden and wish I wasn’t an only child.
ANNA I didn’t know.
JEAN My parents were quite superstitious. My father told my mother that there was a fifty percent chance of having a boy if they tried again.
ANNA That’s accurate, I think.
JEAN Yes. He said that if she had a boy it would only turn round and kill him and then go off in a blind rage, so what’s the point?
ANNA He sounds a complex man.
JEAN I wanted a brother, Anna.
ENTER MAX, CARRYING A SNOWBALL.
MAX I made up a ball. They carry better.
JEAN Put it on the table, Max.
MAX Do you want it on a dish?
JEAN Just on the mat will be fine.
MAX PUTS THE SNOWBALL ON A TABLE MAT, IN THE CENTRE OF THE TABLE.
JEAN GAZES AT IT WISTFULLY.
MAX We should stick something in it.
JEAN It looks lovely, Max.
ANNA Jean told me about her garden.
MAX About her brother, you mean?
JEAN Yes.
MAX We’re both only children, Anna.
ANNA I didn’t know.
MAX My first bicycle was a tandem. I imagined that my sister was behind me.
ANNA Why behind?
MAX You can only steer from the front. I would have fallen off.
ANNA Is that why your legs are so strong?
MAX Yes. We used to go on cycling holidays together.
DISSOLVE TO LATER IN THE MEAL.
THE MAIN COURSES HAVE ALL BEEN EATEN, AS WELL AS THE VEG.
THE DINERS ARE SITTING BACK IN THEIR CHAIRS, WIPING THEIR MOUTHS WITH SERVIETTES, SIPPING WINE ETC.
THE SNOW BALL IS INTACT.
A KNOCK AT THE DOOR.
ANNA MOVES TO THE DOOR AND OPENS IT.
TWO SNOW COVERED FIGURES ARE STANDING IN THE DOORWAY.
THROUGHOUT THE ENSUING ACTION THE SNOW DOES NOT MELT.
ONE OF THE FIGURES, A WOMAN, IS WEARING SMART SUMMER CLOTHES OF THE 1910 PERIOD, WHILE THE MAN HAS AN ELEGANT, EXPENSIVE AND SIMILARLY SUMMERY ENSEMBLE IN A CONTEMPORARY MODE. BOTH HAVE SUN TANS AND DARK HAIR AND ARE CARRYING CASES OF SOME SORT.
ANNA Can I help you?
SILVIA Is Max Cope in ?
ANNA Yes. He’s right here. Who is it?
SILVIA I’m Silvia Cope. His sister.
ANNA How nice!
SILVIA INTRODUCES THE MAN BESIDE HER.
SILVIA This is Victor Pool.
ANNA You must be Jean’s brother.
VICTOR That’s right. How did you know?
ANNA Something about the eyes, I think.
VICTOR Is she here?
ANNA She most certainly is. Jean! Max!
JEAN & MAX What?
ANNA What a surprise! Some people to see you!
JEAN AND MAX RISE FROM THE TABLE.
ANNA USHERS THE VISITORS IN.
Do come in!
THE SIBLINGS CONFRONT EACH OTHER.
SILVIA Hello Max.
MAX Good heavens.
VICTOR Hello Jean.
JEAN I don’t believe it.
SILVIA How are you?
MAX It’s extraordinary.
VICTOR You look great.
JEAN I don’t believe it.
THE SIBLING PAIRS EMBRACE.
MAX Silvia!
JEAN Victor!


A few pages later…

MAX’S ROOM.
LATER THAT NIGHT.
MAX AND SILVIA ARE LYING ON THE BED TOGETHER. THEY HAVE THEIR ARMS AROUND EACH OTHER AND ARE GIGGLING AND WHISPERING TO EACH OTHER.
THERE IS NO HINT OF DARKER PASSIONS HERE, ONLY THE FONDNESS OF FAMILIAL FAMILIARITY.

Followed by


JEAN’S ROOM.
LATER THAT NIGHT.
JEAN AND VICTOR ARE ASLEEP UNDER A BLANKET ON THE BED. THEY ARE CLOTHED. THEY LOOK SERENE, CONTENT AND RELAXED WITH EACH OTHER.

03.03.2008

Lots: Extract I
Undomain