BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

 

"A CHILDREN'S STORY"
 


 

written by
B.F. BENNET

(pseudo of Ron Koslow)


 

TRANSCRIPTION AS AIRED
first airing December 14th, 1987

 

~~~

Characters - in order of appearance

 

Kipper

    Peter, a boy from Ridley

    man #1 pursuing Peter

    man #2 pursuing Peter

Vincent

Father

Catherine

Joe Maxwell

    Receptionist at Ridley

    Richard Barnes

    Teacher at Ridley

    Custodian at Ridley

    Little girl at Ridley

Eric Peterson

Ellie Peterson

    Margaret, Catherine's friend

    Male Catherine's friend

    Greg, Catherine's date

    Noj

    Deb

    Matron at Bridgemont Youth House

Edie

    Clerk at Child Social Services

    Boy #1 at Bridgemont

    Boy #2 at Bridgemont

    Nick at Bridgemont

    Nicholas, tunnel boy

    Freddie, Noj's sergeant

    Police officer

 

~~

 

"A CHILDREN'S STORY"
 

 

Opens with Kipper jogging down a street with a skateboard tucked under his arm. Suddenly a boy of about the same age is running towards him. Worriedly the boy looks over his shoulder as he runs, two men are chasing him; he ducks between two park cars. Kipper calls out to him.


KIPPER

They’ll find you. Come on…!


PETER

Get away!
 

The Boy scrambles out from under the car. He and Kipper rush into another alley. Kipper finds a small metal door opening down to a coal chute. They crawl down the chute.
 

MAN #1

He’s here, somewhere…
 

Kipper and the Boy hide in the coal bin of the abandoned building
 

KIPPER

Who are those guys chasing you?
 

PETER

They’re from Ridley


KIPPER

Ridley?


PETER

The foster home, Ridley Hall. They whack you and pretend they’re helping you.

It’s a slime pit. They catch me, I’m dead meat…


KIPPER

What do you mean?


PETER

Kids even disappear…


KIPPER

Disappear?


PETER

That’s what they’re trying to do to me.

(listening for sounds of the men)

Think they’re gone?


KIPPER

I don’t know…
 

The boy starts to climb out of the coal bin...
 

KIPPER

Hey! Where’re you going?
 

PETER

(exiting)

Far away from Ridley
 

The two men that were following him were waiting, and they grab him as he comes out
 

PETER

Hey! let me go!
 

MAN

Shut up!
 

They drag him off kicking and yelling as Kipper watches, deeply distressed...

 

CUT TO FATHER’S STUDY:

Father and Vincent are standing at the desk looking over blueprints that are spread out over its surface
 

VINCENT

You see, at this point the wall appears solid,

when pressure is applied here

(points)

it swings inward
 

FATHER

Good, good.

(he removes his glasses swinging them in his hand)

We can’t be too cautious. Now how soon can we get this in place?
 

VINCENT

The stones are being cut.
 

Kipper comes slowly down the spiral stairs.
 

FATHER

Ah, Kipper! you’re late for your lesson.
 

Father returns his glasses to his nose peering more intently at the plans
 

KIPPER

I know… I’m sorry…
 

VINCENT

(to Kipper)

What’s Father teaching you now?
 

KIPPER

Chess…
 

VINCENT

(to Father, chiding)

Training another student to beat you?
 

FATHER

Still caught up in the plans

Hm… no, no… to beat you.
 

Vincent and Father chuckle. Kipper stands there with a troubled expression.
 

FATHER

Kipper takes the game quite seriously.
 

He pats Kipper on the head letting his hand rest on the boys shoulder.

Vincent notices Kipper’s solemn demeanor and moves around Father to sit in the chair in front of the boy.
 

VINCENT

Kipper, what’s troubling you?
 

KIPPER

Something that happened.
 

VINCENT

(gently)

Tell me
 

KIPPER

This kid was being chased, and I helped him hide…
 

VINCENT

Who was chasing him?
 

KIPPER

Some men from this place called Ridley.
 

VINCENT

Ridley?
 

KIPPER

It’s a foster home.

He said bad things happen there,

kids got whacked, kids even disappeared.

I wanted to bring him down here. I wish I could have…
 

VINCENT

What happened to this boy?
 

KIPPER

The men grabbed him. They dragged him away…
 

FATHER

Kipper, do you think this boy was telling the truth?
 

Kipper nods his head yes
 

CUT TO CATHERINE’S APARTMENT:

Cathy comes home from a late night at work, her arms full of legal briefs and investigation reports. She enters her bedroom, dumps the workload. She steps out on the terrace from a breath of night air. On her small outdoor table she finds a red rose and a message which reads: "Eleven o’ clock beyond the bridge. Until then...". She hurries out…
 

CENTRAL PARK – NIGHT

Cathy walks alone through Central Park. She reaches a deserted area of the park —— moves down a gulley end enters a large drainage duct, disappearing into darkness...
 

CUT TO AN ADJACENT TUNNEL - DIMLY LIT

Cathy is waiting... Vincent appears... When she sees him striding towards her she goes to the gate.
 

CATHERINE

(through the bars)

Vincent…
 

VINCENT

Are you well?
 

CATHERINE

Yes. I’ve missed you so much... Are you well?

I hadn’t heard from you…

Something’s wrong? what is it?
 

VINCENT

When I see you Catherine,

I’m filled with a happiness

sweeter than anything I’ve ever known…

and at the same time I am reminded

of a life that can never be… and I feel great pain.
 

CATHERINE

I know so do I. Vincent… what will we do?
 

VINCENT

The only thing we can do:

we’ll endure the pain and savor every moment of the joy.
 

He opens the gate and steps out to her
 

VINCENT

We don’t have much time Catherine;

I need to tell you something very important.

The children Below speak of a place called Ridley.
 

CATHERINE

Ridley Hall… the foster home?
 

VINCENT

Yes.
 

CATHERINE

It’s supposed to be a very good one.
 

VINCENT

No, Catherine! children are being hurt there.
 

CATHERINE

Are you sure?
 

VINCENT

I believe they are...

These children have no one to protect them.

We can’t let them hurt the helpless ones…

they must be made to feel safe.

How can this be, how can this happen?
 

CATHERINE

If children are being abused in this place

I can stop it! I’ll look into it right away
.

VINCENT

Be careful, Catherine…
 

They exchange a parting look... he leaves shutting the gate behind him…
 

CUT TO THE DA OFFICES

Cathy is in the midst of a heated discussion with JOE, walking down a hallway to Joe’s office.
 

JOE

An anonymous tip?!
 

CATHERINE

Someone reliable with access to information…
 

JOE

Ridley is supposed to be a model place,

one of the good ones.
 

CATHERINE

Supposed to be.
 

JOE

Look, I can’t have you snooping

around some foster home right now.

I’m already juggling seven cases,

all going to trial, and I’m gonna need you

on the Talsky case…
 

CATHERINE

The Kowalski case! It’s all routine,

you don’t need me on that anymore!

It’s all paperwork from here.
 

JOE

Cathy, we go to trial next week!

there’s going to be press coverage,

I’m gonna need you there to keep an eye on the witnesses…
 

CATHERINE

It’s all routine! I could do it in my sleep!
 

JOE

Yeah, in your sleep… your bed that big?
 

CATHERINE

Knock it off….

(dogged)

Joe, this is important.

I wouldn’t be asking if it wasn’t.

I’ve got good reason to believe

there are serious problems at Ridley Hall.

We’re talking about kids!

Joe, do you hear me? it can’t wait.
 

JOE

(teasing)

Radcliffe, do I hear your biological alarm ringing?
 

CATHERINE

(stubbornly)

I need to check it out…
 

JOE

All right, okay fine, go check it out…

but make it fast, okay? You know

you’re not working with your father’s

cushy law firm anymore.

We got plenty of work to do right here…
 

CATHERINE

(pleased)

Okay… Thank you.
 

JOE

Okay...

Hey… a buddy of mine in undercover

said he saw you walking in the park last night…

Have you lost your mind?
 

CATHERINE

Just out… for some fresh air…
 

CUT TO RIDLEY HALL

Catherine is at the reception desk
 

RECEPTIONIST

Can I help you?
 

CATHERINE

(banding her a card)

Yes, I’m Catherine Chandler,

with the District Attorney’s office.
 

RECEPTIONIST

What can we do for you?
 

CATHERINE

I would like to have a look around.
 

RECEPTIONIST

Do you have an appointment?
 

CATHERINE

No I don’t.
 

RECEPTIONIST

Let me see if Mr. Barnes is able to see you.
 

Barnes comes out of the back office
 

BARNES

That’s all right, if you’d like a tour of the facilities,

I’d be glad to show you around.

(extending his band)

I’m Richard Barnes, the administrator.

 

CATHERINE

(shaking his hand)

Catherine Chandler.
 

BARNES

Why don’t we start upstairs?

So you’re with the District Attorney’s office?
 

CATHERINE

That’s right.
 

They go up-stairs
 

BARNES

And what brings you here Miss Chandler?
 

CATHERINE

Well, we’re making a survey

of the cities foster care systems.
 

BARNES

Well.. we truly try to do the best we can for the children.
 

CATHERINE

You have a good reputation.
 

BARNES

As I said we try.
 

He leads her into a dormitory room. A few kids are playing quietly.

 

BARNES

This is a typical dorm room everything,

clean, in order; we stress that.
 

CATHERINE

I can see.
 

There’s a boy with thick glasses sitting cross-legged on the bed staring at her. Cathy notices him.
 

CATHERINE

Well… hm, I’d like to see a classroom.
 

BARNES

Certainly, right this way.
 

They enter a classroom with a class in progress.
 

TEACHER

Good morning Mr. Barnes.
 

The classroom is filled with children all sitting very quietly doing their work.
 

BARNES

I guess you could say we run a tight ship.
 

CATHERINE

It looks that way. They’re remarkably

well behaved. How do you do it?
 

BARNES

Structure, we give them structure.

Shall we go elsewhere?
 

They leave the classroom.
 

BARNES

I think kids need a sense of structure,

you know, especially these kids.
 

As they walk down a hallway the boy with the glasses is taking a drink from the water fountain, he steps in front of Catherine. He looks as if he wants to speak to her.
 

CATHERINE

Hello… ?
 

An older girl comes by and grabs the boy by the hand; she drags him away and up a flight of stairs.
 

BARNES

Let me show you the play area.
 

CATHERINE

You know, I’d like to talk

to a few of the children.
 

BARNES

All right. I’ll get some of them together.
 

CATHERINE

No, I could just walk around for

a few minutes. You don’t mind?
 

BARNES

Of course not. You know, Miss Chandler,

we may not be perfect, but compared

to the squalor and depravity that some of

these kids come from, Ridley is a positive force.
 

CATHERINE

Thank you for the tour Mr. Barnes
 

BARNES

No problem…
 

A custodian comes by as Catherine leaves.
 

BARNES

Keep an eye on her, will you?
 

Catherine goes down the hall and opens the door of the dorm room where she first met the boy with glasses; it’s empty. The next room is a playroom with children engaged in various activities. She squats down next to a young girl sitting in a chair clutching a doll.
 

CATHERINE

Hi. What’s your dollies name?
 

LITTLE GIRL

Suzie…
 

CATHERINE

Where does Suzie live?
 

The girl shrugs her shoulders.
 

CATHERINE

Does Suzie live here with you?
 

LITTLE GIRL

No, she lives with her mommy

and daddy and little sister, but she

comes here to play with me sometimes.
 

CATHERINE

Does she have fun when she comes here?
 

LITTLE GIRL

(looking at Cathy intensely)

You know I’m not ‘sposed to talk to strangers…
 

CUT TO STAIR CASE AT RIDLEY:

Catherine is walking down the stairs where she again encounters the boy with the glasses. He stares at her.
 

CATHERINE

(urgently)

What...? Did you want to tell me something?
 

ERIC

They took Peter!

He didn’t run away, they took him.
 

CATHERINE

Who, what do you mean?
 

ERIC

They made him disappear!
 

CATHERINE

OK, let’s start over: what’s your name?
 

ERIC

Eric.
 

Suddenly the same older Girl that interrupted them before grabs him by the hand again and begins to go up the steps.
 

ELLIE

Are you crazy? Come on!

 

CATHERINE

Wait!
 

ERIC

She’s my sister!
 

CATHERINE

What’s your last name?
 

ELLIE

Shut up Eric!
 

She tugs him up the stairs. Cathy watches them go in deep frustration.
 

CUT TO DA OFFICE:

Catherine is at her desk on the phone.
 

CATHERINE

No, I don’t have his last name…

his first name is Eric…

No, I can’t go out there, I’ve been out there.

That’s the point, I want to talk

to him away from Ridley Hall…

When can I get the transfer order?...

Tomorrow!?... Can I talk to your supervisor?
 

Joe comes up, listens… she gives him an exasperated look.
 

CATHERINE

And when will she be back?...

All right, tomorrow morning first thing, I’ll be there.
 

She hangs up, turns to Joe.
 

JOE

Bureaucracy in action.
 

CATHERINE

The rules designed to protect the child

from being moved are the same rules that

prevent the child from being moved to safety.
 

JOE

Sounds perfectly logical.
 

CATHERINE

Unless you’re the kid stuck in a home and being abused,

he’s gotta wait. It makes me furious.
 

JOE
What are you going to do? The wheels won’t turn any faster.
 

CATHERINE

(gathering her things)

Well I’m out of here.
 

JOE

Hey, you’ve only put in 12 hours today…!
 

CATHERINE

(She laughs)

Good night.
 

JOE

Listen, if there’s anything I can do.
 

CATHERINE

(turning)

No… just stay as cynical as you are.
 

She leaves saying Good Night over her shoulder
 

JOE

Where’re you going?
 

CATHERINE

Got a date.
 

She leaves
 

JOE

Well, that’s ok… I was busy anyway.
 

CUT TO NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY - EVENING

A black tie cocktail fundraiser. An opera singer has just finished singing. Catherine is standing on the mezzanine with her "date", Greg, and a group of old acquaintances, people from her "previous life". She has a faraway look.
 

WOMAN FRIEND

Cathy..?
 

Cathy turns, looks at the woman blankly...
 

WOMAN FRIEND

I asked how the job was going?

It’s been a long time we’ve missed you.
 

Catherine shakes herself out of her reverie.
 

CATHERINE

I’m sorry Margaret, it’s going fine.
 

MAN FRIEND

(teasing)

As she prowls the mean streets,

fighting evil and corruption

where ever it raises its ugly head.
 

CATHERINE

Something like that…
 

Greg puts an arm around her shoulder.
 

GREG

(earnestly)

I think what she’s doing is terrific,

something she feels passionate about.
 

CATHERINE

I knew I could count on Greg to defend my honor…
 

MARGARET

Well, here’s passion, wherever you find it.
 

MAN FRIEND

Do me a favor: when you find it let me know…
 

They raise their glasses and drink to the toast.

Sometime later the two women are alone.
 

MARGARET

So what’s going on with you and Greg?
 

CATHERINE

(flat)

Nothing.
 

MARGARET

Nothing? Really? He seems like a really nice person.
 

CATHERINE

He is a really nice person…
 

MARGARET

So…?
 

CATHERINE

So… that’s about it.
 

MARGARET

No chemistry, huh?
 

CATHERINE

No chemistry.
 

MARGARET

There’s nothing you can do about that one, too bad.

I mean, where are all the really great guys?

Before I got divorced they were everywhere.

What happened? They all go underground?
 

Catherine smiles.
 

CUT TO CATHERINE’S BALCONY:

Catherine steps onto the balcony, and stands, looking out over the city.
 

CUT TO THE BRIDGE OF THE WHISPERING GALLERY:

Vincent is sitting on the bridge, lost in thought.
 

CUT TO RIDLEY HALL:

Catherine is again at the reception desk.
 

CATHERINE

Is Mr. Barnes in please?
 

RECEPTIONIST

Just a minute I’ll check for you.
 

CATHERINE

Good morning.
 

BARNES

Good morning.
 

She hands him a paper.

CATHERINE

It’s a transfer order from the

department of child social services.
 

BARNES

(reading, guarded)

Yes, I see, one little boy named Eric,

no last name. What’s this about?
 

CATHERINE

I’m not free to discuss that.
 

BARNES

Well we have a few Eric’s here.
 

CATHERINE

This one has a sister here.
 

BARNES

Ah, then we have a problem.
 

CATHERINE

What problem?
 

BARNES

Eric and his sister ran away last night.

 

CATHERINE

Where are they?
 

BARNES

I’ve got people out looking for them right now.
 

CATHERINE

Have you notified the police?
 

BARNES

I notified child social services.
 

CATHERINE

May I use your phone?
 

BARNES

Certainly.
 

Catherine picks up the phone.
 

CATHERINE

Child social services please… (pause)

Yes this is Catherine Chandler with the DA’s office,

have two children from Ridley Hall, a brother and a sister,

been reported missing in the last 24 hours… Thank you.
 

She hangs up the phone.
 

CATHERINE

I’ll be back.
 

She exits...
 

CUT TO A LOCKED ROOM AT RIDLEY:

Eric sitting on a bed, the door opens and Barnes enters.
 

BARNES

You’re being transferred.
 

ERIC

To where?
 

BARNES

To a home that suits you better. You don’t

like it here,so I’m taking you some place else.
 

ERIC

What about my sister?
 

BARNES

She’s being transferred too.
 

He grabs Eric roughly.
 

BARNES

Let’s go.
 

As he drags Eric out of the room they see Ellie also being dragged by two men, a custodian and Noj.
 

BARNES

(yelling to them)

I told you to wait!
 

ERIC

(calling out)

Ellie…!
 

ELLIE

(calling back)

They’re splitting us up!
 

Barnes picks up Eric, putting him under his arm as he runs out the door. Ellie struggles with the two men holding her. Both children are screaming.
 

ELLIE

Where are you taking my brother?
 

She tries to break free from the two guys but they shove the girl up the stairs and hustle her off...

 

NOJ

Hey, hey, cool down. Nobody’s gonna

hurt you, nobody’s gonna hurt your brother

ok? As long as you behave yourself…
 

She struggles in his grip.
 

NOJ

But listen now; I don’t want no scenes

on the way over. You make it hard for me,

I’m gonna give you your brothers head on a stick.
 

CUT TO DA’S OFFICE, JOE’S OFFICE:
 

CATHERINE

Joe I want a search warrant.
 

JOE

(laughs)

Forget it. What have you got?

Where’s your probable cause?

Did you see any bruises? Have you got

any cooberating witnesses?
 

CATHERINE

I’ve got the word of a kid.
 

JOE

Who ran away, you don’t even have

the kid. Cathy, you’ve got nothing.
 

CATHERINE

I’m not giving this up. I’ll go back

on Talsky, but I’m not giving this up!
 

JOE

Look, here’s a list of witnesses to be

notified and prepped for tomorrow… please.
 

CUT TO BASEMENT HANG OUT OF NOJ’S STREET GANG:

In a common area a group of tough-looking kids ranging from 7 to 17 are lounging on torn furniture and watching T.V. Noj is coming down the stairs with Ellie, his hand firmly on her shoulder.
 

NOJ

This is Ellie; she’s staying with us.
 

Deb, a 15 year old girl comes forward.
 

NOJ

Hey Deb, help her get settled,

take care of her, make Ellie feel at home.
 

DEB

(to Ellie)

Come on, I’ll show you where we sleep.
 

NOJ

Go with her.
 

He pushes her toward Deb...
 

CUT TO BRIDGEMONT YOUTH HOUSE:

Barnes is there with Eric talking to the matron.
 

BARNES

He’s a problem.
 

MATRON

Well he’ll have to do some thinking about that…

He’ll have to decide how he’s going to act here.
 

ERIC

Leave me alone.
 

Eric gets locked in a detention room.
 

CUT TO NOJ’S BASEMENT LAIR:
 

DEB

You from Ridley?
 

ELLIE

Yeah
 

DEB

There are others here from Ridley.

You can sleep on that one.
 

She indicates a cot by the wall.
 

ELLIE

What is this place?
 

DEB

It’s not so bad if you can learn quick

 and don’t make too many mistakes.

It’s better than living on the street.

Sometimes we have fun.
 

NOJ

That’s right, we’re sort of a family here.

Families hang together look out for each other.

Nobody’s gonna hassle you, we won’t let them,

but you gotta look out for us and don’t even

think about making trouble here

cause you don’t ever want to see

me get mad. Ask Deb about that.
 

He pulls Deb up off the bed by her hair.
 

CUT TO THE DETENTION ROOM AT BRIDGEMONT:

Eric sitting in the small locked room.

 

CUT TO DA’S OFFICE:

Edie is banging away on the keyboard of a computer
 

CATHERINE

What else have you got on Richard Barnes.
 

EDIE

Nothing the guy is Mr. Clean Cath.
 

CATHERINE

There’s gotta be something else.

Can you get me a list of kids at Ridley?
 

EDIE

I’ll try.
 

We see on the computer screen "Sealed Documents Entry Denied"
 

EDIE

All those child social service files are sealed.

That’s the way those people operate.
 

CATHERINE

Edie I’ve got to find that boy. Those kids didn’t run away.

I don’t know what happened, but I feel

responsible. There’s got to be another way.
 

EDIE

Breaking into sealed files?

That’s just about impossible.
 

CATHERINE

Impossible is what you do best.
 

EDIE

Yeah I should be making more money.
 

CUT TO OUTSIDE ON SIDEWALK:

Catherine is walking down the street noticing children looking through garbage, begging, selling newspapers.
 

CUT TO CATHERINE’S APPARTMENT:

Catherine is sitting in front of her dressing table mirror, she gets up and goes to the balcony. Vincent steps out of the shadows, she turns to him.
 

VINCENT

Catherine, I felt your sadness.
 

CATHERINE

Vincent
 

VINCENT

Don’t lose heart Catherine.
 

CATHERINE

The children I was trying to help, they’re gone

and I don’t know what happened to them.

I’m afraid I did more harm than good. I feel like I failed them.
 

VINCENT

You haven’t failed, you haven’t

given up and you won’t, will you?
 

CATHERINE

I know there are terrible things going on at Ridley.

If I could just find that boy I could begin to unravel it.
 

VINCENT

The ones who prey on children steal

everyone’s hope. Don’t give up Catherine.
 

CATHERINE

I won’t.
 

Vincent leaves.
 

CUT TO HALLWAY AT CHILD SOCIAL SERVICES:

Catherine and Edie walking down a hallway.
 

EDIE

There’s one thing you can count

on working for the city, 12:00 comes

and everybody runs to stuff their face.
 

CATHERINE

Looks pretty empty, let’s do it.
 

EDIE

If this gets me fired I’m moving in with you.
 

CATHERINE

Deal
 

EDIE

Indefinitely
 

They push open the door to the records room.
 

EDIE

I must be crazy, tell me I’m crazy,

I only think I’m doing this.
 

CATHERINE

You’re not crazy.
 

EDIE

What we’re doing has gotta be a felony right?

What’s that six months in the slammer minimum?
 

CATHERINE

A year.
 

EDIE

Wonderful
 

Catherine looks through the files on the shelves.
 

CATHERINE

Here it is.
 

They hear someone in the front office.
 

CATHERINE

I thought you said…
 

EDIE

Keep looking I’ll handle it.
 

She runs out of the room into the hallway and back into the front office.

There’s a clerk just coming back in settling himself down at his desk.
 

EDIE

There you are you handsome devil.

 I’ve been looking all over for you.

I’ve gotta have these names verified by

two this afternoon. Can you help me out?
 

CLERK

After lunch
 

He unwraps his sandwich.
 

EDIE

What you’ve got on that sandwich?

Those sardines?
 

CLERK

Anchovies
 

EDIE

Anchovies! You know what they

say about anchovies don’t you?
 

CLERK

No what?
 

EDIE

I’d join you for lunch, but I can’t find my diet wafer.
 

She begins to unload her purse onto his desk.
 

EDIE

I know I had one in my purse.
 

She takes out a pair of slippers.

Meanwhile Catherine finds the file with Eric and Ellie’s last name…Peterson.
 

EDIE

I’ve got to ask you a personal question.

What kind of cologne are you wearing?
 

CLERK

Cologne? No, I’m not wearing any cologne.
 

EDIE

Oh come on, nobody smells like that naturally.
 

Catherine sneaks out of the records room signally to Edie.
 

EDIE

Oh you know what…

I’m gonna be back in five minutes.
 

She puts all her stuff back into her purse.
 

EDIE

I just remembered something I forgot to do,

if I don’t do it I’m gonna get in trouble. I’ll be right back.
 

CUT TO OUTSIDE ON SIDEWALK:

Noj is showing Ellie how his kids are robbing an elderly couple.
 

NOJ

All right look, those two over there.

Here it comes… keep your eyes open…

it’s gonna happen fast. All right, here comes Bobby.

Bobby holds up the sign right in his face

and then everybody goes to work.

Ok… it’s all over, then Deb takes the drop.

Everybody does their job, everybody works together.
 

Deb crosses the street and walks over to Noj and Ellie. He takes the girls by the shoulders walking towards an alley
 

NOJ

Come on
 

He ducks into a stairwell.
 

NOJ

Come on
 

He motions with his hand, Deb hands over a wallet, he takes it from her then grabs her wrist.
 

NOJ

You sure you didn’t forget nothing?
 

DEB

I was coming to it, it was in the other pocket.
 

NOJ

Just making sure.
 

He takes the watch from her then roughly pinches her chin.
 

NOJ

I see everything, nothing gets around me.

I got eyes in the back of my head, remember that.
 

CUT TO PAY TELEPHONE ON STREET:

Edie on a street telephone, Catherine standing at her shoulder looking at the file.
 

CATHERINE

BYH it’s some sort of abbreviation or code.
 

EDIE

Hi I’m sorry to bother you again, it’s Edie.

Look, listen, I know we didn’t have any luck

but I just remembered I’ve got some court records

on those names with letters or initials. BYH…

does that help you at all? Bridgemont Youth House,

what’s that? A foster facility. Well ok thanks again handsome.
 

She hangs up the phone.
 

EDIE

Who’s magic?
 

CATHERINE

Do you have to ask?
 

She gives Edie a hug.
 

CUT TO RIDLEY:

Barnes and Noj are standing outside transacting business.
 

BARNES

How’s she doing?
 

NOJ

She’s a tough one, doesn’t talk

much, but she’s smart…I think.
 

BARNES

I thought it might work out knowing how bright she is.
 

Noj hands him an envelope he takes it and begins to open it.
 

BARNES

How much is here?
 

NOJ

Fifteen hundred
 

BARNES

I told you I wanted twenty five hundred for the next one
 

NOJ

Twenty five?
 

BARNES

And this is the last one.
 

NOJ

Last one? What are you talking about?
 

BARNES

It’s getting too risky; there are

too many people on my back.
 

NOJ

How about for the next one

I give you three thousand?
 

BARNES

No, no, no I want twenty five hundred

for this one and then it’s over and out.
 

NOJ

All right, all right I’ll find another source.
 

He gets in his car and drives away.

Vincent has watched the whole transaction from a safe vantage point.
 

CUT TO BRIDGEMONT YOUTH HOUSE:

Catherine enters Bridgemont Youth House, there are two boys watching TV in the common room.
 

CATHERINE

I’m looking for a boy named

Eric Peterson? He had glasses?
 

KID 1

Eric? Hey what’s the new kids name?
 

KID 2

I don’t know.
 

KID 1

Upstairs in detention.
 

KID 2

Locked up.
 

Catherine goes up the stairs to the door marked detention. She knocks on it and calls out softly.
 

CATHERINE

Eric?
 

Eric gets up off the floor where he’s been sleeping on and goes to the door.
 

CATHERINE

Eric?
 

ERIC

Yeah
 

A woman comes down the hallway and sees Catherine.
 

MATRON

What is this?
 

She grabs Catherine’s arm.
 

MATRON

What are you doing?
 

CATHERINE

I want to talk to this boy.
 

MATRON

Who are you?
 

CATHERINE

I think you had better unlock this door now!
 

MATRON

I think you better leave.
 

They grapple and Catherine twists the woman’s arm behind her back.
 

CATHERINE

Get me the key.
 

ERIC

Let me out, let me out, let me out.
 

He bangs on the door.
 

MATRON

(She calls for help.)

Nick!
 

Catherine unlocks the door.

ERIC

You!
 

CATHERINE

Yes Eric, go downstairs,

get in the car in front…GO!
 

Eric goes down the stairs as Catherine shoves the matron into the room and locks her in. Nick tries to grab her, but she pushes him down the stairs. She follows his tumbling body and rushes out the door into her car.
 

CUT TO FATHERS CHAMBER:

Vincent is reading a book when a boy rushes in.
 

BOY

Vincent she’s in the park, she’s waiting there.
 

VINCENT

Thank you Nicholas, go to

Father tell him I will return soon.
 

He gathers up his cloak and goes up the spiral stairs.
 

CUT TO GATE AT PARK ENTRANCE:

Catherine sees him approach the door she goes to greet him.
 

CATHERINE

Vincent
 

He opens the door.
 

CATHERINE

I’ve got the boy, I found him.
 

VINCENT

I knew you would.
 

CATHERINE

They’ve separated him from his sister.

They’ll be looking for him; if I take him back now

I’m afraid I’ll lose him again. I can’t chance that Vincent.
 

VINCENT

He’ll be safe with us.
 

CATHERINE

Great! I was hoping.
 

Vincent starts to approach the boy who is curled up on the ground sleeping.
 

CATHERINE

No wait, I’m afraid he’ll…
 

VINCENT

That he’ll be afraid.
 

CATHERINE

He’s been through a lot, I don’t know how…
 

VINCENT

It’s all right, wake him.
 

He steps back into the shadows.
 

CATHERINE

Eric…
 

She shakes his shoulder gently.
 

ERIC

What? What are we going to do?
 

CATHERINE

I’m going to take you to someplace safe

where no one can hurt you.

ERIC
 

You going too?
 

CATHERINE

We’re going with a friend of mine,

someone very extraordinary.

I’d like you to meet him, his name is Vincent.
 

Vincent walks over to Eric squatting down so he is eye level with the boy.
 

VINCENT

Eric…
 

ERIC

What is that? Is it real?
 

VINCENT

It’s real.
 

Eric reaches out to stroke Vincent’s face.
 

ERIC

How’d you get like that?
 

VINCENT

I don’t know, I don’t think I ever will.

I never knew my mother or father.
 

ERIC

I bet you’d know them if you saw them.
 

The two smile at each other.
 

CUT TO NOJ’S BASEMENT:
 

NOJ

Excuse me sir is Lincoln Center

in that direction? Thanks, nice hat.

You hear any bells ringing? No bells.
 

He is standing by a manikin that is dressed in a suit with bells sewn all over it. He has just lifted a wallet out of the pocket without any of the bells ringing. He is showing Ellie how to be a pick pocket.
 

NOJ

The bells ring, its all over, you go to jail.

I don’t want to hear those bells,

you don’t want to hear them.

By the way sir, where did you get that hat?
 

He has picked a watch off the manikin without ringing a bell.
 

DEB

He’s so amazing.
 

ELLIE

I’m not gonna do this, I don’t care.
 

DEB

You’ll do it.
 

CUT TO TUNNELS, FATHER’S STUDY:

Father is seated at his table talking to Eric as Vincent and Catherine look on.
 

FATHER

Vincent tells me you might want to stay with us.
 

ERIC

Maybe.
 

FATHER

Well you know, Eric, we only want

 those here who want to be here.

No one’s going to force you to stay;

no one will ever keep you from leaving.
 

ERIC

Well, right now I don’t have anywhere

else to go, so can I stay here for a while?
 

FATHER

Yes of course you can, until our good

friends above find some safe place for you.
 

ERIC

And my sister too?
 

FATHER

Hm, hm… of course, but you know Eric

there are promises you have to make and keep.
 

ERIC

What kind of promises?
 

FATHER

To give help and support to those who need it and

to accept help and support from those who offer it to you.
 

ERIC

I promise that.
 

FATHER

It’s a very important promise; it’s how we exist.
 

ERIC

How about not telling anybody about this,

keep it a secret?
 

FATHER

Well… you know Eric, suppose

you were to tell this secret to anyone.

Do you think they’re going to believe you?

And… even if they did believe you,

to do you think anyone

is going to find their way down here?
 

ERIC

I’ll keep it a secret anyway.
 

FATHER

Good! Well, then… welcome!
 

He shakes Eric’s hand.
 

VINCENT

Welcome Eric.
 

Eric goes to Catherine, hugging her.
 

CUT TO NOJ’S BASMENT HANGOUT:

There is a full size manikin dressed in a suit that has little bells sewn all over it. Noj wants Ellie to take a wallet out of the pocket.
 

NOJ

The pocket on the left side, do it.

Do it Ellie…do it!
 

She pulls the wallet out, ringing a bell
 

NOJ

You little idiot!

We’re going to be here all night.
 

CUT TO VINCENT’S CHAMBER:

Eric is tucked up in Vincent’s bed.
 

VINCENT

Eric, we’ll find your sister
 

ERIC

And can we both stay here?
 

VINCENT

For as long as you like.
 

ERIC

Ok, good
 

VINCENT

You’re safe, you’re with friends.

Now rest.
 

CUT TO NOJ’S BASEMENT:
 

ELLIE

No more… please…
 

NOJ

I own you, I bought you,

get it through your head you’re mine

and you better be glad about that

because without me you got nothing,

without me you got the chicken hawks

on the street. You want to be selling your body?

You want to be strung out on drugs?
 

ELLIE

I don’t want to be here either.
 

NOJ

You got nothing else. The pocket, do it!
 

He strikes her.
 

CUT TO DA OFFICE:

Catherine seated at her desk, Joe is standing in front of her.
 

JOE

The matron at Bridgemont Youth House

just caved in and she’s talking a blue streak.

We got what we need to bring in Barnes

on illegally transferring kids and child abuse.
 

CATHERINE

Good!
 

JOE

Good instincts.
 

CATHERINE

More than just instincts.
 

JOE

Well what do you want Radcliffe?

A gold star?
 

CUT TO FATHER’S CHAMBER:

Vincent is with some of the tunnel children he shows them a drawing her made of Noj.
 

VINCENT

Have you ever seen this man?
 

KIPPER

I think I have
 

NICHOLAS

Around Time Square maybe
 

Eric takes a look at the picture
 

ERIC

He took my sister, that’s the guy

that took my sister from Ridley.
 

VINCENT

See if you can find him,

if you do find out where he lives,

 you know how.
 

The boys leave the tunnels looking for Noj, they spot him waling with three of his kids. They follow him to his hang out.
 

CUT TO OUTSIDE ON THE STREET:

Catherine is coming out of the door of her office building when a boy runs up to her and pushes a note into her hand. She reads it and turns rushing home where she changes into clothing more appropriate for the tunnels. She goes down to the basement to meet Vincent at the entrance there.
 

CUT TO THE THRESHOLD OF CATHERINE’S APPARTMENT BUILDING:
 

VINCENT

Catherine, we’ve made progress.
 

CATHERINE

The superintendent of Ridley

 is about to be arrested.
 

VINCENT

Hm.
 

He shows her the drawing of Noj
 

VINCENT

This is the man who took Eric’s sister.
 

CATHERINE

Who is he?
 

VINCENT

A thief, one who uses little children,

the worst kind; he’s connected with

the supervisor of Ridley, I saw them

talking together, arguing about money.
 

CATHERINE

He’s selling kids!

Barnes is selling kids out of Ridley!
 

VINCENT

Only the ones with no known relatives,

the ones who are all alone.
 

CATHERINE

And he has Eric’s sister?
 

Vincent nods his head
 

CATHERINE

Where is he Vincent, do you know?

Take me there.
 

VINCENT

Too great a risk.
 

CATHERINE

It’s the only way I can move on them,

you can’t testify against them Vincent.

The only way I can get an arrest warrant

is to see with my own eyes, I’ll take that risk.
 

Vincent takes back the drawing and takes her hand leading her through the tunnels to the basement where Noj has the children.
 

CUT TO NOJ’S BASEMENT:

Catherine emerges from an air vent and looks around. She hears Noj yelling.
 

NOJ

You try that again and I’ll cut your

feet off, you don’t run away from me!
 

ELLIE

Let go, don’t, I won’t do it again.
 

He ties her hands behind her back to a chair.
 

NOJ

You’re staying right here. I can’t trust you.

Deb where are you, you’re

suppose to keep an eye on her.
 

He moves away and Catherine comes out of hiding and goes to Ellie
 

CATHERINE

Ellie, its ok I’m taking you out of here to Eric
 

ELLIE

Who are you?
 

CATHERINE

Shh!… we don’t have much time,

I’m the one Eric was talking to at Ridley.

Do you remember?
 

ELLIE

You found him?
 

CATHERINE

Yes. Let’s go.
 

She unties Ellie and they start to leave, but bump into Deb.
 

ELLIE

Deb don’t say anything please.
 

CATHERINE

Come with us, you can all come!
 

DEB

Noj! Noj!
 

NOJ

What’s this? You know this woman?
 

CATHERINE

I’m taking her out of here,

don’t you try to stop me!
 

NOJ

Wouldn’t think of it.
 

He reaches for her, she kicks him in the shin and then elbows his nose
 

CATHERINE

Come on!
 

She and Ellie run
 

NOJ

Freddie, Freddie!
 

Freddie runs past the air vent and Vincent rips him, dragging him into the tunnel
 

NOJ

Freddie?
 

Noj runs after Catherine and Ellie right into Vincent who roars and then cuffs him, he falls and Vincent drags him into the tunnel as well.
 

CUT TO RIDLEY HALL:

The police are there arresting Barnes, the receptionist and the custodian
 

POLICE OFFICER

Let’s go, this way, watch your step
 

CUT TO FATHER’S CHAMBER:

The boys are playing a game of checkers when Father, Vincent, Catherine and Ellie appear at the head of the stairs.
 

ERIC

Ellie!
 

ELLIE

Eric!
 

Ellie jumps down the stairs giving her brother a big hug
 

ELLIE

It’s sort of like a dream… isn’t it?
 

ERIC

No… better
 

CUT TO THE THRESHOLD OF CATHERINE’S BUILDING:
 

CATHERINE

Vincent, I’ve been all over the world,

met people, done things. I’ve lived in luxury

most people could never imagine,

but I can’t remember a time when I felt

as good or complete as I do right now.
 

VINCENT

Hmmm… I feel it in you, through you
 

CATHERINE

You really can…
 

VINCENT

It’s very beautiful.

.

CATHERINE

Sort of… like a dream?
 

VINCENT

(smiling)

Better…
 

Catherine leaves him going into the beam of light to her apartment. Vincent starts to leave then hesitates and turns staring at the light, then he also leaves.

THE END