Same exact scene except the BOY is gone and the INSPECTOR is in his shirt sleeves, sleeves rolled up.
INSPECTOR: Yes, gentleman, handsomely. You will be rewarded handsomely. Of course. But of course if you want to do this another way, I can have the other inspectors pay you a visit, cordon off your flat—put you up in a motel for a few weeks while they tear the fixtures out of the walls, rip this place to bits, and give you a memo at the “Super 8” (making violent air quotes) when they're all through—
MARTIN: Ok, ok, inspector. What do you want us to do? What can we do to assist you?
INSPECTOR: Now, Mister, uh…
MARTIN: Martin, Martin Ranelagh. (suddenly formal)
INSPECTOR: Now, Mister Martin…if you gentleman just leave me a bit of room, a bit of breathing room, then I'll start this inquiry immediately. First one of the day—like fresh spittle—the tools are in place, the boy's…(trails off)
GERALDINE is looking at the chair where the BOY was sitting, making strange clucking noises, as if hunting for something.
SHORE: Tell us, Inspector (looking at MARTIN), tell us…what sorts of treasures and…er…items have you located in the trapdoors of your inquiries?
INSPECTOR: (with gusto, loudly) Well, well, somebody's had his nose in the newsprint?! Yes, man! Now you're talking! While, I'm…not fully able to—I'm not at full “disclosure” (making air quotes), but there've been some very peculiar finds. Very, yes, peculiar. (looks at GERALDINE still looking at the chair).
MARTIN: Surely, you can…(smiling craftily) tell us something ?
SHORE: Surely, something.
GERALDINE: Yes, a story, Herr. Inspector! (gravely, but still looking at the chair ) A story of trapdoors and unmentionables.
MARTIN: Mother! Christ!
SHORE: (taking the INSPECTOR aside) Now,
Phone rings, INSPECTOR looks at the men, smiles, leans over and picks up the phone—his face turns
INSPECTOR: This is the inspector. Hello?
(SHORE & MARTIN look quizzically at each other; SHORE makes motions with his hands; MARTIN
INSPECTOR: Yes?…(inquisitively) Yes! (emphatically) Oh? Oh, Heaven's no, Richard (pleased) No, no. No bother at all. I can see what page you're on and as I look around
(looks at SHORE and MARTIN, nods) I can see that we're on the same page.
That's right. Not at all. Until then—(hangs up).
GERALDINE: That must've been my Roger! How is he doing?
MARTIN: Mother, please.
GERALDINE: I see, everybody tells a story but me? Is that so, Martin? Is that so?
(MARTIN and SHORE follow the INSPECTOR over to his tools as GERALDINE continues speaking.) You see the ocean wasn't the color then that it is now. It was a roiling green from the poisons of the war—though it's difficult to fathom it. Your father carried his squadron through that mess valiantly. He was always home by seven for dinner. What did he love? He loved it all! Why, hammering and blustering about. Once he dove from the roof onto the shed when burglars had me holed up in here. They'd cut the phone lines and I had to gnaw through the ropes like a gerbil. Like a caged…Well your father was a cat! He was a wiry in his ways and he slipped through the transom and toppled them just as sure as the wind could take the hat from your head! He was a masterful specialist.
The men ignore GERALDINE; MARTIN and SHORE follow the INSPECTOR around as he points his little light into the wall or taps his tiny ball peen hammer along the edge of the floor—every once in a way he says, “no” very slowly, methodically as GERALDINE is speaking. Finally, after a few minutes or so, the INSPECTOR comes over to where GERALDINE is standing.
GERALDINE: ( sullen now ) Yes, Inspector?
INSPECTOR: Missus…Geraldine, about how many years have you lived in this domicile?
GERALDINE: Yes, it's been good to us. Kept the wind from our cavities and the snow off of our necks.
INSPECTOR: (glancing concernedly at MARTIN and SHORE) uhhhh, yes…yes, I see. If you had to estimate about how many “human” years, Miss Geraldine, about how many years would you say?
GERALDINE: Why…I'd say about sixty years. Sixty years if it was a weekend. When we arrived Roger had a full beard—it was just after his surgery and the nurses refused to shave him—and we'd make love in the kitchen and toss the old milk into the street when it got too sour for our oats…(wistfully, still a bit sullen) Why, you wouldn't…couldn't recognize the photographs. That much has happened here. Why, that much and more.
You wouldn't see it in the photos. Sometimes a scent lingers, a stranger knocks with a bouquet. Sometimes the children bring in something from the woods and the memories pour back into my as if into a pitcher of…juice!
MARTIN: Mother, just answer his questions. He's trying to find out if there's anything here. There could be a treasure, mother, a treasure in our walls! Can you just concentrate for a minute?!
SHORE: There's something here. That boy could sense it. He said he smelled it. I can feel it, too. In one house, they said they found rare jewels from…Greenland!
MARTIN: Do you hear that, Mother? Green-land ! Just let the inspector do his job, alright?
INSPECTOR: (beleaguered, plops onto the couch): You know, I can tell you this: for the first search of the day it's still not as bad as the ninth floor flat on Passers Avenue. There were four of us in there, searching and all these mice had run of the flat. They'd nested in there you see. It was winter, but they'd propagated like any flourishing mammal (disgusted). White mice and black mice and grey speckled mice. In the sinks, in the walls, burrowed into the couch—you see?—all the way into the couch (slaps the couch cushions hard)—teeming, filthy. And we'd searched slowly, with great accuracy and timing all morning, all afternoon. Finally, a call came. The headquarters had gotten hold of the wrong blueprints and they called in on Pete's radio—Old Pete, long dead now, he was a good man, the tyrant—Pete took the call and they sent us into the old abandoned bathroom. Pry up the toilet, they said. The new blueprints (motioning with his hands) show a crawlspace under the piping: Pry up the toilet…(trailing off, oddly)
SHORE: Yes…? Inspector…? The toilet—what did you find?
INSPECTOR: Well, we pried it up with one of Jerry's gleaming crowbars—a wicked tool, but strong, accurate. And sure enough under old blue tiles around the toilet there was a small box—a sort of rope box with a rubbery clasp.
(MARTIN looking eagerly at the INSPECTOR, then SHORE, then the INSPECTOR)
INSPECTOR: We took out our tiniest tools—(quieter) so nimble, lads, so deft—we unhasped the lock, and inside was (whispering) a small animal!
SHORE: A mouse!?
GERALDINE: (disturbed) A what? A what ?!!
MARTIN: No treasure? No, uh, no…jewels?
GERALDINE: A jewel? A what?!
SHORE: A little…beast? (shiver)
INSPECTOR: Yes, gentleman! –No, not a mouse—far from it!—it was the lock-eater after all.
A loud knock at the door. All turn. Fade to black
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