Friends Like These (feature film excerpt)

int. marshal’s mansion/office – day

The office is dark. Danny waits in the dark while Marshal pulls up some blinds. Danny squints as the light pours in onto a bookcase full of hard-bound books, a jukebox and a bar where Marshal begins mixing drinks.

MARSHAL
You want a drink for that leg?

DANNY
Only if it’s strong.

MARSHAL
What happened?

DANNY
Slept on it funny. In an alley after a business deal.

MARSHAL
You know, I think I’ve dealt with those same guys.

DANNY
Looks like your wife has too.

MARSHAL
I don’t have to tell you that’s why you’re here.

DANNY
No, you don’t.

Marshal hands Danny a tumbler and motions for him to sit down in one of the chairs in front of a large mahogany desk. They sit on either side of the desk and sip their drinks.

MARSHAL
So why don’t I just get to the point.

DANNY
I like points, you always find them at the ends of sentences.

MARSHAL
My wife was robbed in the street last night.

DANNY
And you wanna find the bastard who shook her up.

MARSHAL
Bastards, yes.

DANNY
She’ll be pretty as a picture in a week. Why all the trouble over a split lip?

MARSHAL
Well, um, it’s not simply about the attackers, Mr. Nickel.

DANNY
A ring?

MARSHAL
A necklace.

DANNY
Anything else?

MARSHAL
Nothing worth noting.

DANNY
It’s all worth noting. What else?

MARSHAL
Some money, some, uh, drugs, a ring.

DANNY
Uh-huh. A diamond ring?

MARSHAL
Yes, a wedding band.

DANNY
But you’re not worried about that?

MARSHAL
Of course, and so is my wife. But the necklace is… priceless.

DANNY
Ya, so phone the cops, leave the dope out.

MARSHAL
Well, you see, it wasn’t just the drugs.

DANNY
Ahh. Who was she with?

MARSHAL
It’s not very important.

DANNY
Mr. McCallum, if you want me to find your necklace, you better let me decide what’s important.

MARSHAL
A man named Zach Monk, people call him Skunk.

DANNY
Do they.

MARSHAL
And they found themselves in an area of town with a questionable reputation at a questionable hour of the night.

DANNY
So, seems we have a lot of questionable questions.

MARSHAL
Yes, the types of questions that I would like to remain between you and me.

DANNY
Sometimes these types of questions can only be answered by questionable people, but you understand that or I wouldn’t be here.

MARSHAL
I trust you will use your discretion.

DANNY
You have an election coming up don’t you, Mr. McCallum?

MARSHAL
Yes, Mr. Nickel, so I’m sure you understand the situation.

DANNY
Understanding situations is my business. Why jeopardize your chances over a necklace?

MARSHAL
It belonged to my mother, it’s an heirloom, I’m sure you understand.

DANNY
The only thing my mother left me was a red cheek and a ringing ear. Do you have a picture of the necklace?

Marshal rises from the desk and walks to the mantel. He picks up a picture frame and shows it to Danny. The picture is of a woman standing in a tight gown wearing a large necklace.

DANNY
Mind if I get a copy?

Marshal slides the picture from the frame and hands it to Danny.

MARSHAL
Keep it.

close up: the picture of victoria in danny’s hands

A closer view of the picture reveals that it is Victoria. She is stunningly beautiful. Danny and Marshal’s VOICES fade into the end of the scene.

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