Dick Casey's first action-packed t.v. show!
|The Monthly Script Writing Contest (January)— Mystery
"Stringin' a Gumshoe"
INT - A DUMPY LOOKING OFFICE - DUSK
DETECTIVE DICK CASEY (35) intelligent, hardworking, blunt, gruff. Casey puts his hand on the handle of his office door and swings it open. He steps into the dark room and tosses his fedora on a desk littered with loose papers. Casey flips on the light to reveal STELLA PAYNE (22) overweight, homely, dark curly hair, rich looking clothes, sparkling diamond necklace, standing by a tattered loveseat in the office.
The dame was waiting for me like a dog
waits for table scraps; her hair the
color of a banana left in the sun on
a hot day. I winced as she lowered
herself onto the couch and crossed her
gams, flashing thick cankles. From her
glad-rags and the ice 'round her neck, I
easily deduced she had the bees.
Whatever her case may be, I knew it'd be
duck soup getting twenty large from the
Casey ignores the woman, sits in a simple, wooden office chair, and leans back. He rests his feet on top of the papers scattered over his desk.
(pulls out a cigarette and lights it)
I know you ain't here to bump gums, doll.
Spill the beans.
(primping hair; glances seductively at Casey)
I heard you know how to find things.
(blows smoke ring above his head)
Yeah? Watcha lost?
Stella stands, pulls out a picture from her purse, and hands it to Casey. Camera focuses on the picture to reveal Stella and BELLA PAYNE (22), identical to Stella, standing side-by-side with smiles on their faces. Both women are wearing matching formal gowns. Stella is wearing a black pearl necklace while Bella sports an emerald choker. Casey nods and stuffs the picture in the top, right hand drawer in his desk as Stella finds her seat again.
(pulls hanky from purse and dabs eyes)
My sister, Bella. She was supposed to arrive
yesterday for the reading of our father's will
but...she never showed.
Plane, train, or automobile?
How was she gettin' to town, toots?
Plane. I was at the airport to pick
her up but --
(crushes cigarette into an ash tray on the desk)
Yeah, yeah. She never showed. Let me drop a
dime and I'll see what I can do. There are a few
dirty rats that owe me...
Stella stands, smiles, and smoothes her skirt. She walks to the door and places a hand on the knob.
(lowers feet to the floor)
You forgettin' something, doll face?
Stella tosses her hair. With an indignant sniff she opens her purse and tosses a wad of cash on Casey's desk. Casey picks up the money and thumbs through the stack.
This'll do for a start.
Casey shows Stella to the door. After she's gone, he turns and peers from one of the dusty blind slats over the window, watching as Stella hails a cab and takes off. He frowns and turns to the desk, where he picks up a rotary phone and starts dialing.
EXT - DARK ALLEY - LATE AFTERNOON
CASEY, wearing an overcoat and his fedora, walks up to BABYFACE JANE (42) tall, muscular, stubbled face, in a gloomy alley. They stand next to a large dumpster.
I met Babyface Jane in a dirty alley
off Davidson Avenue. The goofy
goon might have been a fakeloo
artist but he was the gink to go to
for word on the street.
(crosses arms over chest)
I hear you're sniffing for a wire on a bad
I'm lookin' for a dame.
Ain't we all?
I've got one in particular in mind.
According to her sister, this bim's
got herself in a bit of a jam. What
can you tell me about a broad
named Bella Payne?
Information ain't cheap, Casey. How
many berries you offering for me to
I ain't gonna chisel ya any, Babyface.
Casey pulls out his wallet and hands a thick envelope to Babyface Jane. Jane peeks inside before stuffing the envelope of money into his coat pocket.
Word is, your dame wasn't delayed by
no flight. Someone offed the poor
looker. And yer meat ain't no jasper.
Jaw is, yer hatchetman's a bim.
Does this kitten have a name?
GUNFIRE. Babyface Jane falls to the ground with a groan. Casey crouches for cover behind the dumpster, pulls out his gun, and shoots at a car parked at the end of the alley. The car screeches off and Casey slaps the ground in frustration.
Casey stands and watches from under a streetlamp as police scurry around the crime scene. Babyface Jane is loaded into an ambulance and taken away.
The Chicago Lightening had given
Babyface a bad case of lead poisoning.
I couldn't help but feel sorry for the
goose. He might've been a Johnson
Brother that should've been tossed
in the clink, but he didn't deserve to
be knocked off.
Casey stretches out a hand and hails a taxi.
END ACT ONE
INT - PUB - NIGHT
Casey sits on a barstool at the counter, nursing a cup of coffee. TONY MORETTI (37) bald, misshapen nose, short and squat, plainclothes police officer, takes a seat next to Casey and orders a shot of whisky.
You followin' me, flattie?
Heard you're looking for a number.
Tony, unless you're here to help me
tighten the screws, then I suggest
you go climb up your thumb.
Tony tosses back his shot and gestures for another as he pulls out a pack of cigarettes and lights one up.
I was just trying to pass along
information. But if you'd rather
I might be tootin' the wrong ringer,
but as long as you ain't asking for
any cush, I'd be willing to take a
lending hand. Seems I'm behind
the eight-ball on this one.
Newshawks'll be broadcasting
tomorrow 'bout a stiff found at
the docks. Word is, she's the
skirt you've been looking for.
Yeah? Who's the rat that's chinnin'
about my case?
I got my sources. For now, let's
just say a little birdie told me.
Has this birdie been able to
crab any evidence as to who bopped
Casey and Tony clam up as the waitress comes over and fills Casey's coffee cup. As she walks away, Tony leans closer to Casey.
Jaw is, the corpse was hinky.
Spill it or take the air, Tony. I ain't in
the mood for riddles tonight.
Bruising 'round the looker's pipes
indicate she was rubbed out by
her marbles. They was scattered
all over the dock.
Any chance of gettin' my paws on
one of those oyster fruits?
Figured you'd ask. I nicked a couple
from evidence, just for you.
Tony slides a small felt bag across the counter to Casey. Casey peeks inside and frowns. Tossing a twenty dollar bill on the counter, he slides off his seat and stands.
I owe you one, Tony.
And I won't let you forget it, either!
Casey tips his fedora at Tony, pulls his overcoat collar up to his ears, and exits the bar.
END ACT TWO
EXT - A JEWELRY SHOP - EARLY MORNING
Casey stands in front of a jewelry store and starts pounding on the door. DANIEL "DANNY" O'BRIAN (60), short, broad shouldered, hawk-like nose, curly red hair, Scottish, glares past the "CLOSED SIGN". As he recognizes Casey, he grins and opens the door.
I tossed and turned all night thinkin'
about those pearls. By dawn I
decided to dust out to Danny O'Brian's
with the hope that he'd be able to crab
the deal on the marbles.
Look what the cat drug in!
Have you finally come to buy a
handcuff for that lass of yours?
Not today, Danny-boy.
Ach, poor lass. She's been waiting
for you to pop the question for some
Casey follows Danny into the store. Danny steps behind the counter as Casey carefully pours three black pearls out of their bag.
(picks up a pearl and whistles)
Where'd you find such a pretty bauble?
(ignoring Danny's question)
What can you tell me about them, Danny?
Let's take a closer look, lad.
Danny takes a pearl and uses a fiber-optic light to inspect the hole drilled in the middle of the pearl.
First of all, they're the real deal.
See the onion-like layers inside?
Casey leans in close to view the inside of the pearl.
That means, laddie, that these
pearls were made by the hand of
God himself and not --
(spits in disgust)
--cultivated by man.
So these marbles are worth some
I'd have to dig a little deeper
but if I'm right, you're holding
roughly five-hundred dollars
of Tahitian black pearls in
(gives low whistle)
That's quite a bit of kale, Danny-boy.
Danny passes the pearl back to Casey. He leans over the desk hopefully as Casey dumps the three pearls back into the felt bag.
If you're interested in selling, I
can give you a good deal --
Casey tucks the little bag into his coat pocket and walks back to the door.
Maybe next time, Danny. I believe
these marbles just tipped the mitt
on my hatchetman.
Casey hurries out the door.
END ACT THREE
INT. - CASEY'S DRAB OFFICE - AFTERNOON
Casey throws the door to his office open and rushes to his desk. He pulls open the top, right drawer and reaches inside. Stella steps out from the shadows with a pistol in one hand and a photo in the other.
(points gun at Casey)
Looking for something, Mr. Casey?
Casey raises his hands above his head and nods at the photo in Stella's hand. Stella frowns and fumbles to tuck the picture in her purse.
You've been made, sister. I've
got some loose marbles here
that match the ones wrapped
'round your pipes in that picture.
(shaking her head)
I ain't no bunny, Mr. Casey. I
realized soon after our meeting
that I'd scrammed out the wrong
picture with you. But now I can
destroy it and nobody will ever
be the wiser.
You rubbed out your sister to glom
your father's inheritance. Let me guess,
toots, you used the pearls to snuff her
out 'cause you ain't into oyster fruit.
Your flavor is more on the green side.
(pouting at Casey)
Ain't you the wise head? Daddy always
favored Bella over me and she got the
best of everything. Bella gets the pony
while Stella gets the puppy. Bella gets
the Ferrari while Stella gets the
Lamborghini. Bella gets the emeralds
while Stella's stuck with the damn pearls.
I knew my dib would be nothing compared
to hers when he kicked off --
(slowly lowering hands)
So the poor little rich girl bumped her off.
(cocks the pistol)
And now that you've put the finger on
me, I'll have to bump you, too.
Casey drops to the ground as Stella shoots. He grabs a gun taped under the desk and fires a shot at Stella's legs. She screams and crumples to the floor, dropping her pistol. Casey jumps to his feet, runs over, and kicks the gun away. Stella kicks out a heeled foot, knocking Casey to his rear. She lunges forward and wraps the straps of her purse around his neck. Casey gags and smashes his gun into the side of her head. She falls onto her back, stunned, and he throws the purse across the room before aiming the gun at her head.
Don't make me put the screws on, baby.
I'll throw lead if I have to!
Stella groans, thumps the back of her head against the wooden floor, and closes her eyes.
Casey watches as the police swarm his office. Stella is bleeding from a bullet in her leg and a gash in her head. The police handcuff her and wrangle her, as she scowls, out the office door.
The buttons were more than willing to
throw the broad under glass As the
coppers sped off in their boilers with
the dame in tow, I figured I'd take a
little side trip to commission Danny
for a black pearl bracelet for my best
gal. I figured the marbles were a
bonus for a job well done.
END ACT FOUR
EXT - NEWSPAPER STAND - AFTERNOON
Casey walks past a newspaper stand on his way to Danny's Jewelry Store. The camera pans in on the front page news.
"Candy Cane Killer strikes again!"
INT. - CASEY'S OFFICE - AFTERNOON
A shadowy figure sneaks into Casey's office and leaves a package on his desk. A single candy cane rests on top of the gift.