The time is 1959. HOLLY SARGIS, the 15-year-old heroine, sits on her bed, petting her dog. The CAMERA DOLLIES BACK as she talks on VOICE OVER.
HOLLY (v.o.): My mother died of pneumonia when I wasjust a kid. My father had kept their wedding cake in the freezer for ten whole years. After the funeral he gave it to the yardman... He tried to act cheerful, but he could never be consoled by the little stranger he found in his house. Then, one day, hoping to begin a new life away from the scene of all his memories, he moved us from Texas to Ft. Dupree, South Dakota.
HOLD on FULL SHOT of bedroom.
The streets and alleys of Ft. Dupree at dawn. On sound we hear the clucking of DOVES. A garbage truck appears. Details of the mechanisms at the back of the truck.
KIT CARRUTHERS, the hero, a 25-year-old garbageman, kneels beside a dead dog. He inspects it briefly. then looks back at his friend and co-worker, CATO, a stocky man in his forties.
KIT: I'll give you a dollar to eat this collie.Cato inspects the dog.
CATO: I'm not going to eat him for a dollar... I don't think he's a collie, either. Some kind of dog.
They drive off.
KIT: Watch your heads.
The truck comes to a stop. Kit bangs on the driver's door.
KIT: Hey. Woody. Gimme a cigarette.
WOODY waves him off. Kit shrugs to Cato.
KIT: Woody wouldn't give me a cigarette. (pause) Ever notice he don't talk much?
Cato agrees with this. They make a terrible racket, with no regard for the sleep of the neighbors.
Holly, whispering some rhyme to herself, twirls a baton in the middle of an empty street.
HOLLY (v.o.): Little did I realize that what began in the alleys and back ways of this quiet town would end in the Badlands of Montana.
Kit tries to sell a passing BUM a pair of shoes.
BUM: Nah. they wouldn't fit.
KIT: How do you know? You hadn't tried them on yet.
KIT: Gimme a dollar for them... Cost twenty new.
The Bum walks off. Kit pitches the shoes to Cato.
KIT: Why don't you see if they fit you?
Cato picks them up and looks at them.
CLOSE ON TRASH CAN
Kit is culling through a trash can, looking for valuables. reading other people's mail, etc.
KIT (o.c.): This lady don't ever pay her bills. She's gonna get in trouble if she doesn't watch out.
Cato, ignoring him, picks up a magazine that is lying in the grass. When the CAMERA returns to Kit, he has stripped off his apron.
KIT: I throwed enough trash for today, Cato.... I'll see you In the morning.
He slaps Cato on the back and walks off. Cato throws a mouldy loaf of bread at his back.
KIT: What do you mean?
He throws the loaf back at Cato.
Kit walks through the deserted alleys of the sleeping town... as the MAIN TITLES APPEAR. He balances a stolen mop on his finger; he stomps a can and looks around to see if anyone has spotted him at this. As the CREDITS end he sees Holly in front of her house twirling her baton. He crosses the street and introduces himself.
KIT: Hi, I'm Kit. I'm not keeping you from anything important, am I?
KIT: Well, I was just messing around over there, thought I'd come over and say hello to you. (smiling) I'll try anything once. (pause) What's your name? I said mine.
KIT: Listen, Holly. you want to take a walk with me?
HOLLY: What for?
KIT: Well. I got some stuff to say. Guess I'm kind of lucky that way. Most people don't have anything on their minds, do they?
Holly eyes him suspiciously.
They walk down the middle of the street. Holly has accepted his offer.
KIT: Oh, incidentally, my last name is Carruthers. Sounds a little too much like "druthers," doesn't it?
HOLLY: It's okay.
KIT: Well, nobody asked me what I thought. They just hung it on me.
Holly breaks the silence that follows.
HOLLY: You still in school?
KIT: Nah, I got me a job.HOLLY (o.c.): Doing what?
KIT: Well, I don't mind getting up early, so I got a job throwing garbage... I'm not in love with the stuff, okay.
In the distance we hear Holly's FATHER calling her. She eases off.
HOLLY: That's my father. I got to run.
KIT: Hey. wait a minute. When am I going to see you again?
Holly isn't sure how to reply.
HOLLY: Well, I know what my daddy's going to say.
KIT (o.c.): What?
HOLLY: Can I be honest?
HOLLY: Well, that I shouldn't be seen with anybody that collects garbage.
KIT (o.c.): He'll say that?
KIT (o.c.): Now what's he know about garbage, huh?
KIT (o.c.): There you go.
HOLLY: Well, I mean there's nothing he wants to know about it... I've got to run.
She waves goodbye and runs off. Kit waves back.
Holly walks into the back yard, where her father is working. Half-painted signs lean against the garage.
FATHER: Who was that?
HOLLY: Just some boy.
He throws some paint off his brush onto the ground.
HOLLY: Is that going to kill the grass?
He flicks his brush teasingly at her feet. She retreats to a chair, giggling.
HOLLY: You got some on my feet.
FATHER: What'd he want?
HOLLY: Just wanted to know if we needed any yardwork done... I said no, and for him not to bother us.
Kit is talking with a CLERK inside an employment agency.
CLERK (o.c.): You ever held another job before?
KIT: I used to throw trash for the City.
CLERK: You lost that one?
KIT: Wouldn't be here if I hadn't.
CLERK: What kind of work do you think you would be qualified for?KIT: I can't think of anything at the moment... I'd like you to write me out a slip, though, proving I came down here.
The Clerk leafs through his papers.CLERK: Well, I think we could find you something... working cattle over at the pens.
Kit sighs.KIT: Well. what the hell. Just hope there's a breeze.
The Clerk gives him a slip of paper.
- EXT. FRONT PORCH OF HOLLY'S HOUSE
Holly sees Kit approaching the house.HOLLY (v.o.): He was handsomer than anybody I'd ever met. He looked just like James Dean.
She walks out the front door.KIT: Hi.HOLLY: Well, stop the world.KIT: Quit my job.HOLLY: Great.KIT: Just seemed like the right move... Whatcha doing?HOLLY: Spanish.KIT (o.c.): How do you say "Quit my Job" in Spanish?HOLLY: Something mi trabajo.
Kit offers her a cigarette, which she declines.KIT: Yeah, well, I'm going to work as a cowboy now... Or thinking about it. It's a routine, like anything. What do you think?HOLLY: I don't know.
He pulls himself up onto the bannister beside her.KIT: Well, at least nobody could get on me about wearing these boots any more.
She watches him intently. This makes him uncomfortable.KIT: You want to go for a ride?HOLLY: Well, I got homework.KIT (o.c.): Bring it along.
His forwardness surprises her.
- EXT. DOWNTOWN STREET IN FT. DUPREE
They are walking through the downtown area. Kit kicks a paper bag that someone has discarded on the sidewalk.KIT: Somebody dropped a bag on the sidewalk.
She appears nervous about being seen alone with him.KIT: Everybody did that, the whole town'd be a mess ... Hi.
He greets a passing stranger.KIT: You're a redhead.HOLLY: I know.KIT: Anybody ever call you "Red"?HOLLY: Yeah, but I don't like it.KIT: Why not?HOLLY: Just don't... I've got a headache.KIT: Yeah?
He steers her toward his car, a customized Mercury. As she gets in, he asks her:KIT (o.c.): Can I come around and see you tomorrow?HOLLY (startled): Okay.
- EXT. FEEDLOT - SERIES OF ANGLES
We see Kit at work at the feedlot. throwing hay to the cattle, feeding them pills, etc.HOLLY (v.o.): Kit went to work in the feedlot while I carried on with my studies. Little by little we fell in love... As I'd never been popular in school and didn't have a lot of personality, I was surprised that he took such a liking to me, especially when he could've had any other girl in town if he'd given it half a try.
The MONTAGE includes a shot of Holly running toward Kit's car for some rendezvous.HOLLY (v.o.): He said that I was grand, though, that he wasn't interested in me for sex and that coming from him this was a compliment. Held never met a fifteen-year-old girl who behaved more like a grownup and wasn't giggly. He didn't care what anybody else thought. I looked good to him, and whatever I did was okay, and if I didn't have a lot to say, well, that was okay, too.
- EXT. TREE BESIDE RIVER
Kit and Holly are sitting under a tree. playing cards on a blanket. Holly surveys the area.HOLLY: What a nice place.KIT (absorbed in game): Yeah, the tree makes it nice.HOLLY: And the flowers... Let's not pick them. They're so nice.KIT: It's your play.
- SERIES OF ANGLES
Holly's father paints a picture. using a stereopticon to help with his backgrounds. TRACK with Kit driving down a street in his Mercury. Holly sits watching football practice.HOLLY (v.o.): Of course I had to keep all this a secret from my dad. He would've had a fit, since Kit was ten years older than me and came from the wrong side of the tracks, so called. Our time with each other was limited and each lived for the precious hours when he or she could be with the other away from all the cares of the world.
- EXT. UNDERNEATH BLEACHERS
Kit and Holly are necking underneath some bleachers. In the distance we hear the NOISE of the football practice.HOLLY: My stomach's growling.KIT: There's an old Fudgesicle over there. You want it?HOLLY: No.
Kit laughs, and starts her laughing, too.KIT: Somebody else is going to get it.HOLLY: I don't care.KIT: Kids eat that kind of stuff in Korea.
At this her expression turns serious.
- SERIES OF ANGLES
Kit in CLOSEUP at a fence in the feedlot, an intense look on his face.
VARIOUS ANGLES of the cattle in their pens. They look numb and morose.
TIGHT SHOT of Holly necking with Kit.HOLLY (v.o.): In the stench and slime of the feedlot, he'd remember how I looked the night before, how I ran my hand through his hair and traced the outline of his lips with my fingertip. He wanted to die with me, and I dreamed of being lost forever in his arms.
- EXT. HOLLY'S BACK YARD
TIGHT SHOT of Holly's pet catfish in a bowl.
CUT TO WIDE SHOT of Holly with gloves on carrying the fish through the garden in back of her house. She looks around warily, then throws it out among the melons.HOLLY (v.o.): The whole time, the only thing I did wrong was throwing out my fish when he got sick. Later I got a new one, but this incident kept on bothering me and I turned to Kit.
- EXT. STREET
Kit and Holly walk down a sidewalk in the residential part of town. Kit is consoling her about the fish.HOLLY (v.o.): I didn't mind telling Kit about stuff like this, cause strange things happened in his life, too, and some of the stuff he did was strange.
- EXT. FEEDLOT
Kit steps on top of a dead cow, as though to convince himself that it is dead.HOLLY (v.o.): For instance,. he faked his signature whenever he used it, to keep other people from forging important papers with his name...
- INT. HOLLY'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
The CAMERA DOLLIES BACK to reveal Kit lying in bed. His attitude suggests that this is a scene of her fantasy.HOLLY (v.o.): And as he lay in bed, in the middle of the night, he always heard a noise like somebody was holding a seashell against his ear. And sometimes he'd see me coming toward him in beautiful white robes, and I'd put my cold hand on his forehead.
- EXT. RIVERBANK
Kit puts on his jacket and heads down a riverbank to the edge of the water. Holly comes into view, buttoning her blouse.HOLLY: Did it go the way it 'uz supposed to?KIT: Yeah.HOLLY: Is that all there is to it?KIT: Yeah.
Her questions make him uncomfortable.HOLLY: Gosh, what was everybody talking about?KIT: Don't ask me.
Silence.HOLLY: Well. I'm glad it's over... For a while I was afraid I might die before it happened... Had a wreck, some deal like that.
Kit points to an uprooted tree lying in the water a hundred feet away.KIT: You see where that tree fell in the water?
He climbs back up the bank.HOLLY: Yeah... The river must've washed the roots away... You don't care about anything I say, though.
- EXT. NEIGHBORING AREA
Holly walks down the bank of the river. Kit falls in behind her, carrying a large stone. The CAMERA DOLLIES with them.KIT: You know what I think?HOLLY: What?KIT: That we should crunch our hands with this stone. That way we'd never forget what happened today.HOLLY: But it would hurt.KIT: Well, that's the point, stupid.
She gives him a cold look.HOLLY: Don't call me stupid.KIT: Okay, but I'm going to keep it for a souvenir...
He throws it awav and picks up a smaller one.KIT: Or maybe one that's lighter.
He walks over to the car. A bridge is visible in the distance.
- EXT. FIELD
Kit releases a large red balloon into the evening sky. A small basket is fixed to the bottom of the balloon.HOLLY (v.o.): Kit made a solemn vow that he would always stand beside me and let nothing come between us. He wrote this out in writing, put the paper in a box with some of our little tokens and things, then sent it off in a balloon he'd found while on the garbage route. (pause) His heart was filled with longing as he watched it drift off. Something must've told him that we'd never live these days of happiness again, that they were gone forever.
- EXT. CATTAILS
Holly's dog bounds through a stand of cattails. Holly speaks angrily to her father, who walks toward the dog with a gun. We do not hear their voices, only music. He shoots the dog and Holly runs off in horror.HOLLY (v.o.): Then, sure enough, Dad found out I'd been running around behind his back. He was madder than I'd ever seen him. As punishment for deceiving him, he went and shot my dog.
- EXT. BRIDGE
Holly's father drags a duffel bag out of his truck and dumps it over the side of a bridge, into a river. It goes under briefly, then bobs to the surface. The current takes it off.
- EXT. MUSIC SCHOOL
Holly sits in the second-story window of a music school.HOLLY (v.o.): He made me take extra music lessons every day after school and wait there till he came to pick me up. He said that if the piano didn't keep me off the streets. maybe the clarinet would.
- EXT. BILLBOARD
Kit approaches Holly's father, who is hard at work, painting a billboard along a deserted stretch of road. Kit is eating a peach.KIT: Sure is pretty.FATHER: What'd you come out here for?KIT: I wasn't aware there was any law against it.
Kit sees that this kind of talk will not do. He is silent for a moment, then throws the peach away.KIT: You know Holly... well. she means a lot to me, sir.
Holly's father goes solemnly about his business.KIT: You know, before I met her, nobody could ask me how I was doing with my girl. Matter of fact, I didn't really have one.FATHER: Is that right?KIT: Yeah.
Kit walks off a few paces and leans against the father's truck.KIT: It okay me leaning on your Willys here?
Holly's father does not answer.KIT: Listen. I got a lot of respect for her, sir. (pause) That's about as good a one as I know to tell you.FATHER: Well, it's not good enough. (pause) Just what do you think would happen to her if she stuck around with you, Kit? Guy like you.KIT: She'd get along okay. And if she didn't, well, she could take off, just take off, (and) I wouldn't mind... I'd always tell people I deserved it.
Holly's father comes to his feet and fixes Kit in the eye.FATHER: You get out of here. I don't want you hanging around any more. You understand?
He lets these words sink in, then returns to his seat.FATHER: (shaking his head) You're something.
Kit waves goodbye.KIT: Takes all kinds, sir.
He walks to his car, looking back once.
- SERIES OF ANGLES
LONG SHOT of father at work at billboard. Kit approaches Holly's house, collects the evening newspaper from the sidewalk, and knocks on the front door. Holly's father picks her up from a park outside the music school. Kit, when he gets no answer, enters the house. The jeep, with Holly and her father, rumbles down a residential street.
- INT. HOLLY'S HOUSE
Kit is going through Holly's dresser, throwing her things into a suitcase. A pistol is visible in his back pocket. Suddenly, Holly's father appears in the dresser mirror, standing at the end of the hall outside the bedroom.
Kit walks forward to greet him. The CAMERA DOLLIES with him.KIT: Hi.FATHER: What're you doing?KIT: I've got a gun here, sir. It's always a good idea to have one around.
Kit draws the pistol. He is shaken, though he must have seen this coming.FATHER: What do you think you're doing? Go on, get out of here.KIT: Well, I got it all planned... and I'm taking Holly off with me.
He looks at Holly, who has appeared on the landing, uncertain what her reaction to all this will be.FATHER: Okay, boy, I'm turning you over to the authorities.
Kit steps forward as Holly's father starts down the stairs.KIT: What for?FATHER: For coming onto my property... With a gun.KIT: No, you're not either.FATHER (o.c.): Yeah? Why not?KIT: Cause I can't allow it.
Holly's father stares at him for a moment, then continues down the stairs. Kit starts forward.KIT: Hey... Hey, wait a minute.
His shout arrests Holly's father at the bottom of the stairs.KIT: Suppose I shot you. How'd that be? Huh?
Holly's father does not move.KIT: You want to hear what it sounds like?
He fires a shot into the stairs. The report is deafening in the enclosure of the stairwell. They exchange looks. Kit's breathing is heavy.
- INT. LIVING ROOM
Holly's father turns and walks into the living room. Kit rushes down the stairs. Holly shouts his name.KIT: Hey, where you going?
He fires two shots into Holly's father, who slowly sinks to the floor. Kit unlimbers his shoulder. Holly rushes down the stairs to her father's side.HOLLY: Daddy... This is Holly... Are you going to be okay?
Her father does not respond. She looks back at Kit, who avoids her gaze. She gets to her feet and walks nto the kitchen. Kit follows her.
- INT. KITCHEN
Kit closes the back door to the house.KIT: I came in the front.HOLLY: How bad off is he?KIT (o.c.): I can look and see.HOLLY: We better call the doctor... Listen. I'll say how it happened, part I saw.KIT (sighs): Well... I don't think that'd work.
This startles Holly.
- INT. LIVING ROOM
Kit touches the father's heart.KIT: He don't need a doctor.
He walks back into the kitchen.HOLLY: Are you sure?KIT: You don't believe me, see for yourself.
Holly stares at her father.
- EXT. HOLLY'S HOUSE - DUSK
LOW ANGLE of Holly's house silhouetted against the evening sky. On sound the NOISE of CICADAS.
- INT. CELLAR
Kit drags Holly's father into the cellar. sets him down gently, then eases out of the room, taking a discarded toaster with him.
- INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT
Kit comes up the steps from the cellar. Holly stands at the drainboard.KIT: I found a toaster.
He sets down the toaster and walks over to Holly's side.KIT: Listen, honey. I don't want to...
She slaps him across the forehead. He walks into the now darkened living room, and sits down at the piano. After a moment Holly follows him.
- INT. LIVING ROOM ~ NIGHT
Holly sits down on the sofa across from Kit.HOLLY: Listen, maybe we ought to tell somebody about this.KIT: You said that once already... Too late now.HOLLY: Why?KIT: They're not going to listen to me. You either. Are you kidding?
A silence follows.HOLLY: Suppose the neighbors heard the noise?KIT: Wouldn't be funny... Listen, I'll be back in a while.
He gets up and heads for the front door.KIT: Oh... You want to call the police, that's fine. Just won't be so hot for me.
There are tears in Holly's eyes now. They exchange looks as Kit opens the front door. Then he leaves. Holly settles back on the couch.
- EXT. HOLLY'S HOUSE - NIGHT
The house by night.
- INT. HALLWAY AND BEDROOM - NIGHT
Holly comes up the stairs, smoking a cigarette. She walks to her bedroom window. The CAMERA DOLLIES with her. Outside, under the street lamp, she can see two boys trading secrets.
- INT. TRAIN STATION - NIGHT
Kit puts fifty cents into a gramophone booth. He clears his voice as the machine whirs Into operation.KIT: My girl Holly and I have decided to kill ourselves, same way I did her dad. Big decision huh? Well, the reasons are obvious, and I don't have time to go into them right now... One thing, though... He was provoking me when I popped him. That's what it was like, a POP.
Inserts of the booth's mechanism: a light panel measuring off the seconds and the needle on the record.KIT: Course nobody's coming out of this thing happy, especially not us. You can't deny we've had fun, though. Which is more than I can say for some.... Mmmm. that's the end of the message. I run out of things to say... Thank you.
He gets these last words in just as his time is up. He gets the record and steps outside the booth, into the lobby of a train station.
- INT. HOLLY'S LIVING ROOM - SERIES OF ANGLES - NIGHT
Kit slams a ten-gallon can of gasoline down on the piano bench, opens it and begins pouring it out over the interior of the house, kicking aside everything that comes in his way.
- EXT. REAR OF HOUSE - NIGHT
Holly comes out the screen door at the back of the house, carrying a suitcase and a painting. Kit appears with a lamp on an extension cord. He sets it down beside a victrola he has set up on a table outdoors. He puts the needle on the record he recorded earlier. Holly watches him as she retreats to the car.HOLLY (v.o.): Kit left a record playing over and over for the District Attorney to find. He was gambling for time.
Kit unplugs the lamp, lights a book of matches and pitches them into a puddle of gas. The back porch of the house explodes into flame. Kit runs to the car with the lamp, caught off guard by the force of the flames. They drive off.
- INT./EXT HOUSE ON FIRE - SERIES OF ANGLES - NIGHT
Various objects around the house burst into flames: a picture we saw on the stairs. some peacock feathers, a cantaloupe and a pomegranate left on the kitchen table, the living room, Holly's bedroom, the bed itself, a doll on the bed, an A&W Root Beer sign outside the house, a water can, flames swirling out the front of the house. Holly's father in CLOSEUP in the cellar, sheet music lifting off the piano. etc. At length the CAMERA PANS over the charred frame of Holly's bed. Outside a fireman moves with a flashlight through the embers of the house.
- INT. SCHOOL CORRIDOR
Holly collects her books from a locker at her school and walks anxiously down a corridor towards the exit.HOLLY (v.o.): Kit made me get my books from school, so I wouldn't fall behind. We'd be starting a new life, he said. and we'd have to change our names. His would be James. Mine would be Priscilla. We'd hide out like spies, somewhere in the North, where people didn't ask a lot of questions.
- EXT. SCHOOL - DAWN
Holly breaks into a run as she comes through the front door of the high school. Kit waits for her at the car. There is nobody else in sight.HOLLY (v.o.): I could of snuck out the back or hid in the boiler room, I suppose, but I sensed that my destiny now lay with Kit, for better or for worse, and that it was better to spend a week with one who loved me for what I was than years of loneliness.
She gets into the car and they drive off.
- INT. MERCURY - DAWN
Kit studies Holly for signs of her mood.KIT: How you doing?HOLLY (neutrally): I'm fine. Kind of tired.KIT: Yeah, me too.
The car sails down a quiet street.
- EXT. RIVER
The CAMERA DOLLIES with a tree floating down a swollen river. Cottonwood trees cover the far bank.HOLLY (v.o.): We hid out In the wilderness,down by a river in a grove of cottonwoods. It being the flood season we built our house in the trees, with tamarisk walls and willows laid side by side to make a floor. There wasn't a plant in the forest that didn't come in handy.
CLOSEUPS OF PLAIQTS - SERIES OF ANGLES
Details of the cottonwoods, willow and tamarisk. Music continues under.
- EXT. TREEHOUSE - SERIES OF ANGLES
Details of Kit and Holly building the treehouse. Kit pounds a log into place wi h a tomahawk; Holly scrapes the bark off a log with a piece of flint; Kit weaves tamarisk branches through the frame of the house. This MONTAGE ends with a PAN DOWN the four stories of the completed treehouse.HOLLY (v.o.): We planned a huge network of tunnels under the forest floor, and our first order of business every morning was to decide on a new password for the day. ow and then weld sneak out at night and steal a chicken or a bunch of corn or some melons from a melon patch... Mostly. though, we just lay on our backs and stared at the clouds and sometimes it was like being in a big marble hall. the way we talked in low voices and heard the tiniest sound.
- INT. TREEHOUSE
The CAMERA PANS off Holly's painting, a Maxwell Parrish, onto Kit asleep with his pistol beside him. then onto Holly under a quilt with a box of shells beside her. Her hand quivers once.
- EXT. TREE TOPS
Kit lifts an egg out of a bird's nest at the top of a tree. He drops it down to Holly, fifty feet below.HOLLY (v.o.): They hadn't found but one set of bones in the ashes of the house. so we knew they'd be looking for us. Kit made sure we'd be prepared.
- EXT. TRAIL - SERIES OF ANGLES
Kit cuts a piece of twine that lies across a trail, whereupon a ball full of spikes comes swinging down out of the trees. with lethal force. Kit ducks out of the way. We next see Kit with a dew ag around his forehead, running laps through the woods as part of his training. He exhorts himself to greater effort.HOLLY (v.o.): He gave me lectures on how a gun works, how to take it apart and put it back together again. in case 1 had to carry on without him. He said that if the Devil came at me, I could shoot him with a gun.
- EXT. TAMARISK
Holly struggles through the undergrowth witha yoke over her shoulders, carrying wood back to the teahouse.HOLLY (v.o.): One day, I carried thirty pounds of wood a distance of five miles. Another day, while hiding in the forest, I covered my eyes with makeup, to see how they'd come out.
TIGHT ON HOLLY'S EYES
Holly has made her eyes up with mascara.
- EXT. FRONT OF TREEHOUSE
Kit and Holly dance the stroll to the sound of Mickey and Sylvia on their Zenith portable. Holly shows a better sense of rhythm than Kit.
- EXT. MUD FLAT BESIDE RIVER - DUSK
Kit lifts a fish out of the river with a crude device like a lacrosse net. Holly sits on the bank In the b.g. The fish wriggles out of the net and falls back In the water. Kit struggles in vain to retrieve it.HOLLY (v.o.): We had our bad moments, like any couple. Kit accused me of only being along for the ride,while at times I wished he'd fall in the river and drown, so I could watch.
Kit throws his net down in disgust, partly at Holly.KIT: Take a break. Red... Life of Riley, huh?
Holly ignores him as he walks off down the flat.HOLLY (v.o.): Mostly. though. we got along fine and stayed in love.
- EXT. FRONT OF TREEHOUSE
Holly, in curlers, walks over to where Kit is shaving.HOLLY: One of the chickens died last night.
She pats a little water on her face, dries it with a burlap towel, picks up a hatchet and walks off into the forest to cut the morning's firewood.HOLLY: I almost stepped on him.
- EXT. UPPER DECK
Holly sits on the upper deck of the treehouse, reading Kon-Tiki aloud to Kit.HOLLY: "The Kon-Tiki in motion was a little different from what it usually was in such conditions. We had become sensitive to changes in the rhythm of the logs. I thought at once of suction from the coast, which was drawing near, and was continually out on the deck and up the mast..."KIT: He was nervous.
Holly looks at him for a moment, trying to understand the meaning of this interruption, then resumes:HOLLY: "Time passed. At dawn, just before six, Torstein came hurrying down from the masthead. He could see a whole line of small palm-clad islands far ahead..."
- EXT. RIVER
Holly walks down the edge of the river, fresh from her bath. wrapped in a white sheet. The river is raging, with white caps visible in places.
- EXT. FOREST
A strange animal, not a deer or a horse, but like them, moves languidly through the thick of the forest. Holly puts down her binoculars, amazed.HOLLY (v.o.): I grew to love the forest. The cooing of the doves and the hum of dragonflies in the air made it always seem lonesome and like everybody's dead and gone...
- EXT. CROW'S NEST
Kit sits in the crow's nest at the top of the treehouse, browsing through a copy of National Geographic. amused by what he sees, looking around to find somebody he can share it with.HOLLY (v.o.): When the leaves rustled overhead, it was like the spirits were whispering about all the little things that bothered 'em.
- TIGHT ON SLIDES
An array of stereo slides is spread out on the leaves of the forest floor. Holly puts one in her stereopticon and studies it. Kit greets her as he walks by with a log over his shoulder.HOLLY (v.o.): One day, while taking a look at some vistas in Dad's stereopticon, it hit me that I was just this little girl, born in Texas, whose father was a sign painter and who had only just so many years to live ...
TIGHT ON SLIDES
With each of her thoughts a slide appears: a canal in Brazil, a camel boy in front of the Great Pyramid. some cows standing in a fjord with a steamship in the distance, a mother with her child, a woman playing the piano as another woman looks on, a family on a lawn, a soldier in a wheatfield whispering something into his girlfriend's ear.HOLLY (v.o.)... It sent a chill down my spine, and I thought: Where would I be this very moment if Kit had never met me? ... Or killed anybody? This very moment... If my Mom had never met my Dad? If she'd of never died?... And what's the man I'll marry going to look like? What's he doing right this minute? ... Is he thinking about me now, by some coincidence, even though he doesn't know me? Does it show on his face?
- EXT. RIVER
Kit is fishing with his crude net. He stops briefly to watch a truck passing down the highway In the distance, then goes back to work. This stretch of river seems dangerously close to civilization.HOLLY (v.o.): For days afterward I lived in dread. At times I wished I could fall asleep and be taken off to some magical land, but this never happened.
Kit, frustrated draws his pistol from his back pocket and looks around for the fish that has been eluding him. He does not see, as we do, a MAN watching him from across the river. He fires at the fish. misses it and fires again. The Man across the river hesitates. then moves back into the undergrowth.
- SERIES OF ANGLES - TREEHOUSE
Holly is off somewhere in the forest. putting on lipstick. Kit sits on watch in the crowls nest, a pair of binoculars close at hand. On sound, over the music, we hear voices whispering to them. Kit sees a movement in the brush. A moment later a figure appears, a hunter, carrying a gun. Kit shouts a code word to Holly. She takes off running, as Kit clambers down the planks of the treehouse and collects his shotgun. He tells her to hide, runs through the woods and dives in a hole, under a cover of leaves. She jumps behind a log. Several shots of the still forest follow, then the hunters appear, a shoulder here. pant leg there. The music ends as one of them cocks his gun. They pass right over the hole where Kit is hiding. Kit rises up slowly, gives them a gentlemanly word of warning, then shoots all three in the back. He checks to see if anybody else is with them, then calls weakly out to Holly.KIT: Holly!
Holly picks her way through the brush, back to the treehouse.
- EXT. TREEHOUSE
They are packed up and ready to leave. Kit slams the trunk of the Mercury.KIT: Get in the car, Red.
He takes a bird cage off the roof of the car and throws it away.KIT: We don't need this.
He climbs a ladder, looks In the cabin of the treehouse to see if they've left anything behind, then jumps down. He flips over the wicker hemisphere that covers their rooster. The rooster walks off, free. He surveys the woods, then looks back at Holly, who returns his look and gets in the car.HOLLY (v.o.)Kit felt bad about shooting those men in the backs. but he said they'd come in like that. and they would've played it as down and dirty as they could, and besides, held overheard them whispering about how they were only interested in the reward money. With lawmen it wouldtve been different. They were out there to get a job done and they deserved a fair chance. But not a bounty hunter.
- EXT. BADLANDS - SERIES OF ANGLES
We see a flat expanse of the Badlands. The Mercury appears over the horizon and heads toward a solitary house. A man appears at the door of the house, Kit's friend, Cato.HOLLY (v.o.): We went to hide out with a friend of Kit's from the days of the garbage route.