(A park. A dark car is parked on a hill. Babak, a man in a black
suit climbs out and, holding a newspaper in his hand, makes his way past
kids playing Frisbee to a wooden bench. He sits and looks around, then
opens the paper and begins to read. As he does, a couple jogs by. Their
names are Antov and Sigrid. They stop to catch their breath. They speak
in perfect English.)
Antov: Good day.
Sigrid: Really. You're getting fat! It's all that junk food you've been eating.
(Antov looks down at himself and lifts up his shirt.)
Antov: Fat? Where?
Sigrid: Where? There! (She slaps his belly. Apparently, she enjoys it.) Ooh!
(They giggle and slap and tickle each other and start jogging again. They follow the path Babak. Antov sits down and ties his shoe. Sigrid stretches. Babak never looks up from his paper.)
Antov: Did we get our instructions yet?
Babak: Your training shows. You not only look American, but you have the same impatience as well.
Antov: I'm just anxious to do the jobs we were trained for.
Babak: Good. Don't let your enthusiasm temper your judgment. We have no time for error.
Antov: Then there is a plan.
Babak: We have an inside contact. His name is Mikhail. You will work out your plan with him.
Sigrid: This Mikhail, is he a trained operative?
Babak: No, he is a member of the household staff. You will work through him.
Sigrid: I hate working with amateurs.
Babak: You were also trained to do as instructed. Your American impudence is a believable affectation. Don't carry it too far. Remember why you are here and where you came from.
Sigrid: Yes, sir. (They watch Babak as he folds his paper, stands, and walks away. Sigrid looks at Antov.) You're a fool. Do you know how important Babak is?
Antov: I know how important this mission is. Our contact is a member of the household staff? What, a gardener? A chauffeur?
Sigrid: Hmm, he was right about your impudence. And I was right about your stomach. You've been eating too much junk food.
(He laughs and chases after her.)
(A suburban neighborhood. A car turns the corner onto a street of
a rich-looking area. Inside the car are Amanda and Dotty.)
Dotty: Ah, this is it, this is it, Amanda! Turn here.
Amanda: This can't be it, Mother.
Dotty: Turn here. This is it. I know what I'm talking about. Now just park in front of that -- see that car there? Just park in front of that car.
Amanda: Mother, this isn't right, there's a mistake.
Dotty: Now, the ad says that we enter in the rear. (The car comes to a stop on the side of the road.) This is it.
(Amanda and her mother get out. Amanda stares across the street at a huge mansion. Dotty makes her way around the car to join her daughter.)
Amanda: Mother, I think this must be a misprint.
Dotty: No, it is not a misprint. This is it.
Amanda: Mother, this is a mansion. People who live in mansions don't have garage sales.
Dotty: This is an estate sale. People who have estates have estate sales. I mean, sometimes you can find wonderful bargains.
(Amanda looks around.)
Amanda: Then why are we the only ones here?
Dotty: Because the newspaper just came out. And the professional shoppers aren't here yet. I mean, wait. In a half hour this place is going to be swarming with people. Come on, come on!
Dotty: Come on, come on. (Dotty starts walking up to the house. Amanda reluctantly follows. In the back, they find a dignified woman organizing furniture and pottery for sale. The woman is Princess Valosky. Dotty walks up brightly.) Good morning!
Valosky: Good morning.
Amanda: I hope we're not too early.
Valosky: Oh, not at all, not at all.
(Dotty begins eyeing some of the merchandise.)
Dotty: Oh, look at that exquisite vase.
Amanda: Oh, it's pretty.
Dotty: And that darling little chair.
Amanda: Um, Mother?
(Amanda looks at the princess.)
Amanda: We came about the table.
Dotty: Oh, oh, the entry table, the one you have mentioned in the ad?
Valosky: Oh yes, that is on the patio with the larger pieces. (Amanda and her mother begin to look uneasy.) Would you please follow me?
(She walks past them. Amanda grabs her mother's arm and whispers to her.)
Amanda: With the larger pieces!
Dotty: Come on!
(They go after Valosky as she leads them to the patio. She finally sets her hand down on a beautiful wooden table. Amanda and Dotty ooh and ahh at it.)
Valosky: Well, this is the table mentioned in the advertisement. I was told to ask thirty-five, but I will accept less.
Amanda (in amazement): Thirty-five?
Valosky: Well, everything has to be sold within the next few days.
Dotty: Are you redecorating?
Valosky: No, I need the money.
Dotty: Oh. Well, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to --
Valosky: Please, it was a logical assumption.
Amanda: Excuse me, I know it's really none of my business, but thirty-five seems awfully low for this table.
Valosky: Do you think?
(While they talk, Dotty wanders away and peeks into the house. She sees expensive-looking paintings and furniture and she gaze, half puzzled and half impressed.)
Amanda: Yes, I really do. I mean, I'm not an expert, but I would say thirty-five is definitely on the low side.
(Dotty returns to them.)
Valosky: Would you like to offer more than thirty-five?
Amanda: No. You see, I -- well, I really don't need it, it wouldn't go in my house.
Valosky: I see. You do not wish the table.
Amanda: No, I'm sorry. But you know, there's so many beautiful things here, I'm sure there's something else that --
Valosky: It is not necessary for you to buy anything.
Amanda: Well, I know it's not necessary to buy anything, I just, you know. . . . (She trails off as her eyes focus on a beautiful brooch.) Oh.
(She picks it up and hands it to Valosky.)
Valosky: Oh, that is a cameo. You may have it for . . . ten dollars.
Dotty: Ten dollars? Oh, it must have cost a lot more than that.
Valosky: Well, there is not much demand for cameos. Perhaps I could take less.
Amanda: Oh, no, please. You really mustn't quote a price and then reduce it because if you do, well, people will take advantage of you.
Valosky: I would like you to have it.
Amanda: Thank you, I would like to have it. But I won't pay you a cent less than ten dollars and I still think you could reconsider about this table. I think it's worth a lot more than thirty-five.
Valosky: Well, the dealer offered three thousand, thirty-five hundred seems about right.
Dotty: Thirty-five hundred.
Amanda: Thirty-five hundred is fair.
(In a house across the street, Sigrid and Antov are positioned. Antov
is practicing push-ups on the floor while Sigrid watches Valosky's house
with binoculars and gives Antov a full report of everything she sees.)
Sigrid: Ah, two suburban types just left. The excitement's killing me.
Antov: It won't be long. You get excitement.
(Sigrid lowers the binoculars and crosses to Antov. She takes a seat at a desk behind him, still huffing and puffing on the floor. She ruffles through some papers.)
Sigrid: I don't know why we can't move now. What could be better? It's open to the public. That's us.
(Antov stands and gets his towel. He walks over to the window, keeping his back to Sigrid.)
Antov: We move when Mikhail tells us to move.
Sigrid: I love it. We've got a butler calling the shots on this mission. You know what? It doesn't make sense. I mean, we're the ones with the training, we're the ones that were smuggled into this country to do a job. Why do we need him?
(Antov turns and looks at her.)
Antov: Because he's inside.
(That night at Amanda's house. Amanda and Dotty are washing the dishes
in the kitchen.)
Amanda: You know what, Mother? I don't think she planned on selling that brooch.
Dotty: Well, she probably didn't plan on selling anything, I mean, it was just a matter of need.
Amanda: I wonder what happened.
Dotty: Well, I have a pretty good guess. I mean, did you see that portrait on the wall? Those eyes and that arrogant expression. A man like that would not stick around if there was any kind of difficulty.
Amanda: Mother, I don't know why you think her husband left her. He's probably dead or something.
Dotty: Well, if that's the case, he should have spent less money on portraits of himself and more money on life insurance premiums. I mean, there is no reason for a lovely lady like that to be left destitute.
Amanda: Mother, do you think she gets enough to eat?
Dotty: I wouldn't count on it.
(Amanda looks down and turns back to the dishes sadly.)
(The IFF lobby. Amanda is standing before Mrs. Marsden, who has a
strict, disapproving look on her face.)
Amanda: Stopwatch? (Mrs. Marsden silently shakes her head.) Stickpatch? (Mrs. Marsden just gazes back. Amanda inhales.) I'm sorry, Mrs. Marsden. I really wasn't due in today so I didn't concentrate on the password. Mr. Melrose called me specifically at home and requested that I come in.
(Her plea has no effect on the stone-faced secretary.)
(Downstairs in the IFF office, Lee is leaning against Francine's
desk and facing her.)
Francine: She might have forgotten the password, you know? It has happened.
(She smirks at him and sits down. Lee sighs and turns to where Billy is standing, going over a file.)
Lee: Why didn't I think of that?
(He picks up a phone and dials a number.)
(In the lobby, Mrs. Marsden's phone buzzes. Still watching Amanda,
she picks up the receiver.)
Mrs. Marsden: Hello?
Lee: Hello, Mrs. Marsden. Is Mrs. King there?
Mrs. Marsden: Yes, Mr. Stetson, she's here right now.
(She removes the phone from her ear and hands it across the desk to Amanda, who gladly accepts it.)
Amanda: Hello? (She listens for a few seconds, nods, and lowers the phone.) Straplash.
(Downstairs, Lee is walking with Amanda to the office.)
Amanda: I'm sorry, Lee, I just couldn't remember. I think it's Mrs. Marsden. She's a very nice lady, but I think she must intimidate me.
Lee: She intimidates everybody, it's her job.
(They reach Billy and Francine.)
Amanda: Morning, sir.
Billy: Morning, Amanda.
Amanda: Is anything wrong? I was just leaving the house when you called and I wondered if there was something wrong with my work.
(Billy looks up at her.)
Billy: You're doing a good job, Amanda. A great job.
(Amanda smiles, relieved.)
Amanda: Oh, thank you, sir.
Lee: Amanda, remember the tapes you transcribed here the other day, the telephone transcripts?
Lee: The information in your transcripts won't program.
Amanda: It won't program?
Lee: No. You see, we feed the information into a computer and some of your descriptions can't be . . . well, they can't be . . .
Billy: For example, you say here, "he makes slurping sounds when he listens."
Amanda: Yes, sir.
Lee: Yeah, well, what's a slurping, exactly?
Amanda: Well, it's sort of like, um. . . . (She demonstrates a slurping sound through her teeth.) Well, you can't really make it unless you have bridge work.
(Billy nods and makes a note on the paper.)
Billy: He has ill-fitting bridge work.
(Francine speaks up and all eyes are focused on her holding a phone.)
Francine: Excuse me, Billy, Fielding just reported in from the Kalkovich stakeout and he said there's no unusual activity there.
Billy: Good, but he'd better stay on it.
Francine: Right. (She goes back to the phone. Billy turns to the other two.) Fielding, Billy says you stay on it for now. . . .
Billy: I don't know how we can cover every rich target in Washington. If we knew who they planned to assassinate, it . . . it would make it easy for us!
Amanda: Assassinate, sir?
Lee: Pretend you didn't hear that, okay?
Amanda: I didn't hear that.
(Billy goes back to Amanda's transcripts.)
Billy: Uh, and here's another: "he kicks into the chair."
Amanda: Well, uh, that's like flops, only it's more deliberate. (Lee and Billy just stare at her.) Maybe I should have just transcribed the telephone conversation as it was, but you see, sometimes what people don't say is a lot more revealing than what they do say and so I thought that maybe these things would be helpful clues.
Billy: Well, they just might be clues, Amanda, thank you very much and we appreciate that.
Amanda: Yes, sir.
Billy: Listen, scarecrow, you run through the whole transcript with Amanda and get a corrected copy up to the central computer.
Amanda: Now? Oh, well, yes, of course you want them now.
Billy: Do you have some trouble with now?
Amanda: Oh, no, sir, no problem, I was just thinking about my meat loaf. (Francine rolls her eyes. Lee and Billy exchange glances.) It's in the car. The car's in the sun. But that's all right, I was going to make a delivery to a friend of mine.
Lee: Well, Amanda, those tapes are very important!
Amanda: Yes, I know, I can make another meat loaf.
Billy: That won't be necessary. Scarecrow, you go with her, let her make her delivery, and then get right back here and finish up on the transcript.
(Amanda grins, pleased.)
Amanda: Oh, well, thank you, sir.
Billy: You're welcome. (Lee chuckles half-heartedly and leads Amanda to the door.) You're welcome, too.
(Lee grumbles a reply.)
(At the same Washington park, a dark car pulls to a stop. Mikhail,
a 40-ish man gets out and saunters over to a picnic table where Babak is
reading another paper. He stands nearby and gazes around. Babak looks up.)
Babak: Can't you keep your mind on business?
Mikhail: You said to act naturally, this is how I act.
Babak: Sit down and shut up and look at your paper like I do. I'll do the talking. (Mikhail meekly takes a seat and picks up the folded newspaper resting on the table.) The money is in the newspaper. It is the amount we agreed on. (Instantly, Mikail opens the paper and removes an envelope.) If you take it, understand the conditions. She speaks before the Senate committee within two days. The results of that meeting will have an affect on the standing of one Leonid Godorsky.
Mikhail: Yes, I know of him.
(Babak glances up to see Mikhail peering into the envelope. He rolls his eyes as if to say "Amateur" and goes back to his paper.)
Babak: Don't count that here! (Mikhail closes the envelope and places it back where he found it.) She is not to speak at the meeting. She must be dead within forty-eight hours.
(Mikhail makes a slurping sound through his teeth, the kind you can only make if you have bridge work.)
Mikhail: I will get the assassination team inside with time to spare.
Babak: They will do the killing, but the responsibility is shared. (Mikhail nods grimly.) What is the plan?
Mikhail: We have no plan yet, Comrade Babak. I didn't know it was to be so soon.
Babak: There is much at stake here. If you fail or expose us. . . .
(Mikhail looks at him seriously.)
Mikhail: I will not fail. I am a man of honor.
Babak: You are a greedy coward. It disgusts me to have to work with you.
(Mikhail goes back to his paper. Babak stands and walks away. As soon as he is out of sight, Mikhail takes out the envelope and counts the money inside.)
(A Washington street. Lee is accompanying Amanda in her station wagon
as she drives to make her delivery. He is going over the transcripts as
Lee: Okay now, you say the man was tall.
Lee: How can you tell that from a phone conversation?
Amanda: Well, after two steps I could barely hear him, so I figured they had to be pretty long steps.
Lee: And tall people make long steps so. . . .
Amanda: Right. And then when he sat down, he had to kind of twist his legs and shift around in his chair to get comfortable and tall people do that, too.
Lee: It makes sense.
Amanda: Well, I have a pretty logical mind.
Lee: Yeah, you do.
Lee: At one time or another. (Amands rolls her eyes.) What makes you think he was a health freak?
Amanda: By the way he was breathing. See, he was breathing that way they teach you in exercise class, so . . . I think he was working out.
Lee: Ah-hah. So we have a health freak who's tall and he wears a bridge.
Amanda: No, no, no. He doesn't wear a bridge. That's the other man. The tall breather doesn't wear a bridge.
Amanda: Did I ever tell you about the clicking sound?
Amanda: Well, see, there's also this clicking sound. It's like a grinding and a sliding and a snap . . . and then a click.
(She snaps her fingers. Lee's eyes widen with recognition.)
Lee: So he's got a gun?
Amanda: Or someone else . . . who's near the phone has a gun. Sometimes it doesn't always come from the phone.
Lee: Okay. So we've got two people and one gun, so far.
Lee: All right.
Amanda: If you have the phone tapped, it means you suspect that they're doing something wrong, right?
Amanda: And now you know that they have a gun, or guns, right?
Amanda: So why don't you just arrest them?
Lee: Look, we didn't bug their phone. We picked up the conversation on a wave scanner. That means we can't pinpoint the location.
Amanda: A wave scanner?
Lee: Yeah. You see, there's this man named Andre Babak. (He lowers his voice.) He's a kind of a spy master, all right? For the East Bloc embassies. We got a tip that he's imported an assassination team from back home.
Amanda: Am I supposed to know this?
Lee: You might as well know what you're working on. You won't repeat it?
Amanda: Not a word.
Lee: Okay. Anyway, we used this wave scanner to zero in on Babak's home, right?
Lee: We picked up this conversation.
Amanda: So you think that the assassination team might be at Andre Babak's home?
Lee: No. Somewhere in the vicinity. The trouble is, Amanda, we don't know who their target is. We've got agents nursing possibilities all over town.
Amanda: Well, I hope my clues can be some help. I know they're not really much.
(Lee smiles at her reassuringly.)
Lee: No! No, no, no. They're pretty good.
Amanda: Thank you.
Lee: They are. And they're all we've got. (Amanda shrugs. Just then, she turns onto Princess Valosky's street and comes to a stop in front of her house. She and Lee get out. Lee stares and walks around to Amanda. She hands him a platter. He jabs his thumb in the direction of the mansion.) Your friend lives here?
Amanda: Well, I know it's impressive, but looks can be deceiving.
(Amanda pulls a second plate out of the car.)
Lee: But, Amanda, you're really dropping off a meat loaf at this address?
Amanda: Well, it's for the lady who lives here. I think she's having a hard time. Look, we'll just drop it off and run, okay?
Lee: Sure. Fine.
(They walk up to the house, Lee gazing around in awe the whole time. They go up to the front door.)
Amanda: I'm afraid I can't introduce you. I don't know her name. (Lee chuckles and rings the doorbell. A stiff-looking butler answers.) Hello. We're looking for the lady of the house. (The butler straightens, a bit shocked.) We're friends.
Butler: One moment, please.
Amanda: Thank you. (He closes the door. She turns to Lee.) Isn't that nice? She has a boarder.
Amanda: I was afraid she lived all alone.
(The door opens and Princess Valosky is beaming on the other side.)
Valosky: How nice to see you again, my dear.
(Lee's eyes widen in surprise.)
Valosky: And you've brought a friend.
(Lee finally finds his tongue. He bows.)
Lee: Your Highness.
(Amanda stares at him, then looks at Valosky.)
Amanda: Your Highness?
(She nods. She stares at Lee, then looks away, embarrassed.)
(A few minutes later, Princess Valosky is leading them into the living
room, carrying a plate.)
Valosky: You will join me for tea, right?
Amanda: Oh, no, we couldn't possibly. We didn't mean to disturb you, your Highness.
Valosky: Disturb me? On the contrary, I am delighted. (She looks at a servant.) Mikhail, tea for my guests.
Mikhail: Yes, your Highness.
(She motions to the sofa.)
Valosky: Make yourself comfortable. (They sit, the princess across from Lee and Amanda. Amanda puts her meat loaf down on the coffee table. Valosky puts down her plate and lifts the cover.) Ah, poppyseed cake. What a lovely aroma. Thank you very much.
Amanda: Well, you're welcome.
(She looks around nervously.)
Valosky: Is something wrong?
Amanda: Well, I should have recognized you. I feel a little foolish bringing poppyseed cake and meat loaf to your house.
Valosky: An act of kindness is never foolish, Amanda. I may call you Amanda, right?
Amanda: Oh, yes, please do.
Valosky: And why should you recognize me?
Amanda: Um. . . .
Lee: Well, your Highness, you do have a rather high profile in Washington.
Valosky: You mean I talk too much? (She chuckles.) You are wrong, young man. No. One can not talk too much when the subject is tyranny. The tyrants have taken my family, they have taken my home. They have not taken my voice. Never. (A woman places tea and cups before her Highness.) They will never take my voice until I die. But who . . . who will fight after I'm gone?
Amanda: You have no other family?
Valosky: No. You know, I was never political until they were killed. Until I was the last Valosky. (She looks down, then back up.) Leonid Godorsky has a voice.
Lee: Yes, I understand he's under house arrest.
Valosky: He is too brave to silence and too well-liked by the people to impress. Can you imagine what he could do here? Here in this country with freedom! With the help of my friends, he would be a force to reckon with!
Lee: Yes, but what chance would he have of getting to the United States? He was the Nobel lauriat for literature. His own government wouldn't grant him a visa to accept the award.
Valosky: Money speaks all languages. It unlocks doors, it opens borders.
Amanda: So that's the reason for the garage sale, to raise money for Mr. Godorsky.
Valosky: Oh, by the way, you were right, Amanda. The entry table was unpriced. It went for four thousand.
(They stand up.)
Valosky: I'm having a luncheon this afternoon for some of my closest friends to announce something of great importance. I'll expect you at one.
(She smiles and walks past them. Amanda's jaw drops and she just stares after her, then at Lee. He motions for them to leave. Speechless, she just nods and the two exit. Once outside, Amanda finds her voice.)
Amanda: She didn't even wait for an answer. That was more like a royal command than an invitation. What should we do?
Lee: Show up for lunch. I want to know what that important announcement is all about. I've got the feeling it's trouble.
(Later in Billy's office. He is going over the transcript with Lee
Billy: Okay, we have a tall health freak with a gun and a slurper. Let's say . . . the health freak is a member of an East Bloc hit squad. (Lee looks to the floor, then exchanges glances with Amanda.) Let's say. . . .
Billy: Let's say. . . . (He gives up.) We're playing guessing games here. Until I get more data, we don't know who the target is!
Lee: It shouldn't be too hard to figure out. The East Bloc enemy list only includes most of the D.C. phone book.
(Amanda looks up at him.)
Amanda: From what the princess said this afternoon, I guess she's on that list, isn't she?
Billy: Well, that's old news, Amanda. She's been a voice for every immigrant and dissident that has hit this country. She's been taking potshots at her government for years, why would they go after her now?
Amanda: Maybe it has something to do with the big announcement she's going to make at lunch today.
(Billy raises his eyebrow.)
Billy: What announcement?
Amanda: I don't know, she didn't say, but she said it was important.
(Lee suddenly straightens.)
Lee: Yeah, she did. And she also mentioned Leonid Godorsky.
Lee: Billy, if she could get Godorsky out --
Billy: No, no. Nobody can get him out. When the new regime took power, that curtain slammed shut with a bang!
Lee: Yeah, but what if she's working on it, huh? She has a lot of heavyweight friends. You know that.
Billy: Yes, she has.
Amanda: Is Mr. Godorsky that important politically?
Lee: He is well-known and respected all over the world. He's also lived under the new regime. He can give a firsthand and very articulate account of what's going on behind that curtain, believe me. You put him and the princess together, you could stir things up pretty good.
(Billy motions to the window.)
Billy: More manpower! We're understaffed! We just can't cover everything! (Lee sighs. Billy thinks.) Okay. She has a lunch. And an announcement. What are chances we crash it?
Amanda: We don't have to crash it. (Billy looks up.) We're invited.
(Billy grins and looks over at Lee. Lee smiles at Amanda.)
(That afternoon at the princess's house. Lots of cars are lined up
outside on the street. Inside, Valosky is seated at the head of a long
dinner table with guests all around. Amanda is on one side of her and Lee
is on the other. Mikhail is walking around pouring wine.)
Valosky: I can not tell you how very pleased I am that you all could be with me today, my very dear old friends. (She smiles at Amanda and Lee.) And my new ones.
(Countess Ruminska, a cheerful elderly lady at the other end of the table speaks up, very excited.)
Ruminska: And what is the announcement, your Highness? How long are we to be kept in suspense?
Valosky: Countess Ruminska here has never been known for patience, hmm?
Ruminska: Or for a lack of curiosity!
Amanda: I'm sure we're all very anxious to hear it, your Highness. (Lee stares across the table at her. Amanda's smile fades and she looks around at all the wealthy guests watching her, smiling politely. She leans over and whispers to Valosky.) I hope it's all right to say that.
Valosky: Amanda, you must always say what you feel.
Amanda: Yes, but your Highness, it's this question of protocall. I never know what I'm supposed to say and what I'm not supposed to say. I mean, I know I'm not supposed to ask a question, and then again, I think that I'm not supposed to speak unless I'm spoken to.
(Lee grins and sighs with relief. Valosky straightens.)
Valosky: I have very little regard for protocall. I believe one should speak when one has something to say, as I have now. (She speaks to the group.) A toast, please. (She raises her glass and so does everyone else.) To a man whose leadership will enable us to help the oppressed people within our beloved country, Leonid Godorsky. (They all drink from their glasses. Mikhail, now standing at the back of the room, slurps quickly through his teeth. Amanda's head shoots up abruptly and she looks around.) Tomorrow I interview the Senate committee to plea his case.
(Lee's eyes widen and he shifts in his chair.)
Lee: Well, that's wonderful.
Valosky: It is a plea I believe will be listened to and acted upon. (Everyone nods seriously. The doorbell chimes. Valosky looks at her servants, Mikhail and a maid.) My guests are here. I do not wish to be disturbed, Mikhail.
(Mikhail nods and gives his wine bottle to the maid. She takes them in one direction, he leaves in the other.)
Amanda: Your Highness, does that mean that you think Mr. Godorsky will be allowed into this country? (Lee clears his throat and looks at her pointedly.) Oh, well, that was a question, wasn't it?
Valosky: And one I can answer quite happily. Yes. (In the entrance of the house, Mikhail opens the door. On the other side is Antov, carrying a bouquet of flowers and a large gold box. He and Mikhail eye each other for a few moments, then Mikhail leads him into the house.) My friends at the United States Senate assure me that with their efforts, it can be accomplished.
(As Mikhail and Antov pass the dining room, Lee watches suspiciously. As his eyes are focused on Antov, Antov throws down the flowers and rips a machine gun out of the box.)
Lee: Get down!
(He throws himself across the table , knocking over plates and glasses and people. As the machine gun goes off and people scream, Lee slides across the floor and closes the door facing Antov. The bullets still come through the wood, smashing mirrors lamps, and china. Finally, he stops and runs off.)
(A few minutes later, everyone has calmed down and the servants are
walking around, helping to clean the damage. Amanda is kneeling in front
of Countess Ruminska, tending to a cut.)
Amanda: I know it hurt, Countess, but I don't think it's serious. I think the bullet just grazed your arm.
(Valosky walks over and places her hands reassuringly on the Countess's shoulders.)
Valosky: We are lucky that no one was killed. At least we are safe now. There seem to be police everywhere.
Ruminska: I've become weary of police. Theirs and ours.
(Lee walks into the room and Valosky smiles warmly at him.)
Valosky: Ah. If it wouldn't have been for Mr. Stetson, we all would be in need of medical attention, huh?
Amanda: I think you're going to be all right. (She pats Ruminska on the knee and stands up.) Lee? Come with me.
(She motions for him to follow and he goes with her out to the hall. Valosky gazes around the room sadly.)
Valosky: I should have known better. I apologize to my friends for placing you in danger.
Ruminska: Political emigres are accustomed to being shot at. It makes us seem important. I -- I shall dine out on this for weeks.
(Valosky places her arms around Ruminska's head and hugs her.)
Valosky: Ah, merci.
(Outside, Amanda leads Lee to another room and closes the door.)
Amanda: I think I heard him.
Lee: Heard who?
Amanda: The shlurper. When the princess toasted Godorsky, I think I heard the sound that I heard on the tape. Wait a minute. (She shlurps.) That little sound that was on the tape.
Lee: Yeah, are you absolutely sure?
Amanda: Pretty sure, I'm fairly positive. I would say . . . it sounded like the sound -- yes, I'm pretty sure.
Lee: You'd make a terrific witness, Amanda, really.
Amanda: Shouldn't we do something?
Lee: We can't. Look, if we search everyone in that room for their bridgework, we'll blow our surveillance on Babak and the assassination team will know we're on to them.
Amanda: They'll try again, won't they?
Lee: Yeah, they'll try again, but this time, we'll be on to them.
(He takes Amanda's arm and leads her back into the dining room.)
(Later, everyone has gone home. The maid and the butler are cleaning
the dining room. Mikhail walks up to the maid.)
Mikhail: Where's the princess?
Maid: She upstairs sleeping. I'm going to stay with her till she awakens.
Mikhail: Good. She's had a difficult day.
Maid: Yes, sir.
(She walks on. Mikhail, thinking hard, walks in the other direction.)
(Outside, Amanda, Lee, and Billy are all coming from the house.)
Lee: She is one stubborn woman.
Amanda: She's not stubborn! She just doesn't want to believe that one of her own friends would betray her. You can understand that. She doesn't have any family, they're all she has.
Lee: It's an inside job, it has to be. She won't let us put anyone inside the house.
Billy: Well, you can't force someone to take protection. I mean, she's seen enough of that. Walls, guards, political prisoners being loaded into boxcars like cattle.
Amanda: Besides, she wants to be accessible to the people who need her.
Lee: That also makes her accessible to the people who want her dead!
Billy: Okay, so we'll cover the house from the outside from every angle.
Lee: All right. How about a house-to-house search just for the hell of it, huh? I mean, the guy can't just have disappeared.
Billy: Well, we can knock on a few doors, but most of these homes are under diplomatic immunity, you know that.
Lee: Yeah, I know it.
Billy: All right. See you later, Amanda.
Amanda: Sir. (Billy walks away. Amanda faces Lee.) Well, I just want you to know that I know that . . . well, you'll do everything that you can to protect her and that she's under the best possible care that she could be.
Lee: Come on, I'll take you home.
(He leads her away.)
(That night at Amanda's house. Amanda, Dotty, and the boys are all
dressed for bed. Dotty is fixing tea in the kitchen. Amanda is sitting
on the couch with Jamie in her lap, checking his homework ans stroking
his hair. Phillip is kneeling on the floor doing his own homework.)
Dotty: I want to hear all about it, bite by bite. (She laughs.) What did you have to start?
Amanda: Um, we started with wine, Mother.
Dotty: Oh, in crystal glasses, if she didn't have to sell them.
Amanda: Yep, in crystal glasses.
Amanda (to Jamie): What's this word, sweetheart?
Amanda: With an S?
Jamie: Phillip spelled it for me.
Phillip: Did not!
Jamie: Did too!
Amanda: Oh come on, don't argue about it. Jamie, it was very nice of Phillip to help you with your homework, but it's always better if you do it yourself, you know? And if you don't know how to spell a word, just look it up in the dictionary.
Jamie: But, Mom, if I don't know how to spell a word, how do I know how to look it up in the dictionary?
Amanda: Good question --
Dotty: That is a very good question, Amanda, that is the same question you used to ask me when you were a child.
Amanda: I know, Mother. (to Jamie:) We'll look it up together in the morning, okay? Upstairs, get in bed, I'll be up to tuck you in in a minute and I'll tell you (kiss) all about the princess. (to Phillip:) I'm going to check that spelling, okay?
(The boys run upstairs. Dotty walks over to Amanda with her tea and sits across from her.)
Dotty: When are you going to tell me all about the princess? I've been asking you all evening and every time I bring it up, you change the subject!
Amanda: Oh --
Dotty: I mean, Amanda, if I had had lunch with the princess, you wouldn't be able to get me to shut up! I mean, I would be talking about it forever! Now what happened?
Amanda: Mother, it's just that it's, you know, a little difficult to describe, that's all.
(Dotty's expectant look changes to a look of disappointment.)
Dotty: Dull. I knew it. Those things always are. The waxworks. Sitting around talking about nothing of interest to anyone under eighty.
Amanda: Well, it wasn't exactly dull, uh. . . . How did your driving lesson go?
Dotty: There you go again! You're changing the subject! Amanda, if you don't want to --
Amanda: Mother, it's not that I don't want to tell you about it, it's just that I want to hear about your driving lesson. You've been taking them for so long and I know you had one today and I just wanted to know, how'd it go?
Dotty: Not very well.
Dotty: I mean, it could have been a lot worse. I could have hit someone. You see, Howard . . . Howard says that my problem is that I'm nervous, which is absolutely very strange because I am the least nervous person around. Actually, it is Howard that is nervous. I mean, he sits there straight as a board with his fist just clenched through the whole lesson! Now, the next time he does that, I am going to tell him to take deep breathing exercises.
Amanda: Deep breathing might help, Mother.
Dotty: It certainly might.
Amanda: Listen, I'd be happy to give you driving lessons, I told you that.
Dotty: Amanda, no, no. Let's just leave it to the professionals. That way I won't learn any bad habits.
Amanda: Mother, I don't have any bad habits to give you, I'm a very good driver!
Dotty: I know you're a very good driver! (She takes a sip of her tea, then suddenly remembers something.) Have you seen the evening paper?
(Amanda unconvincingly shakes her head.)
Dotty: I have looked for it everywhere. Did you bring it in? (Amanda shakes her head again.) Of course you didn't bring it in. Then we'll just have to watch the news on television.
Amanda: What for?
Amanda: I mean, why watch the news? It's always so depressing. Let's just go upstairs to Phillip and Jamie's room and I'll tell you all about the princess and I'll tell you all about who was there and what they wore and what the room looked like . . . before lunch.
Dotty: Okay. Amanda, I have the distinct impression that something is very, very wrong.
Amanda: What could be wrong?
Dotty: All right.
(She sips from her cup, suspiciously eyeing Amanda. Amanda looks down guiltily at the homework in her hand.)
(The Washington park. A black car pulls up and Mikhail jumps out.
He rushes over to a waiting Babak, for once not reading his paper, but
standing by the road and actually making eye contact with Mikhail.)
Mikhail: I did my part exactly as planned! The boy Antov, he made the error! The failure was his!
Babak: The failure was shared, the punishment will be shared.
Mikhail: I saw to it that Antov escaped! I did that!
Babak: Antov is expendable, there is no credit there! If Sophia Valosky meets with her Senators today. . . . (His words trail off. The two walk to a nearby tree, Babak making long angry strides and Mikhail running along, trying to keep up.) You had a mission, to eliminate the last Valosky. To remove from this earth a single form that has plagued our government!
Mikhail: Today! It will be done today! She is to leave the house at two o'clock. She will be intercepted.
Babak: Not intercepted. Killed.
Mikhail: Yes. Killed. I am not a total fool, Comrade. I know how much importance is attached to the meeting.
Babak: More than you suspect. If she lives, heads will roll.
Mikhail: I believe it. I will guarantee her death. I guarantee you with my life!
Babak: Then you have a final chance, for your own life.
(Babak walks away. Mikhail stares straight ahead, then looks behind to see where Babak went. Then he turns and leaves. A couple yards away, a blond woman eating at a picnic table raises her head. It is Francine. She watches him go.)
(Later at IFF. Amanda walks into the Intelligence Office and strides
over to Lee and Francine, who are reading some papers. Lee looks surprised.)
Francine: Well, look who remembered the password.
Amanda: No, actually, I didn't. Someone must have spoken to Mrs. Marsden. She just sort of looked disgusted and waved me on through.
Lee: Hey, we got the slurper.
Amanda: You did?
Lee: Well, not physically, not yet. But look: if the guy with the flowers is the tall man, then Mikhail has to be the slurper.
Lee: Yeah, the princess's majordomo. Now, Francine followed him from the house to a park where he met with Andre Babak.
Francine: Only the top spy master from the top East Bloc embassy. I couldn't get close enough to overhear what they were saying, but they were not talking about the price of tomatoes.
(Francine walks away. Amanda looks at Lee, who takes a few steps closer to her.)
Amanda: Oh, that's terrible. Have you told the princess?
Lee: Well, that's where we're going to go right now. I'll need you to convince her.
Lee: What? How'd you happen to come by here anyhow?
Amanda: Oh, well, it's about the newspapers. You know, the assassination attempt is all over the front page!
Lee: I know.
Amanda: Now, I got rid of last night's paper and I hid this morning's, but Mother is getting very suspicious.
Lee: Well, Amanda, what can I do about it? I don't control the newspaper.
Both: Freedom of the press.
Amanda: And all of that, I know, I know, but my mom's going to wonder why I just neglected to mention an assassination attempt at a luncheon!
Lee: I know.
(At the house holding Antov and Sigrid, Sigrid is seated at a desk.
She picks up a big machine gun and begins cleaning it. Antov is lying on
the couch reading the newspaper.)
Antov: I figure we're jinxed. (He looks over at Sigrid's back and throws down the paper on the coffee table, standing up. He shuffles over to window and peeks through.) Years of training for this gig and we blow it.
Sigrid: Not we, Antov, you. Is anything happening out there?
Antov: Same old stuff. Some Agency teams watching the Valosky house, two cars with our men watching them.
(He turns and takes a seat beside her. She never looks up.)
Sigrid: It's hard to tell them apart. Their men look like ours.
Antov: It's not that hard. Their suits fit 'em. (The phone beside Antov rings. He picks up the receiver. Sigrid glances up.) Yeah? . . . You got it, man. (He hangs up and turns to Sigrid with a big grin on his face. He puts his hand behind Sigrid's head and plays tenderly with her hair.) The old lady's leaving the house. Babak takes out their cars, we take her.
(Sigrid does not respond to the affectionate stroking.)
Sigrid: I take her.
(Antov's smile slowly fades and his hand falls. He lowers his gaze.)
(Lee's Porsche is driving through Washington on the way to the princess's
mansion. Inside, Amanda and Lee are arguing, as usual.)
Lee: Now you know, the princess is a stubborn woman.
Amanda: You keep saying that.
Lee: But she likes you.
Amanda: Well, I like her, too!
Lee: Okay, but you have to convince her to cancel the meeting with the Senate committee.
Amanda: I'll try, but I don't know if I can do that! You know how important that meeting is to her. She's sure that it'll get Mr. Godorsky his freedom.
Lee: Yeah, well, nothing will happen for Mr. Godorsky if the princess is dead! Now, she has nagged and badgered and called in a lot of favors from a lot of old friends. But if she's not there to keep up the pressure, Amanda, they're just going to go on to other business. It's called the Squeaky Wheel Syndrome.
Amanda: But look, now that we know who the shlurper is --
Lee: Yes! Mikhail's only one part of it. And there's that assassination team. They're not going to try to hit her in the house, not when they're being staked out. But if she leaves. . . .
Amanda: Oh my gosh.
(At the Valosky estate, the door opens and Mikhail escorts a proud
and defiant-looking Princess Valosky to her car. He opens the door and
she climbs into the back. The motor starts up. Mikhail stands back and
nods good-bye as the car slowly backs out of the driveway. Two U.S. agents
are watching in a van across the street.)
Agent1: Is she crazy or what?
Agent2: Should we stop her?
Agent1: On whose authority? Just don't lose her. Don't let our friends there anywhere near her.
(Mikhail turns and walks back to the house. In another car across the street, Sigrid and Antov are watching closely.)
Antov: Here she comes.
(Sigrid speaks into a walkie-talkie.)
Sigrid: You'll take out the Agency car?
(In yet another car sit Babak and his driver. Babak returns the message in his own walkie- talkie.)
Babak: We'll get 'em.
(They all watch as the princess's car turns the corner, followed by the Agency car. As soon as they turn, Sigrid puts the car in gear.)
Sigrid: Let's go.
(They speed after the agents. Around the corner, Babak waits in his car. Timing it perfectly, they pull out onto the street just in time to crash into the Agency car, pushing it off the road and smashing a headlight. The two agents jump out and run around to Babak's side, throwing open the door. one pointing a gun in and the other waving to a pickup truck parked nearby. The truck pulls out and goes tearing after the princess. At the car, Babak looks calmly at the two men aiming guns at him.)
Babak: You don't need that. I have diplomatic immunity.
Agent1: The only thing that's gonna get you, sir, is a one-way ticket home.
(Babak surrenders and allows himself to be led away.)
(On a nearby street, Dotty is in the middle of a driving lesson.
Her instructor, Howard, is sitting in the passenger seat, sweating. Dotty
is cool as a cucumber.)
Howard: You're riding the brake.
Dotty: I am? Oh, I'm sorry.
Howard: Not so hard on the accelerator. You're -- you're going to too fast.
Dotty: I wish you'd make up your mind, Howard. You know, I'm doing much better than I did yesterday. Yesterday you told me I was getting too close to those cars on the right. Now I've corrected that.
Howard: Yes, but now you're driving down the middle of the road. There's no lane in the middle of the road, Mrs. West. There's a lane on the right and a lane on the left. (Dotty nods while narrowly missing something in the road.) I -- I think that's enough for today.
Dotty: Oh, no, no, we just started. (She gazes around at her surroundings.) This is a lovely neighborhood, isn't it?
Howard: Watch the road.
(She focuses her eyes back in front of her.)
Dotty: Oh, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Just deep breaths, Howard, remember. (Howard sighs.) I just want to show you where Princess Valosky lives. Uh, she's a friend of my daughter's. Well, she and I met, but Amanda and she have become very close. In fact, Amanda spends a lot of time with her Highness.
(Dotty speeds through an intersection, almost hitting the princess's car. Dotty squeals to a stop.)
Howard: What are you doing, Mrs. West?
Dotty: I think that was the princess. (Dotty changes gears and backs right into the intersection to the horror of Howard. She blocks the way of Sigrid and Antov, who veer around and slam into another car coming from the other direction. Dotty looks over her shoulder at them.) Why are they driving like that? (Suddenly she realizes that she is still sitting in the intersection.) Oh my gosh! (She attempts to get out of the intersection, but the pickup truck cuts her off and as she screeches to a halt, the truck crashes into a dumpster by curb. There are drivers running everywhere. Dotty jumps out of the car.) Oh! I am so sorry! I never even saw you there!
(As they all shout, Antov leaps out of his car and runs to the car he wrecked.. Just then, Lee's Porsche comes around the corner and stops. Lee stares at the sight in confusion, Amanda in terror.)
Lee: What? (Dotty turns. Amanda ducks down. Lee looks at her.) Amanda, what are you doing?
(Amanda answers in a whisper.)
Amanda: That's my mother!
(Lee instantly shuts up and goes back to watching the scene. He sees Antov arguing with the other driver.)
Lee: And there's the shooter!
(He jumps out of the car and runs over to Antov. Antov spots him and runs. Sigrid runs in the other direction. Lee chases Antov down the street and up a driveway. Antov tries to jump a gate, but Lee catches him and pulls him down. He throws him against a garage door and punches him across the jaw. Antov slumps to the ground. Meanwhile, Sigrid is still running, glancing over her shoulder for Lee. She reaches the Porsche, but another agent is coming from that direction. She goes around the Porsche the other way. When she reaches the passenger side, Amanda throws open the door. Sigrid flips over it and falls to the ground, where the agent catches up to her. Amanda glances up at the scene, then closes the door ducks her head back down. Lee runs back to the car with Antov and hands him off to another agent, then helps the second agent retrieve Sigrid. She struggles, but the agent manages to drag her off.)
Lee: All right. Hey, come on, let's be a lady now. (He sighs and buttons his jacket. He stands by the Porsche.) Amanda. Amanda. Hey, Amanda!
(Amanda looks up.)
Lee: Are you all right?
Amanda: Yes. Do you think she saw me?
(Lee looks at Dotty, who is still shouting with the other drivers.)
Lee: I think your mother has a lot of other things on her mind right now.
Amanda: She's learning how to drive.
Lee: No, she isn't.
(Amanda looks up, then she smiles at Lee.)
Amanda: No. She isn't.
(Amanda ducks back out of sight. Lee looks up and sighs.)
(Much later at Princess Valosky's house. There is a fancy party.
Amanda and Lee watch as Valosky walks up to them arm-in-arm with Godorsky.
She smiles at them.)
Valosky: I know young people hate ceremony, but we all have looked forward to this event. Leonid?
(They walk to the center of the patio. Lee takes Amanda's arm in his and they follow.)
Godorsky: Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention, please? The royal house of Valosky acknowledges the service of its revered friends by order of her Highness, the princess Sophia Valosky.
(Vaolsky takes a medal from the butler and hands places it around Amanda's head. She kisses her on the cheek. The crowd applauds. Valosky takes the other medal and hangs it around Lee. He smiles at her. Then she turns back to Godorsky. He takes her hand and kisses it while she grins and looks into his eyes, obviously enamored with him. Lee and Amanda smile as they watch the couple raise champagne glasses and drink. Amanda picks up her medal and looks at it.)
Lee: What are you thinking about?
Amanda: I think I'm going to share this with my mother. Because I don't think she's ever going to get her driver's license.
(Lee agrees, then looks at her. They both grin.)