Home   |   View Comments   |   Download Screenplay   |   Print it   |   Community
  Navigation
 
 
 
 
 
 





                            FARGO
                              
                       a screenplay by
                         Ethan Coen
                             and
                          Joel Coen
                              
                              
                              
                              
The following text fades in over black:

     This is a true story.  The events depicted in this film
     took place in Minnesota in 1987.  At the request of the
     survivors, the names have been changed.  Out of respect
     for the dead, the rest has been told exactly as it
     occured.

FLARE TO WHITE


FADE IN FROM WHITE

Slowly the white becomes a barely perceptible image:  white
particles wave over a white background.  A snowfall.

A car bursts through the curtain of snow.

The car is equipped with a hitch and is towing another car,
a brand-new light brown Cutlass Ciera with the pink sales
sticker showing in its rear window.

As the car roars past, leaving snow swirling in their dirft,
the title of the film fades in.

          FARGO

Green highway signs point the way to MOOREHEAD,
MINNESOTA/FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA.  The roads for the two cities
diverge.  A sign says WELCOME TO NORTH DAKOTA and another
just after says NOW ENTERING FARGO, ND, POP. 44,412.

The car pulls into a Rodeway Inn.


HOTEL LOBBY

A man in his early forties, balding and starting to paunch,
goes to the reception desk.  The clerk is an older woman.

                         CLERK
               And how are you today, sir?

                         MAN
               Real good now.  Iím checking in
               - Mr. Anderson.

The man prints ďJerry Lundega -Ē onto a registration card,
then hastily crosses out the last name and starts to print
ďAnderson.Ē

As she types into a computer:

                         CLERK
               Okay, Mr. Anderson, and youíre
               still planning on staying with
               us just the night, then?

                         ANDERSON
               You bet.


HOTEL ROOM

The man turns on the TV, which shows the local evening news.

                         NEWS ANCHOR
               - whether they will go to summer
               camp at all.  Katie Jensen has
               more.

                         KATIE
               It was supposed to be a project
               funded by the city council;  it
               was supposed to benefit those
               Fargo-Moorehead children who
               would otherwise not be able to
               afford to attend a lakeshore
               summer camp.  But nobody consulted
               city comptroller Stu Jacobson...


CHAIN RESTAURANT

Anderson sits alone at a table finishing dinner.  Muzak
plays.  A middle-aged waitress approaches holding a pot of
regular coffee in one hand and decaf in the other.

                         WAITRESS
               Can I warm that up for ya there?

                         ANDERSON
               You bet.

The man looks at his watch.


THROUGH A WINDSHIELD

We are pulling inot the snowswept parking lot of a one-story
brick building.  Broken neon at the top of the building
identifies it as the Jolly Troll Tavern.  A troll, also in
neon, holds a champagne glass aloft.


INSIDE

The bar is downscale even for this town.  Country music
plays on the jukebox.

Two men are seated in a booth at the back.  One is short,
slight, youngish.  The other man is somewhat older, and
dour.  The table in front of them is littered with empty
long-neck beer bottles.  The ashtray is full.

Anderson approaches.

                         ANDERSON
               Iím, uh, Jerry Lundegaard -

                         YOUNGER MAN
               Youíre Jerry Lundegaard?

                         JERRY
               Yah, Shep Proudfoot said -

                         YOUNGER MAN
               Shep said youíd be here at 7:30.
               What gives, man?

                         JERRY
               Shep said 8:30.

                         YOUNGER MAN
               We been sitting here an hour.
               Iíve peed three times already.

                         JERRY
               Iím sure sorry.  I - Shep told
               me 8:30.  It was a mix-up, I
               guess.

                         YOUNGER MAN
               Ya got the car?

                         JERRY
               Yah, you bet.  Itís in the lot
               there.  Brand-new burnt umber
               Ciera.

                         YOUNGER MAN
               Yeah, okay.  Well, siddown then.
               Iím Carl Showalter and this is
               my associate Gaear Grimsrud.

                         JERRY
               Yah, how ya doiní.  So, uh, we
               all set on this thing, then?

                         YOUNGER MAN
               Sure, Jerry, weíre all set.  Why
               wouldnít we be?

                         JERRY
               Yah, no, Iím sure you are.  Shep
               vouched for you and all.  I got
               every confidence in you fellas.

They stare at him.  An awkward beat.

                         JERRY
               ...  So I guess thatís it, then.
               Hereís the keys -

                         CARL
               No, thatís not it, Jerry.

                         JERRY
               Huh?

                         CARL
               The new vehicle, plus forty
               thousand dollars.

                         JERRY
               Yah, but the deal was, the car
               first, see, then the forty
               thousand, like as if it was the
               ransom.  I thought Shep told you -

                         CARL
               Shep didnít tell us much, Jerry.

                         JERRY
               Well, okay, itís -

                         CARL
               Except that you were gonna be
               here at 7:30.

                         JERRY
               Yah, well, that was a mix-up, then.

                         CARL
               Yeah, you already said that.

                         JERRY
               Yah.  But itís not a whole pay-
               in-advance deal.  I give you a
               brand-new vehicle in advance and -

                         CARL
               Iím not gonna debate you, Jerry.

                         JERRY
               Okay.

                         CARL
               Iím not gonna sit here and debate.
               I will say this though:  what Shep
               told us didnít make a whole lot
               of sense.

                         JERRY
               Oh, no, itís real sound.  Itís
               all worked out.

                         CARL
               You want your own wife kidnapped?

                         JERRY
               Yah.

Carl Stares.  Jerry looks blankly back.

                         CARL
               ...  You - my point is, you pay
               the ransom - what eighty thousand
               bucks? -  I mean, you give us
               half the ransom, forty thousand,
               you keep half.  Itís like robbing
               Peter to play Paul, it doesnít
               make any -

                         JERRY
               Okay, itís - see, itís not me
               payiní the ransom.  The thing is,
               my wife, sheís wealthy - her dad,
               heís real well off.  Now, Iím in
               a bit of trouble -

                         CARL
               What kind of trouble are you in,
               Jerry?

                         JERRY
               Well, thatís, thatís, Iím not go
               inta, inta - see, I just need
               money.  Now, her dadís real
               wealthy -

                         CARL
               So why donít you just ask him
               for the money?

Grimsrud, the dour man who has not yet spoken, now softly
puts in with a Swedish-accented voice:

                         GRIMSRUD
               Or your fucking wife, you know.

                         CARL
               Or your fucking wife, Jerry.

                         JERRY
               Well, itís all just part of this -
               they donít know I need it, see.
               Okay, so thereís that.  And even
               if they did, I wouldnít get it.
               So thereís that on top, then.  See,
               theseíre personal matters.

                         CARL
               Personal matters.

                         JERRY
               Yah.  Personal matters that
               neednít, uh -

                         CARL
               Okay, Jerry.  Youíre tasking us
               to perform this mission, but you,
               you wonít, uh, you wonít - aw,
               fuck it, letís take a look at
               that Ciera.


MINNEAPOLIS SUBURBAN HOUSE

Jerry enters through the kitchen door, in a parka and a red
plaid Elmer Fudd hat.  He stamps snow off his feet.  He is
carrying a bag of groceries which he deposits on the kitchen
counter.

                         JERRY
               Hon?  Got the growshries.

                         VOICE
               Thank you, hon.  Howís Fargo?

                         JERRY
               Yah, real good.

                         VOICE
               Dadís here.


DEN

Jerry enters, pulling off his plaid cap.

                         JERRY
               How ya doiní, Wade?

Wade Gustafson is mid-sixtyish, vigorous, with a full head
of gray hair.  His eyes remain fixed on the TV.

                         WADE
               Yah, pretty good.

                         JERRY
               Whatcha watchiní there?

                         WADE
               Norstars.

                         JERRY
               ...  Who they playiní?

                         WADE
               OOOoooh!

His reaction synchronizes with a reaction from the crowd.


KITCHEN

Jerry walks back in, taking off his coat.  His wife is
putting on an apron.  Jerry nods toward the living room.

                         JERRY
               Is he stayiní for supper, then?

                         WIFE
               Yah, I think so...  Dad, are you
               stayiní for supper?

                         WADE
                    (off)
               Yah.


DINING ROOM

Jerry, his wife, Wade and Scotty, twelve years old, sit
eating.

                         SCOTTY
               May I be excused?

                         JERRY
               Sure, ya done there?

                         SCOTTY
               Uh-huh.  Goiní out.

                         WIFE
               Where are you going?

                         SCOTTY
               Just out.  Just McDonaldís.

                         JERRY
               Back at 9:30.

                         SCOTTY
               Okay.

                         WADE
               He just ate.  And he didnít finish.
               Heís going to McDonaldís instead
               of finishing here?

                         WIFE
               He sees his friends there.  Itís
               okay.

                         WADE
               Itís okay?  McDonaldís?  What do
               you think they do there?  They
               donít drink milkshakes, I assure
               you!

                         WIFE
               Itís okay, Dad.

                         JERRY
               Wade, have ya had a chance to
               think about, uh, that deal I was
               talkiní about, those forty acres
               there on Wayzata?

                         WADE
               You told me about it.

                         JERRY
               Yah, you said youíd have a think
               about it.  I understand itís a
               lot of money -

                         WADE
               A heck of a lot.  Whatíd you
               say you were gonna put there?

                         JERRY
               A lot.  Itís a limited -

                         WADE
               I know itís a lot.

                         JERRY
               I mean a parking lot.

                         WADE
               Yah, well, seven hundred and
               fifty thousand dollars is a lot
               - ha ha ha!

                         JERRY
               Yah, well, itís a chunk, but -

                         WADE
               I thought you were gonna show
               it to Stan Grossman.  He passes
               on this stuff before it gets
               kicked up to me.

                         JERRY
               Well, you know Staníll say no
               dice.  Thatís why you pay him.
               Iím asking you here, Wade.  This
               could work out real good for me
               and Jean and Scotty -

                         WADE
               Jean and Scotty never have to
               worry.


WHITE

A black like curls through the white.  Twisting perspective
shows that it is an aerial shot of a two-lane highway,
bordered by snowfields.  The highway carries one moving car.


INT. CAR

Carl Showalter is driving.  Gaear Grimsrud stares blankly
out.

After a long beat:

                         GRIMSRUD
               Where is Pancakes Hause?

                         CARL
               What?

                         GRIMSRUD
               We stop at Pancakes Hause.

                         CARL
               Whatíre you, nuts?  We had
               pancakes for breakfast.  I gotta
               go somewhere I can get a shot
               and a beer - and a steak maybe.
               Not more fuckiní pancakes.  Come
               on.

Grimsrud gives him a sour look.

                         CARL
               ...  Come on, man.  Okay, hereís
               an idea.  Weíll stop outside of
               Brainerd.  I know a place there
               we can get laid.  Wuddya think?

                         GRIMSRUD
               Iím fuckiní hungry now, you know.

                         CARL
               Yeah, yeah, Jesus - Iím sayiní,
               weíll stop for pancakes, then
               weíll get laid.  Wuddya think?


GUSTAFSON OLDS GARAGE

Jerry is sitting in his glassed-in salesmanís cubicle just
off the showroom floor.  On the other side of his desk sit
an irate customer and his wife.

                         CUSTOMER
               We sat here right in this room and
               went over this and over this!

                         JERRY
               Yah, but that TruCoat -

                         CUSTOMER
               I sat right here and said I didnít
               want no TruCoat!

                         JERRY
               Yah, but Iím sayiní, that TruCoat,
               you donít get it and you get
               oxidization problems.  Itíll cost
               you a heck of lot moreín five
               hunnert -

                         CUSTOMER
               Youíre sittiní here, youíre talkiní
               in circles!  Youíre talkiní like
               we didnít go over this already!

                         JERRY
               Yah, but this TruCoat -

                         CUSTOMER
               We had us a deal here for nine-
               teen-five.  You sat there and
               darned if you didnít tell me
               youíd get this car, these options,
               WITHOUT THE SEALANT, for nine-
               teen-five!

                         JERRY
               Okay, Iím not sayiní I didnít -

                         CUSTOMER
               You called me twenty minutes ago
               and said you had it!  Ready to
               make delivery, ya says!  Come on
               down and get it!  And here ya are
               and youíre wastiní my time and
               youíre wastiní my wifeís time and
               Iím payiní nineteen-five for this
               vehicle here!

                         JERRY
               Well, okay, Iíll talk to my boss...

He rises, and, as he leaves:

                         JERRY
               ...  See, they install that TruCoat
               at the factory, thereís nothiní we
               can do, but Iíll talk to my boss.

The couple watch him go to a nearby cubicle.

                         CUSTOMER
               These guys here - these guys!
               Itís always the same!  Itís always
               more!  Heís a liar!

                         WIFE
               Please, dear.

                         CUSTOMER
               We went over this and over this -


NEARBY CUBICLE

Jerry sits perched on the desk of another salesman who is
eating lunch as he watches a hockey game on a small portable
TV.

                         JERRY
               So youíre goiní to the Gophers
               on Sunday?

                         SALESMAN
               You bet.

                         JERRY
               You wouldnít have an extra ticket
               there?

                         SALESMAN
               Theyíre playiní the Buckeyes!

                         JERRY
               Yah.

                         SALESMAN
               Ya kiddiní!


JERRYíS CUBICLE

Jerry re-enters.

                         JERRY
               Well, he never done this before,
               but seeiní as itís special
               circumstances and all, he says I
               can knock one hunnert off that
               TruCoat.

                         CUSTOMER
               One hundred!  You lied to me, Mr.
               Lundegaard.  Youíre a bald-faced
               liar!

Jerry sits staring at his lap.

                         CUSTOMER
               ...  A fucking liar -

                         WIFE
               Bucky, please!

Jerry mumbles into his lap:

                         JERRY
               One hunnertís the best we can
               do here.

                         CUSTOMER
               Oh, for Christís sake, whereís my
               goddamn checkbook.  Letís get this
               over with.


WIDE EXTERIOR:  TRUCK STOP

There is a restaurant with many big rigs parked nearby, and
a motel with an outsize Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox
flanking its sign:  BLUE OX MOTEL.


MOTEL ROOM

Carl Showalter and Gaear Grimsrud are in the twin beds
having sex with two truck-stop hookers.

                         CARL
               Oh, Jesus, yeah.

                         HIS HOOKER
               There ya go, sugar.

                         GRIMSRUD
               Nnph.

                         HIS HOOKER
               Yeah.  Yeah.  Oh, yeah.


LATER

The couples like in their respective beds, gazing at the
offscreen TV.

                         ED MCMAHON
               -  Johnnyís guests tonight will be
               Lee Majors, George Wendt, and Steve
               Boutsikaros from the San Diego Zoo,
               so keep that dial -


LUNDEGAARD KITCHEN

We hear a morning show on television.  Jean Lundegaard is
making coffee in the kitchen as Scott eats cereal at the
table.

                         JEAN
               Iím talkiní about your potential.

                         SCOTT
                    (absently)
               Uh-huh.

                         JEAN
               Youíre not a C student.

                         SCOTT
               Uhn.

                         JEAN
               And yet youíre gettiní C grades.
               Itís this disparity there that
               concerns your dad and me.

                         SCOTT
               Uh-huh.

                         JEAN
               You know what a disparity is?

                         SCOTT
                    (testily)
               Yeah!

                         JEAN
               Okay.  Well, thatís why we donít
               want ya goiní out fer hockey.

                         SCOTT
               Oh, man!

The phone rings.

                         SCOTT
               ...  Whatís the big deal?  Itís
               an hour -

                         JEAN
               Hold on.

She picks up the phone.

                         JEAN
               ...  Hello?

                         PHONE VOICE
               Yah, hiya, hon.

                         JEAN
               Oh, hiya, Dad.

                         WADE
               Jerry around?

                         JEAN
               Yah, heís still here - Iíll
               catch him for ya.

She holds the phone away and calls:

                         JEAN
               ...  Hon?

                         VOICE
               Yah.

                         JEAN
               Itís Dad.

                         VOICE
               Yah...

Jerry enters in shirtsleeves and tie.

                         JERRY
               ...  Yah, okay...

                         SCOTT
               Look, Dad, there is no fucking
               way -

                         JEAN
               Scott!

                         JERRY
               Say, letís watch the language -

He takes the phone.

                         JERRY
               How ya doiní, Wade?

                         WADE
               Whatís goiní on there?

                         JERRY
               Oh, nothing, Wade.  How ya doiní
               there?

                         WADE
               Stan Grossman looked at your
               proposal.  Says itís pretty
               sweet.

                         JERRY
               No kiddiní?

                         WADE
               We might be innarested.

                         JERRY
               No kiddiní!  Iíd need the cash
               pretty quick there.  In order
               to close the deal.

                         WADE
               Come by at 2:30 and weíll talk
               about it.  If your numbers are
               right, Stan says its pretty
               sweet.  Stan Grossman.

                         JERRY
               Yah.

                         WADE
               2:30.

Click.  Dial tone.

                         JERRY
               Yah, okay.


GUSTAFSON OLD GARAGE

Jerry wanders through the service area where cars are being
worked on.  He stops by an Indian in blue jeans who is
looking at the underside of a car that sits on a hydraulic
lift with a cage light hanging off its innards.

                         JERRY
               Say, Shep, how ya doiní there?

                         SHEP
               Mm.

                         JERRY
               Say, ya know those two fellas
               ya put me in touch with, up
               there in Fargo?

                         SHEP
               Put you in touch with Grimsrud.

                         JERRY
               Well, yah, but he had a buddy
               there.  He, uh -

                         SHEP
               Well, I donít vouch for him.

                         JERRY
               Well, thatís okay, I just -

                         SHEP
               I vouch for Grimsrud.  Whoís his
               buddy?

                         JERRY
               Carl somethiní?

                         SHEP
               Never heard of him.  Donít vouch
               for him.

                         JERRY
               Well, thatís okay, heís a buddy
               of the guy ya vouched for, so Iím
               not worryiní.  I just, I was
               wonderiní, see, I gotta get in
               touch with íem for, I might not
               need it anymore, sumpnís happeniní,
               see -

                         SHEP
               Call íem up.

                         JERRY
               Yah, well, see, I did that, and
               I havenít been able to get íem,
               so I thought you maybeíd know an
               alternate number or what have ya.

                         SHEP
               Nope.

Jerry slaps his fist into his open palm and snaps his
fingers.

                         JERRY
               Okay, well, real good, then.


CAR

Carl is driving.  Grimsrud stares out front.

After a beat:

                         CARL
               ...  Look at that.  Twin Cities.
               IDS Building, the big glass one.
               Tallest skyscraper in the Midwest.
               After the Sears, uh, Chicago...
               You never been to Minneapolis?

                         GRIMSRUD
               No.

                         CARL
               ...  Would it kill you to say
               something?

                         GRIMSRUD
               I did.

                         CARL
               ďNo.Ē  First thing youíve said
               in the last four hours.  Thatís
               a, thatís a fountain of conversation,
               man.  Thatís a geyser.  I mean, whoa,
               daddy, stand back, man.  Shit, Iím
               sittiní here driving, man, doiní
               all the driving, whole fuckiní way
               from Brainerd, driviní, tryiní to,
               you know, tryiní to chat, keep
               our spirits up, fight the boredom
               of the road, and you canít say one
               fucking thing just in the way of
               conversation.

Grimsurd smokes, gazing out the window.

                         CARL
               ...  Well, fuck it, I donít have
               to talk either, man.  See how
               you like it...

He drives.

                         CARL
               ...  Total silence...


JERRYíS CUBICLE

He is on the phone.

                         JERRY
               Yah, real good.  How you doiní?

                         VOICE
               Pretty good, Mr. Lundegaard.
               Youíre damned hard to get on the
               phone.

                         JERRY
               Yah, itís pretty darned busy here,
               but thatís the way we like it.

                         VOICE
               Thatís for sure.  Now, I just
               need, on these last, these financing
               documents you sent us, I canít
               read the serial numbers of the
               vehicles on here, so I -

                         JERRY
               But I already got the, itís okay,
               the loans are in place, I already
               got the, the what, the -

                         VOICE
               Yeah, the three hundred and twenty
               thousand dollars, you got the money
               last month.

                         JERRY
               Yah, so weíre all set.

                         VOICE
               Yeah, but the vehicles you were
               borrowing on, I just canít read
               the serial numbers on your
               applicaton.  Maybe if you could
               just read them to me -

                         JERRY
               But the dealís already done, I
               already got the money -

                         VOICE
               Yeah, but we have an audit here,
               I just have to know that these
               vehicles youíre financing with
               this money, that they really
               exist.

                         JERRY
               Yah, well, they exist all right.

                         VOICE
               Iím sure they do - ha ha!  But
               I canít read their serial numbers
               here.  So if you could read me -

                         JERRY
               Well, but see, I donít have íem
               in front a me - why donít I just
               fax you over a copy -

                         VOICE
               No, fax is no good, thatís what
               I have and I canít read the darn
               thing -

                         JERRY
               Yah, okay, Iíll have my girl
               send you over a copy, then.

                         VOICE
               Okay, because if I canít correlate
               this note with the specific vehicles,
               then I gotta call back that money -

                         JERRY
               Yah, how much money was that?

                         VOICE
               Three hundred and twenty thousand
               dollars.  See, I gotta correlate
               that money with the cars itís being
               lent on.

                         JERRY
               Yah, no problem, Iíll just fax
               that over to ya, then.

                         VOICE
               No, no, fax is -

                         JERRY
               I mean send it over.  Iíll shoot
               it right over to ya.

                         VOICE
               Okay.

                         JERRY
               Okay, real good, then.


CLOSE ON TELEVISION

A morning-show host in an apron stands behind a counter on a
kitchen set.

                         HOST
               So I seperate the - how the heck
               do I get the egg out of the shell
               without breaking it?

Jean Lundegaard is curled up on the couch with a cup of
coffee, watching the television.

                         HOSTESS
               You just prick a little hole in
               the end and blow!

Jean smiles as we hear laughter and applause from the studio
audience.  She hears something else - a faint scraping sound
- and looks up.

                         HOST
               Okay, here goes nothing.

The scraping sound persists.  Jean sets down her coffee cup
and rises.

>From the studio audience:

                         AUDIENCE
               Awoooo!


KITCHEN

We track toward the back door.  A curtain is stretched tight
across its window.

Jean pulls the curtain back.  Bright sunlight amplified by
snow floods in.

A man in an orange ski mask looks up from the lock.

Jean gasps, drops the curtain, rutns and runs into -

- a taller man, also in a ski mask, already in the house.

We hear the crack of the back-door window being smashed.

The tall man - Gaear Grimsrud - grabs Jeanís wrist.

She screams, staring at her own imprisoned wrist, then wraps
her gaping mouth around Grimsrudís gloved thumb and bites
down hard.

He drops her wrist.  As Carl enters, she races up the
stairs.

                         GRIMSRUD
               Unguent.

                         CARL
               Huh?

Grimsurd looks at his thumb.

                         GRIMSRUD
               I need ... unguent.


UPSTAIRS BEDROOM

As the two men enter, a door at the far side is slamming
shut.  A cord snakes in under the door.


MASTER BATHROOM

Jean, sobbing, frantically pushes at buttons on the princess
phone.

The phone pops out of her hands, jangles across the tile
floor, smashes against the door and then bounces away, its
cord ripped free.

With a groaning sound, the door shifts in its frame.


BEDROOM

Grimsrud has a crowbar jammed in between the bathroom door
and frame, and is working it.


BATHROOM

Jean crosses to a high window above the toilet and throws it
open.  Snow that had drifted against the window sifts
lightly in.  Jean steps up onto the toilet.

The door creaks, moving as one piece in its frame.

Jean glances back as she steps up from the toilet seat to
the tank.

The groaning of the door ends with the wood around its knob
splintering and the knob itself falling out onto the floor.

The door swings open.

Grimsrud and Carl enter.


THEIR POV

Room empty, window open.

Carl strides to the window and hoists himself out.

Grimsrud opens the medicine cabinet and delicately taps
aside various bottles and tubes, seeking the proper unguent.

He finds a salve but after a moment sets it down, noticing
something in the mirror.

The shower curtain is drawn around the tub.

He steps toward it.

As he reaches for the curtain, it explodes outward, animated
by thrashing limbs.

Jean, screaming, tangled in the curtain, rips it off its
rings and stumbles out into the bedroom.  Grimsrud follows.


BEDROOM

Jean rushes toward the door, cloaked by the shower curtain
but awkwardly trying to push it off.


UPSTAIRS LANDING

Still thrashing, Jean crashes against the upstairs railing,
trips on the curtain and falls, thumping crazily down the
stairs.

Grimsrud trots down after her.


A PLAQUE:  WADE GUSTAFSON INCORPORTATED


INT. WADEíS OFFICE

Wade sits behind his desk; another man rises as Jerry
enters.

                         JERRY
               How ya doiní there, Stan?  How
               are ya, Wade?

Stan Grossman shakes his hand.

                         STAN
               Good to see ya again, Jerry.  If
               these numbers are right, this
               looks pretty sweet.

                         JERRY
               Oh, those numbers are all right,
               bleemee.

                         WADE
               This is do-able.

                         STAN
               Congratulations, Jerry.

                         JERRY
               Yah, thanks, Stan, itís a pretty -

                         WADE
               What kind of finderís fee were
               you looking for?

                         JERRY
               ...  Huh?

                         STAN
               The financials are pretty thorough,
               so the only thing we donít know
               is your fee.

                         JERRY
               ...  My fee?  Wade, what the
               heckíre you talkiní about?

                         WADE
               Stan and Iíre okay.

                         JERRY
               Yah.

                         WADE
               Weíre good to loan in.

                         JERRY
               Yah.

                         WADE
               But we never talked about your
               fee for bringiní it to us.

                         JERRY
               No, but, Wade, see, I was
               bringiní you this deal for you
               to loan me the money to put
               in.  Itís my deal here, see?

Wade scowls, looks at Stan.

                         STAN
               Jerry - we thought you were
               bringiní us an investment.

                         JERRY
               Yah, right -

                         STAN
               Youíre sayiní - whatíre you
               sayiní?

                         WADE
               Youíre sayiní that we put in
               all the money and you collect
               when it pays off?

                         JERRY
               No, no.  I - Iíd, Iíd - pay you
               back the principal, and interest
               - heck, Iíd go - one over prime -

                         STAN
               Weíre not a bank, Jerry.

Wade is angry.

                         WADE
               What the heck, Jerry, if I wanted
               bank interest on seven hunnertín
               fifty thousand Iíd go to Midwest
               Federal.  Talk to Bill Diehl.

                         STAN
               Heís at Norstar.

                         WADE
               Heís at -

                         JERRY
               No, see, I donít need a finderís
               fee, I need - finderís feeís, what,
               ten percent, heck thatís not gonna
               do it for me.  I need the principal.

                         STAN
               Jerry, weíre not just going to
               give you seven hundred and fifty
               thousand dollars.

                         WADE
               What the heck were you thinkiní?
               Heck, if Iím only gettiní bank
               interest, Iíd look for complete
               security.  Heck, FDIC.  I donít
               see nothiní like that here.

                         JERRY
               Yah, but I - okay, I would, Iíd
               guarantee ya your money back.

                         WADE
               Iím not talkiní about your damn
               word, Jerry.  Geez, what the
               heckíre you?...  Well, look, I
               donít want to cut you out of the
               loop, but his hereís a good deal.
               I assume, if youíre not innarested,
               you wonít mind if we move on it
               independently.


PARKING LOT

We are high and wide on the office buildingís parking lot.
Jerry emerges wrapped in a parka, his arms sticking stiffly
out at his sides, his breath vaporizing.  He goes to his
car, opens its front door, pulls out a red plastic scraper
and starts methodically scraping off the thin crust of ice
that has developed on his windshield.

The scrape-scrape-scrape sound carries in the frigid air.

Jerry goes into a frenzy, banging the scraper against the
windshield and the hood of his car.

The tantrum passes.  Jerry stands pantin, staring at nothing
in particular.

Scrape-scrape-scrape - he goes back to work on the
windshield.


FRONT DOOR

A beat, silent but for a key scraping at the lock.

The door swings open and Jerry edges in, looking about,
holding a sack of groceries.

                         JERRY
               Hon?

He shuts the door.

                         JERRY
               ...  Got the growshries...

He has already seen the shower curtain on the floor.  He
frowns, pokes at it with his foot.

                         JERRY
               ...  Hon?


UPSTAIRS BATHROOM

Jerry walks in.  He sets the groceries down on the toilet
tank.

He looks at the open window, through which snow still sifts
in.  He shuts it.

He picks up the small tube of uguent that sits on the sink,
frowns at it, puts it back in the medicine chest.

He looks at the shower curtain rod holding empty rings.


FOYER

Once again we are looking at the rumpled shower curtain.

>From another room:

                         JERRY
               Yah, Wade, I - itís Jerry, I.

Then, slightly more agitated.

                         JERRY
               ...  Yah, Wade, itís, I, itís
               Jerry...

Beat.

                         JERRY
               ...  Wade, itís Jerry, I - we
               gotta talk, Wade, itís terrible...

Beat.


LIVING ROOM

Jerry stands in wide shot, hands on hips, looking down at a
telephone.

After a motionless beat he picks up the phone and punches in
a number.

                         JERRY
               ...  Yah, Wade Gustafson, please.


BLACK

Hold in black.

A slow tilt down from night sky brings the head of a large
paper-mache figure into frame.  It is a flannel-shirt
woodsman carrying a double-edged ax over one shoulder.  As
we hear the rumble of an approaching car, the continuing
tilt and boom down brings us down the woodsmanís body to a
pedestal.

A sweep of headlights illuminates a sign on the pedestal:
WELCOME TO BRAINDERD - HOME OF PAUL BUNYAN.

The headlights sweep off and a car hums past and on into the
background.  The two-lane highway is otherwise empty.


INT. CAR

Carl drives.  Grimsrud smokes and gazes out the window.
>From the back seat we hear whimpering.

Grimsrud turns to look.

Jean lies bound and curled on the back seat underneath a
tarpaulin.

                         GRIMSRUD
               Shut the fuck up or Iíll throw
               you back in the trunk, you know.

                         CARL
               Geez.  Thatís moreín Iíve heard
               you say all week.

Grimsrud stares at him, then turns back to the window.

At a loud WHOOP Carl starts and looks back out the rear
window.  Fifty yards behind a state trooper has turned on
his gumballs.

Carl eases the car onto the shoulder.

                         CARL
               Ah, shit, the tags...

Grimsrud looks at him.

                         CARL
               ...  Itís just the tags.  I never
               put my tags on the car.  Donít
               worry, Iíll take care of this.

He looks into the back seat as the car bounces and slows on
the gravel shoulder.

                         CARL
               ...  Letís keep still back there,
               lady, or weíre gonna have to, ya
               know, to shoot ya.

Grimsrud stares at Carl.

                         CARL
               ...  Hey!  Iíll take care of this!

Both cars have stopped.  Carl looks up at the rear-view
mirror.

The trooper is stopped on the shoulder just behind them,
writing in his citation book.

Carl watches.

We hear the trooperís door open.

The trooper walks up the shoulder, one hand resting lightly
on top of his holster, his breath steaming in the cold night
air.

Carl opens his window as the trooper draws up.

                         CARL
               How can I help you, officer?

The trooper scans the inside of the car, taking his time.

Grimsrud smokes and gazes calmly out his window.

Finally:

                         TROOPER
               This is a new car, then, sir?

                         CARL
               It certainly is, officer.  Still
               got that smell!

                         TROOPER
               Youíre required to display
               temporary tags, either in the
               plate area or taped inside the
               back window.

                         CARL
               Certainly -

                         TROOPER
               Can I see your license and
               registration please?

                         CARL
               Certainly.

He reaches for his wallet.

                         CARL
               ...  I was gonna tape up the
               temporary tag, ya know, to be
               in full compliance, but it, uh,
               it, uh ... must a slipped my
               mind...

He extends his wallet toward the trooper, a folded fifty-
dollar bill protruding from it.

                         CARL
               ...  So maybe the best thing
               would be to take care of that,
               right here in Brainerd.

                         TROOPER
               Whatís this, sir?

                         CARL
               Thatís my license and regis-
               tration.  I wanna be in
               compliance.

He forces a laugh.

                         CARL
               ...  I was just thinking I could
               take care of it right here.  In
               Brainerd.

The policeman thoughtfully pats the fifty into the billfold
and hands the billfold back into the car.

                         TROOPER
               Put that back in your pocket,
               please.

Carlís nervous smile fades.

                         TROOPER
               ...  And step out of the car,
               please, sir.

Grimsrud, smiling thinly, shakes his head.

There is a whimpering sound.

The policeman hesitates.

Another sound.

The policeman leans forward into the car, listening.

Grimsrud reaches across Carl, grabs the trooper by the hair
and slams his head down onto the car door.

The policeman grunts, digs awkwardly for footing outside and
throws an arm for balance against the outside of the car.

With his free hand, Grimsrud pops the glove compartment.  He
brings a gun out and reaches across Carl and shoots - BANG -
into the back of the trooperís head.

Jean screams.

                         GRIMSRUD
               Shut up.

He releases the policeman.

The policemanís head slides out the window and his body
flops back onto the street.

Carl looks out at the cop in the road.

                         CARL
                    (softly)
               Whoa...  Whoa, Daddy.

Grimsrud takes the trooperís hat off of Carlís lap and sails
it out the open window.

                         GRIMSRUD
               Youíll take care of it.  Boy, you
               are smooth smooth, you know.

                         CARL
               Whoa, Daddy.

Jean, for some reason, screams again.  Then stops.

                         GRIMSRUD
               Clear him off the road.

                         CARL
               Yeah.

He gets out.


EXT. ROAD

Carl leans down to hoist up the body.

Headlights appear:  an oncoming car.


INT. CIERA

Grimsrud notices.


EXT. ROAD

The car approaches, slowing.

Carl, with the trooperís body hoisted halfway up, is frozen
in the headlights.

The car accelerates and roars past and away.  We just make
out the silhouettes of two occupants in front.


INT. CIERA

Grimsrud slides into the driverís seat.  He squeals into a U-
turn, the driverís door slamming shut with his spin.

Small red tail lights fishtail up ahead.  The pursued car
churns up fine snow.

Grimsrud takes the cigarette from his mouth and stubs it in
his ashtray.  We hear the churning of the car wheels and the
pinging of snow clods and salt on the carís underside.

In the back seat, Jean starts screaming.

Grimsrud is not gaining on the tail lights.

He fights with the wheel as his car swims on the road face.

The red tail lights ahead start to turn.  With a distant
crunching sound, they disappear.

The headlights now show only empty road, starting to turn.

Grimsrud frowns and slows.

His headlights show the car up ahead off the road, crumpled
around a telephone pole, having failed to hold a turn.

Grimsrud brakes.

Jean slides off the back seat and thumps into the legwell.

Grimsrud sweeps his gun off the front seat, throws open his
door and gets out.


EXT. ROAD

The wrecked carís headlights shine off into a snowfield
abutting the highway.  A young man in a down parka is
limping across the snowfield, away from the wrecked car.

Grimsrud strides calmly out after the injured boy.  He
raises his gun and fires.

With a poof of feathers, a hole opens up in the boyís back
and he pitches into the snow.

Grimsrud walks up to the wreck and peers in its half-open
door.

A young woman is trapped inside the twisted wreckage,
injured.

Snow swirls in the headlights of the wreck.

Grimsrud raises his gun and fires.


AN OIL PAINTING

A blue-winged teal in flight over a swampy marshland.  The
room in which it hangs is dark.  We hear off-screen snoring.

We track off to reveal an easel upon which we see a half-
completed oil of a grey mallard.

The continuing track reveals a couple in bed, sleeping.  The
man, fortyish, pajama-clad, is big, and big-bellied.  His
mouth is agape.  He snores.  His arms are flung over a woman
in her thirties, wearing a nightie, mouth also open, not
snoring.

We hold for a long beat on their regular breathing and
snoring.

The phone rings.

The woman stirs.

                         WOMAN
               Oh, geez...

She reaches for the phone.

                         WOMAN
               ...  Hi, itís Marge...

The man stirs and clears his throat with a long deep rumble.

                         MARGE
               ...  Oh, my.  Where?...  Yah...
               Oh, geez...

The man sits up, gazes stupidly about.

                         MARGE
               ...  Okay.  There in a jif...
               Real good, then.

She hangs up.

                         MARGE
               ...  You can sleep, hon.  Itís
               early yet.

                         MAN
               Gotta go?

                         MARGE
               Yah.

The man swings his legs out.

                         MAN
               Iíll fix ya some eggs.

                         MARGE
               Thatís okay, hon.  I gotta run.

                         MAN
               Gotta eat a breakfast, Marge.
               Iíll fix ya some eggs.

                         MARGE
               Aw, you can sleep, hon.

                         MAN
               Ya gotta eat a breakfast...

He clears his throat with another deep rumble.

                         MAN
               ...  Iíll fix ya some eggs.

                         MARGE
               Aw, Norm.


PLATE

Leavings of a huge plate of eggs, ham, toast.

Wider, we see Marge now wearing a beige police uniform.  A
patch on one arm says BRAINERD POLICE DEPARTMENT.  She wears
a heavy belt holding a revolver, walkie-talkie and various
other jangling police impedimenta.  Norm is in a dressing
gown.

                         MARGE
               Thanks, hon.  Time to shove off.

                         NORM
               Love ya, Margie.

As she struggles into a parka:

                         MARGE
               Love ya, hon.

He is exiting back to the bedroom; she exits out the front
door.


EXT. GUNDERSON HOUSE

Dawn.  Marge is making her way down the icy front stoop to
her prowler.


INT. GUNDERSON HOUSE

Norm sits back onto the bed, shrugging off his robe.  Off-
screen we hear the front door open.


FRONT DOOR

Marge stamps the snow off her shoes.

                         MARGE
               Hon?

                         NORM
                    (off)
               Yah?

                         MARGE
               Prowler needs a jump.


HIGHWAY

Two police cars and an ambulance sit idling at the side of
the road, a pair of men inside each car.

The first carís driver door opens and a figure in a parka
emerges, holding two styrofoam cups.  His partner leans
across the seat to close the door after him.

The reverse shows Marge approaching from her own squad car.

                         MARGE
               Hiya, Lou.

                         LOU
               Margie.  Thought you might need
               a little warm-up.

He hands her one of the cups of coffee.

                         MARGE
               Yah, thanks a bunch.  So whatís
               the deal, now?  Gary says triple
               homicide?

                         LOU
               Yah, looks pretty bad.  Two
               ofímíre over here.

Marge looks around as they start walking.

                         MARGE
               Where is everybody?

                         LOU
               Well - itís cold, Margie.


BY THE WRECK

Laid out in the early morning light is the wrecked car, a
pair of footprints leading out to a man in a bright orange
parka face down in the bloodstained snow, and one pair of
footsteps leading back to the road.

Marge is peering into the car.

                         MARGE
               Ah, geez.  So...  Aw, geez.
               Hereís the second one...  Itís
               in the head and the ... hand
               there, I guess thatís a defensive
               wound.  Okay.

Marge looks up from the car.

                         MARGE
               ...  Whereís the state trooper?

Lou, up on the shoulder, jerks his thumb.

                         LOU
               Back there a good piece.  In
               the ditch next to his prowler.

Marge looks around at the road.

                         MARGE
               Okay, so we got a state trooper
               pulls someone over, we got a
               shooting, and these folks drive
               by, and we got a high-speed
               pursuit, ends here, and this
               execution-type deal.

                         LOU
               Yah.

                         MARGE
               Iíd be very surprised if our
               suspect was from Brainerd.

                         LOU
               Yah.

Marge is studying the ground.

                         MARGE
               Yah.  And Iíll tell you what, from
               his footprints he looks like a big
               fella -

Marge suddenly doubles over, putting her head between her
knees down near the snow.

                         LOU
               Ya see something down there, Chief?

                         MARGE
               Uh - I just, I think Iím gonna barf.

                         LOU
               Geez, you okay, Margie?

                         MARGE
               Iím fine - itís just morning
               sickness.

She gets up, sweeping snow from her knees.

                         MARGE
               ...  Well, that passed.

                         LOU
               Yah?

                         MARGE
               Yah.  Now Iím hungry again.

                         LOU
               You had breakfast yet, Margie?

                         MARGE
               Oh, yah.  Norm made some eggs.

                         LOU
               Yah?  Well, what now, díya think?

                         MARGE
               Letís go take a look at that
               trooper.


BY THE STATE TROOPERíS CAR

Margeís prowler is parked nearby.

Marge is on her hands and knees by a body down in the ditch,
again looking at footprints in the snow.  She calls up to
the road:

                         MARGE
               Thereís two of íem, Lou!

                         LOU
               Yah?

                         MARGE
               Yah, this guyís smaller than
               his buddy.

                         LOU
               Oh, yah?


DOWN IN THE DITCH

In the foreground is the head of the state trooper, facing
us.  Peering at it from behind, still on her hands and
knees, is Marge.

                         MARGE
               For Peteís sake.

She gets up, clapping the snow off her hands, and climbs out
of the ditch.

                         LOU
               Howís it look, Marge?

                         MARGE
               Well, heís got his gun on his hip
               there, and he looks like a nice
               enough guy.  Itís a real shame.

                         LOU
               Yah.

                         MARGE
               You havenít monkeyed with his car
               there, have ya?

                         LOU
               No way.

She is looking at the prowler, which still idles on the
shoulder.

                         MARGE
               Somebody shut his lights.  I guess
               the little guy sat in there, waitiní
               for his buddy tícome back.

                         LOU
               Yah, woulda been cold out here.

                         MARGE
               Heck, yah.  Ya think, is Dave open
               yet?

                         LOU
               You donít think heís mixed up in -

                         MARGE
               No, no, I just wanna get Norm some
               night crawlers.


INT. PROWLER

Marge is driving; Lou sits next to her.

                         MARGE
               You look in his citation book?

                         LOU
               Yah...

He looks at his notebook.

                         LOU
               ...  Last vehicle he wrote in
               was a tan Ciera at 2:18 a.m.
               Under the plate number he put
               DLR - I figure they stopped him
               or shot him before he could finish
               filliní out the tag number.

                         MARGE
               Uh-huh.

                         LOU
               So I got the state lookiní for a
               Ciera with a tag startiní DLR.
               They donít got no match yet.

                         MARGE
               Iím not sure I agree with you a
               hunnert percent on your policework,
               there, Lou.

                         LOU
               Yah?

                         MARGE
               Yah, I think that vehicle there
               probly had dealer plats.  DLR?

                         LOU
               Oh...

Lou gazes out the window, thinking.

                         LOU
               ...  Geez.

                         MARGE
               Yah.  Say, Lou, ya hear the one
               about the guy who couldnít afford
               personalized plates, so he went
               and changed his name to J2L 4685?

                         LOU
               Yah, thatís a good one.

                         MARGE
               Yah.


THE ROAD

The police car enters with a whoosh and hums down a straight-
ruled empty highway, cutting a landscape of flat and perfect
white.


EMBERS FAMILY RESTAURANT

Jerry, Wade, and Stan Grossman sit in a booth, sipping
coffee.  Outside the window, snow falls from a gunmetal sky.

                         WADE
               -  Allís I know is, ya got a
               problem, ya call a professional!

                         JERRY
               No!  They said no cops!  They were
               darned clear on that, Wade!  They
               said you call the cops and we -

                         WADE
               Well, a course theyíre gonna say
               that!  But whereís my protection?
               They got Jean here!  I give these
               sons a bitches a million dollars,
               whereís my guarantee theyíre gonna
               let her go.

                         JERRY
               Well, they -

                         WADE
               A million dollars is a lot a damn
               money!  And there they are, they
               got my daughter!

                         JERRY
               Yah, but think this thing through
               here, Wade.  Ya give íem what they
               want, why wontí they let her go?
               You gotta listen to me on this one,
               Wade.

                         WADE
               Heck, you donít know!  Youíre just
               whistliní Dixie here!  Iím sayiní,
               the cops, they can advise us on
               this!  Iím sayiní call a professional!

                         JERRY
               No!  No cops!  Thatís final!  This
               is my deal here, Wade!  Jean is
               my wife here!

                         STAN
               I gotta tell ya, Wade, Iím leaniní
               to Jerryís viewpoint here.

                         WADE
               Well -

                         STAN
               We gotta protect Jean.  These -
               weíre not holdiní any cards here,
               Wade, they got all of íem.  So
               they call the shots.

                         JERRY
               Youíre darned tootiní!

                         WADE
               Ah, dammit!

                         STAN
               Iím telliní ya.

                         WADE
               Well...  Why donít we...

He saws a finger under his nose.

                         WADE
               ...  Stan, Iím thinkiní we should
               offer íem half a million.

                         JERRY
               Now come on here, no way, Wade!
               No way!

                         STAN
               Weíre not horse-trading here, Wade,
               we just gotta bite the bullet on
               this thing.

                         JERRY
               Yah!

                         STAN
               Whatís the next step here, Jerry?

                         JERRY
               Theyíre gonna call, give me
               instructions for a drop.  Iím
               supposed to have the money ready
               tomorrow.

                         WADE
               Dammit!


THE CASHIER

She rings up two dollars forty.

                         CASHIER
               How was everything today?

                         JERRY
               Yah, real good now.


PARKING LOT

Snow continues to fall.  Jerry and Stan stand bundled in
their parkas and galoshes near a row of beached vehicles.
Wade sits behind the wheel of an idling Lincoln, waiting for
Stan.

                         STAN
               Okay.  Weíll get the money together.
               Donít worry about it, Jerry.  Now,
               díyou want anyone at home, with you,
               until they call?

                         JERRY
               No, I - they donít want - theyíre
               just síposed to be dealiní with
               me, they were real clear.

                         STAN
               Yah.

Jerry pounds his mittened hands together against the cold.

                         JERRY
               Ya know, they said no one listeniní
               in, theyíll be watchiní, ya know.
               Maybe itís all bull, but like you
               said, Stan, theyíre calliní the
               shots.

                         STAN
               Okay.  And Scotty, is he gonna
               be all right?

                         JERRY
               Yah, geez, Scotty.  Iíll go talk
               to him.

There is a tap at the horn from Wade, and Stan gets into the
Lincoln.

                         STAN
               Weíll call.

The Lincoln spits snow as it grinds out of the lot and
fishtails out onto the boulevard.


SCOTTYíS BEDROOM

Scotty lies on the bed, weeping.  Jerry enters and perches
uncomfortably on the edge of his bed.

                         JERRY
               ...  How ya doiní there, Scotty?

                         SCOTT
               Dad!  Whatíre they doing?  Wuddya
               think theyíre doiní with Mom?

                         JERRY
               Itís okay, Scotty.  Theyíre not
               gonna want to hurt her any.
               These men, they just want money,
               see.

                         SCOTT
               What if - what if sumpn goes wrong?

                         JERRY
               No, no, nothinís goiní wrong here.
               Grandad and I, weíre - weíre makiní
               sure this gets handled right.

Scott snorfles and sits up.

                         SCOTT
               Dad, I really think we should call
               the cops.

                         JERRY
               No!  We canít let anyone know about
               this thing!  We gotta play ball with
               these guys - you ask Stan Grossman,
               heíll tell ya the same thing!

                         SCOTT
               Yeah, but -

                         JERRY
               Weíre gonna get Mom back for ya, but
               we gotta play ball.  Ya know, thatís
               the deal.  Now if Lorraine calls, or
               Sylvia, you just say that Mom is in
               Florida with Pearl and Marty...

Scotty starts to weep again.  Jerry stares down at his lap.

                         JERRY
               ...  Thatís the best we can do here.


EXT. CABIN

It is a lakeside cabin surrounded by white.  A brown Ciera
with dealer plates is pulling into the drive.

Grimsrud climbs out of the passenger seat as Carl climbs out
of the driverís.  Grimsrud opens the back door and, with an
arm on her elbow, helps Jean out.  She has her hands tied
behind her and a black hood over her head.

With a cry, she swings her elbow out of Grimsrudís grasp and
lurches away across the front lawn.  Grimsrud moves to
retrieve her but Carl, grinning, lays a hand on his
shoulder.

                         CARL
               Hold it.

They both look out at the front lawn, Grimsrud
expressionless, Carl smiling.

With muffled cries, the hooded woman lurches across the
unbroken snow, staggering this way and that, stumbling on
the uneven terrain.

She stops, stands still, her hooded head swaying.

She lurches out in an arbitrary direction.  Going downhill,
she reels, staggers, and falls face-first into the snow,
weeping.

                         CARL
               Ha ha ha ha ha ha!  Jesus!

Grimsrud, still expressionless, breaks away from Carlís
restraining hand to retrieve her.


BRAINERD POLICE HEADQUARTERS

We track behind Marge as she makes her way across the floor,
greeting various officers.  She holds a small half-full
paper sack.

Beyond her we see a small glassed-in cublcle.  Norm sits at
the desk inside with a box lunch spread out in front of him.
There is lettering on the cubicleís glass door:  BRAINERD
PD. CHIEF GUNDERSON.

Marge enters and sits behind the desk, detaching her walkie-
talkie from her utility belt to accomodate the seat.

                         MARGE
               Hiya, hon.

She slides the paper sack toward him.

                         NORM
               Brought ya some lunch, Margie.
               Whatíre those, night crawlers?

He looks inside.

The bottom of the sack is full of fat, crawling earthworms.

                         MARGE
               Yah.

                         NORM
               Thanks, hon.

                         MARGE
               You bet.  Thanks for lunch.  What
               do we got here, Arbieís?

                         NORM
               Uh-huh.

She starts eating.

                         MARGE
               ...  Howís the paintiní goiní?

                         NORM
               Pretty good.  Found out the Hautmans
               are entering a painting this year.

                         MARGE
               Aw, hon, youíre betterín them.

                         NORM
               Theyíre real good.

                         MARGE
               Theyíre good, Norm, but youíre
               betterín them.

                         NORM
               Yah, ya think?

He leans over and kisses her.

                         MARGE
               Ah, ya got Arbieís all oíer me.

Lou enters.

                         LOU
               Hiya, Norm, howís the paintiní
               goiní?

                         NORM
               Not too bad.  You know.

                         MARGE
               How we doiní on that vehicle?

                         LOU
               No motels registered any tan Ciera
               last night.  But the night before,
               two men checked into the Blue Ox
               registering a Ciera and leaviní the
               tag space blank.

                         MARGE
               Geez, thatís a good lead.  The
               Blue Ox, thatís that truckerís
               joint out there on I-35?

                         LOU
               Yah.  Owner was on the desk then,
               said these two guys had company.

                         MARGE
               Oh, yah?


EXT. STRIPPER CLUB

Margeís prowler is parked in an otherwise empty lot.  Snow
drifts down.


INT. STRIPPER CLUB

Marge sits talking with two young women at one end of an
elevated dance platform.  The club, not yet open for
business, is deserted.

                         MARGE
               Where you girls from?

                         HOOKER ONE
               Chaska.

                         HOOKER TWO
               LeSeure.  But I went to high school
               in White Bear Lake.

                         MARGE
               Okay, I want you to tell me what
               these fellas looked like.

                         HOOKER ONE
               Well, the little guy, he was
               kinda funny-looking.

                         MARGE
               In what way?

                         HOOKER ONE
               I dunno.  Just funny-looking.

                         MARGE
               Can you be any more specific?

                         HOOKER ONE
               I couldnít really say.  He wasnít
               circumcised.

                         MARGE
               Was he funny-looking apart from
               that?

                         HOOKER ONE
               Yah.

                         MARGE
               So you were having sex with the
               little fella, then?

                         HOOKER ONE
               Uh-huh.

                         MARGE
               Is there anything else you can
               tell me about him?

                         HOOKER ONE
               No.  Like I say, he was funny-looking.
               Moreín most people even.

                         MARGE
               And what about the other fella?

                         HOOKER TWO
               He was a little older.  Looked like
               the Marlboro man.

                         MARGE
               Yah?

                         HOOKER TWO
               Yah.  Maybe Iím sayiní that cause
               he smoked Marlboros.

                         MARGE
               Uh-huh.

                         HOOKER TWO
               A subconscious-type thing.

                         MARGE
               Yah, that can happen.

                         HOOKER TWO
               Yah.

                         HOOKER ONE
               They said they were goiní to the
               Twin Cities?

                         MARGE
               Oh, yah?

                         HOOKER TWO
               Yah.

                         HOOKER ONE
               Yah.  Is that useful to ya?

                         MARGE
               Oh, you bet, yah.


EXT. LAKESIDE CABIN

It is now dusk.  The brown Ciera with dealer plates still
sits in the drive.


INT. CABIN

We track in on Jean Lundegaard, who sits tied in a chair
with the black hood still over her head.  As we track in, we
hear inarticulate cursing, intermittent banging and loud
static.

We track in on Gaear Grimsrud, who sits smoking a cigarette
and expressionlessly gazing offscreen.

We track in on Carl Showalter, who stands over an old black-
and-white television.  It plays nothing but snow.  Carl is
banging on it as he mutters:

                         CARL
               ...days ... be here for days with
               a - DAMMIT! - a goddamn mute ...
               nothiní to do ... and the fucking -
               DAMMIT!...

Each ďdammitĒ brings a pound of his fist on the TV.

                         CARL
               ...  TV doesnít even ... plug me
               in, man...  Gimmee a - DAMMIT! -
               signal...  Plug me into the
               ozone, baby...  Plug me into the
               ozone - FUCK!...

With one last bang we cut:


BACK TO THE TELEVISION SET

In extreme close-up an insect is lugging a worm.

                         TV VOICE-OVER
               The bark beetle carries the worm
               to the nest ... where it will feed
               its young for up to six weeks...

A pull back from the screen reveals that we are in Margeís
house.

Marge and Norm are watching television in bed.  From the TV
we hear insects chirring.

After a long beat, silence except for the TV, Marge murmurs,
still looking at the set:

                         MARGE
               ...  Well, Iím turniní in, Norm.

Also looking at the TV:

                         NORM
               ...  Oh, yah?

Marge rolls over and Norm continues to watch.

We hold.


BLACK

Hold.

A snowflake drops through the black.

Another flake.

It starts snowing.


BRAINERD MAIN STREET

The lone traffic light blinks slowly, steadily, red.  Snow
sifts down.  There is no other movement.


PAUL BUNYAN

We are looking up at the bottom-lit statue.  Snow falls.


HIGH SHOT OF MARGEíS HOUSE

Snow drops away.


HIGH SHOT IN MARGEíS BEDROOM

The bedroom is dark.  Norm is snoring.

The phone rings.

Marge gropes in the dark.

                         MARGE
               Hello?

                         VOICE
               Yah, is this Marge?

                         MARGE
               Yah?

                         VOICE
               Margie Olmstead?

                         MARGE
               ...  Well, yah.  Whoís this?

                         VOICE
               This is Mike Yanagita.  Ya know
               - Mike Yanagita.  Remember me?

                         MARGE
               ...  Mike Yanagita!

                         MIKE
               Yah!

Marge props herself up next to the still-sleeping Norm.

                         MARGE
               Yah, yah, course I remember.
               How are ya?  What time is it?

                         MIKE
               Oh, geez.  Itís quarter to eleven.
               I hope I dint wake you.

                         MARGE
               No, thatís okay.

                         MIKE
               Yah, Iím down in the Twin Cities
               and I was just watching on TV
               about these shootings up in
               Brainderd, and I saw you on the
               news there.

                         MARGE
               Yah.

                         MIKE
               I thought, geez, is that Margie
               Olmstead?  I canít believe it!

                         MARGE
               Yah, thatís me.

                         MIKE
               Well, how the heck are ya?

                         MARGE
               Okay, ya know.  Okay.

                         MIKE
               Yah?

                         MARGE
               Yah - how are you doon?

                         MIKE
               Oh, pretty good.

                         MARGE
               Heck, itís been such a long time,
               Mike.  Itís great to hear from ya.

                         MIKE
               Yah...  Yah, yah.  Geeze, Margie!


GUSTAFSON OLDS GARAGE

Jerry is on the sales floor, showing a customer a vehicle.

                         JERRY
               Yah, ya got yer, this loaded here,
               this has yer independent, uh, yer
               slipped differential, uh, yer rack-
               and-pinion steering, yer alarm and
               radar, and I can give it to ya with
               a heck of a sealant, this TruCoat
               stuff, itíll keep the salt off -

                         CUSTOMER
               Yah, I donít need no sealant though.

                         JERRY
               Yah, you donít need that.  Now
               were you thinking of financing here?
               You oughta be aware a this GMAC
               plan they have now, itís really
               super -

                         ANOTHER SALESMAN
               Jerry, ya got a call here.

                         JERRY
               Yah, okay.


JERRYíS CUBICLE

He sits in and picks up his phone.

                         JERRY
               Jerry Lundegaard.

                         VOICE
               All right, Jerry, you got this
               phone to yourself?

                         JERRY
               Well ... yah.

                         VOICE
               Know who this is?

                         JERRY
               Well, yah, I got an idea.  Howís
               that Ciera workiní out for ya?

                         VOICE
               Circumstances have changed, Jerry.

                         JERRY
               Well, what do ya mean?

                         VOICE
               Things have changed.  Circumstances,
               Jerry.  Beyond the, uh ... acts of
               God, force majeure...

                         JERRY
               What the - howís Jean?

A beat.

                         CARL
               ...  Whoís Jean?

                         JERRY
               My wife!  What the - howís -

                         CARL
               Oh, Jeanís okay.  But thereís
               three people up in Brainerd who
               arenít so okay, Iíll tell ya that.

                         JERRY
               What the heckíre you talkiní about?
               Letís just finish up this deal
               here -

                         CARL
               Blood has been shed, Jerry.

Jerry sits dumbly.  The voice solemnly repeats:

                         CARL
               ...  Blood has been shed.

                         JERRY
               What the heck díya mean?

                         CARL
               Three people.  In Brainerd.

                         JERRY
               Oh, geez.

                         CARL
               Thatís right.  And we need more
               money.

                         JERRY
               The heck díya mean?  What a you
               guys got yourself mixed up in?

                         CARL
               We need more -

                         JERRY
               This was síposed to be a no-rough
               -stuff-type deal -

                         CARL
               DONíT EVER INTERRUPT ME, JERRY!
               JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP!

                         JERRY
               Well, Iím sorry, but I just - I -

                         CARL
               Look.  Iím not gonna debate you,
               Jerry.  The price is now the whole
               amount.  We want the entire eighty
               thousand.

                         JERRY
               Oh, for Chrissakes here -

                         CARL
               Blood has been shed.  Weíve incurred
               risks, Jerry.  Iím coming into town
               tomorrow.  Have the money ready.

                         JERRY
               Now we had a deal here!  A dealís
               a deal!

                         CARL
               IS IT, JERRY?  You ask those three
               pour souls up in Brainerd if a
               dealís a deal!  Go ahead, ask íem!

                         JERRY
               ...  The heck díya mean?

                         CARL
               Iíll see you tomorrow.

Click.

Jerry slams down the phone, which immediately rings.  He
angrily snatches it up.

                         JERRY
               Yah!

                         VOICE
               Jerome Lundegaard?

                         JERRY
               Yah!

                         VOICE
               This is Reilly Deifenbach at GMAC.
               Sir, I have not yet recieved those
               vehicle IDs you promised me.

                         JERRY
               Yah!  I ... those are in the mail.

                         VOICE
               Mr. Lundegaard, that very well may
               be.  I must inform you, however,
               that absent the reciept of those
               numbers by tomorrow afternoon, I
               will have to refer this matter to
               our legal department.

                         JERRY
               Yah.

                         VOICE
               My patience is at an end.

                         JERRY
               Yah.

                         VOICE
               Good day, sir.

                         JERRY
               ...  Yah.


WIDE ON THE CUBICLE

We are looking at Jerryís cubicle from across the showroom.
Noise muted by distance, we watch Jerry slam down the
reciever, rise to his feet, fling the phone to the floor,
raise his desk blotter high over his head with pens and
pencils rolling off it and slam it onto his desktop.

He stands for a moment, hands on hips, glaring.

He stoops and picks up the phone, places it back on the
desktop, starts picking up the pens and pencils.


TRACK

On steam-table bins of food, each identified by a plaque:
BEEF STROGANOFF, SWEDISH MEATBALLS, BROILED TORSK, CHICKEN
FLORENTINE.

A complementary track shows two rays being pushed along a
buffet line, piled high with many foods.


MARGE AND NORM AT A TABLE

They sit next to each other at a long cafateria-style
Formica table, silently eating.

A hip with a hissing walkie-talkie enters frame.

                         GARY
               Hiya, Norm.  How ya doiní, Margie?
               Howís the fricasse?

                         MARGE
               Pretty darn good, ya want some?

                         GARY
               No, I gotta - hey, Norm, I thought
               you were goiní fishiní up at Mile
               Lacs?

                         NORM
               Yah, after lunch.

He goes back to his food.

                         MARGE
               Whatcha got there?

Gary hands her a flimsy.  Marge takes it with one hand and
looks, her other hand frozen with a forkful of food.

                         GARY
               The numbers yíasked for, calls
               made from the lobby pay phone
               at the Blue Ox.  Two to Minneapolis
               that night.

                         MARGE
               Mm.

                         GARY
               First oneís a trucking company,
               second oneís a private residence.
               A Shep Proudfoot.

                         MARGE
               Uh-huh...  A what?

                         GARY
               Shep Proudfoot.  Thatís a name.

                         MARGE
               Uh-huh.

                         GARY
               Yah.

                         MARGE
               ...  Yah, okay, I think Iíll
               drive down there, then.

                         GARY
               Oh, yah?  Twin Cities?

Norm, who has been eating steadily throughout, looks over at
Marge with mild interest.  He stares for a beat as he
finishes chewing, and them swallows and says:

                         NORM
               ...  Oh, yah?


KITCHEN OF LUNDEGAARD HOUSE

Jerry, Wade, and Stan Grossman sit around the kitchen table.
It is night.  The scene is harshly toplit by a hanging
fixture.  On the table are the remains of coffee and a
cinammon filbert ring.

                         WADE
               Dammit!  I wanna be a part a
               this thing!

                         JERRY
               No, Wade!  They were real clear!
               They said theyíd call tomorrow,
               with instructions, and itís gonna
               be delivered by me alone!

                         WADE
               Itís my money, Iíll deliver it
               - what do they care?

                         STAN
               Wadeís got a point there.  Iíll
               handle the call if you want, Jerry.

                         JERRY
               No, no.  See - they, no, see, they
               only deal with me.  Ya feel this,
               this nervousness on the phone there,
               theyíre very - these guysíre
               dangerous -

                         WADE
               All the more reason!  I donít want
               you - with all due respect, Jerry
               - I donít want you mucking this up.

                         JERRY
               The heck díya mean?

                         WADE
               They want my money, they can deal
               with me.  Otherwise Iím goiní to
               a professional.

He points at a briefcase.

                         WADE
               ...  Thereís a million dollars
               here!

                         JERRY
               No, see -

                         WADE
               Look, Jerry, youíre not selliní
               me a damn car.  Itís my show here.
               Thatís that.

                         STAN
               Itís the way we prefer to handle
               it, Jerry.


THE DOWNTOWN RADISSON HOTEL

Marge is at the reception desk.

                         MARGE
               How ya doiní?

                         CLERK
               Real good.  Howíre you today, maíam?

                         MARGE
               Real good.  Iím Mrs. Gunderson, I
               have a reservation.

The clerk types into a computer console.

                         CLERK
               You sure do, Mrs. Gunderson.

                         MARGE
               Is there a phone down here, ya think?


LOBBY CORNER

Marge is on a public phone.

                         MARGE
               ...  Detective Sibert?  Yah, this
               is Marge Gunderson from up Brainerd,
               we spoke -  Yah.  Well, actually
               Iím in town here.  I had to do a
               few things in the Twin Cities, so
               I thought Iíd check in with ya about
               that USIF search on Shep Proudfoot...
               Oh, yah?...  Well, maybe Iíll go
               visit with him if I have the...  No,
               I can find that...  Well, thanks a
               bunch.  Say, díya happen to know a
               good place for lunch in the downtown
               area?...  Yah, the Radisson...  Oh,
               yah?  Is it reasonable?


A GREEN FREEWAY SIGN

Through a windshield we see a sign for the MINNEAPOLIS
INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.


ROOFTOP PARKING LOT

The brown Ciera enters and drives lazy S-curves around the
few snow-covered cars parked on the roof of the lot.

It stops by one car and Carl emerges.  He quickly scans the
lot, then kneels in the snow at the back of the parked car
and starts unscrewing its license plate.


EXIT BOOTH

Carl pulls up and hands the attendant his ticket.

                         CARL
               Yeah, I decided not to park here.

The attendant frowns uncomprehendingly at the ticket.

                         ATTENDANT
               ...  What do you mean, you decided
               not to park here?

                         CARL
               Yeah, I just came in.  I decided
               not to park here.

The attendant is still puzzled.

                         ATTENDANT
               You, uh...  Iím sorry, sir, but -

                         CARL
               I decided not to - Iím, uh, not
               taking the trip as it turns out.

                         ATTENDANT
               Iím sorry, sir, we do have to
               charge you the four dollars.

                         CARL
               I just pulled in here.  I just
               fucking pulled in here!

                         ATTENDANT
               Well, see, thereís a minimum charge
               of four dollars.  Long-term parking
               charges by the day.

A car behind beeps.  Carl glances back, starts digging for
money.

                         CARL
               I guess you think, ya know, youíre
               an authority figure.  With that
               stupid fucking uniform.  Huh, buddy?

The attendant doesnít say anything.

                         CARL
               ...  King Clip-on Tie here.  Big
               fucking man.

He is peeling off one dollar bills.

                         CARL
               ...  You know, these are the limits
               of your life, man.  Ruler of your
               little fucking gate here.  Thereís
               your four dollars.  You pathetic
               piece of shit.


GUSTAFSON OLDS GARAGE

Jerry is staring up, mouth agape, at the underside of a car
on a hydraulic lift.  Bewildered, he looks about, then asks
a mechanic passing by, his voice raised over the din of the
shop.

                         JERRY
               Whereís Shep?

The mechanic points.

                         MECHANIC
               Talkiní to a cop.

Jerry looks.

                         JERRY
               ...  Cop?

Marge and Shep face each other at the other end of the floor
in a grimy and cluttered glassed-in cubicle.

                         MECHANIC
               Said she was a policewoman.

Marge and Shep silently talk.

Jerry stares, swallows.


INSIDE THE CUBICLE

                         MARGE
               - Wednesday night?

Shep is shaking his head.

                         SHEP
               Nope.

                         MARGE
               Well, you do reside their at
               1425 Fremont Terrace?

                         SHEP
               Yep.

                         MARGE
               Anyone else residing there?

                         SHEP
               Nope.

                         MARGE
               Well, Mr. Proudfoot, this call
               came in past three in the morning.
               Itís just hard for me to believe
               you canít remember anyone calling.

Shep says nothing.

                         MARGE
               ...  Now, I know youíve had some
               problems, struggling with the
               narcotics, some other entanglements,
               currently on parole -

                         SHEP
               So?

                         MARGE
               Well, associating with criminals,
               if youíre the one they talked to,
               that right there would be a
               violation of your parole and would
               end with you back in Stillwater.

                         SHEP
               Uh-huh.

                         MARGE
               Now, I saw some rough stuff on
               your priors, but nothing in the
               nature of a homicide...

Shep stares at her.

                         MARGE
               ...  I know you donít want to be
               an accessory to something like
               that.

                         SHEP
               Nope.

                         MARGE
               So you think you might remember
               who those folks were who called
               ya?


JERRYíS OFFICE

Jerry is worriedly pacing behind his desk.  At a noise he
looks up.

Marge has stuck her head in the door.

                         MARGE
               Mr. Lundegaard?

                         JERRY
               Huh?  Yah?

                         MARGE
               I wonder if I could take just a
               minute of your time here -

                         JERRY
               What...  What is it all about?

                         MARGE
               Huh?  Do you mind if I sit down
               - Iím carrying quite a load here.

Marge plops into the chair opposite him.

                         MARGE
               ...  Youíre the owner here, Mr.
               Lundegaard?

                         JERRY
               Naw, I...  Executive Sales Manager.

                         MARGE
               Well, you can help me.  My nameís
               Marge Gunderson -

                         JERRY
               My father-in-law, heís the owner.

                         MARGE
               Uh-huh.  Well, Iím a police officer
               from up Brainerd investigating some
               malfeasance and I was just wondering
               if youíve had any new vehicles stolen
               off the lot in the past couple of
               weeks - specifically a tan Cutlass
               Ciera?

Jerry stares at her, his mouth open.

                         MARGE
               ...  Mr. Lundegaard?

                         JERRY
               ...  Brainerd?

                         MARGE
               Yah.  Yah.  Home a Paul Bunyan and
               Babe the Blue Ox.

                         JERRY
               ...  Babe the Blue Ox?

                         MARGE
               Yah, ya know weíve got the big
               statue there.  So you havenít had
               any vehicles go missing, then?

                         JERRY
               No.  No, maíam.

                         MARGE
               Okey-dokey, thanks a bunch.  Iíll
               let you get back to your paperwork,
               then.

As Marge rises, Jerry looks blankly down at the papers on
the desk in front of him.

                         JERRY
               ...  Yah, okay.

He looks up at Margeís retreating back.  He looks back down
at the papers.  He looks over at the phone.

he picks up the phone and dials four digits.

                         JERRY
               ...  Yah, gimmee Shep...  The
               heck díya mean?...  Well, whereíd
               he go?  Itís only...  No, I donít
               need a mechanic - oh, geez - I
               gotta talk to a friend of his, so,
               uh ... have him, uh ... oh, geez...


HOTEL BAR

Marge enters.  She looks around the bar, a rather
characterless, lowlit meeting place for business people.

                         VOICE
               Marge?

It is a bald, paunching man of about Margeís age, rising
from a booth halfway back.  His features are broad,
friendly, Asian-American.

                         MARGE
               Mike!

He approaches somewhat carefully, as if on his second drink.
They hug and head back toward the booth.

                         MIKE
               Geez!  You look great!

                         MARGE
               Yah - easy there - you do too!
               Iím expecting, ya know.

                         MIKE
               I see that!  Thatís great!

A waitress meets them at the table.

                         MIKE
               ...  What can I get ya?

                         MARGE
               Just a Diet Coke.

Again she glances about.

                         MARGE
               ...  This is a nice place.

                         MIKE
               Yah, ya know itís the Radisson,
               so itís pretty good.

                         MARGE
               Youíre liviní in Edina, then?

                         MIKE
               Oh, yah, couple years now.  Itís
               actually Eden Prarie - that school
               district.  So Chief Gunderson, then!
               So ya went and married Norm Son-of-
               a-Gunderson!

                         MARGE
               Oh, yah, a long time ago.

                         MIKE
               Great.  What brings ya down - are
               ya down here on that homicide -
               if youíre allowed, ya know, to
               discuss that?

                         MARGE
               Oh, yah, but thereís not a heckuva
               lot to discuss.  What about you,
               Mike?  Are you married - you have
               kids?

                         MIKE
               Well, yah, I was married.  I was
               married to -  You mind if I sit
               over here?

He is sliding out of his side of the booth and easing in
next to Marge.

                         MIKE
               ...  I was married to Linda
               Cooksey -

                         MARGE
               No, I -  Mike - wyncha sit over
               there, Iíd prefer that.

                         MIKE
               Huh?  Oh, okay, Iím sorry.

                         MARGE
               No, just so I can see ya, ya know.
               Donít have to turn my neck.

                         MIKE
               Oh, sure, I unnerstand, I didnít
               mean to -

                         MARGE
               No, no, thatís fine.

                         MIKE
               Yah, sorry, so I was married to
               Linda Cooksey - ya remember Linda?
               She was a year behind us.

                         MARGE
               I think I remember Linda, yah.
               She was - yah.  So things didnít
               work out, huh?

                         MIKE
               And then I, and then I been workiní
               for Honeywell for a few years now.

                         MARGE
               Well, theyíre a good outfit.

                         MIKE
               Yah, if youíre an engineer, yah,
               you could do a lot worse.  Of
               course, itís not, uh, itís
               nothiní like your achievement.

                         MARGE
               It sounds like youíre doiní really
               super.

                         MIKE
               Yah, well, I, uh ... itís not that
               it didnít work out -  Linda passed
               away.  She, uh...

                         MARGE
               Iím sorry.

                         MIKE
               Yah, I, uh...  She had leukemia,
               you know...

                         MARGE
               No, I didnít...

                         MIKE
               It was a tough, uh ... it was a
               long -  She fought real hard,
               Marge...

                         MARGE
               Iím sorry, Mike.

                         MIKE
               Oh, ya know, thatís, uh - what
               can I say?...

He holds up his drink.

                         MIKE
               ...  Better times, huh?

Marge clinks it.

                         MARGE
               Better times.

                         MIKE
               I was so...  I been so ... and
               then I saw you on TV, and I
               remembered, ya know...  I always
               liked you...

                         MARGE
               Well, I always liked you, Mike.

                         MIKE
               I always liked ya so much...

                         MARGE
               Itís okay, Mike -  Should we get
               together another time, ya think?

                         MIKE
               No - Iím sorry!  Itís just -  I
               been so lonely - then I saw you,
               and...

He is weeping.

                         MIKE
               ...  Iím sorry...  I shouldnít a
               done this...  I thought weíd have
               a really terrific time, and now
               Iíve...

                         MARGE
               Itís okay...

                         MIKE
               You were such a super lady ...
               and then I...  I been so lonely...

                         MARGE
               Itís okay, Mike...


CARLTON CELEBRITY ROOM

Carl Showalter is sitting at a small table with a tarty-
looking blonde in a low-cut gown.  Each holds a drink.

                         CARL
               Just in town on business.  Just
               in and out.  Ha ha!  A little of
               the old in-and-out!

                         WOMAN
               Wuddya do?

Carl looks around.

                         CARL
               Have ya been to the Celebrity Room
               before?  With other, uh, clients?

                         WOMAN
               I donít think so.  Itís nice.

                         CARL
               Yeah, well, it depends on the artist.
               You know, Jose Feliciano, ya got no
               complaints.  Waiter!

The reverse shows a disappearing waiter and the backs of
many, many people sitting at tables between us and the very
distant stage.  Jose Feliciano, very small, performs on a
spotlit stool.  The acoustics are poor.

Carl grimaces.

                         CARL
               ...  What is he, deaf?...  So,
               uh, how long have you been with
               the escort service?

                         WOMAN
               I donít know.  Few munce.

                         CARL
               Ya find the work interesting, do ya?

                         WOMAN
               ...  Whatíre you talking about?


A DIRTY BEDROOM

Carl is humping the escort.

We hear the door burst open.

The escort is grabbed and flung out of bed.

                         CARL
               Shep!  What the hell are you doing?
               Iím banging that girl!  Shep!  Jesus
               Ch -

Shep slaps him hard, forehand, backhand.

                         SHEP
               Fuck out of my house!

He hauls him up -

                         CARL
               Shep!  Donít you dare fucking hit
               me, man!  Donít you -

- punches him and flings him away.

Carl hits a sofa and we see his bare legs disappear as he
flips back over it.

Shep enters frame to circle the sofa and kick at Carl behind
it.

                         SHEP
               Fuck outta here.  Put me back in
               Stillwater.  Little fucking shit.

There is a knock at the door.

                         VOICE
               Hey!  Come on in there!

Shep strides to the door, flings it open.

A man in boxer shorts stands in the doorway.

                         MAN
               Címon, brother, itís late -  Unghh!

Shep hits him twice, then grabs both of his ears and starts
banging his head against the wall.

The hooker runs by, clutching her clothes, and Shep kicks
her in the ass as she passes.

He spins and goes back into the apartment.

Carl is hopping desperately into his pants.

                         CARL
               Stay away from me, man!  Hey!
               Smoke a fuckiní peace pipe, man!
               Donít you dare fuckiní -  Unghh!

After hitting him several times, Shep yanks Carlís belt out
of his dangling pants and strangles him with it.  Carl
gurgles.  Shep knees Carl repeatedly, then dumps him onto
the floor and starts whipping him with the buckle end of the
belt.


CHAIN RESTAURANT PHONE BOOTH

Carl listens to the phone ring at the other end.  His face
is deeply bruised and cut.

Finally, through the phone...

                         VOICE
               ...  Yah?

                         CARL
               All right, Jerry, Iím through
               fucking around.  You got the
               fucking money?


JERRYíS KITCHEN

Jerry is at the kitchen phone.  Through the door to the
dining room we see Wade picking up an extension.

                         JERRY
               Yah, I got the money, but, uh -

                         CARL
               Donít you fucking but me, Jerry.
               I want you with this money on the
               Dayton-Radisson parking ramp, top
               level, thirty minutes, and weíll
               wrap this up.

                         JERRY
               Yah, okay, but, uh -

                         CARL
               Youíre there in thirty minutes or
               I find you, Jerry, and I shoot
               you, and I shoot your fucking wife,
               and I shoot all your little fucking
               children, and I shoot íem all in the
               back of their little fucking heads.
               Got it?

                         JERRY
               ...  Yah, well, you stay away from
               Scotty now -

                         CARL
               GOT IT?

                         JERRY
               Okay, real good, then.

The line goes dead.

A door slams offscreen.


EXT. HOUSE

Wade, briefcase in hand, gets into his Cadillac, slams the
door and peels out.


INT. CAR

Wadeís jaw works as he glares out at traffic.  He mumbles to
himself as he drives.

                         WADE
               Okay ... hereís your damn money,
               now whereís my daughter?...
               Goddamn punk ... whereís my damn
               daughter...

He pulls out a gun, cracks the barrel, peers in.

                         WADE
               ...  You little punk.


JERRYíS HOUSE

Jerry sits in the foyer, trying to pull on pair of galoshes.
Scottyís voice comes from upstairs:

                         VOICE
               ...  Dad?

                         JERRY
               Itís okay, Scotty.

                         VOICE
               Whereíre you going?

                         JERRY
               Be back in a minute.  If Stan
               calls you, just tell him I went
               to Embers.  Oh, geez -

Thunk! - his first boot goes on.


RADISSON

Marge sits on the bed in her hotel room, shoes off,
massaging her feet.  The phone is pressed to her ear, and
through it, we hear ringing.

                         VOICE
               ...  Hello?

                         MARGE
               Norm?


MILLE LACS LAKE

It is late evening, blowing storm.  A leisurely pan across
the bleak gray expanse finds a little hut in the middle of
the frozen lake with a pickup truck parked next to it.

                         MARGEíS VOICE
               They bitiní?


INT. HUT

Norm has a cellular phone to his ear.  His feet are
stretched out to an electric heater.  The interior is bathed
in soft orange light.

                         NORM
               Yah, okay.  Howís the hotel?

                         MARGE
               Oh, pretty good.  They bitiní?

                         NORM
               Yeah, couple a muskies.  No pike
               yet.  How díyou feel?

                         MARGE
               Oh, fine.

                         NORM
               Not on your feet too much?

                         MARGE
               No, no.

                         NORM
               You shouldnít be on your feet too
               much, you got weight youíre not
               used too.  Howís the food down
               there?

                         MARGE
               Had dinner at a place called the
               Kingís Table.  Buffet style.  It
               was pretty darn good.

                         NORM
               Was it reasonable?

                         MARGE
               Yah, not too bad.  So itís nice
               up there?

                         NORM
               Yah, itís good.  No pike yet, but
               itís good.


DAYTON-RADISSON RAMP

The top, open, level.  Snow blows.  A car sits idling.

Another car pulls onto the roof.  It creeps over to the
parked car and stops.  It continues to idle as its door
opens and Wade steps out, carrying the briefcase.

The door of the other car bangs open and Carl bounces out.

                         CARL
               Who the fuck are you?  Who the
               fuck are you?

                         WADE
               I got your goddamn money, you
               little punk.  Now whereís my
               daughter?

                         CARL
               I am through fucking around!  Drop
               that fucking briefcase!

                         WADE
               Whereís my daughter?

                         CARL
               Fuck you, man!  Whereís Jerry?  I
               gave SIMPLE FUCKING INSTRUCTIONS -

                         WADE
               Whereís my damn daughter?  No
               Jean, no money!

                         CARL
               Drop that fucking money!

                         WADE
               No Jean, no money!

                         CARL
               Is this a fucking joke here?

He pulls out a gun and fires into Wadeís gut.

                         CARL
               ...  Is this a fucking joke?

                         WADE
               Unghh ... oh, geez...

He is on the pavement, clutching at his gut.  Snow swirls.

                         CARL
               You fucking imbeciles!

He bends down next to Wade to pick up the briefcase.

                         WADE
               Oh, for Christ ... oh, geez...

Wade brings out his gun and fires at Carlís head, close by.

                         CARL
               Oh!

Carl stumbles and falls back, and then stands up again.  His
jaw is gouting blood.

                         CARL
               ...  Owwmm...

One hand pressed to his jaw, he fires down at Wade several
times.  Blood streams through the hand pressed to his jaw.

                         CARL
               ...  Mmmmmphnck!  He fnkem shop me...

He pockets the gun, picks up the briefcase one-handed,
flings it into his car, gets in, peels out.


DOWN RAMP

Carl screams down the ramp.  He takes a corner at high speed
and swerves, just missing Jerry in his Olds on his way to
the top.


INT. JERRYíS CAR

Jerry recovers from the near miss and continues up.

                         JERRY
               Oh, geez!


EXIT BOOTH

Carl squeals to a halt at the gate, still pressing his hand
to his bleeding jaw.

                         CARL
               Ophhem ma fuchem gaphe!

                         ATTENDANT
               May I have your ticket, please?


RAMP ROOF

Jerry pulls to a halt next to Wadeís idling Cadillac.  He
gets out and walks slowly to Wadeís body, prostrate in the
swirling snow.

                         JERRY
               Oh!  Oh, geez!

He bends down, picks Wade up by the armpits and drags him
over to the back of the Cadillac.  He drops Wadeís body,
walks to the driverís side of the car, pulls the keys and
walks back to pop the trunk.  He wrestles Wadeís body into
the trunk, slams it shut and walks back to the scene of the
shooting.

He kicks at the snow with his galoshed feet, trying to hide
the fresh bloodstains.


EXIT BOOTH

Jerry approaches in the Cadillac.

The wooden gate barring the exit has been broken away.  The
booth is empty.

Jerry eases toward the street, looking over at the booth as
he passes.

Inside the booth we see the awkwardly angled leg of a
prostrate body.


EXT. JERRYíS HOUSE

The car pulls into the driveway.


FOYER

Jerry enters and sits on the foyer chair to take off his
galoshes.

                         SCOTTíS VOICE
               ...  Dad?

                         JERRY
               Yah.

                         SCOTTíS VOICE
               Stan Grossman called.

                         JERRY
               Yah, okay.

                         SCOTTíS VOICE
               Twice.

                         JERRY
               Okay.

                         SCOTTíS VOICE
               ...  Is everything okay?

                         JERRY
               Yah.

Thoonk - the first boot comes off.

                         SCOTTíS VOICE
               Are you calling Stan?

                         JERRY
               Well...  Iím goiní ta bed now.


CARLíS CAR

Carl mumbles as he drives, underlit by the dim dash lights,
one hand now holding a piece of rag to his shredded jaw.

                         CARL
               ...  Fnnkn ashlzh...  Fnk...


ROAD

Carlís car roars into frame, violently swirling the snow.
Its red tail lights fishtail away.

FADE OUT

HOLD IN BLACK

HARD CUT TO:  BRIGHT - LOOKING THROUGH A WINDSHIELD

It is a starky sunny day.  We are cruising down a street of
humble lookalike houses.

We pan right as we draw toward one house in particular.  In
its driveway a man in a hooded parka shovels snow.  He
notices the approaching car and gives its driver a wave.

The driver is Gary, the Brainderd police officer.  He gives
a finger-to-the-head salute and pulls over.


OUTSIDE

Gary slams his door shut and the other man plants his shovel
in the snow.


                         MAN
               How ya doiní?

                         GARY
               Mr. Mohra?

                         MAN
               Yah.

                         GARY
               Officer Olson.

                         MAN
               Yah, right-o.

The two men caucus the driveway without shaking hands and
without standing particularly close.  They stand stiffly,
arms down at their sides and breath streaming out of their
parka hoods.  Each has an awkward leaning-away posture, head
drawn slightly back and chin tucked in, to keep his face
from protruding into the cold.

                         MAN
               ...  So, Iím tendiní bar there at
               Ecklund & Swedlinís last Tuesday
               and this little guyís drinkiní
               and he says, íSo where can a guy
               find some action - Iím goiní crazy
               down there at the lake.í  And I
               says, íWhat kinda action?í and he
               says, íWoman action, what do I
               look like,í  And I says íWell,
               what do I look like, I donít
               arrange that kinda thing,í and he
               says, íIím goiní crazy out there
               at the lakeí and I says, íWell,
               this ainít that kinda place.í

                         GARY
               Uh-huh.

                         MAN
               So he says, íSo I get it, so you
               think Iím some kinda jerk for
               askiní,í only he doesnít use the
               word jerk.

                         GARY
               I unnerstand.

                         MAN
               And then he calls me a jerk and
               says the last guy who thought he
               was a jerk was dead now.  So I
               donít say nothiní and he says, íWhat
               do ya think about that?í  So I
               says, íWell, that donít sound like
               too good a deal for him then.í


                         GARY
               Ya got that right.

                         MAN
               And he says, íYah, that guyís dead
               and I donít mean a old age.í  And
               then he says, íGeez, Iím goiní
               crazy out there at the lake.í

                         GARY
               White Bear Lake?

                         MAN
               Well, Ecklund & Swedlinís, thatís
               closer ta Moose Lake, so I made
               that assumption.

                         GARY
               Oh sure.

                         MAN
               So, ya know, heís drinkiní, so I
               donít think a whole great deal of
               it, but Mrs. Mohra heard about the
               homicides out here and she thought
               I should call it in, so I called
               it in.  End a story.

                         GARY
               Whatíd this guy look like anyways?

                         MAN
               Oh, he was a little guy, kinda
               funny-lookiní.

                         GARY
               Uh-huh - in what way?

                         MAN
               Just a general way.

                         GARY
               Okay, well, thanks a bunch, Mr.
               Mohra.  Youíre right, itís probably
               nothiní, but thanks for calliní
               her in.

                         MAN
               Oh sure.  They say sheís gonna
               turn cold tomorrow.

                         GARY
               Yah, got a front moviní in.

                         MAN
               Ya got that right.


CLOSE ON CARL SHOWALTER

In his car, now parked, one hand holding the rag pressed to
his mangled jaw.  He is staring down at something in the
front seat next to him.

His other hand holds open the briefcase.  It has money
inside - a lot of money.

Carl unfreezes, takes out one of the bank-wrapped wads and
looks at it.

                         CARL
               ...  Mmmnphh.

He paws through the money in the briefcase to get a feeling
for the amount.

                         CARL
               ...  Jeshush Shrist...  Jeshush
               fuchem Shrist!

Excited, he counts out a bundle of bills and tosses it onto
the back seat.

He starts to take the rag away from his chin but the layer
pressed against his face sticks, its loose weave bound to
his skin by clotted blood.

He pulls very gently and winces as blood starts to flow
again.

He carefully tears the rag in half so that only a bit of it
remains adhering to his jaw.


EXT. CAR

It is pulled over to the side of an untraveled road.  THe
door opens and Carl emerges with the briefcase.

He slogs through the snow, down a gulley and up the
embankment to a barbed-wire fence.  He kneels at one of the
fence posts and frantically digs into the snow with his bare
hands, throws in the briefcase and covers it back up.

He stands and tries to beat the circulation back into his
red, frozen hands.

He looks to the right.

A regular line of identical fence posts stretches away
against unblemished white.

He looks to the left.

A regular line of identical fence posts stretches away
against unblemished white.

He looks at the fence post in front of him.

                         CARL
               Mmmphh...

He looks about the snowy vastness for a marker.  Finding
none, he kicks the fence post a couple of times, failing to
scar or tilt it, then hurriedly plants a couple of sicks up
against the post.

He bends down, scoops up a handful of snow, presses it
against his wounded jaw, and lopes back to the idling car.


HOTEL ROOM

Marge has a packed overnight back sitting on the unmade bed.
She is ready to leave, already wearing her parka, but is on
the phone.

                         MARGE
               No, Iím leaviní this morniní, back
               up to Brainerd.

                         VOICE
               Well, Iím sorry I wonít see ya.

                         MARGE
               Mm.  But ya think heís all right?
               I saw him last night and heís -

                         VOICE
               Whatíd he say?

                         MARGE
               Well, it was nothiní specific
               he said, it just seemd like it
               all hit him really hard, his
               wife dyiní -

                         VOICE
               His wife?

                         MARGE
               Linda.

                         VOICE
               No.

                         MARGE
               Linda Cooksey?

                         VOICE
               No.  No.  No.  They werenít -
               he, uh, he was bothering Linda
               for about, oh, for a good year.
               Really pestering her, wouldnít
               leave her alone.

                         MARGE
               So ... they didnít...

                         VOICE
               No.  No.  They never married.
               Mikeís had psychiatric problems.


                         MARGE
               Oh.  Oh, my.

                         VOICE
               Yah, he - heís been struggling.
               Heís living with his parents now.

                         MARGE
               Oh.  Geez.

                         VOICE
               Yah, Lindaís fine.  You should
               call her.

                         MARGE
               Geez.  Well - geez.  Thatís a
               suprise.


MARGEíS CAR

Marge drives, gazing out at the road.


MARGE AT A DRIVE-THROUGH

She leans out of her open window and yells at the order
panel:

                         MARGE
               Hello?


MARGE AT THE GUSTAFSON OLDS GARAGE

She sits in the lot, eating a breakfast sandwich.


JERRY LUNDEGAARDíS OFFICE

Jerry is at his desk using a blunt pencil to enter numbers
onto a form.  Beneath the form is a piece of carbon paper
and beneath that another form copy, which Jerry periodically
checks.  The carbon-copy form shows thick smudgy, illegible
entries.

Jerry hums nervously.

Glass rattles as someone taps at his door.

Jerry looks up and freezes, mouth hanging open, brow knit
with worry.

Marge sticks her head in the door.

                         MARGE
               Mr. Lundegaard?  Sorry to bother
               you again.  Can I come in?

She starts to enter.

                         JERRY
               Yah, no, Iím kinda - Iím kinda
               busy -

                         MARGE
               I unnerstand.  Iíll keep it real
               short, then.  Iím on my way out
               of town, but I was just -  Do you
               mind if I sit down?  Iím carrying
               a bit of a load here.

                         JERRY
               No, I -

But she is already sitting into the chair opposite with a
sigh of relieved weight.

                         MARGE
               Yah, itís this vehicle I asked you
               about yesterday.  I was just
               wondering -

                         JERRY
               Yah, like I told ya, we havenít had
               any vehicles go missing.

                         MARGE
               Okay, are you sure, cause, I mean,
               how do you know?  Because, see,
               the crime Iím investigating, the
               perpetrators were driving a car
               with dealer plates.  And they
               called someone who works here, so
               itíd be quite a coincidence if
               they werenít, ya know, connected.

                         JERRY
               Yah, I see.

                         MARGE
               So how do you - have you done any
               kind of inventory recently?

                         JERRY
               The carís not from our lot, maíam.

                         MARGE
               but do you know that for sure
               without -

                         JERRY
               Well, I would know.  Iím the
               Executive Sales Manager.

                         MARGE
               Yah, but -

                         JERRY
               We run a pretty tight ship here.

                         MARGE
               I know, but - well, how do you
               establish that, sir?  Are the
               cars, uh, counted daily or what
               kind of -

                         JERRY
               Maíam, I answered your question.

There is a silent beat.

                         MARGE
               ...  Iím sorry, sir?

                         JERRY
               Maíam, I answered your question.
               I answered the darn -  Iím
               cooperating here, and I...

                         MARGE
               Sir, you have no call to get
               snippy with me.  Iím just doiní
               my job here.

                         JERRY
               Iím not, uh, Iím not arguiní here.
               Iím cooperating...  Thereís no, uh
               - weíre doiní all we can...

He trails off into silence.

                         MARGE
               Sir, could I talk to Mr. Gustafson?

Jerry stares at her.

                         MARGE
               ...  Mr. Lundegaard?

Jerry explodes:

                         JERRY
               Well, heck, if you wanna, if you
               wanna play games here!  Iím
               workiní with ya on this thing, but
               I...

He is getting angrily off his feet.

                         JERRY
               Okay, Iíll do a damned lot count!

                         MARGE
               Sir?  Right now?

                         JERRY
               Sure right now!  Youíre darned
               tootiní!

He is yanking his parka from a hook behind the opened door
and grabbing a pair of galoshes.

                         JERRY
               ...  If itís so damned imporant
               to ya!

                         MARGE
               Iím sorry, sir, I -

Jerry has the parka slung over one arm and the galoshes
pinched in his hand.

                         JERRY
               Aw, what the Christ!

He stamps out the door.

Marge stares.

After a long moment her stare breaks.  She glances idly
around the office.

There is a framed picture facing away from her on the
desktop.  She turns it to face her.  It is Scotty, holding
an accordion.  There is another picture of Jean.

Marge looks at it, looks around, for some reason, at the
ceiling.

She looks at a trophy shelf on the wall behind her.

She fiddles idly with a pencil.  She pulls a clipboard
toward her.  It holds a form from the General Motors Finance
Corporation.

She looks idly around.  Her look abruptly locks.

                         MARGE
               ...  Oh, for Peteís sake.

Jerry is easing his car around the near corner of the
building.

Margeís voice is flat with dismay:

                         MARGE
               ...  Oh, for Peteís sake...

She grabs the phone and punches in a number.

                         MARGE
               ...  For Peteís s- heís fleeiní the
               interview.  Heís feeliní the
               interview...

Jerry makes a left turn into traffic.

                         MARGE
               ...  Detective Sibert, please...


POLICE OFFICER

We are looking across a steam table at a man in blue.  He
moves slowly to the right, pushing his tray along a
cafeteria line.  Behind him, in the depth of the room, is an
eating area of long Formica tables at which sit a mix of
uniformed and civilian-clothed police and staff.

We are listening to an offscreen womanís voice.

                         WOMAN
               Well, so far weíre just saying heís
               wanted for questioning in connection
               with a triple homicide.  Nobody at
               the dealship thereís been much help
               guessing where he might go...

The woman is entering frame sliding a tray.  Marge enters
behind her, sliding her own.  We move laterally with them as
they slowly make their way along the line.

                         MARGE
               Uh-huh.

                         WOMAN
               We called his house; his little
               boy said he hadnít been there.

                         MARGE
               And his wife?

                         WOMAN
               Sheís visiting relatives in Florida.
               Now his boss, this guy Gustafson,
               heís also disappeared.  Nobody at
               his office knows where he is.

                         MARGE
               Geez.  Looks like this thing goes
               higher than we thought.  You call
               his home?

                         WOMAN
               His wifeís in the hospital, has
               been for a couple months.  The big C.

                         MARGE
               Oh, my.

                         WOMAN
               And this Shep Proudfoot character,
               heís a little darling.  Heís now
               wanted for assault and parole
               violation.  He clobbered a neighbor
               of his last night and another
               person who could be one of your perps,
               and heís at large.

                         MARGE
               Boy, this thing is really ... geez.

                         WOMAN
               Well, theyíre all out on the wire.
               Well, you know...

                         MARGE
               Yah.  Well, I just canít thank you
               enough, Detective Sibert, this
               cooperation has been outstanding.

                         DETECTIVE SIBERT
               Ah, well, we havenít had to run
               around like you.  Wheníre you due?

                         MARGE
               End a April.

                         DETECTIVE SIBERT
               Any others?

                         MARGE
               Thisíll be our first.  Weíve been
               waiting a long time.

                         DETECTIVE SIBERT
               Thatís wonderful.  Mm-mm.  Itíll
               change your life, a course.

                         MARGE
               Oh, yah, I know that!

                         DETECTIVE SIBERT
               They can really take over, thatís
               for sure.

                         MARGE
               You have children?

Detective Sibert pulls an accordion of plastic picture
sleeves from her purse to show Marge.

                         DETECTIVE SIBERT
               I thought youíd never ask.  The
               older one is Janet, sheís nine, and
               the younger one is Morgan.

                         MARGE
               Oh, now heís adorable.

                         DETECTIVE SIBERT
               Heís three now.  Course, not in that
               picture.

                         MARGE
               Oh, heís adorable.

                         DETECTIVE SIBERT
               Yah, he -

                         MARGE
               Whereíd you get him that parka?

They have reached the end of the cafeteria line.  With a nod
to the cashier, Detective Sibert indicates hers and Margeís
trays.

                         DETECTIVE SIBERT
               Both of these.

                         MARGE
               Oh, no, I canít let you do that.

                         DETECTIVE SIBERT
               Oh, donít be silly.

                         MARGE
               Well, okay - thank you, Detective.

                         DETECTIVE SIBERT
               Oh, donít be silly.


GAEAR GRIMSRUD

He sits eating a Swansonís TV dinner from a TV tray he has
set up in front of an easy chair.

He watches the old black-and-white TV set whose image - it
might be a game show - is still heavily ghosting and
diffused by snow.  The audio crackles with interference.
Despite the impenetrability of its image, it holds
Grimsrudís complete attention.

At the sound of the front door opening, Grimsrud looks up.

Carl enters, his face suppurating and raw.

He reacts to Grimsrudís wordless look with a grotesque
laugh.

                         CARL
               You should she zhe uzher guy!

He glances around.

                         CARL
               ...  The fuck happen a her?

Jean sits slumped in a straight-backed chair facing the
wall.  Her hooded head, resting on her chin, is motionless.
There is blood on the facing wall.

                         GRIMSRUD
               She started shrieking, you know.

                         CARL
               Jezhush.

He shakes his head.

                         CARL
               ...  Well, I gotta muddy.

He is plunking down eight bank-wrapped bundles on the table.

                         CARL
               ...  All of it.  All eighty gran.
               Forty for you...

He makes one pile, pockets the rest.

                         CARL
               ...  Forty for me.  Sho thishuzh
               it.  Adiosh.

He slaps keys down on the table.

                         CARL
               ...  You cíníave my truck.  Iím
               takiní a Shiera.

                         GRIMSRUD
               We split that.

Carl looks at him.

                         CARL
               HOW THE FUCK DO WE SHPLITTA FUCKINí
               CAR?  Ya dummy!  Widda fuckiní
               chainshaw?

Grimsrud looks sourly up.  There is a beat.  Finally:

                         GRIMSRUD
               One of us pays the other for half.

                         CARL
               HOLD ON!  NO FUCKINí WAY!  YOU
               FUCKINí NOTISH ISH?  I GOT FUCKINí
               SHOT INNA FAISH!  I WENTíN GOTTA
               FUCKINí MONEY!  I GET SHOT FUCKINí
               PICKINí IT UP!  I BEEN UP FOR
               THIRTY-SHIKSH FUCKINí HOURZH!  IíM
               TAKINí THAT FUCKINí CAR!  THAT
               FUCKERZH MINE!

Carl waits for an argument, but only gets the steady sour
look.

Carl pulls out a gun.

                         CARL
               ...  YOU FUCKINí ASH-HOLE!  I
               LISHEN A YOUR BULLSHIT FOR A WHOLE
               FUCKINí WEEK!

A beat.  Carl returns Grimsrudís stare.

                         CARL
               ...  Are we shquare?

Grimsrud says nothing.

                         CARL
               ...  ARE WE SHQUARE?

A beat.

Disgusted, Carl pockets the gun and heads for the door.

                         CARL
               ...  Fuckiní ash-hole.  And if
               you shee your friend Shep Proudpfut,
               tell him Iím gonna NAIL hizh
               fuckiní ash.


OUTSIDE

We are pulling Carl as he walks toward the car.  Behind him
we see the cabin door opening.  Carl turns, reacting to the
sound.

Grimsrud is bounding out wearing mittens and a red hunterís
cap, but no overcoat.  He is holding an ax.

Carl fumbles in his pocket for his gun.

Grimsrud swings overhand, burying the ax in Carlís neck.


MARGE

In her cruiser, on her two-way.  Through it we hear Louís
voice, heavily filtered:

                         VOICE
               His wife.  This guy says she was
               kidnapped last Wednesday.

                         MARGE
               The day of our homicides.

                         VOICE
               Yah.

Marge is peering to one side as she drives, looking through
the bare trees that border the road on a declivity that runs
down to a large frozen lake.

                         MARGE
               And this guy is...

                         VOICE
               Lundegaardís father-in-lawís
               accountant.

                         MARGE
               Gustafsonís accountant.

                         VOICE
               Yah.

                         MARGE
               But we still havenít found Gustafson.

                         VOICE
                    (crackle)
               -  looking.

                         MARGE
               Sorry - didnít copy.

                         VOICE
               Still missing.  Weíre looking.

                         MARGE
               Copy.  And Lundegaard too.

                         VOICE
               Yah.  Where are ya, Margie?

We hear, distant but growing louder, harsh engine noise, as
of a chainsaw or lawnmower.

                         MARGE
               Oh, Iím almost back - Iím driving
               around Moose Lake.

                         VOICE
               Oh.  Garyís loudmouth.

                         MARGE
               Yah, the loudmouth.  So the whole
               state has it, Lundegaard and
               Gustafson?

                         VOICE
               Yah, itís over the wire, itís
               everywhere, theyíll find íem.

                         MARGE
               Copy.

                         VOICE
               Weíve got a -

                         MARGE
               Thereís the car!  Thereís the car!

We are slowing as we approach a short driveway leading down
to a cabin.  Parked in front is the brown Cutlass Ciera.

                         VOICE
               Whose car?

                         MARGE
               My car!  My car!  Tan Ciera!

                         VOICE
               Donít go in!  Wait for back-up!

Marge is straining to look.  The power-tool noise is louder
here but still muffled, its source not yet visible.

                         VOICE
               ...  Chief Gunderson?

                         MARGE
               Copy.  Yah, send me back-up!

                         VOICE
               Yes, maíam.  Are we the closest PD?

                         MARGE
               Yah, Menominie only has Chief Perpich
               and he takes February off to go to
               Boundary Waters.


ROAD EXTERIOR

Marge pulls her prowler over some distance past the cabin.
She gets out, zips up her khaki parka and pulls up its fur-
lined hood.

For a moment, she stands listening to the muffled roar of
the power tool.  Then, with one curved arm half pressing
against, half supporting her belly, she takes slow, gingerly
steps down the slope, through the deep snow, through the
trees angling toward the cabin and the source of the
grinding noise.

She slogs from tree to tree, letting each one support her
downhill-leaning weight for a moment before slogging to the
next.


The roar grows louder.  Marge stands panting by one tree,
her breath vaporizing out of her snorkel hood.  She squints
down toward the cabinís back lot.

A tall man with his back to us, wearing a red plaid quilted
jacket and a hunting cap with earflaps, is laboring over a
large power tool which his body blocks from view.

Marge advances.

The man is forcing downward something which engages the
roaring power tool and makes harsh spluttering noises.

The man is Grimsrud, his nose red and eyes watering from the
cold, hatflaps pulled down over his ears.  His breath steams
as he sourly goes about his work, both hands pressing down a
shod foot, as it if were the shaft of a butter churn.

The roar is very loud.

Marge slogs down to the next tree, panting, looking.

Grimsrud forces more of the leg into the machine, which we
can now see sprays small wet chunks out the bottom.

Margeís eyes shift.

A large dark form lies in the snow next to Grimsrud.

Grimsrud works on, eyes watering.  With a grunt he bends
down out of frame and then re-enters holding a thick log.
He uses it to force the leg deeper into the machine.

Marge is advancing.  She holds a gun extended toward
Grimsrud, who is still turned away.

Grimsrud rubs his nose with the back of his hand.

Marge closes in, grimacing.

Grimsrudís back strains as he puts his weight into the log
that pushes down into the machine.

The dark shape in the snow next to his side is the rest of
Carl Showalterís body.

Marge has drawn to within twenty yards.  When she bellows it
sounds hollow and distant, her voice all but eaten up by the
roar of the power tool.

                         MARGE
               Stop!  Police!  Turn around and
               hands up!

Startled, Grimsrud scowls.  He turns to face her.

He stares.

Marge bellows again:

                         MARGE
               ...  Hands up!

Conscious of the noise, she shows with a twist of her
shoulder the armpatch insignia.

                         MARGE
               ...  Police!

Grimsrud stares.

With a quick twist, he reaches back for the log, hurls it at
Marge and then starts running away.

Marge twists her body sideways, shielding herself.

No need - the heavy log travels perhaps ten yards and lands
in the snow several feet short of her.

Grimsrud pants up the hill - slow going through the deep
snow.

Behind him:

                         MARGE
               ...  Halt!

She fires in the air.

She lowers the gun and carefully sighs.

                         MARGE
               ...  Halt!

She fires.

Grimsrud still slogs up the hill - a miss.

Marge sights again.

                         MARGE
               ...  Halt!

She fires again.

Grimsrud pitches forward.  He mutters in Swedish as he
reaches down to clutch at his wounded leg.

Marge walks toward him, gun trained on him as her other hand
reaches under her parka and gropes around her waist.

It comes out with a pair of handcuffs, which she opens with
a snap of the wrist.

                         MARGE
               ...  All right, buddy.  On your
               belly and your hands clasped
               behind you.


THE CRUISER

Marge drives.  Grimsrud sits in the back seat, hands cuffed
behind him.

For a long moment there, he is quiet - only engine hum and
the periodic clomp of wheels on pavement seams - as Marge
grimly shakes her head.

                         MARGE
               ...  So that was Mrs. Lundegaard
               in there?

She glances up in the rear-view mirror.

Grimsrud, cheeks sunk, eyes hollow, looks sourly out at the
road.

Marge shakes her head.

At length:

                         MARGE
               ...  I guess that was your
               accomplice in the wood chipper.

Grimsrudís head bobs with bumps on the road; otherwise he is
motionless, reactionless, scowling and gazing out.

                         MARGE
               ...  And those three people in
               Brainerd.

No response.

Marge, gazing forward, seems to be talking to herself.

                         MARGE
               ...  And for what?  For a little
               bit of money.

We hear distant sirens.

                         MARGE
               ...  Thereís more to life than money,
               you know.

She glances up in the rear-view mirror.

                         MARGE
               ...  Donít you know that?...  And
               here ya are, and itís a beautiful
               day...

Grimsrudís hollow eyes stare out.

The sirens are getting louder.  Marge pulls over.

                         MARGE
               ...  Well...

She leans forward to the dash to give two short signalling
WHOOPS on her siren.

She turns on her flashers.

She leans back with a creak and jangle of utilities.

She stares forward, shakes her head.  We hear the dull click
of her flashers.

                         MARGE
               ...  I just donít unnerstand it.

Outside it is snowing.  The sky, the earth, the road - all
white.

A squad car, gumballs spinning, punches through the white.
It approaches in slow motion.

An ambulance punches through after it.

Another squad car.

                                                   FADE OUT:
                                                            
                                                            
FADE IN:



HIGH AND WIDE ON A SHABBY MOTEL

It stands next to a highway on a snowy, windslept plain.
One or two cars dot the parking lot along with an idling
police cruiser.


MOTEL ROOM DOORWAY

We are looking over the shoulders of two uniformed policemen
who stand on either side of the door, their hands resting
lightly on their holstered sidearms.  One of them raps at
the door.

                         COP ONE
               Mr. Anderson...

A title fades in:  OUTSIDE OF BISMARK, NORTH DAKOTA

After a pause, muffled through the door:

                         VOICE
               ...  Who?...

                         COP ONE
               Mr. Anderson, is this your burgundy
               88 out here?

                         VOICE
               ...  Just a sec.

                         COP ONE
               Could you open the door, please?

                         VOICE
               ...  Yah.  Yah, just a sec.

We hear a clatter from inside.

                         VOICE
               ...  Just a sec...

One of the policemen unholsters his gun and nods to someone
whose back enters - a superintendent holding a ring of keys.
This man turns a key in the door and then stands away.

The two policemen, guns at the ready, bang into the motel
room.

The rough hand-held camera rushes in behind them as the two
men give the room a two-handed sweep with their guns.

The room is empty.

Cop one indicates the open bathroom door.

                         COP ONE
               Dale!

The two men charge the bathroom, belts jingling, guns at the
ready, jittery camera behind them rushing to keep pace.

A man in boxer shorts is halfway out the bathroom window.

The policemen holster their guns and charge the window, and
drag Jerry Lundegaard back into the room.

His flesh quivers as he thrashes and keens in short,
piercing screams.

The cops wrestle him to the floor but his palsied thrashing
continues.  The policemen struggle to restrain him.

                         COP ONE
               Call an ambulance!

                         COP TWO
               You got him okay?

Cop One pinions Jerryís arms to the floor and Jerry bursts
into uncontrolled sobbing.

                         COP ONE
               Yah, yah, call an ambulance.

Jerry sobs and screams.


A BEDROOM

We are square on Norm, who sits in bed watching television.

After a long beat, Marge enters frame in a nightie and
climbs into bed, with some effort.

                         MARGE
               Oooph!

Norm reaches for her hand as both watch the television.

At length Norm speaks, but keeps his eyes on the TV.

                         NORM
               They announced it.

Marge looks at him.

                         MARGE
               They announced it?

                         NORM
               Yah.

Marge looks at him, waiting for more, but Normís eyes stay
fixed on the television.

                         MARGE
               ...  So?

                         NORM
               Three-cent stamp.

                         MARGE
               Your mallard?

                         NORM
               Yah.

                         MARGE
               Norm, thatís terrific!

Norm tries to suppress a smile of pleasure.

                         NORM
               Itís just the three cent.

                         MARGE
               Itís terrific!

                         NORM
               Hautmanís blue-winged teal got the
               twenty-nine cent.  People donít
               much use the three-cent.

                         MARGE
               Oh, for Peteís - a course they do!
               Every time they raise the darned
               postage, people need the little
               stamps!

                         NORM
               Yah.

                         MARGE
               When theyíre stuck with a bunch a
               the old ones!

                         NORM
               Yah, I guess.

                         MARGE
               Thatís terrific.

Her eyes go back to the TV.

                         MARGE
               ...  Iím so proud a you, Norm.

Norm murmurs:

                         NORM
               I love you, Margie.

                         MARGE
               I love you, Norm.

Both of them are watching the TV as Norm reaches out to rest
a hand on top of her stomach.

                         NORM
               ...  Two more months.

Marge absently rests her own hand on top of his.

                         MARGE
               Two more months.

Hold; fade out.