Virtual Moonlighting     |   home
Sixth Season   |    Seventh Season   |    Eighth Season   |    Ninth Season   |    About the Authors   |    Contact Us

Season 9 - Episode 5




~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~




Musical Overlay: Theme from “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly”


A MAN in his late seventies stands in front of a full-length mirror. He places a white Stetson felt hat with a small-jeweled band on his head and squints at it carefully.  Next, he tucks the tail of his bright blue shirt—leather fringe dappled with shiny silver sequins—inside a large pewter belt buckle. He inspects his spit-shine boots; a blue-breasted bird is stitched on the front of them, which matches his blue pants and blue shirt.


Grabbing a large pistol on a nearby table he gives the cylinder a quick spin, raises the gun, pulls the hammer back and aims…right between the eyes of his own reflection. His finger slowly squeezes the trigger and the gun fires a deafening shot.  The glass splinters and shatters, leaving a large hole in the mirror where his face had been.


Smiling, he blows the smoke trailing from the end of the barrel and slides the pistol into a brown leather Rooster Cogburn holster hanging low on one hip. Pushing his hat back, he pockets a set of car keys and leaves.


The clunk of his heavy boots echoes through the room…along with the whistling tune of a gunfighter.


~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~



Scene 1

Blue Moon Investigations

Maddie’s Office


Cue Music: Continue “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly,” then fade…


Maddie stands, arms folded, examining a huge white cardboard box, on top of which rests a medium-sized one.  A third, small box caps off the tower.


David pops his head in the door.


David: Morning!  How’s the bun baking today?


He steps toward her, sees the boxes…and her expression…and halts abruptly.


Maddie: Would you happen to know anything about these, David?


David: (squints at boxes) Well, it’s a little square for a snowman, but I guess in L.A., beggars can’t be choosers.


Maddie: I’m not concerned about the disposition of the boxes…just what’s in them.  Are you telling me you don’t know what’s in them?


David: What’s in them, you ask?  (takes Maddie by the elbow, sits her down, and goes into “this is bigger than gums!” mode) What’s in them?  A little piece of tomorrow, Maddie…no, scratch that, a BIG piece of tomorrow.


Maddie waits.


David: (with a flourish) It’s a computer.


Maddie: A computer?  We have several perfectly good computers, right here in the office…for the most part, doing nothing but hosting solitaire tournaments.  Why do we need another one?


David: (waves hand dismissively in the direction of Maddie’s credenza) These things? Glorified shoeboxes.  Besides, this computer (walks over to the white boxes, running his hand along them like a game-show hostess) is for the Hayes-Addison abode.  I’m talking state-of-the-art here…16 megabytes of RAM, a 500 megabyte hard drive, high-resolution, 17-inch monitor, and a 486 processor—this baby hums like a Corvette, Maddie.


Maddie: David—


David: But wait!  There’s more!  An inkjet printer…prints five pages a minute...(Maddie still looking unconvinced)…I haven’t gotten to the best part yet! (He taps the top box) This model comes bundled with the very latest in educational software—you’ve got your phonics, your math, your spelling…even a little Spanish number!  (comes around her chair, rubbing her shoulders) Can’t you picture it, Maddie?  Our little genius, doing his times tables at the tender age of two?  Getting a leg up on kindergarten…settling down with milk, cookies, and War & Peace


Maddie (sighing): How much?


David: Can you really put a price on our child’s future?  I mean, he’ll already have my charm, your determination, the one-two punch of our combined good looks…this could be the thing that tips the scales toward greatness.  Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, that Packard guy…he’ll leave them in the dust!


Maddie: (frustrated) How much?


David: Twenty-five hundred.  And change.


Maddie sits up, shrugging David’s hands from her shoulders.  David moves over toward the boxes, almost protectively.


Maddie: (quiet, but deadly)  You spent over two thousand dollars…on a computer…for our child…who isn’t even born yet?  When we have to buy a crib and a stroller and a carseat and diapers and—


David: It’s an investment…long-term, y’know?


Maddie: (seems not to hear him)  You spent all this money…without discussing it with me.


David: One-day sale…the guy made me a great deal on it.  Anyway, it was a surprise.


Maddie: (sharply) This is not the kind of surprise I need right now.


David: (sarcastic) Well, Sarge, I’ll be sure to fill out a requisition form in triplicate next time…


The two of them face off…the room is suddenly too small…and we




~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~


Scene 2

Blue Moon Investigations

Front Office


Cue Music:

Blue moon of Kentucky, keep on shining
Shine on the one that's gone and left me blue
Blue moon of Kentucky, keep on shining
Shine on the one that's gone and left me blue
It was on one moonlight night
Stars shining bright
Whisper on high
Love said goodbye
Blue moon of Kentucky, keep on shining
Shine on the one that's gone and left me blue

Outside Maddie’s office, it’s a typical day: Agnes sits at the reception desk, answering the occasional phone call and reading Yoga for Natural Childbirth.  Kris is on the phone with her latest paramour; Inez pages through The National Enquirer, full of news on the latest Madonna scandal and an Australian woman’s abduction by a UFO.  Magillicuddy and Jergenson are locked in an arm-wrestling competition, refereed by O’Neill, while Bert fiddles desultorily with the police scanner Agnes gave him for their one-year anniversary.  Only Jamie is actually working, sorting through some case files; and only because she’s angling for a promotion.


Fifteen minutes earlier, the Wobblies watched David walk into the (former) lion’s den with barely an eyeblink.  Things have been proceeding so smoothly in the Addison-Hayes relationship, particularly in the last two months, that David being in Maddie’s office, or Maddie being in David’s office, has ceased to be a matter for discussion, speculation, or even interest, among the staff.


Now, however, a certain electric energy begins to fill the air…a voice is heard, rising in pitch.  Another voice answers in calm, firm tones; the first voice volleys back at an impressive decibel level.


The employees look up, startled.  They trade glances; then, as a body, they charge Maddie’s door, snatching up the odd glass and, in Jergenson’s case, a coffee cup that turns out not to be empty.  As he flips it over, the better for listening purposes, a dark-brown wave arcs through the air, spattering the front of Magillicuddy’s suit.


Magillicuddy advances on him, murder in his eyes…




~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~



Scene 3

A Busy Street


The MAN saunters down the sidewalk, boots tapping and fringe swishing.  He looks at each storefront as he passes; finally, he turns into one.  A bell chimes, announcing his entry to “Duke’s Jukes…and Stuff.”


Several jukeboxes line the walls.  A slightly warped version of Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man” blares from one of them.  Glass cases display belt buckles, sheriff’s stars, gun holsters, and the like; photos of John Wayne, Gene Autry, and the casts of Gunsmoke and Bonanza abound.


A rotund, grizzled man chewing a cigar end, presumably the proprietor, sits behind the main counter.  Our “cowboy” approaches, walking slowly along the counter until he sees what he’s looking for.


Proprietor: Help you?


Man: Yup.  Can I see that Mickey Mouse watch ya got there?


The proprietor produces it from the glass cabinet. It is a classic 1950s model, with one small difference: Mickey wears a tiny cowboy hat and vest, complete with silver sheriff’s badge.


Proprietor: It’s not the original band…but it keeps the time just great.  (scans the man’s outfit) Hey—you making a movie or somethin’?


Man: Naw…(a thought hits him, and he smiles)…well…could be.  You don’t happen to have a case for this, do you?


Proprietor: Just a sec…let me look under here.


The proprietor bends down, digging through a drawer at the base of the cabinet.  Not finding what he’s looking for, he gives the man a quick glance—the man looks back, placidly—goes through an open door behind him, and begins to rummage through a box.


The man sees his chance—and takes it.  Swiping the watch off the counter, he hustles to the door.  He almost makes it—the proprietor comes back out, holding the case above his head.


Proprietor: Got it—hey!  Where d’ya think you’re going, old man?


He starts to give chase, but is momentarily stymied by the half-door leading from the counter, which refuses to budge.  The Man pulls out a pistol and points it at the proprietor, nudging the front door open with his shoulder.


Proprietor: Get back here!  Don’t shoot!


Man: (flips pistol around his finger, Eastwood-style, as he bursts out the door) Wouldn’t waste the bullet.


The proprietor reaches back and slaps at a small button.  He finally unsticks the door and runs to the window.  The old man is surprisingly fast for his age—he’s already down the street.  The proprietor spits his cigar end into a nearby spittoon, and shakes his head in disgust.


Proprietor: Damn wannabe actors.


~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~


Scene 4

Blue Moon Investigations

Front Office


Magillicuddy has Jergenson in a headlock, the staff shushing his squeals as they press up against Maddie’s door.  The heated exchange inside continues, escalating in volume until snippets of the dialogue can be heard:


Maddie (OS):  How dare you—


David (OS):…forgot we’re living in YOUR house—


Maddie (OS): Don’t you think?  You never think


David (OS): Oh, I think, all right.  I THINK I don’t need to LISTEN to this CRAP any more!!


All hell suddenly breaks loose.  There’s a SMASH…a CRASH…and the Wobblies dive for cover, behind (and, in one case, under) desks.


An echoing SLAM! shakes the room, and David exits Maddie’s office, red-faced and striding hell-for-leather through the main office door…whence comes a second SLAM! that sends shock waves through the carpet.


A hush descends.


The staff look—one to another—like a head-turning relay race.  A smile breaks out on one face, then another, and pretty soon, they are all grinning.  Except Agnes.  And Magillicuddy, who grabs an extra shirt from his desk and stomps off to the men’s room.


Kris: Seems like we haven’t heard a lot of that lately.


Jergenson: The arguing…the door-slamming…


Bert: (comes out from under desk and settles in his chair with a nostalgic sigh) Yep…those were the salad days…


Agnes: (shocked) Don’t tell me you miss that, Bert?!


Bert: Sweetums, don’t you remember…the excitement…the verve…the ENERGY that only red-hot unresolved sexual tension can provide? Back when anything could happen—back when we were balanced on the knife’s-edge of passion—


The Wobblies nod in agreement.


Agnes: (shaking finger)  Back when you were just a 4-bit extra, brought in to lighten the script load?  Before you had any real storylines or character development?  (Stands over him) Before you had…ME?


Bert makes an inarticulate sound of protest, jumps up, and begins kissing Agnes, murmuring endearments to her…and now the rest of the staff looks even more wistful for the bygone days of yore…pre-Mr. & Mrs. Viola.  Agnes comes up for air and catches their glances.  She pushes Bert away and sets her finger to shaking again.


Agnes: And YOU…I can’t believe all of you!!  You really want to go back to a time when you didn’t have two lines of dialogue to rub together? (Mutely, they shake their heads) Back when any astronaut or Connecticut floozy could come in here and mess things up?  (More vehement head-shaking)  Don’t you remember what it all lead to?  Years in limbo, that’s what!!


The Wobblies remember that they can, contractually, speak.  They erupt in a chorus of “You’re right”s, “Not going back there”s, and “What should we do?”s.  Agnes folds her arms, considering.


~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~


Scene 5

The Elevator


David enters, stabbing the Lobby button and administering a vicious kick to the doors after they close.


David: Nine years!  NINE!  And nothing’s really changed!  Still My-Way-or-The-Highway Hayes!  Whatever happened to gratitude?  To support? To understanding?  If she thinks I’m just gonna lie down and play kept man…Jesus, I should just trade in this suit for some trunks and take the pool boy’s place—


The elevator dings—5th Floor—and a grey-haired gentleman gets in.  David subsides, but we can still see the metaphorical steam rising from his ears.


He disembarks at the lobby, and charges the revolving door like a bull to a red flag.  He bangs it—hard—with the flat of his hand, steps in, and nearly concusses himself when the glass pane in front of him stops short.  He turns to go back, but the door has advanced just enough that he’s caught inside the glass capsule.


With an inarticulate bellow of rage, he starts to shake his fist at the cause of the trouble: a young blond woman with a large baby buggy, stuck half-in and half-out of the door.  Her panicked face extinguishes his anger, and he quickly pushes against the pane behind him, motioning to her to move backward.  The buggy is freed, and David proceeds around to the sidewalk, where the woman is waiting.


Woman: (clutching his arm) Oh, thank you!! I was so scared!  This stroller is pretty sturdy, but—


David: Don’t mention it—glad to be of service. (Peeks into buggy) Well—aren’t you a fine-looking young man?


The baby, all peachy fuzz and round cheeks in a blue romper, gurgles at David and produces a gloppy smile—apparently none the worse for his near-squished experience.


Woman: Look at that—he likes you!


David: Guess he doesn’t know any better.  (He makes a silly face; the baby giggles) Ah…the Groucho…gets ‘em every time.


Woman: You must have kids of your own, then.


David: (slowly, with a tinge of sadness) No…working on it, though.


Offering one last smile to mother and baby, he helps them negotiate the revolving door, waving as they disappear into the lobby.


Looking up at the wall of windows above him, he thinks about another blonde, up on the 20th  floor.  Maybe he was a little hasty?


David: (running hand through his hair) You always could make me second guess myself, Goldilocks.


He stands there, indecisive.


~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~


Scene 6

Blue Moon Investigations

Front Office


A spirited discussion is going on around around the reception desk, as the employees debate, in loud whispers, what action should be taken next.


Bert’s police scanner buzzes into life, and he hurries back to his desk.


Dispatcher: Please respond *crackle* have a 10-32 with suspected 488 *crackle* east on *crackle*


Bert flips through his code book, muttering.


Bert: 10-32, 10-32…Suspect with a gun!  And 488 (more flipping)…let’s see…assault, embezzlement, defrauding an innkeeper?  Do innkeepers even exist anymore?  OK, 488—petty theft.


Dispatcher: *Crackle* Suspect described as *crackle* (Bert frantically tunes the scanner until the signal is clearer) late seventies, wearing a blue shirt, pants, and cowboy hat.  Once again, we have a 10-32 heading north on the 15000 block of Century Park East—


Bert: (shouting)  The 15000 block—Century Park East—that’s us!  He could be...right—down—there!


Bert grabs a pair of binoculars from his desk.  He rushes to the window, joined by the Wobblies.


Bert: (pointing binoculars straight down) Mr. Addison!


David glances up at the building, then back at the door.  Bert focuses the binoculars…searches the street for a few seconds…then crows in triumph.


Bert: (forgetting David can’t hear him) There he is!  Mr. Addison!! The suspect!  I’m on my way!


The staff stands, agape, while Bert bolts for the door.


Agnes: Noooo—HERBERT!!


She starts to go after him, but is hampered by her size.  She waddles to the front door, looks down the hall, and comes back in.


Agnes: Magillicuddy!  Get down there and stop my Herbert from getting another hole in his head!


Magillicuddy comes back to life and hurries after Bert.  Agnes collapses in a chair, hand to her belly.  Kris and Inez fight over the binoculars, while O’Neill and Jergenson loudly debate whether Bert will make it in time, each claiming they could get down there faster.  Jamie, level-headed, goes to call the police to report the sighting.


Agnes’ voice cuts through the hubbub.


Agnes: Ms. Hayes!


Maddie, looking more exhausted now than angry, stands framed in her office doorway.


Maddie: What the hell is going on here?


Agnes: They heard a report on that stupid scanner…some thief with a gun…and now Herbert’s gone down there to catch him and he’ll probably get killed…oooohhhh! (puts her head on the desk, wailing)


Maddie walks over to the window, to see if she can make heads or tails of Agnes’ explanation.


Kris: (through binoculars) There he is!


Maddie: Who?


Jergenson: A guy dressed in blue…cowboy hat…


Maddie holds her hand out for the binoculars, and Kris reluctantly surrenders them.  Maddie scans the street, quickly spotting the suspect.


Maddie: He looks pretty old…doesn’t look too—


Just as she says this, the suspect pushes past a few people and plows into David, knocking him to the ground.  He doesn’t get up right away, and the suspect bends over him.


Maddie: Oh—David!


She puts her hand on the window—she’s a little dizzy, suddenly—but keeps the binoculars firmly in place.


Down below, someone on the street jumps forward to help, but the cowboy raises his gun in the air and the little knot of people falls back, screaming.  David starts to rise, the cowboy grabs his arm…


Maddie spins to run out the door, and everything around her—office, furniture, Wobblies—slides sideways.  The binoculars hit the floor with a muffled THUD, as Maddie pitches forward into O’Neill’s surprised arms.  The employees gasp and run for water and towels and smelling salts.  (Smelling salts? Kris has been reading Harlequins again.)


Below them, Bert bursts out of the building just in time to see David disappear down the street, one arm clutched firmly by the renegade cowboy,  a shiny silver pistol pressed to his side.



~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~




Scene 1

Blue Moon Investigations


David’s office… to be more specific, the floor of David’s office…Maddie lies on the floor with a pillow under her head. Magillicuddy kneels beside her fanning a newspaper with Agnes hovering over them.


Agnes: Look, she’s opening her eyes! Oh, Ms. Hayes! How are you feeling?


Maddie: What?…what happened?


Magillicuddy: You fainted.


Maddie: I what?


Agnes: It’s OK, Ms. Hayes…it happens sometimes when you’re—


Maddie cuts her off with a look; Magillicuddy doesn’t appear to notice, accelerating his fanning with great concentration.


Magillicuddy: Are you feeling better?


Still fanning furiously.


Maddie: (pushes him aside impatiently) I’m fine; I just need to sit up.


Magillicuddy: Are you sure? Maybe you should just stay here awhile?


Fanning furiously…


Maddie: No, I’m all right, you can stop.


He doesn’t seem to hear her as his brain has shifted gears and he is wondering how he is going to explain what happened to Mr. Addison.


Maddie: I said you can stop now.


Fans more…


Maddie: Mister Magillicuddy!


Magillicuddy: Oh, sorry, Ms. Hayes.


Agnes: Help her up!


Magillicuddy helps Maddie to her feet and she sits in a chair.


Agnes: Better take it easy.


The entire staff watches her, waiting for the question they aren’t sure how they are going to answer. She jumps to the window


Maddie:  Agnes? What happened to David? Did you see that guy? He had a gun, didn’t he?  We have to call the police!


Behind them, the police scanner crackles again, but no one is paying attention.


Dispatcher: Need a 10-62A in Los Feliz…citizen claims strange black object falling from sky…possible 1000…prepare to copy…


Maddie: (picking up phone) Where’s Mr. Viola?


Magillicuddy: Ms. Hayes? I’ll talk to the police.


He takes the phone from her and she doesn’t seem to mind.


Agnes: Herbert went charging after them!


She joins Maddie at the window again. The street below bustles with people…but no cowboy or David to be seen.


~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~


Scene 2

On the streets of LA


Cue Music:

Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys
Don't let 'em pick guitars and drive them old trucks
Make 'em be doctors and lawyers and such
Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys
They'll never stay home and they're always alone
Even with someone they love


David is driving a white 1964 Pontiac Bonneville convertible…but not just any white convertible.  This car is astonishing:  pistols and a horseshoe mounted on the hood; a custom interior, glittery with inlaid metals; a burled wood dashboard… Leonard, aka Cowboy Guy, sits in the passenger seat sporting a big smile.


Leonard: (running hand over saddle between bucket seats) And these little gems are genuine rhinestones and silver dollars.


David pacifies the man, thumbing one of the silver dollars, all the while wondering how in the world he has gotten himself in this predicament.


David: Amazing how some people can toss money into the strangest things.


The thought of the argument he had with Maddie gives him a sudden pang. Leonard eyes him, not happy with his insinuation.


Leonard: Well…looks like to me you tossed a few bucks for that fancy coat and tie of yours.


David: (gestures to his suit in confusion) This?  Purely off the rack, Leonard.


Leonard: Still looks mighty slick to me.  So…Mr. Addison…what exactly do you do that keeps you dressed for the ladies?


David: (surveys Leonard’s blue shirt and pants) I’m the detective. Shouldn’t I be the one asking questions? Like why is it that I’m always the one that has to get kidnapped on this show? We have a whole office now full of people with speaking parts; why can’t one of them be shanghaied?


Leonard: Detective, huh? You sure don’t look like one of those fellas on the television. Hey, you have one of those gold badges like they have?


David glances down at the pistol Leonard has resting on the seat beside him, hoping there might be a chance to turn the table on the situation.


Leonard: (picking up pistol and pulling back hammer) Don’t get any ideas, big boy. You keep going where I tell ya. Just keep headin’ towards the freeway now and no funny business, ya hear?


David: I wouldn’t think of having any ideas right now, Leonard. All of mine lately have done nothing but get me in trouble…not funny at all.


Leonard: (considers David, releases hammer and sets gun back down) OK…I get it…you’re one of those types of fellas that’s always saying one thing, but you’re really just hem-hawing around talking about something else…Am I right?


David: (more to himself than to Leonard) I think I’ve spent way too much time in the last nine years hem-hawing around. Sometimes a man just has to make a decision and go with it.


Leonard studies David carefully.


Leonard: So? …Ya wanna tell me about it?


David: Tell YOU? Tell you about WHAT?


Leonard: Must be a lady friend in all of this backward talking you’re doin’.


David: (trying to be patient, yet is perturbed) Look, I hardly think that you of all people should be—


Leonard: All right, all right! Let’s talk about something else for now.


David: Like what? I know. How about me getting out at the first stop?


Leonard: What’s the big rush? The lady you left back there?


David bites his lip to control his frustration.


Leonard: Turn left at the next light.


David decides to try the silent treatment.


Leonard: Look…we have a while and a little normal conversation—


Bitter laughter from David.


Leonard: A little man-to-man conversation along the way never hurts.


David eyes his attire again; their eyes meet. Leonard gives him a look that seems to say, “So what if I dress like this?” David realizes then that this ride could be a long one.


David: So…Lenny…tell me some more about this car of yours. What made you get this one…or, uh…do THIS to this one?


He leans over and puts a hand on the mounted pistol on the dashboard.


Leonard: (laughs) Well, Mr. Addison, it was Dolly.


David: Dolly? You mean Dolly Parton?


Leonard: (takes his hat off and covers his heart) No, Dolly, my sweet departed love.


David fears he might have sent this crazy man over the edge. Leonard continues.


Leonard: She liked to collect things. I just had to keep on with her hobby now that she’s gone. We had some real good times adding to her collection, but good golly there were times when she set her little mind on something and there’d be no stopping her. Once we traveled town to town in search of the perfect wooden checkerboard. You ever know a woman like that, Mr. Addison?


David:  Well…


Leonard: My Dolly was always the bargain hunter, too. She’d never pay full price for anything. She sure was one sweet-talking dealmaker. And if I ever came home with something that wasn’t a great deal that woman had no qualms about letting me know I’d spent too much money.


David: So what about you? You had to have made a really great deal on this set of wheels. I’m surprised you’re letting me drive it.


Leonard: I don’t have a license.


David: What?


Leonard: I don’t have a license…too many parking tickets…dang near had to pawn off some of Dolly’s treasures to pay for them, but decided I could part with a suspended license a lot easier than her sweet stuff.


He thumbs the backseat. An array of Dolly’s “treasures” rests inside a classic Radio Flyer red wagon…a Curious George Jack-in-the-Box…a brown vintage teddy bear with a ribbon around its neck…an antique model airplane.


David: Wait a second…this car…I’ve seen this car before.


Leonard: You mighta seen it at Petersen’s.


David: Petersen’s Automotive Museum?


Leonard: Yep.  We put it on special exhibit there, but the radio needed fixin’…


David: So where were you going this morning in such a big hurry?


Leonard: Well…


David: It didn’t have to do with parking tickets, did it?


Leonard: (sheepish) Naw, it didn’t.


David feels a little like he’s slid into an alternate universe…and yet something about Leonard intrigues him.  He looks around, at the cowboy, the car, the George-in-the-Box…and can’t help but laugh.  Leonard picks up the pistol again.


Leonard: (agitated) I don’t much care to be made fun of!


David: I wouldn’t dream of making fun of you or this car, Leonard.


He runs both palms over the inlaid silver dollars on the steering wheel.


David: I’ve always been partial to Roy Rogers myself…(with muted enthusiasm) Yippie-ki-yay!


Cowboys ain't easy to love and they're harder to hold
And they'd rather give you a song then diamonds or gold
Lone Star belt buckles and old faded Levis, each night begins a new day
And if you don't understand him and he don't die young
He'll probably just ride away

~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~


Scene 3

Blue Moon Investigations

David’s Office


Magillicuddy: (hanging up phone) I’ve informed Officer Stewart with the LAPD, Ms. Hayes. A shop owner over on Pico reported someone dressed in cowboy garb lifting an antique Mickey Mouse watch and making a run for it. Presumably, this is the same man that barreled over Mr. Addison and pulled the gun on him. More than likely he had a getaway car parked on the other side of Century.


Maddie paces in front of the large window.


Maddie: Well, are they on his trail again or not?


Magillicuddy: It seems the trail is cold at the moment.


Maddie: Then we need to do what we do, Mr. Magillicuddy! Find out who the guy is, where he’s from, and for goodness sakes—where he’s going!


Magillicuddy: Yes, Ms. Hayes, right away!


He leaves to go to his desk as the other Wobblies stand and stare at Maddie.


Maddie: Well, what are you waiting for? He could use your help. Today it’s WORK and pay people!


They scurry out, leaving her alone with Agnes. Maddie plops on the leather sofa, her face in her hands.


Agnes: Ms. Hayes, I’m sure Mr. Addison will be fine. If the police don’t find him, then we will.


Maddie: He was so angry when he left the office, Agnes.


Agnes: (nods her head in agreement) He did slam a few doors on his way out.


Maddie: I might have overreacted.


Agnes: You’re entitled every now and then.


Tears glisten in Maddie’s eyes.


Maddie: I’m really worried.


Agnes sits next to her, wondering what’s keeping Bert.


~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~




Leonard: Hey! You see that billboard for Bob’s Big Boy? You hungry? I sure could use something to eat.  Take the next right. I’ve been meaning to go there all week!


David: Leonard, I don’t think we should—


Leonard: Aw, come on! Live a little, willya? Some grease and a cold chocolate shake might be just what you need!


David: Yeah, Len…just what I might need right now. To live a little.


David maneuvers the large car a few turns, weaving through traffic and getting a few stares. Horns honk and one passerby gives him a birdie salute before he turns into Bob’s carhop service. A five-foot high plastic statue of Big Boy stands in front of them, rotund in red-checked overalls. He holds a king-sized cheeseburger proudly over his head.


A little later…


Pretty young waitress: Can I get you anything else, sir?


She rests a tray of food on the driver’s side window and catches David’s eye. Smiling, she hands him a couple of straws. David smiles back.


David: No thanks. I think this’ll do it.


He pays her and turns his attention back to Leonard, who is taking in all of the Addison charm. He smiles knowingly as David hands him his food.


David: So…Mr. Leonard Slye…how long were you and Dolly married?


Leonard: (laughs) Married? Oh, Mr. Addison, Dolly and me weren’t ever really married!


Cowboys like smoky old pool rooms and clear mountain mornings
Little warm puppies and children and girls of the night
And them that don't know him won't like him
And them that do sometimes won't know how to take him
He ain't wrong he's just different
but his pride won't let him do things to make you think he's right

~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~




Magillicuddy bursts through David’s door, waving a notepad in the air with scribbling all over it.


Magillicuddy: Slye!


Maddie: Slye? Like the Stallone Slye?


Magillicuddy: A Mr. Leonard Franklin Slye. Seventy-eight years old, a few outstanding parking tickets that resulted in a suspended license.


Maddie: He doesn’t sound like someone that would hold a gun to another man’s head!


Magillicuddy: (looks to Agnes, not sure he should tell Maddie the rest) Well, there’s more. He used to work at the Roy Rogers Museum in Branson, Missouri and he apparently was recently let go from his part-time job as a greeter at the Petersen Automotive Museum on Wilshire.


Maddie: David loves that place. Go on.


Magillicuddy: (looks down at his notes again, clearing his throat, stalling) Well… the uh…the LAPD searched his house and found a few stolen items…


Maddie: And?


Magillicuddy raises an eyebrow. Agnes gives him the okay to spill the beans.


Magillicuddy: They found some memorabilia from the museum in Missouri, stuff like cowboy hats and spurs.


Maddie: Mr. Magillicuddy…what are you NOT telling me?


Magillicuddy: Guns.


Maddie: Guns?


Magillicuddy: And bullets.


Maddie: Bullets? Let me see that!


She takes his notepad.


Maddie: A large bullet hole was discovered in a mirror at the home. Suspect believed to be dangerous.


She drops the notepad on David’s desk and quickly goes back to her office.


~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~


Scene 4

Bob’s Big Boy



David wipes his mouth with a napkin and slurps the last of his milk shake. He’s hardly said a word during their meal, as Leonard has carried the conversation for both of them.


Leonard: I guess in all of the fifty-two years that I was with my Dolly, the biggest argument we ever had was about gettin’ married or not. Shoot, I’d a married her in a minute, but she had this thing about her independence, or some such crazy notion. (He pauses, suddenly aware he has been running on) Well…’nuff about me…So, Mr. Addison…’bout that lady friend of yours?


David chuckles at Leonard’s persistence.


David: You know Len, I think we have a lot more in common than anyone would believe.


Leonard: Aw…I don’t know. It’s hard for me to remember what I was like when I was your age, other than maybe I knew what it felt like to love a good woman.


David nods his head in agreement.


Leonard: So what was it?


David: What was what?


Leonard: What was it that put you standing in my path?


David studies him again.


Leonard: Lady friend?


David: (surrendering) Yeah…(sighs)…Yeah, Leonard, my lady friend.


Leonard: But she’s more than a friend, I’m thinkin’?


David: You got that right.


Leonard: So what did you do or not do…or say or not say…


David hands him a napkin.


David: You have any kids?


Leonard: (wiping mouth) Yep, I have a son. He lives in Tucson. Don’t see him much. He’s too busy with his own family…you might know how it is.


David: I’m going to be a dad…soon, real soon. I just want him to be ahead of the game in this world, I want him to be the smartest kid in his class one day. So, I sort of made a decision…a kind of big decision…a rather costly decision, and Maddie, my lady friend, didn’t agree.


Leonard (laughs and nods his head): Ah, the ol’ spontaneous spending spree where the little woman doesn’t see eye to eye?  What did you buy?


David: A computer with all the bells and whistles and some educational software…well, a few computer games, but…


Leonard reaches under his seat, pulling out a crowbar, and then opens the door.


David: (eyes get big) What do you need that for? Where are you going?


Leonard starts to ease out of the car.


David: Hey, what are you doing?


Leonard: Computer, huh?  Big, expensive toy sounds like to me. Whatever happened to the good ol’ games like Cowboys and Indians or Army Wars?


He points back to the red wagon in the backseat.


Leonard: Wagon races?


He gets out and closes the door.


Cue Music: (softly)

Mama don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys
Don't let 'em pick guitars and drive them old trucks
Make 'em be doctors and lawyers and such

Leonard: You stay here now, ya hear? I won’t be long.


David: Leonard?


Leonard walks up to the Big Boy statue and wedges the crowbar underneath its mounting. Surprisingly, he loosens it a little and then gives it a couple of good hard shoves.


David: Leonard! What are you doing? Oh, God…


David gets out of the car, and we cut away, as the music swells:


Mama don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys
They'll never stay home and they're always alone
Even with someone they love

~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~


Scene 5

Blue Moon Investigations

Front Office


Agnes follows Maddie as fast as her belly will let her, Magillicuddy coming close behind. The rest of the staff stops what they are doing. Maddie stands in the middle of the reception area.


Agnes:  Ms. Hayes! Oh, Ms. Hayes! What are you going to do?


Maddie: Agnes, where is Bert?  (Addressing the rest of the staff) Has David called?


They all shake their heads no.


The phone rings and Maddie answers it quickly.


Maddie: Hello? David?


Bert: No, Ms. Hayes, it’s Bert.


Maddie: Mr. Viola, please tell me you have Mr. Addison with you?


Bert: No, Ms. Hayes. I lost him at the end of Century Plaza. The guy must have had a getaway car parked around the corner.


Agnes: What’s he saying Ms. Hayes? Is he okay? Is Mr. Addison okay?


Maddie: Herbert, let me put Agnes on the line.


She hands the phone to Agnes who, at first, is relieved that Bert is okay, but then proceeds to give him a piece of her mind.


Agnes: Herbert Viola, you had better get back here if you know what’s good for you….

Maddie: (whispering to Jamie and Magillicuddy) You two, I’m going after them. Keep her here, don’t let her leave until Bert gets back, understand?


Jamie: Ms. Hayes, are you sure you should do this?


Maddie: I can’t sit around waiting. I have to do something!


Magillicuddy: Maybe you should just wait it out with us.


Maddie: No, I’m going. I’ll stop by the police station first. Maybe I can pry them off their keesters. You just take care of Agnes.


She grabs her purse and slips out the door.


Magillicuddy: Oh boy! I don’t think Mr. Addison is going to like this.




~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~




They are on the move again. Big Boy stands tall in the backseat. David is now fearful that things could end badly for Leonard if he doesn’t stop him.


David: Look Lenny, what do you need me for? So you swiped a few toys. Whaddaya say we go down to the police station? I know a few guys down there and I’m sure they’d work a decent deal.


Leonard: (picks up pistol and spins the cylinder) Nope, not gonna do that. I’ve one more thing we need to pick up. Guess it’s a good thing I did run into you, Mr. Addison. I’m gonna need your help with it.


David watches him make a show out of working the gun over and sees that there are no bullets in the gun. At least, he hopes he sees that there are no bullets in the gun… 


David: And what if I told you I didn’t have time for all of this? Huh?


Leonard: And why don’t you have time for ALL of this?


He points and waves the pistol around, partly to try and scare David and partly to keep the conversation going.


Leonard: It’s that lady friend of yours, idn’t it? Maddie, you said?


David: (rolling eyes, slapping a hand to his forehead) Not this again. Not only are we driving in circles, we’re talking in one!


Leonard: Turn up there where the sign says U Store It.


They turn into a parking lot and David backs up to a closed rolling door.


Leonard: Come on now, Mr. Addison—this is where you come in. Let’s go!


He gets out excitedly and stands in front of the rolling door. David joins him.


David: (wary) This wouldn’t be the part where you show me your dear departed Dolly, now would it?


Leonard doesn’t answer and this only makes David more nervous. He struggles to open the heavy door and David, now starting to feel sorry for the old man, helps him to lift it. A horse trailer is revealed…poking its head out of the side window is a horse’s head—a stuffed horse’s head—tan with a blonde mane.


Leonard: (smiling big) Isn’t it a beauty?


David: (looking from the horse to Leonard): Yeah…yeah…it uh, kinda reminds me of another blonde I know…she’d probably like to stuff me right about now…


Leonard seems to not hear him. He steps towards the trailer hitch.


David: Just don’t ever tell her I said that.


Leonard: Come on, help me hitch ‘er up to the car.




~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~




Scene 1

Los Angeles Police Department

Wilshire Precinct


Maddie enters, her pumps tapping a take-no-prisoners rhythm on the scuffed linoleum.  The place seems oddly deserted; she approaches the lone desk clerk, who looks like he’s barely out of middle school.


Maddie: I’m Maddie Hayes.  I’m looking for Officer Stewart.


The Desk Clerk takes the time to look Maddie up and down—clearly, he likes what he sees—which does nothing to calm her agitation.


Desk Clerk: (suggestive) Anything I can help you with?


Maddie reaches across and grabs his skinny blue tie.


Maddie: Listen, peach cheeks, some cowboy with a gun has kidnapped my partner.  If you don’t get Officer Stewart up here pronto, you’re not gonna live to dance at your prom.


The Desk Clerk yanks his tie out of Maddie’s hands and dusts himself down sulkily, but nonetheless picks up the phone.  In a moment, a burly, iron-haired officer waves her back.


Maddie: (to Desk Clerk, icily) Thank you.

She walks back and settles herself in a chair across from Stewart.


Stewart: How can I help you?


Maddie: (trying to be calm) You spoke to one of my employees today about Leonard Slye—he’s holding my partner hostage.  I’d like to know what’s being done.


Stewart: Ms. Hayes, we have several officers covering the area between Wilshire and Pico.  So far, they haven’t turned up anything, but if I were you, I wouldn’t worry too much—Mr. Slye is an elderly man, and they were on foot.  It’s not too likely he’ll be able to overpower your partner.


Maddie: Slye has a gun, Officer Stewart.  Perhaps you don’t appreciate the urgency—


Stewart: Ms. Hayes, I assure you we are doing everything we can to recover your partner…but we’re also tracking a highly sensitive case at the moment—it’s a matter of national security—so we’re stretched a little thin.


Maddie: (loudly) I don’t care if you’re stretched so thin I can see through you—I want my partner found, preferably while he still has all his faculties—and body parts—in working order!  And if you can’t do it…I WILL.

Maddie strides out of the office steaming, her head down as she curses the men in blue with some fluency.  She plows into someone small, brown, and hairy.


Bert:  Oof!


Maddie: Mr. Viola!  What are you doing here?


Bert: Probably the same thing you are…trying to get these Barneys off their duffs to help us.


Maddie: Apparently, we’ve been preempted by some “top-secret” brouhaha.


Bert: (lowers his voice) The alien invasion!


Maddie: What?


Bert: I heard some of the blues talking about it at the doughnut cart.


Maddie: (a greedy spark in her eye) Doughnut cart?

Bert steers her down the hall.


Bert: Right this way, Ms. Hayes.  Anyway, they were saying that a mysterious—pod…or…something—crash-landed at Griffith Park, left a huge crater in the grass.  People are flocking over there to see if it’s a UFO—they’re hoping the Observatory telescope might’ve recorded something…


They pass a briefing room, which is packed to the gills with officers.  An attractive red-haired woman and a handsome guy—they look made for TV—stand, dressed in dark suits, in front of a white board.


Woman: The chances that this could be just an exploratory probe are good…but of course, we don’t know whether these life forms are friendly or hostile.  Your job will be to cordon off the area so we can do our investigation.  Also, we could be facing widespread panic…looting…riots—


Bert’s eyes are enormous.


Maddie: (hissing) Mr. Viola!


Bert: Oh my God—they’re coming—


Maddie: (tugs him down the hall) Bert! FOCUS!


Bert: What?  Oh—right—Mr. Addison…


Maddie: Don’t tell me you believe this load of hogwash!


Bert: Well, you must admit that chances are infinitesimal that our planet is the only one, out of millions, to support intelligent life.


Maddie: (dryly) It’s certainly debatable.


Bert: The truth is out there, Ms. Hayes.


Maddie: (angry) No, Bert—Mr. Addison is out there, and I’d like him to be back here—so let’s GO!


~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~


Scene 2


Cue Music:

Keep movin', movin', movin',
Though they're disapprovin',
Keep them doggies movin', Rawhide!
Don't try to understand 'em,
Just rope and throw and grab 'em,
Soon we'll be living high and wide.
Boy my heart's calculatin'
My true love will be waitin', be waitin’ at the end of my ride.


Rollin', rollin', rollin'
Though the streams are swollen
Keep them doggies rollin'


We see a long shot of the 134 freeway, and then close-in on David, Leonard, and the horse trailer, who are most definitely not rollin’ along…rather, they are stuck in a seemingly endless parade of traffic.


David: Where are we off to now, Lenny? We’re going to be out of pages pretty soon.


Leonard: Our last stop.  The end of the line.


David looks over at him, hoping he is not speaking euphemistically.


Leonard: Rodeo Ranch.


David: OOOK…


Leonard: Yep, a few years back, Dolly and I put our life savings into five acres of prime land up in Agua Dulce.  Real pretty country up there—not much but rolling hills and big rocks, but just right for us.


David: Sounds nice.


A car honks behind them; he moves forward a few inches.


Leonard: It was.  I built Dolly a nice li’l bungalow, and a barn to store all her treasures in.


David: Must’ve been like her own little museum…Dollywood!


He chuckles, but Leonard doesn’t respond.  Lost in thought, Leonard resumes twirling the cylinder of his gun.


Leonard (sighing): It was darn near perfect.  Until Dolly fell sick.  We were too far away from the hospital to get her in for her treatments every day…and them medical bills just got higher and higher.  We had to sell off most of the land and shut down the house, move into an apartment near the hospital.  We sold most of her treasures, too.


David (interested in spite of himself): That must’ve been tough.


Leonard: Yessir…after awhile, though, I could tell those doctors couldn’t do anything for her—so I finally just brought her home.


David: And that’s where she…?


Leonard: Yep.  (Voice breaks)  Just a month ago, now…she passed there, with the memory of all the things she loved.  It was real peaceful.  We buried her out by the sycamore tree, so she could hear the birds singing to her, even in her sleep.


Leonard’s eyes cloud over as he recounts his tale.


David: That’s…that’s really nice, Lenny.  So…where is this little slice of heaven?


Leonard: Hmm?  Oh—Agua Dulce’s near to Palmdale…just up the 210, there…then north on the 14 a ways.


David looks at the seething mass of vehicles around them, noting that they have only gone one mile during the entire conversation.


David: Uh…Lenny?  I want to help out and all, but I’d also like to be back in time to see my child born.


Leonard: Ha! (slaps David’s back) That’s a good one, Mr. Addison.  It shouldn’t take us more than three…four hours, tops, to get up there.

David thinks of Maddie—surely she must be frantic—but Lenny’s lined face looks so woebegone…he sighs, and pulls forward just a bit more.


~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~


Scene 3


North Hollywood Precinct


Maddie and Bert sit with Detective Pete Barber, an old friend of David’s.


Maddie: We should’ve called you right away, Pete.  But I thought you’d already left—wasn’t your retirement party last month?  The night David came home singing “My Wild Irish Rose” at three in the morning?  (She smiles, a little mistily.)


Pete: Yeah, these guys can’t wait to see the back of me—they would’ve thrown that party a year ago if they thought it would get me out. (looks at Maddie; his face softens)  Don’t worry, Maddie—we’re gonna find him.


He checks his computer.


Pete: A-ha!  Here we go.  1964 white Pontiac Bonneville, reported missing by the Petersen Auto Museum at noon today.  Apparently it was taken out this morning to have the radio fixed—what the heck do you need a working radio in a show car for?—and it never came back.


He scrolls through a few lines of information; Bert leans over his shoulder and reads.


Bert:  Whew…listen to this: Embossed tan leather interior, inlaid silver dollars and rhinestones, even pistols mounted on the hood!  And…it belonged to Roy Rogers!


Maddie: Didn’t Slye used to work at the Roy Rogers museum?


Bert: (checks file) Yes, indeed, Ms. Hayes.  Excellent memory!


Maddie:  Pete, the officer at Wilshire said the trail had gone cold.  But how hard can it be to find a custom classic convertible carrying a guy in bright blue cowboy gear?


Pete: (punching a few more keys) Well…not hard at all, actually. (smiles) They installed LoJack on it back in Branson.


Maddie: LoJack?


Bert: (clears throat) If I may, Detective Barber? (He gets a short nod) LoJack is a tracking system, wired into police computers all over the U.S.  It—


Maddie: (interrupting) So we can find out where they are?


Pete: Heading north on the 210, looks like…just past La Canada.


Maddie: (rising) Well, what are we waiting for?  Let’s go!


Bert: Wait—Ms. Hayes—you can’t—


But Maddie is already gone.


Bert: (head in hands) Oh…jeez…Mr. Addison will tar and feather me if I let her come with us…


Pete: (laughing) And Ms. Hayes will do it, if you don’t! (He claps Bert on the shoulder) C’mon, Mr. Viola—I have an idea.


~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~

Scene 4

210 Freeway

Just past La Canada


David surveys the nearly deserted freeway.  Something feels…off.  He and Leonard are barreling along at nearly 75, if the Bonneville’s speedometer is to be believed; across the freeway barrier, however, traffic heading back into L.A. is a honking, shouting gridlock of cars.  He notices a young woman sitting in the flatbed of a pickup truck, holding a sign that reads: Welcome to Earth!, surrounded by flowers and peace signs.


David: It’s a weird world.


He checks his watch—it’s now been five hours since he was standing in front of the Blue Moon building…five hours since he walked out on Maddie.  He rubs a hand over his face.


David: Helluva day.


Leonard: What’s that, Mr. Addison?


David: Lenny, you might as well call me Dave.


Leonard: Well, all right, Dave.  Now, I can see you’re stewin’ about something over there.  What is it?


David: I…I’m just afraid she—Maddie, I mean—she’s gonna be mighty worried.

He catches the Texas inflection in his voice, and turns to the camera.


David: What?  It was bound to rub off sooner or later.


Leonard: (slaps palm to head) Of course!  And, you know, it’s not polite to make a lady worry.  Why, one time, I was a little late coming back from one of my hunting expeditions….Hoo-whee, Dolly was MAD!  She’d like to tan my hide if I didn’t outweigh her by seventy pounds or so.


David: She sounds like one tough little lady.


Leonard: Tough as nails…and soft as silk.  (He sighs)


David: I know just what you mean.


~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~


Scene 5

Blue Moon Investigations

David’s Office


The Wobblies are clustered around the TV, avidly watching a news report.


Newswoman: …the object appears to be about five feet in diameter, made of a shiny metallic substance.  No one saw it strike the ground, though reports came in this morning from several eyewitnesses that something mysterious was falling through the sky.  Speculation that it is a probe from another planet is running high; as you can see, there are hundreds—probably thousands—gathered here awaiting the outcome of the investigation.


On the TV, we see a mass of people, held back by barricades; then a long shot over the crash site, marked by yellow “Police—Do Not Cross” tape, where several jumpsuited figures prowl the crater-like hole.


Agnes enters David’s office, trying to get everyone’s attention.


Agnes: People!


No response from the employees; she tries a piercing finger-whistle instead, which does the job.


Agnes: What are you doing, sitting in here watching TV, when Mr. Addison’s life is at stake!  Not to mention Herbert and Ms. Hayes!


Magillicuddy: But, Agnes, we’ve done all we can—


Agnes: And are they back yet?  NO, they are not.  And we can’t rest until they are!


Magillicuddy: But, Agnes, this could be a historical event—


Agnes: (jabbing a finger at him) You’re going to be history yourself if you don’t get back out there—


Rest of Wobblies: SHHHH!


In spite of herself, Agnes is momentarily silenced.


Newswoman: The FBI is playing this one close to the vest, so we have no idea what we’re dealing with here.  (Looks at notes)  The director of the investigation, one Agent Mulder, has scheduled a press conference at 5:00—you can see it live, here on ABC.  Now back to you, Jane.


Anchor: Thank you, Linda.  We now take you north of Los Angeles, to the Shadow Hills area, where an interesting story is developing.  News 7 has learned that a white convertible, which reportedly once belonged to Roy Rogers, is involved in a low-speed chase with police officers…


We see a long helicopter shot of the freeway.  It’s much too far away to see the features of the occupants of the car; but the passenger’s bright blue shirt is clearly visible.


Jamie: Wait a minute…that’s the Crazy Cowboy!


O’Neill:  (jumps up) And that must be Mr. Addison with him!


Now a police cruiser can be seen gaining on the convertible in the left lane; behind it, in the right lane, follows a familiar beige K-car.


Agnes: Bert!  That’s my Herbert!  (yells at screen) Oh—BE CAREFUL!!


Finally, a Lexus sports coupe comes into the picture, several car lengths behind, but keeping pace.


All: Ms. Hayes!


Camera pans their shocked faces.



~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~



Scene 1

210 Freeway


David: Lenny, we’ve got company.


Leonard looks back, craning his neck to see around Bob, but all that’s there is the trailer.  He checks the side mirror.


Leonard: I was afraid of this.


David takes a deep breath.  The time has come.  He’d like to get this resolved before the cars get much closer.  He has an uneasy feeling that things could go terribly wrong if the police try to intervene.


Besides, the longer this goes on…the better chance he has of being nailed as an accomplice instead of a victim.


David: (gently) Well, Len…you had to know that they would come looking for Bob.  That restaurant owner’s probably not too happy.


Leonard: (slides Mickey Mouse watch out of his pocket) Yeah.  And the Duke’s Jukes guy, too.


David: Where did you—oh, jeez…


Something occurs to him; he gestures to the toy-filled backseat.


David: Leonard—are any of those “treasures” yours?


Leonard: (stoutly) They are now…well, they’re Dolly’s, anyway.


The cars are getting closer—David can clearly see two of them…and recognizes one very well.  Frustration and anxiety are battling for dominance in his mind.  He speaks to Leonard like you would to a small child.


David: Did you actually pay for any of them?


Leonard: In money?  Well…no.


David puts a hand over his eyes, having to ask but not wanting to hear the answer.


David: The car?


Leonard: This car? Yep, used to be Roy’s.  Ain’t it a beaut?


David: You stole the car…of course you stole the car…I mean, look at it—custom, mint condition, high-end leather…you could never—


Leonard: (quiet, but a little menacing) afford it? No, you’re right about that, Mr. Addison.  Not since those medical crooks took my money—and Dolly with them.


One last thought hits David, right between the eyes.  He looks in the rearview mirror, where the stuffed horse, mane ruffling in the breeze, stoically looks out from the trailer.


David (in a whisper): The car…the outfit…Roy Rogers—oh my God—that’s TRIGGER?!  You stole Trigger?


Leonard looks shocked, as though David has slapped him.


Leonard: Of course not!  Stealin’ a man’s horse—now that’s the lowest of the low.  You know what they do to horse thieves?  Hang ‘em high—and good riddance, I say!


David shakes his head, stumped by Leonard’s logic.


Leonard: No—that horse back there is a replica.  Dolly and me bought it from a dealer, back when we was flush…it was one of the things I couldn’t bear to sell, when she got sick…but I kept it in storage, kept it safe, ‘til I could take it home to her.


David: Lenny…you know…all this stuff—it can’t bring her back.


Leonard is quiet, eyes on the road.  One lone tear snakes down his wrinkled cheek.


Leonard: I know.


The police cruiser pulls up, nearly even with the convertible but one lane over.  Pete Barber is in the passenger seat.


Pete: (through bullhorn) Police!  This is the police! Please pull the vehicle over.


The little sedan inches closer too; Bert rolls down his window.


Bert: Mr. Addison!  Don’t worry—I’ve got you covered!


This is just what David was hoping to avoid.  Leonard is getting agitated; David watches as he fumbles for the gun and raises it high.


Pete: Drop the gun—now!


He draws his own gun, pointing it at Leonard.


David: Pete—wait!  He’s not—


Leonard: (shouting) Y’all leave us alone!


Pete: Drop the weapon!  I won’t tell you again!


David quickly knocks Leonard’s hand, and the gun tumbles to the backseat.


David: Pete—listen!  He’s not dangerous!


Pete: Pull over, Dave—now.


David looks at Leonard.


David: We’ve got to do as they say, Lenny—they’ve got the guns, now.  But don’t worry—we’re gonna get this all straightened out.


Leonard: (sadly): You do what you’ve got to do, Dave.


He opens the ornate leather-covered glove compartment and pulls out another gun, a twin to the first.


Pete levels his own gun.


David: DON’T!


Leonard puts the gun to his own head and cocks the hammer.


David swerves hard to the right, throwing Leonard against the door of the convertible.  The gun flies from his hand, skittering across two lanes and discharging harmlessly into the dusty shoulder.


David brakes, the convertible skids and starts to spin.  The trailer fishtails wildly as the police cruiser and Bert swerve to avoid a collision.


A duet of squealing tires—and the convertible comes to a stop, nose-to-nose with the Lexus.


David: Maddie?!


Maddie: David!


Leonard (holding his head): Jeez, Dave, what were you trying to do—kill me?



~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~


Scene 2


Deserted Parking Lot off the 210


Cue Music:

Some trails are happy ones,
Others are blue.
It's the way you ride the trail that counts,
Here's a happy one for you.


Who cares about the clouds when we're together?
Just sing a song, and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you,
Til we meet again


Happy trails to you,
Until we meet again.
Happy trails to you,
Keep smilin' until then.


Maddie stands next to the Bonneville, watching David help Lenny into the police cruiser.  He pats the older man’s shoulder; Leonard moves as if to shake his hand, then smiles ruefully at the handcuffs around his wrist.


Meanwhile, Bert prowls around the car, oohing and aahing.


Bert: Look at this hand-tooled leather!  The mounted rifles! Oh my God—the gear shift…it’s a revolver


Maddie ignores his effusions.  David waves the cruiser off and comes over to join them.


David: They’re sending a flatbed tow truck for the car and trailer.  (runs a hand along the door panel)  She was a pretty sweet ride.


Bert: These longhorns are massive—they must be six feet wide!  And what’s this?  (bends closer to examine the tracery on the silver mounting of the horns)  Nudie Cohen—he did cars for everybody…even The King!  I can’t believe it!  Mr. Addison! (shakes David’s arm)  This is a Nudiemobile!


David: (only has eyes for Maddie):I don’t wanna hear what you get up to with Agnes in the car, Bert.


Bert looks at the two of them and realizes that his presence is, perhaps, superfluous.  Reluctantly, he takes his leave of the Bonneville, stroking it reverently once more.


Bert: Well….I guess I should be getting back.


Maddie: (without looking at him) Yes…Agnes will be anxious to see you.


Bert climbs into his car and drives off.  Maddie runs a hand down David’s shirt, wrinkled and mussed from the upheaval of the day.


Maddie: Oh, David…I was so worried…we saw it all…(her voice breaks)…and we couldn’t do anything.


David pulls her close.


Maddie: We said we wouldn’t take any unnecessary risks…but people seem determined to point guns at us!


David: Occupational hazard, Maddie.


Maddie: Maybe we should consider a change of occupation…


David: You know, Lenny wasn’t really dangerous—the gun wasn’t even loaded—the one he was pointing at me, anyway.


Maddie: But we didn’t know that—and he still threatened you!


David: He just lost the woman he shared his life with…he’s a little lost right now himself…but I don’t think he would have really hurt anyone.


Maddie tightens her arms around him.


Maddie: All I could think about when you were in that car was the stupid fight we had this morning.  I’m so sorry David—if something had happened to you and those were the last words we said to each other…


David:  Shhh…I know…it was all I could think about, too.  You know, spending time with Lenny today, I realized…it’s not the things we have that are important—we only really need each other.


Maddie: You’re right, David.  But it’s OK to want the things sometimes, too.


David: You’re a smart lady, Maddie Hayes.  I love you.


He kisses her, running his hands through her hair.


David: This is one blonde mane I’ve sure missed.


Cue Music:

Happy trails to you,
Until we meet again.
Happy trails to you,
Keep smilin' until then.

~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~


Scene 3

Blue Moon Investigations


Once again, the employees are gathered around the TV in David’s office.  Agnes reclines on the couch, her feet in Bert’s lap.


Newswoman: We interrupt this program for a special update on the Griffith Park mystery…we have just received word from the site that the unidentified object that crashed into the hill by the Observatory is, in fact, a radar dish from a stealth airplane.  The plane was flying overhead when the dish was sheared off, possibly by a high-tension wire.


Bert: What?  A radar dish?


Newswoman: As you know, there were rampant rumors that this was an exploratory pod from outer space.  It seems as though these rumors have been laid to rest, and the truth is much less interesting than the buzz.  The thousands of people who gathered here are now heading home…so expect a lot of traffic on the roadways.


The Wobblies all file out of David’s office, rather dejected at this anticlimactic end to the proceedings.  Bert and Agnes stay on the couch.


Bert (disgusted): This is probably all a cover-up.


Agnes: Oh, Bert, you and your theories…shouldn’t we just be grateful that Mr. Addison is back, safe and sound, thanks to Detective Barber and Ms. Hayes…and you, of course.  (She glances at him from under her lashes, and leans forward a little)  It was pretty heroic, what you did…just thinking about it makes my heart pound…


Bert leans in toward her.


Agnes: There’s something sexy about a car chase…with you in it…


Their lips collide in a passionate kiss.


15 Minutes Later


Bert exits David’s office, his tie loose around his shoulders, a satisfied grin on his face.  The employees are back to their regular pursuits; there is a hot-and-heavy paper football competition going on in one corner, and Jamie is running a background check on Inez’ date for that night.


Flipping on his police scanner, Bert sinks down into his chair.  He pulls out a file and settles back to read.  The scanner begins to emit a series of high-pitched, unfamiliar pulses and looping waves; it takes Bert a few minutes to notice.


He drops the file, scattering pages everywhere, and twists the scanner knob, but the sounds continue—on all frequencies.


Bert: (under his breath) See?  Trust no one!

~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~


Scene 4

The Next Day

The Hayes-Addison Living Room


Maddie sits on the couch, a newspaper in hand.  She hears the front door open—David and Miss Me, coming back from a walk.  David takes the dog into the kitchen—the sound of water hitting the dog bowl—then the fridge door opening and the hiss! of a beer can being popped.


David enters, flopping down next to her.  She sets the paper down; we see that a few photos are circled in red pen.


David: It’s a good thing you got her fixed, Maddie—there’s a Doberman four doors down who seemed very interested.  I tried to tell him you don’t sniff a lady’s behind until the third date, but he wasn’t listening. (Takes a long sip of his beer) Got a call from Pete today…they’ve agreed to release Leonard to his son’s custody.  I guess Len Jr.’s going to bring the wife and kids out to Rodeo Ranch for the summer…keep an eye on the ol’ scalawag.


Maddie: Sounds like that might help—to have his family around him.


David: Yeah…hopefully they’ll nip the nicking in the bud.


He picks up the newspaper.


David: What’s this? (Reads one of the circled items) Four bedroom, two and a half baths…this lovely property, on a sought-after cul-de-sac, has recently been totally remodeled—Uh, Maddie?  Were you going to let me in on this, or would I have woken up one morning in the back of a moving van?


Maddie: Of course I was going to let you in on this—that’s the whole point, actually.  After our “discussion”—


David: One-round total KO, you mean?


Maddie: I just thought that maybe we need a change…maybe we should look for a place that isn’t mine…or yours…but ours.


David: (glances around the well-appointed room, the beautiful large windows that frame the view of the hot tub, pool, and landscaping beyond) I don’t know…this is pretty nice.  If we’re looking for something that’s ours…it’s going to have to be on a different scale.


Maddie: You mean, more like this?  (points to one of the larger photos)


David: Around here?  Are you kidding?  (also points at photo) See this little pied-à-terre for Rover in the backyard?  That’s about what I could afford.


Maddie: (sighs) David, I know you’re feeling sensitive about the balance of things financially…but honestly, I don’t mind—


David: But I do.  (He takes her hand)  Maddie, I want to be able to provide for you…and for little Bunny here.  I want to be able to take care of both of you…I want you to be able to stay home with Bunny if you want to—


Maddie: (bristling) We’ve talked about this—I’m definitely going back to work.


David: I know…and as long as you want to work, that’s great.  But if you ever decide you’d rather be at home…I want you to have that choice.


Maddie: We’re already partners in the agency, David—half of everything we make is yours.


David: Exactly.  So I need to make sure that my half is enough—which might mean taking more cases, working longer, and cutting back…not buying things we don’t need…


Maddie: Like a new house?


David: This has been your home for a long time, Maddie…and now it’s our home.  If we decide, sometime, that we need fewer windows for Junior to smash baseballs through…then we can look around.


He cups her cheek in one hand and kisses her, very softly.  Maddie covers his hand with hers.


Maddie: (tearing up) David, no matter what the checkbook says, you are a great provider…of all the things that are really important.  Wisdom, and humor, and a zest for life—our child will have all of those, because of you.


David: You forgot one sterling quality…


Maddie: What’s that?


David: I have great taste in women.


He pulls her closer, and their kissing goes from sweet to serious…Maddie breaks away, breathless.


Maddie: And what if Bunny turns out to be a girl?


David: (smiling) Then I don’t stand a chance.


They continue to kiss…and we discreetly ...




~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~




Cue Music (softly):

I'll be loving you, always
With a love that's true, always
When the things you plan
Need a helping hand
I will understand, always, always

Curtains billow in the breeze that’s floating through an open bedroom window, and the moonlight shimmers across the bed. David rests his head on one elbow, smiling contently at Maddie, who sleeps soundly beside him. He pulls the sheet over her shoulder and eases out of the bed, making sure not to wake her. Clad only in boxers, he tiptoes across the room and goes to the guest bedroom down the hall. Pulling a flat brown box from under the bed, he stops, looks to the door and listens, then puts the box on the bed and opens it.


David stands in front of a full-length mirror.  A brown cowboy hat rests on his head as he buckles a double leather holster around his waist. He slides two shiny toy pistols into the gun holders and steps back appraisingly.


David: (pulls the guns, slow and sloppy) Hold it!


Puts them back and tries again.


David: Hold on there, Pilgrim!


One gun gets stuck. He puts them back and tries yet again.


David: It’s time you learned some respect!


He drops one and it lands on the floor with a thud. He turns to the door and listens for Maddie. Hearing nothing, he picks up the gun and turns to the mirror again.


David: (another try) You lookin’ for trouble, fella?


He gives a go at pulling the guns out and spinning them on one finger. He fumbles and then points and aims at his reflection.


Maddie: (standing in doorway, smiling) Mister, if you’re looking for trouble I can give it to ya…it’d be a pleasure.


He holsters the guns, looking caught, and tips his hat back, looking at Maddie in the mirror. She comes up behind him and wraps her arms around his waist, looking around one shoulder.


Maddie: Don’t have any Indians hiding under the bed, do you?


David: You shouldn’t be sneaking up on an armed Cowboy.


Maddie: You didn’t seem to mind so much a few hours ago….


David: (turning to her, brushing a strand of hair from her face) Sorry if I woke you.


She meets his gaze.


Maddie: David, what is all of this stuff?


He gives her that half-smile of his, looking in the mirror at himself again.


David: (with a southern drawl) Ma’am, a Cowboy’s gotta be ready if he’s gonna catch an Injun or two.


His eyes shift back to her, trailing down to her belly underneath her silky nightgown.


David: Cain’t have our little pardner learnin’ from just any ol’ gunslinger.


She takes his hat and puts it on her head.


Maddie: He’ll be learning from the best…or she.


David: She…yeah… might need to teach a little Cowgirl a thing or two about Cowboys…especially if she looks anything like her mama…


He looks her up and down.


David: Wouldn’t hurt to learn to pack a pistol or two…


Maddie: Especially if those Cowboys are anything like her daddy.


David: (pulling her to him, planting a kiss on her neck) Didn’t seem to mind a few hours ago…


Maddie: (pushes away gently) David…I don’t think you have anything to worry about. He or she will learn plenty from the both of us. Somebody pretty smart has been saying that all along, you know.


David: (letting her go, readjusting the hat on her head) Be prepared, Pilgrim, always be prepared.


Maddie: Aren’t you mixing up your mottos a little? And besides, you have plenty of time to get prepared…you’ll be spouting computer jargon before the kid can crawl.


David: I took it all back, Maddie.


Maddie: David, I thought we agreed—


David: I know…I just…it was something Leonard said…something about staying on the right track, but if you just sit there, chances are you’ll get run over.  As crazy as he seemed, he made a lot of sense… I think he was right…in a lot of ways.


Maddie: (puts the hat back on his head and turns for the door) Well, pardner…we better stay one step ahead then, huh? Won’t be long before our nights will be mixed up with our days with no time to just sit.


She smiles and goes out the door. David looks back in the mirror, runs his fingers around the edge of his hat and squares his feet, drawing his guns.


David: So, we meet again, fella!


He gives the spinning pistol trick another shot. Maddie peeks around the door again.


Maddie: (seductively) Come on, Cowboy. It’s not polite to keep a lady waitin’…


David: Be right there, ma’am!


He drops a pistol on his bare toe.


David: (hobbling to the door) Ouch!


He hops and hobbles to their bedroom door, his holster and guns jingling. Taking his hat off, he closes the door.


A moment later, the door cracks open and he hangs his hat on the doorknob, closing the door again.




Cue Music:


I'll be loving you, always
With a love that's true, always
When the things you plan
Need a helping hand
I will understand, always, always

Days may not be fair, always
That's when I'll be there, always
Not for just an hour
Not for just a day
Not for just a year, but always

Days may not be fair, always
That's when I'll be there, always
Not for just an hour
Not for just a day
And, not for just a year, but always



~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~  ~|~


Music credits:


Theme from “The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly”


“Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” sung by Willie Nelson


“Blue Moon of Kentucky” sung by Patsy Cline


Theme from “Rawhide”


“Happy Trails” sung by Roy Rogers


“Always” sung by Patsy Cline




Thanks, as always, to Glenn Gordon Caron, Cybill Shepherd, and Bruce Willis for creating a show that lives in our hearts even today.


To Diane, Lizzie, and Sue…this episode is the fruit of some pretty spectacular brainstorming…thanks for all your ideas and support!


Jen: C, you are THE BEST.  Full of ideas and always willing to pick me up when I needed it…you make a great writing “pardner”…here’s to lots more collaborations!


Connie: Thanks Jen! While this was a challenge, it was tons of fun. Thank goodness for the internet, cell phones and texting! And thank you to all of the readers. I would love to hear what you think, so click on the comments link below and gives us a holler, ya’ hear?



Comments always welcome.