Presented by (in alphabetical order): Kathy, Kimber, Rebecca, and Shel
EXT. OLD GOTHIC STYLE MANSION SET IN THE MIDDLE OF A FORESTED AREA STORMY NIGHT
With the exception of the sofa adjacent to the fireplace, all the furniture remains shrouded under sheets covered with decades worth of dust and grime. Various built-in bookcases have broken shelves. Tattered curtains hang in the windows. There's a layer of dust covering the floor and footprints are now visible. The room is lit by 3 hurricane lamps, on the still-covered tables, and a strong fire in the fireplace. Three rolled-up sleeping bags are set on the floor next to a huge food cooler near one end of the sofa. C.D. is standing near the fire putting used plastic plates and cups into a plastic garbage bag. Charlie Brooks stands up in front of the fire and wipes his hands on his jeans. He starts walking around the room knocking on the wood paneling.
C.D. (watching him): What *are* you doing?
CHARLIE (ignoring him): An old place like this is bound to have at least a few secret panels.
C.D. (rolling his eyes): Figures...Just remember this: anything you find belongs to Alex's abused women's group.
CHARLIE (turning to face C.D.): Yeah...Whatever...Would you mind explaining to me why Old Miz McCallister left this dump to Alex?
C.D. (tiredly): Like I told you before, Miz McCallister had an abused younger sister who disappeared way back in the thirties. Some rumors had it that she was murdered by her brother and buried in the garden. Some say she's buried in the house. (Charlie's eyes widen) Anyway, Miz McCallister never spoke about it. A few years back, she read a story about Alex's work and became one of the biggest supporters for the group. (C.D. takes a broken bookshelf over to the window to block the wind from the broken window pane.) When the old woman died this week, Alex was told her group would inherit this old place and $1 million to renovate it as a shelter for battered women only if (Charlie goes over to C.D. with a black dufflebag filled with hardware and pulls out a hammer and some nails) Alex would spend the first weekend after the woman's death here in the house with at least 2 witnesses and finally solve the mystery of her sister's disappearance.
CHARLIE (starts nailing the bookshelf in place over the window): Great...we're chasing ghosts. Why'd Walker volunteer me?
C.D. (putting the bag down with the rest of their stuff): Because Alex couldn't find anyone else for the weekend on such short notice 'cept me. (inspecting the rest of the windows) And what're you complaining about anyway? This weekend means at least 48 hours of community service for you.
CHARLIE: Me? Now, why would I complain? After all, I'm spending the entire weekend in a haunted house in the middle of nowhere in a raging storm with no heat or electricity. There're spiders everywhere which give me the creeps. I think I saw a rat in the kitchen and rats rank up there with spiders. The roof leaks, the floor and stairs are rotting in spots. The place in the daytime gave me the shivers. And Alex, Miss Sunshine...Hardly said anything this whole time. Is she mad at you or somethin'? Didja see the way she locked the door and double-checked it (waves his arms about the room) like anyone's gonna break in here... Yeah, It's gonna be a real treat with her this weekend. Yeah, I'd say the only thing we got going for us is running water and who knows how long that will last? (peering out a window) Didja see any outhouses out back?
C.D. (annoyed): Think of it as an indoor adventure and don't even start on Alex. She's not had an easy time lately and I don't want you upsetting her.
CHARLIE (apologetically): Sorry. I get the message. I'll behave.
C.D. (grabbing a flashlight for himself and tosses another to Charlie): C'mon, let's join Alex upstairs and search the rooms.
They enter the foyer and, as they pass the front door, there's a loud knock. A flash of lightning illuminates shadows on the door's frosted window pane.
CHARLIE (recovering from shock): Gee, our first guests.
C.D. (glaring at Charlie, opens the door and his face lights up): Cordell! Jimmy! What're you fellas doing here?
Jimmy and Walker enter dripping from the rain, each carrying a dufflebag, sleeping bag and small food coolers.
CHARLIE (grabbing Jimmy's cooler): Please tell me you brought some beer.
TRIVETTE (entering the parlor): Good to see you too, Charlie. (puts his stuff down near the other piles and moves near the fire to warm up).
CHARLIE (following him): Forgive the mess, it's the maid's day off. (opens the cooler) Yes! (grabs a can of beer, pops it open, and sits on the sofa)
WALKER (to C.D.): What's with him? (pointing to Charlie)
C.D.: Got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Who knows? Never mind him. (clapping Walker on the back) What're you doing here? I thought you had to cover Trent's classes this weekend.
WALKER (putting his stuff down and eyeing the room): Trent said he got a new lead on his case and wouldn't have to leave town. (pointing to Jimmy) He was stood up.
TRIVETTE: I was not!! (explaining to C.D.) She came down with the flu and had to postpone our weekend. (seeing disbelief on all 3 faces) Well, she did! She sounded terrible! (C.D. and Charlie grin)
WALKER (looking around): Where's Alex?
C.D. (turning serious): She's upstairs checking out some of the rooms.
WALKER: Alone? (quietly) Has she talked to you at all?
C.D. (shaking his head, his face full of concern): She's hardly said a word, period. It's like you said, Cordell, every time I tried, she'd change the subject, said everything's fine, not to worry. She even brought work with her here! She looks like she hasn't had a decent night's sleep in weeks and she's barely eating. I'm startin' to really worry about her, Cordell.
WALKER (sighing): I know C.D. but we can't push her.
TRIVETTE (turning to face them): Sure. She probably just needs some time to work through it on her own.
C.D.: I don't know, Jimmy, maybe if we...
CHARLIE (interrupting): Look, it's probably some female thing and you're the last people she'd talk to and (seeing the murderous look in their eyes) Then again, I could be wrong.
TRIVETTE: Look, C.D. why don't we --
Before Jimmy can finish, a shriek is heard from upstairs.
The trio stop short by an open bedroom door and slowly enter the room.
Alex is standing by a nightstand with a music box in her hand and a mortified look on her face. She continues to stare blankly at a dingy, cracked, full-length mirror on the wall on the opposite side of the room. Walker reaches her first, and tries to snap her out of her daze.
WALKER: Alex...What's wrong? What do you see? Alex doesn't answer.
C.D.: Alex darlin'... Tell us what happened?
Walker tries talking to Alex again but it's as though she's lost in another world.
CHARLIE (jokingly): Whaddidya see, Alex....A GHOST?! Didja see Casper floatin' around here somewhere?
The three men shoot Charlie a dirty look.
CHARLIE: Sorry...I just thought...uhm..never mind..I'll just stand over here and shut up..
TRIVETTE: Good idea, Charlie..
WALKER: Alex, no wonder you're shaking like a leaf, you're freezing.
C.D. (to Walker): That's it...Million dollars or no million dollars, we're taking Alex back home...This is obviously too much for her.
WALKER: I agree C.D., Let's..
Alex finally snaps out of her shock.
ALEX: NO!!...I..I mean no-, I'm not ready to leave yet...I'm alright....I just needed a few minutes... to collect my thoughts.
WALKER: What happened?
TRIVETTE: Your scream about scared us to death. What did you see?
ALEX: I'm sorry, Jimmy...I'm not really sure what I saw... I was looking at this beautiful music box (She shows them the small but beautifully detailed wooden music box that she holds tight in her hands, a bit hesitant in handing it over to an inquiring C.D.). So strange, everything is filthy but the box isn't dusty or dirty at all. It's just...beautiful. I opened it, and the music began to play...and that's when I saw her.
C.D. (looking up from the music box in his hands): Saw who, Alex?
CHARLIE: Uh oh...Here it comes...She's going to say she saw a ghost....This's how all those mass murdering, Veggamatic scary movies start off...Someone sees somethin', and instead of everybody just hi-tailing it out of the woods when they still have a chance, they all choose to stay and play the hero, and they all get killed!!!!
WALKER (sternly): Charlie, you say one more word and it's not the Ghost you'll have to worry about..
CHARLIE (nervously): Uh..uh...yeah, sorry, Walker...I think I'll just take a look around...see if..I..
Walker gives him a very COLD GLARE, which Charlie understands and he shuts up. Walker leads Alex to the dusty, draped bed, moves the sheet aside, and sits her down. Charlie, meanwhile, notices the closet door slightly ajar and is about to open it fully when C.D. speaks.
C.D.: Go on Alex, tell us what you saw when you opened up the music box.
ALEX (pauses): C.D., to be honest...I'm not even sure...When I was admiring it...a warm sensation came over me, as if...as if it were a very special gift from someone.. .And when I opened it, and the music began to play, I swear Walker, and this might sound a little crazy, but it was as though, there was someone else in the room with me. I could almost feel their presence.
WALKER: Is that when you saw her?
ALEX: Yes, I mean no... not exactly..As the music played, I found myself being hypnotized by the gentle, sweet melody. That's when I saw her...I felt a cool breeze on my neck, as if someone had just walked past me. I quickly turned around and there standing in front of that full-length mirror was a woman...or what I thought was a woman.
C.D.: Did you recognize her, Alex?
ALEX: No C.D., I didn't, but her image sure is etched in my mind.
TRIVETTE: What did she look like?
ALEX: She was very beautiful...with very long hair. She was wearing a long white rufflie nightgown, but no shoes...it was almost as if she had been ready for bed. Her eyes...(Alex's eyes begin to well up with tears) Her eyes.. were eyes of a very tortured soul...She looked so sad...
WALKER: Did she have any other distinguishing features?
Charlie who has now quietly worked his way over to other side of the room, has been looking at a small portrait on the dresser and wiped it off, speaks up.
CHARLIE (to Alex): Like a beauty mark on the right side of her neck?
Alex looks at Charlie with disbelief...While Walker, Trivette, and C.D. look at him with disdain.
CHARLIE: Never mind.
ALEX: No, no Charlie, that's right! How did you know?
Charlie holds up the picture that he has been looking at, and reveals a young woman similar to what Alex had described.
CHARLIE: Is this the woman you saw?
ALEX: Well, yes...I suppose. There's something different but...the eyes, yes, the eyes are the same.
Walker walks over to Charlie and takes the picture from him.
WALKER: I wonder who she is?
ALEX: I don't know, I've never seen her before in my life...But I wonder if this has anything to do with Ms. McCallister wanting me to stay in this house?
Trivette, who has taken the music box from C.D. to examine it, has flipped it over and read an inscription on a small brass plate on the bottom.
TRIVETTE: Alex, Ms. McCallister's sister, wouldn't be named Maddie, would she?
ALEX: Yes, I think so, why?
TRIVETTE: It would seem that this music box was indeed a special gift. It was given to Ms. McCallister's sister, Maddie. (reading the inscription) "To my beloved Maddie...a ray of sunshine in my life...love MeMaw"...
C.D.: Who is MeMaw?
ALEX: That was Meg's and Maddie's grandmother...They called her MeMaw, because when Maddie was little, she had a hard time saying Grandma.
WALKER: This must be Maddie's room.
CHARLIE: Oh this is just great...I'm stuck out here in the woods with a hillbilly poltergeist!!! Yep, folks, it don't git no bedder dan dis....I'm outta here....No Casper wannabe is going to have me for dinner.
C.D. stops him before he can make it to the door.
C.D.: Just where do you think your going? In case you forgot, I'm the one who drove you here!
CHARLIE: Come on, you guys can't be serious about staying here!!! Alex saw a GHOST for God's sakes...I say we leave right now, before the little poltergeist comes back!!!
WALKER: Charlie, C.D. is right..We're not going anywhere, not until we find out what's going on here. So, you might as well relax and find a place to sleep tonight...
CHARLIE: Just my luck, I'm stuck out in the woods with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.
TRIVETTE: Well Charlie, it could be worse...you could be stuck out here with Walker's kids from the detention center.
CHARLIE: No thank you!!!...those little hoodlums are the reason why I still have so much community time left....Speaking of which, do I get extra hours on my community service time for GHOST-BUSTING??
Everyone turns and walks out, leaving Charlie alone in Maddie's room.
Camera, still on Charlie who jumps as the closet door creaks.
WALKER (OS): Charlie, why don't you sleep in there.
CHARLIE: Oh no you don't! You're not leaving me up here alone!
Charlie moves quickly to catch up with the group. As Charlie leaves, we notice the closet door close completely.
INT. FRONT PARLOR
C.D.: Maybe we *should* all stay together until we figure out what's going on.
They start pulling sheets off the furniture, which is all Victorian except for a modern day recliner and sofabed. C.D. grabs his sleeping bag and settles in the recliner. Jimmy stretches out on the sofa. Walker, after helping a struggling Alex open the sofa bed, tosses her her sleeping bag, and they each take one side of the sofabed.
CHARLIE (still standing in the doorway watching everyone else): What about me? Where do I sleep tonight?
C.D.: Well Charlie, with your bad back, why don't you sleep on the floor tonight? Pick your spot...You've got the whole room to choose from!
CHARLIE: Cute, C.D. (laying down his sleeping bag on the floor between the 2 sofas) I see how this works (crawling into it) abuse the Jailbird.
All settle, lights low, and all is quiet.
EXT. MORGAN ESTATE STORMY NIGHT
Except for the light under the front porch, the front of the house is totally dark.
The large room is lit solely by a small lamp on the nightstand next to the bed. In the corner next to the stand are several bottles of oxygen within arm's distance of the bed. STEPHEN HUNTER, a male nurse, probably in his mid-40s, square jawed, boxy figured, someone who's probably seen his share of fights, sits quietly in the shadows of the room, facing the bed, and stares ahead. In the bed, propped up against many pillows, is MITCHELL MORGAN, older brother of the late Margaret Morgan McCallister. He is in his mid-90s and, although he is in declining health, there remains about him an aura of power and strength. He is on the phone speaking quietly and fiercely, interrupted only by a soft wheeze or two.
MITCHELL: I do not care what time of the bloody night it is, I want this taken care of now... Use whatever methods you want... No, I don't care.... You really are pathetic. Had you ever paid attention to what I tried to teach you, you would know what's at stake. Your own sons have more sense than you... No, they are not to be involved.... Because they are the future of this family... I saved this family from my father's ruin. I alone brought back the legacy of the Morgan name... Bah, she wasn't strong, Meg was a fool just like her mother and not even death can change that... I will not let her will ruin everything... Maddie's disappearance will never be solved... No. You listen. I will not let anything or anyone destroy what I have spent my entire life building. I want that woman and her associates out of my house tonight. Do you understand?... If you ever want to see another dime to support your nasty habits, you will do as I tell you... Have you been listening at all? I do not care about the time. I do not care about the weather. I do not want to hear from you until this matter has been dealt with properly. Is that clear? Good. (He hangs up and speaks to Hunter who doesn't move) Son or not, get someone to watch him. Make sure there are no slip-ups.
EXT. MCCALLISTER MANSION LATE NIGHT/EARLY MORNING
Lightning illuminates the dark house.
INT. FRONT PARLOR
The thunder and strong winds rattle the shutters and windows. C.D., covered with his sleeping bag, is asleep in the old recliner while Jimmy is asleep in his sleeping bag on the dusty, torn, sofa. Charlie, zipped up to his chin, is in his sleeping bag between the 2 sofas in front of the fireplace. All 3 men are snoring in various degrees of volume. Alex is sleeping restlessly under her sleeping bag on the sofabed. Walker's side of the bed is empty. The fire isn't as strong as it was earlier.
The faint sounds of the music box can be heard getting louder as we see Walker enter the room carrying the music box still examining it. He closes the box and puts it on one of the end tables. Quickly glancing up to make sure no one was wakened by the music, he catches Alex suddenly sit up, a scream caught in her throat. She's trying to catch her breath and doesn't take notice of Walker as he rushes over.
ALEX (instinctively pulling away from him, tears streaming down her face, her voice barely a whisper): No, I won't let you. Don't. Don't.
WALKER (gathering her into his arms, softly): It's only a dream, Alex. Only a dream. He rocks her gently but, after only a moment, she pulls back collecting herself and looks at him.
ALEX (wiping her eyes, glancing at the others who are still asleep, whispers): I'm okay now. It was just a dream.
WALKER (taking her hand): Do you want to talk about it? (Alex shakes her head.) Alex...
ALEX (pulling away and standing up): I'm fine, really. I'm sorry I woke you. I think I'll explore a bit. (She walks to the doorway.)
WALKER (catching up to her): Alex.
ALEX: I'll take a flashlight. I'll be fine. Really. Why don't you go back to sleep?
WALKER (pointing to the others, lightly says): With that chorus? (Facing her, concerned) Why don't I come with you?
ALEX: You don't have to.
WALKER: I know Alex. I want to.
ALEX (hesitantly): Okay, I haven't seen the attic yet. How 'bout if we try there first? (nodding to the end table) Is that the music box?
WALKER (not taking his eyes off her): I couldn't sleep and went back upstairs for it. Once I was up, I decided to do some exploring of my own.
ALEX: Did you find anything?
WALKER (shaking his head): Nothing much. In fact, it's hard to believe that the music box was left here all these years.
ALEX: I wondered about that too. Meg never said a word about it. Maybe she just forgot about it. Maybe...(she pauses not quite sure what to add) I guess we may as well get started.
WALKER: Are you sure?
Alex nods her head and lets him take her hand as they climb the stairs.
EXT. WOODS OUTSIDE MCCALLISTER MANSION
A dark van is parked behind the house in the woods.
JONATHAN MORGAN (about 60 yrs old, distinguished looking in casual dress, speaking to the other 2 men in the van): Remember, it's only the woman, Cahill and 2 others in there, so go in there, take care of them and report back. It should be one of your easier jobs.
DANNY (in his 30's, dressed in t-shirt and jeans): How do you know it ain't those Ranger friends of hers in there with her?
JONATHAN: I had one of my men check it out for me before we came out here. You two can handle it or I would've hired someone else.
JOE (in his 20's, dressed similarly to Danny, someone Joe trusts and looks up to, clearly Danny's follower): I hope that guy was right, cuz I heard Walker is not a man to be messed with.
JONATHAN (angry now): He's just a man and he's not in there, now get going (seeing their faces as they are getting out of the van, adds): Dang, this is too important, I'm coming with you. If something goes wrong, I'll be cut off from the family money and that is not going to happen. Come on.
The attic is a large room with small circular windows lining the top of one wall. A steady drip can be seen and heard from one of the corners. The room is a junkyard of old furniture - broken chairs, desks, dressers. There are also stacks of old and rotting books, trunks, and broken toys are strewn throughout. Walker and Alex enter the room, shining their lights around before moving around. Alex jumps as a rat zips across the floor to a hole after being caught in one the beams of light.
WALKER (turning Alex towards him): I heard you talk in your sleep, Alex. I know you're trying to make us think everything is fine but it isn't and we're all concerned. Why don't you talk to me about it?
ALEX (pulls free and says defensively): There are some things even YOU can't fix, Walker. I'll figure it out. Now let's get back to what we came here for.
Without saying another word Alex heads to a corner on the other side of the attic where she has spotted an old trunk that is separated from the other trunks. Although clearly old and dusty, it seems in better condition than the others.
INT. FRONT PARLOR
The 3 men from the van step into the room from a secret panel in the wall opposite the doorway to the foyer. They find 3 sleeping men.
The fire has died some more.
DANNY: Hey boss, this is gonna be easier than we thought.
Charlie suddenly sits up and looks around. The men scramble back through the panel.
Charlie, only seeing the panel close, quickly unzips his bag, grabs the flashlight he'd been holding in his hands (keeping it off for now), and sneaks over to the panel.
CHARLIE: I knew this place had to have secret panels. I wonder what Walker and Alex are tryin' to hide. (eyes widening, excitedly) Treasure, maybe.
He starts pushing and pulling different objects around the panel when, not knowing how he did it, the panel opens and he steps through.
Alex clears some other old things away, kneels in front of the trunk, wipes away the dust, and sees imprinted on a brass tag the name "Maddie Morgan." Walker is still on the other side of the room.
ALEX: Walker, come over here. This trunk belonged to Maddie. Maybe it has a kind of clue as to what happened.
WALKER: If what happened to Maddie was foul play, they would have gotten rid of any evidence (seeing her "humor me" look, he continues) Okay, let's take a look. Walker reaches Alex and stands looking over her shoulder as she opens the trunk and finds a few things that must have been special to Maddie. Kneeling down, Walker helps her take the items out, one by one. When the trunk is empty Alex turns to Walker.
ALEX (disappointedly): Well, another dead end. Walker (taking him by the hand), I'm sorry for the way I just treated you. Just give me a little more time.
Walker gives her hand a reassuring squeeze then shines his flashlight once more into the trunk. He notices a small hole in one of the corners and, upon examining it closer, realizes the trunk has a false bottom. He takes out his knife, carefully cuts along the edges, and then lifts it out.
ALEX: What is it?
WALKER: I think this is something she didn't want anyone to see. (reaching down he picks up a book) It's a journal.
Alex takes the book and starts to read some excerpts from it.
ALEX: Listen to this, (she reads from the journal) February 23, 1926, He has been at it again, sneaking off in the wee hours of the morning. I know I should not follow him but I cannot help it, I have to know what he is doing. February 26, 1926, I cannot believe he would be involved in something so wrong. If he finds out I know, I do not know what he will do. March 6, 1926, Today was horrible. He found me following him, I ventured a little closer than I should have. He hit me, he hit me hard. How could he? He told me if I said anything he would do far worst. I do not know what to do... Walker, I wonder who "he" is.
WALKER: We can look through it more thoroughly downstairs. We should get back before someone wakes up and starts missing us.
INT. FRONT PARLOR
When Walker and Alex enter, they notice no Charlie. They wake up C.D. and Trivette.
WALKER & ALEX: What happened to Charlie?
TRIVETTE (sitting up, rubbing his eyes, looking at his watch): Walker! It's 2:45 in the morning! Don't you ever sleep?!
WALKER: I know what time it is, Trivette. What I don't know is where Charlie is.
C.D. (standing up, stretching, and groaning): Maybe he couldn't sleep.
WALKER (adding a log to the dying fire, muttering): Can't imagine why not.
C.D.: Maybe he decided to continue his search for secret panels and hidden treasures.
TRIVETTE (waking up): What?
C.D.: You should've seen him earlier...knocking on each piece of paneling. I think he really expected something to pop open.
WALKER (shaking his head): It figures.
TRIVETTE (yawning): He's seen too many old movies.
Just then, there's a clap of thunder and both Jimmy and Alex jump slightly.
ALEX (sitting on the edge of the bed, still holding her flashlight and the diary): Actually guys, there *are* at least 2 secret passages. (The others now give her their full attention) Meg loved talking about her childhood and this house. She especially loved this house. Did you know that she inherited it from her parents over her older brother, Mitchell? Things weren't done like that back then. She was already married and out of the house but Maddie was still a teenager when their father died, so Meg and her husband moved back here to care for Maddie. They were very popular, always had parties. Ms. McCallister was *quite* a socialite.
C.D.: Guess that's why this's known as the McCallister house, not the Morgan house.
ALEX (nodding): But, she always felt there was a price for this house.
TRIVETTE (totally absorbed by the story): What do you mean?
ALEX: Her brother. They'd always been close, especially when they were children. But after Maddie was born, and their mother died, he began to pull away. Didn't confide in Meg as much. When their father died, Mitchell was still unmarried, living at home, and really concentrated on the family business. After she moved back, he seemed changed. She was afraid he resented her for having gotten the house, even more so when he moved out. I think it was around the time of Maddie's disappearance. Anyway, she said they were never close again and it always made her sad because she never understood what went wrong.
WALKER: What about the secret passages?
ALEX: Sorry, it seems her grandfather built this house as a wedding gift to her grandmother. (C.D. whistles) I forgot exactly what he was in but he certainly was able to afford it. They did have some financial troubles back in the 20's, I don't remember the story exactly. Anyway, before the Civil War broke out, her grandfather installed some secret passages in case of an emergency. I believe Ms. McCallister said some runaway slaves even hid here at some point. She and her brother used to play hide-and-seek using the passages. She felt it was cheating but he was older and had to play by his rules.
TRIVETTE: Wow. Maybe Charlie really did find something.
WALKER: Alex, did Ms. McCallister tell you where these passages are?
ALEX (shaking her head apologetically): Not exactly. I mean she said there's one in this room that connects to a tunnel leading out into the forest area in the back but not how to find it. Actually, now that I think about it, she may have mentioned something about a stairway to the attic but I'm not sure. Besides, she told me she had the entrances and exits to all passageways sealed after Maddie disappeared. If Charlie did find one, we'd have heard him prying something loose.
C.D.: Honey, the condition this house is in...nothing needs to be pried loose anymore.
ALEX: I suppose so. Ms. McCallister hadn't been here in I think 20 years. Too painful she said. I don't think she had anyone looking in for her in a long time so she probably wasn't even aware of its condition.
WALKER: Alex, you and I will go back to the attic. C.D., you and Trivette start in this room.
Alex gets up and goes to the doorway. While she waits for Walker, Alex looks at the rickety bookcase to her left and goes over to it.
TRIVETTE (sinking back into the sofa): Walker, can't this wait until morning?
C.D.: It's not like Charlie's gonna go anywhere, Cordell. Especially in the middle of the night with this storm outside.
They don't notice Alex, putting the flashlight and diary on the floor, pushing on the outer edge of the bookcase, pushing it away from the wall.
WALKER: Something doesn't feel right, C.D. I want to find -- (he notices Alex just as she's moved the bookcase several inches from the wall) Alex?
ALEX (grinning): Secret passage, anyone?
Alex picks up the diary, puts it in her bag on the floor, and grabs her flashlight as Walker comes over and continues pushing the bookcase a few more inches away from the wall. With her flashlight on, Alex nudges him over, peers inside the dark passage and shrieks.
We see what Alex sees. An apparition? A face? It's there and then it's gone.
ALEX: Walker, push harder.
WALKER: I'm trying but it won't budge.
Jimmy and C.D. go over and the 3 men try to push it but the bookcase refuses to open far enough for anyone to enter.
ALEX: Did you see her?
WALKER: No Alex, I didn't see anyone. (Alex looks at him in disbelief)
INT. SECRET PASSAGE WITH CHARLIE
Charlie hears Alex's muffled scream from inside the secret passage.
CHARLIE (choked, hushed, panicked): Help me, Help me. I'm in here. (quietly rapping on the wall) Charlie moves along the wall and steps on the foot pedal releasing the panel. This happens just as he pushes hard on the wall and falls into the room.
INT. FRONT PARLOR
CHARLIE: Oh, wonderful, wonderful. Oh my, thought I was dead. Never thought I'd get out alive.
Trivette and C.D. have crossed from Alex and Walker to the other side of the room where Charlie is.
C.D.: Where have you been?
CHARLIE (still lying on the floor, looks up): I followed Alex and Walker through the panel (Alex and Walker look at each other and shrug) Well, I thought it was you. Then I heard voices, men, talking about killing us. And, I couldn't get out.
TRIVETTE: How'd you get in?
CHARLIE: I'm not sure and I *don't* want to try again.
As Charlie gets up, we see light catch the broken glass in the window. Trivette goes to the window and sees three figures moving rapidly towards a van. The rain has almost stopped now.
TRIVETTE: Walker, they're getting away.
EXT. FRONT PORCH
Trivette and Walker run down the front porch steps just as the van races away. We watch them move back into the house discussing license numbers and the color of the van.
The camera then focuses under the front porch where a pair of gnarled hands push aside broken slats, a face half hidden in the shadows peers out at the departing van. Just as quickly as it appeared, the face disappears and we wonder if we had only imagined it.
EXT. DIRT ROAD
The van moving at high speed turns onto the county road.
JONATHAN: Slow down, you fool, you'll kill us all!
Danny struggles with the wheel. He manages to keep the van on the road and upright, barely. He slows the van and pulls over in the shadows of some trees.
JOE (in a panicky voice): You said there would only be the three. Easy money, piece of cake. (He gets out of the car, waving his arms, pacing). How many were there really? Did you get a count?
All 3 get out of the van.
DANNY (calmly, leaning against the door): I saw three men in that room. No broad. And I'd swear one of the two on the porch was Walker.
JOE: Walker?! You gotta be kidding. I'm not goin' back. Not me, uh,uh. Nope.
JONATHAN: You both are going back.
DANNY: I'm not killin' no Texas Ranger, not if I can help it.
JONATHAN: You don't have to. I've been thinking. All my father wants is for that D.A. to leave the house without finding out what happened to my aunt. He didn't specifically say kill them.
Joe stops pacing, Danny is listening intently.
JONATHAN: If that D.A. leaves before the weekend is up, she doesn't get the house. We just need to scare her bad enough so she leaves and the men follow.
DANNY (insisting): I didn't see no broad in that room.
JOE: We also didn't see Walker in that room. Maybe they was off somewhere. (thinking with effort) Walker doesn't scare that easily...
JONATHAN: Not Walker, just the woman. She's the only one who cares about this place. Walk in the park, no problems, right guys?
DANNY: Okay, I'm in. But not tonight. Tomorrow we'll come back and scope out the place, make sure that we know what we're getting into.
JONATHAN (looks at Joe): How about you?
JOE (shrugs): If Danny's in then so am I.
EXT. DIRT ROAD
They all get back in and as the van pulls back onto the road, we notice a car in the shadows across the road. The van proceeds up the road. The car starts up, makes a U-turn and follows the van at a discreet distance.
INT. FRONT PARLOR
C.D.: Come on, honey. Leave it be for now.
ALEX: If I could just get it open a little further, I could get in.
Now all the men are watching as Alex continues to struggle with the bookcase. She turns back to the room and we see that she is breathing hard from her effort but also that she is trying to hold back the tears.
TRIVETTE: I don't know about the rest of you, but I think I've had enough for tonight. I'm going to sleep. In the morning, in the daylight, we'll have a better chance of finding the passageways. (he starts preparing his bed)
C.D.: I agree with you, Jimmy. We all need some shut eye. Alex, you'll feel better in the morning, I guarantee it!
CHARLIE (peering out a window): What about the guys in the van?
WALKER: I don't think they'll be back tonight.
TRIVETTE: If they wanted to start something, they could've when they first came in.
CHARLIE: Start sumthin', huh? We'll just see 'bout that!
C.D. and Charlie move to their respective beds. Jimmy gets in bed.
WALKER: Alex... (he moves towards her protectively)
ALEX (without looking at him, she holds up her hand and stops him) (through clenched teeth): I'm fine. (a little too loud) Well, you can sleep, I'm going to read that journal.
Alex marches over to the bed and picks up the journal. She props herself up and prepares to read. Walker walks to his side of bed, stretches out, glances once more at Alex who's concentrating on the diary, and relaxes himself for sleep.
DISSOLVE (TO SHOW PASSAGE OF TIME)
The fire is low, only the lamp next to Alex is lit.
The men are asleep, quieter this time. Alex has read all she can and is falling asleep. The fire is down to a red glow, Alex turns down the lamp and prepares to sleep.
All is quiet, we see a barefoot older woman, with long white hair, in a ruffled nightgown tiptoes into the room as though she were decades younger than her 80ish age. Her gnarled hand picks up the music box and, just as silently, she exits the parlor entering the foyer and, from the parlor, we can see her begin to climb the stairs.
A moment later, Alex stirs and opens her eyes. She carefully sits up so as not to waken the sleeping Walker. Alex looks around the room, letting her eyes become accustomed to the dim glow of the fire. She gazes at Walker for a moment and seems as though she *will* waken him but, instead, Alex quietly slips out of bed and exits the parlor entering the foyer and, from the parlor, we watch *her* now begin to climb the stairs.
INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE MADDIE'S BEDROOM
Standing outside the closed door, Alex hears the soft music from the music box and faint crying. As Alex starts for the door, she steps on a squeaky floorboard. Suddenly, all is silent and Alex quickly opens the door but nobody is there.
INT. MADDIE'S BEDROOM
ALEX (collapsing on the bed): Maddie, if that is you? Please show yourself. I'm here to help you. I felt your presence earlier, you know I mean you no harm. Your sister Meg wanted me to stay in this house and try and figure out happened to you. She was devastated when you disappeared. Your case remained unsolved. I think Mitchell wants to stop me. Did *he* do something to you? Please help me.
Alex pauses a moment as though she expects an answer but lays down on the bed and, exhausted, falls asleep.
INT. FRONT PARLOR MORNING
The rain has kicked in again - rumbles of thunder - and Walker wakes up and is concerned that Alex isn't there. He wakes Trivette.
TRIVETTE: Now what, Walker? (stretching) You know I'm gonna need a vacation after this weekend just to get caught up on my sleep. (seeing the concern on Walker's face for the first time, gets serious) What is it? Did something else happen last night?
WALKER: Alex isn't here. (Jimmy looks around the room) I don't think she should be alone, and someone out there doesn't want their little secret to get out. When we find Alex, I think I will go have a chat with the surviving member on the Morgan family. Mitchell Morgan himself. Trivette, stay here in case that trio from last night decides to make another appearance.
TRIVETTE: Okay, let's go wake the others and take a look (looking around). Hey Walker, where's the music box? I thought you brought it down last night?
WALKER: Wake the others, I have an idea where Alex is. Meet me in Maddie's room.
As Walker exits the parlor, Trivette goes over to the sleeping C.D.
TRIVETTE: (shaking C.D. gently, whispers) C.D., wake up.
A startled C.D. sits up.
C.D.: What happened, Jimmy? It's not Alex is it?
TRIVETTE: Quiet down, Big Dog. Walker wants us to meet him in Maddie's room. I wanted to talk to you before waking Charlie. We need to get to the bottom of Alex's problem. I think it's bothering Walker more than he's letting on. Being in this house doesn't seem to be helping, so the sooner we get to the bottom of this mystery the better.
C.D.: I've been thinking that maybe she hasn't got over the time she spent in jail, Jimmy. That must've been more traumatic than we thought.
TRIVETTE: You may be right, C.D. After last night, I'm convinced it's definitely more serious than we thought.
C.D. (as he wakes Charlie up): Come on Charlie, no time for snoozing. We have important things to take care of.
He and Jimmy drag Charlie out of bed before he can protest.
INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE MADDIE'S BEDROOM
The three men find Walker standing outside of Maddie's room.
C.D.: Cordell, what's going on?
WALKER: Alex is asleep on the bed in there. I thought it might be a good idea to let her go on sleeping. I'm going to head out and talk to Mr. Morgan. (turning to C.D.) Keep on eye on her. (to Trivette and Charlie) Why don't you two go look for some more clues? I should only be gone a few hours.
CHARLIE: Whoa! Me? Hey, serving the community only goes so far. (he heads for the stairs)
WALKER (stands in his way): Charlie, we could sure use your help.
WALKER: Maybe I can get you more than the 48 hours.
CHARLIE (magic words - he grudgingly says): Okay, okay, but it'd better be *a lot* more.
Walker leaves them standing outside the bedroom.
EXT. WOODED AREA IN BACK OF MCCALLISTER MANSION
Jonathan and his two thugs have returned in a different van and parked it behind the mansion. Hidden in the wooded area, they still have a view of Walker leaving in the Ram.
DANNY: Hey, it's Walker... He's leaving...We better make our move now.
JONATHAN (not so sure of himself): Well, okay, but let's make sure he is long gone before we move in.
INT. MADDIE'S BEDROOM DAY
C.D. is backing out of the closet, turning off his flashlight, as Alex awakens on the bed.
ALEX (sleepily, rubbing her eyes): C.D.? What're you doing?
C.D. (turning around): Good morning, Alex. Sure hope I didn't wake you.
ALEX: You didn't. What time is it anyway? (looks at her watch) C.D.! Look at the time! Why didn't you wake me? (jumps out of bed heading towards the door)
C.D.: Slow down, Alex. You haven't missed anything. It's been quiet all morning. You needed your rest and now you need some breakfast.
ALEX (sighing): Some coffee would be nice.
C.D. (grinning, joining her at the door): I think the fellas left you some. Why don't you freshen up and come into the parlor when you're ready?
ALEX: I'll be right down. (C.D. turns to leave) C.D., where is everyone now?
C.D. (turning to her): Charlie and Jimmy are searching the attic for other clues to Maddie's disappearance as well the secret passageway Miz McCallister told you about. You should've seen them this morning. Marching up those stairs armed with their flashlights. Poor Charlie, tryin' to prove how brave he is. (Alex smiles slightly)
ALEX: And Walker?
C.D.: He's gone to chat with Mitchell Morgan. Cordell thinks the old man may know more about his sister's disappearance than he let on and that he knows about the trio from last night. He'll be back soon, don't worry.
ALEX (quietly): Walker's probably right. C.D., you've no idea what Morgan's capable of. What he's done.
C.D.: I know, honey... I read Maddie's diary this morning while you were asleep.
ALEX (sitting down on the edge of the bed): Then you know what she went through.
C.D. (sitting next to her, patting her hand): I know. I also think I
understand now why you want to help her.
ALEX (near tears): She was so young, C.D. So innocent. Her whole life was ahead of her. (angrily) But they took it all away. Both of them. Her own father and brother.
C.D. (shaking his head): It's just tragic what that poor little girl went through.
ALEX (standing up): To be that young with no where to go. No one to turn to. (waving her arm around the room) C.D., she didn't even feel safe here anymore. Her own room. Nothing bad was supposed to happen here. They took that all away, C.D. And, we don't even know what happened to her.
C.D.: I know, Alex.
ALEX (facing him): Do you C.D.? Do you really know what it's like to feel so alone? So afraid? Even in your own home? To have all your safe places taken away? To feel that there's no where you could go where you'd ever feel safe again? (her voice rising with just a hint of hysteria) Did you read about her dreams, C.D.? Have you ever felt that way? The same nightmares over and over?
C.D. (standing next to her, speaking quietly and calmly, with an awareness that Maddie is no longer the sole subject of conversation): If only she told someone. There were people who cared about her, loved her, would do anything for her. They would've helped her.
ALEX (turning away from him, taking the picture of Maddie from the dresser and holding it): She couldn't C.D. It was her problem. She had to get through it on her own. How could she disappoint them?
C.D. (angrily): Disappoint them? How? By asking for help and support when she was going through hell?
ALEX (unable to face him, puts the picture back on the dresser): She thought she could handle it. That it would go away like a bad dream. That she would wake up one morning and everything would be as it was before the nightmares began. Only it never did, did it? It just got worse.
C.D. (gently turning her around): It does get better, Alex, when you're able to open up to the people who love you. They can help you through anything.
ALEX (whispering): Sometimes, C.D., those are the people hardest to face.
C.D. (hugging her close): Honey, you just have to trust me. You're not alone in this and never have been.
ALEX (shocked, pulling away): Me? This isn't about me, C.D. It's about Maddie.
C.D.: No, Alex. It's not just about Maddie and I think deep down you know that. (Alex backs up slightly but he continues in reassuring tones) I'm not going to push you, Alex. I promise. No one will. I just want you to know that we are here for you.
C.D. (continuing): With everything you've been through, honey, no one is blaming you for having a hard time recovering. And, no one is trying to pressure you. We only want to help you. We know what you've been through and --
ALEX (interrupting quietly): I don't think you do, C.D. No one does. Not really.
C.D. (almost desperately): I just wish you would believe me and trust that you don't have to get through this nightmare alone.
Just then, Jimmy and Charlie come through the closet rubbing off some dust from their clothing oblivious to Alex and C.D.
CHARLIE (slapping at the back of his shirt, practically jumping out of his skin): Is it still there? Didja get it?
TRIVETTE: Would you calm down before you give yourself a heart attack? I told you I got rid of it.
C.D.: What in the world is going on? Where'd you fellas come from? I didn't find anything in that closet.
CHARLIE (looking around the room): Well, would you look at where we are?
TRIVETTE (realizing by the look on Alex and C.D.'s faces that they've interrupted something serious): Morning, Alex.
ALEX (nodding): I guess you found the secret staircase after all.
TRIVETTE: In the corner of the attic, behind an old dresser and desk.
CHARLIE: Manual labor was not part of this deal, you know.
C.D. (turning to Alex): Go on, honey. What'd you see?
TRIVETTE: You saw something? When?
ALEX (slowly as all eyes are now upon her): Last night. After everyone was asleep. I saw...her.
CHARLIE (slapping his forehead, muttering to himself): The ghost? (to Alex) Are you saying you saw the ghost?!
Jimmy and C.D. look at each other with concern as they both face Alex.
ALEX: I know how it sounds but I was wide awake. I followed her up the stairs.
ALEX: C.D., I'm telling you---
TRIVETTE: We believe you, Alex.
ALEX (becoming a little high strung): How do you think I ended up spending the night here in this room? I heard her in here.
TRIVETTE: What'd she say?
ALEX: Well...she didn't say anything. I heard her crying from the other side of the door. When I opened the door, the room was empty. I tried talking to her but...
CHARLIE: I'd be crying too if I hadda haunt a spider-infested dump like this.
ALEX (quietly): I think I'll freshen up.... I'll be right back.
TRIVETTE: Great going, Charlie.
C.D.: I warned you about starting with Alex.
A chastised Charlie steps back closer to the closet as the other two men stand close together.
TRIVETTE (still glaring at Charlie, quietly to C.D.): Did she open up to you at all, C.D.?
C.D.: This's gettin' to her, Jimmy. I thought I might've reached her, but, after this... maybe when Cordell comes back (his voice trails off and he switches the subject) So, did you fellas find anything?
CHARLIE (piping up): Y'mean besides some huge mean looking spiders?
TRIVETTE (rolling his eyes): They weren't that big, Charlie. (to C.D., as Charlie gestures with his hands just how big the spiders were) We found the panel to this room but the stairway continues downstairs. When Alex comes back, we should see where it leads. Strange.
C.D.: What is?
TRIVETTE: I'm not sure. Just a feeling I guess.
CHARLIE: Y'know, you've been hanging around Walker too much.
TRIVETTE (ignoring him): The stairs are wooden and you'd think that after all this time they'd be falling apart but they weren't. They were actually in pretty good shape.
C.D.: Maybe it's because they've been hidden and out of use.
CHARLIE: You guys hear that banging?
TRIVETTE (still ignoring Charlie, shaking his head): No, I couldn't get a real close look because it's a pretty tight stairway but I could've sworn that the wood on some of the steps were fairly new.
Charlie goes back to the closet, sticking his head in as though he were listening to something. Alex comes back into the room.
ALEX: You mean someone fixed them? But that's ridiculous. Who would use a hidden staircase? (thoughts turning inward) Unless...
TRIVETTE: Unless what, Alex?
CHARLIE (from the closet): Y'mean someone other than the ghost?
TRIVETTE (gives a warning look): Charlie.
CHARLIE: Don't you hear that?
C.D.: This house's been abandoned for years. Why would someone fix those
stairs and not anything else?
TRIVETTE (shrugging): I said it was strange. (seeing a strange look on Alex's face) Alex?
C.D.: Honey, are you okay?
ALEX: I'm fine, C.D. It's just...don't you guys hear that? Sounds like something banging.
TRIVETTE: I don't --
C.D. shushes him and when all are quiet, faint sounds can be heard.
C.D.: The cellar? (thinking it over) Wonder what it could be.
TRIVETTE: One way to find out. (Pointing to the closet.) Let's go.
C.D. enters first, followed by Alex and Jimmy.
CHARLIE (the last one in): Do we have to?
EXT. MORGAN ESTATE FRONT DRIVE STORMY DAY
Walker pulls the Ram into the drive behind a red Ferrari, gets out, and goes to the front door. Before he can even ring the bell, the door opens. A man in his early 30's answers.
MATTHEW: Ranger Walker? I heard you drive up. Please come in...Can you believe this storm we've been having?
INT. MORGAN FRONT FOYER
Walker enters the foyer and begins checking out his surroundings. He turns back to find the young man stretching out his hand which Walker shakes.
MATTHEW: I'm Matthew Morgan. We spoke earlier on the phone.
WALKER: As I said before, I would like to speak with your grandfather about the McCallister home.
MATTHEW: Frankly, Ranger Walker, I'm not sure how he can help. It's not the first time there have been break-ins on that property. Even Aunt Meg gave up calling the police as they were always unable to turn up anything. I'm sure you've heard the rumors about the house. (Walker nods) Unfortunately, some people must see for themselves. Lately, the vandals have been scared off before they can do any real damage.
WALKER: Scared away?
MATTHEW (smiling): By the Old McCallister Ghost, of course. My grandfather used to tell us stories when my brother and I were little. Every once in a while, as a treat, he'd take us on our very own ghost hunt. By then, Aunt Meg was living mostly in her Dallas apartment but, for a ghost hunt, well, she'd get so excited you'd think she was a little kid again. She'd let us use the hidden stairway, sometimes even playing hide-and-seek with us. We had a ball. (smiles) Did you ever meet her, Ranger Walker? (Walker politely nods again) Aunt Meg was one-in-a-million (chuckling) and she'd be the first one to admit that! (pauses) I miss her already.
WALKER (sympathetically): I am sorry about your loss. She was a great lady and helped a lot of people.
MATTHEW: Thank you.
WALKER: You said she let you play in the hidden stairway. I thought she had sealed all the passageways?
MATTHEW (slightly surprised by Walker's knowledge): Not long after they closed books on Aunt Maddie's disappearance, she did. All except the one leading from the attic to the parlor. Michael, he's my brother, and I did find a sealed door along the wall of the staircase but she simply told us to leave it alone. Funny, now that I think about it, even Granddad agreed with her. Said something about letting Aunt Maddie rest in peace. Practically threatened to tan our hides if we touched any sealed door.
WALKER: Didn't your grandfather and aunt get along?
MATTHEW (confused by the question): Of course they did. Why would you ask?
WALKER: It's just that you said "even Granddad agreed with her" as though
they'd had problems in the past.
MATTHEW (now a little leary of Walker): Look, Ranger Walker. They were brother and sister. Of course they had problems - normal sibling problems. I didn't mean to imply anything else.
WALKER: I know you're probably busy so if I could see your grandfather, I'll be on my way.
MATTHEW: I did tell my grandfather about your call and, frankly, I was surprised by his wish to see you. He's not a well man, Ranger Walker, and though all final decisions still remain his, essentially, my brother and I run the company. My grandfather rarely sees anyone now other than family. (in a warning tone) If I see that the conversation upsets him in the slightest way, I will ask you to leave.
WALKER: I understand.
MATTHEW: Then, please follow me.
Matthew then leads Walker up the staircase to the second level.
INT. MCCALLISTER HIDDEN STAIRCASE
C.D., Alex, Trivette and Charlie are heading down the narrow stairs in single file. They still hear the clanging pipes which seem to grow louder as they move further down. They get about half-way before anyone speaks.
C.D.: Jimmy, you're right. These stairs have been kept up. (shining his flashlight downwards, takes a closer look) Some just recently.
TRIVETTE: Well, I guess this house isn't as deserted as everyone thought.
CHARLIE: I thought it was just that ghost who lived here.
ALEX: Ghosts don't need stairs, Charlie....I've noticed there isn't much dust
around here either.
CHARLIE (mumbling and in a mocking tone): "Ghosts don't need stairs," maybe this one got tired of floating.
TRIVETTE (turns back to Charlie): Did you say something?
CHARLIE: Me, Nope. Not me.
They continue down.
TRIVETTE: This house has always been called haunted because of the rumors of what happened out here. Maybe it's not haunted, maybe someone is held up in here.
C.D.: If that's the case, wouldn't we have heard something by now or seen them?
ALEX: Maybe not. If they have been here awhile, they would know of many more places to hide.
TRIVETTE: Hey, Charlie tell us again what you overheard those men say. (there is no answer) Charlie? (Trivette turns to find Charlie is no longer there Alex and C.D. continue on) Hold up guys. Charlie's missing again.
C.D. and ALEX: Again?!
C.D. and Alex wait while Jimmy quickly runs back up the stairs. He returns a moment later.
TRIVETTE (as he runs down to rejoin them): No sign of him in the room. He's on his own now. I think we're almost at the bottom, let's just see where this goes and look for him later.
They continue down the staircase and reach an old heavy wooden door. As they do, the noise they'd heard stops. C.D. opens the creaky door.
INT. NARROW STAIRWAY
Charlie has fallen through a sliding panel into yet another stairway, parallel to the other. It is also very narrow, steep and filled with cobwebs. Charlie makes his way down the stairs trying to keep the cobwebs out of his eyes and keep from falling.
CHARLIE: How many stairs does one house need?
Charlie reaches the bottom and finds himself in front of a wooden door. Taking a deep breath, and possibly murmuring a little prayer, Charlie reaches out and turns the handle, pulling the door open.
Charlie warily enters the brick-walled, windowless room. He quickly flashes his light around in the dark.
CHARLIE (sighing in relief): Great. This is okay. Nothing here, Charlie. Nothing at all. See just bricks, mortar and ... voices. Now I'm hearing voices.
We hear the faint voices too. Charlie moves to the wall on the right. The voices are louder but still unclear. He brings up the flashlight to tap on the wall when the light catches something to his left. He moves to an unfinished portion of wall. The wall is about chest high. Someone has been carefully removing bricks and stacking them at the foot of the wall. He steps up and peers over the wall.
CHARLIE (reaching over the section of wall, he pulls out a carpet bag): Oh, wow! Treasure!
INT. WINE CELLAR
Alex, Jimmy, and C.D. shine their flashlights around and see only a couple of dusty bottles left on the racks.
TRIVETTE (inspecting a bottle): Empty...Nothing much here.
ALEX (looking closer at the walls): There must be an opening here. Someone or something must have been here... Come over here. (She starts poking at the brick wall to the left.)
C.D. and Jimmy move to her side. All three are studying the wall, poking at the crumbling cement and bricks. They are wondering if the cement or bricks could be new, perhaps a recent entry. They hear a sound and all three turn toward the stairs but nothing is there.
ALEX (shivering): This place gives me the creeps.
C.D.: I know what you mean.
TRIVETTE: I don't think we'll find anything here. Let's go find Charlie.
They leave the room, closing the door behind them.
We move up the stairs first. They are still talking with each other and don't notice the fleeting white figure up ahead of them. The figure's gnarled hand pushes against the wall which gives way and the figure seemingly slips through the wall.
JIMMY (looking up): Did you see that?
C.D.: See what?
JIMMY (shining his light ahead): Nothing. Must've been my imagination.
Charlie steps down off the bricks. He turns towards the stairs and starts to open the bag.
CHARLIE: Oh, hi. I just found this... (He is now wide-eyed with terror) YOU!
Two gnarled hands reach for the bag. Charlie pulls back. From Charlie's point of view we see a pale thin woman, white shaggy hair covered with cobwebs.
Charlie panics and races up through the door.
Charlie races up the stairs where he runs into a brick wall.
CHARLIE: NO! Okay Charlie, think, think... There must be a latch that opens a door that opens into another room. Calm down boy, calm down. There... (The beam from his flashlight hits a metal latch. He presses the latch down and shoves his shoulder against the panel.)
INT. 3RD FLOOR LIBRARY
As Charlie enters the room, a flash of lightning illuminates a portrait of an elder gentleman on the wall in front of him. Charlie stifles a scream and faints, still clutching the bag.
INT. MITCHELL MORGAN'S BEDROOM
The view is from Mitchell Morgan in bed facing the door. Hunter stands by Morgan's side and the two have been talking in low tones. The door opens with a knock as Matthew and Walker enter and stand at the foot of the bed.
MATTHEW: Grandfather, this is Ranger Walker.
MORGAN: Ah, yes, Ranger Walker. Matthew tells me that there was a break-in last night at my family home.
WALKER: Yes, sir. I would like to talk to you about it.
MORGAN (sighs): Unfortunately, my home has attracted this kind of unwanted attention in the past. Of course, I will do whatever I can do to help, Ranger Walker.
WALKER: I believe it concerns your sister Maddie. You probably know --
MATTHEW (angrily interrupting): Maddie? I told you Ranger Walker, my aunt disappeared a long time ago. This has nothing to do with her and I will not have you upsetting my grandfather with sad memories or --
MORGAN (quietly interrupting): It's quite all right, Matthew. Ranger Walker probably needs a little background information. After all, if his friend, Ms. Cahill, is to inherit the house for her group, he should hear of its history straight from the only person left to give it.
MATTHEW: Granddad, I'm not sure this is a good idea.
MORGAN: Nonsense, that house is very special to me, Matthew, you know that. If I can help get to the bottom of this, I will. Why don't you take care of those business calls now. I would like to talk to Ranger Walker in private.
MATTHEW: But... (the look on his grandfather's face tells him he should leave) All right. I'll be in the study. (focusing on Hunter with concern) Call me if you need anything. (He leaves closing the door behind him.)
MORGAN: He's a good boy. I don't know what I would do without him, or his brother, Michael. They've done a good job with my company. But, now, Ranger Walker, let's get down to business.
INT. STAIRCASE THAT LEADS TO WINE CELLAR
As Alex, C.D. and Jimmy climb the stairs we hear frantic footsteps through the wall.
TRIVETTE: Do you hear that?
C.D.: Someone's in an awful hurry.
TRIVETTE: Could be.
Jimmy pushes on the wall searching for the entrance to the narrow staircase. The sound of footsteps pass them and appear to move up toward the ceiling.
TRIVETTE: The next level. (He moves past C.D. and Alex) Wait for me in Maddie's room.
INT. 3RD FLOOR LIBRARY
We face a large double door. The doorknob turns slowly and the door opens. Jimmy walks in allowing his eyes to adjust to the light filtering in through the grimy drape less windows. He looks around and spies Charlie on the floor and kneels beside him.
TRIVETTE: Charlie, wake up. (he gently pats Charlie's cheeks)
CHARLIE (moaning, awakens, grabs Jimmy's shirt): Didja see it? I mean her? Or him? Did you? (looking around) Where am I?
TRIVETTE: It looks like a library. (A bolt of lightning illuminates the portrait again.)
Charlie jumps to his feet, pointing at the painting.
TRIVETTE: Just a painting. (Shines his flashlight on the face catching the eyes) I wonder if this is Maddies' father?
CHARLIE: Those eyes... I came up before a judge with eyes like that. (Shivers) Thought he was gonna hang me.
TRIVETTE (chuckles): He looks pretty mean alright.
They turn to leave. Charlie remembers his bag, grabs it and catches up with Jimmy. As they exit into the main hall, we see the panel to the staircase slide shut.
INT. MORGAN'S BEDROOM
Walker watches as Hunter takes his seat opposite the bed.
MORGAN: Don't worry about my companion, Walker, Mr. Hunter is as silent as the grave.
Walker turns back to Morgan.
WALKER: Tell me about Maddie.
MORGAN (settling back into his pillows): Maddie. Precious, beautiful, playful Maddie.
WALKER: Your father had a different view of her.
MORGAN (spits the words out): My mother died when she was born. My father never forgave Maddie for her sin. (quietly, with eyes shut) Murder is hard to forgive.... and harder to forget. (Stirs after a moment.) Don't get me wrong, Walker, I was fond of my sister.
Walker studies Morgan.
WALKER: Fond? She says you hit her when you found she was following you.
MORGAN (pushes himself up): What? She said that? (He acts confused)
WALKER: In her journal.
MORGAN (audibly wheezing): Journal? What journal? She kept a journal?
Hunter has come to Morgan's aid, giving him oxygen, and trying to soothe him.
HUNTER: Get outta here, Ranger! Can't you see he's a sick man?
Walker has stepped back but continues to watch Morgan. Morgan has changed into a frail old man, clawing at the mask, the sheets, and even at Hunter. Hunter reaches for a bell pull and gives it a yank. In a few seconds, Matthew enters the room.
MATTHEW: What happened? (Angrily looks at Walker) You need to leave Ranger---NOW.
Walker turns and leaves the room. Matthew and Hunter continue to talk to Morgan soothingly trying to get him to calm.
EXT. MORGAN ESTATE DRIVEWAY
Walker gets in the Ram and drives away.
INT. MITCHELL'S BEDROOM
From the window, Hunter is watching Walker drive away. Matthew is no longer in the room. He looks at Morgan who is restless but sleeping. He dials a number on the phone.
INT. CAR ON COUNTRY ROAD NEAR MCCALLISTER MANSION
This is the same car we saw following Jonathan's van the previous evening. The driver, and sole occupant, KRIS TAYLOR, in her 30s, petite and attractive (though not classically beautiful) who clearly works out and is someone you wouldn't want to mess with, answers a cell phone.
HUNTER'S VOICE: Kris, where are you?
KRIS: I'm at the turnoff to the old house. Why?
INT. MITCHELL'S BEDROOM
HUNTER: There's a journal. (Trying to keep to a whisper) Maddie kept a journal. The old man went berserk when he found out.
KRIS'S VOICE: How did he find out?
HUNTER: Ranger Cordell Walker was here.
KRIS (laughing): You musta shit....
HUNTER (angrily): Never mind how I reacted. You find that diary. I need some leverage with the old man.
INT. KRIS'S CAR
KRIS: By the way, thanks for the present. (She admires an antique dinner ring on her slender left ring finger.) It suits me perfectly.
HUNTER'S VOICE: Present? Oh, you found the ring. Congratulations. What are you going to do with it?
KRIS: Keep it. This way I'll have something for my troubles---just in case you forget to share your inheritance.
HUNTER: I could *never* forget you, my love.
KRIS: I could never forget you either, precious. (Hanging up, she pats the holstered gun in the passenger's seat).
EXT. COUNTRY ROAD
Kris's car turns onto the road leading to the house. At the fork in the road, she makes a right and disappears into the trees. And, not a moment too soon because Walker drives in and heads straight for the house.
INT. MCCALLISTER FOYER
Walker enters through the front door and comes upon the 4 others having returned from their trips to the cellars. Charlie's still looking kind of pale and is clutching the carpet bag. Jimmy and C.D. follow in discussion. Alex quietly brings up the rear.
WALKER: What's going on?
CHARLIE (glaring at him): Haven't I done enough for the community? Can we go home now? (Without waiting for a response, Charlie enters the parlor.)
WALKER (to the others with concern): What happened to Charlie?
C.D. (grinning): Our Charlie, here, had himself a close encounter with the ghost. Jimmy found him passed clear out on the floor.
TRIVETTE (smiling): Serves him right, too, after teasing Alex like he did.
C.D. and Jimmy enter the parlor while Walker waits for Alex and then enters the room.
INT. FRONT PARLOR
Charlie, having retrieved a can of beer from one of the coolers, has collapsed in the recliner and sets the bag on his lap. He pops open the can and chugs it down. Jimmy, leaning back with his feet propped up on a rolled-up sleeping bag, and C.D. sit on the sofa. Alex sits on the edge of the still-open pull-out sofa. She glance quickly at the journal laying on the end table next to her. As Walker passes Charlie, to sit next to Alex who slides down leaving him room, he takes the bag from Charlie's lap.
CHARLIE: Hey, I haven't even looked in it yet.
TRIVETTE: What happened with Morgan?
WALKER (sitting down, putting the bag on the floor): Not much. We had started
talking when he had some kind of attack.
ALEX: Well, he *is* old, Walker. As much as I hate to say it, he might not be strong enough to handle this and we'll never find out what happened.
WALKER (shaking his head): I don't think so. His grandson said that he is still involved in the family business making all final decisions. His health may be failing but there's still something about him. In his eyes, a sense of power and control. He knows exactly what's going on around him.
TRIVETTE: Cherokee insight?
WALKER: Not this time, Trivette, just simple powers of observation. Besides, I think what he had was more like a panic attack.
C.D.: Why do you say that?
WALKER: Because he was fine until the moment I mentioned that we found Maddie's journal.
TRIVETTE: Interesting...Think he could've faked this attack?
WALKER: No, Trivette, he seemed like he was really in trouble. I left and they still didn't have him calmed down and breathing right.
C.D.: So, he really is hiding something.
ALEX: But, the diary isn't explicit about what or who she saw. It's all hearsay and we can't use it against him.
C.D.: He might not know that, Alex. With Miz McCallister leaving this house and its belongings to you, chances are he's afraid...
TRIVETTE (finishing his sentence): that we'll find something to use against him. He's probably the one behind the attempts to get us out of the house.
ALEX: I guess that makes sense. If I leave before the end of the weekend, everything reverts back to Mitchell Morgan's possession. (getting slightly angry) And I lose my chance at proving what happened to Maddie.
WALKER: If he is behind this, there's probably going to be another break-in tonight. (to Jimmy and C.D.) We'll take turns keeping watch.
CHARLIE (who'd been sulking in the recliner): Wait a minute! We've got people out to get us, a ghost on the loose, and we have to stay here another night??
EXT. DILAPIDATED GUESTHOUSE IN BACK OF MCCALLISTER HOME
Jonathan, Danny, and Joe exit the front door of the small guest house carefully, making sure there's no one around to see them. All three are brushing dust and cobwebs off their clothing and out of their hair.
JOE: Those tunnels give me the creeps. Spiders everywhere. I had the feeling that someone was always watching me.
JONATHAN: It's just your imagination. Did you take care of everything?
JOE: Sure, did.
DANNY: With all the surprises we left, there's no way that lady will stick around an extra minute.
JONATHAN: Good. Then let's get out of here before anything else goes wrong.
DANNY: No problem. You're the boss.
INT. FRONT PARLOR
Walker opens the bag as Alex looks over his shoulder. Walker decides to turn the bag over and dump the contents on the floor. A tarnished silver letter opener, small pieces of jewelry and yellowed torn newspaper clippings fall out.
CHARLIE (leaping to his feet, picking up a jeweled bracelet): What d'ya think? How much is this worth?
C.D.: About 5-10, if you take it with you.
TRIVETTE: We should probably call for help. Have this place swept from top to bottom.
WALKER: Help will have to wait until tomorrow, Trivette. Daylight will be gone soon, sooner because of the storm. By the time people get here, we'll be using the candles and, without electricity, we won't find much. (looking next to him) Are you okay?
ALEX (standing up in front of the fireplace): This isn't exactly what I had in mind for the weekend, you know. (afraid she spoke a little to sharply, quickly adds) I'll be fine.
CHARLIE: I need a drink.
ALEX: I'll get it. Anyone else want anything?
TRIVETTE (fingering some of the jewelry): Soda for me, thanks.
EXT. FRONT PORCH
Kris jogs into our view wearing a tight running suit with a backpack on her back. We catch a glimpse of the old woman Charlie met as she peers from under the porch. Kris, crouching down as she reaches the porch, hears a soft gasp, and quickly rounds the corner to the side of the porch. Thinking something or someone may be under the porch, she attempts to peer through the broken pieces of latticework but can't see anything.
Both Walker and C.D. carefully pick up some pieces of paper.
Alex has gone to the coolers, opens one and takes out a can of beer for Charlie who reaches out to take it from her. At the same time, she opens the other cooler, her face turns pale, she drops the can and everyone looks up at her with concern.
WALKER (giving the papers to Jimmy, quickly rises and goes to her side): Alex?
Charlie who's closest, goes over and looks in the cooler. He finds that all the soda has been emptied from the cans and floating in the soda, with the empty cans, is a large dead rat. He jumps back. Walker reaches Alex and steadies her, helping her away from the sight. But, covering her mouth, she pulls away from him and runs out of the room and into the foyer.
Alex flings open the front door and runs out of the house. Walker quickly follows.
Jimmy tries to go after them too but C.D. grabs his arm.
C.D.: No, Jimmy. Let Cordell handle this. Charlie, why don't you show us where you found this *treasure* of yours?
CHARLIE: I don't remember.
TRIVETTE (in a warning tone): Charlie...
CHARLIE: I'm not kidding guys. It was in some dark cellar thing with plenty of spiders. Really creepy.
C.D.: Take us there.
CHARLIE: But, I'm telling you, I don't remember how I got there. I don't know which staircase it was. It's like a maze in there.
TRIVETTE (sighing): All right, let's start with the staircase hidden in Maddie's room. Maybe we can backtrack that way.
The three of them head upstairs.
EXT. FRONT PORCH
Alex flies out of the house, down the stairs, and up the drive towards the back of the house.
WALKER (running down the steps following Alex): Alex!
Alex turns at his voice, hesitates a moment, but runs off anyway and Walker runs after her.
After a moment, we see Kris cautiously rise from her spot. Peeking around the edge of the porch, she checks to make sure no one is around. Constantly checking around her, Kris climbs the porch stairs and enters the house.
Still being cautious, Kris enters, quietly closing the door behind her. Quickly glancing about, she enters the parlor.
Walking around the room, Kris pokes at some of the duffle bags. About to snoop in the carpet bag, Kris notices the diary sitting on the edge of the end table. Picking it up and flipping through it quickly, she realizes this is what she came for. Taking off her backpack, she unzips it, stuffs the book inside, and zips it back up. Kris then tosses the pack over her shoulder but, as she does, it knocks over a hurricane lamp which crashes to the floor.
CHARLIE (OS): Walker? That you?
Cursing herself for her clumsiness, Kris quickly tries to kick the broken lamp and its pieces under the sofa.
CHARLIE (OS, voice slightly louder): Walker? Everything okay down there?
Realizing she's about to be caught, Kris runs from the room, leaving a few of the glass pieces lying in view.
Camera angle follows from Charlie's POV as he comes down the stairs. Looking down, he sees Kris reaching the front door.
CHARLIE: Hey, you're not Walker!
Kris automatically looks up at Charlie, making eye contact. Cursing herself again for her error, Kris turns fast and runs from the house.
CHARLIE (running down the stairs): Hey!
EXT. FRONT PORCH
Charlie's at the top of the steps and sees Kris fleeing into the woods.
TRIVETTE (OS, loudly): Charlie, where'd you go?
CHARLIE (turning back towards the door, to himself): I know her, I know I do. Think Charlie. How d'ya know her?
TRIVETTE (OS, annoyed): Charlie!
CHARLIE: I'm thinking.
TRIVETTE (OS, more annoyed): Charlie, get back here!
CHARLIE (entering the house closing the door behind him): All right, all right, no need to shout, I'm coming....Man, I should've just called in sick this weekend.
EXT. CLEARING NEAR WOODS BY GUESTHOUSE LATE AFTERNOON BUT DARKER BECAUSE OF THE STORM
Walker is staring into the woods and we hear a car drive away. As the sound grows fainter, he turns and sees Alex, who is kneeling, examining something in the mud. Walker approaches her from the back and softly calls her name. She doesn't hear him. He reaches to touch her shoulder. Alex stiffens at Walker's touch but before he can call her name again, Alex has grabbed his hand, twisted it as she turns around, and forced him down on one knee. Shock sets in as Alex realizes it's Walker and quickly releases her grip, backing away from him.
WALKER (standing up, shaking his hand in discomfort but more concerned about Alex, reaches out to stop her): Alex. (Alex just shakes her head unable to speak.) Alex...Look (wiggling his fingers for her) I'm fine. It's okay.
ALEX (whispering): No...I didn't realize...I mean I never... (too choked up to speak she continues to back away)
WALKER (cautiously moving forward): Alex. Stop.
ALEX (finding her voice): Don't...I'm sorry. Look, I just need some time...Alone. I'll be fine...I'll be fine.
WALKER (reaching for her): No, Alex. You don't need time alone. Not anymore. You need to --
ALEX (snapping out of her shock, angrily cutting him off and deliberately stepping out of his reach): Who are you to tell me what I need and don't need?
WALKER (seeing she's on the edge, speaks softly): Alex, you know it's not healthy to keep everything bottled up inside. You have to --
ALEX: You're telling me not to bottle things up. That's a laugh.
WALKER (inching closer): Look, Alex --
ALEX: No, Walker. You look. I'm sorry about what just happened but I can get through this myself. I don't need you or anyone else tel--
WALKER: It's not working, Alex. Each day I feel you slipping further away. Let me help you...Please.
Saying nothing, Alex turns around, heads for the back porch stairs of the main house, and ignores his calls as she climbs the stairs.
WALKER (following her, calling out, almost desperately, again): Alex. Wait.
ALEX (stopping short on the top step, without turning around, in a tired angry voice): For what? What do you want from me, Walker? (turning to face him with tears in her eyes) Do you want to hear all about me selling my entire bedroom set because all I saw was a dead man in my bed? Do you want me to tell you how the buzz of an ordinary oven timer only reminds me of a prison cell? Or, maybe you want me to tell you how I can't blow-dry my hair without the fear that someone will try to attack and kill me. Do you want to know how I wake up in a cold sweat every night when Victor La Rue invades my dreams? Tell me Walker, do you really want to hear me admit that I'm afraid? So afraid that I'm falling apart? Afraid that I'll never feel safe or happy again? Is that what you want to hear?
WALKER (looking up at her with nothing but concern): Yes.
Alex, stunned by his simple and quick response, just watches as Walker climbs the stairs to meet her. Never taking his eyes off her, Walker reaches the top step where Alex holds his stare for a moment before collapsing in sobs. Walker, catching her as she crumples, sits Alex down on the top step next to him and lets her cry in his arms.
EXT. BACK PORCH STAIRS
His arms still around her, Alex has stopped crying and the two are sitting quietly with Walker looking out towards the guesthouse and Alex looking down in her lap.
ALEX (wiping her eyes, pushing away from him slightly): I'm sorry, Walker. I don't know what came over me.
WALKER (in a caring but stern tone, turning her face towards his): Don't ever apologize for telling me how you feel.
ALEX (looking down): I didn't just tell you, Walker. I flat out lost it.
WALKER (smiling gently): You didn't flat out lose it...Besides, I can take it. (when she doesn't smile in return, he continues seriously) Alex, you can share anything with me.
ALEX (shaking her head): Nice to say, but when it comes right down to --
WALKER (interrupting): Do I say things I don't mean?
Alex remains silent, stands up, and steps down a few stairs. Walker reaches out and grabs her hand, stopping her from walking away.
WALKER: Walking away again won't make you feel any better, Alex. It will only add more pain. (Alex doesn't turn around but doesn't let go or walk way either) If a woman came to your group and told you she was having problems coping with some terrible situations, what would you tell her?
ALEX: That's not fair. (dropping his hand, going down the remaining steps to ground level, turns to face him) This isn't the same thing.
WALKER (standing up): Why not?
ALEX: Because, it's not.
WALKER: That's not an answer, Alex. (He goes down the steps to face her on ground level.)
ALEX (turning away): It's just not. Those women have been abused emotionally, physically. They're suffering. They need an outlet, some place safe where they can share their feelings. Where they can learn they didn't do anything wrong, that they're not alone, that with time they'll overcome it and will be okay.
WALKER (annoyed): Oh, I see, now. Being kidnapped, drugged, stalked, framed for murder, and imprisoned, not to mention several rape attempts - none of that qualifies as abuse. And recurring nightmares, lack of sleep and lack of appetite - that's not suffering.
ALEX: No...Yes...Stop it, Walker. (She steps away)
WALKER (coming behind her, putting his hands on her shoulders, quietly): I'm sorry. I don't mean to make you feel worse, Alex. I just wish you could see that you're not different and don't have to deny yourself the same comfort you give these women.
ALEX (still not facing him but placing her hands on his): It's just...Look, I don't think I can deal with this right now. Please understand. Maybe we can talk later...Later...Maybe after we solve this mystery.
WALKER (gently turning her around): Not later. Now...It's got to be now, Alex, because you can't go on much longer this way...You won't begin to heal until you open up to someone. (pauses and when she doesn't move away he continues) I'm here, Alex, and I'm not going anywhere. Walker motions an invitation to the stairs and sits down again facing her. After a moment's hesitation, Alex sits next to him. Walker takes her hand, squeezes it encouragingly, and smiles at her when she squeezes his hand in return.
ALEX (taking a deep breath): I guess I thought this time wouldn't be any different. I thought I could handle it. I mean, any other time something happened to me I always bounced right back.
WALKER: Alex, after La Rue, do you remember how long it was before you could even come to the ranch, much less enter that bedroom?
ALEX: All right, so there may have been a few exceptions. That's understandable, isn't it?
WALKER: Of course, it is. When something like that happens, no one expects you to immediately bounce back to normal.
ALEX: I do.
WALKER: Why? What's wrong with needing extra time to recover?
ALEX: This from the man who reports to work the day after being shot or stabbed.
WALKER: I'm not that bad.
ALEX (raising her eyebrow): Oh, really. (pausing with a slight smile) Okay, maybe I did exaggerate....a drop. But you've got to admit that you don't take enough time to recuperate from your "incidents" as you should.
WALKER (unsmiling, unwilling to allow the change in topic): You still haven't answered me yet.
ALEX (pausing for a moment, collecting her thoughts, looking straight ahead towards the guesthouse): After the courtroom...after he forced me down to my knees...threatening Jimmy...after you came...that look on his face...I didn't think I'd ever recover. Do you remember taking me home that night? Do you remember what it was like?
WALKER (hugging her tight): He can't hurt you anymore, Alex. He's dead and gone.
ALEX (continuing): Do you remember all the other nightmares I had about him? How many times did you come over in the middle of the night then? You were so patient with me. Like now. But now...
WALKER (not letting go): Go on, what about now?
ALEX (pulling out of his embrace, speaking slowly as she remembers): The nightmares came back. At first it wasn't so bad. I'd had those dreams before. And, then...then there was Tony...and prison...and, suddenly, there were new parts to my dreams at night...And then they changed...(trailing off lost in thought)
WALKER: Changed how?
ALEX (squeezing his hand slightly, eyes tearing as she remembers things she's still reluctant to talk about): They were...more intense...more real...and they came every night. I'd wake up and couldn't be sure that I wasn't still dreaming.
WALKER (tenderly): Why didn't you call me?
ALEX: I couldn't. I'd depended on you for so much before. I couldn't impose, not again --
WALKER: Stop right there. You are never, ever, an imposition to me. I will always be there for you, Alex. Understood?
ALEX: Yes, but --
WALKER (putting his index finger to her lips): No buts, Alex. I want you to get it into that stubborn head of yours. You can call me, day or night, whenever you need to talk about anything. (Alex starts to speak but he continues) The next words you say had better be "Okay, Walker." (he removes his finger from her lips)
ALEX (quietly, lowering her gaze to her lap): Okay, Walker.
Walker gives her a reassuring hug and neither says anything for a few moments.
WALKER: You know, I'm proud of you, Alex. (Alex looks at him questioningly) Before. The way you handled yourself.
ALEX (embarrassed): I'm really sorry about that, Walker. I felt your hand on my shoulder and thought...I mean I didn't know...No, I didn't think, I just reacted. I'm sorry. (She lowers her head.)
WALKER (brushing the hair out of her face, she still doesn't look at him): For all you knew, I could've been one of last night's intruders. I should've called out to you again. Don't apologize for defending yourself. (pauses) If I didn't know better, I'd be worried that you've been practicing with someone else.
ALEX (can't help but smile and she finally looks at him): No one but you, Cowboy. (he smiles but she turns serious again) I was just...on edge...after that rat. I felt like the walls were closing in. I needed to get out of there and when you came after me I just ran. I'm sorry...I just couldn't deal with facing you or anyone. I turned around over there (pointing in front of them), near the guesthouse, but you weren't behind me anymore and I think I just collapsed where I was.
WALKER: I saw a woman run into the woods.
ALEX: A woman? Here?
WALKER: Could've been a jogger. She was dressed for it.
ALEX: But, you don't think so.
WALKER: She ran into the woods and drove off in a car.
ALEX: I didn't hear any car.
WALKER: Well, you did seem rather lost in thought.
ALEX: So many things rushing through my mind. And then I noticed them.
ALEX: Footprints. In the mud. Three sets, I think. Strange thing is that they came from the guesthouse and went into the woods. There wasn't anything leading to the house. Oh, and there was a gold button.
WALKER: Do you have it?
ALEX: Um, no. I dropped it when I...when you...I dropped it before. You know, I wonder if maybe the guesthouse is where the passageway from the house leads. That might explain how they could've gotten in and out of the house.
WALKER: Could be. You think you're up for a little investigating?
ALEX: I guess so...
Walker stands up and holds out his hand which Alex takes as she stands up too. He starts to walk, leading her towards the guesthouse, but Alex stops. He lets go of her hand, turns around, looks at her, and waits for her to say something. Alex hesitates a moment and then throws herself in his arms, hugging him tight. Walker, though surprised, smiles and hugs her back.
The camera focuses on the background behind them, the broken lattice work beneath the back porch where we see someone's face in the shadows watching.
The camera's point of view shifts to watching the two hug from beneath the porch. As we see Walker and Alex head towards the guesthouse, we hear a SOFT VOICE: Good.
CHARLIE (as he shines his light across the room): The bag was there...right behind that wall. See, somebody's been taking it down...brick by brick.
TRIVETTE: What else did you find?
CHARLIE: I don't know. Nothin'. I didn't stop to investigate after you-know-who dropped in.
Charlie walks over to the wall and peers over. We see what Charlie sees - a grinning skull. Charlie jumps back and heads for the stairs.
CHARLIE: I'm outta here! (C.D. keeps him from leaving)
Trivette leans over the wall, satisfied he turns to C.D. and Charlie.
TRIVETTE (standing up, to C.D.): We're gonna need to bring in Kay. Looks like a full skeleton, neatly laid out I might add.
C.D.: You think it's Maddie?
CHARLIE: I mean it! This time I'm gone...History! A ghost ain't bad enough, now we got skeletons...and they're not even decent enough to be in a closet! (looks around) Where's that bag I found?..I'm gonna get somethin' outta this trip besides nightmares.
They hear faint rumblings of thunder.
C.D.: Hear that, Charlie? Another storm is moving in. You can't leave now. Besides, that bag's evidence and you're not takin' it anywhere.
CHARLIE: I found it, it's mine.
TRIVETTE: Drop it, Charlie. Let's get out of here and find Walker and Alex.
EXT. MORGAN ESTATE
Kris rings the doorbell. A maid opens the door allowing Kris to enter.
INT. MORGAN FOYER
KRIS (looking around): I need to speak to Mr. Hunter.
As Kris looks up, she sees Hunter at the head of the stairs.
KRIS: We need to talk, buddy boy.
Hunter comes downstairs and moves Kris down the corridor into a room and shuts the door behind them.
The room is elegantly furnished and contains many museum quality accessories.
HUNTER: You bitch! What the hell is wrong with you? I told you never to come here, uninvited.
KRIS (angry): Nothing's wrong, Stephen. I brought the journal just like you wanted. (Hunter snatches the book from Kris' hand) Maddie never says what her brother is doing. Never. This's gone sour, hasn't it. We're *never* going to see any money...
HUNTER: No, this time is different. I won't have to *help* this old geezer cross the river.
KRIS: But we still don't have anything that'll make Morgan hand over cash.
HUNTER: Maddie's alive.
KRIS (shaking her head): Morgan killed her...didn't he?
HUNTER: That's what he wants everyone to think.
KRIS (murmuring to herself): I wonder if....
HUNTER (continuing): She's alive and living in the house.
KRIS: I see where this is headed. Find Maddie, hold her until the old man coughs up the dough. Wouldn't it be easier to find more of these (holds up the ring) and disappear?
HUNTER: It won't be that difficult. (starts moving Kris to the door) She's gotta sleep sometime and I have a map showing all the passageways. You can stay out of everyone's way and still find Maddie.
They leave the room and the camera follows as they walk silently back through the corridor into the foyer.
STEPHEN (opens the front door): Now go find something to do until dark.
Kris turns and starts to say something. The door closes in her face.
INT. JONATHAN'S OFFICE
Jonathan sits at his desk. Danny relaxes in an armchair. Joe hovers.
JONATHAN: I'm not sure this is going to work.
DANNY: It'll work, believe me.
JOE: Yeah, we done stuff like this before.
DANNY: Tomorrow morning...
JONATHAN: No. Tonight. We need them out of there tonight.
DANNY: We gotta give 'em time to get scared.
JOE: You saw the gags. (shudders) Real scary.
JONATHAN: What scares you won't necessarily scare Texas Rangers. When it's dark, we go back and make sure those *gags* worked. (Hard look at them) In fact, I'll come along. Nothing is going to go wrong this time..
Joe and Danny roll their eyes as Jonathan leans back in his chair.
INT. MCCALLISTER MANSION FRONT PARLOR
TRIVETTE: I thought Walker and Alex would be back by now.
C.D.: She was pretty bad off, probably needs some time.
TRIVETE (sitting down on the sofa bed, sees the broken glass): Hey, what happened here? (glares at Charlie)
CHARLIE: What're you looking at me for? I didn't do it. The crash...(realization sets in) Hey, maybe that lady...
C.D. (interrupting): What crash?
TRIVETTE: What lady? Charlie, why didn't you say anything before?
CHARLIE (defensively): I was gonna but you were hollerin' at me to hurry back to that creepy passageway so that we could find our friend there in the cellar. Dead people tend to distract me, ya know.
C.D.: All right, Charlie. What happened to her?
CHARLIE: She ran out into the woods. Seemed familiar too.
TRIVETTE: You know her?
CHARLIE: I'm not sure. It was driving me crazy trying to remember. It'll come to me later...probably when I'm just about ready to fall asleep and...
C.D. (interrupting): I don't like this, Jimmy. We'd better find Cordell and Alex.
TRIVETTE: They might be out back.
C.D. (suggesting): Maybe the guesthouse.
CHARLIE: That wreck? Why would they go there?
C.D.: No telling with Alex's state of mind. Let's just go.
TRIVETTE: Wait a minute. Did either of you take Maddie's journal?
C.D. and CHARLIE (looking at each other): No. Why?
TRIVETTE: I thought I last saw it on this table. Maybe Alex put it away for safe keeping.
CHARLIE: Or, maybe the lady took it.
C.D.: Jimmy, if she took it, I bet she's working for Morgan. No one knew about it until Walker had his visit with him. C'mon, if we put our heads together, we can take care of this. Time is running out.
INT. LIVING ROOM GUESTHOUSE
The interior shows signs of aging but not to the degree revealed by the guesthouse's outside appearance. The room only contains a sofa, table, chair, side lamp, and several different sized throw rugs spread over the floor. Though the furniture appears old and worn and the dusty floor is tracked with footprints, the room still gives a neat appearance as though someone takes care of it.
WALKER (looking around the floor at the various tracks): There has been a lot of activity in here. Must be a door under one of these rugs.
Walker starts kicking rugs out of the way while Alex moves to the back of the room and peeks in the doors leading to other rooms.
ALEX: Someone *has* been living here. These rooms are made up and clean...well, fairly clean.
Walker flicks on the lamp which provides a low amber light in the dark room. Alex is seen entering one of the rooms.
Alex enters the bedroom, which contains only a twin bed, a small table and lamp near the bed, and a small dresser. Neatly piled along the wall next to the dresser are worn paperbacks and dusty old hardback books. The dresser is lined with several small dirty glass jars which are filled with buttons. Alex goes over to the dresser to get a closer look.
ALEX (calling out): Walker, I think I found where the button came from.
Walker enters and joins Alex who is looking at the jars.
ALEX: Might be wrong, the button seems too new to be part of this collection.
While Alex has opened some of the jars looking for a possible match, Walker has noticed another object on the dresser - Maddie's music box.
WALKER (showing her the box): Alex, look at this.
ALEX (surprised): This is the same music box from Maddie's room in the main house. How'd it get here?
WALKER (with a look like everything just came together): Alex, I think *Maddie* is the "Ghost" that Charlie keeps running into and the one you keep seeing.
ALEX: And she's been living *here* all this time?
WALKER: I don't know. But, I do know whatever happened to Maddie is tied to her brother. He's afraid that you'll discover something in this house. *That's* why he sent those men here.
ALEX (still stunned by this revelation): But, how could she stay here alone? And, why let her sister think she was missing?
WALKER: We'll have to find Maddie to learn those answers. Come on, let's try to find the passageway.
Walker turns to leave and Alex follows him out.
INT. LIVING ROOM
Walker moves another rug out of the way while Alex watches. He lifts the last rug and finds a trapdoor. He lifts the handle to reveal stairs leading down to the tunnel.
WALKER (turning to Alex): Shall we?
Just as they are about to climb down, Jimmy, C.D., and Charlie come through the front door.
TRIVETTE: There you are!
C.D. (going to Alex, pulling her aside, putting his arm around her, says quietly): Hey, sweetheart. How're you holding up?
ALEX: I think I'm on my way back C.D. We'll talk later, okay?
Satisfied for now with that answer, C.D. heads over to Walker.
C.D.: Charlie led us back to where he found that carpet bag. Behind the wall was a skeleton. Quick guess and I'd say it's probably a woman. (Alex gasps) I think that's the main reason Morgan wants us out of here.
TRIVETTE (adding): Charlie saw a woman in the house. Said she ran into the woods.
WALKER (nodding): I saw her. About 5'8", sandy blond hair - running scared.
TRIVETTE: Alex, did you put away Maddie's journal?
ALEX: No, Jimmy. I left it on the end table next to the sofa.
TRIVETTE: That's what I thought. (to Walker) The journal is gone. She must've taken it.
ALEX (upset): What do you mean it's gone? (C.D. goes over and puts his arm around her and she looks to him.) It can't be gone. It's all I had.
TRIVETTE (to Walker): Do you think she was working for Morgan? No one knew about it until you told him.
WALKER: I agree she was hired by someone....but not by Mitchell Morgan. She arrived too soon after I did. Morgan was pretty bad off, I don't think he could have sent her. It had to be Hunter, his nurse. He was the only other person who knew.
TRIVETTE (thinking along): Makes sense.
WALKER (continuing): I told Alex, I also think that Maddie is the person she and Charlie keep seeing.
C.D.: Maddie, alive? Then who's that in the cellar?
TRIVETTE: It's the person that's causing all this trouble.
WALKER: They have to get Alex out the house tonight. It's our last night and I'm expecting trouble. With this woman and Hunter, it's no longer just those three from last night.
TRIVETTE: Those three're probably the ones who planted that rat in the cooler.
WALKER (nodding): And, I have a feeling they left us a few more surprises.
TRIVETTE: We'd better stay alert.
WALKER: Trivette, you and I will follow this tunnel. (turning to C.D.) You, Charlie, and Alex go back to the house and try to find Maddie. Maddie has the answers we need.
CHARLIE (quiet until now): Let me get this straight - you want me to go back and find that cobwebby, creepy lady? Walker, if she wanted to chat, she's had plenty of chances.
ALEX (walking over to Charlie, touching his arm): Charlie, she has been alone for so long, she doesn't know who to trust. We need to find her, to help. (quietly) Please Charlie, won't you help?
Charlie, looking at a pleading Alex, just gives up, shrugs, and nods a yes to which Alex replies by giving him a quick kiss on the cheek which causes Charlie to blush.
ALEX: Thanks. (she then looks to Walker and Jimmy but mainly at Walker) You two be careful.
TRIVETTE: We will. Let's meet in the parlor in a bit. We need to be prepared.
Rain starts beating on the windowpanes as C.D., Alex, and Charlie leave. As he watches from the window, Walker turns on his flashlight and turns to Jimmy, standing by the trapdoor.
WALKER: Let's go.
As Walker begins to climb down, Jimmy shines his flashlight down the entrance for him.
TRIVETTE: Alex says she's okay...
WALKER (without looking up): Then she's okay.
TRIVETTE: She's been saying that for weeks.
WALKER: She just needs some time.
TRIVETTE (starting to climb down): I've heard that before, too.
Both Jimmy and Walker have reached the bottom and shine their lights around the dark tunnel. The tunnel is barely wide enough for the two men standing side-by-side and the wooden support beams are rotting in spots. There are cobwebs in the corners and clouds of dirt are falling in spots along the upper beams.
TRIVETTE (focusing his light on the support beams): Man, this could collapse on us any minute. We'd better hurry up and see where this leads.
WALKER: If it's held up this long, a few more hours shouldn't matter. (He starts leading the way)
TRIVETTE (after a moment, kind of irritated): Look, you don't have to tell me what you two talked about but I'm worried about Alex. Hell, we all are. Just tell me that *you* think she's going to be okay.
WALKER (thinking first before answering): Alex never quite resolved everything that happened to her. This stress she's been under lately has forced her to confront and deal with all those feelings and it hasn't been easy for her.
TRIVETTE: Well, she certainly doesn't have to go it alone. We'll be there for her. (Walker simply nods) You think we should still stay here tonight? Maybe it'd be better if we took Alex home.
WALKER (shaking his head): I can't talk her out of staying. She's
become...connected, in a way...to Maddie. She's determined to see this through to the end.
TRIVETTE: Rather like someone else I know so I know it'd be useless to try and change her mind. Not a great time to be so stubborn, if you ask me. (Pauses) You really think we'll find more surprises like that rat?
WALKER (nodding): Once we get back inside, I want to see where the skeleton is.
This time, Jimmy nods and the two continue in companionable silence.
C.D. and Alex walk into the center of the attic while Charlie follows looking around the room nervously. The thunder seems much louder than it did earlier. The rain is pounding the windows and the ceiling corner is still dripping.
CHARLIE: Well, she's not here (turns to leave), let's go.
C.D.: Hold it right there, Charlie. We'd better look around first.
CHARLIE (waving his flashlight around the room): You're kidding, right? There's no one here but us. (Alex goes over to the desk, opens the drawers, peers inside and Charlie says to her) You're not gonna find a ghost in those drawers, Alex, much less a live person. Let's just get out of here and pick a different floor. This is startin' to remind me of my crazy Aunt Martha's attic. (he shudders) A real packrat she was, no pun intended. If I told you the stuff she had, well, you wouldn't believe me if I told you, not that you *ever* believe me but she (turns to find C.D. staring at him impatiently) what??
C.D.: Don't you ever stop talking?
CHARLIE: Look, it's a habit, all right? (there's a clap of thunder and he jumps) When I'm nervous I just...babble...at least that's what she called it.
ALEX (muttering): We've noticed.
CHARLIE (continuing): My ex can tell you all about it. (slightly annoyed) Babbling Brooks, she'd tease. Never seemed to bother her before...least not until (sees C.D.'s face) okay, okay. (index finger to his mouth, whispering) Shhh, I'm quiet, real quiet. Quiet as a mouse. (nervously pointing to the wall behind C.D.) Quiet as that rat over there. (Alex nervously looks up in their direction and, in a normal voice he says) Don't worry, it's a live one and he's gone. Not that I blame him, I don't want to be here either. (C.D. glares at him and Alex goes back to checking the furniture) Okay, okay, what're we looking for?
ALEX (without looking up from struggling with another trunk): Walker and I found the journal in a hidden panel in the trunk over there. Maybe Maddie hid another one someplace else. We've got to find more evidence against Mitchell Morgan. There has to be something else.
C.D.: Just, don't get your hopes up, Alex. There may not be anything left to find.
Alex doesn't respond and C.D. goes over to a bureau along one wall and starts looking through the drawers. Charlie, still nervous, gingerly examines a small side table. Just then, the sounds of an out-of-tune piano can be heard, not in a particular melody, more like someone just striking keys at random.
CHARLIE: I knew it, this house has driven me crazy. Not only do I see things that aren't there but I'm hearing things again.
C.D. (ignoring him, to Alex): Wasn't there a piano in the room opposite the parlor on the first floor?
ALEX (nodding and joining them near the attic door): Ms. McCallister called it the music room where they'd entertain at parties. Maddie loved playing it and when she disappeared, Meg just shut the room and never used it. If Walker and Jimmy are in the tunnel, who's playing it now?
C.D. (directly looking at Charlie): Don't even say it! Let's go and check it out, this could be one of the "surprises" that Cordell was expectin'.
INT. FRONT FOYER
Trivette and Walker reach the door to the room opposite the parlor as the others are coming down the stairs.
C.D.: When'd you fellas get back inside?
TRIVETTE: The tunnel connects to the same passageway we took to the cellar. (the others are now standing with them by the door) I showed Walker the skeleton. We were about to knock down the wall when we heard the piano.
WALKER: You find anything upstairs?
CHARLIE: Are you kidding? There was nothing in the attic 'cept us and a rat.
WALKER (looking at Alex): You okay?
ALEX (nods): Let's just go inside and see what's going on.
Walker opens the door and Alex, followed by C.D. and Jimmy, go inside. Charlie's the last one in and again nervously uses his flashlight to check out the room.
INT. MUSIC ROOM
The room has tall windows along one wall without curtains and, despite the dirty panes, the whole room lights up with every bolt of lightning. Some of the glass panes are cracked and a few are missing altogether. The wind and rain blow through them making a whistling sound as well as making the room very cold. The piano stands alone unevenly in the center of the room as it's missing one of the legs on the keyboard side. Along the walls, there are a few seats and another sofa all draped under dusty sheets. The gang stands back from the piano as they watch the chipped keys seemingly play themselves. Walker moves toward it to look closer.
ALEX (nervously): What're you doing?
WALKER (handing her his flashlight): Trivette, come here, I want to lift the lid.
Jimmy hands his flashlight to C.D. as he goes over to help Walker. The two lift the lid and a rat leaps out from inside causing Jimmy to lose his hold and both men drop the lid with a loud bang that echoes in the empty room. The others all jump back. Giving the flashlights back to Walker and Jimmy, all watch the rat, almost dizzily, scoot to the opposite wall and disappear through a hole.
C.D. (quietly): I guess we've got company now. A bit earlier than you thought, Cordell.
WALKER (shaking his head): I don't think so, C.D. We'd have heard them in the house.
TRIVETTE: Maybe not over the storm.
WALKER (still shaking his head): There was something wrong with that rat.
CHARLIE: Didn't know you were an expert.
WALKER (ignoring him): It didn't get in the piano on its own and we didn't hear it until now. Did you notice how it got to the wall how it didn't go in a straight line?
TRIVETTE: Yeah, now that I think about it, it moved almost like it was drunk.
CHARLIE: I'm going to check the cooler (he turns to leave but C.D. grabs hold of his shirt keeping him in place)
WALKER: Not drunk, Trivette, drugged.
ALEX: You think last night those men drugged the rat and left it in the piano?
C.D.: When the drug wore off, the rat started moving around hitting the keys. We might think it was a ghost and --
ALEX: Leave. (annoyed and determined) Well, I'm not going anywhere.
Walker, Charlie, Trivette, and C.D., file in from the music room. Alex tags along. Trivette turns back to Alex, studies her face, and offers his handkerchief.
ALEX: What's this for?
TRIVETTE: You're crying.
Everyone turns to look at Alex. She becomes self-conscious and sinks into the wing-backed armchair.
ALEX (whispers): I didn't know, sorry.
The uncomfortable silence is broken by C.D.: I know just what you need--chicken soup.
He passes Walker on the way to the kitchen.
C.D.: You know chicken soup cures everything, my granny told me so.
Walker smiles and nods, then turns a concerned face to Alex. With a reassuring shoulder squeeze, he passes by her to join Trivette and Charlie near the fireplace.
CHARLIE (slowly): You know, Walker, I wouldn't normally say this but I think we should leave. (Quickly adds) I mean I'm thinking of Ms. Cahill. She's not well and we're all tired. That's when accidents happen, you know. Like, um, shootings--well, anyway...
TRIVETTE: Charlie, get to the point.
CHARLIE: I am. That woman that was here this afternoon. Well, I finally placed her. The chicken soup reminded me of that time when I...
TRIVETTE (interrupting): Chicken soup?
WALKER: Never mind that, Trivette. Who is she, Charlie?
CHARLIE: Kris. Kris Taylor. And, I don't know her, know her. I just know *of* her. Never had any dealings with her myself. Not my kind of people, ya know what I mean? But, word gets round. And...
CHARLIE: She's bad news.
WALKER: She's got a record?
CHARLIE: I don't know if she was ever convicted of anything but when I was workin' on (glances from Walker to Trivette) well, never mind. Stuff from my past, hard to recollect. Just trust me on this one, guys, she's bad news.
C.D. bustles back into the parlor and hovers over Alex.
C.D.: Here you go sweetheart. This'll do you some good. Then a good night's sleep. In the morning everything will look better. I guarantee it. (He then joins the others by the fireplace)
Alex thanks him for the soup and tries to eat it. She manages a couple of spoonfuls but puts down the bowl and curls up in the chair, closing her eyes.
TRIVETTE (thinking aloud): They'll probably be back tonight to make sure we're gone.
CHARLIE: I don't want to sound like a coward but I don't think we *should* be here. If they see they haven't scared us off, all hell could break loose.
C.D.: Charlie, I've had about enough out of you...
WALKER: Charlie's right.
CHARLIE (to C.D.): See, I'm right. (Pause) I'm right? (turning to Walker) I heard you, Walker, you said I was right. Right?
WALKER (chuckles; pats Charlie on the shoulder): Yes, Charlie, you *are* right. We need to convince them that their plan worked.
CHARLIE (starting to pick up a knapsack): So, we're leaving, and, not a moment too soon.
WALKER: Not exactly, Charlie. (Charlie has a worried look on his face) Trivette, you and I will move the vehicles out of sight. In this rain, our tracks will be covered soon. Charlie and C.D., take everything (pointing around to their gear) upstairs to Maddie's room. Then we'll wait.
C.D. (nodding in her direction): What about Alex?
They all turn to find Alex asleep in the chair.
WALKER: I'll take her to Maddie's room. (Picks up the sleeping Alex and, without waking her, carries her upstairs)
The rest start clearing the room.
EXT. MANSION-POINT OF VIEW FROM THE VAN.
The rain is steady and hard. Lightning illuminates the dark house.
DANNY: See I told you. They're gone. Call your Dad. Tell him, all's clear.
JONATHAN: We're going in. (Peers through the windshield) Joe groans.
JONATHAN: Park next to the guest house. We'll go in the same way we did last night.
DANNY: Damn! (Places the van in gear and heads towards the guest house)
INT. MADDIE'S ROOM
Equipment is piled in a corner. Alex is sleeping restlessly on the bed. Walker looks around the room, takes a chair and places it next to the closet door. He hooks the latch, walks quietly around the bed and turns the lamp to a glow. He looks at Alex, strokes her hair, then leans over and kisses her forehead.
Walker takes another look around the room, then leaves. We focus on the closet door. A thin piece of wood is deftly slipped through the crack in the door. The wood comes up and unhooks the latch. The door opens slightly and gently hits against the chair.
Walker enters the parlor to find the others gathered near the fireplace, where only the glowing embers of the earlier fire remains, speaking in low tones.
TRIVETTE (to Walker): They showed up right after I got back inside. We saw their headlights in the window.
C.D.: Can you believe that kind of stupidity? A blind man could see 'em come.
WALKER: C.D., you and Trivette wait in the shadows near the stairs.
Jimmy and C.D. nod and exit the parlor into the foyer.
WALKER (holding out a gun to Charlie): Ever use one of these?
CHARLIE (making a face): Never touch the stuff. I'll just scream or something. Looking down, Charlie spies a soup ladle sticking out of a small forgotten dufflebag and grabs it, weighing it in his hands as though it were a weapon.
WALKER: Or something? (Nods and chuckles)
The two leave the parlor.
INT. MADDIE'S BEDROOM
The closet door slowly opens and a pale gnarled hand reaches out from the opening and touches the chair blocking the door. Very slowly, the thin, wiry, old woman, MADDIE MCCALLISTER, slips out and, while carrying her music box, quietly moves the chair out of the way. She watches Alex sleeping restlessly for a moment and gives a soft "tsk, tsk," places the music box on the small table nearest the bed and lifts its lid. Alex seems to relax slightly as the musical tones softly play.
Maddie turns away, walks back to the closet, and is about to enter it when a series of thuds/bangs are heard from downstairs and she instinctively turns round again. Alex awakens with a start, sitting upright in bed. Her heart racing, Alex quickly glances around the room and is startled to see Maddie about to leave through the closet. Maddie gives her a sad smile and begins to step through the doorway.
ALEX (reaching out): Wait. Don't go. Please.
From the panel, where Charlie got caught the previous evening, we hear bumps, thuds, exclamations of pain and swearing. Joe comes through the panel first, stops short as lightning fills the room and shows the gun in his hand. Danny emerges next, bumps into Joe, causing Joe to swear. They move further into the room as Jonathan comes through the panel.
INT. MADDIE'S BEDROOM
Maddie turns around, goes over to the bed, and watches an amazed Alex for a moment before sitting down on the edge of the bed next to Alex. Alex hesitantly reaches out and touches Maddie's arm. Maddie smiles, pats Alex's hand, and lets her own hand cover Alex's.
MADDIE (smiling): I'm not a ghost, Alex. (Alex quickly removes her hand.) I may call you Alex, mayn't I? I feel as though I've come to know you these past few days. You and that gentleman friend of yours.
ALEX (still not quite believing Maddie's there, quietly asks): Maddie?
MADDIE (nodding): That's me, dear. Meggie used to call me that. You may call me Maddie, too. My full name is really Madeline Millicent Morgan. Millicent was my grandmother's name you see (smiling) I loved MeMaw so much but I never could tell her how much I hated that name. Have you noticed all the "m" names in our family? Another of MeMaw's ideas. She could be pretty set in her ways sometimes.
ALEX (still in awe): Sounds like it runs in your family. Ms. McCallister, I mean your sister, Meg, was pretty stubborn in her own right about certain things.
MADDIE (wistfully): I missed her so much.
ALEX (taking Maddie's hand): She missed you too. She loved you so much and it pained her that she never knew what happened to you.
MADDIE: I couldn't tell her. It was simply impossible.
ALEX (gently and almost apologetically): We found your journal, Maddie.
MADDIE: I know, dear, and I know that you read it.
ALEX: It was (at a loss for words)
MADDIE (finishing): A long time ago, Alex. A long time ago.
ALEX: Do you want to talk about it? About what's missing, what you didn't write down? (Maddie a bit nervously removes her hand from Alex's grasp and shakes her head.) Please Maddie. I'd like to help. I think that's why I'm here. Why I had to stay.
MADDIE (nervously twisting her hands): No, Alex. You should leave. You and your friends.
ALEX: Please don't say that. I can help you. I'm an Assistant District Attorney, Maddie. I can help punish those who hurt you. All you have to do is talk to me and tell me what happened.
MADDIE (shaking her head and standing up): I'm sorry, Alex, that just is not possible. I think it best if you all left. There are bad people here now and I do not want any of you to get hurt.
ALEX: My friends are Texas Rangers, Maddie. Well, except Charlie, he's a...well, never mind, the point is that they can handle those people if --
MADDIE (interrupting): Charlie? I ran into him in the stairway (giggling) I am afraid I scared him. He thought I was a ghost and I didn't help matters much by saying "boo" but I simply could not resist. You should have seen his face.
ALEX: Is that what happened? He never specifically said what --
MADDIE (trying not to laugh): I believe I owe Mr. Charlie an apology.
ALEX: Don't worry about Charlie. He'll live, if only to hold it against us. (Turning serious) Please come with me downstairs. Meet my friends. Let them help.
MADDIE (getting agitated): That is not a good idea, Alex. I must go. (She turns to the door, hesitates and looks back at Alex) Maybe if I had been as strong as you are things would have turned out differently. (Smiling sadly) In another time, I think we would have been grand friends. Thank you for trying to help. (Maddie turns back to the door again.)
ALEX (standing up and going to Maddie in a pleading voice): Please. Stay. We can still be friends. And you don't have to talk to anyone. Just let me go down and tell them I've spoken with you. Please.
JONATHAN (whispers): Well? (spying the gun) Put that gun away!
JOE (ignoring the idea): Just like we said, nobody home.
DANNY: Call your Dad! We'll check upstairs. (To Joe) Move!
Jonathan dials the phone as Joe and Danny leave the parlor.
JONATHAN (into phone): Hello? Get me Mitchell Morgan. (Pause-angrily) I know what time it is and I know he's asleep. Now, wake him. Tell him it's his son.
From the parlor/Jonathan's view we can see Joe halfway up the stairs while Danny is still at the foot of the stairs.
Jonathan, talking on the phone, moves into the foyer.
JONATHAN: Hello, Dad? It's Jonathan. We're at the house and she's gone. (Pauses) I told you I'd get her out.
WALKER (rushing out from the shadows behind Jonathan): Not so fast, Morgan!!
Walker moves quickly to Jonathan. A startled Danny turns, pulls his gun, and fires. Misses Walker but hits Jonathan.
C.D. (moving out of the shadows, shoving his shotgun into Danny's back): Hands up, Mister!
TRIVETTE (removes the gun from Danny's hand): I'll take that. (he cuffs him) Joe panicking, runs down the stairs in a dash for the front door, but can't get past the group and instead turns back and aims his gun at Walker.
CHARLIE: Walker, watch out! (He slams the ladle down on Joe's wrist. The gun hits the floor)
INT. MADDIE'S BEDROOM
ALEX (hearing the gunshot turns from Maddie to face the door): Stay here, Maddie, I'll see what's going on.
MADDIE (reaching out for Alex): No, Alex. Those are bad men. You mustn't go.
ALEX (grabbing her flashlight, runs to the hallway door and turns back to Maddie): I'll be fine. Please wait here, Maddie, I'll be right back.
Alex runs out into the hallway leaving a nervous Maddie by the closet door.
Walker is kneeling by the wounded Jonathan. Walker picks up the phone.
WALKER: Mitchell Morgan? It didn't work. Your son and his friends failed again. We're staying. (He hangs up on Mitchell)
Walker makes sure Jonathan is unarmed. As he pats Jonathan, he notices a missing button from Jonathan's jacket and, from his own pocket, pulls out the button Alex mentioned earlier.
WALKER: Lose this outside?
Trivette takes the phone and calls for an ambulance while Walker cuffs Joe. A relieved Charlie escapes into the parlor.
EXT. MORGAN ESTATE
INT. MITCHELL MORGAN'S BEDROOM
Mitchell slams down the receiver. Picks up the signal bell and throws it into the hall.
MITCHELL: Stephen! Get in here. (He is pale with circumoral cyanosis - his breathing is shallow and becoming labored)
A moment later, the nurse enters.
HUNTER (places oxygen on Mitchell): What's the matter?
MITCHELL (gasping): They bungled it. She's still there. You've got to go find her! You've got to stop her! Must finish it!
Hunter watches Mitchell without expression, turns and leaves.
INT. MORGAN FOYER
As he reaches the bottom of the stairs, Stephen has a cell phone to his ear.
HUNTER: Come on. Answer, damn you! (Pause-stops at the door, grabbing his raincoat from a coat rack) Kris! Walker caught Jonathan in the act. (Pause) Now's our chance. Meet me at the guesthouse.
Hunter opens the door and the storm howls into the house. He leaves and doesn't get the door tightly closed.
The maid we saw earlier walks by and closes the door. Now all we hear is the rasping breathing of Mitchell Morgan upstairs. The maid slowly climbs the stairs.
INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE MADDIE'S BEDROOM
With their flashlights on in the dark hallway, Alex leads Walker to Maddie's bedroom door and stops him before they enter.
ALEX: She's very nervous about talking about her past, Walker. We have to be careful and not scare her away. I'm afraid if we tell her about Jonathan and Mitchell, it might prove too much for her.
Walker nods and enters the bedroom with Alex following close behind.
INT. MADDIE'S BEDROOM
WALKER (clicking his flashlight off, he turns around to Alex): She's not here, Alex.
ALEX (agitated herself): She was here, Walker. I didn't imagine it. I saw her standing by the closet door. (now near tears) She was here, Walker. We talked. She had this soft giggle. She said --
WALKER (gently taking hold of her arms): Alex. (she stops and looks at him with tears in her eyes) I believe you.
Alex sags slightly in relief against him and he wraps his arms around her.
ALEX (whispering): I was so afraid I'd dreamed it. That it was just a different nightmare. (Walker holds her tight)
WALKER: It's almost over, Alex.
ALEX (breaking away, going over to the closet door, not facing Walker): She called me strong. She was wrong. I'm not strong at all.
Walker comes up behind Alex, placing his hands on her shoulders. She stiffens at first but then relaxes slightly.
WALKER: She was right, Alex. You are strong and brave and --
ALEX (cutting him off and turning to face him): No, Walker. I thought I was. I hoped I was. But --
WALKER (interrupting her with a hug): No buts.
ALEX (whispering more to herself than to him): Maybe if I went away. Some place far away...no more nightmares...nothing to make me remember...
WALKER: I know a place. There's a small cabin set near a lake. Nothing fancy and it's real quiet and peaceful. Perfect for long walks in the woods, fishing on the lake, or plain old meditation. No one else for miles around.
ALEX (sighing): Sounds perfect. How do I get there?
WALKER: Horseback. (hesitates, shaking his head) You'd probably get lost. (with a twinkle in his eye) I guess I'll just have to show you the way.
ALEX (stepping back out of his embrace, looking at him in surprise and with tears in her eyes, sees his smile and hugs him, whispering): Thank you.
WALKER: You're welcome. (he holds her close and, after a moment, sends her with a nudge over to the bed) Why don't you settle down over there? You can go down after backup comes to take those two away. (pointing to the closet) I'll see if I can catch up to Maddie.
ALEX (taking hold of his arm): No, Walker. I'm going with you. I've got to find her again and convince her it's safe to talk about what happened.
WALKER (realizing it's pointless to argue): Can't I ever win with you?
ALEX (quietly): I think you just did, Cowboy.
WALKER (giving her a smile): All right then, let's go find Maddie.
He grabs their flashlights, takes her hand as they turn on their lights, and both enter the closet.
EXT. MORGAN ESTATE
The Ferrari pulls up with a screech. Two figures run from the car to the front door.
INT. MORGAN BEDROOM
Matthew and Michael, his brother, burst into the room. The sight of their grandfather shocks them momentarily from rushing to his side.
MICHAEL (whispering in his grandfather's ear): Hang in there, Granddad. Help is on the way. What can we do for you?
Mitchell grabs his arm.
MITCHELL (in a low, raspy, out-of-breath voice): There is nothing you can do. It's too late. I need you two to listen. I have done things that needed to be done to keep this business and family going. I have *no* regrets.
MICHAEL: Save your strength, Granddad. Don't try to talk.
MITCHELL (continuing): It's in your hands now. I taught you well. I know you'll both make me proud. You always have. Trust your instincts, boys. (getting tired) I have kept something from all of you, your Aunt Maddie...(drifts off)
MATTHEW: Granddad, What about Maddie? (turns toward the door, yelling) Where is that ambulance?
MITCHELL (coming around again): Maddie is alive, at the mansion.
MATTHEW and MICHAEL: WHAT?
MITCHELL (nodding weakly): It's true. Take care of her. I (gasp) I... love... (takes his last breath)
The paramedics burst into the room.
EXT. MORGAN FRONT DRIVE
The boys follow a stretcher out to an ambulance in their raincoats and watch as the stretcher is loaded into the back and the ambulance leaves.
MATTHEW (sighing): We need to contact Ms. Cahill and the Rangers.
MICHAEL: I keep thinking about what Granddad said about Aunt Maddie. (beat) Do you think she really is alive?
MATTHEW (pulling out his phone): Only one way to find out.
EXT. MCCALLISTER MANSION
The boys drive up in the Ferrari just as Jonathan is wheeled out. Trivette stops the ambulance attendants.
TRIVETTE (to paramedics): Hold up fellas (they both give him the we're-in-a-hurry look) This will just take a second. (He turns toward Jonathan) Why did your father want us out?
MICHAEL (rushing with his brother from the car to the stretcher): Dad? (to Trivette) What's going on?
JONATHAN (to Trivette): He only told me that he didn't want an outsider to get what was rightfully his. He threatened to disinherit me if I didn't help. No one was suppose to get hurt. I didn't know they brought their guns. (to his sons) We only wanted to scare Ms. Cahill so she would leave.
MATTHEW (quietly): Dad, Granddad just passed away.
JONATHAN (closes his eyes): I'm truly sorry... (to sons and Trivette) more than you'll even know.
Trivette and the boys watch as Jonathan is loaded in the ambulance and Joe and Danny are taken away in a patrol car. Then the boys take leave of Trivette.
INT. FRONT PARLOR
C.D. (to Charlie): I didn't know you were so handy with a ladle. I'll have to remember to watch myself around you. (chuckling)
CHARLIE: Well, yeah. You all thought I was chicken but I showed you, didn't I? Yup. I sure did. I even saved Walker. How about that? Yup. Just call me the hero of the day.
C.D.: Whoa. Settle down Charlie, the day isn't over yet.
Charlie still smiling takes a seat. Trivette now joins them.
TRIVETTE: Way to go Charlie. (pats him on the shoulder) Have either of you seen Walker?
C.D.: Once he convinced Alex that we were all okay, they headed back upstairs. You know, Alex still has a few more hours to get to the bottom of this.
TRIVETTE: I hope they're not gone long. I have a feeling this isn't over yet. (seeing Charlie's reaction to that statement says) Don't say it Charlie, just don't say anything. (Charlie just laughs)
Kris closes her cell phone. Hunter enters. The trap door is open.
HUNTER: I brought the maps. (Spreads the maps on the table.) Between the two of us we should be able to find Maddie.
KRIS: What for? This deal's falling apart as we speak.
HUNTER (looking up from the maps, eyes narrowing): It'll work. The old man'll pay off big but we've got to move fast. He might not have a week left.
KRIS: All right, then tell me, what we're going to do with the old lady, if she does exist?
HUNTER (distracted by movement, looks at the trap door): Maddie?
Kris turns to the trap door and is stunned as she sees an elderly woman climbs out.
MADDIE: Who are you?
KRIS: Your friends, dear.
She and Hunter each grab an arm and hoist Maddie up.
MADDIE (looking down at Kris's hand): That's mama's ring. (She reaches for it and Hunter grabs Maddie's hands)
HUNTER: Do you know if there's more jewelry like this?
MADDIE: Yes, but Mitchell wouldn't want me to tell you where it is.
HUNTER (pulls Maddie's face close to his): Look, old lady, Mitchell is very sick. Might even be dead right now. Do you understand?
MADDIE (looks surprised, frightened, then smiles, leaning in, whispers): You know, he's fooling you. When we played hide and seek, I'd find him and he would be very very still then pop, up he comes.
HUNTER: She's crazy.
KRIS: That surprises you? Look how long she's been hidden away.
MADDIE (trying to peel Hunter's fingers away from her arm): You're hurting me.
HUNTER (shakes Maddie): Maddie!!
HUNTER: You want to play hide and seek? (Maddie looks interested Kris looks confused)
KRIS: What are you doing, Stephen?
MADDIE: Who are we hiding from?
HUNTER: Those people in the house. (looks at Kris) We wait until they've gone then search the house for "buried" treasure with Maddie's help.
MADDIE: Are we going to hide here or in the house?
KRIS: There are people in the house. They're still looking for you.
MADDIE: Oh, no they're not. Alex and her friend followed me here. (Hunter and Kris exchange looks)
KRIS (to Maddie): In this game, we don't want them to find us.
MADDIE: I know a place where we can hide that they don't know about.
Maddie scoots down the trapdoor and Kris and Hunter follow.
INT. FRONT PARLOR
Walker and Alex walk in.
TRIVETTE: You didn't find her.
ALEX (shaking her head in disappointment): No, there were too many different passageways she could've used. But I know she's here and she's real.
WALKER: With all the rain, the tunnels aren't safe anymore. We'll split up and do a thorough search of the house.
CHARLIE: Split up? As in going alone? As in, we're staying?
ALEX: I still have some time left, Charlie.
C.D.: Besides, Mr. Hero, we've already gone through the worst of it.
CHARLIE (in a worried tone): Promises, promises!
WALKER: Alex, you and I will search from the top down. Trivette and C.D. from the bottom up. And Charlie...
CHARLIE: Will keep watch here. She comes anywhere near me, and I'll yell for help.
WALKER (sighing): Just hold her until we can get down here, okay?
CHARLIE: Hold her? I'm not touching her. (The gang start leaving the room, Charlie starts talking louder) I said I'll yell, that's what I'll do--yell!. Loud and long, over and over, (yelling by the doorway after them) but I'm not touching her. Nope not me. Not touching any ghost. No sirree.
Charlie reenters the room and, looking around he stands guard in the center of the room, holding his ladle looking very uncomfortable and just a trifle nervous.
INT. 3RD FLOOR LIBRARY
KRIS: This is some house, but I think I heard something inside that last passageway. (holding tight onto Maddie's arm, speaks in low tone) We have to be real quiet or the people will find us and we'll lose the game.
Maddie (nodding in conspiratory silence) watches as Kris moves away to look around. Hunter is starting to go through desk drawers, obviously looking for something. Maddie slowly and quietly moves closer to the door to the hall. We hear footsteps in the hall because we are next to Maddie at the door. Voice from the hall are low.
MADDIE (loudly): Give me mama's ring.
KRIS (looking at Stephen in alarm, says to Maddie): Shh, Maddie, we're still hiding, remember?
MADDIE (in a determined voice to herself): Like hell I am. (yelling through the door) Alex! (Maddie tries to open the door but it sticks.)
Hunter and Kris cross to Maddie as we see the doorknob turning. Someone is trying to get in but the door is still stuck. Hunter grabs Maddie and Maddie bites his arm. He throws her across the room just as Walker breaks open the door. Hunter turns, gun drawn. Walker kicks the gun from his hand. Hunter does the same to Walker's gun and follows with a punch to the jaw. Walker crashes into the wall. Walker and Hunter continue fighting.
Alex rushes into the room and, as she crosses to Maddie, she sees Kris go for Hunter's gun on the floor. Kris manages to reach it and starts for Walker. Kris attempts to hit Walker with the gun. As Walker is about to deflect Kris's movement, to his surprise, Kris is thrown off balance by Alex who has grabbed Kris by the arm, twisting Kris towards her and away from Walker.
Walker moves to help Alex when Hunter interferes with a blow to Walker's back. Walker returns to the brawl with Hunter.
With her free hand, Alex punches Kris who tumbles to the floor dropping the gun. Alex kicks the gun away and turns around to see if Maddie's okay but when her back is turned, Kris tackles Alex, pinning her to the ground. Alex deflects most of Kris' punches. Alex punches the side of Kris' head and throws Kris off of her. Kris rolls to her side, Alex positions herself with her feet towards the dazed Kris's head. Alex delivers a perfect side thrust kick and Kris is out.
As Alex stands up, too tired to be pleased with herself, she's nearly knocked down again by Hunter and Walker. Walker, trying to avoid hitting Alex, loses his balance and hits his head against the desk. While Walker's momentarily dazed, Hunter is able to spot and grab his gun. He quickly gets up, aiming it at Walker. Alex, though, has gotten her hands on Walker's gun and aims it at Hunter.
ALEX (to Hunter): Drop it.
Hunter laughs and releases the safety.
ALEX (firing and hitting the wall, missing Hunter's head by inches): Now, drop it.
Hunter backs up into the doorway unknowingly straight into the drawn guns of Jimmy and C.D.
TRIVETTE (to Hunter): Going somewhere? (Trivette punches and Hunter falls)
WALKER (picking himself up): Thanks, Trivette.
TRIVETTE: Anytime, Walker. That's what sidekicks are for.
Alex gives her gun back to Walker who has grabbed Kris by the arms and forced her up.
Jimmy hauls Hunter up and marches Hunter out of the room.
C.D. (walking a dazed Kris out, examines the bullet-hole, whistles): Nice
WALKER (saying as C.D. leaves the room): Actually, C.D., that was Alex's doing.
INT. TOP OF STAIRS LEADING TO THE FIRST FLOOR
The camera follows as Walker heads down the stairs with Alex at his side. We see Charlie leaving the parlor to meet them at the foot of the stairs. He's still armed with his ladle and doesn't seem to notice Maddie who remains partly hidden behind Walker and Alex.
Walker gazes at Alex and notices that, though she's tired, she's looking more confident than she has in weeks.
WALKER: Alex, I noticed that you're over reaching with your punches. Your punch should come straight from your shoulder, like this (winces as he attempts to demonstrate)
ALEX (indignantly): I saved your ass, buster. (Walker's surprised)
MADDIE (whispering from behind): Really, dear, is such language necessary?
Now it's Alex's turn to be surprised. Walker just grins.
As they reach the bottom, CHARLIE: What's this? Ms. Cahill saved Walker? Wow, really?
ALEX: You heard right! (Charlie high-fives her) I want the whole world to know that Alex Cahill is a fighter! (She raises her arms in victory and Charlie looks at Alex with admiration)
Jimmy enters the foyer.
TRIVETTE: Wish I could've seen it...
WALKER: Don't start, Trivette.. (Jimmy just chuckles. He will find out the details and save this subject for later)
Charlie suddenly notices Maddie standing next to Alex. Shocked, he looks from Maddie to Alex, who grins, back to Maddie. Then turns to Jimmy and tugs on Jimmy's sleeve.
CHARLIE: D'ya see her? I mean, be honest. Is she there? The ghost, I mean.
ALEX: Maddie's not a ghost, Charlie.
MADDIE (haughtily): Of course not, young man.
JIMMY (to Maddie): Pleased, ma'am. (To Charlie) Say hello, Charlie.
CHARLIE: Uh, uh...hello.
To his further shock, Maddie takes his arm and allows him to lead her into the parlor.
Hunter and Kris are sitting on the sofa, hands tied behind their backs by thick cords.
KRIS: This's your fault. I told you it was going sour.
HUNTER: Shut up. If you hadn't have rattled the old lady.
KRIS: Me? Why you son of a b--
C.D. (interrupting with a gun still aimed at them): Both of you just shut up.
The others start filing in from the foyer.
C.D.: Alex, you look better than I've seen you in days.
ALEX: I feel great! (Rubs her stomach) Well, maybe a little sore.
TRIVETTE: Well, that's to be expected when you're saving the butt of a Texas Ranger. (He flashes Walker a big grin.)
Walker grumbles but watches Alex with obvious pride as she flops into the recliner.
EXT. C.D.'S BAR and GRILL EARLY EVENING
INT. C.D.'S BAR and GRILL
C.D. is tending bar. The place is starting to fill up with the early evening dinner crowd. Seated at a nearby table are Matthew and Michael Morgan with two women, presumably their wives. Alex is standing there talking to them.
ALEX: I just wanted to thank you both again for donating the house and the money even though I really didn't solve anything.
MATTHEW: You have got to stop thanking us, Alex. We're doing what's right.
MICHAEL: You brought Aunt Maddie to us. That's far more important. Aunt Meg wanted you to have it and we wouldn't want to go against her final wishes.
ALEX: I just feel as though I failed her somehow.
MATTHEW: It's not your fault, Alex, that Aunt Maddie won't speak of the past.
MICHAEL: We're not even sure she truly remembers what Granddad did. She's very often in her own little world.
MATTHEW: It's been great having her around, what with him and Aunt Meg both gone.
MICHAEL: Thank you also for all you've done for our father. The judge was more lenient than I expected and more than Dad certainly deserved for his part in all of this.
MATTHEW: He means well, but, well, to be honest, he can be a handful at times.
ALEX: To tell you the truth, I was more concerned about Maddie. I didn't want to see her lose any more family.
MATTHEW: And, we truly appreciate everything you've done for her. She and dad have gotten along really well so far. I think he is actually starting to enjoy his volunteer work on the renovations. And, Aunt Maddie talks about you all the time. (pauses) Still, sometimes, she'll look at us with a confused look on her face.
MICHAEL: It's like she forgets who we are.
ALEX: I'm sorry. It's hard for me, too, when that happens. I can't imagine how you both must feel. Her own nephews. (C.D. has joined them at the table) I guess we just have to be patient when it happens and be there for her.
C.D.: Sound advice, boys. But, you know, old people are like that. Talk to you just fine one minute then, bang, they're off in another direction. I had an uncle once who...hey, Shelley, honey, help Kathy fill that bowl now, would you? I'll be there in a minute to move it for you....Becky, where are those extra glasses I asked for?
C.D. wanders off talking to himself and his waitresses and doesn't notice Jimmy or Walker entering the room, passing him on their way to the table.
MATTHEW: You know, Rangers, Stephen didn't have to steal from the family.
MICHAEL: We just found out. Granddad added a codicil to his will.
MATTHEW: One we didn't know about. But, it's legal just the same.
MICHAEL: Grandfather wished for Stephen to have some land as well as an extremely generous stipend.
WALKER (standing behind Alex placing his hands on her shoulders): What happens now that he's in jail?
MATTHEW: If he hadn't have been so greedy, he'd have gotten it. But, it'll be a cold day in hell before he sees so much as a dime from this family.
TRIVETTE: He blames Kris for everything.
ALEX: And, of course, she's *still* denying any criminal intent and --
Hearing a commotion, Alex stops mid-sentence and looks towards the bar. Both Walker and Jimmy follow her gaze in that direction.
THE BAR AREA:
SHELLEY (insisting): We got it, C.D. It's too heavy for you. Let us do it.
She and Kathy struggle to keep C.D. out of the way as they try to move an overflowing Texas-sized punchbowl. Becky comes up behind carrying a tray of a dozen glasses, watching them.
KATHY (calling over to Becky): Hey, we could use some more help here.
KIMMY (a 4th waitress, pushes past Becky and comes up behind C.D.): Oh, all right, Kath, I got it.
C.D. (shooing Kimmy away): Get back to the kitchen, Kimmy. Kathy, honey, quit your worrying. I got everything (taking hold of the bowl from them)...under (lifting up the bowl)....control.
KIMMY (moving away, grumbling to Becky, but not headed for the kitchen): Gee, ya try to be nice and help and ya get sent to the kitchen.
SHELLEY: C.D., it's gonna --
KATHY: Maybe you shouldn't --
TRIVETTE (hurrying over to take the bowl from C.D.): Hey, Big Dog. Let me --
C.D.: Let me alone. I told you all, I got it.
C.D. moves too quickly to avoid Trivette, loses his grip, and the bowl falls to the floor, splashing all over the front of Jimmy's suit.
TRIVETTE (in shock): Big Dog!
C.D.: Look what you done, Jimmy.
TRIVETTE (stunned): Me?
BECKY (muttering to Shelley and Kathy as she puts the tray down on the bar): It's so hard to find good help these days.
TRIVETTE (turning to face the others at the table): Look at me.
WALKER (leaving Alex's side, goes over to Jimmy and gingerly touches his lapel): Didn't this just come back from the cleaners?
Jimmy (slaps his hand away, glaring at him): Can someone get me a towel?
ALEX (chuckling): If you'll all excuse me, I think I'll join Maddie in the booth over there.
She and Walker exchange a look and a smile and she turns around and heads over to Maddie, sitting opposite Maddie in the booth.
Walker and Jimmy sit on stools at the bar. C.D. tries to pass some towels to Jimmy but Kimmy grabs them instead. C.D. sighs and pours some coffee for Walker. The waitresses are mopping the floor.
KIMMY (cooing): Here, Ranger, let me get that for you.
Jimmy gratefully holds his arms back as he lets Kimmy pat him dry. Walker watches in amusement as Kimmy's hands move lower and lower until an embarrassed Jimmy quickly grabs Kimmy's hands and takes the towels from her.
TRIVETTE (to Kimmy): I got it. Thanks.
KIMMY (disappointed): It's no problem, Ranger. (Jimmy nods) Well, if you change your mind, (with a wink) just holler (with a glare to C.D.) I'll be in the kitchen. (Kimmy walks away swinging her hips as she goes)
TRIVETTE: Where did you find her, Big Dog?
C.D.: Actually, I think she found me. (Beat) Don't worry, Jimmy, I'm sure the cleaners'll get that out. (Pauses) Fellas, I can't tell you how good it makes me feel to see that little lady (nodding towards Alex) smiling and laughing again. She had me really worried.
TRIVETTE (still dabbing at his shirt and pants): All of us, C.D.. But, she's back on her feet and with Hunter and Kris's sentencings over, Alex can finally put this whole mess behind her.
C.D. (seeing something in Walker's face): You don't agree, Cordell?
WALKER: Just don't expect too much from her, C.D.. Alex is still working through a lot.
C.D.: I thought you said that little trip to the cabin did the trick.
WALKER: It helped, C.D... A lot. But, she still has nightmares and little things still spook her some.
C.D.: It's gonna take time, son. (Pointing to Alex so that Walker turns to see Alex and Maddie laughing) Look how far she's come these past few weeks. Trust me, with a little more time, she's gonna be just fine.
TRIVETTE: I think Maddie's helped. She and Alex have grown quite close. It also doesn't hurt that the Morgan brothers have donated the million dollars to Alex's group in spite of the fact that she never actually solved Maddie's mystery.
WALKER: Don't forget, they also renovated the guesthouse for Maddie.
C.D.: I thought she was happy living with the boys.
WALKER: She is C.D., but she wants to get back to her own house. Insists on it.
C.D. (shaking his head sadly): The way Maddie's in her own little world, we may never know what really happened all those years ago. Looks like the truth was buried with Old Man Morgan.
WALKER: Alex is taking it hard. I think she feels that if she knew the truth, she could make everything okay. That Maddie would be okay.
CUT TO: THE BOOTH
MADDIE: I was afraid that after you came back from your trip and, well, you're so busy with work, I thought that perhaps, you might not, that you would not want to visit with me anymore. That I'd be alone again.
ALEX (taking Maddie's hand): You'll never be alone again, Maddie. I promise. Of course I still want to visit with you. I missed our chats and I promise that as soon as I can clear a few cases I'll be able to visit you more often.
CUT BACK TO: THE BAR
C.D.: Very sad, fellas. It's like Maddie really is a ghost of sorts.
TRIVETTE: How can you say that C.D.? Maddie's been brought back to the land of the living. She's got a whole new family and friends to love. Family and friends who love her back. And, what about the good that's come out of this? Alex's group gets a new safehouse, once the renovation's done on the old relic, of course. And Alex has been able to work through all this baggage that she's been carrying. (glancing back at a smiling Alex). I'd say all the ghosts have been buried for good, Big Dog.
Walker, turning to look at Alex, takes his coffee, excuses himself, and walks over to the booth. Alex smiles as she sees him coming and slides over so he can sit next to her.
MADDIE (turning around to see the reason for Alex's smile, sees Walker coming and smiles herself): Such a nice young man. Men with beards are honest, forthright, and *very* romantic. (Walker reaches them at this point and sits next to Alex, giving her a kiss.)
MADDIE: See what I mean?
WALKER (smiling confusedly): What?
ALEX (grinning at Maddie): Never mind.
MADDIE (rising causing Walker to politely get up too): No, dear, sit. Enjoy yourselves. I must be going. (Walker sits down) I do not want to keep those nice boys waiting any longer. (she looks at Alex) Remember what I've said about beards, dear, (patting Walker's cheek) they do make the man.
ALEX (stroking his other cheek): I'll remember.
WALKER: All right. What's going on?
MADDIE & ALEX (together): Nothing.
Alex kisses him on the cheek and he looks at her confused again.
MADDIE (smiling): Good night, my dears. Don't stay out too late. You both work much too hard and need your rest.
WALKER: Yes, ma'am.
Maddie smiles approvingly and turns away. They see the Morgan’s rise from their table to wait for Maddie.
CUT TO THE BAR:
An agitated Charlie enters C.D.'s and heads straight for the bar where Jimmy and C.D. are, sidestepping the waitresses still mopping up the floor.
CHARLIE (clutching a crumpled sheet of paper): How could you? What happened to them?
TRIVETTE: To who?
CHARLIE: You know. After all I did to help you guys. I risked my life and this's the thanks I get. Did I tell you I nearly caught pneumonia? Huh, did I? And, look what you've done.
C.D.: What're you yammerin' about now?
CHARLIE: Where's Walker? This's his doing, I bet. (looking around) Never mind. I see him.
Charlie heads for the booth, past the Morgan’s, and, with a shrug to each other, Jimmy and C.D. follow him.
CUT BACK TO THE BOOTH:
MADDIE (leaning close to whisper to Walker and Alex): They are such nice boys, you know. They insisted that I stay with them until they finish fixing my house. A few more weeks they tell me. Then I will move back home. I think I shall miss them though. Such wonderful manners and what wonderful hosts they have been. Oftentimes, they remind me of Meggie. I wish I knew why they were being so good to me, a total stranger.
ALEX (a little distressed): But Maddie, they're your --
MADDIE (continuing): So polite and charming. Very much like Mitch. Almost as if they'd spent time with him. I wonder if I could possibly get them together....Why, Alex, dear, you are looking quite pale. (Walker looks at Alex) Are you all right?
ALEX (through a forced smile): Just a little tired, I guess. I'm fine,
Maddie, don't worry about me.
Walker puts his arm around Alex, giving her a reassuring hug.
MADDIE (reassured): Get some rest then. (to Walker) You make sure to take care of her, you hear? And, come visit me soon.
WALKER (smiling): I will, ma'am.
As she turns to leave, Charlie comes storming over, with Jimmy and C.D. right behind.
CHARLIE: I want to talk to you, Walker...Oh, hi, Miss Maddie...(shoving the paper in Walker's face) See anything wrong here? Anything missing?
CHARLIE: Like? Like some hours of community service?
WALKER: Oh, is that it?
CHARLIE (in a mocking tone): Oh, is that it? That's all you have to say?
C.D.: What exactly is the problem, Charlie?
CHARLIE: What exactly is the problem, Charlie?!
TRIVETTE: Is there an echo here?
CHARLIE (ignoring him): I'll tell you what the problem is. The problem is I'm short 24 hours.
TRIVETTE: What?! We gave you 72 for the weekend, Charlie. More generous than you deserve.
WALKER: All right, Charlie. What makes you think you should get more?
CHARLIE: Look, I've made a list (gives Walker another sheet of folded paper from his pocket and as Walker unfolds it he continues). I put down everything that I experienced in this haunted house adventure. I counted 96 hours.
ALEX: Charlie, we weren't even away for 96 hours.
CHARLIE: Look Miss Cahill, I'm appealing to your good sense. It wasn't a walk in the park you know. I suffered through more horrors than at an amusement park. What about all the extenuating circumstances? Don't you think I deserve some sort of reward for sticking it out?
TRIVETTE: You weren't exactly in the spirit of things that weekend, no pun intended. You were 3 hours late and held up C.D. and Alex from leaving in the first place.
WALKER: You complained the entire time you were there.
C.D.: Not to mention treasure huntin' for your own personal gain.
CHARLIE: Come on, you guys. What about saving you from the bad guys? The ladle, remember the ladle? Besides, I didn't get to keep anything, now did I?
MADDIE: Please don't argue. You're all friends. You should not be arguing.
ALEX (glaring at the others): We don't mean to upset you, Maddie. No one is arguing. It's just a slight disagreement.
CHARLIE (sincerely): Sure, Miss Maddie. Just a disagreement. Don't you mind none of this.
MADDIE: Very good then. (she turns and pats Charlie on the arm) You know, Charlie dear, if you come on time this Tuesday, we might be allowed to bake some of those chocolate chip cookies you love so much.
Everyone stares dumbfounded at the blushing Charlie.
ALEX: Maddie, is that why I can never visit you on Tuesdays? Because you're with Charlie?
MADDIE: I am sorry, Alex. But I have such fun during Charlie's visits that I do not want to share him. (Charlie turns even more red)
WALKER (mumbling): Well, maybe twelve hours back.
C.D.: What do you do together?
TRIVETTE (grinning): Besides baking cookies?
MADDIE (clapping her hands together): Oh, such wonderful things. We watch television. I have come to enjoy those afternoon operas even if I can't always tell everyone apart. But, we also read and play games.
MADDIE: There is one game I'm especially fond of. (Charlie shakes his head as though he doesn't want her to continue but she doesn't catch the hint and goes on.) Charlie tells me of these wonderfully fast horses with fanciful names and we try to guess which one is the best and so on.
WALKER (raising an eyebrow): Oh, you do?
MADDIE: Oh, yes. It is such fun. It involves numbers and I have always loved numbers. Meggie always said it was my best subject. Charlie says I am so good at that game that he always plays it with me when he visits.
C.D. (muttering): I'll just bet he does.
ALEX (quietly): Shame on you, Charlie.
MADDIE: Oh dear. You aren't cross again, are you?
WALKER: Six hours.
CHARLIE: What?! It was twelve a minute ago!
TRIVETTE: Betting, Charlie? Taking advantage of Maddie like that. Be grateful for the six.
Jimmy takes Maddie by the arm and escorts her back to her family. Both C.D. and Charlie follow. Walker and Alex watch the Morgan family leave.
WALKER (quietly): You okay?
ALEX: I just hate seeing her like that. Not knowing. She seems so vulnerable.
WALKER: I know. But, she's tougher than you think. She reminds me a lot of you.
WALKER: Fragile and strong all at the same time.
Walker kisses her tenderly and she says nothing for a moment.
ALEX: Thank you. For everything. For sticking by me through all this. For believing in me even when I didn't.
WALKER: You just needed some remindin' that's all.
He kisses her again and helps her out of the booth. They walk back to the bar where Charlie can still be seen arguing with Jimmy and C.D.
ALEX: I *did* save your butt, didn't I?
WALKER (groaning): You'll never let that one go, will you?
ALEX (with a giggle): Nope.
WALKER: You can't just forget it?
Alex answers him with a kiss.
WALKER (seeing her grin, sighs, and, to Jimmy): Well, you got this straightened out yet?
TRIVETTE (nodding): Two hours.
TRIVETTE: Two and a half.
CHARLIE: Three and a half.
Alex looks to Walker and smiles. He grins back and gives her another kiss and hug.
CHARLIE: Three and I'll throw in a batch of cookies.
'Walker Texas Ranger' and it's characters belong to CBS Inc., Top Kick Productions and maybe other copyright holders. This story and the author is in no way connected to those copyright holders and intends no infringement on their copyrights. The story is only meant as an entertaining tribute to a
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