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Literature Discussion -



Screenplay By Phillip Ghee (USA)

Chapter Ten



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Once at the Mission, DeBaptise is surprised to learn that there were no blanket drop-offs made in the area that night or any of the surrounding nights.


It was the security patrol that originally discovered the body. Although the patrolling officers have not arrived in for work yet, DeBaptise discovers that in the log book it does show that a van had parked briefly in the area however, no license number was recorded. Since he is in the area DeBaptise decides to canvass the area. He wants to find out if the homeless man is still making camp in that area. He has a few questions of his own that he would like to put before the homeless man. This time he will play good cop.

 He drives over to a convenience store, purchases a fifth of wine and some snacks, and then heads back to the area of the vacant lot. He finds the whiskered homeless man chilling besides in a discarded, worn, lazy-boy chair. After a careful introduction and dispensing of the gifts, DeBaptise starts to extract some more specific information. He wants to know exactly where the homeless man was when he witnesses the van and the blanket drop-off. Judging by the distance given and, taking into consideration the hour at which the homeless man said he witnessed the drop-off; DeBaptise concludes the obvious: It would have been very dark. The homeless admits that he could not actual see the occupants of the van. They were at a distance.  Also he was not sure if it was indeed the Mission van. However, he was sure that the darkly silhouettes figures were two in number. He was also sure that they did indeed drop something off which he assumed to have been blankets. That was usually the way the Priest, especially those who didn’t want to be bothered with small talk, would do it.

DeBaptise concludes that van could have been any van, yet judging the area where the homeless man believed that blankets were dropped-off, DeBaptise was certain that these occupants of the mystery van were indeed the ones who dropped off the body.
 DeBaptise encourages the homeless man to recollect a little more clearly and then informs him that there were no blanket drop-offs that night. The homeless man becomes a little indignant, muttering something about he knows what he knows.

DeBaptise starts to leave when the homeless man decides, against his better judgment, to show DeBaptise where his well hidden, tarp covered and camouflaged sleeping box is located. As they make their way to the habitat the homeless man recalls the heated debate that he had that night with his comrades.

 (Flashback may be effective at this juncture just to add some dimension to the rather well-handled discussion)

 Upon seeing what all three men believed to be the Mission van arriving, a theological argument on the Nature of God developed. Fed up with the blasphemies and heresies of his fellow comrades, the homeless man retreats to his box to fetch his Bible and flashlight. The sleeping box in question happens to be hidden on an embankment on a hillside leading up to the driveway.  This is the driveway that one must take in order to exit the grounds of the former industrial park. The driveway bends at this point into a street which in turn intersects out on to the main road. There is a stop sign at this intersection. The homeless man point to a U-Haul rental place and the large neon sign that lights its marquee. Now he adamantly decries that it must have been the Priests. By the time he had retrieved his bible and flashlight from his habitat, the van was already leaving.  And although the van only had to stop momentarily, the sign casts enough light for him to see a figure in a wide-brimmed hat and, although the brim of the hat cast a shadow across the face of the driver, he could plainly see a priestly collar and what he believed was a shock of gray or white hair falling from the side of the hat. Unfortunately the second passenger was completely obscured from view due to the shadow cast upon him from the driver.


Continued next week...


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