The Night Before the Trial
Fade In: Interior. Father McShane’s office. He is at his desk as there is a knock on his door.
Father: Come in.
(Grace enters dressed and with an overcoat on and carrying her suitcase.)
Grace: I wanted to come and say thank you for allowing me to stay while I was recuperating.
Father: You’re welcome. You can stay the night if you wish.
Grace: (Closes the door): I think it’s best if I leave now. I packed Olive’s belongings and she can pick them up when she comes by.
Father: If that’s what you wish.
Grace: It’s not what I wish at all, Donald, but I suppose it’s how it must be.
Father: It’s for the best, Grace.
Grace: Is it?
Father: I don’t wish to have this conversation.
Grace: Well I do. I’m sorry that I led you to believe I was in more pain than I actually was but I was in pain when I came here. I want you to believe me about that.
Father: I believe you, Grace.
Grace: Good. I’m glad about that.
Father: Well I’m glad that you are, however, I am not glad about what you said to Dorothy so you could continue to remain here.
Grace: What did she say I said I to her?
Father: If we are not going to be honest with each other, there’s no point in continuing this conversation.
Grace: All right. I’ll be honest.
Father: So you did tell her that she would have to pretend you were still unable to walk or else you would tell Kathy that I’m her father?
Grace: Did she say that?
Father: (Warning): Grace?
Grace: Yes I did say that to her but in my defense she had me so upset I didn’t know what I was saying and I didn’t mean it. I would never want to hurt you, Donald.
Father: (Disappointed): I think it’s time you went, Grace.
Grace: Don’t you understand why I did all this? It’s so I could be near you. I love you.
Father: I know you do but I have not encouraged you in that in any way as a matter of fact I told you repeatedly I cannot return your love. I am a Man of the Cloth.
Grace: What about Dot?
Father: What about her?
Grace: Now that your Kathy’s father I sure Dot thinks she finally has you all to herself.
Father: She thinks nothing of the kind. She know that I am planning to remain a Priest.
Grace: Do you think the Cardinal will allow that once he knows the truth?
Father: I’m not sure what he’ll do but that doesn’t mean that Dorothy and I will ever be anything other than friends.
Grace: Friends? It wasn’t friendship you felt when she ended up carrying your child.
Father: I would say that’s beneath you, Grace, but to think you would intentionally hurt Kathy so that you could continue to lie to me about your condition and stay here? I’m not sure anything is beneath you. I feel as if I don’t know you at all.
Grace: Don’t say that, Donald.
Father: And I’ve asked both you and Dorothy to stop calling me Donald. I am Father McShane.
Grace: Is that what Kathy will call you?
Father: This conversation is over. I think it’s best you leave.
Grace: I’m sorry I didn’t mean to–(He holds up his hand. She pulls herself together and picks up her suitcase and exits his office.)
CUT-TO: Exterior. St. Mark’s Rectory. Grace exits with her suitcases and then puts them down and takes out her phone and hesitates but then dials.
Grace: (Into the phone): John Kelly, please. Oh, hello, Doris. Is John there? It’s Grace Donahue. I’m sure he’s busy with the case but this is going to help his case. Thank you, Doris. I’ll hold. Hello John? It’s Grace. I need to see you. Yes now. Doris told you? Good I’ll be right over.
CUT-TO: Interior. Dot’s kitchen. Martin is seated at the table with Dot and they are both drinking coffee as their dirty plates sit on the table.
Martin: So she’s okay knowing that Father McShane’s her father?
Dot: I don’t know if she’s all right with it or not. She’s still in shock of course.
Martin: Well it’s not every day a Priest turns out to be your father.
Dot: (Rises and cleans plates off the table): I’m well aware of that, Martin, which is why I didn’t tell her and I would have kept it to myself for a while longer if it hadn’t been for Grace Donahue.
Martin: Don’t go getting all upset about her again. Grace is jealous of you.
Dot: Don’t be ridiculous.
Martin: I’m not being ridiculous. (Dot sits.) Look at all you have. You have children who love you, you have Grandchildren who love you, a son in love whose crazy about you, friends who think the world of you and now a man who can’t imagine living with you. What’s Grace got? Nothing and no one except that crazy cousin Olive Benson. Yes, I’d say she’s jealous. Now give me a kiss and let’s stop wasting our time talking Grace Donahue. (They kiss.)
Dot: Speaking of living with me what do you think about you moving in here?
Martin: Well that makes sense unless you want to live with me above the store.
Dot: Oh be serious, Martin. (They laugh) No I want to make this a real home for us. Once we marry we’ll run the store together and then I’ll give up running this as a Bed and Breakfast.
Martin: You don’t have to do that.
Dot: I want too. Elsie and Brian will be the last people who live here. (The doorbell rings.) I wonder who that could be at this hour.
CUT-TO: Interior. Dot’s foyer. Dot and Martin enter and Dot answers the door. It’s Nancy Caswell.
Dot: May I help you?
Nancy: I was wondering if you had any vacancies?
Dot: Well yes but–
Nancy: I’m only planning to stay a few days. Nothing more than I week. I’m sure Chief Cusack will find my daughter by then.
Dot: I’m sorry. What?
Martin: Let the woman in, Dot.
Dot: Oh, of course. (Nancy enters.) I’m Dorothy Shea.
Martin: I’m Martin Burke.
Nancy: I’m Nancy Caswell. Connie Caswell’s mother. She works as a nurse for Violet Eaton. She’s taking care of Violet’s grandson Andrew. She’s gone missing. That’s why I’m here in Maple Falls. When I hadn’t heard from her in a few days I came here and asked the Police to find her. They haven’t had any luck. I mean well she–Chief Cusack–went over to Violet Eaton’s and asked Violet where Connie is but Violet doesn’t seem to know. No one does. I’m sick about it.
Dot: Yes I’m sure you are.
Nancy: Connie and I are the only family we have. I don’t know what I’d do if—(she starts to collapse)
Dot: Oh, Martin!
Martin: (Grabs Nancy and puts her on the sofa): Here now. Are you all right?
Nancy: Yes I’m sorry I–
Martin: Have you had anything to eat today?
Nancy: No. I’ve just been so anxious.
Martin: Dot, go make her something, huh?
Nancy: I’m really not hungry.
Dot: You’ve got to eat something. A little tea and toast will do you good.
Martin: You want to keep your strength up for when they find your daughter and I’m sure Connie is it? (Nancy nods) Connie will be fine.
Dot: Martin, you stay with her. I’ll go get you something. You can have the room at the end of the corridor.
Nancy: How much is it?
Dot: No. I’m not accepting any money. I can’t imagine what it would be like not knowing where my daughters are. Excuse me. (She exits)
Nancy: You’ve both been so kind. I know Violet Eaton isn’t. Connie called me about her and said she’s a terrible woman. I’m going to go see her tomorrow and ask her where Connie is.
Martin: You shouldn’t do that alone.
Nancy: Well there’s no one else–
Martin: I’ll go with you but I can’t tomorrow. The day after.
Nancy: I can’t wait that long.
Martin: You’re not going to get anywhere with her on your own. She’s tough old bird. You rest tomorrow and I promise I’ll take you the day after tomorrow.
Close up of Nancy
Close up of a worried Martin
CUT-TO: Interior. O’Leary’s. Max is seated at the bar having a drink as Doris enters. She sits at the bar. Melanie comes over.
Melanie: Hi, Doris. (Max looks up and over at Doris.) What can I get you?
Doris: I’m surprised you’d even serve me considering Jim’s trial is tomorrow and I’m working for the opposite side and your girlfriend is representing Jim.
Melanie: Your doing your job, Doris, the same way Adrian is doing hers and I’m doing mine. Now what would you like?
Doris: I’ll have a Pinot Grio, please.
Melanie: Pino it is.
Max: Hello, Doris.
Doris: Hello Doctor Goldman.
Doris: Max. (Melanie puts the drink in front of her.) What do I owe?
Max: Allow me.
Doris: That isn’t necessary.
Max: Please. Allow a lonely doctor to do a beautiful lady favor, huh? (She smiles and nods. Hands Melanie money.) Here you are, Melanie. Keep the change. (Melanie exits.)
Doris: That was sweet, Max, thanks. I can’t remember the last time a man bought me a drink.
Max: Do you mind if I join you?
Doris: No. That would be nice.
Max: We might be more comfortable over in that booth.
Doris: All right. (They move over to the booth.) You’re right this is more comfortable.
Max: It doesn’t look right for a lady like you to be sitting up at the bar like that.
Doris: That’s sweet of you to say, Max, but you don’t know what kind of lady I am.
Max: That’s true we don’t know each other that well. I’ve seen you around Maple Falls for years but I’ve been married to Sylvia and then divorced from Sylvia and then I was involved with Jen and then engaged to Brooke and then unengaged from Brooke.
Doris: You and Doctor Eaton are no longer engaged?
Max: No that’s over and my kids who were so happy that they were getting a wonderful stepmother now hate my guts and have moved back in with my ex-wife. So I’m all alone at my house and since I didn’t feel like spending another evening working late at the hospital that is now being run by ex-fiancee and I didn’t want to microwave my dinner and eat alone again at home. I came here. Poor, poor Maximillian Goldman.
Doris: I know what you mean though about eating alone. I hate it.
Max: I didn’t think you ate alone. I mean I thought you and John were–
Doris: John and I work together. That’s it and once this trial is over I’m not even sure we’ll be doing that.
Max: You’ve been with him a long time.
Doris: Yes. Too long. Well, goodnight, Max.
Max: Hey, where are you going? I didn’t mean to upset you. The night’s still young. What do you say we get out of here and go to that new Chinese place on the corner.
Doris: A Chinese restaurant in Maple Falls?
Max: Yes it’s where that hamburger joint was a few days ago. It used to Le Bistro then it became a Mexican restaurant then the hamburger joint and now–
Doris and Max: (Together): It’s a Chinese restaurant.
Doris: I don’t know, Max. The trial is tomorrow and I really should get to bed early.
Max: Did you eat yet? (She shakes her head no.) The food here stinks. Let’s go over to Hop Sing’s–
Doris: Hop what? They didn’t name it Hop Sing’s? (She laughs)
Max: Yes, I guess they watched a lot of Bonanza. Come on. My treat and I promise I’ll get you home and to bed real early.
Doris: Sure. Why not? What could go wrong?
CUT-TO: Interior. Jim’s jail cell. Kathy is there.
Jim: It’s incredible.
Kathy: I know. I can’t really believe it myself. We all agreed we wouldn’t say anything to anyone but I had to tell you. I didn’t want to burden you with something else especially since your going on trial tomorrow.
Jim: Kathy, you can never burden me. I love you and I’m truly sorry I ever let Lena into our lives.
Kathy: That’s all over now. The trial starts tomorrow and you’ll be found innocent and then you can come and we can stop living this nightmare and start living our life together again.
Jim: I pray to God you’re right, Kathy.
Kathy: I know I am, Jim. I just know I am.
Close up of a worried Jim
Close up of a worried Kathy
Fade to Black