The truck pulls in the driveway. There’s something in the back, draped with a tarp. McCORMICK jumps out of the driver’s side and heads for the front door of the main house.
INT. THE DEN – DAY
HARDCASTLE is sitting at his desk, elbow on the arm of his chair and his cheek propped on his fist. He looks pensive. We hear the front door open.
ANGLE – PULL BACK TO TAKE IN THE STEPS TO THE FRONT HALL
McCormick’s bouncing down them, looking pretty spry. Hardcastle hasn’t moved from his initial position and McCormick comes to a full stop, taking in what he sees. His hands are on his hips.
You still mooning over what that woman said the
Hardcastle gives him a glare, but doesn’t answer. That qualifies for “mooning” in McCormick’s book.
Okay, so you thought you got picked for a
judgeship ‘cause they wanted a squeaky clean
boy scout –
I never said that.
McCormick’s got his head cocked.
Well, maybe I sorta said that.
And maybe I kinda always suspected that
Nancy’s dad was the one who got my name
on the short list – that he only wanted the
best for his little girl. And maybe that was
why I almost said no. But this –
Getting the go-ahead from a chiseler like
Pierce. I dunno –
(shakes his head)
It makes ya wonder if anything you believe is true.
Yeah, well, we know how you ended up
where you ended up.
McCormick makes a face.
I’m just sayin’ all those years, sittin’ on
the bench, handing down rulings, thinking I
was doing my part – and maybe the whole thing
turned on some guy wanting me out of the way.
Hardcastle lifts his chin off his fist and frowns at him.
Even back then any bad guy worth his salt didn’t
want you around when he was up to something.
Anyway, how you get where you’re going
isn’t as important as what you do once you
get there, right?
He gets a reluctant shrug from Hardcastle.
And I got you something.
It’s a surprise. It’s in the truck. Come on.
(he moves in, hooking Hardcastle’s arm
You’ll like it.
‘A surprise’? I hate surprises.
(rising reluctantly, to avoid having his shoulder
Is it fertilizer?
ANGLE – INTO THE FRONT HALL
As McCormick nudges Hardcastle along.
No, it’s not fertilizer. What kind of a surprise
would that be? I always get fertilizer.
EXT. THE FRONT PORCH – DAY
Hardcastle and McCormick exit the house.
ANGLE – TAKING IN THE TWO MEN AND THE TRUCK – PARKED A FEW FEET AWAY
Hardcastle looks at it warily. McCormick is bouncing again, down the front steps and over to the vehicle. He drops the tailgate and climbs up. Hardcastle draws nearer, despite himself. The tarp-covered object is at least eight feet long and propped against the far side of the truck bed. McCormick takes hold of the tarp as though for an unveiling. He whips it off with a flourish.
Hardcastle’s mouth is slightly agape. It’s a door – but not just any door. This one is heavy oak, darkened with age. It’s got a half-window with frosted glass that bears the lettering: MILTON C. HARDCASTLE, ATTORNEY AT LAW. It’s obviously the one from the Harmstead building.
How the hell’d you get it?
Actually, Rebecca asked me what she could do to thank
you, and I suggested this.
I ran into her when I stopped by Frank’s office to sign my statement. She said ‘Call me Rebecca’ and she said the D.A. threw a couple of misdemeanors at her and Bill and asked for community service. Bill’s got an appointment with a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, and they’re planning to rehab the Harmstead Building.
Might be a little stigmatized.
Nah, what’s a couple of ghosts? And I took the one really
scary thing out of there.
(gestures toward the door with a sweep of his hand)
Help me lift it down.
(moving toward the tailgate)
What the hell am I gonna do with it?
I figured I’d put it in the file room doorway for now.
Better than that hollow-core thing you’ve got there.
He slides the door partway out, letting Hardcastle grab the end.
McCormick hops off the tailgate and hefts the door near the other end.
(he lifts it clear of the truck and they make their way
up the porch steps toward the house)
for now, but you never know when you might need an
NEXT, ON HARDCASTLE and McCORMICK – Virtual Season 4:
As guests began to arrive at Hardcastle's Halloween Party, Mark wandered over toward the front door. As he did Cindy Wenzek came in.
"Hi Mark!" she greeted him. She came over to him and posed in her outfit.
"Well, what do you think?" she asked him. She was dressed in a tight-fitting pink leotard with purple leg warmers on her legs.
"I'm supposed to be the girl from Flashdance," she told him.
Mark stared at her.
"Oh, man -- what a feeling!" he said to her, in a manner obviously intended to be a compliment.
* * *
Mark helped Cindy into the Coyote. Then he ran around and jumped into the driver's seat. He turned the ignition key, and the Coyote roared off down the driveway.
"Where are we heading? Inspiration Point?" Cindy said to him.
"Nope. Somewhere even better," Mark teased her.
They reached the Pacific Coast Highway, and Mark turned onto it. It had gotten dark, and they headed a few miles south in the direction of Santa Monica. But then Mark pulled off onto a small side road that was barely visible in the darkness. They traveled a mile or so down this dirt road before Mark pulled the Coyote up alongside a long low stone wall.
He turned the Coyote off and jumped out. Coming around to the other side he helped Cindy out.
"Where are we?" Cindy asked, puzzled.
"You'll see!" Mark taunted. He led her over to the stone wall, and he hopped up onto it.
"C'mon!" he said to her, offering her his hand.
Dubious, Cindy nevertheless gave Mark her hand and allowed him to pull her up onto the top of the wall. Once there they both hopped down onto the grass on the other side.
Cindy looked around.
"Oh, no!" she exclaimed. "Mark, you've got to be kidding!"
They were in a cemetery!
* * *
"There's a noise coming from over there," Mark said, pointing behind Cindy's back. "It sounds like someone digging."
Cindy could hear it too. Taking her hand, Mark led her in the direction of the sound.
As they moved along, suddenly they both noticed how dark it was. From somewhere nearby an owl hooted. A slight breeze was blowing, and it made the leaves on the ground rustle as they skittered eerily across the ground. In the sky wispy clouds scudded across the face of the pale sliver of a moon.
As they moved among the tombstones, Mark thought: what a place to be on Halloween night!
However, they continued on. Before long Mark spotted some dark shapes moving just ahead. As one they both ducked down behind a large gravestone.
Mark peeked out from behind the edge of the stone marker.
In the darkness he could just barely make out two men. They both had shovels in their hands, and they were in the process of digging up a grave!