INT. PROFESSOR BEN’S OFFICE – DAY
Hemmed in on three sides by mountains of books, and an even dozen lying open on his desk, Ben with his cellphone lodged between ear and shoulder, stretches back in his chair and elevates his feet to the desktop.
COUSIN TOBY [RECORDING]
It’s your nickel, leave your message after the beep.
Hey, Toby, it’s your cousin Ben, calling to ask a favor. Can you check through the Turner things for any maps? I think one fell out of the Alonzo journal.
(leaves his number)
Satisfied, he is returning his feet to the floor, when the head of history department DEAN CARGILE pops in.
Ben, for the love of this department, you got to back off of this rebel sub thing.
Beg your pardon?
The word is out, man. The chancellor is apoplectic that one of his professors is going to make a nutcase of himself on national television.
This brings Ben to his feet.
We should remind him about academic freedom.
It means a whole lot more when you got tenure. Just a word to the wise.
Ben grabs his planner book and jams it under Dean’s arm.
Here are my classes, Dean. I know I can count on you.
Dean’s eyebrows hit the ceiling.
I’m taking that long promised sabbatical.
(at the door)
Tell the chancellor, I’m going to bring him a rebel sub.
INT. BEN’S DEN – EARLY EVENING
Ben enters, opening and shutting the door with silent care, and tiptoes to his desk. He slides the drawer open and takes out an envelope marked “Mad Money.”
Is that you, Ben?
Busted. He walks to the door.
Yeah, Hon. I’m home. But I won’t be long.
Be sure to check your phone messages.
THE GATE’S KITCHEN
Abigail is slaving over a salad, adding wedges of sliced tomato to the mix.
Is it from Cousin Toby?
Play it and find out.
Ben hits the playback button.
TOBY [ON RECORDER]
Cousin Ben! Great to hear from you. Funny you should ask. Last year I was tearing out some old wall paper and found a scrap of paper under one section. I put it aside to look at later, then forgot about it until your call. It might be what you’re looking for. Give me your fax and I’ll send you a copy. Hey, what do you bet the old boy left us a fortune? Call.
Ben grabs for his cell. But Abigail picks up a piece of paper from the table and with a smirk dangles it in front of his nose.
Already took care of that. (A beat) Does it fit?
He takes out the journal and places it on the table.
(with a smile of satisfaction)
It’s a match all right! And definitely a map of some sort.
To his surprise, Abigail slides a packed suitcase out from underneath the table. And hands him two airline tickets.
I cashed in some of our frequent flyer miles, and called Riley. He should be here any minute.
Ben sweeps her into his arms.
Boy, am I glad you said, “I do.”
Riley barges through the kitchen door.
Come on slacker, we got a plane to catch!
Ben tosses him the suitcase.
I’ll be right there, I’ve got to grab one more thing.
(as Ben hurries off)
Call me when you get there!