Rebel Treasure twentyseventh post

Rebel Treasure twentyseventh post

EXT. FRANCE – HARBOR OF NANTES – DAY

THREE MONTHS LATER

ROSS KEENAN, an elderly gentlemen with a lion’s mane of stark white hair and a twinkle in his eye strides along the riverfront, swinging his gold headed cane freely and trying to assure his young companion.

ROSS
She’s a thing of beauty Captain Turner. You’ll see.

LON
It’s just that I was never told up front that she was so–
(pause)
Experimental.

ROSS
Tosh! Hardly experimental at all any more. What with they’ve been able to do in Louisiana and Charleston.

They stop to continue their conversation, causing Lon’s men, who were following behind to bunch up on their heels.

LON
That’s the very thing I can’t get out of my head – the Hunley – lost with all hands.

ROSS
I believe that you will find my design much more stable. Designed to cross the ocean —
(casting about for his thought)
Just as good if not better than that ship out there.

The head of his cane points to the Yankee man-of-war at anchorage in the roads.

JIMMY
(to Louis)
I hear that Upshur is the Captain of that frigate.

LOUIS
Good, I never did like him as an instructor. Be glad to teach him a thing or two.

Ross ushers them through the door into a boathouse.

INT BOATHOUSE – DAY
Ross stops in front of a long tubular object just inside, roughly the size of two locomotive boilers placed end to end, with a narrow pilot house placed amidships. It looks to be a tight fit for anyone, especially the large-boned petty officer.

JONAH
You expect to get me in there?

LOUIS
With you in there, forget about room for any one else.

Ross only smiles and leads them into a larger area that has a boat slip.

ROSS
That was my experimental model.  This is what you’ll be sailing.

There in the boat slip is a larger version – at least three times the size – a big fat cigar, tapered at both ends. Ross beams with pride and excitement.

LON
I’m impressed.

JONAH
There’s no bloody sails at all.

JIMMY
Just think, no need to be out in the wind and rain!
(to Ross)
She’s steam powered, isn’t she?

ROSS
Aye. And then some. But that’s something else all together.
(turns to Lon)
I suppose this is as good a time as any.

Lon reads his orders under the anxious gaze of his men.

[next pt 28]

Rebel Treasure first post

Rebel Treasure first post

                                                                                                                                                                                              FADE IN:
EXT. USS PREBLE – DAY

Title: OFF THE COAST OF FRANCE 1865
The last of a rain squall sweeps the deck of the sloop of war, as overhead the sky clears. In the growing light, an odd-looking vessel appears in the view of the forward look-out.

LOOKOUT
Ship in sight!

QUARTERDECK OF USS PREBLE

LT. CYRUS MANNING, the executive officer, brings the speaking trumpet to his lips

LT MANNING
Where away?

LOOKOUT
The middle channel, sir.

The lieutenant turns to CAPTAIN UPSHUR for instructions. The captain calmly trains his spyglass on the middle channel.

P.O.V. THROUGH UPSHUR’S SPYGLASS
A faint trace of steam rises from the funnel topside of the elongated hull pointed in their direction. A sudden shift of wind pulls into view the Confederate battle-flag flying at her stern.

BACK TO SCENE

CAPTAIN UPSHUR
It’s her! Beat to quarters!

The RATTLE of the drum calls the GUN CREWS to their stations.

INT. COMMAND DECK OF THE C.S.S. GRAY WHALE
A young, steely eyed Confederate naval captain, ALONZO TURNER strains to see through the fog and mist on the other side of the viewport.
A small CREW mans the gauges and gizmos that pack the command deck. He removes the speaker tube from its hook.

ALONZO
Forward lookout, any report?

Behind him we see a highly polished brass plaque with the inscription: C.S.S GRAY WHALE.

Cue Final Jeopardy music.

INT. JEOPARDY GAME SHOW SET – DAY

                                        ALEX TREBEK
Well, it now comes down to today’s current leader, Mr. Gates of Baltimore, Maryland.

Ben stands dazed.

ALEX TREBEK (CONT’D)
Mr. Gates?

BEN
(startling from his reverie)
Sir?

ALEX TREBEK
Mr. Gates, the answer is “The last submarine to sail under the flag of the Confederacy.”

Ben’s answer appears on his lectern screen, “What was the C.S.S. Gray Whale.”

ALEX TREBEK (CONT’D)
Oh, I’m sorry Mr. Gates. The question should be “What was the C.S.S. Hunley.” Though at $8500 you are still in the lead, pending your bid, of        course.

Ben’s screen displays his bid – $8500, the whole amount.

BEN
But the Hunley was the next to last submarine in the rebel navy.

Mr. Trebek looks around in confusion as the audience buzzes with excitement. He cups a hand over his earpiece.

ALEX TREBEK
Again I am sorry Mr. Gates, but the judge’s ruling is final.

In the audience, Ben’s wife ABIGAIL CHASE GATES and his best friend RILEY POOLE exchange pained glances.

ALEX TREBEK (O.S.) (CONT’D)
Mr. Reuben, you are today’s Jeopardy champion.

[next pt 2]