Rebel Treasure thirty sixth post

Rebel Treasure thirty sixth post

LATER – THE SALVAGE SHIP – CLOSER TO THE ISLAND
Riley helps Ben twist the diving helmet into place. In the b.g., Marguerite hovers over the air pump, fussing with the gauges. Ben speaks through the still open faceplate.

BEN
Time to find out if Jacques Cousteau beat us to it.

Marguerite grabs Ceci and says a few words, all the while glaring at Ben.

CECI
Marguerite says she’s sending an air line and a patch down with you, and another is ready at your call, if you think it necessary.

BEN
Tell her thanks. I was just going to ask for one.

Riley latches his faceplate, and with heavy tread Ben clunks onto a steel grate platform. Riley takes a final check on the GPS heading.

The ship’s crane winches Ben and the platform up and swings them over the side. And with a wave of his hand Ben disappears into the water.

UNDERWATER OFF THE ISLAND
Ben lands in the midst of a field of sea grass. He gets his bearing and heads for the rise of the island.

He clears the sea grass and enters a jumble of large boulders.

Emerging from the shadow of a boulder, he spots her.

BEN
Omigosh!! There she is, boys! I mean guys – er – boy and girls.

There on a shelf close to the island rests the CSS Gray Whale.

BY THE CSS GRAY WHALE

BEN
So far I see only one hole. I’ll try this one patch and check along the other side.

Ben secures the lead patch to the hole, making sure the air hose feeds inside.

BEN (CONT’D)
Okay, start pumping.

RILEY (O.S.)
Roger. Be careful.

Ben keeps a respectful distance as he moves along her side.

BEN
Ah, you’re a beauty!

He stoops to examine a small fissure, issuing forth a stream of bubbles. A gleam of gold shines through.

BEN (CONT’D)
A beauty with a charge account!

RILEY (O.S.)
What?

BEN
I meant the ship, not you.
(pause)
Send down another patch. Make it a foot in diameter.

A flash of light pulses behind him, but when he turns nothing is in sight.

Another air line arrives with the patch, and Ben molds it into place.

BEN (CONT’D)
All clear, you can start the new lines.
(pause)
Is everything all right up there?

The air lines go taut and slowly the bow of the CSS Gray Whale breaks lose from the shelf and inches upward.

BEN (CONT’D)
Houston, we have lift off!

All of a sudden the area is lit in a blaze of lights, and a dozen FRENCH FROGMEN, armed with spear-guns, converge on his position.

A startled Ben raises his hands in surrender.

As the CSS Gray Whale slowly rises to the surface in the b.g., CAPTAIN LECLERC, the lead frogman motions for Ben to follow.

BEN (CONT’D)
Boys, I think we’re being asked to leave.

[next pt 37]

Rebel Treasure thirty fourth post

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INT THE CUTE LITTLE FRENCH CAR – DAY
A tight fit would be an understatement, without the luggage Ben and Riley have squeezed Ceci into the back, but she may as well be in front it is so close.

They disgorge onto a boulevard with a bridge ahead. Then cross the bridge to the island in the middle of the river that runs through the city.

CECI
Did you know that Nantes was once a slave trade port?

RILEY
No kidding?

CECI
Oui. The ships had their home port here on this island. I know all about it because my sister, she has a salvage business that she runs here. There is her ship.

She points to the salvage vessel, moored along a quai.

EXT ST BERTHOLD’S CEMETERY – DAY
Ensconced on a concrete bench high above the main cemetery, Rance watches the comings and goings of visitors, many clutching flower bouquets. His interest piques as Ceci comes in view, leading Ben and Riley. Rance drops his gaze to a scrap of paper at his side.

INSERT
A rubbed etching of the Deveer vault inscription looks back at him.

BACK TO SCENE
His brows knit in puzzlement.

CECI (O.S.)
This left and then right.

RILEY (O.S.)
This is too weird. It’s like a little city in here.

BEN (O.S.)
It’s called a necropolis. A city for the dead.

Rance repositions his earpiece.

E/I THE RIVIERE CRYPT

BEN
Here it is!

The marble walls of the crypt gleam in the sunshine, but the iron grill gate looks forbidding with a huge lock. Ceci slips a huge iron key into the lock, and the gate swings open at her mere touch. They fall silent and step cautiously into the crypt.

With the crunch of grit and rubble beneath their feet, they are greeted by a scene of destruction. Clearly the stone ornamentation of the walls have been hacked off and the results strewn about.

BEN (CONT’D)
Whoever did this did a first rate job.

CECI
And it is fresh. See, nothing worn yet.

RILEY
I don’t know, maybe they were just frustrated.
(he points to the open vault)
Look!

Ben peers into the long narrow vault.

BEN
No gold here. If there had been it’s long gone now.

RILEY
As clean as a bone, but no bones!

CECI
Gold?

BEN
(nods)
We’re a couple of unlucky treasure hunters.

RILEY
A dead end, then?

Ben sifts through a pile and comes up with two slabs that he puts together. They form the faceplate for the vault and the DeVeer inscription can be read.

BEN
Knowing Lon, I’m sure he had a deeper plan in mind.

RILEY
DeVeer sure ain’t here!

BEN
For a guest in a borrowed tomb, he has quite a prominent spot. I wonder why.

CECI
I could consult the cemetery records.

RILEY
I’d say that it appears to point up river to the east.

BEN
But the phrase “not here” could be a clue, as in not that direction.
(he stops and slaps his forehead)
Wait a minute, he’s a sailor and to veer is move off onto the other tack. Take the GPS bearing of the center of the chamber and reverse it.

He whips out his laptop and positions it on the central dias and powers up.

RILEY
Hey, I didn’t notice this before, but it looks like this other vector runs through that island on the river that we crossed.
(peers closely)
And intersects with this line on the other side of…

BEN
…the island at the mouth of the Loire. And under water, naturally!
(looks at Ceci)
Think we could hire your sister’s boat for a little job?

[next pt 35]

Rebel Treasure seventeenth post

Rebel Treasure seventeenth post

EXT. ANNAPOLIS HARBOR – DAY

Five vessels ride their anchors out in the Roads, tended by a flock of small boats plying back and forth, transporting soldiers and supplies to shore.

Three more vessels crowd the dock, each disgorging their contents into the mountains of cargo heaping up on the wharf. A line of freight wagons do their best to cart things away but it’s a losing battle.

U. S. NAVAL ACADEMY WHARF

Jimmy, attired in the uniform of the New York State militia, wanders among the hubbub and chaos of the wharf. At last he arrives at the object of his curiosity, the base of the gold ship.

At present, no workers are busy unloading her. About to take a step toward her empty gangplank, he stops and retreats when he notices Romeo and Lon at the top.

GANGPLANK OF THE GOLD SHIP

Lon turns to the CAPTAIN of the vessel and extends a hand in thanks.

LON
You’ve been most gracious, Captain.

CAPTAIN OF THE GOLD SHIP
Not at all, it was the least that one could do for a fellow officer. I wish you success, sir. Up with the Union, down with the rebels!

Lon smiles, bids him goodbye and he and Romeo begin their descent.

LON
I will head straight to the Helmsley Tavern and will meet you there later. Meanwhile you will be about your business?

ROMEO
Yes, suh. I will seek out the harbor master and offer–
(with a grin)
my services.

A STREET IN ANNAPOLIS
As Lon threads his way through the throng of people, Jimmy keeps him in view. Besides LABORERS and PEDDLERS, most are SOLDIERS like Jimmy, in a multitude of militia uniforms.

On the corner near Helmsley’s Tavern, Lon stops and wheels around. Jimmy pretends interest in a shop sign, when he looks back, Lon is nowhere in sight. Then, before he can take another step, he is seized violently from behind and spun around.

LON
(forcefully)
I’ve had enough of your sneaking–
(recognition dawns)
Jimmy! What the devil are you doing here? And in that uniform!

JIMMY
Oh. Hi, Lon. You know I’ve fallen on hard times when you find me in the garb of a soldier.

LON
What happened?

JIMMY
It wasn’t too long after you left that I bilged, failed the February exam.
(Lon sympathizes)
I wound up at my grandfather’s in Brooklyn, and then Sumter came along–

He looks downcast. Lon puts a comforting arm around his shoulder.

LON
Still have a hankering to be a pirate?

INT. HEMSLEY’S TAVERN
Lon enters with Jimmy and immediately encounters the PROPRIETOR.

LON
My name is Turner. Someone may have been asking for me.

Lon holds out his hand, and they grip one another’s wrist. The proprietor gives him a curt nod in reply.

PROPRIETOR
Yes. I’ll send for the gentlemen. You can wait for them in here.

He motions them into:

A PRIVATE ROOM – HELMSLEY TAVERN

JIMMY
So, I’ve told you all about me, where have you been these last few months?

LON
A-sailing the bounding main.

JIMMY
Ah! Checking out the gold ship!

LON
Among other things.

JESSE JAMES enters, a man of medium height and build. At first he is all smiles and cordiality until he notices the uniform that Jimmy is wearing. With that realization his hand drops and his smile twists into a scowl.

Before he can say a word, Louis Toussant follows him into the room. He swiftly crosses to his friends and initiates a round of back slapping. With this display, the older man relaxes his animosity.

LOUIS
Well I never thought I’d ever see you two again. And together too.

LON
(to Jesse)
You can rest at ease, sir. You’re among friends. Mister?

JESSE
You can call me Jesse. Jesse James from Tennessee.

LON
A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Mr. James.

They exchange a wrist hand shake, and Lon introduces the others.

JESSE
Is the shipment really here?

LON
Yes, we accompanied it from Panama. But from here on in, it’s under a closer guard than we expected.
(looks at Jimmy)
But we’ve figured out some ways around it.

LOUIS
Do you have access to any arms?

Jimmy looks startled. Lon answers.

LON
They shouldn’t be necessary. Not the way we’ve planned it out.

JESSE
(pats his waistband)
Well, I’ve got us covered, if things get rough.

LON
I don’t think we have a worry, it should all go like clockwork.

[next pt 18]