Rebel Treasure thirty fifth post

Rebel Treasure thirty fifth post

EXT WATERFRONT NANTES – POMPADOU SALVAGE – PRESENT
The trio piles out of the cute little French car and leave it on the street in front of the ancient stone building. It is recognizable as the same used by Ross Keenan, only a century older and more begrimed.

RILEY
(to Ben)
Looks like Ebenezer Scrooge lives here.

Ceci ushers them through the building to:

INT THE SALVAGE BOAT
MARGUERITE POMPADOU, a tugboat of a woman, rises from feeding a passel of mewing kittens. Her surprise dissolves when she catches sight of her sister.

MARGUERITE
Cecille? Qu’est-ce que c’est?

CECI
Allo, ma cherie soeur. Ce sont mes amis nouveaux.

Ben’s gaze falls on a painting mounted on the wall.

BEN
Riley! Look!

There in canvas and oils is a depiction of the encounter of the Gray Whale with the Preble. Ben is dumbstruck.

RILEY
Well, I’ll be!

CECI
Mon grande arriere grand-pere, he painted it.

BEN
Are there any other records?

MARGUERITE
Pah! Old men’s stories! More crazies, fools in search of this submarine?

Ben places his gold ingot in the palm of her hand.

EXT THE SALVAGE BOAT – DAY
The basso profundo CHUG CHUG of the boat’s diesel engines reverberates across the waters of the river Loire. She easily overtakes and passes boat after boat.

ON SHORE
With binoculars held in one hand and a satellite phone in his other, Rance follows their progress and listens:

HORATIO (ON PHONE)
You are never to do that again. I told you to follow, not to go it on your own.

RANCE
But, sir, I thought…

HORATIO (ON PHONE)
I do the thinking. And now I’m going to have to call in extra help.

RANCE
But, sir, if you bring in the French…

HORATIO (ON PHONE)
They won’t know who they’re helping. Now, get back here!

Rance switches off the phone in disgust.

INT WHEEL HOUSE – THE SALVAGE BOAT
With a meerschaum pipe clenched in her teeth, Marguerite has full command. Swearing under her breath she reaches for the signal chain and yanks a couple of angry BLASTS on the horn. She mutters something else.

BEN (to Ceci)
What did she say?

CECI
I am embarrassed to say.

Marguerite addresses a question to Ceci.

CECI (CONT’D)
(to Ben)
She is asking about your qualifications to dive.

BEN
Tell her, I was trained in the U.S. Navy. I can handle it.

Ceci passes on the word, and gets a reply.

CECI
She says good. She has a lot riding on this venture.

BEN
Judging by those papers she had us sign I don’t doubt it.

At this, Marguerite turns from the wheel and grins.

EXT THE SALVAGE SHIP – OFF THE ISLAND
Riley looks up from a monitor and smiles at Ceci.

RILEY
Your sister has a nice remote.

She smiles in return and points at the screen.

CECI
Why are you heading it that way?

INSERT OF MONITOR SCREEN
A very rocky bottom swims by under the lens of the remote viewing device.

RILEY
This is the bearing we have from our source. He has been very accurate.

BACK TO SCENE

BEN
Hold it! Back it up and head down to the right.

Ben points at a dark area on the screen.

BEN (CONT’D)
(to Ceci)
Ask your sister to move us in closer.

[next pt 36]

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 thirtysecond post

Rebel Treasure thirtysecond post

EXT BOATHOUSE ON THE RIVERSIDE – NANTES – 1865 – DAY
Rain is falling in sheets as the riverside doors of the boathouse open to reveal the submarine with a full head of steam up. As soon as the doors clear, the monstrous ship slides into the river.

Arriving mid-channel, she stops and the current turns her head downstream. A Confederate battleflag flaps defiantly from her stern.

INT THE CSS GRAY WHALE
Lon reaches for one of the speaker tubes above the wheel. Louis and Romeo flank him in the crowded control room. The view ahead is murky and hazy.

LON
(into the speaker tube)
Any sign of that Yankee warship?

No response.

LON (CONT’D)
Jonah! Are you there?
(to Louis)
Run forward and check on that warship.

ROMEO
I’ll go!

He’s gone before Lon can answer.

LON
Good man.

LOUIS
I agree. He knows his place.

LON
(without turning around)
And he deserves to be free and I’m going to see to it when we get to where we’re going.

A fleeting glare of menace passes over Louis’ visage as he stares at the back of his commanding officer. Mr Clay and a pleased Mr Keenan squeeze in beside them.

ROSS
Humming like a top!

CLAY
Well worth the price.

Romeo returns.

ROMEO
The petty officer’s respects, sir. We’re raising the island at the mouth of the river, and we see a vessel coming in to the main channel. A warship.

LON
Very well. Mr. Keenan, would you prepare to submerge her?

EXT USS PREBLE – QUARTERDECK
Lt. Manning props his glass in the rigging and trains it on the CSS Gray Whale.

Forward on the bow a dozen SAILORS swarm their ten inch pivot gun, pushing and pulling the monster into direct line with the oncoming CSS Gray Whale.

UPSHUR
What the devil is he doing?

MANNING
I don’t know, sir. Their flag is gone.

UPSHUR
I can see that. Yet how can she pick up speed and no smoke?

MANNING
And she appears lower in the water?

Upshur takes the glass.

UPSHUR
She’s submerging!

He bounds to the taffrail and hollers down the length of the deck.

UPSHUR (CONT’D)
Commence firing! Now!

A thunderous CRASH answers his order.

EXT THE CSS GRAY WHALE
The screaming projectile passes over the vessel and splashes down to its rear. It detonates sending up a plume larger than both ships put together and its spray envelopes the Gray Whale.

INT THE CSS GRAY WHALE
The explosion ECHOES through the iron skin of the vessel. And forward the sea closes over the bow and soon envelopes the view port.

LON
Hold her at a depth of 80 feet.
(taking up a speaking tube)
Jimmy, make the battery connections and engage the forward propeller when ready.

[next pt 33]

Rebel Treasure thirtyfirst post

Rebel Treasure thirtyfirst post

INT ABBY’S HOTEL ROOM – MEXICO CITY – MORNING
The early morning tropical sun cheerfully bathes Abby in its glow. She has her laptop open with the web browser logged onto her e-mail. She attaches a file to her note to Ben and clicks the send button. She powers down immediately and pops out the LAN card and turns to give it to Letitia Slidell.

ABIGAIL
Thanks, that was a real lifesaver. I have no idea what happened to mine.

MRS. SLIDELL
My pleasure, dear. I also feel fortunate to have made your acquaintance. What brings you to Mexico City, if I may ask?

INT INTERNET CAFE – NANTES – NIGHT
Riley packs two espressos across the crowded cafe to the counter where Ben is tapping away on the laptop.

BEN
(looking up)
Any leads on cemeteries?

RILEY
The barrista tells me that the only ones with Americans buried in them are up in Normandy.

BEN
Wrong war. Well, good news from Mexico, Abby has sent us another decoded section of the journal.

Their tattooed and pierced neighbor, a stunning brunette in Goth makeup, CECI POMPADOU, leans over to Riley.

CECI
Tourist, no?

Riley takes one look at her and gets tongue-tied.

BEN
No. We’re here on business.

CECI
(keeping her attention on Riley)
Me. I am a tour guide. I know all there is to know about Nantes and Brittany.

BEN
How many cemeteries are there in this city?

Ceci turns to her laptop and motions to them to join her.

CECI
Quelle est… Is there a certain name that you desire?

Ben turns their laptop towards her and points.

BEN
I believe that this inscription may be on the grave we are looking for.

INSERT OF INSCRIPTION
Don’t look for DeVeer He ain’t here.

BACK TO SCENE

CECI
A family name of DeVeer? Sounds Dutch.
(she clicks away)
The Riviere family crypt at St Berthold’s lists that name.

A look passes between Ben and Riley.

RILEY
How much do you charge?

CECI
It is but a small thing. How about an espresso and 200 francs?

BEN
Deal! Tomorrow after breakfast.

Riley dutifully goes in search of an espresso for her.

[next pt 32]