>>/ Hannibal

/ Hannibal ( 2)

: / Hannibal.

/ Hannibal

DR. FELL I found a nice rendering of it here in the library the other day. If you'd like perhaps I could sneak it out for you.

PAZZI I'd think that might jeopardize your chances for permanent appointment to the curatorship.

DR. FELL Only if you told. (Fell smiles again) Remind me. What was his crime?

PAZZI He was accused of killing Giuliano de'Medici.

DR. FELL Unjustly?

PAZZI No, I don't think so.

DR. FELL Then he wasn't just accused. He did it. He was guilty.

A knowing look from Fell makes Pazzi wonder if he somehow knows he knows he's Lecter.

DR. FELL I'd think that would make living in Florence with the name Pazzi uncomfortable, even 500 years later.

PAZZI Not really. In fact, I can't remember the last time - before today - someone brought it up.

DR. FELL But people don't always tell you what they're thinking ... They just see to it you don't advance. (then) I'm sorry, I too often say what I'm thinking. I'll be right back to help you.

Fell leaves Pazzi alone in the room ...

FELL'S VOICE Any developments in the Il Mostro case?

PAZZI I believe my colleagues are checking suspects' homes to see if they have any Botticelli prints.

FELL'S VOICE In their homes? That would be rather obvious, wouldn't it?

PAZZI Serial killers are obvious. Their primary motivation is to be obvious, to be noticed.

FELL'S VOICE But not caught.

In another room, Fell opens a drawer and takes out a pair of leather gloves.

PAZZI'S VOICE Yes, that too, I think.

DR. FELL Not really.

PAZZI'S VOICE Yes.

FELL'S VOICE Hmmm.

In the salon, Pazzi peers closely at the handles of the suitcases to see if he can tell which, if either, has the better print. It doesn't matter really; in a few moments he'll get another, fresh one.

FELL'S VOICE By the way, the room you're standing in was built in the 15th-century.

PAZZI It's beautiful.

FELL'S VOICE Yes. Unfortunately, I think the heating system was installed just about the same time.

Fell reappears pulling on the gloves. Elaborating a shiver, he rubs them together.

FELL All right, let's drag these things down. They're as heavy as bodies.

INT/EXT. PERFUMERY - DAY

From across the street, Pazzi watches Fell inside the small shop browsing at the glass bottles that line the shelves, his ungloved hands clasped behind his back like someone looking at great art, his nose taking in the cacophony of scents.

The hands unclasp. A finger reaches to a bottle - but doesn't touch it - moving slowly back and forth an inch away from the label as a reading aid. The hands return then to their clasped position behind the back.

EXT. CAFE - LATER

Fell, alone at a table, his hand grasping a wine glass firmly, bringing it to his lips, and setting it back down. Pazzi, watching from across the street, smiles ... until Fell takes a last sip, touches a napkin to his lips, slides the cloth across the glass in a single, mechanical motion, gets up and leaves.

INT. JEWELRY STORE - DAY

Pazzi's hands peel tens of thousands of lira from his money clip as a jeweler's hands rub a soft cloth at the blank face of a silver ID bracelet.

JEWELER What would you like engraved on it, sir?

PAZZI Nothing.

JEWELER May I apply an anti-tarnish coating?

PAZZI No.

EXT. ROAD TO PRATO - DAY

Sollicciano, the dreaded Florentine jail.

INT. JAIL - WOMEN'S DIVISION - DAY

A young woman's eyes drift down from Pazzi's tie clasp, to his wedding band, to his silver ID bracelet. In a crowd on the street, she could remove all three in an instant and he wouldn't even notice they were gone until he got home.

ROMULA What do you want? Information?

PAZZI What sort of information would you be willing to give me, Romula? Names and descriptions of fifteen Gypsy pickpockets who never existed? No, what I want is to get you out of here. And to make your arrest record permanently disappear. In exchange, all I want from you is the usual thing. Only I want you to fail.

EXT. FELL'S RESIDENCE - DAY

Fell emerges from his residence with a cloth shopping bag. As he walks away on the cobblestoned street, a Vespa - with Pazzi driving and Romula holding him around the waist - races past and disappears into the traffic.

EXT. VERA DAL 1926 - LATER

Pazzi and Romula, on the parked scooter, watch Fell inside the exclusive food shop selecting figs and white truffles.

PAZZI When you fumble for his wallet, he'll catch you by the wrist -

ROMULA I've done this a few times, Inspector -

PAZZI Not like this. If there isn't a clean print on that bracelet - (on her wrist now) - it's back to Sollicciano.

ROMULA If there's a problem and someone helps, don't hurt him. My friend doesn't know anything, and won't take anything, let him run off.

PAZZI There won't be a problem. The man can't afford a problem. He'll want to get away from you more than you will from him.

Here he comes, out the door of the shop, the little bell above it tinkling. Pazzi waits a moment, then starts the Vespa, puts it in gear. As he blends in among cars racing past Fell, the sound of a choir practicing - somewhere - begins and carries over:

INT. CHURCH OF SAN CROCE - LATER

Tourists drop 200-lira pieces into coin boxes that trigger light to be thrown across the great frescos of Christ. The clicking timers wind down after only a few moments and the murals plunge back into incense-smoky darkness.

Pazzi, lurking in the vast cathedral by Galileo's grave, points with his chin to a transept to the left of the main altar. There, Romula can see the kneeling shape of a lone figure and the outline of his shopping bag.

Fell has brought along his art supplies and uses some now to carefully make a charcoal rubbing of an inscription in the stone. To keep his hands clean, he wears a pair of thin cotton gloves.

A bell sounds. Midday closing. Sextons coming out with their keys to empty the coin boxes. Tourists looking around puzzled in the dark, not yet understanding they all have to leave. Pazzi watches Fell rise from his labors, carefully place the charcoal rubbing in his shopping bag and pull the gloves off.

PAZZI (a whisper) Okay?

She nods, moves away to the entrance of the church. The crowd will force Fell to pass right by her here. Troubled by something, though - a feeling - she looks down. Sees she's standing on the tomb of Michelangelo. Steps off and whispers to the slab -

ROMULA Sorry.

Fell is coming toward her in the dark, oblivious to what is about to happen. Someone reaches into a purse and fishes out a 200-lira coin.

Romula begins to move toward the dark shape moving toward her. Her friend and protector, Gnocco, falls in a couple steps behind her. A hand drops the coin in a slot.

Just as Romula and her target are upon one another, a light goes on illuminating a fresco of a bloodied Christ and Fell's eyes, looking straight into hers and chilling her heart. The ticking of the coin box accompanies an awkward moment before Romula manages -

ROMULA Excuse me.

She continues past Fell, the bracelet - untouched - jangling dully on her wrist. Fell looks back over his shoulder at the woman. She looks back over hers for a second, and the light goes out leaving him in silhouette.

Fell walks away out past the doors and into the blinding sunlight. Pazzi wanders around in the dark and finally finds Romula at a font, scrubbing her hands in the holy water.

ROMULA That's the Devil.

She takes the bracelet off and hands it to Pazzi. He watches water drip from it and his hands to the floor.

PAZZI So I'll drive you back to jail then.

ROMULA Yes.

She splashes holy water on her face. Pazzi shakes his head and glances away, watches absently as a sexton empties one of the coin boxes, then notices Gnocco, standing in the shadows.

EXT. PIAZZA SANTO SPIRITO - NIGHT

The dark water of the Arno drifts slowly under a bridge. On the left bank, by the fountain, Gnocco and some other Gypsies share a joint. In between hits, Gnocco slices up an orange, his eyes hazy but his hand quick with the blade, the juice of the fruit dripping onto his fingers.

GNOCCO Two million lire.

PAZZI Fine.

GNOCCO Give me the bracelet.

PAZZI Wash your fuckin hands.

EXT. VIA SAN LEONARDO - NIGHT

Steep cobbled ill-lit street. Gnocco leaning in a dark, gated niche built into a high stone wall protecting villas inside. He finishes a joint, tosses it away. Spits on the bracelet and wipes it clean with the tail of his shirt. As he's about to put it on his wrist, his jacket vibrates. With his free hand he removes a cell phone from the pocket.

PAZZI'S VOICE He's coming.

The call disconnects. Gnocco slips the phone back into the pocket, clasps the bracelet around his wrist and steps out of the shadows.

Several people appear around the corner, all of them well- dressed. A show must have just let out. Gnocco walks up the narrow street toward the column of advancing bobbing heads, keeping his eyes on one of them. Fell.

Gnocco and the group are upon each other. Stoned and swimming against the current, the pickpocket angles toward his mark, bumps into him, reaches inside the elegant coat, feels the wrist with the bracelet seized in a terrific grip, twists it free hardly breaking stride, and emerges from the tail of the throng.

He veers into another dark niche and bends over slightly to catch his breath. In a moment, quick footsteps announce Pazzi's arrival.

GNOCCO I got it. He grabbed me just right. Tried to hit me in the balls, but he missed.

He holds out the arm with the braclet for Pazzi to take it off. As the Inspector works carefully at the clasp, Gnocco sucks in another deep breath of air.

GNOCCO Jesus -

PAZZI What - ?

Gnocco suddenly collapses to one knee, the bracelet pulling from Pazzi's hands. Blood begins to gush out of a neat tear in his pants.

More confuses than in pain, Gnocco looks down at the blood only to have it spray up into his face. Trying to ignore the blood - even as it sprays on him - Pazzi works to get the bracelet off, and finally frees it.

Gnocco stares dumbly at himself in his praying position, then tries to stop the flow of blood with his hand. As he collapses against the iron gate. Pazzi sets the bracelet in the box it came in, pockets it, then reaches into Gnocco's bloody pocket and takes the phone.

PAZZI Here, let me help you.

Gnocco looks up at Pazzi gratefully, feels his hand being moved away from the wound and held, feels nothing pressed in its place, feels his blood drainging out of his body, then feels nothing. He's dead.

Pazzi gets up. Takes out a handkerchief. Wrapped inside is a used syringe. He tosses it on the ground and walks away.

INT. VERGER'S CHAMBER - DAY

Verger, lying in the dark, watches a technician in a pool of bright light in the sitting area using a cordless power screwdriver to back out the screws that secure the bracelet to the jeweler's stand. Carefully, he lifts it out of the velvet box and sets it on a china plate.

A few flecks of dried blood fall onto the porcelain. More dried blood encrusts the silver. He dusts the bracelet with Dragon's Blood powder, angles a hot lamp at it and photographs the one - in situ - print.

He comes around the tripod then and lifts the print, tapes it to a slide and compares it to Lecter's FBI print card under a microscope. The swirling lines come into sharp focus.

TECHNICIAN Middle finger of the left hand. Sixteen point match.

EXT. SARDINIA - DAY

On a mountain farm deep in central Sardinia, a young man wheels an empty, battered metal gurney along the fence-line of a large pen.

Inside the adjacent shed, another young man picks through a pile of old clothes. In a corner, a third young man shuffles through a small handful of audio cassette tapes.

Carlo and his gurney arrive. His brother Matteo has chosen an ensemble of pants and shirt, and lays it out on the sheet. Carlo's cell phone rings. He flips it open.

MASON'S VOICE Carlo?

CARLO Mason?

MASON'S VOICE Ciao, Bello. Come stai? You have all your shots? There's a nasty winter flu going around.

CARLO Am I coming to see you?

MASON'S VOICE Soon, I think, but first I need you to pack off the boys. Yes, I know, the day you never thought would arrive, has. Got a pencil?

Carlo grabs a pen and a scrap of paper from the trestle table by the gurney, where his brother is now filling the clothes with meat and acorns and entrails and bread.

MASON'S VOICE You need to get certified cholera inoculations - well, not you - and Ace- promazine for sedation. That's a-c-e-p-r- oh, the hell with it, you'll find it. Cordell will fax the Veterinary Service forms directly to Animal and Plant Health - but you need to get the veterinary affidavits from Sardinia.

As Carlo scribbles the shipping instructions, Piero decides on a tape, drops it in and carries the boom box outside.

MASON'S VOICE The airbus will await you in Cagliari. Count Fleet Airlines. The crates can be no larger than four-by-six - it's as bad as carry-on rules. An on-board inspector has to travel with them. They'll be met at Baltimore-Washington Airport - not the Key West quarantine facility - by my people who will clear them through Customs. Va bene?

CARLO Got it.

MASON'S VOICE How are they?

CARLO They're really big, Mason. About two hundred and seventy kilos.

MASON'S VOICE Wow.

Someone starts screaming outside; a recorded male voice from the boom box. Matteo splashes some expensive cologne on the stuffed clothes and wheels the gurney out.

MASON'S VOICE Oh, I called at a good time. I can hear that. Would it be too much trouble to take the phone outside?

Carlo walks out to the pen with the phone. Matteo is there, lowering the gurney while Piero raises the volume on the boom box. The recorded screams echo out across the mountains - a fitting overture for the dark shadows coming out of the woods.

EXT. BANK - GENEVA - DAY

The unassuming facade of Geneva Credit Suisse.

INT. CREDIT SUISSE VAULT - DAY

A bank clerk and another man, both in business suits, work their keys to open four deep lock boxes with brass plates.

INT. ADJACENT PRIVACY ROOM - DAY

Alone in this severe, scrubbed, very Swiss room, Pazzi can hear the sound of wheels. In a moment a cart with four large metal deposit boxes is pushed in.

The clerk excuses himself. The other man raises the lids of the boxes revealing three hundred banded blocks of non- sequential hundred dollar bills.

Pazzi watches the man tear the paper bands off ten of the neat stacks and set the loose bills in a counting machine. The numbers on the LCD display climb.

MR. KONIE The full balance of the money is payable upon receipt of the doctor alive. (the same dry Swiss voice Pazzi heard on the phone recording) Of course, you won't have to seize him yourself, but merely point him out to us. In fact, it's preferable to all concerned if that's the extent of your involvement from this point.

PAZZI I prefer to stay involved. To make sure things go right.

MR. KONIE Professionals will see to that, sir.

PAZZI I'm a professional.

The glowing LCD display stops at $100,000.

INT. FLORENCE PERFUMERY - DAY

Flushed with the feeling that one of the bundles of money makes against his thigh, Pazzi enters the exlusive shop and browses at the bottles of scents on the shelves.

PERFUMER May I help you, sir?

PAZZI Yes. Yes, you may.

INT. PAZZI'S APARTMENT - EVENING

An aria can be heard as Allegra Pazzi, sitting at her dressing table in her underclothes, uncaps a small unlabeled bottle of perfume and carefully touches a drop to her wrist.

Across the bedroom, knotting a new tie that drapes against a handmade linen shirt that still shows the fold-creases, Pazzi watches as his wife lifts the wrist to her beautiful face, smells the scent on it and smiles to herself.

Pazzi smiles, too, to himself, as he watches her place another drop on the other wrist and two more just under her diamond-studded ear lobes.

It's almost like watching sex.

INT. TEATRO MICHAHELLES - NIGHT

The aria fills the grand darkened interior of the theatre. In a private box overlooking the stage, Pazzi sits with his wife's hand in his - he in his new Sulka suit, she in her new evening gown. The scalped tickets for these seats must have cost him a fortune, but then he can afford it now.

A whiteness down below, caught by the bounce of a stage light, draws Pazzi's attention from the diva. The bright glow belongs to the starched French cuffs of a white dress shirt poking out of dark sleeves, the hands intertwined, the chin resting on them.

It's Dr. Fell, engrossed in the drama, lost in the harrowed beauty of the prima donna's voice. But then, the head come around like an owl's, the eyes peering up to the private box. Pazzi had a second of opportunity to look away but missed it, and now their eyes meet.

Pazzi involuntarily squeezes his wife's hand. The pressure draws a loving look from her, but Pazzi's is still locked on Fell's enigmatic little smile, much as he wishes it wasn't, until a crescendo in the music - finally - draws Fell's head and eyes back to the stage. Applause.

EXT. TEATRO PICCOLOMINI - NIGHT

A crush of theatergoers maneuvers for cabs.

DR. FELL Enjoy the performance, Commendatore?

Pazzi and his wife, waiting for a free cab, turn to see Fell standing behind them. He smiles pleasantly.

PAZZI Very much. Allegra, this is Dr. Fell, Curator of the Capponi Library.

DR. FELL Curator protempore, Signora Pazzi. I'm honored.

Pazzi's eyes follow Fell's hand as it reaches to and holds his wife's, his wrist bowing slightly. Allegra smiles at his grace and the graceful tone of his voice.

ALLEGRA Is that an American accent, doctor?

DR. FELL Canadian, wrung through the eastern sea- board of America.

ALLEGRA I've always wanted to visit. New England especially.

DR. FELL Umm. It's nice. I've enjoyed many excellent meals there.

Pazzi would very much enjoy leaving, and looks away hoping to see a driver interested in his patronage.

DR. FELL Did I notice you following the score, Signora? Hardly anyone does it anymore. Would this interest you?

From a portfolio under his arm, he produces a hand-copied score on parchment - c. 1688 - each page in a plastic sleeve.

DR. FELL I've marked in overlay some of the differences from the modern score, which might amuse you. Please take it.

ALLEGRA Look at this, Rinaldo.

PAZZI I can see it.

And both of their hands, Fell's and hers, on it.

ALLEGRA I did have some trouble with the recitative at the beginning.

DR. FELL Dante's first sonnet from La Vita Nuova. He saw Beatrice Portinari across a chapel and he loved her at that instant and for the rest of his life. But then had a disturbing dream -

ALLEGRA (reading from text) Joyous Love seemed to me, the while he held my heart in his hands, and in his arms, My lady lay asleep wrapped in a veil -

DR. FELL (continuing from memory) He woke her then, and trembling and obedient, she ate that burning heart out of his hand. Weeping, I saw him then depart from me.

ALLEGRA He saw her eat his heart! (Fell likes that as much as she does) Do you believe a man could become so obsessed with a woman from a single encounter?

DR. FELL Could he daily feel a stab of hunger for her? Find nourishment in the very sight of her? I think so. But would she see through the bars of his plight, and ache for him?

Allegra waits for the answer, but Fell doesn't have it; he just looks away wistfully as his fingers slide away from the plastic like snakes.

ALLEGRA Thank you for this.

Fell's nod says, I'm your servant. Pazzi pulls open the back door of a cab.

DR. FELL Commendatore. (as he shakes Pazzi's hand) A ... lle ... gra ...

It's all Pazzi can do to keep from arresting the man as he watches Fell rape his wife with a kiss of her hand. His head stays down there longer than it should as he savors the aroma emanating from her wrist. Finally the head rises back up and Pazzi all but shoves Allegra into the cab. As Fell watches after it driving away, a couple passes behind them.

THEATERGOER Let's get something to eat.

DR. FELL (to himself) Yes, quite.

The hand that held Allegra's when he kissed it comes up to his face. He takes in the residue of the scent.

INT. STARLING'S HOUSE - LATE NIGHT

Empty coffee cup and dinner debris on Starling's desk. Sitting at her computer, she types in a code summoning the FBI's private VICAP site. Navigating deep into it with other codes, she reaches a page with a query panel and types in - "cookies."

The screen fills with long lines of text - words and numbers and slashes and hyphens - the "fingerprints" left by everyone who has accessed the site over the last year.

Most have addresses within the FBI itself and Justice Department; the majority of the rest from Interpol and other internationl police organizations. The scrolling list goes on forever.

She narrows her search to show only those who have visited the VICAP Lecter files, then narrows it further to those who have "knocked" more than twenty times in the last month.

Her own screen name - "cstarling" - appears on the new list more than any other. There are also several flagged hits by "pkrendler." She smiles at one name - "jcrawford." He isn't supposed to be accessing the VICAP files anymore, now that he's retired, but just can't help himself.

The next heaviest user is a name she doesn't recognize. Someone who calls him or herself, "pfrancesco." She stares long at the screen name and finally whispers to it -

STARLING Could that be you, Doctor?

EXT. CEMETERY - FLORENCE - NIGHT

We slowly approach - from someone's moving point of view - a pair of young lovers walking toward us under the trees. As they draw closer - oblivious to us, and our breath, and our footsteps on the cobblestone path -

Pazzi enters his own POV. Once past the lovers, he takes out a pencil-thin Maglite and rakes its narrow beam across names on the chipped-marble tombstones he passes, the light settling eventually on someone called "Lorenzo Mametti."

He tosses a cheap bunch of wilting flowers onto the grave and looks around for whoever it is he's supposed to be meet- ing here. A shadowy figure emerges almost soundlessly from behind a crypt and Pazzi finds the face with his pen light.

CARLO Please.

Pazzi snaps it off. Carlo comes out into the open looking like a grave digger in his work clothes, perches on a squat headstone, and first offering one to Pazzi, who declines, lights himself a cigarette.

CARLO I want him in the open street with not a lot of people around.

PAZZI How will you take him down?

CARLO That's my business.

PAZZI It's my business too.

CARLO You're a cop, aren't you.

PAZZI I asked you a question.

CARLO Yeah, you're a cop, all right. I'll stun him with a beanbag gun, net him, give him a shot.

PAZZI He has to lecture tomorrow night. It won't be strange if I attend; he actually thinks I'm interested. Can you do it that soon?

CARLO Will you walk with him or are you afraid of him?

PAZZI I'll do what I'm paid to do and so will you, only I'll be better paid for it.

Carlo removes his hat and bows his head as if to pray. Someone is walking on a path intersecting theirs down by the mausoleums. The figure disappears behind the stone walls.

PAZZI I want him out of Tuscany fast.

CARLO Believe me, he'll be gone from the face of the earth fast. Feet first.

INT. STARLING'S LECTEREUM - DAY

Starling glances from an international number jotted down on her blotter to the phone on which she's dialing it. A paused time-coded frame of Lecter at the Florence perfumery, taking in a scent on his hand, glows on her television as she listens to a European ring.

INT. QUESTURA - SAME TIME - EVENING

Pictures of Il Mostro's victims stare at the detective who picks up the ringing phone.

DETECTIVE Questura. Pandolfini.

STARLING'S VOICE I'd like to speak with Chief Inspector Rinaldo Pazzi, please. I'm Agent Clarice Starling with the American FBI.

The detective puts her on hold and shouts "Pazzi!" across the room to where Pazzi was just grabbing his coat off the rack to leave. He holds the receiver up, then cradles it. Pazzi groans. Keeps his coat on. Lifts the receiver of another phone near him and pushes the blinking light.

PAZZI Pazzi.

STARLING'S VOICE Inspector Pazzi, it's Agent Starling with the FBI. How do you do?

He was doing fine until this instant.

INTERCUT him here and Starling in her basement room -

PAZZI Actually I was just leaving for the day, can I call you back tomorrow?

STARLING This won't take long. I'd appreciate it.

Pazzi groans again to himself as he glances to the clock.

STARLING I wanted to thank you, first of all, for sending me the security tape from the perfume store.

The security tape? Pazzi thought he buried that tape.

STARLING When I say you, I mean your department. Agent Benetti. Is he there? Can I speak with him?

Pazzi is looking right at the young man pouring himself a cup of water at the dispenser.

PAZZI I'm sorry, he's gone home.

STARLING That's all right. I should tell you this rather than him anyway -

PAZZI I'm late for an important lec - an important appointment -

STARLING The person I'm looking for, Inspector - who was indeed shown on that tape - is Hannibal Lecter.

PAZZI Who?

STARLING Dr. Hannibal Lecter. You've never heard of him? He's quite well-known, at least in America.

PAZZI I'm sorry, I'm not familiar -

STARLING And the tape confirms that he is - or was recently - in Florence.

PAZZI Really.

STARLING He's a very dangerous man, Inspector Pazzi. He's killed nine people - that we know of.

PAZZI We know about dangerous men around here, too, unfortunately.

STARLING Il Mostro.

PAZZI Yes. (pause) You don't think -

STARLING No, I don't. The crimes of Il Mostro bear no resemblance to Lecter's in ... in style.

PAZZI I really have to go, Miss -

STARLING Starling. Just another minute. Are you sure you've never heard of him?

PAZZI I haven't -

STARLING Because I'm confused. I'm confused by that because someone there has been accessing our private VICAP files on Dr. Lecter with some regularity, on your computer.

PAZZI Everybody uses everybody's computer here. Maybe one of the detectives on Il Mostro was looking at profiles of killers to -

STARLING I'm speaking about the computer at your home, sir.

Silence on both ends of the line. A printout on her desk shows the Internet trail. Scribbled on a Post-It stuck to it is "pfrancesco = rinaldo pazzi."

STARLING You're trying to catch him yourself, aren't you, Inspector? For the reward. I cannot warn you strongly enough against that. He killed three policemen down in Memphis, while he was in custody, tearing the face off one of them - and he will kill you too if you -

He hangs up on her.

INT/EXT. PALAZZO VECCHIO - LATER - EVENING

As the sky darkens, floodlights across the piazza blink on and wash across the rough stone walls of the Palazzo Vecchio. As bats fly out from the jack-o'-lantern teeth of the parapets the image suddenly goes to -

BLACK AND WHITE - a security monitor in the foyer, on which a guard watches the creatures circling the building looking for darker quarters.

A clunking sound draws our attention, but not his, to the stairs, where we briefly glimpse the bottom half of a hand truck - with something big strapped to it - as it's pulled with some effort up the top steps.

UPPER HALL

The hand truck is wheeling toward us now, along the long hall, and we see that it is a lectern - as big as a pulpit - strapped to it. We watch it coming, and the worker pushing it - that same man again, the Palazzo's custodian - into -

THE SALON OF LILIES

- where the restorers are climbing down from their scaffolding, closing up their cans of spirits and paints, packing up to leave for the day.

Metal folding chairs have been arranged on the drop cloths covering the floor in split rows of six. Fell is at a small table in back of them, setting up a slide projector. He turns it on and angle its bright white light onto a home movie screen draping off the arm of its metal stand.

He sees the custodian coming in with the hand truck and points out to him that he'd like the lectern up front, to one side of the screen.

The screen. It's too small. The projector light spilling way wide of its edges. The drop cloth hanging from the scaffolding behind it would work much better.

As the custodian unstraps and sets up the lectern, Fell takes down the little screen, sets it aside, and stands before the cloth, smoothing at its flickering folds.

The last of the restorers straggles out. The custodian unplugs and coils the long orange cord of the floor polisher, hand-over-elbow. Fell adds a brown extension cord to the projector remote and snakes it along the ersatz aisle between the chairs to the lectern.

He sets some books on the podium, places his hands on its sides to test the comfort of its height - it's satisfactory - and looks out over his invisible audience.

The custodian is finished straightening up. Fell watches him cross behind the back row of folding chairs, approach the open doorway, and pauses for a few moments - too many moments - to gaze up at the Botticelli before leaving.

EXT. PALAZZO VECCHIO - NIGHT

A great shadow rears up against the floodlit wall. It belongs to Pazzi, as he crossed the piazza, glancing once to Carlo and his brother Matteo smoking next to a van before disappearing into the palazzo's front entrance.

FELL'S VOICE Avarice and hanging are linked in the medieval mind -

INT. SALON OF LILIES - NIGHT

The "dragons" of the Studiolo - and Sogliato - face us in the folding chairs, listening to the lecture -

FELL'S VOICE St. Jerome writes that Judas' very surname - Iscariot - means 'money,' or 'price.'

A ringing phone interrupts. The heads all turn. Pazzi, standing just inside the doors, gropes for his cell phone, extracts it from his jacket pocket.

FELL Ah, Commendatore Pazzi.

STARLING'S VOICE It wasn't easy, but I got this number without telling them why, Inspector Paz -

He hangs up on her. Switches off the phone's power.

PAZZI Sorry.

FELL Not al all. Welcome. Since you are closest to the lights, would you be so kind as to dim the lights?

Pazzi twists a dimmer on the wall and the lights come down.

FELL Thank you. You'll be interested in this, Commendatore, since there is a Pazzi already in Dante's Inferno.

An art slide appears on the drop cloth. Fell improves the focus with the remote.

FELL Here is the earliest known depiction of the Crucifixion, carved on an ivory box in Gaul about A.D. Four Hundred. It includes the death by hanging of Judas, his face upturned to the branch that suspends him. (the slide changes) And here he is, on the doors of the Benevento Cathedral, hanging with his bowels falling out as St. Luke the physician described him in the Acts of the Apostles - still looking up.

The shadow of a bat flies across the image, but everyone, so accustomed to the occurence, ignores it.

FELL In this plate, from a fifteenth- century edition of the Inferno, Pier della Vigna's body hangs from a bleeding tree. I will not belabor the obvious parallel with Judas Iscariot.

Pazzi, still in the back of the room, tries desperately to separate the legs of a folding chair without having them squeak.

FELL But Dante Alighieri needed no drawn illustration. It is his genius to make Pier della Vigna, now in Hell, speak in strained hisses and coughing sibilants as though he is hanging still. Listen as he drags with the other damned his own dead body to hang upon the thorn tree:

Fell's normally composed face pains as he recites from memory Dante's words of the agonal Pier della Vigna -

FELL Come l'altre verrem per nostre spoglie, ma no pero ch'alcuna sen rivesta, che non e giusto aver cio ch'om si toglie. Qui le strascineremo, e per la mesta selva saranno i nostri corpi appesi, ciascuno al prun de l'ombra sua molesta.

A single metallic squeak from the back of the room punctuates the last word.

FELL Avarice, hanging, self-destruction, with avarice counting as self-destruction as much as hanging. And what does the anonymous Florentine suicide say in his torment at the end of the canto? (pained) Io fei gibetto a me de le mie case. I - I make my own house be my gallows. (pause) Thank you for your kind attention.

Now there are, gratefully, a lot of chair squeaks as the scholars stand to applaud Fell and come around him to shake his hand. Pazzi has to step aside to keep from being knocked over by Sogliato leaving.

The lights stay dimmed. Pazzi makes his way to Fell and waits, as an autograph-seeker waits, for the last of the fans to shake the doctor's hand and step away.

PAZZI I'm not a scholar, but I think you've got the job. Can I buy you a celebratory drink?

FELL How kind of you. Yes, I'd like that. I'll just be a minute gathering my things.

As Fell takes his tomes from the lectern and carries them back to the projector table, Pazzi switches the power back on his cell phone. Nothing happens. He realizes he has pressed the ring/vibrate, not the power button, powers it up now and makes a call.

PAZZI Allegra, cara, I'll be home just a little later than I said. I'm taking Dr. Fell out for a drink.

INTERCUT Carlo, outside, watching the entry of the Palazzo.

CARLO I can see the people coming out now.

Back in the Salon, Pazzi hangs up. Fell gathers his slides.

FELL Oh, I should've shown them this one. I can't imagine how I missed it. This one will interest you.

He drops the slide in front of the projector bulb and the image appears on the drop cloth: a drawing of a man hanging naked beneath the battlements of this palace, the Palazzo Vecchio, from the exact same angle we saw on the security monitor.

FELL Can you make it out all right?

It's a little blurry but Fell works with the remote and the illustration passes back and forth across the plane of focus. Keeping the remote in one hand, he takes a rag from his satchel with the other, and approaches Pazzi, his silhouette against on the drop cloth looming large as he comes. FELL There's a name down here, can you see it?

Pazzi comes close to look. The projector's focusing motor purrs as Fell works it with the remote. The lettering sharpens: Francesco Pazzi. Cheerfully -

FELL It's your ancestor, Commendatore. Hanging beneath these very windows. On a related subject, I must confess to you I'm giving serious thought to eating your wife.

He pulls at the heavy drop cloth. It comes down, enveloping Pazzi. Fell seizes him around the chest and presses the ether-soaked rag over the canvas where Pazzi's face must be - the image of his hanging ancestor splashed across the wall under the scaffolding.

EXT. PALAZZO VECCHIO - NIGHT

At the back of the van, its doors open, Carlo unzips a black vinyl guitar gig-bag. Inside is his beanbag stun rifle. He sets it next to the case and leans past the side of the door to check on his brother, Matteo, stationed across the piazza at the far end of the palazzo.

From Matteo's position - if he were looking - he could see that his brother Carlo would like him to pay attention.

Matteo is paying attention, only it's to a young couple in a car parked in the shadows across the street, necking.

A rock hits Matteo's pant leg and he finally looks up to his brother by the van, who is saying with the arm that threw the rock, What's the matter with you?

Neither one of them pays any attention to the worker sitting on the ledge of the fountain - the custodian from the Palazzo Vecchio - who glances up from time to time from the tip of his burning cigarette to the young lovers in the car.

INT. SALON OF LILIES - NIGHT

Pazzi's gun, his plastic handcuffs strips and his wallet sit next to Fell's work permit and permesso di soggiorno on the podium.

Fell himself is standing next to it, working the plug-end of the long orange floor polisher cord into a hangman's noose with the traditional thirteen wraps. Finishing, he crosses the room with it, the tail of the orange snake uncurling and slithering after him.

FELL If you tell me what I need to know, Commendatore, it would be convenient for me to leave without my meal. I'll ask you questions and then we'll see.

Pazzi is cinched to the hand truck with the same canvas straps used to secure the lecturn on its journey up to the salon. With his mouth taped, it's difficult for him to express his gratitude.

FELL Was it Mason Verger you sold me to? Blink twice for yes. Yes. Thank you. Are his men waiting outside? Umm hmmm. And one of them smells like tainted boar sausage? Was that a single blink? Oh, now you're confused. Try not to be confused or I may have to fillet Signora Pazzi after all. Have you told anyone in the Questura about me? No, I thought not. Have you told A-lle-gra? No. You're sure? I believe you.

Fell comes around behind Pazzi to the back of the hand truck, hooks the cord-noose around one of its handles and gently tips it back.

FELL Here we go. Hold on.

Pazzi struggles against the straps. He struggles to speak, to beg, but all that comes past the tape over his mouth is a purr. Fell wheels him close to a balcony, fully uprights the hand truck again, takes the noose from the handle, drapes it delicately around Pazzi's neck and tightens the slack.

FELL Your heart is palpitating. I can see it.

Pazzi's heart is beating so hard the fabric of his jacket is fluttering.

FELL No. That's not your heart.

Fell slips a hand under the taut lapel as if to extract Pazzi's heart. Instead he finds in there the cell phone. It vibrates silently in Fell's hand.

FELL Who could that be? Should I answer it?

Why not. Fell flips it open.

FELL (brightly) Pronto.

STARLING'S VOICE I've gone above you, Inspector. I've spoken to your section chief. Someday you'll thank me - or you won't - I don't care - you'll be alive. (silence) Inspector Pazzi?

LECTER I'm afraid I have bad news, Clarice.

INT. STARLING'S LECTEREUM - SAME TIME

Dead silence except for a low rumble from the boiler room. Starling at her desk, like a statue clutching a phone. Finally -

STARLING Is he dead?

LECTER'S VOICE You got my note. I hope you liked the hand cream. I had it made especially for you.

STARLING Is he dead, Dr. Lecter?

LECTER'S VOICE Clarice, there's nothing I'd love more in the world than to chat with you. Unfortunately, you've caught me at an awkward moment. Forgive me.

INT. SALON OF LILIES - CONTINUED

Lecter closes up the phone. Switches off the power. Returns it to Pazzi's breast pocket.

LECTER An old friend.

He glances off with the faintest hint of wistfulness. The wall behind the scaffolding is still displaying the slide of the hanging Francesco Pazzi. Fell looks back to his great- great-great-great-great-cousin.

LECTER What do you think? Bowels in? Or out, like Cousin Francesco?

Pazzi's eyes blink and blink and blink and blink in terror.

LECTER Oh, now you are confused. I'll decide for you, if you'll permit me.

Flash of a knife as it comes up Pazzi's front. Another swipe as it severs his attachment to the dolly. One push and the railing catches Pazzi at the waist. He goes over it, the orange cord trailing, the ground coming up in a rush, the floor polisher yanked down and sliding across the floor, gathering up the drop cloth and slamming against the railing. Pazzi's neck snaps and his bowels, and phone, spill out.

EXT. PALAZZO VECCHIO - NIGHT

The lovers in the car break their embrace at the sound of the phone clattering to the ground, and stare up into the face of the palazzo custodian - Il Mostro - standing just outside the windshield with a big knife in his hand. He runs.

Carlo is running too, from the the van toward the palazzo, yelling to his brother -

CARLO Cover the back. If he comes out just kill him, cut him.

Matteo hurries around back. Carlo jumps the steps three at a time to the front doors as the security guard comes out to see the thing in color that he couldn't quite make out in black and white on his monitor.

INT. SALON OF LILIES - NIGHT

The great doors of the salon stand ajar. Carlo swings his gun around them onto the projected illustration of the hanging figure on the wall.

EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT

Matteo, knife out, stands before the back door of the palazzo. Breathing hard, he reaches slowly for the handle, careful to position himself in a way that will allow the door to act as his shield if it opens. He grasps the handle and pulls. It's locked. As the hand is letting go and coming away, the door suddenly swings open hard into his face -

INT. SALON OF LILIES - NIGHT

Carlo hears the cry coming from the rear of the building. He runs from the salon and down the back stairs, stumbling down them, catching himself, reaching the back door that's standing open.

EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT

He emerges from the doorway, leading with his gun, sees his brother on the ground, covered in blood, hurries to him and kneels. Matteo's dead.

EXT. PIAZZA VECCHIO - NIGHT

A crowd is gathering, peering up at the spectacle that is Rinaldo Pazzi swaying slowly back and forth against the stone walls, lit up as if in a stadium under the floodlights.

A motorcycle comes toward the square on a narrow side street. A figure steps out into the glare of its headlight. The cyclist slows to a stop.

LECTER Young man, if I'm not at the Piazza Bellosquardo in ten minutes, my wife will kill me.

Lecter's gloved hand offers a 50,000-lira note.

MOTORCYCLIST That's all you want? A ride?

LECTER That's all.

He hands the cyclist the bill and climbs on back, careful not to touch the young man with his hands, lest he get the wrong idea. The Moto-Guzzi turns around and speeds off the way it came, away from the piazza.

FADE TO BLACK

And out of the black materializes -

A BLACK AND WHITE image of Pazzi, small and stark in the floodlights, swinging against the wall of the Palazzo Vecchio.

INT. STARLING'S LECTEREUM - DAY

The event, captured on tape by the security camera across the piazza, copied and sent by the Questura at her request, plays on Starling's VCR setup. As she watches it -

INT. VERGER'S CHAMBER - DAY

A copy of a copy of the tape - at the same point in the action - plays for Verger. Noticing something - some move- ment in an upper corner of the frame - he reverse-searches the tape with his remote to look at it again.

The movement belongs to a silhouette of a figure appearing briefly on the balcony above the hanged Pazzi. An arm of the figure rises up and the hand waves - not down to Pazzi - but across to the viewer. Verger freezes the image and studies it for a long moment in silence. Eventually -

MASON Cordell? To you: Does that look like a wave goodbye? ... Or hello?

INT. STARLING'S LECTEREUM - CONTINUED

Starling's copy of the tape frozen on the same frame. She, too, reverse-searches it and plays the wave again, no doubt wondering the same thing Verger is. Her phone rings.

STARLING Starling.

CRAWFORD'S VOICE Don't tell anyone but I'm sitting here watching an mpeg off the VICAP of a man swinging from a rope against a building in Florence.

STARLING It's an electrical cord, Mr. Crawford, and you know you shouldn't be doing that.

INT. CRAWFORD'S OFFICE - MIAMI - SAME TIME

The same image glows on Crawford's computer screen.

CRAWFORD Ummm, I can't see it that clearly but I can see his intestines hanging out. And the figure on the balcony waving.

INT. STARLING'S LECTEREUM - CONTINUED

She unpauses her better quaility tape and the wave plays again.

STARLING If I was concerned -

CRAWFORD'S VOICE You should be concerned. Where do you think he'll go, now that you've disturbed his comfortable life?

STARLING Not here. Somewhere else he can live without denying himself the things he likes.

CRAWFORD'S VOICE What does he like?

STARLING You know. Good food, good wine, music, books -

CRAWFORD'S VOICE He likes you, Starling. Seven years gone, not a trace, and he writes to you. You know what that means.

STARLING No.

CRAWFORD'S VOICE The stalker who says he likes you is far more dangerous than the one who says he wants to kill you.

EXT. VERGER'S FARM - DAY

The holes in the side of the livestock truck aren't big enough to see what's inside. The guard at the main entrance, clipboard in hand, jumps back when something bangs up against the metal wall of the trailer. To the driver -

GUARD You have to turn around - or back down - go half a mile up the frontage road to a gate - then up the service road.

As the truck begins to turn around, the guard waves Cordell's car through. Barney is in the passenger seat.

INT. VERGER'S CHAMBER - DAY

A man with glasses and a dry comb-over sits staring into the glare of Verger's bed-lights.

DR. DOEMLING I don't understand what you think he can offer.

MASON A second opinion, doctor. I know that's anathema to those in your profession, but it's not in mine.

Cordell leads Barney into the darkened chamber.

MASON Speak of the devil. Welcome, Barney. I'm Mason. This is Dr. Doemling, who is head of the Baylor University Psychology Department. He holds the Verger Chair.

BARNEY How do you do?

Barney sets down a pink dessert box tied with stirng and offers his hand to the doctor, receiving back for his trouble a limp shake. Peering into the lights he can see beyond them only the vague shape of the figure in the hospital bed.

MASON I see you've brought dessert. That's very kind. Cookies? I might be able to get a cookie down somehow. So Barney - is Barney your real name by the way?

BARNEY Yes.

MASON First of all, Barney, thank you for the wealth of wonderful items you've provided me from your personal Lecter treasure trove. I've enjoyed them immensely.

BARNEY Thank you for outbidding everyone. Is Mason your real name?

MASON Oh, yes. Please sit. Yes, beside Dr. Doemling is fine. That's his real name, too. There. Good. Now -

DR. DOEMLING Barney, if I could ask, what exactly is your professional training?

BARNEY I have an LPN.

DR. DOEMLING You're a licensed practical nurse.

BARNEY Yes.

DR. DOEMLING Good for you.

MASON Okay, everybody has everybody's real names and credentials now. Except mine. Mine are, well, I'm just very wealthy, aren't I? Okay. Let's begin.

DR. DOEMLING Barney, while you were working at the state hospital - I assume not as licensed practical nurse -

BARNEY - as an orderly -

DR. DOEMLING - as an orderly - you observed Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter interacting.

BARNEY Interacting?

DR. DOEMLING Talking to one another.

BARNEY Yes. Yes, it seemed to me they -

DR. DOEMLING I can see you're eager to justify your consulting fee, but why don't we start with what you saw, not what you thought about what you saw.

MASON Barney's smart enough to give us his opinion. Barney, give us your opinion of what you saw. What was it between them?

BARNEY Most of the time Dr. Lecter didn't respond at all to visitors, he would just, for instance, open his eyes long enough to insult some academic who was there to look him over. (he looks Doemling over) With Starling, though, he answered her questions. She interested him. She intrigued him. He thought she was charming and amusing.

MASON Uh-huh.

DR. DOEMLING You can judge what Hannibal Lecter found amusing? Just how do you go about that, Nurse Barney?

BARNEY By listening to him laugh, Dr. Dumling.

DR. DOEMLING Doemling.

BARNEY Sometimes Dr. Lecter and I would talk when things got quiet enough. About the science courses I was taking and -

DR. DOEMLING Some kind of mail-order courses in psychology?

BARNEY No, sir. I don't consider psychology a science, and neither did Dr. Lecter.

A small laugh from behind the lights.

MASON And about her? You talked about her?

BARNEY I can just repeat what he told me about her.

MASON That's why you're here.

BARNEY He said things like how she was charming the way a cub is charming a small cub that will grow up to be a big cat - one that you can't play with later. She had a cub-like earnestness, he said.

MASON Does she still in your opinion? Have you seen her lately?

BARNEY Yes, I have, and no, I don't think she does. That quality in her, I think, is gone.

MASON So Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter became ... friendly.

BARNEY Inside a kind of formal structure, yes.

MASON And he was fond of her.

BARNEY Yes.

MASON Thank you, Barney. Thank you very much for your candor. And keep all those wonderful products coming. Cordell, see that Barney receives a real nice tip.

DR. DOEMLING Goodbye, Nurse Barney.

BARNEY (picking up the pink box) Mr. Verger -

MASON The cookies. Yes, let's have one.

BARNEY It's not cookies.

He opens the box. It's the Lecter mask. Verger stares long at it in reverential silence. Finally -

MASON How much?

BARNEY Two hundred and fifty. Thousand.

MASON Cut Barney a check, Cordell. Now.

Barney sets the mask on the bed and leaves. Verger hooks a talon-like finger over the wire and holds on. Eventually he comes out of his reverie -

MASON So what do you think, doctor? Does Lecter want to fuck her or kill her or eat her or what?

DR. DOEMLING Probably all three, though I wouldn't want to predict in what order.

MASON Hmmm.

DR. DOEMLING No matter how Barney might want to romanticize it and try to make it Beauty and the Beast, Lecter's object - as you know from personal experience - is always degradation and suffering. He comes in the guise of a mentor - as he did to you - and her - but it's distress that excites him. To draw him - if that's the goal - she needs to be distressed. If you want to make her attractive to him, let him see her distressed. Let the damage he sees suggest the damage he could do.

MASON When the fox hears a rabbit scream, he comes running ... but not to help.

EXT. VIRGINIA STATE PARK - DAY

A rabbit on a path, staring, listening, hears the footsteps before we do and bounds away back into the woods. Starling appears a moment later, running on the same dirt path through the trees, two or three miles into her five-mile run, working up a sweat.

She hears footsteps before we do, too, and, like a rabbit, bounds off the path. Stopping just off it, she bends to catch her breath, then picks up a dead branch.

The footsteps and the panting close in. She lets the first running man go past, but grabs the second one, throws him to the ground, straddles him and pushes the branch against his throat. At once calm but firm -

STARLING Don't say a word.

She needn't warn him; the young man seems too terrified to speak. Starling reaches behind his track suit, pulls out his .38, and keeping the branch tight against his neck, lets the other runner, who's running back now, know that she has his friend's gun. To him, again very calmly, as he nears -

STARLING Stop. Catch your breath. Take your gun out very slowly with your left hand, set it on the ground and take five steps away from it.

The second young man does exactly as he's told. Then -

STARLING All right. Who are you?

2ND RUNNER We work for Jack Crawford. We're supposed to keep an eye on you. To keep you safe from - you know - Hannibal the Cannibal.

STARLING Show me.

He knows what that means, and shows her identification from Crawford's private security firm.

She gets up off the other one then, tosses the branch away and walks over to the gun resting on the fallen leaves. She picks it up.

STARLING Okay, here it is: I don't need you looking after me. I'm not in any danger. If you talk to him before I do tell him that.

2ND RUNNER Yes, ma'am.

She returns the guns to each of them, first giving the one on the ground a hand up.

STARLING Sorry if I hurt you.

She leaves them, continues on her run. As the one she threw to the ground dusts himself off, the perspective changes to -

A VIEW THROUGH BINOCULARS

- of the two private security men off in the distance.

They blur then as the binoculars are shifted. Trees, too, blur across the lenses. The view overtakes Starling, returns and follows her, focusing as she runs through the trees, staying on her until she disappears down a sloping path.

Lecter lowers the small, expensive field glasses. Returns them to their case slung over his shoulder. Crosses the dirt parking area to her mustang. Peers inside and sees no blinking red light on the dash.

He takes out a slim jim. Slips it down and across the driver's side jamb, tripping the lock. He opens the door and sits in the bucket seat a long moment before delicately touching the ten and two o'clock points on the leather-clad steering wheel where her hands rest most often. He leans closer to smell her on the leather. Then licks it.

INT. KRENDLER'S DC TOWNHOUSE - NIGHT

Krendler, just back from a jog himself, sweaty T-shirt and headband, sits with Cordell and reads a postcard from London sheathed in plastic, written in Lecter's distinctive copper- plate. Finishing, he looks up at a speaker phone -

KRENDLER I'm not sure I understand.

MASON'S VOICE You don't have to understand, Paul. All you have to understand is what it's worth to you.

KRENDLER No, I don't understand why she didn't turn this over; she's such a - straight arrow.

INT. VERGER'S CHAMBER - SAME TIME

Looking at his speakerphone, Verger sighs. Maybe he's making a terrible mistake. Maybe Krendler is just too stupid to be of any real use to him. As if to a child -

MASON She didn't turn it over because she didn't receive it. She didn't receive it because it was never delivered to her. It was delivered to me for a nice gratuity to a not-so-nice mail room boy.

KRENDLER'S VOICE Oh. Ohhh.

The realization, and Krendler's look of admiration that follows it, only make Verger worry more about his stupidity.

MASON So what do you think?

KRENDLER'S VOICE I think you'd have been better off if you hadn't gotten her out of trouble in the first place.

MASON Woulda, shoulda, coulda - I meant, what do you think of the money?

INT. KRENDLER'S TOWNHOUSE - CONTINUED

KRENDLER Five.

MASON'S VOICE Well, let's just toss it off like, "five." Let's say it with the respect it deserves.

KRENDLER Five hundred thousand dollars.

MASON'S VOICE That's better, but not much, but don't say it again. Will it work?

Krendler considers the forged postcard again. Eventually -

KRENDLER It won't be pretty.

MASON'S VOICE What ever is?

INT. ASSISTANT DIRECTOR NOONAN'S OFFICE - DAY

Starling sits next to her boss, Pearsall, and across from his boss, Noonan. Krendler, too, is there, and a federal marshal standing in a corner of the quiet room.

NOONAN Would you identify yourself, please, for the record.

STARLING Special Agent Clarice Starling. Is there a record, Director Noonan? I'd like there to be since I have no idea what this is about. Do you mind if I run a tape?

She takes a little Nagra from her purse, sets it on the desk and turns it on.

NOONAN Tell her the charges.

KRENDLER Withholding evidence and obstruction of justice.

The marshal sets the postcard with the familiar-looking copperplate in front of Starling. Her eyes move quickly back and forth across the lines of words. She doesn't touch it.

NOONAN Like to comment? On tape?

STARLING Yes, I would. I've never seen this before in my life.

KRENDLER How do you account for it being found in your - office - your - basement?

STARLING Found by who?

KRENDLER By me.

STARLING I don't think you want me to answer that, Mr. Krendler. Let me ask you this: What possible reason might I have to withhold it?

KRENDLER Perhaps because of the nature of its content. It reads like a - like a love letter to me.

As Krendler comes over and hovers over her shoulder, it's all she can do to keep herself from slugging him.

STARLING Has it been tested for prints?

NOONAN No prints on it. None on the last one.

STARLING Handwriting (analysis) - ?

KRENDLER (before Noonan can answer) Did you ever think, Clarice, why the Philistines don't understand you? It's because you're the answer to Samson's riddle: You are the honey in the lion. Sounds like him to me.

STARLING Do you mean, Mr. Krendler, like a homosexual?

KRENDLER Like a nut with a crush.

Noonan, not a bad guy, chooses his next words carefully -

NOONAN Clarice, I'm placing you on administrative leave until Document Analysis tells me, unequivocally, a mistake's been made. In the meantime you'll remain eligible for insurance and medical benefits. Please surrender your weapons and identification to Agent Pearsall.

Looking steadily at Krendler, Starling takes out her .45, drops the clip into her hand, shucks the round out of the pistol's chamber and sets it all down on the desk. As she places her ID next to it, Pearsall asks her sadly -

PEARSALL Backup sidearm?

STARLING Locked in my car.

PEARSALL Other tactical equipment?

STARLING Helmet and vest.

NOONAN (to the marshal) You'll retrieve those when you escort Miss Starling from the building.

The marshal comes toward her.

STARLING I want to say something. I think I'm entitled.

NOONAN Go ahead.

STARLING I think Mr. Mason Verger is trying to capture Dr. Lecter himself for the purpose of personal revenge. I think Mr. Krendler is in collusion with him and wants the FBI'S effort against Dr. Lecter to work for Mr. Verger. I think Mr. Krendler is being paid to do this.

KRENDLER It's a good thing you're not sworn here today.

STARLING Swear me! You swear, too!

NOONAN Starling. If the evidence is lacking, you'll be entitled to full reinstatement without prejudice - if you don't do - or say - something in the meantime that would make that impossible.

Starling just keeps staring at Krendler as she gathers her Nagra and purse. Finally, she glances over to her boss and friend, Pearsall, who mouths -

PEARSALL Sorry, Starling.

She lets the marshal lead her from the room.

INT. DEPARTMENT STORE - DAY

Lecter, clutching a shopping bag, stands in the electronics department before a wall of television sets all tuned to the same channel, local news, a talking head with an inset of a photograph of Starling.

TALKING HEAD - relieved of field duty pending an internal investigation into the charges. Starling, a 7-year vetern on the Bureau began her career with an assignment to interview lethal madman, Hannibal Lecter -

LECTER - Doctor -

SALES CLERK May I help you, sir?

Lecter glances to the young sales clerk, a teenager with a name tag.

LECTER I was looking for some good steak knives, Toby, but I'm afraid I got distracted.

SALES CLERK Kitchenware, right over there.

LECTER Thank you.

The clerk walks away. Lecter glances back to the TVs to see that a black and white inset photograph of himself has been added to the one of Starling.

TALKING HEAD - receiving information from him which led to killer Jame Gumb and the release of his hostage Catherine Martin, daughter of the former U.S. Senator from Tennessee.

Lecter glances over to "Toby," who is busy pointing out to a customer the features of various VCRs, his back to the screens. Footage of Krendler appears on them -

KRENDLER ON TV FBI and the Justice Department are looking carefully into the charges, and yes, they are serious. But I want to say this: Starling's one of the best agents we have and having known her for a number of years now, I would be very surprised if the accusations turn out to be true. It's much too soon to condemn her.

Lecter smiles at Krendler's image. He always smiles upon finding himself in the presence of bad liars.

INT. STARLING'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Silent. Still. Then the lock turning in the front door. It opens. Starling, looking weary, carries in a cardboard box, her things from her desk at "the office," no bigger than Brigham's was. As she passes us -

Later. Laundry room. Absently dropping clothes in a washing machine filling with water, she then slides down to the floor in despair, her back against the warm enamel -

Later. Living room. Pouring herself a neat Jack Daniels to the accompaniment of the first message on her answering machine, the voice sounding almost as tired as her -

CRAWFORD'S VOICE Hey. It's Jack. How you doing? I'm sure it's not as bad as it looks. I feel it's my fault. I got you into all this. Call me. Make me feel better.

She carries the drink to the sofa, lies down, hasn't bothered to turn off any lights. Drinks as the second message plays -

BARNEY'S VOICE It's Barney. Remember me? I got your number from, uh - I mean I know it's un- listed, but, I, ummm, I'm pretty good on the computer ... - save a few bucks on my phone bill, don't arrest me - (she smiles; closes her eyes) I'm sorry, uh - about what happened to you. I feel bad. For you. I was, umm, wondering if you might want to call me if you get the chance - 555-7026. (in a firmer tone:) I think she's nice. She's always been nice to me. Polite. Don't you think?

Tight on Starling's cassette deck - the spindles turning the tape inside. Stack of other tapes she got from Barney lying next to it.

LECTER'S VOICE Do you know what a roller pigeon is, Barney?

Starling is asleep on the sofa now. Still in her clothes.

LECTER'S VOICE They climb high and fast, then roll over and fall just as fast toward the earth. There are shallow rollers and deep rollers. You can't breed two deep rollers, or their young will roll all the down, hit, and die. Officer Starling is a deep roller, Barney. We should hope one of her parents was not.

The tape reaches its leader an stops. The green power light stays on. Then it goes off, then comes back on again: an electrical interruption that is quickly reestablished.

INT. BASEMENT - STARLING'S HOUSE - SAME TIME

A basement window slightly open. A piece of insulated wire clipped to the alarm contacts. A shadow of a figure floating away from it.

The figure moves toward the stairs, passing a rusty bicycle hanging on the wall and some shooting trophies gathering dust on a shelf, and begins up the stairs.

INT. STARLING'S HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER

The microwave oven's glowing reset numbers "88:88" are obsured a moment as the figure soundlessly passes. Ice tumbles from the refrigerator's ice-maker into the bin.

In the living room, Starling is still asleep, her empty glass resting on a wood coffee table.

A digital desk clock blinks "00:00." Tiny sounds echo in the dark house - the hum of the furnace, the whistle of a pant leg touching fabric on a chair, slick pages being turned ... a sigh.

EXT. STARLING'S HOUSE - DAWN

The basement window, closed now, reflecting the glow of sunrise. Power lines against the red sky. A pigeon sitting on the wire, calling out once.

INT. STARLING'S HOUSE - DAWN

Starling wakes in the same position she fell asleep. In front of her is her empty glass. Set down not on top of the wood as she left it, but on a thick magazine.

She knows that's not right. Sits up enough to see the cover of the magazine. Italian Vogue. Edge of a Post-It peeking out from the pages. She uses the Post-It to turn to the marked page. A glossy Prada advertisement for expensive - unsensible - shoes.

He's been in her house. Right here as she slept. She's up fast, rushing to her bedroom. The the closet. Pulling down from the top shelf the box containing Brigham's guns and ID. She slams a clip into the .45. As she's loading the little .38, the phone rings, startling her. She stares at it on the night stand next to the alarm clock: 10:30 A.M. It rings again. She slowly crosses toward it. Another ring. She lifts the receiver. Says nothing. Hears nothing. Until -

RECORDED VOICE If you're not receiveing frequent flyer miles on your credit card, you're missing out on -

She hangs up. Returns to loading the gun. The cell phone on her hip rings, and a bullet falls to the floor. She pulls the phone from its holster. Answers it, again, by saying nothing. Only listens. Hears a little static. Connection to another cell phone probably. Then -

LECTER'S VOICE The power on that battery is low, Clarice. I would've changed it, but I didn't want to wake you. You're going to have to use the other one. In the charger. Hopefully the light on it is green by now.

The charger is right in front of her on the dresser. And the light on it is green - fully charged.

LECTER'S VOICE - because this is going to be a long call and I can't let you off because - even though you've been stripped of your duties, I know you won't abandon them, you'll try to put on a trace. So we'll disconnect only long enough for you to exchange the battery in the phone for the one in the charger. Shall we say - three seconds? That should be enough. You can change the clip on a .45 quicker than that. So when I tell you to, disengage the dying battery. That'll disconnect us. I'll speed dial back. If you've succeeded in your task in the allotted time - wonderful. If not? Well maybe some other time. Are you ready?

STARLING Yes.

LECTER'S VOICE Go.

It looks like changing the clip in a gun - the low battery falling away from the body of the phone into her hand, the charged one slapped in its place in just over two seconds. She hits the power button. The LCD display lights up and beeps. The phone rings and she flips it open.

LECTER'S VOICE Very good.

STARLING Thank you.

LECTER'S VOICE Get in your car.

She begins gathering the guns and holsters and ammo.

LECTER'S VOICE Oh, all right, bring the guns if you want. But remember, if you get caught with a concealed, unlicensed firearm in the District of Columbia, the penalty is pretty stiff.

INT. STARLING'S MUSTANG - MOVING - DAY

She's in the far right lane of a highway. Keeping just under the speed limit. The cell phone rests atop the open ashtray.

LECTER'S VOICE The reason we're doing it like this, Clarice, is because I'd like to see you as we speak. With your eyes open. No, it doesn't excite me. Yes, it pleases me. You have very shapely feet. Call it out.

STARLING Exit 14-A. Three hundred yards - two hundred - one hundred - fifty -

LECTER'S VOICE Take it.

She veers onto the ramp without a signal. A van, several lengths back, takes the exit, too.

INT. UNION STATION - DAY

Starling enters the huge, echoing interior of the station with a crush of travelers and Christmas shoppers. She has the phone to her ear, and through it, can hear the sounds not dissimilar to those around her.

LECTER'S VOICE I thought, to begin, you might tell me how you're feeling.

STARLING About what?

LECTER'S VOICE The masters you serve and how they've treated you. Your career, such as it is. Your life, Clarice.

The place is not just trains, but also a mall of stores, many of them playing Christmas music. Outside one of them, on the second tier, Lecter, cell phone to his ear, watches Starling trying to sort out the cacophony of sounds down below.

STARLING'S VOICE I thought we might talk about yours.

LECTER Mine? What is there to say about mine? I'm happy. Healthy. A little nomadic at the moment but that'll soon change. You, though. You, I'm worried about.

Carlo and Piero, without phones, have entered the building and brush past people as they scan its interior, looking for and eventually spotting Starling rising up an escalator.

STARLING I'm fine.

LECTER'S VOICE No, you're not. You fell in love with the Bureau - with The Institution - only to discover, after giving it everything - that it doesn't love you back. That it resents you, more than the husband and children you gave up to it ever would.

Lecter is going down an escalator as Starling approaches where he was just moments ago, outside the Gap Kids store.

LECTER Why is that, do you think? Why are you so resented?

STARLING'S VOICE Tell me.

LECTER Tell you? Isn't it clear? You serve the idea of order, Clarice - they don't. You believe in the oath you took - they don't. You feel it's your duty to protect the sheep - they don't. They don't like you because they're not like you. They're weak and unruly and believe in nothing.

She's lost him. Peers down over the railing. Listens to the background sounds in her phone.

STARLING Mason Verger wants to kill you, Dr. Lecter. Turn yourself in to me and I promise no one will hurt you.

LECTER'S VOICE Will you stay with me in my prison cell? Hmmm? I suppose it wouldn't be that much worse than yours.

She hears a bell clanging. Sees a Salvation Army "soldier" in the far distance below, his back to her, his arm moving up and down, but can't tell if it synchronizes with the sound in her phone.

LECTER'S VOICE Mason doesn't want to kill me, Clarice, any more than I wanted to kill him. He wants me to suffer in some - unimaginable way. He's rather twisted, you know. Always has been. Have you had the pleasure?

STARLING I have.

LECTER'S VOICE Attractive, isn't he. But back to you -

She steps off the down escalator and heads toward the Salvation Army soldier and his little kettle hanging from the tripod, the bell in her phone diminishing proportionally, it seems, as she nears the live one.

LECTER'S VOICE I want to know what it is you think you will do, now that all you cared about in the world is gone. Will you work as a chambermaid at a motel on Route 66, like Mom?

STARLING I don't know, Dr. Lec -

LECTER'S VOICE Don't you want to harm those who have forced you to consider it? I know you never would, but wouldn't you like to? Wouldn't it feel good? It's all right to admit it. It's perfectly natural. To want to taste the enemy.

She stops moving. Listens. Hears Jingle Bells in her phone.

LECTER'S VOICE Are you thinking? Or tracking, Ex- Special Agent Starling?

Jingle Bells begins to fade in her phone. He's moving again. She turns. Carlo and Piero do an abrupt about-face. But not before Starling sees them.

STARLING They're following me, Dr. Lecter.

LECTER'S VOICE I know. I see them. Now you're in a real dilemma, aren't you? Do you continue to try to find me, knowing that you're leading them to me? Do you have so much faith in your abilites that you believe you could somehow - simultaneously - arrest me - and them? It could get messy, Clarice. Like Memphis.

She can hear another voice - both "live" and in the phone - "Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas" - and can see above heads in the distance, a department store Santa Claus in a painted plywood sleigh. She moves toward him.

LECTER'S VOICE What if I did it for you?

STARLING Did what?

LECTER'S VOICE Harmed them, Clarice. The ones who've harmed you. What if I made them scream apologies? No, I shouldn't even say it because you'll feel - with your perfect grasp on right and wrong - that you were somehow - accompli - even though you wouldn't be.

STARLING Don't - help me.

LECTER'S VOICE No. Of course not. Forget I said it.

She's closing in on the sleigh and the barricade of kids and parents around it, her free hand settling on the stock of her .45, Carlo and Piero closing with her several steps back.

SANTA CLAUS Ho - Ho - Ho.

Lecter sees her and the Sardinians pushing through the crowd.

LECTER Ho, ho, ho, indeed. I think I'll be going now. I have some shopping to do anyway. Chin up, Clarice. Merry Christmas.

He disconnects the call. Starling breaks through the front of the crowd, moving just in front of the sleigh to scan the faces all around her. Lecter is gone.

EXT. D.C. DOWNTOWN - DAY

Traffic crawls past Christofle.

INT. CHRISTOFLE - DAY

An armed security guard's glance drifts across Lecter pointing out to a saleswoman the Gien French china he'd like to purchase.

Later, she rings up several purchases as Lecter looks on, credit card out: the plates, a set of aperitif glasses and Riedel crystal, linen place mats and napkins, 19th-century silverware with a pleasing heft like good dueling pistols.

INT. HAMMACHER SCHLEMMER - DAY

Lecter chooses a set of exquisite copper saute pans and a couple of whisks. Elsewhere, a salesman demonstrates for him the adjustable height of the flame on a portable 35,000 BTU stainless stell grill.

INT. MEDICAL SUPPLY STORE - DAY

And finally, to complete his batterie de cuisine, he pays for a newly-new Stryker autopsy saw.

EXT. CHESAPEAKE BAY - EVENING

A late-model, but not new, Ford Ranger pickup pulls into the driveway of a small yet charming cottage nestled in the woods.

Lecter climbs out and gathers his bungy-corded shopping bags from the truck bed, including the one with the distinctive powder blue coloring.

He leaves the boxed Parker grill in back, at least for the moment, carries the rest of his purchases to the front door, fiddles with the lock to get it open and disappears inside.

INT. STARLING'S HOUSE - EVENING

Light bleeds along the edges of a scanner. Images appear on Starling's computer screen: Brigham's FBI identification next to a photo-booth picture of her. Using a paint-program, she replaces his photo with hers and prints it out.

INT. WINE STORE - ANNAPOLIS - DAY

As a wine merchant leans slightly to take a closer look at Starling's new ID, laminated now, she closes its leatherette holder. Christmas Muzak plays softly from somewhere.

STARLING You're sure it was Chateau d'Y quem.

WINE MERCHANT Not only was it Chateau d'Y quem, it was Chateau d'Y quem - sixty-seven. The best bottle of wine in the store.

STARLING Can I see the tape? If his car was parked out front, you may have caught the license plate.

EXT. STREET - ANNAPOLIS - SAME TIME

The rear license plate of the Ford Ranger. 10-foot Noble Christmas tree in back. The pickup parked across the street from the shopping center the wine store is part of.

Behind the windshield, Lecter carefully surveys the people and vehicles in the large parking lot and those appearing and disappearing in his side and rearview mirrors, well aware that one of them could contain the Sardinians.

INT. WINE STORE - CONTINUED

Starling has come behind the counter to join the merchant as he fast-forwards through a security tape on a small black and white monitor.

EXT. STREET - CONTINUED

Still in his truck, Lecter watches the parking lot across the street. He watches the trunk lid of a yellow cab spring open and the driver setting his elderly fare's grocery bags into it. He watches a man struggling to twine a big Douglas fir to the roof of a sub-compact that's too small for it. He watches a rolling, rattling cart without anyone attached to it.

INT. WINE STORE - CONTINUED

Starling watches the fuzzy video tape. Watches the man come in wearing a parka and mittens and a billed cap pulled low enough to hide his face, but can't make out the license plates on the cars parked outside.

EXT. STREET / PARKING LOT - SAME TIME

Lecter puts the same hat on, unlatches his door, climbs down. He crosses the street to the lot and walks past parked cars, a box in his hand wrapped in Christmas angels paper.

INT. WINE STORE - CONTINUED

The video tape shows the wine merchant returning from the back room, wiping dust from a bottle and displaying its label to the man in the billed hat. Through the window of the store now, if she was looking, she would see the same man approaching her Mustang.

EXT. PARKING LOT - CONTINUED

A slim jim drops down the sleeve of Lecter's overcoat into his hand. A barrel of a rifle, somewhere, rises. The blade of the slim jim slides down between the driver's side jamb and trips the lock. Something slaps at the air across the lot. Something silver embeds itself in Lecter's neck.

INT/EXT. WINE STORE / PARKING LOT - CONTINUOUS

Starling glances up at the air-rifle sound. Glimpses a figure outside collapsing against the open door of her car.

Squealing tires. A van racing across the lot sends a cart crashing into the door panel of an Audi.

The Christmas gift falls to the pavement.

Starling pulls out Brigham's .45 and the wine merchant retreats quickly to the back room. She runs from the store and kneels to aim at the van just as a Lincoln Towncar pulls up right in front of her, blocking her view.

The van's back doors fling open and two men leap down, grabbing Lecter.

Starling back on her feet, aims over the hood of the Lincoln.

STARLING Hold it! FBI! On the ground!

The handicapped parking placard and two old panicked faces in the windshield of the Lincoln. The screech of its tires as it almost runs Starling over as she comes around it.

The back doors of the van yanked shut from inside.

Starling running toward the van, then kneeling again to aim as it takes off -

An oblivious couple sharing the weight of a Christmas tree twenty yards ahead, blocking the clear shot she almost had. The van sliding into the street and accelerating.

Starling running to her car and writing down the license plate number in the dirt on its hood.

Then seeing beside her slashed front tire, the trampled Christmas package. The box torn open. The Prada shoes.

INT. FBI DC FIELD OFFICE - AN HOUR LATER - DAY

Halos around the mundane contents of a purse as it passes through an x-ray machine; the visitor it belongs to stepping through the metal detector. Shouldering the purse she crosses the lobby to the elevators, passing Pearsall coming the other way. He strides to where Starling waits - on the street side of the security station - unable, in her current lowly status, to get any deeper into the building.

STARLING I know the first thing a hysteric says is, "I'm not a hysteric," but I'm not a hysteric. I'm calm.

PEARSALL I'll ask you one time. Think before you answer. Think about every good thing you ever did here. Think about what you swore. What did you see?

STARLING Two men in a van. A third driving. Another man shot and put into the back. I've given you the license plate and I'm reporting it all again to you, Clint Pearsall, at SAC Buzzard's Point.

He glances at the purse hanging from her shoulder. No doubt her Nagra is in it and taping. Finally -

PEARSALL All right. I'll go with it as a kidnapping. I'll send someone out there with the local authorities - if he'll let us on the property without a warrant -

STARLING I'm going, too. You could deputize -

PEARSALL You're not going. Unless you want to be arrested. You're going home where you'll wait for me to call and tell you what, if anything, we found.

He turns and strides away.

EXT. VERGER'S ESTATE - NIGHT

Cordell standing amidst several idling marked and unmarked police cars as the officers climb in and shut the doors.

OFFICER Please thank Mr. Verger for letting us look around. Sorry if we inconvenienced him.

CORDELL Not at all. He's always happy to see you. He also wanted me to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas for him, and to assure you this'll not effect, in any way, his annual contribution to the Police Benevolence Fund.

One of the plain clothes men speaks into a cell phone -

FBI AGENT Nothing here, Clint ... We're sure.

INT. VERGER'S CHAMBER - SAME TIME

The flashing lights of the patrol cars flare across the black and white security monitors as the police drive away. Verger, watching from his bed, presses a button on a remote that dials a number.

INT. VAN - NIGHT

The ringing of a cell phone cuts through the voices and static of a police scanner. Carlo answers it.

MASON'S VOICE How is he?

Lecter lies unconscious, handcuffed and bound on the floor of the van. One of Piero's hands - perilously close to the doctor's mouth - feels for the pulse on his neck. The other holds a milk shake.

CARLO Sleeping.

MASON'S VOICE Bring him home.

EXT. PARKING LOT - NIGHT

The van's headlights blink on as it pulls out of the fast food restaurant.

INT. STARLING'S HOUSE - NIGHT

The phone rings here in the darkened house. The machine answers it.

PEARSALL'S VOICE Pick up, Starling... There was nothing out there... I'm going to say it again in case you didn't hear me clearly before: You are not a law officer while on suspension. You're Joe Blow. For your sake I hope you're just in the bathroom.

EXT. VIRGINIA HIGHWAY NEAR VERGER'S FARM - NIGHT

The police cars, their flashing lights dark now, pass Starling's Mustang, headlights off, parked on a turn-out.

INT. VERGER'S MANSION - NIGHT

Cordell's shoes move along the same Moroccan runner as in the first scene; only now there are others, work boots, three sets, moving along with them, and the wheels of a hand truck. They all cross onto the polished linoleum floor.

INT. VERGER'S CHAMBER - NIGHT

The hand truck stops. Strapped to it is a singletree, a thick oak crosspiece from a horse cart harness, and tied to it with rope, Hannibal Lecter, wearing the famous mask from The Silence of the Lambs. Just coming out of the sedative from the dart, he squints into the lights surrounding the hospital bed.

MASON Hylochoerus Meinertzhageni ... Does that ring a bell from high school biology, doctor? No? I could list its most conspicuous features if that would help jog the memory.

Suddenly the lights go out, allowing Lecter - and us - to see Verger in the shadows in his bed.

MASON Three pairs of incisors, one pair of elongated canines, three pairs of molars, four pairs of pre-molars upper and lower, for a total of forty-four teeth.

Lecter is conscious, but seems not be particularly interested in the science lecture.

MASON The meal will begin with an apertivo tartare. Your feet. The main course - the rest of you - won't be served until seven hours later, but during that time you'll be able to enjoy the effects of the consumed appetizer with a full- bodied saline drip.

No reaction, that can be read at least, from Lecter.

MASON Much as I'd love to, I won't be joining you at the table since I can't move, but I will be watching a 3-camera video feed here, and I'll try to stay awake. (he smiles as much as he's able; then) I guess you wish now you'd fed the rest of me to the dogs? Hmmm?

LECTER No, Mason. I much prefer you the way you are.

MASON (pause; then buoyantly) So. Dinner at eight? Bon appetit.

EXT. VERGER'S ESTATE - DAY

Starling's Mustang creeps along the service road without the aid of its headlights. Up ahead about a quarter mile, in the trees, she can see the glare of a floodlight.

She stops. Pulls the trunk release. Climbs out and comes around to it. Rummages around the debris inside and selects four pairs of cuffs, extra ammo, a knife and a flashlight.

She leaves the trunk ajar, aims the flashlight down, switches it on and leads herself with its beam - careful to keep it no more than two or three steps ahead - into the woods.

INT. BARN - NIGHT

Lecter, still trussed to the singletree, prone now on the hand truck, stares up at the rafters where Tommaso sits in a cane chair, a rifle in his lap.

Below, one of three closed-circuit video cameras mounted on tripods watches as Carlo, not being too careful about it, pierces his wrist with an IV needle.

LECTER Your brother must smell worse than you do by now.

The blade of Carlo's knife is against Lecter's throat in an instant. From an intercom -

MASON'S VOICE No, no, no - don't hurt him.

Lecter smiles at the Sardinian. The knife slowly comes away from his neck, leaving only a little blood.

Piero meanwhile is adjusting the angle of a gilt-framed mirror hanging above the slatted gate Lecter's feet will soon be stuck through.

MASON'S VOICE And turn off that radio, I can't hear anything.

A shortwave radio on a wooden table that's broadcasting a soccer game in Italian. As Piero crosses to it -

EXT. WOODS - NIGHT

Starling, still, listens as the already-faint sound of the Italian announcer's voice fades to nothing. She continues on again toward the floodlit area beyond the trees until another sound stops her. Another recorded voice. Begging and screaming in Italian.

Suddenly, through the trees all around her, dark shapes are moving fast. She wants to but dares not point the flashlight at them; if they're armed, the beam may as well be a painted target on her chest.

She crouches. Catches a glimpse of something big running close to the ground past the trucks of the trees near her. Then it's gone.

INT/EXT. BARN - NIGHT

The wild boars appear in the reflection of the large-gold- framed mirror, jostling into a semi-circle like berserk linemen posing for a team photo.

Piero dials down the screaming tape. Carlo rights the hand truck, hooks a saline bag to it, and wheels it toward the slatted gate. Tipped back, rolling slowly closer to his death, Lecter begins humming Pomp and Circumstance.

INT. VERGER'S CHAMBER - NIGHT

Verger, glancing between three monitors displaying the upcoming live event, glimpses something in one of them as it darts along the fence line of the pen, then disappears.

MASON What was that? Cordell? Did you see that?

INT/EXT. BARN - NIGHT

A boom of a .45 echoes in the barn. Tommaso, still up in the loft, throws himself down against the planks.

STARLING Hold it! Hands where I can see -

Carlo's hand swings around with a .357 in it. Starling fires once, knocking him back against the gate. Piero makes a move toward the fallen gun, but stops when he sees a slat splinter right next to it, the boars surging at the gate to get to Carlo on the ground just inside it.

STARLING Down!

Piero kneels with his empty hands aloft. Starling crosses quickly with a set of handcuffs. In the loft, Tommaso crawls along the planks as she disappears from his view. Down below Lecter cranes his head to watch Starling pick up the gun.

LECTER Good evening, Clar -

STARLING Shut up.

She kneels. Lecter tries to bend his head to watch her snap a cuff around one of Carlo's wrists.

STARLING Can you walk?

LECTER Well, I don't know. May I try?

The boars pound against the gate, trying to get at Carlo. Starling drags him a couple of feet away and pulls a knife from an ankle strap.

STARLING I'm going to cut you loose. If you touch me, I'll shoot you.

LECTER Understood perfectly.

STARLING Do right and you'll live through this.

LECTER Spoken like a Protestant.

She cuts one of his arms free, keeping her gun trained on Piero, still on the ground by Carlo. The boars shatter another slat.

LECTER This might go a little quicker if you give me the knife.

She hesitates. Then gives it to him. As he cuts at the ropes, she works to lock the other end of Carlo's cuffs onto Piero's wrist. As he removes the mask -

LECTER Clarice?

STARLING What.

LECTER My back was turned when you came in. Was that a warning shot, or did you kill the one in the loft?

She spins around, aiming up, just as the bullet from the rifle slams into her unvested abdomen. Going down, she pulls off three quick shots, hitting Tommaso in the chest.

As he falls from the loft, the boars come crashing through the gate. Piero desperately tries to get away, dragging the dead weight of Carlo behind him. Lecter lifts Starling from the ground, blood running onto his fingers.

Piero is pulled down. Lecter, holding Starling, surrounded by the animals, too, stands perfectly still as the boars ravage the three Sardinians.

INT. VERGER'S CHAMBER - SAME TIME

Verger stares in disbelief at the monitor that shows nothing but the moving mass of the boars thrashing around but leaving alone Lecter's legs.

MASON Why aren't they - ? Cordell -

CORDELL I have to go now -

MASON No. In the drawer - right by your hand. Open it. Open it!

Cordell opens the drawer revealing a semi-automatic pistol.

MASON Take it. Go down there. Shoot him.

CORDELL No, I -

MASON You're involved is what you are.

He's frightened is what he is. He's a medical doctor, for Christ's sake, not a hunter of madmen. He stares at Verger.

CORDELL What did you say - ?

MASON I said you're involved. In all of it.

Cordell seems to understand, nods in resignation, and turns as if to take the gun.

MASON Good. Now -

Cordell plunges his hand into the aquarium and turns back holding the writhing eel. Watching him approach the bed with it, Verger, for once, is speechless, staring at the serpent's clicking teeth.

CORDELL Good night, Mason.

As Cordell thrusts the head of the eel toward Verger's gaping mouth -

INT/EXT. BARN - SAME TIME

Lecter, carrying Starling, stares a couple of the boars in the eye, wades through them with impunity, steps out past the splintered gate and disappears into the woods ...

EXT. CHESAPEAKE BAY - EVENING

A pair of distant headlights floating along the shoreline.

INT. KRENDLER'S CAR - EVENING

Krendler, trying to keep the agitation out of his voice, speaks with an assistant on his car phone as he negotiates the dark ribbon of road.

KRENDLER I'll be out at my weekend place through Sunday. I don't want any calls forwarded. No, not even him. Nobody.

He hangs up. Wipes at beads of sweat just below the sweatband of his jogging ensemble as his destination, his weekend cottage, comes into view through the windshield.

EXT. KRENDLER'S COTTAGE - NIGHT

The car pulls into the driveway. Krendler gathers up the grocery bag from the passenger seat and carries it toward the front door of his cottage, which also happens to be Lecter's.

INT. KRENDLER'S/LECTER'S COTTAGE - NIGHT

Krendler comes into the darkened kitchen. Tries a light switch that doesn't work. Sets the grocery bag on a counter, pulls open a drawer and takes out a corkscrew. As he takes a bottle of cheap Chianti from the bag, he notices a simple strand of Christmas lights around a window. Doesn't remember hanging them. Stares, cocking his head the way he does.

LECTER'S VOICE Oh, good, you brought wine.

Before Krendler can turn, his mouth is covered with an ether- soaked dish towel.

INT. KRENDLER'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Starling's eyes open and slowly take in her surroundings: the small, unfamiliar room, the bed she's in, the night stand and the empty morphine vials on it, the silver tray with the crumpled bullet on it.

She eases the blanket down enough to see her T-shirt, eases the T-shirt up enough to see the bandage, ease the bandage away enough to see the stitched gunshot wound.

She hears quiet Christmas music and muffled voices from elsewhere in the house. Two men speaking in conversational tones. She drags herself from the bed, steadies herself, slowly crosses the room to, and down, a hallway.

At the end of it, she see: A decorated Christmas tree. An archway to a dining room, candles on the dining table. Krendler, in his running clothes and sweatband, sitting at the head of it. Lecter, standing beside a portable grill on a service cart, stirring at a saute pan with a wooden spoon.

KRENDLER Are those shallots?

LECTER Ummm. And caper berries.

KRENDLER The butter smells wonderful.

Starling glances from Krendler's face to his hands. He doesn't seem to notice or care that they're duct-taped to the arms of a wheelchair.

INT. BEDROOM - MOMENTS LATER

Back in the bedroom, Starling uses her teeth to strip the 4-pin telephone wire that's been yanked from the wall jack.

INT. DINING ROOM - SAME TIME

As Lecter executes a modest flambe with a little brandy -

LECTER I hope you're hungry, Paul.

KRENDLER Very. What's the main course?

LECTER Oh, you never ask. It spoils the surprise.

Lecter notices, but seems unconcerned, as the line-light blinks on a telephone.

INT. BEDROOM - CONTINUED

Starling searches drawers for some kind of weapon as she whispers into the phone -

STARLING I don't have the address, but I think the house belongs to the hostage, whose name is Paul Krendler -

911 OPERATOR I have it from the phone number. Now if you can safely do it, get out of the house. Otherwise, stay on the line where you are. The response time should be ten minutes. I'm putting you on hold for just a moment.

Starling hears an unusual sound from the other room, but not so unusual that she doesn't recognize it: It's the whir of an autopsy saw. She sets the receiver on the bed and -

911 OPERATOR I'm back. Ma'am - ?

The phone goes dead as Starling yanks the 25-foot cord from the wall and wraps it quickly around her hand, taking it with her, perhaps to use as a garrote, as she leaves the room.

INT. HALL / DINING ROOM - MOMENTS LATER

She's moving along the hall again. Hears the whir of the saw grinding through - something - then stop. She picks up a heavy glass paperweight from a bookcase shelf and conceals it in her hand.

She reaches the doorway to the living room and adjacent dining area. Sees Lecter straightening Krendler's sweatband. The doctor glances up and regards her calmly.

LECTER Clarice. What are you doing up? You should be resting. Get back to bed.

STARLING I'm hungry.

Krendler's head slowly turns to follow her as she crosses into the dining room unsteadily.

STARLING Hello, Paul.

He doesn't respond. He seems in some kind of trance.

LECTER Paul. Don't be rude. Say hello to Agent Starling.

KRENDLER Hello, Starling. I always wanted to watch you eat.

As Lecter lays out another place setting of fine china (but not silverware) for Starling, she sees the spent syringe and the autopsy saw on a trivet next to the butane grill.

LECTER Would you like to say grace?

KRENDLER Me? Grace? Okay.

He bows his head. Starling and Lecter don't. She glances to the twisting pendulum of a hurricane clock. The doctor just smiles faintly, well aware of the response time.

KRENDLER Father, we thank thee for the blessings we are about to receive and dedicate them to Thy mercy. Forgive us all, even white trash like Starling here, and bring her into my service. Amen.

As his head comes back up, a single rivulet of blood drips out from under the sweatband. Lecter stirs at his beurre- noisette.

LECTER Paul, I have to tell you, the Apostle Paul couldn't have done better. He hated women, too.

Krendler smiles rather stupidly at Starling. As much as she hates him, she doesn't want to see what she thinks Lecter has in store for him, and tries to forestall it with conversation and requests -

STARLING May I have some wine?

LECTER I don't think that's a good idea, Clarice. Not with the morphine. Better you should have some broth.

Lecter sets about ladling her and Krendler tureens of it.

KRENDLER By the way, Starling, that was a job offer I worked into the blessing. I'm going to Congress, you know.

STARLING Are you?

KRENDLER Come around campaign headquarters. You could be an office girl. Can you type and file? Can you take dictation? Take this down: Washington is full of cornpone country pussy.

STARLING I already took that down. You said it before.

LECTER Paul. Please. Now you are being rude. Drink your broth.

As Lecter puts a straw in the tureen to Krendler's lips and whispers something in his ear, Starling eyes the sharper utensils on the other side of the table next to the grill.

KRENDLER This soup's not very good.

LECTER I admit I added a little something extra to yours. Perhaps it's clashing with the cumin. I assure you, though, you'll love the second course, that is if I can serve it before Clarice bashes my head in.

He commands her to show him what's in the hand in her lap with a smile and a slight tip of his head. She obeys, setting the paperweight weapon on the table.

KRENDLER Hey, that's mine.

Lecter rakes it across to him with a folk like a croupier. As Krendler shakes it and watches snow fall on the Capital building, he's oblivious to Lecter taking off his sweatband revealing the neat incision carved all the way around.

Starling can do little more than we can as Lecter lifts the top of Krendler's head off - staring in disbelief at the pinky-gray dome of Krendler's exposed brain. Lecter reaches for a set of tonsil spoons as the butter in the saute pan sizzles to a golden brown.

STARLING I really would like some wine.

Lecter, poised over Krendler's brain with the tongs, looks at her disapprovingly. She's holding out her empty glass like Oliver as the pendulum twists back and forth.

LECTER All right. But just a little.

He sets the spoons down. Pours some Chateau d'Y quem into her glass as he glances to the twisting pendulum.

LECTER Unlike Paul, I unfortunately can't offer you a job in government. But I am curious. What will you do now?

Right now her hand is slowly inching across the tablecloth toward a serrated knife. Lecter picks it up and one of the tongs and deftly severs the thalamus of Krendler's brain -

STARLING Doctor Lec -

LECTER You certainly can't return to the bureau. Not that you'd want to. Even if you could convince them to take you back after all this, the Stain of Rein- statement would never go away.

Krendler's eyes look up as if to see what's going on, then follow Lecter's hands as he sets his prefrontal lobe in the saute pan.

KRENDLER What did you say?

STARLING I didn't say anything.

KRENDLER I had plans for that smart mouth, but I'd never hire you now. Who gave you an appointment anyway?

Lecter picks up the tongs again to scoop out another lobe.

LECTER The brain itself feels no pain, Clarice, if that concerns you. And Paul certainly won't miss this - the prefrontal lobe is the seat of manners.

STARLING Dr. Lecter, your profile at the border stations has five features. I'll trade you. Stop now and I'll tell you what they are.

LECTER Trade? How does that word taste to you, Clarice? Cheap and metallic like sucking on a greasy coin to me. Your soup is getting cold.

He spoons out a second lobe and stirs it into the pan -

KRENDLER That smells great.

LECTER Have a taste, Paul.

He slides a taste of the "second course" onto a small plate, forks a piece and slips it into Krendler's open mouth.

KRENDLER Ummm, it is good.

STARLING Dr. Lec -

LECTER No, I think a new life lies before you. A better life. With me? Hmmm, there's a thought.

Is he serious? He seems to be. Krendler glances stupidly from him to her and back again.

LECTER I came halfway around the world just to watch you run in the woods. Run with me, Clarice.

KRENDLER Who's Clarice?

LECTER Agent Starling, Paul. If you can't keep up with the conversation, it's better you don't try to join in at all.

KRENDLER Who?

STARLING Me, Paul. I'm Starling.

KRENDLER I don't think you could even answer my phones, whoever you are. That accent is just too - Appalachian. "The Honorable Paul Krendler's office."

LECTER Paul?

KRENDLER What.

LECTER Remember what I said before? If you can't be polite to the other guests, you have to sit at the kids' table.

He sets the plates and sauce pan and all the utensils - including the knife - in Krendler's lap, and unlocks the wheels of the chair.

LECTER I'll just be a minute cleaning up, Clarice. Don't get up, Paul will help me clear.

As Lecter pushes Krendler toward the kitchen, he glimpses on the way the headlights of a line of cars coming silently along the shoreline.

LECTER Think about what I said, but don't drink any more wine while you do. Doctor's orders.

As soon as the door to the kitchen swings shut, she gets up, too fast, almost faints, sits back down. Listening for a moment to the scraping of plates, she tries again to stand, slower this time. she blows out a candle, grasps the stem of the heavy brass holder and with it and the phone cord, slowly crosses toward the closed kitchen door.

She slowly eases it open, revealing: Lecter, his back to her, scraping the leftovers into Krendler's head and setting the plates neatly in the dishwasher. He closes its door then and switches it on, and, keeping his back to her, begins wiping down the counters with a dish towel.

She eases past the door, gripping the heavy candlestick, and slowly approaches Lecter from behind, grateful for the hum of the dishwasher that covers the creaking of the floorboards.

Krendler is staring right at her as he shakes his Capital paperweight. She places a finger to her lips to tell him not to speak, and he glances away to the tiny falling snow.

KRENDLER Would you like to swing on a star - Carry moonbeams home in a jar -

The candlestick comes up and hangs there - as if Starling isn't entirely sure she wants to crack Lecter's skull open - but then it does come down hard right at his head, and -

Turning, he catches her wrist in his hand and pushes her roughly against the refrigerator, toppling the wheelchair and Krendler, the rest of his brain and some leftovers spilling onto the floor. Lecter holds Starling firmly in his grip, staring at her, intending, it appears, to kill her. But then, quietly -

LECTER That's my girl. If you hadn't tried, I would have killed you ... But don't try again ... I mean it.

He lets her hands go and she immediately lunges for him again. He grabs her wrists again, pushes her back up against the fridge, opens it enough to catch her pnytail in the door and shoves the candlestick through the side-by-side handles.

LECTER Oh, Clarice, you are the honey in the lion. In times to come, whenever you see yourself naked, whenever you see the scar - the quality of the stitching - you'll remember this moment -

His face, his sharp teeth, come threateningly close to her. He kisses her hard on the mouth.

LECTER - and your lips will burn.

He steps away, past Krendler and the wheelchair, picks up a small Tupperware container from the counter and walks out, leaving her to try to free herself.

EXT. THE COTTAGE - MOMENTS LATER

Starling comes slowly out onto the porch. Looks for movement in the dark shapes of the trees across the road and sees none. Looks out across the Chesapeake and sees nothing in its dark water - except that the little rowboat, once tied to the dock, is now gone.

Feeling faint again - or just tired of it all - she sits on the porch swing, slows her breathing and the pounding of her heart, listens to the creak of the chains and the growl of the approaching police cars, and watches the glare of the approaching headlights play across the dark trees of the forest ...

DISSOLVE TO:

A VERMEER

hanging in a gallery. Foreign museum visitors strolling past, giving it a glance before moving on. One man, though, seems unable to get enough of it, standing before it as if before a shrine as the others keep moving past. It's Barney. The painting, Woman Holding the Balance -

DISSOLVES TO:

A RECLINING WOMAN

asleep on a blanket on a beach. Starling. A beach ball and a Walkman resting beside her. The cord runs up across the scar on her exposed midriff to a light pair of head- phones. Instead of music, she hears static, before -

MAN V/O How are you covering yourself?

WOMAN V/O Polaroids, monkey business, and none of your business. I'm not going to run. One-point-five-mil, Ricky, flat fee.

The conversation is overtaken by static again. Keeping her eyes closed, Starling nudges the beach ball and the voices of the man and woman, just two tiny figures waist deep in the Miami beach surf, reemerge from the static -

WOMAN V/O No discussion. Just yes or no.

MAN V/O Yes. We'll make the transfer at the Sun Trust conference room in the vault. I'll bring my lockbox, you bring yours.

A beachcomber passes, walking along the wet sand between Starling on the beach and the couple in the water. Crawford. In the headphones Starling hears -

CRAWFORD V/O And we'll join the party, too. That's it, Starling. You just made us our ten percent. And all you had to do was put on sun screen.

She smiles without opening her eyes. Reaches down out of habit to adjust her top to cover the scar.

CRAWFORD V/O You don't need to hide it. Your doctor did a nice job. You can hardly see it -

The roar of a jet covers his last word -

DISSOLVE TO:

A RECLINING SLEEPING BOY

in a darkened 747 cabin, window shades down, movie flickering. Stewardesses move down the aisle gathering the last of the lunch trays.

Sitting in coach next to the sleeping six year old boy, Lecter, in Toronto Maple Leafs sweats, waits until he's sure no one is looking at him, then, careful not to wake the boy, reaches down under the seat in front of him, finds a box and sets it on his lap.

It's from Dean & DeLuca. Tied with a ribbon. Lecter unknots it. Opens the lid. Inside are Anatolian figs, pate de foie gras, a half-bottle of St. Estephe and some silverware. BOY What's that?

Lecter sighs. Then turns to the boy and makes a smile.

LECTER Which?

BOY That.

LECTER Liver.

BOY What are those?

LECTER Figs.

BOY And that?

Something in a plastic container.

LECTER That I don't think you'd like.

BOY It looks good.

LECTER It is good.

BOY Can I have some?

LECTER You're a very unusual boy, aren't you?

BOY I didn't eat what they gave me.

LECTER Nor should you have. It's not even food, as I understand the definition. Which is why I always travel with my own. (the boy smiles; Lecter smiles) Are you sure your mother wouldn't disapprove of your accepting food from a stranger?

BOY She would.

LECTER Ah, but she's asleep.

The boy's eyebrows lift conspiratorially.

LECTER Which would you like to try?

The boy points to the plastic container.

LECTER This?

The boy nods. Lecter thinks about it. Finally -

LECTER I suppose it's all right. After all, as I'm sure your mother tells you - mine certainly did: It is important to always try new things.

As Lecter dips his fork into the appetizer and feeds it to his young, grateful, adventurous fellow traveler -

FADE TO BLACK

<<<

/ Hannibal.
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