Steven Zaillian


                         Based on the Novel


                           Thomas Harris






     February 9, 2000


     Clarice Starling is dead, laid out in fatigues across a bench

     in the back of a ratty, rattling undercover van.  Three other

     agents sit perched on the opposite bench, staring at her

     lifeless body.


               How can she sleep at a time like this?


               She's on a jump-out squad all night;

               she's saving her strength.


     Gray cement walls blur past as the panel van descends a

     circular ramp to a lower level.  As it straightens out, the

     view through the windshield reveals a gathering of men and

     vehicles - marked and unmarked DC police cars - and two black

     SWAT vans.

     The panel van - with Marcell's Crab House painted on its

     sides - pulls to a stop.  The back doors open from the inside

     and Starling is the first one out - well-rested and alert -

     hoisting down her equipment bag.

     One of the DC policemen, the one whose girth and manner

     say he's in charge, watches the woman by the van slip into a

     Kevlar vest, drop a Colt .45 into a shoulder holster, and a

     .38 into an ankle holster.  She straightens up, approaches

     the men and lays a street plan across the hood of one of

     their cars.


               All right, everyone, pay attention.

               Here's the layout -


               Excuse me, I'm Officer Bolton, DC Police.


               Yes, I can see that from your uniform

               and badge, how do you do?


               I'm in charge here.

     Starling studies him a moment.  He sniffs as if that might

     help confirm his weighty position.


               You are?


               Yes, ma'am.

     Starling's glance finds Brigham's.  His says, Just let it

     go.  Hers says back, I can't.


               Officer Bolton, I'm Special Agent

               Starling, and just so we don't get off

               on the wrong foot, let me explain why

               we're all here.

     Brigham shakes his head to himself in weary anticipation of

     her 'explanation.'


               I'm here because I know Evelda Drumgo,

               I've arrested her twice on RICO warrants,

               I know how she thinks.  DEA and BATF, in

               addition to backing me up, are here for

               the drugs and weapons.  You're here, and

               it's the only reason you're here, because

               our mayor wants to appear tough on drugs,

               especially after his own cocaine

               conviction, and thinks he can accomplish

               that by the mere fact of having you tag

               along with us.

     Silence as the gathering of agents and policemen stare at her

     and Bolton.


               You got a smart mouth, lady.


               Officer, if you wouldn't mind, I'd

               appreciate it if you took a step or two

               back, you're in my light.

     Bolton takes his time, but eventually backs away a step.


               Thank you.  All right.

                   (re: the street plan)

               The fish market backs on the water.

               Across the street, ground floor, is the

               meth lab --


     The Macarena blares from a boom box.  Snappers, artfully

     arranged in schools on ice, stare up blankly.  Crabs scratch

     at their crates.  Lobsters climb over one another in tanks.

     One of the black SWAT vans turns down a side street.  The

     other takes an alley.  The Marcell's Crab House van continues

     straight along Parcell Street.


     A 150-pound block of dry ice tries to cool down the heat

     from all the bodies in the van - Starling and Brigham, the

     two other agents, Burke and Hare, and her new best friend,

     Officer Bolton.  As they drive along, Bolton watches as she

     takes several pairs of surgical gloves from her equipment

     bag, slips one pair on, and hands the rest to the others, the

     last pair offered to him.


               Drumgo's HIV positive and she will spit

               and bite if she's cornered, so you might

               want to put these on.

                   (Bolton takes the gloves and

                    puts them on)

               And if you happen to be the one who

               puts her in a patrol car in front of the

               cameras, and I have a feeling you will

               be, you don't want to push her head down,

               she'll likely have a needle in her hair.


     The swat vans pull into position, one to the side of the

     building across from the fish market, the other around back.

     As the battered van pulls to the curb in front, a mint low-

     rider Impala convertible, stereo thumping, cruises past.


     The thumping fades, leaving the Macarena filtering in.

     Starling pulls the cover off the eyepiece of a periscope

     bolted to the ceiling of the van and makes a full rotation

     of the objective lens concealed in the roof ventilator, catching

     glimpses of:

     A man with big forearms cutting up a mako shark with a

     curved knife, hosing the big fish down with a powerful hand-

     held spray.

     Young men idling on a corner in front of a bar.  Others

     lounging in parked cars, talking.  Some children playing by

     a burning mattress on the sidewalk; others in the rainbow

     spray from the fishmonger's hose.

     The building across from the fish market with the metal door

     above concrete steps.  It opens.


               Heads up.

     A large white man in a luau shirt and sandals comes out

     with a satchel across his chest, other hand behind the case.

     A wiry black man comes out the door behind him, carrying a

     raincoat, and behind him, Evelda Drumgo.


               It's her.  Behind two guys.  Both



                   (into a radio)

               Strike One to all units.  Showdown.

               She's out front, we're moving.

     Starling and the others put on their helmets.  Brigham racks

     the slide of his riot gun.  The back doors opena and Starling

     is the first one out, barking -


               Down on the ground!  Down on the ground!

     No one gets down on the ground - not Evelda Drumgo, not her

     men, none of the merchants or bystanders.  The Macarena keeps


     Drumgo turns and Starling sees the baby in the blanketed

     sling around her neck.  She can also hear the roar of a big

     V8 and hopes it's her backup.

     Drumgo turns slightly and the baby blanket flutters as the

     MAC 10 under it fires, shattering Brigham's face shield.  As

     he goes down, Hawaiian Shirt drops his satchel and fires a

     shotgun, blowing out the car window next to Burke.

     Gunshots from the V8, a Crip gunship, a Cadillac, coming

     toward Starling.  Two shooters, Cheyenne-style in the rolled-

     down window frames, spraying automatic fire over the top.

     Starling dives behind two parked cars.  Hare and Bolton

     fire from behind another.  Auto glass shatters and clangs on

     the ground.

     Everyone in the market scrambling for cover, finally hitting

     the fish-bloodied cement.  The Macarena still blasting.

     Pinned down, Starling watches the wiry black man drop back

     against the building, Drumgo picks up the satchel, the gunship

     slowing enough for someone to pull her in.

     Starling stands and fires several shots, taking out Hawaiian

     Shirt, the other man by the building, the driver of the accel-

     erating Cadillac, one of the men perched on the window frames

     - drops the magazine out of her .45 slams another in

     before the empty hits the ground.

     The Cadillac goes out of control, sideswiping a line of

     cars, grinds to a stop against them.  Starling moving toward

     it now, following the sight of her gun.  A shooter still

     sitting in a window frame, alive but trapped, chest

     compressed between the Cadillac and a parked car.  Gunfire

     from somewhere behind Starling hits him and shatters the rear



               Hold it!  Hold your fire!  Watch the door

               behind me!  Evelda!

     The firing stops but the pounding of The Macarena doesn't.


               Evelda!  Put your hands out the window!

     Nothing for a moment.  Then Drumgo emerges from the car, head

     down, hands buried in the blanket-sling, cradling the crying



               Show me your hands!

                   (Evelda doesn't)

               Please!  Show me your hands!

     Evelda looks up at her finally, fondly it seems, doesn't show

     her hands.


               Is that you, Starling?


               Show me your hands!


               How you been?


               Don't do this!


               Do what?

     She smiles sweetly.  The blanket flutters.  Starling falls.

     Fires high enough to miss the baby.  Hits Drumgo in the neck.

     She goes down.

     Starling crawling in the street, the wind knocked out of

     her from the hits to her chest, to her vest.  Reaches Drumgo,

     blood gushing out of her onto the baby.  She pulls out a

     knife.  Cuts the harness straps.  Runs with the baby to the

     merchant stalls as enterprising tourists click shots from the

     ground with disposable cameras.

     Starling sweeps away knives and fish guts from a cutting

     table.  Lays the baby down.  Strips it.  Grabs the handheld

     sprayer and washes at the slick coating of HIV positive blood

     covering the baby, a shark's head staring, Macarena pounding,

     disposable cameras clicking, the river of bloody water

     running along a gutter to where Brigham lies dead.


     Gray sky.  Rain coming down.  A large gathering, many in

     uniform, standing in wet grass around an open grave, the rain

     spilling off the rims of their umbrellas.

     A casket is being lowered in.  Starling watches as it

     decends, watches the gears of the hoist working and the box

     disappearing beneath the edge of the muddy hole, not allowing

     herself to cry, or to meet the eyes of certain other mourners

     watching her.


     Long line of parked cars, some marked, most not, many with

     government plates.  Smoke plumes from the exhaust of the one

     idling nearest, a Crown Victoria.

     Inside the car, Starling sits in the front passenger seat

     with a cardboard box on her lap, a middle-aged man in Marine

     dress blues beside her at the wheel.  The wipers slap back

     and forth.


               You like to think when it's over your

               things would fill more than one cardboard


     Starling touches the things in the box:  a BATF badge, a

     couple of laminated clip-on ID cards with Brigham's face on

     them, a medal, a pen set, a compass paper-weight, two guns

     and a framed desk photo of a dog.


               John's parents don't want it.  Any of

               it.  Except the dog.  Don't want to be



               I want to be reminded.


               I figured.  He was your last compadre on

               the street, wasn't he.


               My last compadre.

     He sits watching her touch the things, and will continue to

     do so as long as she wants.  Eventually, she folds down the

     cardboard flaps.  Hawkins looks up ahead -


               All they'll get with tinted windows is

               pictures of themselves, but it won't stop

               them from trying.  You ready?

     She is.  He pulls away from the curb.  A handful of wet

     photographers appears in the windshield's view up ahead.  As

     the car passes, their cameras swing around to point at

     Starling's side of it and flash like stars.


     The words "Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity" skew as a glass

     door opens.  Starling comes in to find several men awaiting

     her, all balanced on Florsheim wingtips and tasseled Thom

     McAn loafers.


               Agent Starling, this is John Eldredge

               from DEA; Assistant Director Noonan, of

               course you know; Larkin Wayne, from our

               Office of Professional Responsibility;

               Bob Sneed, BATF; Benny Holcome, Assistant

               to the Mayor; and Paul Krendler - you

               know Paul.  Paul's come over from Justice

               - unofficially - as a favor to us.  In

               other words, he's here and he's not here.

     A couple of the men bobbed their heads at the mention of

     their names; none offered his hand.  Starling sits a thin

     manila folder on her lap.  A silence stretches out as each

     man regards her.  Finally -


               I take it you've seen the coverage in

               the papers and on television.

                   (nothing from Starling)

               Agent Starling?


               I have nothing to do with the news, Mr.



               The woman had a baby in her arms.  There

               are pictures.  You can see the problem.


               Not in her arms, in a sling across her

               chest.  In her arms, she had a MAC 10.

               Mr. Pearsall?  This is a friendly

               meeting, right?




               Then why is Mr. Sneed wearing a wire?

     Pearsall glances to Sneed and his tie clasp.  Sneed sighs.


               We're here to help you, Starling.

               That's going to be harder to do with a

               combative attitude like -


               Help me what?  Your agency called this

               office and got me assigned to help you on

               the raid.  I gave Drumgo a chance - two

               chances - to surrender.  She didn't.  She

               fired.  She shot John Brigham.  She shot

               at me.  And I shot her.  In that order.

               You might want to check your counter

               right there, where I admit it.

     A silence before the man from the Mayor's Office speaks up -


               Ms. Starling, did you make some kind

               of inflammatory remark about Ms. Drumgo

               in the van on the way?


               Is that what your Officer Bolton is


                   (he chooses not to say)

               I explained to him, and the others in

               the van, that Drumgo was HIV positive and

               would think nothing of infecting them,

               and me, any way she could given the

               chance.  If that's inflamma -


               Did you also say to him at one point

               that a splash of Canoe is not the same

               as a shower?

                   (she doesn't answer)

               Did Officer Bolton smell bad to you?


               Incompetence smells bad to me.


               You shot five people out there, Agent

               Starling.  That may be some kind of

               record.  Is that how you define


     A beeper goes off.  Every one of the men checks the little

     box on his belt.  It's Noonan's.  He excuses himself from the



               Can I speak freely, Mr. Pearsall?

                   (he nods)

               This raid was an ugly mess.  I ended

               up in a position where I had a choice of

               dying, or shooting a woman carrying a

               child.  I chose.  I shot her -

     FLASHCUT to Drumgo - hit in the neck by Starling's bullet -

     silently falling to the ground -


               I killed a mother holding her child.

               The lower animals don't do that.  And I

               regret it.  I resent myself for it.  But

               I resent you, too - whichever of you

               thinks that by attacking me, bad press

               will go away.  That Waco will go away.  A

               mayor's drug habit.  All of it.

     FLASHCUT to Drumgo, lying dead in the road, then back here

     again to Starling, "watching" her in silence.

     Noonan pokes his head in, gestures to Pearsall to join him

     in the anteroom.  Krendler invites himself along.  Sneed and

     Holcome get up and stare out the window.  Eldredge paces, his

     wingtips soundlessy dragging on the carpet.


               I know you haven't had a chance to write

               your 302 yet, Starling, but -


               I have, sir.  A copy's on its way to

               your office.  I also have a copy with me

               if you want to review it now.  Everything

               I did and saw.

     She hands it to him.  He begins leafing through it.

     Pearsall and Krendler reappear -


               Assistant Director Noonan is on his way

               back to his office, Gentlemen.  I'm going

               to call a halt to this meeting and get

               back to you individually by phone.

     Sneed cocks his head like a confused dog.


               We've got to decide some things here.


               No, we don't.


               Clint -


               Bob, believe me, we don't have to decide

               anything right this second.  I said I'll

               get back to you.

                   (Pearsall's look to Starling

                    says she's free to leave; she

                    gets up)

               And, Bob?

     Pearsall grabs the wire behind Sneed's tie and pulls it down

     hard, the adhesive tape taking some chest hair along with it -

     judging from the grimace - as it comes away from his skin.


               You ever come in here wired again, I'll

               stick it up your ass.


     Krendler - the only man who didn't speak in the meeting -

     idles outside.  As Starling approaches -


               That was no free lunch, Starling.

               I'll call you.

     She keeps going.  He admires the back of her legs.


     Jack Crawford misses a 20-foot putt by inches.

                          GOLF PAL

               Oh ... bad luck, Jack.

     Crawford stares at the missed shot.  Then spikes across the

     18th green, taps it in, and groans the way anyone over forty

     does as he bends down to retrieve it.

     Pocketing it he turns, sees Starling standing outside the

     club house.  She waves, bending just a couple of fingers, and

     he smiles, pleased, but not surprised to see her.


     Crawford and Starling driving in his car, the clubs in the

     back seat.  Palm trees float by.


               What's your handicap?


               My handicap is I can't play golf.


               Maybe better clubs would help.


               I play with the best clubs money can buy.

               It's not the clubs, it's a woeful lack of



               Or interest.

     He nods - yeah, that's the real problem with it - turns onto

     another street.


               Were my flowers at John's service okay?

               Lot of times, flowers by wire, you never



               They were canary daffodils.

                   (he groans)

               I put your name on my flowers.


               Thank you.


               Thank you.  For the call.  At the

               Inquisition.  I don't know what you said

               to them, but it worked.


               Don't thank me too quickly.


     Downtown.  Skyscrapers.


     Frameless glass doors in a sleek office building, etched:

     Allied Security, Threat Assessment, Miami, Los Angeles, Rio

     de Janeiro.  Crawford holds one open for Starling and

     follows her into a handsome reception area.


               How was it?  Better today?


               The clubs are in the dumpster downstairs

               if anyone wants them.

     He leads Starling deeper into the place, past pairs of men

     in nice suits conferring in the doorway of a kitchenette and

     over by a long bank of filing cabinets.  Male and female

     secretaries move about.


               Nice, huh?  This could all be yours,

               Starling.  I can get you a PI ticket in

               Florida tomorrow, you can chase insurance

               scams, extortion against the cruise

               lines, put down the gun and have some fun

               with me.

     Crawford accepts a handful of pink phone-message slips as

     they come past his secretary's desk, holds another door open

     and Starling steps into his office.




               Just wait.

     The door closing softly behind her says, "expensive



     They sit, Crawford behind his mahogany desk, Starling in a

     comfortable chair.  As he rifles through the phone

     messages -


               The call I made wasn't to Assistant

               Director Noonan.  Whoever called him, I

               don't know.  I called Mason Verger.

     He lets the name sink in, lets her dive for it, try to

     place it.  She can't.  It's familiar but doesn't connect to

     anything stable.


               Lecter's fourth victim, Starling.

               The one who lived, if you can call it

               living.  The rich one.

     He slides over a couple of photographs of a young man with a

     kind, trusting face.  Now she remembers him.


               I told Mason I wanted you off the

               street.  I told him what I told you when

               I left the Bureau, "You go out with a gun

               enough times, you will be killed by one."

               I told him I want you where you belong,

               in Behavioral Science.  Know what he said?


               He can speak?


               It's about the only thing he can do.

               He said, after a very long pause, "Oh,

               what a good idea, Jack."

                   (Crawford tries to smile)

               Who he called, I don't know.  Someone

               higher up than anyone in that room with

               you.  Maybe Representative Vollmer, who

               Mason may not own, but does rent from

               time to time.

     Silence as Starling tries to take it all in.  She looks up

     with a question forming in her mind, and Crawford nods before

     she can say it.  Very matter of fact -


               Yeah, that's right, it means going back

               on the Lecter case.

     He busies himself with the phone messages again, arranging

     them in little, prioritized piles on his desk, as if perhaps

     this conversation is about nothing more important than a

     simple missing person case.


               What if I said to you I'd rather not

               do that?  What if I said to you I prefer

               the street?


               You think this is a cheap deal?  What

               you were getting was a cheap deal.  What

               they say about federal examiners is true:

               they arrive after the battle and bayonet

               the wounded.  You're not safe on the

               street anymore.

     Starling takes another look at the photographs of Verger.


               Has something happened on the case?


               Has Lecter killed anybody lately?  I

               wouldn't know, I'm retired from all that.

               Mason doesn't know either, but he does

               apparently have some new information -

               which he'll only share with you.

     They consider one another for a long moment.  Finally -


               He's not pretty, Starling.  And I don't

               just mean his face.


     Bare trees.  Overcast sky.  Starling's Mustang growling along

     the rain-slicked expressway.


     A Maryland state map spread out across the passenger seat.

     Starling's eyes darting back and forth between the black and

     red route-veins and the shrouded countryside out beyond the

     slapping wiper blades.

     An exit sign - and the exit itself - looms suddenly and

     rushes across the right side of her windshield.  She curses

     to herself.  It's the exit she wanted, but now it's gone,

     shrinking in her rearview mirror into the mist.


     Coming back the other way along a service road, Starling

     slows to consider a chain-link gate stretched across a muddy

     road, then continues on.

     At the gate house of the main entrance, a security guard

     checks her name against a list.  He seems reluctant to get

     himself or his clipboard wet, but not her identification,

     handing it out past the edge of his umbrella to her.

     The Mustang negotiates a long circuitous drive, taking her

     deeper and deeper into vast forest land.  Eventually, though,

     a good mile from the gate house behind her, the trees give

     way to a clearing, and she sees the big Stanford White-

     designed mansion emerging from the mist up ahead.

     A man waits under an umbrella out front, indicates to her

     where to park - anywhere, one should think - there's enough

     space for fifty cars - then comes around to the driver's side

     and opens the door.


               Ms. Starling.  Hi.  I'm Cordell.  Mr.

               Verger's private physician.


               How do you do?

     She gathers her things out from under the map:  file folder,

     micro-cassette recorder, extra tapes and batteries.  He helps

     her out, then presses up against her to help maximize the

     umbrella's effectiveness.


               Shall we make a run for it?

     As they hurry toward the porch - if it can be called a

     porch, as grand an entrance as a king's, or English rock

     star's manor - Starling notices the building's one modern

     wing, sticking out like an extra limb attached in some

     grotesque medical experiment.


     They cross through a living room larger than most houses,

     then down a hall, their shoes moving along a Moroccan runner,

     sleeves past portraits of important-looking dead people.

     As they cross a threshold there's an abrupt shear in style:

     the rich carpet giving way to polished institutional floors,

     the portrait-lined walls to shiny white enamel.

     Cordell reaches for the handle of a closed door in the new

     wing, and Starling notices line of lights appear around the

     jamb where there were none.

     As the door opens, she squints.  Two small photographer's

     spots on stands pitch narrow beams of light into her face and

     seem to follow her progress into the room.


                   (a whisper)

               One's eyes adjust to the darkness.

               This way is better.

     He leads her to a sitting area where a print of William

     Blake's "The Ancient of Days" hangs above a large aquarium

     divided in two by a wall of glass - an ell gliding around on

     one side, a fish on the other.  A bank of security monitors

     completes the decor.  To the spotlight -


               Mr. Verger, Ms. Starling is here.

     The light stands flank a hospital bed, the beams effectively

     camouflaging the figure on it in their glare.


               Good morning, Mr. Verger.


               Cordell, do you address a judge as Mr?

     The voice is steady and resonant.  An "educated" voice, not

     unlike Lecter's.  Before Cordell can answer him -


               Agent Starling is her proper title,

               not "Ms."


               Agent Starling.


               Correct.  Good morning, Agent Starling.

               Have a seat.  Make yourself comfortable.


               Thank you.

     Starling sits with her things.  Snaps open the little door of

     her cassette recorder to verify there's a tape inside.


               Was that a Mustang I heard out there?


               Yes, it was.




               '88 Stroker.






               Where'd you get it?


               Dope auction.


               Very good.


               Mr. Verger, the discussion we're going

               to have is in the nature of a deposition.

               I'll need to tape record it if that's all

               right with you.


               Cordell, I think you can leave us now.


               I thought I might stay.  Perhaps I could

               be useful if -


               You could be useful seeing about my


     Starling gets up, but not to see him out.  Once he's gone -


               I'd like to attach this microphone to

               your - clothing, or pillow - if you're

               comfortable with that.


               By all means.

     She walks slowly toward the bed, or rather to the lights,

     uncertain exactly what position Verger may be in - on his

     back, his side; she has no way of knowing.


               Here, this should make it easier.

     A finger like a pale spider crab moves along the sheet and

     depresses a button.  The lights suddenly extinguish and

     Starling's pupils dilate.  As her eyes adjust to the darkness

     Verger's face materializes in it like something dead rising

     up through dark water:

     Face is the wrong word.  He was no face to speak of.  No

     skin, at least.  Teeth he has.  He looks like some kind of

     creature that resides in the lowest depths of the sea.

     She doesn't flinch.  Maybe the hand with the microsphone

     recoils an inch or two, but that's it.  She clips it to the

     flannel lapel of his pajamas, drapes the skinny cord over the

     side of the pillow and sets the recorder on the medical table

     next to the bed.


               You know, I thank God for what happened.

               It was my salvation.  Have you accepted

               Jesus, Agent Starling?  Do you have



               I was raised Lutheran.


               That's not what I asked -


               This is Special Agent Clarice Starling,

               FBI number 5143690, deposing Mason R.

               Verger, Social Security number -


               - 475-98-9823 -


               - at his home on the date stamped above,

               sworn and attested.

                   (she drags over a chair)

               Mr. Verger, you claim to have -


               I want to tell you about summer camp.

               It was a wonderful childhood experience -


               We can get to that later.  The -


               We can get to it now.  You see, it all

               comes to bear, it's where I met Jesus and

               I'll never tell you anything more impor-

               tant than that.  It was a Christian camp

               my father paid for.  Paid for the whole

               thing, all 125 campers on Lake Michigan.

               Many of them were unfortunate, cast-off

               little boys and girls would do anything

               for a candy bar.  Maybe I took advantage

               of that.  Maybe I was rough with them -


               Mr. Verger, I don't need to know about

               the sex offenses.  I just -


               It's all right.  I have immunity, so

               it's all right now.  I have immunity from

               the U.S. Attorney.  I have immunity from

               the D.A. in Owings Mills.  I have

               immunity from the Risen Jesus and nobody

               beats the Riz.


               What I'd like to know is if you'd ever

               seen Dr. Lecter before the court assigned

               you to him for therapy?


               You mean - socially?



               That is what I mean, yes.  Weren't you

               both on the board of the Baltimore Phil-



               Oh, no, my seat was just because my

               family contributed.  I sent my lawyer

               when there was a vote.


               Then I'm not sure I understand how he

               ended up at your house that night, if

               you don't mind talking about it.


               Not at all.  I'm not ashamed.


               I didn't say you should be.


               I invited him, of course.  He was too

               professional to just sort of "drop in."

               I answered the door in my nicest come-

               hither leather outfit.

     FLASHCUT of the door opening, revealing Verger, in his

     leather gear, his face young and pretty.


               I was concerned he'd be afraid of me,

               but he didn't seem to be.  Afraid of me;

               that's funny now.

     FLASHCUT of Verger leading Lecter upstairs, each with a glass

     of wine in hand.


               I showed him my toys, my noose set-up

               among other things - where you sort of

               hang yourself but not really.  It feels

               good while you - you know.

     FLASHCUT to some dogs watching Verger with the noose around

     his neck, and Lecter offering him some amyl nitrite.


               Anyway - he said, Would you like a

               popper, Mason?  I said, Would I.  And

               whoa, once that kicked in I knew it was

               more than simple amyl, it was some kind

               of custom meth-angel-acid highball.

               Lovely.  I was flying -

     FLASHBACK to Mason's image in a full-length mirror shattering

     as Lecter kicks it.

                          MASON'S VOICE

               The good doctor came over with a piece

               of broken mirror.  Mason, he said -


               - show me how you smile to get the

               confidence of a child.

     Lecter holds a shard of mirror glass in front of him.


               Uh-huh.  Do you ever smile?  Oh, I see

               how you do it.

               Now Mason, let's say you had to hide

               that kindly, fictitious mask?  How would

               you do it?

     Verger tries to look serious, or mean, but his features are

     just too sweet, even with a noose around his neck.


               No, I still see it.  Try again.

                   (Verger tries again)

               No.  No, I'm afraid not.  Try this.

                   (hands him the glass)

               Try peeling off your face with this and

               feeding it to the dogs.

     As Verger lifts the broken glass to his face -

     BACK TO the faceless Verger in the bed, his claw of a hand

     gripping invisible glass -


               Well, you know the rest.


               Seemed like a good idea at the time.

     Starling looks like someone who has just received much more

     information than she ever needed or wanted.  Cordell comes in

     quietly with Verger's lunch on a rolling cart, and trying not

     to interrupt, arranges the silverware and pours some water.


               Mr. Verger, you -


               Are you shocked, Agent S?


               You indicated to -

                   (her eyes dart to the tape, and

                    his follow them)

               - to my office - that you've received

               some kind of new information.


               Look in the drawer of the end table.

     Starling takes out a pair of thin cotton gloves and puts

     them on.  In the drawer she finds a large manila envelope and

     in it, an x-ray of an arm.


               Where did this come from?


               Buenos Aires.  I received it two weeks



               Where's the package it came in?


               The package it came in... good question.

               I don't know.  There was nothing written

               on it of interest.  Did I throw it out?

     Starling smells a rat, but keeps it to herself.  Takes a

     closer look at the x-ray while Cordell busies himself climb-

     ing a step ladder next to the aquarium.


               Think it will help?  I hope so.  I hope

               it'll help you catch him, if for no other

               reason than to heal the stigma of your

               recent dishonor.

     She switches off the tape recorder.


               Thank you, that's all I -


               Did you feel some rapport with Dr.

               Lecter in your talks at the asylum?

               I know I did while I was peeling.


               We exchanged information in a civil way.


               But always through the glass.




               The eel and fish become accustomed to

               each other through the glass.  They're

               even company for one another.

     Cordell's gloved hand grips the snapper and transfers it to

     the other side of the aquarium, where the eel at once rips a

     piece out of it.  Starling tries to ignore it and reaches to

     unclip the microphone from Verger's pajames lapel.


               Isn't it funny?

     Nothing is particularly funny to her right now.


               What's that?


               You can look at my face, but you shied

               when I said the name of God.


     A clerk is cataloging strange items from another case as

     Starling inspects what he brought her on Lecter.  There's not

     much there.  One cardboard box-worth, some files, video tape.


               Not finding what you want?


               Are you sure this is all of it?


               That's all of it now.  There used to be

               more, but it's been picked over little by

               little over the years.  It's worth a lot

               of money in certain circles.  Like the

               cocaine that disappears around here.

               Little by little.


     The room Starling's been given to work out of used to be

     the department's basement darkroom.  There's almost nothing

     in it now.  Couple of old enlargers, chemical trays, an ugly

     rented couch, a metal desk, a computer, and a blackboard on

     wheels she has chalked with the headings "Lecter" and

     "Verger," a few scribbled notes under each name.

     She's taken the video tape from the paltry contents of the

     evidence box and puts in in a VCR.  In a moment, a scene in

     black and white, captured by a security camera at the

     Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, plays out

     in silence:

     Lecter wired up for an EKG.  A female nurse getting too

     close.  Lecter attacking her.  Biting her.  A black orderly

     rushing in and roughly subduing him, breaking his arm in the

     process, then attending to the fallen nurse.


     A cursor blinks in a search panel.  Starling types in

     "Hannibal Lecter," enters it and waits.

     The laptop screen fills with a listing of sites, the first

     20 of 611,046, according to the engine.  A banner to one side

     offers, "Amazon.com ... Hannibal Lec ... Save up to 50% ...


     One of the listings is the FBI's own consumer site, others

     refer to published articles by and about Lecter, but most

     have names like, "Hannibal's Chamber of Horrors," and

     "Fava Beans Anyone?"

     Starling scrolls down to the bottom query panel to narrow

     her search.  Adds, "memorabilia," and hits Enter.  The screen

     fills with another listing of sites, like, "Kenny's Trading

     Post," and, "World Wide Collectibles," with brief

     descriptions of some of the wares offered:

     "Credit card receipt from Dean & DeLuca w/genuine signature

     of Hannibal Lecter, $550 OBO / PP."

     "Mark McGuire 1998 season home run ball (#67), w/papers,

     all reasonable offers considered."

     "Flatware w/etched lions on handles, owned by Hannibal

     Lecter.  24 pieces, one spoon missing.  Real.  No dealers.


     "Hockey, basketball (and non-sports) trading cards."

     "Lecter victim (#3) Sam Sirrah's death certificate.  Not a

     Xerox.  Nice frame.  Price upon request."

     "Hannibal Lecter's '62 Mercedes.  Really.  Only two owners

     since incarceration.  Clean.  85,000."

     "Valentine card from H. Lecter.  Signed.  Sweet sentiment.

     Hate to part with it but need money.  $950."

     No x-rays.  Starling thinks.  Clears the address in the top

     panel and types something else.  A new screen appears, headed

     with bold, colorful lettering:  "eBay."

     She types in "Hannibal Lecter" again.  Hits the "Find it!"

     button.  An auction screen appears.  14 items.  "H. Lecter x-

     ray" second from the top.  "Item #194482661."  61 bidders.

     In red:  "Ends in 49 Mins."

     She highlights the item and is taken to the details screen.

     Scrolls down.  No photo, but there is a description:  "Left

     arm x-ray of Hannibal Lecter.  Very rare.  Slightly used

     metal light box included."

     She backs up to the previous screen.  Last bid, "$7,200."

     Next increment, $100.  She types in "$10,000" and hits Enter.


     Strange denizens - collectors - roam the shelves lined with

     plastic-sheathed science fiction comic books - browsing and

     humming - each in his own world.

     In truth, they're not really browsing; they're stealing

     glances at Starling, the only woman in the place, and the

     most beautiful one any of them has ever seen in real life.

     In truth, she isn't really browsing either.  She's stealing

     glances at the proprietor behind the glass-top, trading card-

     filled, counter.


               December you mean -


               No, not December.  November.  Volume

               Four, Number Four.  Worst.  Issue.  Ever.

     The customer moves on.  Starling wanders over and several

     pairs of eyes wander with her.  A tape of the X-Files plays

     on a small television set at one end of the counter, which

     the proprietor pays more attention to than her.  Quietly -


               I'm interested in Hannibal Lecter


     The man's head slowly turns to her with the most withering

     of looks.  She's the last person on earth who'd be interested

     in Hannibal Lecter memorabilia.


               I don't handle Hannibal Lecter

               memorabilia.  Hannibal Lecter memorabilia

               - real Hannibal Lecter memorabilia -

               would have to be stolen.  I don't deal in

               stolen goods.  Try Sotheby's.


               I'm confused.


               You're a policeman, of course you're



               Not exactly.


               Oh, all right.  Police woman.  I keep

               the politically-correct comics in the

               back.  By the toilet scrubber.

     She show him her identification.  Her FBI shield.  Some

     of the other customers see it, too, and - crushed - begin

     gliding toward the door.


               I'm confused because I just paid you ten

               thousand dollars for an x-ray of Hannibal

               Lecter.  I don't want to wait for you to

               send it, I want to pick it up now.

     The dime drops.  Just a fleeting spark of realization.


               No, if you paid me ten thousand dollars

               for an x-ray of Hannibal Lector, I would

               possess a money order, or cashiers check,

               for ten thousand dollars, which I do not.

               You bid ten thousand dollars for an

               x-ray of Hannibal Lecter.  I've decided,

               in the interim, not to sell it.  You're

               free to write a nasty comment about me

               on the e-Bay message board.


               I'm free to write a nasty comment about

               you on your arrest report.



               The x-ray I was thinking of selling,

               but have now decided against, is not of

               Hannibal Lecter.  How do I know this?

               Because it's of me.  This arm.

                   (pointing to it, then to the

                     other one)

               No, this one.

     Now she sighs.  She should just leave.


               Wait a minute.  I know you.

                   (he brightens considerably)

               You're -

     He rummages behind the counter and comes up with a recent,

     plastic-wrapped issue of the National Tattler tabloid, with

     gory pictures of the shoot-out and the screaming headline -



               Would you be so kind, Miss Starling,

               as to sign this for me?  I apologize for

               my - um - my -

                          CUSTOMER'S VOICE (O.S.)

               Rude -


               Rude - behavior - before.

     He delicately slips the newspaper from its plastic cover.

     Checks the condition of the tip of a fine-line Sharpie.  His

     eyes are eager now, his demeanor painfully solicitous, like a

     sweetly disarming little boy waiting for the baseball players

     to finish batting practive.  Starling turns and leaves.


     A wailing siren.  Ambulance pulling up in front of an

     Emergency Entrance.  Paramedics climb out, hoist down a

     gurney and the bleeding gunshot victim on in, and hurry him

     in past the automatic doors.  The doors thump shut.

     A moment later they open again and an orderly - same one

     from the tape - steps out, finished with his shift, coat over

     his uniform.  He hitches up his collar and steps out into the

     drizzling rain as Starling, across the street in a hooded

     sweatshirt, watches.


     The orderly moves along a wet sidewalk, heading home,

     Starling following at a distance.  He stops.  She stops.  He

     glances to something in the middle of the street.  A dead

     dove, one wing fluttering in the wind.  He looks up.  Sees

     its mate pacing on a wire.  Car tires hiss past below.

     Starling watches as he crosses to the center of the street,

     picks up the dead dove and pockets it, crosses back and

     continues on.  She, and the surviving bird, follow.


     Starling knocks.  Waits.  The door opens and the orderly

     peers out with the dead dove in his hands.


               Hi, Barney.  I need to talk with -


               Would you agree, for the record, Officer

               Starling, I've not been read my rights?


               This is just informal.  I just need to

               ask you about some stuff.


               How about saying it into your handbag?

     Starling opens her purse and speaks down into it as though

     there were a troll inside -


               I have not Mirandized Barney.  He is

               unaware of his rights.

     Barney widens the door so she can come in.


     Barney sets the dove on a desk and drags a computer mouse

     to the "file close" x.  Just before the screen reverts to the

     AOL Welcome page, Starling glimpses the site he was on when

     she interrupted him with her knock - stock quotes.


               How you been?

     He doesn't answer.  Sits his huge frame down on his desk

     chair.  She moves some newspapers aside on a couch, one of

     which shows a photo of her from the Drumgo raid.  They

     consider each other for a moment.  Eventually -


               Barney, back when you turned Dr. Lecter

               over to the Tennessee Police -


               They weren't civil to him.  And they're

               all dead now.


               Yeah.  They only managed to survive his

               company three days.  You survived him six

               years at the asylum.  How'd you do that?

               It wasn't just being civil.


               Yes, it was.

     They both hear something - a flutter - and glance out to the

     fire escape.  The dead dove's mate has landed on the railing.


               Did you ever think, once he escaped,

               he might come after you?


               No.  He told me once that, whenever

               feasible, he preferred to eat the rude.

               "Free-range rude," he called them.

     He smiles.  Glances out the window again to the cooing dove.

     Picks up the dead one, carries it out and sets it down on the

     wet grating.


               Any idea what happened to all his stuff?

               His books and papers and drawings and -


               Everything got thrown out when the place


     He comes back in.  She starts to say something, hesitates.

     Once she starts on this subject, she knows one of them will

     wind up very unhappy.


               Barney, I just found out that Dr.

               Lecter's signed copy of The Joy of

               Cooking went to a private collector for

               sixteen thousand dollars.


               It was probably a fake.


               The seller's affidavit of ownership

               was signed, Karen Phlox.  You know Karen

               Phlox?  You should.  "She" filled out

               your employment application, only at the

               bottom she signed it, Barney.  Same thing

               on your tax returns.

     Long silence.  Then Barney sighs.


               You want the book?  Maybe I could get

               it back.


               I want the x-ray.  From when you broke

               his arm after he attacked that nurse.

     Barney gets up again, but doesn't run off to get it.  He

     slowly paces around.


               We talked about a lot of things, late at

               night, after all the screaming died down.

               We talked about you sometimes.  Want to

               know what he said?


               No, just the x-ray.


               Is there a reward?


               Yeah.  The reward is I don't have my

               friend the Postal Inspector nail you on

               Use of the Mails to Defraud, you don't

               get ten years, and you don't come out

               with a janitor's job and a room at the Y,

               sitting on the side of your bunk at night

               listening to yourself cough.

     He stares at her, gets up finally, disappears into the

     bedroom.  Starling looks out to the fire escape again.  The

     surviving dove has dropped down and is now walking in circles

     around its lifeless mate.

     Barney returns with a file box and a large envelope.  Hands

     it all to her.  She unfurls the string-clasp.  Pulls out an x-

     ray of an arm.  A radiologist's and Lecter's names are on it.


               I'm not a bad guy.


               I didn't say you were.


               Dr. Chilton is a bad guy.  After your

               first visit, he began taping your conver-

               sations with Dr. Lecter.

     He produces from his jacket pocket several cassette tapes.

     As he hands them to her -


               I was good to you.  Tried to make it

               easy for you the first time you came down

               to the violent ward to interview Dr.

               Lecter.  Remember?




               You remember saying thank you?

     She doesn't because she didn't, and now regrets it.


               I'm sorry.  Thank you.


               You mean it?




               I'm going to show you something then.

               I don't have to show it to you, remember

               that.  But I believe your gratitude is


     He goes to a fuse box on the wall.  Takes something out of

     it.  Turns around to face Starling, wearing the famous mask

     from Silence of the Lambs, and her hand flashes toward her

     sidearm, a movement quickly stopped.


               This is my retirement fund.

                   (removes the mask)

               If you'll let me keep it.  I can a lot

               of money for this and get out of here for

               good.  I want to travel, and see every

               Vermeer in the world before I die.

     She thinks about it, doesn't immediately answer him.  He

     walks out onto the fire escape again and addresses the bird -


               Go on.  You've grieved long enough.

     He shoos the dove away, picks up the dead one, comes back

     in and drops it in the wastebasket by his desk.


               What did he say?  About me?  Late at



               We were talking about inherited, hard-

               wired behavior.  He was using genetics in

               roller pigeons as an example.

               They go way up in the air and roll over

               backwards in a display, falling toward

               the ground.  There are shallow rollers

               and deep rollers.  You can't breed two

               deep rollers or the offspring will roll

               all the way down, crash and die.  He

               said, "Officer Starling is a deep roller,

               Barney.  Let's hope one of her parents

               was not."

     As Starling gets up and gathers everything except the mask,

     she hears the surviving dove call out once from somewhere in

     the trees.


     The two x-rays, one overlaid on the other, clipped to a

     light box.  A technician adjusts them so the bone structures

     correspond in position as closely as possible and points out

     to Starling -


               They're the same arm.  The discrepancy is

               the dates.  This one -

     He slides the x-rays apart, touches a thin gray line on one

     of them -


               - shows the hairline fracture he

               sustained in the fight with the orderly.

               This one -

                   (the other x-ray)

               - the more recent one, supposedly,

               doesn't.  This is the newer of the two -

                   (the other one)

               - the one from the asylum.


     Starling puts the earliest-dated cassette into a player,

     presses "play," walks up to the blackboard and under Verger's

     heading - below "Meat-packing heir" and some other notes -

     writes, "He lies."  From the tape player -

                          LECTER'S VOICE

               Surely the odd confluence of events

               hasn't escaped you, Clarice.  Jack Craw-

               ford dangles you in front of me, then I

               give you a bit of help.  Do you think

               it's because I like to look at you and

               imagine how good you would taste?

     There's a pause.  Starling, remembering the moment clearly

     even now, mouths along with her recorded voice -

                          STARLING'S VOICE

               I don't know.  Is it?


     INSANE - DAY - (FLASHBACK - 1994)

     It's Lecter's cell.  And it's almost pitch black.  Then,

     as he turns a rheostat, the lights slowly rise, revealing the

     cell to be almost empty, stripped of its books.  He's lying

     on his cot.


               I've been in this room for eight years,

               Clarice.  I know they will never - ever -

               let me out while I'm alive.  What I want

               ... is a view.


     One of the most magnificent views in the world.

     Drifting across it, then down, reveals a piazza below.

     Outside a cafe, a figure in a dark overcoat, his back to us,

     drops crumbs to a hundred pigeons surrounding him.

     Closer, the pigeons swirl around his shoes.  And slowly the

     figure turns to face us.  It's not Hannibal Lecter.  It's

     someone we don't recognize.

     He lets go the last of the crumbs, brushes his gloves

     together, and crosses toward the ancient Palazzo Vecchio,

     glancing once at its high, stone walls and arched windows,

     its medieval bell tower soaring into the sky.


     Checking his watch, but in no hurry, he climbs a flight

     of marble steps.  Unlike here, one more often smokes indoors

     than out, and the man lights an MS cigarette, his reward for

     reaching the landing.

                          ECHOING VOICE

               The Capponi correspondence goes back to

               the 13th Century.  Dr. Fell might hold in

               his hand, in his non-Italian hand, a note

               from Dante Alighieri himself, but would

               he recognize it?  I think not -

     He follows the echoing voice to the open doorway of a large

     frescoed room, the Salon of Lilies, where another gentleman,

     loitering outside it, pats at his pockets.  The man we've

     been following offers, along with an outstretched hand

     holding his pack of cigarettes -


               They're still arguing.



               The curatorship.  Sogliato wants the

               job for his nephew.  The scholars seem

               satisfied with the temporary guy they


     Pazzi lights Ricci, glances down the hall to the far end,

     where a janitor slowly guides a floor polisher back and forth

     like a big, weak motorcycle, then crosses to and peers into

     the Salon:

     It's under long-term restoration, scaffolding everywhere.

     A large assembly of men ranging in age from middle-aged to

     the Middle Ages, it seems, are gathered around a long 12th-

     century table.  The echoing voice belongs to -


               You have examined him in medieval

               Italian, and I'll not deny his language

               is admirable.  For a straniero.  But what

               if he came upon a note in the Capponi

               library, say, from Guido de'Cavalcanti to

               Dante?  Would he recognize it?  I think


     Pazzi isn't sure which one is Fell.  Scanning the room 

     from the doorway, he tries to locate the source of the voice,

     but it's difficult, the high ceillings playing hell with the

     acoustics -

                          DR. FELL

               Professor Sogliato, if I might.

               Cavalcanti, as we all know, replied

               publicly to Dante's first sonnet in La

               Vita Nuova.  If he commented privately as

               well, if he wrote to a Cappono, to which

               would it be?  In your opinion?

                   (Sogliato clearly can't even

                    name the Capponi)

               No?  Not even a guess?  Andrea, don't you

               think?  Since he was more literary than

               his brothers.

     Several of the other scholars nod their heads in agreement,

     which only embarrasses Sogliato more.  Pazzi knows which man

     at the table Fell is now, however he - and we - still can't

     see his face, seated as he is with his back to the door.


               If he is such an expert on Dante let

               him lecture on Dante - to the Studiolo.

               Let him face them, if he can.

                          DR. FELL

               I'd look forward to it.  Shall we set 

               the date now?

     Sogliato has had enough and gets up, noisily gathering his

     things.  As the meeting breaks up some of the other committee

     members shake Fell's hand.  Pazzi comes in and approaches

     Fell - from behind - as the others straggle out.


               Dr. Fell?

     Fell turns.  Of course, it's Hannibal Lecter.


               Chief Inspector Rinaldo Pazzi of the


                          DR. FELL

                   (shaking his hand)

               Commendatore.  How can I be of service?


               I'm investigating the disappearance of

               your predecessor, Signore de Bonaventura.

               I was wondering if -

                          DR. FELL

               Predecessor implies I have the job.

               Unfortunately, I don't.  Not yet.  Though

               I'm hopeful.  They are letting me look

               after the library.  For a stipend.

     Fell begins gathering his books and papers, placing them

     neatly in his satchel.


               Yes.  Well -

                          DR. FELL

               What do you think happened to him?


               To your - to the Signore - who can say?

               Perhaps he ran off.  Bad debts.  Bad love

               affair.  I was wondering if you might -

                          DR. FELL

               Not another victim of Il Mostro?


               What?  No.  That I'm sure.  We find Il

               Mostro's victims.  He makes sure we find


                          DR. FELL

               Or she.


               Or she.

                          DR. FELL

               I never actually met Signore de

               Bonaventura.  I have read several of his

               monographs in the Nuova Antologia.


               The officers who first checked, didn't

               find any sort of - farewell or - suicide

               note.  I was wondering if -

                          DR. FELL

               If I happen to come across anything in

               the Capponi Library, stuffed in a book or

               a drawer - yes, I'll call you at once.

     He accepts Pazzi's card and slips it under a paperclip

     holding some of his notes together.


               Thank -

                          DR. FELL

               You've been reassigned.

     Pazzi was just turning to leave.  Turns back.



                          DR. FELL

               You were on the Il Mostro case, I'm sure

               I read.


               That's right.

     And it was a humiliation being taken off of it, which he

     would no doubt rather not discuss here.

                          DR. FELL

               Now you're on this.  This is much less -

               grand - a case, I would think.


               If I thought of my work in those terms,

               yes, I guess I'd agree.

                          DR. FELL

               A missing person.

     Fell says it like it's not worth saying.  Pazzi's had enough

     and turns to leave again.

                          DR. FELL

               Were you unfairly dismissed from the

               grander case?  Or did you deserve it?

     Pazzi looks back again.  Fell isn't even looking at him;

     putting things in his case.


               Regarding this one, Dr. Fell.  Are the

               Signore's personal effects still at the


                          DR. FELL

               Packed neatly in two cases with an

               inventory.  Alas, no note.


               I'll send someone over to pick them up.

               Thank you for your help.

     He starts to leave again.

                          DR. FELL

               Have you thought about Botticelli?

     Pazzi looks back again.  What is Fell talking about?


               Not since middle school art class, I'm


                          DR. FELL

               Those awful pictures in the papers

               of The Monster's victims.  His careful

               arrangement of the young lovers' bodies.

               The flowers.  The women's exposed left

               breast.  The tableaux remind me of

               Botticelli.  Don't they, you?

     Frankly, it never occurred to him.  Fell points to a place

     just behind Pazzi and he turns to see a beautiful Botticelli

     in a carved gold frame, the woman lying in flowers, her left

     breast exposed.  Fell shrugs as he closes his satchel.

                          DR. FELL

               Maybe a clue.


     A row of family palaces in an ancient street.  A figure

     walking on the cobblestones.  Only vaguely familiar, his path

     leads us to the front of an old residence, its windows behind

     iron grates, all but one on an upper floor dark.  The figure

     continues on down the street, but we go inside -


     Even though the foyer is dark, we can tell it's large and

     high-ceilinged.  We become aware of music - Bach's Goldberg

     Variations - but can't be sure where it's coming from.

     We notice a staircase and decide to climb it.  It's longer

     than we thought at first - its steps made of thick slabs of

     ancient stone, its rail of cold hammered iron.

     We reach the landing.  Notice a small darkened room to

     one side.  But the music seems to be coming from elsewhere, so

     we continue on, down the hall to a pair of tall double doors,

     open, allowing us into the main salon.  The music seems to be

     coming from somewhere in here.

     We move through the room, illuminated only faintly by the

     occasional candle, look up to see that the height of the room

     disappears into darkness, then down again as we are almost

     upon the figure sitting at a piano.

     Lecter's fingers move among the yellowed ivory keys.  He

     plays the Bach piece well, every so often glancing to a lyre-

     shaped music stand.  But coming slowing around the stand, we

     discover there is no sheet music on it, but instead a copy of

     the National Tattler with a picture of a black woman dead in

     the street, and another picture of Clarice Starling - the

     FBI's "ANGEL OF DEATH" - washing down a baby next to the

     head of a shark.

                          LECTER'S VOICE

               Dear Clarice, I have followed with

               enthusiasm the course of your disgrace

               and public shaming.  My own never

               bothered me, except for the inconvenience

               of being incarcerated, but you may lack

               perspective -

     The music continues over:


     Sitting at a 16th Century refectory table in a pool of lamp

     light, Lecter dips the tip of a fountain pen into an etched

     glass bottle of ink and signs the letter he has just written.

                          LECTER'S VOICE

               In our discussions down in the dungeon,

               it was apparent to me that your father -

               the dead night watchman - figures large

               in your value system.

     He adds a brief post-script, folds the linen-fiber paper over

     once, careful to line up the edges, gives it a sharp crease.

                          LECTER'S VOICE

               I think your success in putting an end to

               Jame Gumb's career as a couturier pleased

               you most because you could imagine your

               father being pleased.

     He places the letter in an envelope that is already addressed

     to Special Agent Clarice Starling, and seals it with wax.  He

     places it into another, slightly larger envelope that already

     has written on it a Las Vegas, Nevada, address.


     Lecter strolls across a bridge over the Arno and drops his

     envelope into a post box on the other side.

                          LECTER'S VOICE

               Now you are in bad odour with the

               FBI, alas.  Do you imagine Daddy shamed

               by your disgrace?  Do you see him in his

               plain pine box, crushed by your failure?

               The sorry, petty end of a promising



     A U.S. Mail carrier's truck pulls into the parking lot of a

     strip mall.

                          LECTER'S VOICE

               Do you dream now, not of screaming

               lambs, but of yourself doing the menial

               tasks your mother was reduced to after

               the addicts busted a cap on Daddy?


     Piles of mail on the counter.  A middle-aged man slits open

     the envelope from Italy, takes out the smaller envelope, puts

     a stamp on it, drops it onto a pile of outgoing mail and

     throws the larger envelope away.

                          LECTER'S VOICE

               What is worst about this humiliation?

               Is it how your failure will reflect on

               them?  Is your worst fear that people

               will forever now believe your parents

               were indeed trailer camp tornado-bait

               white trash?  That you are?  Hmmm?


     The letter is among stacks of others in a metal cart as it is

     wheeled along a basement corridor.

                          LECTER'S VOICE

               I couldn't help noticing on its rather

               dull public web site, Clarice, that I've

               been hoisted from the Bureau's Archives

               of the Common Criminal up to the more

               prestigious 10 Most Wanted list.

     The mail cart comes to and past a door on which, instead of

     a nameplate, is Scotch-taped a piece of legal pad paper with

     one hand-scrawled word:  "Starling."

                          LECTER'S VOICE

               Coincidence?  Or are you "back on the



     The mail room boy navigates the short maze of black right-

     angled darkroom walls that lead to the room itself.

                          LECTER'S VOICE

               I imagine you sitting in a dark base-

               ment room, bent over papers and computer

               screens at clerk's distances that mocks

               the prairie distance in your eyes.  A

               zoo hawk, one wing hanging down.

     The mail room boy sets three or four things down on

     Starling's desk.

                          LECTER'S VOICE

               Is that fairly accurate?  Tell me

               truly, Special Agent Starling.  Regards,

               Hannibal Lecter, M.D.

     The music ends.  To the mail room boy -



     He doesn't immediately leave.  He watches her tack to a

     bulletin board the last of several newspaper clippings and

     Internet downloads of grisly unsolved murders world-wide.


               How's it going?  Any leads?


               They're all leads.  They just don't lead

               to him.

     She sits at her desk to take a look at the mail.  Geoffrey

     wanders over to take a look at the clippings.  He grimaces at

     one of them.


               I don't know how you live with this



               Oh, God.

     He turns.  She's looking at one of her pieces of mail.


               It's from the Guinness Book of World

               Records congratulating me on being "The

               Female FBI Agent Who Has Shot The Most


     She throws it in the wastebasket, picks up the envelope

     with the wax seal and fine copperplate writing, and somehow

     immediately knows who it's from.


               Geoffrey - ?  Would you excuse me.

     He sees she isn't looking at him.  Leaves with his cart.

     Annoyed at herself for getting her paw prints all over the

     letter, she reaches for her key chain, slits the envelope

     with the Swiss Army knife on it, and extracts and unfolds the

     letter with the blade.  As she reads it, there is a faint

     echoing refrain of Bach's Goldberg Variations, and -

                          LECTER'S VOICE

               P.S.  Clearly this new assignment is not

               your choice.  Rather, it is part of "the

               bargain."  But you accepted it, Clarice.

               Your job is to craft my doom.  As such,

               I'm not sure how well to wish you.

               Ta-ta.  H.


     Digitized images of the letter alongside "Early Lecter"

     handwriting samples on a computer monitor.


               The letter was written by Lecter, but you

               could probably tell that just from

               reading it.

     Starling nods.  Other images replace the writing analyses:

     sets of fingerprints.


               Naturally, there were several prints on

               the envelope, including yours -


               - sorry -


               On the letter itself there's only one

               "partial" - here - not enough to hold

               up in court, but -


               We know it's him.  Where he was when he

               wrote it is what I need.

     The image changes again - a greatly magnified patch of the

     letter that reads, "screaming lambs."


               The paper isn't going to help.  Yes, it's

               linen fiber.  Yes, it's on the expensive

               side.  No, it's not so rare that you

               couldn't find it in a thousand stationery

               stores the world over.

               Same with the ink.  Same with the wax.

                   (an image of the envelope

                    appears on the monitor)

               The post mark.  Las Vegas.  You could

               check it out, but odds are it came from a

               a re-mailing service.  Afraid you're out of



               What about the crease?


               The what?


     Stainless stell tweezers pluck the letter from the evidence

     bag and hold it, crease up, under an enormous nose.  The nose

     sniffs only once, but long, taking in a faint, pleasant aroma

     of residue and a lot of air.

     The hand clutching the tweezers clutching the letter are

     passed to another - feminine - hand, which holds it up to

     another enormous nose with wide nostrils.  This nose sniffs

     once and hands the tweezers to another - masculine - hand.

     This one lifts the letter to the biggest nose of all.

                          BIGGEST NOSE

               Hand soap ... Raw ambergris base ...

               Tennessee lavender ... mountain sage ...

               trace of something else ...

                          LESS BIGGEST NOSE


                          LEAST BIGGEST NOSE


                          BIGGEST NOSE

               It's fleece, isn't it.  Lovely.

     The other two "perfume engineers" nod.  All three, and

     Starling, are sitting in a sterile laboratory environment.


               What's ambergris?

                          BIGGEST NOSE

               Ambergris is a whale product.  Alas,

               much as we'd like to, we can't import it.

               Endangered Species Act.

     The other two shake their heads as if to say, What a load of

     crap that Endangered Species Act is.


               Where isn't it illegal?

                          BIGGEST NOSE

               Japan, of course.  Couple of places in

               Europe.  You'd almost certainly find it

               somewhere in Paris.  Rome.  Amsterdam.

                          LESS BIGGEST NOSE

               Maybe London.

                          LEAST BIGGEST NOSE

               But not at Harrod's.  Small, exclusive

               shops.  This bouquet was hand-engineered

               to someone's specifications.


               Is there any way of knowing which shops?

                          BIGGEST NOSE

               Of course.  We'll give you a list.

               It'll be short.

     The Biggest Nose can't resist taking one last savoring sniff

     before returning the letter to the plastic bag.


     Vespas, Fiats and Innocenti speed around a traffic circle.

     Pedestrians move along the boulevard.  We follow one man who

     seems vaguely familiar - we glimpsed him briefly several days

     ago walking past Fell's residence just before we went in, and

     once before that, if we recall, polishing the floor in the

     Palazzo Vecchio.

     Right now, though, we're more interested in Pazzi who joins

     the frame coming toward us, and we follow him instead, to and

     up the steps of the Questura building.


     A black and white step-framed image of Dr. Fell entering a

     small perfume shop.  It plays on a monitor sitting atop two

     VCR decks, one on Play, the other Record, the operator, a

     young agent, smoking as he writes out a label.

     Pazzi hangs his coat on a rack, crosses through the large

     room, and sits at his desk which happens to be right next to

     the VCR, which he pays no attention to.  At the next desk,

     Ricci sits working on a crossword puzzle.


               I need opera tickets.


                   (without looking up)

               Don't think I have any on me.


               It's sold out, whatever it's called.

     A couple of Pazzi's colleagues, ones who are now working on

     the Il Mostro case instead of him, surrounded by

     photographs and clippings on the crimes, exchange a look.


               It's the pretty young wife with the

               ever-open beak who needs opera tickets.

     Pazzi glances over at them, not sure he heard right.  One

     sneaks a glance at the other.  It's all they can do to keep

     from laughing.  The tape of the customers coming and going

     at the perfume store contines, but Pazzi doesn't notice.






               He arranges his victims like that

               Botticelli painting.  You hadn't noticed?

     As Pazzi glances away from them, he catches a glimpse of the

     monitor, of Fell coming into the perfume shop again.  He gets

     up and the Il Mostro detectives, thinking he's coming for

     them, decide to go out for coffee.


               Back that up.

                          YOUNG AGENT

               What?  I can't back it up.  I'm making a

               copy.  I'm recording.

     The black and white images of customers, most of them women,

     continue, until Pazzi hits the stop button and spins the jog.

     The young agent groans, but not too loud; Pazzi far outranks

     him.  The image reverses.  Pazzi freezes it on one of the

     step frames that shows Dr. Fell.


               What is this?

                          YOUNG AGENT

               Security camera from a perfume shop on

               Villa Della Scula.  FBI through Interpol

               requested a copy.



                          YOUNG AGENT

               They didn't say.


               They didn't say?

                          YOUNG AGENT

               It was actually kind of weird.  Like

               they were making a point of not saying.

     Pazzi unpauses it.  Watches Fell approach the counter and

     then wait, it seems, for a long time as the perfumer mixes up

     some kind of concoction.  Money exchanges hands and Fell,

     with his purchase, leaves.


     As a search engine works, Pazzi glances down at copies of

     Fell's state work permit and Permesso di Soggiorno resting

     next to the computer.  The video cassette is there, too.

     And the over-night mailer.

     The FBI's consumer home page appears on the screen.  Pazzi

     selects the 10 Most Wanted button, and in a moment, the list

     - with pictures - is displayed.

     The World Trade Center bombing mastermind is #1.  Beneath

     him, nine other, lesser bombers and murderers, none of whom

     look anything like Fell.

     He shifts back to the main page.  Selects Archives.  The

     50 Most Wanted list appears - bank robbers and killers and

     arsonists, all with photos or police sketches, all but one

     man.  He scrolls down, stops.  Dr. Fell - Hannibal Lecter -

     "Hannibal the Cannibal" - is looking right at him.



     He doesn't seem to hear her as he begins reading the text

     under Lecter's digitally-enhanced picture.



     He glances up finally.  His young wife - who is indeed pretty

     - stands in the doorway of the study.


               I'm sorry.


               Are we going to the Teatro Michahelles?




               You got tickets.


               No.  But I will.  In fact, I was just

               about to look here.

                   (on the Internet)


               Please not the third balcony.  I would

               like to see it.


               Not in the balcony.  No matter what the


     Unconvinced the promise will hold, she leaves the room.

     Pazzi opens his filofax to the F tab, finds a number written

     under no heading, a code, enters it into his computer and in

     a moment is taken to the FBI's private VICAP site - Violent

     Criminal Apprehensopn Program.

     He types in Lecter and scans the internal 302 reports that

     are displayed, many of them prepared by Special Agent Clarice


     He returns to the server screen.  Begins a new search.

     Hannibal Lecter.  Many of the same sites Starling found are

     listed, the ones posted by nuts.

     He scrolls down to the Refine Search panel.  Adds one word

     to his Hannibal Lecter query.  Reward.  Hits Return.

     Only one site includes the word in its page name.  Pazzi goes

     to it.  No graphics other than the same picture the FBI site

     showed.  No indication of whose site it is.

     Dry text describes Lecter, reminds the reader he should be

     regarded as armed and dangerous, and encourages informants to

     call the provided FBI number with any information.

     There is also a private number listed - European dialing

     code, not U.S.  Oh, and one more small piece of information.

     The reward.  $3,000,000.


     The place is looking more and more like a museum, the

     bulletin and blackboards covered now with notes and newsprint

     photos, including some of Il Mostro's young victims.

     Paul Krendler makes his way through the right-angled

     passageway leading into the darkened room.  The only light is

     coming from a monitor showing Lecter's escape from Memphis,

     as caught by high-angle security cameras.

     He considers a display Starling has erected to Lecter's nine

     known victims.  One is Mason Verger.  Another, a man attached

     to a tool shop peg board with metal rods piercing his body as

     in an illustration next to it of the medieval Wound Man.

     He becomes intrigued by a sketch on a standing easel of

     Starling, signed by Hannibal Lecter.  A piece of cloth has

     been tacked at the neck and drapes down like a sari.  Is she

     naked underneath it?  Krendler has to find out.  As he

     carefully lifts the cloth -

                          LECTER'S VOICE

               What is your worst memory of childhood?

     He jumps, startled, sees Starling sitting in a corner, in the

     shadows, next to the cassette deck.


               Can I help you, Mr. Krendler?


               Jesus.  What are you doing sitting there

               in the dark?



     She gets up.  Lets the tape of Lecter's voice continue.

     Krendler works at slowing the pace of his heart, at regaining

     most of his unpleasant hauteur.


               Some people in Justice are thinking,

               too.  They're thinking, what exactly is

               she doing about Lecter?


               Thinking.  About cannibalism.


               What's the point of that, are you

               catching a crook, or writing a book?


               Aren't you curious why he dines on his



               Not particularly, no.


               To show his contempt for those who

               exasperate him, I think.

     Which she wouldn't mind showing Krendler in similar fashion.


               Or, sometimes, to perform a public

               service.  In the case of the flautist,

               Benjamin Raspail -

                   (shows him a picture)

               - he did it to improve the sound of the

               Baltimore Philharmonic Orchestra, serving

               the not-so-talented flute player's sweet-

               breads to the board with a nice Chateau

               d'Y quem at forty-six hundred dollars a

               bottle.  That meal began with green

               oysters from the Gironde, followed by the

               sweetbreads, a sorbet and then, you can

               read here in Town & Country:  A notable

               dark and glossy ragout, the constituents

               never determined, on saffron rice.  Its

               taste was darkly thrilling with great

               bass tones that only the vast and careful

               reduction of the fond can give.

     Krendler is looking at her, not at the magazine.  Then -


               I always figured him for a queer.


               Now why would you say that, Paul?


               All this artsy-fartsy stuff.  Chamber

               music and tea-party food.  Not that I

               mean anything personal, if you've got a

               lot of sympathy for those people.

     There wasn't a lot of spin on his words, but they carried an

     inkling of implication which she doesn't misinterpret.  She

     ignores it, though, and him, looks through her receipts.


               What I came here to impress upon you,

               Starling, is I'd better see cooperation.

               There are no little fiefdoms.  I want to

               be copied on every 302.  Work with me and

               your so-called career here might improve.

               If you don't, all I have to do is draw a

               line through your name rather than under

               it, and it's over.

     He turns to leave.


               Paul?  What is it with you?  I told you

               to go home to your wife.  That was wrong?


               Don't flatter yourself, Starling.  Why

               would I hold that against you?  That was

               a long time ago, and besides, this town

               is full of cornpone country pussy.

     He seems pleased he came up with the phrase so easily.


               That said, I wouldn't mind having a go

               with you now if you want to reconsider.


               In the gym, anytime.  No pads.

     He smiles.  Leaves.  She sits down at her desk, listens

     to his footsteps down the hall fade, glances at the tape of

     Lecter's escape.


     A fistful of 1,000-lira coins makes a dull ching as Pazzi

     shakes them in his hand like dice he's not sure he wants to

     throw.  He's staring at a pay phone ten paces away.  No one's

     using it.  It's his if he wants it; clearly he isn't sure.

     He finally walks over to it.  Lifts the receiver.  Presses 

     in the sequence of numbers scribbled in pen on the back of

     the hand that holds the change.

     A series of long distance tones beeps like a tinny death

     knell.  A tinny recorded voice tells him to deposit 9,000-

     lira for the first three minutes.

     He drops nine coins in the slot with a shaky hand.  The

     call connects and another recorded voice tells him the number

     he has dialed is no longer in service.

     He hangs up, relieved.  Begins to walk away with his so-

     called reputation intact.  The phone rings.  He looks back at

     it.  It rings again.  He begins to walk toward it.  It rings

     again.  He reaches for it, hesitates, picks it up, and hears

     a voice - not recorded - American accent - a man.



                   (Pazzi doesn't answer)



               I have information about Hannibal Lecter.


               Does it include where he is now?


               Is the reward still in effect?


               Yes, it is.  Have you shared your infor-

               mation with the police, sir?




               I'm required to encourage you to do so.


               Uh-huh.  Is the reward payable under ...

               special circumstances?


               Do you mean a bounty?  It's against

               international convention and U.S. Law to

               offer a bounty for someone's death, sir.


               I mean in the case of, say, someone

               who might not ordinarily be eligible to

               accept a reward.


               May I suggest you contact an attorney,

               sir, before taking any possible-illegal

               action?  There's one in Geneva who's

               excellent in these matters.

               May I recommend an attorney?  May I give

               you his toll-free number?

     The voice enunciates the number clearly.  Pazzi writes it on

     the back of his hand next to the other one, the pen shaking.


               Thank you for calling.

     The call disconnects.  Pazzi takes a breath.  Crosses the

     street to another pay phone.  Dials the toll-free number and

     pockets the coins.  The call connects.  Another male voice.

     This one with a dry, Swiss, lawyerly tone:

                          VOICE 2

               Hello -


               Yes.  I was just speaking with someone

               who suggested I -

                          VOICE 2

               There is a one hundred thousand dollar

               advance.  To qualify for the advance, a

               fingerprint must be provided - in situ -

               on an object -

                   (the voice is a recording)

               Once the print is positively identified,

               the balance of the money will be placed

               in escrow at Geneva Credit Suisse, and

               may be viewed at any time subject to 24-

               hour-prior-notification.  To repeat this

               message in French, press 2.  In Spanish,

               press 3.  In German, press 4.  In

               Japanese -


     Pazzi scrubs at his hands like Lady Macbeth, trying to get

     the stain of the phone numbers off his skin, the black ink

     clouding the water pooling in the sink before going down

     the drain.


     A security tape of mostly-Japanese customers entering and

     exiting an exclusive Tokyo perfumery plays on Starling's VCR.

     The mail room boy watches it as Starling speaks on the phone -


               Is it possible it went out with the

               regular mail?

                          YOUNG AGENT'S VOICE

               No.  No, I over-nighted it.  I filled

               out the slip myself.


     It's the same young agent who copied the security tape -

                          YOUNG AGENT

               This was the day after your request.

               I did it right away.  I don't understand

               what happened.  You should have it.


     There are three other tapes, marked with the names of stores

     in Paris, Rome and Amsterdam, stacked on top of the machine

     that plays the Japanese perfumery.


               I don't.  Can you send me another one?

                          YOUNG AGENT'S VOICE

               I'll have to make another one.


               I'd appreciate it.

     She hangs up.  Geoffrey gestures to the monitor.


               Nothing, huh?


               Nothing yet.  Still waiting on Florence

               and London.  London says they're sniffing

               around.  I don't know, is that British



     Pazzi's clean finger presses a button on the intercom set

     into the stone wall of the entry.  As he waits, he glances up

     at the security camera, then down at the hammered-iron handle

     on the door.  No way to get a print off that.

                          DR. FELL'S VOICE



               Dr. Fell?  It's Inspector Pazzi.

                          DR. FELL'S VOICE

               Yes, I can see.

     A buzzer releases the lock and Pazzi pulls the door open.


     As Fell leads Pazzi across the main salon upstairs, past

     furniture draped with sheets, the inspector's glance darts

     from object to object he'd like to steal for prints - a

     glass, a book, a vase, a pen.

                          DR. FELL

               I should've encouraged you to bring

               someone along.  The cases, I'm afraid,

               are on the heavy side.


               Maybe you could help me with them.

                          DR. FELL



               Just down the stairs I mean.

     They reach two big suitcases, closed.  Two typewritten sheets

     of paper rest on a small table next to them.


               Is that the inventory?

                          DR. FELL



               May I see it?

                          DR. FELL

               Of course.

     Pazzi waits for Fell to hand it to him.  Unfortunately, it's

     just as close to him.  Once it's clear Fell has no intention

     of picking it up, Pazzi does - carefully, but not too

     carefully - and pretends to read it.

                          DR. FELL

               You are a Pazzi of the Pazzi, I think.

                   (Pazzi doesn't answer)

               Wasn't it at the Palazzo Vecchio your

               ancestor was hanged?  Francesco de'Pazzi?

               Thrown naked with a noose around his neck

               from the window?  Writhing alongside the

               archbishop against the cold stone wall?

     Pazzi stares at Fell, who only pleasantly smiles back.

                          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.


               I'd think that might jeopardize your

               chances for permanent appointment to the


                          DR. FELL

               Only if you told.

                   (Fell smiles again)

               Remind me.  What was his crime?


               He was accused of killing Giuliano


                          DR. FELL



               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.


               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.


               I'm sorry, I too often say what I'm

               thinking.  I'll be right back to help


     Fell leaves Pazzi alone in the room ...

                          FELL'S VOICE

               Any developments in the Il Mostro case?


               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?


               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


                          FELL'S VOICE


     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.


               It's beautiful.

                          FELL'S VOICE

               Yes.  Unfortunately, I think the heating

               system was installed just about the same


     Fell reappears pulling on the gloves.  Elaborating a shiver,

     he rubs them together.


               All right, let's drag these things down.

               They're as heavy as bodies.


     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.


     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.


     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.


               What would you like engraved on it, sir?




               May I apply an anti-tarnish coating?




     Sollicciano, the dreaded Florentine jail.


     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.


               What do you want?  Information?


               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.


     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.


               When you fumble for his wallet, he'll

               catch you by the wrist -


               I've done this a few times, Inspector -


               Not like this.  If there isn't a clean

               print on that bracelet -

                   (on her wrist now)

               - it's back to Sollicciano.


               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.


               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:


     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.


                   (a whisper)


     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 -



     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 -


               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.


               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.


               So I'll drive you back to jail then.



     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.


     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.


               Two million lire.




               Give me the bracelet.


               Wash your fuckin hands.


     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.


               I got it.  He grabbed me just right.

               Tried to hit me in the balls, but he


     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.


               Jesus -


               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.


               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.


     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.


               Middle finger of the left hand.  Sixteen

               point match.


     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




                          MASON'S VOICE

               Ciao, Bello.  Come stai?  You have all

               your shots?  There's a nasty winter flu

               going around.


               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?


               Got it.

                          MASON'S VOICE

               How are they?


               They're really big, Mason.  About two

               hundred and seventy kilos.

                          MASON'S VOICE


     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



     The unassuming facade of Geneva Credit Suisse.


     A bank clerk and another man, both in business suits, work

     their keys to open four deep lock boxes with brass plates.


     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.


               I prefer to stay involved.  To make sure

               things go right.

                          MR. KONIE

               Professionals will see to that, sir.


               I'm a professional.

     The glowing LCD display stops at $100,000.


     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.


               May I help you, sir?


               Yes.  Yes, you may.


     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.


     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.


     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.


               Very much.  Allegra, this is Dr. Fell,

               Curator of the Capponi Library.

                          DR. FELL

               Curator protempore, Signora Pazzi.  I'm


     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.


               Is that an American accent, doctor?

                          DR. FELL

               Canadian, wrung through the eastern sea-

               board of America.


               I've always wanted to visit.  New England


                          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.


               Look at this, Rinaldo.


               I can see it.

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


               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 -


                   (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.


               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


                          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.


               Thank you for this.

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

     door of a cab.

                          DR. FELL


                   (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.


               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.


     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 -


     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 -


               Could that be you, Doctor?


     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.



     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.


               I want him in the open street with not

               a lot of people around.


               How will you take him down?


               That's my business.


               It's my business too.


               You're a cop, aren't you.


               I asked you a question.


               Yeah, you're a cop, all right.  I'll stun

               him with a beanbag gun, net him, give him

               a shot.


               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?


               Will you walk with him or are you afraid

               of him?


               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.


               I want him out of Tuscany fast.


               Believe me, he'll be gone from the face

               of the earth fast.  Feet first.


     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.


     Pictures of Il Mostro's victims stare at the detective who

     picks up the ringing phone.


               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.



                          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 -


               Actually I was just leaving for the day,

               can I call you back tomorrow?


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

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


               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.


               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.


               I'm sorry, he's gone home.


               That's all right.  I should tell you this

               rather than him anyway -


               I'm late for an important lec - an

               important appointment -


               The person I'm looking for, Inspector -

               who was indeed shown on that tape - is

               Hannibal Lecter.




               Dr. Hannibal Lecter.  You've never heard

               of him?  He's quite well-known, at least

               in America.


               I'm sorry, I'm not familiar -


               And the tape confirms that he is - or was

               recently - in Florence.




               He's a very dangerous man, Inspector

               Pazzi.  He's killed nine people - that we

               know of.


               We know about dangerous men around here,

               too, unfortunately.


               Il Mostro.




               You don't think -


               No, I don't.  The crimes of Il Mostro

               bear no resemblance to Lecter's in ... in



               I really have to go, Miss -


               Starling.  Just another minute.  Are

               you sure you've never heard of him?


               I haven't -


               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



               Everybody uses everybody's computer here.

               Maybe one of the detectives on Il Mostro

               was looking at profiles of killers to -


               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."


               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.


     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.


     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 -


     - 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.


     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 -


     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


     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.


               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.




               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.


               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.


               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.


               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



               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 -


               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.


               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?


               Io fei gibetto a me de le mie case.

               I - I make my own house be my gallows.


               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.


               I'm not a scholar, but I think you've

               got the job.  Can I buy you a celebratory



               How kind of you.  Yes, I'd like that.

               I'll just be a minute gathering my


     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.


               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.


               I can see the people coming out now.

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


               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



               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.



               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 -


               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.


     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.


     Pazzi's gun, his plastic handcuffs strips and his wallet sit

     next to Fell's work permit and permesso di soggiorno on the


     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.


               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.


               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.


               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.


               Your heart is palpitating.  I can see it.

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



               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.


               Who could that be?  Should I answer it?

     Why not.  Fell flips it open.




                          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.


               Inspector Pazzi?


               I'm afraid I have bad news, Clarice.


     Dead silence except for a low rumble from the boiler room.

     Starling at her desk, like a statue clutching a phone.

     Finally -


               Is he dead?

                          LECTER'S VOICE

               You got my note.  I hope you liked the

               hand cream.  I had it made especially for



               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.


     Lecter closes up the phone.  Switches off the power.  Returns

     it to Pazzi's breast pocket.


               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-



               What do you think?  Bowels in?  Or out,

               like Cousin Francesco?

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


               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.


     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 -


               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.


     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.


     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 -


     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.


     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.


     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.


               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.


               That's all you want?  A ride?


               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.


     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



     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 -


     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 -


               Cordell?  To you:  Does that look like

               a wave goodbye? ... Or hello?


     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.



                          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.


               It's an electrical cord, Mr. Crawford,

               and you know you shouldn't be doing that.


     The same image glows on Crawford's computer screen.


               Ummm, I can't see it that clearly but I

               can see his intestines hanging out.  And

               the figure on the balcony waving.


     She unpauses her better quaility tape and the wave plays



               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?


               Not here.  Somewhere else he can live

               without denying himself the things he


                          CRAWFORD'S VOICE

               What does he like?


               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.



                          CRAWFORD'S VOICE

               The stalker who says he likes you is

               far more dangerous than the one who says

               he wants to kill you.


     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 -


               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.


     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



               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.


               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.


               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.


               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?




               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.


               Thank you for outbidding everyone.  Is

               Mason your real name?


               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?


               I have an LPN.

                          DR. DOEMLING

               You're a licensed practical nurse.



                          DR. DOEMLING

               Good for you.


               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 -


               - as an orderly -

                          DR. DOEMLING

               - as an orderly - you observed Clarice

               Starling and Hannibal Lecter interacting.



                          DR. DOEMLING

               Talking to one another.


               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.


               Barney's smart enough to give us his

               opinion.  Barney, give us your opinion of

               what you saw.  What was it between them?


               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.



                          DR. DOEMLING

               You can judge what Hannibal Lecter found

               amusing?  Just how do you go about that,

               Nurse Barney?


               By listening to him laugh, Dr. Dumling.

                          DR. DOEMLING



               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



               No, sir.  I don't consider psychology a

               science, and neither did Dr. Lecter.

     A small laugh from behind the lights.


               And about her?  You talked about her?


               I can just repeat what he told me about



               That's why you're here.


               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.


               Does she still in your opinion?  Have

               you seen her lately?


               Yes, I have, and no, I don't think she

               does.  That quality in her, I think, is



               So Clarice Starling and Hannibal Lecter

               became ... friendly.


               Inside a kind of formal structure, yes.


               And he was fond of her.




               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.


                   (picking up the pink box)

               Mr. Verger -


               The cookies.  Yes, let's have one.


               It's not cookies.

     He opens the box.  It's the Lecter mask.  Verger stares long

     at it in reverential silence.  Finally -


               How much?


               Two hundred and fifty.  Thousand.


               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 -


               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.



                          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.


               When the fox hears a rabbit scream, he

               comes running ... but not to help.


     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 -


               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 -


               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 -


               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



               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.


               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


                          2ND RUNNER

               Yes, ma'am.

     She returns the guns to each of them, first giving the one on

     the ground a hand up.


               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 -


     - 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.


     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 -


               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.


               No, I don't understand why she didn't

               turn this over; she's such a - straight



     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 -


               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.


               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.


               Woulda, shoulda, coulda - I meant, what

               do you think of the money?




                          MASON'S VOICE

               Well, let's just toss it off like,

               "five."  Let's say it with the respect it



               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 -


               It won't be pretty.

                          MASON'S VOICE

               What ever is?


     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.


               Would you identify yourself, please,

               for the record.


               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.


               Tell her the charges.


               Withholding evidence and obstruction of


     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.


               Like to comment?  On tape?


               Yes, I would.  I've never seen this

               before in my life.


               How do you account for it being found in

               your - office - your - basement?


               Found by who?


               By me.


               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



               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.


               Has it been tested for prints?


               No prints on it.  None on the last one.


               Handwriting (analysis) - ?


                   (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.


               Do you mean, Mr. Krendler, like a



               Like a nut with a crush.

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


               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 -


               Backup sidearm?


               Locked in my car.


               Other tactical equipment?


               Helmet and vest.


                   (to the marshal)

               You'll retrieve those when you escort

               Miss Starling from the building.

     The marshal comes toward her.


               I want to say something.  I think I'm



               Go ahead.


               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.


               It's a good thing you're not sworn here



               Swear me!  You swear, too!


               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 -


               Sorry, Starling.

     She lets the marshal lead her from the room.


     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 -


               - Doctor -

                          SALES CLERK

               May I help you, sir?

     Lecter glances to the young sales clerk, a teenager with a

     name tag.


               I was looking for some good steak knives,

               Toby, but I'm afraid I got distracted.

                          SALES CLERK

               Kitchenware, right over there.


               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


     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.


     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,


     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.


     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.


     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.


     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.


     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?



                          LECTER'S VOICE


     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.


               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.


     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.


               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.


     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.


               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.


               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.


               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.


               Why is that, do you think?  Why are you

               so resented?

                          STARLING'S VOICE

               Tell me.


               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.


               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



               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



               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.


               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?


               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.


               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.


               Ho, ho, ho, indeed.  I think I'll be

               going now.  I have some shopping to do

               anyway.  Chin up, Clarice.  Merry


     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.


     Traffic crawls past Christofle.


     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.


     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.


     And finally, to complete his batterie de cuisine, he pays for

     a newly-new Stryker autopsy saw.


     A late-model, but not new, Ford Ranger pickup pulls into

     the driveway of a small yet charming cottage nestled in the


     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.


     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.


     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.


               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.


               Can I see the tape?  If his car was

               parked out front, you may have caught the

               license plate.


     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.


     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.


     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



     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.


     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.


     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.


     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.


     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.


               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.


     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.


               I know the first thing a hysteric says

               is, "I'm not a hysteric," but I'm not a

               hysteric.  I'm calm.


               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?


               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 -


               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 -


               I'm going, too.  You could deputize -


               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.


     Cordell standing amidst several idling marked and unmarked

     police cars as the officers climb in and shut the doors.


               Please thank Mr. Verger for letting us

               look around.  Sorry if we inconvenienced



               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.


     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.


     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.



                          MASON'S VOICE

               Bring him home.


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



     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.


     The police cars, their flashing lights dark now, pass

     Starling's Mustang, headlights off, parked on a turn-out.


     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.


     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.


               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.


               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.


               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.


               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?


               No, Mason.  I much prefer you the way

               you are.


                   (pause; then buoyantly)

               So.  Dinner at eight?  Bon appetit.


     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.


     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.


               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


     A shortwave radio on a wooden table that's broadcasting a

     soccer game in Italian.  As Piero crosses to it -


     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.


     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.


     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.


               What was that?  Cordell?  Did you see



     A boom of a .45 echoes in the barn.  Tommaso, still up in

     the loft, throws himself down against the planks.


               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.



     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.


               Good evening, Clar -


               Shut up.

     She kneels.  Lecter tries to bend his head to watch her snap

     a cuff around one of Carlo's wrists.


               Can you walk?


               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.


               I'm going to cut you loose.  If you touch

               me, I'll shoot you.


               Understood perfectly.


               Do right and you'll live through this.


               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.


               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 -






               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.


     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.


               Why aren't they - ?  Cordell -


               I have to go now -


               No.  In the drawer - right by your

               hand.  Open it.  Open it!

     Cordell opens the drawer revealing a semi-automatic pistol.


               Take it.  Go down there.  Shoot him.


               No, I -


               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.


               What did you say - ?


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

     Cordell seems to understand, nods in resignation, and turns

     as if to take the gun.


               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.


               Good night, Mason.

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

     mouth -


     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 ...


     A pair of distant headlights floating along the shoreline.


     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.


               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.


     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.


     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.


     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.


               Are those shallots?


               Ummm.  And caper berries.


               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.


     Back in the bedroom, Starling uses her teeth to strip the

     4-pin telephone wire that's been yanked from the wall jack.


     As Lecter executes a modest flambe with a little brandy -


               I hope you're hungry, Paul.


               Very.  What's the main course?


               Oh, you never ask.  It spoils the


     Lecter notices, but seems unconcerned, as the line-light

     blinks on a telephone.


     Starling searches drawers for some kind of weapon as she

     whispers into the phone -


               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.


     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.


               Clarice.  What are you doing up?

               You should be resting.  Get back to bed.


               I'm hungry.

     Krendler's head slowly turns to follow her as she crosses

     into the dining room unsteadily.


               Hello, Paul.

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


               Paul.  Don't be rude.  Say hello to

               Agent Starling.


               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.


               Would you like to say grace?


               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.


               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-



               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 -


               May I have some wine?


               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.


               By the way, Starling, that was a job

               offer I worked into the blessing.  I'm

               going to Congress, you know.


               Are you?


               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.


               I already took that down.  You said it



               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.


               This soup's not very good.


               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.


               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.


               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.


               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.


               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 -


               Doctor Lec -


               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.


               What did you say?


               I didn't say anything.


               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.


               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.


               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.


               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 -


               That smells great.


               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.


               Ummm, it is good.


               Dr. Lec -


               No, I think a new life lies before you.

               A better life.  With me?  Hmmm, there's a


     Is he serious?  He seems to be.  Krendler glances stupidly

     from him to her and back again.


               I came halfway around the world just to

               watch you run in the woods.  Run with me,



               Who's Clarice?


               Agent Starling, Paul.  If you can't keep

               up with the conversation, it's better you

               don't try to join in at all.




               Me, Paul.  I'm Starling.


               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."






               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.


               I'll just be a minute cleaning up,

               Clarice.  Don't get up, Paul will help me


     As Lecter pushes Krendler toward the kitchen, he glimpses

     on the way the headlights of a line of cars coming silently

     along the shoreline.


               Think about what I said, but don't drink

               any more wine while you do.  Doctor's


     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.


               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 -


               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.


               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.


               - 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.


     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:


     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:


     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:


     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.



               What's that?

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








               What are those?




               And that?

     Something in a plastic container.


               That I don't think you'd like.


               It looks good.


               It is good.


               Can I have some?


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


               I didn't eat what they gave me.


               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


               Are you sure your mother wouldn't

               disapprove of your accepting food from

               a stranger?


               She would.


               Ah, but she's asleep.

     The boy's eyebrows lift conspiratorially.


               Which would you like to try?

     The boy points to the plastic container.



     The boy nods.  Lecter thinks about it.  Finally -


               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 -