Quills (2000)
      
Directed by
Philip Kaufman 
      
Writing credits: 
Doug Wright 

   
   Geoffrey Rush..........The Marquis de Sade 
Kate Winslet.............Madeleine LeClerc 
Joaquin Phoenix..............Abbé Coulmier 
Michael Caine............Dr. Royer-Collard 
Billie Whitelaw.............Madame LeClerc 
Patrick Malahide...................Delbene 
Amelia Warner.........Simone Royer-Collard 
Jane Menelaus........Renée-Pélagie de Sade 
Stephen Moyer ......................Prouix 
Tony Pritchard.....................Valcour 
Michael Jenn.......................Cléante 
Danny Babington......................Pitou 
George Yiasoumi....................Dauphin 
Stephen Marcus.....................Bouchon 
Elizabeth Berrington.............Charlotte
   
   
     IN THE BLACKNESS

     The hypnotic voice of a master story-teller:

                           THE MARQUIS (V.O.)
               Dear Reader...I've a naughty tale to 
               tell, plucked from the pages of 
               history. Tarted up, true, but 
               guaranteed to stimulate the senses...

     FADE UP ON:

     A STORM-TOSSED SKY Rising into the frame, a YOUNG WOMAN's 
     FACE. Her hair whips about in the wind; her face is 
     brittle...beautiful...and as engimatic as St. Theresa. Is 
     she in ecstasy, or in pain?

                           THE MARQUIS (V.O.)
               The story of Mademoiselle Renard, a 
               ravishing young aristocrat, whose 
               sexual proclivities ran the gamut 
               from winsome to bestial. Who doesn't 
               dream of indulging every spasm of 
               lust, feeding each depraved hunger?

     MALE FINGERS appear at MADEMOISELLE RENARD's collarbone; 
     they start to trace the delicate curve of her neck; her 
     decolletage...MADEMOISELLE seems to writhe, to twist...

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               Owing to her noble birth, Mademoiselle 
               Renard was granted full immunity to 
               do just that, inflicting pain and 
               pleasure with equal zest, until one 
               day--

     Suddenly, ANOTHER FACE enters the frame; a BRUTISH FIGURE 
     WITH A NEANDERTHAL FACE in a roughly sewn leather hood.

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               Mademoiselle found herself at the 
               mercy of a man whose skill in the 
               Art of Pain exceeded her own...

     The WOMAN's eyes flare with fear. There's no question as to 
     her emotion now; she is terrified. The DARK FIGURE forcefully 
     pulls down her dress, revealing the pale skin of her 
     shoulders.

     ANGLE ON: THE WOMAN'S HANDS. The MAN secures them behind her 
     back, and tightens leather bindings around her arms; they 
     cut into her flesh.  He gathers her hair gently in his gloved 
     hands, then--viciously--he yanks her head back.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

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                                                             p. 2


     ECU: THE WOMAN'S FACE. She gasps, her eyes thrust upward.

     She's in a courtyard of some kind. And--in an enormous tower, 
     standing behind a barred window, the SHADOWY FIGURE OF A 
     PRISONER, his hands in irons.

     TITLE CARD: "Picpus Prison outside Paris. 1794."

     TIGHT SHOT: The eyes of the PRISONER, watching the grisly 
     proceedings below.

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               How easily, dear Reader, one changes 
               from predator to prey! And how swiftly 
               pleasure is taken from some and given 
               to others!

     ANGLE ON: THE WOMAN as the MASKED MAN--her executioner-- 
     lowers her head into the grooved block of the guillotine.

     WOMAN's POV: Rows and rows of faces are stare up at her, the 
     jaunty red caps of the JACOBINS interspersed throughout. The 
     CROWD is eerily silent. They seem to be waiting like vultures, 
     ready to descend once blood is shed.

     Near-by, the BODIES OF FRESHLY KILLED ARISTOCRATS are tossed--
     like refuse--into a cart. MEN stand among the dead, foraging 
     for stray riches. An OLD HAG wrestles to pull a gold ring 
     off a wayward, stiff hand.

     CLOSE UP: THE WOMAN'S FACE in shock. A DROP OF BLOOD lands 
     on her cheek from above..The CAMERA sweeps UP, UP, UP, past 
     the looming EXECUTIONER, all the way to the GLINTING BLADE 
     OF THE GUILLOTINE, blood from the previous victim dripping 
     from its edge.

     TOP SHOT OF THE WOMAN, HER HEAD POISED FOR DECAPITATION

     The basket waits below; blood seeps through the wicker onto 
     the cobblestones and beneath the FEET of the THRONG.

     THE PRISON TOWER

     The PRISONER turns away from the grisly proceedings below.

     MASTER SHOT: THE GUILLOTINE LOOMS ABOVE THE CROWD

     ANGLE ON: QUILLS, RIPPLING IN THE BREEZE

     Through a tiny window, THE PRISONER sits with his back to 
     us, hunched over his desk in a silk dressing gown.  A lush 
     wig trails in ringlets down his back. He writes, furiously.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

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                                                             p. 3


     ANGLE ON: THE BLADE, TREMBLING, READY TO FALL

     THE EXECUTIONER jiggles the rope, and--with a terrible, 
     rumbling gravity--the blade breaks free--wobbling wildly-- 
     accelerating in speed--

     ANGLE ON: THE PRISONER'S QUILL

     as he dips it into a crimson ink-well. Issuing from the depths 
     of his soul, an odd sound indeed; a little tune with the 
     sing-song cadences of a children's nursery rhyme:

     Claire de la Lune. Outside his window, the BLOODTHIRSTY ROAR 
     OF THE MASSES.

     ANGLE ON: THE GUILLOTINE

     The blade falls--down, down, down--aiming right for the woman--
     the tender flesh of her exposed neck---faster--faster--until: 
     THE SCREEN SPLASHES BLOOD RED. A SICKENING CRUNCH, followed 
     by a dull THUD.

     INT. CORRIDOR - CHARENTON. 

     A DIAGONAL PATCH OF RED SLIDES OPEN, AND WE SEE THE EYES OF

     A YOUNG GIRL, staring straight at us:

                           MADELEINE
               Your linens, please.

     CARD: "The Charenton Asylum for the Insane; Years Later."

     INT. CORRIDOR - CONTINUED

     MADELEINE, on tip toe, stares through the peephole of a cell 
     door, her laundry basket on her hip. She's a sweet faced 
     naif with a dirt-smudged face and plenty of spirit.

     A trap in the lower half of the door opens, and through it 
     an unseen hand pushes a bundle of dirty bedsheets.

     MADELEINE gathers them in her basket and moves to the next 
     cell.

                           MADELEINE
               Your linens.

     VALCOUR, the asylum's prefect, leads a bald, effeminate 
     lunatic named PITOU from his cell for a morning 
     "constitutional." MADELEINE skirts past them both.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

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                                                             p. 4


                           VALCOUR
                    (to MADELEINE)
               Morning.

                           MADELEINE
               G'morning.

     She reaches the last door, and glances anxiously up and down 
     the hallway before sliding open the peephole.

     MADELEINE'S POV: The PRISONER--over a decade older--is still 
     hunched over his desk, composing to his heart's content. His 
     silk robe is tattered, and his wig is thin with age.

                           MADELEINE (CONT'D)
               Pss. 'S me.

     A bundle of sheets tumbles out the trap. MADELEINE kneels.

     There's something bulky hidden in the cloth: a manuscript, 
     written in an ornate hand.

                           VOICE OF THE MARQUIS (O.S.)
                    (mellifluous and low)
               Careful. The ink's still wet.

     The peephole slides open from inside; a single eye stares 
     out, bloodshot and reptilian.

                           VOICE (O.S.)
               Now hurry.

     MADELEINE smiles a mischievous smile, then moves on her way.

     INT. THE LAUNDRY ROOM - CONTINUOUS

     She empties the dirty sheets into an enormous pile, then 
     plucks the manuscript from the bottom of the basket, and 
     conceals it under her shawl. Her MOTHER--an older woman with 
     milky white eyes--stands over a steaming vat of boiling lye. 
     She stirs a twisted mass of linens with her long, forked 
     laundry pole. Blindness prevents her from seeing MADELEINE, 
     but she hears her nonetheless:

                           MADAME LECLERC
               That you, Maddy?

     MADELEINE hoists up a basket of clean, wet laundry. She says 
     with feigned innocence:

                           MADELEINE
               Yes, Mother. Just taking the bleached 
               ones out to dry.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

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                                                             p. 5


     EXT. CHARENTON COURTYARD - MOMENTS LATER

     Hanging sheets, two chambermaids: MICHETTE and CHARLOTTE, 
     the first as comely as the second is dour. Hastily, MADELEINE 
     drops off her basket of wet linens.

                           CHARLOTTE
               Aren't you going to lend us a hand, 
               then?

     But MADELEINE's already disappeared.

     EXT. CHARENTON--THE TERRACE AND GROUNDS

     MADELEINE dodges past PATIENTS, basking in the morning light, 
     clutching the hidden manuscript tightly to her breast. PITOU 
     combs imaginary locks with a silver hair-brush; OTHER LUNATICS 
     toss a leather ball in a game of catch.

     As MADELEINE careens around an enormous hedge, she practically 
     runs into THE EXECUTIONER from the opening sequence: BOUCHON. 
     His grim duties during the Terror have since landed him in 
     the madhouse. MADELEINE can feel the manuscript slipping 
     under her shawl and scrambles to catch it before it drops. 
     When she tries to dodge BOUCHON, he blocks her way.

                           VOICE (O.S.)
               Bouchon!

     MADELEINE looks up to see--sure enough--the ABBE de COULMIER, 
     the asylum's administrator. He's surprisingly young with 
     lustrous eyes and a handsome face.

     He calls to the LUNATIC, sternly:

                           COULMIER
               Remember your manners.

     BOUCHON offers a shy smile, sans most of his teeth. Then-- 
     with great solemnity--he bows low for MADELEINE to pass.

     She mouths "thank-you" to COULMIER, then scurries on.

     ANGLE ON: THE ABBE DE COULMIER, watching MADELEINE go.  He 
     gazes out at the Elysium spread before him. He can't disguise 
     his satisfaction; Charenton is a good place, a happy place.

     EXT. A PAVILION ON THE EDGE OF THE GROUNDS - MORNING.

     Out-of-breath, MADELEINE reaches the front gate. She glances 
     nervously to and fro, then slips the manuscript through the 
     bars to a waiting HORSEMAN.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

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                                                             p. 6


                           MADELEINE
               Here it is; the last chapter.

                           HORSEMAN
               Monsieur Masse says he'd like another 
               manuscript, quick as you please.  
               He's got himself three presses, and 
               he can't print 'em fast enough.

                           MADELEINE
               I'll pass the word on, then.

                           HORSEMAN
               I'll pay you another visit, with a 
               share of the profits, once its sold.

                           MADELEINE
               I'll be waiting.

                           HORSEMAN
                    (grinning flirtatiously)
               Maybe someday you'll tell me your 
               name.

     MADELEINE coquettishly arches an eyebrow. The HORSEMAN rears 
     his steed, then charges away in a cloud of dust.

     EXT. ALLEY - DAY

     CU: A HUGE WOODEN CRATE.

     A BLACK MARKETEER pries the lid off with a crowbar.Inside, 
     stacks of newly-bound volumes embossed with the title Justine.

                           BLACK MARKETEER
               This just in; the very latest from 
               the Marquis de Sade!

     WELL-DRESSED CUSTOMERS snake their way down the grimy street. 
     The MEN hide their faces behind high collars; the WOMEN wear 
     veiled hats. Money changes hands; books fly from the box. 
     Trade is brisk.

     EXT. FOP STREET - CONTINUOUS

     A CROWD has secretly gathered: a MILLINER, a BLACKSMITH, a 
     BUTCHER, and a SOCIETY FOP, to name a few. A STREET URCHIN 
     keeps an eye out for passing police. The FOP reads from the 
     book in a loud whisper:

                           FOP
               "Our story concerns a nymph named 
               Justine, as pretty a maid as ever
                           (MORE)

                                                       (CONTINUED)

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                                                             p. 7


                           FOP (CONT'D)
               entered a nunnery, with a body so 
               firm and ripe, it seemed a shame to 
               commit it to God..."

     INT. THE EMPEROR'S PALACE - DAY

     CLOSE UP: THE BOOK as THE FOP'S VOICE bleeds into another, 
     more stentorian ONE:

                           VOICE (O.S.)
               "One morning, the Bishop placed his 
               hand upon her thigh.  'Holy Father!,' 
               cried she, 'I've come to confess my 
               sins, not commit them anew!'"

     PULL BACK TO REVEAL:

     A CABINET MINISTER--MONSIEUR Delbené--reads aloud.

     NAPOLEON listens, surrounded by his retinue: MINISTERS, 
     GUARDS, a PAINTER, a SCULPTOR and TWO GAUNT TAILORS--mouths 
     rimmed with pins--who trim his ermine cape.

                           DELBENÉ
               "heedless, the old priest turned her 
               over on his knee and lifted her skirts 
               high above her hips, exposing the 
               pink flesh of her backside. There--
               between the orbs of her dimpled ass--
               lay a blushing rosebud, begging to 
               be...plucked."

     DELBENÉ clears his throat.

                           DELBENÉ (CONT'D)
               "Before Justine could wrestle from 
               his grasp, this most ungodly man 
               took a communion wafer--the body of 
               our Lord Jesus Christ--and placed it 
               on the girl's twitching orifice--"  
               Must I, Your Majesty?

     The PAINTER, THE SCULPTOR and THE TAILORS are on tenterhooks; 
     NAPOLEON merely arches an eyebrow.

                           DELBENÉ (CONT'D)
               "As he loosened his manhood from 
               beneath his robes, The Bishop muttered 
               a Latin prayer. And then--with a 
               mighty thrust--drove it into her 
               very entrails--"

                                                       (CONTINUED)

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                                                             p. 8


                           NAPOLEON
                    (interrupting at last)
               Enough!

     THE EMPEROR grabs the book from Delbené.

                           NAPOLEON (CONT'D)
               Seize every copy; we'll torch them 
               all on the palace lawn, in full public 
               view.

     NAPOLEON tosses it into the fireplace. For a blistering 
     moment, we see the book's title: Justine, by Anonymous. It 
     explodes into a ball of flame.

                           NAPOLEON (CONT'D)
               As for the author...shoot him.

                           DELBENÉ
               A word of caution, Sire: we all 
               remember what happened to Robespierre, 
               Danton and Marat. Put the Marquis to 
               death, and history might even regard 
               you as a despot.

                           NAPOLEON
               But I am history.

                           DELBENÉ
               Of course, Your Highness. 
               Nevertheless...cure the Marquis de 
               Sade...succeed, where countless 
               physicians and priests have failed...

                           NAPOLEON
               Yes?

                           DELBENÉ
                    (sly)
               No one can fault Napoleon for merely 
               bringing a man to his senses.

     NAPOLEON gets it; he smiles. This DELBENÉ is clever; very 
     clever indeed. DELBENÉ smiles back; it's a plan.

                           DELBENÉ (CONT'D)
               Might I suggest that we order an 
               appraisal of the Charenton Asylum, 
               and the rather notorious inmate in 
               her care. I've the perfect candidate 
               for the job: Doctor Royer-Collard, 
               the distinguished alienist. He's a 
               staunchly moral man of impeccable 
               character and iron resolve--

                                                       (CONTINUED)

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                                                             p. 9


     INT. TREATMENT ROOM AT THE HOTEL DIEU

     CLOSE UP: A BLITHERING MADMAN with wild eyes and a drooling 
     lower-lip. With a LURCH, he tips backwards. His head is 
     submerged in a pool of icy blue water. He puckers and gasps 
     for air.

     Reflected in the pool, the face of DR. ROYER-COLLARD, an 
     immaculately groomed gentleman, in his fifties with a square 
     jaw. He looks down at the waterlogged LUNATIC with chilling 
     satisfaction.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               My colleagues have called me old-
               fashioned; even barbaric.

     PULL BACK TO REVEAL:

     The LUNATIC is strapped into a chair with a collapsible back. 
     When ROYER-COLLARD gives the signal--an imperious nod--a 
     POCKMARKED ATTENDANT--the DOCTOR'S footman, GAILLON-- cranks 
     the lever, and the LUNATIC flips backward into a "calming 
     pool." The effect is anything but. As the MADMAN flounders, 
     ROYER-COLLARD explains to Delbené:

                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               But here at the Hotel Dieu we favor 
               an...aggressive...course of treatment.

                           DELBENÉ
               Quite.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               I don't seek popularity or renown, 
               Monsieur Delbenè. Mine is a higher 
               mission.

     ROYER-COLLARD gives the signal again. GAILLON raises the 
     lever, and the GOON surges upright, his ribcage heaving.

     ROYER-COLLARD strides up to the PATIENT and regards him with 
     sanctimony. The MADMAN quivers under his gaze.

                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               To take God's tiny blunders...those 
               He has forsaken...and condition them 
               with the same force...the same 
               rigor...you would employ to train a 
               feral dog or wild stallion.

     Another nod, another crank, and--with a scream of protest-- 
     the LUNATIC is again lowered into the pool.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

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                                                            p. 10


                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               It may not be pretty, but it is mercy 
               just the same.

     Splashing and gurgling; Delbené shouts above the tumult:

                           DELBENÉ
               It's the Emperor's dearest hope that 
               you might bring your expertise--your 
               proficiency--to the Charenton asylum--

     ROYER-COLLARD tastes the idea for a moment.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Charenton? The administrator there 
               is quite well-loved, is he not?

                           DELBENÉ
               I'm afraid so; he's an idealist.  
               You'll have to be politic.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Do you know how I define "idealism,"  
               Monsieur Delbenè?

     Delbené waits for an answer; the DOCTOR's eyes twinkle.

                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               Youth's final luxury.

     ROYER-COLLARD emits a knowing laugh. Delbené joins him.

     EXT. THE SINISTER GATES OF THE HOTEL DIEU - LATER

     They swing open with a deafening clang, and a DARK CARRIAGE 
     bursts forth. Riding atop it, a pock-marked footman named 
     GAILLON. Its curtains are drawn and it moves at a hell-bent 
     pitch. Strapped to the back, the "calming" chair.

     INT. CHARENTON CHAPEL - DAY

     ONE HAND, GENTLY GUIDING ANOTHER over script written on 
     parchment. COULMIER teaches MADELEINE penmanship; together, 
     they copy a page from St. Augustine's City of God.

     MADELEINE can't help glancing at COULMIER from the corner of 
     her eye: such a virile man dressed in the chaste robes of a 
     monk. An intriguing contradiction.

                           COULMIER
               Of course, we mustn't just copy the 
               words; it's important that we know 
               what they mean. St. Augustine tells
                           (MORE)

                                                       (CONTINUED)

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                                                            p. 11


                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               us that angels and demons walk among 
               us on the earth; that sometimes, 
               they jointly inhabit the soul of a 
               single man...

     MADELEINE can feel his breath on her neck. She turns to him 
     and asks with innocent eyes wide:

                           MADELEINE
               Then how can we know who is truly 
               good, and who is evil?

                           COULMIER
               We can't. All we can do is guard 
               against our own corruption.

     Self-conscious now, COULMIER draws back.

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               You'll practice reading tonight on 
               your own? For me?

     MADELEINE nods. Indeed she will.

     INT. LAUNDRY ROOM - CHARENTON - NIGHT

     Lollygagging in straw, FOUR RIPE ADOLESCENTS: GUERIN, the 
     stable boy, his shirt open in the heat from the near-by 
     laundry vats; MICHETTE, the scullery maid, tumbling out of 
     her corset; LOUISON, the groundkeeper's son, in his 
     nightshirt; CHARLOTTE, primly buttoned to the neck; and 
     MADELEINE.  As she "practices reading" from a few stray sheets 
     of parchment, the OTHERS listen enrapt:

                           MADELEINE
               "And so the Professor lifted Colombe's 
               skirt high, above her waist. 'Let me 
               be your Tutor,' said he, 'in the 
               ways of love.' With that, he slid 
               her pantalettes down, down, down 
               over her knees, and there--nestled 
               between her.legs--as pink as a tulip, 
               as slick as an eel--"

                           CHARLOTTE
                    (interrupting)
               We oughtn't be reading his nasty 
               stories--

                           MADELEINE
               No one's forcing you to listen.

     The TWO GIRLS lock eyes; CHARLOTTE burns with humiliation.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

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                                                            p. 12


     Slowly, she sinks back to her place on the ground. Even she 
     can't resist THE MARQUIS' prose.

                           MADELEINE (CONT'D)
                    (with satisfaction)
               Very well then.

     MADELEINE re-settles, resuming her story:

                           MADELEINE (CONT'D)
               "...he gazed upon Her Venus mound; 
               her flaxen quim; the winking eye of 
               God."

     GUERIN nuzzles MICHETTE's neck; CHARLOTTE glances at LOUISON 
     hopefully; he ignores her. She pouts, then interrupts again:

                           CHARLOTTE
               You've been to his quarters, haven't 
               you?

                           MADELEINE
               Once or twice.

                           CHARLOTTE
               I hear he's got a whetstone and 
               chisel, and he uses them to sharpen 
               his teeth.

                           MADELEINE
               He's a writer, not a madman.

                           CHARLOTTE
               Then what's he doing here?

                           LOUISON
               Murder.

                           MADELEINE
               That's not so!

                           LOUISON
               He writes books so wicked--so black 
               with evil--that one man killed his 
               wife, after reading 'em...

                           GUERIN
               And two young mothers miscarried 
               their babies!

                           LOUISON
               I'd say that's murder enough.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

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                                                            p. 13


                           MADELEINE
               If you're going to slander him, then 
               you don't deserve to hear his stories--

                           CHARLOTTE
                    (an accusation)
               I think she's sweet on him, that's 
               what I think.

     GUERIN--meanwhile--has groped beneath MICHETTE's blouse and 
     now fondles her breast. She purrs and glances at MADELEINE 
     with a little half-smile:

                           MICHETTE
               It's not the Marquis she's sweet on; 
               Is it, Madeleine?

     MADELEINE gives MICHETTE a playful slap, and the TWO GIRLS 
     burst into giggles.

     ANGLE ON: THE LINEN PANTRY, A FEW FEET AWAY

     In the wall, the discernible shape of an old wooden door 
     with wrought-iron hinges. Clearly, it was once a portal,.but 
     it was plastered shut long ago. In its knotty, rotting wood--
     where the hinge meets the stone--a tiny gap. Peeping through 
     it--spying on the FOURSOME--BOUCHON. A low GRUNT as he 
     pleasures himself in the dark.

     EXT. A COUNTRY ROAD - NIGHT

     The HORSES' HOOVES of the DOCTOR's carriage cut into the 
     dirt; mud flies as it barrels on its way.

     INT. A CORRIDOR IN CHARENTON - THE NEXT MORNING

     MADELEINE is slipping fresh linen through the traps in each 
     cell door. She reaches the last one.

                           MADELEINE
               Fresh linens.

     A HAND reaches out to grab hers. It's heavily powdered, and 
     wears an amber ring with an arachnid trapped in stone.

                           THE MARQUIS (O.S.)
               I'm hungry for a proper visit.

                           MADELEINE
                    (holding her own)
               Don't start--

                                                       (CONTINUED)

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                                                            p. 14


                           THE MARQUIS (O.S.)
               Go ahead; you've a key. Slip it 
               through my tiny hole...

     The HAND lets her go. MADELEINE rises, cautiously looking 
     about. She reaches into her apron pocket and pulls out a 
     key. She inserts it in the lock; it turns.

     INT. THE MARQUIS' APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS

     MADELEINE enters. Upon first glance, it's less like a hospital 
     room than the apartment of a faded aristocrat. On the walls, 
     sketches of courtesans in erotic poses, culled from Justine 
     and Juliette. On the bookshelf, medical volumes: The History 
     of Madness, Lateau's Illustrated Anatomy, and Diseases of 
     the Bowel. In the corner, a foot-stool carved from human 
     bone. And--atop an ornate wooden desk, mottled with ink-stains--
     an explosion of quills. But no sign of the MARQUIS.

                           MADELEINE
               Marquis? Where'd you get to, then?

     Tentatively, MADELEINE proceeds toward the bedroom.

     INT. THE MARQUIS' APARTMENT/BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS

     A large canopied bed--its velvet drapes closed-- beckons to

     MADELEINE with the ominous allure of an open casket. She 
     extends a trembling hand to part the curtains.

     ANGLE ON: THE BED. 

     It's empty. But--rearing up behind MADELEINE--a SHADOW.

                           VOICE
               Well....?

     MADELEINE whirls around to face the MARQUIS. He steps into a 
     halo of light.  Given his years of incarceration, he's still 
     dressed in the finery of Louis XIV, though its become frayed 
     and off-color.  His wig is immaculately coifed but thin with 
     age.  Still, there's something sensual about him; perhaps 
     it's the odor of decadence, which lingers over him like 
     perfume.

                           THE MARQUIS
               Did I frighten you?

                           MADELEINE
               You? Frighten me? That's a good one!  
               I'm twice as fast as you are. Who'd 
               have thought such a spent body can 
               still boast such a fertile mind?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

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                                                            p. 15


                           THE MARQUIS
               It's the only frontier I have left, 
               plumcake.

                           MADELEINE
               I suppose you want to know about 
               that silly book of yours.

     MADELEINE can't restrain herself any longer; she smiles, and 
     pulls a small bag--heavy with coins--from her apron pocket.

                           MADELEINE (CONT'D)
               It sold like the devil, 'fore they 
               started burning it.

     She tosses the bag to THE MARQUIS, who catches it and grins:

                           THE MARQUIS
               The peril of composing such incendiary 
               prose...

                           MADELEINE
               I put myself at life and limb. Surely 
               that's worth a few louis.

     The MARQUIS rummages in the pouch for some money.

                           THE MARQUIS
               If only these coins purchased your 
               other talents, too.

                           MADELEINE
               There's something else I want from 
               you.

                           THE MARQUIS
               You've already stolen my heart, as 
               well as another more prominent organ, 
               south of the Equator...

                           MADELEINE
               Your publisher says I'm not to leave 
               without a new manuscript.

                           THE MARQUIS
               I've just the story...inspired by 
               these very surroundings...

     The MARQUIS dislodges a stone from the wall, and pulls out a 
     scroll of pages, then blows on them. Dust fills the air.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 16


                           MARQUI
               The unhappy tale of a virginal laundry 
               lass, the darling of the lower wards, 
               where they entomb the criminally 
               insane.

                           MADELEINE
               Is it awfully violent?

                           THE MARQUIS
               Most assuredly.

                           MADELEINE
               Is it terribly erotic?

                           THE MARQUIS
               Fiendishly so.

     MADELEINE squeals with delight.

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               But it comes with a price.

     MADELEINE's face pales a bit. What might that be?

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               A kiss for each page.

                           MADELEINE
               Must I administer them directly, or 
               might I blow them?

                           THE MARQUIS
                    (cooing low in her 
                    ear)
               The price, my coquette, is every bit 
               as firm as I am...

                           MADELEINE
                    (with a nervous giggle)
               Oh, you. You talk same as you write.

     She blows a wayward curl from her face, and leans in to kiss 
     THE MARQUIS. A quick peck.  He passes her a single page.  
     She takes it, shuts her eyes, and puckers her lips again.  
     This time, THE MARQUIS traces her lower lip with his 
     forefinger.  MADELEINE trembles, partly in fear, partly with 
     pleasure. Then he plants a kiss on her lips.  He inserts his 
     tongue--forcefully--and her eyes pop open in surprise.

     INT. CORRIDOR - CHARENTON - MEANWHILE

     As COULMIER makes his rounds, he encounters CLEANTE, "the 
     bird man."

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 17


     CLEANTE carries a tiny cage, complete with a warbling BIRD. 
     CLEANTE gives a little trill. COULMIER smiles.

                           COULMIER
               What are we today, Cleante? A bull-
               finch, or a nightengale?

                           CLEANTE
               There's but one kind of bird in a 
               madhouse, Abbe.

     COULMIER notices--at the end of the hall--the door to the 
     MARQUIS's cell is ajar. Concern flashes across his face.

                           COULMIER
               Don't tell me: a loon. Sorry. I've 
               heard that one before--

     And with that, he heads down the hall to investigate.

     INT. THE MARQUIS' APARTMENT/BEDROOM - MEANWHILE

     AN EVER-GROWING PILE OF PAPERS

     MADELEINE draws back from the MARQUIS; her breasts rise and 
     fall under her blouse. THE MARQUIS' eyes flare with hunger.

                           MADELEINE
               It's a long story, this one.

                           THE MARQUIS
               The climax comes at a higher cost; 
               you must sit on my lap.

                           MADELEINE
               You demand a lot from your readers, 
               you do.

     She gathers her skirts, and crawls into his lap. As she 
     fidgets to get comfortable, the MARQUIS gives a low, 
     pleasurable moan. He passes her another page.

                           THE MARQUIS
               The story's thrilling conclusion 
               comes at a premium.

                           MADELEINE
               What's that then?

     He grabs her breasts, tight as a vice, and hisses:

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 18


                           THE MARQUIS
                    (low and hypnotic:)
               Your maidenhead.  And then you must 
               sew it up as tightly as the day you 
               were born, and come back to me renewed 
               so I can deflower it a second time.

     MADELEINE wriggles out of his grasp, and SLAPS him, hard.

     The MARQUIS is stunned, but impressed by her gumption.

                           MADELEINE
               Some things belong on paper, others 
               in life. It's a blessed fool who 
               can't tell the difference.

                           VOICE (O.S.)
               Mademoiselle Leclerc.

     COULMIER stands in the doorway, looking none too pleased.

     Quickly, MADELEINE shoves the manuscript under her blouse.

                           MADELEINE
               You're in the nick of time. This old 
               lech forgot himself. He thought I 
               was a character in one of his nasty 
               stories!

     She heads out the door, clutching the manuscript against her 
     bosom. COULMIER ducks out after her.

     INT. THE MARQUIS' APARTMENT/DRAWING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

     He steals a moment alone with her:

                           COULMIER
               Madeleine--

                           MADELEINE
               Yes, Abbe?

                           COULMIER
               The next time you feel the urge to 
               visit the Marquis, I hope you'll 
               come to confession instead.

     MADELEINE nods, contrite, and slips out. COULMIER turns to 
     find THE MARQUIS standing right behind him.

                           THE MARQUIS
               Care for a splash of wine, Abbe?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 19


                           COULMIER
               It's not even noon--

                           THE MARQUIS
               Conversation, like certain portions 
               of the anatomy, always runs more 
               smoothly when it's lubricated.

     Glug, glug, glug as the MARQUIS pours two glasses of wine.

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               It's a rare vintage from an obscure 
               village in Bordeaux. Rather than 
               crush the grape underfoot, they place 
               the fruit on the belly of a bride 
               and reap its juices when the young 
               husband steers his vessel into port.

     He sniffs his glass rapturously, then passes one to COULMIER:

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               A full-bodied flavor with just a 
               hint of wantonness? Bottom's up!

     COULMIER takes the glass. THE MARQUIS watches; will he gag?  
     Will he spit it out? COULMIER sips. He swallows. Finally:

                           COULMIER
               It's from our own cellar. I recognize 
               the taste.

     THE MARQUIS' face falls.

                           THE MARQUIS
               I should've told you it was the blood 
               of Christ; you'd believe that, 
               wouldn't you?

                           COULMIER
               We treat you well enough here, don't 
               we Marquis?  Your very own featherbed, 
               in lieu of a straw mat.  Your antique 
               writing desk, all the way from 
               LaCoste.  Enough quills to feather 
               an ostrich---

                           THE MARQUIS
                    (grumbling)
               It's true, dear-heart, you've spoiled 
               me pink.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 20


                           COULMIER
               In exchange, we ask only that you 
               follow the rules. Now you know as 
               well as I do...you're not to entertain 
               visitors in your quarters.

                           THE MARQUIS
               I'm entertaining you now, aren't I?

                           COULMIER
               I'm not a beautiful young prospect, 
               ripe for corruption.

                           THE MARQUIS
               Don't be so sure.

     COULMIER's amused in spite of himself. THE MARQUIS laughs, 
     too, only with a slightly sinister edge.

                           COULMIER
               Take your pen in hand, Marquis. Purge 
               these wicked thoughts of yours on 
               paper; maybe they'll govern you less 
               in life.

                           THE MARQUIS
                    (with a smile)
               I'll fill page after page, I promise.

     COULMIER raises his glass in a friendly toast:

                           COULMIER
               Cheers.

     EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - MEANWHILE

     The swiftness of the COACH makes the ground quake.

     INT. CHARENTON - THE ART STUDIO - LATER

     COULMIER reads from a large parchment scroll with a Royal 
     wax Seal, newly-broken. VALCOUR stands by, anxious.

                           VALCOUR
               They've got no right, sending someone 
               to sit on your shoulder.  I work for 
               you; I won't take orders from a 
               stranger.

                           COULMIER
                    (brightly; hiding 
                    concern)
               You needn't worry, Valcour. It's 
               administrative, nothing more.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 21


     VALCOUR watches COULMIER, unconvinced, as the ABBE rolls up 
     the scroll, tucks it under his arm, and strolls among the 
     PATIENTS, dressed in smocks and painting at easels. He gently 
     chastises one LUNATIC who's chewing on his brush:

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               Please don't eat the paint, Pascal.

     Next, he steps forward to inspect a painting by DAUPHIN, a 
     cheery fellow with severe burns on much of his face.  The 
     canvas depicts a grisly scene; a desperate father shepherds 
     his children out of a burning house, his robes ablaze.

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               Bravo, Dauphin. It's far better to 
               paint fires than to set them, isn't 
               it?

     DAUPHIN grins, happy for COULMIER's approval. A joyous burst 
     of the Papae Marcelli mass.

     INT. CHARENTON - CHAPEL

     A ROW OF HAUNTED, RUINED FACES. But--from deep in their souls--
     AN ASTONISHINGLY BEAUTIFUL SOUND, like a choir of angels. 
     COULMIER conducts, jubilant. As the music soars, it seems to 
     transform--even redeem--the singers. MADELEINE watches--
     admiringly--from the corner.

     EXT. CHARENTON TERRACE AND GROUNDS - MEANWHILE

     The RUMBLE of HOOVES. The DOCTOR's COACH--with its Gothic 
     accoutrement--lurches into the drive. GAILLON hops off, and 
     opens the door. ROYER-COLLARD disembarks. Emanating from 
     within, the EXHILARATING MUSIC. The DOCTOR and GAILLON 
     exchange a look; have they come to the right place?

     INT. CHARENTON - CHAPEL - MINUTES LATER

     As COULMIER conducts, he notices several SINGERS are 
     distracted; they're staring past him, all the way down the 
     nave. He turns to see ROYER-COLLARD, flanked by GAILLON and 
     VALCOUR, in the doorway. VALCOUR shoots COULMIER a look that 
     says "He's here." COULMIER turns, and silences the choir 
     with a smile.

                           COULMIER
               That's all for today, thank-you.

     The CHOIR disperses. COULMIER bounds down the aisle, his arm 
     outstretched in welcome. MADELEINE lingers, listening.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 22


                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               Dr. Royer-Collard? May I be the first 
               to welcome you to Charenton--

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               This may feel a tad awkward, my 
               friend, but it needn't be. I've merely 
               come to oversee your work here; 
               understood?

                           COULMIER
               Of course.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               It's a formality; truly.

                           COULMIER
               You're a man of Science; I'm a man 
               of God. Charenton stands to profit 
               from us both, I'm certain.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               I'll need an office on the grounds; 
               someplace to store my things.

                           COULMIER
                    (a hint of anxiety)
               If you don't mind my asking....why 
               has the Emperor taken such sudden 
               interest in my...our...affairs?

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               It seems a particular patient of 
               yours has captured his fancy.

     THE MARQUIS, VIEWED THROUGH THE PEEPHOLE OF HIS CELL DOOR

     He rails against the world:

                           THE MARQUIS
               Why, why, WHY should this be happening 
               to me?!

     PULL BACK TO REVEAL:

     A TRIO OF LUNATICS, REHEARSING A PLAY IN THE MARQUIS' COMPANY

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               Once again, gentleman!

     FRANVAL kneels before PITOU, holding a lady's satin shoe.

     PITOU--meanwhile--is preoccupied with his wig; a flowing 
     cascade of golden curls. Behind them, a tawdry back-drop of

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 23


     the French countryside.  FRANVAL wreaks havoc with his lines, 
     reciting them in painfully sing-song fashion:

                           FRANVAL
               "I'm just a lowly cobbler, and I 
               have been all my life. But with this 
               shoe, I'm asking you to be a cobbler's 
               wife--

                           THE MARQUIS
                    (interrupting)
               It's a dreadful play, true!  A 
               festering pustule on the face of 
               literature.  Why the parchment it's 
               written upon isn't worthy to wipe my 
               ass! BUT YOU NEED NOT MAKE IT WORSE!
               Say your lines with conviction, ma 
               cherie! Like a true actor!

                           FRANVAL
               But I'm not an actor; I'm a dyspeptic.

                           THE MARQUIS
               Seduce her, you goon!

     INT. THE CORRIDOR - MEANWHILE

     COULMIER and ROYER-COLLARD confer, en route to THE MARQUIS'  
     CELL.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               I understand he practices the very 
               crimes he preaches in his fiction.

                           COULMIER
               A few indiscretions in his youth.

     ROYER-COLLARD cocks an eyebrow:

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Indiscretions, Abbe?  Please. I've 
               read his case history. At sixteen, 
               he violated a serving girl with a 
               crucifix. After six months in the 
               dungeon at Vincennes, he mutilated a 
               prostitute, cutting her flesh with a 
               razor, then cauterizing the wounds 
               with wax--

                           COULMIER
               I hope you'll judge him by his 
               progress here, and not his past 
               reputation.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 24


     THEY reach the cell door. ROYER-COLLARD gazes in at THE 
     MARQUIS as he would a creature at the zoo.

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               He's made a great success of our 
               Little Theater; there's seldom an 
               empty seat.  Not to mention its 
               therapeutic value.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Playing dress-up with cretins? That 
               sounds like a symptom of madness; 
               not its cure.

     Suddenly, THE MARQUIS rears up in the peephole to confront

     ROYER-COLLARD face-to-face.

                           THE MARQUIS
               Homo perversio, Doctor.  A species 
               that thrives in captivity.

     Their eyes meet; flicker of recognition passes between them. 
     Doppelgangers, meeting for the first time. COULMIER 
     interjects:

                           COULMIER
               This is Dr. Royer-Collard; he's 
               joining us here in an...

     He looks to the DOCTOR for help:

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               ...advisory capacity.

     The DOCTOR considers the word "advisory", then nods. THE 
     MARQUIS' eyebrow arches in surprise.

                           THE MARQUIS
               Welcome to our humble madhouse, 
               Doctor.  I trust you'll find yourself 
               at home.

     And with that, he slams the peephole shut.

     INT. THE ATRIUM - MOMENTS LATER

     COULMIER and ROYER-COLLARD make their way through the asylum. 
     High above--along the railing of the grand staircase--
     MADELEINE appears, flanked by MICHETTE and CHARLOTTE. They've 
     come to size up the new DOCTOR.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 25


                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Why is he in your care, and not a 
               proper prison?

                           COULMIER
               His wife's influence.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               His wife's?

                           COULMIER
               Better to have an insane spouse than 
               a criminal one.

     Whispers from the GIRLS above; COULMIER shoots MADELEINE a 
     look that says "behave yourself."  She watches the TWO MEN 
     turn the corner.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               And he's never once attempted escape?

                           COULMIER
               A man of his notoriety? He wouldn't 
               last a day on the streets without 
               capture.

     INT. THE INFIRMARY - CONTINUOUS

     NUNS tend PATIENTS with various maladies; others mash herbs. 
     A PHRENOLOGIST uses pincers to measure a PATIENT's scalp.

                           COULMIER
               Besides, every wholesome thing he 
               might desire, he has at Charenton. A 
               library, filled with the world's 
               great books, music lessons, watercolor 
               exercises--

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               What is the impact of all these 
               amenities upon his psyche?

                           COULMIER
               He no longer roars or spits. He no 
               longer taunts the guards or molests 
               his fellow wards--

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               And his writing?

     COULMIER suppresses a tiny smile.

                           COULMIER
               Oh. That.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 26


                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Well....?

                           COULMIER
               I's essential to his recovery; a 
               purgative for the toxins in his mind.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Do you favor its publication?

                           COULMIER
               For sale? To the general public?  
               Certainly not; it's unprintable.

     DR. ROYER-COLLARD reaches inside his jacket, and pulls out a 
     copy of Justine. He hands it to the ABBE, who's dumbfounded.  
     COULMIER starts to scan the pages; the unmistakable prose of 
     you-know-who.

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               Dear God...

     He looks up to see that the DOCTOR has moved on, strolling 
     down the hall with authority. He races to catch up.

     INT. CORRIDOR - CONTINUOUS

                           COULMIER
               You have to believe me, I had no 
               idea--

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               All France is aghast at this book, 
               yet you've not heard of it?

                           COULMIER
               I've taken vows to live my life within 
               these walls; not outside them.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Abbe, I admire you; I do. You've a 
               conviction...an idealism...peculiar 
               to the very young. And so I'll be 
               candid.  The Ministry has sent me 
               here with the most explicit...the 
               most severe instructions.

                           COULMIER
                    (nervous now)
               Yes?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 27


     INT. CHARENTON - R.C'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

     GAILLON, VALCOUR and ORVOLLE appear, bringing in paraphernalia 
     from the DOCTOR's carriage. A few items are particularly 
     menacing; a helmet for trephining; a wire sarcophagus, and 
     the nefarious calming chair. COULMIER stares at these 
     instruments of torture with a mixture of wonder and 
     foreboding.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Unless we set Charenton on a straight 
               and narrow course, she'll be shut 
               down forever by order of the Emperor.

                           COULMIER
                    (disbelieving)
               Shut down?

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               In their eyes, the Marquis is the 
               surest barometer of your progress 
               here.

                           COULMIER
                    (his voice rising in 
                    protest)
               But he's one among some two hundred 
               wards--

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Have you tried bleeding him with 
               leeches? The calming chair? Maybe 
               you should flog him at the stake?

                           COULMIER
               Why?  So he'll learn to fear 
               punishment, rather than pursue virtue 
               for its own reward?

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               You're a sentimental man.

                           COULMIER
               A practical man, sir. Given the 
               Marquis' unusual tastes, a sound 
               thrashing on bare flesh may not 
               qualify as a deterrent.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               You find this amusing, do you?

     COULMIER rallies passionately on his own behalf:

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 28


                           COULMIER
               On the contrary. Let me take up this 
               matter with the Marquis myself--

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               And place my reputation at stake?

                           COULMIER
               Charenton is my life's work. To have 
               her wrested from beneath me now--

     ROYER-COLLARD pauses. His face softens, and he sighs:

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               I've stringent standards, true, but 
               I've something else the Ministry 
               failed to take into account; a heart.

     COULMIER almost collapses with relief and gratitude.

                           COULMIER
               Thank-you, Doctor. I'll effect his 
               contrition; you have my word.

     INT. A CORRIDOR AT CHARENTON - SHORTLY THEREAFTER

     COULMIER barrels down the hall, fuming. His head is deep in 
     the pages of the book; he almost bumps headlong into MADELEINE 
     on her morning rounds. She drops her laundry basket and 
     flattens herself against the wall:

                           MADELEINE
               What is it, Abbe?

     She starts dogging COULMIER down the hall.

                           COULMIER
               The Marquis. He's embarrassed us...
                    (with incredulity)
               ...before Napoleon himself.

     COULMIER stops. He turns to MADELEINE, disheartened, and 
     confides the full force of THE MARQUIS' betrayal:

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               He's been slipping manuscripts to 
               his publisher.

     MADELEINE feigns surprise and says in a guilty voice:

                           MADELEINE
               He has?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 29


     COULMIER nods--tersely--and marches toward THE MARQUIS' door. 
     He reaches for the key-chain on his belt.

                           COULMIER
               I place my trust too carelessly, 
               Madeleine.

     Unbeknownst to COULMIER, this stings her. He turns the key 
     in the lock and enters, closing the door behind him.

     MADELEINE opens the peephole to spy on the scene which 
     follows:

     INT. THE MARQUIS'APARTMENT/DRAWING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

     COULMIER storms in to find THE MARQUIS in a cloud of white 
     powder; he's dusting some fresh pages to set the ink.

     COULMIER slams the book down.

                           COULMIER
               This is a complete...an utter...
                    (his voice falls)
               ...disappointment.

     THE MARQUIS fingers the book, disapprovingly:

                           THE MARQUIS
               Yes! It is! The paper's cheap, the 
               type's too small---

                           COULMIER
               What did you do? Bribe one of the 
               guards?

                           THE MARQUIS
               But you implored me to write!  For 
               curative purposes, to stave off my 
               madness--

                           COULMIER
               But you've no right to publish! Behind 
               my back, without my sanction!

                           THE MARQUIS
               Have you truly read the book in 
               question? Or did you run--straightaway-- 
               to the dog-eared pages?

                           COULMIER
               Enough to discern its tenor.

                           THE MARQUIS
               And--?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 30


                           COULMIER
               It's not even a proper novel! It's 
               nothing but an encyclopedia of 
               perversions! Frankly, it even fails 
               as an exercise in craft. The 
               characters are wooden; the dialogue 
               is inane. Not to mention the endless 
               repetition of words like "nipple" 
               and "pikestaff"--

                           THE MARQUIS
               There I was taxed; it's true.

                           COULMIER
               And such puny scope! Nothing but the 
               very worst in man's nature!

                           THE MARQUIS
               I write of the great, eternal truths 
               that bind together all mankind! The 
               whole world over, we eat, we shit, 
               we fuck, we kill and we die.

                           COULMIER
               But we also fall in love; we build 
               cities, we compose symphonies, and 
               we endure. Why not put that in your 
               books as well?

                           THE MARQUIS
               It's a fiction, not a moral treatise.

                           COULMIER
               But isn't that the duty of art? To 
               elevate us above the beast?

                           THE MARQUIS
               I thought that was your duty, Abbe, 
               not mine.

                           COULMIER
               One more trick like this, and I'll 
               be forced to revoke all your 
               liberties!

                           THE MARQUIS
               It's that Doctor fellow, isn't it? 
               He's come to usurp your place here, 
               hasn't he?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 31


                           COULMIER
                    (blurting the truth)
               More than your writing's at stake. 
               The Ministry has threatened us with 
               closure.

                           THE MARQUIS
               They can't be serious.

                           COULMIER
               Our future lies in the stroke of 
               your pen.

                           THE MARQUIS
                    (impressed, even 
                    flattered)
               Mightier than the sword indeed.

                           COULMIER
               Put yourself in my place. I've your 
               fellow patients to consider. If 
               Charenton falls, they've no place to 
               go. No manner in which to clothe or 
               feed themselves--

                           THE MARQUIS
               Fuck 'em! They're half-wits and 
               pinheads. Let 'em die on the streets, 
               as Nature intended.

                           COULMIER
               You among them?

     This gives THE MARQUIS pause; COULMIER has a point.

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
                    (his most passionate 
                    plea yet)
               If ever I showed you a kind hand, 
               Marquis....If ever I granted you 
               walking privileges on a Spring day, 
               or slipped an extra pillow beneath 
               your door...if ever I shared your 
               wine, laughed at your vulgarities, 
               or humored you with argument...then 
               you will oblige me now.  For your 
               sake, and for all Charenton.

     THE MARQUIS--seemingly touched--says quietly:

                           THE MARQUIS
               You've a touch of the poet, too; 
               perhaps you should take up the quill.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 32


                           COULMIER
                    (undaunted)
               Do I have your word?

     THE MARQUIS catches MADELEINE's reflection in his mirror.

     In her face, the question: "What on earth are you going to 
     do?" He winks at her.

                           THE MARQUIS
               Have no fear, Abbe.

     He turns back to COULMIER. He has the open, honest eyes of a 
     Spaniel, but his words are double-edged:

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               I swear; all that Charenton has given 
               me, I'll repay a hundred-fold.

     MADELEINE's eyes grow wide with wonder at the prospect.

                           COULMIER
               If you only mean to dupe me again--

                           THE MARQUIS
                    (indignant now)
               Honestly! You cut me to the core!  
               What's the point of all your valiant 
               attempts at rehabilitation if--when 
               I finally succumb--when at long last, 
               I pledge myself to righteous conduct--
               you regard me with nothing but 
               suspicion?  Have you no faith in 
               your own medicine?

     COULMIER smiles; THE MARQUIS has a point.

                           COULMIER
                    (reassured)
               Thank-you.

     INT. THE CORRIDOR OUTSIDE THE MARQUIS' CELL - MEANWHILE

     MADELEINE slides the peephole shut. She hears a sound; staring 
     at her intensely from the opposite end of the hall, ROYER-
     COLLARD.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               My, my.  At Charenton, even the walls 
               have eyes.

                           MADELEINE
                    (under her breath)
               Mmmm...don't they?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 33


     She scoops up her laundry and barrels on her way. COULMIER 
     leaves the MARQUIS and steps into the hall. He's surprised 
     to see the DOCTOR.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Well?

                           COULMIER
               I spoke to him with reason and 
               compassion; the tools which serve us 
               best here.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               And---?

                           COULMIER
               He's sworn to obedience.

     The DOCTOR--ever doubtful--mutters "tsk, tsk, tsk," and turns 
     to leave; COULMIER calls after him, insistent:

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               He's more than a patient, Doctor; 
               the Marquis is my friend--

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               You keep strange company, Abbe. But 
               if you truly have matters in hand 
               here--

                           COULMIER
               I have.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               --then I've friends of my own to 
               visit.

     ANGLE ON: THE MARQUIS, watching, ever-watching, from the 
     hole in his door.

     EXT. THE COUNTRYSIDE. 

     The thunder of hooves. The doctor's coach takes a hair-pin 
     turn at a furious pace.

     EXT. THE PANTHEMONT CONVENT - MOMENTS LATER

     ROYER-COLLARD stands beneath the convent's trellis, and pounds 
     on the door. It opens, revealing the MOTHER SUPERIOR--SISTER 
     NOIRCEUIL--a severe-looking nun in a wimple.

                           SISTER NOIRCEUIL
               Yes?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 34


                           ROYER-COLLARD
               I've come for my bride.

     INT. PANTHEMONT CONVENT/CLOISTERS - CONTINUOUS

     SISTER NOIRCEUIL leads ROYER-COLLARD down the corridor; a 
     heavy set of keys dangles from the belt around her waist.

                           SISTER NOIRCEUIL
               We'd not expected you for some time.  
               Simone has not yet come of age.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               I've taken a new post at Charenton; 
               I need the succor only a wife can 
               provide.

     They arrive at the room of the convent's ward, SIMONE.

     INT. PANTHEMONT CONVENT - SIMONE'S QUARTERS - CONTINUOUS

     They interrupt the GIRL in prayer before a porcelain figure 
     of the MADONNA; she rises. With her doe-like eyes and cherubic 
     skin, SIMONE could be the DOCTOR's daughter as readily as 
     his wife.

                           SISTER NOIRCEUIL
               You remember Dr. Royer-Collard.

     SIMONE blushes, and casts her eyes downward.

                           SIMONE
               I'd not forget the man to whom I was 
               promised.

                           SISTER NOIRCEUIL
               He's come to collect you.

                           SIMONE
                    (with alarm:)
               Today? This minute?

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               My apologies, Mademoiselle; I'd no 
               time to write.

     EXT. OUTSIDE THE PANTHEMONT CONVENT - MINUTES LATER

     SIMONE stands in her traveling cape, clutching her MADONNA, 
     ROYER-COLLARD beside her. A CLUSTER of NUNS has gathered to 
     bid SIMONE adieu; among them, the twins SISTER FLAVIE and 
     SISTER ROSE FATIMA. The MOTHER SUPERIOR hands SIMONE a small 
     valise:

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 35


                           SISTER NOIRCEUIL
               Be grateful, child. It's my experience 
               that most poor girls who are orphaned 
               never wed; They wind up spinsters, 
               or worse still... nuns.

     She takes SIMONE by the chin; her fingers are talons.

                           SISTER NOIRCEUIL (CONT'D)
               Thank God that Fortune has spared 
               you from such a Fate.

     SISTER NOIRCEUIL bows her head toward ROYER-COLLARD, giving 
     him permission to go. He extends his arm to SIMONE.

     Hesitantly, she takes it. He guides her toward the waiting 
     carriage. SISTER NOIRCEUIL is grimly pleased. SISTER FLAVIE 
     and SISTER ROSE FATIMA exchange a look of grave concern.

                           SISTER ROSE FATIMA
               Good-bye, Simone.

                           SISTER FLAVIE
               God bless, Simone.

     EXT. THE COUNTRYSIDE - A SHORT TIME LATER

     The DOCTOR's carriage lurches down the cobblestone road.

     INT. THE DOCTOR'S CARRIAGE

     ROYER-COLLARD sits stiffly by his new bride; she stares out 
     the window. Looming on the horizon, a towering chateau.

     SIMONE's eyes grow wide with wonder. TWO MEN stand outside, 
     waiting to greet them, with their own carriage and driver 
     standing by.

                           DELBENÉ (O.S.)
               The Emperor wishes to ensure your 
               comfort while at Charenton.

     EXT. OUTSIDE THE CHATEAU - CONTINUOUS

     Delbené accompanies ROYER-COLLARD and SIMONE across the drive 
     toward the chateau.

                           DELBENÉ
               Consider the chateau a gift, provided 
               you're willing to finance the 
               necessary repairs.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 36


     The DOCTOR assesses his new home up-close; it's fallen into 
     grave disuse. Practically a ruin. Delbené gestures to MONSIEUR 
     PROUIX, a dimpled young fellow, nattily dressed.

                           DELBENÉ (CONT'D)
               Monsieur Prouix is the court's most 
               promising young architect; he's at 
               your disposal.

     MONSIEUR PROUIX offers a friendly grin; the DOCTOR gives him 
     the cursory once-over.

     INT. THE CHATEAU - ATRIUM

     The THREE MEN enter, SIMONE a few paces behind. An opulent 
     space, fallen into desuetude: a marble floor with matching 
     columns, a domed ceiling, and an expansive staircase.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
                    (drily)
               It has possibilities, yes. Simone?

     SIMONE flinches, surprised the DOCTOR is addressing her so 
     publicly. She says in a voice hushed with awe:

                           SIMONE
               I'm to live here?

     ROYER-COLLARD moves toward the stairs; something catches his 
     attention. Underfoot, a huge, crimson stain, rimmed in yellow.  
     The DOCTOR gets down on his haunches and runs a hands over 
     it. He glances up at Delbené, his face a question mark.

                           DELBENÉ
                    (coldly)
               The place hasn't been occupied since 
               the Terror; it belonged to the Duc 
               de Blangis, an avowed monarchist. 
               The Jacobins were most... unforgiving.

     Lying askance, a moldy old shoe with a cracked heel.

     Delbené sidles up to ROYER-COLLARD and says confidentially:

                           DELBENÉ (CONT'D)
               His wife was trying to escape; they 
               caught her on the stair, and set 
               upon her with bayonets.
                    (shuddering)
               "There but for the grace of God"...eh, 
               Doctor?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 37


                           ROYER-COLLARD
               I don't shed tears over the past, 
               Monsieur Delbenè; I look to the 
               future.

     Royer-collard stands and turns to Prouix:

                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               We'd best quarry fresh marble, don't 
               you think?

     PROUIX dutifully makes a note.

     INT. THE CHATEAU - UPPER ATRIUM

     ROYER-COLLARD coaxes PROUIX aside for a confidential 
     conversation:

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               You're to humor my wife in all things.
               If she wants Venetian glass, she's 
               to have it. Italian tile, Dutch 
               velvet; spare no expense.
                    (lowering his voice 
                    to a whisper)
               But in her bedchamber, see to it 
               that the door locks from the outside. 
               And on her windows....an iron grate.

                           PROUIX
               Bars, sir?

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               In the convent, Simone was spared 
               the world's temptations. I won't 
               have her falling prey to them now.

     ROYER-COLLARD glances over the railing, down below; SIMONE 
     stands, overwhelmed, in the enormous atrium. Over her head, 
     the beating of wings.

                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               She's a rare bird; I intend to keep 
               her caged.

     SIMONE'S POV:

     TRAPPED WHITE DOVES flap their feathers madly, trying to get 
     through the glass above.

                                                          CUT TO:

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 38


     EXT. THE PANTHEMONT CONVENT - AFTERNOON 

     Louison and Guerin have come to exchange alms for candles 
     from the nuns who make them, SISTER ROSE FATIMA and SISTER 
     FLAVIE. The BOYS load boxes onto the asylum cart. They gossip:

                           GUERIN
               No!

                           SISTER ROSE FATIMA
               It's a scandal, truly. Him, pretending 
               to be a God-fearing man!

                           SISTER FLAVIE
               And that's not all; he's far too old 
               to marry, and she's far too young--

     LOUISON and GUERIN exchange a grin.

     INT. LAUNDRY - LATER

     GUERIN whispers the tale to a gloriously naked MICHETTE, as 
     he makes love to her in the straw. His words are interspersed 
     with gasps and moans.

                           MICHETTE
               No!

                           GUERIN
               --I say--the comely little thing--is 
               barely sixteen--

     MICHETTE giggles, and turns to her left. There--surprise-- 
     lies LOUISON, pleasuring her from the other side.

                           LOUISON
               --I say--ah!--she's even younger--

     INT. THE SERVANT'S QUARTERS - LATER

     MICHETTE--in her knickers--now relays the story to MADELEINE. 
     CHARLOTTE glowers, always the odd one out.

                           MADELEINE
               No!

                           MICHETTE
               --from a convent, no less; she was 
               meant to be a nun--

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 39


     INT. THE CORRIDOR OUTSIDE THE MARQUIS' CELL - THAT NIGHT

     MADELEINE stands on her overturned basket, whispering to THE 
     MARQUIS through the peephole. Her lips are luscious rubies 
     in his ear:

                           MADELEINE
               --he's old enough to have fathered 
               her twice over--

     THE MARQUIS' eyes spark with inspiration.

                           THE MARQUIS
               Why, the hypocrite.  It has all the 
               makings of a farce, hasn't it? Run 
               straightaway, and tell Franval to 
               cancel rehearsal...

     CLOSE UP: A MAGNIFICENT WHITE QUILL PEN.

     As he blithely hums "Claire de la Lune," THE MARQUIS dips 
     the quill into his ink well; the liquid shoots up the 
     feather's shaft, turning it a deep purple color.

     On his PARCHMENT, in calligraphic script, the words "The 
     Crimes of Love: A Play in Several Lascivious Acts..."

     THE MARQUIS' little tune rises all the way to symphonic tones, 
     and we fade up to...

     EXT. CHARENTON TERRACE - EVENING

     Tonight the place looks less like a madhouse and more like 
     the Comèdie Francaise. Mingling on the steps, bejeweled 
     DOWAGERS and GENTLEMEN in frock-coats. Flanking COULMIER, 
     two GRAND DAMES: MADAME BOUGIVAL and MADEMOISELLE CLAIRWIL, 
     who's never without her small LAPDOG, even at the theater.

     They bill and coo around the comely priest like magpies.

                           MADEMOISELLE CLAIRWIL
               Abbe de Coulmier! You rascal! Your 
               comedies have become quite the rage; 
               I had to claw my way to a ticket.

                           COULMIER
               I can hardly take credit--

                           MADAME BOUGIVAL
                    (interrupting the 
                    ABBE)
               And so expertly acted! That charming 
               young man in last week's comedy...
                           (MORE)

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 40


                           MADAME BOUGIVAL (CONT'D)
                    (sotto voce)
               ...I'd no idea he was an imbecile!

                           COULMIER
               Everyone has talents, if we look for 
               them.

                           MADAME BOUGIVAL
                    (appraising the ABBE)
               Mmm. Yes. I'm sure.

     COULMIER notices ROYER-COLLARD mounting the steps with SIMONE. 
     In her finery, SIMONE looks less like a society bride, and 
     more like a child playing dress-up. COULMIER gives the DOCTOR 
     a cordial wave. ROYER-COLLARD nods, curtly.

                           MADAME BOUGIVAL (CONT'D)
               Is that the new Doctor? You must be 
               thrilled. Such a renowned expert, 
               right here, at Charenton!

                           COULMIER
                    (evasively)
               Ah! Curtain time.

                           MADEMOISELLE CLAIRWIL
               I'll say one thing for him; he has a 
               beautiful daughter.

     ANGLE ON: A CARRIAGE, PULLING UP TO THE STEPS.

     A MYSTERIOUS WOMAN disembarks. She's in her middle years, 
     with a dark bonnet to disguise her identity. She ascends the 
     steps to

     CHARENTON.

     CLOSE UP: A PLACARD FOR "THE HAPPY SHOEMAKER"

     A hand crumples it; tears it up.

     FRAME WIDENS

     and we see it's THE MARQUIS. He's in the linen pantry, which 
     has been jerry-rigged as a BACKSTAGE AREA for the evening's 
     Little Theater Performance, which will take place in the 
     laundry. Poised near him, the Stage Manager for the evening, 
     MADELEINE. They exchange a conspiratorial glance; tonight's 
     performance is going to go splendidly! THE MARQUIS surveys 
     the LUNATIC CAST spread out before him, readying their night 
     of glory.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 41


                           THE MARQUIS
               Remember, gentlemen!  Inside each of 
               your delicate minds...your distinctive 
               bodies...ART is waiting to be born. 
               So let's give the Doctor a performance 
               I hope he'll remember forever...

     The CAST gives a rallying cry; THE MARQUIS turns and peers 
     out the tattered velvet curtains.

     MARQUIS' POV:

     The catacombs have been converted into a make-shift theater-
     in-the-round. The place has a slightly sinister feel; one of 
     Dante's lower circles. A primitive platform stage has been 
     erected in the spot customarily held by MADAME LECLERC's 
     vat.

     The SOCIETY FOLK sit on benches alongside the FEEBLE and the 
     DAMNED. THE LUNATIC QUARTET plays its bizarre instruments: 
     18th century curled horns, and home-made strings. A grinning 
     DAUPHIN lights the torches that will illuminate the stage. 
     From the AUDIENCE, excited twitters.

     A grand night for slumming among the loons! A bacchanal!

     He sees RENEE PELAGIE take her seat, and lower her hood, 
     craning her neck for a sight of the man she loves. Next, he 
     marks ROYER-COLLARD, sitting on a newly-erected dais next.to 
     his lovely wife SIMONE. COULMIER sits at the DOCTOR's 
     shoulder, pointing out various notables in the crowd:

                           COULMIER
               Madame Bougival; Mademoiselle Clairwil-- 
               and of course--the Marquis' wife--

                           ROYER-COLLARD
                    (evincing interest)
               Oh indeed?

     Meanwhile--backstage--FRANVAL nervously taps the MARQUIS on 
     the shoulder:

                           FRANVAL
               Begging your pardon; it's time to 
               begin.

     THE MARQUIS drops the curtain, and reminds FRANVAL:

                           THE MARQUIS
               The dedication, word for word; it's 
               every bit as crucial as the play 
               which follows--

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 42


     FRANVAL nods and takes a deep breath. He bounds onto the 
     stage.

                           FRANVAL
                    (his voice quavering)
               Madames and Messieurs, there's been 
               a change in tonight's program.

     ANGLE ON: COULMIER, who stiffens with apprehension.

     This is an unexpected development.

                           FRANVAL (CONT'D)
               We will not be performing The Happy 
               Shoemaker.

     From the AUDIENCE, stirs and murmurs. Perhaps a few 
     disappointed sighs. From the wings, THE MARQUIS gestures for 
     FRANVAL to take a few significant steps forward, toward THE 
     DOCTOR.

                           FRANVAL (CONT'D)
               Instead, we'd like to premiere a new 
               play in honor of the newly-appointed 
               Dr. Royer-Collard and his lovely 
               bride, married nary a week today--

     ANGLE ON: ROYER-COLLARD AND HIS WIFE.

     The DOCTOR smiles at SIMONE, and touches her hand, fondly. A 
     polite smattering of applause.

     ANGLE ON: FRANVAL

                           FRANVAL (CONT'D)
               --a comedy entitled...

     He dries up. From backstage, THE MARQUIS hisses:

                           THE MARQUIS
               The Crimes of Love!

                           FRANVAL
               ...The Crimes of Love, written by 
               one of Charenton's very own wards!

     FRANVAL glances back at THE MARQUIS. THE AUDIENCE follows 
     suit. The moment they see SADE, they break into even louder 
     applause than they gave ROYER-COLLARD. The asylum's most 
     notorious inmate! Right here, before their very eyes!

     In a show of false modesty, THE MARQUIS blushes, steps out 
     from behind the curtain, and gives a cursory little bow.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 43


     ROYER-COLLARD glances back at COULMIER as if to say "What's 
     this?" COULMIER starts fingering his rosary in nervous 
     anticipation. RENEE PELAGIE just closes her eyes.

     ANGLE ON: THE STAGE AS THE BAND PLAYS

     A LUNATIC dressed as an ANGEL sits high atop one ladder, and 
     a DEVIL on another. Together, the TWO start pummeling the 
     stage with artificial snow.  BOUCHON stands in the wings, 
     heaving a giant set of bellows, creating the North Wind.

     INT. BACKSTAGE.

     MADELEINE rushes to ready the cast; DAUPHIN is dressed as a 
     MOTHER SUPERIOR; he looks markedly like Sister Noirceuil of 
     the Panthemont Convent. Behind him, PITOU is the FEMALE 
     INGENUE; a veritable Simone. He cries out for his bonnet:

                           PITOU
               My hat, my hat!

     MADELEINE affixes his hat, hands PITOU and DAUPHIN each a 
     hobby horse, and pushes them toward the STAGE.

     ANGLE: ONSTAGE

     DAUPHIN and PITOU ride down the ramp which leads from the 
     linen pantry onto the wooden stage. 

                           INGENUE
               Oh Sister Saint-Fond, whither do we 
               go?  Passing o'er rivers, canyons 
               and snow?

                           MOTHER SUPERIOR
               Hurry, Eugenie, for we must not tarry; 
               I deliver you now to the man you 
               shall marry!

     ANGLE ON: SIMONE

     Her girlish face alive with pleasure, charmed by the spectacle 
     before her.

                           MOTHER SUPERIOR (CONT'D)
               Once you have rested, at your leisure-- 
               he'll coach you in the ways of 
               pleasure.

     A RIPPLE through the AUDIENCE; tonight's performance is 
     saucier than usual. As DAUPHIN and PITOU move offstage, 
     BOUCHON collects their hobby horses.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 44


     TWO LUNATICS enter, covered in ornate vines. They form an 
     ARCHWAY. With a drum roll and a thunder-clap, CLEANTE rises 
     from the AUDIENCE--just a few seats away from ROYER-COLLARD-- 
     and hops onstage to assume the role of THE LIBERTINE. GASPS 
     of SURPRISE from the crowd. He wears a coat and hat that 
     match the DOCTOR's.

     PITOU and DAUPHIN re-enter from the wings.

                           LIBERTINE
               At last she arrives, my hard-won 
               bride!  Hurry, my child, and scurry 
               inside.  There you'll find such 
               treasures await you; Marzipan and 
               meringue to sate you!

                           INGENUE
               Such gallantry in men is--sadly--a 
               rarity; How lucky I am to receive 
               his charity!

     The INGENUE ducks through the HUMAN ARCHWAY into the imagined 
     CHATEAU. The LIBERTINE passes the MOTHER SUPERIOR a comically 
     large purse.

                           LIBERTINE
               Thank you, dear Sister, for abetting 
               me so; Bringing her here to this 
               secluded Chateau! Little does she 
               know the terrors in store; when I 
               tutor her in--

     He leans into ROYER-COLLARD for this last bit:

                           LIBERTINE (CONT'D)
               ...les crimes de l'amour!

     ANGLE ON: ROYER-COLLARD.

     He glances all the way past the play, through the AUDIENCE 
     seated in the opposite bank.

     There--looming in the back row against the wall--THE MARQUIS, 
     who grins; the poison arrow has hit his mark. The DOCTOR--
     ever composed, grins back. An even-handed challenge that 
     says "I know what you're up to; you're only dooming yourself." 
     Slyly, THE MARQUIS slips behind a column, disappearing from 
     view.

     ROYER-COLLARD whispers to SIMONE:

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Leave at once--

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 45


                           SIMONE
               But it's just begun--

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Do as I say.

     A forlorn SIMONE exits; GAILLON escorts her toward the door.

     ANGLE ON: THE DOOR

     As SIMONE and GAILLON slip toward the exit, THE MARQUIS stands 
     waiting for them. He casts a knowing glance at SIMONE, then 
     wisecracks to GAILLON:

                           THE MARQUIS
               Leaving so soon? Oh, but of course!  
               You've seen it before.

     GAILLON just glares and hurries SIMONE up the stairs.

     ANGLE: ONSTAGE

     The play continues, full-throttle: BOUCHON pushes a bed 
     onstage. The INGENUE cowers on the mattress; the LIBERTINE 
     leaps upon her.

                           LIBERTINE
               Quickly, my suckling, out of your 
               clothes! My scepter awaits; how solid 
               it grows!

                           INGENUE
               Stop, I beg you! Have pity, I say!  
               You're not my lover; you're a 
               monstrous rouè!

     The LIBERTINE yanks up the INGENUE's legs and dives beneath 
     her skirts. From beneath the fabric, a host of VULGAR SOUNDS.

                           LIBERTINE
               Do as I say! Stick your legs in the 
               air! It's true, I'm a pig and you've 
               truffles down there--

     This is all COULMIER can bear; he rises from his seat, in 
     pursuit of THE MARQUIS. He aims for the door, but THE MARQUIS 
     has already disappeared. COULMIER starts scanning the crowd, 
     hoping to find him in the sea of faces.

     ANGLE ON: RENEE PELAGIE

     She turns, aware of her husband's presence somewhere behind 
     her. MADAME BOUGIVAL says loudly to MADEMOISELLE CLAIRWIL:

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 46


                           MADAME BOUGIVAL
               Who do you suppose is to blame? The 
               author...or his Muse?

     RENEE's face falls, stricken. MADAME BOUGIVAL and MADEMOISELLE 
     CLAIRWIL titter behind their fans.

     ANGLE: ONSTAGE

     THE LIBERTINE continues to pleasure THE INGENUE with his 
     mouth:

                           INGENUE
                    (her tone changing)
               Good heavens, what's this? Such a 
               wicked sensation! A feeling somewhere 
               between shame and elation! Yes!  
               That's the way; use your tongue like 
               a wand in much the same manner as 
               Sister Saint-Fond!

     INT. BACKSTAGE

     MADELEINE scurries about, readying the LUNATIC CAST for the 
     Second Act: A FAUX NAPOLEON, A MALE NUN, FRANVAL, DAUPHIN 
     and a LOON DRESSED AS JESUS CHRIST.

                           MADELEINE
               Quickly; the second act!

     They exit onto the stage. MADELEINE is alone now backstage. 
     Or so it seems, until BOUCHON looms up behind her in the 
     darkness.

     BOUCHON'S POV: MADELEINE

     peering through the curtains at the performance. He admires 
     the nape of her neck; her soft shoulders. Meanwhile--onstage--
     the play moves apace:

                           THE LIBERTINE
               I had a suspicion the Sister was 
               Sapphic!

                           THE INGENUE
               I'd tell you more, but it's simply 
               too graphic. Suffice it to say, she's 
               a preference for lasses! Even at 
               Vespers, she always made passes---

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 47


     ANGLE ON: MADELEINE

     Suddenly, BOUCHON's hands appears around the base of her 
     neck; his finger flicker across her cheek. Her face fills 
     with shock, and she disappears behind the curtain.

                           LIBERTINE
               My darling, Eugenie, dainty morsel!  
               Get on your back! Let's try it dorsal!

                           INGENUE
               Was ever a man more risquè? He wants 
               to take me every way!

     ANGLE: BACKSTAGE

     BOUCHON yanks MADELEINE behind a curtain, and pushes her-- 
     hard--against a stone wall. With a visceral grunt, he gropes 
     her beneath her petticoat. She gives a sharp yelp, and reaches 
     for an iron, still red-hot from the day's work.

     She presses it--hard--against BOUCHON's cheek. His flesh 
     sizzles.

                           BOUCHON
               Ahhhhhggggg....

     ANGLE: ONSTAGE

     The obscene pantomime gets wilder by the minute:

     ANGLE ON: THE AUDIENCE

     COULMIER hears BOUCHON's tortured cry, and lurches from the 
     dais, marching directly across the stage. VALCOUR leaps up 
     from his own aisle seat, and follows the PRIEST. The 
     rollicking play continues onstage:

                           LIBERTINE
               I'll plunder every lovely pore until 
               you're weak and cry "no more!"

                           INGENUE
               I tremble with fear! You're bound to 
               pound the quivering lips of my Venus 
               mound!

                           LIBERTINE
               And then--to prove your truly mine-- 
               I'll plunder you, darling, from 
               behind!

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 48


                           INGENUE
               What of my lips, will you soil them 
               too? When you've broken every other 
               taboo?

                           LIBERTINE
               I'll fill every slippery hollow; if 
               you're obliging, then you'll swallow!

     COULMIER rips aside the backstage curtain, revealing MADELEINE--
     still out of breath--and BOUCHON, grabbing his face in pain. 
     The AUDIENCE--giddy and oblivious--starts to peal with 
     pleasure; they're certainly getting their money's worth 
     tonight!

     VALCOUR seizes BOUCHON roughly.

                           COULMIER
               Take him to the infirmary for a 
               plaster, and an ice bath. That'll 
               cool him.

     VALCOUR drags a quivering BOUCHON away.

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               Has he hurt you?

                           MADELEINE
                    (bravely)
               His stinking breath caused my eyes 
               to run, that's all.

     COULMIER kisses her on the forehead. She clutches him in a 
     hug, and dissolves into tears.  COULMIER looks up to see THE 
     MARQUIS standing nearby.  The TWO MEN lock eyes for an 
     instant; a flicker of jealousy passes between them.

                           COULMIER
               You mean to take us all down with 
               you?

                           THE MARQUIS
                    (with mock innocence)
               Don't be absurd; it's only a play.

     COULMIER glances past THE MARQUIS to see ROYER-COLLARD rise 
     from his seat, and--imperiously--gather his hat and coat.

     Their eyes meet for an instant; ROYER-COLLARD shoots daggers.

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
                    (to the audience now, 
                    expansively)
               It's only a play!

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 49


     The AUDIENCE is on its feet now; some cry "Bravo!" Others 
     hurl insults at the stage. Frantic, FRANVAL gestures to the 
     STAGE HANDS to bring the curtain down.

     EXT. CHARENTON - TERRACE - MINUTES LATER.

     The DOCTOR flings open the door of his carriage, where SIMONE 
     waits for him.

                           COULMIER
               It was fiction, of course.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
                    (brusquely)
               Of course.

                           COULMIER
               It was not inspired by circumstance.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               No. It most certainly was not.

     He boards, slamming the door shut with finality:

                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               You ought to be ashamed, Abbe.  
               Exploiting those drooling, pathetic 
               cretins for financial gain--

                           COULMIER
               That's not our intent--

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               --a veritable freak show for tourists 
               and curiosity seekers. Charenton is 
               a sanatorium; she is not a circus.  
               The theater is henceforth closed. As 
               for your avowed friend--playwright 
               emeritus of the madhouse--

     COULMIER swallows; he knows what's coming.

                           COULMIER
               I'll do everything in my power--

                           ROYER-COLLARD
                    (cutting him off 
                    abruptly)
               Do more. Otherwise, I'll be forced 
               to report to the Ministry that the 
               inmates are indeed running the asylum.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 50


     The carriage screeches away, leaving Coulmier alone in the 
     night air.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT. THE MARQUIS' APARTMENT - SHORTLY THEREAFTER

     COULMIER bursts into the MARQUIS's quarters to find him 
     enjoying a late-night snack of fricandeau, a napkin tied 
     around his neck.

                           COULMIER
               I hope you're satisfied; he's shut 
               down the theater.

     THE MARQUIS plucks the napkin from around his neck, and tosses 
     it haughtily onto his plate.

                           THE MARQUIS
               He can't do that to me.

                           COULMIER
               How can one man possibly be so 
               selfish?

                           THE MARQUIS
               We held a mirror up to the Doctor, 
               and--apparently--he didn't like what 
               he saw.

     COULMIER charges to THE MARQUIS' desk and plucks a hand-full 
     of quills from the ink stand.

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
                    (dropping his fork)
               What the devil--

                           COULMIER
               If you won't be true to your word, 
               then you've left me no choice.

     COULMIER grabs quills off the window-sill, the side-board 
     and the secretary. THE MARQUIS realizes COULMIER means 
     business; he lunges for the ink stand. It spills, sending 
     ink all over his desk.

                           THE MARQUIS
               But I kept my promise! I didn't 
               publish--

     COULMIER shoots a glare that says "Oh, please."

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 51


                           COULMIER
               Perhaps--in time--you'll earn them 
               back through good behavior--

                           THE MARQUIS
               You can't--! You mustn't--! I've all 
               the demons of hell in my head; my 
               only salvation is to vent them on 
               paper--

                           COULMIER
               Try reading, for a change. The writer 
               who produces more than he reads? The 
               sure mark of an amateur.

     He snares a Bible off the shelf, tossing it to THE MARQUIS.

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               Start with the Bible; it's cheerier, 
               and more artfully written.

                           THE MARQUIS
                    (spitting on its cover)
               That monstrous God of yours? He strung 
               up his very own son like a side of 
               veal; I shudder to think what He'd 
               do to me.

                           COULMIER
               You know what sacrilege is, don't 
               you?  The last refuge of the failed 
               provocateur.

     COULMIER yanks open the desk drawer. In it, bottles of ink. 
     He starts to fill his pockets.

                           THE MARQUIS
                    (truly frightened now)
               I'll die of loneliness! I've no 
               company but the characters I create--

                           COULMIER
               Whores and pederasts? You're better 
               off without them.

     The MARQUIS abruptly switches gears; he has a new idea.

                           THE MARQUIS
               I have a proposition.

                           COULMIER
               You always do.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 52


                           THE MARQUIS
               Madeleine. She's besotted with me; 
               she'd do anything I ask. She could 
               pay you a midnight visit--

                           COULMIER
               I don't know who you insult more; 
               her or me.

                           THE MARQUIS
               "Part the gates of heaven," as it 
               were--

                           COULMIER
                    (sharply)
               That's enough.

                           THE MARQUIS
               You're tense, darling. You could use 
               a long, slow screw.

                           COULMIER
               Good day, Marquis.

                           THE MARQUIS
               THEN BUGGER ME!

     COULMIER exits, locking the door behind him.

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               GOD DAMN YOU, ABBE! HAVE YOU NO TRUE 
               SENSE OF MY CONDITION? OF ITS GRAVITY?  
               My writing is involuntary, like the 
               beating of my heart! My constant 
               erection! I can't help it!

     INT. CORRIDOR - CONTINUOUS

     From inside his cell, the MARQUIS pounds on the door.

                           THE MARQUIS (O.S.)
               MAGGOT!

     COULMIER pauses. He hears the sliding of the peep-hole in 
     the door.  He turns back to see the MARQUIS staring at him 
     through the tiny slit.

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               Where there's a will, there's a way.  
               And a maniac is matchless for 
               invention.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 53


     The peephole slams shut.

                                                         FADE TO:

     INT. THE MARQUIS' APARTMENT - SOMETIME LATER

     VALCOUR admits the MYSTERIOUS WOMAN from the theater, THE 
     MARQUIS' WIFE, RENEE PELAGIE. The MARQUIS stares out his 
     cell window without acknowledging her.

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               I've done just as you bade me; I've 
               paid a visit to the woodcarver. He 
               laughed and called me a whore, but 
               took my money just the same.

     She sets a satchel down on his desk, and unwraps it.

     Inside, two wooden prods, each about nine inches long. One 
     is ebony; the other rosewood.

                           RENEE PELAGIE (CONT'D)
               I don't know what brings you more 
               pleasure; the objects themselves, or 
               the humiliation I endure procuring 
               them on your behalf.

     Next, she proffers a small box tied with a gold bow:

                           RENEE PELAGIE (CONT'D)
               And--last but not least--I've brought 
               you aniseed drops and some chocolate 
               pastilles.

     This gets his attention; he turns.

                           THE MARQUIS
               Did you now, Madame?

     His face softens, and he says with a suggestive lilt:

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               They're filled with cream, yes? You 
               know I shan't touch them, unless 
               they're positively bursting--erupting-- 
               with cream.

     RENEE PELAGIE blushes happily, delighted that she's pleased 
     him. THE MARQUIS crosses to her; en route, he notices

     VALCOUR, spying through the peephole. He snaps it shut.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 54


                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               What else have you brought that I 
               might nibble upon?

     He presses her against the wall, cupping her breast, and 
     kissing the tip of her nose. She offers faint protest:

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               Oh, Donatien...you mustn't..

     He licks the rim of her ear as he whispers:

                           THE MARQUIS
               Hm? Tell me.  What other treats?

                           RENEE PELAGIE
                    (helpless with giggles)
               ....shame on you, truly...

     Suddenly--savagely--he slaps her; she reels, stunned.

                           THE MARQUIS
               For fuck's sake, woman! BONBONS? I'm 
               to sit here, gorging myself on useless 
               trifles, sucking down your little 
               sweetmeats, when what I truly need-- 
               what I truly require--are a few quill 
               pens? Perhaps a pot of ink?

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               Forgive me, I beg you---

     He pulls the drawers from his desk, and hurls them to the 
     ground; they splinter.

                           THE MARQUIS
               Don't you see? I've been raped! Far 
               more egregiously than any of my 
               wretched characters---

     RENEE PELAGIE breaks away from him, and says in a voice 
     cracked with emotion:

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               How was I to know, my darling?

                           THE MARQUIS
               How was I to tell you? By writing a 
               letter? WITH WHAT, MY ASININE BRIDE?

     RENEE PELAGIE backs herself into a corner, a safe distance 
     from her husband, and implores:

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 55


                           RENEE PELAGIE
               I beg you, Donatien...as your 
               wife...your only ally...you must 
               stop making such a monstrous spectacle 
               of yourself.

                           THE MARQUIS
                    (incredulous)
               You've come to lecture me?

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               To flaunt your deviance in public?  
               Upon a stage?

                           THE MARQUIS
               They've put you up to this, haven't 
               they?

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               You ought to court the Doctor's favor, 
               not his contempt.

     THE MARQUIS tears open the box of candy, and pops one into 
     his mouth. He chews:

                           THE MARQUIS
               I ought to carve my name into his 
               backside, and fill the wounds with 
               salt--

     RENEE PELAGIE's eyes well; she dabs them with a handkerchief.

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               You're here--safe--surrounded by 
               brick and mortar; but my prison is 
               far crueler. It has no walls.

     She starts speaking in a mad rush, tripping over her own 
     words, frantic to spill it all out before he cuts her off:

                           RENEE PELAGIE (CONT'D)
               Everywhere I go, they point and 
               whisper! At the opera, they hiss at 
               me when I take my box. When I went 
               to church...the priest refused to 
               even hear my confession; he said I 
               was already damned! Why must I suffer 
               for your sins?

                           THE MARQUIS
               It's the way of all martyrs, isn't 
               it?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 56


                           RENEE PELAGIE
               Give me back my anonymity, that's 
               all I ask! Let me be invisible again!

     THE MARQUIS explodes now, his eyes spinning with rage.

                           THE MARQUIS
               Tell me; have you done anything to 
               secure my release? NO!  Have you 
               petitioned the court? NEVER! Sought 
               audience with the Emperor--

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               He refuses to be seen in my company!  
               He blanches at the mention of your 
               name--

                           THE MARQUIS
               It's a convenience, isn't it, having 
               your husband locked away!  You no 
               longer have to hold your tongue, or 
               hoist your skirts!  Or crack your 
               mouth, so I can put it to its one 
               pleasurable use!  YOU'RE NOT MY WIFE, 
               NO! YOU'RE ONE AMONG MY MANY JAILERS, 
               AREN'T YOU?

     RENEE PELAGIE starts to sob, convulsively. VALCOUR--hearing 
     the commotion--re-enters the cell.

                           VALCOUR
               What in the name a' God--

                           THE MARQUIS
               Take this cow away; I can't look at 
               her.

     VALCOUR escorts a fragile RENEE PELAGIE from the room.

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               Perhaps you'll find a place for her 
               in the West Wing, eh? AMONG THE 
               HYSTERICS?

     As they lumber out, THE MARQUIS bellows after them:

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               LOCK HER UP AS WELL, SO SHE KNOWS 
               HOW IT FEELS! THE GORGON! THE SOW!

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 57


     INT. ROYER-COLLARD'S CHATEAU - SHORTLY THEREAFTER

     In the rear of her carriage, RENEE PELAGIE. She's dried her 
     tears, and now bears a look of fierce resolve: a woman imbued 
     with a mission.

     INT. CHATEAU - THE ATRIUM - CONTINUOUS

     CRAFTSMEN buzz about the place like flies, carrying gilded 
     mirrors, uncrating sculpture, fitting wall sconces, etc.

     GAILLON stands by at the door. ROYER-COLLARD AND MONSIEUR 
     PROUIX are at one end of the room, in rapt consultation.

     Swatches, marble samples, and blueprints litter their table.

                           MONSIEUR PROUIX
               For a woman of humble origin, your 
               wife certainly has refined tastes!  
               When I suggest granite for the foyer, 
               she's quick to counter with Peruvian 
               marble. Peruvian marble! It costs a 
               fortune to import!

     SIMONE wafts past on the balcony above; she glances down at 
     them, smiles.  ROYER-COLLARD assumes the smile is meant for 
     him; he offers a tiny wave.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
                    (beaming)
               Whatever her heart desires, Monsieur 
               Prouix.

     MONSIEUR PROUIX assumes the smile is his; he offer his own 
     toothsome grin.

                           MONSIEUR PROUIX
               I'd like nothing better, sir, than 
               to grant her every wish.
                    (sotto voce, to the 
                    DOCTOR)
               But on the modest sum you've accorded 
               me--I'm an architect, not a magician--

     RENEE PELAGIE brushes past GAILLON with gale force:

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               I must see the Doctor at once. It's 
               a matter of dire urgency...

     ROYER-COLLARD spies her instantly; their eyes lock.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 58


                           ROYER-COLLARD
               It is customary to write first, and 
               request an appointment--

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               Desperation has driven me past 
               etiquette, all the way to frenzy.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               My schedule is not subject to the 
               whims of lunatics.

     RENEE PELAGIE removes her hat, indicating her intention to 
     stay.

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               I beg to differ, Doctor. You work in 
               a madhouse. Your every waking moment 
               is governed by the insane.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
                    (with a sigh)
               I pray you: be succinct.

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               You're new to Charenton, yes? Perhaps 
               you're not yet familiar with my 
               husband, and his unusual case.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               With all due respect, Madame, all 
               France is familiar with your husband.
                    (to MONSIEUR PROUIX)
               Grant us a moment alone, won't you, 
               Monsieur Prouix?

                           MONSIEUR PROUIX
               Happily, sir. Your servant, sir.

     He gestures for the CRAFTSMEN to follow him out. The room-- 
     a veritable hive of activity--is now silent. DR. ROYER-COLLARD 
     offers RENEE PELAGIE a seat.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Madame, please.

     RENEE sits.

                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               I assume you've come to plead for 
               clemency on your husband's behalf.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 59


                           RENEE PELAGIE
               Oh you do, do you? It is my dearest 
               hope, Doctor, that he remain entombed 
               forever, and that when at last he 
               perishes in the dank bowels of your 
               institution, he be left as carrion 
               for the rodents and the worms.

     The DOCTOR's somewhat taken aback:

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               I stand corrected, Madame.

     Now that she's alone in the DOCTOR's company, the full force 
     of RENEE PELAGIE's despair issues forth:

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               If you can't cure him--truly cure 
               him-- then--at least--I beg you--
               harness the beast that rages in his 
               soul.

     The wheels in ROYER-COLLARD'S brain begin to turn; he idly 
     fingers a swatch of fabric.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               It's not so easily done, Madame.

     He rises, circling RENEE PELAGIE.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               You're aware, are you not, that it 
               costs a great deal to house your 
               husband at Charenton...

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               I pay his stipend every month, far 
               more dutifully than I should.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               That barely covers the cost of his 
               room. There's nary a penny left over 
               for appropriate treatments. Opiates 
               to quell his temper. Restraints to 
               chasten him when he misbehaves.

     RENEE PELAGIE can sense the direction of the conversation; 
     she blushes, and stares at her hands in her lap.

                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               Perhaps if you were to buttress your 
               entreaties with the means to oblige 
               them...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 60


                           RENEE PELAGIE
               I am not a wealthy woman.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               But you've a pension, haven't you, 
               from the sale of his books?

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               It's tainted money, Doctor.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               What a beautiful thought, Marquise.

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               What thought is that?

      

                            

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               That ill-gotten funds, borne of his 
               degeneracy, might now effect his 
               salvation.

     RENEE ponders the thought; it has a certain righteous 
     symmetry.

                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               If you're truly determined to step 
               out of the shadow of your husband's 
               celebrity--

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               Oh, but I am!

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               --words alone are insufficient.

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               It's beyond perversity. That honor 
               should carry a price tag...

     The DOCTOR rises and crosses to her:

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Imagine; old friends once again 
               deigning to kiss your hand.
                    (kissing her hand, 
                    seductively)
               "Why, Marquise. Enchanted to see 
               you.  Welcome back from your long, 
               dark descent into the abyss of 
               infamy."

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 61


     RENEE's flustered; it's been a long time, and the DOCTOR 
     does have his charms.

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               Don't toy with me, Doctor.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Now is the time to secure your 
               epitaph: The benevolent Marquise, 
               Charenton's most revered 
               philanthropist...or Satan's Bride.

     A torturous moment of indecision for RENEE PELAGIE.

     EXT. CHATEAU - MINUTES LATER

     The DOCTOR and RENEE PELAGIE step into the sun.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Rest assured that your generosity 
               speeds your husband ever faster toward 
               a cure.

     MONSIEUR PROUIX bolts up from the front steps of the CHATEAU. 
     ROYER-COLLARD whispers through his teeth:

                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               The Peruvian marble; without question.

     MONSIEUR PROUIX stares after the DOCTOR, baffled. The DOCTOR 
     escorts RENEE PELAGIE into her carriage. She gazes soulfully 
     into his eyes:

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               I am eternally in your debt.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               And I in yours.

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               Doctor... Can I impart to you his 
               cruelest trick?

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Of course.

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               Once...long ago...in the folly of 
               youth...he made me love him.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 62


     INT. THE MARQUIS' BEDROOM - MEANWHILE.

     THE MARQUIS lies against his pillow, his eyes flickering 
     malevolently in the candlelight. He hears the tinkling of 
     dinner china outside his door.

     INT. A CORRIDOR - CONTINUOUS

     MADELEINE carries a dinner tray for THE MARQUIS. She reaches 
     his cell. He slides open his peep-hole. His voice has the 
     desperate rasp of a man in withdrawal:

                           THE MARQUIS
               Madeleine, my sweet...can you smuggle 
               a paper and quill to me?

     MADELEINE shoves the tray under his door; she glances down 
     the hall to see VALCOUR stationed there.

                           MADELEINE
               I don't dare. The Doctor's got his 
               eye on you, sharper than ever now.

     She gives him an apologetic look, and ambles on her way.

     INT. THE MARQUIS' APARTMENT/DRAWING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

     The MARQUIS plops his tray down on his desk. Wine from the 
     carafe sloshes out; a few drops land on his napkin. He stares 
     at the pattern of the burgundy drops against the white of 
     the linen. He traces a finger along the splotch.

     His face lights up; an idea. He grabs the carafe in one hand.

     INT. THE MARQUIS' BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS

     He steps into the room. In front of him, his bed. The sheets 
     are stretched against it immaculately: not so much as a 
     wrinkle. Inch after inch of white; a beautiful blank page.

     CLOSE UP: A ROAST CHICKEN

     The MARQUIS rips into the meat with his hands; he ferrets 
     out a bone. Next, he takes a tiny carving knife, and whittles 
     away at it, sharpening its point and hollowing its marrow. 
     Voila. A make-shift quill. He dips it into the carafe.  Next, 
     he tries a few strokes on the pillow-case over his desk. It 
     makes a clean, bold line. His eyes fill with grateful tears, 
     and he hugs himself in the night air.

     EXT. THE CHARENTON ASYLUM - NIGHT

     One lamp burns in the darkness in the MARQUIS' chamber; the 
     sound of a quill scraping across linen.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 63


                           THE MARQUIS
               "Dr. Montalivet was--politely put--a 
               diminutive man. When flaccid, his 
               member was little more than a bobbin, 
               and--when enflamed--it towered a 
               mere four inches. To compensate, he 
               strove to impress his lady love with 
               a host of other endowments; fine-
               wine, fresh game, and a house as 
               large as his other fortunes were 
               small..."

                                                         FADE TO:

     INT. ROYER-COLLARD'S CHATEAU - THE DINING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

     An enormous table separates ROYER-COLLARD from SIMONE.

     Even the dining room is in the midst of renovation; half the 
     walls are covered in silk damask; the other half are bare. 
     SIMONE reads from a thin book. ROYER-COLLARD has had more 
     than his share from the carafe of wine; he's feeling 
     "expansive" tonight.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               We've ceiling beams en route from 
               Provence, and--next week--a muralist 
               arrives from Paris, to paint a trompe-
               l'oeil in the ballroom.

     SIMONE doesn't look up from her reading.

                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               Doesn't that please you?

                           SIMONE
                    (unconvincingly)
               Very much.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               I'd prefer to have our brandy in the 
               salon. There we can sit...side-by-
               side...before the fire.

                           SIMONE
               I'd rather read, thank-you.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               You prefer a book to your husband's 
               company?

     SIMONE glances down at her hands, trembling in her lap. She 
     can't bring herself to answer.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 64


                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               Well, no wonder; I'm only flesh and 
               blood. That's no match--is it?--for 
               the printed page.

     He stands, sullen, and tosses his napkin onto his plate.

                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               Good evening, then. I hope you enjoy 
               your solitude.

     INT. CHATEAU - BEDROOM - A SHORT WHILE LATER

     The canopy around the bed is closed. Behind it, a comely 
     silhouette; SIMONE is awake, reading.

     NEW ANGLE: INSIDE THE CANOPIED BED - CONTINUOUS

     Dressed only in a night-shift, SIMONE holds a book in one 
     hand and a candle in the other. She hears footsteps; the 
     door opens. SIMONE blows out her candle. Through the curtain, 
     she sees the looming shadow of her husband, carrying a taper 
     of his own. ROYER-COLLARD parts the drapes.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               I apologize if I took a severe tone.

     He plucks the book from her hands, and regards its title for 
     a moment: A Lady's Garden of Verse. He smiles, bemused.

                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               You can't be blamed for your naivetè, 
               not when it's chief among your charms.

     He climbs into bed next to her; she rolls on her side, facing 
     away from him. He presses himself hard against her back and 
     whispers hoarsely in her ear:

                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               Perhaps the Sisters failed to instruct 
               you in the ways of marriage; the 
               nightly duty of a wife to her husband.

     He takes the hem of her night-shift in hand, and with a 
     wrenching rrrriiiippp starts to tear it up the rear.

     SIMONE--terrified at what's to come--seeks solace from the 
     room's only comfort: the porcelain MADONNA from the Panthemont 
     Convent sitting on her nightstand. The VIRGIN exudes a holy 
     light that illuminates SIMONE, even as she's violated by her 
     husband.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 65


     INT. THE MARQUIS' APARTMENT - EARLY MORNING

     Sunlight falls in a crisscross pattern through the grate on 
     the MARQUIS' window. He snores, asleep at his desk. A KNOCK.

                           MADELEINE (V.O.)
               Your linens!

     His eyes snap open.

     INT. CORRIDOR - CONTINUOUS

     MADELEINE pounds again, glancing nervously at the ever-present 
     VALCOUR.

                           MADELEINE
               Now or never!

     The trap opens, and sheets pour out. MADELEINE gathers them, 
     and notices something odd. Her face lights up with amazement. 
     She unfurls the top sheet. It's covered in script. She stuffs 
     it down in her basket, and scurries past VALCOUR.

     INT. THE LAUNDRY ROOM - THAT NIGHT

     MADELEINE sits by the fire. She unfolds THE MARQUIS' bedsheet 
     with loving care; like his pillowcase, its covered in words. 
     She starts to transcribe it.  MADAME LECLERC sits near-by in 
     her rocking chair, knitting, her hands nimble in spite of 
     her blindness.  She hears the "scratch, scratch" of a quill 
     tip across parchment.

                           MADAME LECLERC
               If you won't read it to your own 
               Mama, then perhaps you ought not to 
               be reading it at all.

                           MADELEINE
               It's not your cup of tea, Mama.

                           MADAME LECLERC
               Come now, darling, give it a read.

     She clears her throat, and begins to read:

                           MADELEINE
               "Monsieur Bouloir was a man whose 
               erotic tastes might discreetly be 
               described as 'post-mortem.'"

     MADAME LECLERC can't help it; she smiles a naughty smile.

     Emboldened, MADELEINE starts to read in proud, clear tones:

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 66


                           MADELEINE (CONT'D)
               "A habituè of cemeteries, his proudest 
               conquest was a maid six decades his 
               senior, deceased a dozen years."

                           MADAME LECLERC
                    (interrupting)
               Oh, it's terrible!  It's too, too 
               terrible!
                    (a pause, and then)
               Well. Go on.

                           MADELEINE
               "The vigor with which he made love 
               caused her bones to dislodge. Still, 
               he granted her the highest compliment 
               he accorded any woman..."

                           MADAME LECLERC
                    (on tenterhooks)
               Yes?

                           MADELEINE
               "Well worth the dig!"

     MOTHER and DAUGHTER shriek with delight and revulsion.

     ANGLE ON: BOUCHON'S CELL

     He--too--issues a low giggle, amused by the story, aroused 
     by its reader...

     EXT. THE PAVILION AT CHARENTON - DAWN

     MADELEINE slips the manuscript to the HORSEMAN.

                           MADELEINE
               You asked my name once; it's 
               Madeleine.

                           HORSEMAN
               Sweet, then? Like the pastry?

     He grins and cracks the reins; his horse canters away.

     MADELEINE calls after him.

                           MADELEINE
               Haven't you a name yourself?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 67


     HE CALLS BACK, EVER THE FLIRT:

                           HORSEMAN
               Ride away with me someday, and perhaps 
               I'll tell you.

     INT. THE LAUNDRY - SHORTLY THEREAFTER

     MADAME LECLERC sinks the scribbled sheets into a steaming 
     vat of boiling water. She shoves it down with a large stirring 
     stick. The water turns red.

     EXT. CHARENTON - COURTYARD - LATER

     CHARLOTTE and MICHETTE are pulling the sodden sheets from 
     their baskets in order to hang them. They exchange a look; 
     something's askance. The sheets have an odd crimson hue.

     "Off-color" indeed.

     INT. THE LAUNDRY ROOM - THE NEXT MORNING

     Steam rises thick as soup from the laundry vats. With a 
     flourish, ROYER-COLLARD unrolls a ruddy bedsheet for 
     MADELEINE's inspection. COULMIER stands by. MADAME LECLERC 
     creaks back and forth in her chair, anxiously.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Your mother may be blind as a bat, 
               but you've a keen pair of eyes, 
               haven't you?

     MADELEINE flares defensively on her mother's behalf.

                           MADELEINE
               Mama's blind on account of the lye 
               in the laundry kettles; soaking sheets 
               for lunatics cost the poor woman her 
               sight.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               This could cost her far more---

                           COULMIER
                    (intervening)
               You'll get more from her with kindness 
               than you will with force.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               What could cause a tincture like 
               this?

                           MADELEINE
               I'm only a laundress; not a detective.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 68


                           MADAME LECLERC
                    (panicked)
               Now's not the time to be cheeky, 
               Maddy.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Perhaps your kettles are stained 
               with rust. Maybe the lye's turned 
               rancid. Or maybe...just maybe...

     He plucks a candle from the wall sconce, and holds it behind 
     the sheet; bleeding through the fabric, traces of cursive.

                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               ...these sheets once belonged to our 
               friend, The Marquis.

                           MADELEINE
               We've over two hundred beds. They 
               could've been anybody's.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Such a fine thread-count? Decorated 
               in his very own script?

     ROYER-COLLARD turns to COULMIER and says decisively:

                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               She's lying. It shows in her face.

     COULMIER looks at MADELEINE, imploringly. Now is the time to 
     tell the truth. But MADELEINE--though her cheeks are blushing 
     with guilt--doesn't budge.

     INT. CORRIDOR - OUTSIDE THE MARQUIS' CELL

     Stacked in the hallway, THE MARQUIS' furnishings; his chaise 
     longue, his wardrobe, his bed. Paintings tilted against the 
     wall; sculptures sitting upside down. And.trundling from his 
     cell, GUARDS. ONE carries drawers, newly pulled from chests. 
     ANOTHER, a candelabra and a crate of nicknacks. From inside, 
     we hear THE MARQUIS crying in protest:

                           THE MARQUIS (O.S.)
               No! Don't you dare! Touch that, and 
               I'll have your testicles on toast!  
               MORONS! THIEVES! Help! That's 
               fifteenth century, you goon! PUT 
               THOSE IVORIES DOWN--

     LOUISON comes teetering forth with a wheelbarrow, stacked 
     high with books.  And--marching down the hall in supervisory 
     mode--COULMIER.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 69


                           LOUISON
               Almost done, sir.

                           COULMIER
               Remember--anything--ANYTHING he might 
               fashion as a quill. His entire room, 
               stripped bare.

     INT. THE MARQUIS' DRAWING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

     COULMIER bursts in; THE MARQUIS rails. COULMIER goes right 
     to work, casing the bedroom, orchestrating the further removal 
     of items from the room.

                           THE MARQUIS
               So! The Doctor cracks the whip, and 
               you dance!

     He gestures toward the barren space in the center of the 
     room, incredulous:

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               My bed, gone! Am I to freeze to death?

                           COULMIER
                    (gesturing to GUERIN)
               His rug.

                           THE MARQUIS
               And my chaise--am I being denied the 
               privilege of sitting--of plopping 
               down my ass---

     GUERIN gathers the rug, and heads for the door. LOUISON 
     returns with the wheelbarrow, now empty.

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               That's a Turkish weave, you numbskull; 
               it costs more than you'll earn in 
               your lifetime-

                           COULMIER
               Valcour. His chair.

                            
               VALCOUR and LOUISON cart out the 
               MARQUIS' arm-chair, orange peels and 
               all. COULMIER starts emptying books 
               from the shelves into the wheelbarrow; 
               pages scatter and bindings break. 
               The MARQUIS decides to "pitch in" 
               with rueful glee.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 70


                           THE MARQUIS
               Fine! Take it! Take it all! Here--

     He tosses a candlestick into the wheelbarrow:

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               Careful, it's slippery, you've no 
               idea where it's been. A box of Kama 
               Sutra powder, ready to dust whomever 
               you please...

     He plucks a small statue of the Virgin Mary from his shelf.

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               And we mustn't forget Mary, sweet 
               Mary, the Jewish Whore; God's little 
               harlot!

     He hurls it into the wheelbarrow, too.

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               Virgin birth--ha! An entire religion, 
               built on an oxymoron!

                           COULMIER
               Orvolle. His wine.
                    (back to THE MARQUIS)
               From now on, nothing but water at 
               every meal--

                           THE MARQUIS
               --water!---

                           COULMIER
               --and your meat shall be de-boned.

     The MARQUIS attempts to pirate away a pair of wine bottles, 
     but VALCOUR intercepts them.

                           THE MARQUIS
               WHY THIS SUDDEN TORTURE?

                           COULMIER
               Because your writing continues, 
               unchecked.

     COULMIER starts plucking THE MARQUIS' pornographic etchings 
     off the wall. Panicked now, THE MARQUIS rails:

                           THE MARQUIS
               I DIDN'T CREATE THIS WORLD OF OURS! 
               I ONLY RECORD IT!

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 71


                           COULMIER
               Its horrors, perhaps!  Its darkest 
               nightmares! And to what end? Nothing 
               but your own morbid gratification--

                           THE MARQUIS
               Morbid gratification? NO! I write 
               what I've seen; the endless procession 
               to the chopping block. We're all 
               lined up at the guillotine, waiting 
               for the crunch of the blade. Rivers 
               of blood are flowing beneath our 
               feet, Abbe.

     THE MARQUIS turns back to COULMIER with the eyes of a man 
     who has seen too much.

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               I've been to hell, young man. You've 
               only read about it.

     COULMIER realizes--for the first time--the full depth of THE 
     MARQUIS's misanthropy. There's no point in arguing further.

                           COULMIER
               I am sorry, Marquis. Truly.

     He turns and heads into the corridor. THE MARQUIS follows 
     him out the door.

     INT. THE CORRIDOR - CONTINUOUS

     THE MARQUIS pulls him up short.

                           THE MARQUIS
               Tell me, Priest. These chastity vows 
               of yours. How strict are they?

     COULMIER pauses, stiffening. THE MARQUIS turns unctious:

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               Suppose you only put it in her mouth---

     Suddenly, COULMIER lunges at the MARQUIS, pinning him to the 
     wall by his neck. VALCOUR, ORVOLLE, GUERIN and LOUISON all 
     freeze, ready to pounce. PITOU and DAUPHIN have emerged from 
     their cells, curious about the clammer. CLEANTE watches from 
     his peephole.

     THE MARQUIS gives a sly grin; he's hit a nerve. COULMIER 
     lets THE MARQUIS go with a shove.  His face stone, he heads 
     back down the long hall.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 72


                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               PIOUS LITTLE WORM--

     ORVOLLE and VALCOUR grab him by each arm; he glares at 
     COULMIER; his eyes are wild.

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               In conditions of adversity, the artist 
               flourishes.

     They drag him back to his cell and slam the door.

                                                         FADE TO:

     C.U. THE MARQUIS' REFLECTION

     Suddenly, it shatters, splintering like ice. THE MARQUIS has 
     slammed his own fist into a lone mirror. He picks up a shard 
     of glass and braces himself. With a grimace, he slashes his 
     finger. He winces, a sound lodged somewhere between pleasure 
     and pain.  Next, he holds his finger over the ink well, and 
     squeezes. Blood starts to dribble--one drop at a time--into 
     the tiny bottle.

     LONG SHOT: THE CHARENTON ASYLUM - MORNING

     Fall at the asylum; the topiary has shed its leaves; tangled 
     branches claw at the air like giant, hungry birds.

     INT. CORRIDOR - CONTINUOUS

     MADELEINE collects bedding on her routine run. She steps 
     over VALCOUR, who's snoring loudly outside THE MARQUIS' door. 
     The trap opens, and THE MARQUIS grabs her by the ankle.

                           THE MARQUIS
                    (choking back sobs)
               Psst. Madeleine. I beg you...

     MADELEINE looks down. On all ten of THE MARQUIS' fingertips, 
     bandages torn from cloth and soaked with bloodstains.

                           MADELEINE
               What have they done to you now?

                           THE MARQUIS
               Tortures so arcane, so medieval, 
               even I haven't the words to describe 
               them. If you've an ounce of pity in 
               your heart, you'll throw caution 
               aside, and unlock my door...

     MADELEINE glances at VALCOUR, who shifts in his sleep.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 73


                           MADELEINE
               God help me; I don't dare.

     THE MARQUIS abruptly shifts his tone; no tears now.

                           THE MARQUIS
               Don't be a dunce, child. I've a 
               surprise for you. Now open the 
               frigging door.

     MADELEINE screws up her courage, and slips the key in the 
     lock. She twists the handle, leaving the door ajar.

     INT. THE MARQUIS' APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS

     THE MARQUIS stands before MADELEINE, looking absolutely 
     resplendent, in a suit covered in words, all written in his 
     own blood. Quite a feat indeed. She gasps; her eyes fill 
     with tears.

                           THE MARQUIS
                    (proudly)
               My newest book begins at my right 
               cuff, continues across my back, and 
               completes itself at the base of my 
               left shoe...

                           MADELEINE
               I don't believe it!

     He turns in a slow circle, like a fashion model on parade.

     A few tell-tale words are visible: "pikestaff," perhaps.  
     Maybe "nipple." MADELEINE can't help it; she blurts a giggle. 
     THE MARQUIS joins her. Soon, they're both helpless with 
     laughter. Suddenly, THE MARQUIS remembers VALCOUR, just 
     outside the door. He presses a finger to his lips; MADELEINE 
     goes silent.

                           THE MARQUIS
               Take your leave, quickly, so you 
               won't be blamed for my misbehavior.

     Suddenly--impulsively--she kisses him, hard, upon the lips.

                           MADELEINE
               You can't be a proper writer without 
               a touch of madness, can you?

     She slips out. THE MARQUIS stands for a moment, stunned by 
     her unexpected display of feeling.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 74


     INT. THE CORRIDOR - CONTINUOUS

     MADELEINE almost runs into CHARLOTTE, whose been spying on 
     her in the hall. CHARLOTTE scowls:

                           CHARLOTTE
               Traffic with the Devil, Maddy, and 
               you'll pay the Devil's price.

     Just then, THE MARQUIS slips from his cell and scurries past, 
     a vision in his hand-tailored novel. CHARLOTTE's eyes bulge 
     with astonishment. MADELEINE grins. With a tremor in her 
     voice, CHARLOTTE cries out:

                           CHARLOTTE (CONT'D)
               Valcour! Valcour!

     MADELEINE breaks into a run, disappearing around the corner.

     INT. CHARENTON - DINING ROOM - DAY

     THE FACES OF THE LUNATICS, AGAPE WITH WONDER. One mouths a 
     few words, aloud. Another stomps his feet with reckless 
     enthusiasm.

     PULL BACK TO REVEAL:

     Dancing down the center of the longest table, THE MARQUIS.

     He skips over loaves of bread, and overturned goblets.

     PITOU is reading his waistcoat; BOUCHON paws at his leggings.

                           THE MARQUIS
               Feast your eyes!

     HE THRUSTS OUT HIS ASS:

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               Two chapters, one for each cheek! MY 
               WRITING LIVES!

     Giddy from the loss of blood, THE MARQUIS collapses on the 
     table. THE LUNATICS pounce upon him to read every word; he 
     laughs with victorious delight.

                           CLEANTE
                    (overlapping)
               "Sister Mary Quesnet had the most 
               dextrous vulva in all France--"

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 75


                           DAUPHIN
                    (overlapping)
               "---so he set about removing her 
               teeth--"

                           BOUCHON
                    (overlapping)
               "She'd never been with another woman, 
               never mind her own mother--"

                           FRANVAL
               "--twin orbs of delight--with her 
               puckered mouth, she swallowed him 
               whole-"

                           PITOU
               "She wore her ass proudly---"

     ANGLE ON: the dining hall doors, banging open

     ROYER-COLLARD enters, VALCOUR, GAILLON and CHARLOTTE--the 
     stool pigeon--flank him on either side; he spies the MARQUIS 
     instantly.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
                    (to VALCOUR)
               Take this beast back to his cage.

     All the PATIENTS stare dumbly at the DOCTOR.

                           THE MARQUIS
               Don't tell me. You've come to read 
               my trousers.

     On ROYER-COLLARD's face, the utmost contempt; the MARQUIS 
     grins, ear-to-ear.

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               Don't keep me in suspense. What'll 
               it be? Fifty lashes? A night on the 
               rack?

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               I won't sully my hands with him.

                           THE MARQUIS
               Nor should you. That's the first 
               rule of politics, isn't it?
                    (a sly insinuation)
               The man who orders the execution 
               never drops the blade.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 76


     INT. THE MARQUIS APARTMENT - SHORT TIME LATER

     CLOSE UP: COULMIER, whose face bears all the frustration of 
     a new parent, saddled with an incorrigible child.

                           COULMIER
               You're lucky it falls to me to punish 
               you.

     PULL BACK TO REVEAL:

     COULMIER paces, to and fro. The MARQUIS, still dressed in 
     his "novel," sits on the floor.

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               If it were up to the Doctor, you'd 
               be flayed alive.

                           THE MARQUIS
               A man after my own heart...

                           COULMIER
               What in God's name am I to do with 
               you?  The more I forbid, the more 
               you're provoked!

                           THE MARQUIS
               I could be convinced to abandon my 
               writing, quite voluntarily.

                           COULMIER
               What on earth would that require?

                           THE MARQUIS
               A night spent with the partner of my 
               choice.

                           COULMIER
               You expect me to pimp Madeleine?

                           THE MARQUIS
               I wasn't talking about Madeleine.

     The MARQUIS blows a kiss in COULMIER's direction; COULMIER 
     turns a fiery red.

                           COULMIER
               OFF WITH YOUR CLOTHES!

                           THE MARQUIS
               Coulmier, you animal!

                           COULMIER
               I DO NOT MEAN TO FLIRT, MARQUIS!

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 77


                           THE MARQUIS
               Oh, but you must, my pumpkin! Sex 
               without flirtation is merely rape!

                           COULMIER
               NOW STRIP.

     The MARQUIS begins to undress, hurriedly. First his tailcoat, 
     then his waistcoat.

                           THE MARQUIS
               My shoes; they're naught but 
               punctuation.

     COULMIER just glares. THE MARQUIS kicks them off, too. He 
     twists the amber ring off his finger.

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               My jewels, family or otherwise?

     Once again, COULMIER refuses to be roped into THE MARQUIS' 
     little game.  THE MARQUIS seizes the ring in his teeth, and 
     proffers COULMIER a gritted, ugly smile.  COULMIER plucks 
     the ring out of his maw. THE MARQUIS now stands in nothing 
     but his stockings and trousers.

                           COULMIER
               Your breeches as well.

     THE MARQUIS unhooks the first button on his breeches, then 
     waits, expectantly, for COULMIER to do the rest.

                           THE MARQUIS
               You started this little game; you 
               finish it. Or haven't you the courage?

     COULMIER falters; he wasn't expecting this.

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
                    (snorting derisively)
               I thought not.

     He lets his trousers drop. In the dim shadows, the MARQUIS 
     is naked now, except for his hair. He sidles up, close, to 
     COULMIER, his breath in the priest's ear:

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               It's a potent aphrodisiac, isn't it?  
               Power over another man.

                           COULMIER
               Your wig. Remove your wig.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 78


     The MARQUIS slides off his wig, and places it over his 
     privates, swinging it, like the tail of a horse. COULMIER 
     reaches out and grabs it away.

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               You'll no longer spread your insidious 
               gospel, where art's magnitude is the 
               breadth of its depravity! FROM NOW 
               ON, YOU WILL NOT EVEN WRITE YOUR OWN 
               IGNOMINIOUS NAME!

     So much anger seethes between them, it's electric.

                           THE MARQUIS
               Are your convictions so fragile that 
               mine cannot stand in opposition to 
               them? Is your God so flimsy? So weak?  
               For shame!

     The thinnest trace of a smile dances on COULMIER's lips; 
     he's won this round, and he knows it.

                           COULMIER
               Don't flatter yourself, Marquis.
               You're not the Anti-Christ.  You're 
               nothing but a malcontent who knows 
               how to spell.

     With that, COULMIER exits with THE MARQUIS' clothing in his 
     arms. THE MARQUIS is left alone, naked and pathetic, in an 
     empty cell.

     INT. CORRIDOR - MEANWHILE.

     ROYER-COLLARD storms down the hall toward MADELEINE's 
     quarters, with VALCOUR, GAILLON and CHARLOTTE on his heels.

                           CHARLOTTE
               I saw her with my own eyes.  She put 
               the key in the latch, just as proud 
               as you please--

     EXT. CHARENTON - COURTYARD

     Madeleine's head, framed against the sky

     Reminiscent of the GUILLOTINE VICTIM in the film's opening 
     sequence. A SECOND HEAD looms into frame. Only--instead of 
     belonging to an EXECUTIONER--this one belongs to VALCOUR.

     PULL BACK TO REVEAL

     VALCOUR ties MADELEINE's wrists to the posts of the well in 
     the center of the yard. With scissors, he slowly cuts the

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 79


     laces up the back of her corset, exposing her back. Next, he 
     raises a steel-tipped martinet, poised to whip.

     MADELEINE'S POV:

     She singles out faces: ROYER-COLLARD, who watches imperiously 
     from a window above, GAILLON at his side. CHARLOTTE, who 
     watches the proceedings with smug satisfaction. MADAME 
     LECLERC, whose foggy eyes are filled with tears. MICHETTE, 
     LOUISON, GUERIN and ORVOLLE, all faces ripe with sympathy. 
     And--separated by a fence--the LUNATICS--FRANVAL, PITOU, 
     CLEANTE, and DAUPHIN among them.

     BOUCHON, a hideous scar on his cheek from the iron, all but 
     drools in anticipation.

     VALCOUR looks to ROYER-COLLARD for permission to strike; 
     coolly ROYER-COLLARD grants it. MADELEINE flinches in 
     anticipation of the blow. It comes down, hard.

     ANGLE ON: ROYER-COLLARD

     As MADELEINE shudders in pain, the DOCTOR can't help himself; 
     he quivers--ever so slightly--with pleasure. An angry welt 
     appears on MADELEINE's skin. Then another.

     She chokes back tears, enduring her punishment with dignity. 
     COULMIER bursts forth from the CROWD.

                           COULMIER
               FREE HER. NOW.

     VALCOUR stops short; he turns to ROYER-COLLARD. THE DOCTOR 
     stands, menacingly.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               He'll do no such thing.

                           COULMIER
               It's a weak man who tests his mettle 
               on the backs of children--

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               This child let loose the beast from 
               its cage--

                           COULMIER
               Madeleine's not wicked. It's the 
               Marquis who's corrupted her. That's 
               not her fault; it's mine.

     COULMIER turns to VALCOUR, and whispers urgently:

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 80


                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               Your dagger. Give me your dagger.

     VALCOUR looks to the DOCTOR; which superior should he honor?

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               LEAVE HER DULY STRUNG.

     COULMIER reaches out and slides the dagger from VALCOUR's 
     belt. He slices through the rope that binds MADELEINE; she 
     grabs him for support, and whispers urgently:

                           MADELEINE
               I was wrong to free him, but so are 
               you--for taking all his treasures--
               his quills and his ink--

                           COULMIER
               Not now, or we're both done for.

     COULMIER turns back to ROYER-COLLARD and shouts:

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               If only blood will appease you, then 
               shed mine.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               You'd suffer in her stead?

                           MADELEINE
               Abbe, no--

     COULMIER proffers both fists to VALCOUR.

                           COULMIER
               Go ahead. Bind them. Bind them.

     Reluctantly, VALCOUR ties Coulmier's hands together. Next, 
     he hikes them over the whipping post. He loosens COULMIER's 
     vestments, stripping them to the waist. Next, he raises his 
     martinet and turns to ROYER-COLLARD for permission to strike.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               That won't be necessary.

     A sigh of relief from the CROWD. As VALCOUR frees him, 
     COULMIER rubs his wrists. ROYER-COLLARD stares at him with 
     steel eyes.

                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               If you want to martyr yourself, Abbe, 
               do it for God. Not a chambermaid. 
               Now put your clothes back on.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 81


     COULMIER--chastened--turns a blazing red.

     INT. CHARENTON - INFIRMARY - LATER THAT DAY 

     MADELEINE sits on the examining table, her bodice pulled 
     down around her waist.  A severe-looking NUN prepares salve 
     for the lashes on her back. COULMIER sits behind a small 
     folding screen--for modesty--and talks to MADELEINE; it takes 
     considerable strength of will to keep from peeking at her.

                           COULMIER
               Had I known your taste in novels, I 
               never would've taught you to read.

                           MADELEINE
               Don't say that; reading's my 
               salvation.

                           COULMIER
               But why must you indulge in his 
               pornography?

                           MADELEINE
               It's a hard day's wages, slaving 
               away for madmen. What I've seen in 
               life, it takes a lot to hold my 
               interest.

     The NUN presses a sponge against a particularly nasty gash;

                           MADELEINE (CONT'D)
               Ow!

                           COULMIER
               But why heap such ghastly fantasies 
               atop an already ghastly existence?

                           MADELEINE
               I put myself in his stories. I play 
               the parts. Each strumpet, each 
               murderess.

                           COULMIER
               Why not act the role of heroines 
               instead? Queen Esther from the Bible, 
               or St. Joan?

                           MADELEINE.(SIMPLY:)
               If I wasn't such a bad woman on the 
               page, Abbe, I'll hazard I couldn't 
               be such a good woman in life.

     The NUN has finished dressing her wounds; MADELEINE stands.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 82


     COULMIER'S POV:

     Through the partition in the screen COULMIER catches a glimpse 
     of MADELEINE's body: the upturn of her breasts, the soft 
     slope of her back. He turns away, ashamed.

                           COULMIER
               This is no place for a child like 
               you.

     INT. ROYER-COLLARD'S CHATEAU - ATRIUM - LATER

     ROYER-COLLARD sits at a table, ledger before him, MONSIEUR 
     PROUIX on one side, GAILLON on the other. Lining up for 
     payment, various CRAFTSMEN: a BRICKLAYER, perhaps, A 
     CARPENTER, A GARDENER. The DOCTOR hands a small sheath of 
     bills to a particularly large STONE-MASON. When the STONE 
     MASON steps out of the frame, the DOCTOR is confronted by a 
     surprising sight: an incensed RENEE PELAGIE.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Good God, Marquise--

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               I'm on the brink of bankruptcy; my 
               husband's resources are all but 
               exhausted. And to what end, I ask 
               you?

     ROYER-COLLARD glances behind her; more MEN await payment.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               This is neither the time nor the 
               place--

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               If only you'd remained true to our 
               contract! Opiates, for his nerves!  
               Restraints! The man warrants a bed 
               of nails--

                           ROYER-COLLARD
                    (sotto voice)
               I can say, with the utmost sincerity, 
               that every franc you've given me has 
               been put to sterling use.

     RENEE PELAGIE glances about the room, taking inventory of 
     its contents.

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               That much is painfully clear.

     He stands and announces:

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 83


                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Gentleman, if you'll excuse us...only 
               a moment...thank you, thank you...

     Amidst grumbles, GAILLON clears the room, closing the door 
     behind him. MONSIEUR PROUIX hovers behind it, listening.

                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               You've no right to assault me in 
               this fashion; I'll call for my 
               footman.  I'll have you removed--

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               Am I a cursed woman, Doctor? Must I 
               be betrayed by every man I meet--

     SIMONE appears on the balcony above. She's overheard the 
     commotion, and senses something is amiss. The DOCTOR shifts 
     his gaze, staring up at her; RENEE PELAGIE notices that the 
     DOCTOR's attention has been diverted, and whirls around to 
     face SIMONE.

                           RENEE PELAGIE (CONT'D)
               Ah! This must be the little Madame.

     SIMONE offers a faint, uncertain smile.

                           SIMONE
               How do you do?

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               I must confess, I envy you.

                           SIMONE
               Envy me? But why?

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               Your husband's name brings you honor, 
               doesn't it? You can walk down the 
               street without insult; without falling 
               debris.

     RENEE PELAGIE's brow darkens with sinister pleasure; she 
     gestures at the riches in the room:

                           RENEE PELAGIE (CONT'D)
               But suppose the whole world knew 
               that all this splendor was the result 
               of fraudulence? Of extortion?

     SIMONE stares at her husband, alarmed.

                           SIMONE
               Why has she come here?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 84


     RENEE PELAGIE continues to address SIMONE, even as she fixes 
     her stare upon the DOCTOR.

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               Public scorn carries a terrible sting.  
               Trust me. I'm a woman who knows.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               It's libelous; you wouldn't dare.

                           RENEE PELAGIE
               And why not? My fortune, siphoned 
               away.  My reputation, past repair. 
               I've nothing left to lose.
                    (her eyes narrowing)
               Silence my husband, or you'll come 
               to know an infamy to rival his own.

     RENEE PELAGIE glances at SIMONE, who glances at her husband, 
     who glowers back at RENEE PELAGIE.

     EXT. A SEEDY BACKSTREET - PARIS

     A YOUNG WOMAN navigates the winding streets. In her elegant 
     attire--notably the broad-brimmed hat which conceals her 
     face--she's clearly out of place in this neighborhood.

     VENDORS in cramped shanties and make-shift stalls cry out to 
     THE WOMAN as she passes. Their VOICES fade in and out of one-
     another, like a demented chorus. The FIRST is a hairy, 
     toothless bag o' bones:

                           FIRST VENDOR
               Psst...Mademoiselle....I've only a 
               few doses of Spanish fly left...

     The WOMAN continues on her way, without glancing back. Her 
     cape billows behind her. The SECOND VENDOR is a scurvy little 
     jackal indeed.

                           SECOND VENDOR
               Cat-o'-nine-tails here, guaranteed 
               to raise a welt...

     The THIRD--a feisty little DWARF--has nothing but herself to 
     sell. She coos to the WOMAN:

                           THIRD VENDOR
               Curious, aren't you? If I can pleasure 
               me-self, I can pleasure you, too...

     At the end of the line, the WOMAN reaches the most decrepit 
     booth of all. She reaches to ring the tiny bell, and the 
     knocker falls off in her hand. She pounds on the door with

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 85


     her fist instead. From WITHIN, scurrying sounds. The DOOR 
     cracks open a sliver, and an EYE peers out:

                           VOICE
                    (with an insinuating 
                    lilt)
               Yes?

     INT. PAWNBROKER'S - CONTINUOUS

     The PAWNBOKER's a sinister fellow with shifty eyes. His 
     CUSTOMER is none other than SIMONE, the DOCTOR's wife. She 
     glances about to ensure that the coast is clear.

                           SIMONE
                    (covertly)
               I'm in search of a book; perhaps you 
               know it.

     She slips the PAWNBROKER a scrap of paper; he reads it, then 
     regards her warily.

                           PAWNBROKER
               I've only got copy left; rescued it 
               me-self from the bonfire.

     SIMONE bats her eyes, hopefully. The PAWNBROKER sighs, reaches 
     under the counter, and pulls up a STRONG BOX, with a chain 
     yoking it to the floor. The PAWNBROKER reaches high on a 
     shelf for the hidden key.

                           SIMONE
               Please hurry. My husband locks the 
               door at dusk.

     THE PAWNBROKER opens the lock, and lifts the lid; in the 
     box, Justine. SIMONE scrounges in her purse for the requisite 
     francs.

                           PAWNBROKER
               Sweet little thing like you shouldn't 
               be reading such filth anyway.

                           SIMONE
               I grew up in a convent, sir.  
               Everything I know in the world, I 
               owe to books.

     And the book itself almost seems to speak...

                           THE MARQUIS (V.O.)
               "To the young maidens of the world..."

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 86


     INT. RC CHATEAU - BEDROOM - LATER

     SIMONE is at her vanity, with a letter-opener and a glue 
     pot. Gently, she loosens the cover off A Lady's Garden of 
     Verse.

                           THE MARQUIS (V.O.)
               "Wrest yourselves free from the 
               tyranny of virtue, and taste without 
               shame the pleasures of the flesh..."

     She slathers it with glue, and starts affixing it to her 
     newly-purchased copy of the Marquis de Sade.

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               "Male power lies in the clench of a 
               fist. But a woman's power lies 
               elsewhere...

                                                         FADE TO:

     INT. ROYER-COLLARD'S CHATEAU - BEDROOM - THAT NIGHT

     ROYER-COLLARD snoozes in his nightcap. SIMONE has her head 
     deep in a book: A Lady's Garden of Verse.

                           THE MARQUIS (V.O.)
               "... in the velvet cavity betwixt 
               her thighs..."

     The light from her oil lamp irritates THE DOCTOR; he opens 
     one eye.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               It's late, Simone, darling. Put your 
               poems aside.

     SIMONE just licks her forefinger, and turns the page.

     INT. CHATEAU - DINING ROOM/ATRIUM - THE NEXT DAY

     PROUIX holds a swatch against the dining room wall for 
     SIMONE's approval: the Napoleonic crest, in royal blue. 

                           PROUIX
               Or--if you prefer--a Florentine 
               tapestry?

     SIMONE glances at ROYER-COLLARD, who's preoccupied with the 
     FOREMAN in the atrium. She turns to PROUIX and smiles:

                           SIMONE
               Are you a literary man?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 87


                           PROUIX
               Excuse me?

     From the folds of her skirt, SIMONE pulls her book.

                           SIMONE
               I so admire men with an appetite 
               for...books.

     Intrigued, PROUIX takes the parcel. He opens the book and 
     peers under the false cover. His face turns bright red.

                           PROUIX
               Madame, how could you...have you 
               actually read this volume?

                           SIMONE
               I've memorized it. Would you like me 
               to recite?

     She giggles. PROUIX joins in, knowingly.

                           PROUIX
               There comes a time in a young lady's 
               life when she has to cast book's 
               aside, and learn from experience.

     SIMONE cocks her head at a coy angle:

                           SIMONE
                    (a challenge:)
               That, Monsieur, requires a teacher.

     INT. THE LAUNDRY ROOM - DAY

     COULMIER is paying a visit to MADELEINE and MADAME LECLERC.  
     The OLD WOMAN sips tea; MADELEINE folds laundry.

                           COULMIER
               I've good news; I hope you'll agree.

     THE TWO WOMEN look to him, expectantly.

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               I've found employment for you both 
               with the Widow Rougemont in town.

     MADELEINE's alarmed; she doesn't want to leave Charenton.  
     COULMIER does his best to keep the news upbeat:

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               You'll have your own cottage on the 
               grounds, and ten francs a month to 
               use as you please.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 88


     MADAME LECLERC nearly drops her teacup in delight.

                           MADAME LECLERC
               You're more than a priest; you're an 
               angel! Ain't he, Maddy?

                           MADELEINE
               It's because of the Marquis, isn't 
               it?

                           COULMIER
               In part, yes.

                           MADELEINE
                    (quietly)
               He's not the man who's cast a shadow 
               here.

     COULMIER knows what she says is true, but can't admit it.

                           COULMIER
               The Doctor's a respected man, a friend 
               of the court--

                           MADELEINE
               I haven't been to see the Marquis 
               for ages. And I won't--ever again--I 
               swear it. I won't speak to him, I 
               won't even utter his name--

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               Is that a promise you can truly keep?

     She can't answer. COULMIER glances at MADAME LECLERC; her 
     blindness gives him license to touch MADELEINE. He strokes 
     her cheek; she presses his hand tightly against her face.

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               Charenton has changed; it's not safe 
               for you here.

                           MADELEINE
               I've you to look after me, haven't 
               I?

     EXT. ROYER-COLLARD'S RENOVATED CHATEAU

     The place looks immaculate down to the last detail.

                           MONSIEUR PROUIX
               "Most Esteemed Dr. Royer-Collard. At 
               long last, your Chateau is complete."

     CLOSE ON: THE WINDOW OF THE CHATEAU

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 89


     Through it, we see PROUIX, sitting in an open dressing gown 
     at a small cherry-wood secretary, proof-reading a note.

                           MONSIEUR PROUIX (CONT'D)
               "You'll find everything in its 
               assigned place."

     INT. CHATEAU - BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS

                           MONSIEUR PROUIX
               "The chintz draperies, the English 
               bell pulls, even the ivory door stops. 
               Only one detail is missing..."

     He emits a series of staccato moans followed by a long sigh. 
     SIMONE rises from between the ARCHITECT's legs. Her camisole 
     is askew, and her face is aglow.

                           MONSIEUR PROUIX (CONT'D)
               "...your wife."

                           SIMONE
               Tell him I'm no fool. A prison's 
               still a prison, even with Chinese 
               silk and chandeliers.

                           MONSIEUR PROUIX
               "By the time you read this, we'll be 
               long gone; bound for England or points 
               beyond..."

                           SIMONE
               Tell him--if he uncovers our 
               whereabouts--you'll slit your wrists 
               with a razor, and I'll plunge a hat-
               pin through my heart.

                           MONSIEUR PROUIX
                    (genuinely touched)
               You'd do that, rather than forsake 
               our love?

                           SIMONE
               No. But tell him I would.

     PROUIX's face falls. SIMONE's leans over and whispers in his 
     ear to console him:

                           SIMONE (CONT'D)
               Sign it quickly.  Then you can ravish 
               me again. On linens for which he so 
               dearly paid.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 90


     PROUIX rebound with puppy-dog eagerness; he traces her lips 
     with his forefinger.

                           MONSIEUR PROUIX
               Yes, on the satin twill...and then, 
               I beg you, on the bear-skin rug in 
               his study...and finally...as a 
               crowning gesture....we'll leave 
               puddles of love on the Peruvian 
               marble!

     Slowly, he inserts his finger all the way into her mouth.  
     SIMONE sucks on it happily, like an infant nursing a teat.

                                                         FADE TO:

     EXT. CHATEAU - LATER

     ROYER-COLLARD walks up the impressive steps to the front 
     door, GAILLON at his heels. Stuck there--with a quill pen--a 
     letter.  He plucks it, glances back at GAILLON, then starts 
     to read. His iron jaw begins to quake.

     INT. CHATEAU - ATRIUM - CONTINUOUS

     He rushes through the grand foyer, up the magnificent 
     staircase.

     INT. CHATEAU - BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS

     Lying haphazardly in the center of the mattress: A Ladies'  
     Garden of Verse. ROYER-COLLARD makes a grab for it, only to 
     turn it over and discover its true contents. A primal cry 
     rises in ROYER-COLLARD's throat. Savagely he rips into the 
     pages with his bare hands, shredding them. THE MARQUIS' words 
     flutter down like snow. They fill the screen

     LONG DISSOLVE TO:

     INT. CHARENTON - DUNGEON

     CLOSE UP: THE MARQUIS' FACE, as the words trickle down, then 
     gradually disappear. His hair is sopping wet. His skin is a 
     pale blue, lined with purple veins. His teeth chatter, and 
     he sputters for air. A loud CRANK, and he disappears from 
     the frame with a start.

     PULL BACK TO REVEAL

     The Marquis, strapped into the calming chair in the dungeon. 
     GAILLON flips the lever.  THE MARQUIS rises from the frigid 
     bath; his expression is one of distilled fury.  He cries out--
     ferociously--to an UNSEEN PRESENCE.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 91


                           THE MARQUIS
               Show your face! I've a right to see 
               my Inquisitor!  You've an aptitude 
               for torture I really quite admire--
               we're cut from the same cloth, you 
               and I--

     GAILLON gives another YANK, dunking THE MARQUIS again with a 
     loud SPLASH. When he rises, THE MARQUIS hisses at GAILLON:

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               It thrills you, doesn't it, to hurt 
               me thus? Look, you're solid as bone, 
               you're straining your trousers--

     Another dunk, another splash. THE MARQUIS tries a new tact:

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               Stop, I beg you!  I'll write dainty 
               stories! Odes to Virtue! If even 
               your God will forgive me, so should 
               you--

     Dunk, splash. Now, THE MARQUIS roars:

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               EACH ABUSE--EACH TORMENT--ONLY 
               CALCIFIES MY RAGE! DON'T YOU SEE, 
               YOU MORON? YOU SELF-RIGHTEOUS FUCK! 
               THE LONGER YOU CONTINUE YOUR 
               VEXATIONS, THE DEEPER YOU ROOT MY 
               PRINCIPLES IN MY HEART---

     ANGLE ON: THE DUNGEON DOOR

     We see the recipient of THE MARQUIS' spleen: peering through 
     the peephole, ROYER-COLLARD. In his eyes, some small measure 
     of vengeance, sated. He slips out of sight. 

     INT. MADELEINE'S ROOM - THAT NIGHT

     MADELEINE tosses and turns on the straw mattress she shares 
     with her mother; perspiration plasters her hair to her face. 
     Finally, she crawls out of bed, and slips out of the room.

     INT. CORRIDOR - CONTINUOUS

     Torches light the way as MADELEINE moves down the corridor.

     In the distance, we hear sounds previously unassociated with 
     Charenton: the clanking of chains and the wailing of inmates.  
     Perhaps GAILLON thunders down the hall, PITOU and DAUPHIN 
     under each arm. At last, MADELEINE reaches the ABBE's 
     quarters, and raps on his door.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 92


     INT. COULMIER'S QUARTERS - CONTINUOUS

     COULMIER draws on his robe, and cracks the door. MADELEINE 
     slithers inside. He whispers:

                           COULMIER
               You shouldn't be calling on me, not 
               at this hour; suppose the 
               nightwatchman saw you, or the cook--

     COULMIER sticks his head out the door, glancing to and fro, 
     then closes it tightly; he can't disguise his pleasure at 
     seeing MADELEINE.

                           MADELEINE
                    (cutting him off:)
               Don't turn us out, Abbe.

                           COULMIER
               "Turn you out?"

     Somewhere, a patient wails in the night; another pounds his 
     head against stone. All Charenton rumbles with discontent.

                           MADELEINE
               It's a sin against God for me to 
               refuse your kindness. But my heart's 
               held fast here...

                           COULMIER
               By whom? The Marquis?

                           MADELEINE
                    (with a rueful little 
                    laugh)
               Mother's not half so blind as you.

     COULMIER understands the magnitude of MADELEINE's confession; 
     he also knows--all to well--its futility:

                           COULMIER
               Madeleine, I....there are certain 
               things...feelings...we must not voice.

                           MADELEINE
               Why not?

                           COULMIER
               They incite us to act. In ways we 
               should not...cannot...a lesson the 
               Marquis would do well to learn.

     MADELEINE's so full of feeling that she starts to cry.  
     COULMIER reaches for her, and takes her in his arms.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 93


                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               Don't. Shhh. You mustn't...

     He feels her body against his own. His resistance spent, 
     they kiss. Abruptly, he pulls back.

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               Go back to your room. Quickly.

                           MADELEINE
               What? What've I done?

                           COULMIER
               Don't come back, not tonight, not 
               again--

                           MADELEINE
               You'll hate me now, won't you?

     With no choice before him, he lies:

                           COULMIER
               I love you, Madeleine, as a 
               parishioner--as a child of God--

     COULMIER swings open the door. He summons all his willpower:

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               My vows are mine and mine alone. So 
               are my failings. Forgive me.

     Stung, MADELEINE stifles a sob. She gives COULMIER a final 
     hurt look and slips out the door. Alone now, COULMIER tries 
     to walk off his arousal, circling the room like a prisoner 
     in a cage. Impulsively, he goes to the door and opens it 
     again.

     INT. THE CORRIDOR OUTSIDE COULMIER'S QUARTERS - CONTINUOUS

     He sees the figure of a GIRL, lurking in the shadows.

                           COULMIER
               Madeleine--

     Furtively, the GIRL steps forward; it's CHARLOTTE. She shoots 
     him an accusatory glare; COULMIER ducks back inside, his 
     heart pounding.

     INT. ANOTHER CORRIDOR

     MADELEINE, still smarting from COULMIER's rejection, walks 
     down the gloomy, forbidding hall. She stops. Somewhere deep 
     within, MADELEINE makes a sudden, irrevocable decision. She 
     abruptly turns around, heading toward the MARQUIS.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 94


     INT. COULMIER'S QUARTERS

     COULMIER kneels on the floor of his cell, his vestments 
     lowered around his waist. He prays.  Clutched tightly in his 
     hand, a braided scourge.

                           COULMIER
               "...Lead us not into temptation..."

     He cracks the whip against his bare back; it leaves a wicked 
     stripe. His body flinches, but his voice doesn't waver.

                           COULMIER
               "...but deliver us from evil..."

     And another crack...

     INT. THE CORRIDOR OUTSIDE THE MARQUIS' QUARTERS

     MADELEINE watches as VALCOUR turns a corner. Once the coast 
     is clear, she scrambles for her key.

     INT. THE MARQUIS' APARTMENT

     She slips inside. She holds up her candle and--crumpled in 
     the corner--THE MARQUIS. He glances at her, a wounded animal.

                           MADELEINE
               They've taken your clothes?

                           THE MARQUIS
               They decreed me a savage, and now 
               they have made me one.

     MADELEINE--embarrassed--abruptly turns away.

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               Surely you've seen a man naked.

                           MADELEINE
               It's only been described to me. In 
               your books.

     She rallies and turns to squint at him, seated in the gloom.

                           MADELEINE (CONT'D)
               I must say, in your novels you stoke 
               the most unrealistic expectations.

                           THE MARQUIS
               You're far crueler than I, my sweet.

     MADELEINE tosses her shawl to him which he fastens like a 
     skirt around his waist.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 95


                           MADELEINE (CONT'D)
               The Abbe's sending me away.  He fears 
               for me here, what with the likes of 
               you--

                           THE MARQUIS
               Don't be fooled, Madeleine!  He fears 
               for himself.  He's like a man 
               starving, and you--ha!--you're like 
               a pork chop dolloped with heavy cream--

                           MADELEINE
               He's a man of God; he's true to his 
               vows.

                           THE MARQUIS
               First and foremost, he's a MAN. You 
               remind him of that fact, and he 
               resents you for it.

     MADELEINE's brow darkens; she knows it's true.

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               Don't you see, my sweet? In us, they 
               see their own appetites, stripped 
               bare.  And so we are reviled; we are 
               beaten, we are trounced, we are 
               ridiculed, and we are silenced.
                    (past hopelessness)
               What's to be done? It's the artist's 
               lot.

     In MADELEINE, something stirs. An idea.

                           MADELEINE
               It needn't be; not if you've another 
               story.

                           THE MARQUIS
               How do you propose I write it? With 
               dust, upon the air?

                           MADELEINE
               You could whisper it through the 
               walls of your cell.

     MADELEINE sees THE MARQUIS perk, ever-so-slightly.

                           MADELEINE (CONT'D)
               Yes; that's it! A final volley from 
               us both!

                           THE MARQUIS
               Go on, child.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 96


                           MADELEINE
               Tomorrow night, whisper a new tale 
               to your neighbor, Cleante.  He'll 
               whisper it to his neighbor Dauphin, 
               who'll whisper it to his neighbor 
               Franval---

                           THE MARQUIS
                    (getting the idea)
               --who'll whisper it to Bouchon--

                           MADELEINE
               --whose cell lies next to the linen 
               cabinet! There, armed with a quill 
               of my own, I'll commit it to paper!

                           THE MARQUIS
                    (with real momentum 
                    now)
               Yes! You shall. Of course you shall--

                           MADELEINE
                    (practically squealing)
               A tale more horrible than all the 
               rest combined!

                           THE MARQUIS
               Something to make the angels weep, 
               and the Saints to gasp for air...   

     He kisses her fingers, one by one.

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               Practice your handwriting, my lovely.  
               So you'll do my words justice.

     She nods, even as her eyes fill with happy tears.

     EXT. CHARENTON - COURTYARD - DAY

     A rumble of thunder from overhead; a storm is approaching.

     MADELEINE tugs a sheet off the line. Standing behind it, 
     COULMIER. MADELEINE--startled--gives a little cry.

                           COULMIER
               Madeleine--

     Angrily, tugs down the next sheet.

                           MADELEINE
               You don't fear the Marquis' sway on 
               me.  You fear your own.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 97


     COULMIER reaches to take her by the arm:

                           COULMIER
               If you'd grant me a final favor, I'd 
               like the chance to explain myself--

                           MADELEINE
                    (nasty, but tinged 
                    with hurt:)
               Don't come any closer, Abbe. God's 
               watching.

     She grabs her basket by both handles and--insolently--skirts 
     COULMIER and heads inside. COULMIER starts to follow, but in 
     response she hurries her step.

     INT. EXT. THE CHARENTON ASYLUM - THAT NIGHT

     The sky cracks open with a deafening sound. Lightning cracks. 
     Rain begins to pelt the stone walls of Charenton.

     INT. THE LINEN PANTRY - A SHORT TIME LATER.

     MADELEINE swings open the door and sets down her laundry 
     basket. She lights a small wall sconce, filling the room 
     with an orange glow. She closes the door behind her. Next, 
     she clears a space for herself on a small sewing table, 
     pushing aside a pin-cushion, bolts of thread, and a heavy 
     pair of scissors. She lifts a sheet off the top of the basket. 
     Under it, a stack of parchment, an inkwell, and a quill. She 
     removes each item, one-by-one. An EYEBALL watches her every 
     move.

     INT. BOUCHON'S CELL

     BOUCHON's hunched on the floor, peering through the old wooden 
     door. A belt hoists his sack-cloth trousers above his waist. 
     He's been dislodging bricks from the interior of his cell 
     wall to reveal the hidden door to the pantry.

     INT. THE MARQUIS' APARTMENT

     The MARQUIS dislodges a small stone from the wall, and peers 
     into the neighboring cell.

                           THE MARQUIS
               Psst...Cleante! Are you there? ARE 
               YOU THERE?

     INT. CLEANTE'S CELL

     CLEANTE is a study in nervous tics; his eyes blink, his ears 
     wiggle, and his mouth quivers.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 98


                           CLEANTE
               Marquis? Is that you?

     INT. THE MARQUIS' APARTMENT

                           THE MARQUIS
               For fuck's sake, who else would it 
               be? The witching hour's arrived; 
               you've alerted the others, yes?

     INT. CLEANTE'S CELL

                           CLEANTE
               I'm no longer a man! I awoke to 
               discover I'd turned into a sparrow!

     CLEANTE begins to warble. THE MARQUIS stares through the 
     wall at CLEANTE, eye-to-eye. His words are hypnotic:

                           THE MARQUIS
               Yes, well, I awoke to discover I'd 
               turned into a cat. If you don't do 
               as I say, I'll sink my little fangs 
               into your drumsticks, and suck the 
               marrow straight out of your bones.

                           CLEANTE
                    (trembling convulsively)
               At your service, Count.

                           THE MARQUIS
               Now give the signal.

     CLEANTE lets loose with a piercing trill, to alert his 
     compatriots.

     INT. DAUPHIN'S CELL

     He sparks to the sound; at last, it's time!

     INT. FRANVAL'S CELL

     He looks up from his reading, candle in hand.

     INT. BOUCHON'S CELL

     Even he registers the whistle with a low grunt.

     INT. THE LINEN PANTRY

     MADELEINE whispers a tiny prayer, clutching the ink pot to 
     her bosom.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            p. 99


     INT. THE MARQUIS' APARTMENT

                           THE MARQUIS
               And so we begin...

     With a certain improvisatory relish, THE MARQUIS begins to 
     spin his tale:

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               "Our story concerns the prostitute 
               Fanchon, whom Nature equipped with a 
               tight and downy fissure between her 
               thighs, and the most finely cleft 
               ass ever moulded by the hand of 
               God..."

     Through the chink, THE MARQUIS hears CLEANTE moaning, ever 
     so softly, masturbating to the tale. THE MARQUIS barks:

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               CLEANTE!

     INT. CLEANTE'S CELL

     CLEANTE springs into action, rushing to the opposite side of 
     the room and perching on a chair. He whispers through a hole 
     by a beam in the ceiling:

                           CLEANTE
               "Fanchon was a prostitute with a 
               tight and downy fissure between her 
               thighs..."

     He starts to forget the phrase; THE MARQUIS hisses from across 
     the room:

                           THE MARQUIS (O.S.)
               ...the most finely cleft ass...

     INT. THE MARQUIS' CELL

     Under his breath, THE MARQUIS frets:

                           THE MARQUIS
               My glorious prose, filtered through 
               the minds of the insane?
                    (a sudden, consoling 
                    thought)
               Who knows? They might improve it.

     INT. DAUPHIN'S CELL

     DAUPHIN crouches, listening, as CLEANTE transmits the words:

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 100


                           CLEANTE (O.S.)
               "...and the most finely cleft ass 
               ever moulded by the hand of God!"

     He scurries across the room to relay the words to--

     INT. FRANVAL'S CELL

     --FRANVAL.

                           DAUPHIN (O.S.)
               "...a harlot, she was, name of 
               Fanchon, with a downy fissure and a 
               heavenly ass..."

     FRANVAL lopes over to the wall he shares with BOUCHON. He 
     removes a small sculptured crucifix, revealing a gap in the 
     stone.

                           FRANVAL
               Psst...Bouchon....

     INT. BOUCHON'S CELL

     BOUCHON' still busy peeping on MADELEINE, heedless of FRANVAL.

                           FRANVAL (O.S.)
               ...BOUCHON!

     Distracted, BOUCHON turns in the direction of FRANVAL's voice. 
     FRANVAL has to whisper loudly so the story carries:

                           FRANVAL (CONT'D)
               "...'S about a harlot named Fanchon, 
               with a downy fissure and a heavenly 
               ass...."

     BOUCHON'S LIPS CURL IN A GRIN.

                           MADELEINE
               Bouchon! You've something for me, 
               haven't you?

     Almost shyly, BOUCHON ekes out the words:

                           BOUCHON
               "...a downy fissure, and a heavenly 
               ass..."

                           MADELEINE (O.S.)
                    (urgently)
               You must remember each word, exactly 
               as it's told to you. Yes? Yes?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 101


     INT. THE MARQUIS' APARTMENT

                           THE MARQUIS
               "One day, Fanchon's first client was 
               a surgeon.  He ran his fingers across 
               her naked skin, pulling apart folds 
               of flesh, inspecting each and every 
               follicle..."

     INT. CLEANTE'S CELL

                           CLEANTE
               "One day, Fanchon was visited by a 
               surgeon. He ran his fingers across 
               her naked skin, pulling apart folds 
               of flesh, inspecting follicles..."

     INT. DAUPHIN'S CELL

                           DAUPHIN
               "One day, a surgeon came to visit 
               Fanchon. He felt her naked skin, 
               pulling at her folds, fingering every 
               hair..."

     INT. FRANVAL'S CELL

                           FRANVAL
               "One day, a surgeon came to visit...  
               feeling her naked skin...pulling at 
               her folds..."

     INT. BOUCHON'S CELL

     BOUCHON gives a low giggle; it's a naughty story, this one.

                           BOUCHON
               "One day, a surgeon...ran his fingers 
               over her naked skin...her naked 
               skin...naked..."

     INT. THE LINEN PANTRY

     MADELEINE writes as fast as she can.

                           MADELEINE
                    (muttering)
               ...yes, I've got that bit...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 102


     INT. THE MARQUIS' APARTMENTS - CONTINUOUS

                           THE MARQUIS
                    (savouring the words)
               "What shall I ready?" asked Fanchon.  
               "My mouth, my ass or my succulent 
               oyster?"

     INT. CLEANTE'S CELL

                           CLEANTE
               "What shall I ready?" asked Fanchon.  
               "My mouth, my ass or my succulent 
               oyster?"

     INT. DAUPHIN'S CELL

                           DAUPHIN
               "What'll it be?" she asked. "My mouth, 
               my ass or my succulent oyster?"

     INT. FRANVAL'S CELL

                           FRANVAL
               "My mouth," she asked, "My ass or my 
               succulent oyster?"

     INT. BOUCHON'S CELL

     BOUCHON's really in the spirit now:

                           BOUCHON
               "Which hole? My mouth, my ass or my 
               succ...succ...succ... succulent 
               oyster?"

     INT. THE LINEN PANTRY - CONTINUOUS

     MADELEINE scripts the words "succulent oyster."

     INT. THE MARQUIS APARTMENT

     Now THE MARQUIS is seized by inspiration; this story is vile! 
     Truly vile!

                           THE MARQUIS
               "None!" cried the surgeon, brandishing 
               his scalpel. "I'll carve new orifices 
               where...there...were...none...before!"

     He laughs, delighted at his own powers of invention.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 103


     INT. CLEANTE'S CELL

     CLEANTE claps his hands, rapturous.

                           CLEANTE
               "None!" cried the surgeon, brandishing 
               his scalpel. "I'll carve new orifices 
               where there were none before!"

     INT. DAUPHIN'S CELL

     DAUPHIN's so excited by the tale, he slaps his bald head 
     with both hands.

                           DAUPHIN
               "None!" cried the surgeon. "I'll 
               carve new orifices where there were 
               none before!"

     INT. FRANVAL'S CELL

     FRANVAL's aroused; he adjusts the rising staff in his 
     trousers.

                           FRANVAL
               "None!" he cried. "I'll carve new 
               orifices where there were none 
               before!"

     INT. BOUCHON'S CELL

     BOUCHON removes one brick, then another.

                           BOUCHON
               "I'll carve new...new...NEW...orifices 
               where there were none before!"

     INT. THE LINEN PANTRY

     MADELEINE scribes the word "carve."

     INT. THE MARQUIS' APARTMENT

     His face pours sweat; he's in a state of orgasmic excitement.

                           THE MARQUIS
               "With that, Fanchon expelled a scream 
               so extravagantly pitched, that the 
               surgeon was obliged to tear out her 
               tongue---"

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 104


     INT. CLEANTE'S CELL

                           CLEANTE
                    (beside himself)
               "With that, Fanchon expelled a scream 
               so extravagantly pitched, that the 
               surgeon was obliged to tear out her 
               tongue---"

     INT. DAUPHIN'S CELL

                           DAUPHIN
                    (exhilarated)
               "With that, she screamed so loud 
               that the surgeon was obliged to tear 
               out her tongue---"

     INT. FRANVAL'S CELL

                           FRANVAL
                    (red-faced)
               "She screamed--so long and so loud-- 
               that the surgeon was obliged to tear 
               out her tongue---"

     INT. BOUCHON'S CELL

     BOUCHON whips off his belt; his trousers crumple to the floor. 
     He hooks the buckle over the head of a nail in the hinge.  
     Next, he twists the belt around his hand for leverage and 
     begins to pull.

                           BOUCHON
                    (rife with guilty 
                    pleasure)
               "She screamed, so he felt he should--
               he felt he ought--to tear out her 
               tongue---"

     INT. THE LINEN PANTRY

     MADELEINE wets the tip of her quill with her own tongue, and 
     then transcribes the same word...

     INT. THE MARQUIS APARTMENT - MEANWHILE

                           THE MARQUIS
               "To seal the wound, he took a poker 
               from the fire--"

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 105


     INT. CLEANTE'S CELL

                           CLEANTE
               "...a poker...he took a poker from 
               the fire..."

     INT. DAUPHIN'S CELL

     DAUPHIN stares, still hypnotized by FRANVAL'S candle.

                           DAUPHIN
               "A poker from the fire! From the 
               fire...from the fire...the fire, the 
               fire, the fire!"

     He reaches through the hole and steals the candlestick; The 
     wax scalds his hand; he hurls it onto his bed with a yelp.

     The mattress bursts into flame.

     INT. FRANVAL'S CELL

     FRANVAL's left high and dry; coitus interruptus indeed.

                           FRANVAL
               Dauphin? What's the next bit? You 
               must tell me the next bit...

     INT. BOUCHON'S CELL

     Outside, sounds start to grow; DAUPHIN, hollering "fire" 
     from his cell.  Other LUNATICS--agitated--pounding on their 
     cell floors. BOUCHON wrests another nail from the hinge.

     INT. THE LINEN PANTRY

                           MADELEINE
                    (a frightened whisper)
               Please. The words. Tell me the words.

     ANGLE ON: MADELEINE'S QUILL, POISED TO WRITE

                           MADELEINE (CONT'D)
               I can't hear the words.

     INT. CORRIDOR

     Smoke pours out from beneath DAUPHIN's cell, and into the 
     hall. VALCOUR--several guards in tow--races down the corridor 
     to investigate.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 106


     INT. THE LINEN PANTRY 

     MADELEINE hears their footsteps rushing past, and the rising 
     cry of "fire!" She cracks the door slightly and peers out, 
     transfixed by what she sees.

     MADELEINE'S POV:

     She glances to her right, in time to see VALCOUR and his MEN 
     tearing open DAUPHIN's door. Smoke pours forth. The GUARDS 
     are disoriented; it stings their eyes, and fills their lungs. 
     They stumble; VALCOUR coughs, then doubles over. As he 
     wretches, DAUPHIN clips the keys from his belt and slips 
     outside.

     MADELEINE senses that all hell is about to break loose; she 
     closes the door, and turns pack to retrieve her parchment 
     and tell-tale quill. She glances up to see--with horror-- 
     that BOUCHON's door has been dismantled. She stands and backs 
     away, until she bumps into a HULKING FIGURE. She turns. It's 
     BOUCHON, sewing scissors in hand. MADELEINE tries to calm 
     him, her voice tremulous:

                           MADELEINE
               Remember your manners, Bouchon, like 
               the Abbe says.

     But his leer tells the truth. She tries to dodge him, but-- 
     with a lunge--he's upon her.

                           MADELEINE (CONT'D)
               HELP ME! ABBE! SOMEONE...ANYONE...OH, 
               GOD...

     INT. THE MARQUIS' APARTMENT/CORRIDOR - MEANWHILE

     The MARQUIS recognizes the howling voice down the hall.

     His face goes white.

                           THE MARQUIS
               Madeleine...MADELEINE!!!

     INT. CLEANTE'S CELL

     In a trance-like state, CLEANTE continues to mimic the 
     MARQUIS. 

                           CLEANTE
               Madeleine! Madeleine!

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 107


     INT. FRANVAL'S CELL

                           FRANVAL
               Madeleine! Madeleine! Madeleine!

     INT. CORRIDOR

     DAUPHIN runs up and down the hall, VALCOUR's keychain in 
     hand, unlocking cell after cell. The LUNATICS pour out.

     They pick up the sing-song cry, screaming Madeleine's name 
     at a hideous pitch.

                           LUNATICS
               Madeleine! Madeleine! Madeleine!

     INT. COULMIER'S QUARTERS

     COULMIER's awakened by the sounds of the LUNATICS crying 
     "Madeleine! Madeleine!" He starts pulling on his vestments 
     with trembling hands.

     INT. THE SERVANT'S CORRIDOR/MADELEINE'S ROOM

     COULMIER rushes down the hall and glances into MADELEINE's 
     QUARTERS. MADAME LECLERC lies alone in the bed she shares 
     with her daughter.

                           COULMIER
               Madeleine--

     MADAME LECLERC stirs, reaching out for her child, patting 
     the lumpy mattress, hoping to touch her.

                           MADAME LECLERC
               Maddy? Where are you now? Maddy?

     INT. CHARENTON - MAIN STAIRCASE (LUTON HOO)

     A burning pillow cascades down, trailing straw. As COULMIER 
     bounds downstairs, he catches sight of a figure: a 
     CHAMBERMAID, rushing past.

                           COULMIER
               Madeleine--

     He follows her, dodging MADMEN brandishing broomsticks, 
     bedsheets, and the splintered remnants of furniture.

     INT. CHARENTON - INFIRMARY

     The CHAMBERMAID enters the infirmary; COULMIER races after 
     her. He has to fight his way past Charenton's MOST DIRE CASES, 
     who lurch toward him in the smokey haze like zombies.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 108


     An aging MADMEN with elephantiasis; a WITHERED OLD CRONE in 
     a stolen nun's habit with a hideous grin, her hands thrust 
     under her own skirts; ONE AILING MADMAN carries ANOTHER 
     through the murk; a demented pieta. In the background, 
     curtains blaze.

     COULMIER catches sight of the CHAMBERMAID. He makes a bee-
     line for her, grabs her by the arm, and swirls her around.

     It's not MADELEINE at all, but CHARLOTTE. COULMIER can't 
     help it; his face betrays dismay.

                           CHARLOTTE
               It's her fault the Devil's unleashed 
               himself upon us...it's her fault...

     COULMIER thrusts CHARLOTTE aside.

                           COULMIER
               Madeleine! Madeleine!

     From outside, a horrible scream. COULMIER's eyes fill with 
     alarm.

     INT. ROYER-COLLARD'S OFFICE

     ROYER-COLLARD empties the last dregs from his wine bottle; a 
     pitiful little puddle in the bottom of his glass. Before 
     him, the asylum record books in grave disarray. GAILLON 
     lounges in a near-by chair. As the DIN of the RIOT grows 
     around them, they exchange a look; one that says "We knew 
     this would happen. How could it not?"

     EXT. CHARENTON - TERRACE.

     COULMIER, soaked in the rain, searches the courtyard. All 
     around him, WARDS--like pagans--are stripping off their 
     clothes, dancing in the storm. PITOU rides atop GUERIN's 
     shoulders; LOUISON tries to beat him off with an andiron.

     The scream again; COULMIER whirls around, expecting to see 
     MADELEINE. Again, his hopes are dashed. It's MICHETTE, pinned 
     to the wall, set upon by a group of LASCIVIOUS WARDS, their 
     limbs all intertwined in an orgiastic frenzy.

     ONE BESTIAL MAN turns to look at COULMIER, his eyes wild, a 
     scrap of MICHETTE's clothing dripping from his mouth, like a 
     flap of flesh.

     COULMIER dives in to rescue her, but--instead--he's set upon 
     by more MISCREANTS, who tug at his robes and paw at his hair, 
     like creatures turning on their Master.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 109


     INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE ROYER-COLLARD'S OFFICE

     From above, the insistent, demonic chanting of Madeleine's 
     name.  GAILLON bursts from the office and makes for the 
     stairs; ROYER-COLLARD strides out after him, glancing 
     imperiously this way and that.

     INT. THE MARQUIS APARTMENT

                           THE MARQUIS
                    (a desperate howl)
               MADELEINE!

     EXT. CHARENTON - TERRACE

     Still fending off MADMEN, COULMIER bellows at the sky:

                           COULMIER
               MADELEINE!

     INT. OUTSIDE THE LINEN PANTRY

     As he passes, ROYER-COLLARD hears a scuffle from within.

     He pauses, and reaches for the knob. Just then, he hears 
     COULMIER and THE MARQUIS in the distance, each crying out 
     for Madeleine. From the pantry, her Voice:

                           MADELEINE
               Abbe? Is that you?...He means to 
               kill me...save me as you have 
               before...I beg you...I'm sorry for 
               all that I said...please...oh, 
               please...

     ROYER-COLLARD's face calcifies with hate. From inside, a 
     heart-piercing scream.  He feels a surge of victory in his 
     chest, and lifts his hand from the knob.

     INT. THE GRAND STAIRCASE AT CHARENTON

     Cinders fall from above. Poised along the stair, ORVOLLE, 
     VALCOUR and GAILLON. They're passing pails of water upward 
     in an effort to quell the flames.  ROYER-COLLARD joins the 
     line, passing a sloshing bucket from ORVOLLE to VALCOUR

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Quickly now! Altogether men, as one!

     ORVOLLE looks at him, surprised to see the aloof DOCTOR 
     suddenly so pro-active.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 110


                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               QUICKLY! Before it reaches the rafters 
               on the upper floors--

     GAILLON gazes at his BOSS with glowing admiration. Coming 
     down the stairs--disoriented in the smoke and the melee-- 
     MADAME LECLERC. With one hand, she clings to the railing. 
     With the other, she grasps at the air.

                           MADAME LECLERC
               Maddy! Where are you, child? Maddy!

     The LUNATIC QUARTET--in their night drawers, their faces 
     blackened with ash--trundle after her, playing a jaunty tune.

     INT. OUTSIDE THE MARQUIS' APARTMENT

     COULMIER--his cassock torn and soaked through, his face 
     scratched--races down the stairs THE MARQUIS, meanwhile, 
     screams bloody murder from the peephole in his cell:

                           THE MARQUIS
               Let me out your morons! Let me loose!

     COULMIER catches his eye, and shoots an accusatory glare.

     "You've played a part in this, haven't you?" he seems to be 
     asking. THE MARQUIS turns silent, even stony, staring back 
     at COULMIER with lethal eyes. COULMIER moves on.

     INT. BOUCHON'S CELL

     COULMIER races through the room. He sees the dismantled door, 
     lifted off its hinges, lying sideways against the wall.

     INT. THE LINEN PANTRY

     COULMIER's eyes dart feverishly about; the linens are drenched 
     in blood. He glances down at his feet; he sees a few pieces 
     of parchment. He picks up a sheet. The last sentence reads 
     "tear out her tongue" before trailing off the page. He 
     recognizes the curve of MADELEINE's script.

     His heart pounding, he moves toward the laundry room, 
     terrified of what he might find. Underfoot, a growing pool 
     of water.

     COULMIER'S POV:

     At the far end of the laundry room, BOUCHON, dripping wet, 
     his lower lip quivering like a naughty child, recedes into 
     the shadows.  Meanwhile, MADAME LECLERC emerges from the 
     smoke, clutching her stirring stick like a pike for 
     protection. THE SOUND OF WATER SLOSHING.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 111


     She turns, her face full of dread.

     ANGLE ON: THE LAUNDRY VAT. 

     Water cascades down the sides of the vat. MADAME LECLERC 
     climbs atop her pedestal, inserts her stick into the brew, 
     and begins to stir.

     COULMIER stands, dizzy, the room spinning around him in a 
     mad whirl that becomes...

     THE SWIRLING WATERS OF THE LAUNDRY VAT. Rising to the surface 
     like a phantom from the mist, MADELEINE.  Her skin is 
     translucent blue. As her corpse rolls in the water, we see 
     that it is riddled with scissor gashes.

                                                          CUT TO:

     EXT. CHARENTON/PAVILION - THE NEXT DAY - DAWN

     The sun turns the horizon a feverish red. In the distance, a 
     cock crows. ORVOLLE and LOUISON nail wooden planks across 
     Charenton's windows; WORKMEN fortify the grounds with 
     barriers. The asylum stands, like an injured beast, too 
     obstinate--and now, too cruel--to die.

     ANGLE ON: THE PAVILION. 

     The HORSEMAN waits, but there's no one to greet him with a 
     manuscript. A final, lingering look and--dejected--he turns 
     to leave. His horse rears up on its hind legs in distress, 
     then gallops away through the morning mist.

     INT. BOUCHON'S CELL - THAT AFTERNOON

     The door swings open, and light illuminates BOUCHON. As soon 
     as he sees VALCOUR and GAILLON in the doorway, he scuttles 
     under his cot.

                           VALCOUR
               Now, now. Don't be shy. We've a nice 
               surprise just waiting for you...

     BOUCHON peers out from beneath the bed.

                           VALCOUR (CONT'D)
               That's a good boy.

     INT. THE DUNGEON - MINUTES LATER

     Sweat trickles in tiny rivulets down BOUCHON's forehead. We 
     hear the CREAK of HINGES; a metal cage snaps over his face.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 112


     PULL BACK TO REVEAL:

     VALCOUR and GAILLON, soldering shut the iron dummy. BOUCHON's 
     eyes bulge as he's encased--forever--in a sarcophagus made 
     of steel.

     PULL BACK EVEN FURTHER TO:

     INT. ROYER-COLLARD'S OFFICE -MORNING

     ROYER-COLLARD closes the door to the dungeon, and cracks his 
     knuckles with barely-controlled fury.  COULMIER sits, his 
     head bowed.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Of course, we mustn't blame Bouchon; 
               he's merely one of Nature's 
               experiments, gone awry. No discipline. 
               No conscience. No morality.

     He rears up from behind his desk:

                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               In fact, it is our duty to provide 
               those things on his behalf. Is it 
               not?

     COULMIER raises his head. His eyes are red from crying, but 
     he's resolved not to lose his temper before the DOCTOR.

                           COULMIER
               As you say, Doctor.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               He was so impressed with the Marquis' 
               tale that he chose to re-enact it, 
               yes?  Upon a certain chambermaid.

     COULMIER nods. ROYER_COLLARD blithely sticks the knife in 
     and gives it a turn.

                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               Perhaps you'll be so kind as to remind 
               me of her name...

                           COULMIER
               I beg you, Doctor, don't make me say 
               it.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               HER NAME, ABBE.

     COULMIER chokes back a sob and manages:

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 113


                           COULMIER
               Madeleine.

     THE DOCTOR tosses MADELEINE's bloody manuscript onto the 
     center of the desk, and lays into COULMIER savagely:

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               So tell me: when you're called before 
               God, how will you answer for 
               Madeleine's death?

     INT. CORRIDOR - SHORT TIME LATER

     COULMIER blazes down the hall, torch in hand.

     INT. A PIT - CONTINUOUS

     COULMIER climbs down a spiral stair built along the parameters 
     of an enormous pit. In its center, a LUNATIC, crouched in a 
     feral pose. He wears a heavy iron collar with four long 
     chains, each strapped to a different wall in the room. He no 
     longer resembles a man; he looks like a beast, trapped in a 
     stone cage; it's THE MARQUIS. He peers into the gloom with 
     wolverine eyes.

                           COULMIER
               Murderer!

     THE MARQUIS blurts, defensively:

                           THE MARQUIS
               Oh, I'm to be blamed now, am I?

                           COULMIER
               Your words drove Bouchon to--

                           THE MARQUIS
               For fuck's sake, Abbe! What am I to 
               do? Police my readers as you police 
               me? Suppose one of your precious 
               wards had attempted to walk on water 
               and drowned? Would you condemn the 
               Bible? I think not!

                           COULMIER
               An innocent child is dead.

                           THE MARQUIS
                    (icily)
               So many authors are denied the 
               gratification of a concrete response 
               to their work. I am blessed, am I 
               not?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 114


     This flagrant disregard for MADELEINE cuts through COULMIER.

                           COULMIER
               It's no secret that you loved her.

                           THE MARQUIS
               Oh, that's rich--coming from her 
               lapdog--

                           COULMIER
               I saw the longing in your eye--

                           THE MARQUIS
               --that was lust--

                           COULMIER
               --the passion in your heart--

     THE MARQUIS grabs his own crotch:

                           THE MARQUIS
               Don't confuse one organ with another--

                           COULMIER
               I know, because I felt it myself--

                           THE MARQUIS
               I WANTED TO FUCK HER, THAT'S ALL!

                           COULMIER
               AND DID YOU?

                           THE MARQUIS
               IT'S NOT YOUR PROVINCE TO ASK.

                           COULMIER
               You're no stranger to rape, Marquis; 
               and yet with her, you cooed. You 
               courted. You begged.

                           THE MARQUIS
               Go to hell!

                           COULMIER
               Why was it you never took her by 
               force?

                           THE MARQUIS
               Who's to say I did not?

                           COULMIER
               Was it impotence?

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 115


                           THE MARQUIS
               NEVER!

                           COULMIER
               Then it must've been love--

     The MARQUIS chokes on COULMIER's last word.

                           THE MARQUIS
               I FUCKED HER COUNTLESS TIMES! IN 
               EVERY ORIFICE! AND ALL THE WHILE, 
               SHE PLEAD FOR MORE--

                           COULMIER
                    (triumphant)
               We inspected the body, Marquis.  She 
               died a virgin.

     A stunned pause. The MARQUIS cracks--a tiny cry at first, 
     which erupts into genuine sobbing.  He sinks to his knees, 
     and claws the dirt with his hands. Finally, he whispers:

                           THE MARQUIS
               Give her a proper burial. In the 
               churchyard, at my expense. Do not 
               inter her sweet body in the same 
               ground as the devils who inhabit 
               this accursed place.

     Pause, and then:

                           COULMIER
               Your terrible secret, revealed. You're 
               a man, after all.

     Suddenly--savagely--THE MARQUIS spits in his face.

     COULMIER wipes away the indignity. He stands, severe now.

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               All that remains now is your 
               punishment.

     THE MARQUIS extends his arm:

                           THE MARQUIS
               I dare you. Stab my flesh. Which one 
               of us will bleed?

                           COULMIER
               Tomorrow, we'll cut out your tongue.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 116


     For once, THE MARQUIS' balks.

                                                          CUT TO:

     INT.OPERATING THEATRE - CONTINUOUS

     CLOSE UP: THE MARQUIS' LEFT HAND

     VALCOUR manacles it to an operating table.

     CLOSE UP: THE MARQUIS' RIGHT HAND.

     VALCOUR cuffs it, too. Next, GAILLON splays the MARQUIS' 
     feet, and clamps them in irons. He buckles leather restraints 
     around the MARQUIS' torso.  The MARQUIS cranes his head, and 
     glances at the table beside him.  On it, primitive medical 
     instruments, laid out ominously in a row. A RAT scurries 
     across them.

     GAILLON sharpens his blade on a stone. COULMIER watches.

                           GAILLON
               I've opium to numb the pain.

                           COULMIER
                    (crisply:)
               Our intention here is punitive. If 
               we numb the pain, what's the point?

     The MARQUIS twists his neck to find the PRIEST:

                           THE MARQUIS
               Abbe de Coulmier!

                           COULMIER
               I'm here.

                           THE MARQUIS
               Surely you'll grant me a final word.

                           COULMIER
                    (terse)
               Of course.

     The MARQUIS' eyes flash with malevolence.

                           THE MARQUIS
               Would that I were so easily silenced.

     COULMIER wrenches his hand free. GAILLON raises his scalpel, 
     and looks to COULMIER for permission to begin.

     COULMIER nods.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 117


     INT. OUTSIDE THE OPERATING THEATER

     From within, an animal cry. COULMIER walks down the corridor, 
     away from the grisly proceedings. On his face, a tiny flicker; 
     perhaps--somewhere deep down in his soul--he feels the thrill 
     of victory.

     INT. CHARENTON. ROYER-COLLARD'S OFFICE - A SHORT TIME LATER

     The DOCTOR is knee-deep in paperwork; COULMIER bursts into 
     the room. He slams a glass jar down on the DOCTOR's desk.

     Bobbling in alcohol, THE MARQUIS' tongue, so long and 
     serpentine it's wrapped around a dowel.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
                    (surprised)
               My, my. You have exceeded my 
               expectations.

                           COULMIER
               And my own.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               How is the patient faring?

                           COULMIER
               Poorly.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               And you? It must've been an ordeal.

                           COULMIER
               I'm not the first man God has asked 
               to shed blood in His name. I will 
               not be the last.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Will you sleep soundly tonight?

                           COULMIER
                    (faltering)
               No, sir. Plainly put, I never expect 
               to sleep again.

     INT. CHARENTON - CHAPEL - LATER.

     On a slab in the center of the chapel lies MADELEINE, draped 
     in white silk. A CREAK as the door opens. COULMIER approaches 
     the body, and places a wreath of newly-cut flowers at 
     MADELEINE's head. He kneels to pray. In a voice choking with 
     emotion, he mumbles:

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 118


                           COULMIER
               "In nomine patris et filii et spiritu 
               santu..."

     A bead of sweat trickles down COULMIER's face. He takes the 
     hem of MADELEINE's death shroud, and wipes the droplet away. 
     The shroud slides off MADELEINE's face. She lies dormant.

     Her skin is rosy, and her lips are slightly parted. Unable 
     to resist, COULMIER tugs the shroud off further, exposing 
     her shoulders. COULMIER marvels at her breasts, sloping 
     beneath the fabric. His heart pounds like a kettle drum.

     Impulsively, COULMIER pulls the shroud all the way off. 
     MADELEINE lies before him, flawless. There are no wounds, no 
     sign of the gore which accompanied her death.

     He gazes at her with an almost child-like wonder. Slowly, he 
     circles the body.  Tentatively, he reaches out his finger to 
     touch her lips; to trace the white porcelain of her 
     collarbone; perhaps even graze his hand across her breast. 
     He hesitates, then he leans down to kiss her. It's an almost 
     chaste moment, but it stuns her awake.

     MADELEINE lives. COULMIER leaps back, alarmed. But MADELEINE 
     wraps her arms around his neck. She returns the kiss, 
     passionately.

     It's all the encouragement COULMIER needs; he crawls astride 
     her on the slab.  Soon, he's running his hands in and out of 
     her rounded thighs, feeling each hollow, each moist crevice. 
     His touch grows from gentle to frantic as desire mounts.

                           MADELEINE
               Ah!

     Roughly, COULMIER parts her legs. She grabs his back, her 
     nails digging into his skin, as though she were hanging on 
     for dear life. With a guttural sound--his Id, at last 
     unleashed--COULMIER grimaces with pleasure and enters her.

     One savage thrust; then two. His eyes light on the crucifix 
     hanging across from him on the wall.

     ANGLE ON: THE CRUCIFIX.

     CHRIST's forehead is pierced through with nettles, and blood 
     flows in tiny rivers down his face. He stares at COULMIER.

     ANGLE ON: COULMIER

     who shudders and glances down at the body beneath him.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 119


     COULMIER's POV: The lifeless corpse of MADELEINE bearing the 
     wounds which killed her, desecrated, on the cold marble.

     ABRUPT CUT TO:

     INT. COULMIER'S QUARTERS -NIGHT

     COULMIER's eyes bolt open. He lurches upright, and tries to 
     stay the bile rising in his throat. A loud knocking at his 
     door.

                           VALCOUR (O.S.)
               Abbe! You'd best come quick.

     INT. CORRIDOR - CONTINUOUS

     VALCOUR and COULMIER move down the hall like bullets down 
     the barrel of a gun.

     INT. THE PIT - CONTINUOUS

     VALCOUR unlocks the wrought-iron gate, and they enter.

     Gasping for breath, VALCOUR covers his face with a 
     handkerchief. He raises his lantern. In the din--flickering 
     orange--words. Everywhere, words. On the ceiling. Written on 
     the floor. Etched on the walls.  It's as if the TWO MEN have 
     stumbled into the tomb of Tutankhamen, with its glyphic texts, 
     or a Sanskrit monument covered in symbols.

                           VALCOUR
               He spat into his own filth. Made 
               himself a kind of paint.

     COULMIER stares, awe-struck. He can't help but be impressed; 
     the effort is nothing less than Herculean.

                           COULMIER
               Dear God.

     COULMIER glances down to the pit's base. There, the MARQUIS 
     lies, his face pale and his breathing shallow. In spite of 
     his decrepitude, there's the look of triumph in his eyes. A 
     look which says, "I persevered."

     COULMIER rushes to him. He feels for his heart-beat; it's 
     faint. The MARQUIS tries to speak, but the soiled bandage 
     across his mouth prevents him. He can only murmur. COULMIER 
     calls up to VALCOUR.

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               Free his mouth.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 120


                           VALCOUR
               Mustn't do that, sir.

                           COULMIER
               I must grant him his last rites.

                           VALCOUR
               I don't take my orders from you; not 
               anymore.

                           COULMIER
               You'd deny a dying man his salvation?

     Sullenly, VALCOUR tosses his knife down to the ground, then 
     recedes into darkness. COULMIER tenderly cradles the MARQUIS' 
     head in his lap, and mops his brow. He takes the knife and 
     delicately snips the bandage; it falls away.

     Slowly, painfully, the MARQUIS parts his lips. He coughs for 
     air. He tries to speak, but--sans his tongue--he can't form 
     words.

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               Shhh...shhh...
                    (praying softly)
               Dear Heavenly Father.  Prove Your 
               infinite mercy, and open Your gates 
               to this man, no less Your child than 
               any other.

     COULMIER kisses the MARQUIS' forehead. He makes a painful 
     admission for the first time:

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               There is...in each of us...such 
               beauty... and such abomination.  
               No...man...is ...exempt.

     The MARQUIS tries to smile. COULMIER smiles, too, his eyes 
     brimming with tears. The old affection between the two men 
     is evident, even now.

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               Forgive him. Forgive us all.

     COULMIER places the small ivory crucifix of his rosary over 
     the MARQUIS's mouth.

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               There now. Kiss the cross.

     A flicker of life in the MARQUIS's eyes; a remnant of his 
     old self. He opens his mouth savagely, and grabs the crucifix 
     in his teeth.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 121


     COULMIER tries to wrest it out, but the MARQUIS clamps down 
     tighter with his teeth. The chain breaks; rosary beads go 
     streaming across his face, bouncing across the stone floor.

     With concerted effort--almost gagging--the MARQUIS swallows. 
     COULMIER watches, appalled. We see the shape of the cross--
     in relief--as it inches down the MARQUIS' gullet, beneath 
     his skin. Finally--with a last gulp--the crucifix goes down; 
     The MARQUIS has ingested Christ.

     THE MARQUIS' pupils roll back into his lids. He stares at 
     COULMIER with a lifeless gaze. COULMIER finally breaks; he 
     lets loose with a primal cry:

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

     INT. DAUPHIN'S CELL - MEANWHILE

     DAUPHIN is shackled to the wall; his skull has been trephined, 
     and bears the trace of his own barbaric surgery.

     He hears the scream, echoing down the corridor. His face 
     contorts in empathetic pain.

     INT. PITOU'S CELL - MEANWHILE

     PITOU desperately covers his ears with his hands, but he 
     can't ward off the sound.

     INT. CLEANTE'S CELL - MEANWHILE

     CLEANTE--sitting atop a crudely-fashioned perch--hears his 
     Master, and lets loose with an urgent whistle.

     INT. THE DUNGEON - MEANWHILE

     BOUCHON peers out from his human cage.

     INT. THE MARQUIS' PIT

     COULMIER's whole face contorts in pain and rage; a man crying 
     deep from within the Belly of the Beast.

     FADE UP ON: THE BRIGHT, SHINING FACE OF THE NEW ABBE DE 
     RICHARD. 

     He has all the optimism--the idealism--that COULMIER once 
     brought to the halls of Charenton.

     SUBTITLE: ONE YEAR LATER 

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 122


     PULL BACK TO REVEAL

     INT. CHARENTON CORRIDOR - SOMETIME LATER

     ROYER-COLLARD greets ABBE DU MAUPAS, a youthful priest with 
     a face filled with optimism; he carries a small traveling 
     valise.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Welcome to Charenton, Abbe du Maupas.

                           ABBE DU MAUPAS
               I'm pleased to have the new post, 
               sir.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               I'm afraid that our endowment has 
               shriveled to a mere pittance; we're 
               the laughing stock of all France. 
               But--on a happier note--

     The DOCTOR smiles, and pats the ABBE jovially on the arm.

                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               --the hospital is now in my sole 
               command.

     ABBE DU MAUPAS all but runs to keep pace with the DOCTOR.

                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               Here each man must work for his keep.

     ROYER-COLLARD swings open the gate to the work-room for the 
     ABBE DU MAUPAS.

     INT. CHARENTON ASYLUM WORK ROOM - CONTINUOUS

     The place is abuzz with the sound of industry; the bowels of 
     Charenton have been transformed into a veritable publishing 
     house.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               The Charenton Press, Abbe.

     ROYER-COLLARD waves toward a bank of printer's desks, where 
     a few PATIENTS--FRANVAL among them--are setting type, their 
     fingers blackened by printer's ink.

                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               The compulsive inmates set the type--

     He gestures toward sewing and binding tables, where DAUPHIN--
     among others--bind the books, their aprons sticky with glue.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 123


                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               --and the listless ones do the 
               binding.

                           ABBE DU MAUPAS
               It's remarkable, Doctor. The patients 
               are so subdued; so docile.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               They've the satisfaction only a hard 
               day's labor can provide.

     CLEANTE turns the handle on a giant press. PITOU plucks out 
     the pages--one-by-one--and hangs them on lines to dry.

     ABBE DU MAUPAS notices the title page: Opus Sadicum.

                           ABBE DU MAUPAS
                    (stunned)
               I don't believe it. The Marquis de 
               Sade? You're actually publishing his 
               novels?

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Ever since his unfortunate death, 
               there's been a surge of interest in 
               his work. I'll use the profits to 
               restore Charenton to her former glory.

                           A WOMAN'S VOICE (O.S.)
               Oh, Doctor.

     It's CHARLOTTE.  No longer a common chambermaid, she looks 
     resplendent now in a dress befitting a young woman of station; 
     perhaps a future DOCTOR's bride.

                           CHARLOTTE
               You've a meeting with Herr Becker at 
               four o'clock.  He wants to publish a 
               Swiss edition--on gilded paper, bound 
               in calfskin.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Thank-you, Charlotte.

     CHARLOTTE turns coquettish; she and the DOCTOR exchange a 
     telling smile; theirs is more than a professional alliance.

                           CHARLOTTE
               My pleasure. Truly.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Have a look at page seventy-four; 
               I've turned the corner down...

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 124


     EXT. THE COURTYARD - MEANWHILE

     VALCOUR and GAILLON load crates of books onto wagons.

     MICHETTE--idling by the well--watches as the COACHMEN depart, 
     charging toward Paris and beyond.

     INT. CORRIDOR - MINUTES LATER

     ROYER-COLLARD escorts the young ABBE on a tour, passing 
     through the PATIENT's WARD.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Of course, everything's not as 
               harmonious as it seems. I hope you've 
               a strong constitution.

                           ABBE DU MAUPAS
               My years tending the lepers at St.  
               Emilion steeled me for life's 
               grisliest offerings, Doctor.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               We've still a few lone incurables.  
               Prone to violence, to perversion.

     They reach THE MARQUIS old cell; the peephole is open.

     ABBE DU MAUPAS steps forward to get a look at the MADMAN 
     inside; A FIGURE stands with his back to us. His hair is 
     long and unkept. The PATIENT speaks:

                           VOICE
               So you're my successor. Yes?

     Slowly, the speaker turns around. It's COULMIER. The ABBE-- 
     startled-- exchanges a look with ROYER-COLLARD; who is this 
     haunted figure?

                           ABBE DU MAUPAS
               My successor?

     COULMIER barks a scabrous laugh, then abruptly changes his 
     tone. He presses himself against the door, and implores DU 
     MAUPAS:

                           COULMIER
               Listen to me, Abbe, and listen well.

     He casts a sidelong glance in ROYER-COLLARD's direction:

                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
               I've stared into the face of evil...
                           (MORE)

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 125


                           COULMIER (CONT'D)
                    (back to the ABBE:)
               ...and I've lived to tell the tale.  
               Now...for your own sake...let me 
               write it down.

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               Gibberish, my friend. He rants and 
               he raves--

     COULMIER offers the DU MAUPAS a challenge, urging him to 
     defy ROYER-COLLARD:

                           COULMIER
               Prove you've an ounce of Christian 
               charity...Bring me parchment...ink... 
               and a quill.

     ABBE DU MAUPAS looks to the DOCTOR; what should he do?

                           ROYER-COLLARD
               You'll do no such thing. This patient 
               poses a grave danger, to himself and 
               to others.

     With lightning speed, COULMIER reaches through the peephole, 
     grabbing ROYER-COLLARD by the collar. He yanks him, hard, 
     against the door, strangling him with his own cravatte. The 
     DOCTOR's face starts turning purple.

     ABBE DU MAUPAS pauses for a moment; who should he honor?

     His employer, or the mad prophet in the cell? Impulsively he 
     acts, loosening COULMIER's grip on the DOCTOR. ROYER-COLLARD 
     gasps for air.

                           ABBE DU MAUPAS
               Are you all right, sir?

                           COULMIER
               Don't you see--

                           ROYER-COLLARD
                    (interrupting)
               Don't you see, Abbe?

     A pause, and then contemptuously:

                           ROYER-COLLARD (CONT'D)
               Some men are past redemption.

     ROYER-COLLARD straightens his collar and smooths back his 
     hair, and starts striding back down the hall. ABBE DU MAUPAS--

                                                       (CONTINUED)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           p. 126


     queasy now--follows, but he can't help glancing back at 
     COULMIER.

                           COULMIER (O.S.)
               A quill! A quill, goddamn you! A 
               QUILL!

     INT. COULMIER'S CELL

     Discouraged, COULMIER slides down to the ground, defeated.

     He hardly notices when the trap opens, and a bundle of sheets 
     tumbles forth. Hoping against all hope, he folds the top 
     sheet back. There--nestled in the fabric--an ink well, 
     parchment, and a quill. He leaps to his feet, and slides 
     open the peephole. Staring back at him: the milky eyes of 
     MADAME LECLERC.

                           MADAME LECLERC
               Use it well; you owe her that.

     COULMIER's eyes fill with grateful tears.

     ANGLE ON: MADAME LECLERC, TEETERING DOWN THE HALL

     As she goes about her rounds, she sings THE MARQUIS' song, 
     Claire de la Lune.

     A QUILL PEN, FLICKERING ACROSS THE PAGE

     It seems to dance. The VOICE OF THE MARQUIS rises up from 
     the stone walls of Charenton:

                           THE MARQUIS (V.O.)
               "Beloved Reader....I leave you now 
               with a tale penned by the Abbe de 
               Coulmier, a man who found freedom in 
               the unlikliest of places. At the 
               bottom of an inkwell; on the tip of 
               a quill."

     COULMIER scribbles away with all the fervor--the mission-- 
     of a man frantic to impart his story to the world.

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               "Be forewarned: its plot is 
               bloodsoaked, its characters depraved 
               and its themes unwholesome at best.
               But in order to know virtue, we must 
               acquaint ourselves with vice.  Only 
               then can we know the full measure of 
               man.

                                                       (CONTINUED)

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                                                           p. 127


     Sunlight ignites COULMIER's face. A smile flickers across 
     his lips.

                           THE MARQUIS (CONT'D)
               So come, I dare you...turn the 
               page..."

     COULMIER begins to hum Claire de la Lune as we FADE TO BLACK.

                               THE END