In the Electric Mist (2009) Script

My name's Dave Robicheaux.

I'm an alcoholic.

Sometimes I'm tempted to have a drink.

But I never do.


I hope this poor girl was dead... before he started carving on her like that.

This poor girl didn't have a whole lot of good luck, Dave.

In the ancient world, people placed heavy stones on the graves of their dead... so their souls would not wander and afflict the living.

I always thought this was simply the practice... of superstitious and primitive people.

But I was about to learn that the dead... can hover on the edge of our vision... with the density and luminosity of mist.

And their claim on the earth can be as legitimate... and tenacious as our own.


Could I see your driver's license, please?

My what?

Driver's license.

Please take it out your billfold, hand it to me.

Oh, yeah, sure.

Well...

I was a little careless back there.

I'm sorry about that.

You're Elrod T. Sykes?

Yes, sir, that's who I am.

Step out the car, Mr. Sykes.

Yes, sir. Anything you say, sir.

Mr. Sykes, I think you've been drinking, and I know you've been smoking marijuana in your automobile.

I believe your lady friend there just ate the roach.

Ooh, well, that wouldn't be good now, would it?

You're under arrest for driving while intoxicated, Mr. Sykes.

I'll take you just down the street here to the city jail.

I'll send a car, take Ms. Drummond wherever she's staying.

But your little red sports car... is going to be towed to the pound.

This is bad news.

This is not on my agenda, 'cause we're just starting a movie.

I've always enjoyed all your films.

Ms. Drummond's too.

Take your car keys out the ignition please.

El, do something.

I feel real bad about this.

Can he make a contribution... to Mothers Against Drunk Driving or something like that?

As an admirer of your work, Ms. Drummond.

I recommend you don't make any more mentions of contributions.

I recommend you stay put.

Deputy will be along here in a few minutes to take you home.

Allons.

You're not going to get sick in my truck, are you?

No, I'm just fine.

Mm.

Mm.

Mm.

Oh.

Huh.

Oh.

I know where there's a dead body.

What?

Ugh.

Looks like a big pile of gristle and bone.

Where was this?

Way the hell out in Atchafalaya swamp.

We had to pick up a scene near the old Indian reservation.

I went to take a leak.

I saw it sticking out of a sandbar.

Ugh.

Get back in the truck.

Ugh.

That swamp full of old Indian bones.

Yeah, but...

Sorry, I didn't catch your name.

Dave Robicheaux.

Mr. Robicheaux, now, if that was an Indian I found.

I was wondering what he was doing... with a chain wrapped around him.

Say that again.

It's a rusted chain with links... as big as my fist... crisscrossed around his rib cage.

Can you find that sandbar again?

Yes, sir, I believe I could.

I'm going to make a confession to you.

Mr. Sykes.

DWIs are a pain in the butt.

If I take you home, can I have your word... you'll be in my office, 9:00 in the morning?

And sober?

9:00, you got it. Absolutely.

Hey, I really appreciate this.

Elrod Sykes and Kelly Drummond?

I want to go to the set.

Sykes is a drunk.

He's huge.

His head glows in the dark.

Maybe we could get an autographed movie poster.

No way.

Not for you, for the hurricane relief fund.

Okay, cool.

Please?

Will you hush?

I'll take her... and look out for her, if that's all right with you.

Maybe we could get Kelly Drummond to sign one too, pay for somebody's roof.

Please?


It's over yonder.

Hold on there, Mr. Sykes.

Best put some of this on.

We used to have a lot of bats down here, but the mosquitoes ate 'em all.

That boy's a long way from his Hollywood poontang, ain't he?

This jackass is objectifying you.

Mr. Sykes, because he's had very little exposure... to the outside world.

Don't let it bother you.

Hurricane Betsy blowing through here in '65 probably buried him... and Katrina unearthed him.

Why '65?

Hurricanes tear up this part of the country all the time.

See that left shin bone?

Clipped in half.

That's where they shot him when he tried to run away.

You a psychic or some bullshit like that?

No, I saw it happen about a mile from here.

Are you saying that some white people... lynched somebody around here?

When we get back, you're going to have to talk to your sheriff, get the coroner out here now.

I don't know about y'all over in Iberia Parish, but around here, ain't nobody going to be... real interested in nigger trouble that's 40 years old.

What are you looking for, Mr. Robicheaux?

I don't see any remnants of a belt on his trousers... or any laces in his boots.

That boy probably did his shopping at the Goodwill.

They never found him, didn't even look for him.

Back then, with no body, no missing persons report, that sheriff didn't have any reason to believe me, must less get off his ass and go to work.

You're not 17 years old anymore.

The trouble I have with you is getting you away from work.

You've done everything that you can.

You have no good reason to beat yourself up.

Now drink your milk and come to bed.

I'm horny.

Bootsie was right.

What was the point of reaching into the distant past?

Just yesterday, a young girl had been eviscerated.

We had her name now, Cherry LeBlanc.

Mr. Trajan around?

He's over there, chere.

We've been over this already three times now.

Cherry's been working here off and on for the past few weeks.

She's going to show up anyway to listen to Hogman Pitan.

The girl had a real thing for Hogman.

Some time around 1:00, she put her purse behind the bar... and says she's going to go outside for a walk.

You know she'd been arrested for prostitution?

I didn't know that.

All right.

Okay.

You hired her 'cause you thought... she was an honor student at LSU.

I can't say I care for the way you're talking to me, Detective.

If I found out you've been holding back information on me.

Mr. Trajan, I'ma come back here with a warrant, Mr. Trajan, for your arrest.


Did you know Cherry LeBlanc, little white girl, about 19 years old?

She work here, ain't she?

Do you know if she had a boyfriend, tante?

If that's what you want to call it.

She in the business.

Was Mr. Trajan involved?

Ask him.

I don't think he was.

Otherwise you wouldn't be telling me all these things.

She a sad girl.

I told her, 'A pretty white girl like you... could have anything you want.'

When that girl dress up, she look just like a movie star.

Who was her pimp?

I don't know nothing else, me.

She wasn't about to give the name... of some rich white man to an old black woman.

What rich white man?

Some rich white man maybe... get her out of the business of selling jelly roll.

She say that just before somebody done them... awful things to that young girl.

The sheriff over in St. Clair Parish... said, 'Thanks a lot,' for that pile of bones you found... out in the Atchafalaya yesterday.

They really appreciate the extra work.

He need to find a new line of work, he don't like them bones.

Now, he said you're welcome to come over on your days off... and run an investigation.

Their coroner's got them bones now waiting on you.

Autopsy report came in on that LeBlanc girl.

Looks like we're talking about a psychopath, somebody wired to the eyes on crack or meth.

Maybe.

I think she knew him.

So you don't think it was a John?

No, she left her purse behind the bar... with all her condoms in it.

Cherry LeBlanc was a working girl with ambition.

Maybe she misjudged a business opportunity here.

Who's a girl like that going to be in business with?

Um... Baby Feet?

Maybe Baby Feet.

What's happening, Cholo?

I thought you was in the pen.

No, man.

Katrina, she rinsed my hands clean.

The whole damn crime lab... washed off down the river.

Ain't got nothing on me in New Orleans.

Doing fine, bro.

Besides that, they ain't even got enough money... to lobotomize guys like me no more.

What's going on, Dave?

I'm investigating a murder, Julie.

No kidding.

Y'all worried about me, Dave?

Hell yes.

How many guys would burn down their own... father's nightclub with their own father still in it?

You got to forgive me if I get a little upset... by these kinds of attitudes, Dave.

I come home to this shithole.

I'm a prominent man in the entertainment business.

I talk on the phone every day to people in California... you read about in Entertainment Weekly.

They ought to have 'Welcome Back Balboni Day.'

Instead.

I get treated like sewer gas by you.

You understand what I'm saying, Dave.

It hurts me.

Sit down while I take a whiz.

Cholo, where's your hospitality?

Get the man a soft drink.

Here, Lieutenant.

Julie was telling me about that time... that nigger almost popped you with a.38... in the French Quarter.

Said he saved your life.

Weren't you and Julie baseball buddies in high school?

Take the hint, Cholo.

This guy's not a conversationalist.

You working on that Cherry LeBlanc deal?

What you know about that?

All over today's paper, man.

Julie and me were just talking about it.

Sounds like you got one sick fuck on the loose.

My meter's running, Julie.

I want to talk about... that murdered girl we found south of town.

Which girl is that?

Cherry LeBlanc.

I guess I ain't heard about it.

You don't read the newspaper?

I've been busy.

Mm-hmm, I can see that.

We used to be friends, Dave.

I even maybe did you a favor once.

So I'm going to line it out for you and any locals... that want to get the wax out their ears.

Louisiana's flat-ass broke.

New Orleans is a mortuary.

And the bottom of a toilet's got more appeal... than this shithole in the bayou.

So they better wake up to the fact... that we are dropping close to $40 million... in Iberia Parish.

They don't like the name Balboni around here?

We'll move the whole fucking movie... over to Mississippi.

See how that floats with those coon-ass jack-offs... on the Chamber of Commerce.

You're in the movie business now?

Yeah, I'm producing White Doves with Michael Goldman.

What you think about that?

I'm sure everybody wishes you success, Julie.

I'ma do a baseball movie next.

You want a part in it?

You can go on in.

You remember me, Dave?

It's Doucet, isn't it?

Yes, sir, Murphy Doucet.

You got a good memory.

I was with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Department... when you were with NOPD.

I guess you're in the movie business now, along with everybody else.

Yeah, I own half of a security service now, and I'm still with the Teamsters out of Lafayette.

So I'm kind of doing double duty here.

Is there some kind of trouble?

Where can I find Mr. Goldman?

Right on the other side of them trees.

I'll let him know you're coming.

It's all right. I'll find him.

We had two divisions of soldiers march through that?

Looks like we're shooting a bread commercial.

Where'd we get this cannon, Toys 'R' Us?

All right, I'm going to need floaters in there, one face down, two belly-up.

Use some of the fat extras.

They'll look bloated.

My dead horse?

No.

Not on the call sheet? Terrific.

We need some blood, blood-soaked ground, if that's what it says in the script.

This is not the nightly news.

They never show the blood.

This is an allegory.

We're not shooting the fall of Vicksburg.

This is Baghdad 2007.

Copy that.

If people don't connect the dots, fuck 'em.

There's a Detective Robicheaux here to see you, sir.

So you're investigating a crime.

Seen any crime around here?

Only crime I'm aware of is the air conditioning in my trailer.

You could fry an egg on the toilet seat in there.

Then I've got a lead actor digging up skeletons... in sandbars, exactly what I need to be thinking about... while I'm shooting a picture.

Mr. Goldman, is Mr. Julius Balboni producing this film?

Producing?

I must've really fucked up in my previous incarnation.

Maybe I sunk the Titanic... or assassinated Archduke Ferdinand.

I am the only producer.

So Mr. Balboni's lying.

Mr. Balboni is investing some of his money in a motion picture.

Is that illegal?

Congratulations.

You in business with the man that hung Fulvio Raneri's cousin... up by his colon on a meat hook.

Do you recognize this girl.

Cherry LeBlanc?


How you are, Hogman?

Come on up on the porch.

Grab a chair.

You knew that LeBlanc girl, didn't you?

I don't like to have nothing to do with white folks' business, but it bothers me what somebody do to that girl.

I spoke to her about two hours before she left the juke.

She said, 'Hogman, in the next life, me and you going to get married.'

That's what she said.

I said, 'Darling, don't let the men misuse you for no chicken.'

She said, 'I'm going to have myself a town house... on Lake Pontchartrain.'

Was she mixed up with somebody from New Orleans?

Probably some white-trash pimp told her she special, she pretty.

Instead, she got herself killed.

You're mixed up with that skeleton they found... in the Atchafalaya, ain't you?

How do you know about that?

When somebody find a dead black man, black people knows about it.

I'm listening.

A blue jay don't sit on a mockingbird's nest.

The mockingbird will whoop the blue jay's ass every time.

What are we talking about here, Sam?

I'm talking about a black man.

And he was carrying on with a white woman... who husband he worked for.

I think them was his bones you dug in that sandbar.

What was his name?

Who care what's his name?

I think he got what he asked for.

I say, 'Past is past, and don't be messing with it.'

You warning me?

What was that white woman's name?

I got to go start my beans now.

Alafair, you got to keep this raccoon out of my fried pie.

Next time he come in here, I'ma swat him with my broom.

Tripod's just an animal.

Why don't you try kicking the smell of cigars out of the yard?

Alafair, you shouldn't talk to Batist like that.

But he threatened Tripod with menacing violence.

Tripod's a raccoon, baby.

Apologize to Batist.

Sorry for what I said.

And I'm saying it 'cause Dave made me.

That's a beautiful child, Dave.

By the time she's 18 years old, your hair's going to be solid white, if there's any of it left.

Oh, wow.

Uh.

This is great.

I love it.

You run a bait shop too.

How you doing, Mr. Robicheaux?

We want to have dinner with y'all tonight.

Oh, thanks, but my wife's already cooking supper.

I was just on my way over there to take a shower.

Well, hurry up.

We got reservations at Clementine's, everybody.

The family has plans for this evening, Mr. Sykes.

This is embarrassing, El.

I have a reservation.

Hey, I don't want to cause any problems.

We'll just pick up our liquids at your store here... and hit the road, okay?

Mr. Sykes... you've been driving drunk, and you come to a cop's house to buy more booze.

Why don't you hand those keys to Ms. Drummond... before you hit the road?

Where's that beer at?

Hey.

You're a good man.

Y'all need to be real careful.

Elrod's a shitbird, but I love him.

It's all right.

Bad timing. Put it there.

Cool. Next time.

Hey.

All right.

Um, shit. We'll settle up.

We'll settle up later, yeah?

All right.

Other side.

Ah.

Come here.

Come on. Come here.

Elrod.

What? Check this out.

Will you stop?

El.

Check me out.

S'more? Made 'em myself.

Oh, thank you.

Elrod Sykes is wearing Dave's jersey.

Can you believe it?

Mm-hmm.

Now go do your homework.

Something to drink?

How about a beer?

I think we're out.

I'm sure there's one in there somewhere.

I'm going to go feed Alafair's rabbits.

You care to join me?

Yeah, yeah, sure.

Get back there, Leroy.

Go on.

You ever seen lights in the cypress trees at night?

That's swamp gas.

It'll ignite and roll out across the waters like ball lightning.

No, sir, that's not what it is.

See these guys out yonder by the lake.

They have lanterns hanging from some of their ambulances.

A lot of those soldiers had maggots in their wounds.

That's the only reason they lived.

It's 'cause the maggots ate out the infection.

You've been drunk a long time, Elrod.

Pretty soon all the trees and alligators will be talking to you.

A wild orchid sang a song to me one time.

She had the prettiest voice.

Yeah, I wasn't drunk.

Mm-hmm.

This guy, a general, he's standing on a crutch right by the water.

And he said to me, 'You and your friend the law man must repel them.'

I think you're delusional.

You might want to think about going to an AA meeting... with me one time.

Maybe I was a little drunk.

What happened to this dude's nose?

Coon bit him.

Aw.

Lou Girard always called at night.

I had picked him out of gutters... from New Orleans to Lake Charles, held him when he had the shakes, driven him to AA meetings more times than I could remember.

And he had done the same for me.

Thanks for the call, Lou.

Yeah, when I saw that electrical tape... around her hands and her feet, or what's left of them.

I thought about you and that LeBlanc case you got going.

Where she at now?

She's right there, still in that barrel.

She got about 15 big blue crabs on her.

Coroner says, we move her, she's coming out in pieces.

We're going to have a rough time getting an ID, maybe.

Maybe by her teeth.

That's the poor bastard who found her.

When did you first notice that barrel?

About four or three weeks back.

See anyone else out there on that levee?

Yeah, about a month ago in the evening.

I seen a dark-colored car.

I remember thinking, it was brand-new, you know?

Why would anybody want to bring their new car... down on that dirt road full of holes?

You remember what kind of car it was?

No, sir. I'm sorry.

I just wish I hadn't been the one to find that poor woman.

And, hey, I'm never going to look inside... another barrel again.

Not me, no.

That'll do. Thank you.

Officer Guidry going to take you home.

Thank you.


I need a tow truck to haul off a limousine.

Where about?

Can't miss it.

Right in front of Chez Narcisse.

When? Right now.

Copy that. Thank you, chere.


You could get the Roman Army down here.

One division of these guys... could've knocked off these squirrel hunters, had the Civil War over in one year.

You know what?

Maybe we'll do a Bible movie next.

Yeah, but how do you fight a war with sandals?

That's... stupid.

How did they win wars with sandals, hm?

What's going on, Dave?

Had a long night last night.

Found a girl in a barrel down in south St. Martin Parish.

She covered up in blue crabs.

You ought to run her again.

We'll have gumbo.

You here for breakfast?

Sit down.

You're pissed off about some little thing, so you have my car towed.

You need to quit parking in front of fireplugs.

Fireplugs; I'm getting this kind of shit because of fireplugs?

No, Julie.

I want to know what you have to do with a teenage hooker... named Cherry LeBlanc.

Who the fuck is Cherry LeBlanc?

You know who she is.

You and Cholo were talking about her... before I got to the Holiday Inn, and you lied to me about it.

Calling me a liar?

You're a motherfucking lying piece of dog shit.

I think this sweet little town's... starting to rub off on you, David.

Gentlemen, could you please...

I mean, just not use that language...

Get the fuck away from my table.

It's all right, Mr. Meaux.

I'll be gone in a second.

Oh, sad to hear that.

I don't know none of these girls.

I don't have nothing to do with your business.

You said some ugly things about me, Dave, and I'm going to let it slide.

I'll call a couple of cabs.

I'll pay the fine on my car.

I'll buy some new tires, and I'll forget everything you've been saying to me, because I got a business to run.

Everybody's been pretty polite here.

Keep it simple, stupid.

It's time for you to let people alone, Mr. Robicheaux.

Uh.

Ease off, Lieutenant.

This ain't good for nobody.

Uh.

Come on. Come on.

You're losing it, Dave.

You need to get yourself some better tranqs.


No, sir, I wouldn't exactly call it a dead end.

You have a seat, I'll be right with you.

Thank you.

It's $100-million contract.

He must've pocketed $60 million, $70 million.

False load slips, bogus waybills.

Balboni Trucking hauled just about enough debris... to fill a Dixie cup.

Yes, sir, we are trying.

Thank you.

Can I help you with something?

I hope so.

This is my office.

Oh, my God, I'm s...

I'm sorry. I was... a call came in for me on your extension, and I just... anyway, I'm Special Agent Rosa Gomez.

Everyone calls me Rosie, so call me Rosie.

It's nice to meet you, Special Agent Rosie.

'Your detective's investigative missteps... are going to hurt you in November.'

That's courtesy of that prick Bubba Broussard over at the city council.

So you called the FBI?

The FBI's been trying to nail Balboni... for over a year now on a FEMA scam.

And they still have precisely nothing on him.

That's why I think they're hoping there's more... to that Cherry LeBlanc case.

Now, Balboni is throwing a birthday bash... for Mr. Michael Goldman this evening.

I think you, too, should attend.

There are 17 unsolved homicides in Louisiana... that share some similarities with this case.

And ten of them share multiple common denominators.

All show marks from being bound, all young, all working class.

One was a high school girl.

Two were waitresses. Three had been runaways.

And four were prostitutes.

The FBI has an informational advantage over Iberia Parish.

How do you like that catfish court bouillon?

Uh, it's interesting.

If you found the remains of a black man... and he had no belt, no laces in his boot, what speculation would you make about him?

Obviously he'd been in jail, a parish, or city holding tank, some place where they were afraid he'd do harm to himself.

That's what I think.

Mud bugs, as advertised.

This one has your name on it.

Get out of here.

Hey, Dave, you ought to get yourself some food.

It's free.

Thanks. I've already eaten.

See that man bird-dogging the blonde?

Twinky Hebert LeMoyne.

That's the other half of my security service business.

What's he doing here?

He's an investor in the movie... and trying to get laid.

That's funny.

You like doing business with Twinky LeMoyne?

It's good for me.

For him, it's no big deal, really.

I mean, if there's a business around here making money, you can be sure he's got a piece of it.

# Well, I sit in my dark room #...

# with tears rolling down my eyes #

Take a picture?

What? Picture?

Yeah.

# Come on, help me now #


I'm General John Bell Hood, commander of the Texas brigade, commander of the 4th Texas Cavalry, the 5th Texas Cavalry, and the 17th Texas Infantry.

Do you object to shaking hands?

Am I dead?

You don't look like it to me.

You were at Gettysburg. The war's over.

It's never over.

I would think you'd know that.

You were a lieutenant in the United States Army, weren't you?

My head hurts. My head... sure does hurt.

Venal and evil people are destroying the world... you were born in.

It's us against them, my good friend.

Don't compromise your principles or abandon your cause.

Do you know what's waiting for me on down the road?

For one reason or another.

I find I have more insight into the past than the future.

Try to keep this in mind:

It's just like when they load their cannon... with horseshoes and log chain.

You'd think the barrage would last forever.

Then all of a sudden, there's a silence... louder than the cannon fire.

Please don't be alarmed by the severity of my comparison.

Have a good night, Lieutenant.


Paramedics who brought you in... said you were talking about Confederate soldiers... out in the swamp.

It was an usual night.

What's the possibility that one of those Hollywood characters... laced your Dr. Pepper?

Do what?

The tox screen came back positive for LSD. l-I need to talk to the sheriff.

The sheriff was here this morning.

You talked to him for half an hour.

What'd I say?

Nothing that made any sense to me.

When you reel him in through the water, his little legs and tail wiggle like he was swimming.

Makes the black bass hungry.

How would you define the idea of understanding?

Well, it's knowing something and knowing what it means.

I think there's two ways... of looking at the idea of understanding.

One is, if you don't look, you never will see.

And the other is, if you look a little less, you might see a hell of a lot more.

You might not be over those drugs they put in your drink.

I know General John Bell Hood of the Texas Calvary... just like he was my own grandfather.

Are you accusing me of working with the mafia?

When you do business with a man like Julie Balboni, you create a certain amount of curiosity about yourself.

I don't do business with him.

I don't do anything with him.

I'm a member of a group of investors... that have put money into a movie production... in New Iberia.

Investing in the local economy, that's all.

Are your employees union people?

No, they certainly are not.

You own half of a security service with Murphy Doucet, don't you?

That's right, I certainly do.

And your partner in your security service... is a Teamster steward over in Lafayette.

I think you're involved in some strange contradictions.

Mr. LeMoyne.

You'll have to excuse me, Detective.

I've got to lock up now.

I have a lot of people I take care of, you know?

Would you like to have Julie Balboni... for a next door neighbor?

Would you like to have your granddaughter... working for him?

Mr. Robicheaux.

I can't express to you how offensive you are.

Did you get that blond-haired girl... to lick your leg the other night?

There's my business card.

Thank you for your time.

Here you go, Dave.

Still 1965, July, September, November.

Thank you, chere.

You're welcome.

How's Alafair?

Bien bonne.

Great.


A nigger, you say?

DeWitt Prejean.

Black man name of DeWitt Prejean.

Yeah, I remember that son of a bitch.

What about him?

Were you on duty the night somebody broke him out of jail? l-I was the jailer.

Jailers don't work nights.

They hire a man for that.

Do you remember what Mr. Prejean was charged with?

He wasn't charged with nothing.

Never got to that.

They busted him out of the tank.

Not according to the newspaper.

Lot of people wipe their asses with newspaper.

Newspaper said he broke into a white woman's house... with a butcher knife.

Was DeWitt Prejean a rapist?

He couldn't keep his prick in his pants, if that's what you mean.

Is it all right if I sit down here, Mr. Hebert?

Sure.

You think her husband broke him out of jail?

He might have if he could've.

He was a crippled man.

Got shot up in a war.

Where's he at now?

He's in the cemetery out by the tracks, east of town.

What about the woman?

She moved away, up north somewhere.

What's your interest in this 40-year-old nigger trouble?

I think I saw him killed.

Where's the man who was on duty the night of the jailbreak?

He got drunk and got his self run over by a train.

Wait a minute.

What'd you say?

You saw what?

What you think I saw, Mr. Hebert?

Hello?

You're a hard man to catch.

Who's this?

Sugar, it's Amber.

Don't you remember me?

Don't hurt my feelings.

No, I'm sorry. I don't remember who you are.

What can I do for you?

It's me that's going to do you a big favor, darling.

I'm going to give you the guy you want.

What guy we talking about?

The nasty old pimp that's been leaving dead girls around.

Meet me at Club Leon in an hour.


Thanks for coming out, Lou.

Yeah, who you supposed to be meeting up with here?

Said her name was Amber.

There's a hooker, calls herself Amber.

What are we doing tonight?

I'm going to drive around front and have a look inside.

I'd like you to be out here to cover my back.

I don't want to walk into no setup.


What are you having?

Has Amber been in?

Amber Martinez?

Short, skinny, little Puerto Rican girl, maybe weigh 100 pounds sopping wet?

Yeah. No, she ain't been in.

What you drinking?

Dr. Pepper. Dr. Pepper, yes, sir.

I could call somebody, might know where she's at.

Why don't you do that?

Yes, sir. Right away.

Hey, Mama 'Ti, Amber there?

No word from Amber?

No, man, not a word.

# I'm a hog for you, babe #...

# And I'm running round your door #...

# I'm a hog for you, woman #

Get back in there.

Dave, what the fuck's going on?

Shooter fired at me twice.

I put eight rounds in that Buick.

I think he's still in there.

Looks like she took one right in the face.

What you mean, 'she'?

You just popped Amber Martinez.

There's no fucking gun.

There's no gun, man.

I got this throw-down.

Tell me to do it.

I opened up on that Buick too soon.

You thought your life was at risk, Lieutenant.

I hope you don't mind my being here.

No.

You shouldn't have remorse.

A desire to live doesn't mean you lack humanity.

Somebody's trying to drive me crazy.

Can't believe what I see or hear anymore.

They say I killed an unarmed woman.

I think that would probably bother me too.

I keep seeing that woman, the back of her head, her hair glued down to the carpet with her own blood.

Think about what you just said.

You're an intelligent man.

What does your eye tell you?

I need help.

The wind's out of the south.

There'll be thunder by afternoon.

It'll sound like Yankee cannon fire, but it'll only be thunder.

General...

What time is it?

Why would Amber Martinez be sitting in the passenger seat... of her own car?

What did the homicide investigator... have to say last night?

He told me I'm a hell of a shot.

Everybody thinks I killed an unarmed woman.

There's not any bullet holes anywhere.

There's no casings.

And there's no gun.

It was a setup, Dave.

What y'all doing out here?

Can't be messing around a crime scene.

I'm really just an observer here, Doobie.

Who's she?

Special Agent Gomez.

This is part of an FBI investigation.

Do you have a problem with that?

Why piss people off, Robicheaux?

St. Martin Parish ain't going to indict you over this, but if I were you, I wouldn't hang around here.

You might piss me off.

Well, from the size of the wound and the impact of the round.

I'd say a.45 killed her.

Look at her head.

I only use hollow-point ammunition, Sollie.

It ain't no hollow point passed through this girl's head.

Her hair was stuck to the carpet, the blood already dry.

Did she die in that car, you want to ask me?

Her blood lividity tells me... that she was dead before she ever got into that car.

If I can vacuum the Buick, what are we looking for?

I saw muzzle flashes coming out that Buick.

I didn't see no bullet holes in that beer joint wall.

See what you can find out.

What we waiting on here, me to smoke this?

Allons.

Thank you, Henry.

Anybody else got something to share?

My name's Dave.

I'm an alcoholic.


# I'm coming home #...

# What I feel #...

# You don't feel so all alone #

Want some cappuccino mix?

You cops like coffee, right, or a stereo?

You know anybody been recruiting girls out the parishes?

Try the bus depot, for starters.

But who's going to recruit?

Ever since Katrina, there's cash on the hoof all over this town.

Maybe this guy does more than just pimp.

Maybe he likes to hurt these girls.

Been two of them killed already, maybe more.

Talking about somebody that operates way down... at the bottom of the food chain, Dave.

You think Baby Feets Balboni might have something to do... with something like this?

You're using the names of local personalities now.

It stays with me, Jimmie.

You looking for a guy who likes to kill hookers?

Mm-hmm.

Don't sound like Baby Feet.

His outfit's running girls, all right, but... they're not worth nothing to him if they're dead.

Try the bus station.

Try Adonis Brown.

You, uh, ladies seem lost.

You're not from around here, are you?

You'll be able to find some peace.

I promise you.

Don't sweat it.

I want you to make a public service announcement for me, chere.

I know what it's like to run away.

Praise Jesus.

There's a call... for Mr. Adonis Brown at the public restroom pay phone.

There's a call for Mr. Adonis Brown... at the public restroom pay phone.

This is Adonis. What's up?

Hello?

Uh.

What you want?

Ah.

Don't do that, man.

I ain't no threat to you.

Look, I ain't got a gun.

I ain't no trouble. Uh.

I want to know the name of the guy... you've been delivering all these girls to.

This one's occupied, by the way.

Nobody. I ain't bringing nobody to nobody.

Uh.

You know the guy I'm talking about.

Don't do this to me, man.

Uh.

Tell me his name.

This guy likes to hurt people.

You tell me his name, this'll all be over with.

There's a... bald-headed, squirrel-faced white guy.

He carries a gun too.

Nobody fucks with him.

Is that the guy you're talking about?

Uh.

You tell me.

He's got juice. That's all I know.

I don't know his fucking name, man.

He connected?

With the cops or the mob.

He's got to be to stay in business.

That's all I know.

Why you doing this to me, man?

God.

I shit my pants.

I can't go back out there.

That's right, Adonis.

You ain't ever gonna go back out there.

You're going to treat that bus station... like it's downtown Baghdad.

Not a good place for you to be.

Who the fuck are you, man?

You don't want to know who I am.

What you want to do is start acting right... and quit doing wrong.

I'll kill you, Adonis.

I'll blow your Goddamn head off... if you don't find an honest line of work.


You stay gone most of the night.

You don't call.

I'm sorry.

I don't deserve to be afraid you've been hurt.

No.

You don't.

But I'm not going to nag you.


I really need your help, Dave.

I really need help.

Go ahead.

You go ahead and drown yourself, man.

I don't care.

Dave, I planned this all week.

The guy already charged me for the boat, man Elrod...

It's going to rain like hell.

Now, why don't you wait until after it quits raining, and you can go fishing for black bass and perch... and bream right out here in the bayou.

When was the last time you caught freshwater fish... after it rained?

Oh, hell, suit yourself.

You want to leave that beer cooler here with me?

It came with the boat, dude.

Sure you don't want to come?

Miss Drummond, you need to get yourself off of that boat right now.

Please, it's Kelly.

Watch the bend in the channel.

It's about three miles south.

The water's been low... and gill nets are on the left... floating on Clorox bottles.

I got it.


Hello?

How far down the bayou?

Well, that's that bend Batist warned you about.

Oh.

What you asking me, Elrod?

Can you come give us a hand?

Yeah, I'll come help you out.

But I am also going to bill you for my time.


I got it.

How'd you hit the gill net?

Didn't you see the bottles?

Oh, man...

I'm an idiot, right?


You want me to get down in the water?

Yeah.

Get down by the bow and be ready to push... when I put the motors in reverse.

Hey, are there any alligators around here?

Oh, hell yeah.

They're not hungry, though.

All right.

Put on a life jacket, El.

Okay, honey.

I swam the Trinity River once.

Watch out for water moccasins.

What?

Don't worry about him.

That water's not very deep.

I've got to give him a life jacket.

He'd drown in a bathroom sink.

Here you go.

It's nothing personal, Miss Kelly.

But I think you're a very fine, beautiful young woman.

I'm already soaked.


I was burdened greatly... by the deaths of those around me, Lieutenant.

But incorporating their suffering... into our own lives does not change the way of the world.

An act of kindness, one as simple as giving a girl my raincoat, had resulted in her death.

The shooter had left nothing behind, no ejected brass, no recoverable prints.

We had no suspects.

But one heart-sinking... and unalterable conclusion remained.

Kelly Drummond was dead.

And she was dead because she had been mistaken for me.

The tragic death of Kelly Drummond, the longtime companion of Elrod Sykes... and star of the popular television series River Valley, now appears certain... to have been a case of mistaken identity.

Sources within the sheriff's department... confirmed that they now believe the fatal shot... may have been intended for someone else.

I'm going to miss her, Dave.

Ah.

You want him to stay here?

Guy's in bad shape.

This is our home.

Mr. Sykes just did the rainbow yawn again.

Go to bed.

The guy needs an AA friend, or he's not going to make it.

So what? I don't care.

Tell you what, I'm going to make you a deal.

First time he takes a drink, he gets 86ed right straight back... to his movie star trailer house.

He pays for his share of the food.

He does not tie up the bathroom.

He does not come in late.

Okay, but only for a few days.

Do you like being a movie star?

It's just a job, honey.

Really? Yeah.

It's like Dave.

You think he enjoys enforcing the law, catching the bad guys, making the good people feel better?

Yeah.

Yeah, well...

I like my job.

I'm sorry about Kelly.

Me too, honey.

Um...

I've got 50 movie posters here from Tears and Diamonds.

I hate that picture.

Well, 50 movie posters signed by Elrod Sykes... will fetch $25,000.

That's four roofs, eight with volunteer labor.

Here's your felt-tip pen.

The worst thing a cop can do to himself... is eat his own gun.

Lou Girard always called at night.

Tonight someone else had to make the call for him.

There's a half empty bottle of Bourbon here on the dresser, spilled bottle of Diazepam here on the coffee table.

Y'all writing that off as a suicide?

Well, that's the way it looks to me.

He was in bad shape.

Mattress is covered in piss stains.

The sink is full of raw garbage.

Where's the gun at?

By the bedside.

If Lou Girard wanted to kill his self, how come he didn't use that.357?

'Cause he was drunk on his ass.

Not an unusual condition for him.

He was helping me on a case, Doobie.

And?

Maybe he found out something... somebody did not want him to know.

He was trembling, eating pills every morning, in front of everybody.

There's no big mystery to what happened here tonight.

He was a good cop.

He was a sorry-ass drunk.

Now, if you want to look at anything else, hurry up.

I'm going to seal the place.

I appreciate you waiting outside just for a moment.

Matter of fact, I appreciate you staying as far away from me... as you can possibly get.


What had Lou found out that had cost him his life?

Hogman Patin knew a lot and seldom said anything.

Now I got word he wanted to talk to me.

I started to think about when I was in the pen.

And your daddy, he brought my mother food... and paid for her medicine up at the store... when she was sick.

You got something to say to me, Sam?

What was the name of that nigger you dug up out the sandbar?

DeWitt Prejean.

He was fucking a white man's wife.

Start asking what he's doing for a living, and you'll find the people been causing you all this grief.

Who's the man I'm looking for?

I said all I can say.

This still the state of Louisiana.

Why you keep bothering me?

I need to know what kind of work DeWitt Prejean did.

Done nigger work.

You know, he cut lawns, cleaned out grease traps, got the dead rats out from under people's houses.

What the fuck you think he did?

Don't sound right to me.

I think he did some other kind of work too.

You leave me alone.

You're a pretty good judge of character, Mr. Hebert.

Do I look like somebody that's going to go away?

Hm?

It was better back then.

You know it was.

What kind of work he do, Ben?

Drove a truck.

Who for?

It was over in Jeanerette.

I brung her out here 'cause she works for me, 'cause I can't get in and out of the car good by myself.

He worked seasonal for a white man, owned some big sugar mill.

I don't know nothing about him... except he was a brother of that crippled fellow.

That's all I know and nothing more.

You saying I do, then you're a Goddamn liar.

Something else you want to say?

You got a fish on your line.

Batist.

Yo.

How many sugar mills they got over there in Jeanerette?

Just one.

Mm-hmm.

Hey.

Come on in.

Stopped by to say good-bye, give you a going-away present.

Where you headed, Cholo?

Thought I might go to Florida, maybe open a business like you got here.

What you doing with all that lawn furniture... in the back end of your pickup?

Oh, um, guy at the Holiday Inn wanted me to take it when I checked out.

Said I'd kind of be doing him a favor, you know?

Giving him a write-off.

Uh-huh.

You had some trouble with Baby Feet.

Yeah.

I told him he was a douche bag... and I wouldn't work for him again even if he begged me.

That Cherry LeBlanc girl was right... when she called him a needle-dick.

That's when the son of a bitch comes across my mouth... with this big...

Now, wait, wait, wait.

What's this about Cherry LeBlanc?

If he tells you he never knew her, ask him about this.

Julie forgot he told me to take some souvenir pictures... when we drove over to Biloxi last year.

Is that her or not?

Did Baby Feets kill this girl?

Come on, Lieutenant.

You know how it works.

A guy like Julie don't do hits.

He says something to somebody, then he forgets it.

If it's a special kind of job, maybe somebody calls up a geek.

Did Baby Feets make that call?

Start a photo album, Lieutenant.

Make up your own mind.

What's Murphy Doucet doing in this picture?

What's wrong, Dave?

Got a loose ignition wire.

You got a knife I could use?

Yeah, I ought to have something.

This should do.

Some Mexican pulled this on me in Lake Charles.

I didn't know you were a cop in Lake Charles.

I wasn't.

I was working highway for the state police.

That's where I retired from last year.

Is that when you got into business with Twinky LeMoyne?

No, we go back a ways further.

Thanks for the knife.

What's the deal?

Lou Girard was looking at her file last week.

Lou arrested her on a prostitution charge.

It wouldn't be one officer.

It was a state police raid on a bar...

State police? Who sent that arrest report?

Oh, Sgt. Murphy Doucet.

Murphy Doucet.

I'd missed it.

Lou Girard had dug up Cherry LeBlanc's arrest record, and it had cost him his life.

But this was going to be the end of the line for Murphy Doucet.


I wasn't planting evidence, I kept telling myself.

I was just removing it... before a guilty man could destroy it.

Why the hell are y'all here?

We're here because of you, Mr. Doucet.

We've been checking all the unsolved murders... of females in areas surrounding highways... during the time you were working for the state police.

Rosie, I think we just found the knife... that he used on Cherry LeBlanc.

That knife wasn't there.

I say it was, and I say your fingerprints are all over it.

I see.

You and this Mexican bitch are in on it together, huh?

No, Murphy.

I'm fucking you all by myself.

Get your hands up now.

Get your hands up, up against that... up against that wall.

Y'all are setting me up, and I don't even know why.

Think about it.

Think hard.

Think all the way back to 1965, just before that hurricane hit.

Y'all made DeWitt Prejean run with that chain... locked around his chest, shot his leg out from underneath him.

You didn't notice the boy that was watching you... from across the swamp, though, did you?


I don't know how you did it, but you planted that knife.

Time is always on the bad guy's side, Rosie.

We wait for warrants while they deep-six the evidence.

I didn't hear what you said.

Jesus wienie, Dave.

Y'all done tore this place to pieces.

You want to stay behind and clean it up?

I don't want to be nowhere around here... when that guy gets home.

You heard he's out on bond?

Screw that.

He'll be here any minute.

We got nothing.

Alfie.

You know where your little girl's at?

She's right here on my knee.

You sound speechless.

Turn her loose, Doucet.

You don't want to do this.

I'll make it simple for both of us.

You take that knife out of the evidence locker, you put it in a Ziploc bag.

At 8:00 tomorrow morning, you leave the bag in a trash can... on the corner of Royal and St. Anne in New Orleans.

You listen to me, Doucet.

Think about this.

You're a cop.

You can skate on this.

We've been jacking you around the whole time.

You lying son of a bitch.

You won't rest till you fuck me up every way you can.

You said only one thing right today:

I'm going to skate.

And you're going to help me.


Finally lost your mind, Dave?

Young lady, you need to stay away from this man.

Okay, let's go.

Get out of here. Come on, let's go.

Nothing good on TV tonight, Dave?

Murphy Doucet has my daughter.

Did you hear what I said?

That's too bad.

I don't like to hear stuff like that.

It upsets me.

Hey, maybe you can get her face on one of them milk cartons.

Where's my daughter, Julie?

Oh.

Oh.

Ah.

Uh.

Where's Alafair at?

I cut Doucet loose.

I got nothing to do with what he does.

You get off my fucking back... or I swear to God, I'll square this.

Cop or not, I'll put out on open contract.

I'll cowboy your whole fucking family.

Ah.

Your window of opportunity's closing down.

Where's my baby girl?

I'm telling you the truth.

I got nothing to do with what he does.

He's a geek.

I don't hire geeks. I run them off.

Last by God chance.

He's got a camp out by Bayou Vista, almost at Atchafalaya Basin.

The deed's not in his name.

Nobody knows about it.

It's at the end of the dirt road, by the salt marsh.

Alafair there?

I hope to God she's not.


Alfie.

Come here.

Did he hurt you, baby?

I told him he better not.

I told him what you do.

I just shot a man armed with a rolled-up magazine.

No, no.

He had a gun on him.

You just don't remember it yet.

You okay?


Should I call my lawyer?

Mr. LeMoyne.

I saw you and Murphy Doucet... kill DeWitt Prejean out on the Atchafalaya.

I watched it from across the swamp.

Your crippled brother couldn't kill DeWitt, so you did it for him.

Am I under arrest?

I think Murphy Doucet's been blackmailing you with it... all these years.

A lot of bad things happened back in that era... between the races.

But we're not the same people... we were then, are we?

I think we are.

You seem unable to let the past rest.

It's been my experience... that you let go of the past by addressing it.

Please, leave.

It won't make any difference if I leave.

You're going to drag this one around with you all day long... every day, like a log chain, for the rest of your life.

Have you no mercy, sir?

No, sir.

No, sir, I don't.


Julie Balboni finally went down, but in a way nobody expected, in a beef with the IRS.

They shipped Baby Feet up to a maximum security unit... at Leavenworth, Kansas, a place that, in wintertime, makes you believe... that sub-zero winds blow from four directions simultaneously.

Elrod Sykes never took another drink.

He brought Alafair to the set... and gave her a little part in the movie.

Months later, when the picture was finished, he called us from California... to say that Alafair had been his salvation.

I thought in the morning mists that curled around the bayou I might again see General John Bell Hood, just a glimpse, perhaps, a doff of his hat, the kindness of his smile, the beleaguered affection... that always seemed to linger in his face.

Then as the days passed... and I began to let go of all the violent events of that summer.

I came to accept that the General, as Bootsie had said, was only a figment of my imagination, there to remind me out of the distant past... that the contest is never quite over, the field never quite ours.


Dave?