The Garden of Eden (2008) Script

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Everybody, raise your glasses.

Our toast to David and Catherine.

To David and Catherine.

Congratulations, guys.

l was caught five miles inside enemy territory, and l had the triplane in my sights.

He was smoking, but he was still game for a bit of fun.

So l closed in.

He went this way, l followed.

He pulled up, l pulled up right after him.

Engines screaming.

Airplane's stretched to breakage. Then--

Bits of canvas, wood, gone as it all exploded in front of me.

David Bourne.

Catherine Hill.


What brings you to Paris?


Painters or paintings?

Are you a painter?

No, a writer.

So how long are you staying in Paris? l don't know. You? l live here.

Came after the war.

Did you fight, like your friend?

Yes, we were in the Flying Corps together.

An aviator.

How exciting.

The end of October usually shrouded Paris with the low gray clouds of the coming winter.

But Monday held the promise of an lndian Summer, a golden afternoon followed by days of warm sun, and by Friday, an ever and forgotten winter. l thought summer would never end.

Come down, you hermit. l'll be right down.

You caught me just as l was putting pencil to paper.

So what do you think?

What do you mean?

The car. lt's yours. l bought it for you.

You did what? lt's a present... because l love you.

You're crazy. lf l'm going to marry an impoverished genius, he has to have something to drive me around in.

Getting married? You know we are.

Can l come up?

No. Let's go out in the car.



lt was only six weeks since we first met at the Hotel Creon in Paris.

We had a whirlwind romance, but l wasn't overly concerned about my writing or anything else. l was just so happy being with this girl that l loved and was married to.

This is cozy.

Come, husband, lie by me.


Why do people always get so hungry after they have sex?

Do they?

Well, l do.

What should we do today?

Well, how about a swim and then a nap before lunch?

A nap?

What an absolutely novel idea.

Where do you get these ideas? l'm the inventive type, you know?

And l'm the destructive type.

What will you destroy next?


One night l'm going to do something, something you've never even heard of or imagined.

Luckily, l can count on you to sleep like a log.

Don't lull yourself into any false security.

Do you love me the way l am?

That's a funny question. lf l changed, would you still?


Do you need the Bug? No.

Are you going somewhere? l have a little surprise for you.

Will l like it? l hope you will.

l see something, l see something.

Don't try to bring him in too quickly.

Look at him! What is he?

He's a sea bass.

A fish such as this has not been caught here for years. lt belongs to the great hotel.

Quick, we must put him on ice.

You are full of surprises. l could do with a drink.

Good idea.

What have you done?

Kiss me, please.

Now feel the back.

You see, l'm a girl, but now l'm like a boy, too, and l can do anything and anything and anything.

Tell me you like it. lt's just... a little unexpected.

You do like it, don't you?

Here, come and sit by me, boy.

Now, what are you drinking?

Give me a whiskey... and don't be stingy.

Now l've got you.

Where do you want me, girl?

Don't call me girl.

Where l'm holding you, you're a girl.

That is my dowry.

The new was my surprise.

Careful there.

Careful here.

You're changing.


You are.

And you're my girl.



l'm Peter now.

And you're my beautiful, lovely Catherine.

You're so good to change.

Thank you.

Thank you. l'm going to make love to you forever.

You don't mind if we've gone to the devil, do you? l like being brothers.

Though when we're naked like this, l don't suppose we look much like brothers, do we? l'm not naked.

No, you're not.

Come on, darling. Don't dwell on things. lt was fun. lt was a game.

You were wonderful to let it happen.

Your mail. lt arrived from American Express.

$1 ,250.

Not bad.

Darling. l have your mail.

Will you join me?

You seem in a better mood.


Willie wants to know if l started the new book.

Yes, it certainly is. ls it about the marriage?

No, it's about a book, written by Monsieur.

David, the things they say.

''Writes like a poet.'' lndeed.

Things like this could hurt you if you thought about them too much.

No, not if you're careful. l'd like to read them once more.

How many times have you read them?

You're not going to carry them around, are you? lt would be like carrying around someone's ashes in a jar.

Some people would be a little happier if the husband got a good review. l'm not some people. lt's making us some money.

But it's as though you're suddenly everybody's.

Besides, it's not as if we need your money.

l have to start writing.

Then write. l'm not stopping you.

What will you write about?


You could write about us.


We'd make a good story, don't you think?

Yeah, l think we'd make a great story.

Do we like it here?

lt's not a good day for driving.

What about here?

That's about right.

Did you write, poet? l see you're ahead of me.

What are you drinking?


So how many?

Two... or six.

Come on, oblivion.

Sounds like a horse.

You know, you want to be careful about absinthe. lt tastes exactly like remorse, and yet it takes it away. lt makes everything easy.

Seem easy.

l've been stuck here all morning while you wrote, and now you want to deny me my one pleasure, you clipping reader.

Now why don't you shut up about the clippings?

Why should l?

Just because you wrote this morning?

Don't be stupid, David.

Please sit down. lt's just the weather getting to me.


l'm sorry... about the clippings, l mean. l was just trying to make a joke, and it misfired.

l thought l'd drive into Biarritz. l don't think you should drive.

You rest. l'm sure you're tired after all that writing.

What have you done, devil?

You don't like it?

l wanted to be a new girl for you.


Yes. Girl.


l told the man that l wanted it cut like an English boy when he first goes to school.

''Eaton,'' l said.

Then l wanted it shorter.

No, leave them.

So where should we go?

A city. l'm tired of small places.

We could go to Madrid.



He's talking to himself.

Colonel! What the hell are you doing here?

Paris was too crowded, so l came down here.

Anyway, what are you so indignant about?


What are you drinking? lt's an Angelus '98.

Bring me a bottle of what he's having.

Very good, sir.

Let's sit over there.

Criticism, you said?

Yes, about my book.

Actually, it's doing pretty well. l'm pleased. l liked it.

By the way, that... British officer who crashes his plane wasn't supposed to be me, was he?

No, of course not.

What brings you to lofty Madrid?

Honeymoon. Sounds sticky.

What? No anchovies?

What kind of fob is this?


So tell me, who did you marry?

Anyone l know?

Catherine Hill.

Actually, you were there when l met her.

Was l? Yes. l knew her father. Odd fellow.

Killed himself in a car. Wife, too.

Silly way for grown-up people to die.

They say she never got over it.

Well, she never really talks about them.

She has an uncle in Paris.

He's really worthless. Do you know him?

Yes, l met him once at the races.

Long Sean O'Tay. How could you miss him?

Well, l... l didn't marry her family.

But you always do, you know?

Dead or alive.

Not the aunts and uncles.

That's where you find the skeletons in the cupboard.


Catherine, you remember my old friend Colonel Boyle.

Yes. Good to see you.

You, too. l missed you today.

l left you so you could write.

Clippings? l believe l saw you this morning at the Prado looking at the El Grecos.

That's right. l saw you, too.

Do you always look at pictures as if you own them?


You were devouring El Greco's portrait of his wife.

Devouring. l like you. l envy you, David.

You'll have to live with that, Colonel.

Are you entirely sure he's everything you'd hoped for?


Would it be all right if l had an absinthe?

Sure. l'll join you.

An excellent drink, but l'll stick with wine.


You like the real Pernod. l'm shy with people, and it helps.

Are you really shy?

Truly. Ask David.

Your father was very shy.

You knew my father? Quite well.

And how was he?

He was the shyest man l ever knew.

And did he drink the real Pernod?

He drank everything.

Go on.

Try a sip of that.

Wormwood-tasting serum. l don't need it now.

What, you're not shy anymore?

You rode over it.

Did l?

What say you we three have dinner together?

All right. David?

Okay. l'll go up and get my coat.

Don't worry. l won't be shy.

Was l too rough?

She's a very lovely girl.

You were fine.

You'll have to take good care of her. l am. l don't know, my friend. Understand me...

You're going to have to take very good care of her.

Remember, everything's right till it's wrong.

How are you feeling, devil?

Devilish. lt was you who wanted to go to Madrid. l know, but it was too crowded, and l want you to myself.

So where shall we go?

What about Cannes? lt'll be scorching there.

Look at that. Paradise.

Can l help you?

What a beautiful place you have.

You are most kind.

Maybe you can help us. lt's perfect. lt's just perfect.

You see, my wife and l have been searching for somewhere ideal to spend our honeymoon.

Newlyweds. How wonderful.

Thank you. Now is there any way we could persuade you to open up?

No. l'm sorry. lt's impossible to open for just a few days.

There is too much work to be done--

No, Madame, not for a few days, for the whole summer.

We will pay you handsomely.

We'll be no trouble.

We'll need only the simplest things. lt would make us so happy.

You can stay.

But you will have to give me some time.

Look. l can work up there.

lt's wonderful.

And so close to Cannes.

David, we're going to be so happy here.

This is nice. l bought all the latest tunes.

And l bought something for you, too.

Do you want a Tom Collins? Yes.

Oh, my.

Now you can write our story so much faster.

l can't wait any longer. Come and have breakfast.

We're going to Cannes.

You've worked long enough.

l will cut it as you ask.

We could, of course, experiment on you, Monsieur, in case anything goes wrong.

You see, Monsieur, this is as important to me as your material is to you.

l have it made with Castile soap.

lt's all gone wrong.

Madame, why would l wish to impair your beauty?

For you, Madame.



You should not have despaired, Madame. lt's like my pearls. l love it.

So much.

Does Monsieur wish a cut? lt is the best part of you.

Well, l haven't had a haircut--

Oh, yes, David.

You must have it, too.

How's our story coming? lt's hard writing so close to life.

Can we publish it soon? lt hasn't got an end yet. l'm so proud of it already.

You have to put in the devil things... and how much l love you.

Well... there's a spectacle.

Sisters? l don't think so.

Let's stick around, see what happens.

Watch out. Here comes the pretty one. l'm sorry to trouble you.

Please, sit. l shouldn't, l know, but l told my friend you would forgive me.

Should we forgive you? l'm sorry. l'm not making myself understood.

Your hair, it's wonderful.

Monsieur Jean is his name.

He's very good.

Send him our best.

You are so very kind.

l hope l see you sometime.

She's nice.

She'll make you nervous with all that blushing, though. l think she's in love with you.

Will Madame be back for lunch?

No, l don't think so. She went into Cannes.

Sometimes the wind does this.

Not a true mistral, but it will blow for a while.

Madame is coming.

Look who l brought for you.

Please, l should not have come. l see you've been to Monsieur Jean.

Aren't you happy to see her?

Come on. l want you to make us a martini.

We can eat later.

Right now, l want a martini.

These are strong.

Well, it's a strong wind today, and we drink according to the wind.

Do all Americans do that?

Look at her, David.

Aren't you glad l brought her?

She was impossible.

We had another fight, in public again. lt was lucky Catherine was there.


Nina wasn't happy, and she went away.

She just left?

lt doesn't matter.

We did have a jolly time this morning, didn't we?

Are you staying far from here? l was staying in Cannes.

She was going back to Turin.

Oh, Torino. ls that where you're from?

My family has a house there.

Tell him the truth, Marita.

You are funny. lt's a palace, David.

An heiress.

Her family goes back to God knows when.

Anyway... l thought if you liked her, we could see if Madame has a room.

Do you like her, David?

Yes, but--

Well, then it's settled.

My things are in Cannes.

No, no, no. Come, stay for a few days.

David will go with you to get your things... won't you, David?

Catherine is so wonderful.

You must love her very much.

Yes, l do. l'm in love with her also, and with you, too. ls that all right?

l can't bear it. l'm going to take this off. l want to get brown all over.

Who's coming for a swim?

Wouldn't you like one of your girls tonight?

You're not my girl.

Do you dislike me for what l said last night?

No. l just don't think you can be in love with two people at the same time.

Come, let's swim.

l'm in heaven!

Patrice? Patrice?

Come on, swimmers, we deserve a drink.

We're going to transform this bar.

We should buy a mirror for it.

A bar is no good without a mirror.

Let's get one tomorrow.

Yes, let's.

There's sure to be one in Cannes.

Then we can all see each other.

When l look too deeply into a bar mirror, that's when l know l'm lost.

How can you lose with two girls?

Don't you like the way your girls look? l'm the fair one.

Darker than the one l married.

So are you.

And l brought you a dark girl for a present.

And l like my present very much.

Do you really?

How do you like your future, dark one? lt isn't a dark future, is it?

She's not only beautiful, she makes jokes. l'd rather be a dark present than a dark future.

She did it again.

Give her a kiss, David. Make her a fair present.

That's a bit mean.

You can do better than that, surely.

Maybe we made too many jokes.

Madame gave me this.

They have left you alone.

No, not for long. l'm meeting them in Nice.

Alas, l won't be needing one of your wonderful lunches today.

How are you, devil?

Devil? Does he mean me?

Did you work well, David?

Of course he did. lt's the only way he ever works.

Now can we have some drinks? lt's so hot.

So what have you two been up to?

We bought things and ordered things and generally made a scandal.

And Marita bought both your books.

Well, l hope you like them.

What was the scandal?

There is no scandal.

Not true. l did it, and l liked it.

When did they say the mirror was going to arrive?

Did what?

What did you do?

She didn't do anything?

This morning, l stopped the car on the way to Nice and kissed her, and she kissed me, and l liked it.

Maybe you should give it another try, David.

You finished it. lt is very good.

The ending made me so sad.

Don't overreach.

The name of the book is...

My Friend.

Marita... when you kissed David yesterday and liked it so much, were you thinking of him as a writer? l didn't think anything. l'm glad. l thought it was going to be like the clippings all over again.

His press cuttings.

Rave reviews, with pictures of him galore. l think it's time for bed.

We're all getting a little tired.

You're right. l'm desperate to get out of these clothes. l think l'll have a cool shower.

May l come and see you later?

Can l tell you now?

Can we skip it?


Let me tell you.

When we stopped the car, she said it was better if l was the girl and...

And really, l was glad because l didn't know what to do. l think she wanted to show me.


And l liked it.

And l'm really going to do it.

No, you're not. l have to, to really see. lf l don't, it would be like stopping in the middle of something.

But l'll come back to you.

When it's over, there will only be the two of us.

Don't do it. lf you have her after, that will wash everything away.

That's crazy.

Now just stay here and be quiet. l am quiet.

l love you so much.

l'm going to go now.


Come on, Kevo. Come on, come on.

The story started with no difficulty, as a story does when it's ready to be written.

An elephant!

lt was a huge elephant, with tusks.

Huge tusks.

What did he say?

An elephant, Father. A huge elephant.

We tracked it.

Who tracked it?

We did. Kevo and me.

Are you sure it was an elephant?

Yes, Father. l can show you.

You remember where you saw it? lt was just over there. lt was a good story, and l remembered how long l'd intended to write it.

You were right, Davy. Yes, sir.

l can carry more, Father.

How does it feel? lt doesn't hurt.

Where's he going?


The elephant.

Juma says he's going to visit his askari.


His friend.

Juma killed him.


Juma killed the elephant's friend?

Eat the biscuit slowly and drink plenty of water.

l thought you'd gone away. l didn't take anything.


You're right.

Wind's dropping. Should be a good day. l don't care about today.

You want a drink?

Why not? l'll have what you're having.

Here's to us.

Are we ''us'' again?

Why not? l'm so glad.

Here's to us.

The Bournes. l wasn't unfaithful, David. l couldn't be.

You know that.

Half the time she only wanted to talk about you anyway.

l told him all about everything, and he's fine with it.

He approves.

Drink? lt's very early. No, thanks.

Of course l'm just an apprentice, but l will always be.

Catherine, please, do you have to?

Your perversion's so dull. l suppose it's only interesting the first time one does it.

And only to the one who does it.

Do you agree, Heiress?

Heiress? That's a nice funny name.

Do you agree, Heiress, about perversion?

l think l will have the drink.

Maybe you need to kiss her again, David. l'm making a drink. l forgot about the surprise Heiress bought. l'll go get it.


Do you want me to go away?

You'd be smart to. l don't think so.

Would you kiss me so we know it is all right?

That's a wonderful kiss. We all saw it.

Heiress has bought some Bollinger and caviar. lsn't it lucky Heiress and l are so rich you'll never have anything to worry about?

We'll take good care of him, won't we, Heiress?

She's very beautiful.

Did you write this morning?

Yes, l did.

What's going on?

We lost his trail.


Look what l got.

You did good today, Davy.

Thank you.

We're set for rations now.


How big do you think he is, the elephant?

Bigger than anything l've ever seen.

How does Juma know where he's going?

Juma killed his friend, not far from here.

When? l don't know. Five or eight years ago.

You mean the elephant's been alone since then?

All alone?

l'm so tired.

Do you want another night? l want to sleep forever.

You don't look well, Catherine. l'm fine.

Just deadly sleepy.

lt's a little high.

Can l sleep now?

Of course, doll.

Go to sleep.

Are you going to bed?

Are you?

No, l'm going up to check my work.

Kiss me good night.

Go to bed, dark woman.

Don't make much noise.

Remember, l'm only next door.

Not yet.

l'm sorry. lt's Catherine.

You are very beautiful.

Here's where Juma knocked him down, and then he shot him in the ear.

How long were they friends? l haven't the faintest.


Where's Catherine?

She went into Cannes.

She won't be back until dinner.

Are you all right?

Yeah. Sorry... l just want to talk to her about something. ls it important? lt is to me. l think that l'm on to something.

Your book? lt's still flying around in my head.

Well, it's all for today. Leave it behind. l'm going to take you swimming.

Come on.

You said that you were on to something.

Yeah, l think so.

Can you tell me?

lt's not fully formed yet. l wish l could help. l wish you could, too.

Do you want me to stop?


We've been discussing you, David, studying your needs.

And we've decided that you must share us both.

And how's that gonna work? l get you for two days and Heiress here gets you for two days.

l want to talk to you.

God, David. What's there to talk about?


Why do you want to do this? l didn't bring her here just for me, you know.

You do like her, don't you?

You want me to fuck her, is that it?

You have. That's not the point.

David, we don't have to live life like normal people.

We can do what we want, live life the way we want.

And what kind of life is that?

All right, let's just say l agree to this new craziness.

Where does this leave us? lt doesn't leave us anywhere.

We just carry on.

Can l tell you a secret?

You're not very hard to corrupt.

This isn't funny.

Come on. lt was just a joke secret.

We just have fun.

Come on, do it for me.

He's slowing down. lt won't be much longer.

Fuck elephant hunting.

What's that?

Fuck elephant hunting.


You better not fuck this up.


No! No!


Just go!


An elephant hunt?

Was that really you?

Me and my father.

Did you stop loving him when he shot the elephant?

That was when l got to know him.

Hello, you two.

Have a nice day together?

Be a darling, David, and make me a drink.

Martini, strong.

lt's just like meeting an ex-husband. lt makes me feel very sophisticated. l think it agrees with you, too.

Do you think he's all right?

And well you might blush.

Look at her, David.

She looks very well to me.

As do you.

Can we try and be civil today?

What, like Miss Sweet and lnnocent here? l must say l'm glad l had her before you.


All right, give me my drink.

That mirror's awfully critical.

Did the Dark Girl tell you she's read our story?

She agrees it's wonderful.

You've read it?

We both have. l think you should have asked me. l know l should have.

But l sort of read it for myself and thought it so interesting, Heiress ought to read it, too. l'd have said no.

The point is, Marita, dear, if the other says no about anything, just keep right on it. lt doesn't mean a thing. lt's very good, David.

Just wait till he takes our story. Then you'll find out. l'm through with that story.

That's dirty.

That was my present... and our project. l'm working on something new.


l see. ls that what she's reading? lt's wonderful.

You know, l've never read a story of David's until now. l wouldn't interfere. l've only made it economically possible for him.

ls there any reason why l can't read this masterpiece?

Can l read this? Yes, read it!

lt starts well.

Although your grammar's atrocious.

Your description of the country's pretty.

How could you write about your father and his whores? lt's revolting! lt's not about that.

Who cares about natives and flies and filth?

How could your father involve you in such a thing?

Nothing can make me finish it. l didn't want you to read it in the first place.

You two conspired to make me read it. l asked you not to read it! l hate you. l hate you both!



But l was worried now, and felt ''What will become of us

''if things have gone this wildly and this dangerously and this fast?''

Why have you stopped writing our story?

You never cared what l wrote before.

l let you alone, and now she's made you--

No. No.

Listen to me. This is something l had to do. lt's horrible! lt's horrible!

Stop it. Stop it.

You finished it.

The first story anyway.

Then let's go to town and celebrate.

You two look wonderful together. l'm so proud. l feel as though l'd invented you. ls it lunch already? Do you mind if l join you?

No, of course. You must join us.

David? Sure.

What have you been up to, devil? l've had a fine morning. l made decisions and planned things.

What sort of plans?

They're all straightforward.

You don't have to groan about them.

You've been doing just whatever you wanted to these past few days, and l was pleased for you.

But l have the right to make a few plans.

Of course you do.

First, we have to start seeing about getting the book published, see about getting illustrations, see artists.

You have been busy.

Were you gonna let go of them before or...

Someone has to get started.

All right, who'd you come up with?

Different ones for different parts.

Duran. Picasso.

Can't you see a nice Laurencin of Marita and l in the car when we stopped on the way to Nice? l haven't written that.

Well, write it, then. lt's certainly more interesting than your father staggering around smelling of sour beer and shooting helpless elephants.

Keep your voice down.

Well, l knew l'd made you happy, and l'd accomplish something. lt's very good of you to let us spend some time together.

l'm sorry l was rude about you, Marita. l couldn't be happier about you, really.

But can't you see David's mixed up?

Jumping back and forth trying to write this African thing when all he had to do was keep on with the narrative that meant so much to all of us! lt was going so well, too.

We were just coming to the most exciting parts.

Well, you must feel better now that you're planning things. l do.

But l can't help it if l'm practical and sensible. l don't know why David's being so difficult the moment l put a little order into things.

The whole thing has dragged along in such a haphazard way, l suddenly feel ashamed of us all.


Can't we talk about something else?

You know, David, Marita was never my type. l'm not attracted to the gamin type. l'll have to try another to find out what l'm missing.

l felt bad about leaving her there. l think she was happy, meeting the great publisher.

You don't think about her when you make love to me?

No, of course not.

You don't want me to do her things?

Because l can do them better than she can--


l can't believe what's happening.

No matter how it is, l love you.

And tomorrow, you're going to continue your writing.

Hello, husband. l'm making a drink. Do you want one?

That would be nice.

A martini.

And put in one of those olives, although l don't think it will help.

Help what? l drove along the little corniche and stopped along Villefranche and watched a battle cruiser come in.

And then it was late.

lt was very strange.

All the colors were too bright.

Even the grays in the olive trees were glittery.

That's the twilight.

No, l don't think so. lt wasn't very nice, and it was lovely.

The ship didn't look big enough for such a big name.

Too much sun.

Here. Drink your drink.

Can we have a bottle of Bollinger? lt was always such a nice wine, and we were always happy with it. lf you want. l'll get a bottle.

lt was fun when David really did live with me, before he was writing those dreadful stories. l certainly hope you like stories, Heiress. l like them. That's good.

David used to have so many other interests.

Now all he thinks about is his drunken father and his press clippings.

Has he ever shown you his clippings?

No. He will.

He was pushing them on me before, but l put a stop to that.

There were dozens of them.

And almost all had his picture.

Always the same picture.

He carries them around like obscene postcards.

Fine, take the clippings and burn them.

That'd be the soundest thing.

How did you know l did it?

Did what?

Burn the clippings.

Did you, Catherine?

Of course l did.

Only the clippings?

David, pour the champagne.

Please tell me you didn't burn it. l had to, David. lt was worthless. l hated it.

But why? For God sake, why? l paid for them. l know you did. l know. lt was very generous of you.

Now where is it?

Ask her to leave.

No, stay where you are.

Catherine--Catherine, please. Where is it?

Where is she? ln bed. l'm gonna kill her!

Don't talk like that!

You can't be angry with someone who's ill. l don't care! l want to kill her! l want to strangle the very life out of her!

You can write it again. No!

You only get so many good ones, and that was a good one.

Thank you for sleeping here.

Would you kiss me good night?

l'm going away in the morning.

Go away where?

Paris... to see about artists for the book.

We've wasted so much time as it is. l just need to keep on with it.

How are you gonna get there?

With the Bug. ls that what you want?

Yes. l'll look at the car for you in the morning.

Thank you.

That's good of you.

l'll speak with my lawyers also.

Your lawyers?

The African story is obviously worth a lot to you. lt's bothering me terribly now. l know my responsibility. l'll do exactly what l should.

What do you mean? l'll have them valued, and l'll reimburse you. lt's not about the money. Can't you understand that?

l understand l've done something bad to you.

Oh, God, Catherine.

Do you have to drive so fast? l want to make sure it's safe.

David, she has gone to the station.

She took my best car.

She left this.

What time does the train leave?

No, it's gone by now.

She was very sweet and thanked me. l didn't know what to do.

There's nothing you could have done.

My dearest David. l'll cut this short.

Do not worry at all. l'll write and do all the things for my book.

So if you ever finish it, only l will try to do this one thing. l had to burn the other things.

The worst was being righteous about it, but l don't have to tell you that. l'm publishing a book. l do not ask for forgiveness.

Please have good luck.

You must meet a young friend of mine.

An illustrator?

No, but she knows a lot of people.

And she's great fun.

Will she like me?

Heiress has been good to you and me both, and l don't hate her. l won't end as l would like to because it would sound too preposterous to believe.

But l will say it anyway since l was always rude and presumptuous and preposterous, too, lately, as we both know. l love you, and l always will, and l'm sorry.

What a useless word.


Davy, the elephant.

He was a murderer, you know.

No telling how many people he killed.

Weren't they trying to kill him?

For a pair of tusks like that.

But how was he a murderer, then?

Well, if you want to look at it that way. l wish he'd killed Juma.

Juma's your friend.

Not anymore.

Juma killed his friend.

You'd kill Kevo if he had ivory.

This is what l do.

Juma, too, and the porters. l wish l'd never seen that elephant.

But you did, you did see him.

And you gave him to me.


That was awfully close. l loved it.

What's happened?

The bones are not burned out.

Marita, it's all coming back, everything.

The bones?

Are we the bones?


We are most definitely the bones.

lt always made me happy to remember my father.

And l knew he would have liked this story.