Well, it's been Building up inside of me for Oh, I don't know how long I don't know why But I keep thinking something's bound To go wrong But she looks in my eyes And makes me realize When she says Don't worry, baby Everything will turn out all right Don't worry, baby
I guess I should've kept my mouth shut When I started to brag about my car But I can't back down now Because I pushed the other guys too far She makes me come alive And makes me wanna drive, when she says Don't worry, baby Everything will turn out all right Don't worry, baby Everything will turn out all right...
What is all that crap on the windshield?
It's ash from the fire.
This is where you're bringing me?
Before or after it burns down?
There's nothing to worry about.
The fire's way on the other side of the lake.
I need a drink.
That's Al Kaiser.
There's Don Burke.
He lives here full-time.
Could use a little more lift in that jump shot.
Girls, go in the house.
Fill up all the pots with water and bring it on the front porch.
We're on it!
It's essential we remain calm in a crisis.
I'd hardly call it a crisis, Mother.
This house has been in my family for 83 years, and it's not gonna burn up on my watch.
It can burn up on my watch.
Hey, it's not that often that you see a beautiful woman on the roof.
Not nearly enough.
Mom loves this stuff.
So do I.
You're both crazy.
If my phone's ruined, you're dead!
Mama! Finny throwed water on Willow.
Girls, I don't want you to play with the water.
This is it.
Does it have indoor plumbing?
It's a nice place.
Dog Dave wanted to sell it, but I convinced him to wait a couple months.
"Dog Yeah, he used to have four dogs.
There's only one left, but the name stuck.
Anyway, he said you could stay here for the summer.
My good fortune.
Come on, Uncle Monte.
It'll be good for you.
You can spend the whole summer relaxing, taking in the beauty.
Nothing to do except for look after the dog.
Make that nothing to do.
Well, he'll come back when he's hungry.
My mother has the blazing inferno under control.
It's okay to stand down, Mrs. O'Neil.
The fire's been contained.
Thanks for your cooperation, as always.
Thank you, Captain.
Finnegan throwed water on Willow.
Well, I'm sure she'll be a good firefighter someday.
Just leave it there.
I can do it myself.
Don't need any help.
Nice to see you're keeping your spirits up.
Here's your donut. Is that all right?
Yeah, I got it.
Girls. It's not polite to stare.
Why don't we go in and have some lunch, okay? Come on.
You wanna try it out?
I need a drink.
I'll get the typewriter.
Toss it in the garbage.
This might be a good place to write.
She's a black-hearted whore, and I'm done with her.
What's he yelling at?
Just in case.
You want me to write? I'll write.
Well, it's a start.
What, does this establishment not provide its patrons with a proper glass?
If I start drinking straight out of the bottle, young Henry, I will have most assuredly surrendered the last vestige of propriety remaining in my life.
And I shall, by all accounts, consider myself a lost cause.
Well, God knows we don't want that.
I stocked the pantry for the summer, and there's plenty of Hungry-Man dinners in the freezer.
Here. You can use this if you need to.
Dog Dave left a note on the fridge about when you're supposed to feed Ringo.
And who is Ringo?
That's the dog.
What kind of name is that for a dog?
Well, it was John, Paul, George, and Ringo.
Don't expect me to take messages along with all the rest of my duties.
Hi, it's Dave.
That's me on drums. Leave a message.
Monte, if you're there, pick up.
It's Joe Viola. We need to talk.
All right. I confess. I gave Joe the number.
Hey, I got some interesting news.
So call me back, all right?
I think you should hear what he has to say.
And what might be the topic of that conversation?
Nobody cares about a writer nobody reads.
Nobody reads you because you don't write.
Drinking is a very demanding profession.
And I can't hold down two jobs at once.
You have always been your own worst enemy.
What the hell did you bring that for?
I wanna remember how proud Mary was when they gave it to you.
And how you brought it to the hospital and hung it on the wall for her to see when she opened her eyes.
She was always there for you.
Till she wasn't.
Uncle Monte, she didn't leave you. She had cancer.
She left me!
Well, there's more to life than the way you're living it.
Stuff your ideas in the suggestion box on your way out.
I'll be by to check on you.
And when you do, you'll find me dead by my own hand, a smoking Navy Colt Revolver by my side, and a note of farewell, to no one in particular.
Sounds like a plan.
He screams a lot 'cause he's crazy.
I seen him swallow a rat and then puke it up.
He likes to puke.
He sounds bulimic.
Stay outta my story.
He likes to chew on spiders and cockroaches, so he can puke his guts out all over the floor.
But his favorite... is big, fat, juicy worms.
Finn, don't scare her.
Shut up, Willow Tree. I'm looking out for my family.
Whatever. Now... if he even looks at you, you just make the sign of the cross, just like with vampires.
You know what he likes to do late at night?
He looks for an open window, sneaks in, crawls right up to where you're sleeping, sticks out his long, slimy tongue, and licks your feet.
Finn, stop it!
If you catch him licking your feet, do not, I repeat do not open your eyes.
If he sees that you're awake, he'll bite off a toe and swallow it whole!
Mother, Finn's scaring Flora again.
She keeps making up stuff about the man at Dog Dave's, says he eats worms.
Well, maybe he was hungry.
Yeah, with all that basketball, he was in such good shape.
That is why I always refrain from any form of exercise.
You'll get to see him again.
He'll visit soon.
What's going on?
Flora misses Daddy.
Oh... I know, sweetie.
This has been hard on all of us.
But you know he's gonna visit soon.
Why can't you and Daddy get married again?
Oh... I wish we could.
You know, sometimes mommies and daddies just can't be happy together.
I tried to explain that to her, but...
Are you happy now?
I have my three girls... and that's all I ever want.
Mmm... kindred spirit.
Ah, you must be the dog.
We have some things to discuss.
Dog Dave has left you in my care for the summer.
Right off, we're gonna change your name.
You are not some rock 'n' roll icon from Liverpool.
You're a dog, and you shall be named appropriately.
You will take pride in this name, and one day, thank me.
I shall call you...
Spot It's a good name... even though you don't have spots.
It's not about spots, as you will come to understand.
Now, I expect to witness the finer side of your character.
If one of the local bitches is in heat, she will remain so, without any assistance on your part to alleviate her condition.
That's generally a good way to handle it.
One more thing: no farting.
Peace and love.
Not now, Carl. I've got work to do.
I hope you're ready for me, Belle Isle, 'cause I'm coming for you.
Is this the Dollar Ride?
Does your transportation services accommodate the handicapped?
Excellent, sir, because if you did not accommodate the handicapped, I would sue your unaccommodating ass.
Buenas dias, seÃ±oritas.
I don't know about you, but this music makes me feel like dancing.
Two Ding Dongs...
Bag of Cheetos...
And a box of gluten-free Fruity Pebbles.
Will that be all?
Uh, I'll have another bottle of your finest sour mash whiskey.
That will be $37.42.
Take it out of that.
So, it's Mahmoud, is it?
Here is your change.
Classic check-out stand blunder.
In a word, Slim Jims.
Isn't that... two words?
You're taking your eye off the ball, Mahmoud.
I realize that it is considered by many to be an on-the-way-out kind of item, but I believe that to be a rural myth.
Don't get me wrong.
If you have a hankering for Slim Jims, you'll hunt the store over, but if not, a desperate display like this improves no one's life.
What do you suggest?
Just a thought.
Good day. Good day.
You're such a good boy.
We haven't formally met.
I'm Charlotte O'Neil.
Pleasure, Mrs. O'Neil. Monte Wildhorn.
I should explain.
I have a rather long-standing arrangement with Dave, since he's away a lot with his band.
And, while he's gone, I take care of Ringo.
You're not, by any chance, referring to Spot, are you?
Oh, a new name?
Well, I've known him since he was a pup.
Well, there's a lot to be said for enduring associations, Mrs. O'Neil, but in the future, I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't walk my dog.
He's Dave's dog.
I'm not claiming to be his biological father.
This is Flora, my youngest.
Well, as long as you think you can manage, Mr. Wildhorn.
And why wouldn't I be able to manage, Mrs. O'Neil?
Oh, um, just so you know.
Um, sorry, Spot.
He tends to get stiff in his hindquarters.
He needs daily exercise.
I'll take it under advisement.
Now, I'm willing to meet you halfway.
You miss Dave. I understand that.
But your friend Mrs. O'Neil had no right to take you for a walk without asking me first.
In the future, you will politely decline all such invitations.
Is that clear?
Now that cannot be the response to every admonishment.
I'm just down the road.
Got the old outboard in the driveway.
Where are my manners?
Do come in, Mr. Kaiser.
Can I offer you a Ding Dong?
Uh, sorry. I can't stay.
I'm having a memorial for Don at my house.
Ah, the basketball aficionado.
Yes. It was quite a shock.
Yeah, well, not to me.
Well, I hope you can make it.
Uh, I didn't know the man.
Everybody's bringing something.
You know, potluck. See you around 5:00.
I didn't know the man.
See you then!
Did I miss Daddy's call?
Daddy will call you as soon as he has time, Willow Tree.
Daddy promised to help me finish my raft.
I'm going to the island this summer.
What's so important about that stupid island, anyway?
That's where the magic is.
I just don't understand why I couldn't have stayed with Dad.
I'd like the two of you to take the salad down the block to Don's memorial.
I'll go, Mama.
Thank you, Finn.
What do I do?
You offer our family's condolences, and then you leave the salad and come straight home.
You say, "We're very sorry that Don has passed, but now he's with all of us."
Just drop off the salad and look sad.
Ah, I'm so glad you made it.
I brought you Cheetos.
Nice touch. Welcome.
There's plenty to eat, and the beer is on ice, just the way Don would have wanted.
A lot of nice people here.
I think you'll like everybody.
I must say, I'm a big admirer of your work.
I haven't been a dog-sitter for very long.
No, I'm talking about those Western novels you write.
I've got a copy of "Showdown at Red Rock" around somewhere.
It's been out of print for years.
Uh, you mentioned beer?
Beer. Indeed I did.
Sorry Don died. Here's a salad.
Don would've appreciated that.
And thank your mother for me.
You can add the salad to that table, and be an angel and drop that off, too.
One of the O'Neil girls.
Monte Wildhorn, may I present Miss Finnegan O'Neil of Belle Isle.
Pleased to make your acquaintance.
Can I get more beer?
Mr. Wildhorn writes about cowboys in the Wild West.
Boy, I'll say one thing.
That Jubal McLaws sure is quick on the draw.
Many cross his path. Few live to tell about it.
Now, that's right, like when Jubal had that shootout with Deadshot Jim Watson of Albuquerque.
Say, if I could find my copy of "Showdown at Red Rock," would you sign it for me?
I would not, Mr. Kaiser.
I've always resisted becoming part of the cult of celebrity.
I will accept another beer.
Ah! All right. I respect that.
I'm not really from Belle Isle.
We only come here for the summers.
Is that so?
I live in Manhattan.
At least, I used to.
My dad and mom are getting divorced, so now my mom says we have to live here all the time.
How come your mom let you come to an event like this all by your lonesome?
'Cause I'm 9 1/2 years old.
Hmm, that's pretty old. I know.
My mom even lets me have my own pocket knife.
You don't have no pocket knife.
I do so. Do not.
Look at that.
That must be about the finest pocket knife I have ever seen.
You know, you can tell a lot about a person's character by the condition of their pocket knife.
I'd say you were fearless.
What's his problem?
Oh, he's just being Carl Loop.
Willow says he's retarded, but Mom says he's special.
Hmm. Well, whatever he is, he's a fine dancer.
You write stories?
I used to.
My favorite story is about aliens from outer space.
Mm. Extraterrestrials have their place, and I've met a few, but you don't have to leave this planet to tell a good story.
How do you make 'em up?
The most powerful force ever made available to humankind.
Here you go.
Hey, Monte, I'm no professional, but I wrote this speech for Don, but I'll never be able to get through it.
I was gonna ask you to read it out loud.
I've always had a disdain for public displays of sentimentality, Mr. Kaiser.
Hey, who doesn't? Don would be so pleased.
Didn't know the man.
Monte has something he wants to read to us about Don.
So, if you would, just step outside as quickly as you can.
Thank you so much. He's very excited about this.
Hi, nice to see you. I didn't get a chance to say hello.
Oh, I didn't know you were here. Hi. Welcome.
All right, people, this is a sad and happy occasion.
Thanks for coming here.
Everybody please say hello to Monte Wildhorn.
"'Jesus H. Christ."'
"According to our friend Karen Loop, "that's how most people around the lake reacted
"when they heard the news of Don's passing.
"That's not such a bad obit.
"Concise. Even rather eloquent.
"Don would've approved.
"There are people in life you avoid, "and others you go out of your way to bump into.
"Don had that bump-into quality about him, "which is why nobody ever ducked when they saw Don coming.
"He took beer very seriously.
"It had to be Pabst Blue Ribbon.
"If it couldn't be Pabst, "it at least had to be cold.
"As good as Don was, "I think he only got better once he found the Belle.
"There just might be something special about this place.
"It don't happen too often, but sometimes
"we do bring out the best in each other.
"We'll miss you, Don.
Watch over us."
Don't change a word.
The man at Dog Dave's writes stories about cowboys in the Wild West.
Yeah... not about space aliens.
You know, you don't have to go off this planet to tell a good story.
Mama, when we get home, can I work on my raft?
No, you promised you'd clean your room.
Well, Jesus H. Christ!
That is a most unbecoming use of language.
Mr. Kaiser wrote it about Don.
You're not Mr. Kaiser.
Am I in trouble?
You most certainly are, and your punishment is to memorize three new words and define them for me by dinner Friday.
And I expect to be impressed.
You will be. I promise.
Who does your taxes?
I am currently without an accountant, Mrs. Loop.
I have aspired for years to someday attain the poverty level.
Having recently achieved my goal, I'm not in need of such services just now.
I always get my clients a big refund.
You have a positive outlook on life, Karen.
This is our place.
Thanks for walking us home.
You and the boy on your own out here?
My old man took off after Carl was born.
I'm sorry to hear that.
It's no great loss.
Well, if there's anything I can do.
Carl never gets any phone calls.
It would be nice for him to get a phone call.
Here's my business card.
It's got our home number on it.
Telephone's a damn nuisance.
Ain't got no use for it.
And them people on cell phones oughta be shot dead in the street.
How'd you like to be my faithful sidekick, Diego Santana?
Wanted for train robbery in three territories.
Railroad Pinkertons are hot on our trail, amigo.
How do I be Diego?
Well, for starters, lose the bunny hop.
Yeah, I'm touched by your concern.
Thank God I'm still drinking.
Saves me the humiliation of falling off the wagon.
I need three words.
Have we met?
Did I extend an invitation?
I didn't think so.
You know a lot of good words 'cause you write stories.
I need three good ones for my mom.
I lost all my good words a long time ago.
What about imagination?
Should I use that one?
Last time I checked, it was still available.
Can you teach me to write stories?
You are awfully demanding.
All right, Spot.
Time for our morning dose.
There you go.
That's a good boy.
How come you give him aspirin?
Uh, it seems Spot has developed some stiffness in his hindquarters.
And aspirin helps that.
I'm not exactly sure, but long as he thinks it does, that's half the battle, isn't it?
How come you don't write on a computer?
I'm gonna answer your question in return for blessed silence.
Look at that machine.
I like that you have to write a bit slower on a manual.
I like the way it sounds.
I like the way the letters bite into the paper.
I like that you can feel there's a genuine human being doing the work-- Hands off.
Buckaroo. What's a Buckaroo?
It's an award for literary excellence.
"Western Authors Academy. Best Western novel.
"'The Saga of Jubal McLaws.'
Presented to Monte Wildhorn. 1975."
Cool. Did you give a speech when you won?
Yes, ma'am, I did.
Who'd you thank?
My one true love and three bartenders.
How come you can't walk?
Who says I can't?
Why are you in a wheelchair?
Can you keep a secret?
Even if they torture me.
I'm attempting to defraud the Liberty Mutual insurance conglomerate out of a million dollars.
Cheat, snooker, fleece, bamboozle.
So you can walk?
I can run.
But I have to be careful.
If those Liberty Mutual boys catch me while I'm out for a quick jog, it's all over.
I can kiss that million bucks good-bye and say hello to Yuma State Prison.
You could go to jail?
But what's jail?
As John Milton once said, "The mind is its own place."
So what do those, uh, Liberty Mutual boys look like?
I'll make you a deal.
You teach me about imagination, and I'll keep a lookout.
That might be asking too much.
I can pay you, $34 and 18 cents in cash.
I saved it up.
And what exactly would you want for your money?
I wanna know where stories come from.
Ah... you want a mentor.
You absolutely sure you want to set foot into such a mysterious realm?
You may get lost in there and not be able to find your way back.
You said I'm fearless.
That I did.
So, we got a deal? My word is my bond.
Great. So, when's my first lesson?
You just had it.
I can't walk.
What do you mean?
I mean, I can't walk. I just made up a story.
You're kind of a jerk.
Did you picture me running?
Did you see those men in suits coming after me?
So did I.
But you-- Class dismissed.
We'll have another lesson tomorrow.
I still think you're a jerk.
You got my last Wildhorn there.
It's gonna run you 35 cents.
It's discounted because it's missing the last page.
Somebody tore it right out of the book.
That's okay. I'll take it.
What would you say if we extend a dinner invitation this evening to our local author?
Yes, Mama, please! Oh, God.
But he only eats worms, Mama.
Flora, Finn was just teasing you.
I think it would be good for you ladies to experience a literary man.
How do you expect that to happen?
He needs a ramp.
We're not exactly handicap-friendly.
I'll build it.
Thank you, Finn. Let me know if I can help.
Maybe he'd like to come to dinner tonight.
I wanna talk.
After me. Hi, Dad.
When am I gonna see you?
Dad's coming the weekend of Flora's birthday.
Tell Dad he has to finish my raft.
When's the weekend of my birthday, Mama?
It's in August, baby.
When's that? Soon.
Tell your father I'll call him back.
No, he wants to talk to you now.
Not while I'm driving.
Today, I will introduce our summer athletic program.
The traditional game of fetch, which I'm sure you are familiar with.
I hold in my hand a Major League baseball.
You might be interested to know, sir, that before I lost the use of my left arm, I was known to possess a mean cut fast ball.
Therefore, my affinity for this wondrous sphere should come as no surprise.
I see the concept of fetch eludes you.
I blame Dave for that.
For the record, this will be the last time I fetch the ball.
When do we start?
$34 and 18 cents. It's all there.
Well, no time like the present.
What do you see up this street?
Nothing. Just a street.
Okay, try telling me what you don't see.
What don't you see?
I just told you.
Work with me.
See with your mind's eye.
Well, I sure don't see no cowboy riding a horse.
Well, if you're looking for Jubal, you'll never see him.
Gotta look for your own things.
How do I do that?
I Paid you.
There's a mystery to making things up, kiddo, and life offers no guarantees.
You got till the end of the summer, or I want my money back.
Well, I've always done my best when working under a deadline.
You're invited over for dinner tonight, precisely at seven.
Oh, hi, Carl.
I'm not Carl.
I'm Diego Santana... train robber and faithful sidekick.
The man at Dog Dave's.
What are you doing?
Building a ramp for Monte.
The man at Dog Dave's.
I'm his sidekick.
Good, then you can help me build this.
I can do that.
Hey, Uncle Monte. It's Henry.
Just calling to see how that whole killing yourself thing is working out for you.
It's temporarily postponed.
Oh. Well, the summer's young.
An invitation has been extended for dinner.
What, the beautiful woman from the roof?
The very same. Well, that's great!
You know what to do?
Just bring her something nice.
Pick some flowers.
Well, you'll figure it out.
I'm guessing you didn't call Joe Viola back.
Why don't you just listen to what he has to say?
You take care of yourself, Uncle Monte.
Okay, bye, Uncle Monte.
Bye, young Hen")!-
As I recall, it's improper to arrive empty-handed.
I figure a house full of ladies could always use another one.
Well, thank you. This is quite a unique gift.
Do come in, Mr. Wildhorn.
I didn't think you'd mind if Spot came along.
He's always welcome.
May I take your hat, Mr. Wildhorn?
Why, thank you, Flora.
Ladies, please see Mr. Wildhorn to the table.
I hope you like chicken.
Never had a chicken do me wrong.
Finn tells me you write books.
It's been a while.
No texting at the table, okay, Willow?
I always felt like a book is... a friend that does what no friend can do.
Stay quiet when you wanna think.
Would you care for some wine, Mr. Wildhorn?
Ordinarily, I don't indulge, Mrs. O'Neil, but since I may work my way up to a toast, I think maybe a glass of wine might be in order, just this once.
You'll have to excuse me if I don't get up.
I started reading "The Saga of Jubal McLaws."
It's really cool.
Oh, one of my kinder reviews.
I got it cheap 'cause it didn't have the last page.
Oh, you're not missing much.
I always meant to rewrite that page anyway.
Are all your books about the West?
I love horses. I used to ride when I was a child.
Can you pass the gravy, please?
Good horse is half the dream.
What's the other half?
Your knight in shining armor.
Do you know any stories about elephants?
Flora loves elephants.
I'm afraid I'm not a reliable source when it comes to pachyderms.
How did Jubal come to be the man who rides alone?
He didn't have much choice.
The end of the Civil War, Jubal rode home to Texas to be reunited with his family.
It took a good many years before he could bring himself to mention the ghastly sight that awaited him when he arrived back at the old homestead.
Comanche raiding party.
His papa's horse had been gut shot, pin-cushioned with arrows and left to suffer.
He found his beloved mother outside the cabin, her head nearly severed, her stomach ripped open.
Remember, girls, it's just a story.
Just a story?
I only meant that it didn't really happen.
It happened to Jubal.
Mashed potatoes, Mr. Wildhorn?
Sweet old place you've got here, Mrs. O'Neil.
Belonged to my grandparents, then my mom.
I spent my summers here growing up.
Well, I prefer growing up in the city, but instead, I'm being held prisoner here.
Are you ready for my three words, Mama?
If you're prepared.
Can I be excused?
You may not. Go ahead, Finn.
One, imagination: the process of forming a mental image of something never before perceived by the imaginer in reality.
Besides being the most powerful force ever made available for humankind.
Two, bamboozle: to deceive or get the better of somebody by trickery.
Cheat, fleece, or snooker.
And your third word?
Mentor: a trusted counselor or guide, tutor or coach.
I'm gonna be seven this summer.
You can come to my party.
Flora, he doesn't want to.
Finnegan. It's August 15th.
And you're under no obligation.
To the contrary.
I greatly appreciate being included in your celebratory plans and I will be sure to mark that special day on my calendar.
Who plays the piano?
I've been trying to teach these three, to no avail.
Do you appreciate music, Mr. Wildhorn?
Oh, yes, ma'am, I do.
In my younger days, I was often complimented for my voice.
Would you like to sing for us?
It's the least I can do.
Now may I be excused?
No. Mr. Wildhorn's going to favor us with a song.
Oh, a captain born in Halifax Who dwelt in country quarters Seduced a maid who hanged herself Next morning in her garters I don't think I know that one.
Well, okay... play something you do know.
Um, well... it's not a song, exactly.
But... here goes.
Mmm, I would leave all my windows open to hear that kind of playing.
That would be one of my kinder reviews.
He's telling me I've outstayed my welcome.
All right, girls. Let's say good night to Mr. Wildhorn.
Good night, Monte.
Oh, good night, Flora.
I'll be ready first thing in the morning.
You know. Oh, oh, oh. All right.
Yeah, thanks for the reminder.
Girls, you can clear the table. You too, Willow.
Mrs. O'Neil, I want to thank you for a very lovely evening.
I don't believe I have ever heard Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata played with such affection.
You know the piece.
Well, when I was writing, I listened to all kinds of music.
Mr. Wild horn.
Why did you stop writing?
Same reason I gave up religion.
God confided in me that he's an atheist.
Did your Jubal McLaws ever love a woman?
Well, Jubal always got the girl, but he only fell in love once.
That's more than some.
Did they live happily ever after?
He lost her to the influenza in "Cattle Wars."
And he never fell in love after that?
How could he?
I think Jubal has quite a hold on you.
Well, all the things I couldn't do in the real world, Jubal let me do on the page.
Good night, Mrs. O'Neil.
Thanks for the chicken dinner.
You owe me a toast, Mr. Wildhorn.
I'm good for it.
Your behavior tonight was exemplary.
As a result, I'm going to lift the ban on farting.
A captain born in Halifax Who dwelt in country quarters Seduced a maid who hanged herself One morning in her garters Fetch.
Maybe it's the word "fetch" that doesn't resonate.
Perhaps "retrieve" will stimulate some long-dormant instinct.
It still just looks like a street.
You're holding back.
I can't do this.
It's not what I hear.
Well, word about town is that I'm known to consider earthworm something of a delicacy.
I have my sources.
But I didn't know you then. You know, I was just--
Using your imagination.
Hi. This is Monte Wildhorn.
Oh, hi, Monte?
Is your boy there?
Oh. Oh. Hold on. Hold on.
Carl! It's the phone.
The phone! What is it, Mom?
It's a phone call, for you.
It is? Who is it?
Well, find out.
This is Carl Loop.
Oh. I must have the wrong number.
I was looking for Diego Santana.
I'm Diego Santana.
All right, then.
Saddle up, amigo. We're riding into town.
Mom, we're riding into town.
Do you always wear a white hat?
I wear a white hat, Diego, so the folks can tell the good guys from the bad guys in case of gun play.
What's with the goggles?
Then no one knows I'm Carl.
Now if you'll be kind enough to slide the case of spirits on to my lap, this business will be concluded, and we can catch up on each other's personal lives.
I would be looking forward to it.
What happened to the Slim Jims?
What's your income this year, Monte?
I estimate my gross income at $34 and 18 cents.
A good portion of which I've invested with Mahmoud.
Sometimes I wanna pull my pants down.
Join the club.
You gonna drink all that?
I have every intention of doing so.
'Cause I'm a drunk, and that's what we do.
Get drunk enough, you'll cry over anything.
Real tears are a useful way of getting to a place.
Anywhere you need to go.
Now look out there and tell me what's not there, and make me interested.
a girl walking by the lake.
How old is she?
What does she look like? What is she wearing?
She's ten years old, and she's got a ponytail.
What's she doing?
She's looking behind her.
'Cause there's a man following her.
So what does she do?
She starts running.
He chases her.
Does he catch her?
No. She gets away.
She runs to her neighbor, Al Kaiser's house and disappears around the back.
When the bad guy gets there, all he sees is one of her sneakers lying in front of an open door that leads down to the cellar.
When the bad guys goes down the stairs to grab her, she jumps out from behind the big oak tree where she's been hiding and lifts that heavy door off the ground and closes it on top of him, and before he can escape, she grabs the rake Al Kaiser keeps by the door and slides it through the handles, which traps the bad guy until the cops come to take him away.
You just made up your first story.
I know, 'cause Carl Loop and me, we always used to hide there when we didn't want our mothers to know where we were.
You draw from your own experiences.
You work me too hard.
Okay. See ya.
Hey, Mom, Mom! I wrote a story!
I wrote a story!
I'm one hell of a mentor.
Monte, you know that dancehall gal, Miss Gussy?
The one that runs the saloon in all your books?
I'm surprised she and Jubal never got together.
Tell you the truth, I was surprised too.
But then, who among us truly knows the ways of love?
You got that right, sir.
I don't wanna paint anymore.
Okay, birthday girl. What do you wanna do?
I wanna go jump Go jump However, we cannot leave Mr. Wildhorn half done.
Listen, lady, I gotta be outta here by 3:00.
It was my understanding I had you for the entire day.
Yeah, well, I got a 4:00 on the other side of the lake.
Mama, look what I made for Flora.
I'm testing it for her.
Oh, okay. Take it easy with that.
Be careful with that, Finn, okay?
I don't wanna see any one-eyed daughters.
Oh, excuse me.
Jack, where are you? It started over an hour ago.
All right, hang on.
Hey, Flora. Hey, honey. It's Daddy for you.
He's not coming.
I don't know why I'm always surprised.
I guess I keep hoping for the sake of the girls.
Daddy's not coming.
Oh, hey, baby girl, let's go jump.
I don't wanna jump.
Dad said it would be okay if I came up to stay with him.
Willow, we are not doing this again.
There's nothing for me to do here.
All my friends are in the city.
You know, he can't even show up for his own daughter's birthday party.
Maybe he just didn't want to see you.
Why don't I just go and talk to Flora for a minute?
I'm looking for the birthday girl.
You know where I can find her?
I'm the birthday girl.
'Cause I got something for you.
What is it?
It's your birthday present.
I think it's here. Where'd I put it?
Ah, there it is.
What is it?
It's a story.
About an elephant named Tony.
Well, he said he was a friend of yours, and he asked me to write it down for him.
Is Tony a real elephant?
Yes, ma'am, he sure is.
Thank you so much!
Mom! Look what I got!
Man, that is one hot lady.
If she was my woman, I'd never let her leave the bed.
You know what I'm talking about.
Time to go to work.
Hey, you like magic tricks? I'll do one for ya.
Can you make yourself disappear, Mr. Clown?
Don't call me "Mr. Clown."
I happen to be The Amazing Ted.
Whatever you say, Mr. Clown.
You got my name right.
It's magic time!
Hey! Come on, kids. Gather 'round.
Pay close attention, because at no point do my hands ever leave my arms.
Now who here likes rabbits?
Son of a bitch!
Hey! Hey! You spoiled little brat!
Hey! That castle's how I make my living.
Jesus Christ! Help, Mom!
Everybody get away from there before you make it worse!
Somebody get that fat kid outta there!
What the hell's he doing in there in the first place?
It's for little kids. He weighs, like, 900 pounds!
Let me tell you something.
You haven't heard the last of this.
I got stuck.
You don't think clowns have lawyers?
You better think again, 'cause you're about to be hearing from my lawyer.
Reach for the sky, you mud-sucking yellow sidewinder.
All right, Jesus.
Easy, man. Shit, don't shoot.
I'm so gonna hear from the parents on this one.
The Amazing Ted, or Mr. Clown?
Which do you prefer on your tombstone?
Oh, tombstones? Why's he talking about tombstones?
If you wanna continue your useless existence, I strongly urge a sincere apology to Miss Finnegan O'Neil.
I'm sorry. I'm really, really sorry. apology accepted.
Well, birthday cake, anyone?
Did you have fun today?
I liked it when Monte shot my clown.
Oh, well, baby, Mr. Wildhorn didn't really shoot your clown.
He just, well, wanted to get his attention.
Can you read me the elephant story?
I don't see why not. You ready?
"Once upon a time, "inside a finely-tuned piano in an old house
"there lived a family of mice.
"They had everything mice could possibly want in the world
"because this mouse family had wisely invested in The Cheesecake Factory."
"Mrs. Mouse made sure their home was always filled with music
"by jumping up and down on the keyboard.
"The only problem they had was the cat that lived in the house with them."
Is the cat gonna eat the mouses?
Oh, well, let's hope Mr. Wildhorn isn't taking the story in that direction.
Oh, well, bless you, sweetheart.
"One day, on the brightest of summer mornings, the littlest mouse heard a knock at the front door."
"She opened the door, "and there standing before her was the grandest elephant
"ever seen by a little mouse, "or any mouse for that matter.
"'I'm pleased to meet you. My name is Tony.
"'I heard the beautiful music and wanted to see where it was coming from."'
"Tony, a traveling magician by day
"and an opera singer by night, "cast a magic spell
"so the mice would be invisible to the cat.
"This made the mouse family feel very safe
"and everyone was very happy.
"Mrs. Mouse was so happy
"that when it was time for Tony to leave, "she scampered all the way up his trunk
"and gave him a kiss on the cheek.
Tony promptly fainted."
I think this elephant likes me.
Well, I suppose I could smear the ball with peanut butter, but that would be beneath your dignity... and mine.
Well, this isn't your first raft, Mrs. O'Neil.
Finn did most of the work, with a little help from Diego Santana.
Where is everybody?
Karen took them into town for some ice cream.
You didn't get to go?
It was a plot.
So I could finish the raft.
She's had her heart set on sailing to the island this summer... and school starts in three weeks.
Flora greatly appreciated "The Elephant Who Stays Forever."
I was hoping she'd like it.
She made me read it to her several times, and she asked me if you would write more Tony stories.
Well... I wouldn't want to disappoint her.
Hi, it's Dave.
That's me on drums. Leave a message.
Monte, it's Joe again.
It's really important you call me back.
Important for who?
Willow... No, thanks.
Come on, Willow. This is gonna be the adventure of a lifetime.
Of a lifetime.
Finnegan is not going to that island without her big sister.
Will you push me, Willow?
Sure, Carl. Hop on.
I think I'm drowning!
Carl! Carl, it's shallow. Just stand up.
Carl, it's shallow.
You're not drowning.
That was close.
What is it, Finn?
It's a lunchbox. I found it on the island.
I haven't opened it yet.
Because there might not be anything good in it.
This way, I can think there's something good even if there's not.
Do you know how stupid that sounds?
No. It's like what Monte says, seeing what's not there.
I'll open it. I wanna see what is there.
Maybe it's money.
Might be a chopped off hand, Willow Tree.
Don't open it!
Wow... Look at all this stuff.
Look, it's a diary.
"Property of Charlotte Reilly, Seventh Grade."
Who's that? That's Mama!
Probably everything we wanna know about her when she was a kid is in here.
What do we wanna know about her?
We should probably give it back to her.
I think she'd want it back.
We should make her a sandwich.
Lovely day, Mr. Wildhorn.
Yes, ma'am. It's shaping up to be a considerably lovely day.
I'm sure Flora will be delighted, and I will read this to her tonight at bedtime.
Spot, that lady has a way of making me sit taller in the saddle.
Flora, look what Mr. Wildhorn gave me.
Tony the Elephant?
Who's Tony the Elephant?
Mr. Wildhorn wrote a story for Flora's birthday.
He did what?
Read Tony, Mommy.
Let me see that! No, no. We'll read it tonight.
Today, I want all of you girls to go outside and play in the fresh air.
Come on. We can ride into town.
Monte! I'm calling you out!
You gave up Jubal McLaws for an elephant?
You told me Jubal saved your life!
Then you shoot him in the back!
Oh, now, hold on.
I don't call writing about an elephant shooting Jubal in the back.
Jubal hasn't come calling in years.
I can't write what's not there.
You tell me to see what's not there.
Why can't you write what's not there?
You're a no-good drunk and a liar!
He's a damn bamboozler, Willow!
Mr. Wild horn?
My sister believes you're something special.
Are you something special?
Can't say that I ever thought of myself like that.
Well, you'd better be.
'Cause otherwise, you don't deserve Finnegan.
I really hope you two make up, because I'd hate to see you lose a friend like her.
"Sometimes, talking to people wasn't easy for Tony.
"So he kept writing letters to Mrs. Mouse, "faithfully delivered by the tree toad.
"Then a really amazing elephant thing happened.
"When elephants find they're too nervous to speak, "they begin to dance.
"Tony loved to waltz.
"And before he even realized it, "he found himself waltzing with Mrs. Mouse under the warm moonlight."
Hello, Joe. Been expecting you.
You might want to return a phone call every once in a while, especially to someone you've known so long.
How's the book business, Joe?
Nobody reads unless they can download.
Why wouldn't you want to hold a book?
You've got a dog!
Yeah, I'm dog-sitting for the summer.
You seem different.
You're not, uh... yourself.
Sober, you mean?
Well, I've stopped before.
And I'll probably start up again.
But right now, I'm seeing things with a clear eye.
And quite frankly, I like the view.
What can I do for you, Joe?
I've come here today to change your life.
You'll collect your usual commission for that?
I certainly do.
I brought Luke Ford with me.
He's waiting outside.
The Luke Ford?
The Luke Ford.
You mind if I invite him in?
Be impolite not to.
That's what I was thinking. Luke?
Luke, why don't you join us?
Come meet the great Monte Wildhorn.
Sorry, for just showing up like this, but Joe said it was the only way I might get to meet you.
I'm Luke Ford.
You certainly are.
I'm really pleased to make your acquaintance.
Have a seat.
Luke is the reason that I've been trying to get a hold of you all summer.
I know you wanted your space, but he's been rather insistent on acquiring the rights to Jubal McLaws.
Is that right? How about that, huh?
Well, Jubal's not for sale.
Oh, come on now. Hear him out.
He is just trying to make you a rich son of a bitch.
I'm already a son of a bitch.
And I don't care to be rich, but thanks for thinking of me.
This could be a real fresh start for you.
Granted, you'll have to take a sabbatical from the dog-sitting.
I like dog-sitting.
Monte, I'm a huge fan of the old Westerns, and I'm convinced that there's still some life left in the genre.
"The Saga of Jubal McLaws" is the best Western novel I ever read.
If you allow me, I'd be honored to be the one to bring Jubal to life.
All due respect, Mr. Ford, but my late wife has already pulled off that miracle.
Then consider your readership-- this movie gets produced, they'll increase a thousand fold.
Isn't that what you always wanted?
I thought it was.
Mr. Ford, I appreciate your taking the time to come out here, I really do.
If ever there was a man to play Jubal, you'd be him.
But right now, I'm in a pretty good...
Most times, real life doesn't measure up to what's in our heads, but every now and then, it comes pretty close.
You happened to catch me in one of those rarefied moments.
So if it's all the same to you, I'll stick with real life for a spell.
You're making a big mistake, and I gotta tell you, this could be your last chance.
I don't believe in last chances, Joe.
I've had too many of them.
Monte! Joe... meeting's over.
It's real nice meeting you.
It's Mrs. O'Neil, next door.
Real fine lady.
Right now, she's talking to me.
And if you don't mind, it's a personal conversation.
Mr. Wild horn, it's a pleasure not doing business with you.
How much longer are you here?
Couple of weeks.
Fixed all right for cash?
Same as always.
That's what I thought.
No, thanks, Joe.
You take care.
I believe you owe me a toast, Mr. Wildhorn.
Here's to you, Mrs. O'Neil, and a face that gives the moonlight something worth shining on.
What do you want out of life, Mr. Wildhorn?
I'd settle for more nights like this.
I told my girls that one of the great pleasures life has to offer is their own search after the heart.
What would the woman who captures your heart be like?
She'd have your way of walking into a room.
How do I do that?
It's sunny outside. There's a light rainfall.
You know how it feels when a warm breeze comes with the rain?
That's how you walk into a room.
That's some kind of walking I'd have to do to be worthy of such lovely words.
And I'd like her to have your ears.
If you don't mind me saying so, Mrs. O'Neil, your ears look like they can handle the soft whisper.
And if you don't mind my inquiring, Mr. Wildhorn, what would the whisper be?
Well, it would be different every night.
Maybe you could whisper it in my ear while we dance.
I have it on good authority that you love to waltz.
And so I do.
Uh, I'll be right there!
Just a minute. Just a minute.
I'll be right there.
If it's too early, I can come back.
Oh, no, no, no.
Not at all. Not at all.
Ah, Mrs. O'Neil. What a pleasant surprise.
What can I do for you?
I have something of a favor to ask you if it wouldn't be too much of an imposition.
After the way you played the piano last night, no favor is too big.
It's just that I have to go into the city for the day to meet with the lawyers.
Jack and I have a few final things to work out.
I was wondering if you might stay with the girls until I get back.
It shouldn't be too late.
You want me to baby-sit?
If you wouldn't mind.
No, I accept the challenge.
Wonderful. Thank you, Mr. Wildhorn.
There's a casserole in the fridge for dinner.
And if you need to reach me, the girls have my cell number.
Okay, now, I should be home before you go to bed, but Mr. Wildhorn agreed to stay with you.
It's okay, Mom. I can take care of everything.
Yeah, Mom. We don't need any help.
Willow can watch us.
I know, this is just in case.
And I expect you to behave like ladies while I'm gone.
Oh, good luck.
Oh, don't worry about us.
You go and fight your battles.
We'll protect the homestead.
Who's up for some high-stakes poker?
Five-card draw. Deuces and one-eyed jacks wild?
I'll play How much you got?
Mom! Mom, wait!
Is Dad gonna be there?
Or is it just the lawyers?
Dad will be there.
Will you say hello for me?
I love you, Mom.
I love you, too.
Come on, Flora! Jump.
That's quite an arm you got there.
You ever play any ball?
When I was 17 years old, I could throw a baseball 90 miles an hour.
Had a real live arm.
Got me a minor league contract for the St. Louis Cardinals.
I played eight years with the Memphis Chickasaws and the Portland Beavers.
Double A, Triple A.
Even worked my way up to the bigs at the end of a couple of seasons.
One summer day, we were playing a doubleheader.
I was pitching the opener.
First batter steps into the box.
I leaned in to get the sign, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen in my life.
She takes a seat right behind the catcher, and I can't take my eyes off her.
I was knocked out in the first inning.
But it was worth it.
Her name was Mary, and we were married eight months later.
She wanted to have a lot of kids.
I was all right with that.
Two days before my 25th birthday, I got a call from the Cardinals.
They needed a new starter.
I was on my way home from the ballpark to tell Mary the good news... when a drunk driver ran a red light...
I ended up in this chair.
I was sure Mary would leave me.
There were times when I almost wished she would.
But she never gave up on me.
She used to tell me, one door closes, another one opens.
I didn't buy into it until one day I looked up and there was Jubal McLaws, a half smile on his face, staring right back at me.
Jubal and Mary gave me my life back.
Six years ago, Mary died...
and Jubal went with her.
All doors closed, bolted shut.
Until one day, a nine year-old girl named Finnegan O'Neil showed up at my door and gave me back my legs.
How did I do that?
By believing with me.
That's how I was able to dance in the moonlight.
In my mind, I sure did.
Can't they fix you?
No, Finn, they can't.
Maybe you'll get a miracle.
The way I see it, I already got my miracle.
Okay, so first you go to "contacts."
It's the thing that looks like a book.
I see a clock.
It's next to the clock, see?
All right. How do I get there?
See the little ball in the middle? Yeah.
Roll it. Roll it.
With your thumb.
With my thumb, okay.
Oh! There it is. Now what?
Now it's showing me the time.
That's because you rolled it while pressing it. Go back one.
Ah, I don't believe I will.
Like I stated at the outset, it's not for me.
Now, who can I interest in a Mr. Pibb?
Uh... you let me know if I'm doing something wrong.
I never put kids to bed before.
We'll help you, Monte.
Shouldn't Mama be home now?
She just texted me.
She'll be home in a couple of hours.
All right, then...
get some shuteye.
We're in Dog Dave's bed.
I couldn't agree more.
A night like this certainly puts you in the mood.
Good evening, Mr. Wildhorn.
I'm sorry I'm so late.
Oh, that's all right.
I didn't know what to do, so I put the little ones in Dog Dave's bed.
That'll be all they remember about this summer.
Willow fell asleep on the couch.
I hope they weren't too much trouble.
Oh, just the opposite.
Well, I guess I better take 'em off your hands.
I don't mind if you wanna leave 'em for the night.
Are you sure?
It'd be a shame to wake 'em at this hour.
Oh. Okay. Thanks.
I better be getting back.
If you don't feel too tired, you might wanna sit a spell.
I'm gonna miss this place.
Where will you go?
Not quite sure.
I have some cat-sitting prospects in Mexico.
I thought I'd try Nueva Rosita.
It's a little town I wrote about when Jubal was holed up down in those parts hiding out from a posse.
Figured it'd be a good place to write.
I'm glad you're writing again.
Flora just loves the Tony stories.
So you said. What about you?
I'm greatly fond of them as well.
This has been a wonderful summer.
There's only one thing that I know I'll wish I had done.
Had our waltz in the moonlight.
I know what you mean.
Sure you don't want me to take the girls?
I mean, where are you gonna sleep?
Ah, sleeping under the stars has never been a hardship.
I guess I'll just come back and get them in the morning.
Good night, Mrs. O'Neil.
Good night, Mr. Wildhorn.
Sorry, Monte. We were sneaking out.
We want to surprise Mama.
Well, your sneaking skills could use a little work.
Should we wake her up?
No, I think we should let her sleep.
When do you think she'll wake up?
Oh, good, you're up.
Oh, good morning, girls.
To what do I owe this lovely intrusion?
Here. This is for you.
My goodness. Where...?
I found it on the island.
Eat the sandwich.
I haven't seen this since--
Eat the sandwich.
Do you like it?
I love it.
Come here. Come here, you three.
Was the alcohol defective?
Changing my ways, Mahmoud.
Uh, two Slim Jims, please.
You know, I'm leaving tomorrow, Carl.
Does that mean I can't be Diego anymore?
No, you can be anybody you want to be.
But I gotta tell you, I kind of miss that Carl fella.
He's very special.
Danged if you're not.
I wanted to give you something to remember me by.
A little sweaty.
So long, partner.
What are you planting?
Thought it'd be nice if we grow our own for Halloween.
Need some help?
What do you do?
Well, it's easy.
You just dig a little hole and drop one in.
I think I can handle that.
How is Dad?
How are you doing?
What about you?
What's going on with you, Willow Tree?
I never thought about your parents getting divorced.
I read your diary.
I kind of figured.
It's weird, Mom, but the fact that you felt so bad... kind of made me feel better.
Is that wrong?
I'm glad you read it.
All right, big guy, Last Chance Saloon.
I respect consistency.
Well, just the person I wanted to see.
Come on in. I got a couple of things for you.
There you go.
I'm afraid I'll have to owe you the 18 cents.
But you taught me what you said you would.
Yeah, but I wasn't counting on you teaching me a whole lot.
Go on, take it.
Wait. I ain't done.
I don't like it when my fans get short-changed.
You said you were missing the last page of the saga.
That's what I meant to write in the first place.
Now you have to promise me something.
Never stop looking for what's not there.
I'm leaving early in the morning, so we'd best say our proper good-byes here and now.
Do you have to go?
If I ever had me a little girl...
I guess I'd want her to be you.
Well, I'll be damned.
Be careful with that.
You sure you'll be all right with Spot?
He'll be well taken care of, Mr. Wildhorn.
Ah... I think it's about time we dispensed with the formalities.
Call me Monte.
It's nice to be on a first-name basis.
Well, I think that's everything.
But I'll give it one last look.
Wait a second!
Here. This is for you.
Do you like it?
Oh... it's a surprisingly accurate rendering, and I shall cherish it.
Remember, you owe me 18 cents.
The debt weighs heavily.
Hey, how was school?
What did you do?
Do we have any more Gushers?
You'll have to check. Okay.
Melanie is such a freak.
I'm dropping her as a friend off Facebook.
Uh-huh... And what's going on with you and Kyle?
Nothing. Ava says he likes me, but he's too shy.
Well, why don't you just go up and talk to him?
Mom, you don't know anything.
Charlotte, sorry I haven't been in touch, but it's taken me a while to master this e-mail texting thing.
I hope the girls are all doing well, and I hope you're keeping up with your piano playing.
I've been pretty busy lately.
I'm happy to report that I've found the perfect place to write.
I liked it so much, I went ahead and bought it.
Oh, I should say Jubal bought it.
I sold the movie rights.
I'm pretty sure you'd approve.
Dog Dave drove a hard bargain.
Said he would only sell if I agreed to take Spot.
What happened to--?
Never quite made it.
A writer needs inspiration.
And I thought the odds of seeing you down there.
Monte! Monte's here! Monte's here!
Willow, Flora! Monte's here!
You come to visit us, Monte?
Well, if it's all the same to you ladies, I thought I'd stay a while.
Looking forward to having you as a neighbor, Mr. Wildhorn.
Just keep the noise down, Mrs. O'Neil.