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Burke's Lay

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CONTINUED

SCENE: L.A. Country Club Golf Course, first tee. BURKE is dressed in natty polo shirt, ascot and checked pants. TILSON is still in his tailored gray suit and thin tie.

BURKE
(Pointing)
Henry, grab me the Driver, would you?

HENRY
Right away, boss.
(retrieves the club from the bag and hands it to BURKE)

BURKE
You know, Tim, you'd probably swing a lot more freely in the right clothes.

TILSON
Well, unless you've got a set I can borrow...

BURKE
Not with me. (cups hand) Fore! (swings)

HENRY
Good shot, boss!

BURKE
The virtues of practice and clean living. Shall we see where it lies?

SCENE CHANGE TO THE EDGE OF THE FIRST GREEN

TILSON
That's a good lay, Captain.

BURKE
Why thank you. Henry, my putter.

HENRY
I'll go get it, boss.(HENRY trots back to the cart)

BURKE
(eyeing TILSON speculatively)
What's the matter, Detective? Something on your mind?

TILSON
Actually, Captain, I've got a sort of...side case I've been working on. Maybe you could give me some advice.

BURKE
Always happy to help an understudy.

TILSON
(chuckles)
By the way, how did your date with Susan go?

BURKE
Oh? Isn't this mixing business with pleasure? It went very well, thank you. She cooks excellent pancakes.

HENRY returns with the putter and hands it to BURKE who lines up for his putt.

TILSON
See, that's puzzling.

BURKE
What is?

TILSON
How Susan cooked you breakfast when she didn't stay the night.

BURKE swings crookedly, missing the ball entirely.

TILSON
Looks like I'm not the only one who's stiff.

BURKE
(points the club accusingly at TILSON)
And how would you know Susan didn't sleep over?

TILSON
It didn't take much sleuthing. I drove past her house on the way home and the light was on in her window.

BURKE
Detective, are you spying on your boss?

TILSON
Just extending police courtesies, Captain.

BURKE
(lining up for the shot again)
There's such a thing as taking a job too seriously.

TILSON
In fact, I don't think any of the women you've dated in the past month have actually stayed the night.

BURKE flubs the shot.

TILSON
Maybe if you grabbed the shaft higher up...

BURKE
Don't tell me how to grip, junior.
(walks up to TILSON)
What are you getting at, anyway?

TILSON
I'm just collecting evidence, Captain.

BURKE
Oh? And what else is in that file of yours?

TILSON
Exhibit A: Suspect is 44, eligible, rich, some might say attractive...

BURKE
Some might.

TILSON
And yet still single.

BURKE
Is that a crime?

TILSON
Not that I can tell. It is peculiar, though. Exhibit B: Suspect has dated no fewer than 27 different women in the past year, and never the same one more than twice.

BURKE
They say variety is the spice of life.

TILSON
Yes, something like that.

BURKE
Come again?

TILSON
Anyway, at first I put it down to a fear of commitment.

BURKE
A common disease in this town.

TILSON
Sure, but it doesn't fit the suspect's personality. He's a grounded, mature, responsible man.

BURKE
You turn my head, Tim.

TILSON
So I reason maybe there's a cover-up going on.

BURKE
And just what am I covering up?

TILSON
Maybe a taste for a really exotic spice.

BURKE
(pauses)
Oh. You're not talking about a spice. You're talking about the forbidden fruit!

TILSON
Just piecing together the evidence, Captain.

BURKE
And just what would it take for you to, ah, clinch this case?

TILSON
Clearly, I'd need to catch the suspect in the act.

HENRY
Boss, are you guys going to play golf or what?

BURKE
(handing club back to Henry) Or what, Henry. Suddenly I find myself tired of the game.

SCENE CHANGE TO INTERIOR OF ROLLS ROYCE

BURKE sits to left of TILSON in uncomfortable silence. Both are looking straight forward. Just then, the car phone rings.

HENRY
I think that's Miss Carol calling. You have a date tonight.

The phone continues to ring.

TILSON
Aren't you going to answer that?

BURKE
And give you more fuel for your investigation?

Eventually the ringing stops.

BURKE
You're not going to let this case go, are you Detective?

TILSON
Not until I get my last piece of evidence.

BURKE
Persistent. That's commendable in an up-and-comer.

TILSON
Thank you, Captain.

BURKE
Hmm. Well, I can't have you distracted by side projects.

TILSON
No?

BURKE
No. A detective should focus on one case at a time until it's cracked. Burke's law.

TILSON
Yes, Captain.

BURKE
(sighing)
Maybe some music will help liberate this evidence you're looking for. Jazz or classical?

TILSON
Jazz sounds good.

BURKE
You kids are all alike.
(puts tape in player. Jazz music fills the cabin. He places his hand on TILSON's knee)

Camera pans to HENRY, BURKE and TILSON blurring out of focus. HENRY raises his eyes to the ceiling.

HENRY
Here we go again.

Music swells. Finis.