123 and Flush by Roger Cosgrove


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ACT I

      AT RISE:      It is early one morning. LARRY and BOB are sitting at a table
      in front of the coffee shop.

                BOB
      So Larry, two questions. One… Why did you drop our tools in that
      storm cleanout over there? And two, isnít Waterton Lakes kind of
      remote, for pulling a heist?

                LARRY
      Exactly, thatís whatís so good about it. The nearest full time Cop
      Shop is 30 miles away in Pincher Creek, or in Cardston. We can pull
      off this jewel heist, steal a boat and be in Montana in twenty
      minutes. The cops only come into Waterton once the park is open for
      the season and then only for a quick drive through, at the most, twice
      a day, and only when the bakeshop is open.

                BOB
      Ya… but how much jewellery is going to be in this little place?
      There canít be more than three hundred people in town?

                LARRY
      Thatís the difference between you and me. I think of the bigger
      picture.

                BOB
      Ya… all that does is get us into bigger trouble. That last tunnel
      job to the bank in Fort Macleod landed us in big trouble and into a
      bigger jail in Lethbridge.

                LARRY
      Yes, but then I got you out of trouble didnít I?

                BOB
      Well, I donít think making a helicopter jail break in the middle of
      the night; can be called
          (Does the dittos with his hands)
      ďgetting me out of troubleĒ.

                LARRY
      Complain; complain… thatís gratitude for you. Do you know how much
      I had to steal to pay for that chopper? Anyway let me finish my story.
      There might only be a couple of hundred people in town today but, this
      is a National Park…


                BOB
      Yah, and thatís another thing, since we arrived by helicopter in the
      middle of the night, we didnít pay our entrance fee for the National
      Park. Isnít that illegal? Besides how are these places going to
      survive if we donít pay our fee?

                LARRY
      Well I guess you better just march over to the park office and fill
      out the permit form. Remember to fill in your occupation… ďFull
      Time CrookĒ and donít forget to fill in your address…
      ďLethbridge Provincial Jail.Ē Now shut up and let me finish.

                BOB
      You know Larry; you sure know how to make a short story, long.

                LARRY
          (Shaking his head in disbelief)
      Pay attention. When the park opens tomorrow for the season, there is
      probably another two or three thousand tourists here every single day.
      And, not just your average tourists; these are rich tourists, from the
      United States, Japan and Europe and they all have money to spend.
      Theyíre suckers for Canadian made gifts and jewellery. After all
      where else could you sell a statue of an igloo with an RCMP officer
      standing on one side, holding a jar of maple syrup and on the other
      side of the igloo, a beaver and a moose eating a maple leaf? Shut up,
      the waitress is coming.

                CHANTICO
      (Enters from cafe.)
      Hallo, my name is Chantico. I weell be your waitress today. Have you
      guys been here before; you look fameelier? Have you been to Mexico;
      that is where I come from?

                BOB
      No. Say… did you work at the Java Shop and Greyhound Bus Depot in
      Fort Macleod?
          (LARRY gives BOB an elbow.)

                CHANTICO
      Jas, I was the head bus-boy girl. Actually I was the only bus-boy
      girl. But I got promoted beeg-time. When they added the new cafe on to
      the motel last year, Meester Craig moved me to Waterton and gave me a
      job as a waitress. He said I was good at being able to understand all
      the deefferent accents. They really teep big here; not like at the
      Java Shop. They were lousy teeppers.
          (Pauses and gives them a look.)
      Say… Do I know you from there?
                LARRY
      No it wasnít us; we have never been to the Java Shop.

                BOB
      Thatís right! We have never been there and we werenít in the
      adjoining Greyhound Bus Depot either. We never even knew there was one
      until you mentioned it.

                LARRY
          (Trying to change the subject)
      Make it a couple of coffees.

                CHANTICO
          (Slowly writing and talking at the same time.)
      Two coffees. Then she turns to Bob. And for you sir?

                BOB
      You got it… Iím having the same thing.

                CHANTICO
      So, two coffees.
          (She writes it slowly as she talks.)
      Be right back.
          (She exits.)

                LARRY
      So like I was saying, these rich tourists are here to spend money.
      They are on a holiday and itís a well known rule… when on
      holidays, spend all the money you brought.  That shows you had a good
      time. And besides with all this beautiful scenery, lakes, waterfalls
      and wild animals that can be experienced first-hand and all for free,
      you donít mind spending money on gifts to take home. So there are
      loads of diamond rings and necklaces sitting in that jewellery store,
      right over there. Plus with the banks closed until Monday, they have
      to have a lot of cash on hand as everybody cashes in their travellers
      checks. That cash is just sitting in their ancient flimsy vault just
      waiting to be snatched away by astute crooks like us.

                BOB
      I donít like the sounds of this, Iíve heard it before and all it
      does is get me into more trouble.

                LARRY
      Well donít worry Iíve got it all covered.


                BOB
      Thatís exactly what Iím worried about.

                LARRY
      When she comes back we better make some small talk, we donít want
      her getting suspicious.
          (BOB looks puzzled then slouches down in the chair.)
      She was in that Java Shop when we were there…and donít slouch.

                BOB
      Lucky for us we were wearing womenís clothing for that heist or she
      might have recognized us. Boy, after that fiasco you will never see me
      in a dress again. Do you know how embarrassing that was? I never,
      EVER, want to go through that again.

          (CHANTICO enters carrying 4 cups of coffee.)

                CHANTICO
      Here you go, two coffees for you;
      (She puts two coffees in front of LARRY then she turns to BOB.)
      and two coffees for you. You Canadians sure do like your coffee. I
      tell my boss he should start a restaurant that sells just coffee and
      donuts, put them all across North America, but he just laughs at me.
      He says…
          (In a deep voice)
      You canít make money just selling coffee and donuts… seelly girl.
          (Hands them a bill then exits to cafe)

                LARRY
      Silly girl

                BOB
      I donít know Larry, she got a promotion and we are still doing the
      same thing as always.
          (Pause)
      Now about this heist, how are we going to get into that jewellery
      store and then into the vault without setting off any alarms?

                LARRY
      Remember the big guy in the joint, with the scar below his eye; mean
      looking dude with a brush cut.

                BOB
      That narrows it down to just about everybody in the joint but me. What
      was his name?
                LARRY
      I donít know because every one called him Dozer. It wasnít because
      he was dozy, but because he used to drive a bull dozer, in Pincher
      Creek. He was in the pen because he stole a huge road grader and was
      hiding it in his barn.  He wasnít the sharpest knife in the drawer.
      Iím not sure what he was going to do with it. It wouldnít be the
      easiest thing to hide. That grader was about 40 feet long and weighed
      about 20 tons.

                BOB
      Wow, Iím surprised that it didnít go right through the floor.

                LARRY
      Exactly, and thatís the funny part. The RCMP had a tip that someone
      saw it on the back road that went near Dozerís house. So the cops
      drove into his place to see if he had seen the grader in the area.
      Well, he was standing there, talking to the cops in the cruiser. He
      had just finished telling them that he never saw a grader. They were
      just about to leave when the grader fell right through the barn floor.
      It caused the whole barn to collapse. It was like a bomb exploded.
      Timbers were flying everywhere. When the dust cleared there was the
      grader in the middle of a pile of wood, with chickens and chicken
      feathers everywhere. The cops were not impressed.

                BOB
      I think itís debatable as to why they called him Dozer… On the
      plus side Dozer had a grader right there to clean up the mess.
          (Laughs)
      Thatís a pretty funny story Larry but that still doesnít tell me
      how we are going to get into the vault. Whatís Dozer got to do with
      us being here?

                LARRY
      Well, this is what makes it interesting. When we were in the joint, I
      talked to Dozer about a construction job he did last year right here
      in town.  He says sometimes if there is too much snow in that mountain
      ridge over there, and they get one of those warm Chinook winds they
      can get some pretty serious flooding. After last yearís flood, they
      built large storm sewers, to take away the excess water.  Thatís the
      cleanout over there, and thatís why I hid the bag of tools in it. We
      can enter there, and follow it, back a few feet. He says it goes right
      under the jewellery store, one way and down to the lake the other way.
      So, we just dig up into the vault. These old vaults are very strong,
      but because they are too heavy to move and they are bolted down to the
      floor they didnít bother putting in much of a floor in them. There
      is just a thin layer of steel. We can cut through the wooden floor and
      through the steel and we are in. There are no alarms on the floor,
      just on the doors and windows. These stores on the courtyard are all
      new last year. He had the plans for the stores so he made sure there
      was a pipe right below where they jewellery store was going to be
      built. One night he was working overtime and he installed the pipe. He
      put a hatch on the top to make it real easy. And it is right below the
      vault. He filled in the trench with his bull dozer and no one is the
      wiser. The stores were then built on top. It makes it pretty easy for
      us; we just crawl back a few feet and look for that hatch. Dozer was
      planning to do the job when he had completed his sentence.

                BOB
      Wonít he be upset, that we did the heist? After this they will be
      prepared and will make changes, and he wonít be able to do the job.

                LARRY
      Too bad; never trust a crook. Anyways… we can do the job tonight and
      be gone before the stores have their big opening tomorrow. We will
      steal a boat and cross the border into Montana and weíre outa here.

                BOB
      Whoís going to drive the boat? Donít you need a license, to drive
      a boat? Isnít that against the law?

                LARRY
      You amaze me Bob. I guess we better tell them about the diamonds we
      are about to steal then.
          (He gives BOB a cuff across the back of the head)

                BOB
      What happens if when we get to other side of the lake the Montana Cops
      happen to be there? They could be sitting there having their evening
      coffee and donut.

                LARRY
      Well not likely; it is pretty remote, but if we see anyone on the
      American shore we will just go to the west shore of the lake instead
      and grab us a couple of horses from a local ranch and take the trail
      heading into British Columbia. Then further west, we will drop down to
      Eureka, Montana and then go west to Washington State. I have a buddy
      in Seattle whom we can get fake United States passports from.

                BOB
      I hope they have lots of washrooms in Montana, after all this coffee.
      (He has a coffee cup in each hand and is taking turns finishing
      them.)

                LARRY
      Well letís take a walk around town. We can see if there is anything
      else worth snatching, while we are here.
          (He picks up the bill.)
      They sure rip you off in these tourist towns. Nothing bugs me more
      than getting ripped off. Thirty cents each…  outrageous… Itís
      her lucky day I have 62 cents so I can include a tip.
      (He tosses it down on table and they exit to the boardwalk, as LUKE
      enters from Waterton Ave, and sits down at a cafe chair. CHANTICO
      enters from cafe.)

                CHANTICO
      Hallo Meester Luke.

                LUKE
      Hello Chantico! Whatís cooking today? Any of those famous Alberta
      T-bone Steaks I hear so much about?

      (CHANTICO gathers up the tip and the coffee cups off the table.)

                CHANTICO
      Not until lunchtime. I see those guys were big teeppers. At this rate
      my Mudder will never get to Canada.

                LUKE
      Just a coffee for me Chantico. Iím just teasing you about the steak.
      On what I make on the rodeo circuit I canít even afford to eat like
      a cowboy.

                CHANTICO
      Do you have any rodeos coming up?

                LUKE
      Yeh… next week is the season start. Pincher Creek, then Fort
      Macleod, then Medicine Hat, then down into Montana to Great Falls,
      Kalispell, and Billings and several other small ones. I canít wait
      to start making some money again. I like working at the Co-Op in
      Pincher Creek, but at 1.15 an hour itís hard to keep the old VW in
      gas. You know gas is 45 cents a gallon now. At this rate some day we
      could be paying 50 cents. Mark my words.

                CHANTICO
      I would like to see a rodeo sometime. Pincher Creek isnít too far;
      maybe I could hike-heetch.

                LUKE
          (Puzzled for a second)
      Hike-heetch?... Oh… I think you mean heetch-hike… I mean
      hitch-hike.

                CHANTICO
      Jas… Heetch-hike.
      (She gives an exaggerated hitchhiking pose, waving her thumb about.)

      (HENRY enters from Waterton Ave. He is wearing his apron, and holding
      a cleaver. A honing rod hangs from his belt at his side.)

                HENRY
      Hello Luke, Chantico; could I get a coffee to go… that is before you
      leave town. You know you should go to the edge of town Chantico,
      better chance of getting a lift.
      (CHANTICO and LUKE both laugh. She exits to get the coffees.)

                LUKE
      Say Henry, whatís with the cleaver? Are you trying to get a bear…
      I mean beef for the shop?
          (LUKE makes an exaggerated wink)

                HENRY
      Ha, ha! Thatís a good one. Didnít know you cowboys had a sense of
      humour.
      (CHANTICO enters carrying a two coffees, one of them is in a take away
      cup.)

                CHANTICO
      There you go… one coffee to go. I put it on your beel. And one
      coffee for Meester Luke.
      (CHANTICO exits to cafe as DALE comes out of her dress shop, with her
      purse over her shoulder)

                DALE
      Good morning gentlemen… Say Henry, I have a quick run to make to the
      Post Office, and then I have to pick something up at home.
      (BOB and LARRY round the corner of the boardwalk, and pause, as they
      hear the next line, then they step back so LUKE and HENRY canít see
      them. They listen intently.)
      Could you keep an eye on the store? I left a note saying I would be
      back in 10 minutes, unless youíre too busy. I could just lock the
      door.

                HENRY
      Ya, sure, no problem. Take your time. Chances are no one is around
      today. But tomorrow is going to be a different story.
      (DALE exits towards Waterton Ave. HENRYíS eyes follow her)
      She is such a sweetie. I wish I had the nerve to ask her out.
      (HENRY slams the cleaver into a tree stump used as a spare seat. He
      pulls it out of the stump, and gives it a couple of strokes with the
      sharpener.)
      She has been a widow for a couple of years. Time she started dating.
      She would probably turn me down though… I think I scare her.
      (He slams the cleaver into a tree stump again and pulls it out
      again.)
      I donít know why… there, thatís much better.

                LUKE
      Well Henry; sometimes you kind of scare me too. Why do you slam   that
      cleaver into the stump so often?

                HENRY
      Oh, thatís how I tell how sharp it is. If it goes in real easy I
      know itís sharp. Itís a lot better than cutting off my thumb.

                LUKE
      I see… that would make it hard to heetch-hike.
          (Laughs)
      Well Henry, the way I see it, you have to take the bull by the horns
      and just ask her out.

                HENRY
      Thatís easy for you to say.  Youíre a cowboy. Bull by the horns.
      Ha, thatís a good one!
          (Laughs)

                LUKE
      Now where were we? Whatís with carrying that big cleaver around?

                HENRY
      Oh yes… a pretty lady always gets me side-tracked. I was about to
      tell you about the cleaver. In the middle of the night I was awakened
      by a noise. I thought I heard a low flying chopper on the other side
      of that mountain.
          (He points out to the distance using his cleaver.)

                LUKE
      So you carry that cleaver so you can point out low flying choppers…
      You could just use your finger. Thatís what I do.

                HENRY
      Let me finish. When I got up this morning, I heard on the radio about
      two convicts that made a daring escape in the middle of the night.
      They had a helicopter pick them right off the roof of the jail in
      Lethbridge. I just thought that I might as well be prepared. And
      besides, thereís a big reward out for them.

                LUKE
      I want in on this. Iím just about broke. You know I would like to
      take out Chantico, but I canít even afford to ask that sweet little
      filly out. Mind you she would likely turn me down if I did.

                HENRY
          (Chuckles)
      I donít know. The way she stares at you I think you may have a
      chance. You just have to grab that bull by the horns.
          (Roars with laughter)

[end of extract]



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