What Happened? by Alex Austin

This Play is the copyright of the Author, and may not be performed, copied or sold without the Author's prior consent


The CURTAIN RISES on a hospital room with two beds, each furnished
with a dresser and chair. The beds are parallel, six feet apart and
face downstage.

It's late morning. BLAKE GRIFFITH, forty-something, in jeans and sport
jacket, stands by the second bed, watching BETTY, a nurse, push an occupied
wheelchair out of the room.

GRIFFITH pulls out a pack of cigarettes. He looks at the cigarettes and with his free
hand fingers his neck.

A BEARDED MAN in a doctor's jacket, wearing a knee brace and carrying a clipboard
enters. He glances around the room, shakes his head, makes a notation on the clipboard,
and then exits.

A few seconds later, a WOMAN enters.

The WOMAN is blond, well-dressed and beautiful. She looks around the room,
ignoring GRIFFITH, who drops his hand from his neck and takes her in.

GRIFFITH: Can I help you?

WOMAN: I was looking for my husband.

GRIFFITH: Maybe he's still in surgery.

SHE turns to the window.

GRIFFITH: Ironic. That's what it is.

WOMAN: Excuse me?

GRIFFITH: I smoke two packs a day, drink. I'm forty-fo- (Catching
himself.)- forty years old. I don't take vitamins. I devour red meat and
haven't been sick a day in my life. My partner, Gene, is thirty-three,
doesn't smoke, avoids red meat, rarely drinks and gobbles vitamins like
candy. Right now he's having a biopsy. Got a tumor the size of a golf ball
in his chest. What can you say?

WOMAN: They've got the best surgeons in the world here or so
they tell me.

GRIFFITH: He says it's routine. He'll be fine.

WOMAN: (Not quite sincerely.) As long as they get it early.

GRIFFITH: That's it, isn't it?

WOMAN: Sure.

SHE turns away again.

GRIFFITH: (Looking up at the television.) I wonder if it's on?

WOMAN: Excuse me?

GRIFFITH: A movie I wrote is playing this week.

He pushes the remote control buttons. African Queen is playing.

SOUND: A few seconds of DIALOGUE between BOGART and HEPBURN.


GRIFFITH: There, that's it.

WOMAN: Yeah. And I'm Katharine Hepburn.

GRIFFITH: Actually, mine's called Blind Spot. A mystery.

WOMAN: You cheated me.


WOMAN: It ended ambiguously. Either woman could have been the killer.

GRIFFITH: You missed the clue.

WOMAN: Which clue?

GRIFFITH: I'm Blake Griffith.

HE extends his hand. SHE hesitates, then extends hers. On her other
hand is a wedding band.

WOMAN: Brenda.

GRIFFITH: The pantyhose. Leo was wearing pink pantyhose in the greenhouse.

BRENDA: Not blue?

GRIFFITH: Pink. I wrote it.

BRENDA: Is it hard?

GRIFFITH: I beg your pardon?

BRENDA: Writing.

GRIFFITH: It has its rules.

BRENDA: I have some ideas.

GRIFFITH: I'll bet they're good ones.

BRENDA: Don't patronize me.

GRIFFITH: I'm serious.

BRENDA: Don't you know that a woman is more impressed when a man
tells her she has no ideas?

GRIFFITH: There, that edge. (As much to himself as Brenda.) Anger.
Passion. Fear. That's the womb of creativity.

BRENDA: You see all that?


She looks at him, then looks away, and then looks back. Finally, she
looks at her watch.

BRENDA: Your partner, huh?

GRIFFITH: Yeah, my-writing partner.

BRENDA: I have to go.

GRIFFITH: Let's talk about those ideas sometime.

He takes out his business card. BRENDA ignores it as she gets up and
walks toward the door. She stops, looks back and smiles, then vanishes
out the door. He follows a few seconds later.

The LIGHTS DIM, when LIGHTS come BACK UP, GENE MCLAIN, 33, is in bed,

Seated beside the bed is JOY GANT, an attractive, well-dressed, business-like
woman in her late-twenties. GRIFFITH comes into the room.

As he approaches MCLAIN, he stumbles and has to grab the bed's rail to get his balance.

GRIFFITH: How long has he been out?

JOY: An hour.

GRIFFITH: Damn. (Tapping MCLAIN.) Hey, buddy, how are you?

JOY: Let's let him rest, okay?

GRIFFITH: Sure. Sure. (MCLAIN opens his eyes.) Hey, he's awake. How
are you, man?

MCLAIN stares dumbly. JOY takes GRIFFITH'S arm and guides GRIFFITH
away from the bed.

JOY: Are you drunk?

GRIFFITH: Hell, no. (Pause.) Not le-gally. And who the hell put you
in charge anyway? Where does it say a man's ex-wife ranks above a
man's partner?

JOY: We still live under the same roof.

GRIFFITH: Yeah. Explain that to me.

JOY: Jealous?

GRIFFITH: What's that supposed to mean?

JOY: I don't think I have to explain anything to you. Don't you
realize what he's just gone through?

GRIFFITH: Sure. He had a biopsy. They take out a McNugget of flesh.

JOY: They took out two of his ribs.


JOY: It was malignant.

GRIFFITH: Bullshit!

JOY: Please, not so loud.

GRIFFITH: You want to hear loud?

JOY turns away.

GRIFFITH: He's going to be all right, isn't he?

JOY: (Fighting back tears.) I don't know.


JOY rushes back to MCLAIN.

GRIFFITH: Guess I don't get that Swiss army knife.

MCLAIN: Forgive me for being impolite. But would you please leave.



Hospital room several days later. BETTY is adjusting the IV in
MCLAIN'S ARM. GRIFFITH stands on the other side of the room
examining the items on MCLAIN'S hardly-touched luncheon tray. A vase
of flowers is on the table by the bed.

The overhead TV is on with the SOUND LOW.

MCLAIN: (To BETTY.) Why aren't you wearing sterile gloves?

BETTY: Excuse me?

MCLAIN: The other nurses wear sterile gloves.

BETTY: (Finishing.) There you go.

BETTY gets MCLAIN'S chart and makes a notation.

MCLAIN: You didn't answer me. Why aren't you wearing sterile gloves?

BETTY: It's not an invasive procedure.

MCLAIN: The other nurses are paranoid then, or should I say overly cautious?

BETTY: We all take the proper precautions, Mr. McLain.

BETTY does a final check on the IV apparatus and exits.

GRIFFITH: I'll bet you're their favorite patient.

MCLAIN: Do you know they stick their fingers up the rectums of the
quadriplegics to start their bowel movements?

GRIFFITH: (Picking up a food item.) So, how did you like your lunch?

MCLAIN: They won't say how long I have to be in here. Five days. A
week. A month. You'd think they would have had enough practice.

GRIFFITH: You're complaining? You got a view, a nice bed, plenty to
read, television.

GRIFFITH picks up the remote control and TURNS UP THE SOUND.

REPORTER: . but reputed mob boss Victor Gallo did not show up for
his indictment. Locally a hand was found in Trancas Canyon-

MCLAIN grabs the control and TURNS OFF the TV.

GRIFFITH: How come you didn't tell me?

MCLAIN: Tell you what?

GRIFFITH: About this-your operation. You made it sound like-like
you were getting a tattoo removed.

MCLAIN: In our organization, Mr. Griffith, we operate on a need to
know basis.

GRIFFITH: Well, I damn well need to know.

MCLAIN: Well, I damn well didn't feel like telling you.

GRIFFITH: Oh, he didn't feel like it. We've got a relationship.
It's like a marriage. In health and sickness.

MCLAIN: Close. In sickness and health.

GRIFFITH: It was just off the top of my head. Big deal.

MCLAIN: Yes, it is a big deal. Getting these details correct is what
it's all about. Sickness before health, and why? Because the author
of the vows wanted to emphasize the condition that demanded sacrifice.
So he put sickness first. A sense of sequence should be your
seventh sense, sensitive scribe. So instead of the top, try using the
middle or lower depths of that head sometime. You may encounter that
seventh sense.

GRIFFITH: (Upbraided but unbowed.) Let's get back to the point,
which is we have a relationship and my future is tied into that

MCLAIN: (Softly.) I'm not your future.

GRIFFITH: For the screenplay we're committed to turning in, you are
my future, Which is why you should have told me about the seriousness
of this operation.

MCLAIN: Well, at this point it's carcinoma under the bridge.

GRIFFITH: Right. (Pause.) Important thing is they got it all.

MCLAIN: Yes. That is the most important thing. (Pause.) I'm sorry I
was rude the other day.

GRIFFITH: Forget it.

MCLAIN: How long did you have to wait?

GRIFFITH: Went down the street for a beer.

MCLAIN: I didn't know you were familiar with the drinking
establishments in this area.

GRIFFITH: Asked one of your doctors for a recommendation. Two blocks
away-the Moonlight Café. That's where he had his morning triple

MCLAIN LAUGHS, then grabs his chest in agony.

GRIFFITH: You okay?

MCLAIN: Nothing that a little morphine wouldn't relieve.

GRIFFITH: Should I get the nurse?

MCLAIN: So how many did you have? Who was more anesthetized-you or

GRIFFITH: Actually, I've cut back on my drinking. Remember how I
used to wake up in the middle of the night and have a couple of beers?
No more, not since the Zoloft, anyway. Pause.) Three.

MCLAIN: Any babes?

GRIFFITH: Let me think. Oh, just a woman I met here at the

MCLAIN: Coincidence or fate? Let the audience be the judge.

GRIFFITH: She'd actually seen Blind Spot.

MCLAIN: She admitted to it? Was she tanked?

GRIFFITH: She thought it ended ambiguously. She thought Leo had been
wearing blue pantyhose in the greenhouse.

MCLAIN: Blue? Really? How odd. She was wearing blue. They changed the
color to pink during editing. Interesting. What did she look like?

GRIFFITH: Blond. Blue eyes. Flawless, creamy skin. Lithe. Slender.
Nymphlike. Thighs that don't quite touch.

MCLAIN: And drinking in a bar at noon.

GRIFFITH: She was meeting her husband at the hospital.

MCLAIN: How old was she?

GRIFFITH: Early-twenties.

MCLAIN: And the husband is what, fifty-five? Sixty? In the hospital
for a cardiac test?

GRIFFITH: (Playing along.) Amazing, Holmes.

MCLAIN: So what did you two talk about while I was having my sternum
ripped open?

GRIFFITH: She's a budding writer.

MCLAIN: Umm. And you offered to give her a few lessons.

GRIFFITH: Didn't go that far. Besides, she's married. If I have
one rule, it's never fool around with married women.

MCLAIN: I thought it was women over twenty-nine?

GRIFFITH: Oh, yeah, maybe that was it.

MCLAIN: (Noticing the flowers.) Why did Pushkin send the flowers? I
didn't mention anything about going into the hospital.

GRIFFITH: I told him.

MCLAIN: Did you tell anyone else?

GRIFFITH: Took out an ad in Variety.

MCLAIN: It you told Pushkin, you may as well have. (Pause.) Did you
get the extension?

GRIFFITH: Not exactly.

GRIFFITH picks up the briefcase, opens it and pulls out a laptop
computer. He sits down on the second bed, sets the computer on his lap
and turns it on.

GRIFFITH: Just like the old times. Blake at the keyboard. Gene on the

MCLAIN: Put that thing away.

GRIFFITH: Let's go over what we've got so far. The story

MCLAIN: There is no story. End of conversation.

GRIFFITH: Gene, do you understand the position you're putting me
in? My credit cards are tapped out. I'm two months behind with the
rent. I've got to park my car three blocks from the front door to
avoid the repo man.

MCLAIN: Budget.


MCLAIN: The first rule of sound financial planning is to put yourself
on a budget and stick to it, young man.

GRIFFITH: What's the second rule?

MCLAIN: Buy in bulk.


MCLAIN: I've never understood how you could spend money so

GRIFFITH keys in several commands on the laptop.

GRIFFITH: Let's just take a shot at getting the beats down for the
first act.

HE puts down the laptop and stands up.

GRIFFITH: Okay, here's the setup. Jack's a forty-something ex-cop
down on his luck. Divorced, alcoholic and out of a job. A guy staring
into the void. (He stares into the void.) He's spent his last two
bucks on a Starbucks double latte, which he's about to spike from a
pint of vodka.

GRIFFITH slips out his vodka bottle and takes a sip.

GRIFFITH: .when he spots-

MCLAIN: I can't. I can't, Blake. I just.

GRIFFITH: Can't? Why?
MCLAIN: You wouldn't understand.

GRIFFITH: Sure I do. You're an artist. You'll write when you feel
like writing. You'll think when you feel like thinking. The world
can kiss your cancerous ass.

MCLAIN: Don't go overboard on your sympathy.

GRIFFITH: This is no different than the crap you always give me. The
setting has changed but the attitude remains.

MCLAIN: Let's move on.

GRIFFITH: Sorry? All right. Sorry. Fine. Forget the two hundred
thousand. We'll just pay back the one hundred thousand dollar
advance. I'll just have to sell my rare stamp collection.

MCLAIN: You're a philatelist? I didn't know.

GRIFFITH: Charged but never convicted. (Pause.) Suppose I did take a
shot at it myself? A rough draft. I mean it wouldn't be as strong,
naturally, but it would get them off our backs.

MCLAIN: If you decide to do that, take my name off the project and
prepare to receive a letter from my lawyer.

GRIFFITH: Should I take that as a vote of confidence?

MCLAIN: You know the rules.

GRIFFITH: Your rules.

MCLAIN: Have you ever written anything by yourself that two weeks
later you didn't think was a piece of crap? Calling Missoula
Collect? A cat with a metallic thorn in her paw? And when your
compassionate hero pulls the thorn out of poor pussy's paw, what
does he find it contains? Microfilm. Microfilm! Who uses Microfilm in
the digital age?

GRIFFITH: Yeah, well.

MCLAIN: Do you want to get taken apart again? Go ahead. Leave. Go
write. Set yourself up to get knocked down again.

GRIFFITH: By you, right? By you, you sonofabitch. I don't need you
to hold my hand. I could, I could-


GRIFFITH: (Looking away.) You're not some god that breathes life
into me.

HE picks up the knife from the lunch tray and looks at it.

GRIFFITH: She's a rather unusual woman.



MCLAIN: Colorblindness strikes one out of ten.

GRIFFITH: No. I mean really unusual.

GRIFFITH: Umm, I'll bet.

she walks into the room, stage right. GRIFFITH scrambles over to her.


In this and in GRIFFITH'S subsequent encounters with BRENDA, MCLAIN will be

GRIFFITH: You don't make it easy for a guy to follow you.

BRENDA: Who said I wanted you to follow me?

GRIFFITH: I must have not heard you right.

BRENDA: Maybe you heard what you wanted to hear.


BRENDA: What do you want?

GRIFFITH: We never got to talk about your ideas.

BRENDA: They're no good.

GRIFFITH: Let me be the judge.

BRENDA: I told you.

GRIFFITH: Why don't you have a seat? I'll buy you a drink.

THEY sit side by side on the second bed.

GRIFFITH: You sure you don't want to go someplace else?

BRENDA: This will be fine.

BETTY enters. She's dressed in a short frilly waitress skirt and
carrying a couple of menus.

BETTY: We got Philadelphia cheese-steaks on special.

BRENDA: Just a glass of white wine.

GRIFFITH: Make that two.

BETTY: (To BRENDA.) I have to see your ID.

GRIFFITH: Come on.

BETTY: We card everyone who looks under 26.

BRENDA: It's okay.

BRENDA takes her wallet from her purse. GRIFFITH fishes for his
wallet, but BETTY waves him off. BRENDA extracts her driver's
license and hands it to BETTY

She looks at it then looks at BRENDA.

BETTY: This has to be fake.

GRIFFITH: What's the problem?

BETTY: You ain't 43 years old, honey.

GRIFFITH snatches the license from BETTY.

BRENDA: Something the matter?

GRIFFITH: This can't be right.

BRENDA: You think I carry false ID?

GRIFFITH: Of course not, I meant-

BRENDA: My husband's a plastic surgeon.

BETTY: Lucky you.

As BETTY scurries away, GRIFFITH hands the license back to BRENDA.

GRIFFITH: You could pass for 22.

BRENDA: How do you feel about me now?

GRIFFITH: What do you mean?

BRENDA: You know.

BETTY returns with the wine, handing GRIFFITH and BRENDA each a
glass. BETTY glances admiringly at BRENDA, then exits.

BRENDA: You probably wouldn't look twice at a woman over 40, would

GRIFFITH: I'm looking.

BRENDA: Yeah. Any second now I'll start to age before your eyes.

GRIFFITH: Why do you say that?

BRENDA: Just being realistic, that's all.

GRIFFITH: If you're beautiful, it doesn't matter how old you

BRENDA laughs. GRIFFITH can't resist laughing.

BRENDA: Well, Mr. Screenwriter, maybe you're different.

GRIFFITH: Not so much.

BRENDA: Do you have a cigarette?

GRIFFITH gives her a cigarette and lights it.

BRENDA: How old was your wife when you left her?

GRIFFITH: She was 24 when she left me.

BRENDA: Sorry to hear that. What happened?

GRIFFITH: She got sick of my jokes.

BRENDA: I haven't noticed any yet.


BRENDA: Okay, how many middle-aged women have you dated?

GRIFFITH: I've never been labeled a creep so quickly.

BRENDA: Oh, I hardly believe that.

MCLAIN LAUGHS. GRIFFITH gets up. She grabs his sleeve.

BRENDA: I'm sorry.

GRIFFITH: This is supposed to be a compliment, so don't take it the
wrong way-he must be a great plastic surgeon.

BRENDA: He's had plenty of practice. When I was 25, he gave me new
lips. And when I was 33, he made me 18.

GRIFFITH: That's a guy who knows how to pick a present.

BRENDA: You think so?

GRIFFITH: You're not happy about it?

BRENDA: I'm so happy, I could cry.

GRIFFITH: Let's have another drink.

He motions for BETTY to bring them two more. She brings them over.
BETTY studies BRENDA once more, then glides off with the money.

GRIFFITH: I'm confused. You don't like looking the way you do?

BRENDA: I'm an illusion, Blake. I'm the lady the magician has cut
in half. But the magician knows it's only a trick and down deep he
hates that.

She touches GRIFFITH'S face, running her finger almost clinically
down his jaw.

GRIFFITH: You mean they really don't cut her in half?

BRENDA LAUGHS, but the LAUGH dissolves into tears.

GRIFFITH: Hey, come on.


BUSINESSMAN: (Spotting Brenda.) Brenda?

HE walks over to the bed.

BUSINESSMAN: Brenda, how are you?

HE kisses BRENDA's cheek.

BUSINESSMAN: We haven't seen you and Glen around the club in
months. I guess the accident has slowed him down, huh?

BRENDA: Oh, yes.

BUSINESSMAN: Tough to ballroom dance in a brace. We'll at least now
some of us other couples will have a chance at a trophy.


BRENDA: This is my friend Blake. Blake, this is-this is Jack


BRENDA: (Lifting her wine glass.) One more and I'd forget my own

GRIFFITH extends his hand, which is taken by JACK, who gives a
knowing smile to BRENDA. BETTY, now in her nurse's uniform, returns
to the room.


BETTY: Visiting hours are over.

BRENDA and the BUSINESSMAN exit the room.

MCLAIN: So, Kemper knew Brenda better than Brenda knew Kemper?

GRIFFITH: Kenton. His name was Kenton.

MCLAIN: You said that Brenda got it wrong. She said Kenton at first.

GRIFFITH: Let me think.

BETTY: Sorry, sir, but visiting hours are over.

GRIFFITH: Couldn't I just stay-

BETTY: Mr. McLain needs his rest.

BETTY ushers GRIFFITH out of the room.



Hospital room, days later. MCLAIN is sitting up in bed. The IV is
attached to his wrist, but he looks stronger. He pairs his nails with
a SWISS ARMY KNIFE and leafs though a stack of newspapers on the bed.
On the bedside table is an untouched tray of food.

GRIFFITH is propped against the wall.

MCLAIN: So, what did you, Brenda and Dr. Strider's country club
pal-Kenton-Kemper talk about?

GRIFFITH: Brenda shot out of there.

MCLAIN: Sensible. But then again she's a mature woman.

GRIFFITH: That's the beauty of it. A twenty-two-year-old with
forty-three years' experience.

MCLAIN: So, she just disappeared down Topanga.

GRIFFITH: That's right.

MCLAIN: And no one fired a warning shot? No one tried to throw a
scare into you?

GRIFFITH: That is so weird! Someone did. I followed her outside, but
she got in her car and took off. So I'm standing there when behind
me I hear this roar and tires squealing. I turn around and this car's coming
straight at me with its highbeams on.


He jumps sideways as if avoiding a car.

GRIFFITH: I jump in the bushes to get out of his way, the
son-of-a-bitch! Idiot could have killed me!

MCLAIN: Did you see him?


MCLAIN: The driver.

GRIFFITH: Hell, no, I didn't se him. Saw two halogens, that was it.
That's how I got this.

GRIFFITH touches his forehead.

MCLAIN: Got what?

GRIFFITH: This scratch.

MCLAIN: You haven't always had that? I thought it was a wrinkle.

GRIFFITH: It's a scratch.

MCLAIN: Not a wrinkle?

GRIFFITH: A scratch.

BETTY enters.

BETTY: Still not feeling hungry?

MCLAIN: They made a mistake. This order was supposed to go to Pets R Us.

GRIFFITH: Is he always this disagreeable?

GRIFFITH: Disagreeable? My little pussycat?


MCLAIN: It's fine. Why don't you just leave it alone before you do any more damage.

BETTY: Just let me-

MCLAIN: I said-

HE grabs her arm.

MCLAIN: It's fine.

BETTY twists her arm from MCLAIN'S grip and exits.

GRIFFITH: Being kind of hard on her, aren't you?

MCLAIN: It's just so funny. Acting like they care about each poor
slob who comes in here with his body wasting away. They probably go
home and have a good laugh. What they're really thinking is, "Oh,
get away!"

GRIFFITH: I can't see that.

MCLAIN: Try my perspective.

MCLAIN drops his head, closes his eyes and taps his fingers against
his forehead.

MCLAIN: Dr. Strider, you said?


MCLAIN: A staff physician?

GRIFFITH: Consulting.

MCLAIN: What's he look like?

GRIFFITH: Bearded guy about my size with a brace.

MCLAIN: A brace?

GRIFFITH: That's why she's schlepping.

MCLAIN: The beard?

GRIFFITH: The brace.

MCLAIN: Well, what's the difference? The mysterious and
beautiful Brenda Strider walked out of your life. I mean, you don't
intend to see her again, do you?

GRIFFITH: Maybe I've seen her already.

MCLAIN: What happened?

GRIFFITH: Well, you know, I- (Pause.) Can I ask you something?

MCLAIN: You may.

MCLAIN: Does your family know about this?

MCLAIN turns his head. He looks abstractedly at the far wall.

GRIFFITH: I mean like your mother or father?

MCLAIN: Let's get back to Brenda.

GRIFFITH: Sure. Sure. It's funny, though. You don't talk about
them, do you? Remember how I told you about how my old man used to
take me fishing in that crappy old boat he found? Thing leaked like a
sieve. He'd be sticking a worm on my hook with one hand and bailing
with the other. (Laughs to himself.) You ever go fishing with your


GRIFFITH: Oh. Well. Sailing?

MCLAIN: Why would you want to know?

GRIFFITH: Well, because we're partners, friends.

MCLAIN: It would help you to understand how I tick.


MCLAIN: And tock?

GRIFFITH: Tick and tock.

MCLAIN: I prefer my ticks and tocks remain private.

GRIFFITH: Fair enough.


MCLAIN: So what happened?

GRIFFITH: You got any brothers?

MCLAIN: Did you see her again or didn't you?

GRIFFITH: Sisters?

MCLAIN: Siblingless.

GRIFFITH: Oh? No brothers. No sisters. That's a start.


GRIFFITH: Well, you know, I saw her address on her driver's
license. 756 Manson Drive, way up in the hills off of Malibu Canyon.
So I thought, what the hell, why not drive by the place? It's maybe
eight o'clock when I get up there. They've just pulled into their
driveway and are getting out of their car-a Jaguar. So I pass by. In
the mirror I see Strider get out of the passenger side and limp toward
the house.

MCLAIN: The brace.

GRIFFITH: Right. The brace. So anyway, I cruise down Manson another
half mile, then turn back. It's starting to get dark. I pass by the
house again. The curtain's pulled back on the picture window, and I
see them going at it.

MCLAIN: Explain.

GRIFFITH: Arguing. I mean, I could hear them shouting. So I pull over
and watch in the rearview mirror. They separate for a second, then
Strider runs across the living room, grabs her and throws her to the
floor. Next thing I know, Strider comes storming out of the house
carrying his physician's bag. He jumps in the Jaguar and takes off.


GRIFFITH: I had to see if she was all right.


GRIFFITH exits the room and BRENDA walks on. MCLAIN nibbles at a
cookie and watches her.


[end of extract]

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