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Fletch Script
(Edit)

                                         "FLETCH"

                                  Final draft screenplay

                                            by

                                      Andrew Bergman

                                    Based on the novel

                                            by

                                     Gregory McDonald

                

               FADE IN:

               EXT. CALIFORNIA BEACH - DAY

               Seagulls squawk, and the waves pound, but we’re not talking 
               about Malibu Colony, here. This is a fairly rundown beach 
               area, catering to lower-echelon surfers, vagrants, and strung 
               out druggies of all ages, several of whom stand or sit on 
               their haunches by a dilapidated old hamburger stand. Over 
               the stand is a faded sign: "FAT SAM’S HAMBURGERS".

               A simple but haunting electronic melody plays in the b.g.

               INT. "FAT SAM’S" - DAY

               Seated just inside the stand on a folding aluminum chair is 
               a chubby man in his late thirties. He’s wearing a stained 
               valour sweat suit and a cap. This is Fat Sam. He’s a dealer. 
               Seated on the sand next to him is Fletch, a rangy man, early 
               thirties, in jeans and a Magic Johnson T-shirt, nodding idly 
               on a battered Casio music machine which he treats lovingly. 
               This is the source of the title music.

                                     FLETCH
                         So what do you figure?

                                     FAT SAM
                         No idea.

                                     FLETCH
                         No idea at all?

                                     FAT SAM
                         Okay. Some idea.

                                     FLETCH
                         Like when?

                                     FAT SAM
                         Like tonight.

                                     FLETCH
                         For sure?

                                     FAT SAM
                         No, not for sure. When it comes, it 
                         comes. You gonna want some shit?

                                     FLETCH
                         I think I’d rather have drugs.

                                     FAT SAM
                              (shakes head and smiles)
                         Fletch...

                                     FLETCH
                         Sorry. I find a little humor really 
                         brightens things up around here, 
                         don’t you?

               A young junkie with a black eye – Gummy – passes.

                                     GUMMY
                         Hi Sam. Hi Fletch.

                                     FLETCH
                         Hi Gummy. How’s the eye?

                                     GUMMY
                         It’s okay. The cops did it.

                                     FLETCH
                         I know.

                                     GUMMY
                         They busted me last week.

                                     FLETCH
                         They bust you every week.

                                     GUMMY
                         I know. I got bad luck or something.

               Gummy exits. Fletch and Fat Sam watch him go.

                                     FLETCH
                         That kid spends any more time in 
                         jail he’ll have to start paying rent.

               WIDER ANGLE THROUGH BINOCULARS

               Fat Sam and Fletch conclude their conversation. Fletch walks 
               back among the drifters, the nervous, expectant junkies. He 
               stops to talk to a young man propped up on his elbows on a 
               towel. Creasy.

               CREASY AND FLETCH

                                     FLETCH
                         Maybe tonight?

                                     CREASY
                         Whaddyamean 'maybe'?

                                     FLETCH
                         That's what he said.

                                     CREASY
                              (getting desperate)
                         He doesn't know? How come he doesn't 
                         know?

                                     FLETCH
                         I don't know how he doesn't know. He 
                         doesn't know.

                                     CREASY
                         Sonofabitch.

                                     FLETCH
                         Wonder who his supplier is.

                                     CREASY
                         I have no idea.

                                     FLETCH
                         I wasn't asking.

                                     CREASY
                         He never leaves the beach, Fat Sam. 
                         Never leaves. Sits in that chair, 
                         he's outta junk. Then he suddenly 
                         gets up, he's got junk. So where 
                         does it come from? Through the sand?

                                     FLETCH
                         I think that's highly unlikely, 
                         Creasy.

                                     CREASY
                              (rolls over)
                         I ought to get some sleep.

                                     FLETCH
                         Creasy, how old are you?

                                     CREASY
                         Nineteen.

                                     FLETCH
                              (a touch of sadness)
                         You're not taking real good care of 
                         yourself.

               WIDER - BINOCULARS AGAIN

               Fletch takes his Casio and starts off the beach. The binocular 
               angle follows him. A pelican crosses the water. The binoculars 
               move off Fletch and follows the flight of the pelican as it 
               swoops low over the ocean.

               BEACH PARKING LOT - DAY

               Fletch emerges into view, walking towards camera, when a Man 
               steps into the immediate f.g., the binoculars at his side 
               large in frame. Fletch stops.

                                     MAN
                         Excuse me. I have something I'd like 
                         to discuss with you.

                                     FLETCH
                         What?

               REVERSE

               A trim man of approximately Fletch's age, wearing a perfectly 
               tailored grey suit, is standing across from Fletch. This is 
               Alan Stanwyk.

                                     STANWYK
                         We can't talk about it here.

               MASTER

                                     FLETCH
                         Why not?

                                     STANWYK
                         Because we can't.

                                     FLETCH
                         Are you on a scavenger hunt of some 
                         kind?

                                     STANWYK
                         I want you to come to my house. Then 
                         we'll talk.

                                     FLETCH
                         I think you've got the wrong gal, 
                         fella.

                                     STANWYK
                         I'll give you a thousand dollars 
                         cash just to come to my house and 
                         listen to the proposition. If you 
                         reject the proposition, you keep the 
                         thousand, and your mouth shut.

                                     FLETCH
                         Will this proposition entail my 
                         dressing up as Tina Turner?

                                     STANWYK
                              (unsmiling, all 
                              business)
                         It is nothing of a sexual nature I 
                         assure you.
                              (Takes a thousand in 
                              cash from his pocket)
                         One thousand, just to listen. I don't 
                         see how you could turn that down 
                         Mr...

                                     FLETCH
                         Nugent. Ted Nugent.

                                     STANWYK
                              (shakes his hand)
                         Alan Stanwyk.

                                     FLETCH
                         Charmed.

               EXT. BERMAN STREET - BEVERLY HILLS - DAY

               A Jaguar XJ sedan goes up Berman Street, a dead end. Fletch's 
               hand reaches out of the passenger window and empties sand 
               out of a sneaker.

               INT. JAGUAR - DAY

                                     FLETCH
                         I always liked this part of town.

               EXT. BERMAN STREET - DAY

               The Jaguar continues on up Berman Street, stopping before 
               massive iron gates marked PRIVATE PROPERTY -- NO TRESPASSING -- 
               STANWYK. The gates open electronically.

               EXT. STANWYK HOUSE - DAY

               The jaguar goes up the center of the drive toward a white-
               pillared mansion. The lawns and planting are spectacular.

               INT. JAGUAR - DAY

               Fletch stares out the window.

                                     FLETCH
                         What a coincidence.

               The car stops before the house.

                                     STANWYK
                         What?

               EXT. HOUSE - DAY

               as they get out of the car.

                                     FLETCH
                         I came this close...
                              (holds fingers slightly 
                              apart)
                         ...to buying this place

               Stanwyk ignores Fletch and starts toward the house. Fletch 
               follows.

                                     FLETCH
                         Then I found out Hopalong Cassidy 
                         had shot himself in the game room. 
                         That just blew it for me.

                                     STANWYK
                         Who?

                                     FLETCH
                         Hopalong Cassidy. Killed himself 
                         here. Bow and arrow. Strange.

               Stanwyk stops before the front door, stares at Fletch

                                     STANWYK
                         What are you, doped up or something?

               Fletch abruptly changes gears, stares at Stanwyk

                                     FLETCH
                         I don't work for you yet, assface. 
                         Don't talk to me like that.

                                     STANWYK
                              (after a beat)
                         Come inside.

               INT. HOUSE - DAY

               Stanwyk and Fletch enter. A Mexican Maid crosses.

                                     STANWYK
                         Buenas dias.

                                     MAID
                         Buenas dias.

               She disappears.

                                     FLETCH
                         I commend you on your Spanish.

               Stanwyk doesn't reply, keeps on walking. He opens a set of 
               double doors to the left of the winding staircase, then stands 
               to one side, indicating that Fletch should enter.

               INT. LIBRARY - DAY

               Massive fireplace. Everything built in teak. Fletch enters, 
               and Stanwyk closes the door behind them.

                                     FLETCH
                         Ahh, the library. Masculine but 
                         sensitive.

               Stanwyk wordlessly goes behind the desk

                                     FLETCH
                         Really, I love what you've done with 
                         the place. Must have cost you... 
                         hundreds.

               Stanwyk turns, looks out a pair of French doors behind his 
               desk, then turns back.

                                     STANWYK
                         Here's my proposition, Mr. Nugent.

                                     FLETCH
                         I'm all ears.

                                     STANWYK
                         I want you to murder me.

               FLETCH

               Even garrulous Fletch is stopped in his tracks by this remark, 
               uttered in the most business-like manner.

               STANWYK

                                     STANWYK
                         Here. On Thursday. I'd like you to 
                         shoot me dead.

               FLETCH

               He just stares, barely breathing.

               STANWYK

                                     STANWYK
                         The reason I ask you to do me this 
                         service is that I am facing a long, 
                         painful, and most certain death. You 
                         see, I have bone cancer. I don't 
                         know if you know anything about bone 
                         cancer.

               FLETCH

               He shakes his head.

               STANWYK

                                     STANWYK
                         It doesn't get any worse than that. 
                         Just eats you up, bit by bit.

               FLETCH

               Finally regains the gift of speech.

                                     FLETCH
                         You don't look sick, Mr. Stanwyk.

               MASTER

                                     STANWYK
                         I don't feel sick. Not yet. They 
                         tell me it'll start getting bad in 
                         about a month. After that... well, 
                         I'd rather not be around for it.

                                     FLETCH
                         Why don't you try suicide?

                                     STANWYK
                         My company has taken out a very large 
                         insurance policy on me. And I have a 
                         wife. Suicide would nullify my 
                         insurance. Murder does not.

                                     FLETCH
                         So why pick me?

                                     STANWYK
                         You're a drifter, a -- pardon the 
                         expression -- beach bum. No one would 
                         notice if you disappeared. I've 
                         watched you for a couple weeks.

                                     FLETCH
                         Maybe I'm just on vacation.

                                     STANWYK
                         Not with the scum you hang out with. 
                         I've watched. I've thought. Its a 
                         perfect scheme. I even have a perfect 
                         escape plan for you.

                                     FLETCH
                         Did it ever occur to you that I might 
                         not want to kill you?

                                     STANWYK
                         I've got fifty thousand dollars says 
                         you will.

               FLETCH

               He chews his lip.

               STANWYK

                                     STANWYK
                         Fifty thousand and a guarantee you 
                         won't get caught.

               Stanwyk searches Fletch's face carefully for a reaction. 
               After several beats...

                                     FLETCH
                         I'm still here.

                                     STANWYK
                              (turns and goes to 
                              the French doors)
                         I want it done Thursday evening, 
                         around eight PM. My wife will be off 
                         to the club for a committee meeting. 
                         It's the staff's night off.
                              (pushes doors open)
                         These will be open.

               FLETCH

                                     FLETCH
                         Wouldn't they normally be locked?

               MASTER

                                     STANWYK
                         Sometimes yes, sometimes no. The 
                         staff usually forgets.

                                     FLETCH
                         I have the same problem with my help.

                                     STANWYK
                              (goes on, unresponsive)
                         I will be here in the room, waiting 
                         for you. The safe will be open and 
                         there will be fifty thousand dollars 
                         in it. You will be wearing rubber 
                         gloves. Do you own rubber gloves?

                                     FLETCH
                         I rent them. Monthly lease, with an 
                         option to buy.

                                     STANWYK
                         In this drawer....

               He opens the top drawer of his desk

               INSIDE THE DRAWER

               an enormous .357 Magnum.

               MASTER

               Stanwyk holds up the gun.

               FLETCH

                                     FLETCH
                         A .357.

               MASTER

                                     STANWYK
                         Very good. My .357. Use it and no 
                         one can trace it to you. The room 
                         will be in some disarray.

                                     FLETCH
                         So it looks like a burglary attempt. 
                         You catch me. I get the gun, and 
                         shoot you.

                                     STANWYK
                         Precisely. Are you a good shot?

                                     FLETCH
                              (looking at the huge 
                              gun)
                         What's the difference? The noise'll 
                         kill you first.

                                     STANWYK
                         Get me on the first shot, if you 
                         can.

                                     FLETCH
                         I don't think you'll have to worry 
                         about that.

               A beat. Stanwyk stares at Fletch.

                                     STANWYK
                         Do you have a passport?

                                     FLETCH
                         Sure, all drifters do.

                                     STANWYK
                         Fine. After you kill me, take the 
                         Jaguar. The keys will be in the glove 
                         compartment.

                                     FLETCH
                         Take it where?

               Stanwyk starts to write down the information on a note pad.

                                     STANWYK
                         LAX. Go to the Pan Am desk. There 
                         will be a ticket waiting for you.

                                     FLETCH
                         Where am I going?

                                     STANWYK
                              (hands Fletch the 
                              note)
                         Rio. Flight 306. Departs at eleven 
                         PM.

                                     FLETCH
                         They serve dinner on the flight?

                                     STANWYK
                         It'll be a first class-ticket. I'm 
                         sure you'll enjoy the ride. I would 
                         recommend staying down there at least 
                         a year, Mr. Nugent.

                                     FLETCH
                         You've certainly thought this out, 
                         haven't you?

                                     STANWYK
                         I am not someone who leaves a great 
                         deal to chance, Mr. Nugent.

                                     FLETCH
                         You sure those doors will be open?

                                     STANWYK
                         Yes. All you provide are the gloves, 
                         the passport, and the aim. I'll take 
                         care of everything else.

                                     FLETCH
                         The gun, the money, the tickets, and 
                         the dying.

                                     STANWYK
                         That's right.

                                     FLETCH
                         You sure got the hard part.

                                     STANWYK
                         What do you say, Mr. Nugent? You'll 
                         be doing me and my family a great 
                         service.

               FLETCH

               thinking it over.

               STANWYK

                                     STANWYK
                         Will you kill me?

               FLETCH

                                     FLETCH
                         Sure.

               INT. NEWSPAPER BUILDING - DAY

               Fletch pushes through the double glass doors, still dresses 
               in a beach mufti -- the jeans and Magic Johnson shirt, Puma 
               sneakers.

               INT. L.A. NEWS OFFICE - DAY

               Fletch is greeted ad-lib by several people as he walks through 
               the cavernous newspaper City Room.

                                     REPORTER
                         Whoa, check out the beach boy!

                                     SECOND REPORTER
                         Looking very good, Fletch.

                                     FLETCH
                         Thank you so much
                              (to someone else)
                         Hey, Larry!

               Larry, the young "morgue" researcher, hurries over and walks 
               with Fletch. She is fun and flirty, and her feelings for 
               Fletch fall just short of idolatry.

                                     LARRY
                         Yo!

                                     FLETCH
                         Can I steal you for a minute?

                                     LARRY
                         Only if you promise not to return 
                         me.

                                     FLETCH
                         Deal.

                                     LARRY
                              (pointing to Fletch's 
                              T-shirt)
                         'Magic' today, huh?

                                     FLETCH
                         Kareem's in the wash. I need a favor.

                                     LARRY
                         Shoot.

                                     FLETCH
                         Don't say shoot, okay.

               They pass the office of the city editor Frank Walker, 
               fiftyish. Hold on Walker's office. Upon noticing Fletch, he 
               jumps from his seat, edges his way past the two reporters in 
               his office and runs outside.

                                     WALKER
                         Fletch. Fletch!

               FLETCH AND LARRY

               They continue their walk.

                                     FLETCH
                         Did you hear something?

                                     LARRY
                         Not me.

                                     FLETCH
                         Me neither. See what we've got on a 
                         guy named Alan Stanwyk, okay? I need 
                         it right away.

                                     WALKER
                              (running up to them)
                         Fletch, I take it by your presence 
                         here that the story is done. Tell me 
                         I'm right.

               Fletch holds up a hand.

                                     FLETCH
                         W-Y-K no 'c.' I'll be down in a 
                         minute.

                                     LARRY
                         No problem, boss.

               Larry peels off and Fletch now talks to Walker without 
               breaking stride for his office.

                                     WALKER
                         Fletch.

                                     FLETCH
                         Frank, you look a little peaked. 
                         Wanna vomit?

                                     WALKER
                         No, I want an answer, Is the story 
                         done?

                                     FLETCH
                         Uh, almost.

                                     WALKER
                         'Uh, almost' is not an answer. 'Yes 
                         Frank, it's all done': that's an 
                         answer.

                                     FLETCH
                              (as he enters his 
                              cubicle)
                         And a damn fine one, I might add.

               INT. FLETCH'S CUBICLE - DAY

               A pile of mail is on his desk. On the walls are a team 
               portrait of the Lakers, plus a couple of blow-ups of his 
               column. Fletch writes under the name of Jane Doe. An unused 
               word processor is on his desk, but the keyboard has been 
               moved aside to make room for an old, much-used Royal 
               typewriter.

               He bounces some waste paper off the monitor into a 
               strategically placed waste can. (A lot of crumpled papers 
               lie on the floor all around the can.)

                                     FLETCH
                         Two...

                                     WALKER
                         Irwin...

                                     FLETCH
                         Oh, I hate it when he calls me that.

                                     WALKER
                         Irwin, professional journalism time, 
                         now. Go back to the goddamn beach 
                         and finish the goddamn story!

                                     FLETCH
                         I will, Frank, I will. Something 
                         came up, okay?

                                     WALKER
                         No it's not okay. You have to have 
                         this in by tomorrow. Did you see the 
                         ad we ran Sunday?

                                     FLETCH
                         I never read the paper.

                                     WALKER
                         ...never reads the paper...

               Walker goes through a pile of unread newspapers on Fletch's 
               desk, finds the Sunday paper.

                                     FLETCH
                         What's the spread on the game tonight?

                                     WALKER
                         I don't know.
                              (holds up paper)
                         Look!

                                     FLETCH
                         Looks great.

               INSERT - AD

               A full-page ad.

                                    "NEXT WEEK A "JANE DOE" SPECIAL REPORT: DRUGS ON OUR BEACHES - 
                                    SHAME OF THE CITY"

               MASTER

                                     FLETCH
                         'Shame of Our City' is so good.

                                     WALKER
                         Now, Irwin, try to follow me. You 
                         can't run the ad and then not run 
                         the story.

                                     FLETCH
                         Why not? Oh shit... really?

               Walker just stares at him.

                                     FLETCH
                         Just kidding, Frank. You'll have the 
                         story and you'll be damn proud of 
                         it.

                                     WALKER
                         You broke it? You know the source?

                                     FLETCH
                         Practically.

               WALKER

               ready to kill.

                                     WALKER
                         What's 'practically'? Is it Fat Sam? 
                         You said you had pictures of him....

               MASTER

                                     FLETCH
                         I have pictures of him. Dealing...

                                     WALKER
                         So let's go! We run the pictures.

                                     FLETCH
                         He's not the story! There's a source 
                         behind him.

                                     WALKER
                         Who?

                                     FLETCH
                         Well, there we're in a gray area.

                                     WALKER
                         How gray?

                                     FLETCH
                         I'd say charcoal.

                                     WALKER
                              (straining for control)
                         I'm going to bite out your eyeballs, 
                         you know that?

                                     FLETCH
                         Frank, you animal, I love it. I'll 
                         have the story by Thursday night, I 
                         swear to God.
                              (to himself as he 
                              exits)
                         I hope.

               INSERT - NEWSPAPER CLIPPING ALAN STANWYK NEW V/P BOYD AVIATION

               A photograph of Stanwyk; a head shot. Hands turn the clipping 
               paper. Next clipping: a social page spread on the wedding of 
               Alan Stanwyk. ("GAIL BOYD WED TO ALAN STANWYK.")

                                     LARRY (V.O.)
                         Everything's recent.

               FLETCH AND LARRY

               Fletch and Larry examine the file.

                                     FLETCH
                         'Mr. Stanwyk, of Provo, Utah, is a 
                         former commercial pilot.'

                                     LARRY
                         Married Boyd Aviation. He's no dummy, 
                         that's serious coin.

               INSERT - CLIPPING - TIGHTER ANGLE

                                     FLETCH (V.O.)
                         'Stanwyk's parents, Marvin and Velma 
                         Stanwyk, also of Provo, were unable 
                         to attend the wedding.'

               FLETCH AND LARRY

                                     LARRY
                              (affected accent)
                         Not our kind of people, you 
                         understand.

                                     FLETCH
                              (points to his back)
                         Spot right here.

               She scratches.

                                     FLETCH
                         Thanks.

                                     LARRY
                         You doing a story on this guy?

                                     FLETCH
                         Maybe.

               He pours over some more clippings, then stops at one.

               INSERT CLIPPING

               headlined: "CANCER SOCIETY BENEFIT". A photograph of Alan 
               and Gail Stanwyk, with a gray haired man and his wife.

                                     FLETCH (V.O.)
                         '...Stanwyk, blahblahblah, with 
                         internist Doctor Joseph Dolen.'

               FLETCH AND LARRY

                                     FLETCH
                         I wonder if that's his doctor.

                                     LARRY
                         Only one way to find out.

               INT. DOCTOR'S EXAMINING ROOM - DAY

               Fletch, stripped to the waist. is being examined by Dr. Joseph 
               Dolen, a rather imperious physician.

                                     DR. DOLEN
                         So where do you know Alan from?

                                     FLETCH
                         We play tennis at the club.

                                     DR. DOLEN
                         Really. The California Racquet Club?

                                     FLETCH
                         Yes.

                                     DR. DOLEN
                         That's my club too. I haven't seen 
                         you there.

                                     FLETCH
                         Well, I haven't played in a while 
                         because of these kidney pains.

                                     DR. DOLEN
                         Right, and how long have you had 
                         these pains, Mr. Barber?

                                     FLETCH
                         That's Babar.

                                     DR. DOLEN
                         Two bs?

                                     FLETCH
                         One. B-a-b-a-r.

                                     DR. DOLEN
                         That's two.

                                     FLETCH
                         But not right next to each other. I 
                         thought that's what you meant.

                                     DR. DOLEN
                         Arnold Babar. Isn't there a children's 
                         book about an elephant named Babar?

                                     FLETCH
                         I don't know. I don't have any.

                                     DR. DOLEN
                         No children?

                                     FLETCH
                         No books. No elephants either. No 
                         really good elephant books.

                                     DR. DOLEN
                              (eyes Fletch curiously)
                         Still, it'd an odd name. I don't 
                         remember seeing it on the club 
                         registry.

               Fletch's eyes drift to Dolen's side table with its unnerving 
               assortment of medical paraphernalia.

                                     FLETCH
                         Oh, I don't belong formally. I've 
                         gone with my aunt.

                                     DR. DOLEN
                         Your aunt?

                                     FLETCH
                         Mrs. Smith.

                                     DR. DOLEN
                         Joan or Margaret Smith.

                                     FLETCH
                         Right.

                                     DR. DOLEN
                         Well, which one?

                                     FLETCH
                         Margaret.

                                     DR. DOLEN
                         Funny old bird.

                                     FLETCH
                         Is she ever. I've got some stories....

                                     DR. DOLEN
                         I'll bet. Shame about Ed.

                                     FLETCH
                              (vamping)
                         It was. Really a shame. To go so 
                         suddenly.

                                     DR. DOLEN
                         Oh, he was dying for years.

                                     FLETCH
                         Sure, but the end was so sudden.

                                     DR. DOLEN
                         He was in intensive care for eight 
                         weeks.

                                     FLETCH
                         Yes, but the very end, when he 
                         actually died, that was extremely 
                         sudden.
                              (quickly)
                         You know, Alan and I were recently 
                         speaking of dying. Told me Boyd 
                         Aviation took out a lot of insurance 
                         on him. You must have to be in some 
                         kind of perfect health to get that 
                         kind of policy.

                                     DR. DOLEN
                         Bend over and drop your pants, Mr. 
                         Babar.

                                     FLETCH
                         Oh really, there's no need to -- we 
                         don't want to do that...

                                     DR. DOLEN
                         Just relax....

                                     FLETCH
                         Honest, I feel fine. You better be 
                         married.

               Fletch looks alarmed as Dolan pushes him into position. Dolan 
               puts on a plastic glove.

               CLOSE - FLETCH

                                     FLETCH
                         Did I say 'kidneys'? I meant my ear. 
                         Maybe I should see an ear dahhh --
                              (as Dolan starts to 
                              probe from behind)
                         Ever serve time?

                                     DR. DOLEN
                         Breathe easy...

                                     FLETCH
                         Anyway, I'm surprised Alan got the 
                         policy so easily. I know there's a 
                         history of cancer in the family.

                                     DR. DOLEN
                              (noncommittally)
                         There is?

                                     FLETCH
                         Whoa, look out there. You really 
                         need the whole fist?

                                     DR. DOLEN
                         Just relax.

                                     FLETCH
                              (reacts to a poke)
                         Gee, Alan's been looking kind of 
                         sick lately. Is he all right?

                                     DR. DOLEN
                         I can't discuss another patient. You 
                         know that.
                              (rising into frame 
                              and washing up)
                         Well, I can't find anything wrong 
                         with you.

                                     FLETCH
                         I'm sure it's not for a lack of 
                         looking. Maybe I should get a real 
                         complete physical. You give Alan an 
                         annual, don't you?

                                     DR. DOLEN
                         Yeah, we check you into Mt. Hebron 
                         for a few days, run lots of tests, 
                         charge a bundle. You can pull your 
                         pants up now.

                                     FLETCH
                         I hope they still fit. Do I get to 
                         keep the glove?

                                     DR. DOLEN
                         Tell the nurse when you've got a few 
                         free days. She'll make all the 
                         arrangements.

                                     FLETCH
                         Thanks, Doc. Maybe I'll come back 
                         with a date. Or an elephant.

               INT. HOSPITAL RECEPTION AREA - DAY

               Fletch is dressed in shorts, a clean shirt, and is carrying 
               a doctor's bag. He is wearing a stethoscope around his neck, 
               has a beeper on, a lot of pencils and other doctor gadgets. 
               He's standing at the directory

               DIRECTORY

               Combing it with his eyes, he sees the directory:

               PATHOLOGY - THIRD FLOOR 
               B. ROSENSTIEN, M.D. 
               H. ROSENBLATT, M.D. 
               P. ROSENWOHL, M.D.

               Fletch goes to a door marked "Stairs."

               INT. STAIRWELL - DAY

               Fletch abruptly empties his doctor's bag and puts on a long 
               green gown, a cap and a face mask. He plugs the stethoscope 
               in his ears, removes miscellaneous file folders filled with 
               papers, closes the bag, and heads for Pathology.

               INT. PATHOLOGY DEPARTMENT - DAY

               It's at the end of a long hall, and adjacent to the Autopsy 
               Room and the Pathology Records Room. Over his shoulder we 
               can see into the autopsy room where a gowned doctor is happily 
               performing an autopsy.

                                     RECORDS NURSE
                              (to Fletch)
                         Identification please.

               Fletch hastily fumbles through his wallet, deftly dropping 
               and picking up the papers he has brought with him.

                                     FLETCH
                         It's me doctor Rosenpenis. I just 
                         have to take another peek at Alan 
                         Stanwyk's file. What have they done 
                         with this place?

                                     RECORDS NURSE
                              (confused at all his 
                              activity)
                         Nothing. They're still there.

                                     FLETCH
                         Right. Fine.

               Still dropping and picking up, shuffling and collating, Fletch 
               starts toward the Files Room, when the doctor performing the 
               autopsy yells at him.

                                     PATHOLOGIST
                         Hey you!

               Fletch stiffens and turns around.

                                     PATHOLOGIST
                         Give me a hand for a second would 
                         you doctor?

               Fletch hesitates.

                                     PATHOLOGIST
                         Come on, come on.

               Reluctantly, he goes to the autopsy table, and the cadaver 
               thereon, which is covered by a sheet, except for the mid-
               section.

               TWO SHOT - FLETCH AND PATHOLOGIST

               (Note: from here on we never see the body.)

                                     PATHOLOGIST
                              (poking around)
                         Have you ever see a spleen this large?

                                     FLETCH
                              (trying not to look)
                         Not recently.

                                     PATHOLOGIST
                         Grab this, will you?

                                     FLETCH
                         Uh, I'm not really prepared. My hands 
                         aren't sterilized.

                                     PATHOLOGIST
                         You're not going to make this guy 
                         any sicker.

               We hear a squishing noise as he grabs something large and 
               wet and plops it into Fletch's hand. Fletch stands there 
               holding something icky out of frame, looking uncomfortably 
               up at the ceiling, the floor, anywhere but at the cadaver or 
               at the stuff in his hand. Meanwhile, we hear sounds of further 
               incisions, and the deflating of an organ.

                                     PATHOLOGIST
                         You never really get used to the 
                         smell, do you?

               Fletch's eyes roll up, and he falls to the floor in a dead 
               faint.

               INT. RECORDS ROOM - DAY - MINUTES LATER

               Fletch is on a couch, beginning to regain consciousness. The 
               Records Nurse hovers over him.

                                     RECORDS NURSE
                         Are you all right, Doctor?

                                     FLETCH
                         Where am I?

                                     RECORDS NURSE
                         You're in the Records Room.

                                     FLETCH
                         I'm fine.

                                     RECORDS NURSE
                         Can I get you something?

                                     FLETCH
                         Have you got a make-shift plywood 
                         pillory? Heh Heh, just kidding.

                                     RECORDS NURSE
                         Doctor Holmes went to get you some 
                         smelling salts. He was quite surprised 
                         that you fainted.

                                     FLETCH
                         Well, I didn't want to say anything, 
                         but I thought the dead man was my 
                         brother.

                                     RECORDS NURSE
                         Oh my God!

                                     FLETCH
                         It's all right. It wasn't him but 
                         that spleen was a splitting image.

               He sits up and sees that just outside the glass is none other 
               that Dr. Joseph Dolen, talking with the pathologist.

                                     FLETCH
                         Oh, God, I think I'm about to 
                         hyperventilate. Have you got a paper 
                         bag, or something.

                                     RECORDS NURSE
                         Yes, right away.

               She goes to get the paper bag, and Fletch turns his back on 
               Dr. Dolen to go through the file cabinet. By the time the 
               Nurse returns, he's got Stanwyk's file.

                                     RECORDS NURSE
                         Here you are, Doctor.

                                     FLETCH
                         Thank you.

               He puts the bag over his mouth and breathes deeply as he 
               continues the conversation with her. (From time to time, we 
               see Dr. Dolen in the b.g. looking over, but does not come 
               into the records room or question what's happening).

                                     RECORDS NURSE
                         Is there anything particular you're 
                         looking for?

                                     FLETCH
                         My associates did a biopsy on this 
                         man recently.
                              (thumbs through file)
                         He's supposed to have a melanoma, or 
                         a carcinoma, some kind of noma. Hmmm. 
                         I can't seem to find any record of 
                         it.

                                     RECORDS NURSE
                              (taking the file)
                         Well, if he had one, it would 
                         certainly be in here.
                              (searches)
                         Wait. Here it is. Yep. Surgical 
                         removal of two moles. Tissue was 
                         benign.

                                     FLETCH
                         That's it?

                                     RECORDS NURSE
                              (shows him the file)
                         That's it.

                                     FLETCH
                              (reading it)
                         This was last month. So Alan Stanwyk 
                         does not have cancer.

                                     RECORDS NURSE
                         I guess not.

                                     FLETCH
                              (very puzzled)
                         He'll be so relieved.

               EXT. SANTA MONICA STREET - LATE AFTERNOON

               Fletch pulls up in front of his building, a 1970's cinderblock 
               apartment complex. Fletch parks his car halfway up the curb, 
               gets out and spots a Mercedes coupe. He starts running toward 
               the rear of his building.

               EXT. REAR OF THE BUILDING - DAY

               Fletch starts climbing up the fire escape of his building.

               FIRE ESCAPE - DAY

               Fletch reaches the second floor. He's huffing and puffing.

                                     FLETCH
                         Christ.

               REVERSE

               Attorney Charles Gillett is waiting for him on the second 
               floor fire escape. Gillett smiles.

                                     GILLETT
                         Refusal to pay alimony is a jailable 
                         offense, Fletch.

               MASTER

                                     FLETCH
                         What about breaking and entering?
                              (points to Gillett's 
                              coat)
                         Are you wearing anything under that?

                                     GILLETT
                         I did not break nor enter. I simply 
                         chose an advisable location to await 
                         my client's delinquent husband.

                                     FLETCH
                         I hate to conduct business on the 
                         lanai. Why don't we step inside.

               Fletch takes out a credit card and jimmies open the lock on 
               the window.

               INT. FLETCH'S APARTMENT - DAY

               Fletch climbs in through the window, followed by Gillett. 
               His small apartment is just barely furnished. A low basketball 
               hoop is attached to the wall. Fletch takes a ball, offers it 
               to Gillett.

                                     FLETCH
                         One on one?

               Gillett shakes his head. Fletch does a reverse shot and 
               misses, sending a plastic globe lamb crashing to the floor.

                                     FLETCH
                         And the foul.

               Fletch takes a second, successful shot.

                                     GILLETT
                         You owe Wendy nine hundred and 
                         eighteen dollars.

                                     FLETCH
                              (still playing b-ball)
                         She doesn't need the money, for 
                         crissakes. She's living with Monty. 
                         I know it.

                                     GILLETT
                         I don't know what you're referring 
                         to. Wendy maintains her own residence.

                                     FLETCH
                         It stinks. I thought woman were 
                         independent now.

                                     GILLETT
                         Until she remarries, Fletch.

                                     FLETCH
                         Hey, shut up, okay? I just hate this.

                                     GILLETT
                         I empathize with your plight, Fletch. 
                         However, you threw her out.

                                     FLETCH
                         She was sleeping with everybody. The 
                         cable TV guy. You can't get lower 
                         than that...

                                     GILLETT
                         You should have proved that in a 
                         court of law.

                                     FLETCH
                         My lawyer was a bum.

                                     GILLETT
                              (smiles)
                         I agree.

               Fletch puts down the basketball, picks up a stack of mail 
               and rifles through it.

                                     FLETCH
                         I think he was sleeping with Wendy, 
                         too.

                                     GILLETT
                         You may be right.

                                     FLETCH
                         Are you serious?

                                     GILLETT
                              (shrugs)
                         That's history, Fletch. You owe us 
                         nine hundred and eighteen dollars.

                                     FLETCH
                         Wait a minute! Our problems might be 
                         solved.

               Fletch holds up an envelope with Ed McMahon's picture on it.

                                     FLETCH
                              (continuing)
                         I think I just won a million dollars!

               He opens it and looks inside, feigning disappointment.

                                     FLETCH
                              (continuing)
                         Damn... lost again. Sorry.

                                     GILLETT
                         This is no joke. If some kind of 
                         payment isn't made, we're going to 
                         have to contact the paper and garnish 
                         your wages.

               Fletch sighs, takes out the envelope given to him by Stanwyk. 
               He hands a thousand dollars to Gillett.

                                     GILLETT
                         Cash. I'm impressed.

                                     FLETCH
                         Found it in a cab. That's a grand. 
                         Apply the difference to next month.

                                     GILLETT
                         Till then.

               Gillett smiles and exits.

               KITCHEN - DAY

               Fletch opens the fridge. Inside are tow six-packs of Coors, 
               a jar of Miracle Whip, a half a cucumber, and a brown head 
               of lettuce. Fletch takes a beer and slams the door shut with 
               such force that we hear breakage inside.

               MASTER - APARTMENT - DAY

               In a foul mood, Fletch leaves the kitchen, and wanders into 
               the living room. It has the personality of an Abbey Rents.

               He picks up the TV remote control. The television clicks on. 
               Chick Hearn is with Jabbar, during a Laker pregame warmup.

                                     FLETCH
                         Thank God.

               Fletch settles back.

               TELEVISION

               Hearn is gushing over Jabbar.

               FLETCH

               He watches contemplatively. He is bone tired.

               TELEVISION

                                     HEARN
                         How about Fletch?

                                     JABBAR
                         Well, Fletch has been great. He's 
                         super-strong, really clogs the middle 
                         for us, boxes out, gets the bounds....

                                     FLETCH
                         He smiles and nods, deep in fantasy.

               TELEVISION

                                     HEARN
                         Now here's a key play in Tuesday 
                         night's game...

               Hearn and Jabbar look down at a television monitor.

               FLETCH

               He's half asleep.

                                     JABBAR (V.O.)
                         Here I am dishing off to Fletch...

               Fletch raises an eyebrow.

               TELEVISION

               There's Fletch, his hair in an Afro, dressed in Laker gold. 
               He's on the receiving end of a Jabbar pass, making an easy 
               layup.

                                     HEARN (V.O.)
                         Gosh, he makes it look so easy!

               FLETCH

               asleep, smiling.

               PRACTICE COURT - DAY

               Gail Stanwyk is on the other side of the net, loading tennis 
               balls into the automatic serve machine. She is in her late 
               twenties and quite attractive, but in a much more natural 
               way than other women we see here. She is good natured and 
               effervescent.

               Fletch steps up to the entrance of the court.

                                     FLETCH
                         Gail Stanwyk!

               She looks up. He enters the court with great delight.

                                     FLETCH
                         I haven't seen you since the wedding, 
                         Jeez, you look great.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                              (genuinely pleased)
                         I do? Oh, isn't that sweet, thank 
                         you. I have to confess something to 
                         you. I must have been pretty plowed 
                         at your wedding. I really don't have 
                         the faintest idea who you are.

                                     FLETCH
                         Huh? No, not my wedding. Yours.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Oh, mine! Thank God.
                              (furrows her brow)
                         Actually, that doesn't make it any 
                         better, does it? Are you a friend of 
                         Alan's?

                                     FLETCH
                         We used to fly together. I'm... John.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                              (snaps her fingers in 
                              happy recognition)
                         John! You used to fly together!

               Her smile segues right into an "I'm sorry, bit I give up" 
               expression.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         John who?

                                     FLETCH
                         John Ultrarelamensky.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                              (bursts out in laughter)
                         Oh, I'm sorry. It's a beautiful name, 
                         really.

                                     FLETCH
                         It's Scotch-Rumanian.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                              (still loading tennis 
                              balls)
                         That's a strange combination.

                                     FLETCH
                         So were my parents.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Mind if I keep practicing? I need to 
                         work on my ground stroke a little.

                                     FLETCH
                         Please.

               As Mrs. Stanwyk crosses to the other side of the net, a waiter 
               approaches Fletch.

                                     WAITER
                         Excuse me sir. Are you a guest of 
                         the club?

                                     FLETCH
                         Yes, I'm with the Underhills.

                                     WAITER
                         They just left, sir.

                                     FLETCH
                         They'll be back. He had to go in for 
                         a urinalysis.

                                     WAITER
                         Would you care for a drink while 
                         you're waiting? I can put it on the 
                         Underhill bill.

                                     FLETCH
                         Great. I'll have a Bloody Mary and a 
                         steak sandwich.

                                     WAITER
                         Very good sir.

               The Waiter leaves, and Fletch watches as Mrs. Stanwyk tries 
               to return the serving machine's serves. She swings so goofily 
               that she can't even get the racket on the ball. She has 
               clearly never taken a lesson in her life, and it is doubtful 
               if she will ever make contact with a tennis ball in this 
               century.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Damn, I thought I had that one.

                                     FLETCH
                         You should play with much larger 
                         tennis balls. So how's Alan?

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         What are you asking me for? He's so 
                         busy lately I hardly see him. And 
                         he's been so preoccupied.

                                     FLETCH
                         Preoccupied with what?

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Oh, personal stuff. Look! I hit one!

               Indeed, she has. Strait up. She and Fletch crane their necks 
               upward to follow it's flight.

                                     FLETCH
                         Good. Lobs are a very important part 
                         of the game.

               She completely misses the next one.

                                     FLETCH
                         Why do you keep doing this?

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         I love the outfits.

               The next one she hits with the handle.

                                     FLETCH
                         Try stepping into the ball with your 
                         left foot.

               He demonstrates a swing. She puts on a determined face, makes 
               an awkward step and swings at the next ball, missing it 
               completely, and letting the racket fly.

                                     FLETCH
                         There, much better.

               Mrs. Stanwyk laughs happily and dodges the machine-served 
               balls to walk over to Fletch. When she's almost up to him, 
               she turns back to the serving machine and points a finger at 
               it, as if addressing a pet dog.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Stay!
                              (to Fletch)
                         I must be having an off day. I'm 
                         really a fabulous player.

                                     FLETCH
                         I have this effect on lots of women.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         I bet you do.

                                     FLETCH
                         Say, the reason I asked about Alan 
                         is that I bumped into him this morning 
                         and you know what I can't figure 
                         out?

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                              (catching him in his 
                              lie)
                         Alan's in Utah.

                                     FLETCH
                              (after a beat)
                         I can't figure out why I went to 
                         Utah for the morning.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Okay. I'm delighted to have someone 
                         to talk to, and you're very cute, so 
                         I'm very flattered, but I'm also 
                         very married so you may as well forget -- 
                         You are trying to hit on me, aren't 
                         you?

                                     FLETCH
                              (thinks, then nods)
                         I'm such a heel. How'd you guess?

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         If I had a nickel for every one of 
                         Alan's flyboy buddies who tried to 
                         pick me up, I'd be a rich woman.

                                     FLETCH
                         You are a rich woman.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         See what I mean?

               She trots back to her ball machine. Fletch calls after her.

                                     FLETCH
                         What's he doing in Utah?

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         None of your business, now go away. 
                         You're throwing my game off.

               Fletch chuckles -- he likes this woman -- and exits.

               BOYD AVIATION - DAY - ESTABLISHING

               A sprawling, Hughes-like complex.

                                     FLETCH (O.S.)
                         ...then who walks in but George Bush. 
                         He took one look around the room...

               INT. JOHN BOYD'S OFFICE - DAY

               A Secretary is serving coffee to Fletch (now dressed in a 
               three piece suit) and John Boyd, Gail Stanwyk's father. At 
               seventy, he is probably Chairman Emeritus now; no longer 
               running the day-to-day operations of the company, and thus 
               somewhat grateful from the company.

                                     FLETCH
                         ...and said 'Sorry Mr. President, I 
                         thought it was Saturday.'

               Boyd Laughs.

                                     FLETCH
                         I thought I was going to die.

                                     SECRETARY
                         Sugar, Mr. Poon?

                                     FLETCH
                         Thank you.

               Fletch notices a framed wedding photograph on the credenza 
               behind Boyd. It is of Alan and Gail Stanwyk, Alan beaming a 
               shit-eating grin and holding a happy thumbs-up.

               Fletch waits as the Secretary leaves the room, then begins 
               speaking confidentially.

                                     FLETCH
                         Okay.

               He opens his attaché case, allowing Boyd to see an airline 
               ticket, a Washington Post, and a file stenciled 
               "Confidential/S.E.C. Use only."

                                     FLETCH
                         First of all, let me just reiterate 
                         that this is not a formal 
                         investigation. I'm not going through 
                         formal channels here, because if 
                         Alan Stanwyk is not involved in any 
                         improprieties, then nobody has to 
                         know I was even --

                                     BOYD
                         Alan Stanwyk is not involved in 
                         improprieties. Where the hell does 
                         the S.E.C. come off --

               Fletch is nodding sympathetically and holds up a quieting 
               hand. Boyd stops in mid-tirade, and watches as Fletch reaches 
               into his briefcase and seemingly turns off a tape recorder.

                                     FLETCH
                         Look. You know that and I know that, 
                         but somebody's bucking for a 
                         promotion. I think it's that bozo, 
                         Hanrahan, I can't be sure. Anyway, 
                         unless I go back there with something, 
                         you and your son-in-law are next 
                         week's scapegoats.

                                     BOYD
                         Unbelievable.

                                     FLETCH
                         I feel like dirt. They even want to 
                         know what he's doing in Utah?

                                     BOYD
                         Utah?
                              (laughs)
                         Jesus Christ! First of all, Alan 
                         Stanwyk does not own one share of 
                         stock.The three million dollars for 
                         the ranch in Provo comes from my 
                         daughter who converted some of her 
                         personal holdings, not company 
                         holdings. Now if anybody in DC wants 
                         to make something of that, bring 'em 
                         on. Until then, get the hell out of 
                         my face.

                                     FLETCH
                              (stands and closes 
                              briefcase)
                         God I admire you.

                                     BOYD
                         By the way: what kind of name is 
                         Poon?

                                     FLETCH
                         Comanche Indian.

               ALAN STANWYK'S OFFICE - DAY

               Fletch breezes in, right up to the Secretary, whose nameplate 
               reads MADELINE TURNER.

                                     FLETCH
                              (rapidly)
                         Oh, Margie, sorry, Frieda lost the 
                         number of Alan's realtor in Provo. 
                         Can you give it to me real quick?

                                     MARGIE
                         Jim Swarthout?

                                     FLETCH
                         Yeah.

               She writes it out for him.

                                     MARGIE
                         And, I'm sorry, who are you again?

                                     FLETCH
                              (grabbing the paper)
                         Frieda's boss.

                                     MARGIE
                              (calling after him)
                         Who's Frieda?

                                     FLETCH
                              (out the door)
                         My secretary.

               EXT. BEACH - DAY

               Pan across the beach...

                                     FLETCH (O.S.)
                         Larry, it's me...

               Fletch is in a phone booth on the sidewalk next to the beach, 
               keeping an eye on "Fat Sam's."

                                     FLETCH
                         See if you've got anything in 
                         Stanwyk's background from when he 
                         lived in Utah. Also check on a realtor 
                         in Provo named Swarthout. And tell 
                         Frank I'm crazy about him and I'd 
                         like to discuss his maybe moving in 
                         with me.

               We hear police sirens. Fletch looks O.S.

                                     FLETCH
                         Later.

               He hangs up.

               FLETCH'S POINT OF VIEW - FOUR SQUAD CARS

               have pulled up to the beach, lights flashing. The druggies 
               are dispersing.

               Creasy is running towards Fletch.

                                     CREASY
                         Fletch! Take off!

               FLETCH

               He steps out onto the beach, and starts towards the cops.

               MASTER

                                     CREASY
                         What are you doing?

               MASTER

               Everyone is scattering. The cops run past everyone, and 
               approach Gummey.

               FLETCH AND CREASY

                                     FLETCH
                         They're after Gummy again. It's weird.

               Fletch keeps moving toward the police.

                                     CREASY
                              (out of breath)
                         Fletch, slow down.

               GUMMY AND THE COPS

               Gummy trips and falls in the sand. A Cop kicks him in the 
               head.

                                     COP #1
                         Let's go, Gummy.

               FLETCH AND CREASY

               still running toward the cops.

                                     FLETCH
                         Hey, what are you doing?

                                     CREASY
                         Fletch, this is dumb.

                                     FLETCH
                         You don't have to run with me, Crease.

               MASTER

               The cops drag Gummy toward a squad car.

               ANGLE - "FAT SAM'S"

               Fat Sam peers out, watching the action.

               MASTER

               Fletch approaches the cops.

                                     FLETCH
                         Why are you beating up on that kid?

               No response from the cops.

                                     FLETCH
                         He's defenseless, and you kick the 
                         crap out of him. What do you want 
                         from --

               One of the cops turns and, in one smooth motion, kicks Fletch 
               in the balls. Fletch sinks to the ground.

               SQUAD CAR

               Gummy is packed into the squad car.

               FLETCH

               He rises slowly from the sand. He is in great pain. He starts 
               after the cops again.

               CREASY

                                     CREASY
                         Fletch!

               MASTER

                                     FLETCH
                         What goddamn right do you have to 
                         take him?

               The cop car starts off. Fletch picks up a rock, hurls it at 
               the cop car. It smashes the rear window.

               CREASY

                                     CREASY
                         Fletch!!!

               MASTER

               The cop cars go off. Fletch bends over. He's hurting. Creasy 
               comes over to him.

                                     CREASY
                         Hey you're really nuts.

                                     FLETCH
                              (breathless)
                         They didn't do anything.

                                     CREASY
                         What? What are you talking about?

                                     FLETCH
                         I busted their window, they didn't 
                         do anything.

                                     CREASY
                         You're lucky.

                                     FLETCH
                         Not luck. They don't want me.

               POLICE CARS

               In a caravan, they head down the highway.

               FLETCH

               He turns and looks towards "Fat Sam's."

               FAT SAM'S

               Fat Sam watches the police cars go down the road, then turns 
               and looks towards the ocean. He pulls his Angels cap down 
               over his head.

               CLOSE - FLETCH

               He is focusing on something, but has not figured it out yet.

                                     FLETCH
                         Gummy and two cops...

               INT. FRANK WALKER'S OFFICE - DAY

                                     FLETCH
                         Cool your tool, Frank, I need a little 
                         more time. I think I'm really on to 
                         something here.

                                     WALKER
                         You're onto something. That's good. 
                         What?

                                     FLETCH
                         I really don't want to spoil your 
                         surprise, Frank. Why don't you read 
                         it tomorrow?

               Larry, knocks on the door.

                                     WALKER
                         What do you want?

               Larry points to Fletch.

                                     WALKER
                         Speak, don't point!

                                     LARRY
                         I need Fletch for a second.

                                     FLETCH
                         She needs me, Frank.

               Fletch turns to Larry. Push to two shot.

                                     LARRY
                         Nothing on Gail Stanwyk, nothing on 
                         Jim Swarthout. But I did ---

                                     FLETCH
                         That's okay, Lar. I gotta put this 
                         on the back burner for a while.

               Larry starts to exit.

                                     WALKER
                         Just give me a hint, all right?

                                     FLETCH
                         All right. Maybe there are some 
                         crooked cops involved in all this.

                                     LARRY
                              (stopping in the 
                              doorway)
                         Did you say cops?

                                     FLETCH
                         Yeah.

                                     LARRY
                         That's one thing I did find. It's 
                         from last month, so it was in the 
                         unsorted pile.

               She hands Fletch a clipping.

               INSERT - CLIPPING

               It is an article and photograph of the newly-appointed 
               citizens on the Police Advisory Board. One of them is Alan 
               Stanwyk.

                                     WALKER
                         What's that?

               MASTER

               Fletch pockets the photo.

                                     FLETCH
                              (puzzled)
                         More cops.
                              (then)
                         I think I gotta go to Utah, Frank.

                                     WALKER
                         Utah?

                                     FLETCH
                         Yeah. It's wedged in between Wyoming 
                         and Nevada. I'm sure you've seen 
                         pictures.

                                     WALKER
                         What about finding the source?

                                     FLETCH
                         I have some ideas.

                                     WALKER
                         Who? Donnie and Marie?

                                     FLETCH
                         Very possibly. Come on, say yes. 
                         I'll buy you a shirt.

                                     WALKER
                         Go to transportation, get a ticket.

                                     LARRY
                              (to Fletch as he exits)
                         My hero.

                                     FLETCH
                         Nothing to it.

               EXT. PROVO, UTAH - AIRPORT -DAY

               A Western Airlines flight arrives.

               EXT. HIGHWAY - DUSK

               Fletch's rented Fairmont speeds down the highway.

               INT. FAIRMONT - FLETCH

               wearing a polyester brown suit -- fiddles with the radio. 
               Snatches of programs are heard: "easy listening" music; 
               country-and-western; a revival show; a call in show -- "Hi, 
               you're on the air." "Hello, Bob, I'd like to discuss the 
               death penalty. As you know, Jesus was in favor of it --" 
               Fletch whistles and switches the radio off. He turns the car 
               off the interstate.

               EXT. TRAVELODGE - LATE AFTERNOON - ESTABLISHING SHOT

               as Fletch drives up.

               INT. TRAVELODGE MOTEL ROOM

               Fletch dials the phone in the small, sparsely furnished room.

                                     FLETCH
                         Hi, Jim Swarthout, please. Oh, hello, 
                         my name is Igor Stravinski and I'm 
                         looking for some ranch property.

               INT. SWARTHOUT REALTY

               Jim Swarthout is a rugged-looking man in his forties. He 
               sits in the den/office of his house talking on the phone, 
               surrounded by pine-paneling, property tract maps and wall-
               mounted animal heads.

                                     SWARTHOUT
                         Good, Mr. Starinski, what'd you have 
                         in mind?
                              (pause)
                         Uh huh. Oh are you a friend of Alan's?

               INT. FLETCH'S MOTEL ROOM

                                     FLETCH
                         No, I just heard some people at the 
                         club talking about the property you 
                         sold him, and the way it was 
                         described, three million sounded 
                         like a pretty good price.
                              (pause)
                         What?

               Fletch pauses again to listen, flummoxed over what he has 
               just heard.

                                     FLETCH
                         Are you sure?
                              (pause)
                         Of course. I guess I was misinformed. 
                         Listen, I'd love to come out and see 
                         you anyway. When are you available?

               INT. SWARTHOUT REALTY

                                     SWARTHOUT
                         Well, I'm about to close up shop and 
                         go out for the evening. How about 
                         first thing in the AM?
                              (pause)
                         Great. See you tomorrow.

               INT. FLETCH'S MOTEL ROOM

                                     FLETCH
                         Tomorrow.

               Fletch hangs up, very interested.

               EXT. SWARTHOUT REALTY - NIGHT

               Fletch stops his car in front of the ranch-style house. A 
               lighted sign in the yard indicate that this is indeed 
               Swarthout Realty, but the house is dark; no one appears to 
               be home. Somewhere in the yard a dog barks viciously, 
               frantically.

               DOG

               A killer Doberman is tied up behind a chain link fence. At 
               the sight of the intruding Fletch, the dog's lip is 
               practically over his nose, his fangs are poised and gleaming.

               FLETCH

                                     FLETCH
                              (getting out of his 
                              car)
                         What's your name fella? Fluff? Pom-
                         pom?

               DOG

               completely bananas.

               FLETCH

               Fletch reaches the front door and looks around. He rings the 
               bell. The dog yowls even louder. Fletch waits. And waits. He 
               rings again. Satisfied that no one is home, he tries the 
               front door. Of course, it is locked. He takes out a credit 
               card, starts to jimmy the lock, and actually seems to be 
               making progress when his credit card snaps in half.

                                     FLETCH
                         Shit.

               He pockets the broken credit card, steps back and looks over 
               the house for another possible point of entry.

               FLETCH'S POINT OF VIEW - AN UPSTAIRS WINDOW

               Double-hung. Slightly warped, so that the upper half does 
               not exactly true with the lower half.

               FLETCH

               looks around to see how to climb up to it.

               MASTER

               There's only one way. Climb up the side of the chain link 
               fence which separates him from the murderous dog. Fletch 
               approaches it warily. The dog is practically foaming. Fletch 
               reaches out a hand to get a hold of the fence, and the dog 
               just about rips the fence apart.

                                     FLETCH
                              (in his best Barbara 
                              Woodhouse)
                         Sit-tuh!

               This has no effect, so Fletch backs up a few yards, take a 
               deep breath for courage and makes a headlong running start 
               for the fence, using his momentum to get to the top before 
               the dog eats him. He grabs hold and scrambles wildly for the 
               top. He makes it.

                                     FLETCH
                         Roll over. Play dead. Good boy.

               Fletch now grabs hold of the eave on the side of the house, 
               and very carefully pulls himself onto it. It's only about 
               ten feet from there to the vulnerable window, but the angle 
               of the eave is rather steep, and the going is treacherous. 
               As he makes his way, he keeps a wary eye on the dog who keeps 
               leaping up, seemingly getting closer and closer to taking a 
               giant bite out of Fletch's backside.

                                     FLETCH
                         You any relation to Doctor Dolan?

               Now he's at the window. He tries to open it, but despite 
               it's warped appearance from the ground, it is locked. Fletch 
               looks at the lock and can't believe it. He sighs. He shakes 
               his head. He smashes the window with his elbow.

                                     FLETCH
                         I hate this.

               He climbs into the darkened house, leaving the enraged dog 
               to run furiously around the fenced in yard that surrounds 
               the house.

               INT. SWARTHOUT'S HOUSE - UPSTAIRS - NIGHT

               Fletch tiptoes though the upstairs bedroom and down the 
               stairs. From outside, he can still hear the dog snarling and 
               barking.

               INT. SWARTHOUT'S HOUSE - DOWNSTAIRS - NIGHT

               As Fletch passes through the living room he sees the dog 
               snarling at him through the living room window.

               INT. SWARTHOUT'S DEN - NIGHT

               Fletch enters and looks around.

               The dog is now outside the den window.

                                     FLETCH
                         Make sure nobody comes in, okay?

               He goes to the file cabinet and opens it. He flips through 
               the "S" section. "Stanwyk". He pulls it. He thumbs through 
               various documents until he finds what he's looking for. A 
               copy of a deed. He pulls it out.

               INSERT - DEED - CLOSE ON THE PURCHASE PRICE

               Three Thousand Dollars.

                                     FLETCH (O.S.)
                         So much for your three million dollar 
                         ranch.

               FLETCH

               takes out a tiny document camera -- the kind spies use in 
               the movies -- and loads it fumblingly. Then he props the 
               deed up on top of the file cabinet, and moves a lamp into 
               position to light it. Just as he snaps his first shot, we 
               hear a terrible crashing sound.

               WINDOW

               The murderous Doberman has made a crashing leap right through 
               the den window, sending glass flying everywhere, and he 
               streaks across the room to rip Fletch into bite-sized shreds.

               MASTER

               Fletch bolts and the dog flies into the file cabinet, knocking 
               it over, scattering all the files over the floor. Fletch 
               dashes for the nearest door, and runs through it just as the 
               dog slams into it.

               INT. KITCHEN

               Fletch is now holed up in the kitchen, panting to catch his 
               breath, feeling the full course of adrenaline pumping through 
               his terrified veins. He sees that he can get to his car by 
               climbing through the window. But in order to get to the window 
               he has to let go of the door, and that would allow the dog 
               to get in.

               Looking around frantically, holding the door shut against 
               the furious slamming of the dog, he reaches for and finally 
               grabs a mop which he props under the door knob, thus keeping 
               the door shut. Letting go of the door gingerly, he satisfies 
               himself that the dog cannot get in, and he makes his break 
               for the window.

               He vaults up onto the counter top and is just about to break 
               the window when he sees that the dog's continued efforts are 
               about to result in opening the door.

               Fletch knows he has only seconds. Standing on top of the 
               counter, he opens the door of the restaurant-sized 
               refrigerator next to him, and just as the snarling dog bursts 
               into the room Fletch starts hurling food at it. A pot roast, 
               sliced turkey with stuffing, a couple of filet mignons. The 
               dog is momentarily distracted. Fletch pours a large bucket 
               of cranberry sauce on the dog.

                                     FLETCH
                         Suck on this Cujo!

               Then he dumps an equally large bucket of mashed potatoes. 
               With the dog temporarily vision-impaired, Fletch bolts.

               EXT. SWARTHOUT HOUSE - NIGHT

               Fletch runs as fast as humanly possible towards his car, 
               fishing for his keys as he goes. The dog -- having shaken 
               off the people-food from his hateful face -- is seconds behind 
               and closing.

               Fletch makes it to his car, hops inside, and slams the door 
               just as the dog leaps furiously at the windshield.

               INT. FLETCH'S CAR

               Fletch makes it to his car, huffing and puffing. The dog 
               jumps across the closed window, snarling and bug-eyed with 
               hatred.

               Fletch smiles, waves at the dog, and starts taking its picture 
               with his little camera.

                                     FLETCH
                         Gimme a smile! There you go... oh, 
                         that's a nice one...
                              (starting the car)
                         Everything's fine, now... go take a 
                         little nap...

               Fletch is ready to pull out, but the dog is still leaping 
               madly at the window. Fletch points back to the house.

                                     FLETCH
                         Look! Defenseless babies!

               The dog turns to look and Fletch guns it.

                                     FLETCH
                         That dog is such an asshole.

               EXT. FLETCH'S APARTMENT HOUSE - DAY

               Fletch parks his car halfway up on the curb, steps out 
               carrying a small overnight bag. He is unshaven and looks 
               beat.

               INT. APARTMENT HOUSE - CORRIDOR

               Fletch comes down the hall signing "Billie Jean" is an 
               excruciating falsetto.

                                     FLETCH
                         'Bil-lie, Bil-lie...'

               He opens the door to his apartment and is immediately thrown 
               to the ground.

               INT. APARTMENT

               Fletch is spread-eagled on the floor. Two huge Cops are over 
               him, one holding a gun to his head, the other going through 
               his clothes.

                                     COP #1
                              (feeling the inseam 
                              of Fletch's trousers)
                         Oh, what's this?

                                     FLETCH
                         If I took that out, you guys couldn't 
                         fit in here.

                                     COP #1
                         Funny boy. Look at this...

               He produces a heroin bag.

                                     COP #2
                         Looks like heroin, Gene.

                                     FLETCH
                         You just planted that.

               Cop #1 kicks Fletch in the ribs.

                                     COP #2
                         What'd you say?

                                     FLETCH
                         Read me my rights.

                                     COP #1
                         Okay. You have the right to remain 
                         silent. You have the right to be 
                         kicked in the face by me. You have 
                         the rights to have your balls stomped. 
                         You have the --

                                     FLETCH
                         Hold it! I'll waive my rights.

               EXT. PRECINCT HOUSE

               Fletch is lead into the precinct house.

               INT. PRECINCT HOUSE

               The Sergeant at the desk checks Fletch out.

                                     SERGEANT
                         Who we booking here, gentlemen?

                                     COP #1
                         No booking. Chief wants a talk with 
                         the boy.

                                     SERGEANT
                         Oh Yeah?
                              (smiles at Fletch)
                         You'll like the Chief. Nice man.

                                     FLETCH
                         I hear he's mellowed a lot since he 
                         came out of the closet.

                                     SERGEANT
                         I find he gets real mellow after he 
                         hits somebody a lot.

               DOOR TO CHIEF'S OFFICE - CHIEF'S OFFICE

               The cops open the door, pull Fletch inside. Chief Cummings, 
               looking like a modern executive, looks up from his paperwork.

                                     COP #1
                         Here he is Chief.

               They roughly throw Fletch into a chair. The Chief -- seemingly 
               oblivious to this brutality -- smiles sincerely.

                                     CUMMINGS
                         Easy fellas.
                              (To Fletch friendly)
                         Be with you in just a second.

               The two Cops leave. As Chief Cummings continues with his 
               paperwork Fletch looks around the office, which is decorated 
               tastefully -- no guns on the wall, no American flags. On one 
               wall there is a Matisse, and on another, various photos of 
               the Chief with local celebrities.

                                     FLETCH
                         You decorate this yourself or did 
                         Mrs. Chief of Police help you?

                                     CUMMINGS
                              (laughs)
                         You should have seen what she wanted 
                         to do with the place. Mauve.
                              (shakes his head and 
                              pushes his papers 
                              aside)
                         So what's your name?

                                     FLETCH
                         Fletch.

                                     CUMMINGS
                         Full name.

                                     FLETCH
                         Fletch F. Fletch

                                     CUMMINGS
                              (skeptical but patient)
                         I see. And what do you do for a 
                         living, Mr. Fletch?

                                     FLETCH
                         I'm President of the International 
                         Fletch Corporation.

               Cummings just stares at Fletch.

                                     CUMMINGS
                         Why are you doing this Mr. Fletch?

                                     FLETCH
                         Frankly sir, you look a little like 
                         my father. Probably explains the 
                         curious feeling of love I have for 
                         you.

                                     CUMMINGS
                         For a gentleman who was just found 
                         holding a bag full of heroin...

                                     FLETCH
                         It was planted on me, sir.

                                     CUMMINGS
                         We're looking at five years, maybe 
                         ten. Is that what you want... Jane 
                         Doe?

               He suddenly kicks Fletch's chair out from under him. Fletch 
               falls to the floor.

                                     CUMMINGS
                         Your editor called me yesterday to 
                         respond to allegations you're about 
                         to print about police involvement in 
                         narcotics dealing. Fletch starts to 
                         get up, but Cummings plants his foot 
                         on Fletch's chest, forces him back 
                         down.

                                     CUMMINGS
                         I'm about to break that beach wide 
                         open, and I don't need some pennyante 
                         Woodward and Bernstein getting in 
                         the way of my men.

                                     FLETCH
                         'Your men' might just be involved in 
                         all this.

                                     CUMMINGS
                         You idiot. Off the record, deep 
                         background: I've got that beach 
                         crawling with undercover cops.

               Cummings picks Fletch up, and holds him by the lapels.

                                     CUMMINGS
                         If you keep nosing around, you make 
                         the bad guys just a little bit more 
                         cautious. That makes my job harder. 
                         And if you print your story this 
                         week, you might get some of my men 
                         killed. I can't let that happen, Mr. 
                         Fletch.

               He throws Fletch against the wall of celebrity photos, some 
               of which fall to the floor.

                                     CUMMINGS
                         You go back to that goddamn beach, I 
                         swear to God I'll make you regret 
                         it.

                                     FLETCH
                              (picks up a picture)
                         Hey, you and Tommy Lasorda. That's 
                         great.

               Fletch takes the picture and hurls it across the room. It 
               smashes into the opposite wall and shatters.

                                     FLETCH
                         I don't like Tommy Lasorda.

               JAIL CORRIDOR

               Fletch is tossed into an empty cell by the two Cops who 
               brought him in. Cummings watches. The two Cops leave, and we 
               see that all the cells in this corridor are empty.

                                     FLETCH
                         You can't keep me here.

                                     CUMMINGS
                         Maybe I'm not going to keep you here.
                              (takes out a gun)
                         Maybe I'm gonna blow your brains 
                         out.

                                     FLETCH
                         I'm no lawyer, but I do believe that's 
                         a violation of my rights.

               The Chief takes a knife out of his pocket, holding it with a 
               handkerchief.

                                     CUMMINGS
                         After I shoot you, I stick the knife 
                         in my arm, then place it in your 
                         dead hand. Self-defense. We don't do 
                         this very much anymore... but we 
                         have. Got rid of a lot of minorities 
                         that way.

                                     FLETCH
                         My God, you're serious.

                                     CUMMINGS
                         Ask anybody.

                                     FLETCH
                         Can I ask anybody now?

               Cummings looks down the corridor. Deserted.

                                     FLETCH
                         Can I call my Mom? I'd like to tell 
                         here how much I've always loved her.

                                     CUMMINGS
                              (cocks the gun)
                         What'll it be Fletch?

               Fletch looks in Cummings' eyes. They are steely and cold. He 
               is quite serious.

                                     FLETCH
                         I hate the beach. Wouldn't go there 
                         if you paid me. Besides, I'm way 
                         overdue on my story about off-track 
                         betting in the Himalayas. You don't 
                         think it's the mafia, do you?

                                     CUMMINGS
                              (opening the cell)
                         Its been very nice meeting you. I 
                         enjoy your column.

               Fletch walks out of the cell. Cummings walks with him through 
               the empty corridor to the exit.

                                     CUMMINGS
                              (very chummy)
                         Speaking of which, you're not going 
                         to print anything before my 
                         investigation is through, are you?

                                     FLETCH
                         Not a prayer.

                                     CUMMINGS
                         That a boy.

               The emerge into the main hallway of the police station, which 
               is filled with officers and civilians. Cummings makes a show 
               of cordially shaking Fletch's hand as if they were old 
               friends.

                                     CUMMINGS
                         Thanks for coming down to see us.

                                     FLETCH
                         Not at all, Chief. But next time... 
                         no tongue, okay?

               Exit Fletch.

               INT. NEWSPAPER OFFICE

               Fletch is railing at Frank Walker.

                                     FLETCH
                         How could you call him?

                                     WALKER
                         It's called journalism, Fletch. It's 
                         called getting both sides of the 
                         story. Something you apparently don't 
                         know anything about.

                                     FLETCH
                         It's also called getting me this 
                         close to being murdered.

                                     WALKER
                         Get out of here.

                                     FLETCH
                         He threw me in a cell, took a gun 
                         and a knife and threatened to kill 
                         me right there if I didn't promise 
                         to give up the story.

                                     WALKER
                         You know, I've had it up to here 
                         with your bullshit. I need a story 
                         from you by tomorrow.

                                     FLETCH
                         You'll have it.

                                     WALKER
                         But not unsubstantiated charges about 
                         dope-dealing cops, and not horse 
                         shit paranoid fantasies about 
                         homicidal police chiefs.

                                     FLETCH
                              (exiting)
                         Thanks for the vote of confidence, 
                         Frank.

                                     WALKER
                              (calling after him)
                         I want something I can print!

                                     FLETCH
                              (giving him the finger)
                         Print this Frank.

               Exit Fletch.

               EXT. RACQUET CLUB

               Fletch again appears in his tennis whites and walks familiarly 
               toward the patio. Rich people are having lunch. Fletch stops 
               the waiter.

                                     FLETCH
                         Hi, where's Mrs. Stanwyk?

                                     WAITER
                         In her cabana, sir.

                                     FLETCH
                         Oh, that's right. She told me to 
                         meet her there. That's cabana six?

                                     WAITER
                         Cabana one.

                                     FLETCH
                         One.

                                     WAITER
                         Would you be caring for something to 
                         eat or drink, sir?

                                     FLETCH
                         I would, actually.

                                     WAITER
                         Charged to the Underhills, sir?

                                     FLETCH
                         Right. Tell you what -- have you 
                         caviar?

                                     WAITER
                         Yes, sir. Beluga. But it is eighty 
                         dollars the portion.

                                     FLETCH
                              (whistles)
                         I'd better only get two. How about 
                         the lobster thermidor?

                                     WAITER
                         I recommend it.

                                     FLETCH
                         Fine. And a couple of bottles of Dom 
                         Perignon. To cabana one.

                                     WAITER
                         Very good, sir.

               The waiter leaves. Fletch looks around, takes a deep breath.

                                     FLETCH
                         This is just the nicest place.

               EXT. CABANA ONE

               A little Spanish bungalow-type affair. Old California money-
               style elegance. Fletch rings the bell.

                                     MRS. STANWYK (V.O.)
                         Who is it?

                                     FLETCH
                         It's John. John...
                              (forgets name)
                         Znhcneelsky.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         John Ultramalensky?

               She opens the door, clad only in a towel. A towel is wrapped 
               around her head. She seems surprised, but not displeased, to 
               see Fletch. She also seems a little at a loss for words.

                                     FLETCH
                         Hi.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                              (finally)
                         Hi.

                                     FLETCH
                         I was hoping you'd say that.

               They have just shaken hands, and Fletch notices his hand is 
               now sopping wet.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Uh... I'm just out of the shower.

                                     FLETCH
                         Can I borrow your towel for a minute?

               She laughs a nervous little laugh. There is a bit of sexual 
               tension here.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         I'm sorry, I'm just surprised to see 
                         you. I didn't think... What do you 
                         want?

                                     FLETCH
                         I ordered lunch.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         You ordered it here?

                                     FLETCH
                         Well, I knew this is where my mouth 
                         would be.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Down boy.

               With a nervous glance in both directions, she lets him in 
               and closes the door behind them.

               INT. CABANA

               They stand there for a few seconds looking at each other.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         I really should change.

                                     FLETCH
                         No, I think you should stay the same 
                         wonderful person you are today.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         I mean put clothes on.

                                     FLETCH
                         Here, take mine.

               He starts to take off his shirt. She is amused, and responds 
               playfully, but firmly.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Stop that!

               He does.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Have you gotten cuter since I last 
                         saw you?

                                     FLETCH
                         Yes.

               She stands there, looking around, trying to act as if her 
               heartbeat weren't speeding up.

               SFX: Knock at door.

                                     FLETCH
                         Lunch...

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         God...

               She goes sprinting into the bathroom.

                                     FLETCH
                         Come on in.

               The door opens. A second Waiter, Mexican, solemnly wheels in 
               a cart bearing the goodies ordered by Fletch. The twin bottles 
               of Dom Perignon juts from a silver ice bucket.

                                     WAITER
                         You want I set up?

                                     FLETCH
                         No thanks, I'll do it. Give yourself 
                         twenty dollars. Underhill.

                                     WAITER
                         Muchas gracias.

                                     FLETCH
                         Sierra del fuego.

               The waiter bows, leaves, shuts the door. Mrs. Stanwyk scampers 
               back in, gazes at the cart as Fletch takes a bottle of Dom 
               Perignon and pops the cork.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         All this goes on Underhill's bill?

                                     FLETCH
                              (offering her a glass)
                         I saved his life during the war.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         You were in the war?

                                     FLETCH
                         No. He was. I got him out.

               She laughs and sighs, knowing she's getting into something 
               she probably shouldn't.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         I can't believe I'm doing this. Well, 
                         lets eat.

               She tucks a napkin in her towel like a bib and sits at the 
               table.

               EXT. RACQUET CLUB - DAY

               The Underhills have just been handed the bill run up by 
               Fletch.

                                     MR. UNDERHILL
                         Four hundred bucks for lunch???

                                     WAITER
                         Your guest, sir.

                                     MR. UNDERHILL
                         We have no guest here today.
                              (reading the bill)
                         Two bottles of Dom Perignon, hundred 
                         bucks a pop. Jesus H. Christ! Where 
                         is he?

                                     WAITER
                         I believe he's with Mrs. Stanwyk.

                                     MRS. UNDERHILL
                         Gail Stanwyk. Tom, if he's with Gail 
                         Stanwyk --

                                     MR. UNDERHILL
                         I don't care who he's with! This is 
                         criminal.

                                     MRS. UNDERHILL
                         Tom...

                                     MR. UNDERHILL
                         She's where, cabana one?

                                     WAITER
                         Yes sir.

               Mr. Underhill stalks off.

               INT. CABANA - DAY

               Fletch and Mrs. Stanwyk are having lunch. Fletch sings while 
               he opens the champagne. She is looking at his back which is 
               turned to her.

                                     FLETCH
                         'I've been so many places in my life 
                         and times. I've sung a lot of songs, 
                         I've made some bad rhymes...'

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         It's amazing.

                                     FLETCH
                         'I've acted out my life on stages, 
                         with ten thousand people watching...'

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Your bone structure, shoulders, 
                         neck...

                                     FLETCH
                         'But we're alone now, and I'm singing 
                         this song for you.'

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Just like Alan. It's freaky.

                                     FLETCH
                         Can I ask you a question?

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Depends on the question.

                                     FLETCH
                         Are you still in love with Alan?

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         No.
                              (quickly)
                         I mean, 'no you can't ask me that.' 
                         I mean, ask me something else.

                                     FLETCH
                         Why'd you let me in?

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Because I'm bored. Oh, that sounds 
                         terrible, doesn't it. I'm sorry. If 
                         it makes you feel any better, I also 
                         let you in because I'm hungry.

                                     FLETCH
                         Thanks, I feel much better. Listen, 
                         if you're so bored, why didn't you 
                         go to Utah with Alan?

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Utah is not exactly a cure for 
                         boredom.

                                     FLETCH
                         Good point.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Oh, listen to me. I've never even 
                         been there and look what I say about 
                         it. Anyway, I know there'd be nothing 
                         for me to do. I don't even know 
                         anybody there.

                                     FLETCH
                         What about his parents?

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         He never sees them and I never met 
                         them.

                                     FLETCH
                         How come?

               SFX: Insistent knock at door.

               Fletch and Mrs. Stanwyk freeze.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Yes?

                                     MR. UNDERHILL (V.O.)
                         Mrs. Stanwyk, I hate to disturb you. 
                         Tom Underhill here... I'm a new 
                         member.

               Fletch rises.

                                     FLETCH
                         Thanks for the great time.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                              (sotto voice)
                         What is this?

                                     FLETCH
                         Long story.

                                     MR. UNDERHILL (V.O.)
                         Apparently, someone of your 
                         acquaintance has charged the most 
                         extraordinary lunch to my bill.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                              (hissing)
                         John!

               Fletch starts pushing the lunch table towards the bathroom.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         You don't know the Underhills?

                                     MR. UNDERHILL (V.O.)
                         I'd appreciate an opportunity to 
                         discuss this with you.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         I just stepped out of the shower! 
                         Can you give me a minute?

                                     MR. UNDERHILL (V.O.)
                         Of course.

               Mrs. Stanwyk follows Fletch into the bathroom.

               INT. BATHROOM

               Fletch jams the cart into the bathroom.

                                     FLETCH
                         Take one end.

               Mrs. Stanwyk lifts one side of the cart. They lift it and 
               put it up into the bathtub. There's a window in the bathroom. 
               Fletch opens it.

                                     FLETCH
                         I'll be leaving now, Mrs. Stanwyk.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         I think you should call me Gail, 
                         now.

                                     FLETCH
                         Gail. I hope this won't embarrass 
                         you in any way. I think Underhill's 
                         a yutz, you won't have any trouble 
                         with him.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Why did you do it?

               Fletch shrugs, smiles.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         A four hundred dollar lunch tab!

                                     FLETCH
                         Yeah.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         I'll cover it. You have any other 
                         surprises?

                                     FLETCH
                              (after a beat)
                         Yeah. My name's not John Ultramalensky 
                         and I wasn't at your wedding.

               She stares at him.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Who.

                                     FLETCH
                         Irwin Fletcher. I write a newspaper 
                         column under the name Jane Doe.

               A long beat.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         So?

                                     FLETCH
                         So, your husband hired me to kill 
                         him. That's the truth.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         What are you talking about?

                                     FLETCH
                         That's what I want to know.

               EXT. CABANA

               Mr. Underhill knocks again.

                                     MR. UNDERHILL
                         Mrs. Stanwyk!

               INT. BATHROOM

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         In a minute!

                                     FLETCH
                         He told me he was dying of cancer. 
                         Not True. That ranch you thought you 
                         were paying for in Utah? Not true.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         How do you know about that?

                                     FLETCH
                         He's a bad guy, Mrs. Stanwyk. Gail. 
                         I think he's involved in something 
                         very big and very bad.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         What does all this mean?

                                     FLETCH
                         Have you ever heard the name Jim 
                         Swarthout?

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Swarthout. Yes. He's the man who 
                         sold us the ranch in --

                                     FLETCH
                         Wrong. He sold you $3,000 worth of 
                         scrub brush.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         But I've seen the deed.

                                     FLETCH
                         You saw a forgery.

               He takes out his photographs.

                                     FLETCH
                         That's the real deed.

               INSERT - PHOTO OF DEED

               It's is so fuzzy, shaky, and poorly framed that there's no 
               way we can read the price on it.

                                     FLETCH (O.S.)
                         Now, if this were at all legible, 
                         you'd believe me.

               MASTER

               Fletch shows her more of the photos.

                                     FLETCH
                         Here's this dog that tried to eat 
                         me. Here's my motel. Here's the car 
                         I rented...

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Stop it.
                              (angry and concerned)
                         Are you saying my husband is 
                         defrauding me?

                                     FLETCH
                         I don't know. All I know is that he 
                         told me a lot of things and so far 
                         not one of them has been true.

               Mrs. Stanwyk stares at Fletch. She gets a little teary.

                                     FLETCH
                         I'm really sorry I have to tell you 
                         all this.

                                     MR. UNDERHILL (O.S.)
                         Mrs. Stanwyk?

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                              (really screams)
                         Just wait, all right?!?
                              (to Fletch)
                         I'm going to call my father. He'll 
                         know what --

               Fletch stops her.

                                     FLETCH
                         No. You can't. Look, I know you don't 
                         know me from Adam, but you've got to 
                         trust me.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Trust you? I may seem a little goofy 
                         at times, but I'm not a complete 
                         Bozo, you know.

                                     FLETCH
                         Just give me twenty-four hours. 
                         Please. Someone almost killed me 
                         today. People are not being nice 
                         lately, and I don't want you getting 
                         hurt. I think you're terrific. Are 
                         you a Laker fan?

               Gail is now teary, confused, and scared.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         No... I've got to go to Mr. 
                         Underhill...

                                     FLETCH
                         I'll take you to a game.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         What are you talking about?

                                     FLETCH
                         I'm talking about how much I'd like 
                         to take you to a Laker game.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Wait a second. What am I supposed to 
                         do for twenty-four hours?

                                     FLETCH
                              (climbing out window)
                         Act natural.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         I was afraid you'd say that.

                                     FLETCH
                         If you need me, call the paper. Hand 
                         me that extra bottle okay?

               EXT. CABANA

               Gail opens the door where Mr. Underhill has been waiting.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Sorry. Here.
                              (grabs the bill from 
                              his hand)
                         Thanks. Bye.

               She closes the door in his face.

               EXT. BOYD AVIATION - PARKING LOT

               Alan Stanwyk crosses the parking lot and gets into his Jaguar. 
               He starts the engine, backs out of his reserved space, and 
               pulls out of the lot.

               ANOTHER ANGLE - PARKING LOT

               Fletch is reading a copy of Sports Illustrated. He puts it 
               down, starts his car, and pulls out of the lot.

               SANTA MONICA BOULEVARD

               Stanwyk's Jaguar tools down Santa Monica Boulevard. Fletch's 
               car follows, several discreet car lengths behind.

               INT. JAGUAR

               Stanwyk checks his watch, and makes a turn.

               MASTER

               Stanwyk has pulled into a service station. He gets out of 
               his car and opens the trunk.

               FLETCH

               He pulls into a fast-food joint on the west side of the 
               street. He opens the Sports Illustrated and peers over it.

               STANWYK

               He takes a gas can from the trunk, goes to the pump, fills 
               it, and pays the attendant in cash.

                                     FLETCH
                         Curious.

               STANWYK

               He puts the gas can back in the trunk, gets into the car, 
               and starts off.

               FLETCH

               follows suit.

               SANTA MONICA BOULEVARD

               We are getting into the increasingly rundown section of Santa 
               Monica. The Jaguar turns off. Hold: Several beats later, 
               Fletch turns off.

               OVERPASS

               A freeway overpass. Stanwyk stops his car.

               FLETCH'S CAR

               He pulls off behind a liquor store, in view of the overpass. 
               Fletch waits.

               OVERPASS

               A second car pulls up behind Stanwyk's. A cop steps out and 
               says something to Stanwyk. Stanwyk gets out of his car and 
               walks over to the unmarked police car, and gets in.

               FLETCH

               takes out his binoculars.

               FLETCH'S POINT OF VIEW

               Because he's looking through the reflection of sunlight on 
               the back window of the unmarked police car, Fletch's point 
               of view is fuzzy, but we can just make out the form of someone 
               else in animated conversation with Stanwyk.

               FLETCH

               A moment of possible recognition. He focuses intently.

               FLETCH'S POINT OF VIEW - THE OTHER MAN IN THE CAR

               with Stanwyk... is Police Chief Cummings.

               FLETCH

                                     FLETCH
                         Jesus.

               He starts up his car and backs out.

                                                               DISSOLVE TO:

               EXT. FLETCH'S APARTMENT HOUSE

               Fletch pulls up to his house and stops the car.

               INT. CAR

               Fletch looks around.

               EXT. HOUSE

               Fletch doesn't leave the car.

               INT. CAR

               Fletch sits put, drumming his fingers on the steering wheel. 
               He just has a feeling. He starts the car up, and pulls out.

               EXT. HOUSE

               Two cop cars, concealed in driveways, scream out, heading 
               after Fletch's car.

               INT. FLETCH'S CAR

               Fletch sees them in the rearview and stomps on the gas.

                                     FLETCH
                         Should've known. Goddamn it.

               EXT. STREETS

               Fletch floors it.

                                     FLETCH
                         Great. First I'll get a speeding 
                         ticket, then they'll shoot me. 
                         Terrific.

               Fletch cuts through the parking lot of a drug store/dry 
               cleaning complex. The cop cars follow suit. Shopping wagons 
               are tossed about. He turns a corner and realizes he has a 
               few seconds before they're on top of him again. He screeches 
               up next to a teenager in a sports car.

                                     FLETCH
                         All right, fella, smog check. Move 
                         over.

               Before the guy can say "who?", Fletch is in the guy's driver 
               seat and tears out, hell bent for leather.

               ENTRANCE TO FREEWAY

               Fletch peels off onto the Santa Monica Freeway.

               FREEWAY

               Fletch hits about ninety. So do the cops. Now a motorcycle 
               cop joins the chase.

               INT. SPORTS CAR

                                     TEENAGER
                         Holy shit!

                                     FLETCH
                         Sorry, youngster, but we have to see 
                         what kind of fluorocarbons this thing 
                         puts out at ninety-five.

                                     TEENAGER
                         Holy shit!

                                     FLETCH
                         Don't worry about the speed limit. 
                         That's what the police escort's for.

               EXT. FREEWAY

               Indeed, behind them is a gaggle of speeding cop cars and 
               motorcycles.

                                     TEENAGER (O.S.)
                         Holy shit!

               Fletch cuts across two lanes of traffic and gets off the 
               freeway. He loses the motorcycle cop who goes past the exit. 
               The squad cars are thrown behind a bit, but still chase.

               INT. SQUAD CAR

                                     COP #1
                         Shit! He'll kill us if we lose him.

               INT. SPORTS CAR

               The teenager is sweating bullets.

                                     TEENAGER
                         Okay, okay, just stop, will you. I 
                         admit it. I stole it. I was just 
                         taking it for a little joy ride, 
                         that's all....

                                     FLETCH
                         Holy shit.

               EXT. CAR

               Fletch squeals around a corner, runs a light, and booms into 
               the parking lot of a large Holiday Inn. He's a few seconds 
               ahead of the cops.

                                     FLETCH
                         Okay, kid. Just stand here with your 
                         hands on the car and wait for the 
                         cops. I gotta pee. Here, take my 
                         hat.

               Fletch pops his hat on the kid's head, and runs off.

               EXT. HOLIDAY INN

               Fletch runs into the kitchen entrance of the Holiday Inn.

               INT. HOLIDAY INN KITCHEN

               Fletch picks up a case of vegetables and walks through as if 
               he belonged there.

               Moments later, two cops enter.

               THE COPS

               can't see him because of the crate.

               INT. HOLIDAY INN - BANQUET ROOM

               A testimonial dinner is in progress. A sign on the wall reads:

                                   TRB SYSTEMS SALUTES

                                       FRED DORFMAN

                                   40 YEARS OF SERVICE

               Thirty tables of conservatively dressed, older men and women 
               are enjoying lunch. Fletch enters from the kitchen followed 
               by several waiters and busboys. He looks over his shoulder.

               FLETCH'S POINT OF VIEW - KITCHEN

               Two cops are in hot pursuit.

               FLETCH

               moves into the middle of the tables as a florid fat Speaker 
               at the dais drones on.

                                     SPEAKER
                         ...and he can truly be called the 
                         Father of Internal Bushings.

               A round of applause which Fletch joins heartily, as he quickly 
               sits in the audience at an empty seat at a table in the 
               center.

                                     FLETCH
                              (to his table)
                         Hello. I'm with the hotel catering. 
                         Are you enjoying your meal? Carrots 
                         overcooked?

               Fletch looks to the kitchen entrance and sees two cops 
               scanning the crowd. One signals to the opposite door.

               DOOR

               Four more cops converge, looking for Fletch. Distant sirens 
               indicate even more.

               MASTER

                                     SPEAKER
                         And now a man who needs no further 
                         introduction...

               The police spot Fletch and start moving forward. Fletch stands 
               up. A spotlight swings onto him.

                                     FLETCH
                         Thank you, Tony, thank you. As a 
                         lifelong friend of...
                              (looks at banner)
                         ...Fred Dorfman, I'm thrilled to be 
                         here.

               DIAS

               Fred Dorfman turns to the people on either side of him and 
               whispers, obviously wondering who the hell this guy is.

               FLETCH

               The cops are hesitant to move in. They wait for Fletch to 
               finish and get out of the light.

                                     FLETCH
                         Many of you are probably not aware 
                         of Freddie's lifelong commitment to 
                         honoring a profession that frequently 
                         goes unsung -- the police. Many times 
                         Fred used to forsake a night with 
                         his wife and children to go out an 
                         sell tickets for the Policemen's 
                         Benevolent Association.

               POLICE

               look at each other, sensing a trick, and start to move in.

               FLETCH

               going for broke.

                                     FLETCH
                         Our men in blue are with us today, 
                         and I think we should all extend a 
                         shake of the hand, a slap on the 
                         back and a 'howdy' to them.

               POLICE

               moving faster, but impeded by the crowd which rises and 
               follows Fletch's suggestion.

               FLETCH

               out of the crowd, still encouraging the crowd.

                                     FLETCH
                         When was the last time you hugged a 
                         cop? Do it for my good friend Tommy 
                         Lasorda. Doesn't it feel good? Don't 
                         you wish you'd done it long ago?

               One cop raises his gun towards Fletch, but the crowd is too 
               close, too busy. Fletch shakes his hand and slugs him so 
               hard on the back that he falls over into the crowd.

                                     FLETCH
                         Let them know how we feel, with a 
                         song. For every cop on every beat in 
                         every city of this great nation.
                              (singing)
                         'For he's a jolly good fellow...'
                              (calls out)
                         Everybody!
                              (sings)
                         'For he's a jolly good fellow...'

               The crowd sings along the rest of the verse. Fletch looks 
               back to the kitchen entrance at the police who are swallowed 
               in a sea of congratulations and singing. Fletch takes his 
               time strolling out of the kitchen.

               INT. LAX - DAY

               Fletch is at the Pan Am counter, talking with a reservation 
               Clerk.

                                     CLERK
                         Yes sir, you are confirmed on Flight 
                         306 to Rio tomorrow evening at 11 
                         PM. First Class.

                                     FLETCH
                         You're kidding.

                                     CLERK
                         Would you like me to change anything?

                                     FLETCH
                              (to himself)
                         So he's going. Uh... are there any 
                         other tickets charged to the same 
                         account?

                                     CLERK
                         We'd have no way of knowing that, 
                         sir.

                                     FLETCH
                         Hmm. It's just that there are some 
                         other people from my office going on 
                         this trip and... is there anyone in 
                         the seat next to me?

               The clerk checks the computer.

                                     CLERK
                         Yes, there is. Cavanaugh.

               Fletch shakes his head. He's never heard of him.

                                     FLETCH
                         Never heard of him. Thanks anyway.

                                     CLERK
                         You mean her.

                                     FLETCH
                         What?

                                     CLERK
                         Sally Ann Cavanaugh. Oh wait, she 
                         couldn't work in your office, she's 
                         not from around here.

                                     FLETCH
                         Oh, thanks.

               Fletch walks off and we follow him.

                                     CLERK
                         She's from Utah.

               EXT. PROVO AIRPORT - DAY

               as Fletch emerges from the Rent-A-Car office and drives off.

               EXT. PROVO STREET - DAY

               A lower-middle-class area, one that seems to be sliding fast -- 
               the plans are scraggly, the houses need paint.

               Fletch's rental pulls up over the curb onto the sidewalk. 
               Fletch gets out, checks a piece of paper, and goes up the 
               steps to a dark-shingled two-story house.

               TOP OF STEPS

               Fletch looks at the name over the doorbell.

               CARD

               written in smeared ink: "CAVANAUGH".

               FLETCH

               rings the doorbell. It sounds like a fire alarm in the quiet. 
               Nobody answers. Fletch tries the door. It opens. Fletch hums 
               the old "Dragnet" theme.

               INT. HOUSE

               still humming the theme.

                                     FLETCH
                         'Bom-ba-bom-bom...bommmm.'

               Fletch enters.

               FLETCH's POINT OF VIEW - LIVING ROOM

               The shelves are bare. Furniture is in place.

               MASTER

               Fletch enters the kitchen, and opens the refrigerator. Inside 
               is a can of coffee, and some vegetables. Fletch leaves the 
               kitchen and heads for the bedroom. We follow him as he enters 
               the bedroom.

               INT. BEDROOM

               Fletch opens the closet. It's bare. He pulls open the drawers. 
               Nothing.

               Fletch gets down and looks under the bed.

                                     VOICE
                         Who the hell are you?

               In his surprise, Fletch bangs his head as he starts up.

               REVERSE

               At the door stands a gruff-looking Man in a red and black 
               hunter's jacket, overalls, and a hat with earflaps. He holds 
               a rifle.

                                     MAN
                         Get up.

               MASTER

               Fletch gets up.

                                     FLETCH
                         The door was unlocked.

                                     MAN
                         Lock's busted.

                                     FLETCH
                         No wonder.

                                     MAN
                         I work for the landlord. He told me 
                         to watch out for the place.

                                     FLETCH
                         I commend him on his choice.

                                     MAN
                         What?

                                     FLETCH
                         I commend him on his choice

               The Man stares at him, holding the gun. He's not the brightest 
               guy in the world, and Fletch has already caught on to that.

                                     FLETCH
                         I was supposed to meet Mrs. Cavanaugh.

                                     MAN
                         Who are you?

                                     FLETCH
                         Don Corleone. I'm a cousin of Mrs. 
                         Cavanaugh's.

               The Man just stares at Fletch. Fletch starts to move ever so 
               slightly, testing his freedom of movement.

                                     FLETCH
                         Where is she?

                                     MAN
                         Moved out.

                                     FLETCH
                         She moved out?

               The Man nods and cocks the weapon. Fletch stops his tentative 
               movements and just looks around the room

                                     FLETCH
                         I spoke to her last week. She didn't 
                         say anything.

                                     MAN
                         She moved out.

                                     FLETCH
                         So you're saying she moved out.

                                     MAN
                         This morning.

                                     FLETCH
                         This morning? Christ. We had so much 
                         to talk about. Moe Green is out of 
                         the Tropicana, and my sons, Michael 
                         and Fredo, are taking over.

               The Man continues to gaze unblinkingly at Fletch, holding 
               the rifle.

                                     MAN
                         What did you want under the bed?

                                     FLETCH
                         Mattress police. There are no tags 
                         on the mattress. I'm going to have 
                         to take you downtown. Please give me 
                         your weapon.

                                     MAN
                         I'm calling the cops. This is for 
                         the cops.

                                     FLETCH
                         I'm her cousin.

                                     MAN
                         Tell the cops.

                                     FLETCH
                         Go ahead. Call them. Better tie your 
                         shoelaces first.

               The man looks down at his shoelaces. Fletch kicks the gun 
               out of his hand and runs through the house.

               EXT. HOUSE

               Fletch runs out of the house and jumps into his car.

               INT. CAR

               Fletch pulls out. The rear window is suddenly blown away.

                                     FLETCH
                         I'm getting real tired of all this 
                         hostility.

               EXT. PROVO PIG FARM

               Fletch pulls up, gets out of the car and addresses the couple 
               sitting on the porch of the house.

                                     FLETCH
                         Evening.
                              (nods toward car)
                         They oughta recall these things. One 
                         bump, the whole window goes.

                                     PORCH
                         Sitting on the porch is a couple in 
                         their late sixties, whom we are about 
                         to learn are Alan Stanwyk's parents -- 
                         Marvin and Velma.

                                     FLETCH
                              (approaching the steps)
                         Are you Mr. Marvin Stanwyk?

               Marvin nods.

                                     FLETCH
                         I'm Harry S. Truman from Casewell 
                         Insurance Underwriters.

                                     MARVIN
                              (smiles)
                         Harry S. Truman?

                                     FLETCH
                         My parents were great fans of the 
                         former President.

                                     MARVIN
                         Isn't that nice. Good man. Showed 
                         the Japs a thing or two.

                                     FLETCH
                         Sure did. Dropped the big one on 
                         them.

                                     MARVIN
                         Dropped two big ones. Real fighter. 
                         You're in the insurance line, Harry?

                                     FLETCH
                         Right.

                                     MARVIN
                         Well, I'm fully covered.

                                     FLETCH
                         I don't doubt it, Mr. Stanwyk. 
                         Actually, my company is the sub-
                         insurer of the subsidiary carriers 
                         of a policy held by Alan Stanwyk, 
                         who I believe is your son.

                                     MARVIN
                         Yes. Where you from, Harry?

                                     FLETCH
                         California. San Berdoo. Utah's part 
                         of my route. Can I ask you a few 
                         questions?

                                     MARVIN
                         Come on in.

               INT. MARVIN AND VELMA'S LIVING ROOM

               Fletch and the Stanwyks face each other on couches that flank 
               the fireplace. Fletch has a clipboard on which he will take 
               notes.

                                     FLETCH
                         First, a couple of routine things: 
                         are you and you wife currently alive?

               Marvin just stares at him.

                                     FLETCH
                         Regulations, Mr. Stanwyk. And you 
                         and your wife, named....

                                     MARVIN
                         Velma.

               Velma smiles.

                                     FLETCH
                         Velma. You and Velma are the parents 
                         of Alan Stanwyk, Beverly Hills, 
                         California, executive vice president 
                         of Boyd Aviation?

                                     MARVIN
                         Check.

                                     FLETCH
                         Okay.
                              (makes notation)
                         Now, the last time you saw your son 
                         was when?

                                     MARVIN
                         Oh, about ten days ago.

               Fletch is taken aback.

                                     FLETCH
                         Ten days ago?

                                     MARVIN
                         That's right. Alan comes by every 
                         three weeks or so.

               This is all news to Fletch, but he covers his surprise.

                                     FLETCH
                         Isn't that nice. Since when?

                                     MARVIN
                         Since he moved to L.A.

               Fletch is very interested in all this.

                                     FLETCH
                         Forgive me now for seeming personal, 
                         but we understand that there is a 
                         lady friend he sees here in Provo.

                                     MARVIN
                         What the hell does this have to do 
                         with insurance?

                                     FLETCH
                         Trust me, sir. It's a comprehensive 
                         policy.

                                     MARVIN
                         Well, you can forget about that lady 
                         friend business, Alan's the most 
                         loyal husband a girl could have. He 
                         dotes on that bride of his.

                                     VELMA
                         Cute young thing, too.

                                     FLETCH
                         I'm sorry?

                                     VELMA
                         His bride. Cute as a button.

                                     FLETCH
                         You've met her?

                                     MARVIN
                         Well, of course we have. He brings 
                         her with him.

               Fletch is getting very puzzled and very concerned about all 
               this.

                                     FLETCH
                         Has Alan ever mentioned the name 
                         Sally Ann Cavanaugh?

               Marvin and Velma exchange the oddest of glances between them.

                                     FLETCH
                         Has he?

                                     MARVIN
                         Boy, what the hell's the matter with 
                         you?

                                     FLETCH
                         Then he has.

                                     MARVIN
                         Course he has. That's his wife.

               You could knock Fletch over with a straw. Again, he quickly 
               recovers.

                                     FLETCH
                         Of course, his wife's name is Sally 
                         Ann Cavanaugh?

                                     VELMA
                         Cute thing.

                                     FLETCH
                              (starting to sweat a 
                              little)
                         Do you happen to have a picture of 
                         Alan and his wife?

                                     VELMA
                         Oh, we've got lots of pictures. Let 
                         me show you some.

               Velma rummages through a family album on a side table as 
               Fletch tried to sort all this out in his mind. She brings a 
               photo over to him. He looks at it.

               INSERT - PHOTO

               It's a wedding photo of Alan and a woman we have not seen. 
               She is brunette and quite unlike Gail. Alan wears a similar 
               shit-eating grin, and makes a similar thumbs-up gesture to 
               the wedding photo with Gail that Fletch saw in Boyd's office.

                                     FLETCH
                         He sighs.

                                     FLETCH
                         And they're still married... Alan 
                         and Sally Ann.

                                     MARVIN
                         Of course they are.

                                     VELMA
                         She's cute as a button.

                                     FLETCH
                         How long have they been married?

                                     MARVIN
                         Lets see, it was before he moved to 
                         L.A... four years April.

                                     FLETCH
                         Mrs. Stanwyk, may I borrow this 
                         picture. I promise to send it back 
                         to you. It's routine, really. The 
                         actuarial people need to --

                                     VELMA
                         Oh, that's all right, I've got lots 
                         more. Want to see the reception?

                                     FLETCH
                              (rising)
                         No, thank you.

                                     VELMA
                         How about Marvin's sixty-fifth 
                         birthday party?

               Exit Fletch.

               INT. PROVO MOTEL ROOM

               Fletch is on the phone.

                                     FLETCH
                         Frank told you that?

               INT. NEWSROOM - MORGUE

               Larry is on the phone.

                                     LARRY
                         I overheard it. He thinks you're 
                         completely out of control, he said 
                         he was gonna can you as soon as he 
                         got the story. If I were you, I'd 
                         just chuck it, Fletch. Screw him. 
                         Let him eat three full pages on 
                         Sunday.

               MOTEL ROOM

                                     FLETCH
                         You kidding? I got an unbelievable 
                         story here, Lar. Un-believable. Jesus. 
                         It's the cops, I know it. The Chief! 
                         And they're all over Frank.

               MORGUE

                                     LARRY
                         I just thought... sure.
                              (takes out pad and 
                              starts writing)
                         Sally Ann Cavanaugh.

               MOTEL ROOM

                                     FLETCH
                         Check every hotel in L.A. Start with 
                         the ones near the airport. Yeah. 
                         He's about to leave the country with 
                         her. Thanks, Lar.

               INT. MOTEL BATHROOM - LATER

               Fletch is in the shower, lipsynching to the radio. Elvis is 
               singing, "All Shook Up."

                                     FLETCH
                         'welluh bless my soul whatsuh wrong 
                         with me? I'ma itchin' like a man 
                         Inuh fuzzy tree...'

               The phone rings. Fletch gets out, throws on a towel and picks 
               up a phone mounted over the crapper.

                                     FLETCH
                         Yeah... No kidding. The Marriott at 
                         LAX. Sonofabitch... Checked in this 
                         morning. Great. Thanks a million. 
                         And call Gail Stanwyk at the Racquet 
                         Club. Tell her I have to meet her 
                         tonight. Eight o'clock at the club. 
                         Urgent and confidential. Thanks.

               INT. PLANE - NIGHT

               Fletch is sitting in a semi-deserted flight on his way back 
               home. He is hunched over an airline meal, eating with his 
               right hand and turning in his mini recorder with his left.

                                     FLETCH
                         Question:

               But as he pushed the button down, the tape pops out. He 
               fumbles it back in, and then pushes another button.

                                     FLETCH
                         Question...

                                     TAPE RECORDER
                              (Fletch's voice playing 
                              back)
                         Day three on the beach. Fat Sam still 
                         hasn't moved, and --

                                     FLETCH
                              (stopping the machine)
                         What's wrong with my life?

               He starts it right this time.

                                     FLETCH
                         Question: Why does a man marry a 
                         millionaire's daughter in Beverly 
                         Hills if he is already married to a 
                         girl who lives in a crappy one bedroom 
                         apartment in Utah? Answer: Three 
                         million dollars. Big Question: What's 
                         with Stanwyk and Cummings? I don't 
                         know. Bigger Question: Why does 
                         Stanwyk want me to kill him?

               He takes a spoonful of airline food, chewing meditatively.

                                     FLETCH
                         Biggest Question: Why do I eat this 
                         sh*t?
                              (to passing stewardess)
                         Miss, I believe this has already 
                         been eaten.

               EXT. MRS. STANWYK'S CABANA - NIGHT

               Fletch knocks on the door, and a tensely white-faced Mrs. 
               Stanwyk quickly lets him in and shuts the door behind him.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         I want you to know that dramatic 
                         phone calls about secret meetings 
                         scare the shit out of me.

               He can sense she is unusually upset.

                                     FLETCH
                         What's wrong, Gail?

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         I decided I was going to tell my 
                         husband about you today.

                                     FLETCH
                         No.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         But first I called the Hall of Records 
                         in Provo. They checked on the deed. 
                         You're telling the truth. A minute 
                         later Alan came in the room and asked 
                         me why I was shaking.

               Fletch waits anxiously to hear if she told Alan about him.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         So I told him... I told him I was 
                         just cold or something.

               Fletch sighs with relief.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         I've never lied to him before.
                              (chokes back a sob)
                         It's the first time he's ever lied 
                         to me. He was just as convincing as 
                         when he says 'I love you.'

                                     FLETCH
                         I think you better sit down.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Oh God, I hate things that start 
                         like that....

                                     FLETCH
                         Gail, please.

               She sits in a chair. he hands her the wedding photo.

                                     FLETCH
                         I got this from Alan's parents. By 
                         the way, they see him all the time.

               First she looks at Fletch with puzzlement. Then, she looks 
               at the photo and can't seem to decide what to think of it. 
               But she knows it's bad.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         What is this....

                                     FLETCH
                         I checked. There was no divorce.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Are you telling me my husband is a 
                         bigamist???

                                     FLETCH
                         I'm telling you he's not your husband 
                         at all.

               She is stunned.

                                     FLETCH
                         And they're leaving the country 
                         tomorrow night.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                              (rocked)
                         Bastard.

                                     FLETCH
                         I don't have all the pieces yet, but 
                         I'm close. I'll know tomorrow.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         I'm calling the police. Right now.

                                     FLETCH
                         You can't do that.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Don't tell me I can't --

                                     FLETCH
                         They're trying to kill me!

               She is taken aback by that, but there is a determination in 
               her eyes.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Your twenty-four hours are up, Fletch.

               She starts for the phone, but he stops her.

                                     FLETCH
                         You're going to have to trust me, 
                         Gail. You have to. Now listen to me: 
                         he's expecting you to go to your 
                         meeting tomorrow night. Do it. Stay 
                         out of the house.

               There is a long beat.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         I'm terrified.

                                     FLETCH
                         Come here.

               He puts his arms around her and holds her tight against him. 
               After a few seconds she raises her head and turns the hug 
               into a kiss. Then the kiss turns passionate.

                                                               DISSOLVE TO:

               FRISBEE

               sails across the surf.

               EXT. BEACH - DAY - WIDER

               The usual scene -- a mix of teeny-boppers, junkies and 
               surfers. Into the f.g. step a couple of "surfers." They're 
               wearing wet suits and carrying surfboards, but they're 
               obviously cops. They sit down. Across the beach, a Sufi, 
               dressed in a turban and flowing garments, crosses the sand.

                                     SURFER COP
                         A Sufi junkie.

               The cops laugh derisively and turn their attention else-where.

               CLOSER ON SUFI

               It's Fletch. he's got a beard pasted on, and nervously scans 
               the beach.

               FLETCH'S POINT OF VIEW - GUMMY

               is seated on a towel.

               MASTER

               Fletch sits near, but not next to, Gummy.

                                     FLETCH
                         Gum?

               Gummy looks around.

                                     FLETCH
                         I'm the Sufi.

                                     GUMMY
                         Fletch?

                                     FLETCH
                         Don't call me Fletch. Don't look at 
                         me. Lie back down. We'll talk.

                                     GUMMY
                         What?

                                     FLETCH
                         Cops are here. I can smell them. 
                         They're after me. Lie down, Gum.

               Gummy lies back down.

                                     GUMMY
                         Why are they after you?

                                     FLETCH
                         Because I'm a newspaper reporter and 
                         I'm nailing Chief Cummings as the 
                         source for drugs on the beach. You're 
                         in big trouble, Gummy.

               Gummy sits up.

                                     FLETCH
                         Sit back down.

               Gummy lies down again.

                                     FLETCH
                         Fat Sam is turning state's evidence.

                                     GUMMY
                         What's that?

                                     FLETCH
                         He wrote me a nice deposition. He 
                         says he just received the drugs. You 
                         did the selling.

                                     GUMMY
                         I didn't sell nothing! I didn't sell 
                         nothing! I just carried the drugs 
                         from the Chief to Sam.

                                     FLETCH
                         Sure you did.

                                     GUMMY
                         Fletch, I never sold nothing.

                                     FLETCH
                         Twenty years.

               Fletch gets up and adjusts his flowing robes.

                                     FLETCH
                         Can't do a thing with this robe. One 
                         more question, Gum... don't look at 
                         me.

               Gummy lies back down.

                                     FLETCH
                         Where does the Chief get the drugs?

                                     GUMMY
                         I dunno. Somewhere in South America, 
                         I forget.

                                     FLETCH
                         Rio de Janeiro, maybe?

                                     GUMMY
                         Maybe, Fletch. Is that Brazil?

                                     FLETCH
                         That's Brazil.

                                     GUMMY
                         Yeah. Maybe.

                                     FLETCH
                         Wait here for me, Gummy.

               Gummy looks questioningly at him.

                                     FLETCH
                         It's the only way you'll be safe. 
                         Believe me.

               Fletch crosses the sand, heads for "Fat Sam's".

               FAT SAM'S

               Sam is reading the National Review. He looks up, sees Fletch 
               approaching, and grins.

                                     FAT SAM
                         Jesus.

                                     FLETCH
                         You don't know me.

                                     FAT SAM
                              (smiling)
                         My pleasure.

                                     FLETCH
                         I'm serious, Sam.

                                     FAT SAM
                         What, the heat here?

                                     FLETCH
                         Affirmative.

                                     FAT SAM
                         The two surfer boys?

                                     FLETCH
                         Affirmative.

                                     FAT SAM
                         Thought so. What for?

                                     FLETCH
                         For me. I'm a reporter, Sam. I'm 
                         breaking the drug story and I got 
                         the chief red-handed. Gummy gave me 
                         a deposition.

                                     FAT SAM
                              (smiles)
                         You gonna nail the chief?

                                     FLETCH
                         I'm gonna nail the chief. And you 
                         can help or --

                                     FAT SAM
                         Oh, I'll help, Fletch. I'm a slave 
                         to that sonofabitch. He busted me, 
                         third offense, gave me a choice: 
                         Work for him or do fifteen long. All 
                         I get out of this is free snort.

                                     FLETCH
                         You don't have a piece of the action?

                                     FAT SAM
                         Noooo. Free snort. That's it.

                                     FLETCH
                              (hands him a card)
                         Wait five minutes, and go to my 
                         office. You'll get federal protection 
                         after that.

                                     FAT SAM
                         Gonna need it. That boy is dangerous. 
                         Fletch?

                                     FLETCH
                         What?

                                     FAT SAM
                         You find the source?

                                     FLETCH
                         Gum thought Brazil.

                                     FAT SAM
                         Rio. Know how he gets it in the 
                         country? Some big shot airline 
                         executive flies it in on company 
                         jets. Very impressive operation, 
                         Fletch. Very impressive.

               INT. NEWSPAPER - CITY ROOM

               Fletch parades through the city room, still in his Sufi getup. 
               He takes off the beard and heads for Frank Walker's office. 
               Fat Sam and Gummy, looking like fish out of water, follow 
               him.

               WALKER'S OFFICE

               Fletch marches in with Sam and Gummy. Walker gawks at him.

                                     WALKER
                         Fletch...

               Fletch takes off the turban.

                                     FLETCH
                         I'm quitting, Frank. As of midnight 
                         tonight.

                                     WALKER
                         What?
                              (stares at Fat Sam 
                              and Gummy)
                         Who the hell are they?

                                     FLETCH
                         This is Fat Sam, and this is Gummy.
                              (hands two sheets of 
                              paper to Walker)

                                     WALKER
                         What...

                                     FLETCH
                         Their statements, naming Chief 
                         Cummings as the numero uno drug pusher 
                         from here to Oxnard. I want them to 
                         have federal protection under the 
                         paper's sponsorship.

               Walker just stares at the sheets.

                                     WALKER
                         Jesus H. Christ.
                              (smiles)
                         Fletch, this is the greatest.

                                     FAT SAM
                         He's some reporter, this guy.

                                     FLETCH
                         I'm out, Frank. You lost faith in 
                         me.

                                     WALKER
                         Fletch, I got nervous. Please....

                                     FLETCH
                         Forget it.

               Fletch takes off his robe and drops it to the floor. Beneath 
               the robes he's wearing cutoffs and a Bob McAdoo t-shirt.

                                     FLETCH
                         I'm going to write the story. Just 
                         hold the last couple of paragraphs 
                         till ten o'clock tonight.

               Fletch leaves the office.

                                     FLETCH
                              (to Fat Sam and Gummy)
                         Make yourselves comfortable, guys, 
                         but don't leave the office.

               CORRIDOR

               Fletch heads for his office. Walker follows.

                                     WALKER
                         Fletch!

               Fletch doesn't answer.

               FLETCH'S OFFICE

               Fletch enters the office and kicks his door closed. Walker 
               opens it.

                                     WALKER
                         Fletch, you want an apology?

                                     FLETCH
                         You were going to can me, right?

                                     WALKER
                              (fumbles)
                         Not really.

                                     FLETCH
                         Not really?

                                     WALKER
                         I was upset.

                                     FLETCH
                         I'm sick of this place. I'm going to 
                         try out for the Lakers. They need a 
                         power forward.

                                     WALKER
                         Fletch.

               Fletch sits down and turns on his word processor, ignoring 
               Walker.

               EXT. STANWYK HOUSE - NIGHT

               Fletch parks his Olds halfway up on the sidewalk, and gets 
               out. He climbs over the gates of the Stanwyk home, and drops 
               down inside. He lands on the grass, trots around the 
               shrubbery, heads toward the garage, and checks his watch.

               WATCH

               It's five minutes before eight.

               INT. STANWYK'S GARAGE

               The jaguar is parked just where it is supposed to be, and 
               the key is in the ignition. Fletch thinks for a moment and 
               looks around. He sees a pile of torn rags on the ground. He 
               removes the key from the ignition and opens the trunk.

               INT. TRUNK.

               Six large gasoline cans and more rags.

                                     FLETCH
                         Another piece of the puzzle fits in 
                         place.

               EXT. HOUSE

               Fletch reaches the rear of the house. He peers inside.

               FLETCH'S POINT OF VIEW - STANWYK

               is in the library, sitting patiently at his desk.

               FLETCH

               approaches the French doors and enters.

               INT. LIBRARY

               Alan rises from his desk to greet him. His hair is combed 
               like Fletch's. We can see that beneath his sports jacket he 
               is wearing a Magic Johnson t-shirt and jeans.

                                     MR. STANWYK
                         Good evening.

                                     FLETCH
                         I like your outfit. You got the fifty 
                         grand and the plane ticket?

                                     MR. STANWYK
                         Of course.

               Stanwyk nods toward a small briefcase in the corner. Fletch 
               eyes it quickly, and just as quickly looks back at Stanwyk 
               who just stands there by his desk.

                                     MR. STANWYK
                         Why don't you check it out for 
                         yourself, Mr. Nugent?

                                     FLETCH
                              (smiles)
                         Because I trust you, Alan. By the 
                         way, the name's Fletcher. I.M. 
                         Fletcher. I write a newspaper column 
                         under the name Jane Doe.

                                     MR. STANWYK
                         What?

               Fletch holds out an envelope.

                                     FLETCH
                         Read this, please.

                                     MR. STANWYK
                         Wait a second --

                                     FLETCH
                         Cut the crap and read it.

               Stanwyk unfolds the paper.

                                     FLETCH
                         Unless my people hear differently, 
                         this letter goes out at midnight.

               INSERT LETTER

               We see that it is addressed to:

                                        JOHN BOYD

                                  CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD

                                      BOYD AVIATION

               STANWYK

                                     MR. STANYK
                              (reading)
                         'Dear Sir: Alan Stanwyk murdered me 
                         tonight. The charred remains found 
                         by the police in the Jaguar are mine, 
                         not his. Mr. Stanwyk, using my name 
                         and passport, boarded Pan Am Flight 
                         306 for Rio, where he intends to 
                         establish residence with --'

               He stares at Fletch.

                                     FLETCH
                         He is lifting Stanwyk's two attaché 
                         cases.

                                     FLETCH
                         Pretty hefty. Keep reading.

               STANWYK

                                     MR. STANWYK
                              (reading)
                         '...with his legal wife, the former 
                         Sally Ann Cavanaugh.'

               Stanwyk stops. He's stunned, and not about to read anymore 
               of this.

                                     GAIL'S VOICE (O.S.)
                         Keep reading, Alan.

               Stanwyk spins to the doorway.

               GAIL STANWYK

               standing in the doorway.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         Don't worry, I can take it.

               MASTER

                                     FLETCH
                         You shouldn't be here.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         I want to hear this.

               Fletch takes the letter from Alan.

                                     FLETCH
                         He doesn't read my stuff well.
                              (reads)
                         'Sally Ann and Alan were married 
                         four years ago and never divorced, 
                         making Stanwyk a bigamist even in 
                         Utah. Stanwyk is also traveling with 
                         three million dollars in cash, the 
                         result of Gail Stanwyk's conversion 
                         of Boyd Aviation stock. Mrs. Stanwyk 
                         believed the money was to be used to 
                         purchase property in Utah, but it 
                         wasn't; a fact that can be confirmed 
                         by realtor James Swarthout of Provo.'
                              (aside)
                         That was stupid, Alan.

                                     MR. STANWYK
                         I'd have been long gone.

                                     FLETCH
                         Ahem.
                              (continues reading)
                         'Sally Ann can confirm all this when 
                         the police pick her up at the Airport 
                         Marriott.'

               Mr. Stanwyk blanches. Fletch continues.

                                     FLETCH
                         'By the way, Alan is a very big drug 
                         smuggler, but you can read all about 
                         that in tomorrow's paper. Sincerely 
                         yours, I.M. Fletcher. P.S. Have a 
                         nice day.'

               Alan mulls over all this for a few seconds, then smiles 
               wistfully.

                                     MR. STANWYK
                         Bravo, Mr. Fletcher.

                                     FLETCH
                         The thing that really tipped it off 
                         for me was something your wife said 
                         to me while we were in bed together.

               Stanwyk shoots a surprised look at Gail. She returns it with 
               an innocent shrug.

                                     MR. STANWYK
                              (to Fletch)
                         And what was that?

                                     FLETCH
                         How similar in build you and I are. 
                         Then I figured it. You bump me off, 
                         throw me in the car, and burn me up.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         My God, Alan, you really are an 
                         asshole, aren't you?

               Now it is Alan's turn to shrug innocently.

                                     MR. STANWYK
                         Sorry, darling.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                         You sonofabitch.

                                     MR. STANWYK
                         Yes, I suppose I am. But I'm not a 
                         stupid sonofabitch.

               Mr. Stanwyk reaches into his desk and pulls out his gun, and 
               levels it at Fletch.

                                     MR. STANWYK
                         I was already prepared to commit one 
                         murder. What makes you think I won't 
                         commit two?

                                     FLETCH
                         Whoops.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                              (her bravado deflated)
                         'Whoops?' What do you mean 'whoops?' 
                         Don't say 'whoops.'

                                     MR. STANWYK
                         I mean, by the time your story gets 
                         published, I'll be on the beach. I 
                         understand extradition from Rio is 
                         very complicated. I'll bet for two 
                         murders it's even more so.

                                     FLETCH
                         That is a lighter, isn't it?

               Just then, the French doors swing open, and Chief Cummings 
               enters.

                                     CUMMINGS
                         Greetings, everyone.

                                     FLETCH
                              (dryly)
                         Thank God, the police.

                                     MR. STANWYK
                         What the hell are you doing here?

                                     CUMMINGS
                         Put the gun down, Alan. I'll take 
                         care of them.

               Stanwyk lowers the gun.

                                     MRS. STANWYK
                              (to Fletch)
                         I thought you had this all figured 
                         out. Good going 'Irwin.'

                                     FLETCH
                         Don't ever call me 'Irwin,' okay?

                                     MR. STANWYK
                              (to Cummings)
                         I've got it all under control, Jerry. 
                         You can go now.

                                     CUMMINGS
                              (laughs)
                         Under control? You idiot. You didn't 
                         know who he was?

               During the following dialogues, Fletch starts nudging the 
               fireplace's gas lighter jet key with his foot.

                                     CUMMINGS
                         Fat Sam left the beach today. So did 
                         Gummy. It began to occur to me that 
                         some things are beginning to happen 
                         that maybe I should be aware of.

                                     MR. STANWYK
                         I said I'll take care of it. Now, a 
                         man of your position shouldn't be a 
                         part of what's about to go down. So 
                         go home and I'll call you tomorrow.

                                     CUMMINGS
                         What, 'long distance?' I couldn't 
                         help but hear you say something about 
                         Rio, Alan. You're not leaving with 
                         the eight hundred thousand dollars I 
                         staked you for the next load, are 
                         you?

                                     FLETCH
                         Whoa. Well, you two obviously have a 
                         lot to talk over, so we'll go catch 
                         the last ten minutes of Dynasty.

               Fletch and Gail actually start to leave, but Cummings draws 
               his gun and fires over their heads. They dive for the floor, 
               landing on the side of the fireplace. Fletch palms a Zippo 
               lighter from his pocket.

                                     MR. STANWYK
                         Jerry, you're simply going to have 
                         to trust me. I've got a foolproof 
                         way to get rid of this guy and now 
                         you're jeopardizing everything.

                                     CUMMINGS
                         Your 'foolproof' way is going to 
                         land my ass on the front page while 
                         you're basking in Rio.

                                     FLETCH
                         ...with your money.

               Cummings turns his head momentarily to consider what Fletch 
               has said, and Stanwyk takes advantage of the distraction to 
               go for his gun. But he is too slow. Cummings shoots once, 
               striking Stanwyk in the chest, killing him instantly.

               Gail screams in horror. Cummings turns to Fletch.

                                     CUMMINGS
                         This one's going to be even more 
                         fun.

                                     FLETCH
                              (striking the Zippo)
                         Go ahead. Make my evening.

               Fletch hurls the lighter into the fireplace, causing a great 
               whoosh of flames. Cummings throws his hands up in front of 
               his face and Fletch leaps at him, wrestling him to the ground. 
               Cummings is the stronger of the two, and just as he starts 
               to gain dominance over Fletch, Gail Stanwyk staggers to her 
               feet, picks up her husband's tennis racket in it's wooden 
               brace, and slams it against Cummings' head with all her might.

               The Chief is knocked out.

               Fletch lies there, panting, trying to catch his breath. He 
               looks up at Gail, still holding the racket, and staring at 
               Alan's body. Fletch hustles her out of the room.

               HALLWAY

                                     FLETCH
                         I'm calling the police. Then I'm 
                         leaving. You wait here for them.

                                     GAIL
                         Where are you going?

                                     FLETCH
                         Away. I think it might take you a 
                         while to get your life back together. 
                         You don't need me around.
                              (indicates the library)
                         Don't go back in there.

               He starts to leave. She calls after him.

                                     GAIL
                              (still holding the 
                              racket)
                         I really creamed the sonofabitch, 
                         didn't I?

                                     FLETCH
                              (smiles)
                         You sure did.

               Fletch exits.

                                                               DISSOLVE TO:

               EXT. RIO DE JANEIRO - DAY

               With Sugarloaf Mountain in the b.g., Fletch lies in a lounge 
               chair, sipping an exotic drink, watching the cavorting 
               lovelies and playing his battered Casio. This is obviously 
               at some very expensive beach club or hotel, as witnessed by 
               the uniformed servant who brings a telephone.

                                     WAITER
                              (Brazilian accent)
                         Your call is come through.

                                     FLETCH
                         Far out.
                              (to the phone)
                         Larry? It's Fletch.
                              (pause, looks around)
                         Well, it's not 'Fat Sam's', but... 
                         any port in a storm.
                              (pause)
                         Oh, tell Frank I need a couple of 
                         months. The fifty grand's lasting 
                         longer than I thought.

               He pauses again to listen to Larry, but sees something O.S. 
               that takes over his attention. he doesn't wait for Larry to 
               finish what she's saying.

                                     FLETCH
                         I gotta go, Lar.

               He hangs up and stands. We see that Gail has just walked up 
               to him. The way they look at each other indicates they have 
               not seen each other for awhile, and her arrival is a surprise 
               to Fletch.

                                     GAIL
                         John Ultramalensky, right?

                                     FLETCH
                         Right.

                                     GAIL
                         God, I haven't seen you since the 
                         wedding.

                                     FLETCH
                         Gee, I must have been shit-faced at 
                         your wedding, I don't --

                                     GAIL
                         Not mine, stupid. Yours.

                                     FLETCH
                              (big smile)
                         What are you doing here?

               They start walking down the beach. We stay right with them.

                                     GAIL
                         I couldn't sit home and play the 
                         mournful widow anymore, and the police 
                         didn't need me, so I tried watching 
                         a Lakers game on TV, but the announcer 
                         talked to fast and I couldn't 
                         understand a lot of what was 
                         happening, so I figured if I came 
                         down here maybe you could explain 
                         the rules to me, and besides, I missed 
                         you.

                                     FLETCH
                         No problem.

               He puts his arm around her, as we watch them leave us behind 
               and walk off down the beach.

                                     FLETCH
                         Basketball, of course, was invented 
                         in France, and is played with a large 
                         ball, two tongue depressors and a 
                         fish...

               Fletch ad-libs just like Chevy Chase would as they walk 
               further away down the beach until we...

               FADE OUT

                                         THE END