UPN - Nowhere Man


[This episode makes frequent use of a breaking glass sound effect. Rather than incorporate that sound effect into the narrative, I have indicated in brackets where it occurred.]

Thomas Veil remembers an old song that talks about taking one step forward, two steps back. He reflects that he never imagined that it would one day sound so prophetic, but it seems to be the story of his life right now. Just when he seemed to have gained an ally on his journey, that ally was taken away from him. While there's obviously a chance that the information inside the palmtop computer he gave him has already been compromised, there's also a chance that his death might have protected the information. That's a chance he'll have to take. Seated in a Roadway bus, he enters the search request: "Hillard, Clare" into the small computer resting on his lap. The response comes back: "2338 N.E. 18th St. Norman, Ohio." Clare Hillard was a reporter for the Lexington Tribune. She received her press clearance and was assigned to the sector where Tom was stationed four days before Hidden Agenda was taken. Tom never met her while he was down there, but they traveled in the same circles. As Tom leaves the bus and walks along the street, he reflects that his mission is complicated by the fact that he no longer knows for sure just where that photograph was taken or what it is of. Perhaps Clare can help confirm or deny the authenticity of the events he once believed took place.

Tom's knock on the door of Clare's house is answered by a middle-aged woman. She coolly tells him that Clare's not here now. Tom asks if there's any way he could get ahold of her--it's kind of important. She asks if he's a friend of Clare's. He tells her that they're old acquaintances, but he hasn't seen her for many years. She says that she's sorry, but she won't be speaking with Clare until she gets home from work. Tom starts to suggest that she let him know where she works, but she breaks in to firmly say that she'll tell Clare that he was here when she gets home. She asks his name and Tom tells her it's Robert MacMillan. She says she'll tell Clare he stopped by. Tom stops the door from closing. He tells here he just got in to town and doesn't know exactly where he's staying; he thought maybe there's a place near here. She hastily tells him there's a motel a couple miles down the road. Tom once more stops the closing door and asks her to please tell Clare to call him there when she sees her. She says sharply that she'll give her the message. Tom tells her it's important. She swings the door closed. As Tom walks away, the blinds on the door window open briefly to show the woman's eyes, then snap shut. [Breaking glass sound effect]

Since Clare doesn't know Tom Veil from Adam, he chose a name she would remember. Robert MacMillan was a reconnaissance officer in charge of the press corps--every reporter had to go through him. Tom fills out a registration card in the office of the Quiet Night Motel, a drab, box-like building, using the name Robert MacMillan and paying 20 dollars cash for the room. Elmer, the desk clerk, asks if he's traveling alone and tells him that if he's looking for some entertainment, secretaries drink free every Wednesday night at the White Eagle just around the corner. Tom's attention is drawn by a man in a blue jacket looking in the office window. [Breaking glass sound effect] The man quickly moves away. Elmer says that for a guy like him, it ought to be like fishing with a shotgun. He hands over the key and when Tom stares at him without speaking, says that it's 337, upstairs on the second floor. After Tom leaves, Elmer returns to his Playboy magazine. On the second floor balcony, a man wearing a long, dark overcoat steps out of a nearby room and looks in Tom's direction, sauntering away as Tom opens the door to room 337.

A young woman leaning against a railing with her date outside the White Eagle greets Tom with a friendly "Howdy." Tom takes a seat at the bar and nods to get the bartender's attention. The man hurries over with a beer and tells him he can get a tab going. Tom watches people filling their plates from a buffet spread along a table covered with a checkered tablecloth and asks if he can just help himself to the food over there. The surprised bartender answers, "It's the same as always." A pretty blonde in a lavender sweater comes over to Tom and tells him that if he thinks he's getting away with this, he is mistaken. Tom responds, "Excuse me?" The young woman says he certainly wasn't that polite last night. Tom tells her he thinks she has him confused with somebody else. She kisses him on the mouth and slowly nuzzles his check and asks if he doesn't remember this. When he doesn't respond, she impatiently says, "Come on, Tom. You didn't have that much to drink last night. Tom insists that he honestly doesn't know her. She suggests maybe he needs her to jog his memory a little bit. When Tom leads her outside, she laughingly comments that he certainly seems in a hurry to repeat what he doesn't remember doing in the first place. Tom shoves her roughly back against the wall and asks who put her up to this. She angrily asks what he wants, if he wants her to say it never happened. "All right. It never happened!" she cries, "I've never seen you before. Your name isn't Tom Veil. We didn't spend the night together. You don't have a strawberry birthmark on your right shoulder." Tom asks what she's talking about. A police officer briefly sounds his siren before shining a light on the couple and asking if everything is all right. The woman remains silent as Tom says that they're fine. The police car moves off. The blonde tells Tom that the next time he's feeling all warm and tingly, like he needs it real bad, don't call.

Elmer, manning the switchboard at the Quiet Night Motel, tells the woman caller that he doesn't think Robert MacMillan is in his room, but he'll patch her through. Tom enters his room just in time to answer the phone. Clare asks if this is Robert MacMillan, then angrily says that whoever he is, she doesn't want to talk to him. She orders him to stay away from her--stay away from her house and her mother. She swears that if he bothers her again, she'll call the police. She hangs up as he tries to tell her he just needs a minute. Tom can still hear steady breathing on the line. He asks "Hello?..Elmer?" to hear a click followed by beeping. Tom slams down the phone.

Tom reflects that he had come over 5000 miles to see Clare Hillard; in spite of her insistence, he thought he might have better luck in person. As he approaches her house, a silhouette of a woman's figure passes the curtained windows and turns off the lights. When no one answers Tom's knock on the front door, he moves around to the back. As he tries to pull open the storm door, he freezes when he feels the barrel of a small pistol at the back of his neck. Clare tells him she wants him to get out of here; she orders him to go away and not come back. When Tom slowly turns, she asks in surprise, "Tom? What on earth are you doing here?"

Clare takes the whistling teakettle off the burner and tells him she's really sorry; things have been a little tense around there today--strange phone calls, people coming to the house. Tom apologizes, but she says it will pass; she's just a little on edge. She supposes that he came about the photographs. [Breaking glass sound effect] Tom repeats blankly, "The photographs?" He asks what she knows about the photographs. Clare says what she knows about them is that if she doesn't get ahold of them within the next 24 hours, there's going to be hell to pay. Tom asks, "From whom?" She asks, "What do you mean from whom? From Rachel, that's from whom." She assures him that he hasn't lived until he's lived through one of Rachel's tantrums. She asks how they came out. Tom awkwardly answers, "Fine. They came out fine." She asks if the wide-angle shots of the living room worked out. She comments that she still thinks they're asking too much for that house, but maybe the photos will help. Tom fails to reply when Clare asks when he thinks he can get them to her and seems to be searching for a response. She asks surprisedly if there's something wrong. Tom asks where she knows him from; does she remember how they first met? She asks what he's talking about. When Tom asks her to humor him, she replies that they met at Jane Bryson's house; it was their housewarming in July. He asks if she'd ever seen or heard of him before that--if she ever heard his name when she was covering the 45th army corps in '93. She protests that she doesn't know what he's talking about. He says that she was working for the Lexington Herald and he was also covering the 45th. Saying that she thinks he'd better go, she rises from her chair and enters the kitchen. Tom calls after her, "Clare, you know it's the truth." She comes back into the room, pointing the pistol at him and says that the truth is that he's the person she spoke to on the phone this evening and he's the man who came by and talked to her mother. She asks why he's doing this. Tom asks her to let him explain. She angrily tells him that she doesn't want to know and orders him to just get out of here. As he backs through the living room, he tells her he just wants to ask her some questions; he's not going to hurt her. She agrees that he's not and swears that if he ever comes back, she's going to kill him. Before closing the door, she tells him that Robert MacMillan is dead; thirteen months ago he stuck a shotgun in his mouth and blew his brains out. Clare's mother stands at a second-story window watching as Tom walks away. [Breaking glass sound effect]

A plaque beside the door of the building Tom enters reads "Thomas Veil Photography, Second Floor." When Tom reaches the upper level, the cage-like elevator door lifts upward. He's startled by the enthusiastic voice of Jeanette Wilson, the receptionist, who shouts "Hey! How do you like it?" as she hurries past him towards a wall where several mounted photographs are hung. She slides back plain white curtains to reveal more photographs and tells him she finally finished the display. Tom examines two of the photographs: the five people in one Latin American in dress and appearance, the other showing a grizzled, bearded man sitting against a brick wall. Jeanette asks what he's staring at; does she have pen on her face or something? Tom assures her she looks fine as she hurries over to the desk. Jeanette looks up from studying her reflection in her compact mirror and asks if there's something wrong with his voice. Tom tells her no and asks what it sounds like. She says he just sounds different. She suddenly remembers that Heather Somebody called and left her number. She asks Tom if he wants her to get her for him. Tom tells her it can wait. She asks if Tom Veil, Romeo photographer, is suddenly turning over a new leaf. He answers, "Yeah, something like that" and says that he's going to be back in the studio. After he moves out of sight, Jeanette murmurs, "Guess she wasn't that special" and tears the message slip in half.

The spacious studio is sparsely furnished, with a large green plant in one corner, a bicycle propped up on its kickstand near one wall. Tom briefly examines a few of the negatives suspended in long strips. He starts to check the filing cabinets and in the second drawer he opens finds a single key with a tag: "Spare house key." After removing the key, he pushes the drawer shut and leans on the cabinet, thinking. He calls to Jeanette, who he can see moving about on the other side of a curtain, and tells her he has a friend coming to visit him tonight and he needs to give her directions to the house. He asks if she could write down the address and draw a little map or something; it would make her life a lot easier. She quips, "Yeah, at least until she gets to your house." Tom laughs quietly and tells her to just draw the map. He opens a folder with "Stan Wiley Realty" lettered on its tab. Inside is a photograph of a two-storied white house. A sheet clipped inside the folder has the notation "Attn Clare Hillard."

In the offices of Stan Wiley Realty, Clare urges a client on the telephone to take a look at a once-in-a-lifetime house. The appointment made, she says "Great. I'll see you there." A dark-haired woman with a smart haircut and tailored gray suit enters and tells Clare that she needs a favor. Clare says that she just made an appointment to show the Addison House at 12:30. Rachel tells her she'll have to reschedule; she's got a hot buyer for Barrington and thinks she's going to close today. That means she'll need Clare to cover the caravan this afternoon. Clare asks why Rachel's commissions always take precedence. Rachel informs her that when her name is on the letterhead, she can call the shots. She says that if they sell Barrington, they'll both be vacationing in the Bahamas this year. Clare remarks, sotto voce, "One of us may even have a room." Rachel whirls and demands, "What's that?" Clare smiles and tells her that she said she'll reschedule the Addison house. Rachel tells her, "Great. You're a dear. Chow!"

Clare answers the telephone to hear, "Clare. Please don't hang up. It's Tom." She says that she told him she didn't want to talk to him. Tom tells her that he's just calling about her photographs and reminds her that she said she needed to get her hands on them. She asks him if that's all. He answers "No" and explains that he wants to apologize for anything he might have said or done that upset her. She tells him that she'll come by his office; he can leave the photographs with Jeanette. As he glances through a gap in the curtains at Jeanette, he says that he's not at the office and that he has the pictures with him. He tells her he's at home right now and suggests that they meet somewhere neutral. He promises to be on his best behavior; she doesn't need to bring her gun. She says she'll meet him at Roselli's at 11:30. Jeanette hands Tom the map and suggests that they just publish it in the paper, in the women's section.

Tom checks the number on the front of a large frame house against the address (2417 North Hamilton) written on the map Jeanette drew for him with the heading "Tom's love nest" adorned by a heart. After crossing the front lawn, he pauses on the porch step, looking back to see a tall, goateed man walk away from a maroon car parked on the street. [Breaking glass sound effect] Tom takes a deep breath and turns the key in the lock. He walks stealthily through the living room, illuminated by the yellow glow of daylight filtered by the closed blinds. He pushes open the hall door and switches on a floor lamp. [Breaking glass sound effect] When he turns around, his gaze falls on the photograph of a soldier dressed in camouflage fatigues. Tom is stunned to see on the wall beside it his Hidden Agenda photograph. [Breaking glass sound effect]

Clare gathers her things and loops her purse over her shoulder. Irritated when the telephone rings, she answers it to hear Rachel say that she forgot to tell her one thing: she needs Clare to pick up those pictures of the Addison House before she goes to the caravan. Clare explains that she's meeting Tom at 11:30 and he's bringing them with him. Rachel says she needs them before that and asks why she doesn't drop by the studio and pick them up. Clare tells her he's not at the studio. Rachel tells Clare she knows she wouldn't ask if it wasn't important. Clare responds, "Fine, Rache. I'll get the photographs. I'll swing by his house if I need to." Rachel tells her she's a dear. After hanging up the phone, Clare remarks, "And you're a witch."

Tom grips the molding, leaning his head against the wall beneath the Hidden Agenda photograph. The click of an opening door can be heard and an arm clad in a brown jacket seen as the door opens. Tom flattens himself against the wall and moves to where he can see a pile of letters being tossed onto a small table. The other man move away and switches on a weather broadcast. Tom slips out the back door.

Tom sits at a table in Roselli's, a glass of orange juice and a pasta appetizer in a cardboard container in front of him. Clare knocks on the door of 2417 N. Hamilton. When no one answers, she discovers that the door is unlocked and walks through the house searching for Tom. She freezes at the sight of the Hidden Agenda photograph, the lamp illuminating it the only light in the darkened house. She jumps when a man's voice behind her says "Hi." She tremulously says, "Oh, Tom. I didn't know that anybody photographed it. I didn't know for sure it even existed." The man's face is in darkness, his silhouette limned by the yellow light from the window. She turns to look at the photograph again; terror is in her voice as she tells him if they find out that he has this, he knows what they can do. He calmly replies, "I know" and drops a cord around her neck. The choking noise of her struggle merges with the wailing cries that were part of the Hidden Agenda execution.

Tom leaves his untouched food and drink on the table and intercepts a waiter to ask if there have been any calls. The waiter tells him he's checked with the hostess three times and still nothing. Because the pay phone inside the restaurant is occupied, Tom uses a telephone just outside to call Stan Wiley Realty. Rachel says that Clare isn't there and offers to take a message. Tom tells her that this is Tom Veil; he had an appointment with her at 11:30 and she never showed up. Rachel asks him where Clare is; she thought maybe the two of them had run away together. Tom asks what she's talking about. Rachel explains that Clare missed an important caravan at 12:15 and now she has half a dozen clients ready to look for a new realtor. She says that Clare was supposed to meet with him and then hit the caravan, but she never showed up. Tom comments that that doesn't sound like Clare. She agrees acidly that no, it doesn't, and tells him that if he sees her, make sure she calls her first thing.

As Tom walks along the motel's second-floor balcony, he reflects that despite the photograph of Hidden Agenda, it was starting to feel like a trap to him; that trap was drawing closer every moment and unless he made a sudden move, he'd have no moves left to make. A police car pulls up in front of the motel. The man stepping out of a dark sedan is African-American, an overcoat protecting his suit and tie. In his room, Tom hastily retrieves his shaving kit from the bathroom and grabs his bag from the closet shelf. He slides the closet door in the opposite direction to check the other side. Clare Hillard sits against the wall, leaning slightly forward as her eyes stare from her waxen face. Tom slumps over in horror and despair. When he leaves the room, he sees the goateed man walking toward him. Tom strides in the other direction. Elmer leaves the office with another man, telling him that he's right up on the second floor. As they reach the landing, he spots Tom and shouts, "That's the fellow." Elmer's companion, who wears a crumpled black overcoat and hat, puts his hand on the railing to block Tom's path. The man Tom had seen get out of the sedan approaches behind Tom and asks if he's Tom Veil. He introduces himself as Detective Tanner and the other man as Detective McClusky. Tom asks what the problem is. Tanner says that's what they're going to ask him. McClusky asks why he is registered under the name MacMillan. Tom asks if they're going to tell him what this is about. McClusky says that it's about answering the questions. Tom acknowledges that MacMillan's the name he's registered under, but asks if that's a crime. Tanner says that it's not in itself, but it's not something that people with nothing to hide generally do. Tom says that he's not hiding anything. Tanner suggests that he won't mind then if they continue this conversation in his room. Tom studies the faces of the two detectives and asks them again to tell him what's going on. Tanner responds, "Let's talk in your room."

Tanner opens the door and lets Tom precede him into the room. He asks Tom if he knows a woman named Clare Hillard. Tom replies that he's met her. Tanner says that according to a number of people, he's more than met her. Elmer at the front desk is one; he said that the two of them had a pretty nasty conversation yesterday. Tom says that she was upset, that's all. Tanner asks what about. Tom tells him he doesn't know, but he thought it might have been work-related. Tanner says that her mother said that Tom came to the house and that he told her his name was MacMillan. Tom tells him that Mrs. Hillard is confused. Tanner says he doesn't think so. He adds that Mrs. Hillard said Tom and Clare had a pretty good go at it and Clare had to pull a gun on him to get him to leave. Tom sees that McClusky is about to slide open the closet door. When Tom exclaims, "Hey, look!" McClusky freezes and both detectives look at him expectantly. Tom says they still haven't told him what this is about. Tanner tells him that Clare's missing; she missed a number of appointments and never showed up. The lady she works for said she was supposed to be meeting him. McClusky slides open the closet door. After looking inside, he casually leans against the wall and finishes the contents of the plastic bottle he has been carrying. Tom slowly looks in the closet, dreading what he might see. The closet is empty. A little more confident now, he tells Tanner they were to meet at a place called Roselli's, but she never showed up. When McClusky tosses his bottle into the wastebasket, Tom's attention is drawn to an earring with a small dangling cross on the carpet nearby. He takes one step forward to cover it with his foot. He points out that Clare's only been gone a few hours and asks if someone doesn't have to be gone for something like 24 hours before the police get involved. Tanner bends over and taps Tom's shoe. After Tom moves his foot, Tanner picks up the earring and tells him, "Not when there's suspicion of foul play." He asks if this wouldn't happen to belong to Clare. Tom says that he doesn't know who it belongs to; he's never seen it before. Tanner tells Tom he'd like him to come down to the station with them. Tom asks, "If I say no?" Tanner says it wasn't a question and instructs McClusky to cuff him and read him his rights. As McClusky handcuffs him, Tom argues that they can't arrest him without cause. Tanner informs him that he can hold him for 24 hours on suspicion of sneezing if he wants. McClusky recites the Miranda warning as he escorts Tom out of the motel room.

Tom stands looking out the window of the police station's interview room when an attractive, Asian American woman enters. She introduces herself as Jane Butler and tells him she's from the public defender's office. Tom finally takes her proffered hand and sullenly asks if he's been formally charged with something. She tells him that it looks like they're getting close. Tom asks, "To what?" She replies, "To filing charges." She comments that it seems as if there is some confusion as to who he actually is--it might helps things if he'd tell her. She opens a folder in front of her and clicks her pen. Tom forcefully states that his name is Tom Veil. He angrily tells her that he still doesn't know what it is they're getting ready to charge him with. She explains that Clare Hillard has disappeared; the police suspect foul play and that he may be involved. When he says that he's not, she replies, "Good. Should make my job a lot easier." Tom asks why she took this case. She responds that she's not sure she understands the question. He asks why him, why was she assigned to this particular case. She explains that it's a small town; there's only one full-time PD and she's it. She tells Tom that the police already have evidence linking him to Miss Hillard's disappearance. She made a notation in her office calendar that she had an appointment with him at 11:30--that's just about the time she disappeared. Tom exasperatedly says that he had an appointment with her, but she never showed up. Jane asks why he doesn't tell her what this is about: the assumed name, arguments with a woman he barely knows, a note in the file from Detective Tanner that he was seen in an alley accosting a patron at the White Eagle. Tom throws up his hands, then thumps them on the table as he stands up. He angrily says that he doesn't know what it's about; if she wants to get to the bottom of it, why doesn't she try and find the guy that's impersonating him. Jane says, "Excuse me?" Tom says that there's someone here in town who's using the name Thomas Veil and posing as a photographer, his own occupation. He tells her he knows this sounds crazy, but asks her to imagine how he feels; three people have already mistaken him for Tom, including Clare. Jane asks skeptically, "So this other Thomas Veil is not only using your name, he also looks exactly like you." Tom says that's except for a strawberry mole on his right shoulder. He says if she really wants to help him, she'll try and find this guy. He lives at 2417 North Hamilton. Jane points out that if she goes and meets this other Thomas Veil, it's likely that he's going to tell her he's for real and Tom's the counterfeit; it would be his word against Tom's. Tom says, "No, it's not. I can prove it." Jane asks how he would do that. She leans forward as Tom explains that he has a bunch of photographs at his house that he'll claim were taken by him, but Tom took them. Jane says that it still comes down to the same thing: how does he prove it? Tom says that if he shot the photographs, he would have the negatives. Tom tells her to ask the other Tom to show her the negatives--he won't be able to. She asks how he can be sure. Tom declares, "Because I have them."

Jane gets out of her car and walks towards the house at 2417 N. Hamilton. At the steps, she turns to see the goateed man by the maroon car parked across the street. She presses the doorbell and when no one answers, walks through the sitting room, calling to ask if anyone's home. She, too, stands looking at the Hidden Agenda photograph. When a hand is laid on her shoulder, she turns slowly.

Jane enters the interview room where Tom sits anxiously waiting. He asks what she found. She replies that the photographs he told her about were on the walls. Her slightly dazed expression prompts Tom to ask, "You've seen him, haven't you?" She tells him that he was right; he's Tom's mirror image--the resemblance is uncanny. Tom asks if now she believes him. She says she believes Tom about him existing. Tom asks, "But what?" She holds a packet in her hand and tells him that these are the negatives of the photographs. She reminds him that he said that he wouldn't be able to prove he took the photographs, but he's the one who gave her these negatives. Tom unfolds the sheet and holds the negatives up to the window. He argues that these don't prove anything. She says that she thought they were supposed to prove everything. Tom says that what he meant is that it doesn't prove that he took those shots. He points out the edge numbers and explains that they're different for every roll of film; it's a stock and batch number, and they're date-specific. This other man has Tom's photograph, so it's no big trick for him to rephotograph it and make a new set of negatives. Tom says that if she calls the film manufacturer, she'll find that Tom's negatives are dated earlier than his. She tells him there's only one problem with that: she doesn't have his negatives. Tom slumps back against the window sill and says that he'll have to get them for her.

When Jane and Tom stop their car to let pedestrians cross, another car stops at the head of the alley, McClusky seen in shadow as he takes a drink from his water bottle. Tom instructs Jane to pop the hood. As they walk around to the front of the car, Tom opens the hood and explains that he's uncomfortable with Tanner's men following him. He tells her he just needs twenty minutes. She argues that she won't able to stay with him if she does that. He promises to call her when he gets the negatives. She tells him that if he skips town, it's going to be bad for both of them; she has a reputation to protect here. Tom walks away. She turns briefly to look at the car hood she's about to close; when she looks back, there's no sign of Tom. McClusky stands by his car looking down the alley.

Tom enters the bus station. In the men's room, he crouches down by one of the sinks and checks under the stalls to make sure he's alone. He gropes around behind the sink and a key falls to the floor. In a bank of small lockers covering a wall in the station, he opens Locker 27. He unzips a canvas bag, and takes out and rewinds a mini-cassette recorder. He puts it back inside the bag and removes it from the locker. He feels along the ceiling of the locker and peels off the strip of negatives taped there. Walking past the row of buses, he avoids McClusky who has just checked inside one.

Tom sits on a bed in a motel room, a yellow notepad in front of him as he telephones Jane. She asks if he got them. He tells her he did, but they'd better meet someplace out of the way; Tanner does have one of his men following him. Tom says she knows this city better than him. She instructs him to meet her at the Front Street pier. Tom asks what all he has to bring. She tells him to just bring the negatives. Tom asks what time. She replies, "8:45. It'll be deserted by then." Tom tells her he hopes this puts an end to this mess. She says that once they wrap this up, it's over; she'll present her evidence to the DA and that should be that. Tom says, "Great. See you later." She tells him, "8:45. Don't be late."

Jane stands waiting on the pier beneath a massive iron bridge over the river. She turns to see Tom walking towards her over a wooden footbridge. The long barrel of a weapon can be seen sliding past a girder, the cross hairs in the sight lined up on Tom. A silenced shot is heard and Tom grunts as the impact throws him against a chain-link fence. A horrified Jane kneels by his head and reaches past the staring, sightless eyes to remove a strip of negatives from inside his jacket. She holds them up to the light and says, "You weren't supposed to kill him." The sniper tells her that he was aiming for his shoulder, but he turned his head at the last second. She coldly tells him that's not an excuse. She studies the negatives again and gasps, "Wait a minute! These are ours!" She pulls the jacket down the right arm of the fallen man, tugging the shirt off his shoulder to reveal a strawberry birthmark. She asks the sniper what the hell he was doing there.

Tom sits by the window in the last row of a moving bus. He rewinds his small recorder and listens: "Jane Butler. Meet me at the Front Street pier. 8:45. Just bring the negatives. Once we wrap this up, it's over. Don't be late." Tom reaches into his bag for the palmtop computer. He looks towards the front of the bus to make sure he's not being watched, then slides it out the slot beneath the window. He settles back in his seat and closes his eyes. The little palmtop lies open on the pavement, battered by the tires of the vehicles running over it. The bus starts its journey out of the city, driving onto the bridge overlooking the Front Street pier.

Synopsis © 1996 Marge Brashier (brashier@tcccom.net)
Do not post this synopsis on other web sites, mail lists, etc., without permission.
Used by permission.
March 29, 1996