"THE FOX QUEEN"


a Noire Fantasy screenplay by

Kevin Andrew Murphy



Copyright 1991-1996, All Rights Reserved






Contact Info:
Kevin Andrew Murphy
1275 Peralta Drive
San Jose, CA 95120
408/268-7289
Kevin.A.Murphy@sff.net
http://www.sff.net/people/Kevin.A.Murphy

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"THE FOX QUEEN"



FADE IN:

EXT. SAN FRANCISCO DOCKS (1906) - NIGHT - ESTABLISHING

Boxes, bales, crates and nets are piled haphazardly. Moonlight spills over all, casting dark shadows. Fog swirls. A Chinese junk floats moored to one side, lanterns glowing dimly.

A gangplank leads down to the dock, wood CREAKING with the tide. WATER LAPS softly against the hull, and in the distance can be heard the occasional CHIME of the harbor buoy.

SUPER

San Francisco. March 17, 1906.


ANGLE ON TWO PORT AUTHORITY WORKERS

Anglo males in matching uniforms, they are also very similar physically. They stand with clipboards, pencils and customs documents, incredibly bored. The only thing that isn't routine is the time of night.

PORT AUTHORITY #1
Here we go again.


CUT TO:



The junk. AH CHUNG emerges from the swirling fog at the top of the gang plank. He is dressed in fabulous Manchu robes, a long braided queue looped gracefully in one hand. He is an older man, and would exude the mysteries and wisdom of the East if he didn't appear ready to drop dead.

Ah Chung staggers down the gangplank.

PORT AUTHORITY #1
(bored and disrespectful)
Over here, Ching-Chong.

CHUNG
(gracious)
The name is Chung. Ah Chung.

PORT AUTHORITY #2
Ching, Chang, Chung. Same thing.

PORT AUTHORITY #1
(continuous with #2)
All you damn Chinamen look alike.

CHUNG
No, we are quite different. I myself find Westerners remarkably similar in appearance, though I am sure I will learn to tell the difference in time.

Port authorities 1 and 2 exchange the same quizzical glance.

PORT AUTHORITY #2
(looking at invoice)
Says here you're a merchant.

CHUNG
That is correct.

PORT AUTHORITY #1
Okay, we can let you in. You're on the list of okay Chinamen: merchants, diplomats, teachers and students.

CHUNG
And merchant's wives.

ON GANG PLANK

There stands TAMAMO NO MAE, the picture of Asian elegance. Hers is a beauty of indeterminate age, perhaps as young as twenty-five or as old as fifty, though most likely somewhere in her late thirties.

Her blouse and pants are of the finest silk, gorgeously embroidered, accented by a beautiful silver fox wrap hung about her shoulders. Her hair is done up with pearls and gold pins, and in one hand she carries a Chinese parasol, shielding herself from the moonlight.

Tamamo walks down the gangplank, graceful despite the tiny bound feet of a woman of the court, and joins Ah Chung. Lovely and demure, she hides in his shadow, three steps behind.

PORT AUTHORITY #2
What's with the parasol?

CHUNG
My wife's complexion is very delicate.

PORT AUTHORITY #1
Yeah, wife, right. You've got yourself a Chinese slave girl.

CHUNG
Please do not insult my wife. Fortune has blessed me in my later years, giving me a wife whose grace and beauty I do not deserve.

PORT AUTHORITY #1
Paid a lot for her, huh? Don't sweat it, Ching-Chung -- You're allowed one wife.
(checks manifest)
What's this? One-hundred fifty... live foxes?

CHUNG
They are a valuable commodity.

PORT AUTHORITY #1
I don't know. There's regulations...

Ah Chung takes out small silk bag. Theatrically pours contents into palm. CLINKING of coins.

CLOSE ON PALM

A fortune in Chinese gold.

BACK TO SCENE

CHUNG
I trust you gentlemen will find all the appropriate paperwork in order.

He tosses the silk bag atop it all.

CHUNG
(continuing)
You may keep the bag as well.

PORT AUTHORITY #1
(flabbergasted)
Everything's perfectly in order, Mr. Chung.
(extends clipboard and pencil)
Sign here, please.

Ah Chung signs, and Port Authorities 1 and 2 give him all necessary documents. They leave.

CHUNG
(to Tamamo, hopeful)
Have I done well, my jewel of perfection?

TAMAMO
You have done very well, my husband.
(an order)
Kiss me.

TIGHT ON TWO SHOT

Ah Chung leans close to the beautiful Tamamo. A spark passes between their lips, and Tamamo's eyes blaze with demonic fury.

The old man's life force is being drawn out. Horror and realization dawn upon him. He tries to draw away, but Tamamo grabs hold, kissing him with fierce passion. His life ebbs and he falls to the pier, dead.

CLOSE ON CORPSE

Ah Chung's eyes are frozen wide with horror and terror.

Tamamo's foot kicks him in the shoulder so the corpse lies face up, staring blind into the moonlit sky. A faint, faint trickle of blood runs from the corner of his open mouth.

TAMAMO (O.S.)
(contemptuous)
Old fool. I didn't think you'd have the life to last me the trip.

LONG SHOT ON TAMAMO

Parasol in hand, she and the corpse are a silhouette in the moonlight. She raises a hand to the junk and makes a magical gesture.

BEGIN TITLES AND TITLE SONG

CUT TO:



EXT/INT. DECK OF CHINESE JUNK - NIGHT

On deck there are large bamboo and wire cages, reinforced with steel and hung with rusty Victorian padlocks. Inside the cages are dozens of silver foxes.

INSERT PADLOCK

The bolt clicks open by itself. Padlock drops to deck.

One by one locks fall open and cages unbar.

BACK TO SCENE

Tamamo watches as silver foxes stream off the junk, running down the docks into San Francisco. MUSIC LULLS.

TAMAMO
Go, my children. Explore the city. The Gold Mountain is yours for the hunt.

Tamamo steps over corpse and walks down the dock.

TAMAMO
(continuing; beat)
And mine.

CAMERA PANS TO THE WATERS OF THE BAY

where Tamamo's reflection on the rippling surface is not that of a woman, but of a fox, walking upright in a woman's clothes. The fox reflection walks off screen, leaving only the moon on the water as backdrop for the MAIN TITLE.

TITLE SONG returns to FULL POWER.

CUT TO:


The foxes, racing off the pier and into the twisting streets of San Francisco.

EXT. BARBARY COAST (1906) - NIGHT - M.O.S.

The red light district that made San Francisco famous. A prostitute waits on a street corner under the glow of a lamp post, her face reflected in a dance hall window. A john comes by. As they exchange pleasantries, it can be seen that his reflection is that of a fox.

EXT. CHINATOWN/THE DEVIL'S KITCHEN (1906) - NIGHT - M.O.S.

This is the most dangerous part of Chinatown. Two young toughs with queues and bowler hats stand near an alleyway. Tattered Chinese handbills plaster the wall behind, and opium addicts and bums sit here and there.

Two foxes streak into the alley. A moment later, perfect doubles of the toughs emerge, garotte the toughs with their own queues, and drag them back into the alley.

The two fox spirit/toughs emerge, looking satiated.

INT. BUTCHER SHOP (1906) - NIGHT - M.O.S.

A small shop filled with all the usual, including a potbellied butcher. He goes behind the counter and there is a scuffle. The butcher then emerges, but the shadow on the wall is that of a fox.

He picks up his cleaver, weighing it in his hand and smiling at something on the floor behind the counter.

MONTAGE - FOX SPIRITS INFILTRATE SAN FRANCISCO

A) Foxes running down alleyways

B) Foxes running into opium dens

C) Foxes magically taking the forms of humans

D) Suggestions of nasty dealings. Victims struggling with attackers, but there is no blood.

E) San Franciscans smiling at each other in satisfaction. Reflections in shop windows and shadows on walls reveal fox spirits.

END TITLES AND TITLE SONG

INT. FANG'S JEWELRY/UPSTAIRS PARLOR - DAY

An elegant Chinese tea set sits on a coffee table, steam rising from the teapot.

SUPER

April 17, 1906. San Francisco.
(beat)
One month later.

Hands appear and pour a cup of tea. They are smooth, older, graceful and Asian.

CAMERA PULLS BACK, revealing LI FANG. He is a distinguished Chinese gentleman, about fifty, dressed in rich but comfortable clothes. Around him lies the splendor of his parlor: silk hangings, carved jade and ivory, a peachblow vase, and one real prize and mark of status -- a Victorian sofa upholstered in green velvet. A bell-pull hangs to one side.

FANG
Sugar, Mr. Moore?

Fang cocks his head and reaches towards sugar bowl.

HARVEY (O.S.)
No, thank you. I take it black.

CAMERA SWINGS to reveal HARVEY MOORE. Harvey is young, blond, handsome, about twenty-nine or so, though with a haunted look in his eyes, as if he's seen more than his years warrant. His suit is clean, though worn. Almost imperceptible is the fact that he's a chronic gum-chewer.

Harvey accepts the teacup from Fang.

FANG
A man after my own heart.
(pauses to pour his own tea)
Now, what may I do for you?

Harvey takes out his gum, but, finding no saucer in a Chinese tea set, quietly slips it back in his mouth and takes a sip of tea anyway. CAMERA GLIMPSES a blue and gold Masonic ring on his right middle finger.

HARVEY
Well, Mr. Fang, we usually let Chinatown police itself, but the opium trade has been stepping up.

FANG
I'm quite aware of the fact.

HARVEY
(unfazed)
We've begun our own investigation into the matter.

FANG
I am aware of that as well, Mr. Moore. Get to the point.

HARVEY
(somewhat put off)
We were wondering if you had any information concerning a Mrs. Tamamo Chung. Do you know her?

FANG
Indeed.
(takes sip of tea)
She is recently widowed. She arrived in San Francisco with her husband but a month ago, only to have him swiftly murdered and robbed by two of your own Port Authority.
(challenging)
Given incidents such as that, you can scarcely wonder why my people have no faith in your police.

HARVEY
Could you tell me what your business with her's been?

FANG
My private business is private, but so far as I know, it is no crime to console a grieving widow.

Fang sets his cup on the tray, angrily. Tea sloshes out.

FANG
(continuing)
I have also been helping her to sell her husband's goods. The murderers sit comfortably in a cell in the courthouse, while a needy widow's gold is held by the police as "evidence."
(beat)
If you wish to investigate a crime, Mr. Moore, I can think of no better place to start than there.

HARVEY
Fang, we've known each other for a year and a half, so talk straight with me. I need to know about the opium trade.

FANG
(pauses to compose himself)
Opium is a great evil, I'll agree, but it is unthinkable that Tamamo would be involved in such a business. The only crime I know of in connection with the widow of Ah Chung is that which has already been committed against her.

Fang stands up and begins to ramble like a madman.

FANG
(continuing)
The white man's justice seems to work very well for the white man, but when it comes to Chinamen, it has little to say other than that murderers with mad stories of bribery for smuggling foxes which are never found are allowed to live, while honest working men are beaten and killed if they step beyond the bounds of Chinatown!
(raving)
And widows' money is impounded for trials in which, by law, they will never be allowed to testify!

Fang paces for a moment, silent.

FANG
(continuing; composed now)
You must excuse me, Mr. Moore. I have not been feeling well, and I become easily overwrought. You are an honorable man, and I consider you a friend. Otherwise I would not have invited you into my house. But I must now ask you to leave.

HARVEY
Very well.

FANG
I have dismissed my servants, so I must have my daughter show you to the door.

HARVEY
Your daughter?

FANG
You are surprised, Mr. Moore? I am a widower myself. My wife died when my daughter was but a child.

Fang goes and tugs bell-pull. A BELL CHIMES softly in the distance.

FANG
(continuing)
I have raised Ping myself since then. She is a proper Chinese girl and seldom leaves this house.

ANGLE ON PARLOR DOOR

It opens and PING FANG enters the room. She is a vision of loveliness. Her queue is worn in a single braid mixed with raw silk, and she appears no older than her late teens. Her feet are unbound, but she wears rocker-soled platform shoes.

Ping bows her head respectfully, but shows surprise at a stranger in her father's house.

FANG
(to Ping)
This is Mr. Harvey Moore of the Police Department. I would be pleased if you would show him to the door. I am very tired, and must go to my room and rest if I am to take you to the ball tonight.

PING
(respectfully)
Yes, father.

Li Fang leaves.

HARVEY
(agog and infatuated)
You're... still unmarried?

PING
I beg your pardon, honorable sir?

HARVEY
(shakes his head)
I'm sorry. That was forward of me. I beg your pardon.

PING
(demurely)
No need. How did you know?

HARVEY
(pointing to her hair)
The single braid...

Ping takes the end of her queue in both hands and contemplates it, then looks up.

PING
Ah yes.
(beat)
My father has as yet found no acceptable suitors.

HARVEY
But there's fifty men for every woman in Chinatown!

PING
Evidently that is not enough for my father.
(beat)
Are Masons usually so curious?

HARVEY
How--

Harvey raises his hand as he begins, then breaks off the question as he notices his ring.

HARVEY
(continuing)
Oh.

Ping smiles at him.

PING
You are not the only one who understands the symbols of another people. May I ask your degree?

HARVEY
(proudly)
Among brothers, rank has little meaning. But I'm a Knight Templar.
(beat)
How did you learn so much about Masons?

PING
With your swords and ostrich plume hats, you are hard not to notice.

(laughs)
I very much enjoy the spectacle of your celebrations. They're almost as pleasing as New Years.

HARVEY
Then you'll enjoy next month. We're hosting the One Hundred and Sixth Convocation. There'll be everything -- parades, electric towers, fireworks, balloons, kites. The works.

PING
It sounds delightful.
(shakes her head and laughs again)
This is most improper. However, as I have satisfied your curiosity, it is only fair that you satisfy mine in return.
(beat)
Tell me, where did a white man learn so much of our customs?

HARVEY
Hong Kong.
(beat)
I was stationed there for three years during the war against the Spanish.

PING
There I must envy you. I have never visited Mother China.
(pause)
I am sorry, but you must leave.

Harvey follows Ping through the doorway to the landing. The staircase on the right leads to an upstairs hallway, while the one on the left leads down to the front door. There are gas brackets and railings on both sides. They take the left staircase down.

HARVEY
(trying to make conversation)
Do you know anything about a Mrs. Tamamo Chung?

Ping looks to him, surprised at his continuing attentions, but also pleased.

PING
She is a friend and business associate of my father's. I have never met her personally.

Ping and Harvey have arrived at the

FRONT DOOR

a massive carved mahogany affair with dragons and Chinese characters mirrored on both panels. A Buddhist red paper charm is pasted to the lintel, but has been torn -- only a fragment of its sentence is still left hanging.

A hall tree set with a mirror stands to one side.

Harvey searches in his pockets.

HARVEY
(anxious)
Here's my extension at the department.
(hands Ping slip of paper)
Call me if you find anything out or have any other information.

PING
(folding paper)
Good day, Mr. Moore.

HARVEY
Harvey.

PING
Harvey, then. And I'm sorry, Mr. Moore, but I cannot accept this.

Ping tries to return the note, Harvey resists, they fumble, and the slip of paper falls to the floor. Both bend down to retrieve it.

ANGLE ON FLOOR

The note lies on the rug. Nearby lies another slip of paper, the second half of the torn charm on the lintel. Ping's hand picks up the note, then Harvey's move over and retrieve the charm. They rise.

CLOSE ON CHARM

in Harvey's hand. It's a strip of blood red paper, painted with a Chinese sentence in gold. The top character of the sentence is torn through.

HARVEY (O.S.)
(reading, with difficulty)
"... this house from all evil."

Harvey and Ping look at the paper quizzically, then glance up at the lintel.

CLOSE ON LINTEL

and torn end of charm with the Chinese character for "Protect."

HARVEY (O.S.)
(continuing)
Your spirit charm...

BACK TO SCENE

Ping takes the charm from Harvey.

HARVEY
(continuing)
Bad joss?

PING
Very.

Ping lets Harvey out, then closes the door behind him. She looks at the charm in her hand, Harvey's folded note behind it, and her expression is one of worry.

EXT. DUPONT AND JACKSON (1906) - NIGHT - ESTABLISHING

This is Chinatown before the Quake and Fire. The buildings are all standard Wild West, with nothing inherently Chinese -- no pagoda roofs, dragons, etc. However, green and yellow balconies bedecked with potted plants overhang stores along the way, and Chinese lanterns hang everywhere, casting a soft light.

Li Fang's shop is on the righthand corner. The windows are empty, but friendly English words put out for tourists proclaim "Fang's Jewelry." The same is printed in Chinese. A door on Dupont leads to the upstairs apartments, and there is a fire escape on Jackson.

Harvey is on the opposite corner, parked in a 1906 Nash Rambler -- a windowless convertible, allowing for clear camera work, and clear gunfire later on. He's in the driver's seat, chewing gum furiously as he pages through a notebook, scribbling on occasion with a pencil.

LIEUTENANT GIAMONA is riding shotgun, armed with a bag of donuts and a thermos of coffee. Giamona is a burly Italian cop in his mid thirties, not ugly but certainly not handsome in any classical sense.

The interior of the Rambler is a mess, with donut crumbs and empty bags everywhere. Carriages and horse-drawn streetcars cars occasionally cross their POV.

GIAMONA
(chomping donut)
So when's this yellow bitch supposed to show up?

HARVEY
(annoyed at Giamona)
I don't know.
(beat)
The tips I got only said she might pay a visit to Fang tonight.

GIAMONA
Hoo boy!
(slaps knee)
Old Fang finally got himself a piece.

HARVEY
More likely an opium addiction. When I saw him this afternoon, he looked half dead.
(beat)
The stuff's poison.

GIAMONA
(ruminating on a donut)
Yeah, but it's quicker than liquor.

Harvey snorts and turns a page.

GIAMONA
(continuing)
So what you reading? More of that stuff on how to become the Grand High Whoop-di?

HARVEY
No, Giamona. It's the requisitions for the Hundred and Sixth Convocation. I'm in charge of the fireworks display, and the kites, and the hot air balloon too.
(scribbles something)
At least I found a place that could supply all of them.

GIAMONA
(shaking head)
Moore, I never understand why you go to all the bother...

HARVEY
And that's the difference between us, Giamona.

Harvey is about to say more, but just then another motor car arrives, a Ford Model K. Tamamo is let out by her chauffeur and goes to the door of Fang's apartment. She wears a silver fox opera cloak with a high hood.

HARVEY
(continuing)
There she is.
(beat)
I bet all widows wish they were as poor as that.

MATCH CUT TO:


INT. FANG'S JEWELRY/FRONT DOOR - NIGHT - PING'S POV - TAMAMO ENTERING

Tamamo closes the door behind her.

TAMAMO
Your father is expecting me.

Tamamo drops back her hood and glances to fragment of charm on lintel.

TAMAMO
(continuing)
I have been... invited.

She steps forward, stalking. As she passes the hall tree there is a split-second flash reflection of a fox in the mirror. Ping sees this and reacts.

TAMAMO
(continuing)
You must be Ping.

She extends her hand in greeting, but her gesture and smile are more predatory than friendly.

CLOSE ON PING

FANG (O.S.)
Ping.

She whirls in terror. Her father stands in the door of the parlor.

FANG
(continuing)
This is Aunt Chung. Say hello.

PING
(to Tamamo)
Hello, Aunt Chung.

Tamamo takes Ping's hand aggressively and squeezes. Her smile shows lots of teeth.

TAMAMO
I hope we will be great friends.
(beat)
Your father and I have business to discuss tonight.

FANG
Ping, go to your room.

PING
Yes, father.

Ping genuflects hastily and disappears up the stairs.

CUT TO:


INT. PING'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

The room is appointed with an interesting mixture of Chinese and Western curios. There's also a bed, a dresser, a vanity with a large mirror, and a window leading out to the fire escape.

Ping shuts the door behind herself and goes to her dresser, frantically searching through the objects scattered over the top. She finds the piece of paper Harvey gave her with his department extension.

Quietly, she goes and opens the door of her bedroom and looks out. The hall is empty, and silent. A short distance away is a telephone table with a candlestick telephone.

Ping lunges out and retrieves it, taking it and the cord back into her room and locking the door. She lifts the receiver from its cradle and holds it to her ear, leaning back against the door.

PING
(calming herself)
Hello? Operator? I'd like to place a call to the San Francisco Police Department, Seventh Precinct.

CUT TO:


INT. BELL TELEPHONE/SAN FRANCISCO SWITCHBOARD (1906) - NIGHT

The 1906 incarnation of Lily Tomlin's evil telephone operator mans the switchboard.

PING (V.O.)
(continuing)
Detective Harvey Moore, Desk 4.

EVIL OPERATOR
One moment, puh-leaze...

CUT TO:


INT. PING'S BEDROOM - NIGHT - ON PING

She clutches the telephone like a lifeline. We hear a 1906 TELEPHONE RING, then there is the CLICK of getting through.

CHINESE VOICE (V.O.)
Heyyo! Lee Yick fliendly Chine'e Laundly! We do good wok!

Ping's relief gives way to horror and revulsion. She hangs up on the voice, then releases the cradle.
PING
Hello. Operator...

CUT TO:


INT. BELL TELEPHONE/SAN FRANCISCO SWITCHBOARD (1906) - NIGHT

The evil operator is there again, poised at the switchboard.

EVIL OPERATOR
Yes, miss. I'll try again...

She leans close to the switchboard, smiling, and as she switches Ping's call, the reflection in the switchboard glass shows a grinning fox.

EXT. DUPONT AND JACKSON (1906) - NIGHT

Harvey and Giamona continue their stakeout, Starsky and Hutch, circa 1906. Harvey's put away the notebook, and Giamona's finished with the donuts.

HARVEY
(still chewing gum)
I hate stakeouts.

GIAMONA
Goes faster with this.

Giamona holds out a hip flask. Harvey ignores him and blows a bubble.

GIAMONA
(continuing; beat)
That's a filthy habit.

HARVEY
You pick your filthy habits, I pick mine.
(beat)
I wonder what her angle is.

GIAMONA
(takes a swig)
Fang's the head of the Six Companies, the Mayor of Chinatown.
(beat)
Get him and you control this whole stinking pit.

INT./EXT. FANG'S JEWELRY/PING'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Ping sits before the vanity mirror. However, she's a bit hard to recognize. Gone is the costume of a demure Chinese maiden. In its place is one of her father's Western suits.

Ping finishes putting up her queue -- sans silk and ribbons -- and pins it in place. As the final touch, she adds a bowler hat and adjusts it in the mirror. She appears to be a young Chinese working man.

She goes to the window and opens it. CAMERA FOLLOWS as she clambers expertly down the fire escape -- she's done this before.

Ping jumps to the ground outside, landing perfectly.

CUT TO:


HARVEY AND GIAMONA'S POV

watching Ping get up from her crouch and set off down Jackson into the nighttime streets of Chinatown.

HARVEY
Obviously Fang didn't dismiss all his servants.

GIAMONA
Yeah, but why would one be going out the fire escape?

HARVEY
Care to find out?

Giamona gets out of the car.

GIAMONA
Back soon.

Giamona sets off across the street, dodging streetcars.

INT/EXT. MAGICIAN WAN'S FIREWORKS SHOP - NIGHT

A tiny, hole-in-the-wall fireworks shop is sandwiched in between a pawnbroker and a bakery. Unlike its neighbors, it does not cater to tourists, and only Chinese is written in the windows. Ping pulls a key from her pocket, and the CAMERA FOLLOWS as she enters.

Ping flips a switch, flooding the tiny store with light and revealing that the bare electric bulbs are the only modern thing inside. Strings of firecrackers hang everywhere, astrological charts line the walls, bottle rockets and Roman candles are priced for sale, shelves are filled with jars of incense, hell money and other paper objects to burn for the dead, and cardboard tubes, colored paper, and other fireworks supplies litter the back counter.

PING
(running in)
Magician Wan! Magician Wan!

This rouses an ancient Chinese gentleman curled up in a chair in the corner next to a bookshelf crammed with tomes and scrolls. He gets to his feet, waking, Yoda-like and crabby.

WAN
Hush, child. I am old, not deaf -- though I soon may be if you carry on like that.

Magician Wan shuffles over to the counter. He is dressed shabbily, his clothes looking like he got them from the bargain pile of a Chinese second hand store. His one prize is a large jade luck piece, suspended from his neck by a red silk cord.

PING
(rushing up)
I have seen one!

WAN
That is very nice, dear. I'm happy for you. One what?

PING
A fox spirit.

WAN
(nodding smugly)
Ah, so now you believe me.

PING
Wan, I'm serious! She's with my father right now.

Magician Wan gets out a pipe and lights it with a big Ronson lighter. He takes a few pulls and sits down at the counter.

WAN
How do you know she's a fox woman?

PING
I saw her reflection in the hall mirror --

Ping pulls the torn paper charm from her pocket and spreads it out on the counter.

PING
(continuing)
-- and this afternoon, I found the charm which keeps away evil spirits torn from the front door.
(beat)
Her name is Mrs. Tamamo Chung, and she's a widow, and the police--

WAN
(interrupting)
Did you say "Tamamo"?

PING
Yes, Mrs. Tamamo Chung. And this afternoon the police were--

Magician Wan holds up a hand for silence.

WAN
I do not know about the Chung part, but Tamamo is the name of their queen.
PING
Whose queen?

WAN
The fox spirits.
(nods knowingly)
She has followed her ancient pattern and come to the Mountain of Gold, as I always knew she would. She has finally come to California.

PING
Is she your enemy?

Wan gives her a look usually reserved for imbeciles.

WAN
What, you think I'm that old?

Magician Wan's pipe has gone out. He pauses to retamp the tobacco and light it again.

WAN
(continuing)
I do not like John D. Rockefeller either, but that does not mean I have met the gentleman. It's simply a matter of reputation.

Magician Wan takes a long pull and looks contemplative.

WAN
(continuing)
This also means I've won my bet with Han Wu: He thought the Empress of China was the Fox Queen, and while I'll admit there are strong similarities, I'm pleased to discover that he was wrong.

PING
(ready to throttle him)
She's going to kill my father!

WAN
Hush, child. She's not going to kill your father just yet.
(beat)
She always toys with her victims first.

EXT. DUPONT AND JACKSON (1906) - NIGHT - HARVEY'S POV - FANG'S JEWELRY/UPSTAIRS WINDOW

Tamamo looks out Ping's bedroom window, then gets out on the fire escape. She climbs down, lithe and agile as a fox, and sprints off down Jackson Street.

HARVEY (O.S.)
Well, well, well, Mrs. Chung... you're just full of surprises.

Harvey gets out and cranks the car up, then hops in and eases the Rambler into gear He cuts across onto Jackson, trailing the Fox Queen.

HARVEY
(continuing)
I never would have thought a woman with bound feet could move that fast.

CUT TO:



INT. MAGICIAN WAN'S FIREWORKS SHOP - NIGHT

Ping waits at the counter while Magician Wan goes to the bookcase and finds a scroll.

WAN
Do you remember the story of how the rat deceived the cat, so that he lost his place in the zodiac?

Using the scroll as a pointer, he taps an illustrated astrological chart on the wall for demonstration.

WAN
(continuing)
It is not a fairy tale -- it is true. All of the spirit creatures have a king or a queen, and those with a place in the heavens have the most power.

Magician Wan returns to the counter and unfurls the scroll.

CLOSE ON SCROLL

It is ancient silk, painted with Chinese characters and beautiful illustrations. The first shows the Fox Queen, both as a woman and as a fox.

WAN (O.S.)
(continuing)
Here is the history of the Fox Queen. However, her name is not Tamamo Chung -- She is Tamamo no Mae, Queen of the Fox Spirits.

Magician Wan unfolds the scroll, revealing more characters, while allowing the earlier text to roll up. He runs his finger across the new text, skimming for the basic information.

WAN (O.S.)
(continuing)
In the days before the Buddha, the zodiac was not as it is now. The Fox Queen held one of the twelve thrones of the Celestial Court, the same place in the stars now held by the Dragon King.

An illustration shows the Fox Queen seated on a throne in the stars, foxes around her. Before her is a small table with a tea service and an Oriental chess set.

MATCH DISSOLVE TO:


INT. THE CELESTIAL COURT

Stars spangle the background. In the foreground, silk cushions are piled around a low table. Tea is set out next to a chess set, carved cinnabar and jade.

Tamamo sits in a throne made of living stars, foxes watching from the shadows. She wears a white silk kimono and a robe of silver fox fur.

A great golden Oriental DRAGON enters, then shimmers and coalesces into the DRAGON KING, a Chinese Emperor wearing a gold crown set with topaz and ruby and gold silk robes embroidered with dragons. He has a long black beard and moustache, and his gold eyes are slitted like a reptile.

WAN (V.O.)
(continuing)
Even then, the Fox Queen was capricious and foolish. She played chess against the Dragon King and lost again and again.

M.O.S. Tamamo gestures for the Dragon King to take a seat on the cushions. She holds out her fists, hiding chess pieces. The Dragon King chooses red, while the Fox Queen takes green. They begin to play.

MATCH CUT TO:



CLOSE ON SCROLL

Illustration of the Fox Queen looking put out, a pile of gold and jewels as high as the table on the Dragon King's side. The Dragon King is completing checkmate.

MATCH CUT TO:



INT. THE CELESTIAL COURT

As before, but with a pile of gold and jewels next to the Dragon King as high as himself. Checkmate again.

MATCH CUT TO:


CLOSE ON SCROLL

Illustration as before, but with the pile of wealth towering up behind the Dragon King. Checkmate again. The Fox Queen is in despair.

MATCH CUT TO:


INT. THE CELESTIAL COURT

As before, but with the pile of wealth so high behind the Dragon King it goes out of the screen. The Dragon King moves. Checkmate again. The Fox Queen bursts into tears.

WAN (V.O.)
(continuing)
When she had finally lost everything, she asked to play one last game, and in desperation put up her place in the heavens as marker -- the Dragon King's to keep until she paid back her debt.

M.O.S. Tamamo pantomimes her desire, and she and the Dragon King begin one last game.

CUT TO:


The endgame. The Dragon King makes his final move: Horse to General's 3; Horse takes Chariot; Checkmate. The Fox Queen falls from her throne in despair.

WAN (V.O.)
Horse to General's 3; Horse takes Chariot.

MATCH DISSOLVE TO:


CLOSE ON SCROLL

The illustration shows the Dragon King sitting in the Celestial throne, his wealth behind him, while the Fox Queen lies as his feet, weeping.

BACK TO SCENE - CLOSE ON PING

PING
Checkmate.

ANGLE ON WAN

WAN
(nodding sagely)
Indeed.

He points out the final illustration: The Dragon King holds a pink- lipped conch shell in his hands.

WAN (V.O.)
(continuing)
The Dragon King then gave her a conch shell horn, and instructed her to wind it when she was ready to repay her debt. But not before.

CLOSE ON WAN

WAN
(continuing; beat)
Ever since, she has been trying to gather the wealth she owes the Dragon King. And she will stop at nothing to achieve this end.

CUT TO:



EXT. MAGICIAN WAN'S FIREWORKS SHOP - NIGHT

Giamona glances in the window of the shop, and looks satisfied that he knows the destination of Fang's "messenger boy." He sets back off down the Chinatown streets.

Silver foxes follow in the shadows.

MATCH CUT TO:


INT. MAGICIAN WAN'S FIREWORKS SHOP - NIGHT - CLOSE ON SCROLL

The illustration shows a chain of silver foxes leading down the page, making a living stair. The Fox Queen steps down them, descending to earth in human form.

WAN (O.S.)
After she lost her place in the Heavens, Tamamo no Mae took human form and came down to the earth in search of a treasure great enough to repay her debt to the Dragon King.
(beat)
She was first seen as the concubine of an Indian Prince.

The next illustration shows Tamamo in India, draining the life from a Maharajah.

WAN (O.S.)
(continuing)
But he began to sicken and die, for to maintain her human form and magic powers, she had to feed on his very life force.
(beat)
After she was driven out for her evil deeds, she moved East, to China.

The next illustration shows the Fox Queen in China, with the Emperor Chou Hsin in an elaborate pleasure garden.

WAN (O.S.)
(continuing)
Her next victim was Chou Hsin, Emperor of the Shang Dynasty. She manipulated him into a reign of tyranny until the people revolted and drove her out.

Magician Wan reveals the illustration of the Fox Queen dressed as a Japanese Geisha.

WAN (V.O.)
(continuing)
She then moved East again, taking Toba, the Emperor of Japan, for her plaything, until the wise men of the court exposed her for what she was.

CLOSE ON WAN

WAN
(continuing; pauses)
If all this is the case, Ping Fang, then at least remember that your father is in good company.

Wan closes the scroll.

CUT TO:


EXT. CHINATOWN STREETS - NIGHT - ON RAMBLER

Harvey trails the Fox Queen, but loses sight of her. He parks, then sets off on foot into the alleys of Chinatown.

CUT TO:


INT. MAGICIAN WAN'S FIREWORKS SHOP - NIGHT

Magician Wan and Ping are in the same places as before, but the scroll is put away. Magician Wan puffs on his pipe.

WAN
I believe she has now come East again, repeating her old pattern.
(beat)
Even the treasure houses of the Emperors of the East were insufficient to repay her debt to the Dragon King. She has come to California, hoping the riches of the New World will be enough. But it would be a fabulous sum -- a mountain of gold.

PING
This is the Mountain of Gold.

WAN
(nods sagely)
But she must be stopped at all costs. The nature of all the world's people is dictated by nature of the twelve spirit animals. If she were to repay the Dragon King, she would again take her place in the heavens. Then all the people ruled by the just and honorable nature of the dragon would become as cruel and capricious as the fox.

CUT TO:


EXT. CHINATOWN ALLEYWAYS - NIGHT

Giamona walks down the alleys. It's spooky and foggy. He rounds a corner and suddenly runs into Tamamo.

TAMAMO
Good evening, officer.

GIAMONA
(startled)
Uh... good evening, Widow Chung.
(beat)
How...

TAMAMO
The same way you knew I was the Widow Chung. I've been watching you.
(beat)
I've seen you in the parlors underground, with the sing-song girls. You've enjoyed them, but they've never been enough for you. You've always wondered what it would be like to have a woman of the royal court.

ANGLE ON TAMAMO

Her eyes blaze with a feral light, like a fox's eyes reflecting the fire, and Giamona is hypnotized. Tamamo steps forward, dropping back her hood and letting her cloak slip from her shoulders.

TAMAMO
(continuing)
Here I am.

CUT TO:


INT. MAGICIAN WAN'S FIREWORKS SHOP - NIGHT

Magician Wan and Ping are in the same places as before.

PING
What can we do to stop her?

WAN
We are not without weapons against the forces of evil.

CLOSE ON SPIRIT CHARM ON COUNTER

WAN (O.S)
(continuing)
You have discovered one already, though the Fox Queen has had your father destroy it.

He touches the charm.

WAN (O.S.)
(continuing)
There are others besides this.

BACK TO SCENE

Magician Wan bustles around behind the counter and comes up with a hand mirror. He lays it on the counter before her.

CLOSE ON MIRROR

WAN (O.S.)
(continuing)
The mirror is one.

BACK TO SCENE

WAN
(continuing)
You saw how it revealed the true form of the Fox Queen. It will do the same with any of her subjects, no matter who they disguise themselves as. And sometimes you can recognize a fox even without the mirror.

PING
(quoting)
"You can always tell a horse by its feet, or a fox by its tail."

WAN
Sometimes... not always. Not all human foxes have tails. Sometimes its just a foot, or an ear... and sometimes there's nothing at all to tell you the person is a fox. But if you look too carefully, you may not get a chance.
(beat)
The magic of a fox spirit is its eyes, and any unwary person who looks into them is caught in its spell. They become a willing slave.
(sympathetic)
This, I'm afraid, is what has happened to your father.

CUT TO:


EXT./INT. OPIUM DEN - NIGHT

A sunken stairway leads to a dilapidated wooden door plastered with Chinese handbills. MUSIC BEGINS, soft and seductive. Tamamo leads Giamona down the steps. The lock CLICKS opens at her touch.

They enter a luxurious opium den lit by candles and gas brackets. Red silk drapes the walls and forms the curtains of the huge, canopied opium bed. Tamamo shuts the door, then takes off her cloak and lays it over the back of a Victorian chair. She places one hand on the bedpost and turns back to Giamona.

MUSIC LULLS.

TAMAMO
Is this to your pleasure?

GIAMONA
Very much.

Tamamo unfastens the top two closures of her kimono, revealing the upper half of a lovely breast.

TAMAMO
And this?

GIAMONA
Even more.

Tamamo places her hands on Giamona's shoulders, then begins to unknot his tie.

TAMAMO
Good. Now let me see if all is to my pleasure, and if what they say about white devils is true...

GIAMONA
Don't worry.
(touches her)
It is.

Tamamo takes off his shirt and runs her fingers through his chest hair. She plants a kiss on his lower lip, nipping playfully.

TAMAMO
We shall see...

MUSIC SWELLS as she draws him into the opium bed and pulls the sash cord. The red silk drapery falls closed, and Giamona's shirt falls to the floor outside.

CUT TO:


INT. MAGICIAN WAN'S FIREWORKS SHOP - NIGHT

Magician Wan and Ping are still at the counter.

WAN
However, the power of a fox spirit's eyes may be turned against it, and that is why they fear the mirror.

Magician Wan suddenly whisks the mirror in front of Ping, reflecting her own startled face.

WAN
(continuing)
If faced with the truth of what they are, all spirit animals are forced to return to their natural form, in which they are most vulnerable. And if you draw blood from a shapeshifter in its true form, it may never shift the wounded part again. That's where they get the fox tails.
(pause)
But in human form, they possess terrible power.

CUT TO:


INT. OPIUM DEN - NIGHT - ON OPIUM BED

The gas brackets are turned down to the barest blue ghost flames, but the opium bed is lit up from within by candles on the headboard and cabinets. Behind the red gauze of the silk curtains, Tamamo and Giamona are already well into the act. Tamamo's silhouette on the curtains and walls is that of a fox. MUSIC SWIRLS, CAMERA CIRCLES the bed, candlelight flickers shadows, Giamona's back arches and Tamamo claws at his shoulders and they both come to orgasm.

CAMERA SLIPS IN through a gap in the curtains, ANGLING DOWN at Tamamo and Giamona. They lie together, red satin sheets covering strategic areas. Tamamo takes an opium pipe from amid the candles on the headboard and takes a hit, then passes the pipe to Giamona. Opium smoke swirls lazily in the air. SONG ENDS.

Tamamo turns to Giamona, smiling.

TAMAMO
What they say about white devils is true.

Giamona breathes out opium smoke and sets the pipe on the headboard.

GIAMONA
So's what they say about ladies of the court.

TAMAMO
(laughs)
I am not your average lady of the court.

GIAMONA
I'm not your average white devil.

Tamamo reaches under the sheet towards him.

TAMAMO
No, I suppose not.
(beat)
Is there anything else that would please you?

GIAMONA
Well, I've seen all of you but one part...

TAMAMO
My feet.

She pushes him back aggressively, then clambers atop him. The sheet slips from her, but all we see is her back as she sits down atop him, indian style, feet on his chest. They are tiny and bound.

CLOSE ON TAMAMO

TAMAMO
You appreciate the view?

CLOSE ON GIAMONA

He looks down, then back up, and smiles.

GIAMONA
Yes.

BACK TO SCENE

Giamona fondles TAMAMO'S bound foot, examining it.

GIAMONA
(continuing)
So tiny. Like a doll's foot.

CLOSE ON FOOT

Giamona's fingers slowly unwrap Tamamo's foot. At the last moment, the final wrappings fall away along with a lump of cotton padding, revealing the hind foot of a large white fox.

CLOSE ON GIAMONA

He is absolutely horrified.

CLOSE ON TAMAMO

She laughs maniacally, then leans close, leering.

TAMAMO
As I said, I am not your usual lady of the court.

BACK TO SCENE

Tamamo pounces forward onto Giamona and begins to suck out his life force with evident pleasure.

CUT TO:



INT. MAGICIAN WAN'S FIREWORKS SHOP - NIGHT

Magician Wan reaches under the counter.

WAN
They also fear the light, for shadows also reveal their true nature, but more than light, they fear its source -- fire.

Magician Wan thunks a pitch torch on the counter.

WAN
(continuing)
Fire is the fox spirits' deadliest enemy and greatest fear, for it reminds them of the Dragon King.

Magician Wan takes down a string of firecrackers and lays it on the counter as well.

WAN
(continuing)
The ears of fox spirits are as keen as real foxes, and the sound of the firecrackers causes them great pain.
(shoving arsenal towards Ping)
Here, take these, you will need them.

Ping gathers up the firecrackers, torch and mirror.

PING
My thanks, Magician Wan. A thousand gratitudes.

WAN
(dismissing it)
No need. It will be thanks enough if you keep yourself safe.

CUT TO:


INT. OPIUM DEN - NIGHT - IN OPIUM BED

Tamamo continues to suck out Giamona's life force, glowing with her own light. Giamona, however, is younger and stronger than Ah Chung, and hasn't been vampirized before. He struggles, flailing his arm and knocking over one of the large votive candles. Flame licks up the silk hangings, and the opium bed is a raging inferno in seconds.

Tamamo screams in terror at the flames and dashes out. She grabs her cloak, tossing it over her shoulders and running up the stairs. Giamona stumbles through the inferno after her, collapsing on the outside steps.

A glowing white fox disappears into the Chinatown streets.

CUT TO:


INT. MAGICIAN WAN'S FIREWORKS SHOP - NIGHT

Magician Wan is up on a chair next to his front door. He uses a penknife to remove an undamaged spirit charm from the doorframe. He hands it down to Ping.

WAN
Put this on your doorframe once you drive the Fox Queen from your house, and don't let your father take it down. I'll be by tomorrow to see if I can break the spell.

PING
But--

WAN
I'll go to the temple tomorrow and get myself a new one. You need it more than I do.
(reaches into pocket)
Here, take this. You'll need it too.

Wan flicks his lighter, then hands it to her. Ping gives him a hug and leaves the shop.

EXT. CHINATOWN STREETS - NIGHT

Harvey is running down the street, looking around. He catches sight of Tamamo, in her human form, and follows her. She disappears around a corner. When he follows he finds himself in

A DEAD-END ALLEY

Chinese posters are on the walls, and there are large puddles. The fog is heavy, and it is drizzling slightly. Harvey goes to inspect the far wall for hidden doors.

There is the sound of a SWORD UNSHEATHING and the WHISTLING OF NUNCHUKS. Harvey turns and sees SIX TONG PUNKS, armed with nunchuks, a sword, a pair of psi, a bo stick, shuriken and an iron fan. They're tough, nasty, and they mean business.

Harvey pulls out his gun, quickdraw, but the punk with the shuriken is just as fast. A throwing star flies out, slicing Harvey in the hand. His GUNSHOT goes wide, but the punks flinch at the sound. Harvey's gun falls from his limp hand. The punks advance, menacing.

ANGLE ON GROUND

Reflections in the puddles show that the punks are all really fox spirits.

ANGLE ON HARVEY

He lunges, there's a warning shuriken, but it misses and he grabs his gun anyway. He rolls, coming up and firing a SHOT. The fox spirits react as before.

The fox spirit with the iron fan comes forward, fluttering the weapon like a deadly butterfly. Harvey backs away, then just in time notices the spirit with the sword.

Harvey ducks the scything blade, rolls, comes up, and gets hit in the wrist with the nunchuks. Harvey's gun goes flying and he gets whonked upside the head with the nunchuks a few times. The fox spirits are playing with him before they move in for the kill.

FIRECRACKERS suddenly go off. The fox spirits go into agony at the sound. Ping comes onto the scene, and knows more than a bit of martial arts. She kicks butt and shoves the hand mirror in a fox spirit's face.

The fox spirit sees his own reflection and suddenly and swiftly transforms into a fox. It is not painful or gory like any of the classic werewolf transformations -- no blood or pulsating bladders or agonizing minutes trapped in a transitional form. Rather, it is a swift reversion to the spirit's true form, a large silver fox. A natural and painless dispelling of illusion, the only possible emotion of the fox spirit's face is shock.

Ping deals likewise with the other fox spirits, and silver foxes run YELPING from the alleyway. Harvey rolls over, retrieves his gun, and FIRES at the last of the fleeing foxes, nicking it in the leg.

The last fox disappears around the corner.

HARVEY
(stunned)
By the Square and the Compass... What were those?

PING (O.S.)
Hsu hsien.
(beat)
Fox spirits.

Harvey looks up.

Ping stands there, rain falling around her. She's lost her hat in the fight, and glowing with the flush of battle, she looks twice as beautiful as before.

HARVEY
It's you...

She crouches down, examining the cut on his hand.

PING
Quiet. You're hurt.
(helping him to his feet)
We must get you to a doctor.

CUT TO:


INT/EXT. MAGICIAN WAN'S FIREWORKS SHOP - NIGHT

They pull up in front of the shop and park. Ping helps Harvey from the Rambler. The lights of the shop are blazing. Ping and Harvey enter the shop where Magician Wan is awaiting them.

PING
Magician Wan! He is hurt!

WAN
Truly? I never would have known. People always come in and drip blood on my floor.
(beat)
Oh come in, come in. Let me tend to that.

Wan helps Harvey to the workbench and inspects the shuriken wound and numerous bruises.

HARVEY
Mr. Wan?

WAN
(looking up, nonplussed)
Hello, Detective Moore.

PING
(surprised)
You know each other?

WAN
Of course. Mr. Moore has quite a large set of fireworks on order for the Knights Templar. And kites and balloons and so forth.
(inspects wound)
He also called me in for that silly business at the Palace Hotel.

HARVEY
(to Ping, in explanation)
Bomb scare.

WAN
Not much of a scare. Some moron threatened to blow up the hotel, when any fool could see that he only had enough powder to take out the lobby and maybe the second story.

HARVEY
Are you a licensed physician, Mr. Wan?

Wan looks up, annoyed.

WAN
If you mean am I going to put heated cups on your chest and leeches on your earlobes, no; I leave that up to San Francisco General.
(beat)
If you're wondering if I know how to put on a bandage and keep you from getting lockjaw, yes.
(clucks tongue)
I'll need some supplies. Just a moment.

CUT TO:


INT. MAGICIAN WAN'S SUPPLY ROOM - NIGHT

A chain CLICKS and a dangling lightbulb CRACKLES to life as Magician Wan, carrying bandages, enters an old fashioned pantry crammed floor to ceiling with pickled whatsises and jars of tea leaves.

He looks through the jars and selects one, then a slim, female hand rests itself on his shoulder. He whirls, only to see a Chinese SING-SONG GIRL, dressed in the silk kimono and headdress of a high- priced courtesan.

She puts both hands on his shoulders, and her eyes blaze with the hypnotic light of the fox spirits.

SING-SONG GIRL
Do you want me?

Magician Wan pauses for a moment, expression blank.

INSERT ON LUCK PIECE

The jade begins to glow with an inner fire...

BACK TO SCENE

Annoyed, Magician Wan stares down the sing-song girl.

WAN
Not in particular. Relationships with fox spirits can be dangerous.

Magician Wan's eyes then glaze over and he drops the jar of leaves. It SHATTERS as it hits the floor, and he slumps after it, revealing FOX PUNK #1 holding the nunchuks as a blackjack.

The sing-song girl kneels down. The luck piece is no longer glowing, but the reflection in one of the jars shows her to be a fox spirit.

SING-SONG GIRL
(to Wan's body)
Idiot. If you'd accepted me, you might have at least enjoyed your death.

She lifts up her kimono, exposing her right foot. It is a fox foot, with the small red weal of a gunshot graze. She WAILS like a fox.

SING-SONG GIRL
(continuing; to self)
Oh... I'll never be able to shift it again.

Fox Punk #1 gives her one of Magician Wan's bandages and helps her bind the wound.

FOX PUNK #1 Consider it a mark of honor when you kill the man who did this to you. You'll have the same scar as our Queen.

The sing-song girl smiles.

SING-SONG GIRL
Yes...

CUT TO:


INT. MAGICIAN WAN'S FIREWORKS SHOP - NIGHT

Harvey and Ping wait at the counter, Ping holding Harvey's hand, part to stop the bleeding, part to get a little closer. They haven't admitted it to themselves, but the attraction is obvious in their eyes.

HARVEY
And that's it with fox spirits?

PING
So far as I know, yes.
(beat)
You memorize things very quickly.

Harvey looks at her and smiles.

HARVEY
I'm a Mason. Second nature.
(sighs and looks away)
But I'm having a little trouble dealing with the idea.

WAN (O.S.)
You mean you never believed in magic before?

Magician Wan, limping slightly and grinning, emerges from the back of the shop with a roll of bandages and a jar of kim chee. He sets the supplies on the counter before them.

WAN
(continuing; mischievous)
A Mason can't deal with the concept of higher forces in the universe?

HARVEY
(defensive)
Our Lodge does rituals all the time. I have no trouble believing in magic.
(beat)
I just never ran into the "bite you in the hand" variety before.

WAN
You'll find there's quite a lot of it in the world, if you just go sticking your fingers in the wrong places.
(beat)
Let me tend to that wound.

He inspects Harvey's hand.

PING
Magician Wan... what are you going to do with the kim chee?

WAN
Watch and learn, my daughter.

Magician Wan unscrews the lid of the jar, taking out a large piece of pickled cabbage. He places it on the wound and Harvey winces in pain. Magician Wan begins to unwind bandages.

WAN
(continuing)
Now, tell me how this happened.

HARVEY
They ambushed me. Fox spirits.

WAN
(clucks tongue)
Such wicked and deceitful creatures.
(beat)
Of course things like this wouldn't happen if you would mind your own business.

Ping gasps.

PING'S POV - CLOSE ON MAGICIAN WAN'S FOOT

The foot poking out from under Magician Wan's robe is that of a fox tied round with a blood-stained bandage.

BACK TO SCENE

Magician Wan leers at Ping and Harvey.

PING
He's one of them!

Suddenly, the other four fox spirit punks come out of the shadows of the shop. Harvey shoves the counter at Magician Wan/Fox Punk #6. It overturns and the jar of kim chee SHATTERS. Harvey grabs out his GUN and blows away the fake magician.

He dies and metamorphoses into a dead fox.

INSERT ON LIGHT SWITCH

A fox spirit's hand flicks it off.

BACK TO SCENE

BLACKOUT. There's BANGING AND GUNSHOTS, along with some muzzleflash. GLASS SHATTERING and the CRASH of a shelf overturning.

The lights come back on. Gilt hell money and other paper sacrifices flutter to the ground. One of the display shelves has been knocked over.

There's only Harvey and Ping left.

HARVEY
Let's get out of here!

He grabs Ping's hand and pulls her out of the shop, but the reflection in the windows of the front door reveals that this Ping is really a fox spirit.

CUT TO:

EXT. CHINATOWN ROOFTOPS - NIGHT

Fox punks #3, 4 & 5 carry a struggling, bound and gagged Ping out the rear window of Magician Wan's shop and up the fire escape, YIPPING back and forth like a pack of foxes. They carry her off across the rooftops.

CUT TO:

EXT. MAGICIAN WAN'S FIREWORKS SHOP - NIGHT

Ping (the fox spirit) and Harvey (the real one) catch their breath outside the shop.

There's a HONK from the Rambler, where Giamona is waiting.

GIAMONA
Over here! Quick!

Ping and Harvey clamber into the car.

GIAMONA
(continuing)
What in the hell's going on?

PING (FOX PUNK #1)
Fox spirits.

Giamona and Ping exchange grins behind Harvey's back as he looks in terror at the empty shop. ANGLE ON rearview mirror reveals two grinning foxes.

The fake Giamona slams on the gas, screeching the Rambler into reverse and hitting a stack of old crates.

HARVEY
Did you forget how to drive?

GIAMONA (FOX PUNK #2)
(grinning)
Not really!

ANGLE ON RAMBLER

as Giamona (Fox Punk #2) drives off at high speed, careening down Jackson Street, narrowly missing lampposts, garbage, etc.

INT. MAGICIAN WAN'S SUPPLY ROOM - NIGHT

Magician Wan's corpse stirs, then sits up.

WAN
Ah, my old friend Han Wu, you've lost another bet -- I told you my stint with the Peking Opera would eventually come in useful.

He grabs his luck piece and holds it up to look at it. There's a slight crack in the jade which he traces with one finger.

WAN
(continuing)
And you, my pretty. Took a crack yourself instead of letting me take it. Thank you.

Magician Wan loudly kisses the jade, then drops it back around his neck and gets up. He giggles and goes out into the main room of his shop and surveys the damage.

There's a dead silver fox on the floor. He kicks it.

WAN
(continuing)
Stupid fox spirits.

INT. LI FANG'S PARLOR - NIGHT - PING'S POV

Tamamo (dressed now) and Li Fang sit on the green velvet sofa, intimately. Fox punks #3, 4 & 5 dump Ping, bound and gagged, on the floor before them.

FOX PUNK #3
We found her.

FOX PUNK #4
We also found this.

He thunks the mirror, the torch and the spirit charm on the coffee table, but not Magician Wan's Ronson.

Tamamo prods the pile with her rebound foot.

TAMAMO
Have this rubbish removed.
(beat)
And her gag as well. Then leave us.

The fox punks bow and do as she says.

PING
(gasping)
Father!

FANG
Silence, ungrateful child!

Li Fang stands, looming over her.

FANG
(continuing)
Is this how you repay me? Lies and treachery? Stealing one of my suits and sneaking off into the night?
(beat)
The City is a dangerous place! You could have been killed, or worse!
(concerned)
It is a lucky thing that Aunt Chung discovered your disappearance and had her servants fetch you.

PING
She is a fox spirit.

Li Fang backhands her across the mouth, knocking her back onto the carpet.

FANG
Silence! I will not have you talk that way of the woman I intend to marry!

He leans over to Tamamo and kisses her. A spark passes between them as life force is drawn out.

PING
Father!

Li Fang turns back to Ping, woozy.

FANG
You have been too long without a mother, Ping. I have neglected your proper upbringing.
(to Tamamo)
I am very tired, my dear. Could you see to my daughter?

TAMAMO
Certainly, my intended.

PING
No!

FANG
(to Ping)
Hush, child. Aunt Chung will teach you much.

Li Fang leaves, and Tamamo leans towards Ping, leering.

TAMAMO
Indeed.

EXT. CHINATOWN STREETS (1906) - NIGHT

Giamona (the fox spirit) drives the Rambler like a maniac, Harvey (the real one) and Ping (the fox spirit) holding on for dear life.

The come around a corner. The street is lit up by the flames shooting out of the cellar entrance of the burning opium den. In the middle of the street lies the real Giamona, naked.

HARVEY
Stop the car!

GIAMONA (FOX PUNK #2)
Okay!

Giamona runs the Rambler into a stack of old crates.

Not questioning this, Harvey jumps out of the car and runs to the real Giamona, who looks up, smoke-smeared, bloody, and near dead.

HARVEY
Giamona...?

GIAMONA
(hacking)
What Harvey, don't recognize your own partner?

HARVEY'S POV - THE RAMBLER

The fake Giamona and Ping stand there, looking at him.

HARVEY'S POV - GIAMONA

Giamona clutches Harvey's pant-leg.

GIAMONA
Widow Chung... she... a fox...

There is sudden INHUMAN LAUGHTER.

HARVEY'S POV - THE RAMBLER

Giamona (Fox Punk #2) LAUGHS and reverts back to a fox, running off into the streets.

Ping (Fox Punk #1) looks on in horror, then runs to Harvey.

PING (FOX PUNK #1)
He was a fox spirit!

Harvey leans down to the dying Giamona.

GIAMONA
Widow Chung...

Giamona slumps flat on the road. Harvey checks his pulse, then looks up to Ping in horror, tears running down his face.

HARVEY
He's dead...

Harvey embraces Ping.

HARVEY
(continuing)
Giamona... He saved my life once...

PING (FOX PUNK #1)
Hush...

She comforts him, then backs off, looking at him seductively.

PING (FOX PUNK #1)
(continuing) You've wanted me, haven't you?

Her eyes sparkle with the light of the fox spirits, but Harvey is too grief-stricken to be caught. Ping then throws her arms around him and plants a passionate kiss. She backs off, laughing, and turns into a fox.

The fox runs down the street, then turns back and looks to Harvey.

FOX (FOX PUNK #1)
You've been tricked, white man. We're everywhere... and we have Ping.

Harvey raises his gun and takes a SHOT at the fox, but it runs and he misses.

INT. SAN FRANCISCO POLICE PRECINCT HOUSE (1906) - NIGHT

It looks like there's just been a battle. There are throwing stars imbedded in desks and support posts at random, miscellaneous objects broken or spilled, and a large shattered mirror on the wall. SIX DETECTIVES are cleaning up. DETECTIVE #3 looks Rumanian.

CAPTAIN KEILY, a large florid Irishman, stands in the door of his office, sipping coffee. Harvey bursts in the door, his hand rudely bandaged.

HARVEY
Giamona's dead!

Every detective takes out his gun and levels it at Harvey. Catches CLICK everywhere.

Harvey stops and raises his hands slowly in the air. Captain Keily steps forward.

CAPTAIN KEILY
Probably you that killed him, Moore.

HARVEY
What are you talking about?

CAPTAIN KEILY
Oh, come off it. You came through here not half an hour ago hacking up the place with a sword. Near took off my head. What is it, Moore? Opium devils after you?

HARVEY
No, fox spirits.

CAPTAIN KEILY
You're looped.

Captain Keily begins to gesture with his gun.

WAN (O.S.)
Unfortunately, he's also right.

ANGLE ON MAGICIAN WAN

He stands in the doorway with a string of firecrackers in his hand, looking annoyed.

WAN
(continuing)
If I may demonstrate...

Wan searches around in his pockets.

WAN
(continuing)
Drat, I lent it to Ping. Oh well...

He snaps his fingers and a flame appears. He lights the firecrackers and tosses them on the floor.

DETECTIVE #6
(alarmed)
It's a trick!

Just then the first FIRECRACKER goes off, followed by the rest of the string. Detective #6 goes into agony, dropping his gun and clutching his ears.

Harvey grabs Detective #6 by the collar and shoves him face to face with the shattered mirror, forcing him to see his reflection.

INSERT ON MIRROR

A kaleidoscope of fox faces, shrinking in perspective as the fox spirit reverts to its natural size and form.

BACK TO SCENE

A silver fox drops to the floor and runs.

HARVEY
Shoot it! Quick!

The detectives, badly shaken by this encounter with the supernatural, empty all the ROUNDS in their revolvers into the fleeing fox.

When the last SHOT dies down, all that is left of the fox spirit is a few scraps of fur and gobbets of meat. Magician Wan steps forward and nudges the bloody spot with his toe.

WAN
I believe it is quite dead.

CAPTAIN KEILY
What was it?

HARVEY
What I said -- a fox spirit.

WAN
(nodding)
A shapeshifting goblin. Very powerful, very dangerous.

HARVEY
(to Detectives)
Get your guns, boys. We're going on a fox hunt.

CAPTAIN KEILY
Are you crazy, Moore? I can't just tell the chief that I'm taking the men out to go hunt Chinese bogies!

HARVEY
Of course not. You'll tell him we're conducting a raid on a notorious opium dealer who's holding the Mayor of Chinatown captive in his own house.
(pauses, reflective)
The Mayor of Chinatown, and his daughter too.

INT. FANG'S JEWELRY/PING'S BEDROOM - NIGHT - ON PING

Ping is done up like a Chinese doll, gold and jade pins in her hair, make-up on her face, elaborate robes, etc. She's also tied to a chair.

CAMERA BACKS OFF to reveal two handmaidens, both of whom have the heads of foxes and furry paws, but are human-sized and dressed as humans. They tend to her, straightening her robes and applying the last of her make-up. Behind her is the dressing table mirror.

TAMAMO (O.S.)
You look lovely, my dear.

CAMERA SWINGS to reveal Tamamo, dressed in robes and coiffure to put Ping's elaborate costume to shame, a simple silver fox stole thrown about her shoulders. She strokes it idly, fanning herself with an ornate ivory fan.

TAMAMO
(continuing; beat)
Such a nice change from that dreadful suit... but then, of course, your father would want you properly dressed for his wedding.

CLOSE ON PING

PING
I know what you are...

TAMAMO - OVER THE SHOULDER - ON PING AND MIRROR

Tamamo sits down on the foot of the bed. The angle is such that Tamamo's fox reflection is clearly visible in the vanity mirror behind Ping.

TAMAMO
Truly?

The fox reflection lip-syncs with Tamamo.

PING
Yes. And I know exactly what you're after.

TAMAMO
How interesting.

REVERSE ANGLE - ON TAMAMO

She pauses in fanning herself and cocks her head.

TAMAMO
(continuing; beat)
Now's the time for you to tell me I'll never get away with it.

Ping glares at her in stony silence.

Tamamo gets up and paces, SNAPPING the fan shut.

TAMAMO
(continuing)
Don't be foolish, Ping. I was young and foolish once myself, and I am still paying the price.

PING
(venomously)
Care for a game of chess?

Tamamo looks at her in shock and anger.

TAMAMO
(measured)
No.
(beat)
I find it no longer agrees with me.

PING
Coward.

Tamamo grabs Ping by the chin, making her meet her eyes and pinching her lips together.

TAMAMO
Do not seek to anger me, Ping. I am far wiser than you, and you have nothing which I do not already possess. And let me give you a bit of advice: Never play a game unless you are willing to lose what you put up as stakes.

Tamamo releases her, stalking away.

TAMAMO
(continuing; to handmaidens)
Untie her, but stand guard. She is talented with her hands and feet, from what I understand.

The handmaidens begin to untie Ping. Tamamo opens the door and pauses on her way out.

TAMAMO
(continuing; to Ping)
I must now go see to your father. He is so looking forward to the wedding.
(beat)
As am I.

Tamamo leaves.

EXT. DUPONT AND JACKSON (1906) - NIGHT

Kitty-corner to Fang's shop are Magician Wan, Harvey, Captain Keily, and Detectives #1, 2, 3, 4 & 5. The Rambler and another police car are parked nearby. Magician Wan looks at the detectives, lined up in military fashion.

WAN
You all remember what I told you about fox spirits?

They all nod. Harvey, watching, takes out a new pack of gum and pops a stick in his mouth.

WAN
(continuing)
Good. Now--

Magician Wan breaks off, staring at Detective #3.

WAN
(continuing)
Just what is this?

Magician Wan pulls open Detective #3's jacket, revealing a necklace of garlic cloves, a hammer and stake, a crucifix, and a penny- dreadful edition of Bram Stoker's Dracula.

DETECTIVE #3
(defensively)
I'm a good Catholic.

WAN
And I'm a lapsed Buddhist. Do you think that makes any difference?

Magician Wan dismisses it and reviews his team again.

WAN
(continuing)
Now, does everyone know his assignment?

They all nod.

HARVEY
Good.

WAN
Tallyho!

INT. PING'S BEDROOM - NIGHT - ON PING

Ping looks at the two fox spirit handmaidens who stand guard. One is by the window, the other by the door. Ping goes to where the discarded suit lies on the floor, picking it up carefully.

PING
(loudly; to fox spirits)
I'd best fold this. My father would want it sent to the laundry.

CLOSE ON PING'S HAND

She slips Magician Wan's Ronson out of the pocket.

BACK TO SCENE

Ping sets the suit on a dresser, then goes back to the vanity.

PING
(loudly)
I should now attend to my make-up. I should look my best for my father's wedding.

Ping gets a red grease pencil.

CLOSE ON RONSON

Ping takes the grease pencil and sketches a phoenix and a few Chinese characters on the side.

BACK TO SCENE

Ping stands up, flicking the lighter violently at the handmaidens. They flinch back, but then realize that all she has is a perfectly ordinary small flame.

Ping flicks the lighter futilely at them as the fox spirits advance.

PING
Oh, of all the times...

Just then there is a loud CRASH and a THUD as a huge brick of lit firecrackers flies through the window and lands on the floor between them. The FUSES SPUTTER, then the FIRECRACKERS go off.

The fox spirits go into agony, then Harvey comes in through the window, followed by Magician Wan.

PING
Harvey!

Harvey immediately shoves a hand mirror in her face. Magician Wan slaps at his arm.

WAN
Those are the fox spirits!

Magician Wan points to the two agonized handmaidens. Ping goes and karate chops both into unconsciousness.

PING
We must find my father!

They go out the door.

MONTAGE - DETECTIVES AND FOX SPIRITS CLASH

A) Detectives shoot fox spirits

B) Ping uses martial arts on fox spirits

C) Fox spirits have mirrors shoved in their faces and turn back into foxes

D) Fox spirits impersonate detectives

E) Fox spirits use martial arts

F) Detective #3 stakes down fox spirit

INT. LI FANG'S PARLOR - NIGHT

Ping, Harvey and Magician Wan burst through the door and find Li Fang sitting on the sofa, drinking tea. Magician Wan shoves a hand mirror in his face.

Li Fang looks in the mirror.

FANG
It is a mirror. What is the meaning of this intrusion?

WAN
This!

Magician Wan blackjacks him with the mirror.

PING
Father!

WAN
(to Ping)
Well you didn't think he was going to go with us willingly, did you?

Harvey grabs the unconscious Li Fang, but it's obvious as they leave the room and step out onto the landing that the tide of battle has turned.

Tamamo is at the top of the stairs above them, surrounded by a pack of fox spirits on the upper landing.

TAMAMO
After them!

TAMAMO'S POV - HARVEY, WAN & PING

as they beat a hasty exit down the stairs for the front door.

REVERSE ANGLE - ON TAMAMO

as she waves her hands in mystic gestures, weaving traceries of light. She places her hands on the banisters and twin bolts of magical energy ARC down.

TAMAMO'S POV - HARVEY, WAN & PING - OVER THE SHOULDER - ON FRONT DOOR

Harvey, Magician Wan and Ping rush down the stairs for the front door, carrying Li Fang. The Fox Queen's magic ARCS along the walls on both sides of them, passing them, until it reaches the front doors and slams them shut. Mystic electricity CRACKLES and forms into Chinese characters, a magic seal.

CLOSE ON MAGICIAN WAN'S HANDS

as he magically lights a cherry bomb.

BACK TO SCENE

Wan hurls the cherry bomb at the door. The EXPLOSION SHATTERS the magic seal and blows the doors open.

EXT. DUPONT AND JACKSON (1906) - NIGHT

They run out, carrying Li Fang across the street, dodging streetcars and horses. They climb into the Rambler, Harvey driving, the unconscious Li Fang shotgun, Ping passenger's rear, and Magician Wan driver's rear.

WAN
(to Harvey)
Peel out! Or peel up! Or whatever it is you do with these!

Harvey does this, swinging a U-turn. The Rambler SCREECHES down Dupont.

CUT TO:


EXT. FANG'S JEWELRY - NIGHT

Tamamo and Fox Punks #1, 2 & 3 come out of the house.

TAMAMO
(shaking her fist)
Curse you, Ping Fang!

to Fox Punks)
After them!

They fire up the Model K and PEEL OUT, narrowly missing a horse- drawn streetcar. Fox Punk #2 in the driver's seat, Tamamo shotgun, #1 & 3 in the back.

TAMAMO
(to Fox Punk #2)
Don't you know how to drive?

FOX PUNK #2
Not really!


EXT. DUPONT AND CALIFORNIA STREETS (1906) - NIGHT

CHASE MUSIC BEGINS as we go through the grand old San Francisco car chase. However, this is 1906, and while there are the usual hills and cable cars, there are also carriages, horses, and horse-drawn streetcars to avoid.

Harvey drives down Dupont four blocks, SCREECHING a right turn up California Street and entering the Nob Hill district. The Model K follows.

ANGLE ON MODEL K - TRAVELING

Tamamo waves a magical gesture and throws a whammy.

CUT TO:


INT. MASON POWELL TROLLEY - CLOSE ON BRAKES

as they crackle with magic and jerk out of the conductor's hands.

CLOSE ON CONDUCTOR

He is terrified. The brakes won't go back!

EXT. MASON AND CALIFORNIA (1906) - ON TROLLEY

The cable car hurtles out of control down the hill!

ANGLE ON RAMBLER

as Harvey swerves right. The Rambler skids, narrowly avoiding collision with the cable car.

ANGLE ON RAMBLER - TRAVELING

The Rambler flies up Mason and clips the rear wheel of a carriage.

ANGLE ON CARRIAGE

Horses rear and SCREAM! The driver struggles for control, lashing a buggy whip.

ANGLE ON MODEL K - TRAVELING

Despite Fox Punk #2's idiot driving, the Fox Queen's pack manages to gain as the chase turns down Mason. Tamamo grins in pleasure.

CUT TO:


THE RAMBLER - TIGHT ON WAN AND PING - TRAVELING

Magician Wan and Ping sit backwards in the back seat, watching their pursuit.

WAN
So she's using magic. Well, two can play at that game.


Magician Wan searches his pockets, then Ping hands him the Ronson.

PING
It didn't--

WAN
Work. I know. You smudged the last character.


Magician Wan does something to the lighter, then flicks it in the direction of the Model K.

WAN
(continuing)
This is how you do it properly.


CLOSE ON LIGHTER

Fire erupts from the Ronson, rising up into a hawk-sized flaming Chinese phoenix.

TWO SHOT - ON WAN AND PING - TRAVELING

Magician Wan hands the lighter to Ping. She flicks it twice more and gets two more flaming phoenixes.

CAMERA FOLLOWS the phoenixes, FLYING ABOVE as the firebirds wing their way toward the Model K, harrying it.

Fox Punk #1 gets out a crossbow, shooting one. The phoenix falls to the ground and shatters into a shower of sparks. Fox Punk #3 takes out a second phoenix with a shuriken, while the last crash lands on the hood of the Model K.

EXT. FAIRMONT HOTEL (1906) - NIGHT - ON MODEL K - TRAVELING

Fox Punk #2 panics, swerving towards the white marble facade of the Fairmont Hotel. Tamamo grabs the wheel, pulling away, and the Model K crashes through a sign proclaiming, "The Fairmont. San Francisco's Finest Hotel. Opening Soon!"

Fox Punk #2 backs out of the wreckage, knocking the phoenix off the hood.

CLOSE ON TAMAMO

TAMAMO
After them!
(to self; beat)
Rotten little Taoist magician.

ANGLE ON MODEL K - TRAVELING

Tamamo leans out the window and throws a mystic whammy.

CUT TO:


EXT. MASON STREET (1906) - NIGHT - ON RAMBLER - TRAVELING

Tamamo's spell hits the car. The Rambler COUGHS and WHEEZES, starting to stall.

WAN
(to Harvey)
Where's the gas tank?

Harvey points. Magician Wan opens the gas cap as the Model K gains on them. He pulls out a hip flask and pours the contents into the tank. Clouds of sulfurous smoke and sparks fly out of the exhaust pipe, and the Rambler jumps forward like a stung horse.

ANGLE ON MODEL K - TRAVELING

Fox Punk #2, however, is driving like an absolute maniac. The Model K pulls up alongside the Rambler as they course down Mason towards the bay.

HARVEY'S POV - TAMAMO - TRAVELING

She's only a few feet away, looking out the window of the Model K. She grins.

REVERSE POV - ON HARVEY - TRAVELING

HARVEY
You killed him, you witch...

Harvey slams left, ramming the Model K.

INT. MODEL K - NIGHT - TRAVELING - CLOSE ON FOX PUNK #2

as he slams the Rambler back.

INSERT ON WHEELS OF RAMBLER AND MODEL K

Sparks fly and metal SCREAMS as the wheels touch.

EXT. RAMBLER - NIGHT - ON MAGICIAN WAN - TRAVELING

as he pulls out a Roman candle and lights it magically.

ANGLE ON MODEL K - TRAVELING

The Roman candle blasts Fox Punk #3!

CLOSE ON TAMAMO - TRAVELING

Her eyes blaze with fox light.

TAMAMO
Li Fang! Help me...

ANGLE ON LI FANG - TRAVELING

He wakes, then climbs into the back seat and wrestles with Magician Wan, shoving him to the floor. The Roman candle falls to the street between the cars.

FANG
Tamamo!

He stands up and Fox Punks #1 and 3 grab him, pulling him into the Model K.

ANGLE ON PING - TRAVELING

At the last moment, she grabs her father's queue. Li Fang is stretched, tug of war, between the Rambler and the Model K!

FANG
Let go of me, ungrateful daughter!

PING
Not for the world...

Tamamo laughs.

TAMAMO
(to Ping)
Let go, Ping, or you may not have a father left!

HARVEY
Bitch...

Harvey pulls out his gun, left handed, and points it, point blank, at Tamamo.

ANGLE ON TAMAMO - TRAVELING

Her head distends into a fox muzzle and she chomps down on Harvey's wrist. Harvey screams and the GUNSHOT goes wild, SHATTERING the front window of the Model K. The noise shocks Tamamo into letting go.

ANGLE ON HARVEY - TRAVELING

He drops the gun and pulls his arm back.

ANGLE ON CARS - TRAVELING

The Rambler swerves wildly, pulled further from the Model K. Li Fang is suspended head to feet between the two cars!

LONG SHOT - HARVEY'S POV - LAMP POST - TRAVELING

There's a lamp post, straight ahead, right between where the two cars are heading. A few more seconds of this, and Li Fang will be decapitated.

HARVEY
Ping!

CLOSE ON PING - TRAVELING

She turns and looks. Horror spreads across her face as she realizes that the only way to save her father's life is to let go right now.

Ping lets go.

RUN-BY SHOT - ANGLE DOWN - ON LAMP POST

as the two cars WHIZ by on either side. Li Fang is pulled into the Model K in the nick of time. The end of his queue whips the lamp post and the metal RINGS.

ANGLE ON MODEL K - TRAVELING

Tamamo leans out the window, her head human again.

TAMAMO
Keep the girl! We have what we want!

The Model K swings a U-turn back up Mason.

ANGLE ON RAMBLER - TRAVELING

Harvey turns the car around and the chase goes in reverse up Nob Hill.

WAN
(to Ping and Harvey)
I'll buy you some time. Grab your father if you can.
(to Tamamo; beat)
Horse to General's 3, Tamamo no Mae! Horse takes Chariot! Checkmate!

CUT TO:


INT. MODEL K - NIGHT - CLOSE ON TAMAMO - TRAVELING

She is seething.

TAMAMO
How did he know that move? How dare he?
(to Fox Punk #2)
Turn us around. I have a score to settle.

CHASE MUSIC ENDS

EXT. FLOOD MANSION (1906) - NIGHT - ON MODEL K

The Flood Mansion is an elegant brownstone directly opposite the Fairmont. It's now the Pacific-Union Club, but otherwise unchanged since 1906.

Fox Punk #2 brakes and SKIDS OUT, stopping in a perfect 180 turn. The Model K is at the far left edge of the mansion's balustrade, almost on California Street, engine revving, ready. Tamamo leans out the window.

TAMAMO
(continuing; to Wan)
I accept your challenge, magician!

CUT TO:


THE RAMBLER

as it stops at the far right edge of the Flood Mansion. Magician Wan stands up, leaning on the seat.

WAN
And the winner shall name his prize!

CUT TO:


THE MODEL K - ON TAMAMO

She gestures and a naginata -- a Japanese woman's war spear -- of solid moonlight forms in her hand. Begin CONFRONTATION THEME.

CUT TO:


THE RAMBLER - ON MAGICIAN WAN

Magician Wan lights a large handful of fireworks, bound together in the form of a horse. Harvey starts moving forward again, slowly, but gaining speed.

The FIREWORKS GO OFF and the flames weave together to become a full size Mongolian pony made from fire and crimson sparks, running alongside the Rambler. Wan gets astride and the Rambler veers away, going O.S.

Magician Wan lights another Roman candle. The flame solidifies into a Mongol war spear.

EXT. FLOOD MANSION (1906) - NIGHT - WIDE ANGLE - ON PONY AND MODEL K

Pony and Model K charge, Magician Wan and Tamamo shouting AD LIB WAR CRIES.

Like knights in a tourney, they just barely miss each other. Magician Wan's spear SKITTERS across the side of the Model K, leaving a flaming streak.

ANGLE ON MAGICIAN WAN

as he SHOUTS to the war pony. It rears and SCREAMS, turning. DOLLY SHOT under flaming hooves, background changing from the brown and black of the Flood Mansion to night sky to the white marble of the Fairmont.

CUT TO:


THE MODEL K

as it SKIDS OUT, coming back around, facing Wan, Tamamo's naginata gleaming, Fairmont in background.

CUT TO:


MAGICIAN WAN

as his pony comes back to rest with a CLATTER OF HOOVES. It PAWS THE GROUND, hooves striking sparks.

EXT. FAIRMONT HOTEL (1906) - NIGHT - WIDE ANGLE - ON PONY AND MODEL K

Magician Wan and the Fox Queen face off again, he at the right of the hotel's facade, she at the left. The mystic war pony paws the ground, and the tires of the Model K SQUEAL, pedal and brake to the floor.

Spear and naginata lower and they charge, Tamamo and Wan shouting WAR CRIES, HOOVES AND TIRES SCREAMING!

At the last moment, Magician Wan angles his spear down and impales the engine block of the Model K.

CUT TO:


TIGHT ON MODEL K

The hood EXPLODES in flames!

CUT TO:


CLOSE ON MAGICIAN WAN

He is skewered on the naginata and knocked off his horse! The pony vanishes in a cloud of sparks!

End CONFRONTATION THEME.

CUT TO:


ANGLE ON MODEL K

Tamamo, Li Fang and the Fox Punks scramble out of the flaming car. Magician Wan falls to the street and goes up in a BURST of flame.

INSERT ON STREET

Magician Wan's jade luck piece CLATTERS to the cobbles, broken into three pieces.

CUT TO:


THE RAMBLER - ON PING

She stands in the front seat, gripping the dashboard in horror.

PING
Magician Wan!

Harvey GUNS the Rambler, going by the Model K in a fast pass.

HARVEY
Quick!

There's a flash of clutching hands. Tamamo and Fox Punks 1 & 2 try to snatch Ping, but Harvey grabs her around the waist and pulls her back in. TIRES SQUEAL.

At the last moment, Ping grabs both her father's queue and Tamamo's stole. She pulls both into the back seat.

CUT TO:


TAMAMO

She stands there in shock.

TAMAMO
My stole!

CUT TO:


INT. RAMBLER - NIGHT - ANGLE DOWN AT LI FANG

He looks at Ping and laughs.

FANG
Tricked again!

He turns into a fox and jumps out of the car.

Ping cries out in anguish.

PING
(to Harvey)
Turn us around! I will kill her!

Harvey guns the car down the hill.

HARVEY
Later.

He grabs Ping by the queue and jerks her down in her seat.

HARVEY
(continuing)
She's only won the opening gambit; she hasn't won the game.

INT. MAGICIAN WAN'S FIREWORKS SHOP - NIGHT

Harvey and Ping enter, Ping wearing the stole. She flips the switch and the electric bulb CRACKLES to life. The shop is empty. It is also still a shambles.

Ping starts to step forward, but Harvey puts out an arm and holds her back.

HARVEY
Wait a second -- safety first.

Harvey takes out his gun and COCKS it, stepping carefully into the room. With his free hand, he takes a string of firecrackers from a display and steps back to Ping.

Ping takes out the Ronson and FLICKS it.

CLOSE ON RONSON

The flame CATCHES. Ping holds it to the firecrackers. The fuse HISSES to life.

BACK TO SCENE

With a flick of his wrist, Harvey tosses the firecrackers into the center of the room. They LAND on the floorboards, SPUTTERING wickedly, then GO OFF.

Bits of paper fall to the floor and the NOISE DIES AWAY. Harvey and Ping exchange glances.

Harvey bars the door behind them while Ping locks it.

HARVEY
You got those things?

PING
Right here.

Ping takes out a sheaf of spirit charms and fans them.

HARVEY
Thank God for joss houses.

Harvey takes one of the slips of paper, then reaches into his mouth and takes out the wad of chewing gum. He uses the gum to stick the spirit charm to the door frame, THUMPING it into place with his fist.

Ping runs to the back counter and starts digging through Magician Wan's library.

PING
We should have gotten a priest.

HARVEY
I wouldn't trust a priest ten feet.
(glances around)
Those fox spirits are everywhere.

He CLICKS on the safety and holsters his gun, then goes and looks over Ping's shoulder. She's taken out the scrolls Wan showed earlier and is poring over them.

PING
I don't know what we're going to find here. Wan told us everything he knew about the Fox Queen.

HARVEY
Does she have any enemies?

Ping rifles through the scrolls, then pauses, carefully pulling one out and placing it atop the pile.

PING
(smiling)
Yes...

INSERT ON SCROLL

The ancient silk shows a full page illustration of the Dragon King, both in his human and animal form. In one hand he holds the magic conch shell horn. Chinese characters run down one side of the scroll.

BACK TO SCENE

Ping traces the legend with her finger.

PING
(continuing)
From what it says, the Fox Queen must gather an almost unheard of amount of wealth to pay off her debt to the Dragon King. Cash. And she must pay it all off at once, in full.

HARVEY
No instalment payments?

PING
(shakes head)
No. But at least the Dragon King doesn't charge interest. It's a gambling debt, and he holds her place in the heavens as marker.
(studies scroll)
Once Tamamo has gathered the wealth she owes the Dragon King, she must wind the conch shell horn he gave her. But not before, or he will be very angry.
(beat)
The wealth may not be stolen, but she may accept it as presents from admirers. Or as a rightful loan from her spouse.

HARVEY
Which explains why she went after your father.

PING
(nodding)
Yes. But she would need a great deal more than my father possesses.

HARVEY
Fang's head of the Six Companies.

Ping shakes her head sadly.

PING
White man, you have much to learn of Chinatown.
(beat)
The Six Companies may be wealthy, but they are not that powerful. And my father, no matter how rich, is only one jeweler.
(pause)
Follow me.

Harvey follows her up the back staircase. Ping flicks on an electric light, revealing

MAGICIAN WAN'S WORKSHOP

The upstairs of the old store is hollow with a vaulted ceiling done all in skylights, a Victorian glass hall the envy of any mad inventor. Long tables laid out with fireworks supplies are strewn at random, kites are under construction, and some things that would only be envisioned by Leonardo Da Vinci after a trip to Cathay.

At one end, fully inflated, is a small Turn-of-the-Century hot air balloon, basket straining at anchor ropes tied to rings set in the floor. The silk of the balloon is blue, picked out with a huge "Eye in the Pyramid" in gold and a giant red and silver Maltese Cross on top. It's the balloon Harvey ordered for the Convocation.

Attached to the basket are numerous complicated Chinese kites in the form of Masonic symbols, presently folded up. They're covered with Roman candles, pinwheels and bottle rockets, designed to be lit while in flight.

Harvey pauses, awe-struck.

HARVEY
This is amazing...

PING
(softly)
As they say in the Barbary Coast: "Boy, you ain't seen nothin' yet."

She leads the way to one of the workbenches, then kneels down before the antique safe underneath. Quickly, Ping dials the combination and flips the handle, throwing it open. It is filled with fireworks.

PING
(continuing)
Wan's special fireworks...
(digs through them)
The Fox Queen fears the Dragon King. Well, that's what we're going to give her.

Ping finds a heavily embroidered silk drawstring bag. She carefully opens it and takes out the contents for Harvey to see: a miniature dragon woven of ladyfinger firecrackers and sparklers. It seems almost alive.

HARVEY
Like the horse?

PING
(nodding)
Exactly. Wan made these with Hong Tien Lei, the fire-powder of Master Chang. Once lit, the flames take on the form of the animal.
(beat)
It wouldn't fool a magician, but with luck the Fox Queen is frightened enough by the Dragon King that she won't know the difference between a real dragon and a fake.

Ping kisses the firecracker dragon on the nose, then slips it back into its bag and pulls the strings tight.

INT. FAIRMONT HOTEL/NOB HILL SUITE (1906) - NIGHT

This is the finest suite in the Fairmont. Turn-of-the-Century opulence. Li Fang sits in a chair to one side. Tamamo is berating Fox Punks #1, 2 & 3. No one has had time to change, and all look worse for the wear.

TAMAMO
(to the ceiling)
Amateurs! I am working with complete amateurs!

FOX PUNK #2
But my Queen -- you taught us everything you know.

TAMAMO
(rounding on him)
What?
(beat)
You let a mere snip of a girl steal my stole, then you tell me I taught you ineptness and idiocy?

Fox Punk #2 grins.

TAMAMO
(continuing; shoves Fox Punk #2)
Idiot!
(dismissing it)
Never mind the stole. Ping's not enough of a magician to recognize it for what it is, and she'd need a consecrated knife to do any damage anyway.
(beat)
Just get Fang presentable. We can have a wedding later. It doesn't matter yet.

Fang stands up halfway.

FANG
My darling Tamamo -- we're not to be married?

She comes over to him as the Fox Punks start stripping off his jacket and shirt, yipping AD LIB fox talk back and forth.

TAMAMO
Do not worry, my sweet. We will be married soon enough.
(beat)
But you must tell the gentlemen you are to introduce me to that we are already wed. Otherwise --
(flutters eyelashes)
-- they might ask to be invited to the wedding, and that could postpone it even further.
(leans close)
Kiss me.

TIGHT ON TWO SHOT

They kiss, and a spark of life force drains out of Fang. He staggers, but Tamamo looks refreshed.

TAMAMO
(continuing)
That was delicious. Thank you, Li Fang.

She takes out a silver pocket watch and glances at it.

TAMAMO
(continuing; to self)
How I regret the loss of my handmaidens. Ah well, we shall just have to make do.

ANGLE ON TAMAMO

With a whirl of foxfire, Tamamo gets the five second make over, magic and illusion retouching her makeup and removing the stains of battle from her costume.

She smiles and pockets the watch.

FOX PUNK #1 (O.S.)
He is ready, my Queen.

Tamamo turns. Apart from being blackjacked, beaten, spellbound and vampirized, Li Fang looks remarkably presentable in the clean new suit and Chinese cap.

The Fox Punks don't look quite so reputable.

TAMAMO
(to Fox Punks)
Make yourselves presentable. We're going to the Bohemian Club.

ANGLE ON FOX PUNKS

Foxfire sparks and Fox Punk #2 changes into a handsome anglo college student in a Stanford sweater, while #1 & 3 become two very proper -- though seductive -- society debs, parasols and all.

TAMAMO
(continuing; smiling)
I believe we are now ready for the ball.

She links arms with Li Fang and they proceed to the door, Fox Punks in their wake.

TAMAMO
(continuing)
I understand that when you visit the Golden Mountain, it is fashionable to be late anyway.

INT. LI FANG'S PARLOR - NIGHT

Ping and Harvey come in the door, Harvey with his gun cocked, Ping holding the Ronson. Ping has the scrolls, and both she and Harvey are bristling with bottle rockets and bandoliers of firecrackers.

A dead fox is staked to the sofa. Captain Keily and Detectives 1, 2 & 3 are also there, chatting AD LIB, but break off the moment Harvey and Ping burst in.

Keily and the rest level their guns at them.

CAPTAIN KEILY
Are you two really you? Not foxes?

There's a tense moment, then Harvey raises his gun and FIRES TWICE into the ceiling. The SOUND DIES AWAY and plaster dust filters down. No one flinches.

CAPTAIN KEILY
(continuing; sighs)
You're you.

HARVEY
And you're you.

Harvey holsters his gun and Ping puts away the lighter. Keily and the Detectives put theirs away as well.

HARVEY
(continuing; beat)
What happened?

CAPTAIN KEILY
Lost some good men. But we cleaned out this den of foxes.
(beat)
Any idea where the head vixen went?

Harvey looks to Ping. She comes forward and lays out Magician Wan's scrolls on the coffee table, sitting down on the edge of the couch. Everyone gathers round.

PING
I'm not sure.
(spreads out manuscripts)
We know the Fox Queen needs to get a great deal of money to pay off her debt to the Dragon King, but there's no possibility that my father would be able to amass that much wealth. She would need to charm the richest men in San Francisco.

Ping suddenly pauses and her hands fly to her mouth.

PING
(continuing; softly)
The Bohemian Ball...

HARVEY
What?

Without explanation, Ping gets up and goes to the peachblow vase on the mantel, reaching inside. She feels around, then looks up, alarmed.

PING
It's gone.

HARVEY
What?

PING
My father's invitation. He had an invitation to the Bohemian Ball.

CAPTAIN KEILY
The Bohemian Club's letting in Chinamen?

Ping gives him a withering look.

PING
No. But my father knows some white jewelers, and they wished to do business in more pleasant surroundings.
(beat)
He'd been planning to take me tonight.

Harvey looks to Captain Keily and the Detectives.

HARVEY
If the Fox Queen's gone anywhere, she's gone there. The Bohemian Club has more money than the rest of San Francisco put together.

INT. BOHEMIAN CLUB/MAIN BALLROOM (1906) - NIGHT

The Bohemian Club is in one of the City's grand old Victorian mansions. The room is gaily decorated, and the ball is already well into swing. The elite of the San Francisco elite are here, both to see and be seen.

At one end of the ballroom is a full band (presently on break) but a MUSICAL YOUNG LADY has taken over the piano and is playing lively RAGTIME MUSIC. On the opposite side of the room is a large fireplace with a fire burning in the grate.

Bohemians dance and mingle. Tamamo is with Fang, who is introducing her to a large grey-bearded gentleman, CLAUS SPRECKELS. (See period photos.)

FANG
Mr. Spreckels, may I take the pleasure of introducing you to my new wife, Tamamo?

Claus Spreckels takes her hand and kisses it.

SPRECKELS
Charmed.

TAMAMO
(smiling and taking back her hand)
Mr. Spreckels? The... Sugar Baron?

Spreckels laughs heartily.

SPRECKELS
Some know me as that. But yes.

TAMAMO
(disarmingly demure)
I believe my husband has a business proposition for you.

Spreckels looks to Fang.

FANG
It would require a large amount of money.

CLOSE ON TAMAMO

Her eyes flash with foxfire.

TAMAMO
Cash.

Spreckels looks spellbound.

SPRECKELS
Tell me more...

He wanders off into the ball with Fang and Tamamo.

The RAGTIME MUSIC ENDS and the Bohemians APPLAUD the musical young lady, who is embarrassed by all the attention. The BANDMASTER comes forward with greasy aplomb and CLAPS LOUDLY until everyone falls silent.

BANDMASTER
(to Bohemians)
Wasn't that wonderful? Let's all have another round of applause for the musical young lady!

Bohemians CLAP again, but not as enthusiastically.

BANDMASTER
(continuing)
The band has returned, and we've had a special request -- the young gentleman here hopes that the young lady will join him in a dance. He has requested a foxtrot!

The Bohemians APPLAUD and Fox Punk #2, in his Stanford student guise, comes forward and kisses the hand of the musical young lady. The bandmaster turns and raises his baton and the band strikes up a FOXTROT.

Fox Punk #2 leads the musical young lady into the swirl of the dance, other couples joining in.

SERIES OF SHOTS - FOX SPIRITS AT THE BOHEMIAN BALL

A) Fox Punk #2 charms the musical young lady

B) Fox Punks #1 & 3, as society debs, spellbind members of the Bohemian Club

C) Fang introduces Tamamo to various men of power. M.O.S. they discuss business. Tamamo hypnotizes them.

D) Other fox spirits already present, as revealed by reflections in chandeliers and champagne buckets, go after other guests

CUT TO:


EXT. BOHEMIAN CLUB (1906) - NIGHT - ESTABLISHING

The Bohemian Club is at the corner of Taylor and Post. The original did not survive the fire, but a Victorian mansion should work for everyone but history buffs.

Light spills out the windows, and the FOXTROT continues at the same pace, muffled by the intervening walls. A long line of motorcars is parked before the building.

At the end of the line, Harvey helps Ping out of the Rambler. Both are dressed to the nines: Harvey in white tie and tails, pocket watch and all; Ping in the finery the Fox Queen foisted upon her, accented by Wan's embroidered silk bag and the Fox Queen's stole.

Harvey, however, is at the bubble gum again. He blows a small bubble and sucks it back in.

HARVEY
(sotto voce)
Are you sure they'll be here?

PING
I think so. Father promised to take me.

HARVEY
Let's hope we get lucky.

Harvey and Ping hurry up the steps and knock. The door opens, MUSIC SPILLING OUT. They enter and exchange words M.O.S. with someone O.S. The door closes.

CUT TO:


INT. BOHEMIAN CLUB/FOYER - NIGHT

Here the MUSIC is SLIGHTLY LOUDER. Harvey and Ping are confronted with a SNOOTY DOORMAN.

SNOOTY DOORMAN
Sir, you are not a club member.

HARVEY
I'm a Mason!

SNOOTY DOORMAN
(sniffs)
The Bohemian Club has a more exclusive membership.

HARVEY
Listen, the young lady's father requested that I bring her here. You may have heard of him before. Li Fang, the mayor of Chinatown?

SNOOTY DOORMAN
(pauses)
Vaguely. He arrived about an hour ago in the company of his wife.
(beat)
However, he left no word as to a daughter arriving late, with or without a Mason as chaperon. I'm sorry, sir.

Ping reaches into her handbag.

PING
Honorable sir -- would you accept the word of Mr. Washington?

Ping holds up a crisp silver certificate.

SNOOTY DOORMAN
(snatches it)
Indubitably!
(waves to the room)
Go right in. I'm sure your father is expecting you.

PING
Thank you, kind sir.

Ping rolls her eyes as she passes by him. Harvey catches up and they enter the ballroom.

Ping and Harvey pause and CAMERA PANS THE ROOM, ZOOMING IN ON Tamamo and Li Fang. They are locked in the whirl of the FOXTROT.

PING
(continuing; pointing)
There she is!

Harvey takes the initiative and grabs Ping's hand.

HARVEY
Only one way to get close...

He pulls her onto the dance floor and they join the swirling constellation of dancers.

CAMERA SWINGS, DOLLY SHOT, PING AND HARVEYS' POV as they move through the paces of the FOXTROT. They hug close, but like the spinning of a spirograph, it is soon obvious that it will be a space before their path intersects that of Ping's father and the Fox Queen.

The MUSIC SLOWS for a pace, and Ping and Harvey dance with each other, gazing deep into each other's eyes. Romance is coming into blossom, but just before Harvey can finally lean down and kiss her, Ping spots Tamamo.

PING
There!

She takes the lead, cutting through a gap in the dancers, and within two spins they catch up with Tamamo and Fang.

They dance around them for one pass, then split up. Harvey insinuates himself between Li Fang and Tamamo.

HARVEY
(to Tamamo)
May I cut in?

He grabs her hand and whirls her off into the swirl of the dance. She looks shocked.

FANG
Ping! What are you doing here?

Ping grabs her father's hand and begins dancing with him as well, leading him far away from the Fox Queen.

PING
Well, Father, seeing as how I missed your wedding, it was only proper that I come to the reception.

CUT TO:


HARVEY AND TAMAMO

dancing in a different part of the ballroom.

TAMAMO
You are persistent, Mr. Moore.
(beat)
I like that in a man.

HARVEY
You're a bitch, Mrs. Chung.
(beat)
I hate that in a woman.

TAMAMO
(laughs)
I prefer the term vixen.
(beat)
Why have you come here, Mr. Moore? Another pathetic attempt to steal Li Fang?

HARVEY
Why do you want him? He's nothing to you.

TAMAMO
On the contrary. He's everything.

They go through a dramatic flourish of the dance.

TAMAMO
(continuing; appreciative)
You dance very well, Mr. Moore.
(beat)
I want Li Fang for a very simple reason: The easiest way to acquire wealth is to inherit it.

CLOSE ON TAMAMO

She looks at him with peculiar intensity and her eyes blaze with foxlight.

TAMAMO
(continuing)
Kiss me...

CLOSE ON HARVEY

as he struggles against her power.

INSERT ON HARVEY'S RING

The sapphire and Masonic inset glow slowly brighter with their own inner light.

BACK TO SCENE

Harvey is almost caught, but then grows defiant and blows a large bubble between them. It BURSTS with a report like a firecracker, gum on both their faces.

Tamamo CRIES OUT softly and closes her eyes. The foxlight goes out.

HARVEY
(hissing)
Bitch!

Harvey grabs her close and dances through the foxtrot with ferocious intensity, spinning her in a tortuous stranglehold as they whip around the floor to a point near the fireplace. The FOXTROT is nearly at an end.

HARVEY
(continuing)
Now, Ping!

CUT TO:


PING

where she stands by the fireplace arguing with her father. She throws the silk bag into the fire.

INSERT ON FIRE

The bag lands in the flames. Logs CRACK and POP. The silk remains for a moment, then goes up in a flash, leaving the fireworks dragon. The FUSES HISS alight.

BACK TO SCENE

FIRECRACKERS go off in a LOUD STRING and sparks fly out of the fireplace. The MUSIC ENDS abruptly and the dancers pause, confused.

With a flickering of golden witchfire, a huge dragon made of floating golden cinders rises out of the fireplace.

The fireworks dragon steps forward across the ballroom floor, HISSING and CRACKLING. The Bohemians give it room.

Harvey throws Tamamo to the floor before the dragon.

HARVEY
(continuing; to Tamamo)
Someone I'd like you to meet.

Ping steps forward, pointing imperiously towards Tamamo.

PING
(to fireworks dragon)
Get her, oh my Dragon King.

Tamamo is weak, stunned by the loud noises. Slowly she looks up, locking eyes with the fireworks dragon. It HISSES and she rises to her feet, trembling at the confrontation.

Society Debs 1 & 2 (Fox Punks 1 & 3) hurl themselves to her feet.

SOCIETY DEBS 1 & 2
(in unison)
Save us, Our Queen! It is the Dragon King!

CUT TO:


HARVEY

pushing through the crowd, all of whom are staring at the fireworks dragon.

He reaches Ping. She's pulling a very weakened Li Fang, but he perks up at the arrival of Harvey.

FANG
(to Harvey)
I'll have your badge, young man!

PING
Shut up, Father!

Ping karate chops him, knocking him out. Harvey catches him before he falls and slings him over his shoulder.

The main exit is blocked by the crowd of onlookers.

PING
(continuing; to Harvey)
Which way?

HARVEY
(looking around)
There!

He spots a door, then takes off with Ping in his wake. They push through a side door of the ballroom.

CUT TO:


TAMAMO

Firelight illuminates her face, and the fireworks dragon is reflected in her eyes. Her expression is one of terror which then gives way to curiosity, swiftly followed by rage.

She kicks free of the society debs clutching her ankles and points at the fireworks dragon.

TAMAMO
That isn't the Dragon King! That isn't even a real dragon!

ANGLE ON FIREWORKS DRAGON

It BREATHES OUT a gout of flame and fire washes over Tamamo. Society debs run and SCREAM.

CLOSE ON TAMAMO

The ends of her headdress and small patches on her clothing are aflame.

TAMAMO
(continuing; sotto voce)
It is, however, a passable imitation.
(loudly, to Fox Punks)
It's only an illusion! A cheap sham!

Tamamo whips out her fan, long ivory blades. With a flash of foxfire, it begins to glow green.

ANGLE ON FIREWORKS DRAGON

as it BREATHES flame again, but Tamamo waves the fan before her. A huge WIND PICKS UP, blowing the fire back upon the dragon and pushing the creature towards the fireplace.

It tries to resist, digging its claws into the ballroom floor, but slides backwards like a cat on formica.

TAMAMO
(continuing)
Just put it out! Douse it like a candle!

Cinders and sparks stream from the dragon's body. The wind WHIPS Bohemian coattails and knocks wigs flying. Things both on and offstage CRASH and SHATTER.

Fox Punk #2, in his Stanford student guise, grabs a magnum of champagne and shakes it up. He pops the cork and showers Tamamo and the fireworks dragon. The dragon fades, but not appreciably.

It turns to him and SNAPS and HISSES, rearing back and getting ready to lunge and breathe flame.

TAMAMO
(continuing)
The fireplace! Quickly!

Fox Punk #2 hurls the champagne magnum into the fireplace. It SHATTERS and the fire goes out with a CRACKLE and HISS.

The fireworks dragon lunges, then slowly freezes in place and dissolves into a fall of sparks. Cinders sift to the floor, winking out one by one.

ANGLE ON TAMAMO

She is singed, soot blacked, and drenched with champagne. She is not pleased.

Tamamo
(continuing)
Find them! Ping and Moore! Find them!
(beat)
I'll have their heads!/BLOCKQUOTE>

INT. BOHEMIAN CLUB/MAID'S HALLWAY - NIGHT

Ping takes the lead down narrow hallway lit by gas brackets turned down to their barest ghost flames. Harvey follows, carrying Li Fang.

The Masonic ring still glows dimly, suddenly visible in the half- light, but Harvey hasn't noticed yet.

HARVEY
Which way's the exit?

PING
How should I know? I've never been in the Bohemian Club before.
(beat)
What happened? We were supposed to get back-up the minute I lit the dragon!

HARVEY
Welcome to the wonderful world of police work.

Harvey suddenly notices the fading radiance coming from his ring. He grabs Ping's arm, pulling her up short.

HARVEY
(continuing)
What in the heck's wrong with my ring?

Ping gives it a second glance, then grabs his arm and pulls him down the hallway.

PING
It's a protective amulet. They do that when they're activated.

HARVEY
I've done dozens of rituals and it's never done that!

PING
You Masons lead sheltered lives.
(beat)
It's like burglar alarms. You can set as many as you like, but they won't go off till you get a burglar.

HARVEY
(snorting)
I see you've never answered a false alarm before.

Ping pulls open a door and finds a stairway leading down, illuminated by a bare electric bulb. Harvey comes up next to her and looks over her shoulder.

HARVEY
(continuing)
The cellars. There should be an exit to the street.

PING
I certainly hope so, Officer Moore.

They go down the stairway, door closing behind them.

INT. BOHEMIAN CLUB/MAIN BALLROOM - NIGHT

Bohemians mill about in confused chaos, erupting into absolute panic when huge bricks of firecrackers CRASH through the windows and begin GOING OFF -- all except one brick which SPLASHES into the punch bowl, going out with a SIZZLING HISS.

Detectives and police officers burst through the doors, SHOOTING the ceiling and SHOUTING AD LIB arrest lines. Bohemian ladies SHRIEK and SCREAM. Fox spirits go into agony from all the noise.

Tamamo dives under the buffet table, almost bumping heads with the Stanford student (Fox Punk #2) who is not in agony from the din, unlike her and the rest of the fox spirits.

STANFORD STUDENT (FOX PUNK #2)
Here, my Queen.

He holds out some wadded-up bits from petit fours, then uses them to plug her ears.

She calms visibly and joins him in peeking out from under the tablecloth, a wicked glint in her eye.

INT. CELLAR STAIRWAY - NIGHT - ON HARVEY AND PING

They go down. And down. And down. Electric bulbs get fewer and fewer until they disappear completely.

The only light is from Harvey's ring, shining like a blue and gold star, but even it is not enough to illuminate the blackness. The stairway is suspended in a void.

Ping and Harvey exchange glances in the strange light.

PING
The Bohemians have most impressive cellars...

HARVEY
(staring into the void, awestruck)
They certainly do.
(marveling at the ring)
I always thought I believed in magic, but never really did until now.

PING
Consider yourself lucky. It took years for Wan to teach me, and I'm still only an apprentice.
(beat)
I think you've always known. You just needed something to show you what you've known all along.

Harvey looks down at Ping. Passion builds.

HARVEY
I have known all along. I just never admitted it to myself.

He leans down to Ping. Gently, he places one hand on each cheek, tilting her head up, ring TOWARDS THE CAMERA. Ping and Harvey gaze upon each other for a moment, then their lips meet and their eyes close.

The passion of the kiss builds, and as it does, the Compass, Square and G on the ring flare in succession, finally becoming a supernova which flashes the screen to WHITEOUT.

The fire shrinks back to a single bright point, and Harvey and Ping open their eyes, never knowing the magic of their kiss.

PING
I have never kissed a man before.
(beat)
It is a wonderful thing.

HARVEY
I'm glad you think so.

Harvey looks away for a second, and pain washes over his face. The glow of the ring dims.

HARVEY
(continuing)
I wish...
(suddenly angry)
Damn the laws!

Ping clutches his arm.

PING
What wrong?

HARVEY
Me. What I intend could never be honorable.
(beat)
I could never marry you. The anti-miscegenation laws forbid it.

PING
Damn the laws then, like you said. They are the white men's laws. What do they matter?

HARVEY
I'm a white man. And a police officer.
(beat)
I'd lose my job. I'd never be able to support you.

Ping turns him to face her and gives him a long look.

PING
Harvey, the world is a much wider place than San Francisco.

He looks at her and smiles, thankful.

Wordlessly, Harvey picks up the unconscious Li Fang and slings him over his shoulder. With the magnesium torch of the ring, they find their way down.

INT. BOHEMIAN CLUB/MAIN BALLROOM - NIGHT

The detectives and other members of San Francisco's finest are arresting Bohemians right and left. Dead foxes litter the dance floor and buffet, while strings of FIRECRACKERS still skip hither and thither.

Captain Keily confronts Claus Spreckels and the Stanford student, trying to get them to look into a hand mirror.

SPRECKELS
(booming)
I won't stand for it! I am Claus Spreckels! The Sugar Baron!

CAPTAIN KEILY
(placating)
Mr. Spreckels, it's only a formality. Now if you would just look in the--

SPRECKELS
I won't look in anything, you blithering buffoon!

CLOSE ON SPRECKELS

He leans close, his eyes blazing with foxlight.

SPRECKELS (TAMAMO)
(continuing)
Go arrest someone else!

BACK TO SCENE

Captain Keily looks slightly spellbound and bluffed.

CAPTAIN KEILY
Of course, Mr. Spreckels...

Keily wanders off.

STANFORD STUDENT (FOX PUNK #2)
(to Tamamo)
Good work, my Queen.

Spreckels (Tamamo) grabs his arm and drags him off.>
SPRECKELS (TAMAMO)
Shut up, idiot.

CUT TO:


ANOTHER PART OF THE BALLROOM

Keily runs into the real Claus Spreckels.

SPRECKELS
(bewildered)
Captain Keily! What on earth is going on?

INT. BOHEMIAN CLUB/MAID'S HALLWAY - NIGHT

With a shimmer of foxfire, Claus Spreckels dissolves into Tamamo. The Stanford student locks the door behind them.

Tamamo reaches into her ears and pulls out the ear plugs.

TAMAMO
(to Stanford student)
Excellent idea, Jian Ming.

Fox Punk #2 grins and removes his own ear plugs.

STANFORD STUDENT (FOX PUNK #2)
Thank you, my Queen.
(beat)
I've got the scent. They went this way.

He transforms into a large white fox, clothes shifting into fur, and runs down the hall.

Tamamo follows, smiling.

INT. CELLAR STAIRWAY - NIGHT - ON HARVEY AND PING

By the light of Harvey's ring, they go down another flight of stairs, coming out into

UNDERGROUND PASSAGES

The walls are dirt, shored up with wooden beams. Even if they haven't been here forever, the passages date back to at least the Gold Rush days. Ping flicks the Ronson for more illumination.

Through an archway, tunnels leads off in both directions. There are STRANGE SOUNDS in the distance.

HARVEY
(continuing)
So it's true...

PING
What's true?

HARVEY
The stories. They say there's a whole network of passages under Chinatown.

PING
This is the Bohemian Club.

HARVEY
Maybe they extended them?

PING
I've heard there are smugglers' tunnels all over the city.
(beat)
It's more likely we've found one of those.

Before Ping can respond, there's the RATTLING and CLANKING of a MINE CART.

HARVEY
(hissing)
Lights out!

Harvey's ring winks out as he covers it and Ping snuffs the Ronson. They hide in the shadows of the archway, Harvey dumping Li Fang in the corner.

A mine cart RATTLES into view from the right hand side of the passage, traveling at a furious pace. It's filled with stacks of gleaming gold bars, illuminated by a paper lantern set atop them all.

Two fox spirits, in human guise, ride the mine cart the exact same way that crazed ten-year-olds ride shopping carts in supermarket parking lots. You can tell they're fox spirits -- they have long, fluffy white tails, streaming out behind them.

FOX SPIRITS
Yee-ha!!!

The cart disappears, stage left. Harvey looks to Ping as she lights the Ronson.

HARVEY
Did you see what I just saw?

Ping nods dumbly.

There's more RATTLING, quieter this time. Ping douses the light and they hide.

A second later, a second cart RATTLES into view, from the left. It's filled with silvery bars, but has no attendant. It's going much slower.

Harvey steps out and stops it, tilting it away from the tow rope.

Ping comes over and picks up one of the bars, peeling back the foil. The contents are black and gooey.

PING
Opium...

Ping suddenly notices something on the ground. She reaches down and picks it up.

INSERT ON COIN

It's a freshly minted 1906 twenty dollar gold piece.

BACK TO SCENE

Ping shows the coin to Harvey.

HARVEY
The Mint.
(beat)
I think we've just found the connection for the opium trade.

Harvey releases the opium cart. It catches the rope and heads on its merry way.

PING
(pointing after the opium cart)
If the Mint is that way, then...

She begins to gesture in the opposite direction, but there comes a sudden sound:

FOX SPIRIT VOICE (O.S.)
Yee-ha!!!

On instinct, Harvey and Ping take positions. A second cart of gold plummets along, two fox spirits joyriding on the back.

They careen right into a Batman-style uppercut from Harvey and a Bruce Lee karate chop from Ping. Harvey grabs the hand brake and sparks fly as the mine cart SCREECHES to a stop, wheels BITING METAL.

The fox spirits fall to the floor, out cold.

PING
(to Harvey)
Do you have a penknife?

Harvey pulls on his watch chain and the fob pops out of his pocket, spinning and sparkling in the lantern glow: a gold penknife etched with Masonic symbols.

HARVEY
(smiling)
Of course.

He flicks the chain and catches the penknife in midair.

HARVEY
(continuing)
What for?

Harvey unclasps the chain and hands the knife to Ping.

PING
You'll see. Just get Father.

Harvey leaves. Ping glances to the two unconscious fox spirits, then takes off Tamamo's silver fox stole and holds it up, contemplative.

With a smile, she pulls open the penknife and takes it to the stole, beginning to tear it diagonally.

INTERCUT - CELLAR STAIRWAY/UPPER LANDING

Tamamo proceeds down the steps, smiling, then suddenly stops and stiffens in pain. Her back arches and her eyes blaze with foxlight.

She falls to her knees, in utter agony. Electric bulbs sway eerily above her.

We hear the RIPPING of the stole, and across Tamamo's back we see a line appear, blood slowly seeping through the silk in a diagonal mark.

Ping continues to pass the penknife through the stole.

The line continues, and Tamamo lets out a BLOODCURDLING WAIL, more animal than human. LIGHT BULBS EXPLODE!

The CRY ECHOES down to where Ping stands, completing her handiwork with the stole. She looks up, puzzled.

The silver fox runs back up the stairs to where Tamamo writhes in pain. He shifts into the Stanford Student.

STANFORD STUDENT (FOX PUNK #2)
My Queen...

She clutches his arm.

TAMAMO
(in agony)
Ping... My stole...

BACK TO SCENE

Ping finishes tearing the stole and proudly holds up two long triangular strips of fox fur.

A second AGONIZED WAIL ECHOES DOWN the stairs.

INSERT ON STOLE

Unnoticed by Ping, a single drop of blood forms at the bottom corner of one strip. It falls, splashing as it hits the chrome bright steel of the mine cart rails.

BACK TO SCENE

Ping looks around, confused, as the FOX QUEEN'S WAIL DIES AWAY.

Harvey slings the still unconscious Li Fang over the gold coins in the mine cart.

HARVEY
(to Ping)
What was that?

PING
(troubled)
I don't know...

Harvey notices what she's done to the stole.

HARVEY
Don't care for fur?

PING
(brightening)
No. But I do like disguise.

She pulls out a long pin from her hair.

PING
(continuing)
You'll look very handsome in a white tie and tails.

ANGLE ON HARVEY - REAR VIEW

Harvey lets Ping pin the strip of stole to the back of his pants, right between the two swallowtails of his coat. She mumbles SOMETHING MAGICAL, and with a flicker of witchfire, the torn stole becomes a human size fox tail.

Harvey looks behind him, twitching his new tail and trying it on for size.

HARVEY
Nice... Do you do hemlines too?

PING
Only for special orders.

She holds up the second strip of stole and another pin. Harvey returns the favor, pinning the tail to Ping's behind. It comes to life with the same FX.

They toss the unconscious fox spirits into the shadows and take up positions at the end of the cart.

Harvey releases the hand brake, and they begin to gain momentum.

HARVEY
Yee-ha!

INT. CELLAR STAIRWAY/UPPER LANDING

The Stanford Student helps Tamamo to her feet. She is struggling with the pain, but soon seems able to control it.

TAMAMO
(a bare whisper)
A consecrated knife... Where did the little minx get a consecrated knife?

She leans on the Stanford student for support.

TAMAMO
(continuing; louder)
I am going to catch Ping Fang.
(beat)
And when I catch, I will snap her neck...

They begin to make their way down the stairs.

INT. UNDERGROUND PASSAGE - ON MINE CART

Harvey and Ping ride along, their new tails whipping behind them. Harvey pops another stick of gum in his mouth.

HARVEY
(chewing furiously)
So who is this Dragon King guy?

PING
He is the ruler of all the seas. The shrimp are his soldiers and the crabs are his generals.

HARVEY
He must love Fisherman's Wharf.

Ping does not respond. However, just then the light increases and they come out into a

LARGE CHAMBER

filled with mine carts and fox spirits.

One spirit, dressed like an ACCOUNTANT except for a fox's head, jumps up and screams excitedly, waving an abacus in the air.

FOX ACCOUNTANT
(in Chinese)
Brakes! Brakes!

Ping understands at the last moment and grabs the hand brake. METAL SCREAMS and they stop one inch short of ramming the cart in front of them.

Li Fang slides off the cart and falls to the floor, COINS RAINING DOWN around him. Harvey quickly twists his ring around to hide its glow inside his fist.

HARVEY
(to accountant)
What?

The fox accountant cocks its head at him.

HARVEY
(continuing; covering himself)
I'm trying to practice my English.

The fox accountant throws its hands in the air.

FOX ACCOUNTANT
You young maniacs! You'll get us all killed!

PING
(going into histrionics)
You don't understand! The Dragon King! The Dragon King has attacked the Bohemian Club!

The accountant's fox eyes go wide. Several other fox spirits DROP GOLD BARS in shock.

PING
(continuing)
Truly! It was the Dragon King! We just barely escaped with our lives!

FOX ACCOUNTANT
(in denial)
But... our Queen was not to have summoned the Dragon King for several days yet. The sum may not be quite sufficient!
(to all the fox spirits)
Quickly! Back to work! All must be in readiness!

The fox spirits go back to work, carrying gold out of the chamber. The accountant turns to Harvey and Ping, pointing to the unconscious Li Fang.

FOX ACCOUNTANT
(continuing)
Isn't that...

PING
Our Queen's bridegroom, yes.

She gets down on her knees by her father, who's beginning to come to.

FANG
(weakly)
Ping...

PING
He's delirious!

She quickly thunks his head on the ground, knocking him out again.

FOX ACCOUNTANT
(flustered)
Take him to the treasure chamber. Our Queen will want him when she returns.

PING
Of course!

She and Harvey pick up Li Fang together and carry him off between the two of them, exchanging glances but not saying anything.

They follow the fox spirits with the gold bars, going through more passageways.

Suddenly they emerge into

THE TREASURE CAVERN

Nob Hill itself has been hollowed out, the dome supported by eight pillars in the form of animal-headed Egyptian gods: Isis, Osiris, Thoth, Horus, Bast, Nephthys, Anubis and Set. The flavor is distinctly Masonic, spaces between the statues decorated with Eyes in Pyramids and other symbols.

In the center of the chamber is a pile of gold and jewels so enormous as to make Smaug's horde from The Hobbit look like a Christmas Club fund. A mountain, or at least a fair size hill, of gold.

For aesthetic effect, here and there are placed a few priceless antiques and paintings by old masters, along with tiffany lamps and other valuable objects. There's a gilded four-poster bed dumped in one corner.

Ping and Harvey take Li Fang over to it and lay him on the mattress.

PING
(continuing)
Oh, poor Father...

HARVEY
Is he alright?

PING
Alive.. but just barely.
(beat)
Curse her.

Harvey surveys the nearest portion of the treasure horde, then reaches out and picks up a black velvet half-cape and baldric covered with heavy silver embroidery, and a hat with an ostrich plume. He looks at them in horror.

PING
(continuing)
What is it?

HARVEY
(introspective)
These belong to a Knight Templar. From my Commandery, California Number One.

Unthinking, Harvey puts on the hat and slings the cape and baldric about his shoulders. He continues to search the treasure horde, finding a slim sword with a gold hilt and scabbard.

He pulls it from the coins it's impaled in and shows it to Ping.

HARVEY
(continuing)
A ceremonial sword. I have one, but it has a silver hilt.

He unsheathes it, revealing an elaborately etched blade. He tests it for weight.

HARVEY
(continuing)
The gold's only presented to the Knight Commander.

PING
Stolen?

HARVEY
(worried)
Let's hope so...

Harvey drops the scabbard and gestures with the sword, drawing her attention to the vault of the chamber, decorated with the Shriners' scimitar and crescent.

HARVEY
(continuing)
Those symbols... this is a Masonic sanctuary.

PING
(whispering)
You're a Mason. Don't you know where we are?

HARVEY
(shakes head)
This must be the Shriners' inner sanctum.
(beat)
I've heard it's somewhere under Nob Hill. That's supposed to be a secret, but I think we've gone past that now.

Ping looks around in wonder until Harvey touches her lightly on the arm. He points with the sword, wordlessly, towards the wall that they came from.

Ping looks and sees

THE DRAGON SHRINE

Set against the wall of the treasure chamber, flanked by the jackal-headed statues of Set and Anubis, is a huge silk wall- hanging depicting a coiling dragon. Before it is a low dais and altar, in the center of which is the conch shell horn of the Dragon King.

PING
(softly)
The Dragon King's horn...

TAMAMO
(O.S.) Quite so, Ping Fang.

Tamamo emerges from the archway beside the statue of Set, Jian Ming in his Stanford student guise to her right, the fox-headed accountant to her left.

TAMAMO
(continuing)
You've led us a merry chase. But it is now at an end.

She holds out her hand to the accountant.

TAMAMO
(continuing)
The Contract.

The fox accountant places a scroll of some sort in her hand.

Ping is horrified.

PING
What is it?

TAMAMO
(smiling)
A marriage contract. How I do enjoy San Francisco. No elaborate ceremonies. Just two signatures on a piece of paper.
(beat)
I promised that you would attend your father's wedding, Ping Fang, and I always make good on my promises.
(beat)
My accountant here informs me that the sum here is now quite sufficient to repay the Dragon King, providing that all of it is legally mine by the laws of the State of California.

The fox accountant grins, holding up a large stack of contracts and certificates.

TAMAMO
(continuing)
Li Fang has signed all the appropriate documents. All that is now necessary is his signature on this last one.

PING
Over my dead body.

TAMAMO
That is hardly necessary. Only Fang's dead body.

CLOSE ON TAMAMO

Her eyes blaze with foxlight.

TAMAMO
(continuing)
Li Fang! I have need of you!

Li Fang begins to stir groggily awake, until Harvey knocks him over the head with the hilt of the ceremonial sword. Fang falls back, unconscious.

HARVEY
(venomously)
By the laws of the State of California, you have to be conscious to sign a marriage contract.

Harvey levels the sword at Tamamo, then points up at the statue of Set. Blue and gold fire flickers down the length of the blade from Harvey's ring.

HARVEY
(continuing)
I should have recognized the resemblance before. Set, the jackal-headed Egyptian god of darkness and evil.

Tamamo smiles and shrugs.

TAMAMO
A country cousin.
(beat; to Fox Punk #2)
Jian Ming, deal with this Masonic fool.

Out of nowhere, the Stanford student suddenly produces the Chinese sword he had earlier.

He goes after Harvey and they clash, sword striking sword. It's an old Errol Flynn style sword fight, with the treasure horde as the battle ground.

The RATTLE OF SABRES mixes with the JINGLING OF COINS, as Harvey is backed into the dunes of gold and jewels. Harvey then lunges forward, SLASHING.

The Stanford student ducks, then Harvey SLASHES again and he jumps over the scything blade, landing with a JANGLE OF COINS. He lunges for Harvey.

Harvey backs away, astounded, and as we CUT BACK we find that Jian Ming has switched guise from the Stanford student to the tong punk we saw earlier.

The tong punk attacks, SLASHING, and Harvey ducks, the punk's sword hitting the plume of his hat and cutting it in two.

They watch as the feather wafts to the floor, then exchange glances. For good measure, Jian Ming SLICES the unlit candles off a gold candelabra atop a nearby treasure heap.

The punk lunges and Harvey parries. Lunge, parry, lunge, parry, until Harvey is backed into a corner. Jian Ming lunges and Harvey rolls to the other side of the dune, COINS FLYING, coming back up again, en garde.

Fox Punk #2 advances again, this time in the form of a dance hall girl with an ostrich plume headband. Harvey whips off the Knights Templar cape and baldric, holding it in his hand, medieval cloak- fighting style.

The dance hall girl feints, and Harvey parries with the cloak, entangling the sword and knocking it flying. It lands with a JANGLE OF COINS.

The dance hall girl grabs her skirts and does a cancan kick, SHOWERING COINS over Harvey and kicking his hand. He whips the cloak around her foot, pulling her off balance, but she's agile as a fox and does an acrobatic back flip OFFSCREEN towards the lost sword.

Harvey advances, coming up behind Fox Punk #2, who looks different this time. He turns around, sword ready, but now he's in the form of Harvey himself!

Harvey is shocked, and Jian Ming manages to get in a poke in his arm and making him lose the cloak before Harvey recovers his senses.

They're in a clear area between heaps of gold. Harvey fights his own double. We know who the real Harvey is because he's the one with the fox tail and the Masonic sword. Jian Ming has no tail and the Chinese sword.

The battle wages back and forth, then with a RATTLE OF SABRES, Harvey slowly backs his double OFF THE SCREEN.

When only the tip of Jian Ming's sword is visible, he rallies, pushing Harvey back and coming back onto the screen, this time in the form of Ping.

They battle a moment more, then Harvey backs her off the screen until Jian Ming rallies and comes back as the Stanford student, grinning.

HARVEY
Stop doing that!

STANFORD STUDENT (FOX PUNK #2)
Make me!

Tossed in among the other treasures is a large silver serving tray, polished mirror bright. Harvey grabs it up like a shield, reflecting Fox Punk #2.

Jian Ming retreats, evading his own reflection, which is that of a fox.

MATCH CUT TO:


TAMAMO'S EYES

blazing with foxlight as she faces down Ping.

TAMAMO
I should have destroyed you long ago, Ping Fang.

She waves her hands, weaving green fire into the Chinese character for Death.

It hangs suspended in the air for a moment, then rushes out and strikes Ping in the chest.

Both Ping and Tamamo go into agony, the foxfire weaving around both of them, CRACKLING like a demon, sparking and arcing, especially around Ping's tail.

Tamamo waves a gesture of dismissal and the foxfire ceases. Ping reaches behind herself, grabbing her own tail. It comes away in her hand, resuming its natural form, the torn stole, the long tear faintly edged with blood.

PING
(panting)
I should have realized it earlier. The shapeshifter's pelt.
(beat)
You can't destroy me without destroying yourself.

Ping reaches into her pocket and pulls out the Ronson. She lights it and holds it close to the torn stole.

PING
(continuing)
Feeling brave today, Tamamo no Mae?

Tamamo looks at the lighter, the flame reflected in her eyes, rage and terror mixing on her face.

CUT TO:


HARVEY

advancing on Jian Ming, now the tong punk.

The punk throws a handful of coins. They clatter against the tray which Harvey uses as a shield.

Jian Ming goes on the attack, battering the serving tray with his sword, knocking it flying. Harvey manages to get in a cut, wounding him.

They CLASH, SWORD AGAINST SWORD, and come up close, staring each other in the eyes.

MATCH CUT TO:


TAMAMO AND PING

The confrontation continues.

TAMAMO
(a bare whisper)
You only have half my pelt.

PING
(cool as cool)
Do you want to chance it?

With a SNARL, Tamamo lunges for Ping, the stole and the lighter, knocking all three to the ground. They grapple for the stole. The lighter, still flaming, lands on the floor nearby.

With the strength of desperation, Tamamo pushes free of Ping, clutching her torn pelt.

Ping tries to go for Tamamo again, but suddenly has to deal with the accountant, who interposes himself. Ping makes short work of him, documents and inkwells flying, but loses precious time as Tamamo goes for the lighter.

PING
(continuing)
Harvey! Cut your tail!

CUT TO:


HARVEY AND THE STANFORD STUDENT

Jian Ming has switched forms again, but they're still in the same positions, sword against sword, straining for dominance.

Harvey reaches into his jacket and pulls out his wallet, flashing his badge in Jian Ming's eyes.

INSERT ON BADGE

Harvey's badge is polished mirror bright. The reflection shows the face of a fox.

BACK TO SCENE

The Stanford student stares in shock for a second, then his nose begins to grow longer and furry.

The Chinese sword and a silver fox fall to the floor. Harvey SLASHES behind himself with the sword.

The tail is cut off with a spray of blood, resuming the shape of a torn stole as it falls.

CUT TO:


TAMAMO

who screams in agony.

TAMAMO
My stole!

CUT TO:


THE FOX

as it darts forward, snatching the torn stole from under Harvey's fingers.

Harvey chases after, but the fox is faster. At the last moment, he hurls the sword.

It flies through the air, missing the fox, but hits the hem of the stole, impaling it to a heap of gold coins.

CUT TO:


TAMAMO

Her eyes blaze with foxlight and her back arches in agony as a second spot of blood appears on her side.

CUT TO:


THE FOX

as it flips end over end, the fur tugged out of its teeth.

CUT TO:


PING

a she snatches up the marriage contract.

She lunges for the lighter, but Tamamo recovers and pushes her aside, grabbing a gold brick and raising it over her head. She dashes it down on the still flaming lighter.

The Ronson EXPLODES in a burst of red and gold flame, spinning up in a fountain of fire out of which steps... Magician Wan!

He's glowing with magical flames, but one by one they wink out, leaving him as he normally appears, though much better dressed than usual, wearing the costume of a court magician, embroidered with gold thread and dragons, similar to that worn by the Dragon King in the Celestial Court scene, though with an embroidered cap in place of the crown.

WAN
I was wondering when someone would do something like that. It was getting awfully stuffy in there.

Tamamo looks up at him, furious, and gets to her feet.

TAMAMO
I thought I destroyed you.

WAN
You thought wrong.
(beat)
We magicians are a tough breed.

There's a loud TEARING SOUND and everyone looks to Ping, who's recovered her senses and is slowly ripping the marriage contract in half.

TAMAMO
The Contract!

PING
(triumphant)
Not anymore!

There's a GROWL from the bed. Ping pauses, the contract not completely torn through.

The fox is crouched on Li Fang's chest, fangs bared. It GROWLS again.

FOX ACCOUNTANT
(to Ping)
He says tear that contract one more inch, and he'll rip out your father's throat.

PING
I gathered as much...

HARVEY
Ahem.

Harvey's holding his half of the Fox Queen's stole, wrapped once around the Masonic sword, tensed, like a knife to a throat.

HARVEY
(continuing; to Tamamo)
If he so much as touches Li Fang, I'll cut this in two.

ANGLE ON TAMAMO

as she gathers a ball of foxfire in her hand and points it at Ping.

TAMAMO
(to Harvey)
You so much as scratch my stole, Ping dies.

Magician Wan takes out his pipe and lights it with his finger, puffing on it, contemplative, as he surveys the situation.

WAN
(finally)
It appears we are at an impasse, Tamamo no Mae.
(beat; almost an afterthought)
And you owe me a prize.

TAMAMO
What are you talking about, old fool?

WAN
(nonplussed)
Remember a little altercation we had in the streets? Horse to General's Three? Horse takes Chariot? And the winner shall name his prize?
(sucks pipe contentedly)
Last I remember, your motorcar wasn't running particularly well.

TAMAMO
Don't be more of a fool than you already are, old man.

WAN
You mean to renege on a bargain, Tamamo no Mae?
(beat)
I'm sure the Dragon King would be most displeased to hear anything so dishonorable.

Tamamo appears to be at war with herself, fury blazing in her eyes.

TAMAMO
(finally)
What do you want?

WAN
(puffs pipe)
Well, I'd like to see you set my apprentice and her father free; the detective too, of course; guarantee us safe passage out of here; leave San Francisco, never to return; and then take a flying leap into the ocean. If that's not asking too much.
(enjoying this)
Of course, you'd have to negotiate with them individually for the title to Li Fang's money and the return of your skin.

TAMAMO
(icy)
Ask something else.

WAN
How about the Dragon King's horn? No? The Dragon King will be most displeased if he ever hears about this.
(paces)
I think I'll take a rain check on that debt. We have enough to negotiate already.

TAMAMO
If you can see a way out of this situation, it would be most appreciated.

Wan sucks his pipe, contemplative.

WAN
I've just been to Hell, and one learns quite a few interesting things there. Won a good bit at gambling too.
(to accountant)
Precisely how much of this treasure presently belongs to Li Fang?

In his element again, the Fox accountant happily takes out his abacus and does a few sums.

FOX ACCOUNTANT
(looking up)
Precisely twenty-nine point eight million dollars, primarily in diamonds and other precious gemstones, not adjusting for fluctuations of market prices.

WAN
A nice even sum.

With everyone's attention, Magician Wan goes through a prestidigitator's trick, nothing up this sleeve, nothing up that sleeve, then voila! he produces a small embroidered silk bag like the one Ping had earlier.

Wan opens it and turns it over, a torrent of gemstones pouring to the floor.

A huge heap rises up beside him.

WAN
(continuing)
As I said, gambling went well for me in Hell.
(beat)
You'll find the entire sum quoted right there.

The fox accountant goes down to inspect the gemstones, pulling out a jeweler's loupe and examining one.

FOX ACCOUNTANT
(looking up)
They're real.

TAMAMO
(to Wan)
And your price for these?

WAN
The lives of Ping, Harvey, Li Fang and myself, of course.

TAMAMO
Done.
(to accountant)
Draw up the contracts.

PING
Wan! You can't--

WAN
Shut up, Ping.

HARVEY
You still have me to negotiate with, Mrs. Chung.

He steps over, tensing the stole on the sword.

Tamamo looks distinctly discomfited. She strokes the half of the stole she has.

TAMAMO
That's only half. You can't kill me that way.

HARVEY
No, but I can make life very unpleasant for you.
(beat)
What'll you give me to save your hide?

Harvey has edged around the room to the

DRAGON SHRINE

HARVEY
(continuing)
Contract isn't signed yet, Mrs. Chung. It's not all yours.

Harvey drops the sword and stole, grabbing up the conch shell with both hands and WINDING THE HORN.

Everyone freezes as the SOUND ECHOES off the walls, but no Dragon King appears.

TAMAMO
The Horn must be winded by myself, Mr. Moore. Otherwise the Dragon King would have been summoned a dozen times before.
(beat)
Nice try, but no prize.

PING
(a warning)
Harvey!

While Tamamo's been talking, the fox has left Li Fang's throat and dashes to Harvey's feet, grabbing the torn stole in its teeth. Harvey grabs for it, but misses.

The fox returns the stole to Tamamo. She receives it with a sigh, then uses the foxfire in her hand to smooth the tear, rejoining the two halves. She wraps it around her shoulders luxuriantly, the bloodstains disappearing from her clothes.

She then looks down to Ping, who defiantly tears the last of the marriage contract in two.

TAMAMO
(adding this into the equation)
However, I see the deal with Wan is still on.

to accountant)
The new contract?

He proffers it, freshly inked.

INSERT ON CONTRACT

Tamamo puts her personal seal on it with a flash of foxfire. Magician Wan does the same with a flash of gold witchfire.

BACK TO SCENE

TAMAMO
(continuing)
It is done. A pleasure doing business with you. I guarantee you safe passage.
(beat)
But you'll have to negotiate with my servants separately.

CAMERA PANS TO WALL OF CHAMBER

While everyone's chatted and made deals, the fox spirits have amassed. There's at least fifty in all manner of dress, some with fox heads or tails, some without. All are armed with swords, clubs, nunchuks, candlesticks, umbrellas and even stranger weapons.

The accountant grabs Ping by the pigtail and holds a dagger to her throat.

FOX ACCOUNTANT
(to Harvey)
The Horn for the girl.

Harvey pauses for a moment, then wipes his mouth and takes the horn in both hands.

HARVEY
Catch!

Harvey pitches the Dragon King's Horn underhand. It arcs high into the vault over Ping, Wan, Tamamo, and the accountant.

TAMAMO
The Horn! Catch it!

The fox accountant shoves Ping aside, while he and Tamamo try to catch the Horn like two outfielders playing the same field.

Harvey ducks and grabs the sword, sprinting for the bed where Li Fang still lies unconscious, and Ping and Magician Wan dash to join him. The horde of fox spirits runs forwards, screaming WAR CRIES.

Tamamo and the accountant barely catch the Horn on time, preventing it from shattering.

ANGLE ON PING, WAN AND HARVEY

Harvey guards Ping, blue and gold fire rushing from his ring down the blade of the sword.

HARVEY
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of Death, I will fear no evil...

Magician Wan reaches into his robes and pulls out a bundle of sparklers, already lit. He throws them wide, and where each of them hit, a column of flame erupts, making a maze of flaming pillars.

WAN
Run! Run you young idiots! Run!

PING
(trying to wake Li Fang)
But Father...

Magician Wan pulls out his hip flask and pours a good dose down Fang's throat.

FANG
(waking)
What...

WAN
Run, you old idiot!

Ping helps support Li Fang as he gets out of the bed. She drags him towards one of the exits, while Harvey and Magician Wan guard the rear.

CUT TO:


TAMAMO AND HER ACCOUNTANT

Tamamo holds up the Dragon King's Horn in triumph.

TAMAMO
(oblivious to the chaos around her)
At last! At long last I shall regain my throne in the stars!

Regally, she lowers the conch shell horn to her lips. Her cheeks puff out and she blows.

No sound comes out.

Puzzled, she blows again, harder, but there is still no sound. Tamamo lowers the horn to examine it and sticks her fingers in the mouth hole.

Long, sticky strands come out with her fingers as she pulls them out.

TAMAMO
(continuing; enraged)
Chewing gum! Who has placed chewing gum in the sacred horn?

MATCH CUT TO:


HARVEY

guarding the archway of one of the entrance tunnels, the Knight Templar sword blazing with light.

Magician Wan is beside him, and they watch a dozen crazed fox spirits make it through to come after them.

WAN
(to Harvey)
Glad to see Ping taught you a trick or two.
(beat)
Try some Ezekiel. I always liked the bit about the flaming chariots.

Harvey ignores him, and mumbling something about "God is my shield," waves the sword, tracing a wall of fire in the air behind him.

They run up the passageway, which is decorated in the Masonic fashion, catching up with Ping and Fang.

The fox spirits follow, YAPPING and SCREAMING. Arrows and throwing stars BOUNCE off the walls, thrown by the pack, but hitting no one.

The chase goes up the stairs, and a minute later there is the ECHOING SOUND OF THE DRAGON KING'S HORN.

PING
(in realization)
The Dragon King's Horn! She has sounded it!

Magician Wan trips, falling to the floor.

HARVEY
He's been hit!

Harvey, always the hero, goes to guard Magician Wan, but is waved away.

WAN
Just go! I can take care of myself!

Magician Wan pulls a large cherry bomb out of his pocket, already lit, and tosses it at the onrushing pack of fox spirits, blowing them away as if it were a concussion grenade.

WAN
(continuing)
I'll be fine. Just go.

With regrets, Harvey goes off with Ping and Li Fang, helping them find a way to the surface world.

They go through a series of galleries and chambers, while behind them echo LOUD EXPLOSIONS.

CUT TO:


THE TREASURE CAVERN

where Tamamo is still blowing the Dragon King's Horn.

Magician Wan strides out of the side passage taken by him and the others.

WAN
(to Tamamo)
Oh quit toodling that infernal horn. I already heard you.

He strides towards her, lighting his pipe and puffing on it.

Tamamo abruptly ceases blowing the horn and lowers it.

TAMAMO
(aghast)
You? Lung Wang, King of Dragons?

WAN
Of course. Who did you expect?
(beat)
You're not the only one who plays dress- up.

Tamamo stares at him, dumbfounded.

WAN
(continuing)
What, you need the silly crown before you recognize me?

ANGLE ON WAN

He reaches behind himself and produces the Dragon King's crown, placing it atop his head, over the cap. His beard and moustache grow longer and blacker and his eyes glow gold and become slitted like a dragon's.

Tamamo and the audience can now clearly see the resemblance: He's the same Dragon King as the one who was in the Celestial Court scene.

To complete the effect, he takes a pull on his pipe, blowing smoke out through his nostrils.

WAN (THE DRAGON KING)
(continuing)
Hello again, Tamamo.

With a regal amount of self control, Tamamo regains her composure.

TAMAMO
Greetings, Lord of Air and Sea.
(beat)
I have gathered together the sum we agreed upon.

WAN (THE DRAGON KING)
May I inspect it?

TAMAMO
(smile frozen)
Most certainly, my Lord.

Magician Wan/The Dragon King goes on a tour of the treasure heap.

WAN (THE DRAGON KING)
(finally, turning)
You're missing a magic sword. Detective Moore, if you remember, left with one in his possession.

TAMAMO
(furious)
You brought him here!

The Dragon King looks at Tamamo proudly.

TAMAMO
(coldly)
I never thought you would cheat, oh Lord of the Sea, and interfere with my plans.

WAN (THE DRAGON KING)
Cheat? Nothing of the sort. Detective Moore came with Ping, and she was my apprentice long before you arrived.
(beat)
What she does is her business.

TAMAMO
She's just a merchant's daughter! How was I to know you'd taken an interest in her?

WAN (THE DRAGON KING)
How was I to know you'd take an interest in her father? You used to prey on princes, kings, and emperors. Now you go after the Mayor of Chinatown?
(beat)
It seems as if you've taken a step down in the world, Tamamo no Mae.
(shrugs)
Regardless, you still owe me the sum we agreed upon so long ago. And there's also the small matter of that "rain check" we discussed.
(surveys the room)
But I'll be kind about it. You always were fond of double or nothing, so let's just make the sum stand at two mountains of gold. And I'll keep your throne as marker until you have it ready.
(smiling)
Is that agreeable?

Tamamo is fuming, finally losing her composure. Magician Wan/The Dragon King smiles at her.

WAN (THE DRAGON KING)
(continuing)
And since this is the modern age, I'll allow you a bit of latitude. I now also accept banknotes, stock, and railway shares.

TAMAMO
(finally)
You... you... How dare you mock me so! I am a Queen!

WAN (THE DRAGON KING)
You're also a lousy gambler. You've fallen for the same gambit twice.

TAMAMO
Too long have I lived in your shadow! I challenge you to a duel of honor, the entire sum as stakes!

WAN (THE DRAGON KING)
Chess?

TAMAMO
No, Sea Lord! Tooth and claw!

Tamamo's eyes glow with foxfire and her face begins to change, lengthening into a fox muzzle, as she grows, becoming a giant white fox with glowing green eyes.

She GROWLS with a voice like thunder, towering over Magician Wan.

WAN (THE DRAGON KING)
If that's the way you want it, Tamamo...

Magician Wan changes, shifting and growing, talons springing from the ends of his fingers as he becomes a huge gold and red dragon with glowing gold eyes. The Dragon King is just a shade larger than the giant vixen.

The Fox Queen lunges for the neck of the Dragon King. They fight, wrestling, thrashing back and forth against the pillars of the chamber, both still growing, hardly the room for the two of them.

CUT TO:


INT. SAN FRANCISCO MINT/BASEMENT (1906) - NIGHT

Old coin presses and scales line the walls. Ping, Harvey and Li Fang rush past them, gaining the stairs.

The earth begins to quake and tremble as they run up. They dash through the mint and run for the doorway, past bewildered guards, the earth shaking beneath them. They scream AD LIB to each other, then rush out the

FRONT OF THE MINT

and down the steps.

A plume of smoke rises from Nob Hill in the distance.

MONTAGE - THE GREAT QUAKE AND FIRE

A). Buildings crumble

B). Buildings burn

C). Buildings crumble and burn

D). People run and scream

E). Like wraiths of mist, the Fox Queen and the Dragon King battle, invisible to most around them, starting mysterious fires which the fire department struggles to control. No one notices the battle of the gods.

EXT. JACKSON STREET (1906) - NIGHT - ON HORSE - TRAVELING

Harvey has found a horse rides at breakneck speed down Jackson Street, Ping clutching his waist for dear life, Fang slung across the saddle before him.

They arrive at

MAGICIAN WAN'S FIREWORKS SHOP

and burst through the doors.

The building is in a shambles, and there are LOUD EXPLOSIONS and CHAOS in the background. Harvey dumps the still unconscious Li Fang in the chair in the corner and they make their way up the stairs to the workshop. A portion of the skylight has fallen, leaving room for the balloon to take the sky.

PING
Look!

Ping points to the glass from the collapsed skylight. Like a dozen angled mirrors, the panes reflect Nob Hill, showing the smoke rise and separate into two clouds of colored fog, one white and green, the other red and gold, which coalesce into giant, misty visions of the Fox Queen and the Dragon King in their animal forms, battling.

PING
(continuing)
They'll destroy the city...

HARVEY
Not if we can stop them.(beat) Any idea how?

PING
(hesitant)
Every spirit is afraid of firecrackers. If only we had enough of them.

HARVEY
It'd take some pretty big firecrackers.
(beat; in realization)
Dynamite...

PING
We don't have any dynamite -- but we do have more than enough gunpowder. And fireworks.
(beat)
Maybe the New Year should come a bit early.

Harvey grins and they load gunpowder kegs into the balloon's gondola. Ping comes away from the safe, holding several of Wan's special fireworks, large explosive shells.

PING
(continuing)
Harvey, do you know how to operate a mortar?

HARVEY
(still grinning)
I was a gunner in the Spanish war.

Ping smiles and hands him the missiles. They get into the balloon's gondola, and Harvey SLASHES the anchor ropes with the Masonic sword.

The balloon lifts off, rising up through the hole in the roof, pushing past the last shards of the skylight which fall and SHATTER, TINKLING.

CUT TO:


EXT. NIGHT SKY - SAN FRANCISCO (1906) - AERIAL SHOT - ON FOX QUEEN AND DRAGON KING

They go at it, hammer and tongs, Godzilla and Rodann style. The Dragon King's fire sets several sections of San Francisco alight, blazing into the pre-dawn sky.

CUT TO:


THE MASONIC BALLOON - AERIAL SHOT

It floats through the sky, lit from below by the flames of the City.

CAMERA ZOOMS IN on the basket. Harvey busily loads a mortar while Ping looks through a toy periscope.

PING
(pointing)
There!

PING'S POV - THROUGH TOY PERISCOPE

Square tunnel vision, but it still neatly shows the battle of the Fox Queen and the Dragon King.

BACK TO SCENE

Ping hands the periscope to Harvey, who calibrates the trajectory of the mortar as best he can, LIGHTS the fuse, and stands back.

KA-BOOM! There's a brilliant flash and the shell FLIES OUT, BURSTING into a chrysanthemum blast. In the haze of sparks and powder, the Fox and the Dragon become half visible, like wraiths of mist fighting over the city.

One by one, Ping magically lights the FUSES of the kites, flames jumping to her fingers as easily as to Magician Wan's, and Harvey's ring and sword blaze with blue fire as he CUTS THE BINDINGS. The kites UNFOLD, strings of circular panels covered with Masonic symbols and box kites in the shape of compasses, squares, levels, etc.

With a SLASH of the sword, Harvey CUTS THE ROPES holding the kites to the basket, the fireworks IGNITE, and the kites go wild, flying in all directions, SHRIEKING LIKE BANSHEES. Amid a phantasmagoria of flames, magic, and Masonic symbolism, the Vixen and the Dragon continue to fight, harried by the added magical power.

The Fox Queen gains the advantage for the moment, seizing the Dragon King in her huge jaws. He ROARS IN PAIN and a huge bolt of dragonfire flies wide and strikes the balloon. The silk BURSTS INTO FLAMES.

PING
(continuing)
Harvey!

Harvey realizes the danger and CUTS THE LAST KITE LOOSE, a giant Maltese Cross, holding tight to the rope as Ping grabs on around his shoulders, and jumps free just as the BALLOON EXPLODES.

The kite's FUSES CATCH and the Maltese Cross BLAZES INTO LIGHT, flying off with Harvey and Ping hanging from the rope. There's a SECOND EXPLOSION and a fireball blossoms behind them as the flaming silk reaches the powder kegs in the gondola basket.

Harvey and Ping ride the tail of the flaming kite as the BALLOON GOES DOWN IN FLAMES in the background. In a moment of panic and exhilaration, they realize they're heading straight for the Fox Queen.

Harvey's sword is out before him, blazing with magic like Excalibur of legend, and he leans, angling the kite and screaming a war cry:

HARVEY
Yee-ha!

His aim is true and the sword hits the giant Vixen in the eye, CRACKLING WITH BLUE FIRE. She SCREAMS IN PAIN, releasing the Dragon's neck, her eye transfixed. Harvey and Ping are thrown free.

CUT TO:


HARVEY'S POV - A GIANT DELTA KITE

in the shape of a square and compass -- remarkably like a hang glider, in fact -- looms up before them as they're whipped about on the tail of the box kite.

He grabs the crosspiece and releases the rope with a WOOF of silk catching air and the HISS OF BOTTLE ROCKETS.

CUT TO:


THE FOX QUEEN

as she SCREAMS in agony, the sword still in her eye.

Dawn breaks and she flees, going to earth like a vixen seeking her burrow.

The Dragon King ROARS ONCE in triumph, then fades from view as the sun comes above the horizon.

CUT TO:


HARVEY AND PING

as they aim for the waters of the Bay, the kite gliding low over the water as the sun makes a golden path along the tops of the waves.

EXT. SAN FRANCISCO DOCKS (1906) - NIGHT

A steamship waits at dock, gay lights and DANCE MUSIC spilling out onto the pier.

Magician Wan, in his usual frumpy garb, waits in the fog. He has a bandage on his head, and looks much the worse for wear, but otherwise happy.

With a perfectly ordinary match, he lights his pipe, sucking on it contentedly.

Harvey and Ping, leading Li Fang, step out of the fog, coming towards him. They're all neatly dressed in preparation for a sea voyage. Ping comes forward and clutches his arm.

PING
Are you sure you won't join us?

WAN
What? At my age? Don't be silly.
(warmly)
Have a nice time in Hawaii and stay away from the leper colony.

HARVEY
How did you ever escape when the earthquake struck?

WAN
We magicians are a tough breed, like I told Tamamo.

PING
(impish)
You're on a first name basis with her now?

WAN
(shrugs)
Well, if familiarity can breed contempt, I suppose contempt can breed familiarity.
(beat)
Anyway, she still owes me a rain check.

He smiles and pats Harvey on the shoulder.

WAN
(continuing)
Clever of you to start the Dynamite Brigade.

HARVEY
(humble)
Well, we needed to put out the fire somehow...

WAN
Indeed. Not to mention what a lot of very big firecrackers did to the ears of the fox spirits.

HARVEY
(grinning)
Well, yes, there was that too...

FANG
(to Ping)
My dear, I am very tired, will we be there soon?

PING
(gently)
Hush, Father. We must first cross part of the ocean.

FANG
And the creditors?

PING
Don't worry. The insurance took care of everything. You're still a rich man.
(to Wan)
The doctors say the island air will be much better for father's health.

WAN
And for you two's marrying prospects.

Magician Wan hands her another one of his dragon-embroidered bags. Ping opens it.

PING
Oh Wan!

INSERT ON BAG

A small fortune in jewels.

BACK TO SCENE

WAN
Just an oddment or two the Fox Queen had lying around.
(beat)
They were covered by the insurance anyway. No one will miss them.

PING
Oh Wan! I'll always remember you!

She gives him a big hug.

WAN
And I you.

They break off their embrace, then Magician Wan shakes Harvey's hand.

WAN
(continuing)
Take care, and good luck.

They all smile, then Magician Wan puffs his pipe and watches as they board the steamship, helping the doddering Li Fang up the gang plank.

Ping and Harvey wave, and Wan waves back, then smiles down at the water.

CAMERA PANS TO WATERS OF THE BAY

In the moonlight, we see the reflection of a grinning dragon, smoke spiralling out of its nostrils.

EXT. SAN JOSE RAILWAY STATION (1906) - DAY

A perfectly ordinary 1906 station, passengers waiting for trains to depart, porters moving steamer trunks, etc.

Tamamo is there, with a harried looking Jian Ming in his Stanford student guise. Tamamo has a black eye, but when the CAMERA LOOKS CLOSELY, we can see that the eye is no longer a woman's -- it is a fox's.

She goes to the ticket counter and looks in the window. There's a ticket seller there with large mutton chop whiskers.

TAMAMO
I'd like to purchase a ticket.

TICKET SELLER
(not looking up)
Where to, ma'am?

TAMAMO
East. As far east as possible.

TICKET SELLER
Train leaves for New York in fifteen minutes, ma'am.

TAMAMO
Thank you. That will do nicely. Two please. For New York City.

The ticket seller looks up, then stops short.

Tamamo smiles and winks at him with the fox eye.

He passes her the tickets without taking any money.

TICKET SELLER
(shaken)
Enjoy your trip, ma'am.

TAMAMO
(smiling; taking tickets)
Don't worry. I will.
(beat)
Jian Ming, get the bags.