SCENE ONE: IT IS THE NEXT MORNING AND JENNIFER IS HOLDING THE NEWSPAPER.
JACK: Excuse me, why are hugging the newspaper to your chest?
JENNIFER: I'm not hugging the newspaper. I was just....
SHE PUTS IT DOWN AND HE SEES THE HEADLINE.
JACK: Oh Jelly Bean Giant. I should have known better.
JACK: Look, Howard is dead and buried just like this newspaper should be, alright. And that's where I'm going to put it.
JENNIFER: Jack, no don't.
JACK: What are you going to do with it? You want to put it in the family album? You hardly even knew the guy.
JENNIFER: I know, that's why I'm reading it. I want to learn a little bit more about him, okay.
JACK: What's the point?
JENNIFER: The point....
JENNIFER: There is no point. I just feel like I need to know a little bit more about him, that's all.
JACK: I'll tell you all you need to know about him. He was a crazy old billionaire who liked to play practical jokes on unsuspecting people like ourselves.
JENNIFER: That is not true. He wanted us to like him for himself and not for his money.
JACK: Well he should have stuck with the money. Now, I want you to take this newspaper and get ready for work, alright. We live in the world and we have lives to live, even if Howard doesn't.
THE PHONE RINGS.
JACK: Just get yourself ready and I will get the phone.
JACK PICKS UP THE PHONE.
JACK: Hello, Jack Deveraux here.
CHAUNCEY: Mr. Deveraux, this is Chauncey Powell, Mr. Hawkin's attorney.
JACK: Mr. Powell, what can I do for you?
CHAUNCEY: I'd like you and your wife to be present today when we disclose the contents of Mr. Hawkin's will.
JACK: Oh really. Why should we be at the reading of Mr. Hawkin's will?
CHAUNCEY: Because both you and Mrs. Deveraux are specifically mentioned.
JACK'S EYES LIGHT UP. JENNIFER GETS DRESSED AND JACK HURRIES HER ALONG BECAUSE SUDDENLY HE IS ANXIOUS TO GO TO THE WILL READING.
JACK: Come on, right this way, right this way.
JENNIFER: Well you're awfully anxious Jack.
JACK: Well Howard would want us there at the reading of the will, on time. I mean it was his dying wish. Heheheh, he was such a kindly old gent.
JENNIFER: Yeah well you didn't think so before.
JACK: I beg your pardon. I liked that man a lot. I even gave him a job.
JENNIFER: You fired him on his first day Jack.
JACK: You know something? I was thinking of rehiring him.
JENNIFER: No you weren't. The only reason you've become so fond of Howard is because you found out he was a billionaire.
JACK: Never met a billionaire I didn't like.
JENNIFER: And you think he's going to leave some of it to us, Jack.
JACK: Maybe all of it to us. Wouldn't that be something?
JENNIFER: I don't care if Howard doesn't leave us a anything.
JACK: Oh come on now. He wouldn't have mentioned us in the will if he wasn't going to leave us something, alright. I wonder how much.
JENNIFER: It's probably just a little memento or something special he wanted to give us.
JACK: Right, like a Van Gogh oil or a FabergØ Egg.
JENNIFER: Jack, it's probably going to be something like the key ring he gave me.
JACK: The key ring!
JACK: We were his only friends. Now he wouldn't leave us something like a junky little key ring.
JENNIFER: That was not a junky thing. That meant a lot to Howard and it means a lot to me. That's the most important thing and it should be to you too.
JACK: Well I mean.... you're right of course. We don't.... we don't need a billion dollars.
HE IS SAYING IT BUT NEITHER HE NOR JENNIFER BELIEVES IT.
JENNIFER: That's the Jack I love.... I think.
SHE KISSES HIM ON THE CHEEK.
JENNIFER: Come on.
HE WALKS OUT SMILING AND WITH HIS FINGERS CROSSED BEHIND HIS BACK.
SCENE TWO: THEY ARRIVE AT CHAUNCEY'S HOTEL ROOM WHERE THE WILL IS BEING READ. JACK IS WHISTLING WITH HAPPINESS.
CHAUNCEY: Mrs. Deveraux, Mr. Deveraux, please come in, come in. I thank you for coming on such short notice.
JACK: No problem. We wouldn't have missed it for the world.
JENNIFER: Because Howard wanted us to be here. Isn't that right Jack?
JACK: Oh, that's most certainly right. One question though.
JACK: Ah, we're kind of curious why we weren't told earlier that we were mentioned in dear departed Howard's will.
CHAUNCEY: That was part of Mr. Hawkins' orders. He didn't want me to mention it until after the funeral.
JACK: Oh afraid we wouldn't show up, huh. Waited to see.
JENNIFER: We would have shown up whether we were in Howard's will or not Mr. Powell.
JACK: That's true because we did show up because we cared about the man. Poor.... soul.
JENNIFER: But Mr. Powell we didn't know Howard very well. We were wondering how we could be in his will.
CHAUNCEY: Though Mr. Hawkins didn't know you long he considered himself a quick judge of character. And he was quite taken with the two of you, almost immediately.
JACK: Was he?
CHAUNCEY: You look surprised Mr. Deveraux.
JACK: Well I don't suppose I should be. I mean after all we did have him over to dinner, rags and all. I actually gave the man a job.
CHAUNCEY: He knew that he wasn't long for this world. (Beat) Excuse me. That's why he resurfaced and flew to New York to be sure he included the two of you in his will.
JACK: Well let's get down to the reading of it, shall we?
CHAUNCEY: Actually it's on video tape.
JACK: We have to see him again? (Beat) I mean, I mean I'd love to see him again. He was such a dear, dear friend.
CHAUNCEY: That is exactly how Mr. Hawkin's described the both of you too, as his dear, dear friends.
JENNIFER: Howard really said that?
CHAUNCEY: Ah, you can hear for yourself. Why don't we take seats and we can get ready.
JACK: Yes, let's do that.
JACK RUBS HIS HANDS TOGETHER IN EXCITEMENT.
JACK: Let's get rolling.
CHAUNCEY PUTS THE TAPE IN THE VCR THEN PAUSES.
CHAUNCEY: Oh, we'll have to wait a few moments though. There is one other person invited.
JACK: And who is that?
CHAUNCEY: I'm sorry, I'm not at liberty to say.
JACK: You mean we have to split it with somebody else?
JENNIFER TURNS TO GLARE AT JACK.
JENNIFER: Jack! (Beat) Mr. Powell, you'll have to excuse my husband. You see he is so overcome with grief that he doesn't really know what he is saying.
SCENE THREE: THEY HAVE WAITED FOR SOME TIME, BUT THE OTHER PERSON DOES HAS NOT SHOWN UP.
CHAUNCEY: More coffee?
JACK HAS REALLY HAD ENOUGH.
JACK: NO! I DON'T WANT ANYMORE COFFEE. I DO HOWEVER WANT TO LOOK AT THE WILL!
JENNIFER: He just gets like this when he has too much caffeine. He's fine.
JACK: Let me tell you, whoever it is that's supposed to be coming through that door, if they don't have the decency to show up for reading of a will or the viewing of a will, if you will, they don't deserve to know what's in it.
CHAUNCEY: It is getting rather late. Perhaps we had better get started. Excuse me.
JACK: Perhaps you're right. It's showtime.
JENNIFER GLARES AT HIM AGAIN.
JACK: Well, it is.
THE TAPE BEGINS.
HOWARD: I, Howard Austin Hawkins, being of sound mind and body, do hereby declare that this is my last will and testament.
JENNIFER: It's almost as if he's still here.
JACK: Look, the bum is all dressed up.
JENNIFER: Like he never died at all.
THE TAPE CONTINUES.
HOWARD: I would like those assembled here for coming. Some of you in particular meant a great deal to me. I only regret I didn't get to know you sooner. For all the riches in the world mean nothing if you no one to share them with.
JACK: My sentiments exactly!
CONTINUING WITH THE TAPE.
HOWARD: My family is another matter entirely, what there is of it. What is this?
JACK: Wait a minute, he had a family? It is of great sadness to me that the only living Hawkins is one no good worthless grandson, my namesake, Howard Austin Hawkins III. And this is why with deep regret I have no choice but to leave the sum total of my entire fortune to him.
SUDDENLY THE DOOR OPENS.
HAWK: YEE HAH!
HE LETS OUT A COWBOY WHOOP.
SCENE ONE: HAWK HAS JUST ARRIVED TO THE READING OF HOWARD'S WILL.
JENNIFER: Oh my gosh, it's him.
JACK: Him who, him?
JENNIFER: The one at the funeral. The one who told me to keep the rose that I was going to put on Howard's grave. He put it in my hair.
CHAUNCEY: Nice of you to join us Howard.
HAWK: That's Hawk.
JACK: (To Jennifer) That's the grandson, the no good worthless one?
HAWK: Not so worthless anymore.
CHAUNCEY: This is Mr and Mrs Deveraux.
HAWK: Yeah we've met.
JACK: So I've heard.
HAWK: Well let's get the show on the road. I can't wait to hear the rest of those choice words that old gramps had to say about me.
JACK: Now wait a minute. This must be a mistake. He doesn't want to give him any money. You heard what the old man said about him.
CHAUNCEY: No, no, there's no mistake, unfortunately.
JACK: Yeah but this will....will not hold up in court.
CHAUNCEY: Oh yes, it's perfectly legal and binding.
JACK: Then what the hell are we doing here? I mean it was said that we were specifically mentioned in this will.
CHAUNCEY: You are. Now if you would please sit down and let the tape finish.
JENNIFER: Yes, of course he will.
JACK: I don't know what for. I mean....I mean if the entire fortune goes to him what's it going leave us? A bunch of Chronicles that he used to sleep on in the alley.
HAWK SEEMS TO BE ENJOYING JACK'S ANNOYANCE.
SCENE TWO: CHAUNCEY STARTS THE TAPE AGAIN.
HOWARD: Though I am forced to leave the family fortune to my grandson, I am not fool enough to do it without certain restrictions.
HAWK: Restrictions! What kind of restrictions?
HOWARD: I know that no account grandson of mine would squander the entire amount on women, liquor and heaven knows what else. Therefore I have instructed my attorney Chauncey Powell to put the inheritance into a trust out of which little Howie will receive an allowance of $25,000 a year.
HAWK STANDS UP TO PROTEST.
HAWK: $25,000? THAT'S RIDICULOUS! I'm going to contest this right now.
HOWARD: I know Howie will hit the ceiling when he hears this. He'll probably want to contest the will.
HAWK: You're damn right, you cheap old....
HOWARD: Let me finish. There's a catch. I knew that would get your attention. Now listen close Howie because you can have all the money. This is where Jack Deveraux comes in.
JACK: What, me? What do I have to do with this?
HOWARD: I am appointing Mr Deveraux as trustee of the fund. And if, if you can prove your worthiness to Jack, then you can have all the money Howie.
JACK: What?HOWARD: I didn't get really get to know Jack all that well but as far as I'm concerned his personal integrity is flawless. And his choice in women, sublime.
JACK SMILES AND NODS IN AGREEMENT AT THAT COMMENT.
HOWARD: And he....his business accumen is nearly as good as my own.
JACK: Oh, I'm supposed to take that as a compliment? The guy lived in a trash can. I mean....
JENNIFER GLARES AT JACK.
JACK: Well he did.
HOWARD: I know that this is a big favor to ask of you Jack. I'm putting the fate of my family's future in your hands. I'm asking you to watch over little Howie.
JACK MOUTHES THE NAME "LITTLE HOWIE" AND CRINGES.
HOWARD: And if, in your opinion, he grows into the responsible, upstanding and astute man you are, then you have my blessing to give him the money. No offense Chauncey, you're a brilliant attorney but you're also foolhardy. You'd take the 10% and be on your way. While Jack, on the other hand, needs nothing, nor would he ask for anything in return. I hope you'll be able to do this last favor for me Jack. I know it's asking a lot but I'll go to my grave a happier man knowing my affairs will be in order.
HAWK: Well fancy that!
CHAUNCEY: What do you say Mr Deveraux? Will you do it?
JACK LOOKS COMPLETELY UNINSPIRED BY THE WHOLE IDEA.
JENNIFER: We'll get back to you on that. Come on Jack.
JACK: But what....
SHE DRAGS HIM TO THE DOOR.
JACK: But....I....JENNIFER: Goodbye.
SCENE THREE: BACK AT THE PENTHOUSE WHERE JENNIFER TRIES TO CONVINCE JACK TO DO THIS FOR HOWARD.
JENNIFER: Jack, just wait a minute, wait. Can you at least just listen to reason?
JACK: Do the words, not in this lifetime, mean anything? I WILL NOT BABYSIT LITTLE BABY HOWIE, LITTLE HAWK, OR HOWARD HAWK, SON OF CHICKEN HAWK, OR WHATEVER THE HELL HIS NAME IS AND THAT IS FINAL!
JENNIFER: You have to. It was Howard's dying request and you can't ignore that.
JACK: THE MAN IS DEAD! What's he going to do, come back and haunt me from the grave. (Beat) Forget I said that.
JENNIFER: Jack you have to. It's fate, it's destiny and you can't change that.
JACK: What is that supposed to mean?
JENNIFER: Howard's the man.
JACK: The man?
JENNIFER: Howard is the man that DesirØe predicted would change our lives.
JACK: Well DesirØe got one right but I was hoping it would be a change for the better.
JENNIFER: Well maybe it still will.
JACK: How?JENNIFER: I don't know but you can't refuse a dying man's last request and I won't let you.
SCENE FOUR: BACK AT CHAUNCEY'S APARTMENT, HAWK AND CHAUNCEY ARE DISCUSSING HOW IT WENT WHEN HOWARD, OBVIOUSLY *VERY MUCH ALIVE*, AND DESIRÉE BOTH ARRIVE. THEY ALL CONGRATULATE EACH OTHER ON THE JOB THEY'VE DONE SO FAR. THEY THINK THIS COULD BE THEIR BIGGEST CON EVER. THEY ALL HAVE A TOAST TO CONNING JACK AND JENNIFER DEVERAUX.
SCENE FIVE: LATER THAT EVENING, JENNIFER IS WRITING FURIOUSLY ON A NOTE PAD.
JACK: What are you doing?
JENNIFER: Oh, so many things have happened today, I want to make sure I get them all down. JACK: I see. So we're writing a story about all of this?
JENNIFER: No I'm just....I'm going to start keeping up a journal.
JENNIFER: Because I want to make sure I write down everything incredible that transpires. As a matter of fact, tomorrow I'm going to go to the stationery store and I'm going to pick myself up a diary and start keeping a diary.
JACK: I see. Now before you go spending your money and mine, let me save you a lot of time and trouble. Nothing is going to transpire because I won't let it.
JENNIFER: Well we'll see about that Jack.
JACK: No we won't.
JENNIFER: Remember what DesirØe said.
JACK: You were the one who told me to totally disregard what DesirØe said.
JENNIFER: I was wrong Jack, you were right. We are in for a big adventure and I am not going to let one minute of it go by without writing it all down on paper.
JACK: Alright, alright, suit yourself but it's going to be a short story because I'm calling Chauncey Powell tomorrow and I'm going to close the book on Baby Howie and his lunatic grandfather, forever!