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And the Meek Shall Inherit the Smarts

 

 

SETTING: Along a dark stretch of road. A black porsche with the top up goes cruising by, followed by a black firebird. In the firebird, Zachary and Maxine Smart are trying to see out the front windshield in all the fog.

Zach: Dad would have to inherit a fortune on a dark and spooky night.

Maxine: Don’t forget, Zach, this was one of our relatives, too.

Maxwell Smart and his wife are driving in the black porsche and making sure their children are following them.

99: Max, slow down a little!

Max: (preoccupied) I can’t believe it, 99! My Aunt Gretchen was as healthy as a horse! I can’t believe she’s dead!

99: Well, Max, these things happen. How old was she?

Max: 106. (99 looks at him) I told you. She was very healthy.

99: How well did you know your aunt?

Max: (thinking) Let’s see, I saw her the first time when I was five, then again before I became a spy…

99: Max, that sounds like you didn’t know her at all!

Max: Well, I really didn’t, 99. That’s why I was surprised when I got that call about her will.

The two cars arrived at a big, spooky house on the last hill of the road. There were other cars there, parked outside the house. Max pulled in next to a tiny green car and Zach pulled up next to him and got out.

Zach: (to Max) I’m not going in that house.

Max: Zach, we have to go to the will-reading.

Zach: So? This was YOUR aunt, not mine.

99: Zachary, as your father’s relative, that makes that family to ALL of us. Now get your bags and go in.

Zach takes out his bags from the backseat and heads towards the house. As Max comes around, he kisses 99 on the cheek.

Max: Thank you, 99. (heads towards house)

99: Max…

Max: (turns) Yes, 99.

99: I’m not going in that house.

Max: What was that speech about relatives and family?

99: Well, yes, but technically I’m related by marriage.

Zach: I’m related by marriage, too!

Max: (sarcastically) Well, thank you, 99. I now know where your loyalties lie. (heads towards house)

99 sighs, picks up her bag, and follows the others towards the house. When they get to the house steps, Zach rings the doorbell and it instantly plays the death march theme. Zach turns to look at Max, when the door opens and this Lurch-like figure stands in the doorway. The Smarts are a tad bit startled, but try to calm down.

Man: May I help you?

Max: We’re here for the Gretchen Smart will reading.

Man: (grinning) Ah, yes. You must be Maxwell Smart. Do come in. The others are waiting.

Max: Yes, sir.

The Smarts walk in after the man and head towards the reading room. In it are five other people, sitting in the chairs provided. There is a picture of Gretchen Smart on the wall over the mantle and the resemblance to Max is astonishing. The man walks over to the mantle to start the reading.

Man: If we are ready to proceed, my name is Richard Frank. My partner and I handled all of Ms. Smart’s affairs. My partner, Mr. Stein could not be here this evening to present the will. Ms. Smart wanted her family and friends to hear her voice one last time, so she recorded her will. (walks over to play a record player)

Zach: (slowly) Frank and Stein? They sure pick the right lawyers for this fright night.

99: Shh. (record starts to play)

Aunt Gretchen: Welcome everyone. Cousin Skeeter, Cousin Vicki, my dear brother George, my dear friend Madame Verda, the psychic, my son Jonas, and my favorite nephew Maxwell. I would like to split my vast fortune with you all, providing you spend the night in this house.

Maxine: That should be easy.

Aunt Gretchen: The house is haunted.(looks from Zach, Maxine, and 99 at Max) Whoever leaves before morning will lose his or hers share of my fortune. Whoever is left will inherit all. So, I wish I could be there with you, so I’ve brought Madame Verda to perform a séance to hopefully let me speak to all from the beyond. So I wish you good night, until I see you again. (recorded stops)

Frank: Well, I will leave you all to your rest. I will come by in the morning to see who is left. Ta-ta. (leaves)

Skeeter: I suggest whenever Madame Verda is ready to begin the séance, we do that then go to bed and lock our doors.

Verda: Well, I shall go upstairs and unpack. I will begin the séance in exactly an hour from now.

Jonas: I agree. (leaves, followed by Skeeter, Verda, George, and Vicki)

Max: Well. (pauses) Wanna get unpacked?

Zach: Dad! What are we doin’? The place is haunted! I’m going home! Nothing will stop me from going home.

Max: Aunt Gretchen was a very wealthy woman.

Zach: Nothing! No…how…how wealthy?

Max: I think if we’re the ones who stay the longest, we get half a million dollars.

99,Zach,Maxine: Half a million dollars?

Zach: Well, what are we waiting for? Come on, let’s go get unpacked!

After unpacking and freshening up, the Smarts went downstairs to see Madame Verda at the dining hall table. The table was decorated with candles and she was sitting there staring at a picture of Gretchen on the opposite wall. Before the Smarts got to the door, Madame Verda spoke.

Verda: Stop! (Smarts stop in doorway) You are Maxwell Smart, Gretchen’s nephew.

Max: (hesitant) Uh…yes, yes I am.

Verda: (pauses for a bit) Come. Bring your family and sit in the first four chairs. (Smarts walk over and sit in first four chairs) I knew your aunt, Mr. Smart. You wonder why she put you in her will.

Max: Well, yes, actually…

Verda: Don’t speak! We will ask her spirit for the answer. (Zach Looks at Max)(looks at Zach) You doubt me!

Zach: Uh…I…I…

Verda: Don’t stutter. It’s a bad habit.

Maxine: Madame Verda…

Verda: You want to know how long I knew Gretchen.

Maxine: (surprised) Actually, I wanted to know if my car was okay in Washington.

Verda: (to Maxine) You are sarcastic. A child-hood trait.

Zach: Ha, that’s for sure! (laughs until Maxine gives him dirty look)

The group continues to talk until the others arrived downstairs. They all sat down and Madame Verda began the séance.

Verda: Hold hands. Oh, spirit world, connect us to the lost soul of Gretchen Smart.

Zach: [under his breath, to Maxine] This is crazy.

99: Shh…

Verda: [still in trance] Ummmmm…..spirit world! Hear my call to the lost soul of Gretchen Smart!

All of a sudden, the candles and lights in the room went off. Everyone looked around, startled. Madame Verda kept talking, unaware of the spookiness taking place.

Verda: Oh…oh…Wait! I’m getting something. I hear a voice! Gretchen…is that you?

A gust of wind sweep through the room and alarmed everyone. A loud moan was heard for about a minute and then stopped. Within minutes, the lights in the room were restored.

Zach: [looking around] Well, Madame Verda, as you can see…[turns to look at Madame Verda, but discovers she isn’t in her chair] Mom, Dad! Madame Verda…

Everyone: [to camera] She’s gone!

Vicki: Well, that’s it! I refuse to stay another minute here!

Jonas: But Vicki…

Vicki: No buts! If you wackos want to stay here, fine by me, but I am NOT staying another minute in a house where a grown woman disappears in front of witnesses’ eyes! [storms upstairs]

Max: Look, everyone. I’ll stay down here and try to find out what happened to Madame Verda.

Skeeter: [slight southern accent] A good idea, Maxwell. I suggest the rest of us go upstairs to bed and lock our doors.

Everyone starts to leave, with the exception of the Smarts. As Skeeter is closing the door, he stops to talk to Max.

Skeeter: Good luck with your search, Cousin Maxwell. And be careful. [leaves]

Maxine: Okay. Where do we start?

Max: I suggest we start where Madame Verda was seen last. Zach, check underneath the table and chair and see if you can find a switch or lever or something. Maxine, go over to that window over there and see if all the cars are still there. 99…

99: Yes, Max.

Max: [confused] 99, how did Madame Verda do that?

99: Do what, Max?

Max: Disappear like that! That’s not normal. People just don’t disappear.

Zach: [from under table] Sorry, Dad, but this is the first case of a disappearance I’ve ever seen. No lever, no button…

Maxine: [coming from window] And her car’s still here.

Max: But that’s impossible! No one just disappears from thin air!

Zach: Unless…

Max: Unless what?

Zach: Aunt Gretchen came and got her.

99: Oh, Zach, be serious.

Zach: [standing] I am being serious! What if Madame Verda stiffed money from Aunt Gretchen. Gretchen found out about it, but mysteriously died. Madame Verda supposedly puts on a show for us, with this séance, but Gretchen really comes back and takes Verda into…[in spooky voice] the beyond.

Max: [annoyed] Zach, that has to be the STUPIDEST idea you’ve ever come up with. That’s ridiculous. Gretchen came back and took Madame Verda to the other…Stop telling scary stories. You’re upsetting your mother and sister.

Zach: Sorry. I’m just trying to liven things up a bit. It’s a funeral parlor around here. [everyone looks at him] Oh, right! Sorry…again.

Max: (annoyed) Zach, be useful. Go upstairs and make sure everyone’s alright.

Zach: Right, Pop. [leaves]

Maxine: What now, Dad?

Max: There’s no way she got out of this house. Let’s go upstairs and see if we didn’t bring anything to help us look.

The three Smarts go upstairs and see Zach trying to help Cousin Vicki with her luggage.

Vicki: Get away from me! [hits Zach with suitcase]

Zach: Cousin Vicki, I’m trying to help you get downstairs! I can’t help you with your suitcases if you keep hitting me! [dodges another hit]

Vicki: [looking Zach straight in the eye] I don’t need your help! And furthermore, let me tell you what you can do with YOUR suitcases!

Zach: Now, wait just a minute. We don’t need any of that.

Vicki: Stay here and die. I don’t care. I plan to get out of here alive.

Vicki picks up her last bag, turns, and knocks Zach over with it. She looks behind her and then starts to head downstairs. She easily pushes Max, 99, and Maxine out of the way.

Max: Maybe Aunt Gretchen will come back and take her to the other side.

Max, 99, and Maxine went to their rooms and checked to see if they had anything to help look for Madame Verda, while Zach checked on the other guests. After awhile, they all came out of their rooms.

Maxine: Well, I think I might have found something in my room.

99: What?

Maxine: This. [holds up a knife] I found it in a wall.

Max: [taking dagger] Where?

Maxine: Over my head. I was looking in my drawers and stuff and thought I heard something. When I looked up, there was a dagger above my head. Or at least where it would have been.

Zach: [coming from Jonas’s room] What a loon. And I mean this in all loving and gentle expression, but…this guy is nuts. He thinks that this house…is really haunted…by not one, but two ghosts.

Maxine: [sarcastically] Oh yeah, that is nutty. At least with your theory, we’ve narrowed it down to just Aunt Gretchen. [mean look from Zach]

Max: Look, let’s not get angry here. We just have a missing person to contend with.

99: Make that two missing persons.

Zach: Aunt Gretchen doesn’t count, Mom. She’s dead.

99: No, Zach. I mean, Uncle George. He’s not in his room.

The other three Smarts walk over to George’s room and find that he isn’t there.

Max: Well, where is he? He didn’t go downstairs, did he?

Zach: No, because I was upstairs in the hall until you guys came up and the only person who left or went downstairs was Cousin Vicki.

Just then, a horrible scream came from outside. The Smarts rushed downstairs and ran outside. Before they even walked outside, they found Vicki on the front porch. Zach bent down and checked for a pulse.

Zach: She’s dead. And it looks like she’s been shot.

Looks of amazement and confusion go around the Smart family. Why would anyone kill Cousin Vicki and who did it?

 

******COMMERCIAL BREAK******

 

SETTING: The house of Gretchen Smart. On the porch stood her nephew, Maxwell and his family. They all decided to get upstairs to see who else was missing. Each of them checked rooms and met back in the hall.

99: Jonas’s gone.

Maxine: Cousin Skeeter’s gone too.

Zach: They’re all gone. Madame Verda, Cousin Skeeter…

99: Uncle George, Cousin Jonas, and we all saw what happened to Vicki.

Zach: They’re all gone!

Maxine: Except one… [they look at Max]

Max: [gulping] Me.

Zach: Don’t worry, Pop. We’ll stay with you and find out what’s really going on. I think the first thing we should do is…

99: Split up?

Zach: [thinking] We could…but I think we should really stay together. Just…just in case.

Max: No, Zach, your mother’s right. You and Max look downstairs and 99 and I will check up here.

Zach: Downstairs. Does that also include…[gulping] the basement?

99: Of course. Why not? We should check this entire house, including the basement.

Zach: I wish you hadn’t told me that.

The four split into their groups and we follow Max and 99 as they search the upstairs.

99: Max, what are we looking for?

Max: 99, I’m sure we’ll find it if we look hard enough.

99: [stopping at Jonas’s room] Well, how about this Max? This looks interesting.

Max: What looks interesting? [walks over]

99: Jonas’s room. Look. On the bed. He didn’t even unpack. [they walk in and go to the bed]

Max: You’re right, 99. I wonder why.

While Max is examining the contents of Jonas’s suitcases, 99 walks over to a picture by the wall. She looks at it for awhile, then hearing Max mumble to himself, she turns around. Suddenly, the picture moves and 99 is pulled into the darkness behind it.

Max: 99, come here and look at this. I don’t think Jonas’s was an actual family member. 99? [looks around] 99?

Max looks around, but sees no one. The scene then switches to the twins downstairs.

Maxine: Every time we decide to split up, I’m always stuck with you. [Zach is standing very close] And will you PLEASE back away from me!? You’re in my personal bubble.

Zach: (scared) I can’t help it! I’m a little worried. I mean, don’t you find this the least bit odd? First, Dad gets a telegram from an aunt he hardly knew, then we all get invited up here, then relatives start disappearing right and left, and now…I don’t even WANT to know what will happen next. This is bad news.

Their quest had led them into the kitchen, which was very dark and the only light came from Maxine’s flashlight.

Maxine: Will you stop babbling and help me look for clues? No wonder I can never get anything done. You’re always talking about something. [notices there’s no one talking, except her] Until now. Look, Zach, I hope I wasn’t out of line with those cracks. You know I didn’t really mean it.

As Maxine stands there, a figure comes up behind her. She even senses the being behind her.

Maxine: [to herself] Okay, Maxi, ole girl. Let’s not get too freaked. That’s probably the wind behind you. Or Zach playing a very dumb and childish prank. [laughing nervously] Or it just might be a big, hairy, Frankenstein monster. [laughing nervously, then stops] I wish I hadn’t said that.

As Maxine stands there, not moving, a hand comes over her shoulder. She screams and hears a voice scream too. She shines her light over to the figure.

Maxine: Dad?

Max: Maxine?

Maxine: Dad, you scared me half to death!

Max: Me? You nearly gave me a heart attack! In fact, I think I’m having one now.

Maxine: What’re you doing down here? I thought you and Mom were searching upstairs.

Max: We were, but your mother’s disappeared. I thought she might be down here. Where’s Zach?

Maxine: He’s gone too. He was right behind me and then all of a sudden, he was gone.

All of a sudden, a shrill scream was heard from inside the house. Max and Maxine look toward the kitchen door. Elsewhere, Zach looks around for the scream also and somewhere, 99 is running to where the sound was.

All four Smarts run from their location and Zach and Max end up running head long into each other, causing both men to fall to the floor.

Zach: Dad!

Max: Zach! 99! We’ve been hoping to run into you two.

Maxine: [helping Zach up] Yeah, but not so hard.

Before they can answer, more screams engulf the halls.

Zach: This will have to wait.

Zach and Max get up and follow the girls to where the screams are coming from. They reach the front hall and go into the living room where the séance was held. Zach runs into the room, but trips over something and falls to the floor.

Zach: What the…[looks and sees what he tripped over] I would trip over a body. [they all realize] A body!? [gets up and turns body over] It’s Madame Verda.

Maxine: Is she…?

Zach: Definitely. What do you think?

99: I agree.

Verda: No. [they look at her]

Zach: Apparently majority rules don’t apply to this house.

Max: Madame Verda, just what is going on around here?

Verda: [very little strength] You are in grave danger.

Zach: Tell us something we don’t know.

Verda: KAOS…involved.

Max: [to Zach] That we didn’t know.

99: How is KAOS involved?

Verda: Trust no one in this house.

Maxine: (sarcastically) Yeah, we could tell that. What else is new?

Verda: Diamonds hidden…

Zach: [to Maxine] That’s news to me.

Max: Diamonds. Well, that would explain why the temptation to get rid of us. And maybe why the others left too.

Zach: Madame Verda, are there any other things of importance?

Verda: Yes. [dying] Never do a séance for under fifty bucks. [dies]

Zach: [to Verda] Well I could’ve told you that.

 

******COMMERCIAL BREAK******

 

SETTING: The home of Gretchen Smart. The Smarts were walking closely through the house, looking for clues.

Zach: Dad.

Max: Shh! [whispers] What?

Zach: What’re we looking for?

Max: Number one, the rest of the group. Number two, a murderer. And number three, a pot full of diamonds.

Zach: Oh.

99: Max, how can you be sure that there are diamonds is this house?

Max: Something Madame Verda said before she died.

Zach: You mean about the séance and the fifty bucks?

Max: No before that.

Maxine: You mean the part where she said there are diamonds in the house?

Max: That’s the part.

Zach: You’re going on that?

Max: Yes, of course. Why tell me there are diamonds in the house if you’re dying? If it was a trick, then she wouldn’t be dead, but if it’s the truth, then she did the right thing.

99: That makes sense.

Zach: (confused) Really? Then I must have missed the brass ring there, cause I don’t get it.

Max: Basically, Zach, there’s something funny going on in this house.

Zach: (sarcastically) That’s amazing, Dad. And it only took half the night for you to realize that. [Max stops and gives Zach a dirty look] Look, how bout we split up again? We might cover more ground that way.

99: We might also get caught that way too. I’ll take my chances with your father.

Max: [stops] What do you mean by that?

99: Nothing. That was a compliment.

Max: Didn’t sound like one.

Maxine: Let’s not argue. I want out of this house and if it means finding diamonds and stuff, then I’m all for it.

The Smarts decided to check upstairs again and slowly went up the stairs to the second floor. Seeing as Skeeter’s room was at the staircase, they looked there first.

Max: [inside room] Okay, first, look for Cousin Skeeter.

Zach: What if we can’t find Cousin Skeeter?

99: Then look for a secret door or something.

Maxine: Like this?

Maxine stood over by a large floor mirror, which had opened, revealing a dark, spooky hallway.

Max: I would say that’s a good indication of a secret door. Who would look back a mirror to find a secret door? That’s what I call a very nice secret.

The Smarts go through the hallway a ways before Maxine found something else very interesting.

Maxine: Dad, I think I found Cousin Skeeter. [points flashlight at body]

Max: [moving around Maxine to body][checks pulse] He’s dead.

99: Oh, Max. This is getting really creepy.

Zach: You said it, Mom. In fact I think we should just get out of here, go home and hide under our beds and wait for this nightmare to end. [leans against wall]

As Zach leans against the wall, it pulls away, taking Zach out with it. The wall turns out to be another secret door.

Max: Good work, son!

Zach: [on floor] Well, I always try to fall gracefully. [getting up]

Maxine: Hey, this Uncle George’s room.

Max: There’s something funny going on around here.

The Smarts look around George’s room for clues. After about a minute, Zach finds a piece of paper that was partially burned in the room’s fireplace.

Zach: Hey, Pop, [walking over to Max] Look at this. This is a partial receipt for a couple of diamond rings and necklaces. Could that have been what Madame Verda meant by diamonds in the house?

Max: I don’t know. This is very strange indeed. So far, we know Jonas and George aren’t really family members and George is in stolen diamonds. I still don’t get the connection between this and my aunt’s death.

99: [snapping her fingers] That’s it!

Zach: Right. [confused] What’s it?

99: Stolen diamonds happen to be a big KAOS venue. So what if George and Jonas are really KAOS agents?

Maxine: Okay, in assuming that, that would explain why they were here and why they might want to bump off the rest of the guests, but why? If they are KAOS, why wait to get rid of us, if they are.

As the Smarts pondered this question, the door to the room opens to reveal George, Jonas, Vicki, the lawyer, Mr. Frank and another man. They creep behind the Smarts with guns drawn.

Max: I guess the only way to get answers around here is for someone to die.

Jonas: Funny you should mention that, Smart. {pointing gun at Max. Others point guns at the other Smarts]

Zach: [whispering to Max] Dad, I think you’re family’s getting a little out of hand.

 

******COMMERCIAL BREAK******

 

SETTING: The house of the late Gretchen Smart. Her nephew, Maxwell and his family were now in the clutches of KAOS agents Jonas, George, Vicki, Frank and Frank’s partner, Mr. Stein. They were all in the cellar, with the Smarts chained to one of the cellar walls.

Max: I hope I’m not out of line by asking this, but just what do you think you’re doing?

Frank: Mr. Smart, as head of the international diamond smuggling unit, we were asked by the high command of KAOS to store these diamonds some place safe. We needed somewhere that would be easily concealed. That’s how we found your aunt’s place. Unfortunately, we were unaware that someone was living in this house when we…put the diamonds away, so to speak. We needed to get in the house and take the diamonds before anyone became the wiser.

99: That’s why you were at the reading of the will.

Frank: Precisely. Hans, Victoria, and Lance over there took the places of your cousin and uncles. You see, they couldn’t make it to the reading because they were all out of the country.

Max: I don’t suppose you had anything to do with that.

Stein: Mr. Smart, on top of my partner being an excellent lawyer, he’s also a really good travel agent.

Zach: [sarcastically] Oh really? Can you send a family of three to a fabulous vacation in Maui?

Frank: Yes, I can.

Zach: Four-night cruise?

Frank: Yep.

Zach: With a stop in Rio?

Frank: I can.

Zach: [surprised] Really? How much would that cost?

Frank: Well, it depends on the family age and…[stops] Stop stalling, Smart! As soon as we get these diamonds out of here, you’re going to die. [goes to help the others]

Max: I must admit, that was a nice job of dispensing Madame Verda. Too bad we found out about your little plan.

Hans (Jonas): What’re you talking about, Smart? We didn’t kill Verda. She’s upstairs.

Zach: No, she’s definitely dead. I know. I tripped over her.

Hans: And I tell you she’s not dead.

Victoria: Calm down, Hans. It’s a trick. They’re trying to get to you. [goes back to the diamonds]

Maxine: [whispering to the group] Dad, I’ve got a key.

Max: [mouths] A what?

Maxine: [pointing at the key in her hands] A key. Keep stalling.

99: That was very clever, Vicki, making us think you were dead. But what I don’t understand is why you killed the other guests.

Victoria: I refuse to fall for your tricks, Mrs. Smart. I know and you know the other guests are fine and sleeping in their beds.

Max: No, Victoria, she’s right. The other guests are dead. And if you didn’t kill them, who did?

The agents stop and look at each other.

Max: I think your cohorts bumped off the other guests to get the diamonds before you.

Hans: Victoria, don’t listen to him. He’s trying to pit us against each other.

Victoria: What if he’s right and the guests are dead. Who killed them?

Hans: [hesitant] Well, I didn’t do it.

Lance: Either did I.

Stein: Nor I. [all look at Frank]

Frank: Wait a minute, don’t you dare look at me. I had nothing to do with these supposed deaths.

The five get into a very heated argument. As the fighting continues, Maxine manages to get free and frees the rest of her family very quickly. The Smarts stand there, watching this fight, unsure of what they should do.

99: Max, shouldn’t we stop them?

Max: Absolutely not, 99. It’s not proper to get involved in another group’s argument. It’s very rude.

Suddenly, the lights in the cellar went out and a voice was heard over the commotion.

Voice: Your time is up, villains.

Just as the lights went out, they came back on and they five KAOS agents were knocked unconscious.

Zach: Wow. They must’ve knocked themselves silly. Too bad.

Maxine: Why, Zach?

Zach: I wanted to get the price of that trip.

SETTING: The house of the late Gretchen Smart. The Smarts were downstairs, watching the KAOS agents being taken away.

Zach: Pretty neat how they each covered up those murders of the other guests. Incidentally, Dad, good job on that spook scare.

Max: What?

Maxine: C’mon, Dad. You know when we were in the cellar and the lights went off…

Max: That wasn’t me. In fact, there really shouldn’t be any light switch down there.

Zach: [nervous laugh] What…what are you saying…it wasn’t you?

Max: No. I thought it was you.

Zach: It wasn’t me! [looks at Maxine] Was it you?

Maxine: No. [they all look at 99][99 shakes her head no]

Max: Now wait a minute. If it wasn’t you, [pointing at Zach] and it wasn’t you, [pointing at Maxine] and it wasn’t you [to 99]…[pauses] [to self] Wasn’t me…

The Smarts start to feel a bit uneasy, when mysterious laughter is heard through the house. In a classic sitcom ending, the Smarts rush upstairs at top speed, pack, and run back downstairs and out the door. Zach pops back in.

Zach: Bye Aunt Gretchen. [quickly leaves]

 

THE ENDING CREDITS TO GET SMART!!

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