JACKIE MOSES falls out into the night – drifts in smoky opium dreams as his father once did. BONMOT laughs – follows on.
BONMOT: Where are you going, Jackie?
JACKIE walks through the square – guided by something inside — past Chinese bars, steam—gushing laundries and offal stalls. The narrow streets seethe with LASCARS, MALAYS, MERCHANT SEAMEN, CHINESE, PORTUGUESE, WEST INDIANS, ENGLISH PAVEMENT PRINCESSES. Languages cross-fire. Barks, yells, screaming babies, rattling carts. A steam train crashes across the causeway overhead…
Booming through the night comes the steady throb of a blues holler. Ahead a beacon throbs with music – The Joy House.
INT. NIGHT. JOY HOUSE.
JACKIE comes through. Smoke. Booze. WORKING MEN, WORKING GIRLS, SLOANS SLUMMING IT, A BEAUTIFUL TRANSVESTITE OR TWO. BONMOT gets himself a drink- snaps a Toscani in two – lights up. He looks across the smoke—filled room and sees HENRY CHONG in a booth along with a COUPLE OF OTHER CHINESE.
CHONG: Jacob. Did you find who kill Daniel?
JACKIE: ‘Don’t matter, does it, uncle.
CHONG: Welcome home, Jacob, welcome home. EXT. DAY. MAYPOLE ALLEY AND LITTLE DRURY LANE.
Blind ROSY STARLING tosses her golden hair and leans lightly on TURTLE’S arm. Light as a feather. He weaves her in and out the moving DANCERS – gently into the current of the maypole dance.
VOICES: Look at that! The blind girl’s dancing!
TURTLE and ROSY dance. She seems insensible to his tethering hand – flies like a bird.
ROSY: Quicker! I can go quicker! Just keep hold of me hand!
The COUPLE whirl to the raw music, ROSY’s smiling face turned to the sky, her golden hair flying.
ROSY: On me own! On me own! Let me!
Uncertainly, TURTLE lets ROSY go. She spins, every part of her expresses amazement and delight.
OTHER DANCERS step back. ROSY dances in a circle of space around her.
TURTLE lives for her every move – ready to catch her… Then a familiar voice rasps in TURTLE’s ear.
MR. DELILAH: Got to have it! Just got to have it, my boy! TURTLE turns in dismay. His drunk master, MR. DELILAH, lurches to the dance, dangerously waving his scissors.
MR. DELILAH: That hair! Did you ever see a finer mop? Got to have it!
TURTLE: Leave her, sir. Please!
MR. DELILAH: S’all sentiment, my boy! Just lemme at her! I’ll show you how it’s done! I’ll crop her closer than a nag’s tail!
TURTLE: For pity’s sake, sir!
MR. DELILAH: Pity…?