Roger Confesses to Jill That He Blackmailed Frank
(November 1975)

(It is night, and Jill is sitting in her apartment, dressed for bed, reading a magazine and playing jazz music, when the doorbell rings. She looks through the peephole and sees that it's Roger, so she answers the door.)


ROGER: Busy?

JILL: Ahh...listening to music, reading magazines, I have not done this in ages. This is what you call a nothing evening in.

ROGER: Well, I was on my way home and thought I might drop in for a quick glass of Dutch Courage.

JILL: Well, help yourself.

ROGER: Is there anything I can get you?

JILL: (picking up a glass) No, I've got mine, thanks. (She goes to join him at the liquor cabinet.) What is the reason for courage?

ROGER: Oh, any number of things.

JILL: Like?

ROGER: Well, what's it always?

JILL: (raising her glass) Money!

ROGER: (raising his glass) Money, mistakes, money, friends...

JILL: (laughs) Sounds very complicated.

ROGER: Actually, it's pretty simple.

JILL: Want to tell me about it?

ROGER: Maybe, but first, why the sad music?

JILL: Oh, let's say I am setting the mood.

ROGER: For being without Frank?

JILL: You are just the confidante that the doctor ordered.

ROGER: I am the only confidante. I'm the only person that you can talk to about you and Frank.

JILL: And I thank you for dropping in.

ROGER: I am still the only person?

JILL: Uhm-hmm, and that makes it very lonely sometimes. And now that Frank's back home, it makes it even lonelier.

ROGER: Why the sad music? I should have brought something peppy and up-tempo.

JILL: I don't know, it's just since Frank went back home I suddenly feel this incredible void in my life and such a sense of... Oh, I'm just letting myself wallow in it.

ROGER: I know how you feel, Jillian.

JILL: Oh, look, I know that Frank should be home. I encouraged it. He needs to be there to reassess all of his feelings, and then if he comes to me it's from a very clear choice. But Roger, it makes for a lot of magazines and records.

ROGER: They also serve who only wait.

JILL: And wait and wait? Waiting is very difficult.

ROGER: I'm glad I was able to fill some of that time.

JILL: Oh, Roger, you've done more than that. You've been a really good brother and a steadfast ally, and I'm really grateful to you for not saying anything to anyone.

ROGER: (getting up and turning away, in guilt) Yeah.

JILL: What's the matter?

ROGER: Oh, it's the hour, not the company.

JILL: (suddenly a bit frightened) Roger, why the courage?

ROGER: It's completely of my own making, and it will have to rely on my own unmaking. Now, you have enough anxiety to deal with instead of dipping into mine.

JILL: (putting her hand on his shoulder) Tell me.

ROGER: Well, you don't happen to have $4500 lying around, do you?

JILL: (laughs uneasily) What for?

ROGER: A little business offer than I wanted to make.

JILL: I told you Roger, I don't keep that kind of money around.

ROGER: I know. It's alright. Never mind. I guess I'll leave you to your magazines and music.

(He takes his coat and starts to leave.)

JILL: Roger.

(He stops and turns, and she hands him a little yellow flower.)

ROGER: A garland for the gladiator.

JILL: That's because you dropped in and because you're so nice, and to help keep you company on the way home.

ROGER: (smelling it) I will tell it all my troubles. Good night.

(He kisses her forehead.)

JILL: Good night.

(He leaves, and on the way home, is beaten up by Nick's thug, Herbie, as the camera focuses on the flower Jill had just given him, which falls to the ground. Later that evening, Faith has stopped by Jill's apartment and Jill is giving her advice about Pat when the doorbell rings again.)

Jill and Faith

(Jill goes to answer it and looks through the peephole and sees the shape Roger is in.)

JILL: (frantic, while opening the door) Faith!

(She takes his arm.)

ROGER: Jill?

(Faith rushes over and the two help Roger stand up.)

FAITH: What is it?

ROGER: Ribs.

JILL: (helping him to the couch) Just take it easy. Easy.

(He lies down clutching his chest.)

JILL: Roger, who did it?

ROGER: I don't know. Somebody mugged me.

(She starts rubbing his face with a cloth.)

ROGER: (in pain) No!

FAITH: Roger, I don't want to hurt you. Maybe I should take you over to the hospital.

ROGER: I think the worst of it is a couple of broken ribs.

JILL: Please, Roger, what if you need stitches or something?

ROGER: No, I'm alright, just get me a drink.

(Jill walks away.)

FAITH: Look, if you don't want to go to the hospital, maybe I should go and get my bag so I can clean up those cuts.

ROGER: Okay. Alright.

FAITH: (to Jill, who has returned) I think we should call the police.

JILL: Roger, do you think that you could give them a description?

ROGER: It was too dark and he came at me from behind. Before you call the police, can I please have that drink?

FAITH: I'll be right back.

JILL: Okay. Here.

(She helps him drink it. They are now alone.)

JILL: Easy. (He drinks some.) Enough?


(She puts down the drink and he pauses, uneasily.)

JILL: Roger, where did it happen?

ROGER: Jill, I wasn't mugged. I got this because I owe a huge gambling debt that I couldn't pay off.

JILL: Gambling?

ROGER: Yes. The horses. It's the second time in the past year that I've gotten in way over my head. The man that I owe the money to gets awfully rough. Those broken toes this summer, that wasn't any accident.

JILL: (frantic) I don't believe it! Roger, how could you get involved in something so stupid and dangerous?

ROGER: Jill, I don't know! I don't understand myself! I just have to do it.

JILL: Wait a minute. Roger, you asked me last month to loan you $2500. Was that for a gambling debt?

ROGER: (nods) Yes, and it's gotten worse. The man I am supposed to pay the money to now wants information from me.

JILL: What information?

ROGER: He's pushing me to tell him what I know about you and Frank Ryan.

JILL: About me and Frank?

ROGER: (whispers) Yes.

JILL: (shocked) Roger, why does he think that you know anything about me and Frank?

ROGER: Jill, I'm so sorry! I was trying to save my own skin! I let everything get away from me.

JILL: I don't understand.

ROGER: This summer, I owed $6500, and this man sent his goons after me and broke my toes and was ready to do a lot worse. I tried to get the money - I really did, I tried to get it - so I went to Frank and he agreed to lend me $6500. He was bringing me the money when he had his fall in the hospital, and later, I took it from the emergency room.

JILL: (stunned) That's why he wouldn't put the claim in for the $6500!

ROGER: I've been paying it back, little by little!

JILL: (angrily) Roger, you tell me, why would Frank lend you $6500? I mean, that money was his life savings!

ROGER: I knew that you were having an affair, and I said that I wouldn't tell, and then I said...then I said that one good turn deserves another.

JILL: (mad as hell) You what?

ROGER: I'd known for a long... (stops in pain) I'd known for a long time. I saw you two together when Frank was still in law school and still on the police force. I saw your car parked on the drive one night and I walked up to it and recognized the two of you and then you got out of the car and went into your apartment and I waited and waited and Frank didn't come out. So the next morning I called Ryan's to check it out and Johnny said that Frank was on duty all night, and from then on all I had to do was keep my eyes open.

JILL: And I thought that my brother and I were getting close!

ROGER: We have Jill, it's been completely honest...

JILL: (screaming) Honest! Roger, our relationship is crawling with deceit! I don't even know who you are anymore!

ROGER: I lied about the money and the loan from Frank...

JILL: It wasn't a loan! You listen to me, it was blackmail! Do you hear me? Blackmail!

ROGER: Alright, alright, I lied about that, but the feelings that have been happening between you and me, they were real. I care about you! You're the only person in the world that knows me and likes me. No one in the family cares. Mom's dead, Dad's indifferent, and Faith detests me. You're the only one Jill.

JILL: Roger, you pretended to be my friend when you were threatening Frank's career, his family, his whole future! Oh, God, I can't even bare to think about it. You know, you are ruthless and vicious and you're a fool! You used me and you put Frank through hell, all because of some stinking gambling? Let me tell you something, you really deserve what they did to you.

ROGER: I know, I know.

JILL: (thinking) Okay, did you give him the information?

ROGER: No, and I don't intend to.

JILL: (facetiously) Well thanks a lot for that!

ROGER: But he'll be back, and this time he said it was going to be my hands. I don't know what to do, Jill.

JILL: Alright. What if you pay him the money you owe him?

ROGER: He'd still want to get something on Frank, but maybe he'd back off.

JILL: How much do you need? I mean, I assume that it's more than the $2500 now.

ROGER: $4500.

JILL: The forty-five that you asked me for, earlier this evening, right?

ROGER: Uhm-hmm.

JILL: Alright. Alright, I'll have it to you in the morning.

ROGER: Thank you. Jill, I wish to heaven I could make you understand how sorry I am! Frank's such a good man, and you're my sister, and I do love you! And I never wanted to hurt either of you, I swear. You don't believe me.

JILL: Oh, Roger, I'm not even thinking about you now. I'm thinking about Frank. I mean, everyone wanted to know where the $6500...why he wouldn't put in the claim, and he couldn't say anything! I mean, Mary and Maeve and Johnny, all of them, and they just had to trust him blindly. Me too. And I'm glad it was easy, you know? I'm glad that he didn't have to tell me that my brother was blackmailing him. You see, he loved me. I mean, he loved me in spite of you.

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