My Name Is 

Kenneth Allan Gauthier

  I am the author of  Their Fight for Love and Glory  which is available on Amazon.  The purpose of this website is to introduce the  screenplay of  the novel to interested parties, i.e. for those in the film industry to peruse at their convenience. The novel is the continuing story of the film Cassablanca and begins where the movie ends with Rick and Captain Renault plotting against the Nazis and Ilsa and Victor Laszlo flying to Lisbon  then America to solicit funds for the free French under Charles de Gaulle.   Captain Renault informs Rick that he has been tranferred to Paris  as Prefect of Police .  Rick ultimately opens  a cafe in Paris that becomes the epicenter of Resistance activity. Ilsa and Victor Laszlo return to London and join the Free French forces and paracute beyond the D-Day offensive to warn the  Resistance fighters that Eisenhower has no plans to liberate Paris for his main objective is to race to the Siegfried Line and beyond.  Here is a hint for the plotline: In the movie, Ilsa reminds Rick "We will always have Paris." How  they return to reclaim their Paris  is the adventure.    Yours in good faith,  Kenneth Allan Gauthier.

Their Fight for Love and Glory


Their Fight for Love and Glory

            CAPTAIN RENAULT 
                Voice Over 
We met several years ago when I was Prefect of Police in Casablanca. How and why Rick Blaine came to Casablanca has always remained a mystery. Rick seemed to appear very suddenly one day. He wanted to buy a failing club that was owned by a local  Nazi partisan. For an American to own a club was against bylaws in Casablanca. Like all rules, they are meant to be broken.  As Prefect of Police, I see that rules are broken fairly when certain financial obligations are met.  
Rick was an unusual character from the beginning but I liked him anyway. Instead of hiring local people who had experience in the cafe business, he hired the kind of people who were considered by some to be outcastes, refugees who had come to Casablanca to escape the continuing anti-Semitic, racist Nazis. Everyone knew the war was coming. The only question was how many countries would be overrun by the Blitzkrieg. 
Rick remained neutral. As Rick put it, “He stuck his neck out for nobody.” His hiring of refugees suggested otherwise. He said it was just a coincidence. 
From the beginning, Rick’s club was successful. His employees loved him because they were treated well and with dignity. I had suspicions from the beginning that underneath the rough exterior beat the heart of a sentimentalist. However, like most of us who were forced to “cooperate” with the Germans, Rick had a practical side by refusing to take sides. As Prefect of Police, I stroked more German egos than I care to remember. In the beginning, I knew he was a sentimentalist but one night he proved me wrong. He wasn’t a sentimentalist, he was a blatant patriot. Any man who gives up freedom to America and the most beautiful woman in Casablanca to fight the Germans is definitely a patriot. And that is where our story begins…..


A Boeing DC3 disappears into the clouds as the drone from the plane slowly fades. 

CAPTAIN RENAULT [stark white uniform] and RICK BLAINE [tan raincoat and fedora] watch as MAJOR GUNTER and four Nazi henchmen slide MAJOR STRASSER’S body into the back of an ambulance. 

Both men walk toward a Citroën barely visible in the fog.

        You were saying.

        There is something even 
        you don’t know. Something 
        you will find extremely 

        Like what, Louie?

        Thankfully, my negotiations 
        with Major Strasser were 
        completed before you decided
        to permanently perforate him.

        Yeah well, he had it coming.
        There was little doubt 
        about that. But thankfully, I 
        just accepted his offer to 
        head the main Prefecture in 
        Paris. Strasser arranged
         everything. All the paper work,  
        all the red tape is done. 
        I will be leaving for Paris 
        in less than a week.

        You sure you know what 
        you’re getting into? 
        Occupied Paris could be     
        dangerous - even for you.

        Not the way I have it 
        planned. A man in my 
        position,    privy to 
        vital information. 
        I could pass on that 
        information to the 
        Resistance. Imagine 
        the advantage the
        Resistance would have 
        if they knew what the 
        German’s plans were 
        ahead of time. And if 
        you were in Paris……  

Rick pauses for a moment. The grin on his scared face could only slightly reflect his overwhelming approval. 

        Louie, as I said before, 
        this    is going to be the 
        start of a beautiful 

        In that case, we have things 
        to discuss. I think you should 
        stay in Casablanca for a 
        few days. Without Strasser 
        around, you won’t have to 
        worry about the Nazis 
        bothering you. 

        What about Cassel?
        Cassel might be a problem. 
        He is very suspicious of 
        both you and me. Before 
        this is over we might be 
        forced to deal with him too. 
When they reach the Citroën - Rick lit another cigarette. He listens for the drone from DC3 with ILSA and Victor on board but it is gone. 

            CAPTAIN RENAULT 
     [understanding Rick’s quandary]
        Don’t worry Rick. Soon 
        ILSA will be just an 
        occasional memory 
        that will bring a
        momentary smile 
        to your face.

        Yeah, maybe - but somehow 
        I just don’t think so.

Both men get in the cramped interior of the Citroën and drive toward the Prefecture and the Captain’s apartment. 


LIEUTENANT CASSEL, a tall, steady man and Major Gunter, second in command to Strasser, stand in front of the two-story, adobe Prefecture. Their arms and hands are gesturing in the air - accenting their argument. 
As Captain Renault steps from the Citroën, Lieutenant Cassel aggressively approaches him. The two men stand face to face - a classic confrontation between the power-hungry Lieutenant and Captain Renault’s steely-eyed stare. The Captain finally won the battle as Cassel steps down. Rick and Captain Renault walk toward the apartment door at the rear of the Prefecture.

Lieutenant Cassel and Major Gunter flung their hands in the air and yelled “Heil Hitler”. Rick and the Captain ignore the Nazi salute as they disappear behind the apartment door. 

The lighting is soft and a square, mahogany bar dominates the centre of the living room.  

        I have to watch Cassel 
        closely. He wants my job and 
        will stop at nothing to get it.   

        He’ll probably get what he 
        wants after you leave for Paris.  
        I wish there were ways around 
        it, but unfortunately 
        what you say is true. I can’t 
        imagine Casablanca with him 
        in charge. We might as well 
        give the damn place to the Germans.

Captain Renault put a 78 on the Victrola. The lamenting voice of Edith Piaf fills the room with Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien. 
[I Have No Regrets]Rick sat at the bar with a pensive look on his face. The two men are quiet. The Captain pours cognac into two snifters. He hands one to Rick as he breaks the silence.  

        I’m am interested in 
        Paris. Somehow, I get that 
        you’ve been thinking about 
        that move for some time. 
        Why didn’t you tell me 
        about it before? 

        I didn’t know what your 
        intentions were. I had 
        reason to believe you 
        were a sympathizer, but 
        I had no idea you were 
        a blatant patriot - at 
        least not until this 
        ordeal with Victor and 
        the lovely ILSA. Any man 
        who gives up freedom 
        to America and the 
        most beautiful woman in 
        Casablanca to fight the 
        Germans is definitely a 

        Maybe, but I don’t have 
        to tell you we’re heading 
        into a dangerous situation
        in Paris. If the Germans 
        find out the Prefect of 
        Police is helping the 
        Resistance, they’ll 
        execute you on the spot. 

        That is why I want you in 
        Paris. If I have any vital 
        information to pass along, 
        all communication will be 
        done between you and I - 
        only. If you are the only 
        one who knows what I am 
        doing, chances of me 
        getting caught would be minimal. 

        I see. You don’t mind 
        being a hero, but you do 
        mind being a dead hero.

        Precisely. I want to 
        make sure every Nazi 
        and their collaborators 
        are put in front of a 
        firing squad.

Captain Renault sits at his desk as he whirls the amber liquid around the bottom of his snifter.

        Does that include 
        your collaborating 
        second in command, 
        Lieutenant Cassel?
        Cassel is insignificant.
        As long as he is in 
        Casablanca he does not
        Then it’s settled. 
        Paris it is. 

        I really think we can 
        make a difference in 
        Paris. I am sure of it.

        Since we’re going to Paris
        I’d better make a last call 
        at Yvonne’s. See you later.

Captain Renault laughs as Rick walks out the door but that would be the last time the Captain would see Rick in Casablanca.

When Rick jumps into his Citroen he makes a Uturn and dives toward Yvonne’s. Suddenly, he feels cold steel against the back of his head. Rick looks in the rear view mirror and recognizes Major Gunter.               
        You sure you got enough
        balls to do this, Major?
That is the last thing Rick remembers.

Major Gunter and Cassel are gathered around a metal table at . Gestapo Headquarters  on Avenue Fosh. Cassel is easily recognized, he stands a foot taller than Major Gunter. 
Both men beat Rick with nightsticks. He is slumped over, head planted, forehead first, upon the white metal table. His hands are cuffed behind his back. Major Gunter of the Third Reich, grabs Rick by a clump of unruly hair and pulls his head off the table. Irritated by his lack of response, he slams Rick’s head down. He is out cold. His whole body is one bloodied mass.
Cassel does not want to be implicated in the crime so he has Major Gunter take him back to Germany to stand trial for the murder of Major Strasser.


ILSA and Victor stood on the balcony, savoring their freedom and the nightlights of Lisbon. ILSA is laughing and smiling. Victor puts his right arm around her and pulls her toward him. He kisses her on the cheek. 
            VICTOR LASZLO 
        I love you very much, ILSA.

    [Her gaze was soft and alluring]
        I know.... I know. 
        You are the most 
        reassuring man I have 
        ever known. I owe 
        very much to you my
         darling - more than 
        I can ever repay you, 
        no matter how much 
        time we will have 
        together in America.

            VICTOR LASZLO
        The fact that you are 
        here is payment enough.           

Their bodies move together in one solid mass as they capture the mood, but their interlude is short. They hear a muted knock on the door.

Victor breathes out in frustration as he answers the door. ILSA could hear the muted sounds of voices - one familiar, one not. They were the voices of caution that have become so familiar after four years of secret liaisons with Resistance fighters.  

When ILSA enters the living room, a tall muscular man with thick black hair and an equally thick moustache stands and waits for the introduction. 

            VICTOR LASZLO
        ILSA, my dear, this is 

        My name is ANTONIO GILBERTO 
        ESTAFANIA at your service. 

ILSA smiles and shakes his hand. 

        Hello Senhor Estafania.
        To what do we owe the 
        pleasure of your company?

He kisses ILSA’S hand and looks at Victor for permission. When Victor gave a slight nod, Senhor Estafania began his explanation. 
        I don’t want to alarm you, 
        but I feel I must warn you. 
        The Germans are trying 
        to stop Senhor Victor 
        from leaving Lisbon.
        They know you are here. 

        Yes, I was aware they followed
        us here last night.

            VICTOR LASZLO
        You knew?

        Of course, Victor.     

        People feel safe here 
        but the Nazis have many 
        spies. They wear no 
        uniforms, which makes 
        them dangerous. 

ILSA sat deeply down on the sofa.   

        We followed them while they
         were following you. My
        friends and I in Lisbon 
        who are as you say....

Estafania pauses for moment, searching for a word. 

        Sympathetic to the cause? 
        Yes, Yes, Senhora. That
        is not the word, but 
        that is a better word. 
        Please, may I continue?
ILSA finally broke into a smile, finding their newly found friend quite comical. 

        Yes, of course. 
        We will plan for your
        escape tonight at the 
        meeting. I asked Senhor 
        Victor if you would like 
        to come along, but he 
        said it would be safer 
        if you stayed here. Will 
        the Senhora be all right? 

        Thank-you for 
        your concern, Senhor 
        but I will be fine. 
        I gotten used to this.  

            VICTOR LASZLO
        We’ve got to leave now, 
        ILSA. Don’t forget 
        to lock the door when we leave.

        Of course.

Victor put his arm around his wife. He whispers in her ear.
        We won’t be long 
        and I promise you 
        this will be the 
        last meeting. 

ILSA watches the two men disappear down the stairway before she locks the door.   

Moments later they are out the side door. Estafania escorts Victor and opens the front door of a waiting car for him. Estefania sits in back and introduces him to the driver. Victor reaches out to shake his hand when Estafania grabs Victor’s arms from behind and pins him to the front seat. They struggle as the driver sticks a syringe into Victor’s arm. The needle breaks but the effects of the drug are almost immediate as Victor passes out. 

The diver speeds down several streets until they enter two large open gates that lead to Our Lady of Fatima Funeral Parlour.                                    
Two nurses place an IV in Victor's arm to keep him sedated while the driver and Estefania change into mourning suits.  They place him in a coffin and slip it into the back of a hearse. 

In less than an hour, Victor is on his way to the concentration camp in Terezin, Czechoslovakia, the camp he had escaped from more than two years before. Victor's brazen escape embarrassed Anton Burger the camp Commandant and Burger had spared no effort or money in getting him back to exact his revenge.

All Resistance meetings last for no more than two hours so ILSA knew there was a problem by midnight when Victor did not return. If there was something wrong he would have phoned but there was no phone call and no Victor. She fell into a fitful sleep and by early the next morning there is still no sign of Victor. He would never leave her alone for any long period of time and it had been fourteen hours since he left. Like it or not she had to face reality. There is a good chance that she may never see Victor again. She phones the desk clerk. 
            FRONT DESK CLERK 
        Front desk.
        My husband and I are 
        staying for one more 
            FRONT DESK CLERK 
        Yes Madam. 
They day goes by painfully slow and by 2PM she orders two sandwiches from room service.     

After she eat, ILSA phones Rick’s Café Americain in Casablanca but the phone is out of service. She phones the Prefecture in Casablanca but she is told Captain Renault has been transferred but they refuse to say where. 

ILSA packs her clothes and Victor’s in case he returns before their flight leaves. She found the essentials in Victor’s briefcase; airline tickets leaving at 7PM today from Portela International Airport, destination, Washington DC, $30,000 in US and French Francs, the all important letter of introduction from Charles de Gaulle. The letter gives Victor and ILSA legitimacy and power of attorney to represent and transfer all funds for the Free French to a commercial account in the Bank of England. 
When she finishes getting ready she took a cab to the Airport. She didn’t want to be late for their 7PM flight to the America but her last wish didn’t come true. Victor didn’t show up for the flight.  


 The 22 hour flight from Lisbon to Washington DC gave her time to plan her strategy. After ILSA checks into the Mayflower Hotel, she hires a secretarial service to have 535 letters of introduction typed and delivered to each congressman and woman and all 100 senators. When she is sure all politicians are aware of her as representative of the Free French under Charles de Gaulle, ILSA starts to make phone calls. There are only 8 congresswomen out of the 435 so she contacts them first and tries to make appointments, thinking as women, they would be more approachable.

She is disappointed when she can’t get past their first line of defense - their secretaries. When she introduces herself as a representative of Charles de Gaulle, questions like Who? Resistance? Free French? She is surprised how uninformed these women are but the men are even worse. And when the brief conversations got around to money, the conversation is stopped, usually politely but stopped none-the-less. ILSA knows she has to get through to the congressmen and women in order to have a chance to explain what is going on in the world. 

ILSA finally succeeds in seeing Edith Nourse Rogers, a long time congresswoman from Massachusetts but it wasn’t without a little trickery. 

        Congresswoman Rogers’ office

        Hi, my name is ILSA. 
        I am    a constituent of 
        Congresswoman     Rogers
        from Massachusetts. I 
        would like to make an 
        appointment to see the 
        Honorable Congresswoman 
        at her convenience but 
        I am only    her for three 
        days. I apologize for 
        the short notice. 

            [over the phone]
        What is this regarding?

        Sorry, I don’t mean to be 
        flippant or rude but this 
        is a personal matter. But
        it is of grave importance 
        to the Congresswoman. 

        Let me check her schedule.
        She can see you tomorrow 
        afternoon at two o’clock. 
        Please be on time. 

        Just to confirm. 
        She is in the Cannon 
        Building on Independence 
        Avenue, Suite 345. 

        That is correct. I am sorry 
        what is your name again please.

        ILSA. I will see you 
        tomorrow at two o’clock.             


The Congresswoman stands and reaches over her desk to shake ILSA’s hand.    

        How can I help you my dear. 

        First, I have to apologize 
        for misrepresenting myself. I 
        am not one of your
        constituents. I am here 
        representing the Free French 
         under Charles de Gaulle. 

        REALLY, Miss Lund? You have 
        come a very long way.     

        As I was saying 
        I represent the Resistance 
        Fund that was established by 
        Charles de Gaulle and my 
        husband in order for the Free 
    `    French and the Resistance 
        to succeed. They need money 
        for arms, food and…. 

        Please Miss Lund, let me stop 
        you there. I am sorry to tell 
        you this but there is a very 
        anti-war sentiment going on in 
        the US at this time. 
        Isolationist America does 
        not want to go to war and to 
        be honest, it would be
        difficult for me to send
          tax dollars to an unknown 
        organization to fight a war 
        that doesn’t directly affect
        us. I am sorry but I think
        you can understand my
        predicament in this matter.

        I understand fully. Do you 
        have    any advice on who to

        The best advice I can give you 
        is to hire a lobbyist. It will 
        cost you but they know the right
        congressman or woman to ask.
         Your chances will be much 
        better with them. I assure you.
She hands ILSA several business cards. 
            CONGRESSWOMAN ROGERS continues...
        They deal with mostly 
        government persuasion but 
        perhaps they can help with 
        private sector as well.                   
        I wish you luck in this
        God-forsaking war, Mrs. Lund. 
         I have to admit, what you 
        doing is honorable. Hitler 
        is the devil’s advocate
        and he must be stopped.

        Actually, it was my husband’s 
        idea. He is missing. He went 
        to a meeting one night and 
        never returned but I am 
        hopeful he is still alive. 
        I am carrying on his legacy. 

        I am sorry about your 
        husband, Miss Lund. I would 
        like to help you in any way 
        but you can understand my

        Yes, I understand. Thank you
        for the advice.


Early the next morning, ILSA is having coffee in the restaurant adjacent to the front desk. She is looking at the cards Congresswoman Rogers gave her. 
The TV was just feet away and the weather report said it was an unusually cold for December 7th. Suddenly, there was news flash. Edward R. Murrow cut in and announces the Empire of Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor. Like everyone, ILSA is shocked. She sat in the lounge and watches for an hour before she returns to her room. Just as she closes the door her phone rings.

        Miss Lund? This Congresswoman 
        Rogers. I am sure you have seen 
        the news.

        Yes, of course

        I have spoken to several lobbyists
        this morning and explained your 
        situation to them and I am sorry 
        but it would be difficult for them 
        to lobby on your behalf, given the 
        present situation. I am sorry to 
        tell you that.  

        Please don’t be sorry, Ma’am.
        I appreciate what you have 
        done. Thank-you.

        I wish you good luck Miss Lund. 

When ILSA hung up the phone, she immediately book a flight for England with inevitable stopover in the Azores.


Rick wakes up in a 10 X 15 cell with a metal sink, a toilet and a thin mattress on a concrete slab. Despite his spartan surroundings, someone has taken care of him. They bandaged Rick’s head and his rib cage. Someone shaved him and he wore a clean hospital gown. When he moves any muscle, his face would grimace as the pain shot up his back. He had only been awake for several minutes when he hears a key penetrating the lock echo off the walls and the cell door creaking open. 
She wore a full operating gown, which is designed for maximum protection, with mask, eye visor, hair cover, and gloves. There were blood stains on her gown.   

        Do you speak English?

        How long have I been here?
        Three weeks to the day.
        You were     close to death 
        when you arrived.
        You had to be resuscitated.
        Who did the honors? 
        I should thank them.  

She didn’t answer the question but Rick knew when her face turned red, she gave him, “Mouth to Mouth”. 

        Why am I in pain?
        Judging by the contusions 
        someone beat you severely 
        with nightsticks. You 
        have broken ribs, 
        a fractured skull, numerous 
        muscle and probably bone 
        contusions. You have been 
        assigned to me but that is 
        temporary until another 
        physician can perform 
        your surgery.   

        Why am I having surgery?

She hesitates for a moment as if to think of an answer to give him.

        He has to repair damage 
        made by the nightsticks. 

Moments later two orderlies bring in a tray of food. One loosens the restrains around his wrists and the other waits until he sits up before he places the tray on his lap. Both orderlies wait in case their prisoner gets aggressive.
        That smells good. 

The doctor looks at food on the tray. 

        It’s sauerkraut, pork 
        schnitzel    and boiled 

        That means, There’s a good 
        chance, I’m in Germany.

        Very observant.

        That’s not too difficult to 
        guess considering sauerkraut 
        is the national dish of 

        That is true.

        Why is the other doctor 
        taking over my care? I 
        kinda like you. Can I 
        keep you for my doctor?

Suddenly, Rick lost his appetite 

        I was reading in Stars 
        and Stripes that Germans 
        were experimenting with 
        organ transplants. They 
        would harvest organs and
        transplant them into 
        Germans that were going 
        to die anyway if they 
        didn’t get the needed 
        kidney or liver. The sad 
        part is that none of the 
        transplants worked - so far 
        Both patients die. That’s 
        why you kept me healthy. 
        [to the orderlies]
        Tie him back up. 

        I guessed right didn’t I? 
        I am usually better at 
        judging people. I was 
        definitely wrong about you. 

        Put restrains on his legs 
        and tape his mouth shut
        as well. Then go home when 
        your shift is over. He is 
        not going anywhere but be
        here early tomorrow. Dr. 
        Mengele will operate 
        tomorrow morning. He wants
        you here early.
Later that night when his orderlies had gone home, Rick’s doctor unlocked his cell door. She put a vertical finger to her lips to keep him quiet. 
        Are you right handed?

She opens the lock around his left wrist and put the key on his chest before the doctor quickly locks the cell door and scurries away. Not surprisingly, the key opens the other locks around his wrist and his ankles but the cell door is still locked.   
He had no choice but to wait. Later that night, Rick hears gunfire that lasts for more than an hour before a massive explosion shook the building so hard fragments of the building fell on him. The dust is thick, making it difficult to breathe. He put his shirt around his mouth. His eyes are burning. 

Suddenly, there are three men at his cell door yelling at him in English and French. Rick moves toward the door then he quickly backs away. Moments later, a small explosion blew the cell door open and with a flash and a bang, he is free. As Rick and the men ran out of the building, he looks around but there are no guards. They are dead. His rescuers gave Rick a small satchel before they ran off in different directions so Rick took heed and did the same. 
When he is far enough away, he searches his satchel. It contains rations, a small flashlight, five Reichsmarks, 5 French Francs, a compass and a note written in English. He uses the flashlight to read the note. 
Catch the 7am train to Neuilly/Paris at the station in Strasburg. You are 6 kilometers due east of Strasburg. The Germans set hundreds of prisoners free from the nearby concentration camp. Blend in with the rest of the prisoners when they board the train. 
Important. Use Reichsmarks in Strasburg for it is now part of Germany. You do not want to draw attention to yourself by using French Francs. Your  contact in Neuilly will be a man named “Marcel”. He will meet you at the station. Good Luck.

With his compass showing him the way, Rick starts walking. He was on his own but he could not complain. He was free.              


As he did on most days, Captain Renault leaves the Prefecture at noon. He walks across the Seine at Pont Neuf and enters the Latin Quarter.  When he reaches Cafe Les Deux Magots on Place Sainte-Germain, he sat on the inside. 

As he did on most days, Captain Renault sits at the same table and Marcel, serves him a cup of real coffee and places a Paris Soir, a pro German newspaper, on the table next to him. 

As he did on most days, when the Captain visits he discretely slips a note into the folds of the Paris Soir for Marcel to read after the Captain leaves. This day is different, however. Along with the usual note, the Captain slips an envelope into the folds of the paper. 
As he did on most days, when the Captain has left, Marcel clears the table and reads the note in secret. 

Tomorrow you must meet the morning train [9am] from Strasburg at the Neuilly train station. Look for a man who will be near 
the last to leave the train. He might be wearing a tan trench coat and a fedora. 
He goes by the name of Rick Blaine. I assure you he can be trusted. From now on, you and Rick are going to be working together. Read the contents of the envelope     before you give it to Rick.


A crowd of optimistic French women and a few men gather and wait for a train from Germany. The Nazis freed two hundred French war prisoners. They hope the gesture would entice the much needed French labor force to work the factories in Germany. 

Few people, though destitute and starving, sign up for the train ride to the German factories. To the ardent French, working for the Nazis is considered nothing less than a flagrant act of treason.        

Faces in the crowd reflect the gamut of emotions. Some faces are smiling and other faces are visibly strained and overcome with anxiety. 

The crowd began celebrating the exodus, as the locomotive came into sight. Some mothers lift their children over their heads, hoping their fathers would recognize them. Others are too afraid to look. 

Someone told the lady in waiting some time ago that the Gestapo had killed her husband but she came anyway. She hopes for a miracle.   

The train eases its way into the station with tattered men with skeletal but beaming faces hung out its windows. They are waving at a frantic pace. Liberation from a Nazi prison is at hand for these Frenchmen.    

Even before the locomotive stops, the prisoners jump onto the platform. A middle-aged woman who is dressed in elegant clothes cries in the arms of a consoling friend. She has learned the fate of her husband. Her worst nightmare is realized. 

Two children finally get a glimpse of a man they hadn’t seen in two years, broke from their mother’s grasp and ran toward him yelling, Pa - Pa, Pa - Pa. Their father crouches down as his children run into his arms, screaming in jubilation. His wife slowly walks toward him anxiously crying with hands clinging to a hanky. The man stood erect, never taking his eyes from her. When they met, their bodies, pressed together hard and fast in an emotional embrace with their children wedged between them. 

The lady-in-waiting Is waiting no more when she sees her husband jump from the train. He is badly bruised and battered, but alive. When they embrace, the woman looks over his shoulder toward the heavens. She thanks God for bringing her husband home to her.

Suddenly, four years of anxiety, frustration and hatred fled their bodies. Once again, it is like before - before the occupation robbed them of their dignity, humanity and liberty. 

 Behind the train station, up on a steep, snow-covered knoll, Marcel waits and watches. His eyes nervously dart back and forth from the men as they disembark and the Germans. The Germans and their Vichy puppets are working the crowd like ardent politicians taking credit for the liberation. 

Marcel finally sees someone who matches the description of the man Captain Renault gave him. Marcel moves carefully down the slippery knoll. He crosses the concrete platform and moves toward the last man to set foot off the train. He wore a fedora pulled down on his forehead and a lose fitting tan raincoat. When he realizes the last man in the fedora is coming his way. Marcel stops him. 
        Monsieur Blaine? 
        Monsieur Rick Blaine?  

            RICK BLAINE
        Who wants to know?    

        My name is Marcel. 
        I have been instructed 
        by Captain Renault to 
        give you important 
        information. Please, 
        follow me, Monsieur.

 They cautiously walk with the dispersing crowd. As they pass the station, both men keep a wary eye on the German officials. They stop well beyond the train station at a small cafe on Rue Sainte-Germain.         
The cafe is across the street from the last stop on the Metro subway, which leads into Paris. The typical Parisian cafe is empty and dark, an ideal place to talk beyond the scrutiny of Germans. As they sit at a table, Marcel begins the conversation. 

        You are a little thinner 
        than your description,

            RICK BLAINE
        I recommend anyone who 
        wants to lose weight to 
        enroll in a concentration 
        camp. I can guarantee the results. 

Never one to beleaguer the pleasantries, Rick got to the point. 
            RICK BLAINE
        So what do you want to 
        tell me?    

        Yesterday, I received 
        a communication from 
        Captain Renault. 
        You of course know him?

            RICK BLAINE                    
Yeah, I know him.

        The letter instructed me 
        to meet you at the train 
        station. Captain Renault 
        is well connected because 
        no one knew about the train. 

            RICK BLAINE
        Captain Renault is a very 
        resourceful guy.
        Beside your description, 
        he gave me a deed to a cafe on 
        Avenue Marceau, not far from 
        the Champs-Élysées - in your 
        name, Monsieur. Here are all 
        the documents. 

Marcel discretely looks around before he hands Rick a folded manila envelope. 
        And even more amazing or 
        perhaps it was just a 
        coincidence; the name of 
        the cafe is Rick’s Cafe. 
        The cafe is closed now
        but everything is there.
        We could open today. 
        These circumstances are 
        most unusual, Monsieur. 
        Don’t you think?
            RICK BLAINE
        Yeah, well Captain Renault 
        is just an unusual kinda 
        guy.  I take it you and 
        the Captain have been 
        working together. 

        Qui Monsieur, 
        He had given me interesting 
        information in the past but 
        nothing like this.
            RICK BLAINE
        Let’s hope he has more 
        interesting information 
        in the future.

A tall gangly server with a prominent overbite asks the two men if they would like anything to drink. Rick speaks with a sense of purpose.     
            RICK BLAINE
        No thanks. Come on Marcel, 
        we’ve got work to do.    


They took the Metro for several stops and got off at Avenue Fosh. A man named Perrot is waiting for them in a bicycle taxi. Rick is impressed. 
        Since there is no gas 
        some cab drivers welded their 
        bicycles on the back half 
        of their cabs. Perrot is a 
        former Tour de France 
        professional so he is 
        probably the fastest cab 
        driver in all of Paris. 


After Marcel introduced Rick to Parrot, he took them on a tour of Paris. Within moments, Rick notices the ugliest signs in Paris.         
        What the hell are those?

        The Germans get lost easily 
        so these ugly white wooden 
        signs with black letters 
        have    sprouted up around 
        the city giving them
        I’ve got a good idea 
        already on how to 
        confuse the Germans.

        Qui, Monsieur Rick. 
        I know exactly what 
        you are thinking. 
        We can have the Germans
         lost by several miles 
        before they even 
        know they are lost.
        I’m glad we think alike
        but you can drop the 
        “Monsieur”. Just Rick will do.

Perrot turns around and discretely points down Avenue Fosh. There is a changing of the guards at Gestapo headquarters.
        He is pointing at Gestapo             
headquarters. Parisians
        have been banned from 
        that street. 
        People who live near-by say             
       they can hear captured                 
Resistance fighters 
        being tortured. If they can’t 
        get information from them 
        they are killed. They are
        led by Major Hanns Gruber 
        who is famous for his 
        brutality. He spares no pain.

Perrot took several side streets until he stops at Rick’s Café  on Avenue Marceau. The drop off is fast. There was no idle chatter just an exchange of money to make it seem like a genuine cab ride. 
        [paranoid whisper] 
        Welcome to the fight, 
        Monsieur Rick.

Rick and Marcel paused for a moment looking at the front of the café. A folded door stretched 15metres across the front, separating the inside from the patio. The sign “Rick’s Café” was small and circular and split the terrace from the downstairs bar. The tables and chairs on the patio look new but the umbrellas are not. Marcel gave Rick the keys.
At that moment, a woman turns the corner from Champs-Élysées and walks towards the two men. Marcel recognizes her. 

        I forgot to tell you. 
        I took the liberty of hiring 
        a good cook, and waitress. 
        She does everything. 

As she got closer, Rick recognizes that walk, which oozed sex appeal. It is Yvonne. Rick had a relationship with her before ILSA came to Casablanca but that was a long time ago. He never thought he would see her again but he is glad she is here.
        Hello Rick, Hello Marcel.

Yvonne and Rick hugged. For the two of them it is a familiar hug and a familiar fit. It felt like old times.

        Hello Yvonne. It’s 
        good to see you.            
        [Rick to Marcel]
        Yvonne and I have worked 
        together before. We can 
        trust her.  

        That wasn’t difficult 
        to tell.    
        In that case, we 
        better get started. 

They unfold the front doors and when they turned on the electricity, they were in business. An hour later, Perrot, their first customer arrives for coffee. When the day is over, they amassed a fortune of 6.5 francs, which wasn’t bad considering.     
Rick, Marcel and Yvonne are sitting on the terrace marveling at documents Captain Renault had put together.   

        All the legal documents 
        are here in that envelope 
        and up to date. I am 
        impressed. He even wrote 
        us a note.   

            CAPTAIN RENAULT 

Welcome to Paris, Monsieurs.  

I hate not using names since it seems so impersonal writing my best friend and not being able to use your name. I understand from our mutual friend that you have survived and are doing remarkably well considering what you have gone through. That is good news considering this year could be a difficult one for both of us.     

It is difficult to believe that it has been more than a year since we planned for this day. Unfortunately, we cannot toast to this occasion in person. We have our jobs to do, as we planned long ago. 

To say the city has changed a lot in the last year would be a monumental understatement as you are now finding out. The city may seem calm to you after your first impression but it is in turmoil, my friend. You are soon going to find out there is a war being waged. It is a quiet war but scores of people are being killed every day without fail. It is sad to say I know too many of them. 

I don’t have to tell you the occupation forces dominate every aspect of life in Paris. I can’t even look at that damn swastika hanging from the Eiffel Tower. You know as well as I do that it is the ultimate insult to proud Parisians and especially to us. The happiest day of my life will be when we rip that Nazi flag down and have it burned. And have every Nazi hanged and burn in hell for all eternity.    

Our Paris was vibrant and alive but now the city streets and massive boulevards are cold and empty. 
Just a word of caution; Don’t be judgmental of Parisians who seem to collaborate with Germans for most Parisians begrudgingly participate with them.  They really have no choice. These are not militant people. They can only wait for the liberation of their beloved Paris - when the City of Light will be rekindled by you and me and thousands of others who are known as the militant Resistance, without us, the eventual liberation of France will not be possible. They are us and we are them. But be wary of the blatant collaborators. These are the people who are worse than the Nazis ‘cause they have turned on their own people for political and financial gain. Anyway, welcome home my friend. It is good to see you. Talk to you soon. Be safe.  

As the clock struck twelve signaling the noon hour, the soldiers of the Wehrmacht began their daily march down the Champs-Élysées. 

Not far from the Champs-Élysées, on the west side of Avenue Marceau, amid the never ending row of shops, boutiques and restaurants of all distinctions, Rick Blaine wearing simple black trousers and a pewter grey shirt buttoned all the way to the collar sat on the terrace above his cafe. Gone were the decadent days in Casablanca when elegant black ties, silk shirts and white suits were the norm. These are more stoic times and elegant haberdashery fit neither the mood nor the demeanor of Paris. 

Rick watches with fleeting interest the German display from his vantage point as he read another leaflet passed to him by Perrot. 

On the terrace, Rick set the leaflets on fire in the ashtray placed in the middle of the white wrought-iron table. He looks at his watch and as anticipated, Captain Renault, unruffled as usual, has rounded the corner with his customary Paris-Soir, neatly tucked under his arm.     

As he approaches the cafe, the bi-play between Rick and Captain Renault is discrete at best. None-the-less both men are completely aware of each other’s presence.
Captain Renault sat under the furthest umbrella away from the Champs-Élysées, and put the Paris-Soir carefully upon the table. It is a signal for Rick and Marcel. There was a message stuffed between its pages. 

Yvonne approaches Captain Renault with a tray perched on the ends of her delicate fingers. She smiles and places a coffee in front of him. 
        How are you today, Captain?   
        I am fine Yvonne.

As she disappears into the shadows of the café, Captain Renault looks at his watch; he didn’t want to be late for his meeting with the head of occupation forces in Paris, General von Choltitz - a meeting, which would change his life forever.      The Captain drinks his coffee then leaves as quickly as he came. He left the Paris Soir on the table. 

A man and a woman crowded into the rear compartment of a bicycle-taxi turns erratically around the corner from the Champs-Élysées. The lean bicyclist slows the vehicle as it nears Rick's. The man and the woman got out of the cab and leave in opposite directions. 

The young man, looking overtly dressed in a leather flight jacket and a white scarf, walks with an arrogant swagger into Rick’s.

Marcel and Yvonne look at each other in total disbelief. Yvonne reacts quickly, approaching him with a smile as he sat inside the cafe. She spoke to him in French and English. 

        Comment allez-vous.    
        I think you should 
        come with me, Monsieur.

The young man’s eyes sparkled, but he said nothing as he rose and followed Yvonne’s inviting smile toward the stairs, which led to Rick’s office and the terrace.


When they walked through the swinging doors, Rick looked up as he sat at his desk, guarding the entrance to the terrace.

        Rick this is Jack Armstrong. 

            JACK ARMSTRONG
        Lieutenant Jack Armstrong,
        sir. 1st Army Airborne, sir.   

            RICK BLAINE
        Relax Lieutenant, acting 
        like a military man - 
        especially an American 
        military man can get you 
        into a lot of trouble 
        around here. What’s your 
        name again?

            JACK ARMSTRONG
        Jack, sir.

            RICK BLAINE
        From now on Jack, it’s 
        first names, no saluting, 
        no calling anyone, sir, 
        and most of all get rid 
        of that flight jacket 
        and that scarf. It’s as 
        obvious as walking up to 
        the Gestapo and telling 
        him you’re an American 
        combat pilot. Yvonne, get 
        a jacket for Jack. Give 
        him that blue pea-coat I 
        have in the closet and 
        didn’t someone leave a
        beret here?
Yvonne opens the slightly warped wooden closet door and found the blue pea-coat and the beret.    
            RICK BLAINE
        How did you get here, Jack? 
            JACK ARMSTRONG
        My B26 was shot down on a 
        bombing run over Rouen. 
        All my crew deployed their 
        parachutes but we got separated.
        I met a woman and she hid me
        for a few days in her farmhouse 
        then she brought me to the 
        outskirts of Paris when    two 
        others brought me here. There are 
        many dedicated people out there, 
        sir. Oh, Excuse me, sir. I meant 
        to say, Rick. 
            RICK BLAINE
        That’s okay Jack, you’ll
        get used to it. There 
        could be a time when 
        your life may depend 
        on it. What happened 
        to the rest of your crew?
            JACK ARMSTRONG
        I’m not one hundred 
        percent sure. I think 
        they were captured. 
        The whole area was 
        crawling with Nazis. 
        I was real lucky to get 
        out without getting caught. 

Yvonne slips the pea coat over Jack’s shoulders, and the beret over his head. She adjusts the beret so it dips a little to the left. 
        There you are - 
        now you look like 
        a real Frenchmen. 
            JACK ARMSTRONG
        Thanks Yvonne, you guys 
        don’t mind if I sit? 
        It’s been a long trip.

            RICK BLAINE
        Sorry Jack, you won’t 
        have time. You’ve got 
        to get out of here and 
        fast. You weren’t 
        exactly discrete 
        walking through that 
        door. You’re going to 
        a safe-house for a few days, 
        then we’ll have to get 
        you somewhere else before 
        we can get you out of 
        here to England. 

            JACK ARMSTRONG
        Where am I going?

            RICK BLAINE
        To Madame Bouvier’s. . ..
            JACK ARMSTRONG
            [voice cracked]
        Madame Bouvier’s? 

            RICK BLAINE
        Don’t get so excited Jack. 
        It’s not what you think. 
        Over here women who are 
        married are called Madame,
        not because they run a 
            JACK ARMSTRONG

Jack couldn’t hide the look of disappointment on his face. 

            RICK BLAINE
        Yvonne, take ‘poker face’ 
        here over to Madame Bouvier’s.
         Act like lovers, that usually
         keeps the Germans from asking 

Jack’s face beams when he realizes Yvonne is going with him. Rick wants to impress upon Jack exactly what the possible outcome of anyone caught on the streets after curfew. 

            RICK BLAINE
        In Paris, if you get 
        caught out after 
        curfew there’s a very 
        good chance they will 
        put you in front of 
        a firing squad. Isn’t 
        that right, Yvonne.

        I’m afraid that’s true, Mon Cheri.

            RICK BLAINE
        If you don’t believe me 
        and Yvonne, ask about 
        four thousand Resistance 
        fighters, but unfortunately 
        they can’t tell you - 
        they’re dead. 

Rick looks at his watch. 
        It’s five o’clock 
        so that should give 
        you plenty of time. 
        Stay put at Madame 
        Bouvier’s, Jack. Don’t 
        go anywhere! We’ll contact 
        you in a few days, and 
        remember, if you screw 
        up, both you and Madame 
        Bouvier will be killed. 
        I don’t want any screw-ups. 
        Whatever she says goes - 
        you got that? 

Jack nods his head and swallows his gum. Yvonne put her arm around Jack, thrusting her ample bosom against him and spoke in French because she knows too well that the French language drives American guys crazy and she love to do that.     
        Viens Mon Cheri, 
        we have a long walk 
        ahead of us.     

When they left the office, Rick walks back onto the terrace and watches them as they stroll down Avenue Marceau, holding hands and acting very much like lovers.  



        Shit - The paper! 

Rick runs through the office chastising himself for being so careless. When he reaches the bottom of the stairs, Marcel throws Paris Soir on the bar. 
        I hope it’s good news.  
        We need good news.

Rick took the paper and fled back to his office. He immediately opens the Paris Soir to the first page where Captain Renault always left a message for him. Rick laughs at the opening salutation. 
            CAPTAIN RENAULT 
Dear what’s your name. If you wish to witness the finest example of German propaganda, be at the Arc de Triomphe at six o’clock. Also, look out for rather peculiar looking panel trucks patrolling the streets. These vans are equipped with a new device invented by the Germans to detect radio waves being sent between piano men and women. The vans were made to look like any other van but they have a tell tale difference, the boot of the vans has been rounded in order to fit the added mechanisms. Be wary, according to my source, these new devices are very effective. I know, I am taking a chance exposing myself by putting this information in this letter, but it is too important. You must know about it.
I have come under the scrutiny of the Germans. According to my sources, this afternoon I have a meeting with General von Choltitz, and he is going to inform me that Lieutenant Cassel, our nemesis from Casablanca will be given the second in command of the Prefecture.  We must dispose of him for your safety. It is too late for me, but if Cassel finds you here the whole underground operation will be exposed and the security of you and every one of your people will be in jeopardy. Be careful my friend, the wily Cassel is not to be taken lightly. I’ll communicate with you the day after tomorrow.

        [yells with a sense of urgency]
        Marcel, we’ve got work to do.

Captain Renault’s already cramped office is made even smaller with the presence of General von Choltitz, bloated from excess and the power-hungry Lieutenant Cassel.
Captain Renault salutes and smiles appropriately in his usual affable way as he acknowledges the two men sitting in front of his desk. 
            CAPTAIN RENAULT 
        Well, well, this is a 
        delightful surprise - 
        General - Lieutenant. 

Both men rose from their hardwood chairs, flung their out-stretched fingers toward the shinning copper ceiling.                
            [in unison]
            Heil Hitler 

The Captain’s language was cordial as he pulled his chair up and sat.
        Now gentlemen, what can 
        I do for you? 

        Thank-you Captain. We have
        important matters to discuss.
        The most important matter 
        of our discussion, which you 
        are obviously aware, Ze Fuhrer 
        is getting impatient and very 
        The Resistance is becoming 
        much too powerful. In the 
        last week alone, they have
        blown up three ammunition 
        cars, a fuel depot in 
        the Pigalle and several hundred 
        feet of track. The Fuhrer 
        wants this to stop immediately.

        I don’t understand 
        why Hitler is so concerned 
        about the Resistance 
        activities. Hitler ordered
        you to blow up the whole city, 
        so it matters little what 
        the Resistance did or does. 
        Have you finished mining 
        the city?

Cassel turns his head and looks at the General in disbelief. Even a collaborator cannot understand why anyone would want to destroy Paris. Captain Renault got the reaction he wants from Cassel.
        Never mind, Captain. You have 
        your job to do and I have 
        mine.  Don’t forget I take 
        my orders directly from 
        ze Fuhrer himself. Therefore, 
        we have decided since you 
        and Cassel have worked 
        together so well in the past
        he could be an asset to you 
        and take some ze burden ze 
        extra Resistance activity 
        has put upon you. 

As the General speaks his fat jowls loosely hangs over an exaggerated Mao type collar on his tunic and the fatted flesh around his left eye easily supports his monocle.

        We also have a report 
        from one of your subordinates 
        that recently a Jew was 
        charged with Resistance 
        activities, but you recharged 
        him with a crime that carried 
        a penalty, which is far less 
        severe. What do you say 
        to these charges, Captain?

        What you said is true, 
        Herr General, but there 
        are other circumstances. 
        I did my own investigation 
        and found the man to be 
        innocent of the severer 
        charges. He was merely 
        guilty of selling false 
        identification papers for 
        profit - not because he 
        was trying to undermine 
        the Third Reich. 

        Do you harbor sympathy for 
        the Jew, Captain? You know 
        what ze Third Reich policy 
        is when it comes to Jews 
        and ze penalty for anyone 
        caught helping a race 
        that is destined for
        Yes of course, but I didn’t 
        realize the man was a Jew. 
        I merely looked at him as 
        just another Frenchmen. 

        I strongly suggest Captain 
        for your own good; take 
        a closer look next time..

The Captain knew his day are numbered. The only question is where, when and how?                                                       

        We have to get someone 
        out of Paris to England 
        and fast.

        The American flyer?

        I wasn’t thinking about 
        him, but could we get them 
        both out at the same time?

        Yes, of course. We would 
        have to get them false 
        identification, and arrange 
        transportation either 
        to the coast where they 
        could be picked up by 
        boat, or to Rouen where 
        they could be picked up 
        by plane. Either way, 
        it would take timing 
        and a lot of co-ordination 
        and of course, money. 

        Which one is the safest?

        There is no safe way. 
        The Germans are everywhere 
        checking documents and if 
        they have suspicions, they 
        hold anyone for interrogation. 
        If I had a choice, I would 
        fly - only because it is
        quicker, less time for
        How long would it take to get 
        the documents? 

        We can have them tonight. 
        It is ‘Papillon’ night. 
        The printers will be here 
        at ten o’clock. 
        Tonight we are printing fake 
        ration documents for the 
        printer’s families. They 
        are tired of starving.

        That’s right, I forgot 
        about that. All right, 
        I want you to get someone 
        to follow a Lieutenant 
        Cassel of the Prefecture. 
        He just got appointed second 
        in command. I want someone to 
        tail him, night and day, 
        and when the right time comes, 
        I want him dead. We’ve got to 
        do this as soon as possible. 
        He knows me, and if he finds 
        me here, he’ll have a pretty 
        good idea what we’re up to. 
        This whole operation could 
        come tumbling down on our heads. 
        I better get down stairs 
        I just heard someone come in. 

Marcel starts walking toward the office door.

        Oh and Marcel, I hope when this 
        stinking war is over, your 
        country gives you the praise 
        you deserve, and if they don’t, 
        I’ll see that they do. The 
        people of France owe you a 
        great deal.     

            [voice cracking with emotion]
        Maybe they can return the lives 
        of my wife and my brother. 
Rick looks at him as he disappears down the stairs. What else could he do or say.

Rick discretely slips out the backdoor toward the Champs-Élysées. He keeps a rapid pace up Avenue Marceau rounding the corner in full view of the Arc de Triomphe and that Swastika draped over its facade. About fifty meters ahead a multitude of civilians are waiting on the right side of the massive boulevard. From afar, they look like ordinary citizens, but a closer look reveals these people are dressed in fine expensive clothes. All that finery smacks of one thing - collaboration. 

Rick took a closer look before he retreats down the boulevard about fifty meters and sat down at the outdoor cafe, George V. 
A waitress, cautiously watching the spectacle, approaches Rick but she pays more attention to the commotion than to her customer. Finally, she smiles and sets a coffee in front of him. 

 The collaborators start yelling. The Gestapo parades captured American troops down the boulevard passed the gauntlet of collaborators. They yell obscenities, spat and kick the flyers. The Gestapo tries feebly to stop them with no success. One Allied soldier struck back with a clenched fist at one of the collaborators. The American put him flat on his back with one punch. The closest German soldier brutally retaliates with several blows to his head from the butt end of his MP44. The crowd cheers louder and louder with each blow. The nearest Allied soldier pleads desperately for leniency but he is thrown to the ground. The Gestapo cocks their carbines in unison. They are expecting retaliation but the Allies are defenseless. Rick’s face reflects the utter frustration as he turns away. He viciously scoffs at his inability to act. 
The waitress standing behind Rick put her sympathetic hand on his shoulder. She could feel and empathize with his utter frustration.   
The high pitch squeal from the brakes of a Krupp troop hauler stops at the point of the conflict. The caustic voice of a German drill sergeant yells out orders. Several soldiers corral the Allies and force them into the back of the truck. 
The Nazis left the dead American on the street. When the truck and the collaborators are gone, Rick waves goodbye to his newly found friend and hurries back to the café.

Marcel is pacing back and forth behind the bar. He wants to ready the basement for the printers who are due to arrive in less than an hour.     

        What time are the printers coming?

        The men and women will arrive 
        starting at 10 o’clock.
        Each fifteen minutes apart 
        with their assigned 
        piece of the press.        

        Nice plan Marcel. 

        Once all the parts are 
        here it takes us only 
        fifteen minutes to 
        assemble the press.
        What about Cassel?

        He will be dead in three 
        days. Four days at the most. 
        But we have a problem. 

        With Cassel?

        No. One of my contacts passed 
        the cafe earlier today. He
        recognized the German Major 
        who flirted with Yvonne.
        He is Major Hanns Gruber of 
        the Gestapo. He is notorious 
        for seeking out Resistance 
        fighters and killing them. 
        Was the Major here because 
        he is smitten with Yvonne 
        or is he watching the café? 
        Keep tabs on him. If he 
        comes back again we might 
        have another job for your 
        hit-man. We can’t take any

The ‘press party’ didn’t finish until four o’clock. Marcel slept on a cot in a storeroom they jokingly called the guest room. Yvonne slept on the davenport in Rick’s office and Rick fell asleep at his desk.

Rick is reading the previous night’s press production. He could tell by the sounds from the Champs-Élysées, that the daily German march is ready to begin. He expects Captain Renault to turn the corner at any moment. Yvonne is finishing the morning prep and Marcel is cleaning the bar. It’s fifteen minutes past twelve when Rick looks at his watch. The Wehrmacht is just finishing their march when the band quits playing. 

Captain Renault is always on time but today he is late. Finally, after twenty minutes, Rick left the cafe and struts up Avenue Marceau in the direction Captain Renault always came. When he turns the corner onto the Champs-Élysées, there is a frantic mob in front of a bakery and an ambulance parked by the crowd with lights signaling the emergency. 

Rick starts a slow run before he quickens his stride. While he ran, his eyes are fixed upon the manic crowd drawn around the victim. Rick is concerned. When he reaches the crowd, he pulls the careless gawkers away, one by one, ‘til he reaches the centre. He sees Captain Renault on the ground, bending over and caring for a man who is shot in the chest. 
Captain Renault closes the victim’s eyes. He is dead. Rick is relieved. 

Captain Renault looks up and sees Rick staring back at him.  Rick gestures with his head for the Captain to follow him away from the listening crowd. When they are far enough away, they spoke together for the first time since they began their charade almost three years ago. 

        Damn it, Louie, you scared 
        the shit out of me. I was 
        waiting for you when you didn’t 
        show up. Then I turned the 
        corner and saw the ambulance 
        and I thought for sure it 
        was you.

        I am glad you are so concerned. 
        It is touching. It really is.

        Okay Louie, I’ve got some 
        good news for you. 
        Tomorrow you’re leaving 
        for England. 

            CAPTAIN RENAULT 
        [acted surprised but wasn’t] 
        To England?

        Yeah, plans have been made 
        for you and an American 

        You do work fast but you 
        forget, I have work to do 
        here. Who else is going 
        to be your informant? 
        I think the most important 
        thing to do first would 
        be to dispense with Cassel.
        I already have a plan 
        for him. You know as 
        well as I do that you’re 
        in danger. Do you think 
        the Germans are going 
        to give you any more 
        information when they 
        have suspicions that 
        you’re connected to 
        the Resistance? 
        Of course not.

        If anything, they might feed 
        you the wrong information. 
        You know what kind of problem 
        that would cause. Some night, 
        we’d be waiting for a convoy 
        full of ammunition, and instead 
        of the ammunition we’d have 
        Gestapo all over us. If you 
        stay, you’d be putting your 
        life in danger when there’s 
        no need. 

The Captain knew since that meeting with von Choltitz, Rick was right. His time in Paris is over and he admitted it. 

            CAPTAIN RENAULT 
        You know Rick, this was the 
        first time in my life, I felt 
        I was contributing to 
        something meaningful but 
        you’re right, my stay 
        here is over. But I couldn’t 
        have done it without you. 

        Yeah, well let’s not get 
        sentimental. Tomorrow you’re 
        leaving, but tonight you and 
        I have a job to do. I had 
        Marcel assign the job to 
        someone else but I think 
        it’s better done by you 
        and I, and tonight won’t be 
        too soon. 

Captain Renault didn’t need to ask but did anyway. 

            CAPTAIN RENAULT 
        A job on whom?

        Yeah, you guessed it - a job 
        on your buddy Cassel. We’re 
        going to get rid of that 
        collaborating son-of-a-bitch 
        once and for all. 

Captain Renault’s face beamed with anticipation. 

        What do you have in mind, 
        something devious and 
        despicable I hope? 

        No, nothing fancy, Louie. 
        We just have to get the 
        job done. First of all, 
        before your friend Cassel 
        gets home tonight, you 
        and I are going to be 
        waiting for him. Do you 
        know where he lives?
        On Rue de la Court, over 
        the jewelry shop.

        Good, than we won’t have 
        to follow him. And don’t 
        worry, you don’t have to 
        do any of the dirty work. 
        You won’t even have to look 
        at the dead body. I need 
        you as a look out. He does 
        live alone, right? 

            CAPTAIN RENAULT 
        He is rarely accompanied 
        by a lady friend. He prefers 
        to visit the brothels in 
        the Pigalle.

        Good. It will have to be 
        done silently, no guns 
        just a knife will do the 
        trick. Then when you get 
        home tonight, pack anything 
        that you want to carry 
        with you for tomorrow morning. 
        Then before you leave at your 
        usual time to go to the 
        Prefecture, you call in and 
        tell your third in command
        . . . ., what’s his name?
        Lieutenant Tremblay.

        That you and Cassel have 
        work outside the city for 
        the day and you won’t 
        be in at all. After 
        that, when you leave, drive 
        to Madame Bouvier’s to pick 
        up the American flyer - Jack 
        is his name - and drive 
        to Rouen. When you get 
        there, find the cafe                 
       at Inn de la Maison - I’m not 
        exactly sure where it’s at 
        but you’ll find it. And ask 
        anyone in the cafe if they 
        know if Aurel Gauthier is in 
        town - that’s Aurel Gauthier 
        - and from there everything 
        else will be taken care of. 
        Sometime tomorrow, long before 
        they find the body of Cassel, 
        you and your aviator friend 
        will be on your way to England. 
        And say hello to the General 
        for me. You know, tall, pear 
        shaped guy with the big nose. 
        - thinks he’s God.

        Rick, that is a great plan.
        It makes me wish I thought 
        of it. 
        Yeah, well the connection 
        at Rouen was Marcel’s doing.

        Thank Marcel for me when 
        you see him.
        He doesn’t mind, it’s his 
        job. Then we’ll meet 
        at Cassel’s place. 
        If nothing out of the 
        ordinary happens, what 
        time would he get home?
        Shortly after nine.

        Okay, let’s meet a little 
        before nine at the cafe 
        across the street.  

        How do you know there 
        is a cafe across the street?

        In Paris, there’s always 
        a cafe across the street.


Rick could hear the umbrellas flapping in the wind and rain and the steady cadence of Marcel’s feet hitting the stairs.

        It’s eight o’clock Rick. 
        Time to go. 

        Thanks Marcel, did you 
        get the word to Jack 
        the aviator that he’s 
        going to be picked-up tomorrow? 

Rick didn’t wait for an answer. He knew Marcel was the most reliable person he had ever known. 

        Oh and cancel those plans you 
        set up for Lieutenant Cassel. 
        We are going to take care of 
        him tonight. Captain Renault
        and me are going to have a one 
        sided conversation with Cassel. 

Marcel looked surprised. 

        You mean, our Captain Renault?

        Yeah, one and the same.  
        He’s leaving tomorrow for 
        England with the American, 
        and he told me to thank you 
        for arranging his passage. 
        That is too bad. You 
        and Captain work well 
        together. We will miss him. 

        It seems General von 
        Choltitz is very 
        suspicious of the 
        Captain and has assigned 
        Lieutenant Cassel to spy 
        on him. So tonight, 
        Captain Renault and I 
        are going to throw 
        Cassel a little 
        farewell party he’ll 
        soon forget - before 
        he finds out we are 
        here. I’m not taking 
        any chances. 

Rick stood up stretching for a moment then went for his raincoat in the closet by the stairs. He searches for a cigarette but found none. 

        I shouldn’t be too long.             
        Please Rick, be careful. 

In less than an hour, Rick is in position at Lieutenant Cassel’s second floor flat. He watches for a signal from Captain Renault as he sits across the street amongst the empty tables at the Cafe de Paris. 

It is almost curfew time. People are rushing home to beat the clock that is still an hour away, but as the war progressively got worse for the Germans they are known to be impatient with those caught even close to curfew.     

Rick looks at his watch then over at Captain Renault. It is past nine o’clock, and the waiters that are standing around in their classic white aprons are getting impatient. Captain Renault is the only customer left, and they wanted to go home, but how could they ask the Prefect of Police to leave. Quite simply, they didn’t.

As Captain Renault looks at his watch for the last time, the undeniable figure of Lieutenant Cassel briefly appears then disappears under a street lamp. Captain Renault quickly gave an affirmative gesture to Rick and retreated in the opposite direction, much to the relief of the wait-staff. 
By the time Captain Renault reaches the end of the street he turns in perfect timing to see Cassel disappear into his door way. 

In the lonely darkness of Cassel’s apartment, Rick positions himself behind the entrance, shielding him from sight. As he hears Cassel’s heavy foot on the wooden stairway, he slips the knife from its sleeve.

Someone pounding violently on the rear entrance door jarred Captain Renault from a deep sleep. 

            CAPTAIN RENAULT 
         Yes, yes, I’m coming.
           I’m coming.

After conquering his elusive pant-leg, the Captain opens the door to find Marcel out of breath and doubled over with his hand clutching his side. He desperately fought for a breath of air. Captain Renault helps him through the door. 

Marcel was still bent over and fighting for air. It was a long run from Yvonne’s apartment. Sensing the obvious urgency, Captain Renault hurries about the apartment gathering his baggage he packed the night before while Marcel tries to catch his breath. 

        Capitaine . . ., Rick
        . ., he did not come home 
        last night. I have looked 
        everywhere for him. . .. 
        He is nowhere to be found. 
        When I went to the cafe before 
        I came here. . ., his bed.  
        ….., it was not slept in. 

        Could he have gone to Yvonne’s?

        Non, Capitaine, I stopped 
        at her apartment before 
        I came here. She was home 
        and very concerned. 
        My God, I hope nothing 
        happen to him. I would 
        never forgive myself for 
        leaving him alone to 
        deal with Cassel. 

He pulls his military Kepi off the wooden hat rack and plopped it on his head. 

        I’ll drop you off at the 
        cafe before I go to Cassel’s. 
        Maybe it will give us a clue 
        what happened to Rick.  

Rue de la Court looks much different than it did the night before. It is still early and only a few people are going about their business. Captain Renault parks his official car in front of Cafe de Paris where he sat the night before. 

As uncomfortable as last night had been, there is no comparison to the anxiety he is feeling now. He got out and began walking slowly across the old cobblestone street.  His eyes are fixed on Cassel’s second floor apartment. When he reaches the bottom of the stairs, he listens for any sound but hears none - just the faint sound of a shopkeeper, sweeping the sidewalk in the distance. He looks up to the top of the stairs and saw nothing, but several layers of paint peeling from the walls and a wooden banister. 

The morning is quiet which seems to exaggerate every step as he starts walking up the old stairway. Halfway up, he realizes he is so scared his hands are trembling. 
When Captain Renault reaches the top, he found the door ajar and no courage to go further. The sparsely decorated apartment is dark, quiet and uninviting. He pushes the door open wider and stood there for a moment - fearful of the possibilities if not the probabilities. He cocks his head, hoping the gesture would improve his hearing, but it didn’t. 

As he walks into the front parlor he sees Rick’s knife and a chair lying on the floor in the living room. He turns quickly when he spots a body lying face down under a woolen blanket. He can’t tell who it is as he slowly walks toward the body. It seems to be about Rick’s size - six feet or so - but Cassel is also six feet tall. Captain Renault pauses for a moment. His hands are still shaking. The tension is agonizing until he bent down and grabs the corpse with two hands and spun the stiffened carcass around so fast it splattered blood over the Captain’s bouts. The blood-encrusted blanket stuck to the corpse, but he could tell it wasn’t Rick, it was Cassel. 

He backs away out the bathroom door in a momentary respite of relief then proceeds toward the front room where Rick had waited for Cassel the night before. The knife and chair are easily visible on the ground. The early morning sun has just peeked over the windowsill and illuminated the room. As he turns the corner, he saw Rick lying on the divan with his arm under his head - smiling. 
        Hello, Louie. What brings 
        you down to this end of 
        town? Don’t you know, 
        you’re supposed to be 
        on your way to Rouen?
Captain Renault’s face beams at first, but then he grew irritated.

            CAPTAIN RENAULT 
        Damn you, Rick!

        Swearing too, you’re sounding 
        more like an American every 
        day. Pretty soon you’ll have 
        ulcers too.

        Don’t just lie there. Let’s 
        get out of here. Why are you 
        still here? 

By the time Captain Renault walked across the room, Rick is on his feet, nursing a large gash across his forehead.

        Drop me off at the cafe and 
        I’ll tell you on the way.            


        You mean to say it was as 
        simple as that. After the 
        struggle with Cassel you 
        passed out on the divan 
        and woke up too late to 
        go back to the cafe because 
        it was past curfew.

        Yeah, that’s about it, 
        but it was quite a struggle.

        Why didn’t you leave earlier 
        this morning?

        I was waiting for a ride. 
        Actually, I was still out 
        cold when you came in and 
        woke me up. Good thing too, 
        I could be still back there.     

They turn onto Avenue Marceau when Rick changes his light hearted attitude. Rick hates sentimental goodbyes. After the car came to a slow rolling stop, Captain Renault turns toward Rick, who is way out of his comfort zone. 

        Well Rick, it looks like 
        this is it. 

Rick looks straight ahead, slowly shaking his head up and down, trying to think of anything to say but what needs to be said. 

        Don’t forget to phone the 
        Prefecture and tell them 
        you’re out of town today. 
        That’s important.
        And you know the way to 
        Madame Bouvier’s. 
        The American flyer is 
        waiting for you. 

Rick pauses for a moment as if to gather his thoughts, then still looking ahead spoke in a softer voice. 

        You know, Louie, I couldn’t 
        have done it without you. 
        If it wasn’t for you, I’d 
        still be stuck in that 
        Godforsaken sand dune in 

         Casablanca. I probably would
        have been dead meat for the 
        vultures. I……….

Captain Renault, not in any way intending to be rude, interrupts his friend in mid-speech. He knows how difficult it is for Rick. 

            CAPTAIN RENAULT 
        You know, I’m going to miss, 
        Paris. Coming to your cafe 
        and seeing all the inmates. 
         My café? You were the one that
        put it together. I am just a
        temporary landlord.

        Most of all - I am going
        to miss you my friend. 
        You made this whole 
        tragedy almost bearable.
Captain Renault stuck out his hand to shake Rick’s. 

        You’re the best friend I have 
        ever had, Rick. 

Rick finally turns and faces up to his obligation. 

        No Louie, I’m afraid just 
        a hand shake won’t due. 

Rick drapes his arms over Captain Renault’s shoulders and gave him a hug - albeit a small hug, but a hug just the same. 

        Well Louie, this damn war 
        can’t last forever. Somehow, 
        we’ll get together again. 
        That’s a promise.

        Sounds good to me. 

        See you later, Louie, 

        See you, Rick.

Rick got out of the car and stood by the curb. As Captain Renault drove away, he looks in the rear view mirror at Rick who is standing at attention and saluting his parting friend. Captain Renault smiles thinking, that was the first time and the only time he has ever seen Rick salute anyone.         
The wooden clock with the sweeping brass pendulum on the wall struck several times, signaling to Victor that it was time to go.    
            VICTOR LASZLO
        ILSA my dear, we must get 
        ready. We have a full day 
        ahead of us.

The apartment is simple but comfortable. There is a kitchen, bathroom, living room and a limited amount of furnishings. 
            VICTOR LASZLO 
        ILSA please, our meeting 
        with General Milford is 
        in one hour. Lieutenant 
        MacMillan will 
        be here in fifteen 
        minutes to escort us to 
        Milford’s office.

Victor pulls back the duvet from the bed realizing he is talking to ILSA when all this time she was in the bathroom getting ready. 

            [Off Screen]
        If the General approves your 
        plan, I am going to miss 
        working for the WAAF
        [Women’s Auxiliary Air Force]
        as a Radar Operator.

            VICTOR LASZLO
        I know my dear but I’ve 
        been told that the activity 
        at Control has been frantic. 
        The D-Day assault is just 
        a matter of days. That’s 
        why my idea has to get us 
        back into the action 
        before D-Day if it is 
        to be effective. 

        It’s a great idea Victor 
        that is why I am glad, 
        we took parachute and 
        target practice.  
As ILSA ties the knot in Victor’s tie, General Milford’s staff car stops at their front gate. 

Victor looks at his watch. 
            VICTOR LASZLO 
        It’s precisely 09:00 hours. 
        The Lieutenant is right on 

LIEUTENANT MACMILLAN briefs Victor and ILSA while he drives down Queen Victoria Street toward General Milford’s office. His office is adjacent to Command Headquarters and under the parliament building at Cove Steps on King Charles Street. 

        As you can imagine with D-Day 
        preparations, the  General 
        is exceedingly busy. He has 
        instructed me to have you 
        stay in the officer’s mess 
        until he can manage a few 
        minutes with you. Actually, 
        there is someone else you 
        will want to meet. Someone 
        you already know. 


        He is acting liaison between
        the     Free French and Allied 
        Command. You know Captain 
        Renault, formally of the 
        Prefecture in Paris and 

Victor’s reaction remains subdued but ILSA’S face lit up. 

        Captain Renault is here 
        at the Command Centre?
        Yes, of course, quite often 
        actually, he is usually here 
        on official capacity but today 
        he has come here just to see you. 
        He was happy to hear that you 
        were coming. He thought Mrs. 
        Laszlo was still in the US and 
        he was happy or should I say 
        ecstatic to hear that you are 
        still alive, Mr. Laszlo. 

ILSA tries to subdue her excitement as she comments. 

        It will be good to see the 
        Captain. It seems like a 
        lifetime ago since Casablanca, 
        but the D-Day offensive will
        mark a new beginning for all of 
        us. Isn’t that right, Lieutenant?

        I should think so. Command 
        would insist upon it. Let us 
        hope it will be the beginning 
         of the end for Hitler. I have 
        instructed Captain Renault 
        to meet you here in the 
        officer’s    mess.

Two guards approach the staff car as they stop at a large wire-mesh gate that seems out of place amongst the sixteenth century architecture of the parliament buildings. They present their identification papers to the guards before they carefully scrutinize them. When the guards are satisfied to their authenticity, the car is motioned forward. The process is repeated at Command Centre before they descend into the bowels of the city on an elevator. 

The elevator doors open to a frenzy of excitement as people are scattered throughout a never-ending maze of tunnels. 
By the frantic movement of military personnel through the crowded hallways, it is obvious that D-Day is imminent.    

        Since early 1939 all major
        decisions pertaining to the war
        had been made in these twenty-
        one rooms. Winston Churchill, 
        Eisenhower, de Gaulle, all major 
        Allied commanders frequently 
        inhabited these rooms and 
        today is no exception.

Lieutenant MacMillan escorts ILSA and Victor down the paneled hallways past numerous doors that are closed except for the largest room; its double doors are open and the room is cluttered with desks, military equipment and personnel. On top of the two desks, there are several phones of various colors. 

A detailed map of Europe is securely fixed to a large wooden platform in the middle of the War Room. Numerous military personal, chart all movements of the Allied and Axis military both on the ground and in the air. A gallery circles the room from above offering a different perspective. Lieutenant MacMillan escorts Victor and ILSA into the mess. ILSA and Victor are surprised. They thought they walked into an English pub. 

        They decorated the mess like 
        their neighborhood pub to give 
        men and women the feeling they 
        were home not at war. They even 
        placed several well-used 
        dartboards across the far wall.
         One     dartboard had a picture of
         Hitler strategically placed at 
        centre. That dartboard was used 
        far more than any other.


ILSA and Victor recognize Captain Renault immediately as he stands amongst several men sitting around a large wooden table, one of many in the room.    
Victor and Captain Renault vigorously shook hands but ILSA could not. She flung her arms around the Captain. It is obvious that she is happy to see him. She wants to ask about Rick but thought it is best she didn’t.
        Oh Captain, it is good to 
        see a familiar face. 

ILSA stood back and looks at him from head to toe. 

        You have lost weight.

        Yes, I guess I have. 
        It has been very hectic 
        here as you can see. 
At that moment, Lieutenant MacMillan appears from the hallway. He motions with his hand for ILSA and Victor to follow him. 
When Victor and ILSA stood up, they apologized for leaving but they had an appointment with General Milford. 

            VICTOR LASZLO
           [to Captain Renault] 
        You should join us, Captain. 
        I think you would be interested 
        in what we have to say to the 

        Why I would love to come along. 

Captain Renault placed his Kepi gently on his head before he drank the rest of his Guinness. 

Lieutenant MacMillan escorts them into the General’s office and introduces them. 

        GENERAL MILFORD, I’d like you 
        to meet Victor Laszlo and his 
        wife ILSA and you already know 
        Captain Renault. 

General Milford rose from behind his desk. He greets the civilians with customary handshakes and Captain Renault with a salute.  

            GENERAL MILFORD 
        Do sit down. Captain, are you 
        here on official business 
        or are you just accompanying 
        your friends?

        You’ll be happy to hear, 
        General, I am here on a 
        non-official capacity.   

The General smiled at the news and addressed ILSA and Victor.               
        It isn’t a secret that the 
        relationship between de Gaulle 
        and the Allies is tenuous. 
        As acting liaisons between 
        de Gaulle and the Allies, 
        the Captain and myself are 
        often at odds. The most recent 
        confrontation was just 
        yesterday when the Captain on 
        de Gaulle’s behalf demanded 
        that the Allies liberate Paris. 
        But I reminded Captain Renault 
        that Eisenhower had made the 
        decision and the D-Day Allies 
        plans were to circumvent Paris 
        and get to Germany as fast as 
        possible. As you are aware Mr. 
        Laszlo liberating Paris would 
        take too much time and resources.

            VICTOR LASZLO
        I assure you General Milford 
        we are not here to plead 
        de Gaulle’s case. We do 
        have a request that we hope 
        you will consider.

            GENERAL MILFORD 
        Contrary to popular belief 
        Mr. Laszlo, I am not an 
        unreasonable man. We seem to
        forget that we are allies not
         adversaries. If your request is
         not unreasonable or a danger to 
        the D-Day mission, I can’t 
        see why we cannot accommodate 
        you. Just what do you have planned?

            VICTOR LASZLO
        ILSA and myself and 
        Captain Renault, have many 
        friends who belong to the 
        Resistance in Paris. I am 
        sure you have heard General, 
        Paris is seething and the 
        Resistance is ready to start an 
        insurrection. They think 
        the Allies would come into 
        Paris and help them. We all 
        know the Resistance is out 
        manned and most certainly 
        out gunned. What we want 
        General is to travel to 
        Paris and warn them that 
        Eisenhower is adamant that 
        he will not send troops 
        to Paris under any 
        circumstance. All we ask is 
        that you fly us over and drop 
        us off behind enemy lines so 
        we can get to Paris and warn 
        them that the Allies will not 
        save them and they are on their own. 

        I have a contact in Rouen 
        who will help them get to 
        Paris. He is the same man 
        that helped me get here.    

        I must warn you that this 
        is a dangerous mission. 

            VICTOR LASZLO
        We know, General. ILSA 
        and I are prepared and want 
        to leave as soon as possible.    

The General smiles and looks at Captain Renault.             

        Captain Renault are you going 
        as well? They are going 
        to need someone to make 
        contact for them in Rouen. 
        I assume your man will be 
        difficult to find and you know 
        where to look. 

The Captain wasn’t quite ready for that question. He just assumed he would supply them with the name, Aurel Gauthier to find Hugo. 
        Well I a.....suppose I 
        could go with them that far. 
        Going into Paris is a problem 
        for me. I am sure the new 
        Prefect of Police and the
        Germans want me dead. 
            GENERAL MILFORD 
        Captain, I think all 
        the Germans want all of 
        us dead. Don’t you think? 
        All right then. 

The Captain was stymied and a loss for words.

            GENERAL MILFORD 
        All right then, I will make 
        arrangements with ICOR and 
        we can drop you off either 
        tonight or tomorrow night.

        But General how are you going 
        to land a plane in the dead of 
        night in Normandy with German 
        troops everywhere? 

        It’s quite simple, Captain. 
        You are going to parachute 
        into the Normandy woods. 
        I will arrange for someone 
        to meet you on the other side. 
        They will take care of you 
        until you can make contact 
        with your friend in Rouen.   

Victor and ILSA looked at Captain Renault. His face has turned a whiter shade of pale.      


Captain Renault, ILSA AND Victor parachute into Normandy. Victor, true to form, is pushed as he screamed all the way down. 
Five contacts give them direction to a safe landing zone with spotlights that are hidden in metal sleeves only visible from the sky. 

After finding ILSA and Victor their contacts rescue Captain Renault when he falls out of an old oak tree. They hurry ‘cause a German convoy is closing in on him. They manage to escape in a stake truck with its lights out. It is driven by a contact whose expertise of the topography comes in handy. After the truck is hidden with a tarpaulin and brush, they follow the leader in a single file to a well-camouflaged building. The trio is impressed, but once inside, they knew they are guests in the “Convent of the Our Blessed Lord,” which had been built hundreds of years before and their saviors are not the usual Resistance, for these women are of a different calling.

They took off their hats out of respect. Statues of almost all major figures in the Catholic religion are represented around the circular foyer. The high cathedral ceiling usually present in such a setting is missing. They had to make concessions to hide the convent from anyone with prying eyes.   

Victor leans over and whispers into ILSA’S ear. 

            VICTOR LAZSLO 
        Please, ILSA, I hope you 
        don’t get any ideas 
        about joining the convent. 

She smiles. ILSA has never confided in him that she once thought very deeply about the calling but when men arrive in her life those monastic urges were quickly replaced by urges of a different kind.      

Moments later, a nun appears through the heavy oak door. She is dressed in traditional garb, stark white wimple, long black robe, and a large rosary hung from her waist. The wimple, which tightly framed her face, animates her already exaggerated features. 

        I see our guests have arrived. 

Her wide eyes scan them as they stood together, surrounded by a gaggle of nuns whose camouflage military-type fatigues seems to contradict the religious fervor of their surroundings. 

        You must be Victor Laszlo.
        Your reputation precedes 
        you, Monsieur Laszlo. I 
        am Mother Superior.

Her right hand appears firmly grasping his. Victor spoke softly as if not to disturb the sanctity of the convent.

            VICTOR LAZSLO
        We are honored Mother Superior.

        And you my dear must be 
        ILSA with the angelic face. 

Mother Superior softly cupped ILSA’S hand with hers. ILSA bowed then curtsied not wanting to leave out anything she might be obligated to do. 

        Mother Superior this is truly 
        a beautiful place - so serene 
        - so peaceful. We are very 
        grateful to be your guests. 
        And grateful to these brave 
        nuns who rescued us.

        That’s quite all right my dear. 
        We do our best with what God 
        has been so gracious to give 
        us. And you must be Captain 
        Renault. Your reputation 
        precedes you too, Captain.
The Captain isn’t sure just how to respond, so he veers away from what he thinks she is talking about. 

        With all due respect Mother 
        Superior, I must admit, this 
        is something quite unusual. 
        General Milford only informed
        us, someone would meet us. 
        He didn’t specifically say 
        that we would be rescued 
        by nuns. I for one am very 

        The Lord works in mysterious 
        ways Captain, but now I’m 
        sure you are tired after such 
        an arduous trip. Sister 
        Teresa will escort you to your 
        rooms and if you have any 
        questions, I’m sure you will 
        want to ask them in the 
        morning. You will be woken at 
        six o’clock for morning prayer.

After prayer the next morning, Mother Superior escorts the trio to a large rustic dining area containing four large picnic tables placed next to a well-furnished kitchen. Mother Superior sat at the head of the table. Anticipating the inquisitive nature of her guests, she starts the conversation. 
        These walls have protected 
        many people like you. Not long 
        ago, we had a particularly 
        interesting guest, the head 
        of British intelligence for 
        occupied France, a man you 
        fellow Resistance fighters call
         Jade Amicol. Last year, we 
        hosted a meeting between 
        Admiral Caneris head of the 
        Abwehr, German’s military 
        intelligence, and Jade Amicol. 
        Admiral Canaris was brought 
        here blind folded. He wanted 
        to find out what might be the 
        terms of a peace treaty 
        between the Allies and Germany, 
        free of Hitler. It is now FACT 
         that the Admiral and several 
        others including General Rommel 
        were plotting to assassinate Hitler. 
        But unfortunately, as you must 
        know, just a month ago, the 
        Admiral, bless his soul, was 
        executed for plotting against 
        that insane monster. Do you 
        think Monsieur Laszlo, that 
        Hitler is insane or is he 
        a representative of Satan here 
        on Earth?

            VICTOR LASZLO
        You see Mother Superior I think 
        there is a certain amount of 
        Satan in all of us. We have a 
        good side and evil side and 
        it’s the responsibility of each 
        of us to contain the demon 
        for the betterment of ourselves 
        and mankind. In Hitler’s case, 
        I am sorry to report, the 
        demon has complete control of 
        his mind and his soul. He has 
        strayed light years away from 
        logical, sensible thinking. 
        For him, there is no turning     
        back or any chance of redemption. 
        His treatment of the Jews is
        way beyond anything a man with 
        even the slightest bit of 
        humanity would do.
        I am normally not an 
        advocate of violence, but 
        I and of course most people 
        feel he must be eliminated 
        as soon as possible before 
        his insidious disease spreads 
        beyond our European boarders.

ILSA looks at Victor in admiration then turns to Mother Superior. 

        Victor knows many things about 
        the inter-workings of the mind, 
        Mother Superior. Before this 
        unfortunate war, he studied 
        psychiatry at the Sorbonne. 
        He is an ardent follower of the 
        teachings of Sigmund Freud from 
        Austria, the father of 
        psychoanalytical thought.
        Victor met him briefly in 
        London before his 
        death in 1939.
        You are a very knowledgeable 
        man, Monsieur Laszlo. Perhaps 
        Captain Renault can also 
        enlighten us about the 
        Allies and if they are going 
        to succeed in the liberation 
        of France.     

The Captain addresses everyone at the table. 
        I can’t tell you exactly when, 
        because no one knows when, not 
        even the Allied commander 
        General Eisenhower, but 
        I assure you all, the 
        invasion will be very soon.
        Perhaps within weeks, maybe     
        even days. 
        Unfortunately, if the Allies 
        manage to get a foothold 
        in France they plan on 
        bypassing Paris and proceed 
        strait to the Siegfried line. 
        According to Eisenhower, the 
        liberation of Paris will cost
        the Allies too much time and 
        fuel among other things. That 
        is why ILSA and Victor are 
        going to Paris tomorrow. 

ILSA spoke up on the Captain’s behalf. 

        When the Captain was in Paris 
        he was the Prefect of Police 
        and it was his job to inform 
        a friend of ours what the 
        Germans plans were. The 
        Captain was responsible for 
        saving many lives of the 
Captain Renault didn’t speak about his personal exploits. He only spoke about what lies ahead.

        We have a plan that if 
        it works, will force 
        the Allies into Paris 
        whether they like it or 
        not. But if the Allies 
        refuse, Lecleric and his 
        French forces, the 2nd 
        Armored Division will 
        break away from the Allied 
        forces and march into Paris. 

        Your analysis is intriguing, 
        Captain. Well gentlemen and 
        lady, your company has been 
        stimulating, but your job is 
        politics and mine is running 
        a convent so please forgive me, 
        I have to excuse myself. It is 
        time for Benediction. If we are 
        going to have the pleasure 
        of your company for long, 
        I will have Sister 
        Marguerite make extra food.  

Everyone stands as Mother Superior rose from the table but only the Captain speaks.
        I am going into Rouen 
        today for a meeting. ILSA 
        and Victor will stay here, 
        and then they will leave 
        for Paris tomorrow 
        or the day after.   

        I’m sure whatever you people 
        will accomplish will benefit 
        us all. May God be with you 
        and keep you safe.
She left the room in a fluttering trail of wimple and veil.

        I don’t know about you, but 
        I’m going to have that bread 
        and     some oatmeal. 

Captain Renault offered some to Victor and ILSA but happily for him, they refused. The trip to Paris and the imminent danger - not eating - preyed 
heavily upon their minds but the Captain knew he wasn’t going so.... 
Just before noon Perrot turns the corner in his bicycle cab. As he parks in front of Rick’s, Marcel watches him. Marcel knows, by the look on Perrot’s face, he has important information for him. Perrot, like they have done many times before, follows Marcel and Yvonne upstairs to meet Rick. They sit at Rick’s desk and he gets to the point.          

        A German convoy at this 
        moment is on their way to 
        Normandy with a large 
        shipment of arms. There 
        are two heavy-duty trucks 
        and two halftracks. There 
        are 28 men in all including 
        the drivers. According to my     
        source, they left here at 
        08:00 this morning. 
        You know the halftracks can     
        only go 50 Kilometers an hour 
        so we can catch them but 
        we have to leave soon. 
        We will do our best 
        but we need gas. Do you 
        have any?
        Unfortunately, No. I was
        hoping you had gas. But 
        If you don’t have gas, 
        nobody does. 

        If you find any let 
        let us know? My
        car is parked in back.
        but it’s empty.

Yvonne escorts Perrot back down stairs and he left the café, peddling in the opposite direction.            
        What do you think? 
        Any ideas? 

        No. How many times have
        we talked about the same 
        damn thing. And every time 
        we come up with the same 
        damn answer. This is 
        getting frustrating. 

Rick starts slowly walking in circles around the terrace, his fingers scratching at his day old beard. Suddenly, Rick’s expression on his face changes. He picks up his phone and dials a number before he hands the phone to Marcel. 

        Order an ambulance in French 
        for here - this address. 
        Don’t forget, in French.

            [over the phone]
        Avez-vous besoin d'une 

        Il y a eu un accident 
        un blocage sur Avenue 
        Marceau, Monsieur. 
        Quelqu'un pourrait 
        être blessé. 
        Accélère s'il te plaît

        Your contact in Rouen, 
        the guy that arranged 
        Louie’s departure, is he 
        still around?


        Get a hold of him and tell 
        him I’m on my way to his place.

Rick runs downstairs. Yvonne is pouring coffee into a customer’s cup when she leans toward Rick. He whispers in her ear. Whatever Rick said brought a smile to her face.

An ambulance screeches to a halt in front of the café with its lights flashing and siren pulsating.  Two attendants dressed in soiled white uniforms jump out. When Yvonne approaches them, they are mesmerized by Yvonne’s flirtatious voodoo. It took only a brief apology for the customer’s bogus phone call and free real coffee before she leads them into the cafe. 

Next door, Armand is at his celebrated easel when Rick zips through the gallery with a large pail in one hand and five feet of rubber hose in the other. Rick stops, looks and listens toward the cafe making sure Yvonne had done her job before he dashes ten meters to the ambulance. He hid at just the right angle to block the attendants view as Rick siphons the much-needed gas for his trip to Rouen. He just hopes there is enough.
Within ten minutes, Rick was speeding along the wooded area down the unpredictable N.14. He carefully watches the gas gauge and the forest fleeting past him. He drove at a steady pace about 90 km an hour as he anticipates the convoy before the convoy reaches Rouen. 

He has driven three hours when Rick got his wish about 40km from the city. He passes the convoy that pulled to the side of the road. The armament is exactly as Perrot had described. There are two conventional halftracks at the front and rear of the convoy and two heavy-duty MP44 machine guns on board. 
Some of the men were standing not far from the side of the road urinating. Some of them were smoking which instinctively forces Rick to search his pockets. 
Rick looks at the gas gauge. His car was running on empty.

        Come on Baby, just a 
        few more kilometers. 
        Come on. 

The terrain is hilly but he kept the foot pressure constant on the pedal to avoid using more gas than he needs. The Citroën slows, just making up and over two hills. Finally, when he is on the downside, the inevitable happens. The engine began to sputter. Rick slams his foot to the floor, hoping to get that last bit of speed but to no avail. As he starts up the next hill the car slows to a crawl. When he reaches the very peak, Rick jumps out the door and pushes it those last few meters until the car gains enough momentum. He jumps back inside, and rode the Citroen, silently down the hill. Rick starts shrieking with laughter as he passes the sign that reads, Rouen, population 44,000. 

It didn’t take long to find Hugo’s Inn. When he opens the massive front door, Rick is greeted by a pleasant girl behind a check in counter. He spoke the only French he knows. 

        Excuse-moi, Mademoiselle, 
        Parley-vous Anglais? 

            FRONT DESK CLERK
        Qui, Monsieur, un petit peu. 
She presses her index finger and her thumb together into that internationally recognized sign for a small amount.   

        Could you tell me if Aurel 
        Gauthier is in town?

            FRONT DESK CLERK 
        Juste un moment, Monsieur.

She disappears behind a door leaving a trail of sweet French perfume. Rick’s face froze with fear. He lunges, shoulder first, opening the front door. His sudden fear is justified as the Gendarmes are speeding down the street sounding that familiar pulsating alarm. Rick slips between two houses to the next street. Rick hears the screeching sound of police cars stopping. 

He pauses for a cautious look then runs down the street, not knowing where to go when a ruddy-faced old woman wearing a black babushka waves to him in between two houses. He responds immediately, following her lead as she disappears.  When Rick caught up to her, she points toward two swinging doors that led to a root cellar. He ran through the doors without hesitation. 

The cellar is dark - only a direct beam of light from a late day sun illuminates the room. 

 Just above him, he hears the muffled movement as the old woman shuffles across the bare floor. The creeping across the floor stops as an impatient fist bangs forcefully on the front door. 
He could visualize the old woman's ruddy face paralyzed with fear. Rick knew all too well if he were caught in her house she would instantly be taken away to a concentration camp. 

He pushes the swinging door open just a fraction. When a second fist pounds the front door, he creeps out of the basement and jumps over a makeshift fence to the next house. Rick uses a row of grape vines to shield his escape to the next street. He didn’t pause as he cautiously walks down the street, trying his best to look as inconspicuous as possible. He curses out loud. When he hears barking dogs anticipating their quarry.

Rick knows he is in trouble - deep trouble. No one can out run dogs. He didn’t look back, he trudges onward, searching his resourceful bag of tricks for a solution to his pending problem but he came up with nothing. All he could do is hope for a miracle when a run-down truck driven by a man with a graying beard pulls beside him. He yells above the commotion, surprisingly and confidently in English. 
        I think you should get 
        in here and now, Monsieur. 
With the truck still in motion, Rick opens the heavy metal door and jumps inside. He instinctively bends down between the rusty dashboard and the worn bench seat to hide. He turns his head to have a peek at his savior when he recognizes that beaming face behind the graying beard.

        Well, it’s about time 
        you join the real war.

Rick shook his head in grateful disbelief. 

        Damn you, Louie. What 
        the hell are you doing 
        here? Not that I’m 
        We’re not safe yet, Rick. 
        We have to get to a safe
        house and fast.          

Captain Renault slows the truck, not wanting to appear to be anything but a farmer that came to town for supplies. He looks in his rear view mirror to see several policemen with sniffing dogs on leashes emerge between two houses and a row of grape vines. They follow Rick’s trail until they lost Rick’s scent. 

The dogs stop abruptly. Captain Renault watches in the rear view mirror and smiles when he realizes the dogs and their masters had come to a dead end. 
Captain Renault looks at Rick still huddled on the floor. 

        Well, it looks like we 
        have given them the slip. 
        It’s not far to Hugo’s 
        safe house from here?

        Hugo! When you left Paris wasn’t 
        he your contact here at his Inn 
        de la Maison? That’s where I was     
        when all hell broke out. 

        I’m not surprised. Two months 
        ago, the Germans commandeered 
        his Inn. They thought it would 
        make a good headquarters. They 
        didn’t know there was any
        Resistance activity going on 
        there, but when all these 
        people walked in and asked for 
        the same guy. What’s his    name?  

        Aurel Gauthier.

        They realized they accidently 
        stumbled onto a Resistance 
        hide-out. The girl or whoever 
        was on the front desk was 
        instructed to call them 
        whenever anyone came 
        in asking for Aurel Gauthier. 
        And when you showed-up,  
        and why are you here? 
        I passed a German convoy of
        arms outside of Rouen so I
        thought I’d find Hugo to 
        help separate the Germans 
        from the arms. 

        How are you going to get the 
        arms to Paris?

        Haven’t figured that one out 
        yet but we’ll find a way.

The Captain made several turns down residential streets making sure no one has followed them. They follow a dirt road for three miles until it led to an old faded farmhouse. 

        We will be all right here; 
        this is Hugo’s farmhouse.

When they reach the farmhouse, Captain Renault knocks three times - then once again. They hear a brief silence then muted voices are heard before the door slowly opens to a huge six foot six behemoth named Hugo. His massive trunk supports a round Friar Tuck face but when he sees Captain Renault, his face beams with delight and the door opens wide. 
The introductions are made and Hugo escorts them into the front room where three men and a woman are scattered around the room. Again the introductions are made. Their meeting is quick, to the point and all business. 

        I passed a convoy a few 
        miles out of Rouen. There 
        are two trucks full arms 
        and two halftracks full 
        of men. 

Hugo reacts quickly.

        Mench, take the tractor 
        into    town and find out 
        anything you can about 
        that convoy. Come back 
        as soon as possible. 

Mench leaves immediately on an old Fordson tractor that had seen better days.
        The Germans will believe 
          him. They think he is a 

With the meeting momentarily adjourned, the Captain had time to update Rick about what has happened to Victor in the Czech concentration camp and how ILSA had made her way to the US and then England. But he didn’t tell Rick that ILSA and Victor are waiting only miles away, cloistered in the convent. The Captain wants Rick to find out for himself, mainly because he admits he was downright afraid to tell him. - afraid of his reaction. Captain Renault had witnessed for himself the effect ILSA had on Rick.  
Mench returns an hour later and told them one of the halftracks had a problem, which delayed them for three hours. They would leave at 1900 hours and follow the same course up N.14 toward the coast of Normandy. 

They crowd into the front room and discuss the specifics of the plan. Rick and the Captain let Hugo take the lead. He has better knowledge of the terrain between Rouen and the Seine and is better suited to choose the point of attack. They plan to meet later that night on the banks of the Seine where the convoy would be vulnerable. 

After they finished the plans, Rick and Captain Renault left for a place to relax for an hour or two. Rick shook his head and laughs.
        Only you could find a 
        brothel in the middle 
        of nowhere, Louie.

Captain Renault didn’t say anything. He just chuckles to himself.


They are outside the convent when Rick admits he had heard about the convent a year ago from someone in the Resistance who stayed here. When Sister Teresa opens the little Judas window, she permits their entrance to the inner sanctum sanctorum. 

When Rick and Captain Renault enters the dining room, ILSA turns around quickly as she reacts to the stunned look on Victor’s face. She took a quick startled breath before she regains her composure. She spoke in her familiar seductive tone when their eyes meet. 
        Hello Richard.    

Much to the relief of Captain Renault, Rick didn’t react.     
        Hello ILSA. The US must 
        have agreed with you. 

ILSA has not changed. She is still beautiful.            

        Yes, I enjoyed very much 
        a different life in America, 
        but we have been in London 
        for past year helping 
        General de Gaulle organize 
        the Free French and I worked 
        for the WAAF as a radar 
        operator. Now, America seems 
        so long ago.

Rick broke away from ILSA’s magnetic stare, acknowledging Mother Superior and Victor. Mother Superior sensing their reluctance spoke reassuringly.  

        Please gentlemen, have 
        a seat. Would you like 
        some coffee?

        Yeah, that’d be fine.   

Sister Teresa immediately pours fresh coffee into their cups. As Rick straddles the bench beside ILSA, he turns his attention toward Victor.
        It’s good to see you
        Victor. Louie told me 
        about Terazin. That’s
        a hell of a place.

            VICTOR LASZLO
        There is little doubt 
        about that. Do you 
        remember, what I told you 
        the last time we were 
        together in Casablanca? 
        Yeah, I remember.

            VICTOR LASZLO
        I said our side would win. 
        It looks like we have 
        a fighting chance, now. 
        Captain Renault tells me 
        you have been doing good work. 

        Actually, it’s the
        Captain that should take
        much of the credit. Things 
        haven’t been the same
        since he’s been gone.

        Thank-you Rick, but you 
        were the one in danger, 
        well at least up until 
        the end when the now 
        departed Lieutenant 
        Cassel put an end to 
        our party. 

Captain Renault is relieved. Rick has taken the ‘accidental’ meeting well, so far. Rick took a quick look around the room. 

        You’ve got quite a set up 
        here, Sister.

        We do the Lord’s work 
        here Rick and if it 
        happens to help people 
        like you liberate France, 

        [speaking to everyone]
        We’re having a little 
        surprise party for the 
        Germans tonight. Don’t 
        feel obligated to come 
        ‘cause it will be 

            VICTOR LASZLO
        That sounds interesting. 
        You know I am always 
        willing to participate 
        in your kind of parties. 
        Especially, when it comes 
        to dealing with the Nazis.
Sister Teresa fills their cups before she leaves the flask on a hot plate in the middle of the table. 

        Gentlemen and lady, for 
        reasons I am sure you are 
        aware, your conversation 
        should be in private. 
        I think Sister Teresa and 
        I should leave you people 
        to speak freely. 

Mother Superior rose from her seat and Sister Teresa joins her as they march from the dining room.
When they are gone, Rick felt uneasy. He used the nuns as a distraction to keep him from thinking about ILSA. He has moments of regret that night in Casablanca when he forced her to leave on that plane with Victor. It was a fateful night for all of them.

Rick began to explain the plan in detail. 

        Later tonight, there’s a 
        German munitions convoy 
        that will pass very 
        close to here. It’ll 
        be heading up N.14 
        toward Normandy. You 
        know we need those 
        guns and ammunition, 
        and anything else we 
        can get our hands on 
        so we……

When he stops describing details of the plan, Rick anticipates questions.

            VICTOR LASZLO
        How many men will each
        side have and how are 
        we going to get the guns 
        to Paris? When the Germans 
        realize what had happened 
        they will be thousands 
        of them here searching.

        And what about the trucks? 
        We can’t take them to 
        Paris. The Germans, in a 
        short time, would find us. 

        Hugo says he’ll have 
        about twenty men not 
        including us.  They 
        will have ten men in 
        each halftracks plus 
        eight men in the cabs. 
        So twenty-eight men 
        in all.

Captain Renault’s face lit up as he spoke. 

        This is by far the best 
        part    of the plan.

        Hugo has a barge, which he 
        uses to transport his 
        vegetables up and down the 
        Seine so with a little bit 
        of friendly persuasion and 
        a few beers. We got Hugo 
        to lend us his barge. 
        At this very moment, he 
        should be parking it 
        at St. Martain Bridge. 
        When we get the munitions, 
        we drive the trucks only 
        a few meters, transfer 
        the munitions into the hold 
        on Hugo’s barge and siphon 
        the gas out of the trucks. 
        We will stack the dead 
        into the trucks before we 
        drive them into the Seine- 
        never to be found by the 
        Germans. The convoy isn’t 
        scheduled to be in Normandy 
        until tomorrow. By that time, 
        we will be in Paris    handing 
        out vegetables and guns. 

Captain Renault’s face beams as he watches Victor and ILSA react to the plan but suddenly Captain Renault reacts. 
        What a second, Hugo is 
        staying here so who will 
        drive the barge into Paris? 
        I heard they are difficult 
        to drive, especially at night. 
        Piece of cake,
        I drove one down the 
        Ganges into Ethiopia 
        several years ago, 
        with the same kinda 
        cargo. I might be a 
        little rusty but 
        I’ll manage. 

Rick laughs to himself at the ‘slight’ exaggeration.   

            VICTOR LASZLO
        There is only one flaw. 

Victor put his arms affectionately around ILSA and asks the question he knew would provoke a reaction. 

            VICTOR LASZLO
        What about ILSA? 

Rick swears he could see the hair on her neck bristle. Rick recognizes her reaction, but spoke up anyway. 

        She can stay here 
        and when all the shooting 
        stops, we can come back 
        and get her.

        NO Richard! I’m coming with 
        you. It will waste too much 
        precious time coming 
        all the way back here to 
        pick me up, and besides,
        I am as good a shot as 
        anyone. I proved that 
        in England and you need the 

Victor admits the truth. 

            VICTOR LASZLO
        She does have a point. 
        While we were in England, 
        ILSA took    target practice 
        and she was on top of the 
        class, which included me 
        and twenty other men. 

Rick knew it is probably futile, but he has to explain the situation to someone who was probably not totally aware of what they are in for. 

        If anyone doesn’t want 
        to go, I understand. I 
        just want all of you to 
        know this is not a shoot 
        the ducks at an amusement 
        park or rifle range 
        practice. These targets 
        will be shooting back 
        with heavy-duty hardware 
        a lot deadlier than we’ll 
        be using. This is dangerous 
        business and there is a 
        damn good chance some of us 
        or even all of us might 
        not survive, so with 
        that in mind, if anyone 
        wants to drop out, 
        I understand. 
With those words, ILSA’s participation is settled.  
They meet Hugo and his men at the designated place, where N.14 crosses the Seine at the St. Martain Bridge. The dilapidated bridge crosses the narrowest part of the Seine and from beginning to end was only two hundred meters in length. 

Docked at the bridge, their transport to Paris is hardly visible in the black pitch of night. Like most barges, it is a narrow eighty-meter flat bottom boat with a deep cargo area designed specifically for cartage. But during the war years, most fell victim to disrepair, the lack of spare parts and fuel. 

Hugo hands the arms out. A collection of British Stenguns, captured German MP44s, WW1 Mauser and Lebel rifles. Hugo would use a pineapple grenade and he gave Victor a German stick grenade. Victor has the most experience with German stick grenades and they are more difficult to throw accurately than the pineapple. 

As rehearsed, they form two lines with each man or woman at arm’s length from the next on both sides of the road, but not directly across from each other. They made sure no one is caught in the cross-fire. 

Hugo would throw his grenade at the first halftrack, signaling the fire to begin. Victor would throw the next grenade at the last halftrack. 

Rick, Captain Renault and Hugo reminded everyone what they expect the Germans to do when they reach the bridge. The attack will begin when the Nazis are most vulnerable, standing out in the open waiting for their vehicles to cross the bridge, one or two at a time. If the four vehicles cross the bridge at the same time or with the men on board the weight could crush the bridge.  

Everyone is in position, and the plan is set, now they need the bait to spring the trap. 

It is as though the Germans had anticipated the attack when they stop ten meters from the bridge. The convoy is close to the bridge, but not close enough to attack. 

The leader of the convoy defiantly stands in the open cab of the first halftrack. He shouts orders and signals for two of his men to come forward and inspect the bridge. They reacted immediately as they jump from the first halftrack. They cautiously move forward as they inspect the old concrete bridge for signs of excessive wear or sabotage. 

Once they thought the bridge secure they jump back into the halftrack, and the leader gave the signal to proceed - not one at a time but they proceed together with the troops on board. 

Hugo swore to himself and looks at Rick. The whole convoy with the men on board moves slowly and cautiously forward. They are safer from assault for they have metal walls to protect them. Only the upper part of their torso was visible. Suddenly, every one of them had to become a better shot for there is considerably less target. What is a slam dunk is now difficult for even the best sharpshooter. 

Hugo quickly changes strategy as he passes three grenades to Rick and two of his men. They knew they could take out the first halftrack and the ten men. Timing and accuracy now became a crucial factor. Anything less could destroy the trucks and their precious cargo. Hugo is hoping someone on the other side thought of the same strategy for the last halftrack but only Victor has a stick grenade and skill to use it. The men and woman wait as the convoy inched toward them. 

Only a few meters away, Victor felt his fingers tighten around the cylinder portion of his German grenade as it rests on his right shoulder. He could see the soldiers straining their eyes as they try to penetrate the black forest. Victor quells his anxiety and the urge to let his stick grenade fly. But he waits for Hugo to signal the alarm. They are almost there, just a few more feet. ILSA subconsciously moves closer to her husband. 

Considering the situation, she is unusually calm for she knows she has the grace of God to guide and protect her. Hugo stood steadfast. His timing is perfect as his grenade and three other grenades hit the first halftrack instantly killing the leader and all ten men in the bed.  

The Captain pulls the trigger of his rapid-fire Stengun and kills his first German from his lofty tower in the cab of the second halftrack. The Germans from the second halftrack return fire blindly. 

They could only shoot in the direction of the gunfire but they hit four of Hugo’s men and Victor square in the chest. The shot knocks Victor and the live grenade to the ground. ILSA instinctively turns to see Victor’s bloodied body on the ground but the live grenade fell at Captain Renault’s feet. When she realizes Captain Renault didn’t see the grenade, ILSA pushes the Captain into the forest with her shoulder into his gut. Captain Renault is stunned until the grenade explodes. When the debris settles it had covered both Captain Renault and ILSA like a blanket.

Suddenly, it was quiet like before - when there were thirty-nine men and one woman alive, but now eighteen men and one woman remain. Victor - fervent leader of the Resistance - and four of 

Hugo’s men and all of the Germans save four perished amid the shrill of gunfire, grenades and the misfortunes of a horrid war. 
Rick and the others cautiously descends toward the road and the motionless convoy. Everyone put shirts over their faces for the caustic smell of carnage, burning flesh and tires saturates the air. 

It is difficult for Rick to see through the acrid smoke and the glare of remaining headlights.  Dead bodies hung over the halftracks in their final positions but Hugo’s men shot them again to be sure. The four surviving Germans with their long arms reaching toward the sky appear out of the smoke. They plead for mercy, but to no avail as Hugo’s men shot them without hesitation or remorse. 

Rick is relieved when he hears the sobbing sound of ILSA’S voice from the thicket of bush ten meters away. Rick suspects by the anguish in her voice that either Captain Renault, Victor or both were killed. When Rick made his way toward her voice, he saw her silhouette as the moon made a brief appearance. She is still hanging on to Captain Renault and when Rick put his arms around them, she shifts from Captain Renault’s shoulder to Rick’s. Rick looks for Victor’s remains but saw nothing but blood and fragments. 

ILSA knew Victor was dead before the grenade exploded, but now his mutilated body is not discernible even in the most basic human form. They stood in the midst of the Normandy forest for several minutes mourning their losses. 
        Come on. We’ve got 
        to go on. 

ILSA looks up into Rick’s eyes. She wipes the tears from her face before she gave a nod of approval.
For the next hour, all that are living pile the dead into the cabs. They fill the barge with guns grenades and ammo. There is little time for ceremony. Only ILSA prays as they gather on the bridge to watch the body-laden trucks and bloodied remains of ILSA’S husband sink into the abyss - out of sight but not out of memory. They had to wonder if it is all worth it. But that decision is something, each individual has to decide. Some of them have lost more than others.

Rick put his hand on ILSA’S shoulder. 

        Maybe you should go back 
        to the convent for a few 
        days to think things over. 
        Louie will take you over 
        there, won’t you Louie?

        Yes, of course. We can 
        go right now if you like. 
        I’m sure Mother Superior 
        won’t mind. ILSA just stood 
        on the bank staring at the 
        water when she starts walking 
        toward the barge. She spoke in 
        a voice void of emotion. 

        No, I’m going to Paris. 
        Victor would have wanted 
        it that way. 

Rick knew it was futile to argue so he just looks at Captain Renault. Rick had an inkling and he was right.

        I must be out of my mind, 
        but what the hell. You’re 
        going to need someone else 
        to steer this . . ., this,  

Captain Renault pointed at the barge. 
        Whatever the hell it is.

They made their final farewells - a sad departure to Hugo and his men. They had gone through hell together, but Hugo’s next task was going to be as difficult. He has to go back to Rouen and tell four wives, their husbands would not be coming home tonight or any other night.

Marcel is behind the bar as usual and Yvonne is sitting impatiently waiting for ‘Little Flower’ and her roving radio. 

        This is the first time 
        she is coming to Rick’s 
        but I met her before 
        somewhere else. How did 
        you meet her?

        She was here in the early 
        afternoon. She was looking 
        for Rick or you but she knew 
        who I was so she was 
        comfortable asking me if 
        she could broadcast from 
        here to-night.    

        Everywhere I went today 
        everybody was excited. 
        The word through the 
        Underground was there 
        could be news of an 
        Allied invasion. We have 
        waited for this day for 
        so long. Hopefully it is 
        finally here. The beginning 
        of the end for Hitler

The sliding door opens slightly and “Little Flower” rushes in and closes the door behind her. There are hugs all around. She put her radio on the bar which impresses Marcel considering she was no more than five feet tall.

        I don’t know how you 
        can carry that thing. 
        It must weigh a lot.

             LITTLE FLOWER
        We do what we have to do.    
         What we all have to do. We 
        protect ourselves the 
        best we can that is 
        why we move every night. 
        For our safety ‘Piano men’ 
        and women move constantly 
        for fear the Germans would 
        find us. We have reason to 
        be afraid with this new 
        detection device that  
        detects radio waves. 

        Rick told us about them. 
        That must scare the hell 
        out of you.

            LITTLE FLOWER
        That doesn’t make it 
        any easier. If you are 
        caught they execute you 
        on the spot. The problem
        they have is there are 
        so many of us that finding 
        even one is a task for them. 
        Right now Frenchmen every-
        where are listening. Especially

She looks at her watch.
            LITTLE FLOWER
        Okay it’s almost time.  

Little Flower adjusts the frequency on her radio and everyone waits for Charles de Gaulle to give them information they  want to hear but the speech is disappointing. It contained no information about an invasion. He spoke of the insurrection in Paris and the need for guns and most importantly the need for barricades. As always he signed off with a warning to the Allies what would happen if Paris is not liberated.   

        That was disappointing. 
        I actually think that was 
        a speech he gave earlier 
        this year. But we do agree 
        with the liberation of Paris 
        part of the speech. Oh well, 
        maybe the invasion will start

            LITTLE FLOWER
        If you want I have     
        another communication 
        in one hour with a man 
        called Geronimo. May be 
        he can give us more 
        information. He is close 
        to the Normandy coast. Do 
        you want me to stay? I 
        can go elsewhere.

        I have nowhere else to go.
        I’ll stay. I’ve got nowhere 
        else to go, just home alone
          and I can’t get laid there.

Marcel looks at her and thought about volunteering but then again………….        

            LITTLE FLOWER
        Maybe Geronimo will have 
        better news and hopefully 
        good reception if it is 
        not raining or worse if 
        Geronimo had been caught. 

An hour later, Yvonne goes outside to see if the conditions are favorable. 
        I couldn’t be a more 
        beautiful night. 

            LITTLE FLOWER
        That is half the 
        problem solved. I 
        depends what the 
        weather is like on 
        the Normandy coast. 

They all sat around impatiently until 3am. Little Flower turns the dial just three degrees to reach the right frequency. They hear a voice that is garbled at first but with a slight adjustment of the dial, the voice transmission became much clearer. They all listen attentively. 

        Come in Little Flower? 
        Can you hear me?  

Little Flower spoke louder than she needed.    

            LITTLE FLOWER
        We hear you Geronimo. 
        Can you hear us?
        Loud and clear, Little 
        Flower. I have news, 
        my darling. You owe me 
        for this one. Big time.


            LITTLE FLOWER
        Yes, yes, what is it Geronimo? 

Geronimo pauses for moment gathering his emotions

        On this date, June the 6, 1944, 
        The Allies have successfully 
        landed on the beaches of 
        Normandy. D-Day has arrived. 

Everyone in the basement erupts. Marcel hated to do it but he had no choice. He gestures with the open palms of his hands for them to quiet down. They have to celebrate quietly. Sound travels loud and fast in the dead of night. 

            LITTLE FLOWER
        What else can you tell us?

        The American forces landed 
        on Utah and Omaha beaches, 
        the British landed on Gold 
        and Sword beaches and the 
        Canadians landed on Juno 
        Beach. All the beaches are 
        in Normandy not Calais like 
        everyone expected. 
        I am in the middle of the 
        battle zone. There was an 
        explosion no more than 
        100 meters from my house.  
        All the Allied forces made
        successful landings. From 
        early information, 
        Omaha Beach proved to be the 
        most    difficult because of 
        the terrain and it was well     
        defended. But it’s been 
        almost 12 hours since 
        the Allies first landed 
        on the shores of Normandy 
        and all is well. That’s 
        all the information I have 
        for now Little Flower but I 
        will talk to you tomorrow 

            LITTLE FLOWER
        Thank-you, Geronimo for 
        the greatest news ever.     
        Please be safe, my love. 
        I am sure I will know more next 
        time. I love you, Little Flower. 

            LITTLE FLOWER
        I love you too, Geronimo. 
        Until next time, darling, Over.

        That is incredible news.            

        Unbelievable. Finally, at last. 

            LITTLE FLOWER
        I am glad that it was 
        Geronimo that gave us 
        that information, not
        de Gaulle.

        It seems that you and Geronimo 
        should meet after the war. 
        It definitely seems that 
        you two were meant for each other.  
        Absolutely, you should 
        meet. It would be a shame 
        if you didn’t.

            LITTLE FLOWER
        Believe me, I have 
        thought about it and 
        I know he has too. 
        Who knows, maybe. 

Yvonne brought out a bottle of champagne she had put away for just this occasion. She wants to pop the cork off and scream in jubilation but she tilts the bottle and slips the cork out almost silently. She pours the champagne into flute glasses. 

        Tonight, we have reason 
        to celebrate. I think we 
        all are in love with 

Everyone laughs and lifts there glasses in unison. 

        To Geronimo. 

        To the Allies

        To the Allies


Short Version

It was an uneventful cruise into Paris Rick took the first shift then the Captain took the next until they sailed into Paris where the city is exploding with clots of gunfire were everywhere, Rick parks the barge on the Seine not far from the Prefecture. They left the guns on board and walk to the café amid clots of gunfire from everywhere. It was the beginning of the end.

Long Version
Captain Renault and ILSA slept on vinyl cushions that looked like they were from old lawn furniture. 
Rick took the first shift at the big wheel direct centre of the bridge and the simple instrumentation. 
The night and early morning went by with nothing eventful happening. 
ILSA slowly woke up and Captain Renault  turns away when the first sunrays shone through the massive windows, casting a beam of light on their faces. The cushion at ILSA’S feet slip across the wooden deck as she uncoiled from a fetal position. She plant her elbow into her pillow propping herself upright as she brushes her dark brown hair off her face. 
A grunt of discontentment came from the heap under a horse blanket lying beside ILSA. She put her hand affectionately upon Captain Renault’s head and she managed a faint smile. Her hair began to blow in the breeze as Rick opened one of the widows. 
It was a radiant summer morning in central France, which belies the fact that Paris and all of France is at war, and this war is about to escalate to monumental proportions.   
ILSA rose from her make-shift bed and put the pillows back on the wooden lawn furniture. Rick put his arm around her as she approached him with face celebrating the early morning sun and breeze. It was a southern breeze now, a bit warmer and more inviting than the cool northern breeze of the night before. 

        Sorry for the 
        There is a head 
        down in the hold. 
        It’s not pretty, 
        but it does the job. 

ILSA gathers what little she had, and went through the swinging louvered 
doors and down the steep steps leading to the head. 
Captain Renault sat up on his cushions.  He massages the sleep from his eyes.

        If we pull over at 
        one of these docks 
        here, maybe we can 
        find something to eat.

To Rick’s surprise, Captain Renault disagreed. 

        I’m not so sure that 
        is a good idea, Rick. 
        No sense inviting anymore 
        scrutiny than we need. 

        Good thinking Louie, 
        Germans might be a little 
        curious about what we’ve 
        got on board. Besides there 
        are some K-Rations here by 
        my feet. No cigarettes though. 
        I checked. What made you come 
        back to France anyway?

Captain Renault got up off the cushions and leaned against the swinging doors. He reaches for a package of K-Rations and opens the biscuits. He took one bight before he threw it over board. 

        Quite simply, it got very 
        boring, so I joined 
        de Gaulle’s Free French 
        garrison, and that was 
        just as boring. Even 
        arguing with General 
        Milford on de Gaulle’s 
        behalf got boring. 
        But I could understand why 
        Eisenhower and Milford 
        disliked de Gaulle. Even 
        I thought he was a pain. But 
        if you like him or don’t 
        like him, he is effective 
        and usually gets what he 
        wants. Then all we 
        did all day was march 
        about the barracks doing 

        I noticed you are a few 
        pound lighter. It looks 
        good on you or I should 
        say off you. I’m not so 
        sure that beard looks all 
        that great, but it does 
        the job. So what happened 
        after you did your last

        When ILSA and Victor 
        heard that the Allies 
        weren’t going to liberate 
        Paris, they thought they 
        had better drop in and do
        something about it in person. 
        I am sure that was Victor’s 
        idea. It was his reason to 
        get back to the fight. He was 
        bored too. So with a lot of 
        prodding from General Milford 
        I decided to go with them. I 
        thought they were going to land 
        when they flew us over not 
        parachute but I was stuck. 
        I made a commitment so I had 
        no choice but to go.

Picturing Captain Renault jumping out of plane, Rick started to laugh.  

        That must have been 
        some sight, seeing you 
        jump out of that plane. 
        I thought you didn’t 
        even want to go up in 
        a plane let alone jump 
        out of one.

        I have to admit, it 
        took a lot of persuasion 
        on the Victor’s part. God 
        rest his soul. In fact, he 
        had to kick me out of the 
        damn plane. Then I landed 
        in a tree and some nuns 
        had to save me. Imagine, 
        saved by nuns. 
        That was embarrassing?

Captain Renault wasn’t laughing, but he was smiling. He was happy to see his story was so amusing to Rick. Rick was laughing so hard the barge began to veer off course. 
Captain Renault grabbed the wheel. 

        You must be tired. Get 
        some sleep before we get 
        to Paris.

Captain Renault took over the helm as Rick gladly backed away. The Captain was right. Rick had reached the point of exhaustion. 

The fragrance, which ILSA exudes at all times led Rick to grab the same cushions she used. He brought them to the forward part of the deck and sat by his friend. 

            CAPTAIN RENAULT 
        One thing puzzles me. 
        Now that we have the 
        guns and ammunition, 
        how are we going to 
        get them into the hands 
        of the people who need 

        I knew you’d be thinking 
        about just that Louie so 
        all night long I thought 
        about it, trying to come 
        up with a good solution. 

        You can't just circle the 
        city and give the guns out.

        Why not? That’s exactly 
        what we are going to do. 
        When we get back to Paris, 
        we let the guns sit right 
        here in the barge. We dock 
        this tub by the Ile de la 
        Cite’ near the Prefecture. 
        Nobody will be the wiser. 
        It’ll be just one out of 
        hundreds docked on the 
        Seine without enough fuel 
        to move. Do you still have 
        those connections with 
        Lieutenant Andre, your man 
        in charge of the Prefecture 
        motor pool?      

            Of course. 

Captain Renault looked at Rick and by the expression on his face; he knew what the solution was. 

        Let me guess. I get 
        Lieutenant Andre and 
        a few of his men to 
        requisition a few trucks 
        from the motor pool 
        for later today sometime. 
        The Lieutenant leaves the 
        Prefecture and delivers 
        the trucks to the cafe.

        Sure, we park the trucks 
        behind the cafe. Nobody 
        will know. We don’t pick 
        up the guns until the day 
        after tomorrow. There is 
        something else we have to 
        take care of tomorrow that 
        we’ll need the trucks. 
        Something that will be 
        dangerous, but - to put it 
        in your words, something 
        that will be infinitely 
        satisfying. I haven’t worked 
        out all the details yet, 
        I’ll let you know when 
        I’m finished.

        If we get the trucks later 
        today why not get the guns 
        early tomorrow or later 
        today and start distributing 
        them around the city?

        Because there is something 
        you don’t know, Louie, 
        something that’s going to 
        throw you for a loop. When 
        we start this insurrection, 
        the Prefecture is first 
        building we’re going to take 

        I had an idea you were
        thinking about exactly that. 

        Then we sabotage the 
        tapping equipment the 
        Germans use to monitor all 
        phone calls in Paris. 
        Think about it Louie?

        So when the Germans can’t 
        monitor phone calls, we 
        will be free to communicate 
        with the whole city with the 
        communications centre at 
        the Prefecture. 
        Yup and when the insurrection 
        starts, we’ll have all the 
        guns and ammo right there to 
        arm everyone. With your 
        knowledge    of the building, it 
        will be easy to defend.

        Rick as usual that is a 
        preposterous idea and 
        amazingly enough, I think 
        it will work.     

        That’s just the beginning 
        Louie, Marcel and Perrot 
        have come up with a pretty 
        good plan. All the mechanisms 
        are in place, all we have to 
        do is turn on the switch.

Rick stretched out on cushions as his eyes became heavy. For the moment, the war was far away so he could relax. 

        I’ll tell you about them 
        later, first I’ve got,,, 
        to get. . ., some sl. . .

The last few words were muttered but it didn’t matter. Captain Renault got the message. 

ILSA came up from the hold looking fresh and bright. Seeing Rick fast asleep, she sat beside him, taking his head and placing it on her lap. Captain Renault looked over at her as her hand stroked Rick’s face. 

        You still love him don’t you? 

She didn’t say a word at first. The look on her face told the story. 

            CAPTAIN RENAULT 
        I have an idea that is why 
        you insisted on coming with 
        us because you knew we would 
        run into Rick sooner or later.

        I never stopped loving him 
        as much as I tried to love 
        Victor I could never succeed. 

As she spoke, tears began running down her cheeks. 

        You can’t imagine how bad 
        I felt. Here was this 
        handsome, courageous man 
        who treated me as well as 
        any woman could be treated. 
        I respected him as a man, 
        a fighter for justice and a 
        leader of a great cause. 
        Most women envied my position, 
        but I still wasn’t in love 
        with him. I thought after a 
        while I would just forget about 
        Rick but it didn’t happen that 
        way. Even after two, three 
        years had passed, I still 
        was in love with him. I 
        thought of him all the time. 
        I couldn’t get him out of my 
        mind. It was beyond my control.

        Why didn’t you just leave 
        and go back to Rick’s?         

        As much as Victor was 
        a courageous and brave 
        man, my leaving him would 
        have seriously hurt him 
        and his work. In that way, 
        he was a very weak man. 
        It would have been very 
        difficult for him to go on 
        alone. That part of Victor 
        nobody knew, although I think 
        Rick had a feeling. Sometimes 
        that night in Casablanca I 
        think Rick made me go with 
        Victor just because he 
        knew just how devastated 
        Victor would be if I hadn’t 
        gone with him.

Captain Renault admitted what no one understood about Rick. 

        That is one thing about 
        our Rick, he understands 
        how people act and react 
        and he has a lot of 
        compassion for those people 
        around him. I know he wouldn’t 
        admit that and I would never 
        accuse him of it to his face 
        because he would deny it. 
        On the other hand, it would 
        be frightful to have him as 
        an enemy. I’m glad I’m on his 
        side. It is much safer that 

        Life goes on for us but 
        for Victor, may God rest 
        his soul.

As she spoke she made the sign of the cross. 
        He will always be known as 
        a hero who died fighting for 
        the cause he so strongly 
        believed, and he died 
        knowing I was at his side,
        the two most important 
        things in his life. 

She wiped the tears from her face and ventured a smile. 
        We must look forward now. 
        When the war is over I will 
        look back and reflect, but 
        the Germans are forcing us 
        to face reality. 

She stroked Rick’s scarred face as he calmly slept. 

        He looks so innocent when 
        he is sleeping. 

        ILSA, Rick may be many things, 
        but I doubt ‘innocence’ can be 
        counted among them.    

        I am sure, Captain a woman 
        sees that side of a man 
        that no male friend ever 
        sees. A woman can bring out
        a part of his character that 
        no man would dare let his 
        male friends see or tell 
        them about.

        I have no doubt you are 
        right. I can understand 
        where a woman could bring 
        out the softer, gentler 
        part of a man’s character. 
        Somehow though, after these 
        last four years, I doubt 
        there is much innocence left 
        anywhere in the God forsaken 
        world. I think the first 
        casualty of a war of this 
        magnitude is truth and 
        then innocence. 



            CAPTAIN RENAULT 

For the next hour, I regaled ILSA with numerous stories, some humorous, some sad about how Rick and I spurned the Germans, but the stories ended abruptly when the sounds of war could be heard as we approach the outskirts of Paris. There were little areas of disruption as gunshots and the odd larger explosion could be heard from many areas of the city, as small bands of Resistance were being persistently disruptive to the Germans. 
I was surprised and motivated. The city had become alive like no other time during the occupation. The anticipated liberation had given Parisians inspiration. I knew the heart of the Resistance would carry them a long way in achieving their plight, but they were sorely lacking in the arms race, which rendered them a distinct disadvantage. However, starting tomorrow, the arms in the hold of Hugo’s barge wasn’t going to even the playing field but the arms would give the Resistance a fighting chance. 
I had stayed to the Left Bank side of the Ile de la Cite’ in front of the Cathedral de Notre-Dame until we reached the far end of the island where I found a berth amid several other boats and barges.  

        Richard - Richard, wake up, 

ILSA gently rocked him back and forth to no avail.  

        Richard - Richard. 

She rocks him harder this time. His eyes open as he slowly brought himself to an upright position.

        Well Rick, it’s not Bastille 
        Day so they are using real 
        bullets not firecrackers. 
        It looks like they are starting 
        the party without us.

Rick looks in the direction of the gunfire for a moment then put his arms around ILSA and kisses her once, then kissed her again. The second is long, reckless and passionate. 
Captain Renault became uncomfortable then irritated. 

        Sorry you two, I hate to 
        break up such a lovely 
        reunion, but we need to 
        park this thing.

        All right Louie, do you 
        want me to park this tub 
        or do you want ILSA and 
        me to tie it up. 

Captain Renault steps away from the helm as Rick grabs the wheel. After the barge is in position and secure, they sped off in a westward direction along the Left Bank, carefully eluding the Wehrmacht patrols that are searching the city streets for renegade pockets of Resistance. 
By the time they reach Rick’s Cafe thirty minutes later, the fighting has spread and is heard from several different directions. When they enter the cafe, Marcel is alone behind the bar.

        It looks like their starting 
        the party without us eh Marcel.

        It is the Communist, which 
        is good. They are doing us 
        a favor. We can start our 
        plan much easier with them 
        holding the attention of 
        the Germans.

        Good point, but we 
        have to make sure de Gaulle 
        takes power after the war 
        is over not Coronel Tanguy 
        and his communist. I am not 
        sure how we can do that 
        but we will figure it out. 
        These Commies ruling France 
        would almost be as bad as 
        the Germans.     

Marcel anticipates Rick’s next question and answers it before he asked. 

        I have already contacted 
        everyone. They are on their 
        way with the equipment. 
        They should be here after 
        dark. Continues........




             RICK cont.......
        Where is Yvonne?



        She and several others 
        are next door preparing 
        Molotov cocktails. The 
        potassium chlorate arrived 
        this morning.  

        Oh, you remember Captain 
The Captain steps forward as Marcel reaches over the bar and shook his hand. 

        It good to have you back 
        Captain. We missed you 
        around here.

            CAPTAIN RENAULT 
        Well, I had to come back. 
        I knew you people wouldn’t
        be successful without me.  
Captain Renault thought everyone would laugh but no one did.

        And this is ILSA. 

Marcel reaches over the bar for her hand then gently kissed it. 

        Enchante, Mademoiselle. 

ILSA smiles as she put her arm around Rick.

        She will be staying here 
        from now on. Besides 
        the obvious, anything 
        interesting happen since 
        we’ve been gone.

        You have not heard? The 
        Germans, just this morning 
        have confiscated all the guns 
        from the police. They are 
        on strike in protest.

Rick flinches when he hears the news. 

        Well I’ll be damned. The 
        Germans really got one up 
        on us. We were counting on 
        the police to turn against 
        them. What do you think, 
        It’s obvious the Germans 
        think they are losing control. 
        But we can rearm the police 
        with the guns we have.

Rick just smiles at his friend in admiration. 

        See that Louie. I knew there 
        was a reason you came back to
        Paris. That is a great idea. 
        We can add that message to 
        the flyer for the police to 
        look out for Marcel’s van or 
        we can tell them to come back 
        to the Prefecture and join us. 

        That will work. Rick
        I can call the Prefecture
        now before Lieutenant Andre
        leaves. He can deliver 
        those trucks any time he 
        wants. I will ask him 
        how many men are still there   
        or are they all on strike. 

        Let’s just hope the Germans 
        aren’t listening to your 
        call but we don’t have any 
        choice. I’ll fill you in 
        on the rest of our plan 
        when everybody else gets 
        here. No sense in going 
        over it twice. Meanwhile, 
        we just might as well close
        this place and wait 
        for the others downstairs. 
        We’ve got a lot of work to do.

Captain Renault went up to the terrace to use the phone. Marcel closes the shutters and locks the doors while the others went to the basement.  
        I told Andre that he and 
        his men to park the trucks 
        a ten meters down the alley 
        way so they don’t collide 
        with the printer delivery 
        and to leave the keys under 
        the mats. He said 
        he will be there tomorrow 
        when we take over the 
        Prefecture. There is something 
        else you will find interesting. 
        Andre told me the Germans will 
        be leaving the centre of 
        the city tomorrow after 
        the noon march. 

        Really? Why? 

        They are going to set up 
        a defensive perimeter to stop 
        the Allies from coming here. 
        So most of the troops won’t 
        even be here tomorrow.   

        That’s good news. It will 
        make it easier for us 
        tomorrow. Okay Louie, I am 
        going to need help with 
        this speech. I don’t want 
        to forget anything. Especially 
        what you just told me. Everyone 
        will have to know. We’ve got 
        to get on that right away. 
        ILSA can help us too. She’s 
        good with words. She can 

Within two hours, Andre delivers the trucks as promised and the printers had arrived. 
ILSA sat at a rusted metal table beside Rick and across from Captain Renault and Marcel. She marvels at the frantic pace, which these men and women assemble the printing press. The normal gloom on their faces had changed. 
After inspecting the press a worrisome Marcel walks over to Rick, whispers into his ear then left the room. 
Ten minutes later Marcel came back with Yvonne, Perrot and several others. 
When Yvonne realizes ILSA is sitting beside Rick. She calmly put the bottles on the floor and walks out the backdoor. Marcel runs after her.   
        You don’t have to explain.
        I understand. He always told 
        me he was always in love with 
        ILSA but after she left with 
        her husband in Casablanca I 
        thought she was out of his 
        life. What is she doing here?

        I don’t know what 
        happened. I was surprised 
        when Rick came here with her 
        and Captain Renault. I don’t 
        know what to tell you but  
        we are close to liberating
        Paris. And that is all that  
        matters to you right now. 
        Lovers will come and go but 
        Paris will always be here for 
        you and for all us. This 
        is for the liberation of 
        your Paris  - our Paris. 
        So we can be free of the 
        Nazis. Free to love and 
        be happy.  Please mon cherie, 
        for us and for all Parisians, 
        we need to work together. 
        Pour l'amour de Paris 

        Qui, pour l'amour de Paris

Marcel’s speech works. When Yvonne and Marcel walk back inside she stood beside the Molotov cocktails and didn’t say a word. Marcel checks the typeset for errors on the old Heidelberg press before he prints a copy of the flyer and poster for Captain Renault and ILSA to proof read. 
When they gave the go ahead, Marcel ran two sample copies of each. Rick stood beside ILSA and places notes on a metal table that the three of them had written. Rick doesn’t want to forget any important details and Captain Renault, always a stickler for details, made sure he didn’t. 
Rick took a deep breath and began his speech….        
        Up ‘til now there has been 
        hardly any organization
        when it comes to fighting 
        the Germans. As you can hear 
        by the pockets of Resistance 
        around the city, they’re doing 
        what they can but 
        they’re disorganized….     
        If we’re     going to have 
        this damn insurrection,     
        we have to do it right…. 

Rick went into detail every aspect of their plan and when Rick is finished he turns toward Captain Renault. 

        Captain Renault has never 
        been to any of our printing 
        parties. We all know the 
        Germans don’t like us to 
        have any electricity so we 
        have to supply our own 
        to power the press. Captain 
        Renault doesn’t know that 
        he’s the guest of honor so if 
        you would just step over here Captain. 

Everyone roars as Rick escorts Captain Renault to one of the stationary bicycles. 

        We have a special 
        seat just for you, 
        front row centre. 

Captain Renault laughs and took the ribbing graciously. Then Rick spoke quietly, almost in a whisper. 

        Soon as you get tired, 
        Louie, Marcel will take 
        over for you. I’m going 
        up stairs. ILSA and I 
        have a lot of catching up 
        to do. You can sleep 
        in the guest quarters in 
        back, and better get some 
        sleep we have a big day 
        ahead of us tomorrow.

        Don’t worry about me, 
        Rick, I will be just 
        fine. I should think 
        tomorrow will be 
        especially gratifying 
        for the both of us.
        If we succeed Louie,
        if we succeed.     


They are silent as they proceed up the stairs to Rick’s office and the terrace. ILSA is busy inspecting the cafe. 

        So this has been home 
        for the last three years.

        It’s hard to believe 
        it’s been that long. 
        It feels like only 
        months ago that Louie 
        and I came here from 
        Casablanca with a couple 
        of detours along the way. 
        With his connections 
        and a little bribery, 
        we were able to get this 
        place opened - and tomorrow, 
        if we don’t pull it off, 
        the whole thing could come 
        falling down on our heads. 

ILSA grabs Rick’s hand and leads him out unto the terrace. The sporadic gunfire had stopped. Paris is quiet and almost peaceful as darkness slowly crept into the canyons of the city.     

        So after Victor disappeared
        what happened?

        After Victor disappeared 
        that’s when I decided to 
        go to America.  

    All by yourself

    Yes, but I failed miserably,
    Isolationist America wasn’t
    going to contribute to any 
    war that didn’t concern them.

    I’m not sure how you
    consider that a failure. 
      That is when I came to 
       London and joined the WAAF.
       Then one day I got a 
       call from Victor. I cried
        but they were happy tears.
        For almost a year I thought
        he was dead.

        That must have been one
        surprising phone call. 
       Then a short time later
        we saw Captain Renault.
        When I saw the Captain, I 
        realised how much I missed
        you. That is why I feel so 
       guilty. Poor Victor. He 
        didn’t deserve what happen
        to him. I knew he was aware 
        all along that I was in love
        with you, and I’m sure he 
        felt that someday, he would 
        lose me to you. 
        So the poor guy gets himself 
        killed and that leaves the door 
        open for you and me. 
        But there’s no reason why 
        either one of us should 
        feel guilty but I still do.

        So do I.
       Yeah well, there is someone 
       else who lost out in the 
       shuffle. Someone you don’t 
       know about.

ILSA moves closer to Rick, She put her arms around him and pressed her body against his. 

        Richard, most women are 
        very intuitive when it comes 
        to what their men are doing. 
         I know you have a relationship 
        with Yvonne. Don’t forget, 
        I knew about her in 
        Casablanca, and when I saw 
        her here, it was obvious 
        when she came down 
        stairs. She could hardly contain 
        the look on her face when 
        she saw me. I felt sorry for 
        her. I didn’t know she had 
        followed you to Paris. 
        Do you love her?

    I don’t know. Maybe I do 
    in a strange sorta way. I’ve 
    gotten used to her like 
    an old pair of shoes.”

    Oh Richard, don’t compare 
    her to an old pair of shoes.
    She is a beautiful woman.
    Yeah, I know, but she’s not you. 

ILSA looks out toward the darkened Eiffel Tower. She is happy. She heard those words that she wanted to hear. 


Perrot, ILSA, Yvonne and several other girls leave early the next morning in one of the trucks to paste a thousand posters and hand out pamphlets around Paris. 

Rick, Marcel and the Captain with the fake prisoners in the back of the truck left for the Nazi prison at Mont-Pierre. After a battle they take the prison and release all prisoners that were facing a firing squad. The insurrection has begun. Paris is officially under siege from within.

Captain Renault Rick and Marcel and many other members of the Resistance take back the main Prefecture in Paris and Captain Renault is reinstated as Police Chief in an emotional ceremony as La Marseillaise is sung and the Tri-Colour is hoisted up the flag pole for the first time since Paris fell. 

Rick left the Prefecture before dawn with one truck, three men and three MP44s. They are successful in freeing the telephone exchange from the Nazis monitoring the conversations of all phones in and around Paris. Everyone is free to communicate in secret and without Nazi reprisal. 

Captain Renault is planning the defense of the Prefecture against the inevitable German onslaught.
Marcel and several men left the Prefecture in two trucks toward the barge. They recoup their cache of arms and distribute them throughout the city. On their adventures they come across interesting situations and people. Their first such situation and unusual person is in the Pegalle. 

In Pegalle, an area known for its risqué cafes and its artist’s colony, a man holding a World War I Lebel rifle follows behind two Wehrmacht soldiers with their arms raised. As the trucks slowed behind him.     

        Excuse me sir, Do you need any help?

            MAN WITH A GUN
        No, but do you have another gun? 

Marcel hands him a loaded MP44.
            MAN WITH A GUN
        Thanks, I need a gun that has bullets. 

The two soldiers look at each other when they realize they were captured by a man with no bullets in his gun.

When Marcel and his men walk into city hall at Hotel de Ville, men and women asks him if he is friends with the bride or the groom. Marcel explains to them why he is there and asks them why in the middle of an insurrection, are they performing a wedding.  
He is told they had taken over the city hall just as the wedding ceremony began. Their leader of the Resistance pronounce the city hall is now under the authority of the free French of de Gaulle. When they put the Vichy mayor and his staff under arrest, the bride began to cry. The leader, thinking fast, assumed his rightful position as mayor and performed his first obligation. He announces the ceremony will continue and pronounces them man and wife.  
They had little time for weddings so Marcel allots them much needed guns and grenades and left for the next stop on his tour. 

Marcel sees for himself the profound effect the posters have for it wasn’t just the hardcore Resistance that is disrupting the Germans. Everyday Parisians are getting involved. They are in a building frenzy as numerous barricades block streets and official buildings had been commandeered by the Resistance just as the posters instructed. The poster reminds them that taking official buildings will be easy - keeping them would be much more difficult. 
From the northern slopes of Montmartre and the Basilica du Sacre-Coeur, past the crooked alleyways of the Latin Quarter to the far reaches of Montparnasse and far beyond, barricades could be seen everywhere, which is proof, the posters are working. Marcel knew that if the battle for Paris succeeds the poster brigade of Yvonne, ILSA and the rest of the girls are the primary cause.    

Marcel just turns the corner on to Blvd de Clichy and is greeted by a pleasant surprise. You couldn’t have a better advertisement than scantily clad women stacking sandbags to build a barricade. The barricade is easily the longest Marcel has seen. It stretches across both sides of the boulevard from the Moulin Rouge to the massage parlour across the street. When word spread, it wasn’t long before every man in the neighborhood came to help out. After Marcel left, the girls thank their helpers by giving them a free pass to get in the club and a free MP44 and grenades to fight Les Boshes.

In the heart of the Latin Quarter, engineering students tore apart the street with pick-axes and shovels to erect a barricade made of paving stones and mortar. When Marcel approaches them, hundreds of enthusiastic students instantly surrounded him. It only took minutes before their enthusiasm had become lethal. 

Less than two blocks up the boulevard, more students chop down a row of chestnut trees that fell upon the right lane. Marcel drives down the left lane when he notices more students chopping a long row of the trees beside the left lane. His second truck just made it through before the first tree fell. He stops and thanks the students for being so creative because chopping down trees is a brilliant idea. He told them they probably didn’t need them considering their axe wielding skills but he gave them guns and grenades anyway.    

Marcel slips down a side street in the Latin Quarter but stops abruptly. Several people hiding behind a barricade shot two German soldiers that were riding a motorcycle and sidecar. The two Nazis are still alive but a brazen young woman ran to the downed soldiers and hands their weapons to two of her comrades. They drag the two German soldiers and their motorcycle away so Marcel could proceed.  Marcel offers them more guns and ammo but for the first and only time did anyone say thanks but they have plenty. 

Perrot stares out the window above the switchboard. He is lost in thought thinking about what to tell Rick. Everyone in the room is quiet. Perrot told them what had happened but telling Rick about Yvonne and the cafe was terrifying. Perrot is wondering how will he react. When Rick enters the room, Perrot didn’t turn to greet him and everyone else is quiet. 
Rick knew instantly, there was something drastically wrong. 

        What happen?

Perrot finally turns and faces him. The look on Perrot’s face told the story. 

        I am sorry, Monsieur Rick. 
        The cafe has been destroyed. 
        There is nothing left. 

Perrot flinches as Rick’s clenched fist came down hard on the switchboard desk. 

        ILSA, Yvonne and the girls?
        ILSA is alive but all the 
        rest are dead. According 
        to Armand, earlier this 
        day, a tank and an armored 
        car stopped in front of the 
        cafe and called for whoever 
        was inside to come out. Armand 
        recognized the man that headed 
        the assault from the times he 
        had come to the cafe. He said 
        it was Major Hanns Gruber. 

        Gruber huh. Before this is 
        over we have a score to 
        settle that son-of-a-bitch. 

        He said, the girls foolishly 
        returned fire, and someone 
        from the inside, threw a 
        Molotov cocktail, which 
        missed the tank. Within 
        seconds, it was over. One 
        shell blew the ground floor 
        beyond recognition. Be happy 
        Monsieur, Armand is most 
        positive it was Mademoiselle 
        ILSA. He said, he will never 
        forget the look of anguish 
        on her face as they brutally 
        threw her into the truck with 
        manacles around her feet and 
        hands but she is still alive,

        Does he or you have any 
        idea where they took her?

        Qui, to the prison at Fresnes. 
        It is the closest prison for 
        female political prisoners. 

        How far is the prison 
        away from here?

        About four kilometers.     

Rick began circling the room, trying to focus. 

        What the hell, we did 
        it at Mont-Pierre, 
        we can do it there.
As a show of force, the armored vehicle bulldozes its way through the wrought iron gate directly in front of the Prefecture. The German soldiers made a tactical error they would regret as they drove the vehicle too close to the building. Captain Renault and his men quickly retaliate. The deafening burst of fire from their miss-matched collection of firearms shook the empty streets and fills the air with smoke. Within seconds, dozens of rounds hit the armored vehicle killing two of the four men. The right front tire on the armored vehicle is completely blown off the rim. In a panic, the driver turns one hundred and eighty degrees and screeches away from the Prefecture as sparks from naked metal wheel hit the pavement. They pass the Hotel Lambert but Rick and his men didn’t fire. Several of his men held them in their sights, mimicking gunfire and pretending they are at a amusement park shooting gallery. Rick knew next time the real war will start, and he doesn’t want to divulge their position.

Two Panzers follow the path forged by the armored car an hour earlier. When the tanks twist into position a bullhorn squealed before a German officer warns them. 

            GERMAN OFFICER
        Surrender immediately 
        and your lives will be 
        spared. If not, we will 
        destroy the Prefecture 
        from under you. You have 
        five minutes. 

Captain Renault tries to wait the full five minutes. He is aware his firepower doesn’t match theirs. He knew too well the best he has couldn’t penetrate the 13mm thickness of the Panzers and none of his men could get close enough to use grenades.  
He radios Rick to find a solution but the lead tank didn’t wait five minutes before it fires. 

As promised, the blast shook the very foundations of the Prefecture. When the explosion rips through the building, the injured and concrete are thrown everywhere. The radio room took the brunt of the blast. The shock spun Andre out of his chair at the switchboard and hurled him across the room under a shower of plaster, dust and flying debris.  

On all floors, the men that weren’t injured and some that were fired back as they choke on smoke and dust, but Captain Renault orders them to stop. They might as well save their bullets for another time. 
The Captain rips the head set from Andre and phones Rick in desperation. 

        If they hit us with 
        another volley Rick, 
        we will be in serious 
        trouble. We’ll have to 
        retreat to the basement. 
        We’re useless against them.

        Relax Louie, we’re going 
        to deal with them, right,,,

Three massive explosions not quite in unison shook the building once again but this time the damage was minimal. Captain Renault and Andre rush to the glassless windows to see the three tanks exploding out of control. Captain Renault looks away as a man, with legs shoot off at the knees, pulls himself from one of the turrets. He screams as he rolls to the ground but the fire finally consumed him.
Captain Renault grabs the head set at the switchboard and dust off his once perfectly pressed suit. 

        Nice job, Rick. 
        I owe you one.

        No Louie, if we keep on 
        keeping score we’ll drive 
        each other crazy.


 Not far from Gestapo headquarters at 74 Avenue Fosh, just where the boulevard narrowed to a single lane, fighters of the Resistance have gathered on tops of several commercial buildings and at a barricade made of sandbags. They are waiting for their prey when Marcel drove the truck behind the barricade. 

Without even asking, Marcel and his men start handing out guns and ammunition to surprised but grateful men and women. One of them quickly explains to Marcel that they called the Gestapo headquarters and told them there is a major disturbance two blocks beyond where they are positioned. They even lit a fire to convince the Gestapo there is a disturbance going on up the road. 

Marcel is in a hurry but he has to wait to see this for himself. He didn’t wait long when an open aired armored wagon led three German Panzers past where Marcel and the others are waiting. The Germans thought they are on their way to a make believe uprising but they are closer to the fighting than they think as they are showered with dozens of grenades, Molotov’s homemade cocktails and now an excessive amount of gunfire thanks to Marcel. 

When it was over, the lead wagon with four men aboard and the tanks are riddled with bullet holes and the tanks are on fire. Miraculously, the Major who sat next to the diver in the lead armored vehicle is still alive. He got out of the armored car with his hands up. No one could hear what he is saying but everyone assumes he is begging for mercy. 

Marcel peered through his binoculars at the Major before he borrows the rifle from the man standing beside him. Without hesitation Marcel shot the Major in the shoulder. The shot spun the Major around 360 degrees. Marcel climbs over the barricade and approaches the Major who is lying on the ground with his hand on his shoulder. The Major recognizes Marcel and asked him for mercy. 

        [starts chanting] 
        No mercy. No mercy. 
        No mercy. No mercy.

Marcel spoke loudly so everyone could hear him. 

        You didn’t give any 
        mercy to the thousands 
        of people you tortured 
        and killed so you will 
        get no mercy from me. 
Marcel hesitates for a moment before he poured six shots into the Major, killing him without question. 
Everyone cheers and converges onto the street. They all want to shake Marcel’s hand. His Resistance friends didn’t know it but it wasn’t difficult to tell. Marcel had score to settle with Major Hanns Gruber.

        That one was for you, Yvonne.


At the switchboard, Andre’s ears are burning.  Someone at the town hall in Neuilly, called in a panic. A convoy of tanks had just positioned themselves in the front of their building and when Andre hears a huge explosion at the other end of the line, the phone went dead. He made a note for Marcel whenever he would report, if he is in the area to see if anything could be done, but by the sounds over the phone, it is too late. 

Andre tries to keep track of how many phone calls he got like that one where it became obvious they lost to overpowering German firepower. It became obvious to Andre that as opportunistic as the Resistance is in the beginning of the insurrection they are losing the battles and ultimately they could and probably would lose the war for Paris. 

 An hour later, Captain Renault radios Rick again. This time he spoke with just a tinge of panic in his voice. He stood by the switchboard with one end of a headset pressed to his right ear. The other end was shot off but he is thankful it works. 

        Rick, Marcel just called 
        and reported a convoy of 
        several tanks, and armoured 
        vehicles coming up the 
        Champs-Élysées in this 
        direction, but their 
        tanks have two passengers 
        strapped to each turret. 


        Very serious. I guess 
        they didn’t like the last 
        reception we gave them. 
        I can only imagine their 
        destination is here. 
        I don’t know about you 
        but making a decision of 
        who lives and who dies 
        doesn’t sit well with me. 

        Marcel said he would 
        be here ahead of them 
        so we better move fast. 
        Are you thinking 
        what I am thinking?

        Always Louie. We’ll 
        meet you in the courtyard 
        under the Tri-colour. 
        Let’s hope Marcel gets 
        here before the human 
        shield does.  

The men meet under the French flag and wait impatiently for Marcel. Andre is gathering his things together at the switchboard and is about to join the others when he answers last call. The screaming and noise in the background at the other end of the phone is so loud, he could not understand what the man is saying. Finally, out of frustration the caller yells into his receiver. Andre pulls the head set away from his ear. He now understood why there is so much noise. They are not cries of anguish under a German barrage of fire, but they are cries of jubilation. Chartres, a mere fifty kilometers from Paris, had just been taken by Lecleric’s 2nd Armored Division and with the unbelievable invitation of von Chotitz, the German commander of Gross Paris the Allies are on their way. They should be in Paris before the day is over - tomorrow by the latest. Paris will be saved. 

Tires squeal as Marcel turns the corner with the second truck close behind. He could feel the heat from the smoldering tanks as he passes them. When he approaches the men celebrating and singing La Marseillaise in the courtyard, he is confused at first, but in only a moment, he knew theirs is the response only one piece of information could inspire. Marcel began to weep when he knew his beloved Paris would be saved. 

Captain Renault, Rick and the remaining men jump aboard the two trucks and within moments they drove out the drive way and fleeing the burning Prefecture. 

Rick looks into the mirror on the side of the truck as the German convoy moves cautiously through the fog of war toward the Prefecture. Rick knew the Nazis were warned that the inhabitants are dangerous and have the firepower and the means to use it. However, the Nazis arrive too late. The first incursion of the Prefecture is over but just for the moment. The occupants have stepped out but they would be back, stronger and better than ever. 
After much deliberation and with the knowledge that Paris would be saved, Rick and his men were on a rescue mission to the prison at Fresnes.


The prison guards park the olive drab busses at the gates of Fresnes. They wait for the two hundred and twenty-eight female prisoners to board. The two thousand male prisoners were already gone. They were taken away before day-break and are now on their way to Germany. 
A German officer woke ILSA as he enters her cell. She recognizes the tip of his cross as it dangled from below his tunic. He is the prison chaplain. 

            PRISON CHAPLAIN 
        ILSA, I have come to 
        give you communion for 
        the ordeal that awaits you.

ILSA rose to her knees from the mat on the floor and kisses his cross as he began the communion process with prayer. He slips the host out of the blessed container and places it gently upon her tongue. She bows her head and folds her hands as he made and spoke the sign of the cross, 

        Nomane Patris et Filii et 
        Spiritus Sancti, Amen. 

ILSA looks up at him with tears streaming down her face.

        Why father - why are they 
        doing this to us? The war 
        will soon be over. 
        There is little sense 
        in killing anymore?

There is a look of bewildered frustration on his face as the priest spoke. 

            PRISON CHAPLAIN        
I am sorry my child, but unfortunately that is not my decision. In this matter, I am powerless.

        Father, why does God allow 
        the atrocities of war if 
        he is such a just and kind 
        I have no answer my child, 
        but I can tell you this; 
        you must have faith my dear; 
        you must have faith. I am 
        sorry but I must see to the 
        needs of the others. May God 
        be with you. 

He blesses her again for good measure before he left the cell with the echoing sound of the heavy metal door reverberating through out the prison.  
Less than an hour later, ILSA hears the systematic opening of cell doors as the guards take the female prisoners to the busses. 
When they pass through the prison wrought iron gate, a sympathetic driver told them to tuck their last messages to their families in the seat. He would see to it that they would be delivered.

ILSA’S words and the message was brief but powerful.

        Darling, we will always 
        have Paris. I love you. 

She addresses it to the cafe, hoping somehow the driver would keep his word.    
ILSA tries to console a woman with straw like grey hair and an aged leathery face. ILSA tells her the surest way to survive is to go to Germany. If there are any prisoners left at Fresnes, they would be slaughtered when the Allies are at the gates. But the words have little effect on the woman as she continues to cry.

The busses stop at Boulevard Peripherique. She turns and looks at Paris for what she thought, would be the last time as the bus proceeds past the boulevard.

When the busses stop at the Paris stockyard the women are led across the tracks toward the cattle cars that are strung together in front of the freight station. The German guards shot the female prisoners who are too weak to make it over the tracks. The long procession of human cargo, the best women of the French Resistance are loaded on to the cattle cars.     
The door to ILSA’S cattle car isn’t completely shut when the train’s wheels began to screech. The creaking cars quickly slid away from the station with its human cargo in agony as they beg for air and water. In ILSA’S car the widows are crossed with barbed wire and too high for even the tallest women to look outside. 
The sun beating down on the metal roves stoke the heat to an oppressive 40 degrees Celsius. For the battle-hardened women of the Resistance, it is hotter than even they could bear. One by one, they remove their clothes down to their underwear.  They could only stand while their sweaty bodies slip and slid against each other. There is a small area in the corner where only one woman could squat at a wooden bucket. While ILSA stands at the edge of the car holding on to a crooked nail, a desperate prisoner behind her licks the sweat as it streams down the small of her back.


The two trucks gather speed as they approach the stone grey walls and the iron gates of the prison. Rick analyzes the situation while he peers through his binoculars. There is only one guard at the gate and several atop the fortress. A German 88 and two smaller anti-tank pieces are placed just inside the entrance in the courtyard but luckily, they are unmanned. Rick knew, the only quick access readily available is an aggressive, surprise move through the front gates. He leans out the window and signals to Captain Renault and his men in the second truck to take out the guards on the roof. He told Marcel to “step on it” then turned to warn the others in the back to brace for impact. Marcel briefly turns his head and smiles. Rick responds when he hears Marcel’s foot hit the floor.

        Put the pedal to metal. 

The guard at the gate, startled by the onslaught, tries clumsily to ready himself but he is too late. The lead truck crashes through the gate and the guard. Three German guards rush the trucks but they are no match for the frenzied firepower of harden Resistance fighters as they empty their magazines at a ferocious pace, killing all but one of the guards.
Within moments, the prison is theirs, but it became painfully obvious they are too late. The prisoners and ILSA are gone.     
Rick looks into the eyes of the surviving guard. He knew from Rick’s pensive stare, that he will not be denied. 

    Where did they take the prisoners? 

The guard said nothing as beads of sweat dotted his face and upper lip. 

Rick reaches into Captain Renault’s holster and pulls out his Luger. The prisoner could feel the hatred in Rick’s eyes as he jams the Luger up his right nostril. With his eyes crossed the guard watches Rick’s fingers tightly grasp the trigger. 

        I’ve killed thousands 
        like you and before 
        this hell is over, 
        I’m going to kill a 
        thousand more so if 
        you don’t tell me 
        where they took the 

The German soldier didn’t understand English but he got the message. Rick turns toward Marcel and listens to the translation.      

        That train is going
        to Germany but there is 
        a problem. The train left 
        over an hour ago and 
        catching up with it before 
        it reaches the border 
        would be impossible. 

           Let’s go. 

As Rick walks away from the German soldier, he hears a shot. He didn’t know who killed the soldier but it didn’t matter, he understood. 


The medieval tower of the cathedral soars above the Marne River town of Meaux. The cathedral is their first sight as the trucks negotiate the meandering road through the forest.  
Rick and the others are frustrated - after each wayside station, no matter how fast they drive, they are always told, The train is an hour ahead. It is doubtful they could catch the train before it reaches the German border where ILSA and the rest of the prisoners would be lost forever. 

They can only hope, Jean, the Maquis demolition expert, Marcel radioed from the prison reaches the track in time. It is all up to him now but Rick and Marcel press onward, hoping for a miracle.

Four former French soldiers, one with three kilograms of plastic explosive strapped to his waist, and the others, each with fifty meters of prima-cord strung around their shoulders, traverse the tracks just beyond a tunnel where a rocky slope met the eastern shoulder of the river Marne. The men meticulously and efficiently place the explosives in half a kilogram increments into the groves at the side of the metal rails, ten meters apart. They connect the explosives with prima-cord, which led to the ignition switch  sixty meters up the hill. 
Jean and his men are now members of the Maquis who spent the last four years sabotaging railway tracks, trains, and truck convoys - any means the Germans use to transport the tools of war. Jean’s favorite is stopping the Gestapo, which is why he relished the message he received from Marcel just two hours before. Jean hopes he can delay the train long enough for Marcel, and the others to catch up as they drive through the winding roads of north-eastern France. 
Jean can hear the whistle from the death train as it passes through a tunnel less than a kilometer down the track. 
Jean ties the loose ends of the prima-cord to the detonation device and within seconds, twenty meters of track is rendered useless. The track would take the Germans two hours to repair, which is more than enough time for Rick and the others to catch them. Jean and his four men wait in the security of the hills. 

 ILSA’S arms and shoulders become tired after she fends off sweaty bodies from crushing her against the metal wall. The train floor is slick. Many of the women became too weak to wrestle their way through the crowd to the solitary pail, so they urinated and defecated on the floor below them.      
 There is a brief rest from the harsh sun beating down on the metal roof as the train enters a tunnel but when it reaches daylight, the metal wheels screech to a stop. The engineer realizes someone had sabotaged the track. 

The bodies of prisoners slam forward crushing to death many women who are unlucky to be in front of the cars. ILSA managed to hold her position, but she is weakening fast. The heat and squalid conditions are taking their toll, but they had been through nothing in comparison to what lies ahead. 
The Gestapo is afraid of an attack so they order the train back into the smoke-filled tunnel. They kept the locomotive pouring black smoke into the cramped tunnel for over an hour. Everyone gasps for a breath in the rancid black air that is settling around them. Even prisoners who had weathered the arduous trip become nauseated and near suffocation. The floor, which became slick with human feces and urine is coated with vomit as wretched prisoners threw up. Yet, ILSA knew as each moment of misery past in the rancid air, freedom for the prisoners will soon be at hand. She pleaded to the others.

        You must hang on. The Maquis 
        sabotaged the track. They have 
        come to save us. Hang On. Hang on. 
        You must hang on.
She knew it could only have been the Resistance who sabotaged the track but through an unfortunate stroke of ill-timed luck, the Gestapo found another train just a kilometer ahead. It was parked at a siding. They backed the train to the damaged track and loaded the waiting prisoners. The train had fewer cars so  they shot the sick and left them on the side of the track. 

Frustrated, the four men whose daring exploits had failed by an ill-timed stroke of luck could only watch the death train disappear down the track. 
Rick and the others got to the hill on foot no more than five minutes after the train had gone.

While on the road, they had a difficult choice to make. They could have spent precious time, hoping to find gas to siphon or just keep on going. They chose the latter and ran out of gas less than a kilometer from the tunnel. They are demoralized to see the train has gone and horrified at the sight of the dead women callously left beside the track. Rick looks for ILSA but he is relieved when ILSA is not among them.  
With all the bad luck they have against them, most men would have given in to fate, but Rick wouldn’t.     

        Marcel, radio someone - 
        anyone ahead, we have to 
        stop them again before 
        they get to Nancy. We’re 
        going to take that train. 

He points toward the train, that is still running. 

        We can fix the track 
        in an hour.  It looks 
        like they already did 
        most of the job for us.

The men understand. If they had a loved one on that train, they would be doing the same thing. So, they ran down the hill, screaming and yelling as they started to repair the track. 
Marcel stayed on the radio for an hour. He hoped someone would hear him but as far as he knew, no one did. 
It took them less than an hour when they are on their way with Captain Renault at the throttle and Marcel still on the radio. 

The track follows the River Marne to its end then into the province of Champagne and over the Aisne River but they saw nothing - just acres and acres of vineyards.

When they pass the Meuse River into Lorraine, they are less than twenty kilometers from Nancy. They could go no further than the outskirts of Nancy, just over the Moselle River. 
Rick informed the others what Captain Renault and Marcel had told him. 

        It will be too dangerous for 
        us to go into the Nancy train 
        station. There are too many
        Germans and not enough of us. 
        and besides Marcel told me 
        there are too     many routes 
        ILSA’S train could take into 
        Germany so we have to stop 
        outside of Nancy. Sorry men
        but this rescue mission is 
        over. I want to thank you 
        men for coming along. It means 
        a lot to me and it would have
        meant a lot to ILSA too.

Rick turns away and looks out the window toward the front of the train. They pass a sign which reads, Moselle River two kilometers. Rick nods at the Captain and he begins to slow the train. Suddenly, they see thick, black smoke rising above the forest canopy. 

        It is probably a forest fire.
        There are a lot this time of 
        year. Conditions are dry.
 Then through the smoky haze, they spot a caboose stopped on the track ahead. The Captain stops the train fifteen meters behind the caboose. Cautiously, everyone gathers at the front of the engine but venture no further. 

        Can anybody see or hear 

No one answers. Thick smoke and the noise from their engine made it impossible to see or hear anything. 
There is only one move that is uncharacteristic for Captain Renault but he made it. 

        Well Rick, I think you and 
        I should take a look to see 
        what’s going on beyond that 

        The Captain is right. 
        I am going as well. 

Rick looks at the other men. 

        We will be back when 
        we see what’s going on 
        beyond that smoke. If you 
        hear two shots only, get 
        in this train and run 
        like hell.

With guns at the ready, the three men sprint along the track, stopping for a moment at the caboose before they slowly crept forward. To the men back at the train, Marcel is the last man to disappear into the smoke. 

Once passed the caboose, it became apparent, the second and third cars are on fire as thick black smoke bellows from its windows. They jump down from the tracks into a small waterless ravine six feet below the rising smoke. After their eyes clear,  the horror of what happened came into focus. 

When the train slid to a halt only the last two cars besides the caboose remained on the track. The engine, coal car and two cattle cars had plunged off the trestle into the Moselle River. One of the cars stuck straight out of the water. The other cars and the engine had sunk into the river out of sight. The track and the trestle at the edge of the river were destroyed. Dead bodies of both prisoners and German soldiers are strewn everywhere.  
Marcel recognizes several armed men. He tells Rick and the Captain, they are more members of the Maquis. Marcel is sure they intercepted his plea for help. Rick, Marcel and Captain Renault walk over to the men and thank them but Rick thought their explosive destruction is over but he said nothing. The Maquis held the remaining Germans soldiers captive. They are involved in a mock trial but there is little doubt, these soldiers would survive. 

On a rocky ridge on the opposite side of the tracks and a ravine, a multitude of people drinking canteens of water laid on the ground. They are too weak to stand for any length of time but they do not realize, the war is over for them. They are the lucky few who survives. 

Rick desperately hopes ILSA is among them as he hastily climbs the ridge but after searching their desperate faces he didn’t find her.  

He jumps back down into the ravine and back up onto the tracks beyond the burning cars, nearer the river. He pans the opposite side of the tracks into the thick forest. He pans back and forth from the river’s edge to where he is standing with no success. He looks down at the dead bodies in the ravine. He didn’t want to look through all the bodies but he is coming to that conclusion. He has no choice. 

Finally, out of desperation, he screams her name several times so loud he could not hear a faint voice sitting away from the others. She sat by the edge of the river facing the other side.
At first, the voice is strained almost inaudible but as Rick walks toward her, she gained the strength to stand. She cries out. 
        Richard, Richard. 

She is trembling and almost naked. Captain Renault immediately took off his tunic and threw it to Rick. She stumbles at first then calls his name again. 

        Richard,  Richard! 

Her lips are parched and her body is severely bruised but her eyes were alive - wildly alive. Rick drapes the tunic and his arms around her. ILSA is alive. 


Rick looks totally out of character. Black smutty, coal covers his arms, chest and face. His muscles are taut and sweat drips from his elbows as he shovels coal from the tender into the firebox.  
LSA sits on a stool, letting the wind take her hair as she looks out over the green and lush countryside and the sun as it slowly dips under the horizon. 
The cattle car train ride to hell couldn’t be more different than the ride back to Paris. Her body aches but never in her life did she feel so at ease - so content. The war will be over soon, and she and Rick could resume their lives, but unlike before, this time they would have each other. 

        [asked the Captain] 
        What are you going to do 
        after the war, Captain? 

        Please ILSA, after all 
        we have been through I 
        think you could at least 
        call me by my first name 
        and besides, I am resigning 
        my commission. As of now, 
        I am no longer Captain 
        Renault of the Prefecture 
        but just another private 

            ILSA AND RICK 
            [asked in unison] 
        Are you serious, Louie?    

        Dead serious. I have had 
        enough violence in my life.  
        I am going to retire and 
        become a silent partner in 
        the new Cafe Rick Duex. 

Louie’s face cut the wind with his hand steady on the throttle. He is anxiously anticipating the first signs of Paris. There are questions everyone is thinking. Did Lecleric’s 2nd Armored Division penetrate the city? Did Eisenhower finally give permission for the Allies to save Paris? Did the Nazis put down the Resistance uprising? The only thing they knew for sure is they heard no massive explosions so they assume von Choltitz never answered the phone call or the question Hitler asked him. 

        Is Paris Burning?’      

All the men including Marcel are ahead in the cattle cars seeing to the sick. Marcel looks forward to getting back to university. He wants to resume his studies and finish his dissertation and with a little perseverance, by this time next year he should be at the Sorbonne, entering medical school.  

It is dark when the train reaches its last gasp and the siding at Neuilly, where they had started out a long and arduous twelve hours before. Rick and Louie jump from the locomotive and they help ILSA gently to the ground. Instead of the expected sounds of fury coming from the city streets, they seemed to be abuzz with people. The three of them stop and listen but no one could tell for sure. The three walk slowly beside the train. Rick had his arm firmly but gently around ILSA. 

Marcel joined them after he opened the doors to the cattle cars and slowly the weathered and worn step down from the cars. 

        Well Rick, how are we going 
        to get these ladies home?

        I am sure there are enough 
        men here to see that these 
        ladies get home safe. From 
        now on, it’s every man 
        or woman for themselves. 
        Unless you want to do the 

        No thanks. I can see 
        your point.     

Instead of walking through the station, the foursome trudge over the tracks to a perpendicular latter that led up a concrete embankment 15 meters to the street. As they climb, Rick became concerned. All he could hear is people screaming and that horrific sounds of heavy tank tracks and halftracks digging into pavement, but when Rick peaks over the top, his senses are assaulted. Thousands, maybe millions of Parisians are in a delirium as they scream for joy. That menacing sound of tanks weren’t German but they are Lacleric's 2nd Armored Division. 

After four years under Nazi domination, the people of Paris are free at last and they began the biggest party the world has ever known. 

Since the British, American and Canadian troops landed on the beaches in Normandy it took them 80 days of arduous hard fought battles before French and American troops are allowed to parade into Paris. The British and Canadians missed the Paris party but they had a party of their own when they liberated the Netherlands and Belgium. 

Tired unshaven men wearing tattered military uniforms drove tanks, halftracks and an assortment of mobile military vehicles through a sea of humanity but to Parisians, it mattered little what their heroes look like. From the Parisian perspective, they are the greatest men in the world.        

The drivers who are visible and standing on their turrets are crushed by swarms of women leaping up to kiss them, touch them, talk to them and most of all they thank them for liberating their city from four years of Nazi tyranny. They pass their liberators wine, flowers, carrots, and candy, more wine, anything they could offer to show their appreciation. They follow the columns on bicycles and flood the streets in waves of humanity yelling to their liberators, Merci, Merci.
The four of them with ILSA in the middle tried to master the crowd but it is futile. The crowd is completely out of control, stupefied by the delirium of freedom. 

An unshaven American soldier who is driving a captured German Scheimmwagen [amphibious reconnaissance car] offer the four of them a ride. They gratefully climb aboard without hesitation. 
Behind them, a Sherman tank have several girls hanging on the turret with bottles of champagne waving in their outstretched arms. A curvaceous young girl dressed in a frock she had saved for just this triumphant day jumps down from the front of the tank and tugs on Marcel’s shirt. There is no room for all of them so Marcel bid his friends a smiling, farewell.
        Au revoir, mon ami. 
 Within moments, he and his newly found friend had disappeared into the sea of humanity.

 A young man with hammer in hand, climbs up an ugly white sign written in German and knocks the sign to the ground with three strikes from his sledge hammer. He proudly professed that is the tenth German sign he has knocked down within the last hour.

A grey haired woman dressed in an expensive evening frock wrestles the crowd to confront the Sergeant. When she reaches the wagon, she motions with her frail hand for the Sergeant to bend down. When he did, she pinned a rose to his lapel, kissed him on the cheek.

            OLD WOMAN
        Thank God you are here 
        young man, now Paris can 
        be Paris again.

     [Yelled above the deafening noise]
         Where are you from Sergeant 
        and where are your men?

            SERGEANT JON
        I’m from Poughkeepsie, 
        New York,    sir. My men were 
        taken away by hoards of
        young women but they didn’t 
        put up much of a fight.           

From somewhere up in the procession a sudden uproar is heard when a women dressed in black had recognized her son she had not seen in four years. 

        My son, my son, you are alive. 
        She yelled as she put her arms 
        around him, kissing him and 
        weeping uncontrollably. 
Everywhere they look the Tri-colour is flying proudly once again. The Nazi banners and flags are gone along with those German white signs with the tall black letters. However, the Tri-colour was not the only flag of respect this day. Revelers wave six-inch replicas of the Stars and Stripes. As the American soldiers parade down the streets of Paris, everyone waves the flag of the United States of America - a respectful tribute to their liberators from four years of repression. Sadly, the Americans could not stay for the big party. They had other cities to liberate before they get to the Siegfried Line and beyond. 

On an American Sherman tank, the American and French flags flew, and the now famous words Viva la France are scrawled in white paint on the sides of the turrets. 
A beautiful woman dressed in the classic black dress is tired from wrestling with the hoard asked Louie if he would mind giving her a ride. Louie turned and looked at Rick and ILSA. 

        Who am I to refuse. 

Louie helps her up into the vehicle. She wraps her arms around him and whispers into his ear. 

        Je m’appelle Madeline, 
        mon Capitaine. 

        Please Madeline, call me 
        Louie. How are you going 
        to celebrate the liberation? 

        It's been a long time since 
        I have wanted to do this with 
        any man.  

Madeline lovingly kissed him. It is a long and passionate kiss.

After the amorous embrace was complete Louie turns toward ILSA and Rick and declares. 

        The war is over. My life as 
        Prefect of Police is over 
        so I think it’s time 
        I start everything anew. 

 What would have taken just ten minutes, took three hours of bedlam. They had reached the Place de la Concorde where the former occupiers of Paris began their last sorrowful parade through the streets they had ruled for the last four years. Parisians explode in anger. They vent four years of pent up hatred as the Germans are beaten, pummeled, spat upon, kicked and cursed. Reports filter down through the crowd, some Nazis  committed suicide rather than face the hoards of angry Parisians. 

Once the Nazis had passed the gauntlet of irate Parisians, their collaborators are right behind them. The scene is repeated as thousands of irate Parisians kicked and spate at half-naked girls with their heads shaven and swastikas painted on their breasts. 

Each girl carried a sign that read: I WHORED FOR LES BOCHES. They are afraid and humiliated but their faces turn white when the Resistance shot the German soldiers that were paraded ahead of them. 

A Sherman tank of the French 2nd Armored Division had paralleled the wagon. Each tank has the names of French towns they  liberated painted on the sides. This one has Caen\Cherbourg written in white chalk just below the turret. 

A French soldier with lipstick smeared over his young hairless face pulls a pack of cigarettes from his jacket pocket. After Rick got his attention, he pressed his two fingers to his lips. The soldier readily obliged and threw over the whole pack. It is the first Rick had seen in over a year. Rick thought it over for a moment but after ILSA’S face reflects a look of dismay, Rick thanked the young Frenchman and regrettably threw the cigarettes back.        

An elderly man wearing that identifiable yellow Star of David on his coat and his fragile wife with a hand full of fresh grapes made their way through the jubilant crowd to the young Frenchman. The elderly man extended his hand and gently pulled him down so he could speak to him. 

        Young man, we want you 
        to have these grapes. 
        They are the first 
        we have seen in four years. 
Tears came to the young Frenchman’s eyes as he took them and offered to share them but they refused. 
        Young man, tonight these 
        grapes, as well as all of 
        Paris are for you.

When they reach the Arc de Triomphe, the little wagon is swallowed by a massive sea of humanity. Realizing, they are going no further, the four of them jump ship and thank the Sergeant for the ride. 

        What is your name, Sergeant? 

            SERGEANT JON
        My name is Jon, Ma’am. 

She kissed him on the cheek and hugged him. 
        God speed, Jon. 

Rick, ILSA, Louie and Madeline hung on each other. They want to enjoy, to revel, to entice this - the greatest moment of their lives and the greatest moment in modern French history.   
Everyone close to the arc covers their ears. Squeals from the live microphone reverberate as the carpenters ready the stage for tomorrow’s grand parade of General de Gaulle. He is the motivational voice of free France who for four years had relentlessly urged French people everywhere to fight Hitler. 

The foursome, sensing something spectacular is about to happen move closer and stood in awe, appreciating the spectacle as the sounds and sights of fireworks explode in the cloudless sky. When one of the carpenters stood tall on top of the makeshift stage, his head seemed to reach the exploding fireworks above him. His first intention is to test the sound of the live microphone, but after four years of suppression, four years of degradation and with tears in his eyes, his emotions ran wild as he sung with unbridled pride and passion, La Marseillaise. 

As the national anthem reverberates throughout the canyons of the city, Parisians never sang the anthem with such passion, such verve. The sea of humanity stops en mass, stood at attention as tears flow down their checks. They are tears of mixed emotions. They are tears of joy for the liberation of this great Republic and tears of sadness for their fallen comrades who are not present to savour this precious moment of celebration. 

From the most western point of Paris to the eastern point, millions of French people are allowed to sing their national anthem whose words so aptly describe the very essence and soul of French people. Their victory is not one Ideology over another; their victory is truly a victory of good over evil, a victory of right over wrong. Once again, they are free to wave the Tri-colour, free to live, free to love in the country of Liberty, Fraternity and Equality.

Amid the infectious madness - in the midst of a sea of human hysteria, the foursome swayed to the boisterous movement of the crowd. No words are needed just a toast of appreciation to each other convey the message. They had gone through hell together and won. 

            Tell me, Madeline, what 
            are you doing for the 
            rest of your life?
ILSA embraced and kissed Rick passionately. What she hoped for had come true? The chance to live normal lives would be theirs. They are free to exist in a France that is free from the bounds of Nazi tyranny. They celebrate their liberation, their newly found lives together. Rick held ILSA’S hand as he slips the  ring on her finger and whispers in her ear.

            Here’s looking at you kid. 

                    La Fin

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