[ open on a copy of John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" ]
Announcer: [ over scroll: ] "...for decades, John Steinbeck's timeless tale of friendship has been considered an American classic. Now, nearly 60 years after tis publication, the author's original manuscript has been unearthed, revealing an alternate ending to the novel. Here, for the first time, the lost ending to John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men"..."
[ dissolve to Lennie and George alone the edge of the forest; Lennie stands, as George kneels to his side ]
George: Well, you got us into a real jam, Lennie!
Lennie: Is it -- is it strawberry jam?! I LOVE strawberry jam!
George: [ he stands ] No! This is a BAD kind of jam! You KILLED a lady! I know you didn't mean to, Lennie, but... they're coming after us!!
Lennie: Uh-ohhhh..! So tell me again what "kill" is, George?
George: Oh. "Kill" is when you put folks to sleep for... a long, long time!
Lennie: And then, after, they have orange juice and pancakes?!
George: Yeah, that's right, Lennie. They go to the biggest pancake house that you ever saw! [ motions Lennie to look off to the side ] Alright, now -- just look over there for a piece, and you won't have no more troubles!
[ as Lennie turns to look, George stands behind him and points a pistol at his head ]
George: Sorry, old pal!
[ Lennie turns back to see George pointing the pistol ]
Lennie: Hey! [ excitedly ] Heeeeeeyyyy!! That's a metal candy cane! Remember, George! You said I couldn't touch it, or I could get bit by the bees that are inside!
George: [ lowers the pistol in defeat ] Yeah... that's right...
[ the sound of approaching hunters and dogs can be heard ]
George: God! We don't have much time! They're going to kill you!
Lennie: [ he raises his arms cheerfully ] KILL me?? Hooray!! All the pancakes and orange juice I want!!
George: Dammit, Lennie!! They're gonna HURT you, until you're DEAD!! THAT'S what "kill" is!
Lennie: [ confused ] What?! Why -- why did you tell me it was sleeping and then having pancakes?
George: To protect you, Lennie. For as long as we've been together, I've just tried to make the bad things sound... nice and sweet.
Lennie: [ outraged ] Nice and sweet?! I've been REPEATING that stuff! People must think I'm an IDIOT! Do people think I'm an IDIOT?!!
George: [ he shrugs ] Well... folks think you see things kind of simple...
Lennie: Well, of COURSE they do!! I've been told nothing but LIES!! So -- so, wait! If I killed Curly's wife, then she's dead! But I just did to her what I dod to that mouse -- [ panicking ] Oh, my God, I killed that mouse!!
George: Yes. You did.
Lennie: You GOTTA tell me these things!! I was planning on doing that AGAIN!!
Voice: There they are, beyond the creek!!
George: Okay, Lennie! I'm sorry, but we don't have a lot of time! We have to do this NOW!! [ he points the pistol at Lennie ]
Lennie: WAIT A MINUTE!!! Hold the phone!! [ George lowers the pistol ] Because of the lies YOU told ME... you're going to release the bees from your candy cane -- which I'm now realizing is probably a gun --
George: It's what's BEST for you, Lennie!! You wouldn't understand!!
Lennie: [ mocking ] Ohhh!! I wouldn't understand! Of course! Because I'm not SMART like the Nobel Prize winner! Oh, wait -- you're a ranch hand!
George: [ confused ] Nobel Prize?
Lennie: Yeah. It's a prize given in Sweden -- NEVER MIND!! [ tapping his head frantically ] Oh, boy! You really do know how to PICK 'EM!
Voice: There they are!!
Lennie: Well, look: you shouldn't've -- you shouldn't've lied to me, but... I did what I did, and I have to bear that responsibility.
George: [ pats Lennie's shoulder ] You're a good man, Lennie.
Lennie: Oh, I know!
[ the posses enters the scene ]
Curly: Which one of you is the sonofabitch that KILLED me wife?!!
Lennie: Um -- [ points to George ] He did it! He killed the lady!
Hunter 1: He's got a gun!!
[ the posse and their dogs chase after George and fire shots ]
Lennie: [ waving offscreen ] Enjoy your pancakes!!