Mr. Dufresne, describe the confrontation you had with your wife the night she was murdered. It was very bitter. She said she was glad I knew,that she hated all the sneaking around. And she said that she wanted a divorce in Reno. -What was your response? -I told her I would not grant one. “I’ll see you in hell before I see you in Reno.” Those were your words, according to your neighbors. If they say so. I really don’t remember. I was upset. What happened after you argued with your wife? She packed a bag. She packed a bag to go and stay with Mr. Quentin. Glenn Quentin, golf pro at the Snowden Hills Country Club whom you had discovered was your wife’s lover. Did you follow her? I went to a few bars first. Later, I drove to his house to confront them. They weren’t home. I parked in the turnout and waited. With what intention? I’m not sure. I was confused drunk. I think mostly I wanted to scare them. When they arrived, you went up to the house and murdered them. No, I was sobering up. I got back in the car and I drove home to sleep it off. Along the way, I threw my gun into the Royal River. I’ve been very clear on this point. I get hazy where the cleaning woman shows up the following morning and finds your wife in bed with her lover riddled with.38-caliber bullets. Does that strike you as a fantastic coincidence, or is it just me? Yes, it does. Yet you still maintain you threw your gun into the river before the murders took place. That’s very convenient. It’s the truth. The police dragged that river for three days, and nary a gun was found so no comparison could be made between your gun and the bullets taken from the bloodstained corpses of the victims. And that also is very convenient. Isn’t it, Mr. Dufresne? Since I am innocent of this crime I find it decidedly inconvenient that the gun was never found. Ladies and gentlemen, you’ve heard all the evidence. We have the accused at the scene of the crime. We have footprints. Bullets on the ground bearing his fingerprints. A broken bourbon bottle, likewise with fingerprints. And most of all we have a beautiful young woman and her lover lying dead in each other’s arms. They had sinned. But was their crime so great as to merit a death sentence? While you think about that think about this: A revolver holds six bullets, not eight. I submit that this was not a hot-blooded crime of passion. That at least could be understood, if not condoned. No. This was revenge of a much more brutal, cold-blooded nature. Consider this: Four bullets per victim. Not six shots fired, but eight. That means that he fired the gun empty and then stopped to reload Screenplay: Frank Darabont so that he could shoot each of them again. An extra bullet per lover right in the head. You strike me as a particularly icy and remorseless man, Mr. Dufresne. It chills my blood just to look at you. By the power vested in me by the state of Maine Producer: Niki Marvin I hereby order you to serve two life sentences back-to-back one for each of your victims. So be it! Director: Frank Darabont Sit. We see you’ve served 20 years of a life sentence? -Yes, sir. -You feel you’ve been rehabilitated? Yes, sir. Absolutely, sir. I mean, I learned my lesson. I can honestly say that I’m a changed man. I’m no longer a danger to society. That’s God’s honest truth. Reject. Hey, Red. How’d it go? Same old shit, different day. Yeah, I know how you feel. I’m up for rejection next week. Yeah, I got rejected last week. It happens. Hey, Red, bump me a deck. Get out of my face, man! You’re into me for five packs already. -Four! -Five! There must be a con like me in every prison in America. I’m the guy who can get it for you. Cigarettes, a bag of reefer, if that’s your thing bottle of brandy to celebrate your kid’s high school graduation. Damn near anything within reason. Yes, sir! I’m a regular Sears and Roebuck. So when Andy Dufresne came to me in 1949 and asked me to smuggle Rita Hayworth into the prison for him I told him, “No problem.” to the main gate to the main gate Andy came to Shawshank Prison in early 1947 for murdering his wife and the fella she was banging. On the outside, he’d been vice president of a large Portland bank. Good work for a man so young. Here Red You speak English, butt-steak? You follow this officer. I never seen such a sorry-Iooking heap of maggot shit in all my life. Hey, fish! Come over here! Taking bets today, Red? Smokes or coin? Bettor’s choice. Smokes. Put me down for two. All right, who’s your horse? That little sack of shit. -Eighth. He’ll be first. -Bullshit! I’ll take that action. You’re out some smokes, son. If you’re so smart, you call it. I’ll take that chubby fat-ass there. The fifth one. Put me down for a quarter deck. Fresh fish today! We’re reeling them in! I admit I didn’t think much of Andy first time I laid eyes on him. Looked like a stiff breeze would blow him over. That was my first impression of the man. What do you say? That tall drink of water with the silver spoon up his ass. That guy? Never happen. -10 cigarettes. -That’s a rich bet. Who’s going to prove me wrong? Heywood? Jigger? Skeets? Floyd! Four brave souls. Return to your cellblocks for evening count. All prisoners, return to your cellblocks. Turn to the right! Eyes front. This is Mr. Hadley. He’s captain of the guards. I’m Mr. Norton, the warden. You are convicted felons. That’s why they’ve sent you to me. Rule number one: No blasphemy. I’ll not have the Lord’s name taken in vain in my prison. The other rules you’ll figure out as you go along. Any questions? When do we eat? You eat when we say you eat. You shit when we say you shit, and piss when we say you piss. You got that, you maggot-dick motherfucker? On your feet. I believe in two things: Discipline and the Bible. Here, you’ll receive both. Put your trust in the Lord. Your ass belongs to me. Welcome to Shawshank. Unhook them. Turn around. That’s enough. Move to the end of the cage. Turn around. Delouse him. Turn around. Move out of the cage. Pick up your clothes and Bible. Next man up! To the right. Right. Right. Left. The first night’s the toughest. No doubt about it. They march you in naked as the day you were born skin burning and half-blind from that delousing shit. And when they put you in that cell and those bars slam home that’s when you know it’s for real. Old life blown away in the blink of an eye. Nothing left but all the time in the world to think about it. Most new fish come close to madness the first night. Somebody always breaks down crying. Happens every time. The only question is who’s it going to be? It’s as good a thing to bet on as any, I guess. I had my money on Andy Dufresne. Lights out! I remember my first night. Seems like a long time ago. Hey, fish. Fish, fish. What are you, scared of the dark? Bet you wish your daddy never dicked your mama! Piggy! Pork! I want me a pork chop. The boys always go fishing with first-timers. And they don’t quit till they reel someone in. Hey, Fat Ass. Fat Ass! Talk to me, boy. I know you’re there. I can hear you breathing. Don’t you listen to these nitwits, you hear me? This place ain’t so bad. Tell you what I’ll introduce you around, make you feel right at home. I know a couple of big old bull queers that’d just Iove to make your acquaintance. Especially that big, white, mushy butt of yours. God! I don’t belong here! -We have a winner! -I want to go home! And it’s Fat Ass by a nose! Fresh fish! I don’t belong here I want to go home! I want my mother! I had your mother! She wasn’t that great! What the Christ is this horseshit? He blasphemed. I’ll tell the warden. You’ll tell him with my baton up your ass! Let me out! What is your malfunction, you fat barrel of monkey spunk? Please! I ain’t supposed to be here. Not me! I won’t count to three. Not even to one. You shut up, or I’ll sing you a lullaby! Shut up, man. Shut up! You don’t understand. I’m not supposed to be here. Open that cell. Me neither! They run this place like a fucking prison! Son of a bitch! Captain, take it easy! If I hear so much as a mouse fart in here tonight I swear by God and Jesus, you will all visit the infirmary. Every last motherfucker in here. Call the trustees. Take that tub of shit down to the infirmary. His first night in the joint, Dufresne cost me two packs of cigarettes. He never made a sound. Tier 3 north, clear count! Tier 2 north, clear count. Tier 3 south, clear. Tier 1 south, clear. Tier 4 south, clear. Prepare to roll out. Roll out! Are you going to eat that? I hadn’t planned on it. Do you mind? That’s nice and ripe. Jake says thank you. Fell out of his nest over by the plate shop. I’m going to look after him until he’s big enough to fly. Oh, no! Here he comes. Morning, fellas. Fine morning, isn’t it? You know why it’s a fine morning, don’t you? Send them down. I want them lined up just like a pretty little chorus line. Look at that. -I can’t stand this guy. -Oh, Lord! Yes! Richmond, Virginia. Smell my ass! After he smells mine. That’s a shame about your horse coming in last and all. But I sure do love that winning horse of mine, though. I owe that boy a big kiss when I see him. Why don’t you give him some of your cigarettes instead? Lucky fuck! Hey, Tyrell. You pull infirmary duty this week? How’s my horse doing anyway? Dead. Hadley busted his head up pretty good. Doc had gone home for the night. Poor bastard lay there till this morning. By then, there wasn’t nothing we could do. What was his name? What’d you say? I was just wondering if anyone knew his name. What the fuck do you care, new fish? Doesn’t fucking matter what his name was. He’s dead. Anybody come at you yet? Anybody get to you yet? Hey, we all need friends in here. I could be a friend to you. Hard to get. I like that. Andy kept pretty much to himself at first. I guess he had a lot on his mind trying to adapt to life on the inside. Wasn’t until a month went by before he opened his mouth to say more than two words to somebody. As it turned out that somebody was me. I’m Andy Dufresne. Wife-killing banker. Why’d you do it? I didn’t, since you ask. You’re going to fit right in. Everybody in here’s innocent. Didn’t you know that? -What you in here for? -Didn’t do it. Lawyer fucked me. Rumor has it you’re a real cold fish. You think your shit smells sweeter than most. Is that right? What do you think? To tell you the truth, I haven’t made up my mind. I understand you’re a man that knows how to get things. I’m known to locate certain things from time to time. I wonder if you might get me a rock hammer. What? A rock hammer. -What is it and why? -What do you care? For a toothbrush, I wouldn’t ask. I’d quote a price. But a toothbrush is a non-lethal object, isn’t it? Fair enough. A rock hammer is about six or seven inches long. -Looks like a miniature pickax. -Pickax? For rocks. Quartz? Quartz And some mica, shale limestone. So? So I’m a rock hound. At least I was in my old life. I’d like to be again. Or maybe you’d like to sink your toy into somebody’s skull. No, I have no enemies here. No? Wait a while. Word gets around. The Sisters have taken quite a liking to you. Especially Bogs. Don’t suppose it would help if I told them I’m not homosexual. Neither are they. You have to be human first. They don’t qualify. Bull queers take by force. That’s all they want or understand. If I were you, I’d grow eyes in the back of my head. -Thanks for the advice. -Well, that’s free. You understand my concern. If there’s trouble, I won’t use the rock hammer. Then I’d guess you want to escape. Tunnel under the wall, maybe. What did I miss? What’s so funny? You’ll understand when you see the rock hammer. What’s an item like this usually go for? Seven dollars in any rock-and-gem shop. My normal markup’s 20 percent. But this is a specialty item. Risk goes up, price goes up. Let’s make it an even 10 bucks. Ten it is. Waste of money, if you ask me. Why’s that? Folks around this joint love surprise inspections. They find it, you’re going to lose it. If they catch you, you don’t know me. Mention my name, we never do business again. Not for shoelaces or a stick of gum. Now you got that? I understand. Thank you, Mr Red. Name’s Red. Red Why do they call you that? Maybe it’s because I’m Irish. I could see why some of the boys took him for snobby. He had a quiet way about him a walk and a talk that just wasn’t normal around here. He strolled like a man in the park without a care or a worry in the world. Like he had on an invisible coat that would shield him from this place. yes I think it’d be fair to say I liked Andy from the start. Let’s go! Some of us got a schedule to keep. Move it! Come on, move it! How you doing? How’s the wife treating you? keep moving just go Red Andy was right. I finally got the joke. It would take a man about 600 years to tunnel under the wall with one of these. -Book? -Not today. -Book? -No. Brook Delivery for Dufresne. Book? Book? Dufresne Here’s your book. Thanks. We’re running low on hexite. Get on back and fetch us up some. This will blind you. Honey, hush. That’s it. You fight! Better that way. I wish I could tell you Andy fought the good fight and the Sisters let him be. I wish I could tell you that but prison is no fairy-tale world. He never said who did it. But we all knew. Things went on like that for a while. Prison life consists of routine and then more routine. Every so often, Andy would show up with fresh bruises. The Sisters kept at him. Sometimes he was able to fight them off. Sometimes not. And that’s how it went for Andy. That was his routine. I do believe those first two years were the worst for him. And I also believe that if things had gone on that way this place would have got the best of him. But then, in the spring of 1949 the powers that be decided: The roof of the license-plate factory needs resurfacing. I need a dozen volunteers for a week’s work. As you know special detail carries with it special privileges. It was outdoor detail and May is one damned fine month to be working outdoors. Stay in line there. More than a hundred men volunteered for the job. Wallace E. Unger. Ellis Redding. Wouldn’t you know it? Me and some fellows I know were among the names called. Andrew Dufresne. It only cost us a pack of smokes per man. I made my usual 20 percent, of course. So this big-shot lawyer calls me long-distance from Texas. I say, “Yeah?” He says, “Sorry to inform you, but your brother just died.” -I’m sorry to hear that. -I’m not. He was an asshole. Ran off years ago. Figured him for dead. So this lawyer fellow says to me: “He died a rich man.” Oil wells and shit. Close to a million bucks. A million bucks? -Incredible how lucky some assholes get. -You going to see any of that? Thirty-five thousand. That’s what he left me. -Dollars? -Yep That’s great! That’s like winning the sweepstakes. Isn’t it? Dumb shit, what do you think the government will do to me? Take a big wet bite out of my ass is what. Poor Byron. Terrible fucking luck, huh? Crying shame. Some people really got it awful. Andy, are you nuts? IKeep your eyes on your mop, man! You’ll pay some tax, but you’ll still end up Yeah, maybe enough to buy a new car, and then what? I got to pay tax on the car. Repair maintenance, kids pestering you to take them for a ride all the time. Then if you figure your tax wrong, you pay out of your own pocket. I tell you! Uncle Sam! He puts his hand in your shirt and squeezes your tit till it’s purple. Andy -Getting himself killed. -I Keep tarring. Some brother. Shit! Mr. Hadley do you trust your wife? Oh, that’s funny. You’ll look funnier sucking my dick with no teeth. What I mean is, do you think she’d go behind your back? Step aside, Mert. This fucker’s having himself an accident. He’ll push him off! If you trust her, you can keep that 35,000. -What did you say? -Thirty-five thousand. All of it. -Every penny. -You better start making sense. If you want to keep it, give it to your wife. The IRS allows a one-time-only gift to your spouse for up to $ 60,000. -Bullshit. Tax-free? -Tax-free. IRS can’t touch one cent. You’re that smart banker that killed his wife. Why should I believe you? So I can end up in here with you? It’s legal. Ask the IRS. They’ll say the same thing. I feel stupid telling you this. I’m sure you would have investigated. I don’t need you to tell me where the bear shit in the buckwheat. Of course not. But you do need someone to set it up for you. That’ll cost you. A lawyer. A bunch of ball-washing bastards! I suppose I could set it up for you. That would save you some money. You get the forms, I’ll prepare them nearly free of charge. I’d only ask three beers apiece for each of my coworkers. “Coworkers.” That’s rich! A man working outdoors feels more like a man if he can have a bottle of suds. That’s only my opinion sir. What are you jimmies staring at? Let’s go! Work! And that’s how it came to pass that on the second-to-last day of the job the convict crew that tarred the factory roof in the spring of ’49 wound up sitting in a row at 10:00 in the morning drinking icy-cold beer, courtesy of the hardest screw that ever walked a turn at Shawshank State Prison. Drink up while it’s cold, ladies. The colossal prick even managed to sound magnanimous. We sat and drank with the sun on our shoulders and felt like free men. We could have been tarring the roof of one of our own houses. We were the lords of all creation. As for Andy he spent that break hunkered in the shade a strange little smile on his face watching us drink his beer. Want a cold one? No, thanks. I gave up drinking. You could argue he done it to curry favor with the guards. Or maybe make a few friends among us cons. Me? I think he did it just to feel normal again if only for a short while. IKing me. -Chess. Now there’s a game of kings. -What? Civilized. Strategic. And a total fucking mystery. I hate it. Let me teach you someday. Sure. We could get a board together. You’re talking to the right man. I can get things, right? We might do business on a board, and I’ll carve the pieces myself. One side in alabaster, one in soapstone. What do you think? I think it’ll take years. Years I got. What I don’t have are the rocks. Pickings are pretty slim in the yard. Pebbles, mostly. We’re getting to be kind of friends, aren’t we? Yeah, I guess. Can I ask you something? Why’d you do it? I’m innocent, Red. Just like everybody else here. What are you in for? Murder. Same as you. Innocent? Only guilty man in Shawshank. Peter Benny A Where’s the canary? How did you know? -How did I know what? -So you don’t know. Come. This is where the canary is. Quite a surprise to hear a woman singing in my house, eh? That’s quite a surprise. Red Wait, wait. Here she comes. I like this part when she does that shit with her hair. I know. I’ve seen it three times this month. Gilda, are you decent? Me? God, I love it. I understand you’re a man that knows how to get things. I’m known to locate certain things from time to time. What do you want? -Rita Hayworth. -What? Can you get her? So this is Johnny Farrel. I’ve heard a lot about you. -Take a few weeks. -Weeks? I don’t have her stuffed down the front of my pants right now, sorry to say. But I’ll get her. Relax. Thanks. -Get out! -I got to change reels! I said fuck off! Ain’t you going to scream? Let’s get this over with. He broke my fucking nose! Now I’m going to open my fly and you’ll swallow what I give you to swallow. Then you’ll swallow Rooster’s. You broke his nose. He ought to have something to show for it. You put it in my mouth, you lose it. No, you don’t understand. Do that and I’ll put all eight inches of this in your ear. All right, but you should know that sudden, serious brain injury causes the victim to bite down hard. In fact, I hear the bite reflex is so strong they have to pry the victim’s jaws open with a crowbar. Where do you get this shit? I read it. You know how to read, you ignorant fuck? Honey! You shouldn’t! Bogs didn’t put anything in Andy’s mouth. And neither did his friends. What they did do is beat him within an inch of his life. Andy spent a month in the infirmary. Bogs spent a week in the hole. Time’s up, Bogs. It’s your world, boss. Return to your cellblocks for evening count. All prisoners report for lock down. What? -Where’s he going? -Grab his ankles. No help! Two things never happened again after that. The Sisters never laid a finger on Andy again. And Bogs would never walk again. They transferred him to a minimum-security hospital upstate. To my knowledge, he lived out the rest of his days drinking his food through a straw. Andy could use a nice welcome back when he gets out of the infirmary. Sounds good to us. I figure we owe him that much for the beer. The man likes to play chess. Let’s get him some rocks. Guys! I got one. I got one. Look! Heywood, that isn’t soapstone! And it ain’t alabaster either. What are you, a fucking geologist? He’s right. It ain’t. -What the hell is it then? -It’s a horse apple. -Bullshit! -No, horseshit. Petrified. God Damn! Despite a few hitches, the boys came through in fine style. And by the weekend he was due back we had enough rocks saved up to keep him busy till rapture. Also got a big shipment in that week. Cigarettes chewing gum sipping whisky playing cards with naked ladies on them. You name it. And of course, the most important item: Rita Hayworth herself. No Charge. Welcome Back. Wake up Heads up. They’re tossing cells. Heads up. They’re tossing cells! 119. 123. Bible On your feet. Face the wall. Turn around and face the warden. Pleased to see you reading this. Any favorite passages? “Watch ye, therefore,for ye know not when the master of the house cometh.” Mark 13:35. I’ve always liked that one. But I prefer “I am the light of the world. Ye that followeth me shall have the light of life.” John, chapter 8, verse 12. I hear you’re good with numbers. How nice. Man should have a skill. Explain this. It’s called a rock blanket. It’s for shaping and polishing rocks. A little hobby of mine. It’s pretty clean. Some contraband here, but nothing to get in a twist over. I can’t say I approve of this. But I suppose exceptions can be made. Lock them up! I almost forgot. I’d hate to deprive you of this. Salvation lies within. Yes, sir. Tossing cells was just an excuse. Truth is Norton wanted to size Andy up. His Judgement Cometh and that Right Soon. My wife made that in church group. Very nice, sir. You enjoy working the laundry? No, sir. Not especially. Perhaps we can find something more befitting a man of your education. Hey, Jake. Where’s Brooks? I thought I heard you out here. I’ve been reassigned to you. I know, they told me. Ain’t that a kick in the head? Well, I’ll give you the dime tour. Come on. Well, here she is. The Shawshank Prison Library. National Geographics Reader’s Digest condensed books and Louis L’Amour. Look magazine. Erle Stanley Gardners. Every evening I load up the cart and make my rounds. I enter the names on this clipboard here. Easy, peasy, Japanese-y. -Any questions? -How long have you been librarian? I come here in ’05, and they made me librarian in 1912. And have you ever had an assistant? No. Not much to it, really. Why me? Why now? I don’t know. But it’d be nice to have some company down here. Dufresne That’s him. That’s the one. I’m Dekins. I was thinking about setting up some kind of trust fund for my kids’ educations. I see. Why don’t we have a seat and talk it over. Do you have a piece of paper and a pencil? Thanks. So Mister Dekins And then Andy says, “Mr. Dekins do you want your sons to go to Harvard or Yale?” He didn’t say that! As God as my witness! Dekins blinked for a second then he laughed and actually shook Andy’s hand. -My ass! -Shook his hand. I tell you, I near soiled myself! All he needed was a suit and tie and a jiggly hula gal on his desk he’d have been “Mr. Dufresne,” if you please. Making a few friends? I wouldn’t say “friends.” I’m a convicted murderer who provides sound financial planning. It’s a wonderful pet to have. Got you out of the laundry, though. It might do more than that. How about expanding the library. Get some new books. If you ask for something, ask for a pool table. yes How do you expect to do that? I mean get new books in here, “Mr. Dufresne, if you please.” I’ll ask the warden for funds. Six wardens have been through here in my tenure, and I’ve learned one immutable, universal truth: Not one born whose asshole wouldn’t pucker up tighter than a snare drum when you ask for funds. -The budget’s stretched thin as it is. -I see. Maybe I could write the state senate and request funds from them. They have only three ways to spend the taxpayers’ money for prisons: More walls, more bars, more guards. I’d like to try, with permission. A letter a week. -They can’t ignore me forever. -Sure can. But you write your letters if it makes you happy. I’ll even mail them for you. How’s that? So Andy started writing a letter a week just like he said. And like Norton said Andy got no answers. The following April, he did tax returns for half the guards at Shawshank. Year after that, he did them all including the warden’s. Year after that, they rescheduled the intramural season to coincide with tax season. The guards on the opposing teams all remembered to bring their W-2s. So Moresby Prison issued you a gun, but you paid for it. Right. The holster too. That’s tax-deductible. You can write that off. Yes, sir! Andy was a regular cottage industry. In fact, it got so busy at tax time, he was allowed a staff. Could you hand me a stack of 1040s? Got me out of the wood shop a month out of the year, and that was fine by me. And still, he kept sending those letters. It’s Brooks. Watch the door. Please, Brooks. -Calm the fuck down. -Stay back! -Stay back, goddamn it! -What’s going on? One second he’s fine, then out come the knives. We can talk about this, right? There’s nothing to talk about. I’ll cut his fucking throat. What’s he done to you? It’s what they done! I got no choice. You won’t hurt Heywood. We all know that. -Right, Heywood? -Sure. He’s a friend of yours, and Brooks is a reasonable man. -Right, guys? -Yes. So put the knife down. Look at me. Put the knife down. Look at his neck, for God’s sake. Look at his neck. He’s bleeding. It’s the only way they’d let me stay. This is crazy. You don’t want to do this. Put it, put it down. Take it easy. You’ll be all right. Him? What about me? Crazy old fool damn near cut my throat! You’ve had worse from shaving. What did you do to set him off? Nothing. I come in here to say farewell. Ain’t you heard? His parole’s come through. I just don’t understand what happened in there. Old man’s crazy as a rat in a tin shithouse. That’s enough out of you. -Heard he had you shitting your pants. -Fuck you. IKnock it off. Brooks ain’t no bug. he is just institutionalized. “Institutionalized,” my ass. The man’s been in here 50 years, Heywood, 50 years! This is all he knows. In here, he’s an important man an educated man. Outside, he’s nothing. Just a used-up con with arthritis in both hands. Probably couldn’t get a library card if he tried. You know what I’m trying to say? I do believe you’re talking out of your ass. You believe whatever you want. But I tell you these walls are funny. First you hate them. Then you get used to them. Enough time passes you get so you depend on them. That’s “institutionalized.” Shit. -I could never get like that. -Oh, yeah? Wait till you’ve been here as long as Brooks. Goddamn right. They send you here for life that’s exactly what they take. Part that counts, anyway. I can’t take care of you no more, Jake. You go on now. You’re free. You’re free. Good luck, Brooksie. Dear fellas: I can’t believe how fast things move on the outside. Watch it, old-timer! Want to get killed? I saw an automobile once when I was a kid but now they’re everywhere. The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry. The parole board got me into this halfway house called “The Brewer” and a job bagging groceries at the Food-Way. It’s hard work and I try to keep up ..but my hands hurt most of the time. Make sure your man double-bags. Last time, the bottom near came out. Make sure you double-bag like the lady says. understand? Yes, sir. Surely will. I don’t think the store manager likes me very much. Sometimes after work, I go to the park and feed the birds. I keep thinking Jake might just show up and say hello. But he never does. I hope, wherever he is, he’s doing okay and making new friends. I have trouble sleeping at night. I have bad dreams like I’m falling. I wake up scared. Sometimes it takes me a while to remember where I am. Maybe I should get a gun and rob the Food-Way so they’d send me home. I could shoot the manager while I was at it. Sort of like a bonus. I guess I’m too old for that sort of nonsense anymore. I don’t like it here. I’m tired of being afraid all the time. I’ve decided not to stay. I doubt they’ll kick up any fuss not for an old crook like me. Brook was here “I doubt they’ll kick up any fuss, not for an old crook like me. P.S. Tell Heywood I’m sorry I put a knife to his throat. No hard feelings. Brooks.” He should have died in here. What the fuck have you done? It’s a goddamn mess, I’ll tell you that. -What’s all this? -You tell me. They’re addressed to you. Take it. “Dear Mr. Dufresne: In response to your inquiries the state has allocated the enclosed funds for your library project.” This is $ 200. “In addition, the library district has generously responded with a donation of used books and sundries. We trust this will fill your needs. We now consider the matter closed. Please stop sending us letters.” Clear all this out before the warden gets back. Yes, sir. Good for you, Andy. Wow! It only took six years. From now on, I’ll write two letters a week instead of one. I believe you’re crazy enough. Get this stuff out like he said.I’ve got to pinch a loaf. When I come back this is all gone, all right? Jughead Do you hear that? Dufresne! Andy, let me out! Andy I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don’t want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I like to think it was something so beautiful it can’t be expressed in words and makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you, those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like a beautiful bird flapped into our drab cage and made those walls dissolve away. And for the briefest of moments every last man at Shawshank felt free. It pissed the warden off something awful. Open the door. Open it up! Dufresne, open this door! Turn that off! I am warning you. Turn that off! Dufresne You’re mine now. Andy got two weeks in the hole for that little stunt. On your feet. -Hey, look who’s here. -Maestro! You couldn’t play something good, huh? Like Hank Williams? They broke the door down before I could take requests. -Was it worth two weeks? -Easiest time I ever did. -No such thing as easy time in the hole. -A week in the hole is like a year. -Damn straight. -I had Mr. Mozart to keep me company. So they let you tote that record player down there, huh? It was in here. In here. That’s the beauty of music. They can’t get that from you. Haven’t you ever felt that way about music? Well, I played a mean harmonica as a younger man. Lost interest in it, though. Didn’t make much sense in here. Here’s where it makes the most sense. You need it so you don’t forget. Forget? Forget that there are places in the world that aren’t made out of stone. There’s something inside that they can’t get to that they can’t touch. That’s yours. What are you talking about? Hope. Hope. Let me tell you something, my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane. It’s got no use on the inside. You’d better get used to that idea. Like Brooks did? Sit down. Says here that you’ve served 30 years of a life sentence. You feel you’ve been rehabilitated? Oh, yes, sir. Without a doubt. I can honestly say I’m a changed man. No danger to society here. God’s honest truth. Absolutely rehabilitated. Reject. Thirty years. Jesus, when you say it like that You wonder where it went. I wonder where 10 years went. Here. A little parole rejection present. Go ahead and open it. Went through one of your competitors. I hope you don’t mind. I wanted it to be a surprise. It’s very pretty. Thank you. You going to play it? No. Not right now. Roll in! A New Girl For Your 10 Year Anniversary. Red. Lights out! Andy was as good as his word. He wrote two letters a week instead of one. In 1959, the state senate finally clued in to the fact they couldn’t buy him off with just a $ 200 check. Appropriations Committee voted an annual payment of $500 just to shut him up. And you’d be amazed how far Andy could stretch it. He made deals with book clubs, charity groups. He bought remaindered books by the pound Treasure Island. Robert Louis Stevenson. Fiction, adventure. What’s next? I got here Auto Repair and Soap Carving. Trade skills and hobbies. Under “Educational,” behind you. Count of Monte Crisco. That’s “Cristo,” you dumb shit. By Alexandree Dum-ass. Dumb ass. Dumb ass? Dumas. IKnow what that’s about? You’d like it. It’s about a prison break. We ought to file that under “Educational” too, oughtn’t we? The rest of us did our best to pitch in when and where we could. By the year Kennedy was shot Andy had transformed a storage room smelling of turpentine into the best prison library in New England complete with a fine selection of Hank Williams. That was also when Warden Norton instituted his famous “Inside Out” program. You may remember reading about it. It made the papers and got his picture in Look magazine. It’s no free ride but rather a genuine progressive advance in corrections and rehabilitation. Our inmates, properly supervised will be put to work outside these walls performing all manner of public service. These men can learn the value of an honest day’s labor and provide a service to the community at a bare minimum of expense to Mr. And Mrs. John Q. Taxpayer. Of course he didn’t tell the press that “bare minimum of expense” is a fairly loose term. There are 100 different ways to skim off the top. Men, materials, you name it. And oh, my Lord, how the money rolled in! At this rate, you’ll put me out of business. With this pool of slave labor, you can underbid any contractor in town. We’re providing a valuable community service. That’s fine for the papers, but I’ve got a family to feed. We go back a long way. I need this highway contract. I don’t get it and I go under. That’s a fact. You have some of this fine pie my missus made for you. You think about that. I wouldn’t worry too much about this contract. I already got my boys committed elsewhere. You be sure and thank Maisie for this fine pie. And behind every shady deal behind every dollar earned there was Andy, keeping the books. Two deposits. Maine National and New England First. Night drops as always, sir. Get my stuff to the laundry. Two suits for dry-clean and a bag of whatnot. -If they over-starch my shirts again, they’ll hear from me.-Yes Sir. How do I look? -Very nice. -Big charity to-do up Portland way. Governor will be there. You want the rest of this? Woman can’t bake worth shit. Thank you, sir. He’s got his fingers in a lot of pies, from what I hear. He’s got scams you haven’t even dreamed of. IKickbacks on his kickbacks. A river of dirty money running through here. Sooner or later, he’ll have to explain where it came from. That’s where I come in. I channel it. Filter it. Funnel it. Stocks, securities, tax-free municipals. I send it out into the real world, and when it comes back -Clean as a virgin’s honeypot, huh? -Cleaner. By the time Norton retires, I’ll have made him a millionaire. If they ever catch on, he’ll wind up in here wearing a number himself. I thought you had more faith in me than that. I know you’re good, but all that paper leaves a trail. Now anybody gets curious, FBI, IRS whatever. It’ll lead to somebody. Sure it is, but not to me, and certainly not to the warden. All right, who? Randall Stevens. Who? The “silent” silent partner. He’s the guilty one, the man with the bank accounts. It’s where the filtering process starts. They trace anything, it’ll just lead to him. But who is he? He’s a phantom, an apparition. Second cousin to Harvey the Rabbit. I conjured him out of thin air. He doesn’t exist, except on paper. You can’t just make a person up. Sure you can, if you know how the system works. It’s amazing what you can accomplish by mail. Mr. Stevens has a birth certificate driver’s license, Social Security. You’re shitting me. If they trace any accounts, they’ll wind up chasing a figment of my imagination. Well, I’ll be damned! Did I say you were good? Shit, you are Rembrandt. The funny thing is on the outside, I was an honest man, straight as an arrow. I had to come to prison to be a crook. Ever bother you? I don’t run the scams.I just process the profits. A fine line, maybe but I also built that library and used it to help guys get their high school diploma. Why do you think he lets me do all that? IKeep you happy and doing the laundry. Money instead of sheets. Well, I work cheap. That’s the tradeoff. Tommy Williams came to Shawshank in 1965 on a two-year stretch for B and E. That’s breaking and entering to you. Cops caught him sneaking TV sets out the back door of a JC Penney. Young punk. Mr. Rock ‘n’ Roll cocky as hell. Come on, old boys. Moving like molasses! Making me look bad. We liked him immediately. I’m backing out the door and I got the TV like this. A big old thing. I couldn’t see shit. Then I hear this voice. “Freeze, kid, hands in the air.” I was standing there, holding onto that TV. Finally the voice says: “You hear what I said, boy?” I say, “Yes, sir. I did. But if I drop this, you get me on destruction of property too.” You done some stretch in Cashman, right? Yeah, that was an easy piece of time, let me tell you. Weekend furloughs. Work programs. Not like here. Sounds like you done time all over. I’ve been in and out since I was 13. Name it, chances are I’ve been there. Perhaps you should try a new profession. What I mean is you’re not a very good thief.You should try something else. Yeah, what the hell you know about it, Capone? What are you in for? Me? A lawyer fucked me. Everybody’s innocent in here. Don’t you know that? As it turned out, Tommy had himself a young wife and a new baby girl. Maybe he thought of them on the streets or his child growing up not knowing her daddy. Whatever it was something lit a fire under that boy’s ass. Thought I might try for my high school equivalency. Hear you helped a couple of fellas with that. I don’t waste time with losers, Tommy. I ain’t no goddamn loser. -You mean that? -Yeah. You really mean that? Yes, sir, I do. Good. Because if we do this we do it all the way, a hundred percent, nothing half-assed. Thing is, see I don’t read so good. “Well.” You don’t read so well. We’ll get to that. So Andy took Tommy under his wing. Started walking him through his ABC’s. Tommy took to it pretty well too. Boy found brains he never knew he had. Before long, Andy started him on his course requirements. He really liked the kid. Gave him a thrill to help a youngster crawl off the shit heap. But that wasn’t the only reason. Prison time is slow time. So you do what you can to keep going. Some fellas collect stamps. Others build matchstick houses. Andy built a library. Now he needed a new project. Tommy was it. It was the same reason he spent years shaping and polishing those rocks. The same reason he hung his fantasy girlies on the wall. In prison a man will do most anything to keep his mind occupied. By 1966, right about the time Tommy was getting ready to take his exams it was lovely Raquel. Time. Well? Well, it’s for shit. I wasted a whole year of my time with this bullshit. It’s probably not that bad. I didn’t get a thing right.It might as well have been in Chinese. Let’s see how the score comes out. I’ll tell you how the goddamn score comes out. Two points, right there! There’s your goddamn score! Goddamn cats crawling up trees,5 times 5 is 25 Fuck this place! Fuck it! I feel bad. I let him down. That’s crap, kid. He’s proud of you. We’re old friends,I know him as good as anybody. Smart fellow, ain’t he? Smart as they come. He was a banker on the outside. What’s he in here for anyway? Murder. The hell, you say. You wouldn’t think it to look at the guy. Caught his wife in bed with some golf pro. Greased them both. What? About four years ago I was in Thomaston on a two-to-three stretch. I stole a car. It was a dumb-fuck thing to do. About six months left to go I get a new cellmate in. Elmo Blatch. Big, twitchy fucker. IKind of roomie you pray you don’t get. You know what I’m saying? Six-to-twelve, armed burglary. Said he pulled hundreds of jobs. Hard to believe, high-strung as he was.You cut a loud fart, he jumped three feet. Talked all the time too. That’s the other thing. He never shut up. Places he’d been in jobs he’d pulled, women he fucked. Even people he killed. People who “gave him shit.” That’s how he put it. So one night, like a joke I say to him,”Elmo, who did you kill?” So he says: I got me this job one time,busing tables at a country club so I could case all these bigrich pricks that come in. So I pick out this guy go in one night and do his place. He wakes up and gives me shit. So I killed him. Him and this tasty bitch he was with. And that’s the best part. She’s fucking this prick, see this golf pro,but she’s married to some other guy. Some hotshot banker. And he’s the one they pinned it on. I have to say that’s the most amazing story I ever heard. What amazes me most is you’d be taken in by it. Sir? It’s obvious this fellow Williams is impressed with you. He hears your tale of woe and naturally wants to cheer you up. He’s young, not terribly bright. It’s not surprising he wouldn’t know what a state he put you in. Sir, he’s telling the truth. Let’s say for the moment this Blatch does exist. You think he’d just fall to his knees and cry, “Yes, I did it. I confess. By the way, add a life term to my sentence.” With Tommy’s testimony,I can get a new trial. That’s assuming Blatch is still there. Chances are, he’d be released by now. They’d have his last known address.It’s a chance, isn’t it? How can you be so obtuse? What? What did you call me? Obtuse. Is it deliberate? You’re forgetting yourself. The country club will have his old timecards. Records, W-2s with his name on them. If you want to indulge this fantasy,it’s your business. Don’t make it mine.This meeting is over. If I got out, I’d never mentionwhat happens here. I’d be as indictable as you for laundering that money. Don’t ever mention money to me,you son of a bitch! Not in this office not anywhere.Get in here, now! I just wanted to put you at ease,that’s all. -Solitary. A month. -Yes sir. -what’s wrong with you? -Get him out of here. This is my chance to get out! It’s my life! Understand?! Get him out! A month in the hole. That’s the longest stretch I ever heard of. It’s all my fault. Bullshit. You didn’t pull the trigger or convict him. Are you saying Andy is innocent? I mean, for real innocent? It looks that way. Sweet Jesus. How long has he been here now? 1947. What is that? Nineteen years. -Williams, Tommy. -Yeah, over here. What you got? Board of Education. That son of a bitch mailed it. You going to open it or stand there with your thumb up your butt? Thumb up my butt sounds better. Skeets, come on.Give me that, you shithead. Floyd, come on. Red Will you throw that away, please? Well, shit. The kid passed. C + average. Thought you’d like to know. Warden wants to talk. Out here? That’s what the man said. Warden? Tommy. I’m asking you to keep this conversation just between us. I feel awkward enough as it is. We got a situation here. I think you can appreciate that. Yes, sir. I sure can. I tell you, son, this thing really came along and knocked my wind out. It’s got me up nights.That’s the truth. The right thing to do sometimes it’s hard to know what that is. Do you understand? I need your help, son. If I’m going to move on this there can’t be the least little shred of doubt. I have to know if what you told Dufresne was the truth. Yes, sir. Absolutely. Would you be willing to swear before a judge and jury with your hand on the Good Book and take an oath before Almighty God himself? Just give me that chance. That’s what I thought. I’m sure by now you’ve heard. Terrible thing. A man that young less than a year to go, trying to escape. Broke Captain Hadley’s heart to shoot him. Truly, it did. We just have to put it behind us. Move on. I’m done. Everything stops. Get someone else to run your scams. Nothing stops. Nothing. Or you will do the hardest time there is. No more protection from the guards. I’ll pull you out of that 1 -bunk Hilton and cast you down with the sodomites. You’ll think you’ve been fucked by a train. And the library? Gone. Sealed off, brick by brick. We’ll have us a little book barbecue in the yard. They’ll see the flames for miles. We’ll dance around it like wild Injuns. You understand me? Catching my drift? Or am I being obtuse? Give him another month to think about it. My wife used to say I’m a hard man to know. Like a closed book. Complained about it all the time. She was beautiful. God, I loved her. I didn’t know how to show it, that’s all. I killed her, Red. I didn’t pull the trigger but I drove her away. That’s why she died, because of me the way I am. That don’t make you a murderer. Bad husband, maybe. Feel bad about it if you want,but you didn’t pull the trigger. No, I didn’t. Somebody else did. And I wound up in here. Bad luck, I guess. It floats around. It’s got to land on somebody. It was my turn, that’s all. I was in the path of the tornado. I just didn’t expect the storm would last as long as it has. Think you’ll ever get out of here? Me? Yeah. One day, when I got a long, white beard and two or three marbles rolling around upstairs. I tell you where I’d go. Zihuatanejo. Say what? Zihuatanejo. It’s in Mexico. A little place on the Pacific Ocean. -You know what the Mexicans say about the Pacific? -No They say it has no memory. That’s where I want to live the rest of my life. A warm place with no memory. Open up a little hotel right on the beach. Buy some worthless old boat and fix it up new. Take my guests out charter fishing. Zihuatanejo. In a place like that, I could use a man that knows how to get things. I don’t think I could make it on the outside. I been in here most of my life. I’m an institutional man now. Just like Brooks was. You underestimate yourself. I don’t think so. In here I’m the guy who can get things for you, sure, but outside all you need is the Yellow Pages. Hell, I wouldn’t know where to begin. Pacific Ocean? Shit. Scare me to death, something that big. Not me. I didn’t shoot my wife,and I didn’t shoot her lover. Whatever mistakes I made,I’ve paid for them and then some. That hotel, that boat I don’t think that’s too much to ask. You shouldn’t be doing this to yourself. This is just shitty pipe dreams. Mexico is way down there and you’re in here and that’s the way it is. Yeah, right.That’s the way it is. It’s down there and I’m in here. I guess it comes down to a simple choice. Get busy living or get busy dying. Andy Red If you ever get out of here,do me a favor. Sure, Andy. Anything. There’s a big hayfield up near Buxton.You know where Buxton is? -A lot of hayfields up there. -One in particular. It’s got a long rock wall with a big oak tree at the north end. It’s like something out of a Robert Frost poem. It’s where I asked my wife to marry me. We went there for a picnic and made love under that oak and I asked and she said yes. Promise me, Red. If you ever get out find that spot. At the base of that wall, there’s a rock that has no earthly business in Maine. Piece of black, volcanic glass. Something’s buried under it I want you to have. What, Andy? What’s buried under there? You’ll have to pry it up to see. No, I’m telling you. The guy is He’s talking funny. I’m really worried about him. Let’s keep an eye on him. That’s fine during the day,but at night he’s all alone. Oh, Lord. What? Andy come down to the loading dock today. He asked me for a length of rope. -Rope? -Six feet long. And you gave it to him. Sure. Why wouldn’t I? -Jesus! Heywood. -How was I supposed to know? Remember Brooks Hatlen? Andy would never do that. Never. I don’t know. Every man has his breaking point. Lickety-split.Want to get home. Just about finished, sir. Three deposits tonight. Get my stuff down to the laundry. And shine my shoes. -I want them looking like mirrors. -Yes, sir. It’s good having you back. Place wasn’t the same without you. Lights out! I’ve had some long nights in stir. Alone in the dark with nothing but your thoughts time can draw out like a blade. That was the longest night of my life. Give me a count! -Tier 3 south, -clear! Man missing on tier 2, cell 245! Dufresne! Come out. You’re holding up the show! Don’t make me come down or I’ll thump your skull for you! Damn it, you’re putting me behind!I got a schedule to keep. You’d better be sick or dead in there.I shit you not! You hear me? Oh, my Holy God. I want every man on this cellblock questioned. -Start with that friend of his. -Who? him Open 237. What do you mean, “He just wasn’t here”? Don’t say that to me. Don’t tell me that again. But sir, he wasn’t. I can see that, Haig!Think I’m blind? Is that what you’re saying? -Am I blind, Haig? -No, sir! What about you. You blind? -Tell me what this is. -Last night’s count. You see Dufresne’s name there?I sure do. Right there. “Dufresne.” He was in his cell at lights out. Reasonable he’d be here in the morning. I want him found. Not tomorrow, not after breakfast. Now! Yes, sir. Let’s go. Move your butts. Stand. Well? Well, what? I see you two all the time.You’re thick as thieves, you are. He must have said something. No, sir, Warden. Not a word. Lord, it’s a miracle! Man vanished like a fart in the wind. Nothing left but some damn rocks on a windowsill. And that cupcake on the wall.Let’s ask her. Maybe she knows. What say there, fuzzy-britches?Feel like talking? Guess not. Why should she be any different? This is a conspiracy. That’s what this is. One big, damn conspiracy! And everyone’s in on it! Including her! In 1966 Andy Dufresne escaped from Shawshank Prison. All they found was a muddy set of prison clothes a bar of soap and an old rock hammer damn near worn down to the nub. I had thought it’d take a man 600 years to tunnel through the wall with it. Old Andy did it in less than 20. Oh, Andy loved geology. I imagine it appealed to his meticulous nature. An ice age here million years of mountain building there. Geology is the study of pressure and time. That’s all it takes, really. Pressure and time. That and a big goddamn poster. Like I said in prison, a man will do anything to keep his mind occupied. Seems Andy’s favorite hobby was toting his wall out into the exercise yard a handful at a time. I guess after Tommy was killed Andy decided he’d been here long enough. Lickety-split.I want to get home. I’m just about finished, sir. Three deposits tonight. Andy did like he was told. Buffed those shoes to a high mirror-shine. The guards simply didn’t notice. Neither did I. I mean, seriously how often do you really look at a man’s shoes? Andy crawled to freedom through 500 yards of shit-smelling foulness I can’t even imagine. Or maybe I just don’t want to. Five hundred yards. That’s the length of five football fields. Just shy of half a mile. The next morning, right about the time Raquel was spilling her secret a man nobody ever laid eyes on before strolled into the Maine National Bank. Until that moment, he didn’t exist. -Except on paper. -May I help you? He had all the proper ID driver’s license, birth certificate,Social Security card And the signature was a spot-on match. I must say I’m sorry to be losing your business. I hope you’ll enjoy living abroad. Thank you. I’m sure I will. Here’s your cashier’s check, sir.Will there be anything else? Please. Would you add this to your outgoing mail? I’d be happy to. -Good day, sir. -Good day. Mr. Stevens visited nearly a dozen banks in the Portland area that morning. All told, he blew town with better than $370,000 of Warden Norton’s money. Severance pay for 19 years. Good morning, Portland Daily Bugle. Corruption, Murder at Shawshank His Judgement Cometh and that Right Soon. Dear warden, you are right, salvation lay within. Andy Dufresne Byron Hadley? You have the right to remain silent. If you give up this right, anything you say can be held against you in court. I wasn’t there to see, but I hear Byron Hadley sobbed like a girl when they took him away. Norton had no intention of going that quietly. Samuel Norton. We have a warrant for your arrest. Open up. Open the door. I’m not sure which key. Make it easy on yourself, Norton! I like to think the last thing that went through his head other than that bullet was to wonder how the hell Andy Dufresne ever got the best of him. Not long after the warden deprived us of his company I got a postcard in the mail. It was blank,but the postmark said Fort Hancock, Texas. Fort Hancock right on the border. That’s where Andy crossed. When I picture him heading south in his own car with the top down it always makes me laugh. Andy Dufresne who crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side. Andy Dufresne headed for the Pacific. Hadley’s got him by the throat, right? He says, “I believe this boy’s about to have himself an accident.” Those of us who knew him best talk about him often. I swear, the stuff he pulled “My friends could use a couple of beers.” And he got it! Sometimes it makes me sad, though Andy being gone. I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice. But still the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they’re gone. I guess I just miss my friend. Please sit down. Ellis Boyd Redding your files say you’ve served 40 years of a life sentence. You feel you’ve been rehabilitated? Rehabilitated? Well, now, let me see. I don’t have any idea what that means. It means you’re ready to rejoin society I know what you think it means, sonny. To me it’s just a made-up word. A politician’s word so that young fellas like yourself can wear a suit and a tie and have a job. What do you really want to know? Am I sorry for what I did? Well, are you? There’s not a day goes by I don’t feel regret. Not because I’m in here or because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then a young stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try and talk some sense to him. Tell him the way things are. But I can’t. That kid’s long gone and this old man is all that’s left. I got to live with that. Rehabilitated? It’s just a bullshit word. So you go on and stamp your forms,sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth I don’t give a shit. Approved Brooks was here. Here you go, miss. Restroom break? You don’t need to ask me every time you need to go take a piss. Just go. yes Forty years I’ve been asking permission to piss. I can’t squeeze a drop without say-so. There’s a harsh truth to face. No way I’m going to make it on the outside. All I do anymore is think of ways to break my parole so maybe they’d send me back. Terrible thing, to live in fear. Brooks Hatlen knew it. Knew it all too well. All I want is to be back where things make sense. Where I won’t have to be afraid all the time. Only one thing stops me. A promise I made to Andy. There it is. Much obliged, sir. Buxton Dear Red: If you’re reading this,you’ve gotten out and if you’ve come this far,maybe you’d come a bit further. You remember the name of the town, don’t you? Zihuatanejo. I could use a good man to help me get my project on wheels. I’ll keep an eye out for you,and the chessboard ready. Remember, Red hope is a good thing maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies. I will be hoping that this letter finds you and finds you well. Your friend Andy. “Get busy living or get busy dying.” That’s goddamn right. Brooks was here. So was Red. For the second time in my life I’m guilty of committing a crime. Parole violation. Of course I doubt they’ll toss up any roadblocks for that. Not for an old crook like me. Fort Hancock, Texas, please. I find I’m so excited I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel. A free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.