Students are working quietly on books and music manuscripts. Enter CHERUBINI, aged Director of the Conservatoire and the porter, HOTTIN.

        HOTTIN: (pointing)   There, sir.

At one of the tables sit two teenage students, GERONO and HECTOR, music scores open but obviously diverted by a pretty girl nearby.

        CHERUBINI, furious, stalks to the table.

        CHERUBINI:                So you’re the one. The one who ignores my rules.

        HECTOR:                      Sir?


The rue Bergère entrance is for women only. I know what’s been going on out there and will not have it.

        HECTOR:                      Next time I’ll use the right door.

        CHERUBINI:                Next time? What are you doing here?

        HECTOR:                      As you can see, sir, studying Gluck’s scores.

        CHERUBINI:                Gluck? And what is Gluck to you?

        HECTOR:                      His scores are the finest examples of dramatic music I know.

        CHERUBINI:                Who gave you the permission?

        HECTOR:                      I don’t need permission. The library’s open to the public from ten ‘til three.

        CHERUBINI:                I’m aware of that. I am Director of this College.

        HECTOR:                      Then you should know my rights.

        CHERUBINI:                Your rights?

        HECTOR:                      Yes, sir.

        CHERUBINI:                Out, young man. Go. Get out now. Il ciel assista mi! I’ll see you don’t return.

        HECTOR: (stands)       I will…

        CHERUBINI: (furious)Give me your name!

HECTOR scoops his notes and papers from the desk

        HECTOR:                     You’ll hear much of it in the Future, Signor Cherubini. But not today. And not from me.

Tables and stools go flying. Exit HECTOR. 

        CHERUBINI:                Grab him, Hottin. Get the police!

        HECTOR: (laughing)  ‘Til the next time.

HOTTIN and CHERUBINI in pursuit.





Pont Neuf overlooking the Seine. Sunny day. HECTOR lounges on the steps of the equestrian statue eating bread and dates as he reads. Enter ALPHONSE, a bag slung over his shoulder.

        ALPHONSE:                   I knew you’d be here.

        HECTOR:                        I’m with Aeneas at the walls of Troy.

        ALPHONSE:                  No. You’re on the Pont Neuf … and we shouldn’t be.(A BEAT)  It’s done, cousin.

HECTOR offers the dates.

        ALPHONSE:(realising)No allowance yet then…

        HECTOR:                       What’s done, Alphonse?


A subject. And good one. At only eighteen francs. (he reads the look on HECTOR’s face)    I, I know  but you must see!




Hospice de la Pitié. Enter ALPHONSE and HECTOR still hold of the bag, the bread and the dates. HECTOR stops, eyes widening. ALPHONSE, brought to an abrupt halt, rummages in his bag. The room is an abattoir. The floor is a bloody quagmire. Sparrows and rats feed on discarded flesh and limbs. STUDENTS crowd round the tables where corpses are being sawn and dismembered.

A young professor, AMUSSAT stands behind a table upon which lies an emaciated, bald geriatric cadaver.

        AMUSSAT:                  Ah, the new students. Welcome. Doctor Amussat …             

        AMUSSAT gestures to the cadaver.

        AMUSSAT:                  This is your subject for today.

ALPHONSE has pulled two unused linen coats from the bag.  He thrusts one at HECTOR and shoves his unwilling cousin forward.

        ALPHONSE: (nods to the corpse and whispers) A bargain.

They face AMUSSAT across the dissection table. ALPHONSE is donning his coat.

        AMUSSAT:                 Which of you is the Doctor’s son?

        HECTOR:                       Er... (nods)


I know his work. The treatise… thought provoking … theories on acupuncture particularly.     So we must make sure he’s proud of you.

AMUSSAT raises a saw and smiles.

        AMUSSAT:                  Shall we begin?

HECTOR stares at the shrivelled corpse.

        AMUSSAT:                 Messieurs?

        HECTOR:                      My God! I won’t…

Exit HECTOR through an open window.