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Betsy, realizing Travis remembers her precisely, scrambles for a polite rationale for her behavior:.

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Travis is lost among the hip, young intellectual type that populate the store. He watches the stylish, attractive female help, unable to come right out and requests what he desires. We see the city as Travis sees it.

The front windshield is a little dirty, the lighted meter just up at the low right screen. The light turns green; we take off with a start. A short first gear - quick shift - a long second gear. The cab eases to the right of the street, checking out prospective fares. The regular - bums, junkies, tourists, hookers, homosexuals, hippies - they mean nothing now. They only blend into the sidewalks and lighted storefronts.

Our eyes now concentrate on those that step away from the curb - is that man hailing a cab or scratching his head? In the next block there are perhaps three, four fares - quick gas-up through this yellow light - brake sharply - check the action. The first: Tourist, nickel tipper - let the next guy pick them up. We pull to the curb, waiting for her to get in.

Tick, tick, tick. A quick glance shows the woman is now seated. She says softly, " East 89". We take off with another jolt. Cross back up 9th Ave, then cut through the park.


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Somebody steps out to hail the cab, but quickly steps back again. Check the numbers - - End of the block. Two quarters and a dime change. Are these people, are these objects? He activates the meter and pulls off. Travis checks the mirror. Scanning across the back seat, he recognizes the middle passenger. Palantine, his Assistant and Tom all laugh. Palantine, quickly reassuming candiorial mien, speaks to Travis:.

He is forced to fall back on a stock answer but tries to give it some meaning. His face is frehsly shaved, his hair combed, his tie straightened. Travis carries the album under his arm. They approach the garish marquee of a large midtown porno theatre advertising "The Swedish Marriage Manual".

The box office is flanked on both sides by glass cages filled with explicit publicity stills. Offending portions have been blocked out with black tape. Betsy, befuddled, watches him. Travis returns with the tickets. Travis seems confused.

Compared to the movies he sees, this is respectable. Travis makes an awkward gesture to escort Betsy into the theatre. Betsy looks at the tickets, at the theatre, at Travis. She mentally shakes her head and walks toward the turnstile. She thinks to herself: "What the Hell.

What can happen? A perverse logic which applies even more in offsetting circumstances like these.

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Travis escorts Betsy to an empty center row. Travis was right. Couples do go to films like this. Subtitles translate her words.

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Then, without warning, there is a direct CUT to a couple copulating on a sterile table-like bed. Travis watches intently. One thought fills her mind: "What am I doing here? That does it. Betsy just looks at him for a moment, then gets up and starts to leave. Travis, confused, hustles after her. His arm still gestures toward the marquees, his lips continue to move, but words do not come out.

Taxi speeds off. Travis looks back at the woman in the porno theatre box office who has also been following the argument. Travis is sitting at the table. There are some new items on the table: His giant econo-sized bottle of vitamins, a giant econo-sized bottle of aspirins, a pint of apricot brandy, a partial loaf of cheap white bread.

The pencil rests on the open notebook. A cereal bowl partially filled with milk rests in his lap. Travis pours a couple shots of the apricot brandy into the bowl, dips folded chunks of white bread into the mixture, and eats them. Charles Palantine is being interviewed somewhere on the campaign trail. Betsy is walking down a midtown street when Travis suddenly appears before her. He has been waiting. She motions for him to go away and keeps on walking. Against the stark wall there is a row of wilted and dying floral arrangements.

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Each one of the four or five bouquets is progressively more wilted than the one closer to the door. They have been returned. Betsy is standing near the rear of the office; she ducks from sight when she sees Travis enter. There is no live sound. Travis tries to push his way past Tom but Tom grabs him. Travis says something sharply to Tom and the two scuffle.

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Tom, by far the taller and stronger, quickly overcomes Travis, wrenching his arm behind his back. Travis quiets down and walks off. Travis is again making his way through the garish urban night. A middle-aging professorial executive. He pulls his aspiring bottle out of his pocket, shakes three or four into his palm, pops them into his mouth and chews.

He wears a pin-striped suit, white shirt and floral tie. His hair is modishly long. Dough-Boy slows down near an economy hotel. Not a flop house, but not do fancy they care what the guests do in the privacy of their rooms. As they enter the hotel, they pass a JUNKIE, stoned out and spread-eagled across the hood of a derelict old blue dodge.

Travis follows Andy up the worn carpeted stairs and down the hallway. Andy unlocks the door to one of the rooms. The fire escape is appropriately near.

Andy locks the door behind them, steps over to the closet, unlocks it and pulls out two grey Samsonite suitcases - the kind you can drive a truck over. Andy places the suitcases on the white bedspread. The suitcases are equipped with special locks, which he quickly opens. Andy opens the suitcases: Stacked in grey packing foam are rows and rows of brand new hand guns. Andy unzips a cowhide leather pouch to reveal a. He holds it gingerly, as if it were a precious treasure.

Andy opens the chambers and cradles the long eight-inch barrel in his palm.

14. What are you screaming about?