Paris - When It Sizzles

While some of us
were snug in our bed,

other more productive citizens
were up

toiling in the vineyards
of beautiful letters.

I'm only sorry that you,
as a fledgling writer,

weren't present to observe
with your own big magic eyes

a seasoned professional in action.
I was, in those few short hours,
the great DiMaggio, going back,
back, back for the high-fly ball.

I was Manolete in Seville,
going over the horns for the kill.

And missing, fortunately, because
I can't stand the sight of blood.

I was Pablo Picasso, deftly...
...adding the third eye
to a portrait of his lady love.

I was...
How do you spell ingenuous?
I was afraid of that.
In addition to the nine and a half
yards of pages I wrote,

I discovered some errors
in the earlier pages,

which I corrected, dealing basically
with the character of Rick.

I found I had,
in a moment of insecurity...

the brilliance of the man.

No simple safe-cracker he,
but a master criminal,

wanted by the police
of three continents.

The dazzling scheme
has been worked out,

step by painful step,
for over a year by Rick himself.

The two other characters
are just employees.

That brings us back
to where we were.

Rick and Gabby have demolished
a glorious lunch

and it's almost four o'clock,
time for the car to arrive.

Page 14.
Sit down and brace yourself.
Here comes the switch on the switch.
In a minute and a half,
you and the audience will gasp

as you realise you've been fooled.
Things are not as they seem.
Not at all. In fact,

- the whole situation is reversed.
- Mr Benson...