* On the day of Gandhi's assassination in 1948, screenwriter Bob Briggs speaks to an unnamed narrator in a studio commissary.
* Briggs has tax troubles, his mistress is cheating on him, and his wife is angling to assign herself marital property to cut Briggs out.
* Briggs asks the film producer he's working for for a raise, but the producer (Lou Lublin) denies the request.
* The narrator believes Gandhi was assassinated because he was more concerned with real people than with politics or Indian nationalization efforts.
* A truck filled with rejected screenplays spills a couple scripts near Bob Briggs and the narrator. Briggs picks up a script called "Ape and Essence" by William Tallis.
* Briggs is intrigued by Tallis' screenplay, and he and the narrator visit Cottonwood Ranch in Murcia, California, the address indicated on the script.
* At the ranch, the men discover that Tallis died a few weeks...
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