In a city of secrets, Jake Gittes will uncover a web of deceit that will change everything.
The sun glared down on Los Angeles, casting the sprawling city in an amber glow. Private eye Jake Gittes sat in his office, a bottle of bourbon by his side. He was a man who lived off the murky moral climate of sunbaked, pre-World War II Southern California. He had seen it all – the lies, the deceit, the double-crosses. But even he wasn’t prepared for the case that was about to walk through his door.
Chapter 1: The Socialite’s Request
It was a hot summer day when Evelyn Mulwray walked into Gittes’s office. She was a beautiful woman, with a face that could launch a thousand ships. She wore a white dress that clung to her curves, and her dark hair was pulled back in a tight bun.
“Mr. Gittes?” she said, her voice soft and musical.
Gittes nodded and stood up. “That’s me. What can I do for you, Miss Mulwray?”
“I need your help,” she said, taking a seat across from him.
Gittes pulled out a pen and notebook. “All right, tell me what’s going on.”
“It’s my husband,” she said, her eyes filling with tears. “I think he’s having an affair.”
Gittes raised an eyebrow. “And you want me to catch him in the act?”
“No,” she said quickly. “I just want to know the truth. I want to know if my suspicions are justified.”
Gittes shrugged. “Okay, I’ll take the case. But I have to warn you – I charge by the day, not by the hour.”
Money was no object to Evelyn Mulwray, and she agreed to Gittes’s terms. She gave him her husband’s name – Hollis Mulwray – and told him where he worked. Gittes promised to start his investigation immediately.
He began by tailing Mulwray, but he soon realized there was more to this case than just an affair. He watched as Mulwray attended a public meeting for a new dam being built in the area. He saw how passionate Mulwray was about the project, and how he stood up to the city officials who were pressing for its completion.
Gittes also visited the Water and Power Company, where he met Noah Cross, the man behind the dam project. Cross was a wealthy, powerful man who had a questionable past. Gittes began to suspect that there was more to this case than just an affair.
As Gittes delved deeper into the case, he realized that the water in the reservoir was being diverted to irrigate land for wealthy investors. He discovered that Mulwray had been trying to stop the dam project because he believed it was corrupt. And he learned that Cross had a personal stake in the project – he was Mulwray’s father-in-law.
Gittes was beginning to see the web of personal and political scandals that was about to come crashing together. And he knew that he was in over his head.
To be continued…
Chapter 2: The Water and Power Company
Jake Gittes arrived at the Water and Power Company, curious about the role of Noah Cross, the man behind the dam project. The building was massive, with the name emblazoned in huge letters on the front facade. He entered the bustling reception area where several people were waiting to see various officials.
Gittes approached the front desk and requested to see Noah Cross. The receptionist directed him to a waiting area and informed him that Cross was in a meeting. Gittes waited patiently, observing the buzzing activity around him.
As he sat there, he began to think about what he knew so far. He had a feeling that there was something more significant going on than just an affair. Mulwray’s death only confirmed his suspicions. Now, he needed to find out what Noah Cross’s role was in everything.
Gittes was called into a room to meet with Noah Cross— a tall, imposing man who oozed wealth and power. He sat behind a large desk in a spacious office with windows overlooking the city below. Cross studied Gittes for a moment before speaking.
“I understand you’ve been hired to investigate my son-in-law’s affairs,” Cross said, his voice deep and measured.
Gittes nodded. “That’s correct.”
“What have you found so far?”
Gittes leaned forward. “I have reason to believe that there is more to this than just an affair. I think something bigger is going on.”
Cross raised an eyebrow. “Such as?”
Gittes paused before answering, choosing his words carefully. “I think your dam project is involved somehow.”
Cross leaned back in his chair and clasped his hands together. “I see. And what makes you think that?”
Gittes leaned back in his chair as well, mirroring Cross’s posture. “Well, for starters, Mulwray was investigating the dam project before he died. And now, his death seems to be connected to the project.”
Cross leaned forward again, placing his hands on his desk. “Mr. Gittes, I can assure you that there is no connection between the dam project and my son-in-law’s death. It’s merely a coincidence.”
Gittes wasn’t convinced. “That seems like quite a coincidence, Mr. Cross. Don’t you think?”
Cross sighed. “I understand your skepticism, Mr. Gittes. But I can assure you that the dam project is entirely above board. It will provide much-needed water to the city and create jobs for the people.”
Gittes considered Cross’s words for a moment, watching the man’s face for any signs of deception. But Cross’s expression remained neutral, and Gittes couldn’t detect any falsehood in his words. He was starting to realize that Cross was a master of manipulation.
Gittes stood up, signaling the end of the meeting. “Thank you for your time, Mr. Cross. I’ll be in touch.”
As Gittes walked out of the building, he couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something more significant going on. He needed to dig deeper into the dam project and find out what Cross was hiding.
Gittes left the building and walked down the bustling street, lost in thought. As he approached his car, he noticed a man watching him from across the street. The man appeared to be in his early thirties, with slicked-back hair and a tailored suit. He was smoking a cigarette and staring intently at Gittes.
Gittes got into his car and started the engine. As he pulled away, he kept an eye on the man in the rearview mirror. The man began to follow him, staying several car lengths behind. Gittes knew he was being tailed but decided to wait and see what the man wanted.
The man followed Gittes for several blocks before suddenly pulling up alongside him and rolling down his window.
“Mr. Gittes,” the man said, his voice low and smooth. “I’ve been sent to deliver a message.”
Gittes raised an eyebrow. “And what’s that?”
The man smiled. “You’re getting too close, Mr. Gittes. You need to back off before things get messy.”
Gittes frowned. “Who sent you?”
The man shook his head. “I can’t say. But trust me, you don’t want to mess with these people. They’re dangerous.”
With that, the man sped off, leaving Gittes alone in his car. Gittes realized that he was in deeper than he thought and that this case was far more complicated than he ever imagined.
Chapter 3: The Affair and the Garden Party
Jake Gittes was in his office, waiting for Evelyn Mulwray to show up for their meeting. He had taken the case to investigate her husband, Hollis Mulwray’s affair. As he sat there, he wondered why a woman of her stature would hire him. He was a private investigator, not a high-end detective agency. But then again, he didn’t really care. He was just there to do his job and get paid.
As he was lost in his thoughts, there was a knock on the door. Gittes got up from his chair and opened the door, revealing Evelyn Mulwray. She was tall, blonde, and beautiful, with a slim figure and a face that could launch a thousand ships. She was wearing a white dress with a floral pattern and a hat to match.
“Please, come in,” Gittes said, holding the door open. Evelyn entered and looked around the dingy office, wrinkling her nose slightly at the smell of old books and cigarettes.
“Thank you for seeing me,” she said, her voice soft and gentle.
“It’s my pleasure,” Gittes replied, closing the door behind her. “Please, have a seat.”
Evelyn sat down in one of the chairs in front of Gittes’s desk, crossing her legs elegantly. Gittes took his seat and opened his notebook, ready to take notes.
“I understand you want me to investigate your husband,” he began.
“Yes,” Evelyn said, nodding. “I believe he is having an affair with another woman.”
“Who is the woman?” Gittes asked, pen at the ready.
“I don’t know,” Evelyn said, shaking her head. “That’s why I need you to find out for me.”
Gittes nodded, jotting down notes in his notebook. “Do you have any idea where he might be seeing her?”
“He’s been spending a lot of time at the office lately,” Evelyn said. “But I don’t know if that’s where he’s seeing her.”
“I see,” Gittes said, nodding. “And can you tell me anything about your husband’s behavior? Has he been acting differently lately?”
“He’s been distant,” Evelyn said, looking down at her hands. “He’s always been a busy man, but lately it seems like he’s avoiding me.”
Gittes noted this down in his book. “Do you have any reason to suspect that he might be seeing another woman?”
Evelyn sighed. “I found a pair of earrings in his coat pocket that weren’t mine.”
Gittes nodded, making a note of this. “I’ll need to talk to your husband and find out if he’s willing to tell me anything.”
“He won’t be,” Evelyn said, shaking her head. “He’s a very private man.”
“I’ll do my best,” Gittes said, closing his notebook. “Now, before I go, can I ask you one more question?”
“Of course,” Evelyn said, looking up at him.
“Why did you come to me?” Gittes asked, his eyes locked onto hers.
Evelyn hesitated for a moment before answering. “I’ve heard that you’re the best in the business, Mr. Gittes.”
Gittes smiled. “That’s what they say.”
Evelyn stood up, signaling that the meeting was over. “Thank you for your time, Mr. Gittes. When can I expect to hear from you?”
“I’ll start my investigation right away,” Gittes said, standing up as well. “I’ll be in touch as soon as I have any information.”
Evelyn nodded, and Gittes walked her to the door. As she left, he couldn’t help but wonder why a woman like her would need to hire a private investigator. He made a mental note to keep an eye out for anything unusual.
The next day, Gittes followed Hollis Mulwray to a public meeting where he was giving a speech about a new dam being built in the area. Gittes pretended to be a reporter and took pictures of Mulwray as he spoke. After the meeting, Gittes approached Mulwray and asked him a few questions about the dam. Mulwray was polite but guarded, not giving away much.
Gittes continued to follow Mulwray, taking pictures of him going in and out of his office building. He also followed him to a garden party hosted by Mulwray’s father-in-law, Noah Cross. Cross was a wealthy and powerful man, with a questionable past. Gittes couldn’t help but wonder what he was doing at a party hosted by Cross.
At the party, Gittes met Mulwray’s wife, Evelyn. She was wearing a different dress and hat but looked just as beautiful as she did the day before. Gittes approached her and tried to strike up a conversation.
“Nice party,” he said, taking a sip of his drink.
“Yes, it is,” Evelyn replied, looking around the garden. “My father is very proud of his home.”
“He has reason to be,” Gittes said, glancing at her. “And you, Miss Mulwray, look stunning.”
Evelyn smiled. “Thank you, Mr. Gittes. But please, call me Evelyn.”
“Jake,” Gittes said, holding out his hand.
They shook hands, and Gittes couldn’t help but feel a spark between them. He tried to ignore it and focused on his investigation.
“I was wondering if you could tell me anything about your husband,” Gittes said, taking another sip of his drink.
“What do you mean?” Evelyn asked, her eyes narrowing slightly.
“I mean, has he been behaving differently lately? Is there anything unusual you’ve noticed about him?”
Evelyn hesitated for a moment before answering. “He has been distant lately. But he’s always been a busy man.”
“Is there anything else?” Gittes pressed, hoping to get more information.
“No,” Evelyn said, looking away. “That’s all I can tell you.”
Gittes nodded, disappointed. He had hoped to get more out of her. He decided to leave and continued to watch the party from a distance.
As he walked away, he couldn’t help but feel drawn to Evelyn. He wondered if there was more to her than just a woman trying to save her marriage. He made a mental note to keep an eye on her as well.
Days went by, and Gittes continued his investigation. He followed Mulwray and took pictures of him meeting with a young woman. He also staked out his office building and watched as he left with the same woman.
Gittes was beginning to feel like he was getting somewhere when he received a call from Evelyn. She wanted to meet him at her home to discuss something important.
Gittes arrived at her house, and she let him in. She led him to a sitting room and poured him a drink.
“What’s this about?” Gittes asked, taking a sip of his drink.
“I need to tell you something,” Evelyn said, her voice shaking slightly.
“What is it?” Gittes asked, setting down his glass.
“My husband isn’t having an affair,” Evelyn said, looking up at him.
Gittes frowned, confused. “But I have pictures of him with another woman.”
“It wasn’t what it looked like,” Evelyn said, shaking her head. “She’s my sister.”
“Your sister?” Gittes repeated, incredulous.
“Yes,” Evelyn said, looking down at her hands. “I didn’t want to tell you before because it’s a family matter, but I can’t let you ruin my husband’s reputation over a misunderstanding.”
Gittes sat back in his chair, feeling foolish. He had been so sure that he had uncovered something big. He wondered if he had been set up.
“I understand,” he said, standing up. “I’ll return your retainer.”
Evelyn nodded, and Gittes walked out of the house, feeling like a fool. He wondered if he had been played for a sucker and decided to investigate further.
As he walked away, he heard Evelyn’s voice calling out to him.
“Mr. Gittes!” she called. “Please, don’t give up on me yet. There’s something else, something I need you to know.”
Gittes turned back, intrigued. “What is it?”
Evelyn hesitated for a moment before speaking. “My husband’s work at the water and power company. There’s something going on there, something big.”
“What do you mean?” Gittes asked, stepping closer.
“I don’t know,” Evelyn said, shaking her head. “But I’ve heard things. There’s a reason my father is so interested in the dam project. It’s more than just water.”
Gittes nodded, feeling like he had stumbled onto something big. He wondered what he had gotten himself into and made a mental note to be careful.
“I’ll look into it,” he said, turning to leave.
“Thank you,” Evelyn said, her voice soft.
Gittes walked away, feeling like he had just been sucked into a maelstrom of double dealings and deadly deceits. He wondered what he would uncover next and if he would live long enough to find out.
Chapter 4: The Dead Body and the Reservoir
Gittes wakes up in a daze, unsure of how much time has passed. He struggles to sit up, but his head is pounding, and he feels disoriented. He remembers being hit and then everything goes black.
As he gains his bearings, he realizes he is in a car parked on the side of a road. He looks around and sees that he is in the San Fernando Valley, not far from the Mulwray home. Gittes attempts to start the car, but it won’t budge. Suddenly, a car pulls up behind him, and a group of men get out and approach him.
Gittes recognizes the men as the same ones who attacked him before. They approach him and pull him out of the car. One of the men punches him, and Gittes falls to the ground.
“What do you want from me?” Gittes asks, his words slurred.
“We want you to back off this case,” one of the men says. “You’re in over your head, Gittes. This isn’t some small affair you can just sweep under the rug.”
Gittes attempts to get up, but one of the men kicks him in the stomach, knocking the wind out of him. He collapses, struggling to catch his breath.
Suddenly, a police car pulls up, and the men scatter. The officer approaches Gittes, who is gasping for air.
“What happened here?” the officer asks.
Gittes manages to tell him about the attack and shows him the car. The officer calls for backup and an ambulance. Gittes is taken to the hospital, where he is treated for his injuries.
Once he is released, Gittes returns to his office, where he meets with the socialite, Evelyn Mulwray. She tells him that she has received a letter from her husband asking for a divorce. She gives Gittes a key to a safety deposit box and asks him to investigate further.
Gittes follows up on the lead and discovers that the deposit box contains evidence that her husband was in over his head with the Water and Power Company. He had been trying to expose their scheme to divert water from the reservoir to irrigate land for wealthy investors.
Gittes realizes that he is on to something big and decides to follow the trail. He goes back to the reservoir and watches as trucks pull up and fill with water. He follows one of the trucks and sees it drive to a gated community where wealthy residents are enjoying their lush green lawns.
Gittes tries to confront the residents, but they refuse to talk to him. He decides to go back to the reservoir to gather more evidence. As he is leaving, he sees a body floating in the water.
He rushes over to investigate and finds that it is Mulwray’s body. He is shocked and devastated. He realizes that this case is much more complicated than he thought.
Gittes calls the police, and they arrive on the scene. He is questioned by the police and realizes that he is now a suspect in Mulwray’s murder. He knows that he needs to clear his name and find out who really killed Mulwray.
Gittes continues his investigation, and he discovers that Mulwray was poisoned. He also finds evidence that points to a cover-up involving the Water and Power Company. He realizes that he is onto something big and that his life may be in danger.
As he is leaving the reservoir, he is attacked again by the same men who attacked him before. This time, they are more violent, and Gittes struggles to fight them off. They manage to knock him unconscious, and he wakes up in a deserted area.
Gittes struggles to get up but is weak from the attack. He realizes that he needs to get help and begins to walk towards the nearest town.
As he walks, he sees a car pull up beside him. He recognizes the driver as a man he met at the Water and Power Company. The man offers him a ride, and Gittes reluctantly accepts.
During the ride, the man tells Gittes that he knows who killed Mulwray. He also tells him that he is in danger and that he needs to leave town. Gittes is reluctant to believe him but realizes that he may be his only hope.
The man drops Gittes off at a hotel and tells him to stay low. He promises to contact him when he has more information.
Gittes checks into the hotel and tries to relax. He realizes that he is in over his head and that the case is much more complicated than he initially thought. He knows that he needs to stay focused if he wants to find out who killed Mulwray and clear his name.
As he lies in bed, Gittes wonders if he is any closer to solving the case. He knows that he needs to be careful and that he may not survive if he crosses the wrong people. He falls asleep, knowing that the next few days will be crucial in his investigation.
Chapter 5: The Imposter and the Gulch
Jake Gittes followed the man he believed to be Mulwray’s killer to a nursing home. He parked his car outside and observed the building from a safe distance, waiting for the man to emerge. After a few minutes, a man walked out of the building and got into a car parked nearby. Gittes immediately recognized him as the man he had been following.
Gittes started up his car and followed the other car through the streets of Los Angeles. He was careful to keep a safe distance, so he wouldn’t be noticed. The driver of the other car seemed to be headed for the outskirts of the city.
After driving for what felt like miles, the car turned onto a bumpy dirt road and came to a stop at the edge of a dry gulch. The driver got out of his car and walked down into the gulch. Gittes could see him carrying a small bundle.
He waited until the man was out of sight before getting out of his car and following him. Gittes carefully descended the steep slope of the gulch, trying not to make too much noise or be seen.
As he got closer to the bottom of the gulch, he heard a loud splash. He quickened his pace and found himself at the edge of a small pond. The man he had been following was standing at the edge of the pond, throwing rocks into the water. He turned when he heard Gittes approaching.
The man was tall and thin, with graying hair and deep-set eyes. He wore a tweed jacket and a fedora. Gittes recognized him as one of Cross’s hired thugs.
“What do you want?” the man asked, his voice cold and menacing.
“Where’s Mulwray?” Gittes demanded.
The man laughed. “Mulwray’s dead, you idiot. And you’re wasting your time trying to find out who killed him.”
Gittes sensed that he was getting nowhere with the man. He decided to change tactics. “Who paid you to kill him?”
The man’s expression changed. His eyes narrowed, and he took a step forward. “What are you talking about?”
“You heard me. Who paid you to kill Mulwray?”
The man hesitated for a moment before speaking. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m just a private investigator, like you.”
Gittes didn’t believe him. He knew that this man was lying. He decided to take a chance and bluff his way through the situation.
“Okay, you win. I’m not a private investigator. I’m a reporter for the Times. I’ve been investigating this story for weeks, and I think I’m onto something big. I think you’re involved, and I want to know what you know.”
The man laughed again. “You expect me to believe that? You’re not a reporter, and you’re not even a good liar. You’re just a gumshoe trying to make a name for himself.”
Gittes knew he had lost the upper hand. He started to back away, but the man stepped forward again, his hand reaching for something in his pocket.
Gittes tensed, ready to defend himself. But before the man could pull out whatever he had in his pocket, there was a sudden loud noise.
Gittes turned to see what had happened and saw a group of men approaching from the other side of the gulch. They were carrying shovels and pickaxes, and they looked angry.
The man he had been talking to turned and ran toward his car. Gittes watched as he drove away, leaving him alone with the angry mob.
Gittes quickly realized that he was in trouble. He had stumbled upon something he shouldn’t have and had angered the wrong people. He turned and ran, trying to reach his car before the men caught up with him.
He could hear them chasing him, their footsteps pounding in the dirt. He ran faster, his heart pounding with fear. He reached his car and fumbled with the keys, trying to unlock the door.
He could feel the men getting closer. He could see their faces now, twisted with rage. He managed to unlock the door and get inside just as the first of the men reached him.
He slammed the door shut and started the engine. The men pounded on the windows, trying to break them. Gittes hit the gas and drove away, narrowly avoiding a collision with another car.
He drove as fast as he could, trying to put as much distance between himself and the angry mob as possible. He knew that he was lucky to be alive, but he also knew that he was in deeper trouble than ever before. The case was getting more complicated, and he didn’t know if he would ever be able to solve it.
Chapter 6: The Double Cross and the Chinatown Conspiracy
Jake Gittes had always known that the case he was working on was complicated, but he had never imagined just how deeply he had become entangled in the web of conspiracies that surrounded it. As he sat in his office late one night, poring over the latest batch of evidence, he felt a growing sense of unease.
His client, Evelyn Mulwray, was dead, and her father, Noah Cross, was behind bars for her murder. But Gittes knew that there was still something missing, something he couldn’t quite put his finger on. He had been played for a fool, and he didn’t like it one bit.
He needed answers, and he knew just where to look. The Water and Power Company.
Gittes had been there before, of course, but he had always felt like an outsider, a small-time detective poking his nose into big business. But now he had a new sense of purpose. He marched into the building, confident and determined.
He was met by a security guard, who asked for his name and business.
“Jake Gittes,” he said, flashing his badge. “I’m here to see Mr. Cross.”
The guard looked him up and down, then nodded and ushered him into the elevator. Gittes rode up to the top floor, feeling a sense of apprehension building in his gut.
When he stepped out of the elevator, he was met by a secretary who smiled politely and asked him to wait. Gittes sat down in a plush leather chair and looked around the lavish office. It was clear that Cross was a man of power and influence, with more money than he knew what to do with.
After a few minutes, the secretary returned and motioned for Gittes to follow her. She led him through a maze of hallways, then stopped outside a set of double doors.
“Mr. Cross will see you now,” she said, opening the doors and gesturing for Gittes to enter.
Cross was sitting behind a massive oak desk, smoking a cigar and looking every bit the shrewd businessman.
“Mr. Gittes,” he said, nodding in acknowledgement. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”
Gittes wasted no time. “I want to know what’s really going on here, Mr. Cross. I want to know why you killed your daughter, and what this whole dam project is really about.”
Cross raised an eyebrow, but didn’t seem surprised by Gittes’ bluntness. “You’re a persistent man, Mr. Gittes. I’ll give you that.”
Gittes leaned forward. “I’m not leaving here until I get some answers.”
Cross sighed. “Very well. I suppose you’ve earned the right to know the truth.”
He leaned back in his chair and took a long drag on his cigar.
“The dam project is just a small part of a much larger plan,” he said. “You see, Mr. Gittes, water is power. And if you control the water supply, you control everything. The politicians, the business owners, even the police. I’ve been working for years to build a network of powerful people who can help me achieve my goal.”
Gittes listened intently, his mind racing with the implications of what Cross was saying. He realized that he had stumbled onto something much bigger than just an affair.
Cross continued. “As for my daughter, well, that’s a more complicated matter. Evelyn was a troubled girl, always searching for something she could never find. I tried to help her, but in the end, she was beyond my reach.”
Gittes leaned back in his chair, his mind whirling. “So you killed her? Just like that?”
Cross shrugged. “What’s one life, compared to the greater good?”
Gittes stood up, feeling a surge of anger. “You’re a monster, Cross. A cold-blooded killer.”
Cross smiled. “And you, Mr. Gittes, are a fool. You’ve been playing right into my hands. I knew that if I hired you to investigate the affair, you would eventually stumble onto the dam project. And once you did, I could use you to take down my enemies.”
Gittes felt a cold chill run down his spine. He realized that he had been nothing more than a pawn in Cross’s game.
But he wasn’t going to go down without a fight.
He lunged across the desk, grabbing Cross by the collar and pulling him to his feet.
“I’ll see you brought to justice for what you’ve done,” he snarled. “I don’t care how long it takes, or how many people I have to take down with you.”
Cross chuckled. “You’re a brave man, Mr. Gittes. But you’re also a dead man. You see, I have friends in high places. They’ll be coming for you, and there’s nothing you can do to stop them.”
Gittes released Cross and stepped back, feeling a sense of dread wash over him. He realized that he was in way over his head, and that he might not make it out alive.
But he had come too far to back down now.
He turned and ran for the door, feeling Cross’s laughter ringing in his ears.
As he ran down the hallway, he heard footsteps behind him. He turned a corner and found himself face to face with two men in dark suits. They had guns drawn, and they didn’t look happy.
Gittes knew that he was in trouble. But he was a detective, damn it. He wasn’t going to go down without a fight.
He braced himself and charged towards the men, his fists swinging.
The fight was short and brutal. Gittes took a few punches, but he managed to land a few blows of his own. He felt a rush of adrenaline as he knocked the men to the ground.
He took off running again, the sound of gunfire echoing in the hallways behind him.
He reached the elevator and slammed his finger on the button, praying that it would come quickly.
Seconds later, the doors slid open, and he dove inside. He hit the button for the lobby, feeling a sense of relief wash over him.
But it was short-lived.
Just as the doors were closing, he saw a group of men in dark suits running towards him. They were carrying guns, and they didn’t look like they were there to make small talk.
Gittes realized that he was trapped. He had nowhere to run, and no one to help him.
He closed his eyes and braced himself for the worst.
But then, the elevator doors opened, and a group of police officers stepped inside.
“Hands in the air!” one of them shouted. “You’re under arrest!”
Gittes breathed a sigh of relief as the police handcuffed him and dragged him out of the elevator.
He realized that he had been saved by a stroke of luck, or maybe something more.
He had been played for a fool, but he was still alive. And he wasn’t going to give up until he had uncovered the whole truth.
Chapter 7: The Kidnapping and the Hidden Daughter
Gittes was determined to find the truth behind the Mulwray family, and his investigation had led him to Evelyn Mulwray’s daughter. He knew that she was being kept hidden away in a mental institution, and he had to find her. He headed there, hoping that he could convince the nurses to help him.
As he approached the institution, he could already hear the screams coming from inside. He knew that he had to be careful and try not to draw too much attention to himself. Gittes entered the building, pretending to be a relative of one of the patients. He made his way through the halls, trying to find the girl’s room.
As he turned a corner, he saw a nurse coming out of one of the rooms. He quickly followed her, hoping she would lead him to the girl’s room. The nurse went into a room on the right, and Gittes followed her. He peered inside and saw the girl sitting on a bed, staring at the wall.
Gittes knew that he had to act quickly, and he had a plan. He walked up to the nurse and asked her about the girl’s condition. The nurse told him that the girl was heavily medicated and did not respond to anyone. Gittes asked if he could visit with her, and the nurse agreed.
Gittes walked into the girl’s room and sat down next to her. He introduced himself and asked if she wanted to leave the institution. The girl didn’t respond, but Gittes could see a glimmer of recognition in her eyes. He knew that he needed to act fast before the nurses caught on to what he was doing.
He took the girl’s hand and helped her off the bed. He told her that he would get her out of there and take her to her real mother. The girl slowly stood up, and Gittes led her out of the room. They walked down the hall, trying to be inconspicuous.
As they reached the end of the hall, Gittes heard a loud commotion. He looked down the hall and saw a group of nurses running towards them. Gittes grabbed the girl’s hand and ran in the opposite direction. They made their way to the back of the building and found a fire escape. They climbed down and ran to Gittes’s car.
Gittes started the car and drove away as fast as he could. He knew that they would be pursued, and he needed to get the girl to safety. He drove to a small hotel on the outskirts of town and checked them in under false names. He knew that they couldn’t stay there for long, but it would buy them some time.
As they settled into the room, Gittes noticed that the girl was starting to become more alert. He sat down next to her and told her about her father’s death and the conspiracy he had uncovered. He also told her that she had a real mother who wanted to take care of her.
The girl looked at Gittes and nodded. She seemed to understand what he was saying. Gittes knew that they needed to leave as soon as possible, and he started to make plans for their escape. He called his friend, the police officer, and asked for his help.
The police officer arrived at the hotel and helped Gittes and the girl escape. They made their way to Chinatown, where the police officer knew a safe house. As they arrived, they saw a car pull up behind them. Gittes recognized the car as belonging to Noah Cross.
Gittes and the police officer quickly got the girl out of the car and into the safe house. They locked the doors and windows, knowing that they were not safe. They could hear Cross and his thugs trying to break in. They knew that they had to hold out until backup arrived.
As they waited, Gittes told the girl about her mother and how much she wanted to be with her. The girl listened intently, and Gittes could see the hope in her eyes. He swore to himself that he would do everything in his power to keep her safe.
Suddenly, there was a loud crash as Cross and his thugs broke through the door. Gittes and the police officer fought them off, but it was a losing battle. They knew that they had to escape before it was too late.
Gittes grabbed the girl’s hand and led her out of the back door. They ran through the alleyways of Chinatown, trying to lose their pursuers. They were getting closer and closer, and Gittes knew that they had to act fast.
They turned a corner and saw a police car. Gittes ran up to the officer and told him about the situation. The officer recognized Gittes and agreed to help. They all climbed into the car, and the officer drove them away from Chinatown.
As they drove, Gittes looked back and saw Cross and his thugs disappearing into the distance. He knew that he had won, but at what cost? He had uncovered a conspiracy that went all the way to the top, but he had also put his life and the girl’s life in danger.
Gittes turned to the girl and asked her if she was okay. She looked at him and smiled, nodding her head. He knew that they had a long road ahead of them, but they would get through it together.
Chapter 8: The Confrontation and the Escape
Gittes and the girl fled into the bustling streets of Chinatown as they heard Cross’s hired thugs in hot pursuit. Gittes knew that he had to keep moving, as he could feel the weight of Cross’s plot looming over him. The sounds of the crowded market amplified as they hastily hid in the back alleyway. The girl was visibly shaken, and Gittes knew he needed to act fast.
Gittes watched as the hired thugs entered Chinatown, their eyes scanning the crowds. With a deep breath, he pulled the girl closer to him, and they started to move again. Gittes knew a place where they could hide, a small tunnel system tucked between Chinatown’s buildings. He led the girl into the tunnel, and they rushed through the dimly lit corridors, feeling as though they were being swallowed by the darkness.
As they ran, Gittes could not shake the feeling that they were being watched. He kept his head low and stayed alert, the adrenaline pumping in his veins. They finally reached a dead-end, and Gittes quickly looked around for a way out. A small ladder was at the end of the tunnel, leading up to a manhole cover. He pushed it open and helped the girl climb up.
They emerged into a quiet street with no sign of Cross’s thugs, but Gittes was not convinced they were safe yet. He led the girl to a nearby café and told her to stay put while he made some calls. He needed to call his partner in the LAPD to get some backup, but before he could, he heard a familiar voice behind him.
“Mr. Gittes, you really shouldn’t be snooping around in things that don’t concern you.”
Gittes turned around to see Cross, flanked by two of his hired thugs. Gittes knew that he had to act fast, but he was unarmed and outnumbered. He decided to bluff his way out.
“I’m just trying to help the girl, Noah. You’re the one who’s up to no good,” Gittes said, trying to sound nonchalant.
Cross sneered. “I have no idea what you’re talking about. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll stay out of this.”
Gittes could see the thugs drawing closer, and he knew that he had to act fast. He lunged at Cross, grabbing him by the lapels and shoving him back against the wall. The thugs were closing in, but Gittes was quick to pull out his ace – a small knife he had concealed in his pocket.
The thugs hesitated, uncertain of how to proceed, and that’s when Gittes made his move. He lunged at them, the knife flashing in the dim light. In a blur of motion, he disarmed the thugs and sent them running with a few well-placed jabs.
Gittes turned back to Cross, his breathing ragged. He had won this round, but he knew that Cross would never stop coming after him. He had to get the girl and himself out of town fast.
He found the girl still waiting in the café, and they scurried out onto the street. They flagged down a passing taxi and quietly slipped into the back seat. Gittes gave the driver an address, and they were off, leaving Chinatown behind.
As they drove into the night, Gittes felt a sense of exhaustion wash over him. He knew that Cross was still out there, plotting, but for now, he was safe. He leaned back in the seat and closed his eyes as the taxi sped through the darkened streets.
In the end, Gittes had learned that in a city like Los Angeles, certain things were better left unsolved. He knew that he could never wash his hands of the case entirely, but he could try to forget. He looked at the girl beside him, and he knew that he had done the right thing. He had saved her from Cross’s clutches, and that was enough.
As they drove into the night, Gittes felt a sense of peace settle over him. He had survived Chinatown, and that was all that mattered.
Some scenes from the movie Chinatown written by A.I.
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Logline: Private investigator Jake Gittes is hired to investigate a simple case of infidelity but uncovers a conspiracy that involves a wealthy businessman and a plot to control the water supply in Los Angeles.
Jake Gittes – A private investigator who has a sharp wit and an eye for detail.
Evelyn Mulwray – A beautiful and mysterious woman who hires Gittes to investigate her husband’s affair.
Noah Cross – A wealthy businessman with a questionable past and connections to the dam project.
Setting: Los Angeles, pre-World War II Southern California
EXT. LOS ANGELES – DAY
A hot summer day in Los Angeles, 1937. The camera pans down to a busy street, filled with people and cars. Suddenly, a black car pulls up in front of a building.
INT. JAKE GITTES’ OFFICE – DAY
Jake Gittes, a private investigator, is at his desk. He is dressed in a sharp suit and tie and is smoking a cigarette. He looks up as his secretary enters with a woman.
Mr. Gittes, this is Mrs. Mulwray.
Mr. Gittes, thank you for seeing me.
Jake stands and takes Evelyn’s hand, leading her to a chair.
Please, have a seat. What can I do for you, Mrs. Mulwray?
I need you to investigate my husband.
Jake raises an eyebrow.
Your husband? What’s he done?
I believe he’s having an affair.
Jake leans back in his chair.
Well, that’s what I’m here for. Do you have any leads?
Evelyn hands Jake a piece of paper with an address.
This is where he spends most of his time. I’ll pay you well if you can prove my suspicions.
I’ll get right on it. Just remember, Mrs. Mulwray, be careful what you wish for.
INT. EVELYN MULWRAY’S CAR – DAY
Evelyn sits in her car, watching as Jake leaves his office. She looks worried and unsure.
What have I done?
The camera follows Jake as he walks down the street, looking confident and self-assured. The soundtrack plays a jazzy tune as the camera fades to black.
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Logline: Private eye Jake Gittes is hired to investigate a wealthy socialite’s husband’s affair, but he uncovers a web of corruption and deceit that threatens to destroy him.
– Jake Gittes: A private investigator with a questionable past, who is hired to investigate the alleged affair of Evelyn Mulwray’s husband.
– Evelyn Mulwray: A beautiful and mysterious socialite who seeks Jake’s help.
– Noah Cross: A wealthy and powerful figure in Los Angeles, who is behind the dam project and has a dark past.
– Hollis Mulwray: The chief engineer for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, who is believed to be having an affair.
Setting: 1930s Los Angeles, California
Scene 2 – The Water and Power Company
EXT. LOS ANGELES – DAY
Jake Gittes drives up to the Water and Power Company in his car. He parks and gets out, approaching the building with his camera in hand.
INT. WATER AND POWER COMPANY – DAY
Jake enters the building and heads for the front desk. He speaks to the receptionist.
I’m here to see Hollis Mulwray.
May I ask who’s calling?
My name is Jake Gittes. I’m a private investigator.
The receptionist picks up the phone and makes a call. A few seconds later, she hangs up.
Mr. Mulwray will see you now. Take the elevator to the third floor.
Jake enters the elevator and presses the button for the third floor. The elevator doors close and he rides up.
INT. THIRD FLOOR – DAY
Jake exits the elevator and walks down the hallway. He enters Hollis Mulwray’s office, where the chief engineer is working at his desk.
Can I help you?
I’m Jake Gittes. I’m investigating a case for your wife.
I don’t know what you’re talking about.
She hired me to find out if you’re having an affair. Are you?
No, I’m not. And I don’t appreciate my personal life being dragged through the mud.
Look, I’m just doing my job. If you have nothing to hide, then there’s no problem.
I have nothing to hide. And if you don’t believe me, then you can leave.
Jake nods and turns to leave. As he opens the door, he overhears a conversation between Hollis and another man.
NOAH CROSS (O.S.)
Hollis, we need to talk.
Jake looks back into the room and sees Noah Cross entering.
What do you want, Noah?
I want to discuss the dam project with you. It’s important.
Fine, let’s talk in my office.
Hollis and Noah exit the room, leaving Jake alone. Jake looks concerned and takes a photo of the two men leaving the office together.
Jake quickly exits the building and drives away, deep in thought.
FADE TO BLACK.
INT. EVELYN MULWRAY’S GARDEN – DAY
Jake Gittes, dressed in a sharp grey suit, steps into the tranquil garden of Mulwray’s estate. He glances around the lush greenery, spotting Mulwray sitting on a bench next to a small pond. Gittes approaches her.
Mrs. Mulwray, I need to talk to you about your husband.
I thought we already discussed this, Mr. Gittes.
I’m afraid there’s been a development. I have reason to believe his affair may not be what it seems.
Evelyn looks at Gittes, weighing his words.
Very well. But I warn you, I won’t tolerate any more rumors or accusations.
Evelyn stands up and leads Gittes towards a crowd gathered on the other side of the garden. They approach a group of politicians and businessmen, mingling over champagne glasses.
My husband’s been investigating them. Something about the water supply.
What do you mean?
(lowering her voice)
They’re building a new dam up north, but the water’s being diverted to irrigate land for wealthy investors. My husband was trying to stop them.
Jake looks around the party, taking in the opulent surroundings.
And what about your father? Is he involved in this?
Evelyn hesitates before answering.
My father has his own interests. But I never thought he would hurt his own daughter.
Jake seems to catch something in her voice, but before he can ask, they are interrupted by a voice calling out to Evelyn.
Evelyn my dear, how lovely to see you.
Jake turns to see Noah Cross, an elderly gentleman with a charming smile, approaching them.
(glancing at Gittes)
And who is this?
Mr. Gittes, a private investigator.
Oh my, how exciting! And what brings you to our little garden party?
Just doing some investigating. Trying to get to the bottom of things.
Ah, yes. The truth can be a slippery thing. But I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for, Mr. Gittes.
With that, Noah takes Evelyn’s arm and leads her away, leaving a wary Jake Gittes to continue his investigation.
EXT. THE RESERVOIR – DAY
Jake Gittes stands at the edge of the reservoir, staring down at the lifeless body of Hollis Mulwray.
What the hell have I gotten myself into…
He takes a few steps back, scanning the scene for any clues. His eyes land on the dam in the distance, and he starts to piece together what might have happened.
EXT. WATER AND POWER COMPANY – DAY
Gittes walks into the Water and Power Company, his jaw set and his eyes narrowed. He demands to speak with someone in charge, and after some resistance, he is taken to see a middle-aged man behind a large desk.
(to the man)
I want to know why the water in that reservoir was being diverted.
That’s classified information. I’m afraid I can’t discuss it with you.
Cut the crap. A man is dead because someone wanted that land. And I’m not leaving until I find out who.
The man leans back in his chair, studying Gittes for a moment.
(offering his hand)
I’m Lawrence Walsh. And you’re Jake Gittes, I presume.
INT. WALSH’S OFFICE – DAY
Walsh sits behind his desk, a glass of Scotch in his hand. Gittes paces back and forth in front of him, trying to connect the dots.
So what are you saying? That Mulwray was murdered because of the water supply?
I’m not sure yet. But it’s clear that someone wanted that land bad enough to kill for it.
Walsh takes a sip of his drink, deep in thought.
You need to be careful. This case goes deeper than you think.
Jake stops pacing, meeting Walsh’s gaze.
I don’t care how deep it goes. I’ll get to the bottom of this, no matter who I have to take down.
EXT. THE DAM – DAY
Gittes stands at the base of the dam, looking up at its massive walls. He notices a set of tire tracks leading away from the area, and his gut tells him to follow them.
EXT. AN ABANDONED LOT – DAY
Gittes pulls up to an abandoned lot, following the tire tracks he found earlier. He steps out of his car, gun in hand, and starts to make his way towards a large warehouse in the distance.
INT. THE WAREHOUSE – DAY
Gittes creeps through the dark warehouse, his gun drawn and ready to fire. He spots a shadowy figure in the distance, and he moves quickly towards it.
CLOSE-UP on Gittes’s startled face as the figure suddenly turns towards him.
EXT. THE ABANDONED LOT – DAY
Gittes is thrown backwards as a group of men emerge from the warehouse, attacking him from all sides. He tries to fight them off, but they overpower him and leave him lying on the ground.
FADE TO BLACK.
Genre: Neo-noir Thriller
Logline: Private detective Jake Gittes is hired to investigate an affair but is drawn into a conspiracy of personal and political scandals that lead him to the dark secrets of Chinatown.
Jake Gittes – a private investigator with a sharp mind and a tough exterior.
Evelyn Mulwray – a beautiful socialite with a complicated past.
Noah Cross – Evelyn’s father and a wealthy, corrupt businessman.
Katherine Cross – Evelyn’s daughter, hidden away in a mental institution.
Hired Thug – Cross’s goon who attacks Gittes.
Nursing Home Worker – a woman who helps Gittes find a clue.
Los Angeles in the 1930s with a focus on Chinatown.
Gittes: “Who are you working for?”
Hired Thug: “None of your damn business!”
Gittes: “I think it is my business when you try to kill me.”
Scene based on Chapter 5:
EXT. NURSING HOME – DAY
Gittes watches as the Hired Thug exits the nursing home and gets into a car. Gittes follows him discreetly.
INT. CAR – DAY
Gittes tails the car until it stops in front of a rundown building. He sees the Hired Thug enter and decides to follow him inside.
INT. BUILDING – DAY
Gittes sneaks around the building and sees the Hired Thug entering a room. He hears a commotion and decides to investigate.
Gittes enters the room and sees the Hired Thug attacking a woman. He intervenes, and they engage in a brutal fight. Gittes gets the upper hand and demands answers.
Gittes: “Who are you working for? Who hired you to attack me?”
Hired Thug: “I can’t tell you.”
Gittes: “You better start talking, or I’ll make sure you pay for your actions.”
The Hired Thug finally spills the name of his employer, and Gittes is shocked to hear it’s Noah Cross. As they continue to fight, a nursing home worker enters the room and helps Gittes subdue the Hired Thug.
Gittes thanks the worker and finds a clue that leads him to the dry gulch mentioned in a previous chapter.
As he leaves the building, Gittes realizes that he is getting closer to uncovering the conspiracy that led to Mulwray’s murder. But he also begins to understand that the deeper he gets, the more dangerous it becomes.
INT. NOAH CROSS’S OFFICE – DAY
Jake Gittes confronts Noah Cross about his involvement in the murder of Evelyn Mulwray and the conspiracy to control the water supply in Los Angeles. Cross sits comfortably behind his desk, puffing on a cigar.
You’ve been playing me this whole time, haven’t you?
I prefer to think of it as guiding you towards the truth, Mr. Gittes.
Yeah, the truth about your sick and twisted little scheme.
Come now, Mr. Gittes. You’re a smart man, surely you understand the importance of water to a growing city like Los Angeles.
I understand the importance of not poisoning innocent people with the runoff from your dam.
Collateral damage, I’m afraid.
You’re not going to get away with this, Cross. I’ll make sure of it.
Oh, I don’t think you will, Mr. Gittes. You see, I have friends in very high places.
Suddenly, Cross’s secretary enters the room, looking flustered.
Mr. Cross, they’re here. They’ve found out about our little arrangement.
Don’t worry, my dear. I anticipated this. Mr. Gittes, it’s been a pleasure doing business with you.
Cross presses a button on his desk, and a hidden door opens up behind Gittes. Two men enter the room, grabbing Gittes roughly by the arms.
Let me go, you bastards!
(walking towards Gittes)
I’m afraid it’s too late for that, Mr. Gittes. But don’t worry, we’ll take good care of you.
The men drag Gittes towards the hidden door as Cross watches with a sinister smile on his face.
1. Jake Gittes
2. Evelyn Mulwray
3. Noah Cross
4. Katherine Cross
5. Syndicate members
The scene takes place inside the mental institution where Katherine Cross is hidden away from the world. The atmosphere is tense and eerie, with a sense of danger lurking around every corner.
(Gittes and Evelyn enter the institution and make their way down a dimly lit corridor)
Evelyn: “Please, Jake, be careful. We don’t know what we might find.”
Gittes: “Don’t worry, I’ve been in tough spots before. Just stay close to me.”
(They approach a door with a small window and peek inside to see Katherine sitting on a bed, staring blankly at a wall)
Gittes: “There she is.”
Evelyn: “Oh, my poor darling. We have to get her out of here.”
(They enter the room and Katherine looks up at them, startled)
Katherine: “Who are you? Why are you here?”
Evelyn: “Katherine, it’s me, your mother. We’re here to take you home.”
Katherine: “I don’t have a mother. My father told me so.”
Gittes: “Your father’s been lying to you, Katherine. He’s not the person you think he is.”
(Katherine starts to panic)
Katherine: “No, no, you’re lying! He told me you were bad people.”
Evelyn: “Katherine, listen to me. We’re here to help you. We’ll protect you from your father and the people he’s working with.”
(Katherine looks at them, unsure)
Gittes: “Come on, Katherine, take my hand. We’ll get out of here together.”
(Katherine hesitates for a moment before taking Gittes’s hand)
(Katherine, Evelyn, and Gittes make their way down the corridor, but they are suddenly confronted by two syndicate members)
Syndicate Member 1: “Hey, where do you think you’re going?”
Gittes: “We don’t want any trouble. We’re just taking this girl home.”
Syndicate Member 2: “Sorry, pal, but we can’t let you do that.”
(Evelyn steps forward and pulls out a gun)
Evelyn: “I suggest you let us pass.”
(Syndicate Members hesitate for a moment before backing away)
(They make their way out of the institution and into a waiting car)
(Katherine looks out the window, still unsure of what’s happening)
Evelyn: “It’s going to be okay, Katherine. We’ll take care of you.”
Katherine: “But what about my father?”
Gittes: “Don’t worry about him. He’ll get what’s coming to him.”
(Katherine looks at them with a small smile on her face)
Katherine: “Thank you.”
(The car drives off into the night)