Ace Wonder: Message from a Dead Man (2014) Movie Script

James Morton will not be
forgotten. He will forever be remembered...
as a friend, a father and a
faithful follower of his Lord.
May he rest in peace.
How are you, Jim?
Me? Fine.
And the rest of the family?
Well, they're good. Derek's
the only one taking it hard.
He spent his summer
with Dad a few years ago...
and he wanted to come back,
it just didn't work out.
It's probably for the best.
Your father
was a troubled man, Jim.
I was one of his closest
friends, and more and more he pulled away.
Just wasn't his old self.
There's a lot of rooms
in this house.
Wandered around today
looking at them.
I kind of like living
out in the country.
It's nice. Way better
than all those honking cars.
You didn't answer my calls.
Service is terrible out there.
Where were you?
The tree house.
You know, you've probably
ruined your clothes.
Why were you at the tree house?
I was looking for something.
Looking? For what?
I'm not sure.
I found this at the funeral.
In Grandpa's casket.
It's nothing. Probably a prank.
I said, it's probably a prank,
forget about it.
What if Grandpa's trying
to tell me something?
He's not.
May I be excused?
Look, I know this week's
been hard on all of us...
but in a few days, we can put
this completely behind us.
I'm gonna be meeting with Marcus
tomorrow about the house and I'd like you to come along.
Still raining, still a thousand unanswered questions...
and now a cloaked figure
haunted the night.
A perfect recipe for mystery
and danger.
But it was still missing
one key ingredient: a world class investigator.
Log... this latest format
isn't working out, either.
This makes my fourth attempt
with no satisfactory results.
Road trips are a blast,
I'll admit...
but it's not conducive
to detective work.
No gun fire, no car chases,
not even your run-of-the-mill homicide.
Dad, I need some help.
Okay, what's up?
It's my graphic novel.
Graphic novel?
A glorified comic book.
Ace Wonder isn't really
a crime fighter.
He solves mysteries,
sort of like Sherlock Holmes.
Okay, so where are you stuck?
At the beginning... I can't
seem to come up with a truly brilliant mystery.
Everything is either boring
or over-the-top.
Well, you keep on thinking,
you'll come up with something.
That's what you said
800 miles ago.
Yeah, and it's still
good advice.
Um, hey, guys, none of this
looks familiar to me.
Um, where are we?
JEFF (O.S.):
GPS says we're on course...
but we need to stop and
get some fuel soon.
Jim, are you sure you
want to sell the place?
Marcus, Denver's 1,000 miles
away from here; my business eats up every minute of my time.
I suppose.
Look, I'll have a realtor
take a look at it for you.
It's a gorgeous piece
of property. I'm sure it'll sell.
In this economy?
I don't know who'd buy it.
Bed and breakfast
in the middle of nowhere?
Jim, how about selling
the place to me?
You serious?
We'd keep the place
exactly the way it is.
You could come back whenever
you're ready and go through your father's things.
I don't know.
What do you mean,
you don't know?
You could stay there
any time you want.
It'd be ideal.
And for me,
it'd be an investment.
Oh, hey, you want us
to order something for you?
Yeah, yeah, why don't you
get me a cheeseburger.
Cheeseburger, okay.
And uh, get me an order of those
curly fries, if they have them.
Thank you.
I'll think it over.
I think your dad would have
liked it this way.
Howdy, folks. Get y'all
something to drink before you order?
Mr. DeWitt, how well
did you know Grandpa?
I guess I knew him about
as well as anybody could.
Maybe you can help me.
On the day of the funeral,
I found this.
Grandpa used to set up treasure
hunts all the time.
Well, this is the kind
of thing he would do.
He always thought
of himself as mysterious.
Derek, your granddad
was a good man.
He was, but he wasn't
always stable.
I don't believe that.
I don't know what was
meant by that note...
but I think it's just as
well it was written in code.
Keep in touch, Jim.
And let me know what you decide.
Look, if that note wasn't
important, Grandpa wouldn't have wanted me to have it.
Derek, drop it.
Wait a second,
what do you want to eat?
Oh, um, ooh, do they have
those little curly fries?
No, they don't.
Oh, uh, whatever Jack's
having will be fine.
Sir? Sir, I was wondering,
my friend may have come--
Buzz off.
Certainly, I was just wondering,
I'm looking for my friend, and if he came this way--
Hey! I said leave me alone.
Log: Note that sleeping
strangers don't prove to be very helpful.
Hey, kid, that's a nice toy
you got there.
How about you give it to me
and I'll tell you where your friend ran off to?
That's okay,
I think I'll find him.
I don't think you understand.
You see, this is my home.
You walk here, you pay rent.
Come here.
BUM (O.S.):
All right, come here.
Let me see.
Looks nice.
I need that for my work.
Very fancy.
I order you in the name
of justice. Give it back!
All right, that's enough.
Give it back.
Give what back?
I said, give it back!
Make me.
There you go.
Well, thanks.
Look out!
Dad, come here, quick!
Are you all right?
What happened?
I-- I saw the whole thing
and man, it was something.
Eddie-- Eddie's been needing
someone to do that...
to him for a long time.
Well, Eddie got to picking
on your boy, and could have messed him up.
Then this guy shows up
and bam, bam, bam!
Just like that,
it was all over.
Look, y'all eat up,
meals are on me today.
That's very generous,
thank you.
No, it's nothing, really.
If there's anything I can do
for you guys, just let me know.
Well, you wouldn't happen to
know a good mechanic, would you?
Bobby John Dolan, the best
and only mechanic in town.
You work on big rigs?
I do today.
Yeah, that could be bad.
I've seen this before but,
only in a book...
and it was a short book.
This big red thing in here
I believe is the engine...
Thank you...
for helping me out.
No problem.
When you were in the restaurant,
I overheard you talking about your grandfather...
and the clues he'd left you.
I'd like to interview you
and get some of the details of the story.
We don't have a lot of time, so,
if you'd open it up right away, that'd be really helpful.
We'll be leaving
in just a little bit...
so I wouldn't worry about it
too much, if I were you.
Why not?
Because you'd only
have half the story.
How frustrating would that be?
Mm, it's very considerate
of you.
It's gonna take me all day
to find a starter for this.
All night to put her in
and probably a good part of tomorrow, too.
You folks are gonna
need a place to stay.
You wouldn't happen to own
the local motel, too, would you?
No, that's this guy over here.
He owns the local bed
and breakfast down the road.
JEFF (O.S.):
Thanks again, Jim, for taking us in on such short notice.
JIM (O.S.):
Yeah.. It's no problem.
What is a problem is
the water heater is down.
I'll just have to get
that fixed by tonight.
JEFF (O.S.):
Could we give you a hand? We'd love to help.
JIM (O.S.):
Yeah, sure, why not?
Okay, guys, upstairs to the
left, every room is available.
Follow me.
Just take your bags
here for now.
We have three rooms
This one, and the other
two down the hall...
so go ahead
and take your pick.
You still seem hesitant
about my offer.
I really do think
I could help.
You might consider my size
to be a handicap...
but I like to think
of it as a good thing.
Sort of fly under the radar,
so to speak.
I assure you, I'm as adept as
any accredited professional.
Hey, they're coach broke down.
They're gonna be spending the night here.
Bobby said he'd have it done
first thing in the morning.
A little warning
might have been nice.
Isn't that what this is?
We don't even have hot water.
So we'll give them a discount.
I've done a staggering amount
of research on the topics of forensic investigation.
And I rarely use Wikipedia,
unless I've taken the time to write the article myself.
Fine, knock yourself out.
Hey, guys, did Derek tell you
about the tree house?
Tree house?
Yeah, it's pretty cool.
Mom, what are you doing?
Derek, the house is already
clean, I just want to keep it that way.
You owe me one.
This is awesome.
So, who built it?
It's one of Grandpa's projects.
Oh, the one who died?
So, when was it built?
We built most of it
when I came to visit.
He added the roof, but
otherwise, it's just like we left it.
Does he build a lot of stuff
like this?
You name it, he built it.
Cabinetry, furniture,
decorative art.
Half the house.
Never stopped.
Always onto something new.
Wait, he sounds
like a really cool guy.
A man who, after his death,
is still shrouded in mysteries.
He was not shrouded
in mystery, okay?
He was just a normal guy,
who lived a normal life...
and made an awesome tree house.
I'm sick of everyone trying to
turn him into some kind of--
Kook? Loony? Wacko, weirdo,
madman, crazy guy, crackpot-
What is your problem?
I should clarify, I don't
think he was crazy...
and you obviously don't
think he was crazy...
but apparently some people do.
If anyone can set the record
straight, it's you.
If you'll help me write this
book, together we can tell the true story of James Morton.
Plus, we can do a 50-50 split
of the profits when the book hits the market.
It's definitely a code.
There are repeating patterns
throughout, but they don't make any English words.
And what does it mean by you
can use my Remington?
Maybe wants you
to shoot somebody?
What's the other note say?
It's all in my plans.
What's in his plans?
Have you tried finding
the Remington?
Yeah, but I don't know what
it looks like or where he would have kept it.
Maybe it's in here.
I already looked there, guys.
Theoretical Physics?
Bio-electrical Impulse and Photon Transfer?
Photon Mass and Charged Particle
I thought your Grandpa
was a woodworker.
He was...
Why would a woodworker want
books like these?
"Property of Virgil Logan,
Willow Wood Library."
I say we ask the librarian.
Mr. Logan?
Mr. Logan!
I'm right here.
This is a library
for heaven sake.
Oh, I'd be sleeping, too.
Yes, you'd be sleeping, too.
Don't think you wouldn't.
Now then, what would you
lot be here for?
Or should I say, why?
Um... yeah, Grandpa borrowed
some books from you a while ago. Do you remember a James Morton?
Well yes, yes. Of course,
I remember James Morton.
I still do have an excellent
memory, you know.
Yeah, I'm sure you do.
Don't these seem like unusual
topics for him to be studying?
Well, that all depends on what
you mean by an 'unusual' topic, doesn't it? Hmmm?
Why would a woodworker be so
interested in science?
B-- but-- but was James Morton
primarily a woodworker?
Or was he perhaps, one of the
foremost scientific minds of the 21st century, hmm?
You ever think of that?
His comprehension of the
mysteries of energy and physics...
went far beyond anything
I've ever known.
His genius was unparalleled!
What do you mean?
There was no parallel
to his genius.
A genius apparently
which was not passed on to his progeny.
Do you have a list of
the books that he borrowed?
You know, I personally paid
for every book on these shelves.
And the shelves themselves!
Custom made to my specifications.
Your grandfather made them,
of course, he cut me a deal.
All these books were
purchased according to your grandfather's requests.
You see this book?
I stocked this book on a
Tuesday and by Thursday...
he had read it cover to cover
and was intimately familiar with it's contents.
Well, he certainly didn't show
that side of himself to me.
Don't be ridiculous.
Why would a grown man talk
to a young boy about biochemical conduction?
Apparently, you've just
scratched the surface...
of something you won't
likely comprehend.
Let me know
if you need anything.
Drop by anytime,
take anything you need.
Now this needed some attention
quite some time ago.
Yeah, Dad was like that;
he was rarely in the house.
Always tinkering with somethin'
out there in the shop.
He passed away?
Yeah he died last week.
I'm sorry, I had no idea.
We weren't that close.
Jim Morton.
Hey, Dad, this is Derek.
I'm at the library, looking
at the books Grandpa borrowed?
Yeah, what's up?
Well, they're pretty intense.
It looks like he was studying
solar radiation or some kind of advanced optics.
Does any of that sound familiar?
Doesn't ring a bell.
So, you have no idea
what he was up to?
No, I don't.
JIM (O.S.):
Why are you at the library?
I'm just returning some books
Grandpa borrowed.
Oh. Well, great, thanks.
Man, it sure seems like
there's a lot to keep track of these days.
I know the feeling.
Yeah. Take this place for
instance; a huge, gorgeous home.
Yup, thanks, Dad.
But in reality, taxes and the
upkeep make this place more trouble than it's worth.
I'm sure that's not
what he intended.
I just don't remember him
being much of a scientist.
He was an artist.
Here, check this out.
What? He made that?
That's really, really
Yeah, he made tons
of stuff like this.
And back at his workshop,
he's got these binders filled with designs.
Wait, designs?
Yeah, blueprints.
As in his plans.
Well, yeah,
It's all in my plans.
It's a blue, three-ring binder,
it's gotta be in here somewhere.
Got it!
So, what are we looking for?
The answer is in Willow Wood.
Beware of the pen.
He is a treacherous friend.
Look at this.
According to this,
there were five objects in the Willow series.
Where are they?
Three were given as gifts,
the other two are unlisted.
Okay. Who did he
give 'em to?
Kevin & Michelle Billings,
Marcus DeWhitt, and Virgil Logan.
It doesn't say what the items
are, though.
There are no designs for them.
Okay, this is getting
JACK (O.S.):
So, what's next?
We split up, collect the pieces,
and get some answers.
Mrs. Billings...
um, I believe you
knew my grandfather?
Yes, I did. I'm very sorry
for your loss.
I think Grandpa wanted
me to talk to you.
Hi, there.
I'm Jack Moore.
This is my brother, David.
We're friends of Derek Morton.
He sent us over here to look
at a a willow wood piece his grandfather made.
Something small.
A clock, a bowl, maybe?
Well, come on in.
It's a code.
Look, a code!
Don't worry,
it's just a simple code.
It's a code.
Stupid code.
Log: I still haven't gained
Derek's trust.
He took the coded message
with him, leaving me here with absolutely nothing to do.
I can't work with a client
that doesn't trust me!
Hey, Peter.
I'm sorry, I thought it
was the guys coming back.
Coming back?
Where are they?
On a mission.
What you got in the basket?
Some snacks, Mom suggested
that we have a picnic.
Oh, this is what
you've been working on?
Yep! What do you think?
That's really neat!
What is it?
Umm that's sorta what
I'm trying to figure out.
I'm sorry, boys, I was unable
to find anything that fits your description.
Do you mind
if I take a look around?
So, you were close
to Mr. Morton?
I was his attorney.
I wrote documents necessary
for him to start companies for technology development.
What kind of technologies?
Hm, I'm sorry, I'm afraid
I'm not in a position...
to disclose that information.
Derek discovered something,
didn't he?
Maybe, I'm afraid I'm not
in a position to disclose that information to you.
Well... Mr. Morton may,
in fact...
have tried to leave a
message before he died.
And even if he did, the best
option for Jim and his family is to go on home.
And keep their memory of James
a pleasant one...
without all
the gruesome details.
Well, I couldn't find
anything, either.
I'll keep my eyes open.
Have fun boys, but be careful.
The Morton legacy
is a fragile one.
We knew him pretty well.
He'd come over and talk up his
ideas and projects with Kevin.
I remember when he started
building the bridge out to the house.
We all thought it was
but your Grandma loved it!
He built it for her, so she
wouldn't have to walk up and down the hill all the time.
Do you know if Grandpa
was working on any special projects lately?
Anything out of the ordinary?
Not that I know of.
He would have told you if he
was, though, right? I mean, you knew him pretty well?
Very well.
He was like a father to us.
We had some pretty hard times
and he was always there for us.
Of course,
he had hard times, too.
Like when you're
Daddy left.
What happened between them?
I think you should ask
your Dad...
but from what we could tell,
nothing happened.
James was focused on his work...
and your Dad just didn't see
how he fit into those plans.
Next time I saw them
together was at the funeral.
Did Grandpa give your husband
a gift in the past few months?
Yeah, it looks like
the original bond was weak.
Strange it took all these
years to finally fall apart.
Well, you'd only catch it if
you're really paying attention.
I noticed that the basement
is a little bit older than the rest of the house.
Yeah, that's a funny story.
My great grand-dad was a German.
He moved here at the turn
of the century.
He bought a piece of land,
and started his family right here.
He built this little shack
and then moved everybody in, right here.
Then his son tore it down and
built something a little bit larger, and a little more solid.
Then when Dad inherited it,
he-- he expanded, the whole thing.
Still got the same foundation,
So why'd they turn it
into a bed 'n breakfast?
Well, after I moved out,
he and Mom had all this extra space...
I guess,
I really don't know why.
So are you gonna continue
the tradition?
Nah, that's not for me.
The artistic stuff...
that was Dad's thing.
Is that it?
Not quite.
I still need that threaded
coupler, and I gotta solder this one last fitting.
Okay, I'll head to the hardware
store and grab that before they close.
Is this what you need?
It's a music box,
but it doesn't work.
Kevin could probably
tell you why.
Where is he now?
He's at the station training
his new deputy.
He's a cop?
That's how I got
to know your father.
Can I borrow this for a while?
Thank you.
I really appreciate this.
Anytime. I see a lot
of your grandpa in you.
Thanks again.
Well, I actually brought Reagan
up here to show her the old typewriter.
Oh... oh, oh, okay.
That's awesome.
Yeah, I don't think it works,
What's wrong with it?
It's like the keys
are all mixed up.
That's too bad.
Whoa, wait a minute.
It's not broken.
It's a code.
Log: Remington-Rand Typewriter.
Model 2. I found it.
Did you find anything?
He said he didn't have anything
that matched our description.
All right, hop in.
Next stop, Logan's library.
Looks like they closed already.
Well, we can come back
tomorrow, right?
Guys, I think I can see it.
This building is fairly old.
Hey! What are you
guys doing?
We need something
and Mr. Logan has it.
And why do you need it?
I'm not sure.
Come back tomorrow.
I can see it,
it's sitting right there.
Come on, Derek,
it's not that big a deal.
In case you haven't noticed,
to me, yeah, it is kind of a big deal.
Derek, what's the problem here?
No problem.
I'll see you tonight.
Hey, guys, come look at this.
What's this?
It's gibberish, de-gibberified.
I know you've doubted my
abilities in the past...
but I think from now on...
you'll see things a little
bit differently.
Watch this.
Gibberish. Now watch.
The Remington.
I'd like to try this out on your
grandfather's first note...
with your permission,
of course.
Secretary, a fresh sheet
of paper, please?
Thank you.
This is gonna be good.
The patriarch?
It means father, grandfather,
great grandfather and so on.
Now, if you don't mind...
The end.
That's it?
That's it.
He had enemies,
so he was in some sort of--
Danger, distress, dilemma,
predicament, turmoil, trouble?
Log: The client does not
appreciate multiple choice.
My point is, he had a problem.
All right, we need to find
the missing wood pieces.
Oh, Derek, wait... take this.
Could come in handy.
If you find anything,
let me know.
Hello! Can you hear me?
Yes, I can hear you!
You have to answer me
over the radio.
Yes, I can hear you.
Please limit the radio
usage to emergencies.
It's getting dark. I think
we're gonna head back, too.
Don't stay out here too late.
Yeah, thanks.
Isn't that DeWhitt's car?
What's he doing here?
Oh, there you are! You need to
get packed. We're leaving first thing in the morning.
What?! Where?
We're going home!
Who's going to take care
of the bed 'n breakfast?
Marcus made an offer on the
and he said we can leave
everything as it is until we get back.
Anyway, we're leaving at 8:00.
What about the Moores? Are we
just gonna leave them here?
Bobby John's already got the rig
fixed. We can get an early start in the morning.
Now if you see anything
in there that you'd like to have changed...
we can have it revised
right away.
No, no, this looks fine.
Wait! Don't sign that!
I said don't sign that.
Don't don't sign anything.
You mind giving us
some kind of explanation?
Look, I'm too close to figuring
this out. We can not leave yet.
Well, you better get to figuring
it out, because you don't have much time--
You're not listening to me.
What is your problem?
Dad, we deciphered
the gibberish clue...
and one of Grandpa's friends
called The Pen, betrayed him.
The Pen?
It's a code name.
The Pen was part
of Grandpa's secret project.
Derek, can you hear
yourself right now?
You are completely obsessed
with this thing, and that's a problem!
And you're not...
and that's a problem!
Look! Look, I care
more than you think...
but I got responsibilities...
and they're not here.
Dad, you can't sign
It's not your call, Derek!
Now go get packed and get
some sleep. You need it.
Jim, if you'd like to take some
more time to think this over--
No, I'm doing this now.
Thank you, Jim,
It's been a pleasure.
I've got a message
for you, boy.
Now you listen to me,
and you listen well...
you-- you little detective
person, you!
Just call me Ace.
Ace? Well then, Ace...
I've come to warn you.
You stay away from James
Morton's treasure!
Yeah, you've been poking your
little nose too deep...
into places where your little
nose is most unwelcome!
You see, this treasure has
a purpose far beyond your ability to understand.
I mean, do you understand?
I think so.
Excellent. Excellent.
So do you want me to deliver
this message to Derek as well?
No! No, no, no! No one must
know that we-- we have spoken!
This--this is supposed
to be our little secret!
You see, if... if... if my
identity were revealed, it would, well, it could...
it might...
ruin everything, and--
Why am I having this
conversation, with--
I mean, how old are you? Nine?
Ten, actually.
Mm, yeah.
Now you be careful now you
don't blunder around, yes?
And make things any more
difficult for me than they already are? Hey? Yes..
Derek, you awake? Derek?
Yeah, I'm here.
Ah ha! I knew these would come
in handy. Look! I know the secret identity of The Pen!
Yeah, I know. I tried to stop
it, but I was too late.
Yeah. wait, what?
DeWhitt, he bought the house.
We're leaving in the morning.
This whole thing is over.
Oh, this is great!
Look, Logan stopped me in the
woods to warn me to keep away from the treasure.
what if he's the Pen?!
So, DeWhitt's The Pocket.
No, it could be either
of them.
we can't afford
to rule anyone out.
If I could get online,
I could dig up some information on the both of them.
Can't sleep?
Something like that.
You okay?
Yeah, it's just this
thing with Derek.
It seems like he's on
a self-destruct mission.
He's heading down a bad road.
Have you talked to him
about it?
He won't listen.
It's worth a try.
Hey, um, I just want to talk
with you. I know it's been a little tough on you this week...
and, well,
I just want to talk.
Hey, hey, hey!
I said stop!
I have permission
from the owner.
Right, that's why you broke
through the window and ran when I said stop.
Come on, let's go.
You don't understand.
Your dad'll be here in a few
minutes to pick you up.
Said he'll cover the damages.
Michelle tells me you stopped by
the house earlier today.
Said you seem like a good kid.
I used to know your dad
pretty well.
Haven't talked to him
in... years.
You remind me of him.
Log: The question still remains,
what is James Morton's secret?
What is the treasure? What
is he afraid of The Pen finding?
You gonna stay awake all night?
This is my first real case.
I don't really want to launch
my career as a failure.
You Jim Morton?
Deputy Billings.
Uh, it's Sheriff now.
Good to see you, Jim.
I'm sorry about this.
Uh, it looks like he's
a chip off the old block.
Get in the car.
Good night, Sheriff.
Jim... just don't forget
about those nights that you spent here.
It's all I can think about.
Good night.
Long night?
Yeah, you could say that.
What time is your flight
in the morning?
Check in is 9:00, but we need
to roll out of here about 8:00.
Okay, we can be out
of your hair by 6:30.
Na, there's no rush. You guys
take all the time you need.
Marcus is pretty relaxed,
he won't mind.
You know, I don't even feel like
I sold the place, with Marcus taking care of it.
I just don't see why Derek
is so opposed to it.
Dad was like that.
Latch on to an idea like
a pit bull and never let go.
Maybe Derek's afraid he's losing
his connection to the past.
You know, first his grandfather,
and then this home.
There's a lot of history
in these walls.
You know, I'm a good dad...
I am.
It's just... you know, when I
look in Derek's eyes, I-- I--
I--I don't see hate there,
I just don't see love.
What does he see when
he looks in your eyes?
He never looks.
Well, goodnight, Jim.
I'll see you in the morning.
Jim, thanks for your
You guys have a safe flight.
We will.
Um, sorry you never got
to finish your story.
That's okay, nowadays, I
wouldn't have a realistic chance of getting it published anyways.
Come on, Gator,
let's go, honey.
I haven't given up. If I find
anything, I'll let you know.
Mary, you and Audrey finish up
Derek and I will grab the bags,
and be right back.
You ready?
Not really.
Derek, we need to talk.
I know the last couple days
have been pretty hard on you.
Honestly, I don't know what
to make of it.
Dad, I'm sorry.
I know how disappointed
you must be.
I just should have
talked to you.
It's my fault. I really didn't
give you much of a chance.
I want to make this right.
I'll pay Logan back
for the library.
This whole thing was
just stupid.
Must have seemed crazy.
A little.
I think being back here
has brought back a lot of memories...
feelings... history I really
don't want repeated.
It's a history
I want to know about.
Sheriff Billings was talking
about you last night...
and it was like hearing
about a complete stranger.
I really don't know
anything about you.
There's not much worth knowing.
But it is worth knowing.
I'm starting to think that's why
Grandpa set up this whole thing.
So I could learn about my--
And I want you to know that...
I'm proud to be your son.
I just don't want to go through
life and move out someday...
never to see you again,
until it's too late, and then--
Not even care when you die.
Derek, I care
more than you know.
Come here.
Let's make sure
that never happens.
Whatever I need to do,
I just want to make this right.
Sorry, we should just
probably get out of here.
You know,
we got a little time.
I think if Dad were here, he'd
want me to help you with this.
And I guess I want
to make this right, too.
All right, we need to start
by collecting the five wooden clues.
I've only got one so far.
Dad's projector...
where'd you find that?
Ah, up at the tree house,
in Grandpa's battle chest.
And this is the first clue.
It's called The Poem.
But it doesn't work.
Tune spool's missing.
It's a little piece about the size of your thumb.
The clue says, "the patriarch
must restore the poem's voice...
"and the patriarch must learn
the poem's song".
Patriarch means 'father', right?
Yeah, or grandfather,
great-grandfather and so on.
I know what we're looking for.
Log: Searching for James
Morton's inventions has led me to discover 'Solara'...
a major research corporation,
and one of Morton's major competitors.
Log: On January 5th, 2005,
James Morton recorded the completion...
of his fiber optics technology
code named 'Tango'.
Two days later, Solara Corp
announced the same technology.
Log! On April 27th, 2009,
James Morton completed project 'Synergy'...
an electroluminescent
chlorophyll modification.
On April 28th, Solara Corp
announced their discovery of the same exact process!
Dad! Listen,
this just got big!
Wait, what was the song?
It's a hymn. We used to sing it
in church. I remember it being one of Dad's favorites.
What's it about?
I don't remember.
So where are we going?
To church, we can look up the
lyrics in one of the hymnals.
Gator, what are you
trying to say?
I'm saying we have a case
of industrial espini-age.
Es-- espini-age.
I think he means espionage...
John, would you check that out
and tell me what you think?
For the last six years, Morton
has worked as an inventor.
Virgil Logan and Marcus DeWhitt
were both founding members of the corporation.
Are you absolutely sure
about that?
He's right, Dad!
Somebody's been stealing
Morton's breakthrough designs...
and selling them to a Russian
corporation called 'Solara'.
It has to be Logan or DeWhitt.
They're the only two that
would have access.
What are we doing?
We're going back.
If we hurry, we can get there
before they get to the airport.
Did you find it?
Yeah, the chorus is...
"The cross, at the cross,
where I first saw the light."
I don't see anything.
When do you think
this was built?
I don't know, why?
We're at the wrong church.
Still no answer.
Have you tried Jim's cell?
The only number I have
is the bed 'n breakfast.
Well, keep trying it.
Hello, Marcus Dewhitt.
Um, hi, is Derek available?
I'm afraid not, the Mortons
aren't here right now.
Is there something
I can do for you?
Um, do you know when Derek
will be available next?
I'm afraid not,
can I take a message?
It's DeWhitt! He's there and the
Morton's aren't in the house.
Ask him where the Morton's are.
What's he doing there?
I don't know. Ask him if they've already flown out.
What if he's the Pen???
Um, yeah, Mr. DeWhitt,
you can take a message.
And the message is...
justice will be served.
Mr. DeWhitt, yes, this is
Andrea, Gator's mother.
Uh-huh, thank you, yes.
Um, do you happen to have
Jim Morton's cell number?
Yes. Okay, thank you.
You, too.
This is the place.
All right, Dad, what
did you want us to see?
We're gonna need a key
to open this.
Or a hammer. Let's go.
Jim Morton.
Come on, get in, quick.
Was that the Moores?
Yes, now get in,
I'll explain later.
Oh, no, no, you don't know what
you are doing and you have no right to do this.
I know my rights!
What's your badge number?
I'm going to report you!
I know my rights! You didn't
even read me my Miranda.
Miranda, where are you
when I need you?
What's goin' on, Sheriff?
Sheriff! You need to place
that man under arrest!
He's been stealing Morton's
work and selling it overseas.
I'm afraid
you're making a mistake.
Oh, no, you don't, we know all
about Solara Corporation!
Well, you're right about the
theft of James' plans...
but it's all been taken
care of, because of you.
How so?
Well, James knew that it
was either Logan or me behind all this...
but he couldn't pin it
on either one of us.
So he began working on
his last project in secret.
It was code named SunDial,
after his death.
I began doing some
and I found some curious
discrepancies in the Sundial accounts.
Meanwhile, all of this treasure
hunt business had convinced Logan...
that there was a final
And he made one last
effort to find it.
Luckily, I happened to be here.
So you were
The Pocket all along?
But why were you so eager
to buy the property?
Well, I didn't want James
to sell it to just anybody.
I needed more information
on Logan...
and I figured it would be
here if it was anywhere.
I'm really sorry for
doubting your character.
Though, I'm sure
you understand.
That's okay, young man.
What do you got there?
You know,
I don't really know.
It's something Dad
wanted me to have.
Hey, Marcus, you suppose that's
what that key's for?
James gave me this.
The projector!
Well, I'm afraid the Sheriff
needs me down at the station...
to help with some
reports on all this.
Well, thanks again, Marcus.
Anything for your dad, Jim.
Well, what now?
Let's watch a movie.
I wonder what's on there.
Home movies.
No, don't be ridiculous.
It's probably a microfilm
series of the blueprints for his inventions.
Here we go.
What is it?
It's a letter... from Dad.
Dear son, it's been a while.
I have so much I want to say;
so much to tell you.
I wish we could talk face to
face, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.
Your mother is already gone
ahead of me, and soon I'll be following her.
It seems only yesterday
that Carol and I were the young couple...
filled with joy at your birth.
Our hearts were tied to you
from the moment you arrived.
Sadly, we didn't tie
your heart to ours.
I blinked my eyes
and you were gone.
It happened in stages and
I didn't see it clearly until it was too late.
At first, we were your
whole world...
our home and your toys
were enough for you.
When you went off to school,
you discovered a whole new world and new friends.
We blamed their influence
on you...
but the truth is, that although
you had our hearts, we did not have yours.
We were losing you,
and I didn't know what to do.
So I just ignored the problem.
We surrendered your heart without a fight.
May God forgive me...
Now at the end of my life,
I recognize how much I was like my father and his before him.
And now the purpose of my letter
is to beg you...
to break that cycle, and to
learn from my mistakes.
I leave you my journal, filled
with my thoughts, my hopes, and my vision for the future.
I hope that it will serve you,
and help guide you through life.
I pray that you will be that man
for your son, that I was unable to be for you.
With love, Dad.
Hey, Derek, look. Logan must
have left his pen here.
You should keep it.
p.s. I hope you found the
Three Kings and will continue my work with them.
Three Kings?
It's part of the clue.
The pictures will shine
in the darkness and you will see the Three Kings.
Now that's more like it.
Pictures will shine
in the darkness.
The Three Kings...
Derek, these three trees!
I know where this is.
I can't find an "on" switch.
Rad, Derek!
He really was a scientist!
Oh, the pen!
Diagnostics pass complete.
Sheriff... yes, I have an intruder in my home.
He's tearing the place up,
looking for something.
So, Grandpa invented the world's
coolest night light?
No. No, these are measuring
electrical inputs.
He's harvesting solar energy.
He felt that other options
were ugly and inefficient.
He used to talk about it
all the time when I was a kid.
How one day he'd use creation to
transform the power of the sun.
I can't believe
he actually did it.
Log: DeWhitt is The Pen.
Everything he said about Logan is a lie.
Trust me.
I'm telling you, the prints
are in that house somewhere.
As soon as I get the family out
of there, I'll find them.
The blueprints!
Forgot my briefcase.
Hey, guys, follow me,
we gotta get to the blueprints.
Where's he going?
I've got the blueprints.
It's a done deal.
So, call off your dogs
and have the money ready.
Look out!
Here you go, take this!
I'm gonna hit you!
Give me that case.
That's a good boy.
That's from Dad... with love.
Whoa, that was-- I mean--
Spectacular, amazing,
fantastic, phenomenal?
You're trespassing on my
property and none of this is gonna stick in court.
You were shooting at my son!
In self-defense,
he was trying to kill me!
We know all about your
dealings with Solara.
Try to prove it in court.
You've stolen several
of Morton's inventions in the past...
But the theft
is a little too clean.
Never leave a paper trail,
He needed proof, so,
he gave you a gift.
A Trojan horse.
That's right. This thing,
it's been recording for months.
Everything you've spoken, just
think about every crime you committed, it's all right here.
That's not admissible in court.
You recorded it
without my permission.
Actually, I think you'll find
that the laws vary state by state.
In the great state of Tennessee,
this serves as a legal record for your crimes.
Oh, by the way, it's still
How old are you? Nine?
Ten... actually.
Unbelievable, kid.
Hey, thanks again for coming
back, Jeff.
Come see us sometime in Texas,
will you?
You know I will, I got business
in Texas, so you might see us sooner than you think.
Thought you might want
to have this.
It should sell.
Murder mysteries always do.
Murder mystery?
Gator, Grandpa died
of a heart attack.
Wait, seriously?
He wasn't murdered?
How did we not discuss the fact
that he wasn't murdered?
Well, I didn't think that--
Great, now how am I supposed
to get this thing published?
I just happen to have a number
of well-connected friends in the industry...
and with a little persuasion
I could possibly procure
a rather substantial contract on your behalf.
What--what, really?
Well, thanks, Mr. Logan.
It's business, not charity.
I think Ace Wonder has a
wonderful future ahead of him.
JEFF (O.S.):
Come on, Gator!
I don't know what to say.
Say goodbye and get
along with you.
Thanks, Mr. Logan.
I'm really sorry that I thought
you were a lying thief.
Apology accepted.
Of course.
Very strange little boy.
He does have a point, though.
We should have never
doubted you.
Oh, don't worry about it,
there were times I doubted you.
How so?
Your father had me deliver
the messages to Derek.
He was so secretive, even I
didn't know what they contained.
And the next thing I know, you
two are showing the clues to every jackanapes in Willow Wood.
It was a huge gamble.
Neither of you could find the
treasure on your own.
If you didn't work together,
all would have been lost.
Fortunately, it paid off.
Your father had significantly
more faith in you than he should have had in my opinion.
You know, for a genius, he did
the dumbest things sometimes.
Oh, I'm out of here.
Hey, Dad, um, Sheriff Billings,
when we were talking...
he said something about you
spending time in jail when you were a kid...
but he wouldn't tell me
what you did.
I mean, you know, in a small
town like this, way back when, um... what was it?
Well, I, uh, assaulted
the mayor's son.
He and I were up to no
good and got caught.
I took all the blame, and he got
off the hook, because he was the mayor's son.
Ironically, we became good
friends, but I left Willow and he stayed behind...
and became the sheriff.
Wait, Sheriff Billings?
I want to hear
stories like that.
Well, then, I guess we
got a lot to talk about.