Wednesday, December 28, 2011

To access Allegheny Road:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005AHOIEM

Friday, September 2, 2011

My novel Allegheny Road, the story of  four strong characters who cross paths on the plantation called Allegheny Road, in 1860’s, was written to appeal to adults of both genders. In the story, Scott Patton and George Lynn, common enemies, are in love with the same women, Ashley Lynn, George’s estranged wife, and slave Millie Turner. Scott will risk his life to free the women from George’s iron grip, even if it means losing them both.

Scott Patton is a college professor from Cincinnati whose wife and father have been murdered by a man named Sommervell; after the murder, Sommervell has taken refuge in the newly formed Confederacy and Scott will set out to track him down. Along with his wife and father, Scott had worked with the Underground Rail Road, and the night after they are killed, he discovers two slaves, a mother and daughter, hiding in his cellar, waiting to be transferred to the next safe house.
In spite of the grief and horror at the losses he has suffered, Scott has no choice but to move the two escapees along or risk their being recovered and sent back into the South. The woman, Thelma, tells him that her husband, Josiah Ward, in helping his family to flee, gave up his own chance to escape and remains on a plantation in Virginia. Deeply affected by the father’s sacrifice, Scott vows to find and bring Ward to join his family, after he settles with Sommervell.
This dual mission into Virginia is the only thing Scott Patton lives for now. To carry it out, he sees the need to join the Union army; as a West Point graduate in combat engineering, he is made an officer under General McClellan, who is planning to invade Virginia.
Over the coming months, after accompanying McClellan within shelling distance of Richmond in early 1862, Scott convinces the general to dispatch him into the rebel capital on a spy mission to determine the true strength of the enemy’s defensive works.
Scott uses the assignment as cover for his own search, querying the Pinkerton spies in Richmond about Sommervell, and also about Underground Railroad stations in the Shenandoah Valley, from which he might rescue Joisah Ward. Unhappily, Scott learns that Sommervell is beyond his reach while the war continues; with that part of his mission on hold, Scott does find the name of a plantation in the valley where a stop on the Underground Railroad exists, a position from which he can make his attempt to rescue Josiah Ward. The plantation is called Allegheny Road.
In all the time since the murders, Scott has suffered constantly over the loss of his wife and his father. Along the way, as part of his mission, he has met women who have possessed information he needs, women who would comfort him if he let them, women for whom he could have felt attraction if he were carefree. Instead, thinking only of his wife, he has walked away from each of them, without looking back.
At Allegheny Road, however, something changes for him. There, he meets two more women, Ashley Lynn and Millie Turner, who are so kind, so decent, that being in their presence transforms his life.
Ashley is the wife of the plantation owner, George Lynn, who is away fighting with Stonewall Jackson in the war. Millie Turner is a slave who grew up as George Lynn’s personal servant but later became his secret lover, until his family forced him to marry Ashley, the girl from the plantation next door.
Ashley and Millie are both estranged from George Lynn now, and although the rift was mostly his fault, the pain of losing the love of both women drove George away from Allegheny Road, to join the war. While his absence frees up Ashley and Millie to carry on their noble and dangerous work with the Underground Railroad, it has also left the plantation in some difficulties.
This is the situation which Scott Patterson unknowingly enters at Allegheny road. There, under the influence of the two women’s caring natures, Scott finds the healing he never anticipated. By the time he has successfully purchased Josiah Ward’s freedom, Scott has become emotionally torn between Ashley and Millie; but knowing he can have neither in his life, he faces a level of anguish at leaving Allegheny Road that is nearly as debilitating as what he suffered in losing his wife.
Almost unable to face the parting, Scott tarries at Allegheny Road longer than he should, so long that he is still there when George Lynn unexpectedly arrives on furlough from the war....
The clash between George Lynn and Scott Patton exposes all the passions and issues among the four characters on Allegheny Road, which can only be resolved when the two men meet again in conflict near the end of the war.

Allegheny Road as a screenplay

Page 1

FADE IN:

INT. PARLOR OF HOUSE - DAY – ESTABLISHING

SUPERIMPOSE: ALLEGHENY ROAD PLANTATION, NORTH OF LEXINGTON

VIRGINIA, 1861

GEORGE LYNN, in his late twenties, enters the room, stops before ASHLEY LYNN, who is seated in a rocking chair staring into the yard through a large window.

GEORGE

You going to sit here all night?

ASHLEY LYNN

Don't know. I may. What of it?

GEORGE

Nothing, of course. As always. But be aware, I might be gone as long as a year. How will you be for that long?

ASHLEY

How would you expect? You imagine we'll be helpless with you gone? You want to hear me say we'll miss you? Or worry about you? No one is sending you to that God-forsaken war at gun point.

GEORGE

Oh no, I'm not daft enough to expect you to worry. I even wonder if you wouldn't rather I never come back at all. Alive, anyway.

Ashley flies out of the chair, almost knocking it over, backing away from George, clutching at her chest.

ASHLEY

George Lynn, how could you? Do you truly think that of me? Do you honestly see me as that heartless? Or is this your parting effort to hurt me one last time. Is it?

Page 2

GEORGE

No, it's true, I can't escape the fact that your best outcome would be for me to be brought back in a box. Whether you would want it that way or not, you can't deny that it would serve all your purposes. Can you?

ASHLEY

But what would serve my purposes best would be a divorce and peace between us. If I worked my land, and you yours, we could cooperate as neighbors, and you could find someone who would love you and I could find someone of my own. But you chose to hang on to everything. Then portray me as a hateful harpy who wishes you dead. But I do not.

GEORGE

But then there's no hope of being forgiven, no hope of your taking me back?

ASHLEY

I loved you, George, but you stabbed me to the heart. I can't love you any more because of the way you hurt me when I needed you the most in my life, but you won't face it and let go. Forgiveness isn't part of it, because the love is gone for good, with or without forgiveness.

GEORGE

Then I've really made the right choice. It's left up to some Yankee to provide what we both need, for me, to end the pain and you, to have it all. And the way I feel, the sooner the better.

ASHLEY

If you're angling for me to take you back out of pity, I can't. I'd be giving up all I have left; if the only way you offer to set us free is by dying, that is your choice, not ours, George. There's no more I can say.

Page 3

GEORGE

I see. I don't think I knew how deep it goes until now.

In despair, George wanders away, soon finding himself before a bedroom, upstairs. At his knock, a black woman opens the door a crack, peering out.

MILLIE TURNER

Oh, it's you. Well you can go away. If you must do this crazy thing, there's nothing I know to say to you but goodbye.

GEORGE

Knowing you may never see me again? This is how it ends between us?

Millie moves out of his sight back against the inside wall of the room.

MILLIE

It isn't the way I'd choose to end this, George. But every chance you had, to do what you should, you chose not to. And I say you're choosing the wrong way now, but I know you can't see your way to take the right one. It may break my heart, but I must say goodbye, even if it is forever.

GEORGE

Yes, that's what you're doing to me, Millie, breaking my heart. I didn't believe you could do this to me.

MILLIE

Oh, but did you think that I would just cave in and take you back, to save you from yourself? Did she cave in?

GEORGE

No.

Page 4

MILLIE

No. I'm sure you wouldn't come to me if she had. Well if this was just a gambit to win one of us over, I'm sorry, George, but it failed. You're left to follow this through, or find a saner answer. So, goodbye. I do wish you luck. I do, George.

Millie closes the door in George’s face. George repairs to his room, flopping on the bed face down, sobbing almost to the point of being sick.

DISSOLVE

INT. SLAVE HUT – DAY

SUPERIMPOSE: SOUTH OF LEXINGTON, VIRGINIA, 1836

Millie Turner and her mother huddle together at the back of their hut, watching the door, their eyes wide in fear but both remain calm. Outside, shouting and gunfire suggests turmoil.

MILLIE

Where's Daddy, when will he come home, Mama?

MRS. TURNER

Don’t know, Sugar, but I expect he'll be back directly. We just have to be calm and quiet until then.

MILLIE

Mama, what’s going to happen?

MRS. TURNER

Don’t know that, either—the Massas are upset because some of our people tried to escape. Daddy meant for us to go, too, but there was never a chance. I hope Daddy isn't in trouble, but I don't know, Sugar.

MILLIE

Mama, I want to see my daddy. Please call him home. Please!

Page 5

MRS. TURNER

I can’t, Baby, you see how it is, we can't show our faces until it's all over. Please, now, be quiet and don't fret. We just have to wait.

INT. SLAVE HUT – NIGHT

After hours of threats and noise heard from inside the hut, white men break in and take a struggling Millie away from Mrs. Turner, truss her up in a burlap bag, and throw her into the back of a wagon, along with several other slave children.

EXT. BEFORE HUT IN SLAVE QUARTERS, DIFFERENT PLANTATION – DAY

TERRENCE JACKSON approaches a hut, carrying a bundle wrapped in burlap. He knocks at the door then enters.

TERRENCE

Molly, I’ve brought you a surprise.

Terrence unwraps the bundle and a little girl squirms free but remains quiet in his arms.

TERRENCE (cont'd)

If’n you’ll have her, this little one is yours now, Molly. Seems her family was involved in an uprising t’other side of Lexington and the bastards punished the men by taking their children. Do you want her?

MOLLY

Oh my, how could I not, she’s precious. What's her name?

TERRENCE

Nobody said. You know the massas, they don't keer, long as she comes to some name. So I reckon you can name her as you please.

MOLLY

She's sure quiet, isn't she?

Page 6

TERRENCE

(Chuckles)

Quiet now, maybe, but I hear tell she put up hell's own ruction when they took her.

MOLLY

Good. Nobody ought to be taken away without a fight. I’ll teach her to remember that.

Molly takes Millie from Terrence.

MOLLY (cont'd)

Sweet thing. And pretty. Terrence, you knew, of course—she's just what I need to get over Ethel. Thank you so much.

TERRENCE

Yes Ma'am, and if I was a praying man, I'd pray she ends up a damn sight better than her family. Now I have to go.

Terrence kisses her hand, excuses himself.

MOLLY

Now, little one, what do you know of yourself? Know your name?

MILLIE

Yes'm. M-Millie. Millie Turner.

MOLLY

Ah, so it's Millie. For Millicent, I expect. How old are you, do you know that, too?

Millie holds up three fingers.

MOLLY

That is good to know. So Millie, tell me everything you know about your family....

Molly finds a scrap of paper and pencil, begins writing.

DISSOLVE

Page 7

FADE IN:

INT. PLANTATION HOUSE BEDROOM – DAY

George Lynn is about five years old when the little slave girl is brought before him.

MRS. LYNN

Georgie, the time has come for you to have a personal servant. This is Millie, and she's yours now, so teach her what you want her to do, to clean up for you and make you comfortable, understand?

GEORGE

But Mother, it's a girl. I don't want a girl. I hate girls. Please, bring a boy, Mother. Would you?

MRS. LYNN

I'm sorry, the boys are all needed to work the fields. They say this wench is very smart, for a...darkie. Just put up with her, you'll get used to having a girl.

George's mother leaves him alone with Millie. Soon as she is gone, George pushes Millie, almost knocking her down, but she holds her ground and does not react to being mistreated.

GEORGE

You heard what I said, I hate girls. Go away, out of my sight. Go on!

MILLIE

No Sir, I can't go away, I’ve nowhere to go. You also heard the Mistress. I'm to stay here.

GEORGE

You're talking back to me. Go stand in the corner, that's the punishment for talking back. And that way, I don't have to look at you. You're as ugly as any baboon. Go on, hide that monkey face.

Page 8

Millie obeys, but no longer stoic, she begins to cry, her body shuddering with the sobs. George goes to her, grabbing her the shoulder, turning her to face him.

GEORGE (cont'd)

You stop that crying, little girl, I'm not putting up with it. Stop it! Right now.

Millie cries all the harder, and George slaps at her. Millie drops to her haunches, covering her head, sobbing as quietly as she can. Inexplicably, George squats next to her, touching her shoulder, then putting his arms around her.

GEORGE (cont'd)

Little girl, do stop crying, will you—

George is still hugging Millie and beginning to cry, too, when unseen, his mother returns.

MRS. LYNN

(Speaking heatedly)

What the devil are you doing? Get your hands off of that, son, what’s wrong with you?

GEORGE

(Looks up at his mother)

She was crying, Mother.

MRS. LYNN

What if she did? You never touch them, they’re filthy. Here, you come with me, wash your hands.

(Shakes finger at Millie)

As for you—you'd better watch yourself, you hear me, wench?

MILLIE

Ma’am, I peed. When I cried.

Millie raises her short dress, showing her underwear.

MRS. LYNN

Why, you nasty little thing! Come with me.

Page 9

Mrs. Lynn drags Millie down the hall, turning her over to a house servant.

MRS. LYNN (Cont’d)

The little horror wet on herself, see that she’s cleaned up and changed. If she ever does it again, she’s out in the field.

SERVANT

Yes'm.

George does not see Millie again that day, but she is back the next, and George begins to get used to her. Millie does not cry again, and soon, she is made to sleep on a pallet near George's bed so she can do anything he requires in the night.

DISSOLVE

EXT. AROUND A CREEK – DAY

Series of scenes:

A. Millie and George frolicking together near a creek

B. Millie and George playing tag

C. Millie and George playing with a woolly dog

D. Millie and George fishing in a creek

In most of the scenes, they are laughing and often hugging

In each scene, they are a little older than the last

DISSOLVE

INT.PARLOR OF THE ALLEGHENY ROAD PLANTATION

DAY


George and Millie are now both about eight years old. George's

father has hired a retired teacher as a tutor. Entering the

parlor, with Millie in tow, George finds a brown haired girl

about a year younger seated primly on a chair.


GEORGE

Hello, who are you?

Page 10

ASHLEY EDMISTON

Ashley Edmiston. From the plantation just over yonder. And who is this?

GEORGE

She's my...my servant.

ASHLEY

Really? A girl servant for a boy? How do you like that?

A stern looking man, much older than George's parents enters and is introduced by George's mother as the tutor.

TUTOR

All right, children, please sit down and let us get started.

After the day's lessons, Ashley is expected to stay for dinner.

Scenes of the three playing in the yard and by the creek until daylight wanes.

DISSOLVE

FADE IN:

SUPERIMPOSE: CINCINNATI, OHIO, 1861

SCOTT PATTON, about thirty years old, aboard a horse-drawn cab. He leans over the driver's shoulder, taking in a street scene ahead: a crowd milling about in some agitation.

SCOTT PATTON

Driver, you must've made several trips from the station today—how long has this gone on?

DRIVER

Oh, a couple of hours, I'd say, Squire.

SCOTT

Over what? What’s the unrest about?

Page 11

DRIVER

Not quite sure, Sir. But it's uglier than last trip. Maybe I can drop you somewhere else, eh?

SCOTT

No, it's just where I have to go, I have people inside the courthouse I came to try and bail out. I'll get out here. Keep the change.

Scott jumps down and wades into the edge of the crowd.

SCOTT (cont'd) (Addressing male bystander)

What's all this about, anybody know?

FIRST BYSTANDER

Couple of people got shot, right out from under the cops' noses.

SECOND BYSTANDER

Cops let the killers get clear away, and now they're trying to put a clean face on it by claiming to be investigating it.

FIRST BYSTANDER

Yeah, like now, they're doing their duty.

SCOTT

I get the picture, gentlemen. Thanks. Now if you'll excuse me....

Scott attempts to slip under the restraining rope. POLICEMAN seizes Scott by the collar.

POLICEMAN

Where in the hell you think you're going?

SCOTT

I have business in the jail, I need to get through. I’m here to see two defendants—do your duty, Sir, make way and let me in there, since you're holding my people.

Page 12

POLICEMAN

Impossible, it's locked down, all tied up in the scene of a crime. No one in or out until it's dealt with. You can relax, your criminal pals ain't going anywhere, either.

SCOTT

You have no right to restrict the visits of families because of some other crime. Let me in!

POLICEMAN

Family. Your kin to prisoners? Which prisoners? That's who's been killed. Which

SCOTT

No. God no. Don't tell me...what were their names?

POLICEMAN

You tell me the names you're after.

SCOTT

Susannah and Thadeus Patton, my wife and—

POLICEMAN

Patton? Oh shit...lord help us....

SCOTT

(Strangled cry)

No!

Scott throws himself forward and the beefy officer bears him to the ground, drawing his gun, holding it butt-first, ready to brain Scott if he doesn't submit.

POLICEMAN

You be good, boy. Understand? Be calm. Now get up, I’ll take you inside if you behave.

SCOTT

All right, I'll behave. I have to know....

POLICEMAN

Sure you do.

Page 13

Out on the street lie two canvas-covered mounds that might be bodies. Seeing them, Scott begins to wobble. Holding him up, the officer addresses a DETECTIVE standing nearby.

POLICEMAN

He seems to know them. Named Patton.

Detective consults a pad.

DETECTIVE

Oh lordy, that's not good. Sir, I'm afraid I have the sad duty to inform you—

Scott’s legs fail entirely and he sinks to his knees, the detective bending over him, touching his shoulder.

DETECTIVE (cont'd)

Be brave, now, Sir. You’d better come along. The detective helps Scott up and leads him through the gate into the court house, on the way bellowing for the CHAPLAIN, who rushes out and takes up a position on Scott’s other side.

CHAPLAIN

Come this way and sit down, Son.

SCOTT

Both of them?

DETECTIVE

Seems they were targeted in particular.

SCOTT

How? With police all around, how?

DETECTIVE

Now that's something we can't talk about yet, it's being investigated even as we speak.

SCOTT

You just let somebody walk up and kill them?

Page 14

POLICEMAN

Look here, it isn't as fucking simple as that, Patton.

SCOTT

You don't have the killers? They got away, too? What kind of God damned incompetence—

POLICEMAN

You mind your mouth, bereaved or not! They were a gang, and masked, so how would we know who the hell they were?

SCOTT

Then I'll give you a name: Nathan Sommervell. The message that came to me said he set them up for arrest. And he stood to take over the company when my father died! I want him brought in.

DETECTIVE

Well, I don’t know anything about this, but we’ll look into it, right enough.

CHAPLAIN

Sommervell, Sommervell...wasn’t there a man by that name earlier, inquiring if they would be released on bail? Perhaps he—

DETECTIVE

No, Father, you stay out of this, hear me?

Detective seizes the priest by the shoulder and escorts him away, leaving Scott alone on the bench, where he slowly slumps over, sobbing. Shortly, the policeman comes for him.

POLICEMAN

Listen, Pal, you're needed back here.

The officer propels Scott to a room behind the front desk. His mother has just arrived and is only now absorbing the same news about her husband and daughter-in-law.

Page 15

POLICEMAN

(Whispers)

So far, she hasn't said a word, nothing. She needs you, son.

Scott clutches his mother to him and together they sob in each other’s arms. Scott’s brother and sister arrive, followed by an aunt and uncle, who gently take charge of Scott and his mother, driving them home.

INT. PARLOR OF HOUSE – NIGHT

Elderly servant named BILLY approaches Scott, in the midst of grieving with his family. Calls Scott off to a side room.

SCOTT

Billy, what is it, now, of all times?

BILLY

I'm sorry, but this can't wait. It's about Mrs. Susannah's last...shipment, understand? What she and your father were involved in when the polices came, see.

SCOTT

No, can't be—all the runaways were caught. That's the only thing that would matter—

BILLY

No, Suh, they was two left behind, and they's downstairs and have to be...moved on.

SCOTT

Oh lord, how can I deal with this? Yet I couldn't abandon them. You'd better show me.

Billy leads Scott to the secret holding area for fugitive slaves to hide. THELMA WARD shields her face and her baby's from the sudden bright light.

SCOTT

Dear lady, come out, you and your child, we can't leave you in here this way. It’s safe,I’m one of the conductors. Is your baby well? And are you all right, Ma'am?

Page 16

THELMA WARD

Yes Suh, Massa, we well.

Scott leads Thelma and her baby to a seat in the outer chamber, then kneels before her.

SCOTT

Were the two of you all alone on the escape? Anyone else in your family with you?

THELMA

No Suh. My man, he stay behind fo’ us, he still theah. We miss him terrible, but he wanted us free. We was with seven other friends, now they...gone on ahead.

SCOTT

No, Ma’am, I’m sorry, they were caught. Only you remain free, so we must send you on. May I know your name, and your child's?

THELMA

I be's Thelma, this be Lucy.

SCOTT

Where did you come from, where is your man left behind?

THELMA

Virginny, near Lexington, plantation called Marthaland.

SCOTT

Well let's always hope he's safe. What is his name? I'll keep my ears open about him.

THELMA

Josiah. Josiah Ward.

SCOTT

I will remember. Billy, will you stay with them for awhile, keep them company while I prepare for the run north?

Page 17

BILLY

Yes, 'course, Scott.

Scott slips out of the house and soon, in dead of night, drives the Wards to the next "station" in the Underground Railroad, returning with the wagon to Cincinnati by morning.

DISSOLVE

FADE IN:

INT. LAW OFFICE – DAY

Scott seated before the family attorney, ED SMITHSON.

SCOTT

Somehow, Nathan Sommervell orchestrated the murders, Ed. I have no doubt of it.

ED SMITHSON

And I can add more to the fire: almost immediately, he attempted to buy out your father's share of the company, bankrolled by a cohort who's a railroad president.

SCOTT

So why didn't he have me reeled in and wiped out, too? He may have sealed his doom, missing me. But why?

ED

Did you know he's a major slave owner in Kentucky?

SCOTT

Hell no! He helped us transport runaways over the Ohio. The last thing I'd guess was that he's a slaver. But what's that to do with leaving me be?

ED

He's also an old friend of this Jeff Davis. Seems he received an urgent call to rush down and join Davis's cabinet, no time to wait for you. But I don’t see what threat you're going to present, with the bastard hiding under Davis's skirts way down there.

Page 18

SCOTT

That's not going to protect him. I have a mission in the South and I'll add him as a second. I'm going down there and get him. I'll swear out as a marshal if I have to. You can prefer federal charges, for fleeing justice across state lines. Do it, Ed!

ED

Impossible. That entire set off assholes are thumbing their noses at federal laws. They sure as hell won't give up one of their on something like this.

SCOTT

I guess I'll just have to be there with the army when it marches into Montgomery, then. If it takes hauling him out as a treasonous rebel, that's perfectly fine with me.

ED

Be serious, man, you aren't even in the God damned army. Tell me you wouldn't join and go into this coming war just on the hope of laying hands on Sommervell.

SCOTT

Ed, I'm an academy graduate, trained in combat engineering. I was in Columbus to advise this General McClellan about the weapons available to the state militia. He tried his damnedest to recruit me—I could have come back as an engineering officer. So by tomorrow, I will be in the militia and on my way when Lincoln calls for us.

ED

Don't do it, man, that's the worst possible reason to join the army when there's a war coming. A lot of good you’ll do anyone dead.

SCOTT

Ah, but that's the beauty part: I don't want to go on any longer, without my Susannah,than it takes to rescue this Josiah Ward in Virginia, and bring Sommervell to justice. After that, I'd be happy if some rebel bullet put me out of my misery. I mean it.

Page 19

ED

Jesus, that makes me ill. Tell me how I could make you feel better than that. How?

SCOTT

You can't. Just do all you can to keep the company out of his hands, and use whatever I can get on Sommervell.

ED

Well if that's the best I can do, for Christ's sakes, count on me.

They shake hands, Smithson displaying more emotion than Scott.

DISSOLVE

FADE IN:

SUPERIMPOSE: SHENANDOAH VALLEY, VIRGINIA, 1862

EXT. A WIDE ROAD BETWEEN FIELDS – DAY

On foot, Scott observes several field hands at work near the fence. They stop to study him; he doffs his hat.

SCOTT

Afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. May I ask a question of you?

WOMAN FIELD HAND

Reckon you can, Suh. What can we do for you?

SCOTT

I'm looking for a place called Allegheny

Road. By my reckoning, I ought to be close.

WOMAN FIELD HAND

Close, yeah: this be's it. Over this fence,

across that field. So what you want theah?

SCOTT

I want to meet with Miss Ashley.

MALE FIELD HAND

What fer?

Page 20

SCOTT

I understand she’s a friend of slaves, and

so am I. Could anyone direct me to her?

MALE FIELD HAND

Maybe you be trouble. Why we trus’ you?

SCOTT

Actually, you don't have to. I figure I can

find her on my own. So if you'll excuse me,

I'll just be on my way.

WOMAN FIELD HAND

No wait—why you want her?

SCOTT

May I tell you something? Will you listen?

WOMAN FIELD HAND

We'll listen, but make it good.

SCOTT

I’m a Yankee.

WOMAN FIELD HAND

The devil, you say. Maybe you a vigilante,

why should we just trust your word?

SCOTT

What would a vigilante want? You're where

you should be, what could be any trouble?

WOMAN FIELD HAND

T'aint us we’re worried about, it’s her. We

don't want to lead no vigilantes to her.

SCOTT

Then let me tell you something. A few months

ago, I helped a woman and her baby on their

way from Cincinnati to Canada, but she left

her man back here, and I’ve come to free

him and take him to her. Believe me, I

would take all of you with me as well, but

that would be beyond me. So I guess you

wouldn’t help me help a brother, would you?

Page 21

ANOTHER WOMAN FIELD HAND

How you hear about Miss Ashley?

SCOTT

In Richmond, I met with spies, including a

free woman who cleans rooms in the very

capital of the Confederacy. And she's in

touch with the Railroad. From there to

here, along the way, I stopped at Stations,

and the last conductors knew of Ashley and

gave me a code: "Up the lazy river. "

WOMAN FIELD HAND

Ah, that's what we needed to hear. Okay,

Joseph can take you to meet her.

JOSEPH

Yeah, yeah. Mister, come with me, this way.

Joseph gestures Scott to climb over the fence, onto the

grounds of Allegheny Road.

DISSOLVE

FADE IN:

EXT. CREEK SIDE – DAY

Millie and Ashley, now in their late teens, stroll along the

banks of the creek without George.

MILLIE

Something has been on my mind for a long

while. I believe it's time you and George

began to think of it, and decide how you

feel and how to act about it.

ASHLEY

Am I supposed to know what you're talking

about, or guess?

MILLIE

No, I'm telling you. In my way.

ASHLEY

What is this, then?

Page 22

MILLIE

If it were in our power, George and I would

marry. But it's absolutely impossible, we

have considered all the ways. Only if we ran

away, could we, and the roadblocks to that

are too great.

ASHLEY

It's no surprise you want to be married, but

I'm not one who believes there's no hope.

But why are you telling me?

MILLIE

Because if I can't marry him, I know he

would be very happy with you. But I wonder,

when that time came, if I could ever see

him again...privately? Would you be—

ASHLEY

Ah, jealous. You're asking that. Would I be

jealous if you and George remained very

close and in love, if it's true that we may

marry. Is that it?

MILLIE

Yes, yes, that's what I fear. That you'd

demand that he should shut me out.

ASHLEY

Oh no, ease your mind over that. The answer

is no. The truth is that even if we do

marry, I might feel like the outsider who's

usurping your rightful place, Millie. I

would think you are the one with the right

to be jealous, if anyone is.

MILLIE

That's how you do feel?

ASHLEY

You don't think that's the way it is? I have

come to the point when I would wish to

approach George in a way different than we

are now, to approach him as if he were my

beau. But that would be like trying to take

another woman's beau away. I think you and

he are that close already.

(more)

Page 23

ASHLEY (cont’d)

I have been worrying over how to ask you

if I could see him sometimes alone, as

you are able much more often to do. And

if I did, whether you would be jealous.

MILLIE

No, not knowing only you can marry him of

the two of us. That's my worry, that I'm in

the opposite fix, that you might see me as

a rival, an enemy...dare I say, even as a

mistress on the side. And hate me for it.

Even losing George for ever would hardly

hurt more than losing you as my best friend.

ASHLEY

Oh lord, Millie, I could never do that. I

would rather somehow share him with you

than hurt either of you with some kind of

ultimatum!

MILLIE

Share him? You would?

ASHLEY

As I said, the proper question, at least

now, is would you?

MILLIE

Yes, yes, that would be the most lovely

solution. But if so, he needs to have it

made known, that if he consents, he is to

have private time with both of us and the

other approves.

ASHLEY

How...do I begin, to be that way with him?

You know, suddenly, I'm both giddy and

scared to death.

MILLIE

Let me begin, let me tell him first that I

feel this way, and that you understand. So

then, when you go to him, he'll know why.

(laughs)

(more)

Page 24

MILLIE (cont’d)

We both know our George can be a little

lunk-headed at such things, but he'll catch

on.

ASHLEY

Yes, but I'll still be all trembling.

MILLIE

But in a wonderful way, really, I'll warrant.

EXT. SAME CREEK SETTING – DAY

Ashley and George arrive together, alone. Ashley sits down,

her back against a tree, and George squats by the creek,

trying to skip a rock along the flowing water.

ASHLEY

George, I wonder, has Millie talked to you

about something to do with me?

GEORGE

Oh, you mean she told you?

ASHLEY

Um hm. She said you and I ought to speak of

courting. How do you feel about this?

GEORGE

She said it would mean that I could see her

just as I do now. But I've been fearful

that she misunderstood and you would not

agree. And I still don't know. If you say

no, I don't know how I could stand to lose

my time with her, Ashley. I need her badly.

ASHLEY

No, that's the key to what we agreed. One

day, if I may be so bold, we may marry and

I will still accord you private time with

her and never ask what you do. If that will

be so as your wife, it certainly will be

so if we are courting, beginning now. I

know this is an unconventional arrangement,

but the three of us are so close, such good

friends, that we should be close even as

lovers and...a wife. I'm not the jealous

kind, George, and neither is she.

Page 25

GEORGE

I don't know what to say. My word, I must

be the most fortunate man on earth, that

two such wonderful ladies, that I hold in

the highest regard...that I love so dearly,

would share me this way.

ASHLEY

But it's true. So, George, would you seal

this little pact with a kiss?

GEORGE

Kiss? Yes, my sweet, by all means—I'm just

a little nervous.

ASHLEY

(Giggles, flushes)

Oh, believe me, George Lynn, so am I. But

come to me....

George moves closer, cupping her face, and they kiss, fleeting at first then with passion. After that time, George stands. Ashley joins him and they set back for the house, holding hands. Before they reach the house, she stops and turns to face him.

ASHLEY (cont’d)

George, this is so wonderful, I feel so

romantic. And yet....

(Whispers)

Our last obstacle is for the families to

accept that you and I intend to marry. I'm

sorry I wrecked your chance to make your

formal proposal, but we can re-enact it

when we have won the consent of our parents.

GEORGE

No worry—you're not jealous, and I'm not

concerned about frivolous formality, as

long as we have the marriage in the end....

DISSOLVE

FADE IN:

SUPERIMPOSE: 1851

EXT: ALONG A WHITE FENCE ON PLANTATION – DAY

Page 26

George, about seventeen, walks alongside his father, MR. LYNN,

who gestures vaguely out toward workers in the field.

MR. LYNN

I have a bit news for you. Alex Edmiston has

offered to turn over a crew of his niggers

to you as overseer. You’ll live in a house

on the section you’ll run, and there, learn

how to handle property, and what the duties

of an overseer are, for when you get my land.

What do think?

GEORGE

That’s...interesting.

MR. LYNN

"Interesting"? I must say, I hoped you’d

show more enthusiasm than that. But maybe I

can spur a little more about it. There's

something else that goes along with this:

you’re to be married.

GEORGE

Yes Sir, I had hoped to hear this. I’ll be

honored and pleased.

MR. LYNN

Good, good! Regina is a lovely girl, she'll

bring wonderful children.

George stops in place, causing his father to turn and study

him.

MR. LYNN (cont'd)

What is it? What's that look for?

GEORGE

Regina, you say? No, it’s to be Ashley.

MR. LYNN

What was that?

GEORGE

I won’t be marrying Regina, it’ll be Ashley.

Ashley and I...have agreed to marry.

Page 27

MR. LYNN

Have you? And just who the hell do you think

you are? You’ll marry who you’re told to and

like it! And you had best not let anyone

else imagine you feel otherwise. Hear me?

GEORGE

Sir, what if Regina doesn’t take to this?

MR. LYNN

You are joking, of course. Who gives a shit?

If she refuses to be a wife to you, you tie

her down and take what's yours. You will

make Lynns, pass the name on. But trust

me she'll come around, they always do.

That's the way of things.

GEORGE

I see.

MR. LYNN

Of course. So tomorrow, you'll move into

the overseer's house. Alex will greet you

like a son, and show you your charges. And

listen to me, boy, early on, you show him

you have it in you to use the lash.

EXT. BEFORE A FIELD, ADJACENT TO SLAVE QUARTERS – DAY

George must watch as ALEXANDER EDMISTON shows how to order

workers about. Millie is left to stand silent behind George.

ALEXANDER EDMISTON

(Nodding toward Millie)

You need to put that fine wench to work.

GEORGE

Sir?

ALEXANDER

I don't want a bad influence, a bitch just

lolling about at ease. Put her in there!

GEORGE

Yes Sir.

Page 28

For the rest of the day, Millie must move into the rows and

work alongside all the others in George's charge. Mr. Edmiston

remains on the scene all day, which lasts to well after dark.

INT. BEDROOM OF STRANGE HOUSE – NIGHT

In the shack, George perches on a stool, removing his boots.

Millie sits on the high bed, collapsing over onto her back.

GEORGE

Millie? Sugar, are you all right?

MILLIE

So tired.

GEORGE

I know. Sugar, I'm just sick over this, all

of it, I just never saw it coming. First,

losing Ashley, and now this. But this, I

can fix: from now on, you stay in here

during the day so that asshole doesn't see

you. If he asks, I'll claim you as part of

my rightful household staff. Soon as the

bastard stops coming out here, you can

come and go as you please all day.

MILLIE

No, I would rather work out there and be

near you than not see you all day. That

would make me feel as if my life were

ending. Please, let me be there.

GEORGE

Whatever you'd rather, my darling. God, I

wish I had control here and could get out of

this. What if I’m made to beat someone?

MILLIE

I don't know, George. This is all dreadful.

George moves over and lies next to her on the bed.

GEORGE

I just can’t beat anybody. I can’t. Millie,

what if we ran away now? You and me, just

light out and leave it all behind. Go North,

and start over?

Page 29

MILLIE

At what? I’m a slave, there are laws, they’d

take me back. Then sell me away forever.

GEORGE

Yeah, I know. Jesus, I wish I were your

owner, I could tell them to go to hell, that

you belonged to me, then the minute we were

safe, I’d free you. And then—

MILLIE

And then what, George?

GEORGE

We could....

Millie stops him, with a hand over his mouth.

MILLIE

It’s too lovely to think about. Don’t even

say it. Not until there’s a hope it can be.

GEORGE

All right. But I won’t stop thinking of it,

what it would be like. Just answer me one

thing, Millie, or it’s all for naught.

MILLIE

What thing?

GEORGE

Would you go with me?

Millie snuggles against George.

MILLIE

Of course. That's all I dream of....

GEORGE

Very well, now I have a goal in life.

MILLIE

Though I fear it'll be hopeless, I urge you

not to let it go. I know I shan't.

Page 30

DISSOLVE

INT. PARLOR OF EDMISTON HOUSE – DAY

Two years after the announcement of George's marriage to

Regina, he accepts a seat in the parlor. Alexander Edmiston

paces back and forth before him.

ALEXANDER

George, it is Miss Ashley that you'll be marrying.

George's mouth falls open.

GEORGE

Sir, how did this happen? What of Regina?

ALEXANDER

We will not speak of her. It's all been arranged. The

marriage will take place in two days, and tonight, you

will meet with Ashley.

INT. PARLOR OF EDMISTON HOUSE – NIGHT

That evening, George meets Ashley. Despite his profound

pleasure at having her back in his life, he contents himself

with taking her hand and leading her outside into the garden.

There, still in the sight but not the hearing of the Edmiston

family, he finally speaks.

GEORGE

Lord, I missed you. And this is such a

wonderful surprise, but do you know...why

they decided to change this?

ASHLEY

Oh yes, something sordid. Regina ran off with

someone, a long-time sweetheart, like you

and I are. She moved to Danville. The family

is of course disgraced and have disowned

her, but bless her, she's fixed it for us.

GEORGE

Yes, bless her heart. Dear Ashley, this may

be the best day of my life, at least until

the wedding itself, and that night.

Page 31

ASHLEY

Yes. Wouldn't it seem?

GEORGE

Seem? But of course it is. Why wouldn't it

be?

ASHLEY

George, where do you think I was, for the

last two years?

GEORGE

Here, in the house, kept from my eyes, of

course.

ASHLEY

No. I was made to live near Lexington, with

friends of the family. I attended a...they

called it a "finishing school." So I’m not

just a woman with all my parts filled out,

I’m also...an official "lady." Such manure.

(Laughs ruefully)

GEORGE

Yes, a lady, I couldn't agree more. So....

ASHLEY

George, try to understand, I thought I might

never even ever see you again. I was heart

broken, but slowly got over it, understand?

For the first time in my life, I was around

other men, in town, and...I met someone

there. I can’t say I loved him, but I took

comfort in him.

GEORGE

Well I understand, I did take comfort with

Millie. But of course, I do love her. So,

how are you now, about us, the marriage?

ASHLEY

I would be ecstatic. I say again, I wasn’t

in love with him, I’ll always love only you—

GEORGE

Then we needn't say more about it. You are

here, we’ll be married and... happy...and—

Page 32

ASHLEY

George, I am carrying a baby.

George stares at her, paralyzed.

ASHLEY (cont’d)

That is why they rushed me back, they are

trying to undo the damage, to make the

wedding as fast as possible—you're to play

the part of the father. No matter the

obvious impossibility, you're to have the

credit.

GEORGE

Credit? Fuck! You mean to legitimize a

bastard. No! Jesus. I suffer through hell,

thinking I may never see you again, hating

that we can't marry...to hear that you've

been sleeping with this other man?

ASHLEY

George, please, try to understand—

GEORGE

Shut up! Just shut up. This is what I have

to give up Millie for? I was so happy with

her in my life, even knowing it couldn't

last that way, and now, I lose both of you.

Shit!

George stalks back and forth before Ashley.

ASHLEY

For God's sakes, you're making a scene—

GEORGE

A scene? My life is destroyed, do I give a

shit if I make a scene? Oh, I'll give you

and your bastard a name, that's all they

care about. So they can live with a scene!

George wanders away, farther down the path. He slams his fist

against a tree. Ashley approaches him.

ASHLEY

You said you'll lose me. Why? What becomes

of us, when we're married and in their

house?

Page 33

GEORGE

You'll have your room, I'll have mine, and I

don't care to see you again. You can slip

off to keep fornicating with that other

bastard for all I care. Just don't darken

my bedroom door. I'll try to save things

with Millie.

ASHLEY

Oh my God, I never dreamt you were so cruel.

George makes no response, but he sets out to the shack to tell

Millie of the disaster and help her pack. When she's made

aware, George falls face down on the bed, sobbing. Before

packing, Millie kneels beside him, bending over to hold him.

DISSOLVE

INT. BALLROOM OF HOUSE – DAY

The wedding takes place at Allegheny Road.

CLERGYMAN

Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here....

DISSOLVE

INT. ALLEGHENY ROAD UPPER HALLWAY – DAY

After the wedding, George makes a show of accompanying Ashley

to their private part of the house. He stops at her bedroom

door and points inside, then walks silently down to his own.

INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT

MILLIE

You summoned me, Master George?

GEORGE

Come on in here. And why "Master George?"

MILLIE

I wasn't sure how to act, now that you're

to be a father.

Page 34

GEORGE

Millie, I'm no father, and you know it. I'm

being shanghaied to give a name to a

bastard. Why would you have to act any

other way with me than ever before?

MILLIE

But is it true, you won't be a husband to

her except in name? Is it really true?

GEORGE

She has some other man's seed in her. I

can't even stand the thought of touching her

where he has been. So no, I won't service

her, ever. And Jesus, Millie, you know how

much I did love her. I dreamt of our wedding

night, and now, I'll never have one. And

it hurts so badly.

(beat)

Millie, let’s speak again, and think again,

of running away to the North. It can still

be done, and now I am learning something of

a trade, with accounting and business they

have taught me. Millie, please, consider it.

MILLIE

I think you should forgive her. But if you

won't, I'll consider running away with you

if you'll answer me this: what will you do

for her child? I’m not sure I can love the

man who would abandon it, even if it isn't

his. Make me feel better about that, about

leaving her this way, if you want me to

ever even meet with you again.

GEORGE

I don't know how to answer. I never dreamt

in my worst nightmares of a situation like

this. It isn't fair—I did all the right

things, but now, I'm the one made out to be

the villain for not giving in to her, and

whatever I do, I seem to be losing both of

you. Millie, I can't stand it. Please, don't

abandon me.

Page 35

Millie turns to leave. George takes her arm, tries to lead her

to the bed.

GEORGE

Would you just lie down beside me awhile?

MILLIE

No, not now, not after this. I'm in as much

turmoil as you are, but I can't risk being

sold away if we're caught. I'm sorry.

Millie pulls away and leaves the room.

DISSOLVE

INT. THE HALLWAY BY MILLIE'S SMALL ROOM – NIGHT

A month later, George returns from Lexington, tipsy from his

first night of drinking. He approaches Millie's door, banging

loudly upon it.

GEORGE

Millie, Millie, come here, I need your

service!

Millie opens door, peering at him.

MILLIE

What the hell kind of service?

GEORGE

Come here and you shall see!

George takes Millie by the hand and tugs her toward his room.

When she enters, he closes the door behind her and tries to

put his arms around her.

MILLIE

By Jesus, you've been drinking, haven't you?

GEORGE

Yes I have. I'm a man now, I can do as I

damn please. A kiss, Sweetheart, for old

times sake?

Page 36

MILLIE

Are you insane? No, you need to let me go.

GEORGE

I’m a man now. And want what is due a man.

Come to me, let’s have what we never had,

you and me, Millie. Sleep with me, Darling—

MILLIE

Shit no! I’ll not make a baby that would be

treated worse than the one down the hall

will be. Until you straighten yourself up,

don’t call me in here again, George Lynn.

I’m disgusted with you.

George lets her go and stands straighter.

GEORGE

Millie, Millie, I’m sorry. I’m just so

unhappy. You’ll still run away with me,

won’t you?

MILLIE

No, you've dashed that hope for all time.

GEORGE

Oh God, Millie, I've lost you too....

DISSOLVE

INT. HALLWAY OF ALLEGHENY ROAD – NIGHT

George and a WOMAN FROM LEXINGTON tiptoe down the hallway to

his room.

WOMAN FROM LEXINGTON

Jesus, this is such a fine house you have

here, George. Yes, I'll marry you.

GEORGE

Sorry, I already am. To a whore. But we're

going to have a bang-up pretend-wedding

night, you and me. Come on, here's my room.

Page 37

WOMAN FROM LEXINGTON

No, let's do it out here. I like adventure.

Take me right here. Let's thumb our noses

at the whore.

The woman begins wiggling out of her clothes and George picks

her up, laughing when she struggles. When he carries her into

his room, she beckons to him.

WOMAN FROM LEXINGTON (continued)

Come finish undressing me, Cavalier.

GEORGE

That, I can do, woman.

George sets to work undoing the rest of the woman's dress.

Afterward, he throws off his own clothing and moves atop her.

Suddenly, she shrieks and tries to push him off her.

GEORGE (cont'd)

What the hell?

WOMAN FROM LEXINGTON

A slave wench, at the door, spying on us!

George rolls off the woman, finding Millie standing in the

doorway.

GEORGE

Millie! I can explain—

MILLIE

Go to hell.

Millie rushes out of the room and a door slams down the hall.

WOMAN FROM LEXINGTON

You let a nigger bitch talk that way to you?

GEORGE

Shut up. Just you get dressed and get the

hell out of here, God damn you.

WOMAN FROM LEXINGTON

Me? You brought me all the way from town to

shag me. And you let some nigger woman spook

you? Who runs this place, you or them?

Page 38

GEORGE

You can't even touch Millie, she's more of a

woman and a lady than you'll ever dream of

being. I'll drive you back, but keep your

mouth shut. I don't want to hear a goddamned

word out of you, or you'll walk.

George propels the woman, still tying up her clothing, down

the hall and out of the house, for the ride back to town.

DISSOLVE

EXT. FRONT YARD OF ALLEGHENY ROAD – DAY

George and Terrence, after riding around the border of the

property, arrive back at the house. A large crowd of slaves

and others are drawn up before the veranda.

GEORGE

What the hell is that, do you suppose?

TERRENCE

I don’t know, it’s the dangedest parade I’ve

ever seen. Shall we go look-see at it?

GEORGE

Maybe it's a soiree I wasn't invited to, do

you suppose?

TERRENCE

Hard to say, but I haven't heard tell, if it

is.

George leans over to a YOUNG MAN who takes the rein of his

horse.

GEORGE

What's all this?

YOUNG MAN

Miss Ashley...she is...the baby...dead, Suh.

GEORGE

Dead? Dead? Who-dead, Ashley?

Page 39

YOUNG MAN

Doan know. Baby's dead fo' sho', stillborn.

GEORGE

Oh God, no. Ashley, please....

George rushes inside the house.

GEORGE (cont'd)

Where is my wife?

UNKNOWN IN-LAW

You can't go in yet, the doctor's with her.

Other members of the Edmiston family bar George's way. He is

left to pace for another two hours before the doctor steps off

the stairs, wiping his hands.

DOCTOR

You the father, son?

GEORGE

Yes, yes I am. How is she? Tell me! I want

to see her.

DOCTOR

She may or may not survive, son, only time

will tell...

GEORGE

May I see her? Now? May I?

DOCTOR

She won’t know you’re there, but yes.

George rushes up the stairs two at a time. When he reaches

the room where Ashley lays, everyone steps aside, according

him first right as the father. George kneels beside Ashley,

who is unconscious and covered in sweat. George smoothes the

hair from her face.

GEORGE

Have a cot brought here, I will stay day and

night until she is awake and safe. Do it!

Page 40

INT. BEDROOM – DAY

Ashley opens her eyes and moans. George is instantly at her

side.

GEORGE

Ashley, Dear, you're awake. How do you feel?

ASHLEY

I want my mama. And Millie. Not you. Go

away, George. You have no place here.

Ashley's mother takes him by the shoulders and pulls him away.

Sobbing uncontrollably, George permits himself to be sent out

of the room, stumbling down the stairs, out into the yard.

There he drops to his knees, comforted by Terrence.

DISSOLVE

FADE IN:

SUPERIMPOSE: ON ALLEGHENY ROAD PLANTATION, 1862

EXT. FIELD OF PLANTATION WITH LARGE HOUSE IN DISTANCE – DAY

Following Joseph, Scott Patton passes through pecan and almond

tree orchards that form borders between fields, finally

reaching the house.

JOSEPH

Here we be. You waits here, I go fetch Miss

Ashley.

SCOTT

You do that, Son.

Joseph leads Scott toward a veranda at the front of the house,

then disappears inside. A couple of minutes later, Ashley

steps out, hands on her hips, regarding Scott.

ASHLEY

And just who do you think you are?

SCOTT

Scott Patton at your service, Ma'am.

Page 41

ASHLEY

Service, hell. What is it you want, a job?

SCOTT

No. I’m not out for a job. And I have plenty

of money, that’s not what this is about. It's

about the way I’ve come, up the lazy river.

Ashley stares at him for some time before she speaks.

ASHLEY

Where are you from?

SCOTT

From the North. More than that, I’m a spy,

for McClellan, and more than that still, I’m

a conductor on the Railroad in Cincinnati,

and I’ve come to finish a shipment.

ASHLEY

You work for McClellan, but you’re here? He’s

way the hell on the other side of Richmond.

What puts you out here?

SCOTT

Look, Ma’am, I left McClellan with legal and

official orders to spy on the rebels in

Richmond. And I did. But now I'm finishing

a mission of my own, one that involves the

Rail Road. Is the code valid or not?

ASHLEY

Yes...there’s no problem of that. Very well,

come on in. I guess I could even offer you a

cup of water and a bite.

Ashley gestures to a wicker chair, in the only shade on the

porch.

ASHLEY (cont’d)

You must excuse me a short time. Please wait

here.

SCOTT

I surely will, Ma'am.

Page 42

When Ashley returns, Scott explains what set him on his two

missions, leading to the search for Josiah Ward.

ASHLEY

Oh my...we...did send a group of nine north,

I don’t know where they were being passed

along to, but...they were from here, from

this part of the valley. They must...be the

same. And only two made it?

SCOTT

Yes Ma'am. I'm sorry.

ASHLEY

Oh God, no....

Ashley bends over her knees, convulsed in tears. Scott kneels

beside her, daring to touch her shoulder. After a moment, she

raises her head and peers at him.

ASHLEY (cont’d)

It's true, you're here to find this man,

this Josiah Ward, and somehow take him up

North with you?

SCOTT

My only purpose in life now, Ma'am. And when

I find him, I'll need somewhere to bring him

first, while I prepare to take him with me.

Do you want it to be this place?

ASHLEY

Yes, yes, absolutely. But don't try to break

him out, try to buy him. And that's no

cinch. I ought to send someone along with

you, if you're willing. When do you figure

to go?

SCOTT

As soon as may be. I need to find out where

this Marthaland plantation is located, then

go from there.

ASHLEY

Do you mind if I bring my people in on this?

Page 43

SCOTT

That's why I'm here, first of all, for your

expertise and advice. Whatever you suggest,

I'll absolutely respect.

ASHLEY

Come inside, then.

Ashley leads him through the parlor to a first floor bedroom.

ASHLEY (cont’d)

You can drop off that bag for now, and use

this room as long as you’re here.

Ashley leads Scott back down the other end of the hallway to a

dining room.

ASHLEY (cont’d)

Millie! We have a guest.

Millie steps through a low passage from the pantry to the

kitchen, wiping her hands on a cloth. Seeing Scott, she stops.

MILLIE

Oh! Mercy me.

ASHLEY

(laughing)

I know what you're thinking, Millie, but

he's not only a Yankee, he's a Conductor,

who's brought us a very noble mission to

help him fulfill. But for now, let's feed

him. Will you call Terrence to help us?

MILLIE

Yes, of course.

Millie disappears, returning with Terrence. By then, another

woman has brought food to the table. They all sit.

MILLIE (cont'd)

Go ahead, eat up, Sir.

SCOTT

Thanks. And while I do, may we exchange

names? I'll start it off: I'm Scott Patton.

Page 44

ASHLEY

Well you of course already know mine.

Scott looks to Millie.

SCOTT

And you, Ma'am?

Millie stares at him and tears form in her eyes.

SCOTT (cont’d)

Did I say or do something wrong?

MILLIE

Oh my, no, Sir. It's just that no white man

has ever said 'Ma'am' to me. Even George.

Thank you so very much.

SCOTT

For what? For addressing a lady politely?

And for God's sakes Miss Millie, you needn't

call me 'Sir.' Scott will do fine. That goes

for all of you. Okay?

MILLIE

Yes, S-Scott.

Scott directs his attention to Terrence.

SCOTT

And may I know your name?

TERRENCE

Terrence Jackson.

Scott dips his head.

SCOTT

Pleased to meet you, Terrence.

(Glances around table)

So here we are. We have a subject before us,

namely me. I’ll tell you my story and you

can deal with me later, although I’ve

already presented my case to Ashley. I judge

that you two are part of her...I’m going to

use the military terminology...her staff.

Page 45

Again, Scott recounts his story to those present.

ASHLEY

I was going to tell Terrence I thought he

ought to accompany you to try and buy Josiah

Ward. What do you think, Terrence?

TERRENCE

Dangerous. But done the right way, it's

possible.

SCOTT

So why’s it dangerous? He either will sell

Josiah or not.

Ashley covers her face for a moment, as if to compose herself

before she responds.

ASHLEY

They are still smarting from the big escape,

when Josiah's family did get away. After a

situation like that, plantation owners get

meaner. If they figure out you're a Yankee...

my Jesus—what they might do to you.

SCOTT

Say no more, I get the idea. But I've been

in battle. Not proud to say so, but compared

to that, this hardly give me trepidations.

MILLIE

Then you will still do it?

SCOTT

Absolutely. And it sounds even more urgent.

I don't want Josiah in this man's hands a

minute longer than I can prevent.

Tears trickle down Millie's cheeks. She leaves her seat and

goes around the table to Scott, who stands to meet her. She

puts her arms around him, hugging Scott avidly.

MILLIE

Thank you for this, for doing this for these

people. Let me help, please?

Page 47

SCOTT

I’d be honored, but it can’t be my decision,

I’m not the expert here. If Ashley and Terrence think

it’s all right, you may.

TERRENCE

And we do need to ponder on it, first.

MILLIE

Yes, I understand. I'm not even sure what I

could do, I just want to be part of it. It

would feel in a way, as if I were reuniting

my own family, to do it for the Wards.

Millie gives Scott one more squeeze then seems embarrassed.

MILLIE (cont'd)

I'm sorry. To become so emotional.

SCOTT

But this is an emotional thing, very much so.

Millie, I appreciate your profound feelings,

your passion about this. How could I not?

Millie smiles and returns to her seat.

ASHLEY

So, if you pull this off, we'll support

your taking him North in every way we can.

SCOTT

To pay for my board and bread, besides coin,

can I offer any services around the place?

TERRENCE

What are you good at?

SCOTT

Me? I'm an engineer. Which means I'm a bit

of an expert at mechanical things. I can

fix, redesign, or design in the first place,

equipment you may need or want. Maybe I can

make something you already have work better.

Or do no more than repair a balky gate hinge,

who knows? If you have projects, try me.

Page 47

TERRENCE

I believe I have such a thing for you. Let's

have a look after we eat, eh?

SCOTT

Fine. With Ashley's permission, let's do it!

ASHLEY

Of course. I may watch and see if I learn

something.

The assemblage turns to their meals then follows Scott and

Terrence to investigate a malfunctioning silo grain door.

EXT. FRONT VERANDA OF HOUSE – NIGHT

Alone, Scott settles into one of two chairs facing the fields.

The sound of a door opening down the veranda catches his ear.

Scott jumps to his feet to greet whoever is present.

MILLIE

Oh dear, I didn't mean to disturb your

solitude out here. Please excuse me.

SCOTT

No, please, this is your home, I'm the one

intruding. Please stay, I'll just go along.

MILLIE

No, wait, please. May we talk?

SCOTT

Well, Ma'am, I would be absolutely charmed.

Scott remains on his feet until she approaches the second

chair, which he arranges beside him. Then he offers his hand

to assist her in squeezing her skirts into place to sit.

MILLIE

Thank you kindly.

SCOTT

Certainly, Miss Millie.

Page 48

MILLIE

Scott, you can't begin to know how dear it

is for a black woman, here in Virginia, to

be treated like a human being, much less a

lady.

SCOTT

No, I can't know that. But I don't see that

it should be unusual for a lady to receive

the kind of respect and treatment she's due.

MILLIE

Oh, but it is. Why're you so different?

SCOTT

Not sure. I just don't care about the tint

of somebody's skin, I guess.

MILLIE

Well down here, you must realize, that

little detail is everything.

SCOTT

I know, but maybe I should tell you more.

I've hated slavery all my life, brought up

that way. And I was once in love with a

fugitive lady coming from Kentucky.

MILLIE

Oh? In love? A slave, a black woman?

SCOTT

Very much in love. Indeed, as much in love

as I could ever be, but Leticia was married,

and like Thelma, had been forced to leave

her husband behind. And she could not stay

in Ohio, at risk of being taken back. When

she moved on, I was a long time getting

over it.

MILLIE

(In a whisper)

Oh mercy. Knowing you've lost those you

loved—twice—tears at my heart. I hardly know

how to answer such tragedies.

Page 49

SCOTT

No, look, I didn't mean to be maudlin. I

just wanted you to understand how I regard

black ladies, which is exactly the same as

I am toward white ones. Do you see now?

MILLIE

Oh, I do see. I see that you are a very

special man. My hope for you, Scott Patton,

is that some day you get over your pain and

be happy. If that means finding someone

new, then that’s what I wish for you.

Scott is moved to tears. Millie gazes at him.

SCOTT

What would make you happy in life, Millie?

MILLIE

Me? Oh dear, I wouldn't know where to begin.

The easy answer would be total freedom for

all of us here. Ashley included. Tell me:

if the North wins, will that mean freedom?

Scott raises his hands in frustration.

SCOTT

Let's say, if it doesn't, this war will be

one of the greatest travesties in history.

Millie reaches across and grips Scott's hand.

MILLIE

Scott, I have to tell you, this is breath-

taking for me.

SCOTT

How? What part?

MILLIE

This...conversation. To sit down with one

who has been in the war, who has lived where

people are free, who is smart, educated, and

will just calmly discuss these great things

with me, is something I can’t put a value on.

Page 50

SCOTT

Millie, I can tell that you're also educated.

I have no idea how or where, but more than

that, you may be as intelligent as anyone I

know. Beyond being free, you must surely

have greater aspirations for yourself.

Millie is silent for long moments.

MILLIE

The fact is, I would like to be a teacher.

I mean formally. I do teach here, but only

about reading. I would like to know all the

other subjects and teach them, as well. But

that's beyond all my imagining.

SCOTT

Dear, imagine it. You said you wish for me

happiness. I can truly say that for me,

happiness could mean seeing you achieving

your potential. By all means, you could be

a teacher, formally, of many subjects.

MILLIE

How? How in hell could I actually hope for

such a thing?

SCOTT

In a university. I teach in a university,

Millie. You could come along with me, with

or without Josiah. I could get you into the

university, but of course you have to be

freed. So until the war's over and there

would be universal emancipation, you could

join Lettie in Canada, then afterward, you

could live in my house, room and board free.

MILLIE

Why me? Why would you do all this for me?

SCOTT

In just these short hours since we met, I've

come to care for you. You can't sense that?

Page 51

MILLIE

Y-yes, but I dared not say it. Yes, I do

sense that. And...I feel something of the

same kind for you. In fact, very strongly.

Millie pulls free of her chair, almost knocking it over, and

wanders many paces down the porch, away from Scott, covering

her face.

MILLIE (cont'd)

You'd truly take me to Canada, now?

SCOTT

That is certainly in my mind to do.

MILLIE

My heavens, what if I left here? All I know

is this place. But I'd be abandoning Ashley

and Terrence. Jesus, Scott, you give me so

much to think about.

Millie hurries back to Scott, standing before him, laying her

hands on his chest, peering into his eyes.

MILLIE (cont'd)

Oh mercy.

Millie throws her arms around Scott, sobbing.

MILLIE (cont'd)

That is what I want to do! Yes, now I know,

I do want this. I hadn’t ever imagined it

before, and now it’s my fondest hope. You’ve

given me this, Scott. How do I thank you?

SCOTT

Just make your decision whether to go with

me, before I have to leave, and get yourself

packed, if you decide to accept.

MILLIE

How would your...the people in your home,

and people you know, take to me?

SCOTT

Those I consider friends, and my family, by

all means, would love you like their own.

How could they not?

Page 52

Millie smiles and relaxes in his arms, then after a moment,

leans back, to gaze into his eyes.

MILLIE

Did you ever...I don't know the proper words

to use speaking to a man of this. The black

woman before, Leticia, did you ever...lay

with her in bed?

SCOTT

She would not, because she was married and

faithful and I fully honored that.

MILLIE

Did you so much as kiss her?

SCOTT

Yes I did, a time or two. As a friend, or

brother would. I desired more, I admit.

MILLIE

Scott, if you could forgive yourself to your

wife's memory, you may kiss me now.

SCOTT

Oh lord, I thought I'd never desire to kiss

anyone again, Millie, but I do.

Scott runs his fingers along her cheeks, traces her lips, and

cups her face for a moment in the palm of his hand before

kissing her, softly, at first, then harder. But Millie gasps

and turns her head away, although she does not pull free.

SCOTT (cont’d)

That was so awful?

MILLIE

No. Far from it.

She lowers her head, trembling.

SCOTT

Millie? What is it? You can tell me.

MILLIE

It frightened me. It gave me chills and

funny feelings. Inside of me. I'd better go.

Page 53

SCOTT

Do you want to go?

Millie shakes her head, adamantly, and makes no move to leave.

Scott loosens his hold but she only turns in his arms and

settles back against him. When Scott kisses her neck, she

trembles and sighs.

MILLIE

I'd have to know how it would be, between

us, before I could go away with you.

SCOTT

How do you want it to be?

MILLIE

Oh, Jesus, I'm still too frightened right

now to think. But you have a part in this.

How would you want it to be?

SCOTT

I'm out of my mind right now, I can't think

of anything but you. I never imagined

letting another woman close, or even being

able to, but you've overwhelmed me, Millie.

I need to calm down and accommodate myself

to what I'm feeling. Do you know what I

mean?

MILLIE

Oh lord. You said it right, I feel out of

my head about you.

Millie throws her head back against his chest and shudders

harder than before.

SCOTT

At the North, and probably here, it's

tradition for a man to court a lady he has

developed feelings over. This has exploded

so rapidly between us and I have too little

time here, to court you as I would crave to

do. But if I were able, I would petition for

your assent to court you. I just want you to

know that.

Page 54

MILLIE

Stop, you are making me swoon.

(Clutches at her chest)

These are unusual circumstances. I would

never demand that you court me so formally

before we could have a romance. Yet you

paint such a pretty picture in my mind. All

I know for certain at this moment is that

I'll be dreadfully sad when you're gone,

unless I can bring myself to go with you.

I don't know what to do. Please let me go,

I need to be alone, to think of all this.

SCOTT

With me, you're always free, in all ways.

Millie wanders away, stopping to look back over her shoulder

when she reaches the door.

MILLIE

May I be the one to wake you in the morning?

SCOTT

Who else in all the world would I rather

see when I open my eyes? Please, do be the

one.

MILLIE

Then I will.

Millie returns to him and offers a fleeting kiss, then hurries

back to the door and disappears inside.

INT. BEDROOM – DARK

The sound of Scott tossing and turning in bed is broken by the

creak of the door. Someone enters the room, carrying a candle

in a glass chimney.

SCOTT

It's time to get up? Time for breakfast?

MILLIE

No, it's long before that. But I couldn't

sleep. If you're in as much turmoil as I am,

maybe we can both not-sleep together. Just

tell me if I’m wrong and I'll go away.

Page 55

SCOTT

No, please, do stay. The bed is small and

there's nowhere else to sit, but we'll make

it comfortable. Let me light a lantern.

MILLIE

No, this is light enough.

Millie sets the candle on the table. Scott begins to arrange

pillows against the wall so they can sit side by side, but

Millie stops him with a gesture.

MILLIE (cont'd)

No, it's late and I'm tired. May we lie down?

I'd like it if you'd just hold me, the rest

of the night.

Millie stretches out and makes room for Scott.

INT. SCOTT'S ROOM – MORNING

Millie stirs, then sits up, then flies out of the bed.

MILLIE

Mercy me, the sun is all up, and look at us!

I must—we'll be the talk of the year. I must

show my face out there. I'm sorry but—

SCOTT

I know. But it was such a sweet night,

Millie. Thank you for sharing time with me.

Millie tiptoes back and kisses Scott, then hurries out,

carrying her shoes.

EXT. BY THE SILO – DAY

Millie arrives where Scott is working with Terrence, toting a

picnic basket.

MILLIE

I wonder if you would join me for lunch,

privately?

SCOTT

Well I would be just delighted. Where?

Page 56

MILLIE

This way.

Millie leads Scott down to the creek. First, she sets the

basket on the ground and leaves it unopened, then takes his

hand, standing beside the flowing water a couple of minutes.

MILLIE (cont'd)

I nearly drowned here, a long, long time

ago. He pulled me out, but it was he who

made me fall in, roughhousing with me.

SCOTT

He?

MILLIE

George. George Lynn. Pray, don't ask me more

about that.

(beat)

I have news for you, but you must keep it

under your hat until the right time, okay?

But tonight, Ashley will announce that she's

ready for you to go on your mission. As much

as I’d like to, she’s convinced me it

wouldn’t be a good idea if I do. Promise me

ou disappoint her by stealing her thunder.

SCOTT

Promise.

MILLIE

Then before we go back, I want you to hear

something: you will have someone here who

worries for you, whether you worry for

yourself or not. So don't do anything to

hurt me by not coming back all right. Will

you?

SCOTT

Oh lord, Millie, that's as sweet as anything

anyone has ever said to me.

Page 57

MILLIE

Well it's meant from the heart. And it's

meant for not just this risk, but for when

you go on, and back into the war. Even if

we never see each other again somehow, I

won't forget you. And I'll always worry

about you now that I know you.

Millie begins to cry and folds up in Scott's arms. He holds

her, rocking her back and forth, caressing her hair, but

neither can find words and after a time, sit down for lunch.

Afterward, he kisses her then they set out for the house.

INT. DINING ROOM – NIGHT

ASHLEY

Scott, I've made a decision. When you go to

rescue Josiah, I will be along. I've thought

about this and the best way to convince them

to believe you...is if we go as Mr. and Mrs.

George Lynn, known plantation owners. What

do you think about this way of doing it?

SCOTT

Wouldn’t your husband be known to them?

ASHLEY

No, it's too far from here, and George

doesn't have pictures of himself floating

about. And if they know he's in the army,

you say you're on furlough.

SCOTT

It sounds very workable to me, then. If

you're comfortable with this, and it's

your recommendation, I am all in for it.

So the question is when.

Ashley shrugs.

ASHLEY

Soon as you're ready.

SCOTT

Then I'd like it to be tomorrow, so he

doesn't have one more day in their hands.

Page 58

ASHLEY

Fine. Tomorrow it is. So let us speak of

details....

DISSOLVE

EXT. THE BEDROOM DOOR – NIGHT

A tap at the door and Millie slips in. Surprised, Scott

hastens to greet her. This time, she undresses down to her

undergarments and Scott does the same. Remaining silent, they

settle in under the covers and hold each other through the

night. In the morning, Millie is gone, and she does not appear for breakfast. Ashley, appearing tense, nods but does not speak at first.

ASHLEY

In spite of our agreement, are you nervous

about this?

Scott laughs almost sneeringly.

SCOTT

I've been so close to death a dozen times

with McClellan, that a low-life plantation

owner doesn't give me a moment's pause. The

only thing I fear is if I fail to rescue

Josiah Ward and bring him home to Thelma

and Lucy. It would break my heart, Ashley.

I must succeed or...God, I couldn't bear it.

Ashley drops her fork and it clatters on her plate then onto

the table. She clutches at her chest and Scott half-rises out

of his seat.

SCOTT

Ma’am, are you all right?

ASHLEY

I didn’t...didn’t understand your passion,

not until just this minute. I thought you

were trying to somehow put your wife's

memory at rest, or to finish up what you saw

as some kind of debt. I didn't realize that

the good of the Wards was your first

motivation. I apologize.

Page 59

SCOTT

Apologize for what? We're both after the

same thing, and everything else is just the

detail of how to do it. Isn't it?

ASHLEY

Yes, exactly that. But I can truthfully tell

you, I'll feel so relieved when this is over.

SCOTT

Amen to that.

Scott falls to his meal and neither he nor Ashley speaks again

over breakfast. Afterward, they set out to attempt the rescue.

DISSOLVE

FADE IN:

EXT. BEFORE THE HOUSE AT ALLEGHENY ROAD – DAY

A buckboard pulls to a stop, with JOSIAH WARD driving. He

helps Ashley down and goes to the horses, patting their noses

while stable boys arrive to take charge.

ASHLEY

Oh lord, you were magnificent, Scott. I

must admit, you would have done perfectly

well without me, but I'm so proud you let me

play a part. This is so dear to me, having

him out of their clutches.

(sighs)

Well right now, I am tired and hungry, so

let's go indoors. And my bottom is sore

from that wretched wagon seat.

She takes his hand for the walk into the house. On the porch,

in the shadows, Millie leans against a post, until she sees

Scott and Ashley together, then runs and disappears inside.

ASHLEY (cont’d)

Uh oh. I fear we embarrassed her.

SCOTT

Yeah, I guess we did.

Ashley does not release Scott's hand until they are inside.

ASHLEY

Ladies, would you put on an early dinner for

us, please? And add one more seat, with a

man's portion for our newly rescued guest.

Oh, and we'll have wine, this evening.

Over dinner, attended by an astonished Josiah Ward, after a

toast, Ashley sets her glass down and gazes at Scott, her eyes

glistening.

SCOTT

Ashley, you seem pensive. May I wonder what

you're thinking about?

ASHLEY

Something utterly daft, I'm sure. But I

begin to wish...I wonder if I dare hazard to

ask, or suggest, that you take me along, to

see the reunion. Of our friend Josiah and

his family?

Scott is unable to immediately reply, certainly not to tell her he has offered to take Millie on the same journey.

ASHLEY (cont’d)

So must I take your silence to mean no?

SCOTT

You? This is something you want to do?

ASHLEY

I said it was daft. And it only just came

to me, but every moment, the idea excites

me more. I would ask you to just think of

it, but how do you feel? And what might be

involved? Or do I forget it on the spot?

SCOTT

I'm not ready to answer either way, it's too

new to me. I can say: don't give up on the

idea, but don't commit me to it yet, either.

ASHLEY

No, I shan't do anything until you say more.

SCOTT

But you would leave the place alone while

you were gone? And then what?

Page 61

ASHLEY

Everybody here can take care of things. I'm

really little more than a figurehead. And

when the reunion was over, I would make my

way back. Unless...they don’t just arrest

Southerners up there, do they?

SCOTT

No. And especially if you're with me at the

North. Then once across the Ohio again, on

your way back, you'll be either in neutral

or Southern territory again.

ASHLEY

I see. That comforts me enough.

DISSOLVE

FADE IN:

EXT. THE SILO THAT SCOTT HAS BEEN HELPING REPAIR – DAY

SCOTT

Since you asked for work to do, Joe, let's

have you join in with these men to finish

the repair of this door. If you like.

JOSIAH WARD

Yes Suh, Mr. Scott, I do like to, and mighty

proud to do it...hey what's that ruckus?

Near the house, voices are raised in agitation. In addition to

Ashley's, Scott hears one of a man he does not recognize. He

touches Josiah on the shoulder and directs him into a shed.

SCOTT

You hide in here until I call for you.

Pull the door closed. Don't open until you

hear the words "sugar cane."

JOSIAH

Yes Suh, I understand the situation.

With Josiah hidden, Scott steps from around the silo, to see a

man in the uniform of a Confederate private, a musket on his

shoulder, and Ashley running beside him in an agitated state.

Spying Scott, the rebel rapidly loads the weapon and brings it

to bear on him.

Page 62

DISSOLVE

FADE IN:

SUPERIMPOSE: LEE'S VICTORY OVER POPE AT SECOND MANASSAS, 1862

Battlefield scene, smoke from muskets and artillery, blasts of

cannon, men yelling, Yankees in retreat.

EXT. AMONG TENTS AND CAMP FIRES – NIGHT

CAPTAIN

As a consequence of your performance today,

my boys, I've received permission to offer

my company furloughs over the next week,

while the Yanks are licking their wounds

and cowering back in Washington.

He waits out the predictable cheers.

CAPTAIN (cont'd)

In the morning, report in by ranks, if

you're interested. And it appears one or

two of you are interested.

DISSOLVE

FADE IN:

EXT. LANE LEADING TO HOUSE AT ALLEGHENY ROAD – DAY

George Lynn, on furlough, approaches the front of the house,

where he finds Ashley, seated on the veranda, sewing. Spotting

him, she jumps to her feet, dropping her work, scattering

needles and cloth on the veranda floor.

ASHLEY

George!

GEORGE

Well good, you still remember my name, that

is something. But have you gained any better

feelings about me...about us?

Ashley wrings her hands and acts nervous.

ASHLEY

Let’s go inside, we’d better talk.

Page 63

GEORGE

Why? Why can't we talk out here?

ASHLEY

No, we shouldn’t make a scene.

GEORGE

Make a scene? There was another time when

you told me not to make a scene. Remember?

But this is my own fucking home, who's to

care if I make a scene?

ASHLEY

I know, but do come inside, I'll make you

something to eat, or drink—maybe you'd like

to lie down after your journey.

GEORGE

When is the last time you gave a shit about

my comfort? What do you have up your sleeve,

God damn it?

Ashley makes a move to go down the stairs and George hurries

to block her way.

GEORGE (cont'd)

I mean it, what the fuck are you hiding?

ASHLEY

Nothing, George, I mean, my lord—

GEORGE

Nothing? Bullshit. What has you so agitated?

Millie appears from around the side of the house, gasps.

MILLIE

George. Oh no.

Millie starts to run back the way she came.

GEORGE

Oh no, what? Get your ass over here, woman!

MILLIE

No, I have to—

Page 64

GEORGE

You have to what?

MILLIE

Just....

Millie sets out, walking back around the house and George

moves quickly, grabbing her by the shoulders and shaking her.

GEORGE

God damn it, what are you two hiding?

MILLIE

Nothing. Stop, George, you've never laid

your hands on me in anger before.

George releases her and backs way. But she turns her head to

look over her shoulder and he follows her eyes.

GEORGE

Nothing, my ass. We'll get to the bottom of

this and there'll be hell to pay, I assure

you all! For the last time, what shenanigans

are you two concealing?

ASHLEY

He’s only a boarder. A boarder!

GEORGE

Who's a boarder?

ASHLEY

The man staying here a few days.

GEORGE

You mean the bastard you're hiding. And no

doubt, screwing. The man no doubt plotting to

replace me on my own land.

George brings his musket off his shoulder; heading in the

direction Millie looked, he loads the musket on the way. Scott

appears, from the other side of the silo, stopping when he

sees George, spreading his feet, his arms folded. George

points the weapon at him from a short distance.

GEORGE

You, Sir! God damn you! I’ll see you dead!

Page 65

Millie rushes from George's side, to plant herself in front of

Scott as a shield.

GEORGE (cont'd)

Millie, what in hell are you doing, move!

MILLIE

No, you won’t kill him, George Lynn. Put

down the gun.

George lowers the muzzle so that it does not point at Millie.

GEORGE

You craven son of a bitch. You can't hide

behind her skirts forever.

Scott seizes Millie by the shoulder and shifts her behind him.

SCOTT

So you'll murder an unarmed man without

even a discussion of his crime? Who does

that make out to be the craven coward?

GEORGE

I have a right to satisfaction, Sir. You

have taken my wife—

ASHLEY

No!

Ashley rushes forward and seizes the gun by its barrel and

rips it out of George's hands, slinging it aside. It clatters

loudly on the ground.

ASHLEY (cont’d)

Stop it, both of you! Nothing has happened

here, nothing, nothing! I already told you

and told you, George Lynn! He is but a

boarder, a traveler down on his luck, we

have taken him in and he has paid us with

work. Leave him be!

GEORGE

And I’m to believe it? I finally come home

for awhile and find this? I've satisfaction

coming. I do! You have the choice, I kill

this man, or you give me my due, wife.

Page 66

George hastens to retrieve the musket and checks that it is in

working order and still prepared to be fired.

ASHLEY

All right, me! Me, I will bed you, if that's

your only offer. Scott, go, go, be on your

way, it's the only answer. Go now, and I

will do what I must.

SCOTT

You do this willingly? You want to do this?

ASHLEY

It's what's best.

SCOTT

It doesn't sound that way to me, but very

well, I'll go. But not until I complete a

piece of business.

(To Millie)

Millie, I made an offer to you, and this is

the last chance for it. Do you want to go

away from here with me the way I asked? To

leave this place, and come fulfill your

life? Do you?

Millie looks past Scott, at George and Ashley, then pulls out

of his reach, backs a couple of yards away, shakes her head.

MILLIE

S-sorry, Scott. Can’t. Can’t go. I don’t

love you, I'm sorry.

Millie runs back toward the house and disappears.

SCOTT

All right, so I'll go. I'm sorry, I never

meant to be the cause of this. Ashley—

ASHLEY

No, it was coming, always coming. Always.

Her lower lip trembling, Ashley approaches George in a

submissive way.

Page 67

GEORGE

No. Not like this. Not to save the other

man's life, I'll not have you this way.

We’ve been along this road before. I’m not

wanted here, and I’ll not stay among this

sordid clique. But hear me, you son of a

bitch: you'd better not ever cross my path

again, for I'll kill you dead on sight, and

no mistake.

George turns on his heel and marches back toward the road.

SCOTT

So, one troublesome man out of your life for

awhile. It’s time for the other two to do

the, same. I’ll get my own clothes, collect

Joe and we’ll be on our way.

ASHLEY

No. Wait, stay the night—I want to talk. I

also have to see to Millie, she’s all upset.

And that’s part of what you and I have to

clear up. There’s something here I don't

understand and I want to know about it.

SCOTT

Yes, I knew that had to be faced before I

left. But what about Lynn? I assume you

weren’t expecting him back, but my causing

him to go away, under these conditions—

ASHLEY

It doesn’t matter. Yes, it does, his leaving

saved me from giving in to him, a fate I had

avoided up to now. I’m not sorry to see his

back, Scott. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have

asked you to take me north for awhile.

SCOTT

I understand. I guess. So go see to Millie.

ASHLEY

You won't come?

SCOTT

It's clear she doesn't want me there.

Page 68

ASHLEY

Scott, for God’s sakes, she offered her life

for you! Whatever her words, what she did

deserves your recognition! Come, let’s all

talk. I’ll need to understand where this

all fits together, but let’s see to her,

she’s my closest friend.

SCOTT

All right, in that case, let’s do.

INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE MILLIE'S BEDROOM – DAY

Ashley knocks but Millie does not invite her in. Ashley leans

through the door from the hallway.

ASHLEY

Millie, Dear, I want to know you're all

right. It was a brave thing you did and it

mustn't go un-remarked. But most of all, I

want to know if we're still friends.

MILLIE

Of course we are. Why wouldn't we be? It

isn't about you at all. It's him.

ASHLEY

Millie, wait, before you say more, Scott is

just in the hallway, he can hear you. Is it

Scott you mean?

MILLIE

(barely audible whisper)

Yes.

SCOTT

May I say something?

ASHLEY

Of course.

SCOTT

Ashley, before you spoke of going with Joe

and me, I had already offered to put Millie

through college in Cincinnati, to be a

teacher. No other offer or promise was

made, except a job in our company.

(more)

Page 69

SCOTT (cont’d)

(sighs)

Millie, it seems you thought I was expecting

more than you meant to accept. But I wasn't.

It's true, I love you, but the offer wasn't

dependent on you loving me in return.

ASHLEY

Ah, so that's what it was about. That clears

it up for me. Then what happens now?

SCOTT

I only know I will take Joe on to Canada

very soon. Otherwise, you both now know my

situation and motives. I'll excuse myself

so the two of you can speak in privacy.

Scott leaves, repairing to the room he uses at the house.

INT. SCOTT'S BEDROOM – NIGHT

The door opens and footsteps are heard.

MILLIE

May I come in?

SCOTT

Millie?

MILLIE

Yes, me. Did I ruin everything between us?

SCOTT

You? Ruin? By no means, not for my part.

MILLIE

Then will you take me into bed as before?

SCOTT

You mean that?

MILLIE

Yes, please, I need to talk, and rest. I've

never been so scared in my life, even nearly

drowning. I'm totally drained, exhausted.

SCOTT

Oh yes, I know that feeling. Come on in.

Page 70

Scott pulls back the covers and Millie slips in beside him.

For some time she lays her head on his shoulder and can be

heard stifling tears.

SCOTT

Millie? Sweetie? What is it?

MILLIE

Scott, I lied, to you, to everyone.

SCOTT

Did you? When?

MILLIE

When I denied loving you. Don't make me

explain why, just hold me as hard as you've

ever held anyone. Then let me slip away

before morning, and not have to say goodbye

to you. Whether you take her or not.

DISSOLVE

FADE IN:

INT. DINING ROOM – DAY

Ashley is waiting when Scott appears for breakfast with Josiah

Ward before boarding the wagon to set out.

ASHLEY

I'm packed, Scott. So if you're still

willing, I want to go with you. But unlike

Millie, I don't have any great goal to

fulfill up there, you understand. So after I

see Josiah in the arms of his loved ones,

I'll make my way back, as we discussed, but

I am going, if—

SCOTT

If you're sure, that's all I need to hear.

But it won't be always comfortable, and it

could be dangerous at times. Even though

the fighting isn't located in the Valley

right now, there can be cavalry patrols

from either side, and we'll have to

convince either one that we're neutral. To

Confederates, we have to claim to be moving

to Kentucky, so bear that in mind.

Page 71

ASHLEY

Well, explain all that further, once we're

on the road. It'll make good conversation

while I try to swallow my sadness at leaving.

SCOTT

Are you sure, even at this late date, that

you're all right with this? Will you miss

them too much?

ASHLEY

If I weren't....

(swallows)

If I weren't with you, I couldn't stand it.

But with you, my feelings...for you...will

keep me from mourning too much. And I will

see them all again. But I need this, it'll

be my last chance at any kind of life of my

own, even if fleeting.

She goes to him and Scott is helpless not to hold

her for a few moments, before they eat.

DISSOLVE

FADE IN:

INT. BARN - NIGHT

At a safe house near Winchester, the three, Scott, Ashley, and

Josiah find shelter in a barn. Josiah chooses to sleep near

the front, leaving Scott and Ashley privacy in the rear.

SCOTT

Before we finish our first day on the road,

there's something I never said, that I feel

must be addressed now.

ASHLEY

It's too late, I'm with you. You won't get

rid of me this easily.

(laughs nervously)

SCOTT

Oh drat.

ASHLEY

I knew it, I knew it. But really, what?

Page 72

SCOTT

Along with Millie, you offered to sacrifice

yourself for me. It was in itself a noble,

powerful thing to do, and I never thanked

you or even acknowledged it. I must do so

now, before we go any farther.

ASHLEY

No, you misunderstood what was involved in

that. It isn't that sleeping with my

husband would have been a dreaded fate,

Scott. It's that we never did, and if I

were to finally permit the consummation of

the marriage, I would lose my only claim to

demand divorce. I would be...finally locked

up in my fate for all time. Do you see?

SCOTT

Jesus, no, I didn't see, I had no idea. But

when you go back, after the war, if he

returns, what will you do if he demands

again, maybe with force?

ASHLEY

I don't fear that. He could have forced me

at any time. He was never violent, that

wasn't one his faults. If he meant to have

me against my wishes, or to kill you, he

would have done one or the other, or even

both, while he had it in his hands to do it.

SCOTT

Well when you say it that way, I find some

comfort in that. But it upsets me to see you

without the love you had at one time, and

without prospects of a happy life with

someone who is right for you and whom you

can love.

ASHLEY

Then may I tell you what's in my heart on

that subject?

SCOTT

Yes, I want to hear it, if you will.

Page 73

ASHLEY

Then the truth is that I am rapidly coming

to see you as that someone who is right for

me and who I can love.

She places a hand to his lips before he can answer.

ASHLEY (cont’d)

I know very well two things in your mind.

One, I know you still harbor great pain,

from losing your wife. And two, I know you

love someone else that you've left behind,

back at Allegheny Road. And perhaps three,

that you aren't even certain you can let

go of your wife's memory and give yourself

to another woman, at least for awhile.

SCOTT

You're strangely accurate in your

assessment. But one more fact you left out

is that the presence of two women like you

swamps even my most profound loss and

even...I ache to say it...even my memories

of my wife. I never imagined that could

happen, but it happens, when I'm next to

Millie, and now, next to you.

ASHLEY

Scott, I would never mean to get in the way

of your reverence for her. I wouldn't even

be a poor substitute, but yet I would want

to be a source of comfort, to help you

overcome the pain. Some would say you must

let her go sooner or later, but I don't

have the right to say that. No one else

really, does, no one but you...and her.

SCOTT

I need you to know, you and Millie, neither

one, are poor substitutes for Susannah.

Both of you embody everything I loved about

her. And I feel certain, even if no mortal

still on earth has the right to say it, that

you're right, she would wish me to go on and

love again, as I would in her place. Yet I

fear I'm rationalizing so I don't have to

deny the feelings I have for you and Millie.

Page 74

ASHLEY

Listen to me: it doesn't matter, if it frees

you of the pain. No one would ever condemn

you for wanting to live again. No one.

Both are silent for minutes. Ashley turns and moves against

Scott, caressing his chest for some time before she speaks

again.

ASHLEY (cont’d)

I have confessed how much I love you, and

that you may be the man I want most in my

life, but I may never be free to have you,

perhaps even by your own choice. But while

we are on this journey, in a way, our lives

are suspended. You're away from the one you

love most who's still on earth, and I'm

out of reach of my husband, yet tied to

him by law. When we come to the end of this

journey, we both have to go back to our

other lives. But until then, I want to offer

a proposal, which you may absolutely reject,

or accept, and I must abide by your wishes.

SCOTT

Ask. I'm not sure just this moment that I

can refuse anything you might offer.

ASHLEY

Then I ask that until the end of this trek,

we give free rein to our feelings toward

each other. I mean physically, as well as

spiritually and emotionally. For me, the

risk is that it could lead to a baby, and

yet, I seem destined never to have one if

it isn't with you, and I'm willing to risk

George's ire. I cannot say I want a baby,

but I would love it, and make sure it knew

all I know about its father.

SCOTT

Ashley, I'm overwhelmed—

Page 75

ASHLEY

I also realize you may not harbor that kind

love for me, or the desire to sleep with me

as a lover. Just know that if the desire

should come to you—for me—it will be

returned in full measure. From this moment

on, until we finally part.

SCOTT

With you this close, against me, willing to

share yourself with me, I can't think of or

feel anything else in the world but the

desire to respond, to have you, in every

way you offer.

ASHLEY

Then have me, Scott. I ache for you....

Scott cups her chin and pulls her close, kissing her softly at

first; slowly they come to the point of making love.

DISSOLVE

FADE IN:

EXT. BEFORE A ROW OF HOUSES – DAY

THELMA

Scott, Miss Ashley, how on earth do I thank

you for this? It may be the kindest thing

a body has ever done for another. My man

home, and free and...this is the most

joyous day I will know in my life.

SCOTT

You can't know what a pleasure it is for

Ashley and me to see the three of you

together. I have already told Josiah that

when the war ends, if it means universal

freedom for slaves, he has a job waiting

for him in my company. I hope with all my

heart I will see the three of you again,

and not so long from now.

Josiah and Thelma hug Scott and Ashley in turn, and they both

fondly kiss Lucy, then board the wagon, bound for Cincinnati.

Page 76

DISSOLVE

FADE IN:

INT. ED SMITHSON'S OFFICE - DAY

After a joyful reunion of his own, with his family at home,

Scott excuses himself to meet Ed Smithson in his office. Scott

informs Ed of all the significant events since they last met,

provided to Scott about the murders.

ED

Um hm. Okay. I’ll take it from here. And

then I’ll notify you about the way it

affects the company. It’s going to take

some time, so can you stay in town?

SCOTT

I won't go until it's all sewed up. But for

now, I'll leave you to your work.

EXT. SMITHSON'S OFFICE – DAY

After having spent the rest of the day and evening with his

mother and Ashley, Scott returns to meet with Ed Smithson.

ED

So, the judge has handed it over to city

prosecuting attorneys.

SCOTT

Then it's out of our hands. Proceed with my

instructions from before, right?

ED

Good enough. So before I go to work, may I

ask you one question?

SCOTT

After all this, you can only conjure up one

question? By all means, blast away, man.

ED

But I warn you, it may be a loaded question,

my man.

SCOTT

I say again, blast away.

Page 77

ED

Well as I understand it, there's this Mrs.

Ashley Lynn, and this Miss Millie you tell

of. And then there is this unpleasant

character who seems to have them both by

the throat. You love these ladies, both of

them, yet claim to be unable to end up

with either. And much because of this...

this bastard George Lynn.

SCOTT

Yes, you've hit upon the thing that makes

my new life just as much of a hell as the

old one. But it's out of my hands.

ED

Is it? Why? Tell me something in plain talk.

Are you afraid of him?

SCOTT

For a few seconds, at the time, when he was

pointing that gun at me, almost point blank,

I admit to being damn scared. Mind you, no

more nor less scared than any time a rebel,

or an artillery squad had a bead on me, but

that's pretty fucking scared. You asked for

plain talk.

ED

(chuckling)

Yes, and that's pretty plain.

SCOTT

But let me say more: that was then, when he

had the drop on me. I can tell you, he's

clearly a very experienced soldier. Jesus,

I've never seen anyone, on either side,

load a musket any faster. So I guess that

if he ever got the drop on me again, I'm

dead. But what difference, the chances of

ever, as he put it, crossing paths with him

again are miniscule. Why do you ask?

Page 78

ED

Because it seems to me that you have a new

mission. You need to find this man, and have

it out with him, to free these two sweet

ladies one way or another, at any hazard.

You can't see this as the most important

goal in your life right now?

SCOTT

Hell yes, I've thought of that, but my God,

he could be literally anywhere in Lee's

army. How do I find him during the war?

ED

Well, you have to report back to your own

army, anyway. Once there, you can look

through the prisoners that come in and maybe

get lucky. Or...go back to the plantation

when the war's over. If he never shows up,

that would seem to sort it all out, wouldn't

it? And if he does, then you treat with him

there. Just a thought.

Scott sits back and closes his eyes a moment.

SCOTT

My lord, man. You're right as rain. I must!

ED

And if I were you, I would escort the lady

home again, make sure she gets back safely,

and let her and this Millie know what you

mean to do—to provide them with some hope of

resolving things with this bully.

SCOTT

Jesus. See Millie again? I never dreamt—

ED

Trust me: dream it.

INT. ASHLEY'S BEDROOM IN SCOTT'S HOUSE - NIGHT

ASHLEY

Scott, I begin to tremble at our parting. I

knew it would be dreadful, but facing it,

I'm nearly sick to death—

Page 79

SCOTT

Then let me tell you something I've been

convinced to do. I'll go back with you, and

then I intend to find George, somewhere,

some time, and air out everything between

us, about you and Millie. I will challenge

him to free you or....

ASHLEY

Oh God, no. One of you is bound to die. And

I cannot say I wish it for him, any more

than you. No, please, that terrifies me.

SCOTT

Be calm, Sweet. I'm unlikely to find him in

the war, so it'll probably be when both of

us return to Allegheny Road. And if the

Union wins, at least the issue of freedom

for the slaves will be resolved. In that

case, I'll demand that he divorce you and

give you your land.

ASHLEY

He won't entertain that for a moment. He'll

only want to kill you, the way he

threatened.

SCOTT

I know, but I have an incentive to offer him

if I'm spared a few seconds to present it.

It came to me earlier today: I will offer

him the same thing I offered Josiah, a job

here, if he will let you and your plantation

go. He can have Allegheny Road, yet work

here, and maybe find another woman who will

replace you, so he too might feel free.

ASHLEY

Oh my, that would be a miracle. You would

actually offer him a job?

SCOTT

That's my hold-out position. Who knows, he

might prefer a new start than living on the

same land, but so apart from you and Millie.

I can only try, but if he listens before he

shoots me, I see it as a fair deal.

Page 80

ASHLEY

Lord, that makes me feel giddy. You are so

wonderful....

Frantically they undress and make love, then slip off to

sleep.

DISSOLVE

FADE IN:

EXT. THE FRONT OF THE HOUSE AT ALLEGHENY ROAD – DAY

Many of those living on Allegheny Road arrive to greet Scott

and Ashley. Terrence hastens to help Ashley off the wagon.

Millie nears to within a few feet then stops short, staring at

Scott, wiping her eyes. She hugs Ashley then backs away.

SCOTT

Millie, you aren't glad to see me?

She approaches him shyly, but when she is within reach, flies

the rest of the way into his arms, sobbing convulsively now,

her fingers clutching and un-clutching at his shirt.

MILLIE

(Low whisper)

I missed you so badly.

SCOTT

Honey, I brought you some books, one or two

you might enjoy reading for the pleasure of

it, and a couple more for your education.

MILLIE

Thank you, that’s so very sweet.

Millie directs Scott out to the creek. There, she sits back

against the oak, beckoning Scott down beside her. She nestles

her head against his shoulder.

MILLIE (cont'd)

Understand, I'm overjoyed at seeing you

again, but I fail to understand why you're

back, with or without her.

Page 81

SCOTT

I realized I can't leave you and Ashley

unsupported. I'm going to seek out George

and hopefully survive against him, while

making him an offer, an arrangement...a

deal, you might call it, in exchange for

his letting you all go, including her.

MILLIE

Oh God, can you face him and not be killed?

SCOTT

Depends on how I encounter him. It may not

be until we're both back here.

Millie squeezes his fingers but makes no comment.

SCOTT (cont’d)

Millie, Ashley knows you're the one I love

most. But until I decided this, I still

thought I'd never see you again. I want to

tell you that she and I shared a bed as if

we were married. With all that goes along.

MILLIE

I imagined that. I did ask you to make her

happy, and I meant in whatever way she

needed, and that you could offer. And I

also accepted that I'd never see you again,

and although that nearly killed me, I don't

have any jealousy that you...slept with her

that way. But the fact that you may have

given her a baby changes everything between

you and me, until we know whether she is

carrying your child or not.

SCOTT

I have no claim on you, and I understand

how you must feel. You'll expect me to do

right, for my own part, if there's a baby.

And I will. But then, if there isn't—

Millie puts a hand over his mouth, silencing him.

Page 82

MILLIE

No, I won't speak or even dare dream of

what might be if she isn't...if there's

no child. We absolutely must wait and

prepare for the...that you're a father with

her. Think of nothing with me until then.

Millie flies to her feet and pulls away, running back to the

house.

EXT. BEFORE THE HOUSE - DAWN LIGHT

Ashley clings to Scott, sobbing, and Terrence stands by, not

speaking. Millie is not to be seen. Silent, Scott shoulders

his bag and walks into the lane toward the road.

DISSOLVE

FADE IN:

SUPERIMPOSE: PETERSBURG, VIRGINIA, JULY 30, 1864

EXT. A UNION FORT ALONG THE DEFENSIVE LINES – DAWN

Scott observes the detonation of a massive bomb under the

Confederate defensive works. Due to multiple failures in Union

leadership, the anticipated invasion behind Confederate lines

utterly fails. Many are killed and wounded on both sides,

and prisoners are also taken on both sides.

Scott eventually finds George in a Union hospital, having

been captured, wounded during the "Crater" bomb incident.

DISSOLVE

FADE IN:

EXT. HOSPITAL WING – DAY

Scott arranges for George to be wheeled out into the sun, his

chair set before a table, and lunch brought for both of them.

Wearing a medical mask, so he can first approach George

without revealing himself, Scott appears before him.

SCOTT

George Lynn.

Page 83

GEORGE

At your service, Colonel. But I must say,

you have me at a disadvantage. How would a

Union colonel know my name?

SCOTT

If you were to look under your cot, you'd

find that your gray uniform has been

replaced by blue. If you're wise, you will

say nothing of it and let yourself be

mistaken for a Union soldier from here on.

Unless, that is, you prefer to convalesce

the rest of the way in a prison camp.

GEORGE

No, I certainly don't, but neither can I

pretend to understand.

SCOTT

Let's say, I have more use for you out of a

prison than in.

GEORGE

Listen to me...Colonel...I have no interest

in living further. I should have died when

that bomb went off. Prison or free, it

doesn't matter, I don't care to continue

living.

SCOTT

All right, but we'll address that later on.

Scott places the meal before George but he ignores it.

SCOTT (cont’d)

Fine, eat or not, it's your choice. But I'm

hungry, so if you don't mind....

GEORGE

What am I supposed to think of this? You

know I'm the enemy yet you free me, and feed

me. For what point? Your amusement?

SCOTT

Why is it you don't care and would just as

soon die?

Page 84

GEORGE

None of your fucking business—Colonel.

SCOTT

You aren't armed, are you?

GEORGE

That's a stupid question. Would they leave a

rebel armed here? And I lost my musket in

the same place my foot was wrecked. But you

know, a funny thing happened there.

SCOTT

I saw it go off. I can't imagine anything

funny happening there. But tell me—what?

GEORGE

I'm only here and alive because a Union man

hauled me out. But not just any Union man.

A black soldier. Told me his name was

Richard Brown. And my side was killing all

the black soldiers who came in there. Yet

he carried me out alive. Why?

SCOTT

Maybe he was out of his mind, how do I know?

GEORGE

Nor I. But he was the most decent man I've

ever known.

(Deep breath)

So why do you trifle with the likes of me?

SCOTT

What does it matter? Do you have pressing

business elsewhere?

George Lynn laughs, almost a giggle.

GEORGE

Yes, I was in fact hoping to attend the

cotillion ball, this evening.

(Studies Scott, frowning)

Something about you is familiar. Why do you

hide your face, my wound isn’t putrid any

more. Truly, who the hell are you, Sir? And

what do you want with me? Say it!

Page 85

SCOTT

George, before I unveil, I ask your to be

calm.

Scott removes the mask and for more than a minute, George

stares at him, full recognition only coming to him slowly.

GEORGE

You. It's you! You son of a bitch. Yes, you

are indeed lucky I am unarmed, Sir. I made a

vow. I would surely carry it out this

instant, if I could lay my hands on your

neck. So what now? You have come to gloat?

Or will you stand me up against a wall?

Let me know your intentions.

SCOTT

I want to talk. First. Then I will ask you

what you would want to do with the rest of

your life.

GEORGE

Hah! After I killed you, I'd do the same to

myself. At this moment, those are my sole

ambitions. Beyond that, naught else matters.

SCOTT

Nothing?

GEORGE

Go to hell. Just say what you've come to say

then leave.

SCOTT

What makes you think I'm going to leave?

GEORGE

Don't be absurd. Of course you'll leave. You

can't move in here, and I’m going nowhere....

SCOTT

All right, I’ll leave, but only after I have

my say and you give me an answer.

Page 86

GEORGE

To what? You win the game, I am unarmed and

cannot kill you as I vowed. Worse, when I

am the one who's dead, you can have my

woman, and even my land, I suppose. So what

in the hell "answer" could you possibly

need from me?

SCOTT

Just this: what do you propose to do about

Ashley and the people you own?

GEORGE

I? Do? Other than die, you mean? She and

all of that is beyond my reach.

SCOTT

They don't see it that way. And it would

be true, the easy way for all of them would

be for you to die. I presume that would

leave her the power to free the slaves, and

I do have it in my hands to make you dead,

if I chose to. But whatever you or I do,

know this: I won't be the beneficiary. In

any case, I would go to my home and make my

own ending. But if you would listen, I bring

an alternative offer. Will you hear me out?

GEORGE

For my dying amusement, speak this offer.

SCOTT

I have the power to hire and fire in a

company in Cincinnati. You could put all

your old life behind, come work for me, and

perchance find a woman you could care to

spend the rest of your life with. And if

you accepted, I would send money to support

Allegheny Road in perpetuity. What of that?

GEORGE

You'd offer this to the man who vows to kill

you? You think you can buy me off? And not

have all I own for yourself? Come on, man.

Page 87

SCOTT

To me, it's a bargain, a far better solution

for all of us. Your alternative, if you stay

alive, is to live in that cold home, with

the women all around you but aloof. A fate

as hard as the one you fled. In Ohio, I say

again, you might yet find a loving match.

GEORGE

No, I will have no other woman if it can't

be...I could never love another.

SCOTT

Oh, so you claim to still love them? Do you

love them the way I do, to give them what

they want and need, or do you only want to

control them because you can?

(beat)

Well let me tell you one certain thing: you

will go back there and face them. Whether

it's to free them, or only to renew their

scorn is in your hands.

GEORGE

You are a hard man. I dread...God, I do

dread their scorn, it drove me away to the

war. I would sooner die than see the hate in

their eyes again. I would rather die and

with my last breath, remember—

SCOTT

Remember when you were carefree and all

three were friends together? I know all that

history, they told me. If you want to die,

if that's truly your best hope, then help me

free them as your dying wish. Don't make

them wait for the war to end, don't make

Ashley wait any longer in thrall. Live long

enough to divorce her and free them by

decree, and I may do the honor.

GEORGE

Seriously. You'd snuff out my hateful life?

Page 88

SCOTT

Or let you do so, if you must. Yes. That's

the other offer I will make. After you've

fulfilled all I demand. Where do we go, to

do the legal deeds? Lexington?

GEORGE

Yes, it would be there. If you insist, take

me there, and by the time we reach it, I

will have faced what I must and will decide

how to make an end. Or...accept your insane

offer in Cincinnati.

Reeling from the success of his attempt, Scott recovers, to

arrange for George to be released to his custody. He has

prepared a buckboard with bags of seed for the plantation, and

has George placed as comfortably as possible among them for

the coming journey back to Allegheny Road.

DISSOLVE

FADE IN:

SUPERIMPOSE: NEARING CREST OF THE BLUE RIDGE RANGE

THREE DAYS BEYOND THE HOSPITAL

EXT. AT A CAMP ALONG ROAD – NIGHT

Scott cooks over a roaring fire. George lies in blankets, his

back turned to Scott. Then he shifts, to face the fire.

GEORGE

His name was Richard Brown.

SCOTT

What? The living dead man speaks? So who

the hell is Richard Brown?

GEORGE

I already told you, God damn it. He's the

man who carried me out of the crater, alive.

SCOTT

Oh yes, so you did, but what of him now?

Page 89

GEORGE

Millie's last words to me were about how I

claimed to love her, but never freed her. Or

any of them. I grew up owning people, Scott.

SCOTT

"Scott"? So now it's Scott, not "Colonel,"

or "asshole"? Do I take that as progress?

GEORGE

Take it however the fuck you like.

SCOTT

Well, to speak to your point, it seems to

me that owning people is a key part of the

entire Southern society, isn't it?

GEORGE

Yes. But a lot of people here believe that

slavery is good for the slaves. That they're

better off having white folks care for them,

than leaving them to fend for themselves.

Because they're too...inferior to carry on

normal lives on their own—you know—free.

SCOTT

And that's what you believed?

GEORGE

Hell no.

(beat)

Can you tell me to my face that you could

have grown up believing for a second that

Terrence and Millie were inferior to you or

any other white person in any way? Hell no.

Oh yes, my father and that bastard, Ashley's

father, did claim to believe it, but my

father couldn't have survived without

Terrence's advice and knew it. And hated

him for it. I'm certain they only claimed

that blacks were inferior in order to

justify owning human beings.

(beat)

(more)

Page 90

GEORGE (cont’d)

It was that way of thinking that said black

men could not make soldiers, they would not

follow orders, or learn to march, load guns,

any of that. Well I would put Richard Brown

up against any other man in the army. Any!

Myself included.

SCOTT

But you still own people.

GEORGE

Yes. Including one of the two women I

worship. And yes, I do hold the other in

thrall. Yet even so, you offer me an honest

job. Jesus, what do I say to that?

SCOTT

I came for you, whether to be killed or not,

for one purpose. To make you do the right

thing. What would be the right thing now, if

you were to name it?

George sobs, slowly regaining his composure.

GEORGE

I've always known they were running slaves

to freedom from the Edmiston side. I was all

for it, but never let them know I was onto

them. That way, I could claim innocence if

they were ever caught, then fight to save

them. Wasn't that...a right thing? Would

that maybe serve you as a down payment?

SCOTT

I must confess to being stunned. And yes,

that counts for something. But is that all

you offer? Something you’ve already done?

Page 91

GEORGE

So the rest, of course, would be to divorce

her, whether so you could have her or she

could find someone else she could love. And

free Millie. And Terrence, and all of them.

So I will. But I won't take your job. I love

my land, and I pined for it all the time I

was in the field with the army. So promise

me, you'll see me buried there. If you will,

I'll do the rest of what's right.

Scott struggles desperately not to break down in tears before

George.

SCOTT

I promise, man.

GEORGE

Then maybe I can finally sleep....

DISSOLVE

FADE IN:

EXT. BELOW A GAP IN THE BLUE RIDGE RANGE – DAY

Nearing the summit, hearing the sound of horses coming east,

Scott pulls the wagon over to the side. Two men, one beyond

fighting age, ride up.

YOUNGER MAN

Whoa up, whoa up.

OLDER MAN

You be comin’ back from the war, gents?

SCOTT

Yes, Sir. We were paroled out of City Point

and there's no way to get back without going

around.

OLDER MAN

What's with your partner back there?

SCOTT

Amputee. Waiting until his stump heals to

let him start wearing his leg, then we could

go back.

Page 92

OLDER MAN

Well I hope you think better of that. The

war’s not going to go well for the South,

and meantime, we got ourselves a peck o’

trouble in the Valley. We need every man who

can shoot straight and especially with

experience in the war. We’uns own a place

out here and managed to stay out of the

trouble, but we’re no hands to deal with

them. We’re even willing to ask Yankees to

help. We didn’t cotton to the war anyways.

If you’re comin’ this way, be you

interested in helping?

SCOTT

You haven't indicated what form of trouble.

OLDER MAN

Irregulars, rebels. Say they'll hold out,

prolong the war for years, and if Lee slips

away from Petersburg and joins 'em, they'll

fight from out here, and West ‘Ginny, and

Eastern Tennessee. Sooner or later, the

Union'll have to give it up—they say.

YOUNGER MAN

They’re punishing us Unionists, threaten to

confiscate everything we own, for the Cause,

slaughter all the slaves, sooner than see

them put in uniform and made to fight, for

or ag'in 'em.

George pulls himself up to lean over the driver's seat.

GEORGE

Slaughter? They're slaughtering the blacks?

OLDER MAN

Not yet, there’s only a hundred of the

irregulars and they’re kind of doing a

survey of the plantations to figure out how

and where to proceed. Whether they’ll go for

the bigger places, to kill as many niggers

in a bunch as they can, or the smaller

farms, nobody knows.

Page 93

GEORGE

A hundred, eh? So why in the hell don’t you

arm your boys, turn them into an army to

defend themselves and your family?

OLDER MAN

Are you daft, man? You can't trust slaves

to fight, and they wouldn't make soldiers

if you did. They're not able enough.

GEORGE

Well you're just fucking wrong! I'm living

proof, blacks can make damn good soldiers!

I’m an owner, and I know they can do

anything they set their minds to. You kind

of have a choice, then, don’t you? Let your

property be destroyed, or put your men to

work in their own defense, and yours. If I

had the guns, I would train my boys up to

fight for their lives. And if I live so

long, and I can find some guns, damned if I

won’t.

OLDER MAN

Then you won’t live long. Even if your

niggers could fight and any of ‘em survived,

they’d turn their guns on you. And then

what’ve you got?

GEORGE

Listen, Mister, unless you’ve abused your

slaves, they won’t kill you, and if you

offer to free them first, they’ll fight for

their home, and then they'll work for you

when the Union wins the war and forces you

to free them. If you pay them fairly.

SCOTT

Have you got access to guns?

OLDER MAN

Aye, there’s a hidden stockpile in

Cameronville. About twenty and ammunition.

GEORGE

Can you put it into our hands? If nobody

else is using it, let us have it. Will you?

Page 94

SCOTT

That's your wisest choice. Help us move all

the arms you can to one location. Allegheny

Road would be the place. I'm a combat

engineer, I can advise on setting up a

strong defensive position. It's possible we

can lure these bastards into a trap they

have no reason to expect and at least

whittle down their numbers.

OLDER MAN

Sure, we can arrange that. Why not?

GEORGE

You do that. Go ahead, move out, we'll

follow fast as we can. Maybe one of you can

ride way ahead and start gathering all the

guns you can get your hands on.

The two men make a salute of sorts and turn their horses

around. The younger man rides off at top speed. George grabs

at Scott's shirt.

GEORGE (cont'd)

Help me up there, I can sit. We’re going to

need the bed of this rig to carry the guns

and ammunition.

SCOTT

This doesn't sound like a man who only wants

to end it all, even if on good terms.

GEORGE

Well there, you're wrong. It may be my last

chance to go out on my terms. If you won't

put me out of my misery, I'll be proud to

go down protecting my home. And all I love.

It just might be that you and the ladies

will have your wishes all in one go. But we

can argue this out later. For now, help me

up there, then drive, damn your eyes.

SCOTT

At your service. Over you go, then hang on.

Page 95

EXT. BEFORE THE HOUSE, ALLEGHENY ROAD – DAY

The wagon loaded with guns acquired at the nearby town, Scott

and George pull up in front of the house. Only Terrence shows

up to greet them, but he whoops and throws his hat into the

air, until he sees that George has lost his foot.

TERRENCE

Oh hell, Sir, I’m mighty sorry to see that.

But what a wonder, to see the two of you

together and—

SCOTT

(Chuckling)

And both alive. Right?

TERRENCE

I didn't dare say it, but yes, glory

hallelujah.

Scott lends help to George in moving his legs over the side so

Terrence can lift him down. Scott reaches back and hands the

crutches to Terrence, who helps George place them under his

arms. Scott wanders to the front of the wagon, patting the

horses on their noses.

GEORGE

I’m plenty tired, Terrence. Is there

a place I can rest? Is my old room free?

TERRENCE

The ladies are over at the other house, so

this one’s all yours. You tell me where you

want to bed down and we’ll do it.

GEORGE

Like I said, my same old room. Give Scott

any other one that’s free.

TERRENCE

Are you in pain much from that damn thing?

George's reply is too low for Scott to hear. Scott follows the

other two up onto the porch, holding the door so they can make

their way in. After seeing that the horses are stabled and the

wagon hidden, Scott finds the servant he remembers, Noreen.

Page 96

SCOTT

Ma'am? I must know something. Millie and

Ashley...are they both well?

NOREEN

Them? Oh yes, very well. Both. Much the same

as when you left. What did you expect?

SCOTT

You’re saying nothing that could be called

evil has happened? Or even unusual?

NOREEN

No. But they have been powerful....

She shakes her head and flutters her hands among her skirts.

NOREEN (cont'd)

No, it ain’t for me to say. Just...be

assured, they’s fine.

SCOTT

Thanks, Noreen. That's a relief to me.

Only then can Scott lie down for some rest before dinner.

INT. DINING ROOM – DAY

In the morning, approaching the dining room for breakfast,

Scott turns at the sound of a thumping sound down the hallway

behind him. He finds George making his way on the crutches.

GEORGE

Had time to think about a defensive plan?

SCOTT

We can only defend one of the two pieces of

land, but it isn't the land they're after,

it's to kill people. So let's defend here,

which means bringing them all from the

Edmiston place. How's that?

GEORGE

Fine with me. Can I count on you to arrange

for all the men over there who'll fight to

come to me here for training?

Page 97

SCOTT

Consider it done. I'll also need to go

fetch—

GEORGE

The ladies. They'll be mighty surprised.

Now, I am suddenly shaking in my boots.

That is, my boot.

SCOTT

Believe me, I know the feeling. But eager

to see them. May tell them of your foot?

GEORGE

No, let them discover it. I won't use it for

sympathy. Assuming they'd even give a shit.

Scott nods soberly.

SCOTT

I thought you would not. I won't tell them.

DISSOLVE

FADE IN:

EXT. THE EDMISTON PLANTATION HOUSE – DAY

Scott approaches the house where Millie and Ashley live. A

servant woman he remembers from before is first to see him.

SERVANT WOMAN

Oh. You. Oh my. You must come in, please.

I’ll go tell them.

She leads him to the foyer at the foot of the grand stairs,

hurrying to summon Millie and Ashley. Millie arrives first.

MILLIE

Scott! Oh my lord, you have no idea how we

worried. You're alive, so does that mean—

SCOTT

No, he's alive, too, and he's over there, in

his house. There's a reckoning to come, but

before then, we all face something that

even trumps that.

Page 98

Millie reaches Scott and clings to him, trembling. Now, Ashley

reaches the foot of the stairs. Her eyes are wide but she

otherwise shows no expression until Scott reaches for her

hand, while still holding Millie. Ashley responds only with a

short squeeze of his hand.

SCOTT (cont’d)

Ladies, we all face a crisis. To survive,

everybody must move over to Allegheny Road.

While Scott explains the situation, Millie and Ashley listen

intently.

ASHLEY

What happens when we get there? Must we see

George?

SCOTT

You've managed to avoid him, I gather, for

a long time, even when he was around, and I

can tell you, he's tremendously nervous at

how you'll treat him.

(beat)

So it's certainly possible to avoid him now.

But I'm going to tell you that he has things

to say that you really need to hear.

ASHLEY

How do I take this? Instead of killing each

other, you seem to be advocating for him.

Has he somehow turned you to his side?

SCOTT

Quite the contrary, I forced him to be here,

and with some luck, I may have put some

sense into him. Still, I don't know what

he'll actually say or do when it comes down

to it with all of you in the same room.

ASHLEY

Very intriguing. Then I guess if we ever

want our lives resolved, it seems Millie and

I must face him. Is that how you see it?

Page 99

SCOTT

If you do want to resolve it, this is the

best chance. And better, if it comes before

these irregulars hit us. Whatever else he

intends, George is eager to train his men

to fight for all of us, and it's better if

we have this out tonight and then leave him

free to that, with all our minds clear.

ASHLEY

Then I shall be there. I'll leave it to

Millie to decide for herself. Meantime, it

sounds as if we need to move everyone over

to where you'll be defending.

MILLIE

Scott, I'll go down and tell them, but I'd

like to have you join me, if you would.

SCOTT

Yes, I need to ask for volunteers.

Scott and Millie set out for the quarters of the workers.

MILLIE

I can't imagine how you met with him and

survived, but I'm as happy as I could be it

turned out better than our fears.

SCOTT

You'll understand better how it happened

tonight, if he'll meet with you. But for now

I have to know about something. I saw no

indication, but did Ashley...was there—

MILLIE

A baby? No, and I guess "thankfully no."

But please, don't make me say what that

could mean for us until after we face

George, and then this battle. Please?

SCOTT

I'll wait, but yes, it's a relief. And even

better, that she didn't have a child and

nearly die again. That's all I'll say now.

MILLIE

Except...are you sorry you have no child?

Page 100

SCOTT

She wouldn't have been the mother I chose—

MILLIE

Stop! I'm asking you, don't say the rest of

what you're thinking. That's part of what we

can't speak of until all this is over.

SCOTT

I agree. But I begin to ache to know what

you'll say.

Millie and Scott carry on to the shack she had once shared

with George, only holding hands for now. There, Millie calls

on the caretakers to summon all the workers for a meeting,

during which Scott asks for volunteers to fight for their

families, and Millie tells them of the need to evacuate to

Allegheny Road for at least a week.

With that done, Scott and Millie return to the Edmiston house,

still holding hands, then part for the time being.

EXT. BY A TREE OF THE ALMOND GROVE – DAY

Scott finds George holding one of the muskets, with several

black men seated before him as if receiving a lecture. George

suddenly levels the gun at Scott's head. Scott does not move

and George maintains the stance.

GEORGE

Balls of steel, you must have. Oh yes, I do

recall, you pulled Millie behind you and

would've let me take my shot.

George lowers the gun and laughs, almost a cackle.

GEORGE (cont'd)

No worry, it ain't loaded. I'm sorry, I

couldn't resist having my fun, maybe my

last fun ever. We're about to start the

first lesson. So how did it go, you know,

over there?

SCOTT

The move is underway, and a few volunteers

are coming.

Page 101

GEORGE

Yes, but the ladies. What of them?

SCOTT

They were predictably astounded that we're

both back—

GEORGE

Alive, right?

SCOTT

Yes, alive. That's an understatement. But

brace yourself: they've agreed to bring out

everything that's simmered so long, into

the open, and hear what you intend to do.

During dinner tonight. If you'll attend.

Will you?

GEORGE

That's why I was brought back. If I don't,

this long ride of pain was for nothing,

wasn't it? But that means I need to get on

with this, to cover as much ground in the

training as I can as fast as I can. So if I

may....

Scott nods assent and George hands the musket to one of the

men, who stands to receive it.

GEORGE

Okay, boys, atten-shun! Grab the items I've

passed out, and we'll start with loading....

Scott sets out for the front of the house and a quarter hour

later, hears the first ripple of gunfire from the initial

practice volley. By then, he has collected volunteers among

the unarmed men, to build the defensive bulwark.

By nightfall, a trench and some log breastworks are in place

between the fence around the front yard and the road a quarter

mile distant. Activity is seen at the road and in a few

moments, horsemen and a couple of wagons arrive, led by the

two men who met Scott and George at the gap in the Blue Ridge.

OLDER MAN

Look here, we've brought our men. Our boys.

And we've got more guns, and also an old

cannon of some sort.

Page 102

SCOTT

Excellent. They may have to sleep outdoors,

there aren't enough quarters, but for the

duration, it should do. News on the enemy?

OLDER MAN

They’re gathering. Still no more than a

hundred. They ought to make their way here

day after tomorrow, we understand.

Scott declares an end of work for the day, but now, he stands

about at loose ends, walking up and down the line, checking

its progress, then stopping to inspect the old cannon.

MILLIE

Scott?

Scott turns at the sound of Millie's voice behind him.

SCOTT

There you are! Is there any kind of problem?

MILLIE

No, just that it's time...dinner, you know,

and what comes with that...as we discussed.

SCOTT

Okay, I'll go bring him. We'll be there.

Scott tracks George down on the back porch, leaning against a

column, the crutches next to him, staring into the dark. Scott

lays a hand on his shoulder and George does not brush it away.

GEORGE

Yep?

SCOTT

Well they're preparing dinner, and the time

has come to face the music.

Page 103

GEORGE

Yes, but how do I...I don't know how to

begin. Will they assail me, finally have

their revenge, will they send me slinking

away, my tail between my legs? I don't know

if I can survive seeing their anger and

hatred, their scorn, all over again. It's

what sent me off to die. I'm...I feel ill.

I loved them so...I love them so.

SCOTT

I can tell you, they're as nervous as you

are, and they aren't spoiling for a fight,

only for a resolution. If they knew you feel

the way you do for them, it might improve

matters. And if you like, I'll say the

first words, and you can chime in as you

see fit.

GEORGE

Yes, please, you make a start. So if you're

ready, carry on...Sir.

George draws his crutches into place and Scott hangs back,

allowing him to enter the house first. At the door to the

dining room, George hesitates a moment, leaning against the

edge of the entryway. Ashley and Millie stand at their chairs

but do not yet sit, waiting. Terrence hovers by his own seat.

Scott remains in the next room, leaving George clear passage.

Upon recognizing George's disability, Ashley's and Millie's

eyes go wide and they exchange glances, but do not comment.

GEORGE (cont'd)

Ladies.

(Nods formally.)

Noreen serves the others, as before, then also takes a seat.

George moves to his place and Terrence helps him sit.

GEORGE (cont'd)

Thank you kindly, Sir.

Beaming, Terrence now exchanges a glance with Scott, who

unnecessarily helps Millie into her seat, then Ashley the same, before taking his own place.

Page 104

SCOTT

George and I agreed I'd make the opening

statement. But I didn't tell him what I had

in mind. What I'm going to tell you may lead

to some enlightened discussion, at the

least. Whether it pisses George off to have

it revealed—well he isn't armed at the

moment, so I'll take the risk.

TERRENCE

We're listening.

SCOTT

Very well. On our way here, George let me

know that he was aware all along you were

conducting for the Underground Railroad

over there.

Scott allows the two women and Terrence to absorb that

bombshell before continuing.

SCOTT (cont’d)

He saw no reason to either interfere or to

cooperate. He considered his role to be that

of covering for you if you were caught.

A ripple of sighs, or more nearly gasps passes around the

room, and the two women slyly glance George's way, as if after

having the revelation exposed, he might react in anger.

ASHLEY

(subdued voice)

It’s...true, George?

George surprises Scott by smirking, in a benign way.

GEORGE

You heard my mouthpiece. If you believe him,

assume it's true.

MILLIE

Why...why did you hide that from us?

Page 105

GEORGE

In my bitterness at our relationships, I

was unable to bring myself to admit that I

approved of what you were doing. But you

didn't need my direct cooperation, only the

lack of any interference. And as he said, I

held myself apart so I could possibly

protect you from the state, from the law, if

you were caught.

George stares at his hands, avoiding the others' eyes.

GEORGE (cont'd)

I should now reveal what else was said

between this man and me. He tried to buy

me off, by offering me a job, if I would

free you all and divorce Ashley.

(beat)

But I turned him down, flat.

ASHLEY

Of course. So there's no resolution of any

of this to be had, is there?

GEORGE

May I say a little more in my own defense?

ASHLEY

Who can stop you?

GEORGE

Very well. It's no secret, that at one time,

Millie and I spoke of running away together,

when we were most unhappy with our lives

here—that was, when I learned I wouldn't be

marrying you, but Regina, who had no loving

relationship with Millie and thus would not

let her be a part of our...lives. But we

had nowhere to run. At that time, I didn't

own Millie, my father did. So we had to

abandon running away because she would have

been sent away from me, if we were caught.

George lowers his head even further and wipes at his eyes.

Page 106

GEORGE (cont'd)

Marrying you, Ashley, was the only thing

that would have made losing Millie bearable.

So when I learned of the baby, I was

devastated. Turning my back on you was the

hardest thing I've ever done, but that's

how hurt I was. And so, the other things

followed. You rightly rejected me, and I

went into a long slump, then on into the

army, and...here we are.

Sighing heavily, he's unable to go on for a few moments.

GEORGE (cont'd)

If I had possessed control over my life, in

all things, I would have married you before

they sent you away, so the baby would have

been mine, if it had lived, and the four of

us, including Millie, would be as happy as

could have been.

MILLIE

Then why didn't you free me? Out of spite?

My punishment for resenting you after I saw

you and that...trollop?

GEORGE

Hear this, please. One of the things I was

taught, as part of my training as a slave

owner, was about slave laws, or codes, as

they are called. One of them is a hateful

law whereby once freed, a slave must leave

the state. If I had freed you, you could not

live here with Ashley, or Terrence, and I

would have never seen you again, and it

would have killed me.

George meets the eyes of everyone in the room.

Page 107

GEORGE (cont'd)

The same for everyone else, from Terrence,

on. You were my family and I flattered

myself that I was the most kind, loving

owner there ever was. But where I was wrong

was to not let any of you make the choice.

I left you to slip out on the Railroad if

you wished to go to another state. Instead,

I could have freed you, paid your way to a

free state, and set you up with funds to

survive for awhile. I'm sure you'll all

agree, that wherever a choice had to be

made, I made the selfish one.

ASHLEY

What of me? This law had nothing to do with

me. Why would you never let me go?

GEORGE

With you, it was the crazy dream that I

could not rid myself of, that somehow, some

distant day, you would forgive me and love

me again if I waited long enough. When I

came home, daring to hope that the day had

come, instead, I found what seemed clear

evidence that the dream was dead. Little

I knew that the man I accused of taking

you, the man I vowed to kill, would bring

me back in time to help keep those who

are so dear to me safe from marauding

enemies. For that, I owe him more than I'll

ever have.

George lowers his head and cries, wiping at his eyes with his

napkin.

It is Terrence who leaves his seat and steps behind George,

planting his hands on the younger man's shoulders.

TERRENCE

George Lynn, I never had a son. If I had, I

would have prayed he could be like you.

George clasps Terrence's hand with his own but does not reply.

No one else immediately finds their voice. After a moment,

Scott clears his throat.

Page 108

SCOTT

Well, I think the defense rests.

DISSOLVE

FADE IN:

EXT. BY THE DEFENSIVE WALL – DAY

Scott again studies the old artillery piece. George hobbles up

behind him. Scott leans back against the wall and regards

George, leaving him free to make whatever comment about the

previous evening he may see fit.

GEORGE

I don’t suppose they brought any metal to

fire in the piece, did they?

SCOTT

I wouldn’t use it if they did. We aren't out

to reduce a fort, we just want to stop as

many men in front of us as we can. Any old

shrapnel will do the job, like grapeshot.

GEORGE

Yeah, I do see. Very good. Hell, you do it

the right way, you can take out a good

twenty or so per shot.

SCOTT

Yep. If they only have a hundred or so as we

hear, that would make a difference. But the

way I see it, if they charge in a mass,

we’ll only get one shot off before we have

to do the rest with the muskets. By the way,

I have something for you.

Scott pulls back a canvas cover he intends to use to conceal

the cannon, revealing his officer's sword.

SCOTT (cont’d)

You may use it to command the volleys. You

can practice with the men if you like so

they'll be used to it as a silent signal.

GEORGE

You’ve had this all along? You could have

dispatched me silently all along the way.

Page 109

George is grinning, but then turns serious.

GEORGE (cont'd)

This is a...I’ll consider it only a loan.

But it’s an honor.

SCOTT

We'll speak of its final disposition when

the battle's over.

GEORGE