Story Exposition: Page 2
That night Daisy (Nastassia Kinski) discovers that her parents have agreed to quarter two officers. At dinner, she watches her two sisters fawn over each officer as their mother looks on approvingly. Daisy then sits beside one of the officers and begins vying for his attention. When he begins to give her his attentions over her sister, she takes a stick from her hair that she had decorated with an American flag, stabs him in the groin and flees the room. Upstairs, she is trashing her room, when her mother (Joan Plowright) enters and disowns her.
The movie moves ahead to Spring 1777 as the British are preparing to march north. Tom (Al Pacino) is working in a mill and Ned (Sid Owen) comes to see him. They argue when Tom tells Ned to be cautious and that they will leave and go back to the country if it is the only way to escape the war. Ned accuses him of being a coward and always running. Just then a British officer strolls through the mill and selects Tom as the second man for a fox hunt for the soon-departing officers.
The two men are tied to a stuffed effigy of George Washington and covered with fox scent for the dogs to track. They are given a pass to get past the (battle) lines and a head start. The other man, a bigger fellow, grows weary of running and wants to stop, but Tom wants to wash the scent off in the nearby creek. They argue and Tom cuts him loose. The dogs catch the bigger man who still has the scent on him and attack him. Tom is soon caught as well, but only after he has washed most of the scent off and is thus saved from the dogs jumping him.
At the British camp, Sergeant Peasy (Donald Sutherland) presides over a funeral. He's burying another one of his drummer boys. He talks to his last remaining drummer boy Ben and decides that they need more boys. Back in New York, Ned sits with one of his friends. They talk about the Patriot cause and then take out their drumsticks and start drumming beats on the stone floor. Sergeant Peasy walks through the mill where they are staying and finds the two boys. Daisy happens to see them as they are taken away in the back of a wagon.
Daisy search for Tom. Even in a cheery atmosphere, she finds Tom brooding in the shadows, apparently over his argument with Ned. She tells him that Ned has been taken by the British. He says he needs a boat to go get Ned. They head to the river and secure a boat. As he unties the boats and begins to push away from the wharf, he thanks Daisy for bringing him news of Ned's capture. She says that they could have "spoken" as he rows away.
Ned is with Ben and several other new boys as they are addressed by Sergeant Peasy. He is interrupted by a corporal who wants a boy to "shine his shoes." Peasy leads the boys to the corporal's tent. The corporal selects Ned, who bites his hand. Peasy ties Ned to a cannon and lashes his feet. Ned's friend earns his own whipping for trying to come to Ned's defense.
The next morning in the rain, Tom has managed to reach the British camp. He finds Ned and his friend still tied to the cannon. He unties Ned as Ned pleads for him to take his friend as well. Ben peeks out from his tent and sees what is happening, but does not sound the alarm and goes back into his tent. As Tom leads the boys from camp, an Indian stands from his tent and starts toward Tom, but Tom shows him the pass that he had received for the fox hunt. It satisfies the Indian, who returns to his tent.
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