March 26, 1999
INT. SHACK - SHANTY TOWN - NIGHT
The children help Aaron and Abigail make beds out of armloads of hay. OUTSIDE, Charlotte and Gabriel talk quietly.
It's him, the one they talk about,
the Swamp Fox.
I knew... the bits and pieces we
heard, a veteran, fought in the
French and Indian War, knows the
swamps, it had to be him.
They won't stop looking for you and
We'll be alright, here, for now.
How is he?
Gabriel searches for an honest answer.
I don't know... I'm his son.
Gabriel steps over to his saddlebags, opens his pack and pulls out a stack of letters which he hands to Charlotte.
These are for you and the children.
They sense someone behind them.
Why didn't father come?
Gabriel is astonished to hear words coming from his heretofore silent sister. Charlotte nods, smiling.
Speaking for months now.
Why didn't he come?
He wanted to, Susan, but he couldn't
leave his men.
He left us.
I know he did and he's sorry. He'll
come back as soon as he can.
Susan says nothing. Gabriel continues, hopefully.
There are some letters here from
him. Some are just to you.
I don't care. I hate him.
You don't hate him.
Yes, I do.
Gabriel kneels down and embraces her.
She stands coldly with her arms at her sides.
I hate him and I hope he never comes
EXT. SMALL FARMHOUSE - SUNSET
Tavington lounges in the grass on a slope in front of a farmhouse, looking out at a lovely sunset, absentmindedly picking at the petals of some wildflowers. A HIDEOUS SCREAM pierces the calm.
Tavington analytically evaluates the tenor of the scream, then rises, passing several Green Dragoons who wait with their horses in front of the farmhouse.
I believe they are almost ready.
IN THE FARMHOUSE
Blood is smeared on one wall, where half-a-dozen corpses lie in a jumbles mass on the floor.
In the parlor, Tavington walks past more bodies, including a dead woman who lie protectively but ineffectually over the bloody bodies of her two young children, both under eight-years-old.
In the kitchen, Tavington finds Wilkins and some Green Dragoons.
Rob Fielding, one of the craftsmen in Martin's force, is tied, spread-eagle to the table, showing the terrible effects of PROTRACTED TORTURE. Wilkins is apologetic as Tavington walks into the room.
I'm sorry, sir. He died.
Tavington sighs, irritated.
Very well, get one of the others.
Several Green Dragoons step into an attached woodshed where Billings sits, bound. They roughly grab him and drag him into the kitchen.
Damn your eyes. Do your worst.
I intend to.
They tie Billings to the table.
EXT. MARTIN'S ENCAMPMENT - DAY
An astonished Martin talks to Gabriel.
She talked? Susan talked?
Full sentences. As if she had been
speaking all along.
And I wasn't there for it...
The cloud passes quickly.
Tell me everything she said, word
She said... she loves you and misses
you but she understands why you
can't be there with her.
She said that? Oh, my Lord, she said
Isn't that something.
Martin shakes his head at the thought, smiling to himself. Gabriel, uncomfortable with the lie. They turn as REV. OLIVER GALLOPS up, reins back his lathered horse and speaks to them without dismounting.
Billings and Rob Fielding are dead,
tortured, Tavington has a list of
our men, most are on it. A regiment
of dragoons is going to the homes on
the list, burning them, killing
whomever resists, women and
children, as well.
Seven homes along the Black River so
Rollins hears and doesn't pause. He rushes to his horse, mounts up and rides off. Martin and the other men mount up and ride off fast after him.
EXT. BLACK RIVER ROAD - DAY
Martin and his brigade catch up to Rollins and ride on with him.
EXT. ROLLINS' FARM - DAY
The small farm. Very rudimentary. The house smolders. No sign of life. Gabriel, Occam and a few other men warily ride the perimeter of the cleared area around the house.
Martin, at the head of the rest of the brigade, waits next to an increasingly frantic, Rollins. They see Gabriel wave, signaling all clear.
MARTIN, ROLLINS AND THE OTHER MEN RIDE to the house. Rollins is the first to see THE BODIES. Horrified, he reins back and dismounts, almost falling.
His young SON, WIFE, an OLDER MAN and WOMAN, lie dead in the dirt. Martin's men silently watch Rollins' agony. Weeping and confused, he moves in a mad, staccato manner, as if he were a marionette, whose strings were being jerked by a drunken puppeteer, repeatedly drawn back to the body of the boy.
Martin DeLancey and Rev. Oliver dismount and move toward him. Rollins sees them coming. He hardens and strides to his horse, pulling his FLINTLOCK PISTOL from his saddle holster. Rev. Oliver reaches out to embrace Rollins.
It's not time for vengeance, it's
time to mourn and...
ROLLINS PUTS THE PISTOL TO HIS HEAD AND PULLS THE TRIGGER, BLOWING HIS BRAINS OUT.
Every man freezes in place. For a long moment no one moves, no one speaks. Then Martin pulls himself together and addresses the men:
Five day furlough for all men.
Occam, Dan, Reverend, spread the
word. Any man who doesn't come back
won't be thought a coward or
uncommitted to the cause. Attend to
The men mount up. DeLancey stands alone as Martin, Gabriel and the rest of the men ride off. He sighs and heads over to tend to the dead.
EXT. SHANTY TOWN - NIGHT
Dark. Shadowed. No one visible. Martin and Gabriel, wary, slowly ride among the shacks. Their HORSES HOOVES, the only sound.
EXT. SHACK - SHANTY TOWN - NIGHT
Gabriel waits in the shadows, covering, as Martin cocks his musket, checks his pistols and walks slowly toward the shack.
He warily checks every shadow. No one anywhere. Then a SOUND -- A SQUEAL OF LAUGHTER, immediately followed by:
It's him! I told you it was him!
MARTIN'S CHILDREN RACE OUT OF THE SHADOWS to Martin. He's practically bowled over as Margaret, Nathan, Samuel and William fling themselves into his arms.
CHARLOTTE STEPS OUT OF THE SHADOWS, watching the reunion as Martin covers the children with kisses, trying to hug all of them at once. MARTIN AND CHARLOTTE LOCK EYES over the heads of the children.
Charlotte smiles. Then Martin notices SUSAN peeking out from behind Charlotte's patched and mended skirt. He kneels down and opens his arms to her but she doesn't move. He smiles to her and speaks softly:
She looks coldly at Martin, tightens her grip on Charlotte's skirt and retreats further behind her. Martin looks to Charlotte who nods with guarded reassurance. Then his attention is drawn away by the demanding embraces of his other children.
INT. SHANTY - NIGHT
POURING RAIN. The ceiling drips. Martin lies, awake, with his children huddled against him, sleeping in one of the few dry spots. They're covered with tattered quilts.
On the other side of the children, Charlotte is also awake. She and Martin exchange a long, silent look in the arkness, over the heads of the sleeping children.
EXT. SHANTY TOWN - RIVERSIDE - DAY
Freedmen go about their business: several dry fish, others repair a repeatedly patched roof, one tends a few scrawny cows. Martin walks the perimeter of the shanty town with Nathan and Samuel. They listen carefully.
There's a good place to post a
watch. Work out a schedule. Short
watches, especially at night.
If you can catch some mockingbirds
you can make cages and put them
along there for alarms...
Martin stops, looks at the boys closely and grows unsure as he realizes that he's with his sons, not his soldiers. He tousles their hair but continues nonetheless...
Let's find someplace for you to
cache extra weapons...
The boys follow, gazing at their father, not seeing his unsteadiness.
EXT. SHACK - SHANTY TOWN - DAY
Dark. Shafts of light shine in through the holes in the< roof. Martin, standing in the shadows, senses someone coming. He freezes.
A figure rounds the corner. It's... William. MARTIN YELLS William SQUEALS IN DELIGHT, then chases his father around the corner, tagging him. They laugh. Martin covers his eyes and William dashes off to hide.
EXT. RIVERSIDE - SHANTY TOWN - DAY
Nathan, Samuel, Margaret and William play in the water with the Great Danes. Martin sits on the side of the river with Susan who avoids looking at him. Using the knife we've seen him use in battle he cuts slices off an apple and eats them.
Very good. Sweet.
He cuts a slice and offers it to her. She doesn't take it. He puts the slice between them. After a long moment she picks it up but as she's about to eat it, she stops, seeing something on it. She puts it back.
Martin looks at the apple slice and sees a dark red splotch on it. He looks at his knife and realizes that it's dried blood.
Off-balance, he turns to Susan who stares straight ahead, a thousand miles from Martin.
EXT. SHACK - SHANTY TOWN - DAY
Mr. and Mrs. Howard help Martin, Charlotte and the children unload food and other supplies from a wagon.
Gabriel and Anne talk quietly nearby. Suddenly, Gabriel throws back his head and LAUGHS LOUDLY. He kisses Anne. Then, taking her hand, the two of them walk over to Mr. Howard.
Father, Gabriel has something he'd
like to speak with you about.
INT. SHANTY CHURCH - NIGHT
The church is little more than a shack, slightly larger than the other shacks. The pews are crates, stumps and stools. Abigale, Abner, Joshua and half-a-dozen of the freedmen sit with Anne's parents. Rev. Oliver stands at a rough-hewn altar. Before him and Anne and Gabriel. Martin, the best man, stands next to Gabriel.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here
in the sight of God to join this man
and this woman in holy matrimony...
MARTIN feels every word, looking straight ahead but knowing that he's standing next to his son.
EXT. SHANTY CHURCH - NIGHT
In front of the church, the bride and groom say goodbye to the wedding party. Anne talks quietly with her parents. Martin and Gabriel talk nearby.
You could have told me this was
I would have if...
If I thought you would have
Martin looks at Gabriel, sad that Gabriel thought he wouldn't have understood. With effort, Martin finds a smile and offers it to his son. Gabriel awkwardly smiles back.
Anne joins them. Martin embraces her, a bit stiffly and gives her a fatherly kiss.
I'm sorry we didn't give you more
He glances at Gabriel.
I'm very happy for you.
Martins takes the "North Star" amulet from around his neck.
This was Gabriel's mother's. She
would have wanted you to have it.
Gabriel watches his father put the amulet around his wife's neck. He nods in silent thanks to Martin. Abigale steps up.
You come on, now. I got a pretty
spot picked out just down the river,
private as can be.
They all watch as Abigale leads Gabriel and Anne off. Martin and Charlotte stand next to each other.
It's a good measure of a woman that
she'll have her honeymoon under the
For richer, for poorer, in sickness
and in health, 'til death do they
They nod in agreement, pointedly not looking at each other.
INT. SHACK - SHANTY TOWN - NIGHT
Again Martin's children sleep, huddled up against him. On the other side of them, Charlotte lies awake. They look at each other. Martin smiles. She snaps at him, angrily whispering:
I'm not my sister.
I said, I'm not my sister.
I know that.
Of course, I do.
Very well, then.
She turns from him and stares at the ceiling. Martin, tries to figure out what just happened. After a long moment he gets it. Stunned at first, his gears turn.
After a very thoughtful moment he turns to Charlotte and offers a tentative smile. She catches the smile and rolls her eyes. The children sleep, unaware between them.
EXT. SHACK - SHANTY TOWN - DAY
Martin finishes tying his gear onto his horse. Gabriel, already saddled up, speaks quietly to Anne. Mr. and Mrs. Howard prepare their wagon.
Martin turns to his silent children. One after another, they walk to him and embrace him -- Nathan, Samuel, Margaret, William.
Gabriel embraces Anne tightly.
Very careful, no one must know about
us, no one...
She silences him with a kiss.
Martin sees Susan, standing next to Charlotte. He motions to her but she doesn't move. Then he kneels down and gently hugs her.
Just a little goodbye? One word?
That's all I want to hear.
Susan remains silent, standing with her arms at her sides, not responding to the embrace.
Finally, Martin lets go of her. She just stares at him.
Martin stands and turns to Charlotte.
They embrace with a hug that wavers between chastity and something more. Anne and Margaret notice and exchange a surprised, knowing look. Martin and Charlotte break apart, self-consciously.
Martin mounts up. Gabriel reluctantly does so as well. They turn their horses and start to ride away. As they're about to round a curve and disappear, SUSAN CRIES OUT:
With halting steps, then faster and faster, she runs down the path toward Martin.
Papa, don't go, I'll say anything.
Martin stops, turning in his saddle to see Susan running after him, her eyes filled with tears.
Please, Papa, I'll say anything you
Martin yanks his reins, turning his horse.
Just tell me what to say! Tell me
what to say!
Martin spurs his horse straight toward her, GALLOPING toward the running, crying child.
Please, Papa, please don't go.
MARTIN RIDES TOWARD HER...
Charlotte, Anne and Martin's children watch as:
MARTIN LEANS OVER IN THE SADDLE without slowing down...
SWOOPING HER UP...
PULLING HER INTO HIS LAP...
She sits astride the saddle, facing him, her arms wrapped around him, pleading, the words tumbling from her, as fast as she can get them out...
... I'll talk to you, I'll say
anything you want, just tell me what
you want me to say, I'll say
anything, I promise, please, Papa,
Martin envelopes the sobbing wisp of a girl, holding her, covering her with kisses, letting her cry, fighting his own tears...
He reins back the horse, stopping in front of the others...
He pleadingly looks to Charlotte who steps up to the horse... to take Susan...
Martin gives Susan a final embrace.
I'll come back... I promise...
Martin hands the still crying Susan down to Charlotte...
Martin, in agony, averts his eyes, yanks his reins, and spurs his horse...
As he rides away the children take off after him, running.
Susan seeing the others running after Martin, struggles out of Charlotte's arms, and runs after them as well...
Martin rides, now joined by Gabriel, faster and faster, leaving a trail of dust...
The children slow, then stop, one after another, watching as they ride away.
EXT. PATRIOT ENCAMPMENT - ACWORTH - EVENING
Grim. The most rudimentary of the encampments we've seen. Rain pours. Some of Martin's men huddle under lean-to's and quickly rigged tents that offer only partial protection from the cold rain.
Occam and Scott do their best to keep a wet-wood fire going. Rev. Oliver tries to cook.
Martin and Gabriel ride up and dismount. Martin joins Rev. Oliver who is sorting through Rollins' possessions.
How many came back?
About a hundred and twenty. Less
than a third.
Martin looks around.
Rev. Oliver shrugs and offers his palms to heaven.
Trust the French.
Just then DeLancey walks out of the woods carrying a couple buckets of water, having overheard Rev. Oliver and Martin.
Yes, trust the French.
They look at DeLancey, questioning with their eyes why he's still here. He smiles.
I would not desert. Where else do I
get the opportunity to kill English?
Perhaps even a few wounded ones when
you are not looking.
Thin smile. Martin takes a place at a campfire next to Gabriel. They are out of earshot of the other men. Gabriel is thoughtful, miles away. After a long moment, he speaks.
I'm sorry, father.
I thought that you were hiding
behind your family when you were
simply standing in front of us,
protecting us. I was foolish to
think you were afraid.
I was afraid, I still am.
Afraid that you'd turn out like
There are much worse things than
Gabriel smiles, Martin doesn't.
When I went to war, it changed me.
And I didn't want that to happen to
Gabriel looks across the campsite, seeing DeLancey on the
When we took Fort Charles we took
prisoners. What we did to them, we
told ourselves was just and proper,
revenge for what they had done to
the families along the Black River.
That's what I was afraid of. I
didn't want you to ever tell
yourself something like that.
Gabriel nods, understanding Martin for the first time in his life.
You needn't worry, father. You've
taught me well.
Martin and Gabriel sit in silence and share slight nods of understanding.
EXT. PEMBROKE - DAY
Anne and her parents ride into town on their wagon, finding the streets strangely empty.
They sense someone behind them and turn to see HALF-A- DOZEN GREEN DRAGOONS and a mounted Tavington. They're initially frightened but Tavington speaks gently, politely.
Everyone has been requested to
gather at the church.
I wish to address the whole village.
Tavington deferentially motions for the Howards to follow his men. Uneasy, Mr. Howard snaps the reins and follows.
EXT. PEMBROKE VILLAGE SQUARE - DAY
Tavington and Wilkins, on horseback, watch as Green Dragoons directs villagers into the church.
One of the Dragoons walks out of the general store with a bowl of gumdrops. As he starts giving them to a few of the children their parents waver, unsure of the gesture, but they reluctantly allow the children to take the candy.
The townspeople are uneasy but they follow the orders of the Dragoons, who, though carry muskets, are polite and unthreatening.
Into the church, please.
Colonel Tavington wishes to address
all of you.
Anne and her parents join the others.
Tavington sees the last of the townspeople enter the church. He nods to the Dragoons near the door.
The Dragoons CLOSE THE DOORS, chaining them shut. The DOOR IS POUNDED ON from the inside.
Open this door!
MR. HOWARD (O.S.)
By what right are we made prisoners?
TAVINGTON nods to several rough-looking Dragoons who disappear into the blacksmith shop. They reappear a moment later with FLAMING TORCHES and approach the church.
Several other Dragoons see what's about to happen and are appalled. Wilkins rides over to Tavington.
The Dragoons with the torches stop around the church, waiting for the final go-ahead from Tavington. The POUNDING AND CALLING from inside the church grows louder.
Sir, there is no honor in this.
The honor is found in the end, not
the means. This will be forgotten.
The troubled Dragoons turn to Wilkins who struggles with himself. Tavington calmly watches Wilkins' distress. Finally, Wilkins accepts it. Weakly steadying his horse, he takes his place next to Tavington.
The other Dragoons follow his lead and watch as the rough Dragoons light the church on fire, heaving their torches onto the roof, through the windows and under the raised foundation.
SCREAMS are heard from inside. The DOOR THUDS with the shoulders of men trying to escape. The CHAINS HOLD.
Tavington watches, stone-faced, as the church goes up in FLAMES...
A WINDOW SHATTERS, with a chair heaved from inside...
SOME MEN TRY TO CLIMB OUT, but waiting Dragoons FIRE THEIR MUSKETS POINT BLANK... KILLING THREE MEN, driving the others back...
The SCREAMS FROM INSIDE THE CHURCH grow louder...
The FLAMES AND SMOKE RISE...
EXT. WOODS - PEMBROKE OUTSKIRTS - DAY
SILENCE. A dark forest of old growth trees. No underbrush. Martin and a couple dozen of his men, including Gabriel, Rev. Oliver, and DeLancey ride warily on a carpet of pine needles toward a thin column of smoke, visible over the treetops in the distance.
With hand signals, Martin directs his men to fan out. They do so, weaving through the dark forest, weapons ready.
EXT. PEMBROKE - DAY
Martin and his men slowly ride into Pembroke. The remains of the church smolder. The town is deserted, no one, dead or alive, is visible.
Unsure what they have found, Martin and his men spread out and dismount, warily checking out the buildings, looking for some sign of life.
Rev. Oliver and a few other men head for the charred remains of the church.
Side-stepping some still-hot, charred beams, Rev. Oliver looks through the rubble...
Then he sees the bodies...
THE CAMERA CATCHES ONLY A FLEETING GLIMPSE of...
Dozens of charred, blackened bodies, intertwined with the remains of the church...
Rev. Oliver staggers from the rubble...
One-by-one Martin and his men walk over and look into the remains of the church...
Martin see several charred hands extended through a shattered window, as if grasping for escape... one of the hands is tiny, A CHILD'S HAND...
GABRIEL, on the other side of the square, sees Anne's packhorses and looks around, growing increasingly frantic.
MARTIN, in the church, sees something among the charred bodies. He reaches down and grasps the North Star amulet he gave to Anne on the night of her marriage.
GABRIEL, hurries toward the remains of the church...
Martin walks out and intercepts him.
Don't go in there.
Is it her? Is Anne in there?
Don't go in there.
Gabriel sees the blackened amulet in Martin's hand. He reels. Martin grabs him, keeping him from falling. Martin holds Gabriel as he weeps.
EXT. PEMBROKE - LATE AFTERNOON
CLOSE SHOT: Martin's weapon's belt on the ground but the tomahawk does not hang from it's loop.
Martin and his men tend to the dead. Some dig in the small graveyard adjacent to the remains of the church. Others carry out the grim task of pulling the charred bodies out of the rubble. DeLancey hurries over to Martin.
Colonel, your son is gone.
Martin takes only an instant to process that, then he grabs his Pennsylvania rifle and weapons belt and strides toward his horse, speaking back over his shoulder.
How many went with him?
The Reverend, Scott, a few others...
Martin mounts up and rides off. DeLancey, Brother Joseph and a dozen of Martin's roughest men quickly mount up and ride after him.
EXT. OPEN ROLLING HILLS - LATE AFTERNOON
Tavington and a dozen Green Dragoons ride.
The Dragoons turn, seeing Gabriel and half-a-dozen Patriots riding down hard on them...
The Dragoons pull their carbines and fire...
Gabriel and the Patriots take the shots, Rev. Oliver falls, shot through the heart by Wilkins...
The horses of both sides bolt and scatter...
In a dance of galloping, frightened horses, firing and reloading men, and obscuring smoke, the dozen-and-a-half men and their mounts battle over the shallow, rolling hills...
A pair of Green Dragoon lieutenants FALL...
More Dragoons take shots...
Then volleys from both sides... mutual destruction...
Down to a handful of men...
Only Gabriel left of the Patriots...
Gabriel draws a bead on Tavington...
FIRES... Tavington goes down...
Gabriel dismounts... the only man standing of all dozen-and-a-half...
He walks over to Tavington, drawing Martin's tomahawk from his belt...
About to finish Tavington off, when...
Tavington pulls a pistol from underneath himself and FIRES...
Straight into Gabriel's chest...
Film Scripts: 3/26/99 Draft Page 7
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