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The Patriot Resource - The Patriot

THE PATRIOT
by
Robert Rodat
March 26, 1999
Con't


EXT. WOODS BORDERING ROLLING HILLS - LATE AFTERNOON

Martin and his men BLAST OUT OF THE WOODS, weapons ready, then rein back, stopping, seeing a tableau of death...

Bodies and blood spread over the fields... dead Dragoons, dead avenging Patriots, dead horses, a few riderless horses graze...

Martin looks around frantically... sees movement... Gabriel, mortally wounded, crawling...

Martin leaps, half-falling out of his saddle. Throws himself on the ground, holding Gabriel...

Sees his wounds, knows they're fatal... Gabriel knows, too... He looks up at his father, trying to speak...

Martin holds him, cradles him, trying to soothe him...

MARTIN
Sssshhh...

GABRIEL DIES. Martin sees his own tomahawk on the ground next to Gabriel. The life drains from Martin, lost in an incomprehensible nightmare of overwhelming loss and emptiness and guilt. Martin caresses Gabriel...

CAMERA SLOWLY CRANES UP revealing, over the shallow hill, above and beyond Martin...

A DISTANT LINE OF BLUE

Thousands and thousands of Continental soldiers
approaching.

Martin, small and unaware in the FOREGROUND, holds Gabriel's body in his arms...

EXT. PATRIOT ENCAMPMENT - NIGHT

Mixed gatherings of militia and Continentals are clustered around the campfires. More Continentals arriving all the
time.

Some of the militiamen and regulars regale each other with tales of their exploits but most are grim and tired, talking quietly.

A couple of Patriots play a MELANCHOLY TUNE ON FIFE AND VIOLIN.

INT. MARTIN'S TENT - NIGHT

Dark. Shadowed. The sounds of celebration can be heard outside the tent.

Martin sits on his camp chair. Gabriel lies on the ground, carefully covered up to his chin with a blanket. A single candle burns.

Lee enters. Stands silently near Martin.

MARTIN
He looks as if he's sleeping,
doesn't he?

LEE
Yes, he does.

After another moment Lee moves toward Gabriel's body.

LEE
I'll help you bury him.

MARTIN
Don't touch him.

Lee stops.

LEE
How many men have we seen die?

MARTIN
Two. Gabriel and Thomas.

LEE
Nothing will replace your sons but
if you come with us you can justify
their sacrifice.

MARTIN
It's ended.

LEE
I have a son. He was born two
months ago in Alexandria. I fight
for him. You have other children
for whom to fight.

Martin can't restrain his anger at Lee's words.

MARTIN
It's over!

Lee sighs. He touches Martin on the shoulder and walks out, leaving him alone with Gabriel's body.

EXT. PATRIOT ENCAMPMENT - MORNING

The Patriots, Continentals and Militia, are moving out. Most of the tents have been taken down. Wagons are rolling out. Companies of Continentals march off in good order.

MARTIN'S TENT still stands. His men finish packing up, storing their heavy gear in wagons, tying their field gear onto their horses.

EXT. PATRIOT ENCAMPMENT - DAY

The last of the soldiers move out, leaving their smoldering campfires and refuse. The only tent that remains is Martin's.

EXT. MARTIN'S TENT - DAY

Martin sits in his tent, gazing obliquely at Gabriel's body which has grown ashen. A SOLITARY BIRD CRIES in the distance.

EXT. REMNANTS OF PATRIOT ENCAMPMENT - NIGHT

A dark, moonless night. The sky is filled with stars. A SOFT WIND BLOWS dead leaves along the ground. A few of the leaves are blown through the opening of Martin's tent.

INSIDE THE TENT

Martin looks down, noticing the leaves, HEARING THE WIND. A few of the leaves come to rest on Gabriel's haversack. Martin sees a corner of Gabriel's Old Glory sticking out. He looks at the flag for a moment. Then he stands and walks:

OUTSIDE THE TENT

Martin watches the leaves skittering along the ground. He listens to the wind.

Then HE LOOKS UP AT THE NIGHT SKY. The stars are bright. His eyes are drawn to the Big Dipper and from there to the Little Dipper and the...

NORTH STAR.

Holding his eyes on the faint, but steady star, he gradually reorients himself. He looks around at the abandoned encampment. Then he looks into the tent and sees Gabriel's body. The SOFT WIND BLOWS AROUND HIM. Martin nods in response.

EXT. BURIAL GROUND - WOODED ENCAMPMENT - MORNING

Martin finishes burying Gabriel, putting the last shovelfuls of dirt on the freshly turned earth. He stands next to the grave, looking down, and says a silent prayer.

EXT. COWPENS ROAD - DAY

The AMERICAN FORCES are on the move, all heading in the same direction. Continentals and militiamen fill the road. Some on horseback, others in wagons, most on foot.

Among them, a mixed unit of Continentals and Martin's brigade, at the head of which ride Lee and DeLancey.

Something catches Lee's eye and he turns back, seeing over a shallow ridge that runs parallel to the road, an American flag, Old Glory, just visible, the rider carrying it hidden behind the ridge.

THE FLAG APPROACHES. One after another, the men see it coming. The flag is Gabriel's, the repair almost completed, trailing a single strip...

The men begin to sense who it is...

And then they see him... Martin, who rides up between Lee and DeLancey. They exchange nods.

They ride on, passing a sign that reads, "Cowpens. 20 miles."

EXT. AMERICAN ENCAMPMENT - COWPENS - NIGHT

The campfires of the American army burn. Small groups of uniformed Continentals and raggedly dressed militia cluster around different fires. There's little mixing between groups.

AROUND ONE OF THE CAMPFIRES

The commanders: Lee, Martin, DeLancey, several other officers and DAN MORGAN, a bull of a man around Martin and Lee's age. Morgan, a Continental, is in command.

MORGAN
Benjamin, tell me about Cornwallis.

MARTIN
Remember Braddock?

MORGAN
That bad?

MARTIN
Worse.

Morgan sighs.

MORGAN
Gentlemen, as far as we know,
General Cornwallis is at
Bradleyville. Two thousand of his
infantry along with four thousand
Green Dragoons under Tavington are
between us and the river. They
outnumber our regulars two to one
and they have five times our
cavalry. Two thirds of our force is
militia. Unreliable at best.

LEE
We could pull back, try to slip away
before dawn...

Martin shakes his head.

MARTIN
You underestimate our militia, all
of you do.

LEE
I've seen our militia lines break
again and again. At Saratoga, at
Monmouth, at Cherry Hill.

The officers are silent in agreement. Martin shoots a glare at Lee.

MARTIN
Tavington and Cornwallis have seen
the same thing. Use that.

MORGAN
How?

Martin pulls Cornwallis' journal out of his haversack and leafs through it.

MARTIN
I'll let Cornwallis tell you
himself, and he speaks for
Tavington, as well...
(reading)
"... but it is this colonial militia
that is the most irksome. Not
worthy of my attention, but
demanding it; not worthy of British
blood, but taking it; and not worthy
of a soldier's honor, but sullying
it. Those nights of mine that are
not sleepless, are filled with
dreams of a cavalry charge on the
heels of fleeing farmers..."

Martin closes the journal.

MARTIN
Cornwallis and Tavington have even
less respect for citizen soldiers
than you do.

Morgan considers Martin's proposal.

EXT. AMERICAN ENCAMPMENT - NIGHT

Campfires receding into the darkness, each with a small cluster of men. DeLancey watches as Martin talks with a few men at one of the fires.

Martin leaves that campfire and joins another small gathering of men at a different campfire. Lee and some of the other officers can be seen talking with other clusters of militiamen at other campfires.

Martin steps up to another campfire, this one near DeLancey, who listens.

MARTIN
... so all we're asking is that the
front line of militia fires two
shots.

A MILITIAMAN shakes his head with misgivings.

MILITIAMAN
Lot can happen in the time it takes
to fire two shots, 'specially
against British regulars.

MARTIN
Which is why I'm not asking for
three.

Martin gives the men around the campfire a moment to consider his words, then he rises and heads over to another campfire and another small group of militiamen.

EXT. COWPENS - PRE-DAWN

Martin sits, sewing. He finishes the final repair on Gabriel's flag. He appraises his handiwork. Though stained and tattered, the flag is intact.

Martin stands on the crest of a shallow rise, looking out at the British lines, barely distinguishable in the faint light. Above him, stars are visible, but they're fading in the light of the pre-dawn glow from the horizon.

Martin scans the disappearing stars, searching out the NORTH STAR, but in the increasingly harsh light of this day, he can't find it. He turns his eyes back to the battlefield.

EXT. COWPENS BATTLEFIELD - DAY

The sun has risen but a heavy ground fog limits visibility to a few dozen yards. Men move like ghosts.

THE CAMERA finds waiting squadrons of men but in the mist there is no overview, just separate detachments:

An orderly regiment of CONTINENTAL CAVALRY, mounted, waiting, steadying their horses.

Two long lines of blue-uniformed CONTINENTAL INFANTRY...

Massed squares of CONTINENTAL INFANTRY RESERVES...

The American Command, including Morgan, Lee and several other officers, attended by riders and runners...

And, finally, MARTIN AND HIS MEN, who stand in the middle of a long line of Patriot militia in the center of a long, valley-line depression. Martin stands next to DeLancey.

They stand silently, unable to see anything other than each other and the gently slope of the dew-covered grass in front of them.

They're all grim. They know what's coming.

Then, the SOUND OF A SINGLE DRUM, heard but unseen, coming from over the slope...

Then, MORE DRUMS, more and more, A COMPETITION OF DRUM
BEATS...

Martin's men listen, turning their heads, trying to imagine what is happening on the other side of the rise in front of them.

MARTIN turns to DeLancey.

MARTIN
How old were your daughters?

DeLancey looks closely at Martin and realizes, with some surprise, that he's willing to answer. He speaks softly.

DELANCEY
I had two daughters... Violette was
twelve... Paulette was ten. They
had green eyes.

MARTIN
You have my sympathy.

DELANCEY
Thank you.

They stand silently next to each other.

EXT. BRITISH LINES - DAY

Tavington, surrounded by his officers, stands on a low hill, trying, with the aid of a spyglass to catch the first view of the battlefield as the morning mist begins to burn off. Through the fog, he just makes out the American lines.

TAVINGTON
Unless I'm dreaming, I think I see
irregulars at their center.

Tavington smiles.

EXT. LOW MEADOW - COWPENS - MORNING

Martin and his men wait.

A STRANGE SOUND. Soft, muted. The men turn their heads, listening, their eyes shifting.

They hear the SOUND OF HUNDREDS OF BOOTS ON WET GRASS, advancing...

THE CAMERA WATCHES THE FACES OF MARTIN AND HIS MEN as they listen to an unseen army approaching.

THEN, THEY SEE IT... A MASSIVE WALL OF RED appears over the rise in front of them... hundreds of Redcoats, in perfect formation, marching in lockstep, straight for them.

Martin sees the fear on his men's faces, but none of them move...

The BRITISH DRUMS GROW LOUDER AND LOUDER... it's almost enough to drive a man to flight... almost.

The CAMERA explores the faces of Martin's men... all are frightened but all are motionless.

Closer and closer, the British line approaches... The American's don't move...

Then, the BRITISH LINE STOPS...

At a flurry of commands, the Redcoats ready their muskets, then aim...

Still, Martin and the Americans don't move... DEAD SILENCE...

Then, a single, thin voice calls out from the British lines...

BRITISH VOICE (O.S.)
Fire!

IN A THUNDEROUS, MASSIVE VOLLEY, three thousand British muskets fire simultaneously... just as the entire line of AMERICAN MILITIAMEN DIVE TO THE GROUND...

Many Americans are saved by the move but many, many others are torn apart by the British musketballs...

THE AMOUNT OF SMOKE IS INCREDIBLE... it obscures everything. Each musket spits out a billow of think white smoke a dozen feet in front of it and hundreds of them just fired. The massive, opaque white cloud quickly spreads over the entire battlefield.

The astonished Redcoats instantly reloading...

The AMERICANS RISE, shoulder arms and FIRE A THUNDEROUS VOLLEY into the British ranks.

Scores of REDCOATS FALL, but the line of well-trained regulars remains intact as rear ranks fill in the front...

A RACE TO RELOAD... the Redcoats have a slight headstart... Balls... wadding... tamp... prime the pan... cock... as fast as they can possibly reload... a REDCOAT DRUM BEATS "FIRE WHEN READY," a command repeated by the BRITISH BUGLE...

The Redcoats win the race... RAISES THEIR MUSKETS... FIRE A ROLLING VOLLEY...

SCORES OF AMERICAN MILITIAMEN FALL... but still the line holds... second rank men fill the gaps, still loading...

Then, loaded, as one, the AMERICANS RAISES THEIR MUSKETS AND FIRE A DEVASTATING VOLLEY INTO THE BRITISH RANKS... decimating the Redcoats...

The Redcoats are staggered but then see the Americans turn in DISORDERLY PANIC and FLEE... the surprised, grateful Redcoats rally, some laugh...

ON A RISE BEHIND THE BATTLEFIELD, TAVINGTON, watches through his spyglass, trying to get a sense of what's happening through the spreading cloud of musket smoke. He barks to his SIGNALMAN...

TAVINGTON
Fix bayonets... dispatch the Green
Dragoons.

The Signalman raises his semaphore flags and snaps the message.

MARTIN AND HIS MEN are caught in the middle of the chaotic retreat...

THE BRITISH LINE advances at a quickstep, bayonets fixed... from behind them, THE GREEN DRAGOONS appear, at a full gallop, Tavington at their head...

THE BATTLEFIELD

It's an astonishing sight... total madness... hell... a painting by Hieronymous Bosch...

The mass of the British infantry charges after the fleeing Patriot militiamen... the Redcoat infantry grows disorderly as it runs...

TAVINGTON AND THE BRITISH CAVALRY THUNDERS to the head of the Redcoats, closing in on the fleeing Patriots. The cavalry swords are drawn and raised for a slaughter...

THEN SUDDENLY, stepping into view from behind a low, grass covered rise, a SOLID LINE OF BLUE APPEARS, rock solid...

It opens up, allowing the fleeing Patriots to pass through it like water... then it closes again, becoming a solid blue wall...

MARTIN, HIS MEN AND THE ENTIRE MASS OF FLEEING MILITIA STOPS DEAD, turns and joins the blue American line...

A flurry of orders, then the BLUE WALL ERUPTS WITH A VOLLEY of musket fire that stops the disorderly British advance in its tracks...

Hundreds of Redcoats fall instantly...

Hundreds of Green Dragoons and their horses fall with them...

The effect of the volley is devastating... the American timing is perfect...

Again, the amount of SMOKE is astonishing... visibility drops to less than twenty feet in most places... drifting smoke opens up glimpses of the battle here and there but it is primarily a battle of sound... men simply follow the men in front of them...

The Blue Continentals advance in an orderly manner from both flanks onto the Redcoats, trapping them...

MARTIN FIRES one of his pistols... draws his tomahawk... hacks... killing one Redcoat after another...

No remorse, no hesitation, no pity... his tomahawk sinks into the stock of an upraised British musket and is pulled from his hands...

Martin quickly kills the Redcoat with his pistol...

THEN, THROUGH THE SMOKE, MARTIN CATCHES A GLIMPSE OF TAVINGTON...

Martin freezes... his eyes locked on Tavington who is fighting a pitched battle, making his way toward the perimeter of the field, trying to escape back to the British lines...

Seeing nothing but Tavington, Martin hurriedly tears open his weapons pouch and pulls out one of the bullets made from Thomas' lead soldiers...

As he loads the pistol, his eyes still trained on Tavington, DeLancey runs up...

DELANCEY
COLONEL! OUR LINE!

Martin finishes reloading... distracted he turns to DeLancey for an instant...

DELANCEY
OUR LINE IS FALTERING...

Martin takes a quick glance at the Continental line, seeing...

An onslaught of Redcoats and a smaller number of Patriots who are losing ground, their lines breaking up...

The PATRIOT STANDARD BEARER, a burly sergeant, sees the Redcoat reinforcements and starts backing up...

MARTIN IS TORN...

He looks to Tavington, seeing him distracted, vulnerable but too distant a target for the pistol...

DeLancey can't wait, he runs off...

Martin sees the Patriot line... beginning to retreat... the Patriot Standard Bearer, carrying the Old Glory, looses his nerve, joins the retreat...

Martin takes a last look at Tavington and turns away, heading over toward the retreating Patriots...

Moving against the growing tide of retreat, shoving the men, bumped by others, as more and more Americans join the retreat...

Then, Martin sees the standard bearing Sergeant passing...

MARTIN
Stop... hold the line!

The Sergeant tries to bull past, but Martin blocks his way and GRABS THE FLAG from him...

The Sergeant holds on but a FOREARM TO THE HEAD from Martin dislodges the flag from his grasp...

Martin holds the flag high and races back, against the tide of retreating Patriots...

MARTIN
HOLD THE LINE! HOLD THE LINE!

Only Martin moves against the tide, then...

Several Patriots stop... then others...

Martin, single-mindedly tears through them, daring them to follow, not caring if they do...

One Patriot takes off after Martin, then another...

The retreat slows... then turns...

The Patriot force, led by Martin, SLAMS INTO THE Redcoat line...

Hand-to-hand... some musket... some swords... many bayonets and musket stocks...

Martin plants the flag in the dirt... and plants himself right next to it...

He fires his pistol, killing a Redcoat... grabs a downed sword... kills two more Redcoats...

The tide turns...

A pair of Redcoats back up from the Patriot vanguard... then other Redcoats disengage...

Several Redcoats turn... stumbling away... a few run... those who don't are killed by the men around Martin...

The Redcoats break into a full retreat, which turns into a rout as another mass of Patriots bursts through the smoke and joins the line...

The Patriots sees the retreating Redcoats intercepted by another detachment of Patriots... the tide fully turned... the battle is won...

A CHEER RISES from the Patriots... joyous in victory, grateful for survival...

All cheer except Martin who, through the smoke-filled chaos of the battlefield sees...

TAVINGTON, on a DISTANT RISE, on horseback, out of reach, about to flee...

Tavington takes a final look at the battlefield, then yanks his reins... his horse REARS UP as it turns...

Tavington spurs the animal and disappears over the rise...

EXTREME CLOSE SHOT: Martin, surrounded by CHEERING MEN, watches Tavington go...

Martin does not see the flag waving at his side, nor does he hear the CHEERS all around him...

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. YORKTOWN OVERLOOK - SUNSET

A hilltop road rises to an OVERLOOK. A long bedraggled line of Patriots trudges up the hill, stopping on the crest, looking at something we can't yet see.

Martin and DeLancey, in the ragged line of Patriots, walk to the top of the hill. As they get to the crest they stop, looking out, seeing:

A MAGNIFICENT TABLEAU laid out before them. YORKTOWN. The British are trapped on a pair of peninsulas, one jutting out from land, the other jutting toward the land from a large island. In a semi-circle around the landward peninsula, is a MASSIVE FORCE OF AMERICAN troops and...

THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF FRENCH TROOPS, flying SCORES OF FRENCH FLAGS... the FRENCH FLEET is visible in the Harbor.

American and French CANNONS keep up a steady barrage on the trapped British troops.

MARTIN AND DELANCEY look out at the grand and impressive sight. DeLancey smiles and speaks quietly.

DELANCEY
Vive la France.

A COMMOTION. The men on the crest of the hill excitedly exchange whispers as they see a group of officers approaching...

PATRIOT PRIVATE
It's him...

ANOTHER PATRIOT
Washington!

Patriots, both militia and Continentals hurry over to catch a glimpse of:

GEORGE WASHINGTON, surrounded by staff officers, American and French, including Lee, Morgan, LaFayette, trailed by messengers, runners and aides. Washington is tall and powerfully-built, an imposing man, worthy of respect.

Washington and Lee stop in front of Martin and DeLancey, who stand at the head of the remains of the South Carolina militia, their tattered militia flag flying beside Gabriel's tattered Old Glory.

WASHINGTON AND MARTIN

Stand face-to-face, looking each other in the eye. Martin smiles slightly and shakes his head.

MARTIN
Your hair's gone gray.

WASHINGTON
I've earned it.

Washington holds out a small bag to Martin who smiles in recognition of some private ritual. He reaches into the bag and pulls out a walnut.

WASHINGTON
I wanted to greet you and the South
Carolina militia, myself. This
nation owes a lot to you.

MARTIN
Thank you.

Washington takes a walnut. They both CRUSH THE WALNUTS SHELLS BETWEEN THEIR THUMBS AND FOREFINGERS, a prodigious display of strength that both men take for granted.

As they eat the walnuts, Washington motions for Martin to join him a bit away from all the soldiers and other officers.

The two men step away, then speak quietly, looking out at the tableau spread out before them.

WASHINGTON
I was sorry to hear about your son.

MARTIN
I lost another a year ago, Thomas.
He was only fifteen.

WASHINGTON
I've had no sons to lose, nor
daughters.
(beat)
I lose the sons of other men.

They look out at the vista, knowing that they're looking at the sons of thousands and thousands of other men.

WASHINGTON
Life was easier when we only had
ourselves to get killed.

Martin nods, then hardens a bit and turns to Washington.

MARTIN
Where do you need us?

WASHINGTON
We don't. Their forward redoubts
fell yesterday. They can't survive
our mortars and it's only
Cornwallis' damned pride that's
delaying the surrender.

MARTIN
Then let us join the center until
the surrender comes.

WASHINGTON
No. I want you and your men on the
north peninsula to block the escape
of secondary units.

MARTIN
Sir, my men would rather be at the
center for the surrender and...

WASHINGTON
(interrupting)
You'll go where I tell you to go.

Martin nods, coolly respectful.

MARTIN
Yes, sir.

Martin turns to rejoin his men. Washington speaks after him.

WASHINGTON
Benjamin...

Martin stops.

WASHINGTON
Tavington and the Green Dragoons are
on the north peninsula.
(beat)
Give him my regards.

Martin nods in thanks to Washington.

INT. CORNWALLIS' HEADQUARTERS - YORKTOWN - PRE-DAWN

Cornwallis looks out from the third floor window of a commandeered mansion.

OUT THE WINDOW he can see the battlefield with his besieged troops cowering in shattered defensive-works as HUGE AMERICAN MORTAR SHELLS EXPLODE within the Redcoat lines...

CORNWALLIS stares, as much astonished as angry. Behind him, Colonel Huntington and Major Halbert nervously wait.

COLONEL HUNTINGTON
Sir, I beseech you, you must order
the surrender. There is no other
alternative.

Cornwallis, in anguish, hears the words but cannot bring himself to move.

EXT. YORKTOWN - DAWN

The BOMBARDMENT continues. American cannons and mortars rain death onto the British position.

The Patriots, regulars and militia, wait behind their barricades.

Then, a single figure appears on one of the British parapets. A DRUMMER BOY, no more than ten-years-old. He begins to beat the drum, but it is unheard beneath the SOUNDS OF THE BOMBARDMENT...

A British officer steps out next to the boy and raises a white flag.

In the American lines, a few men see the white flag. As the artillery units notice, the bombardment slows, then stops...

It gradually sinks in. In the American lines, some cheer, ome laugh, many simply take a deep breath... then the CHEERING GROWS LOUDER AND LOUDER AND LOUDER...

SPYGLASS IMAGE: The British drummer boy and the Redcoat officer with the white flag. The spyglass is lowered, revealing...

EXT. NORTH PENINSULA - DRAGOON CAMP - YORKTOWN - DAWN

Tavington compresses the spyglass and turns to a couple of his officers, standing next to him.

TAVINGTON
Quickly, we can slip out to the
north and make our way to our forces
in New York. This isn't over, yet.

They hurry off.

EXT. WOODS - NORTH PENINSULA - YORKTOWN - DAWN

Dark. Eerie. A light rain falls through a heavy ground
fog in an old-growth forest.

The SOUND OF HORSES HOOVES on the soft ground. TAVINGTON and his two officers, appear out of the trees, galloping...

A SUDDEN, UNSEEN MUSKET SHOT drops one of the officers. Tavington and the other officer glance back and ride on.

ANOTHER MUSKET SHOT drops the other officer. Tavington looks back, sees that he's alone, scans the woods as he rides, seeing no one.

Tavington SPURS HIS HORSE harder...

ANOTHER SHOT. Tavington's HORSE FALLS... spilling Tavington onto the ground...

SILENCE...

Tavington tries to get his bearing... struggles to his feet.

Reaches for his pistol... it's not there... searches the ground around him... can't find it...

A SLIGHT SOUND... Tavington turns quickly, sees nothing...

ANOTHER SOUND... he turns again... nothing...

Growing more nervous by the second, Tavington searches for a weapon. He sees his carbine on the other side of the horse.

As he start for it, he hears something behind him, turns. Again, nothing.

Turning back to the carbine, Tavington suddenly finds himself...

FACE-TO-FACE WITH MARTIN...

Martin raises his pistol and coldly FIRES, shooting Tavington in the shoulder...

Tavington spins and falls...

Martin calmly and grimly starts to reload, pulling one of Thomas' lead soldier bullets out of his weapons pouch and dropping it into the barrel...

Tavington struggles to his feet...

TAVINGTON
I surrender...

Martin says nothing as he methodically reloads.

TAVINGTON
Please, I beg of you, I'm wounded...
I'm surrendering...

Martin finishes reloading, and without pause, raises the pistol and FIRES, this time into Tavington's thigh...

Tavington falls, crying out in pain...

TAVINGTON
Damn you! Have you no honor? I am
surrendering...!

Martin pulls another of Thomas' bullets from his pouch and starts reloading again...

Tavington's terror grows. He struggles to his feet, desperately searching for some escape...

He sees the carbine, but it's too far and on the other side of Martin...

TAVINGTON
Take pity! I beg of you!

Tavington sees that Martin is almost finished loading...

TAVINGTON
Please... do not fire... THE WAR IS
OVER...!

Even as those words leave his mouth, Tavington remembers Martin's cold promise... horrified, he realizes what he's just said...

Martin raises the pistol and SHOOTS TAVINGTON IN THE HEART...

Tavington falls back to the ground, dead. Martin looks down at him...

MARTIN
Ugly business, doing one's duty.

MARTIN stands silently over Tavington's body and gives himself a moment of bitter triumph.

EXT. YORKTOWN FIELD - DAY

A massive ceremony, carefully orchestrated, laid out on the cleaned up battlefield. The French and American armies, fifteen thousand men between them, stand in perfect formation on either side of the field, forming an avenue for the British army which marches out of it's fortification.

At the head of the avenue, WASHINGTON AND HIS STAFF stand waiting.

A musical band of Continentals, thirty men strong, loudly plays a tune, "The World Turned Upside Down," a jaunty British air with a melancholy undercurrent.

CORNWALLIS' ARMY marches between the assembled American and French armies. Cornwallis is nowhere to be seen.

As the Redcoats reach the head of the assembly, they truculently fling their muskets and other arms into a massive and growing pile of weapons.

MARTIN AND DELANCEY stand among the South Carolina militia watching from a distance as...

THE BRITISH OFFICERS STEP UP TO WASHINGTON AND HIS OFFICERS. Hurried whispers are exchanged among staff officers. Then Redcoat Colonel Huntington, draws his sword and offers it to Washington who declines, motioning to General Lincoln instead...

As Colonel Huntington hands his sword to General Lincoln, A MASSIVE SHEER RISES FROM THE AMERICAN AND FRENCH RANKS...

IN THE RANKS

With every other pair of eyes directed toward the ceremony, Martin quietly and unnoticed, slips out the back of the formation and walks away.

EXT. YORKTOWN - DAY

The surrender ceremony continues. Martin, on the fringe of the field, finishes saddling his horse and prepares to< leave. Lee and DeLancey walk out of the crowd and join him.

Martin and DeLancey lock eyes for a moment. Martin offers his hand and says, quietly, with a slight, ironic smile...

MARTIN
Vive la France.

DeLancey smiles. They shake hands.

DELANCEY
Vive la liberte.

Martin mounts up.

LEE
Goodbye, Benjamin.

MARTIN
Goodbye, Harry.

Martin reaches down. They shake hands.

MARTIN
And congratulations on the birth of
your son.

LEE
Thank you. Maybe all of this will
buy him some peace.

MARTIN
I hope so.

As Martin starts to ride off, he reins back and stops,
speaking back to Lee over his shoulder.

MARTIN
Your son, what did you name him?

LEE
Robert. Robert E. Lee.

Martin smiles.

MARTIN
A good name for a farmer.

Lee nods. Martin rides off. Lee and DeLancey watch him< go.

EXT. SHANTY TOWN - DAY

Martin's children and Charlotte sit by the river. Samuel sitting on the lookout with his musket, suddenly stands, seeing something.

Charlotte and the others notice. They're worried. Then they see Samuel throw down his musket and tear down the path, running as fast as he can, tumbling, then regaining his feet...

Charlotte and the others know who's coming...

The children take off running after Samuel...

Racing toward the road...

Charlotte hurries after them...

AND THEN THEY SEE HIM... MARTIN, riding at a full gallop...

The children cry out with tears of joy...

MARTIN see Susan... he gallops toward her...

LEANS OVER... without slowing, he SWOOPS HER UP into the saddle... she wraps herself around him...

He reins back, stops and dismounts, just as the other children reach him...

They throw themselves into his arms... embracing him...

Charlotte hurries up behind them... she and Martin lock eyes and he is enveloped by the hugs of his children.

EXT. FRESH WATER PLANTATION - EVENING

Summer. The oak tree is covered with leaves. Martin's house is partially rebuilt and habitable. The workshop is already completed.

MARTIN'S CHILDREN, Nathan, Samuel, Margaret and William, play in the tall grass in front of the house with the two GREAT DANES.

CHARLOTTE sits on the front porch, NURSING AN INFANT.

MARTIN walks out of his workshop, trailed by Susan. He carries a just-completed rocking chair.

The chair is a work of art, thin and light, a spider-web of perfectly turned wood, no nails, no glue.

He steps onto the porch next to Charlotte and places the rocking chair next to her.

MARTIN
Two pounds, fourteen ounces.

CHARLOTTE
Lovely.

He smiles and makes a minute adjustment in the chair's position. Then he sits down, settles back and begins rocking. Not a creak.

Martin and Charlotte watch Susan run out of the yard, calling as she joins the other children.

SUSAN
Wait for me...

As the CAMERA CRANES UP, Martin and Charlotte disappear beneath the overhang of the porch roof. Suddenly, the SOUND OF A CRASH.

MARTIN (O.S.)
Damnation!

The CAMERA CONTINUES TO CRANE UP as Martin walks off the porch, crosses the yard and enters his workshop. A moment later, the SOUND OF MARTIN'S LATHE RISES.

FADE OUT.

THE END





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