THE PATRIOT by Robert RodatMarch 26, 1999 FADE IN: EXT. THE SWAMPS OF SOUTH CAROLINA – NIGHT Dark. Ominous. Kudzu hangs from the swamps maples. Dark and forbidding place. A bird CRIES EERILY in the darkness.
Insects HUM ominously. SUPERIMPOSITION: FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR detachment of French soldiers with several wagons makes it’s way along a muddy road cut through the swamp. The soldiers are wary, scanning the underbrush, weapons ready. In the swamp, parallel to the road, SHADOWED FIGURES, hidden among the brush, silently track the French soldiers. As the lead wagon rolls over a muddy puddle, straddling it, a MUD-COVERED FIGURE, reaches up, grabs the wagon’s undercarriage, pulls itself up and clings, unseen to the underside of the wagon. The figure, obscured by the mud, barely looks human.
As the other wagons roll over other muddy depressions in the road, three more mud-covered figures reach up, grab and cling to the underside of other wagons. FORT CHARLES The gates are opened. The relieved French soldiers quicken their pace and hurry into the relative safety of the fort. In the fort yard the weary detachment disperses. UNDER THE LEAD WAGON The first dark, mud-covered figure silently drops to the ground and draws a distinctive TOMAHAWK from his belt as the other figures drop from the other wagons. The figures crawl through the shadows toward the sentries who are closing the main gates.
THEY SPRING… the lead figure dashes forward, raises his TOMAHAWK and HACKS DOWN at a TERRIFIED FRENCH SENTRY… The other muddy figures join the attack… stifling the screams of the French soldiers with VICIOUS KNIFE SLASHES… gaining precious seconds… A FRENCH SOLDIER CRIES OUT…
... think of his thoughts, he panicked and stabbed the French soldier three times. It is only after the attack; Paul ... for his actions. In the after death of the French soldier, Paul swears to the dead man that it will ... and thinks to himself what would happen if a French soldier were to fall into the same trench as him. ... the drills they are made to do in the mud and cold. Himmelstoss is not a deep thinker. ...
sounding the alarm… other FRENCH SOLDIERS come running out of the darkness… The four muddy figures, make a stand at the gate, brutally killing the French soldiers as they come, holding the gates open as… Dozens of other muddy figures race out of the surrounding swamp, tearing through the fort gates, joining the slaughter…
The lead figure, HACKS, again and again with his tomahawk… Blood and flesh cover his arm as the vicious blade rises and falls amid the SCREAMS in the darkness… DISSOLVE TO: EXT. SOUTH CAROLINA COUNTRYSIDE – DAY Beautiful sunlight. AERIAL SHOT of a post rider galloping along a road through peaceful untamed woodlands. Soaring old-growth elms arch over riverside maples along the shores of the gently curving, deep-water Santee River.
SUPERIMPOSITION: SOUTH CAROLINA April, 1776 The post rider rides along a raised swamp road. On either side of the road, gorgeous shafts of sunlight pierce the canopy falling onto soft, swaying ferns that cover the high grounds. Hundreds of BIRDS SING. The water is clear, with fields of floating lily pads, each with a stark white flower rising from it. EXT. FRESH WATER PLANTATION – DAYThe post rider approaches a plantation built between the banks of the river and the deep green of the swamps, passing acres of perfectly tended rice paddies.
Two sturdy brothers, NATHAN, 13 and SAMUEL, 12, work alongside three adult male African freedmen, JOSHUA, JONAH, MICA, planting rice. They look up from their work as the rider passes. Nathan and Samuel take off running after the postrider. THE HOUSE The post rider approaches the house, built of native brick, well-constructed and well-maintained. There’s a barn, a workshop and a forge. It is a home of substance rather than wealth.
On the front porch, MARGARET, 11, pumps a butter churn while her brother, WILLIAM, 6, watches. They see the post rider. Margaret excitedly runs off toward the workshop while William stares at the approaching rider who is trailed by Nathan and Samuel. INT.
... not all, of his novels, short stories, and other works, Samuel Langhorne Clemens' personal life experiences reflect heavily on his writing ... the epitome of the literary world. Throughout his life, Samuel Clemens maintained an engaging and infectiously boyish enthusiasm that led ... resurgence in Arthurian scholarship that continues to this day, post-industrial man has been fascinated by the Age of ...
WORKSHOP – DAYA perfect colonial workshop, fastidiously arranged with every conceivable tool of the period. A foot-powered lathe. A drop-forge. A lifting saw.
Racks of tools, planes, hammers, augers, drills, blocks, all hanging in their places. All very well-worn. BENJAMIN MARTIN methodically works his lathe, turning apiece of hardwood, shaving off tiny curls of wood with a razor-sharp chisel. He’s in his late-forties, strong and weathered.
His hands, though big and callused, handle the chisel with a surgeon’s precision. Self-educated and self-sufficient, he has built himself, as he built his farm, brick by brick, from the coarse clay of the earth. A finely-made rocking chair, missing only the dowel on which Martin is working, sits on the work table. Thechair is a work of art, thin and light, a spider-web of perfectly turned wood, no nails, no glue. Sitting on the woodpile, SUSAN, 4, a silent, stone-face wisp of a child, watches her father. Margaret races in.
MARGARET Father! A post rider! Martin pointedly continues his work without looking up. MARTINVery well. Margaret waits, then, seeing that her father isn’t going to come, she turns and races out. EXT. FRESH WATER PLANTATION – DAYThe post rider rides up to the house. ABIGALE AND ABNER, a middle-aged African couple, step out.
Abigale calls out to Nathan and Samuel as they run up breathlessly. ABIGALEYou go tell your father, there a post rider. They race toward the workshop, passing an excited Margaret. INT. WORKSHOP – DAYMartin calmly takes the piece of wood out of the lathe, carefully fits it into the chair, inserts a peg and taps it into place. Then he steps back and appraises his handiwork.
He picks up the chair and hooks the top rail to a scale, countering with a three-pound weight. Thechair floats. Martin blows softly on the weight which sinks. Susan nods, so far, so good.
Nathan and Samuel burst into the room. NATHANFather! Father! SAMUEL post rider! Mail! Martin nods, keeping his attention on the chair. MARTINVery well. The boys wait for more.
Nothing. They race out. EXT. FRESH WATER PLANTATION – DAY GABRIEL, 18, strong and handsome, walks out of the woods with a musket in his hand and a dozen game-birds over his shoulder.
At his side walks THOMAS, 14, also carrying a musket. They see the post rider giving the mail to Abigale with the other children excitedly watch. Thomas runs over. Gabriel restrains himself and strides toward the workshop. INT. WORKSHOP – DAYMartin takes the chair off the scale and puts it on the floor.
... by former philosophers like William of Ockham, Aristotle and Gabriel Biel. Nonetheless, he was more drawn to lecturers who ... . The Christian Century, Vol. 117. Fairchild, M. (2009): Martin Luther Bibliography. Retrieved on 13th April, 2009, from: //christianity ... com/od/lutherandenomination/a/martinlutherbio_2. htm Marius, R. (1999): Martin Luther: the Christian between God and death, 3rd Edition, ...
He walks slowly around it, checking every angle. He takes a deep breath and starts to sit down but stops as Gabriel enters. GABRIELFather, a post rider. MARTINI know. Gabriel waits for Martin to share his excitement. Hedoesn’t.
GABRIELMay I bring it to you? Martin pointedly keeps his attention on the chair. MARTINNo. GABRIELMay I open it? Martin turns with a surprised and authoritarian glare. GABRIEL Uh… I can wait. Gabriel leaves.
Martin exchanges a look with Susan, then turns back to the chair. He takes a deep breath and lowers himself onto the seat, gingerly adding an ounce ata time. Not a creak. He smiles and sits back with a sigh. CRACK! THE CHAIR SPLINTERS under Martin’s weight, DUMPING HIM on his ass on a pile of broken wood. MARTIN Damnation! He picks up some of the wood, about to fling it across the room but stops as Susan shoots him a disapproving look.
He calms himself. MARTIN Sorry. Susan gets down from the woodpile and puts the remains of the chair in the fireplace. Martin steps over to his wood rack and extracts a fresh dowel.
As Susan climbs back up to her perch, Martin fits the dowel into the lathe and starts it up. THE MAIL sits, unopened, on the hall table. Margaret, William, Nathan, Samuel, Thomas and Gabriel hover. Abigale bustles in and shoos them away. ABIGALEYou get away from there, now.
That’s not your mail. You wash up for supper… you leave that alone… The children reluctantly follow her orders, leaving the unopened mail on the table. EXT. HILLTOP – FRESH WATER FARM – SUNSET The loveliest spot on the farm.
A beautiful view of the house, barns, river, fields and hills beyond. A gravestone stands in the shade of a soaring oak tree covered with Spanish moss. It reads: ELIZABETH PUTNAM MARTIN 1738-1773 Above her name is a carving of the night sky, at the center of which is the NORTH STAR, steady and guiding. Martin approaches.
He gives himself a moment to look at the grave. A soft wind blows some dry leaves along the ground. Martin turns his head, as if listening to spoken words. PUSH IN on the North Star on the gravestone.
... %28197536%3A4%3C411%3ATROMLK%3E2.0.CO%3B2-ITiefenbrun, Susan. “Semiotics and Martin Luther King Junior’s “Letter from ... House LLC, 1963. Mott. Wesley T. “The Rhetoric of Martin Luther King, Jr.: Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Phylon (1960 ... longstanding effects on the generations to come. Works Cited King, Martin Luther Jr. “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” A World ...
MARGARET (V. O. ) That’s her, the North Star… DISSOLVE TO: INT.
GIRLS’ BEDROOM – NIGHTMartin stands in the doorway, unobserved, while Margaret and Susan look out the window at the night sky. MARGARET… you start from the front two stars of the Big Dipper and count up five fingers lengths… that’s right… there.
Susan gazes up at the North Star. The girls notice Martinand climb into bed. He puts a chair against Susan’s bed and kisses her. He pulls a blanket up around Margaret, who whispers: MARGARET It helps her to know Mother’s there. Martin nods with a thin smile, kisses Margaret, picks up his candle and walks out. INT.
BOYS’ BEDROOM – NIGHTMartin enters, finding William asleep on the floor and Nathan and Samuel both asleep in their beds. He lifts William into bed, takes a slingshot from Nathan’s hand. Samuel looks up, three-quarters asleep, murmuring: SAMUEL Mail, papa… MARTINI know.
He tucks in Samuel and walks out. INT. FOYER – MARTIN’S HOUSE – NIGHT Gabriel hovers near the still unopened mail. Thomas lies on the floor, deploying squadrons of lead soldiers. Martin walks in and pours a drink. MARTINVery well.
Open it. Thomas and Gabriel leap for the mail, battling, tearing into it. Martin steps to the window with his drink, looking out into the night. Gabriel scans, Thomas reads more slowly.
GABRIEL The New York and Rhode Island assemblies have been dissolved… Martinthey middle colonies? GABRIEL Rioting both sides of the bay, in Chestertown they burned the Customs House and tar-and-feathered the Customs Agent. He died of burns. In Wilmington they killed a Royal Magistrate and two Redcoats.
MARTIN Foolish men. GABRIELWho, the rioters or the magistrates? MARTIN Anything about the convention in Philadelphia? GABRIEL Poor Richard says they ” ll make a Declaration of Independence by July. Martin extracts a delicate pair of reading glasses from a wooden pocket-box and motions for Gabriel to hand him some of the newspapers and pamphlets. Gabriel does so.
Martin sits down and begins reading. GABRIEL Scott Higgins joined the militia. Martin doesn’t respond. Thomas looks up from his lead soldiers. GABRIELHe’s seventeen. A year younger thanI.
... of an engineer to a military General. During the Civil War, Lee turned down an offer made by President Lincoln to lead ... Harry" Lee. Henry was a Revolutionary War hero who went bankrupt and disgraced the Lee name. When Robert was a young child his father ... West Point, Robert got married and had children. Blount describes the effort made by Lee to stay close to his family while ...
Gabriel and Thomas wait for a reaction. None. Gabriel sighs and sits down to open more mail. Martin’s eyes drift from the page to Gabriel. Suddenly Gabriel starts: GABRIELFather! The assembly’s been convened! You ” re called to Charleston! Martin nods, not pleased, not surprised. MARTINWe ” ll leave in the morning.
EXT. SWAMP ROAD – DAYThe Martins drive on a beautiful swamp road. The arching maples and willows form a tunnel of green. The children excitedly CHATTER AND SING. Martin, driving one of the wagons, is troubled. Gabriel, driving the other, is as excited as his siblings, but he restrains himself.
EXT. BENNINGTON OVERLOOK – DAYThe two carriages pass a view of their entire valley. Scattered farms with a patchwork of cultivated fields and rice paddies surround the town of Bennington. EXT.
SANTEE ROAD – DAY Passing through rolling farmland, the Martins head toward the coast. They pass a large contingent of South Carolina Militia, drilling in a field. The children, particularly Gabriel, watch avidly. EXT. CHARLESTON – DAY Bustling. Martin and Gabriel negotiate the carriages through the busy streets.
The children watch, wide-eyed, seeing taverns, a public gallows, drunkards, street entertainers, well-dressed ladies attended by their maids, food vendors. They pull up in front of a grand house — Charlotte’s. INT. CHARLOTTE’S HOUSE – CHARLESTON – DAYCHARLOTTE S ELTON, mid-thirties, beautiful, with a deep sadness that she keeps hidden as best she can, runs down the grand staircase of her mansion. She stops in front of mirror and quickly primps, then hurries out the front door. EXT.
CHARLOTTE’S HOUSE – CHARLESTON – DAYThe children leap from the carriages and swarm around Charlotte, embracing her, smothering her with kisses. THE CHILDREN Aunt Charlotte! Aunt Charlotte! CHARLOTTE Welcome! Welcome! Margaret, William, look at you… ! (to Martin) They ” re huge. What have you been feeding them? MARTINThey ” re from good stock on their mother’s side. CHARLOTTE Thank you. Come, come, inside, wait until you see what I have…
THE CHILDREN (simultaneous; all except Susan) Presents! For me? What do you have? CHARLOTTE Inside, inside… The children race through the door, forcing Martin and Charlotte together. They stand awkwardly, their bodies close, as the children pass. After the children go, Martin and Charlotte stand for an extra instant, then turn and see Susan standing, staring.
... ) William Tuttle, "Daddy's Gone to War," The Second World War in the Lives of European Children, p. 111 2) Valerie Matsumoto, "Women ... Army," from Journey Through Chaos, pp. 322. 4) John Bartlow Martin, "Anything Bothering You, Soldier," (orig. from Harper's Magazine, 1945 ... of the most affected home fronts during this war, were Britain, and Germany. Women, children were the most affected, and by many ...
CHARLOTTE You, too, Susan. There’s something for you… Martin and Charlotte watch Susan walk inside. CHARLOTTES he still hasn’t started talking? Martin shakes his head. They sigh and head inside together.
EXT. CHARLESTON SQUARE – NIGHT CHAOS. A yelling crowd of Sons of Liberty is massed around a Liberty Tree from which hang dozens of glowing lanterns. GABRIEL walks through the crowd drinking it all in, turning his head this way and that, seeing: Drunk men. Vendors selling rum, ale, food and banners emblazoned with a coiled snake and the legend, ‘Don ” thread On Me.’ Scores of on-lookers, including respectable people, as well as street urchins, whores and drunkards, watch the proceedings. Gabriel moves through the crowd, excited by the madness of the scene, listening in to BITS OF CONVERSATION as he goes.
Gabriel stops, noticing PETER HOWARD, a one-legged, middle-aged man about Martin’s age, standing with his family on the edge of the crowd. Howard’s daughter, ANNE, very attractive, around fifteen, stands a bit apart from her parents. Gabriel makes his way over and stands next to Anne. They exchange a look. She turns back to watch the crowd. Gabriel clears his throat and speaks with earnest, adult politeness.
GABRIEL Miss Howard, isn’t it? She speaks without looking at him. ANNE You know who I am, Gabriel Martin. The last time you saw me I was nine and you put ink in my tea. Gabriel straightens up and speaks officiously, trying to appear a man above such childish pranks.
GABRIELI believe that was one of my younger brothers… perhaps Samuel or Nathan. ANNE It was you and it turned my teeth black for a month. GABRIELI… uh… The CROWD CHEERS AS several Sons of Liberty string up effigies of King George III and Governor Wilmington.
As they light the effigies on fire, Anne’s father, notices Anne talking to Gabriel. He motions for her to join him at his side. Anne nods to Gabriel, taking her leave. Gabriel watches her go.
With extreme effort, she keeps herself from glancing back at him. Gabriel turns his attention back to the crowd. Seeing a small knot of affluent men gathered in conversation, Gabriel walks over and stands just outside their circle, listening avidly. EXT. CHARLOTTE’S BALCONY – NIGHTMartin, his children and Charlotte watch the mob in the square below, The children are transfixed. Martin is troubled.
Charlotte looks closely at Martin, gauging his expression. THOMAS Look! There’s Gabriel! They see Gabriel making his way through the crowd. He sees them and waves, then enters the house. A moment later Gabriel breathlessly steps onto the balcony.
GABRIELIt’s coming… THOMAS War? War? GABRIEL Harry Lee is here from Virginia recruiting for a Continental Army. He seeks a levy of troops and money. The Governor has vowed that if the Assembly votes a single shilling to Lee, he ” ll dissolve the body. CHARLOTTE Which would force our delegates in Philadelphia to vote for independence. MARTINAnd send us to war alongside Massachusetts.
Gabriel nods enthusiastically. Martin shoots him a sidelong glance, troubled by the prospect. Charlotte notices. IN THE SQUARE, a pair of drunk Sons of Liberty, pull down one of the smoldering effigies, cut off its head, and start hacking at it’s groin with a sword. Martin sees his younger children’s expressions as they watch.
MARTIN Inside, all of you, right now. They start to protest but a look at their father’s face convinces them otherwise. They file into the house. Gabriel assumes the order doesn’t apply to him but a stern look from Martin sends him reluctantly inside, leaving Charlotte and Martin alone on the balcony. CHARLOTTE Lee will be counting on your vote.
He ” ll expect you to be the first to enlist. Martin looks down at the mob without responding. The flames of the burning effigies light his face. EXT. ASSEMBLY HALL – CHARLESTON – DAYThe capital building of South Carolina. A large crowd of lower-class men and women is massed in front of the Assembly Hall.
As well-dressed Assemblymen walk into the building, the CROWD YELLS words of encouragement to some and berates others. In the square in front of the Assembly Hall a squadron of blue-uniformed AMERICAN CONTINENTAL SOLDIERS drills. Recruiting table is being set up by a Continental Captain and several military clerks. INT.
ASSEMBLY HALL – DAY Two dozen ANGRY, YELLING, MEN OF PROPERTY. Among them are ROBINSON, HAMILL and JOHNSON, who are Patriots. Opposed to them are SIMMS, WITHINGTON and BALDRIDGE who are Loyalists. As Martin makes his way to his seat, the SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY POUNDS HIS GAVEL. SPEAKERORDER! ORDER! Slowly, the room quiets down.
SPEAKEROur first order of business… SIMMS And our last if we vote a levy… The ROOM ERUPTS. SPEAKERORDER! ORDER! Mr. Simms, you do not have the floor. The ROOM SETTLES DOWN.
SPEAKEROur first order of business is an address by Colonel Harry Lee of the Continental Army. An imposing figure makes his way to the front of the assembly, COLONEL HARRY LEE, about Martin’s age and cut from the same cloth — strong, weathered, with a powerful bearing. Lee sees Martin and offers a familiar nod, which Martin returns, stone-faced. At the dais Lee pauses, then speaks simply. LEE You all know why I am here. I am not an orator and I will not try to convince you of the worthiness of our cause.
I am a soldier and were at war and with the declaration of independence we all expect from Philadelphia, it will soon be a formal state of war. In preparation for that, eight of the thirteen colonies have levied money in support of a Continental Army. I ask South Carolina to be the ninth. In the balcony, Gabriel nods in agreement. Simms rises. SIMMS Colonel Lee, Massachusetts may be at war, along with New Hampshire and Rhode Island and Virginia, but South Carolina is not at war.
LEE Massachusetts and New Hampshire are not as far from South Carolina as you might think and the war they ” re fighting is not for independence of one or two colonies. It’s for the independence of one nation. WITHINGTON And what nation is that? Robinson, one of the Patriots, stands up. ROBINSON An American nation. Colonel Lee, with your permission? Lee nods. ROBINSON Those of us who call ourselves Patriots are not seeking to give birth to an American nation, but to protect one that already exists.
Itwas born a hundred-and-seventy years ago at Jamestown and has grown stronger and more mature with every generation reared and with every crop sown and harvested. We are one nation and our rights as citizens of that nation are threatened by a tyrant three thousand miles away. LEE Were I an orator, those are the exact words I would have spoken. Laughter. Martin rises. MARTIN Mister Robinson, tell me, why should trade one tyrant, three thousand miles away, for three thousand tyrants, one mile away? Laughter from the Loyalists.
Surprise from Lee and the Patriots. In the gallery, Gabriel winces. ROBINSON Sir? Martinand elected legislature can trample a man’s rights just as easily as a King can. LEE Captain Martin, I understood you to be a Patriot.
Martini you mean by a Patriot, am I angry at the Townsend Acts and the Stamp Act? Then I’m a Patriot. And what of the Navigation Act? Should I be permitted to sell my rice to the French traders on Martinique? Yes, and it’s an intrusion into my affairs that I can’t… legally. Laughter.
MARTINAnd what of the greedy, self-serving bastards who sit as Magistrates on the Admiralty Court and have fined nearly every man in this room. Should they be boxed about the ears and thrown onto the first ship back to England? I’ll do it myself. (beat) And do I believe that the American colonies should stand as a separate, independent nation, free from therein’s of King and Parliament? I do, and if that makes a Patriot, thenI’m a Patriot. Martin grows more serious. MARTINBut if you ” re asking whether I’m willing to go to war with England, the answer is, no. I’ve been to war and I have no desire to do so again.
The room is quiet, the Assemblymen having been thrown off-balance. Gabriel is disappointed by his father’s speech. ROBINSON This from the same Captain Benjamin Martin whose anger was so famous during the Wilderness Campaign? Martin glares at Robinson, then smiles. MARTINI was intemperate in my youth. My departed wife, God bless her soul, dampened that intemperance with the mantle of responsibility. Robinson looks derisively at Martin.
ROBINSON Temperance can be a convenient disguise for fear. Martin bristles but before he can answer, Lee steps in. LEE Mister Robinson, I fought with Captain Martin in the French and Indian War, including the Wilderness Campaign. We served as scouts under Washington.
There’s not a man in this room, or anywhere, for that matter, to whom I would more willingly trust my life. ROBINSON stand corrected. LEE But, damn it, Benjamin! You live ina cave if you think we ” ll get independence without war… MARTINWasn’t it a Union Jack we fought under? LEE long time ago… MARTIN Thirteen years… LEEThat’s a damn long time…
The Speaker POUNDS HIS GAVEL again. SPEAKER Gentlemen! Please! This is not a tavern! Martin and Lee ignore the speaker. MARTINYou were an Englishman then… LEEI was an American, I just didn’t know it yet…
The Assemblymen and even the Speaker turn their heads in simultaneous anticipation of each rejoinder. MARTINWe don’t have to go to war to gain independence… LEE Balderdash! MARTINThere are a thousand avenues, other than war, at our disposal… Martin speaks slowly and firmly.
MARTINWe do not have to go to war to gain independence. Lee says nothing for a moment, then he speaks more seriously, quietly, grimly. LEE Benjamin, I was at Bunker Hill. Itwas as bad as anything you and I saw on the frontier. Worse than the slaughter at the Ashuelot River.
The British advanced three times and we killed over seven hundred of the mat point blank range. If your principles dictate independence, then war is the only way. It has come to that. Martin is silent for a long moment. He softens and grows unsteady, speaking far more honestly than he ever wanted to. MARTINI have seven children.
My wife is dead. Who’s to care for them if Igo to war? Lee is stunned by Martin’s honesty and his show of weakness. At first Lee has no answer, then: Leeward are not fought only by childless men. A man must weigh his personal responsibilities against his principles.
MARTINThat’s what I’m doing. I will not fight and because I won’t, I will not cast a vote that will send others to fight in my stead. LEE And your principles? MARTINI’m a parent, I don’t have the luxury of principles. The other Assemblymen, both Patriots and Loyalists, stare at him, appalled.
Martin, feeling weak, sits down. Lee looks at his friend with more sympathy than disappointment. In the gallery Gabriel turns and walks out. EXT.
ASSEMBLY HALL – DAYThe crowd waits. The doors open and a PAGE BOY dashes out and runs to the Continental Captain at the recruiting table. PAGE BOY Twenty-eight to twelve, the levy passed! The Continental Captain motions to an assembled squadron. They raise their muskets and FIRE A VOLLEY into the air.
Other soldiers, STRIKE UP A MARTIAL AIR ON FIFES AND DRUMS. Volunteers crowd around the recruiting table, YELLING and jostling for position. The delegates walk out. Both Patriots and Loyalists give Martin a wide berth. Martin sees Gabriel, standing near the crowd at the recruiting table.
Martin walks up to him. GABRIELFather, I’ve lost respect for you. I thought you were a man of principle. MARTIN When you have children, I hope you ” ll understand. GABRIEL When I have children, I hope I don’t hide behind them. Martin looks closely at Gabriel.
Martinno you intend to enlist without my permission? GABRIEL Yes. They lock eyes for a moment, then Gabriel turns from his father and walks away, joining the crush around the recruiting table. Martin stands alone in the middle of the chaos. The FIFES AND DRUMS continue to play. Martindoesn’t hear them. LEE (O.
S. ) Is he as imprudent as his father was at his age. Martin turns and sees Lee standing next to him, looking at Gabriel. MARTIN Unfortunately, so.
In other measures he is his mother’s son, but in prudence, or lack thereof, he is his father’s. LEEI ” ll see to it that he serves under me. I’ll make him clerk or a quartermaster, something of that sort. MARTIN Good luck. They shake hands. Then Lee walks over to the soldiers.
CAMERA CRANES UP as Martin takes a last look at Gabriel, then heads off through the crowded square, moving against the tide of men headed toward the recruiting table. CRANE UP ENDS ON TABLEAU of the sunlit city of Charleston. Bustling streets filled with civilians, Patriots streaming into the Assembly Square and fluttering flags — the South Carolina state flag and numerous ‘Don’t Tread On Me ” flags. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. CHARLESTON – DAYThe same view of the city which has radically changed: SUPERIMPOSITION: TWO YEARS LATER The sky is cloud-filled and dark. The flags have all been replaced by Union Jacks.
Redcoats march in lock-step unison where excited Patriots and civilians ran. A fleet of British ships is visible in the harbor. Defensive emplacements, bristling with cannons, surround the city. GABRIEL (V. O. )…
and I apologize for not having written in such a long time. EXT. CHARLESTON STREET – DAYA detachment of Redcoats marches past coldly staring American civilians. GABRIEL (V.
O. ) As you must know, the fall of Charleston has been a severe blow to our cause… EXT. CHARLESTON SQUARE – DAY LORD GENERAL CORNWALLIS haughtily turns from American General Lincoln, forcing Lincoln to present his sword of surrender to one of Cornwallis’s ub ordinates. GABRIEL (V. O.
) With the sting of that loss made all the worse by Cornwallis’ humiliation of our General Lincoln at the surrender ceremony… EXT. CHARLOTTE’S HOUSE – CHARLESTON – DAYCharlotte supervises her slaves as they pack a line of wagons. GABRIEL (V. O. ) A letter from Aunt Charlotte informed me that she closed her home in Charleston before the city fell…
EXT. CHARLOTTE’S PLANTATION – DAYA back country plantation. More substantial than Martin’s but not opulent. Charlotte, her hands dirty, tends a vegetable garden with a pair of female slaves, while several male slaves harvest rice in the paddies beyond. GABRIEL (V. O.
)… and moved to her plantation near you on the Santee. EXT. SLIGHT RISE – FRESH WATER PLANTATION – LATER Martin stands at his wife’s grave, finishing reading the letter. GABRIEL (V. O.
) What little news we get from the North is disheartening, offering us little solace in these dark times. I pray for a turn of fortune for our cause. Then, as now, your loving son, Gabriel. A soft wind blows. Martin turns his head, listening for a faint voice, but hears nothing. He folds the letter, takes off his glasses, boxes them, and heads down the hill toward the lights and laughter coming from the house below.
INT. MARTIN’S BEDROOM – DUSK A trunk lid opens. CAMERA PULLS BACK to reveal Thomas in Martin’s closet. He lifts out some blankets, uncovering a trove of Martin’s old military gear — a worn battle coat, a box of medals, a military sword, rusted into its scabbard, and the tomahawk seen in the opening sequence. Thomas puts on the coat which hangs off his narrow shoulders. He stands in front of a mirror, appraising himself.
He picks up the tomahawk and hefts it. FOOTSTEPS. Martin steps into the room and stops. Thomas grimaces, expecting him to be angry but Martin simply shakes his head, takes the tomahawk, and gently removes the battle coat. MARTINNot yet, Thomas. THOMAS When? Martin looks closely at his son, giving him the courtesy of really thinking about the answer.
MARTIN Seventeen. THOMASBut it’s already been two years and that’s two more years. The war could be over by then. MARTIN God willing.
THOMAS Alright. Seventeen. Martin offers his hand. They shake. Martin puts the coat and the tomahawk back in the trunk and closes the lid. INT.
FRESH WATER PLANTATION – DAWN All is quiet. A dawn mist hovers close over the ground. Some sparrows feed at the base of the oak tree near. DISTANT THUNDER. Low and rolling. The birds fly away.
INT. MARTIN’S BEDROOM – DAWN Another roll of the DISTANT THUNDER. Martin awakes. He gets out of bed and pulls on his clothes. EXT. FRONT PORCH – MARTIN’S HOUSE – DAWN Martin steps out to his front porch and listens.
He knows the sound, the DISTANT STACCATO BOOMS OF CANNON and the PATTERING WAVE OF THOUSANDS OF MUSKETS FIRING. One by one he is joined by his children. Thomas, Nathan and Samuel listen analytically. Margaret and Susan press close against their father. Abigale and Abner join the family on the porch. Abigalegathers Susan and William to her skirts.
Joshua, Jonah and Mica step out of the slave quarters and listen. William looks curiously at the cloudless sky. Williams it going to rain? THOMASThat’s not thunder. The SOUND BECOMES DEEPER, MORE OMINOUS. They all notice. NATHANFather? MARTIN Six-pounders.
Lots of them. THOMAS How far away? MARTIN Four, five miles. SAMUELWaxhaus? MARTIN Just east of it. MARGARET We could go stay at Aunt Charlotte’s. She’s west. MARTINNo, there ” ll be skirmishers on the roads.
We ” re safer here. Thomas appears at the doorway with a pair of muskets. He gives one to Nathan and offers the other to his father. MARTINPut those away.
THOMASBut father, they might come this way. MARTINPut those things away! INT. WORKSHOP – DAYMartin works the lathe, trying to concentrate. Susan watches from her perch on the woodpile. A distracted Martin slips, CUTTING HIS FINGER. The BLOOD, landing on the spinning dowel, makes a quick, bright red, circle around the wood.
Martin continues working. EXT. BARN – DAYThe SOUND OF A CRASH. A horse runs out of the barn, dragging a tenacious Samuel who is holding onto the horse’s neck. Joshua and Jonah step out of the barn, admiring the boy’s grit. Samuel’s grip fails and he lands in the dirt.
Seeing that he’s unhurt, Joshua and Jonah laugh lightly as the horse runs off down the hill toward the river. Joshua stands Samuel up and brushes him off. JOSHUA You go on and get him, there, boy. Samuel grabs a rope and heads down the hill to get the horse. ON THE RIVERBANK As Samuel approaches the horse he see it skittishly approaching then retreating from the water. Then he sees the cause — the water in the river has a pale, pink hue.
Samuel stares at it, trying to figure out what it is. ON THE PORCH Abigale sees Samuel beyond the yard wall and snaps at Margaret. ABIGALE Look where your brother is… your Papa said you stay close by this house… you bring him up here, right now. Margaret heads after Samuel.
Abigale re-enters the house. MARGARETSamuel… He doesn’t respond. William trails after Margaret. MARGARETSamuel, get up to the house… Papa’s gonna be mad…
Then she sees it, too. The pale pink is turning redder and redder. And then the BODIES. First one, then more, many more. Torn apart. Missing limbs.
Those with wide-open wounds, are already drained of blood. Others are still seeping, leaving trails of deep red in the paler red of the surrounding water. Samuel, Margaret and William stand frozen, appalled and fascinated. MARTIN steps out of the workshop and sees the children at the river. He can’t see what they ” re looking at. Irritated, he walks toward them.
Then, as he nears the river, he sees the color of the water and the bodies that have hypnotized his children. He quickens his stride, speaking calmly but firmly, careful not to frighten them. MARTIN Up to the house, now. All of you, come on. Now. EXT.
MARTIN’S HOUSE – NIGHT Quiet. Dark. Martin stands on the front porch, looking out into the night, listening, hearing nothing. He glances up at the NORTH STAR. BEHIND THE HOUSE, A FIGURE IN THE DARKNESS, carrying a musket, moves from shadow to shadow. INT.
KITCHEN – NIGHT Margaret and Samuel and William talk, their voices low. SAMUELThey ” re going to come. MARGARET Quiet. SAMUEL We ” re going to have to fight them off. WILLIAM Father will do that. SAMUELThey ” ll probably kill us men and do Lord knows what to you women.
MARGARETSamuel! A SOUND. They all stop. Something moved behind the kitchen. Margaret silently eases the others out of the room.
SUDDENLY IN FRONT OF THEM, A BLOODY FIGURE Big. Hulking. In uniform. Margaret SCREAMS.
William and Samuel CRY OUT. The figure moves toward them… Martin, on the porch, hears the scream, races into the house… sees the figure… Martin reaches under his vest and DRAWS A HERETOFORE UNSEEN PISTOL… cocks and aims ina fast, practiced motion…
he’s just about to fire when… THE FIGURE MOVES INTO THE LIGHT… Martin sees… MARTIN Gabriel! Gabriel is wounded, battered and dirty, carrying a musket and a dispatch case. He sways. Martin catches him and eases him to a seat.
Abigale frantically looks at his wounds. THOMAS The battle, were you there? MARTIN Abigale, get bandages and water. Thomas, the porch. They hurry off. Martin checks Gabriel’s wounds. GABRIEL Have you seen any Redcoats? MARTINNot yet.
What happened? Abigale brings water and linen to Martin who expertly cleans Gabriel’s wounds and applies field-dressings as they talk. GABRIELIt wasn’t like Saratoga. There, we stayed in the trees, but this time Gates marched us straight at the Redcoats. They fired two volleys into us and we broke like straw.
Was given these dispatches… I saw Virginia Regulars surrender… as they laid down their weapons the British Green Dragoons rode into them and hacked them to bits… killed them all, over two hundred men.
Martin’s appalled. MARTINThey had surrendered? Gabriel nods. Martin’s stunned. Gabriel tries to rise. GABRIELI have to get these dispatches to Hillsboro.
MARTINYou ” re in no condition to ride. GABRIELI can’t stay here… it’s not safe for any of you and I must get to… I… Gabriel passes out.
Martin catches him and carries him to day-bed. They hear HEAVY MUSKET FIRE, VERY CLOSE. Martin hurries to the door and looks out into the night, the children cluster around him, seeing a strange sight. A SKIRMISH IN THE FIELD BELOW THE HOUSE Pitch black. Then a MUSKET FIRES, creating a FLASH OF LIGHT that illuminates a tableau of soldiers, about three dozen Redcoats and as many Patriots. The strobe of the musket shot provides targets for an ensuing VOLLEY OF SHOTS in every direction.
Then darkness, punctuated by SCREAMS OF PAIN, CONFUSED HOLLERING and the RUSTLING OF ARMED MEN IN MOVEMENT. Then the pattern repeats itself: A MUSKET FIRES, illuminating a tableau of targets for another MURDEROUS VOLLEY OF SHOTS. MARTINMargaret, take William and Susan down to the root cellar. Thomas, go to the back porch. Nathan and Samuel, the side windows. Keep out of sight.
They hurry off. Martin steps into the house and opens his gun cabinet. He extracts two pistols and a pair of muskets. Then he steps back to the front door. He waits and watches. EXT.
LOWER FIELD – FRESH WATER PLANTATION – DAWN First light. The morning mist lies low over the field. Martin warily approaches the scene of the battle. He carries a Pennsylvania rifle, has another slung over his shoulder, and has a pair of pistols in his belt.
As Martin nears the field he sees, appearing out of the mist, a nightmarish vision. Young Redcoats and Continentals are scattered on the ground, dead and wounded. Many have been hideously torn apart by the massive musket balls. Blood is everywhere. Martin hurries back toward the house. EXT.
MARTIN’S HOUSE – FRESH WATER PLANTATION – DAYThe porch and yard have been turned into a field hospital. There are about two dozen wounded, a few more Patriots than Redcoats. Joshua, Jonah and Mica unload the last wagon-load of injured men. Abigale, Thomas, Nathan, Samuel and Margaret help Martin tend the soldiers. William and Susan watch from inside. Abner stands on the edge of the yard as lookout.
Gabriel, stronger though still weakened by his wounds, helps, treating a Patriot’s arm wound, retying a tourniquet, stanching an ugly flow of blood. Thomas sees and swoons, then grows embarrassed when Gabriel notices. EXT. MARTIN’S HOUSE – AFTERNOON Triage completed. Margaret and Samuel give water and food. Martin kneels next to a CONTINENTAL SERGEANT and a COUPLE OF PRIVATES who are less severely wounded than the others.
CONTINENTAL SERGEANT Thank you. Martin nods, uncomfortable with the thanks. MARTIN Sergeant, there are seventeen wounded men here. Seven Redcoats and ten Patriots, counting my son.
That puts me in a difficult position. The Continental Sergeant knows what’s coming. The Privates and Martin’s younger children don’t. A troubled Gabriel, overhearing, does know. MARTINYou three are the least severely wounded. I have to ask you to leave and find care elsewhere.
The Privates are stunned at the request. The Sergeant looks at Martin’s children and nods. SERGEANT understand. He struggles to his feet and jerks his head for the two Privates to do the same. SERGEANT Come on, boys. Nathan, Samuel and Margaret are confused.
THOMASFather? NATHAN But they ” re wounded. MARTINThere are rules, even in war. Martin’s children are not convinced. Gabriel steps over in front of Martin as the Sergeant and the two Privates gather themselves to leave. GABRIELFather, no… MARTINWe ” ll be safe this way.
GABRIEL Even now you won’t pick a side? Martin glances at his younger children then turns back to Gabriel. MARTINI have. Gabriel points to the more seriously wounded of the Privates. GABRIEL You stay, I’ll go. MARTINNo. His wound is less severe than yours.
Gabriel hesitates. The Private tentatively steps up. PRIVATEHe’s right. I’ll go. Gabriel backs down. Martin hides his relief and turns to the Sergeant and the Privates.
Martinyou best chance is in Bennington, seven miles east, along the river road. The wounded men nod grimly and start off down the road. MARTIN Thank you. Martin, Gabriel and his children watch them go. Troubled Gabriel heads over to help the remaining wounded. EXT.
FRESH WATER ROAD – DAYA dirt road runs along the edge of the swamps. Beautiful country. Peaceful. The GROUND BEGINS TO SHAKE.
A THUNDEROUS SOUND rises, louder and louder. HORSES HOOVES. From around a bend, a detachment of cavalry gallops: British GREEN DRAGOONS. The finest light calvary in the world. Hard, strong men. Excellent horsemen.
Their mounts are powerful, muscled and perfectly cared for. The Dragoons themselves are all hardened veterans, marked with the blood and dirt of a recent battle. Tired and vigorous. Armed to the teeth, each with a flintlock carbine, a brace of pistols and a sword. Some carry lances. Flags flutter.
And at their head, the most imposing man of all, LT. COLONEL WILLIAM TAVINGTON. ‘The Butcher.’ Aristocratic. Strong. Dark. A powerful horseman on the best mount of the entire troop.
Decorated. Imperious. No temper, just hard, cold authority. His men struggle to keep up with him.
Behind them, two dozen LOYALIST MILITIA CALVARY. Nasty, local men. Civilian clothes. Riding at their head, AMOS GASKINS, grizzled, lower-class, wearing ill-fitting patrician’s clothing. AROUND A BEND The three wounded Patriots who just left Martin’s farm hear the horses coming, stand on the side of the road, raise their arms and a white cloth of surrender. The Green Dragoons rein in.
Tavington stops in front of the three men. He motions for one of his men to lower his weapon. Then he speaks calmly, quietly, to the wounded men. TAVINGTON You ” re surrendering. CONTINENTAL SERGEANT Yes, sir.
TAVINGTON What unit? CONTINENTAL SERGEANT First Virginia Regulars under Colonel Hamilton. TAVINGTONWho cared for your wounds? They hesitate. CONTINENTAL SERGEANT We did. TAVINGTON With a lace table cloth? Tavington turns to his second-in-command, MAJOR WILKINS. TAVINGTONKill them. Tavington rides off.
Wilkins and several other Dragoons calmly FIRE THEIR PISTOLS, killing the three Patriots. The troops ride off, thundering past the bodies. EXT. FRESH WATER PLANTATION – DAYMartin, his family and freedmen continue tending the wounded. REDCOAT INFANTRY appear out of the woods, heading toward the house. Three dozen men.
Scouts and flank units covering the main body. Martin gathers his family around him, stands and waits. Joshua, Jonah and Mica stand among the wounded. Abigale makes her way to Martin and the children, gathering the younger ones closer to her.
The Redcoats warily eye the wounded and Martin’s family. A young REDCOAT LIEUTENANT motions his men to check out the house and barn, then does a silent count of the wounded. REDCOAT LIEUTENANT These men are of my regiment. Thankyou.
Martin nods. ONE OF THE REDCOATS emerges from the house carrying Gabriel’s dispatch case. REDCOAT Rebel dispatches, sir. Gabriel steps up. GABRIELI carried those.
I was wounded, these people gave me care, they have nothing to do with the dispatches. REDCOAT LIEUTENANTI understand. The SOUND OF HORSES HOOVES. All turn and see: TAVINGTON and the GREEN DRAGOONS thundering down the road toward the house. It’s an impressive, frightening sight.
They rein in their horses, stopping in the yard, enveloped by their trailing cloud of dust. Tavington surveys the scene, then speaks to the young Redcoat Lieutenant. TAVINGTON Lieutenant, have a detachment take our wounded to our surgeons at Camden crossing. Use whatever horses and wagons you can find here. REDCOAT LIEUTENANT Yes, sir. He hands the dispatch case to Tavington.
REDCOAT LIEUTENANT We found this, sir. Tavington opens it and quickly scans the contents. TAVINGTONWho carried this? GABRIELI did. TAVINGTON (to Lt. re: Gabriel) Take this one to Camden, he’s a spy.
He will be hung. Martin quickly steps between Tavington and Gabriel. MARTINColonel, he’s a dispatch rider and that’s a marked dispatch case. Tavington ignores Martin and continues speaking to the Lieutenant. TAVINGTON Fire the house and barns. Send the slaves to Acworth…
enlist the young ones. Leave the rest of the goods. Abigale is appalled. Joshua steps up.
JOSHUA We ” re not slaves, we ” re freedmen… TAVINGTON Then you ” re freedmen who will enlist in the King’s army. Martin grows distraught… MARTINColonel…
REDCOAT LIEUTENANT And the Rebel wounded? TAVINGTONKill them. The Redcoat Lieutenant and several of his men are shocked by the order. Martin is, also, but he’s more concerned with Gabriel. He pushes past some Redcoats and stands atTavington’s mount, looking up. MARTINA dispatch rider with a marked case cannot be held for spying. Tavington finally pays attention to Martin.
He looks down at his anguished face and offers the barest of smiles. TAVINGTON We ” re not going to hold him, we ” re going to hang him. MARTINBut… Tavington draws his pistol and points it at Martin. Gabriel tries to intercede but is held back by a burly Redcoat Corporal. GABRIELFather…
TAVINGTONOh, he’s your son. You should have taught him about loyalty. MARTINColonel, I beg you, please reconsider. By the rules of war, a dispatch rider with a marked case…
Tavington controls his shifting mount, keeping his pistol trained on Martin’s face. TAVINGTON Would you like a lesson in the rules of war? Martin doesn’t answer. He looks up at Tavington coldly, taking his measure, waiting to see if he’s going to pull the trigger. Tavington walks his horse a couple of steps and shifts his aim, pointing the pistol among Martin’s children. TAVINGTONPerhaps your children would. The children are terrified.
Thomas is more angry than frightened. Martin quickly steps between the pistol and his children and speaks quietly to Tavington. MARTINNo lesson is necessary. Tavington sees the terrified expressions on the faces of Martin’s children. He smiles at the effect.
Then he holsters his pistol. Martin and his children watch as one of the Redcoats ties Gabriel’s hands. Thomas is beside himself. THOMASFather, do something. Thomas grows increasingly agitated.
He sees that his father is going to do nothing. He gauges the distance between Gabriel and the cover of the nearby woods. Then suddenly, Thomas SPRINGS. He RUNS, THROWING HIMSELF, into the two Redcoats holding Gabriel, KNOCKING THEM DOWN. THOMAS Gabriel! Run! Gabriel is too shocked to take flight. A few of the Redcoats, including one of the ones knocked down, shake their heads with sad laughter at Thomas’ ineffectual gesture.
One of them grabs Thomas by the scruff of the neck and yanks him to his feet. TAVINGTON sees the commotion. Without pausing he DRAWS HIS PISTOL AND FIRES, HITTING THOMAS IN THE BACK. THOMAS is thrown to his knees by the shot.
Stunned, confused, he looks down and sees the massive exit wound in his chest. MARTIN, horrified, catches Thomas as he falls, easing him to the ground. GABRIEL CRIES OUT. THE OTHER CHILDREN are stunned to silence. Abigale SOBS.
The REDCOATS are frozen in place. Tavington’s GREENDRAGOONS are impassive, having seen worse. MARTIN holds his son, looking at the huge, incomprehensible wound. He knows that Thomas is already dead, though his body still moves. MARTIN’S stunned agony turns to fury. He rises, his eyes trained on Tavington, then stops as…
TAVINGTON raises a second loaded pistol and a DOZEN GREENDRAGOONS raise pistols and carbines, aiming them at Martin, Gabriel and the other children. MARTIN FREEZES, torn between his fury and fear for his children. He locks his eyes on Tavington. TAVINGTON calmly baths in Martin’s anger. Then, with a hard yank of the reins, he jerks his horse’s head around and utters a sharp command to Wilkins. TAVINGTONMajor.
Tavington spurs his horse and rides off without looking back. His GREEN DRAGOONS THUNDER after him. MARTIN’S CHILDREN begin to cry. Margaret tries to revive Thomas’ lifeless body, gently caressing his cheek. MARGARET Thomas, please, Thomas…
A sobbing Abigale tries to pull her from Thomas’ body. ABIGALE Come, child, come… The Redcoats watch in silence. MARTIN LOOKS TO GABRIELwho is stunned, torn between shock and overwhelming guilt.
Martin turns to the Redcoat Lieutenant. MARTIN Lieutenant, please… The Lieutenant wavers, but a look after the departingTavington stiffens his resolve. REDCOAT LIEUTENANTI have my orders. Sergeant! The Redcoat infantrymen scatter, some to get horses and wagons from the barn, others to torch the buildings. MARTIN stands among the children, all of whom look to Martin with pleading eyes, waiting for him to do something.
MARGARET Papa, look what they did to Thomas… NATHANFather, they ” re going to take Gabriel… With stone-faced fury, Martin watches the Redcoats do their work. With leveled muskets, Redcoats motion Joshua, Jonah, Mica and Abner off. As they turn to Abigale, she rises up protectively, putting herself in front of the family. ABIGALEI’m not leaving these children…
you can shoot me, you damned things… One coarse-looking Redcoat raises his musket to oblige. Martin intercedes with icy silence, motioning for Abigale to go. Reluctantly she moves away from the children at gunpoint. From the barns, they hear the sounds of MUSKETS FIRING and the SQUEALS OF THE LIVESTOCK being killed. Other REDCOATS TORCH THE HOUSE, BARN AND OUTBUILDINGS.
The FLAMES RISE. The Redcoats bring out Martin’s wagons and carriages and begin loading the Redcoat wounded. The Redcoat Lieutenant and several of his men walk among the Patriot wounded who start to struggle to their feet, begging for mercy. The Redcoats quickly OPEN FIRE, as if to get it over with.
The WOUNDED PATRIOTS CRY OUT. More SHOTS. Then SILENCE. GABRIEL, his hands bound behind him, looks to his father with a combination of resoluteness and fear. NATHANFather, you can’t let them take him… MARTIN Quiet.
Martin and the children watch as a detachment of Redcoat infantry forms up and move out, leading Gabriel on a tether. Gabriel looks back but a hard jerk on the rope by one of the Redcoats turns him around. The remaining Redcoats, cavalry, finish firing the buildings, mount up and head off, upriver, with the freedmen in the wagons. THE INSTANT THE REDCOATS ARE OUT OF SIGHT, MARTIN speaks firmly to his weeping children. MARTINDon’t move. MARTIN STRIDES to his front door and ENTERS THE BURNING HOUSE.
INSIDE, FIRE EVERYWHERE. Picking a route between the flames, Martin walks to his bedroom gun cabinet. He opens it and pulls out weapons — a Pennsylvania rifle, two muskets, two pistols, a long-bladed knife. Then he ducks into the closet, opens the trunk and takes out the TOMAHAWK…
Martin carries it, the guns, powder horns and ammunition pouches back toward the door. Martin walks OUT OF THE BURNING HOUSE. Without breaking stride, he throws muskets to: MARTINNathan, Samuel… They catch the weapons. MARTINMargaret, take William and Susan to the river shed. Hide there.
If we ” re not back by dawn, go upriver to the Richardson’s house. They ” ll take you to your Aunt Charlotte’s. Nathan, Samuel, and I are going to get Gabriel. MARGARET But what about Thomas? MARTIN Leave him. Take care of William and Susan.
Martin runs off toward the woods, Nathan and Samuel follow. Margaret hesitates, then herds William and Susan toward the river. The house is enveloped in flames. EXT. WOODED PATH – AFTERNOONMartin runs, breathing hard, keeping a punishing, steady pace. Nathan and Samuel run behind, less winded than their father.
Martin makes up with cold fury what he lacks in youth. EXT. WOODED HILLSIDE – AFTERNOONMartin runs up to the crest of a wooded hill. Slows. Crawls the last few feet.
Nathan and Samuel just behind him. Looks over the hillside. A path runs through a glen, about fifty feet below. Martin’s eyes dart, absorbing the terrain, looking for advantage. He points.
MARTINNathan, there. Samuel, there. The boys go where they ” re told. MARTINI ” ll fire first. Then, Nathan, kill whoever is standing closest to Gabriel. Samuel, kill the last man in the line.
They stagger under the weight of the orders. Martin notices but continues. MARTIN After that, Samuel, load for Nathan. If something happens to me, put down your weapons and run as fast as you can, that way, downhill.
Hide in the brush by the river, then make your way home, get the others and go to Aunt Charlotte’s. The boys hesitate. Martin looks at them firmly. MARTIN Boys…
steady. NATHAN & SAMUEL Yes, father. Martin disappears into the underbrush. DOWN THE PATH The dozen Redcoats approach. Leading Gabriel on the rope. AHEAD OF THEM Martin waits in the thick undergrowth.
On the hillside, Nathan and Samuel grip their muskets and exchange a frightened, troubled l.