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The FRENCH CAMP


[INTERIOR MONTCALM'S MARQUEE - CHORAL GROUP - NIGHT

of three Seneca women and five boys, led by a Jesuit, sing the Te Deum in the Iroquois language. This is a large tent that could sleep twenty. Montcalm's four personal guards are at the entrance as well as COMTE DE LEVIS in dirty lace, a facial wound and a braceful of pistols on a sash. Inside is simple campaign furniture and a six by eight foot battle standard and flag of France.

MONTCALM

stands with a huge and fearsome elaborately tattooed and robed Seneca chief in a silk turban ...]

SENECA CHIEF: [low] ... and the Black Robes of Michilimackinac left us no time to put our cabins in order before telling us our French father had need of our aid. We rolled our blankets and were the first to be here. Yet we are not the first and closest to my father's campfire.

[The Marquis de Montcalm is forty-five, wears a large wampum belt as a sash over his waistcoat. He has an acute intellect, an elegant manner. He is more aristocratic than Munro, but a consummate professional soldier. Over the Seneca's shoulder, Montcalm sees and nods to ...

MAGUA

entering with four Huron braves. This is not the Magua we saw on the trail. In his scalp lock, now red-stained and cut to a Huron roach, are three black plumes. A match-coat blanket drapes his left shoulder.]

MONTCALM: [to Seneca Chief] For my children and the children of the true faith, my friendship and esteem is boundless ... I will give you three oxen for a feast and tomorrow I, myself, will sing the war song with you in the great council house.

[The Seneca Chief is satisfied and his people, plus the Jesuit, exit. The look on Magua's face and the wry expression on Montcalm's allows us to understand their relationship is based on realpolitik.]

MONTCALM: Le Renard Subtil, how are things with your English friends?

[Magua exhales in derision as he brings a chair to face Montcalm and sits, European style ...]

MONTCALM: [over his shoulder] Louis Antoine, join us.

[LOUIS ANTOINE DE BOUGAINVILLE enters. He wears a functional melange of Indian moccasins over white linen breeches and an officer's waistcoat.]

MONTCALM: Hear what le Subtil has to tell us ...

[Bougainville published a book on integral calculus at twenty-five, at twenty-six was a secretary to the French Ambassador in London, in January 1756 at twenty-seven he was elected a member of the British Royal Academy of Science and at age twenty-eight he's aide de camp to the Marquis de Montcalm with the rank of captain. Later in life, he brought "bougainvillea" from Tahiti to Europe to America.]

MAGUA: English war chief, Webb goes to Fort Edward with 33rd Regiment. He does not know my father's army attacks Fort William Henry.

BOUGAINVILLE: But by now Munro knows his couriers didn't get through. He'll send another.

MAGUA: The Grey Hair will try.

BOUGAINVILLE: Four or five, including two women entered the fort ...

MAGUA: The Grey Hair's children were under Magua's knife but escaped. They'll be under it again.

MONTCALM: Why do you hate the Grey Hair, Magua?

MAGUA: When the Grey Hair is dead, Magua will eat his heart. Before he dies Magua will put his children under the knife so the Grey Hair will see his seed is wiped out forever.

[Montcalm won't get a direct answer.]

MONTCALM: My sappeurs are advancing the trenches through the night, now. You may have your opportunity soon.

[CUT TO ...]

LAKE GEORGE & FORT WILLIAM HENRY ... Surgery & The Courier


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