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


[INTERIOR SURGERY, ENTRANCE - PHELPS - NIGHT

exhausted, sitting on a low stool, taking a breath.]

HAWKEYE [O.S.]: She know what she's doin'?

[Phelps looks up, then he looks over his shoulder at Cora. She's in a borrowed launderess dress/blouse ... She looks different. He's a little indignant.]

PHELPS: First assisted me in Austria when she was fourteen. I would say she does ...

[Her apron is stained. Hawkeye sees this may be her first time in the New World, but it's not her first military campaign. Still angered at Munro's dismissive response, he's nevertheless falling for Cora.]

HAWKEYE: She does not shy away from much ...

PHELPS: [elsewhere] What's that?

HAWKEYE: Nothin'.

[Alice Munro has caught Hawkeye's attention. Outside the surgery where a casement meets a wall, she sits, withdrawn. A catatonic older woman in a fine dress sits next to her.]

PHELPS [O.S.]: Miss Cora? Gentleman looking for you.

[HAWKEYE

enters. Cora's sewing up Uncas.]

CORA: [looks up] Mr Poe?

HAWKEYE: Miss. [re: cotton] May I?

[Cora, curious, nods. Hawkeye cuts some pieces from her ruined and discarded dress that she now uses to bandage Uncas. We don't know why; neither does Cora.]

HAWKEYE: [to Uncas] You 'bout done holdin' hands with Miss Munro?

[Uncas laughs, looking from her to Hawkeye. Then he's up and he hurts. Cora starts to tend another wounded man. As they start out, Hawkeye hesitates. Sensing it, Cora turns.]

CORA: What are you looking at, Mr. Poe?

HAWKEYE: Why, I am looking at you, Miss.

[Cora measures the directness of Hawkeye's manner. It's not insolent, only unsettling. Feeling foolish; she turns. He leaves.

CUT TO EXTERIOR FRENCH TRENCHES - SAPPEURS & ENGINEERS - NIGHT

having worked through the night, are still digging the diagonally-advancing trench. We note it's closer than it was.

EXTERIOR FRENCH TRENCHES - FRENCH PICKETTS

at their posts guard the sappeurs. Meanwhile ...

CUT TO EXTERIOR FORT WILLIAM HENRY, WEST SIDE - SALLY-PORT - NIGHT

opens. Ten Mohawks and Rangers crawl towards the French lines. Meanwhile ...

CUT TO EXTERIOR FORT WILLIAM HENRY, PARAPET - HAWKEYE & UNCAS - NIGHT

are low and out of French sight in the northeast battery. Four others are with them, including Captain Jack. Stacked rifles are against the casement. We don't know why. Each rifle is within reach of Hawkeye's hand. Hawkeye is taking extra care loading Killdeer. He charges it once, then overloads the powder by a quarter charge.]

UNCAS: You told him about the raid?

HAWKEYE: [nods] He does not want to hear it. [pause] But he is gonna have to.

JACK: [to one man] Get together by the West Battery James & Ian, Sharitarish & William.

[Hawkeye uses the fine cotton he took from Cora. Uncas sees it.]

UNCAS: Tight weave.

HAWKEYE: Another forty yards?

[Uncas nods. Hawkeye wets it to make a tighter gas seal and rams it home. The tighter fit requires more effort.

HAWKEYE

looks below to ground level ...

A FRONTIERSMAN - COURIER

Two pistols are holstered in a sash around his chest. He wears no hat and carries no pack. He waits by the sally-port door.

CUT TO EXTERIOR FRENCH TRENCH - THREE PICKETS - NIGHT

(Note: Though this portion of the scene does NOT appear in the final film, it does show up in a network TV airing of the movie and is included in the DVD edition.)

are suddenly tomahawked and knifed by stripped down 42nd Highlanders and Mohawks. Alarm is raised. French and some Huron run to advance. Shots are fired. The Rangers & Mohawks fall back.

FRENCH

emboldened, pursue ...

TRENCH IN FRONT OF WEST WALL

suddenly Heyward and three companies of the 62nd regiment of Foot (60 men) are over the top in perfect formation ...]

HEYWARD: Sergeant! Form three ranks!

SERGEANT MAJOR: Sir! [bellows to troops] Upon the center, wheel to the left-about! March! [three motions; drums] Rear ranks, proper distance! [the rear ranks back up six paces] Front ranks, take your distance! March! [everybody moves] Halt! [in unison they slam to a stop] Make ready! [muskets snap to port arms]

[MOHAWKS & HIGHLANDERS

dodge right & left of the 62nd's line of fire.

FRENCH

are coming forward. Their sergeants trying to stop and form their men in ad-libbed French.

62ND REGIMENT OF FOOT]

SERGEANT MAJOR: [dead cool] First rank! Second rank! Present arms! [muskets shouldered]

HEYWARD: Fire!!!

[Like one shot, lightening, smoke and .65 caliber death screams from the first two ranks like a scythe, cutting down ...

REVERSE: FRENCH

Fourteen wounded or killed ...

62ND REGIMENT OF FOOT - HEYWARD

exposed. He's oblivious to incoming rounds. A piece of hat is blown off, epaulet is shot off. The man next to him is killed and bloodies Heyward's coat.]

HEYWARD: Advance, Sergeant Major!

SERGEANT MAJOR: Sir!!! [to soldiers] Third rank! Twelve paces! Forward march! [drums]

[The rear rank walks through the first two ranks, who are priming and loading in perfect order to their Sergeant Major's commands. As the third rank becomes the first rank ...]

SERGEANT MAJOR: Shoulder arms! [slam] Present! [slam]

HEYWARD: Fire!!!

[CUT TO EXTERIOR FORT WILLIAM HENRY - COURIER - NIGHT

sprints for the trees during the diversion of Heyward's sally.

TWO HURONS

materialize from nowhere and charge at him ... both are BLOWN off their feet by ...

EXTERIOR FORT WILLIAM HENRY, CASEMENT - UNCAS & HAWKEYE

now handed already-loaded, primed and cocked rifles while the four men behind them reload the two just fired. Hawkeye gestures ...

EXTERIOR HILLSIDE - THREE HALF-SAVAGE CANADIENS

are running down the hill to intercept the courier. One fires ...

COURIER

a near miss.

EXTERIOR FORT WILLIAM HENRY - HAWKEYE

FIRES. A half second later, Uncas FIRES.

EXTERIOR HILLSIDE

One Canadien's falling through the trees as the second one's hit by Uncas' shot.

HAWKEYE

reaches out his hand. Killdeer with the heavier load is slapped into it. Hawkeye aims. Looks away a second and comes back to the sight in deep concentration. The world goes silent ...

HAWKEYE'S POV: COURIER & CANADIEN

pursuer are barely visible. Only patches appear momentarily between the trees. They're three hundred yards away: an impossible shot in 1757.

EXTERIOR FOREST - THE CANADIEN

will intersect the courier. His arm is back with his tomahawk to throw ...

EXTERIOR FORT WILLIAM HENRY - HAWKEYE

judges wind, elevates the long rifle ... and FIRES at us.

JUMP CUT BACK: TREES

Hawkeye's heavy round rips through. We HEAR the ball cut air. A few leaves flutter ...

EXTERIOR FOREST - CANADIEN

whacked head over heels by the impact.

COURIER

looks over his shoulder. He didn't know the Canadien was there. He stumbles in the half light . The he runs on ...

CUT TO EXTERIOR FORT WILLIAM HENRY - WEST SALLY-PORT

The three companies of the 62nd Regiment of Foot file back into the fort in perfect order. The sally-port is closed. Three men are wounded. The diversion worked perfectly.]

HEYWARD: Sergeant Major!

SERGEANT MAJOR: Sir!

HEYWARD: Thank you, Sergeant Major. Thank the men.

SERGEANT MAJOR: Atten-hut!

TROOPERS & MILITIA

have seen no action for three days & nights. Heyward got their blood running and won their respect. They step aside and nod to him. Heyward keeps walking. He is home.

CUT TO ...]

LAKE GEORGE & FORT WILLIAM HENRY ... Duncan's Rejection by Cora & Colonials' Debate With Munro


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