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MAGUA/MONTCALM MEETING


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To Read JAMES FENIMORE COOPER'S TALE ... The Magua/Montcalm Meeting

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[EXTERIOR FRENCH LINES - CLOAKED MAN - NIGHT

passes away from the little city of tents in the direction of the beach and towards William Henry. He seems to head towards a vantage point from which to observe the fort. As he approaches a sentry:]

SENTRY: Qui vive?

MONTCALM: France.

SENTRY: Le mot d'ordre?

MONTCALM: La victoire.

SENTRY: C'est bien, vous vous promenez bien matin, monsieur!

MONTCALM: Il est necessaire d'etre vigilant, mon enfant.

[The cloak parts. By the light of the moon the man's face is dimly perceived by us and the soldier as General Montcalm. The soldier snaps erect as Montcalm continues walking out beyond the line to a small stand of trees.

ANOTHER ANGLE: MONTCALM

The moon is broken into pieces of light on the water and behind Montcalm; from the front of the stand of trees emerges a tall figure.]

MAGUA: Is the hatchet buried between the English and my French father?

MONTCALM: Yes.

MAGUA: Not a warrior has a scalp and the white men become friends.

MONTCALM: My master owns these lands and your father has been ordered to drive off the English squatters. They have consented to go. So now he calls them enemies no longer.

MAGUA: Magua took the hatchet to color it with blood. It is still bright. Only when it is red, then it will be buried.

MONTCALM: But so many suns have set since Le Renard struck the war post. Is he not tired?

MAGUA: Where is that sun?! It has gone behind the hill. It is dark and cold. It has set on his people, they are fooled and kill all the animals and sell all of their lands to enrich the European masters who are always greedy for more than they need. [threatening] And Le Subtil is the son of his tribe. There have been many clouds and many mountains. But now he has come to lead his nation.

MONTCALM: That Le Renard has the power to lead his people into the light, I know well.

[Magua grabs the hand of the French commander. Imperceptible surprise in Montcalm's eyes. Magua jams Montcalm's fingers to his chest.]

MAGUA: Does my father know that?

[MAGUA'S CHEST

A deep indentation and scar.]

MONTCALM: That's where a lead bullet has torn you.

MAGUA: And this?

[Magua turns his naked back to Montcalm and puts Montcalm's hand on his back ... deep ridges of a scar a half inch wide.]

MONTCALM: My son has been sadly injured. Who did this?

MAGUA: [laughs; sardonic] Magua slept hard in the English wigwams. And the sticks left their mark ... [pause; for real] Magua's village and lodges were burnt. Magua's children were killed by the English. Magua was taken as a slave by the Mohawks who fought for the Grey Hair. Magua's wife believed he was dead and became the wife of another. The Grey Hair was the father of all this. [pause] In time Magua became blood-brother to Mohawk to become free. In his heart he always was Huron. And his heart will be whole again on the day when the Grey Hair and all his seed are dead!

MONTCALM: My son Magua's pain is my pain.

MAGUA: Does the chief of the Canadas believe the English will keep the terms?

MONTCALM: Munro would. But General Webb will not send their soldiers across the salt lake. Having let them go, I fear I will only fight the same men again when I move south. [pause; shrugs] And yet, I cannot break the terms of the capitulation and sully the lilies of France ...

[Long pause, wheels turn. Then:]

MAGUA: Many things my French father cannot do, Magua can.

[Montcalm reacts as if he hadn't thought of that.]

MONTCALM: As the English march away, our soldiers and the Canadiens will be drawn to the looting of the fort ... except for a small guard ...

[Magua abruptly leaves Montcalm.

CUT TO ...

EXTERIOR WOODS - MAGUA - NIGHT

walking back to the Huron camp. Reveal a Huron sub-chief has been in the woods, waiting for Magua. Now he joins him. They walk in silence. Then ...]

MAGUA: [in Iroquois; re: Montcalm] I wonder at the blindness and pride of the white man. He believes only he knows how to speak falsely to make other men do his bidding.

[Magua exhales in derision.

CUT TO ...]

MASSACRE VALLEY

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To Read JAMES FENIMORE COOPER'S TALE ... The Magua/Montcalm Meeting

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