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MASSACRE VALLEY


[EXTERIOR FORT, MAIN GATE - MUNRO - DAY

at the end of the column, rides out on his horse. Both sides of the gate are jammed with armed French troops standing at attention. The French colors and honor guard are just outside the gate along with Bougainville, Chevalier de Levis, both on horseback as is - at the head - Montcalm.

CLOSER: MUNRO

trots past his walking column out the gate. He does not look at the French.

MONTCALM

salutes Munro and bows gravely from the saddle.

CLOSER: MUNRO

salutes Montcalm.]

MUNRO: [eyes forward] Monsieur, the fort is yours.

[MID-COLUMN - ON HEYWARD

marching with his 33rd Regiment of Foot well beyond the fort. The French troops have thinned out. Repressing shame, his backbone is rigid, his face is straight ahead. The 33rd marches in perfect cadence to the drum. In the B.G. Munro on his horse passes Heyward as he rides towards the front of his column. Heyward does not look at him.

FRONT OF COLUMN - CORA WITH ALICE

on the back of a mare. Alice, living through a wide-awake nightmare, is huddled under the arm of her sister. They ride behind the standard bearers. In the B.G. her father is seen approaching and takes his position at their side. Cora looks down the column, sheilding her eyes against the sun. We know who she's looking for ... Hawkeye.

CORA'S POV: THE COLUMN

The 62nd and 42nd Highlanders including Heyward ... thirty to forty women and a number of children - for safety - in the middle, some frontiersmen, Ongewasgone and many Mohawk, walking wounded. The column is still snaking its way out of the fort. No Hawkeye.

CORA

straining to see.

EXTERIOR FORT - PRISONERS

being assembled, their hands shackled. Hawkeye is among twelve or thirteen. He stands erect, walking out of the gate. The French are starting to pour in to loot the interior. Hawkeye looks to his left about twenty paces in front of him and sees ...

UNCAS & CHINGACHGOOK

on the other side of the column. Chingachgook cradles Killdeer as well as his own musket. They fall back to walk beside the prisoners on the other side of Hawkeye. Their eyes connect ... We don't expect Hawkeye to stay shackled for the duration.

RANK AND FILE FRENCH

A few insults. The British soldiers answer. Nobody breaks rank. It's just talk.

EXTERIOR ROAD - HAWKEYE

His eyes sweep the column snaking its way into the v-shaped valley. The path cuts through the forested hills ahead. He sees ...

HAWKEYE'S DISTANT POV: CORA

riding near the front where there are no more French soldiers. Only a few scattered and curious Huron and Ottawa. She does not see him.

PROFILE OF COLUMN - HIGH & WIDE

as it passes left to right below like a long snake through the narrow valley. We're shooting from inside the dark woods. Lower, in the light, we see a scattering on both slopes of a couple of hundred Ottawa and Huron. They are in no order, are spread out and don't constitute a threat. They watch the column. SLOWLY THE CAMERA ... slides across the shoulders and back of a large man wearing black plumes in his scalp-lock and other than a breechcloth is almost naked. He is heavily war-painted ...

FRONTAL - MAGUA

and the left two-thirds of his face is painted red. The right third is painted black. Much silver is in his ears. His tomahawk is in his left hand. His cut-down musket in his right fist. Magua's attention is all focused to one point.

MAGUA'S LONG & TIGHT POV: MUNRO & CORA & ALICE

at the head of the column. This is the focus of Magua's attention.

WIDE FRONTAL: COLUMN, STANDARD BEARERS & MUNROS

Cora turns again to look for Hawkeye.

CLOSER: CORA

doesn't see him, but something else has caught her eye.

YOUNG HURON

running toward the column. Just one man. No musket. He's running and whooping like a dog charging from his master's front yard. Why?

CLOSER

the Huron arrives at the column, his tomahawk swings into his hand and he brains a British trooper who falls dead. The single Huron never breaks stride. He simply runs off again ...

CORA

horrified, holds Alice tighter.

MUNRO

has seen it too. And now he sees ...

62ND REGIMENT OF FOOT

fixing bayonets. A large sergeant unsheathes a two-handed claymore, facing the Hurons and other Indians ...

TROOPERS

of the 33rd present arms. Did they violate the surrender by carrying ammunition? Locks are cocked. There's the answer.]

MUNRO: Steady! No one fires!

[EXTERIOR FORESTED HILLSIDES - OTHER TRIBES

are watching what happens.

HEYWARD

scanning them.]

HEYWARD: [to Sergeant Major] Men are to stay in file, Sergeant Major!

SERGEANT MAJOR: Yes sir!

[Drums beat the cadence.]

TROOPERS

step over the fallen soldier. Heads turn, they're on edge ...

END OF COLUMN - HAWKEYE, UNCAS & CHINGACHGOOK

watching. They exchange looks. This is not good. Chingachgook cocks both Killdeer and his own musket.

HAWKEYE'S POV: FORESTED SLOPES

Hold. We start to make out details in the shadow. Tree trunks. We become accustomed to the dimness. Now in the lower light we see deeper in the forest.

CLOSER

Many Huron and Ottawa are hidden in the shadows. They're moving along parallel to the column, stalking it. Waiting ...

ANOTHER BRAVE

racing down the hill from the opposite flank towards the 62nd.

TWO SOLDIERS

look at their sergeant. He nods. They wait until he's within ten feet of the column. Both bayonet the Indian. He's dead.

EXTERIOR HILLSIDES - HURON & OTTAWA

saw what happened. But, they hold their ranks.

MOHAWKS

among the British are slipping tomahawks into their hands, surreptitiously. Some are cocking flintlocks.

MUNRO

gallops his horse away from Cora and Alice towards the scene of the last attack. We hear him from the distance ordering ...]

MUNRO: Do not break ranks! I want these ranks to hold ...!

[Cora's frightened.]

[HAWKEYE'S

frustrated. He saw Munro leave Cora. He knows events have a momentum and it's accelerating.

CHINGACHGOOK & UNCAS

move next to the sergeant with the shackle keys who looks at them curiously as ...

WOMEN

with children nervously search the threatening trees, hoping against hope these are isolated incidents.

HEYWARD

draws his sword and is passing orders to his sergeant major, scanning the hills ...

EXTERIOR FORESTED SLOPE - MAGUA

His eyes see Munro.

WIDER & LOWER: MAGUA

raises his musket in his fist and emits a war whoop. WE NOW SEE ... hundreds have been stalking the column, hidden in the trees, maybe thousands. Then ...

WIDE: ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE

FIRE from the trees crescendos within seconds revealing a spontaneous and massive ambush of mostly Hurons. They appear from behind every tree and it turns to a ROAR of musket fire, war whoops and screams as ...

SOLDIERS & CIVILIANS

dropping like flies and seemingly thousands of Hurons attack down both slopes.

HAWKEYE

is being unshackled by Uncas. The sergeant is rising from the ground where Chingachgook knocked him. Chingachgook throws Hawkeye Killdeer and Hawkeye shrugs into his pouch and powder horn as he races with Uncas for the head of the column ...

EXTERIOR FORESTED SLOPE - MAGUA

charging down the hill ... with his coterie of twenty Huron warriors, heading for the area in which he saw Munro.

CORA & ALICE

at the head of the disintegrating column. Cora's holding Alice's head to her bosom, covering her ears as if to protect her from the sounds.

HEYWARD

shouting orders.]

SERGEANT MAJOR: Right - about face! March! First rank present!

HEYWARD: Fire!

[REVERSE:

The volley knocks down fifteen of a horde of attacking Hurons.]

SERGEANT MAJOR: Prime! Load! Second rank six paces forward! Present!

[Hurons are twenty yards away and closing.]

HEYWARD: Fire!

[As the line of muskets belch smoke and fire ...

WIDE: THE HILLS & PATH

We're shooting into the "v" of the valley with Hurons and other tribes pouring down from both sides. (IMPORTANT: the combined musket fire of Hurons, English and Mohawks generates tremendous clouds of smoke which obscure action, close off views, isolate pockets of combat into surreal tableaux that we'll move in and out of.)

BRITISH TROOPERS

using their useless muskets as clubs or with fixed bayonets - as the smoke and fog swirls among the men - fighting for their lives ...

MAGUA

glides through the scenes, striking and hunting. Some of his coterie of braves near him. He sees ...

BLONDE WOMAN

hugging the ground in fear. Magua throws her over. It's not Alice Munro. It's a woman protecting her baby. Magua walks on. One of the braves behind Magua raise his tomahawk. On his downswing ...

HAWKEYE

running through surreal patches, thinks he glimpses Cora two hundred yards away.]

HAWKEYE: Cora!

[Chingachgook, on Hawkeye's left, slams down two Hurons with his war club.

CORA & ALICE

running through the chaos and murder and British troopers and Mohawks locked in struggle with Hurons. Cora's dress is torn. She holds Alice to her. There's a pistol in Cora's hand.

ONE HURON

scalping a prone soldier, rips the trophy from his head, turns and faces us.

CORA

shoots him in the face.

EXTREMELY CLOSE: ALICE

and her eyes take it all in. And her affect starts to flatten. A blankness suffuses her expression and the girl withdraws from this reality into a deep dark cave inside her head.

HAWKEYE

locked in combat. He tomahawks one Huron's arm with a slashing downstroke and comes right back into the face of the second with his backswing while his right hand fires Killdeer at ...

HURON

six feet from Uncas and about to shoot him in the back.

HAWKEYE

free for a moment, spins. He has no idea of direction any more. Everything is death in strange tableaux. Meanwhile:

MUNRO

hollering:]

MUNRO: Cora! Alice!

[He cuts down a Huron with his sword who is trying to leap at him from the right. An Osage warrior with red scalp-lock leaps on the back of Munro's horse, reaching over to stab down into Munro's neck. The old man's left hand grabs the warrior's knife hand in an iron grip. His right hand pulls his horse pistol and under his upraised arm fires backward, point blank, blowing the Osage off the back of his horse.

WIDER

Just then Munro's mount is shot. His horse rears up, throws Munro and falls on him.

HEYWARD

shouting orders over the deafening noise.]

HEYWARD: Second rank fire! Six paces back! Prime! Load! Third rank! Present!

[A well-oiled, well-drilled fighting machine, but there are fewer of them. They're getting cut off. They close ranks automatically as a man drops. They're retreating in perfect order.

HURON WARRIOR

about to strike a downwards blow is pushed aside by Magua.

CLOSER: MAGUA

His eyes drop to what's in front of him. The field goes quiet.

OVER MAGUA'S SHOULDER: MUNRO

his lower body is trapped under his dead horse. Magua leans in towards him.]

MAGUA: Grey Hair. I will cut your heart from your living chest in front of your eyes. As you die, know that I will put under the knife your children and wipe your seed from this earth forever ...

[Magua pulls his knife and as he leans down towards Munro ...

MOHAWK & HURON

spin and flail furiously at each other with tomahawks and knives. The Huron goes down and then the Mohawk is shot. The Huron who shot him is cut down by a Ranger with tomahawk in one hand and bayonet in the other. Two Mohawks and three Rangers fighting back to back. They become an island swamped by Huron and Ottawa: amidst bodies and ground slippery with blood. As smoke obscures their image.

CORA & ALICE

in a group of civilian militia. Two of the militiamen are shot down. The third engages a Fox warrior. Cora & Alice run.

MUNRO'S FACE

frozen in agony by shock.

MAGUA

reaching down and up into something, emerges and jams an object we barely see into the air. But his arm and shoulder and half his chest are splashed red with blood.

LONG SHOT: MAGUA

seen from far away, holding aloft the heart of Munro.

REVERSE: HAWKEYE

saw him and fights his way to attack when ...

WHITE HORSE

crazed, CRASHES through men, knocking Hawkeye over ...

CHINGACHGOOK

protecting Hawkeye, slams his war club into one Huron, breaking his attack, his arm and his skull and swings the other way burying the bladed end into the chest of an Ottawa who's behind him. Then ...

HAWKEYE'S

up, looking wildly ...

CAMERA JAMS INTO CLEARING SMOKE:

33rd Regiment of Foot and Heyward. They FIRE into our face.

CLOSER: HEYWARD]

HEYWARD: Six paces back! Prime! Load! Rank two, present! Rank two, hold!

[He grabs a partially loaded musket, the ramrod still in the barrel. They're taking fire. Men are dying. They're being pushed back.

AN ABNAKI

wearing a large cross, attacks Heyward from the side. One-handed, Heyward fires the musket into the man's chest, sending the ramrod through him. Then Heyward's shot in the thigh and a thrown tomahawk hits him in the head and knocks him sideways. Dazed. Barely able to stand. He uses the musket as a cane and ...]

HEYWARD: Rank two, six paces back! Rank one, present!

[Rank two did not retreat six paces. They stand in confusion. Heyward looks to see what's wrong.

HEYWARD'S POV: THE REMNANTS OF THE 33RD REGIMENT OF FOOT

are standing in water. They're up against Lake George. Their backs are to the wall. Last stand. Heyward straightens.

TWO FRENCH OFFICERS

on horseback try to intercede in the slaughter of five women. One French officer is shot by a Huron. The other French officer runs through that Huron and shoots the second. Then his horse is shot out from under him and he goes down ...

JESUIT

pleads with an Abnaki to give up a child he's holding by the legs in one hand. He offers his cross. The Abnaki throws the baby to the Jesuit, Pere Roubaud.

UNCAS

sees a flash of something yellow. So does Hawkeye. They charge into the swirling chaos of attacking bodies. As we lose sight of them ...

ALICE

on her hands and knees. A massive Ottawa pulls her upright by her hair about to take her life and her scalp. He's struck by a rock in the hands of Cora which barely phases him. He bats her aside and returns to Alice, when suddenly ...

OTTAWA WARRIOR

is spun, punched and tomahawked into the ground by Hawkeye. Uncas has Alice and Cora ...

TWO RANGERS AND A MOHAWK WARRIOR

from the earlier group are nearby. They combine with Hawkeye to fight their way out with bayonets and tomahawks.

HAWKEYE, UNCAS, CHINGACHGOOK, TWO RANGERS, A MOHAWK & MUNRO'S DAUGHTERS

back through the swirling smoke. There seems to be a lull. Then they're hit from the side by musket fire. One of the Rangers is shot, the other wounded. Hurons attack. The Mohawk supports the wounded Ranger.

HAWKEYE

shields Cora as they back up.

CHINGACHGOOK

smashing his war club straight down on a Huron, reaches for the man's musket and shoots another. Then he sees ...

SMOKE DRIFTING OVER WATER

It's glass-smooth. And the bows are barely visible of three or four Huron war canoes.

THE SHALLOWS - HAWKEYE, CHINGACHGOOK, UNCAS, CORA, ALICE, THE RANGER & THE MOHAWK

back into the water. They're pursued by Ottawa and Hurons as they fight their way to the canoes.

CORA

held up by Hawkeye, suddenly screams.

ANGLE

something underwater is pulling her down. An Ottawa brave rockets out of the shallows. Before he's erect, Hawkeye slams him back into the water and FIRES.

WOUNDED RANGER

has shoved a large birch canoe at them.

HAWKEYE

Suddenly, the Mohawk fighting with them is shot and spins to face Hawkeye. His hands rest on Hawkeye's shoulders. Hawkeye looks into his face. Tries to hold him up, tries to rescue him. A frozen moment. Hawkeye's staring into his eyes and the man is staring into Hawkeye's as the light goes out ... Hawkeye lets him slide into the water and float away. He moves Cora and Alice towards the canoe ...

CUT TO ...]

CANOES


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