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                             BEING HUMAN

                             Written by

                            Bill Forsyth

                                           THIRD DRAFT

                                           January, 1992
WARNER BROS. INC.                           1992
4000 Warner Boulevard                      WARNER BROS. INC.
Burbank, California 91522                  All Rights Reserved

"... and as he stared at the sky and listened to a cow
mooing almost dreamily in a distant village, he tried to
understand what it all meant -- the sky, and the fields,
and the humming telegraph pole; he felt that he was just
at the point of understanding it when his head started to
spin and the lucid languor of the moment became

                       Vladimir Nabokov

In this script there are six main characters who inhabit
different periods of time, from pre-history to the
present day. But there is just one story. Because we
blend into one developing narrative the lives that we

There is no suggestion of time travel or re-incarnation
or any other tricksy or mystic device. We can do in real
time and with real characters what other movies strive to
do with immortal time travellers and ghosts. Our story
is thoroughly based in reality and the magic we are
dealing with is real, human magic.
In moving from one character to the next everything will
change; supporting characters, setting, period. But the
essential situation of our hero of the moment will relate
to the one before and the one following.
The magic will be in the transitions, in leaving one
character and advancing the film through hundreds or
thousands of years to find our next hero in tantalizingly
similar human circumstances. The effect of these transi-
tions across space and time, will let the audience grasp
the simple truth behind our story; that we are all in it
The key to allowing the audience to enjoy this human
connection at the heart of the film is that one actor
will play the six individuals. The feeling will be of
the endless, glorious playing and replaying of the simple
drama of being alive.
We end the film with a present-day hero, but by that time
we will be seeing this modern man in an entirely fresh
light, feeling his kinship with the caveman and the slave
and the others who have gone before. The resolution of
his contemporary story is theirs also. By then perhaps,
we will be able to see ourselves in this novel perspec-
tive, too.

And the structure of the film itself has the thrill of
novelty. It has never before been used in cinema.
Never. Our six characters and their stories connect in
many different ways, some obvious, others vague, tanta-
lizing threads. Even global connections are made, as the
planet itself and all its people, come and go in the
story. For the audience the game of making the connec-
tions, feeling the bonds, even inventing or discovering
associations of their own, will be endless in this big-
gest of stories, smallest of stories. It is truly a new
cinematic experience.                                       *


                             BEING HUMAN
      Hector is a family man. He and his woman and two
      children live near the ocean in a sheltered fold on a
      hillside, a shallow cave given protection at its entrance
      by a covering of branches and brush. Just inside a small
      fire smoulders permanently, a few times a day encouraged
      into life for cooking or warmth. If it ever went out it
      would be a catastrophe, so it remains a smouldering com-
      fort and a constant preoccupation for the whole family.
      Hector doesn't know that his name is Hector. It is
      simply a convenience to help us tell his story. The idea
      of individual names is an imaginative leap that has not
      yet been made by mankind when we first meet him. Hector
      is living out his life 4000 years before the birth of
      Christ, in a reasonably temperate zone of the planet. In
      his entire life Hector will traverse no more than ten
      square miles of it.

      FADE IN:
      is the reflection of Hector's face in a rock pool. The
      image suddenly fragments. Hector is enjoying himself,
      deflecting his stream of pee now and then so that his
      image reforms itself and then is disrupted again. When
      he is finished, a trace of vanity makes him bend down
      closer to his reflection. He strokes his long hair and
      fingers a blemish on his cheek.
      Then he is aware of another presence. He sharply turns.
      Some way off a solitary figure stands on the rise of some
      rocks, not afraid to show itself. Hector calls out.
                 Go back home... leave me alone...

      We see that the figure is a young BOY, Hector's son.     The
      Boy thinks about it for a moment, before turning and
      disappearing behind the rocks.

1-4   TITLE SCENES                                               1-4

      The small fire that never goes out has been enlarged to
      cook the day's meal. Beyond the fire on a rock shelf
      HECTOR plays with his children, a GIRL of six and Boy of
      eight. It is the usual rough romp that fathers indulge
      in, but in 4000 BC possibly rougher than normal. Hector
      is acting the part of some trapped wild animal, lashing
      out at the hunters surrounding him. But in his act of
      wild rage he gets carried away. He picks up his son and
      throws him hard, much too hard, on his back.


                                                            2.           *

1-4   CONTINUED:                                                   1-4
      The Boy tumbles down   from the shelf to the cave floor at
      his mother, DEIRDRE's   feet, howling in pain. Deidre
      scowls at Hector. If    the gesture had been invented he
      would probably shrug   his shoulders. The Boy howls on.
      Hector kneels beside his daughter, absorbed in her antics
      as she sleeps. She is a vivid dreamer. Her whole little
      form wriggles and contorts in response to the fantasy
      unspooling in her head. She emits unearthly nighttime
      noises, squeals and giggles and moans. Hector is fasci-
      nated. Where has his daughter gone? Who is this strange
      wild creature that has taken her form, lying beside him?
      Hector's daughter delights him. And while Hector watches
      his daughter, Deirdre from their bed watches Hector.

      It is almost dawn, the cave is quiet and the fire has
      diminished. By its light we see Deirdre and Hector making
      love, on their bed of dried grass and skins. It's diffi-
      cult to say what their lovemaking might look like. What
      has 6000 years done to that art? We will think about it.
      On the far side of the cave we see the sleeping children.
      As we MOVE CLOSER we see that they are far from sleep.
      Two sets of bright eyes peek out from under their cover.
      We CUT BETWEEN them, the loving parents and the watching,
      learning children.
      Hector is arguing with his son, just outside their cave.
      The Boy wants to go foraging with him again.

                   No... stay here... stay!
      Hector takes a few steps.    The Boy follows.

                   No... go back... go away...

      Hector walks on again, taking big, angry father strides.
      The Boy stubbornly tags along at a safe distance. Hector
      walks on for some time before turning on him.

                   Leave me alone! Stay here...

      There is real anger in his voice. The Boy wisely
      retreats to the cave. As Hector turns to continue his
      walk alone he see Deirdre looking at him accusingly from
      the entrance. She holds out her arms ready to comfort
      the Boy rejected by his father. Hector is in the
      classic, timeless, no-win situation and he knows it.
      With a sigh of frustration he heads for the beach.

                                                          3.         *

5   EXT. SHORE - DAY                                             5
    Hector is foraging on the shoreline, gathering cockles,
    seaweeds, mussels, crabs, anything edible. He splashes
    in the shallows, hoarding the food in a roughly-woven
    bag. Every now and then he will suck a cockle from its
    shell or crunch on a particularly tasty piece of seaweed.
    Hector looks about 30 years old. This is advanced middle
    age for his times and it shows. He has a heavy cold and
    an irritating hack in his throat. In a similar condition
    a modern individual would spend two or three pleasantly
    drugged days in bed, perhaps attempting a little light
    paperwork propped up on some pillows.

    The sun is warming the day. Hector sits on a rock, sur-
    veying his world. He seems very much a part of it. He
    watches some wading seabirds nearby. Like him they are
    nosing around the margins of low tide for food. He
    smiles. In another season they or their eggs will pro-
    vide a meal or two. There is a strange atmosphere of
    appropriateness in the scene, Hector seems such an inte-
    gral part of it. The easy fit of the man in his land-
    scape strikes us. Hector belongs to it in ways that a
    present-day hunter or holiday maker, or even naturalist,
    never could. Also, there is an odd sense of the world
    being rather empty.
    Whether the larger world is round or flat,   spinning or
    orbiting, Hector neither knows nor cares.    He knows
    simple things. Cold and hunger. He knows     warmth, rough
    comfort and companionship. His family and    the safety of
    their cave.
    Further along the shore Hector drops his bag and straigh-
    tens himself, easing the ache in his back. Then some-
    thing disturbs him. From behind a distant headland a
    smudge of smoke trails into the sky. Hector picks up his
    bag and runs. He knows where he is going. He reaches a
    vantage point on some rocks. He steadies himself and
    gazes hard out to sea. We can feel the strain in his
    eyes as he tries to detect any hint of threat in the
    glinting water. Then his jaw drops in fear. Around the
    edge of the headland two dark shapes proceed in regular
    motion. Their steady progress is full of menace. Oar-
    driven boats, slowly, insistently making their way into
    Hector's bay. He jumps from the rocks and runs up the
    beach toward the cave. One thing else that Hector knows
    is fear, blind, gut-turning fear.

6   EXT. HILLSIDE - DAY                                          6

    Hector is a small figure in the landscape now, racing up
    the steep slope in the direction of his home.

                                                            4.       *

6   CONTINUED:                                                   6
    He stops for breath and to look back on the bay. The
    shapes are distinct now, two large open boats, roughly
    made but menacingly adequate for their purpose, coastal
    raiding. The boats are nearing the beach now and figures
    can be seen preparing to land. Hector gathers enough of
    his wits and strength to continue his race up the

7   INT. HECTOR'S CAVE - DAY                                     7

    Inside, his family are in a state of panic. They seem to
    have prepared for this moment. Through their agitation
    there is purpose. They gather bits and pieces to carry
    with them in their flight. Hector's children are attemp-
    ting to take too much. Hector shouts instructions to
    them as he puts more wood on the fire. It must stay
    burning in their absence.
    Hector gathers his family together and they leave the

8   EXT. HILLSIDE - DAY                                          8
    Hector shoves his children in one direction up the slope
    further into the hills. His woman runs off the other
    way. A hasty, confused argument takes place.

                 Up the hill!
                 No, down onto the other beach.
                 The little ones can't take the
                 hill. Neither can I.

                 Up the hill! They're down there
                 already. I saw them!

                 You're wrong!
    She runs off down the slope. Hector has no choice but to
    follow her, herding the children in front of him.

    Deirdre runs on, heading for the lower slope and the cover
    of some trees. Then from these same trees she sees the
    figures of the RAIDERS coming toward her. She turns,
    running back up the hill. Hector and the children also
    turn and run back the way they have come, by now dropping
    precious bits of food and other possessions. The Raiders
    are running strongly, five or six of them.


                                                          5.         *

8    CONTINUED:                                                  8
     The little Girl starts to go back for a precious toy she
     has dropped. Hector picks her up and carries her off
     over his shoulder. The Boy follows.
     Deirdre is trailing behind them. She was right. She
     doesn't have the stamina for the hill. Hector looks back
     and sees the Raiders gaining on her. His face is a con-
     fusion of fear and indecision. He almost stops, as if to
     go back and help her, but then changes his mind and runs
     off once again with the children. Deirdre is by now
     throwing the things she is carrying at her pursuers,
     hoping that they will stop to retrieve them and allow her
     to gain some ground. But they don't stop and the effort
     tires her even more.

     She attempts one final dash and then, all of her energy
     gone, she stops in her tracks and waits for her pursuers.
     the Raiders break their run also and trot and finally
     walk, the distance between them and Deirdre.
     Hector is watching all of this over his shoulder, still
     running. He stops for a moment to watch Deirdre being
     finally surrounded by the Raiders. Then he runs on.

9    EXT. VALLEY - DAY                                          9
     Hector is tiring, too. With the Girl still awkwardly
     clinging to his neck he is picking his way up a steep
     slope, half-dragging the Boy up behind him. He stops
     for a breath and sees the raiders moving into the
     valley below. In a moment of utter panic he lets go of
     his son, drops the Girl from his shoulder, and runs on
     alone. We can sense the moment of release in his
     unburdened flight. But it doesn't last long. Some way
     up the slope he stops and turns. He sees his children,
     only now beginning to work out what has happened, and
     the raiders below. He can't do it. Even as the Girl
     calls to him he is running back down the hill, feeling
     the first stab of a guilt that will never leave him.

                  Come back, Dada...

10   EXT. VALLEY - ANOTHER ANGLE - DAY                          10

     Hector and the children have reached the safety of a
     small valley higher up in the hills. The raiders have
     been slowed down by their capture of Deirdre. Hector
     is hoisting his two children into the lower branches of
     a solitary tree on the hillside. He coaxes them up into
     the higher branches.


10   CONTINUED:                                                 10
                  I'm hungry.

                  Don't move from here. I'll come
                  for you in the morning. There's
                  no food. Try and sleep in the
                  branches. Don't cry. Don't make
                  a noise.
     Hector moves off, looking back to his children in the
     tree.  They too gaze anxiously at him. They don't wave.
     Maybe waving hasn't been invented yet. Hector heads off
     alone, higher into the hills.

11   EXT. ROCKS - DUSK                                          11
     It is dusk now. We find Hector waking from a fitful
     sleep behind some rocks. He sits up and takes in his
     surroundings. His face hardens as awareness of his pre-
     dicament returns. He stands up and then crouching low,
     moves off down the hill.

12   EXT. VALLEY - DUSK                                         12
     Hector has returned to the area of the tree. He slows
     down some distance away and just in time. He sees a
     figure standing beneath the tree. He moves forward to
     the protection of some rocks, and watches. He is close
     enough to hear the voice of the solitary Raider, although
     he doesn't understand the words. The Raider looks up
     into the branches and talks in a friendly, persuasive
                  It's too cold to spend all night
                  up there. We've got a fire at the
                  beach. Food, too.

     There is no response from the tree.    The Raider coaxes
                  Come on! Your mother's down
                  there. She's happy... she's warm,
                  too... and full... she wants to
                  see you... she sent me...

     His friendly tone of voice has an effect. There is
     movement in the branches. Hector can see the dark shapes
     of his two children clambering down. The Raider
     stretches out his arms and helps the Boy to the ground.



12   CONTINUED:                                                12
     Then he reaches up for the Girl, catches her as she drops
     and keeps her in his arms. He laughs in a comforting
                  That was easy, eh? You're half
                  asleep already, little girl. I'll
                  carry you.
     Hector watches the Raider and his children move slowly
     off, down the hillside, the Raider carrying the Girl in
     one arm and holding the Boy's hand. They almost look
     like a family.

13   EXT. BEACH - NIGHT                                        13

     It is fully dark now. On the beach the Raiders have set
     up a comfortable camp with a large fire. We are still
     with Hector. He has come down from his bleak hiding
     place in the hills. The smell of fire and food and con-
     cern for his family, have drawn him here. He is hiding
     somewhere way off from the camp, but close enough to
     observe it.
     What he sees disturbs him, but for odd reasons. His
     family appear to be happily integrated with the Raiders.
     His two children have become fast friends with the man
     who coaxed them from the tree. His woman is with a
     larger group closer to the fire. They are playfully
     attempting to communicate with her, and although still a
     little timid, she is smiling. There is no hint of bar-         *
     barity, rape or abuse. That was not the intention of the
     Raiders. To them, a fertile woman and two healthy
     children are as gold will be to plunderers of later ages.
     For their part, the family have to accept the situation.
     Food and shelter are the best that life can offer.

     Painfully, Hector takes in the reality of the scene. His
     family have been stolen from him, plain and simple. In
     the morning they will be gone, out to sea and round the
     headland forever. He watches them for a while longer,
     then it becomes too painful. He retreats into the dark-
     ness and up into the empty hills again.

14   EXT. ROCK SHELTER - NIGHT                                 14
     Hector spends a long, cold night alone, squatting in a
     narrow crevice in the rocks. He doesn't sleep, or even
     attempt to close his eyes. He stares into the darkness.
     There is nothing in the world to comfort him, no phi-
     losophy or religion, no friend to run to. This night he
     is utterly alone.


15   EXT. ROCKS - MORNING                                       15
     In the morning it is lightly raining. Hector stands in
     the drizzle outside the shelter. It seems to revive him,
     refresh him, even comfort him. A sign, however meager,
     that life goes on. Then Hector trots off in the direc-
     tion of the shore. There is not much else that he can

16   EXT. BEACH - DAY                                           16
     The Raiders are loading up their boats, wading back and
     forth from the shoreline. Hector watches from cover.
     His family are already on one of the boats, awaiting            *
     whatever lies ahead, too afraid to betray real emotion.         *

     The last of the Raiders on shore wade out the short dis-
     tance to the boats. Hector watches these moments of
     departure, watches the faces of his family.
     Hector makes his move. In a mad act he breaks cover and         *
     runs down toward the departing boats. The last Raiders
     are climbing aboard. Hector charges at full speed to the
     water's edge. He screams agonizingly at the Raiders and
     impotently starts throwing stones at them. The Raiders
     all look at him. The LEADER is impudently brushing
     Hector's missiles aside, like so many flies and smiling.
     Suddenly Hector's rage and energy leave him. He stands
     looking at the Raiders and they look at him, for a long
     moment. The Raiders are all young men, hardly into their
     twenties, and nowadays might resemble something like a          *
     motorcycle gang. But in Hector's time they are men in
     the full prime of life. They begin to laugh and exchange
     remarks about Hector. He returns their looks fiercely.
     His woman and children sit on the boat, frozen in fear.         *
     The Leader eventually turns from Hector, still smiling
     and gives an order. The men lift their oars and prepare
     to leave. Then an older man stands up in the other boat.
     He calls over to the Leader, nodding in the direction of
     Hector. Hector doesn't know what they are saying, but
     they have an intense exchange, obviously centered on him.
     The older man seems to be an adviser, a priest or wise
     man, although he's still only about thirty years old.
     The Leader listens to him intently. The PRIEST talks and
     points to the cliffs. The Leader looks there and nods
     his head. He gives some instructions to his men. Hector
     stands, bemused. Six or so of the Raiders leave the
     boats, wade ashore and without any resistance from him,
     take hold of Hector. Hector's children instictively rise        *
     as if to defend their father, but Deirdre, despite her          *
     own feelings, wisely holds them back.                           *


17   EXT. CLIFFS - DAY                                             17
     Hector's hands have been bound with rope. He is being
     led up to the top of the cliffs. The Priest and the
     Leader walk on ahead, still talking intensely.
     At the top of the cliff the bay and the boats and the
     wide sea are stretched out beneath them. The Priest, as
     they arrive, becomes excited. He points to a pile of
     large stones at the very summit of the headland. The
     mound of stones is obviously man-made.
               I told you! I knew they did it
               around here! Ask him...
     The Leader moves closer to Hector and talks to him in a
     friendly, reasoning tone.

               What do we do? Do we throw you
               over, is that the idea?
     Hector doesn't understand.    He looks at him blankly.
               He wants me to throw you over.
               What does it do? Does it help the
               sun? Should I throw you over?
     The Leader tries to help Hector understand by miming the
     act of throwing him off the cliff. Hector doesn't know
     how to respond.
               I tell you, it's one man, one
               stone. It'll help the voyage.
     The Leader is unsure. He walks around the pile of
     stones, checking it out from all sides as if it was some
     infernal machine that he didn't know the workings of. He
     squats down and squints through it to the watery sun
     emerging from the clouds far out to sea. He looks across
     to Hector, now sitting on the grass. The Leader sits
     down beside him. They sit together like friends. The
     ageless intimacy of sacrificer and victim.

               What's it got to do with the sun?
               I don't know, yet.

     The Leader looks at Hector.    Then he makes up his mind.


17   CONTINUED:                                                     17
                  No.  It's too much of a risk.
                  Just add a stone to the pile. Let
                  him go. That's the best we can
                  do.  Let's go.

     With that, he stands up. The Priest, with some       sense of
     ceremony, looks around for a large stone, picks      one up
     and places it on top of the pile. He waits for       a moment,
     almost as if he expects some consequence of his      action.

                  It's meaningless, without him
                  going over the cliff.

     The Leader strides off back toward the beach. The others
     follow him, giving a final look or smile to Hector, apart
     from the Priest, who looks him up and down, regretting
     that he is not by now a corpse in the ocean. Hector
     watches them go, too shocked still to react in any mean-
     ingful way. He stands alone, trying to unpick the rope
     that binds his hands.
     When they are some distance from him, Hector starts to
     follow them, at first running to catch up and then simply
     trotting after them. The Raiders are aware of him behind
     them. The Leader eventually stops and calls to Hector.
                  Off you go.   We don't want you.
     He turns from Hector   and moves on. Hector persists in
     following them. They    are his only connection now with
     anything that thinks   or feels in the world. His link
     with them is all that   is left. Again and again the
     Leader stops to shoo   Hector away, but Hector dumbly tags
     along behind.

18   EXT. BEACH - DAY                                               18

     The Raiders wade out to the waiting boats. Hector
     follows to the very water's edge, then stands and bleakly
     watches them. The Raiders prepare to move off. Hector
     is an embarrassment to them now. At the last moment the
     Leader gives a brusque order to one of his men. The man
     clambers out of the boat and wades ashore again,
     carrying a large flint-bladed knife. He comes out of the
     water and walks up to Hector. Hector is beyond any form
     of reaction. He will take whatever is offered to him.
     The man comes close, the knife held ready. He stands in
     front of Hector for a moment. On the boat, Hector's
     family are tense with fear for his life.


18   CONTINUED:                                                 18
     Then the tense moment passes, as the man grunts and nods
     at Hector's hands, still bound with rope. Hector under-
     stands. He lifts his hands and the man with some effort
     hacks through the rough hemp. Then he turns and wades
     back to the boat.

     As the man clambers aboard the Leader speaks to him. The
     man stops, drops back into the water, and returns to
     Hector on the shore. He offers Hector the cut piece of
     rope, a weird gesture of conciliation. He even smiles.
     Hector refuses the gift. The man stands sheepishly for a
     moment, then drops the rope at Hector's feet and wades
     back to the boat. A piece of rope in exchange for a

     Hector watches them for some time, his family and the
     strange Raiders, as they, achingly slowly, retreat from
     his view and his life.
     At last he turns and moves up from the shoreline. He
     goes some distance then stops, thinks for a moment, then
     retraces his steps. He goes back to the water's edge,
     picks up the piece of rope that bound him, and walks
     off with it. It might be of some use to him.

19   INT. CAVE - DAY                                            19
     Hector has returned to his cave home, now cold and empty
     of life. He is working on his instincts now, still
     emotionally in shock. He digs around in the embers of
     the fire. Some of the larger bits of wood still hold
     some life. Hector bends low and starts to waft expertly         *
     and blow at the fire's remains.
     We leave our first Hector squatting at his fire, in the
     simplest act of physical survival. For him the problems
     of emotional survival without his family lie ahead.

20   INT. BATHHOUSE FURNACE - DAY                               20

     This is another, bigger fire. In fact we might be in
     hell. A crude furnace blazes. Filthy, sweat-covered
     men feed it with wood and charcoal, an endless task given
     the ferocity of the fire. To one side of the oppressive,
     low-ceilinged furnace room, some small boys endlessly
     toil at two large bellows, feeding the flames with jets
     of air. OVER the NOISE of the FURNACE someone is
     WHISTLING, an odd human sound in an inhuman setting.
     Shadowy figures come and go with barrow loads of wood.
     We TILT UP TO the space above the furnace to see a mass
     of dangerously crude clay pipes, oozing water and steam
     at every joint.


21   INT. BATHHOUSE - DAY                                      21
     Above the heat and filth there is a different world. A
     clean, beautifully tiled world of lazing figures, droning
     conversations and resonant laughter. It is the hot room
     of a bathhouse somewhere in the Roman Empire. We have
     advanced 4000 years into the future and it shows in the
     technology. It is men's day at the bathhouse. All of
     the people relaxing in the water look prosperous and
     comfortable with themselves. Slaves wait in attendance,
     some around the edge of the pool, others in the water
     rubbing backs and massaging shoulders. There are three
     or four times as many slaves as bathers, and the proprie-
     torial way that they look after their masters gives the
     place the odd atmosphere of a kindergarten for over-
     indulged grown-ups.

     And then we find our Hector. He stands against the wall,
     holding a large towel. Although clean-shaven and more
     healthy-looking we can still recognize Hector, more so         *
     by the look in his eyes. There is a set to his face
     that tells us he is a man alone, emotionally detached
     from his surroundings. He is a personal body slave. He
     watches his master in the pool, alert to any hint of need
     that he might have.

     Hector's master LUCINNIUS is not as relaxed as the others
     around him. He is in anxious conversation with an older        *
     man wading beside him. We don't hear what they are saying
     but there is enough body language to detect Lucinnius'
     pleading and the older man's cool distraction. The older
     man gives a final dismissive shake of his head. Hector         *
     immediately moves to the side of the pool with the towel as
     Lucinnius climbs out of the water.
               I'm going to the cool room.

22   INT. BATHHOUSE - ANOTHER ANGLE - DAY                      22   *
     Hector wraps the towel around his master and follows him,
     a look of concern on his face. Lucinnius' worries are
     Hector's also.
     Hector walks a pace behind Lucinnius through various
     chambers of the bathhouse, passing the games area and
     the massage room as they go. All around them slaves
     attend to their pampered masters.

23   INT. BATHHOUSE - COOL ROOM - DAY                          23   *

     After an anxious scan of the cool room, Lucinnius goes
     towards three men occupying a marble bench.


23   CONTINUED:                                                   23
     Hector as if by magic produces a small wooden stool for
     his master to sit on as he joins the others. Hector then
     moves out of earshot, but still alert to his master's
     behavior. Lucinnius is nervous as he attempts to
     casually join his friends. The eldest of the three
     gives off as much of the aura of a Godfather as a naked
     man in a towel can. The other two are deferential to
     the older man, and treat Lucinnius with apparent con-
     tempt. Hector watches the older man put a paternal
     hand on Luccinius's shoulder and speak with a calm
     smile on his face. Hector almost winces to see his
     master submit to this patronizing treatment. Slave
     and master exist so closely together that many of
     their feelings are shared. More precisely, Lucinnius's
     feelings are shared by Hector. It is a one-way exchange.
     From morning until night, and probably in his dreams too,
     Hector is living two lives, his own and his master's.
     Here in ancient Rome is this what they call classic
     As Luccinius stands to leave we can    tell by their expres-
     sions that the THREE MEN are open in    their contempt for
     him. Hector is quickly on his feet     and by Lucinnius's
     side as he goes. A final sarcastic     remark comes from one
     of the three.
                                MAN #1
                  Well washed, Lucinnius.

     Lucinnius tries to muster his dignity as they leave.              *

24   EXT. STREET - DAY                                            24

     This is not the grandeur of Rome, but the dusty main
     street of a provincial capital in Greece or Spain or
     North Africa. It is difficult to tell from the people
     because they are such a cosmopolitan crowd, faces from
     every corner of the Mediterranean world. It has some-
     thing of the atmosphere of a frontier town in a western,
     except that here the half-finished buildings are made of
     brick and stone.
     Lucinnius leaves the bathhouse. Hector follows three
     paces behind him, loaded down with the large towel, the
     scrubber, robe, and the wooden stool. The stool goes
     with them everywhere, in case Lucinnius has to stop in
     the street and converse with a friend. Other notables
     are among the street throng, their own slaves tagging
     along behind with their little wooden stools. Some have
     whole trains of slaves shadowing them. Human status
     symbols. Lucinnius stops near some street stalls.
     Hector stops beside him.

                                                           14.        *

24   CONTINUED:                                                  24
                  Bad omens, Hector. Bad omens.
                  Get me something to eat. Just
                  a mouse or two.

     Hector places the stool at Lucinnius's feet and moves off.
     Lucinnius sits down, still absorbed in his problems.

     Hector keeps an eye on Lucinnius as he orders the food.
                  Two mice... and some bread...

                  No mice.
                  Two chicken legs, then, cold, and
                  the bread.
     As Hector is given the food and pays for it, he sees
     another man, JULIAN, approach Lucinnius, trailed by TWO
     SLAVES. One of them is carrying a folding chair much
     more substantial than Lucinnius's. Julian and Lucinnius
     greet one another and sit down to talk, Lucinnius at
     something of a height disadvantage. The Two Slaves move
     off to one side. Lucinnius's mood has brightened since
     the arrival of his friend. Their conversation seems open
     and friendly.
     Hector gives his master his food, and then moves to join
     the Two Slaves, hearing a snatch of the conversation as
     he goes.

                  Of course you're free to call at my
                  house at anytime, but I was
                  receiving Nepos... how could I
                  admit you?
     Hector offers to share his bread with the other Two
     Slaves. They easily fall into conversation, inevitably,
     about their masters.

                                SLAVE #1
                  Spoiled his day, meeting your man...
                  he's been avoiding him all week.

                                SLAVE #2
                  His ships have gone too, we heard.


24   CONTINUED:    (2)                                              24
     This is news to Hector.

                  When did you hear?
                                SLAVE #2
                  Last night. Nepos knew. Pirates.
                  They're sunk, he reckons. That
                  could finish him, eh?
                  This is the worst it's been.                           *
                                SLAVE #1
                  You'll be up for sale before you
                  know it!

     This makes them laugh, Hector less so than the other
                  He's finished... you reckon?
     The other two nod their heads.
                                SLAVE #1
                  Yes... at the baths... I could
                  tell... they smelled blood...

                  Well... if he'd pulled it off he'd
                  be in Rome by now...
                                SLAVE #1
                  And you with him...
     Hector nods his head thoughtfully.

                  And me with him... half way home...

     Lucinnius and his friend stand and exchange their final
     words, unaware of the scrutiny they have been under, or
     so used to it that they are oblivious to it. Hector
     and the Slaves hurry to gather up the seats and take their          *
     positions behind their masters. The casualness of their
     conversation has gone, and they resume the formality of
     their roles.

25   EXT. STREET - DAY                                              25

     Lucinnius is eager to talk, and tosses his words over his
     shoulder to Hector.



25   CONTINUED:                                                     25
                  He's a true friend, probably the
                  only one I have left.
     Hector obligingly trots a step or two closer to Lucinnius
     to aid their conversation.

                  Will he lend you the money?
                  He was honest about it. He said
                  so, plain and simple. No.
                  That's a problem.

     Lucinnius unburdens himself.
                  And the ships have gone... did I
                  tell you that?
                  Have they?
                  Cyprian knows already. He'll
                  want his money back too...
     We can see the concentration on Hector's face as he
     concocts appropriate responses.
     He has a tough occupation, being the alter ego to an
     ambitious loser in one of the most competitive and
     dangerous societies ever to exist. And he has to carry
     the stool and the towel as well.

                  When we get home I want you to get
                  some chickens... and fetch Hermas,
                  the diviner.

26   INT. HOUSE - DAY                                               26
     At home, we find Lucinnius and Hector with the diviner
     HERMAS. They are gathered around a shrine in the large
     public room. The entrails of a chicken lie on a slab of
     marble. Hermas prods them with a knife. He makes much
     of the mysteries of his craft, as if it were a skill
     beyond ordinary men.



26   CONTINUED:                                                 26
     The other two peer over his shoulders. Suitably mysti-
     fied, Lucinnius talks in a reverent low voice.

                  Are my ships from Sicily still

     Hermas tetchily stops him.
                  No, no... offer the grain first...
                  sprinkle it on the altar...
     Lucinnius obeys.

                  ... and we can't ask the Gods
                  specific questions like that...
                  it's a gentle, probing enquiry...
                  general questions... but let's
     He cuts into the chicken liver and prods around the in-
     side. The other two wait in silence.
                  General answer... no...
                  What do you mean?
                  I mean, no.   The liver says no...

     Lucinnius objects.
                  Do it again... I want you to do it
                  again... Is it the Gods' will...                   *
                  that Cyprian... be well disposed                   *
                  towards me... in the future?                       *

                  If you want to do it  again, you
                  need another chicken  and another
                  fifteen sesterces...  and I'd like
                  the first fifteen now  please.
     Hector looks a Lucinnius, who nods reluctantly. Hector
     opens his purse and counts out the coins for Hermas.


27   INT. HOUSE - NIGHT                                           27
     Hector is giving Lucinnius a soothing shoulder massage.

     Lucinnius is still in a talking mood.   His troubles
     won't allow him to relax.
               Cyprian loaned me half a million
               to fit out these ships... I'm                           *
               finished. Just when things were
               going well... I had plans for you
               too, Hector... in four or five
               years I was going to make you a
               free man... and then in ten years                       *
               you'd be a citizen... you... you                        *
               could've found your family...
               brought them here... everything...

     Hector smiles ruefully.
               It sounds good.
     Lucinnius misses the irony in Hector's voice and enthuses
     about his own future generosity.
               It does, doesn't it!
     Lucinnius is silent for a while as Hector continues to            *
     rub his shoulders.
               I shouldn't give up. I can't...
               I'll visit Cyprian, first thing
               tomorrow... before the others can
               get to him... he's got to see
               reason... I can pay him back...
               sometime. It's the only chance
               we have, Hector. Should I do it?
               You must.
               You're right.    I must.

     This burst of resolve has relaxed Lucinnius.   His tense
     muscles yield more to Hector's fingers.
     THALIA enters the room. She is a household slave, a
     Nubian from Africa. She carries a lighted torch and
     moves around the room lighting the wall lamps. Lucinnius
     watches her.


27   CONTINUED:                                                   27
                  Thalia, I think I need one of
                  your massages. Hector, you can                       *
                  finish the lamps.
     Hector does as he is told. He takes the torch from
     Thalia and discreetly leaves the room, hearing Lucinnius
     as he closes the door.
                  Lower, Thalia.

28   INT. HECTOR'S ROOM - NIGHT                                   28

     Late at night, Hector is still awake. He rises from his
     bed and quietly moves out of the room. He is careful
     not to disturb the sleeping forms lying all around him,
     some of them sprawled on the floor. He shares his bed-
     room with at least eight other slaves. Privacy is a
     master's privilege.

29   INT. HOUSE - NIGHT                                           29
     In the darkened house, Hector makes his way up some
     stairs and along a passage. The only sound is a crack
     or two of far-away THUNDER. At the end of the passage,
     Hector finds a small ladder propped against the wall.
     He climbs this, and lifts open the trap door above his

30   EXT. ROOF - NIGHT                                            30
     Odd flashes of lightning far out to sea are the only
     source of light as Hector moves across the flat roof.
     In one corner he sees what he is looking for, the outline
     of a figure resting against the low parapet wall. He
     moves towards it. The figure speaks.

                  I missed you last night.
     It is Thalia. We can tell that they are close.      Hector
     sits down beside her.

                  He kept me working until morning.

                  What's happening?


30   CONTINUED:                                                     30
                  He has no money and a lot of
                  enemies. If he's very clever he'll
                  survive... but the omens are bad...
                  and he's not very clever.

                  She doesn't like him.
                  Nobody does. He's unfortunate.
                  You get people like that. Clumsy
                  and sad.
     Thalia looks out towards the sea.

                  Why does the thunder always stay
                  out on the ocean?
     Hector puts an arm around Thalia. At first it feels                 *
     strange, their physical intimacy alongside their matter-
     of-fact conversation, but gradually we understand it, the
     giving and taking of comfort where it can be found, and
     the realness of their friendship. Their stroking and
     touching and holding becomes good to watch. We get a
     feeling for what they have given one another, in stolen
     hours and half hours, up here on the roof, the only place
     where they can be themselves.
                  It's the Gods arguing. They're
                  working out what to do with
                  Lucinnius... he'll be lying awake
                  down there... wondering what
                  they're saying about him.

     They laugh.    Far away some street DOGS BARK.
                  If he goes down I'll ask for my
                  freedom... he owes it to me... he
                  said as much... you too... we
                  could be free...

                  Then what?
                  What we talk about.

     By now he is kissing her.


30   CONTINUED:    (2)                                                30
                  We talk about going home. Yours
                  is that way and mine is that
                  way... your family is that way.
                  I just made that up... I don't                           *
                  know which way they are... anyway                        *
                  ... you can't think like that.                           *
                  Not after so many years...                               *

                  It's what you talk about.
                  We talk about it because it can                          *
                  never happen. What we do is you                          *
                  and me...
                  I don't understand. I think you'll
                  leave. You're going to leave me

                  Never. It's you and me now.
                  That's all.
                  Well.   We stay here.   He'll survive.                   *
     Hector is silent, still kissing her.      He yawns as he              *

                  Then I can see you every night.
                  I'm tired.

31   INT. HECTOR'S ROOM - NIGHT                                       31

     Hector is back in his bed. A figure enters the room,
     steps over the sleeping bodies on the floor and shakes
     him awake. Hector comes to. Lucinnius stands over him,

                  I can't sleep. Get me a chicken.
                  I want to make another sacrifice.
                  We'll do it ourselves.

     Hector wearily takes himself out of bed and follows
     Lucinnius out of the room.

                                                           22.        *

32   INT. HENHOUSE - NIGHT                                       32
     Hector is in the henhouse, in the dark, selecting a
     chicken for sacrifice. He is about to leave when he
     sees a MAN and WOMAN, arms around each other, sitting in
     a corner. The Man looks at the white hen Hector is

               Can't you find a woman, Hector...
     Hector smiles. He isn't surprised to see them. They are
     only doing what he and Thalia do on the roof. The Slaves
     have their meeting places scattered all over the house.
               Sorry to trouble you... just
               fetching a chicken... good night
               ... the roof's free...
     The Man shakes his head with a smile. Hector leaves, the
     sleepy chicken going to meet her fate in his arms.
               Come on, miss, you can tell
               Lucinnius his future.

33   EXT. STREET - MORNING                                       33
     Hector and Lucinnius are approaching the home of Cyprian.
     Hector as usual is walking some paces behind his master,
     and he carries a large satchel of documents. Cyprian's
     home is a street palace. It is early in the morning, but
     there is already activity around the house, visitors
     coming and going, messengers, petitioners. A few impor-
     tant callers arrive in litters, carried by slaves.
     Lucinnius and Hector even have to join a line at the door
     and are checked in by the gateman. Lucinnius's hopes of
     quietly bending Cyprian's ear are dashed. It seems as
     if the whole world owes allegiance to this provincial
     Mr. Big.

34   EXT. COURTYARD - MORNING                                    34
     The slaves gather on one side of the courtyard, gossiping
     and playing games of chance on the ground. Their masters
     wait on the other side of the courtyard, seated on
     benches along the wall. Cyprian's aides usher the
     visitors into his presence in a regular flow, some have
     an audience of a few minutes, others last merely seconds.

     Hector keeps an eye on Lucinnius, like a mother watching
     her child from a distance on its first day at school.


34   CONTINUED:                                                     34
     Lucinnius, sitting expectantly in line, does look a
     little pathetic, even ridiculous. Straight-backed, hands
     on knees, alert, worried, he looks a bit like a sacri-
     ficial offering himself.
     Hector plays a game of five-stone with some other slaves
     as he watches Lucinnius shuffling up the bench place by
     place to the front of the line. We almost expect Hector
     to give him a little wave of encouragement as he is
     finally summoned into the inner office. Hector waits.
     The first signs seem good. Lucinnius doesn't emerge
     within the first minute. Cyprian is at least giving him
     the time of day. More minutes pass. Hector watches a
     game of handball while keeping an eye on the office door.
     One or two others, familiar to us from the bathhouse, go
     into the office. So does Lucinnius' friend Julian.

     Eventually Lucinnius emerges into the sunlight, a broad
     smile on his face. Hector relaxes and leaves the ball
     game to join him.
                  You look happier.

                  Relieved anyway... relieved that
                  it's over at last.
     Lucinnius strides out of the courtyard with Hector
     following after him.

35   EXT. STREETS - DAY                                             35

     Lucinnius and Hector are walking home in their usual
     formation. Hector is closer than normal, so that they
     can talk.

                  Will he help you?

                  I have to kill myself by tomorrow
                  morning. He has all my letters to
                  Titinius, none of them got
                  through. He says it's like
                  treason... and he says I should
                  want to die for owing him half a
                  million anyway...

     Hector is shocked.

                  What if you don't...



35   CONTINUED:                                                     35
                  Then he will... and that wouldn't
                  be pleasant... he would drag me to
                  Rome... those letters...
     Lucinnius shivers to think of them.

                  I'm done for, Hector... but it's
                  strange... I feel kind of good
                  about it... the struggle is over
                  ... we've seen it through
                  together, eh?
                  I don't know what to say.

                  Let's get home. We have a lot to
     Lucinnius quickens his pace.
                  Tonight... peace at last...
     Lucinnius is obviously in a state of shock.

36   INT. HOUSE - DAY                                               36
     Hector and Lucinnius are in his study. Lucinnius is
     busy clearing up his papers. He is less hysterical than
     in the previous scene, more aware of the reality of what
     he has to do.
                  We'll do it with a knife, Hector.
                  When everyone has gone to bed.
                  The two of us, to the end...

                  I don't understand. What do you
                  want me to do... I don't think I
                  can help you...

                  We'll help each other, Hector. We
                  must. We've been through this
                  whole mess together... we must die



36   CONTINUED:                                                   36
                  I don't know what you mean.   What
                  mess?                                                *
                  You don't understand do you? I'm
                  asking you to die with me...
                  you're my closest, my dearest
                  slave... what would they say about
                  me if you refused to die with me?
                  This is honor... we're choosing                      *
                  death... we're not going to submit
                  to the humiliations that Cyprian
                  can heap on us, are we?

                  You say we... I don't know... what
                  is we? I've done nothing... I                        *
                  know nothing...
     Lucinnius changes his tone, becomes more, in his own
     mind, frank, man-to-man.
                  Hector... at Cyprian's this morning
                  ... I had to sign certain papers
                  ... tell a bit of a story...
                  What kind of story?
                  A confession. That we were
                  plotting against Cyprian and the
                  provincial senate... we were short
                  of names... most of the people I
                  know were in the room... people I
                  thought were my friends... so I
                  mentioned you... I had to...
     Hector is stunned with shock...

                  So I'm a conspirator?

                  Yes. So you see, I don't want you
                  to die with me just because of my
                  honor... it's more complicated...
                  I'm sorry, Hector. I would be
                  honored... if you would die with
                  me... I mean it...
     Hector manages to speak.


                                                              26.        *

36   CONTINUED:     (2)                                             36
                  Can I sit down?

                  Of course.

                  This is the worst it's been.

37   EXT. COURTYARD - DAY                                           37

     Hector is in   the inner courtyard of the house, beside the
     kitchen. He    is talking to GALLUS, who is Lucinnius's
     ten-year-old   son. Hector has a close friendship with
     him. As we    listen to their conversation it becomes clear
     that Hector   finds comfort in the boy, for the family that
     he lost.
     Today there is an air of distraction about Hector.
     Understandable, considering his scheduled death.
     The kitchen slaves come and go as they talk.

                  But even if it's round you can
                  still fall off the edge.
     Hector has picked up a large metal plate to help him make
     his point.
                  No... it's not round like that...
                  it's round like this.
     Gallus sees his playball.     He picks it up.

                  Do you believe everything that
                  Greek tells you...?

     Gallus ignores this tease, intent on the ball.
                  Rome must be right in the middle...
                  here... and we must be out here
     Hector becomes more interested.



37   CONTINUED:                                                37
                  So, where is my home?

                  How many months did they march you

     Gallus walks out the distance from Rome with his fingers,      *
     as if there is serious calculation.                            *
                  It must be about here.                            *

     His fingers stop on the other side of the ball.
                  But then you'd be upside down...
                  I wasn't upside down... and how                   *
                  could you see the sun round there
                  ... I saw the sun at home... every
     Gallus is stumped for answers.                                 *

                  I'll ask him tomorrow...                          *
     Hector remembers that he and the boy's father are              *
     supposed to die that night. He looks on Gallus with a          *
     new tenderness.
                  Yes, tell me tomorrow... I'd like
                  to know... because my children are
                  round there and I want to know
                  that they're getting the sun...
                  ask him something else, too...
                  where are the gods if the whole
                  thing is round?

                  I think I know that... they're out
                  here, and all around... that's how
                  they can look down and see

38   INT. ALTAR - NIGHT                                        38
     Lucinnius is at it again. In the lamplight, a live
     chicken stands on the altar.


38   CONTINUED:                                                   38
     Hector and Lucinnius watch it as if their lives depended
     on it. Perhaps they do.

                  If he eats the grain it means yes.

     He scatters some grain on the table.     The chicken at once
     begins to peck them up.
                  It's saying yes... there's a way...

                  No, it's saying yes, we should die.

                  But you asked it if we had to die,
                  or if there was another way... it's
                  saying yes, there is...
                  No, it's saying yes, we should die.
     The bird is certainly enjoying his food.
                  Maybe it's just hungry...
     The chicken is inscrutable, as they are prone to be.
39   INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT                                     39
     A dead chicken adorns Lucinnius's table. He and his
     wife, DALMIA, and their son are lying on their couches
     picking at the food with their fingers. Lucinnius is
     drinking more wine than usual. Hector and the other
     household slaves are in attendance. Thalia is also
     there, serving her mistress.
     Dalmia knows something is up, but she doesn't know what.
     She attempts to break the silence. She calls on the cook
     from the kitchen.

     The kitchen slave quickly appears.
                  Solus... I'm eating chicken again.
                  I ate chicken yesterday and the
                  day before... will I be eating
                  chicken again tomorrow? Why am I
                  always eating chicken?



39   CONTINUED:                                                  39
     SOLUS looks up at Lucinnius and Hector, but they offer
     him no help.

                  It's what we have to hand in the
                  kitchen, ma'am... I always try to
                  use the fresh stuff... the
                  chickens have just been turning
     He looks again at Lucinnius and Hector. They look at
     each other. Thalia looks at Hector. Dalmia looks at
     them all looking at each other, more intrigued than she
     was before.

     A SLAVE interrupts them.

                  Two men have come to see you.
                  From Cyprian.
     Lucinnius and Hector look at each other and share a
     moment of hope. They might be coming with good news,
     perhaps a softening of Cyprian's heart.

40   INT. RECEPTION ROOM - NIGHT                                 40
     The two VISITORS that await Lucinnius and Hector are an
     unpromising sight. They are big men, unsophisticated and
     look uncomfortable in their well-cut togas. A couple of
     the godfather's foot soldiers.
     They greet Lucinnius deferentially, but he knows that
     they would break his back at the whim of their master.
                  Good evening, Lucinnius. Cyprian
                  asked us if we could be of any                      *
                  assistance... in the business that
                  you have to conduct tonight... to
                  make that business as...                            *
                  comfortable... as you could wish...
     Lucinnius sighs, as his last hope expires.

                  Thank you, gentlemen... But I feel
                  that I will be capable of taking
                  care of my affairs tonight without
                  your help... Thank Cyprian for his
                  kind thought...
     The heavies metaphorically keep their foot in the door.



40   CONTINUED:                                                 40
                  We're   spending the night at the
                  house   of Nepos, not far from here.
                  Don't   hesitate to send your man for
                  us...   at any time... We're anxious
                  that   things should go well for you.

                  Thank you.   Good night.
                  We'll call in the morning at any
                  rate... just to make sure.
                  Thank you.

     Hector is closing the door when one of the Visitors talks
     roughly to him.
                  You.    Come here.
     Hector instinctively looks to his master. Lucinnius
     doesn't protest, but retreats into the house. Hector is
     left alone with the Visitors.
                  He looks like the kind that'll
                  want some help. Have you ever
                  killed before?
                  Only chickens.
                  He's not much different. Use a
                  thin blade, but long. Get it in
                  deep... the heart... feel for a
                  space between the ribs...

     He prods at Hector's body freely, showing him what to do.
     If it is ticklish, Hector doesn't let on.
                  ... or go in from the back... any
                  place he'll let you...
     We leave Hector nodding obediently as this weirdest of
     coaching lessons continues.

                  Getting it out's not as easy as
                  you might think... you have to
                  twist a bit... to get over the


41   INT. STUDY - NIGHT                                            41
     Late at night in Lucinnius's study, an oil     lamp and a
     candle cast their shadowy light, adding to     the tension in
     the room. Hector stands beside Lucinnius,      who is
     counting out coins and other valuables on     his table.
               Eight hundred sesterces... cash
               ... that's all that's left... what
               a failure... my father left me
               three farms and forty thousand...

     Lucinnius places the money in a box on his table. He is
     quite drunk, resigned now to his fate. Hector however is
     cold sober, grim-faced. Lucinnius looks up at him.

               Nothing else to be done.    Don't
               you want some wine?
               No... but I want something...
               What is it?
               I want to die a free man... I
               don't want to die a slave...

     Lucinnius looks at him grimly and manages a smile. He              *
     clears his throat and attempts to put a note of ceremony
     into his voice.
               Hector,    by this proclamation, I
               make you    a freed man... I don't
               know the    exact words... I've never
               done it    before... But you're free,
               In writing... so that when they
               find me... they know I died a free
               man... please...

     Lucinnius looks at him for a moment, then reaches out for
     his paper and pen.
               Very well...

     He scratches out a few words on the paper, Hector looking
     over his shoulder, keenly watching what he writes.
     Lucinnius finishes writing and lays down the pen.



41   CONTINUED:                                                      41
                  They'll find it in the morning.
                  It's a nice thought, Hector... you
                  were right to ask.
                  Thank you.

                  Well... freed man, let's do it.                         *

     Lucinnius picks up a large kitchen knife which lies on
     the table. He fingers its blade.
     A trickle of fear passes across Hector's face.       Will the
     half-drunk Lucinnius want to kill him first?

                  What do you want me to do?
                  Nothing... I mean, not to me... I
                  have to do it first... you
                  understand that... and then you...
                  if I don't succeed... then you
                  must help me...
                  I understand.
                  No point in messing up the room.
                  Let's go downstairs.

     Lucinnius stands and leaves the room.     Hector follows
     with the oil lamp.

42   INT. PASSAGE - NIGHT                                            42
     The house is quiet and in darkness as they walk along the
     passage and down the stairs to the washing room. Hector
     walks behind, casting the light on Lucinnius's crumpled,
     defeated form. Lucinnius begins to sob, at first
     quietly, then more loudly and more pathetically. Hector
     looks around and behind him, afraid, or perhaps hoping,
     that Lucinnius's moans will wake the household.

43   INT. WASH ROOM - NIGHT                                          43

     Lucinnius has worked himself into a dramatic state of
     distress, with drink and terror and self pity.

                                                              33.        *

43   CONTINUED:                                                     43
     He runs into the tiled washing room, wails loudly and
     makes a stabbing motion at his stomach. Hector sees all
     of this from behind as he enters the room. Lucinnius
     crumples to the floor and squats on his knees. He calls
     out in pain.

                  Oh, that hurts, that stings!
     Lucinnius sits back on the step of the washing pool,
     holding his stomach. Hector sits down beside him. They
     both look down at the blade, still in Lucinnius' body.
                  This is hopeless.

     They sit absurdly like this for a long moment, neither
     of them knowing what do do next. It's awkward, like in a
     waiting room. Then Lucinnius speaks.
                  Help me, Hector...
                  You've done it... you've done it
                  ... lie down...
     Hector speaks gently, like coaxing a frightened animal.
     He helps Lucinnius lie out on the marble floor.
                  Close your eyes... you did it...
                  Thank you, thank you.
     The movement has increased the spread of blood over
     Lucinnius' clothing. He raises his head.
                  You do it now, Hector... hurry...

                  Lie still... lie still...

                  Do it Hector... do it... you
     It looks as if Hector is playing for time.

                  Shush... I'll need the knife...


43   CONTINUED:    (2)                                           43
                  Take it... do it...

     Lucinnius' voice is fading now. Hector waits, then
     reaches down for the knife in Lucinnius' stomach. We
     see on his face the effort as he pulls at it, and do we
     detect a subtle twisting of the blade to speed Lucinnius
     on his way? Lucinnius sighs and twitches a little. It's
     as if the life flows out of him as the knife is released
     from the wound. His voice is even more faint.

                  Do it, Hector... do it... do it...
     Hector has the knife in his hand, but still he waits,
     looking at Lucinnius, willing the last dregs of life from
                  Do it... do it... do it...
     The whispers fade to a croak. Lucinnius lies still.
     Hector has won this final battle of wills. He stands    up,
     suddenly repulsed by what has happened. But quickly    he
     gathers his wits. He makes his decision. He throws     the
     knife down. It clatters along the hard shiny floor.
     Hector has run out of the room before it has come to    rest
     against the wall.

44   INT. STUDY - NIGHT                                          44
     Hector runs into the study and makes for the box contain-
     ing the coins. He puts most of them into a leather money
     bag and ties it to his waist. Then he pulls on
     Lucinnius's cloak and rushes out of the room. He returns
     quickly to pick up his certificate of freedom from the
     table. Then just as he is leaving, he again stops, sits
     down on the chair, pulls off his worn shoes and places on
     his feet a pair of Lucinnius's stout street sandals.
45   EXT. COURTYARD - NIGHT                                      45

     Hector is walking quickly from the kitchen across the
     courtyard to the street gate. Near the gate he stops
     and looks back at the house. He makes a decision and
     retraces his steps across the courtyard and back into
     the house.
46   INT. THALIA'S ROOM - NIGHT                                  46

     Thalia is sleeping in a large pallet bed on the floor
     with two other women. Hector gently shakes her shoulder,
     trying not to wake the others. After a moment or two
     Thalia opens her eyes.



46   CONTINUED:                                                     46
     Hector whispers to her before she has time to open her

                  I'm leaving... come now if you
                  want to... but we must hurry...
                  I'm a free man... I'm free.
                  Will you come?

47   EXT. HARBOR - NIGHT                                            47

     The shadowy cloaked figures making their way down to the            *
     harbor are Hector and Thalia.                                       *

     Nearer the harbor we sense the nighttime work of loading
     and preparing ships for the morning tide. By the light
     of oil lamps cargos are manhandled aboard, voices shout,
     WINCHES CREAK. Hector encounters a night WATCHMAN, but
     diverts his suspicion by boldly addressing him.
                  I have some mail for Tyre... where
                  are the east-bound ships?
                  Ask at the harbor.                                     *
     With an authoritative nod, Hector strides off in the
     direction of the noise and lights, Thalia at his heels.
     Hector talks when the Watchman is out of earshot.
                  We want a timber ship... they go
                  west... straight to Rome...

                  And then?   Then you go home?                          *
     Hector hurries on, noncommittal in his reply.

                  You can go to anywhere from Rome.

48   EXT. QUAY - NIGHT                                              48
     Hector and Thalia approach a ship heavily laden with
     timber. Final supplies are being carried aboard, super-
     vised by two men on the quay. Hector approaches them.

                  Where is the Captain?



48   CONTINUED:                                                 48
                  He's on the ship.

     He indicates a man standing on the rear deck. Hector and
     Thalia climb up the gangplank and approach him.

                  Good morning, Captain... I'm
                  looking for passage to Rome, for
                  both of us...

                  And who might you be?
                  I'm the steward of Lucinnius the
                  merchant... we have business in
                  Rome... I need an immediate
                  It's five or six days... to                        *
                  Brundisium... you can walk or ride
                  from there... you have money?
                  Of course.
                  Well, let's see... passage for
                  two... food for two... six days...
                  what were you thinking of offering?
                  When do you leave?
                  Anxious to leave, are you?
                  Keen to start, yes.

49   INT. SHIP - DAY                                            49
     Hector and Thalia are asleep, huddled together in a cor-
     ner of the ship that they have claimed as their quarters.

     A CREWMAN comes and shakes Hector awake. He stirs himself
     to the sounds of a SHIP UNDERWAY, the sounds of the SEA-
     WASH, the WIND in the CANVAS, the MOANS of the TIMBERS.

                  Captain says to come on deck.
     Hector wakes Thalia and they clamber out of the darkness
     of the hold onto the brightest, freshest of days at sea.


50   EXT. SHIP - DAY                                             50
     There is no sign of land behind them. The ship is moving
     swiftly in a strong, clean breeze and a light sea. We
     can tell from Thalia's reactions that she has never been
     out at sea before, at least never above deck. Every-
     thing is novel to her and it shows, even the movement of         *
     the ship. Her excitement is childlike.

               Where's the land gone?
     Hector, too, is taken by the novelty of it all but is
     less prepared to admit it. He waves his hands around the
     empty horizon noncommittally.
               Have you been on a ship before?

               Yes, of course.
     We can tell he is lying.
               Me, too, but they kept us down
     She points down into the lower depths of the hold.   Then
     she gets even more excited.

               Tonight... we'll be where the
               thunder is!
     They look at each other and then all around them. The
     freshness of the day and on an overwhelming feeling of
     freedom, exhilarate them. Their senses and their
     feelings, are in new territory. They are like children
     in a brand-new world.
     The Captain on the other side of the ship, beckons them.         *

               Thought you would like to see

     He points to three shapes in the mid-distance, ships
     heading for the port they have left. There is a thrill           *
     in their glamor, their fine progress under full sail.
               Your master's ships... going


50   CONTINUED:                                                      50
                  No... they can't be... they're
                  No they're not... I know these
                  ships... my brother-in-law's the
                  master of the big one with the
                  brown sail...
     Hector and Thalia look at each other. The Captain smiles
     at them and looks back to the ships, coursing healthily
     on their way.
                  Somebody been putting the wind up
                  Lucinnius? That's an old one...
                  didn't think anybody'd fall for

51   EXT. SHIP - DAY                                                 51
     Later, the ship is still making brisk progress. Thalia
     and Hector are sitting on deck, some distance from one
     another. They are quieter now, more thoughtful. Hector               *
     catches her eye. Hector is drawn by her smile and moves              *
     to join her. They sit quietly, absorbed in thought,
     thoughts of each other, their looks and smiles tell us
     that. As if they are talking without words. Hector
     looks around him. A sailor on the forward deck is
     sorting out some rope, an echo of a previous time and                *
     place. The wind catches the sailor's hat. He grabs it
     from the air and spends time arranging it once more on
     his head, just so. A tiny human moment.                              *

52   EXT. WAGON - DAY                                                52
     A man is driving a heavy two-horse wagon. The wind has
     just lifted his hat from his head. He spends some time
     replacing it carefully, just so. Watching him from the
     back of the wagon is Hector.
     The drama of the lives of Thalia and Hector      has played
     itself out long ago. Between the breath of       sea breeze
     that lifted the hat of the Roman sailor and      the gust of
     mountain wind that snatches the hat of the      wagoner, lies
     1400 years.                                                          *

     Hector sits   in the wagon beside a woman. There are
     tantalizing   similarities between their situation and the           *
     one we left   Thalia and Hector in on the boat a few
     moments ago,   1400 years ago.



52   CONTINUED:                                                      52
     The woman and Hector exchange glances now and then,
     delicate signals of mutual awareness. Talking without
     They are not alone in the wagon, perched on its half load
     of timber. With them is a NUN accompanying a GIRL of
     about eight. The Girl is tearful. A man, his face
     unseen, is snoring underneath his hat. A younger man,
     gaunt and hungry-looking, is dressed in the rough
     travelling clothes of a monk or PRIEST. Even without his
     habit we would know he was a holy man. His incessant
     talk tells us.
                  We want to praise God because we
                  live in this ultimate age, when
                  all things are done, all is known,
                  all the wonders of his creation
                  revealed to us... nothing more for
                  man to see or do... all that is
                  left is the hope of salvation...
                  even for our humbler sisters...
     The Girl is sobbing through all of this.
                  Yes weep, child, weep for joy...
                  you are a glorious example to us
                  all... already a child of God's...
                  blessed to spend your earthly days
                  within his church as Christ's
                  servant... what generous parents
                  you have... giving you to the
                  sisters... What a sacrifice.                            *
     There is an Irish lilt to his voice which colors what                *
     he is saying with a tinge of mischief. He is a difficult
     fellow to pin down. Hector looks at him amusedly, still              *
     sharing his thoughts silently with the woman, BEATRICE.
     The Nun interrupts the Priest cheerfully.

                  She's already received the last
                  rites, before she left her family.
                  She belongs to God now... Don't you?                    *

     The child sobs more noisily.                                         *
                  Fortunate child, destined for
                  paradise. Untouched by the
                  abiding curse of carnal lust.   I
                  struggle against it...


52   CONTINUED:    (2)                                         52
                                PRIEST (CONT'D)
                  I will not join myself carnally
                  with any woman...
     He looks accusingly at Beatrice.                               *

                  ... I will carry my unspilt seed
                  from this world to the next... as
                  should every man...

     Now Hector is getting the hard looks from the Priest.
                  ... If all men forsook forever the
                  fleshy temptations... and held
                  womankind to barrenness... think
                  how much the sooner would come the
                  day of judgement... all God's
                  chosen gathered in paradise... I've               *
                  written a small treatise in favor                 *
                  of virginity, sister. We could                    *
                  discuss it later if you like...                   *

     The DRIVER of the wagon turns his head briefly to the
                  What are you talking about?
     Hector gestures to Beatrice that he is leaving the wagon
     to walk for a while and asks her to join him. She shakes
     her head with a smile. Hector smiles, too, then jumps
     down from the wagon and, walking slowly, allows it to
     gain ground in front of him. The ramblings of the Priest
     fade away.

                  It's simple, brother... if we
                  cease carnal union entirely then
                  in fifty or so years we'll all be
                  rid of our earthly lives and God
                  can proceed with His reign over
                  His heavenly kingdom... that same
                  paradise that God gave to man
                  before, but which man was so unfit
                  to inhabit that within seven hours
                  Eve was already tempting her
                  master and mate, and within nine
                  hours the Lord had to expel the
                  both of them! Just think, they                    *
                  messed it up in nine hours!                       *


53   EXT. MOUNTAIN TRACK - DAY                                 53
     Hector smiles as the Priest's VOICE FADES into the dis-
     tance. It is a  cold fresh day of early summer. They are       *
     travelling high in the mountains. Hector dawdles on
     his way, eating a hard biscuit he takes from his pocket.
     The last sound he hears from the wagon is the renewed
     WAILING OF the GIRL. Hector lays himself down at the           *
     side of the road. His eyes begin to close. Then a SOUND
     in the distance makes him open them again. He listens.
     MORE SOUNDS drift up to him from the floor of the valley.
     He stands up and crosses the track. At first he can see
     nothing. He walks back along the rim of the road. Then
     he sees where the noise is coming from. A mounted
     skirmish is in progress, just where a wooden bridge
     crosses the small river, at the very bottom of the valley.
     There are no more than 30 knights in full armor, with
     twice as many foot soldiers and squires. Even from such
     a distance Hector can see and hear that the fighting is
     ferocious, almost insane in its intensity. From this
     distance it is like a puppet show, except the violence
     is real. The scene places Hector in his time and for us
     there is a strange feeling to it, almost as if Hector
     has awoken from sleep and found himself transported to
     some distant age. But this is not the case. Hector is
     where he belongs, in Medieval Europe.
     Hector makes his decision. With a last look behind him         *
     he runs off in the direction of the wagon. Like any wise
     citizen of a violent age, Hector knows when to leg it.

54   EXT. WAGON - DAY                                          54
     Hector catches up with the moving wagon and jumps onto
     it, happily back in the security of his fellow                 *
     travellers. He smiles at Beatrice.                             *

               A bit cold... walking...
     She smiles at him. He sits opposite her in the wagon,
     and allows his foot to touch hers. She doesn't move
     away. Hector calls to the Driver.
               How long to get there?

               When it gets dark, we'll be there.                   *

     Hector looks at Beatrice.



54   CONTINUED:                                                     54
                  I thought I heard fighting... back
     Beatrice replies, but in a language that Hector doesn't

                  I don't know what you're saying...
                  I haven't understood anything
                  you've said all day...

     Hector talks back to her.
                  I don't know what you're saying...

     They both smile. It doesn't seem to disturb them too
     much that they don't share a language. They repeat                  *
     their incomprehensible statements, just for the fun of
                  I don't know what you're saying.
                  I don't understand.
     Beside Hector the Girl has stopped sobbing but she is
     still troubled. She turns to him and speaks quietly but
     with determination.
                  I want to go home to my mother.
     Hector doesn't know how to respond. He can do nothing               *
     to help her, and anyway, is more interested in Beatrice.            *

55   EXT. FARMYARD - NIGHT                                          55

     It is almost dark when the wagon finally turns into the
     yard of the farm where they will spend the night.

56   INT. FARMHOUSE - NIGHT                                         56

     The Farmer and his Wife have laid out a table with
     simple food, a stew, bread and wine. The travellers settle
     down to eat. The Priest, however makes a performance out
     of his more modest needs. He calls loudly to the wife
     working at the open fire.


56   CONTINUED:                                                     56
                  Just bread and water for me,
                  Mistress. I have no need of wine
                  or meat.
     She brings him a jug of water and he makes much of giving
     thanks to God for his simple meal, muttering his grace
     quietly to himself, excluding all others from his conver-
     sation with the Almighty.

57   INT. FARMHOUSE - NIGHT                                         57
     In the dark, sleeping bodies lie all over the floor of an
     upstairs room. Gentle snores and regular breathing lay a
     blanket of soft sound over the human forms.

     One of the forms stirs and sits up on one elbow. Hector,
     in another corner of the room, sleeping lightly, becomes
     aware of this. He watches as the figure stands up and
     picks its way between the bodies to the door. The figure
     pauses and crouches over Beatrice. Hector can hear the
     distinct sounds of the figure sniffing her, from head to
     toe, and then a deep, long sigh. The figure stands up and
     moves quietly to the door, disappearing downstairs.
     Hector rouses himself and follows the other.

58   INT. FARMHOUSE - NIGHT                                         58
     Hector creeps cautiously into the dark kitchen. The                 *
     figure has gone to the pantry and can be heard RUMMAGING
     there. Hector creeps closer and sees that it is the
     Priest. He already has a chicken leg between his teeth
     as he hunts for a cup for the jar of wine tucked under
     his arm. He emerges from the pantry. He sees Hector
     standing by the table. They recognize one another and
     relax. The Priest doesn't re-enter his holy act. He
     speaks normally, cheekily.

                  God, I'm starving. Do you think
                  I dare heat that up on the fire?

     He indicates the large pot containing the remains of the
                  No... I'll eat it cold... I
                  deserve to suffer.

     He pours some wine into the cup and slides it across the
     table to Hector.



58   CONTINUED:                                                       58
     Then he digs his hands into the cold stew and eats chunks
     of meat as they talk.

                  Have some wine.

     Hector takes a drink.

                  I saw some fighting today... back
                  up the road...

                  So, the mad knights are at it
                  again... what were they, Swiss
                  or English?

                  I don't know.    They all look the
                  same to me.
                  It might help us get through...
                  if there's a bit of confusion...
                  we'll still travel separately
                  though, for now.
     The Priest changes his tone of voice, mocking his own
     holy act.
                  But, Hector, you must keep out
                  of the way of temptation... I saw
                  the way you were eyeing up that
                  widow... now stay away from
                  that... although she is beautiful,
                  is she not... but we're going
                  home, remember.
     Hector is smiling.

                  How do you know she's a widow?
                  Look at her eyes... hungry eyes...
                  she could lead you into trouble...
                  she smells like paradise, though.
     He changes his tone yet again.       He talks straight.



58   CONTINUED:    (2)                                                  58
                  Listen, Hector, let's get this
                  clear... if anyone's going to dally
                  with that widow it'll be me... you
                  couldn't handle her... she'd
                  bewitch you... at any rate, you're
                  not a sinning kind of fellow, are
                  you... why don't you get off up
                  the road tomorrow, and I'll catch
                  you up, in five or so days...

     Hector doesn't answer, but smiles. The Priest has
     stirred thoughts that he had intended to dampen entirely.
                  You're not a sinning fellow,
                  remember... another month and
                  we'll be at the channel, then
                  home... the little ones you only
                  talk about when you're drunk...
                  don't forget them...
     Hector still remains silent.        The Priest is worried.

                  Why do I always talk so much...
                  you weren't even thinking of her
                  'til I opened my mouth... but I
                  trust you... don't worry. I know
                  you wouldn't do anything to anger
                  your God, or me. Get me some
     Hector obeys the Priest without thought.        The Priest is           *
     happier now that he is in control again.
                  Who saved your neck in Venice?
                  You did, Ronald.

     Hector approaches the Priest with the bread.
                  And don't you forget it.

     He raises his cup to Hector.
                  May the Lord forgive us our sins,
                  those we have committed and those
                  we as yet only dream of. She's
                  a glory of a woman.



58   CONTINUED:    (3)                                              58
     For all his wit and endless talk we can sense a trace of
     vulnerabililty in Ronald. For all his bluster, there is
     the feeling that he needs Hector as much as he claims
     Hector needs him.

59   EXT. FARMYARD - DAY                                            59

     Overnight, the remnants of a company of soldiers, fresh             *
     from battle, have collected in the courtyard. Some are
     tired, dispirited, others are wounded. Our Travellers               *
     watch from the farm window. A few mounted knights come
     into the yard, herding in front of them a small group of
     prisoners, well-dressed knights and squires.

60   INT. FARMHOUSE - DAY                                           60
     The travellers look out on the exciting scene, and talk
     as they eat their breakfast of bread and milk.
                  Hostages, too, they've got... they
                  only take the rich ones...
     He turns to the forlorn Girl.
                  Have you ever seen so many fine,
                  rich men, my girl?
     Hector talks to the company, but means his words for the

                  I won't be travelling today.

     The Priest looks him straight in the eye.
                  The fighting's behind us, brother
                  ... you'll be safe enough.
     Hector shakes his head, catching Beatrice's eye.

                  I'll stay.
                  You should go.

     The Nun puts an arm around the Girl.


60   CONTINUED:                                                      60
                  We're going. God will protect
                  his ewe lambs.                                          *
     Suddenly the door is thrown open and four SOLDIERS man-
     handle an inert body, dressed in full armor, into the
     room. They scatter the food from the table and lay out
     the MOANING suit of armor on it. A young SQUIRE follows
     them in and kneels by the knight in the suit. The MOANS
     are MUFFLED because the knight's helmet has been battered
     out of shape in the battle and can't be removed. The
     ugly dent suggests an equally ugly wound inflicted on the
     head inside. The Soldiers gingerly try to remove the
     helmet. Their efforts are useless. Blood oozes from the
     joints of the helmet. The MOANING suit of armor seems
     inhuman, robot-like.

                  Must be sore in there.   Is it your
     The Squire looks at him and nods his head.       Hector looks        *
     with sympathy at the boy.                                            *

                                SOLDIER #2
                  If he's got a little head it might
                  be alright. Has your dada got a
                  big head?

     An OFFICER comes into the room.
                  Is there a blacksmith here?
                  Where's the smith?
                                FARM WOMAN
                  In the village, sir, half a day
     The Officer looks at the moaning suit of armor, then at
     the astonished group of Travellers. He picks on the
                  You, Priest, come here... get to
                  work on him... he's not ready for
                  heaven yet... there's a hundred
                  thousand livres on his head if I
                  get him to Paris alive... Start                         *
                  praying... there's fifteen livres
                  in it for you if he lives...

     The Priest obediently goes up to the knight and starts to
     pray earnestly. The Officer turns to the Soldiers.



60   CONTINUED:    (2)                                              60
                  Get that helmet off... get
                  hammers, anything you can find...                      *
                  and one of you get back down into
                  the valley and fetch an armorer.

     The Soldiers scatter to   carry out their orders. Hector            *
     takes time to watch the   Squire still kneeling beside his          *
     father, quietly stroking   the helmet. Ronald the Priest
     mutters every prayer he   can remember. The suit of armor
     twitches and MOANS.

     Hector looks at Beatrice and motions for her to follow
     him outside. The Priest looks on helplessly as they
     slide past the table and head for the door.

61   EXT. FARM - DAY                                                61
     More soldiers have continued to make their way to the
     shelter of the farm. Everywhere is the chaos of war.
     Wounded men lie awaiting the attentions of either the
     medicos or the priest. Prisoners huddle in cowed groups.
     Everyone looks for food. Individual soldiers, like lost
     souls, run here and there trying to regroup with their
     comrades. The youngest are squires of twelve or thir-
     teen, the oldest are red-faced, overweight knights in
     expensive armor.

     Hector and Beatrice have found a quiet corner where they
     can sit and talk. Behind them is a group of soldiers,
     reserves who have not yet joined the battle. They are
     much fresher than the rest and are drilling as a disci-
     plined unit.
     Their movements are a strange cross between parade ground
     drill and battle training. To the BEAT of DRUMS they
     perform rhythmic, hypnotic movements, repeating the same
     pattern over and over again. A deadly dance, thrusting
     their pikes in unison. They become like one evil,
     inhuman machine. It is mesmerizing to watch, all the                *
     more so in relation to the coy seduction scene that Hector
     and Beatrice are acting out. They have the problem of not
     sharing a language, but, resourceful as lovers are, they
     soon employ this as another titillating element in their

                  I think you know what I'm saying
                  ... a little...



61   CONTINUED:                                                    61
                  No, I don't, I don't understand
                  a word.
                  How come you don't speak like
                  anyone else? Are you far from
                  home? Home? Where you sleep
                  and live?
                  I think I know what you mean...
                  I'm far from home, too... way, way                    *
                  over there... then across the sea...
                  You're losing me again.
                  Have you ever seen the sea? Water                     *
                  everywhere... right to the end of
                  the world... I come from the other
                  side of the little water, then                        *
                  there's the big, big water... I                       *
                  had a friend who sailed on that...                    *
                  went too far... fell right over                       *
                  the edge... into nothing. They
                  never came back... they fell off
                  the world...
     Hector smiles, pleased with himself.    Beatrice laughs.
                  You think that's funny? It's
                  true... it's a sad story... you
                  shouldn't laugh.
                  Talk about home again... remember                     *
                  you said home?
                  I'm not making sense, am I? Well,
                  let's go back to homes. That's
                  where I'm going... I've been away
                  for too long... Some people locked
                  me up... I had to run away.
                  Tell me something else.                               *


61   CONTINUED:    (2)                                           61
                  We have to learn to talk the
                  same... try it like me, say it...
                  I know what you're saying...
                  you're saying home... say
                  something else.
                  Home... home... try it... home...
                  You want the word for home? It's
                  home... say it... home... home...

                  I don't want your word for home,
                  I want you to say mine... home...
                  Come on, you can do it... home...
     Beatrice has her way, turning the tables on Hector.    He
     says it in her language.

                  Home... home...
     Beatrice smiles. In this tiny victory the dynamic of
     their relationship is set.
                  That's it... clever boy!

     They fall silent, suddenly shy. Beatrice breaks this             *
     moment by reaching out to Hector's neck, very delicately,
     like a caress. Hector smiles. There first touch. Then            *
     it changes. Beatrice completes her movement with a sharp
     grab at Hector's hair, and pinches her fingers on something.
     Triumphantly she shows him the flea she has caught.

                  Tick... it's a tick.
                  Flea... a flea... thanks.

     Beatrice looks at him directly now, their intimacy well
     under way.


61   CONTINUED:    (3)                                                   61
                  Bet there's more in there. You
                  need a good going over... nobody's
                  been looking after you.
     She ruffles his hair, in a motherly but then again sex-                  *
     ually provocative way. He understands her well now.

                  Why don't we go somewhere and
                  have a good session... I could do
                  you... I'd like to give you a
                  good grooming...
     They understand each other perfectly now.         They look
     around for a more private spot.

62   INT. FARM - DAY                                                     62
     Ronald the Priest still kneels by the inert knight in
     armor. The boy Squire still sits by his father's head.
     Ronald mumbles quietly to himself in prayer. The knight
     is deathly still, no sight or sound of breathing or
     moaning. The suit of armor seems to grow even more rigid
     as we look at it. There is no sense of it containing
     life. The Officer re-enters the room from outside.
                  How is he?
                  Sleeping now... at peace, for the
                  Leave him for a while. There are                            *
                  a few souls out here you can help
                  on their way to heaven. Ten sous                            *
                  a soul to you... come on.

     The Officer leaves.       Ronald quickly follows him outside.            *
                                RONALD                                        *
                  Twenty sous is normal.    How many                          *
                  are there?                                                  *

     When they have gone the Squire gives his father a nudge,                 *
     but there is no response from the knight, just the
     impression of lifeless bulk.


63   EXT. FARM - DAY                                             63
     Hector and Beatrice have found some privacy, near the
     trees and by a low wall. Some bushes hide them from
     full view of the farm yard. Hector is sitting cross-
     legged and Beatrice kneels behind him, giving his head
     a thorough going over. Mutual grooming is the original,
     and perhaps the best, form of foreplay. Hector certainly
     likes it.

               That's four.

               Yes, it does feel good.
     She gives his scalp a final delicious rub, and then stops.

               You can do me now.
     Beatrice loosens her clothing to bare her neck and
     shoulders. Hector begins to probe her hair and scalp.            *
     She arches her back under the first touch of his fingers.
     Hector laps it up, inspired to caress ever more tenderly         *
     her scalp and neck, still with the outward purpose of
     looking for fleas.
               Got one... a tiny little one...
               yours are so small... and fair...                      *
     To Hector even her fleas are a delight. He seems to want         *
     to keep it as a pet. There is no hope for this man.              *
     Beatrice moans softly, happily. Hector still kneading            *
     her scalp.
               I don't know your name. I'm
               Hector... who are you? I'm
     Beatrice replies with a hint of breathlessness.

               Hector... yes... I'm Beatrice...

               Yes. Hector... I think you'll
               have to do under my arms... I'm
               a little itchy there...


63   CONTINUED:                                                     63
                  Yes, I think Beatrice is a good
                  name.                                                  *
     Beatrice is sighing contentedly now.

                  Maybe we should find the river,
                  and have a proper wash...
     In between parting the hairs on her scalp Hector is kiss-
     ing her on the neck now. At first it is small, snatched
     kisses amongst the grooming, but soon the kisses become
     longer and the grooming less.

                  I'm still itchy lots of places,

64   EXT. FARMYARD - DAY                                            64
     The Priest is with some seriously wounded soldiers, laid
     out in a corner of the farmyard. Whether he is a bogus
     priest or not, Ronald is taking his duties seriously.
     There is a little of the rogue about him now. He sees
     the Nun and the little Girl preparing to leave. They
     have acquired a mule. They mount up, the Girl behind
     the Nun, and plod off through the farmyard. They stop
     briefly beside the Priest to say their farewells.
                  Goodbye, little girl... the Lord
                  will bless you, I know, in his
     He talks to the Nun as they move off.

                  How long for you on the road?

                  Three or four days.
                  Good luck to you.

                  They're not killing nuns, yet.

                  The Saxon, won't he go with you?

                                                           54.        *

64   CONTINUED:                                                  64
                  He's nowhere to be seen.

     The Priest watches them go, and then returns to his
     duties with the wounded.

65   EXT. TRACK - DAY                                            65
     The Nun's mule turns out of the farmyard and heads off
     along the track. A few Soldiers are burying some of
     their dead nearby. The Nun watches this and doesn't see
     what the Girl sees on the other side, the mingled bodies
     of Hector and Beatrice, all pretence at grooming now
     gone, engaged in fervent lovemaking. It's probably the
     first and last that the Girl will see. A smile flickers
     across her face before she turns away forever. Ahead of
     her there might be many a bleak night in her convent
     when she will remember the image, and that same smile
     will return to her lips.

66   EXT. FARMYARD - DAY                                         66

     The Priest is kneeling beside a young wounded Soldier.
     He is close to death, but in his youth is fighting it.
     He is frightened, and clings to the presence of Ronald.
                  My name is Peter... don't forget
                  ... tell everybody that was my
                  name... Peter...
     Ronald is mumbling his prayers.
                  Lie still, Peter...

                  That's it, Peter... tell everybody
                  ... write it... don't forget it...
                  Peter... tell them Peter died here
                  ... my name is Peter... Peter...
                  say it again.

     Ronald stays with the boy as he struggles against his
     own annihilation.

     Ronald behaves well with the dying boy.


67   INT. FARMHOUSE - NIGHT                                     67
     The Priest makes his way upstairs in the darkness. He
     yawns, a long, contented yawn. He has completed the
     hardest day's work that he has undertaken as a priest,
     if he really is a priest. If he is not, then the pre-
     tence has been just as exhausting. He wants to sleep.

68   INT. FARMHOUSE - ANOTHER ANGLE - NIGHT                     68
     In the room sleeping forms lie here and there in the
     darkness. Some officers have moved in and the place is
     more crowded than before. The Priest makes his way to
     his corner, but on the way he pauses by Beatrice. She
     snores lightly. The Priest bends over and takes a long
     sniff at her, then he sighs out his admiration.

     He steps over her and settles into his own space by the
     window. He suddenly misses the presence of Hector. He
     looks again at Beatrice, still and sleeping. What the
     Priest doesn't see is the extra pair of hands massaging
     her neck and head. She moans softly in her pretence of
     The Priest is troubled, suspicious, but he doesn't know
     why. He sniffs again, in the general direction of
     Beatrice. The mingled smells that his sensitive nose
     detects perplex him, but he settles down, pulling his           *
     cloak over his head.

     Across the room, Hector's head emerges from the covering
     beside Beatrice. They make love quietly in the dark,
     also enjoying the thrill of confounding the Priest.

69   INT. FARMHOUSE - DAY                                       69
     The Priest wakes up. Outside he can hear the first
     sounds of the day, the murmuring VOICES of Soldiers in
     the yard, the CLATTER OF MILK PAILS. In the room it is
     still semi-dark. The Priest sits up. The others have
     already left, but Beatrice is there, stretching herself
     and fixing her hair. Hector is not with her. She smiles
     at the Priest. Then, in another part of the room, Hector
     emerges from what looks like a pile of clothing, sits up
     and smiles too.

               Good morning.
     Hector and Beatrice look at each other. The Priest looks
     at them in turn. Their cheeky act of innocence mocks


70   EXT. FARMYARD - DAY                                            70
     Hector is washing himself by the stream that flows close
     by the yard. He drinks a handful of water for breakfast.
     The Priest sees him from the farmyard and comes to join
     him.                                                                *
     Hector is in a cheerful mood, pleased with himself and
     his success with Beatrice. The Priest is sullen,
               You're a busy man, what with all
               these souls departing.
               There's nothing wrong with helping
               someone to die in peace. They
               want me to go with them.
               Nothing at all.
               Are you staying here?

               Moving on, as you told me to...
               we'll meet up, like you said.
               I'll wait for you at the channel.
               She'll do you harm. I told    you.
               She might be a witch. Wait    for
               me. I still have the money     from
               Venice. We can be home in    a
               Witch my arse. Stop giving me
     Both of them are unhappy now, confusing one another,
     spoiling their friendship.
               You're a strange fellow. Are you
               a priest? Are you jealous?

     The Priest is silent. They are saved from hurting each
     other more. A Soldier shouts down to them from the farm.

               We're moving soon, Father.


70   CONTINUED:                                                     70
     The Priest turns to Hector for what might be the last

                  So, you're leaving?

                  You have work to do here.
     The Priest walks back up to the farm. Hector calls out              *
     what might be an attempt at an apology or simply another            *
                  I don't understand you.

     The Priest looks back at him briefly, then walks on.

71   EXT. TRACK - DAY                                               71
     Hector and Beatrice have packed their few belongings into
     a shoulder bag. They turn out of the farmyard and walk
     down the main track.
     Hector catches a last glimpse of the Priest being helped
     onto the back of a horse, behind a Soldier. He is ridden
     off in the opposite direction with the rest of the troop.
     Other battles lie ahead to be blessed, and more battered
     bodies requiring comfort.
     Hector and   Beatrice are enjoying the first pulse-
     quickening   flush of their intimacy, and the thrill of
     knowing it   will go further. They chatter freely,                  *
     despite not   sharing a language.
                  I'm glad we're going the same way.
                  We'll have to sleep in the hills
                  tonight. Will you keep me warm?
     The damp greyness of the early morning has lifted and the
     sun is shining as they step out onto the higher hills.

72   EXT. HILLSIDE - DAY                                            72
     Hector and Beatrice have stopped to eat. They shelter in
     the fold of a hillside, with a wide stream running some
     way below. Hector feeds Beatrice a piece of cheese from
     his knife.


72   CONTINUED:                                                    72
                  Hurry up and finish your wine and
                  then we can make love.
     Hector seems to know what she is saying. He throws down
     his knife and cheese, lying down with her on the grass.
     He kisses her breasts and her body eagerly. He lifts her
     skirts and caresses and kisses her naked legs and thighs.
     She stretches herself out happily, arms spread wide on
     the grass. Hector talks through his kisses.

                  Why do you smell so wonderful?
     He lifts his head to let her see him sniffing.                     *

                  Oh, you like my smell, do you? I
                  make it from the flowers. I put                       *
                  it here, and there, and there.
     Hector kisses her more. She smiles and turns her head to
     the sky. Then she starts to giggle.

                  I don't believe it... someone's
                  watching us, the dirty devil...
                  don't look... he's down by the
                  water, by the rocks...
     Hector doesn't understand, and keeps on with his kissing.
     Only her persistent giggling makes him stop and look up.           *
     Hector sees him too. Down by the stream a head peering
     over the top of a rock, not even attempting to hide.
                  Cheeky devil.

                  He's not moving. He must've seen
                  us, though.
     She sits up and straightens her clothing, suddenly

                  Don't look at him anymore. Let's
                  go... down the other side of the

     But Hector still looks at the figure in the distance.
     There is an uneasy silence while Hector works it out.
     Then he speaks.


72   CONTINUED:    (2)                                                72
                  It's a dead man.

     Beatrice doesn't understand.        Hector stands up, still
     looking at the figure.

                  Come on, we're going that way at
                  any rate.
     They move cautiously. When they are closer to it, and                 *
     can see it for what is is, they walk straight for the
     dead body.

73   EXT. HILLSIDE - ANOTHER ANGLE - DAY                              73   *

     It is the body of a young squire, handsomely dressed
     in the livery of his master. Such a squire would follow
     his knight into battle, guiding him through the chaos.                *
     But this boy seems to have died a less public, more
     furtive death. He lies leaning against a rock, eyes
     open, an expression something like a smile on his face.
     There is no sign of a wound.
     Hector looks around at the ground.
                  No sign of a battle... only a few
                  horses... or just one. He wasn't
                  killed in a fight.
                  Poor boy. Isn't he fine-looking.
                  Look at his shoes.
     There is a sadness about this young death in such a
     lonely place. Hector and Beatrice are open to this sad-               *
     ness, but in their age sentiment was of a tougher strain.
                  We'll cover his eyes at least...
                  so the crows don't get him. Look
                  at these shoes, though.

     She is already gathering stones.        Hector sees what
     Beatrice is doing.
                  That's good of you.

     As he lays him down Hector sees a small, dry wound on
     the boy's side. Beatrice brings her armful of stones and
     starts to build a mound around the squire's head.



73   CONTINUED:                                                    73
     Hector helps her by gathering stones from the stream.
     Soon they have covered his head completely with stones,
     his body lying exposed.
                  It's all we can do. It won't keep
                  the wolves away though.

     Beatrice is still taken by the boy's shoes.
                  His feet are like mine, you know.
                  I'll give you mine, poor boy, and
                  I'll have yours. I have more
                  walking to do.

     She looks at Hector.
                  It's not stealing if I give him
                  mine, is it?
     Hector watches as Beatrice exchanges her old shoes for
     the squire's. They fit her well, and she proudly shows
     them off to Hector. He smiles at her.

74   EXT. STREAM - DAY                                             74

     Later, Hector and Beatrice are enjoying each other
     immensely, making love by the stream. Beatrice hasn't
     removed her new shoes, she likes them so much. She is
     dabbing Hector with her perfume which, he has discovered,
     she keeps in a small bottle kept in a pouch on a chain
     around her neck.
     Nearby the corpse of   the squire still lies, its head
     shrouded in stones,   as if absurdly hiding its eyes from
     the antics of Hector   and Beatrice. The old shoes
     Beatrice has placed   on its feet look odd compared to
     the fine uniform.                                                  *

     Hector and Beatrice seem unaware of the strangeness of
     their situation, but perhaps it only looks strange to
     our modern eyes.

     Hector continues to bask in her wonderful aroma.
                  You've put magic in this stuff,
                  haven't you, you're bewitching
     They appear to get the gist of one another's love talk.



74   CONTINUED:                                                    74
                  You're eager today, Hector, aren't
                  you? Is it all this death?
                  I don't know what you're saying
                  but I like you when you talk.

75   EXT. HILLSIDE - DAY                                           75

     Hector is watching Beatrice conduct some kind of
     ceremony over the corpse of the squire. She takes a
     handful of dried flowers or herbs from a pouch in her
     bag. Mumbling strangely and quickly to herself, she
     walks around the corpse three times, scattering the
     leaves over the body.
     Hector is fascinated, but a little uneasy. He watches
     from a safe distance. During the few moments that it
     takes, Beatrice seems like a different person.
     Then, all of a sudden, the familiar, friendly Beatrice
     returns. She completes her ceremony by throwing a few
     drops of her perfume over the body. She smiles.                    *
                  That should help him a little.

                  We should go now. We've been here
                  too long.
                  I wonder if his mama will ever
                  know what happened.

                  You said mama. I know what that
                  is... mama... We can talk the

                  Mama... that's right... mama...

76   EXT. HILLSIDE - ANOTHER ANGLE - DAY                           76   *
     They have reached the summit   of the hills. It is like
     the roof of the world. Below    them lies the valley. The
     air is clean. The landscape    looks untouched by man,
     but a few smudges of smoke in   the distance suggest farms
     or villages. There might be    the glimpse of a castle on
     a hill.



76   CONTINUED:                                                  76
     If it all feels oddly familiar to us, then perhaps it
     is the memory of a picture in a forgotten story book, or
     an ancient landscape on a gallery wall. Once again in
     the film there is the tantalizing feeling of awaking not
     from a dream, but in a dream.

     The moment passes in the more down to earth concerns of
     Hector and Beatrice.
                  I have to keep the sun on my back,
                  that's what Ronald said... the
                  sun on my back all the way home...
                  I'll stay on this side of the

                  Yes, of course... we stay on this
                  side of the river, all the way
                  down... until tomorrow...
                  I stay on this side...

                  Yes... On this side. Then the
     They move off, each thinking that they have reached
     agreement. Beatrice starts to sing as they make a                *
     gentle descent into the forests below.

77   EXT. FOREST - DAY                                           77
     Beatrice is milking a stray cow they have found in the
     forest. Hector is watching her, especially her hands.
     She manipulates the udders of the cow deftly, sexily.
     Her hands seem to have sensual personalities all of
     their own. She is chattering non-stop, explaining the            *
     subtleties of milking to Hector. But he can't take
     his eyes or his mind off her thrilling hands. He
     responds distractedly.                                           *
                  Oh yes... oh yes.

78   EXT. HILLS - NIGHT                                          78

     Hector lies by their small fire, watching Beatrice, who
     sleeps by his side. She is dreaming. She mumbles in
     her sleep, whole sentences. She turns this way and that.
     Hector watches in fascination.



78   CONTINUED:                                                   78
     We feel the echo of another night when a man watched
     someone sleep and dream.

     He handles some of the things spilling from her bag,
     lying beside him. Her dried flowers and herbs, which he
     sniffs, her little bottles and phials. Witches brew? Or
     simply an early version of a cluttered handbag?

     We don't know what is passing through Hector's mind.
     Perhaps he is trying to work out how he came to be lying
     with the strange, wonderful, unknowable creature by his
     side. And how many people have done that through the
     ages, in caves or by campfires, or in suburban bedrooms?
     There are many ways in which we will be able to connect
     with this perplexed, flea-ridden man, far away from home,
     huddling by a fire in the forest, trapped in his time, as
     we all are.

79   EXT. FOREST - MORNING                                        79
     Hector and Beatrice are on the move again. They make
     their way down into the thickening forest. Beatrice
     walks ahead, light-footed and humming to herself. She
     seems to be in comfortably familiar territory now. The
     mist swirls about him as Hector follows on behind,
     tagging along as if caught in her sexual wake.

80   EXT. BOAT - DAY                                              80
     Hector and Beatrice have reached the river, broad and
     slow-moving. Beatrice has hailed a boatman from the far
     side. He maneuvers his small boat to them and they
     clamber aboard. Beatrice and the boatman greet each
     other familiarly. They gossip amiably as the ferry makes
     its way across the river. Hector sits quietly with a
     smile on his face, their chatter incomprehensible to him.

81   EXT. SHORE - DAY                                             81
     As they climb out of the ferry Hector is suddenly unsure
     of what he is doing.

                  I think we're going the wrong way.
                  I want the sun on my back. We
                  should have stayed on the other

     He mimes what he means.


81   CONTINUED:                                                      81
                  Don't worry... we're nearly there.
                  I'll fix your back for you... give
                  you a good rub.
     Before he can protest she has moved off.        So he follows

82   EXT. VILLAGE OUTSKIRTS - DAY                                    82

     They have reached the outskirts of a village. Beatrice
     turns off the main track and up a narrow path. Hector
     follows her. Soon she stops at a small house close to
     an orchard. The house sits in the mess of a run-down
     farm yard, chickens and goats running here and there.

     Beatrice opens the door of the house and goes inside.
     Hector hesitates before following her.

83   INT. COTTAGE - DAY                                              83
     Beatrice turns to him when they are inside.
                  Here we are... home... you want
                  some food... and then I'll show
                  you everything. We have a spring
                  ... you can wash...
     Hector stands looking around the small dark room.
     Beatrice suddenly seems shy and awkward.

                  This is when I wish you could
                  understand me. You'll have to
                  learn, you know... I want you to
                  stay here. You want to, don't

     Hector looks at her in silence.
                  I look after the hens, and I make                       *
                  dyes from the plants, and perfumes
                  too. I'm good at that. But I'm                          *
                  no good with the sheep and the
                  goats. I wish you could
                  understand... Arnaud's been dead
                  two years...                                            *

     She crosses the room to a wooden chest under the window.


83   CONTINUED:                                                     83
     She lifts the lid and removes some men's clothing, rough
     working trousers and a hide jacket.

                  I still have his clothes.   I'll
                  make them fit you...

     She holds the jacket up against Hector to measure it.
     Hector's reaction to a dead man's clothing is                       *
     predictable.                                                        *

                                HECTOR                                   *
                  What did he die of?                                    *
                  I'm getting shy. Imagine me being
                  shy with you... I made this for
                  him... tonight we'll try them on.
                  You're the same height as Arnaud,
                  but a little thinner. I'll make
                  them fit. I'm a good sewer. And
                  we have a big bed upstairs for
                  you and me, in the rafters... You
                  and me... sleep...
     Hector is beginning to understand what she means, but he
     keeps his feelings to himself. Beatrice talks on. Now
     that she has started, she wants to say it all.

                  I like you. You like me too,
                  don't you? We were lucky to meet
                  the way we did. All the men around
                  here are old.                                          *
     Beatrice falls silent, overtaken     by her shyness. Hector
     understands fully what she means     now, but his mind is
     a confusion. He can't respond.       She tries to direct his
     thoughts to the one area she is     sure about.
                  Come up and I'll show you the bed...
     She climbs a   ladder nearby and lifts open a trapdoor
     on the wooden   ceiling. Hector climbs up to join her and
     together they   stand on the ladder with their heads poking
     into the tiny   space above.

84   INT. COTTAGE - ANOTHER ANGLE - DAY                             84   *

     Beatrice is proud of her bed, a rough mattress on the
     floor covered in some blankets she has probably made



84   CONTINUED:                                                      84
     The bed takes up most of the space of the small attic.
     They look at it together.

                  A good bed, eh? For you and me.
                  We can have fun up here... better
                  than a ditch...

     She laughs. Hector's expression lightens a little too.
     It occurs to him to take up her offer immediately. She               *
     catches his thought, and the moment tingles happily.                 *
     Then from outside they hear voices. Firstly a young Boy
                                BOY (O.S.)
                  Mama, are you home?

85   INT. COTTAGE - DAY                                              85
     Beatrice and Hector   descend back in the room. A BOY
     of about eight and   a GIRL of ten are coming in from the            *
     garden. They have    been working outside. Beatrice goes
     to embrace each of   them. Hector's face is a confusion
     once again.
                  You were gone a long time.   Who's
     The Girl eyes Hector up and down.
                  This is Hector.
     Beatrice pronounces his name with care.      She stands
     proudly by her children.

                  These are my children...

     The CREAK of a door makes Hector turn his head.
                  ... and this is my mother....

     An OLD WOMAN stands in the main doorway, smiling at
     Hector and nodding her head. She speaks to her daughter.
                                MOTHER (OLD WOMAN)
                  So... you found one, eh?

     Hector stands, surrounded by instant family, and doesn't
     know what to do. Eventually he speaks.                               *


                                                              67.        *

85   CONTINUED:                                                     85
                  Is there water... to drink... to
     He mimes with his hands. Beatrice understands that he
     wants some breathing space. She talks to her son.

                  Take Hector to the well... but
                  come here first.

     She takes off the dead Squire's shoes and puts them on
     the Boy's bare feet. He is delighted. He does a little
     dance in them before leaving with Hector.

86   EXT. WELL - DAY                                                86
     Hector stands at the well some way from the house.
     Beatrice's garden is a madness of wild flowers, harvested
     by her for scents and powders. She is a remarkable
     woman, living as she does in the harsh male world of
     her time. The scented air and the dizzy SOUNDS OF the
     BEES almost make Hector swoon. He is experiencing the
     full, heady impact of Beatrice, and it is summed up in
     a full-blown pollen-filled sneeze.
     He drinks at   her well. The Boy is beside him, still
     engrossed in   his new shoes. Hector splashes some water
     on his face   and looks back at the house. He has some
     decisions to   make.

87   INT. COTTAGE - DAY                                             87
     The Mother sits by the window in the nearest thing to
     a comfortable chair that the house has to offer. She
     is working on some lace. Hector enters the room to
     watch her. He smiles and stands shyly at the door. The
     Mother thinks he wants her chair for himself. In a
     flurry of apology she rises, drops her work and motions
     for Hector to have the good seat. He is full of
                  No, no... sit down... I just came
                  to watch... please... sit...
     He guides the Mother back to the good chair. They
     struggle comically for a while, but eventually she allows
     Hector to settle her there. She mumbles unhappily.


                                                             68.        *

87   CONTINUED:                                                    87
                  We can't have this... this was
                  Arnaud's seat... it's yours
                  now... I can sit on the box...
     Hector gently pacifies her.

                  You must sit there... look...
                  you need the light from the
                  window... it's your
                  seat... I don't want it... it's
                  yours... I can sit on the box.
     The old woman   allows herself a shy smile. Whether in
     innocence or   mischief, she has secured the best seat in
     the house for   herself. If he stays, Hector will never
     dare rest his   bones in it.

88   EXT. YARD - DAY                                               88
     Hector has retreated to the yard. The Girl is
     boiling some dyes in a cauldron over an open fire. The
     Boy is working at a basketful of flower heads, pulling
     petals and separating the hearts, putting them in a
     large jar of colored liquid.
     Hector is aware of Beatrice watching him. She is
     returning to the kitchen, firmly holding a struggling
     chicken, wings flapping and feathers flying everywhere.
     This chicken is making the supreme sacrifice in
     Beatrice's final effort at total seduction, a wonderful
     meal. Hector is guiltily aware of this as their eyes
     meet briefly.
     Hector takes in   what the Boy is doing and joins in
     the work. The    Boy smiles at Hector's initial clumsiness.
     He motions for   Hector to have a sniff of the jar of
     liquid. Hector    does so.  The smell is heady and pleasant.

     The Boy says something and points towards his sister.
     She stands by her cauldron, stirring the bubbling liquid.
     Hector goes to watch her work. He looks in the cauldron.
                  Good color... for cloth?

     Without thinking, Hector leans over the cauldron to
     sniff. A hideous odor assaults him. He backs off.

                                                             69.        *

88   CONTINUED:                                                    88

     The Girl says something to him, and points to a bucket
     of liquid at her feet. Hector makes out something like
     the word "peepee."

     The Girl nods enthusiastically.      The Boy is sniggering.

89   INT. COTTAGE - DAY                                            89

     Hector sits at the table with Beatrice and her family.
     There is an air of awkward silence, although the Boy
     and Girl look openly at Hector, perhaps assessing him as
     a future father.
     The meal has been served in a communal pot. In Beatrice's
     house there is the luxury of small individual plates.
     The others wait for Hector to begin, but he indicates
     to the old Mother to help herself first. She does, and
     she doesn't stop until her plate is heaped high with
     food. There is definitely some power play going on in
     the old woman's mind, although her face is all innocence.
     Hector submits, taking only a modest portion of food.
     The old Mother's appetite is prodigious. It is comical
     to watch her little frame consume so much, quietly
     and methodically. She is an eating machine.
     During the meal Beatrice and Hector exchange glances. But
     this time their talking without words is a serious affair.
                  Mmmm... good food....

90   EXT. COTTAGE - DAY                                            90

     From the kitchen Beatrice watches Hector in the garden.
     he is making an effort to appear relaxed, but as he
     paces here and there Beatrice knows that he is unhappy.
     She leaves the kitchen to join him.

                  Take a walk to the village if
                  you want... you look as if you
                  need a walk...

     Hector opens his heart to her, knowing she will understand
     his feelings if not his words.



90   CONTINUED:                                                        90
                  I have to leave soon. I can't
                  stay... it would be wrong to stay
                  for just a while...

91   EXT. COTTAGE - DAY                                                91

     It is awkward for Hector to say goodbye.
                  I have to go... have to keep the
                  sun on my back... I have to get
                  home... I have a family, just
                  like you... I like you... you                             *
                  smell good... wonderful...

     Hector fumbles awkwardly with his bag and then walks
     off down the track. He turns to look at Beatrice.
     She stands outside her house for a long time, watching
     him until he turns onto the main road and OUT OF SIGHT.
     The pain and the awkwardness in   Beatrice and Hector
     are specific, but the scene of   parting is timeless.
     Is this the ten millionth such   parting, or the billionth?
     It is one of them at any rate,   and a sad one.

92   EXT. RIVER - DUSK                                                 92
     Hector has reached the river, but it is already growing
     dark and the boatman has gone for the night. Hector
     sees the boat, dragged out of the water.

     He sits down against the trunk of a large tree.       His              *
     eyes begin to close.                                                   *

93   EXT. RAFT - MORNING                                               93
     Hector awakes. He looks around him. He is on a huge                    *
     raft, made of ship's timbers. We have left our previous
     Hector sitting under his tree 400 years ago. This
     Hector is awakening into what might be a nightmare.
     The huge raft is many smaller rafts lashed together.
     There are over a hundred and fifty people perched on
     them, lying or squatting in sleep. It is early morning.
     The sea is calm around them, but the deep ocean swell is
     still there to remind them of their predicament, menacing,
     like a controlled anger.

     Hector is fully awake now, sitting against some boxes.
     He speaks to ANDRE sitting close by.


93   CONTINUED:                                                   93
     Andre is Hector's   slave, still bound to him in service
     through shipwreck   and disaster. Our Hector is now a
     master. Andre is    a young Asian. A quiet, capable,
     intelligent man,   but with that same lost look in his
     eyes that Hector   had as a slave. He too is far from

                  I had a wonderful dream. I was                       *
                  lying under a tree, beside a river.
                  I was dozing. I heard the water...
                  beautiful clear water. I got up
                  and drank some. I think I ate some                   *
                  raspberries too.

                  I would like some water.
     Hector looks around him at the squalid mass of distressed
                                HECTOR                                 *
                  God, this is the worst, the worst.                   *

     Some figures rise and an argument takes place, like
     a domestic squabble. We can hear some of their exchanges.
                  Let me keep him... they said we'll
                  find land in a day or so... you're
                  When they're dead they go over the
                  side... The place stinks enough
                  as it is...

     There is a flurry of movement amongst the figures, then
     a splash, then a cry of a Woman. The noise has awakened
     others. All over the raft figures are coming awake,
     sitting up, taking in the new day, and the dreadful
     reality of their situation.
     Andre speaks to Hector.

                  Do you think I'll still see
                  I think there's more chance of
                  me eating you, Andre.


93   CONTINUED:    (2)                                             93
     The more we see     of the people, their costumes, weapons,
     mannerisms, the     easier we will place them in their
     time. They are      survivors of a foundered ship some time
     at the height of     the great colonial empires. The year
     could be 1590.      The place is the Indian Ocean.

     Hector turns his eyes to another part of the raft,
     closer to him. He watches a man and woman. The woman,
     URSULA, still has her eyes closed, sleeping on a pile of
     canvas. The man, FRANCISCO, stands beside her holding
     a cloak over her to protect her from sea spray. His eye
     catches Hector's, and they hold each other's gaze for a
     long time. There is antipathy but also pain in their
     look.                                                              *

     A man, DOM PAULO, moves among the waking wretches.      He
     speaks with authority.
                                DOM PAULO
                  I think today will be the day,
                  my friends. We've been in the
                  inshore currents since yesterday.
                  Three crowns to the first one to
                  sight the coast. God preserve us
     Someone speaks from under a crude canvas shelter.
                  Never mind the three crowns... a
                  side of beef would do... or a drink
                  of clean water.
     Dom Paulo strides off to his station by the makeshift
                                DOM PAULO
                  Don't worry, there'll be food for
                  all ashore. Africa's full of
                  meat and drink.

                  It's full of Africans too.

94   EXT. RAFT - DAY                                               94

     The sun is up, and Dom Paulo was right. The raft is
     now standing off-shore riding out the heavy ocean surf
     before finally beaching. The strong are helping to row
     ashore, under the shouted instructions of the NAVIGATOR.
     Those too weak to help are huddled beside their posses-
     sions, hoping to survive this final trial of the sea.


94   CONTINUED:                                                 94
     Hector works his oar with the rest. He has time to cast
     a glance at Ursula and Francisco. Francisco in his
     manic-heroic way manages to row while at the same time
     trying to offer a steadying arm to Ursula.
     If Hector had time or energy to laugh, he would.

     The raft is in the full rage of the surf. The sense
     behind its loose construction is obvious now. Snake-like
     it rides the waves, one half up, the other down. The
     beaching isn't easy. A few people are washed overboard
     with no way of saving them. Finally the raft makes it
     through the barrier of the outer surf. They are in a
     long curving bay. Up from the beach lies an area of             *
     dunes, and beyond that a thick belt of jungle.

     The raft scrapes onto the sand. Those near the beach
     scramble ashore, immediately prostrating themselves in
     prayers of thanks while those at the back jump into
     the water and clumsily wade the last few feet to safety.
     Hector's attention is never far from Ursula. She is             *
     struggling in the water with some of her baggage. A
     youth, NUNO, goes to help her. Hector overtakes him and
     nudges him out of the way, offering to take Ursula's load
     from her shoulders. She refuses his help. Waist-deep in         *
     water they tussle over her bundle of possessions. Hector        *
     overpowers her, wrestles her load from her grasp, angrily
     wades to the shore and dumps it on the sand. In amongst
     the drama of their situation their little battle of wills
     seems petty and pathetic, but it reveals much about their
     Soon the survivors are dragging their possessions from
     the raft. They have managed to hoard a surprising amount
     from their doomed ship. Carpets, chests, chairs, all
     are dragged ashore.

95   EXT. CAMP - DAY                                            95

     Civilization has taken hold quickly in this little corner
     of Africa. Dom Paulo, the leader, already has a table
     and chair set up in the sand, and behind him SAILORS are
     erectig a tent-like house, made from timbers and rich
     tapestries and carpets. The others are making their own
     shelters all along the beach. A regular little community
     is taking shape, a crazy, rich-textured village decked out
     in all the colors of the East. The silks and ginghams
     that were destined for the finest halls in Europe now give
     shelter to sick slaves, starving sailors, ruined traders
     and grieving mothers.

                                                           74.        *

95   CONTINUED:                                                  95
     Some of the survivors have   recovered sufficiently from
     the trauma of near death to   mark out the boundaries of
     their new beach homes with   lines of stones. The habits
     of ownership die hardest of   all.
     Although Dom Paulo is the man in authority he is also a
     man in deep shock. Most of what he has earned or
     plundered in his colonial years now lies at the bottom
     of the ocean. Since he is socially superior to anyone
     else on the ship he assumes responsibility and command.
     There are probably fifty men among the survivors more
     suited to lead them to safety.
     By Dom Paulo's side always is his SON. A quiet boy of
     about eleven. He is like a little miniature of his
     father, dressed in the same style of clothes. He is a
     constant, silent witness to everything that Dom Paulo does,
     good or bad, wise or foolish. He and his father are a
     continuing fascination for Hector, and we can enjoy
     Hector watching the boy watching his father. Some of the
     absurdities and comedies of the situation can be high-
     lighted in this way. There can be sadness in it too
     however, the pain of a son witnessing his father's
     compromises or failures all too closely, and Dom Paulo's
     sad awareness of his image slowly tarnishing in his
     son's eyes.
     Amidst the construction work, Dom Paulo is talking with
     some of his OFFICERS.
                                DOM PAULO
                  How many made it?
                  Eighty men. Ten women. Eighteen
                  children and forty-five slaves.

                                DOM PAULO
                  Two parties of ten men each... one
                  to the north and one to the south...
                  bring back what you can... game,
                  fruit, anything... and send someone
                  back as soon as you find fresh
                  water. Any trouble, discharge
                  three shots.

     The Officer leaves to carry out his orders.    Dom Paulo
     addresses another of his men, Da Cunha.


95   CONTINUED:     (2)                                             95
                                DOM PAULO
                  Have the carpenter start
                  immediately on a cross, a big
                  one... Father Diogo wants a
                  place of worship by this time
                  tomorrow. We'll look for a
                  spot later. We've all got a lot
                  of praying to do. And where's
                  Dias... tell him I want to see

96   EXT. CAMP - DAY                                                96
     Hector and Andre are walking through the half-built
     village.  Andre is carrying Hector's possessions, a
     rolled-up carpet and a bolt of colorful cloth. We feel
     an echo of the days when Hector was a slave, walking
     two paces behind with his master's possessions.
     Hector finds what he is looking for. Francisco is
     working on a shelter for himself and Ursula, with the
     help of some slaves. Hector approaches him, making
     another attempt to heal wounds from his past.
                  I have a carpet and some cloth...
                  I thought if we worked together
                  we could make a better shelter...
     Francisco barely stops his work to reply.
                  If it's a joke it's a poor one.                        *
                  At least ask Dona Ursula...

                  I don't have to ask her... I know
                  she would agree with me... leave us
     His stubborn rejection of Hector reveals just how
     strong their friendship once was.

                  Well... would you take my cloth,
                  at least?

                  Keep it and build your own hovel
                  somewhere else... leave us



96   CONTINUED:                                                     96
     Then from along the beach the sound of RAISED      VOICES
     distracts them. They see some figures, laden       with
     supplies, running off into the forest. Others       are
     following them, discharging MUSKETS, shouting      for the
     DESERTERS to stop. Hector and Francisco walk       briskly
     in the direction of the trouble. They see two       of the
     Deserters being overtaken by their pursuers.       The rest
     make their escape into the jungle.

97   EXT. CAMP - DAY                                                97

     Hector and Francisco reach Dom Paulo's office in the
     sand. The leading citizens are gathering there as
     the two captured Deserters are brought in.

                  They ran off with the dry bread...                     *
                  about eight of them, sir...                            *
     Dom Paulo looks at the two prisoners.
                                DOM PAULO
                  You men are deserters. You will
                  die tomorrow.
     He speaks again to the Sailor.
                                DOM PAULO
                  Chain them on the raft for tonight,
                  and watch them...
     Francisco steps forward, outraged.

                  I must object... these sentences
                  can't be lawful...

     Dom Paulo's authoritative manner vanishes in an instant.
     He becomes hesitant, unsure of himself. As always, his              *
     Son watches every detail of the exchange.                           *

                                DOM PAULO
                  Do you think so?

                  Of course... we can't allow
                  ourselves to fall into terror
                  and violence...

                                DOM PAULO
                  You're right... but then how can
                  we punish them? We can't lock them



97   CONTINUED:                                                    97
     Dom Paulo looks around at the assembled notables,
     confused, out of his depth. Other opinions are voiced.

                  You were right the first time,
                  sir... they must hang... they were
                  stealing the bread from our
     The captured Deserters look on helplessly as their lives
     are argued over.

                                YOUNG DESERTER
                  I didn't steal any bread... Gomes
                  had the bread... he's off, in the

                               DOM PAULO
                  Oh dear...
     Dom Paulo turns to the Priest.
                                DOM PAULO
                  What do you think, Father?
     The Priest throws open his arms noncommittally.
                  I'll comfort them whether they
                  live or die, now or later, any of
                  you, all of you... I'll comfort
                  you all.
                  Hang them... you have to set an

     Dom Paulo is deeply confused.
                                DOM PAULO
                  So I was right the first time?

     Francisco confuses him even more.
                  No, sir... there must be proper
                                DOM PAULO
                  What's proper justice?                                *

                  I didn't steal any bread...

                                                            78.        *

97   CONTINUED:    (2)                                            97
                  You have to make a decision, sir.

                  It was Gomes... he told us to run.

                                DOM PAULO
                  I'll decide... no I won't... we'll
                  all decide... most of the people
                  that matter are here... we'll have
                  a vote... who agrees with
                  Salgado... and me... that they
                  should die?
     A lot of hands go up. Hector hesitates, his instincts
     are not for killing. But the force of the majority
     weighs on him. He starts to raise his hand. At that
     moment, as he scans the crowd, he meets the eyes of the
     Deserter whose death they are voting on. For a moment
     they communicate. Hector is thrown. He drops his hand,
     only to find in the next instant the stern gaze of
     Salgado on him. He hesitates again, then starts to
     raise his hand. Then the eyes of the Deserter find him
     once more. This comic pantomime goes on while a solid
     majority of the crowd firmly raise their hands.
                                DOM PAULO
                  ... and those against death...

     One of the Deserters raises his own hand meekly.
                                DOM PAULO
                  You can't vote...

     Then he looks to Salgado.
                               DOM PAULO
                  Can he?
                  It doesn't matter.

     Then the other Deserter raises his hand too.
                  I don't think this is working,
                  Dom Paulo... we need authority...
                  you must decide...
     Dom Paulo thinks.

                                DOM PAULO
                  Very well... Da Cunha?


97   CONTINUED:    (3)                                              97
     DA CUNHA steps forward.

                                DOM PAULO
                  The cross the carpenter is
                  working on... tell him to turn
                  it into a scaffold... have it
                  erected along the beach, away
                  from the women... the executions
                  will be at sunrise tomorrow. Tell
                  Father Diogo.

     He turns to the Sailors holding the Deserters.
                                DOM PAULO
                  Take them to the raft.

     The dazed Deserters are led off.       Dom Paulo's face clouds
     in doubt again.
                                DOM PAULO
                  Everyone in agreement with hanging?                    *
                  Or should we shoot them... or what?
                                DA CUNHA
                  Hanging is fine, sir.
                                DOM PAULO
                  Very well... now... who's going
                  to conduct the executions... should
                  we pick someone, or have a
     Dom Paulo looks over the faces of the men.       He stops at
                               DOM PAULO

     Hector doesn't have the will to accept or the courage to            *
     refuse. He is saved by another young man, ALVAREZ, eager
     to prove himself.

                  I'll do it, Dom Paulo.

                                DOM PAULO
                  Thank you, Alvarez. Sunrise
                  tomorrow. Send the Priest to
                  them tonight.

     We can sense the feeling of relief in Hector. Dom                   *
     Paulo's son has been a silent witness to everything that            *
     has happened, but his blank face reveals nothing of his             *
     feelings.                                                           *


98   EXT. CAMP - EVENING                                           98
     It is growing dark. Fires are being lit outside     the
     shelters. Andre is building Hector's tent while     Hector
     watches him. The tent is only large enough for     one
     person, and somehow looks mean compared with the    others.
               Good work, Andre.

     He looks across to the well-made shelter of Ursula and
     Francisco. Ursula herself works at the fire.
     Hector turns to Andre.
               You go and sleep by the big fire,
               Andre. Keep warm.

     Andre leaves.

99   INT. CAMP - NIGHT                                             99
     Hector goes inside his little    house. He puts his back
     to the entrance and opens the    canvas sack which contains
     all his possessions. He pulls     out his prize, a sizeable
     chunk of bread and some dried    fruit. He guiltily gnaws
     at the hard bread.
     He is surprised by the sound of the boy, Nuno outside.
               Senor Hector?
     Hector quickly stows his food back into his sack, and
     with a grunt of irritation sticks his head out of the

     Nuno is holding four fruits, about the size of large
     apples, but green and thick-skinned.
               This was all they found in the
               forest. Four for each of us.
               They taste kind of milky, but

               Thank you, Nuno.
               My mother ate three and she was
               sick. So try two... but she's
               sick anyway... maybe you can try



99   CONTINUED:                                                     99
                  I'll start with two.

     Nuno makes to leave, but then hesitates.
                  Hector, will you help me?

     Nuno is looking down the beach to the remains of the
     raft on the shoreline. The shapes of the two Deserters
     chained there can just be seen.

                  Lopo... the boy they're going to
                  hang tomorrow... he was cook's
                  cabin boy... I was going to take                       *
                  him something to eat... I thought,
                  perhaps, one of yours and one of
     He looks at the fruit he has just given Hector.
                  You said you might just eat two...
                  But there's tomorrow, Nuno... we
                  must eat tomorrow too...

     Nuno looks disappointed. His eyes turn again to his
     playmate tied to the raft.
                  Dom Paulo would call it a waste.
                  You must keep yourself strong, Nuno,
                  that's what he'd say... so that you
                  can help the others... God knows
                  what we have ahead of us... we'll
                  need strong people like you...
     Nuno is silent, unconvinced.

                  Try not to think about Lopo any
                  more... The guards wouldn't let
                  you near him anyway.

     Nuno stomps away in silence.       Hector shouts after him


                                                          82.         *

100   INT. CAMP - NIGHT                                         100
      In the privacy of their tent Dom Paulo and his son are
      engaged in their nightly ritual, practicing on their
      recorders. Dom Paulo leads the young boy through an
      intricate, pretty tune. They sit formally and there is
      an air of stoicism about them, determined as they are
      to maintain their civilized habits in these bleakest of
      circumstances. But there is also a feeling of madness
      about it. The madness of a man who has lost a grip of
      what is going on about him. Down on the beach men are
      waiting to die in the morning on his orders. The blend
      of formality and madness make the scene comic.

101   EXT. CAMP - DAWN                                          101

      The sun has risen sharply, soaring out of the ocean. It
      blinds the eyes of those in the little execution party
      making their way along the beach.
      The cross-cum-scaffold has been erected some way from the
      camp. Most people are  attending to their morning
      chores with one eye on the grim act of justice being
      carried out along the shore.

      Our view of the hangings will be from the distance of the
      camp; marionette figures, men dancing on ropes, the form-
      ality of legal death. The priest and the executioners.
      It takes a while for the people in the camp to become
      aware of the other observers up on the dunes. Three
      figures stand in full view, boldly, silently, watching
      the camp and the pantomime at the scaffold.
      The word passes around the camp. Eyes pass between the
      executions and the tall natives watching.   The first man
      is already dangling on the rope by the time that Dom Paulo
      and his officers are discussing the appearance of the
                               DA CUNHA
                 Some gunpowder would scatter them,
                               DOM PAULO
                 No, they might want to be
                 friendly... they'll have food
                 too... get one of our African
                 slaves... we must try and talk to
                 them... If they think we're timid
                 we're dead.


102   EXT. DUNES - DAWN                                           102
      A solitary SLAVE makes his way up from the camp to the
      natives on the dunes. Everyone in the camp watches as he
      approaches them. There is tension. Will the natives run
      or fight or talk. They begin to talk. The natives seem
      most interested in the hangings, and point in that
      direction, asking questions. The Slave makes an attempt
      at explaining what is happening, but the natives seem
      baffled. They start laughing and shaking their heads.
      By now the second figure is dangling on the rope, the
      cross making an efficient double-gallows.

103   EXT. CAMP - DAWN                                            103
      While Francisco's attention has been on the natives,
      Hector has sidled up to him, still hoping to ingratiate
      himself. He talks while they watch the two events, the
      hanging and the meeting.
                I hate it when people have to die.                      *
                It's foolishness. Killing our
                own men when we have the whole of
                Africa to face.
                It's foolish squabbling at all.
                We should be friends.
      Francisco looks at him for the meaning in what he is
      saying. Hector shrugs. He takes a small bundle from
      his jacket and gives it to Francisco.
                What's this?

                Some bread and raisins.

                I thought everything was shared
                out on the raft...

                Well this wasn't. It's for her...
                and you.
      Francisco looks Hector straight  in the eye, looking for
      his angle. But this time there   is none. Hector is
      simply a lonely man seeking to  retrieve lost friendship.
      There is a glimmer of sympathy  in Francisco's face.


103   CONTINUED:                                                    103
      On the high dunes the Slave and the natives have now
      parted company. The Deserters still spin at the end of
      their ropes, the Priest praying at their feet.
      Francisco walks away from him.      Hector calls out.

                   I must speak to her!

104   EXT. CAMP - DAY                                               104

      The Slave approaches Dom Paulo outside his tent.
                   They want to make a visit here...
                   with their King... he will bring
                   gifts, and will receive gifts.
                   They said not to sacrifice anymore                     *
                   men for them... they don't like
      Dom Paulo and the others laugh.

105   EXT. BAY - DAY                                                105
      The tide is sweeping more wreckage into the bay. Barrels
      and boxes and timber bob in the waves. People make their
      way to the shoreline to retrieve these new gifts from the
      sea.                                                                *
      The whole of the camp is eager and shouting. They bring             *
      in the boxes and barrels. A whole harmonium is man-
      handled ashore. Some boys drag it up onto dry sand and
      start to work its bellows. At first only water spurts
      from it, but then a watery note or two is emitted. The
      mood soon becomes festive. Dom Paulo makes his way down             *
      to the shore to make the celebrations official.                     *
      By now the first of the newly-arrived crates are being
      opened. Inside are eggs, many, many large eggs, in
      crate after crate.
      An OFFICER brings the first of the eggs to Dom Paulo.

                   Turtles' eggs, sir... Doctor Correa
                   was shipping them to the Royal
                   Zoo... I think they hoped some of
                   them would hatch.

                                 DOM PAULO
                   Well... it's eggs for supper
                   tonight... for everyone...                             *


106   EXT. CAMP - DUSK                                           106
      That night everyone does eat turtles' eggs. At their
      fires in the dusk they fry them, boil them, scramble
      them. Some eat them raw. The abundant green fruits
      make a tolerable side dish. The happy mood of the
      afternoon has survived into the night. For once there
      is enough to eat, and the hangings are a thing of the
      past. Above the ROAR of the constantly rolling SURF
      the CROAKY sounds of the waterlogged HARMONIUM can be
      heard.                                                           *

107   INT. HECTOR'S TENT - DUSK                                  107
      Sadly for Hector, the harmonium enthusiast is very close
      to his shelter. The JANGLY MUSIC is loud and insistent.
      Hector removes six large eggs from a bag and takes them
      outside to his fire.

108   EXT. CAMP - DUSK                                           108
      Andre is there eating the last of his omelette.
                How are they?

      Hector cracks one of his eggs into a copper pan. Inside          *
      is a brown smudge of dried yoke and some dust. Hector            *
      grunts in annoyance and cracks another egg. The yoke is
      discolored and the smell is rank. Hector looks at Andre,
      rapidly finishing his omelette before Hector can demand          *
                Yours were fine?

      Hector picks up a third egg and shakes itclose to his
      ear. It seems as empty as the other two.  He picks up
      a fourth egg and cracks it open. A small dried-up, half-
      formed baby turtle RATTLES into the pan. Andre is
      quietly enjoying Hector's frustration. He stands up to
                Good night.


                                                               86.         *

108   CONTINUED:                                                     108
                   Have you any eggs left?

                   The slaves only got three.    I want
                   to ask you something.

                   You were lucky. What?
                   I want my real name back.
                   You don't like Andre anymore?

                   I think of my home all the time.
                   I want to hear the name they call
                   me. We should die with our real
                   We're not going to die, Andre...
      Hector smiles at his own insensitivity.
                   I've forgotten your name...
                   Ketabomago Pululo.
                   Now I remember why we called you

      Andre looks at him expectantly.
                   I will, Andre... I promise... I'll
                   call you that... when I remember...
      Andre is satisfied, and leaves.      Hector calls to him.

                   Good night... Keta...
                   Ketabomago Pululo...

                   Yes... good night...


108   CONTINUED:    (2)                                              108
      Hector is alone. Hector gives up on the eggs and pulls               *
      out his store of bread and fruit from the tent. The                  *
      next source of annoyance is the continuing noise of the
      He shouts across to the musical enthusiast, a YOUTH
      with a few older children by his side.

                   Hey! Stop that, will you? Think
                   of the older people, and the
                   sick... I'll give you an egg if                         *
                   you stop... here...

109   EXT. CAMP - NEXT MORNING                                       109

      The Officers and Dom Paulo are selecting items for barter            *
      from their crates and boxes of valuables. Hector and
      other notables are also there.
      Cheap goods, a box of rosaries and crucifixes made of                *
      common beads, for example, are being gone through and
      suitable junk selected for gifts.
      They talk as they work.
                                 DOM PAULO
                   How many are sick?
                                 DA CUNHA
                   About fifty, sir, some of them
                   very sick indeed. It's the eggs.
                   A couple of the crates were full of                     *
                   rotten ones, but eaten just the                         *
                   same. Others just ate too many.
                   It would have been better to ration
                   them, I suppose.
                                 DOM PAULO
                   How wise of you to think of that
                   now. Any deaths?
                                DA CUNHA

                                 DOM PAULO
                   How many eggs did you have?


109   CONTINUED:                                                     109
                                  DA CUNHA
                   Three.   I had them boiled.

                                  DOM PAULO
                   I had four.   I don't feel well

                                 DA CUNHA
                   Four's all right... the really ill
                   ones had eaten eight, ten...

                                 DOM PAULO
                   Let's not think about it... what                        *
                   have you got?                                           *

      Salgado comes forward with a handful of the broken
      remains of a kettle. Copper is a useful currency.
                   It worked well... they'll go for
                   this... and nails... Luis cleaned
                   up a sackful from the crates...
      Salgado shows a handful of nails from a small sack in his
                                 DOM PAULO
                   Organize some men to gather all                         *
                   the nails they can find. We have
                   to keep control of that particular
      Dom Paulo rummages in a box of cheap rosaries, selects a
      couple, and then retires to his tent. The others work
      on at the table. Hector drifts off down to the beach.

110   INT. DOM PAULO'S TENT - MORNING                                110
      Inside his tent Dom Paulo goes to his small mirror. He
      takes off the heavy silver chain and medallion from
      around his neck, and a valuable brooch from his coat. He
      stows them safely in a locked box and replaces it in its
      hiding place in the sand floor. Then he adorns himself
      in the cheap rosary and other trashy items. Dom Paulo,               *
      catching sight of his watching Son in the mirror, holds              *
      a silencing finger to his mouth.                                     *

111   EXT. BEACH - MORNING                                           111

      Hector is walking along the beach, close to a pile of                *
      discarded boxes and crates.


111   CONTINUED:                                                   111
      He quickly searches through them. He soon finds what he            *
      is looking for, a piece of wood with some nails still
      attached to it. He pulls out the nails and pockets them,
      then continues to rummage amongst the wood for more.
      Hector is a survivor. And not the first Hector to
      scavenge on a beach, in a world that feels big and empty.

112   EXT. DUNES - MORNING                                         112
      Hector is enjoying the   freshness of the day. We see              *
      him climb over a dune   and then as he nears the summit
      duck and retreat down   the slope again. Cautiously he
      crawls up the dune and   looks over to the other side.

      He is watching a young Girl and the boy Nuno. They are
      twelve or thirteen years old. They are coyly in the
      early stages of making love, the Boy lying close to the
      Girl, kissing her, beginning to caress her. Their                  *
      love-making is poised oddly between child's play and               *
      eroticism. It's their day of discovery and it is like
      a dream of love.
      The Boy is just about to   discover some more and is
      fumbling with the Girl's   clothing, when he looks up and
      catches sight of Hector.    Hector ducks down but knows he
      has been seen and decides   to brazen it out. He stands
      up in full view of them.

                   Stop that... leave her alone...
                   get back to the camp... or I'll tell
                   your mother... how can you play like
                   this when there are people needing
                   your help back there...?
      The Boy is standing now and fixing his clothing. He walks
      off back to the camp. The Girl remains sitting in the
      sand, buttoning her dress, too embarrassed even to raise
      her head to Hector.

      Then Hector is touched by something, perhaps the sad stoop
      in the Boy's shoulder or the Girl's lowered head. Hector
      realizes he has broken something precious and in their
      circumstances infinitely fragile and irretrievable. He
      feels like an oaf. He calls after the Boy.

                   Come back... I didn't mean it...
                   it was a joke... you come back...
                   she's still here... I won't say


112   CONTINUED:                                                     112
      But the Boy walks on, turning around now and then to look
      at Hector, who feels foolish and mean. Hector calls down
      to the Girl.
                   I'm sorry.

      But she doesn't look up, still fumbling with her buttons.
      Hector curses quietly and looks out across the dunes,
      angry with himself. Then he sees the procession of the               *
      Native King and his people, some cattle, and porters
      carrying baskets.
      Hector runs off towards the camp.

113   EXT. CLEARING - DAY                                            113
      The meeting of the two leaders is weird and wonderful                *
      to see. The ragged Europeans, already scanning the                   *
      baskets of the Natives for signs of solid food,
      somehow still muster an absurd sense of their own                    *
      importance for the occasion. The Natives, excited and                *
      curious, trying to contain their exuberance so that they             *
      don't miss a single detail of this most significant
      day. Many of the Natives have climbed into the trees,                *
      either out of timidity or to get a better view                       *

      The trees around the meeting place are dripping with
      bodies, like human fruit.
      Hector slips into the crowd as the NATIVE KING is in
      mid-speech. When he has stopped talking the Slave begins
      to haltingly translate.
                   He was excited when he heard you
                   had come, but he wants to know
                   if you are real people... he
                   didn't think you would be such
                   a strange color... so he wants
                   to see your...
      He points repeatedly at his navel.                                   *

                   ... so that he will know that you
                   were born like real people...



113   CONTINUED:                                                   113
      Dom Paulo won't suffer the indignity alone.    He talks to
      the Officers standing closest to him.

                                 DOM PAULO
                   Right... you four as well...

      He begins to open up his coat and shirt. The four
      Officers do the same. The King and a few of his atten-
      dants take a step or two forward and peer at the exposed
      white European bellies. They look at one another and
      mumble solemnly. Then they step back. Dom Paulo and the
      Officers fix their clothing and re-muster their dignity.
      The King is enjoying himself.    He speaks again to the
      Slave, who then translates.

                   He wants to see you breathe.
      The King takes a deep breath, then nods to Dom Paulo.
      Dom Paulo and the Officers do as they are told. The King
      joins them, and for a few moments there is a kind of
      communion between them. Then everyone joins in. It is a            *
      strange, poignant moment, all the Natives and all the
      Europeans united in the simple act of breathing.
      Dom Paulo regains his composure.    He speaks to the Slave.
                                 DOM PAULO
                   Tell him that we want to trade
                   with him, to buy food... and we
                   want him to guide us out of here...
                   we have a long way to travel... to
                   where the white men have their
                   big ships...
      The Slave speaks to the King. The King listens and talks
      back for a long time. Then the Slave translates again.
                   He has heard of white men very,                       *
                   very far away... this way...
                   but you have to cross many rivers...
                   twenty big rivers...

                                 DOM PAULO
                   Tell him I want to give him these...
      Dom Paulo steps forward to the King. An Officer brings             *
      a wrapped cloth. Dom Paulo opens it, letting the King
      see the pieces of broken copper inside.


113   CONTINUED:    (2)                                             113
      The Officer produces a handful of large nails and
      gives them directly to the King. The King nods his
      head in approval and shows the nails to his attendants.
      They are impressed.
                                 DOM PAULO
                   ... and tell him that I want to
                   make him a very special gift as
                   one King to another...
      Various Officers raise their eyebrows at this.

                                 DOM PAULO
                   Of these precious things, which my
                   fathers and forefathers have worn
                   for many long years before...

      Dom Paulo solemnly and without a blush removes the cheap
      rosary from around his neck and offers it to the King.
                                 DOM PAULO
                   I shouldn't do this, but it is
                   such a special occasion, and he is
                   such a great and worthy King...
      This is translated.    The King refuses to accept the               *
      rosary. Instead he    is pointing to a couple of chunky
      and valuable-looking   rings on Dom Paulo's fingers which
      he has forgotten to   remove.
                   He says he could not accept such
                   a treasured gift, something of
                   such value to your family...
                   instead he would be happy to take
                   one or two of the old rings you have
                   on your fingers... but please do
                   not insist that he take your
      It is impossible to know if the King is being naively
      polite or hugely clever. Dom Paulo's Officers enjoy a
      muted titter as he peels off his precious rings and
      gives them to the King, replacing the worthless baubles
      around his own neck. The King begins talking again.
      The Slave translates.

                   He will give you guides to help                        *
                   you across the first of the big
                   rivers... it is ten days from


113   CONTINUED:    (3)                                             113
                                 DOM PAULO
                   Thank you, thank you...

      The Slave continues.
                   ... and he asks you to be ready
                   to leave the beach in two days
                   time... he cannot permit you to
                   stay longer...

      Dom Paulo looks shocked.
                   Because with the new moon the
                   turtles will arrive and lay
                   their eggs... you may frighten
                   them... you must be gone...
      The mention of turtles' eggs almost turns the stomachs
      of most of the survivors, even the fit ones.
      The King and his followers walk back into the forest.               *
      Soon the survivors are alone again, with the lost-
      looking cow the Natives have left. A doomed cow if
      ever there was.

114   EXT. BEACH - EVENING                                          114
      The remains of the cow hang on the spit over the large
      fire the survivors have made on the beach. Small groups
      of people sit around it, gnawing on the roasted flesh.
      The image is once again timeless, the elements of it
      simple; man, fire, flesh, food.
      One cow doesn't go far between a hundred starving people.
      Some are still on their feet by the large fire. Now and
      then a hand will dart out over the flames to snatch a
      bone hanging loose or a tasty-looking piece of gristle.
      They are the survivors of the pack, if any will be.

      Hector is, of course, among them. He    risks the searing
      heat to pull at a couple of blackened   bones. He sees
      Nuno, the boy he chased away from the   Girl earlier in
      the day. Nuno is sitting by himself,    staring vacantly
      at the fire, licking his fingers.
      Hector sits down in the sand beside him. Nuno hardly
      notices him until Hector offers him one of his bones.
      Nuno grabs it.




114   CONTINUED:                                                     114
                   Suck out the marrow... it's the
                   best bit.
      Nuno follows Hector's example. Hector allows him to
      feel the benefit of his gift before he starts to talk.

                   I'm sorry about today...
                   It doesn't matter...
                   But it does... it was mean of
                   me... I was upset at something...
                   I wasn't really angry at you...
                   I know.
      Nuno is taking it rather well.      Hector regains his
      natural self-confidence.                                             *
                   You don't think too badly of me?
                   You still like me?
      Nuno shyly nods his head.
                   You do?


      Hector is satisfied now.
                   Well, that makes me feel better...
                   we all have to like each other...
                   and respect each other... that's
                   important too.
      They are silent for a moment.

                   If you don't respect me, just
                   say so...



114   CONTINUED:    (2)                                              114
      Nuno looks at him, smiling weakly. Then he turns away
      in silence. Hector tries another approach to win the
      Boy over.
                   I have a boy like you... maybe                          *
                   you could meet him when we get
      This doesn't produce much of a response. Hector tries
      again. He starts to chuckle to himself and nudges Nuno
      in the ribs.
                   You can take her back there
                   tomorrow, eh?

      Nuno shakes his head.
                   No... she's sick now...

115   EXT. CAMP - NIGHT                                              115
      Dom Paulo and the Priest and some of the Officers are
      having a more formal meal at Dom Paulo's table outside
      his shelter. An argument is in progress between Dom
      Paulo and GASPAR DIAS, the navigator.
      Gasper Dias has drawn a rough map which lies on the
                                 DOM PAULO
                   Can't you be more accurate?
      Hector comes to the meeting. He sits down on a box
      near the table and watches and listens, his expression
      changing with the shifts in mood of the others. This                 *
      is Hector the social animal, our Hector with his pockets             *
      full of stolen nails and his tent full of stashes of
                   How can I be accurate without
                   instruments? As it is I'm
                   sighting the sun with two pieces
                   of wood... Call it five hundred
                   and be done with it... he said                          *
                   twenty rivers.                                          *



115   CONTINUED:                                                      115
                                 DOM PAULO
                   We just want you to be as accurate
                   as we know you can be, Dias. After
                   all, the ship did manage to find
                   that rock with admirable precision.

                   Confound you, Dom Paulo, that's an
                   insult... she hit that rock because
                   she was taking water and
                   unsteerable... She was overloaded
                   before she left India and you know
      Dias pounds his fist on the table.

                   I've told   you... we vote for a                         *
                   leader or   you can walk into the
                   jungle on   your own... it should
                   have been   done days ago...
                                 DA CUNHA
                   Calm down, Dias... you can't stay
                   here forever, living on turtles'
      There are mock groans and laughter at the thought of it.
      The tension for the moment is broken.                                 *
                                 DA CUNHA
                   What about the sick and the
                   injured, Dom Paulo...?

      Dom Paulo lets out a heavy sigh.
                                 DOM PAULO
                   I've discussed it with Father
                   Diogo... I don't see how a hundred
                   of us can carry seventy sick...

                                 FATHER DIOGO
                   I'm going to search the scriptures
                   tonight. I'm sure that God has
                   an answer to it.

                   An excuse, you mean... we'll be
                   leaving them here to die...

                   Oh, so you're coming with us now,


115   CONTINUED:    (2)                                              115
      Dias mumbles to himself.

                   After the vote...
                                 FATHER DIOGO
                   It might be the best we can offer
                   them now... the chance to die a
                   good Christian death here, and set
                   an example to the heathens...

116   EXT. CAMP - NIGHT                                              116
      Hector is   making his way in the dark back to his shelter.
      He passes   close to the tent of Francisco and Ursula.
      Francisco   is outside, by the fire. An impulse takes
      Hector to   join him.
                   I'll be glad when we're on the
                   move... the sound of the sea is
                   driving me mad.

                   Good night, Hector...
      Hector lingers.

                   Where is Ursula? Sleeping?
                   Sick. She hasn't been able to
                   rise since yesterday.
      Hector's face expresses his shock. From what he has
      heard at the meeting this is serious news. He makes a
      decision. He speaks to Francisco, willing their old
      friendship back into existence in the urgency of the

                   Will you share a bottle of wine
                   with me? I've had it since we
                   left the ship... I want to drink
                   it tonight, with you.
      This offer has found a chink in Francisco's armor.

                   You have a bottle of wine?

                                                                98.         *

116   CONTINUED:                                                      116

                   Well, fetch it.

117   EXT. CAMP - NIGHT                                               117
      Hector has returned with his precious bottle. Francisco
      by some miracle has two fine crystal glasses. As they
      drink they begin to reveal a hint of their old intimacy.
                   You should hang for this. Some
                   people on the raft might have
                   lived with a glass of this in
                   their stomach...
      Francisco sips the wine with the relish of long
                   I know. I feel very guilty.    I
                   brought this too...

      Hector pulls a cotton bag from under his coat.

                   Honeyed fruit. The last I have.
      Francisco can't believe such food still exits.       He
      smiles in anticipation.
                   You rogue... give it here...

      Francisco grabs at the bag and stuffs two or three
      sweets into his mouth, not so much the gentleman now.

                   I brought it for Ursula...
      Francisco talks through his munching.

                   Much too rich for her... do you want
                   to kill her?

                   Surely... some fruit couldn't...


117   CONTINUED:                                                    117
                   Don't argue with me, old friend...
                   you're the guilty one around here,
                   and don't you forget it.
                   Why is it always me? Why am I
                   always guilty, always sorry... am
                   I so bad?
                   With   Ursula you weren't bad, you
                   were   stupid... you did the one thing
                   you   can't do to a strong woman...
                   you   took away her pride... what else
                   can   she do but hate you?

      Hector is silent.
                   And then you get on the same ship...
                   what a fool...
                   I had to get home... just like you...
                   And when the ship went down... why
                   did you have to get on the same
                   raft... it was as if you were trying
                   to torment her...
                   But... the other raft was sinking...
                                  FRANCISCO                               *
                   So?                                                    *

                                 HECTOR                                   *
                   Francisco... please...                                 *

      Francisco's face breaks into a smile. They drink the                *
      rest of the bottle in silence, the complexity of their              *
      friendship having gone beyond words.                                *

118   EXT. MASS - DAY                                               118

      On a headland overlooking the bay, Father Diogo's mass is
      in progress. Every fit member of the camp is there, and
      a good many of the sick have been carried in litters to
      take part. The harmonium has been carried up the hill
      and is in full voice, some youths dissipating their
      precious energy on its bellows. The younger boys have
      been organized into a choir.



118   CONTINUED:                                                     118
      The large cross stands behind Father Diogo, held     in place
      by a cairn of piled stones at its base. When we      FIND
      Hector there is something tantalizingly familiar     about it
      all; the cliffs, the ocean, the kneeling Hector,     a pile
      of stones, the offering to a god.

119   EXT. CLEARING - DAY                                           119
      The natives have gathered nearby. They have been moved,              *
      perhaps by the music, or perhaps by the simple, universal            *
      posture of worship itself. They begin to sing, a low,
      rhythmic, compelling chant. It mingles with the distant
      voice of Father Diogo, and then with the chanting voices
      of all the Europeans, until it seems that the whole
      world is praying.

120   EXT. CAMP - MORNING                                           120
      Next morning the camp on the beach     is being broken up.
      The place is like a junkyard. The      amount of damage that
      a hundred and fifty people can do     to a beach in two days
      is impressive. Dom Paulo and the      officers watch the work.
      With them are some messengers from     the king, and the
      Slave translator.
      One of the messengers is talking.     When he finishes, the
      Slave translates.
                   Yes... they will look after the
                   sick... but the King would like
                   one thing... the machine that
                   makes music...
                                 DOM PAULO
                   We need food as well... ten
                   cows... to take with us... then
                   the King can have the music.

121   EXT. CAMP - ANOTHER ANGLE - MORNING                           121    *
      Hector is sitting beside Nuno on a box, talking earnestly
      to him. Andre stands beside them.
                   You must come with us.



121   CONTINUED:                                                      121
                   Your mother might not get well...
                   do you understand that?
                   That's why I have to stay.

                   And afterwards... what will you
                   do then?

                   Follow you and the others.

      Nuno remains silent.
                   Let him be.

122   EXT. CAMP - DAY                                               122
      Dom Paulo and Father Diogo are standing beside Dom                    *
      Paulo's table, all that remains of his headquarters on                *
      the beach.

                                 FATHER DIOGO
                   I'll comfort them as best as I
                                 DOM PAULO
                   You're staying with them?
      Father Diogo hastens to correct this misunderstanding.

                                 FATHER DIOGO
                   No, no, I'll comfort them before
                   we leave. I think my place is
                   with you...
      Two sailors, like stagehands, enter and remove the table,
      leaving Dom Paulo and Father Diogo propless on the beach.

123   EXT. JUNGLE PATH - DAY                                        123
      The trek from the beach to the village has started. A
      long line of people, including some local natives, carry
      the sick in crudely-made litters. Even this short trip
      is hard.  Somewhere in the line six sailors manhandle the
      harmonium up the jungle path.



123   CONTINUED:                                                    123
      Just behind   them Hector is helping Nuno to carry his
      Mother in a   litter. It is like a civilization on the
      move. In a    day or two the wind and the sea will have
      rubbed out   all evidence of their stay, and the bay will
      welcome its   regular tenants, the turtles.

124   EXT. NATIVE VILLAGE - DAY                                   124
      There is a sense of bustle in the native village as the
      European sick are settled into their huts and the others
      prepare to depart. Emotional farewells take place in                *
      dark corners of the small huts. A group of unmoved
      sailors are playing cards in the dirt.                              *

      In amongst the bustle Hector is looking for Francisco.
      He finds him taking some of his possessions into a hut.             *
                   Francisco... I have to see her                         *
                   before we leave.
                   I'll ask her.
      Francisco goes into the hut. Hector waits outside,
      watching the small human dramas all around him. Soon
      Francisco emerges from the hut.

                   In you go.
      Hector goes into the hut, stooping low at the small

125   INT. HUT - DAY                                              125

      Ursula is lying in a darkened corner. Hector is shaken
      by the sight of her, ashen and fevered, but tries not to
      show it. He kneels beside her.

                   Ursula... it's Hector.

      She turns her eyes to him but doesn't speak.

                   We're leaving soon. I've come to
                   say goodbye...

      Her voice is a whisper.

                                                                103.         *

125   CONTINUED:                                                       125

                   I won't forget you... I won't
                   forget India... I can't forget
                   how I hurt you...

      She looks at him but doesn't or cannot speak.
                   We should have talked... I could
                   have explained... many things...
      She manages a whispered word.

                   Yes... I'll pray for you in
                   Lisbon... at the Cathedral...
      She lies still.       Hector lingers for a moment.   Then he
      speaks again.
                   I'm sorry I hurt your pride...

      Hector has blown it. Ursula pulls herself up on an
      elbow, finding wells of energy from sheer indignation.
      Hector is astonished, almost jumping out of his skin.
                   What? What did you say?    What are
                   you talking about?

                   Nothing, nothing...
      Ursula speaks one word, and then falls back into a dead

      She lies still. Hector leans over her to make sure she
      is still breathing. He whispers nervously.


126   EXT. HUT - DAY                                             126
      Outside the hut, Dom Paulo is talking with Francisco.

                              DOM PAULO
                We won't forget you, or what you
                are doing for these poor people...

                I'm not staying here with the
                intention of dying, Dom Paulo...
                we'll be following you... when we
                are fit and well...

                              DOM PAULO
                Yes, of course...

                ... and good luck to you...                            *
      They make what they both know is their final parting.            *
                              DOM PAULO
                God protect you... it breaks my                        *
                heart to leave you all here, but
                I don't know what else I can do.
      They shake hands.
                              DOM PAULO
                We're leaving the cross with
                Oh, thank you...

                              DOM   PAULO
                It's too heavy to   carry... and who
                knows... it might   make some
                impression on the   heathens.
      Hector comes out of the hut, solemn-faced.                       *

                Francisco, I must talk to you

127   EXT. HUT - ANOTHER ANGLE - DAY                             127
      Hector takes Francisco by the arm and leads him behind
      the hut.

                You've made your peace with her?


127   CONTINUED:                                                       127
                   Yes.   I think so...                                      *

                   Thank, God... Well, goodbye.                              *

                   Is there anything that I can do
                   for you? A letter... a message?                           *
      Francisco laughs softly.

                   No... if you were carrying                                *
                   something for me I would have to
                   worry about you... if you go
                   empty-handed I can put you out of
                   my mind!
      Hector smiles uncertainly, unsure if Francisco is making
      a joke. Then he becomes more serious.
                   I want to ask you something.                              *
                   There's no easy way to do it...
                   Go on, Hector...

                   Your boots...
      Francisco looks down at his boots.

                   What about them?

                   Can I have them? You can have
                   mine... they'll be fine for
                   here... but I have to walk six
                   hundred miles...
      Hector lifts a foot to show Francisco his boot. Francisco
      is stunned into silence. But then a smile comes to his                 *

                   Yes, you're right... I daresay                            *
                   my boots would take you six hundred                       *
                   miles... I look after them...

      Hector becomes almost poetic in his pleading.


127   CONTINUED:    (2)                                             127
                   I'll walk all the way home,
                   Francisco... I'll pray for your
                   soul in the Cathedral in Lisbon...
                   ... In my boots...


      Francisco starts to laugh out loud.
                   Hector, you have surpassed
                   yourself... sit down and take my
      Francisco starts to take off his boots. Hector does the             *
      same. He can't believe his luck. At this moment, he                 *
      loves Francisco. He makes nonsensical small talk,
      hopping around on one foot.
                   They were made by Da Fosca,
                   weren't they?
      Francisco is giggling now.

                   The best bootmaker in Goa... pray
                   for my soul in Lisbon, Hector...
                   and pray for your own...

      Francisco is laughing, but Hector doesn't get the joke.

128   EXT. FOREST - DAY                                             128
      A different forest. A wilderness of giant pines, ranging
      through the mountains for hundred of miles. It is late              *
      in the year. There is one human sound in the cold still-            *
      ness, a voice singing.
      BOBBY, the owner of the voice, has a pack on his back.              *
      He is making his way up a steep slope to an area of flat
      ground. He stops singing, looks around, and calls out               *
      in a powerful voice.                                                *
                   They've gone... long gone!

      Bobby looks around the abandoned camp, the dead fires,              *
      cleared areas for tents.


                                                              107.         *

128   CONTINUED:                                                     128
      Up the slope and INTO VIEW comes his companion, leading
      a laden pack horse. It is Hector.

                   How long?

                   They've been gone a week, at
                   Damn them...
                   We're ten days late...

      They look at each other.      They are in trouble, and now
      they know it.
                   Cheer up. Have a look around.
                   I'll start on a fire...

129   EXT. CAMPSITE - DAY                                           129
      Hector has scoured the campsite.      He holds up a canteen
      he has found.

                   It's Sandy's... whiskey...
                   Well done, my lad!
      Hector walks to the fire, pleased with     himself. Bobby
      unfolds his fist and looks at what he     has found, an
      Indian arrowhead with a few inches of     broken shaft. He
      folds his hand over it again, keeping     his secret.
      Behind them, nailed to a tree, is a plaque their
      companions have left. It reads, "Pennsylvania Boundary
      Expedition 1761, Marker 152." Also on the plaque someone
      has written, "We left here, 20th October."

130   EXT. CAMP - NIGHT                                             130
      Hector and Bobby sit by the fire with their supper.      They
      are both anxious, but pretend not to be.


                                                          108.         *

130   CONTINUED:                                                 130
                   Even if we lose their track, we'll
                   still hit the river... we can't
                   miss that.
                   It's too high for Indians?

                   Much too high. You won't find an
                   Indian up here. We just have to
                   keep our heads... no panic.
                   If you did find an Indian, what
                   would he be?

                   You wouldn't... but he might be a
                   Delaware if you did.
                   We keep working?

                   Why not. We can log the peaks on
                   the far side, just a couple of
                   sightings a day... keep us busy...

      Their forced tone of matter-of-factness only serves to
      heighten the growing feeling of doom.
                   You think we'll get out?
                   If we keep our heads.   I wish I
                   had some tobacco.

131   EXT. CAMP - ANOTHER ANGLE - NIGHT                        131

      Hector is lying awake, watching Bobby's sleeping form on
      the ground at the other side of the dying fire. Behind
      Bobby is a wolf, sniffing and edging his way closer to
      them. Hector isn't anxious. He knows the wolf will soon
      become aware of them and move off. He is worried about
      something else. From under the pack that makes his
      pillow he pulls a piece of broken arrow, a shaft and some
      feathers, the other end of Bobby's find. He looks at it,
      then looks back to Bobby and the wolf.


132   EXT. CAMP - MORNING                                        132
      In the morning Hector and Bobby are taking readings from
      the instruments they have hung on a large tree, main-
      taining the disciplines of their work. It gives some
      shape and meaning to their predicament.
                Barometer... twenty-eight and
                three-eighths... temperature...                        *
                low... thirty-four... high...
                forty-two and a half... time...

      Hector writes it in the log book. Bobby goes to the              *
      horse and takes a brass chronometer from a box strapped
      to the saddle. Hector takes out a smaller chronometer
      from his own pack. They compare readings. There is a
      difference of some four or five minutes in the time.

                It's getting worse... you're
                nearly five minutes fast now...
                I'm not fast... you're slowing
      They obviously have this tiff every morning.
                What's the point of having two
                chronometers when you don't take
                the average?
                Exactly... you should throw yours
                You're unscientific, Bobby... at
      Hector writes in the book.   He speaks pointedly.

                Seven twenty-five...

      Bobby mocks him with a laugh.                                    *

133   EXT. FOREST - DAY                                          133

      Bobby is leading the horse and Hector walks on ahead.            *
      The going is easy through the ferns and grasses. Bobby           *
      for a moment forgets his apprehensions and starts to sing


                                                             110.         *

133   CONTINUED:                                                    133
                   I see her in the dewy flowers
                   I see her sweet and fair...
      His voice rings sharply around the forest. Hector far
      ahead turns around, taken by surprise. Bobby has
      frightened himself too. He eyes the forest all around
      as the echo of his voice fades. Chastened, he begins
      to sing again, quietly this time, under his breath.
                   There's not a bonny bird that sings
                   But minds me o' my Jean...

134   EXT. CLEARING - DAY                                        134

      Hector and Bobby have stopped at a point of bare rock
      looking out across the broad valley.
      They are building a pile of stones, a cairn. They work
      quietly, methodically. The only sounds are of their
      breathing and the CLICK-CLACK of the stones. We feel the
      echoes of our many previous Hectors and their piles of
      stones, built for this or that purpose. Our doomed
      surveyors are acting out the same ritual, this time in
      the name of science.
      They finish the cairn and erect their heavy tripod over
      it, and dangle a plumb line from the tripod. Bobby
      scratches the center point on the top stone of the cairn.
      They are establishing a survey point. They talk as they

      When they anchor their   tripod, the cold hard sound of
      their CHISELS STRIKING   ROCK ECHOES all through the forest.
      It unnerves them. They    stop hammering and listen to the
      ECHO BOUNCING down the   valley.
                   Sure this is a good idea.

                   Let's get out of here.

      They hastily dismantle the equipment and load up the
      horse, in an atmosphere of controlled panic.

135   EXT. FOREST - DAY                                          135

      They are travelling together now, on either side of the
      horse's nose, finding comfort in the closeness of each
      other. They stop for Bobby to consult his compass.


                                                                111.         *

135   CONTINUED:                                                       135
      He indicates a slight change of direction, and they move
      off again. Still they don't talk. We can feel their
      anxiety breeding in the silence. Why don't they talk?
      They proceed in this weighty silence, but even the CRIES
      of the BIRDS now seem to mock them.

      The route takes them downhill. The slopes are more dense
      with undergrowth now and the going isn't so easy. Some-
      times they are reduced to an undignified scramble, hanging
      onto the bulk of the horse between them. They no longer
      look much like conquerors of the wilderness.

136   EXT. FOREST - DAY                                            136

      They are on the valley floor now. The trees are more
      openly spaced and the grass is richer. They are moving
      quickly but they have a hard time keeping the horse on
      the trot. It hasn't seen grass this good in weeks.

137   EXT. FOREST - DAY                                            137

      They are moving more slowly, the ground is rockier and
      the trees are thickening. They take the easy way up the
      hillside, a natural path made by deer or bear.
      It is difficult to know who is more shaken by their
      encounter, the Indian or Hector and Bobby.
      The INDIAN is sitting behind a tree as they pass, dozing
      or deep in reverie. They almost pass without noticing
      him, but Hector gives a turn of his head and there is the
      Indian four feet from him. At the same instant the Indian
      comes to his senses and sits bolt upright. The encounter
      is high comedy but full of terror for all of them.

      The Indian stands up.       Hector absurdly greets him.
                   Hi!   Hello!
      The Indian backs off from them, holding his hands up and
      smiling crazily, as if to say, "Don't mind me, boys, I'm
      just leaving..." Hector and Bobby are equally silly in
      their response.
                   Hey, come back... we're just
                   moving through... don't
                   apologize... we all got a fright...

                                                                112.         *

137   CONTINUED:                                                       137
      The Indian is in full retreat now, waving his hands about
      apologetically, but making good distance from them.
      Suddenly, he is gone. It has happened so quickly that
      Hector and Bobby scarcely believe it has happened. Then
      they realize that in their fright they have let go of the
      horse. It has headed back down to the tastier pastures
      in the valley. They see it disappearing into the trees
      below them.
                   That was stupid...

                   Did you see him?

                   Sure I saw him.
                   Was he a Delaware?
                   How the fuck should I know? He
                   was an Indian... and Indians don't
                   come in ones...
                   Yeah... I think he was an Indian
                   too... What about the horse?
                   I'm not going back down there.
                   Don't panic, Bobby...
                   Why not?
      He runs off into the forest.        Then he turns and shouts to

                   Come on!

      Hector follows him, a mad race through the forest.

138   EXT. FOREST - DAY                                             138

      Hector and Bobby are sitting on a rock, gathering their
      wits. It is odd how they talk so matter-of-factly.
                   What did you see?

                                                             113.         *

138   CONTINUED:                                                    138
                   Same as you.

                   An Indian... with long hair...

                   That's it... kind of short...
                   Yeah... he was't tall...

                   That's the one.

      Hector scans the hills above them.

                   Let's get a bit further up.
      They move off.     Bobby looks at Hector's backpack.
                   What've you got in there?
                   Some food, the logbooks, my
                   letters, a candle...

                   A gun?

139   EXT. CAMP - DAY                                        139

      They have stopped to make camp. It is late afternoon,
      the sky just darkening, sharp shadows on the far peaks, a
      purple glow in the air.

                   We won't have a fire tonight. We
                   should make a shelter though, in
                   case it snows.

                   What about bears, without a fire?

      Bobby laughs quietly.

                   Don't even think about bears, Hector.

                                                            114.       *

140   EXT. CAMP - NIGHT                                          140
      They are making a round frame of bent branches and cover-
      ing it with foliage. Half-hidden in the undergrowth, it
      is big enough for two men to huddle in. Tonight they feel
      the most basic of urges, to curl up in a ball and hide.

141   INT. CAMP - NIGHT                                          141

      They are safe and snug in their hideaway. Hector has lit
      his candle. He is reading his letters, holding them close
      to his eyes in the dimness. He has the air of someone
      putting his affairs in order. Bobby is thinking aloud.
                Maybe he's lost too... on his
                own... must be Delaware... they
                were chased up here years ago...
                everybody thought they'd cleared
                off west... the other side of
                Ohio... they were an angry lot...
                no wonder... they used to farm on
                the coast.
      He looks up at Hector, and allows himself a small smile.
                Go on, read it out...
      Hector looks up.
                What?     No... not tonight...
                I've had to listen to it every
                night since April... why not now?

      Hector gives in. He holds a scrap of paper close to the
      candle and reads.
                Dear, Father, I miss you. Three
                frogs are dead. Everybody misses
                you.  Bring me a bear's head and
                claws and a gun. School is good.
                Miss White has married a fireman.
                Come back soon. Do not worry
                about the frogs, they did not
                have names. Nathaniel.

      Hector looks up at Bobby.

                It's not so funny now as it was.


                                                              115.         *

141   CONTINUED:                                                     141
                   It wasn't funny then.

                   If you knew him... if you could
                   picture him saying it... it would
                   be funnier.

                   I had a father like you... nine
                   months on a whaler and then three
                   weeks at home telling us all how
                   much he missed us...
                   I'm going home, for the winter...

      Bobby doesn't pursue his argument.    He tenses, then
      sniffs the air vigorously.
                   Smell it?
                   Goddam it... smell it?

      Hector sniffs some more.

      They whisper.
                   Where the hell is it coming
      He puts his head out of the shelter.

                   I can't tell... a night like this
                   it could carry for miles...

      He huddles back inside the shelter.
                   I wish I had a smoke.


                                                                116.       *

141   CONTINUED:    (2)                                              141
      After a tense silence, Hector takes a small package from
      an inside pocket. He hands it to Bobby.

                   I was saving it... you have it...

      It is a wedge of tobacco.      Bobby takes it.

                   What do you mean, you were saving
                   it? You know the rules... no
                   hoarding, tobacco or food... you've
                   listened to me for a month, day and
                   night... wanting a smoke...

                   Well have it now... I don't smoke...
                   take it...
                   You've kept it from me, and you
                   don't even use it...
                   I was saving it for my birthday...
                   I was going to give it to you then...
                   I have to wait until your birthday
                   for a smoke? Who are you... the
                   fucking king?
                   Go on, smoke it... have it now...
                   I bloody won't... I'm not smoking
                   on your command... I bloody won't.
      There is a brooding silence.

                   God,   your poor children... what do
                   they   have to do for a piece of
                   candy   in your house? It's very
                   hard   to like you sometimes... d'you
                   know   that?
                   I know, Bobby... but that's how I
                   feel about you, too... that's why
                   we're friends... we try hard...
                   come on... smoke your pipe...

                                                                  117.       *

141   CONTINUED:    (3)                                                141
      Hector is neatly turning the tables on Bobby, who now
      appears churlish, childish.

                   No... I'll have it in the morning.

                   Come on... tell me... who would
                   you rather be sitting here with...
                   have a think...

      Bobby does, and then breaks into a smile.
                   Daniel Boone?

      Hector smiles, too.
                   Yeah. He would be a help... but
                   after Daniel Boone...
                   I can't think of anyone else... but
                   you're impossible to like sometimes.
      Suddenly Bobby grows shy of their growing intimacy.
                   We should sleep. We've got a lot
                   of running to do in the morning.
      But Hector has other plans.          He is in control of their
      friendship now.
                   No we're not... we're going to
                   talk... all night...
      Bobby yields to this with the softest, most vulnerable
      smile we have yet seen on his face.

                   So... where do you want to start?

      Bobby is silent, but still smiles his acquiescent smile.
      Hector reads the silence well.
                   I know where you want to start...

      Bobby is still silent.

                                                             118.       *

141   CONTINUED:    (4)                                           141
      Bobby's smile breaks into a boyish laugh.

                   Well... what about Alicia?
                   I'm sorry...

                   No... I'm sorry...

                   What do you mean, you're sorry...
                   I'm the one that has to apologize...

      Bobby is mischievous now.

                   Oh no you're not...
      It will be a worthwhile night for both of them.

142   EXT. FOREST - DAWN                                          142
      It is a glorious dawn. Bobby sits looking out on the
      valley, smoking his pipe. Behind him Hector is busy
      writing in his log book.

                   Isn't it a beautiful day?
      Hector finishes his writing, tears out the page from his
      book. He offers it to Bobby.
                   I've said who we are and where
                   we're headed. Want to sign it,
                   write anything?
                   The peak we logged yesterday...
                   I've named it Nathanial Mountain.
                   After my boy... is that fine with
                   I was going to call it Tobacco
                   Mountain... or Mount Alicia... but
                   Nathaniel's fine...

                                                           119.         *

142   CONTINUED:                                                  142
      Hector smiles. He puts the paper in a small leather
      pouch, puts the pouch on the ground near the shelter,
      and starts to build a small pile of protective stones
      on top of it.
      Bobby stands, and turns to watch him.

                   Let's get away from here.
                   Yeah.    Keep the sun on our backs.

      Bobby walks off with great clouds of tobacco smoke
      billowing defiantly around him, as if to challenge
      their night-time tormentor.
      Hector takes a last look at their shelter and its little
      memorial cairn and then runs to catch up with Bobby.

143   EXT. FOREST - DAY                                          143
      Hector and Bobby look vulnerable as they walk through
      the open forest with their meager packs on their backs.

                   We can move quicker without the
                   horse... we just have to keep
                   moving... we have to get away from
      Behind them they don't see the figure moving from the
      cover of one tree to another, and then another figure
      following the first. They move like ghosts.

144   EXT. FOREST - DAY                                          144

      Bobby is a few steps ahead of Hector. He dips down
      over a rise, and instantly returns. He throws himself
      and Hector to the ground. Hector tries to struggle free.

                   What's wrong?
                   Quiet.   They're on the other side...

      Hector ducks lower, hugging the ground. Bobby is
      already sliding up the slope to look over the rise.
      Hector follows him.


144   CONTINUED:                                                    144
      On the other side, they see the women and children of
      a small group of Indians at the edge of a stream. The
      women are washing clothes, the children are splashing and
      playing. We are close enough to hear their laughter.
                   We're right in the middle of them...

                   Does it have to be bad?   They might
                   be friendly...

                   They were chased here... They should
                   be on the coast growing corn...

      Bobby turns to Hector to make his point. That is when he
      sees the first of the figures, just the ghost of a shadow
      moving from tree to rock. His eyes flick across the
      forest behind them. He sees another figure caught in
      the act of seeking cover, looking absurdly embarrassed
      for the fleeting moment that we see it. Then Bobby
      sees another. Are they teasing them? It looks so much
      like a game children would play.
                   Oh-oh...                                               *
                   What's wrong?                                          *
                   They're behind us. They must
                   think we're stalking the women...
      Hector looks and sees nothing. Fifty Indians hold their
      breath. The forest seems empty. But Hector looks at
      Bobby. He is grey-faced, a man who is looking at death.
      Hector knows they are doomed.
                   Do you want to run?
                   I'll do what you do.
      They leap to their feet and run. There is only one
      way to go, over the rise, through the women and children
      and across the stream. To the watching Indians it looks
      like a direct attack on their families. From behind
      trees and rocks they emerge and begin the chase. A
      tragedy of misunderstanding.


144   CONTINUED:    (2)                                             144
      Hector and Bobby scatter the women and children and
      splash across the stream, burning all their energy in               *
      this mad life-or-death race. Although their families
      are safe, the Indians keep up the chase, the moment of
      confusion compounded in action. They lope easily after
      them, waiting for the white men to tire. There are no               *
      whoops or shouts. They follow Hector and Bobby into the
      trees, spreading out on either side, shaping the human
      net that will soon engulf them.
      It is a menacing spectacle. Death is near.        Hector
      and Bobby stay close together as they run.
                   When they catch up... fight...
                   it'll be quicker... fight like
                   They're not going to catch us.
                   We're going home.
      Hector stretches out an arm to Bobby.

                   Hold my hand, Bobby...
      They hold hands and run.

145   EXT. BUILDING - DAY                                           145
      A war party of media people surround Hector as he exits
      a Yellow Cab. He forces his way through the yelling
      crowd of REPORTERS and camera crews. Hector is trying
      to make his way into a crumbling apartment building in
      Queens. Policemen help Hector through the barrage of                *
      shouted questions.
                                 REPORTER #1
                   Do you know the lady, Mr. Troup?

                                 REPORTER #2
                   Think you'll go to jail again?

                   Look here for a second, will you,
                   Mr. Troup?
                                 REPORTER #1
                   Will you talk to us when you come


145   CONTINUED:                                                    145
      Hector enters the building. The media mob immediately
      switch off their energy. They light cigarettes, fiddle              *
      with cameras, stare into space, as if someone has
      shouted "Cut."

146   INT. BUILDING - DAY                                         146

      Hector climbs to the fourth floor.     A POLICEMAN goes with

      Two paramedics come up the stairs behind them, carrying a
      stretcher. The Policeman stops.
                   You guys are downstairs... third
                   floor... thirty-eight...
      The paramedics turn around and head back down the stairs.
      Hector looks at the Policeman curiously.
                   You're forty-eight.

      They continue climbing.

147   INT. APARTMENT - DAY                                        147

      Hector and the Policeman squeeze past a cluster of people
      at the door and enter the apartment.
                   This is Troup!
      A DETECTIVE is with another man who looks like a city

                   Come here, Troup. I'm Cobb.

      Hector joins them.
                   You bring everything?

                   Building warrant, license, fire
                   certificate, sanitation
                   certificate... I want them all...
                   This is Mr. Santiago, from the
                   city... insurance...


147   CONTINUED:                                                      147
                   This isn't really my building...
                   it's my partner's... I just took
                   the call and came right over...
                   I have to leave town in an hour                          *
                   or so anyway...

                   Slow down, Troup... so it's 3:15
                   on a Friday... you're staying here
                   'til Mr. Santiago gets the
                   paperwork... get your partner over
                   here, with everything... this is

      Hector looks at his watch.

                                 MR. SANTIAGO
                   I might have to close the place

                   Where is she?
      The Detective and Hector walk down the hall. They stop
      at the door of the bathroom. Hector looks inside. There
      is a large ragged hole in the floor. At the far side of
      it the toilet unit dangles at a dangerous angle into the
      hole, held only by its plumbing. Firemen are working to
      secure it and what is left of the floor with metal props
      and hydraulic jacks. Lying on the floor below,
      surrounded by rubble, and being attended by the
      paramedics, is an old lady, MRS. PHILIPPOPOLIS. She
      tries to sit up when she sees Hector peering at her over
      the rim of the hole. She looks angry.
                                 MR. PHILIPPOPOLIS
                   I phoned you Monday... I told you
                   the floor was making noises...
                   Not me, Mrs. Philippopolis... my
                   ex-partner... I think you spoke                          *
                   to him... How are you feeling?
      Hector says this clearly, for the benefit of the
      Detective and Mr. Santiago. The Detecitve is unimpressed.

                   Come back from there, Troup, the
                   floor's still moving...


                                                             124.       *

147   CONTINUED:     (2)                                          147
                   I'll make a couple of calls... I'll
                   straighten it out... is she bad?
                   Why don't they move her?
                   They waited for a portable X-Ray
                   machine... they can move her now.
                   She seems in good spirits...

      As if in response, Mrs. Philippopolis shouts up to
      Hector as she sees him leaving the bathroom above her.

                                 MRS. PHILIPPOPOLIS
                   Wait 'til my son sees his mother
                   lying here like this... he's gonna
                   sue you... you're a lousy landlord...
                   you should be ashamed... to let old
                   people live like this... I phoned
                   you Monday... I have a witness!
                   I was dancing with a prince on my
                   eighteenth birthday, and now look at
                   me... you have me falling down a

148   INT. BUILDING - DAY                                         148
      Hector retreats into the hallway. Takes out his mobile
      phone and dials, while watching the ominous Mr. Santiago
      making copius notes in his book. Hector gets connected.

                   Boris... why did you do this to
                   me? Get down here now... they
                   want all kinds of certificates...
                   They won't let me leave the
                   building... I have my kids tonight,
                   I haven't seen them in four years...
                   I did tell you, I've been talking
                   about it all week... how come they
                   phoned me, this isn't my building?
                   What? Don't tell me anymore... I
                   want you here, now... and on your
                   knee... I'll phone the lawyer...
                   but you move. My weekend's ruined
                   before it's started.

      Hector quickly dials another number.



148   CONTINUED:                                                    148
                   Anna... thank God... you have to
                   help me... I'm still in Queens...                      *
                   I've got cops here and everything                      *
                   ... I need your car... I don't have
                   time to pick up the rental now...
                   they won't let me leave the
                   building... you come down here...
                   and put my bag in the car... no..                      *
                   I have to pick the kids up by six,
                   otherwise I fuck up her weekend
                   too... she'll kill me... this is
                   an emergency... what can I say?
                   Please... right... okay...

      He finishes the call just as Santiago approaches, waving
      his notebook now full of incriminating notes.
                   It looks like water rotted the
                   floor... You have any plumbing
                   maintenance records?
                   At the office... I might have some
                   bills... it's not my building.                         *
      Santiago is talking almost to himself now, absorbed in the
      mundane mechanics of Hector's building.
                   It's a weird one... I don't know
                   how water could sit in there for
                   so long without somebody noticing
                   ... you didn't use water-resistent
                   paint on the ceilings did you?

      Hector shakes his head wearily.
                   I don't really know...

                   You're going to have to check out                      *
                   the whole building... you know
                   that, don't you?

                   Can I do it Monday?

                   Good joke... it'll take you a


148   CONTINUED:    (2)                                            148
      Hector is already dialing another number as Santiago
      wanders off in search of further fascinating discoveries.

                   Can I speak with Leonard, please...
                   Mr. Deutsch? My name is Hector
                   Troup, Borlonski and Troup, Real
      There is a moment's pause.

                   Leonard... it's Hector... Borlonski
                   and Troup... yes... listen, we've
                   had a domestic accident at our
                   Eighth Street building... a floor                     *
                   ... and an old lady... she did
                   mention the word sue, but it might
                   have been hysterics... what I need
                   to know is what certificates you
                   have on file for the building... I                    *
                   know it's Friday... just do one                       *
                   thing... let me know if the
                   insurance is current... I need to
                   know that... I'm on my mobile...
                   anything you have... before five
                   ... thank you...
      During the call Hector has walked   down the hall and back
      to the hole in the floor. He sees    Mrs. Philippopolis,
      now strapped in a stretcher, being   carried out of the
      room below. At the sight of him,    she tries to sit up,
      straining on her straps.

                                 MRS. PHILIPPOPOLIS
                   My son's downstairs... when he
                   sees me like this he'll kill you...
                   go on... jump through the hole...
                   see what it feels like! Break both

      Hector is almost tempted to do what she says.

149   INT. BUILDING - ANOTHER ANGLE - DAY                          149

      Hector is following the paramedics as they negotiate
      Mrs. Philippopolis down the three flights of stairs.
      He is on the phone again. This time to his former wife.



149   CONTINUED:                                                      149
                   I'll be on the way in thirty
                   minutes at the outside... I can't
                   say... Queens to New Jersey, on
                   a Friday... what do you think?
                   I'll be there... it's important to
                   me too, I've been trying to put
                   this weekend together for years...
                   I'll be there... I won't take
                   it out on the kids, I can walk
                   away from problems... as soon as
                   I get the car... I'll be there...
      All the while Mrs. Philippopolis issues a non-stop                    *
      torrent of Greek expletives -- calmly and in a considered             *
      tone, but obviously obscene. Hector is shocked.                       *

150   EXT. BUILDING - DAY                                           150
      On a street Hector stands with a Policeman watching                   *
      Mrs. Philippopolis being loaded into the ambulance. Her
      SON is with her. When she is safely inside he walks
      towards Hector. Fortunately he is of modest build, and
      a head shorter than Hector, and he seems to be saving
      his wrath for the Courthouse.
                   Mr. Troup, I'm George
      They shake hands.
                   I'm sorry about your mother...
                   Well... it's happened... you want
                   to travel with us, or do you have
                   a car?

                   To the hospital...

                   Well, I wasn't planning to...

                   You're not making a visit to the


150   CONTINUED:                                                      150
                   I've talked to your mother, given
                   her my best wishes... she wants
                   her family with her now... Any
                   other Friday but this one.

      The Son addresses the Policeman.

                   He's not coming to the hospital...

      The Policeman looks at Hector.
                   That could look bad...

      The cop is enjoying his role as straight man to these
      two. Hector takes out his diary.
                   Look, George... here's what I can
                   do... I'll visit her on Tuesday,
                   I'll organize some flowers...
                   lots...                                                  *
                   Screw the flowers... who's gonna
                   check her into the hospital...
                   who's gonna pay? It's your
                   building that fell down...
      He nods his head to the Policeman.
                   They won't let me leave here...
      The Policeman this time backs him up.

                   That's true.

      The Son backs off to the waiting ambulance reluctantly.
                   Wait 'til they hear this in court                        *
                   ... he wouldn't even make a trip                         *
                   to the hospital... Can't you even                        *
                   give me a credit card number?                            *

151   EXT. BUILDING - ANOTHER ANGLE - DAY                            151

      The ambulance drives off just as BORIS arrives.       Hector
      runs to the car.


                                                               129.         *

151   CONTINUED:                                                      151
                   It's never been this bad, Boris.
                   Deutsch is checking the
                   insurance... did you bring the

                   Yeah... we're covered for most
                   things... the license is current,
                   the inspection certificate is

                   What's with the we... it's your

                   How is she?
                   She's a witch... her   bones must be
                   made of steel... she   didn't break
                   a thing... it might   help if you
                   make a visit to the   hospital...
                   why did you do this   to me?
                   I'm sorry, Hector... I   just put
                   your name on the lousy   forms... I
                   didn't plan this... I   just
                   borrowed your name on   the titles.
      Hector doesn't let up on his anger.

                   I told you to stop doing that...
                   why does this keep happening to
                   me... my name is mine... use your
                   own name, Boris Borlonski... will
                   you remember that?
                   Boris Borlonski!

      Boris is conciliatory.
                   Hector... forgive me... I'll take
                   care of it... don't let it spoil
                   your weekend... four years, huh?
                   You make the most of it... and
                   don't worry, you'll walk away
                   from this... I'm sorry...

      Hector is calm now. We can sense real depth in their
      relationship, despite Boris's pranks.


                                                               130.       *

151   CONTINUED:    (2)                                             151
                   Yeah, I'm sorry too... you have
                   to get out of this business... I
                   thought I had...
                   Go on... have a great weekend...
                   I'll talk to you on Monday... we'll
                   straighten everything out...
                   This is the worst it's been.
                   Everything can be fixed... always.

      Then Hector's girl friend ANNA arrives in her car. It is
      a bright pink station wagon, highly decorated with flower
      motifs and slogans like "ANNA'S ARRANGEMENTS," and "FRESH
      OR DRY, WE'LL PLEASE THE EYE." Anna is a florist.
      Hector brightens when he sees her. Everything is falling
      into place. All he has to do now is cross two rivers
      and Manhatan Island in under an hour, in Anna's pink car.
      He runs to meet her.
                   Get in... you can dropp me at the
      Hector gets into the car, smiling broadly.

152   INT. CAR - DAY                                                152
      Anna drives skilfully through the busy Friday streets.

                   You bring my bag?
                   Yeah. Your camera's in there too.
                   Take some photographs of the

                   Sure.   Thanks.


                                                               131.         *

152   CONTINUED:                                                      152
                   Not much... just like I'm being
                   Well you deserve to suffer.

      Our Hectors have been hearing this for centuries, but at
      least Anna smiles when she says it.
                   Don't worry... this is the
                   beginning of something... not the
                   end... you can start being a
                   father again.

                   I'm glad you talked me into it.
                   I didn't do much... you were
                   You're right... you're absolutely
                   right... I was ready... I am
                   ready, for everything... I'm
                   fixing all that shit with Boris...
                   I told him... it can't go on...
                   I want my freedom.
      Anna is looking at him amusedly, nodding her head with
      every earnest pronouncement that he makes.

                   ... and the kids... that'll work
                   out... we can have them over
                   sometimes... Yeah?
                   Sure... that was the plan... when
                   we have the space...
                   Right, when we have the space...
                   when we get the bigger apartment...
                   There you go... you said it...
                   the bigger apartment together...

      Hector is pleased with himself.


152   CONTINUED:    (2)                                             152
                   Yeah... I said it, didn't I?

                   You're a man of decision,

      Hector is high on his optimism now, and cheeky with it.
                   Yes I am... Together... I said it
                   ... and get out of my car at the
                   corner here... I don't have the
                   time to go 'round the block.

      Anna pulls into the curb. Hector leans over to embrace
      her before she has stopped the car.
                   Thanks... for the car...
                   Do the best you can with them,
                   Hector... and one more thing...
                   deliver these...
      She indicates a massive bouquet of flowers wrapped in
      cellophane, taking up the whole of the luggage space in
      the car.
                   What?   Anna, I can't...

                   Here's the address... just two
                   blocks before the bridge... a
                   five minute detour. It's a
                   golden wedding... you have to...
      She looks him straight in the eye.

                   We have to help each other...

      Hector accepts this.

                   Oh, you'll need gas too... Go to
                   it, Hector...

      She kisses him quickly, but lovingly.

                                                            133.        *

152   CONTINUED:    (3)                                           152
                   Phone if there's any disasters...
                   don't suffer alone...
      Hector watches Anna stride, in her business-like way,
      around the corner OUT OF SIGHT. He is almost home.

153   INT./EXT. CAR - DAY                                         153
      A trip from Queens to New Jersey at five o'clock on
      a Friday afternoon is going to look like a dream sequence
      whatever you do with it, and that's fine.
      Hector's trip to his children has more meaning for us
      than a simple journey from A to B. We will be aware of
      our other Hectors, and the journeys home that they did
      or didn't manage to make. This car trip will pull the
      threads together.
      And after so many images of the natural world, a world
      little altered by man, the PANORAMIC SHOTS of New York in
      all its mad glory will place our Hector in a new dimen-
      sion. If there is a breathtaking moment in this film,
      when everything comes together, when all the pieces fit,
      then it will be somewhere around here that it happens.
      Six thousand years ago we left Hector on a beach, aching
      for his family. If the traffic allows, tonight in New
      Jersey Hector will complete his journey.
      We will GO WITH Hector OVER the bridge, ACROSS the
      avenues of Manhattan and THROUGH the tunnel. His PHONE

                   Hello... Leonard, hello... yes...
                   we're insured... thank God... yes
                   now I know God's a lawyer...
      On the outskirts of Jersey City he finds the suburban
      street he is looking for. If the last crosslight holds
      on green then he might even make it on time.
      Hector stops the car outside Janet's house and lets out
      a sigh of relief.

154   EXT. HOUSE - EVENING                                        154

      Hector's former wife, JANET, and her new husband, DONALD,
      come out of the house as Hector walks up to the door.
      Donald is carrying luggage and heads straight for their
      car in the driveway.



154   CONTINUED:                                                      154
                   Hi, Hector.

      He starts loading up the car.       Janet talks to Hector.
                   You made it. The kids are just
                   coming. They're not over the
                   moon about going to the beach
                   house. I ought to warn you.

                   Why didn't you say? I could have
                   fixed up something else. I
                   thought it would be a good place
                   to get to know them again...

                   Well, I figured you should be                            *
                   allowed to make your own mistakes.
                   It's only for a couple of nights,
                   they can take it... and you'll
                   learn... Check into a hotel if
                   it gets too much... they like
      She shouts into the house.
                   Come on, you two... your father's
                   ready to go...
      She hands Hector a piece of paper.

                   This is where we'll be, if
                   anything crops up... thanks for
                   the break...
      Hector gets a little scared about what he has taken on.

                   Maybe this is a bit sudden for
                   them... Maybe I should have come
                   over a couple of nights and got
                   to know them...

      Janet doesn't let him off the hook.
                   By Monday, you'll know them...

      Then the children come out of the house, BETSY, who is
      about thirteen, and TOM, who is eleven.


                                                               135.         *

154   CONTINUED:    (2)                                               154
                   Here he is, the invisible dad.

      She turns to Hector.
                   That's what they call you.

      Hector is daunted by how grown up they are, not any
      more the little kids in the photograph in his wallet.

      They hardly lift their heads to him.

      Janet takes control of the farewells.

                   You three have a good weekend.
                   If it's too miserable at the
                   house your father said he'll
                   take you to a hotel.
      Hector nods his head obediently. He always did with
      Janet. The children let their mother pat them and follow
      Hector to his car, eyes to the ground.

                   Good luck, Hector.

      Donald shouts from behind the wheel of his car, where he
      has been hiding.
                   See you Monday, Hector.
      The kids load themselves into the back of Hector's car.

      Betsy notices the huge arrangement of flowers, wrapped
      in cellophane and red ribbon. It seems to have grown
      even larger than before.
                   Are those for mom?

      Hector looks at the flowers.       His face contorts in guilt
      and anxiety.


                                                              136.       *

154   CONTINUED:    (3)                                            154
                   Oh no... Jesus save me... what
                   have I done...
                   What's wrong?

      He picks up his mobile phone and is about to dial Anna's
      number, then he stops.
                   No... I can't face it, not just
      He looks at the kids.

                   Let's go.

155   INT./EXT. CAR - DUSK                                         155
      They are driving on the freeway. It is dusk. Hector is
      on the telephone again. He can't let go of business.
                   Excuse me, kids... I have to
                   consult the oracle...

      He gets connected.
                   Hello... God? No, Leonard, it's
                   Hector... just a joke... sorry to
                   phone you at home, did Boris call
                   you? The insurance is fine? Good
                   ... but she could claim negligence
                   ... oh, she's got a lawyer
                   already? That's a bad omen...
      Betsy and Tom are listening in the back seat, eager for
      clues about this virtual stranger in front of them.
                   Is there anything we can do right
                   now... make her an offer... Sure,
                   with the insurance company... sure...
                   you're right... me, too... I have
                   the kids in the car with me right
                   now... sorry to bother you...



155   CONTINUED:                                                       155
      Hector throws the phone onto the passenger seat, lets out
      a sigh, and catches sight of the kids in the mirror.
      Their perplexed expressions make them look younger than
      they are, and vulnerable. Hector's heart aches for them.
      He smiles and puts on an act of brightness.

                   That's it! The last call... the
                   weekend starts right now... we
                   have things to do... look out for
                   a Safeway... we need some
                   supplies... and gas... oh my God,
                   gas... soon...
      They return his look with blank expressions.        He picks up
      the phone and offers it to them.

                   Want to make any calls?    Betsy?
      She shakes her head.
                   No... and it's Thomas...
                   But we called you Tom... that's
                   what it says on your birth
                                   THOMAS (TOM)
                   I changed it.
      Hector wisely lets it go.

                   Right... it's your name... you                            *
                   can do that... Safeway... keep your                       *
                   eyes skinned... and I could murder                        *
                   a Chicken McNugget.                                       *

156   INT. SAFEWAY - NIGHT                                           156

      Hector is pushing a cart around a large Safeway. The
      place is almost deserted. Betsy and Thomas are tagging



156   CONTINUED:                                                      156
      For every four items Hector puts in his cart Betsy
      removes three and returns them to the shelf. Hector
      notices and puts up with it for a while. But when Betsy
      returns the rolls of kitchen towel he has selected he
      makes a stand. He turns to face her.

                   What's wrong with that? It's a
                   kitchen roll... why can't I pick
                   a kitchen roll?

      Betsy is defiant.
                   It's bleached... and it isn't
                   recycled... you don't care...
                   you just buy junk...
      She picks up a more friendly brand of kitchen towel from
      the shelf and throws it into the cart. Hector has the
      sense to back down.
                   Good point, Betsy...
      Betsy keeps on the attack.
                   Everything you buy is junk... I
                   don't eat steak... and what's
      She prods a packet of frozen hamburgers.

                   Ugh! Why don't you ask us what
                   we like... it'll save you money...
                   you buy junk, we won't eat it...
      A trace of girlish common sense has crept into her voice.
      Hector warms to her.

                   You're right.

      Hector pushes the cart to her.

                   Well, get to it... I'll just tag

      Betsy moves off with the cart.
                   I do it every week anyway.


156   CONTINUED:    (2)                                          156
      Thomas backs her up.

                   She does. She tells us what to
                   eat. We let her.

      Hector follows them up the aisle.

                   Can I just keep a couple of those
                   steaks? We can't live on chicken.                   *

157   EXT. GAS STATION - NIGHT                                   157

      Hector is filling up the car in a gas station close to
      the Safeway. An attractive woman is filling her car in
      the next line. Her eyes and Hector's meet. For some
      reason they exchange the smallest smile. For a few
      brief moments they are talking without words as their
      tanks fill. The ten billionth romance in the history of
      the planet sparks into life and fizzles out again in the
      twinkling of an eye. By the time their credit cards are
      back in their pockets their love is a memory. From the
      back of the car the kids have watched it all.
      Betsy gives Hector a withering look of disapproval as he
      climbs back into the car.

158   INT./EXT. CAR - NIGHT                                      158
      Back on the road, it is later. The kids have fallen
      asleep. Hector relaxes. He watches them in their sleep,
      searching for some traces of the little children that
      have haunted his thoughts for so many years, the tots
      he abandoned.

159   EXT. HOLIDAY HOUSE - NIGHT                                 159

      The car pulls up at the holiday house. Hector gets out.
      It is dark, but we can hear the sound of the SEA and
      there is sand underfoot. Hector walks to the house and
      unlocks the door. He puts on a couple of exterior lights.
      He carries Thomas, still sleeping, from the car and into
      the house. Betsy follows him, still half-asleep, groaning
      fussily. She talks through her yawns.
                   Are you going to bring the flowers
                   Don't mention the flowers.

                                                            140.       *

160   INT. HOUSE - NIGHT                                         160
      Later, Hector can't sleep. It has been too eventful a
      day. He sits bleary-eyed watching a late-night TV SHOW.
      A man sits cross-legged on a studio floor and is talking
      to a phone-in viewer. The TV man has five small stones
      which he regularly scatters on the floor.

                              TV MAN (V.O.)
                This is good, Tony, the stones
                are talking to me already... now
                here's something... travel...
                movement... Tony, are you planning
                a move... travel... anything?
                              TONY (V.O.)
                Yes I am... I've been thinking
                about a move to California...

                              TV MAN (V.O.)
                The big one, eh, Tony? These
                stones are really talking here...
                what are you planning for yourself
                in California?
                              TONY (V.O.)
                I'm hoping for an acting career,
                              TV MAN (V.O.)
                Tony, these stones really like
                what you're planning... there is
                no doubt in my mind about that...
                now listen... you have to be
                specific... these stones really
                want to tell you something, be it
                love, money or the purpose of your
                life... but I want a specific
                question from you... think about
                it... what do you want to know...
                love... or your income level next
                year? Be as specific as you
                can, Tony...

      Perhaps this might have enthralled one of our earlier
      Hectors, but our modern one is simply restless. He
      stands up and leaves the room.

161   INT. HOUSE - NIGHT                                         161
      Next door, he watches the kids sleeping in their little
      holiday beds. Hector watches them. We've seen our
      Hectors do this before, and we feel the echo. But as
      he turns to leave the room Hector gets a fright.

                                                               141.         *

161   CONTINUED:                                                      161
      Betsy starts talking loudly. At first Hector thinks she
      is awake, giving him into trouble, but she is fast asleep.

                   Get me the books... all the books...
                   all of the books... no, no, no...
                   not the pancakes... not the
                   pancakes... no...
      She changes in an instant from a bossy adolescent to a
      tearful, crumpled little girl. She sobs pitifully.

                   ... not the pancakes...

      Hector is a confusion of feelings: frightened,
      fascinated, impotent. How can he help her? How could he
      possibly unravel the secret of the pancakes, what comfort
      could he offer his stranger daughter if he did? It is
      a spooky, mystical moment for Hector, more mystical than
      the mumbo-jumbo still issuing from the TV next door.
                                 TV WOMAN (V.O.)
                   ... find your true cosmic partner
                   first time around... every weekday
                   morning at three here on the Psychic
                   Network... Lucinda's Horoscope Dating
                   Show... remember there is an answer,
                   and there is a special partner out
                   there for you...
      Hector moves quietly out of the room, Betsy's sobs having
      subsided. Just as he is closing the door he gets
      another surprise, this time from the sleeping Thomas.
                   ... don't let the oil run out...
                   yes you did... watch the oil...
                   why... why?
      Hector closes the bedroom door.     He is one spooked, moved
      human being.

162   INT. HOUSE - MORNING                                          162

      In the morning, they are making breakfast in the kitchen.
      The kids are having juice and cereal. Hector is
      scrambling some eggs.

                   How about some eggs?
      They shake their heads.


                                                          142.         *

162   CONTINUED:                                                 162
                   You don't eat eggs?

                   How many have you got in there?

                   Three.   Is that all right?
                   For a week, maybe.

      Hector does a little probing.
                   How about pancakes, Betsy... d'you
                   like pancakes?
                   Not much... why?
                   I just wondered. Pancakes don't
                   mean much to you?
                   They don't mean a thing.     Why?
      The mystery of Betsy's pancake dream is evidently lost in
      infinity. Hector changes the subject.

                   I thought we could walk into town
                   this morning. I saw the Funfair
                   when we came through last night.
                   We don't go to Funfairs.

                   Let's take the walk anyway.

                   I brought some books.   I want to
                   stay home and read.
      Hector is determined to make it work.

                   No.   We're taking a walk.


163   INT. HALLWAY - DAY                                         163
      They are preparing to leave the house.   Thomas is still
      reluctant to go.

                It's going to rain... we should

                Here's an umbrella... and there
                must be some old coats in here...
                and shoes... I only have these
                I'm wearing...
                Donald has some shoes...

      Thomas is already in the cupboard under the stairs.   He
      emerges with a pair of sturdy walking shoes.
                I don't know if I want to wear
                Donald's shoes.
                Why not?
      Hector declines to explain the complex   reasons that he
      might have for not wanting to wear the   shoes of his
      children's replacement father. He sits    down on the            *
      stairs to put them on. Then something    on the wall
      catches his eye.
                Wow.   Look at this.
      The kids' heights have been marked on the wall on some
      long-ago holiday. The dates are beside them.

                Six years ago. Look at that...
                What's this?

      He points to a mark and a date lower down on the wall.
                That was the flood. The sea came
                right up. Donald says it's the
                icecap melting. It's going to get
                worse. That's why Mom's selling
                the place.



163   CONTINUED:                                                      163
                   It comes up every year?

                   The last two.

164   EXT. BEACH - DAY                                               164
      They are on the beach, walking in the direction of town.
      Hector strides ahead in a show of enthusiasm, although
      awkward in Donald's big shoes. The kids trail behind.
      He calls back to them.
                   Where are the birds?    Is it the
                   wrong time of year?
                   They don't come over so much.
                   The shellfish have gone... that's
                   That's what Donald says?
                   Yes... and it happens to be true.

      Hector looks at the sky.       He speaks quietly to himself.
                   Please don't rain... please...

165   EXT. FUNFAIR - DAY                                             165

      The light DRIZZLE now falling is keeping away what few                *
      fun-seekers there are left in town. The Funfair is not
      much fun. It is the end of the season. Hector and the                 *
      kids are a sorry sight parading the empty alleys. The
      kids seem to glory in the misery of it all, getting back
      at Hector for four years of neglect. Heavy-hearted,
      Hector still tries to make a go of it.

                   Let's have a ride...
      He has stopped at some dated space rockets.

                   The seats are wet.
      Hector triumphs. He pulls a wad of kitchen roll from
      his pocket and starts to wipe the seats.


165   CONTINUED:                                                     165
                   Kitchen roll, unbleached,
                   re-cycled, biodegradable... dry
      Betsy has the grace to smile as the three of them climb
      aboard the rockets.

      As the attendant releases the brakes and cranks them up
      into the drizzle, 'round and 'round, Hector knows that he
      has to do something to break the awful distance between
      him and his kids. He looks at them. They sit grimly in
      their rockets, one in front of him and one behind. Their
      faces are set in expressions of what? Boredom?
      Resignation? Patience? Expectancy? Then he realizes
      what is going on. They are waiting for him to open up to
      them, talk to them seriously, explain himself. He looks
      at Betsy's face and sees in it the years of his absence,
      her stoicism, her patience, her courage. It moves him.
      He leans over to her.
                   This is ridiculous. Let's go
                   somewhere and talk.
      Betsy smiles her small patient smile.
                   All right, if you want to...
      Hector looks to Thomas. Thomas vigorously nods his
      agreement. Hector is happier. He looks down on the
      decrepit fairground.

                   How do we land these things?

166   INT. COFFEE SHOP - DAY                                       166
      The only place the small town has to offer is a deserted
      coffee shop on the shorefront. Hector, Betsy and Thomas
      sit at a corner table, beyond them through the window is
      the beach and the ocean.

                   Sure you won't have a pancake,                          *
                   Betsy?                                                  *
      Betsy gets impatient.                                                *

                                BETSY                                      *
                   No!                                                     *


166   CONTINUED:                                                       166
                   Okay, first question?                                     *

      The kids are ready for this.        There is no coyness now.
                   Where have you been?

                   What he means is why did you stay

      Hector begins like a story-teller embarking on a long

                   Well, that's a fair question...
                   your mother and I got divorced...
                   you're big enough to remember...
                   she must have told you all that?
                   Sure she has... but lots of people
                   get divorced... that doesn't mean
                   they disappear...
                   You're right... what can I tell
                   you... I went kind of crazy after
                   that, for a good while... I came
                   around a few times... remember?
                   Not really.
                   Well, it wasn't easy... everything
                   with her and Donald happened
                   pretty quickly. I missed you both
                   really badly... but for a while I
                   thought I should stay away, until
                   your mother got settled... no,
                   that's not really true... I missed
                   you... but I was kind of crazy at
                   the same time... your mother and I
                   married young... I wasn't used to
                   the freedom... it went to my head
                   ... then you moved to New Jersey.


166   CONTINUED:    (2)                                             166
                   It's forty minutes away on a slow
                   You're right, you're right. I
                   don't have too many excuses for
                   the first year... the second year
                   is easier... I was in jail.
      Hector is pleased with this.       A solid excuse.

                   What for?

                   We were doing government work,
                   big contracts... there were some
                   temptations... my boss asked me
                   to shuffle a few papers... there
                   was a lot of money in it... I had
                   to testify against him... it was
                   like killing somebody.

      Hector thinks about this, remembering the pain. For us
      there is the echo of the real killing that was done long
                   Thomas wanted to visit you in
                   jail, but Mom wouldn't let him.                        *
      Hector looks at Thomas.

                   You did?

      Thomas nods proudly.
                   Well I appreciate that... but I'm
                   glad your mother didn't let you.
                   I'll tell you all about it some
                   day.  It was no fun. One year
                   and eight months.

                   We didn't even know when you got



166   CONTINUED:    (3)                                             166
                   I wasn't in great shape... I sure
                   didn't want you to see me then...
                   so I got back to work... in real
                   estate... found a partner, we met                      *
                   in jail...                                             *

      The kids look shocked at this.                                      *
                                HECTOR                                    *
                   No. He's a good man, a good man.                       *
                   I like him. I mean it. He's my                         *
                   friend.                                                *
                   That's what you do now?

                   Yes. We rent apartments... but
                   we want to get into commercial
                   property... people are a
                   nuisance... does that sound bad?
      Betsy shrugs her shoulders.
                   How should I know?
      Hector carries on with his story.
                   Just recently I've been feeling
                   good, things have been going
                   well... and I missed you two...
                   so here we are...
                   What about your girl friend?
                   Who told you about her?


                   Anna... she's nice... she wants to
                   meet you, real soon... she sells
                   flowers... well, you know that...
                   and on Monday she's probably going
                   to kill me...

      The kids smile.


166   CONTINUED:    (4)                                             166
                   Betsy thinks that was her at the
                   gas station...
                   Shut up, Tom...

      Hector has to think to remember.
                   No... heck... no... did you think
                   she was following us?
                   She's always thinking up stories
                   like that... she never stops...

                   Well, if people don't tell you
                   She's right, Thomas... people
                   should talk more.
                   So you haven't been staying away
                   because of us?

                   What do you mean? Is that what
                   you thought? I was avoiding you
                   two? No... you mustn't think
                   that... that's terrible...
      They have almost exhausted themselves in this first bout
      of talking. Hector looks out at the sea.

                   The rain's off. Let's go.

167   EXT. BEACH - DAY                                              167
      Betsy and Hector are sitting on the sea wall, watching
      Thomas play on the beach. The sun is emerging.

                   I have to ask you something else.

                   Go on.


167   CONTINUED:                                                     167
                   Why did you leave just two days
                   before my swimming test?
      Hector is moved by the depth of her memory, her pain.

                   I didn't leave because it was two
                   days before your test... it was
                   just what your mother and I
                   decided... I taught you how to
                   swim... we went to the pool twice
                   a week... why would I leave?
                   I know... that's what I mean...
                   why did you leave just then?
      Hector looks at Betsy. She is beginning to cry silently.
      He puts a tentative arm around her shoulder.
                   Oh, God, Betsy. I'm sorry.

      Betsy is still crying.
                   It doesn't matter.

                   How did you do, in the test?
                   I passed.
      Hector leaves his limp arm on her shoulder. It is too                *
      soon for gestures of emotion. After a long moment she
                   I'm a life-saver now.

      Hector doesn't make the obvious comment. His emotions
      are full. He hides his feelings in a gruff call to

                   Hey, Thomas! We're going home...
                   we're having a barbecue... Betsy
                   said she'll even let me eat a

                                 BETSY                                     *
                   Hurry up, Tom!                                          *


                                                          151.       *

167   CONTINUED:    (2)                                        167
      Thomas breaks off from his play and runs towards them.

                   Don't call him Tom, he doesn't
                   like it.

                   I'm allowed.
      Somehow Hector is touched by this.

                   Your mother said it, when we
                   split up... don't lose the
                   children... didn't mean much at
                   the time. But she was right.

                   Who said I'd let you eat a steak?
      There is a silence.      Then Hector speaks.
                   Betsy.    On Monday will you come
                   with me   when I take the flowers
                   back to   Anna? I can't face her
                   alone.    She wants to meet you

                   You'll be there, right beside me?
                   I'd have to take the morning off
                   Is that bad?

                   No, that could be good...

      Betsy and Hector are quite close now.

                   Just tell them you were with your
                   invisible dad.

                                                             152.        *

168   EXT. BEACH - DAY                                             168
      Hector and Betsy are walking on the shore.     Thomas tags
      along behind them.

                What's she like? How did you
                meet her?

                The funny thing is I fell in love
                with her before I ever saw her...
                I smelled her... It was the day I
                got out of jail... I was on the
                train and she was sitting behind
                me... it was just this incredible
                perfume... remember I'd been
                inside for nearly two years with
                four hundred sweating males...
                She got off the train and I
                followed her... I couldn't help
                it... that's how good she is...
                she listened to a bum who followed
                her off a train...
      Betsy looks at him kindly.
                ... but she's still going to kill
                me on Monday...

      They share a laugh.   Betsy looks out to the ocean.
                I think I'll paint the sunset
                It's just like a big pancake
                up there, isn't it?
      Betsy doesn't take the bait.   There is a silence.

                I remember when you two were tiny..
                I used to watch you sleeping... it
                was like now... I felt close to you,
                could touch you... but you weren't
                there... you were gone... dreamland
                ... just when I was closest to you,
                you weren't there... I felt it last
                night, too.

                That's what it's like... you
                should know that.


                                                              153.         *

168   CONTINUED:                                                     168
                   I'm not smart about things like
                   that, usually.
                   Don't be so tough on yourself.
                   You seem to want to be... you
                   don't have to...

                   No... we can do that...

      She smiles. Hector is out of his depth with this
      daughter of his.
                   Is that a joke?
                   No, I mean it... look out for
      Hector looks at her in wonderment. One of those moments
      when another human being stands before you and is an
      utter mystery.

                   Who are you?   Who's inside
                   You'll never know.
      Future generations of women are going to be just as
      unknowable to our Hectors as past ones were. Betsy
      moves off briskly along the beach. Hector trails
      after her, hooked.

169   EXT. BOAT - DAY                                              169
      Betsy and Thomas are in a small fragile rowboat, some
      distance from the shore. They are watching Hector who
      is collecting a pile of large stones on the beach.
      Another Hector and another pile of stones. This one
      is making a fire for the barbecue. These human rituals
      never stop.

                   I thought he was taller.


169   CONTINUED:                                                        169
                   Well, it's been a while... you're
                   I suppose so. He's getting fat,
                   too. I bet I could beat him at
                   the breast-stroke now.

170   EXT. BEACH - DAY                                              170

      Hector turns from his work. Out at sea the kids look
      small and vulnerable. Hector is more anxious than he
      should be, out of practice at fatherhood. He calls to

                   Come on in, kids... that boat
                   doesn't look too safe...
      They call back to him.
                   We're fine!
      Hector tries to relax, but he doesn't have the
      confidence yet, or something. He is edgy.

                   I've just found you... I don't
                   want to lose you. What would I
                   tell your mother... come on in...

      He walks down to the water. The kids reluctantly pull
      on the oars and bring the little boat in. A few feet
      from the beach they hit some sand. The boat sticks.
      Hector wades out in his shoes so far. Then he calls
      to Thomas.
                   Throw me the rope, Thomas, I'll
                   pull you in.
      Thomas throws the mooring rope to Hector. It isn't
      attached to the boat. Hector ends up with all of the
      rope in his hands. He stands there, and they all laugh.
                   This is one useless piece of
                   rope, Thomas...

      Just for a moment we have the image of our     Hector
      standing on the shoreline with a length of     rope. An
      image with an echo from six thousand years     ago. But
      this time Hector is laughing, and his kids     are safe.

                                                            155.         *

171   EXT. BEACH - SUNSET                                          171
      At the very moment of sunset Betsy is trying to capture
      it in a watercolor sketch. She has set up an easel on
      the beach. It's like action painting. She works
      frantically on the picture, racing the sun as it dips
      into the ocean. Tough little Betsy can even lose
      patience with the sun.

                Why does it always go so fast...?
      Thomas is laughing at her. He has seen    her attempt this
      before. Hector has other concerns. He     is trying to
      light his barbecue. Match after match    disappears into
      his elaborate stone structure, only to   fizzle out.

      The sun finally vanishes, and Betsy goes limp at her
      easel. The sun has won the race again. She and Thomas
      watch Hector trying to light the fire. After a while
      he is conscious of their amused attention on him, then
      he becomes a little self-conscious.
                I used to know how to do this...

      They laugh a little.
                I did... I used to be really
                good at this...
      He wafts and blows ineffectually at a flicker of flame.
      There's not much of the caveman about him now.

172   EXT. BEACH - DUSK                                            172
      It is a calm dusk. Hector is turning the meat on the
      barbecue. He is in a splendid frame of mind.
                Ah... smell it... the smell of
                civilization... scorched meat...
      Hector serves the chicken onto their plates. He sits
      down beside them with his steak, and a glass of wine.
      He watches Thomas attack his chicken, and smiles.

                I'd forgotten that... how you
                eat... dedicated... like it's
                your religion!

                Things I like.



172   CONTINUED:                                                      172
                   You used to hum to yourself too,
                   when you ate... like everything
                   was fine with the world.
      Thomas tries it out, eating and humming. It feels good
      to him. His head nods with the chewing and the tune.

                   Hey, so I did... I'd forgotten
                   about that...

      The early stars are appearing in the sky. Hector lifts
      his eyes to a bright point low on the horizon.

                   There she is... old Mercury...
                   No... Mercury doesn't rise 'til
                   after midnight... that's Jupiter...
      Hector is impressed by his son.

                   I'd forgotten... we used to watch                        *
                   the stars... you could tell me the                       *
                   names of all the planets... you                          *
                   could recite them like a poem...
                   remember... at the tiny window
                   upstairs in the old house?
                   Oh well, not to worry. I'm glad
                   you still like astronomy though.
                   I'm not into star-gazing so much
                   ... we're working on computer
                   modelling... we're trying to make
                   a biosphere...

                   A self-sustaining life system...
                   for inter-stellar travel. But we
                   always get a methane build up, it
                   doesn't matter what we do...

                                                              157.       *

172   CONTINUED:    (2)                                            172
                   This is at school?

                   Yeah. We're making such a mess of
                   the world, one day we're going to
                   have to take off for somewhere
                   Sounds like Donald said that...

      Hector realizes how far his kids have travelled from
      him. He looks at them.

                   Well, I'm glad you two are thinking
                   about the old planet. I'm proud
                   of you. Look how beautiful
                   everything is. Sometimes I think
                   it's people that make it all
                   wrong... we walk around with all
                   our problems...

      Betsy chimes in.
                   I don't know. If it wasn't for
                   us there'd be nobody around to
                   see it all.
      Hector stands to fetch another baked potato from the fire.
      We see the three of them in a WIDE SHOT, the evening sky
      now pulsing with more and more points of light. Hector's
      voice and laughter carry to us.
                   Don't worry, you two... I'll tell
                   you... it's just a big, black
                   sheet up there with holes in it
                   so the light comes through...
                   that's the truth... the very
      Hector has come to rest, and found peace at last, however
      temporary, here on the beach, beneath the same stars that
      our first Hector wailed at six thousand years ago.
      On Monday he will face the music. The kids will go
      back home, Mrs. Philippopolis will have to be dealt with,
      and the wilting three hundred dollar bouquet of flowers.
      In general, life will take over, on Monday. But at this
      moment of calm on the beach, let's leave him while he's



172   CONTINUED:    (3)                                             172
      Their voices ring out playfully across the expanse of
      darkening beach and light-laden sky.

                   Wait a minute... I know... the
                   whole universe is inside a speck
                   of dust that's lying in a ball of
                   fluff in the cuff of a pair of
                   pants hanging over the back of a

                   No... I'll tell you... the whole
                   thing... stars and everything...
                   is sitting on the skin of a bubble
                   of milk in a bowl of cornflakes...
                   and somebody's just about to eat
      The three of them are laughing now.
                   Skimmed milk...

                   You don't get bubbles in skimmed
                   Okay... it's half-and-half...
      Perhaps that's just about as close as Hector and his                *
      tribe of humans will ever come to working it all out.
      But they try.                                                       *
                   I've got a better one... we're
                   all inside a speck of pollen
                   that's stuck to the wing of a bee
                   while it sits on a flower...

                   Don't mention flowers, Betsy...
                   please, not tonight.

      And then, after a long, long pause.                                 *

                                 HECTOR                                   *
                   I have an idea, Betsy... we're                         *
                   inside a pancake... what d'you                         *
                   think?                                                 *



172   CONTINUED:    (4)                                           172
                                 BETSY                                  *
                   Why are you always talking about                     *
                   pancakes... what's wrong with you?                   *
                                 THOMAS                                 *
                   You've got pancakes on the brain.                    *

                                                   FADE OUT.

                                 THE END

Being Human

Writers :   Bill Forsyth
Genres :   Comedy  Drama  Fantasy

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