ALBANY ... part 2
Note: The issue of Poltroon/patroon is discussed elsewhere in this web site. We believe it should correctly be "patroon", and have used that spelling in On The Trail Of The Last Of The Mohicans. For an argument why, read the post, Albany ... part 1, on our WWW Board.
[EXTERIOR POLTROON'S HOUSE - DUNCAN HEYWARD - DAY
brushed clean, his wig freshly powdered, his tricorn in his hand with a crimson sash and sword and his cavalry boots, walks through the gate after knocking. He enters a small courtyard. Suddenly he hears ...]
CORA: [O.S.] Heyward! Duncan Heyward.
[Heyward looks to the side. An inner light turns on. In this mode, this is a man we could like.
REVERSE: CORA MUNRO
enters from the garden. She's vivacious, dark-haired, unconventional in that she's educated, but with conventional values and attitudes. She hugs Duncan to her and then pushes him away to look at him:]
HEYWARD: My God it's good to see you.
[He takes her hand in both of his and kisses it. He is open and lit up.
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR POLTROON'S HOUSE, BACK YARD - CORA & HEYWARD - DAY
A vegetable plot behind the Poltroon's house is a provincial substitute for a formal garden setting. Heyward and Cora sit on rough wooden chairs. Wind blows. In the background a servant hangs laundry. The white sheets billow. A table holds a tea setting. They're sitting close to each other, talking seriously and quietly. Duncan's jacket is removed. Time's passed. Long pause. Then:]
CORA: I'm embarrassed to be so indecisive ... after so long apart and after you've traveled so far ...
HEYWARD: And by sea!
CORA: You still have an aversion to the water?
HEYWARD: Aversion? No. ... "Hatred" ... "Loathing" ...
HEYWARD: But it was worth it all to end in a garden by your side.
[She looks askance at him. Then the banter drops.]
CORA: [difficult] Dear Duncan, my affection is as towards a closest friend. Alice and I depend on you and respect you immensely ... I wish they did, but my feelings don't go beyond that. Do you see?
HEYWARD: Isn't respect and friendship, a reasonable basis for a man and woman to be joined? And all else may grow in time ...?
CORA: Some say that's the way of it.
CORA: Cousin Eugenie, my father, but ...
HEYWARD: [interrupts] Cora, in my heart, I know once we're joined, we'll be the happiest couple in England. Let those whom you trust, your father, help settle what's best for you. In view of your indecision, why not rely on their advice and judgment as well as mine?
[Cora stares directly at Heyward. Then she looks away. She has no answer. Something subterranean disturbs her about delegating judgment over the fate of her life.]
HEYWARD: Will you consider that?
CORA: [pause; smiles] Yes. Yes, I will.
[She's still unsettled.]
ALICE: [O.S.] Duncan!
[REVERSE: ALICE MUNRO
eighteen years old, white-blonde hair, wide blue eyes. She's effervescent and runs to hug him. Heyward is taken aback by her enthusiasm and laughs.]
HEYWARD: My God, you've grown up.
ALICE: We leave in the morning?!
HEYWARD: [rises] Yes, miss.
ALICE: I won't sleep tonight. What an adventure! I absolutely cannot wait to return to Portman Square, having laid eyes upon the full-blooded, red men in the wild!
CORA: My God, Alice.
HEYWARD: [smiles] It can be dangerous ...
ALICE: Nonsense. Papa wouldn't have sent for us if it were dangerous.
[Alice takes Hewyward's hand. Cora pours Heyward more tea. The white sheets billow.
AMBROSE: [O.S. - barks] Atten-shun!
CUT TO ...