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LAKE GEORGE & FORT WILLIAM HENRY ... The Arrival


[EXTERIOR FORT WILLIAM HENRY, NORTH WALL - SALLY-PORT TUNNEL - NIGHT

Amidst the cannonade roar, ad-libbed shouts from Hawkeye and Heyward convince battle begrimed soldiers to open the sally-port. Our people rush in.

TORCH LIGHT

the group moves through the long, dank, tunnel. Enlisted men escorting them. Another torch from the other direction: CAPTAIN BEAMS is revealed.]

HEYWARD: I'm Major Duncan Heyward!

BEAMS: Captain Jeffrey Beams. We didn't think you'd make it through!

HEYWARD: Where's Colonel Munro? His daughters are here, too.

[Beams raises his torch, sees the muddied, soaked women. He is shocked that they traveled with Heyward.

CUT TO ...

INTERIOR FORT WILLIAM HENRY, PARADE GROUND - GROUP - NIGHT

emerges from a sally-port tunnel. It's smokey. NOISE is deafening. The group has traveled through a nightmare, only to arrive in hell.

HEYWARD WITH BEAMS, CORA & HAWKEYE, ALICE, UNCAS & CHINGACHGOOK

run diagonally past pyramidal stacks of cannon ball, smoldering beams and shrapnel, wounded men. Just then a mortar is fired and explodes, killing the gun crew. On the ramparts Mohawks and Colonial Militia, sniping at the French. Women huddle in corners next to the sick and dying.

UNDER RAMPARTS: MILITIA]

AD LIBS: [shouts over roar] Uncas! Nathaniel ...

[HAWKEYE

waves. One wounded man, IAN, intercepts Uncas.]

IAN: Thought you and Nathaniel weren't joinin'-up.

UNCAS: [on the run] Didn't!

HAWKEYE: Dropped in to see how you boys is doin'.

[COLONEL MUNRO

running from his quarters is shocked to see them.]

ALICE: [hysterical] Papa, Papa!!

MUNRO: [enraged] Why are you here?!

[Cora is stunned. Alice is decimated by her father's anger. Munro sees and whips off his coat to cover them and takes Alice under his arm. Bombardment resumes. Alice clings while they race for the cover of his quarters:]

MUNRO: [to Heyward; re: Alice & Cora] Why did you allow them to come? ... And where the bloody hell are my reinforcements!!

[They race into the yellow lantern light of Munro's quarters and slam and bolt the heavy door. Heyward's confused ...

CUT TO ...

INTERIOR MUNRO'S QUARTERS - NIGHT]

MUNRO: [embracing his daughters; softer] Told you to stay away from this hell hole! Why did you disobey me?

CORA: When? How?

MUNRO: My letter ...

CORA: There was none!

MUNRO: What?

CORA: There was no letter.

MUNRO: I sent three men to Webb!

HEYWARD: One called Magua arrived.

CORA: He delivered no such message.

[Munro's stunned.]

MUNRO: Does Webb not even know we are besieged?

HEYWARD: Sir. Webb has no idea. And he certainly does not know to send reinforcements!

[Munro has nowhere for his rage to go. Meanwhile, Alice clings to her father. At 45-55, the British Army has been his life. He blindly believes in its institutions, though officers like Webb would disdain his Scots origins. From under his fury:]

MUNRO: [flat] What happened to you?

HEYWARD: [suddenly tired] Ambush ... on the George Road. This Magua led us into it. [pause] ... eighteen killed. It's these men who saved us. They guided us here ...

MUNRO: Thank you. How can I reward you?

[No answer. Then ...]

HAWKEYE: Help ourselves to a few horns from your powder stores.

MUNRO: What else?

UNCAS: Some food.

MUNRO: [to Uncas] I'm indebted to you. And get your side sewn up, young man.

[MUNRO

sees his exhausted and bloodstained surgeon in the doorway that leads to the next rooms.]

MUNRO: [bellows] Mr. Phelps!

[PHELPS' face lights up when he sees Cora Munro.]

PHELPS: Miss Cora! How are you?

CORA: [smiles] Fine, Mr. Phelps. Have you cat gut and a suturing needle? [for Uncas] And we could use some rum, clothes, and a place to wash ...

[Cora tries to remove Alice from her father, but she clings to him. Munro holds her tighter. Then he whispers something to her. She nods her head. And Cora takes her. They exit.

MUNRO

is moved beyond words by his daughters' presence. There's a break, a pause ...]

MUNRO: What a place for them ... [to Heyward over table map]

HEYWARD: Might I enquire after the situation, sir, given that I've seen of the French engineering from the ridge above?

MUNRO: [perfunctory] Logistics are his guns are bigger than mine and he has more of them. They keep our heads down while his sappers make thirty yards of trench a day. His thirteen inch mortars have a two hundred yard range, so when they're close enough, they'll move them in, lob explosive rounds over our walls and pound us to dust.

HEYWARD: They look to be three hundred yards out. You have three days.

MUNRO: Bloody murderers.

HAWKEYE: A man, here, can make a run straight through to Webb.

MUNRO: ... not enough time to get to Albany and back with reinforcements ...

[A Sergeant enters, snaps to attention, says something to Beams, exits.]

HEYWARD: Webb's not in Albany. He marched the 33rd to Fort Edward two days ago.

MUNRO: Webb's at Edward?

HEYWARD: Yes, sir.

MUNRO: Only twelve miles away! He could be here day after tomorrow. [to Hawkeye] Find your man, sir! Captain Beams will give you the message.

[Beams nods. Munro turns back to the map. Hawkeye has something else to say.]

HAWKEYE: John Cameron's cabin. We come upon it last night. Burned out. Everyone murdered. And it was Ottawa. They're allied to the French.

[Munro looks at him.]

MUNRO: Yes, Mr. Poe? So?

HAWKEYE: It was a war party. It means they're on the attack up and down the frontier.

[Munro turns to look at him for a long beat. Munro doesn't like what his response must be to this news. He turns to Heyward and the map.]

MUNRO: [cold] Thank you.

[Hawkeye's dismissed, frozen out.]

HAWKEYE: Many men here, their homes are in the path.

MUNRO: That's all, sir.

[Hawkeye is furious. Chingachgook gestures Hawkeye out. He leaves Munro's quarters almost knocking over an entering Adjutant who backs way up to let Chingachgook pass.]

HEYWARD: Things were done. Nobody was spared ...

MUNRO: Terrible feature of war in the Americas. [beat; a mantra] Best to keep your sight fixed on our duty. Our duty is to defeat France. That hangs on a courier to Webb.

[CUT TO ...]

The FRENCH CAMP


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