THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS
Michael Mann & Christopher Crowe
The screen is a microcosm of leaf, crystal drops of precipitation, a stone,
emerald green moss. It's a landscape in miniature. We HEAR the forest. Some
distant birds. Their sound seems to reverberate as if in a cavern. A piece of
sunlight refracts within the drops of water, paints a patch of moss yellow. The
whisper of wind is joined by another sound that mixes with it. A distant
rustling. It gets closer and louder. It's shallow breathing. It gets ominous.
We're interlopers on the floor of the forest and something is coming.
SUDDENLY: A MOCCASINED FOOT
rockets through the frame scaring us and ...
EXTREMELY CLOSE: PART OF AN INDIAN FACE
running hard. His head shaved bald except for a scalp-lock. Tattoos. He's
twenty-five. He seems tall and muscled. Heavy, even breathing. We'll learn later
this man is UNCAS, the last of the Mohicans.
PROFILE: UNCAS' ARMS
flash as he runs. One carries a flintlock musket. Sweat on the man's skin. A
calico shirt is gathered at the waist with a wampum belt of small white beads
over a breechcloth. He wears leggings to protect his legs. A long-handled
tomahawk is stuffed in his belt.
CUT TO ...
ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST - MASSIVE WAR CLUB - DAY
in the hand of another running man. He's heavier, older ...
A green bear claw is tattooed there. Silver armband. A snake is tattooed over
his left eyebrow. Silver rings in his ear. He's forty to forty-five. His head is
shaved into a scalp-lock. It says: "Come and lift this from me. Take it, if you
can ..." That prospect strikes us as extremely unlikely. This man is
The French call him "Le Gros Serpent," the Great Snake, because
"he knows the winding ways of men's nature and he can strike a sudden, deathly
WIDE ANGLE: CHINGACHGOOK
runs, disturbing no leaves, no branches; making no sound. He's running parallel
to Uncas through the cathedral of mature forest. It's heavily canopied. There's
very little brush. The girth of the trees is huge. Shafts of light illuminate
motes of dust and turn leaves emerald where the sun breaks through. Sometimes
there's ferns; rhododendron, sometimes pale grass and outcroppings of rock.
These men run the forest streams, over boulders, fallen trees and down into
ravines as if they own them. They do.
CUT TO ...
ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST - LONG BLACK HAIR - DAY
rocketing through trees. His torn buckskin shirt is tied at the waist with a
wampum belt holding a tomahawk and a large knife. A long rifle in which is
carved the name "Killdeer" is in his right fist. Indian tattooing on his chest.
His name is NATHANIEL POE. He's a few years older than Uncas. The French and the French-speaking tribes know him as La Longue Carabine (Long Rifle). Other
frontiersmen in New York colony and the Iroquois and Delaware-speaking tribes
know him as Hawkeye. Sweat stains his shirt. He flashes through the tree
branches disturbing nothing. Making no sound.
HAWKEYE'S POV: A PIECE OF TAN
two hundred and fifty yards away, a few square inches buried in the foliage ...
SUDDENLY HE STOPS
Killdeer's at his shoulder ...
cocks the lock holding the piece of flint: click.
stops dead, holding out his hand ... no sound.
slips through young trees and stops, shouldering his smoothbore musket. Is this
HAWKEYE'S POV: RACK FOCUS THROUGH THE GUN SIGHT
Five feet and fourteen pounds of rifle is elevated a half inch and shifted left,
off target. It's a precise, smooth movement. No human quiver.
holding the flint hits the iron file of the frizzen, shooting sparks into the
pan of priming powder which flashes and ...
is a huge elk that leaps at the sound.
CRACKS like lightning.
leaps where the .59 caliber round was programmed to intercept him. On the moment
of impact ...
three men approach the fallen elk and each other. We realize they're hunting
together. Hawkeye steps aside for Chingachgook. His massive war club is flat and
angles to one side with a stabbing blade. Hawkeye is stepson and stepbrother.
The two younger men treat Chingachgook with an easy deference and affection.
Hawkeye's a dialectic of two cultures. In his coloration and worldliness he's
more the Anglo-Saxon frontiersman. In his independent views and candid manner
and in his combat skills and woodsmanship, he's more native American (Mohican).
As Chingachgook takes out his long knife and they approach the fallen elk ...]
(low Mohican; sub-titled)
We're sorry to kill you, Brother.
Forgive us. I do honor to your courage and
speed, your strength ...
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR - INTERIOR CAMERON CABIN - JOHN CAMERON - NIGHT
roasts potatoes on a stick in the stone fireplace next to CAPTAIN JACK WINTHROP,
an American in very worn quasi-military gear. On a rough table in the tiny cabin
ALEXANDRIA, his wife, is kneading bread. Three children climb on their father.
He grabs their wild seven year old son, JAMES, who shrieks laughter and dodges
away. The cabin has two primitive rooms, waxed paper windows, log walls. O.S. a
dog barks. Others pick it up. Cameron & Jack are suddenly alert, reaching for
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR CAMERON CABIN, DOORWAY - CAMERON - NIGHT
appears warily, musket in hand.
Halloo! John Cameron!
Doorway: Cameron towards the interior ...
Alexandria! Set three more places.
(to the fence)
How is Chingachgook, then?
Behind him, emerging from the dark trees are Hawkeye, Uncas, cradling flint
locks, blankets and packs over their shoulders, leading a mule laden with skins
and the elk carcass. Crossing the splitrail fence ...
The Master of Life is good. Another year pass ...
How is it with you, John?
Gettin' along. Yes, it is.
Hello John. Cleared another quarter, I see.
(shakes hands with Uncas)
Yes, I did.
tears past his father & runs full bore. Just before he's going to collide into
Uncas, he leaps into the air and Uncas snatches him with one hand and swings him
up onto his shoulders. The kid screams with delight and rides back towards the
cabin that way. Alexandria comes to the door.
CUT TO ...
INTERIOR CABIN - CHINGACHGOOK - EVENING (LATER)
lights & smokes a clay pipe. The scene says: this is a rustic, frontier home and
these people have known each other & live in dangerous circumstances.
If Uncas is with you, that means he has not
found a woman and started a family yet.
Your eyes are too sharp, Alexandria Cameron.
They see into my heart.
Your farm good to you this year, John?
It was a good year for corn.
Mohawk field we saw was 5 mile long on
the river. Chief Joseph Brandt's field.
You take much fur?
That we did. John. But the horicane
is near trapped out.
Tradin' your skins in Castleton?
No, Schylerville. With the Dutch for silver.
French & English want to buy with wampum
Pause, then ...
So what is it, Jack? What brings you up here?
A French & Indian army out of Fort Carillon's
heading south to war against the English. I'm
here to raise this county's militia to aid the
Folks here goin' to join in that fight?
We'll see in the morning ...
Fathers of England & France, both, take more
land, furs, than they need. They're cold & full
of greed ...
Few'd deny that? Where you headin'?
Trap over the fall and winter among the
Delawares in Can-tuck-ee.
So I can find a woman and make Mohican
children so our father will leave my brother
& me in peace.
Alexandria laughs. So do Hawkeye & Chingachgook.
A son like me?
Uncas grabs James & suspends him upside down.
No. You are too strong. Turn me old
Hawkeye grabs the kid from Uncas. The kid's laughing & can't stay still.
Chingachgook watches, content, smoking his clay pipe.
That's what he's doin' to his mama ...
She ruffles his hair and lifts the heavy iron pot off the tibbet. Uncas goes to
help her, she shrugs his hand away and carries it to the table herself. The men
gather around. There's pan-baked bread, a dish of salt, and the pot has venison
and yellow cornmeal in a kind of stew. Everyone waits.
Dear Father, thank you for rewardin' the fruits
of our labor with plenty. Amen.
As they start to eat ...
CUT TO ...
CAMERON'S CABIN - (DAY)
EXTERIOR CAMERON CABIN - MOHAWK BOY & JAMES CAMERON - MORNING
slam into other kids as they battle through a Lacrosse game. In the background are
sixty men, women and children. It's a community gathering held out of doors.
We've entered mid-scene. Captain Jack is standing on a box. Some women and kids
mill around some tables and boards laid over barrels. Cooking fires. Smoke.
Most but not all around Captain Jack are men, nine settlers, 3 hunter/trappers,
eight Mohawk farmers in mixed European and native clothing. Off to the side are
an English Lieutenant on horseback and a ten-man escort from whatever regiment's in
Albany. A man named HENRI speaks in French. His son, MARTIN, translates.
(O.S. in French)
My father says he was driven out of France by
the black robe priests and he would fight them
now but he lost his arm and so I will go in his
is an unusually large Mohawk in a blue match coat with a little girl holding his hand. He
says something to Chingachgook who nods. Hawkeye and Uncas are a little apart in an
outer grouping of the men. Ongewasgone is a war chief and wears a white plume and is
tattooed. As Martin finishes, he steps forward.
John Cameron, thank you for your hospitality ...
Twin River Mohawk got no quarrel with Les
Francais. Trade furs with Les Francais. Now Les
Francais bring Huron onto Mohawk hunting grounds ...
These people are English, Scots-Irish and Dutch farmers; some French Huguenot
"mechanics" (craftsmen). They're in shirt-sleeves and Indian moccasins & leggings. The
Mohawks' vast lands and corn agriculture border the settlement. They 've been
acculturated for over a hundred years. Some wear European calico hunting shirts.
Their heads are shaved to scalping locks and many are tattooed. They've politically and
commercially played France & England against each other very adroitly for over a
hundred years because of their military power and geographic position. Their relations
with working farmers and settlers and their families has been mostly one of
co-existence because there's always been more than enough for all. This is a WPA
mural of ethnic diversity and plurality of frontier America. The Europeans are former
indentured laborers, farmers exiled by economics or religious persecution, frontier
hunters and trappers ... working people.
Now Mohawk will fight Huron and Les Francais.
My brothers have asked me to lead them in this
war so I speak for the Twin River Council.
The importance of this commitment is apparent to the lieutenant.
His Majesty King George II is very grateful for
How far up the valley?
To Fort William Henry.
... two days from here.
Some don't like this.
It should be enough to remind you France is
Your enemy ...
Heads turn to Hawkeye at the periphery of the crowd.
What did you say?
I said ... France is your enemy. Not ours.
Really? Do you want them to overrun all
New York colony?
First place, you started it with the French over
fur-trapping claims to the head waters of the Ohio.
Now you're sayin' these people have a fight on
their hands ...
Will you men help us stop the French?
... and while they are cooped up in your fort,
what if the French send war parties to raid
What then, Lieutenant?
For your own homes, for king, for country, that's
why you men ought to join this fight!
You do what you want with your own scalp.
Do not be tellin' us what to do
(furious; to Hawkeye)
You, sir! You call yourself a loyal subject?
... No ... Do not call myself much of a subject
Nathaniel's right. But if I got to fight, figure I'll
try and do it fifty miles north of here instead of
my bean field.
Yes. Yeah. No ...
I am stayin' on my farm. And any man who goes,
his family is welcome to fort-up with us 'til he
Boys. My sense of it is enough of us will join-up to
fill the county's levy. But only if General Webb
accepts a few terms I got in mind ...
HAWKEYE & UNCAS
cross through the people. A few men drift off to their women at the tables.
It is apparent two-thirds of the men will join. A couple of jokes, light banter,
Webb? what's that, Jack ...?
As they cross through they start removing their shirts and weapons.
You boys marchin' with us? What do you say?
We had our say, Ian.
They approach the Lacrosse field. Chingachgook stands with Cameron in the
Uncas joins James. Hawkeye goes on the other side. A couple of young Mohawks and
a young blonde farmer shout hallo's and as the bodies crash into each other ...
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR BRITISH ENCAMPMENT, PARADE GROUND - SIX HUNDRED
62nd REGIMENT OF FOOT - DAY
in two rows. At each command the crack troops respond en masse. Their hands slap
the stocks of their brown bess muskets in unison. These men are drilling in preparation
We witness a state-of-the-art, 18th century, precision killing machine.
REGIMENTAL SGT. MAJOR
Order arms! Handle cartridge!
(men bite the paper)
(powder dropped in pan)
Load! Draw ramrods! Ram cartridge! Return ramrod!
(muskets at chest height)
(muskets returned to chests)
(muskets returned to shoulder)
Like a single shot, two hundred fifty black powder muskets fire .65 caliber lead shot at
chest height in a scythe of death.
The Dutch roof lines of Albany are in the distance. Nearer, a coach races past.
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR ROAD - HORSES GALLOP - DAY
Six horses, wide with dumb, mute strain. Foam, manes fly, their hooves pound the
yellow road into dust. Military outriders are on the three left side horses.
CUT TO ...
INTERIOR COACH - MAJOR DUNCAN HEYWARD - DAY
sits erectly in the brilliant scarlet coat of the First Royal Regiment of Foot with gold
braid, blue-black facing and blue-black breeches, cavalry boots, spurs, a tricorn, white
wig (?) and a gorget (large medallion) around his neck. He's 28-30 and tough. He is
self-sure, principled reactionary. He believes human society is static & layered into
hierarchies of class and they are absolutely impermeable. He opens a simple gold-
clasped case & contemplates its contents ...
HEYWARD'S POV: CASE
an enameled portrait of a dark-haired young woman.
as a soldier is militarily first-rate in his milieu: the open battlefields of Europe.
Right now, however, he is about to enter the forests of North America. He closes
his clasp and glances out the window as we enter Albany and as a facade of
buildings & people pass.
CUT TO ...
INTERIOR BRITISH HQ, ASSEMBLY ROOM - DOOR - DAY
Four Grenadiers come to attention as Heyward enters mid-scene.
... if they are not allowed leave to defend their
families if the French or Hurons attack the
settlements, no colonial militia is goin' to Fort
You, there. Help my man outside with the baggage.
GENERAL JEROME WEBB sees Heyward and nods. Three of Webb's Adjutants are
on either side. Three remaining Grenadiers in bearskin-covered mitred caps are at the
door. Facing Webb are a half dozen colonial representatives, including Captain Jack
Winthrop. Heyward watches Jack ...
They will report or be pressed into service!
LARGE COLONIAL REP
Any of the boys worth havin' can disappear into
forest ... time it takes you to blink. Where's that
leave ya, then?
Heyward, preparing to hand over dispatches, is interrupted by the insubordinate tone.
Equally wound tightly is the Lieutenant.
They will be found! Arrested ...
I cannot imagine his Majesty, in his benevolence,
would ever object to his American subjects
defending their hearth & home, their women & children,
if threatened by the "scourge" of attack from savages,
aroused to such excess by our enemy, the
Does that mean they will be granted leave to
defend their homes if the settlements are
Heyward's more amazed by what he's just heard from Webb. These Americans,
including Jack, are streaming past him on their way out.
You got yourself a colonial militia, General.
Major Duncan Heyward reporting, Sir!
Webb's pouring gin.
Duncan. How was your journey?
The door closes. Dispatches are passed. They are now alone except for the General's
two Adjutants and a shadowy form waiting patiently in a corner. He's MAGUA. In the
dim light, he's motionless. Webb slides a glass across to Heyward.
I didn't experience anything so surprising from
Bristol to Albany as what I witnessed here today.
And what is that?
The Crown "negotiating" the terms of service?
(assuming a co-commiserator)
One has to give Americans "reasons" and make
agreements to get them to do anything at all.
Tiring, isn't it?
(throws up his hands)
But that's the way of it here.
I thought British policy is 'Make the
World ... England', sir.
A chill. Majors don't upbraid Generals.
You will take command of the 62nd Regiment
of Foot. At Fort William Henry under Colonel
Munro. I will march the 33rd to Fort Edward.
Sir! ... Might I enquire if General Webb has heard
from Colonel Munro's daughters? I was to
rendezvous with them in Albany and escort them
to the fort.
Yes. You may.
(to Magua, after a glance at Heyward)
You there. What does Munro call you?
The "Scotsman" has sent one of his Indian allies
to guide you.
rises and slowly walks into the light. He is reserved and over six feet tall. His head is
shaved into a mohawk. Rings, beads & feathers pierce his ears. A blanket is worn as a
shawl over his left shoulder exposing his right arm and heavy tattooing. A long
tomahawk is in the belt of his breechcloth.
The Scotsman's daughters are at the Poltroon's
house. A company of the 33rd will accompany
you and Magua will show you the way.
By your leave, sir.
Webb holds Heyward a moment
Explain to the Major we care little about toying
with colonial militia because we have little to
fear from the French. They have not the nature
for war. Their Latinate voluptuousness combines with
their Gallic laziness and the result is: they would
rather make love with their faces than fight.
Webb's Adjutants laugh uproariously at his wit. Heyward's stiff, perfunctory smile. He's
been made the butt of the joke. He does not share Webb's derisive view of the French.
Webb doesn't like Heyward's manner. We don't like Webb. Then:
Heyward stiffly salutes. Webb casually, perfunctorily salutes the younger man in
Dawn. At the encampment. Six a.m. sharp. See
to it you're there.
Beneath Magua's barely deferential manner we sense intelligence & menace. None of these Brits see it. We do.
CUT TO ...
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 ...
Heyward! Duncan Heyward.
Heyward looks to the side. An inner light turns on. In this mode, this is a man we could
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.
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:
I'm embarrassed to be so indecisive ... after so
long apart and after you've traveled so far ...
And by sea!
You still have an aversion to the water?
Aversion? No. ... "Hatred" ... "Loathing" ...
But it was worth it all to end in a garden by
She looks askance at him. Then the banter drops.
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?
Isn't respect and friendship, a reasonable basis
for a man and woman to be joined? And all
else may grow in time ...?
Some say that's the way of it.
Cousin Eugenie, my father, but ...
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.
Will you consider that?
Yes. Yes, I will.
She's still unsettled.
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.
My God, you've grown up.
We leave in the morning?!
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!
My God, Alice.
It can be dangerous ...
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.
(O.S. - barks)
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR BRITISH ARMY HQ - TWENTY BRITISH REGULARS - DAY
jolt upright as if electrified.
a sergeant major of forty-one is wide and deep and built like a fullback. You do not mess with Sgt. Major Ambrose.
Form two companies of nine ... MARCH!!
march in perfect drill into two groups, each three across and three deep.
MILITARY HQ, ENTRANCE - MAJOR DUNCAN HEYWARD
steps out. Rigid salutes.
climbs onto his white military charger. It's spirited. Cora & Alice are in riding dresses
and veils. The veil doesn't completely cover Alice's golden hair and blue eyes and the
flush of her complexion. They're riding two sidesaddled Narragansetts. The tight
traveling dress reveals that Cora, two or three years older than Alice, is fuller and more
mature. All three ride to the front of the column. The baggage horses and mule are in
the gap between the two companies.
cradling his musket.
REAR SHOT: THE COLUMN
down the path that leads into the wall of forest looks impressive.
WIDER: THE COLUMN
marching. Now they look brave but smaller. The forest - with all its mysteries and
dangers - now impresses us as a towering dark, sinister, and it's immensity swallows up
the living mass which slowly enters its bosom.
CUT TO ...
TRACKING the Redcoats, their faces now filmed with dust, cut with lines of
perspiration. They march in perfect formation.
We TRACK PAST the pack horses, the first company, Sgt. Major Ambrose and on to
Cora & Alice. Alice seems fatigued. Cora's turned, looking up into the forest canopy,
astonished at the deep beauty of the place.
CORA'S POV: FOREST CANOPY
of trees is dark, except for spots where leaves are sparse, and there the light is golden.
It's the forest of childhood.
In a ravine a buck disappears into a deeper stand of trees.
Alice, did you see that ...?
reverie's broken by Heyward entering the frame.
Alice rouses from fatigue.
Are you alright?
Can we rest soon?
Heyward rides to the front of the column to Magua, who's twenty to thirty yards ahead
of everybody else.
You there, Scout!
Magua slowly turns towards Heyward.
We must ... stop ... soon. Women are ... tired.
You ... understand?
I understand. This is not good place to stop.
Two leagues from here. No water 'til then.
That where we stop. Better place.
No. Stop in the glade just ahead! When the
ladies are rested, we will proceed. Do you
(in Huron: English subtitle)
"Magua understand paleface is a dog to his women.
When his women want to eat, he lay aside his
tomahawk to feed their laziness."
Excuse me. What did you say?
Magua say: "Yes. Good idea."
As they begin to stop ...
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR MOUNTAINS & FOREST - WIDE - DAY
Silently entering on either side of us come Chingachgook, followed by Hawkeye and
Uncas. Even relaxed, they carry themselves with a degree of alertness. They're
eighteenth century Viet Cong moving through the rain forest. The Maxfield
Parrish/Hudson Valley of tall trees, ravines and streams is idyllic in front of them. All
three cradle their long guns and move silently on moccasined feet.
- in a stream - relaxed but attentive, abruptly stops. The others freeze in their tracks.
Chingachgook sees and then stoops to examine ...
under the water in the stream. It's been turned from its bed. Chingachgook finds
another. Uncas, moving up on his flank, climbs the bank and moves off into the trees,
searches and then he gestures ... he's found another sign of something.
has headed off further down the stream and discovers nothing. Rapidly he rejoins Uncas
and Hawkeye who've become extremely alert. They move up the bank into the forest
ninety degrees from their previous path.
TRACKING: HAWKEYE, UNCAS & CHINGACHGOOK
moving. Fast. Nearly soundless. They hardly disturb a blade of grass. The impression:
expertise, deadliness and an impression something's wrong.
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR FOREST, TRAIL - MAGUA - DAY
on point. The trail cuts the side of a hill. The ground on one side rises into a forest
acclivity and on the other falls off into a forested ravine. Magua walking towards
CLOSER - MAGUA'S
slid his tomahawk out from the front of his belt that girdles his waist. He lets the shaft
drop into his hand. He shrugs off his blanket. There is a solidity to his dark, tall figure
we didn't see before. Magua turns about face and advances on the column.
TRACK WITH Magua.
Heyward and the Munro girls pass the camera as does Sgt. Major Ambrose, marching
in advance of the men. Magua is approaching the soldier on the left in the first row.
We see Magua has caught the Redcoat's eye.
is curious, starts to smile. What does the Huron want to say to him? When Magua is
two steps away he caves in the side of the infantryman's head at the temple with the
spike end of his tomahawk and, backhanded, hacks the blade through the side of the
neck of the center man in the first row.
thirteen muskets EXPLODE from the wooded rise.
are blown off the path, two others are wounded ...
Form company! Left face! March!
shrieks. Cora grabs Alice's reins and her own.
pulling his fusil (short musket), seeing, firing, reaching for the women ...
bolting, dodging sideways, spilling Alice to the earth.
Company make ready!
The regulars slam into a firing line, stepping over the bodies of their comrades. All
thirteen face the incline.
FORESTED RISE - HURONS
flash downhill through the trees. Partnered in two-man teams, one loads and prepares
and fires while the other advances to the next cover. He, then, prepares and fires
covering his partner's advance. Leaping fallen trees and boulders, they're athletic, fast
and rapidly closing.
Even though the disciplined English regulars are a killing machine, we now see their
tactics in the dense forest are grossly inferior to the Hurons' ...
covers Alice with her body, holding the reins of their bolting horses.
from horseback aims his horse pistol, FIRES ...
AN ATTACKING HURON
leaping at him past Alice & Cora drops.
with baggage crashes off, down the ravine. Another two Redcoats drop. Nine left.
A musket volley as eight muskets go off as one shot, sending a lead scythe through
leaves. But ...
Hurons were behind cover. Only one was exposed and hit.
The English rush to complete the reload. Will they do it in time?
Suddenly, Hurons - en masse - CRASH down onto the Redcoats line with tomahawks,
war clubs and point-blank musket fire.
on the ground, screaming insanely, covered by Cora who's protecting her little sister,
horse shot from beneath him, the animal folding, falling straight to the earth, and ...
shoots Ambrose in the chest, and ...
by the Munro daughters spins, swinging his fusil like a ball-bat, upending one Huron
and lunges with his bayonet in his left towards another. But this Huron easily slips the
thrust and slams Heyward with his rifle butt.
dead and dying.
blood gushing from his chest wound, fires his pistol, dropping a Huron; slashes a
second with his sword. Then he's chopped down. Hurons begin scalping the British
while four race towards Heyward and the two women.
HEYWARD & CORA & ALICE
ready to die. Heyward has only his fusil as a bludgeon. He readies ...
THREE LOUD SHOTS
BLOW three of the Hurons sideways, head over heels down the rise.
REVERSE: THREE MEN
barely seen, running diagonally across the fall line of the ravine. In parts, we recognize
Nathaniel, recharging Killdeer on full run, and Uncas.
not sure where the shots came from. Suddenly Chingachgook slams him, head first into
the ravine with the war club. He didn't even slow down.
warrior spins. Uncas tomahawks his shoulder. The Huron swings downwards. Uncas
ducks beneath the swing and slashes his throat, sending him downhill into CAMERA
momentum and thrown tomahawk spread-eagles one Huron, near a couple of wounded
Redcoats who fight on ...
calmly sees the odds have changed. His attention becomes focused. He commits a very
revealing act seen through the blurred foreground action of struggling bodies. We will
remember it. He raises his musket and aims at ...
who's unaware she's a target. Why is he singling out a Munro girl to kill?
sees. Killdeer's at his shoulder ...
TIME SLOWS: MAGUA
senses Hawkeye. Moving through liquid, his eyes drift left. The moment is frozen.
Their eyes lock, each to the other's. Then ...
Magua swings at Hawkeye and FIRES ...
shifts. The .65 caliber musket ball rockets past his ear and he's already squeezing
Killdeer's trigger as ...
HAWKEYE'S POV OVER BARREL: SMOKE
from Magua's musket blast clears. Magua's gone. He almost shape-shifted, it happened
so quickly. It's nearly mystical.
lowers Killdeer, impressed.
glances back at Hawkeye. She doesn't know why he's looking at her.
pursues two fleeing Hurons up the incline. Two strides gain him the first man, who he
hamstrings and runs over to pursue the second up the hill ... as ...
in the confused melee, grabs a found musket and aims it at an Indian. We recognize that
he's aiming at Chingachgook pursuing the second Huron up the hill ...
Duncan ignores her.
is jerked from his hands.
... case your aim is any better'n your judgment.
He's drawn his sword, reflexively. Hawkeye flips the musket around one-handed. It's
pointed at Heyward's chest. And Hawkeye FIRES, killing an attacking Huron behind
Heyward. As Heyward spins ...
CHINGACHGOOK'S WAR CLUB
flashes up the hill. It cleaves the second man's back and bowls him over. Chingachgook
retrieves his club as his scalping knife slashes down ...
scalps the man he killed. Chingachgook dispatches the Huron he hamstrung.
Sudden silence. Heyward's motionless. The women are frozen, as terrified of the
savages and apparent half-breed rescuers as they were of those who attacked them.
Cora, holding her, is stunned but functioning. Moments ago both women were clean
and demure. Now their riding dresses are torn, mud-stained, blood-spattered and their
baggage is gone.
crossed to his slaughtered soldiers. Moments ago they were a testament to British
military power. Now they're dead meat. Ambrose's body is against a tree. In the B.G. two of the wounded start to rise ...
just cut the throat of the second Narraganset. It drops into the brush. Alice attacks
We need them to get out of here!
Uncas gently restrains her. Cora reaches Alice and grabs her away from the "savage".
Heyward runs in to protect the women ...
... why the bloody hell he do that to the horses?!
Uncas, all business, is now reloading, lifting powder horns, scanning the trees.
(matter of fact)
... too easy to track ... they can be heard for
miles ... find yourself a musket ...
Cora's surprised by Uncas' easy English. Hawkeye's scanning the forest.
Your wounded should try walkin' back to Albany.
They'll never make a passage north.
We were headed ...
(appropriating a knife)
... Fort William Henry.
to Hawkeye: let's go ... Then a fast exchange of Delaware. Cora's surprised to see it's
Chingachgook's decision. Chingachgook looks at the survivors, gives his assent, starts
... take you as far as the fort.
Hawkeye throws Heyward a musket. Cora & Alice look towards Heyward. He looks at
them: the women are totally terrified and do not move.
If we are goin' to take you, we need to move.
Fast ... And the fort is well off our course.
So if you all rather wait for the next Huron
war party to come by, we'll be on our way.
Heyward quickly decides to go. The women follow. Hawkeye starts off after Uncas and
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR FOREST - HAWKEYE - DAY
moves through the trackless forest. Uncas is far out on the left flank. Cora, Alice &
Duncan Heyward follow in Hawkeye's and Chingachgook's steps ...
walking through a creek, stepping in the stream bed instead of on stones. The others
follow. Hawkeye looks at Heyward.
conforms. He's ill at ease not being in command, following the lead of some half-Indian
frontiersman through a foreign wilderness.]
How far is it, scout?
Day and a half
Where did you get ... the guide?
Colonel Munro sent him. He was one of our
He is Huron and nothing else.
(checking the Munro girls are
not too close)
Why would he want to murder the girl?
Dark haired ...
Miss Cora Munro. He never set eyes on
her before today.
No blood vengeance? No re-proach or insult?
Of course not!
And how is it you were nearby?
Came across the war party, tracked 'em.
Then you're assigned to Fort William Henry?
Fort Edward, then?
No. Headin' west. To Can-tuck-ee.
I thought all our colonial scouts were in
Off to the side, Uncas smiles at the idea.
I ain't your "scout". And I am in no damn
Then you are one of those who would allow
England to fight alone while she protects
you from France?
England does not protect me and does not
war against France on our account. She uses
us to war against France on her own account ...
of greed for land and furs.
Clear it up any?
I owe you gratitude or I'd call you out!
Do not let gratitude get in the way ...
Cora's hand holds back Heyward's sword arm because suddenly Chingachgook looms
Yengeese no good in woods. Make more
noise, I kill him.
Heyward spins. Hawkeye coolly watches Cora. Her attitude is hostile; aligned with
Heyward. He turns away. Meanwhile ...
stops, alarmed. Something in the air bothers him. Hawkeye smells it, too.
is already moving out front, low and fast ...
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR FOREST, TREE LINE - GREEN BRANCHES - DAY
After we HOLD, we realize Chingachgook's been there all along. Hawkeye and Uncas
join him where the branches meet the ground. Smoke drifts through the trees.
Hawkeye sees and dips his head, then looks again ...
EXTERIOR CAMERON CABIN - WIDE - DAY
Burned, smoldering, having fallen in on itself. TRACK LEFT past what was the
doorway. A dead child's hand protruding from the ruin. A fragment of a dress. Charred
and smoldering wood. John Cameron's body in the wreckage. And then, through the
collapsed posts and timbers, Hawkeye, Chingachgook and Uncas have advanced and
are seeing what we've just seen; and then Cora and Alice.
approaches and is frozen in horror. Cora shields her from the sight. Cora is affected but
confronts it directly.
Anything to be done?
returns from under one part of the wreckage, ashen, stoic, as they all are. We know the
degree of their inner pain.
All dead ...
bends over a moccasin print that Chingachgook's examining. They look at each other
grimly. Heyward joins them.
Who were these people?
Excuse me ...
enters, very careful where he places his feet ... Hawkeye gestures to Heyward to stay
where he is: on the periphery with the women.
Mirrors ... tools ... clothes ... all inside.
Movin' fast, not able to carry much ...
this was a war party?
Chingachgook nods confirmation and indicates a direction in Mohican. The significance
is very ominous to them. We don't know why yet. Chingachgook starts away ...
Let us look after them ...
He starts approaching the bodies.
Heyward stops. Hawkeye and Uncas follow Chingachgook, leaving the cabin.
Though they are strangers, they are at
least entitled to a Christian burial!
(shaking his head)
Let us go, miss.
I will not. I have seen the face of war
before, Mr. Poe, but never war made on
women and children. And almost as
cruel is your indifference.
Hawkeye turns back and rapidly approaches her. She takes a step back, fearful.
They are not strangers ....
And they stay as they lay ...!
realizes Hawkeye knew these people and is deeply affected. She also realizes for the
first time this is a whole new world with dynamics and complexities, behavior and
rhythms she doesn't understand. He turns away from her and walks on. She hesitates a
WIDE ON THE SMALL CLEARING IN FRONT OF THE FARMHOUSE
as Chingachgook and Hawkeye, extremely alert and cradling their cocked flintlocks,
walk to camera, eyes sweeping the forest perimeter; they're followed by Cora, Heyward
helping Alice and Uncas as rearguard.
The ruined cabin and the dead dream of a family smolders behind them.
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR GLADE - PROFILE: HAWKEYE - NIGHT
moves through to where the trees seem sparse and are unnaturally white birch and
some thin grass grows. The land rises into a mound. Chingachgook and the others
avoid stepping on the grass and cross to the other side of it.
mutters something to Uncas. He nods and disappears amongst the white birch,
throws Heyward a blanket. Heyward spreads the blanket below the top of the mound
and - maintaining silence - he gestures for Cora & Alice to rest there.
hits the blanket. She curls into a fetal position and she's out. Heyward is nearby on
Hawkeye has taken a position two-thirds of the way around the crescent shaped
Cora has sought him out.
doesn't react as Cora enters. He's scanning the trees; not looking at her.
They whisper ...
Why didn't you bury those people?
Anyone lookin' to pick up our trail, would
see it as a sign of our passing ...
You knew them.
Hawkeye looks at her and nods.
You were acting for our benefit. And I
apologize. I misunderstood you.
Well that is to be expected. My father ...
Chingachgook. He warned me about
people like you.
Yes. He said ... "do not try to make them
Yes. And "do not try to understand them.
That is because they are a breed apart and
they make no sense ..."
Cora's indignation is cut off because ...
moving fast. He gestures back the way he came and it means they're in jeopardy. Uncas
disappears around the mound.
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR BIRCH FOREST - TREES - NIGHT
Nothing. Imperceptibly we move closer and start to see shapes blocking out part of the
white eyes. A ruff of red hair stands straight up at the back of the large man's head.
Slit and monstrously elongated earlobes are weighted with silver. He's followed by
others. Wary, silently, they hunt.
DEEPER: MORE OTTAWA
Towards the rear are two French Rangers ("Coureurs des Bois") from Le Regiment de
la Sarre. They're bearded, dirty, dressed Indian-style in moccasins, leggings and
breechcloths with hooded hunting shirts. There's nothing clumsy about them. They're
the 18th century version of Special Forces who've gone indigenous. If they and the
Ottawa find our people, it's all over.
seeing the red-painted Ottawa approach, starts to panic. Her hyperventilating and
involuntary small sounds of fear will reveal their position. A hand covers her mouth and
silences her struggling. WIDEN. It's Uncas. His other arm is around her, holding her,
looking towards the advancing Ottawa.
on his back, his tomahawk within reach on the ground.
OTTAWA & FRENCH
are fifty yards away from the crescent mound behind which lie our people. Mist
envelops them ...
His massive arms spread revealing his war club in his left fist; his fusil in his right hand.
waiting for the attack. Cora's eyes are anxious, but there's no terror there. Nathaniel's
impressed with her cool. He hands her a pistol. She takes it. He listens for the soft drop
of moccasined feet ...
through the grass. Thirty feet away they stop. They're motionless. Then their leader
gestures and they start backing out. The French Rangers continue towards the crescent.
The Ottawa chief takes one's arm and stops him. The French Ranger whispers
something inaudible. The Ottawa chief shakes his head, "Non. Pas possible ..."
And means it. They retreat.
SEPERATE SHOTS: HAWKEYE, UNCAS, CHINGACHGOOK, CORA
tensely monitor the Ottawa retreat.
UNCAS & ALICE
He slowly removes his hand from her mouth. She's a little shy, then she looks up,
catches his eyes. Then she averts her face.
sees all of it; doesn't like it.
The Ottawa are gone.
Why did they turn back?
In answer Hawkeye looks behind & above her head.
turns and makes out stilt platforms of skeletons and torn strips of buckskin silhouetted
against the night sky in the distance. They have camped on sanctified ground, a burial
CORA & HAWKEYE
She thinks it would be a mistake to ever underestimate the skill of these men or the
danger & complexity of this place. She hands the pistol back to him. Their hands almost
(still pissed off)
"We're a breed apart and we make no
In your particular case, miss, I would
make some allowance ...
Thank you so much.
Cora is angry. Hawkeye, staring at the trees, glances at her. She settles, looking at him.
Her mood changes. Then ...
You called Chingachgook your "father"?
Where is your real family?
Hawkeye's surprised by her question.
They buried my ma & pa and my sisters.
And Chingachgook - who found me with
two French trappers - raised me up as his
I do not remember them. I was one or two.
How did you learn English?
My father sent Uncas & I to Reverend
Wheelock's school when I was ten. So
we would know both worlds ... though
we were told only bother learning readin' &
arithmetic from yous.
And what were the consequentialities of
European culture you didn't bother with?
The Bible. Monarchy. Many wrong ideas
about the government of men. My father's
people already know each man is his own
nation. And only he can have dominion
over himself. Not kings. No man is better
than any other man.
In London those radical ideas could land
you in Newgate prison.
(changing the subject)
Why were those people living in this
defenseless place ...?
'Cos frontier land's the only land affordable
to poor people. So after seven years
indentured service in Virginia, they headed
out here where they are beholden to none
and not livin' by another's leave ...
Their name was Cameron. John & Alexandria.
Cora sees the slate grey clouds and, in between, the fields of stars. She looks at Hawkeye; then again up at the night sky.
(continuing; looking up)
My father's people say ... at the birth of the
sun and of his brother, the moon, their
mother died ... so the sun gave to the earth
her body, from which was to spring all life.
And he drew forth from her breast the stars.
The stars he threw into the night sky to
remind him of her soul.
So there is the Camerons' monument ...
my folks', too, I guess.
pensive. Hawkeye's watching her. Her reaction is enigmatic. After a pause ...
You are right, Mr. Poe. We do not
understand what is happening here.
And it is not as I imagined it would be,
thinking of it in Boston and London ...
Sorry to disappoint you ...
On the contrary. It is more deeply stirring ...
to my blood ...
(then up into his eyes)
... than any imagining could possibly have
She closes her eyes, turns slightly and prepares to sleep. Hawkeye is the one left staring
into the birch forest, a little surprised. Some of his assumptions about her were
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR FOREST - WIDE - LATE AFTERNOON
Deep fog has set in. A hand entering the frame scares the hell out of us. It moves a
branch aside. It's Uncas. Spread to the right is Chingachgook, far to the left is
Hawkeye. They hike up a steep forested slope in the heart of the Adirondacks.
Top of this ridge. Fort and Lake George are
downhill of it.
Re-energized, her spirits pick up.
Will we be able to bathe?
Before Cora can answer they hear a deep, rolling roar. Alice is alarmed.
Thunder ... Papa will arrange something.
looks over his shoulder, sees something in the far distance, gestures to Hawkeye and
HAWKEYE'S POV: DISTANT HILLS
and the band of red-painted Ottawa and Coureurs des Bois, who have now split into
two groups, are still on their trail. Meanwhile, oblivious ...
The men of the regiment will fetch water from
the lake, build fires and provide every comfort
you desire, Alice ...
Duncan, you are absolutely gallant. If Cora
doesn't marry you, I shall.
Heyward laughs. Hawkeye sees them. It bothers us: will these Europeans, including
Cora, shed their frontier experience?
I can't wait to see Papa ...
And you, Duncan? What are you looking
Posting to a different continent.
He and Alice laugh. Cora does not.
I think it's very important and exciting.
Heyward looks at her. She's not kidding.
ANOTHER ANGLE: HEYWARD
helps Alice. As he does, he stares at Cora's seperation and now her proximity to
Hawkeye, who's walking on ahead, is something Heyward doesn't like. His dark
thoughts are distracted by a FLASH of light and more ROLLING THUNDER.
WIDE FROM THE FRONT - HAWKEYE
drops and pulls Cora to the ground.
Hawkeye doesn't answer as he, Chingachgook, Uncas and Heyward make their way to
the top of the ridge.
CLOSER ANGLES: CORA & ALICE
join them and look down upon their expectation of a secure piece of England in the
wilderness, a safe harbor, a father's warm welcome.
THEIR POV: FORT WILLIAM HENRY
is none of those things. The thunder is the roar of French siege cannon clouded in dense
smoke. The flashes of light are mortar bombs exploding and illumination rockets' red
glare. Fort William Henry is under a massive siege by a French and Huron army.
looks over his shoulder.
HIS POV: OTTAWA
pursuing them. There's no way back. They're propelled forward.
DISSOLVE TO ...
EXTERIOR BATTLEFIELD, FRENCH BATTERY #1 - CLOSE SHOTS - DUSK
French cannons roar black smoke and gouts of red flame.
dug by sappeurs behind the cover of a huge gambio pushed toward the fort by two
poles and fascis on the sides.
ENGLISH GUN CREW
searching the night.
light the battlefield revealing the French trenches.
ENGLISH GUN CREW
excited. Colonial militia and Mohawk snipers fire their rifles. The British gun crew
scrambles to adjust their 18 pounders.
FRENCH BATTERY #1
FRENCH BATTERY #2
EXTERIOR FORT, WEST BATTERY
TRACKING. French cannon FIRE rips into the fortifications, exploding wood and
earth, shredding the English gun crew with cannister. The English fight stubbornly, but
we feel they're outgunned. Meanwhile ...
WIDE ANGLE FROM THE WATER
A new artillery duel erupts. The action is to the west side of the fort. On the north, the
fire fight is reflected on the black water of Lake George in our foreground. Then a dark
shape wiping to the right cuts off those reflections. We see in silhouette the outline of a
birch canoe moving silently, barely rippling the mirrored surface of the lake.
EXTERIOR LAKE GEORGE BANK - DEBRIS
Behind it, two Canadiens and a Huron alternately snipe at the ramparts.
LOW & WIDE: SNIPERS
Behind them is black water. Its surface is broken by the rising mass of Chingachgook,
followed by Uncas and Hawkeye. Muzzle flashes from the cannon reveal the canoe and
the forms of the girls further out. Chingachgook's war club is held low. The Huron
senses and turns and Hawkeye's thrown tomahawk knocks him back. Hawkeye's knife
flashes in the night. Chingachgook drives the war club up, smashing a Canadien onto
the debris. The second Canadien jabs bayonet at Uncas, slashing his side. Uncas jerks
him forward by the musket, folds him over and tomahawks him.
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR FORT WILLIAM HENRY, NORTH WALL - SALLY-PORT TUNNEL
Amidst the cannonade roar, ad-libbed shouts from Hawkeye and Heyward convince
battle begrimed soldiers to open the sally-port. Our people rush in.
the group moves through the long, dank, tunnel. Enlisted men escorting them. Another
torch from the other direction: CAPTAIN BEAMS is revealed.
I'm Major Duncan Heyward!
Captain Jeffrey Beams. We didn't think
you'd make it through!
Where's Colonel Munro? His daughters are
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 &
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
(shouts over roar)
Uncas! Nathaniel ...
waves. One wounded man, IAN, intercepts Uncas.
Thought you and Nathaniel weren't
(on the run)
Dropped in to see how you boys is doin'.
running from his quarters is shocked to see them.
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:]
(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
(embracing his daughters; softer)
Told you to stay away from this hell hole!
Why did you disobey me?
My letter ...
There was none!
There was no letter.
I sent three men to Webb!
One called Magua arrived.
He delivered no such message.
Does Webb not even know we are besieged?
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:
What happened to you?
Ambush ... on the George Road. This
Magua led us into it.
... eighteen killed. It's these men who
saved us. They guided us here ...
Thank you. How can I reward you?
No answer. Then ...
Help ourselves to a few horns from your
I'm indebted to you. And get your side sewn up,
sees his exhausted and bloodstained surgeon in the doorway that leads to the next
PHELPS' face lights up when he sees Cora Munro.
Miss Cora! How are you?
Fine, Mr. Phelps. Have you cat gut and a
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.
is moved beyond words by his daughters' presence. There's a break, a pause ...
(to Heyward over table map)
What a place for them ...
Might I enquire after the situation, sir, given
that I've seen of the French engineering from
the ridge above?
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.
They look to be three hundred yards out.
You have three days.
A man, here, can make a run straight through
... not enough time to get to Albany and back
with reinforcements ...
A Sergeant enters, snaps to attention, says something to Beams, exits.
Webb's not in Albany. He marched the 33rd to
Fort Edward two days ago.
Webb's at Edward?
Only twelve miles away! He could be here day
Find your man, sir! Captain Beams will give you
Beams nods. Munro turns back to the map. Hawkeye has something else to say.
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.
Yes, Mr. Poe? So?
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.
Hawkeye's dismissed, frozen out.
Many men here, their homes are in the path.
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
Things were done. Nobody was spared ...
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 ...
INTERIOR MONTCALM'S MARQUEE - CHORAL GROUP - NIGHT
of three Seneca women and five boys, led by a Jesuit, sing the Te Deum in the Iroquois
language. This is a large tent that could sleep twenty. Montcalm's four personal guards
are at the entrance as well as COMTE DE LEVIS in dirty lace, a facial wound and a
braceful of pistols on a sash. Inside is simple campaign furniture and a six by eight foot
battle standard and flag of France.
stands with a huge and fearsome elaborately tattooed and robed Seneca chief in a silk
... and the Black Robes of Michilimackinac left
us no time to put our cabins in order before telling
us our French father had need of our aid. We rolled
our blankets and were the first to be here. Yet we
are not the first and closest to my father's campfire.
The Marquis de Montcalm is forty-five, wears a large wampum belt as a sash over his
waistcoat. He has an acute intellect, an elegant manner. He is more aristocratic than
Munro, but a consummate professional soldier. Over the Seneca's shoulder, Montcalm
sees and nods to ...
entering with four Huron braves. This is not the Magua we saw on the trail. In his scalp
lock, now red-stained and cut to a Huron roach, are three blacl plumes. A match-coat
blanket drapes his left shoulder.
(to Seneca Chief)
For my children and the children of the true
faith, my friendship and esteem is boundless ...
I will give you three oxen for a feast and tomorrow
I, myself, will sing the war song with you in the
great council house.
The Seneca Chief is satisfied and his people, plus the Jesuit, exit. The look on Magua's
face and the wry expression on Montcalm's allows us to understand their relationship is
based on realpolitik.
Le Renard Subtil, how are things with your
Magua exhales in derision as he brings a chair to face Montcalm and sits, European
(over his shoulder)
Louis Antoine, join us.
LOUIS ANTOINE DE BOUGAINVILLE enters. He wears a functional melange of
Indian moccasins over white linen breeches and an officer's waistcoat.
Hear what le Subtil has to tell us ...
Bougainville published a book on integral calculus at twenty-five, at twenty-six was a
secretary to the French Ambassador in London, in January 1756 at twenty-seven he
was elected a member of the British Royal Academy of Science and at age twenty-eight
he's aide de camp to the Marquis de Montcalm with the rank of captain. Later in life, he
brought "bougainvillea" from Tahiti to Europe to America.
English war chief, Webb goes to Fort Edward
with 33rd Regiment. He does not know my
father's army attacks Fort William Henry.
But by now Munro knows his couriers didn't
get through. He'll send another.
The Grey Hair will try.
Four or five, including two women entered the
The Grey Hair's children were under Magua's
knife but escaped. They'll be under it again.
Why do hate the Grey Hair, Magua?
When the Grey Hair is dead, Magua will eat
his heart. Before he dies Magua will put his
children under the knife so the Grey Hair will
see his seed is wiped out forever.
Montcalm won't get a direct answer.
My sappeurs are advancing the trenches through
the night, now. You may have your opportunity
CUT TO ...
INTERIOR SURGERY, ENTRANCE - PHELPS - NIGHT
exhausted, sitting on a low stool, taking a breath.
She know what she's doin'?
Phelps looks up, then he looks over his shoulder at Cora. She's in a borrowed
launderess dress/blouse ... She looks different. He's a little indignant.
First assisted me in Austria when she was
fourteen. I would say she does ...
Her apron is stained. Hawkeye sees this may be her first time in the New World, but it's
not her first military campaign. Still angered at Munro's dismissive response, he's
nevertheless falling for Cora.
She does not shy away from much ...
Alice Munro has caught Hawkeye's attention. Outside the surgery where a casement
meets a wall, she sits, withdrawn. A catatonic older woman in a fine dress sits next to
Miss Cora? Gentleman looking for you.
enters. Cora's sewing up Uncas.
Cora, curious, nods. Hawkeye cuts some pieces from her ruined and discarded dress
that she now uses to bandage Uncas. We don't know why; neither does Cora.
You 'bout done holdin' hands with Miss Munro?
Uncas laughs, looking from her to Hawkeye. Then he's up and he hurts. Cora starts to
tend another wounded man. As they start out, Hawkeye hesitates. Sensing it, Cora
What are you looking at, Mr. Poe?
Why, I am looking at you, Miss.
Cora measures the directness of Hawkeye's manner. It's not insolent, only unsettling.
Feeling foolish; she turns. He leaves.
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR FRENCH TRENCHES - SAPPEURS & ENGINEERS - NIGHT
having worked through the night, are still digging the diagonally-advancing trench. We
note it's closer than it was.
EXTERIOR FRENCH TRENCHES - FRENCH PICKETTS
at their posts guard the sappeurs. Meanwhile ...
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR FORT WILLIAM HENRY, WEST SIDE - SALLY-PORT - NIGHT
opens. Ten Mohawks and Rangers crawl towards the French lines. Meanwhile ...
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR FORT WILLIAM HENRY, PARAPET - HAWKEYE & UNCAS -
are low and out of French sight in the northeast battery. Four others are with them,
including Captain Jack. Stacked rifles are against the casement. We don't know why.
Each rifle is within reach of Hawkeye's hand. Hawkeye is taking extra care loading
Killdeer. He charges it once, then overloads the powder by a quarter charge.
You told him about the raid?
He does not want to hear it.
But he is gonna have to.
(to one man)
Get together by the West Battery James & Ian,
Sharitarish & William.
Hawkeye uses the fine cotton he took from Cora. Uncas sees it.
Another forty yards?
Uncas nods. Hawkeye wets it to make a tighter gas seal and rams it home. The tighter
fit requires more effort.
looks below to ground level ...
A FRONTIERSMAN - COURIER
Two pistols are holstered in a sash around his chest. He wears no hat and carries no
pack. He waits by the sally-port door.
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR FRENCH TRENCH - THREE PICKETS - NIGHT
are suddenly tomahawked and knifed by stripped down 42nd Highlanders and
Mohawks. Alarm is raised. French and some Huron run to advance. Shots are fired.
The Rangers & Mohawks fall back.
emboldened, pursue ...
TRENCH IN FRONT OF WEST WALL
suddenly Heyward and three companies of the 62nd regiment of Foot (60 men) are
over the top in perfect formation ...
Sergeant! Form three ranks!
(bellows to troops)
Upon the center, wheel to the left-about!
(three motions; drums)
Rear ranks, proper distance!
(the rear ranks back up six paces)
Front ranks, take your distance! March!
(in unison they slam to a stop)
(muskets snap to port arms)
MOHAWKS & HIGHLANDERS
dodge right & left of the 62nd's line of fire.
are coming forward. Their sergeants trying to stop and form their men in ad-libbed
62ND REGIMENT OF FOOT
First rank! Second rank! Present arms!
Like one shot, lightening, smoke and .65 caliber death screams from the first two ranks
like a scythe, cutting down ...
Fourteen wounded or killed ...
62ND REGIMENT OF FOOT - HEYWARD
exposed. He's oblivious to incoming rounds. A piece of hat is blown off, epaulet is shot
off. The man next to him is killed and bloodies Heyward's coat.
Advance, Sergeant Major!
Third rank! Twelve paces! Forward march!
Drums. The rear rank walks through the first two ranks, who are priming and loading
in perfect order to their Sergeant Major's commands. As the third rank becomes the
first rank ...
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR FORT WILLIAM HENRY - COURIER - NIGHT
sprints for the trees during the diversion of Heyward's sally.
materialize from nowhere and charge at him ... both are BLOWN off their feet by ...
EXTERIOR FORT WILLIAM HENRY, CASEMENT - UNCAS & HAWKEYE
now handed already-loaded, primed and cocked rifles while the four men behind them
reload the two just fired. Hawkeye gestures ...
EXTERIOR HILLSIDE - THREE HALF-SAVAGE CANADIENS
are running down the hill to intercept the courier. One fires ...
a near miss.
EXTERIOR FORT WILLIAM HENRY - HAWKEYE
FIRES. A half second later, Uncas FIRES.
One Canadien's falling through the trees as the second one's hit by Uncas' shot.
reaches out his hand. Killdeer with the heavier load is slapped into it. Hawkeye aims.
Looks away a second and comes back to the sight in deep concentration. The world
goes silent ...
HAWKEYE'S POV: COURIER & CANADIEN
pursuer are barely visible. Only patches appear momentarily between the trees. They're
three hundred yards away: an impossible shot in 1757.
EXTERIOR FOREST - THE CANADIEN
will intersect the courier. His arm is back with his tomahawk to throw ...
EXTERIOR FORT WILLIAM HENRY - HAWKEYE
judges wind, elevates the long rifle ... and FIRES at us.
JUMP CUT BACK:
Hawkeye's heavy round rips through. We HEAR the ball cut air. A few leaves flutter ...
EXTERIOR FOREST - CANADIEN
whacked head over heels by the impact.
looks over his shoulder. He didn't know the Canadien was there. He stumbles in the
half light. Then he runs on ...
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR FORT WILLIAM HENRY - WEST SALLY-PORT
The three companies of the 62nd Regiment of Foot file back into the fort in perfect
order. The sally-port is closed. Three men are wounded. The diversion worked
Thank you, Sergeant Major. Thank the men.
TROOPERS & MILITIA
have seen no action for three days & nights. Heyward got their blood running and won
their respect. They step aside and nod to him. Heyward keeps walking. He is home.
CUT TO ...
INTERIOR MUNRO'S BEDCHAMBER - DOOR - NIGHT
a knock and Heyward enters.
CORA & ALICE
Alice is in her father's bed. Cora is collecting and tearing linen into strips for bandaging.
Cora ... I wanted to talk to you, but I'll
come back another time ...
Alice looks at the two of them and rises out of the bed.
Talk to Duncan, Cora ... I must manage ...
I cannot be an invalid schoolgirl.
I'll see if Mr. Phelps needs anything ...
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to ...
Her nerves are shattered. She's trying
to be brave.
There's a lot going on under Cora's surface. We don't know what it is, but it's
Cora, I adore you and, when we come together,
we will be the happiest couple in England ...
I am certain of that. More than ever before.
I believe you must trust the judgment of others
who hold your welfare so close to their hearts ...
Duncan, I promised you an answer. You
have complimented me with your persistence
and patience ... But the decision I've come
to is I'd rather make the gravest of mistakes
than surrender my own judgment.
Heyward is stunned.
And it's been unfair to you, while I search
myself for feelings, which, if they were
there and as strong as they ought to be,
would've made themselves known long ago ...
Take my admiration and friendship, Duncan.
And please take this as my final answer.
It must be no.
Heyward' shattered inside.
I see ...
I am sorry, Duncan ...
Heyward nods. He's speechless. He's errect as he leaves the room.
The tension rushes out of her and she shudders and leans against the quarter-timbered
walls for support. Then she collects the linen and starts out.
CUT TO ...
INTERIOR FORT, INNER CORRIDOR - CORA
moving through the corridor past wounded. Two French mortar bombs explode above
one of the casements. We hear shrill screams in the distance and ...
... it was no raidin' party out for pillage. The
cabin was attacked by a war party. They are
sweeping south down the frontier spreading
terror among farms and Mohawk villages 'cos
all the men are here.
And my cabin's not thirteen miles south of
Cora, passing the open door to Munro's crowded office, now hesitates.
CORA'S POV: THE ROOM
Hawkeye, Captain Jack Winthrop, Ian, seven or eight other militia spokesmen, Munro,
Heyward, two adjutants, one lieutenant of Rangers.
I must receive proof more conclusive than
Mr. Poe's opinion before I weaken our
defenses by allowing militia to withdraw.
Chingachgook's of the same opinion. Taken
together, that's gospel. Your fort will stand
or fall depending on Webb and reinforcements,
not these colonials' presence.
I judge military matters, Captain Winthrop, not
That judgment is not more important than their
right under agreement with Webb to defend their
farms & families ... Major Heyward was at John
Cameron's. He saw what it was.
(looking to Heyward for
confirmation of his point of view)
What did you see, Major?
Heyward looks around the room. And he catches the doorway ...
beyond the periphery of men, staring at him.
Munro is expecting him to be the good soldier in defense of British military interests.
At the same time ...
examines him with a cool, level stare.
looks at Munro. More French rounds detonate O.S. What if Webb gets here and they
need to launch a counter-attack? They need every man they have. It's his moment of
I saw nothing that would lead me to the
conclusion it was other than a raid by savages
bent on thievery.
Jack Winthrop grabs Nathaniel.
You're a liar!
saddened. Heyward's stature has fallen irrevocably in her eyes.
can't help it. He turns to look at Cora ...
HEYWARD'S POV: DOORWAY
suffused with an inner sadness, turns to Hawkeye.
And the blood is on your hands!
Heyward reaches for his sword.
I'll have none of that!
Montcalm is a soldier and a gentleman.
Not a butcher.
Easy for you to suppose. While it is their
women and children, not yours, alone in
You forget yourself!
We are not forgettin' Webb's promise!
British promises are honored. And the militia
will not be released. Because I need more
definite proof than this man's word!
Nathaniel's word been good on the frontier a
long time before you got here!
This interview's over! The militia stays!
Does the rule of English law no longer govern?
Has it been replaced by absolutism?
This is very dangerous talk.
And if English law cannot be trusted, maybe
these people would do better makin' a peace
with the French!
That is sedition! Treason!
That is the truth!
I ought to have you whipped from this fort!
Some day I think you and I are gonna have
a serious disagreement.
Anyone fomenting or advocating leaving
Fort William Henry will be hung for sedition.
Anyone leaving will be shot for desertion.
My decision is final. Get out.
Hawkeye and the others are not intimidated. Their rage smolders. The look on
Hawkeye's face says this is not over.
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR FORT, PARADE GROUND - BONFIRE - NIGHT
Sparks shower skyward. Impromptu music. Some Celtic proto-bluegrass played on
fiddle & drums. It's stirring.
ANOTHER ANGLE: SOME WOMEN
laundresses, dance from soldier to soldier - English foot and American Rangers. A few
people lit by the firelight are solemn. Most are stirred to lift their morale for a while.
underlit by the red firelight. They are a disposable people, a diverse plurality stuck in a
postage stamp-size fort in an ocean of forest, locked into mortal deadly conflict
because of the policies of cold and distant European monarchs.
A PLACE A LITTLE DISTANT FROM THE FIRE
We can barely make out the eyes and faces of a number of men behind logs, crates and
new wreckage from the day's bombardment.
... got no kin in the settlements. If I did,
I'd be long gone.
You didn't think it right to be here in the
By my light that's how I saw it then and I
see it that way now ...
But we are under English military authority.
I believe if they set aside their law as and when
they wish, their law no longer has rightful
authority over us. All they have over us is
tyranny, then. And I'll stay here no longer.
No force on earth will keep me here ... Anyone
caught leavin' the fort could be shot. So each
man make your own decision ... Those who
are goin', be back here in an hour.
Out the northern sally-port. Strike for the east
side of the swamp until you clear the French
picket line. Head north over the ridge, then
come about southeast and fork left in Little
Meadow and you're free of the outpost and
Should've skinned outta this long ago.
Got no families, Captain. Figured we'd stay
and give 'em a hand even though ...
(to Colonial #2)
I'll cover them from the top of the casement.
You're not coming with us?
Hawkeye shakes his head.
Got a reason to stay.
That reason wear a blue dress and work
in the surgery?
It does and it is a better lookin' reason
than you, Jack Winthrop.
Push hard, 'cos you got to clear the French
outpost by dawn.
(sticks out his hand and
Good luck, Jack.
The men split up ...
CUT TO ...
FIRE - HAWKEYE
wanders among the dancers and musicians clustered in groups, lit by the firelight.
Someone catches his eye and he moves in that direction ...
HAWKEYE'S POV: CORA
in the shadows, leaning against the wall, searching ... we sense she's been looking
for him. He comes up to her. She turns in surprise.
Somehow she breathes easier because he's there. She's in a white shirt with the sleeves
rolled up. Hawkeye leads her away from some of the people.
CORA & HAWKEYE
Hawkeye takes Cora's hand. Cora is awakening to a new spirit, a new wind blowing
through a new land, a new self-determination ... She's drawn to this rough yet graceful
man with his direct manner. Hawkeye settles against a wall. She leans next to him.
Their shoulders touch.
To her everything about him seems to be somehow right. She's discovered that the
passions and outrage that move him, move her ... And her readiness to give herself to
what stirs the deepest resonances of her soul is the same as his.
looks at her. She's beautiful in the firelight. Cora's eyes find his and she folds into his
arms. His lips find hers and tears stream down her face. She's suffused with an elation
she can't explain. In the night before doomsday a romance is born in rebellion amid the
huddled people in this small stockade ripped from the black earth of the forests of a
CUT TO ...
INTERIOR BARRACKS - LOW & WIDE - DAY
door CRASHES inwards. Twelve British sentries storm in. Four bear torches.
REVERSE: HAWKEYE, UNCAS, CHINGACHGOOK, TWO COLONIALS &
are out of the bunks and moving with them with tomahawks, knives, a flintlock ...
their muskets aimed mostly at Hawkeye.
As you were!!
Hawkeye freezes. The others slow down, indecisive ... Hawkeye drops his tomahawk
and says something in Mohican to restrain Chingachgook and Uncas. The British in the
torchlight with the long muskets and bayonets are an image out of Goya.
Hawkeye's spun around and while his hands are bound.
Why do they make my son prisoner?
I helped Winthrop and the others leave ...
This fight is not yours, father. I love
you and my brother. And you should leave
this place now and go to Can-tuck-ee ...
What will they do with my white son?
One of the guards - scared to death by Chingachgook - nervously fingers his musket.
Get back from him!
shrugs in answer to Chingachgook's question.
moved out. As he passes Heyward, his eyes lock on his.
CUT TO ...
INTERIOR MUNRO'S QUARTERS - CORA - DAY
He saved us! We are alive only because
of him ...
Heyward, Munro, Cora. We've entered mid-argument. An adjutant comes and goes.
Heyward and Munro are sensitive to appearances in front of the adjutant. Cora couldn't
give a damn.
The man encouraged the colonials to desert
in this very room, in my presence. He is
guilty of sedition and must be tried and hanged
like any other criminal, regardless of what he
did for my children.
He knew the consequences. And he stayed.
Are those the actions of a criminal?
... Duncan, do something.
He knew the penalty for breaking regulations.
He ought to pay without sending you to beg.
You know he wouldn't send me ...! You
misrepresented what you saw and caused
I, too, was at that farm. It was as he said ...
Not with enough certainty to outweigh British
interests in this fort.
And who empowered these provincials to pass
judgment upon England's policies in her own
colonies? To come and go without so much as
a "by your leave."
They do not live their lives "by your leave."
... They hack it out of the wilderness with
their own two hands, burying their dead and
their children along the way.
You are defending him because you've become
infatuated with him.
Cora is having her intelligence written off as a hormone attack. She contains her fury.
Duncan, you are a man with a few admirable
qualities. But taken as a whole, I was wrong
to have thought so highly of you.
Heyward's shot through the heart.
But the man is guilty of sedition and subject
to military justice and beyond pardon.
"Justice"? If that's "justice" ..., then the
sooner French guns blow the English army
out of America, the better it will be for
You do not know what you are saying!
Yes I do! I know exactly what I am saying.
And if it is sedition, then I am guilty of
She exits, leaving them there.
CUT TO ...
INTERIOR FORT, STOCKADE - NIGHT
Heavy timbered door. A sentry. They stand at attention when Cora passes as opposed
to barring her entry.
INTERIOR CELL - HAWKEYE
comes to the door, grips the bars with his hands and looks at Cora.
THROUGH THE BARS TO CORA
They are silent for a moment, then ...
Sorry ... can't ask you in.
Cora's pale smile.
They're going to hang you.
Why didn't you leave when you had the
Because what I am interested in is right
What would you have me do?
He touches her hand.
Webb's reinforcements will arrive or not.
If they do not arrive, the fort will fall. If
that happens, stay close to your father.
The French will protect the officer class
among the English.
No. I will find you.
Cora drops her forehead to Hawkeye's hands wrapped around the bars. She acquiesces,
nods. Then HEAVY SHELLING commences. Cora & Hawkeye look up. Mortar
bombs begin striking the fortress. Still dark. The final French bombardment has
The whole world's on fire, isn't it?
This part of it sure is ...
Reaching through the bars set in the thick door, their hands clasp each others. On that
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR FORT WILLIAM HENRY - VARIOUS CUTS - DAWN (2ND UNIT)
French cannoneers in Batteries #1 and #2 fire again and again. They work like precision
ending in Battery #3 is complete and surprisingly close to William Henry's walls. Crews
reload the squat and massive newly arrived thirteen inch mortars.
The flash-hole is primed. The burning fuse is jammed into the bomb. The primer charge
is lit off and the crew ducks as the crude iron belches red flame and black smoke into
the lightening sky. The second mortar ROARS. Then a THIRD.
CUT TO ...
INTERIOR FORT WILLIAM HENRY - ENGLISH CANNON CREW - NIGHT
tries to return fire but can't under the heavy French bombardment. The French mortar
bomb arcs in and EXPLODES smoke, flame and shrapnel, wiping out most of the
crew. The fortress is under the heaviest attack we've seen. Wounded are in shock or
terrorized. Another mortar bomb arcs in and explodes part of a building and casement,
starting a fire.
Another lands in the grounds. People scatter. It doesn't explode. One soldier dashes to
rip out the fuse. As his hand is inches away ... EXPLOSION.
CUT TO ...
INTERIOR STOCKADE - HAWKEYE - DAWN - LATER
protects Cora through the bars as she half sleeps through the muffled roar. Then the
thundering stops. Hawkeye seperates himself from her and crosses to the window.
EXTERIOR FORT, MAIN GATE - HAWKEYES POV: CHEVALIER DE LEVIS
bows deeply to Major Beams. A French honor guard of five men is behind him. A white
scarf is on his sword tip. The fresh destruction of the fort is apparent. Debris smolders.
INTERIOR FORT - STOCKADE - HAWKEYE
crosses to an awakened Cora. He touches her face. He's desperate to drill these next
words into her brain.
What is it?
I don't know. Whatever happens you stay
with your father. You stay among the officers.
Cora looks up at Hawkeye. We feel forboding. O.S. are heard drums ...
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR FRENCH LINES - MUNRO, HEYWARD, BEAMS - DAY
The drums are from Munro's honor guard. They stop.
REVERSE: FRENCH SOLDIERS
Marquis de Montcalm, immaculate, backed by his guard of honor in white, grey and
medium blue with six foot by eight foot regimental colors and the French flag (gold
fleur-de-lis on a field of blue).
They carried two hundred and forty-five bateaux across a ten mile portage, all their
supplies and artillery, and then rowed down the length of Lake George to get here. To them, assaulting this fort is the easy part. The drummers of the honor guard play a
tattoo behind them.
Huron, Ottawa, Osage, Choctaw, Fox ... hear the drum of the honor guard and wait.
They're in war paint. Many tattoos. Split ears. The Osage scalping locks are hennaed
red. Canadiens among them are bearded, dirty, half savage ... At their head ...
in full war paint, with a coterie of Huron warriors, silent, waiting. Drums.
INTERIOR FORT - ENGLISH TROOPS (TABLEAUX)
grim, silent, watchful.
COLONIAL MILITIA & MOHAWK INDIANS IN WAR PAINT (TABLEAUX)
watching the parlay from a blown apart battery. Silent.
WIDE: FRENCH & ENGLISH
and their honor guards. Montcalm steps forward and sweeps his plumed hat to the
ground in a courtly bow. Munro bows coldly.
Colonel Munro, I have known you as a gallant
antagonist. I am happy to make your
acquaintance as a friend.
And I to make yours, Monsieur le Marquis.
Please accept my compliments for the strong
and skillful defense of your fortress. Under
the command of a lesser man it would have
fallen long ago given the superior numbers and
material ... mere chance has allowed me to
array against you ...
Monsieur le Marquis, I am a soldier, not a
diplomat. You called this parlay for a reason.
You have already done everything which is
necessary for the honor of your Prince. I
will forever bear testimony that your resistance
has been gallant and was continued as long as
there was hope. But now, I beg you to listen
to the admonitions of humanity. I beg you to
consider my terms for your surrender.
However I may apprise such testimony from
Monsieur Montcalm, Fort William Henry is
strong and stands.
Honor that is freely accorded to courage, may
be refused obstinacy ... These hills afford to
us every opportunity to reconnoiter your
works and I am possibly as well acquainted
with your weak condition as you are yourselves.
Is Webb really en route and Montcalm hopes to take the fort by duplicity before British
Perhaps the General's glasses can reach to the
Hudson and he knows the size and imminence
of the army of Webb ...?
Montcalm takes a moment to reply and appears genuinely sympathetic to Munro.
My scouts intercepted this dispatch intended
Munro is puzzled, suspicious.
Read the dispatch.
HEYWARD & MUNRO]
(O.S. - reading)
"Colonel Munro - Fort William Henry. I have
no men available to send to your rescue. It is
impossible. I advise you to seek terms for
surrender. Signed Webb."
Munro is rocked, as if struck by a blow. Bougainville hands Heyward the letter.
This is the signature of Webb.
And I know the temper of our men. Rather
than spend the war in a French prison hulk
in Hudson Bay, they'd fight to the end.
You have heard your answer, Monsieur le
Munro starts off. Montcalm stops him.
I am incapable of mistreating brave men.
I beg you not to sign the death warrant
of so many until you have listened to my
Such as ...?
My master requires the fort be destroyed.
But, for you and your comrades, there is
no privilege that will be denied. None of
your men will see the inside of a prison
barge. They're free to go so long as they
return to England and fight no more on this
continent, and the civilian militia return to
They may leave the fortress fully armed, but
with no ammunition ... Other than that, ask
what you wish.
Munro's impressed with Montcalm's generosity.
The honors of war?
Carry them to England to your King with pride.
Allow me to consult with my officers.
As he turns away something's been disconnected inside Munro that can never get put
back together. As the men move away from the French ...
I have lived to see two things I never expected.
An Englishman afraid to support a friend. And
a Frenchman too honest to profit by that advantage.
General Webb can burn in hell. We'll go back
and dig our graves behind the ramparts! Our
mission is to fight.
Death and honor are sometimes thought to be
the same. Today I have learned that they are not.
Munro looks at the fortress behind him.
(stops him with his eyes)
The decision is final.
A beat. Then Munro turns toward Montcalm. Their eyes meet across the churned,
scarred earth of the battlefield.
I am deeply touched by such unusual and
unexpected generosity ... The fort is yours
under the condition that we be given until
dawn to bury our dead, prepare our men and
women for their march and turn our wounded
over to your surgeon.
And Montcalm bows deeply and as he does so ...
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR FRENCH LINES - CLOAKED MAN - NIGHT
passes away from the little city of tents in the direction of the beach and towards
William Henry. He seems to head towards a vantage point from which to observe the
fort. As he approaches a sentry:
Le mot d'ordre?
C'est bien, vous vous promenez bien matin,
Il est necessaire d'etre vigilant, mon enfant.
The cloak parts. By the light of the moon the man's face is dimly perceived by us and
the soldier as General Montcalm. The soldier snaps erect as Montcalm continues
walking out beyond the line to a small stand of trees.
ANOTHER ANGLE: MONTCALM
The moon is broken into pieces of light on the water and behind Montcalm; from the
front of the stand of trees emerges a tall figure.
Is the hatchet buried between the English
and my French father?
Not a warrior has a scalp and the white men
My master owns these lands and your father
has been ordered to drive off the English
squatters. They have consented to go. So
now he calls them enemies no longer.
Magua took the hatchet to color it with blood.
It is still bright. Only when it is red, then it will
But so many suns have set since Le Renard
struck the war post. Is he not tired?
Where is that sun?! It has gone behind the hill.
It is dark and cold. It has set on his people,
they are fooled and kill all the animals and sell
all of their lands to enrich the European masters
who are always greedy for more than they need.
And Le Subtil is the son of his tribe. There have
been many clouds and many mountains. But now
he has come to lead his nation.
That Le Renard has the power to lead his people
into the light, I know well.
Magua grabs the hand of the French commander. Imperceptible surprise in Montcalm's
eyes. Magua jams Montcalm's fingers to his chest.
Does my father know that?
A deep indentation and scar.
That's where a lead bullet has torn you.
Magua turns his naked back to Montcalm and puts Montcalm's hand on his back ... deep ridges of a scar a half inch wide.]
My son has been sadly injured. Who did
Magua slept hard in the English wigwams.
And the sticks left their mark ...
(pause; for real)
Magua's village and lodges were burnt.
Magua's children were killed by the English.
Magua was taken as a slave by the Mohawks
who fought for the Grey Hair. Magua's wife
believed he was dead and became the wife of
another. The Grey Hair was the father of all
In time Magua became blood-brother to Mohawk
to become free. In his heart he always was Huron.
And his heart will be whole again on the day
when the Grey Hair and all his seed are dead!
My son Magua's pain is my pain.
Does the chief of the Canadas believe the
English will keep the terms?
Munro would. But General Webb will not
send their soldiers across the salt lake.
Having let them go, I fear I will only fight
the same men again when I move south.
And yet, I cannot break the terms of the
capitulation and sully the lilies of France ...
Long pause, wheels turn. Then:
Many things my French father cannot do,
Montcalm reacts as if he hadn't thought of that.
As the English march away, our soldiers
and the Canadiens will be drawn to the
looting of the fort ... except for a small
Magua abruptly leaves Montcalm.
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR WOODS - MAGUA - NIGHT
walking back to the Huron camp. Reveal a Huron sub-chief has been in the woods,
waiting for Magua. Now he joins him. They walk in silence. Then ...
(in Iroquois; re: Montcalm)
I wonder at the blindness and pride of the
white man. He believes only he knows
how to speak falsely to make other men do
Magua exhales in derision.
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR FORT, MAIN GATE - MUNRO - DAY
at the end of the column, rides out on his horse. Both sides of the gate are jammed with
armed French troops standing at attention. The French colors and honor guard are just
outside the gate along with Bougainville, Chevalier de Levis, both on horseback as
is - at the head - Montcalm.
trots past his walking column out the gate. He does not look at the French.
salutes Munro and bows gravely from the saddle.
Monsieur, the fort is yours.
MID-COLUMN - ON HEYWARD
marching with his 33rd Regiment of Foot well beyond the fort. The French troops have
thinned out. Repressing shame, his backbone is rigid, his face is straight ahead. The
33rd marches in perfect cadence to the drum. In the B.G. Munro on his horse passes
Heyward as he rides towards the front of his column. Heyward does not look at him.
FRONT OF COLUMN - CORA WITH ALICE
on the back of a mare. Alice, living through a wide-awake nightmare, is huddled under
the arm of her sister. They ride behind the standard bearers. In the B.G. her father is
seen approaching and takes his position at their side. Cora looks down the column,
sheilding her eyes against the sun. We know who she's looking for ... Hawkeye.
CORA'S POV: THE COLUMN
The 62nd and 42nd Highlanders including Heyward ... thirty to forty women and a
number of children - for safety - in the middle, some frontiersmen, Ongewasgone and
many Mohawk, walking wounded. The column is still snaking its way out of the fort.
straining to see.
EXTERIOR FORT - PRISONERS
being assembled, their hands shackled. Hawkeye is among twelve or thirteen. He stands
erect, walking out of the gate. The French are starting to pour in to loot the interior.
Hawkeye looks to his left about twenty paces in front of him and sees ...
UNCAS & CHINGACHGOOK
on the other side of the column. Chingachgook cradles Killdeer as well as his own
musket. They fall back to walk beside the prisoners on the other side of Hawkeye.
Their eyes connect... We don't expect Hawkeye to stay shackled for the duration.
RANK AND FILE FRENCH
A few insults. The British soldiers answer. Nobody breaks rank. It's just talk.
EXTERIOR ROAD - HAWKEYE
His eyes sweep the column snaking its way into the v-shaped valley. The path cuts
through the forested hills ahead. He sees ...
HAWKEYE'S DISTANT POV: CORA
riding near the front where there are no more French soldiers. Only a few scattered and
curious Huron and Ottawa. She does not see him.
PROFILE OF COLUMN - HIGH & WIDE
as it passes left to right below like a long snake through the narrow valley. We're
shooting from inside the dark woods. Lower, in the light, we see a scattering on both
slopes of a couple of hundred Ottawa and Huron. They are in no order, are spread out
and don't constitute a threat. They watch the column.
SLOWLY THE CAMERA ... slides across the shoulders and back of a large man
wearing black plumes in his scalp-lock and other than a breechcloth is almost naked. He
is heavily war-painted ...
FRONTAL - MAGUA
and the left two-thirds of his face is painted red. The right third is painted black. Much
silver is in his ears. His tomahawk is in his left hand. His cut-down musket in his right
fist. Magua's attention is all focused to one point.
MAGUA'S LONG & TIGHT POV: MUNRO & CORA & ALICE
at the head of the column. This is the focus of Magua's attention.
WIDE FRONTAL: COLUMN, STANDARD BEARERS & MUNROS
Cora turns again to look for Hawkeye.
doesn't see him, but something else has caught her eye.
running toward the column. Just one man. No musket. He's running and whooping like
a dog charging from his master's front yard. Why?
the Huron arrives at the column, his tomahawk swings into his hand and he brains a
British trooper who falls dead. The single Huron never breaks stride. He simply runs off
horrified, holds Alice tighter.
has seen it too. And now he sees ...
62ND REGIMENT OF FOOT
fixing bayonets. A large sergeant unsheathes a two-handed claymore, facing the Hurons
and other Indians ...
of the 33rd present arms. Did they violate the surrender by carrying ammunition? Locks
are cocked. There's the answer.
Steady! No one fires!
EXTERIOR FORESTED HILLSIDES - OTHER TRIBES
are watching what happens.
(to Sergeant Major)
Men are to stay in file, Sergeant Major!
Drums beat the cadence.
step over the fallen soldier. Heads turn, they're on edge ...
END OF COLUMN - HAWKEYE, UNCAS & CHINGACHGOOK
watching. They exchange looks. This is not good. Chingachgook cocks both Killdeer
and his own musket.
HAWKEYE'S POV: FORESTED SLOPES
Hold. We start to make out details in the shadow. Tree trunks. We become accustomed
to the dimness. Now in the lower light we see deeper in the forest.
Many Huron and Ottawa are hidden in the shadows. They're moving along parallel to
the column, stalking it. Waiting ...
racing down the hill from the opposite flank towards the 62nd.
look at their sergeant. He nods. They wait until he's within ten feet of the column. Both
bayonet the Indian. He's dead.
EXTERIOR HILLSIDES - HURON & OTTAWA
saw what happened. But, they hold their ranks.
among the British are slipping tomahawks into their hands, surreptitiously. Some are
gallops his horse away from Cora and Alice towards the scene of the last attack. We
hear him from the distance ordering ...
Do not break ranks! I want these ranks
to hold ...!
frustrated. He saw Munro leave Cora. He knows events have a momentum and it's
CHINGACHGOOK & UNCAS
move next to the sergeant with the shackle keys who looks at them curiously as ...
with children nervously search the threatening trees, hoping against hope these are
draws his sword and is passing orders to his sergeant major, scanning the hills ...
EXTERIOR FORESTED SLOPE - MAGUA
His eyes see Munro.
WIDER & LOWER: MAGUA
raises his musket in his fist and emits a war whoop. WE NOW SEE ... hundreds have
been stalking the column, hidden in the trees, maybe thousands. Then ...
WIDE: ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE
FIRE from the trees crescendos within seconds revealing a spontaneous and massive
ambush of mostly Hurons. They appear from behind every tree and it turns to a ROAR
of musket fire, war whoops and screams as ...
SOLDIERS & CIVILIANS
dropping like flies and seemingly thousands of Hurons attack down both slopes.
is being unshackled by Uncas. The sergeant is rising from the ground where
Chingachgook knocked him. Chingachgook throws Hawkeye Killdeer and Hawkeye
shrugs into his pouch and powder horn as he races with Uncas for the head of the
EXTERIOR FORESTED SLOPE - MAGUA
charging down the hill ... with his coterie of twenty Huron warriors, heading for the
area in which he saw Munro.
CORA & ALICE
at the head of the disintegrating column. Cora's holding Alice's head to her bosom,
covering her ears as if to protect her from the sounds.
Right - about face! March! First rank present!
The volley knocks down fifteen of a horde of attacking Hurons.
Prime! Load! Second rank six paces forward!
Hurons are twenty yards away and closing.
As the line of muskets belch smoke and fire ...
WIDE: THE HILLS & PATH
We're shooting into the "v" of the valley with Hurons and other tribes pouring down
from both sides. (IMPORTANT: the combined musket fire of Hurons, English and
Mohawks generates tremendous clouds of smoke which obscure action, close off
views, isolate pockets of combat into surreal tableaux that we'll move in and out of.
using their useless muskets as clubs or with fixed bayonets - as the smoke and fog
swirls among the men - fighting for their lives ...
glides through the scenes, striking and hunting. Some of his coterie of braves near him.
He sees ...
hugging the ground in fear. Magua throws her over. It's not Alice Munro. It's a woman
protecting her baby. Magua walks on. One of the braves behind Magua raise his
tomahawk. On his downswing ...
running through surreal patches, thinks he glimpses Cora two hundred yards away.
Chingachgook, on Hawkeye's left, slams down two Hurons with his war club.
CORA & ALICE
running through the chaos and murder and British troopers and Mohawks locked in
struggle with Hurons. Cora's dress is torn. She holds Alice to her. There's a pistol in
scalping a prone soldier, rips the trophy from his head, turns and faces us.
shoots him in the face.
EXTREMELY CLOSE: ALICE
and her eyes take it all in. And her affect starts to flatten. A blankness suffuses her
expression and the girl withdraws from this reality into a deep dark cave inside her
locked in combat. He tomahawks one Huron's arm with a slashing downstroke and
comes right back into the face of the second with his backswing while his right hand
fires Killdeer at ...
six feet from Uncas and about to shoot him in the back.
free for a moment, spins. He has no idea of direction any more. Everything is death in
strange tableaux. Meanwhile:
He cuts down a Huron with his sword who is trying to leap at him from the right. An
Osage warrior with red scalp-lock leaps on the back of Munro's horse, reaching over to
stab down into Munro's neck. The old man's left hand grabs the warrior's knife hand in
an iron grip. His right hand pulls his horse pistol and under his upraised arm fires
backward, point blank, blowing the Osage off the back of his horse.
Just then Munro's mount is shot. His horse rears up, throws Munro and falls on him.
shouting orders over the deafening noise.
Second rank fire! Six paces back! Prime!
Load! Third rank! Present!
A well-oiled, well-drilled fighting machine, but there are fewer of them. They're getting
cut off. They close ranks automatically as a man drops. They're retreating in perfect
about to strike a downwards blow is pushed aside by Magua.
His eyes drop to what's in front of him. The field goes quiet.
OVER MAGUA'S SHOULDER: MUNRO
his lower body is trapped under his dead horse. Magua leans in towards him.
Grey Hair. I will cut your heart from your
living chest in front of your eyes. As you die,
know that I will put under the knife your
children and wipe your seed from this earth
Magua pulls his knife and as he leans down towards Munro ...
MOHAWK & HURON
spin and flail furiously at each other with tomahawks and knives. The Huron goes down
and then the Mohawk is shot. The Huron who shot him is cut down by a Ranger with
tomahawk in one hand and bayonet in the other. Two Mohawks and three Rangers
fighting back to back. They become an island swamped by Huron and Ottawa: amidst
bodies and ground slippery with blood. As smoke obscures their image.
CORA & ALICE
in a group of civilian militia. Two of the militiamen are shot down. The third engages a
Fox warrior. Cora & Alice run.
frozen in agony by shock.
reaching down and up into something, emerges and jams an object we barely see into
the air. But his arm and shoulder and half his chest are splashed red with blood.
LONG SHOT: MAGUA
seen from far away, holding aloft the heart of Munro.
saw him and fights his way to attack when ...
crazed, CRASHES through men, knocking Hawkeye over ...
protecting Hawkeye, slams his war club into one Huron, breaking his attack, his arm
and his skull and swings the other way burying the bladed end into the chest of an
Ottawa who's behind him. Then ...
up, looking wildly ...
CAMERA JAMS INTO CLEARING SMOKE:
33rd Regiment of Foot and Heyward. They FIRE into our face.
Six paces back! Prime! Load! Rank two,
present! Rank two, hold!
He grabs a partially loaded musket, the ramrod still in the barrel. They're taking fire.
Men are dying. They're being pushed back.
wearing a large cross, attacks Heyward from the side. One-handed, Heyward fires the
musket into the man's chest, sending the ramrod through him. Then Heyward's shot in
the thigh and a thrown tomahawk hits him in the head and knocks him sideways.
Dazed. Barely able to stand. He uses the musket as a cane and ...
Rank two, six paces back! Rank one,
Rank two did not retreat six paces. They stand in confusion. Heyward looks to see
HEYWARD'S POV: THE REMNANTS OF THE 33RD REGIMENT OF FOOT
are standing in water. They're up against Lake George. Their backs are to the wall. Last
stand. Heyward straightens.
TWO FRENCH OFFICERS
on horseback try to intercede in the slaughter of five women. One French officer is shot
by a Huron. The other French officer runs through that Huron and shoots the second.
Then his horse is shot out from under him and he goes down ...
pleads with an Abnaki to give up a child he's holding by the legs in one hand. He offers
his cross. The Abnaki throws the baby to the Jesuit, Pere Roubaud.
sees a flash of something yellow. So does Hawkeye. They charge into the swirling
chaos of attacking bodies. As we lose sight of them ...
on her hands and knees. A massive Ottawa pulls her upright by her hair about to take
her life and her scalp. He's struck by a rock in the hands of Cora which barely phases
him. He bats her aside and returns to Alice, when suddenly ...
is spun, punched and tomahawked into the ground by Hawkeye. Uncas has Alice and
TWO RANGERS AND A MOHAWK WARRIOR
from the earlier group are nearby. They combine with Hawkeye to fight their way out
with bayonets and tomahawks.
HAWKEYE, UNCAS, CHINGACHGOOK, TWO RANGERS, A MOHAWK &
back through the swirling smoke. There seems to be a lull. Then they're hit from the
side by musket fire. One of the Rangers is shot, the other wounded. Hurons attack. The
Mohawk supports the wounded Ranger.
shields Cora as they back up.
smashing his war club straight down on a Huron, reaches for the man's musket and
shoots another. Then he sees ...
SMOKE DRIFTING OVER WATER
It's glass-smooth. And the bows are barely visible of three or four Huron war canoes.
THE SHALLOWS - HAWKEYE, CHINGACHGOOK, UNCAS, CORA, ALICE,
THE RANGER & THE MOHAWK
back into the water. They're pursued by Ottawa and Hurons as they fight their way to
held up by Hawkeye, suddenly screams.
something underwater is pulling her down. An Ottawa brave rockets out of the
shallows. Before he's erect, Hawkeye slams him back into the water and FIRES.
has shoved a large birch canoe at them.
Suddenly, the Mohawk fighting with them is shot and spins to face Hawkeye. His hands
rest on Hawkeye's shoulders. Hawkeye looks into his face. Tries to hold him up, tries
to rescue him. A frozen moment. Hawkeye's staring into his eyes and the man is staring
into Hawkeye's as the light goes out ... Hawkeye lets him slide into the water and float
away. He moves Cora and Alice towards the canoe ...
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR LAKE GEORGE - WATER & SWIRLING SMOKE - DAY
The bottom of the frame is water like glass. Smoke obscures the background. Fingers
tendril towards us. Out of the mist we HEAR small splashing and then the high bow of
a war canoe defines itself. It's paddled towards us.
HAWKEYE, CHINGACHGOOK & UNCAS
Cora's behind Hawkeye. Alice and the wounded Ranger are near Uncas.
CLOSER: HAWKEYE & CORA
Cora looks left. Her eyes go wide.
HEYWARD & TWO TROOPERS OF THE 33RD IN A SECOND CANOE
have emerged from the smoke ten feet from them. Heyward's aiming a horse pistol at
is non-plussed. He doesn't stop paddling.
You got nothin' better to do today on
Lake George than shoot me, Major,
then go ahead ...
Heyward's a hair's breadth from firing. Suddenly they hear the boom of muskets and
rounds come in.
They're being pursued by three boatloads - and then a fourth and fifth - of Huron.
is indifferent to Huron musket balls. Hawkeye hasn't stopped paddling and pays
Heyward no heed.
Heyward comes to his senses. His head is gashed. A scarf, as a tourniquet, is tied
around his leg. He lowers the gun.
When you fall into British hands again,
Nathaniel Poe, I will have you hanged.
paddle hard and deep and the canoes power across the lake.
HAWKEYE & HEYWARD'S CANOES
with less paddlers, plus wounded, are slower and will be overtaken.
looks to Uncas. They both realize the same thing. Hawkeye nods and he, Uncas &
Chingachgook begin to paddle furiously. The others match the doubled pace. They're
sprinting ahead but the effort is exhausting.
maintain their steady pace. Three or four Hurons fire.
Musket balls ricochet on the water's surface. One rips a hole through the bow.
Hawkeye sees one of the Redcoats in Heyward's canoe is giving out ...
Can't ... keep it up ...
He renews the attack on the water with the paddle.
Only chance we got is ...
... to get more distance on 'em and go
Heyward digs in. Like firecrackers in the distance, Huron muskets sound. A new hail
of musket balls cut the fabric of the canoes. One Redcoat is shot in the back. He falls
looks over his shoulder.
THE HURON CANOES
They're pulling away from them.
More Huron musket balls hit water nearby.
in Heyward's boat is shot. BUT ... the .65 caliber ball didn't penetrate his skin. The
Redcoat - amazed - picks it off the floor of the canoe.
Distance caught up with eighteenth century ballistics. They're out of smoothbore
Head for ... for the white water.
Do you hear me, sir!
If you ever fall ... into British hands ...
What white water?
HEYWARD & REDCOAT'S POV: LAKE
divided by a spit of land. The right fork becomes a river with white water rapids.
HAWKEYE CANOE - HAWKEYE
paddling now, too, as they furiously jam for the white water that will shoot them way
ahead of the Hurons.
leaps off the stern of Hawkeye's canoe and climbs up the stern of Heyward's and takes
control. He roughly gestures to the Redcoat and the Major to stop paddling. He and
Hawkeye will pilot the two canoes.
EXTERIOR WHITE WATER - WIDE - DAY
The canoes enter the white water and they're so light, they're jet-propelled.
CANOE POV: EIGHT FOOT WAVE
racing in the same direction they are. They hit it straight on and it shoots over them and
they're drenched by two waves coming from the sides.
HAWKEYE & CHINGACHGOOK
paddle like fiends to get momentum and control.
Same thing. When they crested the wave Uncas hollers at them to "pull" and they do.
As soon as they're through it, Uncas slams the paddle in the water and makes the canoe
revolve a hundred and eighty degrees in a vortex so that now it's going through
stern-first or the stern becomes the bow, so that Uncas could pilot it a different way
through a hazard of ...
jutting out of the water.
WIDE - BOTH CANOES
Hawkeye didn't have to turn because Chingachgook, at the bow, uses his paddle to
shove the canoe away from jutting rocks. Uncas does the same. Past the jutting rocks,
Uncas swings it back around while ...
smashes into the camera.
ALICE & CORA
as the canoe roller-coasters and water bursts the bow. Then suddenly it's through and
the water is miraculously smooth.
The Ranger, the Redcoats and even Heyward feel the exhilaration of the ride. That's
because they think they're home free.
Here's where it gets tricky ...
Heyward turns to look in front of him. He doesn't know what the hell Hawkeye's
HEYWARD'S POV: THE RIVER AHEAD
looks glass-smoth. Although there is a distant ROAR of sorts. Then Heyward realizes:
something's wrong with this picture.
The look on his face starts to change.
HEYWARD'S POV: TIGHTER
The glass surface of the river continues to a line then falls off the end of the world. The
river just ends ...
BOTH CANOES: HEYWARD, REDCOATS, THE RANGER
realize they're heading for the lip of a waterfall. There's a couple of outcroppings of
rock in the center at the very edge. We are at Glen Falls.
Don't move ...
from the other side of the falls. It's a two hundred foot high, death-defying cataract.
The canoes - slightly above us - will go right over.
At the last moment, Hawkeye & Uncas land both on either side of the larger rock
outcropping. It is literally at the lip of the falls.
grabs a rock to anchor the bow of the canoe. He loses his grip. The canoe rockets for
lurches sideways, grabs a tree root. He is the only link of the canoe to earth. The bow,
with Heyward, is literally hanging over the edge. Uncas strains and pulls the canoe to
the rock. He gestures to Heyward.
crawls forward and makes the island. Then the two Redcoats. Finally Uncas. The canoe
rockets over the falls. Meanwhile ...
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ISLAND
Hawkeye has beached his canoe and is camouflaging it with driftwood and brush. As
they clamber over the high pieces of broken limestone, we see Hawkeye is slipping into
a crevice. He motions to Cora. Uncas carries the wounded Ranger. Heyward helps
CUT TO ...
INTERIOR GLEN FALLS CAVES - FISSURE - TWILIGHT
The irregular opening of medium blue sky is obscured by the black silhouetted forms of
Hawkeye, Cora and then the others entering.
Where do we go from here?
I don't understand!
This is it, as far as we can go ... If we're
lucky, they'll be figurin' we can't have
come this way and must've beached our
canoes and headed cross land. If we're
very lucky, they'll figure we went over
Then we take the south rim down the
mountain and it's 12 miles cross country
to Fort Edward.
And if we're unlucky?
You will have to forego the pleasure of
Hawkeye helps Cora; Heyward, the Ranger. Chingachgook carries Alice, down the
rockface into a cave. We hear a distant ROAR reverberating off the walls.
ANOTHER ANGLE: THE WALLS
are scooped out, bone-like hollows eroded by tumbling water. At an earlier time the
formation was part of the falls.
HAWKEYE & CORA
reach the irregular floor of the chamber. The ROAR is louder.
WIDEN TO REVEAL
a curtain of falling water. They're behind the cataract, probably a third of the way down
its height. Light through the water stikes them with a silver luminescence. They're
exhausted. The others join them. They almost have to shout to be heard.
followed by Uncas, takes stock of their supplies. They check their powder. They have
almost none. Uncas shares his with Hawkeye. The Redcoat's cartridge case is soaked,
the paper cartridges a soggy mess. Heyward has none. The Ranger has two left. In
Mohican, Chingachgook decides some things. Hawkeye and Uncas nod. Heyward
(crossing to Cora)
Only one or two loads.
is soaked to the bones. Hawkeye strips off his buckskin hunting shirt and wrings it out.
Cora turns her back, strips off her white blouse and puts on the faster-drying chamois.
Are we safe?
Our father? Did you see my father?
EXTREME CLOSE UP: HAWKEYE
The look on his face tells it all
Hawkeye takes Cora away from the group and turns her by her shoulders and whispers
to her. We don't hear what he says. Cora drops to her knees and places her hands over
her eyes and face like a little girl trying to make something bad go away.
Leads her to a depression, his arm around her shoulders, her face covered and she cries
softly into his shoulder.
EXTREME CLOSE UP: CORA
says into Hawkeye's ear, after she looks O.S. ...
Say nothing to Alice ...!
stands in the chamber not far from the wall of water, fascinated with its shimmer. She's
oblivious to all the events and everything going on around her ...
sees Cora & Hawkeye together and turns away.
Uncas watches Alice. The wounded Ranger has fallen asleep. The Redcoat is
exhausted. Hawkeye & Cora against the wall.
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR RIVER BANK - RIVER FALLS ARE IN MIST & RED SKY -
A landscape with mist rearlit by the red light of the sun that's already behind the
mountains. The blues are turning purple and the greens are turning black and the white
highlights of the foaming water are going rose. Reflecting the darkening sky, where the
surface isn't broken, the water is fast-moving metal ... SUDDENLY: a shaved head and
muscled back stands into the foreground. It moves down the shore away from camera.
He's followed by other Huron warriors. They're two hundred yards away from Glen
looks at the island of rock & trees and tilts his head curiously ...
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR FOREST ABOVE CANYON & FALLS - GREY WOLF - TWILIGHT
watches the Hurons below make their way towards the edge of the falls.
OVER HIS SHOULDER: THREE MORE WOLVES
join him, moving frenetically, uneasily ... The leader of the pack looks up & howls as
his eyes go white reflecting the new moon.
INTERIOR GLEN FALLS CAVE - HAWKEYE -NIGHT
hears the distant howl. He's now lit silver blue by the moonlight through the falling
water. Hawkeye knows it means Hurons are out there. He exchanges worried glances
with Uncas & Chingachgook.
immediately starts up the right acclivity to one fissure, and Chingachgook moves
carefully to the first fissure. Hawkeye follows.
His countenance gives way momentarily. All his experience seems of no avail. He
touches the side of Cora's face. Grabs Killdeer and follows Chingachgook.
sensing new danger, slips away on her own.
crosses to the Ranger who's semi-conscious, feverish and getting delirious. She can't do
a thing except hold his hand and think of her father.
CUT TO ...
INTERIOR SOUTH FISSURE - HAWKEYE & CHINGACHGOOK
below the edge, listen & wait, testing the environment with all their senses ...
NORTH FISSURE - UNCAS
against one wall, has his ear cocked, monitoring, facing away from the sky ...
looks at the sky through the fissure. She sees the starfields and feels silver moonlight
pull her forward. She starts out onto the island, oblivious, unaware she'll expose them.
yanks her down next to him. He pulls her head into his chest, looking out over the
edge, his tomahawk in front of him, his musket near his right hand. There is no sign she
UNCAS & ALICE
He relaxes, looks at her and puts his finger to his lips telling her to be silent.
Languorously, she lies back, closes her eyes and lays a hand on his shoulder, palm up,
as if he were a prince in a romantic fantasy. Uncas tries to restrain her.
eyes slowly open. Oblivion disappears. It's replaced with escalating fear. She holds onto
Uncas with desperation. Her fingers claw his shoulders. She buries her face in his
Her body shudders. Her terror's total. He tries to restrain and calm her. She won't let
him. Then her mouth seeks his and in the passion of despair and fear and wanting life,
she holds him between her thighs. And Uncas is confused, but Alice whispers his name
and he responds. He loves her in the half-light.
his hand buried in her hair irradiated by the moon, then she seems to reach some
emotional climax and begins to cry softly, and Uncas stops making love to her and
holds her. Then she's flooded with shame. He reaches for her. She jerks away. He
reaches for her again and clutches her to him. And she breaks down. Then he turns her
face to him, but her expression has completely flattened.
She's not a lover to Uncas now. She's pitiful & stricken and he comforts her.
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR RIVER - MAGUA - NIGHT
beaches a canoe on the bank. He and eight braves ease out. His war paint is fresh:
green handprints on his chest and black and green on his face. Black plumes are affixed
to his scalp-lock and his shawl is over his left shoulder. The right arm carrying his
musket is exposed. Many scalps are tied to his tomahawk. He walks towards us
approaching the island, two hundred yards away ...
CUT TO ...
INTERIOR SOUTH FISSURE - HAWKEYE - NIGHT
checks his powder horn. Nearly empty. He looks at Chingachgook.
CUT TO ...
INTERIOR GLEN FALLS ISLAND, CAVE - CORA - NIGHT
with the Ranger, looks up. Hawkeye enters. The look on his face. Then hers. They've
been discovered. Now they're backed into a hole in the ground with no powder and no
CUT TO ...
INTERIOR GLEN FALLS, CAVE - HAWKEYE & CHINGACHGOOK - NIGHT
Chingachgook talks to him in Mohican. Momentarily the anger and frustration is seen
on Hawkeye's face. All his experience & craft has been to no avail. He looks at Cora.
Back to Chingachgook. Chingachgook states something terse in Mohican. Hawkeye
agrees. Heyward's confused. He doesn't know what they're talking about. Cora has
understood Chingachgook's intent perfectly.
Yes. Go ahead.
What the bloody hell plan is this?
In this there is a chance. If I live, I can
try to free you. If we don't go, there is
no powder, there's too many of them.
Though my heart would keep me here,
in that there is no chance. None. I can do
nothing. Do you understand?
Yes. I want you to go.
Coward! Coward back at the fort.
Hawkeye uses discipline not to kill the man.
You try. With all you have. To save
yourself. If the worst happens, and
only one of us survives, something of
the other does, too ...
CUT TO ...
INTERIOR NORTH FISSURE - UNCAS - NIGHT
Listens. Hears. Then he inches above cover to see ...
UNCAS' POV: THE RIVER & SIX WAR CANOES
of Hurons approach to assault the island carrying torches.
CUT TO ...
INTERIOR GLEN FALLS CAVE - CORA & HAWKEYE - NIGHT
She's holding him. In the rigid language of her body is the struggle to contain her fear.
If they don't kill you, they may take you
north up into Canada. A warrior may take
you for a wife.
turns aside. Hawkeye insists.
Listen. Submit. You hear me? You're
strong. You stay alive. I will find you ...
no matter how far, how long it takes ...
... never doubt what you are doing.
conscious now, arranges his crushed body to face the direction from which will come
the attack as ...
puts Alice, who's entered, behind him as ... Uncas hits the floor of the cave. Now the
first glow from Huron torches starts to light the walls. They're coming ...
has their weapons slung over his back. He says something in Mohican. Uncas spins
looks at Alice: her expression's vacant.
cuts a lock of Cora's hair. He folds it into his shirt. The orange light from Huron
torches, now closer, plays on the wall behind her. We hear many Huron approach.
CHINGACHGOOK & UNCAS
now run out of the cave and throw themselves into the curtain of water. This is their
engraves her image in his memory one last time and then sprints across the floor
towards the water ...
WHAT HAWKEYE SEES: JAMMING AT THE WATERFALL
and then through it into ...
SUBJECTIVE CAMERA: UP
An awful crushing roar. We explode out the front of a white cataract a third of the way
from the top and we fall down away from the world.
EXTERIOR GLEN FALLS - HAWKEYE - NIGHT
tumbles down the falls; rolling, tumbling through the white water; then through air;
then back into cascading white water again, disappearing ...
THE RIVER BELOW - UNCAS & CHINGACHGOOK'S
bodies hit, disappear and don't surface. It looks unsurviveable.
HAWKEYE'S POV: FALLING
Sheets of water fall with us. The bottom races towards us at a hundred miles an hour ...
Just before we hit ...
CUT TO ...
INTERIOR GLEN FALLS, CAVE - FLAMING TORCH - NIGHT
WIDEN. The cave is filled with Hurons. The Redcoat is dead in the corner. A group of
braves moves away from the body of the Ranger.
surrounded. The women are behind him. He slashes at one Huron with his sword and is
clubbed down by a giant.
enters. His blanket, like a shawl, over his left shoulder, black plumes in his hair. He's
reaches out and touches Cora's hair. Cora is frozen to the spot. His hand drops away
from the hated Munros and as Magua turns to go, he says something low in Huron and
the two women are jerked towards the fissures. Heyward is dragged by the arms.
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR RIVER - WHITE WATER - NIGHT
miles from the falls. We see a figure. It's Chingachgook, nearly spent, rolling and
tumbling through the fast-moving white water. He submerges, then surfaces again. He
appears exhausted by the fall and ride.
CHINGACHGOOK'S POV: WATER
rocketing at us, battering and drowning us. We glimpse something downstream ...
tries to focus, slammed against rocks, he's striking out towards the right, swimming
against the current. He's grabbing for something.
and leather shoulder-strap. Chingachgook's hand grabs it. The current rushing past tries
to steal him from Uncas and Hawkeye, who're also beaten, bloodied, exhausted. They
pull the older, larger man from the water and ...
ON THE ROCK
all three lie there, almost devoid of energy. Then Hawkeye rises, looks at the others.
Chingachgook nods. He's up. Then Uncas, and they're moving off into the calm eddy
between the rock they landed on and the shoreline.
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR FOREST - HURONS - DAY
move along animal paths.
CORA & ALICE
struggle through the branches of trees. No one helps them. When they fall behind, they
are pushed forward.
badly beaten, bound, staggers ahead to get behind Maqua. Then:
If Magua give women to Yengeese soldiers
... will receive many gifts.
(as if considering)
Three, four oxen ... much wampum.
Does Yengeese Major have property
across salt sea?
Yengeese Major give all property to Magua.
Magua give Yengeese Major much wampum,
many gifts, maybe three, four oxen.
Magua looks at Heyward derisively. Does this white man think he's an idiot?
Gold could be arranged.
For Munro children?
How much gold has the master of the
The King? The King has mountains of
Long pause as if Magua and King George II were seriously considering this transaction.
Heyward is first realizing with whom he's playing.
What is enough?
Heart. Give Magua new heart.
Magua totally disdains the Englishman and walks away from him, starting up a steeper
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR FOREST - HAWKEYE, UNCAS & CHINGACHGOOK - TWILIGHT
running cross-country after the Huron column. They leap over fallen logs and keep
breathing hard, his lips are drawn back, sweat stains his buckskins.
runs. Then sees something.
where Cora & Alice were struggling up the animal path.
as they race across a stream away from us after the war party and into the night ...
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR FOREST - CORA - NIGHT
supporting Alice, is dragged forward by a Huron warrior by a woven rawhide thong
tied to her neck.
move quickly down into a ravine.
is shoved forward.
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR FOREST - RUNNING FEET - DAY
Long, loping strides.
HAWKEYE & UNCAS
cover ground like long-distance runners. No noise except their hard, even breathing.
They're moving down a clear trail.
out on the flank. Running hard.
lips are drawn back, determined, flashing through the hard verticals of the forest, now
leaps down an embankment into the soft loam and keeps going.
CUT TO ...
EXT. HURON VILLAGE - ORNATE CHAIR - DAY
on a rude platform. The entire village is crowded in a large circle. They all wait for
someone. They've been waiting a long time. In the perimeter warriors keep Huron at
bay for some reason. We see Magua. He stands apart. They wait. Then ...
is led to the dais by three women down the main street between the neat rows of birch
bark lodges. Many scalps and trophies from the massacre are in evidence. He sits on the
raised platform. He looks to be in his nineties. His dark wrinkled face is contrasted by
his long white hair. His robe is painted in hieroglyphical representation of combat. He
wears numerous silver & gold medals, gifts of French, English and Dutch governors.
Most startling is his face. His dark & lined skin is enhanced by delicate lines of
tatooing. He looks up to Magua.
(in Huron; subtitled)
The tomahawks of your young men have
been very red.
(in Huron; subtitled)
Many of the Yengeese are dead, great
(sound dissolve to English)
I have brought three of my prisoners,
to honor you. Two are the children
of Munro. Whose scalp hangs on my
lodge pole. And whose heart I cut from
Now we see Cora on the ground. Defeat & fear are held in place by her determination.
Alice looks around, in another place. Heyward's hands are bound between his back with
a piece of wood wedged through his elbows.
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR DIFFERENT FOREST - WIDE FRONTAL: UNCAS, HAWKEYE &
CHINGACHGOOK - DAY
running. Then Uncas drops and the other two follow.
WIDE OVER THEIR SHOULDERS: THE HURON "CASTLE"
seen in the distance through the sparse trees. They have dropped at the very periphery
of the forest where the woods end. (The lay of the land is important for action that
follows: the village is built in a meadow. To the left is a cliff face that rises to a rocky
promontory. On the right is a path that winds up to the promontory and beyond, across
Hawkeye sees ...
HAWKEYE'S POV: THE VILLAGE, CAPTIVES & HURON CROWD
in the center, outside the largest lodge.
slams the earth with his fists. They didn't intercept them in time. Difficult odds just
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR HURON VILLAGE - MAGUA - DAY
... the earth was pale. Our tomahawks
were bright. Now they are dull from war.
And the Huron rich with the trophies of
honor ... Magua will sell the English
officer to Les Francais and the reward is
my gift to you, wise one ... The women -
children of the white war chief - will burn
in our fires so all can share in this.
The sachem considers this. Then he looks up and sees something beyond Magua.
senses the sachem's eye line ...
unarmed, walking through the Hurons. A young boy rushes at him. Hawkeye, at the
last possible second, dodges. Others catch and restrain the boy. The Hurons are
astounded a European would simply walk into their camp.
sees him enter, doesn't believe he's there.
Hawkeye glances at her, doesn't respond. The situation is a stick of dynamite ready to
(to Heyward; low)
Translate for me, Major. Into French.
Every word ... as I say it.
Magua starts towards Hawkeye, his tomahawk slipping into his hand.
I come to you unarmed and in peace to
unstop your ears, wise one. Because the
Hurons are mislead by the words of the
wolf who's never spoken the truth.
Sachem gestures with his hand to Magua. Magua reluctantly stops advancing on
Hawkeye. Heyward's French translation has faded to a murmur. We hear Hawkeye's
Let the children of the dead Colonel Munro
go free and take the fire out of the English
anger over the murder of their helpless ones.
Our father, Montcalm, is greater than the
Yengeese in the arts of war. The Huron
do not fear English anger.
Wise one, the French fathers made peace
and swore to their honor not to break the
friendship. Magua broke it. It is false that
the French would not be friends, still, to
It made our French father happy to never
have to fight the same Yengeese again.
He told me this without telling me this.
Hawkeye realizes this is true.
So the Huron are the servants of the French?
To do what the French are shamed to do?
Huron serve no one. The French father
believes he fooled Magua because he is so
proud of his cleverness, he is blind. But it
is the Huron path that Magua walks down,
not the French one ... Now, Les Francais,
also, fear Huron. That is good. When the
Huron is strong from their fear, we will make
the terms of trade with Les Francais. And we
will trade as the white man trades. Take land
from the Abnakes; fur from the Osage, Sauk
& Fox. And make the Huron great. Over
other tribes. No less than the whites, as strong
as the whites.
Hawkeye appears to be losing his debate with Magua.
Magua would use the ways of Les Francais
and the Yengeese ...
The red man put down the bow, picked up
the fire stick and became the best warrior
in the forest. Yes. It is the only way.
Would the Huron make his Algonquin brothers
foolish with brandy and steal his lands to sell
them for gold to the white man? Would the
Huron have greed for more land than a man
can use? Like Francais Black Robes do?
Would Huron kill tribes with disease? Would
the Huron fool Seneca into taking all the
animals in the forest for beads & brandy? But
sell the fur to the white man for gold? ...
Those are the ways of Yengeese and Les
Francais masters. Are they the ways of Huron
men who hunt & work the land? Or of dogs?
... Magua's heart is twisted. He would make
himself into what twisted him. A Dog, become
Master of Dogs. But are Hurons dogs?
... Magua's way is false. It is like the white
sickness. Magua's way will bring only sadness
and shame. Is there another way? I don't know.
I am Nathaniel of the Yengeese; Hawkeye,
adopted son of Chingachgook, of the Mohican
people ... Let the children of the dead Munro go
free ... I speak the truth.
Magua starts to rebut. Sachem holds up his hand and stops him. Nobody talks. Sachem
whispers to the older men on either side of him.
waits for the decision.
looks to Alice, then to Hawkeye.
exchanges a desperate look with Cora and then senses the Sachem is staring at him
from the perspective of nearly a century of laws & judgments. Then ... to every word.
The white man comes like a day that has
passed. And night enters our future with
Our council talks since I was a boy:
What is the Huron to do?
But Magua would lead Huron down paths
that make us not Hurons.
Dark girl burn in fire to heal the twisted
heart of Magua.
Cora, hearing the sentence ... Hawkeye's losing her.
Munro daughter with moon in her hair
must be Magua's wife so Munro's seed
Alice is gone, living in some dark recess of her mind.
back to French)
... and Yengeese officer not go to Les
Francais, but back to Yengeese so their
hatred burns less bright. La Longue Carabine,
go in peace.
People move, start to implement the sentence. Hawkeye's panicked. Cora is jerked
upright. She looks at Hawkeye in terror: Sachem is starting to depart.
Tell him I'll trade him! Me for her! Tell him!!
Heyward translates into rapid-fire French.
I am La Longue Carabine! My death is a
great honor to the Huron. Take me!
Cora is jerked forward by three Hurons. Magua grabs Alice. Cora strikes at Magua. He
knocks her aside. Chaos & confusion. Meanwhile:
This is not the voice of wisdom. I go to
the Hurons of the Lakes! You are women.
Send your arrows and guns to the Seneca,
beg from them venison to eat, corn to grind.
Slaves, dogs, rabbits, thieves ... I spit on you!
Those Hurons who hear, do so in deadly, boding silence. Magua and his fourteen hard
core braves start out as ...
heard Heyward's translation. He looks at Heyward, then looks at Hawkeye and he nods
sees this. His eyes go to Cora. They've stopped dragging her towards the fire pit.
Hawkeye steps forward to surrender. Cora is thrown at him. Cora looks around wildly.
Instead of taking Hawkeye, two warriors grab Heyward.
is immediately hamstrung and his legs collapse. He gasps. He's caught under the arms
and dragged forward.
I said to trade me!
Hawkeye's holding Cora. Heyward struggles to be seen.
... compliments, Mr. Poe.
Take her and get out.
What are they doing to Duncan?
He's gone. They start to ease away from the mass of Hurons.
(low to himself)
And my compliments to you ...
Hawkeye's concentration is on backing out of the Huron mob. Will the Sachem's
judgment be honored? Will some warriors hack down Hawkeye & Cora? As they go ...
moves towards her sister. But Hawkeye holds her tightly as they retreat.
CORA'S POV: ALICE
with Magua's group crosses the path. He drags Alice behind him like baggage. She
regains her feet. Magua is oblivious to her. He's heading towards the plateau.
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR FOREST, TREE LINE - CHINGACHGOOK & UNCAS - DAY
Uncas sees Magua's direction. Uncas touches his father, grabs his musket and races off.
Chingachgook reaches to stop him, but he's too late. Chingachgook's hand in the air ...
TWO-SHOT: HAWKEYE & CORA
near the tree line. Hawkeye has eyes only for ...
HAWKEYE'S POV: HURONS
moving towards fire pit. One turns to watch Hawkeye & Cora depart. Will he arouse
others to attack? Behind him, others are doing something to Heyward and flames leap
are on Alice, off to the right in the meadow.
tense. They're almost there.
CHINGACHGOOK'S POV: MASSED HURON
Sky & flames. Suddenly, Heyward's stood upright into the fire, bound to a bracket by
his arms. As the flames start devouring him ...
HAWKEYE & CORA
close to Chingachgook and the tree line ...
tosses Hawkeye Killdeer. As fast as he jams it into his shoulder he FIRES.
among the hollering Hurons, is shot dead. It goes unnoticed.
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR PROMONTORY - UNCAS - DAY
half-way up the rock face. He's approaching an overhang. He climbs with a reckless
EXTERIOR STREAM - HAWKEYE & CHINGACHGOOK
pound across the (sic) to the meadow towards Magua's path ...
trying to stay with them, scrambles up ...
EXTERIOR PROMONTORY - UNCAS
reaches the overhang. It juts away from the face six feet.
THE CEILING OF THE OVERHANG
Uncas' hand jams into a crack in the granite, forms a fist and twists, making a wedge.
He swings out, dangling in space by the hand wedged into the rock. His right hand
reaches out and up, searching the vertical face for ...
... a rock flake. An indentation. Anything ... His fingers find a diagonal crevice and ...
swings out, now hanging by the vertical face above the overhang. His features are
distorted with determination. Nothing will stop him. His right hand grabs another rock.
His arms snap him up. Then push. He's on the ledge. Moving fast ...
CUT TO ...
EXTERIOR PROMONTORY - HURONS - DAY
on point are approaching the path above the promontory. Five warriors are ahead of
Magua. One behind him drags Alice.
Huron starts up the narrow path. Suddenly ...
slams him off the rock with the butt of his musket.
Two's musket coming up. Uncas swings. FIRES. Before he's fallen, Uncas bayonets
FIRES, misses, swings. Uncas slips the swung musket, but it catches his elbow. Uncas'
musket falls. Before it hits the ground his tomahawk is out and hacks Four over the
running forward past Five, confronts Uncas head on. It's incredibly fast.
three tomahawk swings are dodged by Magua whose own knife streaks like silver
flashes. Uncas, gashed on arms and chest, feints right and slams Magua with an open
hand, closes and the men are intertwined steel and muscle ... and Magua throws Uncas.
Going with him and rolling off Uncas, Magua's knife flashes into his armpit. Uncas'
right arm is useless. He scrambles up. Next to the expertise of a mature warrior like
Magua, Uncas' raw, young determination may not be enough.
EXTERIOR - MEADOW - CHINGACHGOOK
EXTERIOR PROMONTORY - UNCAS
closing, swings. Magua moves inside, stabs Uncas twice, turns him to face the edge,
ripping his head left to expose the right underside of his throat.
knife arm punches forward.
Uncas falls down the face onto to the rocks.
seeing his boy killed, CRIES out and is charging up the path, Hawkeye following.
EXTERIOR PROMONTORY - ALICE
backs to the edge.
moves on Alice. His knife is low, about to strike. She stares at him. Her eyes are like
pools of deep water, calm, open, almost beatific. It stops Magua ...
inexplicably, drops his knife hand. He's riveted by her. About him, there's a glimmer of
something else. He wears a human face for this one moment. He reaches out with his
other hand to offer her safety. To bring her back from the edge ...
looks down at Uncas, her lover, dead on the rocks below. She turns to Magua with
enigmatic calm. Her eyes seem to see into him. She steps off the edge. She falls to her
death next to Uncas ...
EXTERIOR MEADOW - CORA
collapses to her knees on the ground and her face falls forward into her hands ...
are running down the path to intercept Chingachgook, charging uphill, fueled by a
father's rage, and Hawkeye. One Huron aims at the center of Chingachgook's chest ...
FIRES past his father's side. The Huron's blown off the path. Hawkeye races to reload
on the run ...
EXTERIOR PROMONTORY - MAGUA
sees the approach of Chingachgook.
Huron warriors are an irrelevance. He slams one aside with his musket.
with tomahawk, about to blindside Chingachgook, is SHOT DOWN.
Two men, like dots, race to collide at the center of the promontory. Now the others fall
back... It's one-on-one. Hawkeye slows ...
Magua - confident, pumped up - feints with his left, his tomahawk appearing in his
right, sweeping backhand, while his left, magically holding his blade, is jamming up to
gut Chingachgook. Chingachgook's dead. Except ...
isn't there. He rolled and, on one knee with his back to Magua, his arm slams rearward.
The massive war club crashes into Magua's back.
stunned, turns to hatchet Chingachgook ...
now up and towering - slams his club right into Magua's assault ... destroying it,
breaking Magua's right arm. And ...
... with his momentum, spins like a shot-putter and the next blow cripples Magua's left
side and crushes part of his chest.
destroys Magua's collar and shoulder.
amazed. His body is broken and crippled, but he still stands. He looks into the eyes of
the last warrior of the Mohicans.
And he spins and swings. The blade side of the war club punches into Magua's chest,
caving him in two.
Magua dies in the dust.
watching Chingachgook's heaving back. It's over.
alone, kneeling in the meadow. Her eyes downcast ...
FADE OUT ...
EXTERIOR - MOUNTAIN TOP - WIDE REAR SHOT - NEXT DAY
Chingachgook's at the edge, facing the endless rolling forests to the west. A haze of
sunlight illuminates silver and lead clouds. Hawkeye is a little apart, watching his father.
HAWKEYE'S POV: CHINGACHGOOK
speaks to the sky.
Great Spirit and the Maker of all Life ...
ON HAWKEYE & CHINGACHGOOK
We HEAR Hawkeye's English translation in VOICE OVER:
... a warrior goes to you swift and straight
as an arrow shot into the sun. Welcome him
and let him take his place at the council fire
of my people.
He is Uncas, my son.
Bid them patience and ask death for speed;
for they are all there but one
- I, Chingachgook - Last of the Mohicans.
Chingachgook's hands drop to his sides. He lets out his breath with a weariness. His
eyes seek Hawkeye's. They hold ...
is standing, her back to us, in front of a rock-covered grave with a wooden cross. Next
to it is Uncas' burial platform. Cora [says a] silent prayer. Then she pauses, crosses
herself. Her emotions are spent. She moves next to Hawkeye. He takes her hand.
HAWKEYE & CORA]
Will you go back to England?
I have nothing to go back for.
Then will you stay in America?
She turns to face him.
And will you be my wife?
They hold each other's eyes. She searches his face.
Where will we go?
Winter with the Delaware, my father's
cousins. And in the spring, cross the
Ohio and look for land to settle with my
father in a new place called Can-tuck-ee.
They move next to Chingachgook. He senses they're beside him. Hawkeye's arm is
around her shoulders.
The frontier moves with the sun and pushes
the red man of the wilderness forests in front
of it. Until one day there will be nowhere left.
Then our race will be no more, or be not us ...
The frontier place is for people like my white
son and his woman and their children.
That's my father's sadness talking.
Hawkeye puts a hand on his shoulder.
No. It is true ... One day ... there will be no
more frontier. Then men like you will go, too.
Like the Mohicans.
And new people will come. Work. Struggle
to make their light ... One mystery remains.
What is that?
Cora, listening to Chingachgook, takes Hawkeye's hand.
Will there be anything left to show the world
that we ever did exist?
Cora stands next to her man. Hawkeye puts his arm around his father. They stare out
over the wilderness.