is the reflection of Hector’s face in a rock pool. The
image suddenly fragments. Hector is enjoying himself,
deflecting his stream of pee now and then so that his
image reforms itself and then is disrupted again. When
he is finished, a trace of vanity makes him bend down
closer to his reflection. He strokes his long hair and
fingers a blemish on his cheek.
Then he is aware of another presence. He sharply turns.
Some way off a solitary figure stands on the rise of some
rocks, not afraid to show itself. Hector calls out.
Go back home… leave me alone…
We see that the figure is a young BOY, Hector’s son. The
Boy thinks about it for a moment, before turning and
disappearing behind the rocks.
1-4 TITLE SCENES 1-4
The small fire that never goes out has been enlarged to
cook the day’s meal. Beyond the fire on a rock shelf
HECTOR plays with his children, a GIRL of six and Boy of
eight. It is the usual rough romp that fathers indulge
in, but in 4000 BC possibly rougher than normal. Hector
is acting the part of some trapped wild animal, lashing
out at the hunters surrounding him. But in his act of
wild rage he gets carried away. He picks up his son and
throws him hard, much too hard, on his back.
1-4 CONTINUED: 1-4
The Boy tumbles down from the shelf to the cave floor at
his mother, DEIRDRE’s feet, howling in pain. Deidre
scowls at Hector. If the gesture had been invented he
would probably shrug his shoulders. The Boy howls on.
Hector kneels beside his daughter, absorbed in her antics
as she sleeps. She is a vivid dreamer. Her whole little
form wriggles and contorts in response to the fantasy
unspooling in her head. She emits unearthly nighttime
noises, squeals and giggles and moans. Hector is fasci-
nated. Where has his daughter gone? Who is this strange
wild creature that has taken her form, lying beside him?
Hector’s daughter delights him. And while Hector watches
his daughter, Deirdre from their bed watches Hector.
It is almost dawn, the cave is quiet and the fire has
diminished. By its light we see Deirdre and Hector making
love, on their bed of dried grass and skins. It’s diffi-
cult to say what their lovemaking might look like. What
has 6000 years done to that art? We will think about it.
On the far side of the cave we see the sleeping children.
As we MOVE CLOSER we see that they are far from sleep.
Two sets of bright eyes peek out from under their cover.
We CUT BETWEEN them, the loving parents and the watching,
Hector is arguing with his son, just outside their cave.
The Boy wants to go foraging with him again.
No… stay here… stay!
Hector takes a few steps. The Boy follows.
No… go back… go away…
Hector walks on again, taking big, angry father strides.
The Boy stubbornly tags along at a safe distance. Hector
walks on for some time before turning on him.
Leave me alone! Stay here…
There is real anger in his voice. The Boy wisely
retreats to the cave. As Hector turns to continue his
walk alone he see Deirdre looking at him accusingly from
the entrance. She holds out her arms ready to comfort
the Boy rejected by his father. Hector is in the
classic, timeless, no-win situation and he knows it.
With a sigh of frustration he heads for the beach.
5 EXT. SHORE – DAY 5
Hector is foraging on the shoreline, gathering cockles,
seaweeds, mussels, crabs, anything edible. He splashes
in the shallows, hoarding the food in a roughly-woven
bag. Every now and then he will suck a cockle from its
shell or crunch on a particularly tasty piece of seaweed.
Hector looks about 30 years old. This is advanced middle
age for his times and it shows. He has a heavy cold and
an irritating hack in his throat. In a similar condition
a modern individual would spend two or three pleasantly
drugged days in bed, perhaps attempting a little light
paperwork propped up on some pillows.
The sun is warming the day. Hector sits on a rock, sur-
veying his world. He seems very much a part of it. He
watches some wading seabirds nearby. Like him they are
nosing around the margins of low tide for food. He
smiles. In another season they or their eggs will pro-
vide a meal or two. There is a strange atmosphere of
appropriateness in the scene, Hector seems such an inte-
gral part of it. The easy fit of the man in his land-
scape strikes us. Hector belongs to it in ways that a
present-day hunter or holiday maker, or even naturalist,
never could. Also, there is an odd sense of the world
being rather empty.
Whether the larger world is round or flat, spinning or
orbiting, Hector neither knows nor cares. He knows
simple things. Cold and hunger. He knows warmth, rough
comfort and companionship. His family and the safety of
Further along the shore Hector drops his bag and straigh-
tens himself, easing the ache in his back. Then some-
thing disturbs him. From behind a distant headland a
smudge of smoke trails into the sky. Hector picks up his
bag and runs. He knows where he is going. He reaches a
vantage point on some rocks. He steadies himself and
gazes hard out to sea. We can feel the strain in his
eyes as he tries to detect any hint of threat in the
glinting water. Then his jaw drops in fear. Around the
edge of the headland two dark shapes proceed in regular
motion. Their steady progress is full of menace. Oar-
driven boats, slowly, insistently making their way into
Hector’s bay. He jumps from the rocks and runs up the
beach toward the cave. One thing else that Hector knows
is fear, blind, gut-turning fear.
6 EXT. HILLSIDE – DAY 6
Hector is a small figure in the landscape now, racing up
the steep slope in the direction of his home.
6 CONTINUED: 6
He stops for breath and to look back on the bay. The
shapes are distinct now, two large open boats, roughly
made but menacingly adequate for their purpose, coastal
raiding. The boats are nearing the beach now and figures
can be seen preparing to land. Hector gathers enough of
his wits and strength to continue his race up the
7 INT. HECTOR’S CAVE – DAY 7
Inside, his family are in a state of panic. They seem to
have prepared for this moment. Through their agitation
there is purpose. They gather bits and pieces to carry
with them in their flight. Hector’s children are attemp-
ting to take too much. Hector shouts instructions to
them as he puts more wood on the fire. It must stay
burning in their absence.
Hector gathers his family together and they leave the
8 EXT. HILLSIDE – DAY 8
Hector shoves his children in one direction up the slope
further into the hills. His woman runs off the other
way. A hasty, confused argument takes place.
Up the hill!
No, down onto the other beach.
The little ones can’t take the
hill. Neither can I.
Up the hill! They’re down there
already. I saw them!
She runs off down the slope. Hector has no choice but to
follow her, herding the children in front of him.
Deirdre runs on, heading for the lower slope and the cover
of some trees. Then from these same trees she sees the
figures of the RAIDERS coming toward her. She turns,
running back up the hill. Hector and the children also
turn and run back the way they have come, by now dropping
precious bits of food and other possessions. The Raiders
are running strongly, five or six of them.
8 CONTINUED: 8
The little Girl starts to go back for a precious toy she
has dropped. Hector picks her up and carries her off
over his shoulder. The Boy follows.
Deirdre is trailing behind them. She was right. She
doesn’t have the stamina for the hill. Hector looks back
and sees the Raiders gaining on her. His face is a con-
fusion of fear and indecision. He almost stops, as if to
go back and help her, but then changes his mind and runs
off once again with the children. Deirdre is by now
throwing the things she is carrying at her pursuers,
hoping that they will stop to retrieve them and allow her
to gain some ground. But they don’t stop and the effort
tires her even more.
She attempts one final dash and then, all of her energy
gone, she stops in her tracks and waits for her pursuers.
the Raiders break their run also and trot and finally
walk, the distance between them and Deirdre.
Hector is watching all of this over his shoulder, still
running. He stops for a moment to watch Deirdre being
finally surrounded by the Raiders. Then he runs on.
9 EXT. VALLEY – DAY 9
Hector is tiring, too. With the Girl still awkwardly
clinging to his neck he is picking his way up a steep
slope, half-dragging the Boy up behind him. He stops
for a breath and sees the raiders moving into the
valley below. In a moment of utter panic he lets go of
his son, drops the Girl from his shoulder, and runs on
alone. We can sense the moment of release in his
unburdened flight. But it doesn’t last long. Some way
up the slope he stops and turns. He sees his children,
only now beginning to work out what has happened, and
the raiders below. He can’t do it. Even as the Girl
calls to him he is running back down the hill, feeling
the first stab of a guilt that will never leave him.
Come back, Dada…
10 EXT. VALLEY – ANOTHER ANGLE – DAY 10
Hector and the children have reached the safety of a
small valley higher up in the hills. The raiders have
been slowed down by their capture of Deirdre. Hector
is hoisting his two children into the lower branches of
a solitary tree on the hillside. He coaxes them up into
the higher branches.
10 CONTINUED: 10
Don’t move from here. I’ll come
for you in the morning. There’s
no food. Try and sleep in the
branches. Don’t cry. Don’t make
Hector moves off, looking back to his children in the
tree. They too gaze anxiously at him. They don’t wave.
Maybe waving hasn’t been invented yet. Hector heads off
alone, higher into the hills.
11 EXT. ROCKS – DUSK 11
It is dusk now. We find Hector waking from a fitful
sleep behind some rocks. He sits up and takes in his
surroundings. His face hardens as awareness of his pre-
dicament returns. He stands up and then crouching low,
moves off down the hill.
12 EXT. VALLEY – DUSK 12
Hector has returned to the area of the tree. He slows
down some distance away and just in time. He sees a
figure standing beneath the tree. He moves forward to
the protection of some rocks, and watches. He is close
enough to hear the voice of the solitary Raider, although
he doesn’t understand the words. The Raider looks up
into the branches and talks in a friendly, persuasive
It’s too cold to spend all night
up there. We’ve got a fire at the
beach. Food, too.
There is no response from the tree. The Raider coaxes
Come on! Your mother’s down
there. She’s happy… she’s warm,
too… and full… she wants to
see you… she sent me…
His friendly tone of voice has an effect. There is
movement in the branches. Hector can see the dark shapes
of his two children clambering down. The Raider
stretches out his arms and helps the Boy to the ground.
12 CONTINUED: 12
Then he reaches up for the Girl, catches her as she drops
and keeps her in his arms. He laughs in a comforting
That was easy, eh? You’re half
asleep already, little girl. I’ll
Hector watches the Raider and his children move slowly
off, down the hillside, the Raider carrying the Girl in
one arm and holding the Boy’s hand. They almost look
like a family.
13 EXT. BEACH – NIGHT 13
It is fully dark now. On the beach the Raiders have set
up a comfortable camp with a large fire. We are still
with Hector. He has come down from his bleak hiding
place in the hills. The smell of fire and food and con-
cern for his family, have drawn him here. He is hiding
somewhere way off from the camp, but close enough to
What he sees disturbs him, but for odd reasons. His
family appear to be happily integrated with the Raiders.
His two children have become fast friends with the man
who coaxed them from the tree. His woman is with a
larger group closer to the fire. They are playfully
attempting to communicate with her, and although still a
little timid, she is smiling. There is no hint of bar- *
barity, rape or abuse. That was not the intention of the
Raiders. To them, a fertile woman and two healthy
children are as gold will be to plunderers of later ages.
For their part, the family have to accept the situation.
Food and shelter are the best that life can offer.
Painfully, Hector takes in the reality of the scene. His
family have been stolen from him, plain and simple. In
the morning they will be gone, out to sea and round the
headland forever. He watches them for a while longer,
then it becomes too painful. He retreats into the dark-
ness and up into the empty hills again.
14 EXT. ROCK SHELTER – NIGHT 14
Hector spends a long, cold night alone, squatting in a
narrow crevice in the rocks. He doesn’t sleep, or even
attempt to close his eyes. He stares into the darkness.
There is nothing in the world to comfort him, no phi-
losophy or religion, no friend to run to. This night he
is utterly alone.
15 EXT. ROCKS – MORNING 15
In the morning it is lightly raining. Hector stands in
the drizzle outside the shelter. It seems to revive him,
refresh him, even comfort him. A sign, however meager,
that life goes on. Then Hector trots off in the direc-
tion of the shore. There is not much else that he can
16 EXT. BEACH – DAY 16
The Raiders are loading up their boats, wading back and
forth from the shoreline. Hector watches from cover.
His family are already on one of the boats, awaiting *
whatever lies ahead, too afraid to betray real emotion. *
The last of the Raiders on shore wade out the short dis-
tance to the boats. Hector watches these moments of
departure, watches the faces of his family.
Hector makes his move. In a mad act he breaks cover and *
runs down toward the departing boats. The last Raiders
are climbing aboard. Hector charges at full speed to the
water’s edge. He screams agonizingly at the Raiders and
impotently starts throwing stones at them. The Raiders
all look at him. The LEADER is impudently brushing
Hector’s missiles aside, like so many flies and smiling.
Suddenly Hector’s rage and energy leave him. He stands
looking at the Raiders and they look at him, for a long
moment. The Raiders are all young men, hardly into their
twenties, and nowadays might resemble something like a *
motorcycle gang. But in Hector’s time they are men in
the full prime of life. They begin to laugh and exchange
remarks about Hector. He returns their looks fiercely.
His woman and children sit on the boat, frozen in fear. *
The Leader eventually turns from Hector, still smiling
and gives an order. The men lift their oars and prepare
to leave. Then an older man stands up in the other boat.
He calls over to the Leader, nodding in the direction of
Hector. Hector doesn’t know what they are saying, but
they have an intense exchange, obviously centered on him.
The older man seems to be an adviser, a priest or wise
man, although he’s still only about thirty years old.
The Leader listens to him intently. The PRIEST talks and
points to the cliffs. The Leader looks there and nods
his head. He gives some instructions to his men. Hector
stands, bemused. Six or so of the Raiders leave the
boats, wade ashore and without any resistance from him,
take hold of Hector. Hector’s children instictively rise *
as if to defend their father, but Deirdre, despite her *
own feelings, wisely holds them back. *
17 EXT. CLIFFS – DAY 17
Hector’s hands have been bound with rope. He is being
led up to the top of the cliffs. The Priest and the
Leader walk on ahead, still talking intensely.
At the top of the cliff the bay and the boats and the
wide sea are stretched out beneath them. The Priest, as
they arrive, becomes excited. He points to a pile of
large stones at the very summit of the headland. The
mound of stones is obviously man-made.
I told you! I knew they did it
around here! Ask him…
The Leader moves closer to Hector and talks to him in a
friendly, reasoning tone.
What do we do? Do we throw you
over, is that the idea?
Hector doesn’t understand. He looks at him blankly.
He wants me to throw you over.
What does it do? Does it help the
sun? Should I throw you over?
The Leader tries to help Hector understand by miming the
act of throwing him off the cliff. Hector doesn’t know
how to respond.
I tell you, it’s one man, one
stone. It’ll help the voyage.
The Leader is unsure. He walks around the pile of
stones, checking it out from all sides as if it was some
infernal machine that he didn’t know the workings of. He
squats down and squints through it to the watery sun
emerging from the clouds far out to sea. He looks across
to Hector, now sitting on the grass. The Leader sits
down beside him. They sit together like friends. The
ageless intimacy of sacrificer and victim.
What’s it got to do with the sun?
I don’t know, yet.
The Leader looks at Hector. Then he makes up his mind.
17 CONTINUED: 17
No. It’s too much of a risk.
Just add a stone to the pile. Let
him go. That’s the best we can
do. Let’s go.
With that, he stands up. The Priest, with some sense of
ceremony, looks around for a large stone, picks one up
and places it on top of the pile. He waits for a moment,
almost as if he expects some consequence of his action.
It’s meaningless, without him
going over the cliff.
The Leader strides off back toward the beach. The others
follow him, giving a final look or smile to Hector, apart
from the Priest, who looks him up and down, regretting
that he is not by now a corpse in the ocean. Hector
watches them go, too shocked still to react in any mean-
ingful way. He stands alone, trying to unpick the rope
that binds his hands.
When they are some distance from him, Hector starts to
follow them, at first running to catch up and then simply
trotting after them. The Raiders are aware of him behind
them. The Leader eventually stops and calls to Hector.
Off you go. We don’t want you.
He turns from Hector and moves on. Hector persists in
following them. They are his only connection now with
anything that thinks or feels in the world. His link
with them is all that is left. Again and again the
Leader stops to shoo Hector away, but Hector dumbly tags
18 EXT. BEACH – DAY 18
The Raiders wade out to the waiting boats. Hector
follows to the very water’s edge, then stands and bleakly
watches them. The Raiders prepare to move off. Hector
is an embarrassment to them now. At the last moment the
Leader gives a brusque order to one of his men. The man
clambers out of the boat and wades ashore again,
carrying a large flint-bladed knife. He comes out of the
water and walks up to Hector. Hector is beyond any form
of reaction. He will take whatever is offered to him.
The man comes close, the knife held ready. He stands in
front of Hector for a moment. On the boat, Hector’s
family are tense with fear for his life.
18 CONTINUED: 18
Then the tense moment passes, as the man grunts and nods
at Hector’s hands, still bound with rope. Hector under-
stands. He lifts his hands and the man with some effort
hacks through the rough hemp. Then he turns and wades
back to the boat.
As the man clambers aboard the Leader speaks to him. The
man stops, drops back into the water, and returns to
Hector on the shore. He offers Hector the cut piece of
rope, a weird gesture of conciliation. He even smiles.
Hector refuses the gift. The man stands sheepishly for a
moment, then drops the rope at Hector’s feet and wades
back to the boat. A piece of rope in exchange for a
Hector watches them for some time, his family and the
strange Raiders, as they, achingly slowly, retreat from
his view and his life.
At last he turns and moves up from the shoreline. He
goes some distance then stops, thinks for a moment, then
retraces his steps. He goes back to the water’s edge,
picks up the piece of rope that bound him, and walks
off with it. It might be of some use to him.
19 INT. CAVE – DAY 19
Hector has returned to his cave home, now cold and empty
of life. He is working on his instincts now, still
emotionally in shock. He digs around in the embers of
the fire. Some of the larger bits of wood still hold
some life. Hector bends low and starts to waft expertly *
and blow at the fire’s remains.
We leave our first Hector squatting at his fire, in the
simplest act of physical survival. For him the problems
of emotional survival without his family lie ahead.
20 INT. BATHHOUSE FURNACE – DAY 20
This is another, bigger fire. In fact we might be in
hell. A crude furnace blazes. Filthy, sweat-covered
men feed it with wood and charcoal, an endless task given
the ferocity of the fire. To one side of the oppressive,
low-ceilinged furnace room, some small boys endlessly
toil at two large bellows, feeding the flames with jets
of air. OVER the NOISE of the FURNACE someone is
WHISTLING, an odd human sound in an inhuman setting.
Shadowy figures come and go with barrow loads of wood.
We TILT UP TO the space above the furnace to see a mass
of dangerously crude clay pipes, oozing water and steam
at every joint.
21 INT. BATHHOUSE – DAY 21
Above the heat and filth there is a different world. A
clean, beautifully tiled world of lazing figures, droning
conversations and resonant laughter. It is the hot room
of a bathhouse somewhere in the Roman Empire. We have
advanced 4000 years into the future and it shows in the
technology. It is men’s day at the bathhouse. All of
the people relaxing in the water look prosperous and
comfortable with themselves. Slaves wait in attendance,
some around the edge of the pool, others in the water
rubbing backs and massaging shoulders. There are three
or four times as many slaves as bathers, and the proprie-
torial way that they look after their masters gives the
place the odd atmosphere of a kindergarten for over-
And then we find our Hector. He stands against the wall,
holding a large towel. Although clean-shaven and more
healthy-looking we can still recognize Hector, more so *
by the look in his eyes. There is a set to his face
that tells us he is a man alone, emotionally detached
from his surroundings. He is a personal body slave. He
watches his master in the pool, alert to any hint of need
that he might have.
Hector’s master LUCINNIUS is not as relaxed as the others
around him. He is in anxious conversation with an older *
man wading beside him. We don’t hear what they are saying
but there is enough body language to detect Lucinnius’
pleading and the older man’s cool distraction. The older
man gives a final dismissive shake of his head. Hector *
immediately moves to the side of the pool with the towel as
Lucinnius climbs out of the water.
I’m going to the cool room.
22 INT. BATHHOUSE – ANOTHER ANGLE – DAY 22 *
Hector wraps the towel around his master and follows him,
a look of concern on his face. Lucinnius’ worries are
Hector walks a pace behind Lucinnius through various
chambers of the bathhouse, passing the games area and
the massage room as they go. All around them slaves
attend to their pampered masters.
23 INT. BATHHOUSE – COOL ROOM – DAY 23 *
After an anxious scan of the cool room, Lucinnius goes
towards three men occupying a marble bench.
23 CONTINUED: 23
Hector as if by magic produces a small wooden stool for
his master to sit on as he joins the others. Hector then
moves out of earshot, but still alert to his master’s
behavior. Lucinnius is nervous as he attempts to
casually join his friends. The eldest of the three
gives off as much of the aura of a Godfather as a naked
man in a towel can. The other two are deferential to
the older man, and treat Lucinnius with apparent con-
tempt. Hector watches the older man put a paternal
hand on Luccinius’s shoulder and speak with a calm
smile on his face. Hector almost winces to see his
master submit to this patronizing treatment. Slave
and master exist so closely together that many of
their feelings are shared. More precisely, Lucinnius’s
feelings are shared by Hector. It is a one-way exchange.
From morning until night, and probably in his dreams too,
Hector is living two lives, his own and his master’s.
Here in ancient Rome is this what they call classic
As Luccinius stands to leave we can tell by their expres-
sions that the THREE MEN are open in their contempt for
him. Hector is quickly on his feet and by Lucinnius’s
side as he goes. A final sarcastic remark comes from one
of the three.
Well washed, Lucinnius.
Lucinnius tries to muster his dignity as they leave. *
24 EXT. STREET – DAY 24
This is not the grandeur of Rome, but the dusty main
street of a provincial capital in Greece or Spain or
North Africa. It is difficult to tell from the people
because they are such a cosmopolitan crowd, faces from
every corner of the Mediterranean world. It has some-
thing of the atmosphere of a frontier town in a western,
except that here the half-finished buildings are made of
brick and stone.
Lucinnius leaves the bathhouse. Hector follows three
paces behind him, loaded down with the large towel, the
scrubber, robe, and the wooden stool. The stool goes
with them everywhere, in case Lucinnius has to stop in
the street and converse with a friend. Other notables
are among the street throng, their own slaves tagging
along behind with their little wooden stools. Some have
whole trains of slaves shadowing them. Human status
symbols. Lucinnius stops near some street stalls.
Hector stops beside him.
24 CONTINUED: 24
Bad omens, Hector. Bad omens.
Get me something to eat. Just
a mouse or two.
Hector places the stool at Lucinnius’s feet and moves off.
Lucinnius sits down, still absorbed in his problems.
Hector keeps an eye on Lucinnius as he orders the food.
Two mice… and some bread…
Two chicken legs, then, cold, and
As Hector is given the food and pays for it, he sees
another man, JULIAN, approach Lucinnius, trailed by TWO
SLAVES. One of them is carrying a folding chair much
more substantial than Lucinnius’s. Julian and Lucinnius
greet one another and sit down to talk, Lucinnius at
something of a height disadvantage. The Two Slaves move
off to one side. Lucinnius’s mood has brightened since
the arrival of his friend. Their conversation seems open
Hector gives his master his food, and then moves to join
the Two Slaves, hearing a snatch of the conversation as
Of course you’re free to call at my
house at anytime, but I was
receiving Nepos… how could I
Hector offers to share his bread with the other Two
Slaves. They easily fall into conversation, inevitably,
about their masters.
Spoiled his day, meeting your man…
he’s been avoiding him all week.
His ships have gone too, we heard.
24 CONTINUED: (2) 24
This is news to Hector.
When did you hear?
Last night. Nepos knew. Pirates.
They’re sunk, he reckons. That
could finish him, eh?
This is the worst it’s been. *
You’ll be up for sale before you
This makes them laugh, Hector less so than the other
He’s finished… you reckon?
The other two nod their heads.
Yes… at the baths… I could
tell… they smelled blood…
Well… if he’d pulled it off he’d
be in Rome by now…
And you with him…
Hector nods his head thoughtfully.
And me with him… half way home…
Lucinnius and his friend stand and exchange their final
words, unaware of the scrutiny they have been under, or
so used to it that they are oblivious to it. Hector
and the Slaves hurry to gather up the seats and take their *
positions behind their masters. The casualness of their
conversation has gone, and they resume the formality of
25 EXT. STREET – DAY 25
Lucinnius is eager to talk, and tosses his words over his
shoulder to Hector.
25 CONTINUED: 25
He’s a true friend, probably the
only one I have left.
Hector obligingly trots a step or two closer to Lucinnius
to aid their conversation.
Will he lend you the money?
He was honest about it. He said
so, plain and simple. No.
That’s a problem.
Lucinnius unburdens himself.
And the ships have gone… did I
tell you that?
Cyprian knows already. He’ll
want his money back too…
We can see the concentration on Hector’s face as he
concocts appropriate responses.
He has a tough occupation, being the alter ego to an
ambitious loser in one of the most competitive and
dangerous societies ever to exist. And he has to carry
the stool and the towel as well.
When we get home I want you to get
some chickens… and fetch Hermas,
26 INT. HOUSE – DAY 26
At home, we find Lucinnius and Hector with the diviner
HERMAS. They are gathered around a shrine in the large
public room. The entrails of a chicken lie on a slab of
marble. Hermas prods them with a knife. He makes much
of the mysteries of his craft, as if it were a skill
beyond ordinary men.
26 CONTINUED: 26
The other two peer over his shoulders. Suitably mysti-
fied, Lucinnius talks in a reverent low voice.
Are my ships from Sicily still
Hermas tetchily stops him.
No, no… offer the grain first…
sprinkle it on the altar…
… and we can’t ask the Gods
specific questions like that…
it’s a gentle, probing enquiry…
general questions… but let’s
He cuts into the chicken liver and prods around the in-
side. The other two wait in silence.
General answer… no…
What do you mean?
I mean, no. The liver says no…
Do it again… I want you to do it
again… Is it the Gods’ will… *
that Cyprian… be well disposed *
towards me… in the future? *
If you want to do it again, you
need another chicken and another
fifteen sesterces… and I’d like
the first fifteen now please.
Hector looks a Lucinnius, who nods reluctantly. Hector
opens his purse and counts out the coins for Hermas.
27 INT. HOUSE – NIGHT 27
Hector is giving Lucinnius a soothing shoulder massage.
Lucinnius is still in a talking mood. His troubles
won’t allow him to relax.
Cyprian loaned me half a million
to fit out these ships… I’m *
finished. Just when things were
going well… I had plans for you
too, Hector… in four or five
years I was going to make you a
free man… and then in ten years *
you’d be a citizen… you… you *
could’ve found your family…
brought them here… everything…
Hector smiles ruefully.
It sounds good.
Lucinnius misses the irony in Hector’s voice and enthuses
about his own future generosity.
It does, doesn’t it!
Lucinnius is silent for a while as Hector continues to *
rub his shoulders.
I shouldn’t give up. I can’t…
I’ll visit Cyprian, first thing
tomorrow… before the others can
get to him… he’s got to see
reason… I can pay him back…
sometime. It’s the only chance
we have, Hector. Should I do it?
You’re right. I must.
This burst of resolve has relaxed Lucinnius. His tense
muscles yield more to Hector’s fingers.
THALIA enters the room. She is a household slave, a
Nubian from Africa. She carries a lighted torch and
moves around the room lighting the wall lamps. Lucinnius
27 CONTINUED: 27
Thalia, I think I need one of
your massages. Hector, you can *
finish the lamps.
Hector does as he is told. He takes the torch from
Thalia and discreetly leaves the room, hearing Lucinnius
as he closes the door.
28 INT. HECTOR’S ROOM – NIGHT 28
Late at night, Hector is still awake. He rises from his
bed and quietly moves out of the room. He is careful
not to disturb the sleeping forms lying all around him,
some of them sprawled on the floor. He shares his bed-
room with at least eight other slaves. Privacy is a
29 INT. HOUSE – NIGHT 29
In the darkened house, Hector makes his way up some
stairs and along a passage. The only sound is a crack
or two of far-away THUNDER. At the end of the passage,
Hector finds a small ladder propped against the wall.
He climbs this, and lifts open the trap door above his
30 EXT. ROOF – NIGHT 30
Odd flashes of lightning far out to sea are the only
source of light as Hector moves across the flat roof.
In one corner he sees what he is looking for, the outline
of a figure resting against the low parapet wall. He
moves towards it. The figure speaks.
I missed you last night.
It is Thalia. We can tell that they are close. Hector
sits down beside her.
He kept me working until morning.
30 CONTINUED: 30
He has no money and a lot of
enemies. If he’s very clever he’ll
survive… but the omens are bad…
and he’s not very clever.
She doesn’t like him.
Nobody does. He’s unfortunate.
You get people like that. Clumsy
Thalia looks out towards the sea.
Why does the thunder always stay
out on the ocean?
Hector puts an arm around Thalia. At first it feels *
strange, their physical intimacy alongside their matter-
of-fact conversation, but gradually we understand it, the
giving and taking of comfort where it can be found, and
the realness of their friendship. Their stroking and
touching and holding becomes good to watch. We get a
feeling for what they have given one another, in stolen
hours and half hours, up here on the roof, the only place
where they can be themselves.
It’s the Gods arguing. They’re
working out what to do with
Lucinnius… he’ll be lying awake
down there… wondering what
they’re saying about him.
They laugh. Far away some street DOGS BARK.
If he goes down I’ll ask for my
freedom… he owes it to me… he
said as much… you too… we
could be free…
What we talk about.
By now he is kissing her.
30 CONTINUED: (2) 30
We talk about going home. Yours
is that way and mine is that
way… your family is that way.
I just made that up… I don’t *
know which way they are… anyway *
… you can’t think like that. *
Not after so many years… *
It’s what you talk about.
We talk about it because it can *
never happen. What we do is you *
I don’t understand. I think you’ll
leave. You’re going to leave me
Never. It’s you and me now.
Well. We stay here. He’ll survive. *
Hector is silent, still kissing her. He yawns as he *
Then I can see you every night.
31 INT. HECTOR’S ROOM – NIGHT 31
Hector is back in his bed. A figure enters the room,
steps over the sleeping bodies on the floor and shakes
him awake. Hector comes to. Lucinnius stands over him,
I can’t sleep. Get me a chicken.
I want to make another sacrifice.
We’ll do it ourselves.
Hector wearily takes himself out of bed and follows
Lucinnius out of the room.
32 INT. HENHOUSE – NIGHT 32
Hector is in the henhouse, in the dark, selecting a
chicken for sacrifice. He is about to leave when he
sees a MAN and WOMAN, arms around each other, sitting in
a corner. The Man looks at the white hen Hector is
Can’t you find a woman, Hector…
Hector smiles. He isn’t surprised to see them. They are
only doing what he and Thalia do on the roof. The Slaves
have their meeting places scattered all over the house.
Sorry to trouble you… just
fetching a chicken… good night
… the roof’s free…
The Man shakes his head with a smile. Hector leaves, the
sleepy chicken going to meet her fate in his arms.
Come on, miss, you can tell
Lucinnius his future.
33 EXT. STREET – MORNING 33
Hector and Lucinnius are approaching the home of Cyprian.
Hector as usual is walking some paces behind his master,
and he carries a large satchel of documents. Cyprian’s
home is a street palace. It is early in the morning, but
there is already activity around the house, visitors
coming and going, messengers, petitioners. A few impor-
tant callers arrive in litters, carried by slaves.
Lucinnius and Hector even have to join a line at the door
and are checked in by the gateman. Lucinnius’s hopes of
quietly bending Cyprian’s ear are dashed. It seems as
if the whole world owes allegiance to this provincial
34 EXT. COURTYARD – MORNING 34
The slaves gather on one side of the courtyard, gossiping
and playing games of chance on the ground. Their masters
wait on the other side of the courtyard, seated on
benches along the wall. Cyprian’s aides usher the
visitors into his presence in a regular flow, some have
an audience of a few minutes, others last merely seconds.
Hector keeps an eye on Lucinnius, like a mother watching
her child from a distance on its first day at school.
34 CONTINUED: 34
Lucinnius, sitting expectantly in line, does look a
little pathetic, even ridiculous. Straight-backed, hands
on knees, alert, worried, he looks a bit like a sacri-
ficial offering himself.
Hector plays a game of five-stone with some other slaves
as he watches Lucinnius shuffling up the bench place by
place to the front of the line. We almost expect Hector
to give him a little wave of encouragement as he is
finally summoned into the inner office. Hector waits.
The first signs seem good. Lucinnius doesn’t emerge
within the first minute. Cyprian is at least giving him
the time of day. More minutes pass. Hector watches a
game of handball while keeping an eye on the office door.
One or two others, familiar to us from the bathhouse, go
into the office. So does Lucinnius’ friend Julian.
Eventually Lucinnius emerges into the sunlight, a broad
smile on his face. Hector relaxes and leaves the ball
game to join him.
You look happier.
Relieved anyway… relieved that
it’s over at last.
Lucinnius strides out of the courtyard with Hector
following after him.
35 EXT. STREETS – DAY 35
Lucinnius and Hector are walking home in their usual
formation. Hector is closer than normal, so that they
Will he help you?
I have to kill myself by tomorrow
morning. He has all my letters to
Titinius, none of them got
through. He says it’s like
treason… and he says I should
want to die for owing him half a
Hector is shocked.
What if you don’t…
35 CONTINUED: 35
Then he will… and that wouldn’t
be pleasant… he would drag me to
Rome… those letters…
Lucinnius shivers to think of them.
I’m done for, Hector… but it’s
strange… I feel kind of good
about it… the struggle is over
… we’ve seen it through
I don’t know what to say.
Let’s get home. We have a lot to
Lucinnius quickens his pace.
Tonight… peace at last…
Lucinnius is obviously in a state of shock.
36 INT. HOUSE – DAY 36
Hector and Lucinnius are in his study. Lucinnius is
busy clearing up his papers. He is less hysterical than
in the previous scene, more aware of the reality of what
he has to do.
We’ll do it with a knife, Hector.
When everyone has gone to bed.
The two of us, to the end…
I don’t understand. What do you
want me to do… I don’t think I
can help you…
We’ll help each other, Hector. We
must. We’ve been through this
whole mess together… we must die
36 CONTINUED: 36
I don’t know what you mean. What
You don’t understand do you? I’m
asking you to die with me…
you’re my closest, my dearest
slave… what would they say about
me if you refused to die with me?
This is honor… we’re choosing *
death… we’re not going to submit
to the humiliations that Cyprian
can heap on us, are we?
You say we… I don’t know… what
is we? I’ve done nothing… I *
Lucinnius changes his tone, becomes more, in his own
mind, frank, man-to-man.
Hector… at Cyprian’s this morning
… I had to sign certain papers
… tell a bit of a story…
What kind of story?
A confession. That we were
plotting against Cyprian and the
provincial senate… we were short
of names… most of the people I
know were in the room… people I
thought were my friends… so I
mentioned you… I had to…
Hector is stunned with shock…
So I’m a conspirator?
Yes. So you see, I don’t want you
to die with me just because of my
honor… it’s more complicated…
I’m sorry, Hector. I would be
honored… if you would die with
me… I mean it…
Hector manages to speak.
36 CONTINUED: (2) 36
Can I sit down?
This is the worst it’s been.
37 EXT. COURTYARD – DAY 37
Hector is in the inner courtyard of the house, beside the
kitchen. He is talking to GALLUS, who is Lucinnius’s
ten-year-old son. Hector has a close friendship with
him. As we listen to their conversation it becomes clear
that Hector finds comfort in the boy, for the family that
Today there is an air of distraction about Hector.
Understandable, considering his scheduled death.
The kitchen slaves come and go as they talk.
But even if it’s round you can
still fall off the edge.
Hector has picked up a large metal plate to help him make
No… it’s not round like that…
it’s round like this.
Gallus sees his playball. He picks it up.
Do you believe everything that
Greek tells you…?
Gallus ignores this tease, intent on the ball.
Rome must be right in the middle…
here… and we must be out here
Hector becomes more interested.
37 CONTINUED: 37
So, where is my home?
How many months did they march you
Gallus walks out the distance from Rome with his fingers, *
as if there is serious calculation. *
It must be about here. *
His fingers stop on the other side of the ball.
But then you’d be upside down…
I wasn’t upside down… and how *
could you see the sun round there
… I saw the sun at home… every
Gallus is stumped for answers. *
I’ll ask him tomorrow… *
Hector remembers that he and the boy’s father are *
supposed to die that night. He looks on Gallus with a *
Yes, tell me tomorrow… I’d like
to know… because my children are
round there and I want to know
that they’re getting the sun…
ask him something else, too…
where are the gods if the whole
thing is round?
I think I know that… they’re out
here, and all around… that’s how
they can look down and see
38 INT. ALTAR – NIGHT 38
Lucinnius is at it again. In the lamplight, a live
chicken stands on the altar.
38 CONTINUED: 38
Hector and Lucinnius watch it as if their lives depended
on it. Perhaps they do.
If he eats the grain it means yes.
He scatters some grain on the table. The chicken at once
begins to peck them up.
It’s saying yes… there’s a way…
No, it’s saying yes, we should die.
But you asked it if we had to die,
or if there was another way… it’s
saying yes, there is…
No, it’s saying yes, we should die.
The bird is certainly enjoying his food.
Maybe it’s just hungry…
The chicken is inscrutable, as they are prone to be.
39 INT. DINING ROOM – NIGHT 39
A dead chicken adorns Lucinnius’s table. He and his
wife, DALMIA, and their son are lying on their couches
picking at the food with their fingers. Lucinnius is
drinking more wine than usual. Hector and the other
household slaves are in attendance. Thalia is also
there, serving her mistress.
Dalmia knows something is up, but she doesn’t know what.
She attempts to break the silence. She calls on the cook
from the kitchen.
The kitchen slave quickly appears.
Solus… I’m eating chicken again.
I ate chicken yesterday and the
day before… will I be eating
chicken again tomorrow? Why am I
always eating chicken?
39 CONTINUED: 39
SOLUS looks up at Lucinnius and Hector, but they offer
him no help.
It’s what we have to hand in the
kitchen, ma’am… I always try to
use the fresh stuff… the
chickens have just been turning
He looks again at Lucinnius and Hector. They look at
each other. Thalia looks at Hector. Dalmia looks at
them all looking at each other, more intrigued than she
A SLAVE interrupts them.
Two men have come to see you.
Lucinnius and Hector look at each other and share a
moment of hope. They might be coming with good news,
perhaps a softening of Cyprian’s heart.
40 INT. RECEPTION ROOM – NIGHT 40
The two VISITORS that await Lucinnius and Hector are an
unpromising sight. They are big men, unsophisticated and
look uncomfortable in their well-cut togas. A couple of
the godfather’s foot soldiers.
They greet Lucinnius deferentially, but he knows that
they would break his back at the whim of their master.
Good evening, Lucinnius. Cyprian
asked us if we could be of any *
assistance… in the business that
you have to conduct tonight… to
make that business as… *
comfortable… as you could wish…
Lucinnius sighs, as his last hope expires.
Thank you, gentlemen… But I feel
that I will be capable of taking
care of my affairs tonight without
your help… Thank Cyprian for his
The heavies metaphorically keep their foot in the door.
40 CONTINUED: 40
We’re spending the night at the
house of Nepos, not far from here.
Don’t hesitate to send your man for
us… at any time… We’re anxious
that things should go well for you.
Thank you. Good night.
We’ll call in the morning at any
rate… just to make sure.
Hector is closing the door when one of the Visitors talks
roughly to him.
You. Come here.
Hector instinctively looks to his master. Lucinnius
doesn’t protest, but retreats into the house. Hector is
left alone with the Visitors.
He looks like the kind that’ll
want some help. Have you ever
He’s not much different. Use a
thin blade, but long. Get it in
deep… the heart… feel for a
space between the ribs…
He prods at Hector’s body freely, showing him what to do.
If it is ticklish, Hector doesn’t let on.
… or go in from the back… any
place he’ll let you…
We leave Hector nodding obediently as this weirdest of
coaching lessons continues.
Getting it out’s not as easy as
you might think… you have to
twist a bit… to get over the
41 INT. STUDY – NIGHT 41
Late at night in Lucinnius’s study, an oil lamp and a
candle cast their shadowy light, adding to the tension in
the room. Hector stands beside Lucinnius, who is
counting out coins and other valuables on his table.
Eight hundred sesterces… cash
… that’s all that’s left… what
a failure… my father left me
three farms and forty thousand…
Lucinnius places the money in a box on his table. He is
quite drunk, resigned now to his fate. Hector however is
cold sober, grim-faced. Lucinnius looks up at him.
Nothing else to be done. Don’t
you want some wine?
No… but I want something…
What is it?
I want to die a free man… I
don’t want to die a slave…
Lucinnius looks at him grimly and manages a smile. He *
clears his throat and attempts to put a note of ceremony
into his voice.
Hector, by this proclamation, I
make you a freed man… I don’t
know the exact words… I’ve never
done it before… But you’re free,
In writing… so that when they
find me… they know I died a free
Lucinnius looks at him for a moment, then reaches out for
his paper and pen.
He scratches out a few words on the paper, Hector looking
over his shoulder, keenly watching what he writes.
Lucinnius finishes writing and lays down the pen.
41 CONTINUED: 41
They’ll find it in the morning.
It’s a nice thought, Hector… you
were right to ask.
Well… freed man, let’s do it. *
Lucinnius picks up a large kitchen knife which lies on
the table. He fingers its blade.
A trickle of fear passes across Hector’s face. Will the
half-drunk Lucinnius want to kill him first?
What do you want me to do?
Nothing… I mean, not to me… I
have to do it first… you
understand that… and then you…
if I don’t succeed… then you
must help me…
No point in messing up the room.
Let’s go downstairs.
Lucinnius stands and leaves the room. Hector follows
with the oil lamp.
42 INT. PASSAGE – NIGHT 42
The house is quiet and in darkness as they walk along the
passage and down the stairs to the washing room. Hector
walks behind, casting the light on Lucinnius’s crumpled,
defeated form. Lucinnius begins to sob, at first
quietly, then more loudly and more pathetically. Hector
looks around and behind him, afraid, or perhaps hoping,
that Lucinnius’s moans will wake the household.
43 INT. WASH ROOM – NIGHT 43
Lucinnius has worked himself into a dramatic state of
distress, with drink and terror and self pity.
43 CONTINUED: 43
He runs into the tiled washing room, wails loudly and
makes a stabbing motion at his stomach. Hector sees all
of this from behind as he enters the room. Lucinnius
crumples to the floor and squats on his knees. He calls
out in pain.
Oh, that hurts, that stings!
Lucinnius sits back on the step of the washing pool,
holding his stomach. Hector sits down beside him. They
both look down at the blade, still in Lucinnius’ body.
This is hopeless.
They sit absurdly like this for a long moment, neither
of them knowing what do do next. It’s awkward, like in a
waiting room. Then Lucinnius speaks.
Help me, Hector…
You’ve done it… you’ve done it
… lie down…
Hector speaks gently, like coaxing a frightened animal.
He helps Lucinnius lie out on the marble floor.
Close your eyes… you did it…
Thank you, thank you.
The movement has increased the spread of blood over
Lucinnius’ clothing. He raises his head.
You do it now, Hector… hurry…
Lie still… lie still…
Do it Hector… do it… you
It looks as if Hector is playing for time.
Shush… I’ll need the knife…
43 CONTINUED: (2) 43
Take it… do it…
Lucinnius’ voice is fading now. Hector waits, then
reaches down for the knife in Lucinnius’ stomach. We
see on his face the effort as he pulls at it, and do we
detect a subtle twisting of the blade to speed Lucinnius
on his way? Lucinnius sighs and twitches a little. It’s
as if the life flows out of him as the knife is released
from the wound. His voice is even more faint.
Do it, Hector… do it… do it…
Hector has the knife in his hand, but still he waits,
looking at Lucinnius, willing the last dregs of life from
Do it… do it… do it…
The whispers fade to a croak. Lucinnius lies still.
Hector has won this final battle of wills. He stands up,
suddenly repulsed by what has happened. But quickly he
gathers his wits. He makes his decision. He throws the
knife down. It clatters along the hard shiny floor.
Hector has run out of the room before it has come to rest
against the wall.
44 INT. STUDY – NIGHT 44
Hector runs into the study and makes for the box contain-
ing the coins. He puts most of them into a leather money
bag and ties it to his waist. Then he pulls on
Lucinnius’s cloak and rushes out of the room. He returns
quickly to pick up his certificate of freedom from the
table. Then just as he is leaving, he again stops, sits
down on the chair, pulls off his worn shoes and places on
his feet a pair of Lucinnius’s stout street sandals.
45 EXT. COURTYARD – NIGHT 45
Hector is walking quickly from the kitchen across the
courtyard to the street gate. Near the gate he stops
and looks back at the house. He makes a decision and
retraces his steps across the courtyard and back into
46 INT. THALIA’S ROOM – NIGHT 46
Thalia is sleeping in a large pallet bed on the floor
with two other women. Hector gently shakes her shoulder,
trying not to wake the others. After a moment or two
Thalia opens her eyes.
46 CONTINUED: 46
Hector whispers to her before she has time to open her
I’m leaving… come now if you
want to… but we must hurry…
I’m a free man… I’m free.
Will you come?
47 EXT. HARBOR – NIGHT 47
The shadowy cloaked figures making their way down to the *
harbor are Hector and Thalia. *
Nearer the harbor we sense the nighttime work of loading
and preparing ships for the morning tide. By the light
of oil lamps cargos are manhandled aboard, voices shout,
WINCHES CREAK. Hector encounters a night WATCHMAN, but
diverts his suspicion by boldly addressing him.
I have some mail for Tyre… where
are the east-bound ships?
Ask at the harbor. *
With an authoritative nod, Hector strides off in the
direction of the noise and lights, Thalia at his heels.
Hector talks when the Watchman is out of earshot.
We want a timber ship… they go
west… straight to Rome…
And then? Then you go home? *
Hector hurries on, noncommittal in his reply.
You can go to anywhere from Rome.
48 EXT. QUAY – NIGHT 48
Hector and Thalia approach a ship heavily laden with
timber. Final supplies are being carried aboard, super-
vised by two men on the quay. Hector approaches them.
Where is the Captain?
48 CONTINUED: 48
He’s on the ship.
He indicates a man standing on the rear deck. Hector and
Thalia climb up the gangplank and approach him.
Good morning, Captain… I’m
looking for passage to Rome, for
both of us…
And who might you be?
I’m the steward of Lucinnius the
merchant… we have business in
Rome… I need an immediate
It’s five or six days… to *
Brundisium… you can walk or ride
from there… you have money?
Well, let’s see… passage for
two… food for two… six days…
what were you thinking of offering?
When do you leave?
Anxious to leave, are you?
Keen to start, yes.
49 INT. SHIP – DAY 49
Hector and Thalia are asleep, huddled together in a cor-
ner of the ship that they have claimed as their quarters.
A CREWMAN comes and shakes Hector awake. He stirs himself
to the sounds of a SHIP UNDERWAY, the sounds of the SEA-
WASH, the WIND in the CANVAS, the MOANS of the TIMBERS.
Captain says to come on deck.
Hector wakes Thalia and they clamber out of the darkness
of the hold onto the brightest, freshest of days at sea.
50 EXT. SHIP – DAY 50
There is no sign of land behind them. The ship is moving
swiftly in a strong, clean breeze and a light sea. We
can tell from Thalia’s reactions that she has never been
out at sea before, at least never above deck. Every-
thing is novel to her and it shows, even the movement of *
the ship. Her excitement is childlike.
Where’s the land gone?
Hector, too, is taken by the novelty of it all but is
less prepared to admit it. He waves his hands around the
empty horizon noncommittally.
Have you been on a ship before?
Yes, of course.
We can tell he is lying.
Me, too, but they kept us down
She points down into the lower depths of the hold. Then
she gets even more excited.
Tonight… we’ll be where the
They look at each other and then all around them. The
freshness of the day and on an overwhelming feeling of
freedom, exhilarate them. Their senses and their
feelings, are in new territory. They are like children
in a brand-new world.
The Captain on the other side of the ship, beckons them. *
Thought you would like to see
He points to three shapes in the mid-distance, ships
heading for the port they have left. There is a thrill *
in their glamor, their fine progress under full sail.
Your master’s ships… going
50 CONTINUED: 50
No… they can’t be… they’re
No they’re not… I know these
ships… my brother-in-law’s the
master of the big one with the
Hector and Thalia look at each other. The Captain smiles
at them and looks back to the ships, coursing healthily
on their way.
Somebody been putting the wind up
Lucinnius? That’s an old one…
didn’t think anybody’d fall for
51 EXT. SHIP – DAY 51
Later, the ship is still making brisk progress. Thalia
and Hector are sitting on deck, some distance from one
another. They are quieter now, more thoughtful. Hector *
catches her eye. Hector is drawn by her smile and moves *
to join her. They sit quietly, absorbed in thought,
thoughts of each other, their looks and smiles tell us
that. As if they are talking without words. Hector
looks around him. A sailor on the forward deck is
sorting out some rope, an echo of a previous time and *
place. The wind catches the sailor’s hat. He grabs it
from the air and spends time arranging it once more on
his head, just so. A tiny human moment. *
52 EXT. WAGON – DAY 52
A man is driving a heavy two-horse wagon. The wind has
just lifted his hat from his head. He spends some time
replacing it carefully, just so. Watching him from the
back of the wagon is Hector.
The drama of the lives of Thalia and Hector has played
itself out long ago. Between the breath of sea breeze
that lifted the hat of the Roman sailor and the gust of
mountain wind that snatches the hat of the wagoner, lies
1400 years. *
Hector sits in the wagon beside a woman. There are
tantalizing similarities between their situation and the *
one we left Thalia and Hector in on the boat a few
moments ago, 1400 years ago.
52 CONTINUED: 52
The woman and Hector exchange glances now and then,
delicate signals of mutual awareness. Talking without
They are not alone in the wagon, perched on its half load
of timber. With them is a NUN accompanying a GIRL of
about eight. The Girl is tearful. A man, his face
unseen, is snoring underneath his hat. A younger man,
gaunt and hungry-looking, is dressed in the rough
travelling clothes of a monk or PRIEST. Even without his
habit we would know he was a holy man. His incessant
talk tells us.
We want to praise God because we
live in this ultimate age, when
all things are done, all is known,
all the wonders of his creation
revealed to us… nothing more for
man to see or do… all that is
left is the hope of salvation…
even for our humbler sisters…
The Girl is sobbing through all of this.
Yes weep, child, weep for joy…
you are a glorious example to us
all… already a child of God’s…
blessed to spend your earthly days
within his church as Christ’s
servant… what generous parents
you have… giving you to the
sisters… What a sacrifice. *
There is an Irish lilt to his voice which colors what *
he is saying with a tinge of mischief. He is a difficult
fellow to pin down. Hector looks at him amusedly, still *
sharing his thoughts silently with the woman, BEATRICE.
The Nun interrupts the Priest cheerfully.
She’s already received the last
rites, before she left her family.
She belongs to God now… Don’t you? *
The child sobs more noisily. *
Fortunate child, destined for
paradise. Untouched by the
abiding curse of carnal lust. I
struggle against it…
52 CONTINUED: (2) 52
I will not join myself carnally
with any woman…
He looks accusingly at Beatrice. *
… I will carry my unspilt seed
from this world to the next… as
should every man…
Now Hector is getting the hard looks from the Priest.
… If all men forsook forever the
fleshy temptations… and held
womankind to barrenness… think
how much the sooner would come the
day of judgement… all God’s
chosen gathered in paradise… I’ve *
written a small treatise in favor *
of virginity, sister. We could *
discuss it later if you like… *
The DRIVER of the wagon turns his head briefly to the
What are you talking about?
Hector gestures to Beatrice that he is leaving the wagon
to walk for a while and asks her to join him. She shakes
her head with a smile. Hector smiles, too, then jumps
down from the wagon and, walking slowly, allows it to
gain ground in front of him. The ramblings of the Priest
It’s simple, brother… if we
cease carnal union entirely then
in fifty or so years we’ll all be
rid of our earthly lives and God
can proceed with His reign over
His heavenly kingdom… that same
paradise that God gave to man
before, but which man was so unfit
to inhabit that within seven hours
Eve was already tempting her
master and mate, and within nine
hours the Lord had to expel the
both of them! Just think, they *
messed it up in nine hours! *
53 EXT. MOUNTAIN TRACK – DAY 53
Hector smiles as the Priest’s VOICE FADES into the dis-
tance. It is a cold fresh day of early summer. They are *
travelling high in the mountains. Hector dawdles on
his way, eating a hard biscuit he takes from his pocket.
The last sound he hears from the wagon is the renewed
WAILING OF the GIRL. Hector lays himself down at the *
side of the road. His eyes begin to close. Then a SOUND
in the distance makes him open them again. He listens.
MORE SOUNDS drift up to him from the floor of the valley.
He stands up and crosses the track. At first he can see
nothing. He walks back along the rim of the road. Then
he sees where the noise is coming from. A mounted
skirmish is in progress, just where a wooden bridge
crosses the small river, at the very bottom of the valley.
There are no more than 30 knights in full armor, with
twice as many foot soldiers and squires. Even from such
a distance Hector can see and hear that the fighting is
ferocious, almost insane in its intensity. From this
distance it is like a puppet show, except the violence
is real. The scene places Hector in his time and for us
there is a strange feeling to it, almost as if Hector
has awoken from sleep and found himself transported to
some distant age. But this is not the case. Hector is
where he belongs, in Medieval Europe.
Hector makes his decision. With a last look behind him *
he runs off in the direction of the wagon. Like any wise
citizen of a violent age, Hector knows when to leg it.
54 EXT. WAGON – DAY 54
Hector catches up with the moving wagon and jumps onto
it, happily back in the security of his fellow *
travellers. He smiles at Beatrice. *
A bit cold… walking…
She smiles at him. He sits opposite her in the wagon,
and allows his foot to touch hers. She doesn’t move
away. Hector calls to the Driver.
How long to get there?
When it gets dark, we’ll be there. *
Hector looks at Beatrice.
54 CONTINUED: 54
I thought I heard fighting… back
Beatrice replies, but in a language that Hector doesn’t
I don’t know what you’re saying…
I haven’t understood anything
you’ve said all day…
Hector talks back to her.
I don’t know what you’re saying…
They both smile. It doesn’t seem to disturb them too
much that they don’t share a language. They repeat *
their incomprehensible statements, just for the fun of
I don’t know what you’re saying.
I don’t understand.
Beside Hector the Girl has stopped sobbing but she is
still troubled. She turns to him and speaks quietly but
I want to go home to my mother.
Hector doesn’t know how to respond. He can do nothing *
to help her, and anyway, is more interested in Beatrice. *
55 EXT. FARMYARD – NIGHT 55
It is almost dark when the wagon finally turns into the
yard of the farm where they will spend the night.
56 INT. FARMHOUSE – NIGHT 56
The Farmer and his Wife have laid out a table with
simple food, a stew, bread and wine. The travellers settle
down to eat. The Priest, however makes a performance out
of his more modest needs. He calls loudly to the wife
working at the open fire.
56 CONTINUED: 56
Just bread and water for me,
Mistress. I have no need of wine
She brings him a jug of water and he makes much of giving
thanks to God for his simple meal, muttering his grace
quietly to himself, excluding all others from his conver-
sation with the Almighty.
57 INT. FARMHOUSE – NIGHT 57
In the dark, sleeping bodies lie all over the floor of an
upstairs room. Gentle snores and regular breathing lay a
blanket of soft sound over the human forms.
One of the forms stirs and sits up on one elbow. Hector,
in another corner of the room, sleeping lightly, becomes
aware of this. He watches as the figure stands up and
picks its way between the bodies to the door. The figure
pauses and crouches over Beatrice. Hector can hear the
distinct sounds of the figure sniffing her, from head to
toe, and then a deep, long sigh. The figure stands up and
moves quietly to the door, disappearing downstairs.
Hector rouses himself and follows the other.
58 INT. FARMHOUSE – NIGHT 58
Hector creeps cautiously into the dark kitchen. The *
figure has gone to the pantry and can be heard RUMMAGING
there. Hector creeps closer and sees that it is the
Priest. He already has a chicken leg between his teeth
as he hunts for a cup for the jar of wine tucked under
his arm. He emerges from the pantry. He sees Hector
standing by the table. They recognize one another and
relax. The Priest doesn’t re-enter his holy act. He
speaks normally, cheekily.
God, I’m starving. Do you think
I dare heat that up on the fire?
He indicates the large pot containing the remains of the
No… I’ll eat it cold… I
deserve to suffer.
He pours some wine into the cup and slides it across the
table to Hector.
58 CONTINUED: 58
Then he digs his hands into the cold stew and eats chunks
of meat as they talk.
Have some wine.
Hector takes a drink.
I saw some fighting today… back
up the road…
So, the mad knights are at it
again… what were they, Swiss
I don’t know. They all look the
same to me.
It might help us get through…
if there’s a bit of confusion…
we’ll still travel separately
though, for now.
The Priest changes his tone of voice, mocking his own
But, Hector, you must keep out
of the way of temptation… I saw
the way you were eyeing up that
widow… now stay away from
that… although she is beautiful,
is she not… but we’re going
Hector is smiling.
How do you know she’s a widow?
Look at her eyes… hungry eyes…
she could lead you into trouble…
she smells like paradise, though.
He changes his tone yet again. He talks straight.
58 CONTINUED: (2) 58
Listen, Hector, let’s get this
clear… if anyone’s going to dally
with that widow it’ll be me… you
couldn’t handle her… she’d
bewitch you… at any rate, you’re
not a sinning kind of fellow, are
you… why don’t you get off up
the road tomorrow, and I’ll catch
you up, in five or so days…
Hector doesn’t answer, but smiles. The Priest has
stirred thoughts that he had intended to dampen entirely.
You’re not a sinning fellow,
remember… another month and
we’ll be at the channel, then
home… the little ones you only
talk about when you’re drunk…
don’t forget them…
Hector still remains silent. The Priest is worried.
Why do I always talk so much…
you weren’t even thinking of her
‘til I opened my mouth… but I
trust you… don’t worry. I know
you wouldn’t do anything to anger
your God, or me. Get me some
Hector obeys the Priest without thought. The Priest is *
happier now that he is in control again.
Who saved your neck in Venice?
You did, Ronald.
Hector approaches the Priest with the bread.
And don’t you forget it.
He raises his cup to Hector.
May the Lord forgive us our sins,
those we have committed and those
we as yet only dream of. She’s
a glory of a woman.
58 CONTINUED: (3) 58
For all his wit and endless talk we can sense a trace of
vulnerabililty in Ronald. For all his bluster, there is
the feeling that he needs Hector as much as he claims
Hector needs him.
59 EXT. FARMYARD – DAY 59
Overnight, the remnants of a company of soldiers, fresh *
from battle, have collected in the courtyard. Some are
tired, dispirited, others are wounded. Our Travellers *
watch from the farm window. A few mounted knights come
into the yard, herding in front of them a small group of
prisoners, well-dressed knights and squires.
60 INT. FARMHOUSE – DAY 60
The travellers look out on the exciting scene, and talk
as they eat their breakfast of bread and milk.
Hostages, too, they’ve got… they
only take the rich ones…
He turns to the forlorn Girl.
Have you ever seen so many fine,
rich men, my girl?
Hector talks to the company, but means his words for the
I won’t be travelling today.
The Priest looks him straight in the eye.
The fighting’s behind us, brother
… you’ll be safe enough.
Hector shakes his head, catching Beatrice’s eye.
You should go.
The Nun puts an arm around the Girl.
60 CONTINUED: 60
We’re going. God will protect
his ewe lambs. *
Suddenly the door is thrown open and four SOLDIERS man-
handle an inert body, dressed in full armor, into the
room. They scatter the food from the table and lay out
the MOANING suit of armor on it. A young SQUIRE follows
them in and kneels by the knight in the suit. The MOANS
are MUFFLED because the knight’s helmet has been battered
out of shape in the battle and can’t be removed. The
ugly dent suggests an equally ugly wound inflicted on the
head inside. The Soldiers gingerly try to remove the
helmet. Their efforts are useless. Blood oozes from the
joints of the helmet. The MOANING suit of armor seems
Must be sore in there. Is it your
The Squire looks at him and nods his head. Hector looks *
with sympathy at the boy. *
If he’s got a little head it might
be alright. Has your dada got a
An OFFICER comes into the room.
Is there a blacksmith here?
Where’s the smith?
In the village, sir, half a day
The Officer looks at the moaning suit of armor, then at
the astonished group of Travellers. He picks on the
You, Priest, come here… get to
work on him… he’s not ready for
heaven yet… there’s a hundred
thousand livres on his head if I
get him to Paris alive… Start *
praying… there’s fifteen livres
in it for you if he lives…
The Priest obediently goes up to the knight and starts to
pray earnestly. The Officer turns to the Soldiers.
60 CONTINUED: (2) 60
Get that helmet off… get
hammers, anything you can find… *
and one of you get back down into
the valley and fetch an armorer.
The Soldiers scatter to carry out their orders. Hector *
takes time to watch the Squire still kneeling beside his *
father, quietly stroking the helmet. Ronald the Priest
mutters every prayer he can remember. The suit of armor
twitches and MOANS.
Hector looks at Beatrice and motions for her to follow
him outside. The Priest looks on helplessly as they
slide past the table and head for the door.
61 EXT. FARM – DAY 61
More soldiers have continued to make their way to the
shelter of the farm. Everywhere is the chaos of war.
Wounded men lie awaiting the attentions of either the
medicos or the priest. Prisoners huddle in cowed groups.
Everyone looks for food. Individual soldiers, like lost
souls, run here and there trying to regroup with their
comrades. The youngest are squires of twelve or thir-
teen, the oldest are red-faced, overweight knights in
Hector and Beatrice have found a quiet corner where they
can sit and talk. Behind them is a group of soldiers,
reserves who have not yet joined the battle. They are
much fresher than the rest and are drilling as a disci-
Their movements are a strange cross between parade ground
drill and battle training. To the BEAT of DRUMS they
perform rhythmic, hypnotic movements, repeating the same
pattern over and over again. A deadly dance, thrusting
their pikes in unison. They become like one evil,
inhuman machine. It is mesmerizing to watch, all the *
more so in relation to the coy seduction scene that Hector
and Beatrice are acting out. They have the problem of not
sharing a language, but, resourceful as lovers are, they
soon employ this as another titillating element in their
I think you know what I’m saying
… a little…
61 CONTINUED: 61
No, I don’t, I don’t understand
How come you don’t speak like
anyone else? Are you far from
home? Home? Where you sleep
I think I know what you mean…
I’m far from home, too… way, way *
over there… then across the sea…
You’re losing me again.
Have you ever seen the sea? Water *
everywhere… right to the end of
the world… I come from the other
side of the little water, then *
there’s the big, big water… I *
had a friend who sailed on that… *
went too far… fell right over *
the edge… into nothing. They
never came back… they fell off
Hector smiles, pleased with himself. Beatrice laughs.
You think that’s funny? It’s
true… it’s a sad story… you
Talk about home again… remember *
you said home?
I’m not making sense, am I? Well,
let’s go back to homes. That’s
where I’m going… I’ve been away
for too long… Some people locked
me up… I had to run away.
Tell me something else. *
61 CONTINUED: (2) 61
We have to learn to talk the
same… try it like me, say it…
I know what you’re saying…
you’re saying home… say
Home… home… try it… home…
You want the word for home? It’s
home… say it… home… home…
I don’t want your word for home,
I want you to say mine… home…
Come on, you can do it… home…
Beatrice has her way, turning the tables on Hector. He
says it in her language.
Beatrice smiles. In this tiny victory the dynamic of
their relationship is set.
That’s it… clever boy!
They fall silent, suddenly shy. Beatrice breaks this *
moment by reaching out to Hector’s neck, very delicately,
like a caress. Hector smiles. There first touch. Then *
it changes. Beatrice completes her movement with a sharp
grab at Hector’s hair, and pinches her fingers on something.
Triumphantly she shows him the flea she has caught.
Tick… it’s a tick.
Flea… a flea… thanks.
Beatrice looks at him directly now, their intimacy well
61 CONTINUED: (3) 61
Bet there’s more in there. You
need a good going over… nobody’s
been looking after you.
She ruffles his hair, in a motherly but then again sex- *
ually provocative way. He understands her well now.
Why don’t we go somewhere and
have a good session… I could do
you… I’d like to give you a
They understand each other perfectly now. They look
around for a more private spot.
62 INT. FARM – DAY 62
Ronald the Priest still kneels by the inert knight in
armor. The boy Squire still sits by his father’s head.
Ronald mumbles quietly to himself in prayer. The knight
is deathly still, no sight or sound of breathing or
moaning. The suit of armor seems to grow even more rigid
as we look at it. There is no sense of it containing
life. The Officer re-enters the room from outside.
How is he?
Sleeping now… at peace, for the
Leave him for a while. There are *
a few souls out here you can help
on their way to heaven. Ten sous *
a soul to you… come on.
The Officer leaves. Ronald quickly follows him outside. *
Twenty sous is normal. How many *
are there? *
When they have gone the Squire gives his father a nudge, *
but there is no response from the knight, just the
impression of lifeless bulk.
63 EXT. FARM – DAY 63
Hector and Beatrice have found some privacy, near the
trees and by a low wall. Some bushes hide them from
full view of the farm yard. Hector is sitting cross-
legged and Beatrice kneels behind him, giving his head
a thorough going over. Mutual grooming is the original,
and perhaps the best, form of foreplay. Hector certainly
Yes, it does feel good.
She gives his scalp a final delicious rub, and then stops.
You can do me now.
Beatrice loosens her clothing to bare her neck and
shoulders. Hector begins to probe her hair and scalp. *
She arches her back under the first touch of his fingers.
Hector laps it up, inspired to caress ever more tenderly *
her scalp and neck, still with the outward purpose of
looking for fleas.
Got one… a tiny little one…
yours are so small… and fair… *
To Hector even her fleas are a delight. He seems to want *
to keep it as a pet. There is no hope for this man. *
Beatrice moans softly, happily. Hector still kneading *
I don’t know your name. I’m
Hector… who are you? I’m
Beatrice replies with a hint of breathlessness.
Hector… yes… I’m Beatrice…
Yes. Hector… I think you’ll
have to do under my arms… I’m
a little itchy there…
63 CONTINUED: 63
Yes, I think Beatrice is a good
Beatrice is sighing contentedly now.
Maybe we should find the river,
and have a proper wash…
In between parting the hairs on her scalp Hector is kiss-
ing her on the neck now. At first it is small, snatched
kisses amongst the grooming, but soon the kisses become
longer and the grooming less.
I’m still itchy lots of places,
64 EXT. FARMYARD – DAY 64
The Priest is with some seriously wounded soldiers, laid
out in a corner of the farmyard. Whether he is a bogus
priest or not, Ronald is taking his duties seriously.
There is a little of the rogue about him now. He sees
the Nun and the little Girl preparing to leave. They
have acquired a mule. They mount up, the Girl behind
the Nun, and plod off through the farmyard. They stop
briefly beside the Priest to say their farewells.
Goodbye, little girl… the Lord
will bless you, I know, in his
He talks to the Nun as they move off.
How long for you on the road?
Three or four days.
Good luck to you.
They’re not killing nuns, yet.
The Saxon, won’t he go with you?
64 CONTINUED: 64
He’s nowhere to be seen.
The Priest watches them go, and then returns to his
duties with the wounded.
65 EXT. TRACK – DAY 65
The Nun’s mule turns out of the farmyard and heads off
along the track. A few Soldiers are burying some of
their dead nearby. The Nun watches this and doesn’t see
what the Girl sees on the other side, the mingled bodies
of Hector and Beatrice, all pretence at grooming now
gone, engaged in fervent lovemaking. It’s probably the
first and last that the Girl will see. A smile flickers
across her face before she turns away forever. Ahead of
her there might be many a bleak night in her convent
when she will remember the image, and that same smile
will return to her lips.
66 EXT. FARMYARD – DAY 66
The Priest is kneeling beside a young wounded Soldier.
He is close to death, but in his youth is fighting it.
He is frightened, and clings to the presence of Ronald.
My name is Peter… don’t forget
… tell everybody that was my
Ronald is mumbling his prayers.
Lie still, Peter…
That’s it, Peter… tell everybody
… write it… don’t forget it…
Peter… tell them Peter died here
… my name is Peter… Peter…
say it again.
Ronald stays with the boy as he struggles against his
Ronald behaves well with the dying boy.
67 INT. FARMHOUSE – NIGHT 67
The Priest makes his way upstairs in the darkness. He
yawns, a long, contented yawn. He has completed the
hardest day’s work that he has undertaken as a priest,
if he really is a priest. If he is not, then the pre-
tence has been just as exhausting. He wants to sleep.
68 INT. FARMHOUSE – ANOTHER ANGLE – NIGHT 68
In the room sleeping forms lie here and there in the
darkness. Some officers have moved in and the place is
more crowded than before. The Priest makes his way to
his corner, but on the way he pauses by Beatrice. She
snores lightly. The Priest bends over and takes a long
sniff at her, then he sighs out his admiration.
He steps over her and settles into his own space by the
window. He suddenly misses the presence of Hector. He
looks again at Beatrice, still and sleeping. What the
Priest doesn’t see is the extra pair of hands massaging
her neck and head. She moans softly in her pretence of
The Priest is troubled, suspicious, but he doesn’t know
why. He sniffs again, in the general direction of
Beatrice. The mingled smells that his sensitive nose
detects perplex him, but he settles down, pulling his *
cloak over his head.
Across the room, Hector’s head emerges from the covering
beside Beatrice. They make love quietly in the dark,
also enjoying the thrill of confounding the Priest.
69 INT. FARMHOUSE – DAY 69
The Priest wakes up. Outside he can hear the first
sounds of the day, the murmuring VOICES of Soldiers in
the yard, the CLATTER OF MILK PAILS. In the room it is
still semi-dark. The Priest sits up. The others have
already left, but Beatrice is there, stretching herself
and fixing her hair. Hector is not with her. She smiles
at the Priest. Then, in another part of the room, Hector
emerges from what looks like a pile of clothing, sits up
and smiles too.
Hector and Beatrice look at each other. The Priest looks
at them in turn. Their cheeky act of innocence mocks
70 EXT. FARMYARD – DAY 70
Hector is washing himself by the stream that flows close
by the yard. He drinks a handful of water for breakfast.
The Priest sees him from the farmyard and comes to join
Hector is in a cheerful mood, pleased with himself and
his success with Beatrice. The Priest is sullen,
You’re a busy man, what with all
these souls departing.
There’s nothing wrong with helping
someone to die in peace. They
want me to go with them.
Nothing at all.
Are you staying here?
Moving on, as you told me to…
we’ll meet up, like you said.
I’ll wait for you at the channel.
She’ll do you harm. I told you.
She might be a witch. Wait for
me. I still have the money from
Venice. We can be home in a
Witch my arse. Stop giving me
Both of them are unhappy now, confusing one another,
spoiling their friendship.
You’re a strange fellow. Are you
a priest? Are you jealous?
The Priest is silent. They are saved from hurting each
other more. A Soldier shouts down to them from the farm.
We’re moving soon, Father.
70 CONTINUED: 70
The Priest turns to Hector for what might be the last
So, you’re leaving?
You have work to do here.
The Priest walks back up to the farm. Hector calls out *
what might be an attempt at an apology or simply another *
I don’t understand you.
The Priest looks back at him briefly, then walks on.
71 EXT. TRACK – DAY 71
Hector and Beatrice have packed their few belongings into
a shoulder bag. They turn out of the farmyard and walk
down the main track.
Hector catches a last glimpse of the Priest being helped
onto the back of a horse, behind a Soldier. He is ridden
off in the opposite direction with the rest of the troop.
Other battles lie ahead to be blessed, and more battered
bodies requiring comfort.
Hector and Beatrice are enjoying the first pulse-
quickening flush of their intimacy, and the thrill of
knowing it will go further. They chatter freely, *
despite not sharing a language.
I’m glad we’re going the same way.
We’ll have to sleep in the hills
tonight. Will you keep me warm?
The damp greyness of the early morning has lifted and the
sun is shining as they step out onto the higher hills.
72 EXT. HILLSIDE – DAY 72
Hector and Beatrice have stopped to eat. They shelter in
the fold of a hillside, with a wide stream running some
way below. Hector feeds Beatrice a piece of cheese from
72 CONTINUED: 72
Hurry up and finish your wine and
then we can make love.
Hector seems to know what she is saying. He throws down
his knife and cheese, lying down with her on the grass.
He kisses her breasts and her body eagerly. He lifts her
skirts and caresses and kisses her naked legs and thighs.
She stretches herself out happily, arms spread wide on
the grass. Hector talks through his kisses.
Why do you smell so wonderful?
He lifts his head to let her see him sniffing. *
Oh, you like my smell, do you? I
make it from the flowers. I put *
it here, and there, and there.
Hector kisses her more. She smiles and turns her head to
the sky. Then she starts to giggle.
I don’t believe it… someone’s
watching us, the dirty devil…
don’t look… he’s down by the
water, by the rocks…
Hector doesn’t understand, and keeps on with his kissing.
Only her persistent giggling makes him stop and look up. *
Hector sees him too. Down by the stream a head peering
over the top of a rock, not even attempting to hide.
He’s not moving. He must’ve seen
She sits up and straightens her clothing, suddenly
Don’t look at him anymore. Let’s
go… down the other side of the
But Hector still looks at the figure in the distance.
There is an uneasy silence while Hector works it out.
Then he speaks.
72 CONTINUED: (2) 72
It’s a dead man.
Beatrice doesn’t understand. Hector stands up, still
looking at the figure.
Come on, we’re going that way at
They move cautiously. When they are closer to it, and *
can see it for what is is, they walk straight for the
73 EXT. HILLSIDE – ANOTHER ANGLE – DAY 73 *
It is the body of a young squire, handsomely dressed
in the livery of his master. Such a squire would follow
his knight into battle, guiding him through the chaos. *
But this boy seems to have died a less public, more
furtive death. He lies leaning against a rock, eyes
open, an expression something like a smile on his face.
There is no sign of a wound.
Hector looks around at the ground.
No sign of a battle… only a few
horses… or just one. He wasn’t
killed in a fight.
Poor boy. Isn’t he fine-looking.
Look at his shoes.
There is a sadness about this young death in such a
lonely place. Hector and Beatrice are open to this sad- *
ness, but in their age sentiment was of a tougher strain.
We’ll cover his eyes at least…
so the crows don’t get him. Look
at these shoes, though.
She is already gathering stones. Hector sees what
Beatrice is doing.
That’s good of you.
As he lays him down Hector sees a small, dry wound on
the boy’s side. Beatrice brings her armful of stones and
starts to build a mound around the squire’s head.
73 CONTINUED: 73
Hector helps her by gathering stones from the stream.
Soon they have covered his head completely with stones,
his body lying exposed.
It’s all we can do. It won’t keep
the wolves away though.
Beatrice is still taken by the boy’s shoes.
His feet are like mine, you know.
I’ll give you mine, poor boy, and
I’ll have yours. I have more
walking to do.
She looks at Hector.
It’s not stealing if I give him
mine, is it?
Hector watches as Beatrice exchanges her old shoes for
the squire’s. They fit her well, and she proudly shows
them off to Hector. He smiles at her.
74 EXT. STREAM – DAY 74
Later, Hector and Beatrice are enjoying each other
immensely, making love by the stream. Beatrice hasn’t
removed her new shoes, she likes them so much. She is
dabbing Hector with her perfume which, he has discovered,
she keeps in a small bottle kept in a pouch on a chain
around her neck.
Nearby the corpse of the squire still lies, its head
shrouded in stones, as if absurdly hiding its eyes from
the antics of Hector and Beatrice. The old shoes
Beatrice has placed on its feet look odd compared to
the fine uniform. *
Hector and Beatrice seem unaware of the strangeness of
their situation, but perhaps it only looks strange to
our modern eyes.
Hector continues to bask in her wonderful aroma.
You’ve put magic in this stuff,
haven’t you, you’re bewitching
They appear to get the gist of one another’s love talk.
74 CONTINUED: 74
You’re eager today, Hector, aren’t
you? Is it all this death?
I don’t know what you’re saying
but I like you when you talk.
75 EXT. HILLSIDE – DAY 75
Hector is watching Beatrice conduct some kind of
ceremony over the corpse of the squire. She takes a
handful of dried flowers or herbs from a pouch in her
bag. Mumbling strangely and quickly to herself, she
walks around the corpse three times, scattering the
leaves over the body.
Hector is fascinated, but a little uneasy. He watches
from a safe distance. During the few moments that it
takes, Beatrice seems like a different person.
Then, all of a sudden, the familiar, friendly Beatrice
returns. She completes her ceremony by throwing a few
drops of her perfume over the body. She smiles. *
That should help him a little.
We should go now. We’ve been here
I wonder if his mama will ever
know what happened.
You said mama. I know what that
is… mama… We can talk the
Mama… that’s right… mama…
76 EXT. HILLSIDE – ANOTHER ANGLE – DAY 76 *
They have reached the summit of the hills. It is like
the roof of the world. Below them lies the valley. The
air is clean. The landscape looks untouched by man,
but a few smudges of smoke in the distance suggest farms
or villages. There might be the glimpse of a castle on
76 CONTINUED: 76
If it all feels oddly familiar to us, then perhaps it
is the memory of a picture in a forgotten story book, or
an ancient landscape on a gallery wall. Once again in
the film there is the tantalizing feeling of awaking not
from a dream, but in a dream.
The moment passes in the more down to earth concerns of
Hector and Beatrice.
I have to keep the sun on my back,
that’s what Ronald said… the
sun on my back all the way home…
I’ll stay on this side of the
Yes, of course… we stay on this
side of the river, all the way
down… until tomorrow…
I stay on this side…
Yes… On this side. Then the
They move off, each thinking that they have reached
agreement. Beatrice starts to sing as they make a *
gentle descent into the forests below.
77 EXT. FOREST – DAY 77
Beatrice is milking a stray cow they have found in the
forest. Hector is watching her, especially her hands.
She manipulates the udders of the cow deftly, sexily.
Her hands seem to have sensual personalities all of
their own. She is chattering non-stop, explaining the *
subtleties of milking to Hector. But he can’t take
his eyes or his mind off her thrilling hands. He
responds distractedly. *
Oh yes… oh yes.
78 EXT. HILLS – NIGHT 78
Hector lies by their small fire, watching Beatrice, who
sleeps by his side. She is dreaming. She mumbles in
her sleep, whole sentences. She turns this way and that.
Hector watches in fascination.
78 CONTINUED: 78
We feel the echo of another night when a man watched
someone sleep and dream.
He handles some of the things spilling from her bag,
lying beside him. Her dried flowers and herbs, which he
sniffs, her little bottles and phials. Witches brew? Or
simply an early version of a cluttered handbag?
We don’t know what is passing through Hector’s mind.
Perhaps he is trying to work out how he came to be lying
with the strange, wonderful, unknowable creature by his
side. And how many people have done that through the
ages, in caves or by campfires, or in suburban bedrooms?
There are many ways in which we will be able to connect
with this perplexed, flea-ridden man, far away from home,
huddling by a fire in the forest, trapped in his time, as
we all are.
79 EXT. FOREST – MORNING 79
Hector and Beatrice are on the move again. They make
their way down into the thickening forest. Beatrice
walks ahead, light-footed and humming to herself. She
seems to be in comfortably familiar territory now. The
mist swirls about him as Hector follows on behind,
tagging along as if caught in her sexual wake.
80 EXT. BOAT – DAY 80
Hector and Beatrice have reached the river, broad and
slow-moving. Beatrice has hailed a boatman from the far
side. He maneuvers his small boat to them and they
clamber aboard. Beatrice and the boatman greet each
other familiarly. They gossip amiably as the ferry makes
its way across the river. Hector sits quietly with a
smile on his face, their chatter incomprehensible to him.
81 EXT. SHORE – DAY 81
As they climb out of the ferry Hector is suddenly unsure
of what he is doing.
I think we’re going the wrong way.
I want the sun on my back. We
should have stayed on the other
He mimes what he means.
81 CONTINUED: 81
Don’t worry… we’re nearly there.
I’ll fix your back for you… give
you a good rub.
Before he can protest she has moved off. So he follows
82 EXT. VILLAGE OUTSKIRTS – DAY 82
They have reached the outskirts of a village. Beatrice
turns off the main track and up a narrow path. Hector
follows her. Soon she stops at a small house close to
an orchard. The house sits in the mess of a run-down
farm yard, chickens and goats running here and there.
Beatrice opens the door of the house and goes inside.
Hector hesitates before following her.
83 INT. COTTAGE – DAY 83
Beatrice turns to him when they are inside.
Here we are… home… you want
some food… and then I’ll show
you everything. We have a spring
… you can wash…
Hector stands looking around the small dark room.
Beatrice suddenly seems shy and awkward.
This is when I wish you could
understand me. You’ll have to
learn, you know… I want you to
stay here. You want to, don’t
Hector looks at her in silence.
I look after the hens, and I make *
dyes from the plants, and perfumes
too. I’m good at that. But I’m *
no good with the sheep and the
goats. I wish you could
understand… Arnaud’s been dead
two years… *
She crosses the room to a wooden chest under the window.
83 CONTINUED: 83
She lifts the lid and removes some men’s clothing, rough
working trousers and a hide jacket.
I still have his clothes. I’ll
make them fit you…
She holds the jacket up against Hector to measure it.
Hector’s reaction to a dead man’s clothing is *
What did he die of? *
I’m getting shy. Imagine me being
shy with you… I made this for
him… tonight we’ll try them on.
You’re the same height as Arnaud,
but a little thinner. I’ll make
them fit. I’m a good sewer. And
we have a big bed upstairs for
you and me, in the rafters… You
and me… sleep…
Hector is beginning to understand what she means, but he
keeps his feelings to himself. Beatrice talks on. Now
that she has started, she wants to say it all.
I like you. You like me too,
don’t you? We were lucky to meet
the way we did. All the men around
here are old. *
Beatrice falls silent, overtaken by her shyness. Hector
understands fully what she means now, but his mind is
a confusion. He can’t respond. She tries to direct his
thoughts to the one area she is sure about.
Come up and I’ll show you the bed…
She climbs a ladder nearby and lifts open a trapdoor
on the wooden ceiling. Hector climbs up to join her and
together they stand on the ladder with their heads poking
into the tiny space above.
84 INT. COTTAGE – ANOTHER ANGLE – DAY 84 *
Beatrice is proud of her bed, a rough mattress on the
floor covered in some blankets she has probably made
84 CONTINUED: 84
The bed takes up most of the space of the small attic.
They look at it together.
A good bed, eh? For you and me.
We can have fun up here… better
than a ditch…
She laughs. Hector’s expression lightens a little too.
It occurs to him to take up her offer immediately. She *
catches his thought, and the moment tingles happily. *
Then from outside they hear voices. Firstly a young Boy
Mama, are you home?
85 INT. COTTAGE – DAY 85
Beatrice and Hector descend back in the room. A BOY
of about eight and a GIRL of ten are coming in from the *
garden. They have been working outside. Beatrice goes
to embrace each of them. Hector’s face is a confusion
You were gone a long time. Who’s
The Girl eyes Hector up and down.
This is Hector.
Beatrice pronounces his name with care. She stands
proudly by her children.
These are my children…
The CREAK of a door makes Hector turn his head.
… and this is my mother….
An OLD WOMAN stands in the main doorway, smiling at
Hector and nodding her head. She speaks to her daughter.
MOTHER (OLD WOMAN)
So… you found one, eh?
Hector stands, surrounded by instant family, and doesn’t
know what to do. Eventually he speaks. *
85 CONTINUED: 85
Is there water… to drink… to
He mimes with his hands. Beatrice understands that he
wants some breathing space. She talks to her son.
Take Hector to the well… but
come here first.
She takes off the dead Squire’s shoes and puts them on
the Boy’s bare feet. He is delighted. He does a little
dance in them before leaving with Hector.
86 EXT. WELL – DAY 86
Hector stands at the well some way from the house.
Beatrice’s garden is a madness of wild flowers, harvested
by her for scents and powders. She is a remarkable
woman, living as she does in the harsh male world of
her time. The scented air and the dizzy SOUNDS OF the
BEES almost make Hector swoon. He is experiencing the
full, heady impact of Beatrice, and it is summed up in
a full-blown pollen-filled sneeze.
He drinks at her well. The Boy is beside him, still
engrossed in his new shoes. Hector splashes some water
on his face and looks back at the house. He has some
decisions to make.
87 INT. COTTAGE – DAY 87
The Mother sits by the window in the nearest thing to
a comfortable chair that the house has to offer. She
is working on some lace. Hector enters the room to
watch her. He smiles and stands shyly at the door. The
Mother thinks he wants her chair for himself. In a
flurry of apology she rises, drops her work and motions
for Hector to have the good seat. He is full of
No, no… sit down… I just came
to watch… please… sit…
He guides the Mother back to the good chair. They
struggle comically for a while, but eventually she allows
Hector to settle her there. She mumbles unhappily.
87 CONTINUED: 87
We can’t have this… this was
Arnaud’s seat… it’s yours
now… I can sit on the box…
Hector gently pacifies her.
You must sit there… look…
you need the light from the
window… it’s your
seat… I don’t want it… it’s
yours… I can sit on the box.
The old woman allows herself a shy smile. Whether in
innocence or mischief, she has secured the best seat in
the house for herself. If he stays, Hector will never
dare rest his bones in it.
88 EXT. YARD – DAY 88
Hector has retreated to the yard. The Girl is
boiling some dyes in a cauldron over an open fire. The
Boy is working at a basketful of flower heads, pulling
petals and separating the hearts, putting them in a
large jar of colored liquid.
Hector is aware of Beatrice watching him. She is
returning to the kitchen, firmly holding a struggling
chicken, wings flapping and feathers flying everywhere.
This chicken is making the supreme sacrifice in
Beatrice’s final effort at total seduction, a wonderful
meal. Hector is guiltily aware of this as their eyes
Hector takes in what the Boy is doing and joins in
the work. The Boy smiles at Hector’s initial clumsiness.
He motions for Hector to have a sniff of the jar of
liquid. Hector does so. The smell is heady and pleasant.
The Boy says something and points towards his sister.
She stands by her cauldron, stirring the bubbling liquid.
Hector goes to watch her work. He looks in the cauldron.
Good color… for cloth?
Without thinking, Hector leans over the cauldron to
sniff. A hideous odor assaults him. He backs off.
88 CONTINUED: 88
The Girl says something to him, and points to a bucket
of liquid at her feet. Hector makes out something like
the word “peepee.”
The Girl nods enthusiastically. The Boy is sniggering.
89 INT. COTTAGE – DAY 89
Hector sits at the table with Beatrice and her family.
There is an air of awkward silence, although the Boy
and Girl look openly at Hector, perhaps assessing him as
a future father.
The meal has been served in a communal pot. In Beatrice’s
house there is the luxury of small individual plates.
The others wait for Hector to begin, but he indicates
to the old Mother to help herself first. She does, and
she doesn’t stop until her plate is heaped high with
food. There is definitely some power play going on in
the old woman’s mind, although her face is all innocence.
Hector submits, taking only a modest portion of food.
The old Mother’s appetite is prodigious. It is comical
to watch her little frame consume so much, quietly
and methodically. She is an eating machine.
During the meal Beatrice and Hector exchange glances. But
this time their talking without words is a serious affair.
Mmmm… good food….
90 EXT. COTTAGE – DAY 90
From the kitchen Beatrice watches Hector in the garden.
he is making an effort to appear relaxed, but as he
paces here and there Beatrice knows that he is unhappy.
She leaves the kitchen to join him.
Take a walk to the village if
you want… you look as if you
need a walk…
Hector opens his heart to her, knowing she will understand
his feelings if not his words.
90 CONTINUED: 90
I have to leave soon. I can’t
stay… it would be wrong to stay
for just a while…
91 EXT. COTTAGE – DAY 91
It is awkward for Hector to say goodbye.
I have to go… have to keep the
sun on my back… I have to get
home… I have a family, just
like you… I like you… you *
smell good… wonderful…
Hector fumbles awkwardly with his bag and then walks
off down the track. He turns to look at Beatrice.
She stands outside her house for a long time, watching
him until he turns onto the main road and OUT OF SIGHT.
The pain and the awkwardness in Beatrice and Hector
are specific, but the scene of parting is timeless.
Is this the ten millionth such parting, or the billionth?
It is one of them at any rate, and a sad one.
92 EXT. RIVER – DUSK 92
Hector has reached the river, but it is already growing
dark and the boatman has gone for the night. Hector
sees the boat, dragged out of the water.
He sits down against the trunk of a large tree. His *
eyes begin to close. *
93 EXT. RAFT – MORNING 93
Hector awakes. He looks around him. He is on a huge *
raft, made of ship’s timbers. We have left our previous
Hector sitting under his tree 400 years ago. This
Hector is awakening into what might be a nightmare.
The huge raft is many smaller rafts lashed together.
There are over a hundred and fifty people perched on
them, lying or squatting in sleep. It is early morning.
The sea is calm around them, but the deep ocean swell is
still there to remind them of their predicament, menacing,
like a controlled anger.
Hector is fully awake now, sitting against some boxes.
He speaks to ANDRE sitting close by.
93 CONTINUED: 93
Andre is Hector’s slave, still bound to him in service
through shipwreck and disaster. Our Hector is now a
master. Andre is a young Asian. A quiet, capable,
intelligent man, but with that same lost look in his
eyes that Hector had as a slave. He too is far from
I had a wonderful dream. I was *
lying under a tree, beside a river.
I was dozing. I heard the water…
beautiful clear water. I got up
and drank some. I think I ate some *
I would like some water.
Hector looks around him at the squalid mass of distressed
God, this is the worst, the worst. *
Some figures rise and an argument takes place, like
a domestic squabble. We can hear some of their exchanges.
Let me keep him… they said we’ll
find land in a day or so… you’re
When they’re dead they go over the
side… The place stinks enough
as it is…
There is a flurry of movement amongst the figures, then
a splash, then a cry of a Woman. The noise has awakened
others. All over the raft figures are coming awake,
sitting up, taking in the new day, and the dreadful
reality of their situation.
Andre speaks to Hector.
Do you think I’ll still see
I think there’s more chance of
me eating you, Andre.
93 CONTINUED: (2) 93
The more we see of the people, their costumes, weapons,
mannerisms, the easier we will place them in their
time. They are survivors of a foundered ship some time
at the height of the great colonial empires. The year
could be 1590. The place is the Indian Ocean.
Hector turns his eyes to another part of the raft,
closer to him. He watches a man and woman. The woman,
URSULA, still has her eyes closed, sleeping on a pile of
canvas. The man, FRANCISCO, stands beside her holding
a cloak over her to protect her from sea spray. His eye
catches Hector’s, and they hold each other’s gaze for a
long time. There is antipathy but also pain in their
A man, DOM PAULO, moves among the waking wretches. He
speaks with authority.
I think today will be the day,
my friends. We’ve been in the
inshore currents since yesterday.
Three crowns to the first one to
sight the coast. God preserve us
Someone speaks from under a crude canvas shelter.
Never mind the three crowns… a
side of beef would do… or a drink
of clean water.
Dom Paulo strides off to his station by the makeshift
Don’t worry, there’ll be food for
all ashore. Africa’s full of
meat and drink.
It’s full of Africans too.
94 EXT. RAFT – DAY 94
The sun is up, and Dom Paulo was right. The raft is
now standing off-shore riding out the heavy ocean surf
before finally beaching. The strong are helping to row
ashore, under the shouted instructions of the NAVIGATOR.
Those too weak to help are huddled beside their posses-
sions, hoping to survive this final trial of the sea.
94 CONTINUED: 94
Hector works his oar with the rest. He has time to cast
a glance at Ursula and Francisco. Francisco in his
manic-heroic way manages to row while at the same time
trying to offer a steadying arm to Ursula.
If Hector had time or energy to laugh, he would.
The raft is in the full rage of the surf. The sense
behind its loose construction is obvious now. Snake-like
it rides the waves, one half up, the other down. The
beaching isn’t easy. A few people are washed overboard
with no way of saving them. Finally the raft makes it
through the barrier of the outer surf. They are in a
long curving bay. Up from the beach lies an area of *
dunes, and beyond that a thick belt of jungle.
The raft scrapes onto the sand. Those near the beach
scramble ashore, immediately prostrating themselves in
prayers of thanks while those at the back jump into
the water and clumsily wade the last few feet to safety.
Hector’s attention is never far from Ursula. She is *
struggling in the water with some of her baggage. A
youth, NUNO, goes to help her. Hector overtakes him and
nudges him out of the way, offering to take Ursula’s load
from her shoulders. She refuses his help. Waist-deep in *
water they tussle over her bundle of possessions. Hector *
overpowers her, wrestles her load from her grasp, angrily
wades to the shore and dumps it on the sand. In amongst
the drama of their situation their little battle of wills
seems petty and pathetic, but it reveals much about their
Soon the survivors are dragging their possessions from
the raft. They have managed to hoard a surprising amount
from their doomed ship. Carpets, chests, chairs, all
are dragged ashore.
95 EXT. CAMP – DAY 95
Civilization has taken hold quickly in this little corner
of Africa. Dom Paulo, the leader, already has a table
and chair set up in the sand, and behind him SAILORS are
erectig a tent-like house, made from timbers and rich
tapestries and carpets. The others are making their own
shelters all along the beach. A regular little community
is taking shape, a crazy, rich-textured village decked out
in all the colors of the East. The silks and ginghams
that were destined for the finest halls in Europe now give
shelter to sick slaves, starving sailors, ruined traders
and grieving mothers.
95 CONTINUED: 95
Some of the survivors have recovered sufficiently from
the trauma of near death to mark out the boundaries of
their new beach homes with lines of stones. The habits
of ownership die hardest of all.
Although Dom Paulo is the man in authority he is also a
man in deep shock. Most of what he has earned or
plundered in his colonial years now lies at the bottom
of the ocean. Since he is socially superior to anyone
else on the ship he assumes responsibility and command.
There are probably fifty men among the survivors more
suited to lead them to safety.
By Dom Paulo’s side always is his SON. A quiet boy of
about eleven. He is like a little miniature of his
father, dressed in the same style of clothes. He is a
constant, silent witness to everything that Dom Paulo does,
good or bad, wise or foolish. He and his father are a
continuing fascination for Hector, and we can enjoy
Hector watching the boy watching his father. Some of the
absurdities and comedies of the situation can be high-
lighted in this way. There can be sadness in it too
however, the pain of a son witnessing his father’s
compromises or failures all too closely, and Dom Paulo’s
sad awareness of his image slowly tarnishing in his
Amidst the construction work, Dom Paulo is talking with
some of his OFFICERS.
How many made it?
Eighty men. Ten women. Eighteen
children and forty-five slaves.
Two parties of ten men each… one
to the north and one to the south…
bring back what you can… game,
fruit, anything… and send someone
back as soon as you find fresh
water. Any trouble, discharge
The Officer leaves to carry out his orders. Dom Paulo
addresses another of his men, Da Cunha.
95 CONTINUED: (2) 95
Have the carpenter start
immediately on a cross, a big
one… Father Diogo wants a
place of worship by this time
tomorrow. We’ll look for a
spot later. We’ve all got a lot
of praying to do. And where’s
Dias… tell him I want to see
96 EXT. CAMP – DAY 96
Hector and Andre are walking through the half-built
village. Andre is carrying Hector’s possessions, a
rolled-up carpet and a bolt of colorful cloth. We feel
an echo of the days when Hector was a slave, walking
two paces behind with his master’s possessions.
Hector finds what he is looking for. Francisco is
working on a shelter for himself and Ursula, with the
help of some slaves. Hector approaches him, making
another attempt to heal wounds from his past.
I have a carpet and some cloth…
I thought if we worked together
we could make a better shelter…
Francisco barely stops his work to reply.
If it’s a joke it’s a poor one. *
At least ask Dona Ursula…
I don’t have to ask her… I know
she would agree with me… leave us
His stubborn rejection of Hector reveals just how
strong their friendship once was.
Well… would you take my cloth,
Keep it and build your own hovel
somewhere else… leave us
96 CONTINUED: 96
Then from along the beach the sound of RAISED VOICES
distracts them. They see some figures, laden with
supplies, running off into the forest. Others are
following them, discharging MUSKETS, shouting for the
DESERTERS to stop. Hector and Francisco walk briskly
in the direction of the trouble. They see two of the
Deserters being overtaken by their pursuers. The rest
make their escape into the jungle.
97 EXT. CAMP – DAY 97
Hector and Francisco reach Dom Paulo’s office in the
sand. The leading citizens are gathering there as
the two captured Deserters are brought in.
They ran off with the dry bread… *
about eight of them, sir… *
Dom Paulo looks at the two prisoners.
You men are deserters. You will
He speaks again to the Sailor.
Chain them on the raft for tonight,
and watch them…
Francisco steps forward, outraged.
I must object… these sentences
can’t be lawful…
Dom Paulo’s authoritative manner vanishes in an instant.
He becomes hesitant, unsure of himself. As always, his *
Son watches every detail of the exchange. *
Do you think so?
Of course… we can’t allow
ourselves to fall into terror
You’re right… but then how can
we punish them? We can’t lock them
97 CONTINUED: 97
Dom Paulo looks around at the assembled notables,
confused, out of his depth. Other opinions are voiced.
You were right the first time,
sir… they must hang… they were
stealing the bread from our
The captured Deserters look on helplessly as their lives
are argued over.
I didn’t steal any bread… Gomes
had the bread… he’s off, in the
Dom Paulo turns to the Priest.
What do you think, Father?
The Priest throws open his arms noncommittally.
I’ll comfort them whether they
live or die, now or later, any of
you, all of you… I’ll comfort
Hang them… you have to set an
Dom Paulo is deeply confused.
So I was right the first time?
Francisco confuses him even more.
No, sir… there must be proper
What’s proper justice? *
I didn’t steal any bread…
97 CONTINUED: (2) 97
You have to make a decision, sir.
It was Gomes… he told us to run.
I’ll decide… no I won’t… we’ll
all decide… most of the people
that matter are here… we’ll have
a vote… who agrees with
Salgado… and me… that they
A lot of hands go up. Hector hesitates, his instincts
are not for killing. But the force of the majority
weighs on him. He starts to raise his hand. At that
moment, as he scans the crowd, he meets the eyes of the
Deserter whose death they are voting on. For a moment
they communicate. Hector is thrown. He drops his hand,
only to find in the next instant the stern gaze of
Salgado on him. He hesitates again, then starts to
raise his hand. Then the eyes of the Deserter find him
once more. This comic pantomime goes on while a solid
majority of the crowd firmly raise their hands.
… and those against death…
One of the Deserters raises his own hand meekly.
You can’t vote…
Then he looks to Salgado.
It doesn’t matter.
Then the other Deserter raises his hand too.
I don’t think this is working,
Dom Paulo… we need authority…
you must decide…
Dom Paulo thinks.
Very well… Da Cunha?
97 CONTINUED: (3) 97
DA CUNHA steps forward.
The cross the carpenter is
working on… tell him to turn
it into a scaffold… have it
erected along the beach, away
from the women… the executions
will be at sunrise tomorrow. Tell
He turns to the Sailors holding the Deserters.
Take them to the raft.
The dazed Deserters are led off. Dom Paulo’s face clouds
in doubt again.
Everyone in agreement with hanging? *
Or should we shoot them… or what?
Hanging is fine, sir.
Very well… now… who’s going
to conduct the executions… should
we pick someone, or have a
Dom Paulo looks over the faces of the men. He stops at
Hector doesn’t have the will to accept or the courage to *
refuse. He is saved by another young man, ALVAREZ, eager
to prove himself.
I’ll do it, Dom Paulo.
Thank you, Alvarez. Sunrise
tomorrow. Send the Priest to
We can sense the feeling of relief in Hector. Dom *
Paulo’s son has been a silent witness to everything that *
has happened, but his blank face reveals nothing of his *
98 EXT. CAMP – EVENING 98
It is growing dark. Fires are being lit outside the
shelters. Andre is building Hector’s tent while Hector
watches him. The tent is only large enough for one
person, and somehow looks mean compared with the others.
Good work, Andre.
He looks across to the well-made shelter of Ursula and
Francisco. Ursula herself works at the fire.
Hector turns to Andre.
You go and sleep by the big fire,
Andre. Keep warm.
99 INT. CAMP – NIGHT 99
Hector goes inside his little house. He puts his back
to the entrance and opens the canvas sack which contains
all his possessions. He pulls out his prize, a sizeable
chunk of bread and some dried fruit. He guiltily gnaws
at the hard bread.
He is surprised by the sound of the boy, Nuno outside.
Hector quickly stows his food back into his sack, and
with a grunt of irritation sticks his head out of the
Nuno is holding four fruits, about the size of large
apples, but green and thick-skinned.
This was all they found in the
forest. Four for each of us.
They taste kind of milky, but
Thank you, Nuno.
My mother ate three and she was
sick. So try two… but she’s
sick anyway… maybe you can try
99 CONTINUED: 99
I’ll start with two.
Nuno makes to leave, but then hesitates.
Hector, will you help me?
Nuno is looking down the beach to the remains of the
raft on the shoreline. The shapes of the two Deserters
chained there can just be seen.
Lopo… the boy they’re going to
hang tomorrow… he was cook’s
cabin boy… I was going to take *
him something to eat… I thought,
perhaps, one of yours and one of
He looks at the fruit he has just given Hector.
You said you might just eat two…
But there’s tomorrow, Nuno… we
must eat tomorrow too…
Nuno looks disappointed. His eyes turn again to his
playmate tied to the raft.
Dom Paulo would call it a waste.
You must keep yourself strong, Nuno,
that’s what he’d say… so that you
can help the others… God knows
what we have ahead of us… we’ll
need strong people like you…
Nuno is silent, unconvinced.
Try not to think about Lopo any
more… The guards wouldn’t let
you near him anyway.
Nuno stomps away in silence. Hector shouts after him
100 INT. CAMP – NIGHT 100
In the privacy of their tent Dom Paulo and his son are
engaged in their nightly ritual, practicing on their
recorders. Dom Paulo leads the young boy through an
intricate, pretty tune. They sit formally and there is
an air of stoicism about them, determined as they are
to maintain their civilized habits in these bleakest of
circumstances. But there is also a feeling of madness
about it. The madness of a man who has lost a grip of
what is going on about him. Down on the beach men are
waiting to die in the morning on his orders. The blend
of formality and madness make the scene comic.
101 EXT. CAMP – DAWN 101
The sun has risen sharply, soaring out of the ocean. It
blinds the eyes of those in the little execution party
making their way along the beach.
The cross-cum-scaffold has been erected some way from the
camp. Most people are attending to their morning
chores with one eye on the grim act of justice being
carried out along the shore.
Our view of the hangings will be from the distance of the
camp; marionette figures, men dancing on ropes, the form-
ality of legal death. The priest and the executioners.
It takes a while for the people in the camp to become
aware of the other observers up on the dunes. Three
figures stand in full view, boldly, silently, watching
the camp and the pantomime at the scaffold.
The word passes around the camp. Eyes pass between the
executions and the tall natives watching. The first man
is already dangling on the rope by the time that Dom Paulo
and his officers are discussing the appearance of the
Some gunpowder would scatter them,
No, they might want to be
friendly… they’ll have food
too… get one of our African
slaves… we must try and talk to
them… If they think we’re timid
102 EXT. DUNES – DAWN 102
A solitary SLAVE makes his way up from the camp to the
natives on the dunes. Everyone in the camp watches as he
approaches them. There is tension. Will the natives run
or fight or talk. They begin to talk. The natives seem
most interested in the hangings, and point in that
direction, asking questions. The Slave makes an attempt
at explaining what is happening, but the natives seem
baffled. They start laughing and shaking their heads.
By now the second figure is dangling on the rope, the
cross making an efficient double-gallows.
103 EXT. CAMP – DAWN 103
While Francisco’s attention has been on the natives,
Hector has sidled up to him, still hoping to ingratiate
himself. He talks while they watch the two events, the
hanging and the meeting.
I hate it when people have to die. *
It’s foolishness. Killing our
own men when we have the whole of
Africa to face.
It’s foolish squabbling at all.
We should be friends.
Francisco looks at him for the meaning in what he is
saying. Hector shrugs. He takes a small bundle from
his jacket and gives it to Francisco.
Some bread and raisins.
I thought everything was shared
out on the raft…
Well this wasn’t. It’s for her…
Francisco looks Hector straight in the eye, looking for
his angle. But this time there is none. Hector is
simply a lonely man seeking to retrieve lost friendship.
There is a glimmer of sympathy in Francisco’s face.
103 CONTINUED: 103
On the high dunes the Slave and the natives have now
parted company. The Deserters still spin at the end of
their ropes, the Priest praying at their feet.
Francisco walks away from him. Hector calls out.
I must speak to her!
104 EXT. CAMP – DAY 104
The Slave approaches Dom Paulo outside his tent.
They want to make a visit here…
with their King… he will bring
gifts, and will receive gifts.
They said not to sacrifice anymore *
men for them… they don’t like
Dom Paulo and the others laugh.
105 EXT. BAY – DAY 105
The tide is sweeping more wreckage into the bay. Barrels
and boxes and timber bob in the waves. People make their
way to the shoreline to retrieve these new gifts from the
The whole of the camp is eager and shouting. They bring *
in the boxes and barrels. A whole harmonium is man-
handled ashore. Some boys drag it up onto dry sand and
start to work its bellows. At first only water spurts
from it, but then a watery note or two is emitted. The
mood soon becomes festive. Dom Paulo makes his way down *
to the shore to make the celebrations official. *
By now the first of the newly-arrived crates are being
opened. Inside are eggs, many, many large eggs, in
crate after crate.
An OFFICER brings the first of the eggs to Dom Paulo.
Turtles’ eggs, sir… Doctor Correa
was shipping them to the Royal
Zoo… I think they hoped some of
them would hatch.
Well… it’s eggs for supper
tonight… for everyone… *
106 EXT. CAMP – DUSK 106
That night everyone does eat turtles’ eggs. At their
fires in the dusk they fry them, boil them, scramble
them. Some eat them raw. The abundant green fruits
make a tolerable side dish. The happy mood of the
afternoon has survived into the night. For once there
is enough to eat, and the hangings are a thing of the
past. Above the ROAR of the constantly rolling SURF
the CROAKY sounds of the waterlogged HARMONIUM can be
107 INT. HECTOR’S TENT – DUSK 107
Sadly for Hector, the harmonium enthusiast is very close
to his shelter. The JANGLY MUSIC is loud and insistent.
Hector removes six large eggs from a bag and takes them
outside to his fire.
108 EXT. CAMP – DUSK 108
Andre is there eating the last of his omelette.
How are they?
Hector cracks one of his eggs into a copper pan. Inside *
is a brown smudge of dried yoke and some dust. Hector *
grunts in annoyance and cracks another egg. The yoke is
discolored and the smell is rank. Hector looks at Andre,
rapidly finishing his omelette before Hector can demand *
Yours were fine?
Hector picks up a third egg and shakes itclose to his
ear. It seems as empty as the other two. He picks up
a fourth egg and cracks it open. A small dried-up, half-
formed baby turtle RATTLES into the pan. Andre is
quietly enjoying Hector’s frustration. He stands up to
108 CONTINUED: 108
Have you any eggs left?
The slaves only got three. I want
to ask you something.
You were lucky. What?
I want my real name back.
You don’t like Andre anymore?
I think of my home all the time.
I want to hear the name they call
me. We should die with our real
We’re not going to die, Andre…
Hector smiles at his own insensitivity.
I’ve forgotten your name…
Now I remember why we called you
Andre looks at him expectantly.
I will, Andre… I promise… I’ll
call you that… when I remember…
Andre is satisfied, and leaves. Hector calls to him.
Good night… Keta…
Yes… good night…
108 CONTINUED: (2) 108
Hector is alone. Hector gives up on the eggs and pulls *
out his store of bread and fruit from the tent. The *
next source of annoyance is the continuing noise of the
He shouts across to the musical enthusiast, a YOUTH
with a few older children by his side.
Hey! Stop that, will you? Think
of the older people, and the
sick… I’ll give you an egg if *
you stop… here…
109 EXT. CAMP – NEXT MORNING 109
The Officers and Dom Paulo are selecting items for barter *
from their crates and boxes of valuables. Hector and
other notables are also there.
Cheap goods, a box of rosaries and crucifixes made of *
common beads, for example, are being gone through and
suitable junk selected for gifts.
They talk as they work.
How many are sick?
About fifty, sir, some of them
very sick indeed. It’s the eggs.
A couple of the crates were full of *
rotten ones, but eaten just the *
same. Others just ate too many.
It would have been better to ration
them, I suppose.
How wise of you to think of that
now. Any deaths?
How many eggs did you have?
109 CONTINUED: 109
Three. I had them boiled.
I had four. I don’t feel well
Four’s all right… the really ill
ones had eaten eight, ten…
Let’s not think about it… what *
have you got? *
Salgado comes forward with a handful of the broken
remains of a kettle. Copper is a useful currency.
It worked well… they’ll go for
this… and nails… Luis cleaned
up a sackful from the crates…
Salgado shows a handful of nails from a small sack in his
Organize some men to gather all *
the nails they can find. We have
to keep control of that particular
Dom Paulo rummages in a box of cheap rosaries, selects a
couple, and then retires to his tent. The others work
on at the table. Hector drifts off down to the beach.
110 INT. DOM PAULO’S TENT – MORNING 110
Inside his tent Dom Paulo goes to his small mirror. He
takes off the heavy silver chain and medallion from
around his neck, and a valuable brooch from his coat. He
stows them safely in a locked box and replaces it in its
hiding place in the sand floor. Then he adorns himself
in the cheap rosary and other trashy items. Dom Paulo, *
catching sight of his watching Son in the mirror, holds *
a silencing finger to his mouth. *
111 EXT. BEACH – MORNING 111
Hector is walking along the beach, close to a pile of *
discarded boxes and crates.
111 CONTINUED: 111
He quickly searches through them. He soon finds what he *
is looking for, a piece of wood with some nails still
attached to it. He pulls out the nails and pockets them,
then continues to rummage amongst the wood for more.
Hector is a survivor. And not the first Hector to
scavenge on a beach, in a world that feels big and empty.
112 EXT. DUNES – MORNING 112
Hector is enjoying the freshness of the day. We see *
him climb over a dune and then as he nears the summit
duck and retreat down the slope again. Cautiously he
crawls up the dune and looks over to the other side.
He is watching a young Girl and the boy Nuno. They are
twelve or thirteen years old. They are coyly in the
early stages of making love, the Boy lying close to the
Girl, kissing her, beginning to caress her. Their *
love-making is poised oddly between child’s play and *
eroticism. It’s their day of discovery and it is like
a dream of love.
The Boy is just about to discover some more and is
fumbling with the Girl’s clothing, when he looks up and
catches sight of Hector. Hector ducks down but knows he
has been seen and decides to brazen it out. He stands
up in full view of them.
Stop that… leave her alone…
get back to the camp… or I’ll tell
your mother… how can you play like
this when there are people needing
your help back there…?
The Boy is standing now and fixing his clothing. He walks
off back to the camp. The Girl remains sitting in the
sand, buttoning her dress, too embarrassed even to raise
her head to Hector.
Then Hector is touched by something, perhaps the sad stoop
in the Boy’s shoulder or the Girl’s lowered head. Hector
realizes he has broken something precious and in their
circumstances infinitely fragile and irretrievable. He
feels like an oaf. He calls after the Boy.
Come back… I didn’t mean it…
it was a joke… you come back…
she’s still here… I won’t say
112 CONTINUED: 112
But the Boy walks on, turning around now and then to look
at Hector, who feels foolish and mean. Hector calls down
to the Girl.
But she doesn’t look up, still fumbling with her buttons.
Hector curses quietly and looks out across the dunes,
angry with himself. Then he sees the procession of the *
Native King and his people, some cattle, and porters
Hector runs off towards the camp.
113 EXT. CLEARING – DAY 113
The meeting of the two leaders is weird and wonderful *
to see. The ragged Europeans, already scanning the *
baskets of the Natives for signs of solid food,
somehow still muster an absurd sense of their own *
importance for the occasion. The Natives, excited and *
curious, trying to contain their exuberance so that they *
don’t miss a single detail of this most significant
day. Many of the Natives have climbed into the trees, *
either out of timidity or to get a better view *
The trees around the meeting place are dripping with
bodies, like human fruit.
Hector slips into the crowd as the NATIVE KING is in
mid-speech. When he has stopped talking the Slave begins
to haltingly translate.
He was excited when he heard you
had come, but he wants to know
if you are real people… he
didn’t think you would be such
a strange color… so he wants
to see your…
He points repeatedly at his navel. *
… so that he will know that you
were born like real people…
113 CONTINUED: 113
Dom Paulo won’t suffer the indignity alone. He talks to
the Officers standing closest to him.
Right… you four as well…
He begins to open up his coat and shirt. The four
Officers do the same. The King and a few of his atten-
dants take a step or two forward and peer at the exposed
white European bellies. They look at one another and
mumble solemnly. Then they step back. Dom Paulo and the
Officers fix their clothing and re-muster their dignity.
The King is enjoying himself. He speaks again to the
Slave, who then translates.
He wants to see you breathe.
The King takes a deep breath, then nods to Dom Paulo.
Dom Paulo and the Officers do as they are told. The King
joins them, and for a few moments there is a kind of
communion between them. Then everyone joins in. It is a *
strange, poignant moment, all the Natives and all the
Europeans united in the simple act of breathing.
Dom Paulo regains his composure. He speaks to the Slave.
Tell him that we want to trade
with him, to buy food… and we
want him to guide us out of here…
we have a long way to travel… to
where the white men have their
The Slave speaks to the King. The King listens and talks
back for a long time. Then the Slave translates again.
He has heard of white men very, *
very far away… this way…
but you have to cross many rivers…
twenty big rivers…
Tell him I want to give him these…
Dom Paulo steps forward to the King. An Officer brings *
a wrapped cloth. Dom Paulo opens it, letting the King
see the pieces of broken copper inside.
113 CONTINUED: (2) 113
The Officer produces a handful of large nails and
gives them directly to the King. The King nods his
head in approval and shows the nails to his attendants.
They are impressed.
… and tell him that I want to
make him a very special gift as
one King to another…
Various Officers raise their eyebrows at this.
Of these precious things, which my
fathers and forefathers have worn
for many long years before…
Dom Paulo solemnly and without a blush removes the cheap
rosary from around his neck and offers it to the King.
I shouldn’t do this, but it is
such a special occasion, and he is
such a great and worthy King…
This is translated. The King refuses to accept the *
rosary. Instead he is pointing to a couple of chunky
and valuable-looking rings on Dom Paulo’s fingers which
he has forgotten to remove.
He says he could not accept such
a treasured gift, something of
such value to your family…
instead he would be happy to take
one or two of the old rings you have
on your fingers… but please do
not insist that he take your
It is impossible to know if the King is being naively
polite or hugely clever. Dom Paulo’s Officers enjoy a
muted titter as he peels off his precious rings and
gives them to the King, replacing the worthless baubles
around his own neck. The King begins talking again.
The Slave translates.
He will give you guides to help *
you across the first of the big
rivers… it is ten days from
113 CONTINUED: (3) 113
Thank you, thank you…
The Slave continues.
… and he asks you to be ready
to leave the beach in two days
time… he cannot permit you to
Dom Paulo looks shocked.
Because with the new moon the
turtles will arrive and lay
their eggs… you may frighten
them… you must be gone…
The mention of turtles’ eggs almost turns the stomachs
of most of the survivors, even the fit ones.
The King and his followers walk back into the forest. *
Soon the survivors are alone again, with the lost-
looking cow the Natives have left. A doomed cow if
ever there was.
114 EXT. BEACH – EVENING 114
The remains of the cow hang on the spit over the large
fire the survivors have made on the beach. Small groups
of people sit around it, gnawing on the roasted flesh.
The image is once again timeless, the elements of it
simple; man, fire, flesh, food.
One cow doesn’t go far between a hundred starving people.
Some are still on their feet by the large fire. Now and
then a hand will dart out over the flames to snatch a
bone hanging loose or a tasty-looking piece of gristle.
They are the survivors of the pack, if any will be.
Hector is, of course, among them. He risks the searing
heat to pull at a couple of blackened bones. He sees
Nuno, the boy he chased away from the Girl earlier in
the day. Nuno is sitting by himself, staring vacantly
at the fire, licking his fingers.
Hector sits down in the sand beside him. Nuno hardly
notices him until Hector offers him one of his bones.
Nuno grabs it.
114 CONTINUED: 114
Suck out the marrow… it’s the
Nuno follows Hector’s example. Hector allows him to
feel the benefit of his gift before he starts to talk.
I’m sorry about today…
It doesn’t matter…
But it does… it was mean of
me… I was upset at something…
I wasn’t really angry at you…
Nuno is taking it rather well. Hector regains his
natural self-confidence. *
You don’t think too badly of me?
You still like me?
Nuno shyly nods his head.
Hector is satisfied now.
Well, that makes me feel better…
we all have to like each other…
and respect each other… that’s
They are silent for a moment.
If you don’t respect me, just
114 CONTINUED: (2) 114
Nuno looks at him, smiling weakly. Then he turns away
in silence. Hector tries another approach to win the
I have a boy like you… maybe *
you could meet him when we get
This doesn’t produce much of a response. Hector tries
again. He starts to chuckle to himself and nudges Nuno
in the ribs.
You can take her back there
Nuno shakes his head.
No… she’s sick now…
115 EXT. CAMP – NIGHT 115
Dom Paulo and the Priest and some of the Officers are
having a more formal meal at Dom Paulo’s table outside
his shelter. An argument is in progress between Dom
Paulo and GASPAR DIAS, the navigator.
Gasper Dias has drawn a rough map which lies on the
Can’t you be more accurate?
Hector comes to the meeting. He sits down on a box
near the table and watches and listens, his expression
changing with the shifts in mood of the others. This *
is Hector the social animal, our Hector with his pockets *
full of stolen nails and his tent full of stashes of
How can I be accurate without
instruments? As it is I’m
sighting the sun with two pieces
of wood… Call it five hundred
and be done with it… he said *
twenty rivers. *
115 CONTINUED: 115
We just want you to be as accurate
as we know you can be, Dias. After
all, the ship did manage to find
that rock with admirable precision.
Confound you, Dom Paulo, that’s an
insult… she hit that rock because
she was taking water and
unsteerable… She was overloaded
before she left India and you know
Dias pounds his fist on the table.
I’ve told you… we vote for a *
leader or you can walk into the
jungle on your own… it should
have been done days ago…
Calm down, Dias… you can’t stay
here forever, living on turtles’
There are mock groans and laughter at the thought of it.
The tension for the moment is broken. *
What about the sick and the
injured, Dom Paulo…?
Dom Paulo lets out a heavy sigh.
I’ve discussed it with Father
Diogo… I don’t see how a hundred
of us can carry seventy sick…
I’m going to search the scriptures
tonight. I’m sure that God has
an answer to it.
An excuse, you mean… we’ll be
leaving them here to die…
Oh, so you’re coming with us now,
115 CONTINUED: (2) 115
Dias mumbles to himself.
After the vote…
It might be the best we can offer
them now… the chance to die a
good Christian death here, and set
an example to the heathens…
116 EXT. CAMP – NIGHT 116
Hector is making his way in the dark back to his shelter.
He passes close to the tent of Francisco and Ursula.
Francisco is outside, by the fire. An impulse takes
Hector to join him.
I’ll be glad when we’re on the
move… the sound of the sea is
driving me mad.
Good night, Hector…
Where is Ursula? Sleeping?
Sick. She hasn’t been able to
rise since yesterday.
Hector’s face expresses his shock. From what he has
heard at the meeting this is serious news. He makes a
decision. He speaks to Francisco, willing their old
friendship back into existence in the urgency of the
Will you share a bottle of wine
with me? I’ve had it since we
left the ship… I want to drink
it tonight, with you.
This offer has found a chink in Francisco’s armor.
You have a bottle of wine?
116 CONTINUED: 116
Well, fetch it.
117 EXT. CAMP – NIGHT 117
Hector has returned with his precious bottle. Francisco
by some miracle has two fine crystal glasses. As they
drink they begin to reveal a hint of their old intimacy.
You should hang for this. Some
people on the raft might have
lived with a glass of this in
Francisco sips the wine with the relish of long
I know. I feel very guilty. I
brought this too…
Hector pulls a cotton bag from under his coat.
Honeyed fruit. The last I have.
Francisco can’t believe such food still exits. He
smiles in anticipation.
You rogue… give it here…
Francisco grabs at the bag and stuffs two or three
sweets into his mouth, not so much the gentleman now.
I brought it for Ursula…
Francisco talks through his munching.
Much too rich for her… do you want
to kill her?
Surely… some fruit couldn’t…
117 CONTINUED: 117
Don’t argue with me, old friend…
you’re the guilty one around here,
and don’t you forget it.
Why is it always me? Why am I
always guilty, always sorry… am
I so bad?
With Ursula you weren’t bad, you
were stupid… you did the one thing
you can’t do to a strong woman…
you took away her pride… what else
can she do but hate you?
Hector is silent.
And then you get on the same ship…
what a fool…
I had to get home… just like you…
And when the ship went down… why
did you have to get on the same
raft… it was as if you were trying
to torment her…
But… the other raft was sinking…
Francisco… please… *
Francisco’s face breaks into a smile. They drink the *
rest of the bottle in silence, the complexity of their *
friendship having gone beyond words. *
118 EXT. MASS – DAY 118
On a headland overlooking the bay, Father Diogo’s mass is
in progress. Every fit member of the camp is there, and
a good many of the sick have been carried in litters to
take part. The harmonium has been carried up the hill
and is in full voice, some youths dissipating their
precious energy on its bellows. The younger boys have
been organized into a choir.
118 CONTINUED: 118
The large cross stands behind Father Diogo, held in place
by a cairn of piled stones at its base. When we FIND
Hector there is something tantalizingly familiar about it
all; the cliffs, the ocean, the kneeling Hector, a pile
of stones, the offering to a god.
119 EXT. CLEARING – DAY 119
The natives have gathered nearby. They have been moved, *
perhaps by the music, or perhaps by the simple, universal *
posture of worship itself. They begin to sing, a low,
rhythmic, compelling chant. It mingles with the distant
voice of Father Diogo, and then with the chanting voices
of all the Europeans, until it seems that the whole
world is praying.
120 EXT. CAMP – MORNING 120
Next morning the camp on the beach is being broken up.
The place is like a junkyard. The amount of damage that
a hundred and fifty people can do to a beach in two days
is impressive. Dom Paulo and the officers watch the work.
With them are some messengers from the king, and the
One of the messengers is talking. When he finishes, the
Yes… they will look after the
sick… but the King would like
one thing… the machine that
We need food as well… ten
cows… to take with us… then
the King can have the music.
121 EXT. CAMP – ANOTHER ANGLE – MORNING 121 *
Hector is sitting beside Nuno on a box, talking earnestly
to him. Andre stands beside them.
You must come with us.
121 CONTINUED: 121
Your mother might not get well…
do you understand that?
That’s why I have to stay.
And afterwards… what will you
Follow you and the others.
Nuno remains silent.
Let him be.
122 EXT. CAMP – DAY 122
Dom Paulo and Father Diogo are standing beside Dom *
Paulo’s table, all that remains of his headquarters on *
I’ll comfort them as best as I
You’re staying with them?
Father Diogo hastens to correct this misunderstanding.
No, no, I’ll comfort them before
we leave. I think my place is
Two sailors, like stagehands, enter and remove the table,
leaving Dom Paulo and Father Diogo propless on the beach.
123 EXT. JUNGLE PATH – DAY 123
The trek from the beach to the village has started. A
long line of people, including some local natives, carry
the sick in crudely-made litters. Even this short trip
is hard. Somewhere in the line six sailors manhandle the
harmonium up the jungle path.
123 CONTINUED: 123
Just behind them Hector is helping Nuno to carry his
Mother in a litter. It is like a civilization on the
move. In a day or two the wind and the sea will have
rubbed out all evidence of their stay, and the bay will
welcome its regular tenants, the turtles.
124 EXT. NATIVE VILLAGE – DAY 124
There is a sense of bustle in the native village as the
European sick are settled into their huts and the others
prepare to depart. Emotional farewells take place in *
dark corners of the small huts. A group of unmoved
sailors are playing cards in the dirt. *
In amongst the bustle Hector is looking for Francisco.
He finds him taking some of his possessions into a hut. *
Francisco… I have to see her *
before we leave.
I’ll ask her.
Francisco goes into the hut. Hector waits outside,
watching the small human dramas all around him. Soon
Francisco emerges from the hut.
In you go.
Hector goes into the hut, stooping low at the small
125 INT. HUT – DAY 125
Ursula is lying in a darkened corner. Hector is shaken
by the sight of her, ashen and fevered, but tries not to
show it. He kneels beside her.
Ursula… it’s Hector.
She turns her eyes to him but doesn’t speak.
We’re leaving soon. I’ve come to
Her voice is a whisper.
125 CONTINUED: 125
I won’t forget you… I won’t
forget India… I can’t forget
how I hurt you…
She looks at him but doesn’t or cannot speak.
We should have talked… I could
have explained… many things…
She manages a whispered word.
Yes… I’ll pray for you in
Lisbon… at the Cathedral…
She lies still. Hector lingers for a moment. Then he
I’m sorry I hurt your pride…
Hector has blown it. Ursula pulls herself up on an
elbow, finding wells of energy from sheer indignation.
Hector is astonished, almost jumping out of his skin.
What? What did you say? What are
you talking about?
Ursula speaks one word, and then falls back into a dead
She lies still. Hector leans over her to make sure she
is still breathing. He whispers nervously.
126 EXT. HUT – DAY 126
Outside the hut, Dom Paulo is talking with Francisco.
We won’t forget you, or what you
are doing for these poor people…
I’m not staying here with the
intention of dying, Dom Paulo…
we’ll be following you… when we
are fit and well…
Yes, of course…
… and good luck to you… *
They make what they both know is their final parting. *
God protect you… it breaks my *
heart to leave you all here, but
I don’t know what else I can do.
They shake hands.
We’re leaving the cross with
Oh, thank you…
It’s too heavy to carry… and who
knows… it might make some
impression on the heathens.
Hector comes out of the hut, solemn-faced. *
Francisco, I must talk to you
127 EXT. HUT – ANOTHER ANGLE – DAY 127
Hector takes Francisco by the arm and leads him behind
You’ve made your peace with her?
127 CONTINUED: 127
Yes. I think so… *
Thank, God… Well, goodbye. *
Is there anything that I can do
for you? A letter… a message? *
Francisco laughs softly.
No… if you were carrying *
something for me I would have to
worry about you… if you go
empty-handed I can put you out of
Hector smiles uncertainly, unsure if Francisco is making
a joke. Then he becomes more serious.
I want to ask you something. *
There’s no easy way to do it…
Go on, Hector…
Francisco looks down at his boots.
What about them?
Can I have them? You can have
mine… they’ll be fine for
here… but I have to walk six
Hector lifts a foot to show Francisco his boot. Francisco
is stunned into silence. But then a smile comes to his *
Yes, you’re right… I daresay *
my boots would take you six hundred *
miles… I look after them…
Hector becomes almost poetic in his pleading.
127 CONTINUED: (2) 127
I’ll walk all the way home,
Francisco… I’ll pray for your
soul in the Cathedral in Lisbon…
… In my boots…
Francisco starts to laugh out loud.
Hector, you have surpassed
yourself… sit down and take my
Francisco starts to take off his boots. Hector does the *
same. He can’t believe his luck. At this moment, he *
loves Francisco. He makes nonsensical small talk,
hopping around on one foot.
They were made by Da Fosca,
Francisco is giggling now.
The best bootmaker in Goa… pray
for my soul in Lisbon, Hector…
and pray for your own…
Francisco is laughing, but Hector doesn’t get the joke.
128 EXT. FOREST – DAY 128
A different forest. A wilderness of giant pines, ranging
through the mountains for hundred of miles. It is late *
in the year. There is one human sound in the cold still- *
ness, a voice singing.
BOBBY, the owner of the voice, has a pack on his back. *
He is making his way up a steep slope to an area of flat
ground. He stops singing, looks around, and calls out *
in a powerful voice. *
They’ve gone… long gone!
Bobby looks around the abandoned camp, the dead fires, *
cleared areas for tents.
128 CONTINUED: 128
Up the slope and INTO VIEW comes his companion, leading
a laden pack horse. It is Hector.
They’ve been gone a week, at
We’re ten days late…
They look at each other. They are in trouble, and now
they know it.
Cheer up. Have a look around.
I’ll start on a fire…
129 EXT. CAMPSITE – DAY 129
Hector has scoured the campsite. He holds up a canteen
he has found.
It’s Sandy’s… whiskey…
Well done, my lad!
Hector walks to the fire, pleased with himself. Bobby
unfolds his fist and looks at what he has found, an
Indian arrowhead with a few inches of broken shaft. He
folds his hand over it again, keeping his secret.
Behind them, nailed to a tree, is a plaque their
companions have left. It reads, “Pennsylvania Boundary
Expedition 1761, Marker 152.” Also on the plaque someone
has written, “We left here, 20th October.”
130 EXT. CAMP – NIGHT 130
Hector and Bobby sit by the fire with their supper. They
are both anxious, but pretend not to be.
130 CONTINUED: 130
Even if we lose their track, we’ll
still hit the river… we can’t
It’s too high for Indians?
Much too high. You won’t find an
Indian up here. We just have to
keep our heads… no panic.
If you did find an Indian, what
would he be?
You wouldn’t… but he might be a
Delaware if you did.
We keep working?
Why not. We can log the peaks on
the far side, just a couple of
sightings a day… keep us busy…
Their forced tone of matter-of-factness only serves to
heighten the growing feeling of doom.
You think we’ll get out?
If we keep our heads. I wish I
had some tobacco.
131 EXT. CAMP – ANOTHER ANGLE – NIGHT 131
Hector is lying awake, watching Bobby’s sleeping form on
the ground at the other side of the dying fire. Behind
Bobby is a wolf, sniffing and edging his way closer to
them. Hector isn’t anxious. He knows the wolf will soon
become aware of them and move off. He is worried about
something else. From under the pack that makes his
pillow he pulls a piece of broken arrow, a shaft and some
feathers, the other end of Bobby’s find. He looks at it,
then looks back to Bobby and the wolf.
132 EXT. CAMP – MORNING 132
In the morning Hector and Bobby are taking readings from
the instruments they have hung on a large tree, main-
taining the disciplines of their work. It gives some
shape and meaning to their predicament.
Barometer… twenty-eight and
three-eighths… temperature… *
low… thirty-four… high…
forty-two and a half… time…
Hector writes it in the log book. Bobby goes to the *
horse and takes a brass chronometer from a box strapped
to the saddle. Hector takes out a smaller chronometer
from his own pack. They compare readings. There is a
difference of some four or five minutes in the time.
It’s getting worse… you’re
nearly five minutes fast now…
I’m not fast… you’re slowing
They obviously have this tiff every morning.
What’s the point of having two
chronometers when you don’t take
Exactly… you should throw yours
You’re unscientific, Bobby… at
Hector writes in the book. He speaks pointedly.
Bobby mocks him with a laugh. *
133 EXT. FOREST – DAY 133
Bobby is leading the horse and Hector walks on ahead. *
The going is easy through the ferns and grasses. Bobby *
for a moment forgets his apprehensions and starts to sing
133 CONTINUED: 133
I see her in the dewy flowers
I see her sweet and fair…
His voice rings sharply around the forest. Hector far
ahead turns around, taken by surprise. Bobby has
frightened himself too. He eyes the forest all around
as the echo of his voice fades. Chastened, he begins
to sing again, quietly this time, under his breath.
There’s not a bonny bird that sings
But minds me o’ my Jean…
134 EXT. CLEARING – DAY 134
Hector and Bobby have stopped at a point of bare rock
looking out across the broad valley.
They are building a pile of stones, a cairn. They work
quietly, methodically. The only sounds are of their
breathing and the CLICK-CLACK of the stones. We feel the
echoes of our many previous Hectors and their piles of
stones, built for this or that purpose. Our doomed
surveyors are acting out the same ritual, this time in
the name of science.
They finish the cairn and erect their heavy tripod over
it, and dangle a plumb line from the tripod. Bobby
scratches the center point on the top stone of the cairn.
They are establishing a survey point. They talk as they
When they anchor their tripod, the cold hard sound of
their CHISELS STRIKING ROCK ECHOES all through the forest.
It unnerves them. They stop hammering and listen to the
ECHO BOUNCING down the valley.
Sure this is a good idea.
Let’s get out of here.
They hastily dismantle the equipment and load up the
horse, in an atmosphere of controlled panic.
135 EXT. FOREST – DAY 135
They are travelling together now, on either side of the
horse’s nose, finding comfort in the closeness of each
other. They stop for Bobby to consult his compass.
135 CONTINUED: 135
He indicates a slight change of direction, and they move
off again. Still they don’t talk. We can feel their
anxiety breeding in the silence. Why don’t they talk?
They proceed in this weighty silence, but even the CRIES
of the BIRDS now seem to mock them.
The route takes them downhill. The slopes are more dense
with undergrowth now and the going isn’t so easy. Some-
times they are reduced to an undignified scramble, hanging
onto the bulk of the horse between them. They no longer
look much like conquerors of the wilderness.
136 EXT. FOREST – DAY 136
They are on the valley floor now. The trees are more
openly spaced and the grass is richer. They are moving
quickly but they have a hard time keeping the horse on
the trot. It hasn’t seen grass this good in weeks.
137 EXT. FOREST – DAY 137
They are moving more slowly, the ground is rockier and
the trees are thickening. They take the easy way up the
hillside, a natural path made by deer or bear.
It is difficult to know who is more shaken by their
encounter, the Indian or Hector and Bobby.
The INDIAN is sitting behind a tree as they pass, dozing
or deep in reverie. They almost pass without noticing
him, but Hector gives a turn of his head and there is the
Indian four feet from him. At the same instant the Indian
comes to his senses and sits bolt upright. The encounter
is high comedy but full of terror for all of them.
The Indian stands up. Hector absurdly greets him.
The Indian backs off from them, holding his hands up and
smiling crazily, as if to say, “Don’t mind me, boys, I’m
just leaving…” Hector and Bobby are equally silly in
Hey, come back… we’re just
moving through… don’t
apologize… we all got a fright…
137 CONTINUED: 137
The Indian is in full retreat now, waving his hands about
apologetically, but making good distance from them.
Suddenly, he is gone. It has happened so quickly that
Hector and Bobby scarcely believe it has happened. Then
they realize that in their fright they have let go of the
horse. It has headed back down to the tastier pastures
in the valley. They see it disappearing into the trees
That was stupid…
Did you see him?
Sure I saw him.
Was he a Delaware?
How the fuck should I know? He
was an Indian… and Indians don’t
come in ones…
Yeah… I think he was an Indian
too… What about the horse?
I’m not going back down there.
Don’t panic, Bobby…
He runs off into the forest. Then he turns and shouts to
Hector follows him, a mad race through the forest.
138 EXT. FOREST – DAY 138
Hector and Bobby are sitting on a rock, gathering their
wits. It is odd how they talk so matter-of-factly.
What did you see?
138 CONTINUED: 138
Same as you.
An Indian… with long hair…
That’s it… kind of short…
Yeah… he was’t tall…
That’s the one.
Hector scans the hills above them.
Let’s get a bit further up.
They move off. Bobby looks at Hector’s backpack.
What’ve you got in there?
Some food, the logbooks, my
letters, a candle…
139 EXT. CAMP – DAY 139
They have stopped to make camp. It is late afternoon,
the sky just darkening, sharp shadows on the far peaks, a
purple glow in the air.
We won’t have a fire tonight. We
should make a shelter though, in
case it snows.
What about bears, without a fire?
Bobby laughs quietly.
Don’t even think about bears, Hector.
140 EXT. CAMP – NIGHT 140
They are making a round frame of bent branches and cover-
ing it with foliage. Half-hidden in the undergrowth, it
is big enough for two men to huddle in. Tonight they feel
the most basic of urges, to curl up in a ball and hide.
141 INT. CAMP – NIGHT 141
They are safe and snug in their hideaway. Hector has lit
his candle. He is reading his letters, holding them close
to his eyes in the dimness. He has the air of someone
putting his affairs in order. Bobby is thinking aloud.
Maybe he’s lost too… on his
own… must be Delaware… they
were chased up here years ago…
everybody thought they’d cleared
off west… the other side of
Ohio… they were an angry lot…
no wonder… they used to farm on
He looks up at Hector, and allows himself a small smile.
Go on, read it out…
Hector looks up.
What? No… not tonight…
I’ve had to listen to it every
night since April… why not now?
Hector gives in. He holds a scrap of paper close to the
candle and reads.
Dear, Father, I miss you. Three
frogs are dead. Everybody misses
you. Bring me a bear’s head and
claws and a gun. School is good.
Miss White has married a fireman.
Come back soon. Do not worry
about the frogs, they did not
have names. Nathaniel.
Hector looks up at Bobby.
It’s not so funny now as it was.
141 CONTINUED: 141
It wasn’t funny then.
If you knew him… if you could
picture him saying it… it would
I had a father like you… nine
months on a whaler and then three
weeks at home telling us all how
much he missed us…
I’m going home, for the winter…
Bobby doesn’t pursue his argument. He tenses, then
sniffs the air vigorously.
Goddam it… smell it?
Hector sniffs some more.
Where the hell is it coming
He puts his head out of the shelter.
I can’t tell… a night like this
it could carry for miles…
He huddles back inside the shelter.
I wish I had a smoke.
141 CONTINUED: (2) 141
After a tense silence, Hector takes a small package from
an inside pocket. He hands it to Bobby.
I was saving it… you have it…
It is a wedge of tobacco. Bobby takes it.
What do you mean, you were saving
it? You know the rules… no
hoarding, tobacco or food… you’ve
listened to me for a month, day and
night… wanting a smoke…
Well have it now… I don’t smoke…
You’ve kept it from me, and you
don’t even use it…
I was saving it for my birthday…
I was going to give it to you then…
I have to wait until your birthday
for a smoke? Who are you… the
Go on, smoke it… have it now…
I bloody won’t… I’m not smoking
on your command… I bloody won’t.
There is a brooding silence.
God, your poor children… what do
they have to do for a piece of
candy in your house? It’s very
hard to like you sometimes… d’you
I know, Bobby… but that’s how I
feel about you, too… that’s why
we’re friends… we try hard…
come on… smoke your pipe…
141 CONTINUED: (3) 141
Hector is neatly turning the tables on Bobby, who now
appears churlish, childish.
No… I’ll have it in the morning.
Come on… tell me… who would
you rather be sitting here with…
have a think…
Bobby does, and then breaks into a smile.
Hector smiles, too.
Yeah. He would be a help… but
after Daniel Boone…
I can’t think of anyone else… but
you’re impossible to like sometimes.
Suddenly Bobby grows shy of their growing intimacy.
We should sleep. We’ve got a lot
of running to do in the morning.
But Hector has other plans. He is in control of their
No we’re not… we’re going to
talk… all night…
Bobby yields to this with the softest, most vulnerable
smile we have yet seen on his face.
So… where do you want to start?
Bobby is silent, but still smiles his acquiescent smile.
Hector reads the silence well.
I know where you want to start…
Bobby is still silent.
141 CONTINUED: (4) 141
Bobby’s smile breaks into a boyish laugh.
Well… what about Alicia?
No… I’m sorry…
What do you mean, you’re sorry…
I’m the one that has to apologize…
Bobby is mischievous now.
Oh no you’re not…
It will be a worthwhile night for both of them.
142 EXT. FOREST – DAWN 142
It is a glorious dawn. Bobby sits looking out on the
valley, smoking his pipe. Behind him Hector is busy
writing in his log book.
Isn’t it a beautiful day?
Hector finishes his writing, tears out the page from his
book. He offers it to Bobby.
I’ve said who we are and where
we’re headed. Want to sign it,
The peak we logged yesterday…
I’ve named it Nathanial Mountain.
After my boy… is that fine with
I was going to call it Tobacco
Mountain… or Mount Alicia… but
142 CONTINUED: 142
Hector smiles. He puts the paper in a small leather
pouch, puts the pouch on the ground near the shelter,
and starts to build a small pile of protective stones
on top of it.
Bobby stands, and turns to watch him.
Let’s get away from here.
Yeah. Keep the sun on our backs.
Bobby walks off with great clouds of tobacco smoke
billowing defiantly around him, as if to challenge
their night-time tormentor.
Hector takes a last look at their shelter and its little
memorial cairn and then runs to catch up with Bobby.
143 EXT. FOREST – DAY 143
Hector and Bobby look vulnerable as they walk through
the open forest with their meager packs on their backs.
We can move quicker without the
horse… we just have to keep
moving… we have to get away from
Behind them they don’t see the figure moving from the
cover of one tree to another, and then another figure
following the first. They move like ghosts.
144 EXT. FOREST – DAY 144
Bobby is a few steps ahead of Hector. He dips down
over a rise, and instantly returns. He throws himself
and Hector to the ground. Hector tries to struggle free.
Quiet. They’re on the other side…
Hector ducks lower, hugging the ground. Bobby is
already sliding up the slope to look over the rise.
Hector follows him.
144 CONTINUED: 144
On the other side, they see the women and children of
a small group of Indians at the edge of a stream. The
women are washing clothes, the children are splashing and
playing. We are close enough to hear their laughter.
We’re right in the middle of them…
Does it have to be bad? They might
They were chased here… They should
be on the coast growing corn…
Bobby turns to Hector to make his point. That is when he
sees the first of the figures, just the ghost of a shadow
moving from tree to rock. His eyes flick across the
forest behind them. He sees another figure caught in
the act of seeking cover, looking absurdly embarrassed
for the fleeting moment that we see it. Then Bobby
sees another. Are they teasing them? It looks so much
like a game children would play.
What’s wrong? *
They’re behind us. They must
think we’re stalking the women…
Hector looks and sees nothing. Fifty Indians hold their
breath. The forest seems empty. But Hector looks at
Bobby. He is grey-faced, a man who is looking at death.
Hector knows they are doomed.
Do you want to run?
I’ll do what you do.
They leap to their feet and run. There is only one
way to go, over the rise, through the women and children
and across the stream. To the watching Indians it looks
like a direct attack on their families. From behind
trees and rocks they emerge and begin the chase. A
tragedy of misunderstanding.
144 CONTINUED: (2) 144
Hector and Bobby scatter the women and children and
splash across the stream, burning all their energy in *
this mad life-or-death race. Although their families
are safe, the Indians keep up the chase, the moment of
confusion compounded in action. They lope easily after
them, waiting for the white men to tire. There are no *
whoops or shouts. They follow Hector and Bobby into the
trees, spreading out on either side, shaping the human
net that will soon engulf them.
It is a menacing spectacle. Death is near. Hector
and Bobby stay close together as they run.
When they catch up… fight…
it’ll be quicker… fight like
They’re not going to catch us.
We’re going home.
Hector stretches out an arm to Bobby.
Hold my hand, Bobby…
They hold hands and run.
145 EXT. BUILDING – DAY 145
A war party of media people surround Hector as he exits
a Yellow Cab. He forces his way through the yelling
crowd of REPORTERS and camera crews. Hector is trying
to make his way into a crumbling apartment building in
Queens. Policemen help Hector through the barrage of *
Do you know the lady, Mr. Troup?
Think you’ll go to jail again?
Look here for a second, will you,
Will you talk to us when you come
145 CONTINUED: 145
Hector enters the building. The media mob immediately
switch off their energy. They light cigarettes, fiddle *
with cameras, stare into space, as if someone has
146 INT. BUILDING – DAY 146
Hector climbs to the fourth floor. A POLICEMAN goes with
Two paramedics come up the stairs behind them, carrying a
stretcher. The Policeman stops.
You guys are downstairs… third
The paramedics turn around and head back down the stairs.
Hector looks at the Policeman curiously.
They continue climbing.
147 INT. APARTMENT – DAY 147
Hector and the Policeman squeeze past a cluster of people
at the door and enter the apartment.
This is Troup!
A DETECTIVE is with another man who looks like a city
Come here, Troup. I’m Cobb.
Hector joins them.
You bring everything?
Building warrant, license, fire
certificate… I want them all…
This is Mr. Santiago, from the
147 CONTINUED: 147
This isn’t really my building…
it’s my partner’s… I just took
the call and came right over…
I have to leave town in an hour *
or so anyway…
Slow down, Troup… so it’s 3:15
on a Friday… you’re staying here
‘til Mr. Santiago gets the
paperwork… get your partner over
here, with everything… this is
Hector looks at his watch.
I might have to close the place
Where is she?
The Detective and Hector walk down the hall. They stop
at the door of the bathroom. Hector looks inside. There
is a large ragged hole in the floor. At the far side of
it the toilet unit dangles at a dangerous angle into the
hole, held only by its plumbing. Firemen are working to
secure it and what is left of the floor with metal props
and hydraulic jacks. Lying on the floor below,
surrounded by rubble, and being attended by the
paramedics, is an old lady, MRS. PHILIPPOPOLIS. She
tries to sit up when she sees Hector peering at her over
the rim of the hole. She looks angry.
I phoned you Monday… I told you
the floor was making noises…
Not me, Mrs. Philippopolis… my
ex-partner… I think you spoke *
to him… How are you feeling?
Hector says this clearly, for the benefit of the
Detective and Mr. Santiago. The Detecitve is unimpressed.
Come back from there, Troup, the
floor’s still moving…
147 CONTINUED: (2) 147
I’ll make a couple of calls… I’ll
straighten it out… is she bad?
Why don’t they move her?
They waited for a portable X-Ray
machine… they can move her now.
She seems in good spirits…
As if in response, Mrs. Philippopolis shouts up to
Hector as she sees him leaving the bathroom above her.
Wait ‘til my son sees his mother
lying here like this… he’s gonna
sue you… you’re a lousy landlord…
you should be ashamed… to let old
people live like this… I phoned
you Monday… I have a witness!
I was dancing with a prince on my
eighteenth birthday, and now look at
me… you have me falling down a
148 INT. BUILDING – DAY 148
Hector retreats into the hallway. Takes out his mobile
phone and dials, while watching the ominous Mr. Santiago
making copius notes in his book. Hector gets connected.
Boris… why did you do this to
me? Get down here now… they
want all kinds of certificates…
They won’t let me leave the
building… I have my kids tonight,
I haven’t seen them in four years…
I did tell you, I’ve been talking
about it all week… how come they
phoned me, this isn’t my building?
What? Don’t tell me anymore… I
want you here, now… and on your
knee… I’ll phone the lawyer…
but you move. My weekend’s ruined
before it’s started.
Hector quickly dials another number.
148 CONTINUED: 148
Anna… thank God… you have to
help me… I’m still in Queens… *
I’ve got cops here and everything *
… I need your car… I don’t have
time to pick up the rental now…
they won’t let me leave the
building… you come down here…
and put my bag in the car… no.. *
I have to pick the kids up by six,
otherwise I fuck up her weekend
too… she’ll kill me… this is
an emergency… what can I say?
Please… right… okay…
He finishes the call just as Santiago approaches, waving
his notebook now full of incriminating notes.
It looks like water rotted the
floor… You have any plumbing
At the office… I might have some
bills… it’s not my building. *
Santiago is talking almost to himself now, absorbed in the
mundane mechanics of Hector’s building.
It’s a weird one… I don’t know
how water could sit in there for
so long without somebody noticing
… you didn’t use water-resistent
paint on the ceilings did you?
Hector shakes his head wearily.
I don’t really know…
You’re going to have to check out *
the whole building… you know
that, don’t you?
Can I do it Monday?
Good joke… it’ll take you a
148 CONTINUED: (2) 148
Hector is already dialing another number as Santiago
wanders off in search of further fascinating discoveries.
Can I speak with Leonard, please…
Mr. Deutsch? My name is Hector
Troup, Borlonski and Troup, Real
There is a moment’s pause.
Leonard… it’s Hector… Borlonski
and Troup… yes… listen, we’ve
had a domestic accident at our
Eighth Street building… a floor *
… and an old lady… she did
mention the word sue, but it might
have been hysterics… what I need
to know is what certificates you
have on file for the building… I *
know it’s Friday… just do one *
thing… let me know if the
insurance is current… I need to
know that… I’m on my mobile…
anything you have… before five
… thank you…
During the call Hector has walked down the hall and back
to the hole in the floor. He sees Mrs. Philippopolis,
now strapped in a stretcher, being carried out of the
room below. At the sight of him, she tries to sit up,
straining on her straps.
My son’s downstairs… when he
sees me like this he’ll kill you…
go on… jump through the hole…
see what it feels like! Break both
Hector is almost tempted to do what she says.
149 INT. BUILDING – ANOTHER ANGLE – DAY 149
Hector is following the paramedics as they negotiate
Mrs. Philippopolis down the three flights of stairs.
He is on the phone again. This time to his former wife.
149 CONTINUED: 149
I’ll be on the way in thirty
minutes at the outside… I can’t
say… Queens to New Jersey, on
a Friday… what do you think?
I’ll be there… it’s important to
me too, I’ve been trying to put
this weekend together for years…
I’ll be there… I won’t take
it out on the kids, I can walk
away from problems… as soon as
I get the car… I’ll be there…
All the while Mrs. Philippopolis issues a non-stop *
torrent of Greek expletives — calmly and in a considered *
tone, but obviously obscene. Hector is shocked. *
150 EXT. BUILDING – DAY 150
On a street Hector stands with a Policeman watching *
Mrs. Philippopolis being loaded into the ambulance. Her
SON is with her. When she is safely inside he walks
towards Hector. Fortunately he is of modest build, and
a head shorter than Hector, and he seems to be saving
his wrath for the Courthouse.
Mr. Troup, I’m George
They shake hands.
I’m sorry about your mother…
Well… it’s happened… you want
to travel with us, or do you have
To the hospital…
Well, I wasn’t planning to…
You’re not making a visit to the
150 CONTINUED: 150
I’ve talked to your mother, given
her my best wishes… she wants
her family with her now… Any
other Friday but this one.
The Son addresses the Policeman.
He’s not coming to the hospital…
The Policeman looks at Hector.
That could look bad…
The cop is enjoying his role as straight man to these
two. Hector takes out his diary.
Look, George… here’s what I can
do… I’ll visit her on Tuesday,
I’ll organize some flowers…
Screw the flowers… who’s gonna
check her into the hospital…
who’s gonna pay? It’s your
building that fell down…
He nods his head to the Policeman.
They won’t let me leave here…
The Policeman this time backs him up.
The Son backs off to the waiting ambulance reluctantly.
Wait ‘til they hear this in court *
… he wouldn’t even make a trip *
to the hospital… Can’t you even *
give me a credit card number? *
151 EXT. BUILDING – ANOTHER ANGLE – DAY 151
The ambulance drives off just as BORIS arrives. Hector
runs to the car.
151 CONTINUED: 151
It’s never been this bad, Boris.
Deutsch is checking the
insurance… did you bring the
Yeah… we’re covered for most
things… the license is current,
the inspection certificate is
What’s with the we… it’s your
How is she?
She’s a witch… her bones must be
made of steel… she didn’t break
a thing… it might help if you
make a visit to the hospital…
why did you do this to me?
I’m sorry, Hector… I just put
your name on the lousy forms… I
didn’t plan this… I just
borrowed your name on the titles.
Hector doesn’t let up on his anger.
I told you to stop doing that…
why does this keep happening to
me… my name is mine… use your
own name, Boris Borlonski… will
you remember that?
Boris is conciliatory.
Hector… forgive me… I’ll take
care of it… don’t let it spoil
your weekend… four years, huh?
You make the most of it… and
don’t worry, you’ll walk away
from this… I’m sorry…
Hector is calm now. We can sense real depth in their
relationship, despite Boris’s pranks.
151 CONTINUED: (2) 151
Yeah, I’m sorry too… you have
to get out of this business… I
thought I had…
Go on… have a great weekend…
I’ll talk to you on Monday… we’ll
straighten everything out…
This is the worst it’s been.
Everything can be fixed… always.
Then Hector’s girl friend ANNA arrives in her car. It is
a bright pink station wagon, highly decorated with flower
motifs and slogans like “ANNA’S ARRANGEMENTS,” and “FRESH
OR DRY, WE’LL PLEASE THE EYE.” Anna is a florist.
Hector brightens when he sees her. Everything is falling
into place. All he has to do now is cross two rivers
and Manhatan Island in under an hour, in Anna’s pink car.
He runs to meet her.
Get in… you can dropp me at the
Hector gets into the car, smiling broadly.
152 INT. CAR – DAY 152
Anna drives skilfully through the busy Friday streets.
You bring my bag?
Yeah. Your camera’s in there too.
Take some photographs of the
152 CONTINUED: 152
Not much… just like I’m being
Well you deserve to suffer.
Our Hectors have been hearing this for centuries, but at
least Anna smiles when she says it.
Don’t worry… this is the
beginning of something… not the
end… you can start being a
I’m glad you talked me into it.
I didn’t do much… you were
You’re right… you’re absolutely
right… I was ready… I am
ready, for everything… I’m
fixing all that shit with Boris…
I told him… it can’t go on…
I want my freedom.
Anna is looking at him amusedly, nodding her head with
every earnest pronouncement that he makes.
… and the kids… that’ll work
out… we can have them over
Sure… that was the plan… when
we have the space…
Right, when we have the space…
when we get the bigger apartment…
There you go… you said it…
the bigger apartment together…
Hector is pleased with himself.
152 CONTINUED: (2) 152
Yeah… I said it, didn’t I?
You’re a man of decision,
Hector is high on his optimism now, and cheeky with it.
Yes I am… Together… I said it
… and get out of my car at the
corner here… I don’t have the
time to go ‘round the block.
Anna pulls into the curb. Hector leans over to embrace
her before she has stopped the car.
Thanks… for the car…
Do the best you can with them,
Hector… and one more thing…
She indicates a massive bouquet of flowers wrapped in
cellophane, taking up the whole of the luggage space in
What? Anna, I can’t…
Here’s the address… just two
blocks before the bridge… a
five minute detour. It’s a
golden wedding… you have to…
She looks him straight in the eye.
We have to help each other…
Hector accepts this.
Oh, you’ll need gas too… Go to
She kisses him quickly, but lovingly.
152 CONTINUED: (3) 152
Phone if there’s any disasters…
don’t suffer alone…
Hector watches Anna stride, in her business-like way,
around the corner OUT OF SIGHT. He is almost home.
153 INT./EXT. CAR – DAY 153
A trip from Queens to New Jersey at five o’clock on
a Friday afternoon is going to look like a dream sequence
whatever you do with it, and that’s fine.
Hector’s trip to his children has more meaning for us
than a simple journey from A to B. We will be aware of
our other Hectors, and the journeys home that they did
or didn’t manage to make. This car trip will pull the
And after so many images of the natural world, a world
little altered by man, the PANORAMIC SHOTS of New York in
all its mad glory will place our Hector in a new dimen-
sion. If there is a breathtaking moment in this film,
when everything comes together, when all the pieces fit,
then it will be somewhere around here that it happens.
Six thousand years ago we left Hector on a beach, aching
for his family. If the traffic allows, tonight in New
Jersey Hector will complete his journey.
We will GO WITH Hector OVER the bridge, ACROSS the
avenues of Manhattan and THROUGH the tunnel. His PHONE
Hello… Leonard, hello… yes…
we’re insured… thank God… yes
now I know God’s a lawyer…
On the outskirts of Jersey City he finds the suburban
street he is looking for. If the last crosslight holds
on green then he might even make it on time.
Hector stops the car outside Janet’s house and lets out
a sigh of relief.
154 EXT. HOUSE – EVENING 154
Hector’s former wife, JANET, and her new husband, DONALD,
come out of the house as Hector walks up to the door.
Donald is carrying luggage and heads straight for their
car in the driveway.
154 CONTINUED: 154
He starts loading up the car. Janet talks to Hector.
You made it. The kids are just
coming. They’re not over the
moon about going to the beach
house. I ought to warn you.
Why didn’t you say? I could have
fixed up something else. I
thought it would be a good place
to get to know them again…
Well, I figured you should be *
allowed to make your own mistakes.
It’s only for a couple of nights,
they can take it… and you’ll
learn… Check into a hotel if
it gets too much… they like
She shouts into the house.
Come on, you two… your father’s
ready to go…
She hands Hector a piece of paper.
This is where we’ll be, if
anything crops up… thanks for
Hector gets a little scared about what he has taken on.
Maybe this is a bit sudden for
them… Maybe I should have come
over a couple of nights and got
to know them…
Janet doesn’t let him off the hook.
By Monday, you’ll know them…
Then the children come out of the house, BETSY, who is
about thirteen, and TOM, who is eleven.
154 CONTINUED: (2) 154
Here he is, the invisible dad.
She turns to Hector.
That’s what they call you.
Hector is daunted by how grown up they are, not any
more the little kids in the photograph in his wallet.
They hardly lift their heads to him.
Janet takes control of the farewells.
You three have a good weekend.
If it’s too miserable at the
house your father said he’ll
take you to a hotel.
Hector nods his head obediently. He always did with
Janet. The children let their mother pat them and follow
Hector to his car, eyes to the ground.
Good luck, Hector.
Donald shouts from behind the wheel of his car, where he
has been hiding.
See you Monday, Hector.
The kids load themselves into the back of Hector’s car.
Betsy notices the huge arrangement of flowers, wrapped
in cellophane and red ribbon. It seems to have grown
even larger than before.
Are those for mom?
Hector looks at the flowers. His face contorts in guilt
154 CONTINUED: (3) 154
Oh no… Jesus save me… what
have I done…
He picks up his mobile phone and is about to dial Anna’s
number, then he stops.
No… I can’t face it, not just
He looks at the kids.
155 INT./EXT. CAR – DUSK 155
They are driving on the freeway. It is dusk. Hector is
on the telephone again. He can’t let go of business.
Excuse me, kids… I have to
consult the oracle…
He gets connected.
Hello… God? No, Leonard, it’s
Hector… just a joke… sorry to
phone you at home, did Boris call
you? The insurance is fine? Good
… but she could claim negligence
… oh, she’s got a lawyer
already? That’s a bad omen…
Betsy and Tom are listening in the back seat, eager for
clues about this virtual stranger in front of them.
Is there anything we can do right
now… make her an offer… Sure,
with the insurance company… sure…
you’re right… me, too… I have
the kids in the car with me right
now… sorry to bother you…
155 CONTINUED: 155
Hector throws the phone onto the passenger seat, lets out
a sigh, and catches sight of the kids in the mirror.
Their perplexed expressions make them look younger than
they are, and vulnerable. Hector’s heart aches for them.
He smiles and puts on an act of brightness.
That’s it! The last call… the
weekend starts right now… we
have things to do… look out for
a Safeway… we need some
supplies… and gas… oh my God,
They return his look with blank expressions. He picks up
the phone and offers it to them.
Want to make any calls? Betsy?
She shakes her head.
No… and it’s Thomas…
But we called you Tom… that’s
what it says on your birth
I changed it.
Hector wisely lets it go.
Right… it’s your name… you *
can do that… Safeway… keep your *
eyes skinned… and I could murder *
a Chicken McNugget. *
156 INT. SAFEWAY – NIGHT 156
Hector is pushing a cart around a large Safeway. The
place is almost deserted. Betsy and Thomas are tagging
156 CONTINUED: 156
For every four items Hector puts in his cart Betsy
removes three and returns them to the shelf. Hector
notices and puts up with it for a while. But when Betsy
returns the rolls of kitchen towel he has selected he
makes a stand. He turns to face her.
What’s wrong with that? It’s a
kitchen roll… why can’t I pick
a kitchen roll?
Betsy is defiant.
It’s bleached… and it isn’t
recycled… you don’t care…
you just buy junk…
She picks up a more friendly brand of kitchen towel from
the shelf and throws it into the cart. Hector has the
sense to back down.
Good point, Betsy…
Betsy keeps on the attack.
Everything you buy is junk… I
don’t eat steak… and what’s
She prods a packet of frozen hamburgers.
Ugh! Why don’t you ask us what
we like… it’ll save you money…
you buy junk, we won’t eat it…
A trace of girlish common sense has crept into her voice.
Hector warms to her.
Hector pushes the cart to her.
Well, get to it… I’ll just tag
Betsy moves off with the cart.
I do it every week anyway.
156 CONTINUED: (2) 156
Thomas backs her up.
She does. She tells us what to
eat. We let her.
Hector follows them up the aisle.
Can I just keep a couple of those
steaks? We can’t live on chicken. *
157 EXT. GAS STATION – NIGHT 157
Hector is filling up the car in a gas station close to
the Safeway. An attractive woman is filling her car in
the next line. Her eyes and Hector’s meet. For some
reason they exchange the smallest smile. For a few
brief moments they are talking without words as their
tanks fill. The ten billionth romance in the history of
the planet sparks into life and fizzles out again in the
twinkling of an eye. By the time their credit cards are
back in their pockets their love is a memory. From the
back of the car the kids have watched it all.
Betsy gives Hector a withering look of disapproval as he
climbs back into the car.
158 INT./EXT. CAR – NIGHT 158
Back on the road, it is later. The kids have fallen
asleep. Hector relaxes. He watches them in their sleep,
searching for some traces of the little children that
have haunted his thoughts for so many years, the tots
159 EXT. HOLIDAY HOUSE – NIGHT 159
The car pulls up at the holiday house. Hector gets out.
It is dark, but we can hear the sound of the SEA and
there is sand underfoot. Hector walks to the house and
unlocks the door. He puts on a couple of exterior lights.
He carries Thomas, still sleeping, from the car and into
the house. Betsy follows him, still half-asleep, groaning
fussily. She talks through her yawns.
Are you going to bring the flowers
Don’t mention the flowers.
160 INT. HOUSE – NIGHT 160
Later, Hector can’t sleep. It has been too eventful a
day. He sits bleary-eyed watching a late-night TV SHOW.
A man sits cross-legged on a studio floor and is talking
to a phone-in viewer. The TV man has five small stones
which he regularly scatters on the floor.
TV MAN (V.O.)
This is good, Tony, the stones
are talking to me already… now
here’s something… travel…
movement… Tony, are you planning
a move… travel… anything?
Yes I am… I’ve been thinking
about a move to California…
TV MAN (V.O.)
The big one, eh, Tony? These
stones are really talking here…
what are you planning for yourself
I’m hoping for an acting career,
TV MAN (V.O.)
Tony, these stones really like
what you’re planning… there is
no doubt in my mind about that…
now listen… you have to be
specific… these stones really
want to tell you something, be it
love, money or the purpose of your
life… but I want a specific
question from you… think about
it… what do you want to know…
love… or your income level next
year? Be as specific as you
Perhaps this might have enthralled one of our earlier
Hectors, but our modern one is simply restless. He
stands up and leaves the room.
161 INT. HOUSE – NIGHT 161
Next door, he watches the kids sleeping in their little
holiday beds. Hector watches them. We’ve seen our
Hectors do this before, and we feel the echo. But as
he turns to leave the room Hector gets a fright.
161 CONTINUED: 161
Betsy starts talking loudly. At first Hector thinks she
is awake, giving him into trouble, but she is fast asleep.
Get me the books… all the books…
all of the books… no, no, no…
not the pancakes… not the
She changes in an instant from a bossy adolescent to a
tearful, crumpled little girl. She sobs pitifully.
… not the pancakes…
Hector is a confusion of feelings: frightened,
fascinated, impotent. How can he help her? How could he
possibly unravel the secret of the pancakes, what comfort
could he offer his stranger daughter if he did? It is
a spooky, mystical moment for Hector, more mystical than
the mumbo-jumbo still issuing from the TV next door.
TV WOMAN (V.O.)
… find your true cosmic partner
first time around… every weekday
morning at three here on the Psychic
Network… Lucinda’s Horoscope Dating
Show… remember there is an answer,
and there is a special partner out
there for you…
Hector moves quietly out of the room, Betsy’s sobs having
subsided. Just as he is closing the door he gets
another surprise, this time from the sleeping Thomas.
… don’t let the oil run out…
yes you did… watch the oil…
Hector closes the bedroom door. He is one spooked, moved
162 INT. HOUSE – MORNING 162
In the morning, they are making breakfast in the kitchen.
The kids are having juice and cereal. Hector is
scrambling some eggs.
How about some eggs?
They shake their heads.
162 CONTINUED: 162
You don’t eat eggs?
How many have you got in there?
Three. Is that all right?
For a week, maybe.
Hector does a little probing.
How about pancakes, Betsy… d’you
Not much… why?
I just wondered. Pancakes don’t
mean much to you?
They don’t mean a thing. Why?
The mystery of Betsy’s pancake dream is evidently lost in
infinity. Hector changes the subject.
I thought we could walk into town
this morning. I saw the Funfair
when we came through last night.
We don’t go to Funfairs.
Let’s take the walk anyway.
I brought some books. I want to
stay home and read.
Hector is determined to make it work.
No. We’re taking a walk.
163 INT. HALLWAY – DAY 163
They are preparing to leave the house. Thomas is still
reluctant to go.
It’s going to rain… we should
Here’s an umbrella… and there
must be some old coats in here…
and shoes… I only have these
Donald has some shoes…
Thomas is already in the cupboard under the stairs. He
emerges with a pair of sturdy walking shoes.
I don’t know if I want to wear
Hector declines to explain the complex reasons that he
might have for not wanting to wear the shoes of his
children’s replacement father. He sits down on the *
stairs to put them on. Then something on the wall
catches his eye.
Wow. Look at this.
The kids’ heights have been marked on the wall on some
long-ago holiday. The dates are beside them.
Six years ago. Look at that…
He points to a mark and a date lower down on the wall.
That was the flood. The sea came
right up. Donald says it’s the
icecap melting. It’s going to get
worse. That’s why Mom’s selling
163 CONTINUED: 163
It comes up every year?
The last two.
164 EXT. BEACH – DAY 164
They are on the beach, walking in the direction of town.
Hector strides ahead in a show of enthusiasm, although
awkward in Donald’s big shoes. The kids trail behind.
He calls back to them.
Where are the birds? Is it the
wrong time of year?
They don’t come over so much.
The shellfish have gone… that’s
That’s what Donald says?
Yes… and it happens to be true.
Hector looks at the sky. He speaks quietly to himself.
Please don’t rain… please…
165 EXT. FUNFAIR – DAY 165
The light DRIZZLE now falling is keeping away what few *
fun-seekers there are left in town. The Funfair is not
much fun. It is the end of the season. Hector and the *
kids are a sorry sight parading the empty alleys. The
kids seem to glory in the misery of it all, getting back
at Hector for four years of neglect. Heavy-hearted,
Hector still tries to make a go of it.
Let’s have a ride…
He has stopped at some dated space rockets.
The seats are wet.
Hector triumphs. He pulls a wad of kitchen roll from
his pocket and starts to wipe the seats.
165 CONTINUED: 165
Kitchen roll, unbleached,
re-cycled, biodegradable… dry
Betsy has the grace to smile as the three of them climb
aboard the rockets.
As the attendant releases the brakes and cranks them up
into the drizzle, ‘round and ‘round, Hector knows that he
has to do something to break the awful distance between
him and his kids. He looks at them. They sit grimly in
their rockets, one in front of him and one behind. Their
faces are set in expressions of what? Boredom?
Resignation? Patience? Expectancy? Then he realizes
what is going on. They are waiting for him to open up to
them, talk to them seriously, explain himself. He looks
at Betsy’s face and sees in it the years of his absence,
her stoicism, her patience, her courage. It moves him.
He leans over to her.
This is ridiculous. Let’s go
somewhere and talk.
Betsy smiles her small patient smile.
All right, if you want to…
Hector looks to Thomas. Thomas vigorously nods his
agreement. Hector is happier. He looks down on the
How do we land these things?
166 INT. COFFEE SHOP – DAY 166
The only place the small town has to offer is a deserted
coffee shop on the shorefront. Hector, Betsy and Thomas
sit at a corner table, beyond them through the window is
the beach and the ocean.
Sure you won’t have a pancake, *
Betsy gets impatient. *
166 CONTINUED: 166
Okay, first question? *
The kids are ready for this. There is no coyness now.
Where have you been?
What he means is why did you stay
Hector begins like a story-teller embarking on a long
Well, that’s a fair question…
your mother and I got divorced…
you’re big enough to remember…
she must have told you all that?
Sure she has… but lots of people
get divorced… that doesn’t mean
You’re right… what can I tell
you… I went kind of crazy after
that, for a good while… I came
around a few times… remember?
Well, it wasn’t easy… everything
with her and Donald happened
pretty quickly. I missed you both
really badly… but for a while I
thought I should stay away, until
your mother got settled… no,
that’s not really true… I missed
you… but I was kind of crazy at
the same time… your mother and I
married young… I wasn’t used to
the freedom… it went to my head
… then you moved to New Jersey.
166 CONTINUED: (2) 166
It’s forty minutes away on a slow
You’re right, you’re right. I
don’t have too many excuses for
the first year… the second year
is easier… I was in jail.
Hector is pleased with this. A solid excuse.
We were doing government work,
big contracts… there were some
temptations… my boss asked me
to shuffle a few papers… there
was a lot of money in it… I had
to testify against him… it was
like killing somebody.
Hector thinks about this, remembering the pain. For us
there is the echo of the real killing that was done long
Thomas wanted to visit you in
jail, but Mom wouldn’t let him. *
Hector looks at Thomas.
Thomas nods proudly.
Well I appreciate that… but I’m
glad your mother didn’t let you.
I’ll tell you all about it some
day. It was no fun. One year
and eight months.
We didn’t even know when you got
166 CONTINUED: (3) 166
I wasn’t in great shape… I sure
didn’t want you to see me then…
so I got back to work… in real
estate… found a partner, we met *
in jail… *
The kids look shocked at this. *
No. He’s a good man, a good man. *
I like him. I mean it. He’s my *
That’s what you do now?
Yes. We rent apartments… but
we want to get into commercial
property… people are a
nuisance… does that sound bad?
Betsy shrugs her shoulders.
How should I know?
Hector carries on with his story.
Just recently I’ve been feeling
good, things have been going
well… and I missed you two…
so here we are…
What about your girl friend?
Who told you about her?
Anna… she’s nice… she wants to
meet you, real soon… she sells
flowers… well, you know that…
and on Monday she’s probably going
to kill me…
The kids smile.
166 CONTINUED: (4) 166
Betsy thinks that was her at the
Shut up, Tom…
Hector has to think to remember.
No… heck… no… did you think
she was following us?
She’s always thinking up stories
like that… she never stops…
Well, if people don’t tell you
She’s right, Thomas… people
should talk more.
So you haven’t been staying away
because of us?
What do you mean? Is that what
you thought? I was avoiding you
two? No… you mustn’t think
that… that’s terrible…
They have almost exhausted themselves in this first bout
of talking. Hector looks out at the sea.
The rain’s off. Let’s go.
167 EXT. BEACH – DAY 167
Betsy and Hector are sitting on the sea wall, watching
Thomas play on the beach. The sun is emerging.
I have to ask you something else.
167 CONTINUED: 167
Why did you leave just two days
before my swimming test?
Hector is moved by the depth of her memory, her pain.
I didn’t leave because it was two
days before your test… it was
just what your mother and I
decided… I taught you how to
swim… we went to the pool twice
a week… why would I leave?
I know… that’s what I mean…
why did you leave just then?
Hector looks at Betsy. She is beginning to cry silently.
He puts a tentative arm around her shoulder.
Oh, God, Betsy. I’m sorry.
Betsy is still crying.
It doesn’t matter.
How did you do, in the test?
Hector leaves his limp arm on her shoulder. It is too *
soon for gestures of emotion. After a long moment she
I’m a life-saver now.
Hector doesn’t make the obvious comment. His emotions
are full. He hides his feelings in a gruff call to
Hey, Thomas! We’re going home…
we’re having a barbecue… Betsy
said she’ll even let me eat a
Hurry up, Tom! *
167 CONTINUED: (2) 167
Thomas breaks off from his play and runs towards them.
Don’t call him Tom, he doesn’t
Somehow Hector is touched by this.
Your mother said it, when we
split up… don’t lose the
children… didn’t mean much at
the time. But she was right.
Who said I’d let you eat a steak?
There is a silence. Then Hector speaks.
Betsy. On Monday will you come
with me when I take the flowers
back to Anna? I can’t face her
alone. She wants to meet you
You’ll be there, right beside me?
I’d have to take the morning off
Is that bad?
No, that could be good…
Betsy and Hector are quite close now.
Just tell them you were with your
168 EXT. BEACH – DAY 168
Hector and Betsy are walking on the shore. Thomas tags
along behind them.
What’s she like? How did you
The funny thing is I fell in love
with her before I ever saw her…
I smelled her… It was the day I
got out of jail… I was on the
train and she was sitting behind
me… it was just this incredible
perfume… remember I’d been
inside for nearly two years with
four hundred sweating males…
She got off the train and I
followed her… I couldn’t help
it… that’s how good she is…
she listened to a bum who followed
her off a train…
Betsy looks at him kindly.
… but she’s still going to kill
me on Monday…
They share a laugh. Betsy looks out to the ocean.
I think I’ll paint the sunset
It’s just like a big pancake
up there, isn’t it?
Betsy doesn’t take the bait. There is a silence.
I remember when you two were tiny..
I used to watch you sleeping… it
was like now… I felt close to you,
could touch you… but you weren’t
there… you were gone… dreamland
… just when I was closest to you,
you weren’t there… I felt it last
That’s what it’s like… you
should know that.
168 CONTINUED: 168
I’m not smart about things like
Don’t be so tough on yourself.
You seem to want to be… you
don’t have to…
No… we can do that…
She smiles. Hector is out of his depth with this
daughter of his.
Is that a joke?
No, I mean it… look out for
Hector looks at her in wonderment. One of those moments
when another human being stands before you and is an
Who are you? Who’s inside
You’ll never know.
Future generations of women are going to be just as
unknowable to our Hectors as past ones were. Betsy
moves off briskly along the beach. Hector trails
after her, hooked.
169 EXT. BOAT – DAY 169
Betsy and Thomas are in a small fragile rowboat, some
distance from the shore. They are watching Hector who
is collecting a pile of large stones on the beach.
Another Hector and another pile of stones. This one
is making a fire for the barbecue. These human rituals
I thought he was taller.
169 CONTINUED: 169
Well, it’s been a while… you’re
I suppose so. He’s getting fat,
too. I bet I could beat him at
the breast-stroke now.
170 EXT. BEACH – DAY 170
Hector turns from his work. Out at sea the kids look
small and vulnerable. Hector is more anxious than he
should be, out of practice at fatherhood. He calls to
Come on in, kids… that boat
doesn’t look too safe…
They call back to him.
Hector tries to relax, but he doesn’t have the
confidence yet, or something. He is edgy.
I’ve just found you… I don’t
want to lose you. What would I
tell your mother… come on in…
He walks down to the water. The kids reluctantly pull
on the oars and bring the little boat in. A few feet
from the beach they hit some sand. The boat sticks.
Hector wades out in his shoes so far. Then he calls
Throw me the rope, Thomas, I’ll
pull you in.
Thomas throws the mooring rope to Hector. It isn’t
attached to the boat. Hector ends up with all of the
rope in his hands. He stands there, and they all laugh.
This is one useless piece of
Just for a moment we have the image of our Hector
standing on the shoreline with a length of rope. An
image with an echo from six thousand years ago. But
this time Hector is laughing, and his kids are safe.
171 EXT. BEACH – SUNSET 171
At the very moment of sunset Betsy is trying to capture
it in a watercolor sketch. She has set up an easel on
the beach. It’s like action painting. She works
frantically on the picture, racing the sun as it dips
into the ocean. Tough little Betsy can even lose
patience with the sun.
Why does it always go so fast…?
Thomas is laughing at her. He has seen her attempt this
before. Hector has other concerns. He is trying to
light his barbecue. Match after match disappears into
his elaborate stone structure, only to fizzle out.
The sun finally vanishes, and Betsy goes limp at her
easel. The sun has won the race again. She and Thomas
watch Hector trying to light the fire. After a while
he is conscious of their amused attention on him, then
he becomes a little self-conscious.
I used to know how to do this…
They laugh a little.
I did… I used to be really
good at this…
He wafts and blows ineffectually at a flicker of flame.
There’s not much of the caveman about him now.
172 EXT. BEACH – DUSK 172
It is a calm dusk. Hector is turning the meat on the
barbecue. He is in a splendid frame of mind.
Ah… smell it… the smell of
civilization… scorched meat…
Hector serves the chicken onto their plates. He sits
down beside them with his steak, and a glass of wine.
He watches Thomas attack his chicken, and smiles.
I’d forgotten that… how you
eat… dedicated… like it’s
Things I like.
172 CONTINUED: 172
You used to hum to yourself too,
when you ate… like everything
was fine with the world.
Thomas tries it out, eating and humming. It feels good
to him. His head nods with the chewing and the tune.
Hey, so I did… I’d forgotten
The early stars are appearing in the sky. Hector lifts
his eyes to a bright point low on the horizon.
There she is… old Mercury…
No… Mercury doesn’t rise ‘til
after midnight… that’s Jupiter…
Hector is impressed by his son.
I’d forgotten… we used to watch *
the stars… you could tell me the *
names of all the planets… you *
could recite them like a poem…
remember… at the tiny window
upstairs in the old house?
Oh well, not to worry. I’m glad
you still like astronomy though.
I’m not into star-gazing so much
… we’re working on computer
modelling… we’re trying to make
A self-sustaining life system…
for inter-stellar travel. But we
always get a methane build up, it
doesn’t matter what we do…
172 CONTINUED: (2) 172
This is at school?
Yeah. We’re making such a mess of
the world, one day we’re going to
have to take off for somewhere
Sounds like Donald said that…
Hector realizes how far his kids have travelled from
him. He looks at them.
Well, I’m glad you two are thinking
about the old planet. I’m proud
of you. Look how beautiful
everything is. Sometimes I think
it’s people that make it all
wrong… we walk around with all
Betsy chimes in.
I don’t know. If it wasn’t for
us there’d be nobody around to
see it all.
Hector stands to fetch another baked potato from the fire.
We see the three of them in a WIDE SHOT, the evening sky
now pulsing with more and more points of light. Hector’s
voice and laughter carry to us.
Don’t worry, you two… I’ll tell
you… it’s just a big, black
sheet up there with holes in it
so the light comes through…
that’s the truth… the very
Hector has come to rest, and found peace at last, however
temporary, here on the beach, beneath the same stars that
our first Hector wailed at six thousand years ago.
On Monday he will face the music. The kids will go
back home, Mrs. Philippopolis will have to be dealt with,
and the wilting three hundred dollar bouquet of flowers.
In general, life will take over, on Monday. But at this
moment of calm on the beach, let’s leave him while he’s
172 CONTINUED: (3) 172
Their voices ring out playfully across the expanse of
darkening beach and light-laden sky.
Wait a minute… I know… the
whole universe is inside a speck
of dust that’s lying in a ball of
fluff in the cuff of a pair of
pants hanging over the back of a
No… I’ll tell you… the whole
thing… stars and everything…
is sitting on the skin of a bubble
of milk in a bowl of cornflakes…
and somebody’s just about to eat
The three of them are laughing now.
You don’t get bubbles in skimmed
Okay… it’s half-and-half…
Perhaps that’s just about as close as Hector and his *
tribe of humans will ever come to working it all out.
But they try. *
I’ve got a better one… we’re
all inside a speck of pollen
that’s stuck to the wing of a bee
while it sits on a flower…
Don’t mention flowers, Betsy…
please, not tonight.
And then, after a long, long pause. *
I have an idea, Betsy… we’re *
inside a pancake… what d’you *
172 CONTINUED: (4) 172
Why are you always talking about *
pancakes… what’s wrong with you? *
You’ve got pancakes on the brain. *
THE END[amazonjs asin=”B004K6LJ3M” locale=”JP” title=”Being Human/ビーイング・ヒューマン シリーズ1－3 DVD-BOXPAL英字幕のみ”]