by Toni Perling
EXT. COLORADO SPRINGS - DAY 1
A cool, crisp spring day. Follow Colleen, heading towards the telegraph
INT. TELEGRAPH OFFICE - DAY 1
Horace is there, taking mail out of the bag and sorting it, as Colleen
enters. Lewis, Horace's nephew, sits at the desk, looking through
a microscope, a junior version of Mike's.
Colleen, a package come for you.
He looks for it, as Alice and her cronies, Missy and Suzie enter,
chattering excitedly. They carry a tattered-looking magazine.
Hey, Colleen. You here for Harper's too?
Before she can answer, Missy adds ...
I just can't wait to see what happens in the next chapter of "Rocky
Mountain Hero." I wonder if Carolina will finally tell Colt
she loves him.
Hey there, girls. Y'all know my nephew Lewis, visitin' from Kansas?
Alice can hardly be bothered, calls over.
Hello, Lewis. Mr. Bing, where's our new Harper's Magazine?
Now, Colleen here was first. (Hands her the package). Here you go,
Colleen take it, excitedly rips it open. It's a newer, more modern-looking
Thanks, Horace! I can't wait to give this to Dr. Mike.
The girls trade looks, don't see what's so exciting about some medical
thing. But Lewis does, comes to the counter. Colleen smiles at him,
looks over to the microscope.
My ma's got one of those.
This is the most any girl has ever said to him.
Is .... is that a stethoscope?
Sure is. Wanna listen?
Lewis nods, Colleen puts the ear pieces in his ears, holds the bell
to her own chest.
Hear my heart beating?
Lewis nods, looks at Colleen with love. Alice rolls her eyes.
Mr. Bing? The magazine!
The girls stamp their feet impatiently. Horace finds it, hands it
Here it is.
The girls grab it out of his hand, giggling, pulling it in a tug
of war. Alice pulls it away, tries to find the right page. Colleen,
curiosity aroused, turns to follow the girls outside, but she's
attached to Lewis by the stethoscope. He takes the opportunity to
ask her ...
Wanna ... look under my microscope?
Colleen? Aren't you comin'?
Colleen is torn, wants to follow the girls outside.
COLLEEN: (to Lewis)
Some other time?
He hands her the stethoscope, looks after her as she exits.
EXT. TELEGRAPH OFFICE - DAY 1
The girls sit on the bench outside, reading the story. Colleen hangs
back a little, listening.
"Carolina's heart was beating so hard at the sensation of Colt's
strong arms surrounding her, she felt as if it would fairly bust
out of her bosom."
Colleen blushes at the frank language. Alice passes the magazine
to Suzie to read. Lewis watches from the doorway, looks at Colleen
as if his heart were bursting.
"Carolina longed to linger in his encompassing grasp, but alas,
she was betrothed to another -- the mining baron, Jack Slade."
The girls BOO and HISS. Colleen's never read or heard anything like
this, but she's becoming more interested by the minute. She sits
down next to them on the bench, laying the stethoscope down next
to her and looking over their shoulder at the magazine.
EXT. TOWN - DAY 1
Sully, leading his horse into town, meets Mike at the gate.
You 'bout ready?
Just let me get my bag.
Suddenly, their attention is drawn to a commotion in the street,
as a trio of trail-dusty cowboys whoop and holler, while loading
a supply wagon on the general store porch.
Cowboys off the Goodnight Trail. Looks like they haven't seen town
in a while.
EXT. TELEGRAPH OFFICE - DAY 1
Suzie passes Colleen the magazine.
Wanna turn, Colleen?
She nods, happily takes magazine.
"Colt's bullwhip lashed out at the lit fuse, extinguishing
the danger but igniting Carolina's smouldering passion."
As she begins to read, she's transported into the world of the story.
"Oh thank you, Mr. Colt" she sighed. "It's Colt,
ma'am. Just plain Colt."
Mike sees Colleen, calls.
Colleen! Sully and I are getting ready to leave!
Colleen gets up to go, looks back to the girls.
Could I borrow last week's magazine? (Off their looks, explaining)
I lost mine.
Suzie smiles, nods, hands it to her. Colleen takes it.
The general store, where the drunk cowboys are trying to lift a
large crate onto the back of the wagon. It drops with a crash, spooking
the horse. The wagon takes off, with one of the cowboys, BOZE, hanging
on in the back.
Colleen steps off the porch into the path of --
the runaway wagon. Colleen doesn't see it, but Mike and Sully do.
Colleen! Look out!
Looks up in time to see the wagon barrelling down on her.
tries to keep his balance, but is thrown off.
Colleen screaming, as Sully grabs her, sweeping her out of harm's
reacts, rushes over.
HORACE AND LEWIS
react. Lewis wishes he'd been the one to save her.
Are you alright?
I think so.
Colleen, startled but unhurt, finds herself in Sully's arms, as
Mike rushes over to tend to the fallen cowboy. Sully brushes the
dust off Colleen's dress, straightens her hair.
What were you thinkin'?
I ... I don't know, Colt. I mean, Sully.
As Colleen looks up at him, her eyes reveal a blossoming infatuation.
END OF TEASER
INT. CLINIC - DAY 1
Colleen sits on the cot, embarrassed, but still mooning over Sully
who holds a damp cloth to her head. Mike tends to Boze, who's holding
his arm. Boze is a little on edge, afraid Mike may be angry about
the incident and not knowing how these people feel about blacks.
Two hundred miles on the trail and my fool arm gets busted in two.
(To Colleen) Sure am sorry missy. Anythin' ol' Boze can do for you,
you just name it.
I shoulda been lookin' where I was goin'.
Mike smiles and nods at Colleen, then turns a reassuring smile on
Boze as she gently manipulates his arm.
Hope I'm not hurting you, Mr. Boze.
Oh, no, ma'am.
Sully, this may take awhile. I don't think I can make it to the
Sully nods. Colleen sees an opening, pipes up.
I'll go! (They look at her). It's just changin' Snow Bird's bandage.
Mike looks to Sully, who shrugs.
Are you sure you feel up to it?
Yes! (Then covering) I mean I wanna help. Please.
Well, alright, but be careful and do what Sully tells you.
Colleen rolls her eyes, gets up. He opens the door for her.
After you, Doctor Cooper.
Colleen smiles, charmed.
EXT. CAFE - DAY 1
Robert E is finishing his meal as Grace comes over to clear his
plate. The restaurant is fairly busy.
Anything else I can git for you, sir?
Robert E., equally playful, grabs her hand as she reaches for his
I got room for dessert.
I bet you do. But we're all out of sugar.
Hank interrupts their banter as he suddenly appears clutching his
stomach with one hand and a whiskey bottle with the other, in obvious
agony. Myra follows, afraid of what he may do.
Where is she? Where's that devil woman?
Customers scatter as Hank knocks a table out of the way to get to
You! You tryin' to kill me?
Robert E stands, gets between Hank and Grace.
What're you talkin' bout?
Loren, Jake, Olive and Horace stop eating, get up from their tables.
Mike has heard the noise and comes running from the clinic.
HANK (points at Grace)
I'm talkin' bout how she poisoned me with that rotten slop you call
Grace reacts, stung.
You better watch what you say.
I better watch where I eat is what I better do. Got sick right after
Is anyone else feeling ill?
The crowd doesn't confirm, but they do get up and start drifting
HANK: (in pain, loud)
Takin' your life in your hands, you eat here.
More people get up and leave.
Now you wait just a minute ...
Robert E places a restraining hand on her.
He's outta his head. Don't know what he's sayin'.
Hank, please. Let me look at you.
HANK: (loud, to the crowd)
I don't need you to tell me I'm sick as a dog! That's probably what
she fed me!
More customers leave. Hank tries to straighten up, can't, moans.
Robert E tries to help him, Hank throws his hand off.
Get your dirty hands off me, boy!
Robert E burns him with a look, but realizes Hank is lashing out
in pain. He lets him go, turns to Grace, who's humiliated, fighting
EXT. RESERVATION - DAY 1
Sully and Cloud Dancing look on with concern as Colleen examines
his wife, Snow Bird's hand, outside their teepee. Snow Bird is pretty,
wise and likes to tease her husband Cloud Dancing, but it's obvious
they love each other very much.
SNOW BIRD: (teasing)
So you are a medicine woman now, too?
She's gettin' there.
Colleen blushes, gets ready to bandage Snow Bird's hand.
It doesn't look like it's infected, but you better keep the bandage
on another day or two. It's a small cut. It should heal fast.
This cut was too small for an important medicine man like my husband
to tend to.
CLOUD DANCING: (teasing back)
You just wanted an excuse to visit with Dr. Mike.
Sully nudges Snow Bird to see a
YOUNG CHEYENNE MAN
playing his courting song on a flute outside a nearby teepee. A
young Cheyenne girl comes out of the other teepee. Walks on Cloud
holds up a blanket.
Snow Bird smiles and nods. Sully motions to Colleen.
SULLY: (to Colleen)
That's their son, Walks on Cloud.
CLOUD DANCING: (nods, smiles)
It is a good name for him these days. And it is a good match (motions
to Sully). I will show you the horses I have picked for her father.
Sully and Cloud Dancing walk off a few steps, examine some horses.
Snow Bird sees Colleen watching the young couple.
The couple stand next to each other under the blanket, talking,
smiling, obviously in love.
They will marry soon.
Colleen continues to wrap the bandage around Snow Bird's hand.
How do you know if a boy wants to marry you?
SNOW BIRD: (thinks a moment)
He finds excuses to come to your lodge. Cloud Dancing stood outside
my lodge often. We talked under his blanket for many hours (nods
to Walks on Cloud) just as they do.
What did you talk about?
Oh, nothing. Many things.
They smile. Cloud Dancing walks back over with Sully.
SULLY: (to Cloud Dancing)
You give your son a fine dowry for his bride.
Colleen stands, ready to leave. A wind comes up. Colleen shivers
Colleen nods. Sully takes his blanket from his shoulder, drapes
it around her, glances up at the mountain.
Wind's comin' down off the Peak.
Colleen holds one side of the blanket out for him, like she saw
Walks on Cloud do.
We could share.
He smiles, shares the blanket.
Don't want you gettin' sick. You got too much doctorin' to do.
I'm fine now.
Boy, is she ever, as she looks up at Sully, falling more in love
by the minute.
EXT. TWO - DAY 1 (AN HOUR LATER)
Alice, Missy and Suzie are heading out to the pasture to re-read
"Rocky Mountain Hero," as Colleen and Sully ride up, Colleen
behind him on his horse. Her arms around his waist, her eyes closed,
she breathes in his scent. Sully pulls up outside the clinic.
Colleen snaps out of her reverie.
He lets Colleen down from the horse with one strong arm. Colleen
holds on a beat longer than she should.
See you later.
Colleen smiles, waves as he rides off. The girls rush up to her.
What were you doin' with Sully?
We went out to the reservation together.
You were along with him all afternoon?
Yep. We were talkin' under a blanket. Just like the Cheyenne do.
The girls react.
Ohhh. That's's as romantic as the story.
ALICE: (jealous of the attention)
Not quite. Did he kiss you?
No, but I could tell he wanted to. It just wouldn't be proper though.
Sully's a gentleman.
The girls are impressed as Lewis sees them, runs up.
Hey, girls. Hey, Colleen.
Alice definitely does not like Colleen's sudden popularity.
I caught a spider for us to look at under my microscope. Wanna see?
You'd rather look at a bug than read "Rocky Mountain Hero?"
COLLEEN: (embarrassed, smiles at Lewis)
Lewis goes off.
EXT. PASTURE - DAY 1
The girls are seated under a tree, still quizzing Colleen.
So when do you think Sully'll ask you?
Ask me what?
To marry you, of course.
You know, his wife was only about three years older than you when
they got married.
Colleen hasn't thought about it, till now.
She was, wasn't she?
You wanna hear the story or not?
The girls nod, turn to listen.
"Carolina's gaze swept over the bleak surroundings of the abandoned
mine. She prayed Colt would find her hastily-scribbled missive in
She's so brave.
Alice hands Suzie the magazine to read.
"Carolina knew Colt would not rest until he found her, his
one true love, the one that made him forget all others."
I bet when Colt does find her, he'll ask her to marry him on the
spot. He'll be so afraid to lose her again.
Colleen looks thoughtful, an idea forming in her head, as Suzie
passes her the magazine to read. She sees Lewis, holding his microscope,
searching the ground of the pasture for bugs.
If Colt finds her.
Well, keep reading!
COLLEEN: (takes the magazine)
"My dearest Colt," her note read. I am in dire need of
your assistance as I have been taken against my will to the abandoned
mine in the High Country. I fear for my virtue, which I hold dearer
than life itself. Yours forever, Carolina."
Hearing the note gives Colleen an idea. She gives the magazine to
See you later. I gotta be gettin' back.
The girls react to her sudden departure. Follow Colleen as she goes
over to Lewis, who's so excited to see her he nearly drops his microscope.
Oh Lewis! Would you mind delivering a letter for me?
I'd love to! (Catches himself). I mean, who would you like me to
give it to?
His name's Sully.
On Colleen's smile ...
INT. CLINIC - DAY 2
Colleen is helping Mike disinfect instruments by dipping them in
a pan of carbolic acid then drying them.
Are you in love with Sully?
Mike is startled, drops a scalpel with a splash.
I mean, you've never really said straight out how you feel about
That isn't something a lady talks about.
Colleen gives her a look.
Alright, I do love him. (Colleen's face falls) BUT as a friend.
COLLEEN: (brightening again)
And that's all?
Yes. I suppose ... we're just friends. And that's what I imagine
MIKE: (not at all)
Of course I'm sure. Now what is this all about?
Nothin'. Just wonderin' is all.
Off Colleen's dreamy look, which happens to escape Mike ...
EXT. LIVERY - DAY 2
Robert E sees Grace move towards the general store.
Grace glances over, sees him, averts her eyes ...
watches, though, as Hank enters behind her. Sensing rouble, Robert
E follows them into ...
INT. GENERAL STORE - DAY 2
Where Hank is confronting Grace. The Reverend, Loren, Olive and
Mike watch, uneasily.
Poison anyone else lately?
It'd serve you right -- the way you poisoned people's minds with
your filthy lies.
Lots of people ate my hash. Nobody else got sick.
Hank burns, gets in her face.
Maybe you whipped up somethin' special just for me. Maybe you're
some kind of darkie witch.
Maybe you're some kind of --
I think that's quite enough!
So do I. It's time to put aside our differences.
Robert E has entered and is standing behind Hank. Hank turns, sees
Robert E staring him down. He senses the crowd against him.
Not by my watch it ain't.
He pushes past Robert E, exits. Grace wheels on the Reverend.
Differences? You call sayin' I'm a "darkie witch" differences?
Now, Grace ...
The Reverend's just sayin' there's no point in provokin' more hostility.
Grace looks to Mike and Robert E, who stay silent, exchange glances.
That's right. What good would it do?
Might do a lotta good. If somebody had the guts to stand up to him.
Grace storms out. Mike and Robert E trade looks, torn.
EXT. WOOD - DAY 2
Brian catches up to Colleen, who's walking through the woods.
Where ya' goin?
She keeps walking.
Must be goin' somewhere.
Exasperated, she sighs, turns around.
Just tell Ma I went up to the creek. I'll be back before supper.
And she's off. He starts to follow, but Colleen wheels around.
Don't you go followin' me.
Brian gives up, waves her off.
EXT. MINE - DAY 2
Clad only in a light shawl, Colleen, her plan in motion, excitedly
skips along the trail. She sees the abandoned mine, runs to it.
INT. MINE - DAY 2 - CONTINUOUS
She enters, is disappointed to see its dilapidated condition. The
walls drip water and there's debris on the floor of the mine. Colleen
clears a place for herself, sits down and pulls out a copy of the
magazine. She substitutes her own names for the characters' as she
"Colleen knew that Sully would not rest until he found her,
his one true love, the one that made him forget all others."
CROSS DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. MINE - NIGHT 2
The weather has turned dark and grey. A cold, fierce wind has suddenly
come down from the mountain, scattering branches and debris against
the mine opening.
INT. MINE - NIGHT 2
Colleen looks out, no longer smiling. She draws her shawl around
herself, shivering. The wind cuts through her thin dress. She takes
a step out of the mine, but suddenly, a strong gust brings a tree
crashing down in front of her. Scared, she runs back inside.
INT. MINE - NIGHT 2
It's dark, cold. Colleen rubs her hands, stamps her feet in an effort
to get warm, then sits down and hugs herself, shivering. She's doing
her best not to cry. She rocks herself.
Sully. Please hurry.
Hands tucked under her arms, she leans against a well, drowsy from
the cold and falls asleep. As she does, one hand falls out, then
the other, exposed to the frigid air. Pan to the water, dripping
from the walls of the cave -- now beginning to form icicles ...
INT. THE HOMESTEAD - NIGHT 2
The wind blows branches and leaves against Mike's frosty window.
Mike turns away, worried. Brian and Matthew are also concerned.
Where is she, Ma?
I don't know, Brian (beat). Tell me again. Where exactly did she
say she was going?
They've been over this before.
She didn't say, xactly. Just up to the creek. She said she'd be
back before supper.
Weather musta caught her by surprise.
What was she wearing?
Just a shawl.
Just then -- a knock. They look at each other, with relief.
Mike rungs to the door, flings it open, is disappointed to see ...
Sully and his wolf, dressed warmly, step in. Sully has a hard time
closing the door due to the harsh winds. He rubs his hands to get
Thought I'd better check on you. These windstorms blowin' down from
the Front Range can drop the temperature down to zero.
Oh my God!
Colleen hasn't come home yet.
What? Where is she?
Out there somewhere.
We think she went up to the creek.
It'll be alright. I'll find her.
Mike grabs her coat, starts pulling on gloves.
Matthew, stay with Brian. I'm going with Sully.
Sully opens his mouth to argue. She looks into his eyes, pleading.
Please, let me go with you.
A beat ... Sully sees her determination. He nods. Mike shoots him
a grateful look as they grab blankets, gloves and scarves. Mike
gives a worried Brian a quick hug.
MIKE: (reassuring herself as well)
We'll find her.
Sully opens the door to a fierce gust of wind. They look at each
other, take a deep breath and plunge into it. Matthew gives Brian
a reassuring squeeze, but Brian pulls away from him, goes to the
window. Matthew joins him, looks out. The wind continues to howl,
ice crackling against the window as we ...
END OF ACT ONE
EXT. WOODS - NIGHT 2
Sully and Mike, bundled up, aren't making much headway against the
strong, cold winds. Sully holds a torch trying to see the wolf,
which is whimpering unable to find a scent. Mike has to yell to
be heard above the howling gusts.
She won't be able to survive this cold!
SULLY: (yells back)
It's too cold!
Another strong gust of wind blows them back. Sully's torch goes
out. They press on, making slow progress. Icicles form on the trees
INT. MINE - DAY 3
A shaft of morning light shines off the icicles in the cave. Colleen
awakens with a start, realizes her hands have been exposed. They're
numb, frozen. She rubs them, trying to get some feeling back. As
they thaw a bit, they become painful.
She stiffly rises and takes a couple of painful steps towards the
entrance. She tries to move the tree, but her frozen hands won't
obey her commands. She lifts the tree a little, but it drops with
a thud. She starts to cry in frustration and fear.
INT. TELEGRAPH OFFICE - DAY 3
Lewis enters, carrying Colleen's letter, looking down.
What's wrong son?
I can't deliver this letter.
You got to try harder. It's our sacred duty to deliver the mail.
Now, who's it for?
Sully. I've looked everywhere for him
HORACE: (smiles, relieved)
Oh, nobody finds Sully. Sully finds you. He'll be in fore long.
LEWIS: (fingering the letter)
Maybe I oughta open it. What if it's important?
Horace, alarmed, grabs it out of his hand.
You'll do no such thing. It's also our sacred duty not to open the
mail -- less it's our own.
Then maybe I oughta give it back to Colleen.
They ain't got into town yet today. Hear the winds did some damage
up near their place.
Lewis sighs, nods. He picks up Colleen's stethoscope, which he'd
put aside after she left it on the bench. He puts the ear pieces
in his ears and listens to his own heart, thinking of Colleen.
INT. BARBERSHOP - DAY 3
Hank's still doubled over in pain. Jake stands over him, Loren watches.
Best to let what made you sick work it's way out. Tried whiskey?
Gee, Jake. Never thought of that. "Course I tried whiskey!
Ain't you got nothin' else?
Don't like Jake's advice, whyn't you go over and let the doc take
a poke at you?
Hank scowls, is gripped by another pain. Olive's heard the yelling,
What the devil's goin' on over here?
The devil done poisoned me, that's what.
Grace ain't no devil. And why in the world would she try to poison
Ain't it obvious? They all hate white folks. Tryin' to get back
at us for slavery and the like. Hell, I ain't ever owned no slaves.
No, just women.
HANK: (to Olive)
You know what I mean! (To the men) I say we run her out of business
-- for good.
Wait a minute! Now, remember I got an investment in that place!
You lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas. (Beat; to others)
Gotta teach her a lesson. Nobody eats there no more.
Not even on Tuesday?
What the hell's Tuesday got to do with it?
Yeah, I don't know, Hank. Grace's meatloaf is mighty good.
Hank stands up gingerly, pulls up to his full height.
Yeah, what's better? Her meatloaf of my hospitality?
Jake and Loren trade looks.
OLIVE: (to them)
You're not actually gonna listen to this?
Well now, it is dangerous to let em think they can get away with
somethin' like this.
Gotta show em sho's boss in this town, Olive.
Hank smiles. Olive shoots them a hard look.
Shame on you all.
She exits angrily.
EXT. WOODS - DAY 3
Sully and Mike survey the aftermath of the windstorm. Ice has formed
on the trees, which are bent and blown from their roots, branches
strewn everywhere. They've been walking all night in the cold. Their
ears and noses are red. Mike is distraught, continues to call out,
as they near the creek.
Colleen! Where are you?
She takes a step, trips over a fallen branch.
She gets up, tries to keep going. Sully holds her arm, pulls her
down to his side.
Wait. Rest a minute.
Mike looks around, shivers. Sully puts a blanket around her.
She's out here somewhere. Cold. Alone. She could be hurt. She could
Sully puts his hand to her lips.
A beat. He removes his hand. Mike refuses to be comforted.
She's just a little girl.
No, she's not. She's growin' up. And she's smart. Spent her whole
life out here. She knows what to do, where to find shelter.
Mike manages a nod at Sully.
SULLY: (smiles a little)
Well, I guess there's a first time for everything.
Mike smiles a little back at him. A moment between them. Suddenly,
the wolf barks (O.S.)
He's got her scent!
MIKE: (looks around)
Where is he?
They look around, see the creek and a hill above it, where the abandoned
mine is hidden behind the fallen tree.
SULLY: (motions to the hill)
I'll go this way. You go round that side. We'll find her.
Mike nods, takes off. They're both calling.
EXT. CAFE - DAY 3
The cafe is empty, but Grace stands at the stove, trying to keep
busy. Robert E approaches from the livery.
Like a table? Got plenty of em.
It'll turn around, Grace. I promise.
You don't keep your promises.
You once promised you'd never send me away again.
I ain't sendin' you away.
Oh, no? Isn't that what you're doin' right now? Lettin' them run
me out of town like this without a fight?
You think I don't want to fight? You think it didn't take every
ounce of strength I had in my body not to lay Hank out flat when
he talked to you that way?
Then why didn't you?
Because there'd be hell to pay for it. Serious hell.
So you just give in? I thought you were the slave brave enough to
That's right, I did run away. I picked that fight. But I'm not pickin'
this one. Not with you in the middle. (Beat). I won't let nothin'
happen to you like that, Grace.
Grace looks out at the empty tables. Passers by turn their backs
like it was infested with the plague.
GRACE: (without rancour)
I'd say, it's already happened.
EXT. MINE - DAY 3
The entrance is covered by the fallen tree. The wolf whimpers and
sniffs around it. Sully lifts the tree out of the way with effort,
INT. MINE - DAY 3
Colleen, huddled against a wall, semiconscious. Sully reacts to
the temperature of the mine, sees the icicles. The wolf licks Colleen's
face. Sully takes his coat off, wraps her in it, holds her and rubs
her arms, trying to warm her.
I knew you'd find me, Colt. I just knew you would.
Sully reacts. Colt?
Shhh ... you're gonna be alright now.
He hefts her in his arms, carries her out. Pull in on the magazine,
left lying on the ground.
EXT. MINE - DAY 3 - CONTINUOUS
Sully calls as they exit the mine.
Mike sees them, comes rushing up.
Thank God! Oh, thank God! Colleen?
Colleen's shivering, moaning. Mike checks her pupils, her pulse.
She checks her feet and he fingers, which are white and waxy-looking.
Sully reacts to Mike's worried expression, bends, puts his mouth
to Mike's ear.
Mike nods, worried, as they rush back towards town.
END OF ACT TWO
EXT. TOWN - DAY 3
Sully and Mike come across the pasture from the woods. Sully still
carries the semiconscious Colleen. The Reverend and Olive, on the
church steps, see them, fall in behind.
The wind ... it was so cold ... she was in the mountains ...
She been out there all night?
What can I do?
Do you have any warm water on the stove?
Olive goes off towards the cafe. As the rest of the group reaches
the clinic, Jake, on the saloon porch, sees and follows, as do Lewis,
Horace and Myra from the telegraph office.
EXT. CLINIC - DAY 3
The Reverend catches Jake, Lewis, Horace and Myra at the door, stops
them from entering, as Mike helps Sully get Colleen into the clinic.
Let Dr. Mike do her work.
Jake pushes past him.
I know what to do for this.
Horace puts his arm around Lewis, steers him away, as the Reverend
closes the door.
INT. CLINIC - DAY 3
Mike and Sully rush in with Colleen. The Reverend and Jake are there.
Sully, put her down on the cot. Reverend, could you start a fire,
He nods, goes to do it.
That'll take too long. Need to heat her up quicker'n that. You oughta
be rubbin' her.
Mike shoots Jake a look as she gently removes Colleen's shoes, examines
Actually, Jake, we're starting to believe it's better to warm them
more gradually, so as not to shock the tissues.
We? Who's this we?
Oh, we "doctors," huh? I've see more frostbite than all
you doctors put together and I'm tellin' you --
Colleen overhears, to Mike's dismay.
Don't worry, Colleen. It'll be alright.
Sully tries to hustle Jake out of there.
Thanks for all your help, Jake.
JAKE: (calls back)
Better start rubbin' her fingers. That'll keep the gangrene off
Sully stays as the Reverend takes over for him, realizing Jake just
wants to help.
C'mon, Jake. We're gonna need some more firewood.
Olive and Grace enter with the pot of water and a basket of food
as Jake and the Reverend exit. Grace gives the basket to Sully.
Miss Olive told me that happened. Thought I'd bring some food over.
Just goin' to waste at my place.
Olive, pour the water into that pan for me. And another for her
Olive does, brings it over. Mike tests it, makes sure it's not too
MIKE: (to Colleen)
Here Colleen. Put your hands in here.
Colleen does, but as they begin to thaw, they become painful. She
pulls them out.
No, that hurts!
Mike gently holds them under.
I know it does. I'm sorry. But please, just for a while. We've got
to do this.
Colleen doesn't want to break down in front of Sully.
Ask Sully to leave, please Dr. Mike.
Sully and Mike look at each other, what is this about?
I'll be outside.
As he exits, Matthew and Brian are at the door. Mike sees them,
motions Olive to continue the treatment. Colleen moans.
EXT. CLINIC - DAY 3 - CONTINUOUS
Mike meets them at the door.
How is she, Ma?
She ... she'll be fine, Brian.
Yeah. How bad is it?
Mike hugs Brian reassuringly.
She's suffering from the effects of the cold, and her fingers are
frostbitten. I ... I don't know if I can save them.
A beat as they absorb this news.
How she gonna be a doctor then?
Mike has no answer, as they all turn to go back inside.
EXT. LIVERY - DAY 3
Boze, his arm still in a sling, and his two cowboy pals are hitching
up their wagon to leave town.
Where you all headed?
Back to Texas. Always a drive startin' up down there.
Robert E gets an idea.
How bout a free meal fore you go?
The friends look at each other, nod.
Never said no to anything' free.
Robert E smiles, claps him on the back, steers him over towards
INT. CLINIC - RECOVERY ROOM - DAY 3
Mike is continuing to dip Colleen's hands in the warm water. Her
fingertips are still white, and beginning to swell. Mike tries not
to let Colleen see her disappointed reaction.
Horace dropped off the next issue of Harper's Magazine for you.
Sent all the way to Denver for it. Would you like to hear something
That story, "Rocky Mountain Hero's" kinda interesting.
Mike smiles. As she tries to find the story ...
Colleen ... Sweetheart, what were you doing all the way out there
Oh, uh ... I was ... out pickin' berries. I ... got lost. I tried
to get back, but it was gettin' dark, so I stayed in the mine.
Colleen's awkward answer sounds fishy to Mike, but she doesn't pursue
I see (a beat - - finds the page). Here we are.
Colleen settles down, drowsy.
"Carolina cried herself to sleep in the dank, dark cave. In
the midst of her fitful slumber, she could not have known that Colt
had indeed found her letter. My dearest Colt,' it read ..
Mike stops, this story is sounding very familiar. She checks to
see if Colleen is asleep. She is. Then, Mike starts flipping back
through the story, suspicious.
EXT. CAFE - DAY 3
Robert E has been successful in recruiting diners, as evidenced
by Boze and his friends at one of the tables. Matthew and Brian
sit at a table. Olive and the Reverend at another. Grace is happy,
serving folks, as Robert E approaches. She kisses him on the cheek.
What's that for?
For bein' my hero.
Robert E smiles, watches as Grace goes over to Matthew and Brian's
GRACE: (serving them)
Here's your supper.
Since Colleen's been sick, we ain't had no one to do the cookin'.
Grace smiles, turns, sees Myra coming. Grace grabs a basket, hands
it to her.
Here to go, Myra.
Us girls just wanted to tell you, your sure were brave for standin'
up to Hank and all.
Suddenly, Hank is there, knocking the basket out of Myra's hand,
dumping the food out onto the ground.
HANK: (to Myra)
Now get back to work fore I make you eat this slop!
Myra scampers back across the street.
I've bout had enough of you botherin' my customers!
What did you say?
Hank gets in Grace's face. Robert E steps between them. Sully and
Mike have heard the commotion, come out of the clinic.
You heard the lady.
Lady? I don't see no lady here --- all I see is a nig --
He doesn't get the word out of his mouth before Robert E punches
him. Hank, stunned, takes a step back, smiles. This is the fight
he's been itching for. They circle each other.
Hank hits Robert T. Evenly matched, each gets in a few good licks
before Robert E hits Hank in his tender stomach, dropping him to
his knees. Hank, enraged, grabs a butcher knife from the chopping
Hank raises it to throw when Zing! Sully's tomahawk hits the blade,
knocking it out of Hank's hand.
Now it's a fair fight.
Hank reacts, tries taking a swipe at Robert E, who blocks it with
his forearm and lands a good left hook on Hank, then an uppercut
to his stomach. Hank goes down.
Now you got an upset stomach.
Robert E turns to Grace. She goes into his arms. Robert E is at
first surprised, then tightens his hold on her.
INT. CLINIC - MAIN ROOM - DAY 4
Mike is heating more water on the stove, pouring it into the pan
for Colleen's treatment, when the clinic bell rings. She opens the
door to Lewis.
Afternoon, ma'am. I came to see Colleen.
I'm sorry, Lewis. But she's not up to receiving visitors, yet. Maybe
He turns to go.
Oh. Colleen gave me this note to give to Sully, but ... uh, well
... I haven't been able to find him.
He's upstairs. Would you like me to give him the note?
Thanks. Can I see Colleen tomorrow?
I'll tell her you dropped by.
She closes the door, then distracted, goes to put the note in her
pocket, but she drops it. She bends down to pick it up, the first
line of the letter catching her eye.
"My dearest Sully, I'm in dire need of your assistance ..."
It all becomes clear as she immediately recognizes the letter from
the story. Unsettled she goes upstairs.
INT. CLINIC - UPSTAIRS ROOM - DAY 4
Sully is gently dipping Colleen's hands in the warm water. Her fingertips
are blotchy red and swollen. It's painful. She moans a bit. Sully
tries to take her mind off things.
Soon's you're feelin' better, we'll go back to the reservation.
Walks on Cloud'll be havin' his wedding ceremony soon.
(Thrilled he's asked her). I'd love to see that.
Mike enters, is upset to See Sully holding Colleen's hands. She's
about to say something, when Colleen sees her, interrupts.
COLLEEN: (in pain)
Do we have to keep doin' this?
I'm afraid so. I'll get you some laudanum. (A beat). Sully? Could
you help me downstairs, please?
Sully gives her a puzzled look, then smiles at Colleen, gets up,
follows Mike downstairs.
INT. CLINIC - MAIN ROOM - DAY 4
Mike hands Sully the letter, goes about getting the bottle of laudunum.
SULLY: (reads it)
What is this?
It's from a romance story she's been reading.
Sully still doesn't get it. Mike turns to him.
I think Colleen went out there just so you could find her and rescue
her. (Beat). She's ... she's sweet on you, Sully.
No. No, she isn't. She couldn't be ...
You said it yourself ... she's growing up (shakes her head). You'd
think I'd have learned my lesson with Matthew and Ingrid.
No, I shoulda see it ... the way she was lookin' at me, talkin'
You couldn't have known.
Maybe I did somethin', gave her the wrong idea. (Remembering). All
that talk at the reservation ....
MIKE: (stopping him)
It's not your fault ... I can understand her feelings. I mean, who
wouldn't think that you're ..(wonderful)
She looks at him, trails off. An uncomfortable beat.
But perhaps it's best if I do Colleen's treatments from now on.
Sully's relieved to change the subject.
So the treatments are workin', aren't they? The pain means they're
thawin' out, right? It's a good sign?
Not necessarily. The tissue doesn't have its normal color back yet.
Gangrene's still a possibility.
You mean you could still have to ....?
If I wait ... there's the chance she could lose her entire hand
... her arm ...
How long till you know?
If I don't see some improvement by tomorrow ...
She looks down at her instrument box, sees the saws. It's a hideous
sight for both of them.
INT. CLINIC - UPSTAIRS BEDROOM - DAY 4
A little later. Mike finishes giving Colleen the laudanum. Sully
hangs back at the doorway. As Colleen gets drowsy from the medicine
Dr. Mike, tell me the truth. Are you gonna have to ...?
I don't want you thinking that way. These treatments are going to
work. We have to believe that.
Mike gets up, goes to leave. Colleen sees Sully in the doorway.
Sully? You could still love a girl who didn't have ...
She looks down at her hands, can't say it.
Who wasn't perfect. Couldn't you, Sully?
Mike and Sully trade looks. The question makes them both uncomfortable,
but Mike gives him a nod. He goes, sits on the edge of her bed.
SULLY: (searching for the right words)
Anybody could, Colleen. If she was as special as you are.
Colleen, distraught, throws her arms around Sully ...
I love you, Sully.
Sully doesn't hug her back. He looks away, up to the doorway, where
Mike stands. They look at each other.
END OF ACT THREE
EXT. CLINIC - UPSTAIRS BEDROOM - DAY 4
Colleen lies in bed, staring out the window, depressed. "There's
a soft knock. The door opens. Colleen turns, hopeful.
But it's Lewis
No, it's Lewis.
Your Ma said it'd be okay if I visited you ... so, I'm visitin'
He steps in, smiles. He's carrying a burlap bag.
I brought you some stuff.
He pulls out a tin of sweets and a bouquet of wildflowers.
Thanks. That was real nice.
She reaches out to take the gifts, but realizes she can't. Her face
I'll just put 'em down here.
He puts them on the side table and sits. They look at each other
Hey, I know somethin' we could do.
He pulls the microscope out of the bag.
LEWIS: (looking around)
No bugs here. Your Ma sure keeps this place awful clean. (Gets and
idea). Hey, I know.
He opens his pocket knife, holds it to his finger.
What're you doin' with that?
He nicks himself.
She watches, amazed, as he puts a drop of blood on the slide.
You didn't have to do that just for me.
Lewis looks at her, love in his eyes.
I wanted to.
A beat. He starts fiddling with the microscope, but then remembers
Oh, I almost forgot.
He pulls the stethoscope out of his bag.
You left this the other day.
That's right! Thanks Lewis.
This time, he puts the ear piece in her ears and the bell to his
Your heart sure is beatin' fast.
Lewis blushes bright red.
Colleen ... I ... I really ...
He wants to tell her he likes her, but he's interrupted by Myra,
who knocks and enters.
Lewis, flustered, jumps up as if he'd been caught with his hand
in the cookie jar.
Oh, hey, Lewis. I was real sorry to hear bout your accident, Colleen.
How you feelin'?
Alright, I guess.
That's good. Where's Dr. Mike? I got somethin' I gotta give her.
She went to the store. Said she'd be right back.
Well, maybe I'll leave it with y'all then. I gotta get back. If
Hank finds out I'm over here ...
She hands Lewis something wrapped in a napkin.
What is it?
Tell her Hank's been eatin' off this stuff ever since he got sick.
Lewis takes it.
I'll give it to her.
Myra exits. Lewis opens the napkin.
Lewis! Myra said to give that to Dr. Mike (curious). What is it?
Looks like some kind of meat.
He immediately cuts a piece off, sticks it under the microscope.
LEWIS: (beat, looks)
Hey, there's somethin' in here.
Let me see.
He holds it so she can look. She looks in the microscope, then looks
up at him, confirming.
INT. CLINIC - UPSTAIRS BEDROOM - DAY 4
Mike is looking through her own microscope, which she's bought upstairs
to Colleen's room. She sits on the bed with Lewis. She looks up
at them, nods.
You were right, Lewis.
Colleen looks at him, impressed.
It's trichinosis. Where did you say this sample came from?
Myra brought it over. She said Hank's been eatin' it.
SMASH CUT TO:
INT. SALOON - DAY 4
Jake, Loren and Myra watch Mike confront Hank.
You don't know what you're talkin' about! I been eatin' bear meat
all my life -- where'd'ya think that thing came from?
Hank motions to the stuffed bear. Mike reacts.
Well, this particular bear wasn't cooked well enough.
"Course it wasn't. I like my bear meat raw.
The guys react.
It's a delicacy out here.
But there are parasites -- worms -- in raw meat. It's called trichinosis.
YOU have to cook the meat to kill the worms.
Worms in meat? Don't you think I woulda noticed somethin' like that?
These are tiny worms. Too small for the eye to see.
Then how'd you see em?
SMASH CUT TO:
INT. CLINIC - DAY 4
Hank, Myra, Loren and Jake have followed Mike over. She shows the
group the microscope. Jake and Loren look at each other, a little
I see it. It's all rolled up into a ball, like.
A microscopic view of trichinosis.
Jake and Loren push Myra out of the way, each look into the microscope.
Yep, that's a worm alright.
Well, I'll be.
Hank pushes them out of the way, looks himself. He scowls.
That's what made you sick Hank. Not Grace's cooking.
Jake and Loren look at each other.
They rush out. Mike shoots a grateful look to Myra, turns to Hank.
You having any more stomach pain? I could get you something ...
Lucky for you it seems to have been a relatively mild case. You'll
be fine. (Beat). But Grace and her business won't. Not unless you
apologize. You owe her that at least.
Hanks says nothing, holds her look a beat, then turns, walks out,
followed by Myra. Sully's at the door. Hank pushes past him.
What's's wrong with him?
The usual, his pride's hurting.
I came to see how Colleen's doin' ...
He doesn't want to ask if Mike's made a decision on amputation.
Still no change.
INT. CLINIC - UPSTAIRS BEDROOM - DAY 4
Colleen, still depressed, turns over, sees the stethoscope on her
night stand. Without thinking of her hands, she reaches for it,
grabs it without pain. Realizing, she runs downstairs.
EXT. CLINIC - PORCH - DAY 4
Colleen rushes outside, calling ...
Dr. Mike! Dr. Mike!
Mike looks up from her sweeping.
Mike sees her holding the stethoscope.
Look! They don't hurt anymore!
Mike examines her fingers, manipulates them. They're back to a pinkish
tone, the swelling reduced.
The color's back. Can you feel that?
Colleen nods, excited.
Doesn't seem to be any nerve damage.
Thank you, Dr. Mike.
I didn't do anything.
You saved my hands. You knew what to do with the warm water and
I'm just glad you're alright.
She gives her the stethoscope.
I got this for your birthday, but it just came the other day. Hope
you like it.
Mike takes it from her, tears in her eyes.
How did you --- (afford?)
I borrowed the money from Miss Olive. I'm gonna work to pay it back.
I love it, Colleen. Thank you.
I can't wait to tell Sully bout my hands. Is he around?
Mike steers Colleen inside the clinic, leaving the door open.
INT. CLINIC - DAY 4 - CONTINUOUS
He was here earlier, but ...
Can you find him for me? I want to see him.
I don't think that's such a good idea.
Colleen ... I know how you feel about Sully. How you're sweet on
Colleen is mortified.
I'm not just sweet on him. Our feelings are real!
Your feelings are real, but Sully doesn't share them ...
You're just jealous.
You know that's not true.
I know he cares for me. I know he does.
Colleen goes over to the desk, where her copy of Harper's Magazine
is laying. She fingers the pages as Sully comes to the door. He
hangs, back, hears ...
Yes, he does care for you. Very much. But just not in that way ...
not in the way you want him to.
I don't believe you.
Sully steps into the room
It's true, Colleen. Dr. Mike's right. I don't love you ... not like
COLLEEN: (fighting tears)
But I thought ... at the reservation ...
I know you did. And I'm sorry. I wasn't thinkin' you might take
it that way.
COLLEEN: (looks at Mike)
Upset, Colleen runs out the door. Mike and Sully exchange looks.
Mike goes to follow her, but Sully stops her. He takes the magazine.
EXT. PASTURE - DAY 4
Sully catches up to Colleen. She glances back, hurt, keeps walking.
Colleen, you're a real special girl ...
She stops, hopeful.
I mean, you're smart ... and pretty ... and funny. And they're gonna
be lots of boys ...
I don't want anyone else, Sully. I know we were meant to be together.
That's how you feel right now. But that'll change ... in time.
Colleen plops down under the tree where her romantic dreams began
No, it won't. You saved me. You're my hero. You'll always be.
A beat. That's what it comes down to. Sully sits down next to her,
shows her the magazine.
Like the man in the story?
Colleen looks away.
That's all it is, a story. I don't wanna be your hero Colleen, I
wanna be your friend.
Colleen nods, fighting back the tears.
I'll see you later, alright?
Colleen nods. Sully gives Colleen one last look and goes back to
the clinic. Colleen wants the tears to come, but they won't. She
picks up the romance story.
"As if in a dream, Caroline heard him call her name. Colt,"
she breathed. My darling Colt. I knew you'd come.' I'm here, my
love. And I'm never leaving you again.'"
The happy ending she wanted and didn't get. Finally the tears come.
EXT. CAFE - DAY 5
Business is back to normal. Olive helps serve the overflow crowd
which includes Jake, Loren, Horace, Myra, Lewis, Alice, Missy and
Suzie and the Reverend. Sully, Mike, Brian, Colleen and Matthew
sit at a table. Still no Hank.
ROBERT E: (to Grace)
So you decided to stay awhile, huh?
Got a boomin' business right here. Be a fool to go any place else,
I guess you would.
Grace takes full plates to ....
Our family's table.
Here you go, folks. Colleen, sure am glad to have my favorite customer
I missed you too, Grace.
Grace smiles, leaves. Things are a little awkward as the pick up
their knives and forks. Colleen stares at hers. Mike notices.
Sure looks good.
Colleen, would you like me to ...?
No, I can do it.
They watch as she gingerly picks up her knife and fork, and with
some effort, cuts the meat. They all smile.
Haven't you seen anybody cut a piece of meat before?
Never seen anybody do such fine surgery on it, Doctor Cooper.
Colleen and Sully share a smile.
Hank enters the cafe, to everyone's surprise. Conversation dies
out at all the tables as he casually saunters up to a table, sits
down. He feels all eyes on him.
Robert E see Hank, smiles, nudges Grace, who takes a deep breath,
walks over to him. She stands there, arms folded, staring at Hank,
not sure what to expect.
I'll have the meatloaf ...
Grace holds his look.
Grace smiles, nods.
Hank shoots a grudging acknowledgment look to Mike. He feels Jake
and Loren's staring at him from the table behind him. He turns around
Jake and Loren react, immediately go back to their meals.
Colleen looking up from her plate, seeing Lewis looking at her from
May I be excused for a minute? I'd like to say hello to my friend.
Colleen goes to sit with Lewis.
Lewis looks over.
So that's Sully, huh?
Yeah, that's him.
I can see why you like him so much.
Sully? We're just friends.
Mike and Sully, seeing Colleen and Lewis talking, laughing. They
look at each other and smile.