by Josef Anderson
EXT. WOODLANDS - DAY 1
THREE DOG SOLDIERS
are posed stoically against some rocks. They're all Plains Indians,
yet each is from a different tribe - Cheyenne, Sioux, Arapaho --
and wear their distinct garb proudly. All in their late teens, they
stand rigidly, like statues, their eyes alive with suspicion, quickly
This gonna take much longer, Mr Watkins?
As soon as the sun comes out, I'll expose.
ANGLE - SULLY AND DANIEL WATKINS
Better be sooner than later.
Daniel Watkins, an associate of Matthew Brady, is a handsome bearded
man, with wise, melancholy eyes. There's a trace of Tidewater in
his fort, world-weary voice. He moves with a slight limp on a sore
foot. His clothes are baggy, as if he's suffered a weight loss.
Behind them, a darkroom wagon pulled by a horse. A sign reads, "Daniel
Watkins, Photographer." His logo, painted on the side, is a
camera with wings. Sully lifts a heavy wood negative case from the
wagon, carries it over to Watkins, sets it down. He gestures for
the Cheyenne to be patient.
What did you say these renegades are called?
Army calls them Dog Soldiers. Before the white man came, they were
enemies. Now, they're forced to fight together for survival.
Watkins picks up a canteen, takes a long drink. He offers it to
Sully who shakes his head. Watkins watches the clouds, waiting ....
The Cheyenne call them (in Cheyenne) ... the last hope (in English).
It means "last hope."
Watkins studies Sully for a moment.
Mr. Sully, might I take your photograph some time?
What's your objection?
There's some things best left to memory. (Changes the subject).
Sun's coming out.
Watkins steps to the Dog Soldiers, corrects one brave's pose, moving
a shield lower on a chest to reveal a breastplate. The Indian grows
wary. Sully again gestures reassurance. Watkins steps back to the
camera. He suddenly plucks off the lens cap.
The Indians see the lens pointed at them and panic. One dives for
cover, another picks up a rock.
SULLY (in Cheyenne)
What's going on?
They must think it's some kind of gun.
No, look ... nothing to fear. Nothing to fear!
One Indian throws a rock, just missing Watkins. Sully ducks.
SULLY (to Watkins)
As more rocks fly, Watkins doesn't protect himself, but his camera.
Placing himself in front of the precious lens, he's struck in the
head. He's momentarily stunned, but doesn't fall. Sully jumps in
front of Watkins.
SULLY (in Cheyenne)
No! Not a rifle. It won't hurt you!
The rocks stop coming. The Indians slowly rise from their hiding
places. Sully takes a look at Daniel's wound.
You're gonna need stitches. I know a doctor lives not far from ...
I'll see a doctor when I've gotten this photo.
Watkins pulls out his handkerchief, hurriedly blots the blood.
Tell them to sit down. I want this picture!
You keep yellin' like that they'll want your scalp.
DANIEL (a look, then:)
Would you please ask them to sit down ... And not to move.
Sully says something to the Dog Soldiers. They reluctantly regroup.
Well ... Let's try that again, shall we?
Watkins slowly pulls off the lens cap. He begins humming to himself,
singing softly. He stands there, watching the Dog Soldiers intently,
totally focused on recording the event.
ANGLE - INDIANS
Framed for posterity.
EXT. CLINIC - DAY 1
The photographic wagon tied up in front. Some curious townsfolk
read the sign.
I went to the National Gallery with my father once.
INT CLINIC - DAY 1
Dr. Mike ties off the suture on Daniel's head. Colleen has been
assisting. She gathers up supplies. Sully looks on.
Did you enjoy it?
Yes, I did, but I remember being terribly frightened by the photograph
of Daniel Webster.
You should see him in person.
Sully hands Daniel a glass of water.
Are you still working for Matthew Brady?
No, I'm employed the railroad now. Doing a geological survey ...
plus a few pictures for my own purposes, which Mr. Sully has been
very helpful in securing. He's an excellent guide.
I know. You couldn't have chosen a better one.
Sully's surprised by the compliment. He holds Mike's look for a
moment, but she breaks it.
Well, Mr. Watkins, perhaps you should stick to photographing geology.
It's not as dangerous as Indians.
The public wants to see what the West looks like, Dr. Quinn.
You oughta take a picture of Pike's Peak.
I took one last week. I'll just get it from my wagon.
He starts to rise but he's unsteady.
Please, Mr. Watkins. Sit down. You should take it easy for a while.
You may have a mild concussion.
I'm just a little dizzy.
I'd feel better if you could stay in town for a day or so.
I thought this was about me feeling better.
MIKE (returns the smile)
I'd like to keep you under observation.
Well, I can't think of anyone I'd rather be observed by ...
Sully shifts, somewhat uncomfortable at Watkins' flirtatious charm
and Mike's response.
I suppose I could set up a show, take a few portraits (suddenly)
- I'll stay if you allow me to photograph you, Dr. Quinn.
What on earth for?
It'd make a wonderful series for the stereoscopic viewer. "The
Life of a Lady Physician."
Oh ... well, I'm afraid it wouldn't be very interesting. My life
is rather ordinary.
After my years photographing the war, I find everyday life quite
amazing. Especially when viewed from the proper angle.
He gives her another charming smile.
So is it a yes?
Mike hesitates. Colleen, excited by the prospect, nudges her.
Come on, Dr. Mike.
Mike looks at Sully, who isn't about to give his opinion.
My patients would have to agree as well.
Of course. Is that a yes?
I suppose it is.
Colleen hugs her.
You're gonna be famous.
On Mike, not so sure about this ....
DANIEL'S POV - DAY - 2
The quilting circle gathered in the meadow. Olive, Emily, Mike,
other regulars, gathered about a quilting frame ... except they're
upside down in the ground glass lens.
EXT MEADOW - DAY - 2
Daniel checks his focus one last time. He squints. He rubs his eyes.
I never thought I'd be moving to Denver.
The women are passing around a hand mirror, primping for the photo.
Daniel loads his plate, removes the light cover.
Don't worry, we'll come visit.
And you'll be back with your husband when he's on business.
Well, at least I'll have this picture to look at if I get lonely
... too bad I couldn't get a picture of the whole town.
Mr. Watkins, have you ever taken a picture of a whole town?
No, but that's a splendid idea, Dr. Quinn (more to himself) - if
I build a scaffold high enough, I suppose I could ... (to Mike)
- how many people would be in it?
But before she can reply.
Just the leading citizens. Fifty or so.
Why only those people?
It oughta be the ones who built this town.
Well, then I don't qualify.
I don't mean actually built it ... (searching for the right explanation),
I mean, the important folks. You qualify for that.
Watkins steps back to his camera, waits for them to settle.
Hold still, please. Remember, you can't move.
He removes the lens cap, begins to hum a tune.
ANGLE - MIKE AND OLIVE
who freeze, but speak through clinched jaws.
I believe anyone who wants to be in the picture should be in it.
Dr. Mike, this town's no different than a quilting circle. We know
who's in it, and who ain't.
What about the immigrants?
But some of them have lived here longer than I have ...
Dr. Mike! ...
Colleen comes running across the bridge from town.
Mrs. Eckland's having her baby!
Mike looks ready to bolt, but Daniel appeals to her ...
Just a few more seconds ... Done.
Daniel covers the lens. Mike jumps up from the quilting frame, grabs
her medical bag and runs off with Colleen.
Daniel hurriedly gathers his equipment.
Wait up, Dr. Quinn ...
MIKE (over her shoulder)
I can't wait, and neither can Mrs. Eckland.
Daniel runs after her.
EXT. IMMIGRANT CAMP - DAY - 2
Mrs. Eckland sits up in bed, outside her tent, a fabric screen providing
some privacy. Colleen assists.
It hurts so much!
You're doing fine ... now push ... harder! .... Again! ...
Mrs. Eckland screams as she pushes.
INTERCUT - DANIEL
as he sticks his head out from under his darkroom sack. His wagon
I'm not ready yet.
Well, this baby is.
Daniel drives back into the sack.
ANGLE - MIKE AND MRS. ECKLAND AND COLLEEN
That's it! That's it!
I can't ... I ...
Push one more time ... the head is out!
ANGLE - DANIEL
as he pops out from under his sack, holding a wet plate negative.
He moves to the camera. We hear a last scream. For a moment, the
scream seems to stop him, then he continues working.
Here comes the shoulders ...
Daniel loads the negative. We hear a baby cry.
ANGLE - MIKE
stepping around the screen. She's beaming, wiping her bloody hands
on a towel.
It's a girl.
Mike moves the screen back.
Congratulations, Mrs. Eckland.
Colleen has wrapped the baby in a cloth. Mrs. Eckland holds it on
her stomach. She's sweaty and exhausted, but beaming with pride.
Dr. Quinn, would you stand next to the new mother, and Colleen on
the other side. (They do). Mrs. Eckland, do you have a favorite
You're going to sing for us?
It's how I time the exposure.
I'm partial to "Shenandoah."
So am I.
He removes the lens cap, begins signing. We push in on Mike, mother
Oh, Shenandoah, I love your daughter,
away you roaming river.
Oh, Shenandoah, I long to see
you ... Away, I'm bound away.
Cross the wide, Missouri
EXT. IMMIGRANT CAMP - DAY - 2
Watkins steps out from his photo wagon. He holds the developed wet
plate up to the sun. He's troubled by something he sees. Watkins
suddenly grows angry, smashes the glass plate against the wagon
wheel, shattering it.
Watkins turns to see Mike holding her medical bag, watching him,
puzzled. He quickly recovers.
The glass cracked.
Oh, dear ...
It's best to destroy them.
Mike crosses to him. Daniel limps around to the rear of his wagon,
picks up a canteen and takes a drink of water.
I'll make a new plate, take another picture.
Is your foot bothering you?
DANIEL (shrugs it off)
Just a sore spot where my boot's rubbing.
Would you like me to take a look at it?
And he climbs back inside the wagon to prepare a new plate. We hold
on Mike, curious now.
EXT. TEMPORARY GALLERY - DAY - 3
There's a sign by the entrance. "Photographic Exhibition. Admission,
Adults Ten Cents. Children, Five Cents." Brian stands at the
entrance, collecting money.
INT. TEMPORARY GALLERY - DAY - 3
A series of prints hangs on the walls of the tented gallery beside
Loren's store. Loren is watching the people. There's a table with
stereoscopic viewers and cards for sale.
INTERCUT -- landscapes, portraits, some pictures of the civil war.
Townspeople looking at them. Loren exits.
EXT. LOREN'S STORE - DAY - 3
Follow Loren as he crosses to his store porch where Mike talks with
LOREN (to Brian)
Don't let 'em stay too long.
You should hear what people been saying in there.
All sorts of hateful things about hairy eyebrows and ugly noses
and how "Mrs. Hosmer of New York City" shoulda been born
I saw her picture. I agree.
I was thinkin' about gettin' a portrait done, but now I'm not so
sure. It ain't like lookin' in a mirror.
That's for sure. Count me out.
Me, too, I'm afraid.
You'll still be in the town picture?
What do you think about taking the town picture next Sunday?
Well, Robert E won't be back from Denver until next week ...
In the background down the street, a wagon driven by a boy pulls
up and stops in front of the telegraph office.
So he should be in the photograph.
Mr. Watkins might not be stayin' that long ... 'sides, some folks
might object to havin' their picture taken with Robert E.
The boy enters the telegraph office.
Me for one.
How can you say that?
The boy and Horace exit the telegraph office.
'Cause it's the way things are.
They don't have to be. Loren, if someone influential like yourself
takes a stand, it can make a difference. Individuals can change
Horace comes running up the street.
Aw, don't lecture me ...
What's wrong Horace?
It's my ma. She's sick. Lewis just brought her in.
Mike follows Horace back to the wagon. We hold on Olive and Loren.
EXT. CLINIC - DAY - 3
Lewis hovers over the elderly Mrs. Bing, stretched out on a bed
of blankets in the back of a wagon. Horace, Mike enter shot as Colleen
comes from inside the clinic. There's an unspoken hello between
her and Lewis.
This is Dr. Mike, ma (to Mike) And you remember Lewis. He's been
stayin' with her.
She's been hurtin' bad since yesterday.
Bring her inside.
Mike helps Horace lift Mrs. Bing down from the wagon.
EXT SALOON - DAY - 3
Myra watches them over the swinging doors. She hesitates, but then
EXT. CLINIC - DAY - 3
Myra comes up, concerned.
Mrs. Bing grimaces in pain, but gets a look at Myra.
LEWIS (to Myra)
It's my grandma. She's ...
Uh, excuse me, ma'am, we got an emergency here.
Horace and Mike carry Mrs. Bing into the clinic. Colleen and Lewis
shrug in sympathy to Myra, then follow Horace inside.
We hold on Myra standing in the street, devastated by Horace's snub.
EXT. CLINIC - PORCH - DAY - 3 (LATER)
Horace and Lewis wait on the porch. Mike exits.
She's resting now.
What's wrong with her?
I don't know yet.
Should we take her to Denver?
I do know she has a high fever, a serious infection, and if you
put her back in that wagon and ride to Denver, she'll die before
you've gone ten miles.
She gonna be all right?
I can't say yet. It could be anything from tick fever to kidney
stones. But whatever it is, your mother has a weak heart ...
She lets the sentence dangle. Horace nods, exits with Lewis. We
hold on Mike ...
EXT. LIVERY - DAY - 3 (LATER)
Colleen talks with Lewis while he tends to the horses.
I thought you went back to Kansas.
No, that's just where I was stayin' 'fore they sent me to Uncle
Horace and Grandma.
Another aunt and uncle.
What about your parents?
LEWIS (a beat)
Both of them? (He nods). I didn't know .... I'm real sorry (he shrugs)
Our ma died, too.
So Dr. Mike's your aunt?
No. Fact is, nobody hardly even knew her, but my ma had a feelin'
she was the one should take us, and my ma was right.
I wish somebody'd take me and quit tradin' me around.
Maybe when Horace and Myra get married, they'll take you.
You think so?
Sure. They both like you a lot.
When're they gettin' married?
I don't know. Hank's got some kind of contract with Myra. It might
take a while.
Lewis' enthusiasm drops ...
... but Colleen reaches out to pay his hand, which momentarily overshadows
the rest of his problems.
EXT. CLINIC - NIGHT - 3
Mike is closing up, locking the door. It's late. We begin to hear
Daniel singing drunkenly.
Jimmy crack corn, and I don't care
Jimmy crack corn, and don't care,
Jimmy crack corn and I don't ...
Mike goes to investigate.
EXT. CLINIC - NIGHT - 3
Daniel is seated on the edge of the horse trough outside her window.
He's got a bottle of whiskey in one hand, a cigar in the other,
and he's soaking his foot. He hasn't bothered to roll up his pants.
My master's gone ... (sees her) Dr. Quinn. Good evening.
He tries to stand, not taking his leg out. It hurts. He sits back
Pull up a trough, doc, I'll buy you a drink.
No, thank you. But I would like to examine your foot.
It's obviously troubling you.
That's true of many things lately.
Well, this one I may be able to fix.
Mr. Watkins, that water is hardly sanitary and certainly doing your
foot more harm than good.
Reluctantly, Daniel lifts his leg out, props it on the trough. There's
a nasty ulceration that spreads across three of his toes. She places
her hands on his feet.
Umm ..... warm hands.
How long have these been like this?
A while ... never met a woman doctor before.
Mike takes one of his hands, examines his nails, begins to take
Why'd you become a photographer?
Thought I'd be good at it. (Half beat). Why'd you become a doctor?
Thought I'd be good at it.
She drops his hand.
Would you come inside?
As they go inside, Sully can be seen stepping from the shadows,
none too pleased with the spark between Dr. Mike and Daniel.
INT. CLINIC - NIGHT - 3
Mike is examining Daniel's eyes with an ophthalmoscope. There's
a candle and reflector lamp giving light. He's got a new clean bandage
on his foot. He's almost sober now.
You've got the prettiest eyes.
Can't help but notice being this close to 'em.
Mike sits back. She's charmed by his flirtations, but troubled by
what she must tell him. He senses her reluctance to speak.
Whiskey and truth should be served straight up, Dr. Quinn.
There's extensive damage to the blood vessels of your retinas. That's
why you've been having trouble seeing.
I need glasses?
No. I'm afraid they won't help. (Half beat). I suspect you've got
diabetes mellitus. Some people cal lit sweetwater. Constant thirst,
frequent urination, slow healing of cuts on the feet ... those are
a few of the symptoms.
Daniel nods. He's got them all.
Can you cure it?
I can treat it with strychnia, bicarbonates and other medicines.
They'll relieve some symptoms, but they won't halt the progress
of the disease ... or the decline of your eyesight.
Daniel realizes it's more serious.
What are you trying to say?
I'm terribly sorry, Mr. Watkins. I'm afraid you're going blind.
We hold on them as we ...
END ACT ONE
INT. TEMPORARY GALLERY/PORTRAIT STUDIO - DAY - 4
Mike stands alone in the small gallery, looking at the photographs.
We intercut a few images. She fixates on one. Daniel enters through
a curtain in the back. We see it's where he's doing the portraits.
A camera is set up.
That was a field hospital. In Virginia.
INSERT - PHOTO
A group of young bearded men, in white smocks before a tent.
BACK TO SCENE
I can't see all of his face ... but it's uncanny ... he looks like
the man I was engaged to.
Engaged? What sort of man would let you get away?
He died in the war (beat). Captain David Lewis.
She points to the man in the photo.
This may seem silly ... but by any chance do you recall his name?
Daniel studies her for a moment.
Let me think ... it might have been ... yes ... I do believe it
was a Captain Lewis ...
I'm almost certain. And I remember he was very well thought of by
his fellow officers.
Mike nods, wanting to believe ...
That was the day I nearly got blown up by the Confederate artillery.
I was lucky.
Daniel smiles at the irony, then ...
So, what's gonna happen to me?
She continues to look at the photo, unable to face him.
Your eyesight will continue to fade. You'll grow weaker, you'll
have difficulty breathing, eventually slip into a coma ...
Her voice trails off.
How much time have I got?
She turns to face him.
It's difficult to say. I do know you'll live longer if you return
immediately to New York for treatment.
I can't do that.
They have the best hospitals in the country. With property care,
you could live for years. But you need therapy I can't give you.
What I need is to go on taking pictures for as long as I can see.
But without treatment and rest, and a restricted diet, you'll fail
I don't want the war to be all I remember when I close my eyes forever.
I want to take all the photographs I can. I want to fill up my memory
with wonder and beauty. I want to recall every sunrise, every mountain
peak climbing to the heavens, and ... (sees her) ... and I want
to remember women who look like you do right now.
The light, the angle, the turn of her face could comfort any man
through an eternity of darkness.
Let me take your picture. (Her look) Please.
He gestures to a chair. Mike nods, sits down. Daniel moves to his
camera, pulls off the lens cap. We hold on Mike as Daniel starts
humming the hymn, "All Things Bright and Beautiful."
INT - SALOON - DAY - 4
Myra's at the bar when Horace enters, comes over to her.
How's your ma?
Not so good.
I'm sorry ( a glance toward Hank) Horace, I got work to do.
She starts to turn away, but he stops her.
I want to introduce you.
Why didn't you?
I didn't think she'd understand.
'Course she wouldn't. What'd you expect? ... What's she gonna think
when she finds out we're getting married?
I don't care what she thinks.
Well, then when're you gonna tell her?
Myra, it's just not the right time, with her being so sick and all.
Hank slides into view.
What can I get you?
You don't want to pay for her time, she's got customers who do.
He hands Myra a bottle and shot glasses, moves away. She goes over
to one of the tables and starts pouring drinks, acting her part,
while trying not to cry. Horace watches her for a moment, then goes
Myra? You come over right now.
She smiles, kisses Horace on the cheek and goes to grab her shawl.
Hank looms up again.
Where you think you're going?
Here. I'm paying for her time.
Myra returns with her shawl and exits with Horace. We hold on Hank.
INT. RECOVERY ROOM - DAY - 4
Mrs. Bing in bed, eyes open. Lewis sits beside her, holding her
They look up as Myra and Horace enter.
Ma, this is Myra (screwing up his courage). I wanted you to meet
her 'cause we're ... well, we're ... engaged.
The announcement hangs in the room for a beat, then ...
That's wonderful. I was afraid you'd never find anybody. You've
made me very happy. (To Myra). Come here, child, let me see you.
Myra comes closer.
Wait ... I know you ... I saw you on the street, didn't I? Why are
you dressed like this?
I work in the saloon.
But she ain't working there much longer. Just till I pay off her
MRS. BING (recoils)
You want to marry a whore?
I love her, ma, and I want your blessing.
My blessing? Have you lost your senses?
The pain strikes her. She grimaces.
But Ma ...
How could you?
Myra runs out. Horace takes a beat of indecision, but then goes
out after Myra. Lewis looks at Mrs. Bing.
OFF MRS. BING'S REACTION
EXT. CLINIC - DAY - 4
Horace catches Myra in the middle of the street, a couple of horses
splitting up to go around them. He embraces her.
Myra, it don't matter what she thinks. We're still gettin' married
... less you changed your mind.
She finds a smile in herself, shakes her head. He impulsively kisses
her, getting whoops and hollers from the passersby.
INT. TEMPORARY GALLERY/PORTRAITS STUDIO - DAY - 5
Emily and her new husband pose for Daniel. He readies his camera
to take their picture. He's a little bit unsteady on his feet, stopping
to wipe his forehead, rub his temples.
EXT. GALLERY - LOREN, JAKE, MATTHEW
Well, I'll be glad when all this hoo-ha is over.
Not me. Been great for my business. Everybody's gettin' haircuts.
Too bad Emily's leavin'. I was gonna have her make a new dress for
Ingrid to wear for the town picture.
Who says she's gonna be in it?
Matthew, now we don't know who might be seein' this photograph.
You gotta ask yourself, how's it gonna look with a bunch of immigrants
Shoot. We might as well ask the Cheyenne.
You been hanging around Sully too much.
That's for sure.
But it's supposed to be a picture of the town, not just people Mr.
Bray thinks are good enough.
Watch your tongue, boy. Have some respect.
I got nothing against your Ingrid bein' in there, but you let one
in, they'll all want to be in it.
I say let 'em take their own picture if they want.
It's been decided. No Negroes, no Indians ...
No Confederate uniforms, no immigrants ...
And no whores ...
Why don't we let Mr. Watkins decide. It's his camera.
But it's our town.
Matthew walks away, over to Sully and Brian.
ANGLE - REVEREND
REVEREND (good naturedly)
It's taking longer to make this photograph than it did to marry
you. Mr. Watkins?
The couple might like to get on with their honeymoon.
There's a laughter from the crowd. Sully goes inside...
INT. TEMPORARY GALLERY/PORTRAIT STUDIO - DAY - 5
DANIEL (to Sully)
Would you like to take a look?
Sully steps behind the camera.
Can you see them?
They're upside down.
But can you see them clearly?
Sully looks again.
Good. That's good. (Covering). I thought you'd find that interesting
(to everyone) I'm ready. Please don't move ... and remember to smile
... one, two ...
On three, we hear the first church bell ringing. It continues under
EXT. TEMPORARY GALLERY/PHOTOGRAPHER'S STUDIO - DAY - 5
Emily and her husband are seated in the buggy, which is adorned
with flowers and a "Just Married" sign on the back. Daniel
watches them. He goes into his wagon. Emily tosses her bouquet into
the crowd. It lands smack in Mike's arms.
INT. HANKS' BAR - DAY - 5
Myra at the bar, hears the bells in the distance. Not joyous, but
lonely and painful to her.
INT. CLINIC - DAY - 5
Horace sits by the bed, holding his mother's hand. The bells echo
for him as well.
EXT. MAINSTREET - DAY - 5
Emily waves as her buggy drives off. The crowed cheers her departure.
Boys and few dogs give momentary chase. The bells stop ringing.
Mike gives a last wave, then looks down at the bridal bouquet, feeling
awkward. Involuntarily, she glances toward Sully. He was watching
her, but now looks away. As Daniel comes out of his wagon, he catches
this exchange and watches as Mike finds Matthew and Ingrid in the
crowd, then gives the bouquet to Ingrid.
Daniel shakes his head and returns to his business, but loses his
balance on his bad foot and takes a hard fall. The glass plate breaks
as they both hit the ground.
BACK TO SCENE
As everyone turns.
They run for Daniel.
Sully and Mike turn him over, lean him up. He's barely conscious.
Brian, Colleen, Matthew run up, others run up.
Brian, do you have a piece of candy?
I don't know.
Look in your pockets. Look!
Brian does, finds a piece ... Mike takes it, unwraps it, places
it in Daniel's mouth.
MIKE Take him to the clinic. Hurry.
Th men pick him up, carry him off. We hold on Mike and Sully.
END ACT TWO
INT. CLINIC - DAY - 5
Daniel is sitting up on the exam table, buttoning his shirt when
Mike enters with some bicarbonate of soda in water.
Where do you think you're going?
People are coming to have their portraits done this afternoon. I've
got a lot of preparation to do.
You need to rest.
There's going to plenty of time to rest.
Mr. Watkins, you can't keep pushing yourself. In the five days you've
been here, you haven't stopped.
I'll take my chances.
Why do you have to be so stubborn? Why won't you do what I know
will help you?
Because for all your good intentions, doctor, there's not a damn
thing you can do that's gonna stop me from going blind. Or dying,
for that matter, now is there?! ... Is there?
A long beat while Daniel looks at her. Seeing her defeat bothers
the hell out of him, softens him. Finally ...
What do you want me to do?
She looks him in the eye, acknowledging the emotion behind his surrender.
I want you to drink bicarbonate of soda. Four times a day. Making
the blood alkaline relieves some symptoms.
She starts getting this.
I'll get you codeia that will let you sleep.
She hands him a glass.
I'll write a list of foods you should avoid.
What about turnips?
You shouldn't have them.
Good. I hate turnips.
He manages a smile. She returns it. He drinks. Mike picks up the
I want to examine your eyes again.
You only need to look at the right one.
A beat, then matter of factly ...
Because I can't see out of the left one anymore.
OFF MIKE'S REACTION
INT. PHOTO STUDIO - DAY - 6
CLOSE - GRACE AND ROBERT E
Posing for their picture.
ANGLE - DANIEL
As he removes the lens cap. We see Sully standing behind him, assisting.
ANGLE - THE REVEREND
Posing for his picture.
ANGLE - CLOUD DANCING
Posing for his picture.
ANGLE - JAKE
Posing for his picture.
ANGLE - MIKE, BRIAN, COLLEEN AND MATTHEW
Posing for their picture. Daniel is adjusting them. Brian looks
up at Sully, who is loading a negative plate.
Hey Sully, why don't you come be in our picture?
I can't. It's a family portrait.
Brian is disappointed.
But you're family.
Brian, it's Sully's decision - not yours.
Daniel reacts, then ...
Well, I'm ready.
He exits back to his camera.
Daniel removes the lens cap. Mike and Sully exchange a look.
DANIEL'S POV - THE FAMILY -
We hold on them as we ..
EXT. HILLTOP VISTA - DAY - 6
A camera Sully carried up earlier is set up for a landscape. Sully
climbs into view with the portable dark room table on his back.
Daniel struggles a few steps behind him, has bad foot forcing him
to use a cane.
You shouldn't be walking so much on that foot.
DANIEL (good natured)
In addition to being a guide, are you a spy for Dr. Quinn?
I'm just thinkin' about havin' to carry you off this mountain.
I made it up, I'll make it down.
Daniel moves over to the camera, looks around for the best view.
Beautiful. Worth every step.
The Cheyenne say this is the place where heaven and earth meet each
day to talk.
What do they talk about?
Lately it's about how everything's changing?
Can't stop progress, Sully.
Progress? All I see is a bunch of selfish folks willin' to do anythin'
for greed - killin' off Indians, killin' all the animals -- beaver,
buffalo, elk -- hell, they're even killin' each other over an acre
of land -- or an ounce of gold.
It's natural to want more.
Well, look at yourself. You came for silver, didn't you?
That was before ...
Before I saw all the sufferin' it caused (looks around). People
see how pretty this country is, they're gonna want to come here
... I'm not so sure taking pictures is such a good idea.
Somebody needs to record how things were. How we lived, how we dressed,
how we worked and spent our days.
Because some day people will want to know the truth. History can
be rewritten, words can twisted, but photographs don't lie.
Daniel frames his picture, focuses the ground glass. He stands up.
There's a long beat, and finally.
Sully, want to take a look?
Sully steps behind the camera, looks through the lens.
Somethin' wrong with your eyes?
Nothing's wrong with my eyes.
Then why do you keep askin' me to take a look everytime we set up
Sully adjusts the focus.
I ... I thought you were interested in photography.
I'm interested in the truth.
Dr. Quinn tells me I'm going blind.
A long beat.
Don't be. The last thing I want is pity.
Not offering it. Just my help.
That I do need, if I'm going to get the picture of the town.
Anything you need, you let me know.
Will you be in it as well?
That's one thing I can't promise.
Daniel looks sideways at Sully, as he prepares his equipment.
Yes ... I've noticed you have a problem with promises.
What's that supposed to mean?
Well, sir, if a lady like Dr. Quinn looked at me like she does at
you, I'd fall on one knee and promise myself to her forever.
Well, that's you.
Sully looks at the clouds, the sun.
We better get started if we're gonna be off this mountain by dark.
Sully moves to set up the table. Daniel turns his attention to the
view, trying to burn it into his memory ...
EXT. SALOON - DAY - 7
The saloon is quiet. Hank snoozes in a chair on the boardwalk. Myra
looks out over the doors, across the street.
MYRA'S POV - CLINIC - 7
as Mike exits, walks off toward the general store.
BACK TO SCENE
as Myra waits until she's gone, takes a quick look at Hank and slips
out the doors.
INT. CLINIC - DAY - 7
Myra moves down the hall. It's quiet.
INT. RECOVERY ROOM - DAY - 7
Where Mrs. Bin is sleeping. Myra enters cautiously and walks up
to the bed. She looks at Mrs. Bing's face. She tenderly pulls up
My parents died when I was thirteen. I was the oldest. I did what
I had to do so's we could eat. (Beat). But your son, well, he's
changed all that. He saw past what I do ... (with wonder) and he
loves me anyway ... now that kind of goodness in a person, that's
not your regular fella. He musta got that good heart from you. And
I want to thank you for that (beat). I love your son, Mrs. Bing.
I promise you I'll take care of him.
Myra exits. We hold on Mrs. Bing. She opens her eyes. They brim
INT CLINIC - DAY - 7
Mike bandages a young man's arm. Daniel photographs her.
EXT. CHURCH - DAY - 8
The scaffold is built. Eight fee in the air. Sully is on top of
it, securing the tripod stand. People are arriving in the meadow,
dressed up for the picture. Daniel's wagon is set up nearby. There's
a small pulley, some ropes going up and down, one end tied to the
Mike is there with Brian and Colleen. Daniel is working furiously
to get things done. Sully drops from the platform, swings down.
You ready to haul that up?
In a minute. I need the camera and lens. It's inside the wagon.
Would you get it, please?
ANGLE ON SULLY
Sully starts for the wagon, sees Mike. He crosses to her.
Dr. Mike? Can I talk to you? (Beat). I couldn't be in that picture.
I'm sorry to disappoint Brian, but ...
It's alright, Sully.
I may not be family, but truth is, I care about all of you. Very
Especially you ... that night I kissed you ... I know it was your
birthday and all, but I meant it.
I know. It was the nicest present I got. (His look) But that's all
it has to be ... a birthday present.
If things were different ... if we weren't so different ... (beat)
I'm just not ready to ...
Neither am I, Sully.
Sully nods, holds her look.
I care about you, too (beat). Very much.
Don't mean things can't change.
No ... it doesn't.
They look into each other's eyes for a long beat, both wishing it
could be different.
Sully, let's go.
He exits. We hold on Mike.
Loren and Jake are chatting. Loren sees something.
Hey, what do they think they're doing'?
LOREN'S POV - BRIDGE
a group of immigrants start for the meadow. Ingrid is with them.
BACK TO SCENE
They weren't invited, were they?
Not by me.
Loren, Jake, some others move to block their way.
We got all the people we need for this picture.
You'll have to go back home.
Matthew sees Ingrid.
Mike joins the fray.
Loren, you have no right to do this.
Oh, yes we do.
No you don't!
Matthew tries to push Jake aside ...
Get out of the way, Mr. Slicker.
... but Jake pushes him back, hard enough to land Matthew on his
It's been decided (to crowd). Ain't that right, boys?
There's a cheer from the crowd.
Don't let them over here!
Push them back!
INT. WAGON - DAY - 8
Sully searches for the lens, picks it up. There's an oil lamp that's
lit. A small flame.
EXT. MEADOW - DAY - 8
There's a shoving match going on now. It grows more nasty within
seconds as more people join sides.
I'm not havin' my picture taken with them.
Then you're the one who'd better leave.
We were here first.
There's a couple of punches thrown and it starts to become a brawl.
Colleen grabs Brian, pulling him out of harm's way. The immigrants
push through into the field. There's shouting.
ANGLE - DANIEL'S WAGON
The shouting, the surge of the crowd spooks the horse. He jerks
free of his tie down. A first fight sends a man flying back into
the horse, and he suddenly bolts for safety.
INT. WAGON - MOVING
as Sully is thrown off his feet.
the horse runs for the bridge then veers to avoid the crowd of shouting
people. The large camera box flies off the back of the wagon, smashes
Sully struggles to his feet. Bottles are falling around him, breaking.
The oil lamp crashes to the floor, igniting the lamp fuel. Sully
pulls himself to the door.
EXT. MEADOW - DAY 8
The horse runs into the ditch, the wagon catches on the opposite
bank, flips over just as Sully bails out, still holding the lens.
CLOSE - SULLY
as he tucks and rolls, protecting the lens.
ANGLE - THE WAGON
slamming over on its side with a terrible crash. Smoke and flames
begin to billow out.
as Mike gets to Sully. He's dirty and scratched up.
My God, are you all right?
Yes (yells). Get some buckets.
The shoving match ends as suddenly as it started. People are moving
to the wagon.
Get some buckets. Hurry.
CLOSER - WAGON
as Daniel and Sully push their way through the crowd to the wagon.
Sully has to hold him back.
Mike is there, to comfort him.
Sully moves to the wagon, hoping to get inside and save something,
but the flames are too intense. He withdraws, stands there with
the others, helpless to do anything.
END ACT THREE
INT. GALLERY - DAY - 8
Daniel is packing up his photos. Mike enters.
I thought I'd find you here.
I'll be taking the morning stage.
I'm sorry. Did anything survive?
No. All I have left is what's here.
I don't know what got into those people.
It wasn't meant to be (half beat). I'll be needing the name of that
doctor in New York.
Daniel takes down the photo of the civil war field hospital.
Here. I want you to have this.
Mike looks at the photo again.
Was his name really David?
If I say no, does that mean you don't want it?
Mike looks up at him, shakes her head.
Would you join us for dinner? The children would like to say good-bye.
It would be my pleasure.
Suddenly, Brian comes running in.
Hey, Ma, they been lookin' everywhere for you.
What is it?
Horace says you got to come quick.
Is it his mother?
She's hurtin' awful bad.
I'll see you tonight, Mr. Watkins.
Mike hurries off.
BRIAN (to Daniel)
You gonna take anymore pictures of ma?
I don't have a camera. It's broken.
Can't you fix it?
I don't have enough time to get all the things I'd need to fix it.
Bet Robert E can fix it. He can fix anything.
Brian runs out. We hold on Daniel.
INT. CLINIC - HALLWAY - DAY 8 (LATER)
Horace, Myra, Lewis and Colleen -- wait. Finally Mike steps around
She's asking for you.
I'll wait here.
No ... she's asking for all of you.
INT. CLINIC ROOM - DAY - 8
Mrs. Bing is propped up in the bed. She's weak, but possessed of
a strength that comes at the end. Horace, Myra and Lewis enter.
Horace, come here.
She takes hi hand.
MRS. BING (continuing)
I don't know where you got that good heart of yours ...
A knowing look passes between Myra and Mrs. Bing.
MRS. BING (continuing)
But I'm sure glad you got somebody here who will appreciate it after
Oh, ma, you're not going anywhere.
Yes, I am. (Beat). But it's alright Horace because I know that Myra
will take good care of you. (Looks to her). Come here, child.
Myra moves to her side. Mrs. Bing takes her hand.
You have my blessing.
Look after Lewis for me. He's a good boy and he deserves a home
where he'll be loved.
Myra puts her arm around Lewis. Mrs. Bing smiles. She closes her
eyes A beat and she's gone.
INT. HOMESTEAD - NIGHT - 8
The family, Sully, Dr. Mike gathered around the table, after dinner.
Lamps turned up. Brian peers through a stereoscopic viewer they
Hey, what's this?
Watkins rubs his eye, adjusts a lamp, takes him a moment to focus
on the card.
Camels. In Egypt.
Camels? They sure are funny lookin'.
Matthew changes cards.
BRIAN (to Mike)
How come they're swimming with their clothes on?
Those are bathing suits.
Why do they need suits to go swimming? I don't wear nothin'.
I believe it's because it's cold. Right Sully?
Somethin' like that.
Daniel is melancholy.
More coffee, Mr. Watkins?
No, thank you. It's getting late. I should be going.
Matthew will drive you back into town.
I want to thank you for your hospitality. It's been a week I will
never forget. (Beat). I'm just sorry about the town picture. I really
wanted to take that photograph.
But you can't 'cause the camera's broke and even Robert E can't
What if he could?
It's beyond repair.
But a camera really ain't nothing but a box with a hole in it for
the lens, and the lens ain't broken.
It's not just the camera. I don't have any glass plates left to
make a negative.
Mr. Bray's got glass for sale. Cuts it right to size for you.
I need the chemicals and supplies, too.
Gun cotton ...
I have it.
Ether, cyanide, silver salts.
I have those too.
I can get it.
The room is suddenly filled with possibilities.
EXT. ROBERT E'S - DAY - 9
as he repairs the camera. Daniel is overseeing the work. He's leaning
on his cane, drinking water.
Yes ... yes, very good. This might work.
'Course it's gonna work.
Doesn't that go the other way?
Yes it does.
Robert E gives her a look.
Baking pies isn't all I know.
Think I could learn to take pictures?
Certainly. That's the easy part. The hard part is knowing a good
picture when you find it. It's all in the art of seeing.
Loren approaches, holding a piece of glass.
Here. Eight by ten. Two yards of black cloth, and a can of varnish.
Thank you, Mr. Bray. What do I owe you?
Aw, forget it.
Loren turns, starts to go.
Mr. Bray? Would you like to be in my picture?
I'm inviting everybody.
Daniel looks at Robert E. Loren sees the look.
Everybody? Then I ain't coming.
Suite yourself. But you'll probably be the only man in town not
Loren walks off.
INT. MIKE'S CLINIC - DAY - 9
Mike mixes some chemicals. Colleen and Lewis clean the plate glass
with some decomposed limestone, flannel cloth and drops of alcohol.
EXT. MEADOW - DAY - 9
Sully speaks in sign to a couple of Indians. They nod, run off.
EXT. TOWN - DAY - 9
Daniel leans on his cane, speaks with a few immigrants. They nod.
Daniel turns, starts to walk away. He's determined to do this. He
passes by Loren's store, tips his hat to Loren who goes back into
EXT. ROBERT E'S - DAY - 9
Daniel sits while Sully handles the lens. He places it in the camera
body. It fits perfectly.
Nice work, Robert E.
Daniel gets up, moves to the repaired camera. He peers through the
back, adjusts the focus until
ANGLE - CAMERA
and the image of Sully and Robert E in the ground glass.
ANGLE - DANIEL
as he stands up, overcome with emotion.
Thank you both.
We hear the church bells calling.
EXT. MEADOW - DAY - 9
The bells continue as the whole town heads for the meadow. Hank
comes out of the saloon with his whores. Horace and Lewis exit from
the telegraph office. Myra moves over to Horace.
Myra, you comin' with us?
She's havin' her picture taken with me.
Hank continues towards the meadow with his women. Myra, Horace and
Lewis walk together.
From the end of the meadow, Sully appears with some Indians. From
another direction, a group of blacks enter the meadow. All the groups
stay with their own kind as they assemble for the photograph.
Mike, Brian, Matthew and Colleen exit the clinic. A group of immigrants
pass by Loren's store. Ingrid is with them. When she sees Matthew,
she goes to him. Loren comes out onto his porch, watching.
ANGLE LOREN'S STORE - DAY - 9
Olive comes out, gives him a look, shakes her head, goes to join
ANGLE - MIKE
who sees Loren alone.
Go on, I'll join you in a minute.
Colleen, Brian, Matthew and Ingrid exit for the meadow.
EXT. LOREN'S PORCH - DAY - 9
Mike walks up to Loren.
Are you coming?
MIKE (a beat)
It won't be the same without you ...
We all have our differences, but there's no reason we can't stand
He still resists and looks away.
Loren, Mr. Watkins says every picture has a heart, and you're the
heart of this town.
A long beat while he considers, then he steps off the porch and
joins her. They walk together to the meadow.
filled with people. Everyone is there. Indians, immigrants, blacks,
whites, children ...
Daniel stands beside the scaffold as Sully hauls up the wet plate,
sets it carefully down.
Daniel sets his cane down, starts to climb up the scaffold. It's
a struggle. Sully reaches down to help him up. Daniel takes his
ANGLE - HIGH ON SCAFFOLD
Daniel and Sully look out over the crowd. It's a very emotional
moment for both of them.
Sully, would you take a look at this for me?
Sully looks through the glass, focuses the lens.
Looks fine to me.
Daniel picks up the wet plate, loads it in the camera.
There, all ready.
Sully jumps off the side of the scaffold, goes to join the family
posed in front. He puts one arm around Brian and Colleen who're
flanked by Matthew and Ingrid, then his other arm slips around Mike's
waist. They share a look. Daniel is nearly overcome with emotion.
It takes a moment to compose himself.
I just want to say ...
He holds up his hands. The crowd quiets.
I just want to say ... thank you.
Daniel pulls the cap off. He begins singing "All Things Bright
DANIELS POV - THROUGH LENS
The meadow and all the townspeople frozen in time -- dissolves into
a photograph, as his voice is joined by the voices of the townspeople
signing the hymn. We push in on the family, Mike, Sully, Brian,
Matthew and Colleen as we ...