DEAL WITH THE DEVIL
Written by Nancy Bond / Directed by Bobby Roth
INT. GENERAL STORE - DAY ONE
DOROTHY finishes printing a copy of the Gazette on her press and
hands it to BRIAN, who's been watching her.
Here you go, Brian. First copy, hot off the press.
Brian looks over the Gazette, suitably impressed, as Dorothy goes
back to work.
How do you think up all this stuff to write about?
It's a growin' town, Brian. Problem isn't what to put in the Gazette,
but what to leave out. Most of the time I got trouble just keepin'
up with things.
Well, if you ever need a hand, maybe I could help you out.
Dorothy stops working, turns to him.
Tell you what. You can help me by writin' an article for the special
Founder's Day Gazette next month.
I'm askin' for contributions from townsfolk to write somethin' about
That's for you to decide.
(back to the press)
But only if you want to.
I do. I mean, I don't know what I'll write about, yet...
... but I'll think of somethin'.
Brian looks back at the Gazette in his hands as LOREN passes by,
with MIKE and SULLY following behind.
Over here. Think I got a few cans left.
Loren leads them to a dusty stack of paint cans. He looks them over,
mumbling as he reads the labels.
White. White. White.
Ah, blue. Perfect for a baby cradle.
What if the baby's a girl?
How 'bout white?
How 'bout just stainin' the wood 'stead a paintin' it?
Stain, sure thing. Perfect for a baby cradle.
Sully follows Loren on, but Mike hangs back with Dorothy and Brian,
who step up beside her.
Cradle just about finished?
Sully's so excited. He's been working very hard on it.
Dorothy notices the wistful expression on Mike's face.
Somethin' on your mind, Michaela?
Oh, no, it's just... Sully's made this wonderful gift for our child...
and I haven't made a thing.
Still got plenty 'a time.
Mike turns to her, realizing this to be true.
You're right. I do.
I'll make something on my own for the baby... a special gift.
I don't know yet...
But I'll think of something.
EXT. SALOON - DAY ONE
Mike walks down the street toward the church. As she nears the saloon,
she discovers PRESTON talking with JAKE on the porch, as HANK listens
in from the doorway.
The storehouse. The one between the bank and the train station.
What about it?
I'm asking if you know who owns it.
Old Man Voss, I think. Why?
Thinkin' 'a buyin' it?
Mike pauses to hear his answer, but before Preston can reply, he
sees Mike and tips his hat to her.
Are you still trying to build that hotel?
You should know by now that I don't give up very easily.
Neither do I.
Preston looks back at Hank, a bit puzzled.
I'm sorry, Hank, are you attempting to make a point?
I'm sayin' I'm still plannin' on buildin' my hotel, too.
Oh, yes. Of course you are.
Well, you just keep on "plannin'," Hank.
Preston walks away, chuckling to himself, as Mike continues to the
church. Hank stares after Preston, his expression serious.
Keep laughin', banker.
Gonna build me the biggest hotel outside 'a Denver... and I'm gonna
open it 'fore Preston even hammers a nail.
How you plan on doin' that?
I don't know yet...
(staring after Preston)
But I'll think 'a somethin'.
EXT. CHURCH - DAY ONE
Mike comes up to discover the REVEREND sitting in front of the church,
gazing up at it with a troubled, thoughtful expression. In his hands
he holds a telegram.
All set to ride out to the James' farm?
Look at it, Michaela. The paint's peeling. The roof leaks. And that
bell. It's been broken for two years now.
How could I let this happen?
Mike sees the telegram the Reverend holds and sits beside him.
Is something wrong?
It's from Reverend Thomas.
Your seminary instructor?
He's coming in a month for a visit.
(noting the Reverend's mood)
The Reverend nods quietly, then:
My mentor. My shining example. Every Sunday we'd go to his church.
Bright white, spotless, with a towering steeple. And he had this
bell... this polished, gleaming bell that would ring throughout
The Reverend gazes again up at the bell in the church. It's rusted
and worn and ready to fall apart.
And now he'll see this.
You said he's not coming for a month. Which means you still have
time to fix up the church.
But how? Look at it. It needs too much work, and church funds are
What I need is a miracle.
Mike gives him an encouraging look.
I know you, Reverend. You'll find a way to make one happen.
The Reverend smiles at her, bolstered.
You're right. Instead of complaining, I should be doing something
about it. And I will.
He stands, summoning his determination.
I don't know how, but with God's help...
... I'll think of something.
The Reverend and Mike smile hopefully up at the church as we:
EXT. JAMES' FARM - ESTABLISHING - DAY ONE
A tiny farmhouse. The usual assortment of chickens, etc. The Reverend's
carriage is parked out front.
INT. MR. JAMES' BEDROOM - DAY ONE
MR. JAMES is a salty old man with years of adventure etched on his
weathered face. But he's weak now and in a great deal of pain, dying
of cancer. He lies in his bed while Mike examines him (with her
stethoscope). Sitting on the other side of the bed is the Reverend,
who listens attentively as Mr. James reflects on his life. Waiting
at the door is James' daughter, SUZANNA, 20's.
... April of '38, rough crossin' from Lisbon. So consumed by hunger
was I, that I pilfered six rations of salt pork. My hunger was satisfied,
but retribution was served in the form of a troubled conscience
and the worst case of dysentery I ever had...
The Reverend can't help but smile at this.
Mr. James inhales and coughs as Mike listens with her stethoscope.
She then begins gently palpating his liver, not liking what she
Is the pain worse?
Nothin' I haven't earned.
Mike begins preparing an injection of morphine as Mr. James takes
an ornate pocketwatch from his shirt pocket and opens it, holding
it up for the Reverend.
Hear that, Reverend? Tickin' away on a life of indiscretion.
But what's important is that it's still ticking... still time to
make a difference.
Mr. James casts a quiet look at Suzanna, who fights her emotions.
Mr. James stares down at the watch, a sad look on his face.
This was given to me by a dear friend... a sound and decent man,
who in eighteen-forty, while seekin' opportunity out west, entrusted
me with the care of his beloved fiancee...
Mr. James falls silent.
I married her.
(a glance to Suzanna)
Had us a beautiful daughter.
(stares back at his watch)
But I lost a dear friend for life.
Mr. James continues to stare at the watch as Mike administers the
The morphine should help you rest. If the pain increases, I can
raise the dosage.
(an encouraging look)
I'll see you on Thursday.
Let's hope I'll see you as well, Dr. Mike.
Mike smiles, closes her medicine bag and goes out, but before the
Reverend can stand up, Mr. James touches his arm, holding him back.
Will you come, too?
Of course. You can count on it.
Mr. James nods, managing a weary smile.
When you sit with me...
(closes the pocketwatch)
... the tickin' is not so loud.
The Reverend returns the smile as Mr. James slips the watch back
into his pocket.
INT. GENERAL STORE - DAY TWO
Dorothy pours a cup of tea for Mike, who stands at the front counter,
a contemplative expression on her face.
How 'bout a quilt? You can hand-stitch it yourself, nestle the baby
Mike nods, considering this, as the Reverend comes in, pushing a
Loren comes over, giving the Reverend and the carriage a curious
Somethin' you need to tell us, Reverend?
At first, the Reverend is a bit confused, but then he looks down
at the baby carriage.
It's Samantha, Loren... I'm doin' a favor for Horace and Myra, helpin'
'em out with the baby twice a week now.
Why're you whisperin'?
I finally got her to sleep. Don't want to wake her.
The others take the cue and lower their voices as well.
That reminds me. Myra ordered a new gown for her. Just came in.
You mind givin' it to her?
Not at all.
As Loren moves to fetch the package, Mike gets an idea:
A gown... that's it...
(coming to her)
I'll make a christening gown for the baby.
A christenin' gown. That sounds wonderful, Michaela.
Let's get the pattern books.
The two move off as Loren hands the Reverend the packaged gown.
Here you go.
The Reverend pauses, a bit uneasy. Something's on his mind.
Loren... there's something I need to ask you. I'm looking to make
some repairs on the church... and to do it, I'll need to purchase
supplies... maybe even order several items.
(knows where this is going)
I know my account is quite high at the moment...
Month and eight days past due, not that I'm countin'.
Yes, I know. But I was wondering if you could extend me the necessary
amount for the supplies.
Hmmm... sounds like you're plannin' on doin' a lotta work.
I won't lie to you, Loren. I am. The roof leaks; I'll need new shingles...
and a new coat of paint, and a bell --
I'd like to help you out, Reverend, you know I would. But I got
a business to run --
(no longer whispering)
I understand, but it'll only be this once --
And if goods keep goin' out without money comin' in, I'm not gonna
be in business long.
I'll pay you back.
I don't know.
This last statement was said a little louder than the Reverend had
intended. From O.S. we HEAR the baby wake with a cry. The Reverend
closes his eyes with a frustrated sigh, then looks back at Loren.
I'm sorry, Reverend. But you understand my predicament, don't you?
The Reverend, although disappointed, finally nods, as the baby CRIES
EXT. GRACE'S CAFE - DAY TWO
Preston enters and passes by Jake (who's pouring himself a cup of
coffee) as he makes his way to MYRA, who sits at a table with the
Reverend, finishing lunch. The baby carriage sits next to the table.
"Old Man" Voss isn't selling. Which means I must now turn
to my next alternative -- the hot springs.
The hot springs?
Myra, I'd like you to make a few inquiries for me...
+CLOSE ON JAKE
listening to Preston as he sips his coffee.
I want to know if any of the land near the hot springs is available
Jake turns away and starts over to:
who sits at a nearby table, watching Preston with a cold look.
He's thinkin' 'bout buyin' land by the hot springs now.
(still watching Preston)
Sounds like the Mayor needs to declare another "historical
That ain't gonna stop him. Face it -- sooner or later he's gonna
have his hotel.
An' so will I.
(looks at Jake)
Just need to find the right location.
What about expandin' the saloon?
Not enough land. I'm thinkin' 'bout somethin' bigger.
Yeah, well, if I were you, I'd stop "thinkin'" so much
and start doin' somethin' 'bout it.
Jake finishes his coffee and walks off, passing by:
+SULLY, MATTHEW, COLLEEN AND BRIAN
who sit at another table. Brian taps his pencil on a pad of paper,
trying to decide what to write.
Any ideas yet?
No. Has to be somethin' 'bout the town. And it has to be special,
'cause it's for the Founder's Day Gazette.
Lotta things been happenin' in town this year.
Got a new sheriff.
(smiles at Sully)
And a new baby on the way.
Or why don't you write somethin' 'bout the whole town, like when
that baseball team came in on the train, and how we beat 'em --
That's it! The train. Lotta things been happenin' in town 'cause
of the train. That's what I'll write about.
Brian takes his pad and hurries off, as the Reverend passes by,
pushing the baby carriage.
Dr. Mike told me 'bout your teacher friend comin' to town. If you
need a hand fixin' up the church, I'd be happy to help.
Thank you... but it's going to be difficult making repairs without
(off Sully's look)
Never seem to have much money available in the church funds.
An' when you do have money, you're always givin' it away.
A small loan here and there to help folks buy food and clothes --
It adds up. I mean, if you collected half the amount I seen you
lend folks over the years, you could buy all the supplies you need.
The Reverend absorbs this... and for a moment, his confidence is
bolstered by the prospect...
That's true... I could...
... but then his expression sinks with the realization:
But it would take too long to collect the money... and I need those
(beat, starts off)
Thanks anyway, Sully.
The Reverend goes off, pushing the carriage out of the cafe.
INT. BANK - DAY TWO
Myra's on her way out, as Hank steps up to the door. He stops her
in the doorway, whispering to her.
Myra... you find out 'bout the hot springs land yet?
How d'you know 'bout that?
Got my ways.
Well, it's confidential, Hank. I can't tell you --
Confidential? It's me you're talkin' to here --
How many loans did you make?
Hank hears this and stops short, looking across the bank to discover:
+PRESTON AND THE REVEREND
facing each other across Preston's desk, deep in discussion (neither
are aware of Hank's presence in the bank).
Oh... dozens, at least. Most of them small, food money, that sort
of thing. But they add up.
You don't have to tell me.
I'm sure I can collect on them, but it'll take time, and I need
to order supplies now, so I can have the repairs completed by the
time Reverend Thomas gets here.
Of course. But you see, Reverend, in order for me to loan you the
amount you need, I'll need proper collateral... something a little
more substantial than the mere promise of collecting on several
years' worth of handouts.
The Reverend thinks a moment... then, with a troubled look, he reaches
under his collar and takes out a small gold ring that hangs on a
band around his neck.
My mother's wedding band. Solid gold.
It's all I've got.
Preston pauses, giving the Reverend a look, trying to break the
bad news to him gently.
As I said... it's very pretty.
The Reverend gets his point. He nods, tucks the ring back into his
shirt and stands, collecting his hat before quietly walking out.
He walks right past Hank, who's watched the whole exchange, an idea
forming in his mind.
EXT. BANK - CONTINUOUS - DAY TWO
The Reverend steps out and starts off up the street. A moment later
Hank comes out and hurries to catch up with him.
Reverend. Hey, Reverend.
The Reverend stops, turns to Hank.
Wanna talk to you.
Collateral... which is somethin' you got plenty of...
The only thing of value I own is that ring, Hank.
You own the church, remember?
The Reverend suddenly freezes. This thought had never occurred to
You hold the deed to the land... which is all the collateral you
But it wouldn't be right.
Only if you don't think you can pay back the loan.
But I can pay it back. Easily. All I need is a little time.
Then what're you waitin' for?
The Reverend thinks about this... and a smile forms on his face.
You're right. Thanks, Hank.
The Reverend turns back to the bank, but Hank stops him.
Not so fast.
Hank drags him off to the side, lowering his voice.
You can't do business with Preston. You need to deal with somebody
you know, somebody who'll give you a loan with no interest...
Somebody like me.
The Reverend gives him a look.
Why would you do that?
'Cause the only thing Preston wants is to take over this town. And
we can't let him do that.
The Reverend gives this some thought as we:
INT. SALOON - NIGHT TWO
It's a quiet night at the saloon, only a few customers at the bar.
In a corner of the room, Hank and the Reverend sit across from each
other at one of the tables. The Reverend is writing something on
a piece of paper as Hank watches, all smiles.
... With the church as collateral, said amount will be given immediately,
with the duration of repayment being...
The Reverend looks to Hank.
... two months?
Hank just stares
back at him. The Reverend weakens.
Hank nods, and the Reverend writes, trying to reassure himself.
That should be enough time. I mean, there's no reason I can't collect
on the loans while I'm makin' the church repairs.
The Reverend slides the paper over to Hank, pointing to the bottom.
Just our signatures, and it's official.
Hank signs, then hands the pen back to the Reverend, who signs,
looking very confident. He then hands the paper to Hank, who produces
a small cash box. He opens it, takes out a wad of money and gives
it to the Reverend.
Here you go, Reverend. That's a hell of an offerin'.
Don't worry, Hank.
(from the heart)
I promise, I'll pay this back.
Hank just smiles as the two shake hands.
Oh, I know you will.
INT. HOMESTEAD - NIGHT TWO
COLLEEN'S in a chair by the fireplace, reading a book. Brian and
Mike are at the dinner table, both hard at work -- Brian writing
his train article for the Gazette (with a few train books open for
inspiration), and Mike cutting out material for the baby's christening
They all look up as Sully enters the room, carrying the cradle,
which is covered by a sheet.
Here it is, folks. Gather 'round.
He sets it down as everyone gathers around. He pulls the sheet off,
revealing the finished cradle.
Mike kisses Sully.
A wonderful gift.
(then, with a smile)
Just wait until you see the christening gown I'm making.
A KNOCK at the front door breaks the moment. Sully moves to it and
opens the door, revealing the Reverend, who comes in bubbling with
Reverend, what brings you out here?
Sully, is your offer to help with the church repairs still good?
Why, what's happened?
A miracle, Michaela. A miracle.
Off the Reverend's beaming face, we:
END ACT ONE
INT. GENERAL STORE - DAY THREE
Loren tallies up the bill as the Reverend, looking eager and confident,
stacks boxes of supplies on the counter and orders more from the
... Got nails, paint, brushes... oh, and shingles... enough for
the entire roof.
You'll have to order those.
(looking through catalogue)
How about window boxes? And a new stove. The old one is falling
apart. Oh, and of course...
... a new bell.
Loren just looks at him with a wary expression.
How long will it take to get here?
Few weeks, maybe.
Tell them it's urgent. I want that bell up and ringing by the time
Reverend Thomas arrives. And here...
The Reverend tosses a chunk of bills on the counter.
I believe this should cover it, including what I owe on my account.
Loren just nods, dumbstruck. The Reverend gathers up whatever supplies
he can and starts out.
I'll be back for the rest.
The Reverend stops at the door, looks back. Loren holds up the cash,
finally asking the question:
Where'd you get this?
The Lord works in mysterious ways, Loren.
And out he goes, leaving Loren even more perplexed, as we begin:
EXT. CHURCH - MORNING - BEGIN MONTAGE SEQUENCE - DAY FOUR
The sun rises in the distance as the Reverend, bubbling with energy
and excitement, helps Sully and Matthew unload lumber and building
supplies, ready to begin work on the church.
EXT. TELEGRAPH OFFICE - DAY FOUR
The Reverend, rocking the baby carriage back and forth, faces a
very sincere HORACE.
Can't believe I forgot to pay you back, Reverend. But don't you
worry, I'll have the money for you in a coupla days.
Thank you, Horace...
EXT. CHURCH - DAY FIVE
The Reverend and Sully carry the old stove out of the church and
set it down, where it promptly falls apart, sending soot billowing
into the air. The Reverend laughs as we go to:
EXT. LIVERY - DAY FIVE
where an embarrassed ROBERT E also makes a promise to the Reverend.
Sure thing, Reverend. I'll have your money by the end 'a the week.
And again, sorry 'bout lettin' it slip...[
EXT. TOWN - IN FRONT OF LIBRARY - DAY FIVE
The Reverend stands in front of the library, talking with one of
the MEN from town. The Reverend finishes making his plea, and the
man nods, assuring the Reverend he'll repay the money. The Reverend
smiles, relieved, then turns to walk away, running right into:
Brian, who is just walking out of the library carrying several (four's
a good number) train books. He drops a few of the books, and the
Reverend helps him pick them up, noticing the picture of a train
on one of the open pages.
EXT. ]BARBERSHOP - DAY FIVE
Jake, not quite as embarrassed as Robert E, gives the Reverend a
friendly pat on the back.
First thing next week, I'll pay you back. No problem...
EXT. CHURCH - DAY SIX
The Reverend scrapes paint from the walls as Sully and Matthew work
on the battening. It's hard work, but the Reverend keeps at it...
EXT. TELEGRAPH OFFICE - DAY SIX
Horace hands a few bills to the Reverend.
That's all I could pull together for now, Reverend. Things've been
kinda tight. But I'm gonna pay you back the rest, I promise.
The Reverend's smile dims a bit as we go to:[
EXT. TOWN - NEAR GENERAL STORE - DAY SIX
The Reverend walks along with the man he spoke with earlier in front
of the library... only now the man is shaking his head apologetically,
handing the Reverend a few coins.
The man walks off in another direction, leaving the Reverend staring
at the coins in his hand.
The Reverend shakes his head, disappointed, then starts off, passing
by Brian, who sits on the steps of the store, writing his train
EXT. CHURCH - DAY SEVEN
where the Reverend struggles with installing a new door. His eager,
energetic demeanor is starting to fade...
EXT. LIVERY - DAY SEVEN
The Reverend listens as Robert E also hands him a few bills with
The job I was s'posed to do fell through last minute... But I'll
get the rest 'a your money, I swear...
EXT. BARBERSHOP - DAY SEVEN
Jake breaks the seal on a brand new box of cigars. He takes one
out and sniffs it as he offers his apologies to the Reverend.
Truth be told, Reverend, I'm flat broke. But don't worry, you'll
get your money. Just gotta give me a few more days.
sighs and looks up, noticing the large clock in front of the bank,
ticking away as we go to:[
EXT. TRAIN STATION - DAY SEVEN
The Reverend, looking tired, walks past the station counting the
few coins in his hand, and not liking what they add up to. He passes
by the train, where Brian is busy talking to one of the CONDUCTORS,
making notes on a pad as he talks.]
EXT. CHURCH - DUSK - END MONTAGE SEQUENCE - DAY SEVEN
where the Reverend works diligently in the fading light, hammering
battening into place. Gone is his smile and confidence, as he takes
another nail and begins hammering with an increasing intensity...
until he bends the nail with a final blow.
Frustrated, he throws down the hammer and leans back, catching his
breath. He gazes off at the setting sun in the distance, an uneasy
look growing on his face as we:
EXT. SALOON - DAY EIGHT
Hank stands out on the porch, lighting a cigar as he stares at the
of the Reverend out front, working away in his shirt-sleeves.
+BACK TO HANK
as Jake walks up beside him.
Preston was just in the store, showin' his hotel plans to Loren.
Wants to build a road all the way out to the hot springs. _Paved_.
(turns to Jake)
Let him waste his money on a hotel in the middle 'a nowhere. Me...
(looks back at church)
... I got my eye on a piece 'a land a little more "centrally"
Jake's not sure what he means by this, and Hank isn't offering any
more. He just continues to stare at the church, watching the Reverend
EXT. JAMES' FARM - ESTABLISHING - DAY EIGHT
Once again, the Reverend's carriage is parked out front.
INT. MR. JAMES' BEDROOM - DAY EIGHT
Suzanna sets tea on the table for Mike and the Reverend, who once
again sit with Mr. James. Mike prepares another injection as the
Reverend listens to James' continuing reflection on his life...
only this time the Reverend looks somewhat preoccupied, thoughts
Summer of '53. Told my daughter I'd be home for her birthday, but,
as usual, I lost track of time and arrived home a month late.
(to Suzanna, re: tea)
Mike turns to Mr. James, ready to give the injection, but he raises
his hand, stopping her.
No. No more.
Mike nods quietly, understanding. She puts away the needle as Mr.
James looks to Suzanna, who has paused by the door.
(to Reverend and Mike, but still looking at Suzanne)
Most of her glorious childhood I spent consumed with equal parts
of selfishness and liquor.
Wish I could go back, try again, make things right.
We can't go back, Mr. James. Unfortunately, we must live with our
Mike reacts a bit quizzically to the somber tone in the Reverend's
But what's important is that we learn from them and move on.
You're right, Dr. Mike.
Just wish I coulda learned a little sooner.
The Reverend says nothing.[
EXT. CLINIC - DAY EIGHT
(Note: We should not see the church at any time in the b.g. during
Mike and the Reverend pull up in front of the clinic in the Reverend's
carriage. The Reverend climbs down and walks around to help Mike,
his expression distant, preoccupied.
Is everything all right, Reverend?
Hmmm? Of course, why do you ask?
You hardly said a word on the ride home.
(as he helps her down)
Oh... it's, it's nothing. I'm just a little... nervous about Reverend
Thomas coming to visit.
Not too much longer.
Mike reads his nervousness as he climbs back in the carriage.
Don't worry, he's going to love the church. The repairs are coming
Yes... yes they are.
(forcing a smile)
It's going to look beautiful.
And with that, the Reverend snaps the reins, pulling away. Mike
watches him go, still a bit puzzled by his mood.]
INT. HOMESTEAD - NIGHT EIGHT
Mike is hard at work on the christening gown, which features intricate
stitching. Sully is by the fire, sharpening some tanning knives.
Mike holds up the gown for him to inspect.
What do you think?
Doin' a real good job.
The smocking was the difficult part, but I think I finally got the
A moment passes as she goes back to work, then:
Sully... have you noticed the Reverend acting... differently lately?
I don't know... he seems... concerned about something.
Worries too much 'bout what his teacher's gonna think of the church.
Mike nods, stitches a little more, then:
Has he told you where he got the money for all the supplies?
Nope. Didn't ask. Figured he went an' borrowed it from Preston and
is too embarrassed to admit it.
I just hope he didn't get in over his head.
Brian comes down the stairs, brandishing his newly completed article.
Your train article?
Took me awhile, but I wanted to do it right. Studied books from
the library, even talked to one of the engineers at the station.
That's wonderful, Brian.
I had to hurry to get it done. Tomorrow's the deadline for the Founder's
Well, I'll be seeing Dorothy in the morning. Would you like me to
give it to her?
Mike takes the article and clasps it to her chest with a smile.
I'll guard it with my life.
As Mike begins reading the article...
EXT. BARBERSHOP - DAY NINE
Hank eavesdrops from the porch of the General Store as Jake and
the Reverend talk outside the barbershop. The Reverend is looking
more worried than before, and his patience is starting to wear thin.
Next week, I promise.
You said that last week.
This time it's true.
The Reverend shakes his head, not convinced.
Hey, it's been a tough month for me. Business is slow...
Slow? I waited a half-hour to get a haircut Tuesday.
Tuesday was a good day, yeah. But other than that --
Jake please. I wouldn't ask you to pay me back if it wasn't important
All right, here's what I'll do. Free haircuts for three months,
an' we'll call it even. What do you think?
You don't even have to tip me.
I don't need haircuts, Jake. I need money.
And with that, the Reverend walks off, his frustration building.
Jake watches him go, then turns to Hank, who's still watching.
What's with him?
Hank just smiles.
INT. CLINIC - DAY NINE
CLOSE ON Brian's train article, sticking out of Mike's book satchel,
which sits on her desk.
It's wonderful. Absolutely marvelous!
WIDEN TO REVEAL Dorothy, who's not talking about the article (she
doesn't even see it), but about the christening gown, which Mike
is displaying for her.
It's not quite finished. I still have a little more of the smocking
You've really outdone yourself, Michaela.
I must say, it's been somewhat consuming. But I wanted to make it
Can't get over how much your stitchin' has improved.
Do you really think so?
Of course. It's beautiful.
Mike beams with pride. Dorothy takes her by the hand.
(leading Mike out)
We gotta show this to Grace.
The two go out the door, leaving the room empty. PAN BACK to Brian's
train article, still sticking out of Mike's bag.
EXT. CAFE - DAY NINE
Dorothy and Mike stand with GRACE, at the far end of the cafe (nearest
to the road).
Grace holds up the gown, impressed.
Have you ever seen such fine work?
Where did you order this from?
I didn't order it. I made it.
You made it? Why, Dr. Mike, it's beautiful --
Mike and the women turn to see:
of the church, where Sully and Matthew are helping the Reverend,
who has just fallen from a ladder against the side wall. The Reverend
clutches his arm in pain.
+BACK TO MIKE
as she hurries over.
EXT. CHURCH - CONTINUOUS - DAY NINE
Sully and Matthew help the Reverend lean up against the wall, as
Mike and Dorothy come over. The Reverend is frustrated and angry
with himself... and driven to get back to work.
Try not to move your arm --
I'm all right. Just need to catch my breath...
Fell off the ladder, landed on his arm.
Mike bends down beside the Reverend, looking him over.
This isn't necessary...
Mike begins examining his arm, moving it gently.
Does this hurt?
(wincing in pain)
I'm fine. Really.
He struggles to stand.
I think you should come to the clinic.
I can't. I need to get back to work.
He starts to climb the ladder.
Reverend, you're in no shape to continue working --
I said I'm all right! Just leave me alone!
Mike quiets, startled by this outburst. She and Sully exchange a
look of concern as the Reverend continues climbing the ladder.
Mike watches as he resumes work, stripping old paint from the wall.
He's in a great deal of pain, but he tries not to show it, working
relentlessly as we:
END ACT TWO
INT. GENERAL STORE - DAY TEN
Brian hurries in, out of breath, and breezes past Hank, who stands
at the front counter, checking two cases of whiskey before paying
Loren. Brian continues to the back, where he steps up to Dorothy,
barely able to contain his excitement.
Is the Gazette ready?
Dorothy gives him a puzzled look.
Yes, Brian... but I didn't think you'd wanna see it.
She hands him a copy.
'Course I do. I wanna see my article.
Brian looks over the Gazette and reacts, confused.
Where is it?
Well, that's what I was wonderin' when you didn't submit one. Just
figured you didn't have time to write it.
But I did write one. It was about the train. Ma said she'd give
it to you.
I'm sorry, Brian, but she didn't give me any article.
Brian stares at the Gazette, heartbroken. Dorothy feels for him.
Listen... I've already got all the copies printed up for the Founder's
Day picnic on Sunday... but maybe I can print a few special copies
with your article in it, for you and your family.
Brian hands back the Gazette, trying very hard not to show his hurt
No. It's all right. Maybe you can print it next year.
Dorothy nods, and Brian goes out, just as Preston comes in, brandishing
a big smile.
(to Loren and Hank)
Congratulate me, gentlemen.
I've just secured the final investor for my hotel. All financial
considerations have now been met, which means all that remains is
to close the land deal, and I anticipate that happening by the end
of next week.
Will either of you be attending the ground-breaking ceremony?
I'll be busy that day.
Of course, I forgot. You're still "plannin'" your hotel.
Doin' more than plannin'. Got me a location, even drew up some designs.
Did you remember to color inside the lines?
Hank stares hard at Preston, quietly seething as he picks up his
whiskey cases and goes out.
EXT. GENERAL STORE - CONTINUOUS - DAY TEN
Hank comes out, nearly running into the Reverend, whose apprehension
now borders on desperation.
There you are. I need to talk to you.
I'm busy --
But the Reverend is already dragging Hank (with his injured arm)
around to the alley between the store and the barbershop.
The Reverend finally lets go, and Hank sets the whiskey down.
What's your problem?
Hank... I'm afraid I'm going to need more time on my loan.
A few weeks. Two, maybe. Three at the most. I've been having trouble
collecting the money I lent. I've got some of it, but for whatever
reason, people can't seem to pay it all back right now, so I'm going
to need --
Wait a minute.
(the Reverend quiets)
We got a deal, remember?
Yes, I know, but --
You signed it yourself.
I understand, Hank, and I'm sorry, but I --
No, you don't understand. A deal's a deal. And the deal says you
have 'til tomorrow at midnight to pay up.
The Reverend's desperation surfaces fully now.
Hank... the church. I can't lose the church...
Hank avoids his eyes, trying not to let the Reverend's earnest plea
get to him.
It's just a buildin'.
It means everything to me... to the people of this town --
Then pay me my money --
Hank, please --
Look, this ain't personal. It's just business. If you lose the church,
don't worry 'bout it. I'll help you out. You can come work for me
if you want.
The Reverend reacts, stung by this, but before he can reply, a SOUND
in the street catches their attention. They look over to see:
of the shiny new CHURCH BELL, arriving in the back of a wagon.
+BACK TO THE REVEREND
who steps over to the wagon as it pulls to a stop in front of the
store. He stares sadly at the bell as Loren, Dorothy and Preston
come out of the store.
(smiling with pride)
Would you look at that!
(to the Reverend)
Gonna look pretty up there in the steeple. And just in time for
the Founder's Day picnic --
Send it back.
I want to send it back.
Can't. You paid in full, remember? It's all yours.
The Reverend stares at the bell, his desperation building. Hank,
still trying to maintain his hardened facade, picks up his whiskey
cases and walks away, not looking back.
INT. HOMESTEAD - DAY TEN
Mike finishes the last stitch on the christening gown as Brian enters.
He moves past her, heading for the stairs, trying to mask his hurt
Brian, what do you think?
He stops, turns to her as she holds up the gown for his inspection.
I just finished it.
(then, noting his mood)
Is something wrong?
Mike suddenly remembers...
... and the weight of it hits her full force.
Brian, I'm so sorry...
It's all right.
No. No, it isn't. I completely forgot --
You didn't mean to.
That's no excuse. I made a promise to you...
(looks down at baby gown)
I was so caught up in making this christening gown, I lost sight
of things equally important.
(looks back at Brian)
I'm truly sorry.
It's all right, Ma. Everybody makes mistakes now an' then.
Mike nods, pulling him into a tight embrace. As she holds him:
Your train article was wonderful, Brian. Unfortunately, my train
went a little off track.
Brian gives her a smile, all sins forgiven.
EXT. CHURCH - DAY ELEVEN
Mike walks up to discover Sully in front of the church, finishing
constructing a new pulpit, which lies on its side.
Matthew is on a ladder at the side of the church, painting. He climbs
down and starts over when he sees Mike.
Where's the Reverend?
Left early this mornin', hasn't been back since.
We're supposed to ride out to the James' farm.
If I see him, I'll send him along.
Did he tell you where he was going?
Didn't say. But he looked tired. Don't think he's been gettin' much
When is Reverend Thomas arriving?
Prob'ly just nervous. Gonna be a big day for him.
No. Something else is wrong. I've never seen him act so strangely.
Sully finishes the pulpit and lifts it to a standing position.
Well, whatever's troublin' him, he don't wanna talk 'bout it.
As Mike ponders this...
INT. CHURCH - NIGHT ELEVEN
The new pulpit is now in its place on the altar. Sully works alone
in silence, finishing painting it as the Reverend enters, a distant,
dazed look on his ashen face. He's completely exhausted, his desperation
now dissolved into defeat. Sully sees him and reacts with concern.
Reverend... you all right?
I think the clock on the bank is running fast.
He steps over, checks the clock on the church wall. It reads 10:15.
The Reverend just stares sadly at it.
No. It's correct.
Where you been?
(still staring at the clock)
Still so much to do...
Reverend Thomas'll understand. You've already done enough.
The Reverend shakes his head "no."
You need to rest. Get some sleep.
It's over, Sully.
I tried collectin' the money I loaned to people...
That what's been botherin' you? The money you loaned?
I got part of it... but most are unable to pay.
So it'll take a little longer...
I can't wait any longer.
Why not? If Preston gave you the money for the supplies, I'm sure
you can work out somethin' --
Preston didn't lend me the money.
Then who did?
The Reverend looks at Sully... but he can't bring himself to tell
What does it matter?
He goes over and sits heavily in a pew, favoring his inured arm.
Please leave me alone.
Sully stands there a moment, watching the Reverend, who refuses
to meet his gaze. After a beat, Sully nods...
Pulpit's finished. Ready for church tomorrow.
... and then quietly goes out. The Reverend looks up at the pulpit,
his eyes welling with tears... until he closes them, tilting his
head back and resting it on the pew. All around him is silence,
for a long moment... until suddenly:
A CLAP OF THUNDER shatters the night, jolting us into:
INT. CHURCH - NIGHT - DREAM SEQUENCE
The lamps blow out, plunging the room into darkness as the Reverend's
eyes bolt open. Another CLAP OF THUNDER, and a FLASH OF LIGHTNING,
illuminating the Reverend's look of confusion and fear. From outside,
we HEAR hoof beats drawing closer.
Lured by them, the Reverend stands and moves to the door.
EXT. CHURCH - CONTINUOUS - DREAM SEQUENCE
The Reverend steps out into the eerie night. A thick mist hangs
on the ground, and through it, the SOUND of hoof beats grows louder...
The Reverend watches with growing fear... and then he sees it:
through the mist, a dark form emerges, heading straight for the
church -- a FUNERAL HEARSE, drawn by a team of black horses. At
the reins is a figure cloaked in a dark, ominous robe -- the GRIM
+CLOSE ON THE REVEREND
watching, a look of horror blanketing his face as:
draws closer, pulling to a stop in front of the church. The Reaper,
his face still shrouded by his robe, points a bony finger at the
coffin in the hearse. The coffin's lid slowly CREAKS open, revealing
that it's empty... and waiting.
The Reverend turns to run back into the church, but the door suddenly
slams shut. The Reverend struggles with the door knob, but it's
no use -- he's locked out. He casts a frantic look back at:
who reaches up and pulls back his cloak, revealing -- Hank. He smiles
and extends his hand as another CLAP OF THUNDER rips through the
night, taking us back to:
INT. CHURCH - AS BEFORE - NIGHT ELEVEN
as the Reverend bolts upright, waking from his dream. He turns to
the window, sees it's now raining outside. LIGHTNING FLASHES, startling
him. And then he remembers something...
He stands, moves to the clock on the wall. It reads: 12:05.
The Reverend's expression sinks back into despair as Mike and Sully
come in. Mike looks shaken, visibly upset by something.
Michaela, Sully. What're you doing here?
Mike pauses, a difficult moment for her.
I was supposed to meet you. Michaela, I'm sorry, I forgot --
He died this evening.
The news hits the Reverend very hard. He stands there, trying to
absorb the shock.
About an hour ago. I'm sorry.
(quietly, to himself)
I wasn't there...
Mike sees the bad shape the Reverend is in and moves to him.
Reverend... we'd like you to come stay with us tonight...
The Reverend turns away, ashamed, his whole world crashing down
I wasn't there...
And for what?
(gestures to the new stove)
And now I've lost it.
(quietly, to himself)
A fitting punishment.
Mike sits beside him.
Reverend, what're you talking about?
(after a beat)
I borrowed money from Hank. And as of midnight, the church belongs
Mike and Sully exchange a stunned look as we:
END OF ACT THREE
INT. SALOON - DAY TWELVE
Hank happily supervises as TWO PROSTITUTES paint several signs reading,
"NO TRESPASSING!" "UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP," and
"HANK LAWSON, PROPRIETOR."
Big letters, so people can see from a distance.
The door swings open, and several of the town's men, including Matthew,
Loren, Jake, Horace, Robert E and Preston come in.
Hank, what's goin' on?
What do you mean, Sheriff?
There's a rumor spreadin' 'round town that you now own the church.
Ain't a rumor, Loren.
Hank points to the "UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP" sign.
You can't own the church!
Better go talk to the Reverend 'bout that. But you better do it
quick, 'cause soon's as I'm done makin' these signs, no one's gonna
be allowed on the property...
Hank gives Preston a triumphant smile.
... That is, until my hotel opens.
Off Preston's look of concern...
INT. CHURCH - DAY TWELVE
The Reverend, now dressed in civilian clothes, slowly packs his
belongings, (favoring his injured arm) including various church
items (hymnals, candles, etc.), as he faces the men from the previous
scene, now joined by Dorothy, Myra and Grace.
How could you be so stupid?
You took out a loan from Hank?
Tell us it isn't true.
I'm sure there's an explanation for it... isn't there, Reverend?
The Reverend stops packing, looks at them. He's a broken man, resigned
to his fate.
I let you all down.
All I can say is... I'm sorry.
Sorry ain't good enough! You got no right, gamblin' away the church
Once a gambler, always a gambler.
Why'd you do it, Reverend?
This church belongs to everybody.
Belongs to the whole town!
And you call yourself a man of God.
The Reverend looks at them, fighting his resurgent emotions.
INT. CLINIC - DAY TWELVE
Sully and Brian enter to find Mike seated at her desk, a troubled
look on her face.
Everybody's at the church. They're pretty upset with the Reverend.
Mike just nods.
He could sure use our help right now.
I understand how they feel, Sully. They have every reason to be
(off his look)
He made a business deal that cost this town the church. Our church.
He didn't mean for that to happen.
But it did --
He made a mistake --
A big mistake. That church is a symbol, a beacon of hope. How could
he allow this to happen?
Maybe his train went a little off track.
Mike turns to Brian, feeling the weight of her words thrown back
INT. CHURCH - DAY TWELVE
The Reverend is alone now. With his boxes nearly packed, he pauses
at the piano, running his hand lightly along the keys. As he sits,
deep in thought, he discovers Mike standing just inside the door,
gazing at the bare church with a sad expression. They exchange a
quiet look, then:
Where will you go?
I don't know.
I've packed up all the church belongings to give to the town. Can
I leave them with you?
Mike nods, then hesitates a moment, seeing the pain in his eyes.
You... don't have to leave. We can help you get back on your feet.
If you need money --
No. Thank you, Michaela, but I can't stay here.
The townspeople are angry now. But in time, they'll forgive you,
I'm certain of it.
(after a beat)
Not after this.
The Reverend stands, resumes packing.
My time is up here. I'll be leaving on the afternoon train.
Mike just stands there in silence, watching the Reverend pack, feeling
a deep sadness for her friend.
EXT. GENERAL STORE - DAY TWELVE
A crowd has gathered in front of the store, where Jake, as mayor,
is holding an impromptu town meeting. Mike, Sully, Matthew, Colleen
and Brian are here, along with Loren, Dorothy, Robert E, Grace,
Horace, Myra and Preston.
We're cancellin' the Founder's Day picnic?
'Course we are, Horace. Can't rightly have a picnic in front of
the church after what the Reverend did.
We got other business to tend to, first. Like figurin' out how we're
gonna start another church.
An' who's gonna run it.
Just have to put out a call for another Reverend.
This town already has a Reverend... One who needs us as much as
we need him.
Haven't you been listenin', Dr. Mike? The Reverend's leavin' town.
He's givin' up the callin'.
Not if we don't let him.
After what he did, he can't leave town soon enough.
Others chime their agreement. Mike speaks above the noise, quieting
them, appealing to them.
I know what he did was wrong. And I know you're all angry with him.
(a glance to Brian)
I was, too.
(back to the town)
I was offended... and hurt... because all this time, I thought our
Reverend was incapable of making mistakes. I took him for granted.
(also to the crowd)
Part of the reason he lost the church is 'cause others took him
for granted, too, didn't pay him back the money he lent 'em.
Horace, Robert E and Jake (among others) react to this, suddenly
Think about it. He was always the first to offer help when we needed
Myra glances down at the baby carriage.
... and he was always the first to forgive us when we made mistakes.
Now we have a chance to forgive as well. Not for the sake of the
church, or the town... but for our friend.
The townsfolk are silent.
EXT. CHURCH - DAY TWELVE
The church is now fully painted bright white, gleaming in the afternoon
sun. Hank is hard at work, (with a few PROSTITUTES assisting him)
finishing putting up his many "NO TRESPASSING" signs around
the property. He steps up to the front door, preparing to hang his
final sign, the one reading, "HANK LAWSON, PROPRIETOR."
But before he hangs it, he hesitates, staring up at the church...
and for a moment, a troubled look crosses his face.
Now's your chance, Hank.
Hank turns around to discover Mike standing behind him, alone.
Chance for what?
To do something right.
To give the Reverend more time to finish paying back the loan.
Deal's already done, Michaela.
But you can undo it. He's already paid back part of the money --
Part of it. Not all. Look, nobody put a gun to his head. The Reverend
knew what he was gettin' himself into.
Yes. But he made the assumption people would treat him the same
way he treated them.
This quiets Hank for a moment. Then:
Yeah, well... can't trust no one these days. Now if you don't mind...
I got work to do.
(turns back to the church)
Gonna make sure my hotel opens 'fore Preston's.
Is that what this is about? You're in such a hurry to be the first
to open a hotel, you're willing to ruin a man's life --
Mike stops short as the door opens, and out steps the Reverend,
suitcases in hand. Seeing the look of shame and defeat on the Reverend's
face clearly affects Hank, but he tries not to show it.
The two exchange a quick glance, then the Reverend steps past Hank,
heading off. But he suddenly stops, seeing something up ahead.
+ANGLE ON BRIDGE
where Matthew *approaches with a kindly old man, REVEREND THOMAS,
and his AIDE. In the distance, we HEAR the train whistle blow. The
Reverend sees his teacher and reacts, ashamed.
Reverend Thomas notices one of the "NO TRESPASSING" signs
not far away and turns back to the Reverend, confused.
What's going on here?
The Reverend looks from Reverend Thomas to Mike to Hank... and then
back to Reverend Thomas. He takes a deep breath, then begins his
most difficult confession.
I, uh... wanted to fix up the church for your visit... and so I
made a deal... with Hank here...
Hank watches with growing uneasiness as the Reverend pauses.
... He gave me a loan... that, unfortunately, I was unable to pay,
so as a result --
I gave him an extension on it.
The Reverend pauses, not quite sure if he heard what he just heard.
He looks to Hank, who is not at all pleased about doing this...
One more month.
The Reverend is stunned. Mike gives Hank a smile, but he avoids
her look as he starts to walk away. The Reverend calls to him, still
(as Hank stops, looks back)
I don't deserve it.
The Reverend turns to Mike.
I wasn't there for my congregation. I abandoned them when they needed
The Reverend looks to see Mr. James' daughter, Suzanna, walking
up, dressed in black. She is somber, in mourning, but at peace with
her father's passing. Coming up behind her are several of the townsfolk,
including all our regulars.
Suzanna... I -- I'm sorry...
Suzanna steps close to him, giving him a warm, gentle smile.
My father's last words were to thank you for helping him find his
way after a lifetime of wandering. And he wanted you to have this...
She reaches into her bag and takes out the ornate pocketwatch that
Mr. James showed the Reverend earlier. The Reverend stares down
at it, stunned.
He said his time is finished... but yours is still ticking...
As she places the watch in the Reverend's hand:
Still time to make a difference.
Reverend takes the watch, visibly moved.
+ANGLE ON BRIAN AND COLLEEN
watching off to the side, touched by this.
+BACK TO SCENE
as Hank steps over to the Reverend and looks at the watch, impressed
by the quality.
Looks like that's worth some money.
No, Hank. It's far too valuable.
Don't worry, Hank, you'll get the rest of your money.
Yeah, from who?
Hank turns to Dorothy and the townsfolk.
All of us.
The Reverend reacts, touched, as the people step close to him.
Will you stay, Reverend?
Fact is, we need you.
S'pose the town wouldn't be the same without you.
The Reverend looks at them... and nods, a smile of great relief
forming on his face.
Hank, looking disgruntled, starts off, but then pauses when he notices
someone watching him. It's Preston, standing nearby, giving him
a big smile. Hank just grumbles and continues toward the saloon.
As he passes by Mike:
You did the right thing, Hank.
Don't let it get around.
+ON THE REVEREND
as everyone gathers around him, showering him with hugs and pats
on the back. He turns to see Reverend Thomas watching him, smiling.
I'm proud of you, Timothy. You've learned well. It's not the building,
it's the people who are the church.
The Reverend looks at all the townsfolk surrounding him, then turns
back to Reverend Thomas, nodding with a smile.
Speaking of which... it's Sunday. What do you say we have our service?
That's a wonderful idea.
But before anyone can go inside, Sully comes out the front door
of the church, all smiles.
The last of the repairs.
And with that, he points up to:
where the shiny new bell hangs, glistening in the sunlight.
+BACK TO THE REVEREND
speechless, as Sully hands him the bell cord.
Go on. Let her ring.
The Reverend pulls the cord, and the bell RINGS loud and strong,
filling the town and echoing throughout the valley as we slowly:
END OF ACT FOUR