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DEAL WITH THE DEVIL
Written by Nancy Bond / Directed by Bobby Roth

TEASER
FADE IN:
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.
DOROTHY
Here you go, Brian. First copy, hot off the press.
Brian looks over the Gazette, suitably impressed, as Dorothy goes back to work.
BRIAN
How do you think up all this stuff to write about?
DOROTHY
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.
BRIAN
Well, if you ever need a hand, maybe I could help you out.
Dorothy stops working, turns to him.
DOROTHY
Tell you what. You can help me by writin' an article for the special Founder's Day Gazette next month.
BRIAN
Really?
DOROTHY
I'm askin' for contributions from townsfolk to write somethin' about the town.
BRIAN
Like what?
DOROTHY
That's for you to decide.
(back to the press)
But only if you want to.
BRIAN
I do. I mean, I don't know what I'll write about, yet...
(smiles)
... 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.
LOREN
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.
LOREN
White. White. White.
(brightening)
Ah, blue. Perfect for a baby cradle.
SULLY
What if the baby's a girl?
LOREN
(smile fades)
Girl...
(beat)
How 'bout white?
SULLY
(to Mike)
How 'bout just stainin' the wood 'stead a paintin' it?
LOREN
(brightening again)
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.
DOROTHY
Cradle just about finished?
MIKE
Sully's so excited. He's been working very hard on it.
Dorothy notices the wistful expression on Mike's face.
DOROTHY
Somethin' on your mind, Michaela?
MIKE
Oh, no, it's just... Sully's made this wonderful gift for our child... and I haven't made a thing.
DOROTHY
Still got plenty 'a time.
Mike turns to her, realizing this to be true.
MIKE
You're right. I do.
(determination building)
I'll make something on my own for the baby... a special gift.
BRIAN
Like what?
MIKE
I don't know yet...
(smiles)
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.
PRESTON
The storehouse. The one between the bank and the train station.
JAKE
What about it?
PRESTON
I'm asking if you know who owns it.
JAKE
Old Man Voss, I think. Why?
HANK
Thinkin' 'a buyin' it?
Mike pauses to hear his answer, but before Preston can reply, he sees Mike and tips his hat to her.
PRESTON
Michaela.
MIKE
Are you still trying to build that hotel?
PRESTON
You should know by now that I don't give up very easily.
HANK
Neither do I.
Preston looks back at Hank, a bit puzzled.
PRESTON
I'm sorry, Hank, are you attempting to make a point?
HANK
I'm sayin' I'm still plannin' on buildin' my hotel, too.
PRESTON
Oh, yes. Of course you are.
(laughs)
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.
HANK
(to himself)
Keep laughin', banker.
(to Jake)
Gonna build me the biggest hotel outside 'a Denver... and I'm gonna open it 'fore Preston even hammers a nail.
JAKE
How you plan on doin' that?
HANK
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.
MIKE
All set to ride out to the James' farm?
REVEREND
Look at it, Michaela. The paint's peeling. The roof leaks. And that bell. It's been broken for two years now.
(beat)
How could I let this happen?
Mike sees the telegram the Reverend holds and sits beside him.
MIKE
Is something wrong?
REVEREND
(re: telegram)
It's from Reverend Thomas.
MIKE
Your seminary instructor?
REVEREND
He's coming in a month for a visit.
MIKE
That's wonderful.
(noting the Reverend's mood)
Isn't it?
The Reverend nods quietly, then:
REVEREND
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 valley.
The Reverend gazes again up at the bell in the church. It's rusted and worn and ready to fall apart.
REVEREND
And now he'll see this.
MIKE
You said he's not coming for a month. Which means you still have time to fix up the church.
REVEREND
But how? Look at it. It needs too much work, and church funds are low.
(beat)
What I need is a miracle.
Mike gives him an encouraging look.
MIKE
I know you, Reverend. You'll find a way to make one happen.
The Reverend smiles at her, bolstered.
REVEREND
You're right. Instead of complaining, I should be doing something about it. And I will.
He stands, summoning his determination.
REVEREND
I don't know how, but with God's help...
(big smile)
... I'll think of something.
The Reverend and Mike smile hopefully up at the church as we:
FADE OUT.
END TEASER

ACT ONE
FADE IN:
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.
MR. JAMES
... 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.
MIKE
Deep breath.
Mr. James inhales and coughs as Mike listens with her stethoscope. She then begins gently palpating his liver, not liking what she discovers.
MIKE
Is the pain worse?
MR. JAMES
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.
MR. JAMES
Hear that, Reverend? Tickin' away on a life of indiscretion.
REVEREND
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.
MR. JAMES
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.
REVEREND
What happened?
MR. JAMES
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 injection.
MIKE
The morphine should help you rest. If the pain increases, I can raise the dosage.
(an encouraging look)
I'll see you on Thursday.
MR. JAMES
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.
MR. JAMES
Will you come, too?
REVEREND
Of course. You can count on it.
Mr. James nods, managing a weary smile.
MR. JAMES
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.
DISSOLVE TO:
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.
DOROTHY
How 'bout a quilt? You can hand-stitch it yourself, nestle the baby in it.
Mike nods, considering this, as the Reverend comes in, pushing a baby carriage.
REVEREND
(hushed voice)
Mornin', everyone.
Loren comes over, giving the Reverend and the carriage a curious look.
LOREN
Somethin' you need to tell us, Reverend?
At first, the Reverend is a bit confused, but then he looks down at the baby carriage.
REVEREND
(whispering)
It's Samantha, Loren... I'm doin' a favor for Horace and Myra, helpin' 'em out with the baby twice a week now.
DOROTHY
(hushed voice)
Why're you whisperin'?
REVEREND
I finally got her to sleep. Don't want to wake her.
The others take the cue and lower their voices as well.
LOREN
That reminds me. Myra ordered a new gown for her. Just came in. You mind givin' it to her?
REVEREND
Not at all.
As Loren moves to fetch the package, Mike gets an idea:
MIKE
A gown... that's it...
(coming to her)
I'll make a christening gown for the baby.
DOROTHY
A christenin' gown. That sounds wonderful, Michaela.
(starting off)
Let's get the pattern books.
The two move off as Loren hands the Reverend the packaged gown.
LOREN
Here you go.
REVEREND
Thanks...
The Reverend pauses, a bit uneasy. Something's on his mind.
REVEREND
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.
LOREN
(knows where this is going)
Several... items...
REVEREND
I know my account is quite high at the moment...
LOREN
Month and eight days past due, not that I'm countin'.
REVEREND
Yes, I know. But I was wondering if you could extend me the necessary amount for the supplies.
LOREN
Hmmm... sounds like you're plannin' on doin' a lotta work.
REVEREND
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 --
LOREN
(sincere)
I'd like to help you out, Reverend, you know I would. But I got a business to run --
REVEREND
(no longer whispering)
I understand, but it'll only be this once --
LOREN
(continuing)
And if goods keep goin' out without money comin' in, I'm not gonna be in business long.
REVEREND
I'll pay you back.
LOREN
When?
REVEREND
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.
LOREN
I'm sorry, Reverend. But you understand my predicament, don't you?
The Reverend, although disappointed, finally nods, as the baby CRIES louder.
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.
PRESTON
(to Myra)
"Old Man" Voss isn't selling. Which means I must now turn to my next alternative -- the hot springs.
MYRA
The hot springs?
PRESTON
Myra, I'd like you to make a few inquiries for me...
+CLOSE ON JAKE
listening to Preston as he sips his coffee.
PRESTON (O.S.)
(continuing)
I want to know if any of the land near the hot springs is available for purchase...
Jake turns away and starts over to:
+HANK
who sits at a nearby table, watching Preston with a cold look.
JAKE
He's thinkin' 'bout buyin' land by the hot springs now.
HANK
(still watching Preston)
Sounds like the Mayor needs to declare another "historical landmark."
JAKE
That ain't gonna stop him. Face it -- sooner or later he's gonna have his hotel.
HANK
An' so will I.
(looks at Jake)
Just need to find the right location.
JAKE
What about expandin' the saloon?
HANK
Not enough land. I'm thinkin' 'bout somethin' bigger.
JAKE
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.
SULLY
Any ideas yet?
BRIAN
No. Has to be somethin' 'bout the town. And it has to be special, 'cause it's for the Founder's Day Gazette.
MATTHEW
Lotta things been happenin' in town this year.
SULLY
Got a new sheriff.
COLLEEN
(smiles at Sully)
And a new baby on the way.
MATTHEW
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 --
BRIAN
That's it! The train. Lotta things been happenin' in town 'cause of the train. That's what I'll write about.
SULLY
Sounds good.
Brian takes his pad and hurries off, as the Reverend passes by, pushing the baby carriage.
SULLY
Reverend...
REVEREND
(stopping)
Afternoon, folks.
SULLY
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.
MATTHEW
Me too.
REVEREND
Thank you... but it's going to be difficult making repairs without any supplies.
(off Sully's look)
Never seem to have much money available in the church funds.
SULLY
(smiles)
An' when you do have money, you're always givin' it away.
REVEREND
A small loan here and there to help folks buy food and clothes --
SULLY
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...
REVEREND
That's true... I could...
... but then his expression sinks with the realization:
REVEREND
But it would take too long to collect the money... and I need those supplies now.
(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.
HANK
Myra... you find out 'bout the hot springs land yet?
MYRA
(whispering back)
How d'you know 'bout that?
HANK
Got my ways.
MYRA
Well, it's confidential, Hank. I can't tell you --
HANK
Confidential? It's me you're talkin' to here --
PRESTON (O.S.)
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).
REVEREND
Oh... dozens, at least. Most of them small, food money, that sort of thing. But they add up.
PRESTON
(chuckling)
You don't have to tell me.
REVEREND
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.
PRESTON
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.
REVEREND
My mother's wedding band. Solid gold.
PRESTON
Very pretty.
REVEREND
It's all I've got.
Preston pauses, giving the Reverend a look, trying to break the bad news to him gently.
PRESTON
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.
HANK
Reverend. Hey, Reverend.
The Reverend stops, turns to Hank.
HANK
Wanna talk to you.
REVEREND
About what?
HANK
Collateral... which is somethin' you got plenty of...
REVEREND
The only thing of value I own is that ring, Hank.
HANK
You own the church, remember?
The Reverend suddenly freezes. This thought had never occurred to him.
HANK
You hold the deed to the land... which is all the collateral you need.
REVEREND
The church...
(beat)
But it wouldn't be right.
HANK
Only if you don't think you can pay back the loan.
REVEREND
But I can pay it back. Easily. All I need is a little time.
HANK
Then what're you waitin' for?
The Reverend thinks about this... and a smile forms on his face.
REVEREND
You're right. Thanks, Hank.
The Reverend turns back to the bank, but Hank stops him.
HANK
Not so fast.
Hank drags him off to the side, lowering his voice.
HANK
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...
(leans closer)
Somebody like me.
The Reverend gives him a look.
REVEREND
Why would you do that?
HANK
'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:
CUT TO:
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.
REVEREND
... With the church as collateral, said amount will be given immediately, with the duration of repayment being...
The Reverend looks to Hank.
REVEREND
... two months?

Hank just stares back at him. The Reverend weakens.
REVEREND
One month?
Hank nods, and the Reverend writes, trying to reassure himself.
REVEREND
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.
REVEREND
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.
HANK
Here you go, Reverend. That's a hell of an offerin'.
REVEREND
Don't worry, Hank.
(from the heart)
I promise, I'll pay this back.
Hank just smiles as the two shake hands.
HANK
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 gown.
They all look up as Sully enters the room, carrying the cradle, which is covered by a sheet.
SULLY
Here it is, folks. Gather 'round.
He sets it down as everyone gathers around. He pulls the sheet off, revealing the finished cradle.
COLLEEN
It's beautiful.
Mike kisses Sully.
MIKE
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 excitement.
REVEREND
Evenin' everyone.
SULLY
Reverend, what brings you out here?
REVEREND
Sully, is your offer to help with the church repairs still good?
SULLY
Sure.
MIKE
Why, what's happened?
REVEREND
(big smile)
A miracle, Michaela. A miracle.
Off the Reverend's beaming face, we:
FADE OUT.
END ACT ONE

ACT TWO
FADE IN:
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 catalogue.
REVEREND
... Got nails, paint, brushes... oh, and shingles... enough for the entire roof.
LOREN
You'll have to order those.
REVEREND
All right.
(looking through catalogue)
How about window boxes? And a new stove. The old one is falling apart. Oh, and of course...
(big smile)
... a new bell.
Loren just looks at him with a wary expression.
REVEREND
How long will it take to get here?
LOREN
Few weeks, maybe.
REVEREND
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.
REVEREND
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.
REVEREND
I'll be back for the rest.
LOREN
Wait...
The Reverend stops at the door, looks back. Loren holds up the cash, finally asking the question:
LOREN
Where'd you get this?
REVEREND
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.
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.
REVEREND
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.
ROBERT E
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.
JAKE
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.
HORACE
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 article.]
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 his apologies.
ROBERT E
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.
JAKE
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.

The Reverend 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:
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. SALOON - DAY EIGHT
Hank stands out on the porch, lighting a cigar as he stares at the church.
+HIS POV
of the Reverend out front, working away in his shirt-sleeves.
+BACK TO HANK
as Jake walks up beside him.
JAKE
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_.
HANK
(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" located.
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 work.
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 elsewhere.
MR. JAMES
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.
MIKE
(to Suzanna, re: tea)
Thank you.
Mike turns to Mr. James, ready to give the injection, but he raises his hand, stopping her.
MR. JAMES
(softly)
No. No more.
Mike nods quietly, understanding. She puts away the needle as Mr. James looks to Suzanna, who has paused by the door.
MR. JAMES
(to Reverend and Mike, but still looking at Suzanne)
Most of her glorious childhood I spent consumed with equal parts of selfishness and liquor.
(beat)
Wish I could go back, try again, make things right.
REVEREND
We can't go back, Mr. James. Unfortunately, we must live with our mistakes.
Mike reacts a bit quizzically to the somber tone in the Reverend's voice.
MIKE
But what's important is that we learn from them and move on.
MR. JAMES
You're right, Dr. Mike.
(beat)
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 this scene.)
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.
MIKE
Is everything all right, Reverend?
REVEREND
Hmmm? Of course, why do you ask?
MIKE
You hardly said a word on the ride home.
REVEREND
(as he helps her down)
Oh... it's, it's nothing. I'm just a little... nervous about Reverend Thomas coming to visit.
MIKE
Not too much longer.
REVEREND
Five days.
Mike reads his nervousness as he climbs back in the carriage.
MIKE
Don't worry, he's going to love the church. The repairs are coming along nicely.
REVEREND
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.
MIKE
What do you think?
SULLY
Doin' a real good job.
MIKE
The smocking was the difficult part, but I think I finally got the knack.
A moment passes as she goes back to work, then:
MIKE
Sully... have you noticed the Reverend acting... differently lately?
SULLY
Different?
MIKE
I don't know... he seems... concerned about something.
SULLY
Worries too much 'bout what his teacher's gonna think of the church.
Mike nods, stitches a little more, then:
MIKE
Has he told you where he got the money for all the supplies?
SULLY
Nope. Didn't ask. Figured he went an' borrowed it from Preston and is too embarrassed to admit it.
MIKE
I just hope he didn't get in over his head.
Brian comes down the stairs, brandishing his newly completed article.
BRIAN
Finished.
SULLY
Your train article?
BRIAN
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.
MIKE
That's wonderful, Brian.
BRIAN
I had to hurry to get it done. Tomorrow's the deadline for the Founder's Day Gazette.
MIKE
Well, I'll be seeing Dorothy in the morning. Would you like me to give it to her?
BRIAN
Sure.
Mike takes the article and clasps it to her chest with a smile.
MIKE
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.
JAKE
Next week, I promise.
REVEREND
You said that last week.
JAKE
This time it's true.
The Reverend shakes his head, not convinced.
JAKE
Hey, it's been a tough month for me. Business is slow...
REVEREND
Slow? I waited a half-hour to get a haircut Tuesday.
JAKE
Tuesday was a good day, yeah. But other than that --
REVEREND
Jake please. I wouldn't ask you to pay me back if it wasn't important --
JAKE
All right, here's what I'll do. Free haircuts for three months, an' we'll call it even. What do you think?
(smiles)
You don't even have to tip me.
REVEREND
(losing patience)
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.
JAKE
What's with him?
Hank just smiles.
HANK
Got me.
INT. CLINIC - DAY NINE
CLOSE ON Brian's train article, sticking out of Mike's book satchel, which sits on her desk.
DOROTHY (O.S.)
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.
MIKE
It's not quite finished. I still have a little more of the smocking to complete.
DOROTHY
You've really outdone yourself, Michaela.
MIKE
I must say, it's been somewhat consuming. But I wanted to make it special.
DOROTHY
Can't get over how much your stitchin' has improved.
MIKE
Do you really think so?
DOROTHY
Of course. It's beautiful.
Mike beams with pride. Dorothy takes her by the hand.
DOROTHY
Come on...
(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.
DOROTHY
Have you ever seen such fine work?
GRACE
Where did you order this from?
MIKE
(pleased)
I didn't order it. I made it.
GRACE
You made it? Why, Dr. Mike, it's beautiful --
MATTHEW (O.S.)
(calling)
Dr. Mike!
Mike and the women turn to see:
+THEIR POV
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.
MATTHEW
Try not to move your arm --
REVEREND
I'm all right. Just need to catch my breath...
MIKE
What happened?
SULLY
Fell off the ladder, landed on his arm.
Mike bends down beside the Reverend, looking him over.
REVEREND
This isn't necessary...
Mike begins examining his arm, moving it gently.
MIKE
Does this hurt?
REVEREND
(wincing in pain)
I'm fine. Really.
He struggles to stand.
MIKE
I think you should come to the clinic.
REVEREND
I can't. I need to get back to work.
He starts to climb the ladder.
MIKE
Reverend, you're in no shape to continue working --
REVEREND
(suddenly snapping)
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:
FADE OUT.
END ACT TWO

ACT THREE
FADE IN:
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.
BRIAN
Is the Gazette ready?
Dorothy gives him a puzzled look.
DOROTHY
Yes, Brian... but I didn't think you'd wanna see it.
She hands him a copy.
BRIAN
'Course I do. I wanna see my article.
DOROTHY
What article?
Brian looks over the Gazette and reacts, confused.
BRIAN
Where is it?
DOROTHY
Well, that's what I was wonderin' when you didn't submit one. Just figured you didn't have time to write it.
BRIAN
But I did write one. It was about the train. Ma said she'd give it to you.
DOROTHY
I'm sorry, Brian, but she didn't give me any article.
Brian stares at the Gazette, heartbroken. Dorothy feels for him.
DOROTHY
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 feelings.
BRIAN
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.
PRESTON
(to Loren and Hank)
Congratulate me, gentlemen.
LOREN
Why?
PRESTON
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.
(smiles)
Will either of you be attending the ground-breaking ceremony?
HANK
I'll be busy that day.
PRESTON
Of course, I forgot. You're still "plannin'" your hotel.
HANK
Doin' more than plannin'. Got me a location, even drew up some designs.
PRESTON
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.
REVEREND
There you are. I need to talk to you.
HANK
I'm busy --
But the Reverend is already dragging Hank (with his injured arm) around to the alley between the store and the barbershop.
HANK
Hey, easy...
The Reverend finally lets go, and Hank sets the whiskey down.
HANK
What's your problem?
REVEREND
(difficult)
Hank... I'm afraid I'm going to need more time on my loan.
HANK
What?
REVEREND
(fast)
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 --
HANK
Wait a minute.
(the Reverend quiets)
We got a deal, remember?
REVEREND
Yes, I know, but --
HANK
You signed it yourself.
REVEREND
I understand, Hank, and I'm sorry, but I --
HANK
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.
REVEREND
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.
HANK
It's just a buildin'.
REVEREND
It means everything to me... to the people of this town --
HANK
Then pay me my money --
REVEREND
Hank, please --
HANK
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:
+THEIR POV
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.
LOREN
(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 --
REVEREND
Send it back.
LOREN
What?
REVEREND
I want to send it back.
LOREN
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 feelings.
MIKE
Brian, what do you think?
He stops, turns to her as she holds up the gown for his inspection.
MIKE
I just finished it.
BRIAN
It's pretty.
MIKE
Thank you.
(then, noting his mood)
Is something wrong?
BRIAN
No.
Mike suddenly remembers...
MIKE
Your article.
... and the weight of it hits her full force.
MIKE
Brian, I'm so sorry...
BRIAN
It's all right.
MIKE
(coming over)
No. No, it isn't. I completely forgot --
BRIAN
You didn't mean to.
MIKE
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.
BRIAN
It's all right, Ma. Everybody makes mistakes now an' then.
Mike nods, pulling him into a tight embrace. As she holds him:
MIKE
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.
MIKE
Where's the Reverend?
SULLY
Left early this mornin', hasn't been back since.
MIKE
We're supposed to ride out to the James' farm.
SULLY
If I see him, I'll send him along.
MIKE
Did he tell you where he was going?
SULLY
Didn't say. But he looked tired. Don't think he's been gettin' much sleep.
MIKE
When is Reverend Thomas arriving?
SULLY
Tomorrow...
MATTHEW
Prob'ly just nervous. Gonna be a big day for him.
MIKE
No. Something else is wrong. I've never seen him act so strangely.
Sully finishes the pulpit and lifts it to a standing position.
SULLY
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.
SULLY
Reverend... you all right?
REVEREND
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.
REVEREND
No. It's correct.
SULLY
Where you been?
REVEREND
(still staring at the clock)
Still so much to do...
SULLY
Reverend Thomas'll understand. You've already done enough.
The Reverend shakes his head "no."
SULLY
You need to rest. Get some sleep.
REVEREND
(quiet)
It's over, Sully.
SULLY
What is?
REVEREND
I tried collectin' the money I loaned to people...
SULLY
That what's been botherin' you? The money you loaned?
REVEREND
I got part of it... but most are unable to pay.
SULLY
So it'll take a little longer...
REVEREND
I can't wait any longer.
SULLY
Why not? If Preston gave you the money for the supplies, I'm sure you can work out somethin' --
REVEREND
Preston didn't lend me the money.
SULLY
Then who did?
The Reverend looks at Sully... but he can't bring himself to tell him.
REVEREND
What does it matter?
He goes over and sits heavily in a pew, favoring his inured arm.
SULLY
Reverend --
REVEREND
(quietly)
Please leave me alone.
Sully stands there a moment, watching the Reverend, who refuses to meet his gaze. After a beat, Sully nods...
SULLY
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... coming closer.
The Reverend watches with growing fear... and then he sees it:
+REVEREND'S POV
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 REAPER himself.
+CLOSE ON THE REVEREND
watching, a look of horror blanketing his face as:
+THE HEARSE
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:
+THE REAPER
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.
MIKE
Reverend...
REVEREND
Michaela, Sully. What're you doing here?
Mike pauses, a difficult moment for her.
MIKE
Mr. James...
REVEREND
(suddenly remembering)
I was supposed to meet you. Michaela, I'm sorry, I forgot --
MIKE
He died this evening.
The news hits the Reverend very hard. He stands there, trying to absorb the shock.
MIKE
About an hour ago. I'm sorry.
REVEREND
(quietly, to himself)
I wasn't there...
Mike sees the bad shape the Reverend is in and moves to him.
MIKE
Reverend... we'd like you to come stay with us tonight...
The Reverend turns away, ashamed, his whole world crashing down around him.
REVEREND
I wasn't there...
(beat)
And for what?
(gestures to the new stove)
For this.
(to Mike)
And now I've lost it.
MIKE
Lost it?
REVEREND
(quietly, to himself)
A fitting punishment.
Mike sits beside him.
MIKE
Reverend, what're you talking about?
REVEREND
(after a beat)
I borrowed money from Hank. And as of midnight, the church belongs to him.
Mike and Sully exchange a stunned look as we:
FADE OUT.
END OF ACT THREE

ACT FOUR
FADE IN:
INT. SALOON - DAY TWELVE
Hank happily supervises as TWO PROSTITUTES paint several signs reading, "NO TRESPASSING!" "UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP," and "HANK LAWSON, PROPRIETOR."
HANK
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.
MATTHEW
Hank, what's goin' on?
HANK
What do you mean, Sheriff?
LOREN
There's a rumor spreadin' 'round town that you now own the church.
HANK
Ain't a rumor, Loren.
Hank points to the "UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP" sign.
ROBERT E
You can't own the church!
HANK
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.
HANK
... 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.
JAKE
How could you be so stupid?
PRESTON
You took out a loan from Hank?
DOROTHY
Tell us it isn't true.
GRACE
(defending him)
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.
REVEREND
I let you all down.
(beat)
All I can say is... I'm sorry.
LOREN
Sorry ain't good enough! You got no right, gamblin' away the church like that!
JAKE
Once a gambler, always a gambler.
HORACE
(puzzled)
Why'd you do it, Reverend?
MYRA
(disappointed)
This church belongs to everybody.
ROBERT E
Belongs to the whole town!
PRESTON
And you call yourself a man of God.
The Reverend looks at them, fighting his resurgent emotions.
REVEREND
Not anymore.
INT. CLINIC - DAY TWELVE
Sully and Brian enter to find Mike seated at her desk, a troubled look on her face.
SULLY
Everybody's at the church. They're pretty upset with the Reverend.
Mike just nods.
SULLY
He could sure use our help right now.
MIKE
(quietly)
I understand how they feel, Sully. They have every reason to be angry.
(off his look)
He made a business deal that cost this town the church. Our church.
SULLY
He didn't mean for that to happen.
MIKE
But it did --
SULLY
He made a mistake --
MIKE
A big mistake. That church is a symbol, a beacon of hope. How could he allow this to happen?
BRIAN
(innocently)
Maybe his train went a little off track.
Mike turns to Brian, feeling the weight of her words thrown back at her.
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:
MIKE
Where will you go?
REVEREND
I don't know.
(beat)
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.
MIKE
You... don't have to leave. We can help you get back on your feet. If you need money --
REVEREND
No. Thank you, Michaela, but I can't stay here.
MIKE
The townspeople are angry now. But in time, they'll forgive you, I'm certain of it.
REVEREND
(after a beat)
Not after this.
The Reverend stands, resumes packing.
REVEREND
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.
HORACE
We're cancellin' the Founder's Day picnic?
LOREN
'Course we are, Horace. Can't rightly have a picnic in front of the church after what the Reverend did.
JAKE
We got other business to tend to, first. Like figurin' out how we're gonna start another church.
ROBERT E
An' who's gonna run it.
JAKE
Just have to put out a call for another Reverend.
MIKE
This town already has a Reverend... One who needs us as much as we need him.
LOREN
Haven't you been listenin', Dr. Mike? The Reverend's leavin' town.
DOROTHY
He's givin' up the callin'.
SULLY
Not if we don't let him.
JAKE
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.
MIKE
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.
SULLY
(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 feeling guilty.
MIKE
Think about it. He was always the first to offer help when we needed it...
Myra glances down at the baby carriage.
MIKE
... and he was always the first to forgive us when we made mistakes.
(beat)
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.
MIKE (O.S.)
Now's your chance, Hank.
Hank turns around to discover Mike standing behind him, alone.
HANK
Chance for what?
MIKE
To do something right.
(stepping closer)
To give the Reverend more time to finish paying back the loan.
HANK
Deal's already done, Michaela.
MIKE
But you can undo it. He's already paid back part of the money --
HANK
Part of it. Not all. Look, nobody put a gun to his head. The Reverend knew what he was gettin' himself into.
MIKE
Yes. But he made the assumption people would treat him the same way he treated them.
This quiets Hank for a moment. Then:
HANK
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.
MIKE
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
Reverend Thomas.
REVEREND THOMAS
Hello, Timothy.
Reverend Thomas notices one of the "NO TRESPASSING" signs not far away and turns back to the Reverend, confused.
REVEREND THOMAS
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.
REVEREND
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.
REVEREND THOMAS
A deal?
REVEREND
... He gave me a loan... that, unfortunately, I was unable to pay, so as a result --
HANK
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...
HANK
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 troubled.
REVEREND
Wait.
(as Hank stops, looks back)
I don't deserve it.
The Reverend turns to Mike.
REVEREND
I wasn't there for my congregation. I abandoned them when they needed me most.
SUZANNA (O.S.)
Reverend Johnson.
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.
REVEREND
Suzanna... I -- I'm sorry...
Suzanna steps close to him, giving him a warm, gentle smile.
SUZANNA
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.
SUZANNA
He said his time is finished... but yours is still ticking...
As she places the watch in the Reverend's hand:
SUZANNA
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.
HANK
Looks like that's worth some money.
REVEREND
No, Hank. It's far too valuable.
MIKE
(stepping over)
Don't worry, Hank, you'll get the rest of your money.
HANK
Yeah, from who?
DOROTHY
Us.
Hank turns to Dorothy and the townsfolk.
GRACE
All of us.
The Reverend reacts, touched, as the people step close to him.
MYRA
Will you stay, Reverend?
LOREN
Fact is, we need you.
JAKE
(grudgingly)
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:
MIKE
(hushed voice)
You did the right thing, Hank.
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.
REVEREND THOMAS
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.
MIKE
(coming over)
Speaking of which... it's Sunday. What do you say we have our service?
REVEREND
That's a wonderful idea.
But before anyone can go inside, Sully comes out the front door of the church, all smiles.
SULLY
It's finished.
REVEREND
What is?
SULLY
The last of the repairs.
And with that, he points up to:
+THE STEEPLE
where the shiny new bell hangs, glistening in the sunlight.
+BACK TO THE REVEREND
speechless, as Sully hands him the bell cord.
SULLY
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:
FADE OUT
END OF ACT FOUR
THE END



 

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