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FEAR ITSELF
Written by Philip Gerson / Directed by Chuck Bowman

TEASER
FADE IN:
EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - DAY ONE
BRIAN walks home from school, carrying some schoolbooks. He slows as he sees, up ahead, a woman painting at an easel...
ISABELLE MAYNARD has a dramatic presence -- she wears a beautiful, expensive dress and hat, full-length gloves, flowing scarf, and makeup (every inch of her up through her neck is covered, and will be throughout). She looks like a glamorous, somewhat bohemian but well-off city lady.
Brian, curious, approaches her... and as he gets nearer, he sees that she paints furiously, with quick forceful strokes, total concentration and something near desperation.
BRIAN
Hey.
ISABELLE
(without looking away or pausing)
Hello.
BRIAN
What're you paintin'?
ISABELLE
That beautiful mountain of yours.
BRIAN
Don't really look like it.
Isabelle laughs, stops painting and looks at Brian:
ISABELLE
No?
BRIAN
I like it -- it's kinda the way things look when you wake up and you're not sure if you're dreamin' or your eyes are just fuzzy.
ISABELLE
(impressed)
I've never heard it put better. My name's Isabelle Maynard -- who do I have the pleasure of addressing?
BRIAN
Brian Cooper.
She continues painting as Brian watches her:
BRIAN
You visitin' town?
ISABELLE
I was on my way through on the train, and I saw this...
(the land)
and I had to get out and paint it.
BRIAN
(fascinated)
You mean you see somethin' you wanna paint and stop everythin' to do it?
(off her nod)
Weren't you goin' somewhere?
Isabelle pauses and looks around, thoughtful:
ISABELLE
Maybe here.
Brian can't take his eyes off her; he's never met anybody like her...
EXT. HOT SPRINGS HOTEL SITE - DAY ONE
A very enthusiastic PRESTON is showing MIKE and SULLY a particularly beautiful spot (the *Cooper wagon is in the b.g.):
PRESTON
This -- this is what the guests will see when they step out of the lobby.
Mike and Sully exchange a look; they're not happy about this.
MIKE
I still don't understand how the plans for your hotel involve us, Mr. Lodge --
PRESTON
Oh, it's going to be much more than a hotel -- it's going to be a health resort, like in Saratoga, New York, or Hot Springs, Arkansas -- and like all the finest health resorts, it will offer a medical clinic.
Now Mike and Sully are beginning to get the picture...
PRESTON
Beautifully furnished, with all the most recent equipment -- provided by yours truly -- and I want you to run it, Michaela.
SULLY
She's already got a clinic --
PRESTON
Of course, but consider the weak and unfortunate who will come here for a cure -- the hot springs, Rocky Mountain air and rest will naturally be beneficial, but some will require greater medical care... getting into town might be difficult, painful for them.
MIKE
That's true...
Sully looks at her, surprised. Preston walks ahead:
PRESTON
I was thinking the clinic could go right here, off the lobby...
SULLY
(quietly, to Mike)
You ain't gonna go into business with him?
MIKE
I don't trust him either, but if sick people come here, I want to make sure they receive proper medical care -- and Mr. Lodge is right, it might be difficult for them to get into town.
As she follows Preston --
EXT. GRACE'S CAFE - DAY ONE
Preston leads Mike and Sully into the cafe, still bubbling with his plans:
PRESTON
And Sully, you could lead excursions into the wilderness you love so much --
Sully just shakes his head; this guy never stops. Preston notices, can't resist giving him a little zotz:
PRESTON
Nothing too athletic -- no tracking kidnappers. Something more along the lines of a nature walk...
Brian calls Mike and Sully excitedly:
BRIAN
Ma, Sully!
Mike and Sully go to him; he's there with Isabelle, who is the focus of JAKE and the REVEREND's admiring attention (her canvas, easel and painting supplies rest on a nearby table):
BRIAN
This is Isabelle Maynard, she's a painter.
ISABELLE
You must be Dr. Mike and Mr. Sully -- Brian's told me all about you.
MIKE
A pleasure to meet you.
Sully nods in friendly greeting. Preston peruses Isabelle, liking what he sees:
ISABELLE
And you -- a lady doctor in the middle of the frontier, this must be quite a progressive community.
REVEREND
Indeed we are --
JAKE
Progressive is our motto.
They both grin at her, but are interrupted by the suavest grinner of all:
PRESTON
Speaking of progressive, I couldn't help but notice that your work seems to be influenced by the new French painters.
He gestures to her painting. Jake and the Reverend aren't happy about being upstaged.
ISABELLE
Oh you've seen their work, Mr...?
PRESTON
(tipping his hat)
Lodge, Preston Lodge. I find the canvases of Messieurs Monet and Pisarro very exciting and vibrant, but I must say they can't hold a candle to yours.
ISABELLE
Oh my... what a warm breeze there is out here.
She fans herself, exchanging a rolled-eye look with Mike, who smiles back, liking Isabelle for the way she's handling this. The Reverend and Jake don't want to be left out:
REVEREND
Where are you from, Miss Maynard?
ISABELLE
San Francisco.
JAKE
Great town, Frisco.
PRESTON
Ever been there, Jake?
JAKE
What's that got to do with it?
MIKE
(cutting this off)
Perhaps you'd care to join us for lunch, Miss Maynard?
Mike nods to a small table nearby, big enough only for four. Isabelle gets the message, smiling thankfully to Mike:
ISABELLE
I'd like that.
(whispering to Mike as they sit at the table)
Thanks for saving me.
Brian pipes in as he and Sully sit at the table with them:
BRIAN
Do you think maybe you could teach me paintin' -- if you're gonna stick 'round?
ISABELLE
I have been looking for a place to rest --
(quickly correcting herself)
to paint for a while...
Jake has followed them to the table, and takes this opening to try to schmooze Isabelle:
JAKE
Maybe I could show you some of the sights --
He collides with GRACE, who's carrying a pitcher of cider. The whole pitcher spills onto Isabelle, soaking her scarf, blouse and gloves.
GRACE
Jake! Look what you done -- !
JAKE
What I done?! You spilled it...
GRACE
Let me dry that off[ your beautiful gloves] --
She [reaches for Isabelle's gloves, but Isabelle immediately pulls her arm back:]
ISABELLE
I'll take care of it --
GRACE
But you're soaked --
Grace again reaches for the *gloves --
ISABELLE
(sharply)
I said I'll do it.
They're all surprised by the forcefulness of her reaction. She quickly stands, regaining her graciousness, but keeping her gloved hand protectively covering her scarf:
ISABELLE
Excuse me...
And she leaves. Mike and Sully look at each other, unsure what this means, and we
FADE OUT.
END OF TEASER
ACT ONE
FADE IN:
INT. GENERAL STORE - DAY TWO
Preston is purchasing a cigar from LOREN[ (Jake is there, too) when Isabelle and Brian come in (he's carrying her painting equipment), with] the Reverend:
REVEREND
I'm sure you'd find the church a fitting subject -- it's been freshly painted and we just obtained a beautiful brass bell from --
JAKE
She didn't come here to paint churches --
(to Isabelle)
I know a spot with the best view of the mountains through the trees --
ISABELLE
Thank you, gentlemen, but Brian and I have already made plans to paint together today...
Preston hangs back, watching her with admiration. She approaches Loren:
ISABELLE
Do you happen to carry paint? I'm looking for cobalt blue.
LOREN
Got some blue over here...
(taking out a can of house-paint)
Need any brushes?
ISABELLE
Actually, I was hoping you might carry pigment in tubes like these?
She shows him a tube of pigment.
LOREN
'Fraid not. I can send to Denver but it'll take a few days.
ISABELLE
I'm not sure that glorious sky will wait for me.
BRIAN
We oughta ask Cloud Dancin'...
Jake scoffs at that, but Preston listens up, as Brian defends his idea:
BRIAN
They make their own paints out at the reservation.
ISABELLE
Well, in any case, we have enough paint for today...
(as she starts out)
And, as they say, vita brevis --
Preston immediately finishes the Latin quote:
PRESTON
Ars longa.
Isabelle stops and turns to look at him, surprised. The others look back and forth between them, clueless as to what they're talking about.
PRESTON
Life is short...
ISABELLE
But art is long.
She holds his gaze, then smiles and leaves with Brian. Preston watches her go thoughtfully, but then breaks the moment by flashing a smirky, gloating grin to Jake and the Reverend.
INT. CLINIC - DAY TWO
Mike and COLLEEN file journals and books:
COLLEEN
How can you even think about going into business with Mr. Lodge?
MIKE
I took an oath to help sick people...
(then)
What would you do?
Colleen looks at her, surprised... and pleased to be asked her opinion:
COLLEEN
Maybe you could open a clinic there yourself --
(seeing the dilemma as she thinks it through)
But building it and running it would take time away from here...
MIKE
Yes, but if Mr. Lodge ran it, he'd take care of all that.
COLLEEN
But you'd still be treating patients at two clinics... and with a new baby to take care of too.
MIKE
Well, I'd only have to be at the hot springs when I was needed.
Something about it still doesn't feel right to them, as they continue filing away the journals and books...
EXT. MEADOW - DAY TWO
Isabelle and Brian are in the meadow (within visual distance from the cafe). Isabelle helps Brian, drawing some lines on his drawing pad (he has been trying to draw the church).
ISABELLE
See -- if you draw the wall of the church like this -- on a diagonal? Even though it's not the way you think it should be --
BRIAN
(surprised)
It's the way it looks from here.
ISABELLE
That's right. That's called perspective -- you have to try to break down the way you look at things.
She turns back to her easel and canvas, picking up her brush:
ISABELLE
For example, see this mountain...? If I were to paint it like this --
She drops her brush. A slight look of panic overcomes her. She kneels down to pick up the brush... but she can't get her fingers to hold it -- they've gone numb. Her panic turns to dread, as she swallows hard...
Brian notices, picks up the brush for her:
BRIAN
You alright?
Brian holds out his hand to help her up. She doesn't take his hand, but stands back up on her own, masking her dread:
ISABELLE
I'm fine... but -- I think we've had enough for a first lesson.
BRIAN
You sure you're alright?
Isabelle nods. Brian starts to pack up their supplies. Isabelle looks at her painting, suppressing her fear:
ISABELLE
I'll paint on my own for a while if you don't mind, Brian.
BRIAN
(puzzled)
Sure.
He holds out the brush for her. She takes it with her left hand (not the one that numbed up), and turns her attention to her canvas.
+ANGLE - PRESTON
watches them from a table (where he sits alone) just inside the cafe. He's finished his meal and is drinking a cup of coffee; he's been watching for some time.
As he sees Brian walk away, he stands and leaves the cafe, walking toward Isabelle.
+ISABELLE
tries to paint with her left hand, but it's clumsy and frustrating. She nevertheless keeps trying, fighting back tears, unaware of Preston approaching her from behind...
PRESTON
Miss Maynard --
Startled, Isabelle spins around to him. He sees that she's been crying.
He stares at her for a moment, overcome, as if seeing her for the first time.
It's a big moment for both of them, then they cut their eyes away from each other, embarrassed:
PRESTON
I'm sorry -- I didn't mean to intrude...
ISABELLE
(mastering her emotions)
That's alright -- I'm finished anyway.
Favoring her numb hand, she starts to pack her supplies away. Preston steals an unseen look at her. Feeling terrible about intruding on her and yet unaccountably close to her, he wants to say something, but doesn't know what to say.
He offers to help her carry her things, picking up her easel, and holding out his hand for her carrying case:
PRESTON
Allow me...
ISABELLE
I can manage --
PRESTON
(urgently; it means a great deal to him:)
Please.
She sees that he really wants to help her. After a moment, she hands him her carrying case. Then she takes her canvas, and they start walking silently toward town...
EXT. MEADOW - BRIDGE AREA - DAY TWO
Preston and Isabelle walk from the meadow toward the boarding house; they are uncomfortable about the too-intimate moment they just shared, but drawn to each other. After a moment of silence, Preston awkwardly tries to connect:
PRESTON
Painting -- being so good at something artistic -- it must be quite satisfying.
ISABELLE
You're very kind... All I know is that painting is the only time I lose myself.
Again, more than she meant to reveal. Preston is surprised by the very personal response. After a moment:
PRESTON
Why would you want to lose yourself?
ISABELLE
(evading)
Well... there's nothing like the feeling of getting it right -- the blue of the sky here, cobalt mixed with maybe a little [viridian. Nothing] like it anywhere I've seen. San Francisco has more grey...
PRESTON
Why did you leave?
ISABELLE
Oh... so many reasons.
The thought of San Francisco sets her into a moment of silent reverie. Preston can't help it: he's entranced:
PRESTON
Beautiful...
(covering)
-- city, San Francisco.
ISABELLE
(wistfully)
Yes.
They continue walking into town.
EXT. BOARDING HOUSE - DAY TWO
Preston and Isabelle arrive at the boarding house. Preston has so much he wants to say, but all he can manage is:
PRESTON
Well... here we are.
ISABELLE
Thank you for your help.
Preston nods, hands her the equipment. After a moment, he decides to take the plunge:
PRESTON
I know what it's like to be new in town and not know anyone, I know what it's like to... leave home...
(dare he say it?)
to want to escape.
ISABELLE
(jumps on that too quickly)
I didn't run away.
PRESTON
(back-pedalling)
I didn't say that -- that's not what I meant...
He wants to connect with her, but doesn't know how to. For her part, Isabelle needs to let him know that she's alright:
ISABELLE
I'm fine.
PRESTON
(looking at her with admiration)
Yes... you are.
She is moved, pleased. But then she catches herself: she can't allow herself to feel this way. She turns away abruptly, and goes into the boarding house.
Preston watches her go, confused by his feelings...
INT. HOMESTEAD KITCHEN - NIGHT TWO
Mike, Colleen and Brian are cleaning up dinner dishes, as Brian excitedly reports the events of his day:
BRIAN
And she taught me somethin' called perspective, and 'bout how to mix colors -- and she was gonna show me diff'rent brush strokes, but she hurt her hand.
MIKE
She hurt her hand?
BRIAN
Well, she dropped her brush and couldn't pick it up -- but then she said she was alright.
COLLEEN
Maybe she sprained it.
BRIAN
That's all the dishes -- I'm gonna go practice drawin'.
He takes off, as Mike thinks about what Brian has reported...
EXT. GRACE'S CAFE - DAY THREE
End of the morning, not very busy. Isabelle eats breakfast alone. She stops to rub her forearm (gloved, as always), which is bothering her.
She eats a little more, then stops again to rub her arm -- it's really bothering her. She starts to take off her glove, then looks around and thinks better of it -- it's not safe, somebody might be able to see...
She leaves some money on the table and rises, leaving behind her breakfast, and starts to head out (toward the Gazette)...
+MIKE,
headed in from* the direction of the Sheriff's office, sees Isabelle and calls to her:
MIKE
Isabelle...
But Isabelle doesn't hear her, as she heads into the alley between the Gazette and the tent. Mike notices the worry on Isabelle's face, and follows her...
+ALLEY BETWEEN THE GAZETTE AND THE TENT
Isabelle stops where it's safe (no people around) and rips off her glove...
A couple of plaques (red, raised rims surrounding pale flat centers) are on her forearm.
She looks down at them, her agitation growing. She wants to scratch them, but she holds her shaking hand back --
MIKE (O.S.)
Isabelle?
Startled, Isabelle turns to her --
Mike sees her arm, is surprised.
In a panic, Isabelle frantically pulls her glove on, but it takes her long enough that Mike gets a good long look at the plaques...
ISABELLE
(sharply)
What do you want?
MIKE
(taken aback)
Brian told me you were having trouble with your hand...
She sees how upset Isabelle is as she finally succeeds in covering the plaques with her glove. Mike proceeds cautiously:
MIKE
My clinic's just around the corner --
ISABELLE
No -- they're just bruises...
MIKE
(gently)
Isabelle... I've never seen bruises quite like those --
Isabelle nervously fingers her scarf, making sure that it's tight up below her chin:
ISABELLE
I burned myself.
MIKE
Is it painful?
ISABELLE
I'm alright -- I'm fine.
She escapes quickly. Mike, worried, heads back toward the clinic --
INT. CLINIC - DAY THREE
CLOSE ON A PAGE OF MEDICAL TEXTBOOK, featuring an illustration of a plaque which looks like those we saw on Isabelle's arms.
REVEAL Mike reading the textbook, now very, very worried. She rises quickly and heads out --
EXT. CLINIC AND STREET - DAY THREE
As Mike leaves the clinic, she sees Isabelle heading toward the boarding house, still shaken, but more collected. Mike crosses the street toward her...
As Preston rides up to Isabelle on his horse, an eager smile on his face:
PRESTON
Isabelle!
Isabelle stops as Preston dismounts and hands her a small burlap sack:
PRESTON
Fresh from the reservation...
Isabelle unwraps the sack; inside is a crock filled with pigment.
PRESTON
I tried to get them to blend it as close to cobalt* as they could --
ISABELLE
(touched, softly)
This is very thoughtful of you, Mr. Lodge --
PRESTON
Call me Preston... please.
-- and he means it, it's not the professional smooth approach we've seen in the past. Isabelle smiles at him.
PRESTON
The flowers they use may not have been completely cooperative -- it's not quite cobalt --
ISABELLE
No, no --
(looking at him)
It's better.
Mike approaches them, very worried. Isabelle sees her, and the smile instantly fades from her face.
MIKE
Mr. Lodge... I'm sorry to interrupt but I need to speak with Miss Maynard for a moment.
Preston isn't sure what's wrong, but he knows something's up:
PRESTON
Of course.
He tips his hat and leads his horse away, leaving Mike and Isabelle alone. Isabelle can't meet Mike's eyes:
MIKE
Isabelle, I was concerned about the marks on your arms... the plaques...
ISABELLE
(knows what's next)
Please -- not here on the street.
MIKE
We can go into the clinic --
ISABELLE
(quickly, emphatically)
No.
Isabelle starts toward the porch of the boarding house; Mike follows her. Once there, out of the ear of passers-by, they speak in low voices:
ISABELLE
Please don't tell anybody -- I know you must be frightened but really there's no danger --
MIKE
I'm certainly concerned, for you and the town...
(taking the plunge)
Leprosy is a very serious illness --
ISABELLE
But it isn't contagious -- not the way people think. There's new research being done right now, in Norway for instance --
MIKE
Isabelle --
[Isabelle speaks technically, trying to be as persuasive as possible:]
ISABELLE
It documents that it's *difficult to contract without extremely close and sustained contact -- and even then they don't think anybody could catch it from me at such an early stage --
MIKE
(impressed, gently)
I'd like to read those new studies.
ISABELLE
I have some journals and I can tell you where to send for the rest... Believe me, if I thought I was a danger to anybody, I'd be the first to...
(she can't say it)
I know how frightened people get, even doctors, but there's really no need.
She looks at Mike, hoping that Mike will tell her it's okay. But Mike can't meet her need, and looks away.
ISABELLE
I saw this beautiful place -- a woman doctor, a progressive town -- I thought maybe it could be different here...
Mike wavers; she's sympathetic but worried:
MIKE
I'd like to help, but I'm not sure what I can do...
ISABELLE
Read the research -- give me a few days to rest... I'm just so tired of running.
After a moment, Mike, moved, nods her head yes. Isabelle breathes, grateful:
ISABELLE
Thank you.
Isabelle goes into the boarding house, as Mike, troubled, looks at the people of her town, passing by on their business, unaware of the secret with which she is now burdened, as we
FADE OUT.
END OF ACT ONE
ACT TWO
FADE IN:
EXT. GENERAL STORE - DAY FOUR
Preston follows Loren out of the store:
PRESTON
You know how Dorothy can get -- and all I'm requesting is a small item in the Gazette announcing the planning of the hotel...
LOREN
Just to build excitement --
PRESTON
Exactly -- but Dorothy says that it will look like she's giving free advertising to the publisher.
Loren shakes his head, commiserating:
LOREN
That hotel's gonna be good for the whole town.
PRESTON
That's what I tried to tell her -- naturally, she doesn't believe me.
Loren takes the bait:
LOREN
What if I talk to her?
PRESTON
I hadn't thought of that --
(oh yes he had)
You think that'll do any good?
LOREN
(confidentially)
She kinda listens to me. 'Sides, this hotel's gonna be good for her, too -- folks from all over will read her paper.
PRESTON
Exactly.
(then, with a sigh)
I tell you, I'd never have gone into business with her if I'd known she was going to be so scrupulous.
LOREN
(nods)
That's always been her problem.
INT. HOMESTEAD - KITCHEN - NIGHT FOUR
Brian sits at the table, working on a drawing on his pad. Mike comes down stairs; she's got something on her mind:
MIKE
May I interrupt?
BRIAN
I'm just tryin' to get this perspective right. Isabelle didn't show up for our lesson today.
That's what Mike wanted to talk about; she sits beside Brian, not sure how to approach this:
MIKE
Perhaps I could help you with it. I studied painting when I was younger...
He'd rather study with Isabelle, but doesn't want to hurt her feelings:
BRIAN
Sure...
MIKE
It would be something we could do together -- just the two of us.
BRIAN
... Only I told Isabelle I'd study with her.
MIKE
Well... you never know, she may not be able to continue teaching you -- that's no reason for you not to learn.
BRIAN
(concerned)
She come to see you about her hand?
MIKE
(this is difficult)
No... it's just that -- when you meet people, you don't know much about them. It's wonderful to be open and friendly, but sometimes...
Mike trails off, feeling worse and worse about saying this.
BRIAN
You sayin' I shouldn't see Isabelle?
Mike feels backed into a corner:
MIKE
I was just hoping that perhaps we could paint together.
Brian nods... but they both know it's more than that.
INT. MIKE & SULLY'S BEDROOM - NIGHT FOUR
Middle of the night. Mike, deeply troubled, sits by the fire, looking at Sully, who is asleep in bed.
She makes a decision, and goes to the bed, where she sits beside him. She reaches out to wake him, changes her mind, withdraws her hand. But Sully wakes anyway, and reads her instantly:
SULLY
What's wrong?
MIKE
I need your advice -- but I promised I wouldn't talk to anyone about this... On the other hand, this person isn't a patient, I wouldn't be violating doctor-patient confidentiality... just going back on a promise -- which is bad enough...
Sully takes her hand to calm her:
SULLY
Michaela... why'd they want you to keep it secret?
MIKE
They were afraid of it getting spread around town.
SULLY
You know I ain't gonna do that.
MIKE
(nods; then:)
Isabelle has leprosy.
That hits Sully; he sits up, now completely awake:
SULLY
Ain't that contagious? Brian --
MIKE
I've been reading the new research, and apparently it's not easily spread...
Sully considers that; it calms him down. After a moment:
SULLY
But somethin's still botherin' you?
MIKE
(this is tough)
I don't want to feel this way, but part of me wants Isabelle to get on the next train out of town -- and part of me wants her to stay so I can help her.
SULLY
There's somethin' you can do for her?
MIKE
There's no cure, but there are treatments that might make her feel more comfortable -- if she'll let me.
SULLY
She don't want you to treat her?
Mike shakes her head, no. Sully thinks for a moment, then:
SULLY
Sounds like she's made the decision for you.
Mike nods unhappily. Sully reaches out for her to lie down. She does so, snuggling her back up against him, and he places a protective arm around her stomach. Neither of them are going to get much sleep tonight...
EXT. GRACE'S CAFE - DAY FIVE
GRACE packs a picnic lunch for Preston:
PRESTON
-- and both of you are absolutely essential to its success. You, Grace, could be in charge of the dining room, and Robert E can run a buggy service out from town.
Jake and HANK come in on the end of that, and pour themselves cups of coffee, close enough to hear:
GRACE
(the words feel good)
Dining room...
JAKE
Maybe you oughta build it before you start offerin' jobs.
PRESTON
By that time, there may be other applicants for those positions...
HANK
(to Grace)
He's never gonna get this "resort" off the ground.
Grace seems inclined to agree. Preston breaks out the big guns:
PRESTON
I wouldn't be so sure of that, Hank. With Michaela and Sully involved...
(he lets that dangle)
GRACE
Dr. Mike? What's she got to do with it?
PRESTON
She's going to run a clinic on the premises.
That gets Grace's attention, and alarms Jake and Hank, who trade scowls.
Isabelle arrives, subdued -- she'd rather not encounter anybody right now, but she needs to get some food, so she marshalls herself and approaches the group, her eyes buried in her purse as she takes out some coins:
ISABELLE
I was hoping I could purchase a picnic lunch --
PRESTON
That won't be necessary.
He takes his picnic hamper from Grace as Isabelle looks at him questioningly. He gestures to the street:
PRESTON
Your chariot awaits.
ISABELLE
I was going to do some painting...
PRESTON
Carpe diem.
That strikes a cord with her. She looks at him, softening. He gestures to the street, and she smiles and precedes him. As they leave, Jake turns to Hank, jealous:
JAKE
Carpet what?
Preston hears that, and calls back as he leaves:
PRESTON
Carpe diem -- that's Latin for seize the day.
(to Grace)
Think about it.
He leaves them all quite surprised... and in Grace's case, thoughtful...
EXT. HOT SPRINGS HOTEL SITE - DAY FIVE
A blanket is spread on the ground, and covered with a half-eaten picnic lunch. Preston pours some more champagne for Isabelle:
PRESTON
Look at that land, the sheer size of it... makes you think anything's possible.
They drink as they look out at the land. She wishes she could believe that:
ISABELLE
Wouldn't that be nice.
PRESTON
This is the exact view you'll have from the hotel dining room --
(taking it in happily)
I'm going to have to fight customers off...
ISABELLE
So what is it you love about this land -- the beauty or the business potential?
PRESTON
Do they have to be mutually exclusive?
They laugh.
PRESTON
That's what I like about you Isabelle, I feel I can be honest with you, be myself... I haven't felt that way with anyone since I came here. I* feel like I know you...
Isabelle's smile fades. She doesn't want to, but she has to say this:
ISABELLE
Preston... we need to talk --
But Preston is off and running:
PRESTON
Think about it -- would we ever have met if it wasn't for... this?
(waving his hand out to the land)
We both came here because of it.
ISABELLE
You came to conquer it.
PRESTON
(looks at her, smiles)
So did you -- on that canvas of yours.[
ISABELLE
Preston, ]what you said before -- yesterday, about running away?
PRESTON
Forgive me, that was presumptuous --
ISABELLE
No, you were right... it's something that's difficult -- impossible to talk about...
PRESTON
You don't have to tell me anything...
ISABELLE
I want to... I have to...
(but she can't)
PRESTON
We're all entitled to our secrets.
She looks at him, and becomes increasingly lost in his eyes:
PRESTON
Whatever it is, it makes you a special... beautiful... enchanting woman...
He takes her (gloved) hand. She's lost in the moment, but then as he lifts her hand to kiss it, she is suddenly shaken back to reality and jerks her hand back.
Preston is surprised; the moment is shattered. Isabelle rises, she can't even look at him.
PRESTON
I'm sorry...
ISABELLE
Preston...
(the hardest thing she's ever done)
Nothing can ever happen between us.
That takes Preston completely by surprise and hits him hard.
ISABELLE
I'm sorry, I should never have...
She can't talk about it, and can't even look at him. She picks up the plates, starts putting them away. OFF Preston, who is mystified -- and all the more drawn to her...
INT. CLINIC - DAY FIVE
Grace knocks and comes in, carrying a covered bowl:
GRACE
Dr. Mike?
(calling toward recovery rooms)
I brought that soup you wanted for Mrs. Schomers.
No response. Grace puts the soup down on the desk. As she does so, her eyes fall on a medical journal that lies open on the desk. What she reads there surprises her...
EXT. GRACE'S CAFE - CONTINUOUS - DAY FIVE
HORACE rushes up to MATTHEW with a telegram that has him worried: (Jake and Hank sit nearby.)
HORACE
This telegram just came for you, Matthew -- from Miss Maynard's relatives in *Coffeyville, Kansas --
He gives Matthew the telegram, but his fear keeps him chattering about it:
HORACE
They sent one to every Sheriff 'long the railroad line --
Matthew is surprised that Horace is revealing the telegram's contents:
MATTHEW
Thanks, Horace, I can read it myself.
HORACE
Seems they been expectin' her and was worried --
The others start listening in, as Matthew reads the telegram.
MATTHEW
Horace.
That was said to shut Horace down. But Horace is worried enough to keep on:
HORACE
Says she's sick and they was scared she mighta collapsed on her way there...
Matthew tries again, as Grace arrives from the clinic:
MATTHEW
Horace, this is private --
HORACE
(what's really worrying him:)
Says they want her sent on to them 'stead of bein' "confined".
That word alarms the rest of them:
HANK
"Confined"?
JAKE
She got somethin' they can confine you for?
GRACE
(blurting out)
I just saw somethin' on Dr. Mike's desk 'bout leprosy...
They respond to that with alarm, some repeating the word.
HORACE
That must be the article she sent for after Miss Maynard arrived --
JAKE
Maybe that's why she's always covered up --
GRACE
Remember how she didn't want me to take off her gloves when they got all wet -- ?
SMASH CUT TO:
EXT. CLINIC - DAY FIVE
Jake leads a group of frightened, MUTTERING Townsfolk (including Grace, Hank and Horace) toward the clinic from the cafe. Matthew rushes ahead of them, trying to get to the clinic first:
MATTHEW
Calm down, it ain't gonna do any good to panic...
They are joined by other Townsfolk (including Loren and MYRA) who are drawn by the commotion, as Jake bangs on the door of the clinic. Mike approaches from the store:
MIKE
What is it -- ?
Jake grabs the telegram from Matthew and holds it up to Mike:
JAKE
Isabelle -- she sick with leprosy?
The word ricochets around, picked up by the new arrivals.
MIKE
Isabelle's health is her own concern --
JAKE
You knew?!
The crowd's MUTTERING GETS ANGRIER (I can't believe it! How could you? Why didn't you tell us? Don't we matter?). Mike raises her voice to try to calm them:
MIKE
There's no danger --
But she's shouted down by the crowd:
HANK
No danger?!
JAKE
It's contagious!
MIKE
No, it's not -- not the way you think --
GRACE
(really scared)
But that disease -- it makes her unclean, Dr. Mike, it says so in the Bible --
HANK
There she is!
They turn to see Preston driving Isabelle into town in his buggy (on their way back from their picnic). The crowd makes way for the buggy, keeping their distance.
PRESTON
What is this -- ?
Isabelle's heart sinks as she looks down and sees the fear -- and in some cases hatred -- in the faces of the Townsfolk gaping at her. She looks down at Mike accusingly:
ISABELLE
You told them?
PRESTON
Told them what?
JAKE
She's got leprosy.
Preston, terrified, quickly rises and stumbles out of the buggy, trying to get away from her. Isabelle fights back tears -- this is her worst nightmare revisited.
Mike looks at her sympathetically...
Isabelle gets down from the wagon (nobody will help her), and rushes toward the boarding house, the terrified crowd parting for her...
As Mike and Matthew exchange a very worried look...
FADE OUT.
END OF ACT TWO
ACT THREE
FADE IN:
INT. BOARDING HOUSE BEDROOM - DAY FIVE
Isabelle comes in, followed by Mike, and finally, after a moment, by Matthew, who's holding the telegram (he hangs back, scared to get too close to Isabelle):
MIKE
Isabelle -- I'm so sorry...
ISABELLE
(hardened)
I'm used to it.
MIKE
I didn't tell anyone about your condition -- except for Sully, and I know he didn't tell anyone else...
MATTHEW
It was the telegram...
He hands Mike the telegram so that she can give it to Isabelle -- he's clearly afraid to get too close to Isabelle, and ashamed of it.
Mike gives the telegram to Isabelle. Isabelle looks at it for a moment, then, without looking up:
ISABELLE
There's no escaping it, never. I can't take a walk or a buggy ride or a picnic... I can't even let anyone touch me, even though I know I can't harm them -- I can't help but think of myself, see myself the way they do...
She crumples the telegram. Matthew looks out the window, looking for an excuse to leave:
MATTHEW
I better make sure nobody's gettin' anythin' stirred up.
He leaves. Mike feels terrible about all this:
MIKE
I've read the new research you spoke of -- at least they've isolated the bacillus, that provides some hope...
Nothing from Isabelle, making Mike feel even worse:
MIKE
Quinine and certain oils seem to have a tonic effect...
(still hesitant despite herself)
If you want to, you can come to the clinic, perhaps I can administer them...
ISABELLE
(turning to her)
"If I want to"? "Perhaps"?
(deliberately)
What do you want, Dr. Quinn?
MIKE
(feebly, not liking herself for this)
It's not a matter of how I feel, I'm a doctor, it's my job to --
ISABELLE
And you feel guilty -- guilty for being just as afraid of me as your son is, as the people out there are.
Mike can't deny it; she looks away. Isabelle goes to the door, and opens it for Mike, implicitly asking her to leave:
ISABELLE
(wearily)
I've been through this before. Fear and guilt aren't the best treatments for me.
Mike, feeling terrible, asks quietly:
MIKE
What will you do? Go to your family in Kansas?
ISABELLE
They think I'm an invalid, that I need to be hidden from the world the rest of my life. I can't live like that. So I guess I'll just keep moving...
MIKE
But then you won't be able to receive proper medical care --
ISABELLE
That's my problem.
MIKE
(struggling to find some way to help)
Please -- don't leave right away. Give me some time, to try to make them understand...
Isabelle says nothing.
MIKE
At least so you can rest here for a while.
Finally, Isabelle nods noncommittally. Mike leaves, feeling miserable...
INT. BANK - DAY FIVE
Preston, distracted and upset, trying to come to grips with his confused feelings, walks into the bank, passing by Myra, who looks up from her work. He doesn't acknowledge her, just heads straight back to his desk; he doesn't want to talk to anybody right now.
Myra picks up a ledger and approaches him:
MYRA
I wrote out that list of loan payment totals that you wanted --
PRESTON
(looking away, down at his work)
Not now, Myra.
Myra can put two and two together. She hesitantly addresses him:
MYRA
Terrible news about Miss Maynard.
He doesn't respond, just girds himself emotionally, gripping his pen more firmly.
MYRA
Do you... know Miss Maynard well?
Preston snaps his head up at her, sharply defensive:
PRESTON
What's that supposed to mean?
MYRA
Nothin' -- I was just... feelin' sorry for her I guess --
PRESTON
I don't know her at all, I just met her a few days ago...
MYRA
She seemed nice enough -- but did she tell you she was sick?
That hits Preston, as he realizes that Isabelle did try to tell him. After a moment, he sees that Myra is still waiting for an answer; he feels he has to lie to her:
PRESTON
No.
-- but he feels terrible about it. He busies himself stacking papers. Myra is sympathetic to him:
MYRA
Still, *she should'a told you...
PRESTON
It doesn't matter -- as I said, I hardly know her, she doesn't mean anything to me...
But Myra can see that she does. Before she can say anything, Horace comes in:
HORACE
Jake called an emergency town meetin' -- folks're headin' up to the church.
PRESTON
What for?
HORACE
To decide what to do 'bout Miss Maynard.
He starts out. Myra stays in place, looking with sympathy at Preston, who is struggling not to show his emotions. Horace turns back from the door:
HORACE
Well, come on Myra.
She goes with him, leaving behind a very conflicted Preston...
INT. CLINIC - DAY FIVE
Brian rushes in, joining Mike and Colleen -- everyone's upset:
BRIAN
Ma -- the kids're sayin' Isabelle's got somethin' bad -- is she gonna be okay?
Mike and Colleen exchange a look -- how can they tell him? Before they get the chance, Matthew comes in:
MATTHEW
Folks said they won't bother her if she stays in her room... but I don't know how long that'll last.
COLLEEN
Can't we do anything to help?
BRIAN
What's wrong with her?
MIKE
Brian... Isabelle has leprosy.
BRIAN
Leprosy? Like in the Bible?
MIKE
There's no reason to be frightened of her. Brian --
BRIAN
So she's gonna get better, right?
Mike suppresses her emotions by being as clinical as possible:
MIKE
It's unlikely. The numbness you saw in her hand will get worse and spread, and as a result...
(how to put it?)
-- she could become disfigured, and perhaps go blind.
They all take in the gravity of the situation. Colleen puts her hand on Brian's shoulder.
MIKE
Sometimes -- rarely -- the disease will disappear on its own... but so far there's nothing doctors can do, except make the patient as comfortable as possible.
MATTHEW
(after a moment)
Is she dangerous?
MIKE
(too quickly)
No.
MATTHEW
Dr. Mike, I got a responsibility to the people of this town --
MIKE
So do I, and I wouldn't do anything to endanger them. But Isabelle should be allowed to make her own plans...
Sully comes in, urgently:
SULLY
There's trouble at the church -- saw it on my way back from the reservation --
They all head out...
EXT. CHURCH - DAY FIVE
Mike, Sully, Matthew, Colleen and Brian[ are walking toward the church (where Townsfolk are buzzing as they head in). They have been joined by Loren and Jake:]
LOREN
Denver paper says there's an epidemic in San Francisco -- Chinese brought it with them when they came over --
MIKE
Do they know that Loren, or only suspect it?
But they're not paying attention to her, off on their own panic:
LOREN
Isabelle's from San Francisco, ain't she? She must'a gotten it there --
JAKE
Maybe she had herself a Chinese "friend".
It's obvious what he means. Mike tries to suppress her anger, and appeal to them by being scientific:
MIKE
You're jumping to conclusions that are based on guesses and superstition --
JAKE
Then how'd she get it?
MIKE
That's irrelevant --
JAKE
Oh, no it ain't.
SMASH* CUT TO:
INT. CHURCH - CONTINUOUS - DAY FIVE
A makeshift town meeting is underway (no formal table). The terrified Townsfolk stand, CHATTERING nervously as Mike walks in, still trying to reason with Jake and Loren. They are followed by Sully, Matthew, Colleen and Brian (already present are the Reverend, Hank, Grace, Horace and Myra):
MIKE
All the latest information shows that it isn't casually contagious -- it seems to require long and intimate contact, and there are new theories that --
JAKE
New theories, latest information --
MIKE
It seems to be hereditary, or that you have to have a predisposition in order to get it --
MYRA
I always heard that all you gotta do is touch somebody who's got it and you can carry it...
GRACE
Or just touch somethin' they touched.
MIKE
The experts now believe that --
HANK
"Now believe"?
JAKE
Great, watch them change their minds in a few years when it's too late for us.
The others shout their ASSENT. Colleen looks at Sully, who stays silent. The Reverend tries to calm them:
REVEREND
Everyone, let's just sit down and talk about this reasonably --
Some take seats. Mike looks optimistic for a moment, until:
REVEREND
Dr. Mike, I've read that a colony for these people has been established in the *Hawaiian Islands...
MIKE
(shocked)
You think Isabelle should be incarcerated?
Preston enters, stands near Loren silently, at war with his emotions.
REVEREND
Naturally we feel sorry for her -- but wouldn't she be safer with her own people -- people who wouldn't be frightened of her?
More ASSENT from the crowd.
MIKE
You're right, Reverend: fear is the problem, it keeps us from looking at things scientifically --
GRACE
Dr. Mike, we know you're a good doctor, but you're actin' like you know better'n us. The Bible says lepers are dangerous --
MIKE
It's not that I know better than you, Grace -- but I do believe the scientific research I've been reading...
LOREN
You're makin' this all complicated -- just ask her to leave. She ain't gonna *stay where she ain't wanted.
Hank, Jake and several others SHOUT their agreement.
BRIAN
We never made anybody leave who was sick --
COLLEEN
Even when they were contagious.
REVEREND
But Colleen and Brian -- you were quarantined with Matthew when he had typhus -- it's no different.
MIKE
Yes it is -- you're shunning her. How would you feel if you were shunned for being sick?
HORACE
(offended)
We'd never come down with somethin' dirty like this, Dr. Mike.
AGREEMENT from the Townsfolk. Mike can't believe the illogic of it:
MIKE
Then why are you afraid of catching it?
The crowd GRUMBLES at that...
+ANGLE - LOREN AND PRESTON 28
LOREN
(privately to Preston)
You can kiss the health resort goodbye -- nobody's gonna come to get healthy in a town that's had this.
Preston, who has been struggling to keep a blank demeanor despite raging emotions, responds quietly:
PRESTON
You're right.
+BACK TO SCENE
GRACE
Dr. Mike, what is it you want? You want her to stay?
The crowd quiets to hear her response. Mike looks at Sully. But he is troubled and working this through for himself. Mike knows she has to say something:
MIKE
All I'm saying is Isabelle should be allowed to make up her own mind -- she isn't guilty of anything, she hasn't broken any law.
HANK
I ain't takin' any chances.
HORACE
It's our town, Dr. Mike -- I feel sorry for her, but we gotta look after ourselves.
More and louder ASSENTS from the crowd, whose frightened talk among themselves now takes over. Mike shakes her head, gravely frustrated.
Jake approaches Mike, quietly but with firm (not mean-spirited) conviction:
JAKE
We gone 'long with you lots of times -- but don't fight us on this one.
He leaves. The meeting breaks up, the townsfolk talking excitedly amongst themselves. Mike realizes that the deck is seriously stacked against her.
INT. HOMESTEAD - NIGHT FIVE
Sully reads a medical journal by the dying fire; several other journals lie by his side. Mike, in her nightgown, comes downstairs, sees him (but not what he's reading):
MIKE
Sully... are you alright?
SULLY
Been readin' some of your journals...
This surprises her, and it feels dangerous. He gets up and puts his hand on her arm; this is difficult for him:
SULLY
Michaela -- I don't want you treatin' Isabelle.
MIKE
(shocked)
What...?
SULLY
It's too risky --
MIKE
You didn't feel this way when I treated influenza or typhus, both of which are proven to be highly contagious --
SULLY
It's different now -- we got no way of knowin' if the baby could catch this. The journals say you gotta be careful treatin' folks in the last stages --
MIKE
But she isn't even close to the last stage -- and I will be careful --
SULLY
(taking her hand, softly insistent)
Hear me out. Even if it that's all true -- think of what you're gonna be up against if you try to keep Isabelle here. You up to fightin' like that with the baby so close?
Mike hadn't thought of it that way. She sits and looks away. Sully kneels beside her, finding her eyes:
SULLY
I know you wanna do what's right... But it ain't just what's right for Isabelle -- or you or me. It's gotta be what's right for the baby, too.
He's nailed her: Mike can't hold his eyes; she looks down. He kisses her hand, and goes upstairs to let her work it through.
Mike looks up at him as he leaves, very troubled, as she places a hand on her stomach, and we
FADE OUT.
END OF ACT THREE
ACT FOUR
FADE IN:
INT. BOARDING HOUSE BEDROOM - DAY SIX
Isabelle [is finishing packing her bags when there is a knock on the door.
BRIAN (O.S.)
It's Brian.
Isabelle warily opens the door. Brian comes in, carrying] his drawing pad (leaving the door open).
BRIAN
Isabelle?
She's glad to see him, but wary, not sure where he's at:
ISABELLE
Hello, Brian.
BRIAN
I was thinkin' maybe we could have another paintin' lesson.
She breathes relief, and smiles sadly:
ISABELLE
I'd like to Brian, but I have a train to catch.
BRIAN
Please? I need your help...
He moves to her, hands her his drawing pad. She relents and sits on the bed; Brian sits beside her:
BRIAN
I still don't have this perspective right...
Isabelle tries to pick up a pencil with her hand, but it's too numb, she can't hold it.
+MIKE
walks up to the open door, and is surprised to find Brian there. She watches as --
+BRIAN
puts his hand over Isabelle's (gloved) hand to help her grasp the pencil. Isabelle instinctively pulls her hand away -- but Brian reaches for it again. Isabelle, profoundly moved, turns her hand so that she holds Brian's hand.
ISABELLE
You've got better perspective than most people I know.
Mike, watching from the doorway, is very moved and proud of Brian.
She knocks on the open door and comes into the room. Isabelle sees her, squeezes Brian's hand and releases it.
ISABELLE
Your mother and I need to talk, Brian. Thank you.
Brian nods and leaves (forgetting the drawing pad). Mike touches Brian's shoulder proudly as he passes by. After he leaves (closing* the door), she watches Isabelle return to her packing.
MIKE
I thought you should know what happened at the meeting yesterday --
ISABELLE
Mayor Slicker notified me officially -- he had the courage to slip a note under my door.
MIKE
I'm so sorry, Isabelle...
[Another knock on the door.
ISABELLE
(impatiently)
Who is it?]
Preston comes in, on a mission. He's surprised to see *Mike; it only makes what he wants to do more difficult:
PRESTON
Michaela. Isabelle... I'm sorry you have to be leaving --
(covering his distress)
I wanted to let you know that I've taken the liberty of arranging a special private train carriage for you.
Isabelle looks away: even though he doesn't mean it to be, it's hurtful. Mike gives Preston a look. He defends himself:
PRESTON
It's extremely comfortable, quite luxurious actually, and it'll take you wherever you want to go...
MIKE
As long as it's away from here.
PRESTON
That really isn't fair, Michaela.
He takes an envelope out of his pocket:
PRESTON
I've also prepared a letter of credit -- I want you to seek the very best care, whatever it costs...
MIKE
What if the best care she could receive is here?
ISABELLE
(stopping her)
Dr. Quinn.
(to Preston, softly)
I appreciate your offers Preston, but I can't accept them.
That confuses and upsets Preston, who really thinks he's doing the best thing:
PRESTON
Why not...?
ISABELLE
(kindly)
You've given me so much already... Every time I look out the window of a hotel dining room, I'll see the view from our picnic.
(smiling, letting him off the hook)
Goodbye Preston. Thank you.
Confused and upset, Preston leaves. Mike looks at Isabelle with admiration. Isabelle returns to her packing, and notices Brian's drawing pad. She holds it out for Mike:
ISABELLE
Would you mind returning this to Brian?
MIKE
Of course...
Mike takes the drawing pad (as Isabelle turns to her packing), and looks at it. This symbol of Brian's action helps her make up her mind, and once she does, she holds it close to her heart, resolve forming.
A calm comes over Mike, and she knows what she wants to do:
MIKE
Isabelle... I'd like for you to stay.
Isabelle, surprised, turns to Mike, studies her.
MIKE
I wish I could just make my fear go away, or that I'd never felt it in the first place. I can't. But my fear is irrelevant. You're sick and I can help -- that's all that matters.
Isabelle senses the change in Mike, and absorbs it.
MIKE
Please... I want to be your doctor.
After a moment, Isabelle nods:
ISABELLE
Alright.
MIKE
Will you come to the clinic?
ISABELLE
Just let me unpack.
Mike nods, smiles, and leaves.
INT. BANK - DAY SIX
Mike comes in, nods to Myra, who's at the counter helping a customer. Mike sees Preston sitting at his desk, looking distractedly through some work papers.
MIKE
Mr. Lodge?
Preston looks up as Mike approaches him.
MIKE
I've given it a great deal of consideration, and I've decided I can't accept your offer to run a clinic at the hotel...
And it costs her, as we can see. Preston takes that in:
MIKE
It's become clear to me that you don't seriously wish to help people who are sick.
PRESTON
(defensively, returning to his work)
I tried to help Isabelle, you saw that.
Mike studies him; she's sympathetic to his pain:
MIKE
Preston...
He looks up at her, shocked that she called him by his first name. She speaks to him softly, sincerely:
MIKE
It's difficult to care about people who are going to leave you.
But this is too painful for Preston; he changes the subject, and chases away the intimate moment:
PRESTON
All I want to attract to the resort is people with aches and pains -- asthma, rheumatism -- people who can benefit from a cure in the hot springs --
MIKE
In other words, people with money to spend.
PRESTON
What's wrong with that? Payment for services rendered.
MIKE
So what you really want from me is the legitimization my medical degree will provide... I'm afraid that's not for sale.
PRESTON
Does your nobility extend to helping patients who need you, despite your disapproval of me?
MIKE
If people come here who are truly sick, I can tend to them without a fancy clinic at your hotel.
She starts out.
PRESTON
I'm certain I can find a society doctor in Denver who'll be only too happy to lend his name to my clinic.
MIKE
(turning back)
Then I suggest you do that... Mr. Lodge.
Her deliberate use of his last name again hits Preston. Mike turns and leaves. Preston watches her go...
INT. CLINIC - DAY SIX
On the table, Mike has lined up bottles and instruments and clean aprons, and is showing them to Sully:
MIKE
I've been reading about some extra precautions that I can take -- I'm going wash my hands with a solution of carbolic acid, boil the instruments and dip them in an iodine solution, destroy my apron after I treat Isabelle...
SULLY
Your mind's made up?
Obviously his isn't.
MIKE
Sully, I've read accounts of this disease from all over the world -- and I haven't read that a single doctor who's treated leprosy has ever come down with it.
SULLY
None of 'em were pregnant either.
MIKE
When a patient knocks on that door, I have no idea what I'm going to encounter. They might have malaria or cholera or who knows what... If we want to be completely safe, then I'm going to have to pack up and go home and stop being a doctor.
SULLY
Maybe that's somethin' we oughta think 'bout -- till the baby comes.
MIKE
Am I going to turn away Myra if she has the flu? Or Anthony? We don't even know what's wrong with him.
(then)
Sully, you've never let fear rule your life...
Sully softens; that's true.
MIKE
You're just as much a parent of our baby as I am... When you went to track Noah McBride, you could've been killed --
SULLY
I had to do that --
MIKE
Exactly -- and I have to do this. This is who we are, Sully... and that's who our baby is going to be.
There is a knock on the door.
MIKE
That'll be Isabelle.
She looks to him for his approval. Sully wants to be on her side, but he's still not there; he looks away.
MIKE
Come in.
Myra comes in, with SAMANTHA. Sully is relieved.
MYRA
Dr. Mike, Samantha's cold is worse -- I'm worried maybe it's somethin' else?
Mike looks at Sully: see what I mean? Sully, realizing she's right, and confused about his feelings, heads out, past Myra:
SULLY
'Scuse me...
Mike follows him out, with a word to Myra:
MIKE
I'll be right back --
EXT. CLINIC - CONTINUOUS - DAY SIX
Loren approaches the clinic, his hand wrapped in a (not too) bloody cloth, as Sully comes out, followed by Mike:
MIKE
Sully --
LOREN
Jar cracked open...
They all stop as they see Isabelle approaching the clinic from the boarding house.
Other passers-by stop, too, giving Isabelle a wide berth. A mother scoops her little boy away. Hank and a couple of his GIRLS watch tensely from outside the saloon.
Isabelle, aware of all this, keeps her eyes straight forward as she arrives at the clinic:
ISABELLE
I'm here for my appointment.
That rattles Loren and Myra, who has come out into the doorway with Samantha. The tense silence is broken by Mike:
MIKE
I'll see you right after Loren --
LOREN
(rising nervously)
Aw no, I'll -- I'll just get Jake to stitch me up...
They all watch him leave. Mike sees that everybody is watching her, waiting to see what she'll do.
MIKE
Myra, Isabelle had an appointment -- it shouldn't take too long, if you don't mind waiting...?
Myra huddles Samantha close to her, and responds quickly, instinctively as she leaves the clinic:
MYRA
No...
(then, an excuse:)
It's prob'ly just a cold -- you know me, I'm such a worry-wart...
And she rushes off, carrying Samantha.
They're all aware of what's going down... nobody more so than Isabelle, who feels terrible about it:
ISABELLE
I can come back later...
MIKE
No... come in.
Sully watches Mike with a mixture of admiration and concern as she deliberately takes Isabelle's arm and escorts her into the clinic. Isabelle pauses at the door, and goes in.
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. GENERAL STORE - DAY SIX
The train whistle BLOWS as Mike approaches the porch of the store, carrying a basket.
Grace and other Shoppers WHISPER among themselves, worried, looking at her (passing the news that Isabelle was in her clinic, that Mike must have touched her), and give her the same wide berth they gave Isabelle earlier.
Mike takes note, and starts picking out some fruit. Loren rushes out to help her, his hand now bandaged.
MIKE
How's your hand, Loren?
LOREN
Fine, just fine --
(quickly taking her basket:)
Let me help you, Dr. Mike, you want some apples?
MIKE
I'm perfectly capable of picking out fruit, Loren --
But Loren insists, his eyes on Grace and the other Shoppers who are avoiding the fruit that Mike was touching:
LOREN
Happy to help.
Mike follows his gaze, realizes what's going on:
MIKE
This is ridiculous...
Brian, upset, rushes up to her, from the direction of the train station:
BRIAN
Ma! Isabelle left on the train...
Mike is shocked; she cuts her eyes toward the train station. Sully and Myra come out of the store:
BRIAN
I just saw her through the window, I didn't even get to say goodbye...
MIKE
She knew how you felt about her, Brian...
BRIAN
But why'd she have to leave?
Sully feels terrible. The others are beginning to feel ashamed:
MYRA
She did a good thing, Brian --
GRACE
That's right, she left 'cause she was sick and didn't want to hurt nobody...
The others (including Jake, who has come over from the barbershop) nod, trying to make themselves feel better.
MIKE
You're right Grace --
Grace is surprised, she expected a fight from Mike:
MIKE
She left because she knew if she stayed, others would stop coming to the clinic.
LOREN
Just as well, she can get help somewhere else.
Sully finally speaks up:
SULLY
You think anybody else is gonna be better'n we were?
Mike looks at Sully, surprised. She realizes that he's including himself in this, that he's come around. The others look away, embarrassed.
SULLY
We didn't do right by her.
Sully goes over to Mike and Brian. Mike puts her arm around Sully's back, and the three of them walk off together...
Leaving behind the rest of the townsfolk. In stark contrast to the [rest of the bustling street, our townsfolk stand] motionless, taking stock in themselves and coming up wanting... as we
FADE OUT
THE END

 

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